Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Jerry Coyne and Determinism

You can see this video (youtu.be/i0Mzfq9loMQ) where I look at Jerry Coyne’s recent blog on determinism and the denial of free will, and a couple of scientific papers related to neurons and synapses. 

Sabine Hossenfelder Promotes Determinism

Yesterday theoretical physicist Sabine Hossenfelder became the latest in a long line of smart people to make the absurd claim of determinism, and that therefore there is no such thing as free will. This silliness traces at least as far back as Laplace and is based on the idea that any system evolves from time point 1 to time point 2 according to the laws of nature. As Hossenfelder puts it: (read more …)

New Study Claims SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus Originated Naturalistically

A recent study done by an international collaboration of five scientists, and published in the scientific journal nature medicine, has concluded that the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus (also known as HCoV-19), responsible for the current global pandemic, originated naturalistically rather than via laboratory manipulation. Here I review their methods and compare their research with the claims made. (read more …)

New Research on Animal Egg Orientation

When the first cell of an animal—the zygote—divides, it usually has a front end, and a back end, and this orientation will influence how the embryo develops. This orientation is inherited from the egg, where certain gene products are deposited, often at the front end of the egg. These so-called … read more

Nathan Lents in USA Today: Evolution is Certain

In a recent USA Today opinion piece evolutionist Nathan Lents states that the human race has “evolved through a long line of ancestry that connects with all other living things going back nearly 4 billion years.” And if there was any doubt … read more

Satellite DNA is Essential and Species-Specific in Drosophila melanogaster

This week’s “we thought it was junk but it turned out to be crucial” study comes with the added bonus that the so-called “junk” is also species-specific / taxonomically restricted. The general topic is tandemly repeated satellite DNA in the much studied fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. These satellite DNA regions comprise 15-20% of D. melanogaster’s genome, and one of the regions, AAGAG(n), is transcribed across many of D. melanogaster’s cell types. … read more

Kirk MacGregor: Evolution Proves Molinism

“Evolution provides a theological solution to a theological problem, and the science is sandwiched somewhere in between. But the theological premises are denied so the theological result is seen as coming from science, and science inappropriately attains the status of truth giver.” I made that observation in Darwin’s God, and unfortunately it remains just as true today. The latest example of this phenomenon comes in the brand new volume, Calvinism and Middle Knowledge where, in Chapter 2, Kirk MacGregor strongly argues that evolution proves Molinism. Molinism was one of the dozen or more religious motivations and mandates for evolutionary thought, and now in the twenty-first century, evolution is used as a proof text for Molinism. See the sequence? Religion drives the science, and Read More ›

Finally, the Details of How Proteins Evolve

How did proteins evolve? It is a difficult question because, setting aside many other problems, the very starting point—the protein-coding gene—is highly complex. A large number of random mutations would seem to be required before you have a functional protein that helps the organism. Too often such problems are solved with vague accounts of “adaptations” and “selection pressure” doing the job. But this week researchers at the University of Illinois announced ground-breaking research that provides a step-by-step, detailed, description of the evolution of a new protein-coding gene and associated regulatory DNA sequences. The protein in question is a so-called “antifreeze” protein that keeps the blood of Arctic codfish from freezing, and the new research provides the specific sequence of mutations, leading to Read More ›

New Paper Demonstrates Superiority of Design Model

Did you know Mars is going backwards? For the past few weeks, and for several weeks to come, Mars is in its retrograde motion phase. If you chart its position each night against the background stars, you will see it pause, reverse direction, pause again, and then get going again in its normal direction. And did you further know that retrograde motion helped to cause a revolution? Two millennia ago, Aristotelian physics dictated that the Earth was at the center of the universe. Aristarchus’ heliocentric model, which put the Sun at the center, fell out of favor. But what Aristotle’s geocentrism failed to explain was retrograde motion. If the planets are revolving about the Earth, then why do they sometimes Read More ›

John Farrell Versus Isaac Newton

The title of John Farrell’s article in Commonweal from earlier this year is a dead giveaway. When writing about the interaction between faith and science, as Farrell does in the piece, the title “The Conflict Continues” is like a flashing red light that the mythological Warfare Thesis is coming at you.  Read more

Centrobin Found to be Important in Sperm Development

Proteins are a problem for theories of spontaneous origins for many reasons. They consist of dozens, or often hundreds, or even thousands of amino acids in a linear sequence, and while many different sequences will do the job, that number is tiny compared to the total number of sequences that are possible. It is a proverbial needle-in-the-haystack problem, far beyond the reach of blind searches. To make matters worse, many proteins are overlapping, with portions of their genes occupying the same region of DNA. The same set of mutations would have to result in not one, but two proteins, making the search problem that much more tricky. Furthermore, many proteins perform multiple functions. Random mutations somehow would have to find Read More ›

Meet Jamie Jensen: What Are They Teaching at Brigham Young University?

Rachel Gross’ recent article about evolutionist’s public outreach contains several misconceptions that are, unfortunately, all too common. Perhaps most obvious is the mythological Warfare Thesis that Gross and her evolutionary protagonists heavily rely on. Plumbing the depths of ignorance, Gross writes:  read more

Rewrite the Textbooks (Again), Origin of Mitochondria Blown Up

Why are evolutionists always wrong? And why are they always so sure of themselves? With the inexorable march of science, the predictions of evolution, which evolutionists were certain of, just keep on turning out false. This week’s failure is the much celebrated notion that the eukaryote’s power plant—the mitochondria—shares a common ancestor with the alphaproteobacteria. A long time ago, as the story goes, that bacterial common ancestor merged with an early eukaryote cell. And these two entities, as luck would have it, just happened to need each other. Evolution had just happened to create that early bacterium, and that early eukaryote, in such a way that they needed, and greatly benefited from, each other. And, as luck would have it Read More ›

Leyden and Teixeira: Political “Civil War” Coming Because of Global Warming

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey recently tweeted that Peter Leyden’s and Ruy Teixeira’s article, “The Great Lesson of California in America’s New Civil War,” is a “Great read.” The article both urges and forecasts a blue-state takeover of America where our current political divide gives way to a Democrat dominion. This new “Civil War” is to begin this year and, like the last one will have an economic cause. Unfortunately, the thinking of Leyden and Teixeira is steeped in scientific ignorance which drives their thesis.  Read more