September 11, 2020 | David F. Coppedge

Friday Funnies: Darwin Groaners

It’s been a hard week. Let’s unwind a little with laughter at what the Darwinians are saying these days.

 

An evolutionary roll of the dice explains why we’re not perfect (University of Bath). The DODOs at the University of Bath could use a bath to wash away illogic. “Scientists have found that chance events can be more important than natural selection in defining the genome of species like humans and other mammals,” they say. In one sense, this is great. It confirms our contention that evolution reduces to the Stuff Happens Law.

If evolution selects for the fittest organisms, why do we still have imperfections? Scientists at the Milner Centre for Evolution at the University of Bath investigating this question have found that in species with small populations, chance events take precedence over natural selection, allowing imperfections to creep in.

So what empirical evidence to use for this excuse of a theory? They looked at three “stop codons” in yeast and in mammals. Yeast use TAA, which the scientists claim is the more efficient one. Mammals have more instances of TGA and TAG, the other two stop codons. The interpretation of this tiny winy, teensy weensy bit of analysis can only mean one thing: people are rusting.

“Our work shows that natural selection in humans is not very efficient and so our DNA ends up similar to an ancient rusting motor car – just able to function, with all sorts of bad repairs and accretions built up over time. Yeast instead is more like an organism straight out of the showroom: the perfect machine.”

Should they not have asked different questions, like perhaps there is a reason for more complex animals to use more stop codons? They merely assume that natural selection would have preferred TAA, but they don’t know that. Sometimes there is a reason for a slower process in a much more complex machine. Their abdication of science to the “stuff happens” explanation (“evolutionary roll of the dice”) brings understanding to a halt. Chance did it.

These guys don’t even know their own evolutionary theory. Wasn’t natural selection supposed to be “daily and hourly scrutinizing, throughout the world, the slightest variations; rejecting those that are bad, preserving or adding up all that are good,” like Darwin said? Their idea doesn’t matter anyway, because natural selection is all chance, too; it has no direction or aim anyway (see DIDO, DIGO, and GIDO in the Darwin Dictionary).

Incidentally, we can thank these DODOs for indirectly supporting the theory of Genetic Entropy by creationist John Sanford. Now we know that yeast are the pinnacle of evolution. It’s been all downhill from there.

Image credit: Illustra Media

Differing diets of bonobo groups offer insights into how culture is created (Harvard Gazette). One group of apes preferred rodents. Another group in the same forest preferred small antelope. Aha! Now evolutionists know what led to Beethoven!

Human societies developed food preferences based on a blend of what was available and what the group decided it liked most. Those predilections were then passed along as part of the set of socially learned behaviors, values, knowledge, and customs that make up culture. Besides humans, many other social animals are believed to exhibit forms of culture in various ways, too.

But without minds and design, is it really culture? What are predilections, if not chance variations? How did human societies “develop” their preferences? How does a preference transform into knowledge? But we know Darwin’s all-purpose theory; stuff happens.

In fact, according to a new study led by Harvard primatologists Liran Samuni and Martin Surbeck, bonobos, one of our closest living relatives, could be the latest addition to the list.

Question: how long have apes been at this? Some 12 million Darwin Years, perhaps? And the only culture they’ve developed so far is typing nonsense on keyboards? Maybe if everyone waits a few more million they’ll be ready for a Pulitzer or a debut at Carnegie Hall.

Scientists use genomics to discover an ancient dog species that may teach us about human vocalization (National Institutes of Health). Here’s the tidbit of empirical observation: “the New Guinea singing dog, thought to be extinct for 50 years, still thrives.” OK, that’s interesting. But here’s the conclusion:

The researchers also aim to study New Guinea singing dogs in greater detail to learn more about the genomics underlying vocalization (a field that, to date, heavily relies on birdsong data). Since humans are biologically closer to dogs than birds, researchers hope to study New Guinea singing dogs to gain a more accurate insight into how vocalization and its deficits occur, and the genomic underpinnings that could lead to future treatments for human patients.

