Astrobiology: Is it Relevant For Science?

Biologist and activist Jerry Coyne who has a blog which defends evolution once said, “In science’s pecking order, evolutionary biology lurks somewhere near the bottom, far closer to phrenology than to physics.” If that is true, then where does Astrobiology fit into this created pecking order? Back in 1996,  a Martian meteorite was discovered and there was massive hype that it contain alien life forms which were supposedly fossilized in it. But later these claims were debunked. So with all the hype about the meteorite, then President Clinton allocated funding for a supposed new science which is, Astrobiology, however, since fossilized alien life forms from Mars was falsified, wouldn’t you think this part of NASA research would no longer be needed? After all that was the reason why it was created in the first place!

Recently, the United States government has created objectives for Astrobiology and has asked the public to give their opinions on the direction they want Astrobiology to go. Here is what NASA outlines as a road map…

1) Understanding habitable environments 

2) Looking for life in our own solar system (NASA is currently doing this already with Mars). 

3) Understanding life in earth’s environment. 

4) Understanding how life began.

5) Understanding evolutionary mechanisms and environmental limits of life.

6) Predicting how life will shape up for the future.

7) Being able to detect signatures of life forms on other planets. 

Much of these objectives are conducted in other areas of evolutionary research or could be done in other areas of evolutionary research. After seventeen years and counting, there is no hard evidence for alien life forms. Scientists can’t send probes and spaceships which can land on the surface on other worlds outside our solar-system which is the best form of collecting data to draw conclusions with.

Since there is no hard evidence for alien life forms, and we are too far to really investigate, how do they even know what an alien life form would be? It’s like telling a four-year old child living in a remote area in Alaska to be able to come up with calculations for building the Sears tower in Chicago. But some scientists assume (using circular reasoning) that they know what supposed alien life is by studying life on earth…

In Science Daily

“The bacterium offers clues about some of the necessary preconditions for microbial life on both the Saturn moon Enceladus and Mars, where similar briny subzero conditions are thought to exist.”

“We believe that this bacterium lives in very thin veins of very salty water found within the frozen permafrost on Ellesmere Island,” explains Whyte. “The salt in the permafrost brine veins keeps the water from freezing at the ambient permafrost temperature (~-16ºC), creating a habitable but very harsh environment. It’s not the easiest place to survive but this organism is capable of remaining active (i.e. breathing) to at least -25ºC in permafrost.”

Bacteria is the most fit animal on planet earth and is known to survive in very extreme environments that no other animals could survive in which defies evolutionary logic on survival of the fittest. Is alien bacteria going to be the similar as earth’s or different? If aliens did exist, I would say, different. The discovery of this particular one-cell animal is exciting no question about it and it’s a great thing to learn about, but promising the public it’s revealing clues on life concerning other planets and moons, is not science but a lot of hype.

And also, the authors of the paper make another unscientific claim that these bacteria just like man are changing the weather pattern on earth…

“The researchers believe however, that such microbes may potentially play a harmful role in extremely cold environments such as the High Arctic by increasing carbon dioxide emissions from the melting permafrost, one of the results of global warming.”

So is astrobiology relevant for science? The answer is no! American taxpayer money is being wasted. It should be abolished and the funding shifted elsewhere that is more important in the peaking order like cancer research,  biomimetics where scientists learn and understand designs found in nature for example…

New search-and-rescue operations are being invented some of which are coming from ants! Fire ants that are able to construct narrow tunnels not much wider than their own bodies, the design of these unique tunnels allow the ants to catch themselves to prevent falling in vertical orientations is being studied for the purpose of imitating it for search-and-rescue operations! There is so much in nature that can improve human lives unlike astrobiology were Americans are paying scientists to speculate which is another reason why it’s not relevant for science!

Atheist Jerry Coyne Is Condescending Once Again

Johns Hopkins University decided to invite Ben Carson to speak at their 2013 graduation.ceremony. Ben Carson is a neurosurgeon who attended Johns Hopkins University. He also happens to be a creationist who is against gay marriage. There was an uproar from the gay community about Carson’s stance against gay marriage, so he withdrew which was a mistake.

Instead, he accepted an invite at another university. There were no gay groups protesting at this one, but evolutionists were not happy about it. Namely Jerry Coyne and others. Coyne writes

“Yes, Carson worked his way up from a horrible background (raised in Detroit by a single mom) to a position of prestige and accomplishment, and yes, he’s been a role model to black students.  But none of that, to my mind, outweighs his profoundly creationist views.  He certainly shouldn’t be barred from speaking because of his faith, but the officials who pick commencement speakers should have excluded him because his view of science, based on lies, is hardly exemplary of an institution devoted to learning.  Truth outweighs inspiration.”  

He shouldn’t be barred but just have excluded him? What Jerry Coyne is advocating is restricting freedom of speech because of a difference of opinion about science, he means evolution. Listen, Neurosurgery is a science Mr. Coyne!  Carson has successfully performed surgery on the nervous system and has been good at it without believing in evolution! Neurosurgery has nothing to do with evolution because its operational science. It’s like learning how a car engine works and performing repairs on it, both are intelligently designed!

Here is some of the feedback from Coyne’s choir…

“When a university asks someone with backwards views about science to give a commencement speech, they are tacitly supporting those beliefs even if they are doing so indirectly.

It’s unfortunate as Dr. Carson’s incorrect understanding of biology taints his accomplishments. I’d be uncomfortable if he were my surgeon even though he is accomplished.”

Isn’t Evolution the basis of all medicine? Infectious diseases are a cat and mouse game of evolution of the pathogen in just a short period of time. How did he pass all of the biology courses required to get into medical school? Did he lie when taking the tests? I’m tired of these religious types in medicine. They are fakes. And I hope he’s not praying before surgery. I want my doctor to be a cocky, arrogant, self-centered prick when he’s operating on my brain. I want him to have absolute confidence in his skills not in some wizard in the sky.”

This guy here thinks a belief in evolution is required to pass biology that is about evolution! Another guy claimed he fixed two of Carson’s “less-than-stellar results” and my question to him would be, “How did you use evolution to correct those results?” And I don’t mean just believing in it, I mean actually using evolutionary theory in surgery situations. They treat evolution like a cult.  And it’s the wrong religion based on stories. The greatest fear they have is creationists having success in the area of science. And if creationists are having success, it’s another blow to their ill conceived reasoning on why everyone should believe in evolution. So they remain condescending towards creationists.

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!

Where Is Evolution Going To End Up?

This a challenging question to answer because there has been a distinct pattern of evolutionary explanations that builds itself into the realm of complexity with its stories, some of which are well beyond from what Darwin himself envisioned (spontaneous variation and natural selection) while other evolutionary explanations are well beyond from even what neo-Darwinism envisions which as a result has sparked some angry feelings among some evolutionists…

A new phrase that sounds more like a car race than science, “mating between the quickest,” Physorg reports…

“Three Australian biologists, including lead author, Professor Rick Shine, from the University of Sydney’s School of Biological Sciences, believe they have identified a new evolutionary process based on their invasive cane toad research. Professor Shine said the process, which depends on “mating between the quickest” rather than “survival of the fittest”, challenges the long-held view that natural selection is the only driving force for evolution.”

Shifting gears to another speed, this time its survival of the slowest, reports Physorg

“In the study, the researchers investigated four genetically distinct clones of Escherichia coli clones, and sampled them periodically to look for the presence of five specific beneficial mutations.They discovered that after 500 generations all lineages had acquired beneficial mutations but two had significantly more than the others, which should suggest they were more likely to survive in the long-term than the other line of bacteria.  What they found instead was that after 1,500 generations the other two lineages had gone on to dominate.”

In another article, there was a call to depart from classical Darwinian evolution…

“In some cases, less fit organisms may out-survive their in-shape counterparts, according to a study reported in the March 18 issue of Science. The finding surprised researchers who assumed less fit organisms would be the eventual losers in evolution’s fight for survival.”

One of the team researchers made a comment about how this long-term evolutionary experiment which continues to “yield surprises,” and then using the unexpected result as an insight into the “richness and complexity of evolution.”  Keep in mind, all the bacteria were still members of the same species, E. coli. And beneficial mutations are in the eye of the beholder much like how fast this alleged evolution goes or if the fit or less fit survive better. Also, sometimes what appears beneficial in one context can have negative consequences in other parts.

