A Naturalistic Fairy Tale-Part XXX

And because we know that you may be less than appropriately scared about global warming we do now turn to what we have discovered from history. We ask that you not be distracted by Climategate, and listen carefully to what we have to tell you about the past.

We did discover a fossil in Antarctica of an animal that lived 252 million years ago.1 It was during the time when Pangea was whole, and the volcanoes did emit high amounts of greenhouse gasses. This gasification of the Earth did produce catastrophic global warming resulting in the death of 80-95 percent of life in the oceans and on land (Praise Science).

So, we do imagine that this fossil is of an animal that had no fur and “probably laid eggs.” We imagine it on the line between reptiles and mammals. We did find some related fossils in Africa, and therefore pieced together that these animals migrated south and lived with other animals that were probably the ancestors of mammals.

The team’s findings, published in the journal Naturwissenschaften, may offer insights into potential survival techniques for modern day animals threatened by climate change .

“Countless species are threatened by global warming today,” said Frobisch. “A prime example of a threatened species is the polar bear, whose habitat becomes increasingly smaller as a result of melting sea ice in the Arctic Circle.”

“However,” he added, “it is questionable whether the polar bear or other threatened animals can respond in the same way as Kombuisia did in the Permian, simply because human activities severely limit the animals’ possibilities.”

He concluded: “The primary lesson we should learn from the studies of extinction due to climate change in the past is that it is of utmost importance today to control and reverse human induced global warming by taking counteractive measures, such as greatly reducinggreenhouse gas emissions.”

Anyway, the animals and fossils are irrelevant, because the point is, if we don’t act soon, we’ll all be dead in a couple hundred years (Praise Science). Please don’t give up on being terrified of the environment, because Mother Earth is very angry at what you are doing to her. She will punish and probably kill you if you don’t straighten up and curtail your gaseous emissions.

1) Ancient animals escaped warming in Antarctica

Whence Scientific Hypotheses?

Scientific hypotheses can come from anywhere at all (well actually just from an intelligent mind).  One important thing I learned about science in graduate school was, it did not matter where your hypothesis originated, it only mattered that it could be tested and falsified in a rigorous, repeatable, and measurable way.  Scientific notions can arise from any metaphysical framework or lack of a framework.  At the basis of creationism and naturalistic evolution are presumed metaphysical truths.  Quite possibly, neither of which can be falsified, leaving the resolution to be a matter of faith.  However, that does not prevent scientists from developing testable hypotheses that spring from those underlying beliefs.  One could argue that intelligent design has fewer metaphysical entanglements than either creationism or naturalistic evolution.  The point is that testable hypotheses may come from almost any underlying belief or idea, whereas the actual underlying belief or idea itself may not be a scientific hypothesis.

Recent Work in Creation Science

Jerry Bergman has written an article on CMI entitled, Did immune system antibody diversity evolve?

From the article:

The voluminous research on the evolution of the adaptive immune system describes in enormous detail both the similarities and differences between the immune systems of a wide variety of animals, but does not provide evidence for the evolution of these irreducibility complex systems. The complex, designed processes used to produce antibody diversity and then to fine tune the adaptive immune response are not evidence of Darwinian evolution, but rather of intelligent design.

Recent work has also shown that innate immune systems formerly thought to be very primitive are far more complex than once believed, blurring ‘traditional distinctions between adaptive and innate immunity.’38 Various phyla use ‘a remarkably extensive variety of solutions to meet fundamentally similar requirements for host protection.’37 The large discontinuity between the various means of generating immune system diversity in the animal kingdom makes it highly unlikely that one system could have evolved into another.

Creation scientists have also been hard at work in generating theoretical frameworks and hypotheses on a number of fronts.

1). A framework has been developed for explaining bacterial pathogenicity.

2). Fungi have been examined from a creationist perspective, and natural selection is considered as a process for the development of pathogenicity.  Similar to the first paper, evolutionary processes are considered corrupting influences of the original designs.

3). Initial work has been done on developing a field of creation microbiology.  Promising areas for future research and practical applications are also considered.

