Sunday, December 31, 2006

Damaged DNA: A Darwinian Achilles Heal

Buildup of Damaged DNA in Cells Drives Aging Process, According to Study in Nature highlights the essential nature of genetic repair mechanisms.

Cumulative damage to DNA has been associated with the aging process. The study revealed that mice, with a single disabled gene involved in the repair of DNA, suffered the effects of a resulting disease that led to their deaths. There are many such repair genes in mice and humans. Repair genes are found in unicellular organisms as well. It only took one such disabled gene to engender the lethal result.

To quote from the source: "However, it shows how important it is to repair damage that is constantly inflicted upon our genes, even through the simple act of breathing.” In other words damage to DNA is an inevitable aspect of living. It is not occasioned by temporary environmental factors. It was there on prebiotic earth during the imagined RNA world. So how would any nucleic acid, fortuitous enough to have acquired sequential encoding specificity, retain it in the absence of a preexisting repair mechanism?

An interesting part of the study was the finding that the aging process is linked to the suppression of genes whose proteins are involved in metabolic pathways that promote growth. This suppression seems to protect against DNA damage induced stress. About half of the athletes and others who have consumed human growth hormones have experienced arthritic side effects. It's only speculation but, perhaps the supplemental HGH undoes a process that protects against damaged DNA and consequently triggers arthritis.


Life: Evidence for a Guided Outcome

I recently encountered John A. Davison at Telic Thoughts after I observed this post of his.

I learned he has a website which I have since repeatedly visited. Much of what he writes is interesting stuff that strikes a chord with me. I'll start with some
comments he made in a section called 'Has Evolution been Guided?' which is linked here.

"Some of our greatest intellects have been physicists. In addition to Pascal, Galileo, Newton, Faraday and of course Einstein, among many others, all acknowledged God one way or another. More recently, Richard P. Feynman (1998) compared scientific discovery to a religious experience. L.C. Dunn (1965) pointed out that Mendel's data are so nearly ideal that his paper might be considered a demonstration rather than a test, of the laws that now bear his name. It is fair to say that we still have not identified the source of bright ideas, insights and creative acts of genius. Mendel, as the abbot of his Augustinian monastery, at least serves as an example that one need not be an atheist to conduct first class research!

In contrast with the great physicists I have mentioned, why so many biologists remain professed atheists or agnostics is a complete mystery to me. Every aspect of both the living and nonliving world is totally at odds with those positions. Nevertheless, the Darwinians continue to insist that all of evolution is the result of mere chance events."

The disproportionate number of atheist biologists is strange but perhaps the nature of the evolutionary paradigm attracted them in the first place. Nature does not support the position that life is the product of selected chance events but what actually happened is buried with history. Factually based accounts of what happened are supplanted by speculation which in turn is driven by philosophical concerns. On the other hand, perhaps the most noted aspect of life- an information storage and retrieval system- is a suitable core around which to build a case for intelligent design.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Evolution of Eyes Revisited

St. Jude researchers have identified gene Six3 as having a critical regulating role in the development of the eye lens in embryos. Six3, a transcription factor, is one of a network of such factors involved in regulating the development of eyes in vertebrates. Six3 activates another gene known as Pax6. Pax6 is believed to coordinate the functions of a group of genes working together to form the lens of an eye. As one researcher put it: "it puts the Six3 gene at the top of the genetic cascade that controls the development of the lens."

In Wilber and the Misunderstanding of Evolution arguments of well known evolutionists are presented which heroically destroy strawmen. Note this quote of Berra.

"Creationists [Wilber again?] frequently make the specious argument that an eye (or ear, wing, lung, etc.) could not have evolved because the intermediate stages would be imperfect and therefore not functional. They miss the point that a structure need not be in a final form to confer an advantage. Some vision is better than none. . . Eyes did not arise suddenly from nothing. They evolved gradually over hundreds of millions of years by incremental improvements over previous models...."

The incremental argument is familiar. Observing its application to actual developmental processes is not nearly so common. What were intermediate stages in the evolution of the regulatory cascade that includes the Six3 gene, the Pax6 gene and others? Of what advantage is a partially formed Six3 gene? Pax6 gene? How did a complex of regulatory elements evolve gradually? Why is it that defenders of mainstream theories spend their time attacking wind mills rather than addressing relevant biological systems?

Dissecting a Judicial Idol: Judge Jones

An article in 'The York Dispatch' entitled, Behind the bench with the intelligent design judge, one year later, contains some comments worth dissecting. All quotes are italicized. My comments are in bold print.

"Last week, the Discovery Institute, an organization that supports the teaching of intelligent design, accused Jones of copying much of the text of one section of his ruling from the American Civil Liberties Union.

ACLU attorneys stepped to Jones' defense, saying it is common practice for judges to use portions of proposed findings of fact in their rulings."

No wonder the ACLU came to his defense. Jones' ruling was copied to a great extent from the plaintiffs' proposed finding of facts. Up to 90 percent of the section of his ruling, asserting intelligent design not to be science, was copied nearly verbatim according John G. West of the Discovery Institute.

In addition there is evidence that copying may be habitual for Judge Jones. The following can be found at this site:

Judge Jones' Commencement Address at Dickinson College (2006):

"...our Founding Fathers... possessed a great confidence in an individual's ability to understand the world and its most fundamental laws through the exercise of his or her reason... The Founders believed that true religion was not something handed down by a church or contained in a Bible, but was to be found through free, rational inquiry... this core set of beliefs led the Founders... to secure their idea of religious freedom by barring any alliance between church and state." (

Compare that to Frank Lambert's, The Founding Fathers and the Place of Religion in America (Princeton University Press, 2003):

"The Founding Fathers... had great confidence in the individual's ability to understand the world and its most fundamental laws through the exercise of his or her reason. To them, true religion was not something handed down by a church or contained in the Bible but rather was to be found through free rational inquiry...the framers sought to secure their idea of religious freedom by barring any alliance between church and state."

(Frank Lambert, The Founding Fathers and the Place of Religion in
America, pg. 3 (2003). You can also find this material online at

(Back to the York Dispatch article)
("He" is the following quote refers to Judge Jones)
"He said he didn't have any pre-conceived ideas about science and religion going into the case, which "established in my mind that judges can appropriately handle complex scientific issues given the testimony from appropriate experts such as we had ... in this particular case."

But that's not what is indicated by Judge Jones' actions. He has written inaccurate depictions of testimony provided in his own courtroom. However, the inaccuracies are consistent with allegations made by ACLU attorneys. It is easy to make such errors when you have a fixed mindset and blindly copy from that which reinforces that mindset. For example, Jones falsely characterized the testimony of witness Michael Behe. Behe, according to Jones, when referencing specific articles alledged to explain the evolution of the immune system, said these articles were "not good enough." Behe's actual testimony was "it's not that they aren't good enough. It's simply that they are addressed to a different subject."

Jones falsely wrote that there were not any peer reviewed publications by IDers despite evidence to the contrary. He also falsely depicted the testimony of the defendant's expert witnesses in claiming they acknowledged that "ID posits that animals...were created abruptly by a...supernatural designer. When witness Scott Minnich, a biochemist, was asked "whether intelligent design requires the action of a supernatural creator" his response was "It does not."

In addition Judge Jones gave every indication that he fails to understand either the distinction between evolution and abiogenesis or he inaccurately assumes that the level of scientific evidence for abiogenesis is on a par with evidence produced for evolution. On second thought, perhaps Jones misunderstands the significance of the disparity of evidence. Since intelligent design encompasses both abiogenesis and evolution, Jones should have been able to comprehend the particularly weak scientific case for the former and drawn a logical inference with respect to a design alternative. But alas, he seems dependent on the minds of others for his arguments and if others fail to address issues, Jones has nowhere to turn but to the facts about which he is woefully unfamiliar.

"His calendar is booked with speaking engagements though the middle of 2007, mainly from people asking him to speak about judicial independence."

Judge Jones is constantly speaking before different audiences. I have a concern about judges who earn large amounts of money through activity that is not part of their judicial duties. If the speaking engagements are unpaid efforts then this would not apply to Judge Jones but that would be a naive assumption would it not? A related concern is the obvious fact that income is tied in with a particular decision. It encourages rulings that attract attention. But wasn't attention inevitable as a result of this case? Perhaps, but the type of attention drawn by Jones is, in no small part, due to his judicial activism with respect to this case. John West wrote this:

Dover in Review, Part 1: Is Judge Jones an activist

Over the next week or so, I plan to file several posts
analyzing issues relating to Judge Jones' decision in
the Dover case. I start today by revisiting the
question of whether Judge Jones is an "activist"
judge. Some Darwinists are livid that I've applied
this label to the Judge. Although I've explained my
reasons for regarding Jones as an activist in detail
to many reporters, my full views haven't really been
reported. So I thought I would explain them here.

