June 8, 2012 | David F. Coppedge

"Darwin Fail" Entries Add Up

If nothing makes sense except in the light of evolution, the light sometimes is shining away from Darwin.

Bird stripes:  Some evolutionists thought that sexual selection led to color bands in zebra finches.  “One of the most replicated experiments in behavioral ecology is the presumed manipulation of male attractiveness in zebra finches by adding red or green color bands,” authors in PLoS ONE said ( Seguin A, Forstmeier W (2012) No Band Color Effects on Male Courtship Rate or Body Mass in the Zebra Finch: Four Experiments and a Meta-Analysis. PLoS ONE 7(6): e37785. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0037785).  Well, Seguin and Forstmeier replicated the experiment and couldn’t confirm any evidence for evolution.  “Combining this new experimental data with all the published evidence in a meta-analysis shows that color bands seem to affect neither male courtship rate (average effect size d = 0.02) nor male body mass (d = −0.07),” they said.  “…The present case is a reminder that replication of experiments lies at the heart of distinguishing between real effects and false positive findings.

Living fossil fish: past fail, future hope and change:  “Living fossils reveal secrets of evolution,” a headline on PhysOrg promised, but alas, no evolution was found in the article.  Bichirs are African fish that “posses a number of archaic characteristics that are otherwise found only in fossil fish,” another PhysOrg article stated. A molecular clock analysis of bichirs only offered a possibility to start to begin to commence to “get a better understanding” of how these living fossils might have evolved, despite little change from the fossil record.  The project “therefore provided scientists with an important basis for future studies of the anatomical and genetic development of early vertebrates,” the article stated hopefully.

Cooperation of the fittest:  By PhysOrg‘s own admission, cooperative species are an evolutionary enigma that shouldn’t be:

Evolution by definition is cold and merciless: it selects for success and weeds out failure. It seems only natural to expect that such a process would simply favour genes that help themselves and not others. Yet cooperative behaviour can be observed in many areas, and humans helping each other are a common phenomenon. Thus, one of the major questions in science today is how cooperative behaviour could evolve.

A new “theoretical model” sounds promising in the article, but allows for opposite outcomes in the computer depending on how multiple factors are tweaked.  Natural populations have ways of defeating computer software, so without field work, the model seems a post-hoc rationalization for something Darwin didn’t expect.

Youth in Asia:  How long have evolutionists postulated humans originated in Africa?  Answer: at least since Darwin.  Now, however, a new primate fossil is causing some to think the Asians beat the Africans to the punch line.  To rescue the textbook story, according to Live Science, “This migration from Asia ultimately helps set the stage for the later evolution of apes and humans in Africa.”  Out of Asia, then Out of Africa.  Get it?

Slim-o-saurs:  All the Godzilla movies will have to be re-done.  Dinosaurs weren’t the big, lumbering beasts long portrayed in movies.  According to PhysOrg, a new study by University of Manchester comparing skeletons living mammals with dinosaur bones, and then calculating the body mass to skin wrapping volume, shows that previous calculations of body mass of large dinosaurs such as brachiosaurs were overestimated by almost 350%.

Cave campfires:  Wrong again.  Evolutionary dating of continuous fire use by human ancestors is off by 250%, according to Nature (485, 31 May 2012, pp. 586–587, doi:10.1038/nature11195). “An analysis of microscopic and spectroscopic features of sediments deposited in a South African cave one million years ago suggests that human ancestors were using fire much earlier than had been thought.

With these upsets in evolutionary theory, the best way Darwinists at Harvard have found to keep new disciples up coming through the ranks is to avoid the Darwin Fail stories, and instead, reach out and touch them with games that create “tree-thinking” – as if students are not already thinking like wooden stumps.

A theory so flexible it can accommodate any unexpected data is convenient, accommodating, workable, long-lasting, consensus-building, useful, convincing, practical, stable, functional, pleasing, agreeable, and unscientific.

What do we mean by “Darwin Fail?”  See BigFail.com for clues, then go to the Darwin Awards.



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  • MartyK says:

    RE: Telling stories around the cave campfire …
    Time after time the latest “timing” news moves the particular evolutionary event farther back in time. The time for evolution to occur becomes more and more compressed. Maybe eventually they’ll have only six days to work with. Who knows?

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