Monday, 26 April 2010

Creation Museum welcomes its millionth visitor

Joel Kontinen

In May 2007 Answers in Genesis opened its Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky. The museum attracted over 400,000 visitors during its first year. This morning Ken Ham and other AiG leaders welcomed the millionth visitor, Joe Brown from Ohio, to the museum. Read more here.

You can also take a
virtual tour of the museum.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Antony Flew (1923-2010): ex-atheist who followed the argument where it led

This book caused much discussion.

Joel Kontinen

Philosopher Antony Flew (1923-2010), who died on April 8, caused a stir in 2004 when he admitted that he no longer was an atheist. For half a century professor Flew had been the primary spokesman for atheism from the time in 1950 when he read an essay defending atheism in the Socratic Club presided by C. S. Lewis.

Flew taught at Oxford and held philosophy professorships at several other universities.

In 2007, Flew explained that the integrated complexity of biological systems caused him to realise that there had to be a designer. He said that a lucky accident could not account for the origin of life. He gave up atheism and took up deism or the belief that while God exists, He does not interfere in the affairs of the world He created.

Although Flew had kind words to say of Christianity, especially of St. Paul and Jesus, he obviously remained a deist to the end of his life.

In 2007 Flew wrote the book There is a God: How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind with Roy Abraham Varghese, explaining why he discarded his former beliefs.

Atheists have tried to interpret Antony Flew’s change of mind as either a sign of incipient dementia or pressure from eager Christian apologists, but he refuted such claims. Flew pointed out that biochemical discoveries caused him to change his worldview. Taking a true Socratean approach, he followed the argument where it led.


Wiker, Benjamin. 2007. Exclusive Flew interview.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Why on earth did the Earth not freeze to death in its youth?

Where’s the ice? According to the evolution model, Earth should have been an extremely cold planet and unsuitable for life in its youth. Image courtesy of NASA.

Joel Kontinen

The belief in billions of years of Earth history causes problems that seem to evade answers. Recently, Minik T. Rosing and colleagues attempted to solve the faint young Sun paradox in a letter published in Nature.

In 1972 Carl Sagan and George Mullen suggested in Science that the Sun’s brightness might have only been 70 per cent of what it is now. Earth’s global mean temperature would have been below the freezing point of water and life could hardly have existed.

Sagan and Mullen speculated that Earth’s atmosphere must have contained more greenhouse gases, especially methane and ammonia, than at present so that the seas would not have frozen.

Rosing and colleagues suggest that Archaean sediments do not support the view that there would have been high concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. They suggest that the solution lies in a weaker albedo, i.e. Earth would have lost less heat into space.

However, professor James Kasting of Pennsylvania State University concludes in Nature that even the newest model will not solve the riddle of snowball Earth.

It would be easy to solve the problem by giving up the belief in millions of years.


Kasting, James F. 2010. Faint young Sun redux. Nature 464 (7289), 687-689.

Rosing, Minik T. & al. 2010. No climate paradox under the faint early Sun. Nature 464 (7289), 744-747.

Sagan, Carl and George Mullen. 1972. Earth and Mars: Evolution of Atmospheres and Surface Temperatures. Science 177 (4043), 52-56.

New Scientist: ”The brain is a vast community of microscopic computers.”

The ribosome is not exactly simple. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Joel Kontinen

Recently, Nature acknowledged that life is complicated. This week New Scientist suggests that the human brain might be a trillion times more capable than we thought.

Brian J. Ford, a research biologist at the University of Cambridge writes in New Scientist:

For me, the brain is not a supercomputer in which the neurons are transistors; rather it is as if each individual neuron is itself a computer, and the brain a vast community of microscopic computers. But even this model is probably too simplistic since the neuron processes data flexibly and on disparate levels, and is therefore far superior to any digital system. If I am right, the human brain may be a trillion times more capable than we imagine, and "artificial intelligence" a grandiose misnomer.“

We have come far from the days of Charles Darwin. The Father of evolution did not have a clue as to how complex a cell could be.

