Cell biology Evolution Genomics Intelligent Design

Cells compared across species — expected to be similar — prove strikingly different

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At least according to an algorithm:

Researchers created an algorithm to identify similar cell types from species – including fish, mice, flatworms and sponges – that have diverged for hundreds of millions of years, which could help fill in gaps in our understanding of evolution.

Cells are the building blocks of life, present in every living organism. But how similar do you think your cells are to a mouse? A fish? A worm? …

“I was struck by how stark the differences are between them,” said Tarashansky, who was lead author of the paper and is a Stanford Bio-X Interdisciplinary Fellow. “We thought that they should have similar cell types, but when we try analyzing them using standard techniques, the method doesn’t recognize them as being similar.”

Stanford University, “Bioengineers Develop Algorithm to Compare Cells Across Species – With Striking Results” at SciTechDaily

But now get this:

Tarashansky said a highlight of the research was when they were comparing stem cells between two very different flatworms.

“The fact that we did find one-to-one matches in their stem cell populations was really exciting,” he said. “I think that basically unlocked a lot of new and exciting information about how stem cells look inside a parasitic flatworm that infects hundreds of millions of people all over the world.”

Stanford University, “Bioengineers Develop Algorithm to Compare Cells Across Species – With Striking Results” at SciTechDaily

So by the time they got to flatworms, they actually saw significant similarities. Doesn’t that prompt more questions than answers?

The paper is open access.

21 Replies to “Cells compared across species — expected to be similar — prove strikingly different

  1. 1
    BobRyan says:

    The more we learn, the more incredible life becomes. It will, unfortunately, be ignored by evolutionists. There is nothing simple about any life. The complexity of even the simplest of organisms should be appreciated, but evidence is cast aside in search of something without any actual evidence to support it. We have a great deal left to learn, but what we know compared to Darwin’s understanding is vast. All the beliefs they held about simple organisms was wrong.

  2. 2
    martin_r says:

    let me add to BobRyan’s comment:

    What did Darwin actually know in 19th century ?

  3. 3
    jerry says:

    I would be curious how their techniques worked on the different human cell types. Obviously a muscle cell looks very different from a blood cell but both have the same DNA. Gene expression is very different.

    The researchers reveal their naïveté by how they believe new coding genes arise (new proteins) by bringing up gene duplication.

  4. 4
    Querius says:

    And Darwin’s theory, when confronted with falsifying evidence, continues to evolve further into fantasy under the direction of the High Priests of Evolution (HPEs).


    The nineteenth century was so much more hopeful for the anxious atheist. They had dozens of vestigial organs, missing links that would surely soon be found, and as Charles Darwin triumphantly announced . . .

    “The Western nations of Europe . . . now so immeasurably surpass their former savage progenitors [that they] stand at the summit of civilization. . . . The civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace the savage races through the world.”


  5. 5
    groovamos says:

    as Charles Darwin triumphantly announced

    NO Darwin did not announce the above. The above was lifted from Biologos and here is how they explain it:

    Those words are all Darwin’s, but they are taken from two separate passages more than twenty pages apart, and in context they don’t mean what [??] Moore thinks they mean. They don’t mean that Darwin wished for, let alone actively sought, the extermination of “the savage races”—a term that many British writers, including some Christians, used at that time to describe people who lacked some of the knowledge and technology of nineteenth-century European civilization. Rather, Darwin was describing what he believed the future would look like. It was a grim picture that probably frightened him, but he prophesied it nonetheless. As we shall see, however, he did not applaud it.


  6. 6
    Querius says:

    Ohhh, that explains everything! I didn’t realize that these statements, when separated by several pages, are actually complimentary to those people who Darwin refers to as “savages.” No, I do understand that Darwin was not promoting racial genocide, but he clearly referred to aboriginal humans as less capable, less intelligent, and on their way to extinction.

    So here’s a complete passage from Darwin in context. Are you going to defend what Darwin wrote
    as not being racist?

