Monday, August 25, 2014

Death as the Engine of Progress

Ideas Have Consequences

Watch this short video to see how ideas have consequences.

At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace throughout the world the savage races.—Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man

the war of annihilation … is a natural law, without which the organic world … could not continue to exist at all.—Gustav Jaeger, 1870

just as in nature the struggle for existence is the moving principle of evolution and perfection … so also in world history the destruction of the weaker nations through the stronger is a postulate of progress.—Friedrich Hellwald, 1875

according to Darwin’s theory wars have always been of the greatest importance for the general progress of the human species … the physically weaker, the less intelligent, the morally lower … must give place to the stronger.—Heinrich Ziegler, 1893

Those people who are, from the outset, failures, oppressed, broken— they are the ones, the weakest, who most undermine life among human beings, who in the most perilous way poison and question our trust in life, in humanity, in ourselves.—Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals

The law of selection exists in the world, and the stronger and healthier has received from nature the right to live … Woe to anyone who is weak, who does not stand his ground! He may not expect any help from anyone.—Adolf Hitler

Müller Cells are Wavelength-Dependent Wave-Guides

Enhancing the Cone Photoreceptor Sensitivity

The best arguments for evolution have always been from dysteleology. This world, as evolutionists explain, just does not appear to have been designed. Consider our retina for example. Isn’t it all backwards, with the photocells—which detect the incoming light—pointed toward the rear and behind several layers of cell types and neural processes. Does this make any sense? Surely such a claptrap would offend any “tidy-minded engineer,” as Richard Dawkins put it. But such arguments have never worked and the history of evolutionary thought is full of their failures. Aside from the fact they are metaphysical and not open to scientific testing, they inevitably are simply false. The “bad retina design” argument, as discussed here, here, here, here and here for example, has repeatedly been rebuked. As we learn more we find the retina has all kinds of subtle and clever designs. And now new research out of Israel continues to confirm this trend. Unbelievably, the scientists have demonstrated that the retina’s Müller cells are wavelength-dependent wave-guides that focus the longer-wavelength green-red light onto the cone photoreceptors and pass the shorter-wavelength blue-purple light through to the rod photoreceptors.

It just so happens that is a great idea because while the cone photoreceptors are fast acting and provide color vision, they are less sensitive and need all the help they can get. The rod photoreceptors, on the other hand, are mainly sensitive to the shorter-wavelength blue-purple light, so they don’t miss too much the filtering out of the green-red light. As one science writer concluded:

Having the photoreceptors at the back of the retina is not a design constraint, it is a design feature. The idea that the vertebrate eye, like a traditional front-illuminated camera, might have been improved somehow if it had only been able to orient its wiring behind the photoreceptor layer, like a cephalopod, is folly.

It just isn’t very smart to criticize a design when you’ve never built one yourself and, much less, don’t even know how it works. It’s even worse to then use that ill-conceived criticism as justification for the claim that the design arose spontaneously. From a scientific perspective that claim was always weak. Now it is simply ridiculous. The retina’s incredible design reveals the details of what always was intuitively obvious. As Paul explained, God has made foolish the wisdom of this world.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Evolutionist: Dinosaurs “Were Experimenting” With Flight

Just-So Stories With Final Causes: Aristotle Meets Kipling

Did dinosaurs really shrink so fast on their way to producing birds? That is what happened according to a new study out this week. As the LA Times explains, “Paleontologists have long known that birds evolved from dinosaurs known as theropods,” and now they have confirmed that over a 50 million year period that evolutionary pathway proceeded at several times the normal pace. But as usual the evolutionist’s certainty is underwritten by a mix of speculation and Aristotelianism.

How exactly has this new study confirmed that dinosaurs evolved birds at a fast pace, and how exactly is it that “paleontologists have long known that birds evolved from dinosaurs known as theropods”? In fact there was no such confirmation and there is no such knowledge, not in any scientific sense.

When we say that scientists “know” something, we do not mean that they personally believe it (which paleontologists do), we mean that they have compelling, overwhelming evidence for it (which paleontologists do not). In the scientific sense, which of course is the sense in which evolutionists portray themselves and the sense intended by the Times article, paleontologists have no such knowledge.

That is not in question. How can I know this? Because I’ve read what they have to say. I know their arguments. Unless they’ve been cleverly hiding their proofs, there is no question that they do not “know” dinosaurs evolved into birds—at a fast pace or otherwise.

In fact what evolutionists have most of to offer is speculation, sometimes referred to as “just-so” stories after Kipling’s classic by the same name. For example, evolutionists speculate that as the dinosaurs became smaller (for some reason) their embryonic development phase shortened. And this abbreviated development period meant (for some reason) that the miniaturized dinosaurs retained into adulthood their juvenile features, “some of which were uncannily bird-like.”

And why would dinosaurs become smaller in the first place? Well maybe they were adapting to living in trees where massive size, after all, puts one at a decided disadvantage. Instead, they would need to be small and agile. And maybe nocturnal as well, so evolving feathers to stay warm would help. Longer forelimbs would also help swing from tree to tree, and perhaps those longer forelimbs evolved into wings.

What evolutionists lack in evidential support they make up for with imagination. And evolutionists frame their just-so stories in Aristotelian, final causes, terminology. For example, there was a “push” toward smaller size, and the smaller sizes in dinosaurs helped to “trigger” a host of different traits. A wing-like surface area would have developed “to help glide” from tree to tree. After all, dinosaurs “were experimenting” with flight in various modes and finally “made the crucial leap” to powered flight, and so birds “were born.”

Dinosaurs were experimenting with flight? This isn’t science, this is absurdity.