June 23, 2020 | David F. Coppedge

Darwinists Revive Spontaneous Generation

Science is supposed to know better, but spontaneous generation, long discredited, is back in Darwin form every day in the news.

In the late 19th century, the famed doctor and chemist Louis Pasteur announced, “Never again shall the doctrine of spontaneous generation recover from the mortal blow that this one simple experiment has dealt it.” He was speaking of his famous swan-necked flask experiment. It convinced almost all scientists that cells have parents; they do not emerge from inanimate matter.

Spontaneous Generation of Living Cells

Hard as it is to imagine nowadays, people used to think that full-grown animals, like mice, could emerge from sacks of wheat. Others, seeing maggots appear on rotting meat, believed that the meat itself gave rise to the maggots. Classic experiments disproved those ideas, but belief in the spontaneous generation of microbes lasted until Pasteur’s “mortal blow.” And yet today, it’s back! Evolutionists believe that water gives rise to life, if you add a miracle ingredient: time. How often do planetary scientists talk of life on any body where water might exist? It’s a running theme. Life emerges from the environment: just add water!

‘Racing certainty’ there’s life on Europa, says leading UK space scientist (Phys.org). Claims like this are so common, no elaboration is needed. Why does leading British space scientist Professor Monica Grady believe there is life on Europa? It has water! This makes the notion of life in the galaxy “not as far-fetched as we might expect,” she croaks. “It’s ‘almost a racing certainty’ there’s alien life on Jupiter’s moon Europa—and Mars could be hiding primitive microorganisms, too.” Those who understand probability know better (see “The Amoeba’s Journey” from Illustra’s film Origin).

Spontaneous Generation of Complex Creatures

The evolutionary belief in spontaneous generation is not limited to the origin of the first life. In the fantasy world of Darwinism, “environments” create maggots, mice, and all the diverse organisms that inhabit the globe. Just add time and some “selection pressure,” and complex living things will emerge from inanimate matter. The environment does it. The environment has magical powers. This is the new revival of spontaneous generation: the environment has causal powers to create living beings that will thrive in it. Given a sack of wheat, mice will emerge to consume it – as long as you allow millions of years. This form of spontaneous generation, also known as environmental selection, comes with a benefit for the storyteller: nobody will wait millions of years to find out if it is true.

Examples in the News

Rising sea levels may have helped dinosaurs dominate the planet (New Scientist). Does sea level have creative powers? According to Michael Marshall in this article, it does. It forced dinosaurs onward and upward to become the dominant reptiles on earth. To hedge his bets, Marshall says that rising sea levels “may have” done so, or “helped” the dinosaurs get there. Perhaps rising sea levels flooded their habitats, forcing them into mountains and deserts. Now, the miracle-working power was transferred to those environments. Quoting Tore Klausen of the University of Bergen, he writes,

The huge floods must have had a big impact on land animals, says Klausen, which could explain how dinosaurs came to dominate. Klausen suggests that other reptiles were specialised in floodplain environments and became marginalised when this habitat was drowned.

In contrast, dinosaurs may have been better able to cope with hills and deserts, so were able to thrive. “They were occupying niches gradually,” he says.

See? Just add some time. Dinosaurs “occupied niches” because the environment outfitted them with the adaptations needed. Odd, isn’t it, that crocodiles and many other organisms did just fine in the floodplains and shallow waters. This shows that selection pressure can produce opposite outcomes. Amazing stuff, that Darwin Flubber!

Hunting in savanna-like landscapes may have poured jet fuel on brain evolution (Northwestern University). Smiling, Malcolm McIver of Northwestern looks proud of himself alongside his kindergarten-level animation describing his latest evolutionary hypothesis: water makes you dumb, but land makes you smart. Given that notion, it’s not hard to add a corollary notion, that our tree-climbing monkey ancestors got smarter when they came down from the trees and had to hunt on foot. “Our work says that there is a subset of terrestrial environments where planning is really maximized,” he says. In essence, he says that the environment does the maximizing. The more “clutter” in the habitat, the more a creature has to be aware of its surroundings and adapt. McIver cannot say that the prey animal adapts by some internal urge, like a Lamarckian would think. But does he identify any random mutations that were selected? No; he just assumes that any animal that did not get smarter would have died out. In a back-handed way, the inanimate environment creates the smart animal. Did you know that dirt, sand and rocks had that power?

McIver deals with the exceptions (whales and dolphins, which are smart) by saying they got their intelligence out of the land environment before they evolved to go back into the water. But to be consistent, the watery environment should have selected against intelligence when it was no longer necessary in water where you cannot see very far.

In his paper in Nature Communications, McIver and his partner thinks this could even explain the Cambrian Explosion: the emergence of near 20 new complex body plans, just because the environment was right! Turn the atmosphere transparent, and eyes will emerge! (the Popeye Theory of Evolution). Make the land habitat complex, and smart brains will emerge!

