Sometimes we wonder whether the Discovery Institute can possibly become more ridiculous than it has already been throughout its 20 years of existence. Then we see a new post at their creationist blog and we realize that there is no limit.
Take a look at Natural Selection Is Hard to Measure. It has no author’s byline. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
Charles Darwin’s idea that an unguided natural process led to all the beauty and diversity of the world, including its Undeniable [that was a link to Doug Axe’s book] appearance of design, guides scientific thinking to this day. But what if his signature mechanism — natural selection — cannot be measured?
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! That may be the silliest question we’ve encountered for a long time. Then they say:
Without measurement, a theory reduces to anecdote. A recent paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences threatens to do that, at least in regard to “the evolution of human body form.” The implications go far beyond human physiology.
They’re referring to this article: Constraint, natural selection, and the evolution of human body form, which you can’t read without a subscription. However, there’s a recent article at PhysOrg that discusses the paper: Tall or short? Thick or thin? Study shows many factors affect arm, leg size. Let’s read on from the Discoveroids’ post:
Consider limb length. Say you want to deduce how natural selection has affected the dimensions of the femur bone. The authors point out that one cannot measure directional selection on one bone without taking into account how all the other bones are affected.
Shocking. Absolutely shocking. The Discoveroids continue:
Let that sink in for a moment. (And set aside the astonishing confession that “evolutionary processes” that yield variation “are not yet established” even 157 years after Darwin published his Origin.)
Gasp — that is indeed an astonishing confession! Here’s more:
A Darwin advocate might complain that these three authors only studied three bones in the human anatomy (femur, tibia, and humerus) among a finite number of human individuals in a finite number of population groups. They certainly can’t draw conclusions about natural selection in general, supported (as it is assumed) by overwhelming evidence.
Those Darwinists are just making assumptions! Moving along:
Game over? No. They believe their findings support general principles about measuring natural selection that apply anywhere. [Skipping a quote alleged to be from the published paper.] They deduced that while femur length might have contributed to fitness, it caused covariant changes to the humerus that decreased fitness. You can’t vary one trait without mucking up the works elsewhere.
That’s not quite what the paper says, but we’ll allow the Discoveroids a bit of latitude. According to them, evolution is an incomprehensible process. Another excerpt:
We’re not trying to turn these authors into anti-evolutionists. Surely they believe in natural selection. The question is, How is selection to be measured?
While they’re asking that question, we might inquire of the Discoveroids: How does one measure Specified complexity? If you’re not sure what that is, dear reader, see Casey Defines “Complex and Specified Information”. It’s at the core of their “theory” of intelligent design, but it’s a concept with no coherent definition and no known units of measure. We once tried to solve the problem — see Curmudgeon Computes Specified Complexity — but the Discoveroids never acknowledged our breakthrough.
After some out-of-context quotes from the published paper, the Discoveroids end their post with this:
This paper sounds like a sermon from Darwin insiders telling the choir they have been singing off key. But then, they provide no “A 440” tuning fork to get them back on key. The result is atonality, confusion, dissonance.
So there you are, dear reader. Once again, the Discoveroids have demonstrated that Darwinism is a failed theory. When — oh when? — will the world accept the only logical alternative — intelligent design?
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