Friday, 29 September 2017
Live Science Features the Eiffel Tower but Fails to Disclose the Inspiration Behind Its Structure: Our Thighbone
Biomimicry or copying design features seen in living organisms has become a lucrative research field, as the originals are almost always better than what human engineers could have come up with.
One of the oldest examples of biomimicry is the Eiffel Tower in Paris. French engineer Gustave Eiffel studied the work of anatomist Herman von Meyer.
Eiffel was especially interested in the strength of the human femur. Writing in Answers magazine, Dr, Don DeYoung explains:
“In the 1850s, Meyer had studied the human femur, or thighbone, which connects to the hip. This bone, the largest in our body, has an unusual off-center ball joint that fits into the hip socket. For strength, the bone’s curved head has many internal bone fibers, called trabeculae. These bone fibers crisscross each other in layers and are precisely aligned to withstand the varying forces of tension and compression. As a result of this ingenious design, the femur efficiently supports and transfers the off-center weight of the person. The femur’s ball joint may look awkward, but it functions superbly for a lifetime of movement unless bone disease interferes.”
He goes on to say that Eiffel made use of Swiss engineer Karl Cullman’s discovery, viz. that the “trabeculae fibers closely resembled the struts and braces used in buildings.”
Thus, the Eiffel Tower could “be built with a minimum amount of iron for maximum strength.”
Built in 1899, at 324 metres (1,063 feet), it was the once highest building in the world.
In a longish article, Live Science omits the source of this design.
However, it could be more honest to give credit to whom credit is due.
It is no secret that inventors have copied most of their basic designs from creation.
We can see examples of amazing design and hi-tech solutions almost everywhere.
Let us not forget that God is the original Inventor. Humans merely copy his designs.
DeYoung, Don. 2009. One Leg Up On Architects. Answers 4 (4): 58–59.
Palermo, Elizabeth. 2017. Eiffel Tower: Information & Facts. Live Science (September 28).
Wednesday, 27 September 2017
Darwin’s theory never predicted the discovery of soft tissue in fossils assumed to be tens if not hundreds of millions of years old.
Yet hardly a month goes by without the news of original protein or some sort of unfossilised bone being dug up.
We would definitely not expect to find so old soft tissue.
Researchers have found soft tissue in dinosaurs, fish, marine reptiles, birds and even Cambrian creatures.
A paper recently published in the journal PeerJ features the discovery of original pigment in a Late Cretaceous (i.e. “70–66 million year” old stratum).
According to the abstract,
“The eggshell parataxon Macroolithus yaotunensis can be assigned to the oviraptor Heyuannia huangi based on exceptionally preserved, late developmental stage embryo remains. The analyzed eggshells are from three Late Cretaceous fluvial deposits ranging from eastern to southernmost China. Reevaluation of these taphonomic settings, and a consideration of patterns in the porosity of completely preserved eggs support an at least partially open nesting behavior for oviraptorosaurs. Such a nest arrangement corresponds with our reconstruction of blue-green eggs for oviraptors. According to the sexual signaling hypothesis, the reconstructed blue-green eggs support the origin of previously hypothesized avian paternal care in oviraptorid dinosaurs. Preserved dinosaur egg color not only pushes the current limits of the vertebrate molecular and associated soft tissue fossil record, but also provides a perspective on the potential application of this unexplored paleontological resource.”
Pigment has been found in even “older” fossils.
The expression ‘fluvial deposits’ almost always refers to burial by an abundance of water. The most likely period for this was the global flood that devastated the early earth in Noah’s days.
Wiemann Jasmina, Tzu-Ruei Yang et al. 2017. Dinosaur origin of egg color: oviraptors laid blue-green eggs. PeerJ 5:e3706.
Monday, 25 September 2017
It seems that Darwinists are hoping to convince the unconvinced that evolution can go backwards. In doing so, they might resort to Orwellian newspeak, i.e., change a word’s meaning to the opposite of what it originally meant.
Recently, researchers found three completely blind kiwis. The birds were otherwise healthy.
New Scientist suggests that losing eyesight is 'regressive evolution'
. It attempts to give a reason for why this might be thought of as evolution:
“The flightless nocturnal birds may be evolving to lose their eyesight altogether, suggest the researchers. The blind kiwis seem able to survive just as well using other senses such as touch, smell and hearing, so maintaining good eyesight might be a waste of energy.”
