Monday, 30 April 2018
When an American dentist killed a lion in Zimbabwe in 2015, thousands of people saw it as the ultimate crime.
Now, three years later when a court ruling allowed a children’s hospital to withdraw life support for Alfie Evans, a 23-month old toddler from Merseyside, UK, the outcry was far less pronounced.
Alfie was admitted to hospital in December 2016. He had a degenerative brain condition and was the focus of a fierce court battle.
His parents asked the Pope to help transfer the boy to a children’s hospital in Rome for treatment, but the British High Court rejected the move, as doctors argued that continuing treatment was "not in Alfie's best interests."
Who knows? Doctors are humans and as such they make mistakes.
But what stands out in this unfortunate case is the attitude of the man in the street who is more willing to fight for the rights of animals like Cecil the Lion than resist the wrongs done to a British toddler.
Might Darwinian evolution throw a dark shadow on our priorities?
BBC news. 2018. Alfie Evans: Legal battle toddler dies. (28 April).
Saturday, 28 April 2018
Why are bizarre beliefs, such as the multiverse and a universe teeming with alien civilisations, rampant in our day?
British author G. K. Chesterton (1874–1936) might have the answer:
“When men stop believing in God they don't believe in nothing; they believe in anything.”
This quote is widely attributed to Chesterton, although it obviously does not appear verbatim in his works; it was first recorded as 'The first effect of not believing in God is to believe in anything' in Emile Cammaerts’ book The Laughing Prophet: The Seven Virtues and G.K. Chesterton (London: Methuen & Co., 1937].
Chesterton was especially critical of atheism and Darwinian evolution.
Bizarre beliefs tend to either ignore or try to explain away cosmic fine tuning that is evident everywhere, from the micro to the macro.
Knowles, Elizabeth. (ed). 2004. Oxford Dictionary of Quotations. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Thursday, 26 April 2018
Chinese researchers think that “a surge in oxygen” might have paved the way for the evolution of complex life a “billion years” earlier than previously thought.
Reporting on this view, New Scientist also suggests that Ediacaran creatures were “blob-like.”
However, some Precambrian creatures were very complex, full of tiny nanomachines.
Oxygen is not a sufficient cause for producing complex life. What is needed is genetic information, which happens to be a thing Darwinian evolution cannot produce.
Klein, Alice. 2018. Oxygen may have helped complex life arise a billion years early. New Scientist (23 April).
Tuesday, 24 April 2018
Trees have made headlines in recent years. This should not come as a surprise to anyone, as they are full of self-assembling solar panels.
Some time ago we heard that trees sleep at night.
Then we got to know that trees communicate with other trees.
Soon afterwards a study found that at least one eucalyptus species “sweats” to keep cool during heatwaves.
The latest surprise has to do with something akin to a pulse: “We’ve discovered that most trees have regular periodic changes in shape, synchronised across the whole plant and shorter than a day-night cycle, which imply periodic changes in water pressure,” New Scientist quotes Dr. András Zlinszky as saying.
Coghlan, Andy. 2018. Trees may have a ‘heartbeat’ that is so slow we never noticed it. New Scientist (20 April).
Sunday, 22 April 2018
While many people would deny that God is their Father, they are inclined to believe that Earth is their mother.
They have designated a day in her honour. Thus today many celebrate Earth Day, or, as the UN prefers to call it, the International Mother Earth Day.
Now, taking care of the environment is a laudable enterprise, but making a religion of it is certainly not.
There is a name for it: idolatry.
Man was created to worship someone bigger than himself. If he refuses to worship God, he will worship something or someone else.
It seems that the number of secular holy days has been increasing lately. In addition to Mother Earth Day, there’s Darwin Day and Carl Sagan Day, for instance.
Some would go so far as to call the mushroom their brother and demand human rights for things like glaciers and rivers.
Gibbens, Sarah. 2018. How the Environment Has Changed Since the First Earth Day. National Geographic (21 April).
Friday, 20 April 2018
Atheistic evolutionists are fond of using theological arguments. While they don’t believe in God, they think they know how He would not have created.
They also think that they know what is bad design and what isn’t.
