Earlier than Expected: Series Introduction

As an introduction to this series, let me explain why this topic is important. Darwinists needed deep time to give their theory even a modicum of believability. Thus, as time has passed, the age of the Earth and Universe has increased. Now, I wouldn’t claim that this is completely without evidence, but it is based on a number of assumptions. I won’t get into that here, as I’ve talked about it previously.(1)

Regardless of age assumptions, it is clear that the theory of evolution requires deep time to work it’s magic. So, for the sake of argument, we will grant the Darwinists deep time and use their own dating assumptions to discuss the problems with their theory. When a fossil is discovered much earlier than previously thought, it gives the purported gradualism or slow process of evolution less time to work its magic.

Stephen J. Gould postulated ‘punctuated equilibrium’ to attempt to fit the theory of evolution with the evident discontinuity of the fossil record. In other words, creatures appear in the fossil record with no evident precursors, and other fossils exhibit little differences from current species despite hundreds of millions of years of time that has purportedly passed. This can be thought of as the “naturalism of the gaps” hypothesis. The trend in paleontology is that these gaps are decreasing with each fossil find of a species that remains unchanged in the fossil record and appears earlier than previously thought.

As Cornelius Hunter, author of DarwinsPredictions.com notes:

It is now known that evolution has nowhere near the eons of time predicted and required by Darwin. Indeed, the time windows available are even less than those allowed by William Thomson, which themselves were unacceptable to the evolutionists. This falsification of evolution’s prediction does not derive from the age of the earth, but rather from the fossil record. We now know that, even with billions of years of earth history, the major events in the fossil record take place in time windows that are no longer than a few tens of millions of years or even less.(2)

It is with these facts in mind that I start this series to illustrate yet another glaring problem for naturalistic evolution.

    References

(1). On Christian Views of Creationism–Part IV (Continued: Young Earth Creationism)
(2). On Christian Views of Creationism–Part III (Continued: Young Earth Creationism)
(2). Evolution has hundreds of millions of years available, Darwin’s Predictions, Cornelius Hunter

    Notes:

I would like to thank my coauthor mynym for suggesting the idea for this series.

Advertisements

Evolution: A Theory of Change? The Case of the Octopus.

Octopus fossil with modern comparison

Octopus fossil with modern comparison

Paleontologists recently discovered a fossil of an octopus and attributed an age of 95 million years (late Cretaceous) to the specimen.(1) They noted that:

“These things are 95 million years old, yet one of the fossils is almost indistinguishable from living species.” [EurekAlert] The fossils provide an extraordinary glimpse into the evolutionary history of the creatures, pushing back the birth of the modern octopus millions of years.

The fact that these fossils exist is a small miracle of science and a big victory for paleontologists and evolutionist alike.

Well, praise Science. It’s not quite a bunny in the Cambrian, but it would seem to me to be problematic at best for a theory of change. I suppose we are to believe that the right mix of blind processes and necessity were somehow kept at bay for this creature, or that it is a perfect adesign.(2) In other words, this creature has been in the punctuated stage of punctuated equilibrium for 95 million years.

What’s also interesting about the octopus is that Darwinists have claimed that the eyes of the octopus and human eyes evolved

Human to Octopus Eye Comparison

Human to Octopus Eye Comparison

independently.(3) They even go so far to note that the octopus eye shows that the human eye is poorly designed, as I’ve noted previously, despite obvious problems with that explanation.(4) The assertion is that a completely different set of blind circumstances results in technology with all the major functional parts in common.  What makes a great deal more sense is common design by a single Designer. Either that, or mother nature is smarter than you are.  Or as the old saying goes, “Evolution is smarter than you are.”(5)

Interestingly, the phrase is intended to be a rejoinder to the purported logical problem often attributed to IDists and Creationists who claim that blind processes are incapable of producing things of such complexity (i.e., argument from lack of imagination).  The trouble is, that it’s the same old attribution of sentience to blind processes, and the fact of the matter is, some things do not occur through blind processes.  Car parts in a junkyard will not assemble into a brand new car no matter what natural forces act upon those parts regardless of the number of billions of years given to do so.  Similarly, blind processes cannot lead to sentience or sight, but Darwinists will continue to follow that blind watchmaker no matter how incapable she may be.  All the while, they will marvel at her creativity and astounding abilities to create everything from nothing.

    References

(1). Against the odds ancient octopus fossils discovered
(2). Darwinists on Design: Jumping to Confusions
(3). Comparative Analysis of Gene Expression for Convergent Evolution of Camera Eye Between Octopus and Human
(4). An eye for creation
(5). Orgel’s rule

Other Interesting Reads:
Octopus–Beautiful AND Intelligent

The Intelligence of Mother Nature

Darwinists frequently engage in the personification of nature (i.e., they utilize language suggesting sentience).  In a recent press release, they do it again.(1)  There are a number of conceptual problems with the following statement:

He and his co-author, postdoctoral researcher Minglei Wang, were interested in tracing how proteins make use of their domains, or groups of domains, to accomplish various tasks. These domains or domain clusters can be thought of as “modules” that fit together in various ways to achieve different ends.

The attribution of accomplishing various tasks to molecules is problematic.  The molecules of course have no sentience, planning abilities, and so forth.  They are molecules and do not think, feel, or reason.  Yet, purpose and achievement are attributed to molecules.  This makes sense if you are working from an ID perspective, but the language is not appropriate to a non-design perspective.

They continue in a similar vein:

“As time progressed, these domains started to combine with others and they became very specialized,” Caetano-Anollés said. This eventually led to the big bang of protein architectures.

“Exactly at the time of the big bang,” many of the combined domains began to split apart, creating numerous single-domain modules again, he said. But these new modules were much more efficient and specialized than their ancient predecessors had been.

“This makes a lot of sense,” Caetano-Anollés said. “As you become more complex, you would want to fine-tune things, to do things in a more tailored way.”

As if the big bang materialist cosmology story were not enough, we now invoke it in biology.  It seemed to work fairly well for them in cosmology, why not try it in biology too?  But that’s beside the point.  So, we continue with the attribution of sentience to matter.    “…you would want to fine-tune things, to do things in a more tailored way.”  That’s what I would be thinking if I were a bacteria for certain, but this is a nonsensical way of describing material processes.

I think this goes to a deeper issue.  That is that biology does not make sense outside of the concept of design.  The language to understand and explore the functions of proteins does not exist in blind materialist terms.  The reason is that these things are designed, and must be understood from that conceptual framework.

Access Research Network also has a good post on the language problem faced by Darwinian evolutionists.(2)

(1). Study of protein structures reveals key events in evolutionary history
(2). Darwinists on Design: Jumping to Confusions

Hat Tip: Creation-Evolution Headlines

Some Applause for Richard Dawkins

You never thought you would hear me say something like this, but I’m saying it now. Richard Dawkins deserves some credit for his most recent book, A Devil’s Chaplain. Now, I haven’t even read the book, and probably won’t unless I can find a used copy somewhere. But, I just wanted to give Dawkins his due credit for the title of his book, because this is truth in advertising. I’m guessing that he wants Christians to hate him, and feels he is poking them with this type of book and title. But really, I do have some compassion for Dawkins. A person does not have the intensity of emotions he has on a topic without a great internal struggle of some sort.

Creation on the Web has a review of his most recent tome, and there are some interesting quotes from the review:

Dawkins’ sermons fall apart under close scrutiny, and further, he never even considers deeper philosophical problems underlying his method of argumentation. When Dawkins talks of religions fomenting wars, how does he know on a naturalistic basis that there is anything at all undesirable about war?16 How does he know that there is anything inherently good in ‘truth’? In fact, as Alvin Plantinga has shown,17 there are reasons to doubt whether human thought is even capable of corresponding to reality within a naturalistic framework—the ultimate reductio ad absurdum of naturalism.18

As the late Greg Bahnsen noted,

‘One does not decide whether to form some epistemological viewpoint and theoretical basis for certainty or not; he simply chooses whether he shall do it self-consciously and well.’19

Dawkins has an epistemology. He believes that he is capable of knowing true information by means of the scientific method, but he is entirely without a foundation in naturalism for such a belief. Christians who presuppose Scripture, on the other hand, have epistemological warrant for belief in efficacious reason and science, on the grounds that God is logical and made an orderly universe.20 Small wonder, then, that Dawkins avoids the subject and prefers a surface-level polemical approach. The biblical apologetic not only can withstand his individual ad hoc ‘empirical’ arguments, but even undercuts his entire basis of argument by showing that in order to have a reason to trust reason itself, we must presuppose the God of Scripture.21

Some of the reasoning here is similar to things we’ve discussed previously on this blog.  One can sincerely hope that his intense disdain for all authority, other than materialist science, can soften with time.  All things are possible with God.

