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Front Loading, Is That You Knocking?

At PhysOrg.com, here’s something hot off the press.

Here are some delicious quotes from the PO blurb:

Researchers, led by Dr David Ferrier of The Scottish Oceans Institute at the University of St Andrews, found that some modern-day animals like sponges, comb jellies and placozoans (a flat, splodge of an animal with no head, tail, gut or limbs) may have actually evolved by losing some genes and perhaps became simplified from a more complex ancestor, from which the entire animal kingdom evolved.

Dr Ferrier and his team studied key genes, known as Hox and ParaHox, which are renowned for building the bodies of nearly all modern-day animals. They control where ribs develop in humans or where wings develop in flies, and can be disrupted in diseases such as cancer and diabetes.

Until this latest research, scientists had argued over whether these genes evolved in a step-wise fashion, during early animal evolution, or instead were present in the very first animals. Dr Ferrier explained, “The conventionally accepted view was that these genes were interlinked with the increasing complexity of animals as the earliest animal ancestors were succeeded by more advanced creatures, with a greater diversity of different cell types and a greater range of genes that build this gradual increase in complexity.”

These researchers found that some animals, like sponges and placozoans, which evolved earlier than sea anemones and humans, still have these neighbourhoods, even though they do not actually contain the Hox and ParaHox genes themselves. Dr Ferrier continued, “These neighbourhoods are like ghosts in these genomes, providing a faint representation of what existed previously, with the Hox and ParaHox genes having died and disappeared, but leaving a ghostly outline behind.

Imagine, the Hox and Parahox genes were there, but now they’re gone. Doesn’t that sound like “genetic entropy”? Doesn’t that sound like Behe’s ‘First Rule of Adaptive Evolution’? Isn’t the fact that genes were present at first which later on were no longer needed suggest “front-loading”?

We can expect our Darwinist brethren to find some (irrational) reason for ignoring this, but it appears the authors of this study, however, are ready to move on:

Our work provides a completely different view to the consensus that had developed over recent years about the very first animal ancestor. This new approach, which reveals the ancient origin of these important developmental control genes, means the hunt for these genes in early animal lineages is now back on.

That’s right. This is a “completely different view to the [Darwinian] consensus.” IDers, OTOH, have been talking about all of this for years.

I have a question then: how many times do the Darwinists get to be wrong and the IDers right before ID becomes a “science”?

Another day; another bad day for Darwinism.

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6 Responses to Front Loading, Is That You Knocking?

  1. Richie will say biologists hoped that would be the case all along. Hope against hope is the bedrock of Darwinism. And they are never disappointed. Just delightfully surprised at Evolution’s multifarious little ‘highways and byways’; a little twist in the road here, a bigger one there, a ginormous… well, I think we’ll tip-toe off at this point.

  2. Children, say after teacher:

    Reusable library of parts on a template, with exclusions as needed and appropriate.

    Knock-knock . . .

    Who’s there?

    Library of parts and structures . . .

    Nobody home to you . . .

    So, who is talking?

    Nobody!

    OOPS.

    KF

  3. 3
    critical rationalist

    I have a question then: how many times do the Darwinists get to be wrong and the IDers right before ID becomes a “science”?

    When IDers provides a theory that allows us to make progress about the designer itself, rather than merely making progress on “just what the designer must have wanted” since it was created by an abstract designer with no defined limitations.

  4. critical rationalist:

    When IDers provides a theory that allows us to make progress about the designer itself, rather than merely making progress on “just what the designer must have wanted” since it was created by an abstract designer with no defined limitations.

    First, I see you’ve decided not to contest the fact that ID has been right and Darwinism has been wrong. Quite interesting.

    Second, the purpose of ID is not to identify who the “designer” is; rather, it is to identify the presence of intelligence in biological beings, from which certain predictions can be made.

    Let me try to point out the lurking absurdity in your thinking. According to your above-stated objection, if I found a mechanical device that performed some valuable function, I should not proceed to analyze this function until, and unless, I know “who designed it”, and what manufacturing principles the “designer” employed.

    Are you really a ‘critical rationalist’?

  5. When IDers provides a theory that allows us to make progress about the designer itself, rather than merely making progress on “just what the designer must have wanted”

    Which designer?

  6. Pav, Mung:

    Good points.

    In my experience, most design opponents are almost fanatically obsessed with the identity of the designer. So much so that they can hardly think about anything else when design is discussed. This is particularly true for those who adhere religiously to materialism as their creation myth. Any discussion of design is seen as a direct threat to that belief system, no matter how many times we patiently explain that ID does not identify the designer or go beyond what can reasonably be inferred from the evidence.

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