Richard Dawkins, for instance, has been very vocal with his view of the backward wired retina, which actually happens to be an illustration of very good design.
It seems that smart is the adjective the best describes our eyes.
Another failed Darwinian argument is that our genome is full of junk, of both DNA and RNA.
And the vestigial organ argument has fared even worse.
However, recently biologist Nathan Lents tried to resurrect some failed evolutionary arguments that he calls design glitches.
In addition to the above, he also mentioned our supposedly weak knees, which happens to be a bizarre claim, given that humans can run a marathon, provided they train sufficiently for it.
Laufmann, Steve. 2018. Your “Botched Body”: Bad Design or Bad Logic? Evolution News & Science Today (18 April).
Lents, Nathan H. 2018. The Botch of the Human Body. Wall Street Journal (13 April).
Wednesday, 18 April 2018
Giant’s Causeway is a rock structure in Northern Ireland that is composed of 40,000 basalt columns touching each other.
It has been the subject of both legends and naturalistic speculations.
New research published in the journal Nature Communications suggests the columns formed when magma rock cooled quickly some “50–60 million years ago.”
The explanation might well be correct, but the timing is off by a factor of 10,000.
The global flood that devastated the Earth during Noah’s day roughly 4,500 years ago is a more plausible time. The deluge was most probably accompanied by volcanic eruptions.
The Book of Genesis describes the true history of ancient times.
Dovey, Dana. 2018. 'Giant's causeway' mysterious Irish rock structure was formed by ancient volcanoes. Newsweek (16 April).
Monday, 16 April 2018
Trees are much more sophisticated than we would expect. They communicate with each other and sleep at night.
They have their own wood wide web (www) through which they share information.
Flowering plants are almost as clever; they have their e-mail system through which they engage in shoot to root communication.
And a recent study suggests that at least one eucalyptus species “sweats” to keep cool during heatwaves.
Ecologist John Drake at the S.U.N.Y. College of Environmental Science and Forestry and colleagues reported on this unexpected behaviour in the journal Global Change Biology.
High temperatures are thought to reduce photosynthesis, but instead of overheating these trees thrived although the temperature rose to 44 degrees Celsius (111 Fahrenheit).
We can’t thank dumb Darwinian mechanisms for these intelligent approaches.
Saplakoglu, Yasemin. 2018. Trees Sweat to Keep Cool. Scientific American (May 2018).
Saturday, 14 April 2018
Elon Musk used to team up with Stephen Hawking to warn of the dangers of artificial intelligence that might turn into a disaster for humans.
Not so long ago he said that AI was a bigger threat than North Korea.
Musk shares his fears in a new AI documentary called Do You Trust This Computer?
He is afraid that in contrast to human dictators – who will eventually die – it would be practically impossible to get rid of an AI dictator:
"At least when there's an evil dictator, that human is going to die,” Live Science quotes Musk as saying, "But for an AI there would be no death. It would live forever, and then you'd have an immortal dictator, from which we could never escape."
However, the second law of thermodynamics practically guarantees that nothing we make will last forever, but it will break down – sooner or later.
The only thing that remains is the Bible, the Word of God. And it definitely rules out an immortal AI dictator.
Specktor, Brandon. 2018. Elon Musk Worries That AI Research Will Create an 'Immortal Dictator'. Live Science (8 April).
Thursday, 12 April 2018
In the Old Testament book of Genesis Joseph tells his brothers: "As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result.” (50:20, NASB).
It seems that something similar has happened in Iraq:
After ISIS fighters captured Mosul and some other areas in Iraq in 2014, they destroyed several valuable archaeological sites, but they also dug tunnels in the hope that they could find buried treasures or archaeologically valuable artifacts with which they could finance their operations.
They discovered an Assyrian palace in the biblical city of Nineveh and found ancient inscriptions that verify the historicity of several Assyrian kings mentioned in the Old Testament, such as Sargon II, Sennacherib, Esarhaddon and Ashurbanipal (also known as Osnapper).
Other inscriptions verify the historicity of the city of Calah mentioned in Genesis 10:11-12 and confirm the way the Assyrians methodology of resettled captive peoples (see Ezra 4:10).
Should we be surprised?
No, the Bible describes the lives of real people, who lived at particular places at a particular time in history.
Earls, Aaron. 2018. ISIS Accidentally Corroborates the Bible. Facts & Trends (19 March).
Tuesday, 10 April 2018
In his book River Out of Eden, Richard Dawkins wrote: "The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good.”
But is this really so?
It is practically impossible to ignore the fine tuning that we see all around us, from the minuscule to the really huge.
It comes in many forms, for instance in Fibonacci numbers and fractals.
Polish mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot (1924–2010) coined the term fractal in 1975.
Geometric shapes known as Mandelbrot sets are everywhere in nature, and what is special about them is that many of them repeat themselves on a smaller scale, and then even smaller, often producing a soothing effect.
This does not look like the cold, callous Darwinian world. The real world is full of beauty, regardless of where we look.
Dawkins, Richard. 1999.River Out of Eden. London: Phoenix.
Lisle, Jason. 2007. Fractals: Hidden Beauty Revealed in Mathematics. Answers 2 (1), 52–55.
Sunday, 8 April 2018
The yellow pygmy goby (Lubricogobius exiguus) is tiny. Measuring 2 centimetres and sporting almost hypnotic emerald eyes, it could well be an alien.
But it isn’t. It lives in the Pacific Ocean and is evidence for the wonderful diversity in God’s creation in which we often see great beauty – even below the surface.
Le Page, Michael. 2018. The hypnotic face and emerald eyes of the yellow pygmy goby. New Scientist (27 March).
Friday, 6 April 2018
Chicken eggs are elegantly designed temporary homes. They protect the inhabitants (if we can call them that) from harm and yet let them breath.
They also seem to be able to tell the birdling when it’s time to set out into the wider world.
Eggs have three main layers. A new study published in the journal Science Advances suggests that the eggshells’ nanostructure “appears to play a key role in the strength of the shell.”
As quoted in The Guardian, study co-author Professor Marc McKee (McGill University in Canada) says that eggshells, although thin, can be harder than some metals.
But when the time is right, the chick can crack the shell open.
The almost magical ingredient is a protein called osteopontin. The hardness of the shell depends on the distribution of osteopontin in the various layers of the eggshell.
Unfortunately, Professor McKee fails to give credit to whom credit is due:
“When you think about it, we should be making materials that are inspired by nature and by biology because, boy, it is really hard to beat hundreds of millions of years of evolution in perfecting something.”
The problem with Darwinian mechanisms is that they are incapable of top-down planning that is seen everywhere in creation.
Davis, Nicola. 2018. Scientists solve eggshell mystery of how chicks hatch. The Guardian (30 March).
Wednesday, 4 April 2018
Diatoms are an evolutionary mystery. Darwinians believe that these one-celled pretty creatures have populated the oceans and seas for at least “100 million” years.
They are willing to acknowledge that diatoms appear to be designed, but they chalk this design up to evolution.
These algae are effective, producing 20–30% of all oxygen through photosynthesis. And, as there are some 100,000 species of these industrious workers, we can enjoy all the oxygen we need.
In a paper published in the journal Scientific Reports, eight researchers admit that they don’t know how diatoms could have evolved. The best they can come up with is convergent evolution, which is Darwin-speak for we haven’t a clue.
Aguirre, Luis Ever et al. 2018. Diatom frustules protect DNA from ultraviolet light. Scientific Reports 8:5138. (23 March).
Monday, 2 April 2018
The discovery of an “elementary school age” T. rex in Montana's famous Hell Creek formation is making waves in the Darwinian community.
What is not making as big waves is the manner in which the tiny dino and several other animals met their end.
David Burnham, a preparator of vertebrate paleontology at the Biodiversity Institute, told Live Science that they died in a "quick, cataclysmic event."
But instead of occurring 67 million years ago, the cataclysm most probably took place some 4,500 years ago during the year-long global flood described in Genesis.
It would otherwise be difficult – if not impossible – to explain why a turtle, fish, dinosaurs and a placental mammal would end up in the same fossil graveyard.
Geggel, Laura. 2018. This Elementary-School-Age T. Rex Is a '1 in 100 Million' Discovery. Live Science (30 March).