More Falsified Darwinian Expectations

Posted on November 24, 2012 in Birds, Botany, Darwin and Evolution, Dinosaurs, Dumb Ideas, Early Man, Fossils, Mammals, Marine Biology, Mind and Brain, Philosophy of Science, Politics and Ethics, Terrestrial Zoology

Scientists continue finding the real world to be opposite evolutionary expectations.  Here are some recent examples.

1. Bergmann’s Rule Isn’t

It’s a shame to have to debunk a law of nature, especially in biology, which doesn’t have that many to begin with.   Since 1847, Bergmann’s Rule has predicted that “cold-climate animals tend to be larger and stouter than animals living in hot or dry climates,” explained PhysOrg. Isn’t it strange that nobody tested this “rule” on insects for 165 years?  Matan Shelomi, a doctoral candidate in entomology at UC Davis, took on this rule as a project in evolutionary biology.  He checked 300 scientific papers and found that Bergmann’s Rule doesn’t work for insects, even though it consistently does for warm-blooded animals.  His findings in a nutshell: “Insects are just as likely to follow Bergmann’s Rule as they are to oppose it, and a slight majority show no size variation at all.”  Like most things in biology, there are many factors affecting traits.  Any rule of nature that tolerates large exceptions is no rule at all.

2. Blind Conformity Isn’t

Although an article in Medical Xpress doesn’t mention evolution, psychologists are a largely evolutionary bunch.  Secular psychologists generally assume psychological traits arose by natural selection, just like everything else.  In a new paper in PLoS Biology, the article said, Alex Haslam and Stephen Reicher found that “blind conformity” in humans is a “myth.”  This was an idea developed from studies during the 1960s and 1970s that appeared to show humans will participate in cruelty in response to an authority figure if the crowd does.  Not so, say Haslam and Reicher.  Instead, morals and beliefs are intertwined: “Decent people participate in horrific acts not because they become passive, mindless functionaries who do not know what they are doing, but rather because they come to believe—typically under the influence of those in authority—that what they are doing is right.”  This suggests that the human mind is not a passive product of natural selection, but an entity capable of thought and moral choice, even when the choices are bad.

3. Upside-Down Hummingbird Feeder Theory

A short article on PhysOrg described how researchers tried to figure out if flowers evolved to make it easier for hummingbirds to feed.  Using high-speed cameras, a group at UC Berkeley found the unexpected: flowers hang down, making it more costly for the birds to get to the nectar.  This appears to go against simplistic ideas that flowers and their pollinators co-evolve toward cooperation.  “Almost all hummingbird-pollinated flowers hang down vertically, so our hypothesis was that they evolved this way because hummingbirds would have to use less energy to feed from them. We found the opposite – that it’s more costly in energy terms for hummingbirds to feed from these flowers.

4. Sea Snakes Evolve; See Evolution Defied

According to PhysOrg, two identically-looking poisonous sea snakes are genetically unrelated.  To rescue evolutionary theory, the evolutionists had to invoke convergence:  “Associate Professor Fry said the finding was an example of a situation where two species evolved separately but ended up looking similar, known as the convergent phenotypic evolution phenomenon.”

5. Early Mammal Performs Miracle

The “Lazarus effect” has been invoked to explain a mammal that was thought to have gone extinct since the age of dinosaurs, only to turn up in the evolutionary timeline 16 million years ago.  An article on Science Daily describes the confusion that exists after 100 years of trying to understand a small snouty mammal named Necrolestes:

This finding unexpectedly moves forward the endpoint for the fossil’s evolutionary lineage by 45 million years, showing that this family of mammals survived the extinction event that marked the end of the Age of Dinosaurs. This is an example of the Lazarus effect, in which a group of organisms is found to have survived far longer than originally thought. Situating Necrolestes among its relatives in the fossil record answers one long-held question, but creates others; it reminds us that there is a lot we don’t yet know about the global impacts of the massive extinction event 65 million years ago and it challenges assumptions that the well-documented effects that occurred in western North America were experienced globally.

The original paper on this fossil connection is published in PNAS.  So not only does this fossil create questions about the mass extinction, it raises a conundrum about how these critters survived a mass extinction only to reappear tens of millions of years later.  “It’s the supreme Lazarus effect,” said John Wible. “How in the world did this animal survive so long without anyone knowing about it?

6. Reality Opposes Theory of Evolution of Life Span

A paper in Current Biology begins, “A new study reports that high rates of extrinsic mortality can lead to the evolution of a longer life — a pattern opposite to that expected under the classic predictions of the evolutionary theory of aging.”  Evolutionists have worked theories opposite the truth despite an aspect of evolution that has “captured widespread interest among evolutionary biologists for well over a century.”  This paragraph should raise eyebrows among students of philosophy of science:

Such inconsistency between studies raises eyebrows, particularly because we can generally confirm the classic predictions when we pull the strings in the laboratory setting, but struggle to do so when testing the predictions in more realistic, natural environments. Does this mean that the evolutionary theory of aging is not generally applicable to the real world? Or is there some unaccounted factor at play, whose effects run havoc in the wild and alter the trajectories of aging in unpredicted directions, but that we effectively nullify in the laboratory environment? Emerging theoretical studies and the latest empirical evidence mounted by Chen and Maklakov, would suggest that the answer to this latter question is ‘yes’.

Apparently there are too many variables for an evolutionary “law of aging” to make predictions.  A theory without predictions, though, is pretty useless for science.  Damian K. Dowling, author of the paper, tried to put a happy face on this falsification: “Clearly, the Chen and Maklakov study provides a new insight into the evolution of life span. Ironically, in doing so, it reminds us how much remains to be done if we are to ever fully understand the evolution of aging in natural populations.

We think people should know about evolutionary theory being riddled with problems.  All they hear is the propaganda that Darwinian evolution is as confirmed as the law of gravity.  These falsifications reveal the gravity of the situation.  When Darwinians have to concoct epicycles like “convergent evolution,” or have to issue promissory notes for understanding evolution, or joke about their miracles with terms like the “Lazarus effect,” they reveal how evolution is less like gravity and more like magic.  Read about the real Lazarus effect here. It happened by intelligent design from Someone who has nothing else to learn about biology.

 

 

2 Comments

Jon Saboe November 24, 2012

convergent phenotypic evolution phenomenon”??? How stupid do they think people really are? (Quite, apparently.)

It’s like adding more and more epicycles to one’s Ptolemic theory of planetary motion whenever they find something that doesn’t fit.

jimcakalic November 24, 2012

Jon, I think this is called an “ad hoc argument” — a hastily constructed argument without any underlying sense or logical framework. Your Baloney Detector might also register “Big Lie”, “Repetition”, “Circular Reasoning”, “Card Stacking” and “Bluffing”.

Frequently when reading or hearing such speech, I flash on the SNL Master Thespian skit. Imagine someone like Richard Dawkins standing in the middle of the room full of devotees saying quite solemnly, “It’s the convergent phenotypic evolution phenomenon!” and everyone responds in unison, “Genius!”

Darwinists often accuse creationists of an intellectual lack of curiosity — seems they are the ones suffering from that particular symptom.

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