The NCSE member says it’s perfectly fine to misrepresent science and say mammalian embryos have gill slits because, after all, evolutionists have been doing this all along and even before Darwin, natural theologians noted the strong similarities between mammalian and fish embryos. So when the field was in its infancy naturalists noted such similarities so now, two centuries later, it’s OK to say mammalian embryos have gill slits even though they don’t.
Whatever. Coyne escapes again with a fast one, and certainly is happy about it. He calls it a “wonderful new post” which takes those creationist rascals “completely apart” and it is “really educational.”
Not surprisingly, of course, this “wonderful” new post has all the usual misrepresentations (embryology “remains one of most compelling subsets of evidence for evolution”) and fallacious similiarity-implies-evolution reasoning (“We can, informally, call pharyngeal clefts ‘gill slits’ in the same way we call kiwi ‘wings’, wings, or cetacean ‘limb buds’, limb buds, because despite the fact they no longer develop into functioning wings, limbs, or gills, in the organisms that bear them, because they are clearly homologous to those characters in organisms where they do retain those functions.”) so familiar to Coyne.
Most important though are the non scientific, religious mandates that underwrite evolution. You can see some of Coyne’s examples here, here, here, here and here. Misrepresentations and fallacies hardly matter when your religion tells you evolution must be true.
In this “wonderful” new post there is the venerable argument from dysteleology and its poster child example, the giraffe recurrent laryngeal nerve which is “of comic proportions” and makes “no obvious sense.” And there is the obligatory argument from the intellectual necessity of evolution. After all, “what is their [creationists] explanation for this pattern of embryological similarities amongst vertebrates that develop into very different adults?” And saying such similarities are a consequence of design is no better:
In reality their use of the term “common design” does nothing but relabel our ignorance. Worse it creates whole new sets of unanswerable questions. Designed by whom? Was it one designer or many (as in car companies)? How did he/she/it/they implement their design? Why did they design things the way they did? Why did they implement their designs in the timetable that they did? And on and on.
It gets worse if the “designer” is transcendent and omnipotent. This makes the concept completely untestable (and therefore unscientific) as such a creator could create anything, in any way, for reasons known only to itself.
Without evolution, there simply is “no coherent, testable, alternative explanation.”
So there you have it. Once again the evolutionist gets away and evolution wins the day. Evolution must be true, we may have no idea how such heroics occurred, but we certainly know that they did occur. Our religion demands it.