More Complex than Previously Thought-Part II

I thought I’d provide a few recent snippets along these lines.

1). The First Animal on Earth was More Complex than Previously Thought

ScienceDaily (Apr. 11, 2008) — A new study mapping the evolutionary history of animals indicates that Earth’s first animal — a mysterious creature whose characteristics can only be inferred from fossils and studies of living animals–was probably significantly more complex than previously believed.

2). Volcanoes function in a far more complex way than previously thought

Washington, Oct 10 (ANI): A new research by a team of US and UK scientists has found that volcanoes function in a far more complex way than previously thought, making future eruptions even harder to predict.

3). Arctic Ice Formation is More Complex Than Previously Thought

Contrary to historical observations, sea ice in the high Arctic undergoes very small, back and forth movements twice a day, even in the dead of winter. It was once believed ice deformation at such a scale was almost non-existent.

4). Research: Bee vision

Bees’ colour vision is more sophisticated than previously thought.

Like humans, bees are sensitive to light at three different wavelengths (trichromatic). Also like humans, they can recognise the colour of objects such as flowers even when their illumination changes (so-called colour constancy).

5). Study: Single muscle far more complex than previously believed

The finding enriches a gradually emerging picture of a single muscle as a far more complex unit than traditionally believed. Research in the late 1970s and early 1980s showed that the amount of work a muscle does can vary along a lone muscle fiber. The most recent research is the first to document a range of activity within a single muscle of a live animal, in this case a helmeted guinea fowl.

Recent Harvard Cellular Animation

I can’t help but consult homology on this one with respect to bipedalism. I’m mean seriously. Look at that little bugger walking the tightrope. Perhaps humans evolved from that molecule. In all seriousness, this video is great, and furthers my appreciation of Creation. I realize that is probably not the intent of the folks at Harvard, but it’s a great video nonetheless. For those without broadband, you can see a few stills.1

I can’t help but see the sentience expressed in these “nano-machines.” Although they are not sentient themselves, they appear to be an expression of sentience in my opinion (a sentience far beyond that of our own). I think this really goes to the point my coauthor DB has made a number of times in the past about appreciating the beauty in science.


1 http://www.studiodaily.com/main/searchlist/6850.html

For a longer excerpt of the video without the lecture, go here:
http://aimediaserver4.com/studiodaily/videoplayer/?src=ai4/harvard/harvard.swf&width=640&height=520

A Naturalistic Fairy Tale-Part X

And now that we do now know how life did arise (most humble apologies, I did forget about deep-sea hydrothermal vents (1), Mars (2), clay (3), and diamonds (4)–perhaps those will be tales for another day). But life does go on, and so it did–like a juggernaut, it did march inexorably toward sentience, self-discovery, and science (2). We do now take up this blind march at the Ur-Cell level, having thoroughly and irrefutably established that no designer was involved (praise Science). And, then did begin the long history of common descent (5). A long series of speciation and extinction did result in a wide variety of life forms from a common genome. Random mutations did occur, and the beneficial mutations did result in increased fitness for survival. Those organisms who were unfit for survival did die, and those who were more fit did live (praise Science). (Continued in Part XI)

(1). http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v336/n6195/pdf/336117a0.pdf
(2). http://www.space.com/searchforlife/aliens_all_001027-2.html
(3). http://dir.salon.com/story/books/review/2005/10/31/hazen/
(4). http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25889356/
(5). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution