June 2, 2017 | David F. Coppedge

Darwin Party’s Hot Air Machine Never Stops

by David F. Coppedge

Do Darwinians ever tire of dishing out vacuous, airy stories about things? Never; with creationists grabbing headlines, they just turn up the heat.

Empirical observations are like props on a stage to Darwinians. The play is the thing; the narrative must go on, with or without props. A variety of recent news articles shows Darwinians making up stories out of thin air, using pictures of bones or strata or modern animals that have nothing necessarily to do with the narrative. It gives the public an impression that the data are driving the story, when in actuality, the opposite is the case. And when data are missing entirely, artwork or imagination can fill in the gap – or assertions that are plain lies.

How dinosaurs may have evolved into birds (Phys.org). The operative words are, “may have.” This article begins, “Studies of dinosaur fossils that show bird-like traits, such as feathers, light bones, air sacs and three-digit forelimbs, clarified the evolutionary kinship of birds and dinosaurs.” The example they show, however, is the bird Microraptor gui, which had feathered wings and legs and flew. It was a bird, not a dinosaur. A corrected version of the headline should say, “How birds may have evolved into birds.” But that wouldn’t fit the narrative. So on they go, using irrelevant genes as props to weave a tale about how hopping lizards evolved powered flight (see 5/22/17). Don’t worry about the names of the genes. Watch how they are used:

Because the ASHCEs in genes such as Sim1 were highly conserved and therefore largely unchanged by evolution since the dinosaur era, this suggests CREs such as ASHCEs were vital in developing bird-specific traits and may have driven the transition of dinosaurs to birds.

The genes distract attention from the question of how random changes in a code would generate major functional innovations.  The genes they cite didn’t even change. Something had to change to make a dinosaur flap new wings into the sky. What was it?

“You don’t just partly fly, because flight requires not just having a pair of wings, but having your entire biology coordinated towards that function.” —Paul Nelson

According to Darwinian theory, random mutations in dinosaur DNA led to powered flight. But that’s a huge amount of change! “You don’t just partly fly,” Paul Nelson quipped in the Illustra Media documentary, Flight: The Genius of Birds, “because flight requires not just having a pair of wings, but having your entire biology coordinated towards that function.” Saying that random changes “may have driven” a dinosaur to become a bird is like saying that random changes can turn a wagon into a guided drone — no intelligence required.

Whales only recently evolved into giants when changing ice, oceans concentrated prey (Phys.org). In this article, the Smithsonian claims that ice ages made whales grow big. According to the Darwin-drenched fossil dating scheme, the giant whales only came into existence recently. Here’s the story, which presumes evolution without demonstrating it. Watch for the storytelling words like suggest, somehow, and imagine:

The research team traced the discrepancy back to a shift in the way body size evolved that occurred about 4.5 million years ago. Not only did whales with bodies longer than 10 meters (approximately 33 feet) begin to evolve around this time, but smaller species of whales also began to disappear. Pyenson notes that larger whales appeared in several different lineages around the same time, suggesting that massive size was somehow advantageous during that timeframe.

We might imagine that whales just gradually got bigger over time, as if by chance, and perhaps that could explain how these whales became so massive,” said Slater, a former Peter Buck postdoctoral fellow at the museum. “But our analyses show that this idea doesn’t hold up—the only way that you can explain baleen whales becoming the giants they are today is if something changed in the recent past that created an incentive to be a giant and made it disadvantageous to be small.”

While we might congratulate these evolutionists for backing away from chance, their replacement explanation makes no sense at all. How can animals understand an incentive? And why are there still small and medium-sized whales today? If this “incentive” were a law of nature, then every animal would evolve to giant size. Their prey, krill, could also evolve to become giants so that baleen whales couldn’t eat them. No matter what happens, the answer is the same: “it evolved.” The explanation is a distraction from the much larger issue: how did a four-footed land animal evolve into a creature that spends its entire life in the water? For the problems with that, you’ll have to watch Illustra Media’s documentary, Living Waters: Intelligent Design in the Oceans of the Earth.

Darwin was right: Females prefer sex with good listeners (Phys.org). We reported May 31 that evolutionists have no explanation for the origin of sex. But given that sex does exist, now what? Eager to prove that her hero Darwin was right, Dr. Nerissa Hanink begins by singing his praises: “Almost 150 years after Charles Darwin first proposed a little-known prediction from his theory of sexual selection, researchers have found that male moths with larger antennae are better at detecting female signals.” Large antennae on moths are the props of her story. Hanink calls on experts who agree, one of them affirming that “Darwin’s theory of sexual selection is well supported by thousands of studies.” Supported, that is, except by the studies that do not, which we have covered often. For instance, peahens do not stare at the exotic feathers of male peacocks, as predicted by Darwin. But in the Darwin Party’s theater, no critics are allowed to interrupt the play.

Well, what about those male antennae? Here’s her story line, told with a crescendo of enthusiasm, as she leans on the opinions of Australian biologist Mark Elgar:

“But Darwin also proposed that sexual selection can favour males who are better at detecting and responding to signals from females, including chemical signals like pheromones. So males with sensory structures that can better detect female signals may have the edge in finding them in order to mate and pass on their genes.”

But [Elgar] says this idea has been largely overlooked until now.

Consider for a moment how surprising it is that Darwinians have had over 150 years to look at this, but they largely overlooked it until now. Why? It’s about time. Hanink looks at the research of a grad student, who conducted some tests, and did find that male moths with bigger antennae were able to detect smaller amounts of pheromone. Take time out to celebrate Darwin again: Take it away, Dr. Matthew Symonds:

“Our data are consistent with Darwin’s 1871 prediction that sexual selection favours exaggerated sensory receptor structures like antennae,” says Dr Symonds.

As evolutionary biologists, it’s very rewarding to be able to support a long-standing idea, originally floated by Darwin, that hasn’t attracted much attention,” he says.

Once again, ask if this is a law of nature. The title, remember, is that “males that are good listeners apparently make attractive mates.” If so, then men should have elephant ears, shouldn’t they? And big noses and huge eyes, to sense all the signals that women are sending out? And why are there any moths left with small antennae, after tens of millions of years of evolution? Is bigger always better? Evolution could have made existing antennae more sensitive without getting bigger, and the Darwin narrative would still work.

Hanink extends the Darwin story further. She claims that females determine the size of male antennae. They choose to give off less pheromone, so that “high quality” males with bigger antennae will come to mate because they are more fit. But that is a non-sequitur. Carrying around large antennae is costly to the male. It could well be that it makes the male less fit. The moth with the smaller antennae could just follow the weight-encumbered male, and whiz by to get the female.

These three examples show that, for Darwinians, empirical observations can become mere props to support a predetermined narrative. Without the props, the story works just as well, because whatever happened, “it evolved” — praise be to Charles Darwin. The evolutionary story distracts from the important questions, turning everyone’s eyes to all the sound and fury that signifies nothing, much like an air dancer that takes the driver’s eyes off the road.

Thanks to J. Beverly Greene for this animation made especially for CEH. All rights reserved.

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