As you know, each year at this time the Discovery Institute posts about their greatest triumphs for the past twelve months. As is usual in such a series, they’re working their way up from the bottom, and they’ll probably reach their Number One creationist news story on New Year’s day.
We’ve already discussed this year’s #10 and #9 here: Curmudgeonly Christmas 2016. Today we get to see two more more examples of what has thrilled the Discoveroids and their generous patrons this year. Are you ready? Okay, let’s get started.
In #8 of Our Top Stories of 2016: Merry Christmas! These Bacteria Are No Evolutionary Nightmare, they talk about something they wrote back in September, titled Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria May Be a Health Nightmare, but Not an Evolutionary One. It’s about the observed evolution of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The Discoveroids dismissed the whole thing because, in their words: “no newly evolved complex information has been demonstrated.”
We didn’t blog about it at the time because we considered their reaction far too silly to bother with. That’s still our opinion, although it’s amazing that an actual demonstration of evolution made their Top Ten list.
That was #8. Now we move on to the Discoveroids’ #7 of Our Top Stories of 2016: An Engineered “Minimal” Microbe Is Evidence of Intelligent Design. It was written by Ann Gauger (a/k/a “Annie Green Screen”), Casey’s replacement in the blogging department. Annie was previously toiling in obscurity at the Discoveroids’ clandestine creationist research facility, Biologic Institute, but her revolutionary output was apparently deemed less important than pumping out propaganda.
This important creationist news is something she mentioned back in March, and when we saw it then we wrote Removing Junk DNA “Proves” Intelligent Design. The topic was discussed first at PhysOrg. We quoted them:
Scientists have deleted nearly half the genes of a microbe, creating a stripped-down version that still functions, an achievement that might reveal secrets of how life works. It may also help researchers create new bacteria tailored for making medicines and other valuable substances.
The newly created bacterium has a smaller genetic code than does any natural free-living counterpart, with 531,000 DNA building blocks containing 473 genes. (Humans have more than 3 billion building blocks and more than 20,000 genes). … The scientists identified 428 nonessential genes, built their new genome without them, and showed that it was complete enough to let a bacterium survive.
And we said:
That’s impressive work indeed. The reason we didn’t think it had any potential for creationists is because it shows that the original microbe had a load of unnecessary junk in its genome, strongly suggesting — at best — incredibly clumsy design.
Then we discussed Annie’s reaction in which — get this! — she claimed the lab work was evidence of intelligent design. It was stunningly absurd then, and it’s even more so now, because the thing has found its way onto the Discoveroids’ Top Ten list.
So far, we’ve only learned about the bottom four of the Discoveroids’ top news items for the year. There are six more to go. What further wonders await us? Stay tuned to this blog!
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