RSR: Renowned Scientist Sternberg on Junk DNA

* Another Man's Treasure: Real Science Radio host Bob Enyart interviews former Smithsonian researcher Dr. Richard Sternberg, one of the key scientists in the history of the debate over junk DNA. Ben Stein's movie "Expelled" profiled this highly credentialed and widely published evolutionary biologist. Bob's guest explains some of the astounding functionality of the human genome and describes the shrinking case for the neo-Darwinist claim that most of our DNA is functionless. Dr. Sternberg also comments on an audio clip from 17 years ago when famed atheist evolutionist Eugenie Scott presented Junk DNA to Bob Enyart as her best evidence against an intelligent designer.

* Sternberg's Bio, Research, & Publications: To keep up with Richard Sternberg (if you can), you can follow his research through his publication and see how his views on evolution changed, all at his site, RichardSternberg.com.

* Related Nature News Item: While Sternberg remains an old-earther, Nature's report of Cal State's firing of the creationist director of its Northridge microscopy lab garnered a first comment that exposes the disingenuous criticism that ID proponents (and creationists) do not publish in peer-reviewed journals. The Nature News story, University sued after firing creationist fossil hunter, reports that RSR friend Mark Armitage:
- "published his [Triceratops soft tissue] findings in Acta Histochemica, a journal of cell and tissue research (M. H. Armitage and K. L. Anderson Acta Histochem. 115, 603–608; 2013). Two weeks later, he was fired from his job at California State University, Northridge (CSUN), where he managed the biology department’s electron and confocal microscopy suite."
- "It was just morphology," says  Mary Schweitzer, a palaeontologist at North Carolina State University at Raleigh who reviewed the work before publication, and made the first discovery of soft tissue in dinosaur bones in 2005. “It was fine.”
- [Armitage 
had authored "roughly 30 technical articles on microscopy"
- "'I'm not a microscopist but as far as I could tell, Armitage was a good one,' Paul Wilson, a biologist at CSUN, told Nature."
Yet with all that, the first comment that Nature chose to publish, by a Robert Buntrock, says, "Somehow he flew his publications under the radar. ... Stealth publishing of pseudoscience lurking in the background is unprofessional and invalid." In this freudian slip, Buntrock is saying that Acta Histochemica and the other journals should reject papers on a presuppositional basis. For regardless of a specific paper's scientific validity, based on an ad hominem bias against any researcher who holds to an anti-Darwinian worldview, their work should be summarily rejected regardless of its significance and its rigid adherence to accepted scientifc methodology. Those who own journals do get to make the rules about who to publish and who not to publish. However to the extent that Buntrock is expressing the view of the Darwinian community, it is disingenuous to criticize creationists and ID proponents for not publishing in evolutionary science journals when in reality the system is rigged to automatically reject their submissions, regardless of any apparent scientific validity.

* Dawkins Validates the Intelligent Design Argument: In the film that profiled Dr. Sternberg's ouster from the Smithsonian, Ben Stein's movie Expelled, Richard Dawkins admited that microbiology could provide the evidence for the intelligent design of life on Earth. From about 85 minutes into the film (and 3 minutes into the clip below), Ben Stein asks, "What do you think is the possibility that intelligent design might turn out to be the answer to some issues in genetics or in evolution?" Here's a transcript of the reply:

"It could come about in the following way. It could be that at some earlier time somewhere in the universe a civilization evolved, by probably some kind of Darwinian means, to a very, very high level of technology, and designed a form of life that they seeded onto perhaps this planet. Now that is a possibility, and an intriguing possibility. And I suppose that it's possible that you might find evidence for that if you look at the details of biochemistry and molecular biology. You might find a signature of some sort of designer… And that designer could well be a higher intelligence from elsewhere in the universe." -Richard Dawkins, in Expelled

 

* See more on Dawkins: For some ironic observations about Richard Dawkins, see realscienceradio.com/Dawkins.

* I Saw "Expelled" 15 Times: As part of the American RTL movie marathon, Real Science Radio host Bob Enyart saw Ben Stein's film 15 times with other ARTL members in Colorado theaters during opening weekend. The widespread claim by evolutionists that somehow atheist Richard Dawkins was misrepresented by editing or tricked about the topic of discussion is untenable. Dawkins is engaged in the discussion with Stein; he admits that the complexity observed in microbiology could be evidence that life on earth originated from a higher intelligence, somewhere out there in the universe. Of course, he claims that such a higher life-form must have evolved by some kind of Darwinian mechanism. But if genetic and cellular complexity provides evidence that life on earth is too complex to arise by chance, then evolutionists like Dawkins and Francis Crick are just punting to claim it must have originated somewhere else. The film is powerful.

 

Today's Resources: Please purchase from RSR the Illustra film, Flight: The Genius of Birds which we offer on DVD or in a in a Blu-ray combo with another great video, Metamorphosis! Don't be fooled by cheaper prices at other outlets! Why save a penny when you can save the world? Browse the science department in the RSR store and keep us broadcasting to spread the word for another year! Consider also, American Right To Life's great Expelled Movie Marathon press release, and RSR's related interivew with the author of Slaughter of the Dissidents. RSR also recommends the great movie from our friend, film producer Fred Foote, in which Hollywood finally gets the Scopes Monkey Trial right: Alleged starring Brian Dennehy (Rambo), Fred Thompson (Law & Order), Colm Meany (Star Trek), and Ashley Johnson (The Help, The Avengers).


BEL's Three Big Accomplishments of 2014 are:
1) The Battle at the Palace debate with theologian James White.
2) The release of our Global Flood and Hydroplate Theory video.
3) After ten years of prayer, research, and thought, we have finally provided an answer to the allegation that even God Himself cannot cross an actual infinity. (This answer appears at kgov.com/time#crossing-infinity and it's copied here.)

Misconception 3: God Cannot Cross an Actual Infinity: (Send any comment to Bob@kgov.com.) God has existed through the beginningless past. Christian theologians who object to this typically do so by being inconsistent, and thus, their objection is easily neutralized, and then answered. For example, William Lane Craig denies that God has existed throughout time immemorial, infinitely into the past, because he claims that even God cannot cross an actual infinity. (Aristotle, for example, claimed that the infinite is never actual; he however, did not know God.) Yet while Craig doesn't admit it, he himself believes that God has crossed an actual infinity. His belief that God has exhaustive foreknowledge of a kingdom that never ends requires knowledge of an infinite future, with this knowledge comprised of actual thoughts in God's mind. (This would be like God having counted to infinity.) Further, because Craig happens to hold the untenable and rather grotesque belief that God knows every possible future, that philosophical claim requires God to cross an infinite number of actual infinities. Instead, in actuality, God has crossed the single infinity of the beginningless past. Using a typically unstated assumption, an argument against God's "beginningless past" insists that He could not have crossed an infinite past because regardless of how much time has actually passed, "infinity" would require passage of even more time to arrive at any given moment. The unstated assumption in this objection however is that it assumes its conclusion, namely, that this past period must have had a beginning (for this objection asserts that this past period is of finite duration). If there is a valid systematic theology against God crossing an actual infinity, it would not support a philosophical claim that contradicts its own system, and it will not merely assume its conclusion. Let's consider an analogy from geometry and then an excuse from mathematics. Using an analogy, not as a proof but as an illustration, a geometrical line is infinite in both directions, whereas a ray has a terminal point yet is infinite in one direction. For our analogy, the ray extends through eternity past and is terminated in God's present, which is where God lives (in the fullness of time, so to speak). Relatedly, perhaps there is an excuse for theologians who failed to understand all this, who lived prior to mathematician Georg Cantor (d. 1918), who taught the world that it was possible to form infinite sets greater than other infinite sets. So, if God had already existed for eternity past at the moment of creation (an infinite set of moments), by the time of the Incarnation, He had then existed for an even longer infinite set of moments. For, He must increase. (Prior to Cantor the world of mathematics never accepted the concept of greater infinity.) And finally, God put eternity into our hearts. Yet unlike God, our life is not endless in two but only in one direction, namely, into the future. So you are like a "ray" that begins at a point (of conception) and then proceeds forever (Eccl. 3:11). Therefore, our eternal soul provides for us a context in which we can develop a gut feel for what it means to live forever (throughout eternity future). Yet we lack the divine intestinal fortitude, so to speak, which we would need in order to relate to His beginningless past. Thus, by the Scriptural teachings regarding time (see above) and because time could not have been created (see above), therefore we teach that God's goings forth are from of old, from everlasting, from ancient times, the everlasting God who continues forever, from before the ages of the ages, He who is and who was and who is to come, who remains forever, the everlasting Father, whose years never end, from everlasting to everlasting, and of His kingdom there will be no end.