It is rather ironic that in the very same issue of New Scientist another article suggests that life must have originated by chance and evolved through Darwinian pathways.


Ford, Brian J. 2010. The secrets of intelligence lie within a single cell. New Scientist 2757 (26 April)

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

The Coppedge case: An illustration of Expelled: No intelligence Allowed

Joel Kontinen

What happens when a NASA employee lends two pro-ID DVD documentaries to his co-workers?

Although Dr. Wernher von Braun, the father of the US Apollo programme, and several astronauts were professing Christians, the atmosphere at NASA has changed diametrically from the days astronauts could read the opening verses of the Book of Genesis while orbiting the moon.

Since 1997 David Coppedge has worked as an information technology specialist and system administrator at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. According to the Evolution News and Views blog, ”in 2000 he earned recognition for excellence, receiving the important role of 'Team Lead SA' (system administrator), a role he held until his demotion in 2009.”

The reason for his demotion? He loaned two DVDs - The Privileged Planet and Unlocking the Mystery of Life to his co-workers.


Crowther, Robert. 2010. How NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory Punished David Coppedge for His Views on Intelligent Design. (16 April)

Monday, 19 April 2010

Volcanic eruptions and the Genesis Flood

Joel Kontinen

When Jesus taught about His return He said, ”As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man” (Matt. 24: 37).

It is most probable that the Genesis Flood was accompanied by massive volcanic eruptions. If a single volcano can make most of Europe a no-fly area, we might imagine what tens of volcanoes could bring about. Climate change, perhaps.

In addition to signs like earthquakes and wars, Jesus also referred to Noah’s days as an illustration of what society would be like at the time of His return. It would seem that our morals are not any better than those of Noah’s contemporaries.

But might He also have meant volcanic eruptions?

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Nature: Non-coding DNA is not junk

Nature has begun to see life as complicated.

Joel Kontinen

Nature is not actually known for its love for creation of even for intelligent design. Recently, however, it almost digressed from the Darwinian path. Erika Check Hayden wrote,

"Biology's new glimpse at a universe of non-coding DNA — what used to be called 'junk' DNA — has been fascinating and befuddling. Researchers from an international collaborative project called the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) showed that in a selected portion of the genome containing just a few per cent of protein-coding sequence, between 74% and 93% of DNA was transcribed into RNA."

In other words, non-coding DNA does not look like it is mere leftover from Darwinian evolution.

Like many other Darwinists, Richard Dawkins has used junk DNA as evidence for goo-to-you evolution but then he has never let the facts spoil a good theory.

In November 2003 Scientific American quoted DNA researcher Dr. John Mattick, who said: ”What was damned as junk because it was not understood may, in fact, turn out to be the very basis of human complexity.” Now Nature is basically saying the same.

3000 years ago, Israeli King David understood more about complexity than a 19th century Victorian gentleman who was much in the news last year. David said: ”I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (Psalm 139:14)


Gibbs, Wayt W. 2003. The unseen genome: gems among the junk. Scientific American 289(5):26–33.

Check Hayden, Erika. 2010. Life is complicated. Nature 464 (7289): 664-667.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

An echo of Babel

Pieter Brueghel the Elder: The Tower of Babel (1563). Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Joel Kontinen

Doctors, nurses and Sandra Ralic’s parents are puzzled. Sandra, a 13-year old Croatian girl, had just begun studying German at school but after awakening from a coma she no longer understood her mother tongue. She spoke fluent German instead.

The hospital staff have to use a German interpreter so that Sandra is able to communicate with her parents who do not speak German.

Sandra Ralic’s case brings to mind the Genesis account of the dispersion of languages at Babel. It did not take thousands of years for languages to evolve but they were formed instantly.


