Monday, 15 October 2018

”75-Million-Year Old “Ocean Microbes Live Forever

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Image courtesy of Eric Erb, Public domain.



Joel Kontinen


Deep below the surface of the South Pacific Ocean, buried beneath 70 metres of seafloor sediment, there are microbes that may be about 75 million years old. These organisms are among the oldest known life forms on the planet, yet exactly how they manage to maintain their near-immortality has remained a mystery,” New Scientist tells us.

Now, New Scientist has found a formula to keep the microbes alive: “James Bradley, a geobiologist at the University of Southern California, and his colleagues think they have solved the puzzle: to stay alive, the microbes stay mostly dead.”

However, the formula proposed by New Scientist is off by a few million years.

Source:

Joel, Lucas. 2018. 75-million-year old ocean microbes live forever on almost zero energy. New Scientist (11 October).

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Bible Prophecy Holds True: Alexander Changed the World, beating the Persians at Arbela

Image courtesy of the Guardian, public domain.



Joel Kontinen

With only 47,000 men, Alexander III of Macedon (Greek: Αλέξανδρος Γ΄ ὁ Μακεδών; 356 BC –323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great (Ancient Greek: Ἀλέξανδρος ὁ Μέγα), he brought his army against the Persians.

The Macedonian ruler had conquered everything, retaking Alexandria after a 7-month siege. Then he sought to subdue the Persians.

His victory had ben seen by the biblical prophet Daniel:

While I (Daniel) was observing, behold, a male goat was coming from the west over the surface of the whole earth without touching the ground; and the goat had a conspicuous horn between his eyes. He came up to the ram that had the two horns, which I had seen standing in front of the canal, and rushed at him in his mighty wrath.” saw him come beside the ram, and he was enraged at him; and he struck the ram and shattered his two horns, and the ram had no strength to withstand him. So he hurled him to the ground and trampled on him, and there was none to rescue the ram from his power.” (Daniel 8: 5–7, NASB).

The angel Gabriel told Daniel that the ram represented the Medes and Persians and the goat Greece.

“The Persian numbers were so great that they came close to overwhelming the left and center of Alexander's line. But when the Persian cavalry massed against Alexander's right, leaving their own infantry uncovered in the center, Alexander led a charge that broke through. His men got behind the Persians and attacked them front and back. The Persians panicked and fled. At the loss of less than 500 of his own men, Alexander slaughtered over 40,000 Persians.”

“The victorious Greeks imposed their culture on the Middle East. Koine Greek became widely spoken and it was in this language that the gospel was preached and the New Testament written.”

When the Bible describes historical matters, it always gets the facts, including the tiny details, right. Secular ancient writers were unable to deny the historicity of Jesus.

The Bible tells us about real people and real events, such as the earthquake mentioned by the prophet Amos and the one that occurred during Jesus’ crucifixion.

We should not be surprised, as Jesus Himself says in John 17:17 that God’s Word (the Bible) is truth.

Source:

Graves, Dan. 2007. alexander changed the world a Arbela. Christian History

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Erosion and Floods Can Made Hugh Differences

Image courtesy of Виктория Шерина, CC BY-SA 4.0.)




Joel Kontinen

“If falling rocks are big enough and hit the ground hard enough they can create a blast so intense that the rocks are pulverised into powder. Such extreme rockfalls are followed by a shockwave that can snap trees hundreds of metres away-

'They’re extremely weird phenomena, which have been somehow overlooked,' says Fabio De Blasio of the University of Milano-Bicocca in Italy.”

There’s more to it:

Glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs) are exactly what they sound like. The sudden emptying of a glacial lake in high-topography regions like the Himalaya can quickly destroy everything in its path.


Just think of what the Genesis Flood could have done. It probably was surrounding by fierce earthquakes, only some thousands of years ago.

Source:

Cook, l. Kristen et al. 2018. Glacial lake outburst floods as drivers of fluvial erosion in the Himalaya. Science 362, 6410, 53-57.

Marshall, Michael. 2018. Falling rocks can explode so hard that only nuclear weapons beat them. New Scientist (9 October).

Monday, 8 October 2018

“Octopuses given the mood drug 'ecstasy' reveal genetic link to evolution of social behaviors in humans"


Image courtesy of Albert Kok, CC BY-SA 3.0,





Joel kontinen

Evolution is full of just- so. stories. Recently, we heard that octopuses are aliens: they were not made on earth.

Now, there’s another picture in sight. The separating us and them can be breached by a drug:

“By studying the genome of a kind of octopus not known for its friendliness toward its peers, then testing its behavioral reaction to a popular mood-altering drug called MDMA or 'ecstasy,' scientists say they have found preliminary evidence of an evolutionary link between the social behaviors of the sea creature and humans, species separated by 500 million years on the evolutionary tree.”

The study, conducted by Gül Dölen M.D, Ph.D., assistant professor of neuroscience and Eric Edsinger.

They say that octopuses are “clever creatures, who can trick prey to come into their clutches. They are further notorious for escaping from their tank, eating other animals' food, eluding caretakers and sneaking around-”

Gül Dölen says that “certain brain chemicals, or neurotransmitters, that send signals between neurons required for these social behaviors are evolutionarily conserved."


Source:

Johns Hopkins Medicine. 2018. Octopuses given mood drug 'ecstasy' reveal genetic link to evolution of social behaviors in humans. Science Daily. (20 September)


Saturday, 6 October 2018

Strange, Blue Jellyfish-Like Creatures in New Jersey


Image courtesy of Bruce Moravchik (NOAA), public domain.



Joel Kontinen

Beaches in New Jersey have seen jellyfish-like critters are commonly known as blue buttons (Porpita porpioat), but they aren’t natives to the state.

Although they look like jellyfish, they are a different set of creatures, known as a “ type of creature (or rather, set of creatures) altogether. They fall into the scientific class Hydrozoa, whose members are each made up of colonies of hydroids — tiny predators that are related to jellyfish. The most famous hydrozoan is probably the Portuguese man o' War (Physalia physalis), which can deliver a venomous sting so powerful that it can kill fish and even injure humans, according to National Geographic.”

These Portuguese man o' Wars can cause considerable trouble to swimmers. As the fall in Geneses 3 promised, they can be hazardous.

However, the blue buttons (Porpita porpita) can not so dangerous, but caution is the safest bet.



Source:
Geggel, Laura. 2018. Rare, Blue Jellyfish-Like Creatures Wash Ashore in NJ, Puzzling Beachgoers. Live Science (4 October).

Friday, 5 October 2018

A 520. Million- Year- Old “Naked” Creature

Courtesy of Qiang Ou.


Joel Kontinen


A 3 centimetre (1.1 inche) long Lenisambulatrix humboldti did not have any armour or claws.

