Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

MicroRNA Exchange Between Cells Found to be Key Evolutionary Innovation

We recently reported the thought-provoking findings that our genes are not only regulated by our own microRNA—those small snippets of transcribed DNA which were often considered to be useless junk—they are also regulated by the microRNA in the food we eat. In other words, food not only contains carbohydrates, proteins, fat, minerals, vitamins and so forth, it also contains information—in the form of these regulatory snippets of miRNA—which regulate our gene production.  Read more

Popcorn: watching kinesin in action, as we digest that Christmas turkey and pudding . . .

Sometimes, seeing is believing. Here is a nice, short summary of the kinesin microtubule highway “walking truck” protein in action: [youtube lLxlBB9ZBj4] This vid gives a bit of context: [youtube 8RULvE9rw6Y] Especially notice the role played by Brownian motion, and that played by ATP. So, post turkey and pudding vid no 3: ATP Synthase in action: [youtube KU-B7G6anqw] Walking trucks in the cell, fuelled by batteries made in a molecular factory that uses a nanotech motor  . . . And, a highway network that has to go where it is needed, with need for directions — that delivery truck has to know where to go, when! And the best explanation for all of this functionally specific, complex organisation and required Read More ›

Optical Metamaterials and the Hercules Beetle

You may recall that objects have particular colors because, at the molecular level, light rays at certain frequencies (corresponding to certain colors) are reflected while at other frequencies the light is absorbed. In other words, an object’s color has to do with its chemistry. But, as David Tyler points out here, coloration can also arise from repeating, detailed submicron geometrical structures at the object’s surface. These surface structures are finely tuned to interact with and control the incoming light, including controlling the frequencies, and hence color, of the reflected light. In these cases, the object’s color has to do with its repeating surface geometry, rather than its chemistry.  Read more

Talking Evolution With Evolutionists

One day while walking to the life science library I was stopped by a cultist who wanted me to join. Having spoken with cultists before, I was able to explain his problems to him. The cult’s beliefs entailed several obvious contradictions, its leaders had well-documented ulterior motives, and so forth. But the fellow was undeterred. He was certain that his cult held the truth, in spite of the obvious problems.  Read more

Reb Moshe Averick, skeptic of nonsense marketed as science, mixes it up again with Jerry “Why Evolution Is True” Coyne

"I, on the other hand, confidently assert that the gaping chasm between non-life and life is so wide, that it is absurd to think that it could have been crossed by means of an unguided, naturalistic process." Read More ›

ID Foundations, 13: Of bird necks and beaks, robots, micro-level black swan events, inductive turkeys & the design inference, the vNSR and OOL (with hints on economic transformation)

Over the past few days, I have been reflecting a bit on carrying design theory-relevant thought onwards to issues tied to education and economic transformation.

In so doing, I found myself looking at a micro-level, personal black swan event, as I watched student robots picking and placing little plastic widgets much like . . . like . . . a chicken, or a duck.

Or, a swan.

Wait a minute: a swan’s long neck, beak and head form . . . a robot arm manipulator (with built-in sensor turret) on a turtle robot body capable of walking, swimming and flying: Read More ›