Saturday, March 31, 2012

Here’s What That New UCSF Paper Says in Plain English (And Why Evolution Needs Another Do-Over)

If you had a four-letter alphabet and all words were three letters, then how many words would there be? The answer is 4 times 4 times 4, or 4-cubed, or 4^3, or 64. That’s how the DNA code works. Our DNA has four molecular “letters” and to create a protein the letters are taken three at a time in words called “codons.” Each codon specifies an amino acid and these 64 different codons are mapped to 20 different amino acids (and a “stop” signal). Since the 64 different codons far exceeds the 20 different amino acids and the stop signal, the code is degenerate. In other words, there are multiple codons that map the same amino acid (just as “absurd” and “ludicrous” have similar meanings).

But why the mismatch? If only 20 different amino acids are coded for, why are there 64 different codons? There is quite a bit of unused messaging power, or what engineers call “bandwidth.” According to evolutionists, it was just another biological kludge revealing nature’s dysteleology.

But ever since its discovery the DNA code has continued to yield hidden treasures of intricacy. For example, the code is cleverly designed at several levels, including minimizing the effects of errors and maximizing information content (such as in supporting overlapping messages).

This makes it even more difficult for evolutionists to explain how the code evolved.

Furthermore the code’s unused bandwidth has been found to be used in a variety of creative ways where additional information is layered on the basic message indicating the amino acid sequence. You can see some examples here, here, here and here.

The new UCSF paper is another such an example of yet another layer of information in the “unused” bandwidth that evolutionists thought was just an inefficient fluke. It has been known for years that a DNA gene, that is used to construct a protein, has some special signals near the beginning that will help the translating process get started correctly.

Now, the new research indicates that similar signals are used throughout the gene. Their purpose is not to help the protein production process get started correctly, but rather to fine-tune the speed of the production process.

It is yet another example of the many different types of information that are layered in a DNA gene which have evolutionists rewriting their script and explaining that “It’s over. None of that happened.”

The Key Question About That NYC Meeting This Week: What Was NT Wright Thinking?

Jeffrey Schloss presented an “elegant overview” of the evidence for evolution to an invitation-only, closed meeting of mover-and-shaker evolutionists this week in New York City. It would have been a “preaching-to-the-choir” event with folks like Joel Hunter listening who once apparently commented:

But the fact of evolution is (and has been for some time) as fully established as the fact of the sphericity of the earth and the historicity of the Holocaust. Someone can deny both of those facts to their heart’s content, but that doesn’t mean they merit further investigation or refutation. They do not because they oppose common sense and empirical demonstration.

Common sense? Millions of species arising spontaneously has been empirically demonstrated? Well there was one person listening who might have, like Willie Keith, seen the real message. The key question is: What was NT Wright Thinking? Hopefully it was something like this or this.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Give Credit Where Credit is Due: This Powerful Prediction by Darwin Came True (And We Have it on Film)

As evolutionists will tell you, it may seem like all the evidence is against evolution, but when you put them all together, and keep on repeating to yourself that evolution is true, then it makes sense. Well here’s one incredible example of just that. As insiders know there were some, little known, bizarre aspects of the seemingly normal television show Little House on the Prairie. For instance there was the incredible increase in intelligence of the cast. This became particularly obvious by the final season when Michael Landon was teaching the little girls quantum mechanics on an Etch-a Sketch.

Now here, in a Darwin’s-God exclusive, our internal research staff now explains this seemingly bizarre phenomenon. We quote from the historian sharp-shooter, none other than Peter Bowler:

To explain human intelligence, Darwin could have called on the progressionists' assumption that this was an advantage that would be boosted by natural selection. But he realized that this assumption begged an important question: why had the human branch of evolution been able to exploit this advantage while the apes had not? He theorized that the difference was brought about by an adaptive change involving a transition from a forest environment to the open plains. Our ancestors had moved out onto the plains and had become fully upright because this was now the best means of locomotion. This had freed their hands from playing a role in locomotion among the trees; thus the hand, with its fully opposable thumb, had developed a much more precise ability to grasp objects, and this consequence of the adjustment to bipedalism indirectly had favored selection for increased intelligence. Our ancestors had developed bigger brains because their hands allowed them to make use of sticks and stones as primitive tools. The apes had stayed in the trees, where their hands continued to be used mainly for grasping branches, and thus had not had the need for additional intelligence. [Evolution: The History of an Idea, p. 213]

Incredible. Darwin was such a genius. Of course, bipedalism is the key. And how did bipedalism come about? By the prairie of course. Rather than being stick-in-the-muds like their ape friends, those venture-some pioneers moved out of the jungles and into the prairies where they became, naturally, fully-upright and much smarter. The rest, as they say, is history. It is all so obvious when you think about it. How brilliant.

The great irony here is that about the time Darwin was putting his brilliant thoughts to paper, Michael Landon and family were actually migrating out of the forest and out onto the prairie. It’s amazing how ironic evolution is—everything just works.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Here’s How Designs in Biology Are Being Used in Advanced Engineering

This week’s 243rd National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society in San Diego featured symposiums on biomimetics where scientists “literally take inspiration from Mother Nature, probing and adapting biological systems in plants and animals for use in medicine, industry and other fields.”

Several papers were presented on the wonders of cellulose and one researcher concluded that “We are in the middle of a Golden Age, in which a clearer understanding of the forms and functions of cellulose architectures in biological systems is promoting the evolution of advanced materials.”

Designs from biological systems are leading to advanced materials? Scientists “literally take inspiration from Mother Nature.” It is amazing how random mutations can create such optimized designs for our best scientists and engineers to learn from.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Into the Bureaucratic Nightmare of "Human Resources": How JPL's Harassment Investigation Denied Fairness and Due Process to David Coppedge

If you want the details of how NASA Jet Propulsion Lab worked up their charges against David Coppedge, you can see the details over at Evolution News and Views.

Here Are Those Two Protein Evolution Falsifications That Have Evolutionists Rewriting Their Script

About twenty years ago the television show Dallas was in trouble. The writers had eliminated a popular character named Bobby and the show was losing popularity. The writers began thinking up ways to solve the problem. They finally decided that the previous year of programming would become nothing more than a dream in the mind of another character named Pam. It was a ridiculous solution, but it was all they had. A new show would begin with Pam restlessly awakening, only to discover Bobby was not dead, but alive and well. Everything was back to normal as Bobby announced to the loyal viewers at the 2:10 mark that “It’s over—none of that happened.” Dallas needed a do-over, and it got one.

Evolution also needs a do-over. In fact evolution routinely needs do-overs as the scientific evidence continually refutes the theory. And so evolutionists are constantly rewriting their script. For instance, evolutionists expected that proteins arose relatively quickly in the early stages of evolutionary history and new, de novo, proteins would not appear thereafter. Here is how evolutionist Fran├žois Jacob explained it in an influential article which appeared in Science, one of the world’s leading journals:

Obviously, for life to emerge, a number of new molecular types had first to be formed. During chemical evolution in prebiotic times and at the beginning of biological evolution, all those molecules of which every living being is built had to appear. But once life had started in the form of some primitive self-reproducing organism, further evolution had to proceed mainly through alterations of already existing compounds. New functions developed as new proteins appeared. But these were merely variations on previous themes. A sequence of a thousand nucleotides codes for a medium-sized protein. The probability that a functional protein would appear de novo by random association of amino acids is practically zero. In organisms as complex and integrated as those that were already living a long time ago, creation of entirely new nucleotide sequences could not be of any importance in the production of new information.

