June 24, 2010
General / BSG/CGS 2010 Meeting Speaker List
Todd just posted the talk list for the BSG/CGS meeting. It looks to be a really exciting time, and I have no idea how they are going to fit so many talks into a day and a half - probably switching to a multiple-track format. Anyone who wants to interact with creation research should come here. Here's the link to register. After this week the registration price goes up.
Here is the list of talks:
- Bartlett - Estimating Active Information in Adaptive Mutagenesis
- Bartlett - Developing an Approach to Non-Physical Cognitive Causation in a Creation Perspective
- Demme - Grasses and Shrubs or Grain and Thorn-bushes? The Vegetation of Genesis 2.5
- Francis - Use of Halobacteria as a Model Research Organism in the Undergraduate Research Laboratory
- Sanders - Baraminological Status of the Verbenaceae (Verbena Family)
- Wilson - Revisiting the 'Clear Synapomorphy' Criterion
- Wise - Dominion: Human raison d’être, Foundation of Bioethics, Foundation of Environmentalism
- Wood - Species and Genus Counts for Terrestrial Mammal Families Reveals Evidence for and against Widespread Intrabaraminic Diversification
- Wood - A Re-evaluation of the Baraminic Status of Australopithecus sediba Using Cranial and Postcranial Characters
- Austin - Submarine Liquefied Sediment Gravity Currents: Understanding the Mechanics of the Major Sediment Transportation and Deposition Agent during the Global Flood
- Cheung, Strom, Whitmore - Persistence of Dolomite in the Coconino Sandstone, Northern and Central Arizona
- Garner - Permian Cross-bedded Sandstones and Their Significance for Global Flood Models
- Gollmer - Deep Ocean Interaction in a Post-Flood Warm Ocean Scenario
- Hutchison - Potential Mechanisms for the Deposition of Halite and Anhydrite in a Near-critical or Supercritical Submarine Environment
- Oard - Dinosaur Tracks, Eggs, and Bonebeds Explained Early in the Flood
- Ross - YEC Geology in the Classroom: Educational Materials, Challenges and Needs
- Snelling - Radiohalos in Multiple, Sequentially-Intruded Phases of the Bathurst Batholith, NSW, Australia: Evidence for Rapid Granite Formation During the Flood
- Snelling - Radiocarbon in Permian Coal Beds of the Sydney Basin, Australia
- Stansbury - How Does an Underwater Debris Flow End? Flow Transformation Evidences Observed within the Lower Redwall Limestone of Arizona and Nevada
- Whitmore, Strom - Clay Content: A Simple Criterion for the Identification of Fossil Desiccation Cracks?
- Whitmore - Preliminary Report and Significance of Grain Size Sorting in Modern Eolian Sands
- Whitmore, Maithel - Preliminary Report on Sorting and Rounding in the Coconino Sandstone
June 17, 2010
Information Theory / Sanford Publishes New Bioinformatics Tool
John Sanford, a young-earth creationist biology professor at Cornell, just published a bioinformatics paper describing his new genomics tool, called skittle with a bioinformatics graduate student Josiah Seaman. You can read the paper here. The tools allows you to color the genome and experiment with alignments to visualize patterns that are not detectable by other methods.
You can download the program from Skittle's website on sourceforge., or find more information about the program at dnaskittle.com.
It runs on Mac, Windows, and Linux.
This tool allows us to detect a number of new patterns in the genome. Not only does it help to find tandem repeats, it also helps to find structured variations in those repeats.
This holistic approach to genome analysis is precisely the sort of research that IDers and creationists are interested in. The reductionist approaches of the last century were useful for digging deeper, but they often blinded researchers to the larger-scale activities of what was happening.
From the paper:
As we have been able to better visualize tandem repeats using Skittle, we have seen a surprising amount of internal complexity. Some of this complexity seems to be easily understood in terms of point mutations and indels, but a great deal of the complexity appears to provide an intriguing array of "puzzles" which invite further study. These puzzling patterns include co-varying deviations from a repeating theme, and internal patterns that are not simply "repeats within repeats". For lack of a better term we are referring to these patterns as structured variation.
If tandem repeats have any function, the "structured variation"
described above could conceivably carry information. A perfect repeat cannot contain any information beyond the base sequence and copy number. However, a repeat with variation can contain considerably more information. Each of the three types of observable variation (substitutions, indels, and alternating repeats) has a direct analog in electronic information technology (amplitude modulation, phase modulation, and frequency modulation, respectively).
