The Evolution of Screaming and Other Darwin Absurdities
When Darwinism is the only game in town, you’re likely to see some fumbles good for laughs.
Remember the BAH! Fest? (see 9 Oct 2013). It was an annual laugh-in something like the IgNobel Prizes, where Darwinians could award the worst “Bad Ad-Hoc” hypotheses. We’d like to nominate some contenders from recent news stories, if the event comes back from it’s current hiatus.
Scream for Darwin
I am human; hear me roar (Science Daily). Researchers at the University of Sussex asked some men and women to “roar” for Darwin – all for scientific progress, of course. The journal iScience published it, so this is serious business. In respectable jargon, they call this “Judging formidability from human vocalizations,” which, being interpreted, means that the evolutionary biologists wanted to know if other human mammals could judge a person’s height and strength by their screams. No kidding. They claimed 88% success. Hey, if it works for “sea lions, red deer and dogs,” it must be good for humans, too. Remember this, young men, when you’re serenading a date: roar at her so she can judge your evolutionary fitness for mating.
Even more curious is how men are supposed to be attracted to the best girl screamers. New Scientist shows a female participant looking like she’s having fun screaming at the top of her lungs. No men are visible running toward her, though. Jordan Raine at The Conversation, by contrast, uses an intimidating photo of roaring wrestler Triple H for his article, “Humans roar: Now we know why.” Funny; nobody seems to be counting the kids of the best screamers. Isn’t that what Darwinism is all about? The experiment may not be completely useless, though. Given the political climate these days, it might help explain whether Democrats or Republicans are more fit.
Berra’s Blunder Again!
Similarities in the evolution of plants and cars (PLoS One). Four evolutionists never heard the laughter coming from the Discovery Institute about Tim Berra’s comparison of Darwinian evolution with the evolution of Corvettes back in 1990 (Evolution News). Did this crop of Darwinians ever consider that car designers might take umbrage at the suggestion that they use random mutations and natural selection in their work? Did they walk into an auto plant and tell the designers, ‘You guys are just like plants’? Apparently not; they begin, “While one system is animate and the other inanimate, both plants and cars are powered by a highly successful process which has evolved in a changing environment.” They proceed to write a whole paper about the similarities, saying, “The parallels in the evolution of these very different energy production systems provide interesting insight as to how such complex systems are modified over time.”
Neither Were Thankful, But Became Vain in Their Imaginations
The ‘Perfect’ Human Body Is Not What You Think (Live Science). Evolutionists have a long history of complaining about bad design (dysteology) in the human body. Anatomist Alice Roberts, prompted by an evolutionist, decided to have her body remade in Darwin’s image. Her remake includes pointy ears, bulging octopus eyes, ostrich legs, and a kangaroo pouch.
“The project originated as a three-month challenge issued to Roberts by the director of the Science Museum Group in London, Roger Highfield, to ‘iron out’ problematic details in human anatomy shaped by our evolutionary past and replace them with structures that were more durable, more efficient or less ‘untidy,’” writes Live Science reporter Mindy Weisberger cheerfully.
Over at Evolution News, Jonathan Wells expresses doubts that the ‘improved’ features are really improvements at all. Roberts smiles by the model of her remade body, but we don’t see men running up as suitors. We just see them laughing and gawking in the unveiling ceremony shown in a BBC News video, as the narrator tries to explain why Alice 2.0 is a much better design. This means the evolutionist’s design would most likely go extinct in one generation.
What nipple size means for evolutionary biology (Science Daily). Evolutionists at the University of Queensland must have had fun collecting data for this study. They measured nipple sizes in “63 consenting Australian undergraduate students,” both men and women – all for Darwin. The evolutionists also measured everyone’s height and chest circumference, which must have been somewhat subjective for the females. But the experiment did have redeeming social value, they claim, advancing Darwinian “understanding.”
