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Now that’s different: Identical twins, one in space, have different DNA?

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NASA Twins Study Preliminary Findings Revealed
Identical twin astronauts, Scott and Mark Kelly, are subjects of NASA’s Twins Study. Scott (right) spent a year in space while Mark (left) stayed on Earth as a control subject. Researchers looked at the effects of space travel on the human body/NASA

From NASA:

The Twin Study propelled NASA into the genomics era of space travel. It was a ground-breaking study comparing what happened to astronaut Scott Kelly, in space, to his identical twin brother, Mark, who remained on Earth. The perfect nature versus nurture study was born.

The Twins Study brought ten research teams from around the country together to accomplish one goal: discover what happens to the human body after spending one year in space. NASA has a grasp on what happens to the body after the standard-duration six-month missions aboard the International Space Station, but Scott Kelly’s one-year mission is a stepping stone to a three-year mission to Mars. More.

So what did they find? Among other things,

After returning to Earth, Scott started the process of readapting to Earth’s gravity. Most of the biological changes he experienced in space quickly returned to nearly his preflight status. Some changes returned to baseline within hours or days of landing, while a few persisted after six months.

Scott’s telomeres (endcaps of chromosomes that shorten as one ages) actually became significantly longer in space. While this finding was presented in 2017, the team verified this unexpected change with multiple assays and genomics testing. Additionally, a new finding is that the majority of those telomeres shortened within two days of Scott’s return to Earth.

Another interesting finding concerned what some call the “space gene”, which was alluded to in 2017. Researchers now know that 93% of Scott’s genes returned to normal after landing. However, the remaining 7% point to possible longer term changes in genes related to his immune system, DNA repair, bone formation networks, hypoxia, and hypercapnia.

Philip Cunningham, who forwarded this information, reports an interesting discussion on Facebook. From a commenter:

“I’m sure the attacks on his DNA from the prolong exposure to Space with the lack of protection of the many forms of radiation would result in a great deal of Mutations. Genetic Entropy would be accelerated for anyone under such an experience. This would result in some DNA change.”

To which he responded:

“I’m sure you are right to a certain degree, yet this following statement is the one of most interest to me… “Most of Scott’s genes did indeed return to normal after a brief time back here on Earth, but not all of them.” … It is that finding in particular that directly falsifies the “central dogma” of Darwinian evolution since its shows the organism controlling its DNA, not the DNA controlling the organism as is presupposed by Darwinists.”

Actually, there is no falsifying Darwinism now, mainly because it is now beyond the reach of evidence. Possibly, the best way to discard it is to quietly ignore it in actual research while supporting the efforts to pry it loose from the school systems.

Obviously, the genome is much more plastic than centuries of hereditarians have led us to believe. It will eventually be very difficult to explain Darwinism to students. Somewhat like explaining phrenology maybe…

See also: Identical twins show epigenetic similarity as well. Then what about the famous “twin studies”?

and

Identical twins are not really identical (on Earth) and tend to diverge as they go through life. See also: There’s a gene for that… or is there?

45 Replies to “Now that’s different: Identical twins, one in space, have different DNA?

  1. 1
    Allan Keith says:

    Interesting study. But I don’t think that increased exposure to radiation is a factor here as this would not affect all cells. This appears to be more a case of a different environment causing different gene expression, something that has been observed for over half a century. But regardless, a well designed experiment.

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    News as to:

    Actually, there is no falsifying Darwinism now, mainly because it is now beyond the reach of evidence.

    Not only now but throughout its entire history Darwinian evolution, as it is held by its ‘believers’, has been beyond the reach of experimental falsification. And since it is held to be beyond all experimental falsification by its ‘believers’, then Darwinian evolution is more realistically classified as a unfalsifiable pseudoscience rather than a testable science (Popper).

    The primary reason why Darwinian evolution is more properly classified as a pseudoscience instead of a testable science is that Darwinian evolution has no mathematical model to test against. As Dr Robert Marks states ““there exists no model successfully describing undirected Darwinian evolution. According to our current understanding, there never will be.,,,”

    “There exists no model successfully describing undirected Darwinian evolution. Hard sciences are built on foundations of mathematics or definitive simulations. Examples include electromagnetics, Newtonian mechanics, geophysics, relativity, thermodynamics, quantum mechanics, optics, and many areas in biology. Those hoping to establish Darwinian evolution as a hard science with a model have either failed or inadvertently cheated. These models contain guidance mechanisms to land the airplane squarely on the target runway despite stochastic wind gusts. Not only can the guiding assistance be specifically identified in each proposed evolution model, its contribution to the success can be measured, in bits, as active information.,,,”,,, “there exists no model successfully describing undirected Darwinian evolution. According to our current understanding, there never will be.,,,”
    – Robert J. Marks II – Top Ten Questions and Objections to ‘Introduction to Evolutionary Informatics’ – June 12, 2017

    The primary reason why nobody has ever been able to build a realistic mathematical model for Darwinian evolution is simply because there is no ‘law of evolution’ within the known physical universe for mathematicians and physicists to build a realistic mathematical model upon:

    Laws of science
    1 Conservation laws
    1.1 Conservation and symmetry
    1.2 Continuity and transfer
    2 Laws of classical mechanics
    2.1 Principle of least action
    3 Laws of gravitation and relativity
    3.1 Modern laws
    3.2 Classical laws
    4 Thermodynamics
    5 Electromagnetism
    6 Photonics
    7 Laws of quantum mechanics
    8 Radiation laws
    9 Laws of chemistry
    10 Geophysical laws
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laws_of_science

    As Ernst Mayr himself conceded, “In biology, as several other people have shown, and I totally agree with them, there are no natural laws in biology corresponding to the natural laws of the physical sciences.”

    The Evolution of Ernst: Interview with Ernst Mayr – 2004 (page 2 of 14)
    Excerpt: biology (Darwinian Evolution) differs from the physical sciences in that in the physical sciences, all theories, I don’t know exceptions so I think it’s probably a safe statement, all theories are based somehow or other on natural laws. In biology, as several other people have shown, and I totally agree with them, there are no natural laws in biology corresponding to the natural laws of the physical sciences.
    ,,, And so that’s what I do in this book. I show that the theoretical basis, you might call it, or I prefer to call it the philosophy of biology, has a totally different basis than the theories of physics.
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/media/pdf/0004D8E1-178C-10EB-978C83414B7F012C.pdf

    In the following article, Roger Highfield makes much the same observation as Ernst Mayr and states, ,,, Whatever the case, those universal truths—’laws’—that physicists and chemists all rely upon appear relatively absent from biology.

    WHAT SCIENTIFIC IDEA IS READY FOR RETIREMENT? Evolution is True – Roger Highfield – January 2014
    Excerpt: If evolutionary biologists are really Seekers of the Truth, they need to focus more on finding the mathematical regularities of biology, following in the giant footsteps of Sewall Wright, JBS Haldane, Ronald Fisher and so on.
    ,,, Whatever the case, those universal truths—’laws’—that physicists and chemists all rely upon appear relatively absent from biology.
    Little seems to have changed from a decade ago when the late and great John Maynard Smith wrote a chapter on evolutionary game theory for a book on the most powerful equations of science: his contribution did not include a single equation.
    http://www.edge.org/response-detail/25468

    Professor Murray Eden of MIT, in a paper entitled “Inadequacies of Neo-Darwinian Evolution as a Scientific Theory” stated that “the randomness postulate is highly implausible and that an adequate scientific theory of evolution must await the discovery and elucidation of new natural laws—physical, physico-chemical, and biological.”

    “It is our contention that if ‘random’ is given a serious and crucial interpretation from a probabilistic point of view, the randomness postulate is highly implausible and that an adequate scientific theory of evolution must await the discovery and elucidation of new natural laws—physical, physico-chemical, and biological.”
    Murray Eden, “Inadequacies of Neo-Darwinian Evolution as a Scientific Theory,” Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution, editors Paul S. Moorhead and Martin M. Kaplan, June 1967, p. 109.
    https://people.eecs.berkeley.edu/~christos/evol/compevol_files/Wistar-Eden-1.pdf

    In fact, not only is there no ‘law of evolution’ within the known physical universe for Darwinists to build a realistic mathematical model upon, the second law of thermodynamics, entropy, a law with great mathematical explanatory power in science, almost directly contradicts the primary Darwinian claim that greater and greater levels of functional complexity can easily be had and/or ‘naturally selected’ for over long periods of time. Indeed, entropy’s main claim is that, over long periods of time, everything in the universe will decay into simpler and simpler states until what is termed thermodynamic equilibrium is finally reached.

    And whereas Darwinian evolution has no known law of nature to appeal to so as to establish itself as a proper, testable, science, Intelligent Design does not suffer from such a disconnect from physical reality. In other words, Intelligent Design can appeal directly to ‘the laws of conservation of information’ (Dembski, Marks, etc..) in order to establish itself as a proper, testable, and rigorous science.

