Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Who Abandoned the Nest

What an excellent article about a paleontological report in science.


For years it was a problem understanding why this clutch of eggs was abandoned, but now we know. (follow the link on the picture.)

I have always maintained that science will enforce the Theory of Evolution and make the Creationists seem just plain ignorant, and here we are again with evidence and a story about an event over 70m years ago.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Intelligent design debate brews controversy in Texas

Here is a bit more information about the Texas Science Standards Review Panel.  Notice 2 of the anti-evolutionists on the panel are out of state.  Why is it necessary to appoint non local people from a state as big as Texas? 

I would guess the Republican Party members appointed or voted for  have appointed them for a reason, to establish a pro evolution point of view, or at least a voting duality.  I wander how flexible it will be in reality as they are not elected, just appointed.

The anti-science position of the literalist fundamentalist biblicalists group may be voted out as time moves on with the evidence of their Republican politicians being seen a failures in the Economy.

News 8 Austin Story : Intelligent design debate brews controversy in Texas - 10/15/2008 8:49:37 PM

Friday, October 17, 2008

3 evolution critics on advisory panel that will review standards for science courses in Texas schools

Well, Texas appears to be following the Republican Party policy document in Texas by opposing Evolution in Science class in the advisory panel by stacking at least three idproponents in it.  The advisory panels meetings should be interesting, evenly matched between creationists and real scientists.

3 evolution critics on advisory panel that will review standards for science courses in Texas schools | News for Dallas, Texas | Dallas Morning News | Texas Regional News

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The End of Evolution?| Christianpost.com

On October 9 a prediction of mine happened, well really, an open speculation on my part, yet it happened. The Christian Post is reporting the End of Evolution, a false claim by the Professor Steve Jones at University College London.  R. Albert Mohler, Jr. is the writer of this and they both do not seem to understand the rate of evolution and the various paths.  Not only genetic changes but we should also understand that changes can occur afterward whilst development is going on in uteri.  So claiming evolution has stopped or evolutionists are wrong is false.  Changes can occur in our little grey cells inside our cranium as we developed.  It is all by EVO-DEVO which I know by Sean B. Carrol, an author of "Endless Forms Most Beautiful, The New Science of Evo Devo", 2005, Professor of Genetics at University of Wisconsin and an Investigator at the Howard Hughes Institute, and Peter Gluckman and Mark Hansen, Mismatch, "Why Our World No Longer Fits Our Bodies".  Thus we all need to read more about how Evolution of Species works, even our selves.


The End of Evolution?| Christianpost.com

Friday, October 10, 2008

'Expelled' Approaches DVD Release Date| Christianpost.com

Good grief, I now have a chance of actually seeing this Ben Stein production that lies and lies and misrepresents and lies and ......

Perhaps I will be able to give a perspective that is unique, I doubt it, but when I get a chance, I will review it, but all the critques have been done, and I can't add anything new, perhaps I can link it to Religulous when I get a chance to see it, by all accounts constructed the same way.

'Expelled' Approaches DVD Release Date| Christianpost.com

Mysterious DNA Found to Survive Eons of Evolution - Yahoo! News

I wonder if the Anti-evolution Christian Fundamentalist Crowd will grab this story and use it by misquotes and false attributions etc., to establish the false claim that Evolution doesn't happen and all of science is wrong.

Maybe they will take Steve Jones talk at a UCL lunch-time talk in London on 7 Oct. to claim that evolution is over and it never happened?

We will have to wait and see I guess.  Perhaps you can understand my skepticism and prognostications as a factor of my experience reading and attending these creationist lectures and articles all around the place on the world wide web and here in Melbourne.

Mysterious DNA Found to Survive Eons of Evolution - Yahoo! News

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Over 800 Scientists Stand Against Language Critical of Evolution| Christianpost.com

Although this article ends with a summary of the Intelligent Design definition of weakness's and strengths of Evolutionary Theory it appears the scientists themselves are working against the States Republican Party Policy and therefore needs to be watched as the curriculum moves closer to establishment in this large State and therefore a publishers guide as to what to publish in the science text book fro the whole country.

I would say it is about time science fought back publically, what will be next in this saga.

Over 800 Scientists Stand Against Language Critical of Evolution| Christianpost.com

Academics spat over intelligent design | Science | guardian.co.uk

darwin and eve 

Academics spat over intelligent design | Science | guardian.co.uk

What a debate taken from polar opposites can achieve any consensus I don't know, but this one goes on and on, this time AC Grayling vs Steve Fuller in The New Humanist.

Now the Guardian has discovered it, unfortunately little is said about the Christians who have no issue with Evolution, or that the parents who brought the Kitzmiller et al. vs. Dover Area High School Board were Christians who went to Church on Sunday and one family taught Science in School during the week.  With what can be described as EVIL letters and threats to the participants, some from the pulpit, it is a disgrace fro anyone calling themselves Christian IMHO.

Why do the Creationists consider themselves representatives of the rest of of us, I don't know, but they act as if they have never been exposed to what Truth really is or what others believe.  It is sad, because the debates will go on and on with no resolution.  Perhaps Stephen Jay Gould was right when he recommended that such debates should be ignored by Science.  At the same time Science should be better at promoting itself, particularly the Evolution Theory.  Note Theory not Hypothesis, established theory of Biology and various fields of research in Science and Medicine.

'Expelled' wins lawsuit over 'Imagine' song

Again the Expelled travesty gets some publicity, although the producers have won against an misconceived challenge to copyright infringement.  They still have to answer the inaccuracies and misquotes in the body of the documentary and the plain false claims about Darwin's Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection bringing about the NAZI's Eugenics Movement which had been established in the UK and the US prior to German participation.  Further, it was established by Christians as the NAZI's were.   Of course there were notable exceptions thank goodness.

Such lies coming for self proclaimed Christians is breaking the Law, Thou Shall Not Bare False Witness.  One Law conveniently ignored by those same publishers of the "Expelled"  movie.

Accepting the Truth from Science and Religion is essential to all and sundry of this world, and falsely claiming Science is wrong when the evidence points to the truth of Science will make all who make such claims seem ignorant and make the rest of us seem intelligent.

Understanding the errors in the Scriptures and the Truth of Science and Scripture is a major study by us all.

'Expelled' wins lawsuit over 'Imagine' song

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The Columbus Dispatch : 'Ant from Mars' might help clarify evolution of species


The Columbus Dispatch : 'Ant from Mars' might help clarify evolution of species .

Here at this news paper is an article that has been called "Ant from Mars" by E. O. Wilson at Harvard University, it is consider to be a relative to the exiting ants, however a better understanding would help by studying these underground ants via their DNA and how it is similar or different to ants and wasps as the current theory from E.O. Wilson has written some time ago now.

As we move along these years as the pass, more discoveries will assist in establishing without guesses, but as reason of the natural world moves.  Understanding speciation in this world from Evo-Devo, Evolutionary Biology, Paleontology and varies others.

What's next I wander?  Hmmmmm?

Monday, September 22, 2008

'Redesigned Hammer' That Forged Evolution Of Pregnancy In Mammals

An interesting reseach that is further prooving Evolution, this time about the placental mammals which includes us. So we are learning about regulatory genes and proteins that run around building us up brick by brick in a symphony which is a wander.

'Redesigned Hammer' That Forged Evolution Of Pregnancy In Mammals Discovered By Scientists

21 Sep 2008   


Yale researchers have shown that the origin and evolution of the placenta and uterus in mammals is associated with evolutionary changes in a single regulatory protein, according to a report in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


"Many past studies have shown that genes are regulated and altered by changes within their own structures. This is the first work suggesting that the evolution of transcription factors - separate regulatory proteins - may play an active role in the origin and evolution of structural innovations like the placenta and uterus," said senior author Gunter Wagner, the Alison Richard Professor of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at Yale.


