Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community


Bad data from the academy? Darwinism makes it worse

But by embracing a Darwinian perspective, Breuning flushed down the toilet any chance of understanding the reality of human life and the human mind. Those pop psych academics she opposes are then doing the right thing and she should support them. Read More ›

Unique octopus genes seem to have appeared from nowhere

The octopus — a highly intelligent short-lived exothermic invertebrate — should sink lectern-splintering Darwinism — but then the octo does not have tenure and many of the lectern splinterers do. That’s life. But so is finding out the facts. Read More ›

Domesticated Rice: the Power of Artificial Selection.

I suspect that almost every week there’s at least one article published somewhere that undermines Darwinian theory. Now using the term, ‘Darwinian theory’, might ruffle some people’s feathers. Yet, without Darwinian theory, neo-Darwinism makes no sense; it lacks any intellectual foundation. And, so, here we are inching towards the 200th anniversary of Origin of Species and 21st-Century evolutionary biologists remain saddled with 19th-Century thinking. With that said, this “week’s” article comes from Phys.Org and it offers a newer understanding of rice domestication. We find out that the results of an international collaboration “suggest that the emergence of cultivated rice from wild rice plants is the result of three gene mutations that make the seeds (i.e. the grains of rice) fall Read More ›

The Death of Neutral Theory

In today’s Nature, we find this article: “Synonymous mutations in representative yeast genes are mostly strongly non-neutral.” They investigated what effect “synonymous, nonsynonymous and nonsense” mutations involving “21 endogenous genes” would have on yeast. The fitness levels of synonymous and nonsynonymous fell in equal (though not ‘identical’) measure–around 75%. I don’t have access to the article itself, only the abstract. The abstract begins thusly: Synonymous mutations in protein-coding genes do not alter protein sequences and are thus generally presumed to be neutral or nearly neutral[1,2,3,4,5] 1 through 5 are citations. Who are they: Kimura, King and Jukes, Nei and Kumar, Li and Dan Graur. The heavyweights of neutral theory. The abstract ends: The strong non-neutrality of most synonymous mutations, if Read More ›

Fun: A giant undersea meadow turned out to be a single organism – the world’s largest

At Futurism: "According to The Guardian, this single Posidonia australis plant, more commonly known as ribbon weed, spans an astonishing 77 square miles of undersea land off the coast of western Australia's Shark Bay. For perspective, that's three times the size of Manhattan. Move over, trees! There's a new — well, ~4,500 year old — giant in town." Read More ›

Gene-edited hamsters did not behave as expected

Hamsters from hell. Quote of the decade: “We don't understand this system as well as we thought we did.” One suspects that some of these people are going to learn respect for the design of life the hard way. Hope it’s not too hard on the rest of us. Read More ›

Intelligent Design=Pattern Recognition

This Phys.Org press release isn’t about a particularly interesting scientific paper. However, what the authors tells us about how this paper came to be is very interesting. And, I may add, very revealing. Listen to what they have to say about their “aha” moment: Inside some of the data that a standard mapping algorithm normally clips out, Zhang and postdoctoral fellow Xiaolong Chen, Ph.D., recognized that the clipped pattern in the DNA looked like an L1 inside of the FOXR2 gene. In a moment of serendipity, Diane Flasch, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow who previously worked with L1s, recognized the signs of an L1 regulatory element. The researchers performed a special technique that sequences longer regions of DNA to decode the Read More ›

Changing the genetic code — and still enabling life — would be a challenge

The basic message is that we can’t improve on all the things that just happen to work by accident in exactly the right way. Yet in just about any area of life other than evolution theory we find a completely different picture. Why is Darwinism allowed to be such a big exception to the general rule? Read More ›

What? Paper on human mutation admits to “fundamentally challenging” neo-Darwinism?

But Darwinism about human beings is the bread and butter of pop science media! If that’s under threat now, what will become of, for example, evolutionary psychology? Read More ›

Researchers: CRISPR is not the big answer to de-extinction

With genes as with documents, how much do the lost ones matter? If the recreated passenger pigeon was pretty much like the old one, what difference would it make? Shouldn’t the main question be, is this a good ecological idea overall? Read More ›