Discoveroids: Evolution’s Story Keeps Changing

Everyone is aware of the sort of evidence that would disprove evolution. It would have to be something that something verifiably observed that undeniably contradicts an essential feature of the theory. Piltdown Man could have done the job, as we explained in Where’s the Proof — Evolution’s “Smoking Gun”?, because man couldn’t have evolved on an island with no pre-human ancestral species, but generations of idiots think the exposure of Piltdown Man as a fraud was devastating to evolution.

Another example of something that could overturn evolution is an indisputably anachronistic fossil, like the proverbial Precambrian rabbit. But creationists have no such evidence.

Instead, they scream about the alleged improbability of evolution, or the fictitious deathbed recantation of Darwin, or some other irrelevant “evidence,” none of which means anything. Evolution is as well-established as any other scientific theory — better than many — and it keeps on delivering evidence that confirms it — see The Lessons of Tiktaalik.

So what do creationists do? They scream about irrelevancies. There’s a good example today at the Discovery Institute’s creationist blog: With Two New Fossils, Evolutionists Rewrite Narratives to Accommodate Conflicting Evidence. It was written by Günter Bechly, a Discoveroid senior fellow. Wikipedia has a write-up on him which says:

In 2015 Bechly criticised Neo-Darwinism and expressed his support for Intelligent Design theory on a new private webpage and blog. Bechly is a convert to philosophical theism. He emphasizes on his website that he strictly separates his private activities for Intelligent Design and theistic apologetics from his former professional work as museum scientist and in his paleontological publications.

. Here are some excerpts from his post, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

Two new fossils, described in August and September 2017, have again forced evolutionists to rewrite their fanciful narratives of how major transitions in the history of life occurred. In this case the new fossils disarrayed, respectively, the origin of tetrapod land vertebrates and of bird feathers and flight.

[*Begin Drool Mode*] Ooooooooooooh! [*End Drool Mode*] We’re in big trouble now! What were these two discoveries? Bechly says:

The first fossil, described by Lefèvre et al. (2017), is a feathered dinosaur named Serikornis sungei (nicknamed “Silky”), which lived about 160 million years ago during the Upper Jurassic era. Found in China’s Liaoning province, it is a beautifully preserved complete animal with visible dino-fuzz covering its body.

[*Yawn*] Wikipedia has a write-up on it: Serikornis. Why does Bechly think this is a problem for evolution? He explains:

1. The distribution and type of feathers on its body are not consistent with the currently preferred scenario about the evolution of bird feathers and flight. …

2. The new phylogenetic tree in the original publication by Lefèvre et al. again reshuffles the feathered dinosaurs and early birds into a new branching pattern, disagreeing with previous trees that, in turn, all disagree with each other. Constructing phylogenetic trees looks more and more like an arbitrary enterprise, evolutionary biology’s equivalent of other pseudoscientific methods such as psychoanalysis or the Rorschach test.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! All it means is that as more fossils are found, the pattern of evolution becomes more accurate. What else does Bechly have? He tells us:

The second fossil discovery, by Zhu et al. (2017), is a new species of lobe-finned fish named Hongyu chowi from the Late Devonian. Discovered at the Shixiagou quarry in northern China, it was about 1.5 metres long, and lived 370 to 360 million years ago.

[*Yawn*] PhysOrg had an article about it — see Devonian fish provides unique insights into the early evolution of modern lobe-finned fishes. Nice discovery, but nothing revolutionary.

Bechly, however, babbles for several paragraphs about how troublesome it is. You can click over to the Discoveroid article to read his reasoning, if you like. Then he tells us:

These two new fossils represent further evidence conflicting with previously accepted evolutionary narratives. But thank God evolutionary theory can easily adapt to such inconvenient evidence, simply by rewriting the story. That way, the new evidence fits perfectly.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! If a new fossil discloses that something evolved earlier than previously thought, yes, of course there will be an adjustment made in the evolutionary narrative. That’s how science is supposed to work. It’s a virtue of science, not a vice. Creationists like Bechly want everything to be revealed once, perfectly, and never change. But he’s thinking about religion, not science. This is his final paragraph:

Dubious procedures like these would be unthinkable in other natural sciences, such as physics. They call into question whether evolutionary biology really qualifies as a hard science at all. Arguably it is not a testable theory, or even a well-defined one, but merely a loose collection of narratives that are forged to fit the evidence — any evidence whatsoever.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Yeah, physics hasn’t changed since the days of Isaac Newton. Nor has any other science. Only evolution keeps developing, as new evidence is found. That’s why evolutionists are fools! The most reliable unchanging doctrine is intelligent design. It will always explain everything!

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

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26 responses to “Discoveroids: Evolution’s Story Keeps Changing

  1. The Discotute has a new Senior Fellow??? I’ve been away too long!

  2. Tomato Addict says: “I’ve been away too long!”

    Indeed you have. Welcome back!

  3. Skeptical Servent

    Hey curmudgeon since I’ve been commenting on this blog so long I ended going on There twitter and some commented this ignorant in on twitter here it is.

    Shaheen Amin
    Shaheen Amin @Shaheen1985
    ·
    54m
    “Christianity is better than the evolution myth – debunked over and over.”

    See completely ignorant I’ve this guy before in twitter and I’m annoyed as hell he eats up every word Discovery Institute says and bothers me he should see what science actually says even if evolution wasn’t science anymore that would not make Creationism science whatsoever so anyway what’s your thoughts on it.

  4. Skeptical Servent asks: “so anyway what’s your thoughts on it.”

    My views are known, and I never debate with creationists. That’s a hopeless activity.

