Clovis Conspiracy

Some kind of ‘memorial day’ has delayed the first Creation Science Update – and they do seem to be being called that now, at least in the ‘references’ – for Year Two. But it’s here, and it’s called Scientists Late to Recognize Human and Giant Mammal Coexistence. While there is a kernel of truth in this one, it wont be found in the title. Continue reading

1 Year In

I’ve been at this blog for an entire year now. I’m not sure how that happened.

It’s a good job I checked actually – I thought I had until the 27th at least. I started, as I have mentioned elsewhere, having only recently even found the Institute. Their massive, albeit vapid, ‘evidence for creation’ section (originally) looked like fun. I started on them with little more plan than to see how long I could keep it up before I got bored. While I technically haven’t touched those old, stale articles in many months I am still here long after the fortnight, tops, I had originally thought I’d last before I got bored of it all. Continue reading

SRGAP2 Duplication & Inhibition

Wednesday’s Daily Science Update comes from Dr Jeffrey Tomkins, who claims that Newly Discovered Human Brain Genes Are Bad News for Evolution. Well, he would take the contrary view to the other news coverage on this study: see, for example, The humanity switch: How one gene made us brainier in the New Scientist for an example of the other.

The genes in question are SRGAP2, along with three (partial – they are not the full gene) duplicates only found in humans. Tomkins claims that these other genes are not – and indeed could not be – duplicates, and are instead ‘unique’ (and all the rest of it). Nevertheless, problems with his article begin with the title: the genes are not ‘newly discovered’ at all.

My quick inkscape drawing of the chimp/human chromosome 1 with the genes highlighted. Click through for the abstract of the paper w/ the figure this is based on Continue reading

Fire at Wonderwerk Cave

Finally, an article by Mr Thomas on the Wonderwerk Cave controlled fire discovery: Humans Used Fire Earlier Than Believed.

Wonderwerk Cave is a cave in South Africa that has been excavated since the 1940s for its ancient archaeological remains. The earliest date to around two million years – the ones relevant here are only the one million years old, however.

The paper here is Microstratigraphic evidence of in situ fire in the Acheulean strata of Wonderwerk Cave, Northern Cape province, South Africa, freely avialiabe from PNAS (as is an author summary). Also possibly of use is a summary at EvoAnth, so go read at least two of those and come back.

They were not, however, quite this ambitious Continue reading

Point Mutation

In a previous career, Brian Thomas was once a high-school biology teacher. I believe I’ve already expressed my horror at that.

His latest article – Single Mutation Makes Melanesians Blond – doesn’t help. There are, at my count, at least two HS biology concepts that the article suggests he is completely ignorant of. Let’s go look: Continue reading

Warm Dark Matter?

Say hello to Jason Lisle, the Institute for Creation Research’s new Director of Research. He’s an astronomer – a real one – who did his thesis on “Probing the Dynamics of Solar Supergranulation and its Interaction with Magnetism.”

For his first ICR article, he gives us a Daily Science Update article called No Nearby Dark Matter. As Dr Lisle seems to be at least vaguely competent, and is as such a real catch for the Institute, this article isn’t nearly as bad as the usual fare.

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Ediacaran Diversification

Many articles from the Institute for Creation Research demonstrate an apparent ignorance on the subject of how Evolution in general and Natural Selection specifically operate. No prizes, then, for guessing that Thomas’ latest – Do Habitats Create Creatures? – is an example of this.

The interpretation that they seem to point forward is that the actions of the environment, or other natural forces, “mindlessly” shape the creature that is being evolved. It’s an odd and indeed absurd caricature, and it’s difficult to determine whether it is a result of wilful ignorance about the topic or whether the writer is being intentionally deceptive. On the other hand it’s pretty clear that it’s one or the other – but make up your own mind which. Continue reading

How Old are Polar Bears?

You’ve probably heard the news: Polar bears have been around a lot longer than we thought. “About 600 (338 to 934) thousand years” in fact. The research used to determine this involved molecular clocks, however, which has prompted an article by Brian Thomas: Circular Reasoning in Polar Bear Origins Date. Brian has incorrectly accused scientists of this fallacy before – what is it this time?

Polar bear skeleton
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