The Evolution of… Come Again?
Science news articles speak freely of the evolution of this or that, but the fine print often shows a disconnect with the evolution explanation. Can one speak of the evolution of something that has not changed for millions or years? The details in the following stories raise questions whether anything significant has evolved in the sense Darwin meant – from simple to complex.
- The evolution of horses: New Scientist featured a six-picture gallery of horses with the headline, “The not-so-natural history of horse evolution.” It was clear from the photos, however, that all the horses except two are modern products of artificial breeding. The first photo showed an artist reconstruction of Hyracotherium, “considered by palaeontologists to be the earliest horse.” Even granting that, the creature had more toes than modern horses, and differed little from modern horses except in size (i.e., it had all the horsy equipment of body plan, internal organs, and systems). Przewalski’s horse, an endangered species, “the last true wild horse,” is a member of the same genus as all modern horses. Whatever evolution the article promised seems trivial, but the subhead read, “New Scientist traces the course of horse evolution and breeding from their ancient origins and wild forms to the first cloned racehorse.”
- The evolution of tunicates: An article on PhysOrg promised hat a “Study sheds light on tunicate evolution.” Scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution compared one gene, 185 rDNA, between 72 species of thaliacens, subgroups of tunicates that live primarily in sea plankton. The group, they said, was monophyletic, “indicating that the pyrosomes, salps, and doliolids arose from a common ancestor,” the article explained, claiming that the study allowed them to gain “new insights on evolutionary relationships both within the Thaliacea and between thaliaceans and other tunicates.” This claim ignores whether or not creationists would classify these pelagic filter-feeders, all with similar levels of complexity, within a single created kind. It also makes its judgment based on one gene, when comparisons of different genes and proteins are often known to lead to different phylogenies.
- The evolution of sports: One might think that sports are products of intelligent design rather than evolution, but researchers in France, according to Medical Xpress, traced the evolution of sport and said it follows a physiological law of nature. The confused reader, by looking into the text and seeing how the word evolution is used, realizes it has nothing at all to do with Darwin, but with individual performance curves over a single person’s lifetime: “Physiological parameters that characterize human capabilities (mobility, reproduction or the capacity to perform tasks) evolve throughout the life cycle. The physical and intellectual abilities follow the same pattern, starting at the moment of conception: The performance of each individual is limited at birth, then increases to a peak before declining until death.”
- Evolution of weevils: Some weevils in New Guinea were found to have tips of their legs that seem to screw on. This amazing resemblance to the human nut and screw was described on New Scientist under the headline, “Beetles beat us to the screw and nut.” Marvel at this explanation by Michael Marshall about how evolution works: “The weevils are another example of evolution coming up with the same solutions to problems as human engineers,” he said. “Bacteria had continuously rotating wheels long before we did, in the form of spinning ‘tails’ called flagella. It seems the weevils beat us to threaded screws and nuts.” Note to Marshall: the bacterial flagellum is an icon to advocates of intelligent design as a prime example of irreducible complexity.
- The non-evolution of coelacanth: One might think that Matt Walker, the Wonder Monkey of the BBC, would avoid using the word evolution in an article about Coelacanth, the lobe-finned fish found alive in 1938 after textbooks called it extinct since the age of dinosaurs. This living fossil has been widely showcased by creationists as evidence against evolution and long ages. This prime evidence for stasis (non-evolution), however, was used by Walker and a video clip accompanying the article to tell us we the people evolved from it: “The fish provided an immediate link to our dim evolutionary past, resembling the lobe-fin fish that were likely the first to leave the water and take to land, ultimately begetting the amphibians, reptiles and mammals we see today, including the human race.”
The narrator claimed that the lobed fins “represent the first rudimentary legs which enabled the ancestral amphibians to drag themselves from the water, and begin the colonization of the dry land.” Trouble is, the coelacanth does not use its lobed fins in any way for walking on land or even the sea floor, nor its “beginnings of an air-breathing lung” for breathing air—the fish inhabits deep water. The video narrator compounded credulity by claiming that the emergence of land-dwelling creatures was “a process that the little recently evolved mudskippers are repeating on their own account.” One wonders how the writer and narrator can speak so confidently about an unobserved history, from a fish that shows no change for alleged 60 million years, when Walker admitted early on that “new research just published reveals, in its own way, just how little we still know about this fish, despite it being the subject of intensive scrutiny and excitement for more than 70 years.”
In no case did the authors of these stories describe how the exquisitely functional equipment in any of these creatures, whether horses, tunicates, weevils, coelacanths or athletes, could have originated out of a blind, purposeless, unguided process. It is left as an exercise to the reader to ponder how PhysOrg’s article claiming Homo erectus and modern humans did not interact “offers new insights into evolution.”
Do you catch the utter madness of these claims about evolution? Where is it? They have strained at gnats and swallowed a whole herd of camels. They even turned evidence against evolution into support for it, promising us they were shedding light on evolution and offering new insights into evolution. The appropriate facial expression can be seen here.
Evolution is like a holographic house of cards in a hall of mirrors in black light, supported by turtles all the way down. This is absurd, dumb, inexcusable. Vote these rascals out of the science lab and replace them with consistent realists who know design when they see it.