The Truly Amazing, and The Bizarre in Science

All living things ranging from animals to humans rely on the ATP ability to manufacture a “energy pellets” in order to survive. There have been some remarkable discoveries on how the  ATP synthase works. It continues to astound with truly amazing features.

A team of scientists in Germany have detected  the rotary engines of ATP synthase and other parts of the respiratory chain and created a diagram that resembles a factory. The design of the ATP is highly advanced with engines that are arranged in pairs, the F0 parts are observed to almost touching, their F1 parts separated, by angles ranging from 40° to 70° depending on the species. And quite interestingly, the authors of the paper mention that the ATP isconserved during evolution”.  Have they grasped a better understanding about how evolution works? No! Have they grasped a better understanding of its design and how it works? Yes!

Last week it was reported that scientists turned a chicken into an alligator, well not quite that profound but rather, “rewinding evolution: scientists alter chicken DNA to create embryo with ‘alligator-like’ snout.” Since mutation experiments have been falsifying evolution, evolutionary scientists are trying to advocate a more simple approach to the problem. Flip some switches, and new information is created or at least that is what is believed.

The scientists who altered the DNA in the chicken by inserting a protein gel into the eggs to that would restrict certain gene regulators actually created a deformity or another words a defect. There was no new information created in the genomes which would turn the chicken into an alligator. This research lacks any value for trying to understand evolution with malformations. Rather this is great research for studying birth defects and how to prevent them!

In another story, Jerry Coyne who is an American professor of biology and known for his public opposition of creationism and the modern intelligent design movement, recently, natural selection has been an interesting topic for him because of what he had written in various publications. The first being, “The Improbability Pump” where it says…

“In principle, natural selection is simple. It is neither a “law” nor a “mechanism.” It is, instead, a “process”–a process that is inevitable if two common conditions are met.”

Jerry says it simple, but is it? He writes about natural selection again in his book, “Why Evolution Is True” and on page three it says…

“In essence, the modern theory of evolution is easy to grasp. It can be summarized in a single (albeit slightly long) sentence: Life on Earth evolved gradually beginning with one primitive species—perhaps a self-replicating molecule—that lived more than 3.5 billion years ago; it then branched out over time, throwing off many new and diverse species; and the mechanism for most (but not all) of evolutionary change is natural selection.”

I ask again, simple Jerry? Are you really trying to tell us natural selection is that simple? So which is it? Is natural selection a mechanism or not or is it just a process or a combination of both and why? His writings on the subject are a bit confusing which is not surprising considering evolution is full of confusing stories that evolve over time due to falsifications. One wonders about the growing complexity in evolution, which perhaps has it gotten to the point where it is even confusing to those who are trying to tell the public it’s factual? Sure does looks that way!

On August 23, 2011, MSNBC reported that daddy-long-legs has remain relatively the same after the supposed assumed time frame of 300 million years. There are other species that have been quite amazing, not showing evolution. The fossil record is becoming less and less Darwinian as more studies are done with it. It is not as bizarre as calling certain animals, “living fossils” as though they came back from the dead and now are alive!

What was thought to be just a fossil from long ago is actually swimming pretty good in the water. A report by phys.org

“A new species of eel found in the gloom of an undersea cave is a “living fossil” astonishingly similar to the first eels that swam some 200 million years ago, biologists reported on Wednesday.”

Where is the evolution? Labeling it incorrectly as a “living fossil” like Charles Darwin, doesn’t explain evolution. When you take away all those millions of years that evolutionists believe in, and you discover that the resemblance of these creatures to their fossilize ancestors means they are not separated by millions of years through evolution but variants within in kind that was designed by God!

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6 thoughts on “The Truly Amazing, and The Bizarre in Science

  1. And quite interestingly, the authors of the paper mention that the ATP is “conserved during evolution”. Have they grasped a better understanding about how evolution works? No!

    The conservation of ATP synthesis over billions of years is in fact a major argument for the common descent of all living things. There are other autocatalytic reactions that could drive biological metabolism. Human designs use internal combustion engines for most transportation applications, electric motors for devices with small energy needs, chemical reactions of fossil fuels for generating electricity, and so forth. Each of these mechanisms uses a different core process, none of them has any major element in common with the others. That is, a designer designs to specific requirements. Yet every living being on earth, from microbes to man, uses exactly the same fuel and the same process for producing it. So Michael has just pointed out another piece of evidence for common ancestry, rather than for design.

    Does this conservation provide a better understanding of evolution?[1] Yes, altho not in the way Michael conceives. The conservation of ATP synthesis is a prime example of a promising new line of research into “facilitated variation.” In The Plausibility of Life,[2] the authors attempt to resolve what they call “Darwin’s dilemma.”[3] Their insight is that it is exactly the conservation of “core processes” over vast lengths of time that gives evolution the freedom to innovate more peripheral processes and structures.

    A simple analogy. Suppose you have bins full of parts to assemble a car engine . But, as you start to bolt the pieces together, you find that many of the screws coming from your supplier start arriving with left-hand threads and metric dimensions. When you complete the engine, you find that the gas stations are now pumping diesel fuel instead of gasoline. And many of the new batteries are 6-volt models that don’t produce enough spark to ignite the fuel in any case. BUT if you can be certain that these “core components” will remain the same, then you can build engines of many different designs—4, 6, or 8 cylinders, rotary, water-cooled or air-cooled. That is, the constraints over core components is what allows you to assemble a variety of different engine configurations. Why? Because you don’t have to start over from scratch for every different design.

