Sunday, 27 June 2010

Swedish theologian: Jesus was not nailed to the cross

Only dead people get buried. Jesus’ tomb is a real Easter miracle. Image of the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem, courtesy of Dennis 1980, Wikipedia.

Joel Kontinen

Gunnar Samuelsson, a theologian at Gothenburg University in Sweden says he believes that Jesus is the Son of God just like the New Testament describes. He also believes that we have good evidences of the historicity of Jesus.

However, Samuelsson does not think that Jesus was nailed to the cross. He suggests that the non-biblical literature of Jesus’ time does not mention this execution method.

Although he says that the Bible’s descriptions are reliable, he thinks that the way Jesus was put to death is not explicitly stated in the New Testament texts. He suggests that Jesus might have been fixed to a pole instead of a cross.

Samuelsson explains that in the first century the Latin words crux (’cross’) and patibulum (’cross-beam’) were also used in a wider sense than just the literal.

The New Testament describes explicitly how Jesus was executed. John, for instance, describes the crucifixion in his Gospel as follows (19:17-19):

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. Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS.”

Matthew, Mark and Luke also mention explicitly that Jesus was nailed to the cross. He suffered and died for our sins according to the Scriptures.


Jesus did not die on cross, says scholar. The Telegraph. 23 June 2010.

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Fig wasps have resisted evolution for ”34 million years”

Wasps have hardly bothered to change. Image courtesy of Holger Gröschl, Wikipedia.

Joel Kontinen

The past few days have been interesting. First, research indicated that pelicans have not changed for ”30 million” years. Next came a study showing that mammalian hairs have remained unchanged for ”100 million” years. Finally, we heard of a study on fig wasps that have not bothered to change for ”34 million” years.

Steve Compton at the University of Leeds and colleagues published a paper in Biology Letters on three well-preserved fig wasps. They were already found in the 1920s but were initially misinterpreted.

Doctor Compton is amazed that the wasps that live in symbiosis with figs have hardly changed in ”34 million” years.

Reminds me of Genesis.


World's Oldest Fig Wasp Fossil Proves That If It Works, Don't Change It. ScienceDaily 16 June 2010.

Is ”Big Man” Lucy’s long-lost great-uncle?

No longer alone? A new fossil discovery is hailed as a relative of Lucy.

Joel Kontinen

Lucy’s long-lost great-uncle has been found. Or perhaps not.

Recently, the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published a paper on a fossil discovered in Ethiopia, believed to be 3.58 million years old or 400,000 years older than Lucy. While Lucy was hardly 1 metre tall, her new male relative, dubbed Kadanuumuu or ”Big Man”, might have stood at anywhere from 1.5 to 1.8 metres tall.

Big Man’s estimated height varies so much because he has lost his head and lacks most of his bones. The partial fossil consists of a shoulder blade, a few ribs, shinbone and parts of the pelvis.

Authored by anthropologists Yohnannes Haile-Selassie and C. Owen Lovejoy, the paper has nevertheless re-ignited speculations of Lucy’s ability to walk upright as they believe that Big Man can also be classified as an Australopithecus afarensis.

This time, the media have been rather reticent about the discovery. National Geographic News for instance added a question mark after its headline. NG also mentioned that Zeresenay Alemseged, an anthropologist at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, does not think that the new discovery is Lucy’s relative.

Why do Haile-Selassie and his colleagues then believe that Lucy and Big Man walked upright? The answer may be found in the Laetoli footprints that are practically identical to the footprints of modern man.

They do not believe that modern humans had evolved at that time so they have to find an apeman or apewoman to leave those footprints that are assumed to be over 3 million years old.

Once again, researchers have let their preconceptions determine how they interpret old bones.


Dalton, Rex. 2010. Africa's next top hominid. Nature News. (21 June)

Than, Ker. 2010. "Lucy" Kin Pushes Back Evolution of Upright Walking? National Geographic News. (21 June)

3.6 Million-Year-Old Relative of 'Lucy' Discovered: Early Hominid Skeleton Confirms Human-Like Walking Is Ancient. Science Daily. 21 June. 2010

Sunday, 20 June 2010

”100 million” -year- old mammalian hairs challenge belief in millions of years

Animals and their parts trapped in amber often show little if any change for aeons. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Joel Kontinen

The belief in millions of years is getting increasingly unbelievable. Recently, a report published in the journal Naturwissenschaften described two mammalian hairs trapped in amber. Almost identical to the hairs of modern-day mammals, they are assumed to be 100 million years old.

French researchers found them in a quarry in southwest France. They are not sure what animal once sported the hairs.

We should perhaps compare the discovery to that what Darwinists believe about human evolution. They think that human ancestors lost their fur in under five million years.

