email - October 2010

A Reasonable Evolutionist

You donít need to argue with reasonable evolutionists.

Last month we shared an email from Phil, an unreasonable evolutionist who just wanted to argue. Now we would like to share this email from Matt, a Canadian university student.

We donít need to argue with Matt to convince him that the theory of evolution is falseóhe is going to come to that conclusion all by himself in a few years because he clearly has a reasonable, rational mind. Hereís what he wrote.

In all honesty, the only point that you and I agree on is that there is no direct proof that re[p]tile reproduction evolved into mammalian reproduction, or on the development of lactation. Unfortunately, all of the related tissues are soft, not bony, and therefore lack any tendency to fossilize. On the other hand, there is no solid evidence refuting it either. Singular pieces of refuting evidence could easily be flukes or accidents of convergent evolution. All we have for the evolution of non-bony structures is precedent and theory.

The theory on the evolution of reptiles is that they came from amphibians, which came from fish. Fish and amphibians have soft-shelled eggs, and it is believed that their ancestors did too. The theory is that reptiles lived near water early on, as they still had heavily permeable egg shells that needed to be laid in water, though adults could live solely on land. The harder shell developed later to keep water in, and hard, bird-like shells developed later still.

Also, fossil evidence showed that mammal like-reptiles and mammals developed BEFORE birds and dinosaurs, and a relatively clear progression from one to the other, with no evidence of eggs from any of the ones that could be classified as mammals.

And as for how live-birth developed in early mammals, the main theory is that soft-shelled eggs began to ďhatchĒ in the uterus, while still relying on the yolk (still seen in some modern sharks). Later, the yolk was bypassed, and the blood vessels that fed nutrients into the yolk for its creation simply remained to nourish the developing offspring. At some point before this, Monotremes took another turn, and continued laying eggs.

As for mammary glands and other aspects of mammal evolution, the fossil evidence was best described and characterized by my Comparative Chordate Zoology professor, Nancy Loadman of the University of Winnipeg. Her PowerPoint is attached It has been reduced to be able to fit into this e-mail, but all relevant information is attached.

Anyhow, Lactation developed as just a patch of secreting skin (still seen in Monotremes rather than a nipple). It is believed that it began to moisten the egg, and later developed as a method to feed nutrients into the egg. It later might have continued to feed the young after they hatched. Later still, it would have fed them without needing any egg at all, just a juvenile animal. As for the suckling instinct, it likely evolved as a scent-based aspect, attracting the helpless young so that they donít stray too far off. This didnít happen all at once. One or two aspects evolved at a time, and all very gradually, with overlap.

As for evolution itself, the progression in the fossil evidence is significant enough to support the theory. Genetic evidence connects different species, and defines elements of relation. Even non-coding DNA (introns) holds some secrets of evolutionary progress. By implanting the protein products that chicken introns would produce in their introns were planted in chicken embryos. This simulated activation of genes caused teeth, long tails and bodily scales to develop in those embryos before they were terminated. This suggests dinosaur origins for modern birds. There are innumerable other pieces of evidence supporting evolution. The only thing stopping actual proof is the impossibility of time travel with modern technology.

So, in short, a lack of evidence is not a conclusion. Evidence of evolution itself, and the evolution from retiles [sic] to mammal-like-reptiles to mammals exists in the fossil record, and the only reason evidence of live birth and lactation donít exist is that they are not based on bony structures, so wouldnít fossilize. Please research before you start putting out wrong theories, especially if the website where you post it is good-looking enough to get some other ill-informed person to believe it. It also disputes currently accepted theories without putting forth new scientific ones to replace it (at least as far as I can see). Beliefs, once planted, are difficult to remove. You should understand this better than anyone, and I am unlikely to break that habit. I only hope that this can at least open you up to the possibility of other theories, and consider the consequences of your postings. If you want to kill a modern and accepted theory, don't kill it without replacing it.

No Explanation

Letís deal with the last paragraph first. Evolutionists want students to believe that a wrong explanation is better than no explanation at all.

Suppose a doctor said to you, ďI know you donít have pneumonia, but since I canít figure out what you do have, I am going to treat you for pneumonia.Ē Would you go to that doctor? Is an incorrect diagnosis better than no diagnosis?

Matt says, ďlack of evidence is not a conclusion.Ē We agree. There is a lack of evidence for evolution, as Matt admits. Yet, he accepts the conclusion of evolution despite the lack of evidence because there is no other explanation.

