Monday, January 28, 2013

Between Us and the Monkeys

In 2012 the genome of the last great ape—the bonobo—was published by a team led by the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig. (1) Together with the chimpanzees, the bonobos are the closest living relatives of humans. The chimpanzee and the bonobo genomes differ from the human genome by about 1.3%. The chimpanzee and bonobo genomes differ by about 0.4% from each other.

The 'junk' difference
In 2011 researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology (2) determined that the differences between human and chimpanzee genomes were primarily not in the protein-coding genes but in the DNA between genes. These “transposable elements were once considered ‘junk DNA’ with little or no function. Now it appears that they may be one of the major reasons why we are so different from chimpanzees.”

More Complexity Doesn't Mean Evolution is Wrong

In recent arguments in ID blogs, ID proponents have used the immense complexity that is being discovered in the control and expression of the genome (epigenetics) as proof that evolution is wrong and that all of this complexity could not have happened without a designer.

Darwin's God: Evolution is Getting Slammed Again in This Transcription Factor Research

My comment posted on that blog speaks for itself and I will add it here.

"It is amazing to me that in the 21st century some are still using the ancient mechanism of deus ex machina. For those ignorant of Greek drama, deus ex machina was literally a mechanism made of pulleys by which a god was brought down on stage in order to solve a particularly difficult plot issue. If you didn't know how to fix a plot problem, you just brought down Ares or Zeus who decreed what would happen next and that was that.

"The same mentality is unfortunately being used in ID. We don't yet have the full understanding of evolution, I grant you, but that doesn't mean we have to immediately jump to God or a designer for the answer. And for those hypocrites out there who insist that the designer isn't God, well, who is it then? An alien? Then who designed him?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Quantum Evolution?

In his new book, Why Does the World Exist, (1) Jim Holt examines the age-old question, “Why is there something rather than nothing?” After valiantly reviewing the ideas of philosophers, physicists, cosmologists, novelists, and religious philosophers throughout history, and arriving at no ultimate answer, he concludes that physicists have come the closest to an answer: the universe sprang out of nothing with no net expenditure of energy. The theory that allows this is quantum physics.

Out of Nothing?
But did the universe really spring out of nothing? Quantum theory states that, through quantum fluctuations, particles constantly appear and disappear out of the void. But the void is not really empty: it contains the mathematical equations that dictate the laws of quantum physics. In fact, physicists today consider mathematics to be the matrix, existing outside of time and space, upon which the universe is built.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Adaptive Mutations and Quantum Mechanics

Adaptive Mutations
A principle tenet of New-Darwinian evolutionary theory is that mutations occur randomly, after which natural selection chooses “the fittest” organism to survive and thus pass on the more adaptive genes. Yet over the past several decades a new phenomenon has been observed named adaptive or directed mutation which challenges the random nature of mutations. Cairns et al (1) placed ecoli bacteria that did not have the gene necessary to metabolize lactose into an environment with only lactose as a nutrient. The result was that mutant bacteria arose that were able to ferment lactose. Yet when the same lactose deficient bacteria were placed in a lactose-free medium, mutations for the lactose metabolizing gene arose at a much lower rate. This phenomenon was dubbed adaptive mutation because these new mutations occurred seemingly in response to the environment.

Friday, January 4, 2013

A Refreshing View

See this article: Science and Religion: A View from an Evolutionary Creationist: Pat Robertson Goes Rogue

My Comments:
It is refreshing to hear Pat Robertson accept the irrefutable scientific evidence of carbon dating of the age of the earth and of fossil evidence of dinosaurs or other prehistoric life forms which are millions of years old and have become extinct. The problem with some people is that they consider religion and science to be incompatible. This doesn't have to be the case. The Catholic Church, the Anglican Church as well as most other Protestant Churches accept the findings of evolution and the scientific method of study knowing that science always changes as more knowledge is gained.

One of the most significant recent discoveries in genomics is that the genome as well as the cytoplasm and the proteins of cells have chaotic fractal properties.