April 13, 2023 | David F. Coppedge

Evolutionists Wing It with Stories

Flight? No problem. Wings pop into existence
like eyes and everything else

 

— It’s a long-lived question that puts Darwinists on the defensive: ‘What use is half a wing?’ —

The question implies that Darwinian theory has problems with macroevolution: the creation of new organs that require multiple parts to work. Dr Michael Behe famously coined the term ‘irreducible complexity’ (IC) for such major changes. Here, we see stories about wings where the storytellers handle IC by winging it. Winging it means faking it: improvising an answer on the fly (pun intended).

Birds: Pin the Feather on the Dinosaur

Clever, bird-like dinosaurs that lived 74 million years ago got cozy in communal nests, study suggests (Live Science, 6 April 2023). The artwork does all the heavy lifting for Darwin in this piece. An artist put imaginary feathers on the arms of Troodon, a “non-avian” (not-a-bird) dinosaur. Then the report mentions the possibility that the theropod dinosaur was warm-blooded:

New research has found that troodontids, a group of bird-like dinosaurs that lived 74 million years ago, had high enough body temperatures to brood their eggs in communal nests.

What did they do, put thermometers on the fossilized eggshells? Of course not. It’s all inference. They compared the fossil eggshell mineral pattern with the mineral patterns in reptile eggs and did not find an exact fit with either reptiles or birds. That could only mean one thing: it was a transitional form!

Raising the perhapsimaybecouldness index to the redline, the Darwinists also imagined that the creature could alter its blood temperature at will: “these dinosaurs could probably switch between a warm-blooded state and a state of cold-blooded torpor — a strategy common in modern birds, called heterothermy.” they claimed. This allowed them to mix several more imaginary traits together.

The researchers were surprised to find that T. formosus retained slow, reptile-like eggshell mineralization despite having already evolved bird-like traits, such as heterothermy. “With our work, we show that Troodon was probably in between, producing just two eggs at a time and laying them — not a proper ‘en masse’ production, but with a pace that is still slower than modern birds,” Tagliavento said.

With warm-bloodedness, feathered arms, and communal nests, what was to stop this creature from developing powered flight? Well, gravity, for one thing. But facts are not necessary for storytellers. The “study suggests” reads the title. That’s the power of suggestion.

Dinosaurs: What Good Is Half a Propatagium?

How birds got their wings (University of Tokyo, 28 Feb 2023). We heard about the patagium last month (29 March 2023) in relation to bats; now Japanese evolutionists are touting a “propatagium” as a piece of tissue on dinosaurs that may have led to bird wings. With title in Just-So Story format (“How the x got its y“), this article claims that a muscle that birds use for flight existed on dinosaurs. The hope in the hype is hyper. Get all excited!

Modern birds capable of flight all have a specialized wing structure called the propatagium without which they could not fly. The evolutionary origin of this structure has remained a mystery, but new research suggests it evolved in nonavian dinosaurs. The finding comes from statistical analyses of arm joints preserved in fossils and helps fill some gaps in knowledge about the origin of bird flight.

Did they find the propatagium on dinosaurs? No. They infer it might have been there. But they did find soft tissue evidence of a propatagium on some feathered Jurassic birds. What does that mean? It means those fossil birds were not tens of millions of years old! Did you see the presentation by Dr Brian Thomas yesterday?

Fish: This Wing Is All Wet, and So Is Its Tale

The little skate genome and the evolutionary emergence of wing-like fins (Nature, 12 Apr 2023). Skates and rays are shark-related cartilaginous fish that “fly” through the water by flapping wing-like fins. So how did the “little skate” (Leucoraja erinacea) sprout wings to flap in the ocean? A team of 30 Darwin storytellers, including Neil (“Your Inner Fish“) Shubin, famous for his Tiktaalik missing link, performed divination on this fish’s genome and found evolution, but not in the old-fashioned Neo-Darwinian way. Something else turned their fins into wings. Divination a tad harsh a word? See what Phys.org says about their method:

How skates learned to fly through water is revealed in their genome (Max Delbrück Center via Phys.org, 12 Apr 2023). After describing the little skate’s undulating fins, here’s how the press release called their work divination in so many words:

Scientists at Max Delbrück Center in Berlin, the Andalusian Center for Developmental Biology (CABD) in Seville and other labs in the United States have discovered how the skate evolved these cape-like fins by peering into their DNA. They found that the key to the evolution of the skate fins lies not in the coding regions of its genome, but rather in the non-coding bits and the three-dimensional complexes that it folds into. These 3D structures are called topologically associated domains (TADs).

Not in the genes? What? No random mutation and natural selection that Neo-Darwinism requires? Well, Stuff Happens in curious ways.

The international team describes in their article published in Nature that genomic changes that alter TADs can drive evolution. Until recently, genome evolution was mostly focused on studying variation at the DNA sequence level, but not in 3D genomic structures. “This is a new way of thinking about how genomes evolve,” says Dr. Darío Lupiáñez, geneticist at the Max Delbrück Center and one of the lead authors of the study.

This short press release uses the words evolved or evolution 28 times. Darwin is on their minds, but what happened to natural selection? It seems to have gone missing. Has NS failed? Do these scientists realize they need a “new way of thinking” to get a wing? Hey, don’t question evolution! The writer interrupts this article for the hourly call to worship:

More than 450 million years ago, the genome of a primitive fish—the ancestor of all vertebrate animals—duplicated twice. The expansion in genetic material drove the rapid evolution of more than 60,000 vertebrates, including humans.

