Evolution: Demonstrated or Assumed?
Michael Behe wrote in The Edge of Evolution that Darwinists tend to forget the difference between what is assumed and what is demonstrated, and fall into the habit of attributing even the most elegant of biological features to evolution without demonstrating how it could be so (see quote, top right of this page). Some examples are found in recent scientific papers and news reports.
- Knowledge is power of assumption: Patrick Barry wrote for Science News about “energy-converting mitochondria or sunlight-absorbing chloroplasts, which are known to have evolved from ancient, independent-living bacteria that became incorporated into the cells.”
- Child’s play: Since infants prefer Good Samaritans, this trait must have evolved, said Science Daily: “The presence of social evaluation so early in infancy suggests that assessing individuals by the nature of their interactions with others is central to processing the social world, both evolutionarily and developmentally,” the authors of a study proclaimed.
- Say it is so: The author of a new book on vertebrate paleontology called Evolution In Action said this: “All creatures alive today are descended from a population of single-celled organisms that lived some billions of years ago. Since the first animals appeared, millions of species have been born (the majority of which are now extinct), including our own, Homo sapiens.” This was quoted authoritatively in Current Biology Dec 18, in a book review with the title, “No bones about it.”
- Scuttle fish: Cuttlefish signalling can be quite elaborate, involving specialized light-emitting organs that display flashing lights in patterns. Three scientists writing in Current Biology had an easy answer for where this ability came from: “Coleoid cephalopods, including cuttlefish, have a unique neurally controlled system for generating skin patterns, which evolved primarily for visual defence.”
- Columbine school: Scott Hodges and Elena Kramer had a simple explanation for certain structures on columbines (a wildflower group): “What is unique about columbines, compared to their close relatives that have not gone through an adaptive radiation, is that they have evolved nectar spurs.” The authors used the word evolution 10 times, never once explaining how it acted—only that it did; for instance, “Aquilegia’s flowers are also of particular utility and their features may help us to understand how novel morphological traits evolve….Developmental and genetic studies of these structures will help us understand how novelties evolve.”
- Evolution as goddess: Did you know evolution can plan things and discover efficient ways of engineering codes? A summary of the paper on RNA Polymerase II (see 12/17/2007, next entry) in Science Daily said this: “It would appear that, over the last 500 million years, other ways to produce highly complex organisms have evolved. Evolution has simply found more efficient ways to use the genes already there.”
- Fly in the eye: The following quote is notable for its admission that evidence is lacking for evolution, juxtaposed with certainty that it occurred. David Weisblat, an expert on leeches at UC Berkeley, explained to Current Biology Dec 4 why leech study is important:
The most compelling scientific justification for studying leech development is its relevance to understanding the evolution of animal body plans. A priori, changes in animal body plans – morphology – must come about by changes, over the course of many millions of years, in the developmental processes by which they arise. We now have a decent understanding of how a very few species, chiefly Drosophila, develop, but the ancestral species from which they evolved are by definition extinct, so we cannot make any retrospective comparisons. Thinking prospectively, waiting to see significant morphological and underlying genomic/developmental changes is an exciting long-term possibility. Unfortunately, that will require maintaining both human society and natural populations of the species of interest for the millions of years required for significant evolutionary changes to occur, a dicey proposition at best.
Perhaps Jerry Coyne and Hopi Hoekstra explained best why evolutionists can get away with such assertions that assume evolution rather than demonstrate it. In a recent article in Current Biology (Volume 17, Issue 23, 4 December 2007, pages R1014-R1016), they said, “Evolution is a contingent process, dependent on the vagaries of the environment, history, and whatever mutations happen to appear. Consequently, there are few strict ‘laws’ of evolution; ours is instead a science of generalizations.”
Maybe evolution is whatever an evolutionist wants it to be. Even the prior point was not conceded by some scientists at New York University; they said, according to a press release on EurekAlert, that evolution is deterministic, not random. Whatever evolution is, it sure explains a lot. Maybe an undefined term like “abracadabra” would do just as well.
Charlietans, these Darwinists. On the one hand they exclaim that evolution is the most clearly demonstrated scientific fact on Earth that only a fool (like a creationist) would deny. Ask them for an example, and this is what you get: bald assertions that say little more than “it evolved because it evolved” or, “the way that it evolved is that it emerged millions of years ago, and after it arose, it evolved.” If you love science, don’t let them get away with it. Like Michael Jackson, they’re BAD (bald assertions of dogmatism).
For more Darwin-assuming groaners, see the 08/24/2007 entry, “Evolution Takes Credit.”