While those who pontificate about the absence of any real scientific progress being made from a creationist perspective, creation scientists are laying the groundwork for biological studies, and are generating testable scientific hypotheses.  Whereas materialist scientist do not often recognize their metaphysical assumptions, creationist scientists and IDers are generally much more aware of the metaphysical assumptions of science on both sides of the issue.

Science, ID, and Darwinism

In an experiment, there are one of more hypotheses. When positive predictions are made, there necessarily exists what is called a null hypothesis. The null hypothesis should be stated formally, and constructed before the study is conducted.

H0: Two simultaneous mutations are the upper limit for providing any functional advantage by evolutionary processes.
H1: Evolutionary processes may result in three or more simultaneous mutations conferring a functional advantage to an organism.

In the example above, H0 is the null hypothesis, and H1 is the experimental hypothesis. When an experiment is conducted, a finding of 3 or more simultaneous mutations resulting in a functional advantage would be said to falsify the null hypothesis.

The final writeup would go something like, “Our experiments demonstrated that 3 simultaneous mutations occurred resulting in a functional advantage for the organism. Therefore, we reject H0 in favor of H1.” The trouble in evolutionary biology is that there often is no H0. There is no formal null hypothesis. Evolution is considered to be a fact, and the null hypothesis is not addressed or tested.

Consider a recent peer-reviewed article that provides a null hypothesis that has not been falsified by Darwinist researchers: Continue reading

Darwinists Discover the Experimental Method

For some time now, I’ve been trying to drive the point home that Darwinists employ methods that are insufficient to support their conclusions.  Their theories have many causal predictions (e.g., random mutation + natural selection causes new species or rm+ns results in new complex functions/information).  In science, when your theory makes causal statements, you are limited to the experimental method in order to test the prediction.  Some supportive information can be gleaned from correlational studies (i.e., how much one variable is associated with another), but the theory is not truly tested unless an experimental design is utilized.  The experimental method is used extremely rarely in evolutionary research.

This brings us to the reason for my post.  A recent study found that a statistical method used in many studies of natural selection is invalid.

Scientists at Penn State and the National Institute of Genetics in Japan have demonstrated that several statistical methods commonly used by biologists to detect natural selection at the molecular level tend to produce incorrect results. “Our finding means that hundreds of published studies on natural selection may have drawn incorrect conclusions,” said Masatoshi Nei, Penn State Evan Pugh Professor of Biology and the team’s leader.

Of course, nearly all of these hundreds of potentially invalid studies do not employ the experimental method, but simply use statistical analyses of DNA/gene sequences and so forth. And from this, they often draw causal conclusions (RM+NS resulted in this new function). However, it was found that the statistical methods were incorrect in their predictions.

In real fields of science, the experimental method is performed routinely. In psychology, the experimental method is practiced very often. Not so with evolutionary biology. The reason given in this press release was:

Nei said that to obtain a more realistic picture of natural selection, biologists should pair experimental data with their statistical data whenever possible. Scientists usually do not use experimental data because such experiments can be difficult to conduct and because they are very time-consuming.

Yes, real science is difficult to conduct and is time consuming, but I submit to you that it would be worth it to have properly designed, and properly conducted research. I think an interesting statistic would be to determine how much money has been wasted on improperly conducted research by evolutionary biologists.  I’m not saying that correlational research is not science, but it’s not science to make causal inferences from methods that do not support causal inferences.  Even by using the experimental method, the best you can hope for is a reduction in bias.  Bias is nearly impossible to eliminate from studies, because studies are conducted by scientists (i.e., biased human beings).

Here is the take home message for Darwinists:

1). When you make causal predictions and wish to draw causal inferences, you must use the experimental method.

2). If you are not going to use the experimental method, but a correlational method, your conclusion must not go beyond the method you are using (e.g., this caused that). The best you can say is: this is related to that or this is associated with that.

3). Imagination is not an experimental or even scientific method.

4). If you use statistical methods to make predictions, the methods must first be validated. Otherwise your predictions are of unknown validity.

Reference

(1). Hundreds of Natural Selection Studies could be Wrong, Study Says

Original Source: Reliabilities of identifying positive selection by the branch-site and the site-prediction methods

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.

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