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Topics - Atheistoclast

Alternative Reality Science Extravaganza / Darwin Day!

Christmas is over, but Darwimas is right around the corner!  :clap:

If you just happen to be in Manchester UK, there is an event on to celebrate the great day: "HUMAN EVOLUTION: from Australopithecus to Archaeological Science"

After the event, I will doing a book signing for my latest publication, "Atheists in the Mist: the death throes of non-belief". There will also be a dinner with yours truly with tickets starting at £20.  So, what are you waiting for?
Science / Piggies really are quasi-primates

A few years back, I claimed that my own research showed that pigs were unlike their artiodactylan cousins and more like primates. I was riducled on this very site for making such a bold claim.  I am pleased to my scientific peers have confirmed my findings.

We  identified  and  characterized  a  free  PRE-1  element  inserted  into  the  promoter  region  of  the 
porcine  IGFBP7 gene  whose  integration  mechanisms  into  the  genome,  including  copy  number, 
distribution  preferences,  capacity  to  exonize  and  phyloclustering  pattern  are  similar  to  that  of  the 
primate  Alu  element.  98%  of  these  PRE-1  elements  also  contain  two  conserved  internal  AluI 
restriction enzyme recognition sites, and the RNA structure of PRE1 can be folded into a two arms
model like the Alu RNA structure. It is more surprising that the length of the PRE-1 fragments is
nearly  the  same  in  20  chromosomes  and  positively  correlated  to  its  fracture  site  frequency.  All  of 
these  fracture  sites  are  close  to  the  mutation  hot  spots  of  PRE-1  families,  and  most  of  these 
hot  spots  are  located  in  the  non-complementary  fragile  regions  of  the  PRE-1  RNA  structure. 
Sequence   homology   analysis   showed   that   the   PRE-1   element   seemed   to   share   a   common  
ancestor  7SL  RNA  with  primates  but  was  generated  by  different  evolutionary  model,  which 
suggests that the suidae may be the closest relatives to primates in laurasiatheria.
The upshot of all of this, according to the study's author, is that the suidae family (that is, the swine family) could conceivably be grouped into a family that is otherwise mostly inhabited by primates, at least in terms of 7SL RNA-derived SINEs.

I am in the process of applying for a massive grant from the John Templeton Foundation to investigate whether proteins have been intelligently designed by an almighty creator. I would like to see if there are other foundations like Templeton which fund cutting-edge cross-disciplinary research. Any names?
Science / Giraffe and okapi genomes sequenced
I have long been asking my fellow scientists to get on with sequencing a giraffe and they finally have done so. The evolutionary enigma of how the giraffe got its unique physique apparently comes down to one fibroblast growth factor (FGFRL1) with 7 amino acid substitutions:

Giraffe genome sequence reveals clues to its unique morphology and physiology:
Philosophy / Finite chain of causality revisited

The chain of causality cannot stretch back indefinitely because of the following reasons:

1. If the universe had no beginning, then there would be no passage of time since the universe could never get any older.

2. If the past were "endless", the present could not exist since it represents the end of the past and the beginning of the future.

3. Following on from 2), it would also take forever to reach the present moment if there was no beginning.

4. If motion represents "displacement in space-time", then this also requires that some extraneous force must have set things in motion or else there would presently be no displacement at all and everything would be at rest.

5. Any chain of causal dependence, where the cause of one thing is conditional to the effect produced by another, cannot be infinite in past duration because the dependency of causation itself requires an independent cause for it to exist in the first instance.

Have submitted a new manuscript critical of attempts to suggest that the Homo genus need not be defined in terms of obligate terrestrial bipedalism because the australopiths already were engaged in this locomotion.