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Topic: Are Biologists Willing To Test Evolution?

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Cincydawg

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Re: Are Biologists Willing To Test Evolution?
« Reply #56 on: June 18, 2019, 09:51:23 AM »
I posted one source of "tests" of evolution by NS, no one seemed to really notice.  I think it gets tested fairly often if someone comes up with a new idea for testing "it".  I'm not sure someone would claim it has not been "tested" except out of ignorance, or bias, or something.

Folks do test theories like General Relativity at times, in large part because of the elegance of the test, not because they really think it will fail.

There was a report a while back of some particle that was faster than light, which is counter to Special Relativity of course, and after some careful analysis it was determined they had an error in the measurement.

What would be an elegant practicable test of the theory of Evolution by Natural Selection that has not been tried yet?  I doubt any of us know of any.

DunkingDan

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Natural Selection
« Reply #57 on: June 18, 2019, 03:35:24 PM »
Darwin did not define the term “natural selection” in the “GLOSSARY OF THE PRINCIPAL SCIENTIFIC TERMS” in The Origin of Species. To illustrate its actions, Darwin was forced to develop “imaginary illustrations:”
“In order to make it clear how, as I believe, natural selection acts, I must beg permission to give one or two imaginary illustrations”
Evolutionary scientists have struggled to develop a cohesive consensus on how natural selection acts since 1859. While a consensus on the actions resulting in extinction, no consensus exists on the actions of natural selection resulting in the origination of new species.Even Darwin was a critic of natural selection:
“There seems to be no more design in the variability of organic beings, and in the action of natural selection, than in the course which the winds blow.”
Over the past 150 years, scientists have expressed the following problems with Darwin’s main thesis – natural selection.
Conrad H Waddington, 1967
“There, you do come to what is, in effect, a vacuous statement: Natural selection is that some things leave more offspring than others; and you ask, which leave more offspring than others; and it is those that leave more offspring; and there is nothing more to it than that.”
Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini, 2010
“We have both spent effort and ink… to show that Darwin’s theory of natural selection is fatally flawed.”
“We think this argument [natural selection] although ubiquitous in the literature, is fallacious.”
Giuseppe Sermonti, 2005
“Natural selection could perhaps be invoked as a mechanism accounting for the survival of the species. But the claim that natural selection is creative of life…  can only leave one dumbstruck.”
“Natural selection only eliminates, and its adoption as a mechanism of origin is like explaining the ‘appearance’ by ‘disappearance.’”
“Natural selection (which should be more accurately termed ‘differential survival’) is not in doubt. No one has ever denied it. Without going into the subject at length, I will say that that it chiefly eliminates the abnormal, the marginal, the out-of-bounds, and keeps natural populations within the norm.”
“… the claim that natural selection is creative of life, of life’s essence and types of orders, can only leave us dumbstruck. Natural selection only eliminates, and it’s adoption as a mechanism of origin is like explaining ‘appearance’ by ‘disappearance.’”
“Natural Selection, which indeed occurs in nature…, mainly has the effect of maintaining equilibrium and stability.”
“Natural selection could perhaps be invoked as a mechanism accounting for the survival of the species. But the claim that natural selection is creative of life, of life’s essence and types and orders, can only leave one dumbstruck.”
“It [natural selection] eliminates all those that dare to depart form the type—the eccentrics and the adventurers and the marginal sort… by bringing them back to the norm.”
William Provine, 2005
“Natural selection does not shape an adaptation or cause a gene to spread over a population or really do anything at all. It is instead the result of specific causes: hereditary changes, developmental causes, ecological causes, and demography. Natural Selection is the result of these causes, not a cause that is by itself. It is not a mechanism.”
Francis Hitching, 1982
“Darwinism, as Darwin wrote it, could be simply but nonsensically stated: survivors survive. Which is certainly a tautology; and tells us nothing about how species originate, as even Darwin’s supporters admit.”
Hugo de Vries, 1905
“Natural selection may explain the survival of the fittest, but it cannot explain the arrival of the fittest.”
Colin Patterson, 1982
“No one has ever produced a species by the mechanisms of natural selection. No one has ever got near it, and most of the current argument in neo-Darwinism is about this question: how a species originates. And it is there that natural selection seems to be fading out, and chance mechanisms of one sort or another are being invoked.”
Niles Eldredge, 2005
“In the literal sense of the word, no doubt, natural selection is a false term; but who ever objected to chemists speaking of the elective affinities of the various elements?”
 Jerry Coyne, 1998
“We must stop pretending we understand the course of natural selection.”
Soren Lovtrup
“Today it is still commonly claimed that Darwin’s natural selection is the evolutionary mechanism par excellence. However, this assertion is not based on any factual evidence, for nobody has ever demonstrated that natural selection can bring about anything but events that are trivial from an evolutionary perspective.”
“…the reasons for rejecting Darwin’s proposal were many, but first of all that many innovations cannot possibly come into existence through accumulation of many small steps, and even if they can, natural selection cannot accomplish it, because incipient and intermediate stages are not advantageous.”1987
A. Lima-de-Faria, 2009
“Selection is a political not a scientific concept. At the time of Darwin it fitted perfectly the expanding colonialism of Victorian England.”
Bruce Runnegar, 2009
“Natural selection is not a mechanism, it’s the process by which the results of evolution are sorted.,, Not the production of variation, but the ultimate effect of pruning this natural selection process.”
Chris McKay, 2009
“It would be great to have some way to detect natural selection, but we’re unlikely to be able to. We have a hard time detecting it here on Earth and showing that it’s occurring.”
Scott Gilbert, 2009
“… natural selection alone cannot explain how butterflies got their wings. How the turtle got its shell.”
Jean Gayon, 2009
“Contemporary evolutionary biology admits that natural selection is the only acceptable explanation for adaptation, has raised serious doubts about the ability of natural selection to be an all-sufficient principle for the explanation of some or all the other classes of facts that Darwin explained through this principle.”
Lynn Margulis, 2009
“Darwin was brilliant to make ‘natural selection’ a sort of godlike term, an expression that could replace ‘God’, who did it—created forms of life. However, what is natural selection’ really? It is the failure of the biotic potential to be reached. And it’s quantitative… Natural selection is intrinsically an elimination process.”
“What is natural selection? Natural selection is the failure to reach the potential, the maximum number of offspring that, in principle, can be produced by members of the specific species in question.”
“Natural selection occurs all the time. But natural selection is an elimination process.”
“Darwin’s claim of ‘descent with modification’ as caused by natural selection is a linguistic fallacy.”
“Darwin wrote about the Struggle for Life and attributed change to Natural Selection. He made it easy for his contemporaries to think and verbalize Mr. Big Omnipotent God in the Sky up there picking out those He wants to keep. He has been conceived as the The Natural Selector, He throws the others away.”
Stuart Kauffman, 2009
“Is natural selection an expression of some more general process? Like entropy production. And it’s all up in the air.”
Massimo Paittelli-Palmarini, 2009
“The point is, however, that organisms can be modified and refined by natural selection, but that is not the way new species and new classes and new phyla originated.”
Stanley Salthe, 2009
“… simply stated my critique of the concept of natural selection… is that it is suspect because it so snuggly fits into our culture’s obsession with competition.”
“Oh sure natural selection’s been demonstrated… the interesting point, however, is that it has rarely if ever been demonstrated to have anything to do with evolution is the sense of long-term changes in populations… Summing up we can see that the import of Darwinian theory of evolution is just unexplainable caprice from top to bottom. What evolves is just what happened to happen.”
Michael Denton, 1998
“The plastic, metastable character of cytoplasm, which is so fit for crawling and selection adhesion, has not been created by natural selection.”
“The emerging picture is obviously consistent with a teleological view if nature. That each constituent utilize by the cell for a particular biological role, each cog in the watch, turns out to be the only and at the same time the ideal candidate for it role is particularly suggestive of design. That the whole, the end to which all this teleological wizardry leads−the living cell−should be also ideally suited for the task of constructing the world of multicellular life reinforces the conclusion of purposeful design. The prefabrication of parts to a unique end is the very hallmark of design. Moreover, there is simply no way that such prefabrication could be the result of natural selection.”
William J. Dakin, 1928
“Indeed after careful comparative study of the visual organs of the invertebrates, one finds greater difficulty in accepting the principle of natural selection.”
“It is very difficult to conceive of a complex structure, complex as these [invertebrate] eyes, being the final result of a sifting by natural selection.”
Richard C. Lewontin, 1978
“In other words, natural selection over the long run does not seem to improve a species’ chance of survival but simply enables it to “track,” or keep up with, the constantly changing environment”
Percival Davis and Dean H Kenyon, 1993
“In short, the giraffe represents not a mere collection of individual traits but a package of interrelated adaptations… But it is difficult to explain how a random process could offer to natural selection an integrated package of adaptations, even over time.”
Carl R Woese, 2012
I have “no use for natural selection.”
Laurence Moran, 2013
“We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.”
Stephen C Meyer, 2009
“Given the probabilistic resources of the whole universe, it is extremely unlikely that even one functional protein or DNA molecule—to say nothing of the suite of such molecules necessary to establish natural selection—would arise by chance.”
Richard Dawkins, 1997
“For simplicity we speak of mutation as the first step in Darwinian process, natural selection as the second stage. But this is misleading if it suggests that natural selection hangs around for a mutation which is either rejected or snapped up and the waiting begins. It could have been like that: natural selection of that kind would probably work, and maybe does work somewhere in the universe. But as a matter of fact on this planet it usually isn’t like that.”
“Natural selection works because it is a cumulative one-way street to improvement. It needs some luck to get started, and the ‘billions of planets’ anthropic principle grants it that luck.”
John Beatty
“Lyell accused Darwin of ‘deifying’ natural selection by attributing to it the sort of creativity that should be reserved for the Creator.”
Thomas Nagel, 2012
“It is prima facie highly implausible that life as we know it is the result of a sequence of physical accidents together with the mechanism of natural selection.”
“… the appearance of life from dead matter and its evolution through accidental mutation and natural selection to its present forms has involved nothing but the operation of physical law−cannot be regarded as unassailable.”
James A Shapiro, 2011
“… it is apparent that systems engineering is a better metaphor for the evolutionary process than the conventional view of evolution as a selection-biased random walk through the limitless space of possible DNA configurations.”
“It is important to note that [natural] selection has never led to formation of a new species, as Darwin postulated.”
“Selection operates as a purifying but not creative force.”
Anthony Flew, 2007
“Natural selection is, notoriously, not selection.”
William Bateson, 1921
Natural selection, it is a “plausible account of evolution in broad outline, but failed in application.”
Steven Jay Gould and Richard C. Lewontin, 1979
“An adaptationist programme has dominated evolutionary thought in England and the United States during the past 40 years. It is based on faith in the power of natural selection as an optimizing agent. It proceeds by breaking an organism into unitary ‘traits’ and proposing an adaptive story for each considered separately. Trade-offs among competing selective demands exert the only brake upon perfection; non-optimality is thereby rendered as a result of adaptation as well. We criticize this approach.”
Eugene V. Koonin, 2011
“Natural selection, which is obviously akin to and inspired by the ‘invisible hand’ of the market that ruled economy according to Adam Smith… Viewed from that perspective, the ‘invisible hand’ of natural selection appears almost miraculously powerful, and one cannot help wondering whether it is actually sufficient to account for the history of life.”
“Darwinism in its original formulation faced problems more formidable and more immediate than the question of the sufficiency of natural selection.”
Thomas Huxley, 1860
“There is no fault to be found with Mr. Darwin’s method, then; but it is another question whether he has fulfilled all the conditions imposed by that method. Is it satisfactory proved, in fact, that species may be originated by selection? that there is such a thing as natural selection? that none of the phenomena exhibited by species are inconsistent with the origin of species in this way? If these questions can be answered in the affirmative, Mr. Darwin’s view steps out of the ranks of hypothesis into those of proved theories; but as long as the evidence at adduced falls short of enforcing that affirmation, so long, to our minds, must the new doctrine be content to remain among the former – an extremely valuable, and in the highest degree probable, doctrine, indeed only extant hypothesis which is worth anything in a scientific point of view; but still a hypothesis, and not yet a theory.
Noam Chomsky, 1972
“It is perfectly safe to attribute this development to ‘natural selection’ so long as we realize that there is no substance to this assertion; that it amounts to no more than a belief that there is some naturalistic explanation for these phenomena.”
Karl Popper
The theory of natural selection is a “metaphysical research program” rather than a scientific hypothesis.

President Harry S. Truman said: “The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount.  The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings…  If we don't have the proper fundamental moral background, we will finally wind up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state.”

DunkingDan

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Long-Term Evolution Experiment: Evidence for the Evolutionary Paradigm
« Reply #58 on: June 22, 2019, 05:15:21 PM »
Part 1
Seeing is believing.” Many evolutionary biologists lean on this old adage to argue for the validity of the evolutionary paradigm. They claim that evolution must be a fact, because we can observe it happening. We can see evolution in action. In fact, Oxford biologist Richard Dawkins makes this very case in his recent book, The Greatest Show on Earth, which presents what Dawkins believes to be the best evidence for biological evolution.
One example of evolution happening in real time is the Long-Term Evolution Experiment (LTEE) conducted by Richard Lenski’s group at Michigan State University.
Long Term Evolution Experiment
This study, inaugurated in 1988, has been designed to monitor evolutionary changes in Escherichia coli.The LTEE began with a single cell of E. coli that was used to generate twelve genetically identical lines of cells.
The twelve clones of the parent E. coli cell were separately inoculated into a minimal growth medium that contained low levels of glucose as the only carbon source. After growing overnight, an aliquot of each of the twelve cultures was transferred into fresh growth media. This process has been repeated everyday for about twenty years. Throughout the experiment, aliquots of cells have been frozen every 500 generations. These frozen cells represent a “fossil record” of sorts that can be thawed out and compared to current and other past generations of cells.
The forces of natural selection have been carefully controlled in this experiment. The temperature, pH, nutrients, and oxygen exposure have been constant for the last twenty years. Starvation is the primary challenge facing these cells.
Lenski and coworkers have noted evolutionary changes in the cells, some which have occurred in parallel. For example, all of the populations evolved to increase cell size, grow more efficiently on glucose, and grow more rapidly when transferred to fresh media. These changes make sense given the near starvation conditions of the cells.
Are Evolving Bacteria Evidence for Evolution?
But does the evolution of E. coli in the LTEE validate the evolutionary paradigm? Not necessarily. Just because evolution is routinely observed doesn’t mean that evolutionary processes can adequately account for life’s origin and history, and the full range of biodiversity.
I like to think of evolutionary changes as falling into one of five categories.
  • Microevolution refers to changes happening within a species. A textbook example would be the change in wing color of the peppered moth in response to changes in pollution levels in the UK.
  • Speciation occurs when one species gives rise to a closely related sister species. Take for example the evolution of the finches on the Galapagos Islands from an ancestral finch species that came to this archipelago from South America. Upon arrival this ancestral finch evolved into a variety of species that vary primarily in body size and in beak size and shape. Both microevolution and speciation have been repeatedly observed in nature and, in my opinion, are noncontroversial.
  • Macroevolution refers to putative changes that require that evolutionary processes have genuine creative potential. Examples include humans evolving from a primate ancestor, whales evolving from a terrestrial wolf-like mammal, and birds evolving from theropods. Whether or not macroevolution has occurred defines the creation/intelligent design/evolution controversy. I am skeptical that macroevolution is a real process that shaped life’s history. (Go here, here, and here to read a couple of representative articles that help explain my skepticism.)
  • Chemical evolution is another type of evolutionary process I’m skeptical about. This term refers to the processes that presumably generated the initial life-forms. According to this model, chemical selection transformed a complex chemical mixture of simple compounds into protocellular entities that further evolved to yield the first true cells. (I would refer readers to the book I coauthored with Hugh Ross, Origins of Life, for a detailed rationale for my skepticism about chemical evolution.)
  • Microbial evolution helps make sense of the evolutionary changes associated with the LTEE, which don’t really fit in any of the previous four categories. These types of transformations involve changes in viruses, bacteria, archaea, and single-celled eukaryotes—changes like the acquisition of antibiotic resistance in bacteria, the ability of viruses to hop from one host to another (such as SARS and HIV), and the emergence of drug-resistant strains of the malaria parasites. Microbial evolution would also include horizontal gene transfer between microbes, which accounts for the evolution of pathogenic bacteria from non-pathogenic strains (like E. coli O157:H7). Again, I don’t find microbial evolution particularly controversial. A preponderance of evidence exists for it, including the LTEE.
In a sense, it is not surprising that single-celled microbes and viruses can evolve given their extremely large population sizes and capacity to take up large pieces of DNA from their surroundings and incorporate it into their genomes.
Just because scientists have observed microevolution, speciation, and microbial evolution doesn’t mean that macroevolution is necessarily valid. The scale of the biological changes that take place in microevolution and speciation are radically different than those that presumably take place in macroevolution. As is true in other areas of science, processes happening at one level can’t automatically be extrapolated to other levels without proper validation. In my opinion, this validation doesn’t exist for macroevolutionary changes. As for microbial changes, it is hard to maintain that what is true for viruses and single-celled prokaryotic organisms is valid for complex, multicellular eukaryotes. In fact, many biologists don’t even think that the concept of a species applies to bacteria and archaea in the same way it applies to complex, multicellular organisms, if it applies at all.
The LTEE is a remarkable scientific study that has and will continue to reveal important understanding about microbial evolution. But I don’t think that it can be counted as overarching evidence for the evolutionary paradigm. It is evidence that microbes can evolve and nothing more.

President Harry S. Truman said: “The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount.  The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings…  If we don't have the proper fundamental moral background, we will finally wind up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state.”

Cincydawg

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Re: Are Biologists Willing To Test Evolution?
« Reply #59 on: June 22, 2019, 05:23:00 PM »


chemical evolution

The formation of complex organic molecules (see also organic molecule) from simpler inorganic molecules throughchemical reactions in the oceans during the early history of the Earth; the first step in the development of life on thisplanet. The period of chemical evolution lasted less than a billion years.

https://science.jrank.org/pages/1387/Chemical-Evolution.html


Some interesting speculation, but only that.  "We" don't know much about this area.



DunkingDan

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Bad Designs in Nature? Why the "Best" Examples Are Bad
« Reply #60 on: September 23, 2019, 12:32:45 PM »
Has evolution engineered some poor designs in numerous life forms? Biology textbooks would like you to believe that "bad" designs show that macroevolution explains the entirety of life's history. This page shows that many of famous "bad designs" are really bad examples of "bad design."
Bad Design in the Human Esophagus?
In a recent article in Scientific American entitled "If Humans Were Built to Last,"1 evolutionists S. Jay Olshansky, Bruce Carnes, and Robert Butler argued that the human body reflects the mindless process of natural selection, and not intelligent design. The authors said that many of our physical shortcomings exist because natural selection causes us to survive "just long enough to reproduce." Once we've passed on our genes, they say, our bodies start to fall apart, since natural selection no longer operates.
One of the examples of "bad design" proposed by Olshansky et al. is the human esophagus. At the bottom of the throat, the trachea (the passage that leads to the lungs) enter the esophagus. When you swallow food or water, a structure called the epiglottis closes to cover your trachea so that these materials do not go into your lungs. The system does not work perfectly every time, as we have all experienced when choking on food or water that "goes down the wrong way." In some instances, this choking can be life threatening. Olshansky et al. suggest that a better design would be to have two separate tubes - one leading from the nose directly into the lungs and the second leading from the mouth directly to the stomach.
There are several problems with this "better" design. First, to have two tubes in the neck would require extra space and extra systems (with the associated additional energy costs) to maintain two structures. More importantly, it would be very difficult to breathe when you get a sinus infection. Congestion in the nose would be life threatening, since it would prevent or severely restrict breathing, since the nose would be the only way that air could enter the lungs. There would also be the problem of getting rid of liquid that accidentally enters the lungs. It would have to be pushed all the way up to the nose and expelled there (make sure you carry lots of tissue with you!). Under the current system, it need only go to the top of the trachea and the down the esophagus to the stomach. The two tube design would also restrict the amount of physical activity that humans could do. When we run, we take in air through our mouths, since the larger opening allows for a more rapid respiration rate. The only way to allow for a large respiration rate with one tube to the nose would be to greatly increase the size and openings in our nose. Not only would this look ugly, but the larger openings would present problems. Things could enter into such large openings and have direct access to your lungs (How would you like to inhale a fly into your lungs?). Larger nasal passages would also reduce the temperature of the air, since it could not be heated as effectively (important for cold climates). Another major problem would be speech and language. We need to use our mouths and tongue in order to produce speech. Air running over vocal cords, in the absence of a tongue, lips and teeth, would only be able to produce a very limited number of sounds (it might not affect Rambo, but the rest of us would have a difficult time communicating). Try it some time (hold your mouth open and don't move your tongue as you attempt to communicate). Of course the evolutionist might propose additional structures in the nose (like a tongue, lips and teeth-like structures).
So, here is what the evolutionists are proposing for a superior breathing apparatus. Our trachea would continue up to our nose, requiring our necks to be at least 1 inch wider. We would have huge noses with nose lips and a tongue protruding out. Of course, our faces would have to be much longer to accommodate the additional structures. Now, we would really be ugly! On second thought, it might be interesting trying to kiss with two sets of lips - nah, constantly expelling liquid out our nose would make it kind of gross. Aren't you glad you weren't designed by an evolutionist!
Bad Design in the Panda's Thumb?
A new study analyzed the giant panda's thumb using computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and related techniques. Contrary to what evolutionists have previously expressed about the "bad design," the current study shows that the radial sesamoid bone (its "thumb") is "one of the most extraordinary manipulation systems" among mammals.2
The radial sesamoid bone functions as an active manipulator, enabling the Panda to grasp bamboo stems between the bone and the opposing palm. Contrary to previously published studies, a computerized analysis of  the three-dimensional images indicate that the radial sesamoid bone does not move independently of its articulated bones, but acts as part of a functional unit of manipulation. The radial sesamoid bone and the accessory carpal bone form a double pincer-like apparatus enabling the panda to manipulate objects with great dexterity.
Animation of Panda's HandA schematic animated model based on the recent study is shown at right. The model shows how the metacarpals, radial sesamoid and radial carpal bones function as a unit to grasp objects. The accessory carpal acts as an additional "finger" when the hand grasps food. The abductor pollicis brevis, opponens pollicis, and abductor digiti quinti muscles further serve in grasping when contracted during grasping.
Evolutionists say that the design of the Panda's thumb is bad compared to that of the An order of mammals including man, apes, monkeys, etc., often characterized by large brains and flexible hands and feet.primate opposable thumb. However, the opposable thumb is not designed for continuous grasping. Such kind of usage can result in carpal tunnel syndrome (just ask any laboratory technician who has been pipetting for many years). Being a herbivore, the Giant Panda spends nearly all of its waking hours eating. It collects bamboo leaves by grasping and stripping leaves from the stalks. Contrary to what the evolutionists say, the opposable thumb would be a bad design for the Panda, since it could not function under the stress of continuous use. The Panda's hand, with its "thumb" bound to the metacarpals, is a much stronger design able to withstand continuous use.
The authors concluded their study with the following statement:
Quote
"We have shown that the hand of the giant panda has a much more refined grasping mechanism than has been suggested in previous morphological models."
Subsequent to this publication, another study has shown that the giant panda and the red panda were not related, although both species possess the false thumb. In addition, a Miocene red panda relative, also had a false thumb (fro fossil evidence).3 Therefore, the evolutionist must now posit that this "bad design" evolved more than once!
Bad Design in the Human Eye?
The vertebrate eye is quite an exceptional organ in terms of its function. Light passes through the cornea, then through the lens where it is focused on the retina, which contains the photoreceptors (rods and cones) for detecting this light (see diagram to right). Each rod and cone that receives light fires a signal to the neural apparatus, which transmits the signal to the optic nerve, which goes to the brain for processing. The brain does some fancy processing, including inverting the image and interpreting what is seen (this is a whole other story that cannot be covered here).
The invertebrate eye is much simpler and is quite different, especially in the design of its retina. The invertebrate retina is composed of the photoreceptors, which face the incoming light, followed by the neural layer, and the underlying layers that supply nutrients and oxygen through a capillary bed. However, the vertebrate retina is said to be "inverted," since the neural layers face the light and the photoreceptor cells actually face away from the incident light. Evolutionists say that this arrangement was the result of improvised evolution in which obvious errors in "design" were accommodated through successive Relating to a permanent structural alteration in DNA, consisting of either a substitution, insertion or deletion of nucleotide bases.mutational alterations to make the apparatus work in a functional manner. According to Richard Dawkins, a leading proponent of evolution:
Quote
"Any engineer would naturally assume that the photocells would point towards the light, with their wires leading backwards towards the brain. He would laugh at any suggestion that the photocells might point away, from the light, with their wires departing on the side nearest the light. Yet this is exactly what happens in all vertebrate retinas. Each photocell is, in effect, wired in backwards, with its wire sticking out on the side nearest the light. The wire has to travel over the surface of the retina to a point where it dives through a hole in the retina (the so-called �blind spot�) to join the optic nerve. This means that the light, instead of being granted an unrestricted passage to the photocells, has to pass through a forest of connecting wires, presumably suffering at least some attenuation and distortion (actually, probably not much but, still, it is the principle of the thing that would offend any tidy-minded engineer). I don�t know the exact explanation for this strange state of affairs. The relevant period of evolution is so long ago."4
Dawkins doesn't know why the vertebrate retina is designed this way because he doesn't really understand how the eye works. In fact, the retina is designed with slightly suboptimal light gathering abilities so that it will be functional for at least several decades. If it were designed according to Dawkins' "tidy-minded engineer," it would not work at all, as we shall see.
First, we need a short introduction to the physics of light. The electromagnetic spectrum emitted by the sun is composed of many different wavelengths, a small percentage of which are visible to our eyes (370-730 nanometers). The near-visible wavelengths include the longer wavelengths (infrared) and the shorter wavelengths (ultraviolet). The amount of energy within each wavelength is inversely proportional to the wavelength. Therefore, electromagnetic energy that consists of shorter wavelengths (e.g., ultraviolet light) is more energetic.
Retina Animation
Neural
 Layer
Rods and
 Cones
RPE
 Choroid
Click on animation to enlarge
 (444 KB)
Although the visual apparatus cannot detect the high energy wavelengths, it is still affected by them, since the entire system is exposed to the full spectrum. In contrast, the rest of the body is protected from high energy light by pigment (melanin) in the skin. Even so, a lifetime exposure of the skin cells to this light can result in Deoxyribonucleic acid: the chemical inside the nucleus of a cell that carries the genetic instructions for making living organisms.DNA damage, which may lead to the development of cancers. The eye contains a special layer of cells, the Retinal Pigment Epithelium (RPE), which  has complex mechanisms for dealing with toxic molecules and free radicals produced by the action of light. Specific enzymes such as the superoxide dismutases, catalases, and peroxidases are present to eliminate potentially harmful molecules such as superoxide and hydrogen peroxide. Antioxidants such as a-tocopherol (vitamin E) and ascorbic acid (vitamin C) are available to reduce oxidative damage.
Because of continuous damage caused by light, the discs (along with the photopigments) of the photoreceptor cells are continuously replaced by the RPE.5, 6 If this were not the case, the photoreceptors would quickly accumulate fatal defects that would prohibit their function. In addition, the RPE cells contain the pigment melanin, which absorbs stray and scattered light to improve visual acuity. The RPE is in contact with the choroid layer, which contains a very large capillary bed, which has the largest blood flow per gram of any tissue in the body. Why is the blood flow so high in the choroid? Since the RPE and photoreceptor cells are in constant regeneration, they require a high rate of exchange of oxygen and nutrients. In addition, it appears that the high rate of blood flow is required to remove heat from the retina to prevent damage resulting from focused light (the old magnifying glass in the Sun phenomenon).7
So why is Dawkins' "tidy-minded engineer" design such a bad idea? Dawkins thinks that the neural layer should be under the photoreceptors, putting them between the photoreceptors and the choroid. Where would the RPE (which is required to regenerate the photoreceptors) go? If it were between the neural layer and the choroid, it would be too far away from the photoreceptors to constantly regenerate them. In addition, this design would put another layer between the photoreceptors and their blood supply, reducing the exchange of oxygen and nutrients, and minimizing the effectiveness of the choroid in removing heat from the receptors. Dawkins' idea of "good" evolution would prevent the photoreceptors from being regenerated and would likely lead to heat damage. Such a design would certainly fail within the first year of use. It's a good thing that God does not design the way evolutionists would!
More information on the design of the eye can be found at the links below.8-10
Bad Design in the human appendix?
Another common "vestigial" organ, according to many uninformed atheists is the human appendix. Since food does not flow through it, like the rest of the intestine, the assumption is that it has no function. It certainly does not have digestive function. This is true. However, the intestine is much more than just a digestive organ. An examination of the appendix microscopically, shows that it contains a significant amount of lymphoid tissue. Similar aggregates of lymphoid tissue (known as gut-associated lymphoid tissues, GALT) occur in other areas of the gastrointestinal system. The GALT are involved in the body's ability to recognize foreign antigens in ingested material. My own research, in particular, is focused on examining the immunological functions of the intestine.
Experiments in rabbits demonstrate that neonatal appendectomy impairs the development of mucosal immunity.11 Morphological and functional studies of the rabbit appendix indicate that it is probably the equivalent of the avian bursa in mammals.12 The bursa plays a critical role in the development of humoral immunity in birds. The histological and immunohistochemical similarity of the rabbit and human appendix suggest that the human appendix has a similar function to that of the rabbit appendix. The human appendix may be particularly important early in life because it achieves its greatest development shortly after birth and then regresses with age, eventually resembling such other regions of GALT as the Peyer's patches in the small intestine. These recent studies demonstrate that the human appendix is not a vestigial organ, as originally claimed.
According to Dr. Moore (Clinically Oriented Anatomy), "in infants and children it has the appearance of a well-developed lymphoid organ and may have important immunological functions."13 Another study suggests that the human appendix is a repository for commensal bacteria, facilitating the growth of normal bacterial flora and possibly enabling re-population of the colon in the event that the contents of the intestinal tract are purged following exposure to a pathogen.14 A study of comparative anatomy found "The appendix has evolved minimally 32 times, but was lost fewer than seven times..." and concluded, "These results, together with immunological and medical evidence, refute some of Darwin's hypotheses and suggest that the appendix is adaptive but has not evolved as a response to any particular dietary or social factor evaluated here."15
Bad Design ("junk") in Deoxyribonucleic acid: the chemical inside the nucleus of a cell that carries the genetic instructions for making living organisms.DNA?

 Electron microscopy of Cryptomonad
The existence of large amounts of DNA that does not carry the information necessary to make a protein.non-coding Deoxyribonucleic acid: the chemical inside the nucleus of a cell that carries the genetic instructions for making living organisms.DNA (up to 97% in humans) in the genomes of eukaryotes has been used as an argument against intelligent design (and the role of a Creator) and as an argument for the random process of evolution. However, a recent study16 has shown that eukaryotic DNA that does not carry the information necessary to make a protein.non-coding Deoxyribonucleic acid: the chemical inside the nucleus of a cell that carries the genetic instructions for making living organisms.DNA (also called "secondary DNA") is functional as a structural element in the nucleus. Previously, there were two evolutionary theories that attempted to describe the reason for the existence of DNA that does not carry the information necessary to make a protein.non-coding Deoxyribonucleic acid: the chemical inside the nucleus of a cell that carries the genetic instructions for making living organisms.DNA One theory stated that DNA that does not carry the information necessary to make a protein.non-coding Deoxyribonucleic acid: the chemical inside the nucleus of a cell that carries the genetic instructions for making living organisms.DNA was "junk" that consisted of randomly-produced The order of nucleotides in a DNA or RNA molecule, or the order of amino acids in a protein molecule.sequences that had lost their coding ability or partially duplicated genes that were non-functional. The second theory stated that DNA that does not carry the information necessary to make a protein.non-coding Deoxyribonucleic acid: the chemical inside the nucleus of a cell that carries the genetic instructions for making living organisms.DNA was "selfish", in that it consisted of Deoxyribonucleic acid: the chemical inside the nucleus of a cell that carries the genetic instructions for making living organisms.DNA that preferentially replicated more efficiently that coding Deoxyribonucleic acid: the chemical inside the nucleus of a cell that carries the genetic instructions for making living organisms.DNA, even though it provided no selective advantage (in fact was somewhat detrimental in that it was parasitic).
 The new study examined the genomes of the single-celled photosynthetic organisms know as Crytomonads. These organisms exist as vastly different cell sizes, with the nucleus being proportional in size to that of the cell. Researchers discovered that the amount of DNA that does not carry the information necessary to make a protein.non-coding Deoxyribonucleic acid: the chemical inside the nucleus of a cell that carries the genetic instructions for making living organisms.DNA was proportional to the size of the nucleus, suggesting that more DNA that does not carry the information necessary to make a protein.non-coding Deoxyribonucleic acid: the chemical inside the nucleus of a cell that carries the genetic instructions for making living organisms.DNA was required in larger nuclei. As an added proof, the nucleomorph, a small piece of Deoxyribonucleic acid: the chemical inside the nucleus of a cell that carries the genetic instructions for making living organisms.DNA contained within the A membrane-bound organelle involved in photosynthesis.plastid that codes for itself and photosynthetic function, was not changed in size, despite changes in cell size and nuclear content.
 The new study is a stunning rebuttal to the evolutionary theories that attempt to discredit design and promote concepts such as "junk" Deoxyribonucleic acid: the chemical inside the nucleus of a cell that carries the genetic instructions for making living organisms.DNA and "selfish" Deoxyribonucleic acid: the chemical inside the nucleus of a cell that carries the genetic instructions for making living organisms.DNA. According to the authors:
Quote
Cryptomonad"Furthermore, the present lack of significant amounts of nucleomorph secondary DNA confirms that selection can readily eliminate functionless nuclear Deoxyribonucleic acid: the chemical inside the nucleus of a cell that carries the genetic instructions for making living organisms.DNA, refuting 'selfish' and 'junk' theories of secondary DNA"
Pseudogenes are useless relics?
Until 2003, scientists had assumed that all pseudogenes (thought to be non-functional copies of genes) were produced through errors in DNA copying or mutation. It was thought that none of these sequences had any function. They were the "perfect" proof for the validity of evolutionary theory. However, in 2003, the first study was published showing that a pseudogene was required, and that the deletion of this gene was lethal. Obviously, this pseudogene had function. The abstract from a commentary in issue of Nature in which the study was published indicated:
Quote
"' Sequence of DNA that are very similar to normal genes but that has been altered so they are not expressed.Pseudogenes' are produced from functional Functional and physical units of heredity passed from parent to offspring. Genes are pieces of DNA, and most genes contain the information for making a specific protein.genes during evolution, and are thought to be simply molecular fossils. The unexpected discovery of a biological function for one A sequence of DNA that is very similar to a normal gene but that has been altered so it is not expressed.pseudogene challenges that popular belief."17
Since this first study, many other studies have found that pseudogenes exhibit functional activity, including gene expression, gene regulation, and generation of genetic diversity.18 Recent work shows that up to 50% of pseudogenes in some genomes appear to be transcriptionally active (RNA is produced from the pseudogene DNA).19 A large study (over 350 investigators), comprehensively examining 1% of the human genome, estimated that at least 19% of all pseudogenes are transcribed.20
References Top of page

  • Olshansky, S.J., B. Carnes, and R. Butler. 2001. If Humans Were Built to Last. Scientific American, March, 2001.
  • Endo, H., Yamagiwa, D., Hayashi, Y. H., Koie, H., Yamaya, Y., and Kimura, J. 1999. Nature 397: 309-310.
  • Salesa, M. J., M. Ant�n, S. Peign�, and J. Morales. 2005. Evidence of a false thumb in a fossil carnivore clarifies the evolution of pandas. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 103:379-382.
  • Dawkins, R. 1986. The Blind Watchmaker: Why the evidence of evolution reveals a universe without design. W.W. Norton and Company, New York, p. 93.
  • Kennon Guerry, R., Ham, W.T., Mueller, H.A. 1998. Light toxicity in the posterior segment. In Tasman W., Jaeger EA. (eds.), Clinical Ophthalmology, Lippincott-Raven, New York, vol. 3, ch. 37.
  • Young, R.W. 1982. The Bowman Lecture: Biological renewal: Applications to the eye. Trans. Ophthalmol. Soc. UK 102 :42-67.
  • Parver, L.M., Auker, C., Carpenter, D.O. 1980. Choroidal blood flow as a heat dissipating mechanism in the macula. Am. J. Ophthalmol. 89:641�646.
  • Wirth A, Cavallacci G, Genovesi-Ebert F. 1984. The advantages of an inverted retina. A physiological approach to a teleological question.  Dev. Ophthalmol. 9: 20-28.
  • Retina Reference by Dr. Lance Hahn (University of Pennsylvania)
     Webvision: the organization of the vertebrate retina by Dr. Helga Kolb, Dr. Eduardo Fernandez, and Dr. Ralph Nelson
  • Some amazing facts about the eye
  • Dasso, J.F. and M.D. Howell. 1997. Neonatal appendectomy impairs mucosal immunity in rabbits. Cellular Immunology 182: 29-37.
  • Dasso, J.F., H. Obiakor, H. Bach, A.O. Anderson and R.G. Mage. 2000. A morphological and immunohistological study of the human and rabbit appendix for comparison with the avian bursa. Developmental & Comparative Immunology 24: 797-814.
     Weinstein, P.D., R.G. Mage, and A.O. Anderson. 1994. The appendix functions as a mammalian bursal equivalent in the developing rabbit. Advances in Experimental Medicine & Biology 355: 249-253.
     Fisher, R.E. 2000. The An order of mammals including man, apes, monkeys, etc., often characterized by large brains and flexible hands and feet.primate appendix: a reassessment. The Anatomical Record 261: 228-236.
  • Moore, K.L. 1992. Clinically Oriented Anatomy. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins.
  • Bollinger, R. R., A. S. Barbas, E. L. Bush, S. S. Lin, and W. Parker. 2007. Biofilms in the large bowel suggest an apparent function of the human vermiform appendix. Journal of Theoretical Biology 249: 826-831.
  • Heather F. Smith, William Parker, Sanet H. Kotz�, Michel Laurin. 2013. Multiple independent appearances of the cecal appendix in mammalian evolution and an investigation of related ecological and anatomical factors. Comptes Rendus Palevol DOI:10.1016/j.crpv.2012.12.001.
  • Beaton, M.J. and T. Cavalier-Smith. 1999. Eukaryotic DNA that does not carry the information necessary to make a protein.non-coding Deoxyribonucleic acid: the chemical inside the nucleus of a cell that carries the genetic instructions for making living organisms.DNA is functional: evidence from the differential scaling of cryptomonal genomes. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B. 266:2053-2059.
  • Lee, J. T. 2003. Molecular biology: Complicity of gene and A sequence of DNA that is very similar to a normal gene but that has been altered so it is not expressed.pseudogene [News and Views] Nature 423: 26-28.
  • Balakirev, E. S. and F. J. Ayala. 2003. PSEUDOGENES: Are They "Junk" or Functional DNA? Ann. Rev. Genetics 37: 123-151.
  • Zheng, D. and M. B. Gerstein. 2007. The Ambiguous Boundary between Genes and Pseudogenes: The Dead Rise Up, or Do They? Trends in Genetics 23: 219-24.
  • The ENCODE Project Consortium. 2007. Identification and analysis of functional elements in 1% of the human genome by the ENCODE pilot project. Nature 447: 799-816.


President Harry S. Truman said: “The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount.  The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings…  If we don't have the proper fundamental moral background, we will finally wind up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state.”

VolRage

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Re: Are Biologists Willing To Test Evolution?
« Reply #61 on: September 23, 2019, 02:07:16 PM »
The Democrat’s Left Wing lunatics really need to move to Antarctica to test the evolution theory. They can kill 2 birds with one stone. 1. They can test how arctic weather causes evolutionary changes in humans and how quickly those evolution changes occur. 2. There is absolutely no chance for an industrial revolution occurring there so they won’t have to suffer from greenhouse gases and Climate Change. It’s a win / win for the Left.