Last week, BBC also reported on pelicans that have retained their long beaks for ”30 million years”. These finds suggest that stasis is more common in nature than change.

The BBC website has a photo of one of the hairs.


Walker, Matt. 2010. Prehistoric mammal hair found in Cretaceous amber. BBC News (14 June)

Saturday, 19 June 2010

The oldest pelican looked just like today’s pelicans

Pelicans have had their long beaks for a very long time.

Joel Kontinen

Evolution is often defined as change over time but fossil discoveries frequently tell a very different story. Recently, doctor Antoine Louchart of the University of Lyon, France, found a ”30 million”-year-old pelican fossil in a colleague’s collection. It was originally discovered in the 1980s in southern France.

Louchart told BBC that the fossil resembled today's pelicans. The surprisingly well preserved fossil is almost like a copy of pelicans still living.

Like living fossils, non-living fossils often give support to the after its kind principle found in Genesis.


Walker, Matt. 2010. Oldest prehistoric pelican also had big beak. BBC News (11 June)

An ocean on Mars – but not enough water for Noah on Earth?

A new study claims that over a third of Mars was covered with water in the old days. Image courtesy of NASA.

Joel Kontinen

In the good old days oceans could cover a third of Mars, claims a new study published in Nature Geoscience.

Gaetano Di Achille and Brian Hynek at the University of Colorado in Boulder examined the assumed deltas and river valleys on Mars and suggested that in its youth the red planet was probably not as red as it is now.

There are no direct evidences of liquid water on Mars but since according to the naturalistic view of origins Earth cannot be a special planet, scientists who believe in billions of years are trying to figure out why there is so much water on Earth but none at all on Mars.

Usually, the very same scientists categorically deny the possibility that the flood of Noah’s day was a global catastrophe. They are willing to accept a global flood – but only on Mars.

Such a cataclysm would be too frightening on Earth.


Cartwright, Jon. 2010. River deltas hint at ancient Martian ocean. Nature News (13 June)

Sunday, 13 June 2010

When Earth became 120 million years younger

This planet is much younger than astronomers assumed. Image courtesy of NASA.

Joel Kontinen

Did you notice that Earth just lost 120 million years of its age? Even if you haven’t, the implications of a recent study should probably cause us to take a more critical approach to the idea of millions of years of Earth history.

Nikolai Gogol’s character Chichikov collected names of the deceased in Dead Souls into lists of the living. In like manner, later-day astronomers have included non-existent years into their model.

It seems that they have already collected too much of them.

Recently, Tais W. Dahl of the University of Copenhagen and David J. Stevenson of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) defined the ages of Earth and the Moon with the help of tungsten isotopes and published their research in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters.

Dahl and Stevenson decided to cut off 120 million years from the age of Earth after examining the elements in its mantle.

According to ScienceDaily,

The age of Earth and the Moon can be dated by examining the presence of certain elements in Earth's mantle. Hafnium-182 is a radioactive substance, which decays and is converted into the isotope tungsten-182. The two elements have markedly different chemical properties and while the tungsten isotopes prefer to bond with metal, hafnium prefers to bond to silicates, i.e. rock.”

Dahl and Stevenson suggest that Earth and the Moon were formed "only" 150 million years after the origin of the solar system. It was previously assumed that the age difference was 30 millions years.

It seems that the world is becoming younger and younger.

However, even the latest estimate does not take into account the Creator who could make everything much faster.


Earth and Moon Formed Later Than Previously Thought, New Research Suggests. ScienceDaily 9 June 2010.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

New study confirms the Bible’s description of the origin of Abraham’s descendants

Rembrandt van Rijn: Sacrifice of Isaac (1635). Image courtesy of Wikipedia. A new study confirms the Bible’s description of the origin of Abraham’s descendants.

Joel Kontinen

According to some wild theories, the Ashkenazi Jews of eastern Europe are not genetically Jews but Eastern Europeans who have converted to Judaism.

A new study published in the American Journal of Human Genetics refutes this view. Harry Ostrer, a geneticist at New York University, and colleagues examined 237 Jews living in different countries.

The researchers noticed that these Jews living in Iran, Iraq, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Syria and eastern Europe share a "genetic thread".

The Jews are related to the Druze, Bedouins and Palestinians and even Italians.

The research confirms that what the Pentateuch and the other Old Testament writings disclose of the origin of Abraham’s descendants.

The study will probably also bury the view that the British (or Finns or some other non-Jewish nation) are one of the lost tribes of Israel.


Katsnelson. Alla. 2010. Jews worldwide share genetic ties. Nature News (3 June)

The newest monkey fable: Human ancestors began walking on two feet to stay cool

Left behind? Just-so stories and monkey fables thrive in scientific publications.

