Evolutionists Consider Non-Darwinian Mechanisms

first_imgAccording to classical Darwinian evolutionary theory, variations in the germ lines produce phenotypic changes that, on rare occasions, prove beneficial to an individual, and cause an organism to outcompete its peers in the struggle for existence.  The hypothesis of Natural selection claims that the individual with a slightly beneficial variation, being more “fit,” leaves more offspring.  Darwinian changes are gradual, random and independent.  No sudden leaps (saltations) are allowed, and changes do not “conspire” toward a goal (i.e., no “orthogenesis” or straight-line evolution).  Natural selection acts on genes in the individual (individual selection).  Speciation occurs when a population becomes geographically isolated from another population (allopatric speciation) and the accumulated changes no longer permit interbreeding.  Darwinians believe this gradualistic process is sufficient to account for all the innovations in all living things since the first cell emerged on Earth: all the organs, functions and behaviors of birds, insects, fish, plants and man.  Darwin did propose an additional mechanism, sexual selection, in The Descent of Man.  Ever since On the Origin of Species by Natural Selection was printed, however, competitors have proposed other mechanisms for evolution: group selection, kin selection, sympatric speciation, various Lamarckian mechanisms (inheritance of acquired characteristics), niche construction, Gaia, and more.  The debates still go on today.  Two recent papers offer “new” non-Darwinian mechanisms that might supplement the process of natural selection.    According to EurekAlert, scientists at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona have discovered a “New genetic mechanism for evolution.”  In their view, transposable elements (transposons) in the genes can generate antisense messenger RNA (mRNA) in neighboring genes that can silence or otherwise alter the expression of the genes.  “For a long time they [i.e., transposons] have been considered as a useless part of genetic material, DNA left overs,” the press release states.  “However, it is more and more clear that transposons can cause favourable changes for the adaptation and survival of the organism.”  The press release does not provide any evidence of an innovative change due to this mechanism, but they point to an observation in fruit flies that some with an antisense mRNA caused by a transposon grew larger and lived longer, presumably due to the switching off of a gene.    The way it’s taught in school, Darwin rendered Lamarckism obsolete (even though Darwin himself shifted toward a more Lamarckian view later in life.)  But surprisingly, in Science this week,1 four biologists make the case for a Lamarckian mechanism of evolution.  Although physically acquired characteristics may not be heritable, culturally acquired characteristics can be.  You may not inherit your grandfather’s wooden leg, for instance, but you might pass on his stories to your children.  The authors claim that many animals can learn by watching, and pass on what they learn: a bird might learn a new mate attraction technique by watching another bird, or a mouse might learn that crossing the road is dangerous by watching a friend get run over.  Such cultural lessons are “public information” (PI) that is heritable, they claim, and so cultural evolution (that acts on memes; i.e., ideas, behaviors or styles that spread socially) might influence biological evolution (that acts on genes).  At least, they think, the suggestion deserves more thought:PI is a widespread phenomenon that is emerging as a potential unifying concept in fields that involve decision-making processes in which individuals can extract information from others to assess resource quality.  The use of PI can enrich evolutionary models and can have marked effects on evolutionary predictions.  Future research should explore the extent to which evolutionary scenarios are affected by the use of PI.They continue, “the ability of individuals to use PI unites a range of topics as diverse as foraging, predation, mate choice, habitat selection, and colony formation.”  PI may be, in fact, the major driving force in social evolution, and may imply that cultural evolution is more widespread than previously thought.  “Moreover,” they propose in conclusion, “although much work has been devoted to exploring how biological evolution affects culture, we suggest that evolutionary biologists should also consider how cultural evolution influences biological evolution.”1Étienne Danchin, Luc-Alain Giraldeau, Thomas J. Valone, and Richard H. Wagner, “Public Information: From Nosy Neighbors to Cultural Evolution,” Science, Vol 305, Issue 5683, 487-491, 23 July 2004, [DOI: 10.1126/science.1098254].Even though it is amusing to watch the Darwin Party argue over which mechanism they like best, it is all beside the point.  As Phillip Johnson pointed out over a decade ago in Darwin on Trial, none of these mechanisms establish the very thing that Darwin set out to explain in the first place: that unguided natural processes unaided by any intelligent design had creative power to generate eyes, ears, wings, intelligence or any other complex feature; nor did Darwin or his followers find any historical evidence that a long chain of intermediates actually ever existed.    Physical similarity is not enough as evidence for evolution.  Even creationists like Linnaeus were intimately acquainted with similarities between organisms.  The ability to classify organisms according to similarities is insufficient to establish the claim that humans had bacteria ancestors; it might establish just as well that all organisms had a common Designer.  The two proposals above fail again on both counts.  Neither demonstrates any creative power, and neither points to any plausible chain of intermediates.  To expect transposons are somehow creative and can generate complexity is to endow them with angelic powers.  To expect that public information in a herd of theropods could help them sprout wings seems ridiculous.  Where is the evidence any creative innovation was produced by these or any other proposed mechanisms?  It is not only missing; the evidence we do have points in the opposite direction: (1) the Cambrian explosion shows a sudden appearance of complexity without precursors, and (2) the law of entropy demands that information (public or not) degenerates through transmission rather than improves.    Evolutionary theory is like a smorgasbord of rotten food.  The cooks keep thinking if they add one more dish, customers will find something they like.  Instead, it has turned into a food fight.(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Scientific Ignorance Becomes Apparent

first_imgTwo reports indicate that what we know we don’t know vastly exceeds what we think we know.Isaac Newton once said of his monumental scientific work, “I was like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.”  Some scientists today err on the pride side, using the oft-repeated phrase “Now we know” this or that.  Two recent reports prefer Newton’s assessment.What creatures inhabit our planet?  There are billions of people on this globe, living almost everywhere, even in Antarctica.  Humans have driven submarines to the deepest ocean trenches, and sampled the upper atmosphere.  They have sampled every portion of every continent.  One would think they’ve seen everything by now.  Not so; in an article entitled, “What We Know and Don’t Know About Earth’s Missing Biodiversity,” Science Daily said,Most of the world’s species are still unknown to science although many researchers grappled to address the question of how many species there are on Earth over the recent decades. Estimates of non-microbial diversity on Earth provided by researchers range from 2 million to over 50 million species, with great uncertainties in numbers of insects, fungi, nematodes, and deep-sea organisms.…and that’s just living species.  The fossil record hints of far greater biodiversity in the past, multiplying our ignorance about life on Earth.  When we don’t know what is alive today, we can’t know what medicines they might be able to provide (consider, for example, that penicillin was discovered in a fungus).  One researcher remarked, “The problem is how one protects an animal that has never been seen.”What makes the cosmos work?  We’ve reported several times that most cosmologists believe that 95% of the universe is composed mysterious, unknown stuff called dark matter and dark energy.  But that’s just the unseen unknowns.  More profoundly, most of the stuff shining right into our telescopes remains unknown.  Another Science Daily article explained,Our day-to-day lives exist in what physicists would call an electrically neutral environment. Desks, books, chairs and bodies don’t generally carry electricity and they don’t stick to magnets. But life on Earth is substantially different from, well, almost everywhere else. Beyond Earth’s protective atmosphere and extending all the way through interplanetary space, electrified particles dominate the scene. Indeed, 99% of the universe is made of this electrified gas, known as plasma.This implies that most of what science busies itself with represents 1% of visible reality.  Astronomers certainly know about electromagnetic forces, but except for those working in a few specialized fields (such as stellar and planetary magnetospheres), they are wont to talk about the atoms, subatomic particles and gravity (i.e., the other three fundamental forces) of stars and galaxies, ignoring the electromagnetic properties of plasma that are possibly more critical to explaining their nature.  Many questions remain about the plasma of our local star, the sun, and the electrical environment around our own planet Earth:Scientists want to understand not only the origins of electrified particles — possibly from the solar wind constantly streaming off the sun; possibly from an area of Earth’s own outer atmosphere, the ionosphere — but also what mechanisms gives the particles their extreme speed and energy.The universe at large, however, is filled with extremely energetic processes like supernovae, gamma ray bursts, and black holes, where plasma predominates.  A new NASA mission called Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP) to be launched in August will try to answer some of the local questions described in the Science Daily article.  It’s only a stepping stone to that great ocean of truth that lays undiscovered before us:While the most immediate practical need for studying the radiation belts is to understand the space weather system near Earth and to protect humans and precious electronics in space from geomagnetic storms, there is another reason scientists are interested in this area. It is the closest place to study the material, plasma, that pervades the entire universe. Understanding this environment so foreign to our own is crucial to understanding the make up of every star and galaxy in outer space.Embedded within that paragraph is an admission of how little is understood by scientists today about that foreign environment that makes up 99% of visible reality.Speaking about that leftover 1%, how much of that is really understood?  Consider how much remains to be explained about epigenetics, archaeology, health and medicine, cell biology, geology, paleontology – you name it – every field of science within our non-representative, electrically-neutral bubble is riddled with further questions.  Then consider the time dimension, both past and future: we have limited access to our past, and no “scientific” access to the future except for educated guesses based on induction (a philosophically vexed kind of logic).  Pile on top of that our complete ignorance of the “unknown unknowns” and the “unknowable unknowns” (see Evolution News & Views).   It is easy to conclude that scientists know very little at all.Scientists discover many things that are useful for the present.  In terms of understanding reality, though, science is a pacifier that grants false assurance that everything is OK.  Those big people behind the glass have things under control.  Now suck on your pacifier and stop worrying about it. (Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Vendor portal