Of course we now know this is false. Plenty of de novo proteins have been discovered in single species and evolutionists are now walking it back with up all kinds of speculation. For instance, they say that these de novo proteins aren’t very good proteins. They really don’t do much, and aren’t comparable to the well-studied proteins that appear in many species. And when, in the future, a de novo protein is shown to be a real protein, evolutionists will simply walk it back some more.

In addition to predicting that no de novo proteins would be found, evolutionists also predicted that the well-studied proteins evolved rather rapidly. They have to say this because these proteins are found in many different species which, for evolutionists, means that such a protein must have evolved from an early version present in an ancient, common ancestor, such as ancient single-celled bacteria. But if the protein was present so early in history, then it must have evolved quickly. As Jacob explained:

During chemical evolution in prebiotic times and at the beginning of biological evolution, all those molecules of which every living being is built had to appear.

This means evolution had only a few tens of millions of years to evolve these proteins. Call it 100 million years to be conservative. The problem here is that science tells us this doesn’t make sense.

Several different studies indicate that, at a minimum, about 10^70 (a one followed by 70 zeros) evolutionary experiments would be needed to get close enough to a workable protein design before evolutionary mechanisms could take over and establish the protein in a population.

For instance, one study concluded that 10^63 attempts would be required for a relatively short protein. And a similar result (10^65 attempts required) was obtained by comparing protein sequences.

Another study found that 10^64 to 10^77 attempts are required, and another study concluded that 10^70 attempts would be required.

This requirement for 10^70 evolutionary experiments is far greater than what evolution could accomplish. Even evolutionists have had to admit that evolution could only have a maximum of 10^43 such experiments. It is important to understand how tiny this number is compared to 10^70. 10^43 is not more than half of 10^70. It is not even close to half. 10^43 is an astronomically tiny sliver of 10^70.

Furthermore, the estimate of 10^43 is, itself, entirely unrealistic. For instance, it assume the entire history of the Earth is available, rather than the limited time window that evolution actually would have had. Even more importantly, it assumes the pre existence of bacteria and, yes, proteins. In fact, the evolutionists assumed the earth was covered with bacteria, and each bacteria was full of proteins. That of course is not an appropriate assumption for the question of how proteins could have evolved in the first place.

And so evolutionists are having to continue to rewrite the script. What they told us before—forget it. “It’s over—none of that happened,” they now tell us.

If Odd Arrangements and Funny Solutions are the Proof of Evolution, Then What About These Optimized Designs?

You’ve heard all those evolutionary arguments about how nature’s sloppy, repetitive, inefficient and downright evil designs prove evolution. Then what about the many optimized designs in biology, such as those in this New York Times article, suggested by a friend, such as our eye’s ability to detect even a single photon:

Photoreceptors operate at the outermost boundary allowed by the laws of physics, which means they are as good as they can be, period. Each one is designed to detect and respond to single photons of light — the smallest possible packages in which light comes wrapped. …

Photoreceptors exemplify the principle of optimization, an idea, gaining ever wider traction among researchers, that certain key features of the natural world have been honed by evolution to the highest possible peaks of performance, the legal limits of what Newton, Maxwell, Pauli, Planck et Albert will allow. 

So all those sloppy, repetitive, inefficient, evil designs revealed and proved evolution because, after all, evolution has no guiding light but can only work with whatever random mutations will give it. But when optimized designs are found, evolution suddenly becomes the brilliant physicist, honing master designs.

There are many more such examples of optimized designs, such as how bacteria optimize their search for food, how fruit fly embryos use the concentration of a particular protein, and how sharks detect tiny voltages in the water:

Scientists have identified and mathematically anatomized an array of cases where optimization has left its fastidious mark, among them the superb efficiency with which bacterial cells will close in on a food source; the precision response in a fruit fly embryo to contouring molecules that help distinguish tail from head; and the way a shark can find its prey by measuring micro-fluxes of electricity in the water a tremulous millionth of a volt strong — which, as Douglas Fields observed in Scientific American, is like detecting an electrical field generated by a standard AA battery “with one pole dipped in the Long Island Sound and the other pole in waters of Jacksonville, Fla.” In each instance, biophysicists have calculated, the system couldn’t get faster, more sensitive or more efficient without first relocating to an alternate universe with alternate physical constants.

As usual, all this is a surprise to evolutionists:

On Wednesday, Dr. Bialek will discuss his take on biological optimization at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, in a public lecture fetchingly titled “More Perfect Than We Imagined: A Physicist’s View of Life.”

Muscles provide more examples of optimization:

Dr. Todorov has studied how we use our muscles, and here, too, he finds evidence of optimization at play.

And the brain:

The brain, too, seems built to tolerate bloopers and static hiss. Simon Laughlin of Cambridge University has proposed that the brain’s wiring system has been maximally miniaturized, condensed for the sake of speed to the physical edge of signal fidelity.

Aside from the problem of how random mutations are supposed to have accomplished such wonders, and aside from the obvious just-so story that “evolution did it again,” there is the other problem such fine-tuning of designs may well be beyond the resolution of selection. Can we really believe that the ability to detect a single photon provided an important advantage over a higher threshold, such as two photons, or ten, or 20?

The answer, of course, is “of course.” After all, that’s the design, and it must have evolved.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Here’s the Latest on the Evolutionist’s Blackballing of David Coppedge

Back to that other court case, it turns out that David Coppedge was not fired from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab due to his Intelligent Design sympathies after all. Instead, it was all about Coppedge’s job performance. Turns out Coppedge is a downright terrible worker according to his annual performance reviews. Strange how the NASA lab didn’t notice this for so many years before the ID issue arose. JPL somehow erroneously gave Coppedge all kinds of positive, glowing performance reviews in those earlier years. Only after meeting with their lawyers did the management take notice of the true quality of Coppedge’s work. Funny how lawyers can really open your eyes. Only after that did those performance reviews begin to get it right. You can read all about it in David Klinghoffer’s latest report.

Here’s the Real Message Behind This Week’s Sunday Book Review

Tired of the New Atheists, and the old atheists as well? Delighted to see the likes of Philip Kitcher taking them down in this week’s Sunday Book Review? Philosophers Kitcher and David Albert reviewed books by atheists Alex Rosenberg and Lawrence Krauss in an exercise that was more like shooting fish in a barrel than any kind of literary review. But wait a minute, what is Philip Kitcher—who once wrote that evolution illuminates “a wealth of biological details” and whose book was endorsed by arch evolutionist Stephen Jay Gould—doing tossing Molotov cocktails into the atheist camp? Isn’t evolution just atheism in disguise? Kitcher’s and Albert’s reviews are another example of what is the fundamental name-of-the-game, and most people will continue not to get it.

Atheists such as Rosenberg and Krauss make for great targets, but the question that Kitcher and Albert did not ask is “why?” Why do otherwise very intelligent thinkers present such silly ideas? These atheists make bogus, anti-intellectual moves and, sure, that ought to be exposed.

But far more interesting and important is the question of how anyone, let alone very intelligent people, make such moves in the first place. If you see Michael Jordan pass the ball to the wrong team, score at their goal, and so forth, you don’t point out the mistakes and laugh. You wonder what in the world could be going on. In the case of the atheists (old and new), the answer is not that complicated.