A major goal in evolutionary biology has been to understand whether specific features of the body have adapted to serve a purpose, or have merely developed randomly, and to what degree these features are functional. Some evolutionary researchers say that little variety in the size of specific biological features are an indication that these have a very specific purpose or are the result of strong evolutionary selection. Features that are highly variable, therefore, result from weak evolutionary selection.
Unfortunately, Darwin would have been displeased with the results. The article’s subtitle reads, “Researchers show that female nipples are more diverse in size than male nipples – going against assumptions from evolutionary biology.” Oh no. This is going to require all the other evolutionary sex measurement studies to have to be re-done!
“Female nipples are functional as they are used in breastfeeding,” explains Kelly. “Therefore, the finding that females nipples are highly variable discredits previous studies that indicate variation in a specific feature indicates a lack of functionality.”
Other researchers have, for instance, claimed that the greater variation in the length of clitorises compared to penises means that the female orgasm is a non-functional by-product of the male orgasm. Based on the current findings, Kelly says that this evidence should be disregarded because the analogy of male and female nipples shows the opposite effect.
Who was that researcher who came under fire recently for asking men to send in pictures of their privates for science? (Breitbart News)
Dropping the Ball
Descended testicles: DNA study drops new hints on secrets of low hanging glands (The Conversation). There’s no need to linger at the photo of a bulldog’s rear end, but the full screen photo is a bit much. To be sure, external male genitalia in mammals is a fact of nature that every man, pet owner and farmer knows about. This subject, as well as nipples, is a worthy scientific study, not only to satisfy our curiosity about human anatomy and physiology, but especially for medical doctor training classes. But for Darwin? The whole intent of Neil Adams’ article about a Max Planck research project was to figure out when some mammals dropped the ball. Some males in some mammal groups, particularly aardvarks and elephants, lack external scrota and descended testicles. The researchers rigged a phylogenetic tree to explain the exceptions, but had to conclude that “this trait was reversed at least four separate times throughout the evolution of certain afrotherian animals.” The Max Planck press release begins, “The loss of anatomical features is a frequent evolutionary event.” Darwin won’t get very far building his tree that way. The paper in PLoS Biology tries to be very serious, but it attracted women who had fun retweeting the post, “Elephant DNA Reveals The Evolutionary Reason Mammal Balls Drop.” Men just get no respect.
Design advocates know that these organs and glands are exquisitely functional, if not particularly lovely to look at, and function in most males for a lifetime despite their softness, motility and apparent vulnerability. The processes of meiosis in sperm and egg, fertilization and embryonic development are among the most astonishing in all of nature. Perhaps a focus on their design, rather than their evolution, would reduce prurience and joking about them, and increase our gratitude and awe. Some evolutionists point to male genitalia as an example of bad design, but how can you find fault with a system that worked to generate 7 billion people, to say nothing of all the other mammals?
Notably, Adams failed to address the question of internal testes in cetaceans (whales). As Illustra Media portrayed in Living Waters: Intelligent Design in the Oceans of the Earth, the whale’s testes are only able to produce sperm through an elaborate cooling system that envelops the organs with cool blood coming from the fins and tail. The blood traverses a “miraculous web” of meshed arteries and veins designed to transfer heat from the one to the other. As the film explains, such an arrangement challenges Darwinism, because they believe that whales evolved from a four-legged mammal with external testes, which (along with all the other modifications) would have had to migrate inside, where they reside between heat-producing muscles and would overheat except for the cooling system. Without both complex systems operating simultaneously, sperm could not be produced and the whales would go extinct. And yet, as Dr. Richard Sternberg shows, the probability of getting just two coordinated beneficial mutations (and you would need a LOT more), exceeds the longest time estimate that Darwinians believe whales evolved from a land animal.
Isn’t that a subject you would rather read about in PLoS Biology? But no; in the secular literature, you get three choices: Darwin, Darwin, and Darwin. (See DIDO, DIGO and GIDO in the Darwin Dictionary; it’s like GIGO).