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Design in Crane Fly Eyes

Fossilized crane fly eyes discovered to be calcified and have melanin

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Evolution: The Seen and the Unseen

How can some people be so certain about evolution, while others, with the same certainty, deny it? Part of the answer can, in broad terms, be boiled down to the difference between what is seen and what is not seen. More specifically, and in the context of evolution itself, this disparity arises from the difference between microevolution and macroevolution. What are these two concepts, and how does the difference between them help explain much of the controversy surrounding the theory of evolution? This article was published on the August 2019 issue of Signs of the Times.

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Genetic Similarity Does Not Necessarily Mean Common Inheritance

Different populations of stickleback fish have parallel genetic adaptations to similar local habitats.

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What Makes the Whole More Than the Sum of Its Parts?

A living being is more than the collection of the multitude of organic components of which it is made.

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The Art of Making Omelets

A review of the book "Undeniable." Intelligent beings and their know- how are necessary to implement the highly improbable combination of steps that bring into existence functional things. Published in Origins, n. 65.

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Is There Biological Evidence of Life's Recent Creation?

During one of my frequent visits to the office of my high school headmaster, his individual tutelage yielded a life lesson that I’ve never forgotten. His exact words were, “You think you’re right!” Of course I thought I was right, wouldn’t anyone who thought they were wrong change their mind and then immediately think they are right? Now that I’m an adult biologist, I still think that I’m right. Inevitably…

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DNA and Design

Imagine walking down the beach and coming across the words “Romeo loves Juliet” written in the sand. Most of us have experienced something like this and would not be surprised, but most people would be surprised to find the entire text of William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet written in sand. Why is this? The obvious reason is that sand is the wrong material for large writing projects. Sand grains…

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Archaeopteryx: Bird or Reptile? Or Not?

Archaeopteryx is arguably the most famous fossil ever discovered. It has a mixture of bird-like and reptile-like traits, and was first reported only two years after Charles Darwin published his book, The Origin of Species. Since then, another eleven Archaeopteryx specimens have been recovered from the limestones near Solnhofen, Germany.

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Would You Move to an Exoplanet?

If given the choice where in our Milky Way galaxy you would prefer to live, where would you go? To one of those newly-discovered extra-solar planets the media get enthusiastic about when water has been detected there?Before you answer these questions remember that, beyond the presence of water, many other conditions must be fulfilled before any planet can support the continued existence of life as-we-know-it,…

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Organisms in Their Niche: Passive Modeling Clay or Problem-Solving Entities?

One person’s cultural background can bias their view about people from other cultures… even before they have ever met. Could people also have a bias about how they think about other creatures? It may even be possible that scientific culture could prejudice the way researchers see creature-environmental relations with the potential to bias whole research programs.

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Microbes, Symbiosis, and the Lesson of Interdependence

A very common reaction to the thought of “microbes” is a compelling desire to slather up in hand sanitizer! However, it is seldom realized that the greatest majority of microorganisms are at the very least not harmful, and at the most necessary for human life! Many aspects of microbial interaction with our environment allow it to be so perfect for humans. Some of these aspects include oxygen generation,…

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The Exceptional Properties of Water

There is one small molecule that makes our world unique and special. What is it? Water! Sure, other planets and moons in our solar system may have (or had) water and even more than Earth, but it is rare to find liquid water on the surface of a planet.

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What Is Biology? Part 4 of 4

There is no simple clear definition of what life is. This is appropriate as life is a wonderful, complex, beautiful, enigmatic phenomenon that defies any effort to over-simplify it. Still, most people have no difficulty recognizing living things and differentiating them from non-living things.

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What Is Biology? Part 3 of 4

The scientific method uses inductive reasoning to generate theories that explain data. Deductive reasoning is used to generate testable hypotheses that must be true if a theory is true. When the hypothesis is tested, it may fit well with the new data generated, thus supporting the theory (but not proving it true). If the hypothesis is inconsistent with data, then the theory is inconsistent with data…

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What Is Biology? Part 2 of 4

There are still some rules that we have to follow if we are to do any science, including biology. The first is that empirical data is the authoritative test of all ideas in science.

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What Is Biology? Part 1 of 4

Biology is the scientific study of life. But what is “science?” And what is “life?” Most of us use these words all the time and have a general idea of what we mean by them, however, it is common for scientists themselves to not have a clear understanding of what science is and this is not as surprising as it sounds. Philosophers of science struggle to define their own area of study, with different…

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Teeming Creatures of the Sea!

The number of different kinds of living organisms is one measure of biological diversity, or what has become known as “biodiversity.” Our world’s oceans have the highest known biodiversity, second only to the number of species found in the tropical rainforest.

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Some Implications of Biological Information

A review of the book "Biological Information: New Perspectives," The papers are all critical of the current neo-Darwinian synthesis. Although most of them are from intelligent design advocates (including a few creationists), two papers are specifically from advocates of self- organizational theory who do not believe in intelligent design. Published in Origins, n. 64.

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Red in Tooth and Claw

During 1833, Arthur Henry Hallam died suddenly and unexpectedly. This would be one of those sad but unremarkable facts of history were it not for his close friendship with Alfred Lord Tennyson. Tennyson spent the next 17 years struggling with the death of his friend. During this time, Tennyson composed “In Memoriam,” a long poem that wrestles with the shock, sadness and despair he experienced and his…

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Design in the Physical Universe

This article describes evidence for what appears to be physical design on Earth, in the universe, and in the basic laws of nature. Some have used the examples of design as arguments for the God of religion as the intelligent designer; others have explained the design naturalistically. Some pros and cons of the arguments will be outlined along with cautions in using the arguments.

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