On another front considered to be a war zone, there is a pretty big battle for fitness definitions. Nature came out swinging by defending the terms, “inclusive fitness” or “kin selection” in response to Martin Nowak, Corina Tarnita and Edward O. Wilson last August, which argued the idea should be abandoned while keeping classical evolution as the main explanation!

In science...”Online today in Nature, nearly 150 evolutionary biologists challenge Harvard University’s Edward O. Wilson, one of the world’s most preeminent scientists, and two colleagues. At issue is the usefulness of a 50-year-old theory about the role of relatedness in the evolution of complex social systems like those of ants, bees, and humans. Wilson, along with Harvard mathematicians Martin Nowak and Corina Tarnita argue that the theory, called inclusive fitness, does not explain how these complex societies arose; in a rebuttal today in Nature and in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Evolutionary Biology, their critics say that the Harvard trio have misrepresented the literature and are simply wrong.”

“We argue that standard natural selection theory in the context of precise models of population structure represents a simpler and superior approach, allows the evaluation of multiple competing hypotheses, and provides an exact framework for interpreting empirical observations.”

The defenders of “inclusive fitness” or “kin selection” strongly disagreed and raised a concern that evolution was branching off into dead ends which had no compatibility…

“By opposing ‘standard selection theory’ and ‘inclusive fitness theory’, we believe that Nowak et al. give the incorrect (and potentially dangerous) impression that evolutionary thinking has branched out into conflicting and apparently incompatible directions,”  In fact, there is only one paradigm: natural selection driven by interactions, interactions of all kinds and at all levels.  Inclusive fitness has been a powerful force in the development of this paradigm and is likely to have a continued role in the evolutionary theory of behaviour interactions.”

Jerry Coyne released his angry mob mentality with venom (which he has done several times on creationists) because he is on the side of “kin selection”…In his blog he writes…

“The only reason this paper was published is because it has two big-name authors, Nowak and Wilson, hailing from Mother Harvard. That, and the fact that such a contrarian paper, flying in the face of accepted evolutionary theory, was bound to cause controversy.  Well, Nature got its controversy but lost its intellectual integrity, becoming something of a scientific National Enquirer.”

“Oh, and boo to the Templeton Foundation, who funded the whole Nowak et al. mess and highlighted the paper on their website. The lesson: if you’re a famous biologist you can get away with publishing dreck.  So much for our objective search for truth—a search that’s not supposed to depend on authors’ fame and authority.”

Nowak, Tarnita and Wilson remained adamant with their position“Inclusive fitness theory is neither useful nor necessary to explain the evolution of eusociality or other phenomena,” they said.

Science Daily came to the defense of “Inclusive fitness” with their story…

“Bees are probably the most useful group for studying why eusocial organisms have workers that do not reproduce, but the authors got a lot of their basic facts about bees wrong. For example, the authors argue that having defensible nests is the most important consideration for eusociality, but they ignore the fact that there are thousands of nest making animals that are not eusocial,” said Wcislo, a specialist in the biology of bees.”

And finally, evolution of the weakest! According to science daily only the weak survive…

“Conventional rules of survival tend to favor the strongest, but University of Pittsburgh-based researchers recently found that in the emerging world of self-healing materials, it is the somewhat frail that survive.”

Keep in mind, this particular article is not a story about evolutionary theory, rather it’s about a quest to mimic biology in creating flexible materials.  Still, the headline illustrates the pervasiveness of evolutionary lingo! But one could argue that this article is about a Creator with an amazing purposeful design, “In short, a little bit of weakness gives a material better mechanical properties.”

So where is evolution going to end up? It’s leading to nowhere but a dead end, it’s not a search for truth, but how nature could be manufactured without an intelligent mind, God. Yet, it’s a fact, the evidence points to His wisdom which has designed some of the most amazing things we observe in nature. The evolution ‘theory’ is nothing more than invented stories that only attempt to replace God. By so doing, the confusion increases, building faith in naturalism with a framework that has no direction nor a foundation!