Doug Axe on the Case Against the Darwinian Origin of Protein Folds

The first “critical review” article in the new journal BIO-Complexity is provocatively titled “The Case Against the Darwinian Origin of Protein Folds.” It’s written by Doug Axe of Biologic Institute. To the non-specialist, the subject might sound like some narrow but trivial special case where the Darwinian mechanism wouldn’t apply. But the implications of Axe’s argument, and the evidence on which it is based, are much more far-reaching. As he says near the end: “Clearly, if this conclusion is correct it calls for a serious rethink of how we explain protein origins, and that means a rethink of biological origins as a whole.” The article is somewhat technical for those without the relevant background, but I interviewed Axe recently about Read More ›

BIO-Complexity: A New, Peer-Reviewed Science Journal, Open to the ID Debate

A new scientific journal, BIO-Complexity, is set to accelerate the pace and heighten the tone of the debate over intelligent design. The purpose of the journal, according to its self-description, is to combine the rigors and accountability of peer-review, at its best, with an editorial policy open to the debate over intelligent design. It is an open-access journal, which means everyone can download all articles for free. Here’s its stated purpose: BIO-Complexity is a peer-reviewed scientific journal with a unique goal. It aims to be the leading forum for testing the scientific merit of the claim that intelligent design (ID) is a credible explanation for life. Because questions having to do with the role and origin of information in living Read More ›

The Biggest Problem in Asking About Life Is Botching Evolutionary Science, Not Attacking Religion (Updated)

There have been recent news reports about a parent in Tennessee who wants his local school district to reject a textbook, Asking About Life, because it calls young earth creationism a “biblical myth.” I picked up a copy of the 1998 edition of Asking About Life and it’s true: the textbook consistently attacks, inhibits, denigrates, opposes, disparages, and shows hostility towards certain religious viewpoints. Evolution should be taught, but I see no reason why it must be taught in this manner alongside constitutionally questionable attacks upon religion. But the real travesty about the textbook is the fact that it (a) teaches students only about the pro-evolution evidence and never mentions any data as a scientific challenge to evolution, and (b) Read More ›

Recent Genetic Research Shows Chimps More Distant From Humans, Neanderthals Closer

Research published in Nature over the past few months is showing a much greater genetic distance between humans and chimps than previously thought, while revealing a closer one between humans and Neanderthals. A Nature paper from January, 2010 titled, “Chimpanzee and human Y chromosomes are remarkably divergent in structure and gene content,” found that Y chromosomes in humans and chimps “differ radically in sequence structure and gene content,” showing “extraordinary divergence” where “wholesale renovation is the paramount theme.” Of course, the paper attributes these dramatic genetic changes to “rapid evolution during the past 6 million years.” One of the scientists behind the study was quoted in a Nature news article stating, “It looks like there’s been a dramatic renovation or reinvention Read More ›

My Speciation Is Full of Eels

An old Monty Python sketch about a mistranslated Hungarian-to-English phrasebook made infamous the line, “My hovercraft is full of eels.” Today, evolutionary biologists are puzzled about something equally bizarre: why are eels so full of speciation? One biologist recently said on ScienceDaily, “How can you have seven species of the same fish eating the same thing and, quite literally, living under the same rock?” Under evolutionary biology, one would expect to find some mechanism–perhaps a geographic barrier like a large expanse of open ocean–responsible for the reproductive isolation that generated the new “species.” Instead, they found this: To find out the biologists looked at selected mitochondrial and nuclear genes and asked whether there were unique alleles (variants) of these genes Read More ›