Monday, May 19, 2008

Tree of Life Hacked Down!

Another scoop for Sneer Review

Institute of Discovery, Molecular Genetics Division, 2008

Tree of Life
Ever since Darwin included his famous ‘Tree of Life’ picture as the sole illustration in 1859’s ‘On the Origin of Species’ the image of branches of speciation originating from a common ancestor has been perhaps the single most important icon of the entire field of evolutionary science. The concept, devised by Darwin over two decades previously as evidenced by this diagram in his notebook of July, 1837, provided a vital and timely framework for the assembly of the gradually accumulating fossil record into a definitive order.

Darwins first tree of life sketch, 1837

In the absence of empirical data that firmly connected the branches however, much of the order remained speculative. While the subsequent development of radiometric dating methodologies provided some degree of temporal resolution all relationships remained tentative and without firm empirical basis until the advent of the genomic revolution in the latter years of the 20th century when Watson and Crick’s famous discovery of the DNA double helix and the elucidation of the genetic code formed the foundation for the development of the entire field of bioinformatics.

Phylogenetic Analysis

The use of the order of primary sequence of the subunits of biological polymers – DNA, RNA or protein – to determine the evolutionary relationship between different species, termed phylogenetic analysis, was derived from earlier techniques of textual analysis developed to study historical manuscripts. Just as the identification of textual alterations, spelling changes and grammatical errors was utilized to determine the history and relationship between the earliest copies of well known texts, similar approaches applied to biological sequences allowed for the assembly of a ‘tree’ of relationship based on sequence similarity in different species.

While the Intelligent Design approach of prioritizing theological rather than biological evidence has been successful in the mass media, this approach has unfortunately allowed non-theological ‘materialistic science’ based researchers to make bioinformatics an virtual preserve of the Darwinian mindset, with the techniques of phylogenetic analysis being exclusively utilized by researchers firmly based in the pro-evolution camp. As a result every phylogenetic tree published, almost without exception, has annoyingly replicated the relationships deduced from the fossil record.

While not publicly admitting shortcomings in the Intelligent Design argument, privately many of us admit to have gotten weary of our standard tactic when faced with numerous questions regarding nucleotide conservation, pseudogenes, endogenous retroviral sequences and chromosomal rearrangements. Saying “What’s that over there?” while pointing to a spot over the questioners left shoulder - and then quickly running away when he or she turns to look, is, while not without its charm and utility, hardly a long term strategy that inspires the greatest confidence.

Design Molecular Genetics

With that in mind the Institute of Discovery has taken the important step of establishing a division of molecular genetics with the aim of providing a balanced viewpoint for design proponents to utilize in future discussions involving genetic sequences.

The division aims to provide independent empirical evidence regarding evolutionary sequence conservation from a design viewpoint, finally allowing the human genomic sequence to be analysed in its proper context – as a code written by the designer Himself.

After multiple advertisements in bible colleges and theological seminaries throughout the nation unfortunately failed to attract a suitably qualified molecular geneticist for the post of director we instead turned to a collaborative venture with the computer science department of one of the nations most efficient and well-respected information providers – Conservapedia.

Using the ‘infinite number of chimpanzees and infinite number of typewriters’ algorithm, known to be powerful enough to reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare, we were soon able to complete the first design hypothesis phylogenetic tree (although funding being somewhat limited at present the computing power was limited to one afternoon with two homeschoolers with a Windows 2000 workstation).

The Conservapedia Algorithm in action

While all phylogenetic trees, to date, have been constructed using pairwise comparison of DNA, RNA or protein, the crucial breakthrough came with the realization that Darwinist bioinformaticians had been unfairly biasing their results by only comparing individual types of biomolecules to each other, such as DNA to DNA or protein to protein. When DNA is compared to mRNA the phylogeny begins to look very shaky indeed and including protein in the same analysis amazingly brings the whole tree crashing down.

For instance, while Darwinian molecular geneticists claims that human and chimpanzee sequence is up to 98% similar we now show that ‘design phylogenetic analysis’ of human ubiquitin sequence – supposedly the most highly conserved protein, reveals it to be more similar to yeast protein than to chimpanzee DNA!

Design Phylogenetics

This groundbreaking analysis, extended over many branches of the animal and plant kingdom, unsurprisingly reveals no evidence of common descent and finally uncovers the ugly fallacy of the ‘tree of life’ hypothesis.

Design Phylogenetic tree of Ubiquitin

Biblical Genomics
In addition to destroying the tree of life, analysis of human genetic sequence from a design viewpoint has allowed us to make several crucial findings, the most important of which is the ‘biblical genetic code’ – the amazing discovery that messages from the God are encoded within the nucleotide sequence of humans.

Already we have discovered both the first and last words uttered by Jesus (GA-GA and AAAAAAAAAAAAAGGG, respectively), his favourite animal (CAT) and his seating position relative to the right hand of the Lord (AT).

The Establishment Begins to Worry
The Institute of Discovery’s devastating new results, contradicting practically every phylogenetic study of the past forty years, are already sending shockwaves through the Big Science establishment. “Quite frankly, this whole thing is ludicrous” wailed a clearly worried biomedical researcher, currently employed as part of the Human Genome Project. “That’s just not how you do bioinformatics. Don’t they know anything about biology?”
“You cannot just make up stuff like this and claim its just as good as proper science” he said, “either you accept properly conducted scientific enquiry as the only reliable source of empirical evidence or you open the door to all kinds of pseudoscientific nonsense”.

The head of the genome project, Francis Collins, is expected to make a statement later this week after returning from an evangelical service held to mark the Feast of the Ascension, the holy day marking the occasion when Jesus, the son of God, flew bodily up to heaven, forty days after coming back from the dead.


C. David Parsons said...


The reason is elementary: the Discovery Institute and other ID proponents leave out the Triune God, Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Hence, Richard Dawkins can make the case for “aliens” seeding the earth.


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The text begins simply enough, tracing the history of Darwin from an impressionable youth influenced by atheists and agnostics on every hand to a full-fledged agnostic in his own right. The matter may be summed up by the inclusion of Darwin’s sentiment regarding the Creator. In a bitter denial of Christianity, Darwin complained that he "could hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true; for if so, the plain language of the text seems to show that the men who do not believe, and this would include my Father, Brother and almost all my best friends, will be everlastingly punished. And this is a damnable doctrine." Darwin charged his original belief in God to the "constant inculcation" (instruction or indoctrination) in a belief in God" during his childhood, which was as difficult to cast down as "for a monkey to throw off its instinctive fear and hatred of a snake…. Darwin purposed in his heart that he would no longer retain God in his knowledge. And the scientific illiterate upstart sought to entrap the innocents in the classroom in his web of deceit.

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MartinC said...

I'm not sure if Pastor Parsons has the correct target audience in sight here.

Alltruism said...

I'm pretty convinced he doesn't!