April 21, 2021 | David F. Coppedge

Get Real: Evolutionists Are ‘Likely’ Clueless

Let’s analyze what Darwinists think are ‘likely’ scenarios about how and when complex organisms evolved or went extinct.

Try this thought experiment. Imagine a team of researchers visiting a pit where dump trucks have been dumping sand, rocks and debris for years. They find a slope where layers of the material are displayed. They decide that the top layer is 10 million years old, and the bottom layer is 100 million years old. They classify the intervening layers by 10 million year intervals, and investigate the contents of each imaginary time interval. One researcher follows the appearance and disappearance of black rocks. Another follows the first appearance, abundance and disappearance of pink rocks. Same for yellow rocks and white rocks. They publish their results in a journal, stating that the black rocks “likely” evolved into pink rocks over 64.78 million years. Stupid, right? But is that not what a team publishing in PNAS is doing with a fossil-bearing slope in South Africa?

Evidence from South Africa for a protracted end-Permian extinction on land (Viglietti et al., PNAS 27 April 2021). One of the Darwin Party’s standard sub-myths is the story of five mass extinctions in Earth history, the Permian extinction being the largest. This team notices problems with the story, so they decide to take a more “nuanced approach” to it.

Finally, the changing narrative of PTT extinctions in the Karoo emphasizes that a more nuanced approach to the end-Permian mass extinction is needed that accounts for the idiosyncrasies of the event in different geographical areas. Only by recognizing the specific details of the extinction in different places can the search for generalizations be successful.

They investigate two exposures of a slope in South Africa called the Karoo Basin – a much larger feature than the two sample outcrops they look at. Assuming the geological time scale, they agree together that the exposures represent 4 million years of evolution. They divide up the slopes into 13 imaginary time intervals of 300,000 years each, and count fossils within each time “bin” they have imagined. The come to an unexpected conclusion that land creatures went extinct ten times slower than sea creatures in the great Permian Extinction Event. Work all done, they publish their findings in PNAS, a major US science journal.

Question: How much did they really come to “know” about this deposit? One way to measure their knowledge is to count the instances of the word “likely” in the paper. It appears 8 times among the technical Jargonwocky:

1/ Large outpourings from Siberian Trap volcanism are the likely trigger of calamitous climatic changes, including a runaway greenhouse effect and ocean acidification, which had profound consequences for life on land and in the oceans. [What? Before SUVs?]

2/ Extinction dynamics likely reflect the disappearance of theriodonts …, pareiasaurs …, cynodonts …, and dicynodont species.

3/ Our data show species-level evenness to be relatively stable throughout the Cistecephalus and Daptocephalus assemblage zones and across the main extinction acme close to the Daptocephalus–Lystrosaurus declivis Assemblage Zone boundary, likely because of the retention of some extinction acme-crossing species (Lystrosaurus curvatus, Lystrosaurus maccaigi, Moschorhinus, Promoschorhynchus) alongside the appearance of new species in the inferred recovery phase.

4/ The substantial evidence for significant climatic changes related to global warming beginning at the end of the Permian period globally likely had disastrous effects on local conditions in the Karoo. These effects were possibly related to aridity and also increased climatic variability.

5/ Nevertheless, it is very likely that fluctuating climates associated with the end-Permian mass extinction played a significant role in steadily altering the composition and structure of tetrapod communities in the uppermost DAZ, eventually causing an ecosystem collapse marked by the unstable, short-lived communities observed in the lower Lystrosaurus declivis Assemblage Zone of South Africa’s Karoo Basin.

6/ Therefore, the success of Lystrosaurus and the likely reason for its cosmopolitan distribution was not caused strictly by the ecological aftermath of the PTT or Early Triassic environments but instead had its roots in the Permian.

7/ The rise of the disaster taxon Lystrosaurus well before the Permian–Triassic boundary indicates that its success did not stem solely from an ability to survive postextinction conditions. Instead, it likely had preexisting adaptations or ecological and evolutionary versatility that allowed it to flourish under the conditions that caused widespread and sustained extinctions among other taxa.

8/ This period of instability was likely key to breaking the incumbency of previously dominant synapsid clades, paving the way for the rise of archosaurs and their relatives as a more complete recovery was achieved later in the Triassic.

Assuming Oneself into Cluelessness

Can anyone measure how “likely” something in the distant past is with precision and the rigor expected of scientific research? Is it not a highly subjective opinion word? Readers can find additional reasons to distrust the knowledge of these experts by searching for the word “possibly” and other subjective opinion terms. “Possible” and “possibly” occur 6 times in the paper. “Suggests” and its derivatives occur 12 times. What is the observation-to-assumption ratio in this paper? Pretty low, it appears. Notwithstanding, the science barfers, like Phys.org, regurgitated a summary of it without critical analysis.

Before starting their working vacation in South Africa, the team had already assumed evolution and vast ages. They assumed the evolutionary extinction sub-myth about the Permian Extinction. They divided up the deposit according to these time assumptions. They assumed the Karoo Basin collected bones for 4 million Darwin Years. The entire analysis and conclusion is based on these assumptions. But what if they were not true? What if the Karoo Basin formed rapidly, like in a catastrophic flood that buried all these animals in a single event? What if evolution had nothing to do with the fossils? Then what they “know” is all bluffing. They were dividing up fossils into imaginary time intervals and assuming evolutionary lines between animals. It could be totally fake, like a house of cards resting on the word “likely.” They knew the Permian myth has its “idiosyncrasies” (i.e., anomalies against expectations), so they tweaked the narrative (9 April 2021) to mold their web of belief around it. See the quote at bottom* for examples of subjective choices made about matters that cannot be proved. There is so much wiggle room, almost any “scenario” could be weaved to explain it. And what if their two sampling sites are not characteristic of the rest of the vast Karoo Basin?

More Likely Deception Among Evolutionists

Once you get the hang of it, it’s fun to find instances of the word “likely” in evolutionary writing.

Chance played a role in determining whether Earth stayed habitable (Nature Communications & Environment, 12 Dec 2020). Toby Tyrell invokes the Stuff Happens Law to explain why Earth is such an ideal place to live. He uses “likely” 11 times, “suggests” 9 times, and “possible/possibly” 11 times. This means he is stating opinions, not doing objective science. Examples:

1/ Earth’s long-lasting habitability was therefore most likely a contingent rather than an inevitable outcome.

2/ It is likely that climate needs to stay within narrower bounds during the later stages of the evolution of intelligence, although this was not included in the standard simulation (SA).

3/ It does not by itself guarantee that complex life will evolve (for instance, life may never emerge in the first place) but evolution of complex life is obviously impossible without prolonged habitability.

4/ A minimum requirement of only 100 million years has been suggested. Alternatively, perhaps longer durations are more typical. In the absence of a detailed understanding of the time required, it was set to 3 billion years in this study (SA).

5/ Controls on continental silicate weathering rate remain somewhat uncertain, however, with field studies suggesting a strong influence from the rate of supply of newly-exposed (easily weathered) rock, as well as from climate.

6/ As questions have arisen about whether silicate weathering on the continents provides Earth’s thermostat, new proposals have suggested that silicate weathering in other locations is key: either islands or the sea floor.

7/ Taken as a whole, the model results suggest strongly that the occurrence of long-term habitability in the real universe is also a function of both mechanism and chance.

You get the clear impression that Tyrell is jawboning out of the imagination of his head with his models, not talking about reality or history. Of what value is a model that has an a mechanism-to-chance ratio that is unknown? They guy is speculating. Evolutionists like him are ‘likely’ clueless.

Why are we so submissive to the clueless? Why do we give them respect? Evolutionists and scientific materialists are people with biases and assumptions like everyone else. They’ve gone to school a lot, passed some hard tests, and know plenty of big words. But if they are clueless, they have no authority to teach anyone about reality. They are living in an evolutionary filter bubble (16 April 2021) with peers who agree with them.


*Another paragraph from the paper shows additional cases of subjectivity in the analysis:

Our multi-index analysis of a high-resolution database of Karoo tetrapod occurrences substantially clarifies these uncertainties. We find evidence for a protracted time interval (∼1 Ma) of significantly elevated extinction rates spanning the uppermost Daptocephalus and lower Lystrosaurus declivis assemblage zones (DAZ–LAZ boundary). Therefore, we refer to the latest Permian tetrapod extinctions documented in the Karoo record as a “sustained extinction interval,” and increases in sampling intensity are needed to establish whether extinctions were pulsed or more gradual during this interval. Our inferences do not rely on estimating the precise timings of individual species extinctions, and at this time we recommend that this paradigm of a sustained extinction replace previous hypotheses of a single rapid extinction, a press-pulse extinction, a stepped extinction, or no mass extinction. The fact that we cannot localize tetrapod extinctions at a single stratigraphic horizon, assemblage zone boundary, and/or PTB level does not discount the magnitude of the overall event, as reflected by the large loss of species diversity during the extinction interval and by high extinction and turnover rates. The recognition of a sustained extinction interval in the Karoo is an important advance that facilitates comparisons to extinction patterns in other coeval terrestrial sections where transitional assemblages may also indicate prolonged development of the biotic crisis followed by eventual ecosystem destabilization (Fig. 3C). Better correlation, quantification, and timing of these global changes to terrestrial PTT ecosystems is needed to refine models that link the ultimate causes of the end-Permian mass extinction to more localized kill mechanisms on land and in the oceans.

The concluding Discussion paragraph shows even more subjectivity. Look how much is based on the assumption that creatures “rise” and “emerge” by evolution:

Our high-resolution, multi-index approach significantly refines understanding of tetrapod extinctions during the PTT in the Karoo Basin, providing a quantitative picture of extinctions on land that is possibly representative of the global record. Replacing the abrupt or stepwise narratives of the event with a protracted period of sustained extinction followed by rapid species turnover is a key step in correlating the biotic crisis in the Karoo with regional and global environmental changes, revised geochronology, and the record of extinctions preserved in other areas that may also provide evidence for successive extinctions and the occurrence of transitional communities. The rise of the disaster taxon Lystrosaurus well before the Permian–Triassic boundary indicates that its success did not stem solely from an ability to survive postextinction conditions. Instead, it likely had preexisting adaptations or ecological and evolutionary versatility that allowed it to flourish under the conditions that caused widespread and sustained extinctions among other taxa. We observe a phase of rapid speciation and turnover in the post extinction aftermath, suggestive of a destabilized ecosystem, and possibly also reflected in the floral record of Australia and Tibet. This period of instability was likely key to breaking the incumbency of previously dominant synapsid clades, paving the way for the rise of archosaurs and their relatives as a more complete recovery was achieved later in the Triassic. Finally, the changing narrative of PTT extinctions in the Karoo emphasizes that a more nuanced approach to the end-Permian mass extinction is needed that accounts for the idiosyncrasies of the event in different geographical areas. Only by recognizing the specific details of the extinction in different places can the search for generalizations be successful.

 

 

 

 

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