It is as difficult for me to understand a scientist who does not acknowledge the presence of a superior rationality behind the existence of the universe as it is to comprehend a theologian who would deny the advances of science.
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2000: SEP-OCT NOV-DEC
September marks the second anniversary of Creation-Evolution Headlines. More than just daily news, it is a growing database of recent reports related to origins, all classified by topic, now with hundreds of entries. Are you a regular reader? Drop us a line and let us know youre out there. While youre at it, tell us what you like or dislike, what topics most interest you, and any suggestions for improving this unique daily news and commentary. Heres where to write. Note: you will not be put on a mailing list; we just like hearing from our readers.
Blondes Are Going Extinct 09/30/2002
The BBC News reports that some German scientists think blondes are an endangered species, and may go extinct within 200 years, because the gene for blondeness is recessive. Others are not so sure. Jonathan Rees at University of Edinburgh, for instance, says, The only reason blondes would disappear is if having the gene was a disadvantage and I do not think that is the case.
Wonder what Hitler would have thought of the possible extinction of his blonde Aryan super-race. At least the females are not in danger, as long as enough boys wish they all could be California girls. But maybe a new study needs to be done on the effect of dumb blonde jokes on evolution. Why did the blonde stare at the orange-juice carton? Because it said Concentrate. How did she burn her ear? The phone rang while she was ironing. What do you call 100 blondes standing ear to ear? A wind tunnel. See? This could have major impacts on evolution by sexual selection. But then again, the Pollacks didnt go extinct. But now, MSNBC claims that the report seems to have been a hoax. Doesnt matter. Evolution can explain opposites, the survival of blondes and the extinction of blondes, with equal ease.Archer Fish Beats Baseball Outfielders 09/30/2002
Nature Science Update reports that archer fish are better than baseball players at calculating where their prey will land. These fish spit narrow jets of water at insects overhead, and then figure out within a tenth of a second where they will fall into the water. Then, without looking back, they dart in for their snack. Baseball players, by contrast, are constantly shifting their eyes as they mentally calculate where the ball will come down, and tend to move in a curved path, whereas the fish seem to go straight at the target.
Archer fish also have to take into account the refraction between the water and air. For a good film sequence on archer fish in action, see the old Moody Science classic video The Prior Claim or the more recent Wonders of Gods Creation: Animal Life.Buck-Tooth Dino Turned Vegan 09/30/2002
The Sept 21 issue of Science News claims that a Chinese dinosaur evolved from meat-eating theropods to become a plant eater. Called Incisivosaurus, the creature had rodentlike incisors and a hefty overbite. Nature Science Update goes absolutely Looney Tunes over this dinosaurs features. Vegetarianism is unusual among theropods, but species can evolve to fill unoccupied ecological niches. For example, carnivorous mammals descendants that now shun meat include honey badgers, bamboo-eating pandas, and termite-slurping aardwolves. This find helps clear up a paleontological debate, the article explains, about the place of oviraptors in the evolutionary scheme. Several features of Incisivosaurus suggest that Caudipteryx and other oviraptors developed their avian featuers not through inheritance from birds but through convergent evolution. Via that process, species with different evolutionary origins can develop outwardly similar shapes if they occupy similar ecological niches.
Convergent evolution is not a process. It is a made-up phrase that veils a serious problem in evolutionary theory, that unlike organisms that have no common ancestor have similar structures. It is one more epicycle on a ponderous theory that is collapsing under its own weight of bandages, duct tape and rubber bands trying to hold it together. The evidence? Just a series of organisms, all well adapted to their environment, that can be more easily explained by common Designer, not common ancestor.Georgia County School Board Votes to Teach the Controversy 09/27/2002
The Cobb County, Georgia School Board voted 7-0 last night to approve a controversial statement about origins teaching:
...the Cobb County School District believes that discussion of disputed views of academic subjects is a necessary element of providing a balanced education, including the study of the origin of the species. ... The purpose of this policy is to foster critical thinking among students, to allow academic freedom consistent with legal requirements, to promote tolerance and acceptance of diversity of opinion, and to ensure a posture of neutrality toward religion. It is the intent of the Cobb County Board of Education that this policy not be interpreted to restrict the teaching of evolution; to promote or require the teaching of creationism; or to discriminate for or against a particular set of religious beliefs, religion in general, or non-religion.The policy is controversial only because it has been highly visible as a contest between those like the NCSE and ACLU that want evolution taught without any criticism, and those in the intelligent design movement that believe teaching the controversy is healthy practice. The carefully-worded statement specifically clarifies that this is not intended to promote creationism or decrease teaching of evolution, but only to stimulate critical thinking on controversial issues. Incredibly, Science Now spun the story with the provocative title, Creationism Edges Toward the Classroom.
Evolutionists are so hypocritical. They claim to believe in critical thinking on everything except evolution, and skepticism on everything except naturalistic philosophy. What is the harm in this statement? It is actually so blandly mild (see the Answers in Genesis take on it), so favorable to the status quo, so open to interpretation, that no pro-evolution teacher should feel any pressure to change, and even the most ardent pro-Darwinists should find no cause for alarm. But they do! They are adamant that evolutionism must be presented as fact, unquestioned, dogmatically, so much so that teachers who dare to quote even Stephen Jay Gould pointing out problems in Darwinian evolution are threatened with excommunication. Once the protestants recognize the miters on the heads of these bishops, its going to be curtains for the Church of Darwin. But it may take a Thirty Years War, and the counter-reformation is already on the attack. The enthusiasm with which this vote was met by the majority in the packed auditorium, however, indicates a large groundswell of support for the new reformation of the 21st Century.Ios Volcanoes Spell Trouble for Long Age Estimates 09/27/2002
Alfred S. McEwen of the University of Arizonas Lunar and Planetary Lab, writing in the Sept 27 issue of Science, reviews some of the surprises that the Galileo spacecraft found at Io, the innermost moon of Jupiter. Although its volcanism was well known since the Voyager flybys in 1979, scientists were shocked to measure lava temperatures higher than anything on earth (~1800 oK), suggesting Io has an iron and magnesium rich (ultramafic) crust. According to current theories of mantle differentiation, however, such denser elements should not be present at the crust in sufficient quantities to account for the observations. McEwen explains how, over billions of years, it should all be gone:
The idea that Io is an ultramafic world seems at odds with the well-understood process of magmatic differentiation. If Io has a solid lower mantle capped by a partially molten layer, as believed by most planetary geophysicists, then Ios crust should be strongly depleted in elements like Mg. As mantle rocks begin to melt, the first component to melt has a lower density. It segregates and rises toward the surface after ~10% melting of a given volume of the solid mantle. If Ios typical heat flow over geologic time is just 10% of todays value, then we can expect 1012 km3 of silicate melt over the last 4000 million years--40 times the volume of Io. There should thus have been sufficient heat to melt 10% of Ios volume 400 times. After just four episodes of such partial melting, Io should have formed a low-density crust ~50 km thick (11). High-temperature, dense mafic or ultramafic lavas could only rise through the thick low-density crust under extraordinary circumstances.As a possible solution to this dilemma, he points to the model of Keszthelyi that Ios mantle might be a crystal-rich magma ocean, for which there might be indirect support, but he admits it is difficult to explain how Io first got into that state. Maybe we are misinterpreting sparse data. He leaves the mystery unresolved.
A new series of dramatic pictures of Io from the Galileo spacecraft was released December 9, 2002.
Dr. Ed Stone, the Voyager project scientist, has admitted many times that the discovery of active volcanoes on Io was a total surprise. These small bodies, far from the sun, should long ago have become frozen and dead. Even the theory of tidal flexing does not appear anywhere near sufficient to account for the amount of activity observed. That was bad enough, but the high temperature of the lavas, indicating the presence of dense elements, was a further blow to conventional theories. The only suggestion that makes sense is that Io is much younger than the assumed four billion year age of the solar system. When other solar system phenomena also defy long ages, like comets and rings and short-lived radionuclides, why must the age parameter be sacrosanct? Two reasons: a young solar system would defy naturalistic explanations by indicating abrupt appearance, and it would not allow time for evolution (begging the question that four billion years would be enough, anyway). Take note of the observational evidence. At even 10% the current heat output, McEwen states, Io would have had time to completely melt 40 times in 4 billion years. At current heat output rates, that would be 400 times. With anomalies that large, its time for some creative alternatives.State of the (Exo)Planet Address 09/26/2002
NASA scientist Jack Lissauer discusses the current status of searches for exoplanets (bodies that orbit other stars) in the the Sept 26 issue of Nature. About 100 are now known from indirect measurements of star wobbles. Most are large and massive, Jupiter size and above, but that is a selection effect due to the difficulty of measuring small perturbations from smaller bodies. Many have highly elliptical orbits, and the range in size and distance is quite surprising (and discouraging for simplistic theories of planet formation). Newer technologies, including the 2007 Kepler mission, should not only increase the number, but find (possibly) some planets that remind us of earth, at least in terms of mass, presence of water, and distance from the star.
Planets do not select nutrients, reproduce, or pass on genetic instructions, so we will give the evolutionists all the planets they want and still ask how naturalism can produce complex specified information and molecular machines without intelligent design. Were reminded of a somewhat irreverent but thought-provoking cartoon of Frank and Ernest as angels at the creation, standing on a cloud and asking God, The stars turned out just fine, Sir. What do you want us to do with the little balls of dirt?Shipping Labels Used on Cells Cargo 09/26/2002
Bound for New York? Read the label. Destined for the trash can? Read the label. Just as Federal Express or any other shipping company depends on labels to keep myriads of packages on target to equal myriads of destinations, the cell tags its cargo with molecular labels to keep everything on track. Nature (Sept. 26) has two articles on this topic that explain how the cell does it. In The Making of a Vesicle, Anne Schmidt describes work by Ford et al on a protein tag called epsin that stimulates a membrane to curve around, or package a piece of cargo for shipment, such as nutrient uptake or removal of parts from the cell surface.
To carry out their functions properly, the proteins in our cells must be in the right place at the right time, and at the right concentration. So its vital that cells achieve the correct balance between protein synthesis and destruction. Although we understand much about how proteins are made, it is only in the past ten years that we have come to appreciate the complexity of their degradation. Like everything else, proteins outlive their usefulness and, whether damaged or just no longer needed, they are often condemned to destruction by the covalent attachment of another protein, called ubiquitin. When this process fails, it has profound consequences for events such as cell division, gene expression and the development of cancer.Wilkinson presents the work of Yao and Cohen that indicates that one ubiquitin tag means sort, and several means recycle. The rest of the cell must understand the tag to know what to do, and the proteasome (shaped like a narrow tunnel) has to remove the labels before doing its grisly work.
We tend to visualize miniature people when we read such things, but consider that these are blind molecules, operating in the dark, that somehow are able to sense their surroundings and take appropriate action. The degree of fidelity is astonishing, and the consequences of mistakes are disastrous. How do they do it? Believers in God have ever more reasons to worship when confronted with such marvels. Unbelievers? Well, to alleviate stress, try not to think about it.Computer Science Can Help Us Understand Life 09/26/2002
In a Concepts editorial in the Sept. 26 issue of Nature, two Israeli scientists think that biochemists need computer science to understand life. Computer science can provide abstractions that can illuminate structures and processes used by the cell:
Of course, biomolecular systems exist independently of our awareness or understanding of them, whereas computer systems exist because we understand, design and build them. Nevertheless, the abstractions, tools and methods used to specify and study computer systems should illuminate our accumulated knowledge about biomolecular systems.Thus they leave vague the question of who, if Anyone, designed and built the biological systems, but that question seems to have no practical bearing on the fruitfulness of the approach.
This is all intelligent design talk. Where is the evolution? Why would Darwinspeak be of any benefit in such an approach? If we can profit from visualizing living systems as complex networks of adaptable components, if we need to think like computer scientists and network engineers to understand life, so be it. There may be metaphysical implications to all this, but the core concepts derive from observation, not metaphysics. Here, Nature published this without qualms, Darwin was quietly ignored, and Eugenie Scott didnt have a fit. Religion in the science lab? No fear. Get real.Hoping for a Chance Solution to the Left-Handed Protein Puzzle 09/26/2002
If youve studied the issue of the origin of life for long, you know about the mystery of the left-handed amino acids that make up the proteins of all living things: the chirality problem. Since both hands form equally in nature, why do biological molecules (proteins and DNA) consist of chains with only one hand? Figuring out how that originated is one of the great puzzles of astrobiology. It seems incredibly unlikely to have been a luck of the draw, but Jay Siegel of UC San Diego, writing in the Sept. 26 issue of Nature, prefers the chance avenue over determinism (the approach that the solution lies in the laws of physics). Commenting on the recent work of Singleton and Vo in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, he envisions experimenters finding a autocatalytic reactions that could amplify one-handedness in its products, and maybe transfer that homochirality to other compounds. While admitting that any hypothesis must consider that chirality could degrade (return to equilibrium, 50-50 of both hands), he concludes that smart money still bets on chance over determinism.
