Today being the 29th of February, it’s appropriate to emphasize that the necessity of calendar corrections such as leap year is unambiguous evidence that the solar system was not intelligently designed. It’s also appropriate that on this day, the Discoveroids are leading off with a post by Michael Denton, a Discovery Institute “senior fellow.”
Denton is famed in creationist circles for his 1985 classic, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis. He just released an update, published by the prestigious Discovery Institute Press, about which we wrote Discovery Institute Touts Denton’s New Book.
We now present to you, dear reader, some excerpts from The Types: Why Shared Characteristics Are Bad News for Darwinism, which Denton wrote for the Discoveroids’ creationist blog. The bold font was added by us:
One of the major achievements of pre-Darwinian biology was the discovery that the living world is organized into a hierarchy of ever more inclusive classes or Types, each clearly defined by a unique homolog or suite of homologs possessed by all the members of the Type and which in many cases have remained invariant in divergent phylogenetic lines for tens or hundreds of millions of years.
Alarm bells are already ringing, because Denton is using an unfamiliar term — “Types.” The field of biology has long-accepted words for classifying organisms, based on the pioneering work of Carl Linnaeus (1707 – 1778). Why do we need a new expression like “Types”? Let’s find out. Denton says:
Virtually all pre-Darwinian biologists, and many after Darwin, saw the Types as immanent and invariant parts of the world-order, no less than crystals or atoms. There is currently a widespread impression that pre-Darwinian biologists derived their discontinuous-typological conception of nature from all sorts of discredited metaphysical beliefs.
Denton, of course, thinks the pre-Darwinians were right all along. Let’s read on:
[W]hatever their metaphysical leaning, pre-Darwinian biologists did not derive their view of the Types as changeless components of the world order from any a priori metaphysics but from solid empirical observations.
Right — they made observations. So did Darwin. But before Darwin, there was no theoretical basis for understanding what was being observed. Denton continues:
Today, 150 years after Darwin, … [t]he vast majority of all organisms can be assigned to unique classes based on their possession of particular defining homologs or novelties that are not led up to via Darwin’s “innumerable transitional forms.”
This sounds like Baraminology, which, according to Wikipedia:
is a creationist system that classifies animals into groups called “created kinds” or “baramin” according to the account of creation in the book of Genesis and other parts of the Bible. It claims that kinds cannot interbreed, and have no evolutionary relationship to one another
To be precise, it’s Dscoveroid-style Baraminology — the same creationist concept, but without reference to Genesis. Skipping some of Denton’s mumbo-jumbo, we’re told:
Ironically, it is only because organisms can be classified into distinct groups on the basis of their possession of invariant [hee hee!] unique homologs that descent with modification can be inferred in the first place. If it was not for the invariance of the homologs and the Types they define, the common descent of all the members of a particular clade from a common ancestor would be in serious doubt. The living realm would conform to a chaotic network rather than an orderly branching tree.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! The appearance of a branching tree disproves descent with modification! We hesitate to disagree with a distinguished Discoveroid like Denton, but it seems to your Curmudgeon that if truly invariant Types existed, with no biological relationship between them, then — aside from wondrous creations like us, we should see some groups of organisms like helium balloons, and others like crystals, and still others comprised only of energy. But that’s not what we see.
Ah well, skipping another ark-load, here’s the end of Denton’s article:
Types are still as distinct today as they were … in the pre-Darwinian era and even for Darwin himself. They are still clearly defined by homologs or synapomorphies that are true evolutionary novelties without antecedent in earlier putative ancestral forms.
So there you are, dear reader. This is hard-core creationism. Are you surprised?
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