Talk:Hominid

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Incorrect definition

I object to saying that the 2nd definition (human ancestors) is incorrect. If it is incorrect, then so is most usage. Are you saying that all these are incorrect? The Merriam-Webster dictionary [1] American Heritage [2] and these scientific pages. [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] RSchlafly 14:06, 12 May 2007 (EDT)

It's a scientific term. It should be used as such. --WikinterpreterLiaise with the cabal?
Sure. We should all use precise definitions. I edited it to include the common usage. RSchlafly 15:23, 12 May 2007 (EDT)
I agree, but common =/= actual. As Conservative and others tell us, concensus does not make something right. I hope the current version is acceptable. --WikinterpreterLiaise with the cabal?
No, it is not acceptable. On what basis do you say the latter usage is "incorrect"? Someone has proposed a new definition of "hominid" a few years ago. Maybe it will catch on, and maybe it won't. In the meantime, people need to know how to interpret the word "hominid" when they read it. RSchlafly 15:42, 12 May 2007 (EDT)
I've edited to explain the difference between the taxonomic term and the colloquial term, as well as including the correct term for those species that are transitional between hominidae and homo sapiens sapiens. JohnSmith 15:45, 12 May 2007 (EDT)
Thanks. --WikinterpreterLiaise with the cabal?

Cave man

What wrong with "cave man"? It is a colloquial definition. Yes, it is not terribly precise, but neither is the term hominid as it is usually used. I say to put "cave man" back. RSchlafly 13:40, 15 May 2007 (EDT)

Cave man may be colloquial, but it is not used in any kind of serious discussion among academics concerned with studying pre-historic humans. Cave man is a very loose term that is often used for inaccurate descriptions. I just don't consider it very professional or encyclopedic.Prof0705 13:48, 15 May 2007 (EDT)

I agree, if someone is going to the trouble to use the term "Hominid" then they have more than a passing understanding of evolution, and they're using the term for a specific purpose. I also think that in the first definition that we should strike the section that says that it's colloquially used to refer to modern humans. Although modern humans are hominids, typically people use hominid to refer to the evolutionary ancestors of man, also called the "hominina" tribe. This is one of the reasons I still prefer the original edit I made to this article: The taxonomic term hominid is used by modern biologists to refer to humans, as well as the "great apes," including gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutans, and their ancestors up to several millions of years ago. It is also colloquially used to refer to species ancestral to modern humans, including Australopithecus, Paranthropus, Ardipithecus, and Homo though the correct term for this group is hominina. I think this was more accurate and succinct. The fact is that there aren't truly two definitions of the term. There is the formal definition, and the way that definition is used informally. JohnSmith 14:13, 17 May 2007 (EDT)
I do not think that your version is correct. First, the "taxonomic" definition is just a proposal of the last few years, and not even all modern biologists have adopted that usage. Second, saying that "hominina" is the "correct term" is also just a proposal. Third, readers using CP are much more likely to encounter the colloquial definition, even in a modern science book. Just a few years ago, it was the only definition. Fourth, your colloquial definition requires that the hominid be "ancestral", and that (probably) rules out Neanderthals, even tho everyone considers Neanderthals to be hominids. Fifth, it unnecessarily claims that Australopithecus is ancestral to humans, even tho it is hotly debated among evolutionists (and rejected by creationists).
There is another point here which seems to have been lost in all the edits. The modern evolutionists have redefined the word "hominid" to suit their taxonomic views. The new definition groups humans and apes more tightly, and downplays human distinctiveness. Maybe you agree and maybe you don't. It is just a definition, so the change cannot be correct or incorrect. It is just a preference on the part of modern biologists. This is CP, and a left-wing shift in definitions should be noted. RSchlafly 15:32, 17 May 2007 (EDT)
I'm not sure on what basis you claim that the word hominid has only been used in the last few years, or that it has been redefined to more closely group humans with other apes. The fact is that Carolus Linnaeus in the 18th century (long before Darwin) used the term Hominoidae to describe the observed morphological similarities between humans and other apes, and then set humans and their ancestral species under Hominidae while other apes were Hominoidae Ponginae. After molecular biological findings began confirming the morphology studies, it became clear that the Hominidae/Ponginae split wasn't supported by the genetics, and the two subfamilies were merged. The term "homininae" was first used in 74 to try and separate out humans and their ancestral species from other apes, and although I think this is an unneccesary division, this is what is actually meant when we colloquially use "hominid" to describe what you're calling cave men.
Secondly, with regards to Neanderthal and Australopithecus, I realize that they are likely not direct ancestors to Homo Sapiens. I don't believe any mainstream biologists suggest that they are, but you are confusing the terms "ancestral" and "ancestors." An ancestor is one from whom you have a direct familial descent (such as a great grandparent). Someone who is ancestral to you is not necessarily directly related, but is a predecessor. So, your great great grandfather's uncle's children would be ancestral, but not ancestors. Likewise, Neanderthal and Australopithecus are not direct genetic ancestors, but they are related to our direct genetic ancestors, and so they are indeed ancestral.
Finally, with regards to "left wing" edits, I'm sorry you feel reality is so left wing, but we're talking about definitions, not political opinions. JohnSmith 19:02, 17 May 2007 (EDT)
Reality is not left-wing. Choosing loaded terms with obscure definitions may be. Your usage of "ancestral" is indeed confusing, and does not belong in an encyclopedia without explanation. RSchlafly 01:28, 18 May 2007 (EDT)
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