Proteins must be 100% pure of one hand, or they wont work. By carefully controlling the generations of reagants, Singleton and Vo were able to achieve 71% of one hand over the other, if optically active (i.e., one-handed) impurities were present to seed the autocatalytic reactions. But they caution:The Bacterium from Mars Alleged 09/25/2002It is an adage in chemistry that purity is a matter of degree. Thus, it is not clear to us how any macroscopic solution reaction may be carried out in the biosphere in the complete absence of optically active materials. The results here demonstrate that trace amounts of optically active materials may dominate the outcome of reactions, and this suggests caution in interpreting reactions involving large asymmetric amplifications. ...Thus the mystery involves multiple levels of improbability. They foresee a possible path to a solution through autocatalytic amplification of chance excesses of one hand, but have not yet demonstrated it: We are currently exploring this hypothesis in both mathematical and experimental models. So at this time, the solution to the homochirality problem in prebiotic synthesis remains elusive.
Some Russian scientists feel Deinococcus radiodurans must have evolved on Mars to get its remarkable resistance to radiation. The bacterium can withstand thousands of times the radiation that would kill a human. Pavlov does not believe that there has been enough time for this resistance to evolve, says the report in New Scientist. Others disagree with the Martian origin idea, but have no clue why this bacterium would evolve such resistance. Anatoli Pavlov theorizes that repeated doses, hundreds of millions of years apart, would have been required to evolve this ability on earth, but on Mars it could have happened in a few hundred thousand years.
So why didnt everything else on earth exposed to such high radiation evolve this ability? Did the bacterium first evolve here, then hitch a ride to Mars and work up its resistance, then come back home? If it evolved there, why does it have similar DNA-protein biochemistry? Its fun being a scientist. You can say anything you want and the reporters will give you good press.Scientists Fold a Small Protein 09/25/2002
According to Nature Science Update, scientists were able to calculate the fold of a small protein of 20 peptides just from knowing its amino acid sequence. The synthetic protein folds into a tight structure like real proteins; most short chains remain loose and floppy, the report states. The team used computer simulation to predict the fold that actually occurred, measured by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The difficulty in predicting the fold grows exponentially, however, with length of the sequence, and most proteins are hundreds of amino acids long. The precise fold of a protein is essential to its function. Understanding and predicting protein folding from just the amino acid sequence is one of the most formidable challenges facing biochemists.
See our February 27 headline on this subject to appreciate the difficulty of understanding protein folding. As we reported May 20 also, there does not appear to be only one possible shape a sequence can form. Proteins in the cell are assisted by chaperones, molecular machines that take the newly-sequenced chain from the ribosome and help it fold into the one and only unique shape that will make it work. Without that unique shape, it is useless or even dangerous, often involved in serious diseases. How amino acid chains fold properly is an amazing and mysterious subject. What these scientists did with a short 20-link chain is interesting, but vastly simpler than what cells do constantly in milliseconds. It is like solving a 2x2 Rubiks cube compared to a 6x6.New Darwin Centre Set to Open in London 09/24/2002
The BBC News has a feature and pictures about the new Darwin Centre, the biggest single development ever undertaken at Londons historic Natural History Museum. Phase One is set to open to the public at the end of September. 22 million specimens of animals will be housed at the new center, including some Darwin collected on the Beagle. Phase Two (slated to open in 2007) will include six million plants and 28 million insects. The facility will not only allow much better and spacious conditions for storage and analysis of the specimens, but will allow the public to watch scientists at work. Darwin would approve, the article states, and quotes Professor Steve Jones of University College: Biology is a science, however disparate, and a science first recognised by Charles Darwin. And this centre is a monument to that fact.
Darwin was not the first. How about John Ray, Carolus Linnaeus, and others who, as Christians and creationists, took pleasure and delight in observing and classifying living things? Darwins observing and collecting were fine, but he is best known not as a naturalist (collector) but a naturalist (materialist) who started the ball rolling that developed into todays materialistic science establishment. Now that the very evidences he depended on for his theory of natural selection have been debunked, and the fossil record has failed to show his slow and gradual changes, and our understanding of the complexity of life has exploded beyond anything he could have imagined, the honor accorded to Darwin is not appropriate for this facility. It should be a monument to creative intelligent design the antithesis of what Darwin stood for. At least Cornwall beat them to it with the Eden Project last year.Whoops, We Were Wrong: Human-Ape Difference Just Tripled 09/23/2002
How many times have you heard that human and chimpanzee DNA differs by only 2% or even 1.5%? That estimate, it turns out, was based on measuring the temperature at which matching DNA of two species comes apart. New Scientist now reports that the developer of that technique, Roy Britten of Caltech, had second thoughts about the oft-quoted figure, and checked it out with new methods, now that the chimpanzee genome has been published. Comparing insertions and deletions yields a figure three times bigger, over 5% difference, and that only after comparing about three hundredths of a percent of the genome. Moreover, it is still a long way off before we will understand what other epigenetic factors make us different, such as gene expression. The campus newsletter At Caltech has a more detailed explanation of Brittens announcement. His official paper is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, at the conclusion of which he states, One interesting observation is that the sequence divergence between chimp and human is quite large, in excess of 20% for a few regions. Some of the larger gaps are broken by regions within them that align with appropriate segments of the other species DNA sequence but only have distant similarity. These observations suggest that complex processes, presumably involving repeated sequences and possible conversion events, may occur that will require detailed study to understand.
Update 10/22/2002: Science Now reports that two independent teams have found more differences: For almost 30 years, researchers had assumed that the DNA of humans and chimps is at about 98.5% identical. Now a closer look has revealed previously undiscovered nips and tucks in equivalent sections of DNA. ... Together, these insertions and deletions suggest that the genomes are not quite as similar as researchers had thought.
Statistics can be so misleading. It is to be expected that we are going to share a lot in common with other primates, if we can all eat bananas. Even the current figure is only statistical, and measures only one parameter. By other measures there is a gulf much bigger than 5%. Besides, its highly unlikely the human soul is coded in DNA. Though we act like beasts much of the time, there is a nonmaterial part of us that makes us build spacecraft, write and perform symphonies, weep over evil, blush with guilt, and sense the need to worship God. That difference is 100%.Inching Closer to the Island of Dr. Moreau 09/23/2002
Just when you thought terrorism gave us enough to worry about, now we need to watch out for the mad scientists who want to mix human and animal genes. Wesley J. Smith of the Discovery Institute, writing for National Review, discusses the dangers of The Transhumanists those who are thinking ahead to the possibility of implanting animal genes into humans and vice versa. Since transgenic experimentation is already being done between animals, what is to stop scientists from doing human experiments, whether for eugenics or less idealistic motives? It is already being discussed, and advocated, by some. Smith recommends that the government act quickly to ban the implantation of animal genes into human embryos. But given Washingtons record of waffling on human cloning, the prospects do not look promising.
