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Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Creation Science uses logic and careful study. Darwinists? Classic magical thinking (which is rather a lack of thinking, yes)?

When a foolish paradigm becomes assumed, then foolish ideas make it into print!

"Most importantly, the campaign of the scientific establishment to rule out intelligent design as beyond discussion because it is not science results in the avoidance of significant questions about the relation· between evolutionary theory and religious belief, questions that must be faced in order to understand the theory and evaluate the scientific evidence for it." — Thomas Nagel, prominent philosopher of science and atheist (hat tip to David Coppedge's CEH).


Earliest Record of Mating Fossil Vertebrates: Nine Pairs of Fossilized Turtles Died While Mating 47 Million Years Ago

A pair of allaeochelyscrassesculpta from the Messel fossil pit. The turtles died 47 million years ago while mating. (Credit: Senckenberg Gesellschaft)
ScienceDaily (June 20, 2012) — The fossil record consists mostly of the fragmentary remains of ancient animals and plants. But some finds can provide spectacular insights into the life and environment of ancient organisms. The Messel Fossil Pit, a UNESCO world heritage site south of Frankfurt in western Germany, is well known for yielding fossils of unusual quality, including early horses complete with embryos and insects and birds with fossilized colors.

In the latest edition of Biology Letters, a group of scientists lead by Dr. Walter Joyce of the University of Tübingen announces the discovery at Messel of nine pairs of fossilized turtles that perished in the act of mating. Dr. Joyce, a geoscientist from the University of Tübingen, heads the discovery team which includes researchers from the Senckenberg Research Institute Frankfurt and the Hessische Landesmuseum Darmstadt.

"Scientists have collected tens of thousands of fossils at this site in recent decades," notes co-author Dr. Stephan Schaal of the Senckenberg Naturmuseum in Frankfurt, "but only these turtles are known to occur in pairs, a total of nine so far." Detailed analysis of the fossil material revealed that each pair consists of a female and male individual. More importantly, even though the males typically face away from the females, the tail of some male individuals can be found wrapped under the shell of the female. "There is no doubt in my mind," says Dr. Joyce, "These animals died some 47 million years ago in the act of mating. No other vertebrates are known to have died during this important biological process and then been fossilized."

Most scientists agree that the Messel Pit Fossil Site originated as a deep volcanic crater lake that preserved animals and plants that sank to its bottom, but some questions remain, such as whether the lake had poisonous surface or only subsurface waters. Modern relatives of the fossil turtles found at Messel have permeable skin that allows them to breathe and stay under water for a long time. However, this adaptation can become lethal if these turtles enter poisonous waters. The very fact that turtles were seeking to reproduce at Messel reveals that the surface waters of the volcanic lake supported a thriving biotope.

Numerous turtles apparently died, however, when they accidentally sank into poisonous sub-surface waters while mating.


So you really believe that somehow by accident nine pairs of mating turtles were magically preserved in the very act of mating by sinking to the bottom of a poisonous lake?!!  Preservation like this requires instantaneous anaerobic burial and not simply sinking down into water.  The article above should be setting off alarms in the brains of critical thinkers. 

So the magical thinking of Darwinism is easily seen in the way they view and interpret fossils but also in how they view and describe the workings of cells and living things of all kinds.   Note how Darwinists continually use words that describe actions by organisms we would associate with intelligence and decision-making and action?  As the CEH writers point out, they may just as well say, "Abracadabra!"

Evolution Worked Magic in Plants

Posted on June 29, 2012 in Botany, Darwin and Evolution, Dumb Ideas, Genetics, Intelligent Design, Philosophy of Science
Some evolutionary papers are filled with verbs like arose, emerged, and originated.  Do these convey scientific understanding, or are they veils concealing ignorance?  Is it like saying “abracadabra” to say something “arose” by evolution?  A recent paper about sophisticated metabolic enzymes in plants is a case in point.

In a paper by Weng, Philippe and Noel in Science (29 June 2012: Vol. 336 no. 6089 pp. 1667–1670; DOI: 10.1126/science.1217411), the magic starts right in the title: The Rise of Chemodiversity in Plants.” It rose to a crescendo throughout the overture to evolution’s uncanny power to bring things forth out of nothing.1  In the following excerpts, the magic words, hedging words and personifications are highlighted in bold:
  • The Emergence of Metabolism
  • New metabolic branches continuously arose throughout land-plant evolution.…
  • Since its origin as a fundamental property of the cell, metabolism is generally regarded as having evolved toward increasing order and catalytic efficiency.…
  • Primary metabolism likely arose from promiscuous primeval metabolic reactions and evolved toward greater catalytic precision and efficiency. Specialized metabolism likely emerged from primary metabolism.
  • Even deleterious changes appearing in one paralog may be tolerated and not eliminated by selection, when the other paralog contributes to fitness. In such cases, the evolution of advantageous activities can now be favored in new environments.
  • .…increased catalytic promiscuity likely molded the evolution of specialized enzymes.
  • Once a duplication-derived progenitor emerged, mutations may have loosened the energetic interdependencies.…
  • For instance, the evolution of rosmarinic acid biosynthesis in Lamiaceae herbs arose from gene duplication of a BAHD acyltransferase.
  • The emergence of rosmarinic acid synthase (RAS) in Lamiaceae likely followed substrate permissiveness of its evolutionary progenitor HCT, a more conserved enzyme ubiquitous in land plants.
  • By exploiting the broader substrate recognition of ancestral DFR, I. gesnerioides evolved a red flower color.…
  • After a gene-duplication event, one gene copy likely was selected for increased activity toward this substrate, resulting in the emergence of a new metabolic step.…
  • Recurring Patterns of Metabolic Evolution
  • The phenotypic outcome of an evolving plant-specialized metabolic system relies on the recruitment of multifunctional enzymes…
  • In addition to the recruitment of individual enzymes into emerging pathways, enzymes with expanded substrate recognition that act consecutively in a particular pathway can reappear, operating on disparate metabolites.
Surely the authors attempted to explain how things “emerged,” didn’t they?  Indeed, they did in a couple of places.  But the magic words are there again:

In contrast to primary metabolism, in which selection constrained mutations to maintain the most stable and functional enzyme forms, we hypothesize that specialized metabolic enzymes may have emerged through early gene duplication, followed by mutations that broadened substrate selection and flattened activation barriers of their catalyzed reactions. The resulting mechanistic elasticity allowed single enzymes to catalyze multiple reactions and biosynthesize multiple products (Fig. 1A). This scenario is consistent with directed evolution focused on enzyme promiscuity and the biochemical characterization of mutant libraries derived from phylogenetic relationships in several plant-specialized metabolic enzyme families.…

A little later, they stated:

Supporting this view, a number of current specialized metabolic enzymes exhibit, on average, a greater ability to accept a broader range of substrates and to employ multiple energetically similar reaction mechanisms than related primary metabolic enzymes. Moreover, these enzymes seem to traverse functional space more easily than their structurally related cousins in primary metabolism to evolve new and often several metabolic products while retaining a modicum of their original function.… Diminished catalytic efficiency of multifunctional metabolic enzymes probably coincided with greater substrate permissiveness and the occurrence of several mechanistic routes to multiple products with little cost to the fitness of the host population. As long as the enzyme that must produce multiple products by virtue of its chemical mechanism yields at least one conferring a fitness advantage, the enzyme can be retained, barring issues of by-product toxicity. An enzyme does not have to evolve to perfection or absolute product specificity; it merely has to produce enough of the desired compound for the gene to be maintained in the population. As populations experience fluctuating abiotic and biotic ecological changes, one of the minor metabolites may also assume an advantageous function, thus resulting in fixation of the multifunctional paralog.

It’s not clear, however, that suggestive terms like “mechanistic elasticity,” “enzyme promiscuity,” or “substrate permissiveness” provide visible light or black light.  They may be merely giving the illusion of making emergence glow without aiding understanding of how unguided processes produced highly complex, functional molecules that human researchers have a hard time duplicating.  A critical reader might wonder why these scientists are helping themselves to barring issues of by-product toxicity,” for instance.  Poison kills.  Can they sweep this problem away by arbitrarily barring it?  And without defining functional space, which by all accounts is an extremely tiny subset of a vast sequence space (most of which is functionless or toxic), they seem to be taking liberties to say that mutated molecules will traverse functional space in a finite time.  “Mechanistic routes” are, by definition, mindless and without purposeful aim.  Manufacture of these metabolite molecules, furthermore, requires coded information in the genome, and molecular machines to assemble them.

In the “Future Directions” section at the end, the authors’ Darwinian proclivities emerged amidst of flock of stage doves:

Although a few studies have interrogated the minimum set of mutations that dictate the emergence of specific functions in divergent plant-specialized metabolic enzymes„ no particular study has addressed all viable mutational paths in these metabolic systems. This limits our ability to postulate evolutionary scenarios consistent with the stepwise assembly of mechanistically divergent metabolic pathways within the framework of Darwinian evolution2 and to quantify the incremental emergence of new activities with each mutational step. Could specialized metabolic enzymes and their pathways evolve along a wider set of evolutionary trajectories than their cousins in primary metabolism?

To make sure the audience appreciated the difficulty of their magic act, they wrote in conclusion:

The remarkable chemodiversity in plants and its underlying metabolic diversity are reached via exploration of sequence space restrained by enzyme catalysis, protein stability, emerging and extant metabolic pathways, and, ultimately, organismal fitness. The ability to bridge the fields of evolutionary biology, chemistry, biophysics, and mechanistic enzymology to cooperatively tackle the complexity of specialized metabolism will provide a more informed understanding of the amazing tapestry of plant-specialized metabolites that are so essential to the sessile lifestyle of plants.

This implies that their understanding, if any, was less informed than it should be.