Some cave salamanders, crabs and arachnids can get along well in their dark world although they can’t see.
Kiwis are nocturnal birds. Flightless, they don’t look like the average sparrow. They lack flight feathers and their bones are heavier than those of most birds.
Archaeopteryx, for instance, had feathers that are more “modern” and birdlike than the ones kiwis have.
So, losing a trait can hardly be called evolution, unless, of course, evolution refers to all kinds of change, but then it will no longer be of the Darwinian variety.
Coghlan, Andy. 2017. New Zealand’s iconic kiwi birds may be losing their sight. New Scientist (22 September).
Saturday, 23 September 2017
The tent-making bat (Uroderma bilobatum) is a tiny creature, weighing 20 grams (0.7 oz.) or less and has a body length of roughly 6 centimetres (2.4 in).
It gets its name from building tent-like structures from giant leaves.
The amazing thing about this Panaman bat is that it can vary its heart rate from over 1,000 beats per minute to 200 beats. A slower heartbeat helps to save energy.
A recent paper in the journal eLife by Teague O’Mara, an ecologist at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Seewiesen, Germany, and colleagues analysed the lifestyle of these bats.
Reporting on the study, an article in Science says:
“But the big surprise was that when the bats were resting, their hearts periodically slowed down sharply, O’Mara and colleagues report this week in eLife. Several times each hour, the bats lowered their already slowed heart rates from about 300 beats per minute down to 200 beats per minute for about 6 minutes. Over the course of a day this saves 10% of their daily energy budget, the researchers report.”
We might call this fuel efficiency or the preservation of energy, and it looks like the bat has been designed to be efficient in varying circumstances.
It is not alone in this. We can see intelligent behaviour both in plants and animals, as well as hi-tech solutions almost everywhere, including in us.
Bats pose several other problems to Darwinism. They can fly really fast. Some fruit bats have a smart navigation system that tells them where to go.
Echolocation is another. It seems that even the earliest bats could echolocate.
Pennisi, Elizabeth. 2017. To avoid starving, this bat varies its heart rate from 1000 to 200 beats per minute. Science (22 September).
Thursday, 21 September 2017
The Methuselah Star, or more formally known as HD 140283, is an enigma for those who believe the universe began with a big bang some 13.8 billion years ago.
“At just 190 light years away, we can measure its luminosity, surface temperature, and composition very precisely; we can also see that it's just beginning to evolve into the subgiant phase and towards becoming a red giant. These pieces of information, combined, allow us to get a well-constrained value for the star's age, and the result is disturbing, to say the least: 14.46 billion years,” astrophysicist Ethan Siegel writes in Forbes magazine.
And that is not its only problem. HD 140283 does not look like it is among the earliest stars:
“Yet some of the other properties it displays, like an iron content of 0.4% the Sun's, suggest that it's very old, but not quite among the very oldest stars of all. Although there is an uncertainty on the age of around 800 million years, that still places it uncomfortably early, and hints at a potential conflict between how old the stars are and how old the Universe is.”
In other words, some stars have to be older than HD 140283, if Big Bang cosmology is true.
HD 140283 is a population II star that has relatively little metal. The BB model postulates that these stars were preceded by population III stars, which are assumed to be extremely massive and hot with hardly any metal.
The Big Bang model is built on questionable assumptions, such as the initial quantum fluctuation, cosmic inflation, the elusive dark matter and missing dark energy as well as antimatter that is likewise missing.
In addition, the earliest galaxies formed too quickly.
The Genesis model does not have these problems.
Siegel, Ethan. 2017. The Greatest Cosmic Puzzle: Astronomers Find Stars That Appear Older Than The Universe. Forbes (7 September).
Tuesday, 19 September 2017
Few researchers would expect Cambrian creatures to be perfectly preserved. After all, they are assumed to be over “500 million years” old.
However, some specimens of Agnostus pisiformis were so well preserved that Mats E. Eriksson, a geology professor at Lund University, Sweden, says: "The incredible degree of preservational detail means that we can grasp the entire anatomy of the animal, which, in turn, reveals a lot about its ecology and mode of life."
Live Science suggests it looks like a space alien.
It takes great faith to believe that soft body parts could be preserved for half a billion years, but that is exactly what evolutionists have to believe in order to keep their faith.
Time and again we get to read about exceptionally well preserved Cambrian creatures, including a fossilised brain and a mass jellyfish graveyard.
Artists have now made a copy of A. pisiformis that was only a centimetre (0.4 inches) long.
Live Science explains why the tiny sea creature is important to evolution:
“The odd little critter is also useful to modern scientists as what's called an index fossil. Index fossils are fossils that appear in only a particular time period, so they're used to date layers of rock: If the fossils appear in a rock layer, there's no question about when that layer formed.”
There is a not-so-flattering name for this kind of reasoning that is a sure way of ensuing that no one will ever find a rabbit in Cambrian strata, and evolutionists can pretend that they’re doing science.
It’s called circular reasoning.
Pappas, Stephanie. 2017. 500-Million-Year-Old Creature Looks Like Space Alien in Re-Creation. Live Science. (18 September).
Sunday, 17 September 2017
If you think that Earth is just an ordinary planet, you might probably want to think again.
Many exoplanets are weird. HD 131399 orbits in a system with three suns. HATS-14b is so strange that it has practically killed current planet-formation theories.
And then there are the hot ones. Some exoplanets are hot. Some are even hotter.
The temperate on the hot Jupiter WASP-12b 2600 is degrees Celsius. And that is not its only weird feature.
WASP-12b is egg-shaped and has a year slightly longer than one Earth day. It orbits it star some 1,400 light years from us. With almost no albedo, it hardly reflects any light and is in effect pitch black.
As far as we know, there is only one planet that is perfectly suited for life – the one we call home.
ESA/Hubble Information Centre. 2017. Hubble observes pitch black planet. Science Daily. (14 September).
Friday, 15 September 2017
Darwin’s finches should definitely be included in the list of arguments evolutionists should not use.
The tiny changes in beak size are not due to mutations and natural selection.
While they are featured in many Darwinian stories, facts do not support such storytelling.
New research suggests that the changes are due to epigenetics.
As a report posted on GenomeWeb puts it, “epigenetic variation between urban and rural populations of Darwin's finches … could underlie their adaptation to a new environment.”
The article goes on to say:
“The Galápagos Islands only recently underwent urbanization, leading the researchers to wonder how organisms there are coping with speedy environmental change. By examining populations of two species of Darwin's finches, researchers from Washington State University and the University of Utah uncovered morphological differences between urban and rural populations of Geospiza fortis as well as epigenetic differences between urban and rural populations of G. fortis and G. fuliginosa. However, as they reported in BMC Evolutionary Biology last night, they found little genetic variation.”
They did not find much morphological change in the birds.
“But when the researchers compared DNA methylation patterns — generated using methylated DNA immunoprecipitation (MeDIP) sequencing — they did find differences between rural and urban populations in both species.
The genes associated with the differentially methylated regions the researchers identified were typically involved in metabolism, cell signaling, and transcription, though they also differed by species. In particular, they noted that some differentially methylated regions were associated with genes in BMP/TGF-beta pathway. BMP4 expression, they added, has previously been linked to beak shape in Geospiza.”
Earlier research has also discovered that epigenetic factors help organisms to adapt to their environment.
GenomeWeb. 2017. Epigenetic Differences Found Between Urban, Rural Populations of Darwin's Finches. (24 August).
Wednesday, 13 September 2017
Evolution as Storytelling: Evolutionary Biology Is “A Loose Collection of Narratives That Are Forged to Fit the Evidence — Any Evidence Whatsoever,” German Paleontologist Günter Bechly Says
Darwinian stories resemble the tales people tell around campfires? The answer might be yes. Image courtesy of Abc10, CC BY-SA 4.0).
Discussing two recently published fossils (Including the fish Hongyu chowi that I wrote about recently), German paleontologist Günter Bechly laments how Darwinists try to turn all fossils into evidence for their pet theory, even when discoveries challenge it:
“Dubious procedures like these would be unthinkable in other natural sciences, such as physics. They call into question whether evolutionary biology really qualifies as a hard science at all. Arguably it is not a testable theory, or even a well-defined one, but merely a loose collection of narratives that are forged to fit the evidence — any evidence whatsoever.”
