Tag Evolution

Oldest Hominin DNA Sequenced: Mitochondrial Genome of a 400,000-Year-Old Hominin from Spain Decoded

Using novel techniques to extract and study ancient DNA researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, have determined an almost complete mitochondrial genome sequence of a 400,000-year-old representative of the genus Homo from Sima de los Huesos, a unique cave site in Northern Spain, and found that it is related to the mitochondrial genome of Denisovans, extinct relatives of Neandertals in Asia. DNA this old has until recently been retrieved only from the permafrost.

Texas textbook review panel: Put more ‘creation science based on Biblical principles’ in biology books

Religious conservatives on the Texas state textbook review panel have targeted for elimination high school biology textbooks that don’t include robust refutations of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection.

The panel, which includes several creationists, is urging the State Board of Education to reject any textbook that does not issue what it calls “disclaimers” on key concepts in evolutionary theory.

How ‘Junk DNA’ Can Control Cell Development (one for the Creationists)

Having just had a small discussion on an Amazon book review concerning evolution, and with the science denier proposing as one of his 3 main arguments against evolution being ‘junk DNA’, I thought this article would be interesting; a recent paper described by Science Daily:

Aug. 2, 2013 — Researchers from the Gene and Stem Cell Therapy Program at Sydney’s Centenary Institute have confirmed that, far from being “junk,” the 97 per cent of human DNA that does not encode instructions for making proteins can play a significant role in controlling cell development.

Lizards Show Evolution Is Predictable

Science Daily – July 19, 2013 — If you could hit the reset button on evolution and start over, would essentially the same species appear? Yes, according to a study of Caribbean lizards by researchers at the University of California, Davis, Harvard University and the University of Massachusetts. The work is published July 19 in the journal Science.

Seeing Sea Stars: The Missing Link in Eye Evolution?

July 5, 2013 — A study has shown for the first time that starfish use primitive eyes at the tip of their arms to visually navigate their environment. Research headed by Dr. Anders Garm at the Marine Biological Section of the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, showed that starfish eyes are image-forming and could be an essential stage in eye evolution.

Evolution as part of a necessary mechanism (and putting Creationism to bed)

This is one of my old posts from when I wrote more often at DC:

We have had a resurgence in discussing evolution recently, thanks in no small part to the Creationist mental contortions of Creationbabble over on this thread. what this seems to show, to me at any rate, is that Creationists, and any shade of person who disbelieves the theory of evolution, simply does not understand the philosophy behind it.

Creationists – how do you explain this?

I am going to copy and paste a very normal article from Science Daily here. Nothing special. Just your bog-standard scientific journal publication press release. This one is about a fossilised horse which has had its genome mapped.

What I want people like JohnM, a regular commenter here, to do is to explain all of the aspects of this articles in terms of their Creationist framework. What I mean by this, is they (he) needs to take every claim in this article (most aren’t claims, but are simply givens) and produce a non ad hoc explanation which explains this evidence BETTER than evolution and naturalism. In order to be true, the explanation must have that explanatory power.

The ‘Why I am a Christian’ series – Randal Rauser

As mentioned in my last post, I was graciously asked by Randal Rauser on his blog recently to provide a synopsis of a few paragraphs to run in his series “Why I am an atheist” (or not a Christian. The series has been interesting and has elicited testimonies from Justin Schieber, Counter Apologist, Jeff Lowder, Ed Babinski and others. I have since asked Randal to return the favour and he has gladly accepted, furnishing me with a much more lengthy expression of the reasons for his Christian belief.

New Research Backs Genetic ‘Switches’ in Human Evolution

I thought this might be topical, given new commenter Joseph’s (a JW) predilection for evolution illiteracy whilst simultaneously claiming intellectual victory over an evolutionary biologist and other’s complete pwnage of him. It is actually sad seeing psychology deny a person reality, because that is what is happening. Perseverance bias feeding confirmation bias, predicted by cognitive dissonance makes for pitiful reading. I wonder how his creationism both predicts these results and explains them?!

Answers in Genesis and Dragons. Fact or Fiction? Er, fiction, silly.

Wow. So, thanks to Andrew Marburger who tweeted me the link to this absolute corker. People actually believe that dragons existed because they appear to be mentioned in a 2000 year-old holy book. Answers in Genesis (AiG), your one-stop link to ridiculousness and science denialism seems to posit the notion that “dragon accounts aren’t easy to dismiss as mere fantasy.” Yes they are. They are very easy to dismiss. They are fantasy. The article is terrible. Dragon fire-breathing, it concedes, could be an embellishment. It seems to overlook the idea of such a heavy animal flying with those wings would be ridiculous.

Evolution, Censorship and Adam Deen

Adam Deen is a Muslim apologist famous in the UK for defending, publicly, the philosophy and theology of Islam often touching on scientific contexts.

Skydivephil is an awesome duo who you might remember from here who often have William Lane Craig in their sights (where in the linked video they owned him on his claims about animal suffering, first in his debate with Stephen Law).

Guest Post – The Thinker’s Evolutionary Argument Against God (EAAG)

It’s time to welcome our first guest post here. The Thinker has occasionally dropped a line and commented on various arguments. He runs his own blog called Atheism & The City, being a secular urbanite living in New York. His philosophically minded blog is worth reading here. His formulation of today’s post can be found here. This post concerns the incompatibilism of God given the truth of evolution. Ie evolutionary theism is problematic. Anyway, over to The Thinker: