Friday, 28 February 2014
How do you get complex life in a Darwinian scenario? Several science publications have recently suggested that the answer is oxygen.
Life, they will tell you, needs water. And complex life requires more oxygen. As the origin of complex life has always been an enigma for Darwinian evolution, they have proposed several solutions, none of which are even close to being plausible.
They’re not actually saying that oxygen did the magic transformation from unicellular life to multicellular, but they’re suggesting that it played a crucial role in the increase in complexity.
Trilobites and other so-called Cambrian animals are so complex that they cannot be explained by naturalistic processes. Much more than oxygen is needed to make a trilobite eye.
Lyons, Timothy W. et al. The rise of oxygen in Earth’s early ocean and atmosphere. Nature 506 (7488): 307–315.
Wednesday, 26 February 2014
It is no secret that humans are special. We differ from all other living beings on this planet of ours.
For Darwinists, this is a huge dilemma because they believe that all life sprang from a common ancestor.
Why, then, are we so different?
Writing in New Scientist, professor Mark Turner suggests that we became humans by blending concepts:
“About 50,000 years ago we started to mash up incompatible concepts – and everything from science to fashion is the result.”
Prof. Turner, whose expertise is in cognitive science, explains:
“At some point, perhaps in the Upper Palaeolithic era, which began around 50,000 years ago, we developed the ability to blend ideas that are in strong conflict, or incompatible. This advanced blending capacity is the source of our creativity.”
As an example, he mentions an ivory figurine found in Germany that combines the features of a man and a lion.
So, in a Darwinian dream world, man can use his cognitive prowess to become truly human. One might ask whether this is logical, and the most obvious answer is that it isn’t.
We are special because we were created in the image of God. Darwinian just so stories might be interesting, but that does not make them true.
Turner, Mark. 2014. Our blender brain: How mixing ideas made us human. New Scientist 2957. (26 February).
Monday, 24 February 2014
How easy is it to form fossils? We hardly see them forming in our time. A brief video clip produced by Creation Ministries International illustrates this difficulty.
In 2001 a dead whale floated off the coast of South Australia. A bomb squad was called in to sink it, as it was becoming a health hazard with people climbing on top of it. However, even three explosives failed to sink it.
Fossils have to form very quickly. What was needed was a catastrophe such as the global flood of Noah’s day.
Saturday, 22 February 2014
Short-term comets are an enigma for the conventional 4.6 billion year age of the Solar System. As they pass near the Sun, they lose much of their material. They will eventually break up completely. And it would probably be a big mistake to think that long-term comets could last for millions of years, either.
Seven years ago, I wrote a blog post in which I called comets the Ugly Ducklings of a Young Solar System.
Last year, the comet ISON became, in the words of a recent Nature news article, “a scientific celebrity”:
“As ISON sailed into the inner Solar System, expectations grew quickly among astronomers and amateur skywatchers. Many hoped that it might survive its close passage to become a dramatic sight in the night sky — and continued fodder for scientific study. Instead, the comet disintegrated spectacularly in November, just hours before it was set to sweep past the Sun.”
The problem with these Ugly Ducklings is that they are no Methuselahs, but tend to die sooner than we would expect.
Nature news put a billions-of-years spin on the news of ISON’s break-up. In doing so, the article invoked the mythical Oort Cloud:
“It hailed directly from the Oort cloud, the icy reservoir of comets beyond the orbit of Pluto. It spent most of its life in this cloud until perhaps a few million years ago, when the gravity of a passing star nudged it into a new orbit.”
An accompanying text underlined the belief in billions of years:
“After billions of years hanging out in the distant Oort Cloud, ISON plunged into the inner Solar System last year.”
And in case someone missed the message, the article quoted astrophysicist Karl Battam, who said: “Born 4.5 Billion BC, Fragmented Nov 28, 2013”.
Sic transit gloria mundi. But, then, even when it comes to long-term comets, these Ugly Ducklings are evidence for a much younger age of the Solar System.
Witze, Alexandra. 2014. Astronomy: Death of a comet. Nature news.(19 February).
Thursday, 20 February 2014
For evolutionists, our assumed history is under a dark cloud.
The basic difficulty is that fossil dating and estimates based on the molecular clock method show ages that are vastly different.
The molecular clock approach assumes that humans and chimpanzees had a common ancestor. According to New Scientist, “To estimate when the human-chimp split occurred, geneticists can simply count the differences in matching stretches of chimp and human DNA and divide it by the rate at which mutations accumulate.”
The problem is that they don’t know the rate. The magazine calls this a Catch-22 problem after Joseph Heller’s satirical novel. And they do not even agree on what species are our ancestors and what are not.
While New Scientist tries to give the impression that the dilemma is about to be solved, it has to admit: “We are used to thinking of ourselves as separate and distinct from the rest of the animal kingdom. We just got a bit more separate, and a bit more distinct.”
That is a result of God’s image in us. Instead of having an ape-like creature as our ancestor, our very first ancestor was fully human. His name, as everyone knows, is Adam.
Brahic, Catherine. 2014. Our true dawn: Pinning down human origins. New Scientist 2892, 34-37. (11 February).
Tuesday, 18 February 2014
Darwinian tales are intriguing. Science Daily features a new story that attempts to explain why we have four limbs.
The answer, my friend, is not blowing in the wind. You can see it in the mirror. It’s your stomach:
“All of us backboned animals -- at least the ones who also have jaws -- have four fins or limbs, one pair in front and one pair behind. These have been modified dramatically in the course of evolution, into a marvelous variety of fins, legs, arms, flippers, and wings. But how did our earliest ancestors settle into such a consistent arrangement of two pairs of appendages? -- Because we have a belly. Researchers in the Theoretical Biology Department at the University of Vienna and the Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research have presented a new model for approaching this question in the current issue of the journal Evolution & Development.”
While the article classifies humans as animals, it also acknowledges that there is marvellous variety in the animal kingdom. It also admits some sort of teleology or goal-orientation, which does not match the blind watchmaker view of neo-Darwinism.
“You could say that the reason we have four limbs is because we have a belly,” researcher Laura Nuño de la Rosa summarises the findings of her research team.
When people are reluctant to let a divine foot in the door, they will have to resort to all kinds of speculations. Some of them are wilder than others. Some have a completely unnecessary Darwinian attachment.
How did we get four limbs? Because we have a belly Science Daily. January 27, 2014.
Sunday, 16 February 2014
It has become increasingly difficult to deny design in nature. While Darwinian just so stories still abound on the pages of science magazines, researchers are realising that there is a designed purpose in many animal traits.
Recently, a news release by Lehigh University pointed out that owls disclose signs of engineering. The headline already suggested a very non-Darwinian approach: Engineered for stealth and silence.
What is more, in their search for more more effective solutions, researchers are turning to the animal kingdom:
“Understanding how these large birds swoop noiselessly, says Justin Jaworski, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering and mechanics, may help engineers create quieter airplanes, wind turbines and underwater vehicles.”
He goes on to say:
“The fluffy upper surface of the wing is made of a down feather material that is similar in texture to commercial velvet. When examined under a microscope … this structure looks like vertical strings with interlocking barbs at their tops. This mesh creates a buffer layer that also stifles sound.”
It does not sound at all like the product of blind Darwinian processes.
Prieto, Carla. 2014. Engineered for stealth and silence. Lehigh University news release. (January 31).
Friday, 14 February 2014
How do we know what is good and what is evil? For those of us who believe in a Cosmic Lawgiver whom the Bible calls God, there is no problem.
But those who only accept materialistic causes have a huge problem. As they believe that only matter exists, they often have to resort to more or less bizarre explanations, because they “cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.”
An article in New Scientist states that conscience is ”not the esoteric entity with religious connotations, but an evolved, subconscious risk calculator that helps us weigh up the pros and cons of different moral options.”
The writer goes on to explain:
“It works like this. We learn the complex social rules of our particular culture and they become linked in our brains with emotions such as pride and honour, shame and guilt, giving them moral significance. These are the scales upon which moral judgements are weighed, and they tip the balance in favour of virtue; vice may be in your better interests, but it is associated with negative emotions, whereas virtue prompts positive ones.
The pleasure we get from performing a good deed is probably induced by a cocktail of neurochemicals but one seems particularly important. Normally associated with feel-good activities such as sex and bonding, the link between oxytocin and morality was discovered a decade ago by Paul Zak at Claremont Graduate University in California. His experiments reveal, among other things, that people with more oxytocin are more generous and caring, and that our oxytocin level increases when someone puts trust in us. Zak describes oxytocin as ‘the key to moral behaviour’. ”
There you have it: a completely naturalistic explanation of good and evil. It is a solution that cannot be tested. While oxytocin levels might indicate how we feel, they do not measure morality.
Douglas, Kate. 2012. Homo virtuous: The evolution of good and evil. New Scientist 2890, 42–45.
Wednesday, 12 February 2014
In recent years, Darwinism has practically become a synonym for censorship. To highlight this disturbing trend, Discovery Institute has decided to nominate the person who had done more than the other Darwinians to censor free speech:
According to DI blog Evolution News & Views,
“Discovery Institute's ‘Censor of the Year’ award recognizes success in choking off free speech on evolution and intelligent design. To be given on Darwin Day, February 12, the prize this year will go to University of Chicago biologist Jerry Coyne, author of the popular blog Why Evolution Is True.
In 2013, Coyne was instrumental in pushing Ball State University in Indiana to formally ban teaching about the scientific theory of intelligent design (ID). The move represents a milestone in the drive to punish critics of Darwinian theory.
Working with the extremist Freedom From Religion Foundation, Coyne focused his attention on gagging untenured Ball State physicist Eric Hedin, who had taught an interdisciplinary course that included a bibliography with books favoring and criticizing ID.”
The need for this award speaks volumes of the inherent weaknesses of evolution that Darwinians are very reluctant to disclose. Thus, they are doing their utmost to prevent any criticism of their theory.
For Darwin Day 2014, Discovery Institute Will Name University of Chicago Biologist Jerry Coyne as "Censor of the Year". Evolution News & Views. (10 February 2014)
Monday, 10 February 2014
In the recent debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye on creation vs. evolution, Mr. Nye repeatedly insisted that creation does not make any predictions and is thus not scientific.
However, already in his opening statement Ken Ham showed a slide with the headline Predictions Based on the Bible. He listed six predictions that science has confirmed:
1) Intelligence produced life.
2) Living beings reproduce after their kinds.
3) There is overwhelming evidence for a global flood.
4) In contrast to the writings of Charles Darwin, humans form a single race.
5) Language groups are evidence for the Tower of Babel account.
6) There is much evidence for a young universe.
Contrary to what Mr. Nye asserted, creation is not only Ken Ham’s model. His lost in translation argument for the reliability of the Bible likewise misses the mark.
However, overall the debate achieved its purpose. It made people aware that the origins issue is far from settled. The atheist-materialist party does not have a monopoly.
Saturday, 8 February 2014
Biology textbooks tend to present evolution as an increase in complexity over time. However, a recent article in Nautilus takes issue with this view.
DNA sequencing technology shows that the trend is not as evident as scientists used to believe:
“Now, DNA analyses are rearranging evolutionary trees, suggesting that the arrow scientists envisioned between simplicity and complexity actually spins like a weather vane caught in a tornado.”
Recent research actually shows that animals “might have been genetically complex from the start … complex body parts evolved multiple times and had also been lost. One study found that winged stick insects evolved from wingless stick insects who [sic] had winged ancestors. Another analysis suggested that extremely simple animals called acoel worms—a quarter inch long and with just one hole for eating and excreting—evolved from an ancestor with a separate mouth and anus. Biologists’ arrow of time swung forward and backward and forward again.”
In other words, the evidence does not support the Darwinian scenario at all. What it suggests is that from the very beginning living beings have been more complex than Darwinists have assumed and that there is far more variety in the animal kingdom than Charles Darwin or his successors ever dreamt of.
It suggests that animals were designed to be complex.
Maxmen, Amy. 2014. Evolution, You’re Drunk. DNA studies topple the ladder of complexity. Nautilus 9 (January 30).
Thursday, 6 February 2014
In recent years, creation - evolution debates have been few and far between, as most evolutionists have refused to engage in any such exchange of views.
In this sense, Tuesday’s debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham was news. However, the debate topic, Is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern scientific era? might not have been the best possible one and the five minutes allotted to each debater to respond to the other’s claims was far too short.
The debate, moderated by CNN journalist Tom Foreman, was a battle – although a rather friendly one – of opposing worldviews and touched on our understanding of what science is. While we would agree on observational science, our worldview decides our opinion of historical science – a dichotomy that Bill Nye refused to accept. Moreover, an atheist cannot allow a “divine foot in the door,” because it would destroy the ideological system he has fought for so long and so hard.
As Ken Ham indicated, a belief in biblical creation does not exclude scientists from doing good science.
Bill Nye brought up several illustrations that he assumed would be evidence of an old earth. While Ken Ham did not have the time to respond to each of them, practically all of them have been rebutted by scientists who believe Genesis is true.
Nye claimed, for instance, that there was not enough time “since Mr. Ham’s Flood” for “millions of layers of ancient life” to have formed beneath the Creation Museum. However, things like fossils are not a problem for creation, as in real life fossils can and do form quickly.
Answers in Genesis estimated that over three million people watched the debate live. In the question and answers part, Bill Nye acknowledged that he did not know how matter invented itself at the beginning or how consciousness came from matter.
The debate might not have changed the listeners’ views, but it certainly reminded us of the importance of origins.
Golden, Steve. 2014. Bill, There Is a Book Out There. Answers in Genesis (5 February).
Tuesday, 4 February 2014
It is no secret that molecular clocks often if not always show a time that differs considerably from what rocks are supposed to show.
Molecular clocks are Darwinian inventions that rely on the assumed kinships between living beings. Fossils are rarely dated directly but their age is assumed from near-by rocks or other objects.
Needless to say, rocks are occasionally in conflict with clocks. A recent controversy has to do with the origin of placental mammals. Using the clock approach, evolutionists assumed that placentals arose between 88 million and 117 million years ago. However, last year Maureen O’Leary from Stony Brook University and colleagues used fossil evidence and concluded that placental mammals appeared only after the demise of the dinosaurs.
So, once again clocks are showing time that differs by at least 20 million years from the time shown by rocks.
But, then, evolution has always been characterised by inconsistencies, so there’s really nothing new under the sun.
Yong. Ed. 2014. Clocks Versus Rocks. The Scientist. (January 14).
Sunday, 2 February 2014
According to conventional wisdom, it takes millions of years to form mountains. However, this assumption might not be true, as the origin of the Mexican volcano Parícutin shows.
Some time ago, Creation magazine featured an article on the birth of this mountain. Parícutin began as a small fissure in a field in 1943 and it grew 100 metres (330 feet) in height in a single week.
Parícutin continued growing. It reached the height of 336 metres (1,102 feet) within a year. Eventually, it attained the height of 424 metres (1,391 feet) above the field where it was born.
Rising to 2,800 metres (9,186 feet) above sea level, Parícutin is one of the natural wonders of the world.
And it took just one year to build it.
O’Brien, Jonathan. 2013. Parícutin - A Mountain in a Year. Creation 35 (1):32–33.