Feature Article - April 2012
by Do-While Jones

I Heard it Through My Jaw Bones

We present this musical tribute to the evolution of jaw bones into ear bones in honor of National Theory of Evolution Day (April 1).

The evolution of mammalian auditory ossicles [ear bones] is one of the most well-documented and important evolutionary events, demonstrating both numerous transitional forms as well as an excellent example of exaptation, the re-purposing of existing structures during evolution.

In reptiles, the eardrum is connected to the inner ear via a single bone, the stapes or stirrup, while the upper and lower jaws contain several bones not found in mammals. Over the course of the evolution of mammals, one lower and one upper jaw bone (the articular and quadrate) lost their purpose in the jaw joint and were put to new use in the middle ear, connecting to the stapes and forming a chain of three bones (collectively called the ossicles) which amplify sounds and allow more acute hearing. In mammals, these three bones are known as the malleus, incus, and stapes (hammer, anvil, and stirrup respectively).

… The mammalian middle ear contains three tiny bones known as the ossicles: malleus, incus, and stapes. The ossicles are a complex system of levers whose functions include: reducing the amplitude of the vibrations; increasing the amount of energy transmitted. 1

The incredible evolution of reptilian jaw bones into mammalian ear bones was so inspiring, I just had to write a song about it.2

I Heard it Through My Jaw Bones

(Listen to the MP3 file.)

Ooh, I bet you're wondering how I heard
All kinds of music and the spoken word.
To get the sound to my inner ear
There are bones shaped so that I can hear.
It took me by surprise I must say,
When I found out yesterday.
I found out that...

Chorus: I Heard it Through My Jaw Bones
Dislocated from where they’d grown.
Oh, I Heard it Through My Jaw Bones,
That somehow moved into my ear zone.
Honey, honey yeah.

I know that a jaw is supposed to chew,
But that’s not what these bones do.
They moved up from my mouth, don’t you see?
They help me hear what you say to me.
I did not believe it at first myself
That they moved to someplace else.
But that’s how ...

(repeat chorus)

People say believe half of what you see,
Son, and none of what you hear.
But I can't help bein' confused
If it's true please tell me dear.
Did these bones really get up and go
To some place they’d never been before?
Are you sure that ...

(repeat chorus)

Accidental Impedance Matching

Any engineer who has ever designed a microphone, antenna, amplifier, or automobile transmission will instantly recognize how silly it is to think that jaw bones would accidentally work very well as ear bones because engineers understand impedance matching. So, here is an explanation of impedance matching for non-engineers.

If you have ever ridden a 10-speed bicycle, you have had some personal experience with impedance matching. When riding up hill, you used the lowest gear. When riding on a level surface with the wind at your back, you used the highest gear.

In low gear, it is easy to pedal, but you have to pedal more times to go a certain distance. High gear moves you farther down the road with each revolution, but it is harder to push the pedals. Low gear presents the lowest impedance to your legs.

By changing gears you change the impedance experienced by your leg muscles. You naturally try to select the impedance that optimizes energy transfer.

The physical definition of “work” is “force times distance.” To do a certain amount of work, you either have to apply lots of force for a short distance, or a little bit of force for a long distance. Gears and levers allow you to trade force for distance (and vice versa) to optimize energy transfer. If you have ever jacked up a car to change a tire, you used pounds of force to move the jack handle a few feet to lift tons of weight a few inches.

So what does all this talk about gears and levers, force, distance, and impedance have to do with hearing? It has to do with energy transfer to the inner ear. We will get to that in a minute; but let’s go to the swimming pool first.

Reflection Caused by Impedance Mismatch

No doubt at some point in your life you stood in the shallow end of a swimming pool and heard all the people talking and kids yelling. Then you dipped your head under water and could not hear the talking very well. Instead, you heard all sorts of underwater noises. Why could you not hear the people talking when you put your head under water? The answer is, “impedance mismatch.”

Air is a low impedance transmission media. It is easy to move air molecules back and forth, so they have to be moved a long distance to transmit energy. Water is a high impedance transmission media. Water molecules are heavy, and don’t need to move very far to transmit energy.

When a sound wave passing through the air hits the surface of the water, the air molecules are too light to push the heavy water molecules, so the sound wave just bounces off the water. When a sound wave traveling through the water reaches the surface, the water molecules move so little that they don’t move the air molecules enough to be heard. The sound wave can’t get out of the water and into the air, so it reflects back into the water.

Whenever there is an impedance mismatch, energy is reflected rather than transferred.

The fluid inside your ear is high impedance. The bones in your ear are little levers that trade distance for force. They convert the low impedance sound waves in the air to high impedance sound waves in the fluid in your ear.

Engineers know how difficult it is to achieve the proper impedance matching to facilitate energy transfer. To think that bones that happened to grow in the wrong place (that is, in the ear instead of the jaw) would just happen to have the proper gear ratio to efficiently transfer sound waves from air to liquid, is just foolish.

Confirmation Bias

This is an example of “confirmation bias.” Evolutionists believe that everything happened by accident, so the similarity between the shape of reptilian jaw bones and mammalian ear bones confirms their bias.

The relationship between the reptilian jaw bones and mammalian middle-ear bones was first established on the basis of embryology and comparative anatomy by Reichert (in 1837, before the publication of On the Origin of Species in 1859) and advanced by Gaupp, and this is known as the Reichert–Gaupp Theory. 3

Notice that it stems from the false notion that embryos repeat their evolutionary history as they develop.

Evolutionists also say,

...the discovery that the mammalian malleus and incus were actually homologues of visceral elements of the "reptilian" jaw articulation ... ranks as one of the milestones in the history of comparative biology. 4

It is a milestone on the road to unparallel foolishness!

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Footnotes:

1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_mammalian_auditory_ossicles
2 http://scienceagainstevolution.org/music/JawBones.mp3
3 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_mammalian_auditory_ossicles
4 ibid.