January 7, 2020 | David F. Coppedge

More Faith in Natural Selection: DinoBirds

It’s easy, Darwinists say, to make a bird from a dinosaur. Just shrink it down. All the requirements will emerge.

Evolutionists believe that birds are evolved dinosaurs, but they have a problem: endothermy. Birds are warm-blooded, and dinosaurs were not. Four Darwinian biologists from Chile believe they have a simple solution: shrink the dinosaur. This is the gist of their paper in AAAS Science Advances by Rezendi et al., “Shrinking dinosaurs and the evolution of endothermy in birds.” It was no small feat to invent warm-bloodedness, they know; but natural selection must have been up to the job, because it happened.

Flicker (Illustra Media)

The evolution of endothermy represents a major transition in vertebrate history, yet how and why endothermy evolved in birds and mammals remains controversial. Here, we combine a heat transfer model with theropod body size data to reconstruct the evolution of metabolic rates along the bird stem lineage. Results suggest that a reduction in size constitutes the path of least resistance for endothermy to evolve, maximizing thermal niche expansion while obviating the costs of elevated energy requirements. In this scenario, metabolism would have increased with the miniaturization observed in the Early-Middle Jurassic (~180 to 170 million years ago), resulting in a gradient of metabolic levels in the theropod phylogeny. Whereas basal theropods would exhibit lower metabolic rates, more recent nonavian lineages were likely decent thermoregulators with elevated metabolism. These analyses provide a tentative temporal sequence of the key evolutionary transitions that resulted in the emergence of small, endothermic, feathered flying dinosaurs.

Problem solved! Just miniaturize the theropod, and endothermy will evolve. After all, it’s the “path of least resistance” for endothermy, isn’t it? Howard Glicksman, MD, knows that endothermy is a complex trait that defies evolutionary explanation.

In Darwinism, the “scenario” is the thing. All the evolutionary biologist has to do is concoct a scenario (an imagined story). Faith in the creative power of natural selection fills in the details of the scenario, and qualifies as evidence.

The scenario needs to be “likely,” but since there are no units of measurement for likeliness in evolutionary storytelling, the Darwinist gets to decide in his imagination if it seems likely or not. These four decided that the more recent theropods were “likely decent thermoregulators with elevated metabolism.” The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) decided that Rezendi and his 3 buddies satisfied the criteria for ‘likeliness,’ and published the ‘scenario’ – all for the advancement of science, of course.

Once you learn how to recognize the key miracle-words of evolution, like “emergence” of new “innovations” and such, it’s easy to see the cheating going on. Evolutionists like to categorize believers in design or creation as “people of faith,” but they are just as much “people of faith” as anyone, if not more so. How much faith does it take to believe that the Stuff Happens Law produced an eagle, or a parrot, out of a dinosaur? or the emergence of a dinosaur in the first place? Watch for faith in natural selection in this quote from the paper, and notice the high perhapsimaybecouldness index, too. Sweep past the Jargonwocky, which is only a distraction.

Inertial homeothermy might, in fact, constitute a necessary transitional state in which homeothermy and a high thermal gradient Tb − Ta can be maintained at low metabolic costs. That is, we posit that the MR of the large ancestral theropods (>300 kg) would fall in the allometric curve for ectotherms and, yet, these organisms would be able to maintain a thermal gradient more in line with that of extant endotherms (Fig. 4B). Subsequently, [natural] selection toward smaller sizes would favor elevated MR if these large ancestral theropods were physiologically committed to homeothermy, as discussed by McNab, which would explain the departure from the ectothermic metabolic allometry with miniaturization (Fig. 2A). While this proposition has been generally dismissed on the basis that a “large size obviates thermoregulatory needs for high metabolic rates”, this counterargument is true only within a limited range of Ta and body sizes and neglects other ecological advantages of a high mass-independent aerobic capacity and the advantage to a high reproductive rate, growth rate, etc. In large terrestrial animals, [natural] selection on increased MR for sustained activity, parental care, or high growth rates, presumed drivers of the evolution of endothermy in birds and mammals according to different hypotheses, should inevitably increase the thermal gradient Tb − Ta and give rise to larger thermal niches as a useful by-product (Fig. 2). In evolutionary time, it is only reasonable to expect lineages to exploit newly opened niches and eventually diversify. Under this scenario, thermoregulatory performance is expected to evolve regardless of the selective pressures favoring a high aerobic capacity, which reconciles alternative theories on the evolution of endothermy in birds and mammals.

Guilty as charged. A more definitive declaration of faith could hardly be expressed than you saw right here, if you read closely and focused on the Darwin cheat words. In their scenario, if something is advantageous, natural selection will provide it (“is expected to evolve”) — how? By faith in the god of Natural Selection (NS). Darwin’s god, being benevolent, wouldn’t leave a poor, small dinosaur to go extinct without warm-bloodedness, would she? The need drives NS to provide whatever is necessary (“presumed drivers of the evolution of” whatever).

Darwinists are people of faith. They display unfeigned faith in their Magician, Darwin, to produce whatever is needed for any animal or plant, though his paramour, NS. If you imagine the “scenario” strongly enough, you will watch things “emerge” as if by magic, if they are advantageous. An animal’s opportunity to “exploit” a niche will “drive” NS to fulfill the wishes of a bird to be endothermic. 

In the examples shown here and yesterday, we see that evolution is a vitalistic religion. A life principle permeates the cosmos. Molecules don’t want to just sit there; they want to organize into cells. Leaves don’t want to just grow straight; they want to curl and form traps. Dinosaurs don’t want to walk all the time; they want to sprout wings and fly. Niches are there to be filled, and NS benevolently fulfills the urge to evolve by causing the emergence of whatever is necessary to advance. Darwinism is a pantheistic religion. Its disciples are People of Faith. Their faith in the Stuff Happens Law makes them People of Fluff. And their hatred of a transcendent God possessing the necessary and sufficient attributes to design cells, plants and birds turns them into People of Froth.

Everybody has faith in something. We hope your faith doesn’t turn fluffy and frothy. Build on the Rock.

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