“Uncommon Descent” and “The Skeptical Zone” in 2016


(For last year’s results, see “Uncommon Descent” and “The Skeptical Zone” in 2015)

Fig 1

In 2016, “The Skeptical Zone” (TSZ) overtook “Uncommon Descent” (UD) – at least with regard to the number of comments:

Number of Comments 2005 – 2016

year 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
UD 41,400 28,400 42,500 53,700 53,100 28,000
TSZ 2,200 15,100 16,900 20,400 45,200 54,200

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Junk DNA munged

Salvador seems to have successfully hijacked the early embryonic mutations thread and turned it into a discussion of junk DNA. So I thought I’d share my thoughts on the subject of junk DNA. Why care?

Various strains of creationism hold that the earth and life started out perfect, then came the fall, and it all went downhill from there. Both young earth and old earth forms can easily accommodate the presence of junk in DNA. So the presence of junk DNA does not mitigate against the creationist position. But what of it’s absence?

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Early embryonic mutations: a problem for evolution?

Dr. Stephen Meyer and Dr. Douglas Axe were recently interviewed by author and radio host Frank Turek on the significance of November’s Royal Society Meeting on evolution, in London. The two Intelligent Design advocates discussed what they see as the top five problems for evolutionary theory:

(i) gaps in the fossil record (in particular, the Cambrian explosion);
(ii) the lack of a naturalistic explanation for the origin of biological information;
(iii) the necessity of early mutations during embryonic development (which are invariably either defective or lethal) in order to generate new animal body types;
(iv) the existence of non-DNA epigenetic information controlling development (which means that you can’t evolve new animal body plans simply by mutating DNA); and
(v) the universal design intuition that we all share: functional coherence makes accidental invention fantastically improbable and hence physically impossible.

In today’s post, I’d like to focus on the third argument, which I consider to be the best of the bunch. The others are far less compelling.

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Possibly a better conclusion for the sexual selection phenomena.

Creationists have no problem with sexual selection concepts while rejecting natural selection for the origin of biological life.

Sexual selection in fact would confirm YEC ideas on a fallen world desperately striving against decay in order to allow rime for God’s redemptive plan. Biology grasping at a marginal advantage to beat a dying/decay attrition. A arms race in survival.

Secxual selection claims are fine but once again are they accurate? Are they really done well by those who don’t do well in figuring out origins and living equations in biology? i think not!

i watch youtube videos , well done, on sundry creatures. Recently i saw ones on the Tasmanian devil and the hyaena. Surprising information but suggesting quickly clues.

Instead of a sexual selection going on in the episodes of creatures in mating I discovered instead the creatures always are striving/selecting to maintain the group/herd/nation in its strengh. So when selecting for mates its just a minor extra episode of what they do all the time. they just in sexual union continue to maintain the reasons for why their is strong.

Therefore its not a strange , instinct, desire to improve/maintain genes. its not that sophisticated. they just continue to aggressively desire strength in the whole group. they just do it in mating also. So its not a special thing but a continuum in a spectrum of maintaing the groups strength.

So I might say sexual selection doesn’t exist but only is a special case in a spectrum of staying strong.

This makes more sense, to me, then a segregated , special, drive for special mating designs.


Miracle of Evolution – The Appendix

In a recent thread here at TSZ the question was raised as to whether naturalism is comfortable with highly typical events. My answer to that question was quite so. Exhibit: the appendix.

Although it is widely viewed as a vestigial organ with little known function, recent research suggests that the appendix may serve an important purpose. In particular, it may serve as a reservoir for beneficial gut bacteria. Several other mammal species also have an appendix, and studying how it evolved and functions in these species may shed light on this mysterious organ in humans.

But wait. There’s more…

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Two hundred years of global warming and the failure of the Precautionary Principle

I’d invite readers to have a look at this two-minute video, titled, “Humans have caused climate change for 180 years”:

Here’s an excerpt from an article in the ANU Reporter, dated 25 August 2016 (emphases mine):

An international research project has found human activity has been causing global warming for almost two centuries, proving human-induced climate change is not just a 20th century phenomenon.

Lead researcher Associate Professor Nerilie Abram from The Australian National University (ANU) said the study found warming began during the early stages of the Industrial Revolution and is first detectable in the Arctic and tropical oceans around the 1830s, much earlier than scientists had expected.

“It was an extraordinary finding,” said Associate Professor Abram, from the ANU Research School of Earth Sciences and ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science.

“It was one of those moments where science really surprised us. But the results were clear. The climate warming we are witnessing today started about 180 years ago.

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The Glories of Global Warming and the Faint Young Sun Paradox

It is a little known fact that scientists who argue that the paleontological record of life is hundreds of millions of years old, when confronted with astrophysical facts, must eventually rely heavily on the hypothesis of finely tuned, large scale global warming. The problem is known as the Faith Young Sun Paradox. A few claim they have solved the paradox, but many remain skeptical of the solutions. But one fact remains, it is an acknowledged scientific paradox. And beyond this paradox, the question of Solar System evolution on the whole has some theological implications.

Astrophysicists concluded that when the sun was young, it was not as bright as it is now. As the sun ages it creates more and more heat, eventually incinerating the Earth before the sun eventually burns out. This is due to the change in products and reactants in the nuclear fusion process that powers the sun. This nuclear evolution of the sun will drive the evolution of the solar system, unless Jesus returns…
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Climate Change: myth or reality?

There’s no question in my mind the “Intelligent Design” movement has lost all its arguments with Science. Unfortunately, post Trump-it, that fact is now an irrelevance. With Trump’s appointment of Betsy de Vos as Education Secretary, it looks like religious fundamentalism no longer needs its figleaf. What concerns me much more is that a similar fate awaits climate research if his appointment of Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State is any indication of future policy on combating climate change. Continue reading