I am trying to review the "Origin of Life" booklet, and i got to say that the more i look into it the worse it look. This particular quote puzzled me a lot (p. 28)
One group of researchers used brain size to speculate which extinct creatures were more closely related to man admitted that in doing so, “they often feel on shaky ground.”
They took the quote from the preface of the "The human fossil record - Volume 3" from 2004.
What the author of the booklet is trying to do in this section is to create a strawman argument where the brain size is the most important hint to evolutionary ancestry amongst the humanoids, and then he tries to knock that down by pointing out that there is little correlations between brain size and intelligence.
The quote sound a bit to good to be true, and i thought i would check it out. The book is easily found on google books and it is actually titled: "The Human Fossil Record: Brain endocasts : the paleoneurological evidence"
Its a bit of a funny title for a book which is supposedly about which extinct creatures is most closely related to man, so i read the foreword. Here are the facts:
FACT 1: The book is about a single organ, namely the brain.
This is obvious from just reading the title of the book, and is written all over the foreword. So what are they actually trying to do?
FACT 2: Its not even about how the brain evolved
from page 1 of the foreword: "This book is not a treatise about how the human brain evolved (indeed, we are purposely eschewing controversy over such speculations), but rather a detailed analysis of the direct evidence - the endocasts - and how they show changes through time, both in terms of brain size and what can be ascertained about the brain's organization [list of features]"
Fact 3: All they do is speculate how certain features in the brain could be realated through evolution.
From page 2 where the quote is lifter from: "Instead what we find presently in the in our neuroanatomically remains are the variations of size, overall morphology, assymetries, regional differences in gyri and sulci, and variations in meningeal patterns. We use these to offer speculations about their interrelatedness and evolution through time, and even here we often find ourselves on shaky ground"
So the book is about describing neurocasts. its NOT abot how the human brain evolved. They will, however, speculate on how some of the things they find could be related, but all they are talking about is features of the brain. Notice how the brochure dont include the words "and even here" which the author use to make clear they are very carefull in their speculations. To drive the point home the author continue in the very next line:
"Finally, we have not studied these paleoneurological remains to advance any particular taxonomic viewpoint ... and we are not (nor do we wish to be) involved in any taxonomic controversies"
They write black on white in the line following the partial quote they dont want to speculate whch animals are related to humans, completely contrary to what the brouchure state!
Its also completely wrong when the author on the booklet try to make it look like the size of the brain is the only thing they are interested in, which they previously write in the foreword is what people have traditionally done, and they want to give a detailed study of all features they can derive from endocasts.
To make matters worse they brouchure continue:
...admitted that in doing so, “they often feel on shaky ground.”
Why? Notice this quote from New Scientists from 2008: "Scientists have failed to find a correlation between absolute or relevant brain size and acumen amongst humans and other species. Neither have they been able to discern a parallel between wits and the size or existence of specific regions of the brain, excepting perhaps Broca’s area, which governs speech in people.”
(partially my translation since i dont have the english booklet).
The large problem is the use of "why" which connect the two quotes and create a completely different statement; namely that a bunch of goofy scientists tried to use brain size to explain which animal was the most connected to humans but felt they was on shaky ground, and the brilliant editor of the brouchure can tell them why they failed, namely that brain size and intelligense correlate badly.
Well, instead of putting words into mouth of the author of the original article, how about letting him explain himself? Like previously stated he want to avoid making the book about the taxenomical line of homonoids because thats not what its about. He furthermore state in the foreword:
"We are certain the that the morphological differences in endocasts we detail herein are of little value in making taxonomic destinctions, given the wide range of variability seen in size, assymetries, shape and morphology of brain endocasts for our own species. If these are sins, please forgive us."
I will also note that in chapter one these is a lengthy description of how little brain size corrolate with intelligence.
So lets see. The author of the brouchure give a false context to a partial quote in such a way the authors seem to say something, when in fact they say the complete opposite several times, and its not what the book is about.
But this is not good enough.
The author of the WTS brouchure tries to explain the completely fabricated viewpoint by a quote in new scientists in such a way he himself seem very smart, and the original authors very stupid. The fact, however, is the authors specifically state they have the same view as the authors of the article in new scientist.
Its lie upon lie upon lie, and it can all be debunked by just reading the damn foreword. The author of the brouchure is either a moron, or very very dishonest.
It should come as no surprice the author of the WTS brouchure use his own lies as an argument for accusing all scientists of being dishonest, and force evidence to agree with their theory.
Link to the book: