Archive for August, 2010

Butterfly Nightmare

 

Jerry Coyne, in his new book entitled Why Evolution is True, conveniently circumvents any reference to the butterfly, as does Darwin-Discovering the Tree of Life by Niles Eldridge. The California State sponsored website, “Understanding Evolution,” website completely ignores the notorious nature of butterflies—metamorphosis.

So, why is the evolution industry silent on butterfly metamorphosis? The answer is simple—the same DNA is found in all four life cycles; egg, caterpillar (larva), cocoon (pupa) and butterfly (adult). Metamorphosis, to the theory of evolution, is an enigma.

For over 3,500 years, to the Egyptians, Chinese, and Greeks, the butterfly symbolism was derived from the unique butterfly life cycles. The egg first develops into the caterpillar before transitioning into the cocoon. Amazingly, inside the cocoon, the caterpillar is destroyed before developing into the stunningly colorful butterfly cycle. Continue reading more

Ardi About-Face

 

This year, 2010, has not been a good year for the “out of Africa” evolutionary theory of human origins. The following is why.

In October 2009, Time Magazine recognized Ardipithecus ramidus, now known as “Ardi,” the number one of “Top 10 Scientific Discoveries” of 2009. The journal Science declared Ardi the “breakthrough of the year.”

Ardi, an nearly complete fossilized female skeleton, was discovered by Timothy Douglas White, an American Paleoanthropologist and Professor of Integrative Biology at the University of California, Berkeley in the arid badlands near the Awash River in Ethiopia in 1994.

Examination and description of Ardi took nearly 15 years before releasing publication. Although it is not known whether Ardi’s offspring actually developed into Homo sapiens, the discovery was expected to be of great significance since Ardi is the oldest known hominid fossil. Ardi had been theorized to be an ancestor to Australopithecus afarensis, more commonly known as Lucy.

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Fruit Fly, 100 Years Later

 

The fruit fly is celebrating 100 years of research. Charles W. Woodworth at the University of California, Berkley, at the turn of the twentieth century, was the first to use the fruit fly as model in the study of genetics. Today, Drosophila melanogaster, the common fruit fly, has become one of the most studied organisms in biological research, particularly in the field of genetics.

In 1910 following Woodworth’s footsteps, at Columbia University from the top floor of Schermerhorn Hall, now known as the Fly Room, Thomas Hunt Morgan confirmed and extended Gregor Mendel’s basic principles of genetics. A year later, Morgan published his findings in Science, establishing the foundation for the emerging neo-Darwinism movement.

Morgan, in the book entitled The Mechanism of Mendelian Inheritance (1915) demonstrated how mutations using radiation on two-winged fruit flies resulted in four-winged fruit flies. The four-winged fruit fly was widely heralded as the earliest evidence that the first evolutionary step to produce a new species was a mutation.

The question, however, centered on whether the mutated four-winged fruit fly was a new species or an unsustainable aberrational freek. By 1963 after decades of research, the question could be answered definitively. Ernst Mayr, Charles Darwin’s twentieth century Bulldog, viewed the mutated four-winged fruit flies as “such evident freaks that these monsters can be designated only as ‘hopeless.’ They are so utterly unbalanced that they would not have the slightest chance of escaping elimination.” Mutation is not the gateway to evolution.

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Count Chromosomes

Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.  Charles Darwin

Darwin argued in The Origin of Species that evolution develops through the processes of natural laws, changing the simple into the complex, in ways analogous to the laws of gravity

[W]hilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.

The chromosome is the organizational structure of DNA and proteins in cells. DNA contains the nucleotide sequences that form the genes. During the twentieth century, determining the number of chromosomes in species has been in the investigative forefront.

Since Darwin envisioned that “natural selection acts solely by accumulating slight, successive, favourable variations; it can produce no great or sudden modifications”, according to the theory, chromosomes were expected to demonstrate evolution from the simple into the more complex via “slight, successive” changes.  

While the simplest known organism, Mycoplasma hominis, does have only one chromosome, Darwin’s simple to complex theory quickly breaks down. Unless the Gorilla, Chimpanzee, Cow, Guinea Pig, and Goldfish evolved from Humans, the simple to complex theory of evolution is simply incompatible with the scientific evidence.

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Darwin Legacy of Influence

 

The Darwin’s were the Kennedy’s of the nineteenth century—a powerhouse of influence.

Darwin’s grandfather, Erasmus Darwin, was a prominent and wealthy English physician. As a physician in Lichfield from 1756 to 1781, he acquired a reputation for being a great healer. He was so successful that King George III asked him to be his doctor, but Erasmus Darwin refused the appointment.

Erasmus was a noted naturalist, writer, poet, inventor, and founding member of the infamous Lunar Society. Lunar members were of influence, becoming the engine-driving force of the British Industrial Revolution.

As a writer, Erasmus authored several important works of poetry and science. His most important published work was a book entitled Zoönomia, Latin for “law of life,” published in 1794. In Zoönomia, Erasmus endorsed the basic emerging tenets of evolution, asking the question in the affirmative – 

Would it be too bold to imagine that all warm-blooded animals have arisen from one living filament… continuing to improve by its own inherent activity, and of delivering down these improvements by generation

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Book Description



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Darwin, Then and Now is a journey through the most amazing story in the history of science - the history of evolution. The book encapsulates who Darwin was, what he said, and what scientists have discovered since the publication of The Origin of Species in 1859.

With over 1,000 references, Darwin Then and Now is a historical chronicle of the rise and fall of the once popular theory of biological evolution.

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