  5. In his 1852 essay “The Development Hypothesis”, Herbert Spencer pointed out that no one has proposed an alternative to evolution
    https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Development_Hypothesis

  6. In 2015 Bechly criticised Neo-Darwinism [converted to Christianity, became a creationist,] and expressed his support for Intelligent Design theory on a new private webpage and blog.

    Correction.

  7. James St. John

    No one can truly be against something they don’t understand. This doofus doesn’t have a clue what evolution is if he thinks 2 cool fossil finds “change all our theories”. That’s what journalists say. Evolutionary theory does not include lineage-specific details. It describes the how and why of biologic change through time, at the genetic-level, organism-level, community-level, species-level, and ecosystem-level. The how and why is a complex mix of factors that include genetic drift, natural selection, sexual selection, heterochrony, and other processes. A new fossil fish doesn’t change any of that understanding. I suspect he knows that, and he’s just lying – well, all DI members are paid to lie in their writings.

  8. It reminds me of the creationist erzatz triumph when a set of tetrapod tracks was found in rocks dated some millions of years earlier than Tiktaalik. “Ah-hah!” said they, “Whaur’s yer Tiktaalic noo?” or words to that effect. “Not so transitional after all, eh?”

    And the obvious fact that Tiktaalic was a fish that had evolved usable legs was just dismissed. Or rather, ignored.

    It is as if when some tetrapods went on to evolve pelvis constructions that carried their limbs vertically under their bodies, there were none that still carried them splayed horizontally, as lizards do to this day.

    So what’s this loser trying to say? He’s conceded feathered dinosaurs. They had, it seemed, detail differences in feather construction and pattern. And this is supposed to mean that some of them could not be transitional to birds? Say what?

  9. D’oh! The conflict is immediate obvious, the fish didn’t have feathers nor did the bird have scales!

  10. @DavidK
    But did they find scales on the winged side and feathers on the side with fins in a turduckadilosaur?

  11. ‘other pseudoscientific methods such as psychoanalysis’. If only we could get a creo to lie on a couch so we could use that pseudoscience psychoanalsis on him/her.

  12. Ceteris Paribus

    Scientists start out with the understanding that “science” can’t do anything useful in this world unless there is freedom to pursue the state of knowledge wherever it goes. To the end of time. It is pragmatic. Science looks for puzzles to be solved.

    Creationists start out with the idea that they have been given exclusive custody of of a set of eternal moral principles. Which must be proclaimed and worshiped, undiminished, to the next generation. Until, that is, the arrival of their most happy day at the “End Of Time”. At which they will all go to a Heaven “up there”.

  13. Dubious procedures like these would be unthinkable in other natural sciences, such as physics. They call into question whether evolutionary biology really qualifies as a hard science at all. Arguably it is not a testable theory, or even a well-defined one, but merely a loose collection of narratives that are forged to fit the evidence — any evidence whatsoever.

    Sounds more like creationism, whether it calls itself by that name, or “intelligent design,” or whatever else.

  14. I can hear the announcement from Stockholm now: “And the Nobel Prize in Physics for 2018 goes to John Smith, for doing nothing at all!” and everyone applauds.

  15. The “conservative” Christians may believe that their particular beliefs are not only the true Christianity, but also unchanging. But they are the product of today’s culture, only one of today’s results from a changing history.
    Go back a hundred years and see if there were any true Christians who would accept what is represented in today’s Ark replica.

  16. And, my God, what concept has changed more than creationism? It went from being old Earth creationism to being in heavy disrepute to being young earth creationism, and from there? They’ve moved the goalposts back so far that you’d need a rocket to move from end zone to end zone.

  17. @Ross Cameron: If only we could get a creo to lie on a couch

    You don’t need to put them on a couch to lie.

  18. I’m honestly baffled that an otherwise accomplished palaeontologist can make such childish observations or pretend to be unaware of the changes in other branches of science. Something weird is going on in that brain.

  19. Christine Janis

    @Draken. I suspect that the DI is now paying Bletchley’s salary — he’s a prize catch for them, a real scientist ostensibly converted to ID by science itself. So, it behooves him to write what the DI knows will wow their followers, whether or not it makes any sense to people who understand how science works.

  20. I eagerly await Bletchley’s publications in actual referred scientific journals showing how these two “finds” destroy evolution, but I will not be holding my breath despite my eagerness.

  21. Christine Janis

    Bletchley doesn’t have to publish in scientific journals, he’s getting paid to put out this dross. He’s trying to make out that this was the sort of “evidence” that made him reject evolution for ID, but since he was publishing papers on new fossil evidence himself for a couple of decades I sort of doubt it. It’s a question of who’s now buttering his bread.

  22. From Bechley’s website:

    “I despise the dogmatic and sometimes even fanatical stance of some evolutionists like P.Z. Myers (Pharyngula blog), Laurence Moran (Sandwalk blog), Jeffrey Shallit (Recursivity blog), Jerry Coyne (Why Evolution is True blog), freelance writer John Farrell, the anonymous coward behind The Sensuous Curmudgeon blog…”

    Sometimes fanatical? Sometimes? You’re always fanatical in my eyes, SC.

  23. And Bechly obviously despises his former self and all his former work in systematics. Is he planning to retract all of his papers?

  24. Mark Germano quotes Bechley’s website: “I despise the dogmatic and sometimes even fanatical stance of some evolutionists like … the anonymous coward behind The Sensuous Curmudgeon blog …”

    BWAHAHAHAHAHA!

  25. There is a long list of pseudonymous or anonymous (there is a difference, btw) authors of serious works: Publius as the author of “The Federalist”, Voltaire, and much of the Bible.

  26. How about Becks for a nickname if he keeps producing dreck for the DI?
    I wonder if the conversion was sparked by a mid-life crisis – wouldn’t a sports car have been a wiser choice?