    Conservation of information, evolution, etc – Sept. 30, 2014
    Excerpt: Kurt Gödel’s logical objection to Darwinian evolution:
    “The formation in geological time of the human body by the laws of physics (or any other laws of similar nature), starting from a random distribution of elementary particles and the field is as unlikely as the separation of the atmosphere into its components. The complexity of the living things has to be present within the material [from which they are derived] or in the laws [governing their formation].”
    Gödel – As quoted in H. Wang. “On `computabilism’ and physicalism: Some Problems.” in Nature’s Imagination, J. Cornwall, Ed, pp.161-189, Oxford University Press (1995).
    Gödel’s argument is that if evolution is unfolding from an initial state by mathematical laws of physics, it cannot generate any information not inherent from the start – and in his view, neither the primaeval environment nor the laws are information-rich enough.,,,
    More recently this led him (Dembski) to postulate a Law of Conservation of Information, or actually to consolidate the idea, first put forward by Nobel-prizewinner Peter Medawar in the 1980s. Medawar had shown, as others before him, that in mathematical and computational operations, no new information can be created, but new findings are always implicit in the original starting points – laws and axioms.,,,
    http://potiphar.jongarvey.co.u.....ution-etc/

    Evolutionary Computing: The Invisible Hand of Intelligence – June 17, 2015
    Excerpt: William Dembski and Robert Marks have shown that no evolutionary algorithm is superior to blind search — unless information is added from an intelligent cause, which means it is not, in the Darwinian sense, an evolutionary algorithm after all. This mathematically proven law, based on the accepted No Free Lunch Theorems, seems to be lost on the champions of evolutionary computing. Researchers keep confusing an evolutionary algorithm (a form of artificial selection) with “natural evolution.” ,,,
    Marks and Dembski account for the invisible hand required in evolutionary computing. The Lab’s website states, “The principal theme of the lab’s research is teasing apart the respective roles of internally generated and externally applied information in the performance of evolutionary systems.” So yes, systems can evolve, but when they appear to solve a problem (such as generating complex specified information or reaching a sufficiently narrow predefined target), intelligence can be shown to be active. Any internally generated information is conserved or degraded by the law of Conservation of Information.,,,
    What Marks and Dembski (mathematically) prove is as scientifically valid and relevant as Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem in mathematics. You can’t prove a system of mathematics from within the system, and you can’t derive an information-rich pattern from within the pattern.,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....96931.html

    And since Intelligent Design is mathematically based on the ‘law of conservation of information’, that makes Intelligent Design very much testable and potentially falsifiable, and thus makes Intelligent Design, unlike Darwinism, a rigorous science instead of a unfalsifiable pseudoscience.

    The Law of Physicodynamic Incompleteness – David L. Abel
    Excerpt: “If decision-node programming selections are made randomly or by law rather than with purposeful intent, no non-trivial (sophisticated) function will spontaneously arise.”
    If only one exception to this null hypothesis were published, the hypothesis would be falsified. Falsification would require an experiment devoid of behind-the-scenes steering. Any artificial selection hidden in the experimental design would disqualify the experimental falsification. After ten years of continual republication of the null hypothesis with appeals for falsification, no falsification has been provided.
    The time has come to extend this null hypothesis into a formal scientific prediction:
    “No non trivial algorithmic/computational utility will ever arise from chance and/or necessity alone.”
    https://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/The_Law_of_Physicodynamic_Incompleteness

    Of supplemental note: although Darwinists have refused to accept falsification for their theory from mathematics and empirical evidence, and even though, as was shown, Darwinian evolution, since there is no ‘law of evolution’ within the universe, can have no rigid mathematical basis to test against, Darwinian evolution, regardless of that monumental failing, has, none-the-less, been thoroughly falsified by both mathematics and experimentation.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/early-complexity-a-case-study-of-evolutionary-theory/#comment-650322

    Of particular interest to the present twin study listed in the OP is this video which goes over the evidence that falsifies the entire reductive materialistic framework that undergirds Darwinian evolution:

    Darwinism vs Biological Form – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyNzNPgjM4w

  3. 3
    Bob O'H says:

    “I’m sure you are right to a certain degree, yet this following statement is the one of most interest to me… “Most of Scott’s genes did indeed return to normal after a brief time back here on Earth, but not all of them.” … It is that finding in particular that directly falsifies the “central dogma” of Darwinian evolution since its shows the organism controlling its DNA, not the DNA controlling the organism as is presupposed by Darwinists.”

    It’s perhaps worth clarifying that the “genes returning back to normal” refers to genetic regulation (particularly via methylation), not to changes in the DNA sequence. This is not the same thing as the changes in the telomeres (which is change in the DNA sequence, but not in the sequence of genes).

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    Bob (and weave), I don’t know if you are really trying to defend Darwinian theory, or just trying to blow smoke as you usually do, but his main point about genetic entropy and my main point about this falsifying the ‘central dogma’ are both correct.

    As to genetic entropy,,, from the article,,,

    By measuring large numbers of metabolites, cytokines, and proteins, researchers learned that spaceflight is associated with oxygen deprivation stress, increased inflammation, and dramatic nutrient shifts that affect gene expression.

    Scott’s telomeres (endcaps of chromosomes that shorten as one ages) actually became significantly longer in space. While this finding was presented in 2017, the team verified this unexpected change with multiple assays and genomics testing. Additionally, a new finding is that the majority of those telomeres shortened within two days of Scott’s return to Earth.

    Another interesting finding concerned what some call the “space gene”, which was alluded to in 2017. Researchers now know that 93% of Scott’s genes returned to normal after landing. However, the remaining 7% point to possible longer term changes in genes related to his immune system, DNA repair, bone formation networks, hypoxia, and hypercapnia.

    As to falsifying the ‘central dogma’, In my post on facebook, I alluded to the fact that this evidence ‘adds to’ the growing body of evidence falsifying the central dogma,,, i.e. that “it’s the organism controlling the DNA to meet its own needs, not the DNA controlling the organism.”

    In regards to further evidence, since it was facebook, I briefly cited just these two references:

    Ask an Embryologist: Genomic Mosaicism – Jonathan Wells – February 23, 2015
    Excerpt: humans have a “few thousand” different cell types. Here is my simple question: Does the DNA sequence in one cell type differ from the sequence in another cell type in the same person?,,,
    The simple answer is: We now know that there is considerable variation in DNA sequences among tissues, and even among cells in the same tissue. It’s called genomic mosaicism.
    In the early days of developmental genetics, some people thought that parts of the embryo became different from each other because they acquired different pieces of the DNA from the fertilized egg. That theory was abandoned,,,
    ,,,(then) “genomic equivalence” — the idea that all the cells of an organism (with a few exceptions, such as cells of the immune system) contain the same DNA — became the accepted view.
    I taught genomic equivalence for many years. A few years ago, however, everything changed. With the development of more sophisticated techniques and the sampling of more tissues and cells, it became clear that genetic mosaicism is common.
    I now know as an embryologist,,,Tissues and cells, as they differentiate, modify their DNA to suit their needs. It’s the organism controlling the DNA, not the DNA controlling the organism.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....93851.html

    Darwinism vs Biological Form – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyNzNPgjM4w

    ,,, but, if I had longer than a facebook post, I could have also cited these following references that falsify the ‘central dogma’,,,

    How life changes itself: the Read-Write (RW) genome. – 2013
    Excerpt: Research dating back to the 1930s has shown that genetic change is the result of cell-mediated processes, not simply accidents or damage to the DNA. This cell-active view of genome change applies to all scales of DNA sequence variation, from point mutations to large-scale genome rearrangements and whole genome duplications (WGDs). This conceptual change to active cell inscriptions controlling RW genome functions has profound implications for all areas of the life sciences.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23876611

    New Research Elucidates Directed Mutation Mechanisms – Cornelius Hunter – January 7, 2013
    Excerpt: mutations don’t occur randomly in the genome, but rather in the genes where they can help to address the challenge. But there is more. The gene’s single stranded DNA has certain coils and loops which expose only some of the gene’s nucleotides to mutation. So not only are certain genes targeted for mutation, but certain nucleotides within those genes are targeted in what is referred to as directed mutations.,,,
    These findings contradict evolution’s prediction that mutations are random with respect to need and sometimes just happen to occur in the right place at the right time.,,,
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....ected.html

    Failed Darwinian Prediction – Mutations are not adaptive – Cornelius Hunter – 2015
    Excerpt: In the twentieth century, the theory of evolution predicted that mutations are not adaptive or directed. In other words, mutations were believed to be random with respect to the needs of the individual.,,,
    But that assumption is now known to be false.,,,
    (References on site)
    https://sites.google.com/site/darwinspredictions/mutations-are-not-adaptive

    Antibiotic Resistance Is Prevalent in an Isolated Cave (4 million year old) Microbiome – April 2012
    Excerpt: ‘Antibiotic resistance is manifested through a number of different mechanisms including target alteration, control of drug influx and efflux, and through highly efficient enzyme-mediated inactivation. Resistance can emerge relatively quickly in the case of some mutations in target genes and there is evidence that antibiotics themselves can promote such mutations [43], [44], [45], [46]; however, resistance to most antibiotics occurs through the aegis of extremely efficient enzymes, efflux proteins and other transport systems that often are highly specialized towards specific antibiotic molecules.’
    http://www.plosone.org/article.....ne.0034953

    Extreme Genome Repair – 2009
    Excerpt: If its naming had followed, rather than preceded, molecular analyses of its DNA, the extremophile bacterium Deinococcus radiodurans might have been called Lazarus. After shattering of its 3.2 Mb genome into 20–30 kb pieces by desiccation or a high dose of ionizing radiation, D. radiodurans miraculously reassembles its genome such that only 3 hr later fully reconstituted nonrearranged chromosomes are present, and the cells carry on, alive as normal.,,,
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm.....MC3319128/

    In the lab, scientists coax E. coli to resist radiation damage – March 17, 2014
    Excerpt: ,,, John R. Battista, a professor of biological sciences at Louisiana State University, showed that E. coli could evolve to resist ionizing radiation by exposing cultures of the bacterium to the highly radioactive isotope cobalt-60. “We blasted the cultures until 99 percent of the bacteria were dead. Then we’d grow up the survivors and blast them again. We did that twenty times,” explains Cox.
    The result were E. coli capable of enduring as much as four orders of magnitude more ionizing radiation, making them similar to Deinococcus radiodurans, a desert-dwelling bacterium found in the 1950s to be remarkably resistant to radiation. That bacterium is capable of surviving more than one thousand times the radiation dose that would kill a human.
    http://www.news.wisc.edu/22641

    Jonathan Wells: Far from being all-powerful, DNA does not wholly determine biological form – March 31, 2014
    Excerpt: Studies using saturation mutagenesis in the embryos of fruit flies, roundworms, zebrafish and mice also provide evidence against the idea that DNA specifies the basic form of an organism. Biologists can mutate (and indeed have mutated) a fruit fly embryo in every possible way, and they have invariably observed only three possible outcomes: a normal fruit fly, a defective fruit fly, or a dead fruit fly.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/jonathan-wells-far-from-being-all-powerful-dna-does-not-wholly-determine-biological-form/

    To reiterate, the main point is, contrary to core Darwinian presuppositions, “it’s the organism controlling the DNA to meet its own needs, not the DNA controlling the organism.”

  5. 5
    Origenes says:

    Researchers now know that 93% of Scott’s genes returned to normal after landing. However, the remaining 7% point to possible longer term changes in genes related to his immune system, DNA repair, bone formation networks, hypoxia, and hypercapnia.

    Assuming that these percentages only refer to the 20.000 or so coding genes, 7% still equals 1400 genes. Think about it: 1400 of Scott Kelly’s genes underwent long term changes and he is still going strong! Things have changed in his immune system, DNA repair, bone formation networks, hypoxia, and hypercapnia, but behold it all still works. Truly amazing. Is there an evolutionary explanation for the persistence of homeostasis under such dramatic circumstances?

  6. 6
    Bob O'H says:

    Origenes – yes. it’s called homeostasis. Gene expression is affected by the environment, and there is plenty of evidence that the effects can last a long time (and even be passed from one generation to the next).

    The evolutionary explanation is that the environment is stable enough that an organism will be fitter if it maintains the same gene expression patterns (this might, for example, be the response to a bad year with low food productivity). Obviously we haven’t been into space a lot, so the changes in gene expression haven’t evolved as a response to space, but are presumably responses to a signal that was triggered in space.

    At this general level it’s not so amazing, although the details will be fascinating. It would also be nice to see data with a sample size larger than one pair.

  7. 7
    Origenes says:

    O: Things have changed in his immune system, DNA repair, bone formation networks, hypoxia, and hypercapnia, but behold it all still works. Truly amazing. Is there an evolutionary explanation for the persistence of homeostasis under such dramatic circumstances?

    Bob: yes. it’s called homeostasis.

    So, the evolutionary explanation of the persistence of homeostasis is called ‘h-o-m-e-o-s-t-a-s-i-s’. Thanks Bob, for acquainting me with that very difficult word. Thank you, that’s very informative.

  8. 8
    Bob O'H says:

    Origenes, errm yes. Read beyond the first 5 words. I explain what I mean.

  9. 9
    bornagain77 says:

    Origenes: Is there an evolutionary explanation for the persistence of homeostasis under such dramatic circumstances?

    Bob: yes. it’s called homeostasis.

    Origenes: So, the evolutionary explanation of the persistence of homeostasis is called ‘h-o-m-e-o-s-t-a-s-i-s’.

    🙂 🙂 🙂

    Origenes, yes that right, for a Darwinist, no more proof for the evolution of homeostasis is needed than the fact that homeostasis exists. All countervailing evidence that Darwinian explanations are grossly inadequate to account for homeostasis (and everything else in life) counts for naught.

    Welcome to the fantasy land of Darwinian ‘science’.

    🙂

    In the following article, Jonathan Wells distilled the template for writing supposed scientific articles that deal with evolution:

    Darwinian ‘science’ in a nutshell:
    Jonathan Wells on pop science boilerplate – April 20, 2015
    Excerpt: Based on my reading of thousands of Peer-Reviewed Articles in the professional literature, I’ve distilled (the) template for writing scientific articles that deal with evolution:
    1. (Presuppose that) Darwinian evolution is a fact.
    2. We used [technique(s)] to study [feature(s)] in [name of species], and we unexpectedly found [results inconsistent with Darwinian evolution].
    3. We propose [clever speculations], which might explain why the results appear to conflict with evolutionary theory.
    4. We conclude that Darwinian evolution is a fact.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ilerplate/

    i.e. In his mind (if he had a mind), a Darwinist never allows the core of the theory to be challenged. As such, it is, as mentioned previously, a unfalsifiable pseudoscience rather than a testable science. (Popper)

    “In so far as a scientific statement speaks about reality, it must be falsifiable; and in so far as it is not falsifiable, it does not speak about reality.”
    Karl Popper – The Two Fundamental Problems of the Theory of Knowledge (2014 edition), Routledge

    Dubitable Darwin? Why Some Smart, Nonreligious People Doubt the Theory of Evolution By John Horgan on July 6, 2010
    Excerpt: Early in his career, the philosopher Karl Popper ,, called evolution via natural selection “almost a tautology” and “not a testable scientific theory but a metaphysical research program.” Attacked for these criticisms, Popper took them back (in approx 1978). But when I interviewed him in 1992, he blurted out that he still found Darwin’s theory dissatisfying. “One ought to look for alternatives!” Popper exclaimed, banging his kitchen table.
    http://blogs.scientificamerica.....evolution/

    Tom Bethell also interviewed Karl Popper after the Darwinian backlash and Popper again reiterated his claim that Darwinism was not a testable scientific theory.

    Tom Bethell on Karl Popper’s rejection of Darwinian Evolution as a testable scientific theory – 5:54 minute mark
    https://youtu.be/MLdZzf8HoUU?t=352

  10. 10
    Origenes says:

    Bob, you did in no way respond to the problem which I identified. Why is Scott Kelly’s homeostasis still functioning when it is disturbed by 1400 genes which underwent sudden long term changes due to space travel?

    Bob: Obviously we haven’t been into space a lot, so the changes in gene expression haven’t evolved as a response to space …

    Well, that’s the problem, isn’t it? It cannot be the case that, over time, natural selection has filtered out humans whose homeostasis can cope with gene changes due to space travel. So, what can be the evolutionary explanation for the fact that Scott Kelly’s homeostasis holds?

  11. 11
    Bob O'H says:

    Bob, you did in no way respond to the problem which I identified.

    Now let’s see

    It cannot be the case that, over time, natural selection has filtered out humans whose homeostasis can cope with gene changes due to space travel. So, what can be the evolutionary explanation for the fact that Scott Kelly’s homeostasis holds?

    And I wrote (emphasis added)

    The evolutionary explanation is that the environment is stable enough that an organism will be fitter if it maintains the same gene expression patterns (this might, for example, be the response to a bad year with low food productivity). Obviously we haven’t been into space a lot, so the changes in gene expression haven’t evolved as a response to space, but are presumably responses to a signal that was triggered in space.

  12. 12
    bornagain77 says:

    Bob (and weave),,

    Obviously we haven’t been into space a lot, so the changes in gene expression haven’t evolved as a response to space, but are presumably responses to a signal that was triggered in space.

