In Carbon Isotope Excursions, Darwinists Lose Another Excuse for the Cambrian Explosion

animals, arthropods, biology, bioRxiv, body plans, Cambrian Explosion, Cambrian fossils, Cambrian News, Cambrian phyla, Canada, carbon, carbon isotope excursions, Darwin's Doubt, Darwinian tree, Ediacaran explosion, Ediacaran fossils, Evolution, fossil record, Gaskiers deglaciation, geochemistry, Newfoundland, Oman, oxygen, PNAS, Proterozoic Eon, Stephen Meyer, Uncategorized
The claim that a spike in carbon isotope concentrations led to the explosion of biological diversity in the Cambrian doesn’t hold up, as if it would have helped, anyway. Source
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Behe Vindicated Again: Sherpas Climb Everest Easier, Because Darwin Devolves

altitude, brown bears, climbing, Daisheng Song, Darwin Devolves, Darwinism, Evolution, genes, genetic information, genome, Han Chinese, hemoglobin, Himalayas, Intelligent Design, interfertility, loss of function, lowlanders, Michael Behe, Mount Everest, mount improbable, natural selection, Nepalese, oxygen, Phd2, PNAS, polar bears, positive selection, seal meat, Sherpa, super-athletes, Tibetans, Wikipedia
How can Tibetans survive high altitudes that leave lowlanders gasping? The answer is found in broken genes. A new paper on the Tibetan genome vindicates what Michael Behe said in Darwin Devolves: evolution breaks things, but sometimes, like in the case of polar bears, the result can allow organisms to thrive in specific environments. Yes, this follows on the heels of last week’s Behe vindication; see here. A team of 16 scientists, writing in PNAS, sought to understand the genetic basis for Tibetan high-altitude adaptation in more detail. Tibetans and Nepalese, many of whom serve as guides for lowlanders wanting to conquer Mount Everest, routinely carry heavy burdens at altitudes above 14,000 feet, the average elevation on the Tibetan plateau. In its entry on Sherpa people, Wikipedia notes, Many Sherpa…
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Just-in-Time Delivery in Living Cells

Amazon, cardiovascular disease, cell's, coronavirus, cryo-electron microscope, delivery, endosomes, enzymes, FedEx, HSPG, Intelligent Design, Lauren Jackson, lipoprotein lipase, LPL, male haploid genome, Max Planck Institute, NEDD8, nexins, PNAS, ribosomes, SDC1, sex, shipping, sperm, Structure (journal), syndecan-1, trash, triglycerides, truckers, U.C. San Diego, U.S. Postal Service, ubiquitin, UPS, Vanderbilt University, vesicles
During the coronavirus crisis, truckers have played an essential role in getting masks, medicines, and equipment to hospitals that were overwhelmed, and food to the grocery stores to prevent a starvation crisis as people obeyed stay-at-home orders. Some of the truckers drove long all-night shifts to meet the critical demand. Non-essential deliveries of goods from retail merchants like Amazon continued mostly uninterrupted, too.  Human delivery systems rely on distributed storage. Cells know all about this. A cell is a large place, like a city to the molecules inside; it is inefficient to store needed cargoes far from their work sites. Within the cell, highways of microtubules grow in the directions that cargo carriers like kinesins need them. Some new discoveries show that additional mechanisms supplement those well-known processes to provide…
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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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Squid’s Got Talent — Super-Powers Astonish Scientists

Benjamin Burford, bioluminescent organs, camouflage, cuttlefish, Dosidicus gigas, Douglas Axe, environmental clues, Evolution, giant squid, Humboldt squid, innovation, Intelligent Design, Jonathan Wells, Marine Biology Laboratory, Massachusetts, Monterey Bay Aquarium, natural selection, Nature (journal), octopuses, photophores, pigmentation, PNAS, random mutations, remotely-operated vehicle, RNA editing, School of Humanities and Sciences, selective pressure, skin, squid, Stanford University, University of Chicago, visual signals, Walter Myers, Woods Hole
They swim. They shine. They camouflage themselves. The humble squid astonishes scientists with its super-powers. Are these marine champions really the products of random mutations and natural selection? Just saying so is not convincing when you look at the facts. Ranging in size from fingerlings to sea monsters, squid look like visitors from an alien planet. So do the other main groups within cephalopods (“head-foot”), the octopuses and cuttlefish. Those cousins are no less extraordinary, but recent news and research showcase the talent of these amazing creatures. (Note: “squid” can be both singular and plural; as with fish, it’s “one squid, two squid, red squid, blue squid.” But “squids” is acceptable, especially if talking about different species. The size range of squids is enormous, from 10 centimeters to 24 meters!)…
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More Hints of Order in the Genome