Mammal-like Reptiles

He has been told that there is fossil evidence of reptiles to mammal-like reptiles, and mammal-like reptiles to mammals. Presumably he is referring to the fact that the jaw bones in some reptiles look a lot like the bones in a mammalian ear. In years past, evolutionists claimed this was evidence for reptile to mammal evolution. The bones supposedly migrated from the jaw to the ear in order to improve hearing. We havenít devoted an article to this because we havenít seen this argument presented in the REAL scientific literature for decades, so it isnít really news-worthy. But the argument does still show up on some evolutionistsí websites, and (apparently) in Canadian biology classes. So, we will briefly discuss it in the sidebar elsewhere in this newsletter.

Flukes

Going back to the beginning of Mattís email, he admits there is no proof that reptiles evolved into mammals. Sadly, he is ready to discount refuting evidence as a fluke, or convergent evolution. Last month we warned you that evolutionists try to explain away similarity that canít reasonably be attributed to a common ancestor as ďconvergent evolutionMatt has heard that argument, and accepts it (for now). The more times he hears it, however, the less convincing it will be. We are confident that Matt will eventually see through this deception.

Mattís second paragraph is the standard evolutionary fairy tale. He is simply repeating the story his teacher told him (as if we had never heard it before). Just because a story is told over and over doesnít make it true.

The third paragraph is based on the evolutionary assumption that the geologic column represents time periods rather than ecological zones. Matt hasnít questioned this assumption (yet).

The fourth paragraph begins a speculative story about how early mammals evolved from egg laying to live-birth reproduction. There is no evidence that ďthe yolk was bypassed.Ē It is all based on the assumption of evolution.

Letís look at the sixth paragraph in detail.

Lactation developed as just a patch of secreting skin (still seen in Monotremes rather than a nipple).

Notice that he states this as an absolute fact. How does Matt know that lactation developed as just a patch of secreting skin? We asked him, and he gave us this reply in a subsequent email:

I don't, and neither do the scientists, since soft tissues don't fossilize. The best we can do is look at modern animals with primitive traits, and then try and trace back ancestry in the fossil record. Given fossil evidence, this is just the theory that fits best within it.

This answer satisfies him for now; but we donít think it will satisfy him for longóespecially as he learns more about what the fossil record really shows. The sixth paragraph continues,

It is believed that it began to moisten the egg, and later developed as a method to feed nutrients into the egg.

We asked him, ďWhy is that believed?Ē In his subsequent email he replied,

It is simply one of the theories, and the one that was focussed [sic] on in my class. Since it is a theory with enough acceptance to make it into the class, at least a good number of people do beliee [sic] it. And it does make sense, given the permeable nature of some primitive egg designs.

Clearly, Matt realizes that it is (to use a term that evolutionists hate) ďjust a theoryĒ without evidence to back it up. At this point in his life he is ready to accept it because, ďa good number of peopleĒ believe it. As he matures, he will discover that the majority can be wrong. (This has been proved frequently by political elections. )

In the conclusion to his second email to us, he said,

I admit, I should have used the terms "theorized," or some synonym more often, and said "might have" rather than "would have." I wasn't so much trying to say that my beliefs are undeniably right, so much as I was saying don't shoot down a line of evidence and the extrapolated theories that result without a comprable [sic] argument available to replace it. I am open to other possibilities, but I won't accept them without greater proof than a few holes in modern theories. A hole in a theory doesn't disprove anything if surrounding evidence is still valid unless there is another theory that lacks that hole is found. As far as I've seen, there are no better theories with anywhere near as much fossil evidence. Beyond that, all scientists can do for the moment is theorize and extrapolate, but it's better than just leaving these gaps in our knowledge empty.

No! It isnít better to fill gaps with nonsense because the nonsense hides the fact that there are gaps that need to be filled. Unsolved mysteries need to be clearly identified as unsolved mysteries so people can solve them.

Donít Argue

Matt is a smart guy. He already sees the weaknesses of the theory of evolution. He quite properly, for the moment, defers to the judgment of his more experienced teacher. It is good that he listens to, and understands, what his teacher is telling him.

After he graduates, however, we are confident that he will continue to learn. The more he learns, (especially when it comes to fossils and DNA), the less comfortable it will be for him to accept a theory that he knows isnít supported by the facts. Sooner or later, he wonít be content to believe a lie just because the truth hasnít yet been found.

There isnít any need to argue with people like Matt. They will figure it out all by themselves. Just answer their questions, and give them things to think about.

Quick links to
Science Against Evolution
Home Page
Back issues of
Disclosure
(our newsletter)
Web Site
of the Month
Topical Index