Pregnancy is a biologically unusual situation where one organism lives and develops inside another that is genetically different. Ordinarily, the immune system identifies and destroys the dissimilar tissue as if it were a parasite. But in some early mammals, changes 'turned down' the immune system, allowing the developing embryo to grow and thrive unchallenged by the maternal immune response.


With the evolution of the uterus and placenta, it became possible for mammals to protect their growing young and to ensure they were not exposed to an unpredictable environment, like their egg-laying relatives. This study identified one of the genetic switches that tempered the immune system and allowed formation of the placenta and internal development of young.


By analyzing DNA from many species of mammals, including resurrecting genes from the extinct ancestors of mammals, the researchers found that a crucial regulatory link in the evolution of pregnancy involved the altered function of a transcription factor protein, HoxA-11.


The specific change they found in HoxA-11 is present in all known placental mammals - from elephants, the most primitive lineage with a placenta, to humans - but does not exist in marsupials, like opossums or wallabies, where there is a brief and rudimentary pregnancy followed by development of the offspring outside the mother, or in egg-laying mammals like the platypus.


The textbook story is that regulatory proteins, like HoxA-11, are ancient, universal and unchanging tools, and that new functions arise by using an existing tool from the gene regulatory 'toolbox' in a new or different place.


According to Yale graduate student Vincent Lynch, lead author of the study, "We are writing a different chapter. In this case the function of a major regulatory tool was altered - it is like we found a redesigned hammer."



Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release.



Other authors include Andrea Tanzer and Deena Emera at Yale, Yajun Wang and Frederick C. Leung at the University of Hong Kong, and Birgit Gellersen at Endokrinologikum Hamburg, Germany. The research was supported by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation.


Citation: Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. (early online September 17, 2008)


Gunter Wagner

Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Vincent Lynch


Source: Janet Rettig Emanuel

Yale University


Article URL: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/122155.php

Main News Category: Biology / Biochemistry

Also Appears In:  Pregnancy / Obstetrics,  Genetics,  Immune System / Vaccines,  


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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Bacterial Flagella Revisited

Mark Perakh has written a definitive response to Michael Behe’s Irreducible Complexity of the Bacterial Flagella called Flagella – Real or Fictional. Remember Michael Behe? He is a professor of bio-chemistry at Lehigh University and author of Darwin’s Black Box, published in 1996. This was the lead book in the assault on High School Science in the US lead by the Discovery Institute in Seattle. He was a key expert witness for the Dover School Board Federal Court Case known as Kitzmiller et al vs. The Dover School Board, and was the subject of a successful demonstration of how Intelligent Design is not science, to put it mildly. The truth is, it was embarrassing and the prosecution wiped the floor with him. They introduced contrary evidence in the form of a stack of books that Behe had said he hadn’t read and that they were wrong. An extraordinary drama as an expert witness was made to be seen as a fool.

Bacterial Flagella is not the only arrow in the quiver of the ID movement and I must advise you to read Kenneth R Millers recent book, Only A Theory, 2008, an excellent rebuttal to a lot of the other so called evidence for Intelligent Design. Let me say, Perakh has nailed even the appearance of Intelligent Design in the real world.

Articulation, forthrightness, subtle reasoning but lucid expression, skepticism--these are the traits of intellectuals, not of untrained and undeveloped minds, nor of neat scholars, capable only to serve as curators of the past, but not as critics of the present. Jacob Neusner, 1977, The Glory of God is Intelligence, p8

Friday, August 22, 2008

Evidence For Evolution 2

Exploding Chromosomes Fuel Research About Evolution Of Genetic Storage

ScienceDaily (Aug. 21, 2008) — Human cells somehow squeeze two meters of double-stranded DNA into the space of a typical chromosome, a package 10,000 times smaller than the volume of genetic material it contains.

"It is like compacting your entire wardrobe into a shoebox," said Riccardo Levi-Setti, Professor Emeritus in Physics at the University of Chicago.

Now research into single-celled, aquatic algae called dinoflagellates is showing that these and related organisms may have evolved more than one way to achieve this feat of genetic packing. Even so, the evolution of chromosomes in dinoflagellates, humans and other mammals seem to share a common biochemical basis, according to a team Levi-Setti led. The team's findings appear online, in Science Direct's list of papers in press in the European Journal of Cell Biology.

Packing the whole length of DNA into tiny chromosomes is problematic because DNA carries a negative charge that, unless neutralized, prevents any attempt at folding and coiling due to electrostatic repulsion. The larger the quantity of DNA, the more negative charge must be neutralized along its length.

Read the rest at ScienceDaily:

Darwin, Linnaeus, and One Sleepy Guy a good introduction to Linnaeus and his taxonomy, worth reading, Carl Zimmer always presents a well researched article or book and is a great spokes person for science and defender of Evolution. So visit The Loom as often as you can and learn, like I do about the many facets of Evolutionary Biology.

...religion thrives through the use of the mind and intellect. Skepticism and critical thinking are friends, not enemies, of religion. Jacob Neusner, 1977

Rational Thoughts.

Dubery Bookshop

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Evidence for Evolution 1

Molecular Sleuths Track Evolution Through The Ribosome

A new study of the ribosome, the cell's protein-building machinery, sheds light on the oldest branches of the evolutionary tree of life and suggests that differences in ribosomal structure between the three main branches of that tree are "molecular fossils" of the early evolution of protein synthesis. The new analysis, from researchers at the University of Illinois, reveals that key regions of the ribosome differ between bacteria and archaea, microbes that the researchers say are genetically closer to eukarya, the domain of life that includes humans. The study appears this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. read the rest at Medical News Today

Animal Evolution - The Development Of Nerves

University of Queensland researchers have traced the origins of one of the most important steps in animal evolution - the development of nerves. Professor Bernie Degnan, from UQ's School of Integrative Biology, together with PhD student Gemma Richards and colleagues from France, have traced the evolution of the nerve cell by looking for pre-cursors in, of all places, the marine sponge. "Sponges have one of the most ancient lineages and don't have nerve cells," Professor Degnan said. "So we are pretty confident it was after the sponges split from trunk of the tree of life and sponges went one way and animals developed from the other, that nerves started to form. "What we found in sponges though were the building blocks for nerves, something we never expected to find." Professor Degnan said the science involved came from the relatively new area of paleogenomics, which is the study of ancestral genomes to paint a more accurate picture of animal evolution.

Read the rest of this article at: Medicine News Today.

...religion thrives through the use of the mind and intellect. Skepticism and critical thinking are friends, not enemies, of religion. Jacob Neusner, 1977

Rational Observer.

Dubery Bookshop

Friday, August 15, 2008

Beliefs on Religion and Science

Just read some of the Templeton Foundation Website about beliefs in Science and Religion worth a look. The Question is "Does science make God obsolete?" and the participants are Steven Pinker, Christoph Cardinal Shonborn, William D Phillips, Pervez Amirali Hoodbhoy, Mary Midgley, Robert Sapolsky, Christopher Hitchens, Keith Ward, Victor J Stenger, Jerome Groopman, Michael Shermer, Kenneth R Miller, Stuart Kaufmann are the participants. Of course we don't need to know Richard Dawkins view on this subject, the debates between the participants are interesting though. Dawkins, of course has a point of view which we can characterise as Extreme Atheism or Fundamentalist Atheist, more commonly referred to as The New Atheists, where all religion is equivalent to child abuse and should be kept out of Primary and Secondary Schools with the exception of perhaps Comparative Religion, Referring to a child as a Mormon child, a Catholic child or a Moslem child, assumes too much and we can't expect our children to have such fully formed beliefs as their parents, etc, etc. I personally, take a view similar to Kenneth Miller and have the philosophical rule that, if you think there is a conflict between science and the scripture, you haven't read the scriptures correctly. This was held by Gallileo Gallilei amongst many luminaries and is a good place to start when a conflict, like evolution vs. creationism crops up in a discussion. I have recently been reading Stven Jay Goulds, Punctuated Equilibrium, a contraction to a specific subject of his great Opus The Structure of Evolutionary Theory.

Theory and Practice

I have now decided to be on Kenneth Millers side after reading his latest Only a Theory, which has given his view as an evolutionary biologist and a practicing Catholic. He has covered evolutionary explanations for so many creationist themes I highly recommend his book if you need the explanations in a readable format like I do. It covers the nonsense from Ken Ham (not the astronaut), Dembski, Behe, to nominate three of the anti-evolutionists. The understanding of Genesis as a creation myth rather than a true story to be understood literally is one of the fights amongst religionists, and I feel such threats to such people should be considered unchristian. They need to understand this too. Science is explaining how the world was created not why. Those who are the New Atheists need to back off a bit, however they too are getting death threats from so called Christians and remember the Dover School Board, after voting the creationists from the School Board were told they shouldn't pray for assistance from the Almighty because they have rejected God by a prominent Christian Politician. How hypocritical was that after a court case found that the creationists (Bonsell, Buckingham et al) were lying. The Religions in the US should be teaching their congregations to support the Constitution and not knocking it down. The Dominionists are trying to turn the US into a Theocratic state, resembling Fascism and Nazism of the past that my ancestors fought a world war to prevent. This goal will result in any non-conformists from their definition being named Heretics and we know what happened when governments enforced religion in the past. The trouble is we are not learning from history on many levels, not just the one under discussion here. So if your public school is teaching religion, not just creationism in science class, but every thing including prayers at assembly, then contact the ACLU and find others of the same concern in your community. This is not just about one thing, it is about freedom to practice your religion without being forced by others through the Government and their schools.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Devil in Disguise

With the Louisiana decision to promote Intelligent Design (a particular form defined by the Discovery Institute) I have bought a book from Amazon and read it straight away, which is unusual for me. I found “The Devil in Dover”, both informative and concerning. Lauri Lebo, the author and resident of the area where the events took place gives us a very personal and detailed account of how the Fundamentalist Christian Creationists brought shame and expenses to the Dover Pennsylvania School Board, as well as personal heartache and stress.

Watching “Judgment Day” and “Flock of Dodos” is not enough, after Lebo there is a satisfaction that we can understand both sides of the Kitzmiller et al vs. Dover Area School District in the narrative Lebo gives us and we end up with a deeper understanding of the effects on both sides of this case. From Lauri Lebo herself to the two who started the whole thing, William Buckingham and Alan Bonsell.

The invitation to the Discovery Institute and the Thomas More Law Centre for the Defendants, The ACLU and the Pepper Hamilton LLP for the Complainants. The battle lines were drawn by a thorough research on one side and a lazy attitude to research on the other. An example was Barbara Forrest's testimony, the amount of work she and her associates did on the Of Pandas and People book was a detectives nightmare, yet they persisted with the tenacity only someone who understands science could do. This sort of dedication to their case was not evident in their testimony, in fact they managed to contradict and show their lying. Which must have been embarrassing for they were claiming to be followers of Jesus Christ!!

Buckingham’s health became an issue unfortunately and his addiction to a prescription drug became evidence about his inability to remember what happened. Bonsell just failed any test given him, remaining ignorant about the costs to the School Board he had personally caused due to this whole Creationist nonsense.


In the US the influence of the Fundamentalist Christian Evangelical people is built into the current Government of George W Bush, in the Military and within State Republican Parties. For example, an anti-evolution statement is in the Texas Republican Party Platform, so we can expect trouble there, and guess what, yes, it has happened. More about that later perhaps. What about Florida and Louisiana?

Articulation, forthrightness, subtle reasoning but lucid expression, skepticism--these are the traits of intellectuals, not of untrained and undeveloped minds, nor of neat scholars, capable only to serve as curators of the past, but not as critics of the present. Jacob Neusner, 1977, The Glory of God is Intelligence, p8

Monday, March 24, 2008

Irrational Left and Right in the US Election Campaign

Or, Nonsense and Perfidy amongst Christians and Atheists.

