Saturday, 28 September 2013
Bacteria are anything but simple. A recent letter in the journal Nature discusses the overflow system in Escherichia coli and states:
“In bacterial cells, the overproduction of metabolites is normally avoided by mechanisms that are similar in principle to control systems in engineering.”
As far as we know, blind Darwinian processes are incapable of engineering feats. But there’s more:
“We all know that a kitchen sink is liable to overflow if the tap is left on with the plughole blocked. In most domestic sinks this danger is averted, at least partially, by having an overflow outlet near the top. But in more elaborate engineered systems, such as the domestic toilet, an overflow is avoided by means of negative feedback: as soon as the water in the tank reaches a certain level, the inflow is switched off. Bacterial metabolism is in many ways similar.”
Somehow, this sounds like a very intelligently designed system.
Cornish-Bowden, Athel. 2013. Biochemistry: Curbing the excesses of low demand. Nature 500 (7461), 157–158.
Friday, 27 September 2013
When researchers – at least serious ones – propose a theory, they often have facts to back it up. Nowadays, however, there are some notable exceptions, such as (neo) Darwinian evolution.
It appears that Charles Darwin was not entirely objective when he first suggested that natural selection could in effect do what most people until his time believed only God could do.
Disease and death in his family, especially of his ten-year old daughter Annie, caused Darwin to turn his back on the Creator.
What about fossils? The fossils that Darwin assumed would confirm his view have not materialised, over 150 years after On the Origin of Species. The best they have are some highly debated specimens. In other words, we cannot test evolution, because there is very little to test.
No testing amounts to no theory in the scientific meaning of the word.
But there is no end to speculations.
Wednesday, 25 September 2013
The spam e-mails that most of us are all too familiar with can at times be if not compelling then at least dramatic. They almost always feature a tragic accident or a fatal illness and heaps of money that the sender wants to give you. Or something like that.
It appears that this genre has a close relative in popular science magazines. These also feature death and catastrophes (such as the meteorite impact that supposedly killed off the dinosaurs), but instead of money they boast of new innovations that came into being as if by magic without any logical reason.
Recently, an article in New Scientist asserted: “Cats owe their success as pets to the fact that they have evolved an ability to interact with us in a way that we find appealing.”
How does the writer know that cats have the ability to evolve a particular trait? The obvious answer is that he doesn’t, but he simply assumes that since evolution is true, evolution must have done it.
It seems that Darwinian storytelling has to appeal to something closely related to magic in attempting to explaining features we see in nature.
Bradshaw, John. 2013. More than a feline: the true nature of cats. New Scientist 2934, 44-47. (17 September).
Monday, 23 September 2013
Starlings can fly in flocks of up to 300,000 birds. They can fly very close to each other, almost touching each other’s wings, but they do not crash with their neighbour in mid air.
Starling formations are called murmurations, perhaps due to the sound that they make. Murmurations keep predators away, for instance.
The spectacular flight of these very intelligent birds defies evolution. This video clip from Illustra Media’s DVD FLIGHT: The Genius of Birds shows that Darwinism does not explain the behaviour of starlings.
Saturday, 21 September 2013
Inventors Have Copied “Most of the Basic Components of Engineering” from Intelligent Solutions in Nature
Can blind Darwinian processes invent intelligent engineering solutions? Some seem to think so. The recent discovery of gears in planthopper legs has given rise to discussion on exactly what has been found in nature.
It appears that much more than gears have been discovered.
“Most of the basic components of engineering have been developed in the natural world,” says Alexander Riedel of the State Museum of Natural History in Karlsruhe, Germany, as quoted in Nature news.
And much more than just the basic components are seen in nature. Many of the intelligently designed systems in nature are far better and more effective than the best solutions human inventors and engineers have come up with.
Biomimicry or the imitation of intelligent solutions seen in nature is a flourishing field of hi-tech engineering. Aeroplanes, submarines and robots all use this technology. You can read about some of the solutions here, here and here.
The most obvious explanation for the intelligent solutions seen in nature is that a Master Designer has designed them that way.
Ball, Philip. 2013. Insect leg cogs a first in animal kingdom. Nature news (12 September).
Thursday, 19 September 2013
Contrary to what humans have believed for ages, the ancient Greeks did not invent the mechanical gear. They were beaten by a tiny planthopper Issus coleoptratus.
According to Science News,
“Those cogs in young Issus coleoptratus planthoppers touch at the upper parts of the legs, says neurobiologist Malcolm Burrows of the University of Cambridge in England. And when the planthopper leaps, gear teeth on one leg catch the teeth on the other in sequence. Meshing cogs get legs quickly moving in sync, enabling energy-efficient leaps, Burrows and Gregory Sutton at the University of Bristol in England say in the Sept. 13 Science.”
Evolution is supposed to be blind and mindless, but somehow it seems that designing these gears is anything but an accidental innovation:
“Insect gear teeth are microscopic marvels, with up to a dozen along a curving strip not more than 400 micrometers long. Teeth in the insect’s hard outer covering stick out 30 micrometers at the most, each tapering to a point.”
What is interesting is that these gears only appear in young planthoppers. Obviously, older hoppers don’t need them.
This machinery definitely speaks of design in nature.
Milius, Susan. 2013. Young insect legs have real meshing gears. Science News (12 September).
Tuesday, 17 September 2013
Biological complexity is a difficult nut to crack for evolutionists. Living systems are extremely complex, and the more we get to know about them, the more complex we find them.
Science writer Carl Zimmer attempts to solve this dilemma in Scientific American. The title of his article already suggests what is to follow: The Surprising Origins of Evolutionary Complexity.
Zimmer discusses difficulties (for Darwinists, that is) such as the human eye and seems to advocate the power of random mutations to work miracles.
He refers to evolutionists who believe likewise:
“Complexity, they say, is not purely the result of millions of years of fine-tuning through natural selection—the process that Richard Dawkins famously dubbed ‘the blind watchmaker.’ To some extent, it just happens.”
Now, if evolutionists have to resort to saying that complexity just happens, we might suspect that their ideology is in very deep water, about to go the way of the Titanic.
Zimmer, Carl. 2013. The Surprising Origins of Evolutionary Complexity. Scientific American (July 16).
Sunday, 15 September 2013
The passing of time has not been kind to Darwinian evolution. It has lost many of its icons that were once seen as irresistible proof of the theory.
Vestigial organs went out ages ago. Then came the turn for junk DNA to make an exit. Natural selection as an all-powerful Darwinian explanation also left the building some time ago. The same applies to mutations. A major complication for evolutionists is that mutations are not as random as they would like to believe.
And most of them cause more harm than good.
In January 2009 New Scientist was willing to say goodbye to Darwin’s tree of life. More recently, in August 2013, Scot Kelchner, associate professor of systematics and evolution at Idaho State University, and colleagues published a paper in Trends in Genetics, suggesting that the tree should be replaced by a network.
This would do away with the idea of a single ancestor for all of life.
Moreover, it would in effect mean than most of what ardent evolutionists like Richard Dawkins have been saying for decades is wrong.
What is left? Not much, except a very outdated atheistic ideology.
Amending the Tree of Life: Article advocates for shift in evolutionary and genomic research. Phys.org Aug 29, 2013.
Friday, 13 September 2013
When a speaker refers to God as “Lord of the Dance” and uses the personal pronoun she for God, ostensibly in a prayer, we might suspect that something might be amiss.
Especially when she calls abortion “the blessing of choice” and prays that women in developing nations could have better access to abortion.
According to the Washington Examiner,
“Midge Slater, an organizer for the Iowa Alliance for Retired Americans, part of the Iowa Federation of Labor and the AFL-CIO, spoke to about 80 people who came to the capitol to protest a proposal that the State Board of Medicine end a program that allows doctors to prescribe an abortion pill for a woman after a video chat, rather than an in-person consultation.”
She asks “God” to “protect the goodness that we are capable of”, i.e., providing easy abortions for women.
Ms. Slater basically turns biblical morality and the respect for life on its head. However, twisting the meaning of words in an Orwellian manner will not turn killing into a blessing.
The “prayer” reminds one of what PZ Myers, a well-known atheist, has said of abortion.
The “Lord of the Dance” is certainly not the God of the Bible, who regards death as an intruder and an enemy.
York, Byron. 2013. Iowa Democrat prays: Dear God, thank you for abortion. Washington Examiner (31 August).
Wednesday, 11 September 2013
There is no shortage of evidence for Noah’s Flood. For instance, mass fossil graveyards all over the world and huge gaps in mountains in Australia testify of the Flood.
Recently, a new discovery made headlines: Arid Northern Kenya, known for its Born Free books and TV series featuring the lioness Elsa and her cubs, also hosts 250 trillion litres of groundwater below the very hot and dry sands.
For a semi-desert, that is surprisingly much. Authorities do not as yet know if the water is drinkable.
How could the water get to a place where it practically never rains? The most logical explanation is the global flood of Noah’s days.
Marshall, Michael. 2013. Vast supplies of groundwater found under Kenya. New Scientist (10 September).
Monday, 9 September 2013
If evolution were true, dino-era mammals should be small primitive creatures that were just beginning to evolve the traits characteristic of modern mammals.
A paper published in Science on the discovery of a Jurassic mammal called Rugosodon eurasiaticus suggests that that they were by no means primitive.
According to Science Daily,
“This fossil find -- the oldest ancestor in the multituberculate family tree -- represents a newly discovered species known as Rugosodon eurasiaticus. The nearly complete skeleton provides critical insights into the traits that helped such multituberculates thrive in their day. For example, the fossil reveals teeth that were adapted to gnawing plants and animals alike, as well as ankle joints that were highly adept at rotation.”
It’s the same story once again. As a new fossil is discovered, it is found that it is very well designed for a particular environment.
Zhe-Xi Luo, a co-author of the paper said: "The tree-climbing multituberculates and the jumping multituberculates had the most interesting ankle bones, capable of 'hyper-back-rotation' of the hind feet."
It was definitely not primitive.
Fossil of History's Most Successful Mammal: Prehistoric 'Rodent' May Have Set the Stage for Life in Trees, Herbivorous Diets. Science Daily. 15 August, 2013.
Saturday, 7 September 2013
Convergent evolution has long been used as a method for explaining away some of the difficulties that evolutionary thinking encounters in a world that is more amazing than Charles Darwin ever thought.
A good illustration of this is a new paper published in the journal Nature, which examines echolocation in bats and dolphins.
Echolocation is the technique that inspired engineers to build the sonars that enable submarines to detect other vessels or objects. Bats and dolphins use it to “listen to their own clicks and calls echoing back from obstacles or prey.”
As reported in a Nature news article, the researchers’ aim was to study “convergent evolution in 2,326 genes shared by 22 mammals, including six bats and the bottlenose dolphin.”
“Different organisms often independently evolve similar observable traits such as anatomical or functional features, but the genetic changes underpinning such 'convergent evolution' are usually different. The new study, published today in Nature, hints that evolution may be finding the same genetic solutions to a problem more often than previously thought.”
This is somewhat problematic, as the Darwinian watchmaker is supposed to be blind and unable to look ahead. It does not seek solutions to problems. So the study does certainly not support evolution.
Evolution is merely assumed. There is a much better explanation: bats and dolphins were designed that way.
Check Hayden, Erika. 2013. Convergent evolution seen in hundreds of genes. Nature news (4 September).
Thursday, 5 September 2013
Protecting science from criticism can easily turn it into an ideology. The problem with this kind of ideology is that it can corrupt science, which becomes a quasi-religions phenomenon known as scientism.
An article in The Spectator discusses the danger of elevating consensus science above criticism. While the writer addressed climate science, the same also applies (perhaps even more so) to evolution:
“The climate secretary has denounced sceptics and other non-believers as ‘crackpots’ — an attack conforming to a key feature of what the philosopher Karl Popper defined as pseudoscience. Genuine science invites refutation; pseudoscience tries to silence dissent.”
That is exactly what advocates of Darwinian evolution have done and are still doing.
Darwall, Rupert. 2013. Forecast failure: how the Met Office lost touch with reality. The Spectator (July 13).
Tuesday, 3 September 2013
The past week saw the publication of two mutually discrepant theories of early Mars. Image courtesy of NASA.
It’s not always easy to separate fact from fiction in science stories. Last week, one research team claimed that Earth’s life was seeded from Mars, as Mars was dry.
Then comes another team that says that Mars was wet.
According to New Scientist:
“Both studies have brought renewed attention to the idea that life on Earth was seeded from space, a theory known as panspermia. However, they can't both be right. One idea requires Mars to be covered in liquid water, while the other needs it to be as dry as a desert.
The latest work focuses on phosphate, a molecule made up of one phosphorus atom and four oxygen atoms. Phosphates make up the structural backbones of DNA and RNA, and many complex organisms use a version called adenosine triphosphate (ATP) to store energy from food.”
Both theories speculate that RNA preceded DNA. However, there is no real evidence for this, so the views are not very scientific at all.
Why two competing views? Most researchers would acknowledge that life could hardly have originated on Earth, because of the presence of oxygen at a very early stage.
Thus, they have set their hopes on the Red Planet, because they do not want to admit the obvious – i.e., life on Earth was created by an all-powerful God, the Creator of the entire universe.
Grossman, Lisa. 2013. Martian soup may have been tasty to early life. New Scientist (1 September).