Sunday, 29 May 2011

A ”49-Million-Year-Old” Spider Trapped in Amber Looks Just Like Modern Spiders

An ancient spider could probably have woven a web like this. Image courtesy of

Joel Kontinen

Using X-ray computed tomography, a team of British and German researchers published images of a Huntsman spider (Sparassidae) that was trapped in amber ”49 million years” ago.

Computed tomography produced 3D images and movies of astounding quality, which allowed us to compare the finest details of the amber fossil with similar-looking living spiders,” explained Dr. David Penney of the University of Manchester, who was a member of the research team.

The details were so precise that they were able to classify the fossil as a Huntsman spider that still lives in the tropics.

The researchers published their paper in the journal Naturwissenscaften.

The take-home message of the discovery is that the Huntsman spider is a living fossil that has hardly changed at all in ”49 million years”.

In the same time frame human ancestors are thought to have evolved from roughly rat-sized creatures to become modern H. sapiens. However, this has more to do with faith in naturalistic processes than in anything else.

It seems that the ever-increasing number of living fossils might make it more and more difficult to believe in Darwinian evolution.


Imaging technology reveals intricate details of 49-million-year-old spider. EurekAlert! 18 May 2011.

Wandering Planets Without a Sun?

An artist’s impression of a wandering giant planet. Image courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt.

Joel Kontinen

Astronomers think that they have found ten giant planets that either orbit extremely far from their sun or do not orbit at all but instead roam freely in interstellar space.

Two research teams who used gravitational microlensing to find exoplanets recently reported on their discovery in the journal Nature.

According to Nature news, “Microlensing involves measuring changes in the brightness of distant, background stars as a passing planet's gravity bends and magnifies the starlight. As a result, the star brightens and fades in a pattern distinct from random twinkling, and the duration of brightening indicates the mass of the magnifying object.”

Takahiro Sumi, an astrophysicist at Osaka University, who was a co-author of the paper in Nature, says that while planet formation theories predicted the existence of free-roaming planets, their number is a surprise.

However, other astronomers would still need more data before they are willing to accept the claims of Sumi and colleagues. After all, the planets could actually be brown dwarf stars.

The discovery challenges naturalistic views of the origin of solar systems at least to some extent and emphasises the uniqueness of our solar system.


Drake, Nadia. 2011. So many lonely planets with no star to guide them. Nature News. (18 May).

Wambsganss, Joachim. 2011. Bound and unbound planets abound. Nature 473 (7347), 289-291.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Darwinists See a Conspiracy Theory in Leading Philosophy Journal

Does belief in evolution cause people to believe in conspiracy theories?

Joel Kontinen

Who believe in conspiracy theories? Judging from a debate on intelligent design that is brewing on the pages of the leading philosophy journal Synthese and elsewhere, we could only come to the conclusion that they are advocates of Darwinian evolution.

Recently, The New York Times reported on this controversy that began in March 2009, when a special issue of the journal was published online. Titled Evolution and Its Rivals, it used language that many philosophers thought was inappropriate for a scholarly publication.

The issue’s two guest editors, Glenn Branch, deputy director of the National Center for Science Education, and James H. Fetzer, allowed the contributors to use a tone that differed considerably from what the readers of Synthese were used to seeing.

In the issue, professor Barbara Forrest, known as a staunch defender of Darwinian evolution, condemned the work of philosopher Francis J. Beckwith in rather harsh words, questioning his credentials and suggesting that ID-backers were conspiring with the Christian right to bring theocracy to America.

James Fetzer is known as a 9/11 conspiracy theorist.

The print version of the evolution issue was published in January 2011. It included a disclaimer written by the journal’s regular editors Johan van Benthem, Vincent F. Hendricks and John F. Symons. It included these words:

We have observed that some of the papers in this issue employ a tone that may make it hard to distinguish between dispassionate intellectual discussion of other views and disqualification of a targeted author or group.”

This disclaimer generated much speculation among the advocates of Darwinian evolution. Some of them suggested that pro-ID people had threatened the journal.

The New York Times did not see any signs of any kind of conspiracy, however.


Oppenheimer, Mark. 2011. Debate Over Intelligent Design Ensnares a Journal The New York Times (13 May).

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Jesus Did Not Come Back – Yet

Jesus did not return – yet. But the day will come when He will return. Christus Pantokrator in a Greek icon. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Joel Kontinen

May 21st came and went, but Jesus did not return.

Recently, Harold Camping gave sceptics a good reason for criticising some Christians for their lack of critical thinking.

Mr. Camping is an old man so we should refrain from throwing stones at him. After all, none of us is omniscient or all-knowing.

It is good to keep in mind that Mr. Camping was not the first one who failed in his prediction of Jesus’ return, and hardly the last one, either.

Camping forgot a very essential element. Jesus had said of His return, “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come.” (Mark 13:32-33).

In addition, Mr. Camping misinterpreted a key verse in Second Peter: ”With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” He forgot the little word like. We cannot use a verse like this to predict the Lord’s return.

So here we are and live and work until Jesus will return.

Friday, 20 May 2011

New Scientist: There’s No Place Like Home Elsewhere in the Universe

No other planet like this has been discovered. Image courtesy of NASA.

Joel Kontinen

"Our system is a rarity, there's no longer a question about that”, says Geoffrey W. Marcy, professor of astronomy at the University of California at Berkeley, in this week’s issue of New Scientist.

In the magazine Lee Billings gives an overview of the search for alien worlds. ”Two decades of searching have failed to turn up another planetary system like ours. Should we be worried?” New Scientist asks.

Professor Marcy has discovered more exoplanets or planets outside our solar system than any other astronomer.

Exoplanets have turned out to be extremely weird worlds. They do not conform to the predictions of naturalistic planet origins theories. In 1755 Immanuel Kant speculated that the Sun was formed when a huge gas and dust cloud collapsed. The gas and debris that it ejected coalesced into planets. Later Pierre-Simon Laplace developed this nebular hypothesis into a more credible form.

Exoplanets basically falsify such views. In many cases, giant gas planets almost touch their suns and do not leave any room for Earth-sized planets, or then smaller planets orbit so close together that even in theory, life as we know it is impossible.

However, there’s one place that feels like home. Genesis tells us that God created Earth to be habitable.


Billings, Lee. 2010. No place like home: Our lonesome solar system. New Scientist 2812: 46-49.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Lady Gaga: “I'm Teaching People to Worship Themselves”

Lady Gaga in 2010. Image courtesy of John Robert Charlton, Flikr/Wikipedia.

Joel Kontinen

Even the secular media have begun to suspect that Lady Gaga’s Messiah complex has gone too far. The pop diva who spreads the good news of humanism is known for her antics; she has for instance appeared in public, dressed in chunks of animal meat. Now, however, she has chosen a new strategy.

As reported in The Guardian, the diva, whom the paper calls the Billy Graham of pop, claims that she is not encouraging people to worship her. "It's more self-worship, I think, not of me", she says, “I'm teaching people to worship themselves."

It seems that human beings have a natural tendency to worship someone or something bigger than themselves. If they do not worship God, they will often worship a fellow human being or become deeply committed to some ideology, for instance, Communism, Freudism or Darwinism.

The worship of pop stars or other public figures is nothing new. The breakthrough of rock & roll brought many idols to the post-World War II youth of the west, although Elvis Presley for instance also sang gospel songs.

A four-man band hailing from Liverpool that older readers might recognise from the name The Beatles did not dampen the desire to worship human beings. We might also add Michael Jackson, a few Olympic winners, footballers and actors and actresses to the list of potential candidates for worship.

The approach Lady Gaga has chosen is extraordinary in the sense that she wants us to worship ourselves.

Moses did write something about the worship of false gods. And the apostle Paul warned of the danger of worshipping and serving “the creature rather than the Creator” (Romans 1:25, NKJV).


Hattenstone, Simon. 2011. Lady Gaga: Lording it. The Guardian (14 May).

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Jesus, The Last Adam

Joel Kontinen

The Bible knows of two Adams. The first of them was the earliest human in the entire history of our planet. He was a perfect human being when he was created, but his sin plunged the earth into disaster.

The apostle Paul speaks about the Last Adam in 1 Corinthians 15:45: “The first man Adam became a living being; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit”.

Where the first Adam failed, the Second Adam succeeded. He redeemed fallen mankind. He was none other than Jesus Christ, God ‘in the flesh’ or human form.

This brief video clip from Answers in Genesis shows us what the Last Adam did:

Scripture verse from the NIV.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Well-known Dinosaur Expert: Many Known Dinosaur Species Have Never Existed

According to Jack Horner, there are much fewer dinosaur species than scientists had assumed.

Joel Kontinen

The scientific community knows more dinosaur species than there have actually been. To set things straight, palaeontologist Jack Horner wants to have more rigorous rules as to when a fossil is a new species, the journal Science reported last Thursday.

Horner, one of today’s best-known dinosaur experts, has previously said that one-third of all known dinosaur species have never existed.

Discovering a new dinosaur species often brings fame and dollars to its discoverer, so it is understandable that lots of species have been found.

Horner points out that dinosaurs of the same species look different at different ages, and this has often led researchers astray. More rigorous research guidelines will cause the demise of 50 species of dinosaurs in the near future.

Several other dinosaur experts agree with Horner.

It is easier to understood the inflation in the number of dinosaur species if one realises the power of belief in millions of years and Darwinian evolution, which would give more time for the evolution of new dinosaur species.

However, if dogmatism begins to guide research, one might well discover species that have never existed.


Margottini, Laura. 2011. Is It Time to Declutter the Dinosaur Roster? Science 332 (6031): 782.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Atheist Blogger: Hugh Ross is a Young Earth Creationist

In a book co-written with Dr. Fazale Rana, Hugh Ross argues for an old earth.

Joel Kontinen

At times, one might encounter interesting claims in blogs. Recently, Austin Cline of had this to say about Dr. Hugh Ross:

Mel Andrews appears to be a creationist -- and a Young Earth Creationist too, since he cites Hugh Ross as an authority. He certainly denies any sort of theistic evolution.”

Interesting claim. At first glance, it would seem that astrophysicist Huge Ross has repented of his old-Earth views. However, his organisation Reasons to Believe still teaches that biblical genealogies contain gaps and that Earth is 4.6 billion years old, so’s claim is a bit off the mark.

Mr. Cline has previously for instance claimed that Darwinian evolution is "as well attested in science as gravity or plate tectonics" and dismissed the historical reality of Jesus' miracles.

I hadn’t heard of Mel Andrews before but he seems to be a Christian artist living in California. Cline quoted his Twitter feed. Mr. Andrews was discussing whether miraculous healings (like I have done here and here) are possible.

Austin Cline denies everything that has to do with the supernatural so he has to believe that the universe made itself from nothing and that miracles cannot possibly happen.

But judging from his views of Hugh Ross’ apologetics, I would still be a bit sceptical of this kind of denialism.


Cline, Austin. 2011. Mel Andrews: God Does Heal Amputees!

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Harold Camping: Jesus Will Return on May 21st, 2011

Harold Camping is a well-known radio broadcaster and author. He predicts that the world will end very soon. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Joel Kontinen

There has been no shortage of end-of-the-world predictions lately. Many have suggested that December 21st, 2012 is the most likely date for the grand finale.

Harold Camping (born 1921) is an author and media personality who specialises in end-time events. He suggests an even faster timetable, predicting that Jesus will return in just nine days’ time or on May 21st.

This kind of speculation is nothing new. Christians and cults in particular have often predicted the date for Jesus’ return. Jehovah’s Witnesses for instance taught that Jesus would return in 1914. However, the events of that year do not fulfil all the characteristics of the Second Coming.

Our world does not look like the Millennium during which the lion eats grass like the sheep and wars would only be a memory.

Mr. Camping says that one day in the Bible corresponds to a thousand years in human history. He has dated the Flood at 4990 B.C. or over 2,500 years earlier than archbishop James Ussher’s traditional computation. According to Camping, May 21st will mark the 7,000th year since the beginning of the Flood.

He is right in that Peter did speak about the Flood of Noah’s days and a thousand years in the same context:

With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day” (2 Peter 3:8, NIV).

However, the apostle did not mean that a day is a thousand years. Instead, he emphasised that God would fulfil His promise – in due time:

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. “

Nothing in Peter’s teaching suggests that we can compute Jesus’ return from the year of the Flood.

Mr. Camping has computed that God created the world in the year 11,013 B.C. I do not know of any theologian who would share this view. Ussher for instance suggested the year 4004 B.C. but even his dates are not inspired.

A few decades ago Mr. Camping predicted that Jesus would return in 1994.

Although we might be tempted to compute a plausible date for the Second Coming, it is good to keep in mind that “the day of the Lord will come like a thief” (2 Peter 3:10, NIV). Our primary task is not to compute dates but to fulfil the Great Commission of taking the gospel to all nations.

When the apostles asked the risen Christ about future events, He said:

It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:7-8).



Tuesday, 10 May 2011

More Soft Tissue Found – This Time in a Mosasaur Fossil

It is assumed that Mosasaurs lived at least 65 million years ago. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Joel Kontinen

It has almost become commonplace to find soft tissue in fossils that are assumed to be millions of years old. (Read more here, here, here and here.) Recently, a research team at the University of Lund, Sweden, found collagen in a Mosasaur, a marine reptile assumed to have lived in the Late Cretaceous some 100- 65 million years ago.

The research team at Lund used several methods - infrared microspectroscopy, mass spectrometry and amino acid analysis - to ensure that the collagen hailed from the fossil and not for instance from bacteria or some another kind of contamination.

The discovery of soft tissue in a so old fossil challenges the belief in millions of years.

Once again.


Endogenous Proteins Found in a 70-Million-Year-Old Giant Marine Lizard. ScienceDaily. 2 May 2011.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

God’s Promise to the First Mother

The first mother had time to admire the beauty of Eden.

Joel Kontinen

The life of the first mother was a mixture of drama and tragedy. She was created into a perfect world that knew nothing of suffering but then she broke God’s commandment.

This marked the beginning of sufferings. In addition to Eden, Eve also lost his son Abel, and Cain had to flee from home following the first murder.

However, God did not discard Eve or her husband Adam. He pronounced judgement on the serpent and predicted: ”And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Genesis 3:15, NIV).

Theologians usually think that this pronouncement (known as the protoevangel) was the first promise of the Redeemer.

God would send a Saviour who on the cross would pay the price incurred by the first humans in Eden and crush the serpent’s or Satan’s head.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Question Evolution!

Joel Kontinen

Creation Ministries International (CMI) has just launched a campaign that challenges Darwinian evolution by presenting 15 hard questions for evolutionists.

The Traditional Values Coalition, representing over 43, 000 Christian churches in America, also promotes the campaign.

Recently, CMI presented a campaign leaflet entitled 15 Questions for Evolutionists.

Evolutionists do not have the answers to these questions:

"1. How did life originate?
2. How did the DNA code originate?
3. How could mutations create the huge volumes of information in the DNA of living things?
4. Why is natural selection taught as ‘evolution’, as if it explains the origin of the diversity of life?
5. How did new biochemical pathways originate?
6. Living things look like they were designed, so how do evolutionists know that they were not designed?
7. How did multi-cellular life originate?
8. How did sex originate?
9. Why are the (expected) countless millions of transitional fossils missing?
10. How do ‘living fossils’ remain unchanged over supposed hundreds of millions of years, if evolution has changed worms into humans in the same time frame?
11. How did blind chemistry create mind/ intelligence, meaning, altruism and morality?
12. Why is evolutionary ‘just-so’ storytelling tolerated?
13. Where are the scientific breakthroughs due to evolution?
14. Why is evolution, a theory about history, taught as if it is the same as this operational science?
15. Why is a fundamentally religious idea, a dogmatic belief system that fails to explain the evidence, taught in science classes?"

One could add many more questions that remain unanswered.


Batten, Don. 2011. Question evolution! A grass-roots movement to challenge the anti-Christian dogma of evolution. (4 May).

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Bizarre Claim: ”Jesus Would Believe in Evolution”

Karl Giberson defends Darwin. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Joel Kontinen

In a recent blog post, doctor Karl Giberson laments that according to a Gallup poll conducted in 2010, four in ten Americans believe that God created “human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so.”

Giberson, the vice president of BioLogos Foundation, wants to change these figures. He claims that Jesus would believe in evolution, since He said He is the truth and “He cares for the Truth”.

For Giberson, truth means evolution and faith in millions of years. He claims that a literal understanding of Genesis amounts to robbing it.

Appealing to Jesus sounds bizarre, since the Bible depicts Him as the Creator, who in the New Testament did miracles in an instant and in Genesis created the entire universe in six days.

Giberson’s claim is also ironic, keeping in mind that Darwinists have had to retreat on many fronts in biology and anthropology in the past few years. Recent research has for instance shown that junk DNA has turned out to be a myth and that most fossils provide support for creation.

In addition, Jesus said of the creation of man: ”But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female’.” (Mark 10:6).

According to theistic evolution, man stepped on the stage four billion years after the beginning of planet Earth, so Giberson has a lot to explain.


Giberson, Karl W. 2011. My Take: Jesus would believe in evolution and so should you. CNN Belief Blog (10 April).

Monday, 2 May 2011

How Has the Spider Changed In ”165 Million” Years? – Hardly At All

The spider recently found in Inner Mongolia might have spun a web like this. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Joel Kontinen

Recently, researchers found the fossil of a spider in Inner Mongolia. Dubbed Nephila jurassica to remind us that it lived at the time of the dinosaurs, it was discovered in a layer of volcanic ash assumed to be ”165 million” years old.

The most interesting feature in the spider is its size: its body is exactly as long as that of the largest modern spiders or 2.5 centimetres (1 inch). As usual, there is no evidence of Darwinian evolution.

Earlier this year, researchers found another spider in China hailing from the time of the dinosaurs. Called Eoplectreurys gertschi, it also resembles modern-day spiders in every way.


Choi, Charles Q. 2011. Largest Fossil Spider Found in Volcanic Ash. Yahoo! News (20 April).

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Alanna – Prayer Brought Healing And Hope for a Handicapped Girl

Joel Kontinen

Can a sick person really be healed, if he or she is prayed for? Sceptics will claim that the supernatural dimension does not exist so they will deny this possibility.

However, last August Delia Knox, a well-known gospel singer, rose from her wheelchair after being bound to it for over 22 years.

This spring a girl named Alanna came to a revival meeting with her mother. Alanna was hopeless and frustrated because her schoolmates made fun of her inability to walk and move like other people.

This brief video clip shows what faith in Jesus can do even in our days: