I thought I should alert readers to this essay by Mike Gene about the makeup and interaction of proteins and DNA. From the essay:
Thus, as a consequence of amino acid structure, proteins will not only form folded structures using the same rules that form the double helix of DNA, , but they will form a cylindrical structure whose appendage (side chains) seem to be well-matched for scanning and binding to the winding major groove along the double helix. That is, the pattern of outreaching side chains can reach into the major groove and interact with the pattern of base-pairs inside the wide crevice of the major groove. But how well matched is the alpha helix and major groove?.... [quoting another source] "the structural coincidence of the alpha helix diameter of 12Å being the same as the width of the major groove in B-form DNA". Why think it is merely a coincidence that the alpha helix diameter and the width of the major groove are the same? On the contrary, it simply enhances and extends the inherent rationality and complementarity that lies behind these two crucial biological molecules
A lot of people have questions regarding the fossil record and how it squares up with creation and evolution. Terms like "transitional forms" can cause a lot of confusion, primarily because they are used in different ways by different people. Anyway, I wanted to take this post to look at the fossil record from a high-level view, and point out how this relates to creation and evolution. This is the first post in a series on this topic. They will probably build on each other, so it will be a good idea to take them in sequence.
In evolutionary theory, at least with natural selection, the way in which organisms diverge from each other is by gradually accumulating differences. (ref 3) As more and more differences accumulate between species, they become more different, eventually becoming different genera, then different families, then orders, then classes, then phylums, then kingdoms. (ref 4)
One way of phrasing this is to say "diversity precedes disparity". That is, as minor differences accumulate (diversity), this will eventually lead to large-scale differences (disparity). Also, because the evolution is unguided, long periods of time are required to accomplish any major change.
In creation theory, organisms are created according to a basic "kind" (known technically as baramins). These organisms, being created by God, have built-in mechanisms for adaptation. Organisms can change rapidly, because the change is directed by internal response mechanisms.
A corresponding way to phrase this is "disparity precedes diversity". That is, God creates the basic kinds (disparity), which then branch out over time based on specific adaptive needs (diversity).
In evolutionary theory, the geologic column records great ages of time. In creation theory, the Paleozoic and Mesozoic represent Noah's flood, and the Cenozoic represents historical times after the flood. In evolutionary theory, only the last bit of the cenozoic represents historical time.
So, with these concepts in mind, let's take a look at the "Cambrian explosion". The "Cambrian explosion" is a period of time in evolutionary theory where most of the phyla came into the rock record. In the Cambrian, most phyla are represented. What does that mean? Well, whether or not evolutionists can identify supposed ancestors to the Cambrian phyla, the fact is that in the fossil record, diversity did not precede disparity, but rather the opposite - disparity came first.
Compare this to the last few million years of evolutionary time. How many phyla have come into existence in the last few million years? None. How many classes? None. How many orders? None. How many families? None. In the modern period, however, you have an amazing amount of diversity among organisms. (ref 1, ref 2)
So, it seems that there are two problems we can recognize. The first is that diversity DID NOT precede disparity. The second is that diversity does not produce disparity! Take a minute and let that last one soak in. As I mentioned, we have an incredibly diverse biosphere compared to what the fossil record shows. Yet, we have no major evolutionary changes occurring within 4 orders of classification in about the same time period as the cambrian explosion. So, not only does diversity not precede disparity, there is no evidence that diversity could produce disparity if it was there at all.
1) Davison, John A. An Evolutionary Manifesto. http://www.uvm.edu/~jdavison/davison-manifesto.html
2) Wilson, E. O. The Diversity of Life (chapter: Biodiversity Reaches the Peak)
3) Berkeley's Evolution 101: http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101/VIADefinition.shtml
4) Darwin's Origin of the Species, pgs 90-96.
I don't have time to respond at the moment, but thought my readers might appreciate it. I don't have time at the moment to respond, but if I find time later I will add my response(s) to the comments.
Anyway, many thanks to CleverBadger for taking time to seriously engage on the issue. If my readers have their own comments (positive or negative) on CleverBadger's arguments, please post them in the comments as well!
The new BSG (Creation Biology Study Group) newsletter has now been posted (note - you may have to rename the file to have a .pdf extension after downloading). If you are a BSG member, you can view all the newsletters on the newsletter page.
