November 16, 2023 | David F. Coppedge

Darwinism, an Excuse for Lazy Thinking

Just say it evolved because of selective
pressure, and your work is done


Darwinians are well-known just-so storytellers, but if they get called on the carpet for lack of scientific rigor, they have additional techniques for avoiding blame and shame. Here are some of the unspoken rules for Darwin storytelling:

  • Say that the evidence “suggests” the story. Raise the perhapsimaybecouldness index as high as needed.
  • Use the cop-out that the subject is “still debated.” Make sure the only contending hypotheses are evolutionary.
  • Refer to a number of irrelevant details that have nothing to do with the proposition that the trait evolved.
  • Call it “research” instead of storytelling.
  • Use bluffing by referring to all the interdisciplinary Darwinian conspirators who participated, and the fancy equipment they used.
  • Claim that the story “might” lead to a better understanding of climate change or cancer.
  • Always, always state that “future research” is needed to confirm the story.

Since journals and peer reviewers are in on the scam, they get away with it—day after day, month after month, year after year.

How the fish got its shoulder (Imperial College London, 1 Nov 2023). Press office staffer Hayley Dunning has no shame for using the Kipling formula, “How the x got its y,” as in “How the Camel Got Its Hump.” In “How the fish got its shoulder,” she waltzes like Cinderella into Darwin Fantasyland.

A new analysis of the bones and muscles in ancient fish gives new clues about how the shoulder evolved in animals – including us….

The new research, which draws together a range of evolutionary investigation techniques including fossils, developmental biology, and comparative anatomy, suggests a new way of looking at how major anatomical features like shoulders evolved.

Fossils don’t tell Darwin stories. People do. Embryos don’t either. Or anatomical differences.

Dunning uses the technique of ‘competing hypotheses’ (all evolutionary) to make the storytelling sound legit. The “gill-arch” hypothesis has problems, she says, misconstruing the story plot as a ‘theory’ instead of an imaginary guess.

A different theory of how the fins formed, the ‘fin-fold’ hypothesis, suggests the precursors of the paired fins instead evolved out of a line of muscle on the flanks of the fish. This theory has gained a lot of supportive evidence in the 150 years since both were proposed, but it cannot explain how the associated shoulder girdle evolved.

For the climax of the story, Dunning says that both ‘theories’ have won, and both must get prizes.

Now, by reanalysing an ancient fossil fish skull from soon after the shoulder girdle emerged, alongside other lines of evidence, the team suggest [sic] the truth may lie in a modified version of the gill-arch hypothesis that reconciles it with the fin-fold hypothesis….

This finding also means it doesn’t have to be an either/or in terms of how the paired fins evolved. Dr Brazeau added: “Our study shows how there is merit to both theories without accepting one or the other wholesale. Instead, we can rationalise the areas that overlap.

What a peacemaker she is; Dunning and Brazeau should get the no-bell peace prize instead of the gong! Note: “rationalize” can mean to use reasoning, but it usually means to make excuses: “to ascribe (one’s acts, opinions, etc.) to causes that superficially seem reasonable and valid but that actually are unrelated to the true, possibly unconscious and often less creditable or agreeable causes.”

In the paper in Nature, Brazeau uses the storytelling trick of saying the issue is “debated” when the only debaters are all evolutionists. “The origin of vertebrate paired appendages is one of the most investigated and debated examples of evolutionary novelty,” he begins. Some debate: Darwin vs Darwin, like someone playing both sides of the chess board.

Study sheds light on evolution of brain folding in cerebellum of mammals (eLife, 31 Oct 2023). Louis Pasteur would be disgusted at what has become of the Pasteur Institute. It has become a Darwin storytelling shop. This short article from the institute about “the evolution of brain folding” uses the e-word “evolution” recklessly 13 times.

Scientists have characterised the folding of the cerebellar cortex using data from a sample of 56 mammalian species, allowing them to study the diversity and evolution of cerebellar folding and its relationship with the anatomy of the cerebrum.

But do the comparisons between mammals provide evidence for evolution? Only if one already subscribes to Darwin’s theory that they all evolved from a common ancestor by Darwin’s Stuff Happens Law! This is like organizing all the tools in a hardware store on a Darwinian phylogenetic tree by first eliminating the possibility they were intelligently designed.

Researchers reveal evolutionary secret underlying the rise of seed plants (Chinese Academy of Sciences via, 13 Nov 2023). The Chinese are obligate parasites of Darwin, since their communist ideology depends on his materialistic worldview. In this “research” project, the team looked at two parts of roots, the Casparian strip and the suberin lamellae. The evidence did not fit common ancestry. Solution: they evolved separately! (but they did evolve, you see, or they emerged, which means the same thing). They let you in on an “evolutionary secret”—

This evidence suggests that the Casparian strip and suberin lamellae did not originate simultaneously; the former emerged from the common ancestor of all vascular plants, while the latter evolved in the common ancestor of seed plants. This finding challenges the longstanding assumption regarding suberin lamellae and offers new perspectives for studying the evolution of these structures.

How marvelous. The mismatch opens up new opportunities for storytelling! The Darwin bandwagon marches on with its emperor beaming proudly in his new clothes.

Hunter-gatherer approach to childcare suggests that the key to mother and child well-being may be many caregivers (University of Cambridge via, 13 Nov 2023). See the list of unspoken rules for Darwin storytelling and watch how they are used in this story.

“For more than 95% of our evolutionary history we lived as hunter-gatherers. Therefore, contemporary hunter-gatherer societies can offer clues as to whether there are certain child-rearing systems to which infants, and their mothers, may be psychologically adapted,” said Chaudhary.

