Culture Darwinism News

Dragonfly both perfect at first AND “the perfected result” of 300 mya of evolution?

Spread the love

Philosopher Laszlo Bencze reflects on a recent National Geographic program on dragonflies:

First I hear, “The dragonfly, the perfected result of 300 million years of evolution.’’ Then a few minutes later I hear, “The dragonfly was perfect when it first appeared 300 million years ago.” I guess the producers of these shows don’t bother listening to what they’re saying as long as they are saying something about evolution and how wonderful it is. Oh, and there’s not a word about how the imperfections of the dragonfly might reveal the random meanderings of an evolutionary process. Nope, it’s the perfection of the dang thing that tells us evolution is responsible even though it doesn’t change a bit after it first appears.

Actually, Laszlo, Darwinspeak is so much a part of the landscape that few viewers likely noticed the contradiction. They hear this stuff all the time, and it doesn’t need to hang together as long as it all conforms to a certain type of correctness: Darwinian evolution is true, no matter what the evidence.

In any event, it would be career incorrect to be seen raising any questions about it. Even knowing that there is a contradiction flags one as a suspicious person, who may actually doubt.

Darwin doubted, at times. His followers do not. They run things; he’s dead.

Follow UD News at Twitter!

47 Replies to “Dragonfly both perfect at first AND “the perfected result” of 300 mya of evolution?

  1. 1
    Dionisio says:

    “The dragonfly was perfect when I first appeared 300 million years ago.”

    “The dragonfly was perfect when it first appeared 300 million years ago.”

  2. 2
    Dionisio says:

    Dragonfly both perfect at first AND “the perfected result” of 300 mya of evolution?

    “hole in one” + “consistent game” ?

    😉

  3. 3
    Dionisio says:

    Dragonfly both perfect at first AND “the perfected result” of 300 mya of evolution?

    “hole in one” + “consistent game” ?

    Well, that means that apparently nature is a darn good golfer and has mastered the swing technique pretty well 😉

  4. 4
    Dionisio says:

    Darwinspeak is so much a part of the landscape that few viewers likely noticed the contradiction.

    What contradiction? We just don’t understand it, that’s all 😉

    Now, seriously, does anyone care about understanding anything these days? It’s pretty sad. 🙁

  5. 5
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Philosopher Laszlo Bencze reflects on a recent National Geographic program on dragonflies:

    Beautiful photos at the site but I couldn’t find his essay.

  6. 6
    Phinehas says:

    Obviously, the dragonfly had the perfect fitness landscape to take it from perfection to perfection. Who needs a golfer to score a hole in one when the perfect landscape can funnel the ball perfectly toward the perfect hole?

    There’s no need to consider the improbability of such a landscape. After all, we’re here aren’t we?

  7. 7
    Acartia_bogart says:

    Nope, it’s the perfection of the dang thing that tells us evolution is responsible even though it doesn’t change a bit after it first appears.

    First, evolution has nothing to do with ‘perfection’. Evolution is not about striving for perfection, it is just about having the appropriate tools to survive and reproduce.

    Second, how does anyone know that an organism doesn’t change after it first appears. ‘First appears’ is a misnomer. This just refers to the first time that it is seen in the fossil record. It doesn’t mean that it didn’t exist prior to this. As well, all we can say is that its physical appearance doesn’t seem to have changed. However, the biochemistry/metabolism may have changed significantly.

  8. 8
    bw says:

    @a_b

    They use the word perfection in the article
    “its body design is virtually perfect”

    Which to me is so bizarre, the idea that we can know and recognize perfection is flawed in my view in the first place.

    As for your second point, it may well have changed massively… but then again, it might not have changed at all, we cannot know.
    If you think about it yourself does it matter at all either way? You mention that it “may have” but why mention this, would you expect it to have changed much? Would you rather it had changed much? Or are you totally indifferent?

    Purely curious 🙂

  9. 9
    Acartia_bogart says:

    BW, I just don’t like terms like ‘perfect’ when referring to life forms. This is a subjective statement that has no scientific or explanatory value. I also get a little uncomfortable when I hear the statement that ome animal hasn’t changed, especially when you are basing this statement on fossils which, by their nature, are not complete.

    Even terms like ‘living fossil’ is more accurate because it only suggests that the shape has not changed.

  10. 10
    bw says:

    I agree with you on all counts there then.

    I wish there could be more done to find out more about so called living fossils. Does anyone know of any studies with relation to them and things like mutation rates… do theirs differ for other similar animals?

    Found this on coelacanths:
    http://max2.ese.u-psud.fr/epc/.....canths.pdf

    But then I can also find other conflicting papers.articles so its hard to gauge what is going on there.

    Can’t find anything specific to the dragonfly.
    One paper on the subject says this though which is interesting:
    “Recent advances in our understanding of the fossil record and in population genetics and evolutionary ecology point to the complex geographic structure of species being fundamental to resolution of how taxa can commonly exhibit both short-term evolutionary dynamics and long-term stasis.”

    Sort of indicates that some species appear to be locked into a state of stasis that has enough flex to allow for modification within some form of bounds.

    Still unsure as to why some animals fall into this and not others. Wonder if being a very successful predator helps.

  11. 11
    DavidD says:

    A-B
    “First, evolution has nothing to do with ‘perfection’. Evolution is not about striving for perfection, it is just about having the appropriate tools to survive and reproduce.”

    Wow, this simply speaks volumes as to why the earth is sinking lower and lower into ruin. I work with habitat restoration and utilize concepts observed in nature as to how to go about in the best procedure to accomplish the tasks. I am at odds with the US Forest Service in re-establishing a forest. Their method is to strip the landscape of what they mistakenly believe to be all other competitive vegetation. They will also often times till the ground on the surface, which unfortunately disrupts the microbiological elements necessary in establishing the trees, along with the chaparral. They often fail where I have succeeded because of this mistaken dogma of “Survival of the Fittest” and viewing nature as something flawed and imperfect. I have never in my life observed the natural world as something imperfect. It’s this debased worldview of “Bad Designer” argumentation that has done more harm than good and only a misplaced loyalty to such dogmatism prevents them from turning things around ecologically. It would otherwise be funny if it in reality weren’t so sad.

    This board over and over is proving and illustrating the very reasons behind the present global degradation.

  12. 12
    Barry Arrington says:

    AB @ 7. It is like you are insisting on ignoring the point of the OP. It is not whether the dragonfly was perfect or not. It was about the contradiction in the NG story. Do you have anything useful to say about that?

  13. 13
    bw says:

    Barry perhaps they meant it that way, assuming that it evolved over 300 million years to get to the point where it first appeared in the fossil record 300 million years ago.

    300 million years to get to perfection… then from there 300 million years of morphological stasis.

    🙂

    Either way I marvel at dragonflies (well most living things I end up thinking about but I digress), specifically their wings! Phenomenal things.
    Flexible yet strong with an intricate scaffolding and at the same time often beautiful in appearance. Pterostigmata cells for gliding stability and balance.
    A nice summary:
    “Dragonfly wing’s are able to absorb and endure the inertial forces imposed upon
    them by the surrounding air, caused by acceleration and decelerating their own weight, as
    well with interactions with the local environment and other members of their
    species.[8,14,19,20,21] They are able to achieve an assortment of different flight patterns
    such as gliding, synchronized-stroking of both sets of wings that maximizes thrust to
    change direction quickly, phased-stroking, and the very efficient counter-stroking. During
    counter-stroking the front and hind wings are beating in opposite directions to maximize
    lift. These ultra light flexible airfoils perform all of these roles extremely well, despite the
    fact that they are largely passive flight structures. [20, 21] All muscular control is located
    at the base of the wing. This means that any change or deformation of the wing in flight
    is caused solely by the wings innate properties

    A few images:
    wings close
    wings pattern
    more wings
    (sorry if links don’t work, I am no programmer)

  14. 14
    inunison says:

    Acartia_bogart @7

    “Evolution is not about striving for perfection, it is just about having the appropriate tools to survive and reproduce.”

    You don’t say? Sounds like a Design hypothesis to me.

