Tuesday, March 30, 2010

What's next at CORE?

I don't usually like to talk about my research plans for the future. It's not that I don't plan. I constantly make lists of research that I think needs to be done. The problem is that I only vaguely keep to those lists. What I perceive as priorities change along with the circumstances, even though my overarching goals remain constant. In a sense, I think sharing my research plans with the general public obligates me to actually carry through with a project that I might decide later is not so important.

Despite this hesitance, I recognize a need to keep CORE's supporters informed about what we're doing here, which is part of why this blog exists. So I'm going to reveal a little about what's coming next from CORE. As I noted above, these plans come with a strict disclaimer that projects might get delayed or dropped in favor of more important things. At this point, though, I'm fairly excited about our plans, and I think most of these projects are quite likely to be completed within the next 5-10 years.

First, as I've hinted recently, I've just completed a baraminological analysis of the hominids. What did I find? Let's just say I wasn't disappointed. Not disappointed at all! The manuscript has been submitted for review, and hopefully we'll see it published before the summer.

Next, with the human holobaramin formally published, I've begun work on an analysis of human mitochondrial DNA (literally right now as I write this, my computer is aligning mitochondrial genomes). I want to look at evidence of discontinuity and reinterpret human mitochondrial DNA diversity, especially with respect to the Neandertals and the Denisova hominin. I'm especially concerned about mutation rates and the molecular clock. The origin of "modern" humans is also of great interest. I'll be expanding the ideas I developed in this Answers magazine article.

Also on my plate right now are the whales. Dealing with the baraminology of hominids has inspired me to finish writing up my whale studies. Those who've attended BSG conferences know I've been working on the baraminology of whales for about a decade. Over the past two years or so, I've worked intensively on finishing them. I'm not sure what kind of publication will result from this work. It will be either a monograph or a really long paper. I'm hoping for a really long paper, but we'll see. I think we can expect that research to be published within the next year or so.

Meanwhile my colleague Roger Sanders has begun a baraminology study of the flowering plants. Yeah, that's right, all of them. That will probably take a while, but the results will be well worth it, since we'll be able to compare plant cognita to baramins, which gets us closer to understanding God's design. Exciting stuff.

After that?
  • Horse baraminology. Thanks to Mats MolĂ©n, I was inspired to revisit the question of the baraminic status of the hyracotheriines. I think there's a way to resolve the question, so thanks, Mats!
  • Mammal cognita and baraminology. I want to do with the mammals what Roger is doing with the flowering plants. That will take a while.
  • Mitochondrial DNA and animal baramins. More work on the DNA sequence diversity of baramins, expanding my results with humans to other groups.
  • Dinosaur baraminology. Paul Garner and I want to work out all the dinosaur baramins. Because dinosaurs are cool.
While all that is going on, I want to rewrite Understanding the Pattern of Life. The first edition was OK for its time, but it's nearly ten years out of date now (and it's really beginning to show). I've got an outline for the new book, and I like it a whole lot better than the first one.

That's all for now. If you would like to be a part of this research effort, you can send a donation to CORE or donate online. Thanks for your support.