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Friday, August 19, 2011

Incredible complexity makes the case for design! Hold the line for evidence, hang up on propaganda...

Darwinism as Darwinists see it

All one has to do in order to falsify Darwinism is to keep looking into the world of science without a "Darwin" label attached.   The more we discover about every aspect of the Universe the more complex and intentional design is revealed.  When will the common man see that the comparison with Darwinism and the man behind the curtain is apropos?   When will we see that Toto has shown us that the Great and Mighty Wizard of Odds is bankrupt and powerless?

Darwinism once evidence is added

First this article from CNET by Elizabeth Armstrong Moore (more about Moore below the article).

"A single human brain has more switches than all the computers and routers and Internet connections on Earth."

Human brain has more switches than all computers on Earth


The human brain is truly awesome.

A typical, healthy one houses some 200 billion nerve cells, which are connected to one another via hundreds of trillions of synapses. Each synapse functions like a microprocessor, and tens of thousands of them can connect a single neuron to other nerve cells. In the cerebral cortex alone, there are roughly 125 trillion synapses, which is about how many stars fill 1,500 Milky Way galaxies.

This is a visual reconstruction from array-tomography data of synapses in the mouse somatosensory cortex, which is responsive to whisker stimulation.
(Credit: Stephen Smith/Stanford)

These synapses are, of course, so tiny (less than a thousandth of a millimeter in diameter) that humans haven't been able to see with great clarity what exactly they do and how, beyond knowing that their numbers vary over time. That is until now.

Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have spent the past few years engineering a new imaging model, which they call array tomography, in conjunction with novel computational software, to stitch together image slices into a three-dimensional image that can be rotated, penetrated and navigated. Their work appears in the journal Neuron this week.

To test their model, the team took tissue samples from a mouse whose brain had been bioengineered to make larger neurons in the cerebral cortex express a fluorescent protein (found in jellyfish), making them glow yellow-green. Because of this glow, the researchers were able to see synapses against the background of neurons.

They found that the brain's complexity is beyond anything they'd imagined, almost to the point of being beyond belief, says Stephen Smith, a professor of molecular and cellular physiology and senior author of the paper describing the study:

One synapse, by itself, is more like a microprocessor--with both memory-storage and information-processing elements--than a mere on/off switch. In fact, one synapse may contain on the order of 1,000 molecular-scale switches. A single human brain has more switches than all the computers and routers and Internet connections on Earth.

Smith adds that this gives us a glimpse into brain tissue at a level of detail never before attained: "The entire anatomical context of the synapses is preserved. You know right where each one is, and what kind it is."

While the study was set up to demonstrate array tomography's potential in neuroscience (which is starting to resemble astronomy), the team was surprised to find that a class of synapses that have been considered identical to one another actually contain certain distinctions. They hope to use their imaging model to learn more about those distinctions, identifying which are gained or lost during learning, after experiences such as trauma, or in neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer's.
In the meantime, Smith and Micheva are starting a company that is gathering funding for future work, and Stanford's Office of Technology Licensing has obtained a U.S. patent on array tomography and filed for a second.

This four-minute video explores the pial (outer) surface of a mouse's cortex through all six layers and subcortical white matter to the adjoining striatum:

Elizabeth Armstrong Moore is a freelance journalist based in Portland, Ore. She has contributed to Wired magazine, The Christian Science Monitor, and public radio. Her semi-obscure hobbies include unicycling, slacklining, hula-hooping, scuba diving, billiards, Sudoku, Magic the Gathering, and classical piano. She is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET.

The redoubtable EAM!  I must admire a journalist who understands what journalism is.   This one is the same age as one of my daughters.  She sounds like one of my incredibly gifted nieces, daughters of my remarkable and beloved sister Shelley.  A Renaissance woman, if you will?  It is so refreshing to see pure straight reporting, as I am now so used to filtering out the spin and propaganda from the common articles written for National Geographic and Nature and etc.

What I admire is that this is journalism done right!   She doesn't opine nor does she spin, she REPORTS!   Impressive!   I do thoroughly understand reporting and used to do it for a living. 

But this is blogging.  Blogging is more like editorial commenting than reporting.   In fact the best description for blogging to me is the writing of opinion pieces backed up by evidence.   That is what I do.  I do not claim to be a neutral observer but rather a crusader for Creation by God.   Unashamed and unafraid to be criticized and slandered.   In fact I expect it so be my guest, disagree!  In my opinion, the inconceivably complex brain is yet another piece of evidence that all of the Universe including all organisms are designed.   For how long will you Darwinists keep depending upon long chains of happy accidents?  It has become so preposterous as to be embarassing.   To Darwinists, that is...

Meanwhile, back at the science ranch let's look into the world of the cell:

From CID

New research on protein folding demonstrates intelligent design

The journal Nature has just published a detailed and fascinating review about the way proteins in our bodies are helped by other proteins, known as chaperones, to become functional.[i]

Proteins are the most complex molecules in our bodies and are involved in virtually all biological processes. Our cells typically manufacture over 10,000 different proteins, synthesised on ribosomes as chains of up to several thousand amino acids.

