Guy Walks Into a Bar and Thinks He’s a Chimpanzee: The Unbearable Lightness of Chimp-Human Genome Similarity

I am often struck by how the topic of evolution in general, and chimp/human ancestry in particular, can be an immediate conversation opener that just as quickly becomes a conversation closer. Mind you, I don’t go around buttonholing people at, say, my favorite lounge (this music will conjure up the atmosphere) about some phylogenetic arcana — at least, I try not to do so. But for some strange reason, there exist individuals of good will who apparently feel called upon to “raise my consciousness” about some Darwinian facts that I’ve presumably gotten wrong. Not just a bit wrong, but astoundingly wrong. You see, to their way of thinking, I am in dire need of reeducation and they are there to Read More ›

The Myth of Vestigial Organs and Bad Design: Why Darwinism Is False

Note: This is Part 5 in a series reviewing Jerry Coyne’s Why Evolution Is True. Read Part 1 here, Part 2 here, Part 3 here, and Part 4 here. Darwin argued in The Origin of Species that the widespread occurrence of vestigial organs — organs that may have once had a function but are now useless — is evidence against creation. “On the view of each organism with all its separate parts having been specially created, how utterly inexplicable is it that organs bearing the plain stamp of inutility … should so frequently occur.” But such organs, he argued, are readily explained by his theory: “On the view of descent with modification, we may conclude that the existence of organs Read More ›

Shoddy Engineering or Intelligent Design? Case of the Mouse’s Eye

We often hear from Darwinians that the biological world is replete with examples of shoddy engineering, or, as they prefer to put it, bad design. One such case of really poor construction is the inverted retina of the vertebrate eye. As we all know, the retina of our eyes is configured all wrong because the cells that gather photons, the rod photoreceptors, are behind two other tissue layers. Light first strikes the ganglion cells and then passes by or through the bipolar cells before reaching the rod photoreceptors. Surely, a child could have arranged the system better — so they tell us. The problem with this story of supposed unintelligent design is that it is long on anthropomorphisms and short Read More ›

When “Junk DNA” Isn’t Junk: Farewell to a Darwinist Standard Response

In the Darwinist repertoire, a standard response to evidence of design in the genome is to point to the existence of “junk DNA.” What is it doing there, if purposeful design really is detectable in the history of life’s development? Of course this assumes that the “junk” really is junk. That assumption has been cast increasingly into doubt. New research just out in the journal Nature Genetics finds evidence that genetic elements previously thought of as rubbish are anything but that. The research describes tiny strands of RNA, previously thought to be junk, that now turn out to play a role in gene expression. Another finding by Dr. Geoff Faulkner shows that “retrotransposons,” a further variety of “junk” as the Read More ›

Nature Paper Shows “Junk-RNA” Going the Same Direction as “Junk-DNA”

When large-scale function was detected for non-coding DNA (once called “junk” DNA) Darwinists, knowing that their viewpoint had long boasted that junk-DNA was evidence for common ancestry and that they were losing that argument, responded in one of two ways: Some sought to rewrite history by claiming that evolutionary biology predicted all along that we’d find function for junk-DNA. Others, however, pushed the “junk” back to RNA. They effectively argued, “Sure, we know that most of the genome is being transcribed into RNA, but that doesn’t mean that the RNAs have function. Much of the transcriptome might in fact be junk.” Evolutionist biochemist Larry Moran, for example, argued that either “[t]he so-called transcripts are just noise from accidental transcription” or Read More ›