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Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Just So Stories

Rudyard Kipling wrote a series of stories for children about animals - how the leopard got its spots, how the elephant got a long trunk, etc. - that he titled "Just So Stories". The little volume became so popular that the title became a byword. If you create a "just so" story, you create a story that matches many of the known facts but is, in all other aspects, completely fabricated. It just sounds so nice that it must be true.
Le Gros Clark knew that genuine fossil discoveries ignite brighter sparks of controversy than any cranial con job ever could. given limited evidence about long-gone populations of our predecessors, researchers devise competing evolutionary scenarios that are often difficult to disprove and that can easily accommodate whatever ancient bones turn up next. (Science News, Fossil Sparks, Nov 3, 2007, Vol. 172, p 280, 1st column).
Science News is not a hotbed of Intelligent Design theory or of Creationism. It is very much wedded to evolutionary theory. But, among friends, it explicitly admits the facts: evolution is not a theory, but a bunch of contradictory theories, each one hard to distinguish from a "just so" story.

I'm not a fan of creationism, but it is admissions like this which make it hard for me to get enthusiastic about macro-evolution.

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