    Still not buying your ‘just so story’. Could you add a few more adjectives and adverbs to make your imaginary scenario for how homeostasis might have evolved more believable so as to make it more convincing for those who are gullible enough to think Darwinists are being remotely scientific in their story telling???

    Sociobiology: The Art of Story Telling – Stephen Jay Gould – 1978 – New Scientist
    Excerpt: Rudyard Kipling asked how the leopard got its spots, the rhino its wrinkled skin. He called his answers “Just So stories”. When evolutionists study individual adaptations, when they try to explain form and behaviour by reconstructing history and assessing current utility, they also tell just so stories – and the agent is natural selection.
    Virtuosity in invention replaces testability as the criterion for acceptance.
    https://books.google.com/books?id=tRj7EyRFVqYC&pg=PA530

    “… another common misuse of evolutionary ideas: namely, the idea that some trait must have evolved merely because we can imagine a scenario under which possession of that trait would have been advantageous to fitness… Such forays into evolutionary explanation amount ultimately to storytelling… it is not enough to construct a story about how the trait might have evolved in response to a given selection pressure; rather, one must provide some sort of evidence that it really did so evolve. This is a very tall order.…”
    — Austin L. Hughes, The Folly of Scientism – The New Atlantis, Fall 2012

    “Evolutionary biology, in contrast with physics and chemistry, is a historical science — the evolutionist attempts to explain events and processes that have already taken place. Laws and experiments are inappropriate techniques for the explication of such events and processes. Instead one constructs a historical narrative, consisting of a tentative reconstruction of the particular scenario that led to the events one is trying to explain.”
    Ernst Mayr – Darwin’s Influence on Modern Thought – Nov. 2009 – Originally published July 2000

    “Grand Darwinian claims rest on undisciplined imagination”
    Dr. Michael Behe – 29:24 mark of following video
    Evidence of Design from Biology. A Presentation by Dr. Michael Behe at the University of Toronto
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?f.....fM#t=1762s

    Of related interest, one of the most successful fiction writers in America, Dean Koontz himself, does not buy into Darwinian story telling:

    “Meyer writes beautifully. He marshals complex information as well as any writer I’ve read . . . This book—and his body of work—challenges scientism with real science and excites in me the hope that the origins-of-life debate will soon be largely free of the ideology that has long colored it . . . a wonderful, most compelling read.”
    -Dean Koontz, New York Times bestselling author – review of Darwin’s Doubt
    https://darwinsdoubt.com/blurbs/

  13. 13
    Origenes says:

    Bob: Obviously we haven’t been into space a lot, so the changes in gene expression haven’t evolved as a response to space …

    Okay. Yes. Obviously. So?

    Bob: … but are presumably responses to a signal that was triggered in space.

    The changes in Scott Kelly’s genes are “presumably responses to a signal that was triggered in space.”
    Okay … a signal in space … I suppose that is a possible explanation, but how is that an answer to my question? Are you suggesting that ‘signals from space’ have reached us earth-dwellers for eons and that therefore evolution could have equipped us with a homeostasis ready for space travel?

  14. 14
    Bob O'H says:

    Origenes – No. What I mans was that the environment one finds oneself in triggers a signal in the cell(s) that causes gene expression to change. Sorry, I could have been clearer about that.

  15. 15
    Allan Keith says:

    Origenes,

    Okay … a signal in space … I suppose that is a possible explanation, but how is that an answer to my question? Are you suggesting that ‘signals from space’ have reached us earth-dwellers for eons and that therefore evolution could have equipped us with a homeostasis ready for space travel?”

    I think what Bob is saying is that it is the physiological affects of weightlessness that are causing the epigenetic affects (please correct me if I am wrong). Things like muscle atrophy, osteopenia, slowed cardiovascular function, decreased red blood cell production, balance and eyesight problems, fluid retention and excess flatulence (which must make the space station rather pungent). All of these symptoms also occur to people on earth, just not typical at the same time. What would be interesting is to see if earthbound people who experience some of these symptoms also have similar epigenetic changes.

  16. 16
    Origenes says:

    Bob: No. What I mans was that the environment one finds oneself in triggers a signal in the cell(s) that causes gene expression to change.

    Okay. But that leaves the question “what can be the evolutionary explanation for the fact that Scott Kelly’s homeostasis holds?” unanswered, right?
    For clarity, it seems to me that a sudden change in 1400 genes poses a challenge for Kelly’s homeostasis. Maybe I did not make that clear.

    I would also like to know how many genes undergo short term changes. Unfortunately the article doesn’t say. A lot of change would trigger the question: why do astronauts not fall apart in space?

  17. 17
    Origenes says:

    Allan Keith: All of these symptoms also occur to people on earth, just not typical at the same time.

    If you are correct, if all space-gene-changes also occur on earth, then the evolutionary narrative lives another day. However, this is not what the article suggests.
    For instance:

    Scott’s telomeres (endcaps of chromosomes that shorten as one ages) actually became significantly longer in space.

    suggests some unknown (extraterrestrial?) gene change.

  18. 18
    Bob O'H says:

    Otigenes – given that we’ve not been into space before, I don’t see why there would be an evolutionary explanation. There should, of course, be a physiological explanation, and that might lead to an explanation for why there would be a response to an environment similar to space. But without knowing much more, I’m not sure we could say a great deal.

    BTW, telomeres aren’t genes. They are stretches of repetitive DNA at the ends of chromosomes, which act as caps. Sort-of (vaguely) like the plastic/metal things on the ends of boot laces that stop them from fraying.

  19. 19
    Allan Keith says:

    Origenes, I agree that the lengthening of the telomeres, and then rapid shortening of them after landing, is the most interesting aspect. It would be interesting to see if the inverse is also seen; do the telomeres shorten when exposed to higher gravity and lengthen again to normal length when returned to normal gravity? I imagine that this could be tested by use of a specially designed centrifuge.

    But the big question is, what does this even mean? I certainly don’t.

  20. 20
    Origenes says:

    Bob@

    … given that we’ve not been into space before, I don’t see why there would be an evolutionary explanation.

    “Why there would be … “?? Are we talking past each other? If evolution is true, if it can potentially explain what happens to ppl in space, then there should be a conceivable evolutionary explanation for why astronauts do not fall apart in space. Right?

    There should, of course, be a physiological explanation …

    Explanation for why Scott’s homeostasis is up to the task of handling a lot of weird gene change?

    … and that might lead to an explanation for why there would be a response to an environment similar to space.

    We are indeed talking past each other…. At no point did I ask why there would be a response to space. That is not my question Bob. It never was.

  21. 21
    Bob O'H says:

    If evolution is true, if it can potentially explain what happens to ppl in space, then there should be a conceivable evolutionary explanation for why astronauts do not fall apart in space. Right?

    Err, why? We haven’t evolved in space. So I can’t see an evolutionary explanation beyond “humans have evolved not to fall apart on earth”. Of course, it’s possible that humans don’t fall apart in space because of intelligent design. i.e. humans have designed the space station to maintain human life.

    Explanation for why Scott’s homeostasis is up to the task of handling a lot of weird gene change?

    Who said it’s weird? See Allan Keith’s comment @ 15.

    We are indeed talking past each other…. At no point did I ask why there would be a response to space. That is not my question Bob. It never was.

    Well ,except for where you wrote “For clarity, it seems to me that a sudden change in 1400 genes poses a challenge for Kelly’s homeostasis.”

  22. 22
    Origenes says:

    Bob, it seems that I cannot get my point across. I am not a native English speaker, so this miscommunication may very well be due to my limited ability to express myself.

  23. 23
    Allan Keith says:

    Another possible avenue for research is to look at genetic changes caused by high pressures such as experienced by divers. We obviously did not evolve specifically to thrive under multiple atmospheres of pressure. But we know that we can survive for extended periods under such conditions.

    Do we experience changes in gene expression under high pressure? How quickly do they revert to “normal” when we are brought back to the surface.

  24. 24
    bornagain77 says:

    As to:

    “There should, of course, be a physiological explanation …”

    Seeing as Darwinian explanations don’t even get out of the gate as to providing anything resembling a coherent explanation, (much less a testable one), that would be one avenue. But alas, Physiology, much like all of biology, is not a friend of Darwinian evolution:

    “Physiology Is Rocking the Foundations of Evolutionary Biology”: Another Peer-Reviewed Paper Takes Aim at Neo-Darwinism – Casey Luskin March 31, 2015
    Excerpt: Noble doesn’t mince words:
    “It is not only the standard 20th century views of molecular genetics that are in question. Evolutionary theory itself is already in a state of flux (Jablonka & Lamb, 2005; Noble, 2006, 2011; Beurton et al. 2008; Pigliucci & Muller, 2010; Gissis & Jablonka, 2011; Shapiro, 2011). In this article, I will show that all the central assumptions of the Modern Synthesis (often also called Neo-Darwinism) have been disproved.”
    Noble then recounts those assumptions: (1) that “genetic change is random,” (2) that “genetic change is gradual,” (3) that “following genetic change, natural selection leads to particular gene variants (alleles) increasing in frequency within the population,” and (4) that “inheritance of acquired characteristics is impossible.” He then cites examples that refute each of those assumptions,,,
    He then proposes a new and radical model of biology called the “Integrative Synthesis,” where genes don’t run the show and all parts of an organism — the genome, the cell, the body plan, everything — is integrated.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....94821.html

    Evolutionary dilemma
    The more we know about DNA, the tougher things get for modern Darwinism —
    None other than the President of the International Union of Physiological Sciences, Professor Denis Noble (Oxford University), has presented a paper where he set out to show “that all the central assumptions of the Modern Synthesis (often also called Neo-Darwinism) have been disproved.” Noble says he hopes for a new theory of ‘evolution’ that will explain the evidence.2,,,
    https://creation.com/evolutionary-dilemma

    Noble may hope for a “new theory of evolution” that will explain the evidence, but alas, since it is a unfalsifiable pseudoscience, Darwinian evolution will still go on in spite of the evidence. Just as it has always done since its inception.

    Nobel’s mistake is that he thinks he is dealing with a science instead of a religion.

  25. 25
    cornu says:

    A few things that might clear things up a little…

    There are not 1400 genes that remain differentially expressed in twins. Rather, 7% of those genes that were differentially expressed remain so. There are only a few hundred genes with apparently continued differential expression.

    We know these expression changes are statistically significant, but not how large they are. Gene expression can be quite sloppy, so minor changes in transcript abundance may have little physiological effect.

    It’s a bit weird to ask how homeostasis can handle changes in gene expression. It’s quite possible that the changes in gene expression are homeostasis. Physiological cues brought about by strange food, lack of weight-bearing exercise etc giving rise to changes in gene expression. Hard to see the challenge to evolutionary biology there.

    I agree with others the telomere result is the most interesting. But I can’t see why this result is qualitatively different than the gene expression one. To lengthen telomeres, you just need to express more telomerase (as happens in cancer cells on earth).

  26. 26
    critical rationalist says:

    “I’m sure you are right to a certain degree, yet this following statement is the one of most interest to me… “Most of Scott’s genes did indeed return to normal after a brief time back here on Earth, but not all of them.” … It is that finding in particular that directly falsifies the “central dogma” of Darwinian evolution since its shows the organism controlling its DNA, not the DNA controlling the organism as is presupposed by Darwinists.”

    Um.. And where does most of the knowledge of how to modulate DNA in a cell come from? Other knowledge, which takes the form of, you guessed it, knowledge laden genes.

  27. 27
    bornagain77 says:

    So CR, do you really, really, really, believe that “knowledge laden genes” run the whole show in biology???

    Perhaps it would help you to realize just how ‘puppet-like’ genes actually are in an organism. i.e. Despite the ‘selfish gene’ metaphor of Dawkins, genes are now known to not even be masters of their own fate much less the masters of everything else in biological organisms.

    “Hundreds or thousands of DNA sequences move (or are moved) within vast numbers of cell nuclei, and are subjected to extraordinarily nuanced, locally modulated chemical activity so as to contribute appropriately to bodily requirements that are nowhere codified — least of all in those DNA sequences.,,,”
    – Talbott

    Or perhaps a larger dose of medicine is necessary for you CR:

    Genes and Organisms: Improvising the Dance of Life – Stephen L. Talbott – Nov. 10, 2015
    Excerpt: The performances of countless cells in your body are redirected and coordinated as part of a global narrative for which no localized controller exists. This redirection and coordination includes a unique choreography of gene expression in each individual cell. Hundreds or thousands of DNA sequences move (or are moved) within vast numbers of cell nuclei, and are subjected to extraordinarily nuanced, locally modulated chemical activity so as to contribute appropriately to bodily requirements that are nowhere codified — least of all in those DNA sequences.,,,
    DNA in its larger matrix
    You may recall from my earlier article, “Getting Over the Code Delusion” (Talbott 2010), that packing DNA into a typical cell nucleus is like packing about 24 miles of very thin, double-stranded string into a tennis ball, with the string cut up (in the normal human case) into 46 pieces, corresponding to our 46 chromosomes.
    To locate a protein-coding gene of typical size within all that DNA is like homing in on a one-half-inch stretch within those 24 miles. Or, rather, two relevant half-inch stretches located on different pieces of string, since we typically have two copies of any given gene. Except that sometimes one copy differs from the other and one version is not supposed to be expressed, or one version needs to be expressed more than the other, or the product of one needs to be modified relative to the other. So part of the job may be to distinguish one of those half-inch stretches from the other. “Decisions” everywhere, it seems.
    But no such decisions are made in a vacuum. As it happens, the chromosome does not consist of a naked DNA double helix. Our DNA, rather, is bound up with a massive, intricate, and dynamic protein-RNA-small molecule complex (called chromatin) that is as fully “informative” for the cell as the DNA sequence itself — and, you might say, much more active and directive.,,,
    the cell, by managing the shifting patterns of the chromatin infrastructure within which DNA is embedded, brings our chromosomes into movement on widely varying scales. These include large looping movements that put particular genes into connection with essential regulatory sequences and with other, related genes (that is, with other one-half inch stretches of our “24 miles of string in a tennis ball”).,,,
    A gene is not in any case the kind of rigidly defined entity one might hope to calculate with. As a functional unit appropriate to current circumstances, it must be cobbled together by the cell according to the needs of the moment. There is no neatly predefined path to follow once the cell has located the “right” half inch or so of string, or once it has done whatever is necessary to bring that locus into proper relation with other chromosomal loci participating in the same “dance”.
    One issue has to do with the fact that there are two strands in the DNA double helix and, starting from any particular point, it is possible to transcibe either of two DNA sequences in either of two directions: “forward” along one strand, or “backward” along the other. This yields two completely different products. One of them is very likely not even a protein-coding RNA, and yet it may still play a vital role in gene expression and in cellular processes more generally.
    And even when the cell would proceed in one particular direction, it must “choose” the exact point in the genetic sequence at which to begin. Different starting points can yield functionally distinct results. “Many studies focusing on single genes have shown that the choice of a specific transcription start site has critical roles during development and cell differentiation, and aberrations in . . . transcription start site use lead to various diseases including cancer, neuropsychiatric disorders, and developmental disorders”.8,,,
    The (protein) enzyme that transcribes DNA into RNA is RNA polymerase12. The enzyme certainly does not work alone, however, and its task is by no means cut-and-dried. To begin with, its critical interactions with various elements of the pre-initiation complex help determine whether and exactly where transcription will begin, if it is to begin at all. Then, after those “decisions” have been made, RNA polymerase moves along the double helix transcribing the sequence of genetic “letters” into the complementary sequence of an RNA.
    Throughout this productive journey, which is called elongation, the RNA polymerase still keeps good and necessary company. Certain co-activators modify it during its transit of a genetic locus, and these modifications not only enable transcription elongation to begin, but also provide binding sites for yet other proteins that will cooperate throughout the transcription journey.,,,
    Finally — and mirroring all the possibilities surrounding initiation of gene transcription — there are the issues relating to its termination. Again, they are far too many to mention here. Transcription may conclude at a more or less canonical terminus, or at an alternative terminus, or it may proceed altogether past the gene locus, even to the point of overlapping what, by usual definitions, would be regarded as a separate gene farther “downstream”. The cell has great flexibility in determining what, on any given occasion, counts as a gene, or transcriptional unit.
    The last part of the transcribed gene is generally non-protein-coding, but nevertheless contains great significance. Examining this region in a single gene, a research team recently identified “at least 35 distinct regulatory elements” to which other molecules can bind.13 Further regulatory potentials arise from yet more binding sites on the customized “tail” that the cell adds to the RNA immediately upon conclusion of its transcription.
    Proteins and other molecules that bind to the various regulatory elements of the non-protein-coding portion of the transcript do so in a context-sensitive manner, where cell and tissue type, phase of the cell cycle, developmental stage, location of the RNA within the cell, and environmental factors, both intra- and extra-cellular, may all play a role. These converging influences can change the stability of the RNA, change its localization within the cell, and change the efficiency of its translation into protein, among other possibilities.,,,
    What is generally considered the post-transcriptional modulation of gene expression actually begins during transcription proper. A prime example has to do with what happens partly as a result of the pauses during elongation.
    Cells don’t just passively accept the RNAs that emerge from the transcription process, but rather “snip and stitch” them via an elaborate procedure known as RNA splicing. It happens that the cutting out and knitting together of selected pieces typically begins before the RNA is fully transcribed, and the rhythm of pauses during elongation has an important influence upon which pieces form the mature transcript.
    This splicing operation, which is applied to nearly all human RNAs, is performed by the spliceosome, consisting of a few non-protein-coding RNAs and over 300 cooperating proteins, and is hardly less exacting in its requirements than, say, brain surgery.
    For the vast majority of human genes the operation can be performed in different ways, yielding distinct proteins (called isoforms) from a single RNA derived from a single DNA sequence. This is called alternative splicing, and it would be hard to find anything in human development, disease etiology, or normal functioning that is not dependent in one way or another on the effectiveness of this liberty the cell takes with its gene products.
    But RNA splicing is hardly the end of it. Through RNA editing the cell can add, delete, or substitute individual “letters” of the RNA sequence.15 Or, leaving the letters in place, the cell can chemically modify them in any of over one hundred different ways.16 ,,,
    Eventually, a protein-coding RNA needs to be translated into protein. This happens by means of large molecular complexes called “ribosomes”. Just as with gene transcription, there are many associated factors that must work together to bring about the initiation of translation, many that cooperate with the ribosome during translation, and yet others that play a role in modifying, localizing, or otherwise regulating the newly produced protein.
    The overall picture of gene expression is one of unsurveyable complexity in the service of remarkably effective living processes.,,,
    A decisive problem for the classical view of DNA is that “as cells differentiate and respond to stimuli in the human body, over one million different proteins are likely to be produced from less than 25,000 genes”.30 Functionally, in other words, you might say that we have over a million genes.,,,
    http://www.natureinstitute.org.....nes_29.htm

