November 21, 2014 | David F. Coppedge

Darwin Sale

We need to clear the deck of evolution news.  Here’s a list of headlines presented “as is” for interested readers to research further.

What the Heck?! Images of Evolution’s Extreme Oddities (Live Science): “In the new book “WTF, Evolution?! A Theory of Unintelligible Design” (Workman, October 2014), author Mara Grunbaum has selected more than 100 of the oddest, most unusual of those creatures and asks of the character Evolution: ‘What were you thinking?'”  [Is this a case of the argument from personal incredulity?]

The Genomic Landscape of Compensatory Evolution (PLoS Biology): “Adaptive evolution is generally assumed to progress through the accumulation of beneficial mutations. However, as deleterious mutations are common in natural populations, they generate a strong selection pressure to mitigate their detrimental effects through compensatory genetic changes.”

Evolution of a novel organelle in Animalia (PhysOrg):  In aphids: “The present immunochemical study revealed that (i) protein is synthesized from an aphid-encoded gene that was horizontally acquired from a bacterium; (ii) the protein is synthesized specifically in the bacteriocyte; and (iii) the synthesized protein is localized in Buchnera, indicating that a translocation system has evolved to target the protein to Buchnera. This is the first report of integration between multicellular eukaryotes and bacteria to the extent of ‘organellogenesis’.”

Treasure trove of ancient genomes helps recalibrate the human evolutionary clock (PhysOrg): “Just like adjusting a watch, the key to accurately telling evolutionary time is based upon periodically calibrating against a gold standard.”  146 mitochondrial genomes analyzed from Neanderthal, Denisovan and modern humans, assuming the molecular clock hypothesis.

In a battle of brains, bigger isn’t always better: Rats and mice perform similarly in cognitive tests (Science Daily):  Quality over quantity, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory warns: ” It’s one of those ideas that seems to make perfect sense: the bigger the brain, the more intelligent the creature. Exceptions are becoming increasingly common, yet the belief persists even among scientists.”

Sexual selection on wing interference patterns in Drosophila melanogaster (PNAS): The “zombie idea” is still walking (1/24/14).  “Our results suggest that vivid coloration in WIPs [wing interference patterns] is a target of mate choice and might have evolved by sexual selection.”

Evolutionary biology: Survival of the fittest group (Nature): “Organisms often seem remarkably well adapted to their environment, as a result of evolution by natural selection,” Timothy Linksvayer says authoritatively.”  “Natural selection is usually thought to act at the individual level — when the survival or reproduction of individuals depends on their own traits — but it can also act at other levels, from genes to social groups to populations.”  Thus he enters the fray over the targets of selection.

Let there be light: Evolution of complex bioluminescent traits may be predictable (Science Daily, based on paper in PNAS): “A longstanding question among scientists is whether evolution is predictable. A team of researchers from University of California Santa Barbara may have found a preliminary answer. The genetic underpinnings of complex traits in cephalopods may in fact be predictable because they evolved in the same way in two distinct species of squid.”  At least the headline writer remembers Genesis 1:3, but ascribes it to a different god: Darwin.

Ratcheting the evolution of multicellularity (Science Magazine): “Multicellularity is one of the major transitions that allowed the evolution of large, complex organisms, fundamentally reshaping Earth’s ecology. Early steps in this process remain poorly resolved, because known transitions occurred hundreds of millions of years ago and few transitional forms persist. It is generally accepted that…” etc.  See also Astrobiology Magazine.

Life cycles, fitness decoupling and the evolution of multicellularity (Nature): “Cooperation is central to the emergence of multicellular life; however, the means by which the earliest collectives (groups of cells) maintained integrity in the face of destructive cheating types is unclear. One idea posits cheats as a primitive germ line in a life cycle that facilitates collective reproduction….”

Rapid evolution of a native species following invasion by a congener (Science Magazine): “On small islands in Florida, we found that the lizard Anolis carolinensis moved to higher perches following invasion by Anolis sagrei and, in response, adaptively evolved larger toepads after only 20 generations. These results illustrate that interspecific interactions between closely related species can drive evolutionary change on observable time scales.”  See summary on Science Daily.

Convergent Genetic Architecture Underlies Social Organization in Ants (Current Biology): “Complex adaptive polymorphisms are common in nature, but what mechanisms maintain the underlying favorable allelic combinations? The convergent evolution of polymorphic social organization in two independent ant species provides a great opportunity to investigate how genomes evolved under parallel selection.”

How did complex life evolve? The answer could be inside out (Science Daily): “A new idea about the origin of complex life turns current theories inside out. Scientists explain their ‘inside-out’ theory of how eukaryotic cells, which all multicellular life — including us — are formed of, might have evolved.”

Researcher studies small mammals’ strategies for avoiding snakebites (PhysOrg):  “So why are we so afraid of them? It’s an unfortunate holdover from our evolutionary past, he explained.”

Ebola’s evolutionary roots more ancient than previously thought (Univ. of Buffalo): “A new study is helping to rewrite Ebola’s family history. It shows that Ebola and Marburg are each members of ancient evolutionary lines, and that these two viruses last shared a common ancestor sometime prior to 16-23 million years ago.”

Evolutionary developmental biology: Ghost locus appears (Nature): “The sequences of two sponge genomes provide evidence that the ParaHox developmental genes are older than previously thought. This has implications for animal taxonomy and for developmental and evolutionary biology.”

Natural selection minimizes genetic effects of human-induced hybridization (PhysOrg): Regarding overfishing, “new research from Concordia, published in the journal Evolutionary Applications, shows that after a few generations of breeding and natural selection, these hybrid fish are genetically as robust as their purely wild forefathers.”

Ecology: Diversity breeds complementarity (Nature): “Evolutionary and ecosystem processes have long been treated as distinct. The finding that interactions among plant species cause rapid evolutionary changes that affect ecosystem function suggests that it is time for unification.”

How the shape of eggs can help explain the evolutionary history of birds (PhysOrg): “Evolutionary biologists have now addressed shape variety in terrestrial vertebrates’ eggs, pinpointing morphological differences between the eggs of birds and those of their extinct relatives, the theropod dinosaurs.”

Rapid changes in the gut microbiome during human evolution (PNAS): “To establish how the gut microbiome has changed since the diversification of human and ape species, we characterized the microbial assemblages residing within hundreds of wild chimpanzees, bonobos, and gorillas.”

Maximum likelihood inference of reticulate evolutionary histories (PNAS): “Here, we provide a maximum likelihood method for inferring reticulate [net-like or network-like] evolutionary histories while accounting for ILS. The method enables new evolutionary analyses under more complex evolutionary scenarios than existing methods can handle.”  What happened to Darwin’s branching tree?

Acceleration of evolutionary spread by long-range dispersal (PNAS): “Pathogens, invasive species, rumors, or innovations spread much more quickly around the world nowadays than in previous centuries. The speedup is caused by more frequent long-range dispersal, for example via air traffic.”

Life’s history in iron (PhysOrg): “After the rise of oxygen, oxygenic photosynthetic bacteria are thought to have played a big role in the creation of iron formations. But how were iron formations made before advent of oxygenic photosynthesis?”

Landmark study on the evolution of insects (California Academy of Sciences): “We have not had a very clear picture of how insects evolved–from the origins of metamorphosis to which insects were first to fly. New sequencing technology allowed us to compare huge amounts of genetic data, and for the first time ever, we can fill these knowledge gaps. Science is taking us closer to solving the mysteries of the evolution of life than ever before.”  Live Science posted a video of young evolutionists doing sciency things.  Original paper: Science Magazine.

Searching for new branches on the tree of life (Science Magazine):  “Ever since Woese’s seminal work nearly 40 years ago (1), life has been divided into three domains: Archaea, Bacteria, and Eukaryota. But could there be life that does not fit into any of these domains?”

It takes two: how mutualisms evolve in a world of selfish genes (The Conversation): “It’s the bond between a bee and a flower; a clownfish and its anemone; a man and his dog. But it’s also a puzzling system that, at first glance, is difficult to explain with evolutionary theory,” Alex Jordan says.

Why killing babies makes testicles grow (Science Magazine): Mouse lemur has big balls, but did infanticide force Darwin’s hand?  ” (Human hunting may also play a role, as appears to be the case in bears.)”  See also New Scientist.

Deciphering the Evolutionary History of Open and Closed Mitosis (Current Biology):  “Efforts to decipher the nuclear characteristics of the Last Eukaryotic Common Ancestor (LECA), from which all present day nucleated organisms evolved, remain challenging, in part because the order of events leading to the origin of the nucleus in the First Eukaryotic Common Ancestor (FECA) remain uncertain and controversial.”

Snakes in evolutionary arms race with poisonous newt (PhysOrg):  “The rough-skinned newt is easily one of the most toxic animals on the planet, yet the common garter snake routinely eats it. How does a newt which produces enough toxin to kill several grown humans almost immediately manage to become prey in the food chain?”  Good question.  But is this a case of macroevolution, or of the need to survive breaking certain ion channels?

Cave-dwelling pseudoscorpions evolve in isolation (PhysOrg): “Our results show that the pseudoscorpions studied invaded [aquifers and voids] in complete isolation from one another, and subsequently evolved in isolation too—like birds and bats both evolving wings,” an evolutionist says, confusing loss with gain.

Imperfect system is all that protects you from genetic parasites out to destroy your genes (PhysOrg): “We like to think of evolution as a fine-tuning process, one that whittles away genetic redundancies. The only problem is, we are not fine-tuned machines. Our bodies are chock-full of parts that either don’t work anymore or are so buggy that our biology has Macgyvered a way to make it work.” [See Rom. 1:20-24].

How folded brains evolved in mammals (PLoS Biology): “One hallmark of human evolution is the expansion of a part of the brain called the neocortex, which is involved in high-level functions such as sensory perception, language, and conscious thought. Despite considerable progress in the study of brain size evolution, the adaptive mechanism that evolved along certain mammalian lineages to produce a large and folded neocortex has not been clear.”

Seed dormancy, a property that prevents germination, already existed 360 million years ago (PhysOrg): “The analyses conducted by this team of researchers have established that dormancy is as old as seeds themselves. In other words, the oldest among all seeds already had dormancy.”

Evolution: Viruses are key players (Nature): “The debate on rethinking evolutionary theory (see Nature 514, 161–164; 2014) should include viruses. By integrating into host DNA, viruses have markedly influenced the evolution and development of cellular organisms.”

Darwin 2.0: New theory on speciation, diversity (Science Daily): Theory of geographical isolation wrong for birds in Peruvian rainforest: “The extraordinary diversity of birds in South America is usually attributed to big changes in the landscape over geological time, but our study suggests that prolonged periods of landscape stability are more important.”

Feeling overwhelmed?  This is a fraction of the Darwinist propaganda we have to sort through each month in order to counter the claims of the Darwin-drunk consensus that never questions anything, but ascribes magical powers to “natural selection” as if it is a magic wand that turns bacteria into butterflies and bassoon players.  There was a backlog of these stories in our warehouse to report separately, and since we know another shipment arrives weekly, it was time to clear the deck.

Undoubtedly, there are Darwin Party apologists who would pile up these articles as proof of evolution.  Our readers know better.  A hundred cotton balls don’t overcome one piece of solid-lead evidence for creation, and there are tons.  Undoubtedly, the journals and libraries of ancient Babylon had lots of documentation to support the consensus view about Marduk’s powers.  In our culture, the Bearded Buddha is the consensus idol.

When approaching the BAD strategy of secular science reporters and evolutionary researchers who ascribe everything and anything to natural selection, just remember the principles we have been sharing for 14 years now.  Watch out for just-so stories.  Watch out for the Yoda Complex.  Remember that “natural selection” is just a restatement of the Stuff Happens Law.  Assuming something is not the same as demonstrating it.  Ignoring alternatives is unscientific.  Science should not rely on consensus, bandwagon, authority or bluffing, but on the strength of the evidence.  Don’t forget, too, that whatever ascribes the human mind to unguided, blind natural processes refutes itself by undermining the trustworthiness of reason.  Since all Darwinists believe their own minds arrived that way, nothing they say in defense of that view is rational.

So go ahead; turn on your Baloney Detector and take on one of these – or all of them – and see if you can dismantle their scientific pretensions.  You’ll see Paul was right when he said that men suppress the truth in unrighteousness; professing to be wise, they become fools.

Note: We’d like to hear your feedback about this entry.  Do you like bullet points on a lot of stories in a category, or prefer a detailed analysis of one at a time?  (We don’t usually list this many items.)  You can reply in the Comments or send an email to “editor [at]”.

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  • rockyway says:

    As for the editor’s question; I prefer detailed analysis of one item (or a couple) at a time.

    Re natural selection;
    “Natural selection is usually thought to act at the individual level — when the survival or reproduction of individuals depends on their own traits — but it can also act at other levels…”

    – Natural selection can’t act as it isn’t an agent or a mechanism… but rather a reified abstraction.

    “A new idea about the origin of complex life turns current theories inside out. Scientists explain their ‘inside-out’ theory of how eukaryotic cells…”

    – Darwinists get upset (rightly or wrongly) when evolution is called a theory. They insist E. isn’t a theory but a fact… but yet this ‘fact’ is composed of a large set of what Darwinists themselves call theories. The question then becomes; how can a bunch of ever changing (and usually fallacious) theories add up to a fact?

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