the cognitive bias of biological evolution
The fossil record is highly prized by the evolutionary community for they claim it to be overwhelming supportive of common ancestry. When the similarities in structure and body plan of one specimen are compared to that of another, the approach of drawing relational ties is done via, what evolutionary biologists call, Homology… yet can it stand up to criticism?
The ever so infamous community-based, online encyclopedia called Wikipedia has an exhaustive page dedicated to biological homology. As in all evidence claimed to support evolution, of course, homology has a few points that drift away from what the National Academy of Sciences describes as being science. In my efforts to bring clarity to the undefined subject of biological evolution, I decided to create a criticism section on the Wikipedia page dedicated to biological homology.
At first, I was shocked that no one had felt my sentiment and chose for them self to create a criticism section on the homology page. For, in typical fashion of biological evolutionists, the blending of philosophical inferences with “almost” empirical data was being touted as undeniable fact. I had to speak up and direct these science deniers back to the reality of empirical methodology and in doing so, I posted this:
Attempting to support evolution by means of homology is questionable for two reasons. The first has to do with our human bias. Author of Cognitive Psychology: Connecting Mind, Research and Everyday Experience, E. Bruce Goldstein who earned his PhD from Brown University and is also a graduate professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh wrote about confirmation bias saying it is, “the tendency to selectively look for information that conforms to a hypothesis and to overlook information that argues against it.” Studying fossils with any preconceived notions about said fossil decreases the ability to be scientifically objective. In regard to homology, the preconceived notion of evolution causes dissimilar features to go unmentioned while features that are comparative become overly highlighted. If a paleontologist claims Neo-Darwinian explanations to be a fact before the analysis of newly discovered fossils begin, it is not possible to make visual comparisons that are free of confirmation bias.
The second reason why identifying homologous similarities becomes dubious has to do with striking resemblances between one phylum to another. It is not possible to reconcile the homologous attributes of organisms that are not considered to have a recent common ancestor. For example, cuttlefish and macaws have homologous beak structures, yet are not considered to share a recent common ancestor. Color changing mechanisms like chromatophores in the skin of a chameleon also exists in cephalopods, yet again, no lines of relationship are drawn. Homologous similarities that are beyond the bounds of a phylum tend to be excluded from the possibility of having common ancestry. Relational comparisons are drawn between winged creatures of like phylum, yet the possibility of common ancestry is excluded from winged creatures of varying phyla. Organisms of obtusely different classifications that possess homologous features are claimed to not share a recent common ancestor. There is no empirical means of determining when structural similarities no longer infer relational ties from one organism to another. Arbitrarily determined, one similar feature among organisms does in fact confirm recent common ancestry, but a similar feature between members of varying phyla does not.
Sir Gavin de Beer was an evolutionary embryologist, Fellow of the British Royal Society, and served as Director of the British Museum of Natural History. He has done extensive research on the embryonic development between organisms that are visually and structurally homologous. His experiments were designed to trace the development of certain attributes from the moment of fertilization until full development. The results of his work revealed that fully formed corresponding homologies do not develop from the same embryonic location. Sir Gavin de Beer realized that similar attributes develop from a fertilized egg in different locations, depending on the species. This means that if homologous structures do not develop from the same embryonic location, then they are not genetically related because their development is not controlled by their homologous (similar) DNA. In short, embryonic homology promptly discounts any possible attempt of supporting evolution via genetic homology. Sir Gavin de Beer said it best when saying, “It is now clear that the pride with which it was assumed that the inheritance of homologous structures from a common ancestor explained homology was misplaced; for such inheritance cannot be ascribed to identity of genes.”
Homology makes visual, embryonic, and genetic comparisons, yet none of these evidences are able to be empirically validated.
To my surprise and ten minutes after it was posted, my criticism section was no longer in the table of contents and all that I had written was deleted. I do not like to name call, so I will resist the use of the “T” word (rhymes with “roll”), but there is one individual who has taken it upon themselves to be the gatekeeper/discourager of free speech. They explained to me why my post was deleted.
“This is not written in an encyclopaedic tone.” – user: Theroadislong
I did not agree, so I re-posted my (fantastic and extraordinarily encyclopedia-like) criticism… yet again, it was immediately deleted on the grounds of being improperly cited. I was also accused of self-promotion, because one of my cited links pointed to my recent book. Not the for sale page, just the proper citing of an author that Wikipedia requires.
In hopes of actually being able to have my post last longer than the steam rising from my morning coffee, I deleted the citing of my book and took zero credit for the work. Having respected the proper etiquette when posting to Wikipedia, my post was once again deleted, yet this time I was told to…
“Please stop your disruptive editing. If you continue to vandalize pages by deliberately introducing incorrect information, as you did at Homology (biology), you may be blocked from editing. Please stop adding your own pseudoscientific opinions” – user: Theroadislong
Being called a disruptive vandal for adding “pseudoscientific opinions” seemed a little much. I could not help but think there to be something else going on with this person. So, I responded with the following:
Many Wikipedia topics have a criticism section. Why is the topic of biological homology not allowed to have a criticism section?
You have stated that the article in the criticism section has information that is incorrect. Identify the incorrect information and state how and why you believe it is incorrect.
Completely deleting the criticism section of any topic is a violation of free speech and shows the fragility of the topic being criticized.
Thank you for keeping Wikipedia a platform where all voices can be heard.
As expected, I did not receive a response from this person who is so desperate to protect the fragility of evolutionary biological homology. Yet, the looming question I have has to do with criticism in general. Which topics are allowed to be criticized and which ones are not?
Who get’s to share criticism?
Why is there such a discrepancy when it comes to the topic of how we got here? Why do the Wikipedia pages of homology, embryology, genetic drift, speciation, and evolution (to name a few) not have a criticism section?
Surprisingly inconsistent, the other side of the argument suggesting ideas contrary to evolution is allowed to be criticized. What is the reasoning of granting free speech to the critics of creationism and Intelligent Design, while defaming and blocking free speech of the critics of Darwinian thought?
Some may blame this on the nature of Wikipedia, and that is true to some extend, yet I implore you to make note of this elsewhere. For other than in a group of creationists, any critic that communicates evolution to be less than scientific is immediately discounted and defamed. Silence is the only acceptable form of communication for those who have questions for evolutionary biology.
The essence of science is questioning. Subscribers of evolution do not like questions. In fact, the National Academy of Sciences has a lot to say about what the criteria of science is and biological evolution fails to meet the criteria. Yet, no one is allowed to mention this. No free speech in 2017 America. Wow!
Want to learn about other illegal aspects of evolution? Watch this short film.