For a protein to function it must fold to its ‘native state’ which is a complex three-dimensional structure. If a protein fails to fold into its functional structure then it is not only without function but in many cases is actually toxic to the cell. It is thought that as we age, the systems for helping proper folding work less well, which is one of the reasons for the symptoms of ageing and some diseases.

The number of possible shapes that a protein can fold into is very high and folding reactions are very complex, involving the co-operation of many weak, non-covalent interactions. A high percentage of proteins do not fold automatically into the required shape and are at risk of aberrant folding and aggregation. As the abstract to this paper states: “To avoid these dangers, cells invest in a complex network of molecular chaperones, which are ingenious mechanisms to prevent aggregation and promote efficient folding.”

Not only do proteins require other proteins (chaperones) to fold properly, they also require chaperones constantly, after correct folding, to maintain their functional states. This is known as proteostasis.

There is also another whole system in the cell (involving more proteins) called the ‘ubiquitin-proteasome system’ which breaks down irreversibly misfolded and aggregated proteins for safe excretion.

There are a number of different classes of chaperones and one of these, the ‘HSP70’ system, is described in some detail in this review. Chaperones are described as multicomponent molecular machines that promote folding through ATP and cofactor-regulated binding and release cycles. HSP70 itself is a large and complex protein which interacts with partially folded proteins to promote precise and correct folding. It requires, at the same time, the assistance of other proteins such as HSP40 and ‘nucleotide-exchange factors’ (NEFs).

This is not the whole story either. Proteins that are still not properly folded are transported ‘downstream’ to another system of proteins: the chaperonins. These are large double-ring complexes that enclose one protein at a time in a sort of cage structure. Within this structure the protein folding is completed before the protein is released.

Those with biological training will want to read more detail in the review, in particular the signalling pathways involved and the way genes are turned on to produce the chaperonins when required.

The review in the journal Nature does not discuss the origins of these systems but we need to ask a question: how does all this fit with current evolutionary theory? One might think that such complex systems are confined to mammals or at least the higher orders of animals. This would be a mistake however, because chaperones and chaperonins are in bacteria and archaea also. Indeed it would seem that for any cell to function there needs to be not just proteins but, at the same time, these chaperone systems, which are absolutely essential for proper folding and maintenance of proteins. Without such systems, in place already, the cell will not function.

Now, as explained, these chaperone systems are themselves made of proteins which also require the assistance of chaperones to correctly fold and to maintain integrity once folded. Chaperones for chaperones in fact. The very simplest of cells that we know of have these systems in place.

Darwinian evolution requires step by step changes in molecular systems, with one step leading to another in a manner that is statistically reasonable to expect from selection of mutant strains. There is no Darwinian explanation however for the evolution of proteins which already have chaperone systems in place to ensure proper function.

This points very strongly to an intelligent origin of these ‘ingenious’ systems found in all of life.

Antony Latham, July 2011

[i] Hartl, F.U., Bracher, A,. Hayer-Hartl, M. Molecular chaperones in protein folding and proteostasis. Nature Vol 475. No. 7356. 324-331. (21July 2011).

Dr. Anthony Latham is also an author and a proponent of Intelligent Design who is not a Young Earth Creationist.   Darwinists struggle with the concept that ID and YEC are not one and the same but that is okay, they will eventually figure this out.   ID is going to win out in the field of science and then YEC will be a belief system that agrees with the findings of science.   We simply have to get the Darwinist mythology swept out of the room so the real science can come in.  Below is a quick take on his book The Naked Emperor:

The Naked Emperor: Darwinism Exposed - Antony Latham PDF Print E-mail

This is the first British book-length critique of Darwinism which has substantial interaction with the work of proponents of Intelligent Design, such as William Dembski, Michael Behe and Phillip Johnson, by someone who is not a young earth creationist.

Writing in an informal and personal style, Dr Anthony Latham outlines a broad range of scientific problems for Darwinism, and the idea that life and the universe could be due to purposeless natural processes.

This book is “for anyone who genuinely wants another scientific view on nature.”
The author approaches the topic from a Christian viewpoint, but his arguments come from science, not from the Bible. Cambridge academics Simon Conway Morris and Denis Alexander read through sections of the draft manuscript.

A wide range of topics are covered, from the fine-tuning of the universe, through problems in the origin of life, to the short-comings of natural selection. There is a particular focus on the work of Richard Dawkins, with a chapter by chapter critique of his book "The Blind Watchmaker."

This book is easy to read; the chapters are short, and helpfully divided by sub-headings. This is an excellent introduction to the scientific problems of Darwinism.

The Naked Emporer: Darwinism Exposed
Dr Antony Latham
Janus Publishing, London, 2005


I am now adding Truth In Science to my blog links.