All manner of theologians, philosophers and scientists have been explaining and insisting, for centuries, that the world arose by law, not miracle. Anglicans, Lutherans, Roman Catholics and others have agreed that God did not intervene to create the world. For everyone knows that a greater god works according to secondary causes. Miracles make for a capricious creator and, in any case, we must not make god out to be like a man. Furthermore the world is obviously not designed, for its patterns reveal no designer behind the design. Even more importantly, the world is far too inefficient and evil to have been intended. And in any case, science would be impossible if the world did not operation according to natural laws.

These and other arguments have been forcefully advanced since the Enlightenment, and is it really such a surprise that, having been handed the news that the divine is as superfluous as Aristotle’s Unmoved Mover, a logical few would venture just one tiny step farther and conclude that, gee, maybe we can say more than just that the divine isn’t necessary. Maybe this divine just isn’t, period.

Could it be that this god is dead? He is invisible and doesn’t do anything. Is not atheism practically a necessary consequence?

What the religious skeptics, from Hume and Huxley to Dawkins and Krauss, have done for the rest of us is to perform a rather reasonable reductio ad absurdum on evolutionary thought. But as we know from centuries of history, the smart money won’t go there.

It reminds me of Lieutenant Thomas Keefer (Fred MacMurray) in The Caine Mutiny, who encouraged the mutineers, only then to shift back into the shadows to maintain plausible deniability when the judgment came. Or of Captain Renault (Claude Rains) in Casablanca, who was “shocked, shocked” to find gambling going on in the casino. Or of Peter Townsend’s lyric, “And the men who spurred us on; Sit in judgment of all wrong.”

Where were the Kitcher’s and Albert’s of the world when Leibniz, Ray and Burnet imposed their religion on science? Where were they when Darwin made his silly metaphysical mandates that the species just happen to arise on their own? Where were they when Gould, Coyne, Miller and Haught continued the tradition of theology telling science what the right answer is, and the supplied right answer is a polite version of sheer absurdity? They were nowhere to be found, of course.

You see the smart money knows not to go against the flow or make rash statements. It takes advantage of those low-risk, high-payoff opportunities as they arise, like criticizing the dumb-money atheists.

The evolution debate is not about atheism. It never was. Atheism is the unwanted black sheep of the family. What’s important in the evolution debate is the men who spurred them on. For atheism doesn’t come from, well, atheism. It comes from, as historian Alan Charles Kors found out, religion:

[My] inquiry led not to a prior history of free thought, most of which culminated in deeply theistic deisms or in antiphilosophical skepticisms, but to the orthodox culture of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries in France. It was, above all, within the deeply Christian learned culture of those years that there occurred inquiries and debates that generated the components of atheistic thought. It was, to say the least, not what I had expected; it indeed was what I found. … Before one can understand the heterodoxy of early-modern atheism, one first must understand the orthodox sources of disbelief. [Atheism in France, 1650–1729, Volume I: The Orthodox Sources of Disbelief, Princeton Univ Press, Princeton, NJ, 1990, p. 4.]

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

Monday, March 26, 2012

These Philosophers are Now Beginning to Say What Needs to be Said

Tired of all those non life scientists—such as theologians, philosophers and historians—dogmatically insisting on evolutionary dogma. Every time a John Polkinghorne or Daniel Dennett or Michael Ruse explains why evolution is a fact the world loses a top-notch theologian, philosopher or historian and gains a lousy biologist. I remember hearing a leading physicist comment that either evolution is true or there is a “cosmic conspiracy.” I even spoke with him later to confirm what it sounded like he was saying. It was, not surprisingly, the usual religion masquerading as science. But I was struck at how such an accomplished physicist would compromise his name with such malarkey.

Now there is an ever so slight glimmer of hope and change. In this week’s Sunday Book Review two philosophers began to talk some sense. Not that either one is disavowing evolutionist claims that all the proteins, every molecule, the laws of genetics, all of biology on Earth, and for that matter all of Earth, arose spontaneously from a cloud of gas. But expectations are so very low these days that any faint glimmer will do.

That may be short-selling David Albert’s review of Lawrence Krauss’s latest book, A Universe From Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing, where the Columbia philosopher hits it out of the park:

Lawrence M. Krauss, a well-known cosmologist and prolific popular-science writer, apparently means to announce to the world, in this new book, that the laws of quantum mechanics have in them the makings of a thoroughly scientific and adamantly secular explanation of why there is something rather than nothing. Period. Case closed. End of story. I kid you not

“I kid you not” is the appropriate response to jaw-dropping, evolutionary absurdity. For instance, from where did natural laws arise, and from where did the stuff of the universe arise?

Where, for starters, are the laws of quantum mechanics themselves supposed to have come from? Krauss is more or less upfront, as it turns out, about not having a clue about that. He acknowledges (albeit in a parenthesis, and just a few pages before the end of the book) that every­thing he has been talking about simply takes the basic principles of quantum mechanics for granted. … But the laws have no bearing whatsoever on questions of where the elementary stuff came from, or of why the world should have consisted of the particular elementary stuff it does, as opposed to something else, or to nothing at all. … they have nothing whatsoever to say on the subject of where those fields came from, or of why the world should have consisted of the particular kinds of fields it does, or of why it should have consisted of fields at all, or of why there should have been a world in the first place. Period. Case closed. End of story.

Krauss has heard all this before, but fails to reckon with the problem:

And he has an argument — or thinks he does — that the laws of relativistic quantum field theories entail that vacuum states are unstable. And that, in a nutshell, is the account he proposes of why there should be something rather than nothing. But that’s just not right. Relativistic-quantum-field-theoretical vacuum states — no less than giraffes or refrigerators or solar systems — are particular arrangements of elementary physical stuff. The true relativistic-quantum-field-­theoretical equivalent to there not being any physical stuff at all isn’t this or that particular arrangement of the fields — what it is (obviously, and ineluctably, and on the contrary) is the simple absence of the fields! 

Albert’s level-headed views are refreshing, and he finishes his review with a great summary of the vacuity of Krauss’ arguments:

And I guess it ought to be mentioned, quite apart from the question of whether anything Krauss says turns out to be true or false, that the whole business of approaching the struggle with religion as if it were a card game, or a horse race, or some kind of battle of wits, just feels all wrong — or it does, at any rate, to me. When I was growing up, where I was growing up, there was a critique of religion according to which religion was cruel, and a lie, and a mechanism of enslavement, and something full of loathing and contempt for every­thing essentially human. Maybe that was true and maybe it wasn’t, but it had to do with important things — it had to do, that is, with history, and with suffering, and with the hope of a better world — and it seems like a pity, and more than a pity, and worse than a pity, with all that in the back of one’s head, to think that all that gets offered to us now, by guys like these, in books like this, is the pale, small, silly, nerdy accusation that religion is, I don’t know, dumb.

Another philosopher, Philip Kitcher, also had some cogent criticism for vacuous thought in this week’s Sunday Book Review. His target was Alex Rosenberg’s The Atheist’s Guide to Reality: Enjoying Life Without Illusions. Again, the problem is that common sense is nowhere to be found:

Since atheism is thought to be territory already secured, the targets now in view are the Big Questions, questions about morality, purpose and consciousness that puzzle softheaded people who muddle over them. … Morality, purpose and the quaint conceit of an enduring self all have to go.
Rosenberg’s cheerful Darwinizing is no more convincing than his imperialist physics, and his tales about the evolutionary origins of everything from our penchant for narratives to our supposed dispositions to be nice to one another are throwbacks to the sociobiology of an earlier era, unfettered by methodological cautions that students of human evolution have learned: much of Rosenberg’s book is evolutionary psychology on stilts. Similarly, the neuroscientific discussions serenely extrapolate from what has been carefully demonstrated for the sea slug to conclusions about Homo sapiens.

The evolutionist Kitcher, who once abused science in his book Abusing Science when he parroted the evolutionary falsehood that “Variation is not directed toward advantageous characteristics. The rigors of the environment do not induce variations designed to cope with them,” now goes so far as to advocate open-mindedness:

Instead of forcing the present-day natural sciences to supply All the Answers, you might value other forms of investigation — at least until physics, biology and neuroscience have advanced. Or you might be agnostic, wondering whether a future scientific treatment of, say, ethical behavior is possible even in principle.

You might be agnostic? That would be an astonishing concession for evolutionists. Too bad Kitcher doesn’t take some of his own medicine when it comes to the spontaneous origin of everything on Earth. But at least Kitcher is exercising common sense when it comes to all out scientism:

Storytelling might be seen as a cultural universal with biological roots, without indulging Darwinian speculations about a human yearning for tidy plots. Respect for science, and an enthusiasm for learning from it, are fully compatible with rejecting scientism. Scientism, whether Rosenberg’s today or E. O. Wilson’s a generation ago, is impatient with history (“The Atheist’s Guide” declares it to be “bunk”)

Kitcher makes a reasonable call for avoiding false dichotomies. We need not ditch all of science just because we don’t think it can be applied to all of reality at this very moment.

Unfortunately Kitcher is no stranger to false dichotomies. In his anti-creationist book Abusing Science he promoted the mother of all false dichotomies—that the origins debate is between fixity of species and evolution:

The main thesis of evolution is that species are not fixed and immutable.

No, Darwin’s main thesis was that independent creation is untenable and so natural law must explain the origin of species. Darwin’s argument specifically against the fixity of species was one of dozens against creationism, not his “main thesis.” Perhaps Kitcher was using the fixity of species as a proxy for all of creationism. But Kitcher continues to present a misleading version of evolution:

Evolutionary biologists believe that the birds are all descendants of a particular kind of reptile and that both cats and dogs have come from a common mammalian stock.

Cats and dogs come from a common mammalian stock? Sure, but evolutionists also believe that cats and dogs both come from the same microbe, along with all other life for that matter. Why leave that out? This is not a minor omission. They believe that biological complexities we cannot fathom or even recreate arose spontaneously. Evolutionists have a long way to go, but at least there is a glimmer.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Here’s an Incredible Idea For How Memory Works

Do you remember Avogadro’s number, the acceleration due to gravity, pi or a Shakespearean Sonnet? The problem is that how the brain could store information long-term has been something of a mystery. But now researchers have developed a very interesting idea of how the brain’s neurons could store information using, believe it or not, a binary encoding scheme based on phosphorylation:

Memory is attributed to strengthened synaptic connections among particular brain neurons, yet synaptic membrane components are transient, whereas memories can endure. This suggests synaptic information is encoded and ‘hard-wired’ elsewhere, e.g. at molecular levels within the post-synaptic neuron. In long-term potentiation (LTP), a cellular and molecular model for memory, post-synaptic calcium ion (Ca2+) flux activates the hexagonal Ca2+-calmodulin dependent kinase II (CaMKII), a dodacameric holoenzyme containing 2 hexagonal sets of 6 kinase domains. Each kinase domain can either phosphorylate substrate proteins, or not (i.e. encoding one bit). Thus each set of extended CaMKII kinases can potentially encode synaptic Ca2+ information via phosphorylation as ordered arrays of binary ‘bits’. Candidate sites for CaMKII phosphorylation-encoded molecular memory include microtubules (MTs), cylindrical organelles whose surfaces represent a regular lattice with a pattern of hexagonal polymers of the protein tubulin. Using molecular mechanics modeling and electrostatic profiling, we find that spatial dimensions and geometry of the extended CaMKII kinase domains precisely match those of MT hexagonal lattices. This suggests sets of six CaMKII kinase domains phosphorylate hexagonal MT lattice neighborhoods collectively, e.g. conveying synaptic information as ordered arrays of six “bits”, and thus “bytes”, with 64 to 5,281 possible bit states per CaMKII-MT byte. Signaling and encoding in MTs and other cytoskeletal structures offer rapid, robust solid-state information processing which may reflect a general code for MT-based memory and information processing within neurons and other eukaryotic cells.

That just has random mutations written all over it.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

A Spacecraft Has Been Orbiting This Major Asteroid Since Last Summer

The Dawn spacecraft has returned some great photographs of the asteroid Vesta, such as this one showing the south pole. Vesta is 330 mile in diameter.

This Study Shows that Even a Protein’s Concentration Levels Are Finely-Tuned

One of the problems with evolution is that its view of how organisms arose by chance conflicts with the details we observe in biology. Under evolution, chance mutations happen to create genes which then perform some function, such as contributing to a metabolic pathway, which then becomes part of a complex network of pathways, which then is regulated in complex ways, which then …, which then …, which then …

What we observe is a world where the details matter. But evolution is a theory of serendipity. For example, it is beyond all odds that proteins would arise by chance, but this is only the beginning of evolution’s difficulties. The gene encoding the protein needs to be expressed at the right times, the resulting protein needs to be produced in the right quantities, it then needs to be transported to the right place in the cell, and so forth.

Here’s one study showing the intricacies not of a protein’s design, but of its distribution. In this case the concentration of a multi-purpose protein called cohesin within the cell is crucial.

Cohesin is involved in such tasks as chromosome condensation, segregation and cohesion, and DNA repair. But the concentration of cohesin required to perform these different tasks differs substantially. And if the concentration levels go wrong then some of the cell functions can fail while others may continue to work properly:

The requirement for different in vivo cohesin concentrations to achieve distinct cohesin functions provides an explanation for how cohesin mutations can specifically lead to adult disorders such as Cornelia de Lange Syndrome and Roberts Syndrome without compromising the cell divisions needed for development and maturation.

In biology, the details matter. Proteins do not merely evolve by chance and then suddenly begin solving problems. An army of other molecular machines need to sense the need for the protein, access the associated gene, open it up and make a copy, use the copy to construct the protein, construct the right quantity, transport the protein to the right place in the cell and in the right concentration, and destroy the protein when the job is done.

Could all of this have evolved by chance? I don’t know, perhaps. But that is not what science is telling us.

Darwin Was Working on His Theory When This SuperNova Was First Seen

This beautiful Hubble Telescope photograph of the Eta Carinae system gives us a great deal more detail than they had in 1843 when the supernova was first observed from Earth. It’s a graphic illustration of the level of scientific ignorance Darwin was working under. Darwin remains a hero today, and his “one long argument” continues to hold sway, not because of the science, but because of the religion. In that regard, Darwin was spot on, and nothing has changed. Sure, all kinds of new scientific evidence has been discovered, but it is interpreted according to the same old metaphysics. Religion drives science, and it matters.

