Evilution

The other day I wrote a post called Watch Who You’re Calling “Anti-Science”, in response to an ICR article that accused a chronicle of the evolution “controversy” exactly that. Today’s Daily (pseudo)Science Update declares to the world: Evolution Delays Discovery of Dolphin Sensory Ability. The irony is strong in this one…

Random dolphin pic from wikimedia

The point of this article is that the “evolutionary” concept of vestigial organs has held scientist back from the discovery of a new sensory organ in dolphins, and also that evolution has trouble explaining weird and wonderful senses generally. Ironically (and this article just drips with the stuff), the abstract to the paper ends with:

Our results show that electroreceptors can evolve from a mechanosensory organ that nearly all mammals possess and suggest the discovery of this kind of electroreception in more species, especially those with an aquatic or semi-aquatic lifestyle.

That’s science at work.

Basically the organ isn’t vestigial after all, but seemingly (at least in this case) coopted. Brian Thomas seems to miss this entirely:

And apparently this same evolutionary thinking has held back dolphin research by making unwarranted assumptions, such as presuming that the tiny pits positioned along the dolphin’s snout were useless evolutionary “leftovers.”

What made them be presumed to be useless? I don’t know, but I’m guessing that scientist don’t just declare things vestigial if they can’t find what they do easily enough. And even if they were thought to be useless, it obviously didn’t stop these guys testing it. How else do you get reported in ScienceNOW?

Similarly, geneticists were hindered by evolutionary thinking from recognizing purpose and function in what has been called “junk DNA,” a thoroughly refuted concept that is just as false and misleading as vestigial organs.7

Cite 7 in this article is to The Myth of Junk DNA, a book by Jonathan Wells on the subject of, you guessed it, junk DNA. If you want to learn about the concept, click that link. To quote a line from it, “Much of this DNA has no known biological function and at one time was sometimes referred to as “junk DNA“.” I will say that when creationists trot it out, it’s a bit like saying that the myth that we only use 10% of our brains – which was based on the fact that at the time that it originated the precise function of only 10% of the brain was known – has been “thoroughly refuted,” and that therefore all neuroscience is false.

Skipping back up the article a way:

Evolutionists have a distinct challenge in trying to explain how these sensory capabilities—more miniaturized and effective than any of their man-made facsimiles—could have come from any non-intelligent source. In contrast, biblical creationists are willing to consider the most straightforward, and therefore the most scientific, explanation: Superior creations imply a superior creator.

I have already pointed out that the comparison between what is in nature and what humans can make is fallacious. In any case, ‘biblical creationists’ can accept any situation as consistent with their beliefs, and consequentially have nothing to guide them – what does the vestigial nature of an organ mean to them? The Creator wouldn’t have to have everything It made be functional, would it? And I would dispute anyway the assertion that we can’t make better sensory organs than are found in nature. And why is the most straightforward explanation the “most scientific”? I can only assume that he means parsimonious, or best for Occam’s razor. This would mean that it makes the fewest new assumptions, but in reality the ‘evolutionist’ explanation requires nothing new, whist theirs requires a God to be added to the equation.

And it also isn’t a surprise that evolution’s no-purpose thinking has repeatedly hindered scientific discovery. If researchers had continued in their belief that dolphin snout pits were only whisker remnants instead of considering other function-related explanations, the aquatic mammals’ amazing ability to sense electrical signals might still be unknown.

To conclude myself, I’m going to have to say that, if it comes to a fight over which is worse for science, Creationism ‘wins’ (if that’s the right word) by orders upon orders of magnitude. And anyway, as I believe I’ve already said, the above quote is frankly nonsensical. The stupid. It burns.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Evilution

  1. Awesome post!

    It baffles me how people can be exposed to the awesome majesty of the true story that is empirically supported, mathematically proven, peer-reviewed and scientifically integrated and yet still go back to a self contradicting, reality contradicting old book of dubious origin that states it was all created in 6 days… and believe that book.

    • Thank you!
      There comes a point at which you can’t really back out of this kind of thing – in a similar situation to the recent Dutch priests story, I would doubt that somebody like Mr Thomas could leave at this point, even if he did properly read the evidence…

Thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s