The humanist novelist H.G. Wells (who rebelled against his Christian upbringing while learning about Darwinism in college), wrote a novel called The Island of Dr. Moreau, in which he portrayed a megalomaniac scientist who had engineered chimeras that were part human, part animal, to do his every bidding. Now that we are on the threshold of transgenic engineering, unless our leaders realize the ethical risks and act decisively, it will be too late once the catwoman is out of the bag. Do humans have any dignity left, or is that just a relic of an outworn religious belief that we were created in the image of God, distinct from the animals? Smith quotes these chilling words of bioethicist Gregory Pence:Political Science: Anti-Design Pressure Applied Against a Georgia School Board 09/20/2002Pence writes, In some ultimate sense, humans are both nothing more, and as wonderful as, compassionate monkeys. By weakening the ethical boundary between non-human and human animals, he asserts that it will be easier to do to humans some of the things we think quite sane to do to animals, beginning with cloning and moving from there to genetic modification.Compassionate monkeys. What will this do to our founding principle that all men are created equal, and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights? Do compassionate monkeys have human rights? If a future chimeric human has only 80% human genes, will he or she get only 80% of the rights of others? It all starts so noble, trying to improve the quality of life of people with genetic diseases, but where does it stop? Where is the line that cannot be crossed, if we are just compassionate monkeys? What is compassion, anyway, if we are just animals? It is only an illusion. Weve seen the bitter fruits of communism and Naziism coming from Darwins tree of death, but there are other fruits in the bud, slowly ripening to portend horrors we can only imagine.
Conservative News Service reports that National Academy of Sciences president Bruce Alberts is asking members to lobby the Cobb County, Georgia school district and protest the placement of disclaimer stickers in science textbooks that warn students that evolution is just a theory and should be looked at with an open mind. The ACLU, also, is suing the school district to remove the stickers. Meanwhile, the county school board is scheduling a vote Sept. 26 on a policy that includes the statement, the Cobb County School District believes that discussion of disputed views of academic subjects is a necessary element of providing a balanced education, including the study of the origin of the species.
As we have seen repeatedly in these school board cases, the scientific establishment has all the trappings of a giant political action committee or powerful union. Why do they want to shield students from the damaging evidence against evolution that we present repeatedly here in Creation-Evolution Headlines, including evidence that is printed almost weekly in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, one of our primary sources? Bruce Alberts himself said in 1998 that the biology of the future involves studying molecular machines like design engineers (see our January 9 headline and commentary). Its hypocritical for them to turn around and keep design language out of the science classroom.Big Bang Bolstered, Yet Preposterous 09/20/2002
According to the BBC News, a prediction of the big bang has been confirmed by observations made at the South Pole. The prediction was that the cosmic microwave background would be polarized, and 5500 hours of radio telescope time have detected the polarization. Though relieved and excited about the potential new information this measurement will bring, astronomers like Dr. Carlson of Chicago University are disturbed by the implications. ...the new observations are pointing to an ever-more puzzling Universe: a Universe whose birth was dominated by mysterious dark matter and dark energy. Were stuck with a preposterous Universe, he says.
This measurement does not confirm any particular theory unless all other possibilities have been ruled out. Always remember Finagles Second Law: No matter what the anticipated result, there will always be someone eager to (a) misinterpret it, (b) fake it, or (c) believe it happened according to his own pet theory. Cosmological measurements are on the bleeding edge of the possible, and their interpretations are invariably clouded by assumptions. They keep saying that every new measurement bolsters the big bang theory, but look at the implications. Now they have these giant fudge factors of dark matter and dark energy they dont know what to do with. Which side of the eyepiece has the preposterous matter?Whats In a Name? 09/20/2002
The Discovery Institutes Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture has just shortened its name to the Center for Science and Culture. Mark Edwards, the Director of Media and Public Relations, says it was changed because the the old name was simply too long. The Sept 20 issue of Science magazine, however, sees this as Designs evolving image. They note that the image of Michelangelos fresco The Creation of Man in their logo was changed to a Hubble photograph. The magazine gives the last word to Eugenie Scott of the National Center for Science Education: There is still a superfluous word in the centers name: Science.
Well then lets have her remove the words science and education from her organizations name, because the NCSE is concerned with neither, but only keeping creation out of science classrooms and harrassing teachers who teach the controversy about Darwinism. Scott believes its OK to teach falsehoods like Haeckels embryos in school textbooks, and its necessary to indoctrinate students and shield them from contrary evidence instead of teaching them to think critically, as she herself admits in so many words on camera in the film Icons of Evolution. Science magazine should be ashamed for printing her hypocritical, vacuous vituperation. Watch the film, go to the CSC website, and answer the substance of the arguments, please.Motors in Your Ear Amplify Sound 10,000-Fold 09/19/2002
What limits the hearing range in the ear? Apparently not the eardrum or bones of the middle ear, but the cochlea in the inner ear. Thats the finding of scientists writing in the We reported in February about prestin, the speedy molecular motor that is involved in controlling the volume of sound on the hair cells of the cochlea. Now, scientists writing in the Sept. 19 issue of Nature have confirmed that prestin is the primary agent in the control of sound amplification, or at least that no other mechanism is necessary to explain the observations. In their research paper entitled, Prestin is required for electromotility of the outer hair cell and for the cochlear amplifier, they explain that this little molecular motor, that affects the stiffness of outer hair cells responding to sound waves, provides a 40-60 decibel increase in sensitivity of the ear: a factor of one to ten thousand. By knocking out the prestin motor in mice, the scientists observed a 10,000-fold reduction in hearing sensitivity.
The hearing ability of mammals is an exquisitely tuned series of mechanical and electrical systems. Prestin itself is an electromechanical transducer. Along with the other mechanisms, it allows us to tolerate the differences in volume between a jet take-off and the purring of a cat. See also our March 2001 headline on this subject.Committed Religious Teens Are Healthier, Less Trouble 09/18/2002
Researchers at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill surveyed 2,478 high school seniors and found that the most committed to religious practices were the best behaved in society, reports EurekAlert. They were less delinquent, less in trouble with the law, less likely to use drugs or engage in other risky behaviors, more likely to exercise and eat right, and more likely to be involved in volunteering, sports and community services. But there was little benefit with mild or inconsistent attachment to religion; only those really committed, to whom their religion was very important to them, showed the benefit. This research is consistent with earlier smaller scale studies, but The new work, released in a report today (Sept. 18), is among the most comprehensive looks yet on the link between religion and positive and negative adolescent behavior.
Solomon said, When wisdom enters your heart, And knowledge is pleasant to your soul, Discretion will preserve you; Understanding will keep you, To deliver you from the way of evil, From the man who speaks perverse things, From those who leave the paths of uprightness To walk in the ways of darkness; Who rejoice in doing evil, And delight in the perversity of the wicked ... So you may walk in the way of goodness, And keep to the paths of righteousness (Prov 2:10-14,20). Isnt it a handy thing that religion evolved.Primordial Soup Cannot Tolerate Salt 09/17/2002
In what appears to be a devastating blow to beliefs that life first appeared in the oceans, scientists at UC Santa Cruz, publishing in the journal Astrobiology Vol 2. No. 2 (2002) have experimented with what salt does to RNA and membranes. They found that sea salt destroys fatty-acid membranes and prevents RNA from forming chains (polymerizing), even at concentrations seven times weaker than in todays oceans. The ingredients of sea salt are very effective at dismembering membranes and preventing RNA units (monomers) from forming polymers any longer than two links (dimers). Noting the exceptional properties of contemporary cellular membrane structures, they emphasize that without some kind of osmotic control, primitive vesicles would have collapsed in the presence of divalent cations such as are present in sea salt. Even if early oceans were far less salty, the prebiotic compounds would have needed to be concentrated. But as they logically point out, Concentrating mechanisms often have a drawback in that they are not selective. That is, not only monomers but also any ionic solute present will be concentrated, including the damaging salts.
It is almost funny to read this paper while imagining the scriptwriters at the Discovery Channel or National Geographic hearing the bad news. All hopes for a naturalistic origin of life are being dashed so hard, it seems like a succession of disaster stories comparable to Pharoahs ten plagues. Here in the journal Astrobiology, the palace for the study of the evolution of life in the universe, Pharoah is still waiting for Ra to come to the rescue, and these magicians have just told him all the firstborn have died. How long will you harden your heart? Know that the Lord is God. Let the people go to the promised land of intelligent design.Ohio School Board Vote Hangs in the Balance 09/17/2002
Despite widespread public support for teaching intelligent design, or at least criticisms of Darwinism, in Ohio schools, the school board appears to be rushing the evolution-only draft science standards for vote Oct 15 without modification. The group advocating intelligent design, Science Excellence for All Ohioans (SEAO), reported today that at the last board meeting on the 10th, though the science standards were not on the agenda, board members listened to an hour of public testimony about them. Three evolutionists spoke, followed by ten advocates of the teach the controversy approach those who favor allowing evidence against Darwinism and/or for intelligent design. SEAO fears that the board is ignoring the will of the majority of Ohioans who have expressed support of the latter. Unless the board changes its direction, it will approve the draft standards that retain an evolution-only stance, even though the standards were slightly modified to add the word theory to evolution and omit discussion of the origin of the universe and the origin of life (changes that have angered the evolutionists). SEAO is troubled by the suggestion to relegate teach the controversy to social studies: This move appears to be an attempt to divert attention from the real issue. The question is not whether intelligent design belongs in the social studies standards; the real issue is whether evolution will be taught objectively and without bias in the science classroom. The teach-the-controversy approach must be implemented in the science standards, not social studies. SEAO calls this battle between the public and the school board and their Darwin-only advisers The Ohio Firestorm.
In the public forum, Jody Sjogren made a surprise announcement about new curricular materials that will be available within a month to support the teach-the-controversy proposal. We think we know what materials she is talking about and will announce them here as soon as they become available.Endosymbionts Mutate Twice as Fast 09/17/2002
Endosymbionts are organelles alleged to have once been free-living organisms. A Penn State biochemist and his colleagues compared their genomes with their presumed closest relatives and found, on average, twice as many amino acid substitutions. The results are published in the Sept 16 online preprints of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. They puzzled over the phenomenon; how could deleterious mutations accumulate without destroying function?
If the proportion of slightly deleterious mutations is greater than that of slightly advantageous mutations, as is often assumed, the gene would again eventually deteriorate in long-term evolution. One hypothesis to prevent this situation is to assume that a large-effect advantageous mutation occasionally occurs and rescues the gradual deterioration of gene function. However, this hypothesis is unrealistic, because it is unclear how a single mutation can nullify the effects of many deleterious mutations at the molecular level.Since the protein products retain their functions, it appears that the net effect is neutral, whether the mutations themselves are neutral or whether the good ones compensate for the bad, because they do not change the gene function in long-term evolution (no adaptation). Either way, the authors can only suggest a working hypothesis that the differences are caused by a higher mutation rate in the endosymbionts. It would be interesting to test this hypothesis with experiments, they conclude.
This paper is listed under the topic Evolution, but does anyone see evolution here? Not a single advantageous mutation or adaptive change has been cited. Most of the talk is about downward change, or level change at best. The paper begs the question that organelles like mitochondria were once free-living organisms, a topic of controversy among biologists. Even so, the results were a surprise, and you see the authors puzzling over why the mutation rate would be higher among these subjects. The bottom line is that no Darwinian selection toward better fitness was demonstrated, despite the bluffing title Acceleration of genomic evolution caused by enhanced mutation rate in endocellular symbionts. What they did show was just deterioration, randomization and degradation, the way of all the earth.On the Evolution of Fruit Fly Color 09/16/2002
The Sept 17 issue of Current Biology has another paper on the fruit fly Drosophila, one of the most-studied critters in all science. This one tries to explain how color evolved in different populations of the tiny flies, which vary in the amount of black and yellow pigment between species. The scientists from Howard Hughes Medical Institute, in their paper Evolution of yellow Gene Regulation and Pigmentation in Drosophila, explain the problem:
Changes in developmental gene expression are central to phenotypic evolution, but the genetic mechanisms underlying these changes are not well understood. ... A major challenge of biology is understanding the genetic basis of evolutionary change. Genetic analyses of model organisms have identified a number of candidate genes that may have contributed to the evolution of phenotypic differences between species. Mutations in these genes produce phenotypes that resemble those of other species, and this has prompted hypotheses that similar genetic changes may have given rise to existing interspecific differences ... The specific genetic changes responsible for particular differences in gene expression remain largely unknown.The researchers swapped genes for yellow color between species to see what happened, and realized that much more was involved than mutations on a single gene. They found that not just the genes, but how they are expressed, both on the DNA and protein side, are involved. In addition, there are promoters and enhancers and modifiers that affect coloration, as well as additive effects of mutations and epistatic effects (how genes work together). So mutation of the gene for yellow color was a factor, but evolutionary changes in other genes were also required.
The results are largely inferential and circumstantial, leaving many questions unanswered, such as how can multiple mutations work together to achieve a coordinated result. It also appears that variation is tightly regulated and controlled, not random. The idea of a point mutation providing a benefit and spreading through a population to form a new species is being seen these days as overly simplistic. Gene expression and regulation are just as important. The authors point to studies of the classic evolutionary case of the industrial melanization of the peppered moths that found that introducing the gene for dark color into light-colored moths does not by itself make them dark; there are suppressors that can control whether or not the gene is expressed. The important thing to notice is that after decades of study on Drosophila, evolutionists still do not understand how color evolves, and thats the easy part. When simple variation in the expression of genes for pigment presents such a challenge, how can they claim that the fruit fly itself evolved, with its wings, compound eyes, nervous system, mouth parts, digestive system, articulated limbs, and so much else? How many billions of lucky accidents had to work together to produce flying machines that can hover, dart, and fly backwards?Original Neandertals Rediscovered 09/13/2002
A multi-disciplinary team has sifted through the soil of Neander Valley, named after Joachim Neander (1650-1680), a teacher, poet, and composer of hymns who often visited the area, and found over 60 human skeletal fragments, along with a large series of Paleolithic artifacts and faunal material. They carbon-dated the remains at 40,000 years old and wrote up their description in the Sept 12 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The original Neandertal skeletons had been found in 1856, three years before Darwin published the Origin of Species, but the cave had been destroyed and the site forgotten by 1900. These authors report finding and excavating the original site over the last few years, and finding bones that matched the original Neandertal Man. They also did mitochondrial DNA analysis on fragments and determined that at least three individuals were represented. Nature Science Update posted a summary of the find.
Neandertal man made a bigger hubbub in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Now, it can be claimed they were fully human, contemporaneous with and not ancestors of modern man. Neandertals were interfertile with modern humans, cared for one another, and had good brains and hunting skills. Human paleoanthropology is in such a state of disarray these days that Neandertal Man is a little more than a footnote on debates over much bigger questions. Take the radiocarbon dates with a grain of salt, too; they are subject to unverifiable assumptions about the equilibrium levels of atmospheric carbon-14 in the unobservable past.Darwin Bounced the Ball, Others Took It and Ran 09/13/2002
In the Sept. 13 issue of Science, Edward J. Larson gives high marks to Janet Brownes new biography of Charles Darwin, The Power of Place (vol. 2). In this second volume, she tackles the complexities of Darwins later years. Most are familiar with the youthful Darwin, The Voyage of the Beagle and The Origin of Species, but Larson feels the writings of his mature years are more revealing and relevant to todays issues in biology. Apparently Darwin worked compulsively tying up the fraying ends of his evolutionary theory, particularly the causes of variation and the processes of inheritance. Browne presents a Darwin of many irreconcilable faces, a lion on the world stage of science, yet petty and withdrawn around his estate. Larson describes his later writings (emphasis added):
In them, Darwins fertile mind bore into such critical issues as the evolution of human morality and consciousness, the impact of inbreeding (cousin marriages were a particular concern) [Ed. note: Charles Darwin had married his cousin Emma, a Christian], the accumulated effect of small agency, and the power of sexual selection. Along the way, Darwin gradually lost what was left of his spiritual beliefs and, in his own gentle way, adopted the materialism of Huxley and Ernst Haeckel. His thinking on such matters remains highly relevant. For example, Darwins 1869 Descent of Man should be required reading for anyone interested in evolutionary psychology. Brownes biography gives vital context to Darwins later work, detailing his brilliance as well as his biases and integrating the scientific with the social. Her Darwin is knee-deep in Victorian sexism, racism, and classism, and he sinks deeper with age.While Darwin battled his illness and wavered between various obsessions, the debate he had started about origins took on a life of its own. Interestingly, though the Origin avoided the origin of life and the evolution of man, those two issues became the most vigorously debated in Victorian society. Larson writes:
These two issues (humans and life) soon became the focus of the scientific and popular debate over origins, with Darwin only reluctantly joining it. Wallace, Huxley, Haeckel, and Charles Lyell (among others) featured prominently in the widening debate. Browne follows the trail of this debate where it leads, even when Darwin is temporarily left behind. She ceases only when Darwin dies at age 73, with the debate still raging. As long and dense as The Power of Place is, I wanted it to continue following the disputes, Darwin or no Darwin. By this point in Brownes biography (as in his life), the country squire of Downe had become secondary to the debate that he launched a quarter century earlier.Thus Darwins defenders took the ball and ran with it, driving the game into wider circles beyond just the origin of species until it became a full-fledged materialistic philosophy of everything.
How ironic that the very evidences Darwin most drew on (artificial selection, variation among pigeons and finches, etc.) are irrelevant to major transformations, his own theory of hereditypangenesiswas soon debunked, and his beliefs about human evolution were racist. Haeckel, also an extreme racist, put forth his fraudulent drawings of embryos to lend an air of scientific respectability to Darwins theory a fraud not fully denounced till 1997! Darwinism was a wild extrapolation beyond the evidence. Darwin hoped that more evidence would be forthcoming. The fossil record (as he himself admitted) was full of gaps that argued against his theory, and organs of extreme perfection (like the eye) defied detailed explanations by natural selection. Nothing has changed. Worse, Darwin and his defenders knew nothing about molecular machines at the foundation of life, the cell, present in all their irreducible complexity in the very simplest and humblest of organisms. Yet here we are, 143 years later, with the materialist philosophy dominating the scientific establishment with a vengeance that censors all nonconformists. The blood of 100 million people, meanwhile, testifies to the horror of running a world according to the principle of survival of the fittest. What a sobering lesson on the power of ideas that go far beyond the evidence.Genetic Code is Even Parity 09/12/2002
Did you ever learn about even and odd parity in computer class? If so, you know that parity bits are often added to computer codes to reduce errors. If the receiving end reads a byte that is odd when it is supposed to be even, it knows there has been an error. Dónall Mac Dónaill, a chemist at Trinity College Dublin, thinks that DNA uses this technique in the genetic code. He asked why, of all the possible nucleotides, DNA only uses A, C, T, and G. Examining the molecules, he noticed that these four seem to have even parity. This makes them very unlikely to pair with the wrong base. An Oxford computational chemist thinks this is a potentially fruitful concept: It is a novel idea which should provoke others to explore aspects of informatics in the genetic code, says Graham Richards. The story is summarized on Science Now, and also on Mac Dónaills website, and Nature Science Update explained the idea on their site on Sept. 18, emphasizing that The consequences of wrongly read or copied information can be disastrous. Malfunctioning genes can cause diseases and defects.
