Genetics

Materialism and Abiogenesis

March, 2016

By Bdna.gif: Spiffistan derivative work: Jahobr (Bdna.gif) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The TASC newsletter article Fossils examined the fossil record as evidence in support of the theory of evolution.1 The conclusion of that article, as well as of several evolutionists themselves, was that the fossil record did not provide evidence to support the theory of evolution. We might think, "Well, that doesn't matter, since evolution is so strongly supported by the genetic evidence." However, is it really? Let's look and see. We will look primarily at the genetic evidence. 

Is abiogenesis irrelevant?

The idea of life arising from non-life is known as abiogenesis. It might be argued that abiogenesis is not evolution and thus is irrelevant in a discussion of evolution. The line of reasoning is that evolution deals with how life evolves from pre-existing life via natural selection, or how more complex life arises from simpler life, which does not involve the origin of life. This is still life giving rise to more complex life, not life arising from non-life. Therefore, the argument goes, the question of how life arose from non-life is not part of evolution, and is therefore excluded from any discussion of evolution as not being relevant.

Creation Ministries Creation 2015 International Superconference

October, 2015

Dr. Dan Reynolds attended the recent Creation Superconference held in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina July 13-17. Dr. Reynolds has provided us a summary of each of the sessions at the conference.

My wife, Cassie, and I recently spent a week in Myrtle Beach where I attended 19 of 20 talks on creation and related topics given at the Creation Ministry International (CMI) Creation 2015 Family Superconference. Cassie, while supporting my interest in creation, only attended one session and spent the rest of her time sewing on her portable sewing machine in our hotel room! The conference was held at the Springmaid Beach Resort located right next to the ocean. The accommodations, food, and staff were excellent. Mornings and evenings were filled with talks while afternoons had options for free time, a tour of a nearby aquarium with Dr. Robert Carter of CMI, or playing chess with Jonathan Sarfati, former chess champion of New Zealand. And as usual, there was an extensive bookstore offering hundreds of books and videos, often at reduced prices. I came home with a couple of bags full!

On the Origin of Humans

April, 2015

One of the key issues in the creation-evolution debate is the origin of humans, Homo sapiens.

What we think about the origin of our own species has a dramatic impact on our morality and wordlview because it answers the questions of who and what we are and why we exist. The secular and biblical views of our origins are diametrically opposed and must come to totally different conclusions about our place in the universe. Secular scientists tell us that the evidence that we evolved from a common ancestor with primates is “overwhelming.” But just how good is that evidence? The Bible teaches we were made in God’s image and designed to have fellowship with Him both now and forever. Recent results in the field of genetics have been remarkably in accord with the biblical model for human origins and inimical to evolutionary scenarios. Here we will compare the biblical and secular models for human origins and discuss recent science that supports the biblical view and/or discredits the evolutionary view. Specifically, we will discuss “junk DNA” as “evidence” for common ancestry, the real percent similarity of the human and chimpanzee genomes, the alleged historical fusion of two primate chromosomes that “prove” humans share common ancestry with primates, genetic evidence that Homo sapiens and Neanderthals interbred and were hence the same species, and genetic evidence that is consistent with Adam and Eve as well as Noah and his family.

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

Fossils and Genetics: a Deadly Duo for Transitional Species and for Darwin's Theory

June, 2013
Figure 1 - Artist's conception of Archaeopteryx

In his foundational work, generally known as "The Origin of Species," but seldom (for obvious reasons) cited by its full title, "On the Origin of Species by Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life," Charles Darwin proposed a bold test for his theory when he said:

If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” 1

But to Darwin’s credit, in making that statement, he was acknowledging a fundamental truth of the scientific method: that is, that in order to be testable, a scientific theory must make precise predictions as to what would be revealed by further examination of the relevant data.

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

Radical Differences Between Human and Chimp Y Chromosomes Open a Bounty of Research Rabbit Holes for Scientists to Plunder

July, 2010

chromosomes

Click on image to see enlarged view

With support from the United States National Institutes of Health and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, scientists from several medical research laboratories in the United States and the Netherlands have recently completed a series of experiments designed to sequence the male-specific region of the Y chromosome (MSY) in the chimpanzee. 1 In their words, they achieved for the first time “levels of accuracy and completion previously reached for the human MSY.” They also compared the MSYs of humans and chimpanzees and found that “they differ radically

Puzzles of the Genome

December, 2006

ImageThe genome of an animal contains the DNA that specifies the characteristics of the animal. This is in the form of a sequence of four bases; the sequence of the human genome is over three billion bases long. Of course, different individuals have different sequences. A few years ago the human genome project completed a description of the sequence of the human genome, and several other animals’ genomes have been sequenced since then. Scientists sometimes claim that these genomes provide evidence for the theory of evolution. However, recent results show how little we really know about the genome, and therefore it is unreasonable to assert that the genome provides evidence for evolution, when we understand it so poorly. 

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