Fundamental Astuteness

The Essence of Astuteness: Non-Partisan Intellectual Honesty

Missing links in the Associated Press report…

with 4 comments

I know I promised my small readership that I would develop more central themes and issues for my blog to cover, but tonight I must dissent from myself just this once…

Those who know me may be aware, to varying degrees, of my intense skepticism of evolution. Indeed, my previous article on evolution issues, one of the most visited posts on this website, I think leaves no doubt as to my position of this matter. There seems to be no end to the stream of evidence and logic that consistently works against Darwinism, and no end in sight for the consistency with which the dissent from Darwinism is suppressed and ignored by major media and scientific outlets.

Although I mostly limit my research to topics like Christian Apologetics, Politics, and Public Policy, it is not unheard of for me to find myself intruiged by some scientific discovery or anecdote. Such was my situation this evening that brought back several reflections on Darwinism and media reporting in general as relates to that theory (note “theory” not “fact”)

My attention was immediatlely drawn to this article written by the Associated Press and linked to the front page of yahoo.com. The yahoo headline read “New Flatfish fossils solve missing link in evolutionary theory”.

The article explained that “Some odd-looking fish fossils discovered in the bowels of several European museums may help solve a lingering question about evolutionary theory, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday. The 50 million-year-old fossils — which have one eye near the top of their heads — help explain how flatfish such as flounder, sole and halibut developed the strange but useful trait of having both eyes on one side.”

The article then went on to describe various facts of interest that made for a decently written article in many respects, but even as I was reading it, two things immediately came to mind:

First: Will “missing links” really provide that panacea that evolutionists are so quietly desperate for?

I think not. While the absence is missing links is hailed by the oft-supressed skeptics of evolution, I think there is little chance that finding a even a substantial number of “missing links” will prove anything or convince anybody. As a point of debate, it is too easy for the creationist/intelligent design advocate to argue three things, to start with. First, say something like “The presence of ‘missing’ links does not prove anything for  the evolutionist because it is just as reasonable to say that God created many similar things on day one (or two, etc) without evolution”. Second, a legitimate point could be made by saying that “the similarity between two things does not prove the ancestry of the objects in question”. I find two similar fossils. What does that prove? One thing, and one thing only: That two fossils look the same (further investigation might show that there are those who believe it proves more). That’s it. To say as much as Darwinists want to would be to commit the logical fallacy of non-sequitar–‘it does not follow’. Just because a Honda hubcap is compatible with a Chevy rim doesn’t prove that Chevy evolved from Honda 60 million years ago. Thirdly, the people concerned with propelling this message as a support of Darwinism do so while making an important mistake by failing to differentiate between macro and micro evolution. There’s an important difference; micro evolution is something that everyone, whether Darwinist or not, are perfectly aware of and at peace with. Micro evolution refers to small changes that can occur over time within a specified species. Breeding dogs will create diversity in kind–retrievers, labs, pointers, setters, shuitzou, etc. Nobody disuputes this. The point is, whatever you started with, you still have. We started out with dogs, and we still have dogs…just different variations of the same creature.

The debate comes in over macro-evolution. This refers to the idea that, given enough time (or chance) huge changes within species by combining many many small changes together will result in an entirely different entity altogether (like from microbes, to monkeys, to humans). No substantial missing link establishing this branch of evolution has been established; and when they have been in the past, no great length of time has passed before they are discredited. Do we have fossils showing how a whale graduated from whale-ness into lizard-ness? There is no such thing. And even if one were established, we would simply refer to the first argument presented in this post.

So two branches of evolution: Micro-evolution, which states that small changes within a species will occur while still maintaining fundamental characteristics, and Macro-evolution, which states that large changes will occur over time that result in an entirely different species. Creationists agree with the small changes, and evolutionists are hard pressed to substantiate the historicity of the large ones.

Does the article presented by the Associated Press on the front page of Yahoo! do anything to resolve this struggle and give a victory point to the Darwinists? By no means. Notice that the article refers primarily to the fact that some flatfish had one eye, and some had two. Does this represent huge change such that we end up with entirely different species? No.  It simply substantiates something both sides of the creation/evolution debate agree on…that changes within a species overtime can occur. But notice that we still have the same fundamental being: fish. This does nothing to resolve the chief point of dispute between creationists and evolutionists, although the media made the article headline seem to hope we’d be led to believe otherwise.

Speaking of the media leads me to my second major reflection of this post. While the first one had to do with the actual evidence and logic of the evolution debate, this second thought concerns the media only. Look through the article carefully, and see if you don’t notice something:

There is no dissent presented in the article at all.

No alternative viewpoint. Usually the media inserts phrases like “but critics say” or “…but according to…”. This is especially true for political coverage, but it is the mark of every semi-balanced media report. Yet no such regular and essential feature appears here. I would think it should, since many qualified authorities would differ with the point of view presented in this article. According to this report from WorldNetDaily, (in response to an assertion by PBS that “virtually every scientist in the world believes the [Darwinian] theory to be true”) over 600 PhD scientists signed a document expressing a “skeptic[ism] of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.”

“Examination…should be encouraged”? I think so, but I guess the fair and balanced media didn’t get the message. Why? I’m not aware. Ask Bernard Goldberg

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Written by Astuteness

July 9, 2008 at 10:08 pm

4 Responses

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  1. The media lies for a living. Ithink it was in 1915 or so, J.P. Morgan approached a bunch of news editors and commissioned them to find out what it would take to control the media. The found that by controlling the most prominent newspapers, they would be able to control the rest. This was mainly due to smaller concerns taking their “lead” from the more trusted, and bigger newspapers.

    So, As i watched the UK parliament information commission questioning the major groups, the representitive of Reuters stated that about 95% of their funding came from financial concerns.

    In other words, the financial sector controls the news. Smaller local papers subscribe to Reuters and other press agencies for their news. It is no suprise then that we find the diverse range of news media around the world repeating the Reuters reports as gospel.

    The News is bought and paid for. Alternative news across the internet has shaken the establishment press to the core. It is more accurate, and involves input from interested parties rather than people on the payroll.

    antireptilian

    July 10, 2008 at 8:24 am

  2. I spent two semesters in college biology… the biggest problems I had with evolution:

    A) How do inorganic chemicals suddenly become life? I thought scientists had ‘disproved’ spontaneous generation
    B) Even if little bacteria were created spontaneously… *looks at bacteria* *looks at humans around me* *looks back at bacteria* yeeeah.

    While I’m not overtly religious, I seriously doubt that the theory of evolution, as presented by today’s scientists, is true. Of course, microevolution (adaptation) occurs, speciation occurs, but… evolution is just unbelievable. (Fact: My biology professor himself said that while genes and frequencies can shift, a new gene cannot be created except via mutation. So humans will never be able to fly unless we have a human with enough mutated genes to grow wings. Therefore… from bacteria to us, many, many mutations must have occured. Many many many.)

    I like the article. 😉

    Ash

    July 22, 2008 at 4:48 pm

  3. By saying ‘I like the article’ I meant your article… (blog post) not the AP article. my bad.

    Ash

    July 25, 2008 at 3:09 pm

  4. […] – bookmarked by 3 members originally found by Yomaniy01 on 2008-09-07 Missing links in the Associated Press report… https://astuteness.wordpress.com/?p=91 – bookmarked by 4 members originally found by sqirtz on […]

    Bookmarks about Themes

    September 27, 2008 at 1:30 am


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