Friday, March 23, 2012

In a Few Minutes Some Russian Space Junk Will Pass Close By the International Space Station

An upcoming close encounter between the International Space Station and a chunk of a Russian rocket was discovered on Friday, and so the five astronauts have exited the station and right now are strapped into the two Soyuz reentry vehicles just in case an impact occurs. The chances of an impact are highly unlikely, but they’re not taking any chances.

These Molecular Sorting Machines Cooperate With Each Other in a “Complex Topology”

The mitochondria inner membrane has an army of protein machines that carry out the mitochondria’s job of constructing ATP molecules—the all-purpose cellular energy source. These proteins are specialized for specific tasks and are precisely arranged in the inner membrane environment. As one writer explained:

The generators in the cellular power plants are biological membranes located inside the mitochondria. Even minute errors in the composition of the inner mitochondrial membrane can lead to severe metabolic derangements, which can have an especially negative impact on the energy-hungry muscle and nerve cells. In order to function, the cellular generators depend on the support of numerous highly specialized membrane proteins in the inner mitochondrial membrane.

Not surprisingly, except to evolutionists, the machinery that transports and locates these protein machines is also highly complex. In fact, research is now indicating that at least two different sorting machines, using two different mechanisms, work in a cooperative and coordinated manner:

Stop-transfer and conservative sorting are not mutually exclusive pathways but represent sorting mechanisms that cooperate in the membrane integration of a protein with complex topology. We conclude that the multispanning protein is inserted in a modular manner by the coordinated action of two inner-membrane preprotein translocases.

Findings such as these are common in biology. Evolutionists misrepresent the biological world as a fluke that just happened to come together. They cannot explain how this is possible, but they insist it must be so. Within evolution there is a sort of militant advocacy that cannot tolerate even so much as minor doubts about whether evolution is true. It is perfectly acceptable to doubt the various sub hypotheses of evolution, but not evolution itself. This is because if evolution is not true, then all kinds of dogmatic convictions come into question. And so it is imperative for evolutionists to defend their theory at any cost, even if that includes casting scientific inquiry as nefarious, blackballing dissenters, misrepresenting science, and so forth. Of course most evolutionists would never think of their movement in such terms. Instead, evolution is viewed as “just science” and any doubt about evolution is viewed as religiously-motivated creationism. The truth is precisely the opposite.

This Evolutionist Just Dissented From Their Official Motto, But Then Rationalized it (Kind of)

Massimo Pigliucci just said that Theodozius Dobzhansky’s famous statement (and paper title)—nothing makes sense in biology except in the light of evolution—is “patently wrong.” Of course Pigliucci is not walking back any of evolution’s false epistemological claims, such as that evolution is as much a fact as is gravity, heliocentrism or the round shape of the earth. But it is a positive step to see an evolutionist at least concede that, what has amounted to the evolutionist’s official motto, is obviously a false claim. But then Pigliucci appears to justify the lie as a necessary pedagogical device:

Problem is, Dobzhansky was writing for an audience of science high school teachers

As though it is OK to tell lies to high school teachers.

That reminds me of the high school biology teacher who explained to me that they couldn’t allow any evidential problems or contradictions into the curriculum because that would “confuse the students.” We certainly wouldn’t want that.

Another common evolutionary tactic is to threaten those making the curriculum decisions with all manner of doom and gloom if evolutionary dogma is not enforced, as did several members of that evolutionary mouthpiece the National Academy of Science this week:

By undermining the teaching of evolution in Tennessee’s public schools, HB368 and SB893 would miseducate students, harm the state’s national reputation, and weaken its efforts to compete in a science-driven global economy.

Miseducate students? This coming from those who have dominated our failing public schools, teaching all manner of lies about the origin of life and faked embryos to moths and horse fossils. Unfortunately the National Academy of Science has long since compromised itself by insisting that the religious theory of evolution is a fact (once again, your tax dollars at work).

But by far the most common, powerful, tactic evolutionists use to justify their dogma is, as usual, the creationism warning. Teaching the facts and allowing evolution to be criticized, is really a conspiracy, as Eugenie Scott ominously warned last month at the University of South Florida, for it is “a backdoor way of getting creationism into the curriculum [1:18]”:

Oh, what a tangled web we weave.

I Just Found Out There Are Multiple Multiverses

An evolutionist just told me privately that there are multiple—as in a large number—multiverses and this is a game-changer. A multiverse is a large number of universes, which evolutionists now know really do exist. Evolutionists explain that the number of universes in a multiverse is “a large number” rather than infinity because certain mathematical and philosophical problems arise if you have an infinity of universes. With an infinity of universes evolution becomes a fact (along with everything else, of course, because everything happens when you have an infinite number of chances, and evolution is all about chances). But “a large number” is actually just as good, when you think about it. This is because “a large number” can be any number you want it to be. The only limit is infinity, but that actually is not a limit because, well, it is infinity.

Anyway, now it turns out that not only is there a multiverse (“a large number” of universes), but there also is “a large number” of multiverses. This is an incredible thought, when you think about it, and makes evolution beyond just a mere fact. There simply is no question that everything just happened to arise all by itself. It’s a real game-changer.

A Treasure Trove of Thousands of Novel Genes Has Been Discovered, Much Closer Than You Could Have Imagined

You’ve heard about those novel genes—unique DNA sequences that code for proteins found in only one species. Now an abundance of these have been found not in our body, but on our body. That is, in the hundreds of different microbe species that attend to the average human. In fact, not only does this Human Microbiome supply thousands of new, unique genes, it also supplies ten times more cells than our own bodies have.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Here is a Haunting Composite Image of the Titanic on the Ocean Floor

This month’s National Geographic has some detailed composite images of the Titanic on the ocean floor, produced by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.

Your Tax Dollars At Work: This Evolution Professor Just Made An Anti-Science, Religious Statement at the NIH

Lynn Jorde, award-winning evolution professor and Chair of the Department of Human Genetics at the tax-payer supported University of Utah, just gave a talk at the tax-payer supported National Institutes of Health where he approvingly quoted Lewis Thomas, former Dean of Yale Medical School that without random mutations we would be bacteria:

The capacity to blunder slightly is the real marvel of DNA. Without this special attribute, we would still be anaerobic bacteria and there would be no music. [at 4:55 minutes]

And so we should, Jorde reminded his evolutionary audience, appreciate our mutations, though he did concede that those mutations “occasionally cause disease.”

There are different ways of describing evolution’s religiously-driven manipulation of science. Evolutionists often attempt to mask it with technical-sounding jargon. Other times they seek to impose, more forcefully, their religious views. Either way one is left rather astonished at the lack of self-awareness evolutionists display. One is reminded of Hans Christian Andersen’s seemingly unlikely tale, The Emperor's New Clothes. In the case of evolution, however, it is unfortunately all too real. Evolutionists are without shame in their absurdity.

Recent Hammerhead Shark Research Shows Several, Independent Lines of Evidence Against Evolution

Hammerhead shark research suggests that the first hammerhead appeared abruptly some 20 million years ago. It’s aerodynamic head, or cephalofoil, is a unique design, not only providing lift while swimming, but a platform for a distributed sensor suite, complete with widely spaced eyes and an array of electromagnetic sensors providing triangulation with superior binocular vision and electromagnetic tracking of prey, detecting extremely weak electrical signals arising from molecules in their prey. Even evolutionists admit it is “remarkable.” Indeed, an abruptly appearing design that requires our smartest scientists even to understand. In addition to this, the newer hammerheads are smaller versions of that original hammerhead. These “incredible shrinking sharks” must have independently evolved from the ancestral lineage.

