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Monday, January 31, 2011

Reorienting National Defense

I suppose I ought to mention that I read the The American Conservative's blog principally because Pat Buchanan started the magazine. I often don't find the opinions of the various bloggers there all that impressive. Often, I get the distinct impression that they really do think that the only true conservatives in the universe reside within their own small community. I am not saying that they simply disagree at various points with the Tea Partiers, with the Neocons, with establishment Republicans, with laundry-list conservatives, and so forth. It appears to go rather deeper than that, into a sneering condescension toward anyone who doesn't agree with them lock, stock, and barrel. (Now, as an aside, I am dead certain someone out there is going to say to themselves, "But you do that too, Man of the West!" I am sure that it appears so, especially when I talk about Neocons, whom I will scarcely concede to be conservatives at all. But I do try, genuinely, to remember that if I am going to insist that every conservative agree with me on every point, ultimately I am going to be the only conservative left in the room. Conservatism, in my opinion, is more of an attitude and an approach to things than it is a list of positions, and it is inevitable that conservatives will disagree with each other on some points. I accept that. I often get the impression that the folks at The American Conservative do not. Okay?)

On the other hand, they do make some good points and are useful in that you can count on them to point out weaknesses in the thinking of anyone potentially running for president, and God knows all the candidates have some weaknesses.

One in particular, in my opinion, is that rather a lot of conservatives have kind of jumped the shark when it comes to our military and national defense.

Don't get the wrong idea: I'm a former Marine (five years a Marine Corps Reservist) and have an abiding love for the American military, and I think the number-one job of the federal government is national defense. No question about it. Nor do I have a problem with taking the fight to the jihadist wing of an enormous death cult, i.e., with the "War on Terror." I do, however, think it's delusional to make policy and war on the assumptions that we can and should democratize the world, and I do think it is ridiculous that we still have troops in Korea more than fifty years after hostilities ended, that we have troops in Europe when modern Europe is quite capable of funding its own defenses, and so forth and so on.

I'm pretty sure that the United States has more than enough money, manpower, and technology to successfully defend the United States, which is its business, and also pretty sure that fruitlessly trying to be the world's peacekeeper/cop will ultimately lead to nothing good. I had to agree, on the whole, with this observation:
Tea Partiers cannot accomplish what they wish for unless they tackle the “military-industrial complex” that Eisenhower spoke about. A small federal government does not carry 17 intelligence agencies. If they mean what they say, then Tea Partiers will demand that defense expenditures be reduced, U.S. overseas commitments ended, bases closed, and foreign policy changed to reflect fiscal realities.
I don't know that overall defense expenditures need to be reduced, though that may well be possible. But they certainly need to be heavily reoriented.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Go Ahead, Just Read All the Crap You Want

Every so often, I read something in the blogosphere that just inflames me.

It just floors me. What do people read?
video
Crap. Crap, crap, and more crap. Crappity-crap-crap. In a world filled with non-fiction that you really need to read--The Federalist Papers spring immediately to mind--and finely-crafted works of fiction and poetry, stuff that will inform you, enlighten you, civilize you, and uplift you, people continually devote their lives to the collection of and reading of utter crap.

And these people expect to be taken seriously.

God forbid I should do any such thing, Sonny Boy. Ain't gonna happen.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Gunfighting Tips from the Old West

A Cowboy sitting in a saloon one Saturday night, he recognized an elderly man standing at the bar who, in his day, had the reputation of being the fastest gun in the West.

The young cowboy took a place next to the old-timer, bought him a drink and told him the story of his great ambition. 'Do you think you could give me some tips?' he asked.

The old man looked him up and down and said, 'Well, for one thing, you're wearing your gun too high. Tie the holster a little lower down on your leg.'

'Will that make me a better gunfighter?' asked the young man.

'Sure will,' replied the old-timer.

The young man did as he was told, stood up, whipped out his 44 and shot the bow tie off the piano player. 'That's terrific!' said the hot shot.. 'Got any more tips for me?'

'Yep,' said the old man. 'Cut a notch out of your holster where the hammer hits it. That'll give you a smoother draw'.

'Will that make me a better gunfighter?' asked the younger man.

'You bet it will, ' said the old-timer.

The young man took out his knife, cut the notch, stood up, drew his gun in a blur, and then shot a cuff-link off the piano player.

'Wow!' exclaimed the cowboy 'I'm learnin' somethin' here. Got any more tips?'

The old man pointed to a large can in a corner. 'See that axle grease over there? Coat your gun with it.'

The young man went over to the can and smeared some of the grease on the barrel of his gun.

'No,' said the old-timer, 'I mean smear it all over the gun, handle and all.'

'Will that make me a better gunfighter?' asked the young man.

'No,' said the old-timer, 'but when Wyatt Earp gets done playing the piano, he's gonna shove that gun where the sun don't shine, and it won't hurt near as much.'
Sent to me by one of my relatives, of course.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Code and Liberals

Code: that element of modern communication by which liberals understand conservatives to mean things they have never actually said.

In other words, if liberals can't actually find you saying the evil things they fondly imagine you saying--and lately, what they want you to have said are things more vile than they have said, lest all the air get sucked out of their hateful-conservative-rhetoric-drove-Loughner-over-the-edge balloon--they feel perfectly free to make things up. The instant liberals start talking about "code," it's a tacit admission that you, you evil conservative, you, haven't actually said anything that they can successfully demonize. Not to any normal person, anyway. For example, "Rush Limbaugh's racist code" means that Rush hasn't actually said anything racist, at least not anything that any normal person would recognize as racist.

Oh, let 'em have fun. They haven't yet realized that fewer and fewer people believe their crap with each passing day.
Those liberals who don't actually pull this sort of crap, and of course I know some: don't take it personally. I didn't mean you.

Sadly, I Suspect This is True

Mark Hyman says:
We complain of not having enough time to cook, but Americans spend more time watching cooking on the Food Network, than actually preparing their own meals. In his series Food Revolution, Jamie Oliver showed us how we have raised a generation of Americans who can’t recognize a single vegetable or fruit, and don’t know how to cook
I hate to say it, but that really is how it's beginning to look to me.

Hat tip: Carla.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Openhand on Tuite

More than a few times lately--well, shoot, over the years--I've read comments and blogposts about tuite and kyusho from people that are--well, they're just interesting, I'll put it that way. People will tell you to rap someone in the temple with a backfist--a technique involving a striking surface about the size of a fifty-cent piece impacting a target about the size of a fifty-cent piece--whilst simultaneously deriding nerve strikes (I am not making this up. I read a piece by one of the highest-ranking Isshin Ryu masters in North America doing this very thing.) They'll tell you that tuite is too complex, too much of a "fancy technique," to work in combat, under stressful conditions.

God knows I don't claim to be an expert on either kyusho or tuite, but I am pretty sure that anyone telling you such things isn't all that good at either one. Tuite is not very complex, not really, at least what I have been shown. It is simply the practical application of anatomy and body mechanics in a defensive situation. You are drilling the motions, over and over and over, in kata. You do not, under stress, have to rummage through your memory to find appropriate techniques any more than you have to rummage through your memory for appropriate driving maneuvers when you are trying to avoid an accident. Just like striking techniques, tuite kind of "pops out" of you when appropriate, if you are doing the practice. And if you are seeking techniques that do not require that you practice them in order for them to be readily effective for you, I would suggest that you are kind of wasting your time practicing martial arts in the first place.

Tuite is darned effective, once it becomes natural to you. I keep going back to the example of my own instructor, but that's because he's the perfect illustration. Doggone it, the man's a fairly smallish, ill, weak, oxygen patient of sixty-two years age, and he can quickly and easily overpower either me or my son with tuite. It doesn't require muscle. It can slam you to the deck in a heartbeat.

All I'll say about nerve strikes here is that in my limited experience, as you become more familiar with them, the vulnerable areas become easier to find and hit. I have learned painfully from my son that eventually, it becomes darn hard to miss those nerves. Dadgummit, the booger hardly ever misses my nerves...

All of which is to suggest that if you are interested in the subject, you visit this post by Openhand. It's a short education in the subject.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Irish Independent on Islam and Islamic Immigration

Link courtesy of Jihad Watch:
...how many Muslim immigrants can any society take, and yet retain the qualities that made it attractive to Muslims in the first place?...

And of course, if the immigrants then conform with local norms -- as British Hindus and Sikhs have usually done -- then there is usually no long-term problem. The result is a cultural enrichment and fusion in which everyone gains.

This is simply not true of Muslim immigration. Not merely is there not a single stable, prosperous Muslim democracy in the world, free of terrorism and fundamentalism, there is no society that has received large numbers of Muslims that has not soon been confronted by an Islamic defiance of existing societal norms. This defiance can be cultural, in which dissident dress code is sought as a religious right; or educational, in which Muslims are raised within their own autonomous school system; or legal, with a demand for Sharia law; or insurrectionary, in which local Muslims opt for terrorist jihad against the state which admitted them.

No European country -- not one -- that has admitted large numbers of Muslims has been spared any of these outcomes.

No European country -- not one -- that has admitted Hindus has had to face any comparable problem.

THE EU's response has been to ignore what it finds uncongenial to talk about, as meanwhile dogmatic "multiculturalists" silence sceptics with the perverse gagging laws that have arisen in every European country.

These make it almost impossible for Europeans to defend European values without being called "racist" or an "Islamophobe".

Monday, January 3, 2011

Mouse ----! You Understand Mouse ----? or Thoughts on Cussing

Over the years, I have seen a few blogposts dealing with the subject of cussing, or foul language, mostly from Christian perspective. As a matter of fact, I can't recall any post on the subject that wasn't trying to approach it from a Christian perspective.

I have to tell you right up front that I was in the United States Marine Corps Reserve for five years, and at one time, I possessed the usual unmitigated fluency in cussing common to most U.S. Marines. It is, however, very rare that I cuss these days. Cussing events are mostly of the I-hit-my-thumb-with-the-hammer sort. That may color your opinion of what I have to say or it may not, but at least you know.

I have thought about writing this post a million times, I think. Just about every time, a memory has come to my mind, a conversation I once had with a sanitarian, or "health inspector," as you may call them. Y'see, I was in the fast-food business for about fourteen years, and was on friendly terms with several of the city's sanitarians. One time, one of them was explaining some of the difficulties that they occasionally had with ethnic residents. He gave me the example of a time that he found mouse droppings in one Asian-style restaurant, a place where the staff was all from overseas and had a very limited command of English.

"You have mice. You need to call the exterminator."

"What?"

"You have mice. Look, you see? Mouse droppings."

"What?"

"Mouse droppings. Mouse dung."

"What?"

"You know--feces."

"What?"

"Poop?"

"What?"

"MOUSE ----! You understand MOUSE ----?!"

The man did indeed understand, "mouse ----," as it turns out.

My question for you is: was the sanitarian cussing? Or communicating?

I don't think the difference is always quite so cut-and-dried as some people like to think.

Usually, when the question of cussing or foul language comes up in Christian circles, people opposed to cussing--that would be most Christians I've met--will cite Paul's admonitions to avoid "filthy talking" or "coarse jesting."

And let me make something clear before I go on: I regard the Bible, including Paul's letters, as the word of Almighty God. I absolutely will tell you that Paul said exactly what God intended him to say, and that it means what it says.

On the other hand, I've read multiple translations of the Bible, and I have yet to find any one of them that gives me a crystal-clear definition of what "filthy talking" and "coarse jesting" are. We have Ephesians 4: 29, which says, in the NKJV, "Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers." The NET Bible renders it, "Let no unwholesome word..." The ESV, my favorite translation, has, "...corrupting talk..." Then there is Colossians 3:8, which reads, in the NKJV, "But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth." The NET Bible renders it, "...abusive language from your mouth." The ESV has, "...obscene talk..."

What exactly is a "corrupt word" or an "unwholesome word" or "corrupting talk?" What exactly is "filthy talking" or "abusive language" or "obscene talk?"There are a lot of people who seem to think it's the content of George Carlin's infamous list of the words you can't say on TV. I don't think it's quite that simple.

It's fairly obvious that when writing in Greek, Paul wasn't spending a lot of time thinking about Anglo-Saxonisms that hadn't yet been invented.

It's fairly obvious that it's not the objective meaning of the words that is being referred to. You can say, for example, "manure" without anyone in the world accusing you of cussing, right?

Some folks--including some for whose opinions I generally have very high regard--make an argument that basically amounts to this: Every culture has a list of words that are commonly accepted as being foul. We all know what they are and what they are used for, and it is to this list, at least in part, that Paul refers. Therefore, Christians shouldn't use the words on the list. And to a degree, I agree. There are indeed words that are commonly accepted as foul, the recognized use of which for many, maybe even most people, is to express displeasure, anger, hatred, bitterness, and so forth, precisely the things listed in Col. 3:8. But I do have a small problem with this idea: the list isn't universal, not even within the same country. It changes. It changes over time--I can easily think of words that were completely unacceptable 20 years ago that I now hear on family tv and radio. It changes with age--there are some words that I would never have gotten away with when I was five that nobody would bat an eye at were I to use them as an adult. It changes with your company--please believe me, Marines routinely use words that most people would consider foul with no hostile or foul intent whatsoever, considering them merely, as Spongebob might say, "spicy sentence enhancers." It changes with your education and level of knowledge--as shown in the sanitarian's example given above. And it changes with your personal background--I know more than a few people from rural backgrounds that think nothing of talking of pig ---- or cow ----, etc. To them, it is simply something you shovel out of the barn.

Personally, I think that to get a good sense of what "a corrupt word," "corrupting talk," "unwholesome words," "filthy language," "abusive language," and "obscene talk" are, you have to look to the context of the Scripture. To my mind, that sort of language is language that corrupts a person, imparts nothing good, expresses (perhaps especially intentionally) anger, malice, and so forth. It is language that is intended to hurt or to degrade, and while people may and often do use words on "the list" to do these things, it is not a word's presence on "the list" that makes it foul, but the way it is used.

Having said all that, I still avoid the words on the list. I do that because so many people, hearing them, automatically assume less than wholesome intent on the part of the speaker, and I don't wish to unnecessarily upset anyone. But I have a hard time, a very hard time indeed, coming down on anyone just for using words on the list.

Before I do that, I need to know if they're cussing or if they're communicating. Are they trying to abuse or degrade or offend me, or is that simply the way the people around them talk?

You savvy?
And don't get me started on "minced oaths." When people not only don't want you to use the words on the list-of-words-that-we-as-a-culture-have-agreed-are-foul, but don't wish you to use words on the list-of-words-that-we-as-a-culture-have-agreed-are-socially-acceptable-substitutes, it seems to me that a double standard is being exposed.

Just my two cents, y'know?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Virchow, Rickets, Neandertal, and Homo Erectus


For the handful of people who might be interested. The material is excerpted from the first edition of Lubenow's Bones of Contention. Yes, it did take me a while to type up. If you find it interesting, reward Mr. Lubenow by buying a copy of his book, OK?

Italics are in the original. Typos were not, and any you see are my fault. Anything in bold reflects my emphasis.
When the first fossil human was discovered (the original Neandertal) several competent medical authorities stated that the peculiar apish shape of the bones was caused by rickets. In 1872, Rudolf Virchow published a carefully argued and factual diagnosis that the original Neandertal individual had been a normal human who suffered from rickets in childhood and arthritis in adulthood. Virchow's diagnosis has never been refuted. It was ignored in his day because by coincidence the Neandertal morphology was what evolutionists believed a transition between primates and humans would look like. Today, too Virchow's report is ignored. We assume that his medical knowledge was unsophisticated. Furthermore, rickets is relatively unknown, and Virchow is hardly a household name.

Rudolf Virchow (1821-1902) was professor of pathology at the University of Berlin. He was the first to recognize the cell as the basic unit for alteration in disease. He founded the science of cell pathology; he is known universally as the father of the science of pathology. His discoveries, among others, include embolism and leukemia. He redefined sarcoma and melanoma. His microscopic studies added tremendously to our knowledge of connective tissue, inflammation, and tumors. He cleared up the life cycle of the trichinae. His discoveries were important foundations for surgery and drug therapy.

A political activist, Virchow was a member of the Prussian National Assembly and the German Reichstag. Through his political influence he was a pioneer in public health, successfully fighting for better hospitals, schools, meat inspection, and sanitation procedures. "During the last third of the 19th Century, Virchow probably was the best-known medical man in the world." Nevertheless, despite all of this, Virchow was guilty of an unpardonable sin: He was quite skeptical of Darwin's theory of natural selection, feeling that it lacked sufficient demonstration.

Virchow was also an anthropologist. He was responsible for the emphasis in his day on laboratory research in anthropology, and was involved in anthropological field work in Germany and Greece. He was one of the founders of the German Anthropological Society, and of the Berlin Society for Anthropology, Ethnology, and Prehistory, the latter of which, from 1869 until his death, he served as president and editor of its journal. He was personally familiar with the original Neandertal fossils and expertly acquainted with the disease of rickets. This was the man who diagnosed the first Neandertal as a case of rickets.

Virchow was well acquainted with rickets because rickets was particularly common in the industrial parts of Europe in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The same industrial pollution that darkened the barks of the trees in England which in turn caused the ratios in the peppered moth population to change from light to dark (falsely claimed by evolutionists as an illustration of evolution in action) also obscured the sunlight in these industrial areas. The result was that many children, especially those having inferior diets, suffered from rickets.

The relationship between a sunless climate and a high incidence of rickets was well known by medical authorities in Virchow's time. However, a vitamin D deficiency as the cause of rickets was not identified until after World War I. Because rickets is clinically most active in humans between the ages of six and twenty-four months, vitamin D is now added to milk in most western countries. The result is that rickets is virtually unknown today in the United States. However, a friend of mine, born in a poor section of Boston in 1913, recalls rickets as being a rather common disease during his childhood years.

A more recent identification of fossil humans and rickets was made by Francis Ivanhoe in a paper in Nature. Ivanhoe said that "...every Neandertal child skull studied so far shows signs compatible with severe rickets." These include the child remains from Engis (Belgium), La Ferrassie (France), Gibraltar, Pech de l'Aze (France), La Quina (France), Starosel's (U.S.S.R.), and Subalyuk (Hungary). Less extreme cases are seen in the child remains from Teshik-Tash (U.S.S.R.), Shanidar (Iraq), and Egbert (Lebanon). The rickets skull morphology, seen in these children has carried over into the adult Neandertals and other fossil humans. The gross bowing of the long bones of the body, so typical of rickets, is seen in both Neandertal children and adults.

If a number of human fossil remains are compatible with the disease of rickets, it is fair to ask why this has not been generally recognized, especially in light of our advanced medical knowledge. First, it is because of our medical progress that the disease has been overlooked in fossil humans. Medically, we no longer think in terms of rickets. In the very countries where evolution is taught most extensively, rickets has been practically eliminated. In all of my life, I have seen only one person who, I suspect, has had rickets. Even a medical doctor, dealing with flesh-and-blood people, does not see the bones of his patients directly unless he takes x-rays. Hence, when we see pictures of the fossil bones of Neandertal or Homo erectus, we do not make the identification.

A second reason why the rickets diagnosis has been ignored is easy to understand in retrospect. It is one thing to recognize a single specimen as being pathological, such as the original Neandertaler. However, when more Neandertals were discovered in Europe, and the Java and Peking remains were found in Asia, it would have been hard to think in terms of a worldwide pathology unless one also thought in terms of a worldwide cause for that pathology. It is more than coincidental that at the very time of these fossil discoveries, the Book of Genesis was coming under intensive attack, and the credibility of the creation and Flood accounts was being severely challenged. Hence, the one event that could explain a worldwide pathology--the Genesis Flood--was being discredited in intellectual circles. In light of that background it is understandable why the pathological condition of post-Flood humans came to be interpreted as a "normal" phase of human evolution.

The third reason why the rickets diagnosis was ignored has to do with the evolutionists' expectations of that day. For many years the Piltdown fraud was not recognized as such, because Piltdown Man was the type of fossil that evolutionists expected to find. In fact, the fraud was committed to advance a certain philosophical concept of human evolution. It was only when that particular philosophical concept became obsolete that the Piltdown fossils were studied more objectively and the fraud discovered. The Neandertals, Java Man, and Peking Man were also the kind of fossils evolutionists were looking for. By a unique coincidence, rickets gives to the skull and to the long bones of the body the superficial apish cast the evolutionists were expecting to find in the "missing link."

Because the human fossils are used today as evidence for human evolution, it is natural for us to assume that the concept of human evolution grew out of the fossil evidence. (That is how the scientific method says it should happen.) But such was not the case. When Charles Darwin published his famous Origin in 1859, he had been working on his theory for thirty years. (His grandfather, Erasmus Darwin, was also a well-known evolutionist.) Although Darwin did not directly address human evolution in the Origin, he clearly had humans in mind, as the last sentence of the Origin reveals. The original Neandertal fossils were found in 1856. While Darwin was undoubtedly aware of them, there is no evidence that he had ever seen the fossils when he published the Origin, or even when he published The Descent of Man in 1871.

In other words, the allegedly scientific concept of human evolution was well established before the relevant fossil evidence was discovered. Eugene Dubois was also thoroughly committed to human evolution before he went to Java to look for evidence. The human fossils, when discovered, were then used to try to prove human evolution, which had already been well developed on philosophical grounds. Thus, the human fossils were never evaluated in a neutral atmosphere to determine what they really were. It is a classic case of using ambiguous evidence to prove a preconceived idea.

Because the Neandertal and Homo erectus fossils were the type of thing that evolutionists were expecting to find, it has been relatively easy for them to explain the morphology of the Lower and Middle Pleistocene fossils as phases of human evolution. It has been harder for them to explain that same morphology in Upper Pleistocene fossils, because humans at that point were supposed to have a more modern appearance. This is the reason for the "Neandertal Problem." It is also the reason for a lesser known but more serious problem for evolutionists--the Upper Pleistocene Homo erectus-like fossils.

Recent fossil discoveries in Australia reveal a condition that defies evolution as an explanation. Two populations were living side by side in very recent times. One population had a very modern morphology, and the other had a Homo erectus-like morphology. The erectus-like fossils include the Mossgiel individual (discovered in 1960 and dated at about 6000 y.a.), the forty Kow Swamp individuals (first discovered in 1967 and dated at about 10, 000 y.a.), and the Cossack skeletal remains (discovered in 1972 and dated from just a few hundred years ago to about 6500 y.a.).

We can sense the evolutionists' bewilderment as they write about these fossils. Jeffrey Laitman (Mt. Sinai School of Medicine) mentions fossil authorities who speak of the "extreme disparities" found between these two groups. And Richard G. Klein declares that "the range of variation [between these two groups] is extraordinary..."

The range of explanations given for these two contemporaneous groups exceeds the range of variation in the fossils themselves. At the time the Kow Swamp report was published, an editorial in Nature suggested many possibilities for the erectus-like morphology: (1) These fossils could represent a small inbred community; (2) the thick bones of these fossils could be the result of differential survival--thicker bones would survive intact longer than thinner bones; (3) the thick cranial bones could be the result of a nutritional problem; (4) low-grade anemia; (5) genetic factors; (6) endocrinal factors; or (7) a pathological condition. The writer certainly covered all the bases. However, in doing so he gave away the store. The admission that one or more of these factors could produce a Homo erectus-like morphology is also an admission that the concept of human evolution is not needed to explain that morphology--which is what creationists have claimed all along. All of the explanations suggested in that editorial are non-evolutionary.

The authors of the Kow Swamp report, A.G. Thorne (Australian National University), and P.G. Macumber (Geological Survey of Victoria), give their nonevolutionary explanation. In a sure and confident manner they say that "...the Kow Swamp series represents an isolated and remnant population." But at the very time (1972) they were writing those words, the Cossack skeletal material, having that very same morphology, was being discovered on the west coast of Australia two thousand miles away. Hence, we are not dealing with an "isolated and remnant population." The authors of the Cossack article write that the Cossack discovery "...indicates that this morphology was not a regional variant but continental in distribution."