By contrast, another paper in the same issue of Science had little to say about evolution, but a lot about revolution.  In “Mining the Biodiversity of Plants: A Revolution in the Making” (Science, 29 June 2012: Vol. 336 no. 6089 pp. 1658–1661, DOI: 10.1126/science.1217410), four scientists from Brock University were excited about the potential health benefits for humans of “mining” the diversity of plant metabolites for medical applications:

Approximately two-thirds of new drugs in the past 25 years have originated from the discovery of particular secondary metabolites derived from natural biodiversity. This success has been attributed to the structural complexity of molecules found in living organisms, which have an average of 6.2 chiral centers per molecule as compared to an average of 0.4 chiral centers found in combinatorial libraries. Such chemically complex molecules are very difficult and costly to produce efficiently by chemical synthesis.…

…but plants do it so well for us, the message continued, we can and should exploit their design prowess for our benefit.  These authors didn’t use the word “originated” in a magical sense.  The new drugs “originated” not by unguided processes, but by intentional search and discovery, a form of intelligent design.

1. The authors’ job was not to describe degradation or variations of existing functional molecules, but to explain how new cellular machines (proteins and metabolites) that provide new, useful functions arrived: i.e., how plants that did not have these functional molecules got them.  Darwinians need to start from the bottom up; creationists start from the top down.  Creationists do not discount natural variations, but question the ability of an unguided, aimless, purposeless process like neo-Darwinism to “innovate” new complex functions possessing more genetic information than before.  Every scientist knows, furthermore, that entropy cannot be ignored.

2. In a similar vein, they stated, Positing that protein functional promiscuity serves as the starting point for functional innovation through natural selection.…”

Caught in the act!    The authors of the first paper just admitted, in print, that they have limited their thinking to postulating evolutionary scenarios consistent with the stepwise assembly … within the framework of Darwinian evolution.”    How to we translate that into plain English, class?  Storytelling!  What’s a scenario?  A play.  What’s a framework?  A stage.  What’s the plot?  Darwinian evolution only.  And what is the acronym for “Darwin Only, Darwin Only”?  D.O.D.O.  We just watched a comedy!  It’s tragic.
It’s tragic, and it’s magic.  These authors did little more than wave their hands and shout “Abracadabra!”  Behind black curtains, they pulled Darwin rabbits out of Darwin black hats under Darwin black light, and then had the gall to tell you the rabbit “emerged, arose, originated, occurred.”  The fast-talking magicians distracted you with a steady stream of impressive phrases like “substrate permissiveness,” “mechanistic elasticity” and “evolutionary trajectory”.  They even tossed in a little sexual titillation, talking about “enzyme promiscuity.”  SUCH WORDS CONVEY NO UNDERSTANDING.  They are the tools of snake oil salesmen and charlatans, used only to distract and impress you while they steal your watch.

Think of CEH as your backstage guide to show you how the Darwin magic tricks are done.  They tried to steal your watch, but you watched them steal.  You were ready.  You were alert.  When you know the secret, and you train your mind not to be distracted by the irrelevant jargon, the act looks more like what it is: an act.  Sorry to spoil the show, but you need to know.  Now teach someone else.  Better yet, bring them to daily CEH deprogramming sessions.

When Michael Behe used the term "black box" to reveal to the world that science is treating the cell and the processes of the cell just like writers use the plot device we call the "black box."   In the world of fiction writing for books, television shows and movies the black box is a time-honored plot device.   The tractor beam and lightsabers of Star Wars fame (among their many, many black boxes used in that series) or the Star Trek's transport beam that we associate fondly with "Beam me up, Scotty."   Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog features a Freeze Ray and a Death Ray, neither of which have an explanation.   Darwinism is full of black boxes that stand in for explanations for the start of life, the advent of information, DNA, photosynthesis, ATP synthase, e. coli flagellum, and thousands more.   I mean, telling me a car "started" doesn't explain the ignition and internal combustion engine processes.   Neither does a scientist writing a paper in which he asserts a trait or ability "arose."   It is far past time that people allow themselves to accept such non-explanations as being in any way related to "science."   Religion?  Yes.  Science?  No!

Darwinism is a religion but it is also a long-running fiction series that has more ridiculous plot twists and preposterous statements than all the popular soap operas put together.    At least the concept of secret identical twins and unknown children from years past are possible.   Mud and water and lightning converting itself into human beings is utterly ridiculous and completely unexplained by all that Darwinist blather.   There are black boxes at every hand.    Michael Behe is not a Young Earth Creationist, oddly enough, but his books Darwin's Black Box and The Edge of Evolution simply show the reader that Darwinism is a failed, impossible hypothesis that should not persist.  Only the sheer number of uninformed true believers keeps it going.   


Anonymous said...

So you really believe that somehow by accident nine pairs of mating turtles were magically preserved in the very act of mating by sinking to the bottom of a poisonous lake?!! Preservation like this requires instantaneous anaerobic burial and not simply sinking down into water.

Even assuming this as true, is noah's flood the only time we have had inst anaerobic burials?

DogMaBlog said...

All over the world all kinds of creatures, footprints, feces, all preserved by anaerobic burial? Yes the world wide flood is logical. How many anaerobic burials have you witnessed lately?

Anonymous said...

"All over the world all kinds of creatures, footprints, feces, all preserved by anaerobic burial?"

... why not?

And no, the world wide flood as an explanation of the fossil record is not logical due to the sequential nature of the fossil record. YEC has no plausible explanation for it. Actual science does.