Darwin’s Tree Chopped Down
Evolutionists lied, people died, but you
can trust what they’re saying now.
‘Sorry that snake oil didn’t work as promised, but try our new, improved formula!’
It’s rare to hear any evolutionist admit major flaws with their theory. Some will fix a twig or branch here or there, but Matthew Wills showed extraordinary contrition in a piece recently about one of the central concepts in all of Darwinism. And he ought to know; he is a professor of evolutionary paleontology at the University of Bath, UK.
Evolutionary tree of life: modern science is showing how we got so much wrong (The Conversation, 23 June 2022).
For the moment, we can overlook Professor Wills’ tontological slip-up, using “we” as if everybody should be included in the wrongdoing. It was certainly not creationists, who never accepted Darwin’s evolutionary tree of life in the first place; they prefer the tree of life mentioned in Genesis and Revelation in the Bible. Darwin invented his branching tree concept with a scribble in his notebook, suggesting that all creatures on earth are connected by universal common descent. The way that tree grew, he further hypothesized, was by the Stuff Happens Law, “that empirically unattested sub-variant of chance he chose to term natural selection” (Neil Thomas, Evolution News, 7 April 2022).
Ever since intellectual elites in the 1880s swooned over evolution, and especially since neo-Darwinism succeeded in censoring all academic doubters of natural selection in the 1930s, Darwin’s disciples have been preoccupied with building trees of life. The erudite name is “phylogenetic trees.” These trees appear in almost every evolutionary research paper. Any new fossil find is immediately placed within its slot in the geologic column. After that placement decision, evolutionary paleontologists like Matthew Wills tell the public with simulated bravado how many millions of Darwin Years old it is. The phylogeneticists set to work drawing all its evolutionary relationships to imagined ancestors, enjoying their insider debates about which connections have the fewest problems. Software helps solve some disputes, as long as nobody complains that the software assumes Darwin’s tree and guarantees a fit. Phylogenetics is designed to force-fit problematic leaves onto mythical branches, whether by computer or by hand.
In recent decades, however, evolutionists have had the ability to make molecular comparisons. Assuming that the degree of similarity between genes or proteins indicates the degree of relationship, the Darwinians have tried building their trees using molecular similarities instead of comparing fossils or body plans (morphology). Alas, the molecular trees rarely match the pen-and-paper drawings based on morphological similarities. This is what led to Matthew Wills’ admission that evolutionary biologists “got so much wrong” with the evolutionary tree of life. He says,
As our new research shows, appearances can be deceptive when it comes to family. New DNA technology is shaking up the family trees of many plants and animals.
The primates, to which humans belong, were once thought to be close relatives of bats because of some similarities in our skeletons and brains. However, DNA data now places us in a group that includes rodents (rats and mice) and rabbits. Astonishingly, bats turn out to be more closely related to cows, horses and even rhinoceroses than they are to us.
Who would have dreamed that bats are like horses. They sure don’t look alike, except for maybe Pegasus. And now, epithets like ‘Are you a man or a mouse?’ and ‘You dirty rat!’ are sounding scientific.
Wills’ contrition proved to be short-lived. It wasn’t his fault. It wasn’t the Darwinists’ fault. It was the evidence‘s fault!
Scientists in Darwin’s time and through most of the 20th century could only work out the branches of the evolutionary tree of life by looking at the structure and appearance of animals and plants. Life forms were grouped according to similarities thought to have evolved together.
About three decades ago, scientists started using DNA data to build “molecular trees”. Many of the first trees based on DNA data were at odds with the classical ones. Sloths and anteaters, armadillos, pangolins (scaly anteaters) and aardvarks were once thought to belong together in a group called edentates (“no teeth”), since they share aspects of their anatomy. Molecular trees showed that these traits evolved independently in different branches of the mammal tree. It turns out that aardvarks are more closely related to elephants while pangolins are more closely related to cats and dogs.
Earlier Darwinists were doing the best with what they had. You couldn’t blame them. It was the darned evidence that misled them. Who could blame evolutionists for thinking that armadillos and pangolins were related? They both have scaly skin. Who could blame them for thinking that anteaters and aardvarks are related? They both eat ants with long snouts.
All along, Darwinians had labored within their holy pursuit of building the True Tree, but nature was deceptive. It misled them. The True Tree only becomes evident now when they use molecules for divination and stop trusting their eyeballs.
For the first time, our recent paper cross-referenced location, DNA data and appearance for a range of animals and plants. We looked at evolutionary trees based on appearance or on molecules for 48 groups of animals and plants, including bats, dogs, monkeys, lizards and pine trees. Evolutionary trees based on DNA data were two-thirds more likely to match with the location of the species compared with traditional evolution maps. In other words, previous trees showed several species were related based on appearance. Our research showed they were far less likely to live near each other compared to species linked by DNA data.
But then, why do so many unrelated animals look alike? Ah, Wills explains, evolution has limits. It can only do what the environment tells it to do.
Similar wing shapes and muscles evolved in different groups because the physics of generating thrust and lift in air are always the same. It is much the same with eyes, which may have evolved 40 times in animals, and with only a few basic “designs”.
Our eyes are similar to squid’s eyes, with a crystalline lens, iris, retina and visual pigments. Squid are more closely related to snails, slugs and clams than us. But many of their mollusc relatives have only the simplest of eyes.
He puts “designs” in scare quotes, because he doesn’t want readers to be misled into thinking that the designs are intelligent. No; evolution created only the appearance of design, even though the eyes of squid have all these critical working parts arranged like in cameras to take detailed video images. One must never entertain the thought that sophisticated biological organs came about by intelligent design!
So how does one know when a design is fake or real? That’s where faith is needed. The experts can help with that. Embedded in the article is an advertisement for The Conversation: “Don’t let yourself be misled. Understand issues with help from experts.” And Matthew Wills is an expert. He must be; he teaches evolutionary paleontology at a university. He was wrong before. Three times he says that certain animals “were once thought” to be related, but the new divination technique shows they are not. Who thought that? Wills and all his Darwin Party colleagues.
No Worries, Mate
But now they know better. They know that similarities can evolve independently dozens of times in unrelated animals. Evolution is sneakier and more deceptive than they ever imagined.
Should they be fired for having gotten “so much wrong” before? They’re not at any risk of that. Since Darwin granted evolutionists job security for storytelling, the future looks bright. Haeckel the Fraud had printed detailed drawings of Darwin trees to illustrate the old story.
Many of his ideas about evolutionary relationships were held until recently. As it becomes easier and cheaper to obtain and analyse large volumes of molecular data, there will be many more surprises in store.
“Were held until recently”? Who held them? Did you? Or was it the experts? Don’t be sad for them. When people can be wrong for over a century and still keep their jobs, surprises are fun!
We know that this article may disturb some readers. Try the new, improved Darwin snake oil. It is sure to relieve pain caused by doubts about evolutionary science. How? It has a dormitive virtue. Its vapors are soporific. Now just lie down and repeat millionssss of yearzzzzzzzz until uneasy thoughts drift away. The experts will take care of things.