Many evolutionists have suggested that these diverse Australian populations are the result of two or even three migrations into Australia from elsewhere. However, this explanation does not solve the problem; it just pushes the problem back to the Asian land mass. Evolutionists date the first humans in Australia at a bit before 40, 000 y.a. Hence, even if these successive waves of migration were separated by as much as 20, 000 years, the differences in morphology cannot be ascribed to evolutionary processes. On the evolution time scale 20, 000 years is nothing. It just means that these two morphologically diverse groups, which may have been separated geographically, had been living as contemporaries on the Asian mainland. Hence, the dual migration hypothesis doesn't even address the real problem, let alone solve it.

The most common explanation (also a nonevolutionary one) for these Upper Pleistocene Homo erectus-like fossils is the idea of cranial deformation. The artificial deformation of bones is well known in human history. A classic example is the distortion of the feet of Chinese women caused by foot binding in childhood. In the Americas a common cause of skull deformation was the strapping of an infant to a cradle board. In South America Inca infants of noble birth would have their heads bound so as to give the heads a pointed shape. The purpose was to distinguish the nobility from the commoners.

Richard Klein suggests cranial deformation as a likely explanation for the Kow Swamp fossils. The Catalogue of Fossil Hominids also suggests this as a possibility for the skull of the Kow Swamp 2 individual.

As to the particular method of cranial deformation, Chris Stringer says that the practice of headbinding "...was certainly responsible for some of the peculiarities in cranial shape amongst the Kow Swamp people." Philip J. Jabgood (University of Sidney) suggests that the method used was one of repeated pressure tot he front and the back of the infant's cranium. He feels that this method, unlike binding, would allow for the degree of variable deformation that one sees between the Kow Swamp 5 and the Kow Swamp 2 individuals. Thorne, while acknowledging the possibility of cranial deformation, likewise sees no evidence of long-term binding in these fossils.

Freedman and Lofgren, describing the Cossack cranium, say that it is very similar to the Kow Swamp crania but very different from other recent Western Australian skulls. They further state that the differences in the fossils do not appear to be due to artificial cranial deformation.

To use cranial deformation as the explanation for the large number of Upper Pleistocene Homo erectus-type fossils seems contrived. That explanation is never given for fossils of similar morphology in the Lower and Middle Pleistocene. Why is it valid for one geologic period and not for the others? Nor is that explanation given for the Neandertal and archaic Homo Sapiens fossils possessing a similar morphology. If cranial deformation can produce that morphology, then evolution is not needed. It is time to inform the evolutionist that he can't have it both ways. It is only the pressure of evolution that spawns ideas which are without one shred of factual evidence.

Textbook illustrations of valid cases of artificial cranial deformation are quite different from the typical Homo erectus morphology. I have seen many museum specimens of artificial cranial deformation, and they, too, are very different from a Homo erectus morphology. In fact, it is hard to imagine a method of artificial cranial deformation that would result in an erectus-like skull. No type of cranial deformation could produce the thick cranial walls that are so typical of erectus-like individuals.

It is surprising how unscientific evolutionists can be when their theory is under stress. There is no excuse for ignoring the large body of evidence of rickets as the more probable explanation for the morphology of many fossil humans. Rickets could also explain why fossil populations existed simultaneously who had different morphologies because of different diets and climate conditions. It is time to go back to the future--back to Virchow.
Personally, I don't find it surprising at all that evolutionists can be unscientific. Scientists in general can be remarkably herd-like in their thinking. With evolutionists, the lengths to which they will go to defend their ideas are nothing short of astonishing. You will get whiplash watching them change the standards by which they evaluate evidence and arguments. They will argue vehemently with one another over the most basic of issues--does the fossil record indicate long periods of stasis punctuated by sudden, rapid change or continual slow, gradual change?--and then deny to the public that any significant issues are still being debated. One day, the radiometric dates are absolute. The next day, those "obviously anomalous" radiometric dates are the result of environmental contamination. All in all, they are the most classic
heads-I-win-tails-you-lose group of folks I have ever seen.