VIEW HEADLINES ONLY

Crisis at Both Ends of Darwin’s Tree

Two assumptions about evolution – one about the earliest multicellular organisms and one about the rise of mammals – have run into trouble.  Eukarya sans Mechanista:  “In the absence of direct evidence, science should proceed cautiously with conjecture,” wisely advised Anthony Poole and David Penny in Nature.1  They scorned the researchers who glibly invent fables […]

Genome Complexity Unveiled: No Junk, Only Function

Any remaining doubts that the idea of “junk DNA” has itself been junked should vanish under the latest findings about genome complexity.  A number of recent news stories have revealed astonishing levels of regulation and organization in the non-coding regions of DNA.  It turns out that genes are not the only interesting things in the […]

Origin of Multicellularity: Back to the Drawing Board

Micro-RNAs have been found in green algae.  So?  What’s the big deal?  If you read the statements in Nature,1 it sounds like evolutionary biologists consider it a big, bad deal: The discovery, made independently by two labs, dismantles the popular theory that the regulatory role of microRNAs in gene expression is tied to the evolution […]

New Theory for Introns: Mutation Sponges

When you don’t know where damage will occur, it makes sense to spread the assets around.  Scientists from City of Hope Medical Center (a cancer care and research institute) have a new idea about introns, those regions of DNA “junk“ between the more interesting exons (parts of genes).  Perhaps the introns are mutation sponges.   […]

New Genes Don’t Fit Mr. Darwin

If evolutionists predicted the wealth of new data from genetics was going to fall nicely into an evolutionary picture of Darwin’s tree of life, nature has foiled them again.  Ancestral patterns are blurred by unexpected findings, such as the following: Little giants:  Small, simple.  Large, complex.  That’s the old high-school picture of genetic evolution, but […]

Human Adaptation Can Be Rapid

How long does it take for humans to adapt to environmental changes?  Some recent papers investigated this question. Paleface:  If it is assumed that humans started out medium or dark-skinned, how long did it take for Europeans to lose much of that original pigment?  An article in Science April 20 says maybe just 6,000 to […]

More “Candy” Found in Junk DNA

Powerful regulators that play a crucial role – this is how non-coding sections of DNA are now being described.  A story in Science Daily says that these regions of “junk DNA” once dismissed as “gene deserts” actually orchestrate the expression of genes during development.     In a related paper in PNAS,1 researchers found regulatory […]

Mutation Rate Catastrophe: You Can’t Even Break Even

In a tortoise-and-hare kind of story, a team of geneticists figured out what happens when positive natural selection tries to outrun mutations: “mutation rate catastrophe.”  Publishing in PNAS,1 they described how beneficial mutations might become established in a population rapidly (that’s the hare).  Eventually (this is the tortoise), harmful mutations accumulate to the tipping point, […]

Evolution to the Rescue for Abused Ape

The UK Guardian reports that Austrian courts are being asked to grant human status to an ape to allow it to sue a company for importing it into Austria for medical research.  In 1999, New Zealand granted “non-human hominid” status to apes to protect them from maltreatment, but this case attempts to give full human […]

Have Scientists Found the Secret of Aging?

There’s a tragic disease that speeds up aging.  Known as progeria (Huntington-Gilford progeria syndrome, HGPS), it is caused by a single point mutation in exon 11 of the NMLA gene.  Children afflicted with this disease look old beyond their years and often die at 13 of heart attack and stroke – essentially, of old age. […]

Evolutionary Predictions Fail Observational Tests

Lately, some expectations by evolutionists have not been fulfilled.  Here are several recent examples of evolutionary upsets: Dinobird genes cook up scrambled eggs:  Scientists expected that the dinosaurs presumed ancestral to birds would show a decreasing genome size.  The thinking was that the cost of maintaining a large genome takes its toll on flight.  In […]

Blind Cave Fish: Can Darwinism Be Credited for “Regressive Evolution”?

It is a worldwide phenomenon that cave creatures go blind.  Some cave fish lose their eyes entirely; in others, the eyes shrivel and lose function.  In many cave fish, scale pigmentation also changes.  Are these gradual modifications due to natural selection, Darwin’s mechanism of evolution, or to genetic drift?  Darwin himself could not see any […]

OOL on the Rocks

An important survey of the origin-of-life (OOL) field has been published in Scientific American.  Robert Shapiro, a senior prize-winning chemist, cancer researcher, emeritus professor and author of books in the field, debunks the Miller experiment, the RNA World and other popular experiments as unrealistic dead ends.  Describing the wishful thinking of some researchers, he said, […]

Cells Perform Nanomagic

The cell is quicker than the eye of our best scientific instruments.  Biochemists and biophysicists are nearing closer to watching cellular magic tricks in real time but aren’t quite there yet.  They know it’s just a trick of the eye, but it sure is baffling how cellular machines pull off their most amazing feats.  Think, […]

In Science and Politics, Expect the Unexpected

Two findings reported this month illustrate how science changes.  Paradigms and policies can have their scientific underpinnings yanked out from under them, causing both consternation and opportunities for new ways of thinking. Bring back the acid rain:  Pick your poison: acid rain or global warming.  Acid rain was the bogeyman of the 1980s, leading to […]
All Posts by Date