Monday, 27 March 2017

Saturn’s Moon Enceladus: Trying to Save Billions of Years by Appealing to Cosmic Collision


It looks youngish. Image courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech.





Joel Kontinen

If our solar system were 4.5 billion years old as we’re told, the big moons of Jupiter and Saturn as well as dwarf planets like Pluto and Ceres should be sleepy worlds.

They should definitively not have active volcanoes or sprouting geysers.

But some of them do.

Saturn’s moon Enceladus is one of these worlds that do not act their (assumed) age.

New Scientist explains:

Enceladus’ south pole is wounded, bleeding heat and water. Its injury may have come from a huge rock smashing into this frigid moon of Saturn less than 100 million years ago, leaving the area riddled with leaky cracks.”

There seems to be no evidence for this collision. But evolutionists need to explain why the moon looks too young:

The region near Enceladus’ south pole marks one of the solar system’s most intriguing mysteries. It spews plumes of liquid from an interior ocean, plus an enormous amount of heat. The south pole’s heat emission is about 10 gigawatts higher than expected – equivalent to the power of 4000 wind turbines running at full capacity. The rest of the moon, though, is cold and relatively homogeneous.”

Enceladus might also have a global ocean.

This likewise challenges belief in billions of years.

Source:

Crane, Leah. 2017. Enigmatic plumes from Saturn’s moon caused by cosmic collision. New Scientist (24 March).


Saturday, 25 March 2017

Soft Tissue Found in Dino-Era Bird Confuciusornis


Confuciusornis. Image courtesy of Laikayiu, Creative Commons (CC BY 3.0).




Joel Kontinen

Finding soft tissue in fossils assumed to be tens, if not hundreds of years old, has become so commonplace that evolutionists have begun to believe that soft animal parts can last for aeons.

They have found them in birds, fish, marine reptiles, salamanders, mammoths, and, of course, dinosaurs.

A paper published in Nature Communications discusses a recent discovery:

Here, we document a fossil of an Early Cretaceous bird, Confuciusornis sanctus, which has some strikingly well-preserved soft tissues around its ankle joint. Microscopic analyses of these tissues indicate that they include tendons or ligaments, fibrocartilages and articular cartilages, with microstructure evident at the cellular level.”

This would imply that the bird is at least “100 million years” old.

The paper goes on to say,

Further chemical analyses reveal that even some of the original molecular residues of these soft tissues may remain, such as fragments of amino acids from collagen, particularly in the fibrocartilage. This concurs with accruing evidence that some biomolecules may survive, under exceptional circumstances, over many millions of years.”

A more logical explanation would be that the fossils are not that old. Soft tissue might last a few thousand years in exceptional circumstances, but not for many millions of years.

Source:

Jiang, Baoyu et al. 2017. Cellular preservation of musculoskeletal specializations in the Cretaceous bird Confuciusornis. Nature Communications 8:14779.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Tree-Climbing Crab Fits Nicely into the Creation Model But Is a Big Surprise for Darwinists

It looks like a crab but it climbs trees. Image courtesy of Dr. Peter K. L. Ng;Creative Commons(CC-BY 4.0).






Joel Kontinen

The Genesis kinds can vary more than we might expect. We would tend to believe that crabs live near the beach and burrow tunnels in the sand.

However, that is not the whole story. Recently, researchers found a new species called Haberma tingkok that likes to climb trees.

An article posted on Science Daily introduces this bizarre creature:

Among the crab's characteristic traits are squarish predominantly dark brown carapace, very long legs and orange chelipeds. The species is less than a centimetre long, with the studied specimens measuring between 8 and 9 millimetres, irrespective of their sex. However, the chelipeds of the males appear stout, while in females they are distinctly more slender.

The scientists who found the new species (Haberma tingkok), Dr. Stefano Cannicci, the Swire Institute of Marine Science at the University of Hong Kong, and Dr. Peter Ng, National University of Singapore, have placed the new species in a small genus, which now contains merely three species …

The discovery of the tiny crustacean once again proves how little is known about the diversity of these crabs in Hong Kong
.”

Haberma tingkok is not the only crab that climbs trees. The enormous coconut crab does so also.

Some crabs are blind and live in caves.

Still, they are all crabs. Like other animals, crabs were created according to its /their kind. Thus a crab will never evolve into a non-crab.

Source:

Pensoft Publishers. 2017. New species of terrestrial crab found climbing on trees in Hong Kong. Science Daily (21 March).

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Human Rights for Ganges River


Image courtesy of Babasteve, Creative Commons (CC BY 2.0).




Joel Kontinen

In a world seeped with Darwinian thinking, it is difficult for some people to see that humans are special, made in the image of God.

Animal rights activists, who tend to embrace evolutionary thinking, have for years tried to blur the differences between humans and animals.

In January 2008 a chimpanzee named Matthew Hiasl Pan made headlines throughout the world as activists attempted to get the Austrian High Court to grant it the status of a person. The court refused to do so, however.

In June 2008 the environmental committee of the Spanish parliament approved a resolution that called for the right to life and freedom for great apes.

In early 2010, Thomas White, a professor of ethics at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, caused a stir by suggesting that dolphins should be treated as ”non-human persons."

In 2014, Professor Peter Singer wanted to re-define chimpanzees as people.

In April 2014 animal rights activists claimed that two research chimpanzees, Hercules and Leo, were being unlawfully detained.

Some activists are not content with giving human rights to animals. They also want to give them to rivers.

Last week, the Whanganui River in New Zealand became the first river to get human rights. India was quick to follow suit.

BBC News reports:

A court in northern Indian has given the Ganges and Yamuna rivers the status of ‘living human entities’.

The high court in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand said this would help in the ‘preservation and conservation’ of the highly polluted rivers.

It added that the ‘legal status’ ensures that polluting the rivers would now amount to harming a human being
.”

While the motive behind the decision might be excellent, only humans can be “living human entities.

Rivers will remain rivers, regardless of whether they are deemed to be sacred by adherents of a religion or not.

Pollution is a serious issue and so is pretending that inanimate things can be persons.

Source:

BBC News. 2017. India court gives sacred Ganges and Yamuna rivers human status. (21 March).

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Brambles Defy Naturalistic Expectations: They Can Crawl

Some brambles like to move. Image courtesy of Anthony Appleyard, public domain.



Joel Kontinen

Flowers and other plants do not fit in well with Darwinian expectations.

Charles Darwin was puzzled by the lack of evidence for the evolution of angiosperms or flowering plants.

The earliest flowers look more or less like today’s flowers.

And plants defy Darwinian thinking in other ways as well. They communicate with other plants. Trees sleep.

Some plants thrive in almost impossible conditions. Some use a clever trick to avoid being eaten. Some use colour to get more energy from the sun.

Recently, BBC Earth introduced yet another feature that makes plants special: brambles can crawl up to 7,5 centimetres (3 inches) a day.

It's their branches that move. Obviously, their roots have to stay where they are.

It seems that even thorny plants that remind us of the Fall described in Genesis 3 defy Darwinian expectations by doing the seemingly impossible.

Source:

BBC Earth. 2017. Time-lapse footage reveals a bramble ‘crawling’(14 March).

Friday, 17 March 2017

Fishy Fish Evolution Story in New Scientist: Blenny Fish Are Evolving into Land Creatures


Tasmanian Blenny (Parablennius tasmanianus). Image courtesy of Nick Eades. Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0).




Joel Kontinen

New Scientist describes it as evolution in action. A little blenny fish is probably seeking refuge from predators by climbing up and around wet rocks when the tide comes in.

This prompts the popular science magazine to remind its readers of the assumed evolutionary transition from sea to land:

Fish first began crawling onto dry land about 400 million years ago, kicking off an evolutionary chain of events that led to humans.”

Darwinian stories tend to be entertaining but they are often a bit fishy.

But without them, evolution would be boring.

Blenny fish come in many shapes, sizes and colours. New Scientist is reporting on the extraordinary behaviour of blennies living in the waters of Rarotonga, the largest of the Cook Islands:

At low tide, blennies are commonly found swimming in rock pools around the edges of the island. But when high tide moves in, they climb up to dry land and shuffle around the rocks until the tide retreats.”

So, the fish are not moving permanently to land; they only spend some time out of the water, just like mudskippers do.

