June 20, 2017 | David F. Coppedge

Darwinians See Creative Power in Natural Terror

In the Darwinian mindset, natural disasters are the seedbeds of creativity and progress.

Most people don’t find bombs and explosions particularly useful for building functional structures. Sometimes an old structure needs to be removed by intelligently-placed explosives so that a new building can be erected on a site. Architects, though, don’t generally employ terrorists as construction workers, nor do artists create art with tornadoes. Musicians are not generally inspired by rumbling landslides for their themes.

mass extinction … set the scene for the rise and age of the dinosaurs

Common sense, though, gets tossed aside in evolutionary circles. Consider Science Daily‘s headline, “Volcanic eruptions triggered dawn of the dinosaurs.” By saying that widespread destruction “set the scene” for the rise of the dinosaurs, the reporter implies that natural disasters unleash the creative power of evolution:

Huge pulses of volcanic activity are likely to have played a key role in triggering the end Triassic mass extinction, which set the scene for the rise and age of the dinosaurs, new Oxford University research has found.

The Triassic extinction took place approximately 200 million years ago, and was proceeded by the dinosaur era. One of the largest mass extinctions of animal life on record, the casualty list includes large crocodile-like reptiles and several marine invertebrates. The event also caused huge changes in land vegetation, and while it remains a mystery why the dinosaurs survived this event, they went on to fill the vacancies left by the now extinct wildlife species, alongside early mammals and amphibians.

Rebecca Morelle at the BBC News echoes the theme: “Volcanoes ‘triggered dawn of dinosaurs’.” Now while one can understand the obliteration of some inhabitants allowing other existing inhabitants to fill in the vacant niche, these articles go further, implying that the destructive power of volcanoes actually ‘triggered’ new pulses of evolutionary progress, turning early dinosaurs and mammals into bigger and better creations of natural selection. While not expressly claiming this, the news articles clearly imply it by saying that natural terror “set the stage” for dinosaur evolution, and placing the “age of dinosaurs” right after the extinction event. The BBC says,

Lead author Lawrence Percival, from the Earth sciences department at Oxford University, said: “The dinosaurs were able to exploit those ecological niches that were left vacant by the extinction.”

Morelle refers to a paper in PNAS, “Mercury evidence for pulsed volcanism during the end-Triassic mass extinction.” The paper asserts that mercury found in late Triassic layers corresponding to the extinction period (200 million Darwin Years ago), indicates widespread volcanism was going on. Whether volcanism is the best or only mechanism for mercury deposition, geophysicists can debate. But the paper, remarkably, says nothing about evolution, dinosaurs or mammals. The closest phrase is “subsequent biotic recovery,” which could mean a return to the status quo ante, not the beginning of a round of major evolutionary innovations.

An article in The Conversation by two of the paper’s authors, though, shows them buying into the terror theory of life. Percival and his colleague Tamsin Mather at Oxford say that the volcanic catastrophe “made space for the remaining dinosaurs (and other species) to flourish.” The idea is also evident in their title, “New evidence that volcanic eruptions triggered the dawn of the dinosaurs.

The notion that destruction “set the stage” for evolutionary progress does not come from the data, but from a prior assumption that natural terror entails a creative force of some kind. Give animals a new niche via natural terror, and they will evolve upward to bigger and better forms.

Cartoon by Brett Miller. Used by permission.

Other Destructive Agents of Evolutionary Progress

Another example of the mindset that terror brings good things to life can be seen in Elizabeth Howell’s headline at Astrobiology Magazine, “Sun’s UV Light Helped Spark Life.” Without doubt, ultraviolet radiation is a destructive force for life today. The high-energy rays give us sunburn and skin cancer, cause genetic mutations, and tend to disrupt useful molecules. Fortunately, our ozone layer protects us from much of the natural terror. So why consider UV a creator? The mindset is clear in her opening sentence. “High energy, ultraviolet radiation from the Sun is a known to hazard to life,” she begins, with a dramatic turn in the word yet, “yet the energy provided by our star has played an important role as the essential driver of life on Earth.” She reports on astrobiologists fully aware of the destructive potential of UV light who, nonetheless, think of it as a creative force.

In this oxygen-poor, prebiotic world, solar energy may have provided the jolt to transform simple organic molecules into more complex ones, which were used as the building blocks of biology and life.

Without oxygen, more UV radiation would have reached the “prebiotic soup” where molecules were trying to evolve in the evolutionary creation myth. But oxygen was likely present in some amount—and it, too, is a destructive force for molecules of biotic interest. A couple of exceptions of more complex molecules formed under lab conditions does not disprove the rule: UV and oxygen destroy what a cell would need to come together. In their mindset, though, these astrobiologists combine two destructive forces into veritable crucibles of life, much as Stanley Miller did with his spark discharges. Lightning only turns things to life in Frankenstein movies; in the real world, it kills or injures people.

What other natural terrors acted as creative forces in Darwinian visions? A Mars-sized impact made possible a finely-tuned earth-moon system; the rise of oxygen created complex metabolism; erosion led to 20 new phyla in the Cambrian explosion; a comet or meteor strike created mammal diversity; ice ages enabled mammoths to emerge; antibiotics invented resistant bacteria; cosmic rays generated the genetic mutations that natural selection acted on to build endless forms most beautiful. Once intelligent design is ruled out, the only creators left are the destroyers.

Even within their own belief system, there is no reason to think any one of the evolutionary bursts of innovation is connected to the preceding destructive event. Think about how the Surtsey volcano was quickly populated by extant organisms once the lava cooled. The hot lava did not create the organisms. No! Their embedded genetic instructions enabled them to “exploit” new resources made available through a colonization sequence that shows purpose and plan to fill the earth and restore the biosphere. What about hot lava could do that? Will it create more effectively if lightning strikes the lava? Maybe a meteor hitting the lava will help it “set the stage” for the “emergence” of life. Come on, people; this is stupid.

Evolutionists aren’t really materialists. By employing destruction as their creator, Darwinians expose themselves as worshipers of Shiva.


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