Monday, August 17, 2015

Summer Reading

These are the books I've read, or finished reading, this summer beginning in June.








This is the book that I'm re-reading very carefully.


This is still my favorite book



21 comments :

  1. First I've heard of Conway Morris's book. Could you post on it? How bizarre is it? (I'm assuming that it is in fact bizarre.)

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  2. The cover of the Nick Lane looks interesting. Is it?

    Reading Eternal Ephemera now and curious what you thought of it.

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  3. There was a new ID book out. Thats the summer reading that deals with the controversy.

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  4. I think you kind of lost out in regard to your biochemistry book, at least in regard to phylogeny. With the recent discovery of the Lokiarchaeota, the "three domains hypothesis" as you put it, has been pretty much verified.

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    1. Nonsense. There are far more eubacterial genes in your genome than archebacterial genes. Eukaryotes are the result of a fusion between two unrelated ancient species, one from each of the two bacterial "domains." Eukaryotes are not a distinct clade that represents a third domain.

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    2. If anything the discovery of Lokiarchaeota suggests that eukaryotes are a subgroup of archaea, which nullifies the "three domain hypothesis."

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    3. Are the advocates of "the three domain" hypothesis requiring that a "domain" be monophyletic? If so, and if there was a fusion of an Archaean with a bacteria, then, of the three, only eukayotes would be monophyletic.

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    4. @Lorax & @Larry
      Traditionally people who were against the three domains did so to "defend the honor" of Eukaryotes -- how dare mere "prokaryotes" take up majority of the domains (ignoring the fact they in fact contain far more diversity than the euks). Arguing that there aren't three domains because Eukaryota isn't worthy of a domain because they are either a fusion or a subgroup of the Archaea is an interesting idea if sincere.

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    5. The problem of how to classify hybrids occurs at all taxonomic levels. (I know Eukaryotes aren't hybrids the same way hybrid progeny of two sexually reproducing taxa are, but these sexually produced taxa seem to be the best analogue I know.)

      For grasses, new genera are often established for species that originated as intergeneric hybrids. (I'm not referring to the nothogenera for recurrent hybrids, but genera for well established, sexually reproducing species of hybrid origin.)

      So perhaps it is appropriate to consider Eukaryota their own domain.

      Of course, in some senses it really doesn't matter what taxonomic rank, if any, we give them. Their traits and ancestry are the same whatever we call them.

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    6. @Jonathan Badger Maybe it's me, but I cannot for the life of me figure out what your point is. You initially claimed that the three domain hypothesis is true. "With the recent discovery of the Lokiarchaeota, the "three domains hypothesis" as you put it, has been pretty much verified." How does the fact that eukaryotes appear to arise from a subgroup of archaea support the three domain hypothesis? Also what does it matter if I am sincere or not? Is the problem not worthy based on my specific approach? Does my insincerity (if it exists) nullify all the other scientists thinking about these issues?

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    7. The actual scientific meaning behind the three domains is that Archaea are different from bacteria and that the rooting of the universal tree suggested that eukaryotes arose from within the archaea. This is very much supported by the discovery of the Lokiarchaeota.

      Arguing that accepting this would mean that they aren't three domains by eliminating eukaryota as an independent domain (or as Joe suggested, accepting eukaryotes as a domain would cause paraphyly in this or the fusion scenario) are basically just linguistic games without real bearing on the actual evolutionary events. That's my point.

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  5. There was a new ID book out. Thats the summer reading that deals with the controversy.

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  6. Just the most helpful review on amazon.com and you don't have to read the book

    "In 2009, Nick Lane had published 'Life Ascending', which, in 1 or 2 chapters, demolished the arguments of the Intelligent Design proponent Stephen Meyer in his book 'Signature in the Cell', coincidentally published in the same year.

    'Life Ascending' subsequently deservedly went on to win the Royal Society's award for the best science book of the year.

    'The Vital Question' is continuing the process of demolishing 'Signature in the Cell', and expanding the explanation of why life on Earth originated in deep-sea alkaline hydrothermal vents, and the reasons why it took the pathway that resulted.

    It also goes in depth why complex life, Eukaryotes, took so long to originate. Strangely, Stephen Meyer in a throwaway line in his latest book 'Darwin's Doubt, claimed that evolutionary biologists find it difficult to explain the development of eukaryotic cells by means of random mutation and natural selection, referenced only by a purported discussion on his website for the book.

    A rather strange claim, since it has been known for years that Eukaryotes (one of the 3 domains of life) arose from a symbiotic fusion between members of the other 2 domains, Archaea and Eubacteria. Not a random mutation (as Stephen Meyer indicates, but no one thought it was) but a rare fusion of 2 different cells. And everything subsequently was natural selection all the way.


    Who would have thought? Nick Lane not only demolishes Myers 'Darwin's Doubt", he also resolves the long outstanding mystery of the origins of life.

    "expanding the explanation of why life on Earth originated in deep-sea alkaline hydrothermal vents, and the reasons why it took the pathway that resulted."

    One book and all the evolutionary mysteries are solved. Thanks Nick!

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    1. So now you no longer have to come here and blather ignorantly about it.

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    2. Mikkel,

      I was being sarcastic.

      Nick doesn't provide any evidence that OOL took place in the vents. If he did, it would be easier. Any scientist with some brains would put the necessary elements for life next to any vent and manipulated it any way necessary. Life is unique.

      Unfortunately, you just have to bite your tongue and swallow your pride that you and the followers of Darwin are not as smart as the vents once were.

      It is quite amusing reading comments of respected scientists who buy in to this. Sometime I just wonder if science is just as corrupt as politics and religion as a whole.

      There are gems here and there but the rest is just not worth looking at.

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    3. So in the space below you'll explain how it actually happened, then ...

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  7. Why not read _Darwin's Doubt_ so you can see what the IDiots are saying. How can you answer them without knowing their arguments? As a scorned and contemptible Idiot, I have found it very informative and useful to explore the Evilutionists' arguments. :) So you should try it sometime, Old Heathen Professor. hahaha

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    1. Have you read the reviews to Darwin's Doubt where all the multiple mistakes and misrepresentations Meyer makes are exposed?

      I'm willing to bet you haven't, because you couldn't even bother googling before suggesting prof. Moran should read it

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    2. @ "Kristen Michelle":

      http://sandwalk.blogspot.ca/2013/09/dawrins-doubt-synopsis.html

      And you wonder why you're called "IDiots"?

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