biochemistry

Does the Fact that Random Genetic Mutations Can Result in Adaptation Prove Macroevolution?

January, 2020

Michael Behe (Fig. 1), author of Darwin’s Black Box and originator of the concept of “irreducible complexity,” has written his third major book: Darwin Devolves: The New Science About DNA That Challenges Evolution. 1 Behe, a well-known proponent of intelligent design and a senior fellow of the Discovery Institute, 2 is professor of biochemistry at Lehigh University. Over the last three decades, Behe has pointed out many of the unsolved problems for macroevolutionary theory. Behe is a Roman Catholic and can be considered a theistic evolutionist. Behe accepts much of the secular cosmic and biological stories, including descent with modification from common ancestors and deep time. However, based on the evidence in the literature, he rejects the notion that random genetic mutations, acted upon by natural selection, can account for the enormous organized complexity found in the biological world. Instead, he advances the idea that the complexity seen in biology could only have been the work of a supreme intelligence. Although Behe is a theistic evolutionist, his insights into macroevolution are still valuable to the creation/evolution debate. In Darwin Devolves (Fig.

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.

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

July, 2010

Chromosomes

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

Has Science Found How Life Began and Species Evolved? An Examination of the "RNA World" Hypothesis and Rapidly Changing Lizards

June, 2009

The central question evolutionary science has yet to answer is by what natural processes is novel information introduced into the biological world. Until this question is answered, evolution will remain an organized system of unproven speculations and “just so” stories. There are two main events in the evolutionary tale that need this type of explanation: the origin of life and the mechanism for macroevolution.

Joyce

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.

Recent Discoveries in Genetics

May, 2007

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Figure 1

Several recent discoveries in genetics reveal even more of the amazing properties of the genome and give additional evidence for the design of life by an intelligent creator. DNA consists of a long sequence of four nucleotide bases. Proteins consist of sequences of about twenty amino acids, and are specified by a coding system in which three successive nucleotide bases of DNA constitute a “codon” and are translated into a specific amino acid. However, there are more codons than amino acids, so more than one codon corresponds to a given amino acid in many cases.

Now, within everyone’s DNA are “SNPs”, single nucleotide polymorphisms. This is a site at which many humans have differing nucleotides. Sometimes such a difference does not influence the amino acid coded for. For example, the codons UCU and UCC both code for serine, so a change of uracil to cytosine at this point in the RNA, corresponding to a change of thymine to cytosine in the DNA, has no effect on the sequence of amino acids in the protein. Is there then any difference between such codons in terms of their effects on the organism?

Puzzles of the Genome

December, 2006

The 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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Figure 1

Does the Molecular Evidence Prove Common Ancestry is a "Fact?"

November, 2006

Genesis 1 describes the separate creation of various organisms “after their kind.” This means that all life on earth is primarily related through having a common creator and not through common descent. When evolutionists claim that molecules-to-man macroevolution is a “fact”, they are often referring to evidence for common ancestry irrespective of any evolutionary mechanism. This approach helps them avoid the inherent difficulties associated with explaining how point mutations, genetic recombinations, gene duplication, and natural selection could create new genetic information by chance. One way evolutionists try to support the idea of common ancestry involves comparison of homologous DNA sequences and proteins between organisms (molecular homology). Presumably, the greater the similarities between DNA or protein sequences in different organisms, the more recent has been the divergence from a common ancestor. Two lines of molecular evidence will be explored in this report: comparisons of cytochrome c and endogenous retroviral elements (RVEs).

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Figure 1

Intelligent Design

May, 2006

The phrase "intelligent design" is heard a great deal lately in the media, usually in the context of secondary school science education.

William Dembski

A mathematician and a philosopher, William A. Dembski is the Carl F. H. Henry Professor of Science and Theology at Southern Seminary in Louisville where he heads its Center for Theology and Science. He is also a senior fellow with Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture in Seattle and the executive director of the International Society for Complexity, Information, and Design (www.iscid.org).

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