DunkingDan

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Can Dinosaurs Be Resurrected from Extinction?
« Reply #62 on: September 26, 2019, 03:14:02 PM »

If you could visit a theme park that offered you a chance to view and even interact with real-life dinosaurs, would you go? I think I might. Who wants to swim with dolphins when you can hang out with dinosaurs? Maybe even ride one?
Well, if legendary paleontologist Jack Horner has his way, we just might get our wish—and, it could be much sooner than any of us realize. Horner is a champion of the scientific proposal to resurrect dinosaurs from extinction. And it looks like this idea might have a real chance at success.
Horner’s not taking the “Jurassic Park/World” approach of trying to clone dinosaurs from ancient DNA (which won’t work for myriad technical reasons). He wants to transform birds into dinosaur-like creatures by experimentally manipulating their developmental processes in a laboratory setting.
The Evolutionary Connection between Birds and Dinosaurs
The basis for Horner’s idea rises out of the evolutionary paradigm. Most paleontologists think that birds and dinosaurs share an evolutionary history. These scientists argue that shared anatomical features (a key phrase we’ll return to) between birds and certain dinosaur taxa demonstrate their evolutionary connection. Currently, paleontologists place dinosaurs into two major groups: avian and nonavian dinosaurs. Accordingly, paleontologists think that birds are the evolutionary descendants of dinosaurs.
So, if Horner and others are successful, what does this mean for creation? For evolution?
Reverse Evolution
In effect, Horner and other interested scientists seek to reverse what they view as the evolutionary process, converting birds into an evolutionarily ancestral state. Dubbed reverse evolution, this approach will likely become an important facet of paleontology in the future. Evolutionary biologists believe that they can gain understanding of how biological transformations took place during life’s history by experimentally reverting organisms to their ancestral state. Reverse evolution experiments fuse insights from paleontology with those from developmental biology, molecular biology, comparative embryology, and genomics. Many life scientists are excited, because, for the first time, researchers can address questions in evolutionary biology using an experimental strategy.
Proof-of-Principle Studies
The first bird that researchers hope to reverse-evolve into a dinosaur-like creature is the chicken (Gallus gallus). This makes sense. We know a whole lot about chicken biology, and life scientists can leverage this understanding to precisely manipulate the embryonic progression of chicks so that they develop into dinosaur-like creatures.
As I described previously (see Resources for Further Exploration), in 2015 researchers from Harvard and Yale Universities moved the scientific community one step closer to creating a “chickenosaurus” by manipulating chickens in ovo to develop snout-like structures, instead of beaks, just like dinosaurs.1
Now, two additional proof-of-principle studies demonstrate the feasibility of creating a chickenosaurus. Both studies were carried out by a research team from the Universidad de Chile.
In one study, the research team coaxed chicken embryos to develop a dinosaur-like foot structure, instead of the foot structure characteristic of birds.2 A bird’s foot has a perching digit that points in the backward direction, in opposition to the other toes. The perching digit allows birds to grasp. In contrast, the corresponding toe in dinosaurs is nonopposable, pointing forward.
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Figure 1: Dinosaur Foot Structure. Image credit: Shutterstock
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Figure 2: Bird Foot Structure. Image credit: Shutterstock

The researchers took advantage of the fact that vertebrate skeletons are plastic, meaning that their structure can be altered by muscle activity. These types of skeletal alterations most commonly occur during embryonic and juvenile stages of growth and development.
Investigators discovered that muscle activity causes the perching toe of birds to reorient during embryonic development from originally pointing forward to adopting an opposable orientation. Specifically, the activity of three muscles (flexor hallucis longus, flexor hallucis brevis, and musculus extensor hallucis longus) creates torsion that twists the first metatarsal, forcing the perching digit into the opposable position.
The team demonstrated that by injecting the compound decamethonium bromide into a small opening in the eggshell just before the torsional twisting of the first metatarsal takes place, they could prevent this foot bone from twisting. The compound causes muscle paralysis, which limits the activity of the muscles that cause the torsional stress on the first metatarsal. The net result: the chick developed a dinosaur-like foot structure.
In a second study, this same research team was able to manipulate embryonic development of chicken embryos to form a dinosaur-like leg structure.3 The lower legs of vertebrates consist of two bones: the tibia and the fibula. In most vertebrates, the fibula is shaped like a tube, extending all the way to the ankle. In birds, the fibula is shorter than the tibia and has a spine-like morphology (think chicken drumsticks).
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Figure 3: The Lower Leg of a Chicken. Image credit: Shutterstock

Universidad de Chile researchers discovered that the gene encoding the Indian Hedgehog protein becomes active at the distal end of the fibula during embryonic development of the lower leg in chicks, causing the growth of the fibula to cease. They also learned that the event triggering the increased activity of the Indian Hedgehog gene likely relates to the depletion of the Parathyroid Hormone-Related Protein near the distal end of the fibula. This protein plays a role in stimulating bone growth.
The researchers leveraged this insight to experimentally create a chick with dinosaur-like lower legs. Specifically, they injected the amniotic region of the chicken embryo with cyclopamine. This compound inhibits the activity of Indian Hedgehog. They discovered that this injection altered fibula development so that it was the same length as the tibia, contacting the ankle, just like in dinosaurs.
These two recent experiments on foot structure along with the previous one on snout structure represent science at its best. While the experiments reside at the proof-of-principle stage, they still give scientists like Jack Horner reason to think that we just might be able to resurrect dinosaurs from extinction one day. These experiments also raise scientific and theological questions.
Do Studies in Reverse Evolution Support the Evolutionary Paradigm?
On the surface, these studies seemingly make an open-and-shut case for the evolutionary origin of birds. It is impressive that researchers can rewind the tape of life and convert chickens into dinosaur-like creatures.
But deeper reflection points in a different direction.
All three studies highlight the amount of knowledge and insight about the developmental process required to carry out the reverse evolution experiments. The ingenious strategy the researchers employed to alter the developmental trajectory is equally impressive. They had to precisely time the addition of chemical agents at the just-right levels in order to influence muscle activity in the embryo’s foot or gene activity in the chick’s developing lower legs. Recognizing the knowledge, ingenuity, and skill required to alter embryological development in a coherent way that results in a new type of creature forces the question: Is it really reasonable to think that unguided, historically contingent processes could carry out such transformations when small changes in development can have profound effects on an organism’s anatomy?
It seems that the best the evolutionary process could achieve would be the generation of “monsters” with little hope of survival. Why? Because evolutionary mechanisms can only change gene expression patterns in a random, haphazard manner. I would contend that the coherent, precisely coordinated genetic changes needed to generate one biological system from another signals a Creator’s handiwork, not undirected evolutionary mechanisms, as the explanation for life’s history.
Can a Creation Model Approach Explain the Embryological Similarities?
Though the work in reverse evolution seems to fit seamlessly within an evolutionary framework, observations from these studies can be explained from a creation model perspective.
Key to this explanation is the work of Sir Richard Owen, a preeminent biologist who preceded Charles Darwin. In contemporary biology, scientists view shared features possessed by related organisms as evidence of common ancestry. Birds and theropod dinosaurs would be a case in point. But for Owen, shared anatomical features reflected an archetypal design that originated in the Mind of the First Cause. Toward this end, the anatomical features shared by birds and theropods can be understood as reflecting common design, not common descent.
Though few biologists embrace Owen’s ideas today, it is important to note that his ideas were not tried and found wanting. They simply were abandoned in favor of Darwin’s theory, which many biologists preferred because it provided a mechanistic explanation for life’s history and the origin of biological systems. In fact, Darwin owes a debt of gratitude to Owen’s thinking. Darwin coopted the idea of the archetype, but then replaced the canonical blueprint that existed in the Creator’s Mind (per Owen) with a hypothetical common ancestor.
This archetypal approach to biology can account for the results of reverse-evolution studies. Accordingly, the researchers have discovered differences in the developmental program that affect variations in the archetype, yielding differences in modern birds and long-extinct dinosaurs.
The idea of the archetype can extend to embryonic growth and development. One could argue that the Creator appears to have developed a core (or archetypal) developmental algorithm that can be modified to yield disparate body plans. From a creation model standpoint, then, the researchers from Harvard and Yale Universities and the Universidad de Chile didn’t reverse the evolutionary process. They unwittingly reverse-engineered a dinosaur-like developmental algorithm from a bird-like developmental program.
Why Would God Create Using the Same Design Templates?
There may well be several reasons why a Creator would design living systems around a common set of templates. In my estimation, the most significant reason is discoverability.
Shared anatomical and physiological features, as well as shared features of embryological development make it possible to apply what we learn by studying one organism to others. This shared developmental program makes it possible to use our understanding of embryological growth and development to reengineer a bird into a dinosaur-like creature. Discoverability makes it easier to appreciate God’s glory and grandeur, as evinced in biochemical systems by their elegance, sophistication, and ingenuity.
Discoverability also reflects God’s providence and care for humanity. If not for the shared features, it would be nearly impossible for us to learn enough about the living realm for our benefit. Where would biomedical science be without the ability to learn fundamental aspects about our biology by studying model organisms such as chickens? And where would our efforts to re-create dinosaurs be if not for the biological designs they share with birds?
Endnotes

  • Bhart-Anjan S. Bhullar et al., “A Molecular Mechanism for the Origin of a Key Evolutionary Innovation, the Bird Beak and Palate, Revealed by an Integrative Approach to Major Transitions in Vertebrate History,” Evolution 69, no. 7 (2015): 1665–77, doi:10.1111/evo.12684.
  • João Francisco Botelho et al., “Skeletal Plasticity in Response to Embryonic Muscular Activity Underlies the Development and Evolution of the Perching Digit of Birds,” Scientific Reports 5 (May 14, 2015): 9840, doi:10.1038/srep09840.
  • João Francisco Botelho et al., “Molecular Developments of Fibular Reduction in Birds and Its Evolution from Dinosaurs,” Evolution 70, no. 3 (March, 2016): 543–54, doi:10.1111/evo.12882

President Harry S. Truman said: “The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount.  The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings…  If we don't have the proper fundamental moral background, we will finally wind up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state.”

