While I am gone you can think on the posts below? Also consider the great work being done by David Coppedge and his cohorts. Real science is studying design no matter what kind of Darwinist label they may occasionally slap on the box.
(Sadly, that means money predetermines the spin placed on research and results and money sources are prejudiced against non-Darwinists)
Evolution does little to explain amazing adaptations in animals and plants, but intelligent design is up to the task.
Insect wing robustness: Scientists at Trinity College Dublin set out to explain why insect wings don’t fracture. The secret is in the veins, reported PhysOrg; tears in the paper-thin membranes are stopped at the veins before they can propagate. Locusts endure longer marathon flights compared to most insects, but their wing membranes are actually quite delicate. By performing stress tests on locust wings, the scientists found that the veins provide stop gaps to prevent accidents from becoming catastrophes, providing protection against crack spreading by 50% (see video clip on Science Magazine). In a way, the veins act like watertight compartments on a ship, preventing a leak from sinking the whole vessel.
The wings achieve an optimum balance between competing design requirements. “Nature has found a mechanically ‘optimal’ solution for the locust wings, with a high toughness and a low weight,” remarked David Taylor, a mechanical engineer at the college. He sees scientific fruit from the team’s work in two ways. “The researchers believe that the vein pattern found in insect wings thus might inspire the design of more durable and lightweight artificial ‘venous’ wings for micro-air-vehicles,” for one. “And by “reversing” their analysis, one could possibly even use the vein spacing of fossil insects to study the wing properties of extinct insect species.” The original paper by Taylor and Dirks, which did not mention evolution once but mentioned design five times, is openly accessible on PLoS ONE.
Tiny bubbles in the feet: How does a beetle walk underwater? Very carefully, with the aid of tiny bubbles trapped in the hairlike setae of their foot pads. A short PhysOrg entry explains how Naoe Hosoda and team at the National Institute for Materials Science sees engineering possibilities in their discovery. “Dr. Hosoda and her team clarified the mechanism which makes this possible and developed an artificial silicone polymer structure with underwater adhesion properties,” the article said. ” This achievement is expected to be developed as an environment-friendly technology and is also considered applicable to clean underwater adhesion without using chemical substances that impact the environment.”
Fish collective motion: Evolution tried to insert itself into a story on Science Daily: “A video game designed for predatory fish might have unraveled some lingering evolutionary questions about group formation and movement in animals, according to new research that took a unique approach to observing interactions between real and simulated animals.” Princeton evolutionists claim “the strongest direct evidence that collective motion in animal groups such as schools of fish can evolve as a finely tuned defense against attack from predators.” To understand this odd conjunction of fine tuning with evolution, we must look beyond the contrived experiment where the experimenters projected red dots (representing prey) on a tank containing predators. Virtual fish are programmed by intelligent design. Even a friendly colleague not involved in the study understands that:
Cave fish tooth tale: It’s well known that humans deprived of senses like sight or hearing gain
increased sensitivity from their remaining senses. This apparently happens with cave fish, Current Biology reported: though blind, they find their way “by the skin of their teeth” (Haspel et al., Current Biology Volume 22, Issue 16, R629-R630, 21 August 2012, doi:10.1016/j.cub.2012.06.035). “Evolution” was apparently not important enough to the authors to mention it in their paper. It was really a story of heightened sensitivity in existing fish denticles to vibrations. The only hint of evolution was a mere suggestion: “Teleost denticles, oral teeth, cephalic lateral line, and taste buds may share a common ancestral sensory structure.”
Darwin finch genome: Evolutionists might be understandably excited to have the first genome published from one of Darwin’s “iconic” finches from the Galapagos, but any benefit for evolutionary theory mentioned in the announcement on PhysOrg is either historical hype or future hope. The article went on and on about how the Galapagos finches have been symbolic of Darwin and influential in promoting his theory. The article went on equally about how the genome is expected to produce scientific fruit in the future. But for now, nothing stated in the article about the genome itself provided clear evidence for evolutionary theory: just empty promises, like “Having the reference genome of this species has opened the door for carrying out studies that can look at real-time evolutionary changes on a genomic level of all of these enigmatic species.” If something evolutionary turns up, we’ll have to report it later.
(Radar note - Actually Kirschner and Gerhart's work included a discovery that the genome of the finch and many other organisms include "switches" that hasten the ability rapid variation, in the case of finches to change beak shape/size. Rather than differing finches "evolving" beaks to adapt to various island conditions, that ability was already programmed into the finch genome.)
Reach out and touch: If you thought plants are oblivious to their neighbors, you should see a report from PNAS, “Plant neighbor detection through touching leaf tips precedes phytochrome signals” (deWit et al., August 20, 2012, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1205437109 PNAS August 20, 2012). It’s a study about the counterintuitive notion of “plant behavior.” The lab plant Arabidopsis has been observed to reach out and touch its neighbors: “we identify a unique way for plants to detect future competitors through touching of leaf tips,” the authors stated. “This signal occurs before light signals and appears to be the earliest means of above-ground plant–plant signaling in horizontally growing rosette plants.”
Wood you like to know: Another story on PhysOrg has a lot to say about adaptive design but nothing to say about evolution. Scientists at North Carolina State were excited to discover “a phenomenon never seen before in plants,” a transcription factor in the cytoplasm that regulates “gene expression on multiple levels, preventing abnormal or stunted growth” of wood. “And it did so in a novel way,” the article remarked: when one of the four other proteins in its family group was present, the spliced variant was carried into the nucleus, where it bound to the family member, creating a new type of molecule that suppressed the expression of a cascade of genes.” This behavior has not been seen in a plant before, they said. They hope it will help genetic engineers learn how to control the amount of lignin in wood production.
Wonder wood: Ready to hear about the next wonder material for the 21st century? It might revolutionize construction of homes, cars, computer displays, body armor and much more. Get ready, it is (drum roll, please): wood pulp. That’s right: common, ordinary wood pulp is set to turn waste into gold, New Scientist reported. Why? It’s an all-natural replacement for expensive carbon nanotubes. It’s called nanocrystalline cellulose (NCC) and inventors think you will love it. It’s transparent, it’s lightweight, and it’s strong, with a strength-to-weight ratio eight times better than stainless steel. To manufacture it, engineers take plain old plant material (small twigs and branches work just fine – even sawdust) and purify it by removing lignin and hemicellulose. By the time they mill it, give it an acid bath and concentrate it into crystals, it becomes a thick paste that can be applied as a laminate or shaped into almost anything. “The beauty of this material is that it is so abundant we don’t have to make it,” one manufacturer reported. It’s also safe for humans and green for the environment. The price is expected to drop as large-scale production plants ramp up. In the excitement of design talk, nobody seemed interested in mentioning evolution.
Guttmacher estimates 46 million babies are aborted worldwide each year. This means almost 1 billion babies have been aborted worldwide just during the past 20 years.
If current world population is 6.5 billion, as the U.S. Census Bureau indicates, all must acknowledge the profound impact of abortion on the human race, no matter where they stand on abortion.
Overpopulation theorists will say, whew, look how many less mouths to feed, bodies to clothe and families to shelter.
Freakonomics theorists will say, whew, look how many less criminals to wreak havoc.
Both must conclude, since starving children are still prevalent and since the world seems ever more chaotic, we must abort more. Or if that is too harsh, we must provide more comprehensive sex education and more contraceptives.
Pro-lifers lament the loss of all the Beethovens, Platos and anonymous, pigtailed, freckled girls.
Pro-lifers say the solution for fellow humans in need is to produce more food, clothing and shelter, not kill those needing it.
Pro-lifers say teaching abstinence until marriage is the comprehensive solution, not teaching how to commit illicit sex without consequences, which is a comprehensive failure.
Pro-lifers say it doesn’t necessarily follow that creeps begat creeps. Everyone should be given a chance.
Those are the basic arguments. But beyond them is the question of the impact of abortion on world history.
I have a few theories.
One is that China’s forced one-child per family policy is enabling it to build perhaps the largest, fiercest army ever known. Now 27 years old, the policy has resulted in the intended or unintended consequence of a growing gender disparity. The ratio is now 117:100 Chinese boys to girls generally, as high as 130:100 in spots, due to prenatal or postnatal killing of girls. Young men with no hope of marriage or offspring are perfectly suited to work off anger and sexual frustration in the military. And what do they care if they die?
This may or may not be related, but it appears Christians and Muslims are the only sociologic groups having children at a rate higher than replacement. The media has written extensively on this. See here, here, and here for examples.
This triggers another theory: that abortion is helping clear the field of uncommitteds – or may force them to commit – for a future classic showdown between good and evil, Christianity versus Islam.
On an even grander scale, another of my theories is the escalation of abortion during the second half of the 20th century signaled Satan’s acknowledgement that the end is near.
When the first redeemer, Moses, entered the world, there was a coinciding mass extermination of babies (Exodus 1). When the second Redeemer, Jesus, entered the world, there was a coinciding mass extermination of babies (Matthew 2). How much more should we anticipate Satan trying to fend off – or at least wreak the worst havoc possible – Jesus’ triumphant return?
My fourth theory is that God is allowing abortion out of His sense of mercy, to draw those who have been implicated and broken by it – mothers, fathers, accomplices – to Him.
Genesis 50:20 lays down what I believe is a biblical principle, that God allows all evil for good to come from it “for the purpose of saving lives.”
Ezekiel 18:21-32 reveals a brokenhearted God who laments that any should perish apart from Him.
Abortion is a most painful sin. It cuts through the fog of living a mindless life. Somehow abortion – and I’ve seen this so many times – softens hearts in its aftermath and saves eternal lives.
God’s ways are not our ways. One reason He is allowing the physical sacrifice of innocent babies, who are now with Him forever, is to save the eternal lives of their parents and killers.
The beautiful old hymn goes, “Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling, calling, ‘Oh, sinner, come home’” … to a world without end.