Doctor Bechly is not the first to criticise the uncritical approach of Darwinists.
In a famous article published in The Scientist in 2005,
Professor Philip S. Skell, who was a member of the US National Academy of Sciences, took on natural selection:
Natural selection makes humans self-centered and aggressive – except when it makes them altruistic and peaceable. Or natural selection produces virile men who eagerly spread their seed – except when it prefers men who are faithful protectors and providers. When an explanation is so supple that it can explain any behavior, it is difficult to test it experimentally, much less use it as a catalyst for scientific discovery.”
And many other scientists have admitted that Darwinism doesn’t work.
Bechly, Günter. 2017. With Two New Fossils, Evolutionists Rewrite Narratives to Accommodate Conflicting Evidence Evolution News & Science Today (13 September).
Monday, 11 September 2017
“The evolutionary story we have written to explain our ancestors’ move from sea to land may need a rethink,” Colin Barras writes in New Scientist.
But then he continues with the very story that he says needs a rethink, or has to be thrown out due to a dire lack of evidence:
“Roughly 360 million years ago, one group of lobe-finned fish began evolving into four-legged, land-living animals that resulted in reptiles, amphibians and mammals like us.”
Perhaps it would be good to remember that the original dino fish or the coelacanth Latimeria chalumnae is a lobe-finned fish that did not leave the sea.
Evolutionists once assumed that it became extinct together with the dinosaurs, but some 200 living specimens have been found. This hardy living fossil has hardly changed in “380 million years”.
A paper recently published in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution looks at a lobe-finned fish known as Hongyu chowi. Discovered in China in 2002, the 1.5 metres (5 feet) long creature does not fit into the Darwinian tree of life.
As it has features that it shouldn’t have, researchers had to invoke convergent evolution to hammer it onto the fallen tree.
Convergent evolution is often used in attempts to fix Darwinian dilemmas, but it often serves to make them worse.
Barras, Colin. 2017. Weird fish fossil changes the story of how we moved onto land New Scientist (4 September).
Saturday, 9 September 2017
Evolutionists seem to have a hard time pondering whether or not we are still evolving.
Last year, research suggested that human evolution has not stopped.
Now, Joseph Pickrell at Columbia University in New York and colleagues published a paper in PLoS Biology, suggesting that we are indeed evolving, albeit slowly.
How did they discover this?
They found that a variant, of the gene CHRNA3, which is often associated with heavy smoking, has become rarer.
An article in New Scientist also mentions that a variant of the gene ApoE4 that is “known to increase the risk of late-onset Alzheimer’s disease, as well as cardiovascular disease, may also be getting rarer.”
So, it seems that researchers have noticed some tiny changes in human gene variants. But it is still a long way to Tipperary (or anywhere else).
There are better explanations for why people smoke less (or not at all) or have become less prone to Alzheimer’s: epigenetic changes resulting from leading a healthier lifestyle (i.e., more exercise and a wholesome diet).
Le Page, Michael. 2017. Alzheimer’s and smoking genes suggest we’re still evolving. New Scientist (5 September).
Thursday, 7 September 2017
Darwinism does not fare well in Darwin’s homeland. An online survey of 2,129 UK adults conducted by YouGov between 12th May and 6th June 2017 indicated that almost a third of Brits over 16 question evolution.
A similar study was also done in Canada.
Both surveys had unexpected results. While most respondents believed in some sort of evolution, even many atheists had doubts about human evolution and the origin of consciousness.
According to the press release announcing the results:
“Over 1 in 10 UK atheists (12%) and nearly 1 in 3 Canadian atheists (31%), somewhat agree, agree or strongly agree with the statement: ‘Animals evolve over time but evolutionary science cannot explain the origins of human beings’.”
“"Nearly 1 in 5 UK atheists (19%) and over 1 in 3 of Canadian atheists (38%), somewhat agree, agree or strongly agree with the statement: Evolutionary processes cannot explain the existence of human consciousness’.”
Commenting on the results, Professor Fern Elsdon-Baker says, “It is not just that some religious people have questions about human evolution it is that some humans have questions about human evolution!”
The survey also included a somewhat misleading ingredient, as it equated creationism with the option “Humans and other living things were created by God and have always existed in their current form”.
9% of UK respondents and 15% of Canadians chose this view.
However, few, if any, creationists believe that animals haven’t changed since the days of Eden.
The fixity of species is a Darwinian myth. Genesis tells us that kinds don’t change into other kinds, but we still have hybrids like ligers (lion + tiger).
I suspect that many evolutionists won’t welcome the results. In 2009, after a survey found that most Brits doubted Darwin, Richard Dawkins diagnosed them as being pig ignorant.
And not much has changed since then, except that Dawkins has been referred to as the ultimate grumpy old man and has been banned by progressives for offending Muslims.
Elsdon-Baker, Fern. 2017. A third of UK adults question evolution. Does that matter? New Scientist (6 September).
Hall, Alexander. 2917. Results of major new survey on evolution. Science and Religion Spectrum (5 September).
Tuesday, 5 September 2017
How could we get a mixed assortment of animals into the same mass grave?
If we rule out the global flood of Noah’s day, we will have to resort to storytelling. This is exactly what Science recently did:
“Seventy million years ago, they all came to drink in the rapidly drying river: long-necked sauropods, fierce theropods, crocodiles, lizards, and raven-sized birds. They never left. The giant and the tiny were entombed together in the riverbed, forming what is now a spectacular series of mass graves in northwestern Madagascar. Last week, researchers proposed a culprit behind this ancient mystery: harmful algal blooms (HABs), in the very water that had lured the animals.”
The buried creatures display the classical dead dino pose, with the neck and head bent back, which suggests suffocation.
The Science article prefers to see algae as the cause thought there is no direct evidence of it.
A more plausible – and logical – explanation is the Genesis Flood that has left many other graveyards as well as other marks all over the world.
Gramling, Carolyn. 2017. Did tiny algae fell mighty dinosaurs? Science (29 August).
Sunday, 3 September 2017
Once upon a time, Neanderthals were thought to be very primitive. Darwinists initially hailed them as the first apemen.
But with an increasing number of their artefacts being discovered, Neanderthals are beginning to look fully human.
Many recent discoveries have shown that they were clever inventors.
New research published in the journal Scientific Reports suggests that Neanderthals made the world’s oldest glue some “200,000 years” ago. They obviously extracted tar from birch bark and heated it above a fire.
They used it to fix the point of a spear to the shaft.
This follows a long string of inventions, including cave art, string and even abstract art –thousands of years before Picasso.
In the model based on Genesis, Neanderthals are descendants of Noah.
They mostly lived in caves during the harsh ice age winters after the global flood, but they obviously also knew how to sail.
University of Leiden. 2017. How Neanderthals made the very first glue. Science Daily. (31 August).
Friday, 1 September 2017
Bacteria are anything but simple. They are full of hi-tech devices, such as the bacterial flagellar motor.
A new paper published in the journal Physical Review Letters features a robot designed to move through sand or snow.
“By borrowing from biology, a new robot with a rotating coiled tail can move through loose powders at a good clip, making it useful for search and rescue missions or exploration,” New Scientist explains.
The article goes on to say:
“Many bacteria use rotation to help them move through gooey fluids, powered by propeller-like tails. Similarly, seeds of some plants such as geraniums have a coiled appendage called an awn that helps push them deeper into the soil.
Enthused by these natural approaches, Baptiste Darbois Texier and his colleagues at the University of Santiago in Chile 3D-printed a plastic robot that can twist itself through granular substances. It is 12 centimetres long, with a hemispherical head and a helical tail. When moving, the head stays still as the tail rotates.”
Biomimicry or imitating intelligent designs seen in nature has become a flourishing area of research. The bacteria and seed -inspired robots might be used for “collecting environmental information in areas that are inaccessible to people – for example, in disaster zones, battlefields or space,” New Scientist quotes Wonjung Kim at Sogang University in Seoul, South Korea as saying.
Hi-tech features seen in the animal kingdom include fungi using a water cannon, the ladybird’s folding wings, the hatchetfish’s stealth technology, the chameleon’s tongue and the super sunscreen that some algae, bacteria and fish manufacture.
And many other things.
Supriya, Lakshmi. 2017. Lizard-bot spins its coiled tail to move easily through sand. New Scientist (31 August).