Biology

Can Nature Perform the Same Miracle MultipleTimes? Problems with Convergent Evolution

January, 2017

While I was studying chemistry in graduate school at the University of Texas, I befriended a physics graduate student, who was studying echolocation in bats in the hopes that the research might result in helpful technologies for blind people. One day he invited me to his lab to watch as he fed the bats. We entered a small room where dozens of bats eagerly waited for a dinner of yellow grub worms. Many of the bats were hanging from the ceiling but others were flying around us yet never touching us. I looked at one bat on the ceiling as he looked down at us. His mouth was open and his lips quivered as he rapidly rotated his head round and round. I was fascinated. The bat was using his echolocation capability, akin to sonar, to map out the environment. Bats would drop from the ceiling and fly around us then go for the food. My friend’s research revealed that different parts of the bat’s brain were activated depending on the frequency and direction of sound received.

The Amazing Ear: Evidence for Design

November, 2016

External Ear

Figure 1. “Tidens naturlære fig40” by Morten Bisgaard. From the book Tidens naturlære 1903 by Poul la Cour.   By Morten Bisgaard [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons, Licensed under Public Domain viaWikimedia Commons. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tidens_naturl%C3%A6re_fig40.png

One's perspective makes a big difference in how one sees the function of the human body. An evolutionist looks at the human body as a collection of organs pieced together by random processes selected for survival by the challenges of the environment, while the creationist sees marvelous evidence for design and information that shout evidence of an omniscient creator.

Evolution theoretically occurs when mutations result in new traits. Advantageous traits increase an organism’s chance of survival and reproduction, thus preserving the trait. A trait that is neutral may or may not be preserved. Numerous traits are selected because their advantages for survival lead to the evolution of new organs and new species according to the theory. This is called natural selection.

Faith and Science: Friends or Foes

October, 2014

My wife, Cassie, and I went on a three week trip to the northwest this past July and August.1 During the Alaskan cruise portion of our trip, we attended an intelligent design (ID) conference sponsored by the Discovery Institute (http://www.discovery.org) entitled “Faith and Science: Friends or Foes?” Afterwards we visited Mount Saint Helens in Washington, then Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks. As you can imagine, the scenery was beautiful.

The purpose of this article is to communicate the content of the talks given during the ID conference based on the notes I took. Occasionally, I will comment on the speaker’s thoughts. These comments will appear in italics and prefixed with the word ”comment.” 2

Archaeopteryx (unlike Archaeoraptor) is NOT a hoax—it is a true bird, not a “missing link”

June, 2014

Reprinted with permission from Creation Ministries International, 24 March 2000.

The article and links to additional information referred to in this article can be obtained at: http://creation.com/archaeopteryx-unlike-archaeoraptor-is-not-a-hoax-it-...

With all the publicity about the Archaeoraptor fiasco (see Archaeoraptor Hoax Update - National Geographic Recants!), some have recalled the 1986 claim by Sir Fred Hoyle and Dr Chandra Wickramasinghe that Archaeopteryx is a forgery. 1 Archaeopteryx is one of the most famous of the alleged transitional forms promoted by evolutionists. This is probably why some anti-Darwinians are keen to dismiss it as a forgery.

What Was Archaeopteryx?

January, 2014

The following article is reprinted from the Center for Scientific Creation, www.creationscience.com/onlinebook/FAQ117.html#wp1365100. It comes from the Frequently Asked Questions part of the book, In the Beginning: Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood, by Dr. Walter T. Brown.

Compy

If dinosaurs (or, as some evolutionists assert, reptiles) evolved into birds, thousands of types of animals should have been more birdlike than dinosaurs and yet more dinosaur-like than birds. Evolutionists claim Archaeopteryx (ark-ee-OP-ta-riks) is a feathered dinosaur, a transition between dinosaurs (or reptiles) and birds. Of the few claimed intermediate fossils, Archaeopteryx is the one most frequently cited by evolutionists and shown in most biology textbooks. Some say the seven main Archaeopteryx fossils are the most famous fossils in the world.