first_imgThe Vendor portal is a website where you, as an approved vendor for an organization, can interact with your Brand SA. In the Vendor portal, you can view your vendor profile information and respond to new requests for quotations (RFQs)Click here to download Vendor Portal tutoriallast_img

Kashmiri walnuts: a labour of love

first_imgKashmir is the main contributor to India’s walnut production, and every year walnuts are packed into cardboard boxes and gunny bags and sent to various parts of the country. But the beloved dry fruit we consume involves a long preparatory process.last_img

London Olympics: Men’s archery team knocked out after losing to Japan

first_imgIt was not the most auspicious of starts for the Indian archers as the mens team was knocked out after losing to Japan in an exciting shoot-off in the first round of the elimination round in London on Saturday.The trio of Jayanta Talukdar, Tarundeep Rai and Rahul Bannerjee, however, are still to compete in the individual event to be held later.The Indians and the Japanese were tied at 214 and in the shoot-off, Japan outgunned India 29-27 with the winner managing two 10s and a 9 compared to Indias three 9s.Ironically, the Indian trio at one stage was as much as three points ahead and had a two-point edge going into the last set of three arrows each.Japan had an 8 9 and a 10 in the last set, while India had two 9s and one 8, leading to a shoot-off.Banerjee summed up the match saying, “I am really disappointed. We were leading by three points. We all shot well but some of our 8s put us down. The crowd was really good. It was the best field I have ever seen.”Talukdar admitted that the Indians might have felt the pressure when he said, “I feel it has happened because of the pressure. We tried to hit 10s but it was always 9s.”He also added that illness cost them a couple of days of practice and may have caused weakness, “All three of us were in bed for two or three days, so our bodies got weak. Yesterday, during the ranking round, I could not shoot properly because of less body power.”advertisementTarundeep said, “I was disappointed. We lost the team round but the game is still on. We have to focus on the individuals.”Its very good to see that archery is getting more popular. We are performing in front of so many people here – we dont have the same support in India.”Korea, US, China and France had first round byes, while Ukraine upset hosts Great Britain 223-212. Italy beat Chinese Taipei 216-206 and Mexico defeated Malaysia 216-211.The Lords Cricket Ground, venue for the archery events, was after all a not so happy hunting ground for the Indian archers as it has been for the cricketers.The Japanese scored heavily with as many as seven tens and one bulls eye, the inner x for another 10, while the Indians had only four 10s and one x.The Indian trio seemed to have begun well by taking a two-point lead in the first set of three before bungling up.The womens team competition, where India has medal hopes from World No. 1 Deepika Kumari, begins tomorrow.last_img read more

Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona: It’s Nou or never for El Atleti!

first_imgAtletico Madrid lead Barcelona by three points in the La Liga standingsLa Liga is set for one of its most thrilling finishes when Barcelona host leaders Atletico Madrid in a winner-takes-all showdown at the Nou Camp on the final day of the campaign on Saturday.Only twice in the history of Spain’s top flight has the title been decided with a direct head-to-head clash on the last day and when the calendar was set last year few would have expected Atletico to be competing with vastly wealthier rivals Barca for the championship at this stage.Real Madrid, the world’s richest club by income ahead of Barca, were in contention until last weekend when they were beaten at Celta Vigo but it is the capital’s second club, who have about a quarter of the resources of the big two, who are close to pulling off a remarkable achievement.Atletico have not been in contention in La Liga since they last won in 1996, tasting relegation at the start of this century, but are now in with a chance of claiming an historic La Liga and European double.Whatever the outcome of Saturday’s game, thoughts will immediately turn to the following week’s Champions League final against Real in Lisbon, when Atletico will be looking to win their first continental crown and deny their glamorous neighbours a record-extending 10th.”We have an historic chance to win two titles and we are proud because we have won over a lot of people with our passion and excitement,” Atletico captain Gabi said at a promotional event on Wednesday.”A lot of people want us to win and this team has shown an identity that we haven’t seen for a very long time,” added the midfielder, who has flourished under coach Diego Simeone and whose consistency has been key to Atletico’s recent success.”We have to keep doing the same we have been doing all season, intensity and confidence.”After 37 matches in La Liga, Atletico are top on 89 points, with Barca on 86 and Real on 84.If Barca, chasing a fifth title in six years, beat Atletico on Saturday they will be champions as they would have a better head-to-head record after the title rivals drew 0-0 at the Calderon in Madrid in January. A draw would be enough for Atletico to become the first side other than Real and Barca to win La Liga since Valencia in 2004.The last time the title was decided with a head-to-head clash was in 1950-51, when Atletico pipped Sevilla. The only other occasion was five years earlier when Sevilla edged Barca.STILL HUNGRYAtletico and Barca have already played each other five times this season in a series of closely-fought encounters where the Catalan club had the lion’s share of possession but were mostly thwarted by a mean defence.Barca edged Atletico to clinch the season-opening Spanish Super Cup, when Neymar’s goal in a 1-1 draw at the Calderon in the first leg was enough to secure victory after the pair played out a 0-0 stalemate the Nou Camp in the return.After holding Barca at the Calderon in January in La Liga, Atletico clung on for a 1-1 draw at the Nou Camp in last month’s Champions League quarter-final, first leg and then won 1-0 in the return in Madrid.Barca captain Xavi believes the key to Saturday’s game will be to score first and force Atletico to push forward. “They are the best in defence, they pressure you, support each other and have different options up front,” Xavi told a news conference on Wednesday. “We thought we’d lost the League and these things happen in football, and now it’s in our hands,” added the Spain playmaker.”It’s a unique game and I don’t know if it will happen again. We are still hungry and the fans should be encouraged.”Coach Gerardo Martino, an Argentine compatriot of Simeone’s, and the Barca players all-but wrote off their chances after a 2-2 draw at home to Getafe this month but Atletico and Real also stumbled, allowing Barca to stay in the hunt.However, even victory on Saturday may not be enough to save Martino, who has had a disappointing first season in charge, and many expect former Barca and Spain midfielder Luis Enrique, now at Celta, to take over for next season.last_img read more

