November 9, 2023 | David F. Coppedge

Darwinism Is Useless in Fossil Discoveries

Like a rabbit’s foot, Darwinian paleontologists
hope saying “evolution” will bring them good luck

 

In the following news stories about fossils, what does Darwinian evolution contribute? Anything? Why is evolution even mentioned? The paleontologists use the word like a lucky charm.

The last turn of ‘Ezekiel’s Wheel’ honors a Yale-affiliated fossil hunter (Yale News, 6 Nov 2023). Veteran fossil hunter and Yale Peabody Museum curator Samuel J. Ciurca Jr. came across a strange little marine fossil in the 1990s that he gave the Biblical name “Ezekiel’s Wheel” (read Ezekiel 1 for background). After Ciurca’s death in 2021, Yale scientists determined that it was a type of hemichordate called a cephalodiscid, one that is extinct today. So what does evolution have to do with it? Nothing.

“It turns out Sam’s fossil is a very unusual cephalodiscid which evolved a conical structure that we interpret as a float — it is the only cephalodiscid known to have colonized the plankton,” Briggs said.

But how did it evolve a conical structure? What mutations occurred that were selected to make it function as a float? Don’t ask. That’s bad luck. Just say the lucky e-word.

Dig This: ‘Neglected’ Dinosaur Had Super Senses (North Carolina State, 7 Nov 2023). The study of this dinosaur fossil was straightforward. Researchers determined this 12-foot herbivorous dinosaur was well equipped for its habitat.

A CT scan of an often-overlooked, plant-eating dinosaur’s skull reveals that while it may not have been all that “brainy,” it had a unique combination of traits associated with living animals that spend at least part of their time underground, including a super sense of smell and outstanding balance. The work is the first to link a specific sensory fingerprint with this behavior in extinct dinosaurs.

Did the work indicate anything about evolution, like transitional forms, mutations, or natural selection? No. But the e-word makes a lucky appearance anyway, just in case. The abstract of the paper says,

Ornithischian dinosaurs exhibited a diversity of ecologies, locomotory modes, and social structures, making them an ideal clade in which to study the evolution of neuroanatomy and behaviour.

To “evolve” by unguided Darwinian processes, neuroanatomy, a super sense of smell and outstanding balance would require thousands of coordinated beneficial mutations to appear by chance and be selected, then get fixed in the population. The paper never identifies or explains those mutations or how long it might take for nature to “select” them. The authors simply toss in the e-word 8 times as if for good luck.

When hornless rhinos lived in Europe (University of Tübingen, 2 Nov 2023). Some extinct members of the rhinoceros family lacked horns. This press release tells readers that “In the 40-million-year-old evolutionary history of large herbivores, there have been numerous species that have gone extinct, including many without horns.” So did some have horns and lose them?

The article claims that “Hornless rhinos were known to be ancestors of today’s species,” but that seems hard to establish. Horns are made of keratin, not bone, and may not have fossilized. The lack of diversity in today’s living rhinos (only 3 species) compared to many varieties that lived all over Asia and Europe in the past says nothing about an “evolutionary” history. Why not just call it history? Most of them died out “probably… due to changed climatic conditions.” These scientists hope for good luck from two charms: evolution and climate change.

450-million-year-old organism finds new life in Softbotics (Carnegie Mellon University, 6 Nov 2023). Engineers at C-M were so impressed with a fossil pleurocystitid that they tried to make a replica of it. One of the engineers in the video clip says “This entire thing is really about evolution.” But where is the evolution? Since the organism (assumed to be an early echinoderm) is extinct, they cannot watch to see if it has a muscular stem and uses it for locomotion. But the engineer Darwinizes on, “For me, learning about evolution really changes the way people think about history.” That, sadly, is true. He says, “at least, I hope it does.” He wants innocent readers to get sucked into the Darwin cult? Consider these cult-like Big Lies in the press release:

  • …the modern-day animal kingdom that influences our understanding of evolution and inspires todays’ mechanical systems is just a fraction of all creatures that have existed through history.
  • …to understand the biomechanical factors that drove evolution using extinct organisms.
  • Despite the absence of a current-day analogue, pleurocystitids have been of interest to paleontologists due to their pivotal role in echinoderm evolution.
  • A lot of fundamental principles of biology and nature can only fully be explained if we look back at the evolutionary timeline of how animals evolved.

His engineering partner claims that evolution informs how they build robots. If that were true, they would throw random materials into the water and wait for something to emerge. The cognitive dissonance of associating blind, unguided chance processes with intentional goal-directed engineering is stark in this video clip. In biomimetics, evolution is as useless as stroking a rabbit’s foot. The two engineers could do the same or better work by assuming that the organisms they try to mimic in robotics were intelligently designed. Were they not reverse-engineering something that worked?

Window to the past: New microfossils suggest earlier rise in complex life (Penn State, 7 Nov 2023). Evolutionists were wrong. One might think this would make paleontologists embarrassed to mention evolution, but no: they felt obligated to tell a tale that complex life exploded in complexity after the mythical Great Oxidation Event (GOE) drove animals to rise up and burst forth in complexity 2.4 billion Darwin Years ago. But the fossils in a rock they examined look modern. Where is the evolution?

“The record seems to reveal a burst of life — there’s an increase in diversity and complexity of this fossilized life that we are finding,” Barlow said.

Compared to modern organisms, Barlow said, the microfossils have explicit similarities with algal colonies, including in the shape, size and distribution of both the colony and individual cells and membranes around both cell and colony.

“They have a remarkable similarity and so, by that way of comparison, we could say these fossils were relatively complex,” Barlow said. “There is nothing like them in the fossil record, and yet, they have quite striking similarities to modern algae.”

A “burst” of complex life in this tale doesn’t fit Darwin’s notion of slow, gradual change in complexity. The fossils are just there, fully formed and complete, looking modern. Why not leave it at that? Oh, but the Darwin story will take more time to study:

More work is required to determine if the microfossils were left behind by eukaryotic organisms, but the possibility would have significant implications, the scientists said. It would push back the known eukaryotic microfossil record by 750 million years.

“The microfossils have a remarkable similarity to a modern family called Volvocaceae,” Barlow said. “This hints at the fossil being possibly an early eukaryotic fossil. That’s a big claim, and something that needs more work, but it raises an exciting question that the community can build on and test.”

This explains the rabbit’s foot mentality in Darwinian paleontology. Rubbing it brings them “more work” for job security.

 

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