Tuesday, April 27, 2010


I have just read what RtB has brought up recently about convergence and thought it rather thought provoking. I haven't had the chance to read the links but I get the drift of what they are saying. Read it with an open mind and I don't expect this to disprove evolution but rather as noted at the end...put red flags up. Could convergence point more to a designer*?


by Dr. Fazale ("Fuz") Rana

Photo of Fazale 'Fuz' Rana

No one likes to pay taxes. Though necessary for our government to operate, they still represent an unpleasant financial burden.

Similarly, widespread convergence observed in the biological and biochemical realms burdens evolutionary biologists. And new work by scientists from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), further taxes the evolutionary paradigm.1

From an evolutionary perspective, convergence describes scenarios in which it appears that natural processes generated identical (or nearly identical) anatomical, physiological, or behavioral traits in unrelated organisms (e.g., echolocation in dolphins and bats). Convergence can even occur in the molecular realm, manifesting as the independent, repeated origin of biomolecules and biochemical systems.

As I discussed in The Cell’s Design and in this article on plant convergence, quite a few scientists do not expect convergence to be commonplace because evolutionary processes are historically contingent. Evolutionary biologist Richard Lenski recently confirmed this expectation through the Long-term Evolution Experiment (LTEE) conducted in his lab at Michigan State University. Lenski and his team have directly observed historical contingency at work in populations of the bacterium E. coil. (For more on the LTEE, see previous articles on bacteria evolution and the LTEE research.)

In spite of the historically contingent nature of the evolutionary process, convergence appears to be widespread at the organismal and biochemical levels. And as the scientists from UCSF describe in a recent paper, biochemical convergence is even more extensive than anyone thought.

Evolutionary biologists recognize five different types of biochemical convergence.2

  1. Functional convergence describes the independent origin on more than one occasion of biochemical functionality.
  2. Mechanistic convergence refers to the multiple independent emergences of biochemical processes that use the same chemical mechanisms.
  3. Structural convergence results when two or more biomolecules adopt independently the same three-dimensional structure.
  4. Sequence convergence occurs when either proteins or regions of DNA arise separately, yet have identical amino acid or nucleotide sequences, respectively.
  5. Systemic convergence describes the independent emergence of identical biochemical systems.

The UCSF researchers sought to determine the relationship between functional and mechanistic convergence in enzymes. They examined 95 functionally convergent enzyme pairs, focusing specifically on the set of chemical bond changes that take place during the course of enzyme catalysis.

They discovered that, while the functions of the enzymes were the same, the overall reactions mediated by the enzymes were similar in only 44 percent of the pairs and, of those, 33 percent employed the same chemical mechanism. This result means that functional and mechanistic convergence can overlap, but they remain distinct types of biochemical convergence. From an evolutionary perspective, it also appears that a large number of enzymes evolved independently multiple times to use the same reaction sequence! This result is truly surprising.

This survey represents important insight into protein structure and function. It should help biochemists do a better job of classifying enzymes. Additionally, it provides biotechnologists with insights beneficial toprotein engineering and the design of novel enzymes. On the other hand, this work also creates problems for the evolutionary paradigm simply because evolution shouldn’t repeat.

It is these types of problems that make me skeptical of the evolutionary paradigm. The red flags are up. It’s time for an audit.


1. Daniel E. Almonacid et al., “Quantitative Comparison of Catalytic Mechanisms and Overall Reactions in Convergently Evolved Enzymes: Implications for Classification of Enzyme Function,” PLoS Computational Biology 6 (2010): e10007000. Doi:10.1371/journal/pcbi.1000700

2. Russell F. Doolittle, “Convergent Evolution: The Need to Be Explicit,” Trends in Biochemical Sciences19 (January 1994): 15–18"


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Son of Hamas - Mosab Hassan Yousef

I was given this little article by a friend and thought it was rather interesting to share. It is so exciting to hear stories and to know of Muslims who come to know Christ, who embrace peace instead of war.

Also I have heard of many Muslims coming to know Christ through dreams, visions and miracles. Here is another article that talks about what I have heard previously. Dreams, Visions and Miracles

Read to find out more about the Hamas Leader:

"The latest releases from K-House
Son of Hamas:
A Gripping Account of Terror, Betrayal, Political Intrigue, and Unthinkable Choices
by Mosab Hassan Yousef
Special Price: $19.95

Since he was a small boy, Mosab Hassan Yousef has had an inside view of the deadly terrorist group Hamas. The oldest son of Sheikh Hassan Yousef, a founding member of Hamas and its most popular leader, young Mosab assisted his father for years in his political activities while being groomed to assume his legacy, politics, status … and power. But everything changed when Mosab turned away from terror and violence, and embraced instead the teachings of another famous Middle East leader. In Son of Hamas, Mosab Yousef--now called "Joseph"--reveals new information about the world's most dangerous terrorist organization and unveils the truth about his own role, his agonizing separation from family and homeland, the dangerous decision to make his newfound faith public, and his belief that the Christian mandate to "love your enemies" is the only way to peace in the Middle East.
Before the age of twenty-one, Mosab Hassan Yousef saw things no one should ever see: abject poverty, abuse of power, torture, and death. He witnessed the behind-the-scenes dealings of top Middle Eastern leaders who make headlines around the world. He was trusted at the highest levels of Hamas and participated in the Intifada. He was held captive deep inside Israel's most feared prison facility. His dangerous choices and unlikely journey through dark places made him a traitor in the eyes of people he loves--and gave him access to extraordinary secrets. On the pages of this book, he exposes events and processes that to this point have been known only by a handful of individuals… Mosab Hassan ("Joseph") Yousef is the son of Sheikh Hassan Yousef, a founding leader of Hamas, internationally recognized as a terrorist organization and responsible for countless suicide bombings and other deadly attacks against Israel. An integral part of the movement, Mosab was imprisoned several times by the Israeli internal intelligence service. After a chance encounter with a British tourist, he started a six-year quest that jeopardized Hamas, endangered his family, and threatened his life. He has since embraced the teachings of Jesus and sought political asylum in America. Ron Brackin has traveled extensively in the Middle East as an investigative journalist. He was in Bethlehem, Ramallah, Gaza, and Jerusalem during the Al-Aqsa Intifada. He was on assignment in Baghdad after the fall of Iraq and more recently with the rebels and refugees of southern Sudan and Darfur. He has contributed articles and columns to many publications, including USA Today and the Washington Times. Ron served as a broadcast journalist and a congressional press secretary in Washington after graduating from the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism.
Special Note: Mosab Hassan Yousef is going to be speaking at our Strategic Perspectives Conference in Franklin, TN via live video link (to keep his location a secret). See our website for conference details http://www.khouse.org/."

Sunday, April 4, 2010

wedding pics

Hey guys,

Esther and I are back from our honeymoon, a trip to the South Island of New Zealand, so here are some photos of the wedding: