De-extinction is thought to have first appeared – as a word – in the 1979 The Source of Magic science fiction book by Piers Anthony and caught the attention of Hollywood. Using ancient cloned dinosaur DNA, popular ER television script writer, Michael Crichton, then captivated the imagination of American film producer Steven Spielberg with the 1990 Jurassic Park novel igniting the de-extinction craze.
In 2013, de-extinction was announced to be a science, at least according to journalist Ben Macintyre writing in the Times (London, March 8). Not everyone agrees, though. “I will argue,” said Beth Shapiro of the University of California, Santa Cruz, in her new book How to Clone a Mammoth, the Science of De-Extinction, “that the present focus on bringing back particular species… is misguided” – scientifically.
Evolution 101, Non-Existent Common Ancestors
The University of California Evolution 101 website teaches that “The central idea of biological evolution is that all life on Earth shares a common ancestor.” Echoed in the words of Charles Darwin’s grandfather, Erasmus Darwin (1731-1802), “all warm-blooded animals have arisen from one living filament.”
David Baum from the University of Wisconsin, along with Stacy Smith from the University of Colorado, in the book Tree Thinking (2013) continues the idea: “This means that evidence of common ancestry is also evidence for evolution.” Identifying a common ancestor is no easy task, however. Baum and Smith explain: “tree thinking is conceptually challenging.” As the evidence demonstrates, common ancestors are, in fact, non-existent. Continue Reading
CRISPR, New Evolution Terror Risk
Microbes, once thought to be life’s simplest forms, are now known to use complex synchronized genetic processing as a defensive system against foreign invading micro-organisms.
This microbe defense process presents a new terror threat on evolution’s foundational belief of life emerging spontaneously from simple processes. In The Origin of Species, Charles Darwin envisioned life starting “from so simple beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful.” CRISPR poses a new risk terrorizing Darwin’s culturally entrenched naïve theory. Continue Reading
Darwin’s Finches Fail Genetic Testing
The Galapagos Islands finches are an iconic symbol of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. Yet, the actual scientific evidence validating Darwin’s theory that “one [of these] species had been taken and modified for different ends” has long been questioned.
In the most comprehensive genetic investigation to-date, a team of scientists led by Sangeet Lamichhaney of Uppsala University in Sweden just published “Evolution of Darwin’s finches and their beaks revealed by genome sequencing” in the prestigious journal Nature. The genetic evidence, once again, fails to demonstrate how “one species had been taken and modified.”
Snake Venom Snag
The genetics of snake venom driving evolution has recently emerged as a popular field of investigation. A new study published in the journal Molecular Biological and Evolution, however, has uncovered a critical new snag.
The evolution of snake venom had been hypothesized to originate through a gene duplication process followed by the actions of natural selection leading to increased venom toxicity over time. However, the research team lead by Todd Castoe (pictured), Assistant Professor of Biology at the University of Texas, has discovered a genetic snag challenging this once popular gene duplication theory. Continue Reading
The genetic code is the universal language of life−from the first microbe to man. Searching for the origins of the first genetic code mystery, however, is uncoding evolution.
Over the past two years, the research team of Bojan Žagrović (pictured) at the Max F. Perutz Laboratories of the University of Vienna has been searching for a natural mechanism driving the genesis of the original genetic code−the longstanding nemesis of the evolution industry.
Darwin’s Tree Infestation
Insects fascinated Charles Darwin. “No pursuit at Cambridge [University] was followed with nearly so much eagerness,” Darwin notes, “or gave me so much pleasure as collecting beetles.” His fascination continued while sailing aboard the HMS Beagle, collecting the only known specimen of Darwinius Sedaris (pictured) in 1832 while in Argentina.
Insects are the most species-rich group of organisms on Earth wielding immense ecological, economic and health power. Along with pollinating crops and vectoring infestations, a new insect genetics study has become a new infestation undermining Darwin’s once popular, yet perpetually elusive, tree of life.
The European Eel, Darwin Wrong
The European eel illustrates exactly why Charles Darwin theory of evolution has continued to be on the wrong side of science. Darwin once argued that “By the theory of natural selection, all living species have been connected… So that the number of intermediate and transitional links, between all living and extinct species, must have been inconceivably great.”
Since the publication of The Origin of Species in 1859, Darwin’s “inconceivably great” number of evolutionary transitional links over the past 150 years still remains missing despite the discovery of vast numbers of fossils. The eel, sometimes known as a living fossil, highlights the unique and bizarre novelties of nature rather than Darwin’s endless series of transitional links. More importantly, rather than serving as an example of evolution, eels, specifically the European eel, now faces extinction, not evolution. Darwin, once again, proved wrong. Continue Reading
Mutation + Selection = Stasis
The genetic mutation plus natural selection equation emerged as the most popular theory of biological evolution during the twentieth century. With advances in biotechnology, however, the credibility of this theory – popularly known as neo-Darwinism or the Modern Synthesis theory – has since been increasingly challenged by evolutionary scientists.
In an experimental evolution model using the yeast microbe Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a recent study published in the journal Science by a Harvard research group undermines the theory of genetic mutations plus natural selection equals evolution. The model demonstrates stasis – not evolution.
Smithsonian Evolution Storytelling
New high-resolution CT scans of the Taung Child skull by international research team led by Ralph L. Holloway of Columbia University in New York casts renewed questions into the inane evolution storytelling practice at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.
Discovered in 1924 in South Africa, models of the skull have long since been duplicated for natural history museums as evidence for human evolution worldwide, including the Smithsonian. Found near Taung, South Africa, the lynchpin skull was tagged with the common name of Taung Child because of the fossil’s estimated age of 3 years, then, later named Australopithecus africanus meaning the “southern ape from Africa.” Hollow’s new high-resolution CT scan images, however, undermine the long-held pre-Homo fossil status of the skull. Continue Reading