And then later, he mentions something interesting about the alignments:
Interestingly, the self-adjusting cylinder alignment, which was designed to simply optimize local alignment as would be expected in vivo, causes a marked increase in the visual coherence of all complex tandem repeats. This suggests to us that such coherence might reflect a minimal energy state, and may reflect actual structure in vivo, and might even reflect an unknown biological function. Logically, such coils could change circumference in multiples of the repeat length and so might modulate local genomic architecture.
Anyway, I am really excited about this, and hope to dig more into this as I have time.
Thanks to Sal for pointing this out to us!
June 14, 2010
Discussions around the Web / Todd Wood on Owen's Resolution to the Form/Function Debate
Todd Wood has an excellent introduction to the form-vs-function debate, focusing on the ideas of Richard Owen. From his post:
Owen's eclectic embracing of functionalism and structuralism were answers to different questions: 1. Why are organisms so well-adapted? and 2. Why are there homologies?....Organismal similarity was to Owen based a [sic] natural law of the archetype. The differences Owen attributed to functional requirements. (Thus he saw two answers for two different questions.)
June 13, 2010
General / Creation Research Society Conference
It's the conferencing time of year! The Creation Research Society is putting on their conference this year at University of South Carolina Lancaster July 23-24. Here is a preliminary list of the talks that are going on (i'll post again as this is updated):
- Mark Armitage - Some Unusual Tiny Plants
- Charles McCombs - Mutations and Natural Selection: A Population Genetics Study using Mendel's Accountant
- Douglas A. Harold and Lindsay N. Harold - Origins Research Group Involving Current Students in Creation Research
- Joel David Klenck - Genesis Model for the Origin, Variation, and Continuation of Human Populations
- Charles McCombs - Reality of Chirality
- Jeff Tomkins - Plant Cold Tolerance Research at ICR: An Intriguing Venture in Irreducible Complexity and Intelligent Design
- Cheng Yeng Hung - Concurrence between Science and Bible on Our Immediate and Original Ancestors
- Raúl E. López - The Paleolithic Archaeology of Palestine: A Biblical View.
- James J. S. Johnson and Nathaniel T. Jeanson - What is a created 'kind' (mîn), as that term is used in Genesis, and from where do the 'kinds" we see today originate?
- Thomas J. Foltz - The Creationist's Silver Bullet: Information, Origins and the Impossibility of Macro-Evolution
- Joel David Klenck - Genesis and the Gardens of God
- Joel David Klenck - Geographical Locations of Genesis Gardens
- Samuel R. Henderson - A Theoretical Extension to Newtonian Gravitational Theory
- Mary Beth De Repentigny - Looking for the "God Particle" at the Large Hadron Collider
- Patricia Nason - What "Science" Is Being Taught in Our High Schools?
- Don Moeller - Craniofacial / Dental Mutations in Zebrafish and Mice Disprove the Ability of Evolutionary Genetic and Developmental Biologic Models to Substantiate Functional Structural Intermediates in Craniofacial/ Dental Evolution
- Ronald C. Marks - Science Worldviews Impacting Science
- Eugene Chaffin - The Carbon Isotopes and the Strength of the Nuclear Force
- Cheng Yeng Hung - Reevaluation of Earth Age Using Hung's Geochronological Dating Model
- S. G. Smith - Men, Memes, and Metaphysics
- Richard Overman - Evaluation Of The Ar/Ar Dating Process
- Wayne Spencer - Extrasolar Planets and Creation
- Keith Davies - The origin of the distinctive patterns of element abundances in the sun
- Ronald G. Samec - Astrochronology: Toward a Maximum Apparent Age of the Time Dilated Universe
- Danny R. Faulkner - Is the Flood Memorialized in the Constellations?
- Michael Oard - Dinosaur Tracks, Eggs, and Bonebeds Explained Early in the Flood
- Mark Armitage - The anatomy of light production in Photinus pyralis
Quite a list! I wish I had time to go to both this and the BSG conference, but funds are limited this year. Hopefully next year I can go to both, and maybe a a secular conference or two.
In any case, you can register for the conference here ($55 for CRS members, $90 for non-members).
In addition to all this, Danny Faulkner will be hosting a free field trip on Sunday, July 25 to Wood's Bay State Park, one of the Carolina bays.
Sounds like a lot of fun! As I mentioned, I'll update this when I get a finalized list of speakers, and I will also post the BSG schedule when it is available. You should come to one (or both) of the summer conferences!
June 12, 2010
Biological Change / A Home Microbiology Lab
Just found this site and thought someone here might find it interesting. Especially interesting is this page, with instructions on how to setup a kitchen microbiology lab.
Here is a virtual lab.