Bill Gates once said that DNA was like software, only more complex than anything we have been able to produce. In the film Unlocking the Mystery of Life, Stephen Meyer remarks that this is a very instructive observation, because we know that Bill Gates does not hire wind and erosion to design his software; he employs software engineers. Codes with error-correction like parity built in are hallmarks of intelligent design. There is no instance anywhere of a code being produced without intelligence. On what basis, other than faith, can Graham Richards say the following? Instinctively, one feels that the DNA code should have evolved systems to minimize errors. Mac Dónaills work shows how this could have been achieved. Similarly, Nature Science Update attributes this wonder to natural selection.The Spliceosome: The Most Complex Cellular Machine Yet 09/12/2002
A molecular machine with 4 RNAs and 145 proteins: thats the spliceosome, writes a team of Harvard biochemists in September 12 Nature. Its job? The precise excision of introns from pre-messenger RNA is performed by the spliceosome, a macromolecular machine containing five small nuclear RNAs and numerous proteins. Why higher organisms have so many introns (non-coding regions of DNA) and smaller exons (coding regions), and how the exons are joined, is on the cutting edge of DNA research. Formerly considered junk DNA, the introns seem to play an essential role in gene expression. They also may provide flexibility for coding regions to join in multiple ways, extending the information content of the DNA. In any event, the splicing of exons together correctly has little tolerance for error, and the spliceosome helps ensure that an accurate messenger RNA gets built before being sent to the ribosome, where the protein product will be assembled. ...we identify 145 distinct spliceosomal proteins, they announce, making the spliceosome the most complex cellular machine so far characterized. Furthermore, the authors find that this machinery is highly conserved (unevolved) between yeast and metazoans [multicellular organisms], including humans:
The potentially greater complexity of the human spliceosome is not unexpected in light of the vastly greater complexity of splicing in metazoans compared to yeast. Indeed, most metazoan pre-mRNAs contain multiple introns, the introns are typically thousands of nucleotides, and the splicing signals are weakly conserved. Superimposed on this complexity is the high frequency of alternative splicing, which is in turn further complicated owing to regulation. Thus, many of the metazoan-specific proteins may play roles in the accurate recognition and joining of exons.
Here we see another complex molecular machine, composed of nearly 150 coordinated parts, that operates with skill and precision. Spliceosomes undergo multiple assembly stages and conformational changes during the splicing reaction, say the authors, indicating that these machines have many moving parts. They conclude with an acknowledgement that the cell is a veritable factory of complex machinery:President Bush Points to Creator As Source of Human Value 09/11/2002The observation that the spliceosome is associated with numerous proteins that function in coupling splicing to other steps in gene expression provides compelling evidence for the emerging concept of an extensively coupled network of gene expression machines.Here again we notice in this paper, that the more that biological complexity is described, the less speculation one can find about how all this complexity evolved. Nobody seems to want to touch that question with a ten-foot polypeptide.
In his special address from Ellis Island on the first anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, President George W. Bush reminded Americans that our belief in the Giver of life separates our values from those of the terrorists, who treat people as expendable in the pursuit of power:
The attack on our nation was also attack on the ideals that make us a nation. Our deepest national conviction is that every life is precious, because every life is the gift of a Creator who intended us to live in liberty and equality. More than anything else, this separates us from the enemy we fight. We value every life; our enemies value none not even the innocent, not even their own. And we seek the freedom and opportunity that give meaning and value to life.Text and video of President Bushs remarks can be read at the White House website.
By implication, this means philosophies opposed to creation devalue human life. But what about Islamic extremists, who believe Allah created man, and yet showed utter disregard for human life in the terrorist attacks? The difference is that the God of Scripture is both righteous and loving. He teaches us to love our enemies, pray for those who persecute us, and do good to all men. Jesus set the example of laying down His life for mankind. He also taught that where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. Islam, by contrast, has sought to conquer by the sword, and its extreme adherents chant death to all who will not submit to their dogma. It also generates selfishness like that of hijacker Mohammed Atta, who according to WorldNetDaily appeared to be lusting after his promised 70 virgins as he packed his suitcase for the plane he was to fly into the World Trade Center. Christianity teaches us to deny our selfish lusts and work for the good of others. So it is not just belief in a Creator per se that makes the difference in valuing human life; it is knowing the true Creator, who is holy and righteous, loving and merciful, and who created us in His image. To discern the followers of the true Creator, Jesus made it clear, You shall know them by their fruits. The fruit of terrorism, produced by an evil tree, is forever etched in our minds.Remembering 9/11: Download and print our patriotic poster, showing an American flag with Mt. Whitney, tallest peak in the 48 states.
How the Peacock Got Its Tail: A Tormented Just So Story 09/10/2002
We thought up some of these unanswered questions: why doesnt the male evaluate the females immune system doesnt he care as much about passing on his genes as the hen does? Does a peabrained peahen know what an immune system is? Why should more immune cells correlate with a bigger, more colorful tail? Why dont all birds evolve more ornamentation? Why havent evolutionists figured this out after 150 years? If this isnt a Just-So story, what is it? What is the best way to end the torment?Natural Selection: Neutral or Directional? 09/10/2002
Three scientists at Indiana University believe they have demonstrated statistically that natural selection is directional for phenotypes. Writing in the Sept. 10 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, they examined 572 traits from 86 studies using a new quantitative trait loci (QTL) sign test. Instead of seeing neutral or antagonistic selection, they saw directional selection strongest for life history traits, less strongly for physiological and morphological traits, and weakest for developmental traits.
