Thursday, 2 July 2015

Sir Nicholas Winton, Britain’s Oscar Schindler, Dies at 106



Jewish children arriving in Britain. Image courtesy of the Deutsches Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-S69279 / CC-BY-SA.




Joel Kontinen

After the infamous Kristallnacht in late 1938 Nicholas Winton, a young British stockbroker, heard about the plight of Jewish children in Nazi occupied Czechoslovakia.

He managed to get 669 of the children to safety in Britain by putting them on trains in an operation that came to be known as the Kindertransport or child transport. Had he failed to do so, most of them would have perished in concentration camps.

Sir Nicholas Winton, who was of Jewish descent, was one of the few humanitarian heroes of an otherwise dark and gloomy era when the Nazis used science against humanity.

Source:

Sir Nicholas Winton, who saved hundreds from Nazis, dies at 106. BBC news.


Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Venus, Our Sister Planet, Looks Young But Was Not Designed for Life



Venus looks hot. Image courtesy of NASA/Sygma/Corbis.



Joel Kontinen

The more we get to know about the solar system, the younger it looks. A paper published recently in Geophysical Research Letters takes a look at Venus, which just like Earth, orbits the Sun in the goldilocks zone. That is, it could potentially be habitable.

New Scientist describes the obvious difference between the twins:

Venus is leaking lava. Researchers have found oozing volcanoes on our closest planetary neighbour, a discovery that may help solve the planet's deepest geological riddles.

Past observations revealed that Venus' surface is ‘new’, at least in geological terms
.”

The article nonetheless defines ‘new’ from a deep time perspective:

Scientists think the planet has been paved over by upwelling lava within the last billion years.

It then goes on to say:

“There have been hints of more recent volcanism, too: some terrain looks as young as a few hundred thousand years and we have seen changes in the amount of sulphur – an element produced by volcanoes – in the planet's atmosphere.

Data sent by the European Space Agency's Venus Express probe that orbited Venus from 2006 to 2014 suggest recent lava flows. This means that the planet is still volcanically active.

It also means that Venus is a lot younger that we were told.

Venus is not the odd one out:

· Mercury has young ice.
· Ceres displays water vapour.
· There are active volcanoes on Jupiter’s moons Io and Europa.
· Copious amounts of tholin on Saturn’s moon Titan suggest that the moon cannot be billions of years old.

While Venus was not made for life, like some other planets and moons it displays signs of youth that can only be explained by a supernatural beginning – the one described in Genesis.

Source:

Sokol, Joshua. 2015. Lava lakes spotted on Venus may be how it stays so blemish-free. New Scientist (19 June).






Sunday, 28 June 2015

Rainbow – The Hijacked Sign That Reminds Us of Noah’s Flood


Secularists have hijacked this sign that speaks of God’s promise to Noah.





Joel Kontinen

The rainbow reminds us – or at least it should – of the biggest geological event between creation and our days.

The Flood was unique. Several geological features show that it was a real historical event. It even explains the ice age.

However, just like some people have attempted to usurp God’s place as Creator and replaced Genesis with an entirely naturalistic version of origins, so they have forgotten about the true meaning of the rainbow.

That includes Barack Obama, who celebrated the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision on allowing same sex “marriages” by displaying the colours of the rainbow in the white house.

He was not celebrating Genesis.

However, man cannot change that what God has decreed. He can only hurt himself in attempting to do so.

What many have forgotten is that God always wants that what is best for us. Genesis states that the initial creation was very good, and Luke’s Gospel shows us that He has “goodwill toward men” (Luke 2:14). According to Titus 3:4, “the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared” in Jesus Christ.

This does not mean that we are free to disregard the Bible’s clear teaching on marriage (one man, one woman), as many have done. “Whatever a man sows, that he will also reap”(Gal. 6:7).

After the devastating global Flood, God gave Noah and mankind the sign of the rainbow as a remembrance that He will never again punish sin by a worldwide flood.

God is merciful, but that does not mean we should try to challenge Him by misrepresenting the very sign that speaks of His mercy.


Scripture verses according to the New King James Version.

Friday, 26 June 2015

RNA World Theory Is Wrong, New Research Suggests

Image courtesy of Blausen.com staff. Blausen gallery 2014. Wikiversity Journal of Medicine, Creative Commons.


Joel Kontinen

Naturalistic theories of the origin and early evolution of life share a common feature: they don’t work.

A recent article in New Scientist acknowledges:

Life has a chicken-and-egg problem: enzymes are needed to make nucleic acids – the genetic material – but to build them you need the genetic information contained in nucleic acids. So most researchers assume that the earliest life, long before the evolution of cells, consisted of RNA molecules. These contain genetic information but can also fold into complex shapes, so could serve as enzymes to help make more RNA in their own image – enabling Darwinian evolution on a molecular level.”

This does not address the mystery (in the naturalistic /materialistic view) of the origin of genetic information. As we know, information always requires a sender. And intelligent information requires an intelligent sender.

Evolution has never been good at predicting the past, and when it comes to the RNA world, it fares no better. Loren Williams, a biochemist at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, thinks that it involves a scenario that does not work.

New Scientist sums up the replacement view:

“It was thought that life originated solely with self-replicating RNA – the ‘RNA world’. But new evidence suggests RNA co-evolved with proteins from the very beginning.”

Almost correct, but it’s a bit more complicated and one would need to weed out the surviving Darwinese. There’s no evidence that RNA or proteins evolved. They were part and parcel of the original living entity.



Source:

Holmes, Bob. 2015. Why 'RNA world' theory on origin of life may be wrong after all. New Scientist 3027, 10. (24 June) (accessing the article requires registration/subscription).


Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Moths “Seem to Defy What Is Physically Possible,” A Paper in Science Says



Manduca sexta adult male. Image courtesy of Shawn Hanrahan, Creative Commons.





Joel Kontinen

Insects have tiny brains but they can accomplish feats that human engineers will envy. A recent article in the journal Science states:

Nocturnal insects live in a dim world. They have brains smaller than a grain of rice, and eyes that are even smaller. Yet, they have remarkable visual abilities, many of which seem to defy what is physically possible (1). On page 1245 of this issue, Sponberg et al. reveal how one species, the hawkmoth Manduca sexta, is able to accurately track wind-tossed flowers in near darkness and remain stationary while hovering and feeding (2).”

These moths are not the only ones doing what seem to be miracles. Many other animals are capable of feats that might appear impossible.

What makes this hard for evolutionists is that in order to be of any use, the capacity has to be present from the very beginning, as it will otherwise not benefit the animal.

And we should not forget that the blind Darwinian watchmaker cannot plan ahead.

Thus, the logical explanation for extraordinary skills in animals is intelligent design. They were made that way.

If we look at nature with open eyes, we will see many traits that defy Darwinian explanations.

Design features seem to abound in the animal kingdom.


Source:

Warrant, Eric. 2015. Visual tracking in the dead of night. Science 348 (6240): 1212–1213. (12 June).


Monday, 22 June 2015

Study Shows Dinosaur Bone Contains Radiocarbon (C-14)


New research suggests that dinosaurs are much younger than previously assumed.





Joel Kontinen

Scientists believing in deep time (i.e. millions of years) would not expect to find radiocarbon (C-14) in dinosaur bone. After all, they assume that the “terrible lizards” died out some 65 million years ago.

With a half-life of 5,730 years, all C-14 should have gone in 100,000 years.

But what happens if researchers actually test whether dinosaur fossils contain C-14?

They will find it. The latest issue of the peer reviewed journal Creation Research Society Quarterly examines dinosaurs and soft tissue and reports on a study on radiocarbon in dino bone:

Measurable amounts of radiocarbon have been consistently detected within carbonaceous materials across Phanerozoic strata. Under uniformitarian assumptions, these should no longer contain measurable amounts of radiocarbon. Secularists have asserted that these challenging finds originate from systematic contamination, but the hypothesis of endogenous radiocarbon should be considered. Assuming these strata were largely deposited by the Noahic Flood occurring within the time range of radiocarbon’s detectability with modern equipment under uniformitarian assumptions, we hypothesized that fossils from all three erathems, including dinosaur fossils, should also contain measurable amounts of radiocarbon. Consistent with this hypothesis, we report detectable amounts of radiocarbon in all 16 of our samples."

‘Carbonaceous materials’ probably refer to coal and diamonds that are known to contain radiocarbon.

Soft tissue has been found in many kinds of animals assumed to be millions of years old.

Brian Thomas and Vance Nelson went on to say:

Unexpectedly, all 16 samples submitted for measurement contained C-14. We found measurable amounts of 14C in all 14 of our dinosaur and other fossils. Moreover, we found surprising consistency in these data, which range from approximately 17,850 to 49,470 radiocarbon years as indicated in Figure 1.”

This was not the first time radiocarbon was found in dinosaur bone but it was the most comprehensive study so far. (Read about past research here and here.) The measurements were made in laboratories that had no axe to grind, and the researchers ruled out contamination.

Thus, dinosaurs could not have lived millions of years ago. The pre-flood world was probably very different from ours, so the radiocarbon dates in the tens of thousands of years do not correspond to the actual time the dinosaurs died, but they are nevertheless much nearer to biblical dates than to secular ones based on uniformitariarism.

This research suggests that the model based on Genesis corresponds to scientific evidence while the one based on evolution does not.


Source:

Thomas, Brian and Vance Nelson. 2015. Radiocarbon in Dinosaur and Other Fossils. Creation Research Quarterly 51:4, 299–311.


Saturday, 20 June 2015

Filefish – Camouflage Artist Vanishes in Two Seconds


Filefish (Monacanthidae) come in many shapes and sizes. Aluterus scriptus. Image courtesy of Paige Gill, U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.



Joel Kontinen

The slender filefish (Monacanthus tuckeri) is an interesting creature. It can vanish from sight in two seconds. New Scientist reports:

Now you see it. Now you don't. The slender filefish has a way to stay off the seafood menu – it has evolved the ability to become almost invisible. The fish can camouflage its body patterns and shape to match its marine surroundings in seconds.”

Despite the evolutionese attached to the report, it is needless to invoke Darwin, as evolution’s watchmaker is supposed to be blind and unable to plan ahead.

The filefish would not have benefited from a skill that only worked partially. To escape becoming a meal, it had to be able to vanish quickly the very first time.

This vanishing act is one of the growing number of skills seen in the animal kingdom that baffle evolutionists.

From a creation perspective, we would expect animals to have various kinds of amazing skills.

Source:

Blaszczak-Boxe, Agata. 2015. Zoologger: The fish that can vanish in 2 seconds flat. New Scientist (19 June).