Evolutionary Explanations Assume Evolution Explains
The facility with which some evolutionary biologists appeal to almost magical powers of evolution to explain anything and everything is revealed in some recent science articles. Whatever needs explaining is due to evolution – evidence or not. These four examples can be considered representative of the genre.
- The evolution of shopping: Both PhysOrg and Science Daily reported that shopping strategies of men and women show “evolution at work in the mall.” After describing that men are better at orienteering but women at fine distinctions, the University of Michigan’s press release explained, “From an evolutionary perspective, it all harkens back to the skills that women used for gathering plant foods and the skills that men used for hunting meat. The contrast emerges because of the different foraging strategies for hunting and gathering used throughout human evolution.” No mention of which gene was mutated at what time, or why chimpanzees don’t shop like humans do. Oblivious to those explanatory details, both news sources announced, “Male and female shopping styles are in our genes – and we can look to evolution for the reason.”
- The secret of long ape life: PhysOrg and Science Daily again offered “the” scientific explanation for why we outlive chimpanzees: evolution. “The difference, explains USC Davis School of Gerontology Professor Caleb Finch, is that as humans evolved genes that enabled them to better adjust to levels of infection and inflammation and to the high cholesterol levels of their meat rich diets” [sic; the sentence fragment is in both articles]. Evolution was stated in active verbs: “humans evolved” this or that.
- On the origin of human-caused species: Don’t feed the birds if you don’t want to change their evolution. New Scientist joined Science Daily and PhysOrg in warning us we may be altering our feathered friends’ evolution by feeding them. “Our study documents the profound impact of human activities on the evolutionary trajectories of species,” said Martin Schaefer of the University of Freiburg. “It shows that we are influencing the fate not only of rare and endangered species, but also of the common ones that surround our daily lives.”
Strangely, the articles did not say whether this is a good thing or not. The tone of alarm suggests we humans are to blame for it. But if humans are part of the evolutionary saga, as assumed above, why would this be of any concern at all? Maybe Schaefer is being dispassionate about it. One thing did make him excited, though: “This is a nice example of the speed of evolution,” he added. “It is something that we can see with our own eyes if we only look closely enough. It doesn’t have to take millions of years.”
The birds being studied, though, are both blackcaps, with all the same organs and capabilities. Any classification of them as separate species will depend on one’s definition of species. It is evident no new genetic information was produced by an evolutionary process.
- Abominable mystery, chapter 150: Every once in awhile, science reporters like to give a progress report on Darwin’s “abominable mystery,” the origin of flowering plants (angiosperms). Science Daily and PhysOrg continued the tradition, announcing triumphantly, “Today a study in Ecology Letters reveals the evolutionary trigger which led to early flowering plants gaining a major competitive advantage over rival species, leading to their subsequent boom and abundance.” A careful look for the trigger, however, only turned up a model. The model shows that increasing the density of leaf veins would have increased the efficiency of hydraulics, and presumably, allowed more photosynthesis. “Their results revealed that an evolutionary transformation in the plumbing of angiosperm leaves pushed photosynthetic capacity to new heights,” the article claimed ecstatically.
But why didn’t that just make gymnosperms survive better? Where did the distinctive seeds, flowers and leaves of angiosperms come from? The assumption is that once a gymnosperm got a lucky mutation to increase vein density, evolution would take care of all the rest. Meanwhile, gymnosperms seem to be doing just fine, growing taller than any angiosperm despite (by insinuation) having inferior hydraulics, outliving their better-veined descendants by thousands of years (sequoias, bristlecones), even surviving blizzard conditions at timberline that would quickly destroy garden tomato plants.
The fact that no alternative explanations were presented for any of these phenomena gives the impression that the evolutionary explanation is the only scientific one.
The only abominable mystery here is why people are still gullible to accept this explanatory drivel from the Darwinists. This is what happens when storytelling is baptized into science, and alternative paradigms are outlawed. It’s time to clean house.
The Climategate scandal is fascinating to witness just for its lessons about the history of science. Here was another reigning consensus, protected from criticism, its skeptics ridiculed and marginalized for years. Now, as some embarrassing facts have emerged from its protected enclave (little things like destroying evidence, altering computer code, keeping critics from being heard), spin doctors are madly at work to protect the consensus – the broadcast media by ignoring the scandal, the journals by attacking critics as morons and saying the “unfortunate incident” does nothing to change the fact of human-caused global warming. Nature was dripping with indignation in its Editorial this week. It called the skeptics “denialists” and angrily called them members of a fringe who will not change the “fact” of human-caused global warming (even though they said the human-caused part only exists in models, which, by definition, can be tweaked to produce desired outcomes). On Saturday, the BBC News said the UN (the same UN that institutionalized one of the biggest scandals in history; see 05/12/2008 commentary) is defending the scandalized science, and UK Prime Minister is calling skeptics flat earthers. Most of the Big-Science-Big-Government conglomerates are pushing even harder for their planned political decisions at Copenhagen as if the scandal is a mere kerfuffle that will soon blow over and can be safely ignored.
Almost all the criticisms – and they are loud and widespread – are coming from outside the establishment. The Climategate story is unfolding as we write. Whatever happens is sure to be instructive. This could be the biggest scientific scandal of a lifetime (outside of Darwinism), and the biggest contest between the public and Big Science in decades. If you see how this all works, you understand how the Darwin consensus maintains its grip on institutional science and the media – and what will be required to dislodge it. Remember how the Darwinists acted when their career-destroying antics were exposed in the movie Expelled? Not only did they show no shame, they blamed the whistleblowers! They continued expelling with even more intensity. The truthless are the ruthless.
Nothing will change unless citizens rise up and demand it. The crooks are like deadbeat defendants who lost in court but refuse to pay damages, requiring the plaintiff to work overtime trying to collect – only much worse. The perpetrators are going off to Copenhagen to try to make decisions that will negatively affect the livelihoods of billions of people on the basis that man-caused global warming is science – when the perpetrators should have resigned in shame already and the paradigm should have collapsed by now. Can you believe it? A myth resulting in the imposition of world government and the loss of your freedoms? It sounds unthinkable, but it is a very real possibility. At the very least, leaders should halt the summit and call for an extensive independent review of the situation in the wake of the Climategate revelations.
Don’t think for a minute this is about science. It’s about power, and who has the right to “manufacture” knowledge – to produce the world view that determines how we will live our lives, who will be Keeper of the Myths of the culture, and who is allowed to hold the reins.