Totti quits coaching course after two weeks

first_imgFrancesco Totti Roma legend Totti withdraws from coaching course after two weeks Goal Last updated 2 years ago 14:22 10/5/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Francesco Totti Getty Images Roma Milan v Roma Milan Serie A The Italy legend could not fulfill his duties with his club, so stepped away trying to earn a preliminary coaching badge Roma director Francesco Totti has withdrawn from a course to earn a preliminary coaching badge due to his commitments with the Serie A club, the Italian Association of Coaches (AIAC) has confirmed.The 41-year-old’s withdrawal has allowed former Roma team-mate Simone Perrotta to take his place in search of a UEFA B coaching badge. Roma 9/5 to beat Napoli Article continues below Editors’ Picks Why Barcelona god Messi will never be worshipped in the same way in Argentina Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. “Francesco Totti has demonstrated that he is a champion even off the field,” read a statement from the AIAC to ANSA. “Since he was unable to attend the course regularly, and with respect for his colleagues, teachers and the organisers, he has withdrawn.”We wish him all the best to become a coach in future. The president of the Region of Lazio’s AIAC, Sergio Roticani, the course leader, Fabio Lozzi, and the state docent for footballing technique and tactics, Biagio Savarese, while disappointed by Totti’s decision, wish to see him back at the school desk again in future.”Francesco Totti RomaAside from his day job, other commitments have kept Totti from being able to regularly attend the class, with the former Italy star having watched AC Milan’s Europa League clash with Rijeka before flying out to Georgia to play in a charity match.Totti retired from playing at the end of last season after a stunning 24-year-career with Roma where he scored 307 goals in 786 matches.last_img read more

a month ago​AC Milan and Inter unveil concept designs for new stadium

first_img​AC Milan and Inter unveil concept designs for new stadiumby Ian Ferrisa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveAC Milan and FC Internazionale have unveiled the shortlisted concept designs for the new Milano Stadium together with plans for an urban redevelopment project for the surrounding San Siro area, reports www.fcbusiness.co.uk”The Rings of Milano” by Manica/Sportium consists of two iconic rings, interlocked and set apart in perfect balance, symbolising the story of how two clubs, forever in opposition, and now united in their cause to preserve one of Milano’s most storied traditions.The stadium’s iconic linked rings accommodate both LED and architectural solutions for branding and team changeover between matches. The new Stadium of Milano is carefully integrated into a broader masterplan development that will revitalise and transform San Siro into a park and entertainment district for the people of Milano to experience year-round, preserving the original pitch’s location and reimagining it as a gift to the community for all to enjoy. “The Cathedral” by Populous draws inspiration from two of Milano’s most iconic buildings; the Duomo and the Galleria. In fact, a sunlit galleria encircles the stadium enveloped by an elegant glass façade. The Cathedral has been designed to create a unique home for the fans and supporters with bespoke installations. The stadium is designed to be the most sustainable in Europe: the galleria is naturally cooled and passively heated, photovoltaic panels line the stadium roof, and all rainwater is collected from the roof and reused. The stadium is surrounded by 22 acres of green space, which reduce water runoff. TagsSerie A NewsAbout the authorIan FerrisShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

24 days ago​West Ham lose Fabianski for rest of 2019

first_imgAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say ​West Ham lose Fabianski for rest of 2019by Freddie Taylor24 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveWest Ham United have suffered a significant blow with the news that goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski will be out for the rest of the year.The number one shot stopper at the club suffered a hip problem during a 2-2 draw with Bournemouth at the weekend.Scans show that he tore a muscle in his hip, which means that he will be out for at least the rest of the year.The 34-year-old has been in great form, managing four clean sheets in the league in seven games this term.The Evening Standardsays backup keeper Roberto will be the man called on to take Fabianski’s place.The 33-year-old arrived on a free transfer from Espanyol this summer to serve as the club’s no.2 keeper. last_img read more

Toronto designers say ZARA brand copied their work

first_img Login/Register With: Advertisement Advertisement “We did not get any resolution, as their design turnover is so frantic and fast, it was futile for us to try and pursue legal action. Big companies know this, and take full advantage of the little guy. The upside to this is that with all of the designers they ripped off in this case, we have now garnered a collective voice and Zara is getting terrible negative media attention. That is more than we could have wished for. Advertisement Facebook Twitter LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment ZARA and its parent company Inditex have been under fire lately for allegedly copying independent designers and artists, including one design duo in Toronto.Crywolf, a boutique at 91 Ossington Ave., posted a note on Facebook and Instagram yesterday detailing how Bershka (an Inditex brand) sold a pin that looked eerily similar to its own Healing Cloud pin (pictured above).“This is not the first time it’s happened to us. We have witnessed other large companies – specifically Forever21 and Urban Outfitters do the same thing to us, and other indie designers,” Crywolf co-founders Rose Chang and Stephanie Drabik tell me via email.last_img read more