Abrupt appearances, astonishing designs, and independent repeated evolution. It is, as E.O. Wilson would say, a consilience of evidence.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Here is What the Multiverse Really Means

Evolutionists use the multiverse idea to explain how their improbable idea that all of biology, and everything else, just happened to arise spontaneously. We know from science that the idea is improbable, but that is only if we restrict ourselves to our particular universe. What if there are many universes? A great many universes. So many universes that even improbable events are eventually likely to occur, in at least one of them. And since there is no upper bound on the number of universes there may be out there, even astronomically unlikely events—like millions and millions of incredible species, each with their incredible designs—become just another yawner. So what, it was bound to happen. And when said evolution occurs, then the creatures it produces will observe their own world. What will be apparent to them is only their own universe. It will appear as though the world must have been created, so unlikely and incredible are its inhabitants. But it is all an illusion for, in the bigger picture, that near infinity of universes—the multiverse—was bound to produce a world so incredible.

What evolutionists do not so often discuss is the baggage that comes along with this multiverse idea. For if our world becomes an odds-on favorite to evolve, then what else has evolved out there? There must be universes that contain all manner of incredible, unlikely events. After all, with the mulitiverse, they no longer are unlikely.

There are worlds where there is nothing, and others full of action. Everything that is not downright physically impossible—and even the concept of impossible is challenged when multiverses can have their own laws of physics—is likely to happen. There is a multiverse where someone just floated in mid air for a moment, and another where a star just disappeared. There are others that are full of super heroes and others where all the planets are hollow. There’s even one, as the poster above explains, where you are batman. But I always wanted to be Robin.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Locusts Incredibly Change from Passive and Peaceful to Aggressive and Deadly When They Are Overcrowded

Locusts are the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde of the insect world. They are picky eaters and lead a solitary lifestyle until overcrowding occurs and within a few hours they undergo a radical transformation and form vicious swarms. Suddenly they abandon their peaceful independent lifestyle and refined vegetarian diet for aggressive behavior which has them strangely marching together and flying in swarms, and eating most any plant and ultimately each other. They change color from brown to yellow and black, and their brain undergoes a radical change, including an increase in size by about a third.

This is an example of an extreme phenotypic makeover. With evolution we must believe a vast number of mutations conspired not to change the organism per se, but to give it this incredible capability to change under specific conditions. And that makeover would include eating each other. It hardly seems like a very good “survival of the fittest” solution, but that’s evolution for you.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Flower Adapted to Losing its Pollinator Almost Immediately and Evolutionists Claim it is an Example of Evolution

What happens when a plant loses its pollinator? Plants are known to make the transition and in a controlled experiment using the monkey plant, after struggling with low seed production for a few generations, the flower then recovered with seed production rising to almost normal levels. Amazingly evolutionists are calling this adaptation an example of evolution in action:

The populations without pollinators suffered greatly reduced fitness in early generations but rebounded as they evolved an improved ability to self-fertilize.

There were no long time periods with natural selection slowly acting on random mutations. If evolution is true then this is another example of how evolution must have created incredible mechanisms of adaptation, which when used evolutionists could claim as an example of, yes, “evolution.” Evolutionists are completely tone-deaf to their own glaring fallacies.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Friday, March 16, 2012

Evolutionists Are Now Going Wild With “Lateral” Evolution And One Evolutionist Said “There is Nothing to Criticize”

Do you remember when evolution was supposed to follow a common descent pattern, with genes passed down (“vertically” in evolution lingo) from progenitor to progeny? Then the evidence got in the way as similar genes were found in more distant species, violating the expect evolutionary pattern. So evolutionists took their first drink of lateral evolution. And of course the drinking continued. And continued. Soon the origin of life riddle, for instance, was transformed into one massive lateral evolution event, with genetic material readily being exchanged between cells in the same population via an incredibly complex, never observed, process that cannot be repeated or tested. Similarly lateral, or horizontal, evolution is being called upon to explain all kinds of findings that violate common descent’s expected pattern, as in the following example of evolutionists gone wild.

Many bacteria and single-cell eukaryotes live in zero or low oxygen environments and this means they can’t perform certain operations. For instance the eukaryotes cannot create sterols, small chemicals that are an important ingredient, for example, in the cell’s membrane, influencing its fluidity. Eukaryotes solve this problem, according to new research, by switching to the sterol-like molecule, tetrahymanol, for which oxygen is not required to synthesize. The research shows that the key gene in constructing tetrahymanol, squalene-tetrahymanol cyclase or STC, is distributed in many of these eukaryotes living in zero or low oxygen environments. But this means the STC gene is widely distributed, not following the expected common descent pattern. Not surprisingly, the evolutionists took another drink. They casually explain that the gene was “laterally transferred” among the eukaryotes:

The monophyly of eukaryote STC homologues could be explained by vertical inheritance from a common tetrahymanol-synthesizing eukaryotic ancestor. However, if this were the case, dozens of parallel losses of the STC genes in many eukaryotic lineages that currently lack this gene would be required, so this evolutionary scenario seems unlikely. An alternative and more plausible possibility is that the STC gene has been laterally transferred among phylogenetically diverged eukaryotes through an unknown mechanism.

An unknown mechanism? That’s right, evolutionists must appeal to unknown mechanisms to explain their “fact.” We don’t know how evolution happened, but we’re certain that it’s true. Take another drink. As one evolutionist who reviewed the paper wrote, “There is nothing to criticize.”

Nothing in biology makes sense in the light of evolution.

Not Just Friday Humor: The State of Evolution

This four minute video actually shows the state of evolution.

The State of Evolution

Joe Kittinger Just Watched Felix Baumgartner Take the First Step Toward Breaking His 50 Year Record

Here is Kittinger in 1960 jumping from 102,800 feet:

Here is Baumgartner jumping from 71,600 feet:

A Clinical Psychologist Just Said Evolution is “Beyond Any Rational Doubt”

We appreciate Professor Gregg Henriques over at Psychology Today pointing out this blog, and his noting that some critics say that “evolution itself is more religion than science.” Henriques gives a thoughtful analysis of his view of the origins debate. But the self-described academic and humanist loses his objectivity when it comes to the fact of evolution:

It is essential to recognize that within mainstream biology, evolution, meaning descent from a common ancestor, is an accepted FACT. In other words, it is beyond any rational doubt that billions of years ago there were single celled organisms and over time these organisms have evolved into the organisms alive today.

Here the clinical psychologist, who deals with depression, suicide and the personality disorders, equates mainstream biology with rational thought. In other words, what evolutionists say goes. We must accept what they declare to be true, and we must reject what they declare to be false. Any other course is not rational.

It is remarkable, and indeed concerning, how deeply evolutionary metaphysics and dogma have penetrated the academy.

Religion drives science, and it matters.

Evolutionists Gave Me Pushback When I Pointed Out a Problem

This week the gorilla genome was published and it revealed some problems for evolution. When the human and chimpanzee genomes were compared years ago, the human genes showed some surprising differences in a few places, such as in genes related to hearing. Evolutionists called it “accelerated” evolution and they said that for some reason it was due to the development of human language. Well that explanation now doesn’t make sense because it turns out the gorilla genome has a similar pattern. So now evolutionists are calling it “parallel accelerated” evolution, because according to them the same accelerated evolution must have happened independently, in the human and gorilla genomes. But all they are really doing is giving a name to something that contradicts their belief. Why would the “accelerated evolution” occur in the gorilla? It wasn’t developing human language. Evolutionists have to imagine some other reason, but why then wouldn’t that “accelerated evolution” occur in the chimpanzee? It doesn’t make sense with evolution and all they can say is that random mutations just happened to create the same pattern twice for some reason.