If you are not a BSG member, you can sign up here (I believe the membership fee is somewhere around $20). The BSG is a YEC-oriented biology group (and we ask that you be with us in our general goal), but it does not require any statement of faith to join.
If you would like to contribute to the next newsletter, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. The goals and types of content we are looking for is found in the original announcement of the newsletter.
For more information about the BSG, see the BSG website.
Thanks to all of those who contributed articles for making this a great newsletter!
The Little Light House is one of the best ministries I've ever been involved with. They are a Christian, private, tuition-free school for special-needs kids. That's right, the kids who go there don't have to pay anything at all.
This isn't day-care - it's an intensive, customized program for each child. The school day lets out at 1PM, and the staff spends the rest of the day planning each child's next day. When a child gets to school, they have a card of things that they are going to work on that day. It's both extremely fun and extremely helpful for the children -- and the parents.
While our oldest son, Danny, was alive, he attended the Little Light House. His world expanded so much while he was there. His ability to play with others and interact and do new things hinged upon the teachers at the Little Light House and their love and their help. Danny had to be fed through a tube, received many, many, many medications at specially-timed intervals, and, if everyone was lucky, he only threw up three times a day. Yet the Little Light House had no problems seeing to his every need while he was there, and providing every manner of therapy. At the Little Light House, they have physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and probably a lot of other therapies I'm not so familiar with. And everything is done in a specifically Christian way.
Isaac had the same genetic defect that Danny had, and, had he lived long enough, would have enjoyed the services of the Little Light House as well. As soon as we discovered his condition, we reserved him a spot there, because we knew that their help was the difference between night and day for us.
Below are pictures of Danny learning at the Little Light House. Also, for those of you who didn't get to know Danny or Isaac, I pasted their memorial videos below. In any case, please consider helping out the Little Light House - they have been a huge blessing to us, and to many, many, many other children.
You can donate now by going here.
Here is Danny's Memorial Video:
Isaac's Memorial Video:
A few pictures of Danny at the Little Light House if you don't have time for the video:
The picture below might look like playtime to you, but this was actually crucial for Danny. He had problems touching a variety of surfaces - many different textures made him cry and gag and puke (yes, really). The Little Light House worked with him to help him adjust his senses to be able to touch and play with a huge variety of textures.
It turns out that stone-age people developed navigation systems, too. Here is a report of a system used in England using regularly-spaced markers.
On the amusing side, here are some of the pitfalls that can happen when you try to correct a major finding in a scientific journal. The take-home lesson - scientists and journal editors are people, too, and science and scientific journals are subject to the same people problems and groupthink that plague every other organization.
Our pastor shared a story from the Bible at Isaac's graveside ceremony today. I'll just paste it in for you:
And the LORD struck the child that Uriah's wife bare unto David, and it was very sick. David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth. And the elders of his house arose, and went to him, to raise him up from the earth: but he would not, neither did he eat bread with them. And it came to pass on the seventh day, that the child died. And the servants of David feared to tell him that the child was dead: for they said, Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spake unto him, and he would not hearken unto our voice: how will he then vex himself, if we tell him that the child is dead? But when David saw that his servants whispered, David perceived that the child was dead: therefore David said unto his servants, Is the child dead? And they said, He is dead. Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the LORD, and worshipped: then he came to his own house; and when he required, they set bread before him, and he did eat. Then said his servants unto him, What thing is this that thou hast done? thou didst fast and weep for the child, while it was alive; but when the child was dead, thou didst rise and eat bread. And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live? But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me. (2 Samuel 12:15-23)
Among other reasons, one reason I haven't been posting here is that my 2-month-old son is in the Pediatric ICU on a ventilator with a rare genetic condition. I am wondering if the diagnosis is incorrect (or, more specifically, not fully correct), and if the treatment is actually causing some of his problems. Please pray for wisdom for me and the doctors. The problem of being in the hospital is that you are essentially at their mercy, and they can choose to ignore you if they want to. The medical team we are working with is truly astounding, but even the best doctors can be easily blinded to certain possibilities.
Anyway, for anyone reading this blog, please pray for me, and for the doctors, and for wisdom.
My wife and I just had Bartlett baby #5 this weekend! Everyone is healthy and in good shape, and we are all home now.
The Creation Research Society is hosting a conference July 10-11 at the University of South Carolina Lancaster. Registrations for the conference can be done here. Here is a semi-official list of presentations: