October 29, 2012

NEWS: Assortment of News Items Related to Evolution-by-Design Theories

1. Dinosaurs May Have ‘Sprouted’ Wings Earlier than Previously Thought[1]

Well, apparently more dinosaurs had feathers than previously thought. Also, the origination of feathers goes back further in time than previously known. This relates to my theories in that I believe that dinosaurs were a stepping stone to the formation of birds, and birds originated much earlier than currently known (c. 180-160 Ma). The Bible makes it clear that birds originated before modern land animals. This discovery of early types of dinosaurs having feathers helps further this point of view.

Prediction: We will find more evidence that early dinosaurs had feathers typically. We will find smaller dinos that look a lot like birds that lived before 160 Ma.

2. Evolution is ‘Far from Random’ and Follows Predictable Genetic Patterns[2]

This is critical to my theories about designed evolution. Darwinian evolution says that evolution is based on random mutations and other changes that are perpetuated based on greater fitness—i.e. survival of the fittest. However, now there is direct evidence that evolution is “far from random,” which strongly supports my theories proposed on this site. Evolution is a designed and efficient process. Evidence is showing this to be true, I believe.

Prediction: We will find more evidence that evolution is nonrandom and that it is efficient. We will find that evolution is mostly driven by chemical changes in the environment that affect the epigenome.

3. [OLD NEWS] Early Jawless ‘Fish’ Had Genes Specific to Jawed Fish[3]

As we have noted in a past post, a complex vertebrae structure specific to walking land animals existed in limbless fish before land animals were common. Here we have another similar case of a specific design existing before it became used as it is used today. Fish without jaws formed skeletal structures necessary for jaws to form. Magically? This (and the other example) was a highly fortuitous adaptation. This is odd for un-designed evolution, but for our proposed theory of designed evolution it is consistent and expected and reasonable.

Similarly, studies have shown that the brain and sense organs of jawless animals living 400 Ma were reorganized to allow for jaws.[7] Then, once jaws formed, teeth apparently formed immediately or shortly thereafter, which is more evidence for body plans and genetic designs preexisting within genomes before they became rapidly expressed.[8]

Prediction: More examples like this will be found. Complex designs will be found existing for no clear reason ‘shortly’ before the final evolutionary step was made that made the designs highly useful. These are missing links that indicate purposeful changes rather than random changes.

4. The Human Mutation Molecular Clock Found To Be Way Off[6]

So, as I have been noting for some time on this blog, molecular clocks are not accurate and cannot be trusted. This recent study just confirms that. It is somewhat irrelevant what new molecular clocks they have devised. The point I wish to make is that molecular clocks are rough estimates that are based on bad assumptions about the way that evolution and mutations progress. It is a poor assumption that mutations have always proceeded at a constant rate. Given my theories on this site, I’m sure that you can imagine why I think this to be true. Previously, I showed how that the molecular clock for penguins was drastically adjusted as well. Now the clock for humans has been drastically adjusted. This does not bode well for the accuracy or trustworthiness of molecular clocks.

Prediction: More evidence will come to light eventually that ‘mutations’ do not always happen at the same rate but speed up or slow down based on environmental pressures. More evidence will be found that various molecular clocks are disturbingly incorrect and too difficult to calibrate. Eventually these ‘clocks’ will be considered unreliable.

EXTRA: Cells of Dinosaurs Apparently Confirmed to be Preserved After 67 Million Years[4]

Now, how funny it was that an earlier study by about two weeks indicated that DNA degrades quickly and cannot last more than about 6.9 million years[5]. There was no indication, however, that DNA existed in these dinosaur bones. So, perhaps this is not a contradiction. In any case, it is astonishing that proteins from cells could last 67 million years. I really don’t have much to say about this point, but it is interesting.

[1] http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2012/10/dinosaurs-sprouted-wings-earlier.html
[2] http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121025130922.htm
[4] http://news.ncsu.edu/releases/tpschweitzer-bone/
[5] http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn22359-dnas-halflife-identified-using-fossil-bones.html
[6] http://www.sciencemag.org/content/338/6104/189.summary

[7] http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110817135351.htm   
[8] http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121017131834.htm

October 12, 2012

NEWS: Cambrian Explosion Just Got Bigger

According to new research, during the Early Cambrian—a time when many of the animal phyla were first appearing over a relatively short geological timescale—complex brains had already evolved. Instead of increasing in complexity, the brain structure of insects and their ancestors were apparently devolving a tad from more complex to less complex:

“Have spiders gotten dumber over time? That's one possible conclusion from 50 well-preserved fossils excavated from 520-million-year-old rocks in southwestern China. The fossils belong to a 6-centimeter-long early arthropod—a group that includes insects; spiders; scorpions; and crustaceans such as shrimp, crabs, and lobsters—which had a surprisingly modern brain.  . . . [E]ye stalks were preserved in many different positions—a sign that they were flexible and that the creatures could control their movement, the researchers report online today in Nature. Furthermore, they say, the appearance of such a complex brain early in arthropod evolution suggests that the nervous systems of modern-day arthropods with simpler brains—such as spiders, scorpions, and the crustaceans known as water fleas—were at some point downsized by evolution [sic.], a contrast with previous notions that the brains of arthropods in those lineages had remained simple since arthropods first arose.”
http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2012/10/scienceshot-spider-ancestor-had-.html (Emphasis added)

Now, let’s get a reminder of the complexity that arose during the Cambrian:
  • Compound eye structures with 1000’s of lenses (~515 Ma) [1]
  • Nervous systems with complex brains (little changed since that time, over 520 million years)
  • 11 to 23+ animal phyla of 32 (phyla are basic body types), and perhaps many more extinct phyla
  • Diverse complex cell-types
How many eons would it take for accidental changes in DNA to stumble upon all the complexity? Certainly, it would take longer than a meager 20 to 100 million years. Consider also that the compound eyes and complex brain structures have changed little after 500 million years. How does that make sense in terms of random, mindless evolution? Complexity arose in under 100 million years, and then there were 500 million years of relative stasis—preservation of complexity but little or no improvement. This does not sound like the work of chance to me.

It is worth mentioning that we are no closer to finding the necessary intermediate forms that would be expected and required of undesigned evolution. With undesigned evolution there must be many small steps of improvement that lead to complex designs, like the brain structure mentioned above. So far the fossil record keeps disputing Darwinian evolution. It is not enough that there are species of animals with varying degrees of complexity of eyes or brains. Darwinian evolution demands that complex structures evolved slowly from preexisting simple structures. The fossil record does not show this predicted gradual increase in complexity. This should make typical evolutionists nervous—very nervous. (That intricate brains would quickly evolve fits my model and predictions, as mentioned in a previous blog post [2], under points (4) and (16).)