Science Versus Dogmatwo different mammalian fossils, discovered in China, have revealed yet more problems for evolution. The problem is that, as with the existing evidence, the new findings point to “radically different,” as one evolutionist admitted, models of the origin of mammals. One of the new fossil findings, as with most of the molecular data, points to a much earlier origin of mammals, going back more than 200 million years ago. The other new finding is closer to the traditional, fossil-based, dating, closer to 150 million years ago.
In other words, the data do not fit the theory. In order to reconcile the conflict, and fit the data to the theory, evolutionists have a wide range of explanatory mechanisms they can draw on. They can say that a trait descended from a common ancestor or that it evolved at some later date, in a particular lineage arising from the common ancestor. They also can say that a trait evolved more than once in multiple lineages arising from the common ancestor—the so-called homoplasies. These explanatory mechanisms alone make the theory highly flexible and allow evolutionists to explain just about any pattern.
The gratuitous use of such explanatory mechanisms makes for a circuitous theory. That is, the theory is augmented with various degrees-of-freedom allowing it to adapt to a wide range of data. As one evolutionist explained, mammalian phylogeny is “complex”—a euphemism that evolutionists use to explain empirical contradictions requiring additional epicycles.
But even this sacrifice of parsimony can’t fix all the contradictions. And so evolutionists must defer the problem to the future. As one evolutionist explained, “With sufficient data, ranging from molecular to morphological, we will eventually reach to a working hypothesis that will have the power to explain how mammals originated.”
But as we have seen many times, this repeated claim that more data will solve evolution’s problems has not fared well in the past. Perhaps this time will be different, but at the very least, what we do know for certain is that today, evolution lacks even a working hypothesis to explain how mammals originated. Nonetheless evolutionists are certain evolution is a fact.
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