    So CR, if you took the time to read the preceding, do you still really, really, really, believe that Dawkins selfish gene metaphor is correct? and that genes are running the show in biology? And if you are sane enough to not believe that anymore, are you honest enough to admit that you were wrong in your ‘selfish gene’ presupposition? If not, why not? What has the selfish gene metaphor ever done for you except lead you down a primrose path of thinking yourself wise in molecular biology when in fact you were grossly ignorant of the astonishing complexity of molecular biology?

    Genetics: Dawkins, redux – Nathaniel Comfort -Nature – 525, 184–185 (10 September 2015)
    Excerpt: A curious stasis underlies Dawkins’s thought. His biomorphs are grounded in 1970s assumptions. Back then, with rare exceptions, each gene specified a protein and each protein was specified by a gene. The genome was a linear text — a parts list or computer program for making an organism —insulated from the environment, with the coding regions interspersed with “junk”.
    Today’s genome is much more than a script: it is a dynamic, three-dimensional structure, highly responsive to its environment and almost fractally modular. Genes may be fragmentary, with far-flung chunks of DNA sequence mixed and matched in bewildering combinatorial arrays. A universe of regulatory and modulatory elements hides in the erstwhile junk. Genes cooperate, evolving together as units to produce traits. Many researchers continue to find selfish DNA a productive idea, but taking the longer view, the selfish gene per se is looking increasingly like a twentieth-century construct.
    http://www.nature.com/nature/j.....5184a.html

    Revisiting the Central Dogma in the 21st Century – James A. Shapiro – 2009
    Excerpt (Page 12): Underlying the central dogma and conventional views of genome evolution was the idea that the genome is a stable structure that changes rarely and accidentally by chemical fluctuations (106) or replication errors. This view has had to change with the realization that maintenance of genome stability is an active cellular function and the discovery of numerous dedicated biochemical systems for restructuring DNA molecules.(107–110) Genetic change is almost always the result of cellular action on the genome. These natural processes are analogous to human genetic engineering,,, (Page 14) Genome change arises as a consequence of natural genetic engineering, not from accidents. Replication errors and DNA damage are subject to cell surveillance and correction. When DNA damage correction does produce novel genetic structures, natural genetic engineering functions, such as mutator polymerases and nonhomologous end-joining complexes, are involved. Realizing that DNA change is a biochemical process means that it is subject to regulation like other cellular activities. Thus, we expect to see genome change occurring in response to different stimuli (Table 1) and operating nonrandomly throughout the genome, guided by various types of intermolecular contacts (Table 1 of Ref. 112).
    http://shapiro.bsd.uchicago.ed.....0Dogma.pdf

    Also of interest from the preceding paper, on page 22, is a simplified list of the ‘epigenetic’ information flow in the cell that directly contradicts what was expected from the central dogma (Genetic Reductionism/modern synthesis model) of neo-Darwinism.

    “It is difficult (if not impossible) to find a genome change operator that is truly random in its action within the DNA of the cell where it works. All careful studies of mutagenesis find statistically significant non-random patterns”
    James Shapiro – Evolution: A View From The 21st Century – (Page 82)

    And at the 10:30 minute mark of the following video, Dr. Trifonov states that the concept of the selfish gene ‘inflicted an immense damage to biological sciences’, for over 30 years:

    Second, third, fourth… genetic codes – One spectacular case of code crowding – Edward N. Trifonov – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDB3fMCfk0E

    So again CR, are you honest enough to follow the evidence where it leads?

  28. 28
    Nonlin.org says:

    Why is everyone fixated on DNA?

    DNA is not essence of life: http://nonlin.org/dna-not-essence-of-life/

  29. 29
    Peer says:

    How was this n=1 in both arms study controlled? In my opinion it is just bugger all.

  30. 30
    Origenes says:

    cornu@

    There are only a few hundred genes with apparently continued differential expression.

    “Only” a few hundred, you say. And during space flight “only” a few thousand, I suppose.

    Gene expression can be quite sloppy, so minor changes in transcript abundance may have little physiological effect.

    “Quite sloppy”, you say. Details do not matter much?

    It’s a bit weird to ask how homeostasis can handle changes in gene expression. It’s quite possible that the changes in gene expression are homeostasis. Physiological cues brought about by strange food, lack of weight-bearing exercise etc giving rise to changes in gene expression.

    Hmm … to me it seems quite likely that Scott was familiar with ‘space food’ before he took off. “Lack of weight-bearing exercise etc”, you say. Did you come up with that as an ‘earthly equivalent’ for the effects of weightlessness? 🙂

    Hard to see the challenge to evolutionary biology there.

    Well, let’s wait and see if your “lack of weight-bearing exercise” can bring about a similar homeostatic (?) response.

    I agree with others the telomere result is the most interesting. But I can’t see why this result is qualitatively different than the gene expression one. To lengthen telomeres, you just need to express more telomerase (as happens in cancer cells on earth).

    Ah. So, harmless and no problem for homeostasis.

  31. 31
    cornu says:

    I guess you are going to have to try and express yourself more clearly Origenes. Can you clearly state what you think is the challenge to mainstream biology in this?

    At the moment you have said “homeostasis” a lot, but not made an argument at all.

  32. 32
  33. 33
  34. 34
    bornagain77 says:

    Well Allen Keith, seeing as Darwinian evolution is, at least how Darwinists treat it, a unfalsifiable pseudoscience,,,

    As mentioned in post 2
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/now-thats-different-identical-twins-one-in-space-have-different-dna/#comment-653586

    ,,,then there is basically no experimental finding that will ever be ‘paradigm shifting’ for Darwinists. Darwinian evolution, since its inception, has been basically impervious to experimental falsification (again, at least how Darwinists treat their theory).

  35. 35
    Allan Keith says:

    BA77, don’t mistake unfalsifiable with modifiable. Since Darwin’s day his theory has been expanded on as new evidence and mechanisms were discovered. The fact that natural selection acting on variation still remains fundamental to the theory is a testament to the rigour of his original theory.

  36. 36
    bornagain77 says:

    AK:

    “don’t mistake unfalsifiable with modifiable.”

    HA HA HA 🙂

    Too funny. The only thing that anyone ever witnesses truly ‘evolving’ in the real world is the theory of Darwinian evolution itself. Darwin’s pseudo-theory is forever plastic and is able to explain completely contradictory results with equal ease.

    “Being an evolutionist means there is no bad news. If new species appear abruptly in the fossil record, that just means evolution operates in spurts. If species then persist for eons with little modification, that just means evolution takes long breaks. If clever mechanisms are discovered in biology, that just means evolution is smarter than we imagined. If strikingly similar designs are found in distant species, that just means evolution repeats itself. If significant differences are found in allied species, that just means evolution sometimes introduces new designs rapidly. If no likely mechanism can be found for the large-scale change evolution requires, that just means evolution is mysterious. If adaptation responds to environmental signals, that just means evolution has more foresight than was thought. If major predictions of evolution are found to be false, that just means evolution is more complex than we thought.”
    ~ Cornelius Hunter

    As William James Murray quipped, “Who would have thought that it would be biologists that came up with the first Theory of Everything?”

    Who would have thought that it would be biologists that came up with the first Theory of Everything?
    Biological divergence? Evolution. Biological convergence? Evolution. Gradual variation? Evolution. Sudden variation? Evolution. Stasis? Evolution. Junk DNA? Evolution. No Junk DNA? Evolution. Tree of life? Evolution. No tree of life? Evolution. Common genes? Evolution. Orfan genes? Evolution. Cell with little more than a jelly-like protoplasm? Evolution. Cell filled with countless, highly-specified nano-machines directed by a software code? Evolution. More hardy, more procreative organisms? Evolution. Less hardy, less procreative organisms? Evolution.
    – Evolution explains everything. –
    William J Murray

    Imre Lakatos, although he tipped toed around the failure of Darwinism to have a rigid demarcation criteria in science,,,

    In his 1973 LSE Scientific Method Lecture 1[12] he (Lakatos) also claimed that “nobody to date has yet found a demarcation criterion according to which Darwin can be described as scientific”.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I.....27s_theory

    A Philosophical Question…Does Evolution have a Hard Core?
    Some Concluding Food for Thought
    In my research on the demarcation problem, I have noticed philosophers of science attempting to balance (usually unconsciously) a consistent demarcation criteria against the disruptive effects that its application might have with regard to the academic status quo (and evolution in particular)… Few philosophers of science will even touch such matters, but (perhaps unintentionally) Imre Lakatos does offer us a peek at how one might go about balancing these schizophrenic demands (in Motterlini1999: 24)

    “Let us call the first school militant positivism; you will understand why later on. The problem of this school was to find certain demarcation criteria similar to those I have outlined, but these also had to satisfy certain boundary conditions, as a mathematician would say. I am referring to a definite set of people to which most scientists as well as Popper and Carnap would belong. These people think that there are goodies and baddies among scientific theories, and once you have defined a demarcation criterion. you should divide all your theories between the two groups. You would end up. for example, with a goodies list including Copernicus’s (Theory1), Galileo’s (T2), Kepler’s (T3), Newton’s (T4) … and Einstein’s (T5), along with (but this is just my supposition) Darwin’s (T6). Let me just anticipate that nobody to date has yet found a demarcation criterion according to which Darwin can be described as scientific, but this is exactly what we are looking for.”

    So basically, the demarcation problem is a fun game philosophers enjoy playing, but when they realize the implications regarding the theory of evolution, they quickly back off…
    http://www.samizdat.qc.ca/cosm.....ore_pg.htm

    ,,, although Lakatos tipped toed around the failure of Darwinism to have a rigid demarcation criteria in science, Lakatos was brave enough to state that a good scientific theory will make successful predictions in science whereas “In degenerating programmes, however, (epicycle) theories are fabricated only in order to accommodate known facts”

    Science and Pseudoscience (transcript) –
    “In degenerating programmes, however, theories are fabricated only in order to accommodate known facts”
    – Imre Lakatos (November 9, 1922 – February 2, 1974) a philosopher of mathematics and science, , quote as stated in 1973 LSE Scientific Method Lecture
    http://www2.lse.ac.uk/philosop.....cript.aspx

    Here’s That Algae Study That Decouples Phylogeny and Competition – June 17, 2014
    Excerpt: “With each new absurdity another new complicated just-so story is woven into evolutionary theory. As Lakatos explained, some theories simply are not falsifiable. But as a result they sacrifice realism and parsimony.”
    – Cornelius Hunter
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....uples.html

    Darwin’s (Failed) Predictions: An Interview with Cornelius Hunter, Part I and II
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....21311.html
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....21321.html

    Thus the fact that the theory of Darwinian evolution is, in your words, ‘modifiable’, is actually, contrary to what you believe true for a scientific theory, more solid evidence that we are in fact dealing with a pseudoscience rather than a real science.

  37. 37
    Allan Keith says:

    BA77,

    Darwin’s pseudo-theory is forever plastic and is able to explain completely contradictory results with equal ease.

    If you think that the flexibility of a theory is the sign of a weak theory then you don’t understand how science works.

    ID proponents throw out things like HGT and epigenesis as if they are newly discovered showstoppers. Yet HGT has been known about for over half a century, and the fact that gene expression is affected by environment has been known even longer. Neither of these are incompatible with natural selection acting on variation.

  38. 38
    bornagain77 says:

    Whatever AK, I’ve laid my case out in post 2 and 36 for why Darwinian theory is more properly classified as a pseudoscience rather than a real science, and will let readers decide for themselves who is being ‘scientific’ and who is blowing smoke.

  39. 39
    LocalMinimum says:

    AK @ 37:

    As HGT and epigenetics explain more and more of the mechanics of life’s variety with precision that Darwin couldn’t conceive of, Darwin will be occupying smaller and smaller gaps.

  40. 40
    Allan Keith says:

    LocalM,

    As HGT and epigenetics explain more and more of the mechanics of life’s variety with precision that Darwin couldn’t conceive of, Darwin will be occupying smaller and smaller gaps.

    It seems to me that these only strengthen Darwin’s theory. Remember that his theory is remarkably simple. Natural selection acting on the variability in s population to result in differential survival of traits. This required a source of this variability, which he knew nothing about, and the heritability of these traits, which again he knew nothing about. If either of these were found not to occur, his theory would be falsified. We know that “random” mutations are s source of variation. We later discovered other sources of variation, things like inversions, translocations, meiosis, HGT (including viruses), epegenetics, and others. All strengthen his theory.

    And with the discovery of DNA, we now know the means of inheritance.

    I fail to see how any of these discoveries weaken his theory.

  41. 41
    Origenes says:

    Allan Keith: Yet HGT has been known about for over half a century, and the fact that gene expression is affected by environment has been known even longer.

    You say this, as if problems are automatically solved when they are known for a long time. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
    Back in 1904, Hugo de Vries wrote:

    Natural selection is a sieve. It creates nothing, as is so often assumed; it only sifts. It retains only what variability puts into the sieve. Whence the material comes that is put into it, should be kept separate from the theory of its selection. How the struggle for existence sifts is one question; how that which is sifted arose is another.

    “It creates nothing, as is so often assumed …”, wrote De Vries, and he is right, even of today’s conception. Still many Darwinians hold that the going out of existence of X, explains the existence of Y. However elimination (a.k.a. “natural selection”) explains only why some things are not, not why some things are.

    If natural selection is a process of elimination, then existent organisms are the ones that got away. Instead of being created by ‘natural elimination’, exactly the opposite is true: they are “untouched” by ‘natural elimination’. Existent organisms are those organisms on which natural selection has precisely no bearing whatsoever. They are the undiluted products of chance.

    Moreover, natural selection slows evolution down.

    Natural selection (NS) culls variety — eliminates organisms with certain traits from the population. In effect, NS enhances chances for the remaining variation. IOWs it intensifies a particular search and thereby enhances the probability of its success.

    Assuming that functional islands are not necessarily connected, the overall chance of finding evolutionary novelty remains the same, with or without NS, — the intensified search compensates for the loss of variety.

    However, the waiting time for the selected variation to restore the original population size is slowing down evolution.

    If some disease kills off all human race, except for the Japanese, then the probability of finding evolutionary novelties is restored at the moment that the Japanese have a population size of 7 billion. My point? The waiting time needs to be factored in.

  42. 42
    LocalMinimum says:

    AK @ 40:

    HGT and epigenetic mechanisms aren’t sources of variations, they’re means of storing, communicating, and expressing variations. Moreover, they potentially remove the need for immediate variation generation, making RM+NS (and other errors held separately to confuse the issue) completely unnecessary to observed variation; beyond the coincidentally fortunate breaking of things.

    Likewise, they are themselves sophisticated functions that ultimately must be accounted for by RM+NS while operating several degrees beyond immediate selection, which is all that NS can pick from; they are far more of a challenge for mindless evolution than the features they accommodate.

    Not only that, but they require more tuning from the features that they accommodate, as those features must be sufficiently modular/communicable/formatted to work with them.

    Darwin was proposing what is essentially in the crudest class of genetic algorithm, and forcing it to work against a large and variable set of axes to produce results that it would be ludicrous to expect for far better genetic algorithms that are properly constrained to ever yield. The field of evolutionary simulation being strewn with the wreckage of cheats and lies is sufficient testament to this.

    Of course, without being able to even lay claim to observed variation, and without possessing any demonstrable, even simulable forward model, Darwin’s theory isn’t much of a theory. A hypothesis it remains, at best.

  43. 43
    bornagain77 says:

    as to:

    It seems to me that these (Horizontal Gene Transfer and epigenetics) only strengthen Darwin’s theory.

    News flash AK, Horizontal Gene Transfer and epigenetics, like the rest of the astonishingly intricate and elaborate processes being found in molecular biology, are certainly not friends of Darwinian evolution, i.e. of accidentally kludging things together.