Some evolutionists thought they saw superfast evolution in mudskippers, but they forgot that these fish would dry out if they didn’t return to the sea.

Like mudskippers, blennies use gills to breath which are good for breathing in water but not so good on land. If they tarry too long on dry land, they will eventually die.

End of evolution.

While fish might behave in bizarre ways, it does not mean that they are evolving into something else.

Even walking fish will not solve the Darwinian enigma as they won’t leave their watery world.

Source:

Klein, Alice. 2017. These fish are evolving right now to become land-dwellers. New Scientist (16 March).


Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Time Is Running Out for the Evolution of Multicellular Life

A false-colour image of the recently discovered red algae, courtesy of Stefan Bengtson; CCAL.





Joel Kontinen

Charles Darwin thought that the millions of years he believed in would give him all the time he needed for his theory to get complex creatures from simpler ones.

But recent discoveries are challenging this evolutionary truth. Many kinds of fossils appear way too early, leaving hardly any time for evolution.

And deep time has fatal problems of its own. Radiometric dating often gives too old dates, making the case for Darwinian evolution even more desperate.

New research published in the journal PLOS Biology suggests that the earliest plants resembling red algae are "1.6 million years" old, 0.4 million years older than the previous record-holders.

Scientists at the Swedish Museum of Natural History discovered the fossils “in uniquely well-preserved sedimentary rocks at Chitrakoot in central India.”

Science Daily gives us some details:

The presumed red algae lie embedded in fossil mats of cyanobacteria, called stromatolites, in 1.6 billion-year-old Indian phosphorite. The thread-like forms were discovered first, and when the then doctoral student Therese Sallstedt investigated the stromatolites she found the more complex, fleshy structures. “

Cyanobacteria are a huge problem for evolution. Assumed to be the oldest living fossils, they already had hi-tech technology.

In 2015, an article posted on Phys.org stated:

have an ingenious system to prepare themselves for the coming daylight when it is dark by setting up a large 'antenna'. This antenna helps them capture light energy in an efficient way, while also providing protection against damage to the photosynthesis mechanism of the bacteria.”

The Science Daily article goes on to say:

The research group was able to look inside the algae with the help of synchrotron-based X-ray tomographic microscopy. Among other things, they have seen regularly recurring platelets in each cell, which they believe are parts of chloroplasts, the organelles within plant cells where photosynthesis takes place. They have also seen distinct and regular structures at the centre of each cell wall, typical of red algae.”

It seems that the more we get to know about fossils, the weaker the case for Darwinian evolution becomes.

Sources:

Phys.org. 2015. Blue-green algae efficient in 'harvesting' light (17 December).

PLOS. 2017. World's oldest plant-like fossils show multicellular life appeared earlier than thought. Science Daily. (14 March).

Monday, 13 March 2017

”37-Million-Year-Old” Catfish Fossil Found in Sahara


Catfish. Image courtesy of Derek Dsouza, Creative Commons (CC BY 3.0).




Joel Kontinen

We might not expect to find fish fossils in the Sahara Desert, but recently researchers dug up a 2-metre (6.5 ft.) long catfish in Wadi Al-Hitan, southwest of Cairo.

It is roughly the same size as today’s largest catfish.

The creature is assumed to be “37 million years” old. Clearly a catfish, it was named Qarmoutus hitanensis.

Evolutionists believe that Sahara was once covered with water. We would agree, although they tend to give inflated dates.

The real watery episode occurred around 4,500 years ago.

The entire world was then covered by water. Thus, we should not be surprised if fossils and huge animal graveyards are found all over the globe.

For Darwinists, fossils are often found in the wrong places. Here are some examples:

Dinosaurs in Alaska, turtle fossils in the Andes, a whale graveyard in the Atacama Desert in Chile, a fossilised tropical forest in Norway and pollen from tropical trees in Antarctica.

The catfish fossil is not the only evidence for Noah’s Flood in the Sahara. The Aloba Arch in Chad, an imposing natural formation, also looks like it was carved by huge amounts of water.

Source:

Drake, Nadia. 2017. Giant Catfish Fossil Found in Egyptian Desert. National Geographic (10 March).

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Our Designed Bones Inspire Crack-Resistant Supersteel


Our bones inspire supersteel. Image courtesy of Sklmsta, Public domain.




Joel Kontinen

We are full of superbly-designed parts. From the tiniest nanomachine in our cells to our eyes, brain and big bones, everything in us is made wonderfully.

Even sceptics have a hard time in trying to doubt design in us, as design is so obvious that engineers are drawing inspiration from our body parts to build better devices.

An article in Science reports on “supersteel”, the latest invention based on the human body:

Our bones are light, tough, and fracture resistant. That’s because of the hierarchical way in which they are built. On the nanoscale, tiny collagen fibers have a laminatelike arrangement, with different layers of fibers oriented in different directions. On larger scales, bones have a latticelike structure and different patterns of voids that make them light and strong. These structures ensure that bone resists the propagation of cracks in any one direction.”

Researchers think that if they mimic the structure of our bones, they could produce a sturdier material than conventional steel. They believe that it is “far more resistant to cracks created by metal fatigue.”

This has far-reaching implications:

That could allow engineers to use the material to build everything from bridges to spacecraft that are less susceptible to catastrophic failure, which can happen when a tiny crack becomes a full-blown fracture.”

3,000 years ago King David said, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (Psalm 139:14, NIV).

Source:

Service, Robert F. 2017. ‘Supersteel’ modeled on human bone is resistant to cracks. Science (9 March).

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Weird Tully Monster Defies Darwinian Classifications


Reconstruction of T. gregarium. Image courtesy of Nobu Tamura, Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0).




Joel Kontinen

Some animals are so weird that they don’t fit into evolutionary classifications.

Of today’s creatures, the duck-billed platypus, the spiny anteater and the aardvark are huge puzzles for Darwinians.

There are more in history.

Last year researchers claimed that they had solved the mystery of the Tully monster or the Tullimonstrum gregarium. They believed it was related to lampreys.

However, recent research led by Lauren Sallan (University of Pennsylvania) suggests that this isn’t so. Science Daily quotes him as saying:

"This animal doesn't fit easy classification because it's so weird… It has these eyes that are on stalks and it has this pincer at the end of a long proboscis and there's even disagreement about which way is up. But the last thing that the Tully monster could be is a fish."

Evolutionists believe that T. gregarium lived “300 million years” ago. It probably grew to roughly 35 centimetres (14 inches). But what it was remains an enigma.
.

Source:

University of Pennsylvania. 2017. 'Tully monster' mystery is far from solved, group argues. Science Daily. (20 February).



Tuesday, 7 March 2017

“105-Million-Year-Old” Beetle Shows Lack of Evolution

Beetles come in many shapes and sizes, but they have been beetles for a very long time. Image courtesy of Didier Descouens, Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0).



Joel Kontinen

Amber might soon become a source of cognitive dissonance for evolutionists. It often shows that Darwin was wrong about change.

Regardless of their assumed age, practically all insects trapped in amber look practically the same as today’s animals, whether they are spiders, wasps or ants.

This stasis is also seen in bird wings and flowers, regardless of whether they’re supposed to be 15 million years old or 100 million years.

New research adds yet another insect to the list:

Named for Charles Darwin, the only known specimen of a newly discovered beetle, Darwinylus marcosi, died in a sticky gob of tree sap some 105 million years ago in what is now northern Spain. As it thrashed about before drowning, more than 100 clumped pollen grains were dislodged from its body and released into the resin. Five grains remained stuck to the beetle itself. Preserved with the beetle in the now-hard amber, the grains reveal that the beetle had been chewing a pollen meal with its jaw-like mouthparts just before it died.”

Symbiosis is a term that comes from the Greek noun συμβίωσις ‘living together’. It describes a win-win relationship involving two different species that both benefit from the relationship. An example would be figs and fig wasps. Without fig wasps we would not have figs, and without figs we would not have fig wasps.

This might also apply to Darwinylus marcosi, the recently discovered beetle, although some plants can be pollinated by a variety of pollinators.

Once again, research shows that animals haven’t changed their habits for aeons. This is exactly what we would expect, as Genesis describes real history, including the account of creation, with animals producing after their kinds.

Source:

Smithsonian. 2017. Mid-Mesozoic beetle in amber stirs questions on rise of flowering plants and pollinators: Smithsonian scientist, collaborators point to growing evidence of rich insect pollinator relationships in deep time. Science Daily. (2 March).

Sunday, 5 March 2017

French Team Claims to Have Partly Solved Darwin’s Abominable Mystery (i.e. the Origin of Flowering Plants)

Welwitschia mirabilis. Image courtesy of Michael O'Brien, Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0).




Joel Kontinen

For Charles Darwin, the origin of flowering plants was an abominable mystery. Beauty did not fit in well into a worldview where there was no design and no Creator. What is more, flowers tend to be very complex.

Evolutionists belief that flowering plants or angiosperms evolved from “simpler” plants called gymnosperms.

Recently, French researchers discovered that a hardy desert plant known as Welwitschia mirabilis might shed light on Darwin’s abominable mystery.

W. mirabilis is a living fossil that obviously can live for a thousand years despite very arid conditions.

Science Daily gives us some background information:

“Darwin long pondered the origin and rapid diversification of flowering plants, describing them as an ‘abominable mystery.’ In comparison with gymnosperms, which possess rather rudimentary male and female cones (like the pine cone), flowering plants present several innovations: the flower contains the male organs (stamens) and the female organs (pistil), surrounded by petals and sepals, while the ovules, instead of being naked, are protected within the pistil.”

Then the article describes the proposed solution to the Darwinian dilemma: Welwitschia mirabilis:

Like other gymnosperms, [it] possesses separate male and female cones. What is exceptional is that the male cones possess a few sterile ovules and nectar, which indicates a failed attempt to invent the bisexual flower. Yet, in this plant (as well as in certain conifers), the researchers found genes similar to those responsible for the formation of flowers, and which are organized according to the same hierarchy (with the activation of one gene activating the next gene, and so on)!”

We would not expect to see an exclamation mark at the end of a paragraph in a scientific article, but there it is.

The article goes on to say:

The fact that a similar gene cascade has been found in flowering plants and their gymnosperm cousins indicates that this is inherited from their common ancestor. This mechanism did not have to be invented at the time of the origins of the flower: it was simply inherited and reused by the plant, a process that is often at work in evolution.”

It’s a clever explanation in which facts and wishful thinking mesh.

While W. mirabilis might resemble some flowering plants, it does not follow that it shows how flowers evolved from gymnosperms.

Flowers appear suddenly and fully formed in the fossil record.

Even the earliest flowers look very modern.

Source:

CNRS (Délégation Paris Michel-Ange). 2017. Where do flowers come from? Shedding light on Darwin’s 'abominable mystery'. Science Daily. (24 February).

Friday, 3 March 2017

Incredibly Beautiful Deep Sea Creatures Defy Darwinism


Yellow zoanthids. Image courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, 2017 American Samoa.





Joel Kontinen

Stunningly beautiful” might not sound very scientific but it is an authentic and accurate description of one of the deep-sea creatures NOAA’s recent expeditions have filmed.

We might think that the watery world several kilometres below the surface would be dull and grey, but it is not.

It appears to be a big Darwinian dilemma.

The creatures, including octopus, jellyfish, sea butterflies and others, are astoundingly beautiful.

Louis Armstrong recorded the song What a Wonderful World in 1967, and it now seems that the world is even more wonderful than we could have imagined.

As the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes puts it, “He has made everything beautiful in its time” (3:11, NIV).

Source:

NOAA Okeanos Explorer. 2017. Daily Updates.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

UFO in the Sea Is a “Cosmic Jellyfish”

Cosmic Jellyfish. Image courtesy of NOAA.





Joel Kontinen

We have just begun to discover some of the most astounding and weird deep-sea creatures, thanks to the expeditions carried out by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), for instance, a ghost octopus, a deep-sea jellyfish, a sea butterfly and even Christmas lights.

During its ongoing Samoa Expedition, a remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV) spotted a weird jellyfish at 3,000 metres (9,800 feet) below sea level.

These discoveries challenge Darwinian assumptions. Why would nature care what creatures that practically no one ever sees look like?

They remind us of God who created everything beautiful.

Source:

Ghose, Tia. 2017. Mysterious 'Cosmic' Jellyfish Spotted in Remote Ocean Depths. Live Science (1 March).