“Incredibly Naive”

Also not that long ago, junk DNA was being defended as an important element of the Darwinian evolution paradigm.

Just one decade of post-genome biology has exploded that view. Biology’s new glimpse at a universe of non-coding DNA — what used to be called ‘junk’ DNA — has been fascinating and befuddling. Researchers from an international collaborative project called the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements ENCODE showed that in a selected portion of the genome containing just a few per cent of protein-coding sequence, between 74% and 93% of DNA was transcribed into RNA2. Much non-coding DNA has a regulatory role; small RNAs of different varieties seem to control gene expression at the level of both DNA and RNA transcripts in ways that are still only beginning to become clear. “Just the sheer existence of these exotic regulators suggests that our understanding about the most basic things — such as how a cell turns on and off — is incredibly naive,” says Joshua Plotkin, a mathematical biologist at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

Source: Evolution News & Views: Exploding the Darwin-Friendly Myth of Junk DNA

Suggested Reading: The Biblical View of Science (Lester E. Showalter; Rod and Staff Publishers)

Breakfast: Frozen in Time

Earlier this week, this news:

The fossilized remains of a 67 million-year-old snake found coiled around a dinosaur egg offer rare insight into the ancient reptile’s dining habits and evolution, scientists said Tuesday.

The findings, which appeared in Tuesday’s issue of the PLoS Biology journal, provide the first evidence that the 11.5-foot- 3.5-meter-long snake fed on eggs and hatchlings of saurapod dinosaurs, meaning it was one of the few predators to prey on the long-necked herbivores.

They also suggest that, as early as 100 million years ago, snakes were developing mobile jaws similar to those of today’s large-mouthed snakes, including vipers and boas.

“This is an early, well preserved snake, and it is doing something. We are capturing it’s behavior,” said University of Michigan paleontologist Jeff Wilson, who is credited with recognizing the snake bones amid the crushed dinosaur eggs and bones of hatchlings.

“We have information about what this early snake did for living,” he said. “It also helps us understand the early evolution of snakes both anatomically and ecologically.”

Dhananjay Mohabey of India’s Geological Survey discovered the fossilized remains in 1987, but he was only able to make out the dinosaur eggshells and limb bones. Wilson examined the fossils in 2001 and was “astonished” to find a predator in the midst of the sauropod’s nest.

“I saw the characteristic vertebral locking mechanism of snakes alongside dinosaur eggshell and larger bones, and I knew it was an extraordinary specimen,” Wilson said.

Mohabey theorized that the snake — dubbed Sanajeh indicus, which means “ancient gaped one” in Sanskrit — had just arrived at the nest and was in the process of gobbling a hatchling emerging from its egg. But the entire scene was “frozen in time” when it was hit by a storm or some other disaster and buried under layers of sediment.

Source: Fossils of snake eating dino eggs found in India

If Noah hadn’t been ready and had been eating breakfast in his hut, this same event might have left his entire scene “frozen in time” as well.

Yup. That’s exactly what I’m sayin’. I got to that part of the story above and thought of that cataclysmic flood so long ago.

Well, actually not that long ago. More like the bat of an eye compared to the number the story uses. They say 67 million years. Me? Well, I’d modify that “slightly” to .0067 million years ago (if I’m limited to using the same numerals they use).

Darwinian Contempt

The More They Know Darwin, The Less They Want Darwin-Only Indoctrination

According to an international poll released by the British Council, the majority of Americans — 60% — support teaching alternatives to evolution in the science classroom. The percentage is the same for Britons, despite the fact that both countries have been inundated with pro-Darwin media coverage in this super-mega Darwin Year.

Of course, the British media reporting this are chagrined. Britain is the birthplace of Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution, and the official-sounding British Council, the UK group behind the “Darwin Now” campaign that commissioned the Ipsos MORI poll, have spent precious resources educating the world about Darwin. Now some believe the poll shows that efforts by Darwinist organizations aren’t working.

Head of the British Council’s Darwin Now program Fern Elsdon-Baker said, “Overall these results may reflect the need for a more sophisticated approach to teaching and communicating how science works as a process.”

