A world of hairless animals at the equator? Whoa!
Darwin’s Sweatshop: Why Ethiopia Made People Hairless 06/10/2010
June 10, 2010 — Five scientists think they have figured out why people walk upright and don’t have fur like other mammals. They had to evolve in Ethiopia, where it is hot. This led to the loss of body hair, and the evolution of sweat glands and other adaptations to deal with the heat.
It’s not that the scientists from Caltech, Johns Hopkins and University of Utah actually found evidence for this. It’s just that they studied rocks from the Turkana Basin, where some important fossils of alleged human ancestors have been found. According to their analysis of carbonate rocks, the temperature has always been hot and arid in this area – for 4 million years, they claim. They published their results in PNAS,1 and the story was picked up by Science Daily and PhysOrg.
Although their paper primarily concerned deducing climate and temperature from the rock record, they considered implications for human thermophysiology:
This temperature record is relevant to the evolutionary origin or maintenance of a unique suite of adaptations that permit humans to remain active under high ambient heat loads. For example, upright posture in hot, open environments confers thermophysiological advantages to bipedal hominins owing to reduced interception of direct solar radiation and to displacement of the body away from the near-surface environment, which may be excessively hot due to solar heating. Derived human traits such as very little body hair, high sweating capacity, and high surface area to volume ratio are also advantageous for daytime activity in hot, arid climates, and temperature is a central variable in hypotheses of behaviors such as long-distance scavenging and persistence hunting. However, the thermoregulatory advantages of these adaptations arise primarily under very hot, sunny conditions. Our results suggest that such conditions were relevant to human ecology in the Turkana Basin, either directly within or at the spatial or temporal margins of human-preferred habitats....If this is so, then it should also be a necessary prerequisite for beginning to evaluate the null hypothesis, or for evaluating why such conditions failed to generate similar physiological traits in the other mammals living alongside the humans in the same ecological environment. It would also make one question why the hominids they believe inhabited South Africa, Europe and Asia for millions of years and during long ice ages did not quickly gain all that body hair right back. The authors seemed to overlook those parts of the evolutionary logic.
Whereas our data are silent on the importance of ambient temperature in shaping human evolution, they comprise a necessary prerequisite for beginning to evaluate temperature-related hypotheses. [italics in original].
The popular press swallowed it all without question, though. “The need to stay cool in that cradle of human evolution may relate, at least in part, to why pre-humans learned to walk upright, lost the fur that covered the bodies of their predecessors and became able to sweat more, Johns Hopkins University earth scientist Benjamin Passey said.” Perhaps they need to consider another uniquely human trait: blushing (see 12/19/2007 commentary).
1. Passey, Levin, Cerling, Brown, and Eiler, “High-temperature environments of human evolution in East Africa based on bond ordering in paleosol carbonates,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, published online before print June 8, 2010, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1001824107.
This has the makings of a great cartoon: the Turkana Gymnasium, where all the camels, wildebeests, zebras, giraffes, oryx, lions, cheetahs, and gerbils all strip down to the skin, stand upright, and work up a sweat under the hot sun, dancing to the beat of “Do the Evolution” (08/31/2006).
Next headline on: Early Man • Darwin and Evolution • Dumb Ideas
How is it then that African animals are not hairless and going forth on two legs? Why didn't the lion turn into Carl Lewis with big teeth? Darwinists can assert almost anything and the public swallows it whole.
So it goes. Carefully watch the comments threads to see how much actual observable evidence is presented...little or none. Occasionally the threads will devolve into a "well, your God stinks" dialogue in which the Darwinists, totally unaware of exegetical or contextual or historical information relating to the Bible will pull out some Old Tesatment verse that seems to make God look mean or unfair. Another ploy is to say they have answered a question. Information, for example. Not one Darwinist in the entire world has come up with a plausible source for information in the cell. How did all that information get there? How could new information be implanted? Commenters like to say they have answered this but they have not even come close to doing so. If they think they have an answer, this post's comment thread would be a great place for them to put it! (Hint...on the backs of crystals will not be an acceptable answer).
How does information enter the organism? Here is your question for the day. Let me give you a clue: In the real world, information is intelligence that is transferred into the medium. Or to be more specific: This post.
The dialogue from commenters was either "define information" or "here are a bunch of strings of symbols, which one is information?" or a short essay of the premise of what observation might be. No. How does information get into the cell? That is the question. No one has come close to answering it by any means other than this, that it was input by an intelligent source.
Many great creation scientists came to Christianity BECAUSE of the evidence. Many lukewarm semi-believers became staunch Christians because of the evidence. The Institute for Creation Research was formed by Dr. Henry Morris, who became a dedicated Christian after he realized the sedimentary rocks were the signature of a flood (his speciality was hydrology). Now there are many such institutes dedicated to doing research in the name of Christ and according to Biblical evidences because the rest of the world is stuck like an animal in a trap to Darwinism and they cannot see beyond naturalistic materialistic scenarios.
There are also those who do not necessarily believe in Christ but instead adhere to another deity or even remain agnostic about a deity but who recognize that the cell is intelligently designed. Hence the Discovery Institute and related organizations that do not promote YEC but frankly just move forward on the evidence without being hindered by the ludicrous Darwinist worldview.
Many scientists saw the paucity of Darwinism but could not stomach a God to whom they would be liable so they turn to aliens who must have seeded life on the planet instead. Panspermia is something a fair lot of them have suggested from time to time.
I want you readers to think on this....according to Darwinists the eye must have developed independently in ten differing lines of ascending animals. Yet they do agree that the eye is fantastically complex. But how does an eye evolve when it is of no use until it is sophisticated enough to give a creature a survival/reproductive advantage? How would it happen ten different times?
In a Darwinist world, wouldn't there be only a very few kinds of creatures? The odds against anything evolving at all are stupendous, so one would expect just a few kinds of creatures and plants to have happened by chance to happen. Anytime you see a Darwinist describe an expectation of life on another planet they will conceptualize a very limited variety of organisms because the wide variety we have on Earth makes no sense from a Darwinian point of view.
Transitional forms are a hoot. If you knew how Darwinists determine what they consider to be a transitional form you would be rather disappointed. You see, they study a few teeth and a jawbone and perhaps some attributes of a skull and from that try to deduce the nature of the animal that it came from. Over the years they artist's concepts of extinct animals have been widely promulgated and yet it is very much based upon the imagination of the artist. I once posted a series of artist's conceptions (Darwinist, of course) of the Iguanadon and how it changed over time as they collected more specimens and found evidence that included more about appearance and likely skin and appendage information. Now the Darwinist picture of an Iguanadon is pretty much like the Acamabaro figurines made by ordinary folks a few hundred or even a couple of thousand years ago. Hmmm. So now we go back to the idea that dinosaurs and man coexisted but Darwinists hate to go there for, you see, birds and mammals had to evolve from dinosaurs and not coexist with them!
But anyway, transitional forms are a lie because Darwinists cannot study the organism itself and we do not see bone fossils that have half arms-half wings or two-thirds leg, one-third fin. Dinosaurs with wishbones and light bird-like skeletal structures are conspicuously absent. Again I say that ALL fossils found that can be put together to present a creature appear to give us a fully formed type. Darwinists have no tangible data to use to show us how the bombardier beetle came into existence because they have never found a creature that was developing into one. God help Michael Behe, who is not a YEC but received widespread castigation for daring to publish "Darwin's Black Box" in which irreducible complexity is mentioned.
Meanwhile we are 150 years into the Darwinist paradigm and not once have we seen one kind of creature become another. Not once have we observed new information appear in the genome. All we see is speciation and occasionally (mostly with island populations) we get extinction. You can be sure that all those bacteria that develop "new traits" have all proven to be information loss or information transfer. Usually information loss that allows for a new ability also makes the same organism less likely to survive in the wild.
For example, people have bred dogs down to tiny sizes, so that some dogs can be held in one or two hands. This is cute in the eyes of some (I prefer big dogs myself) but certainly not advantageous if suddenly people released all dogs into the wild. Tiny dogs will not last long, becoming a meal for a coyote or a raptor bird like a hawk or simply not being able to find enough small edible and catchable things to eat. The Detroit feral dog population has become a living lab experiment. Feral dogs naturally join in packs and their distinguishing features begin to disappear. The dogs become the approximate size of other wild dog species (Dingo, African) and as the various breeds interbreed soon differences in size and coloration begin to become more rare and medium large dogs of two or three colors with similar ear and tail characteristics become the norm. In real life the edges of speciation are activated by unusual ecological conditions. All things being equal, animals begin to revert to something more like the original kind. Why? Because information loss is a characteristic of speciation. This is why ring speciation can happen to the point that organisms at one end cannot interbreed with the same kind at the other end or at least not breed easily or produce offspring that are infertile.
To end this post, another tidbit from the newest member of the links list, Creation Evolution Headlines.
Welcome to the Behe flagellum discussion, now advanced!
Flagellum Replaces Parts on the Fly 06/12/2010
June 12, 2010 — A new study appears to show that the bacterial flagellum, a molecular rotary motor that has become iconic of the intelligent design movement, can repair parts of its rotor while it is rotating. The results of the study by Oxford University were published in PNAS,1 and were also the focus of a Commentary in PNAS by Michael D. Manson of Texas A&M University.2 Previous studies had shown that parts of the stationary part (stator) could be replaced while the flagellum was in operation, but the rotor? “Turnover of a component of the rotor is even more surprising than stator turnover, given that it was previously known that the number of stator complexes can change while the motor is running,” the Oxford scientists said. The abstract explained:
Most biological processes are performed by multiprotein complexes. Traditionally described as static entities, evidence is now emerging that their components can be highly dynamic, exchanging constantly with cellular pools.... It is powered by transmembrane ion flux through a ring of stator complexes that push on a central rotor. The Escherichia coli motor switches direction stochastically in response to binding of the response regulator CheY to the rotor switch component FliM. Much is known of the static motor structure, but we are just beginning to understand the dynamics of its individual components.... We show that the ~30 FliM molecules per motor exist in two discrete populations, one tightly associated with the motor and the other undergoing stochastic turnover.... In many ways the bacterial flagellar motor is as an archetype macromolecular assembly, and our results may have further implications for the functional relevance of protein turnover in other large molecular complexes.“The bacterial flagellar motor is one of the most complex biological nanomachines,” began the first sentence of their paper, edited by Howard Berg (Harvard), one of the pioneers of flagellum research. Using specialized imaging techniques, the Oxford team was able to identify components of the rotor complex undergoing dynamic turnover in about 30- to 40-second timeframes. This turnover may be due to maintenance of the motor, or it may have functional significance. It may be involved, for instance, in switching the rotation from normal counterclockwise runs to the occasional clockwise “tumbling” that bacteria undergo when following a chemical trail. In E. coli, which have four to eight flagella, it may be involved in synchronization of the flagella – they don’t yet know for sure. It appears that signaling from the environment is involved in the turnover, because a response regulator in the chemotaxis signal transduction response pathway “is also required for measurable FliM turnover to occur over the time scale of our experiments,” they said. Though not certain whether it is a trigger or a by-product of the switch from normal mode to tumbling mode, the association is compelling: “This work represents direct evidence for signal-dependent dynamic exchange of switch complex components in functioning flagellar motors, raising the possibility that turnover is involved in the signaling mechanism.”
Michael Manson commented on the findings in PNAS,2
offering additional interesting details about the flagellum: “The flagellar motor was the first biological rotary device discovered” (Berg, 1973), he pointed out; “Flagella spin at several hundred to >1,000 revolutions per second in different bacteria.” He described the parts list and something about the torque and operation of the flagellum, and provided a cross-sectional diagram. “Filament growth decreases with length, and a broken filament can regenerate,” he continued. “Unfolded flagellin subunits diffuse through the hollow center of the filament and assemble at its distal tip. Filaments extend several cell lengths and are quite fragile; their dynamic nature is necessary. Each flagellar motor functions for the lifetime of its cell.” He described how protons flow through the Mot complexes (parts of the stator) and then couple to the rotor, and how these must be firmly anchored to the cell wall to endure the tremendous torques put on them by the rotor: “The high torque required to turn a flagellum under heavy load requires that Mot complexes attach firmly to the cell wall.” Even so, “Despite its anchoring, the stator is surprisingly dynamic.” Other studies show that the Mot protein parts also turnover rapidly – with a half-life of 30 seconds.
