Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community


Grand Darwinian experiment with 10,000 generations of yeast proves that Mike Behe is right

If the authors could have predicted adaptation through loss-of-function mutations, why didn’t they let high school textbook authors and pop science presenters in on the secret?: Michael Behe is right: Darwin devolves. Evolution is mostly about devolution. Does that maybe make sense in a universe where entropy is growing? But where does it leave Darwin? At the bus stop after the last bus has left? Read More ›

Behe vindicated (still not cited) at his own LeHigh University

One might ask: If things go downhill that way and “directionality and progress in evolution may be illusory,” what is the source of intelligent designs? An intelligence in or beyond nature? We’ll take either as an answer, to start a discussion. Read More ›

Researchers: Evolution is not “survival of the fittest”

"However, less-fit lineages also routinely leapfrog over strains of higher fitness. Our results demonstrate that this combination of factors, which is not accounted for in existing models of evolutionary dynamics, is critical in determining the rate, predictability and molecular basis of adaptation.” If Darwinism mattered the way it used to, this would be heresy. Read More ›

Noncoding (that is, “junk”) DNA helps cells avoid starvation

Some researchers wondered whether all that junk DNA supposedly left over from Darwinian evolution actually did something after all so they tested the idea: Patches of seemingly meaningless DNA dotted throughout the genome might actually have a function: helping cells to survive starvation. Two studies published in Nature on 16 January suggest that these stretches of non-coding DNA called introns help to control the rate at which cells grow, conserving energy when food becomes scarce. Michael Marshall, “Cryptic DNA sequences may help cells survive starvation” at Nature Not just “junk DNA” any moreat The Scientist either, it would seem: Two studies contest the idea that the noncoding sequences are just “junk DNA,” demonstrating that they play important roles in the regulation of Read More ›

Huge study shows yeasts evolve by reducing their complexity

Not by adding to it. Everyone seems to be talking about devolution (“reductive evolution”) these days. From ScienceDaily: “This is the first large genome project like this that actually looks at hundreds of different eukaryotic species, not different individuals or isolates of the same species,” says Chris Todd Hittinger, a UW-Madison genetics professor and one of the senior authors of the study. “Budding yeasts, despite their phenotypic similarity, are very different from one another genetically. They’re as different from one another as all animals or all plants are from one another.” Collecting such a deep pool of yeast types gave researchers enough information to use comparisons of the shifting genetics to redraw the budding yeast family tree into a dozen Read More ›

Speciation: A bread yeast and a yeast that causes infections turn out to be the same “species”

From Sukanya Charuchandra at The Scientist: Two species of yeast, one of which is used in the biotechnology and food industries to make bioethanol and sourdough bread, while the other causes yeast infections, have been found to be one and the same, according to research published in PLOS Pathogens today (July 19). And, the researchers report, fungi from both settings are similarly resistant to antifungal drugs. The differences in the appearance of the sexual and asexual forms of the species and the underdeveloped nature of molecular methods were likely responsible for the varying names of the same organism. “It’s too common in fungi,” says Antonis Rokas, a comparative fungal genomics expert at Vanderbilt University who was not involved in this Read More ›