This wormlike creature lived in the oceans some “520 million years ago”.

It’s founders compared it with the ferocious creature of the Cambrian.

But even today we have the naked mole rat, that gets animal lovers to get amazed at the creature.


Source:

Geggel, Laura, 2018, Without Claws or Armor, 520-Million-Year-Old 'Naked' Critter Was Likely a Loner. Live Science (20 September).

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Frank Foley – British Spy Risked His Life to Save Over 10,000 Jews From Nazi Camps

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UK government, public domain.




Joel Kontinen

Frank Foley, (1884–1958) British spy, who was positioned in Berlin in the 1930s, got to know about the concentration camps that were being built. He was an spy, a bit pauchny, wearing horm--rimmed glasses. Not at all like James Bond.

He fought to get Jewish liberated and sent to Israel. After breaking some rules, he got 10,090 Jews to leave Germany.

Here’s what the British press tells about him:

“i>When the rules insisted on £1,000 for a Palestine visa – a huge sum, especially for Jews with bank accounts frozen by the Nazis – Foley would accept payments of £10 on the grounds that £990 would somehow magically appear once the refugee disembarked in the port of Haifa.

When people said they had no money at all, he would gently hint that maybe someone could write them a letter promising them £1,000 …

In late August, days before war broke out, Foley left the Berlin passport office for the last time, but not before he had summoned someone to collect visas for 80 young Jews.

Even after Foley left Germany, Jews were still escaping on papers signed by him. The last group, 300 men, got out on August 28 1939, four days before Hitler’s invasion of Poland started the Second World War.”

Source:


Lusher, Adam, 2018.Frank Foley: The mild-mannered nered British spy who defied Hitler and saved 10,000 Jews from the Nazis Independent (18 September)


Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Neanderthals Could Hold a Pen

c
Image courtesy of EraserGirl, CC BY 2.0.




Joel Kontinen

"Neanderthals could hold objects between finger and thumb, just like we would hold a pen, because their hands were neandertal hastag more nimble than anyone thought."

This brings them to whole-heated humanity. Apes cannot write or read.

To find out how Neanderthals used their hands, "Katerina Harvati of the University of Tübingen in Germany and her colleagues studied 'entheses': the points on the bones where muscles were attached. Each enthesis is a raised area of bone."

Her team examined the hand entheses of six Neanderthals and six early modern humans.

Iin the creation mode, Neanderthals were ice age men, leaving in Europe after the flood. It was not surprising that they made the first gluey, they lost their cavemen traits and, we have seen more cavemen inventions.

Recently, more of the skills of the Neanderthals have also been discovered. Why not to treat them as they were, as descendants of Adam and Eve.

Marshall, Michael. 2018. Neanderthals had dexterous hands that could have held tools like a pen. New Scientist (26 September).

Monday, 1 October 2018

Atheists Are Not as Rational as Some Like to Think



Some astronaults were religious.



Joel Kontinen

In the Conversation, Lois Lee says that atheists are not as rational as some like to think:

“Many atheists think that their atheism is the product of rational thinking. They use arguments such as ‘I don’t believe in God, I believe in science’to explain that evidence and logic, rather than supernatural belief and dogma, underpin their thinking. But just because you believe in evidence-based, scientific research – which is subject to strict checks and procedures – doesn’t mean that your mind works in the same way.”

“The problem that any rational thinker needs to tackle, though, is that the science increasingly shows that atheists are no more rational than theists. Indeed, atheists are just as susceptible as the next person to ‘group-think’ and other non-rational forms of cognition.”

The science only stuff might sound odd. Actually, Christian scientists brought the science to the people.

And then individual atheists are less rational than others.

Source:

Lee, Lois. 2018. Why atheists are not as rational as some like to think. . The Conversation (27 September).

Sunday, 30 September 2018

Look for Older Worlds for Finding Life

This is what astronomers hope to find.




Joel Kontinen

If alien astronomers want to search for signs on life on Earth, they might just find it in the telltale pattern reflected from our plant, from redwood forests to cacti covered plains.

This reflected fingerprint has been visible since plants first began carpeting our rocky landscape over half a billion years old.

“Now, two astronomers are suggesting that plants could leave similar fingerprint-like patterns on distant exoplanets.”

One of them is “Cornell University’s Lisa Kaltenegger, who recently described Earth’s leafy signature in a study published in the journal Astrobiology.”

Years ago, when the spacecraft the Galileo, sensed the signs of life on Earth. But Kaltenegger’s dream can only be released, if the universe is so olds she thinks.


Source:

Drake, Nadia.2018. Want to Find Alien Life? Look at Older, Hotter Earths. National Geography (27.9.)

Thursday, 27 September 2018

The Created Solar System

Image courtesy of WP, planets2013-fa.svg. cc by-sa 3.0.




Joel Kontinen

In the European creation conference, Dr. William Worraker talked about the Created Solar System. In a planet by planet view, he also talked about exoplanets, that are confounding planet stories.

In addition, he talked about the D. Russell Humphrey ’s sayings on planets. For instance, his views on Mercury turned out to be right. And Humprey’s had been right on Mars, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.

They conform to the 6,000 year- old- timetable for the solar system.

Worraker also took up the little moons secret, that is, some are geologically active. He also took up Pluto’s amazing young landscape.

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Strengthening the Design Argument


Envisat satellite. Envisat satellite. Professor Stuart Burgess took part in designing a solar array for the satellite. Image courtesy of abrev, public domain.




Joel Kontinen

In the European Creation Conference, Dominic Statham spoke om God’s impressive design. He’s design is stated in Romans 1:19-20. He’s all-powerful, incapable of doing the misstates we make.

In their book, co-written by Professor Stuart Burgess, Statham has taken up some impressions that God would use, such as the mouth of, for instance, a fish, used as a lock in something they’ve made.

They also discussed why God’ s inventions are tiny and are no more energy-jumpers than they actually are.

As a matter of fact, God’s inventions are much smaller that human ones are need a whole lot of less energy. These inventors try to find more structures in God’s creation which they can use their inventions.





Saturday, 22 September 2018

Prof. Steven Taylor: Soft Tissue, Proteins and Carbon-14 in Dinosaur Remains




Joel Kontinen

At the creation conference, Professor Steven Taylor (University of Liverpool) spoke of the wonders that have made dinosaurs recent.
In just the twenty years since Dr. Mary Schweitzer came up with her discovery of soft tissue in dinosaur bones, many fossils have turned to be too new for evolutionists.

Dr. Schweitzer did not believe in the beginning that the soft tissue was as old as the dinos were: “It’s 65 years old… can’t be that old.” But her subsequent discoveries, all gave the same results.

Prof. Taylor has also done measurements of actual soft tissue. He says that it’s correct to say that the same precautions were used to date the old fossils than new uses. He produced a figure, saying, that the instances to soft tissue had increased all the time in recent years. Actually, all animals had soft tissue, including the ones 500 million years old.

The same is also true of proteins and carbon-14 in dinosaur bone. They could not hold that much time – but they all do.

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Creation Ministries Tries to get the message Through on three continents

In 2016, Creation Ministries International (CMI) arranged a two-day conference in central London.



Joel Kontinen


On Friday, at 9,00 Am CMI will hold its 2nd European Creation Conference in London. The same ministry is also opening large-scale creation conferences in Australia and the USA.


The European Creation Conference will hold a great number of speakers, from prof. Steve Taylor (discussing the soft tissue, proteins and carbon-14 in dinosaurs), and Pekka Reinikainen (on the origin on man), and includes John Huibers (A modern-day ark).

This conference will be held in the Emmanuel Centre in London.

Using Lignin to Replace Plastic Materials





Joel Kontinen

Plastic is everywhere. even the deepest trenches have been replaced by them. “A plastic bag and other plastic waste have even been found in the nearly 11-kilometre-deep Mariana Trench, the deepest known point in the world’s oceans.”

There is a cure for this. It’s called lignin. It is the substance that’s gets trees stand upright.

According to the Aalto.university press release, Lignin can

• partly or completely replace phenol formaldehyde resin adhesives used in plywood, hardboard, chipboard and laminate.
• be a raw material for biochemicals and functional coatings, which improve, for example, weather durability.
• be a raw material for carbon fibre in, for example, cars and airplanes, as well as a material in production of bioplastics and liquid fuels.

“Lignin is an excellent alternative as a replacement for fossil materials. It is created as a by-product of pulping. Cellulose is a common material that is often discussed and researched, but lignin has not been given as much attention", says Professor Monika Österberg.

It seems that lignin will take care pf the plastic overdose.

Source:


Sipponen, Mika Henrikki et al. 2018. Spatially confined lignin nanospheres for biocatalytic ester synthesis in aqueous media. Nature Communications 9, 2300.


Sunday, 16 September 2018

Where Did We Get Our Phosphorus?


Image courtesy of Lorrie Graham/AusAID, CC BY 2.0.



Joel Kontinen


Phosphorus (P) is one of our planet’s general chemical elements. Without it we would not have RNA , DNA and not ATP, and thus we would not have life.

“’Phosphorus is one of the key elements in biology.’ says Matthew Pasek, an astrobiologist and geochemist at the University of South Florida.”

Now, Pasek, is on a search for who we got our phosphorus in the beginning. “Unlike the other elements essential for life, phosphorus is mainly found in solid form, whereas the likes of hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen are often found as a gas.“ [Studying phosphorus] keeps us grounded in actual hard rock samples. Unlike the others, there is no obvious gas form, so has to come from rock sources,” Pasek says.

Meteorites also contain phosphorus. In Pasek’s thinking, published in the journal Icarus, “found that most phosphorus should be in a solid form everywhere in the Solar System, out to about Saturn.

Mikhail Zolotov, thinks that Pasek’s work ok, but “it is contentious that gas movement toward the Sun, which was not modeled in the paper, could be faster than the diffusion of gas away from the Sun.”

Source:

Wild, Sarah , 2018. How Phosphorus Came in From the Cold. Astrobiology Magazine (September 6).


Friday, 14 September 2018

Bee-eaters Can Find their Flocks After Many Miles and Days Apart


A Pair of Merops apiaster feeding. Image courtesy of Pierre Dalous, CC BY-SA 3.0.,




Joel Kontinen


Swizz researchers outfitted 77 bee-eaters in 2015, and 92 more in 2016 with loggers, and here’s what they found out:

-Multisensor loggers reveal the spatiotemporal group dynamics of migrating birds.

-European bee-eaters ( Merops apiaster) can migrate ∼14,000 km in the same group.

-Groups that separate during migration can reform after ∼5,000 km apart.

These bee-eaters were going from Germany to Angola in winter. With a weight of 5 cm (2 inches), they did this without the help of smartphones and electronic devices, this could never come around by Darwinian devices (i,e., random mutations and natural selection).

Source:

Dhanjal-Adams, Kiran L et al. 2018 Spatiotemporal Group Dynamics in a Long-Distance Migratory Bird. Current Biology 28, 17.
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Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Is Pluto a Planet?

Image courtesy of mage courtesy of Image courtesy of NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute.




Joel Kontinen


Pluto lost its planetary status in 2006. At that time, several trans-Neptunian objects beat it for size.

At the time, a planet was defined by 1) It must orbit the sun, 2) it must be massive enough that its gravity pulls it more or less into a spherical shape, and 3) it must clear the neighbourhood around its orbit.

Now, in the journal Icarus, Michael Metzger takes the line that “the third criterion did not match historical usage by scientists and should be revoked.”

Needless to say, Pluto is looking young.

And, as Merzger says. Pluto is "more dynamic and alive than Mars.”

Source:

Bartels, Meghan. 2018 Is Pluto a Planet? New Paper Adds to Decade-Long Debate. Space.com. (September 10).

Monday, 10 September 2018

DNA from a worm in Siberian Permafrost Wriggle to Life –Why Not the Ice-age Horse as Well?

Image courtesy of Bob Goldstein, UNC Chapel Hill , CC BY-SA 3.





Joel Kontinen

In May, scientists said that they had brought an arctic nematode to life. They are small, about 1 millimeter in length. Some are them are found living 1.3 kilometres (0.8 miles below Earth's surface, "deeper than any other multicellular animal".

Image courtesy of Michil Yakovlev/SVFU/The Siberian Times.


Then, why not the ice age foal? Found in last month, from a 100-meters (328-foot) deep Batagaika crater. The horse was 98 centimetres (39 inches) tall. “Its mummified remains were so well-preserved by icy conditions that the skin, the hooves, the tail, and even the tiny hairs in the animal's nostrils and around its hooves are still visible.”

Some scientist are interested. Among them is Woo-Suk Hwang, a stem-cell researcher and cloning pioneer South Korea. They " are already collaborating in an attempt to clone a woolly mammoth."

Others are not so optimistic. However, Dna has already been excavated from dinosaur bone.


Sources:

Weisberger, Mindy. Siberian, 2018. Worms Frozen for 42,000 Years in Siberian Permafrost Wriggle to Life. Live Science ( July 27).

Weisberger, Mindy. 2018. This Plan to Bring Back an Extinct Ice-Age Horse Species Is an extreme Long Shot, Scientists Say. Live Science (6 September).

Friday, 7 September 2018

Elon Musk Says, ”We’ve Probably Living in a Simulation”


Image curtesy of Torben Hansen, CC BY 2.0.




