Contestants for Latest Silly Darwin Stories
Vote for the best candidate! So many to choose from, so little time.
Did men’s beards evolve to absorb a punch to the jaw? (Live Science). Mindy Weisberger is trying really hard to win the contest with this entry. She imagines that our primitive caveman ancestors evolved beards to cushion their jaws from fist-fights during mating contests. She even found someone who tested the cushioning ability of hair. Too bad the hair didn’t cover the nose and eyeballs. Presumably, cavemen had to invent spears by intelligent design to get through all that evolved hair. In the end, though, it’s Darwin, her hero, who smiles on her for trying. Next, she will likely teach the kiddies that women evolved full heads of hair to cushion their skulls from rocks falling from the cave ceiling.
Update 09/27/2021: This study won a 2021 Ig Nobel Prize (Phys.org). Even the scientific community laughed at the ignominy in this kind of research.
Why twins? Evolution has an explanation (Nature). But of course; evolution has an explanation for everything: the Stuff Happens Law. Darwin’s all-purpose plot line covers all comers, even an “embryo insurance policy.” Why it didn’t make people immortal is a problem for the next generation of Darwin disciples. For now, this tale will do: “The twinning rate for women of varying ages was best explained if the model included a double-ovulation rate that rises with age and a foetal-survival rate that falls with age.” When only Darwinian explanations are allowed, of course they are the best.
How the darter got its stripes (University of Maryland, Baltimore County). Seeing a headline written in Kipling Just-So Story Form, the reader knows to expect a tall tale. This is another entry about cichlid fish, one of the perennial Darwin favorites. They are fish in African lakes that vary in color and slightly in habitats, but are all cichlid fish. “Sexual selection!” the Darwin class shouts in unison, but these authors admit, “There’s not a lot of theory in sexual selection that can be used to explain why you see one pattern evolve in one animal where you see a different one evolve in a closely related species.” But never fear; futureware will fix that: “The new findings open the door to much more exploration with different species, including animals that live on land.” Oh, the possibilities for the next generation of Darwin storytellers!
‘Bee’ thankful for the evolution of pollen (University of Missouri). This article shows a photo of smiling, Austin Lynn, recent graduate of DOPE University, happy to begin a successful career spinning Darwin yarns. In a different era, he might have marveled at the beautiful design of dandelion pollen grains that make them optimized for clinging to pollinators. But now, he has learned well. He knows that stuff happens, and that’s all that needs to be said.
Musical rhythm has very deep evolutionary roots and is present in some animals (Phys.org). Our human love of music is a great gift to our senses and well-being (some of it, at least). Some animals, too, are sensitive to rhythmic beats – including sea lions and birds (but not so much chimpanzees, our nearest neighbors, according to evolutionists). Whatever exists, it has evolutionary roots, so this must have evolutionary roots too. Some Darwinians from Barcelona tried rhythm on rats and got a response, so that must be where we got it from. “The results suggest that the principles of rhythmic organization that we find in music can also be found in other animals just like humans and, therefore, this cognitive ability must have very deep evolutionary roots.” Got that? Not just roots, but deep evolutionary roots. What? You’ve never been to a rat rock concert?
Chimpanzees help trace the evolution of human speech back to ancient ancestors (Phys.org). How the human learned to talk: he got it from lip-smacking in chimpanzees. That’s the story being told at the University of Warwick.
The evolution of speech is one of the longest-standing puzzles of evolution. However, inklings of a possible solution started emerging some years ago when monkey signals involving a quick succession of mouth open-close cycles were shown to exhibit the same pace of human spoken language.
In the paper ‘Chimpanzee lip-smacks confirm primate continuity for speech-rhythm evolution’, published today, the 27th May, in the journal Biology Letters, a consortium of researchers, including St Andrews University and the University of York, led by the University of Warwick, have found that the rhythm of chimpanzee lip-smacks also exhibit a speech-like signature—a critical step towards a possible solution to the puzzle of speech evolution.
The team hasn’t quite figured out what the chimpanzees were saying with their lip smacks, but it must be something philosophically deep. But actually, this story must be wrong. Chimps evolved it from dogs. We all know dogs salivate and lick their jaws when they want to tell us they’re hungry. But birds do even better. They sing with elaborate calls, and can even imitate sounds around them with surprising realism. Crows have dozens of specific calls to inform their flock mates. But this cannot be, Darwinists say; we didn’t evolve from dogs or birds. DODOs must toss out the inconvenient observations and stick to Darwin’s holy tree.
Eco-evolutionary significance of “loners” (PLoS Biology). An international team of Darwinians is so inebrieted with Darwine, they figured out that evolution explains both loners and herders. This is what is so wonderful about the Stuff Happens Law; it explains opposite conditions with equal facility. Loners exist in microbes that live in dung, and also in human populations. So do their social counterparts. Ooooh, feel the eco-evolutionary significance! It’s trippy.
Female Excellence in Rock Climbing Likely Has an Evolutionary Origin (Collin Carroll, bioRxiv). Males often outcompete females in sports because of their higher average muscle mass and height; that was the reason for Title IX in the Civil Rights Act (until “transgender rights” started robbing female competitors of their titles, a situation that is starting to change back to reality and common sense). But there is a sport where women do just as well as men, if not better: rock climbing. It must have an “evolutionary origin,” Carroll says. That can only mean one thing: it dates back to the trees we evolved in.
Let’s quote the Abstract so that we can be indoctrinated, once again, into the iron-clad Big Science rule that whatever exists, no matter how well-designed it looks, no matter how puzzling to the Darwin Party, no matter how baffling it looks to the uninitiated, no matter the propensity for unsubstantiated just-so stories, it must be explainable by Darwin storytelling. That’s all you need to know.
The human body is exceptional for many reasons, not the least of which is the wide variety of movements it is capable of executing. Because our species is able to execute so many discrete activities, researchers often disagree on which were the movements most essential to the evolution of our species. This paper continues a recently introduced analysis, that the performance gap between female and male athletes narrows in sports which most reflect movements humans evolved to do. Here, I examine the performance gap in rock climbing. Because rock climbing is so similar to tree climbing, which bountiful evidence suggests has been key to the origin and proliferation of our species, we would expect to see a narrow performance gap between men and women in the sport. Indeed, this is the case. Female climbers are some of the best in the world irrespective of gender, a trend that is not found in any other major sport. I conclude that exceptional ability of female climbers is further evidence of the existence of sex-blind musculoskeletal adaptations, which developed over the course of human evolution to facilitate essential movements. These adaptations abate the general physical sexual dimorphism which exists in humans. This paper provides more evidence that the performance gap in sport can be used as a measure of human evolution.
The performance gap in sport can be used as a measure of human evolution when it is wide, or when it is narrow. It explains why males are better weightlifters and faster runners, but it also explains why women are better rock climbers. How males lifted weights in trees and ran from branch to branch is not clear, but stop asking questions. Just believe.
So which story did you like best? Aren’t you glad for Charlie Darwin? I mean, what would we do for entertainment without the global storytelling empire he started? What makes it especially funny is how seriously the storytellers are. They really believe it! That’s what is so hilarious. Let them know you appreciate it. Whoop it up with raucous howls of unconstrained merriment. Maybe it will create some ‘selection pressure’ in their skulls to evolve sense.