Darwinism as All-Purpose Flexible Caulk

first_imgFossils continue to turn up surprises.  Some of them appear in the wrong place, in the wrong time, or in the wrong order.  Darwinian theory never seems to have a problem, though.  Evolutionary paleontologists always find a way to stretch or shrink their phylogenetic trees to accommodate the new discoveries, or make up new imaginary tales, to fit the new findings into the all-encompassing story of universal common descent by natural selection.Proto-squid:  What was Nectocaris?  The strange fossil in the Burgess Shale, one of many strange fossils in the Burgess Shale, defied classification since its discovery 100 years ago.  Was it a mollusc?  Was it an arthropod?  After looking at dozens of them, scientists publishing in Nature decided this week,1 based on one trait, that it must have been the ancestor of squids and octopi.  That trait appears to have been an organ of jet propulsion that modern squid, cuttlefish and octopi use to scoot through the water.  This organ on Nectocaris doesn’t look quite the same; it’s at right angles to the creature, for one thing, as if it would have spun the poor animal in circles.  Perhaps it had a pivot so it could be aimed in various directions.  The creature has eyes and tentacles but lacks some other characteristic cephalopod traits.  Nevertheless, Smith and Caron put their theory out there anyway, and Stefan Bengtson liked the theory enough to title his commentary, “A little Kraken wakes.”2  The news media immediately jumped on the bandwagon with headlines like the one on PhysOrg, “Palaeontologists solve mystery of 500 million-year-old squid-like carnivore.”    Even if Smith and Caron are right, it doesn’t help Darwin’s story.  Smith wrote in the press release printed by PhysOrg, “This is significant because it means that primitive cephalopods were around much earlier than we thought, and offers a reinterpretation of the long-held origins of this important group of marine animals.”  Like the other Cambrian body plans, a complex cephalopod emerged out of nowhere.  Smith continued, “We know very little about the relationships between the major groups of molluscs, and the early history of the group,” yet somehow, he said, “Fossils like Nectocaris help us to map out how the groups alive today might be related, and how they evolved.”  If this is indeed a cephalopod in Cambrian strata, it exacerbates the problem of complex life appearing early in the fossil record.  “Far from being mindless filterers or grazers, they [cephalopods] are active predators possessing the most advanced nervous system known among invertebrates.  Their brain-to-body ratio exceeds that of most vertebrates,” Bengtson said.  “They are masters of camouflage, changing shape, surface pattern, texture and colour in the blink of an eye – and they do have good eyes.”Swimming tank:  Imagine a triceratops swimming across the ocean.  That’s almost what a story in Live Science is asking us to believe: “Newfound Horned Dinosaur Probably Island-Hopped to Europe.”  Horned dinosaurs of a type normally known from the Gobi Desert have been identified in Europe.  How did they get there?  Based on another paper published in Nature this week,3 Charles Q. Choi reported that the ancestors of this kind of dinosaur were only known from the far east.  Based on what the scientists said, he imagined this scenario: “Their ancestors might have swum westward from island to island, or they might have walked to these areas when the islands were landlocked, only to get separated later when sea levels rose,” he said.  Perhaps you can think of other mental pictures.  Xing Xu of feathered dinosaur fame commented on this find in Nature.4  He began by mentioning the large gaps in the record: “Reconstructing the historical distribution of Earth’s fauna and flora is a challenging task, not least because of the incomplete, often poorly dated, nature of the fossil record,” he said.  “Such problems are particularly severe with respect to European biogeography in the Late Cretaceous period (about 100 million to 65 million years ago), when Europe was an archipelago.”  A shipload of Darwin caulk is necessary for such situations; maybe even an Ark load.Reset button:  Science Daily told a mystery tale of catastrophe: something hit the reset button, and killed almost everything, but fortunately we survived.  “A mass extinction of fish 360 million years ago hit the reset button on Earth’s life, setting the stage for modern vertebrate biodiversity, a new study reports.”  What was it?  Nobody knows, but “Those few species that survived the bottleneck were the evolutionary starting point for all vertebrates — including humans — that exist today,” we are told.  It was a global extinction.  It left a completely different world.  Maybe the world got drunk, because the article said the 15-million-year gap “was the hangover after the traumatic Hangenberg event.”  Somewhere out of the hangover, our grandpappy emerged.  “When tetrapods finally recovered, those survivors were likely the great-great-grandfathers to the vast majority of land vertebrates present today.”    It would be nice to know what happened, but: “What remains mysterious is exactly what happened 360 million years ago to trigger this mass extinction, the authors said.”  If you thought trees were our friends, “The first appearance of forest-like environments in some regions might also have produced atmospheric changes catastrophic to animal life.”  What did the forest trees evolve from?  They didn’t say.  Perhaps they just “appeared.”  Maybe this study helped the scientists learn some things about evolution: “The research also raises questions about the pattern of evolution after the extinction event.  It remains unclear why groups that were abundant before the event did not recover, while other groups spread and diversified in radical new ways.”  Your tax dollars at work: “Funding for the research was provided by the National Science Foundation, the University of Chicago Hinds Fund, the Paleontological Society, the Palaeontological Association, the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, and the Evolving Earth Foundation.”The cannibal in the family tree:  National Geographic, always one to overdo the shock and awe (how do they fit so many “Annual Shark Week” events in a year?) decided to introduce the cannibal in our ancestry, Homo gautengensis.  If you hadn’t heard of this particular Uncle Harry, or how they knew someone 800,000 years ago liked the taste of human flesh, the story gets a little sketchy the more you get into the fine print.  First, you find there’s not enough bone to make a valid reconstruction.  There’s not enough bone to know whether it spent time in the trees, to know what it ate, to know whether it talked, or to know how it lived.  Then you find there’s dispute among experts whether it was Homo at all, or rather Australopithecus.  Then you learn that it doesn’t really matter, because it and Australopithecus sediba, another contender for human ancestor, were contemporaries – casting the evolutionary status of both fossils into doubt.  Then you learn that the dating of both of these fossils is also very questionable; no one is certain when they lived.    Finally, you learn that the author of the paper about this dude isn’t even sure what he is holding in his hand: “It is up to my colleagues to decide whether they are convinced that a new species is warranted and whether they will use [the designation] in their research.”  As for its evolutionary value, he said, “The real significance of the new species is that it shows just how complicated, how bushy, our evolutionary tree was.”  So by this time, the reader can judge the scientific value of the caulk holding together a picture of a tree-swinging human ancestor that scraped the brains out of other Homo things for food, as the National Geographic shock-and-awe article opened, into the grand scheme of human evolution.  Let’s return to the opening: “There’s a good chance it was a tiny little cannibalistic tree swinger, but the newly identified Homo gautengensis is family, according to a new study.  Thought to have used tools—and possibly fire—the creature is the oldest named species in the human genus, Homo, study author Darren Curnoe says.”  Wanna bet on it?National Geographic went on to speculate that the Homo gautengensis creature even had rudimentary language.  Strangely, the article did not consider how it would be possible for a creature intelligent enough to build fire, use tools, and speak to walk the planet for 795,000 years before ever thinking about inventing a wheel, planting a farm, building a city, riding a horse, or writing his thoughts down – or why in about 3500 B.C. all those things exploded into existence suddenly in the Fertile Crescent, with long-distance trade, mining, manufacturing, and shipping, too.  But Darwin didn’t live till the 19th century A.D., and by then, humans had steam locomotives to transport all the caulk anyone could ever need.1.  Martin R. Smith & Jean-Bernard Caron, “Primitive soft-bodied cephalopods from the Cambrian,” Nature 465, 469-472 (27 May 2010) | doi:10.1038/nature09068.2.  Stefan Bengtson, “Palaeontology: A little Kraken wakes,” Nature 465, 427-428 (27 May 2010) | doi:10.1038/465427a.3.  Osi, Butler and Weishampel, “A Late Cretaceous ceratopsian dinosaur from Europe with Asian affinities,” Nature 465, 466-468 (27 May 2010) | doi:10.1038/nature09019.4.  Xing Xu, “Biogeography: Horned dinosaurs venture abroad,” Nature 465, 431-432 (27 May 2010) | doi:10.1038/465431a.Do you see how we’ve been scammed?  This isn’t science.  This is a racket.  This is the biggest con job ever pulled off in the name of science.  You should see the phylogenetic tree in the squid paper.  It’s all dots, with a few tiny dashes representing actual data.  The dots are imagination!  The chart tries to connect Kimberella, one of the Ediacaran creatures that went extinct, with Nectocaris, and those with squids!  Kimberella looks nothing like Nectocaris.  It’s all a convoluted story, because Darwin needs connections between things to form a continuous lineage.  What if they (in actual fact) had nothing to do with each other?  His disciples are playing dot-to-dot games with dots that are far apart and not obviously connected.  The connections are in their minds, not in the data.  Ditto for the dots in the horned dinosaur chart – it’s mostly dots, not dashes, and the dashes are almost all in contemporary groupings.  If anything, the dots, representing ancestral links, are getting farther and farther apart.  They exist only in the imagination of Darwinists.    The Burgess Shale is an ecological zone of extinct creatures found in the Canadian Rockies, not an evolutionary time period.  The data exist in the present, not in the past (pause and think about that).  The Burgess Shale fossils were forced into an evolutionary story by evolutionary-minded human beings.  What the Darwinists should be reading from the fossil record, as the film Darwin’s Dilemma so powerfully shows, is the abrupt appearance of all the animal phyla without evolutionary precursors.  In spite of this strong evidence, the Darwinian story is like a big stage show, with painted sets, fogma machines (05/14/2007) and special effects that trained stage hands operate on cue.  Scientists are the actors.  They speak their memorized lines with gusto.  Data are the props that give the audience the illusion of reality, just like props on a stage.  And just like theater, it’s all about a story, not reality.  If you want entertainment, you can stay and watch the Darwin Theater of the Absurd, and laugh at how their miracles emerge on cue thanks to the rigging and special effects and industrial light and magic.  But if you want reality, you have to step outside,* where design is clearly seen, such that men are without excuse. (Visited 17 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img

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