Friday, 30 December 2016

Smart Design Feature: Air-Conditioner in Antelope Nose

Image courtesy of Vladimir Yu. Arkhipov, Arkhivov, Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0).




Joel Kontinen

The Saiga antelope might not win prizes in beauty contests. A native of the steppes of Kazakhstan, it has a nose that looks really bizarre.

But just like the Toucan’s beak or the penguin’s cold-proof feathers, it is there for a reason. When it’s hot, the nose acts like a cooler. And when it gets cold, it serves as a heater.

We can see designed features everywhere in nature, provided we’re not blinded by naturalistic thinking but keep our eyes open instead.(See examples here, here and here.)


Source:

BBC Earth. 2016. The bizarre beast with an air-conditioning nose. (30 November).

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Big Science, Fake News and the Post-Truth World

Roman soldiers carrying the treasures of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. Image courtesy of A. Hunter Wright, Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0).




Joel Kontinen

Big science does not like Brexit or Donald Trump. It attributes at least some of the dramatic changes that 2016 brought about to a loss of trust in experts and the proliferation of fake news items.

But one could hardly go to the lengths of extrapolation that New Scientist does in calling this the post-truth era.

After all, the post-truth era did not begin in 2016. It began ages ago, when scientists and thinkers began to speculate that God had nothing to do with the origin of the universe, of life and of humans.

The idea is spurious, as naturalistic processes cannot produce life. We now know that even the tiniest cell is far too complicated to have arisen spontaneously.

Life bears all the hallmarks of being designed intelligently.

Another disturbing lie has become so common that many do not recognize it as a falsehood.

It is known as 'occupied territory', and refers to East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

History will tell us that the Jews lived in that region over 3,000 years ago. The old part of Jerusalem was King David’s capital and his son Salomon built the first temple there soon afterwards.

The Arabs conquered (i.e. occupied) the land over 1,600 years after the first Jewish temple was built.

So, calling East Jerusalem and the West Bank occupied territory is fake news, unless, of course one admits that it is the Arabs who originally occupied land that had been Jewish for aeons.

The truth of the matter is that some Jews have decided to live in the area where Jews had lived before anyone had heard of the Palestinians.

Source:

Corner, Adam. 2016. Here’s how experts can rebuild trust in the post-truth era. New Scientist (20 December).


Monday, 26 December 2016

Created Beauty: God’s Christmas Lights Deep Below the Surface


Image courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Deepwater Wonders of Wake.





Joel Kontinen

It might be difficult to avoid seeing Christmas lights at this time of year, especially in the Northern hemisphere.

But it seems that there are amazingly beautiful lights in the most unexpectant places, such as 1,500 metres below sea level.

And they are not man-made.

NOAA’s Okeanos Explorer vessel has mapped large stretches of ocean floors, and found great beauty in places where there are few if any human spectators.

Recently, they discovered glowing corals.

Previously they had photographed glowing jellyfish and an outlandish octopus.

The Bible tells us that God has made everything beautiful.

I would suggest that failing to notice all the beauty around us might be a sign of at least spiritual blindness.

Beauty in nature defies Darwinism. Both the very big things and the tiny ones testify of the Creator.

The Fall described in Genesis 3 did not put an end to great beauty: we even see it in ourselves and other people.

Source:

NOAA. 2016. NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer August 12, 2016.



Saturday, 24 December 2016

Christmas Reminds Us that We Can Trust the Bible


The prophet Isaiah prophesied about Jesus’ coming 700 years before He came as a baby in Bethlehem. Image courtesy of the Providence Lithograph Company. public domain.




Joel Kontinen

Several Old Testament prophets foresaw major events in the life of Christ hundreds of years before they took place.

Micah prophesied Jesus’ birthplace:

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Though you are little among the thousands of Judah,
Yet out of you shall come forth to Me
The One to be Ruler in Israel,
Whose goings forth are from of old,
From everlasting
.” (Micah 5:2).

And Isaiah foresaw His virgin birth:

Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14).

Christmas was not built on fables but on real history.

For atheists, the birth of Christ might be a difficult occasion, hence they invented the Christmas wars.

Some sceptics would like to celebrate Newtonmas instead, as Sir Isaac Newton’s birthday is on 25th December.

The idea is a bit absurd, as Newton believed in the historical accuracy of the Bible.


Scripture verses from the New King James Version (NKJV).

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Our Big Brain Is a Darwinian Enigma


Big-brained fish. Image courtesy of Bjoertvedt, Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0).



Joel Kontinen

Our big brain is a Darwinian enigma. As evolutionists believe that all creatures have a tiny common ancestor, their problem might be understandable though not logical.

And as they detest the idea of human exceptionalism, they often look at parallels in the animal kingdom.

Yes, they have found a fish that – proportionally, that is – has a very big brain.

Research published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B looks at mormyrids, African electric fishes. They use “weak electric discharges to locate prey and to communicate with one another,” as Science Daily puts it.

One of them, Peters' elephant-nose fish (Gnathonemus petersii), has a rather large brain, which makes up 3 percent of its body size.

Ours is between 2 and 2.5 per cent, but the fish is a lot smaller than we are.

Large brains come with a cost. They need more oxygen and more energy than if they were smaller. This prompts evolutionists to assume that something exceptional has to happen before a creature can “evolve” a big brain:

Here’s their suggestion: “Really big brains can evolve only if constraints on energy intake are lifted.”

It seems that common descent is a creed that leads to sloppy thinking – even with big brains like ours.

The human brain is a wonderful organ.

Its amazingly complex interactions cannot be explained away by Darwinian just so stories.


Source:

Washington University in St. Louis. 2016. Why big brains are rare: Studies of electric fish support the idea that really big brains can evolve only if constraints on energy intake are lifted. Science Daily. (21 December).

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Picathartes: The Bird Evolution Forgot for “44 Million Years”


White-necked Rockfowl (Picathartes gymnocephalus). Image courtesy of Michael Andersen. Creative Commons (CC BY 2.0).




Joel Kontinen

The list of living fossils keeps on getting longer and longer.

BBC Earth just published an article and a short video of a West African bird that hasn’t changed in “44 million years.”

The Picathartes lives on the shore of the River Congo. The male and female build a mud nest together, sheltered from the rain by a big boulder.

And they behave just like birds that aren’t supposedly so old.

Living fossils suggest strongly that the millions of years the popular media are so fond of are pure fiction.

Source:

Walker, Matt. 2016. Bird survives for 44 million years. BBC Earth (17 December).


Sunday, 18 December 2016

Wonders of Creation: Almost Impossible Giant Plants in New Zealand



Ross lilies (Bulbinella rossii). Image courtesy of Twiddleblatt, Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0).




Joel Kontinen

Ours is a planet where flora and fauna abound almost everywhere – in extreme cold and heat, and in the deep seas.

Campbell Island in New Zealand is home to plants that should not exist.

Recently, BBC Earth had an article on its flowers that defy the cold, wet and windy conditions on the island.

While temperatures seldom rise above 10 degrees Celcius (50 degrees Fahrenheit), the sun seldom shines and gusts blow at 30 km/h (19 m.p.h.), some plants grow to become really huge:

Amidst the fields of low shrubs and tussock grasses, giants stand tall. Some herbs rise up more than a metre, with leaves as large as a sheet of printer paper. Some species have hairy leaves, while flowers bloom in various colours from dark purple to pink to yellow-green. Scientists call these large herbs 'megaherbs'.”

Birds have intelligently designed features that help them to cope with freezing temperatures and hot weather.

We know that some begonias use a clever strategy to get more energy from the sun.

But what is news is that the Campbell Island flora also use an intelligent method to get more warmth from the sun.

They seem to make as much use of the rare sunny moments as possible. Botanist Lorna Little found that almost all “megaherb species had flowers and leaves that were between 4C and 10C warmer than air temperature.”

This shows that Earth was designed to be a habitable place, just like the Bible tells us.

Source:

Law, Yao-Hua. 2016. The sub-Antarctic islands are home to strange 'megaherbs' BBC Earth (16 December).

Friday, 16 December 2016

Celebrating a Notorious Fraudster: Ernst Haeckel and His Tree of Life in Nature


Ernst Haeckel's tree of life (1866), public domain.




Joel Kontinen

A letter published in Nature sees Ernst Haeckel as a trailblazing scientist who built a more comprehensive tree of life than Darwin had done.

Darwin’s initial version that he sketched in 1837 was very simple. Haeckel “painstakingly drew up a much more comprehensive tree.”

Charles Darwin sketched his earliest tree in 1837. Image: public domain.

The letter presents a biased view of the zoologist who invented non-existing species as evidence for evolution and is now mostly remembered for his fraudulent embryo drawings.

He also inspired some leading Nazis.

This [i.e. Haeckel’s tree] represented Earth's wealth of species in the context of evolution — a concept he dubbed phylogeny (General Morphology of Organisms; 1866).

The root of the tree symbolizes a common primordial ancestor from which all other forms emerged. Haeckel developed his tree over almost 1,000 pages, basing it on palaeontological, embryological and systemic data — a precursor to modern biology's phylogenetic trees.”


We now know that Haeckel’s tree – just like Darwin’s – was simply wrong.

Secular researches have begun to understand that a bush or a net is a far more better description of the development and diversity of life.

Creationists have said so for decades.

Source:

Hossfeld, Uwe and Georgy S. Levit. 2016. Phylogeny: 'Tree of life' took root 150 years ago. Nature 540, 38.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Chewie, Lucy’s Imaginary Big Brother, Left Footprints in Tanzania


The new footprints are a bit bigger than these. Image courtesy of Momotarou2012, Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0).




Joel Kontinen

There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact,” Mark Twain wrote over a century ago.

It seems that nothing much has changed since then. Scientists made up an entire species (Nebraska Man) on the basic of a single tooth.

Now they have invented a hominid on the basis of footprints found at Laetoli in Tanzania.

A news article in Nature adds some dramatic effects into the story:

The sound was more like a squish than a thud, as the tall male australopith strode across the East African savannah. A volcanic eruption had left a patina of grey ash underfoot, while rainstorms that followed transformed the earth into wet cement. Squish, squish. Four smaller individuals walked not far behind. Squish, squish, squish. Later, ash rained down from the sky again, covering their tracks for 3.66 million years.”

Reported in a paper published in eLife, the tracks are near the very famous footprints that prompted evolutionists to speculate that Lucy (Australopithecus afarensis) walked on two feet just like us.

However, there is no fossil evidence in support of this claim. We simply don’t know what Lucy’s feet looked like, as the foot bones are still missing.

The new “individual” is called Chewie, and he is assumed to be 165 cm (5 feet 5 inches) tall, making him two heads taller than Lucy.

How did they come up with this figure? The largest footprint is 27 cm (10.6 inches) long, with some smaller ones, prompting New Scientist to speculate that early humans had multiple wives.

And his discoverers are convinced that like Lucy, he is an Australopithecus.

I wouldn’t be so sure.

Source:

Anon. 2016. Meet Chewie, the biggest Australopithecus on record. Nature News (14 December).

Monday, 12 December 2016

Superfast Machine Production: 100,000 Nanomachines Per Hour in Our Cells



Image courtesy of LadyofHats, public domain.




Joel Kontinen

Recent research has likened our cells to miniature cities running at 100 per cent efficiency.”

These cities and everything in them – including the tiny molecular motors dynein and kinesin – are assembled very fast.

A new study looks at ribosomes, which are amazing macromolecular machines. They, too, are built quickly from parts.

An article in Science Daily states:

Consisting of RNA and proteins that twist, fold and turn [they] are responsible for making all of the protein within a cell and could hold the key to deciphering a range of diseases. Despite the intricacies of ribosomes, cells are able to churn out 100,000 of them every hour.”

Obviously, the parts are programmed to come together, otherwise the result would be a chaos.

Recently researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and The Scripps Research Institute used an imaging technique called single-particle cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) to look into the secrets of how ribosomes are being built:

In single-particle cryo-EM, proteins (the "particles") are flash-frozen and imaged using streams of electrons, meaning the molecules don't need to be crystallized and can retain much of their native structure.”

The research focused on the 50s subunit (a major component of ribosomes) and found that it was made up of “at least 15 types of complexes …13 of which are actively assembling 50s subunits.”

It took the scientists a year to figure this out.

No wonder integrated complex systems in cells are called supercomplexes.

They are the hallmark of exceptionally intelligent design.

Source:

Salk Institute.2016. Multi-institutional collaboration uncovers how molecular machines assemble. Science Daily (1 December).

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Monkey Brains Were Not Built for Talking


A macaque can’t speak. Image courtesy of Shantanu Kuveskar, Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0).



Joel Kontinen

Parrots and some other birds can utter sounds that resemble words, but monkeys and apes cannot.

This is a big enigma for evolutionists who assume that chimps and other great apes are virtually our cousins, as they think our ancestors parted ways some “7 or 8 million years” ago.

A paper recently published in the journal Science Advances reported on how a macaque named Emiliano uttered a variety of sounds in a laboratory at Princeton University.

The researchers found that while Emiliano could at least in theory produce some vowel sounds, the monkey’s brain is not wired for speech.

This probably also applies to other monkeys and apes. Thus, a speaking orangutan would be an illusion.

Charles Darwin speculated that apes did not have a brain for language. It seems that he was right.

Humans are unique. Apes and monkeys were not made in the image of God, but we are.

Source:

Price, Michael. 2016. Why monkeys can’t talk—and what they would sound like if they could. Science (9 December).


Thursday, 8 December 2016

New Scientist: Thank Evolution for Fear


Inherited fear? Darwinians think so.



Joel Kontinen

Darwinists are fond of thanking evolution for all kinds of everything.
Often, their explanations are more or less bizarre – often more –, as in social living shrinks our brains.”

Clever attempt, but there’s no evidence.

Professor Philip Skell famously wrote that the Darwinian explanation tends to be “so supple that it can explain any behaviour.”

A recent article in New Scientist credited evolution for our sense of fear:

Evolution has given us an inbuilt fear factory. But by engaging a different way of thinking we can stop panicking and weigh up the real risks.”

The magazine makes a distinction between two kinds of approaches to fear that are known as system 1 and system 2 thinking:

System 1 is the product of evolved biases shaped over thousands of years.”

It quotes author Dan Gardner, who brings up the standard Darwinian explanation:

If you saw a shadow in the grass and it was a lion and you lived to tell the tale, you’d make sure to run the next time you saw a shadow in the grass.”

Way back in 2008, TIME magazine used slightly different words for the same thing: “Fear is … embedded by evolution in our lizard brain.”

There is no evidence that any of us ever had a lizard brain. A human being, like all other creatures, is designed as a whole.

What is more, we are “fearfully and wonderfully made,” as Psalm 139: 14 puts it.

Source:

Adee, Sally. 2016. Super-you: Train your brain to beat the inbuilt fear factory. New Scientist (7 December).

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Wet Sahara: New Evidence for Noah’s Flood?


It doesn’t look wet any more. Image courtesy of GFDL, Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0).



Joel Kontinen

The greatest climate change of all time occurred some 4,500 years ago, when an enormous flood swept away the world that once was.

The cataclysm in Noah’s day was probably followed by the ice age.

While glaciers covered the areas we now know as Canada and northern Europe, it is reasonable to assume that even regions now covered by sand had a much moister climate.

A recent study suggests that this indeed was the case. While the date it gives is off by 2,000 years or so, the findings as such seem to corroborate the history written in Genesis. An article in Science Daily says:

As little as 6,000 years ago, the vast Sahara Desert was covered in grassland that received plenty of rainfall, but shifts in the world's weather patterns abruptly transformed the vegetated region into some of the driest land on Earth. A Texas A&M university researcher is trying to uncover the clues responsible for this enormous climate transformation -- and the findings could lead to better rainfall predictions worldwide.”

The researchers attempted to explain the current aridness of Sahara by invoking the Hadley circulation:

The Hadley circulation is a tropical atmospheric circulation that rises near the equator. It is linked to the subtropical trade winds, tropical rainbelts, and affects the position of severe storms, hurricanes, and the jet stream. Where it descends in the subtropics, it can create desert-like conditions.”

They don’t seem to know why the tropical rain belt could have moved so far towards the north.

It seems that geologists and other scientists can thank – or blame – Charles Lyell for this uncertainty. Lyell, who popularised uniformitarism, sought to free geology from Moses (i.e. the biblical flood).

While catastrophism has made a comeback, most researchers still detest the idea of a year-long global flood.

However, only a blind man would fail to see the mountains of evidence Noah’s Flood left all over the globe, in places like Antarctica, Bolivia, Norway , Greenland, Kenya and Australia.

And a wetter climate is not the only remainder of Noah’s Flood in Sahara; an enormous natural archway in Chad is yet another monument left by the huge global cataclysm.

Source:

Texas A&M University. 2016. 6,000 years ago the Sahara Desert was tropical, so what happened? Science Daily (30 November).



Monday, 5 December 2016

Lucy Was a Tree Climber, New Research Suggests


Lucy’s bones. The leg bones are still missing, so theories of how our assumed grandmother walked are not based on facts.




Joel Kontinen

Lucy’s upper limbs resembled those of modern chimps. This suggests that our assumed grandmother Australopithecus afarensis, as she is more formally known, spent a lot of her time in trees.

This is the take-away message from a recent study conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins University and the University of Texas at Austin.

The research, based on CT scan images of Lucy’s bones, was published in the journal PLOS ONE. Science Daily summarizes the findings:

Analysis of the partial fossilized skeleton, the investigators say, shows that Lucy's upper limbs were heavily built, similar to champion tree-climbing chimpanzees, supporting the idea that she spent time climbing and used her arms to pull herself up.”

However, when it comes to Lucy’s feet, bias creeps in, as it tends to do in research on our assumed ancestors:

In addition, they say, the fact that her foot was better adapted for bipedal locomotion (upright walking) than grasping may mean that climbing placed additional emphasis on Lucy's ability to pull up with her arms and resulted in more heavily built upper limb bones.”

This assumption is based on evidence that is still missing. The foot bones have not been found. But the Laetoli footprints have prompted some evolutionists to assume that Lucy walked on two feet, just like us.

While the Laetoli footprints have been dated a mere “400,000 years” or so older than Lucy, there is a huge logical gap between her and the footprints.

They look exactly like human footprints. No tree dwelling ape could possibly have made them.

Moreover, Lucy’s bones were found in the Afar region in northern Ethiopia. Laetoli is in Tanzania. The distance separating them is roughly a thousand kilometres (600 miles), as Kenya happens to separate the two East African countries.

