Are Islands “Magical” Laboratories for Evolution?

Evolutionists sometimes tell us that islands are amazing laboratories where evolution is free to do anything. In his National Academy of Sciences booklet Evolution in Hawaii, Steve Olson repeats the tired old line that “evolution is supported by overwhelming evidence” (p. vii) and says “Islands are especially good places to see evolution in action.” (p. vii) He goes even further, suggesting that islands like Hawaii are “the best places in the world to study evolution.” (p. 1) But is it true that islands necessarily provide laboratories where diversity evolves en masse? An article on ScienceDaily about a new study in Global Ecology and Biogeography on island biogeography examines the question. The author states, “research that shows there’s nothing extraordinary about Read More ›

Testing the Orchard Model and the NCSE’s Claims of “Nested Patterns” Supporting a “Tree of Life”

In my previous post responding to the National Center for Science Education’s (NCSE) attacks on Explore Evolution‘s treatment of biogeography, I explained that there are many examples where there is inconsistency between evolutionary expectations of biogeography and plate tectonics. The NCSE is thus wrong to have claimed that “The consistency of these sorts of nested patterns cannot be explained without reference to common descent. The creationist ‘orchard’ is scientifically meaningless, since it makes no predictions.” * The classical “universal common descent” view is contrasted with the orchard model at below: The NCSE’s claim is perplexing because, as noted, the NCSE also claimed that “continuity [between biogeographic and evolutionary patterns] is what would be expected of a pattern of common descent, Read More ›