MicroRNAs–“Once Dismissed as Junk”–Confirmed To Have Important Gene Regulatory Function

A new paper in Nature magazine again shows that what was “once dismissed as junk” turns out to be another astounding example of complex and specified information in the genome and a crucial part of gene regulation. In 2008 Scientific American noted that microRNAs were “once dismissed as junk” and said the following: Tiny snippets of the genome known as microRNA were long thought to be genomic refuse because they were transcribed from so-called “junk DNA,” sections of the genome that do not carry information for making proteins responsible for various cellular functions. Evidence has been building since 1993, however, that microRNA is anything but genetic bric-a-brac. Quite the contrary, scientists say that it actually plays a crucial role in Read More ›

Responding to John Wise’s Table Pounding at Southern Methodist University

There’s an old saying in the law that goes like this: When the facts are on your side, pound the facts. When the facts are not on your side, pound the table. If the responses to Discovery Institute’s recent conference at Southern Methodist University (SMU) are any indication, the facts are not on the side of anti-ID faculty at SMU. To be more precise, SMU biology lecturer John Wise wrote a letter to the SMU Daily, co-authored with SMU anthropology professor Ronald Wetherington, which made no less than 8 express or implied accusations of “dishonesty” against Discovery Institute.*** In 7 instances they claimed ID is pseudoscience or religion.*** Quite a feat for an under-700 word op-ed. His online response is Read More ›

Response to John Wise

[Note: This response was co-authored by Stephen Meyer, Paul Nelson, Rick Sternberg and Jonathan Wells, who each presented at the “4 Nails in Darwin’s Coffin” event at SMU. Doug Axe, who also presented, responded here.] On Thursday, September 23, 2010, following a showing of the film Darwin’s Dilemma, we presented a program of short talks in the Hughes-Trigg Theatre at Southern Methodist University (SMU). We argued that the neo-Darwinian theory of evolution has not solved these related problems: The origin of novel protein folds (talk by Axe) The origin of anatomical novelties (talk by Sternberg) The origin of animal body plans (talks by Nelson and Wells) SMU biology lecturer John Wise attended the event – or so it appears, because Read More ›

Evolution Readiness Project Promotes Made-Up Stories about Darwin and the Galápagos Finches

When it comes to teaching young children about Darwin, the NSF’s $2 million Evolution Readiness Project recommends resources that give him no end of praise. One of their recommended resources, the book Life on Earth: The Story of Evolution, calls “the theory of evolution … one of the great accomplishments of science.” One of the prime examples of evolution in the book is the classic Galápagos finch beak story. Darwin, we are told, visited the Galápagos islands and “found a [sic] unusual group of finches” which “gave Darwin important clues about the way evolution works.” Supposedly Darwin “noticed that on each islands the birds’ beaks were shaped differently” and “Darwin believed that small changes in the birds over many generations Read More ›

A Word to the Wise — Biologic’s Response

Biologic Institute’s Doug Axe has just responded to SMU lecturer John Wise’s attacks on the presentations at last week’s 4 Nails in Darwin’s Coffin event. As responses are published we will be archiving them at that page. I was among the speakers at an event held at Southern Methodist University last week [1]. The purpose was to give students and others a glimpse of the growing scientific case against Darwin’s theory, so the talks were tailored to a non-technical audience. Faculty members were welcome too, of course, and I’m told that a few were in attendance. Attesting to this, their denouncements began surfacing online shortly afterward [2]. It’s all very familiar. When you persist in challenging a cherished tradition like Read More ›