  15. 15
    jerry says:

    This is similar to the eye which many feel is not perfect but still an amazing organism. Several versions appeared out of nowhere 500+ million years ago and they are still pretty much the same.

  16. 16
    jerry says:

    Beautiful photos at the site but I couldn’t find his essay.

    Denyse has access to some of his comments from somewhere but they are not on his site, or at least there is no link on his site to his comments.

  17. 17
    leodp says:

    From a design and engineering perspective just flapping up to 1000 times per second in a figure-8 pattern to allow hovering, high speed, maneuvering… and creating lift and controlled flight are only the first of so many other very complex and difficult things required. The compound eye comprised of 30K eyes on each side enabling near 360 degree vision. The ability to navigate… all that’s needed to live, eat, metabolize and reproduce… and dragonfly’s ‘just appeared’. They ‘formed’. Perhaps a fish had gills that grew. Darwinian just-so stories not only leave God out. They destroy rightful awe. The stories are so far removed from the evidence they shouldn’t be considered scientific… if by that we mean rational deduction based on evidence. Who should we praise? But I’m told that design and engineering are disciplines that don’t apply to biology. This is good on the dragonfly:

    http://www.insectman.us/articl.....ion-of.htm

  18. 18
    Dionisio says:

    leodp

    …and dragonfly’s ‘just appeared’. They ‘formed’

    Of course! why not? how else could it happen? there aren’t other choices, are they? 😉

    The problem is that we don’t know how exactly that happened, but supposedly someday, somehow, fast advancing science research will gradually bring us closer to finding more missing pieces of the biological puzzle. As more discoveries reveal new details, the big picture should get clearer to us.
    That’s why we look forward, with much anticipation, to reading new research reports that could shed light on the amazing things we observe in the biological systems. That’s also why we should encourage many youngsters, who seem attracted to science, so they pursue serious biology research careers.
    True wonders await to be discovered beyond the horizon.
    Unending revelation of the ultimate reality.
    Those of us who believe that in the beginning was the Logos, live in permanent awe, while contemplating the amazing biological systems, hence we are not surprised by the so called “unexpected discoveries” we read in the science literature so often these days.
    The party is just starting. The fun part is still ahead.
    In the meantime let’s sing hallelujah and rejoice! 🙂

  19. 19
    Mung says:

    Genetic entropy seems to have passed by the dragonfly.

  20. 20
    bornagain77 says:

    “Genetic entropy seems to have passed by the dragonfly.”

    actually maybe not,,,

    12 Animals You’re Glad Are Extinct – Aug. 2014
    1. Giant crocodiles (13 m. long)
    2. Three-foot-long scorpions
    3. Massive millipedes
    4. Spiders with sting(er)s like scorpions
    5. Megasharks (50 ft. long)
    6. Weird gigantic hybrids of scorpions and millipedes that lived in water (2.5m long)
    7. Giant piranhas (1m long)
    8. The largest species of snake ever (13m long, weighed 1 ton)
    9. Huge dragonflies (70cm)
    10. Big scary mash-ups of prawns and squid with more teeth (540 million year old Anomalcaris)
    11. Ginormous shelled squid (9m)
    12. Penguins as tall as humans
    http://www.buzzfeed.com/floper.....ct#2mu16hl

  21. 21
    bornagain77 says:

    Living Fossils Interview with Dr. Carl Werner – video (4:33 minute mark)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=Y6LmWznY4Ys#t=273

  22. 22
    tjguy says:

    Ho hum.

    Nothing more than ANOTHER example of stasis in the fossil record. They are a dime a dozen, the rule rather than the exception. Nothing to get excited about.

    So we are told that evolution is change over time – except when it isn’t. So whether you have change or stasis, it’s all evidence for evolution. It’s the old ‘heads I win; tails you lose’ thing.

  23. 23
    Acartia_bogart says:

    Barry, are you seriously suggesting that NG is a science journal, or a spokesperson for science? I have much respect for NG, but it is the Sesame Street version of science. And I do not intend disrespect to either. NG plays an important role in making science accessible to the general public, and stimulating interest in science amongst the young.

  24. 24
    Acartia_bogart says:

    Tjguy: “So we are told that evolution is change over time – except when it isn’t. So whether you have change or stasis, it’s all evidence for evolution. It’s the old ‘heads I win; tails you lose’ thing.”

    Gould proposed punctuated equilibrium. And creationists have jumped all over it like drooling idiots. But they conveniently ignore the fact that Gould thought that it was part if a naturalistic evolutionary process.

  25. 25
    tjguy says:

    AB says:

    Gould proposed punctuated equilibrium. And creationists have jumped all over it like drooling idiots. But they conveniently ignore the fact that Gould thought that it was part if a naturalistic evolutionary process.

    Congratulations to Gould for coming up with a new story. Is it accurate?

    Who knows?

    If small step by step type of change is difficult, imagine how difficult it would be to come up with large changes by chance mutation!

    Seriously, AB! Creationists know very well that he believes that Gould was a thorough evolutionist and fully understand that he believed that his Punctuated Equilibrium hypothesis was a part of a naturalistic evolutionary process.

    But he can believe whatever he wants. It’s nonsense. No one can explain how it is possible. No one has seen it happen. It is a just so story that cannot be tested. Or at least has so far come up empty because we have never seen such a thing happen.

    Are you seriously proposing this as the right answer to mystery of stasis?

    Sure, it partially fits the evidence, but that doesn’t make it true.

    There are other stories that also fit the evidence. Another possible explanation for the evidence is that there was no evolution – meaning ‘molecules to man’ type of evolution. That is another possible interpretation of the fossil record.

    I don’t get your point here. Creationists jump all over this because the mechanism for this large scale relatively quick change is unknown and seemingly improbable. (but since when did high improbability keep a Darwinist from believing his version of events?) They will believe anything to save the paradigm!

  26. 26
    Acartia_bogart says:

    Tjguy, you accuse evolutionary theory of being nothing more than a bunch of untestable and unobserved ‘just-so’ stories. And you would have a point if you were right. But you are not.

    But let’s assume that you are correct. Your alternate proposal is that life (including us) was the result of an untestable, unknowable, uncompehendible supernatural intelligence. And you think that is much more reasonable? No wonder you are having a hard time convincing people of this “TRUTH”.

  27. 27
    anthropic says:

    As I recall, Creationists jumped at punk eek not because they thought that Gould had become a creationist, but because he admitted something that Darwinists had denied for decades: the fossil record does not match evolutionary predictions.

    Abrupt appearance followed by long stasis with minor variations was the rule, rather than the neo-Darwinian expected gradual change over time. Gould had the integrity to admit it and tried to find a naturalistic theory that explained the data.

    He failed for a number of reasons Stephen Meyer details in Darwin’s Doubt. But the admission that paleontology generally contradicted standard evolutionary expectations was big news among Darwin skeptics.

  28. 28
    Acartia_bogart says:

    Anthropic, no, Gould demonstrated that large populations tend to remain ‘stable’ for long periods of time. Which is not surprising if mating is essentially random and there are no large selective pressures. And is supported by population genetics. But Gould also realized that selective pressures are more pronounced in small isolated populations. Again, not a new thought.

    And, small isolated populations are less likely to be represented in the fossil record than the larger, distributed population. Again, not a new thought. So the rapid appearance of new body forms in the fossil record has more to do with the rapid expansion of adaptive phenotypes from isolated populations to a broader distribution than it does with an actual “sudden” appearance. And Gould understood this. He was never arguing for a “sudden” appearance of new species. He was arguing why this appears to be the case from the fossil record. The “sudden” appearance was still not very sudden from a generational perspective. He was never suggesting that the offspring of two sheep may have been a goat.

  29. 29
    Querius says:

    bornagain77,

    Thanks for posting the video interview of Dr. Carl Werner in 21. His evidence pretty much falsifies evolutionary change in the fossil record.

    The evidence to the contrary seems to be zilch. Dr. Werner’s research should be convincing proof to almost anyone with an open mind, even those who can’t figure out how to calculate probabilities.

