The creation scientists at Answers in Genesis (AIG) — the creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the Australian entrepreneur who has become the ayatollah of Appalachia — have just posted: New Study Overturns the “Conventional Wisdom” of Evolution.
Wowie — this is important news! It was written by Avery Foley. AIG says she holds a masters of arts in theological studies from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, which certainly qualifies her to discuss this subject. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
Conventional evolutionary wisdom has been overturned — again. Evolutionists have long taught and believed that promiscuity increases genetic and rapid diversity, thereby helping the evolution of new species along. But this “conventional wisdom” has now been overturned by a new study on shorebird populations, led by the University of Bath’s Milner Centre for Evolution.
This is what she’s talking about — it’s an article at PhysOrg: Promiscuity slows down evolution of new species. Avery says:
This new study suggests that promiscuity does the opposite of what has long been believed. Instead of speeding up supposed evolutionary processes, it slows down the formation of new species. Polygamous bird species (species that breed with more than one partner during the season) have less genetic diversity compared to monogamous bird species populations (species that breed with just one partner per season). Here’s why:
• Polygamous species have to travel farther to find their mates, so they spread their genes over a wide geographical area. This mixes up and dilutes the gene pool over a larger area so that populations are “less likely to diversify into new species over time.”
• Monogamous species generally come back to the same breeding sites, which allows them to gradually adapt to that specific environment. This increases the chance they will split off and form new species.
That sounds reasonable. If a male is spreading his genetic material far and wide, there would be less opportunity for relatively isolated groups to become a separate species by breeding apart from the rest of their species. After that she tells us:
Now, this article throws the word evolution around a lot, but is it really evolution? … [A]ll they’re talking about is natural selection and adaptation, which is not the same thing as evolution.
Brace yourself, dear reader. Avery will now tell us what evolution really is:
Evolution requires the addition of brand-new information to change one kind of organism into another kind. But what we observe in nature — including what they observed in this study — is speciation caused by natural selection and adaptation.
Aaaargh!! Information again. The last time AIG discussed that was Ken Ham Says Roadside Evolution Is Biblical, where we said:
At this point, it’s important to note that “information” in this context is a creationist invention. Evolution is the result of change in a population’s genome over several generations. Creationists recently started to insist that true evolution requires the addition of some magical quality they call information, and if they don’t see it, there wasn’t any evolution. It’s a convenient, but nonsensical form of denial. See Phlogiston, Vitalism, and Information.
The more we think about it, the more it seems that creationist “information” is something insubstantial and ethereal, like the soul — which has a supernatural origin. It’s nothing as crude — or as natural — as a mutation. Mutations result in what creationists call “micro-evolution,” which isn’t evolution at all. True evolution is “macro-evolution,” and that (say the creationists) requires a divine injection of information. In Common Creationist Claims Confuted, we said this about the micro-macro mambo:
If you ask a creationist why “macro” changes are impossible you’ll be told that it’s just impossible — some magic barrier interferes to preserve the integrity of scriptural “kinds.” Because of that unevidenced magical mechanism, which only the magic designer — blessed be he! — can overcome, creationists flatly assert that regardless of time, one species cannot evolve into another — despite the abundant fossil evidence to the contrary. Therefore, creationism requires belief in a two-part dogma consisting of: (1) the Great Barrier; and (2) the miracle that breaks through the barrier. The error is enormous, because first it involves accepting, at the scale of a few visible generations, both the fact of and the mechanism for evolution (variation and natural selection), and then rejecting the inevitable consequences of what has been accepted.
It now appears that “information” has been invented to supplement the micro-macro mambo. The alleged absence of new “information” (which only the designer — blessed be he! — can provide) is what constitutes the imaginary barrier that prevents micro-evolution from going too far.
Okay, now that we’ve grasped the creationist argument, Avery continues:
New species (which are simply variations within a kind that possess specific characteristics reflecting their genetics) form because some individuals survive better than others in a specific environment due to the features they express (i.e. longer beak or larger wingspan). Those with these characteristics live and pass along their genes; those without it are less likely to reproduce, and may even die. This is an observable process we see going on around us, and it does indeed form new species. While we can observe the formation of new species due to the incredible amount of genetic variability God has built into each creature’s genome, what we never observe is one kind of organism turning into another kind.
We can imagine some drooling idiot reading Avery’s essay and thinking: Hey, that’s brilliant! Let’s read on:
Could this research help explain the explosion of genetic diversity that followed the global Flood of Noah’s day? Perhaps it could. Animals getting off the Ark couldn’t really be promiscuous — most of them only had one mate to choose from! Perhaps this forced monogamy helped to kick start genetic diversity in the first few generations after the Flood.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! This explains everything! Avery sums it all up in her final paragraph:
In addition, these Ark kinds had a greater genetic diversity than the animals we have today: they have speciated out (e.g. lost genetic information) for more than 4,300 years. The Ark kinds also were faced with conditions that tend to promote speciation—extensive climactic, dietary, and later predator/prey changes; genetic bottlenecks; founder effect; and then geographic isolation as they spread around the globe. When all of these early-post-Flood and Ice Age factors are considered alongside “forced monogamy” or “reduced promiscuity” of many animal kinds at this time, the early splits and linear speciation we see in the Tertiary fossil record make perfect sense within an early-post-Flood and Ice Age biblical timeframe.
This is really slick. Your Curmudgeon is impressed. But of course, it all depends on the magical ingredient of “information” — whatever that is. Perhaps, one day, the creationists will define it and show us what it is. Until then, it’s still pixie dust.
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