It’s interesting but why should it be a surprise? Only a small portion of the English language is unique, for example. Almost all of it depends on previous languages. And all languages depend on previous languages, going back to …
Researchers: In a discovery that challenges long-held dogma in biology, researchers show that mammalian cells can convert RNA sequences back into DNA, a feat more common in viruses than eukaryotic cells.
Challenging, they say, a central principle in biology.
“For the Cape honeybees, the cloning is perfectly in keeping with evolutionary theory, says Laurent Keller at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland. ‘Evolution is just selecting what’s doing well at a given time.’” But wait. Did any evolution pundit claim that one bee cloning itself many millions of times (identical copies) would be an example of evolutionary fitness? If evolutionary fitness is whatever happens to “be doing well” at a given time, there is no theory. How does it differ from “whatever happens”?
For about a year now, from reading various news items on newly published science articles, I’ve begun to consider not DNA, but RNA, the real driver of life. I think that DNA’s essential role is that of information storage–a hard drive, while RNA is like the BIOS system–it tells the “system” what it should be Read More…
Thing is, it was never clear exactly what the mechanism is supposed to be for animals to try to avoid mating with kin. So it’s no surprise that most aren’t really doing that anyway.
Most interesting. But what does the professor mean when he says, “we hypothesize that an evolutionary ‘choice’ was made to be born with this knowledge in order to save time during the sensitive development period.” So evolution is a designer that makes choices? But, as Michael Behe would ask, “How, exactly?” He can’t walk away from the problem just by putting “choice” in quotation marks.
The house mouse, beloved of cats, only arrived in North America with Europeans, so there aren’t millions of years to make up a story about how things happened.
If he wants to pick a fight with ENCODE, grab a seat.
We heard just recently about horizontal gene transfer between herring and smelt. Will we be hearing next about horizontal gene transfer involving mammals via airborne DNA? Don’t rule it out.
Recently, our physics color commentator Rob Sheldon took issue with the use of the term “half-life” to describe the survival of DNA in fossils. He says the term has a specific meaning with respect to radioactive decay that just does not apply to other events in nature. In the biology paper at issue, with “half-life” Read More…
Tim Standish: Simpler systems do not necessarily come first because simple can be a lot harder to come up with than complex. Yes, that seems counterintuitive, but the history of technology bears that out. In some ways you could say the same about art.
It’s a protist? “Protists are a group of loosely connected, mostly unicellular eukaryotic organisms that are not plants, animals or fungi. There is no single feature such as evolutionary history or morphology common to all these organisms and they are unofficially placed under a separate kingdom called Protista.” In short, just the sort of life form that might be doing something really different. Because nature is full of intelligence, there are probably many alternative programs out there. It all didn’t just somehow happen randomly once.
You’ve heard this one before. From the study group: Eye color is “much more complex than previously thought.”
You know, Dawkins may be losing his shine. New Scientist was making similar types of noise last October. It’s now okay to say when there’s something wrong with this stuff.