DunkingDan

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Complex Protein Biogenesis Hints at Intelligent Design
« Reply #63 on: October 03, 2019, 05:49:32 PM »
While growing up, I had a friend named Tom who had an unusual older brother named Tim. Back then, Tom and I really looked up to Tim. Maybe that’s why whenever I think of my friend Tom, I can’t help but also think about Tim. Tom and Tim have become inseparable in my mind.
TOM and TIM are also inseparable when it comes to the biogenesis of mitochondria. In this process, TOM and TIM aren’t brothers, but large protein complexes found in the outer and inner membranes of mitochondria. TOM (translocase of the outer membrane) and TIM (translocase of the inner membrane) function as biomolecular machines that operate in tandem to import newly made proteins into mitochondria.
The inseparability of TOM and TIM represents a significant challenge to the endosymbiont hypothesis—a cornerstone idea in evolutionary biology that offers an explanation for the origin of organelles, such as mitochondria.
How Complex Is Protein Transport into Mitochondria?
The similarity between organelles and bacteria serves as the chief line of evidence for the endosymbiont hypothesis. For example, mitochondria—thought to have descended from α-proteobacteria—are about the same size and shape as a typical bacterium and have a double membrane structure similar to gram-negative microbes. These organelles also divide in a way that is reminiscent of bacterial cells.
From my vantage point, similarities between mitochondria and α-proteobacteria are not enough to establish the validity of the endosymbiont hypothesis. Evolutionary biologists must also explain how mitochondria became fully integrated into the host cell’s metabolic systems. Even though biochemists are figuring out how the process of protein transport works, they must also identify a plausible evolutionary pathway that can adequately account for the evolution of this biochemical operation.
Except for select proteins, most mitochondrial proteins are made in the cytosol of the cell and transported into the mitochondria. The overall process of mitochondrial protein biogenesis consists of four stages: (1) protein synthesis (2) targeting the protein to the mitochondria; (3) transporting the protein into the mitochondrial lumen; and (4) targeting the protein to its final destination in the organelle.
The cell’s machinery initially makes mitochondrial proteins as pre-proteins with a signal sequence at one of its ends (the N terminus). The signal sequence has a specialized structure (an amphipathic α-helix) that serves to target the proteins to mitochondria. Think of the signal sequence as analogous to an address label that tells the post office where to deliver a letter. Receptor proteins that are part of the TOM complex recognize the signal sequence and transport the protein through a channel within the TOM interior into the intermembrane space (the region between the mitochondrian’s inner and outer membranes). Proteins dubbed chaperones keep the mitochondrial proteins unfolded and stabilized throughout this process.
Once in the intermembrane space (the region between the outer and inner membranes), two different TIM complexes (TIM22 and TIM23) work together, taking the protein “baton” from the TOM complex and ushering the protein into the lumen (or the matrix) of the mitochondria. If the protein is to remain within the lumen (because that’s where it performs its work), then proteins called peptidases remove the signal sequence and the protein adopts its intended three-dimensional shape.
If the protein is to be incorporated into the inner membrane, it possesses an additional targeting sequence that is recognized by another protein complex dubbed OXA. This biomolecular ensemble inserts the protein into the inner membrane.
If the protein is to carry out its work in the intermembrane space, then the OXA complex will transport the protein back across the inner membrane. Alternatively, some proteins destined to operate in the inner membrane space possess a stop signal sequence. These sequences prevent the TIM22 and TIM23 complexes from transporting it across the inner membrane into the lumen. Instead, peptidases in the intermembrane space remove the signal sequence, allowing the protein to adopt its operational structure.
Finally, if the protein is to be incorporated into the outer membrane, then another complex referred to as SAM inserts it into the outer membrane.
The Challenge to the Endosymbiont Hypothesis
Each stage of mitochondrial protein biogenesis involves multiple steps with each one carried out by an ensemble of proteins. Moreover, each step of the process must be precisely integrated with the other steps. If not, the entire process of mitochondrial protein biogenesis fails. To put it another way, each step of the process involves an irreducibly complex biochemical apparatus which, in turn, integrate with each other to form the irreducibly complex process of mitochondrial protein biogenesis. That is, mitochondrial protein biogenesis can be characterized as an integrated, hierarchal, multilayered ensemble of irreducibly complex systems.
For the mitochondrial protein biogenesis to emerge from an evolutionary standpoint, a number of biochemical systems had to simultaneously evolve and become integrated with one another. For example, once mitochondrial genes became incorporated into the host genome, DNA sequences specifying signal sequences had to evolve and become precisely appended to every one of the mitochondrial DNA sequences. The TOM, TIM22, and TIM23 complexes had to evolve simultaneously to recognize mitochondrial proteins and work in tandem to move proteins into the mitochondria. In addition, chaperones had to emerge that would recognize mitochondrial proteins and keep them unfolded during the transport process. Signal peptidases had to evolve to remove signal sequences from mitochondrial proteins with exacting precision. Finally, stop sequences and additional targeting sequences had to evolve and become precisely positioned within the mitochondrial protein genes.
In effect, no one knows how mitochondrial protein biogenesis could have evolved. According to cell biologist Franklin Harold, “The origin of the machinery for protein import is more complicated and is subject to much debate.”1 Harold also states, “Most of the transferred genes continue to support mitochondrial functions, having somehow acquired the targeting sequences that allow their protein products to be recognized by TOM and TIM and imported into the organelle.”2 To say that “the origin of the machinery for protein import” is a “complicated” system that “somehow” evolved is not a scientific explanation for how this complex biochemical system arose. In the absence of a plausible evolutionary route for mitochondrial protein transport, it is reasonable to be skeptical of the endosymbiont hypothesis.
A Creation Model Perspective on the Origin of Mitochondria
While evolutionary biologists view the similarities between mitochondria and α-proteobacteria as evidence for the endosymbiont hypothesis, it is possible to view these similarities from a creation model vantage point as shared design features based on an archetypal design.
As I pointed out earlier, mitochondrial genomes exhibit an exquisite biochemical logic that undergirds their structure and function, making it all the more reasonable to view these organelles as the Creator’s handiwork.Bolstering this conclusion is the multi-tiered irreducible complexity of protein mitochondrial biogenesis. As I discussed in The Cell’s Design, irreducible complexity is a hallmark feature of many human designs and should be viewed as an indicator of intelligent design.
Endnotes

  • Franklin Harold, In Search of Cell History: The Evolution of Life’s Building Blocks (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2014), 137.
  • Ibid., 137–38.
  • See Fazale Rana, “Mitochondrial Genomes: Evidence for Evolution or Creation?”

President Harry S. Truman said: “The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount.  The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings…  If we don't have the proper fundamental moral background, we will finally wind up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state.”

DunkingDan

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Why Argue about Evolution?
« Reply #64 on: October 15, 2019, 12:56:22 PM »

Is debating about the validity of the evolutionary paradigm a waste of time? My Facebook friend Deb, an atheist, thinks so. After I posted a brief critique about human evolution, she left this comment out of frustration:
Quote
Instead of hitting each other over the head about evolution, maybe we could work together to solve some of this planet’s pressing problems (climate change, poverty, war, environmental degradation, wealth inequality, lack of health care and educational resources, prejudice, discrimination and so forth).
Does Deb have a point? Does the creation-evolution controversy detract us from more weighty concerns?
I would say no. In fact, I assert that our concern about humanity’s social ills and our planet’s environmental catastrophes—and our motivation to act—are deeply connected to what we think about human origins.
Let me explain.
Scripture teaches that God created human beings to bear His image (Genesis 1:26–27; 9:6). Accordingly, all human beings have intrinsic worth and dignity. All human beings are equal. The way we treat image bearers equates to the way we treat God. Serving others likens to serving God. These ideas—so clearly taught in Scripture—inspire Christians to good works. They rouse Christians to action against the injustices in our world.
On the other hand, while individual atheists are as capable of good deeds as Christians, atheism itself provides no genuine motivation for such acts. If human beings are the product of unguided evolutionary processes, then we are one among countless species that have existed on Earth. From an evolutionary standpoint, human beings are a historically contingent accident of an indiscriminate, natural process. Human life has no intrinsic value; there is no ultimate meaning or purpose to human life.
From an atheistic perspective, why should we care what happens to other human beings? In an atheistic framework, it really makes no difference if human beings suffer from poverty, lack of health care, or injustice. In fact, one could argue that an atheist showing compassion to the sick and weak is “immoral” because it disrupts the evolutionary process, in which survival of the fittest serves as the engine for evolutionary advance.
I’m not saying that atheists can’t be good or aren’t good. Many nonbelievers do good works, and I deeply admire and applaud the caring things that they do. It is wonderful to see people of different worldviews lock arms and work together to confront injustice.
But what features of an atheistic worldview justify good works? Deb explains that atheists “feel it’s the compassionate thing to do….We’re not doing this because we expect any reward in the afterlife, as we do not believe in anything beyond death. We do it because we love life in the here and now so much.” However, an atheistic worldview doesn’t require compassion or kindness or acknowledgement of human dignity. It is just as valid for an atheist to reject good works as it is to embrace them. In an atheistic framework, it is not clear what justice actually looks like; it is not clear what distinguishes a “right” action from a “wrong” one. There is no objective standard for good and evil in atheism. Without that standard, what is wrong for one society (or even one person) could be right for another.
In contrast, the biblical God, through scriptural teachings, clearly defines how and why we should live and how we should treat each other.
In my view, the reason that atheists can extend compassion toward others and place high value on human life arises from the fact that all human beings bear God’s image. We inherently know that all people have dignity and worth. We have a “law written on our hearts” that guides our behavior if we let it. The moral code many atheists adopt is designed into their DNA, as it is in all humans. Atheists are, unwittingly, borrowing from a Judeo-Christian worldview, when they express a commitment to combat poverty, end war, provide health care, and end discrimination. That is why believers and nonbelievers can work together to improve our world.
When atheists do good works, they are defying the logical outworking of their worldview. As a case in point, in The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins states emphatically:
Quote
Be warned that if you wish, as I do, to build a society in which individuals cooperate generously and unselfishly towards a common good, you can expect little help from biological nature. Let us try to teach generosity and altruism, because we are born selfish. Let us understand what our own selfish genes are up to, because we may then at least have the chance to upset their designs, something that no other species has ever aspired to do.1
Again, if atheism is true, we should ask why we would want to “upset the designs” of our selfish genes, because to do so, would be to upset the evolutionary process. Why should we stand in opposition to biological nature? Like all atheists, Dawkins’ morality is at war with his worldview.
In the end, it is only the Christian worldview that provides the necessary framework to truly justify addressing the evils of this world.
And that is why it is important to “hit each other over the head about evolution.” What we think about human origins really matters.




Notes
  • Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006), 3.

President Harry S. Truman said: “The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount.  The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings…  If we don't have the proper fundamental moral background, we will finally wind up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state.”

