Adapting for Climate Change

Strongylocentrotus purpuratusThe ICR is not fond of anthropogenic (human-caused) global warming, having argued against it in a number of past articles. Indeed there is significant overlap, at least in the United States, between those who would deny climate change and evolution – though it is not entirely clear whether or not they have a common, theological cause. This position naturally colours Brian Thomas’ latest article, Spiny Sea Creature Rapidly Accommodates Chemical Changes. Continue reading

Anatomy of an Oyster Shell

Some Pacific oysters on a plateWe’re still on the same (4 October) edition of Nature today as we were on Friday, with Jeffrey Tomkins and Brian Thomas collaborating to produce Oyster Genome Confounds Mollusk Evolution.

Most evolutionists who study fossil mollusks believe these creatures evolved from a hypothetical ancestor that had no shell. How could nature, with no intelligent input, coax imagined soft-bodied ancestors to blindly construct the hard shells of oysters, which research now shows contain over 250 different proteins?

The paper is The oyster genome reveals stress adaptation and complexity of shell formation (open access; a Science Daily article can be found here), and does indeed mention that they “identified 259 shell proteins.” In their article Tomkins and Thomas take the popular “if it’s complex the it must be designed/can’t have evolved” line, with little further evidence offered. Let’s take a tour. Continue reading

Acts & Facts – October 2012

It is less than a week into the month of October and we have already reached the end of the articles worth analysing in any depth in the latest edition of Acts & Facts. It’s time then to take a look at all of the articles in context. For future reference the pdf of this months newsletter is located here.


Page 3: The Enduring Value of Words (Jayme Durant)

The gist of the editor’s column this month, after you get past the story about her great grandmother going into a retirement home, is that the ICR plans to release two new books this season. One is by Brad Forlow, and will be called Biology and the Bible – my guess is that this will most likely be pamphlet sized, and even that will be pushing it. The other is by John Morris, called The Global Flood: Unlocking Earth’s Geologic History. While most likely just have more of the same kind of stuff found in other young Earth creationist geology-related books, as I haven’t read any of those before it might be interesting to get my hands on. I still need to do Tomkins’ book, however, so it would have to be added to the end of an ever-lengthening queue.

Continue reading

Introducing Guliuzzism

How giraffes got long necks: The most important evolutionary question out thereIn the Randy Guliuzza lecture video that I analysed last week I missed out a few things. Somewhere in there, for example, he talks about how angels are immaterial and information has no weight. Mentioned, but glossed over, was Guliuzza’s description of the process of adaptation, which I described as “eerily reminiscent” of Lamarckism. Fortunately his October Acts & Facts article, Engineered Adaptability, elaborates further.

I did say that it was Lamarckian, but having looked over the definitions I have changed my mind. The most famous aspect of Lamarckism is that it involves the “inheritance of acquired characteristics,” such as a baby giraffe having a longer neck because its parents intentionally stretched theirs to get at food. I can’t detect traces of this in Guliuzza’s article, and he instead focuses on the concept of adaptation being innate. The closest existing concept that I can find to this is orthogenesis, but not being completely solid on definitions I’ll Christian Randy’s self-described “radically new paradigm for adaptation” Guliuzzism.

Before we get to what Guliuzzism actually is, however, we have an opening paragraph to dissect:

Doctors, lawyers, and engineers. Engineers always seem to take third place in the list of esteemed professions. Exciting television programs feature skilled surgeons or smooth, well-dressed defense attorneys, but engineers are not primetime stars. That’s too bad, because they do exciting work, as reflected in one school’s motto, “Cool stuff doesn’t just make itself.”

I don’t know about ‘esteem,’ but judging by the ratings by trust at least this is a rather strange ranking. Continue reading