    -Q

  30. 30
    Andre says:

    AB….

    Just a question?

    Why do you find that you could have been designed so repulsive?

    Just wondering……

  31. 31
    Andre says:

    AB

    Which is not surprising if mating is essentially random and there are no large selective pressures.

    Have you ever put in thought into how sexual reproductive systems came about in this random world of yours? I guess not…..

  32. 32
    jerry says:

    But Gould also realized that selective pressures are more pronounced in small isolated populations. Again, not a new thought.

    If this is how evolution happened, it should be readily apparent in the genomes of the various organisms. In about 10 to 20 years all this will be known not only as to feasibility but whether it actually happened. Coding region after coding region and regulatory region after regulatory region will be assessed.

    Maybe then the believers in natural evolution may have their day but my guess is that the evidence will not be there and they will be appealing to some other scenario. After all it is 100% ideological what they believe and not rational.

  33. 33
    Barry Arrington says:

    This is amusing:

    AB@23:

    Barry, are you seriously suggesting that NG is a science journal, or a spokesperson for science?

    I assume that is a rhetorical question, and you are saying that NG is not a spokesperson for science.

    NG plays an important role in making science accessible to the general public, and stimulating interest in science amongst the young.

    In other words, it is a spokesman for science at the popular level and to the young.

    Contradict yourself much?

    Now, I will ask the question again. Do you have anything useful to say about the point of the OP, which is that NG – an organization you admit is a spokesman for science at the popular level and to the young – was caught in an obvious contradiction?

    I would be careful about characterizing others as “drooling idiots” in the same combox in which you’ve made yourself look like a fool.

  34. 34
    Silver Asiatic says:

    jerry @ #32

    After all it is 100% ideological what they believe and not rational.

    Gould showed a good example of that himself. He changed his ideas about P.E. several times because of criticism and in the end claimed it was perfectly compatible with gradualism (as A_B indicates). But anthropic’s comment #27 remains correct. There would be no need for the idea if the fossil record matched the prediction. Gould did believe that there was rapid change, and he gave private support to the idea of ‘hopeful monsters’. Of course, when you can use an ambiguous term like “selection pressure” which mysteriously changes the rate of evolution (or not), then it’s easy to reconcile stasis and rapid change.
    What remained unexplained and illogical was that species would be in stasis for millions of years, supposedly facing no significant selection pressure. Massive changes in climate, food supply, disease, competitors … none of this was enough pressure to cause speciation. No one has a clue about what “selection pressures” actually existed or what they caused. It’s all guesswork – and untestable. No one can predict what selection pressures are today and what they will cause.
    So, yes, it’s not rational and everything in evolutionary ideology is driven to create a myth, and then later to cover-up all of its absurdities.

  35. 35
    bornagain77 says:

    semi OT: Responding to Critics: Matzke Part 3 – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77XappzJh1k
    Here is Meyer discussing very accessibly why the use of cladistic analysis — stem groups, crown groups, cladograms, ghost lineages — fails to satisfy.
    “In order to compensate for missing fossils, we have to postulate more missing fossils. So I don’t think that this really solves the problem of the missing fossils. I think it actually accentuates it.”

  36. 36
    lifepsy says:

    Anthropic says:

    As I recall, Creationists jumped at punk eek not because they thought that Gould had become a creationist, but because he admitted something that Darwinists had denied for decades: the fossil record does not match evolutionary predictions.

    Abrupt appearance followed by long stasis with minor variations was the rule, rather than the neo-Darwinian expected gradual change over time. Gould had the integrity to admit it and tried to find a naturalistic theory that explained the data.

    Acartia_bogart replies:

    Anthropic, no, Gould demonstrated that large populations tend to remain ‘stable’ for long periods of time….

    A_b, I’m rather tired of watching evolutionists deflect and tip-toe around the fundamental reasons behind the origin of punctuated equilibrium hypotheses.

    You say “no” to Anthropic and then go on to support exactly what he said, that Gould believed the fossil record primarily exhibits a pattern of stasis. So what are you contradicting?

    What exactly are you disagreeing with in Anthropic’s post? Or did you just think writing “no” would give the illusion of a refutation?

    Do you deny that Gould’s Punctuated Equilibrium was formulated as a result of the fossil record not meeting conventional darwinian expectations of gradualism?

  37. 37
    Mung says:

    If stasis disproves Darwinism why doesn’t it likewise disprove genetic entropy? I just want to know why people who doubt Darwinism and believe in genetic entropy think they can have it both ways.

  38. 38
    anthropic says:

    On the lighter side…

    12 Animals You’re Glad Are Extinct – Aug. 2014
    1. Giant crocodiles (13 m. long)
    2. Three-foot-long scorpions
    3. Massive millipedes
    4. Spiders with sting(er)s like scorpions
    5. Megasharks (50 ft. long)
    6. Weird gigantic hybrids of scorpions and millipedes that lived in water (2.5m long)
    7. Giant piranhas (1m long)
    8. The largest species of snake ever (13m long, weighed 1 ton)
    9. Huge dragonflies (70cm)
    10. Big scary mash-ups of prawns and squid with more teeth (540 million year old Anomalcaris)
    11. Ginormous shelled squid (9m)
    12. Penguins as tall as humans

    Regarding huge dragonflies, I’m all for them if they ate huge mosquitoes!

  39. 39
    Acartia_bogart says:

    Andre #31

    Have you ever put in thought into how sexual reproductive systems came about in this random world of yours? I guess not…..

    Who said it was a random world. Certainly not myself or any evolutionary biologist.

  40. 40
    Mung says:

    Arcatia_bogart:

    Who said it was a random world. Certainly not myself or any evolutionary biologist.

    It’s random when it suits you, and it’s not random when it doesn’t suit you. And you call that science?

  41. 41
    Querius says:

    Yes exactly, Mung.

    And after denigrating Michael Behe’s “voodoo” math, A-B gets a simple problem in probability wrong, and then claims it was a typo!

    Priceless! 😉

    -Q

  42. 42
    Andre says:

    AB

    I don’t know if I should laugh or cry….. Here is what I read in your posts….

    You hope there is no designer, but you know there is one….. A little lesson for you….

    If its not random its not by chance……

  43. 43
    Acartia_bogart says:

    Mung:

    It’s random when it suits you, and it’s not random when it doesn’t suit you. And you call that science?

    Could you please provide me with some examples of your claim? Or are you just rambling?

  44. 44
    Querius says:

    Yes, Andre.

    We demand examples of laugh, cry, designer, lesson, random, and chance. And if you cannot come up with examples that are not satisfactory in My estimation, then you must be rambling.

    Oh and we need examples of rambling, too. 😉

    -Q

  45. 45
    Acartia_bogart says:

    Querius, now who is rambling.

    A claim was made that the world is random when it suited us (evolutionist) and not random when it didn’t. I honestly don’t know what Mung was referring to so I asked for some examples.

    If he, or you, can’t provide any, that is fine. I will simply ignore Mung’s out of thin air claim.

  46. 46
    Silver Asiatic says:

    A claim was made that the world is random when it suited us (evolutionist) and not random when it didn’t. I honestly don’t know what Mung was referring to so I asked for some examples.

    In a discussion of origins, non-random = designed.

    In a materialist viewpoint, the world has a random origin. The origin of life or earth is random. The origin of the species is also random. There are some law-like characteristics to evolution (where did these law-like characteristics come from?) but they’re all affected by random variables.

    So, you might say there are some ‘non-random’ aspects but ultimately it’s a random output.

    The claim that materialistic-origins are non-random was a defense against the mathematical problems that a random origin obviously has.

    This is especially true in cosmology – thus the multiverse which is an attempt to deal with the problem of randomness.

  47. 47
    Querius says:

    Silver Asiatic wrote:

    thus the multiverse which is an attempt to deal with the problem of randomness.

    Exactly. If the challenges of combining probabilities could be adequately answered, Stephen Hawking certainly would not see a need to promote the extremely weak and unsatisfying idea of a multiverse. Unlike some people here, Hawking understood the math.

    -Q

Leave a Reply