Darwinians Claim to See Evolution Happening Now
Unable to see evolutionary progress in the fossil record, some Darwinians try to claim they are watching it before our eyes.
Since Darwin’s time, the fossil record has been a graveyard of evolutionary theories. Darwin knew it and mumbled out the record’s incompleteness. Stephen Jay Gould famously commented that sudden appearance followed by stasis was the “trade secret of paleontology.” Molecular clock studies often disagree with morphological studies, even granting millions of Darwin Years. Since they can’t find gradual evolution in the record, some Darwinians look for evidence of change in living organisms, including people. Their illustrations can appear quite ridiculous.
Before reading the following examples, one must keep an eye on the ball. The ball is not just any change, but positive, innovative change by unguided natural selection that could take a bacterium to a human, given enough time. To claim that disease represents evolution, for instance, would be no more helpful to Darwinism than a company’s balance sheet that reported only losses.
Evolutionary geneticists spot natural selection happening now in people (Hakhamanesh Mostafavi at The Conversation). How can you have evolution without speciation and reproductive isolation? If Mostafavi’s view of natural selection prevails, then every tiny variation within the human species becomes evidence for Darwinian evolution! It means that your own children have evolved from you. But even Mostafavi knows that evolution is supposed to be bigger than that:
Human evolution can seem like a phenomenon of the distant past which applies only to our ancestors living millions of years ago. But human evolution is ongoing. To evolve simply means that mutations – the accidental changes to genes that happen normally in the process of copying DNA – are becoming more or less common in the population over time.
These changes can happen by chance, because the individuals who reproduced happened to carry a particular mutation somewhat more often than individuals who didn’t have children. They can also happen because of natural selection, when carriers of a specific mutation are better able to survive, reproduce or tend to their family members – and therefore leave more descendants. Every biological adaptation, from the ability of humans to walk upright on two feet to flight in birds, ultimately traces back to natural selection acting on these minute changes, generation after generation.
So humans are definitely still evolving….
Mostafavi is equivocating here about the definition of evolution. The examples he gives, like genes for lactose intolerance, do nothing to change Homo sapiens into another fitter species. He calls smoking evolution. He calls genes for Alzheimer’s Disease evolution. Can he point to any inherited trait that will help humans of the future grow a wing or a new sense organ? Of course not. None of this is evidence for Darwinian evolution by natural selection. Calling his minor variations “evolution” (especially when they are deleterious) amounts to blowing smoke.
Great Tits May Be Evolving Bigger Beaks. Here’s Why. (National Geographic). Before proceeding, let us quickly calm our female readers by pointing out that the “great tit” (we didn’t name it) is a beautiful bird that lives in England (not in the Grand Tetons). Here’s a picture of one.
National Geographic loses no time to credit Darwin for a slight change in beak size here, saying in the subtitle, “Since Darwin’s time, birds have served as models for the wonders of evolution—and this study was no exception.”
Reporter Jason Bittel calls on evolutionist Lewis Spurgin (U of East Anglia) to celebrate another triumph of evolution by claiming that humans are modifying the birds’ evolution by setting up bird feeders. And yet Bittel is not even sure that the feeders caused a slight change in beak size between populations in the U.K. and the Netherlands. No matter; start the Darwin party!
“We know that evolution by natural selection produces peacocks’ tails and giraffes’ necks and that sort of thing,” says Spurgin, whose findings were published today in Science….
“But it also works in much more subtle ways that are much more difficult to observe.”
This is just another case of making mountains out of molehills, like Darwinians did with “Darwin’s finches” on the Galapagos. Jonathan Wells roundly debunked that example of Icons of Evolution. How much easier could he dispense with this one? He would certainly call it a case of Zombie Science – dead arguments for Darwinism rising from the dead in the media.
For Spurgin, this is all part of the fun. “I don’t imagine that Darwin in his wildest dreams could have thought that this stuff would have been happening,” he says.
So do evolutionists really think these little birds with their tiny beaks reveal anything about Darwinism? In their dreams. Dreaming about natural selection is a cash cow in Britain. Science Daily indicates that Spurgin’s Darwine party was “funded by the European Research Council and the Natural Environment Research Council and supported by the Edward Grey Institute, University of Oxford.”
Flu forecasting tool uses evolution to make earlier predictions (UChicago Medicine). Evolutionists keep trying to make a big deal out of influenza “evolution”, but the flu has never evolved into non-flu. This press release tries to make evolutionary theory sound useful. The team knows this is not evolution, but they credited Darwin anyway.
Each year, four influenza strains circulate in the human population: H3N2, H1N1, and two B variants. These viruses spread seasonally each year because of a phenomenon known as antigenic drift. They evolve just enough to evade human immune systems, but not enough to develop into completely new versions of the virus.
In other words, they are just variants of the same virus strains. The ones that “drift” enough from the antigen in the vaccine don’t get killed off. But they are still flu viruses, not even completely new versions of the flu virus. If the team can forecast what the new strain will look like earlier, that’s well and good, but this kind of ‘horizontal’ variation is not what Darwin had in mind. Viruses are not even independent organisms.
Is biology behind your political views? (Phys.org). This question collapses with the self-refuting fallacy. “People can be biologically predisposed to certain feelings toward politics and society,” the proposition goes. But if biology predisposes one’s political views, then it also predisposes one’s scientific views. [Cue sound of short circuit.]
The cartoon says it. Darwinism is kept aloft by the hot air of those whose careers depend on it.
Our thanks to J. Beverly Greene for the illustration.