Evolutionists Add Another Magic Wand: Climate Change
When mutation, selection and deep time fail, evolutionists
can now rely on climate change to work its mindless miracles
“Climate change” is the trendy catch-all explanation for everything in the Darwinian toolkit. Yes, climate has changed in the past. The fallacy lies in thinking of it as a driver of innovation.
How climate change goaded the transition from nomadic hunter-gatherers to settlement and farming societies (Tel-Aviv University via Phys.org). Evolutionary anthropology has long had a problem. After hundreds of thousands of years of big-brained hominids, it wasn’t until recently that those brains took up farming and civilization. What happened? Modern humans had already been present for tens of thousands of years, migrating from Africa to Europe and Asia, using fire and tools and interbreeding with Neanderthals and Denisovans, so they can’t explain it by mutations selected for bigger brains. Now the brains in pagan Israeli academia have a new cause in their explanatory toolkit: climate change! The IPCC will like that.
Dr. [Dafna] Langgut concludes that “this study contributes not only to understanding the environmental background for momentous processes in human history such as the first permanent settlement and the transition to agriculture, but also provides information on the history of the region’s flora and its response to past climatic changes. There is no doubt that this knowledge can assist in preserving species variety and in meeting current and future climate challenges.”
The paper that resulted from this new climate model is published by Langgut et al. October 15, 2021 in Quaternary Science Reviews, “Climate and environmental reconstruction of the Epipaleolithic Mediterranean Levant (22.0–11.9 ka cal. BP).” They fit pollen grains in the ancient Hula Lake region of northern Israel to the standard evolutionary geology column, and boasted that
The detailed vegetation and climatological reconstruction presented in this study serves as backdrop to seminal events in human history: the transition from small nomadic groups of hunter-gatherers to the sedentary villages of the Natufian, eventually transitioning to the agricultural, complex communities of the Neolithic.
But did this require any thinking and intelligent design on the part of the hunter-gatherers who had spent tens of thousands of years living in caves? No; climate was the cause of the “transition” to farming and settlements, because climate change had brought them a lot of trees. One of the highlights of the study says, “A confluence of natural changes and cultural developments promoted agriculture.” What more could intelligent people do than innovate? “A robust environment set is suggested for the rise of sedentism and agriculture.”
Oh come on. Sedentism? Use plain English, you puffy academics. Just say they became couch potatoes.
Notice that the “environment” was the cause of “the rise of” agriculture. This is a typical Darwin Sidestep. It’s like saying that increased oxygen set the stage for the rise of animal phyla in the Cambrian explosion. Does oxygen cause innovation? Does climate cause civilization? They’re using these “natural changes” as magic wands, drivers of progress. What about “cultural developments”? Well, those were caused by mindless evolution, too. In evolutionary thinking, all progress has material causes and natural processes. No intelligence allowed.
Climate Creates Forests
Climate–vegetation models bring fossil forests back to life (Howard J. Falcon-Lang, PNAS, 2 Nov 2021). Frost causes innovation. This is what Falcon-Lang asserts: “Frost was not simply a disturbance process in Pennsylvanian forests, however; it also may have profoundly driven evolution and ecological innovation.”
He’s commenting on a paper in PNAS by Matthaeus et al. (19 Oct 2021), “Freeze tolerance influenced forest cover and hydrology during the Pennsylvanian.” They assert that frost during a mythical late Paleozoic ice age 360 to 260 million Darwin Years ago drove conifers to evolve frost tolerance. “Repeated freezing likely influenced freeze- and drought-tolerance evolution in lineages like the coniferophytes, which became increasingly dominant in the Permian and early Mesozoic,” they say with increased PMCI (perhapsimaybecouldness index). Note the mystical influence of climate on evolution:
We posit that, along with moisture seasonality, widespread and repeated exposure of plants to freezing temperatures during the Pennsylvanian influenced the evolution of notable aspects of later Paleozoic plant physiology (e.g., in glossopterids and conifers). Plant adaptations to drought can enable plants to resist damage from freezing temperatures and vice versa.
But the trees could have just died and gone extinct, right? What power does freezing have to confer adaptation in conifers? Ah, freezing drives natural selection, which drives adaptation, which drives evolutionary progress:
For plants lacking either freeze or drought adaptation, it may have been a particularly restrictive episode and a prolonged period of heightened natural selection in plant evolution.
Falcon-Lang praises Matthaeus et al. for giving us understanding with their climate tool:
In PNAS, Matthaeus et al. transform our understanding of Pennsylvanian forests in a genuinely surprising way. Through ingenious climate–vegetation models integrated with inferences of process-based physiology, they reveal that frost was a key process in influencing these ancient ecosystems, and they explore the major ramifications of this central finding for the evolution of life and the Earth system. In doing they breathe life into the coalified remains of long-dead fossils and shed a cold, frosty light on ancient forests.
Climate Creates Dinosaurs
Dinosaurs’ ascent driven by volcanoes powering climate change (University of Birmingham, 27 Sept 2021 press release). Here comes “the rise of” another innovation by climate. “The rise of dinosaurs coincided with environmental changes driven by major volcanic eruptions over 230 million years ago, a new study reveals.” So is this correlation or causation? They answer the question:
“Our results show that large volcanic eruptions can occur in multiple, discrete pulses -demonstrating their powerful ability to alter the global carbon cycle, cause climate and hydrological disruption and drive evolutionary processes,” added co-author Dr Sarah Greene, Senior Lecturer also in the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Birmingham.
Dr Emma Dunne, a Palaeobiologist also at the the University of Birmingham, who was not involved in the study, commented: “This relatively long period of volcanic activity and environmental change would have had considerable consequences for animals on land. At this time, the dinosaurs had just begun to diversify, and it’s likely that without this event, they would never have reached their ecological dominance we see over the next 150 million years.”
Professor Hilton also added “In addition to dinosaurs, this remarkable period in Earth history was also important for the rise of modern conifer groups and had a major impact on the evolution of terrestrial ecosystems and animal and plant life – including ferns, crocodiles, turtles, insects and the first mammals.”
So, the prof says, the “rise of conifers” due to climate had an impact on the evolution of turtles. Did you get a rise out of that idea? The evolutionists clearly got a rise out of it. Climate change can now explain the rise of a lot of things that were mysterious under standard Darwinism. Climate has profound “influence” on the evolution of trees, dinosaurs, and civilization – key innovations that older generations had attributed to intelligent design. This should be a testable hypothesis. Put some bugs in the freezer, and put other bugs in the oven. See which one experiences “the rise of” innovations first.
In the above paper, Howard Falcon-Lang mentions something that should be problematic for evolutionists: the worldwide occurrence of thick coal beds. He recalls 200 years of hard work by coal hunters exploring coal beds in Appalachia, the Ruhr and South Wales, then says:
These hard-won fossil discoveries reveal that primeval vegetation choked almost every conceivable terrestrial environment from boggy deltas to rugged mountain terrains. Especially tantalizing is the localized preservation of whole forested landscapes, allowing scientists to walk for miles through the coalified stands of upright fossil trees. Yet, despite being entombed with such remarkable fidelity, Pennsylvanian forests remain deeply mysterious ecosystems, lacking even remotely close living relatives for comparison.
He should be aware that other upright fossil forests were wrongly attributed to gradual processes, until a modern analogue showed them forming rapidly by catastrophic processes like at Mt. St. Helens (28 Sept 2015). For someone confused about “deeply mysterious ecosystems,” he should read some of the creation geology literature.