More Troubles in the Tree of Animal Life

In late 2005, three biologists published a study in Science which concluded, “Despite the amount of data and breadth of taxa analyzed, relationships among most [animal] phyla remained unresolved.” In 2008, the relationships among animals are still controversial. A recent news release at Science Daily highlights a new study, “Tree Of Animal Life Has Branches Rearranged.” The story reports, “The study is the most comprehensive animal phylogenomic research project to date, involving 40 million base pairs of new DNA data taken from 29 animal species.” According to the article, the study yielded surprising results: “Comb jellyfish — common and extremely fragile jellies with well-developed tissues — appear to have diverged from other animals even before the lowly sponge, which has Read More ›

Darwinist Organization Makes Support for Evolution a Test of Intelligence (Updated)

The Wall Street Journal has an article discussing the high scores received by Finnish students in a test measuring science knowledge and intelligence. However, part of the test, which was created by the international Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, may be a measure of nothing more than whether a student believes in evolution. For example, see the sample test question, Question 3, Evolution: Which one of the following statements best applies to the scientific theory of evolution? A The theory cannot be believed because it is not possible to see species changing. B The theory of evolution is possible for animals but cannot be applied to humans. C Evolution is a scientific theory that is currently based on extensive Read More ›

Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss “evangelize” for Evolution at Stanford

I had the pleasure of hearing Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss engage in a fireside chat at Stanford this past weekend. For the most part, they agreed with one-another on nearly everything. If I could summarize their conversation in 2 words, it would be “fear” and “evangelism.” First, it’s clear that they fear intelligent design. They equated intelligent design proponents with “con-men” who are “slimy,” “well-funded,” and promote “ignorance.” (Incidentally, each of these claims is incorrect.) They also appeared to greatly fear religion, as both Dawkins and Krauss held that teaching young children about religion in Sunday School is equivalent to “child abuse.” Dawkins even said that his goal is “to kill religion.” (Dawkins later tried to qualify this argument, Read More ›

New Plant Evolution Paper Misfires while Debating the Controversy That Doesn’t Exist

In the past we’ve often seen Darwinists debating the controversy over intelligent design that they say doesn’t exist. The latest volley in the controversy that doesn’t exist comes from U. Kutschera, a biologist at the University of Kassel in Germany. Kutschera is a vocal critic of ID who wrote in the first issue of the new NCSE-acclaimed journal Evolution: Education and Outreach that people reject evolution because of “religious indoctrination.” Now Kutschera writes in Annals of Botany, “This spontaneous generation of complex design ‘without an intelligent designer’ evolved independently in the protective ‘skin’ of plants, animals and many other organisms.” The problem is that Kutschera’s study is not even about biological origins, and he mistakes his own amazement at the Read More ›

Peter Atkins Dramatically Overstates the Evidence for Evolutionary Phylogenies

I recently picked up Galileo’s Finger: The Ten Great Ideas of Science by Oxford chemist Peter Atkins. It’s a 2003 book, and on the plus side, it offers enjoyable and concise explanations of many important scientific theories, including some lucid diagrams explaining Einstein’s ideas about relativity. In his chapter on evolution, Atkins boldly states, “The effective prediction is that the details of molecular evolution must be consistent with those of macroscopic evolution.” (pg. 16) I’m willing to accept that “prediction.” However, Atkins unfortunately goes on to dramatically overstate the evidence for molecular evolution by asserting, “That is found to be the case: there is not a single instance of the molecular traces of change being inconsistent with our observations of Read More ›