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Epigenetics making Darwin’s followers uncomfortable?

The article’s title says it all: “Evolution Heresy? Epigenetics Underlies Heritable Plant Traits”

Elizabeth Pennisi reports:

For some evolutionary biologists, just hearing the term epigenetics raises hackles. They balk at suggestions that something other than changes in DNA sequences, such as the chemical addition of methyl groups to DNA or other so-called epigenetic modifications, has a role in evolution. Yet a provocative study presented at an evolutionary biology meeting last month found that heritable changes in plant flowering time and other traits were the result of epigenetics alone, unaided by any sequence changes.

We would guess they are mostly Darwin’s men. Essentially, the neo-Darwinist is a gene fundamentalist. The allegedly compelling case for Darwinism depends—not on demonstrating that natural selection of random mutations can produce changes—but on the claim that it is responsible for all or most such changes. Once a number of causes of evolution may be considered, this faith component vanishes. Then the fact that there aren’t very many convincing demonstrations of Darwin’s mechanism, as opposed to evolution in general, looms quite large indeed.

Never forget what arch-Darwinist Dawkins told us thirty years ago (and the people heard him gladly):

“My argument will be that Darwinism is the only known theory that is in principle capable of explaining certain aspects of life. If I am right it means that, even if there were no actual evidence in favour of the Darwinian theory (there is, of course) we should still be justified in preferring it over all rival theories.” — p. 287, Blind Watchmaker (1986)

In short, he claims (and his claim has largely been accepted rather than examined) special treatment rights that go beyond evidence. How revealing that so many people who claim to live by evidence swallow special pleading so eagerly, and are uncomfortable with the reality of evolution.

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21 Responses to Epigenetics making Darwin’s followers uncomfortable?

  1. Non-Random and Targeted Mutations (Epigentics to the level of DNA) – lifepsy video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTChu5vX1VI

  2. “Evolution Heresy? For some evolutionary biologists, just hearing the term epigenetics raises hackles”

    I suspect Pennisi is just being sensationalist, as many science writers are wont to do. None of the biologists she quotes seemed to think it was heresy and the results were reported at a large meeting on the subject filled to standing-room-only. I’ve heard suggestions of a role for epigenetics in evolution going years back. Epi modifications easily create new phenotypes that can be selected for. However ephemeral they are if they persist long enough they can be replaced by genetic modifications that create the same phenotype.

    “We would guess they are mostly Darwin’s men” I think close to 50% of life scientists are women.

    Dawkin’s claim is rather careless, but I dont think hes claiming that evolution deserves special treatment. Hes suggesting that the logic underlying the mechanisms for evolution is so compelling, it beats the underlying logic of other proposed explanations. I think this is outright false.

    RodW

  3. For some evolutionary biologists, just hearing the term epigenetics raises hackles

    Yeah so?

    For some random blog commenters, synonymous mutation is a nighmare that will not let them sleep :shock:

    Sorry, I am a kid in a candy store with these smileys ;)

  4. Here is Darwinian crowd control on finding that epigenetics overturns the modern synthesis of Neo-Darwinism:

    Nothing to see here – Naked Gun
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSjK2Oqrgic

    a few notes on the ‘non-randomness’ of epigenetics:

    Revisiting the Central Dogma in the 21st Century – James A. Shapiro – 2009
    Excerpt (Page 12): Underlying the central dogma and conventional views of genome evolution was the idea that the genome is a stable structure that changes rarely and accidentally by chemical fluctuations (106) or replication errors. This view has had to change with the realization that maintenance of genome stability is an active cellular function and the discovery of numerous dedicated biochemical systems for restructuring DNA molecules.(107–110) Genetic change is almost always the result of cellular action on the genome. These natural processes are analogous to human genetic engineering,,, (Page 14) Genome change arises as a consequence of natural genetic engineering, not from accidents. Replication errors and DNA damage are subject to cell surveillance and correction. When DNA damage correction does produce novel genetic structures, natural genetic engineering functions, such as mutator polymerases and nonhomologous end-joining complexes, are involved. Realizing that DNA change is a biochemical process means that it is subject to regulation like other cellular activities. Thus, we expect to see genome change occurring in response to different stimuli (Table 1) and operating nonrandomly throughout the genome, guided by various types of intermolecular contacts (Table 1 of Ref. 112).
    http://shapiro.bsd.uchicago.ed.....0Dogma.pdf

    Also of interest from the preceding paper, on page 22, is a simplified list of the ‘epigentic’ information flow in the cell that directly contradicts what was expected from the central dogma (Genetic Reductionism/modern synthesis model) of neo-Darwinism.

    Shapiro on Random Mutation:
    “What I ask others interested in evolution to give up is the notion of random accidental mutation.”
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....11144.html

    Seeing Past Darwin II: James A. Shapiro – James Barham – May 2012
    Excerpt: Much in our culture depends upon the public’s being made aware that Darwinian theory as standardly interpreted is intellectually bankrupt.(2) And little that I have encountered communicates this fact so well as the work of James A. Shapiro.
    http://www.thebestschools.org/.....a-shapiro/

    Physiology moves back onto centre stage: a new synthesis with evolutionary biology – Denis Nobel – July 2013 – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MzD1daWq4ng

    Here is the paper that accompanies the preceding video:

    Physiology is rocking the foundations of evolutionary biology – Denis Noble – 17 MAY 2013
    Excerpt: The ‘Modern Synthesis’ (Neo-Darwinism) is a mid-20th century gene-centric view of evolution, based on random mutations accumulating to produce gradual change through natural selection.,,, We now know that genetic change is far from random and often not gradual.,,,
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com.....4/abstract

    “The genome is an ‘organ of the cell’, not its dictator”
    – Denis Nobel – President of the International Union of Physiological Sciences

    New Research Elucidates Directed Mutation Mechanisms – Cornelius Hunter – January 7, 2013
    Excerpt: mutations don’t occur randomly in the genome, but rather in the genes where they can help to address the challenge. But there is more. The gene’s single stranded DNA has certain coils and loops which expose only some of the gene’s nucleotides to mutation. So not only are certain genes targeted for mutation, but certain nucleotides within those genes are targeted in what is referred to as directed mutations.,,,
    These findings contradict evolution’s prediction that mutations are random with respect to need and sometimes just happen to occur in the right place at the right time.,,,
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....ected.html

    The Mysterious Epigenome. What lies beyond DNA – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpXs8uShFMo

    “The Mysterious Epigenome: What Lies Beyond DNA” – May 2012 – podcast
    http://intelligentdesign.podom.....7_28-07_00

  5. …epigenetics overturns the modern synthesis of Neo-Darwinism…

    How so?

  6. Off topic re Alan Fox @ 3:

    Sorry, I am a kid in a candy store with these smileys ;)

    Wow. The bug eyed one too??? I didn’t know that…

    :shock:

    Yes We Can! Yee haw!…

    :shock: :shock: :shock:

    (Sorry… :D)

  7. Mr. Fox, in the following video,,,

    Modern Synthesis Of Neo-Darwinism Is False – Denis Nobel – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/10395212

    ,, Dr Nobel states that around 1900 there was the integration of Mendelian (discrete) inheritance with evolutionary theory, and about the same time Weismann established what was called the Weismann barrier, which is the idea that germ cells and their genetic materials are not in anyway influenced by the organism itself or by the environment. And then about 40 years later, circa 1940, a variety of people, Julian Huxley, R.A. Fisher, J.B.S. Haldane, and Sewell Wright, put things together to call it ‘The Modern Synthesis’. So what exactly is the ‘The Modern Synthesis’? It is sometimes called neo-Darwinism, and it was popularized in the book by Richard Dawkins, ‘The Selfish Gene’ in 1976. It’s main assumptions are, first of all, is that it is a gene centered view of natural selection. The process of evolution can therefore be characterized entirely by what is happening to the genome. It would be a process in which there would be accumulation of random mutations, followed by selection. (Now an important point to make here is that if that process is genuinely random, then there is nothing that physiology, or physiologists, can say about that process. That is a very important point.) The second aspect of neo-Darwinism was the impossibility of acquired characteristics (mis-called “Larmarckism”). And there is a very important distinction in Dawkins’ book ‘The Selfish Gene’ between the replicator, that is the genes, and the vehicle that carries the replicator, that is the organism or phenotype. And of course that idea was not only buttressed and supported by the Weissman barrier idea, but later on by the ‘Central Dogma’ of molecular biology. Then Dr. Nobel pauses to emphasize his point and states “All these rules have been broken!”.

