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More Darwinian Assumptions Shot Down

Here are two articles that appear to kick out some once-solid props from evolutionary theory.  Readers are encouraged to get the details from the original papers, listed in the footnotes. Environmental Impotence:  Many evolutionists have claimed that the environment produces strong selection effects.  Indeed, the fitness landscape itself evolves, carrying with it the constraints driving […]

Eukaryote Evolution Proceeded from Complex to Simple

As if reprimanding simpletons, three scientists writing in Science1 preached that the old picture of evolution from simple to complex is simplistic.  This is particularly true, they claim, for the story that eukaryotes were born from a blessed union.  “Data from many sources,” they counter, “give no direct evidence that eukaryotes evolved by genome fusion […]

Plant Hula-Hoop Railroads Build Cell Walls

Solving a long-standing mystery about how plants build cell walls, Stanford scientists imaged molecular machines traveling along hoop-shaped rings around the inside of the cell.  Publishing in Science, Paradez, Somerville and Ehrhardt proved that cellulose synthase (CESA), a machine that manufactures cellulose composed of six subunits arranged in rosettes, rides like a rail car on […]

Evolutionary Trees “Positively Misleading”

According to an article in PLoS Genetics,1 there is a fundamental flaw in the way species trees are inferred from gene trees using molecular genetics that is guaranteed to produce erroneous results: Because of the stochastic way in which lineages sort during speciation, gene trees may differ in topology from each other and from species […]

Protein Dressing Room Has Electronic Walls

Properly folded proteins are essential to all of life.  When a polypeptide, or chain of amino acids, emerges from the ribosome translation factory on its way to becoming a protein, it looks like a useless, shapeless piece of string.  It cannot perform its function till folded into a precise, compact shape particular for its job.  […]

Hobbit Man, Neanderthal Man Further Scrutinized

The positions of two alleged human ancestors in the family tree is becoming clearer, or murkier, depending on whom you ask.  This illustrates the uncertainty and disparity of opinions in this field. Hobbit workshop:  Regarding the diminutive skeletons dubbed Homo floresiensis found in Indonesia, opinions seems to be condensing around the idea they were true […]

A Challenge to our Victorian Ethics: Humans and Chimps Interbreeding

[Guest article]  Newspapers chipped away at Christian ethics last week with articles describing evidence that “early humans” bred (hybridized) with their supposed ancestors, the chimpanzees, for millions of years after becoming another species.  The New York Times reports: David Page, a human geneticist at the Whitehead Institute in Cambridge, said the design of the new […]

Will Genetics Be Neo-Darwinism’s Downfall?

The Institute for Creation Research is gearing up for a multi-year GENE project to look for evidence for design (and against evolution) in the genome.  They may not need to work very hard.  Secular scientists, by continuing to find things not all that helpful for neo-Darwinism, are doing yeoman’s work for them.     While […]

Molecular Clock Keeps Wild Time

Evolutionists used to hope that the mutation rates in genes were relatively constant, so that they could provide a kind of “molecular clock” for inferring dates of divergence of ancestral species.  The first bad news was that not all molecular clocks tick at the same rate (rate heterogeneity).  Then they hoped that rate differences corresponded […]

Non-Coding DNA Has “Far More Complexity Than Was Imagined”

The concept of “junk DNA” appears to be fading away.  “A mathematical analysis of the human genome suggests that so-called ‘junk DNA’ might not be so useless after all,” reported Paul Rincon for the BBC News.  The photo caption reads, “The genome may possess far more complexity than was imagined.”     A team from […]

How Much Can a Cell Do Without?

In an old high school game, the leader would call some unsuspecting boy to the front, put a sheet over him, and say, “Take off what you don’t need.”  Perhaps a shoe would emerge from under the sheet.  “Take off something else you don’t need,” the leader would continue, and the volume of giggling in […]

Few Mutational Pathways Lead to Darwinian Evolution

Mutations may not be as helpful for neo-Darwinian evolution as expected, say researchers from Harvard.  Let’s say five mutations need to occur for a bacterium to gain resistance to an antibiotic, and there are 120 ways to get these mutations.  They found that only about 10 of the pathways could be selected by natural selection.  […]

Isolated DNA Bases Are Destroyed Quickly

Without water, DNA bases fall apart quickly.  Any origin-of-life models expecting the building blocks of DNA (nucleotides) to stick around for long are going to suffer, say researchers from Oregon State University.  The molecules can enter a “dark state” in which they are highly vulnerable to UV radiation.  This idea was once considered “scientific heresy” […]

Reviewer Stunned by Author’s Handwaving

David Nicholls appears to have suffered whiplash from a line in a book he was reviewing in Science,1 Power, Sex, Suicide: Mitochondria and the Meaning of Life by Nick Lane (Oxford, 2006).  Though he liked the book in general, he said this about Lane’s explanation for how the first cell got its power generator: The […]

Minimum Genome Doubles

How many genes does a bacterium need to live?  Evolutionists interested in the origin of life have been trying to determine the minimal genome for life.  Those estimates may have been way too low, say researchers from the University of Bath.  Though they did not supply a number, they estimate the required number of genes […]
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