Sunday, 19 February 2017
The cock-eyed squid looks just like a squid, but a closer look will show a remarkable difference: it has one big bulging eye that points upward and a smaller eye with which it sees what’s happening underneath it.
This squid lives in dim waters, some 200 to 1,000 metres below the surface.
New research published in the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B examines videos taken by remotely operated submarines.
New Scientist states:
“The findings provide the first behavioural evidence that the two eyes are adapted to look in different directions. The large one points upwards to spot prey silhouetted against the sky. The smaller one points downwards to spot bioluminescent organisms against the darkness below.”
Kate Thomas at Duke University in North Carolina and her colleagues discovered that the eyes are of the optimal size and shape:
“Having a big upward-pointing eye greatly improves visual perception, while a downward-pointing eye would gain little from being large.”
While they invoke evolution as a potential answer to this dilemma, it seems more logical to assume that the eyes are designed this way on purpose.
The cock-eyed squid also has a Genesis connection. It shows that there is great variety within the squid kind – just as there is within the other kinds – but they still remain squids.
It joins hybrids such as wholphins, ligers. zonkeys, geeps and grolars in celebrating the Genesis after its kind principle.
Wong, Sam. 2017. Deep-sea squid points a big, bulging eye up and a tiny eye down. New Scientist (13 February).
Friday, 17 February 2017
We might not expect to find soft tissue in fossils that are assumed to be 500 million years old.
But this has happened, and not just once or twice but repeatedly and recently it happened again.
A paper published in Nature reports on hyoliths that it defines as “abundant and globally distributed ‘shelly’ fossils that appear early in the Cambrian period and can be found throughout the 280 million year span of Palaeozoic strata.”
The abstract mentions “exceptionally preserved soft tissues [that] include an extendable, gullwing-shaped, tentacle-bearing organ surrounding a central mouth.”
While finding soft tissue in dinosaur bone has become rather commonplace, researchers have discovered exceptionally well preserved soft tissues in many other animals as well, for instance in birds, fish and marine reptiles.
This suggests that life on Earth is a lot more younger than evolutionists would have us believe.
Moysiuk, Joseph et al. 2017. Hyoliths are Palaeozoic lophophorates. Nature 541, 394–397.
Wednesday, 15 February 2017
Darwin Day Surprise Ten Years Ago: Soft Muscle Cells, Blood Vessels and Nerve Cells in “380-Million-Year” Old Fish from Down Under
Darwin Day (12 February) has in recent years evolved into a materialistic holy day.
Sometimes, however, pro-evolution publications might report discoveries that undermine the importance of that day.
National Geographic did it in 2007. It published an article on fossilized muscle and other soft tissues from two armoured fish that are assumed to be “380– 384 million years” old.
The muscle was so well preserved that its three-dimensional shape was intact.
“The fish's remarkably well-preserved soft tissues include bundles of muscle cells, blood vessels, and nerve cells. They were found during recent electron microscope scans, the research team reported last week in the British journal Biology Letters.”
Evolutionists believe that one of the fishes, Gogonasus andrewsae, already had features that we share, at least to some extent.
They have since found an even older bony fish that they revere as our ancestor.
During the past few years, soft tissue has been found in a variety of animals thought to be many tens and even hundreds of years old.
The most logical explanation for this mystery is that the great dates assigned to most fossils are fictitious.
Markey, Sean. 2007. Fossil Meat Found in 380-Million-Year-Old Fish. National Geography news (12 February).
Monday, 13 February 2017
Big science has a big problem.
New Scientist has cultivated the phrase post-truth world quite a bit recently, especially before, during and after the recent US presidential elections.
It put the blame on politicians. However, it is now becoming increasingly obvious that scientists can’t afford to throw the first stone.
Time and again, they have had to warn of fake science stories and even outright fabrications.
Recently, Timothy Clark issued a dire warning in Nature. A senior research fellow at the University of Tasmania, he is worried about the spread of dishonesty in science:
The introduction sets the tone of the article:
“Too many researchers make up or massage their data, says Timothy D. Clark Only stringent demands for proof can stop them.”
Then he discloses some very alarming facts:
“Late last month, a US physicist began a jail sentence for scientific fraud. Darin Kinion took funds for research on quantum computing but did not carry out the work he claimed; instead, he invented the data that the research supposedly produced.”
And we have heard of several similar cases.
Clark goes on to say:
“Scientists like to think that such blatant dishonesty is rare, but I myself have witnessed several serious cases of scientific misconduct, from major data manipulation to outright fabrication. Most have gone unpunished — in fact, it has been disheartening to see the culprits lauded. It makes little sense for fraudsters to fabricate mediocre data. Their falsehoods generate outstanding stories, which result in high-profile publications and a disproportionately large chunk of the funding pie.
