This one comes from the creation scientists at the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) — the granddaddy of all creationist outfits, the fountainhead of young-earth creationist wisdom. Their post is titled Mammalian Brains Prove Evolutionary Disconnect. That title promises a lot.
ICR’s post was written by Jeffrey P. Tomkins. At the end of his article we’re told: “Dr. Tomkins is Director of Research at the Institute for Creation Research and earned his doctorate in genetics from Clemson University.” Wowie — he’s had a promotion. The last time we mentioned him he was only their Life Sciences Director. Now he’s Director of Research. Presumably that’s a step up, and we’re impressed! Here are some excerpts from Jeffrey’s new article, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:
The evolutionary model of brain development predicted that the complexity of neural connectivity should have increased as brains became larger and the creatures more complex. However, a groundbreaking study has just been published showing that, across the spectrum of mammals, the levels of brain activity are equally complex. [Really?] In other words, mammalian brain connectivity and its amazing complexity appeared suddenly and fully functional across the board with no evolutionary precursor.
There’s a “groundbreaking study” which claims that all mammalian brains — like those of mice and men — are “equally complex”? This we gotta see! Ah, Jeffrey has a footnote to that claim. It leads us to this item at EurekAlert, the online news service of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS): MRI scans of the brains of 130 mammals, including humans, indicate equal connectivity.
Wait a minute! EurekAlert‘s title says “equal connectivity.” Jeffrey is talking about equal complexity. Are they the same? Let’s see what Jeffrey says:
With regard to how this discovery upends evolutionary predictions, Assaf [Professor Yaniv Assaf, one of the study authors] confirmed that, in an effort to explain a more advanced “human animal,” many in the scientific community have argued that a human’s brain connectivity far surpasses that of other mammals. This theory is directly contradicted by the study results. [Gasp!] In other words, the alleged prediction of evolution that things should progress from simple to complex across a continuum among mammals was utterly debunked.
What’s Jeffrey saying — that a human’s brain is no more complex than the brain of a mouse? He may believe that, but the rest of us see things a bit differently. He continues:
Assaf goes on to say that the group’s research “’revealed a universal law: Conservation of Brain Connectivity….This law denotes that the efficiency of information transfer in the brain’s neural network is equal in all mammals, including humans.’”
It may well be that connectivity is the same for all mammalian brains; but human brains are large, and therefore have more connections to be made, so our brains are obviously more complex than those of other mammals. Doesn’t Jeffrey see this? Apparently not. He keeps using “connectivity” and “complexity” as if they were the same thing. Here’s the conclusion of his brilliant post:
Thus, the complexity of mammalian brain connectivity has no predictable, evolutionary pattern or precursor to its existence. [Hee hee!] Neural connectivity complexity among the different kinds of mammals appears suddenly, exactly as our mighty Creator engineered it to be — fully operational and firing on all cylinders from the beginning of creation.
That was bizarre. Does it thrill the creationist readers of ICR’s website? Who knows?
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