Actually, we got it from cats. Or whales. Maybe it was grizzly bear, because people growl, too. And we got our silence from the naked mole rat.

“I came across the idea that evolution could shape not only our bodies but also our minds. That had me hooked!” —Cat Hobaiter, primate biologist praised in Current Biology 17 Aug 2020.

Evolutionary theory of economic decisions (Stanford EARTH). When you make investment decisions based on strategy, you’re not using your mind to intelligently reason about outcomes. You’re just responding to evolved animal instincts, say these Stanford eggheads.

Understanding how humans have made high-stakes decisions over evolutionary time may help to explain our choices in the present day – including our tendency to veer from the preferences predicted by economic models, according to a new study from scholars at Stanford University and the Santa Fe Institute.

“Rather than starting with utility – the happiness or value I get out of making my decision now – let’s think about how the brain was constructed over evolutionary history,” said study co-author [et al.]….

How’s that for a sophoxymoronic thought: “let’s think about how the brain was constructed over evolutionary history” – does anybody know an act of construction occurring by chance? Maybe landslide debris could form that way, but not a human brain that can think. On that thought, what does thinking about the brain mean if the brain was constructed by chance? When you think about something, are you not trying to gauge the truth of a proposition honestly using reason?

There’s a worse case of sophoxymoronia in this article: “evolutionary logic.” It is further muddled by the phrase, “Rational choices in evolutionary systems.”

Termite-fishing chimpanzees provide clues to the evolution of technology (University of Miami). The “evolutionary logic” virus has broken out in Florida, too. Figuring out things is good, but one cannot ‘figure out’ chance. In chance, stuff just happens.

Figuring out how tool traditions are passed on and how this differs within and between species, Musgrave said, could help humans understand the emergence of cumulative culture during our own evolution.

“One of the key features of human culture is its remarkable complexity,” she said. “ideas and innovations accumulate over time, such that new generations inherit and learn to use technologies that are far more complex than any one individual could invent. Comparative studies give us insights into how technology came to be a defining aspect of human evolution.

But, as Musgrave cautioned, the continuation and expansion of such research depends on the long-term preservation of wild chimpanzees and their cultures—which are increasingly endangered by human activities.

Try your hand at finding the muddle in this article. Start here: One does not “understand” things that “emerge” by chance; they just happen. Technology is not culture. Complexity is not design. Invention is not evolution. If human activities increased their fitness, who cares about preservation of the unfit primates? How many million years of a head start did the apes have? Did shaming evolve, too? This article is more muddle than understanding. If it “could help humans understand… emergence,” then don’t come back till it does.

Termite intruders evolved cowardice to squat in another species’ nest (New Scientist). Speaking of termites, they were evolving inside the next while the apes were evolving outside the nest. Jake Buehler says they were evolving cowardice.

“Passiveness does not necessarily lead to defeat, but can be a very useful strategy, saving energy and resources,” she adds. “Nature may not always be red in tooth and claw, and aggression is not inherently any more successful or beneficial a strategy than ‘cowardice’.”

Tom Bethell, Darwin's House of Cards (2017)

Bethell’s book blows down the castle Darwin built.

What better illustration can you find that “fitness” is a meaningless term? In the Stuff Happens Fantasyland of Darwinism, fitness can refer to opposite things: fast or slow, weak or strong, vicious or loving, solitary or social, good or evil, brave or cowardly. If it means anything, it means nothing. It is a useless word, like gribbleflix, which we can define as “whatever I want it to mean.” This is the word that the whole empire of Darwin was built on: survival of the— what, class? Fittest. This is the word that motivated eugenics, German militarism, Hitler, and World Wars I and II. Up to 168 million people died because of this word. Sorry guys, the Darwin Party is retracting its previous definition. You should have been cowards; it might have been a better “evolutionary strategy.”

Cowardice sure works as an evolutionary strategy for evolutionists. They are too afraid to debate intelligent design, so they just ignore or expel it from their worldview.

 

 

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