Evolutionists Ask Wrong Questions
Belief in Darwinian evolution blinds the eyes of smart people,
making obvious questions invisible in plain sight.
Science often advances or slows depending on the questions that are asked, and the questions open for discussion are (as Thomas Kuhn argued) limited by the consensus paradigm. The paradigm, or worldview of a particular field of science, forms a mental picture of what the issues are, what questions are worth asking, what puzzles remain to be solved, and even what terminology should be used to approach the subject.
Few are the maverick researchers willing to work outside the box. They are often ignored or shunned. The paradigm runs on inertia until anomalies crop up. Enough anomalies frustrate the paradigm until fresh minds (usually younger scientists) try a different paradigm. When the new paradigm becomes a consensus, a scientific revolution occurs, but often there are many die-hards who cannot let go of the old one.
It’s a simplified story of how science operates, but there are plenty of historical examples of this “structure of scientific revolutions” that can be adduced in support of it. Among the strongest, most impregnable paradigms of all is scientific materialism that embraces Darwinian evolution. Doubting that can get one expelled from the scientific community. The young mavericks in this case are members of the intelligent design movement (IDM).
Asking Right Questions
One of the last works by the late Berkeley law professor Phillip Johnson was called The Right Questions: Truth, Meaning & Public Debate (InterVarsity Press, 2002). In the book, he wished to “take the lid off public debate” because the “the reigning naturalistic philosophy not only quenches public debate but also constrains our discussions to ask the wrong questions.” Johnson proceeded to ask some bold, provocative questions not so much to assume he had answers, but to illustrate the kinds of questions a naturalist would never ask.
In this article, let’s look at some puzzle-solving projects that Darwinians are working on, and consider why they are working on that puzzle but ignoring a bigger puzzle like an elephant in the room. The elephant may be stamping its feet and trumpeting, but they cannot hear or see it. Blinded by their consensus, they remain focused on their own questions and can only fathom the paradigm’s way of approaching it.
Example 1: Paleoanthropology
Famous rock art cave in Spain was used by ancient humans for over 50,000 years (from PLoS via Science Daily, 1 June 2022). Within the Darwinian paradigm, Deep Time is a foundational assumption. Darwin’s branching “tree of life” puts the origin of Homo (hominids with sufficient brain size, upright posture and other traits to be considered human) many tens or hundreds of thousands of years before the present—some as far back as 3 million years! This assumption is so ingrained, it is never questioned or doubted. Because of that, it never occurs for any evolutionist to ask an obvious question: How could fully modern humans, equivalent to us mentally and physically (if not superior in some ways), use the same darn cave for so long?
A combination of radiometric dating and analysis of remains and artifacts within the cave provide evidence that the site’s first occupants were likely Neanderthals over 65,000 years ago. Modern humans arrived later, around 35,000 years ago, and used the cave sporadically until as recently as the beginning of the Copper Age. The oldest rock art in the cave consists of abstract signs such as dots, finger tips, and hand-stencils created with red pigment, while later artwork depicts figurative paintings such as animals. Human remains indicate the use of the cave as a burial place in the Holocene, but evidence of domestic activities is extremely poor, suggesting humans were not living in the cave.
The Darwin paradigm with its evolutionary timeline forces them to str-r-r-e-t-t-ch the time for human visitation in this cave to 50,000 years. Fifty thousand years! Think about that. All of recorded human history amounts to 6,000 to 10,000 years at a maximum. That’s when archaeologists have symbolic writing linked to civilization (e.g., ancient Ur or Sumer). The cities of Damascus and Jericho may be the oldest continuously inhabited sites on earth, but those only go back about 4,000 years. Even so, they have changed drastically in that time. This cave, though, visited for 50,000 years? with very little change? Is that credible?
Note: Radiometric dating is subject to unverifiable assumptions, and must be understood to play second fiddle to the paradigm (i.e., uncooperative dates are thrown out).
Setting aside the issue of radiometric dating for a moment, consider what questions the evolutionists are not considering. We know from human nature that people are restless. Hunting and gathering gets old. The young and the restless start looking for ways to do things better or change tradition. It doesn’t take long, either: civilized man went from mud huts to the moon and explored all the planets in just 6,000 years. Are the evolutionists really expecting people to believe that strong, thoughtful men and women before the Copper Age were content with the same-ol’, same-ol’ lifestyle for multiple times the length of all the recorded history of civilization? Did not a single one consider the utility of domesticating a horse to get around until about 10,000 years ago or less? Didn’t any high-IQ Homo sapiens think about building a permanent dwelling, planting a crop or building a city? The Bible says that the offspring of Adam did that within a couple of generations. The data in the story could easily fit within a couple of centuries, but not 50,000 years. Any dating method that leads to the evolutionary timeline’s level of absurdity does not deserve anyone’s confidence.
These evolutionists say that the earliest art in the cave was primitive and later art was decorative. But did that really take 30,000 years? Were hundreds of generations of Neanderthals content to paint dots and finger tips on the walls, never moving on to something better for 30,000 years? Why are there not ten-thousands of dots on the walls from so many generations? Look how quickly and how frequently historical art changed between the Renaissance and modern art. Similar rapid rates of change appeared in everything else: music, technology, diet. Recall that Neanderthals and “modern humans” (hardly different at all) were skilled at using fire, making weapons, building boats to travel to islands and covering large distances over land long before they entered this cave (assuming the evolutionary timeline for the sake of argument). The evolutionary timeline for Homo looks more absurd the more anyone open to questioning the paradigm ponders it. These questions are invisible to Darwinians.
Update 9 June 2022: Another example of anthropological blindness is seen in a press release from Max Planck Institute today. The scientists believe that islands in Indonesia were inhabited by modern humans for 46,000 years—yet the first evidence of farming they can point to only goes back 3,500 years. What were perfectly normal humans doing for the 42,500 years prior to that? That represents five or six times all recorded human history from stone huts to the space program.
Example 2: Polar Dinosaurs and Plants
Precipitation helped drive distribution of Alaska dinosaurs (University of Alaska at Fairbanks, 29 April 2022). This press release, and the paper it’s based on, appear very scholarly and scientific at first glance. But again, their commitment to Deep Time blinds them to the absurdity of thinking that dinosaurs endured warm and wet climate conditions in Alaska for unimaginable lengths of time—tens of millions of years. No scientist has ever witnessed or experienced such time spans.
Precipitation more than temperature influenced the distribution of herbivorous dinosaurs in what is now Alaska, according to new research published this month.
The finding, published April 2 in the journal Geosciences, discusses the distribution of hadrosaurids and ceratopsids — the megaherbivores of the Late Cretaceous Period, 100.5 million to 66 million years ago.
What out-of-the-box questions can you think of from this statement? How much could have changed in 34 million years, which is more than 340 times recorded history? (Ponder that.) The site on the Colville River in Alaska, furthermore, is remarkable for its exquisite preservation of dinosaur bones packed into a river bank. The paper in Geosciences assumes that dinosaurs lived and died in a relatively warm and wet climate for all this time in the same floodplain area, lying down and getting buried, year after century after millennium after million years. A lot can happen in a million years! Geologist Monte Fleming, PhD, has calculated that all the land on earth could be washed out to the ocean in 22 million years.
Then the authors turn their study into a warning about climate change, as if the current political climate requires mentioning that. Why are they not questioning the slow-and-gradual burial of so many dinosaurs in the river banks stacked on top of each other? Could they not envision a one-time event that buried the bones? Why doesn’t the fresh condition of the bones attract their attention? Why aren’t they looking for soft tissue preservation that would indicate the bones are much younger than thought? No one in the authors’ academic milieu would even think of such questions—not because they are unreasonable questions, but because the reigning evolutionary paradigm drives the way these scientists “see” the evidence in front of them.
Palms at the Poles: Fossil Plants Reveal Lush Southern Hemisphere Forests in Ancient Hothouse Climate (University of Connecticut, 31 May 2022). These UConn’ers at the Yukon believe Earth was a hothouse for 15 million years, long before humans drove around on fossil fuels. They stare at fossil plants near the poles that admittedly look young, but they must believe they sat there for 40 to 50 million Darwin Years through all the vagaries of geology and astronomy—only to become visible now.
For decades, paleobotanist David Greenwood has collected fossil plants from Australia – some so well preserved it’s hard to believe they’re millions of years old. These fossils hold details about the ancient world in which they thrived, and Greenwood and a team of researchers including climate modeler and research David Hutchinson, from the University of New South Wales, and UConn Department of Geosciences paleobotanist Tammo Reichgelt, have begun the process of piecing together the evidence to see what more they could learn from the collection. Their findings are published in Paleoceanography & Paleoclimatology.
The fossils date back 55 to 40 million years ago, during the Eocene epoch. At that time, the world was much warmer and wetter, and these hothouse conditions meant there were palms at the North and South Pole and predominantly arid landmasses like Australia were lush and green. Reichgelt and co-authors looked for evidence of differences in precipitation and plant productivity between then and now.
Question: if the world got along in hothouse conditions for 15 million years back then, long before humans arrived (in their paradigm), why the worry about climate change today? Notice how their answer is driven by the Darwinian paradigm and by the current political climate:
With increasing carbon emissions, there is more research going into studying what happens in the biosphere with increased photosynthetic activity and water use efficiency in plants. Reichgelt explains that modern plants have not had the time to evolve to changing CO2 conditions. However, by looking to the past, we can glean some of that information.
