How old is the earth? Does it matter? On today's podcast we will see how biological essentialism implies a young earth. Is a bat a flying rat? Have kangaroos always been kangaroos? What is a liger? What are ORFan (orphan) genes? Learn more here about these fascinating topics. Biological essentialism teaches that organisms vary within limits (see ch. 3 of YES - Young Earth Science). Richard Dawkins made his opinion on essentialism clear:
... essentialism has been applied to living things and Ernst Mayr blamed this for humanity’s late discovery of evolution - as late as the nineteenth century. If, like Aristotle, you treat all flesh-and-blood rabbits as imperfect approximations to an ideal Platonic rabbit, it won’t occur to you that rabbits might have evolved from a non-rabbit ancestor. 
Andrew Shtulman, Psychology Professor at Occidental, gave a talk at UCLA in 2011 on the topic of "Cognitive constraints on the understanding and acceptance of evolution." He recognized that essentialism is a primary reason why people fail to adopt Darwinism. Children at an early age develop an essentialist WorldView. They quickly come to realize that crabs and seahorses belong to different Essential Types of Life (ETL's).
ORFan genes are unique to certain organisms and no similar genes have been found in supposedly related animals. That is, there is no apparent "parent" genes in other organisms. For instance, more than half of the proteins of the leaf-cutter ant (see above) are unique to itself among the expressed proteins.
Biological essentialism leads to catastrophism and that favors a young earth perspective. What evidence would be required to verify a young earth? Let us hear from you: YoungEarthScience@yahoo.com
Get your copy of YES - Young Earth Science today!
1) quoted in YES – Young Earth Science by Jay Hall (IDEAS, Big Spring, TX, 2014), p. 73.