In other words, there is no reason to believe that Lucy’s kin made those marks.

But perhaps it’s best to let Science Daily continue:

Exactly how much time Lucy spent in the trees is difficult to determine, the research team says, but another recent study suggests Lucy died from a fall out of a tall tree. This new study adds to evidence that she may have nested in trees at night to avoid predators, the authors say. An eight-hour slumber would mean she spent one-third of her time up in the trees, and if she also occasionally foraged there, the total percentage of time spent above ground would be even greater.”

There you have it, ladies and gentlemen: Lucy was a tree-dwelling ape.

Source:

Johns Hopkins Medicine. 2016. Human ancestor 'Lucy' was a tree climber, new evidence suggests. Science Daily (30 November).

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Alien Life Floating on Dwarf Stars - Science or Science Fiction?



Some brown dwarfs might not look very brown. Image courtesy of R. Hurt/NASA, public domain.



Joel Kontinen

Has the quest for alien life become an obsession for some astronomers?

It seems so. They have even found worlds that might not exist.

Like the late Carl Sagan, they seem to detest the notion that Earth could be unique.

Life flourishes in seemingly impossible conditions on our planet, so why would it not do so on other worlds as well?

This time they have set their hopes on brown dwarf stars. An article in Science says:

There’s an abundant new swath of cosmic real estate that life could call home—and the views would be spectacular. Floating out by themselves in the Milky Way galaxy are perhaps a billion cold brown dwarfs, objects many times as massive as Jupiter but not big enough to ignite as a star. According to a new study, layers of their upper atmospheres sit at temperatures and pressures resembling those on Earth, and could host microbes that surf on thermal updrafts.”

Naturalism and wishful thinking seem to go hand in hand:

The idea expands the concept of a habitable zone to include a vast population of worlds that had previously gone unconsidered. ‘You don’t necessarily need to have a terrestrial planet with a surface,’ says Jack Yates, a planetary scientist at the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom, who led the study.”

The next step is a digression into science fiction: Inspired by Carl Sagan’s idea of an ecosystem in Jupiter’s atmosphere, they envision microbes floating around in hydrogen gas.

The article mentions that the idea is speculative. and that certainly is no understatement. No form of life can float around anywhere if it does not come into existence first.

And life, as we know, only comes from life.

Source:

Sokol, Joshua, 2016 Alien life could thrive in the clouds of failed stars. Science (2 December).


Thursday, 1 December 2016

Darwin Was Wrong: There’s No Tree of Life

This Victorian gentleman was wrong.



Joel Kontinen

Once upon a time, the tree of life was a major albeit somewhat controversial fact of evolution. Now it is no more.

Even secular researchers have pointed out that Darwin was wrong and that the tree has fallen down.

New Scientist had its Darwin was Wrong cover story in 2009 and since then studies have shown that he was indeed mistaken.

The latest instalment can be seen in the journal Science. Elizabeth Pennisi looks at hybrids and concludes that they spell disaster for Darwin’s tree:

In 2010 a comparison between a Neandertal genome and genomes from people today turned up evidence of ancient liaisons, a discovery that belied the common idea that animal species can't hybridize or, if they do, will produce infertile offspring—think mules."

But this was simply wrong:

"Such reproductive isolation is part of the classic definition of a species. This discovery brought credence to other work in plants, Darwin's finches in the Galápagos Islands, tropical butterflies, mosquitoes, and a few other animals showing that hybridization was not just common, but also important in shaping evolution. The techniques that revealed the Neandertal and Denisovan legacy in our own genome are now making it possible to peer into the genomic histories of many organisms to check for interbreeding. As more examples are discovered, researchers are questioning the definition of species and rethinking whether the tree of life is really a 'net' of life.”

The term 'species' is anything but an accurate description of a particular type of organism. The great number of hybrids such as ligers, zonkeys, wholpins, geeps, grolars and leopons, supports the view that the biblical concept ‘kind’ differs considerably from the biological term ‘species’, being more inclusive.

According to the biblical model, Neanderthals, Denisovans and modern humans form a single biblical ‘kind’.

Likewise, at best, the distinction between the various varieties of Darwin’s finches is vague.

Hybrids challenge the very concept of evolution. No new genetic information is added, but they merely share pre-existing information. Often, they display a loss of information.

Some microbes also defy Darwinian orthodoxy by using horizontal gene transfer (HGT) to share genetic traits.

Creationists have consistently assumed that the very idea of a tree was suspect. Way back in 2000, Dr. Pierre Jerlström had an article in the Journal of Creation entitled 'Is the evolutionary tree turning into a creationist orchard?'

Now it seems that they have been right all along and evolutionists have been wrong since Darwin’s day.

Sources:

Jerström, Pierre. 2000. Is the evolutionary tree turning into a creationist orchard? Journal of Creation 14(2), 11–13.

Pennisi, Elizabeth. 2016. Shaking up the Tree of Life. Science 354 (6314), 817 – 821.



Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Hercules Crab Defies Darwinian Story


Coconut crabs. Image courtesy of Brocken Inaglory Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0).




Joel Kontinen

The coconut crab (Birgus latro) can weigh up to 4 kilograms. It has enormous claws with which it can pick up objects that are seven times heavier that it is.

Recently, scientists measured the strength of this crab. While humans have a grip strength of 300 newtons on average, a coconut crab weighing 2 kilograms almost reached 1800 newtons. Hence, the researchers suggested that a fully-grown coconut crab “could thus be expected to exert a crushing force of more than 3000 newtons,” New Scientist says.

While the Darwinian explanation for the crab’s Hercules-like grip invokes dietary demands, just how many crabs passed away before evolution’s blind watchmaker finally thought of a solution and gave the poor crab a chance to have a coconut for lunch?

The mantis shrimp is another Hercules: it beats airplane frames in strength.

Creatures like these challenge evolutionary explanations. They strongly suggest that teleology or goal-orientation was involved. This happens to be Darwinian heresy.

Design is so evident everywhere that it is actually difficult to to avoid goal-orientation even in evolutionary stories.

Source:

Klein, Alice. 2016. Coconut crab’s bone-crushing grip is 10 times stronger than ours. New Scientist (23 November ).

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Fidel Castro: Revolutionary Ideas Gone Wrong


Fidel Castro in 1978. Image courtesy of Marcelo Montecino, Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0).




Joel Kontinen

While Fidel Castro, who recently died at the age of 90, was an atheist, he obviously respected the teachings and deeds of Jesus Christ, even claiming that Jesus was a communist.

Why?

Jesus fed 5,000 men and asked a rich man to give his wealth to the poor.

When it comes to equality, communism shared some of the values of early Christianity, in principle, that is.

But Comrade Castro did not like all the teachings of the Bible. Jesus never taught that the Kingdom of God should be built by a sword (or an AK-47).

Castro's revolution led to wars in several Latin American and African countries, with millions of casualties and suffering for countless more people.

Sandinistas, Sendero Luminoso, FARC, and the anything but civil wars in Angola and Mozambique were all inspired by the Cuban revolutionary, and they brought death, suffering and misery to millions.

All attempts to build a secular paradise on Earth have failed miserably. While Castro might have succeeded in doing some good things (along with the bad), he definitely did not make the world a better place for most people within his sphere of influence.

In other words, Castro was a failed Messiah.

Only one Messiah ever succeeded.

And instead of taking others' lives, He chose to give His own, because the people He created had turned away from Him and He sought to bring them back.

It was the sin of the first humans that brought bad things into the world.

Jesus came to undo the damage. That is the real reason for the Christmas season.








Friday, 25 November 2016

Cosmic Inflation Is a ”Totally Bonkers Idea," Cosmologist Says in New Scientist

Image courtesy of Menchi, Creative Commons (CC BY SA 3.0).





Joel Kontinen

Recently, New Scientist (NS) outlined five dilemmas that believers in solely naturalistic processes have to face when they consider astronomy.

For want of a better word, it calls them coincidences. And they are all over the place.

In naturalistic thinking, we can thank a quantum fluctuation for all the fine tuning that is evident in the universe.

One of the dilemmas is the uniform temperature of the universe. It is almost astounding. NS gives the gist of the problem:

”THE temperature of the cosmic microwave background – the radiation bathing all of space – is remarkably uniform. It varies by less than 0.001 degrees from a chilly 2.725 kelvin.

For naturalists, it is indeed a huge mystery:

But while that might seem natural enough, this consistency is a real puzzle. For two widely separated areas of the cosmos to reach thermal equilibrium, heat needs enough time to travel from one to the other. Even if this happens at the speed of light, the universe is just too young for this to have happened.”

This has led to an explanation that is anything but scientific:

Cosmologists try to explain this uniformity using the hypothesis known as inflation. It replaces the simple idea of a big bang with one in which there was also a moment of exponential expansion. This sudden, faster-than-light increase in the size of the universe allows it to have started off smaller than an atom, when it would have had plenty of time to equalise its temperature.”

Then comes the great admission:

“''On the face of it, inflation is a totally bonkers idea – it replaces a coincidence with a completely nonsensical vision of what the early universe was like, ' says Andrew Pontzen at University College London.”

When they leave out intelligent causes, the resulting hypotheses are bonkers and completely nonsensical.

But obviously, they cannot allow a Divine foot in the door, as professor Richard Lewontin famously put it.

Source:

Clark, Stuart. 2016. Space is all the same temperature. Coincidence? New Scientist. (26 October).

.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Huge Lake Under Andes Volcano Uturuncu Reminds of Noah’s Flood

Uturuncu. Image courtesy of Ceky, Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0).




Joel Kontinen

Doubters often question the historicity of Noah’s Flood although many geological features testify that it was a real catastrophic event.

These monuments formed by the Flood can be seen all over the world, for instance in Cape Verde, Norway and Australia.

New research published in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters suggests that there is a lot more water below Earth’s surface than we previously thought.

In addition to aquifers and water trapped in ringwoodite, it seems that our planet also hides an enormous subterranean lake below the Andes.

Jon Blundy of the University of Bristol, UK, and his colleagues discovered “a massive reservoir of water”.

According to New Scientist, they “made the discovery while studying a huge ‘anomaly’ 15 kilometres beneath the currently dormant Uturuncu volcano in the Bolivian Andes. The anomaly, called the Altiplano-Puna magma body, slows down seismic waves and conducts electricity, unlike surrounding magma.”

To say that the researchers were surprised would probably be an understatement. Blundy and colleagues tested rocks excavated from the mountain and found that they contained 8 to 10 per cent water:

“The Altiplano-Puna magma body is known to be around half a million cubic kilometres in volume, so the researchers estimate it must contain a similar amount of water to some of the largest freshwater lakes on Earth. ‘It’s probably somewhere between Lake Superior and Lake Huron,’ says Blundy. ‘It’s a staggeringly large amount.’ ”

Lack of water is thus not a valid excuse for doubting the Flood.

The discovery also supports the view that there was subterranean water on Earth from the very beginning.

Just like Genesis says.

Source:

Coghlan, Andy. 2016. Huge lake discovered 15 kilometres under a volcano. New Scientist (4 November).


Monday, 21 November 2016

Political Correctness Goes Overboard: No Good Friday In US City


Michelangelo (1540): Crucifixion of Christ. Photo by Manuel Gómez, public domain.





Joel Kontinen

Political correctness is no friend of Christianity. The latest proof of this comes from the US city of Bloomington in Indiana that has renamed Good Friday as Spring Holiday.

It also changed the name of Columbus Day to Fall Holiday.

The pretext was to make these days more inclusive. Mayor John Hamilton said this would "better reflect cultural sensitivity in the workplace".

Liberal views prevail in the city of 84,067 where 58.6% of the electorate chose to give their vote to Hillary Clinton in the recent presidential election.

Good Friday is the most important day of the year for Christians, as it marks the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. He died for the sins of the entire world, so very few things could possible be more inclusive.

However, as the Christmas wars and battles over crucifixes, religious statues and crosses have shown, many people seem to hate anything that reminds them of Christ or the Bible (including creation and Noah’s Ark and the Flood).

Nonetheless, the gospel of Jesus Christ is still the good news that gives hope to the hopeless, direction for those who are lost and new life to those who struggle and are desperate.


Source:


BBC News. 2016. Good Friday and Columbus Day renamed by 'inclusive' US city of Bloomington. (20 November).