“It obviously will take a long time for plants to adapt to changing CO2 levels, but fossil floras allow us to peek into the biosphere of ancient hothouse worlds.”
Their story asserts that evolution needs time for adapting to changing CO2 levels. But other times they will say that evolution is super-fast, capable of rapid “bursts” of change (see 6 June 2022). Why don’t the evolutionists question their assumptions about what plants are able to do and how long it takes? Why do they assume that today’s plants lost the ability to adapt that they once had? There’s a subtext under this story: climate change was natural in the past, but humans today must be blamed for it.
Example 3: Microbiology and Ecology
What guppy guts can teach us about evolution (Michigan State University, 26 May 2022). Darwin, Darwin, Darwin. Evolve, Evolve, Evolve. Two profs named Sarah at MSU are so obsessed with evolution they just cannot think outside the box. Guppy guts: right. The microbiomes inside the guppies of Trinidad become their crystal balls into evolution, the way livers became divination tools for ancient Babylonians. Looking for Darwin’s face in the guppy guts gives them understanding. It gives them insight. Darwinism forces them into asking Darwinian questions, even though the intricate design of bacteria stares back at them through the microscope lens (see Evolution News, 7 June 2022 and 6 June 2022). To Sarah Fitzpatrick and Sarah Evans, evolution is the only item on the agenda, the only tool in the toolbox, the only thought in their heads.
- Michigan State research reveals how Trinidadian guppies can help understand the gut microbiome as organisms evolve.
- But thanks to a unique combination of biology and ecology, the guppies have provided researchers with insights into evolution for decades.
- Evans and Fitzpatrick are interested in some of biology’s big-picture questions and wanted to better understand how microbiomes change as organisms evolve.
- “Because the microbiome affects fitness — an organism’s health and reproduction — it can affect evolution,” said Evans….
- Along their evolutionary path, termites adapted to welcome populations of single-celled protozoans into their guts that enable them to digest wood.
- Giant pandas provide another example. Diet impacts a microbiome and pandas eat only leaves. Yet panda microbiomes can more closely resemble that of their carnivorous relatives than some of their plant-eating kin. That’s likely due to the shape and size of the panda’s gut itself, which evolved from a carnivorous ancestor.
- Evans and Fitzpatrick wanted to better investigate what are the biggest drivers of microbiomes as host organisms evolve.
- “Given that we know guppies evolve really fast in parallel ways, we could ask how does the microbiome change as guppies evolve,” Fitzpatrick said.
Example 4: Public Health
Modeling the evolution of the US opioid crisis for national policy development (UCLA authors, PNAS 31 May 2022). This example is really telling. Ten evolutionary eggheads at UCLA explore the opioid crisis as an evolutionary problem! No kidding. Look at how the paradigm determines the questions and applications.
The opioid crisis remains one of the greatest public health challenges in the United States. The crisis is complex, with long delays and feedbacks between policy actions and their effects, which creates a risk of unintended consequences and complicates policy decision-making. We present SOURCE (Simulation of Opioid Use, Response, Consequences, and Effects), an operationally detailed national-level model of the opioid crisis, intended to enhance understanding of the crisis and guide policy decisions. Drawing on multiple data sources, SOURCE replicates how risks of opioid misuse initiation and overdose have evolved over time in response to behavioral and other changes and suggests how those risks may evolve in the future, providing a basis for projecting and analyzing potential policy impacts and solutions.
Nowhere in this paper do they discuss the most obvious factors behind the crisis: the open borders from Mexico through which evil men in cartels traffic fentanyl and other dangerous drugs into America. You can’t find the words cartel, Mexico, trafficking, border, or Biden anywhere in this paper. Nor do they explore the motivations of drug companies to push doctors to prescribe more opioids. Fentanyl and opioid overdose is the leading cause of death for adults aged 18 to 45, with over 100,000 in the last year, report conservative outlets. But the Darwin-saturated liberal establishment in Big Science cannot bring itself to acknowledge any of these most obvious factors behind the crisis. All they see is evolution. It’s like watching adults getting their heads bashed in and attributing the problem to the evolution of the hammer.
Unbelievable. Those not drunk on Darwine must be wagging their heads at how so many intelligent people can be so blind. But isn’t that what Jesus and Paul described in their day? The Apostle John quoted Isaiah to describe the unbelief of people as blindness: people who had witnessed Jesus perform miracles and yet did not repent and believe him: “He [God] has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and turn, and I would heal them.” Only a few believed and then saw, because most “loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.” The Apostle Paul wrote in II Corinthians 4,
And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
After his years of missionary journeys, Paul looked back on the purpose of God’s call to him on the road to Damascus. He said the risen Christ told him it was “to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me” (Acts 26:18).
If in a time of unprecedented eyeball evidence of the power of God, only a comparative few believed and had their spiritual eyes opened, we should not expect naturalistic scientists today to achieve clearer vision.