So other evolutionists are trying to talk down the results, saying it all makes sense. For example PZ Myers, an evolution professor, said that these unexpected findings actually aren’t unexpected, but come from evolutionary noise that occurs during speciation. As usual it’s a real stretch because the “parallel accelerated” evolution pattern is greater than evolutionary “noise.”

And as usual, the professor claimed the results contradict creationism. That’s what Darwin’s book was all about. Evolutionists from before Darwin to today believe everything in biology shows that creationism is false. This is what motivates evolutionists. Therefore evolution must be true, even if it doesn’t make sense.

When I explained these problems some smart, up-and-coming evolutionists gave me strong pushback. They tried to walk back the professor’s argument, saying that Myers only meant that some of the human-gorilla pattern was due to evolutionary noise. Of course the professor said no such thing. He didn’t say that noise can explain only some of the findings, and the other findings are a surprise. No, he was busy calling creationists stupid and arguing that creationism is all wrong.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

These New Protein Findings Might be a Problem Even According to the Evolutionist’s Own Numbers

The BSC4 gene in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, or baker’s yeast, was interesting to researchers because of its leaky stop codon but then it became more interesting because it only showed up in that one particular organism. The BSC4 gene is yet another example of a species-specific, or de novo, protein-coding gene. In this case, the protein appears to be involved in DNA repair and helping the organisms cope with nutrient-poor environments. And if this protein is anything like a typical protein, then evolution, even by the evolutionist’s own reckoning, would not be able to construct such low-probability designs. The BSC4 gene must have been constructed in only the past 10 million years or so. And evolutionists cannot appeal to speculative mechanisms. No exon shuffling, duplication, retroposition, fusion, fission or whatever for this gene. It must have arisen the old fashion way, by an evolutionary search through sequence space via random mutations. Is this feasible? The important numbers here are the number of attempts that are possible, and the number of attempts that are required. The two might not add up.

Evolutionists have estimated the number of attempts that evolution could possibly have to construct a new protein. Their upper limit is 10^43 (a one followed by 43 zeros) obtained by multiplying 10^30 (cells in the world) by 10^4 (new genes generated per cell per year) by 10^9 (years). The lower limit is 10^21 obtained by multiplying 10^9 (bacteria species in the world) by 10^3 (unique sequences per species) by 10^9 (years).

While these estimates are incredibly optimistic for several reasons (even the evolutionists admit the upper limit is an “extreme upper limit”), we’re going by the evolutionist’s numbers for the moment. They need to be adjusted, however, because those estimates are for the entire history of the world and for all the species. For de novo genes such as BSC4, we’re dealing with a single species (with an effective population size of about ten million), and only about ten million years. In this case the upper and lower limits become 10^18 and 10^10, respectively.

And the numbers are even smaller for de novo genes found in humans. The time allowed goes down to about 5 million years and the effective population size goes down by at least two orders of magnitude, to about 10^5. So in this case the upper and lower limits become 10^14 and 10^10, respectively.

Studies have shown that even this many searches does not produce much. One study found that with 10^12 attempts all that was produced were a few proteins with weak ATP binding.

And for typical proteins, even these optimistic estimates of the number of attempts fall short by more than 50 orders of magnitude. And these deficits are according to the evolutionist’s own estimates of how many attempts would be required to find a typical protein. One study concluded that 10^63 attempts would be required for a relatively short protein. And a similar result (10^65 attempts required) was obtained by comparing protein sequences.

Another study found that 10^64 to 10^77 attempts are required, and another study concluded that 10^70 attempts would be required. In that case the protein was about the same length as that encoded by BSC4, but it was only a part of a larger protein which otherwise was intact, thus making the search easier.

The numbers don’t add up. The evolution of de novo genes can only count on from 10^10 to 10^18 attempts (and that’s optimistic). If the new proteins are anything like typical proteins, then these numbers show astronomical problems.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Evolutionist PZ Myers is Now Saying That The Gorilla Genome Contradicts Creationism

Remember all those unique human hearing genes that evolutionists said must have undergone “accelerated” evolution because of human language, but then similar genes showed up in the gorilla too? Evolutionists had to conclude that not only was there accelerated evolution, but amazingly it must have occurred in parallel, in both the human and gorilla lineages. So if human language was the reason for the accelerated evolution in the human lineage, the cause in the gorilla lineage was “entirely different, but as-yet-unknown.”

Well now evolutionist PZ Myers is saying that spread out speciation processes and incomplete lineage sorting (ILS) solves the problem. The idea is that when a population gives rise to two species (cladogenesis) those two populations may not both include all the copies (alleles) of a gene, so particular genes may contradict the true evolutionary history. So if a gene fits the hoped for pattern, then they say the history of the gene aligned with the speciation event. But if a gene doesn’t fit the pattern, then they say it was because of ILS.

For added protection Myers throws in some meaningless barbs at his opponents (“Do you really think all the differences popped into existence simultaneously, at one instant when two populations of our last common ancestor discretely and completely separated? Of course not: you’d have to be a creationist to believe in something that stupid.”)

Myers needs the ad hominems because his ILS explanation doesn’t work. It’s a stretch to explain all the parallel evolution using ILS. But incredibly, Myers claims not only that ILS explains the results, but in fact it is all expected. So what was surprising and puzzling for evolutionists rapidly has become yet another confirmation.

Of course, as usual, the evolutionist’s certainty never came from the contradictory evidence that was force fit into just-so stories. It was from religion. As Myers concludes, “the observation of ILS contradicts creationism.” Well if that’s true, then yes, Myers is absolutely correct. Evolution is the right answer.

Religion drives science, and it matters.

[Reworded second paragraph]

Evolutionists Are Now Saying Our Brain Evolved from a Brainless Worm

Humans, and all vertebrates for that matter, have fantastically complex brains. The brain develops in the embryo according to three signaling centers which create a framework. But the genes behind this early development phase are missing in vertebrates’ closest evolutionary relatives. Now evolutionists have found similar such genes in an even more distant species, the acorn worm. But such worms don’t even have a brain to begin with. So evolutionists are saying that random mutations just luckily laid the groundwork for far more complex designs in the lowly worm:

We propose that these genetic programs were components of an unexpectedly complex, ancient genetic regulatory scaffold for deuterostome body patterning that degenerated in amphioxus and ascidians, but was retained to pattern divergent structures in hemichordates and vertebrates.

That molecular machinery then for some reason “degenerated” but nonetheless, strangely “was retained” and came alive in vertebrates to help create the fantastic new brain design.

Nothing makes sense in biology in the light of evolution.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Napoleon’s Revenge: An Evolutionist is Suggesting We Make People Smaller and Give Them Pills to Fight Global Warming

A professor of philosophy and bioethics at New York University is now saying that since humans caused global warming, humans should fix the problem. But since market-based and geoengineering solutions are too risky and ineffective, we need to engineer humans to consume less, for example, by making them smaller.

for example a car uses more fuel per mile to carry a heavier person, more fabric is needed to clothe larger people, and heavier people wear out shoes, carpets and furniture at a quicker rate than lighter people

And how can people be made smaller?  By selection, of course:

You might try to do it through a technique called preimplantation genetic diagnosis, which is already used in IVF settings in fertility clinics today. In this scenario you'd be looking to select which embryos to implant based on height.