    ,, you can pick up the rest of the talk at the two minute mark of the video I referenced, or you can watch the entire video here:

    Professor Denis Noble is President of the International Union of Physiological Sciences.
    Entire lecture is here:
    http://www.voicesfromoxford.or.....iology/184

  8. Phil

    Please try to stay on topic. We are discussing smileys. Epigenetics is just a derail You’ll be trying to tell us next that symbiogenesis is a “Darwinist conspiracy”.

  9. Mr. Fox, you know I was never one to stay on topic. But to go further than Denis Nobel has gone in showing just the modern synthesis to be false (as if that was not bad enough for reductive materialists), I hold that the entirety of Darwinism is unscientific and that Intelligent Design is scientific for the former has no discernible demarcation criteria so as to delineate it as truly scientific (and not a pseudo-science) whereas the later, ID (Intelligent Design), does. A very basic breakdown in Darwinian thought can be summarized in the following manner

    1. neo-Darwinism has no rigid falsification criteria in mathematics so as to delineate it as truly scientific:

    2. ‘Reductive materialism (which is the main philosophy underpinning the atheistic version of neo-Darwinism) is falsified by advances quantum mechanics’:

    3. ‘’Randomness’ (entropic processes of the universe) consistently destroy functional information in the cell rather than ever build it up’

    4. ‘Natural selection is ‘empty’ at the level of explanation, and to the extent that it does do anything, it is found that Natural Selection reduces genetic information rather than ever creating it.’

    5. The atheistic/naturalistic form of neo-Darwinism, if true, would result in the epistemological failure of science itself.

    Here are some of my notes as to neo-Darwinism having no rigid falsification criteria in mathematics so as to delineate it as a truly scientific theory:

    “nobody to date has yet found a demarcation criterion according to which Darwin can be described as scientific”
    – Imre Lakatos (November 9, 1922 – February 2, 1974) a philosopher of mathematics and science, quote as stated in 1973 LSE Scientific Method Lecture

    Oxford University Seeks Mathemagician — May 5th, 2011 by Douglas Axe
    Excerpt: Grand theories in physics are usually expressed in mathematics. Newton’s mechanics and Einstein’s theory of special relativity are essentially equations. Words are needed only to interpret the terms. Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection has obstinately remained in words since 1859. …
    http://biologicinstitute.org/2.....emagician/

    “It is our contention that if ‘random’ is given a serious and crucial interpretation from a probabilistic point of view, the randomness postulate is highly implausible and that an adequate scientific theory of evolution must await the discovery and elucidation of new natural laws—physical, physico-chemical, and biological.”
    Murray Eden, “Inadequacies of Neo-Darwinian Evolution as a Scientific Theory,” Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution, editors Paul S. Moorhead and Martin M. Kaplan, June 1967, p. 109.

    “On the other hand, I disagree that Darwin’s theory is as `solid as any explanation in science.; Disagree? I regard the claim as preposterous. Quantum electrodynamics is accurate to thirteen or so decimal places; so, too, general relativity. A leaf trembling in the wrong way would suffice to shatter either theory. What can Darwinian theory offer in comparison?”
    (Berlinski, D., “A Scientific Scandal?: David Berlinski & Critics,” Commentary, July 8, 2003)

    Macroevolution, microevolution and chemistry: the devil is in the details – Dr. V. J. Torley – February 27, 2013
    Excerpt: After all, mathematics, scientific laws and observed processes are supposed to form the basis of all scientific explanation. If none of these provides support for Darwinian macroevolution, then why on earth should we accept it? Indeed, why does macroevolution belong in the province of science at all, if its scientific basis cannot be demonstrated?
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....e-details/

    Whereas ID does not suffer such an embarrassment as to having no rigid falsification criteria within mathematics so as to delineate it as scientific:

    Evolutionary Informatics Lab – Main Publications
    http://evoinfo.org/publications/

    ,, the empirical falsification criteria of ID is much easier to understand than the math is, and is as such:

    “Orr maintains that the theory of intelligent design is not falsifiable. He’s wrong. To falsify design theory a scientist need only experimentally demonstrate that a bacterial flagellum, or any other comparably complex system, could arise by natural selection. If that happened I would conclude that neither flagella nor any system of similar or lesser complexity had to have been designed. In short, biochemical design would be neatly disproved.”
    – Dr Behe in 1997

    Michael Behe on Falsifying Intelligent Design – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8jXXJN4o_A

    The Capabilities of Chaos and Complexity: David L. Abel – Null Hypothesis For Information Generation – 2009
    To focus the scientific community’s attention on its own tendencies toward overzealous metaphysical imagination bordering on “wish-fulfillment,” we propose the following readily falsifiable null hypothesis, and invite rigorous experimental attempts to falsify it: “Physicodynamics cannot spontaneously traverse The Cybernetic Cut: physicodynamics alone cannot organize itself into formally functional systems requiring algorithmic optimization, computational halting, and circuit integration.” A single exception of non trivial, unaided spontaneous optimization of formal function by truly natural process would falsify this null hypothesis.
    http://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/10/1/247/pdf
    Can We Falsify Any Of The Following Null Hypothesis (For Information Generation)
    1) Mathematical Logic
    2) Algorithmic Optimization
    3) Cybernetic Programming
    4) Computational Halting
    5) Integrated Circuits
    6) Organization (e.g. homeostatic optimization far from equilibrium)
    7) Material Symbol Systems (e.g. genetics)
    8) Any Goal Oriented bona fide system
    9) Language
    10) Formal function of any kind
    11) Utilitarian work
    http://mdpi.com/1422-0067/10/1/247/ag

    Here are some of my references supporting my claim that ‘Reductive materialism (which is the main philosophy underpinning the atheistic version of neo-Darwinism) is falsified by advances quantum mechanics’:

    The argument for God from consciousness can be framed like this:

    1. Consciousness either preceded all of material reality or is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality.
    2. If consciousness is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality then consciousness will be found to have no special position within material reality. Whereas conversely, if consciousness precedes material reality then consciousness will be found to have a special position within material reality.
    3. Consciousness is found to have a special, even central, position within material reality.
    4. Therefore, consciousness is found to precede material reality.

    Four intersecting lines of experimental evidence from quantum mechanics that shows that consciousness precedes material reality (Wigner’s Quantum Symmetries, Wheeler’s Delayed Choice, Leggett’s Inequalities, Quantum Zeno effect):
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1G_Fi50ljF5w_XyJHfmSIZsOcPFhgoAZ3PRc_ktY8cFo/edit

    Alain Aspect and Anton Zeilinger by Richard Conn Henry – Physics Professor – John Hopkins University
    Excerpt: Why do people cling with such ferocity to belief in a mind-independent reality? It is surely because if there is no such reality, then ultimately (as far as we can know) mind alone exists. And if mind is not a product of real matter, but rather is the creator of the “illusion” of material reality (which has, in fact, despite the materialists, been known to be the case, since the discovery of quantum mechanics in 1925), then a theistic view of our existence becomes the only rational alternative to solipsism (solipsism is the philosophical idea that only one’s own mind is sure to exist). (Dr. Henry’s referenced experiment and paper – “An experimental test of non-local realism” by S. Gröblacher et. al., Nature 446, 871, April 2007 – “To be or not to be local” by Alain Aspect, Nature 446, 866, April 2007 (i.e. Leggett’s inequality)
    http://henry.pha.jhu.edu/aspect.html

    “I’m going to talk about the Bell inequality, and more importantly a new inequality that you might not have heard of called the Leggett inequality, that was recently measured. It was actually formulated almost 30 years ago by Professor Leggett, who is a Nobel Prize winner, but it wasn’t tested until about a year and a half ago (in 2007), when an article appeared in Nature, that the measurement was made by this prominent quantum group in Vienna led by Anton Zeilinger, which they measured the Leggett inequality, which actually goes a step deeper than the Bell inequality and rules out any possible interpretation other than consciousness creates reality when the measurement is made.” – Bernard Haisch, Ph.D., Calphysics Institute, is an astrophysicist and author of over 130 scientific publications.

    Preceding quote taken from this following video;

    Quantum Mechanics and Consciousness – A New Measurement – Bernard Haisch, Ph.D (Shortened version of entire video with notes in description of video)
    http://vimeo.com/37517080

  10. Here are some of my references supporting my claim that ‘,,‘Randomness’ (i.e. entropic processes of the universe) are vastly more likely to destroy functional information within the cell rather than ever build it up’

    Shining Light on Dark Energy – October 21, 2012
    Excerpt: It (Entropy) explains time; it explains every possible action in the universe;,,
    Even gravity, Vedral argued, can be expressed as a consequence of the law of entropy. ,,,
    The principles of thermodynamics are at their roots all to do with information theory. Information theory is simply an embodiment of how we interact with the universe —,,,
    http://crev.info/2012/10/shini.....rk-energy/

    “Is there a real connection between entropy in physics and the entropy of information? …. The equations of information theory and the second law are the same, suggesting that the idea of entropy is something fundamental…”
    Tom Siegfried, Dallas Morning News, 5/14/90 – Quotes attributed to Robert W. Lucky, Ex. Director of Research, AT&T, Bell Laboratories & John A. Wheeler, of Princeton & Univ. of TX, Austin in the article

    Demonic device converts information to energy – 2010
    Excerpt: “This is a beautiful experimental demonstration that information has a thermodynamic content,” says Christopher Jarzynski, a statistical chemist at the University of Maryland in College Park. In 1997, Jarzynski formulated an equation to define the amount of energy that could theoretically be converted from a unit of information2; the work by Sano and his team has now confirmed this equation. “This tells us something new about how the laws of thermodynamics work on the microscopic scale,” says Jarzynski.
    http://www.scientificamerican......rts-inform

    ,,having a empirically demonstrated direct connection between entropy and the information inherent within a cell is extremely problematic for Darwinists because of the following,,,

    “Gain in entropy always means loss of information, and nothing more.”
    Gilbert Newton Lewis – preeminent Chemist of the first half of last century

    “Bertalanffy (1968) called the relation between irreversible thermodynamics and information theory one of the most fundamental unsolved problems in biology.”
    Charles J. Smith – Biosystems, Vol.1, p259.

    “The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution”: Break or blunt any functional coded element whose loss would yield a net fitness gain – Michael Behe – December 2010
    Excerpt: In its most recent issue The Quarterly Review of Biology has published a review by myself of laboratory evolution experiments of microbes going back four decades.,,, The gist of the paper is that so far the overwhelming number of adaptive (that is, helpful) mutations seen in laboratory evolution experiments are either loss or modification of function. Of course we had already known that the great majority of mutations that have a visible effect on an organism are deleterious. Now, surprisingly, it seems that even the great majority of helpful mutations degrade the genome to a greater or lesser extent.,,, I dub it “The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution”: Break or blunt any functional coded element whose loss would yield a net fitness gain.
    http://behe.uncommondescent.co.....evolution/

    Thus, Darwinists are found to be postulating that entropic events, which consistently destroy information, are what are creating information in the cell. ,,, It is the equivalent in science of someone (in this case a ‘consensus of scientists’) claiming that Gravity makes things fall up instead of down, and that is not overstating the bizarre situation we find ourselves in in the least.

    Here are my references supporting my claim that ‘Natural selection is ‘empty’, and to the extent that natural selection does do anything, it is found that Natural Selection reduces genetic information in an organism rather than ever creating it from scratch.’

    Natural Selection Is Empty – Michael Egnor – August 30, 2013
    Excerpt: “What’s essential about adaptationism, as viewed from this perspective, is precisely its claim that there is a level of evolutionary explanation. We think this claim is just plain wrong. We think that successful explanations of the fixation of phenotypic traits by ecological variables typically belong not to evolutionary theory but to natural history, and that there is just no end of the sorts of things about a natural history that can contribute to explaining the fixation of some or other feature of a creature’s phenotype. Natural history isn’t a theory of evolution; it’s a bundle of evolutionary scenarios. That’s why the explanations it offers are so often post hoc and unsystematic.” -
    Natural selection is not a level of explanation. In F&P-P’s cogent phrase, natural selection is empty.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....75991.html

    Can Purifying Natural Selection Preserve Biological Information? – published online May 2013 -
    Paul Gibson, John R. Baumgardner, Wesley H. Brewer, John C. Sanford
    http://www.worldscientific.com.....08728_0010

    Natural Selection Reduces Genetic Information – No Beneficial Mutations – Lee Spetner – Michael Denton – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4036816

    “…but Natural Selection reduces genetic information and we know this from all the Genetic Population studies that we have…”
    Maciej Marian Giertych – Population Geneticist – member of the European Parliament – EXPELLED
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4036840

    Here are some of my references for the claim that “The atheistic/naturalistic form of neo-Darwinism, if true, would result in the epistemological failure of science itself.”