Parker has suggested that the origin of the Cambrian explosion lies in the atmosphere or oceans of the period gaining higher transparency to sunlight, triggering the evolution of the first image-forming eye and sparking a predator–prey evolutionary arms race that gave rise to the Cambrian’s profusion of animal forms. A second great change in transparency occurred with the emergence of fish on to land, which gave rise to a sensorium large enough to fit multiple futures. Our idealized model of spatial planning during predator–prey interactions suggests that there may be a link between the enlarged visual sensorium and habitat complexity of terrestrial animals and the evolution of neural circuits for dynamic planning.

The above paragraph is a good example of Jargonwocky: the communication of nonsense in highfalutin words. In simple English, he thinks that if a habitat exists, animals will emerge to make use of it. If rotten meat exists, maggots will emerge to live on it – given millions of years.

The Mystery of a Marine Monster: Morphological and Performance Modifications in the World’s only Marine Lizard, the Galápagos Marine Iguana (Berry et al., bioRxiv). These scientists have a challenge: explain the evolution of marine iguanas, the only swimming lizards. They should be forewarned about inventing a theory with a sample size of one. Their answer is, as always, the environment made the lizards evolve to become aquatic. The word environment appears 33 times in this preprint.

The Marine Iguana has undergone a unique evolutionary transition to aquatic behaviour, we explore the extent of morphological and performance specialisation required and why there are so few extant marine reptiles.

Evolutionists believe that giant marine reptiles like ichthyosaurs, mosasaurs and plesiosaurs invaded the sea, but those are no longer available to study except as fossils. So why did this one group on the Galapagos Islands “evolve” to swim?

We found that specialisation for the marine environment resulted in a trade-off in sprint speed in a terrestrial environment, similar to that seen in extant crocodilians. Reduced performance in a terrestrial environment likely poses little risk to large-bodied apex predators, whereas in iguanids, a performance trade-off would likely incur increased predation. As such, we suggest that this may explain why iguanids and other ancestral lineages have not undergone transitions to aquatic life.

So the environment made iguanas swim in the ocean to evade predators. Why didn’t they just evolve shells like the tortoises? Why didn’t they evolve faster sprint speed? The authors’ custom-tailored model appeals to a “trade-off” to handle this special case. The bottom line, though, is that the island environment caused the adaptation.

Buried in Jargon

Eco-evolutionary significance of “loners” (PLoS Biology). This paper demonstrates the flexibility of Darwinian spontaneous generation. Loaded with forgettable jargon, the paper basically says that environments can create groups and – magically – loners, too! So which is it? Here’s how you pull the wool over readers’ eyes with jargon: “across taxa, imperfect coordination of collective behaviors might be adaptive by enabling diversification of life-history strategies.” The authors must have been under a publish-or-perish deadline when they came up with the following gem that says, with impenetrable  verbosity, that evolution can produce opposite results:

Collectively, the results above show that the population partitioning stems from interactions between genotype and environment and suggest that cell signaling mediates these interactions. This suggestion raises the possibility that a strain’s partitioning could also be influenced by the presence of other strains via cross-signaling. If a cell’s commitment to aggregation were independent of the identity of co-occurring strains, a mix of strains would leave behind a total mixed-loner density that is the linear combination of the 2 strains’ loner densities (see Materials and Methods). Our model, however, predicts developmental interactions between co-occurring strains that produce a diversity of departures from linearity depending on signaling parameters (Fig 4A and S6 Fig).

How convenient to have a theory that will predict opposite outcomes with the same model. It’s very useful (for spinning stories).

Tuning environmental timescales to evolve and maintain generalists (PNAS). This paper is like the previous one. Environments can select for generalists, except when they select for specialists. The word environment appears 67 times in this paper, indicating that it’s the environment that does the causal lifting in their Darwinian form of spontaneous generation.

We understand these results in terms of a kinetic asymmetry between generalists and specialists. Environmental dynamics at the right timescale perturb specialist populations while leaving generalists relatively undisturbed. This asymmetry favors evolution from specialists to generalists without enhancing the time-reversed process. In contrast, faster or slower environmental dynamics may be cast into effective static fitness landscapes and are thus unable to maintain a strong kinetic asymmetry between specialists and generalists.

This paper and the previous one score high on the perhapsimaybecouldness index. The technique allows for infinite variations on storytelling by future evolutionists.

If anyone can find anything definitive or useful in these papers that really aids understanding of how complex animals became endowed with their ideal traits, we will offer them a free vacation on the Isle of DeBris.

Read our biography of Louis Pasteur, who employed rigorous experiments to put to rest the false Darwinian notions of his day.



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