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Stars, Cells, and God | Homo naledi Art? and Sandgrouse Feathers

Join Fazale “Fuz” Rana and Jeff Zweerink as they discuss new discoveries taking place at the frontiers of science, discoveries that have theological and philosophical implications, including the reality of God’s existence. Homo naledi Art? A team of paleoanthropologists made a splash when they announced that the enigmatic hominin, Homo naledi (who lived about 330,000 to 250,000 years ago), buried its dead, made art, and mastered fire. These claims are shocking because H. naledi had a brain size comparable to a chimpanzee. Most paleoanthropologists have long held the view that a large brain size was necessary for advanced cognition. If these claims stand, they will upend the prevailing thinking about what makes us human and undermine the notion of human exceptionalism, an idea closely linked to the biblical view that human beings uniquely bear God’s image. In this episode, biochemist Fuz Rana, author of Who Was Adam?, will discuss these claims and their impact on RTB’s creation model for humanity’s origin and the biblical view of human nature and identity. References: 241,000 to 335,000 Years Old Rock Engravings Made by Homo naledi in the Rising Star Cave System, South Africa Evidence for Deliberate Burial of the Dead by Homo naledi Burials and Engravings in a Small-Brained Hominin, Homo naledi, from the Late Pleistocene: Contexts and Evolutionary Implications Additional Resources: Who Was Adam? A Creation Model Approach to the Origin of Humanity Cave Art Tells the Story of Human Exceptionalism Further Review Overturns Neanderthal Art Claim Rabbit Burrowing Churns Claims about Neanderthal Burials Sandgrouse Feathers Normally, bird feathers work to repel water so birds stay dry. However, the Namaqua sandgrouse has feathers that capture and retain water. This feature plays a vital role in allowing the sandgrouse to transport water from distant sources (up to 30km) with high efficiency to provide hydration for their chicks. Detailed microscopic studies of the feathers reveal the remarkable characteristics that enable this critical—and bizarre—function for the sandgrouse. Jeff Zweerink explains how these studies add to an impressive body of research showing how the designs of animal bodies often exceed the best human designs. References: Structure and Mechanics of Water-Holding Feathers of Namaqua Sandgrouse (Pterocles namaqua)