Wednesday, 30 December 2015
Usually, a cat will eat tiny birds. But this did not happen on an Irish farm.
A little over a year ago, the baby ducklings that had hatched on Ronan and Emma Lally’s farm disappeared. The part-time farmers suspected that their cat had eaten them, but then they saw it carrying a duckling in its mouth.
The cat, which had just given birth to kittens, was not about to have the little birds for dinner. Instead, it adopted them.
The ducklings quickly outgrew their foster mother, but they continued following her across the farmyard.
According to the Darwinian story, nature should be red in tooth and claw. However, at times it isn’t.
This reminds us of Eden, when bad things had not yet happened. Thorns did not grow, and death did not reign in the animal kingdom. Small creatures did not fear big ones or even humans.
Langan, Sheila. 2015. Cat on an Irish farm treats lucky baby ducklings like they’re her own (VIDEO). Irish Central (18 September).
Monday, 28 December 2015
The belief in billions of years is fraught with enormous problems, such as the faint young sun paradox that supposedly caused the phenomenon known as snowball Earth, which has never been explained in a plausible manner.
It would probably have made an end of all life.
There are other fatal problems as well. According to Nature,
“Studies suggest that Earth's magnetic field arose more than 4 billion years ago. Geophysicists call it the 'new core paradox': they can't quite explain how ancient Earth could have sustained a magnetic field billions of years ago, as it was cooling from its fiery birth.”
They desperately need a dynamo that will work for four billion years, and that isn’t easy.
Now, researchers think that they have solved this problem. Kei Hirose, a geophysicist at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, suggests that the presence of silicon dioxide did the trick, while David Stevenson, a geophysicist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, relies on magnesium oxide.
The major problem with both approaches is a belief in billions of years, with Earth initially looking more like Venus than the blue planet we’re used to seeing.
However, some studies suggest that Earth had water from the very beginning, which would imply that it never was that hot.
The most fruitful way to approach the dilemma is to rely on what Genesis says about Earth’s beginnings.
Witze, Alexandra. 2015. Magnetic mystery of Earth's early core explained. Nature news (17 December).
Saturday, 26 December 2015
It seems that there is something very much wrong about the models astronomers have designed, as each new discovery brings a big surprise.
Planets that were assumed to be geologically inactive turn out to be alive. The newest surprise comes from data sent by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft that has been mapping Ceres, the largest object in the asteroid belt (i.e. the area between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter).
With a diameter of 950 kilometres, Ceres should probably be inactive, at least in a 4.5 billion year old solar system.
But new data suggest that it isn’t. A news item in Nature quotes Andreas Nathues, a planetary scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, as saying:
“Some kind of geological process seems to continually feed ice to the surface, replenishing what is lost.”
So, once again, we have a dwarf planet that looks younger that it should. However, we shouldn’t be surprised, since Genesis speaks of a relatively young universe.
Witze, Alexandra. 2015. Mysterious bright spots on Ceres are probably salt. Nature news (9 December).
Thursday, 24 December 2015
The Old Testament speaks a lot about the Messiah who would come to redeem His people. The details of prophecy rule out chance. OT writers predicted His birthplace, His roots and His mother, for instance:
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Though you are little among the thousands of Judah,
Yet out of you shall come forth to Me
The One to be Ruler in Israel,
Whose goings forth are from of old,
From everlasting.” (Micah 5:2)
“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14).
Christmas reminds us that the Bible can be trusted. It is God’s Word:
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).
Scripture passages from the New King James Version (NKJV).
Tuesday, 22 December 2015
New Trends in Creation: Answers in Genesis Opens Full-Size Noah’s Ark; Institute for Creation Research Builds New Museum
2016 looks like a good year for friends of creation. Answers in Genesis is opening its Noah’s Ark Encounter in July. The Institute for Creation Research is beginning the construction of the Dallas Museum of Science and Earth History.
Both projects are huge, and they will do much to balance evolutionary propaganda that our world is too full of.
Sunday, 20 December 2015
Natural sand formations can be rather spectacular. However, if one sees something that looks a bit like a dragon with scales, one might suspect that erosion is not the designer – especially if one happens to see a man adding the finishing touches to the sculpture.
It is not all all difficult to see what is deliberately designed and what isn't.
In like manner, design in nature is obvious. Our cells are full of nano machines that know exactly what to do and when to do it.
