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Creation & Evolution Yr 10 Science Quest Syllabus Australia Critique by Prof Mike Tarburton B. A. , Dip. Ed. , Dip. Sci. Ph. D (Zool) Retired Dean: School of Science & Technology Pacific Adventist University.
The cover of this book suggests that the evolutionary theme is seen as important to Australian Year ten students. Pub. Date: 3 rd ed. 2000, 4 th ed. 2007.
The evolutionary theme appears to start with making the point that fossils indicate many former inhabitants of the Earth are now extinct. P. 200.
Note they say a dead dinosaur is covered quickly by sediment. This points to a problem evolutionists have. Increasingly they are admitting that fossils have to be covered quickly to be preserved. Research such as that in the sediment-rich Mississippi delta show normal sedimentation is not enough to produce fossils 1. [Note: Mississippi sedimentation is relatively rapid for todays rates] Catastrophic actions have produced most fossils. 1. Zangerl & Richardson. 1988. The paleoecological History of two Pennsylvanian Black Shales. Fieldiana Geological Records 4, 20 -21, 167 -169.
One fossil text says “the process of changing from a living organism to a fossil takes place over millions of years …. . it must be buried quickly before it decomposes. ” Taylor, P. D. 1990. Fossil. Knopf, NY. P. 10. Am I the only one who sees an inconsistency here? The next quote looks a little more consistent, both within itself and with the real world. ”Rapid burial must take place in a material capable of retarding decomposition” Matthews, W. H. 1967. Geology Made Simple. Doubleday. N. Y. p. 120.
Turbidites are evidence that not only fossils but also strata are laid down quickly. The above turbidite was photographed in Colorado.
Cliffs of turbidites E. Coast N. I. New Zealand: showing their repetitive nature. This cliff was most probably produced in hours by a series of waves, during the Noachian flood, rather than by the deposition we see on the ocean floor today.
Under the heading “Dating Fossils” on the same page as the Geol. Column is the statement … “By calculating the amount of radioactive carbon left in the body remains it is possible to work out when the organism died. This type of dating, called absolute dating, can be used to calculate the age of fossils that died thousands of years ago”. P. 201. They give no indication: • of the fact that “radioactive carbon” cannot date most of the ages (millions of years) shown in the chart. Scientists kno w that carbon can not be used fo r measuring millions of years - how come these authors don’t? The half life of 14 C is only 5, 730 years (Dott, R. H. & Prothero, D. R. 1994. Evolution of the Earth. 5 th Ed. P. 102. ) • that this so called “absolute dating” method actually involves several assumptions that cannot be tested by current scientific procedures. ie. It cannot be absolute ! (Dott, R. H. & Prothero, D. R. 1994. Evolution of the Earth. P. 101. - “production of C in 14 the atmosphere is assumed to be at a nearly constant rate, ”) In spite of this extrapolation. . . .
A warning was given that “the relative dating method does need to be used with care, …. ” Students would not worry about that when they have been assured that the radio-active carbon method is scientific and absolute. They have been mislead! …. < then what does this mean?
The text then claims that “the fossil record also gives evidence that species have changed over time, and may show new species arose. ” They use Archaeopteryx as an example and claim that its morphology has allowed scientists to deduce “that birds have evolved from a dinosaur ancestor. ”
So is this deduction fair and accurate? 1. “Bird footprints are more common in Mesozoic sediments than is generally 2. recognised …. Those in the lower Cretaceous and Jurassic are stratigraphically lower than Archaeopteryx and therefore are further evidence that Archaeopteryx is not the ancestor of modern birds”. Lockley, M. G. , S. Y. Yang, M. Matsukawa, F. Fleming & S. K. Lim. 1992. The Track Records of Mesozoic birds: Evidence and implications. Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. Lond. B 336: 113 -134. • “Archaeopteryx is now seen as a side branch of evolution that eventually became extinct. ” Standish, T. 2004. Fossil Birds Geoscience Reports 37, 1 -5. • “We are not even authorised to consider the exceptional case of the Archaeopteryx as a true link. …An animal displaying characters belonging to two different groups cannot be treated as a true link as long as the intermediary stages have not been found, and as long as the mechanisms of transition remain unknown. ” P. L. du Nouy. Human Destiny. NY. 1947. (an ardent evolutionist). • “Archaeopteryx is not an ancestor of modern birds …there are too many structural differences. ” J. Wells. Ph. D, Ph. D. In Strobel, L. 2004. The Case for a Creator. P. 69. (Christian Childhood - atheist half way through Uni - Creationist)
Discussion turns to the fact that variations arise within species, this is given under the heading Adding variety to Life This text says “Look at the dogs in the photograph below. What differences can you see? How did this variation come about when all the individuals belong to the same species? ” p. 208. Then follows the heading Bringing in new genes Here human variations are used to explain how individuals have brought deleterious characteristics into Australia. “On the other hand, if the variation introduced into a population is beneficial … that characteristic may then become more frequent…”
Notice they do not give an example! There aren’t any. The next page starts with a heading that would attract the attention of many 14 year olds. “Variety through sex”.
Then under the heading: Sometimes making mistakes can be good. However, the only example they can come up with is the Peppered Moth Biston betularia where they say “it is thought the black variety originally arose as a result of a mutation” p. 210. (p. 254 4 th ed. ) So they have no evidence for this assertion. They obviously do not know about the fallacious reasoning involved in the whole research saga on the Peppered Moth. They do get one thing right “Gene mutations are the only means by which new genes can be produced in a species. ” … It is a pity they could not think of an example to give at least some validity to their assertion. The reason they could not come forward with an example is that there are none! All mutations are deleterious in a natural setting.
If mutations are the only possible source for new genes then why confuse students by talking about all the other variations that come from pre-existing genes, placed there by the Creator to allow adaptation to environmental changes in the environment? .
Another point they did not get correct related to the colour of wild Budgerigars
Photo: Marlene Lyell The fact is wild budgies are green not blue! Tarburton, M. K. Personal records: WA. SA. Vic, Qld, HANZAB. V. 4, p 504. + All Australian Bird Field Guides.
Incidentally: another “Sci Fact” that these authors get wrong is found on p. 208 of their Year 8 book. They say… “Penguins …. . may appear to have runny noses because that is where their salt-secreting glands are located. ” Problem is the salt glands in all marine birds that have them are located above the eyes, where they are known as supraorbital glands. The very name tells you where they are. They empty their secretions through tubes that exit the nares so that is why they may appear to have runny noses. Proctor, N. S. & P. J. Lynch 1993. Manual of Ornithology. p. 227.
Under the head “The Theory of Evolution” A reasonably factual account of the part played by Linnaeus, Darwin, Lyell, and Wallace in formulating the Theory of Evolution is given.
So building on the false idea that mutations can produce beneficial changes in organisms the authors look at what Darwin concluded: a process of natural selection that favours those characteristics that will best support life in changed environments. It is noteworthy that the authors only example is given under the heading “Tall Tales. ”
Their example is the apparent differentiation of the Kaibab Squirrel from the Albert Squirrel after separation by the Grand Canyon.
Chapter “The Evidence of Evolution” p. 386. “Evolution in Action. The Kaibab Squirrel Sciurus aberti kaibabensis became isolated on the north rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona about 10, 000 years ago, as the forests of the sw U. S. contracted after the most recent of the glaciers. During this period, the features such as the black belly that distinguishes the Kaibab squirrel from its closest relative, the Abert squirrel, S. aberti, evolved.
Once again the example they use is not one of two new species, only subspecies! We are playing with human definitions here and nothing more. They are still squirrels and no evidence for one type of organism evolving into another.
Following this piece of pseudo-evidence we are presented with the heading: The evolution revolution The authors say “The theory of evolution by natural selection is now so well accepted by most scientists that it has almost become scientific fact. Since Darwin’s time, evidence has been collected that supports this theory. This evidence is detailed below”. …. LETS SEE HOW GOOD THIS EVIDENCE IS….
Above the previous diagram the authors stated that “Anatomical signs of evolution such as the forearms of mammals are called homologous structures” So the inference is that morphological similarities are evidence for evolution. There is no mention of how this counts as evidence and no mention that common design could also indicate a common designer (Creator). The following scenario is given as a further piece of evidence : “Organisms that are believed to be closely related go through similar stages in their embryonic development. During the early stages of development, the human embryo and the embryos of other animals appear to be quite similar. For example, the embryos of fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals all initially have gill slits …. It is thought that gill slits were a characteristic that all these animals once shared with a common ancestor. ” How close is this to reality? ……….
The crease marks being called “Gill slits” are simply not gill slits. They should be termed branchial folds. They were first used as evidence for evolution by Haeckel in the 1800’s and were shown to be fake drawings by 1870. Experts on both sides know this is not good evidence. Even Gould said textbook writers should be ashamed of the way the drawings had been shamelessly recycled for over a century. Gould, S. J. 2002. Abscheulich! Atrocious! Natural History. March 2002.
But that is not all: Haeckel hand picked his examples as those that looked more similar: there are many others that are very different. Even those that have some similarity are frequently very dissimilar in their earlier stages Wells, J. 2004. In Strobel 2004. The Case for a Creator. Zondevan p 58. Now! Dr Jonathan Wells is an embryologist that has made a study of university textbooks on this topic: “I analysed and graded ten recent textbooks on how accurately they dealt with this topic. I had to give eight of them an F. Two others did only slightly better, I gave them a D. ” ibid p. 57. Actually Wells says if you bend your head forward to the embryonic position you will get folds in the skin in the neck. Even fish do not have gills at this stage. So the evidence is wrong and the name is wrong!
Is this good evidence? Organisms living in a similar environment with similar morphologies are going to need similar genes to direct similar functions to deal with that environment. No surprise! The real problem is that we know so little about how genes function that it is arrogant to suggest we can use a superficial correlation as proof of common ancestry.
“The DNA of chimpanzees is almost identical to ours. Find the difference and you’ll find what makes us human. ” Hopkins, K. 1999. The Greatest Apes. New Scientist 15 May 1999. 26 -30. Karen Hopkins claimed that the genetic make-up of chimps is 98. 5% identical to a human. This set several groups of researchers to work to find the differences. ……… but ……. . Researchers have found more differences: Approx. similarities now 95% Britten, R. J. 2002. Proc. Acad. Sci. USA. 99, 13633 -13635. Karen had only looked at substitutions and ignored deletions and insertions! When these are included the maximum similarity is 92. 3% Nature 27 May 2004, pp. 382 -388
We have very little reason to believe that a high correlation has any significance anyway…. . There are two major ways genes can vary between species: 1. Number of genes the same. 2. The number of sequences that are the same. The mouse and human have >99% of their genes in common! Waterston, R. H. et al 2002. Nature 420, 520 -524. But no one suggests we are more closely related to the mouse than to the chimp. The vertebrate classes have very little correlation or trends between fish and mammals in types of chromosomes. Sodera, V. 2003. One Small Speck to Man. P. 398.
Neither is there any trend in the genomic amount of DNA in the classes of Animals. So can there be any correlation between species within a class?
…So is there any developing sequence in Chromosome numbers between “ancient” and “modern” plant and animal phyla? Plant spp # chromosomes Fungi # chromosomes Yeast Aspergillus nidulans Neurospora crassa 32/34 8 14 Algae 1 148 Fern Ophiglossum 1200 reticulatum or 1260 Alfalfa 16 Mouse-ear Cress 10 Arabidopsis thaliana Pea 14 Corn 20 Cabbage 18 Carrot 18 Onion 16 Potato 48 Tobacco 48 Oats 42 Rye 14 Hawkweed 8 Field Horsetail 216
Protists Amoeba 1 Amoeba 2 Aulacantha 1. 2. # chromosomes 12 50 16001 http: //www. biologyonline. org/dictionary/Chromosome_Number Accessed 9. 1. 2009 Vertebrates # chromosomes Carp Capuchin Monkey Cat American Badger American Mink Eurasian Badger European Mink Fox Giraffe Golden Jackal Kangaroo Platypus Echidna M F Virginia Opossum Wolverine Swamp Wallaby M F Pigeon 104 54 38 32 30 44 38 34 62 74 12 52 63 64 22 42 10 11 80
Invertebrate Mosquito Fruit Fly Snail Shrimp Myrmica pilosula Ant F M Earthworm Gypsy Moth Grasshopper Sand Dollar House Fly # Chromosomes 6 8 24 254 2 1/2 36 62 24 52 12
Can there be any significance in the similarity in chromosomes between chimps and us? There might be, but to call it evolutionary significance is to really stretch the limits of science.