Saturday, 19 November 2016

Amazing Cells: “Miniature Cities Running at 100 Percent Efficiency"


Cell: The master of efficiency. Image courtesy of Magnus Manske, Creative Commons (CC BY 3.0).

1 Nucleus, 2 Nuclear pore, 3 Rough endoplasmic reticulum (RER), 4 Smooth endoplasmic reticulum (SER), 5 Ribosome on the rough ER, 6 Proteins that are transported, 7 Transport vesicle, 8 Golgi apparatus, 9 Cis face of the Golgi apparatus, 10 Trans face of the Golgi apparatus, 11 Cisternae of the Golgi apparatus.





Joel Kontinen

Engineers and planners could learn a thing or two about the efficacy of plant cells. A paper published in the journal Current Biology reveals how the tiny factories in cells work as effectively as they do.

The research focused on the largest factory in a plant cell, the endoplasmic reticulum.

An article in Science Daily summarises the findings:

Michigan State University researchers in Federica Brandizzi's lab, for the first time, have identified how plants' largest cell factory moves to maintain vital functions, which could lead to advances in improving plant cells' critical functions and growing better crops.”

It seems that the more we learn about cells, the less credible any Darwinian explanation becomes. Cells are designed to carry out things, and what they do, they do extremely well, smoothly and efficiently:

‘Healthy cells operate as smoothly as the best Minecraft city imaginable,’ said Federica Brandizzi, MSU Foundation Professor of plant biology. ‘The miniature cities are fully equipped with all of the facilities, or organelles, that are necessary for a smooth-running operation.’

It does not sound like the efforts of the blind watchmaker at all:

Administration center, factories and even recycling centers are all there, running at 100-percent efficiency. In contrast to the infrastructures and city buildings in cells, however, the organelles, are not built on static foundations. They are huge, mobile cellular cargos that travel rapidly to reach resources and deliver products.”

The researchers discovered the protein SYP73 that “keeps cellular cargo on track, quite literally,” as the Science Daily article puts it.

Intelligent design in nature is obvious. We see it in plants, animals and even ourselves. Just think about two tiny molecular motors, i.e., dynein and kinesin, that bear all the hallmarks of supernatural intelligence.

Source:

Michigan State University. 2016. Discovering what keeps cellular cargo on track. Science Daily. (17 November).



Thursday, 17 November 2016

Synthetic Life Would Prove That Intelligent Design Works



Ours cells are anything but simple. Image courtesy of Mariana Ruiz (public domain).





Joel Kontinen

Some scientists have a strong bias against the supernatural. This became obvious during the recent Royal Society meeting New Trends in Evolutionary Biology. They were unwilling to accept real design even though evolutionary explanations do not work.

While Neo-Darwinian mechanisms cannot explain nanomachines or the other intricate features of the cell, for instance, participants were unwilling to acknowledge that genuine design is the one and only credible explanation of the wonderful integrated systems in biology.

This same bias is also seen in the attempt to create life in the lab.

The goal is to “prove pretty decisively that life is nothing more than a complicated chemical system” as Mark Bedau, a philosopher of science at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, puts it in a recent article in New Scientist.

But chemicals don’t turn into life.

Geneticists have made some remarkable breakthroughs. They have removed the DNA of a microbe and replaced it with the genome of another microbe.

That is a far cry from creating life.

Instead of modifying existing organisms, their real quest is to make life from scratch:

A more ambitious effort starts with nonliving, chemical ingredients – sometimes familiar nucleic acids and lipids, but sometimes radically different structures such as self-assembling metal oxides. The researchers aim to coax these chemicals across the Darwinian threshold where they begin to replicate themselves heritably and evolve – the key criteria for calling the system alive. If this can be achieved, the implications would be enormous.”

They seem to be blind to the enormous amount of intelligent designing they are putting in their effort. Whereas the Darwinian watchmaker is absolutely blind, the attempt to make synthetic life is clearly teleological.

It has an explicit goal, and that is something that Darwinian processes cannot have. So, ironically, if they do manage to create synthetic life, they will simply prove that intelligent design works.

We shouldn’t forget that the naturalistic origin of life is wrought with severe problems.

Darwinians have suggested many solutions, such as water world, molecular midwives, RNA world etc., but they all require many lucky turns of events and none of them works.

Moreover, complexity does not increase gradually and spontaneously.

Source:

Holmes, Bob. 2016. The world in 2076: Human-made life forms walk the earth. New Scientist (16 November).




Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Amazing Design Prevents Woodpeckers from Getting Headache

Image courtesy of Sławomir Staszczuk, Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0).





Joel Kontinen

Why don’t woodpeckers get headaches?

If woodpeckers were to get them, “presumably they wouldn’t be around for very long" was National Geography’s (NS) answer to its Weird Animal Question of the Week.

Woodpeckers peck wood for several reasons, for instance “to excavate nest cavities, dig for insects or sap, or create holes to store food.” And they do bang hard.

The short answer, according to Richard Prum, an evolutionary ornithologist at Yale University, is “good evolutionary design.”

'Evolutionary design' is an oxymoron, as evolution does not plan or design. Natural selection is supposed to use available bits and pieces to put together what it can.

The long answer is a bit more complicated. NS mentions that woodpeckers have 1) tiny brains (2 grams or 0.07 oz.), meaning less risk of injury, 2) very brief impact time (0.5–1 millisecond), 3) their skull structure prevents injury (dense bone outside; porous inside), 4) their brains fit snugly into skulls, “preventing the organ from banging around”, 5) the orientation of the brain “creates more surface area to absorb … exacting blows” and 6) “ the hyoid apparatus, a bone-and-muscle structure that wraps around a woodpecker's skull, also keeps the brain safe.”

In his book Creation: Facts of Life, Dr. Gary Parker points out that the woodpecker is a “marvel of interdependent parts or ‘compound traits’ – traits that depend on one another for any to have functional value.

Dr. Parker suggests that the Darwinian trial-and-error approach would have led to the extinction of woodpeckers. If their wonderful apparatus had not been in place at the start, they would have died off.

NS acknowledges that woodpeckers are amazing creatures: “The woodpecker’s capacity to absorb blows has even inspired a system to reduce concussions in sports such as [American rules] football.”

The brains of all creatures bear signs of top-down planning, which is the very opposite of the Darwinian approach. Yet evolutionists tend to be slow to admit this ubiquitous fact.


Sources:

Langley, Liz. 2016. Why Woodpeckers Don't Get Headaches. National Geographic (5 November).

Parker, Gary. 2004. Creation: Facts of Life. Green Forest, AR: Master Books.

evolution, woodpeckers, intelligent design

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Intelligent Flight: Bats Break Speed Record –160 KM/H or 100 M.P.H.


A free-tailed bat. Image courtesy of M. Siders, Bureau of Land Management (public domain).





Joel Kontinen

When a Brazilian free-tailed bat breaks all records by flying at 160 kilometres an hour (100 m.p.h.), there might be more to the story than simply saying that bats are “well adapted to their aerial lifestyle, with long, angular, narrow wings,” as New Scientist puts it.

Of course they are. But such agility is best explained by design.

All creatures that fly are amazing testimonies of creation. A Darwinian trial-and-error approach could hardly produce amazingly effective fliers.

Even evolutionists will acknowledge that bats have been amazing creatures for a very long time. In 2010 a paper in Nature suggested that the earliest bat Onychonycteris finneyi, dated at “52 million years," could probably echolocate.

Gary McCracken of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and his colleagues “used an airplane tracking device on seven bats from the Frio Bat Cave in south-western Texas to track ground distance covered by bats.”

While they cannot be absolutely sure whether tailwinds or gravity might have helped the bats to beat records, they believe that the wind was weak during the night they measured their speeds.

Other flying creatures have amazing abilities, as well.

Birds are no less amazing. Robins, hummingbirds, toucans, cockatoos and bowerbirds display many signs of very intelligent design that cannot be explained away by evolutionary storytelling.

Swifts can fly ten months without landing, and starling murmurations defy Darwinian explanations.

What is more, even tinier flying creatures are wonderfully made:

Butterflies use the sun for navigation. They have a magnetic compass that allows them to migrate enormous distances.

Bumblebees detect weak electric fields with their mechanosensory hairs.

Source:

Photopoulos, Julianna. 2016. Speedy bat flies at 160km/h, smashing bird speed record. New Scientist (9 November).



Friday, 11 November 2016

Original Proteins from ”75-Million-Year” Old Dinosaur


Previous discoveries of Citipati osmolskae included an egg with a preserved embryo. Image courtesy of Jordi Payà, Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0).




Joel Kontinen

Hardly a week goes by without the discovery of soft tissue in fossils assumed to be tens if not hundreds of millions years old.

Soft tissue has been found in many kinds of creatures, for instance salamanders, dinosaurs, marine creatures (read more here and here), birds (read more here and here), in a “520 million year” old Cambrian creature and microfossils assumed to be 1.88 billion years old.

The latest instalment features an emu-sized dinosaur dubbed Citipati osmolskae found in Mongolia, assumed to be 75 million years old.

Phys.org gives some background facts and a brief summary of a paper published recently in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B:

The dinosaur was “preserved while brooding its eggs, also preserved the original keratinous claw sheath that covered its digits… In 1995, a particularly well-preserved specimen of Citipati was recovered from the Djadokhta formation. The specimen was found in a brooding position on a nest of eggs. Paleontologists theorized that it was rapidly buried by a sand dune, which explained its excellent preservation.

While preparing the specimen, researchers at the North Carolina State University

noticed that there was a thin lens of white material extending beyond one of the bony claws on a forelimb that differed in texture and color from both the sediment and the bone. It was also located where a claw sheath would be.”

The Phys.org writer could not resist bringing up the assumed dino-to-bird connection:

In modern birds, claw sheaths cover the claw at the end of a digit much like fingernails in humans and serve a number of functions - aiding them in defense, movement, or catching and holding prey. The sheaths in modern birds are composed of two types of keratin: alpha-keratin, the softer form found on the interior of the sheath; and beta-keratin, a harder and more durable keratin that comprises the sheath's exterior.”

We might perhaps wonder whether this change of focus has to do with the enigma of preserving original proteins for 75 million years.

Now they suggest that calcium did the trick. But the evidence is very flimsy indeed.

Looks like it’s high time to throw the millions of years dogma overboard.


Source:

Original dinosaur claw sheath proteins preserved for 75 million years. Phys.org. 8 November 2016.




Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Clever Begonias: Blue Leaves Help Them Get More Energy from the Sun


Plum Paisley Begonias. Image courtesy of Karl Thomas Moore, Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0).





Joel Kontinen

For Charles Darwin, the origin of flowering plants was an abominable mystery. Why would the blind watchmaker produce so much beauty?

And they are not only beautiful but they are also amazingly smart and know how to communicate and co-operate with other plants.

Some plants might be able to count.

Plants have tiny but highly efficient factories called chloroplasts that convert sunlight into chemical energy.

Scientists used to think that this conversion happened more or less passively. However, new research published in the journal Nature Plants suggests that plants play a more active role in it.

A brief article in Science explains that British scientists have

discovered a species of shade-dwelling begonia called Begonia pavonina … that arranges light absorbing components in its leaves to boost their light absorption.”

While “typical chloroplasts contain membrane-bound compartments called thylakoids that stack atop one another in a somewhat haphazard arrangement,” this flowering plant did it in a more sophisticated way:

In B. pavonina, however, this stacking is far more regular, creating what are known as photonic crystals. These crystalline arrays strongly reflect blue light, giving the leaves an iridescent glow. But more importantly, they concentrate the more abundant green and red wavelengths of light on the leaves’ energy absorbing apparatus. The upshot is that B. pavonina’s leaves soak up as much as 10% more energy than other low-lying forest dwellers. That may not seem like much, but under the thick canopies of Malaysian forests where B. pavonina lives, that extra energy gives the plant the juice it needs to edge out its competitors.”

The take away message is that these flowers are far too clever to be the products of an entirely blind watchmaker. They are beautiful, they are intelligent, and they are designed.


Source:

Service, Robert F. 2016. Blue leaves help plants get extra energy from sun. Science (24 October).



Monday, 7 November 2016

Chimp And Bonobo Interbreeding Shows Genesis Was Right


Bonobos. Image courtesy of W. H. Calvin, Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0).




Joel Kontinen

New research has shown that bonobos (Pan paniscus) and chimpanzees (P. troglodytes) share one per cent of their genes. This, actually, is no news, as before the 1930s bonobos were categorised as a chimpanzee subspecies. They used to be called pygmy chimps.

