Researching Creation

December 11, 2009

General / DNA and Protein - Quite a Match!

JB

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

December 03, 2009

Biological Change / Putting Mutations in Context

Using Creation Theory to Explore Biology

JB

I thought I would direct your attention to my latest paper, Towards a Creationary Classification of Mutations.  The goal of this paper is to get beyond defining whether or not a mutation is beneficial or not, and looking into whether or not the mutation is part of a larger genomic architecture.  I include the outline of an experimental methodology which could be used to evaluate this.  I would love any feedback you have on the paper, especially if you can think of additional criteria to consider, and/or additional experimental methods that could be used to evaluate these criteria.

My hope is to help make Creation a help to biologists doing experimental work, rather than just a claim to be justified.  I believe truly that God is the foundation of knowledge, and that we can put the concepts of creation to work in exploring biology.  So, my hope is to outline ways in which creation can aid in this exploration.

Let me know what you think!

December 02, 2009

Geology / YEC Research at the Geological Society of America

JB

It looks like young-earth creationism made a decent splash at this year's Geological Society of America meeting.  ICR's Steve Austin led a field trip of Mt St Helens (Also, if you're interested, Steve also has a book on Mt. St. Helens).  This is one of many official premeeting field trips, but one of the few which completely filled up.

Here are the presentations that were given by known YEC'ers at the GSA:

Steve Austin wrote up an article at ICR's website which discusses a lot of the events at GSA.  Keep up the good work, guys!

HT to Paul Garner

December 01, 2009

General / Creation and the Fossils, Pt 1

Diversity and Disparity in the Geologic Column

JB

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.

References:

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.