Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fingerprints of the Deluge

Several interesting articles from Science Daily.   They are completely pro-evolution.  So much so that perhaps they don't catch it when the information in their articles is very supportive of creationist ideas once you take the evolutionary blinders off.    This article went even further.   It reported on key findings that were what one would expect to find if the Biblical account of a world-wide deluge with a small sample of land animal and human survivors were true.  The key paragraph....

"It also implies that the loss of species diversity that occurred during the megafaunal extinctions at the end of the last Ice Age may not have been as extensive as previously thought.
In contrast, ancient DNA studies have revealed that the loss of genetic diversity in many surviving species appears to have been extremely severe," Professor Cooper says.
Translated, it is saying that many fossils that were assigned to different species based on bones are now determined to be the same species based on DNA analysis.   A species can morph over a wider range of forms than thought, but still be the same species.   They once thought that after the end of the last Ice Age (they estimate it ended a bare 12,000 years ago) that the world lost a huge chunk of its large animal species.   Now they say a more accurate picture is that while some species did die out, what is more likely is that "species" is a broader concept than the bone-pickers have thought.  What was really lost was an "extreme" amount of genetic diversity within a species.   Modern species contain only a fraction of the genetic diversity of those same species prior to the end of the last Ice Age.   

What could explain such a finding?   How about a world-wide cataclysm such as the Deluge described in Scripture in which only a handful of beasts from each "kind" are preserved?   Post Deluge, the "kinds" spread out into a number of classified species, which genetically turn out to still be the same species- all of which were just a subset of the "super species" which existed prior to the cataclysm. But then they put up another article the same day which casts doubt on previous results from fossil DNA.   Here is the money quote from that article...
Cataloging the diversity of life on Earth is challenging enough, but when scientists attempt to draw a phylogeny -- the branching family tree of a group of species over their evolutionary history -- the challenge goes from merely difficult to potentially impossible. The fossil record is the only direct evidence scientists have about the history of species diversity, but it can be full of holes or totally nonexistent, depending on the type of organisms. The only hope in such cases is to infer historical diversity from modern DNA sequences, but such techniques have a fatal flaw: the results they provide are demonstrably incorrect.
Does that sound like they have a high degree of confidence in the evidence for the macro-evolutionary hypothesis to you?  Me neither.   Belief in evolution is an article of faith for which they are searching for confirming evidence (whilst they insure the public that such evidence is already in hand).  

Oh, they claim that they have found a technique to correctly measure one aspect of DNA paleontology - species diversity. That is what the piece is about.   They claim past methods over-estimated ancient diversity (which according to the previous article I cited, was STILL a more conservative estimate of species diversity than that generated by using bones alone because the same species can display a wide variety of fossil traits).   But a close look at the article shows that even their new ballyhooed technique was only confirmed at tracing whale diversity over the past 35 million years.   But this was not a story of whales coming into being from something else.  At that time, whales were whales, and while we may have lost some diversity in the group, it says nothing about the question of whether or not whales evolved from some land dwelling ancestor.  Read here for more insight into the absurdity of the major claim behind whale diversification.

A few days ago they had an article touting "epigenetic" changes over DNA mutation as a possible source to power evolution.      This is because the more they learn about DNA, the more they realize natural mutations in DNA can not be responsible for the diversity of life on earth.    The more they understood about DNA, the less probable it was that DNA could have been the mechanism by which evolution occurred.  But just as the door is closing, they discover another poorly-understood process that shapes living things.   So now they float the idea that this new process must be the mechanism behind evolution.  

Why? Because evolution must have happened!  For years the evos insisted that DNA changes were the mechanism by which it occurred.  And for years doubters of the theory pointed out to them that all known natural processes were woefully inadequate for the task.  Evos responded by calling us all a bunch of ignorant Bible-thumpers.  Now they are shifting their hopes on this new, poorly understood process.  And if you doubt the current incarnation of their oft-changing explanation as to how it might have happened then you too must be an ignorant Bible-thumper.   Just accept that it happened, they will tell you how later, maybe.

UPDATE: Their straw did not support them long.  New study which is based on some of the same research says epigenetic changes are not lasting and probably have little long term effect on evolution.


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