Archaeopteris and Devolution

“Now you shall say to this people, ‘Thus says the LORD: “Behold, I set before you the way of life and the way of death.

(Jeremiah 21:8) NKJV

We (me and the Holy Spirit) didn’t realize it at the time, but the first nail we hammered into the coffin lid of our scientific career was a paper about using cladistic phylogenetic analysis to study the fossil Archaeopteris.

Archaeopteris is an extinct genus of tree-like plant with fern-like leaves. A useful index fossil, this tree is found in strata dating from the Upper Devonian to Lower Carboniferous (383 to 323 million years ago), and had global distribution.

– Archaeopteris (Wikipedia)

In 1990 we were an eager Ph.D. candidate at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, taking a class in Phylogenetic Systematics at Duke University under Brent D. Mishler and John G. Lundburg.

In our term paper we inadvertently showed that cladistic phylogenetic analysis is circular reasoning based on personal bias.

Here’s the problem: It’s only possible to use the variation between species as proof of their evolutionary relationships if you first assumed that they evolved. What if they didn’t?

First of all, when we use the word “evolved” what are we really talking about? The process of evolution is an extensively documented process of genetic change over time. However, it’s not the origin of humanity. Denying evolution is what makes Christians look like ignorant home schooled knuckle-dragging cavemen. That may sound harsh but that’s the perception THAT WE HAVE CREATED thanks in large part to AiG, CMI and ICR.

The process of evolution began at the fall of man in Genesis 3. It’s the means by which the animals saved on Noah’s ark gave rise to the current distribution of biodiversity. It’s genetic decay over time which is why it’s more helpful to refer to it as devolution.

The specimens haven’t changed, we’re using the same computers, the difference is our personal bias about origins. Inducing a narrative of evolution by assuming that we evolved is the way of death. Deducing the sequence of creation by assuming that we were created is the way of life. The way of life: Jesus Christ, or the way of death: devolution.

Archaeopteris and Devolution – Navigation

1Archaeopteris and DevolutionJeremiah 21:8
2Evolution vs. Devolution1 Corinthians 1:19
Induction vs. DeductionTitus 3:9
3Cladistics and Circular Reasoning2 Corinthians 10:4-5
Coding a Character State MatrixLeviticus 19:36
A Phylogenetic Tree of LifeProverbs 4:5-7
What’s a Tarheel?Isaiah 29:14
Archaeopteris1 Timothy 6:20
Archaeopteris (1991) Term Paper(Further reading)
4Spherogenetic SystematicsEzekiel 38:20
Carl LinnaeusLuke 12:27
SalvationRomans 10:9-10
– Navigate your way around Archaeopteris and Devolution.


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