A Primer on the Tree of Life (Part 4): Homology in Crisis

Note: This is Part 4 in a 5-part series titled “A Primer on the Tree of Life.” Read Part 1 here, Part 2 here, Part 3 here, and Part 5 here. The full article can be found, here. Homology in Crisis As Mayr suggests, there are other examples where genetic similarity appears in unexpected places. Biologically functional similarity that is thought to be the result of inheritance from a common ancestor is called “homology.” The concept of “homology” has been thrown into a crisis via observations, like those of Mayr, that the same genes control the growth of non-homologous body parts. Pax-6 is just one example. Another is the fact that the same gene controls the development of limbs in Read More ›

A Primer on the Tree of Life (Part 3): Extreme Convergence – Common Descent or Common Design?

Note: This is Part 3 in a 5-part series titled “A Primer on the Tree of Life.” Read Part 1 here, Part 2 here, Part 4 here, and Part 5 here. The full article can be found, here. Extreme Genetic Convergent Similarity: Common Design or Common Descent? If common descent is leading to so many bad predictions, why not consider the possibility that biological similarity is instead the result of common design? After all, designers regularly re-use parts, programs, or components that work in different designs (such as using wheels on both cars and airplanes, or keyboards on both computers and cell-phones). One data-point that might suggest common design rather than common descent is the gene “pax-6.” Pax-6 is one Read More ›

A Primer on the Tree of Life (Part 2): Conflicts in the Molecular Evidence

Note: This is Part 2 in a 5-part series titled “A Primer on the Tree of Life.” Read Part 1 here, Part 3 here, Part 4 here, and Part 5 here. The full article can be found, here. The Molecular Evidence When speaking to the public, evolutionists are infamous for overstating the evidence for universal common ancestry. For example, when speaking before the Texas State Board of Education in January, 2009, University of Texas evolutionist biologist David Hillis cited himself as one of the “world’s leading experts on the tree of life” and later told the Board that there is “overwhelming agreement correspondence as you go from protein to protein, DNA sequence to DNA sequence” when reconstructing evolutionary history using Read More ›

A Primer on the Tree of Life (Part 1): The Main Assumption

Note: This is Part 1 in a 5-part series titled “A Primer on the Tree of Life.” Read Part 2 here, Part 3 here, Part 4 here, and Part 5 here. The full article can be found, here. Evolutionists often claim that universal common ancestry and the “tree of life” are established facts. One recent opinion article in argued, “The evidence that all life, plants and animals, humans and fruit flies, evolved from a common ancestor by mutation and natural selection is beyond theory. It is a fact. Anyone who takes the time to read the evidence with an open mind will join scientists and the well-educated.”1 The take-home message is that if you doubt Darwin’s tree of life, you’re Read More ›

Swine Flu, Viruses, and the Edge of Evolution

Update: On May 4, 2009, The New York Times, perhaps unsurprisingly, came out with a story casting the swine flu as an example of evolution, titled “10 Genes, Furiously Evolving.” Similarly, the staunchly pro-evolution site LiveScience.com has an article on the swine flu that opens by mocking Darwin-skeptics, stating: “Anyone who thinks evolution is for the birds should not be afraid of swine flu. Because if there’s no such thing as evolution, then there’s no such thing as a new strain of swine flu infecting people.” As is discussed in Luskin’s piece below, such a claim is a cheap-shot that completely mis-states and misrepresents the position of Darwin-skeptics. A few years ago, the media was abuzz over the scare of Read More ›