June 24, 2022 | David F. Coppedge

Green Darwinism Wilts Under Questioning

When plants first came ashore, they say, the world turned green
with trees and flowers. But how? They evolved. They just evolved.


Cell Press has just published a grand tale about how land plants evolved. “The greening ashore,” an open-access document with somewhat cartoony-looking graphics, is now online under the banner Trends in Plant Science (20 June 2022), ready to indoctrinate another generation of skulls full of mush, as the late Rush Limbaugh would say of students never offered alternative points of view. It will likely succeed, because critical thinkers are summarily absent from the discussion.

If questions were allowed, though, a reading of this document would become tedious immediately. The critical questioner would be interrupting the text every few words. Here’s how it might go starting at the opening Highlights section:

  • Two decisive endosymbiotic events,Who witnessed this alleged endosymbiotic event? Does anything like that happen today? Why not? How did the endosymbiont’s genes get into the nucleus?
  • the emergence of eukaryotesEmergence is a miracle word. Are you invoking the unscientific Stuff Happens Law?
  • followed by the further incorporation,How did that happen? Do you know about problems with endosymbiosis? (29 June 2020)
  • of a photosynthesizingPhotosynthesis is way irreducibly complex! Are you assuming a main thing you need to prove?
  • cyanobacteriumCyanobacteria are tremendously complex creatures! How can you assume they just evolved?
  • laid the foundationFoundations are usually laid by intelligent minds with foresight and a plan.
  • for the development of plant lifeYou’re using “development” as a miracle word and synonym for evolution.
  • Increasing cellular complexity,But life devolves. It doesn’t get more complex without a huge influx of new genetic information.
  • the development ofThere you go again. You’re assuming evolution without proving it by using miracle words.
  • new body plans,Body plans are hierarchical patterns on patterns, more complex than cars. They don’t just “develop” by chance!
  • new molecular adaptations,Molecules are blind. They don’t know or care how to make a multicellular organism adapt.
  • and constant colonizationPlants colonize because they were pre-designed to colonize. It would be easier for them to die.
  • of novel habitats… Organisms not pre-adapted for novel habitats would die. The environment doesn’t make them adapt.
  • probably paved the way… Where is your probability calculation? I want to see some numbers. I have some.
  • for plant evolution… I don’t accept your premise that plants evolved from sea slime. Show me.
  • from fresh water to salt water… Don’t you mean from salt water to fresh water? That’s a huge change requiring molecular pumps.
  • and, at least 500 million years ago,… You don’t have the collateral to make such reckless drafts on the bank of time.
  • to land….  The land surface and the atmosphere would be deadly without finely-tuned prerequisite conditions. Read The Miracle of Man by Michael Denton.
  • The history of plant life,… …is not what you think it is.
  • and particularly the greening ashore,… Green means chlorophyll, which is made and maintained by molecular machines.
  • is inseparably linked to the success of all life as we know it today… You don’t know the half of it and what that requires.
  • Plant life enriched the atmosphere… They enrich the atmosphere because the atmosphere was already prepared for plants.
  • with oxygen and fixed CO2,… Atmospheric oxygen and carbon dioxide exist within finely-tuned limits.
  • thereby paving the way… Paving is usually done by intelligent designers with foresight and intelligence.
  • for the success of further life… Evolution has no obligation to give any organism success. Extinction is easier.
  • in this previously hostile habitat… Were you there? Are you getting your world pictures from cartoon books?
  • – and ultimately enabled… Plants don’t enable things. They co-exist with them in highly intricate interactions.
  • the emergenceThere you go with more miracle words. Complex animals and plants don’t just “emerge” by chance.
  • of our own species.   If scientists are emergent products of blind evolution, then kiss truth and morality good-bye.

To avoid reader burnout, we’ll stop there. Suffice it to say that the whole article is like this. The authors make assertion after assertion with no evidence or argument. It is pure indoctrination. If someone was to pose these questions or objections to the authors, their stock answer would be, “It evolved because it evolved.” More probably, they would storm out the door demanding expulsion of the questioner.

One of the cartoony graphics in the article. Highly complex machines and body plans simply “appear” or “emerge” in evolutionary thinking. Just give it millions of years, and chance does the miracles.

One of the authors, Sven Gould, aired his faith in the Stuff Happens Law before. In Evolution News 21 May 2018, he described the complexities of cell membranes, with all their channels and molecular machines, only to turn right around and call them “a product of roughly four billion years of evolution; beginning with the origin of prokaryotic life, through the split into bacteria and archaea, the origin of eukaryotes two billion years ago, and up to the present day.” The origin of. The evolution of. The emergence of. Stuff just happens.

It’s not just these three authors who are misleading the public. It’s all over secular academia. Darwinians at the University of Bonn, for instance, claimed on June 9 that cyanobacteria discovered the “lotus effect” of superhydrophobicity and passed it on the higher plants, like the lotus, which is well known for the ability to repel water. Look at this sparkling instance of glittering generalities:

The work impressively shows how superhydrophoby evolved from bacteria to green algae, slime molds, mosses and ferns, via the most primitive flowering plant Amborella to lotus leaves. There are a billion years of evolution behind an effect that today has found an everyday industrial application as superhydrophobicity biomimetic.

So our best engineers are using intelligent design to mimic this ability (17 Oct 2006), but a bacterium did it all by itself, by chance. Incredible.

Detecting Snow Jobs

To see what’s wrong with the Trends in Plant Science paper, don’t be distracted by the jargon. You don’t have to know terms like Chloroplastida, Phragmoplastophyta and Tracheophyta. Botanists and taxonomists including great creation believers like John Ray and Carolus Linnaeus knew all about traits and classifications of plants, and marveled at their designs. Watch, instead, for the miracle terms: emergence, development, origin, evolution. Look for the perhapsimaybecouldness index words: could have been selected for, probably evolved,Perhaps the ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen was important, perhaps not….” What? Nitrogen fixation is a mystery that biochemists have been unable to crack! It’s performed by root bacteria. Without that in place, there would be no fertilized soil with the nitrogen required for nucleic acids, proteins and enzymes.

The language indicates that the evolutionists are making things up as they go, hoping it will snow the uninformed. A prior commitment to big-bang-to-man evolution is the framework on which they hang selected bits of verbiage. Surprisingly, the word “evidence” only appears 3 times, and two of them are about the need for more evidence. The other is a glittering generality, “a single last universal common ancestor (LUCA) of all extant life, to which all credible evidence points“— but Drs Mike Keas and Paul Nelson beg to differ, using actual detailed evidence (Evolution News, 27 May 2022).

Also look for glossing over problems. Where is any mention of Darwin’s Abominable Mystery, the origin of angiosperms (Evolution News, 11 June 2021)? There are “gaps everywhere” in the record, says PhD paleontologist Günter Bechly (part 2, 12 June 2021), but the article mentions no fossils to fill any of those gaps. Instead, the authors hum “waltz of the flowers” as they imagine this grand Darwin ballet running itself without a director, playwright or observer. Not calling attention to those problems is a great disservice to vulnerable students listening with rapt attention to this one-sided melodrama, where the villains are dastardly Darwin doubters and the heroine is Tinker Bell.

Dr Margaret Helder, PhD in botany, wrote about problems with endosymbiosis (29 June 2020), the origin of liverworts (27 March 2020 and 30 March 2020), the origin of photosynthesis (10 Feb 2020), the origin of vascular plants and leaves (8 June 2020) and more; see all her articles on her Author Profile page. Should the authors pretend these problems don’t exist?

The way secular scientists speak: don’t let nasty details interrupt the approved scenario.

Finally, look for futureware. Evolutionists have a bad habit of storing their missing data in future cabinets, so that everybody will forget the claims when the cabinets come up empty years from now. We see that in this snow job of a presentation:

  • Exploring how life evolved on land requires the study of fossils, the geochemical record, and more so the expansion of genomic resources for subsequent comparative and evolutionary developmental studies.
  • A detailed understanding of the present biodiversity, its evolutionary history, and its ability to adapt and acclimate to new conditions will enable us to thoughtfully address the current challenges and put us on track for a sustainable future.
  • Anthropogenic rapid climate change exposes crops and other life on land to strong adaptive pressures, not unlike to the adaptation that was necessary when algae and later on land plants first conquered land. Deeper understanding of how plants adapt to a changing environment might allow us to help terrestrial life and ecosystems to cope with these changes.
  • To fully understand how plants conquered land, knowledge and methods from a wide range of disciplines such as geology, paleobotany, biophysics, biochemistry, cell biology, and genetics will need to be merged with modern sequencing, bioinformatic, and phylogenomic tools.

And so, readers of this paper, overcome with awe at the erudite Jargonwocky, not realizing that they have been had, leap into biology careers to tackle all the “outstanding questions” at the bottom of the paper: “What are evolutionary principles of complexity establishment, such as multicellularity, embryogenesis/alternation of generations, and polyplastidy?” They will hardly notice that these are all evolutionary questions. The authors send them out on a hopeless quest to fill in the blanks of a narrative that has been prefabricated to allow only evolutionary answers. No criticisms of the paradigm are allowed. Violators will be censored and sent into academic exile.

Truth lies moaning in the street.

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