Archaeopteryx means ancient (archae) wing (pteryx). But the story behind this alleged half-dinosaur, half-bird is much more interesting than its fancy, scientific-sounding name or the details of its bones. If Archaeopteryx were shown to be a fraud, the result would be devastating for the evolution theory. 

Review of Stephen Meyer's New Book Darwin's Doubt

October, 2013

Darwin's Doubt: the Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design is Stephen Meyer's sequel to his previous book Signature in the Cell. 1

Published earlier this year, Darwin’s Doubt at the time of this writing is #1 on Amazon.com in the categories of organic evolution, paleontology, and creationism and #745 overall (out of more than one million books). Meyer has a doctorate in the History and Philosophy of Science from Cambridge University, bachelor’s degrees in physics and geology and is the director of the Discovery Institute, the flagship organization for the Intelligent Design movement.

Darwin’s Doubt investigates the rapid appearance of animal phyla at the base of the geologic record known as the Cambrian Explosion from the point of view of biological information. Meyer documents the Cambrian Explosion and discusses the various explanations that have been put forth to explain it from Darwin’s time until now.2

The Origin of Information in Biology

May, 2013

The greatest challenge for evolutionary biology is to account for the information found in codes in DNA, RNA, proteins, and more recently in the epigenome.1 The mutation/selection mechanism of neo-Darwinism, although still taught in biology textbooks, has been shown inadequate by creation and intelligent design scientists. Indeed, even some leading evolutionists are seeking alternative mechanisms such as self-organization. Much evidence has been found against neo-Darwinism (and all related stochastic processes) and for intelligent design (ID) in recent years. Intelligent design advocates have found ways to detect design. Much evidence has been found against the macroevolution of Homo sapiens and for the biblical origin of mankind.

Evolutionists must account for the origin of life, the Cambrian Explosion in the fossil record, living fossils, the lack of transitional forms, the origin of sexuality, the origin of consciousness, the origin of information in macroevolution, the origin of irreducibly complex molecular machines, convergent evolution, and the information found in the epigenome.

God’s Wisdom in the Genome

December, 2008

The genome of organisms contains their genetic material, which largely determines how they will develop. Scientists are learning more and more about the genome of various organisms, which is revealing more and more about the amazing wisdom of God in their design and creation. It seems that our understanding of the functioning of life is always incomplete, and the genome is always more complex than we had thought. Will we ever fully understand the functioning of life, or will it always be a mystery to us?

First we present excerpt from an article about genetics in a recent issue of a magazine produced by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This article shows some unexpected features of the genome. What one  typically calls a gene is really a protein-coding gene and contains instructions for making one or more proteins. The DNA that is not included in such genes has been called “junk DNA” in the past, but now we are learning that this DNA has a function and contains genes that do not code for protein. This DNA that does not code for protein is now called noncoding DNA.

Humans are strikingly similar to a bunch of different critters—genetically, at least. Sixty percent of human genes are fundamentally the same as fruit fly genes, and somewhere around ninety percent of our genes are the same as mouse genes. 1

Review of the Book Signature in the Cell by Stephen C. Meyer

January, 2010

Stephen C. Meyer Stephen C. Meyer

Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design
1 by Stephen C. Meyer is the latest book from a major proponent for intelligent design (ID).2 Signature is Meyer’s magnum opus. Meyer is the director of the Discovery Institute’s (www.discovery.org) Center for Science and Culture, the flagship organization for the ID movement. He is a trained geologist and has a Ph.D. in the Philosophy of Science from Cambridge. 3 Signature is written at a level accessible to the layman but also informative to the specialist in biochemistry. The book is a history of Meyer’s interest and involvement with ID. The main focus of the book is the origin of the informational code in DNA, especially as it relates to the origin of life. The book discusses several topics including the history of the discovery of the structure of DNA, the cracking of the DNA code, the history and status of origin of life theories (especially the RNA world), basic information theory, various scientific methodologies and modes of thought and why ID is scientific, historical sciences, detecting design, why ID is the best explanation for the origin of the information in DNA, and responses to ID critics. This review will touch upon some of the book’s highlights.

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