May 29, 2018 | David F. Coppedge

Evolutionists Shove Uncooperative Data into Darwinian Stories

If you’re a Darwinian, your strategy is to make it seem like every piece of biological data fits evolution, even when it doesn’t. Otherwise, creationists might get ideas.

Here are three examples where surprising findings hit evolutionists in the face, but they manage to weave them into Darwinian theory anyhow.

DinoBird Dandruff

The press release from University College of Cork, Ireland, set off a contest among reporters to see which one could create the best punny headline. But perhaps the university’s own was hard to beat: “Dino-bird dandruff research head and shoulders above rest.” [Head and Shoulders, for non-Americans, is a brand of dandruff shampoo.] The mere fact is this: using advanced imaging techniques, scientists at the college found dandruff between the feathers of fossil birds. If you don’t buy the Darwinian tale that birds evolved from dinosaurs, you will have no problem with the data, because you don’t believe the scenario about tens of millions of Darwin Years separating the fossils and modern birds. But if you do believe the Darwin tale, you do have some explaining to do:

“The fossil cells are preserved with incredible detail – right down to the level of nanoscale keratin fibrils. What’s remarkable is that the fossil dandruff is almost identical to that in modern birds – even the spiral twisting of individual fibres is still visible,” said Dr Maria McNamara.

Credit: Illustra Media

The only difference is that the fossil corneocytes (dandruff structures containing melanin) were packed a little more tightly with melanin than the modern ones. That might indicate, however, that these particular fossil species didn’t need to fly long distances, they say. Reptile scales, by contrast, don’t shed in small flakes, but tend to come off in sheets or large pieces. And so the actual data shows that these creatures were much closer to birds than to dinosaurs, and the fact that their dandruff looks modern suggests that not a lot of time passed between their time and today. Otherwise, what was Darwin doing with dandruff evolution for 100 million years? No evolution is evident. Extinction, maybe, but not evolution. What will the Darwinians say in response? Don’t worry, they are doctors of spin philosophy:

The study suggests that this modern skin feature evolved sometime in the late Middle Jurassic, around the same time as a host of other skin features evolved. “There was a burst of evolution of feathered dinosaurs and birds at this time, and it’s exciting to see evidence that the skin of early birds and dinosaurs was evolving rapidly in response to bearing feathers,” Dr McNamara added.

Just add some Darwin Flubber to the story, and you’re all set. The public will never know what hit them. And it pays to sound “exciting” when you have to explain away the facts.

Ghostly Knifefish Romantic Electricity

The shy, nocturnal knifefish of Panama attracted attention in the 1950s because it was found to possess electrical organs that help it sense its surroundings, including nearby members of the opposite sex. A press release about research on the brown ghost knifefish at the University of Tübingen, reproduced on Medical Xpress, contains amazing facts about this relative of the electric eel. The patience and diligence of the scientists deserves recognition, since the species is difficult to study in its native habitat. They learned some things about how these fish make love. So what does this have to do with evolution? Nothing, really, and not much is said on the subject, except that “The researchers draw parallels between mammal and knifefish brains.” That’s the only aspect of the article that might raise eyebrows, because Darwinians believe that fish and mammals are vastly separated in evolutionary time.

Kiss me, my love; I have electricity for thee. Brown ghost knifefish. Credit: Guy l’Heureux

Many of the knifefish’s brain structures are similar to mammalian brain structures. “If we understand how they work in the fish, we will have understood a lot about mammal brains as well,” Jan Benda explains. Yet, he adds, little is known about the knifefish’s natural lifestyle: “They are active at night and spend the daytime hidden in tangles of roots or between rocks. You rarely ever see them.”

There’s only a faint hint of evolutionary thinking in the press release, but plenty of it in the research paper in the Journal of Neuroscience.

Sensory systems evolve in the ecological niches each species is occupying. Accordingly, encoding of natural stimuli by sensory neurons is expected to be adapted to the statistics of these stimuli…. Our results emphasize the importance of quantifying sensory scenes derived from freely behaving animals in their natural habitats for understanding the function and evolution of neural systems.

Darwinians believe that fish evolved into mammals hundreds of millions of years ago. But the problems with finding mammal-like brain structures in this Panamanian species mount up as the findings are described. This little fish has a very sensitive electrical sense. Where did that come from? And why would brain structures remain similar all the way to mammals? In 2015, Evolution News reported several other examples of similarities between the knifefish and other unrelated organisms that require “convergent evolution” to explain in Darwinian terms.

Design theorists have no problem finding similar solutions in very different things, like motors in drills and in automobiles. But in Darwinian thinking, life is a continuous process of change. The only way to have continuous change and non-change together is to use ample amounts of Darwin Flubber in your story. In this case, these scientists invoke a strategy to ignore the problems by tip-toeing around the conundrum, and using proof by assertion (i.e., Bluffing). Just say, “Sensory systems evolve.” Repeat a big lie bigly enough, and long enough, and many will believe it, especially when alternative ideas are censored.

Human Brain Exceptionalism

If there is one obvious thing in nature, it’s that human beings stand out from all other animals. They have language, they make tools to make other tools, they build cities, they explore space, they make representational art, they reason in abstract terms, they sacrifice for others they don’t know, they worship… the list of exceptional characteristics seems endless. Deborah Netburn at the Los Angeles Times knows this, admitting in the copy at Medical Xpress that

Compared to the rest of the animal kingdom, the human brain is way out of whack.

Our brains are roughly six times larger than what you would expect for a placental mammal of our stature, scientists say.

And no other animal has a brain as large as ours relative to body size.

But you know what’s coming. This liberal, pro-Darwin newspaper can’t leave it there. Her headline, “Can simulating evolution on a computer explain our enormous brains?“, only permits Darwinian contenders.

So why did humans evolve to have such large brains when other animals did not?

It’s a question that evolutionary biologists and anthropologists have been trying to answer for decades.

Netburn is going to spend the rest of her article arguing that human brains evolved somehow. So even though the human brain is an expensive organ to maintain metabolically, and even though scientists cannot reproduce evolution in the lab, computer models “might” shed light on how the brain “might” have evolved (she uses might 3 times). Netburn even quotes a critic who says that computer models are GIGO things (garbage-in, garbage-out; see also DIGO, DIDO and GIDO in the Darwin Dictionary). Her hero, nonetheless, triumphs over his critics, saying it’s OK to be wrong:

“That’s the story of science,” he said. “You are never at the end. This is opening up a new way of addressing this question and there is room for a lot of exciting new work to be done.”

There’s always a solution in futureware. The actual facts, though, are profoundly anti-evolutionary. The human brain is exceptional. There’s nothing like it in the animal kingdom. Evolutionists have not found an answer for decades. Many of them are not sure that this new computer model will help. The facts would not lead an honest observer to think that an evolutionary solution is even possible. And if excitement is a criterion of science, it would seem an intelligent-design solution could be equally “exciting” to future scientists. Why not?

So will any of these evolutionists realize that evolution is wrong and become creationists? Ha! That will be the day. Better to keep shoving their square pegs into round holes forever than that!

But why not? Isn’t science supposed to mean “knowledge”? Isn’t science about following the evidence where it leads? What is it about Darwinian materialism that blinds people’s eyes to even consider alternative views? Why? Why? For God’s sake, why?

For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them. (Matthew 13:15)

 

 

 

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