I found these on YouTube and thought you all might be interested:
Jean Lightner just posted a good article up on AiG's website covering Creationary beliefs about biological change. She notes that Creationists should expect both bad mutations because of sin and death that is in the world, and good mutations because of the care that God put into His creation. She also made an interesting case for directed mutation in human pigmentation.
Basically, the argument goes like this:
This is a really cool direction of research. I also wonder what sort of mechanism would be used to control this. Is there a feedback loop somewhere which tells the skin that the pigmentation is set at the right level? Are the mutations prevented by methylation or some other epigenetic mechanism? Is there something there functioning as a counter to determine how many generations it should search for an optimum versus attempt to establish a constant sequence?
Anyway, another nice thing about this article is it cited my CRSQ paper. Yay! Now I just have to find time to finish my BSG paper :)
UPDATE - original link broken - now fixed.
A friend of mine forwarded me this very cool profile of a scientist, Imre Miklós Szilágyi, in the Science Careers section of Science's website. Here's an excerpt:
Szilágyi sees his religious faith and his research efforts as two complementary aspects of his life. Within the scientific environment, "I have some options where I can express my faith," Szilágyi says. He directly referred to God both in the acknowledgements of his master's and doctoral dissertations and while receiving his awards. He runs a Bible-study group for young adults, and together with a friend he founded a Christian scientific group.
But although Szilágyi's views often lie far outside the scientific mainstream, he expresses those views only off-campus and in his personal time. For him, "the debate over evolution, design, creation, supernatural intelligence, etc., is not a scientific question in the first place but the collision of worldviews, the confrontation of materialism and idealism," he says. He takes the Bible literally, but when he lectures on the subject--outside of work--he presents what he calls "the options" and indicates which one "to me … seems to be more probable." But he insists that it is up to "everybody to make his or her own decision."
"As a Christian who works in the field of science, I find it quite important to deal with the relation of Christianity and science," Szilágyi says. But "I know that it is a minefield in today's scientific life and can be quite dangerous for one's scientific career. ... Therefore, I do these activities absolutely separately from my university work. … I am very cautious and careful that whenever I am talking [about these issues] I do not represent my university.
"My belief is very important for my career because this is the first thing that gives me my motivations so that I could work hard and I could achieve the best I can," Szilágyi says.
Anyway, the article is very nonspecific about this person's beliefs, but it is very encouraging that Science would publish something like this. I'm starting to sense a sea change. There are simply too many people who see the obviousness of God's design in nature for the scientific establishment to be in such denial. I imagine that students are starting to see this, and what is a professor to do? Fail his whole class? There is definitely a sea change forming, though it may take a generation for it to fully take hold.
For those of us who are Creationists, this also means that the evolutionists' rhetoric will now help us. Since the evolutionary biology community has spent the last 15 years chanting "ID is Creationism", as ID starts to take hold, this will actually be implicit support for us, too. If ID is Creationism, then support for ID and tolerance for ID will hopefully lead to tolerance for Creationism as well.
I got the opportunity to hear the Ruse/Dembski debate at the University of Oklahoma. For those interested in it, I wrote a summary of the major points on Uncommon Descent. Paul Nelson also posted someone else's play-by-play of the Plantinga/Dennett debate at the APA.
I'm in OKC for the Ruse/Dembski debate, so I thought I'd wade through OU's library. I don't often have the time/access to large libraries that I'd like so it's fun just to browse and see what one can learn. I found a book called Marine Chemistry by Horne which listed the following interesting facts about water (pg 15):
Anyway, I thought that was interesting.
Two things I noticed on the web today:
The recent sequencing efforts of a variety of organisms has been contributing a whole lot to what we know about the genome, and especially the genome's contribution to an organism's form. One thing Paul Nelson (I think) has brought up before is the fact that the contents of the genome might not be as important as how it is read. Todd Wood made similar claims in his paper on biological similarity. Wood made some waves in Creationary camps by suggesting that perhaps chimps and humans originated with the exact same DNA! Now, I don't think that this was the case, nevertheless it is interesting food for thought - might the same DNA lead to two radically different organisms based on how it is interpretted by the organism? And might two very different sets of DNA lead to near-identical organisms based on how it is interpretted?
We keep on finding clues to this puzzle that indicate that this might be an affirmative on both cases.
In the case of voles, we find vast genomic differences between species that have nearly-identical morphology.
In the case of sea urchins, we see that they have genomes that are much more similar to humans than fruit flies are. According to this article:
Sea urchins are closer to human and vertebrates from an evolutionary perspective than other more widely studied animal models, such as fruit fly or worms. The sea urchin, in fact, has 7,000 genes in common with humans [NOTE - this does not mean they are identical, just the same general gene], including genes associated with Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s diseases and muscular dystrophy. "Another surprise is that this spiny creature with no eyes, nose or hears has genes involved in vision, hearing and smell in humans,"... [emphases and NOTEs added]
Also striking is the similarity between humans and kangaroos on the genetic level:
"There are a few differences, we have a few more of this, a few less of that, but they are the same genes and a lot of them are in the same order," center Director Jenny Graves told reporters in Melbourne.
Now, for those of you unfamiliar with the evolutionary tree, marsupials and placentals were supposed to have diverged long, long ago, in a small mole- or badger-like creature. But here we have kangaroos and humans having the same genes (again, not necessarily identical) in the same order, which is supposedly the evidence for our descent from apes (note that I know of no scientist who says that we descended from kangaroos, and yet what we have here is very much the same type of genetic evidence).
In any case, the point is that similarities and differences within genomes may mean something else entirely from what we think it means today. Are the fundamental components of body morphology even genetic? Anyway, lots of good questions are lurking around in there.
Tas Walker recently posted his flood-centered interpretation of Pyramid Rock, Victoria.
Todd Wood has been blogging the BSG UK conference, titled Genesis and the Origin of the Species. This latest post links to all of his daily entries. The conference is coming soon to the US! I probably won't get to make it (new child on the way), but it sounds like fun!