I regard Judge Jones as an activist in this case not
because I disagree with the outcome of his decision
(although I do), but because I disagree with the
injudicious and overreaching manner in which he framed
his decision.

It is a standard principle in good constitutional
jurisprudence that a judge should only go as far as
necessary to answer the issue before him. So if a
judge can decide a case on narrow grounds, that's what
he ought to do. He shouldn't try to to use his opinion
to answer all possible questions. In the present case,
Judge Jones found that the Dover board did not act for
a legitimate secular purpose. Instead, he determined
that board members acted for clearly religious
reasons. Having made this determination, the specific
policy adopted by the Dover board was plainly
unconstitutional under existing Supreme Court
precedents. End of story. There was no need for the
Judge to launch an expansive discussion of whether
intelligent design is science, whether there is
scientific evidence for the concept, whether it is
inherently religious, whether Darwinism has flaws, or
whether Darwinian evolution is compatible with faith.
A judge who actually adheres to the idea of judicial
restraint would not have ventured into these other
areas, because they were completely unnecessary for
the disposition of the case.

Why, then, did Judge Jones venture so far afield from
what was necessary to determine the case? From the
comments he made to the news media, it seems that he
wanted his place in judicial history. He relished the
idea that he could be the first judge to give a
definitive pronouncement on ID, and he didn't want to
let go of that opportunity just because good judicial
craftsmanship wouldn't allow it. Judge Jones also had
no small estimate of his own importance in the scheme
of things. Take the following remarkable passage from
his opinion:

the Court is confident that no other tribunal in the
United States is in a better position than are we to
traipse into this controversial area. Finally, we will
offer our conclusion on whether ID is science not just
because it is essential to our holding that an
Establishment Clause violation has occurred in this
case, but also in the hope that it may prevent the
obvious waste of judicial and other resources which
would be occasioned by a subsequent trial involving
the precise question which is before us. [p. 63]
(emphasis added)
This passage exhibits the height of presumption, and
it's why in my initial statement after the trial I
referred to Judge Jones as having "delusions of
grandeur." First, and contrary to the Judge's claim, a
determination of whether ID is science was plainly NOT
essential to the disposition of the case, as pointed
out above. Even more troubling, however, is the
Judge's suggestion that he wanted to determine whether
ID is science so that no other judge need investigate
the facts for himself. Judge Jones is a federal
district court judge in one particular district court
in Pennsylvania. But he's speaking as if he is more
powerful than a majority on the United States Supreme
Court! He is staking out the claim to have the right
and duty to decide the question of whether intelligent
design is science for all other judges in the entire
United States in the future. Lower federal court
judges are bound by Supreme Court precedents, but they
certainly aren't bound by the rulings of other lower
court judges at the same level. Although other federal
judges certainly can refer to Judge Jones' decision
(especially to his legal reasoning), every judge has a
duty to reach an impartial and independent
determination of the facts and law in the cases before
him. Another federal district court judge can't simply
say, "Well, Judge Jones has already decided the
matter, so there is no need for me to do anything in
this case before me." Nor can the judge tell the
parties to a new case: "I've decided not to allow you
to present any evidence, because Judge Jones already
heard the evidence three years ago." Judge Jones, no
matter what he thinks, is not the entire federal
judiciary. Nor does he have the right to speak for the
entire federal judiciary.

Another thing: Judges who truly believe in judicial
restraint are careful not to try to use judicial power
to decide divisive cultural controversies unless it is
legally necessary to do so. In this case, as pointed
out previously, Judge Jones had narrow grounds on
which to base his decision. But he chose not to do so
because he wanted to issue a definitive ruling on the
disputed questions of whether intelligent design is
science and whether it could ever be taught
constitutionally in science classes. He wanted to
decide the larger public controversy for all future
legislators, school boards, and judges. That is
judicial activism with a vengeance. It's the same type
of activism that led the federal courts to try to
decide the issue of slavery before the Civil War by
judicial fiat in the case of Dred Scott. And it's the
same type of judicial activism that led the federal
courts to inject themselves into a host of social
conflicts (such as abortion) during the past few
decades. Far from resolving controversial issues, such
activism betrays the democratic process and often
leads to further polarization. By giving everyone a
stake in the discussion, the democratic process tends
to promote incremental solutions and compromise, which
cools tensions over the long term. That's why judges
who believe in judicial restraint are careful not to
intervene on one side of a controversial debate unless
absolutely necessary. It is the hallmark of activism
for a judge to try to impose his view on a controversy
when such a course of action is not absolutely
necessary as a matter of law.