    When civilised nations come into contact with barbarians the struggle is short, except where a deadly climate gives its aid to the native race. Of the causes which lead to the victory of civilised nations, some are plain and simple, others complex and obscure. We can see that the cultivation of the land will be fatal in many ways to savages, for they cannot, or will not, change their habits. New diseases and vices have in some cases proved highly destructive; and it appears that a new disease often causes much death, until those who are most susceptible to its destructive influence are gradually weeded out (33. See remarks to this effect in Sir H. Holland’s ‘Medical Notes and Reflections,’ 1839, p. 390.); and so it may be with the evil effects from spirituous liquors, as well as with the unconquerably strong taste for them shewn by so many savages.
    – The Descent of Man, Chapter 7

    In contrast, here’s what Dr. Luke wrote 2,000 years ago about races in Acts 17:24-28 (NIV):

    24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’


  7. 7
    asauber says:

    According to Highly Advanced Modern Race Theory, if Darwin was White, he was Racist.

    He was racist by definition. A colonizing, privileged, bleached, 19th century epitome of what a Racist is.


  8. 8
    tjguy says:

    @2 martin_r
    “What did Darwin actually know in 19th century ?”

    Well, Darwin THOUGHT he knew a lot of things! But he was often wrong!

    So, if the things he thought he knew led to his hypothesis of evolution, what does that say about the hypothesis if much of what he “KNEW” was really wrong?

    What does it say about the certainty of scientific “knowledge” today? I’m afraid that even today we have the same problem. We THINK we know a lot of things, but every week, our beliefs are proven wrong by a new discovery.

    This is especially true in evolutionary science. We are continually finding things that are “older than previously thought” or you fill in the blank. Older, more complex, bigger, smaller, earlier, etc. etc.

    The problem with evolutionary science is that we make hypotheses based on what we “KNOW”. But we don’t really know if what we think we know is true or not. Neither do we know what unknown factors there might be that would influence our hypothesis.

    If Darwin knew everything that we know today about the complexity of life, genetic code, irreducibly complex systems, software, hardware, etc., I highly doubt that he would have had the gall to actually believe what he wrote in his book.

  9. 9
    martin_r says:

    With respect to ‘what Darwin did (not) know in 19th’
    you forgot to mention viruses – the most abundant biological entity on Earth.
    Of course, in 19th century Darwin could not know about viruses…

    Viruses alone falsify Darwins’s concept of universal common ancestor… but are modern Darwnists concerned? Now they know and they just ignore viruses …

  10. 10
    JVL says:

    Martin_r: Viruses alone falsify Darwins’s concept of universal common ancestor

    How so exactly? Just curious.

  11. 11
    martin_r says:

    JVL, i am glad you asked, because a common Darwinian layman can’t say the difference between a bacteria and a virus…

    So here you go, the following is from a mainstream blog (Virology.ws):

    “In a phylogenetic tree, the characteristics of members of taxa are inherited from previous ancestors. Viruses cannot be included in the tree of life because they do not share characteristics with cells, and no single gene is shared by all viruses or viral lineages. While cellular life has a single, common origin, viruses are polyphyletic – they have many evolutionary origins.”
    (JVL, but you won’t learn what are these ‘many evolutionary origins’)

    or this one:

    “5. Viruses don’t have a structure derived from a common ancestor
    Cells obtain membranes from other cells during cell division. According to this concept of ‘membrane heredity’, today’s cells have inherited membranes from the first cells that evolved, and provides evidence that cells are derived from a common ancestor. Viruses have no such inherited structure.”


    does my answer satisfy you ?

  12. 12
    Querius says:

    Tjguy @8,

    What does it say about the certainty of scientific “knowledge” today? I’m afraid that even today we have the same problem. We THINK we know a lot of things, but every week, our beliefs are proven wrong by a new discovery.

    Nicely stated!

    Along that same line, I suggest that of the scientific knowledge that we think is true today, perhaps a third will prove incomplete or incorrect in the next decade. So, accepting this (or a more accurate version), what attitude should we have regarding the body of presumed scientific “fact”?


  13. 13
    Seversky says:

    Evolution as Fact and Theory

    by Stephen Jay Gould

    In the American vernacular, “theory” often means “imperfect fact”—part of a hierarchy of confidence running downhill from fact to theory to hypothesis to guess. Thus creationists can (and do) argue: evolution is “only” a theory, and intense debate now rages about many aspects of the theory. If evolution is less than a fact, and scientists can’t even make up their minds about the theory, then what confidence can we have in it? Indeed, President Reagan echoed this argument before an evangelical group in Dallas when he said (in what I devoutly hope was campaign rhetoric): “Well, it is a theory. It is a scientific theory only, and it has in recent years been challenged in the world of science—that is, not believed in the scientific community to be as infallible as it once was.”

    Well, evolution is a theory. It is also a fact. And facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world’s data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts. Facts do not go away when scientists debate rival theories to explain them. Einstein’s theory of gravitation replaced Newton’s, but apples did not suspend themselves in mid-air, pending the outcome. And humans evolved from apelike ancestors whether they did so by Darwin’s proposed mechanism or by some other, yet to be discovered.

    Moreover, “fact” does not mean “absolute certainty.” The final proofs of logic and mathematics flow deductively from stated premises and achieve certainty only because they are not about the empirical world. Evolutionists make no claim for perpetual truth, though creationists often do (and then attack us for a style of argument that they themselves favor). In science, “fact” can only mean “confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent.” I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms.

    Evolutionists have been clear about this distinction between fact and theory from the very beginning, if only because we have always acknowledged how far we are from completely understanding the mechanisms (theory) by which evolution (fact) occurred. Darwin continually emphasized the difference between his two great and separate accomplishments: establishing the fact of evolution, and proposing a theory—natural selection—to explain the mechanism of evolution. He wrote in The Descent of Man: “I had two distinct objects in view; firstly, to show that species had not been separately created, and secondly, that natural selection had been the chief agent of change. . . . Hence if I have erred in . . . having exaggerated its [natural selection’s] power . . . I have at least, as I hope, done good service in aiding to overthrow the dogma of separate creations.”

  14. 14
    Querius says:

    In the American vernacular, “theory” often means “imperfect fact”—part of a hierarchy of confidence running downhill from fact to theory to hypothesis to guess.

    While beating up a straw man was once great fun, the exercise in this case didn’t recognize that theories don’t ever become facts–not ever. Theories are convenient models of reality that can become stronger or weaker depending on their utility and ability to predict future discoveries.

    In the case of Darwinian evolution, it had some utility in the nineteenth century, but since then it’s become less and less useful as new discoveries typically are surprises as indicated in the OP. Darwinian evolution seems to be able to explain nearly anything but is relatively poor at predicting anything.

    Furthermore, justifying the brutalities of colonialism, racism, and eugenics is no longer as politically useful as in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, not to mention the theory’s many, well-documented failings, which has accelerated now that we’re studying genomes and proteins directly.


  15. 15
    kairosfocus says:

    Q, prezactly. Theories are constructed explanatory narratives that may be tested and supported or falsified by observations [subject to Lakatos’ issues on auxiliary theories etc] but are not themselves facts of observation, they simply are not in the same category. Yes, the span of tested empirical reliability of a theory may well be a further fact of observation, but that is not the theory itself and is subject to the next observation. Besides, as one who worked with engineering models, e.g. of electronic circuits, I know that many models are deliberately false simplifications that can be highly reliable for similar gamuts of testing. A theory, one suspects, may be definable as a potentially true model of the world or of a relevant aspect. Though, the pessimistic induction haunts all such suggestions. KF

  16. 16
    JVL says:

    Martin_r: does my answer satisfy you ?

    I asked why you made a statement, you answered that so, yes, I’m good.

  17. 17
    martin_r says:

    Ok, JVL, another question … did my answer surprise you?

  18. 18
    ET says:

    Yes, allele frequencies change over time. That is why evolution is a fact. But there still isn’t any scientific theory of evolution. Claiming otherwise is a lie. Gould was lying.

  19. 19
    JVL says:

    Martin_r: Ok, JVL, another question … did my answer surprise you?

    I didn’t really have an idea of what you’d say so nothing you’d say would surprise me.

  20. 20
    martin_r says:

    ok, so, did you know that viruses don’t have a common ancestor with the rest of the life (like stated in the virology.ws article) ?

  21. 21
    JVL says:

    Martin_r: ok, so, did you know that viruses don’t have a common ancestor with the rest of the life (like stated in the virology.ws article) ?

    I am aware of some of the work done and notions proffered.

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