Croatian girl switches to speaking in German after waking from coma. Daily Mirror. 12 April 2010

Croatian girl wakes up from coma speaking fluent German. Momento 24. 13 April 2010

Friday, 16 April 2010

New farce: Britain prohibits Israel from using a photo of the Wailing Wall in tourist brochures

Brits would not allow Israelis to use a picture of this wall in tourist brochures. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Joel Kontinen

The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has basically banned Israelis from using a photo of the Western Wall, also known as the Wailing Wall, in tourist brochures. ASA obviously assumes that tourists might think that the most famous wall in Jerusalem is a part of Israeli territory.

When it comes to dealings with Israel, the UK does not have a sterling reputation. For instance, last January BBC presented a programme that basically denied the Jewish roots of Jerusalem.

The newest farce comes a bit too late to be an April Fools’ hoax.


Honest Reporting. 15 April 2010.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

”95 million year” old wasp looks just like modern wasps

A mosquito and a fly trapped in amber. Image courtesy of Mila Zinkova, Wikipedia. These insects are assumed to be 40-60 million years old. Recently, researchers found insects in Ethiopia that are even older.

Joel Kontinen

If evolutionists believe that an ape has changed slightly in half a million years, they will spread huge headlines across the front pages of newspapers all over the world, but when an animal has remained unchanged for almost 100 million years they prefer to be silent.

A research team from the university of Göttingen led by Alexander Schmidt found insects trapped in tree resin in Ethiopia. They assume that the insects are 95 million years old. However, the wasps and other ”prehistoric insects” look just like the ones we see in our time.

One might think that it would be easy to detect evolution in insects that after all have very short generation spans. A wasp nonetheless still remains practically unchanged from the days that according to the Darwinian view the dinosaurs ruled the earth and our assumed forefathers were tiny four-footed mammals. The new discovery should give Darwinists some necessary food for thought.

The list of living fossils seems to be growing almost every month.

The researchers published their discoveries in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences last week.

The insect discovery gives excellent support to the Genesis after its kind model but it makes the Darwinian model less credible.


Owen, James. 2010. Parasite Wasp in Amber. National Geographic News. (5 April)

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Australopithecus sediba: from a missing link to an evolutionary dead end

There’s no place for Australopithecus sediba in this scenario. Image courtesy of José-Manuel Benito Álvarez, Wikipedia.

Joel Kontinen

The publication of a new “ape man” fossil nearly always follows a familiar formula:

1) The popular media announce the discovery of a missing link between man and apes with great fanfare.
2) Other researchers examine the find and notice that it is not the missing link that its discoverers claimed.
3) The find is forgotten.
4) A new fossil is found and the old ”missing link” is cast aside as a worthless dead end.

Usually, the popular press only reports the first stage of the story. This time, however, The Independent, published in London, gave critics plenty of space to air their views.

Many researchers said that Australopithecus sediba is an evolutionary dead end and not a missing link.

Colin Groves, a professor at the School of Archaeology and Anthropology at the Australian National University, pointed out that the South African fossils were contemporary with ”the East African Homo habilis."

Professor Groves went on to say that the “whole idea of the genus Australopithecus is actually very vague… It has been called a wastebasket category” for fossils that did no make it into the genus Homo.

The same also applies to H. habilis. To make matters more interesting, H. habilis and H. erectus are known to have been contemporaries.

Berger and colleagues acknowledged in Science that the ”ancestry of Homo and its relation to earlier australopithecines remain unresolved”. They hoped that their discovery would change this. In addition, Berger told Science Daily: ”Before this discovery, you could pretty much fit the entire record of fossils that are candidates for the origin of the genus Homo from this time period onto a small table.”

We should thus not be surprised if every new fossil (sometimes even a single tooth) makes headlines.


Berger, Lee R. & al. 2010. Australopithecus sediba: A New Species of Homo-Like Australopith from South Africa. Science 328: 5975, 195 – 204. (9 April)

Macknight, Hugh. 2010. Experts reject new human species theory. The Independent (8 April)

New Hominid Shares Traits With Homo Species: Fossil Find Sheds Light on the Transition to Homo Genus from Earlier Hominids. Science Daily. 8 April 2010.

Much ado about Australopithecus sediba

Researchers do not know where they should place Australopithecus sediba.

Joel Kontinen

The popular media have once again been busy promoting a purported human ancestor. This time, however, some newspapers have taken a surprisingly critical approach. The Independent, published in London, quotes Australian evolution researcher Darren Curnoe, who says: “Australopithecus sediba is the wrong species, in the wrong place, and at the wrong time. It is way too primitive to be the ancestor of the human genus Homo, one of our direct ancestors.”

The fossils, estimated to be just under two million years old, are almost half a million years younger than the earliest known specimens of H. habilis.

Found in a cave in Malapa, South Africa, the two fossils – an adult and a juvenile – have already attracted much discussion and even criticism in the evolution camp, although they were published just two days ago in Science. Their discoverers, Lee Berger and colleagues, gave them the name Australopithecus sediba.

Many other anthropologists feel that it is far too early to regard the fossils as a new species. According to Nature news, anthropologists Tim White and Fred Grine criticised Berger and his colleagues for using the juvenile specimen in determining whether it differs sufficiently from Homo fossils. This obviously distorted their conclusion.

The assumed age of the fossils - 1.78 – 1. 95 million years – is also interesting. The researchers came up with this date by examining the ground below them by the uranium –lead (U-Pb) method. However, if for instance water had moved the fossils, the credibility of the dates will be much weaker.

Interpreting and dating fossils is an intriguing game. In 1990 J. Shreeve wrote in Discover magazine: ”Everybody knows fossils are fickle; bones will sing any song you want to hear.”


Balter, Michael. 2010. Candidate Human Ancestor From South Africa Sparks Praise and Debate. Science 328: 5975, 154 – 155. (9 April);328/5975/154

Berger, Lee R. & al. 2010. Australopithecus sediba: A New Species of Homo-Like Australopith from South Africa. Science 328: 5975, 195 – 204. (9 April)

Cherry, Michael. 2010. Claim over 'human ancestor' sparks furore. Nature News (8 April)

Macknight, Hugh. 2010. Experts reject new human species theory. The Independent (8 April)

Monday, 5 April 2010

Easter programme interprets the plagues of Egypt as natural catastrophes

Jusepe de Ribero: Moses (1638). Image courtesy of Wikipedia. In the National Geographic version, Moses must have lived over 300 years.

Joel Kontinen

Easter almost always inspires the media to invent naturalistic explanations for biblical miracles. While the hypotheses have often been intriguing, they have by no means been credible. The speculations included Jesus walking on an ice floe, Moses getting his visions under the influence of a psychoactive drug, and the discovery of Jesus’ ossuary or bone box.

This year, it’s the turn of Moses and the plagues of Egypt. A group of scientists suggest that they can be explained by natural causes.

National Geographic Channel produced a programme that explained the plagues as a series of natural catastrophes. The speculations began with the (assumed) balmy climate during the reign of Rameses II.

This was followed by sudden drought that brought Oscillatoria rubescens algae into the Nile. The water turned red (the first plague). The algae drove frogs onto dry land (the second plague), and when they died, gnats and flies flourished (the third and fourth plagues).

The insects spread diseases to both animals (the fifth plague) and humans (the sixth plague).

Next, the researchers had to resort to a volcano eruption on the Greek island of Thera (now known as Santorini) that caused sudden climate change and brought hail (the seventh plague), locusts (the eight plague) and darkness (the ninth plague). This part of the scenario is slightly more credible than the preceding elements.

National Geographic explains the final plague as a fungus that contaminated grain. The earliest grains were given to the firstborn who died first. There is no need for God or His judgements in this model.

Although God can use natural phenomena to judge nations and individuals, it is not plausible to explain away everything by appealing to naturalistic causes.

Furthermore, the NG scenario includes a minor miscalculation. The volcano on Thera erupted 300 years before the time of Rameses II who lived in the 13th century B. C. so in this version the most severe plagues came first and they must have continued for three centuries.

Moses must thus have been over 350 years old when he led the Israelites out of Egypt. According to the Old Testament, he died at the age of 120.

In the 18th century it became fashionable to doubt the Scriptures, but this often resulted in absurd explanations. Thus, for instance, Jesus was said to have walked on an ice floe on a lake that has never been known to freeze.

While NG’s Easter programme might be somewhat more credible than walking on ice in the sub-tropics, the Book of Exodus provides a much more logical explanation for what happened when God used Moses to liberate the Israelites from slavery and oppression that according to Exodus 12:40 had lasted for over four centuries.


Gray, Richard. 2010. Biblical plagues really happened say scientists. Daily Telegraph (27 March)

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Did a comet crash create life?

Hale-Bopp in 1997. Image courtesy of Philipp Salzgeber, Wikipedia.

Joel Kontinen

The origin of life is still a great mystery for those who rule out the supernatural. No naturalistic hypothesis has ever solved the problem. There has been no shortage of attempts, however. Theoreticians have suggested almost everything watery from Charles Darwin’s warm little pond to meteorites and hydrothermal vents – all without result.

The problem is that life only comes from life.

Recently, Nir Goldman and colleagues developed a comet hypothesis at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The researchers used computer simulation to examine what happens to an ice grain in a comet when it hits a planet at a ”suitable” angle. They were able to make the grain become smaller and produce some chemical bonds.

It’s still a long way to amino acids that all have to be left handed, otherwise life cannot form.

Problem #1: Left-handed amino acids are not formed by accident. Miller and Urey’s origin of life experiment (1953), for instance, formed a mixture of right-handed and left-handed amino acids.

Problem # 2: Oxygen prevents the birth of life.

Problem # 3: Without oxygen there would be no ozone to protect life from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation.

Thus, with or without oxygen, a naturalistic origin of life appears to be impossible.


Sanderson, Katharine. 2010. Comet crash creates potential for life. Nature News (26 March)

New research: An ape could not have left the Laetoli footprints

New research suggests that a being resembling modern man left the Laetoli footprints. Lucy could probably not make them.

Joel Kontinen

In 1976 Mary Leakey found the footprints in Tanzania that are now pictured in most biology textbooks and major natural history museums. Their estimated age – 3,6 million years – makes them roughly as old as the famous Lucy or Australopithecus afarensis. They do not differ from the marks left by a barefooted H. sapiens.

Recently, David Raichlen, an associate professor at the University of Arizona, and colleagues examined how modern man walks barefooted on sand. They analysed the footprints left by eight human subjects walking on sand, and compared them with the Laetoli prints.

To the amazement of the researchers, the footprints did not differ essentially from the Laetoli prints. Lucy had the curved hands of an ape and probably also feet so the contribution of our grandmother to the prints is purely speculative.

Few people believe that H. sapiens walked on the Tanzanian savannahs 3. 6 million years ago. The dilemma can be solved if we keep in mind that radiometric dating methods do not measure that what we might assume them to measure, viz. time.

Instead, they measure the amounts or ratios of atoms or isotopes in a sample, and the date is computed on the basis of this. Errors of a few million years are not exactly rare.

Thus, a better explanation is that 1) the Laetoli footprints are human footprints and 2) they are not millions of years old.


Evidence Indicates Humans' Early Tree-Dwelling Ancestors Were Also Bipedal. Science Daily March 20, 2010.

Raichlen, David A., Adam D. Gordon, William E. H. Harcourt-Smith, Adam D. Foster and Wm. Randall Haas, Jr. 2010. Laetoli Footprints Preserve Earliest Direct Evidence of Human-Like Bipedal Biomechanics. PLoS ONE 2010; 5(3):
e9769 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0009769

Friday, 2 April 2010

The road that led to the cross

Joel Kontinen

Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). Here they crucified him, and with him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle.” (John 19: 17-18)

The Gospel Road is a film featuring Johnny Cash and the Carter Family. It describes the journey that Jesus took – the road that changed history:

Have a blessed Easter time!