August 26, 2020 | David F. Coppedge

Rearranging the Deck Chairs on Darwin’s Titanic

Until it sinks into the depths of failed philosophy, the HMS Darwin gives evolutionists years of busy-work moving props around.

Nothing is ever settled in Darwinian history. That’s part of the genius of Darwin’s strategy for secular science: it provided job security for storytellers (25 June 2014). Since human imagination is boundless, Darwin put it to work overcoming the challenges of empirical proof. Data points like genes, rocks, fossils and embryos are the playthings of those engaged in “fun scenarios” (25 Aug 2020) of what might have happened—and must have happened—in a universe without intelligent design.

They have gotten mighty skilled at it. There is no anomaly that a skilled Darwinian storyteller cannot overcome with imagination. In Darwinian science, data points are mere props to rearrange at will in order to maintain the worldview that floats on an ocean of purposelessness. The rules even allow for returning to previous deck-chair patterns. To them, after all, if the ship is going nowhere in particular, one might as well stay occupied with activity that pretends to be designed for a purpose. By agreement, the underlying philosophy (the Stuff Happens Law) cannot be altered (the Law of the Misdeeds and Perversions).

But the iceberg has struck. No philosophy that denies the reality of immaterial mind, logic and thought can withstand the icebergs of hard reality. As C.S. Lewis has observed, materialism refutes itself, because it cannot account for the immaterial reality of logical thought. That iceberg cuts through the most solid hull of materialism.

A theory which explained everything else in the whole universe but which made it impossible to believe that our thinking was valid would be utterly out of court. For that theory would itself have been reached by thinking, and if thinking is not valid that theory would, of course, be demolished. It would have destroyed its own credentials. It would be an argument which proved that no argument was sound—a proof that there are no such things as proofs. —C.S. Lewis, Miracles

Once enough Darwinians realize it, the ship will sink into the oblivion of failed ideas, and survivors will scramble onto the ID lifeboats. It’s only a matter of time. Until the end, observers can watch with amusement how Darwinian sailors occupy themselves with endless busy work, reassuring the doomed passengers that everything is under control, and they are right on schedule to Destination Nowhere.

Felice et al., “Decelerated dinosaur skull evolution with the origin of birds.” PLoS Biology, August 18, 2020 (open access).
This crew of 8, including noted evolutionist Mark Norell, studied skulls of dinosaurs and early birds. They divided them into two groups, the ones that were not evolving into birds (non-avian dinosaurs) and the ones that were evolving into birds (avian dinosaurs). They expected to see a smooth progression in skull shape on the bird line, but didn’t find it. No problem; a little rearrangement of expectations keeps the Darwin story afloat. Just rearrange the speed dials on evolution, apply some Darwin Flubber, whitewash with Jargonwocky, and everything still looks neat and tidy for Master Darwin.

Rapid pulses of skull evolution coincide with changes to food acquisition strategies and diets, as well as the proliferation of bony skull ornaments. In contrast to the appendicular skeleton, which has been shown to evolve more rapidly in birds, avian cranial morphology is characterised by a striking deceleration in morphological evolution relative to non-avian dinosaurs. These results may be due to the reorganisation of skull structure in birds—including loss of a separate postorbital bone in adults and the emergence of new trade-offs with development and neurosensory demands. Taken together, the remarkable cranial shape diversity in birds was not a product of accelerated evolution from their non-avian relatives, despite their frequent portrayal as an icon of adaptive radiations.

Emergence; how did that happen? Reorganization of skull structure; how did that happen? In Darwinism, it doesn’t matter. Evolution runs rapidly, except when it runs slowly.

Zebra stripes form elaborate, symmetrical patterns. Credit: Illustra Media.

How et al., “Zebra stripes, tabanid biting flies and the aperture effect.” Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 19 August 2020 (open access).
Zebra stripes and their role in dazzling flies (University of Bristol). The press release admits that a century of Darwinian speculation has not solved a well-known problem: how did the zebra get its stripes?

The mystery of why zebras have their characteristic stripes has perplexed researchers for over a century.

Over the last decade, Professor Tim Caro at the University of Bristol’s School of Biological Sciences has examined and discredited many popular theories such as their use as camouflage from predators, a cooling mechanism through the formation of convection currents and a role in social interactions.

Stripes acting to confuse predators is another common explanation, but it too is flawed when looking at the scientific data.

Darwin storytellers gain some credibility with the passengers on the HMS Darwin if they do some actual experiments. This group put capes on horses with various patterns to see if flies landed on them. They concluded that the stripes confuse biting horseflies through an optical illusion called the “barber pole effect.” That is a plausible hypothesis to consider, but inquiring minds want to know how this trick evolved. The paper escapes giving a solid answer by appealing to multiple causation and the power of suggestion:

Before concluding, we want to emphasize that stripes are only one way by which zebras reduce successful probing for blood by biting flies. Others include behavioural means including frequent swishing of tails and running away from tabanid annoyance and zebra skin odour deterring tsetse flies from landing, suggesting that there are severe selection pressures for African Equidae to avoid biting fly attack.

But, the inquiring minds continue, ‘Which cause was the most determinative? What mutation was selected to produce the highly elaborate patterns that cover the entire zebra’s body? What kind of “selection pressure” could force a chance mutation to occur in the germline, which is oblivious to how skin looks on the outside, to produce stripes like that? Why didn’t these same selection pressures cause other African herbivores, which are subject to the same selection pressures, to grow stripes?’ In short, these scientists got busy, and learned something that could be useful explaining the function of zebra stripes (at least in part), but scored nothing for Darwin’s theory other than to say, “It evolved.”

Primate voice boxes are evolving at rapid pace (Anglia Ruskin University). The basic answer to any question in biology is, simply, “it evolved.” The “rate of evolution” is a flexible dial allowing Darwinians to adjust that theme to any situation. Observe:

Scientists have discovered that the larynx, or voice box, of primates is significantly larger relative to body size, has greater variation, and is under faster rates of evolution than in other mammals.

They did not “discover” faster rates of evolution. They rearranged the deck chairs to keep the scenario going.

There is also more variation in larynx size relative to body size among primates, indicating that primates have greater flexibility to evolve in different ways. Carnivorans follow more of a fixed larynx-size to body-size ratio.

If “flexibility to evolve” is such a good thing, why didn’t the other animals evolve it? Why is evolution flexible except when it isn’t? Why don’t evolutionists ever ask these kinds of questions?

Flight: The Genius of Birds

A must-see film for those who imagine flight could evolve. (Illustra Media)

Most close relatives of birds neared the potential for powered flight but few crossed its thresholds (University of Hong Kong). Any scientist should consider it hopelessly improbable for a heavier-than-air animal to evolve powered flight. These Darwinists unabashedly conclude that it not only happened once in dinosaurs, it happened at least three times! Isn’t that ‘exciting‘? Yes; anything is possible when you rearrange the deck chairs (in this case, fossils). And watching Darwin smile gives his disciples thrills.

The team found that the potential for powered flight evolved at least three times in theropods: once in birds and twice in dromaeosaurids. “The capability for gliding flight in some dromaeosaurids is well established so us finding at least two origins of powered flight potential among dromaeosaurids is really exciting,” said Dr. Pittman. Crucially, the team found that many ancestors of bird relatives neared the thresholds of powered flight potential. “This suggests that theropod dinosaurs broadly experimented with the use of their feathered wings before flight evolved, overturning the paradigm that this was limited to a much more exclusive club,” added Dr. Pittman.

In Darwinese, the mere potential for something to evolve is enough for it to actually evolve. But the “potential” they speak of here is not really the capability for powered flight—with all its complexities and interacting components—to emerge by chance. The potential is the opportunity for greater storytelling. What marvelous visions arise in the imagination! Dinosaurs live for years thinking about flight, then experimenting on it. Three groups succeed, like the top 3 winners in an Olympic race, leaving all the others in the dust. What a story!

We are going to keep exposing Darwin’s charlatans until their ship sinks. This is tough love, because we don’t want anybody trusting in a lie. But our tough love is always ready with the lifeboats for those who don’t want to go down with their doomed ship.

Credit: J.B. Greene

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