Discoveroid Cornelius Hunter Disproves Evolution

The Discovery Institute is back on track with a new post that purports to expose one of the glaring “weaknesses” of evolution theory. Their title is: Does Similarity Imply Common Ancestry? It was written by Cornelius Hunter — a Discoveroid “fellow” who teaches at a bible college.

Cornelius stunned all of us recently when he defended the Inquisition’s heresy trial of Galileo — see Discovery Institute Defends the Inquisition. Let’s find out what he has for us today. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

According to evolution, the species arose as a consequence of random events, such as mutations. Yet the biological world is full of repeated designs.

Repeated designs! Then he says:

These so-called convergences are ubiquitous. And while a fundamental tenet of evolutionary theory is that similarity implies common ancestry, convergences are similarities found in more distant species — they cannot have arisen from a common ancestor. This falsifies the fundamental tenet that similarity implies common ancestry.

Gasp — the evolutionary concept of common ancestry is falsified! Ponder that, dear reader. Cornelius implies that similarity of function can only be the result of common ancestry, not Convergent evolution. If that were true, it would mean that according to evolution, because birds and bats can fly, they must be direct descendants of flying insects.

Cornelius’ principle that a phenomenon can have only one cause makes sense in the context of intelligent design, because devotees of that “theory” claim that everything in the universe is “explained” as having one cause. That cause is the magical work of the intelligent designer — blessed be he!

After his stunning announcement, Cornelius tells us:

The tension can be further amplified by complexity and multiplicity. With similarities in different species that are highly complex, it can be difficult to explain how they evolved once, let alone twice in independent lineages.

He’s right. Darwin was a fool!

Cornelius concludes his brief post with a reference to a press release about what he says is: “a new study out of Germany on the evolution of jawed vertebrates called ‘astonishing examples of repeated evolution’.” However, the abstract of the published paper doesn’t seem to support Cornelius’ creationist conclusions — see Phylotranscriptomic consolidation of the jawed vertebrate timetree.

This “one cause” principle has far-reaching consequences. In the context of physics, for example, it would mean that if something contracts, it can only be the result of one thing, like gravity — not cooling, or electromagnetic attraction, some external pressure, or any other cause. Now we’ll have to re-think everything!

Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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25 responses to “Discoveroid Cornelius Hunter Disproves Evolution

  1. Laurettte McGovern

    All science trembles at the searing logic of his fiery intellect!

    Let’s face it, guys; the jig is up. They’re on to us. Might as well pack in in.

  2. A general rule of thumb is that for a title that is in the form of a question, the answer is usually “No.”

  3. Derek Freyberg

    ‘Betteridge’s law of headlines is one name for an adage that states: “Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no.” It is named after Ian Betteridge, a British technology journalist, although the principle is much older.’ Wikipedia

  4. docbill1351

    Not just a Rule of Thumb, but a LAW! That’s what Imma talkin’ about!

  5. “Now we’ll have to re-think everything!”

    You are misunderstanding what creationists really want. They do *NOT* want you to rethink everything, they want you top *UNTHINK* everything. A blank mind will accept literally any nonsense far more readily than even a partially and poorly informed mind.

  6. “top” ==> “to”
    I sure wise we had an editing capability (even to fix “autocorrect”).

  7. Cornelius opines that “According to evolution, the species arose as a consequence of random events, such as mutations.”

    I must have missed something in high school biology class. I thought mutations provided variation in the genetic makeup upon which selection pressures could work. In my intro class, it was pretty clear that animal forms are not random, they are tuned to their environment. Oh well, I guess Cornelius’ version of evolution has no evolution component at all – just random variation. Sort of like what a designer might do – randomly come up with creatures from scratch.

  8. winewithcats

    He’s also falsified the notion of “kinds”, and implicitly declared analogy a fallacy.

  9. The old-time materialist atheist challenge to western religions was Epicurianism. (“Epicurian” is the word for “atheist” in Hebrew, for example.) And Lucretius’ “The Nature of Things” (De rerum natura) is the surviving exposition of Epicurianism. It describes the world as atoms in random motion. So unimaginative apologists copy the arguments against Epicurianism as presented by Lucretius.

  10. Ross Cameron

    Our physical evolution might be at a halt or too slow to notice the changes, but our mental evolution from Stone Age through the Religious Age to Science and the Age of Rational Thinking seems to be accelerating.