Judicial activism is indeed authoritarian and legislative in nature. Apparently it can also be lucrative.

Monday, December 25, 2006


About that time Caesar Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the Empire. This was the first census when Quirinius was the governor of Syria. Everyone had to travel to his hometown to be accounted for. So Joseph went from the Galilean town of Nazareth up to Bethlehem in Judah, David's hometown, for the census. As a decendant of David he had to go there. He went with Mary, his fiancee, who was pregnant.

While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. She gave birth to a son, her firstborn. She wrapped Him in a blanket and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the hostel.

There were shepherds camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God's angel stood among them and God's glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, "Don't be afraid. I'm here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David's town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you're to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger."

At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God's praises: "Glory to God in the heavenly heights; Peace to all men and women on earth who please Him."

As the angel choir withdrew into heaven, the shepherds talked it over. "Let's get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us." They left, running, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. Seeing was believing. They told everyone they met what the angels had said about this child. All who heard the shepherds were impressed.

Mary kept all these things to herself, holding them dear, deep within herself. The shepherds returned and let loose, glorifying and praising God for everything they had heard and seen. It turned out exactly the way they'd been told! ~ Luke 2:1-20

Friday, December 22, 2006

A New Approach to Answers

The following paragraph can be viewed within the context of the linked book review titled, Seeking anthropic answers, in which it appears. The subject of the review is Paul Davies' book 'The Goldilocks Enigma: Why is the Universe Just Right for Life?' My comments on the author's thoughts follow in bold print.

"But the universe does not need an "atom principle" to ensure that atoms are formed, or even a "carbon principle" to enforce the details of stellar nucleosynthesis that Hoyle was worried about. So it is not at all clear that we should elevate the existence of life to something in need of a "life principle" separate from the laws of physics themselves – the same laws responsible for those atoms and nuclei. Indeed, this is just the criticism correctly levelled by Davies himself against the proponents of intelligent design: just because we are not yet able to understand the evolution of the mechanism of the flagellum, that does not mean it did not evolve."

That may be the criticism but it is hardly correct criticism. There is much that is misunderstood about intelligent design and this illustrates a core defect in the thinking of opponents of ID. While some theories related to atoms and the universe have proven useful others have been discarded along the way. New theories arise when preceeding theories fail to account for new data. So given a longstanding failure of current theories to explain the origin of life, why would it come as a surprise that some would point in a different direction for answers?

The critical paragraph is based on a materialist perspective. It implicitly argues that matter and laws governing it are sufficient to explain the generating cause of life because they are sufficient to explain all physical phenomenon. It is an axiom but not demonstrable. The cause for life's origins has proven elusive to those bound by this restrictive paradigm. But, is there an existing answer, incompatible with intelligent design, that has not yet been found or are lack of results attributable to looking in all the wrong places? As long as some options are off the table we'll never know.

What physical clues would be indicators that a new approach is called for? A lack of answers is surely basic but there is more. Why think that an absence of answers equates to existing, but yet unfound data, rather than a flawed approach that artificially excludes options? The key to answering this can be found in the objections initially introduced. Does the study of chemistry explain a process that would generate life from non-life? Has accumulated knowledge about cellular chemical compounds and the nature of bonds linking one substance to another illuminated how life would have arisen? If the answer to these basic questions is no or not likely, then why is that be so?

One need only look at a central characteristic of life to find the answer. A capacity for self-replication enables the continuation of life. While some molecules have been known to have self-replication properties, there is no experimental evidence that errors in self-replication lead to novel systems or functions through a selection process. Indeed there is no reason to believe that such a process would sustain itself in prebiotic earth conditions. Moreover the type of replication needed would be that which would satisfy von Neumann's theoretical prerequiste for self-replicating entities. A pathway to life commencing with self-replicating RNA does not separate a universal constructor from its description. The two functions would be embodied by the same nucleic acid. But then what sequential pattern could be said to have selective value? One whose pattern would enable enzymatic protein synthesis when the the mechanism enabling this function is non-existent? The theoretical problems are actually much graver as was indicated here.

The problems of OOL models are well known. A genetic code, which had to come about to enable life as we know it, operates through nucleotide sequence patterns made possible through phosphodiester bonds. However, these bonds do not determine the selective value of nucleotide patterns. The function of encoded by-products reveals selective value. That in turn is dependent on a set of existing mechanisms making gene expression possible. Chemical determinism is not compatible with the symbolic flexibility required by codes. A selection approach begins with a scenario wherein mechanisms needed to assess selective value are non-existent and provides no reason to believe their selection value is favored through a self-replication process.

Known causal links between codes and intelligence are sufficient to suggest reasonable hypotheses. Testing, rather than arguments aimed at strawmen like "life principles," should determine the scientific credibility of such hypotheses. This is particularly so when a key property of life- encoding nucleic acids- have properties indicating their generating cause is inconsistent with chemical determinism and not suggested by a selection paradigm. At best new approaches offer the possibility of revealing elusive answers and at worst they would confirm the wisdom of pursuing more traditional approaches to life's origins.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

What Regulates the Regulators

An article from Week in Science covers a topic of importance to genomic function- RNA editing. My comments follow in bold print. From the article:

The article mentions a mechanism called RNA editing amd some specific results associated with it. For example, ADAR, an enzyme, converts a nucleoside called adenosine, into inosine. This in turn can lead to altered expressions of genes among which are neurotransmitter genes.

Another form of editing involves microRNAs or miRNAs. These are non-coding RNAs known to have regulatory functions through their inactivation of mRNA. There is an editing process of precursor miRNA which can alter the activity of miRNA; amounting to the regulation of a regulatory element. As researcher Kazuko Nishikura notes:

“MicroRNAs often target a specific set of genes but when editing occurs, they may target a completely different set of genes. We used to believe there were only a limited number of RNA editing sites but now we think there may be as many as 20,000 sites involving perhaps 3,000 genes."

Regulatory mechanisms are themselves regulated by other mechanisms indicating an ordered system of layered genetic controls.

When examples of newly generated functions are cited how often do we witness regulatory functions on display, much less secondary layers of regulatory elements? Empirical evidence for them tends to be very indirect indeed.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Rick Pearcey's View of Judge Jones

I came across a blog of Rick and Nancy Pearcey called Pro-Existence. There is a post relating to Judge Jones's plagiarism masterpiece about which Jones has been surprisingly reluctant to comment on given, his penchant for making speeches about his decision.

As Rick Pearcey's article notes: "The judge's decision is a 90.9% masterpiece of plagiarism, according to the figure released by the Discovery Institute."

I'm glad the Pearceys are authoring this blog. I've been a fan of Nancy Pearcey since I purchased the book she co-authored with Charles Thaxton entitled 'The Soul of Science.' She is an incisive thinker whose contributing chapter in 'Darwin's Nemesis' is brilliant.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Around the Blogosphere 12/12/06

Here is what has been happening in the ID blogosphere. Krauze and Sal Cordova had some insightful comments about irreducible complexity at Telic Thoughts.

Denyse O'Leary had this to say about some disturbing evidence of censorship in academia.

A post at Uncommon Descent about how conserved DNA indicates that you may have a close relative living in the sea.

At Teleological Blog a personal account tracing one man's path from brainwashed atheism to a belief in Christianity following his encounter with Michael Denton's book 'Evolution, A Theory in Crisis.'

This humorous reaction occured in response to a professor's concerns about the spread of intelligent design throughout the world.

Commentary about another non-vestigial find upsetting preconceived notions.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Action at TT and an off-topic Reference

First, there was some action over at Telic Thoughts. Take a look at this comment by bFast that led to a lively discussion involving bFast, Mesk, Joy and Bradford.

Another comment by Guts involved some give and take between Guts and Bradford on one side and Daniel on the other. Check it out if you enjoy battles over ID, research and irreducible complexity.

