Evolutionary Inferences: Are They Incontrovertible?
No matter what is found in plants or animals, it finds its way into an evolutionary explanation eventually. Are these explanations driven by the data, or forced into a belief system? Are other explanations possible? Some recent reports might inform these questions.
- Your inner plant: Get in touch with your inner plant with a report from Science Daily that claims “Protein Study Shows Evolutionary Link Between Plants, Humans.” In an experiment at Purdue, an enzyme named aminopeptidase M1 was transferred from a human to a plant. It helped revive dying specimens. The inference made by the scientist was this: “M1 aminopeptidase activity is such a fundamental process that it’s been conserved evolutionarily. This protein has changed very little over time.” The problem is that conservation is the opposite of evolution, so “conserved evolutionarily” is a bit of a conundrum. It assumes evolution, but posits that everything else evolved since plants and humans shared a common ancestor – but this enzyme did not. Was evolution unable to improve on this enzyme in all that time, at least along one lineage? Is it a new evolutionary principle – a law of nature – that fundamental processes are unable to evolve? Are there exceptions? Or is “evolutionary conservation” a phrase that assumes what it needs to prove? (See circular reasoning.) Creationists explain similarities in living things as evidence of common design, not common ancestry.
- Dinosaur tooth truth: A new species of dinosaur has been found in Utah, reported PhysOrg. This one, fortunately, was found head-first: two complete skulls were found. That means the fossils can provide “fresh insight into lives of dinosaurs some 105 million years ago, including the evolution of sauropod teeth,” the article said. Yet the “skulls were made of thin, fragile bones bound by soft tissue that were easily destroyed after death.” Creationists often point to the fact that dinosaurs appear abruptly in the fossil record without ancestors (12/22/2009). It would seem presumptuous to claim that the fossils can provide insight into the evolution of sauropod teeth when the evolution of sauropods themselves is the larger issue (literally).
- The men who walked through time: Another “out of Africa” claim made prominence in a report on Science Daily: “DNA Evidence Tells ‘Global Story’ of Human History.” The article quotes a scientist saying, “To understand what it is to be human, it is essential to understand the human past.” Many a theologian or preacher would shout “Amen!” but would offer a completely different history. In fact, Dr. Robert Carter, a geneticist working with Creation Ministries International, gave a lecture at The Master’s College Feb. 20 explaining how the DNA evidence points to a single Y-chromosome and a single “mitochondrial Eve,” supporting the Biblical story (see CMI store for DVD). In his analysis, Carter showed how the genetic evidence also supports the Flood and the Tower of Babel. No such room was allowed for alternative interpretations in the Science Daily article, which announced triumphantly, “Overall, the reviews show just how clear it has become that all of us trace our evolutionary roots to Africa,” though admitting a couple of sentences later, “Of course, there are many things about our ancient ancestors we will never be able to know with any certainty.”
Science Daily also claimed that the genetic evidence shows how traits like “lactose tolerance have been selected for over evolutionary time.” Creationists would agree, but without the Darwinian ape-to-man interpretation and the millions of years. An article in Creation Magazine (32:1, 2010, pp. 12-15; see CMI for online edition) by David Catchpoole discussed this very subject. He showed that lactose intolerance is actually the “normal” condition, and claimed that the genetic evidence overturns evolutionary notions.
- Island dwarfing: Continuing with dinosaurs, another article appeared this week in PhysOrg claiming to show evidence for “island dwarfing” in Romania. An ancient island shows smaller dinosaur fossils than elsewhere. The question was answered with only evolutionary views: “How did the dinosaurs get to the island? It’s not certain whether they were marooned there as the seas rose, or whether they swam or drifted there by chance later on. Either way, this research demonstrates that once they arrived they evolved to become dwarfs.” Yet the site contains “rich assemblages of fossil plants, insects, fishes, frogs, lizards, birds, and mammals show that the scene was rich and tropical.” No claim appears to have been made that the other groups of animals also evolved into dwarfs.
Yet there is a third way to interpret the evidence. Saturday at The Master’s College, Dr. Robert Carter gave another talk about dinosaurs. He showed evidence for dinosaurs and humans co-existing after the Flood. He showed engravings on Bishop Bell’s tomb (CMI) and at Angkor Wat (CMI), indicating that people saw these creatures till medieval times at least. Carter believes they were hunted to extinction as pests or trophies, or were unable to survive the climate changes after the Flood. He pointed to the fact that all other species, including the more vulnerable crocodiles, are still doing just fine – causing grief to the evolutionary stories about causes of dinosaur extinction. He also referred to the soft tissue and blood cells found in dinosaur bone to show that they could not have been extinct for 65 million years. In addition to these points, scientists admitted recently that a significant number of dinosaur species could be misidentified as separate species when in fact they were varieties or the same species, or individuals of different ages.
Scientific evidence belongs to mankind as a whole. We find two populations of explainers – evolutionists and creationists – inhabiting what appear to be parallel worlds with one-way glass between them. The evolutionists ignore the creationists and don’t even acknowledge their explanations. Creationists, with two-way vision, actively take on the evolutionary explanations and attempt to falsify them, and use the very same physical evidence to support alternate conclusions. They are also usually the most eager to stage debates so that the public can hear both sides. Many of their invitations, however, are usually met with mockery and disdain by evolutionists who claim that creationism is “not science,” even when it is done by individuals with PhD’s in science.
Evolutionary storytelling is science, but evidence that supports the Bible record is not science – by definition. Isn’t that a convenient generality and false dichotomy for Darwin and his disciples? It allows them unlimited storytelling potential, uncontested, with no fear of contradiction. It makes evolutionary science a kind of priesthood and everything else a heresy. Is that how science is supposed to operate? The evidence is out there; it belongs to everyone. The pool of smart people in the world is not exhausted by the evolutionary biological community.
Even some evolutionists are realizing this is a very unfair and unjust situation. Read this book review, What Darwin Got Wrong, on Salon.com. Author Jerry Fodor, who himself has felt the heat of academia for failing to worship Darwin unquestionably, chides the evolutionists for their dogmatism, but then accuses the creationists of post-hoc and ad-hoc reasoning. Given his experience with the Darwin-worshipping consensus, doesn’t that charge cut both ways? Indeed it does. Fodor said:
Creationism isn’t the only doctrine that’s heavily into post-hoc explanation. Darwinism is too. If a creature develops the capacity to spin a web, you could tell a story of why spinning a web was good in the context of evolution. That is why you should be as suspicious of Darwinism as of creationism. They have spurious consequence in common. And that should be enough to make you worry about either account.”
Since everyone is guilty, maybe it should also make us suspicious of Jerry Fodor’s characterization of the situation. At least here at CEH you can read both sides (with links to original sources) and decide for yourself, without having an elitist academic making summary judgments for you.