George Orwell could not have said it any better. But that’s not all. The professor also suggests using pills—oops, pharmacological enhancements—to heighten one’s positive attitudes toward the environment. This isn’t about manipulating people; rather, it’s about helping people. After all, the pharmas like it so it must be good:

I recently gave a talk about this paper at Yale and there was a man in the audience who worked for a pharmaceutical company; he seemed to think there might be a huge market for modifications like this.

Yes I'm sure he did. Religion drives science, and it matters.

Monday, March 12, 2012

An Evolutionist Just Gave Up On a Fundamental Just-So Story (And Then Made Up Another to Replace it)

Which came first the chicken or the egg? In evolution’s case, the question is between DNA or proteins. The DNA stores the data to make the proteins, but proteins do things (like get the data out of the DNA). It is all so circular: proteins operate on DNA to get the data to make … themselves. When a new individual is conceived, the zygote has both already in place to begin with. But how could this whole biological system evolve from a mud patch? And which came first, DNA or proteins? Twenty five years ago evolutionists hit upon a new just-so story to solve this riddle: It wasn’t DNA or proteins, but RNA, that worked the magic. RNA is what the proteins create when they get the data out of the DNA. They create a copy, RNA, which chemically is slightly different. Evolutionists were excited about RNA because it can store data like DNA, and it can do things like proteins. It does both, so in the beginning it was an RNA world. It was common to see evolutionists hail this idea as solving those difficult origins problems. One experiment had evolutionists exclaiming that it was “extremely strong evidence for the RNA world.” Here’s how Wikipedia explains the concept:

the RNA world evolved into a world of RNP enzymes, such as the ribosome and ribozymes, before giving rise to the DNA, RNA and protein world of today. DNA is thought to have taken over the role of data storage due to its increased stability, while proteins, through a greater variety of monomers (amino acids), replaced RNA's role in specialized biocatalysis. The RNA world hypothesis suggests that RNA in modern cells is an evolutionary remnant of the RNA world that preceded ours.

All of this is just-so story telling, no different than Antony Flew’s hiker who made up all kinds of silly stories about a mythical gardener. In science we can’t just make up stories about an incredible, never observed, RNA world spontaneously arising, based on religious convictions that evolution must be true. And then say DNA took over this role, and proteins took over that role, due to their vastly superior capabilities.

That would be like saying that the internal combustion engine took over the role of land transportation due to its greater power and versatility, while jet engines took over the role of air transportation due to their greater thrust and reliability.

Eventually this caught up with evolutionists and now a paper is out saying that the RNA World hypothesis doesn’t work. A key molecular machine in the RNA World hypothesis is the ribosome. Not only does it construct proteins, a key function, but it is comprised of both proteins and RNA.

The new paper shows that (if evolution is true) early versions of the ribosome must have included the protein parts. Right there you have a flaw in the RNA World hypothesis. Beyond that, the research suggests that RNA alone cannot construct proteins. As the author explained:

I’m convinced that the RNA world (hypothesis) is not correct. That world of nucleic acids could not have existed if not tethered to proteins. … It appears the basic building blocks of the machinery of the cell have always been the same from the beginning of life to the present: evolving and interacting proteins and RNA molecules.

But the problems don’t stop there. For the results indicate that if evolution is true, then proteins predate the machinery to construct them. Again, evolution makes no sense on these findings. Here is how Russell Doolittle, one of the leading researchers in this area, responded:

“This is a very engaging and provocative article by one of the most innovative and productive researchers in the field of protein evolution,” said University of California at San Diego research professor Russell Doolittle, who was not involved in the study. Doolittle remains puzzled, however, by “the notion that some early proteins were made before the evolution of the ribosome as a protein-manufacturing system.” He wondered how—if proteins were more ancient than the ribosomal machinery that today produces most of them—“the amino acid sequences of those early proteins were ‘remembered’ and incorporated into the new system.”

Ah, yes, that’s a problem alright. Not to worry though, for there is always that next just-so story to save the day. In this case, the evolutionist explains that:

It is therefore likely that the ribosomes were not the first biological machines to synthesize proteins.

There you have it. There was some other fantastic machine, never observed of course, that created proteins before the ribosome came around. Unbelievable. Antony Flew is outdone.

Religion drives science, and it matters.

You Won’t Believe How Evolutionists Say These Two Major Contradictions Cancel Each Other Out

Even before Darwin scientists knew that completely new kinds of species appeared rather abruptly in the fossil record. And a century later—when scientists uncovered the genomes of different species—they discovered that if evolution were true, then genes that build highly complex designs must have been around long before those complex designs appeared on the scene. Over and over, evolutionists have come to realize, very early life not only must have been extremely complex, but it even must have anticipated the later complexity by having the right genes all ready to go. Evolutionists even have a word for this. They call it “preadapted” genomes. Of course evolutionists insist all this must have spontaneously arisen, for no reason. It was just lucky.

Now these two problems with evolution—the abrupt appearance of new species and preadapted genomes—might seem to be unrelated. Of all the many falsifications and problems with evolution, and there are many, what do these two have to do with each other?

Well it turns out evolutionists have found a way to play the one against the other, so they cancel themselves out simultaneously, in their minds. In a clever argument, they say that the preadapted genomes paved the way for the abrupt appearance of fantastic designs that came later. Of course none of this actually solves the problems, but it sounds very scientific and impressive:

The genomes of taxa whose stem lineages branched early in metazoan history, and of allied protistan groups, provide a tantalizing outline of the morphological and genomic changes that accompanied the origin and early diversifications of animals. Genome comparisons show that the early clades increasingly contain genes that mediate development of complex features only seen in later metazoan branches. Peak additions of protein-coding regulatory genes occurred deep in the metazoan tree, evidently within stem groups of metazoans and eumetazoans. However, the bodyplans of these early-branching clades are relatively simple. The existence of major elements of the bilaterian developmental toolkit in these simpler organisms implies that these components evolved for functions other than the production of complex morphology, preadapting the genome for the morphological differentiation that occurred higher in metazoan phylogeny. Stem lineages of the bilaterian phyla apparently required few additional genes beyond their diploblastic ancestors. As disparate bodyplans appeared and diversified during the Cambrian explosion, increasing complexity was accommodated largely through changes in cis-regulatory networks, accompanied by some additional gene novelties. Subsequently, protein-coding genic richness appears to have essentially plateaued. Some genomic evidence suggests that similar stages of genomic evolution may have accompanied the rise of land plants

So for some reason all kinds of genes arose spontaneously for no known reason, and later all kinds of species with fantastic new designs appeared abruptly, but not to worry because the former made possible the latter.

Evolutionists say without evolution nothing makes sense in biology, but it seems that with evolution nothing makes sense in biology. Religion drives science and it matters.

Don’t Miss Venus and Jupiter Tonight

Tonight and tomorrow night Venus and Jupiter come within three degrees of each other from our perspective here on Earth. Look to the west and you can’t miss it. And while you are gazing, keep in mind that Venus is closer to the Sun than we are, and Jupiter is much farther from the Sun than we are.

Is This the Future of Evolution?