The Role of Lignin for Fire, Explained

Carboniferous Period, charcoal, conduction, convection, evaporative cooling, fire, Fire-Maker series, fire-making, fitness, Goldilocks, humus, industrial age, Intelligent Design, iron, Life Sciences, lignin, metallurgy, metals, nature, organic compounds, oxygen, photosynthesis, physiology, plant cells, pottery, radiation, steam engine, trees, wood, woody plants
Without lignin, there would be no woody plants, no wood, no coal, no charcoal, no fire, no pottery, and certainly no iron or metallurgy. Source
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The Advantages of a Bayesian Approach to ID

arrowheads, Bayesian inference, Bayes’ Theorem, Belief, biological design, designer, Evidence, Evolution News, human agents, Intelligent Design, irreducibly complex machinery, Life Sciences, Lydia McGrew, objections to intelligent design, physical sciences, prehistoric civilizations, Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve, suboptimal designs
Lydia McGrew gives the analogy that there is always a possibility that prehistoric civilizations did not have the ability or desire to make arrowheads. Source
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Applied Intelligent Design: Engineers Know Engineering When They See It

American Chemical Society, biologists, Biomimetics, biomimicry, butterfly wings, China, coral, Duke University, engineers, fish scales, geckos, George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Tech, Intelligent Design, Johns Hopkins University, leaf, leaves, Life Sciences, materials science, Michael Varenberg, Nanjing Tech University, nanowires, New Scientist, polymers, Teflon, telescopes
Engineers of all types (e.g., mechanical, electrical, hydraulic, civil, software) are focused on how to get things to work. They need to pull together all that is known about materials and properties, and organize them to perform a function. They need to meet design requirements: a company or government says “Here is what we need to do; how can we get it done within the limits of cost and time available?” Knowledge of engineering principles grows as the needs of a society grow, often becoming more sophisticated, pushing the boundaries of know-how. Engineers are trained to see design and judge good design. Human engineers must also navigate intellectual property laws, because many engineers want to patent their designs and protect them from theft. There’s a lot of angst going on…
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In Biology, Intelligent Designs that Amaze, Amuse, and Entertain

Alticini, An Uplifting Story, bottlenose dolphins, catapult, dandelions, Darwinism, dolphins, Evolution, fish stocks, flea beetle, flea beetles, Francis Collins, Illustra Media, infrared cameras, infrared radiation, Intelligent Design, International Society for Photonics and Optics, Keith Moorad, killer whales, leaf beetles, Lehigh University, Life Sciences, Michael Behe, National Institutes of Health, night vision goggles, origami, parachute, Pensoft, PNAS, toothed whales, U.S. Navy, Zookeys
A parade of amazing designs from the living world has passed through these pages over the years, and it shows no sign of stopping. Here are some entertaining examples from recent news. Jump Like a Flea, Beetle Flea beetles, or Alticini, are high-jump champions among the coleopterans (beetles) in the insect world. There are some 9,900 species of flea beetles, a “hyper-diverse group” that inhabits environments from deserts to rainforests all over the world. The Pensoft blog shows a picture of one, saying, “Exceptional catapulting jump mechanism in a tiny beetle could be applied in robotic limbs.”  The fascinating and highly efficient jumping mechanism in flea beetles is described in a new research article in the open-access journal Zookeys. Despite having been known since 1929, the explosive jump — which is also the reason behind the colloquial name of this…
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Sex Chromosomes Refuse to Fit One Origins Theory

angiosperms, biology, Evolution, flowers, Genome Biology and Evolution, Intelligent Design, Life Sciences, Ophrys apifera, sex, sex chromosomes
Doesn’t everyone like sex? Of course they do — and the designer made the sexual organs of angiosperms, namely, flowers, to be the most spectacularly beautiful structures in biology, so he evidently likes sex too.  An invited review (open access) in Genome Biology and Evolution explores the “incredible diversity of sex chromosome systems,” but especially how their evolutionary origins refuse to fit any one theory. See, “Sex chromosome evolution: So many exceptions to the rules.” From the abstract: Despite many convergent genomic patterns exhibited by independently evolved sex chromosome systems, and many case studies supporting these theoretical predictions, emerging data provide numerous interesting exceptions to these long-standing theories, and suggest that the remarkable diversity of sex chromosomes is matched by a similar diversity in their evolution. Photo: Ophrys apifera, also known…
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Lesson from a Carnivorous Plant

