Silly Darwin Stories Continue
Macroevolutionary theory is in tatters, but it
hasn’t stopped Darwin storytellers from fantasizing
Here are some of the latest upchucks from the Darwin Sausage Factory of Imagined Confabulations.
How fish evolved to walk – and in one case, turned into humans (The Conversation, 3 March 2023). Watch Chris Organ at the University of Reading tell fish stories to the kiddos. This one is a whopper.
When you think about human evolution, there’s a good chance you’re imagining chimpanzees exploring ancient forests or early humans daubing woolly mammoths on to cave walls. But we humans, along with bears, lizards, hummingbirds and the Tyrannosaurus rex, are actually lobe-finned fish.
It might sound bizarre but the evidence is in our genes, anatomy and in fossils. We belong to a group of animals called land-dwelling sarcopterygians, but vast amounts of evolutionary change have obscured our appearance.
Influenza viruses may have originated in fish 600 million years ago (New Scientist, 1 March 2023). Blame a sturgeon, says Carissa Wong. Ask her, “Were you there?” Hopefully the fish had waterproof tissues around for blowing their noses.
Jurassic shark – Shark from the Jurassic period was already highly evolved (University of Wien, 28 Feb 2023). A shark fossil said to be 150 million years old was already highly evolved. Other kinds of sharks went extinct. So where’s the evolution?
The results of the analysis were startling: Protospinax was neither a “missing link” nor a ray nor a primitive shark – but a highly evolved shark….
Even though cartilaginous fishes as a group have survived to this day, most species disappeared during its evolution, including Protospinax. Why Protospinax became extinct at the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary some 145 million years ago and why there is no comparable shark species today, while the ecologically similarly adapted rays exist relatively unchanged to this day, remains a mystery at this point.
Evolution: Mini-proteins in human organs appeared ‘from nowhere’ (Phys.org, 17 Feb 2023). The Stuff Happens Law is so versatile, it can include miracles. Mini-proteins appeared from nowhere, this article says millions of years ago, and still interact with today’s proteins. Look how flexible the storytellers can be, leaping over huge gaps in a single bound:
Ruiz-Orera’s bioinformatic gene analyses revealed that most human microproteins developed millions of years later in the evolutionary process than the larger proteins currently known to scientists.
Yet the huge age gap doesn’t appear to prevent the proteins from “talking” to each other. “Our lab experiments showed that the young and old proteins can bind to each other—and in doing so possibly influence each other,” says lead author Dr. Jana Schulz, a researcher in Hübner’s team and at the DZHK. She therefore suspects that contrary to long-held assumptions, the microproteins play a key role in a variety of cellular functions. The young proteins might also be heavily involved in evolutionary development thanks to comparatively rapid “innovations and adaptations.”
“It’s possible that evolution is more dynamic than previously thought,” says van Heesch.
Long-tailed macaques react with disappointment when their expectations are not met: Evolutionary insights into fairness (Phys.org, 2 March 2023). That’s nothing. Dogs fight over their food, too.
Humans have a strong sense of equity. If we believe that resources are being unfairly or wrongly distributed, we make this clear—with protest. This controlling behavior promotes successful cooperation and partly explains why cooperation has been a winning strategy in human evolution.
Look: if fairness evolved, it isn’t fair. And if you say you believe fairness evolved, you don’t really believe it. Your selfish genes are manipulating you as their strategy to gain higher fitness at your expense.
Parental investment may have aided evolution of larger brains (PLoS Biology, 28 Feb 2023). Have you noticed how the Darwinian storytellers always qualify their claims with escape words? Parents “may have” aided evolution. Well, maybe it may NOT have. Maybe parental involvement was taught to them in their consciences by God. How would they prove that wrong?
Curly hair may have evolved to protect early humans from the sun (New Scientist, 14 Feb 2023). Michael LePage still doesn’t get Darwinism. He thinks mutational mistakes “evolve to” do something for a purpose. There is no purpose in evolution; stuff just happens.
When some humans left Africa and moved into cooler climes, the selective pressure for tightly coiled hair would have been lost, says Lasisi, allowing variations to emerge from generation to generation by random chance, but the trait may have re-evolved in some peoples.
What this article reveals is that LePage is a racist, despite his protestations to the contrary. He thinks different humans evolved differently. Are the curly-hairs more evolved than the straight-hairs? Who is the fittest? Note to LePage: all human beings are one species, Homo sapiens, and are interfertile. This is not evolution.
It would take 23 million years for evolution to replace Madagascar’s endangered mammals (Field Museum via Phys.org, 15 Jan 2023). Good science should be testable, so we have a suggestion for the storyteller who wrote this headline. Go to Madagascar with a lounge chair and binoculars. Wait 23 million years. If you’re right, let us know.
That’s enough for now. Nobody should have to endure any more of this at one time.