Thursday, 26 November 2015

Animal Rights Vs. Human Wrongs, the Darwinian Connection

For many activists, animal rights mean more than human wrongs.

Joel Kontinen

Animal rights seem to count more than human wrongs in a world where belief in molecules-to-man evolution has caused a devaluation of our place among all other living beings.

The rise of the culture of death, as seen in abortion and euthanasia, serves to diminish human worth.

At the very same time, activists want to free animals from “cruel psychological experiments,” which they see as demeaning as torture and child abuse.

Recently, Science reported on how the activist group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) had sent letters to people living near the homes of

U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins and NIH researcher Stephen Suomi, revealing their home addresses and phone numbers and urging their neighbors to call and visit them. The tactic is the latest attempt by the animal rights group to shut down monkey behavioral experiments at Suomi’s Poolesville, Maryland, laboratory.”

An activist said that the bad treatment of monkeys was comparable to “having a sexual predator in your neighborhood.”

While we should certainly not mistreat animals, activists seem to think that animals (like a lion called Cecil) are more important than humans.

Many, for instance, Peter Singer, would want to re-define animals as persons.

However, in doing so, they diminish human worth. At least part of their struggle is against biblical ethics that start with the unique place we have in the created order.

Only humans were created in God’s image. Only humans can sin, and Christ died for humans, not animals, on the cross, redeeming us from sin.


Grimm, David. 2015. Animal rights group targets NIH director’s home. Science (18 November).

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Evidence for Noah’s Flood? – Fossilised Tropical Forest In Norway

A tropical forest in the Arctic? This one is in Down Under, near Kuranda.

Joel Kontinen

The Arctic should be one of the last places where we’d expect to find traces of a tropical forest. However, that is exactly what a new paper published in the journal Geology shows.

An article on the discovery in LiveScience features some naturalistic speculations. Researchers think that the forest grew near the equator and then drifted north some “380 million years ago.”

The trees were mostly lycopsids that are still found in our days. Some grew to be 4 metres (13 feet) high.

It would not be too difficult to see this fossil forest as evidence for Noah’s Flood that devastated the early earth.

Dinosaur fossils found in the Arctic (read more here, here and here) also suggest that they were trapped by the Flood.

Massive fossil graveyards found on many continents, huge aquifers and mountain gaps also remind us of the Flood.


Weisberger, Mindy. 2015. Fossilized Tropical Forest Found — in Arctic Norway. Live Science (20 November).

Sunday, 22 November 2015

No Head, No Worries: Mollusc Can See With Its Rock-Hard Eyes

Acanthopleura granulata. Image courtesy of Hans Hillewaert, Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0).

Joel Kontinen

It’s not easy to see a chiton that looks like a rock on which it lives. But with its thousand tiny rock-hard eyes the mollusk is by no means blind.

Although its eyesight might not match that of an eagle, its tiny lenses – each merely a tenth of a millimetre across – lets the creature evade predators.

A report in New Scientist quotes Sönke Johnsen, an ecologist at Duke University, as saying:

“It’s a basic camera eye design. The difference is they’re embedded in rock and the lens itself is made out of rock.”

While Acanthopleura granulata might look simple, its exceptional eye design suggests that the Creator loves diversity.

You can read about some other intelligent solutions seen in the animal kingdom here, here and here.


Nowogrodzki, Anna. 2015. Mollusc sees the world through hundreds of eyes made out of rock. New Scientist (19 November).

Pennisi, Elizabeth. 2015. Video: Sea creature makes a thousand eyes from its shell. Science (19 November).

Friday, 20 November 2015

Kepler-438 B: Most Earth-Like Exoplanet Is Not Habitable, New Research Suggests

Kepler-438 b. Image courtesy of Oatenslly, Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0).

Joel Kontinen

In January, Kepler-438 b was touted as the most Earth-like planet ever discovered. As it orbited its star within the habitable zone, it was seen as a potential home for alien life.

But now a press release issued by the University of Warwick suggests that the planet doesn’t even have an atmosphere:

The most Earth-like planet could have been made uninhabitable by vast quantities of radiation, new research led by the University of Warwick has found.”

Kepler-438b orbits a red dwarf in the constellation Lyra some 470 light-years from us. Slightly bigger than Earth, it orbits its sun in 35.2 days.

It seems to be too close to a hot object:

“The atmosphere of the planet, Kepler-438b, is thought to have been stripped away as a result of radiation emitted from a superflaring Red Dwarf star, Kepler-438.

Regularly occurring every few hundred days, the superflares are approximately ten times more powerful than those ever recorded on the Sun and equivalent to the same energy as 100 billion megatons of TNT

The naturalistic worldview needs habitable exoplanets. It rejects the idea that Earth is special, and wants to see alien life wherever it is possible.

The search for life-friendly exoplanets has produced questionable “discoveries” as some of them, like Gliese 581d and Gliese 581g, might not even exist and some others might be a lot less friendly to life than once assumed.

It’s still safe to say that there’s no place like home in the universe.


University of Warwick. 2015. Most Earth-like planet uninhabitable due to radiation, new research suggests. (18 November).

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Intelligent System: Protein Helps Animals to Navigate By Sensing Earth’s Magnetic Field

Butterflies make use of the Earth’s magnetic field in their migrations.

Joel Kontinen

Many animals make use of the Earth’s magnetic field in their migrations. Researchers knew this but they were not sure how butterflies, birds, turtles and wolves did it.

Actually, even fruit flies and worms are able to navigate in this way.

Now, a research team led by Can Xie at Peking University has “found a protein in fruit flies, butterflies and pigeons that they believe to be responsible for this magnetic sense.”

Examining the fruit fly genome, they found a protein called MagR that interacts with another protein, cryptochrome.

An article in New Scientist explains how these two proteins work together:

“They found that MagR and cryptochrome proteins formed a cylinder, with an inside filling of 20 MagR molecules surrounded by 10 cryptochromes.

The researchers then identified and isolated this protein complex from pigeons and monarch butterflies.

In the lab, the proteins snapped into alignment in response to a magnetic field. They were so strongly magnetic that they flew up and stuck to the researchers’ tools, which contained iron. So the team had to use custom tools made of plastic.

Can blind Darwinian processes invent such a delicate method that would be of no use unless all the parts worked together from the beginning?

The logical answer is no. We know that marvels of engineering are the result of intelligence.

And intelligence requires a mind.

Many other amazing solutions seen in the animal kingdom rule out purely naturalistic explanations.


Nowogrodzki, Anna. 2015. Animal magnetic sense comes from protein that acts as a compass. New Scientist (16 November).

Monday, 16 November 2015

"520 Million Year Old" Fossilised Brain “Turns Palaeontology On Its Head”

Fuxianhuia protensa, Image curtesy of Graham Budd, public domain.

Joel Kontinen

Brains were not supposed to fossilize. That was something every palaeontologist knew.

Even when Nature published a paper on a fossilized brain in 2012, many remained sceptical.

Now, however, Nicholas Strausfeld, one of the authors of the 2012 paper, has with his colleagues published a new study in the journal Current Biology.

An article in says their discoveries “turn paleontology on its head,” as they provide evidence of fossilised arthropod brains assumed to be ”520 million years” old:

The species, Fuxianhuia protensa is an extinct arthropod that roamed the seafloor about 520 million years ago. It would have looked something like a very simple shrimp. And each of the fossils - from the Chengjiang Shales, fossil-rich sites in Southwest China - revealed F. protensa's ancient brain looked a lot like a modern crustacean's, too.

So, Cambrian brains looked much like modern brains.

In case you’ve forgotten, stasis is the very opposite of evolution. If animals don’t change in “520 million years,” then how much time do they need?

The soft brains of Fuxianhuia protensa show clearly that Darwinian evolution is in a very deep crisis.


University of Arizona, 2015. 520-million-year-old arthropod brains turn paleontology on its head (9 November).

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Quite a Story: “Ancient Alga Knew How to Survive on Land Before It Left Water”

Image courtesy of Fred Hsu, Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0).

Joel Kontinen

We all knew that animals and plants are intelligent, but now evolutionists would want us to believe that algae were able to plan ahead.

According to Science Daily,

A team of scientists led by Dr Pierre-Marc Delaux (John Innes Centre / University of Wisconsin, Madison) has solved a long-running mystery about the first stages of plant life on earth.”

So what did they find out?

They “analysed DNA and RNA of some of the earliest known land plants and green algae and found evidence that their shared algal ancestor living in the Earth's waters already possessed the set of genes, or symbiotic pathways, it needed to detect and interact with the beneficial AM fungi.”

The rest is fact-free storytelling:

Dr Delaux said: 'At some point 450 million years ago, alga from the earth's waters splashed up on to barren land. Somehow it survived and took root, a watershed moment that kick-started the evolution of life on earth. Our discovery shows for the first time that the alga already knew how to survive on land while it was still in the water. Without the development of this pre-adapted capability in alga, the earth could be a very different place today.'

Actually, their discovery did not show it. Their interpretation is based on anything but a critical analysis of the data. In other words, they assume that they have discovered algae that are capable of thinking and planning ahead, because their worldview requires this to happen.

Otherwise, life would never have made it to land. Evolution would be dead.

What the researchers failed to keep in mind is that evolution was supposed to be blind. Just ask Richard Dawkins.


John Innes Centre. 2015. Ancient alga knew how to survive on land before it left water and evolved into the first plant. ScienceDaily (5 October).