Here is another paper trying to defend Darwinism; does it succeed? If Darwinian evolution were totally wrong, these data could still be explained by some other theory, but no other theory is even on the table for discussion. Only evolutionary explanations are considered, whether neutral selection or directional selection. Whats most interesting, however, are the damaging admissions in their opening paragraph about the lack of evidence for evolution in both living and fossil organisms (emphasis added):Were Evolving Fatter 09/09/2002It is often lamented that studies of present-day populations provide only the briefest snapshot of evolution and tell us little about the evolutionary forces that have shaped a particular trait or organism in the past. Although ancestral phenotypes can be reconstructed with phylogenetic methods or directly determined from fossils, neither approach reveals the evolutionary processes that created these phenotypes. Even if these historical data could help, there is considerable uncertainty associated with the reconstruction of ancestral character states, and a fossil record is missing for most taxa and incomplete for others. As a result, a direct link between the action of microevolutionary forces detected in studies of contemporary populations and patterns of speciation and macroevolution has been difficult to make, yet this is a central problem in evolutionary biology.They proceed to make their case for directional evolution, but their results conflict with those of other evolutionists. For instance, developmental traits (the latest Big Hope for rapid evolutionary change) show very weak selection by this QTL method. Selection for life history traits show up strongest, but for morphology (outward appearance), only moderately. Their results conflict with currently popular theories of neutral selection (that divergence is random, not necessarily adaptive); isnt natural selection supposed to be directionless by definition? They acknowledge several possible flaws or weaknesses in the method, such as not gauging the magnitude of an individual QTL, and possible bias in the choice of traits to measure. At best, their results are only implied, and have no explanatory value regarding how adaptive traits would arise in the first place. Despite the confident-sounding title of their paper, Directional selection is the primary cause of phenotypic diversification, their concluding sentence seems more like a statement of faith than scientific proof:These latter considerations reinforce our earlier conclusions that Darwinian selection largely accounts for the astonishing diversity of phenotypes we see. This could be translated, We think we have found statistics to prop up our a priori assumptions that the wonders of creation, from eagles eye to babys cry, are explainable by impersonal natural forces.
Andrew Prentice told the British Association that humans are facing one of their biggest challenges yet: the evolution of obesity, reports the BBC News. The question is, since evolution is such a slow process, will humans survive obesity-related diseases until evolution accommodates fatness into the human profile?
Fat chance. Try self-control: just say no to the refrigerator, and to evolutionary storytelling. (Self-denial and discernment are two very unDarwinian traits.)Life Lands Much Earlier 09/09/2002
According to A. R. Prave writing in the September issue of Geology, the first bacteria colonized the land over a billion years ago, hundreds of millions of years earlier than previously thought. He found wrinkly rock in Scotland that led him to this conclusion. A picture of the rock and summary of his hypothesis can be found on the BBC News.
The storytelling of evolutionists is quite entertaining: A billion years ago the Earth was undergoing a series of cataclysmic changes. The composition of the atmosphere was fluctuating wildly. Climatic conditions went from extreme to extreme. Primitive life had already taken hold on the Earth and consisted of single-celled organisms like bacteria and was confined to the vast seas that even then covered most of the globe... Is this the BBC eyewitness news, or did we get Monty Python by mistake?The Big Crunch Is Back 09/09/2002
The universe might collapse in a final big crunch after all, thinks Stanford cosmologist Andrei Linde, resurrecting an idea that had fallen into disfavor. New Scientist reports that Linde feels dark energy might reverse in 10 billion years, even though now it appears to be accelerating the universe outward. Martin Rees of Cambridge is not convinced: Since we have no idea what the dark energy is, such scenarios cannot be ruled out, he says. But ultra-long-range forecasts are all exceedingly speculative.
Linde is the cosmologist who gave us chaotic inflation, with alternate universes bubbling off in all directions forever. How convenient that he cannot see them, or will not be around to see if his big crunch prophecy will be fulfilled. It seems dark matter was not enough fun for the cosmologists; now they have dark energy to play with, too. Since matter and energy are equivalent according to E=mc2, this means you can transform one ghost into another.More Complex Than Anyone Ever Dreamed: Cell Quality Control 09/09/2002
According to NewsWise, biochemists like Lynne Maquat at the European Molecular Biology Organization are looking into tinkering with the cells quality control system to see if certain error-correcting mechanisms can be switched off. This might provde a means of testing new drugs or treating genetic diseases. In discussing the work, the article uses superlatives to describe how the cell usually corrects mistakes (emphasis added):
...mistakes, which are eliminated by dogmatic quality control. ... mRNA molecules are like messengers in a factory, taking a blueprint and then heading to the floor and gathering a team to get the job done. Sometimes, though, the mRNA doesnt quite get the message right. One common error happens when an mRNA molecule harbors a stop or nonsense signal before a protein has been completely made. Enter the bodys quality-control system. ... nonsense-mediated decay targets what scientists call a pioneer round of translation, during which the body actually produces a kind of rough draft of a protein before giving the go-ahead to the mRNA molecule to begin mass production. ... mRNA puts together an extensive tool kit of molecular machinery to evaluate whether it should pass muster as a legitimate template for proteins. ...Though a formidable prospect, she and her team hope that by allowing some mRNAs to sneak past the quality control guards, some genetic diseases might be treatable, and the process might open up new vistas for pharmaceutical companies.
The statements above speak for themselves. How did this tightly-integrated error-correcting system originate? Surely any thinking person would have cold shudders trying to believe that undirected, purposeless natural causes could produce dogmatic quality control and coordinated function of tens of thousands of complex parts. Trying to imagine tiny molecules holding an inspection to determine whether a rough draft will pass muster, or sending a protein to the recycling plant if it has just one typo, is astonishing. Its hard to conceive of such things even being possible: molecules have no eyes or brains, and work most often in the dark. Yet here we are, reaping the benefits moment by moment of the cells quality control superheroes.PhDs Take On Scientific American 09/06/2002
Dr. Bert Thompson (microbiology) and Dr. Brad Harrub (neurobiology/anatomy) have provided a detailed rebuttal to John Rennies Fifteen Answers to Creationist Nonsense article printed in the June 17 Scientific American. The rebuttal is provided in full on the Apologetics Press website. Also available is a full response to the July 29 U.S. News and World Report cover story on evolution, also on Apologetics Press.
Fairness demands a full discussion of both sides. Scientific American allowed no rebuttal, and U.S. News had just a biased acknowledgement that critics of Darwinism exist. We encourage readers to be familiar with the arguments on both sides; thats why we always provide the links to the original sources.Photo 09/06/2002: Click Here for the Hubble Space Telescopes latest press release about a stunningly beautiful and theory-challenging ring galaxy named Hoags Object.
Next headline on: Stars.
Peering Into a Tiny Machine on Which the World Depends 09/06/2002
But let me not end on a negative note, because I feel a bit mean
criticizing an evolutionary biologist for going outside his own field
to matters of church history. So let me repeat that I applaud the
approach taken by Wilson, and I urge you to read Darwins
Cathedral. I think Wilsons answers are wrong, but much more
important is the fact that his questions are right.
But let me not end on a negative note, because I feel a bit mean criticizing an evolutionary biologist for going outside his own field to matters of church history. So let me repeat that I applaud the approach taken by Wilson, and I urge you to read Darwins Cathedral. I think Wilsons answers are wrong, but much more important is the fact that his questions are right.