I have become rather animated about a number of things that have happened this week last as I have listened to podcasts of radio shows from the US and Blogs and Commentaries both from the Internet, which tend to get to me before News Limited decide to publish in the Australian newspaper here in Australia, aka., Terra Australis Incognita.

We are all familiar by now about Mitt Romney’s problems with the anti-Mormon nature of his opposition from within the Republican Party, particularly, the so called, Christian Right.  The speech he gave some time ago where he quoted Brigham Young, one time leader of my and Mitt Romney’s Church.  Whatever Mitt quoted BY saying is irrelevant, because the response was acidic.  The argument being, that given Mitt Romney gave a quote from BY (from over a hundred years ago, then some other statement from this Great Man (BY) yet flawed Prophet is relevant.  This, of course is nonsense, unrelated to his speech that day defending his Mormon heritage, one I might add, is honorable and he is justifiably proud of, and a reasonable effort to answer his critics.

From this vantage point it looks like the critics had nothing to hook on except a past that did not include the candidate directly.  It looks absurd and irrational.

So weeks went by and I am busy listening to radio shows and Internet audio blogs when my attention was caught by KCRW’s “Left, Right and Centre” commentary on the weeks political events.  Obama on Race, Iraq Five Years Later, Obama Speaks, with a date last Friday, 21, March, 2008. Here a temporary replacement for Robert Shier (Truthdig.com) Lawrence O’Donnell started a train of discussion on Obama’s Pastor in Chicago and some statement related to Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s opposition to US Foreign Policy and how Reverend Wright  is ashamed of it, and saying something like “God damn America” for these foreign Imperial escapades by the US.

Arianna Huffington, and Tony Blankley with Matt Miller made up the team.  However it was Lawrence O’Donnell’s foray into Mitt Romney’s Faith Speech that topped the cake.

      Today's generations of Americans have always known religious liberty. Perhaps we forget the long and arduous path our nation's forbearers took to achieve it. They came here from England to seek freedom of religion. But upon finding it for themselves, they at first denied it to others. Because of their diverse beliefs, Ann Hutchinson was exiled from Massachusetts Bay, a banished Roger Williams founded Rhode Island, and two centuries later, Brigham Young set out for the West. Americans were unable to accommodate their commitment to their own faith with an appreciation for the convictions of others to different faiths. In this, they were very much like those of the European nations they had left.

Here Romney is telling our story and how it relates to others of the American Foundation, Mormons experienced religious bigotry and intolerance and ended up with an assassinated Prophet and a move to found a Deseret State outside the Union at the time.  Of course Utah was established later.

The point I cant understand is why Mitt Romney, because he invoked Brigham Young is therefore responsible for everything the man said in his prolific and verbose life as Prophet, Governor of an ostracized people.  I wouldnt expect Barack Obama to be personally responsible for what Pastor Reverend Wright said some other time than Mitt Romney on what Brigham Young said 100 years ago or so.  Im sure we could extract in appropriate material from many sources in Religion, these people are human after all.

I dont want to say anymore for fear of upsetting the reader, but you get my drift I hope.  Barack Obama is not Pastor Wright and Mitt Romney is not Brigham Young.  Where did Lawrence ODonnell get his education?

Monday, February 25, 2008

Insulting the King

It just shows what a corrupt and ignorant world we live in. With the exponential growth of the Internet to almost anywhere on the globe these days, a Facebook user applies a mock Prince Moulay Rachid name for his account and he now faces jail for insulting the inbred royal. Living in Australia, it just seems so backward, however, I take a step back and realise the reserve powers of the Governor General have not been addressed, and should we here in Oz decide to mock Prince Charles (which is not a difficult task) it could happen to moi? Scary thought? Not true? Does the Liberal Parties penchant for maintaining our ties to Her Majesties train, and the recent MP, PM John Howard the leader of such anachronistic beliefs, it may happen. The faster Labor moves towards a Republic the better, if you ask me.