Genetics Mind Philosophy

Looking for the ultimate knot that explains the sweater

Senior scientist at the Biologic Institute, Ann Gauger, reflects on “Life, Purpose, Mind: Where the Machine Metaphor Fails”, Evolution News & Views (June 1, 2011): Up until now, the materialist, reductionist method has been very successful, because cells can be ground up, probed, measured and tested in a way that life forces or agency can’t Read More…

Genetics Human evolution

Ninety-nine per cent chimpanzee rides again? In a Christian rag? Well, maybe only 96%?

Dennis Venema, Biologos’s senior fellow for science, and biology chair at Canada’s evangelical Trinity Western University, would have us know (p. 25) that the chimp genome(total genetic heredity encoded in DNA), which was fully mapped by 2005,displays “near identity”with the human genome as detailed by Collins’s team, with a 95 to 99 percent match depending Read More…

Evolution Genetics Intelligent Design

Crocodiles swam to North America?

This charming tale, “Crocodiles swam the Atlantic to reach America” should be true, but some are undecided. Michael Marshall explains for New Scientist (11 May 2011), “Millions of years before Vikings crossed the Atlantic, crocodiles swam thousands of kilometres from Africa to colonise the Americas,” … all four American species are most closely related to Read More…

Genetics Intelligent Design

How many fields other than human evolution can cheerfully tolerate the following level of vagueness?

In “Out-of-Africa migration selected novelty-seeking genes” (New Scientist, 06 May 2011), Aria Pearson tells us, “AS HUMANS migrated out of Africa around 50,000 years ago and moved across the planet, evolution may have latched onto a gene linked to risk-taking and adventurousness.” Once treated skeptically, the idea “stands up to rigorous analysis,” due to minor Read More…

Darwinism Genetics

Coffee!! You cannot be naturally selected to win big if you are well-armed against tropical diseases at Earmuff Central

A friend put me onto this human genetic research program (no, no, it all sounds reasonable, keep your shirt on; no one is looking for the  missing link andyou are him and the genetic police are waiting outside … wake UP, will you?): Ethnically diverse people are donating DNA to science, and the wealth of genomic Read More…

Evolutionary psychology Genetics

Thrifty gene is bankrupt science? Or, why you should always be suspicious when you hear …

As Globe & Mail medical reporter Carolyn Abraham tells it (February 25, 2011): Since James Van Gundia Neel proposed it almost 50 years ago, the thrifty-gene hypothesis has reigned as the dominant explanation for soaring rates of obesity and diabetes among many aboriginal groups. Native communities where diabetes didn’t exist in the first half of Read More…

Genetics

Knockout gene study in mice prompts speculations on human behaviour #3348

Lab mice by Aaron Logan, Lightsource In “Ma’s gene does different things to pa’s copy” Jessica Hamzelou (26 January 2011) reports for New Scientist on a knockout study of mice where researchers knocked out a gene called Grb10 in females and mated them with normal males. (From the report: “Most of our genes are expressed in Read More…