December 14, 2019 | David F. Coppedge

Dinosaur Evolution: Darwinian Tricks to Force Data into Theory

A new paper about a theropod dinosaur fossil illustrates the methods Darwinians use to force uncooperative data into their belief.

Science is supposed to gather evidence before announcing conclusions. Darwinians, however, often reverse the method, and announce their conclusions before gathering the evidence. A case in point is a Dec. 11th paper in Nature Scientific Reports about big carnivorous dinosaurs (you know, the Allosaur kind). The conclusion? They evolved. The first sentence announces: “Tetanurae, the most successful clade of theropod dinosaurs, including modern birds, split into three major clades early in their evolutionary history: Megalosauroidea, Coelurosauria, and Allosauroidea.” Now that the conclusion is settled, how about the evidence?

Another trick is to use an artist conception to sell evolution by Visualization. Credit: Gabriel Lio, LMU Munich.

Unfortunately for the authors, Rauhut and Pol, the fossil they discovered in Patagonia poses lots of problems for Darwinism. In the title, they call it a “probable basal allosauroid from the early middle Jurassic,” but the fossil “highlights phylogenetic uncertainty in tetanuran theropod dinosaurs.” For a basal (ancestral) allosaur, their big fossil already had features characteristic of the three subsequent lineages they thought took millions of years to evolve. A second problem shows the descendants evolving rapidly in what they call a “rapid expansion and diversification.” What to do?

Opposites Attract

The press release from Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich applies a Darwin trick—sophoxymoronia—to get around this: “experiments in evolution.” One would think that a blind process is incapable of running experiments, but Darwinians merge those contradictory words together into an sophomoric oxymoron. This effectively turns the mystical blind watchmaker into an experimental scientist through personification. Then, they make him into a wizard who sheds light on a situation he can’t even see (he’s blind, remember?)

A new find from Patagonia sheds light on the evolution of large predatory dinosaurs. Features of the 8-m long specimen from the Middle Jurassic suggest that it records a phase of rapid diversification and evolutionary experimentation.

Flubbing

Another trick is to pour on plenty of Darwin Flubber. This magic potion allows animals to converge, diverge, run parallel, and make animals with mosaics of traits. All these ideas run contrary to the simple formula of RM+NS (random mutations and natural selection, e.g., the Stuff Happens Law). But skilled Darwinians know that there’s no combination of unexpected data that Darwin Flubber cannot mold into conformity with theory.

The press release applauds the rhetorical wizardry of Oliver W. M. Rauhut to pull of this miracle of evillusion with the help of his stage hand, Diego Pol. Give dinosaurs the opportunity, they say, and they will evolve into whatever niche is there. “If you build it (the niche), they will come.” Driving out the competition through extinction is the pathway to adaptive radiation!

Rauhut links the explosive evolution of the group with an episode of mass extinction that had occurred in the late stage of the Lower Jurassic, about 180 million years ago. The two researchers therefore interpret the parallel development of similar external traits in different species as an example of evolutionary experimentation during the subsequent rapid expansion and diversification of the tetanurans. The prior extinction of potential competitors will have opened up new ecological niches for the groups that survived, and the tetanurans were apparently among those that benefited.

Pre-Emptive Defense

With the layman now taking the experts’ word for it that magic really does happen, the wizards up the ante. To show how powerful Darwin magic is, they run it past the red line. Darwin Flubber not only resolves dinosaur family trees, it resolves all those other uncooperative phylogenetic trees that characterize the whole Darwinian tree of life! Watch—

“This is a pattern that we also observe in many other groups of animals in the aftermath of mass extinctions. It holds, for example, for the expansion and diversification of both mammals and birds following the extinction of the dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous 66 million years ago,” says Rauhut. It could also explain why it is so difficult to unravel the phylogenetic relationships close to the origin of many highly diversified animal groups.

Firecrackers explode all over the Tree of Life, and yet it survives. It’s a miracle.

This tactic of pre-emptive defense recalls a memorable cartoon by the late Johnny Hart (a Christian who also drew the “B.C.” comic strip) and Brant Parker, from their series, The Wizard of Id. In one episode, the wizard accidentally turned the king into a chicken. The king chicken grows increasingly agitated as the wizard thumbs through his spell books trying to find the way to reverse his mistake. “If you don’t change me back soon,” the king clucks, “I’ll peck your eyes out!” Hurriedly, the wizard mixes various fluids together in a flask, and says, “Here; drink this.” The king, after drinking it with a sour face, asks, “Yechhh. What was that?” “Beak softener,” the wizard replies proudly.

The wizard, in other words, protected his own assets instead of fixing his mistake. This is what Darwinians do. They know they are safe. Their conclusion of evolution is already considered “settled science” by the culture, no matter what the fossils show. When skeptics point out problems, they pull out their beak softening tricks, hiding their errors with circumlocutions and subterfuges in various Jargonwocky incantations to soften the critics’ mouth parts. They don’t realize what’s happening to them. The Darwin Wizards get away with this because all the secular media are on their side. And Darwinians have another advantage greater than the king in the cartoon: their King Charlie the Magnificent gets to be king and wizard at the same time!

This allows Darwinians to rule science and pull off magic tricks with impunity. Critics outside the Darwin castle can’t get a hearing, because the Wizard King pours battering ram softener on their weapons. Charlie, the Wizard King, hates peasants. He resembles the king pictured on a Wizard of Id cartoon book, who called his peasants Idiots. Johnny Hart and Brant Parker show the king up in his parapet, safely above the rabble. A messenger shouts, “The peasants are revolting!” to which the king remarks, “They certainly are.”

Exercise: Now that you’ve watched some of the Darwinian tricks, look for them in this article on Phys.org, “When penguins ruled after the dinosaurs died.” What other tricks can you identify? For assistance, refer to the Darwin Dictionary and the Baloney Detector.

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