Abo1, Amir Bitran, ATP, biochemistry, Biozentrum, Caulobacter crescentus, central dogma, Chelsea R. Bulock, chromosomes, cohesin, cotranslational folding, Darwinian mechanism, DNA, E. coli, error catastrophe, genome, GGC, GGU, Intelligent Design, Junk DNA, Lego blocks, misfolding, mRNA, Nature Communications, Patricia Clark, PNAS, polymerase, polypeptides, Polδ, proofreader, proteins, RNA, South Korea, strand breaks, UNIST, University of Basel, University of Notre Dame, University of Seville, William Paley
Genomics has come a long way since the central dogma (the notion that DNA is the master controller that calls all the shots) and junk DNA (the expectation that much of the genome is non-functional). If scientists ditch those old dogmas and approach the genome expecting to find reasons for things, they often do. Synonymous Mutations To-may-to or to-mah-to? The British write flavour; the Americans write flavor, but generally each understands the other without too much difficulty. Genomes, too, have alternate ways of spelling things: GGU and GGC in messenger RNA both spell glycine. No big deal, thought geneticists; these “silent” mutations cause no change in the resulting protein. At the University of Notre Dame, however, biochemists are finding that the differences in spelling are not just background noise; they…
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Ancestor of All Animals in 555-Million-Year-Old Ediacaran Sediments?

annelids, arthropods, bilaterian animals, Buddenbrockia plumatellae, burrowing, Cambrian Explosion, Cambrian News, China, cnidarians, Deuterostomia, Ediacaran animals, Evolution, Germany, habitus, Helminthoidichnites, Ikaria wariootia, incertae sedis, microbial mats, mortichnia, Nephrozoa, PNAS, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Protostomia, Scyphozoa, South Australia, UC Riverside, University of California, Xenacoelomorpha, Yilingia spiciformis
For my series of articles about alleged Ediacaran animals predating the Cambrian explosion there is a new candidate that deserves a closer view: New research on Ediacaran fossils was just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by a team of scientists from UC Riverside (Evans et al. 2020), and it has already made global news headlines including, “Ancestor of all animals identified in Australian fossils” (University of California 2020) and the even more sensational, “Fossil hunters find evidence of 555m-year-old human relative” (Davis 2020). What did those scientists discover and are their far-reaching conclusions really justified?  Grains of Rice The authors of this study looked at fossil layers from the National Heritage Nilpena site in the Flinders Range of South Australia, which are slightly older than…
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Molybdenum Is Stored in Cells by a Powered Piercing Machine

anhydride hydrolysis, armor, armor-piercing bullets, ATP, ATP-binding groove, bacteria, Biochemistry (journal), biomineralization, carbon, chemical energy, Chile, China, diet, DNA replication, Earth’s crust, Energy, energy metabolism, entropy, Evolution, genetic information, gun, human body, industry, Intelligent Design, kinetic energy, Max Planck Institute of Biophysics, melting point, metal, molecular machines, molybdate, molybdenum, MoSto system, motility, nitrogen, PNAS, protein, steel, Steffen Brünle, sulfur, United States
Molybdenum comprises the second smallest percentage of mass in a normal human body, but that trace amount serves a vital function in several key enzymes. Chemical element molybdenum, affectionately called “moly” by manufacturers, is classified as a refractory metal (i.e., able to retain its shape when heated), bearing similarities to lead. It was only declared a chemical element in 1790 with the abbreviation Mo. Because of its very high melting point, it is prized in industry for its ability to toughen steel and armor. Molybdenum’s abundance in Earth’s crust is estimated at 1.2 ppm, mined mostly in China, the United States, and Chile (molybdenum.com). An Essential Element Why would soft, squishy biology need such a hard substance? The answer is that without it, life would not be possible. A 2009…
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No Harm, No Foul — What If Darwinism Were Excised from Biology?

Adam C. Soloff, Amir Marcovitz, appendectomy, bacteria, bats, behavior, cephalectomy, Daphne Major island, Darwin Devolves, Darwin's Finches, Darwinism, Darwinspeak, dolphins, echolocation, Evolution, Galápagos Islands, Hippocratic Oath, homeostasis, Illustra Media, Immune System, introgressive hybridization, Jerry Coyne, Marcos Eberlin, Michael Behe, Michael T. Lotze, Peter and Rosemary Grant, pharynx, Philip Skell, phylogeny, PNAS, primum non nocere, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Richard Dawkins, sound generation, tonsillectomy, turtles, whales
Some biologists might shudder at the thought of eliminating Darwinism from their scientific work. A “Darwin-ectomy” sounds more painful than a tonsillectomy or appendectomy. To hard-core evolutionists, it might sound like a cephalectomy (removal of the head)! If Darwinism is as essential to biology as Richard Dawkins or Jerry Coyne argues, then removing evolutionary words and concepts should make research incomprehensible.  If, on the other hand, Darwinism is more of a “narrative gloss” applied to the conclusions after the scientific work is done, as the late Philip Skell observed, then biology would survive the operation just fine. It might even be healthier, slimmed down after disposing of unnecessary philosophical baggage. Here are some recent scientific papers in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) to use as test…
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