As for the findings of the Oxford team, Manson said, “Parts exchange in the stator and rotor may just be routine maintenance, and the aggregates of 18 FliM molecules could be storage devices rather than assembly intermediates. The authors are suitably cautious about speculating whether FliM turnover is involved in the switch function of the C ring, emphasizing that the exchange of FliM subunits could be either a cause or effect of motor reversal.” But as he looked forward to additional exciting findings in this kind of research on flagella and other molecular machines, he paid his respects to this machine in particular: “Further studies of this type will undoubtedly lead to exciting new revelations about the inner workings of the elegant molecular machinery of the flagellar motor.”
1. Delalez et al, “Signal-dependent turnover of the bacterial flagellar switch protein FliM,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Published online before print May 24, 2010, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1000284107.
2. Michael D. Manson, “Dynamic motors for bacterial flagella,” Commentary, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, print June 11, 2010, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1006365107.
Altogether now, shout the familiar refrain: “These authors said nothing about evolution!” If nothing in biology makes sense except in the black-light of ev-illusion, where was Mr. Darwin? Is that him in bed, sick to his stomach again? Go make him some intelligently designed chicken soup, and leave him be. The rest of us are excited about the union of engineering and biology in this clear case of machinery on the molecular scale. Now we have an example of possible maintenance during operation, and if not that, a functional operation that involves dynamic swapping of parts while a rotor is spinning at more than 60,000 rpm! The bacterium doesn’t need to go into a drydock; its repair squad can fix parts on the fly. Imagine what would be required to swap out the blades on an outboard motor while it is spinning. Furthermore, imagine having the process automated, with feedback from the environment. How would you even design such a thing? The flagellum has a constant flow of FliM parts into the system. Apparently, there is some sort of buffer store where parts can stand ready for use, and then something guides them into position. Manson’s oversimplified diagram shows a part attaching to a rotor blade, which might provide an attachment point for a FliM molecule to get replaced during a reversal of direction. However this occurs, it is bound to be exciting and amazing.
Did you catch that dramatic understatement by Manson? “Parts exchange in the stator and rotor may just be routine maintenance, and the aggregates of 18... molecules could be storage devices....” What did he just say? Maintenance! Storage devices! This is bacteria we are talking about. This is life that lives in dirty water. That’s like walking by a mud puddle and saying, “The murkiness down there could just be routine automated guidance and control operations with robotic feedback software, and the squiggles could be gigabytes of storage area networks with rapid retrieval, but hey. Whatever. Oh, and there’s a maintenance crew that can swap out outboard motor blades on the fly, too. Stickagum, man?”
Get the picture here, folks – these are cells that in Darwin’s day were thought to be made of undifferentiated blobs of jelly-like stuff. For lack of a better word to describe it, they called it by the suggestive pantheistic term, “protoplasm” (first living substance). Anybody who thinks that way now with what molecular biology has revealed should get 39 lashes with a wet flagellum. Evolution was missing from these papers because it is bankrupt. It thrived in another age, another time, when puffed-up, imperialistic, progress-minded Victorians didn’t know better. This is the information age. The only theory with the vocabulary, concepts and explanatory resources to deal with observations that are rich in engineering, machinery and control language is intelligent design.
Next headline on: Cell Biology • Physics • Intelligent Design • Amazing Facts
British scientists say that a marine crustacean with the most complex eyes in the animal kingdom could hold the key to the next generation of DVD and CD players.
The amazing eyes of the mantis shrimp found on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, according to a study, can see in 12 primary colors – humans see only three – and can also distinguish between different forms of polarized light, that is the direction of oscillation in light waves.
Special light-sensitive cells in mantis shrimp eyes perform similar functions to those found in the mechanism of a DVD and CD player but the key difference is mantis shrimps are able to do this across the whole spectrum of light, whereas DVD or CD players can only do this with one color.
Researcher Nicholas Roberts, however, said that he believes the “beautifully simple” eye system, comprising cell membranes rolled into tubes, could be mimicked in the lab using liquid crystals.
Details of the mantis shrimp complex vision study can be found in the journal Nature Photonics.
Tags: Animal kingdom, Australia's Great Barrier Reef, British scientists, DVD and CD players, Light waves oscillation, Liquid crystals, Mantis shrimp, Marine crustacean, Nature Photonics, Ploarized light, Researcher Nicholas Roberts