Monday, 30 December 2013
The flat earth is a myth that has taken a long time to die. Sceptics often claim that the Bible and the Medieval Christian church believed that our planet was flat. However, they should probably do well to read De sphaera mundi, a book published in 1230, which shows that they are very wrong:
“THE EARTH A SPHERE. -- That the earth, too, is round is shown thus. The signs and stars do not rise and set the same for all men everywhere but rise and set sooner for those in the east than for those in the west; and of this there is no other cause than the bulge of the earth. Moreover, celestial phenomena evidence that they rise sooner for Orientals than for westerners. For one and the same eclipse of the moon which appears to us in the first hour of the night appears to Orientals about the third hour of the night, which proves that they had night and sunset before we did, of which setting the bulge of the earth is the cause.”
Of course, nothing in the Bible suggests that the earth is flat.
Iohannes de Sacrobosco. 1230. THE SPHERE OF SACROBOSCO. Translated by Lynn Thorndike, 1949. You can access it here.
Saturday, 28 December 2013
Today, we commemorate a sad episode in history instigated by a ruler known as Herod the Great, though there was nothing great in ordering the slaying of innocents in an attempt to kill a new-born King – Jesus, born in Bethlehem.
Historians do not know how many infants were killed through Herod’s degree. However, what is almost certain is that believers are still being ruthlessly slaughtered in our time.
Writing in Christianity Today’s blog, Halee Gray Scott says:
“According to Open Doors, which provides support for Christians around the world, Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world today, with 100 people martyred for their faith each month. The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life reports that Christians suffer persecution, discrimination, and harassment in 133 countries—a full two-thirds of all countries worldwide.”
We should not forget them, but pray for protection and do what we can for all believers who are facing persecution and death.
Scott, Halee Gray. 2013. A Real Cause for Christian Outrage. Christianity Today (27 December).
Thursday, 26 December 2013
In recent years, researchers and engineers have increasingly turned to solutions they have seen in nature, and copied them. This trend began long before our time. The Wright brothers, for instance, drew inspiration for their flying machine from the mechanics of pigeon wings in flight.
A brief That’s a Fact video produced by ICR looks at biomimicry. You can watch it here.
Tuesday, 24 December 2013
The Bible describes God as all-powerful (omnipotent), but for a brief moment He became weak and vulnerable.
That was at the very first Christmas. For a little while, He was as weak as any human baby, totally dependent on His earthly parents.
Christ became man in order to redeem fallen mankind.
While this might be something some people do not like, it is nevertheless true. The First Adam fell literally; the Last Adam came to set right that what had gone wrong.
Monday, 23 December 2013
Humans and most animals have a built-in repair system. Recent research published in the journal Cell examined the protein Lin28a found in mouse (and other) embryos. It causes wounds to grow faster, for instance.
The protein is seldom present in adults (or old animals). However, researchers have engineered mice to produce the protein in adulthood, with positive results.
This is yet another case of researchers copying and using systems that have originally been designed very intelligently.
There's no room for blind Darwinian processes in this scenario.
Embryo protein has healinf power. Nature 503 (7475): 169.
Thursday, 19 December 2013
A recent article in Nature looks at why humans differ from all other living beings. Taking a Darwinian approach, it sees man as a result of natural selection acting on random mutations and attempts to discount our uniqueness.
While we might share some traits with animals, the differences are huge. Animals will hardly ask why they differ so much from humans. They do not record their past in annals or plan long-term for the future.
Unlike humans, animals were not created in God’s image. But if we have the wrong assumptions of our past (evolution), we tend to arrive at the wrong conclusions, as the Nature article does, failing to understand what really makes us so special.
Radford, Tim. 2013. Us and them. Nature 503 (7474): 34- 35.
Tuesday, 17 December 2013
Aldous Huxley wrote his description of a scientific totalitarian society in 1932. Brave New World could be seen as a criticism of some trends in science and politics that were very evident in Huxley’s time, such as eugenics, which was a mostly Darwinian episode in world history.
Writing in Nature, Philip Ball does mention dystopian science fiction but he does not make the connection between eugenics and Darwinian evolution, which, as such is no wonder in a journal that was set up in the late 19th century for the very purpose to spread the word about evolution.
Brave New World shows that scientism can have its very dark side. When science and politics go together, the result is a totalitarian society that entirely lacks personal freedom.
Freedom, as we all know, is a blessing that comes from Christianity, so Huxley’s dystopian society is understandable – no Christianity, no freedom.
Ball, Philip. 2013. In Retrospect: Brave New World. Nature 503 (7476): 338 -339.
Sunday, 15 December 2013
Compared to the human brain, computers are everything but effective. They use too much power. This has caused researchers to mimic the way the human brain functions.
Recently, an article in Nature featured this trend.
While Nature pays lip service to evolution, even Darwinists have to admit that mimicking the human brain will bring about much more effective computers.
The brain has been designed wonderfully.
Waldrop, M. Mitchell. 2013. Smart Connection. Computer chips inspired by human neurons can do more with less power. Nature 503 (7474) 22 -24.
Thursday, 12 December 2013
Jesus Walking on Earth Was Far More Important Than Mankind Walking on the Moon, Apollo Astronaut James Irwin Says.
Dr. Jerry Bergman has an interesting article on Apollo 15 astronaut James Irwin in the November issue of Acts and Facts. Irwin, who spent over 295 hours on the Moon, was a firm believer in the Genesis account of creation.
For Irwin, being on the Moon strengthened his faith in the Bible. Many times he said that Jesus walking on Earth was far more important than mankind walking on the Moon.
This Christmas we celebrate the beginning of Jesus’ walk on Earth.
Bergman, Jerry. 2013. Colonel James Irwin: Creationist Astronaut. Acts and Facts 42 (!!): 16-17.
Wednesday, 11 December 2013
Sceptics tend to feel uncomfortable during the Christmas season. Perhaps it reminds them of the reason we have for celebrating one of the major events in Christian history – the birth of Christ.
Christmas is much more than a story about a baby in a manger. It marks the beginning of the first coming of the Saviour to the planet where the people He created refused to obey Him at the dawn of human history.
In other words, Christmas, just like creation and the Fall, is real history.
Unfortunately, some people would want to deny history.
Monday, 9 December 2013
Evolutionists want to see humans as animals - and animals as humans. According to the journal Science,
“An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an attempt to get judges to declare that chimpanzees are legal persons and free them from captivity.”
This thinking would be impossible without Darwinian evolution that attempts to see humans as evolved primates and nothing else.
As it is, other primates do not file lawsuits, because they can’t. There is a huge intellectual gap between humans and animals that no jurisdiction can do away with.
Grimm, David. 2013. Lawsuits Seek 'Personhood' for Chimpanzees. Science 342 (6163): 1154-1155.
Saturday, 7 December 2013
When an article in Nature is called Lunar Conspiracies and begins with the sentence “Current theories on the formation of the Moon owe too much to cosmic coincidences,” we might expect some interesting revelations.
And we do not have to wait in vain. Robin Canup writes:
“The Moon is more than just a familiar sight in our skies. It dictates conditions on Earth. The Moon is large enough to stabilize our planet's rotation, holding Earth's polar axis steady to within a few degrees. Without it, the current Earth's tilt would vary chaotically by tens of degrees. Such large variations might not preclude life, but would lead to a vastly different climate.”
One could also mention some other benefits of the Moon, for instance, its size and distance from Earth determine how big tides we have. Without tides marine life would sooner or later come to an end, and our planet could turn into Mars’ twin.
In other words, the Moon looks designed to maintain life on Earth.
A big problem with Moon origin theories is that they do not correspond to facts. They do not explain the Moon’s composition.
Summing up the failure of impact theories, Ms. Canup asks:
“Is the origin of our Moon a rarer event than we believed, or are we missing something?”
However, she is unwilling to let go of impact theories. If a Mars-like body did not collide with the early Earth, why not a Venus-like body? she suggests.
Somehow, this sounds even more like fiction.
Canup, Robin. 2013. Planetary science: Lunar conspiracies. Nature 504, 27–29 (5 December ).
Thursday, 5 December 2013
Darwinian storytelling can at times be bizarre. Recently, an American geneticist suggested that we are the offspring of a pig father and a chimpanzee mother. According to UK paper Daily Mail:
”The human species began as the hybrid offspring of a male pig and a female chimpanzee, a leading geneticist has suggested. The startling claim has been made by Eugene McCarthy, of the University of Georgia, who is also one of the worlds leading authorities on hybridisation in animals. He points out that while humans have many features in common with chimps, we also have a large number of distinguishing characteristics not found in any other primates.”
There are huge problems with this view. While pigs tend to be hairless like humans, even many evolutionists believe that the hypothesis does not work. For instance, chimps have 48 chromosomes, but pigs have 38.
When evolutionists have to resort to this kind of storytelling, we know that their pet theory is in very deep trouble.
Gayle, Damien. 2013. 'Humans evolved after a female chimpanzee mated with a pig': Extraordinary claim made by American geneticist. Mail Online (30 November).
Tuesday, 3 December 2013
Darwinian storytelling has not become extinct. An article in New Scientist says:
“Our genome is far from a perfectly honed, finished product. Rather, it has been crudely patched together from the detritus of genetic accidents and the remains of ancient parasites. It is the product of the kind of crazy, uncontrolled experimentation that would be rejected out of hand by any ethics board.”
The biggest problem with this claim is that it is entirely bogus. In contrast to this storytelling, our genome looks designed. Full of tiny interacting molecular machines, we are indeed “fearfully and wonderfully made,” as the psalmist puts it. The New International Version (NIV) renders Psalm 139:14 as: “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
The New Living Translation likewise says it aptly: “Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous--how well I know it.”
This is obvious to all who are willing to see it.
Le Page, Michael. 2012. A brief history of the human genome. New Scientist 2882, 30–35.
Sunday, 1 December 2013
The origin of life is a hard nut to crack for scientists who only accept naturalistic scenarios. One cannot blame them for the lack of effort, however.
A recent article in Science states:
“In 2009, Jack Szostak shared a Nobel Prize for his part in discovering the role of telomeres, the end bits of chromosomes that help ensure genetic information is copied faithfully. But his biggest achievement may be yet to come. Szostak, a molecular biologist at Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, is working to recreate the origin of life, only this time in the lab. He and his team haven't accomplished their goal yet. But in this issue of Science, they report taking another key step: finding a recipe for copying RNA inside ‘protocells,’ membranes made from fatty acid molecules. Next they hope to show that RNA can replicate itself and show the initial signs of Darwinian evolution.”
After roughly a hundred years of trying to figure out a plausible method of how they could get life from non-life against all odds, scientists are reluctant to admit that it cannot be done.
Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) experimentally disproved the idea that life could come from inanimate matter.
As DNA is far too complex, Darwinians have set their hopes on RNA. However, living beings are full of sophisticated nano machines that cannot be produced by gradual Darwinian processes. All parts have to be present and interact with the others from the very beginning.
Service, Robert F. 2013. The Life Force. Science 342 (6162), 1032-1034. (29 November).