Unmasking Evolutionary Fairy Tales
They sound so scholarly, but the tales fall apart
without the secret miracle flubber. Here’s how to find it.
Big, bold letters against black and yellow backgrounds announce that you have entered the hallowed halls of academia, where intellectual wizards are about to tell the commoners how things came to be. Today’s wizards are from the University of Tokyo, where they will reveal the latest “research news.” Drum roll, please:
Mammals’ noses come from reptiles’ jaws (University of Tokyo). “Evolutionary development of facial bones studied in embryos and fossils.” The following tale must be true. They have fossils, don’t they? They looked at genes. What could be more scientific, more certain?
New examinations of skeletons and animal embryos have allowed researchers to discover how mammals developed protruding, flexible noses. This study contributes to uncovering the origin of mammals’ strong sense of smell and creates the potential for new animal models, like chickens or frogs, that are often used in lab experiments to investigate facial development disorders such as cleft palate.
How wonderful! The research will help people with developmental disorders. These researchers, bless their hearts, just scored higher on the credibility scoreboard.
The traditional scientific understanding of facial evolution is that both mammalian and reptilian jaws develop in almost the same way. Even though mammals have a unique nose, the evolution of this structure has remained unknown….
The research, recently published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is the first to examine the evolution of facial structure using cellular studies comparing multiple embryos of multiple species.
A first! How characteristic of science: it discovers things. It puts to rest “traditional” scientific understanding with new and improved scientific understanding. We begin to fathom that scientific understanding of “facial evolution” is a secret passageway into the hallowed domains of wisdom. And it was published in the premier journal of the National Academy of Sciences. That ensures that all errors were removed because of peer review, doesn’t it?
Alert! Emotion: Switch Off. Critical Thinking: Switch On.
OK, so what did they do? They compared the embryonic development of a chicken, a gecko, and a mouse. They focused on parts of the embryos called facial prominences; those parts lead to the physical structures of the face. In reptiles, those embryonic cells move backward against facial bones. In mammals, they move toward the tip of the jaw. The soft nose then extends beyond it. This is not surprising, because scientists have long known that all the adult body parts have to grow out of the initial one-celled zygote. The team also looked at the resulting bones in several fossils, living and extinct. Of course in fossils the soft tissues, like flexible noses, can only be inferred, not observed. But can the evolutionists witness one type of animal evolving into another type?
As species’ ancestors accumulated more physical and genetic differences….
Wait a minute! Apollos, the wonder dog and Baloney Detector, sniffs circular reasoning. Are the evolutionary storytellers assuming what they need to prove? Sniff on:
…the bone at the tip of reptiles’ upper jaw, the premaxilla, became smaller and migrated upwards and the bone that was behind it, the septomaxilla, became larger and moved forwards to become mammals’ jaw tip. Researchers say that the facial bones of egg-laying mammals, like the Australian platypus and echidna, provide additional living examples of transitional bone structures from the evolutionarily older reptile model to the more recently evolved mammalian structure.
Cut. Time out. Illegal procedure. They can’t use Darwinian assumptions to prove Darwinism. This begins to sound like the discredited Recapitulation Theory of fraudster Ernst Haeckel, who performed divination on embryos to visualize the animals reliving their evolutionary history. That mind-bending exercise manipulated Haeckel’s hands like a Ouija Board to make him draw embryos that fit the evolutionary vision he was imagining.
But then these modern tale-tellers invoke a literal miracle:
This separation of the nose and jaw gives mammals their unique ability to “sniff,” using muscles to flare the nostrils and deeply inhale odors from the environment.
What? Where did these muscles come from? Did Tinker Bell wave a magic wand?
“This finding is a key innovation in the evolution of our and other mammals’ motile nose, which contributes to mammals’ highly sensitive sense of smell,” said Higashiyama.
Magic Flubber as Adhesive
The storytellers have just glued a chicken, a gecko and a mouse together onto a phylogenetic tree with Darwin Flubber. Those animals struggle to break free, but the Flubber (a miracle potion of emergence + divergence + convergence) holds them tight till the public has been nudged by the diagram to think that they are “seeing” evolution with their very eyes.
Why stop with one miracle? Accepting one miracle makes it easier to accept many more!
Distinguishing and recognizing so many odors may have also helped mammals develop larger, more complex brains than earlier ancestor species.
The Flubber just caused the magical emergence of not just muscles, but brains! Customers stand in awe of the salesman shouting from the rail car. What amazing snake oil! Where can people buy some? The salesman whispers to read the fine print. The bottle is empty, you see; but the real stuff is on back order. It will come in the next batch of futureware, he says, but you can pay now to ensure you don’t miss out.
The recent research has provided physical evidence of the evolutionary shift in premaxilla and septomaxilla arrangement, but separate studies will be needed to identify the genetic causes.
OK, the gig is up. The CEH police move in and arrest the storytellers for impersonating scientists (16 July 2014 commentary).
This is how you unmask evolutionary fairy tales. Look for the Darwin Flubber. Use our Critical Thinking Solvent to dissolve it, and the pieces will fall apart. Do your part to liberate the poor animals trapped in the goo, so that they can be their own intelligently-designed selves.
Keep in mind that similarities can be explained by common design, not common ancestry. Motorcycles, buses, race cars and airplanes all use wheels, but each set of wheels was designed by engineering know-how for its function. Assuming that similar things are related by ancestry is like arranging all the tools in your garage into a phylogenetic tree. Don’t be fooled.