May 28, 2021 | David F. Coppedge

Evolution Explains Nothing

Make up a nonsense word. It conveys just as much understanding as saying, “It evolved.”

“Blurk” is a new word, just made up. Let us substitute it into sentences typically found in papers about evolution:

  • Scientists determine how the hippopotamus blurked a thick skin.
  • Blurky medicine finds reasons for human diseases like diabetes.
  • Unrelated species arrived at similar leaf shapes by convergent blurkification.
  • The new research sheds light on how the process was orchestrated by blurk to its present optimum.
  • The investigators feel their work brings us closer to understanding how life originally blurked.

Now, teach this word to students K through 12 and on into college and grad school. Tell them all scientists believe in blurk. Those minority anti-blurkers are a stain on science and an embarrassment to their country. Unless students learn how blurk works, their country will fall behind in scientific leadership. What is blurk? Whatever it means, it implies change over time, which can be up, down, or sideways (19 Dec 2007), and it comes about by the Stuff Happens Law. The goal for all science majors is to shloop their way to becoming reputable blurkists. Then they will gain “understanding.”

Is this how evolutionary explanations really look in print? Let readers be the judge.

Evolution: How to evolve a thick skin (Current Biology). “A new study examines anatomy and genetics of skin in whales and hippos and reveals that adaptations to aquatic and semi-aquatic lifestyles evolved [blurked] convergently in these lineages.” The article uses the e-word “evolution” (and its derivatives) 13 times without explaining what actually happened.

The question of whether these water-friendly adaptations of the skin were evidence of shared ancestry, the product of convergent evolution, or something in between has nagged at veteran researchers of this problem for years.

Whales and hippos have thick skin. They are similar but different. Their skin blurked at different times. Whatever happened made both animals successful in their watery habitats. It was an “evolutionary [blurky] breakthrough,” and now a detailed study “sheds light on the evolution [blurk] of whale and hippo integument,” Nina Jablonski writes. She holds it up as a model for students to learn: “This paper makes textbook reading for aspiring students of the twenty-first century comparative method,” she says. The study demonstrates that “skin is a dynamic part of the mammalian evolutionary [blurky] story and that we have only begun to unlock its fascinating secrets.” Studying how blurk works, in other words, is leading science to a nirvana of understanding.

How army ants’ iconic mass raids evolved (Phys.org). Harvard scientists have concluded that “army ant mass raiding evolved [blurked] from a different form of coordinated hunting called group raiding through the scaling effects of increasing colony size.” This is like saying that small gangs “evolved” into big gangs when their memberships increased. The ants are all just ants with the behavior of raiding in numbers. What’s evolution got to do with it?

Telling Up from Down: How Marine Flatworms Learn to Sense Gravity (Okayama University): Observation: flatworms can tell up from down because they have an organ called a statocyst that contains a piece of rock (a statolith) that is monitored by sensory proteins that send messages about movement through neurons to the brain. Flatworms gain this function shortly after hatching. It is an amazing system made up of numerous parts. It looks irreducibly complex. It’s not as fancy as the gravity sensing organ of a vertebrate, but it works well for a small, “simple” animal. What’s evolution got to do with it? Professor Montonori Aldo says you need the Theory of Blurk to gain “understanding.” Meditate on blurk until the understanding arrives.

Understanding the stimulus response mechanism of Acoela [animals without internal cavities] can uncover a fundamental biological control mechanism that dates back to the origin of bilaterian animals, including humans. These organisms, therefore, are key to unravelling the process of evolution.

Aging as a consequence of selection to reduce the environmental risk of dying (Omholt and Kirkwood, PNAS 1 June 2021). Since aging happens, there must be a blurky reason for it. The Stuff Happens Law wouldn’t do something without a good reason.

A fresh perspective on the evolution of aging is developed, which focuses on optimizing an individual’s exposure to mortality risk across the life course. A significant source of risk is associated with the act of acquiring the energy necessary for all functions of life. In particular, a considerable fraction of lifetime energy acquisition is used for somatic maintenance. We show how reduction of mortality risk through restrained allocation to somatic maintenance may enhance lifetime fitness but result in aging. Our results are discussed in relation to current theories of the evolution of aging, where we anticipate it will help to illuminate the debate about the mechanisms underlying aging in the wild and the nature and roles of trade-offs.

Did that make any sense? Who decided to select for this strategy? Evolution? Come on. Omholt and Kirkwood simply shloop their way to a process that somehow “may enhance” lifetime fitness. Maybe “stabilizing selection” led to it. Their “fresh perspective” they hope “will help to illuminate the debate” about how aging blurked. Now you understand, don’t you? This explains why parents often live for decades after their childbearing years, right? Here’s their concluding remark: “We acknowledge that further theoretical as well as experimental work will be needed before one can reach a firm conclusion on the explanatory scope of the hypothesis we propose in this paper.” OK, then, forget everything they said.

Evolutionary medicine looks to our early human ancestors for insight into conditions like diabetes (The Conversation). Three Darwin-drunk writers declare their mastery of using blurk for divination: “Like all living things, humans are the product of a complex evolutionary history.

A more profound understanding of our evolution is necessary to offer better health care to our entire community. Before medicine can move forward, we must understand where we came from.

Ah, the promised understanding. But if we come from mindless process of blurking, then blurk doesn’t care if we live or die. It takes a human being made in the image of God to care about other human beings. Why should a Doctor of Blurk care about you if they cannot pass on your genes, and don’t give a whit about your fitness.

Credit: Corel Pro Photos

Why do we grow more hair on our heads than on our bodies? (Live Science). Observation: humans unlike other primates are mostly naked, but have hair on their heads. There must be a blurky reason for it, and Tara Santora is here to give readers understanding with the aid of her chosen Doctor of Blurk Theory, Mark Pagel. Humans could afford to drop their hair, he says, “because they had the unique ability to compensate with fire, shelter and clothing.” Shlooping along, Pagel explains that head hair remained because it acts like a built-in hat, but keeps the brain warm at night, too. The blurking process worked all this out without thinking, you see; that’s why naked mole rats and badgers, both mammals that dig in dirt, came to opposite strategies. But maybe it was sexual selection. Or perhaps the aquatic ape theory was part of it. Or maybe parasites prefer furry mammals instead of naked ones. Choose the blurk notion that best increases your understanding. All is fair except paying attention to the rascally anti-blurkers out there.

Paul spoke of people like this: proud, ignorant, and self-deceived. “Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart” (Ephesians 4:17-18). The Psalmist noted, “Man in his pomp yet without understanding is like the beasts that perish” (Psalm 49:20). Understanding comes from knowing the Creator and having a relationship with him by faith: “Your hands have made and fashioned me; give me understanding that I may learn your commandments” (Psalm 119: 73).

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