Joel Kontinen


Elon Musk thinks we’re all trapped in a "Matrix"-like pseudo existence. This happened during a talk with a comedian.

"If you assume any rate of improvement at all, then games will be indistinguishable from reality, or civilization will end. One of those two things will occur. Therefore, we are most likely in a simulation, because we exist;” Musk said.

He then went on to add:

“I think most likely — this is just about probability — there are many, many simulations. You might as well call them reality, or you could call them multiverse."

He has been wary of a immortal dictator, and staying that it will be even bigger thread to us than North Korea could be and even and might even have religion.

Yes, but who invented this simulation?

It seems that just like Adam and Eve hid from God, latter-day atheists are trying to escape from Him into a plurality of assumed universes.

Source:

Wall, Mike. 2018. We're Probably Living in a Simulation, Elon Musk Says. Space.com .(7 September).






Lähde:

Wall, Mike. 2018. We're Probably Living in a Simulation, Elon Musk Says. Space.com (7.9.).

Sharks Eat Seagrass, Remind Us of Pre-Fall World

Image courtesy of D Ross Robertson, Public Domain.


Joel Kontinen

A study published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B has saId that the bonnethead shark, long thought to be a strict carnivore. Sharks Eat Seagrass, the publication tells us. . Reminds me of the PRE-fall world

"’ Until now, most people thought that seagrass consumption was incidental when these sharks were hunting for crabs, etc. that live in the seagrass beds,’ study co-author Samantha Leigh, an expert in ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of California, Irvine, told AFP.”

The team found that the seagrass can form up to 62 percent of the bonnethead diet.

“Over the course of three weeks, the team conducted a series of lab-based trials in which they fed bonnethead sharks a diet of 90 percent seagrass and 10 percent squid.

They then analysed how much of the nutrients the animals digested, and how much they excreted.

Not all carnivores can digest plant material efficiently, but sharks fed the seagrass-heavy diet all gained weight, the team found.”


Sharks are living fossils that haven’t changed in “400 million years.”

Source:

Ward, Hazel, 2018. 'Carnivore' sharks have a stomach for greens: study. Phys.org. (5 September).
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Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Our Brains are Equipped for Better Repair



Image courtesy of Looie496, US National Institutes of Health, National Institute, Public Domain.





Joel Kontinen

A new study published on Nature Neuroscience proposed that “immune cells rush through channels to get to injured tissue quickly.”

The study was based on the findings of Dr. Nahrendorf’s team. An expert on recovery after stroke, he noticed that immune cells called neutrophils arrived at the damaged area too quickly.

According to The National Institutes of Health bulletin: “Dr. Nahrendorf’s team detected the channels throughout the skull as well as in the tibia, which led them to search for similar features in the human skull. Detailed imaging of human skull samples obtained from surgery uncovered the presence of the channels. The channels in the human skull were five times larger in diameter compared to those found in mice. In human and mouse skulls, the channels were found in the both in the inner and outer layers of bone.

We always thought that immune cells from our arms and legs travelled via blood to damaged brain tissue, says Dr Francesca Bosetti, Ph.D., program director at the NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.”

Now the study changes that: “With the help of advanced imaging techniques, the researchers watched neutrophils moving through the channels. Blood normally flowed through the channels from the skull’s interior to the bone marrow, but after a stroke, neutrophils were seen moving in the opposite direction to get to damaged tissue.

Our big brain is a Darwinian enigma. Darwinists cannot explain it.

And, now it also seems that other effects are forceful too.

Source::

Researchers unearth secret tunnels between the skull and the brain. 2018. National Institutes of Health (August 27).

Sunday, 2 September 2018

The origin of roots is a Darwinian Mystery



The Rhynie chert. Image courtesy of Jpwilson, public domain.



Joel Kontinen

Science Daily has an interesting view of the origin of roots:

Despite plants and vegetation being key to the Earth's ecosystem, little is known about the origin of their roots. However in new research, published in Nature, Oxford University scientists describe a transitional root fossils from the earliest land ecosystem that sheds light on how roots have evolved.”

The findings suggest that plant roots have evolved more than once, and that the characteristics of roots developed in a step-wise manner -- with the central root organ evolving first. And the root cap subsequently coming later.”

Professor Liam Dolan, who conducted a microscopic study with Dr Sandy Hetherington of the oldest known plant ecosystem -- the 407 million-year-old Rhynie chert, said: 'Our discovery suggests that plant organs were built up step-by-step during the course of plant evolution.’

Thus, plants got their present shape as they were becoming plants. As Dr. Hetherington says: “the cellular organisation of plants that were growing 407 million years ago.”

They also found root meristems belonging to the lycopsid plant Asteroxylon mackiei. They think that the “roots are a transitional step towards modern-style.”

Thus, the origin of roots is a Darwinian mystery.

The origin of plants is too hard for A Darwinist to understand .


Source:

University of Oxford. 2018. Getting to the root of plant evolution. (22 August).

Friday, 31 August 2018

Sloppy Research



Image courtesy of Frederick Burr Opper, Public Domain.




Joel Kontinen

In 2017, journal publisher Springer retracted over 100 scientific papers, prompting Live Science to begin an article with the words:

Lies, exaggerations, criminal acts, unbridled irony, alternative facts, … No, we're not talking about 2017 politics. This is the 2017 world of science.”

“This past year, hundreds of scientific papers were retracted from professional journals. In the majority of cases involving these retractions, the reason was an innocent, yet sloppy, error in the methodology of the experiment that the authors themselves caught. But for quite a few papers, the retractions reflected scientific misconduct and a not-so-innocent attempt to tweak the data — or make it up entirely.”

And Live Science didn’t mention the dog sitting on the editorial board of 7 journals.

Then there’s an episode in which a hoax Star Wars Paper on Midi-Chlorians was accepted by four journals .

Now, Philip Bell has an opinion piece in Nature: “A reproducibility effort has put high-profile journals under the spotlight by trying to replicate a slew of social-science results. In the work, published on 27 August in Nature Human Behaviour, researchers attempted to reproduce 21 social-science results reported in Science and Nature between 2010 and 2015 and were able to reproduce 62% of the findings. That’s about twice the rate achieved by an earlier effort that examined the psychology literature more generally, but the latest result still raises questions about two out of every five papers studied.”

Source:

Ball, Philip. High-profile journals put to reproducibility test. Nature Human Behaviour, (27 August).

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

WWII Bomber Plane P-38 Found 300 Feet Below the Ice in Greenland

Glazier Girl. Image courtesy of Sgt. Ben Bloker, public domain.







Joel Kontinen


A World War II airplane that was lost in Greenland has been spotted by an aerial drone.