Joel Kontinen

Darwinists know that staying cool is not a passing fad. Fond of just-so stories that they can use to explain anything, they often appeal to their imagination to make sense of the past.

In the newest version, Benjamin Passey, an associate professor at Johns Hopkins University, and colleagues explain why human ancestors began to walk on two feet.

In a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), Passey and colleagues examined the climate of the Turkana area in northern Kenya. They looked at the distribution of C-13-O-18 bonds in paleosol carbonates and concluded that the area had to be hot for millions of years.

Then the researchers gave free rein to their imagination: They suggested that by beginning to walk on two feet and getting rid of their fur, human ancestors were better able to cope in the hot climate.

The monkeys, camels and lions of the Turkana area did not understand how useful the trick was and they still have to walk fully furred on all fours.


Some like it hot: Site of human evolution was scorching. Physorg. 8 June 2010.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

The Darwinist’s dilemma: Why do most people reject evolution?

Why is it so difficult to believe in Darwinian evolution?

Joel Kontinen

Evolutionists have a huge problem: what is wrong when despite their best efforts an increasing number of people reject the Darwinian concept of molecules-to-man evolution? Does the difficulty stem from inadequate science education or are scientists simply unable to explain issues so clearly that a layman could understand that he is the product of a long natural process?

Recently, Eugenie Scott reviewed R. John Ellis’ book How Science Works: Evolution. A Student Primer (Springer 2010) in Nature and concluded that it was unable to persuade the reader of the truth of evolution since Ellis fails to define Darwinian evolution in a convincing way.

Scott herself has defined evolution as change.

However, not just any kind of change would turn an amoeba into an anthropologist. Dogs, for instance, have changed enormously in a few hundred years but hardly anyone would think that a Miniature Pinscher is a rat or that a Great Dane is a calf.

Dogs change into – dogs.

In real life animals only change according to their kind. A frog will only turn into a prince in fairy tales, such as those Richard Dawkins has written – provided it is given 300 million years for the transmutation.

Dr. Scott, who characterises herself as an evolution evangelist, could learn from the words of one of the greatest evangelists of all time – the apostle Paul. Writing to the Roman church he says:

For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made.”

People know intuitively that all life has been created.


Scott, Eugenie C. 2010. Back to Basics by Way of Evolution. Nature 465:7295, 164 (13 May)

Neuroscientists are puzzled – the human brain is just too wonderful

There’s no machinery as effective as this one. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Joel Kontinen

One reason why science can at times be fascinating is that views can vary dramatically. A few weeks ago Nature columnist Philip Ball lamented the poor design of humans.

More recently, however, Scientific American columnist John Horgan acknowledged that the human brain is so wonderful that neuroscientists are unable to build artificial brains that would actually work like real ones. They do not even know how the brain works:

A typical brain contains 100 billion cells, and each cell is linked via dendrites and synapses to as many as 100,000 others. Assuming that each synapse processes one action potential per second and that these transactions represent the brain's computational output, then the brain performs at least one quadrillion operations per second.”

Horgan goes on to say,

Current brain simulations resemble the ’planes’ and ’radios’ that Melanesian cargo-cult tribes built out of palm fronds, coral and coconut shells after being occupied by Japanese and American troops during World War II. ’Brains’ that can't think are like ’planes’ that can't fly.”

No wonder that King David said, ” I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (Psalm 139:14).


Ball, Philip. 2010. What a shoddy piece of work is man. Nature News (3 May)

Horgan, John. 2010. Artificial brains are imminent...not! Scientific American blog (20 May)

Saturday, 5 June 2010

A bizarre peace convoy

Joel Kontinen

When peace activists stock their ship with metal tubes, grenades, smoke bombs, knives and slingshots and then use them against Israeli soldiers, we might perhaps be justified in asking whether peace is very high on their agenda.

The Israeli commandos who landed on the ships from overflying helicopters were only armed with riot gear. The peace activists who had set out to break the Gaza blockade began to hit the soldiers with metal tubes and would probably have killed several of them if the Israelis had not fired at them in self-defence.

For Hamas and their allies the word ”peace” seems to be a catchword with a meaning akin to that what George Orwell used in his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.

It seems that the sole purpose of the convoy was to gain sympathy from the West.

The Palestinians have a long history of using the western media to further their aims.

And they have rarely been reluctant to be in the news. Since orchestrating a massacre of Israeli sportsmen during the 1972 Olympics in Munich they have been busy hijacking airplanes and ships and aiming their missiles at Israeli kindergartens.

The following video clips reveal more about the intentions of the ”peace activists”.