Judge Jones' jawboning about jawbones
The Kitzmiller opinion says (pages 74-75),
As expert testimony revealed, the qualification on what is meant by "irreducible complexity" renders it meaningless as a criticism of evolution. (3:40 (Miller)). In fact, the theory of evolution proffers exaptation as a well-recognized, well-documented explanation for how systems with multiple parts could have evolved through natural means. Exaptation means that some precursor of the subject system had a different, selectable function before experiencing the change or addition that resulted in the subject system with its present function (16:146-48 (Padian)). For instance, Dr. Padian identified the evolution of the mammalian middle ear bones from what had been jawbones as an example of this process. (17:6-17 (Padian)). By defining irreducible complexity in the way that he has, Professor Behe attempts to exclude the phenomenon of exaptation by definitional fiat, ignoring as he does so abundant evidence which refutes his argument. (emphasis added)
However, a news article reported that a "missing link" in the evolution of jawbones into middle-ear bones has now been discovered:
WASHINGTON (March 13) - Scientists have unearthed a fossil of a mammal the size of a chipmunk that skittered around with the dinosaurs, with a key feature in the evolution of mammals -- the middle ear bones -- fabulously preserved.
Writing in the journal Nature on Wednesday, the scientists said the unusual critter retrieved from a fossil-rich rock formation in northern China provides rare insight into a crucial element of mammalian evolution: ear structure that enabled highly sensitive hearing. . . .
The mammal, named Yanoconodon for the Yan Mountains in China's Hebei Province, lived 125 million years ago during the Cretaceous period, the third and final act of the Mesozoic era, sometimes called the Age of Dinosaurs. . . .
Luo said Yanoconodon is particularly important because it displays an intermediate stage in the evolution of mammalian ear structure. . . .
Scientists long have searched for clues on the origins of mammalian ear structure. . . .
A sophisticated middle ear of three tiny bones called the hammer (malleus), the anvil (incus) and the stirrup (stapes), plus a bony ring for the eardrum (tympanic membrane), give mammals an acute sense of hearing.
Scientists believe these bones evolved from the bones of the jaw hinge in the reptiles from which mammals are thought to have evolved. Luo said the Yanoconodon provided a definitive piece of evidence of this evolution.
The ear bones in Yanoconodon are fully like that of modern mammals, but remain connected to the lower jaw, which is not the case with modern mammals.
In the Kitzmiller trial, Darwinist expert witness Padian presented this evolution of jawbones into middle-ear bones as an example of "exaptation." This evolution was therefore presumably the best or one of the best examples of exaptation. So this fossil discovery shows that at least one important piece of evidence of this evolution of jawbones into middle-ear bones was missing at the time of the trial, and therefore exaptation was not as "well-recognized" and "well-documented" as Jones seemed to think it was.
The Darwinists are now going to crow that this fossil discovery supports Jones' ruling on exaptation. But this after-the-fact discovery is just serendipitous dumb luck for which Jones does not deserve any credit at all.
There are several reasons why judges should try to avoid ruling on scientific questions.
The whole stupid Kitzmiller opinion should be smote with the jawbone of an ass.
Labels: Kitzmiller v. Dover (2 of 2)