  11. Cornelius Hunter must have failed to read, or more probably fail to understand, even the abstract of the paper he refers to,which clearly states that we can establish family trees using molecular evidence. if I had to choose one single argument in favour of common ancestry, this would be it.

  12. using molecular evidence, thus distinguishing unambiguously between analogy and homology

  13. It is tempting to think of people like this as ignorant. But they are beyond stoopid, most will most like be exposed as flat out LIARS4jesus or some such dogma, or even more likely they have found a group that are willing to accept anything that being a con man is not very hard work.

  14. I suggest that similarities are not enough to point to common descent.
    It is rather the complex pattern of similarities and differences in the hierarchical tree which is has the unique explanation of common descent with modification.
    Whenever one observes that pattern, it immediately suggests that explanation, and any explanation will involve common descent.

  15. Up to a point. I’m out of field, but I think that before you can claim homology these days, you need to point to a very detailed set of anatomical resemblances. But indeed, as you suggest, beng part of a network of resemblances involving related species would be relevant.

  16. Paul: Like the Panda’s “thumb”. which is actually a modified wrist bone.

  17. L.Long is right. Corny Cornelius is way beyond the point where the difference between ignorance, stupidity and dishonesty still matters.

  18. exactly; its homolgy with other wishbones as clear as the homology between the pterodactyl’s wing bones and finger joints. No risk of confusing it with a thumb!

  19. Yes, to be confident that a particular shared trait is homologous one needs more than it is similar. But when is confronted with many shared traits – and many different traits – the question arises of how to explain thiis pattern. To say that it is just a matter of chance is not satisfying. A few of them may well be.
    And this argument applies to other disciplines. It isn’t just biology. We argue likewise in linguistics and in philology. We realize that Spanish and Portuguese and Italian are related by common descent with modification. And it doesn’t apply only to a few languages, but with hundreds of languages.
    And we can make a tree of manuscripts of a certain work. We infer that manuscripts are produced by copying with variations. The number of instances is far less than what we have for biology, and there may be more disagreements about particular cases, yet no one has a better explanation for the appearance of variations in manuscripts.

  20. Good examples. I expect you know that both Darwin and Lyell pointed out the analogy between family trees of species, and family trees of languages.

    And again, it’s the superfluous detail that is often the best evidence of what is cognate (= homologous); the initial k in English “know” pointing to its resemblance to the classical Greek root “gnom”

    My friend Dennis Venema at Biologos has an article “genomes as ancient manuscripts”, or some such title, making much the same point as you do

  21. Michael Fugate

    How is Hunter measuring similarity and distance? How does Hunter dtermine common ancestry within a species? Does he believe paternity tests are valid?

  22. My wife used to be a creationist, but kind of reflexively – while a young and immature mind, she was taught it and so she believed it in much the same way that children believe their parents.

    When she got older, the primary thing that drove her away from literal creationism was examining it and realizing that they presented their evidence haphazardly, pushing their agenda rather than arguing from fact.

    Phenotypic differences appear to strengthen creationism? Then only talk about the phenotypic differences and ignore the genetic similarities.

    Genotypic differences appear to strengthen creationism? Then reverse the polarity of the neutron flow – same thing in reverse.

    What finally put the nail in the coffin was someone she otherwise respected arguing in sincerity that multiple branches of life that fly (bats, birds, bugs) disproves evolution. She walked away after that. She’s a guided evolutionist, believing that God had a plan with the development of life, but believes in an Old Earth and primarily evolution by natural selection, so, chalking it up in the win column.

  23. “Similarities” of the sort Hunter apparently means have a simple explanation: they reflect adaptations to similar challenges. A dolphin and a shark have similar body shapes, for instance, not because of their (very ancient) common ancestry but because natural selection favored that shape as efficient for moving through water.

    I can’t decide whether Hunter is really ignorant of this phenomenon or, rather, is deliberately deceiving his audiences.

  24. A bit of both, in my experience. At one point I worked with a guy who went around debating creationists, and night after night he’d use the same points, even after they were thoroughly debunked. I now recognize it was all part of a Gish gallop. When I asked him about it, he said that he had full faith in God’s creation account , and was just using the tools he had at his disposal to discredit “the enemy.”

  25. I just came across an article from the RAND institute about “The Russian Firehose of Falsehood” Propaganda Mode”. It reminds me somewhat of the “Gish Gallop”. For example, there is no concern about being consistent.

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