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Human Origins, and the Real Reasons for Evolutionary Skepticism

In Chapter 8, Coyne turns his attention to human evolution. He lists examples of alleged human-chimpanzee intermediates, including Sahelanthropus tchadensis, Orrorin tugenensis, ...

The Persistent Enigma of Sexual Reproduction

Chapter 6 is concerned with questions pertinent to sexual selection and the evolutionary advantages of sex. There is almost nothing I dispute in the first half of the chapter (except perhaps the ...

Blink and You’ll Miss It: Jerry Coyne Turns His Attention to the “Engine of Evolution”

Chapter 5 is the only part of Coyne's book that attempts to demonstrate the causal power of the proposed mechanisms driving evolutionary change, the key point of contention in the origins ...

From Jerry Coyne, “Evolution-of-the-Gaps” and Other Fallacies

In Chapter 3 of his book, Coyne turns his attention to the argument from suboptimal design. Whereas the "god-of-the-gaps" fallacy states that "evolution can't explain this; therefore god must ...

Jerry Coyne’s Chapter on the Fossil Record Fails to Show “Why Evolution Is True”

Chapter 2 addresses the fossil evidence for common descent. The first part of the chapter I generally agree with. Coyne provides a summary outline of the fossilization process and an ...

Underwhelmed: Reviewing Jerry Coyne’s Why Evolution Is True

In Scotland where I live, I belong to a group that meets every few weeks in a pub in Glasgow. Called "Glasgow Skeptics," the group attracts a range of individuals of diverse educational ...

More Functions for “Junk DNA”

A new paper has just been published in the journal Genome Biology by John Rinn and David Kelley, identifying a role for transposable elements in gene regulation in stem cells. Click here to ...

Life of Pi, Only 3.14% Accurate

Life of Pi, Only 3.14% Accurate Scott Symington An interesting encounter at sea is reported in the Naval Institute’s official magazine, Proceedings. A battleship had been at sea on ...

Intergenic Retrotransposons Can Serve Long-Range Functions

Retrotransposons (which include LINEs, SINEs, and ERVs) are known for the ability of their long-terminal repeats (LTRs) to serve as promoters and enhancers for regulating the expression of genes ...

The Design of the Complement Cascade

When I was an undergraduate biology student, one of my favorite topics was the complement system in immunology. The complement cascade is an array of sequentially interacting proteins that serve ...

Asteroid Belts and Planet Biohabitability

  A new study by Rebecca Martin of the University of Colorado finds that "Solar systems with life-bearing planets may be rare if they are dependent on the presence of asteroid belts of just the ...
You Can’t Preach the Gospel without Freedom

You Can’t Preach the Gospel without Freedom

When I hear Christians saying we ought not get involved in politics but just “preach the Gospel,” I show them this satellite picture of the Korean peninsula.  Here we see a homogenous population ...

The Molecular "Clutch" of the Dynein Motor Protein

Over at Evolution News & Views, I have just published a blog post on the recent paper in the journal Cell regarding the molecular clutch of the dynein motor protein: Here at ENV, I have ...

Nature News: ‘Arsenic-life’ bacterium prefers phosphorus after all

Readers may recall the media hype, back in December 2010, surrounding the claim that a bacterium is capable of utilising arsenic instead of phosphorous in its DNA. A new study, published in ...

New Scientist Asks: Is There Such A Thing As Reality?

Last week, New Scientist magazine featured a special edition on reality. What particularly caught my attention is the accompanying video appearing on their website, which you can view for ...

The Latest From Lenski’s Lab

Richard Lenski (of the University of Michigan) and his colleagues have published a new paper in Nature (Blount et al., 2012) entitled “Genomic analysis of a key innovation in an experimental ...

Gene Duplication and the Origin of Novel Biological Information: A Case Study of the Globins

Those of us who have been involved with the debate surrounding intelligent design and evolution for any significant length of time are well acquainted by now with the most fashionable ...

Chronological Snobbery and the Resurrection of Jesus

When discussing the historical basis for the resurrection, one often encounters a popular misconception that the ancient world was far more gullible about claims of resurrection than people are ...

Perspectives on ENCODE and Junk DNA

As most ENV readers are aware, the scientific blogosphere has been abuzz in recent weeks over the recently published ENCODE results.Since the announcement of these findings (which I noted ...

The Bacterial Flagellum Revisited: A Paradigm of Design

Going back to my undergraduate days, I have long been struck by the engineering elegance and intrinsic beauty of that familiar icon of intelligent design, the bacterial flagellar nano-motor. ...

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