Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Histones have been strongly conserved in archaea

Researchers: Importantly, we show that some archaeal histone variants are ancient and have been maintained as distinct units for hundreds of millions of years. Our work suggests that complex combinatorial chromatin that uses histones as its building blocks exists outside eukaryotes and that the ancestor of eukaryotes might have already had complex chromatin. Read More ›

What we don’t know about the universe, according to New Scientist

Back to Georges Lemaitre, a Catholic priest: A CENTURY ago, if you asked a cosmologist the universe’s age, the answer may well have been “infinite”. It was a neat way to sidestep the question of how it formed, and the idea had been enshrined in 1917 when Albert Einstein presented his model of a static universe through his general theory of relativity. General relativity describes gravity, the force that sculpts the universe, as the result of mass warping its fabric, space-time. In the mid-1920s, astrophysicist George Lemaître showed that according to the theory, the universe wasn’t static but expanding– and would thus have been smaller in the past. Stuart Clark, “Everything we know about the universe – and a few Read More ›

Darwinian biologist Jerry Coyne continues to worry about astrology, this time at the New York Times

He seems to have started noticing recently when astrology was touted at the Guardian and the Globe and Mail: In the past couple of days we’ve seen the Guardian tout astrology twice, and now the Globe and Mail. What I’d forgotten is that the New York Times has also been doing it occasionally—certainly more often than the Paper of Record should. For evidence, see Greg Mayer’s survey last year of the NYT’s treatment of astrology. As Greg said: I did a search at the Times’ website for “astrology”, and the results were intriguing, verging on appalling. The first 9 results were all supportive of astrology; and all had appeared since since July 2017. Many treated astrology as a “he said, Read More ›

Inexplicable Contradictions

Here’s a scenario for your consideration: Suppose there were a group of people who insisted there is absolutely no objective standard for morality and that all moral norms are based on subjective preferences that are foisted on us by material evolutionary forces. And suppose there were a group of people who are so serenely confident of their own moral rectitude and the indisputable goodness of their policy prescriptions (which policy prescriptions are driven by their moral viewpoint) that they are determined to force the entire nation to conform to those prescriptions. Now suppose that these groups are one and the same.  It would be mind blowing if such a group actually existed would it not? Here’s another scenario to consider: Read More ›

The Smithsonian offers us ten new lessons about human origins

At Smithsonian: Every so often the adult footprints pause and are joined by a child’s footprints. The footprints go in a straight and definite line, and pretty fast, indicating a deliberate end target; they then return in the opposite direction, this time without the child. Read More ›

Wasn’t the thymus one of those Darwinian “vestigial” organs?

Researchers: The researchers have found that female sex hormones instruct important changes in the thymus, a central organ of the immune system, to produce specialized cells called Tregs to deal with physiological changes that arise in pregnancy. Read More ›