However, caution should be exercised before jumping to conclusions, argues Chaudhary., “Many aspects of our psychology have evolved to be flexible rather than best suited to one specific way of life . The extent to which this is true for childrearing is still debated.

Chaudhary’s caution about restraint is an excuse for more storytelling. Now he can have it both ways: evolution made the raising of infants this way or that way. Every Darwinist has won, and all must get prizes. That’s because it is impossible to falsify Darwin’s Stuff Happens Law. Stuff always happens, don’t you know? The only way to falsify Darwinism would be to watch and observe that nothing ever happened.

Insect trapped in amber reveals the evolutionary battles of ancient Europe (Natural History Museum, 13 Nov 2023). A katydid trapped in amber already had the ability to “sing” with its legs at ultrasonic frequencies. Nothing evolved, therefore. Ah, but one must use Darwinostic mental processes to see the hidden story beneath the evidence. Bats were evolving echolocation when this insect was evolving, and the katydids had to adjust their singing to frequencies above the bats’ hearing to avoid getting eaten. An evolutionary arms race was going on! You don’t see it in the evidence, but it’s there in the imagination if you turn off your scientific rigor and let your lazy thoughts take over.

Fernando Montealegre-Zapata closes his eyes and meditates. Once upon a time, 240 million Darwin Years ago, male katydids were calling for mates by scraping their wings together. But then, trouble! After 95 million Darwin Years more passed, predators started listening to them. Then, 52 million Darwin Years ago, flying bats started using echolocation to follow the sounds and catch the noisemakers! What a dramatic plot! It should be made into a movie!

From this point on, bats and katydids have been stuck in an evolutionary arms race. Bats have been evolving to be better at hearing the calls of katydids, while the insects have changed their calls and behaviour.

‘While katydids were likely already exploring high frequencies, both to avoid eavesdropping and to develop a greater diversity of signals, bats gave them a new impetus,’ Fernando explains.

They were driven to it by the medieval Theory of Impetus. Selective pressure ensured that only the highest-pitched katydids would survive!

Dr Charlie Woodrow, the lead author of the new study, says, ‘This katydid was frozen in time at a crucial moment in the arms race between echolocating predators and insects.

Shortly before this animal was fossilised, bats had developed the ability to echolocate, which may have driven the katydids to call at higher frequencies. At the same time, their ears were adapting to listen out for bats trying to hunt them down.’

But how did they adapt? Well, stuff happens. That’s all you need to know. Selective pressure makes stuff happen faster. It drives stuff to happen.

Stuff really happened with bats. They have no known evolutionary ancestors. The earliest bats were 100% bat, and were already echolocating (24 Oct 2023).

Strangely, the bats never evolved the ability to hear the new higher frequencies that the katydids were making, even after 8 million Darwin Years had passed between the “emergence” of echolocation and the date of the fossil in amber. Also, strangely, crickets kept chirping away at audible frequencies. Maybe they were pacifists and didn’t want to enter the evolutionary arms race. Or maybe bats didn’t evolve a taste for crickets like humans are supposed to for preventing climate change.

The ground offers acoustic efficiency gains for crickets and other calling animals (Brandt et al., PNAS, 7 Nov 2023). Yes, the crickets continued chirping loudly but the bats didn’t go after them. This paper debunks an idea that tree crickets evolved baffles to amplify their sound. The four Darwin storytellers writing this paper say that the ground does a good job of amplifying sound without the baffles. Thinking evolutionarily, they are rather baffled why baffles evolved.

They employ the ‘being debated’ rule. They compare two competing evolutionary hypotheses for why tree crickets evolved baffles, which were used as “tools” by tree crickets to work as amplifiers. This calls for some serious storytelling! Turn up the perhapsimaybecouldness index and stare into the crystal ball until the face of Darwin appears.

Gaze at nature until Darwin’s face appears to give you insight and understanding. Crystal ball mister (source CostumePub)

Why Would Baffle Use Evolve Among Crickets in the First Place?

From our data, exploiting the ground effect by calling from the ground emerges as a viable alternative to tool use in crickets. This simple site selection strategy can even exceed the efficiency gains of tool use in some scenarios. Given that making and using tools like baffles requires a specialized behavioral repertoire, and precise execution of these behaviors, the real question becomes why a species would ever use this strategy if simpler site selection preference for the ground could give similar increases in efficiency.

There is evidence that crickets were calling as early as the Cretaceous period. These early calling crickets were likely ground dwellers, with some species subsequently moving up into vegetation as the group diversified. We therefore suggest that baffle-using crickets may have originally moved up into vegetation for nonacoustic reasons, whether it was to exploit additional food resources or avoid predators. Baffle use would have then evolved secondarily to recover some of the efficiency lost when abandoning ground calling. The biophysical modeling methods presented here open the door to testing such a hypothesis about baffle use.

As usual, “future research” will be needed to test such a story—er, hypothesis—er, scenario.

The Darwin in the tale,
The Darwin in the tale,
Hi-ho, scenario,
The Darwin in the tale.

There are so many examples like this it’s hard to know when to stop. It gets so tiring to hear this Darwin Storytelling Enterprise dominating the airwaves, droning on for decades about selective pressures driving animals to evolve. All we can do is show you how to ask pointed questions they never think about.

One thing is for sure; if they had to compete with creationists for logical fitness, they wouldn’t survive. But even that’s not necessary to put them out of business. If peer reviewers would do their jobs, demanding rigorous evidence and logic, the Darwin Storytelling Enterprise would dry up fast. “Tell us, Professor Fernando, what specific random mutations were selected to give bats the ability to echolocate, fly, and catch katydids in the dark? Do you have any fossils to show that happening? If not, please take your scenario over to the Drama Department. They’ll probably get a kick out of it.”






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