On July 4, California businessman Jim Salazar told the wrecked P-38 was beneath “more than 300 feet (91 meters) of ice using a ground-penetrating radar antenna fitted to a heavy-lift aerial drone.”

“This latest find echoes the 1992 recovery of another P-38 fighter from the same ‘Lost Squadron’ of U.S. warplanes in Greenland. That fighter was eventually restored to flying condition under the name ‘Glacier Girl’.

Both aircraft were part of a group of two B-17 bombers and six P-38 fighters flying from the U.S. to Britain in July 1942. They were traveling through a chain of secret airbases in Newfoundland, Greenland and Iceland known as the Snowball Route.

Hundreds of U.S. aircraft flew this route during World War II as part of Operation Bolero, which delivered warplanes, pilots, equipment and supplies for the planned Allied invasion of Nazi-occupied Europe.”

This brings to nought the geological sediments, which are thought to be millions of years old.


Metcalfe, Tom, 2018. 'Lost Squadron' WWII Warplane Discovered Deep Beneath a Greenland Glacier. Live Science (August 25).

Sunday, 26 August 2018

The mystery behind Eorhynchochelys sinensis - the Tortoise without a Shell


Image courtesy of Adrienne Stroup, Field Museum.




Joel Kontinen

This strange creature is named Eorhynchochelys sinensis. It is said to be “228 million years old.”

"’ This creature was over six feet long, it had a strange disc-like body and a long tail, and the anterior part of its jaws developed into this strange beak,’ says Olivier Rieppel, a paleontologist at Chicago's Field Museum and one of the authors of a new paper in Nature.

Science Daily, for instance, brings up the topic of now turtles could live without a shell.

“The fact that Eorhynchochelys developed a beak before other early turtles but didn't have a shell is evidence of mosaic evolution -- the idea that traits can evolve independently from each other and at a different rate, and that not every ancestral species has the same combination of these traits.

We also have mosaic-like creatures at our time, for instance, the platypus – and its not turning into a new species. It isn’t a case of evolution.

Source:

Field Museum. 2018. Fossil turtle didn't have a shell yet, but had the first toothless turtle beak: 228-million-year-old fossil sheds light on how turtles evolved . Science Daily. (22 August).
.

Thursday, 23 August 2018

Scientist have Discovered the Earliest Species of Pterosaur – 210 Million Darwin Years Ago


Image courtesy of Matt Wede, CC BY 4.0.




Joel Kontinen

Scientist have discovered the earliest species of pterosaur. Named Caelestiventus hanseni, it is about 210 millions-years old.

It predated its “known relatives” by 65 million years. It was not just reached adulthood but measured 1.5 metres in wingspan. Discovered in Utah, its delicate, bird-like skeleton are often found "in quite a crushed state” .


Intelligently designed for flight. Image courtesy of Hugo Salais López, Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0).

Thus, 65 million “Darwin years” will not make evolution possible.


Source:

Halton, Mary. 2018, Palaeontologists have found a new species of pterosaur - the family of prehistoric flying reptiles that includes pterodactyl. . BBC News. (13 August).

Thursday, 16 August 2018

All Kinds of Everything Remind Us of God

Image courtesy of NAsA, ESA.



Snowdrops and daffodils
Butterflies and bees


21st March 1970. The Eurovision Song Contest is taking place in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. United Kingdom’s Mary Hopkin with her song Knock, Knock, Whose There? is expected to win. With one last contestant to perform, she is leading with 24 points.

Then an 18-year old Irish schoolgirl walks to the stage. Long brown hair, short white dress. She sits down on a high stool, smiles and begins to sing. No disco lights, no dancing girls (or boys), just Dana, a simple ballad and her fabulous voice:

Snowdrops and daffodils
Butterflies and bees
Sailboats and fishermen
Things of the sea
Wishing-wells
Wedding bells
Early morning dew All kinds of everything remind me of you.


Many of the things the song mentions are created, but a few are man-made:

Seagulls and aeroplanes
Things of the sky Winds that go howlin' Breezes that sigh (…)

While All Kinds of Everything speaks of the enduring love between a girl and her sweetheart, we can also understand the song as a paean to the wonders of our created world.



The girl, whose real name was Rosemary Brown and who would later be known as Dana Rosemary Scallon and would defend the unborn as a member of the European Parliament, got 32 points and won the contest.

Budding trees
Autumn leaves A snowflake or two
All kinds of everything remind me of you.


It would probably not be too far-fetched to say that everything in creation ultimately reminds us of the greatest artist and architect of all times.

The Fingerprints of God

We can discern the fingerprints of God in the fine-tuning of the universe, in our DNA that is without doubt the most effective code ever invented, and in our cells that are full of self-replicating factories, nanomachines and quality control systems. And, above all, we can see it in the beauty that surrounds us.

The Golden Ratio Even after 2,500 years of wars, pillage, vandalism, a 17th century explosion and modern pollution, the Parthenon in Athens still looks impressive. Obviously, the Greeks who designed it and built it from 447 to 438 BC also thought that this Dorian temple was an object of great beauty. In the early years of the 19th century the Earl of Elgin shipped some of its sculptures to London, where they are still housed in the British Museum. He left the columns supporting the building in Athens, though.

Although some mathematics have tried to dispute it, the remains of the Parthenon display the proportions of the golden ratio, at least in certain respects.

Luca Bartolomeo de Pacioli (1447–1517), a mathematician and Franciscan monk, wrote a book entitled De divina proportione (On the Divine Proportion), associating the ratio with God’s handiwork. This should not surprise us, as the golden ratio is a hallmark of great beauty. We will get it if we divide a straight line into two parts so that the longer part divided by the shorter part is as long as the entire line divided by the longer part. It is often symbolized by the Greek letter Φ (phi).

We see this ratio in the proportions of some of the columns of the Parthenon. We also see it in a number of other great buildings erected in many cultures and at various epochs in history, including the modern ones that imitate classical Greek architecture.

Likewise, the ratio is displayed in some of the finest paintings of all time, including several drawings by Leonardo da Vinci as well as in Michelangelo’s sculptures.

Beauty might not only be in the eye of the beholder. It seems that there are universal criteria for comeliness.

The beauty we see in architecture is merely a reflection of what we see in nature. “He has made everything beautiful in its time,” the writer of Ecclesiastes reminds us (3:11, NIV), and that is no understatement.

It is becoming increasingly obvious that great architecture, paintings and sculptures merely imitate that what we see everywhere in nature – in things big and small, animate and inanimate.

It seems that beauty is woven into the very fabric of the universe, at all levels, from the micro to the macro.

What is interesting is that we can also see the golden ratio in us. The distance from our navel to our heels and from our navel to the top of the head follows the ratio, as does the distance between our forearm and our hand. It is also seen in the proportions in the different parts of our fingers. As the psalmist says, “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works” (Psalm 139: 14, NKJV).


The Fibonacci Series in Nature

Information, mathematics and great beauty also come together in the Fibonacci series. The journal Science describes it as “a hidden mathematical rule shaping the patterns of life.” Named after a 13th century Italian mathematician, it was probably initially discovered by the ancient Indians and then forgotten for aeons. Fibonacci re-discovered it and discussed it in his book Liber Abaci (1202).

The series involves adding together two integers to produce a new number. Each new number is the sum of the previous two numbers, for instance
0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, or
Fn = F n-1 + F n-2.

When we divide any number in a Fibonacci sequence (except the few first ones) by the number preceding it, for instance 233 by 144, we get approximately 1.618.

Numerically stated, the golden ratio also roughly equals 1.618.

This almost magic number is seen in all kinds of everything – from the arms of huge spiral galaxies to tiny seeds, the shells of both extinct and modern sea creatures, in humans, the compound eyes of dragonflies and in many other insects, as well the petals of various kinds of flowers.

In the ammonite shell, the Fibonacci sequence results in intricate beauty and harmony.

In many plants the way the leaves are arranged around the stem is a Fibonacci number. The same applies to the number of petals in flowers. The beauty in sunflowers, for instance, is much more complex than we would have thought. Their seeds can form very elegant Fibonacci arrangements.

The pineapple is a fascinating illustration of a complex Fibonacci arrangement. An article published by the University of Georgia states: “In the case of tapered pinecones or pineapples, we see a double set of spirals – one going in a clockwise direction and one in the opposite direction. When these spirals are counted, the two sets are found to be adjacent Fibonacci numbers.”

Recent expeditions by NOAA’s ship Okeanos explorer and video footage filmed by its remotely operated vehicle (ROV) have shown that this incredible beauty is also seen deep below the ocean surface. Both the ghost octopus and the cosmic jellyfish, as they are called, are astoundingly beautiful.

Most starfish have five arms, which as such is a Fibonacci number. Technically, this phenomenon is known as five-point radial symmetry. In like manner, an octopus has eight arms (another Fibonacci number), and is symmetric in other ways as well.

Fractals

The golden ratio and the Fibonacci series are not the only types of mathematical beauty we see in all kinds of everything. Patterns called fractals occur everywhere in nature, from fern leaves to the branches of a tree, snowflakes, ocean waves, animal colouration patterns and even Saturn’s rings.

Writing in The Conversation, University of Oregon physics professor Richard Taylor describes this phenomenon:

My scientific curiosity was stirred when I learned that many of nature's objects are fractal, featuring patterns that repeat at increasingly fine magnifications. For example, think of a tree. First you see the big branches growing out of the trunk. Then you see smaller versions growing out of each big branch. As you keep zooming in, finer and finer branches appear, all the way down to the smallest twigs. Other examples of nature's fractals include clouds, rivers, coastlines and mountains.”

In some cases, the various forms of mathematical beauty can be combined: The Romanesco broccoli has a fractal form, a logarithmic spiral, and the arrangement of its spirals on its head conform to a Fibonacci sequence.

In spite of the bad things happening around us (executions, shipwrecks, bombings and earthquakes, to name a few) that are evidence of the Fall, there is no shortage of beauty in our world.

And the best explanation for it is that the Lord God made it all. As the Apostle Paul writes in Romans 1:20:

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” (NIV)


Sources:

Bohannon, John. 2016. Sunflowers show complex Fibonacci sequences. Science.

Hom, Elaine J. 2013.
What is the Golden Ratio? Live Science

Lindsay, Derry and Jackie Smith. 1970. All Kinds of Everything (lyrics).

Parveen, Nikhat.
Fibonacci in Nature.

Reich, Lee. 2013. Nature follows a number pattern called Fibonacci.
Phys.org.

Taylor, Richard. 2017.
Fractal patterns in nature and art are aesthetically pleasing and stressreducing. The Conversation.

Friday, 8 June 2018

The Bible Explains the Origin of Agriculture Better than Secular Predictions Do


Image courtesy of The Yorck Project (2002) 10.000 Meisterwerke der Malerei (DVD-ROM), Public Domain.




Joel Kontinen

Genesis tells us that at the dawn of history Cain cultivated crops and brought them as an offering to God. Secularists, however, would reject this view of history and predict a different past for humanity.

But the facts are stacked against the naturalistic view. History and archaeology show that agriculture arose rapidly in at least a dozen or so places just a few thousand years ago.

Evolutionists need to explain why it took over 200,000 years from the emergence of modern man to the discovery of agriculture.

Here’s their best try: “Using a new methodological approach, researchers at Colorado State University and Washington University in St. Louis have uncovered evidence that underscores one long-debated theory: that agriculture arose out of moments of surplus, when environmental conditions were improving, and populations lived in greater densities,” a recent press release issued by University of Colorado suggests.

Actually, they haven’t found evidence for this. What the researchers did was predicting population densities, as they assumed that agriculture needed a fairly large population.

They should probably have taken a look at some archaeological discoveries, which suggest that hunter gatherers (for instance at Göbekli Tepe) and other stone age people were anything but simpletons. Their art rivalled that of Picasso, and their buildings are still a source of amazement.

Researchers have proposed that religious belief inspired the building of their civilisations.

The Bible’s account of history explains the origin of agriculture much better than secular predictions do.

Source:

University of Colorado. 2018. On the origins of agriculture, researchers uncover new clues. (4 June).

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

New Research Attempts to Explain the Evolution of the Human Brain

Image courtesy of Patrick J. Lynch, CC BY 2.5.



Joel Kontinen

Once again, the human brain is making headlines.

Its complexity continues to baffle scientists and it inspires engineers to build smarter computers.

As our big brain is a Darwinian enigma, evolutionists have to try to explain its genesis.

Two papers in the journal Cell report on the discovery of the gene family NOTCH2NL Science Daily explains:

The genes are found exclusively in humans, are heavily expressed in neural stem cells of the human cerebral cortex, and are located on a part of the genome implicated in neurodevelopmental disorders.

The discovery has inspired some typical Darwinian storytelling.

The researchers suspect that some three million years ago, these genes enabled the human brain to become three times as big as previously. And that is why we have the ability to “think, problem-solve, and develop culture.”

The basic problem in these studies is that they merely discovered what these genes do now. The part on their evolution is wholly superfluous and amounts to storytelling.

Source:

Cell Press. 2018. Meet NOTCH2NL, the human-specific genes that may have given us our big brains. Science Daily. (31 May).

Monday, 4 June 2018

New Evidence for the Crucifixion Found

This cross is on Magnetic Island, near Townsville, Queensland.



Joel Kontinen

The Gospels describe the crucifixion of Jesus in much detail. The Apostle Paul also states that it was the fulfilment of prophesy:

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures.” (1 Corinthians 15:3, Berean Study Bible).

A new paper published in the journal Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences provides evidence for this Roman method of executing criminals.

Live Science explains:

A new study of the skeletal remains of the man, found near Venice in 2007, reveals a lesion and unhealed fracture on one of the heel bones that suggests his feet had been nailed to a cross…

The skeletal remains were found at Gavello, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) southwest of Venice, during archaeological excavations in preparation for the laying of a pipeline, the researchers said in their study
.”

The article goes on to say:

“A depressed, unhealed fracture in the heel bone suggested a metal nail had been driven through it, from the inside to the outside of the right foot, either directly onto the wood of a cross or into a wooden footrest attached to a cross.

‘We found a particular lesion on the right calcaneus [heel bone] passing through the entire bone,’ lead study author Emanuela Gualdi, a medical anthropologist at the University of Ferrara, told Live Science in an email
.”

When the Bible describes historical matters, it always gets the facts, including the tiny details, right.

Secular ancient writers were unable to deny the historicity of Jesus.

Archaeology confirms that the Bible is history. The Bible tells us about real people and real events, such as the earthquake mentioned by the prophet Amos and the one that occurred during Jesus’ crucifixion.

We should not be surprised, as Jesus Himself says in John 17:17 that God’s Word is truth.

Source:

Metcalfe, Tom. 2018. How Jesus Died: Rare Evidence of Roman Crucifixion Found. Live Science (4 June).

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Physicist Alexander Berezin Believes in Aliens and Fears We Might Kill Them Off

Image courtesy of Pikawil, CC BY-SA 2.0.




Joel Kontinen

Looking at the night sky can inspire a variety of ideas. 3,000 years ago, King David saw the glory of God displayed in the starry sky:

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” (Psalm 19:1, NIV).

In contrast, physicist Enrico Fermi had a very different idea in mind. Roughly 70 years ago he came up with the question "Where is everybody?"

Known as the Fermi paradox, his puzzle has remained unsolved.

Some ET enthusiasts believe that there are billions of extraterrestrial worlds that might be home to intelligent life.

Now, Alexander Berezin, a theoretical physicist at the National Research University of Electronic Technology in Russia, has proposed a new answer to Fermi's paradox — but he doesn't think you're going to like it. Because, if Berezin's hypothesis is correct, it could mean a future for humanity that's ‘even worse than extinction’,” Live Science writes.

Quoting a paper Berezin wrote in the preprint journal arxiv.org, "What if the first life that reaches interstellar travel capability necessarily eradicates all competition to fuel its own expansion?"

Berezin thinks that in our aspiration to reach other worlds, we might unwittingly do a lot of damage, perhaps even annihilating all extraterrestrial worlds.

However, there is a big but in this scenario. We have no evidence that extraterrestrials even exist. They might well be a figment of Darwinian imagination combined with a big dose of science fiction.

All signals thought to hail from intelligent aliens have been false ones, including the famous wow signal and the sounds coming from the assumed megastructure near Tabby’s star that raised hopes in the SETI community.

What is more, aliens have never bothered to answer our messages, but this has not put an end to the hope that one fine day they might do so.

Source:

Specktor, Brandon. 2018. Aliens Are Real, But Humans Will Probably Kill Them All, New Paper Says Live Science (1 June).

Thursday, 31 May 2018

Radiocarbon Dating Might Give Too Old Dates, at Least in the Levant

Image: Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld (1794-1872), The Battle of Jericho, Public Domain.




Joel Kontinen

Radiocarbon dating is thought to be a highly reliable dating method, but a new paper published in the journal PNAS suggests that carbon dates may be off by several decades and, in some cases, a hundred years or so.

Other dating methods are even less reliable.

Manning et al. state:

“We observe a substantive and fluctuating offset in measured radiocarbon ages between plant material growing in the southern Levant versus the standard Northern Hemisphere radiocarbon calibration dataset derived from trees growing in central and northern Europe and North America. This likely relates to differences in growing seasons with a climate imprint.”

They go on to say:

This finding is significant for, and affects, any radiocarbon application in the southern Levant region and especially for high-resolution archaeological dating—the focus of much recent work and scholarly debate, especially surrounding the timeframe of the earlier Iron Age (earlier Biblical period). Our findings change the basis of this debate; our data point to lower (more recent) ages by variously a few years to several decades.”

The half-life of Carbon-14 is 5,730 years, so the study does not affect really old dates.

Evolutionists will not carbon date dinosaur bone, though they certainly should do so, as they’re known to contain C-14, thus falsifying the dogma of millions of years.

And they should date coal and diamonds as well.

Source:

Manning, Sturt W et al. 2018. Fluctuating radiocarbon offsets observed in the southern Levant and implications for archaeological chronology debates. PNAS (29 May).

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Alien Life Enthusiasts Want to Recruit Laypeople to Decode Alien Messages

Some want to send messages to aliens; others want to decipher messages sent by assumed aliens. Image courtesy of Arne Nordmann, CC BY-SA 3.0.





Joel Kontinen

Whereas the SETI folks would like to see evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence, the METI (Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence) people go a step or two further. They want to decode messages sent by intelligent aliens.

Last week METI held a workshop in Los Angeles with the aim of finding out if “language — or at least certain essential elements of language — might be universal throughout the cosmos.”

Noam Chomsky promoted the view that all “terrestrial languages share a common underlying structure," and the METI folks think that this might also apply to the whole universe.

Sheri Wells-Jensen, a linguist at Bowling Green University in Ohio, wants to recruit laypeople to decipher potential messages sent by aliens.

For some reason, the SETI/METI people tend to assume that aliens are “far more advanced technologically than we are” and thus capable of sending intelligent messages from their home planet or spaceship tens of hundreds of light years away.

However, all signals thought to hail from intelligent aliens have been false ones, including the famous wow signal and the sounds coming from the assumed megastructure near Tabby’s star that raised hopes in the SETI community.

What is more, aliens have never bothered to answer our messages, but this has not put an end to the hope that one fine day they might do so.

However, there is no evidence that space aliens even exist.

Source:

Wall, Mike l. 2018. Intelligent Aliens Might Speak Our Language. And You Can Help Decode Their Messages. Live Science (27 May).

Sunday, 27 May 2018

Like to Eat Insects? Thank Our Assumed Ancestors for Your Gourmet Choices

Pangolin, Manis javanica. Image courtesy of Piekfrosch, CC BY-SA 3.0 .




Joel Kontinen

Why do some people like to eat insects? Reporting on a new paper published in the journal Science Advances, Phys.org proposes an answer.

It has to do with our (assumed) ancestors – “small, furry creatures that scurried around the feet of the dinosaurs 66 million years ago” – who were mostly insect eaters.

“The scientists inferred this because the genes for the enzymes that allowed these early ancestors of all mammals to digest insects are still hanging around in nearly all mammal genomes today.”

These enzymes are called chitinases. Scientists think that humans also have a chitinase gene as well as “remnants of three other chitinase genes in their genome, though none of them are functional.”

This does not signify common descent, however.

While the paper never even suggests that there might be a better and more logical explanation than a typical Darwinian just-so story, common design is a far more credible one.

Source:

University of California - Berkeley. 2018. What we inherited from our bug-eating ancestors. Phys.org (16 May).


Friday, 25 May 2018

The Human Brain Continues to Puzzle Evolutionists

Image courtesy of Patrick J. Lynch, CC BY 2.5.



Joel Kontinen

The human brain is a Darwinian enigma.

In 2008 Harvard professor Richard Lewontin admitted that scientists did not know anything about brain evolution.

That did not put an end to speculations, however. From just-so stories about our assumed lizard brain to more sophisticated – but not necessarily brainy – assumptions, evolutionists have brought up new hypotheses and resurrected some old ones.

Neuroscientists are willing to admit that the human brain is a wonderful organ, capable of surprisingly complex interactions,” as the journal Neuron put it in 2016.

Our large brain continues to puzzle scientists. A paper published in Nature attempts to explain how it came to be so big, six times as large as those of mammals of comparable size.

According to the abstract, “establishing causes for brain-size evolution remains difficult. Here we introduce a metabolic approach that enables causal assessment of social hypotheses for brain-size evolution. Our approach yields quantitative predictions for brain and body size from formalized social hypotheses given empirical estimates of the metabolic costs of the brain. Our model predicts the evolution of adult Homo sapiens-sized brains and bodies when individuals face a combination of 60% ecological, 30% cooperative and 10% between-group competitive challenges, and suggests that between-individual competition has been unimportant for driving human brain-size evolution.” (internal references omitted).

The authors go on to conclude: “Our model indicates that brain expansion in Homo was driven by ecological rather than social challenges, and was perhaps strongly promoted by culture.”

The problem with all evolution-inspired brain research is that it assumes that our brain evolved from chimpanzee-like brains.

But if the human brain never evolved from an ape-like brain, then all Darwinian explanations turn out to be mere storytelling masquerading as science.


Source:

González-Forero, Mauricio and Andy Gardner. 2018. Inference of ecological and social drivers of human brain-size evolution. Nature 557, 554–557.

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Australian Wrens Co-Operate with Individuals of a Different Species

A splendid fairy-wren male (Malurus splendens). Image courtesy of Aviceda, CC BY-SA 3.0.



Joel Kontinen

Who hasn’t heard the expression 'Birds of a feather flock together'? However, sometimes birds form mixed flocks.

What is more, they often live their lives as though they belonged to the same species.

A paper published in the journal Behavioral Ecology looks at how two small Australian songbirds – variegated fairy-wrens and splendid fairy-wrens – “not only recognize individual birds from other species, but also form long-term partnerships that help them forage and defend their shared space as a group.”

These wrens have a lot in common. According to Science Daily,

Both species feed on insects, live in large family groups, and breed during the same time of year. They are also non-migratory, meaning they live in one area for their entire lives, occupying the same eucalyptus scrublands that provide plenty of bushes and trees for cover.

When these territories overlap, the two species interact with each other. They forage together, travel together, and seem to be aware of what the other species is doing. They also help each other defend their territory from rivals. Variegated fairy-wrens will defend their shared territory from both variegated and splendid outsiders; splendid fairy-wrens will do the same, while fending off unfamiliar birds from both species.


These tiny birds take a very un-Darwinian approach to life.

The paper obviously fails to mention that the term ‘species’ can occasionally be rather fuzzy.

A case in point is a Darwinian icon. Even at best, the differences between the various varieties of Darwin’s finches are vague, and the birds don’t comply with Darwinian expectations.

Moreover, 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.

The Australian fairy-wrens confirm the Genesis after its kind principle in that they most probably belong to the same 'min' or kind.


Source:

University of Chicago Medical Center. 2018. Birds from different species recognize each other and cooperate: Researchers show for the first time how birds from two different species recognize individuals and cooperate for mutual benefit. Science Daily. (21 May).

Monday, 21 May 2018

Intelligent Communication Between Cells: Exosomes and Ectosomes



Exosomes (above) are extracellular vesicles that communicate with ectosomes. Image courtesy of miguelferig, Public Domain.




Joel Kontinen

Exosomes and ectosomes are tiny extracellular vesicles that all cells produce. Exosomes measure 50–150 nm and ectosomes 100–500 nm.

Previously, researchers assumed that both vesicles were remnants of dead cells, but a recent paper published in the journal Current Biology shows that they were wrong.

Exosomes and ectosomes can travel relatively long distances, and exosomes can deliver cargoes that include non-coding RNAs and DNA sequences to other cells.

Scientists are just beginning to learn about their function, but they already know that these vesicles

navigate through extracellular fluid for varying times and distances. Subsequently, they interact with recognized target cells and undergo fusion with endocytic or plasma membranes, followed by integration of vesicle membranes into their fusion membranes and discharge of luminal cargoes into the cytosol, resulting in changes to cellular physiology. After fusion, exosome/ectosome components can be reassembled in new vesicles that are then recycled to other cells, activating effector networks.”

Looks like a considerable infusion of intelligence is needed to bring this about. But, then, practically everything in our cells requires intelligence.

In other words, nothing about molecular machines makes sense without intelligent design.”

We also have two tiny postmen in our cells, i.e. dynein and kinesin, that carry cargo to specific addresses within cells.

Our cells are miniature cities running at 100 percent efficiency, and they produce 100,000 nanomachines per hour.

Source:

Meldolesi, Jacopo. 2018. Exosomes and Ectosomes in Intercellular Communication. Current Biology 28, R435–R444 (23 April).

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Earliest Stars Got a Lot Older


Star formation? Image courtesy of NASA & ESA, Public domain.





Joel Kontinen

New research by Takuya Hashimoto at Osaka Sangyo University and colleagues suggest that the first stars formed “250 million years” after the big bang. This is some “150 million years” earlier than previously assumed.

This was supposed to be too early for star formation, as the Dark Age was thought to continue until some “400 million years” after the big bang.

The big bang has other problems as well, for instance missing antimatter, cosmic inflation, quantum fluctuation, missing dark matter and the likewise elusive dark energy.

In addition, the earliest galaxies formed too quickly.

He [God] made the stars also,” Genesis tells us. That is by far the best explanation for the existence of the universe.

Source:

Crane, Leah. 2018. Some of the universe’s first stars have actually been seen. New Scientist (16 May).