I have noticed a lesser-known motive for bad science in my field, experimental biology. As environmental change proceeds, there is great demand from the public and policy¬makers for simple stories that show the damage being done to wildlife. I occasionally meet scientists who argue that the questions we ask and the stories we tell are more important than the probity of our investigations: the end justifies the means, even if the means lead to data fabrication. That view is alarmingly misguided and has no place in science.”
The underlying problem is that scientists often have an agenda. This is at times glaringly obvious in the Darwinian community.
Researchers seek to find evidence for assumed transitional forms or missing links, for instance.
Remember Darwinius massillae, better known as Ida?
Or Eoanthropus dawsoni aka. Piltdown Man or perhaps even Nebraska Man?
Scientific misconduct thrives in the Darwinian community as evolution does not give objective grounds for morality.
Clark, Timothy D. 2017. Science, lies and video-taped experiments. Nature 542, 139. (7 February).
Saturday, 11 February 2017
Natural selection is a greatly overused explanation for almost any trait in living organisms.
However, Darwinian expectations seldom match facts. A paper published in PLOS BIOLOGY begins with the sentence: “In natural populations, quantitative trait dynamics often do not appear to follow evolutionary predictions.”
That’s right. The research is on the size of snow voles (Chionomys nivalis).
Timothée Bonnet and his colleagues at the University of Zurich observed the tiny rodents for ten years and found out that while bigger voles had more offspring, this did not lead to an increase in body size in the next generation.
It seems that environmental factors and perhaps epigenetics are running the show.
In recent years, natural selection has taken a lot of flak from both evolutionists and dissenters. (See details here, here, here and here.)
So, this might be a good time to dump Darwin altogether.
Bonnet, Timothée et al. 2017. Bigger Is Fitter? Quantitative Genetic Decomposition of Selection Reveals an Adaptive Evolutionary Decline of Body Mass in a Wild Rodent Population. PLOS BIOLOGY 15.
Thursday, 9 February 2017
A new paper in PLOS ONE features bioluminescence in a fish that prefers to dwell in the shelter of coral reefs:
“Bioluminescence is a fascinating phenomenon occurring in numerous animal taxa in the ocean. The reef dwelling splitfin flashlight fish (Anomalops katoptron) can be found in large schools during moonless nights in the shallow water of coral reefs and in the open surrounding water. Anomalops katoptron produce striking blink patterns with symbiotic bacteria in their sub-ocular light organs.”
So far, so good. Bioluminescence suggests design, as does symbiosis that time and again presents a chicken or egg dilemma for evolution.
Most of the paper deals with good experimental science. But then, suddenly, we are confronted with a bizarre claim:
“A recent study reported 27 independent evolutionary events of bioluminescence in marine ray-finned fish.”
The authors don’t elaborate on what they mean by “evolutionary events,” but the context suggests that many non-related marine animals share this trait.
The conventional Darwinian explanation for this phenomenon is convergent evolution.
It is misused a lot.
The only thing that this explains is that Darwinian expectations are way off the mark.
Hellinger, Jens et al. 2017. The Flashlight Fish Anomalops katoptron Uses Bioluminescent Light to Detect Prey in the Dark. PLOS ONE (8 February).
Tuesday, 7 February 2017
"Stuff happens but we don’t know why," might be an apt description of assumed evolutionary innovations such as complex flight feathers.
A recent paper in Nature Communications begins with these words:
“Adaptation of feathered dinosaurs [sic] and Mesozoic birds to new ecological niches was potentiated by rapid diversiﬁcation of feather vane shapes. The molecular mechanism driving this spectacular process remains unclear.”
They don’t know why these feathers appeared. Then they attempt to give a jargon-filled explanation:
"Here, through morphology analysis, transcriptome proﬁling, functional perturbations and mathematical simulations, we ﬁnd that mesenchymederived GDF10 and GREM1 are major controllers for the topologies of rachidial and barb generative zones (setting vane boundaries), respectively, by tuning the periodic-branching programme of epithelial progenitors."
This is followed by more jargon, until they dish out an orthodox Darwinian explanation:
“Incremental changes of RA gradient slopes establish a continuum of asymmetric ﬂight feathers along the wing, while switch-like modulation of RA signalling confers distinct vane shapes between feather tracts. Therefore, the co-option of anisotropic signalling modules introduced new dimensions of feather shape diversiﬁcation.”
Next, the birds figured out new uses for their feathers:
“Major novel functions of feathers that evolved include endothermy, communication, aerodynamic flight and so on. These are achieved through stepwise retrofitting of the original feather forms.”
The authors invoke a “self-organizing branching programme,” as if feathers were no more complex than snowflakes.
However, as we can learn from the real world, stuff does not just happen without a good reason.
Feathers bear all the hallmarks of design.
It is logical to believe that birds already had complex flight feathers on the day they were created.
Li, Ang et al. 2017. Diverse feather shape evolution enabled by coupling anisotropic signalling modules with self-organizing branching programme. Nature Communications 8:14139.