And now for the off-topic commentary. At this site the following is in view:

"Derb—-My lovely fiance and I ran in a 10k race in Los Angeles yesterday. Also running were cadets of the LA County Sheriffs. After the race, at the little awards ceremony, the cadets marched up on stage and in military formation recited some kind of creed. In it I heard mentioned something or other about racism and homophobia.

"I thought: Were they going to protect Los Angeles from homophobes and racists, or were they just making sure that we knew that they weren't homophobes and racists? It was simultaneously creepy and depressing. Anyway, I found what they were reciting on the LA Sheriff website. It's apparently their CORE VALUES: 'As a leader in the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, I commit myself to honorably perform my duties with respect for the dignity of all people, integrity to do right and fight wrongs, wisdom to apply common sense and fairness in all I do and courage to stand against racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, homophobia and bigotry in all its forms.'

"Let's hope they can still squeeze in some courage to stand against, oh, you know, crime."

[Derb] Shame on you, Sir. Bigotry is a far greater threat to the Republic than mere crime. Crime only deprives citizens of life, limb, and property; bigotry hurts their feelings.

The reply about crimes is right on target. After all this is law enforcement is it not? But there is more. Homophobia? Is that a crime? How is it legally defined and how would it be recognized so as to be explainable in a court of law? What would be done if it were encountered?

And how about bigotry? It's unpleasant and undesireable but it is not illegal as far as I know. Again, how is it defined? Would it include the types of statements made by Richard Dawkins or is anti-religious bigotry in vogue? These looks like politically correct core values. Worse yet, rote recitation by government employees has an Orwellian look to it. This is not good news.

Friday, December 08, 2006

A New ID Blog

A new blog espousing views favorable to design is online. A second post entitled 'Archetype or Homology' focused on an essay authored by Paul Nelson and Jonathan Wells. The concluding paragraph addresses a core concern of IDers and those more interested in truth than predetermined outcomes.

One final point from ‘Homology: A Concept in Crisis’ is worth noting. If biology is restricted to searching for blind, mechanistic causes and non-telic outcomes then its objective status is compromised. Objective scientific truth is based on empirical evidence, not a conclusion dictated, a priori, by philosophical restrictions. Truth is the casualty when the acceptance of a poorly supported option is dictated by artificial elimination of intelligent causality.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Replication Fidelity & a Proline-Rich Domain

The article 'Unusual Mechanism Keeps Repair Protein Accurate', at the Science Daily website reports what is described as an unusual mechanism involved in accurate repair of DNA. The protein involved in the repair is called DNA polymerase lambda. It is but one of a group of proteins referred to as DNA polymerases.

Other proteins having repair functions have been analyzed. Some accomplish their mission due to their proof-reading regions and some are known to interact with other biochemicals to realize their function. However the protein in question apears unusual with respect to the part of it that accounts for its accuracy.

Zucai Suo, assistant professor of biochemistry and a researcher with the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center led the related study and stated: “DNA is constantly attacked and damaged by a variety of agents. The body must properly repair that damage, or it can lead to cell death or to cancer, birth defects and other diseases." Suo noted the existence of six families of DNA polymerases and the uniqueness of the mechanism associated with the polymerase studied.

There are four domains to the protein and the structure of three of them was familiar. The surprise was region two which was rich in the amino acid proline. No known function could be correlated to this proline-rich domain. This was the key to the repair accuracy. DNA needs to be replicated and needs to be replicated with great accuracy. Here was the clue as to how it is accomplished.

The details of the process remain to be fleshed out. The protein is still being studied to learn exactly how the proline-rich domain ensures replication fidelity.

The new information clearly reveals the advantage of a particular protein domain but its historic implications need not be trivialized with a selection dunnit analysis. At the very least a credible analysis of its origins would reference its function and the plausibility that DNA could have foregone it at some prior point in time.


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Growing Pains

"Intelligent design is not yet a solid scientific theory, but it soon may gain legitimacy as an explanation of how Earth and its inhabitants came to be, one of the country's foremost proponents of the alternative to the theory of evolution said." This quote is from a short article entitled Intelligent design is debated, and contains comments from Paul Nelson and Michael Ruse. What I find most noteworthy about it is Nelson's observation that following Darwin's landmark publication in 1859, decades passed before experiments occured whose results were used in support of the theory. Nelson added that ID is 15 years old.

There are those who want to bury ID yesterday but history takes a longer term perspective. The jury is out.