    Returning to biology, this principle allows evolution to experiment around the edges without breaking anything important.[4] Creationists make much of the “isolated peaks” of fitness landscapes, and the supposed difficulty of evolving from one to another.[5] The very conservation of these processes allows then to be employed in many different ways.

    For example, many of them initiate exploratory behavior, and are weakly linked. Muscle does not develop independently of bone. When bone is laid down, muscles are not produced independently, as they would be in a top=down design. The base process for muscles explore their embryonic environments, and go looking for new bone cells. Even Michael has heard of experimental placing of insect legs at unusual sites—which then proceed to develop entirely normally, with muscles and nerves in exactly the right spots, without any other modification, Another discovery concerning these processes is that they can be compartmentalized easily. The same signal that produces cell proliferation in one compartment may cause differentiation in another, or cell death—or may be inhibited from expression at all.

    All of these mechanisms are conserved, bu they have the property of deconstraining change around them…. We can now begin to understand why the extensive regulatory tinkering with and recombination of transcriptional circuits and genetic structures so often produces successful and nonlethal outcomes, and why biology based on core processes is so regulable.
    [6]

    So the answer is YES. Here is a major example of how a better grasp of evolutionary understanding issues from highly conserved processes.

    Sorry, Michael, your ignorance has defeated you once again.

    =======================

    [1] The question Michael should have asked was, “Have I grasped a better understanding of evolution?” The answer to this question indeed is “No.”

    [2] Kirschner & Gerhart (Yale University Press 2005. Kirschner and Gerhart explained their concept in a much condensed version in Pigliucci & Muller (eds), Evolution—The Extended Synthesis (MIT Press 2010), pp. 253-280/ This volume contains the papers from the Altenberg conference at Konrad Lorenz Institute.

    [3] Kirschner & Gerhart, p. ix—

    The vast diversity of organisms …. all are of different design. How did they originate? …. When Charles Darwin proposed his theory of evolution by variation and selection, explaining selection was his great achievement. He could not explain variation. This was Darwin’s dilemma.

    [4] Genetic defects that produce abnormal core processes are self-eliminating—an embryo that couldn’t process ATP would die a day after conception.

    [5] Altho their limited imagination does not appreciate that real fitness landscapes: (a) have dimensionalities so high that there are no peaks from which higher ground cannot be accessed; (b) fitness landscapes are time-variant, so that a local maximum of a trait today may slide considerably up or down the slope tomorrow. (This is what accounts fro the extraordinary successes of invasive species.)

    [6] Pigliucci & Muller, p. 269.

  2. @Michael

    Where is the evolution? Labeling it incorrectly as a “living fossil” like Charles Darwin, doesn’t explain evolution. When you take away all those millions of years that evolutionists believe in, and you discover that the resemblance of these creatures to their fossilize ancestors means they are not separated by millions of years through evolution but variants within in kind that was designed by God!

    Michael, there is no rule of evolution that says that animals MUST always change. If they have their nitches, they likely won’t.

  3. there is no rule of evolution that says that animals MUST always change. If they have their nitches, they likely won’t.

    Michael has never heard of—or has deliberately ignored—one of the oldest principles of the Modern Synthesis. Evolutionary stasis damps out variation when changes would decrease fitness. Even the benighted ID folk acknowledge it:

    The most likely reason for evolutionary stasis is a stable long-term environment. Motivations for evolutionary change normally come in the form of cataclysms that change the world’s climate or the introduction of a disease or new predator. Absent these environmental changes, there is no pressure on the species to adapt.
    ….
    Some of the things that encourage evolutionary stasis include flexible adaptation to a wide range of environments, a lack of predators, the species’ being cut off from other environments, and a lack of change in the native environment.

    Apparently Michael doesn’t even read the stuff his own side puts out.

  4. Last week it was reported that scientists turned a chicken into an alligator, well not quite that profound but rather, “rewinding evolution: scientists alter chicken DNA to create embryo with ‘alligator-like’ snout.” Since mutation experiments have been falsifying evolution, evolutionary scientists are trying to advocate a more simple approach to the problem. Flip some switches, and new information is created or at least that is what is believed.

    One of the hoariest creationist canards is that evolution is falsified because it has never produced a “crocoduck”—an animal half fowl and half reptile.

    But now, when biologists show how easy it is to modify gene regulators to produce a crocodile snout on a chick’s head, why, what do the creationists say?

    You guessed it! This falsifies evolution.

    Give that creationist the grand prize for falsifying evolution both when it can’t do something, and when it can do the same thing.

    (The grand prize, by the way, is a complete set of the works of Richard Dawkins, bound in unicorn hide.)

  5. . . . . . . . .The Truly Amazing, and The Bizarre in Science

    OK, Michael. Amazing I’ll give you. But please tell us which of the things in your post qualify as “bizarre.”

  6. I ask again, simple Jerry? Are you really trying to tell us natural selection is that simple? So which is it? Is natural selection a mechanism or not or is it just a process or a combination of both and why? His writings on the subject are a bit confusing

    However, Coyne is not nearly as confusing as Michael is. Or should we say “confused”?

    How about gravitation? Is gravitation a mechanism by which planets attract each other? Or is gravitation a process for moving planets in their orbits? Or a combination of both? And WHY? Newton’s and Einstein’s writings are a bit confusing, and do not explain this point at all.

    What is a chemical bond? is it a mechanism, some kind of hook for stringing atoms together? Or is it a process, a longing of one atom for another? Or a combination of ….

    Well, you get the idea. Michael’s abject ignorance of what science and its concepts are all about cast him into the outer darkness..

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