Feature Article - January 2019
by Do-While Jones

2018 Evolution in Review

It was a slow year for the theory of evolution.

Every month we scour science magazines, from the expensive peer-reviewed professional journals down to the cheap grocery store science tabloids, to keep you up-to-date on the latest scientific research related to the theory of evolution. Then, at the end of the year, we review the lists of top ten science stories (as chosen by those science magazines) and examine those top stories that relate to the theory of evolution.

This was a tough year for us because there wasn’t much evolutionary news for us to report. Ten to twenty years ago, each month there were several articles about evolution in several different science magazines. We reviewed as many as we could, and put the articles we didn’t have room for in a file folder for possible future use. At one point, we had two full file drawers of left-over articles on evolution. We eventually threw them all out because the theory of evolution changed so fast that the old articles were refuted by evolutionists before we had a chance to disprove them. There is no point in disproving what evolutionists no longer believe is true.

This year, not one of the top ten lists published by science magazines had anything to do with evolution. Most of the top “science” stories were actually political opinion pieces posing as science.

Science News

The closest Science News came to selecting an evolution story for its top 10 list 1 was Number 10. That story really was about art history and technology. 2 They made the rather obvious observation that modern tools are better than stone-age tools, and the more questionable claim that modern art is better than cave paintings.

What the Science News editors thought were the most important stories might not be what readers thought were most important. Since webpage counters exist, the editors know which were the most downloaded articles and videos. They published that list, too. 3 None of their ten most viewed articles and videos was about evolution (unless you count the article and video about cube-shaped wombat poop as an article on evolution ).

Scientific American

The Scientific American list of top stories 4 was subtitled, “Pew polls reveal a public divided on climate, supportive of NASA and wary of AI and genetic engineering.” Apparently, the public didn’t care about evolution last year. Scientific American’s emphasis wasn’t on science—it was on what the public thinks about political issues.

New Scientist

New Scientist didn’t do a top 10 list—but they did make a 12-item list specifying the top story each month. Two months are of interest to us.

June
The great ape family welcomed a new member. We revealed that a comparison of genomes found signs of a previously unknown species of chimpanzee that once lived in central Africa. As far as we know, there are no physical remains of the ancient ape, but DNA analysis suggests that it mated with bonobos 400,000 years ago and that some of its genes persist in apes living today. 5

These were the ghost apes (for which there is no physical evidence) we had so much fun telling you about last summer. 6

Their other relevant pick was,

August
A sliver of bone from a cave in Russia became the biggest archaeological story of the year, when researchers published their finding that it came from an ancient teenager who had a Neanderthal mum and a Denisovan dad. “Denny” is the only first-generation hybrid hominin ever found. Back in March, it was revealed that Denisovans also mated with our own species on at least two occasions. 7

At least that story was based on “a sliver of bone” (not just speculation about what the DNA of ghost apes must have been like). We first told you about the Denisovans six years ago. 8 We didn’t think the Denisovans were worth mentioning again last August. It appears we were wrong.

Nature

Nature said,

Wildfires, cosmic rays and ancient-human hybrids are some of this year’s top stories. 9

The “ancient-human hybrid” they mentioned was “Denny.” Since New Scientist and Nature both made such a big deal about Denny (the alleged Denisovan/Neanderthal hybrid), we devoted this month’s Evolution in the News column to the topic.

Science

The respected journal Science published a list of “Our favorite science news stories of 2018.” 10 Three of the items on that list were:

Love and sexual reproduction are impossible to explain from an evolutionary perspective, so we always like to devote our February (Valentine’s Day) issue to that topic. You will have to wait until next month to read what we have to say about the sex life of strawberries.

Here’s how Science posed the Ankylosaur puzzle:

Ankylosaurs are odd-looking, even by dinosaur standards: They’re squat and fat, with armored backs and, usually, tail clubs. But for many scientists, there’s another reason these creatures stand out—most are fossilized upside-down. The reason for this strange orientation was a mystery for decades, but thanks to an unusual collaboration between paleontologists and armadillo experts, we may finally have an answer—and it all comes down to bloated, floating dinosaur carcasses. 10

Of four explanations for this common observation, scientists were able to firmly eliminate three.

The team then turned its attention to the four theories. One, that ankylosaurs simply fell down hills and ended up on their backs, was easy to discount: … Likewise, the researchers found no support for the theory that predators flipped ankylosaurs over to access their delicious underbellies.

The “armadillo roadkill model” proved trickier. Because armadillos found on the side of the road supposedly swell up with gases as they decompose, tipping them onto their backs, the same could be true of ankylosaurs.

Finally, the researchers examined the “bloat-and-float” model, which proposes that the bod­ies of ankylosaurs got washed into rivers or the sea, where they bloated and became unstable, flipping upside-down and eventually sinking or being deposited in the river bank. … the bloat-and-float model was the only theory that held any water, the team reports this month in the journal Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. 11

They did not speculate about how so many ankylosaurs could have drowned all over the world at the same time—and neither will we.

The Obstetrical Dilemma

Science also picked a new perspective on the “obstetrical dilemma” as one of the top stories of the year.

It’s known as the “obstetrical dilemma”: the idea that two opposing evolutionary forces have shaped the human birth canal. But this story—one of our most popular of the year—suggests this long-held theory may not hold up. 13

That article said,

The shape of a mother’s birth canal is a tug-of-war between two opposing evolutionary forces: It needs to be wide enough to allow our big-brained babies to pass through, yet narrow enough to allow women to walk efficiently. At least that’s been the common thinking. But a new study reveals birth canals come in a variety of shapes in women around the world.

Overall, the analysis suggests a population may have ended up with a particular birth canal shape simply by chance, not because of any sort of selective pressure. 14

Scientists have long argued about whether Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” idea is more powerful than “survival of the luckiest.” Science says Darwin lost the argument in this case.

Admit Victory

Maybe it is time for us to give up and admit victory. The science against evolution is so strong that evolution can’t be taken seriously any longer. This month’s Web Site of the Month column reviews a website which lists 95 excellent scientific arguments against Darwinian Evolution. It nails the coffin shut.

Much to the disappointment of some of our readers, we rarely get hate mail from evolutionists these days. There don’t seem to be very many defenders of evolution anymore.

In January, 2005, we published our 100th newsletter, and pondered how many more newsletters there would be. We ended that article saying,

Will there be a 200th newsletter? We hope not. We hope the theory of evolution won’t survive another eight years and four months. I’d like to take some time off and have fun. But, there still seems to be a need and an appreciation for what we do, so for the next year or two at least, we will continue to remind people that science is against evolution. 15

This is newsletter 270. We are no longer in what is referred to (by military people) as a “target-rich environment.” All the old evolutionary theories have been debunked, and there aren’t many new ones coming along to take their places. Is it still worth our time to publish this newsletter? Is it time for us to quit?

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Footnotes:

1 December 17,2018, Science News, “Top 10 Stories”, https://www.sciencenews.org/article/top-science-stories-2018-yir
2 Bruce Bower, December 17, 2018, Science News, “Human smarts got a surprisingly early start”, https://www.sciencenews.org/article/human-evolution-ingenuity-top-science-stories-2018-yir
3 Science News, December 28, 2018, “These are the most-read science news stories of 2018”, https://www.sciencenews.org/article/most-popular-stories-science-news-2018-yir
4 Mark Strauss, Scientific American, December 31, 2018, “The Year in Science—and What Americans Thought about It”, https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/the-year-in-science-mdash-and-what-americans-thought-about-it/
5 New Scientist, 18 December 2018, “The most eye-catching science and tech news stories of 2018”, https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg24032093-600-the-most-eye-catching-science-and-tech-news-stories-of-2018/
6 Disclosure, June 2018, “New Scientists Believe in Ghosts”, http://scienceagainstevolution.info/v22i9n2.htm
7 New Scientist, 18 December 2018, “The most eye-catching science and tech news stories of 2018”, https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg24032093-600-the-most-eye-catching-science-and-tech-news-stories-of-2018/
8 Disclosure, July 2013, “Denisovans”, http://www.scienceagainstevolution.info/v17i10n.htm
9 Nature, 18 December 2018, “2018 in news: The science events that shaped the year”, https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-07685-3
10 David Grimm, Science, 20 December 2018, “Our favorite Science News stories of 2018”, https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/12/our-favorite-science-news-stories-2018
11 Matt Warren, Science, 21 February, 2018, “Most ankylosaurs were fossilized belly up. Now, scientists think they know why”, https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/02/most-ankylosaurs-were-fossilized-belly-now-scientists-think-they-know-why
12 ibid.
13 David Grimm, Science, 20 December 2018, “Our favorite Science News stories of 2018”, https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/12/our-favorite-science-news-stories-2018
14 Erica Tennenhouse, Science, 23 October, 2018, “Birth canals are different all over the world, countering a long-held evolutionary theory”, https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/10/birth-canals-are-different-all-over-world-countering-long-held-evolutionary-theory
15 Disclosure, January 2005, “100 Newsletters”, http://scienceagainstevolution.info/v9i4f.htm