Saturday, 30 June 2012
Australopithecus sediba had a very apelike diet. Image courtesy of Brett Eloff, Wikipedia.
In the Darwinian reconstruction of the past, history keeps on repeating itself. First, (assumed) human ancestors make headlines throughout the world. Then, sooner or later, they are discarded as it turns out that they were not our ancestors at all.
This week Nature published a letter on the diet of Australopithecus sebida. Tooth enamel and wear suggest that it ate bark and hay, which is not a diet we usually associate with humans.
Henry, Amanda G. et al. The diet of Australopithecus sediba. Nature. DOI: doi:10.1038/nature11185 Published online 27 June 2012.
Thursday, 28 June 2012
Darwin contrasted his views with the Gospel. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.
Writing to Thomas Huxley on August 8, 1860, Charles Darwin ended his letter with the words:
“My good & kind agent for the propagation of the Gospel ie [sic] the Devil's gospel.”
The Wikipedia editors think that this remark is humorous. However, the gospel that Huxley propagated was almost the exact opposite of the real gospel that speaks of God’s great love. Huxley’s (and Darwin’s) “gospel” focuses on the cruelty found in nature. The fruit of that gospel of unbelief are horrendous.
Darwin Correspondence Project.
Tuesday, 26 June 2012
Academic freedom has not meant an end for bioscience in Louisiana even though schools allow a critical examination of Darwin. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.
In 2008, Darwinists warned of the dire consequences of allowing Louisiana schools to examine evolution in a more critical way. It would cause high-tech companies to leave the state, they claimed.
They have since repeated the warning a few times, for instance earlier this year when the Tennessee Academic Freedom Law was debated.
Now, however, Nature published an article that states that bioscience is actually thriving in Louisiana.
Mascarelli, Amanda. 2012. All Jazzed Up. Nature 486 (7403): 429-431.
Sunday, 24 June 2012
If we believe that the chimpanzee is our cousin, we have no objective basis for being honest. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.
“Cheating is typical. In our experiments, we find that people can cheat a little and still feel good about themselves. That is a perfect example of irrationality,” says Dan Ariely, professor of psychology and behavioural economics at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina in New Scientist.
It is no secret that Darwinian evolution and irrationality are close relatives. An irrational worldview gives rise to irrational thinking and irrational deeds.
In a world where many people think that they have evolved from simpler beings in the space of hundreds of millions of years we would not be surprised that people do occasionally cheat. In the evolution model, there is no absolute standard of morality.
The history of Israel suggests that the problem of bad morality stems from a rejection of the laws that God has given us. The Book of Judges ends with a very sad story and a sad comment: “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit” (Judges 21:25, NIV).
Unfortunately, we are witnessing the very same story in our days.
Lawton, Graham. 2012. How much cheating is alright? New Scientist 2869:30-31.
Wednesday, 20 June 2012
Not everybody loves Charles. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.
Danish zoologist Søren Løvtrup (b. 1922) takes a critical approach to Darwinian evolution. In his book Darwinism: The Refutation of a Myth (New York: Croom Helm, 1987), he states:
“I believe that one day the Darwinian myth will be ranked the greatest deceit in the history of science.” (p. 422).
Monday, 18 June 2012
A recent After Eden cartoon features the Creation Museum that has often been very much in the news.
Competition is something that evolutionists do not like. They prefer their Darwin –only approach and they will discount anything else as “non-scientific”, regardless of the evidence, as this recent episode of After Eden shows. Produced by Dan Lietha of Answers in Genesis, each episode of the cartoon series examines some aspect of the creation-evolution debate.
Sunday, 17 June 2012
George Orwell’s writings might have inspired a recent “advertisement”. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.
Some words have a straightforward meaning. As defined by sceptics (or skeptics, if you prefer the American spelling), sceptical is not one of these words. A recent “advertisement” in Salvo magazine for a (non-existent) publication called The Skeptical Requirer says:
“All skeptics are equal (but some skeptics are more equal than others).
To be a Certified Skeptic you must question only the right things.”
It is no secret that Darwinian evolution is the #1 thing that a card-carrying sceptic cannot ever question. That would surely amount to heresy.
Salvo Magazine, 17 June 2012.
Saturday, 16 June 2012
Selection advantage, perhaps? Dr. Urho Kekkonen was president of Finland from 1956 to 1981. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.