    “One absolutely central inconsistency ruins [the popular scientific philosophy]. The whole picture professes to depend on inferences from observed facts. Unless inference is valid, the whole picture disappears… unless Reason is an absolute, all is in ruins. Yet those who ask me to believe this world picture also ask me to believe that Reason is simply the unforeseen and unintended by-product of mindless matter at one stage of its endless and aimless becoming. Here is flat contradiction. They ask me at the same moment to accept a conclusion and to discredit the only testimony on which that conclusion can be based.”
    —C.S. Lewis, Is Theology Poetry (aka the Argument from Reason)

    Last Seminary – The Argument From Reason – resource page
    http://www.lastseminary.com/argument-from-reason/

    “It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain, I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true. They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically. And hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms. In order to escape from this necessity of sawing away the branch on which I am sitting, so to speak, I am compelled to believe that mind is not wholly conditioned by matter”.
    J. B. S. Haldane ["When I am dead," in Possible Worlds: And Other Essays [1927], Chatto and Windus: London, 1932, reprint, p.209.

    Alvin Plantinga – Evolutionary Argument against Naturalism – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r34AIo-xBh8

    “Modern science was conceived, and born, and flourished in the matrix of Christian theism. Only liberal doses of self-deception and double-think, I believe, will permit it to flourish in the context of Darwinian naturalism.”
    ~ Alvin Plantinga

  11. Thus, the naturalistic form of neo-Darwinism is found to be a truly laughable ‘scientific’ theory. That such a pathetic ‘scientific’ theory could gain such prominence in America is truly a sad state of affairs. Especially in a country that was first to develop the atomic bomb and land a man on the moon.

    Verse and Music:

    Proverbs 21:30
    There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the LORD.

    Phillips, Craig & Dean – Great I Am – music
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSoz6L1vqm8

  12. I hold that the entirety of Darwinism is unscientific and that Intelligent Design is scientific for the former has no discernible demarcation criteria so as to delineate it as truly scientific (and not a pseudo-science) whereas the later, ID (Intelligent Design), does.

    Well, bully for you, Phil. Far be it from me to disabuse you from your religious beliefs. So long as you are not advocating the suppression, burning or boiling of those that disagree with you, then carry on.

  13. as to

    “So long as you are not advocating the suppression, burning or boiling of those that disagree with you, then carry on.”

    That would be your ‘religious’ position Mr. Fox:

    EXPELLED – Starring Ben Stein – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-BDc3wu81U

    Slaughter of Dissidents – Book
    “If folks liked Ben Stein’s movie “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,” they will be blown away by “Slaughter of the Dissidents.” – Russ Miller
    - amazon review

    Slaughter of the Dissidents – Dr. Jerry Bergman – June 2013 – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2v5nAYU2GD0

    Darwinists protesting too much (Over “Darwin’s Doubt) – Telling signs of a worldview in trouble – By Subby Szterszky | July 23, 2013
    Excerpt: “Their online followers echo the disrespect in even harsher tones; any rare voice of dissent in support of Meyer is promptly browbeaten into silence. The attitude is not unlike a bunch of insecure schoolyard bullies, closing ranks and reassuring each other by trading insults aimed at the uncool kid across the yard.”
    http://www.focusinsights.org/a.....g-too-much

    “In the last few years I have seen a saddening progression at several institutions. I have witnessed unfair treatment upon scientists that do not accept macroevolutionary arguments and for their having signed the above-referenced statement regarding the examination of Darwinism. (Dissent from Darwinism list)(I will comment no further regarding the specifics of the actions taken upon the skeptics; I love and honor my colleagues too much for that.) I never thought that science would have evolved like this. I deeply value the academy; teaching, professing and research in the university are my privileges and joys… ”
    Professor James M. Tour – one of the ten most cited chemists in the world
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....evolution/

    On the Fundamental Difference Between Darwin-Inspired and Intelligent Design-Inspired Lawsuits – September 2011
    Excerpt: *Darwin lobby litigation: In every Darwin-inspired case listed above, the Darwin lobby sought to shut down free speech, stopping people from talking about non-evolutionary views, and seeking to restrict freedom of intellectual inquiry.
    *ID movement litigation: Seeks to expand intellectual inquiry and free speech rights to talk about non-evolutionary views.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....50451.html

    as to Darwinism being a religion instead of a science, here are a few references:

    “Evolution is promoted by its practitioners as more than mere science. Evolution is promulgated as an ideology, a secular religion—a full-fledged alternative to Christianity, with meaning and morality,,, Evolution is a religion. This was true of evolution in the beginning, and it is true of evolution still today.”
    Darwinian atheist Michael Ruse – Prominent Atheistic Philosopher

