Friday, 23 June 2017

Humans May Have an Inbuilt GPS, Research Suggests

Image courtesy of Nachoman-au, Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0).




Joel Kontinen

New research published in the journal Nature Communications suggests that we may have an inbuilt GPS system that enables us to find our way.

Dutch researchers Jeroen Bos, Martin Vinck, Cyriel Pennartz and colleagues have “identified a new type of neuron which might play a vital role in humans' ability to navigate their environments.”

An article in Science Daily gives us the gist of what they found out:

The ability to make fine grained assessments of location is seated in the hippocampus, a seahorse-shaped structure located in the temporal lobe. Research shows that the precise mechanism for navigation includes hippocampal place cells, which increase or decrease in electrical activity depending on one's location. However, when making their daily commute, people don't need very detailed representations of which houses they pass in which order. Instead, they can make due with more course information.”

They made rats navigate their way in a maze and looked at what parts of the brain they mainly used.

Jeroen Bos, the lead author of the paper, thinks they found a new type of neuron, which they dubbed the ‘neighbourhood cell.’

This neuron seems to enable the brain to specifically differentiate between distinct segments (‘neighbourhoods’) of the environment,” he says.

Our big brain is a Darwinian enigma that keeps on giving surprises to neuroscientists.

Its amazingly complex interactions cannot be explained away by Darwinian just so stories.

Source:

Universiteit van Amsterdam (UVA). 2017. New 'GPS' neuron discovered. Science Daily. (29 May).

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Did A Tasmanian Devil Have a Dino for Dinner?


Sarcophilus harrisii. Image courtesy of Mike Lehmann, Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0).





Joel Kontinen

The fossil record can be a nightmare for Darwinian evolution, as animals often appear fully formed in the wrong places, don’t evolve for aeons and any assumed intermediate forms (aka missing links) tend to be more or less suspicious.

Usually more, as in the case of Ida (Darwinius masillae).

Evolutionists used to believe that dino-era mammals were tiny, until a fossil discovery suggested that at least some of them actually ate dinosaurs.

These dino-eaters looked a lot like Tasmanian devils, although researchers were quick to give them a different name.

Repenomamus giganticus Image courtesy of Nobu Tamura, Creative Commons (CC BY 3.0).


Source:

Hu, Yaoming et al. 2005. Large Mesozoic mammals fed on young dinosaurs. Nature 433, 149-152.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Dating the Gihon Spring Tower in Jerusalem Shows the Bible Got It Right

Image courtesy of David Roberts, Public Domain.



Joel Kontinen

The Gihon Spring was the main source of the water for the Pool of Siloam in Jerusalem and is mentioned in the Bible.

Some archaeologists assumed that a stone tower built to guard the water system hailed from circa 1700 BC.

However, Elisabetta Boaretto and colleagues recently carbon dated the remains of charcoal, seeds and bones found in the sediments and found out that precious studies had overlooked half a metre of sediment, representing hundreds of years.

This means that the tower was erected a lot later, between 900 BC and 800 BC, during the time of King David’s descendants, just like the Old Testament tells us.

The previous date was based on pottery and other artefacts.

Just like we would expect, archaeology has confirmed that the Bible describes ancient history and culture accurately.

It recounts real events, real people and even real catastrophes, such as earthquakes.

Source:

Geggel, Laura. 2017. Ancient Jerusalem Tower Is (Much) Younger Than Thought. Live Science (16 June).

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Carboxysomes: Tiny Machines in Cyanobacteria Defy Darwin, Inspire Product Development

Image courtesy of Raul Gonzalez, Seth Axen, and Cheryl Kerfeld, Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0).






Joel Kontinen

Evolutionists would agree that cyanobacteria are one of the oldest organisms alive today. These tiny bacteria have hardly changed in “3 billion years” or so.

A news item published by the University of Liverpool, UK. states:

Cyanobacteria are a phylum of bacteria that produce oxygen and energy during photosynthesis, similar to green plants. They are among the most abundant organisms in oceans and fresh water. Unique internal ‘machines’ in cyanobacteria, called carboxysomes, allow the organisms to convert carbon dioxide to sugar and provide impacts on global biomass production and our environment.”

They are anything but simple.

Carboxysomes are so elegant and efficient that researchers would like to draw inspiration from how they work:

The self-assembly and modularity features of carboxysomes make them interesting systems for nanoscientists, synthetic biologists and bioengineers, who hope to find ways to design new nanomaterials and nano-bioreactors.”

Darwinian mechanisms cannot produce tiny machines that are far more effective than anything human researchers have come up with.

Source:

University of Liverpool. 2017. Nanotechnology reveals hidden depths of bacterial ‘machines’. (8 June).

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Instant Canyon Formed in 3 Days Reminds of the Effect of Noah’s Flood


Canyon Lake Gorge. Image courtesy of Larry D. Moore, Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0).




Joel Kontinen

How long does it take to form a canyon? It depends.

Charles Darwin thought it took millions of years, but he was wrong.

Remember Mount Saint Helens? In June 1980 a single lava flow formed over 7.5 metres (25 feet) of sediment in just three hours.

Zion Canyon was formed in a landslide in almost no time at all.

Da'an River in Taiwan carved a a 25-metre (82 feet) wide gorge in a few years.

Then there’s Canyon Lake Gorge in Texas, a 1.6-kilometre (1 mile) long canyon was formed in just three days in a single flood in 2002.

Just imagine what a year-long global flood with plenty of water could do.

Source:

Lamb, Michael P. and Mark A. Fonstad. 2010. Rapid formation of a modern bedrock canyon by a single flood event. Nature Geoscience 3, 477 – 481.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Extreme Plant Defies Hot Volcanic Environment


Campylopus pyriformis. Image courtesy of Hermann Schachner, public domain.





Joel Kontinen

When it comes to defying heat, the dwarf swan-neck moss (Campylopus pyriformis) is the plant kingdom’s extreme champion.

Introduced to us in a paper published in the Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand, it can thrive in a volcanic environment where the temperature rises to 72°C.

Some animals and plants can survive in almost impossible conditions.

But as far as we know, only on Earth.

This reminds us of both Creation and the Fall.

Source:

Ceurstemont, Sandrine. 2017. Extreme plants thrive at 72°C in New Zealand’s hot volcanic soil. New Scientist (9 June).

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Dino-Era Mushroom’s Fossilisation Inspires Darwinian Just-So Story

A somewhat younger mushroom, presumably. Image by an unknown artist, public domain.





Joel Kontinen

How do you preserve a mushroom for 115 million years? After all, they tend to disintegrate in just a few days.

Live Science attempts to give us an explanation: The poor mushroom fell into a river and was fossilised.

This is followed by more storytelling:

After the mushroom fell into the river, it floated into a salty lagoon and sank to the bottom, where fine sediments began to cover it. Over time, the mushroom mineralized, and its tissues were replaced with pyrite, a mineral also known as fool's gold. Later, the pyrite transformed into the mineral goethite.”

Discovered in Brazil's Crato Formation, the mushroom is a mere 5 centimetres (2 inches) tall. Named Gondwanagaricites magnificus, it is the oldest known mushroom fossil.

Fossilisation is a very tricky business. It has to happen extremely fast.

The Flood of Noah’s days would have provided excellent conditions for preserving creatures of all shapes and sizes.

Source:

Geggel, Laura. 2017. World's Oldest Fossilized Mushroom Sprouted 115 Million Years Ago. Live Science (7 June).