Darwinian just-so stories are not about to become extinct. One of the more recent ones has to do with the lack of hair. “Why haven't bald men gone extinct?” Rob Dunn asks in this week’s issue of New Scientist magazine:
“The intriguing question, the one likely to lead to more mysteries than a simple resolution, is why bald men exist in the first place. Baldness is extremely rare in nature. It remains unclear why, and when, our ancestors lost most of their fur (New Scientist, 24 March 2012, p 34) but there is general agreement that the few hairy bits we retained serve particular purposes.”
Dunn goes on to propose a few selected explanations of why we have hair:
“The hair on our heads may protect us from the noonday sun, maintain body heat when it is cold, and even attract a mate. If so, men who lose their hair are at a disadvantage, and you would expect natural and sexual selection to have weeded them out. So why haven't bald men like me, or at least our versions of genes, gone extinct?”
According to the evolution model, natural selection should have eliminated traits that are harmful. Thus, so the story goes, there must be some sort of blessing in disguise for losing one’s hair:
“Perhaps, then, baldness has some survival advantage in human males, which allowed it to evolve. One suggestion is that it signals dominance and status. A bald pate might serve as a sort of advertising board for emotions, in particular the red flush that accompanies anger. In nature, red is often the colour of dominance, making an angry bald head the equivalent of a wordless but very clear statement of ‘Don't mess with me!’ "
Dunn has not yet said the final word, though: “A recent paper suggests baldness allows more sun to penetrate through the skulls of ageing men. This increases the generation of vitamin D and helps to forestall prostate cancer (Medical Hypotheses, vol 70, p 1038).”
However, when anything and everything has to be explained away by fact-free storytelling, the theory behind the explanations might well be facing hard turbulence.
Dunn, Rob. 2012. Why haven't bald men gone extinct? New Scientist 2869, 44-47.
Thursday, 14 June 2012
New research suggests that the James ossuary and its inscription are genuine. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.
An ancient limestone bone box or ossuary with the inscription “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus” made headlines around the world when Biblical Archaeology Review published an article written by André Lemaire, an expert of Hebrew and Aramaic epigraphy at the Sorbonne in Paris, in the November-December 2002 issue of the magazine. It was toted as one of the most significant archaeological discoveries of all time.
However, as it became known that the ossuary was owned by a private collector, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) called together a committee to investigate the matter. It failed to produce conclusive evidence for or against, however.
The IAA nevertheless filed a lawsuit, accusing the owner, antiquities collector Oded Golan, of forging the inscription on the ossuary.
In early March this year, Judge Aharon Farkash of the Jerusalem District Court issued a verdict in the case, clearing Mr. Golan of all suspicions of forgery.
There is no compelling evidence that would support the forgery hypothesis. In addition to André Lemaire, some other experts also regard the ossuary and its inscription as genuine.
Writing in Biblical Archaeology Review, Hershel Shanks concludes: “There is no reason to doubt the authenticity of the inscription on the James Ossuary. Whether it refers to Jesus of Nazareth remains a question.”
Shanks, Hershel. 2012. “Brother of Jesus” Inscription Is Authentic!
Biblical Archaeology Review 38 (4), 26-33.
Tuesday, 12 June 2012
In the Natural History Museum in London, an Edmontosaurus is depicted in a dinosaur’s typical death position.
Many dinosaur fossils have their head stretched backwards as though huge waves had beaten against the animal at its last moments in life.
The position is so common that museums and publications refer to it as the death position. The most logical explanation is that a dinosaur that died with its head stretched far back met its end in the Flood of Noah’s time.
Sunday, 10 June 2012
Does a systematic bias cause researchers to fit their results into a Darwinian framework? Image courtesy of Wikipedia.
Writing in the journal Nature, Daniel Sarewitz of Arizona State University takes up a topic that has a bearing on origins issues. While he mostly discusses bias in biomedical research, it would be naïve to believe that the subject of evolution is a bias-free zone.
“Early signs of trouble were appearing by the mid-1990s, when researchers began to document systematic positive bias in clinical trials funded by the pharmaceutical industry.”
He suggests that the problem did not merely have to do with “the profit motive” but it was a much more serious phenomenon:
“Closer examination showed that the trouble ran deeper. Science's internal controls on bias were failing, and bias and error were trending in the same direction — towards the pervasive over-selection and over-reporting of false positive results.”
When it comes to origins issues, researchers reporting their finds in the mainstream science journals seldom if ever think critically about their basic assumptions. Instead, as they already “know” that evolution must have happened, they merely try to fit the evidence into an existing framework without asking whether the framework actually corresponds to reality.
Sarewitz, Daniel. 2012. Beware the creeping cracks of bias. Nature 485 (7397), 149.
