There is a certain faith within the JW community that almost any problem can be answered by the "Bulging brains" in Brooklyn. Reading the Awake! regularly over a period of years has been compared to receiving a college education and one board participant here actually refers to JW researchers and writers as "Celebrated scholars."
I did a series of posts a couple of years ago entitled "JW Science Quote of the Day," showing that this is not the case at all. JW literature is often wrong, misleading and/or just plain dishonest on matters of basic science. Far from being "scholars," the authors of these articles are just ordinary people. Since a few on JWN seemed to like that idea, I thought I'd resurrect it on a less frequent basis.
This month's example concerns primate skulls. (NOTE: This is NOT an evolution versus creation thread. Regardless of where you fall on this subject, I think we can all agree that falsifying evidence is wrong when either side does it.)
In Chapter 7 of the JW publication, Life -- How did it get here? By evolution or by creation? the argument is made that fossils of ancient hominids - so-called "Ape men" were far more Ape than Human. At the top of page 95, a picture appears in support of this idea. It depicts three skulls: An Australopithecine, a Chimpanzee, and modern Man:
The problem here is that this is not a Chimpanzee skull. What the artist has actually drawn has been humanized to the point where the Chimpanzee actually looks more Human than the Australopithecus! This depiction is incorrect to the point of dishonesty. Let's look at a real Chimpanzee skull:
There are four things to note here:
A Chimpanzee, especially a male Chimpanzee, has large canines. The canines of the Chimpanzee are developed to the point where the chimp possesses a true diastema (A gap in the lower jaw between the canines and the premolars) to accommodate the maxillary pair. You will notice that both of these features are missing from the JW chimp. The JW chimp doesn't even appear to have mandibular canines at all.
The supraorbital bossing (Brow ridges) of both male and female Chimpanzees are huge. --Far more pronounced than in modern Man. You will notice that these brow ridges have been virtually eliminated in the JW chimp.
The average endocranial capacity of the Chimpanzee is ~400cc. Australopithecus had a larger endocranial capacity at about 500cc. Although neither is anywhere near the capacity of modern Man, (1200cc - 1400cc) you will notice that the JW chimp is actually depicted with a larger braincase than the Australopithecus.
The zygomatic arch of the Chimpanzee is also very pronounced. At the facial-cranial union of the chimp is a gap that most people could easily stick two of their fingers through. You can clearly see this in the picture below. You will notice that this gap although present in the Australopithecus, has all but been eliminated in the JW chimp.
Although Australopithecus fossils exhibit smaller canines, no diastema, less supraorbital bossing and larger endocranial capacity than any anthropoid ape today, the real curiosity about this fossil was not the skull at all, but the fact that the shape of the pelvis and knee joints indicated that it was not primarily a quadruped.
But again, the issue is not whether Australopithecus figures somewhere in the lineage of Man or not. You can draw your own conclusion on that. The issue is whether "Celebrated JW scholars" have been honest and accurate on a matter of basic science. In this instance, they were not. By making the Chimpanzee look more human, the Australopithecus is made to look more Simian. The JW chimp is a lie.