Desperately Seeking Macroevolution

first_imgWith Intelligent Design critics hot on their heels, Darwinian evolutionists are hot to find transitional forms that they can exhibit as evidence for large-scale evolution (macroevolution).  A symposium on that very subject was held last October by the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS), but a report on the conference did not come out till this month’s issue of BioScience.1  It appears only pro-Darwinists were allowed a hearing.    The abstract says, “Speakers at the ‘Macroevolution: Evolution above the Species Level’ symposium, held at the National Association of Biology Teachers annual meeting last October, focused on macroevolutionary processes, the evolution of key innovations and major lineages of organisms, and the evidence for these processes.”  The Cambrian Explosion and other difficulties were specifically addressed – including this admission in the opening remarks: “Some in the antievolution community assert that microevolution happens but not macroevolution, because they believe there is no evidence for it.”  Here, then, was a prime opportunity for pro-Darwin advocates to showcase the very best examples of macroevolution.  Assuming reporter Oksana Hlodan did a fair job of capturing the highlights, what examples did the panel of five come up with?    Combing through the report, here is the short list of evidence for macroevolution:Choanoflagellates, a class of protozoa found in almost any body of water, seem to have the proteins higher animals use for cell signalling and adhesion.  So, “Genes shared by choanoflagellates and animals were most likely present in their common ancestor and may shed light on the transition to multicellularity.”  Nicole King (UC Berkeley) suggested that unicellular organisms like these might have been preadapted for multicellularity.  That almost sounds like a mindless process was able to plan ahead.Developmental programs were exhibited as evidence by Nipam Patel (UC Berkeley) for how different body plans might have emerged, such as bilateral symmetry and numbers of segments.  He gave examples of fruit flies with four wings and with legs where the antennae should be.Radiation (the biological kind, not the atomic kind) was discussed by Jeffrey S. Levinton (State U of NY at Stony Brook).  He tried to explain the Cambrian Explosion by referring to the fact that the “molecular clock” suggests an earlier time for diversification than the fossil record shows.  “The Cambrian explosion marks the appearance of most bilaterian multicellular animal designs,” he agreed, “but the actual divergence of these groups may have occurred many millions of years before the Cambrian.”Extinction was presented as evidence by David Jablonski (U of Chicago).  But how can the loss of 95% of living things (his estimate) over five major extinction events count as evidence for macroevolution?  The explanation: “Mass extinctions are important in macroevolution because they change the rules of survival, eliminating the dominant groups of the time and allowing adaptations to hitchhike on traits, such as geographic range size, that determine survivorship during extinction episodes.  Mass extinctions homogenize the biota, and they encourage postextinction evolutionary bursts.”Whales: Phillip Gingerich (U of Michigan) presented a series of fossils showing the putative evolution of whales.  He considered this “a transition from land to sea once thought inexplicable in terms of evolution.”Flowers: Scott Hodges (UC Santa Barbara) argued that flowering plants with nectar spurs are more diverse than groups without them.  His explanation: “Finding this association, suggests that nectar spurs affect the process of speciation or extinction.”After this, the symposium discussed how to teach this evidence in the public schools with materials from the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS).  Then Kathleen Smith (U of North Carolina) summed up the evidence in her closing remarks:The genetic toolkit is important in the study of macroevolution.  The same sets of genes are used again and again, so that major evolutionary change does not necessarily require major genetic changes.    There is complexity in the tempo and mode of evolution.  There are many different patterns in macroevolutionary events.    Many macroevolutionary changes depend on significant changes in the environment, some of which have led to large extinction events.    The processes of microevolution and macroevolution are continuous.The article notes that the presentations are available on the AIBS website.    Let’s look at one other example.  In its feature “Life’s Little Mysteries,” Live Science posted a short article March 26, “What’s So Special About Darwin’s Finches?”  The article noted that many consider this case a “symbol of evolution” by natural selection.  The history of Darwin’s finches is summarized.  One tidbit mentioned in passing is that Darwin paid little note of the finches during the stopover at the Galápagos, and only years later “tried to make up for the deficit by borrowing some finch notes taken by the Beagle’s Captain Robert FitzRoy.”2    The explanation in the last sentence about where Darwin’s finches fit into evolutionary theory is notable not only for what it claims, but for what it avoids claiming: “In the past few decades, biologists Peter and Rosemary Grant of Princeton University have studied finch populations and showed that the average beak sizes of successive generations changed to adapt to new food sources on Daphne Major, an island in the Galápagos.”  In fact, the beak sizes fluctuated back and forth with food availability, with no long-term trend discernible (see 07/14/2006 entry and its embedded links).1Oksana Hlodan, “Macroevolution: Evolution Above the Species Level,” BioScience, Volume 57, Number 3, March 2007, pp. 222-225(4).2FitzRoy was a Bible-believing Christian who denounced Darwin’s evolutionary ideas and deeply regretted having had any part of Darwin’s slide into apostasy.So that’s it?  This is laughable.  The closest two cases for macroevolution that had any bones or photographs to back them up were the whale tale and the nectar spur myth.  For the latter, they are still species within the same kind, for crying out loud—not examples of macroevolution.  No creationist would deny the ability of some flowering plants to diversify to a limited extent.  As to whale evolution, that claim has been roundly debunked by many ID and creationist groups: the Discovery Institute response to the PBS Evolution series, by TrueOrigin #1 and True Origin #2, by Answers in Genesis, by Creation Ministries International, by the Creation Research Society, by ICR and many others.  The AIBS and other Darwin Propagandists pretend like these critiques don’t even exist.  The honest thing for a scientist would be to first do a literature search and come well-armed, but they never do.  They present their very biased one side of the story as if nobody else ever had a problem with it.    The rest of the so-called “evidence” for macroevolution all consisted of “suggestions” that “might” explain away the falsifying evidence with a little more work (and funding), with nothing but hope that future discoveries might “shed light” on the vexing problem of how all the major body plans of all the animals appeared in the blink of an eye in the fossil record.  Such excuses don’t shed any light; they cover up the clear light of design.    As for the LiveScience pitiful article on Darwin’s finches, here is another case of pretending the criticisms against Darwin don’t exist.  Jonathan Wells wrote a whole chapter about this in Icons of Evolution (note how LieScience used the synonym “symbol” instead of “icon” in their description).  Incidentally, Wells also had a chapter on four-winged fruit flies; Dr. Patel should have known that there is no way these rare mutants would survive in the wild, so they are irrelevant to evolutionary theory.  Haven’t these people heard that the Peter & Rosemary Grant team only found fluctuations around a mean in finch beaks over 30 years of study?  They only found slight enlargements of the average beak size of one species (on the order of fractions of a millimeter).  Big deal.  Moreover, the changes were reversed when the climate changed.  And this is still being promoted as something “special” worth knowing because it is a symbol of macroevolution?  Come on.  Any honest reporter should acknowledge the criticisms and try to address them.  Ignoring the question is tantamount to propaganda.    In short, critics of Darwinian evolution should take heart at this, another in a long series of embarrassing admissions that Darwin’s modern-day disciples have no evidence for Charlie’s myth.  How much longer Darwinism will endure before collapsing is anyone’s guess.  If you’d like to hasten the inevitable, then you’d better stop their attempts to keep indoctrinating the young in their side and silencing the opposition.  Notice that they hastened at the end of the symposium to talk about how best to inculcate the youth into their mystery religion.  Unless we get public schools to teach the facts, to permit fair and balanced presentation of all the evidence, the Darwinistas could succeed in raising another generation of zombies.  This means the collapse of Darwinism could be delayed long enough for it to work even more mischief in society.  As Disraeli once said, “Error is often more earnest than truth.”  This means that error can win by default.  If you care about the truth, you had better exercise your earnestness above the opposition’s intensity level and apply it wisely.(Visited 29 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Five new Geocaching country souvenirs for 2018

first_img¡Felicidades!Συγχαρητήρια! Tebrikler!Selamat!مبروك !Congratulations!As of today, you can earn five new Geocaching country souvenirs! Souvenirs are virtual pieces of art discovered and displayed on your Geocaching public profile.All this week on the Geocaching blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages, we’ll highlight each country and offer caching suggestions. Without further ado, here are the newest Geocaching country souvenirs:ChileCyprusIndonesiaMoroccoUnited States of AmericaIf you’ve already found a geocache in any of these countries, you’ll automatically receive the souvenir on your profile.To earn a souvenir, legitimately log a geocache as “Found It”, “Attended”, or “Webcam Photo Taken” within the souvenir zone. For instance, log a cache in Liechtenstein to earn the Liechtenstein country souvenir, or log your attendance at the GeoWoodstock Mega-Event to earn that Event Cache souvenir. Check out all of the Geocaching souvenirs here.Where is your dream destination to earn a geocaching souvenir?Share with your Friends:More SharePrint RelatedFive new Geocaching country souvenirsDecember 4, 2017In “Community”7 Souvenirs of August FAQJuly 8, 2014In “7 Souvenirs of August”2020 Geocaching HQ souvenir momentsDecember 10, 2019In “Learn”last_img read more

Video Inspiration: Ice Caves and a GoPro

first_imgFly through Alaskan ice caves in this awesome drone video shot by Firefight Films.We’ve seen a lot of creative drone videos in the last few months (check out Superman with a GoPro) but we think we may have found the most beautiful one.Firefight Films have released a video titled Bigger Than Life which features a ton of awesome drone footage shot in Alaskan ice caves. Believe it or not, the entire thing was shot using a GoPro. Check it out:Firefight Films were also super kind to include a behind the scenes video on how they made Bigger Than Life. They stated that they shot 100% of the footage using a GoPro HERO 3+ Black Edition and a DJI Phantom. Just goes to show what’s possible if you have the right equipment and a plane ticket to Alaska.You can buy your own DJI Phantom for $700 bucks on DJI’s website.  This video was created and shared by Firefight Films – thanks for sharing guys!Seen any other beautiful drone videos?Share in the comments below.last_img read more