Christina Hvilsom, a conservation geneticist at the Copenhagen Zoo, and colleagues compared the genomes of 75 chimps and bonobos and discovered traces of interbreeding.

An article in Science suggests that this prompted them to think that the interbreeding occurred at two different stages: First, “1.5 million years” ago “bonobo ancestors mixed with the ancestor of the eastern and central chimps.” Then, “200,000 years ago, central chimps got another boost of bonobo genes.”

The researchers make much of gene flow between species. The article mentions that humans have a sizable amount of Neanderthal DNA and that coyotes, dogs and wolves also share genes.

From a Genesis perspective, this was expected. Neanderthals were fully human, and the dog kind has much more variety than early evolutionists could have imagined.

The fixity of species is a Darwinian myth.

The Biblical term 'kind' does not equal the biological concept 'species'. Living beings reproduce after their kinds, not species.

While we might see speciation happening (i.e. new species appearing), no one has ever witnessed a new kind being born.

We see all kinds of hybrids, such as ligers, zonkeys, geeps, wholpins, grolars and savannah cats, for instance.

This shows that animals reproduce after their kinds, not after their species. In other words, Moses was right and Darwin wrong – very much so.

Source:

Pennisi, Elizabeth. 2016. Chimps and bonobos had flings—and swapped genes—in the past. Science (27 October).


Saturday, 5 November 2016

Tetrapodophis amplectus: Four-Legged Snake Was a Marine Lizard, New Research Suggests



Image courtesy of Dave Jones, Creative commons (CC BY-NC 4.0).



Joel Kontinen


Interpreting and dating fossils is an intriguing game. In 1990 J. Shreeve wrote in Discover magazine: ”Everybody knows fossils are fickle; bones will sing any song you want to hear.

This, of course, pertains to hominins, i.e. us and our assumed more or less ape-like ancestors, as well as to all fossils.

In 2015, David Martill at the University of Portsmouth, UK, and colleagues published a paper in Science on an assumed transitional form.

The four-footed snake Tetrapodophis amplectus was found by a private collector in Brazil and brought to Germany. It was tiny: its skull measured a centimetre and its overall length was 20 centimetres (8 inches).

Assumed to be 108 million years old, it had four little legs and looked liked the transitional form evolutionists were hoping to find.

Last week, at a meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (SVP) another research team came up with a very different kind of interpretation of the fossil. They proposed that it was a marine lizard.

An article in Science states:

Vertebrate paleontologist Michael Caldwell of the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, and colleagues presented their own observations of the specimen, rebutting Martill’s paper point by point to a standing-room-only crowd.

It seems that the 2015 paper had overlooked some very pertinent details:

The new analysis hinges on the ‘counterpart’ to the original fossil, which was also housed in the Bürgermeister-Müller Museum in Solnhofen, Germany. When the slab of rock containing the fossil was cracked open, the body of the organism stayed mostly in one half of the slab, whereas the skull was mostly in the other half, paired with a mold or impression of the body. This counterpart slab, Caldwell says, preserved clearer details of the skull in particular. In his group’s analysis of the counterpart, he says, ‘every single character that was identified in the original manuscript as being diagnostic of a snake was either not the case or not observable.’ ”

Caldwell and colleagues made a convincing case that Tetrapodophis was not a snake at all:

For example, in snake skulls, a bone called the quadrate is elongated, which allows snakes to open their jaws very wide. This fossil’s quadrate bone is more C-shaped, and it surrounds the animal’s hearing apparatus—a ‘characteristic feature’ of a group of lizards called squamates, says co-author Robert Reisz, a vertebrate paleontologist at the University of Toronto in Mississauga, Canada. He and Caldwell add that although the fossil has more vertebrae in its body than in its tail, the tail isn’t short, but longer than that of many living lizards. They are working on a paper arguing that the fossil is probably a dolichosaur, an extinct genus of marine lizard.”

This is not the first time a supposed transitional form turns out to not conform to Darwinian expectations.

Recent years have witnessed increasing doubts about Ardi or Ardipithecus ramidus, Australopithecus sediba, H. naledi and Nutcracker Man or Paranthropus boisei.

And we also had an infamous episode featuring Ida or Darwinius massillae.


Source:

Gramling, Carolyn. 2016. Controversial ‘four-legged snake’ may be ancient lizard instead. Science (1 November).

Thursday, 3 November 2016

More Trouble for the Dino-to-Bird Hypothesis: Modern Traits in Mesozoic Bird



Hongshanornis longicresta supposedly lived 124 million years ago, yet looks like a modern bird. Image courtesy of Chiappe et al. 2014. A new specimen of the Early Cretaceous bird Hongshanornis longicresta: insights into the aerodynamics and diet of a basal ornithuromorph. PeerJ 2:e234, Creative Commons (CC BY 3.0).




Joel Kontinen

Dino-era birds were real birds much earlier than evolutionists once thought. A fossil and other remains of a “120 million year old” bird found in China included a pellet that was full of fish bones.

Here’s the gist of the story, courtesy of Science Daily:

About 120 million years ago, a bird dunked its beak into the water, caught a fish and, after digesting the meal, coughed up a pellet full of fish bones. The bird died moments later, but now its fossils are the oldest evidence of a bird pellet on record, a new study reported.”

The discovery suggests that at least some birds have had very modern bird-like traits and habits for far longer than researchers previously thought:

The pellet — the first that is unambiguously from a bird that lived during the Mesozoic, the age of the dinosaurs — indicates that the ancient bird had a two-chambered stomach, much like birds do today, the researchers said.

Modern-day birds, including many birds of prey, produce pellets made up of indigestible material, such as bones, hair and feathers
.”

Several other studies likewise corroborate the non-evolution of birds. For instance, a “130-million-year-old” wading bird looks very modern. Bird feathers haven’t evolved in ”100 million years,” wings trapped in amber suggest.

At least some ancient birds “performed aerodynamic feats in a fashion similar to those of many living birds,” Science Daily suggested in 2015.

It seems that the dino-to-bird hypothesis is in big trouble. (Read more here and here.)

Source:

Geggel, Laura. 2016. Ancient Bird Coughed Up 'Fishy' Pellet 120 Million Years Ago. Live Science (28 October).