Science & Evolution
Posted 5/24/13 at 5:15 PM | Mike Keas |
This week Discovery Institute launched Discovering Intelligent Design (DID), which is a comprehensive curriculum that presents the scientific evidence for intelligent design to both young people and adults. When I previewed the product recently, I immediately recognized its great worth. Although it will be very useful in educational (and personal use) settings beyond home schools, I predict that it will be the hottest selling science product among home school educators over the next few years. My son (who graduates from high school in two weeks) has experienced public, Christian, and home school education. DID is well suited for the last two of those environments. See the Table of Contents here.
DID is the first full curriculum to present the scientific evidence for intelligent design in both cosmology and biology in a broadly accessible format. The curriculum includes a textbook, a workbook, and a DVD with multimedia video clips that are integrated into the readings. Developed by home school educators Gary and Hallie Kemper, and Discovery Institute research coordinator (scientist-attorney) Casey Luskin, DID uniquely fills a specific niche in science education materials. As a science educator at the college level for over twenty years, I can assure you that the scientific content of this material is of the highest quality, and yet it communicates well to pre-college students. FULL POST
Posted 5/22/13 at 11:36 PM | Barry Bowen
For me the Hubble Space Telescope photos are absolutely fascinating. I have posted on this topic previously so you can see even more space photos at my article Photo Gallery: Look at the Heavens.
In Psalm 19 David composed the lyrics to a song. He expresses his amazement of outer space.
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. - Psalm 19:1-3 ESV
I can only imagine the wonder that David would have expressed if he were able to use today's technology to see the stars.
This photo was released last year to celebrate the Hubble Space Telescope's 22nd year of operation. According to NASA, this photo shows part of the Tarantula nebula. Wikipedia reports that this star-making region is located almost 160,000 light years away.
Posted 5/20/13 at 10:30 PM | Mike Keas |
Over the past fifteen years, the term "molecular machine" has been used widely by biologists to refer to highly coordinated systems of moving parts that peform specific functions within a living cell. Because of the increasingly clear design imiplications of these tiny machines over the past decade, I would not be surprised if Darwinists soon try to ban this term from public education and popular communication about science (as Eugenie Scott attempted, but failed, to do with the term "Darwinism," as explained in my last two posts). Here is the classic molecular "machine" statement by evolutionary biologist Bruce Alberts:
The entire cell can be viewed as a factory that contains an elaborate network of interlocking assembly lines, each of which is composed of a set of large protein machines. Why do we call the large protein assemblies that underlie cell function protein machines? Precisely because, like machines invented by humans … these protein assemblies contain highly coordinated moving parts. [Bruce Alberts, “The Cell as a Collection of Protein Machines,” Cell, February 1998]
Today at ENV Casey Luskin wrote regarding "molecular machines":
Writing at ENV last month, I explained why proponents of intelligent design are justified in using the term "molecular machines." Jonathan M., meanwhile, recently published a tremendous article here about the ATP synthase molecular machine, noting that scientists have called it a "bona fide rotary dynamo machine" with "ingeniously designed interfaces" making it "one of the most beautiful" enzymes in biology. Or, as another paper he cited pointed out, "Although there are other similar manmade systems like hydroelectric generators, F0F1-ATP synthase operates on the nanometer scale and works with extremely high efficiency." Now I've just received a copy of a wonderful 2011 Cambridge University Press book, Molecular Machines in Biology: Workshop of the Cell, that contains additional insightful language about molecular machines. FULL POST
Posted 5/17/13 at 5:24 PM | Brian Wallace
A digital storm seems to be blowing our way with full force as we continue to view and share heavy content across our broadband networks. With all this content being constantly used, it is slowing down our networks and is calling for a bigger and faster broadband network. With all of the content we consume continuing to get more diverse, it is likely that we will need up to 1000x times the broadband network that we currently have. This infographic presented by spark.qualcomm.com takes a deeper look into this situation.
Posted 5/16/13 at 2:47 PM | CP Blogs
Another science experiment moves us closer to the world of human cloning.
Cell the science journal is reporting that Oregon Health and Science University biologist Shoukhrat Mitalipov headed a team of researchers which changed human skin cells into embryonic stem cells through cloning.
According to the Wall Street Journal, "The researchers stopped well short of creating a human clone. But they showed, for the first time, that it is possible to create cloned embryonic stem cells that are genetically identical to the person from whom they are derived."
Cloning is not without its critics. After Dolly the sheep was cloned, Catholic priest William Saunders responded with this critique:
The danger with cloning is that we easily lose sight of the dignity of the person, and the sanctity of the act of conjugal love in marriage. We slip into a selfish vision of creating our own kingdom, instead of striving to live in God's kingdom.
Posted 5/15/13 at 4:38 PM | Mike Keas |
My last posting triggered many comments and ad hominem attacks (attacking persons rather than arguments). I urge my readers to focus on arguments based on evidence, rather than name calling. I will address a few of the assertions and arguments made in the comments in regard to the meaning and contextual use of the terms Darwinism, neo-Darwinism, evolutionary biology, and theory.
Webster dictionary: "neo-Darwinism: a theory of evolution that is a synthesis of Darwin's theory in terms of natural selection and modern population genetics." [I would only add that modern population genetics became part of this "modern synthesis" in the 1930s]
I gave many examples from books and professional journals to show that "Darwinism" and "neo-Darwinism" are often used interchangeably when referring to the most recent versions of evolutionary theory. I explained this situation by noting that the 1930s don't seen so "neo" [new] anymore, and also by observing that Darwin's theory continues to be updated in so many ways today, including by those who oppose certain aspects of traditional neo-Darwinism (but who are still Darwinists in some broad sense). These are sociological facts about the use of terms and sytles of theoretical discourse over the last few decades, which I documented with two bibliographies. SketpicNY, one of my readers who holds a Masters Degree in Toxicology, made this comment below my last post: FULL POST
Posted 5/13/13 at 11:06 AM | Brian Wallace |
Cloud computing is the future of storage networking in business. SaaS cloud services are the most popular of the 3 central cloud systems, accounting for 82% of today's cloud investments. Check out this infographic to learn about other cloud services that businesses invest in. Enjoy!>
Posted 5/11/13 at 8:02 AM | Mike Keas |
Eugenie C. Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) announced this week that she is retiring after more than twenty-six years of "overcoming obstacles to evolution education" (this is the title of NCSE's regular column in the open access journal Evolution: Education and Outreach). To kick off the celebration of Darwin's 200th birthday (February 11, 2009) in her "overcoming obstacles" column, Scott (oddly) coauthored an essay titled Don't Call It "Darwinism" (published online January 16, 2009). Terms have limits, and this one has got to go, she argued. Her reasons for forcing the retirement of the term "Darwinism" (and neo-Darwinism) are weak, as we shall see. Since this D-word essay appeared, many have not taken her advice. What can we learn from this failed attempt to impose term limits? FULL POST
Posted 5/10/13 at 12:16 PM | Larry Dozier |
The concept of a world view has received increasing attention for the past several years. Many books have been written on the subject covering about every perspective.
Frequently, speakers refer to the term, and on occasion even reviews of movies and music will include the phrase. In this study, we will define “world view” and consider how it molds the decisions people make and defines the way they live; thus, creating what is called, a culture.
A variety of definitions have been offered by numerous authors. For example, James Sire asserts that "A world view is a set of presuppositions (or assumptions) which we hold (consciously or subconsciously) about the basic makeup of our world." Phillips and Brown state that "A worldview is, first of all, an explanation and interpretation of the world and second, an application of this view to life. In simpler terms, our worldview is a view of the world and a view for the world." Walsh and Middleton provide what may be the most succinct and understandable explanation: "A world view provides a model of the world which guides its adherents in the world." Once a world view has been established, one’s corresponding actions and perceptions are influenced by that world view. That is one reason why two scientists or educators can look at the same data and have two different conclusions. One of them sees the proverbial glass “half empty”, while the other sees the glass “half full”, depending on their world views. FULL POST
Posted 5/7/13 at 10:38 PM | Mike Keas |
The bacterial flagellum, which is an outboard motor that many bacteria use to move through water, is assembled by an intricate pre-programmed procedure that is controlled and regulated in amazing ways that we are now beginning to understand. Watch this video to see for yourself. The makers of this documentary avoid the issue of how all this could have evolved (but the scientific work described here strongly implicates intelligent design ... follow the links at this location to see why). The scientists interviewed in this documentary are just interested in discovering how bacteria have all the programming necessary today to assemble these flagellar motors. This, they explain quite well. They also tell the story of how we discovered this knowledge through international collaboration (a Japanese group is at the center of this project).
At 21:21 minutes into the documentary the narrator explains what we know know about the flagellum's universal joint, which made of hook proteins (building upon research summarized earlier in the documentary). We are told that the assembly of the universal joint (made of hook proteins) is programmed with the help of some molecular "timer" to ensure that its length is just right (about 55 nanometers). Mutations that alter the timing of this part of the assembly process give us bacteria that "can't swim properly."
The documentary ends with a sobering conclusion from Professor Keiichi Namba of Osaka University:
The brain of a small fruit fly uses energy in the micro-watts for complex flight control and visual information processing to find and fly to food. I don't think a supercomputer could yet simulate what the fruit fly brain does even while using megawatts of energy. The difference of over ten orders of magnitude and the level of energy used is an indication of just how incredible biological systems are. It even exists in bacteria. The flagellar motor and protein export apparatus use proton motive force, or mechanisms that utilize the flow of protons at extremely small energy, close to the thermal noise level. Understanding the basic physical mechanism behind them will bring about the time when they can be actually utilized for engineering. It is work to achieve the dream of resolving global environmental and energy issues. That is how big it is. FULL POST