Saturday, 9 June 2012
New Darwinian Story: Our Jaw Differs From a Chimpanzee’s Jaw Because Our Ancestors Ceased Biting Their Enemies
New Scientist reveals why our jaw differs from a chimpanzee's jaw. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.
Darwinian just-so stories are seldom if ever dull. 'Inventive' might be the word that best characterises them.
This week’s issue of New Scientist magazine features a series on lucky accidents that supposedly made us human. In its most orthodox variety, Darwinism has to rely on accidents, as it does not tolerate the existence of a Designer. Thus, mutations and natural selection ran the show.
Some of the explanations of how we became human are somewhat more absurd than the others. For instance: our jaw differs from that of a chimpanzee because our ancestors ceased using it as a weapon. In other words, they stopped biting their enemies.
Compared to such fact-free storytelling, the Genesis model sounds very rational, with no need for outlandish explanations.
Wilson, Clare. 2012. Lucky accidents of human evolution: Jaw dropper. New Scientist 2868, 36.
Friday, 8 June 2012
This ancient seal describes an animal that looks very much like a long-necked dinosaur.
There are dragon legends all over the world. This has often been a huge mystery for evolutionists, who believe that such fire-breathing terrible creatures never existed.
Some time ago, Dr. David E. Jones, an anthropology professor at the University of Central Florida, suggested one of the weirdest explanations. He believes that our assumed evolutionary ancestors came up with the idea of dragons by combining the characteristics of three big predators – big cats such as lions, big birds with enormous wingspans, and big snakes.
However, his explanation fails to account for the obvious fact that some “dragons” look very much like what we now think dinosaurs looked like.
Wednesday, 6 June 2012
In South Korean textbooks, Archaeopteryx will no longer be presented as a reptile to bird link.
Evolutionists are not exactly happy with what is happening in South Korea. The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) announced that school textbooks would be revised so that they will not include questionable evidence for evolution, such as Archaeopteryx that has been presented as a reptile to bird link. The infamous horse series will likewise be dropped.
Nature news interpreted this tendency by suggesting: “In South Korea… the anti-evolution sentiment seems to be winning its battle with mainstream science.”
It’s an interesting equation. Removing questionable evidence from textbooks equals a battle. But, then, we’ve all heard of even stranger things, like nothing making everything.
Park, Soo Bin. 2012. South Korea surrenders to creationist demands. Nature News (5 June).
Monday, 4 June 2012
Richard Leakey. Image courtesy of Ed Schipul, Flikr.com.
Richard Leakey, of the famous Leakey family, predicts that criticism of Darwinian evolution will be silenced in 15-30 years.
He points out that life has changed and that evolution explains this:
"If you don't like the word 'evolution,' I don't care what you call it, but life has changed. You can lay out all the fossils that have been collected and establish lineages that even a fool could work up. So, the question is why, how does this happen? It's not covered by Genesis. There's no explanation for this change going back 500 million years in any book I've read from the lips of any God."
Few creationists would insist that life does not change. What they believe is that dogs just don’t turn into cats, and bacteria do not evolve into bats. There are limits to change.
While Richard Leakey has done a lot of research on fossils in Kenya, he has never obtained an academic degree. This has not dampened his enthusiasm for Darwinian evolution. He reminds us of Sir Julian Huxley, who in 1959 announced that creationism was essentially dead.
He was not exactly right. The 1960s saw the beginning of the modern creationist movement.
Incidentally, according to a fresh survey, 46 per cent of Americans believe in biblical creation and 32 per cent in theistic (or God-directed) evolution. Only 15 per cent believe in the kind of evolution in which God had no part.
These percentages have practically remained unchanged for 30 years. There are no signs that would lend support to Leakey’s prediction.
Evolution skeptics will soon be silenced by science: Richard Leakey. CBC News 28 May, 2012.
Saturday, 2 June 2012
Image of a modern-day squid courtesy of Hans Hillewaert, Wikipedia.
Proponents of Darwinian evolution often define evolution as change over time. There are, of course, several other definitions, but without change evolution would be in deep trouble.
It often is. Recently, research published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on ink assumed to hail from the Jurassic Era added to the long list of evolutionary stasis or no change.
According to Phys.org,
“An ink sac from a 160-million-year-old giant cephalopod fossil contains the pigment melanin; it is essentially identical to the melanin found in the ink sac of a modern-day cuttlefish.”
It would be fair to say that living fossils and a general lack of gradual Darwinian changes are big problems for evolution.
Squid ink from Jurassic period identical to modern squid ink, study shows. Phys.org May 21, 2012.