Just-So Stories With Final Causes: Aristotle Meets Kiplingexplains, “Paleontologists have long known that birds evolved from dinosaurs known as theropods,” and now they have confirmed that over a 50 million year period that evolutionary pathway proceeded at several times the normal pace. But as usual the evolutionist’s certainty is underwritten by a mix of speculation and Aristotelianism.
How exactly has this new study confirmed that dinosaurs evolved birds at a fast pace, and how exactly is it that “paleontologists have long known that birds evolved from dinosaurs known as theropods”? In fact there was no such confirmation and there is no such knowledge, not in any scientific sense.
When we say that scientists “know” something, we do not mean that they personally believe it (which paleontologists do), we mean that they have compelling, overwhelming evidence for it (which paleontologists do not). In the scientific sense, which of course is the sense in which evolutionists portray themselves and the sense intended by the Times article, paleontologists have no such knowledge.
That is not in question. How can I know this? Because I’ve read what they have to say. I know their arguments. Unless they’ve been cleverly hiding their proofs, there is no question that they do not “know” dinosaurs evolved into birds—at a fast pace or otherwise.
In fact what evolutionists have most of to offer is speculation, sometimes referred to as “just-so” stories after Kipling’s classic by the same name. For example, evolutionists speculate that as the dinosaurs became smaller (for some reason) their embryonic development phase shortened. And this abbreviated development period meant (for some reason) that the miniaturized dinosaurs retained into adulthood their juvenile features, “some of which were uncannily bird-like.”
And why would dinosaurs become smaller in the first place? Well maybe they were adapting to living in trees where massive size, after all, puts one at a decided disadvantage. Instead, they would need to be small and agile. And maybe nocturnal as well, so evolving feathers to stay warm would help. Longer forelimbs would also help swing from tree to tree, and perhaps those longer forelimbs evolved into wings.
What evolutionists lack in evidential support they make up for with imagination. And evolutionists frame their just-so stories in Aristotelian, final causes, terminology. For example, there was a “push” toward smaller size, and the smaller sizes in dinosaurs helped to “trigger” a host of different traits. A wing-like surface area would have developed “to help glide” from tree to tree. After all, dinosaurs “were experimenting” with flight in various modes and finally “made the crucial leap” to powered flight, and so birds “were born.”
Dinosaurs were experimenting with flight? This isn’t science, this is absurdity.