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Saturday, September 22, 2007

Evolution in the light of intelligent design - New entries

Appendix (human appendix) - despite it's name, no longer considered superfluous or rudimentary (Tyler)

Acritarchs - oldest known protists (Tyler)
The picture emerging of the Late Archaean is one that includes prokaryotes and eukaryotes, photosynthesis, an oxygenated atmosphere and lots of biological activity. This is a big contrast from the picture even 10 years ago. The significance for our thinking about origins is that the eons of time demanded by Darwinian processes are not available.

Archaea - horizontal gene transfer - review of The Archaea's Tale (Tyler)
He presents evidence that Darwinian evolution does not go back to the beginning of life. When we compare genomes of ancient lineages of living creatures, we find evidence of numerous transfers of genetic information from one lineage to another. In early times, horizontal gene transfer, the sharing of genes between unrelated species, was prevalent. It becomes more prevalent the further back you go in time. - Freeman Dyson

Butterfly sex ratios in Samoa - and natural selection (Tyler)
Sex ratios are distorted by the presence of a maternally inherited bacterium which has the effect of selectively killing male embryos. The authors report ratios of >99% female to nearly 1:1. These were different on different islands and at different times. The genetics of this shift of sex ratios is summarised in one paragraph with some supporting online data. There is not enough information here for anyone to either confirm or challenge their conclusions.

Cell - molecular recognition - advantages of cellular key-lock not being an exact fit. (Tyler)
So, something that could have been interpreted as evidence for tinkering evolution is discovered to have advantages after all. Furthermore, it has potential for the design of human systems operating in noisy environments. By invoking "evolutionary selection", the authors suggest an evolutionary context for their work. However, there is no evidence that evolutionary selection was involved, and the link with evolutionary theory is gratuitous.

Central dogma (Tyler)
Casual observers might say they find chaos in the emerging picture of the genome, but systems biology is tracking down extraordinary sophistication at the molecular biology level, indicating that theories (like Darwinism) that are undirected and stochastic have little to offer 21st Century biology.

Exoplanets - atmospheres (Tyler)

Gecko - feet a standard for adhesion (Tyler)
... the gecko does not demonstrate just a single trait with enhanced performance. There are issues of adhesion and delamination, self-cleaning, and achieving a sustained adhesive performance. What we have in the gecko is exquisite design and, for that, biomimetics needs a methodology that can relate well to intelligent engineering design concepts.

Molecular recognition in the cell (Tyler)

Protists - oldest known protists (Tyler)

Sensory perception - advanced perception in Permian amniotes (Tyler)
The discovery of a highly-evolved auditory apparatus in Middle Permian parareptiles even further emphasizes that the entire groundplan for the impressive evolutionary history of amniotes was already largely in place by the end of the Paleozoic; what followed was in fact only a subsequent tinkering of earlier inventions." Darwinism needs time, but the fossil record no longer provides it.

Stasis - tribolites (Tyler)

Trilobites - variation and stasis as a pattern
The research documented both rapid morphological variation and subsequent stasis. ... One hypothesis is that radiations occur because organisms are designed to vary, but the process results in genetic impoverishment that leads to stasis.

Variation - tribolites (Tyler)

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