For those of you so inclined to complain that this is yet another argument from incredulity, well, yes, I am incredulous at the thought that there are human beings who are willing to assert that this remarkably complex Universe just *poof* 'd into existence somehow and that all the stars and planets and the Solar System and all the organisms and all the systems and all that information held within organisms and that miraculous state known as "life" that defies complete understanding by any human being are all random and meaningless chance events that kind of banged together and appeared formed complete and operational.   How can you assert anything of the kind and then look in the mirror and tell yourself you are a rational and intelligent being?   I am incredulous concerning THAT!

I'll end with the very logical and simple case for design as stated on the website Centre for Intelligent Design that was linked earlier in this blog, above:

The Scientific Case for Design

The universe is a vast and mysterious place. From the smallest sub-atomic particle, through the intricate nano-technology of the living cell, to Planet Earth, the Solar System and the furthest galaxy, our universe is stunningly beautiful and exceedingly complex. And it poses huge questions.

Where did it come from? Why is it here? What is my part in it? Most generations across history have, largely by intuition, perceived that the natural and living worlds point to an intelligent source and have found meaning in it from that viewpoint.

The rise of modern science from around the 18th century has uncovered deeper secrets of the universe and discovered an amazing array of forces, structures and connections as diverse as those found in quantum physics and the genetic code. In uncovering how natural and living systems function, science has hugely broadened our understanding of the cosmos. However, it has also posed new questions and only deepened the mystery of the universe.

With science has come ideological naturalism which insists that everything about the universe is ultimately explicable in purely physical terms. That philosophy, allied to neo-Darwinism, purports to give a comprehensive worldview which excludes the possibility of deliberate design.

However, the new evidence about design makes that an unsustainable position. The findings of intelligent design theorists significantly change the scientific landscape.

The scientific evidence for intelligent design is coherent and detailed. It comes from areas like the vast information banks and the sophisticated nano-machinery in living cells, the demonstrable impossibility of first life emerging randomly, the fine tuning of universal forces and constants, and the phenomenon of human consciousness. An increasing number of scientists around the world are recognising the power of the Intelligent Design arguments and the inadequacy of neo-Darwinism.
It is noteworthy that when professionals in other areas of study uncover artefacts, such as ancient hieroglyphics, which convey information and display integrated complexity, they do not argue for design – they simply assume it!

What is the evidence for design?

The evidence for intelligent design comes from five main sources as follows:

1. Information in Biological Systems

The impressive thing about DNA is not just its chemical structure but the digitally-coded information embedded in the sequences of its constituent parts. Information is not chemistry, but in the case of DNA it is expressed in a chemistry-based code. The encrypted information is also highly sophisticated and multi-layered. The idea that information of this complexity could randomly self-assemble stretches credulity to the limit.

The better explanation follows from the fact that the only known source of functional information is intelligence. Inference to the best explanation - the only way, ultimately, to do the science of origins - is to infer that an intelligent mind assembled this information. So far, no other credible explanation has been offered for the origin of the information content of DNA within the living cell.

2. Molecular Machines

Recent advances in understanding cellular structure have revealed a highly sophisticated world of nano-technology on a breathtaking scale. These interlocking machines show all the hallmarks of engineering design and suggest a designing intelligence. When examined more closely, they show both specified and irreducible complexity, meaning that they conform to a previously specified plan (embedded in the DNA's information) and require all parts to be present to operate. That such systems could self-assemble through blind and purposeless forces flies in the face of all human engineering experience and is not a credible explanation.

3. Origin of First Life Chemistry

Although evolutionary theorists insist that the origin of life is beyond the scope of their work, they speak as if this problem is also soluble by Darwinian mechanisms. However, origin of life research has produced no credible explanation as to how the hugely complicated molecules of life could have been assembled into functioning and self-replicating sequences.

ID theorists have established that the assembly of the required molecules in the correct forms and sequences is, probabilistically, well beyond any random process which can be conceived. Indeed it is now certain that first life is only possible if there is a prior infusion of the sort of information carried in DNA or RNA in order to generate the correct molecular types and shapes. This, in effect, becomes another manifestation of the information problem noted in 1 above.

4. Cosmic Fine Tuning
The values of the universal constants and forces which govern the operation of the cosmos are so finely tuned for carbon-based life that it is hard to escape the conclusion that they have been deliberately set. These include the force of gravity, the speed of light, the laws of motion, and atomic and nuclear forces. It is known that even slight variations in the detected values would have catastrophic consequences for life as we know it. It is also somewhat surprising that these constants and forces can be expressed in relatively simple mathematical relationships, which further suggests that they are the product of deliberate design.

5. Rational Thought and Consciousness

It is not only remarkable that the universe has order and fixed laws, but also that we can perceive them objectively and deduce them rationally. Our shared rationality makes it possible to conduct scientific studies and is part of the greater wonder of our consciousness. Conscious thought or mind is clearly connected with brain chemistry, but is also separate from it. An obvious inference is that our consciousness is a reflection of a greater intelligence behind the universe.

The above are powerful and decisive arguments which point to intelligent causation in the universe and which challenge the fundamental principles of neo-Darwinian materialism.

For all of you who lasted to the end, a cookie in the form of another (non-canine) TOTO: