Considering there’s somewhat of a wildfire of discussion on the group of siblings from Turkey, who walk on all fours both on this site and around the entire blogosphere… I thought I’d share with you John Hawks’ critical view on it. He calls it a “publicity blitz ” and states that we are all being played.
I personally have beef with people calling it backwards evolution, or the evidence of ape-like men. If you don’t believe me, I’m serious! Check out the headlines from this Google News search query! There’s titles like “evolutionary throwback” and “missing link ” which all exemplify how misunderstood evolution, locomotion, and genetics all really are.
Going back to John Hawks, he clarifies this all. He questions the science of it, wondering about is this behavior due to genetic mutations, and about “true quadrupedalism ” He also wonders about the scientific merit of this paper, since the lead author published in his own journal! Hawks says,
“Tan’s paper has but a single reference in its bibliography — to himself. And he’s an editor of the journal, International Journal of Neuroscience. It happens every year or so that some paleoanthropology story breaks about a paper in some non-anthropological journal. These don’t benefit from peer review by paleoanthropologists. “
If you know me, you know I like being critical — so I really suggest you take the news of Turkish quadrupeds with a grain of salt and read what John Hawks has gotta say about it.