    Charles Darwin, Theologian: Major New Article on Darwin’s Use of Theology in the Origin of Species – May 2011
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....46391.html

    The Descent of Darwin – Pastor Joe Boot – (The Theodicy of Darwinism) – article
    http://www.ezrainstitute.ca/ez.....spring.pdf

    The role of theology in current evolutionary reasoning – Paul A. Nelson – Biology and Philosophy, 1996, Volume 11, Number 4, Pages 493-517
    Excerpt: Evolutionists have long contended that the organic world falls short of what one might expect from an omnipotent and benevolent creator. Yet many of the same scientists who argue theologically for evolution are committed to the philosophical doctrine of methodological naturalism, which maintains that theology has no place in science. Furthermore, the arguments themselves are problematical, employing concepts that cannot perform the work required of them, or resting on unsupported conjectures about suboptimality. Evolutionary theorists should reconsider both the arguments and the influence of Darwinian theological metaphysics on their understanding of evolution.
    http://www.springerlink.com/co.....34/?MUD=MP

    Dr. Seuss Biology | Origins with Dr. Paul A. Nelson – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVx42Izp1ek

  14. Here are a few things that are making Darwin’s followers uncomfortable:

    - Epigenetics.

    - Convergence (distant species share identical genetic codes).

    - Orphan genes.

    - Cambrian explosion.

    - Every origin of life hypothesis sounds like superstition.

    Evolutionists are walking on hot coals and it hurts very bad.

  15. Does anyone what to explain why (transgenerational) epigenetic inheritance is a problem for evolutionary biology?(Or how the methyl tags get on the genes in question, which would be instructive)

    Even though I’m not a “follower” of Darwin, I’m an evolutionary biologist and it’s not at all clear to me why I should be uncomfortable.

  16. AF:

    So long as you are not advocating the suppression, burning or boiling of those that disagree with you, then carry on

    BA77:

    That would be your ‘religious’ position Mr. Fox

    Where have I ever advocated burning, boiling or suppressing points of view?

    I am an advocate of the free exchange of ideas and information. Philip, I realise you think you have God on your side, but does He give you carte blanche to bear false witness? For shame, Philip, for shame!

  17. 17
    TheisticEvolutionist

    Epigenetics is not a problem for Darwin.

    Darwin published his hypothesis of pangenesis as the last chapter of the book Variation in Plants and Animals in 1868. According to pangenesis, the basis of hereditary characters resides within tiny cellular particles called ‘gemmules’. Gemmules then migrate from somatic to germ cells, where they collect to pass inherited characters to the next generation. Since gemmules become modified in somatic cells by conditions of life and the actions of organisms, acquired characters can be inherited.

    But epigenetics is a problem for Neo-Darwinists as they have denied that any acquired characters can be inherited. The evolutionary text-books of orthodox neo-Darwinian Douglas J. Futuyma are still claiming that inheritance of acquired characters is impossible.

  18. Mapou @ 14

    Great list but you forgot one…

    Multiple or poly interpretations of the genome !!!!

    …. more headaches for Darwinists.

  19. @11 That was technology, Philip. Wasn’t the science done by foreigners?

  20. Don’t forget, Alan, on another thread, you were trying to chide me about being pedantic or some such, but were bashful about actually articulating it. I did assure you it would be OK. How am I to reform without your guidance? Oh, ‘a line in the sand’. That was it. And something about Jesus not being pedantic, I think.

  21. Epigenetics has a lot of meanings. One is the methylation of various parts of the DNA with the effect that some genes will get expressed in different cell types and others will not. If a new methylation happens to a germ cell then a gene expression that is induced by environmental factors may be passed onto the next generation. Some may cause dramatic phenotype changes (beak sizes) while others may just affect internal dispositions (dietary habits or tendencies.)

    Is this evolution? Depends on how one defines evolution. Not if the traditional definition of a change in the frequency of alleles in a gene pool is used. These methylation changes may all happen without any changes in the genome. Every generation has small random changes in the gene pool but it may not be enough to say anything of consequence happened.

    Some of the epigenetic changes may be brought on by the environment and it has nothing to do whether the germ cells are affected. Thus, any morphological changes are not due to changes in the genome but in methylation patterns caused by the environment.

    We are not talking of any expression of major complex new novelties here but just capabilities already available in the genome.

    In the end it says nothing about Darwinian processes except that some or a lot of the examples of so-called evolution may be just epigenetic changes.

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