April 5, 2016 | David F. Coppedge

More Holes in Evolutionary Theory

Here are three examples of animals not branching out neatly on Darwin’s tree like they’re supposed to.

Why, Chromosome?

According to standard theory, chimpanzees are humans’ closest living relatives. But if you ask Y, a new genetic comparison puts gorillas closer to humans than both are to chimpanzees. Science Daily shares the emotional reaction to the upset:

Surprisingly, we found that in many ways the gorilla Y chromosome is more similar to the human Y chromosome than either is to the chimpanzee Y chromosome,” said Kateryna Makova, the Francis R. and Helen M. Pentz Professor of Science at Penn State and one of two corresponding authors of the paper. “In regions of the chromosome where we can align all three species, the sequence similarity fits with what we know about the evolutionary relationships among the species — humans are more closely related to chimpanzees. However, the chimpanzee Y chromosome appears to have undergone more changes in the number of genes and contains a different amount of repetitive elements compared to the human or gorilla. Moreover, a greater proportion of the gorilla Y sequences can be aligned to the human than to the chimpanzee Y chromosome.”

Two Holes Are Better than One

Humans find it disgusting to imagine pooping food waste out the mouth, but that’s how corals, jellyfish and sea anemones carry out their business. According to Darwinian expectations, a two-hole digestive tract is more advanced, so it evolved later. For decades, scientists thought that comb jellies (phylum Ctenophora) shared this trait. That’s one of the reasons evolutionists placed them as among the ancestors of the other groups. Lo and behold, they were wrong! A Florida biologist proved with flourescent proteins that comb jellies have an anus.

However, several unprecedented videos of gelatinous sea creatures called comb jellies, or ctenophores, now threaten to upend the standard view of the evolution of the so-called through-gut. On 15 March, at the Ctenopolooza meeting in St. Augustine, Florida, evolutionary biologist William Browne of the University of Miami in Florida debuted films of comb jellies pooping—and it wasn’t through their mouths.

Browne’s videos elicited gasps from the audience because comb jellies, whose lineage evolved long before other animals with through-guts, had been thought to eat and excrete through a single hole leading to a saclike gut.

Earlier observations  of comb jellies emitting substances out the mouth might have mistaken barfing for pooping. So does this find falsify evolution? Of course not; Darwin always finds a way to accommodate upsets.

One possibility is that the comb jellies evolved through-guts and anuslike pores on their own, independent of all other animals, over hundreds of millions of years. Alternatively, a through-gut and exit hole may have evolved once in an ancient animal ancestor, and subsequently became lost in anemones, jellyfish, and sponges.

Saber Convergence

For our amusement, Live Science posted a gallery of 12 living and extinct animals with sabre-like teeth. We know about saber-tooth cats, but what about the saber-tooth deer? or the saber-tooth salmon? This is not a late April Fool joke; these animals exist or used to exist. There’s also the walrus, a dog, and an extinct ungulate in the gallery, and a mammal-like reptile. Even among the cats, there were three independent kinds, including unrelated marsupial and placental kinds that (according to evolution) evolved saber teeth independently  by “convergent evolution.”

Update 4/06/16: Three More Holes

These Darwinian anomalies appeared shortly after this entry was published.

Scientists find surprise lurking in crocodilian jaw (Science Daily). The crocodile has a “previously unknown second jaw joint that helps to distribute the extreme force of their bite,” implying it is better designed than thought.  Note that this discovery was made on living animals that have long been available for study. What’s the Darwinist reaction? “When we discovered that crocs had built this new jaw joint, it made us re-evaluate how mammals actually evolved our jaw joint and reinterpret what we thought we knew about where parts of our jaw joint came from,” said the research leader at the University of Missouri. The article also calls them “living fossils,” implying that they have changed little since their appearance in the fossil record.

Population size fails to explain evolution of complex culture (PhysOrg). This Darwin Fail is causing another major re-think. An intuitively logical Darwinian assumption about culture has been shown to be wrong. “But this consensus view is however severely compromised by a paper published this week” in PNAS that found critical flaws in the evolutionary models. It’s back to the drawing board, the article says. Has evolutionary theory been helpful at all on this topic? “For the evolution of complex culture, no satisfying answer is available yet,” the article ends. “The question of the emergence of complex culture remains as elusive as ever.” Doesn’t intelligence have something to do with it?

Cuckolded fathers rare in human populations (Science Daily). Here’s another case where evolutionists have wrongly considered people to be dumb victims of blind evolutionary forces. Very few fathers, a study shows, have been duped into raising another male’s offspring. Back to the drawing board again. “The collective evidence for low rates of extra-pair paternity (EPP) challenges the notion that it pays, evolutionarily speaking, to sleep around, the researchers say.”

Undoubtedly, evolutionists will find ways to use these observations as evidence for evolution. But of course; when you have convergence and imagination in your storytelling toolkit, you can always keep your web of belief patched up. And so Darwinism limps along, one theory rescue at a time.

 

 

 

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