[…]

The correlation appears again when we consider which countries have more knowledge of Darwin’s theory. The highest numbers of those in support of alternative theories in the classroom correspond to the highest numbers of those familiar with Charles Darwin — 60% in Britain, 65% in Mexico, 61% in China, 66% in Russia, and 60% in the U.S. It appears that the more people know about Darwin’s theory, the more they want to see alternatives in science class.

That’s interesting.

Apparently, the majority of people haven’t evolved enough to accept their monkey’s uncle. Or maybe it’s the possibility that their monkey is their uncle that unhinges their support.

Are we guilty of being unwilling to engage in a willing suspension of disbelief? Perhaps.

Now we await a similar nuclear winter global warming climate change poll. (Or did that already happen and I’ve forgotten?)

That’s No Fowl on That Perch!

The missing link is broken, folks!

A few days ago we saw Ida fall from her overhyped status as an ancestor of humans. Now some scientists are claiming that Archaeopteryx should lose its status as an ancestor of modern birds. Calling Archaeopteryx an “icon of evolution,” the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) borrows a term from Jonathan Wells while reporting that “[t]he feathered creature called archaeopteryx, easily the world’s most famous fossil remains, had been considered the first bird since Charles Darwin’s day. When researchers put its celebrity bones under the microscope recently, though, they discovered that this icon of evolution might not have been a bird at all.”

According to the new research, inferences about growth rates made from studies of Archaeopteryx’s ancient fossilized bones show it developed much more slowly than modern birds. While the WSJ is reporting these doubts about Archaeopteryx’s ancestral status as if they were something new, those who follow the intelligent design movement know that such skepticism has been around for quite some time.

[…]

But old theories die hard, Ruben said, especially when it comes to some of the most distinctive and romanticized animal species in world history.

“Frankly, there’s a lot of museum politics involved in this, a lot of careers committed to a particular point of view even if new scientific evidence raises questions,” Ruben said. In some museum displays, he said, the birds-descended-from-dinosaurs evolutionary theory has been portrayed as a largely accepted fact, with an asterisk pointing out in small type that “some scientists disagree.”

“Our work at OSU used to be pretty much the only asterisk they were talking about,” Ruben said. “But now there are more asterisks all the time. That’s part of the process of science.”

With a hat tip to The Berean Call, I suggest you read the full article: Evolution News & Views: The Demise of Another Evolutionary Link: Archaeopteryx Falls From Its Perch.

They Found Grandpa Lemuel

I mean, Grandpa Lemur. 🙄

The search for a direct connection between humans and the rest of the animal kingdom has taken 200 years – but it was presented to the world today at a special news conference in New York.

The discovery of the 95%-complete ‘lemur monkey’ – dubbed Ida – is described by experts as the “eighth wonder of the world”.

Oh. I got the name wrong. Sorry about that, Grandma Ida.

They say its impact on the world of palaeontology will be “somewhat like an asteroid falling down to Earth”.

Researchers say proof of this transitional species finally confirms Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, and the then radical, outlandish ideas he came up with during his time aboard the Beagle.

I thought ole Piltdown was the “finally confirms” they’ve been hunting.

Sir David Attenborough said Darwin “would have been thrilled” to have seen the fossil – and says it tells us who we are and where we came from.

First of all, I thought I’d heard/read information that Darwin actually would have been dismayed. Maybe that’s just an urban legend sprung forth by an overzealous right wing (different, non-simian branch of the evolutionary tree apparently) conspiracy.

Secondly, if a monkey tells us who we are, what are?

Thirdly, and most importantly perhaps, where are we going?

Anyway, if you want to learn more about this Would Have Been Thrilled news (and it may be a good idea), here you go: Missing Link: Scientists In New York Unveil Fossil Of Lemur Monkey Hailed As Man’s Earliest Ancestor

Meanwhile, in other monkey business that should weigh more heavily on your mind than Grandpa Lemur-el Grandma Ida:

Good day?

Above all, love God!
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