Source: Secular Sermons.  Creation on the Web.

Grandma Morgie

Recently, a group of students from Liberty University visited the Smithsonian Institute. David DeWitt who is the

Grandma Morgie

Grandma Morgie

professor who teaches the Advanced Creation studies class takes his students there every year. The Washington Post had a writeup on the trip, and for the first time in my memory, it was a facts-based article.1 The author didn’t inject his personal biases whatever they may be. I can’t tell, which is the way good journalism should occur.

I titled this post Grandma Morgie, because there was a particular part of the article that stood out to me:

At one point, DeWitt called them together under a Nigerian proverb stenciled on a wall. “The Earth goddess fashions the human body just as the potter fashions her pot,” DeWitt read. “So there is some religion here.”

But in the hall of mammals, which reopened in 2003 after a $23 million renovation, evolution assumes center stage, and the Liberty students grew a bit more subdued. They openly admired the well-lighted, meticulously designed dioramas. But they lamented that the texts and videos give no credit at all to a higher power for the wondrous animal variety on display.

Near the end of the “Evolution Trail,” the class showed no signs of being swayed by the polished, enthusiastic presentation of Darwin’s theory. They were surprised, though, by the bronze statue of man’s earliest mammalian ancestor.

“A rat?” exclaimed Amanda Runions, a 21-year-old biochemistry major, when she saw the model of a morganucodon, a rodent-like ancient mammal that curators have dubbed Grandma Morgie. “All this hype for a rat? You’re expecting, like, at least an ape.”

So, now you’ve met your earliest mammal ancestor, and I hope you were as impressed as I was. DeWitt’s observation that there is some religion going on here, was right on. AIG also discussed Grandma Morgie in the past, and they provide some historical perspective on the exhibit.2 Of course as we’ve remarked here previously, the creation of the statue was based on little more than imagination, which is par for the course with many evolutionists.

1). Creationist Students Take Trip to Evolution Headquarters: The Smithsonian
2). Mozart-made in a rat’s image?

Vacation

I’ll be heading out today on my first long distance motorcycle trip this today. I’ll be back Monday.

Migration Patterns

Over on UD is a fascinating comment:

Two points:

1- Gene duplication, in order to do something, also requires all the meta-information- a binding site, a promoter, an enhancer and a repressor. Otherwise all the gene duplication in the world will not do anything except add more DNA to the existing genome.

2- In his book “Why is a Fly Not a Horse?” Giuseppe Sermonti has a chapter (VIII) titled “I Can Only Tell You What You Already Know”, which examines this very thing- how do organisms “know” to migrate and to where?

An experiment was conducted on birds-blackcaps, in this case. These are diurnal Silviidae that become nocturnal at migration time. When the moment for the departure comes, they become agitated and must take off and fly in a south-south-westerly direction. In the experiment, individuals were raised in isolation from the time of hatching. In September or October the sky was revealed to them for the first time. Up there in speldid array were stars of Cassiopeia, of Lyra (with Vega) and Cygnus (with Deneb). The blacktops became agitated and, without hesitation, set off flying south-south-west. If the stars became hidden, the blackcaps calmed down and lost their impatience to fly off in the direction characteristic of their species. The experiment was repeated in the Spring, with the new season’s stars, and the blackcaps left in the opposite direction- north-north-east! Were they then acquainted with the heavens when no one had taught them?

The experiment was repeated in a planetarium, under an artificial sky, with the same results!

The bottom-line is there is much more going on than just chemical reactions caused by genetic material. But that reduction is all the evolutionists have and I say it hampers investigations by preventing us from seeking answers outside of the genome.

So did God design the ability to read the stars into these birds, or was this a result of blind necessity?