Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Chimps More Evolved Than Humans, etc

I am again going to try to reduce my huge backlog of unread science news articles by posting every day brief excerpts of interesting article(s) with my brief comments in [bold and in square brackets]:

Chimps More Evolved Than Humans, Livescience, Jeanna Bryner, 17 April 2007 ...

[Left: "Human-chimp Gene Study Upsets Long-held View," ScienceDaily]

Since the human-chimp split about 6 million years ago, chimpanzee genes can be said to have evolved more than human genes, a new study suggests. The results, detailed online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, contradict the conventional wisdom that humans are the result of a high degree of genetic selection, evidenced by our relatively large brains, cognitive abilities and bi-pedalism. Jianzhi Zhang of the University of Michigan and his colleagues analyzed strings of DNA from nearly 14,000 protein-coding genes shared by chimps and humans. They looked for differences gene by gene and whether they caused changes in the generated proteins. [Another example of the Darwinist delusion that "more genetic changes" = "more evolved" and therefore humans' "large brains, cognitive abilities and bi-pedalism" count for nothing! The fundamental problems here are Darwinists' 1) denial of design, so there can be no qualitative but only quantitative changes in the Darwinist worldview; and 2) their fallacy of equivocation on the word "evolution" such that any change, whether forwards, backwards, sideways or oscillating is "evolved"! See also ABC, New Scientist, NEWS.com.au & ScienceDaily. ]

'Junk' DNA Now Looks Like Powerful Regulator, Scientists Find, Science Daily, April 24, 2007 - Large swaths of garbled human DNA once dismissed as junk appear to contain some valuable sections, according to a new study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and the University of California-Santa Cruz. The scientists propose that this redeemed DNA plays a role in controlling when genes turn on and off. Gill Bejerano, PhD, assistant professor of developmental biology and of computer science at Stanford, found more than 10,000 nearly identical genetic snippets dotting the human chromosomes. Many of those snippets were located in gene-free chromosomal expanses once described by geneticists as "gene deserts." These sections are, in fact, so clogged with useful DNA bits - including the ones Bejerano and his colleagues describe - that they've been renamed "regulatory jungles." "It's funny how quickly the field is now evolving," Bejerano said. [As I have said before, when I started debating with Darwinists in 1994, they used to use what they derisively called `junk DNA' as an argument against design, and IDists like me used to argue that just because we didn't know its function, does not mean that it has no function. So now that `junk DNA' not only has a function, but has a very important function, i.e. "plays a role in controlling when genes turn on and off," that should be an argument for design and against Darwinism!]

Researchers probe fossilized rain forest, USA Today, April 24, 2007, David Mercer ...

[Right: One of the fossils, a pteridosperm, an extinct seed-producing fern-like plant, Livescience]

Standing on the wind-swept flatlands of southern Vermilion County, you might think you'd have to drive the 180 miles to Chicago's Field Museum to find the nearest fossilized tree trunk from the Pennsylvania Age, 300 million years ago. Nah, just drill straight down. That's where coal miners working south and west of Georgetown have unearthed, chunk by fossilized chunk, what has revealed itself over the past few years to be the remains of a fossilized rain forest. It covers about 15 square miles, all more than 200 feet below ground, and probably is the largest intact rain forest from that period ever studied, according to Scott Elrick of the Illinois State Geological Survey. It's that scale that makes what lies just above the Riola and Vermilion Grove mines significant, he said. "We never encountered one whole forest preserved in one shot like this," Elrick said Monday. "The fossils just didn't stop." [Yet another problem for / refutation of Young Earth Creationism. See also Livescience.]

Stephen E. Jones, BSc. (Biology).

Exodus 23:20-23. 20"See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared. 21Pay attention to him and listen to what he says. Do not rebel against him; he will not forgive your rebellion, since my Name is in him. 22If you listen carefully to what he says and do all that I say, I will be an enemy to your enemies and will oppose those who oppose you. 23My angel will go ahead of you and bring you into the land of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites and Jebusites, and I will wipe them out.

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