You’re just an evolved fish. Never forget it!

Now, back to the article. What did they find? Why, something exciting! Futureware!

TADs are important for gene regulation, 40% of them are conserved in all vertebrates, Acemel says. “However, 60% of TADs have evolved in some way or another. What were the consequences of these changes for species evolution? I think that we are just scratching the surface of this exciting phenomenon,” Acemel says.

Skates evolved their undulating wings thanks to genome origami (New Scientist, 12 April 2023). Evolution is so clever, it can even do origami! But don’t get too excited yet, because Darwin has many more tricks up his sleeve. Must keep busy!

This won’t be the whole story of skate fin evolution, though. Other genes and enhancers will be involved, he says. Evolution is really complicated. More than we expected.”

The team found that the TADs influenced which sections of DNA can be moved around or lost and which need be kept intact over the course of evolution. “I think it’s a completely different way of looking at how genomes evolve,” says team member Darío Lupiáñez at the Max Delbrück Center in Berlin, Germany.

A little folding of TADs, and what do you have: “evolutionary innovations,” Claire Ainsworth says with surprise, as if Darwin took a genome and folded it into a swan or flower. One of the co-authors she quotes says, “No one would have started the day thinking that planar cell polarity would have been involved in fin evolution.” We sure didn’t. Julian Huxley, co-founder of Neo-Darwinism, probably would not have, either.

The first bats were 100% bat.

Bats: Winging It With the Batty Technique

New Species of Extinct Bat Described From Oldest Bat Skeletons (American Museum of Natural History, 12 April 2023). Another method of winging it is to just ignore the question. How did bats evolve powered flight? Uh, change the subject.

All we read is that Tim Rietbergen, an evolutionary biologist, analyzed a new record holder: the world’s oldest fossil bat. Sure looks like a fully flight-equipped bat. How did that happen? Well, whaddya know! This thing is 52 million Darwin Years old! Shazam!

Although there are fossil bat teeth from Asia that are slightly older, the two I. gunnelli fossils date back to 52 million years ago, representing the oldest bat skeletons ever found.

52 million-year-old bat skeleton is the oldest ever found and belongs to a never-before-seen species (Live Science, 12 April 2023). Step aside, Tim. Sascha Pare will tell you how to take on the creationists who have been arguing since Duane Gish’s debates that the oldest fossil bat is 100% bat. Here is the technique:

First, you just declare that bats evolved. Look stern and confident. Showing awareness of the Darwin Years timeline adds credibility.

Bats first evolved during the Eocene epoch (56 million to 36 million years ago).

Next, snow the listener with a rapid-fire set of irrelevant details. This may knock the questioner off balance.

To determine the evolutionary history, or phylogeny of the bats, the researchers compared the new fossils with intact skeletons from six Eocene bat species, as well as with isolated teeth from two other extinct species and with skeletons of living bats. Their results indicated that the newly discovered bat skeletons belong to a never-before-seen species of Icaronycteris, which they named I. gunnelli after the late bat biologist Greg Gunnell.*

*See excerpt from the paper in PLoS One below to find out if they can explain the origin of powered flight in bats.

Finally, pour Darwin Flubber on the fossil and deposit it in the Bank of Futureware.

Based on their analysis, the researchers think that Green River bats evolved independently from other Eocene bats. “There is still a lot that we don’t know,” Rietbergen said. “Once we have a good view on the bat diversity, we can study evolutionary adaptations and perhaps find hints that will bring us closer to the discovery of the ancestor of bats.”

In the Bank of Futureware, all questions will be resolved. Until then, just believe.

Time for a run on that bank. It’s collapsing. The managers spent all their public trust assets for a trip to Fantasyland.


Further notes on bat flight evolution from the scientific paper.

Reitbergen et al., “The oldest known bat skeletons and their implications for Eocene chiropteran diversification,” PLoS One, 12 April 2022. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0283505

Evolution is only mentioned 3 times, but never with any evidence that bats evolved powered flight:

  • “Bats are also the only mammals capable of true powered flight, an adaptation that evolved early in the history of the chiropteran lineage.”
  • “Despite having a fossil record comprising more than 70 different taxa from the Eocene, early bat evolution remains relatively poorly understood.
  • “This species name is in honor of Gregg Gunnell in recognition of his extensive contributions to the understanding of fossil bats and chiropteran evolution.

Those quotes are useless or irrelevant regarding how bats got wings and learned to use them for flight. They accentuate the lack of evidence for bat evolution.

Anything about wing evolution or flight? No. “Like other known Eocene bats, I. gunnelli has a well-developed wing skeleton with elongated hand and finger bones.” It was all bat.

Anything about transitional forms? No. Anything about intermediate traits? Only regarding some bones that are not essential for flight.

Go ahead. Read this open-access paper and look for any evidence of evolution you can find. If they had any, you can bet the Darwin-loving media would have been trumpeting it on their front page headlines.

The late creation debater Duane Gish, author of Evolution: The Fossils Say No, is still vindicated: the oldest known bat was 100% bat.

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Comments

  • JSwan says:

    It’s amazing how they take something that make evolution MORE IMPOSSIBLE and turn it into how wonderous evolution is to utilize it! To me it seems TADs only scream out More Impossible, not to mention genomes being frameshift decoded and bidirectionally decoded.

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