In a recent post I explained some of the history behind evolutionary theories of the solar system. As with biological evolution, this cosmological evolution was declared to be a fact based on observed patterns, even though very little was understood about how the solar system could actually spontaneously arise.
The claim that the evolution of the solar system is a fact was metaphysically loaded and it hinged on the claim that there was a single mechanical cause. But as with biological evolution, this cosmological evolution is repeatedly contradicted by empirical science, and so a great variety of patches were required to save the theory. The specter of a single cause was lost a long time ago.
But those past failures are conveniently forgotten and, again as with biological evolution, today there is a tremendous flexibility of explanation for the origin of the solar system. In my post I listed several just-so stories used today to patch the theory. There are many which I did not mention and one set of patches deals with isotope heterogeneities. As a new paper explains, both (i) “exotic” material and (ii) complex isotope-selective chemistries have been used to explain the heterogeneities:
Thus, the discovery that high-temperature minerals in carbonaceous chondrite meteorites are enriched preferentially in 16O compared to 17O and 18O relative to the abundances in terrestrial samples was considered evidence for the presence of exotic material that escaped thorough mixing and thereby retained a memory of its distinct nucleosynthetic history. Later findings of the widespread nature of very large oxygen isotopic heterogeneities among meteoritic materials and the lack of correlation of these oxygen isotopic compositions with those of presolar components led to various proposals that the oxygen isotopic anomalies were instead generated by complex isotope-selective chemistry within a homogeneous nebula.
New findings from the Genesis spacecraft reveal even more “extreme” nitrogen isotope heterogeneities, as well as oxygen isotope heterogeneities, which I cited as yet more challenging observations for the current theory of solar system evolution. In response to this an evolutionist disagreed:
the ratio of the isotopes measured by Genesis was expected to be different from the average for the solar nebula. The effect was predicted by Clayton in a 2002 paper (Reference 6) and observed in other molecular clouds. The new data present no problem for the solar nebula model, they confirm it!
Sure the isotope heterogeneities were expected. Heterogeneities had already been observed. What the professor does not mention in his comment is that the referenced paper predicted oxygen isotope heterogeneities using a just-so story (isotope-selective self-shielding during ultraviolet photolysis of carbon monoxide), and that heterogeneities were already known to exist.
In other words, like the claim that retrograde motion confirms geocentrism, this claim that the observed oxygen isotope heterogeneities confirm the solar system evolution model is ridiculous. The solar system evolution model was highly augmented with a detailed patch designed to explain the heterogeneities (complex isotope-selective chemistries), and now new observations of oxygen isotope heterogeneities are claimed as a confirmation.
Sure this is a valid prediction, but hardly of the significance the professor claims. This is yet another example of how evolutionary thinking harms science by introducing fallacious reasoning used to protect evolution.