Natural Selection Favors Illogic
Nothing in Darwin’s mechanism guarantees humans will think rationally. Fitness might actually favor illogic. For proof, look at the reasoning of people who believe in natural selection.
It was Darwin’s “horrid doubt” the year before he died. In a letter to his friend William Graham, he expressed doubt that the convictions of the human mind, if evolved from an ape’s brain, could be at all trustworthy. He had good reason to worry. His disciples have gone bonkers.
What’s in a Magic Spell? (Live Science). As we pointed out yesterday, Live Science reporter Stephanie Pappas gave good press to witchcraft and spell-casting, especially spells directed at Donald Trump. She is also a consistent Darwinian, justifying all kinds of deviant sexual behaviors and moral vices as products of evolution and therefore not immoral (2/13/15, 2/21/14). In this post, though, we will focus on silly Darwin stories that don’t make any sense, even by the principles of natural selection.
Did seaweed make us who we are today? (Science Daily). A profound thought. We can see a resemblance in some modern hair styles. Question: if you were a contented ape, and seaweed came along, “allowing” you to become a stupid human being, would you take the allowance, if the seaweed offered to drive you there?
Millions of years ago something happened, [see Stuff Happens Law] allowing early Homo sapiens to branch out from the primitive hominoid family tree. Was this crucial turn in human evolution partly driven by seaweed and its particular content of essential nutrients?
How protein misfolding may kickstart chemical evolution (Science Daily). A taste of this evolutionary logic [see sophoxymoronia in the Darwin Dictionary]: “Alzheimer’s disease, and other neurodegenerative conditions involving abnormal folding of proteins, may help explain the emergence of life — and how to create it.” Any questions? NASA liked this story (your tax dollars at work).
Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection is well-established — organisms adapt over time in response to environmental changes. But theories about how life emerges — the movement through a pre-Darwinian world to the Darwinian threshold — remain murkier.
The researchers started with single peptides and engineered in the capacity to spontaneously form small proteins, or short polymers. “These protein polymers can fold into a seemingly endless array of forms, and sometimes behave like origami,” Lynn explains. “They can stack into assemblies that carry new functions, like prions that move from cell-to-cell, causing disease.”
Volcanic hydrogen spurs chances of finding exoplanet life (Phys.org). A taste of the reasoning in this article: “Hunting for habitable exoplanets now may be easier: Cornell University astronomers report that hydrogen pouring from volcanic sources on planets throughout the universe could improve the chances of locating life in the cosmos.” Then why stop with exoplanets? Stars have lots of hydrogen! Obviously life “could” exist in stars, since we’re considering what ‘could’ happen (see perhapsimaybecouldness index in the Darwin Dictionary). Maybe life ‘could’ be found even in the cold molecular hydrogen gas clouds between the stars. (NASA liked this tale, too.)
Why the Octopus Lost Its Shell (Live Science). Storytime, kiddies; snuggle up and listen to Jakob Vinther “tell the tale of evolution.” Once upon a time, squid and octopus had shells. But then, they lost them. “The reason? The loss of shells made the ancient relatives of the modern-day octopus, squid and cuttlefish nimbler, a feature that likely helped these animals catch prey and evade predators, Vinther said.” But teacher, how can evolution make progress by losing things? “Reducing the shell to this great extent gave them an even bigger advantage than their ancient counterparts with larger shells inside [had],” Vinther said. “These old fellows would have struggled to jet themselves away in the same ease.” The heavy shells “led to the demise of many cephalopod ancestors, because they couldn’t ‘keep up with the ‘new [shell-less] kids on the block,'” Vinther told Live Science. But teacher, why do some cephalopods still have shells? Nighty-nite, kiddies. Don’t think so hard.
Tiny cavefish may help humans evolve to require very little sleep (Phys.org). Just close your eyes like cave fish do, and let your imagination take over. This study “sheds light into the evolution” of sleep differences; unfortunately, the blind fish can’t see the light. Maybe if you ate less you would evolve to sleep more, too. Or is it the other way around? Who knows; stuff happens.
Want to eradicate viruses? They made us who we are (Edward Emmott on The Conversation). Embrace your inner cold and flu. Hold hands and repeat together, “I am virus” [actual quote from article]. You might even by part HIV: “viruses very much like it have been infecting us and the creatures we evolved from since long before humans even existed,” Emmott says.
Giving weight to Darwin’s theory of ‘living fossils’ (Science Daily). Evolution is rapid except when it is slow. In the case of the tuatara, it is practically at a standstill, and has been for 240 million years. No matter what happens, “We are with Darwin,” the authors say.
Changes in precipitation patterns influence natural selection at global scale (Phys.org). “What matters more for the evolution of plants and animals, precipitation or temperature?” begins this article, posing a false dichotomy. “Scientists have found a surprising answer: rain and snow may play a more important role than how hot or cold it is.” Hold hands and say, I am weather. The evolutionist expert in the article, fresh with money from the National Science Foundation, boasts, “We wanted to know if we could explain variation in selection across diverse plant and animal populations through a few simple climate variables. It turns out that, yes, we can.” Everyone chant, Yes we can! Yes we can! The NSF will be pleased he was able to insert the word “climate” into the just-so story. “These results show that changes in precipitation can have surprising evolutionary effects on plants and animals worldwide.” Imagine the possibilities! Think of all the life flourishing under the methane rain on Titan!
Tooth be told: Millions of years of evolutionary history mark those molars (Debbie Guatelli-Steinberg, anthropologist, on The Conversation). No doubt she’s telling the tooth. Millions of years; she should know; she was there! She even knows what future evolutionists will say about our teeth. “That versatility probably contributed to our ability to survive in a variety of environments and, ultimately, to our evolutionary success,” she says confidently. Of course, if we had evolved to eat bamboo, we would be an evolutionary success by the same measure.
When mammals took to water they needed a few tricks to eat their underwater prey (Hocking, Marx and Park from Monash University, on The Conversation). We’ll let these evolutionists drown their own theory.
Have you ever watched a dog retrieve a ball thrown into water? On land, dogs are swift and agile, but in water they become slow and ungainly.
Kicking relentlessly at the water, they snap at the ball with their jaws, only to find that they are pushing it further away. Having eventually caught the ball, they inevitably go into a fit of coughing and sneezing, as they try to shake off water from their nose and face.
Most other mammals have a similarly hard time in water. Yet a select few have come to dominate the world’s rivers and seas, from the poles to the Equator and from the water’s surface to the depths of the abyss.
To achieve this, mammals had to learn to swim, to keep warm, and to find, capture and handle their prey in water.
So how did that happen? Well, what organisms need, Darwin delivers. “Behavior informs evolution,” they claim. The whales, otters and seals learned to suck, filter or modify their paws to be able to eat in the water. (It’s not clear how genetic accidents achieved this and got into the gonads; but a little Lamarckism comes in handy.) Along the way, mammals learned some more tricks, like echolocation, having sex with interior genitals, diving without getting the bends, inventing blubber, moving nostrils on top of the head, and a few other minor things. Stuff Happens when you let your imagination take over.
So imagine again a dog, struggling with the ball in the water. If we wanted to engineer it to perform better next time, these are the stages we’d have to go through: teach Rex to capture the ball underwater; next, teach him to handle the excess seawater; finally, teach him to suck the ball towards his snout, rather than accidentally pushing it away.
The same process happened for real at least three times in the evolutionary history of mammals. Who knows where it might go next – suction-feeding otters, anyone?
So does natural selection favor illogic? We rest our case, your honor.
We hope you enjoyed this edition of the Sunday Funnies. What’s even funnier is that evolutionists actually believe these things. What’s not so funny is that they teach these tales to school children as fact. What’s tragic is that public school students are not allowed to question any of it.
We take issue with this last article’s assertion that “Behavior informs evolution.” Not only is that Lamarckian, it’s backwards. Evolution informs behavior. That’s why there are so many nutcases in the halls of Big Science, Big Education and Big Media: evolution actually requires illogic for the same reason that gave Darwin horrid doubts: if your mind evolved from a monkey’s brain, and is physical only, it is impossible to have confidence that any of your convictions are trustworthy— including Darwinian evolution! (See Self-Refuting Fallacy.) For some of the many evil ways that ‘evolution informs behavior,’ see Dr. Jerry Bergman’s new book, How Darwinism Corrodes Morality.
Exercise: Teachers and parents may wish to assign the following articles as homework. Assignment: Does this article make any sense in Darwinian theory? Explain your answer. Refer to the Darwin Dictionary and Baloney Detector as needed.
- Shedding light on the evolution of the squid (Science Daily).
- Squid evolved in marine wars more than 100 million years ago (New Scientist).
- In the developing ears of opossums, echoes of evolutionary history (Phys.org). Use divination to see “one possible version of the evolutionary path” that led to ear evolution.
- Humans Really Are Made of Stardust, and a New Study Proves It (Space.com).
- ‘Marvel microbes’ illuminate how cells became complex (Science Daily).
- Shark study reveals taste buds were key to evolution of teeth (The Conversation).
- Evolution: Catastrophe triggers diversification (Nature).
- How dinosaurs learned to stand on their own two feet (Science Daily).
- Why pandas are black and white (Science Daily).