    Three Ways that Transposable Elements Demolish Evolutionary Theory – Cornelius Hunter – March 14, 2017
    Excerpt: Transposable elements just don’t make sense. These so-called “jumping genes” are segments of junk DNA that insert themselves at random in our genomes. That is the evolutionary interpretation of these genetic units, but how and why do they move about, and why don’t they wreak havoc on the genome?

    The answers to these questions, which have been emerging in recent years, is that transposable elements are exquisite, finely tuned, highly functional molecular machines that contradict evolutionary expectations. Evolutionists have a long, failed history of presumed disutility — after all, the world arose by chance, surely it doesn’t work very well — and transposable elements are just one more example of this failed prediction. But the junk-to-hero story is only one of three ways that transposable elements utterly demolish evolutionary theory. The other two prongs in this Darwin-destroying triad are serendipity and pattern.

    By serendipity, I am referring to the rather awkward findings, which are undeniable at this point, that if evolution is true, then it must have come about by highly complex, non-adaptive, mechanisms. From diploid genetics to horizontal gene transfer, alternate gene splicing, genetic regulation, epigenetics, mechanisms that cause adaptive mutations, and transposable elements, evolution must have bumbled along by luckily constructing fantastically complex mechanisms. Those mechanisms would provide no immediate adaptive value, yet somehow would persist and become vital agents in evolutionary history. Simply put, evolution must have created evolution in a most unlikely (astronomically unlikely) set of circumstances. That’s serendipity, not science, and transposable elements heap more fuel onto the fire.
    By pattern, I am referring to another set of awkward findings, again undeniable, that the pattern of structures observed across the species consistently contradicts evolution’s predictions. One of those contradictions are the enormous differences found in otherwise allied species.

    All three of these contradictions — disutility, serendipity, and pattern — are on display in a new, systematic study of transposable elements out of Didier Trono’s lab in Switzerland.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2017/03/three-ways-that-transposable-elements-demolish-evolutionary-theory/

    A Key Evidence for Evolution Involving Mobile Genetic Elements Continues to Crumble – Cornelius Hunter – July 13, 2014
    Excerpt: A study published last week found strong signs of function in mobile repetitive DNA elements. Mobile genetic elements have been heavily recruited by evolutionists in recent years as powerful, undeniable proofs of common ancestry. An underlying assumption in those proofs, aside from the usual non scientific metaphysics, is that such mobile elements insert themselves into the genome at random.,,,
    The biological roles of these place-jumping, repetitive elements are mysterious.
    They are largely viewed (by Darwinists) as “genomic parasites,” but in this study, researchers found the mobile DNA can provide genetic novelties recruited as certain population-unique, functional enrichments that are nonrandom and purposeful.
    “The first shocker was the sheer volume of genetic variation due to the dynamics of mobile elements, including coding and regulatory genomic regions, and the second was amount of population-specific insertions of transposable DNA elements,” Michalak said. “Roughly 50 percent of the insertions were population unique.”
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....lving.html

    DNA is life’s blueprint? No, master controller of the cell – 13 June 2015
    by Claire Ainsworth
    Everything we thought we knew about the genome is turning out to be wrong as The Deeper Genome and The Developing Genome make clear. New metaphors, anyone?
    Excerpt: Take DNA. It’s no simple linear code, but an intricately wound, 3D structure that coils and uncoils as its genes are read and spliced in myriad ways. Forget genes as discrete, protein-coding “beads on a string”: only a tiny fraction of the genome codes for proteins, and anyway, no one knows exactly what a gene is any more.
    A key driver of this new view is ENCODE, the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements, which is an ambitious international project to identify the functional parts of the human genome. In 2012, it revealed not only that the protein-coding elements of DNA can overlap, but that the 98 per cent of the genome that used to be labelled inactive “junk” is nothing of the sort. Some of it regulates gene activity, some churns out an array of different kinds of RNA molecules (RNAs for short), some tiny, some large, many of whose functions are hotly debated. Parrington quotes ENCODE scientist Ewan Birney as saying at the time, “It’s a jungle in there. It’s full of things doing stuff.” And that is one of the most apt genome metaphors I’ve ever read.
    Recent insights into what some of this “stuff” is reveal problems with another classic idea: that DNA is the master controller of the cell, with information flowing in one direction from it, via RNA, to proteins. Some of ENCODE’s mystery RNAs control gene activity, others make changes that the cell remembers and passes on when it divides, and which can even be passed down generations. The RNAs may be one way the environment alters the behaviour of genes without changing their DNA sequences, a phenomenon known as epigenetics.
    Growing evidence of the extent of epigenetic influence on the genome has led some researchers to argue that much of medical research, and indeed mainstream evolutionary theory, places too much importance on genes in determining an organism’s characteristics. They think the environment plays a much bigger role in their emergence as an organism develops. ,,,
    But just as genes are not destiny, neither is epigenetics. Like Parrington, Moore warns against oversimplification. Epigenetic determinism is just as unhelpful as the deterministic gene-as-blueprint idea. “Do not assume you are trapped by your biology,” he says.

    That genetics is complicated isn’t news, but Parrington and Moore underline the limitations and the power of trying to understand its complexity by reducing it to simpler divisions. For example, the molecular and computing technologies spawned by such attempts are now giving researchers the potential to work out how to integrate it all to form a greater whole. Time, surely, to rip up the old metaphors and create some new ones.
    This article appeared in print under the headline “It’s so last century!”
    http://www.newscientist.com/ar.....XySfUbcBCB

    How life changes itself: the Read-Write (RW) genome. – 2013
    Excerpt: Research dating back to the 1930s has shown that genetic change is the result of cell-mediated processes, not simply accidents or damage to the DNA. This cell-active view of genome change applies to all scales of DNA sequence variation, from point mutations to large-scale genome rearrangements and whole genome duplications (WGDs). This conceptual change to active cell inscriptions controlling RW genome functions has profound implications for all areas of the life sciences.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23876611

    Revisiting the Central Dogma in the 21st Century – James A. Shapiro – 2009
    Excerpt (Page 12): Underlying the central dogma and conventional views of genome evolution was the idea that the genome is a stable structure that changes rarely and accidentally by chemical fluctuations (106) or replication errors. This view has had to change with the realization that maintenance of genome stability is an active cellular function and the discovery of numerous dedicated biochemical systems for restructuring DNA molecules.(107–110) Genetic change is almost always the result of cellular action on the genome. These natural processes are analogous to human genetic engineering,,, (Page 14) Genome change arises as a consequence of natural genetic engineering, not from accidents. Replication errors and DNA damage are subject to cell surveillance and correction. When DNA damage correction does produce novel genetic structures, natural genetic engineering functions, such as mutator polymerases and nonhomologous end-joining complexes, are involved. Realizing that DNA change is a biochemical process means that it is subject to regulation like other cellular activities. Thus, we expect to see genome change occurring in response to different stimuli (Table 1) and operating nonrandomly throughout the genome, guided by various types of intermolecular contacts (Table 1 of Ref. 112).
    http://shapiro.bsd.uchicago.ed.....0Dogma.pdf

    Also of interest from the preceding paper, on page 22, is a simplified list of the ‘epigenetic’ information flow in the cell that directly contradicts what was expected from the central dogma (Genetic Reductionism/modern synthesis model) of neo-Darwinism.

    “It is difficult (if not impossible) to find a genome change operator that is truly random in its action within the DNA of the cell where it works. All careful studies of mutagenesis find statistically significant non-random patterns”
    James Shapiro – Evolution: A View From The 21st Century – (Page 82)

    In other words, Alan Keith’s failure to see Horizontal Gene Transfer and epigenetics as a insurmountable problem for Darwinian theory, and indeed for him to claim that they “only strengthen Darwin’s theory” is yet more evidence of the pseudo-scientific nature of Darwinian theory in that no finding, at least in the minds of Darwinists, is ever allowed to falsify Darwinian theory.

    i.e. Darwinism is a religion, not a testable science.

  44. 44

    BA77 @ 43: “Darwinism is a religion, not a testable science.”

    Well said.

  45. 45
    bornagain77 says:

    Thanks TWSYF, but I should always preface statements like that with,,, “in the minds of Darwinists” Darwinism is a religion, not a testable science.

    Since, whether they accept it or not, Darwinism has been, none-the-less, falsified by experimentation and mathematics.

    For instance:

    Michael Behe – Observed (1 in 10^20) Edge of Evolution – video – Lecture delivered in April 2015 at Colorado School of Mines
    25:56 minute quote – “This is not an argument anymore that Darwinism cannot make complex functional systems; it is an observation that it does not.”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9svV8wNUqvA

    i.e. Although Darwinian evolution is constantly contradicted by observational evidences like this, “in the minds of Darwinists” that evidence is never allowed to falsify the theory.,,, hence, “in the minds of Darwinists” Darwinism is a religion, not a testable science.

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