DunkingDan

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Can Planets in the Habitable Zone Actually Support Life?
« Reply #65 on: October 23, 2019, 06:35:33 PM »
It seems that all too frequently we read another exciting announcement that an extrasolar planet has been detected, one that is in the “habitable zone” and would likely be able to host life. The announcement is usually accompanied by an artist’s conception of the planet with oceans, continents, and an atmosphere with clouds that appear decidedly Earth-like.
image001c
Figure 1: Estimated habitable zones in the solar system compared to Kepler-452 and Kepler-186. Image credit: NASA
Defining “Habitable”
The circumstellar habitable zone (HZ) was given a rigorous definition in a 1993 paper by geoscientist James Kasting (Pennsylvania State University) and his team. This definition was then updated in 2013.1 As defined, an HZ has an inner edge where atmospheric water breaks down and hydrogen escapes. This results in a runaway greenhouse effect. At the outer edge, CO2 condenses into clouds and accelerates cooling, resulting in all surface water freezing. For the solar system, the HZ model has an inner edge at 0.99 astronomical units (AU) and an outer edge at 1.70 AU.2 Earth is just barely inside the inner edge, and Mars is just inside the outer edge at 1.52 AU.
Although often overlooked, the definition of an HZ is extremely dependent on the composition of an exoplanet’s atmosphere. Kasting’s model assumed not only an Earth-like atmosphere, but also a carbon-silicate feedback cycle that requires a fine-tuned mix of oceans, continents, plate tectonics, and steady volcanic outgassing of CO2. One exoplanet researcher notes, “Without knowledge of the major molecules of an exoplanet’s atmosphere, we can only speculate whether it resides in the habitable zone for liquid water.… Declaring a freshly detected exoplanet to be in the ‘habitable zone’ amounts to little more than media spin if its atmospheric composition is unknown.”3
How the Definition Is Changing
Recent studies demonstrate how fragile a planet’s atmosphere can be when subjected to steady stellar radiation and occasional coronal mass ejections. Several Earth-size exoplanets around M dwarf stars have been found in the classically defined HZ. However, the close orbits of these exoplanets lead to tidal locking, which results in the atmospheres being stripped over time by a constantly blowing stellar wind.4 NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft orbiting Mars indicates that the lack of a protective magnetic field may have resulted in a similar stripping of the planet’s atmosphere. Even planets like Venus that retain a dense atmosphere lose their water unless they have a strong magnetic field.
But how has Earth maintained its magnetic shield for billions of years? Recent work done by a French team informs us that complex gravitational interactions between the earth and the moon are responsible for the earth’s long-lasting geodynamo and protective magnetic shield. The team writes (emphasis added):
Quote
Finally, because the Moon appears to be a necessary ingredient to sustain the magnetic field, and because a magnetic field is needed to shield the Earth’s atmosphere from erosion by solar wind, the habitability of an Earth­like planet may be subordinated to the existence of a large satellite. While more than 1,000 exoplanets have already been observed, the detection of an accompanying exo­moon is rare. Hence, our model could have major implications in future planetary missions as exoplanets with orbiting moons would more likely host extraterrestrial life.5
This research puts another severe constraint on planet habitability.
So What Does Habitable Really Mean?
The carbon-silicate cycle is a key mechanism in keeping Earth habitable. Now, strong planet-moon gravitational interactions join the list of necessary properties for habitable planets, and also the list of things scientists cannot yet measure. The Earth-Moon system is really a double planet and therefore a relatively rare planetary configuration.6 This new result serves as a strong reminder that “habitable,” as currently defined, really has no connection with Earth’s abundant capacity to support a diverse, thriving array of life. It may also mean that Earth is unique in its ability to do so.
Endnotes
  • James Kasting, Daniel Whitmire, and Ray Reynolds, “Habitable Zones around Main Sequence Stars,” Icarus 101 (January 1993): 108–28; Ravi Kumar Kopparapu et al., “Habitable Zones around Main-Sequence Stars: New Estimates,” Astrophysical Journal 765 (March 2013): 131, doi:10.1088/0004-637X/765/2/131.
  • One astronomical unit is defined as roughly 93 million miles, the average distance from Earth to the sun.
  • Kevin Heng, “The Imprecise Search for Extraterrestrial Habitability,” American Scientist 104 (May-June 2016): 146, doi:10.1511/2016.120.1.
  • O. Cohen et al., “Magnetospheric Structure and Atmospheric Joule Heating of Habitable Planets Orbiting M-dwarf Stars,” Astrophysical Journal 790 (July 2014): 57, doi:10.1088/0004-637X/790/1/57.
  • Denis Andrault et al., “The Deep Earth May Not Be Cooling Down,” Earth and Planetary Science Letters 443 (June 2016): 195–203, doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2016.03.020.
  • Sebastian Elser et al., “How Common Are Earth-Moon Planetary Systems?,” Icarus 214 (August 2011): 357–65, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2011.05.025.

President Harry S. Truman said: “The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount.  The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings…  If we don't have the proper fundamental moral background, we will finally wind up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state.”

DunkingDan

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Complex Protein Biogenesis Hints at Intelligent Design
« Reply #66 on: October 30, 2019, 05:27:02 PM »
While growing up, I had a friend named Tom who had an unusual older brother named Tim. Back then, Tom and I really looked up to Tim. Maybe that’s why whenever I think of my friend Tom, I can’t help but also think about Tim. Tom and Tim have become inseparable in my mind.
TOM and TIM are also inseparable when it comes to the biogenesis of mitochondria. In this process, TOM and TIM aren’t brothers, but large protein complexes found in the outer and inner membranes of mitochondria. TOM (translocase of the outer membrane) and TIM (translocase of the inner membrane) function as biomolecular machines that operate in tandem to import newly made proteins into mitochondria.
The inseparability of TOM and TIM represents a significant challenge to the endosymbiont hypothesis—a cornerstone idea in evolutionary biology that offers an explanation for the origin of organelles, such as mitochondria.
How Complex Is Protein Transport into Mitochondria?
The similarity between organelles and bacteria serves as the chief line of evidence for the endosymbiont hypothesis. For example, mitochondria—thought to have descended from α-proteobacteria—are about the same size and shape as a typical bacterium and have a double membrane structure similar to gram-negative microbes. These organelles also divide in a way that is reminiscent of bacterial cells.
From my vantage point, similarities between mitochondria and α-proteobacteria are not enough to establish the validity of the endosymbiont hypothesis. Evolutionary biologists must also explain how mitochondria became fully integrated into the host cell’s metabolic systems. Even though biochemists are figuring out how the process of protein transport works, they must also identify a plausible evolutionary pathway that can adequately account for the evolution of this biochemical operation.
Except for select proteins, most mitochondrial proteins are made in the cytosol of the cell and transported into the mitochondria. The overall process of mitochondrial protein biogenesis consists of four stages: (1) protein synthesis (2) targeting the protein to the mitochondria; (3) transporting the protein into the mitochondrial lumen; and (4) targeting the protein to its final destination in the organelle.
The cell’s machinery initially makes mitochondrial proteins as pre-proteins with a signal sequence at one of its ends (the N terminus). The signal sequence has a specialized structure (an amphipathic α-helix) that serves to target the proteins to mitochondria. Think of the signal sequence as analogous to an address label that tells the post office where to deliver a letter. Receptor proteins that are part of the TOM complex recognize the signal sequence and transport the protein through a channel within the TOM interior into the intermembrane space (the region between the mitochondrian’s inner and outer membranes). Proteins dubbed chaperones keep the mitochondrial proteins unfolded and stabilized throughout this process.
Once in the intermembrane space (the region between the outer and inner membranes), two different TIM complexes (TIM22 and TIM23) work together, taking the protein “baton” from the TOM complex and ushering the protein into the lumen (or the matrix) of the mitochondria. If the protein is to remain within the lumen (because that’s where it performs its work), then proteins called peptidases remove the signal sequence and the protein adopts its intended three-dimensional shape.
If the protein is to be incorporated into the inner membrane, it possesses an additional targeting sequence that is recognized by another protein complex dubbed OXA. This biomolecular ensemble inserts the protein into the inner membrane.
If the protein is to carry out its work in the intermembrane space, then the OXA complex will transport the protein back across the inner membrane. Alternatively, some proteins destined to operate in the inner membrane space possess a stop signal sequence. These sequences prevent the TIM22 and TIM23 complexes from transporting it across the inner membrane into the lumen. Instead, peptidases in the intermembrane space remove the signal sequence, allowing the protein to adopt its operational structure.
Finally, if the protein is to be incorporated into the outer membrane, then another complex referred to as SAM inserts it into the outer membrane.
The Challenge to the Endosymbiont Hypothesis
Each stage of mitochondrial protein biogenesis involves multiple steps with each one carried out by an ensemble of proteins. Moreover, each step of the process must be precisely integrated with the other steps. If not, the entire process of mitochondrial protein biogenesis fails. To put it another way, each step of the process involves an irreducibly complex biochemical apparatus which, in turn, integrate with each other to form the irreducibly complex process of mitochondrial protein biogenesis. That is, mitochondrial protein biogenesis can be characterized as an integrated, hierarchal, multilayered ensemble of irreducibly complex systems.
For the mitochondrial protein biogenesis to emerge from an evolutionary standpoint, a number of biochemical systems had to simultaneously evolve and become integrated with one another. For example, once mitochondrial genes became incorporated into the host genome, DNA sequences specifying signal sequences had to evolve and become precisely appended to every one of the mitochondrial DNA sequences. The TOM, TIM22, and TIM23 complexes had to evolve simultaneously to recognize mitochondrial proteins and work in tandem to move proteins into the mitochondria. In addition, chaperones had to emerge that would recognize mitochondrial proteins and keep them unfolded during the transport process. Signal peptidases had to evolve to remove signal sequences from mitochondrial proteins with exacting precision. Finally, stop sequences and additional targeting sequences had to evolve and become precisely positioned within the mitochondrial protein genes.
In effect, no one knows how mitochondrial protein biogenesis could have evolved. According to cell biologist Franklin Harold, “The origin of the machinery for protein import is more complicated and is subject to much debate.”1 Harold also states, “Most of the transferred genes continue to support mitochondrial functions, having somehow acquired the targeting sequences that allow their protein products to be recognized by TOM and TIM and imported into the organelle.”2 To say that “the origin of the machinery for protein import” is a “complicated” system that “somehow” evolved is not a scientific explanation for how this complex biochemical system arose. In the absence of a plausible evolutionary route for mitochondrial protein transport, it is reasonable to be skeptical of the endosymbiont hypothesis.
A Creation Model Perspective on the Origin of Mitochondria
While evolutionary biologists view the similarities between mitochondria and α-proteobacteria as evidence for the endosymbiont hypothesis, it is possible to view these similarities from a creation model vantage point as shared design features based on an archetypal design.
As I pointed out earlier, mitochondrial genomes exhibit an exquisite biochemical logic that undergirds their structure and function, making it all the more reasonable to view these organelles as the Creator’s handiwork.Bolstering this conclusion is the multi-tiered irreducible complexity of protein mitochondrial biogenesis. As I discussed in The Cell’s Design, irreducible complexity is a hallmark feature of many human designs and should be viewed as an indicator of intelligent design.
Endnotes

President Harry S. Truman said: “The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount.  The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings…  If we don't have the proper fundamental moral background, we will finally wind up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state.”

DunkingDan

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What Does the Discovery of a Supermassive Black Hole Binary Mean for C
« Reply #67 on: November 12, 2019, 05:11:47 PM »
A team of 10 Chinese astronomers recently announced the first-ever discovery of a supermassive black hole binary.1 They found the binary in the galaxy NGC 5548 (see figure 1), a galaxy where more than 70 percent of its light comes from the nuclear core. Previous research teams had determined that a supermassive black hole with a mass 280 million times the Sun’s mass resided in the nuclear core.2
Details on the First-Detected Supermassive Black Hole Binary
The team found a 14-year periodicity in the double-peaked profile of the hydrogen-beta spectral line and in the brightness of both the hydrogen-beta emission line and the optical continuum arising from the nuclear core. These periodicities imply that the “supermassive black hole” is really two black holes of roughly equal mass that orbit one another with a separation of 21.7 light-days or 350 billion miles. This separation is approximately 100 times the distance between Neptune and the Sun.
black-hole-binary
Figure 1: Seyfert galaxy NGC 5548
 Image credit: NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope
Further confirmation for a supermassive black hole binary residing in the galactic center of NGC 5548 comes from a very deep exposure image of NGC 5548. This image shows two long tidal tails, indicating that NGC 5548 is the product of two roughly equal mass galaxies that merged about 1 billion years ago. Each of the two galaxies that merged to become NGC 5548 would have contained a supermassive black hole at their respective galactic centers. A billion years is a reasonable time for the orbit of the two supermassive black holes around one another to decay to a distance of about 22 light-days.
NGC 5548 is 244 million light-years away from Earth. It is a little more than five times closer to us than the merger of two 30-solar-mass black holes discovered by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO). NGC 5548’s proximity to Earth and the very high mass of its black hole binary make it an excellent target for detecting gravitational waves.
Eventually, the two supermassive black holes in NGC 5548’s center will merge. That merger will impact the LIGO instrument with gravitational waves billions of times stronger than those detected from the merger of the two 30-solar-mass black holes. However, it will probably be at least another million years before the merger of NGC 5548’s supermassive black holes occurs. Nevertheless, NGC 5548’s supermassive black holes are already close enough together to radiate detectable gravitational waves.
How Is the Creation Model Affected?
In their paper, the team calls for the search of additional supermassive black hole binaries. Additional supermassive black hole binaries will not only aid research on the properties of gravity and general relativity but also assist in testing cosmic creation models. The predominant big bang creation model predicts that galaxy merger events were common in the early history of the universe. While many images of galaxy merging events have been collected, a comprehensive catalog of the characteristics of supermassive black hole binaries in galaxies would yield truly definitive tests of the leading big bang creation models.
The recent discovery of gravitational waves emanating from the merger of two 30-solar-mass black holes (and the potential discovery of more medium-sized black hole merger events) has been significant in the defense of the biblically predicted big bang creation model. This discovery illuminates a core feature of the creation model by providing a much more detailed understanding of the universe’s firstborn stars and of the subsequent star formation history of the universe. However, presently operating gravity wave telescopes are reliant upon rare merger events (either two medium-sized black holes within a few billion light-years from Earth, or two small black holes or neutron stars in a nearby galaxy) to generate a signal strong enough to detect gravitational waves. Even then, the detectable gravitational signal lasts only a few seconds. But the discovery of a different kind of black hole binary—a supermassive black hole binary—promises to augment scientists’ ability to study gravitational waves.
With access to gravitational waves emanating from both medium-sized and supermassive black hole binaries, astronomers will be able explore new properties of gravity and general relativity. They will be able to gain a greater understanding of the universe’s star and galaxy formation history and, consequently, of the cosmic creation event and development of the universe. This deeper understanding may help remove some of the remaining doubts about the validity of the biblically predicted big bang creation model.3
Endnotes
  • Yan-Rong Li et al., “Spectroscopic Indication of a Centi-parsec Supermassive Black Hole Binary in the Galactic Center of NGC 5548,” Astrophysical Journal 822 (April 2016): id. 4, doi:10.3847/0004-637X/822/1/4.
  • Jong-Hak Woo et al., “The Lick AGN Monitoring Project: The MBH-σ Relation for Reverberation-Mapped Active Galaxies,” Astrophysical Journal 716 (June 2010): 269–80, doi:10.1088/0004-637X/716/1/269; John Kormendy and Luis Ho, “Coevolution (or Not) of Supermassive Black Holes and Host Galaxies,” Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics 51 (August 2013): 528–33, 545, doi:10.1146/annurev-astro-082708-101811.
  • Hugh Ross, A Matter of Days, 2nd ed. (Covina, CA: RTB Press, 2015), 135–44; See Hugh Ross, “Big Bang—The Bible Taught It First!”

President Harry S. Truman said: “The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount.  The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings…  If we don't have the proper fundamental moral background, we will finally wind up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state.”

Cincydawg

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Re: Are Biologists Willing To Test Evolution?
« Reply #68 on: November 12, 2019, 06:26:08 PM »
Does that last post about cosmology have anything to do with evolution?

DunkingDan

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What Does the Discovery of a Supermassive Black Hole Binary Mean for
« Reply #69 on: November 21, 2019, 01:54:24 PM »
Creationism?

A team of 10 Chinese astronomers recently announced the first-ever discovery of a supermassive black hole binary.1 They found the binary in the galaxy NGC 5548 (see figure 1), a galaxy where more than 70 percent of its light comes from the nuclear core. Previous research teams had determined that a supermassive black hole with a mass 280 million times the Sun’s mass resided in the nuclear core.2
Details on the First-Detected Supermassive Black Hole Binary
The team found a 14-year periodicity in the double-peaked profile of the hydrogen-beta spectral line and in the brightness of both the hydrogen-beta emission line and the optical continuum arising from the nuclear core. These periodicities imply that the “supermassive black hole” is really two black holes of roughly equal mass that orbit one another with a separation of 21.7 light-days or 350 billion miles. This separation is approximately 100 times the distance between Neptune and the Sun.
[img width=557 height=433.516 alt=black-hole-binary]https://tnrtb.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/black-hole-binary.jpg[/img][/size][/color]
Figure 1: Seyfert galaxy NGC 5548
 Image credit: NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope
Further confirmation for a supermassive black hole binary residing in the galactic center of NGC 5548 comes from a very deep exposure image of NGC 5548. This image shows two long tidal tails, indicating that NGC 5548 is the product of two roughly equal mass galaxies that merged about 1 billion years ago. Each of the two galaxies that merged to become NGC 5548 would have contained a supermassive black hole at their respective galactic centers. A billion years is a reasonable time for the orbit of the two supermassive black holes around one another to decay to a distance of about 22 light-days.
NGC 5548 is 244 million light-years away from Earth. It is a little more than five times closer to us than the merger of two 30-solar-mass black holes discovered by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO). NGC 5548’s proximity to Earth and the very high mass of its black hole binary make it an excellent target for detecting gravitational waves.
Eventually, the two supermassive black holes in NGC 5548’s center will merge. That merger will impact the LIGO instrument with gravitational waves billions of times stronger than those detected from the merger of the two 30-solar-mass black holes. However, it will probably be at least another million years before the merger of NGC 5548’s supermassive black holes occurs. Nevertheless, NGC 5548’s supermassive black holes are already close enough together to radiate detectable gravitational waves.
How Is the Creation Model Affected?
In their paper, the team calls for the search of additional supermassive black hole binaries. Additional supermassive black hole binaries will not only aid research on the properties of gravity and general relativity but also assist in testing cosmic creation models. The predominant big bang creation model predicts that galaxy merger events were common in the early history of the universe. While many images of galaxy merging events have been collected, a comprehensive catalog of the characteristics of supermassive black hole binaries in galaxies would yield truly definitive tests of the leading big bang creation models.
The recent discovery of gravitational waves emanating from the merger of two 30-solar-mass black holes (and the potential discovery of more medium-sized black hole merger events) has been significant in the defense of the biblically predicted big bang creation model. This discovery illuminates a core feature of the creation model by providing a much more detailed understanding of the universe’s firstborn stars and of the subsequent star formation history of the universe. However, presently operating gravity wave telescopes are reliant upon rare merger events (either two medium-sized black holes within a few billion light-years from Earth, or two small black holes or neutron stars in a nearby galaxy) to generate a signal strong enough to detect gravitational waves. Even then, the detectable gravitational signal lasts only a few seconds. But the discovery of a different kind of black hole binary—a supermassive black hole binary—promises to augment scientists’ ability to study gravitational waves.
With access to gravitational waves emanating from both medium-sized and supermassive black hole binaries, astronomers will be able explore new properties of gravity and general relativity. They will be able to gain a greater understanding of the universe’s star and galaxy formation history and, consequently, of the cosmic creation event and development of the universe. This deeper understanding may help remove some of the remaining doubts about the validity of the biblically predicted big bang creation model.3
Endnotes
  • Yan-Rong Li et al., “Spectroscopic Indication of a Centi-parsec Supermassive Black Hole Binary in the Galactic Center of NGC 5548,” Astrophysical Journal 822 (April 2016): id. 4, doi:10.3847/0004-637X/822/1/4.
  • Jong-Hak Woo et al., “The Lick AGN Monitoring Project: The MBH-σ Relation for Reverberation-Mapped Active Galaxies,” Astrophysical Journal 716 (June 2010): 269–80, doi:10.1088/0004-637X/716/1/269; John Kormendy and Luis Ho, “Coevolution (or Not) of Supermassive Black Holes and Host Galaxies,” Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics 51 (August 2013): 528–33, 545, doi:10.1146/annurev-astro-082708-101811.
  • Hugh Ross, A Matter of Days, 2nd ed. (Covina, CA: RTB Press, 2015), 135–44; See Hugh Ross, “Big Bang—The Bible Taught It First!”

President Harry S. Truman said: “The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount.  The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings…  If we don't have the proper fundamental moral background, we will finally wind up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state.”

 

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