'Junk DNA' Cell biology Genetics Intelligent Design

Wouldn’t you know, jumping “junk DNA” can be lethal too

Researchers Nigel Goldenfeld and Thomas Kuhlman noticed that “half of the human genome is made up of retrotransposons [jumping genes, “junk DNA”], but bacteria hardly have them at all” and wondered what would happen if they just inserted some: “We thought a really simple thing to try was to just take one (retrotransposon) out of […]

Evolution Genetics Intelligent Design

John Sanford gives lecture at NIH on mutations and human health

Geneticist John Sanford is also the author of Genetic Entropy: and one of the editors of Biological Information: New Perspectives: Proceedings of a Symposium Held May 31 Through June 3, 2011 at Cornell University Note: In a distinctly unsavoury move, devout Darwinians managed to get Biological Information dropped by Springer. It is all the more […]

Genetics Human evolution Intelligent Design

Do we really live longer because of “longevity genes”? Researchers cast doubt

It’s now suggested that people likely to live long tend to find each other (assortative mating). How else to explain this?Researchers found that siblings’ and first cousins’ lifespans were well correlated but also: But spouses’ lifespans were correlated, too. That could be easily explained by spouses sharing the same household and lifestyle: eating the same […]

Design inference Genetics Intelligent Design Mathematics

Berlinski and Denton, agnostics who doubt Darwin, offer their reasoning

David Berlinski and Michael Denton  feature in a podcast: For Berlinski, a mathematician and author of The Deniable Darwin, the problem is quantitative and methodological. For Denton, a geneticist and author of the new Discovery Institute Press book Children of Light: The Astonishing Properties of Light that Make Us Possible, the problem is empirical. Don’t miss […]

Culture Genetics Intelligent Design Science

Elizabeth Warren and the progressive war on science

Here’s a reasonable take on Warren’s DNA results: Using this data, the original analysis, which was prepared by a respected geneticist, determined that five segments of Sen. Warren’s DNA — totaling about 12.3 million bases (“letters”) — are of Native American ancestry. That might sound like a lot, but the human genome contains more than […]

Darwinism Genetics Intelligent Design

Researchers: The selfish gene does not drive cooperation after all

From ScienceDaily: Genetics isn’t as important as once thought for the evolution of altruistic social behavior in some organisms, a new insight into a decade-long debate. This is the first empirical evidence that suggests social behavior in eusocial species — organisms that are highly organized, with divisions of infertile workers — is only mildly attributed […]

Culture Genetics Naturalism

Researchers claim to have discovered genes re the “meaning of life”

That guy at Nature who rides “Genetic determinism rides again” was right. Now, from ScienceDaily: For the first time, locations on the human genome have been identified that can explain differences in meaning in life between individuals. This is the result of research conducted in over 220,000 individuals by Professor Meike Bartels and PhD student […]

Culture Genetics Intelligent Design

Why genetic determinism can’t simply be disproven

Reviewing behavioral geneticist Robert Plomin’s Blueprint: How DNA Makes Us Who We Are, a history of medicine prof writes, Crude hereditarianism often re-emerges after major advances in biological knowledge: Darwinism begat eugenics; Mendelism begat worse eugenics. The flowering of medical genetics in the 1950s led to the notorious, now-debunked idea that men with an extra […]

Genetics Human evolution Intelligent Design Mind

Did a broken gene improve running and help humans conquer the planet?

Humans apparently have a broken version of CMP-Neu5Ac Hydroxylase (CMAH), which helps build a sugar molecule that impacts running: Despite our couch potato lifestyles, long-distance running is in our genes. A new study in mice pinpoints how a stretch of DNA likely turned our ancestors into marathoners, giving us the endurance to conquer territory, evade […]

Genetics Human evolution Intelligent Design Medicine

Researchers: Genes cannot “be read like tea leaves”

Which make the effects of mutations harder to predict than hoped. Of course, it’s also a blow for genetic determinism. From ScienceDaily: Ever since the decoding of the human genome in 2003, genetic research has been focused heavily on understanding genes so that they could be read like tea leaves to predict an individual’s future […]