Scientists, Reporters Still Nuts Over Darwin
No other historical scientist gets as much praise and worship as Charlie D. Why is that?
Darwin’s name appears frequently in science news and journal papers, much more than Newton, Maxwell, or Einstein. And yet other than doing some legit observation of barnacles and pigeons, Charlie’s main contribution was to anoint the Stuff Happens Law with an aura of science. He wrote hundreds of pages elaborating how stuff happens without reason or guidance, by means of some mysterious Selector out there who cares nothing about the results. Why would that make him famous? The only explanation is that Darwin made it possible to become an intellectually fool-filled atheist.
In these recent news articles, ask if the actual observations and evidence justify drawing Charlie’s name into it.
HMS Beagle: Dock where Darwin’s ship ‘was dismantled’ revealed (BBC News). The Beagle’s famous passenger is treated like a saint. “Charles Darwin was aboard HMS Beagle when he made discoveries that led to his theory of natural selection,” the article says. “Darwin was aboard the ship on its second great voyage between 1831 and 1836 to survey the South American coast and the Galapagos Islands.” Such a holy relic cannot be forgotten. Pieces of wood from the True Beguile [pun intended] must make their way into university biology departments.
What Is Convergent Evolution? (Live Science). To demonstrate Darwin’s Stuff Happens Law, reporter Charlie Wood gives examples of how things evolve [happen] to look the same except when they evolve [happen] to look different. “Convergent evolution is when different organisms independently evolve similar traits,” Wood states worshipfully, applying Darwin Flubber to the congregants’ foreheads.
Each of Earth’s habitats presents its own challenges. Sometimes, different species develop the same solution to the same problem. Biologists call this process — when two organisms share characteristics that they didn’t jointly inherit from a common ancestor — convergent evolution.
What is Darwin’s Theory of Evolution?
Convergent vs. divergent evolution
The classical examples of evolution, such as Darwin’s finches, demonstrate the opposite process: divergent evolution.
‘But Mr. Wood, is it really a ‘process’? Do species really ‘develop’ solutions, or do opposite things just happen to them?’ No questions allowed. This is a worship service. Everyone chant, “Stuff Happenzzzzzz….”
Earthworms Coordinate Soil Biota to Improve Multiple Ecosystem Functions (Current Biology). “Earthworms have been perceived as benevolent soil engineers since the time of Charles Darwin,” this paper begins, but surely Darwin was not the first. What’s Darwin got to do with it? Engineering is a mental activity. One could (or should) argue that earthworms were designed by a benevolent, purposeful Creator to be “benevolent soil engineers.” But no; in today’s biology and media, all observations must be force-fit into the Darwin Hymnal. Everyone sing:
Now the fit will be survivors and survivors will be fit,
And survivors will survive to prove the fitness of the fit.
Oh, this natural selection, it’s so simple, isn’t it?
‘Tis ruthless marching on.
Male mating displays can evolve from exploitative origins to cooperative endings (PNAS). “What could explain such elaborate mating behavior?” Richard Gomulkiewicz of Washington State U begins in this treatise on sexual selection, the Stuff Happens Law applied to sex. “Evolutionary biologists have been puzzling over this question since Darwin,” he says with a genuflect to Saint Charles.
Following in Darwin’s footsteps: understanding the plant evolution of florist’s gloxinia (Science Daily). Many people make pilgrimages to the Holy Land to walk in the footsteps of Jesus or Moses. Why would anyone wish to follow in Darwin’s footsteps? The reason may be that lazy biologists don’t like doing science the old way. It was too rigorous and constraining. Thanks to Charlie, it is so much easier now to just say “Stuff Happens.”
More than 150 years ago, Charles Darwin’s fascination with genetics and domestication catapulted the scientific world into new territory as scientists started to ask: How did a species evolve to be this way?….
Florist’s gloxinia, a species originally documented by Darwin himself [pause to genuflect], was introduced to England in the 18th century. Since then, plant breeders have cultivated hundreds of strains by intentionally selecting for desired traits. Within 200 years — a mere blink of an evolutionary eye — florist’s gloxinia reached the same levels of phenotypic variation as snapdragons, Antirrhinum spp. Snapdragons, however, have been cultivated for 2,000 years.
The disciples have learned from their master well. Stuff happens rapidly, except when it happens slowly. And through artificial selection [breeding, a form of intelligent design], converts can perceive fleeting glimpses of the mystical Selector—that blind watchmaker—that makes stuff happen.
More later. We don’t want readers’ stomachs to get upset with too much junk science at one time.