Saturday, 4 October 2008

News Round

Mike Gene Admits Matzke was Right

The bacterial flagellum is such a central argument to the ID movement that during the Dover trial, it resulted in the funniest moment in the trial. After Michael Behe had spend nearly two full days on the witness stand, much of it talking about the flagellum, Scott Minnich took the stand and was going to talk about the same thing. When he put up a slide of the flagellum, Judge Jones said, "We've seen that." Minnich deadpanned, "I kind of feel like Zsa Zsa Gabor's fifth husband. I know what to do, I just don't know how to make it new and exciting for you."

Nick Matzke, who was the single most important person in the trial, responsible for educating the attorneys about science and ID and poking holes in the other side's arguments, had already by that time co-authored an article proposing that the flagellum had evolved from a more primitive and simple cellular apparatus and providing the evidence for that argument that was known to that point. That article was later published in the journal Protein Science.

Since that time, the evidence has grown considerably stronger for the hypothesis that Matzke and Pallen put forward in that article as the various proteins involved have been sequenced and more homologies discovered that indicate precisely how the process of mutation and selection might have led from the Type Three Secretory System (TTSS) to the flagellum. And now Mike Gene has essentially admitted, despite being initially critical of that hypothesis, that it appears to be correct.

From here.
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Fish with fingers are evolution's 'missing link'

Finger-like divisions found in the fins of ancient fish have been hailed as a "missing link" in our evolution.

Scientists studying the fossil of a fish that lived 385 million years think the discovery fills a gap in our knowledge about the development of fingers and toes.
In the past, it had been concluded that digits only developed after our ancestors made the jump from sea to land 380 million years ago.
But the new study at Uppsala University, Sweden, and published in Nature, concludes that they were already developing when our ancestors were fish.

From the Telegraph.

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