Aldovanda, aquatic bladderwort, bladder, carnivorous plants, Dionaea, foresight, Genlisea, Granville Sewell, Intelligent Design, Irreducible Complexity, John Innes Centre, Life Sciences, Marcos Eberlin, Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research, mousetrap, The Evolution of Carnivorous Plants, Utricularia, Venus flytrap, Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig
I won’t pretend to you that this isn’t a stressful time. In search of distraction, today I’ve been thinking about a rather odd water dweller. It’s the carnivorous plant Utricularia, aka aquatic bladderwort. Granville Sewell wrote about it here recently, citing plant geneticist Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig and others, calling it “Michael Behe’s ‘Irreducibly Complex’ Mousetrap in Nature.” Its mechanism is not just complex, but irreducibly so. Like a mousetrap, it requires purpose in its design. Check out these videos: The video from the John Innes Centre in the U.K. concludes, “Plants are seriously smart.” I can’t tell if that’s supposed to be ironic, but the mechanism is indeed ingenious. If your German skills are up for it, you can read Dr. Lönnig’s book on The Evolution of Carnivorous Plants, downloadable here,…
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Michael Denton: Remarkable Coincidences in Photosynthesis

coincidences, Energy, genetics, ID The Future, improbability, Intelligent Design, Life Sciences, light, Michael Denton, oxygen, photosynthesis, Podcast, water
On a classic episode of ID the Future, listen in on a a few minutes from a lecture given by medical geneticist and CSC Senior Fellow Michael Denton. Download the podcast or listen to it here. We’ve all heard of the importance of photosynthesis as an oxygen-creating process. In this segment, Denton explains the “remarkable set of coincidences” that makes the creation of oxygen through photosynthesis possible. From the specific energy of visible light to the unique properties of water, this degree of improbability screams DESIGN. Photo source: “Why Our Sun and Atmosphere Appear Intelligently Designed,” via Discovery Institute. The post Michael Denton: Remarkable Coincidences in Photosynthesis appeared first on Evolution News.
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Forty Parameters of the Designed Body

equilibrium, Goldilocks principle, Howard Glicksman, human body, ID The Future, Intelligent Design, Leonardo da Vinci, Life Sciences, Podcast, Steve Laufmann, Tod Butterfield, Vitruvian Man
On a classic episode of ID the Future, host Tod Butterfield interviews Steve Laufmann about Dr. Howard Glicksman’s 81-part Evolution News series, “The Designed Body.” Mr. Laufmann is a consultant in the field of enterprise architecture, dealing with the design of very large, very complex, composite information systems that are orchestrated to perform specified tasks in demanding environments. Hey, that sounds like the human body! Listen in as Laufmann reflects on the body’s fight against equilibrium, the Goldilocks principle, and more! Download the podcast or listen to it here. Image: Vitruvian Man, by Leonardo da Vinci [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. The post Forty Parameters of the Designed Body appeared first on Evolution News.
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Alles Klar? Jerry Coyne on an “Argument from Incredulity”

Alex Kacelnik, archerfish, argument from incredulity, Evolution, guesses, inferences, Intelligent Design, Jerry Coyne, larval wasp, Life Sciences, nature video, Popular Science Monthly, Stefan Schuster, University of Oxford, Why Evolution Is True
If you look at Jerry Coyne’s blog Why Evolution Is True from over the past weekend, you will find his rebuttal to what Coyne calls an argument from incredulity. He comments, “You will recognize this argument as the basis for Intelligent Design.” We have taken Coyne’s rebuttal, deleted the inessentials, and placed in bold all of the inferential steps, credulous guesses, and other leaps of imagination. It is astonishing that anyone would think the result a scientific argument, or, even, an argument at all. From “A creationist writes in espousing the Argument from Incredulity,” suitably modified: Let’s take the larval wasp…The way to address the incredulity argument is to postulate a plausible step-by-step process in which each step is adaptive…. In the case of the wasp, all that is required is that…
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