And there is a Book that tells us exactly who designed all the marvels we see around us in nature, with or without the aid of a microscope.
Friday, 18 December 2015
Christmas is nothing less than a miracle. It marks the beginning of Jesus' earthly life. He became a human being in order to atone for the sins of mankind.
The incarnation of Christ was necessary because of the bad news that we read about in Genesis. Whereas the First Adam failed, the Last Adam (i.e. Christ) succeeded.
The First Adam sinned by eating forbidden fruit from a tree; the Last Adam died on a cross (made of a tree), and because of His unique sacrifice the door is open for us to enter His kingdom by faith in Him.
Wednesday, 16 December 2015
Christmas wars seem to be an American phenomenon that hardly exists in Europe. For instance, some buses in the Canary Islands promote Chrismas.
While the word for Christmas in Spanish does not include the word Christ, navidad explicitly refers to birth, and in this case not just to any birth, but that of Jesus in Bethlehem.
And Christmas Eve is nochebuana or '(the) Good Evening'. Feliz navidad!
Sunday, 13 December 2015
There's no shortage of problems for believers in theistic evolution. In addition to death before sin, thorny plants also present a huge dilemma.
According to Genesis, they are the consequences of the Fall. But in the evolutionary scenario, they appeared roughly 400 million years before Adam's time.
Wednesday, 9 December 2015
While thorns are a consequence of the Fall, i.e. the disobedience and sin of the first humans, thorny plants such as the cacti can have incredible beautiful flowers.
Such beauty reminds us of the Author of all things beutiful.
We can also see amazing beauty in the animal world.
Sunday, 6 December 2015
Some old fossils are so well preserved that museums seem to be at a loss in describing them.
For instance, stingrays from the Green River Formation of Wyoming are so well preserved that they are said to finely preserved, as the Natural History Museum in London puts it, or “The preservation is superb,” as the Fossil Mall Site says.
The fossils are assumed to be “50 million years” old but they definitely don’t show their age. Perhaps they were formed during Noah’s Flood, some 4,500 years ago.
New Scientist compares it to Gollum, Tolkien’s Hobbit that in better days used to be known as Sméagol. The tiny blind salamander found in Slovenia can survive for a hundred years on almost nothing.
The olm Proteus anguinus can grow to roughly 25 centimetres or 10 inches. It has very feeble feet.
Evolutionists often use blind animals, such as cave crabs or blind archids, as evidence for Darwinian evolution, but the change is in the wrong direction.
It’s the same kind of story with flightless birds like emus.
Losses seldom if ever amount to gains in real life. Mutations or spelling mistakes don’t run the show.
Lawton, Graham. 2015. Meet the weird amphibian that rules the underworld. New Scientist (2 December).
Cuttlefish stop breathing when a shark approaches them. This basically makes them invisible.
A paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B shows that predators were very unlikely to detect cuttlefish that held their breath. An article in Science states:
“When the frightened creatures froze in place and covered the cavity leading to the gills with their tentacles, the voltage in the water nearby dropped by about 80%.”
This made it very difficult for sharks to find them.
Animal intelligence should remind us that the One who made them was not a blind watchmaker but the Almighty Creator who planned every small detail.
Other examples of animal intelligence or amazing skills include the following:
- Darwin’s finches make their own insect repellent.
- Bowerbirds can mimic practically anything.
- The octopus is an “eight-legged marvel."
Perkins. Sid. 2015. When cuttlefish hold their breath, they become nearly invisible to sharks. Science (1 December).
Saturday, 5 December 2015
Almost 55 per cent of hot Jupiters might not exist, researchers reported in the Extreme Solar Systems III conference in Hawaii earlier this week.
The announcement is not guesswork, but is based on a 5-year study of alien worlds discovered by The Kepler mission. A brief article in Science says:
“Kepler identifies exoplanets by staring at a large number of stars for extended periods and waiting for their brightness to dip periodically when a planet passes in front of them. But these dips can be caused by a number of effects so need to be confirmed by other methods.”
The article goes on to explain the method used in the current study:
“A team using the SOPHIE spectrograph on a 1.93-meter telescope at the Haute-Provence Observatory in France spent 5 years studying 129 of Kepler’s bigger candidates using a different method: looking for the slight movement of a star as a planet’s gravity tugs it around.”
While exoplanets do not respect planet-formation theories, the result was probably at least somewhat unexpected: 55 per cent of the “planets” might actually be stars orbiting another star.
In any case, this discovery shows that our solar system seems to be very special, fine-tuned for life. In contrast, exoplanets tend to be weird.
Clery, Daniel. 2015. More than half of purported giant alien worlds may not exist. ScienceShot (2 December).
Thursday, 3 December 2015
Most people used to think that ancient man was not sophisticated enough to produce great works of art. However, many great cave paintings challenge this view that has roots in Darwinian evolution.
Now, a new paper published in the journal PLoS One brings down yet another false belief.
Marcos García-Diez and Manuel Vaquero discovered an engraving at Molí del Salt near Barcelona. They think that it describes six beehive-shaped huts. It seems that “hunter-gatherers” were able to produce art that not only depicts animals but also buildings.
And an older study has shown that their menu was more varied than we would assume.
Previous research has brought about the demise of the view that hunter-gatherers were unable to build cities. The ruins of Göbekli Tepe in Turkey show that they were skilled architects.
According to Genesis, humans were inventive from the dawn of mankind, so we would expect to find evidence of creativity in old rocks.
That is exactly what we find.
Coghlan, Andy. 2015. Stone Age Picasso made oldest known drawing of human settlement. New Scientist (2 December).
Tuesday, 1 December 2015
An exoplanet known as HATS-14b is causing astronomers to discard their theories on how planets form.
An article in New Scientist gives some background facts for the dilemma:
“In our solar system, the planets all orbit the sun in the same plane, perpendicular to the axis around which the sun spins. But for half a decade, we’ve known that big planets close to other stars can have orbits that are tilted at all sorts of weird angles.”
Astronomers thought they knew a few plausible reasons for this.
But then came HATS-14b with its orbit “tilted a whopping 76 degrees from the plane in which its star spins.”
The planet is a hot Jupiter that circles a rather small star, so it “should have aligned with the spin of the host star,” as George Zhou at the Australian National University in Canberra and the lead author of a new paper puts it.
It seems that HATS-14b doesn’t have much respect for planet-formation theories.
It’s not the only one, as exoplanets tend to be weird, defying naturalistic views.
But there’s one planet that’s just right for life, the one we call home.
Sokol, Joshua. 2015. Weirdly tilted planet knocks formation theory out of line. New Scientist (24 November).
Monday, 30 November 2015
New research suggests that the nerve cells in our brain are connected in anything but a random manner. Instead, they “store information as efficiently as books are stored in a well-organized library,” as a press release issued by the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft puts it.
Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics compare our brains’ wiring to a library, where books are more easily found when they “are sorted not only alphabetically by title, but also by genre and by author.”
Our brain does not look like it’s the product of blind Darwinian processes in which neurons can’t see what the neighbours are doing. In contrast, it suggests top-down planning in which there is little room for randomness.
“Random connections do not suffice to explain the observed layout of the brain,” the researchers concluded.
Neuroscientists tend to be baffled at how wonderful our brains are. It seems that they just cannot think of anything man-made that could match them.
Some suspect that our brains may be designed to help us to learn to think.
Meanwhile, from a purely naturalistic perspective, consciousness is a “ghosly thing.”
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. 2015. No cable spaghetti in the brain. (23 November).
Saturday, 28 November 2015
Previous research has shown that the mantis shrimp uses a fist-like club that beats airplane frames in strength.
A new study suggests that the small crustacean also employs another weird trick: it makes use of polarized light as a covert signal that predators can’t see.
Only other shrimps can detect this signal.
There are many other intelligent solutions in the animal kingdom that would be difficult if not impossible to explain by Darwinian processes that are supposed to be blind.
Polarized light as a secret signal. Nature 527, 278 (19 November 2015).
Thursday, 26 November 2015
Animal rights seem to count more than human wrongs in a world where belief in molecules-to-man evolution has caused a devaluation of our place among all other living beings.
The rise of the culture of death, as seen in abortion and euthanasia, serves to diminish human worth.
At the very same time, activists want to free animals from “cruel psychological experiments,” which they see as demeaning as torture and child abuse.
Recently, Science reported on how the activist group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) had sent letters to people living near the homes of
“U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins and NIH researcher Stephen Suomi, revealing their home addresses and phone numbers and urging their neighbors to call and visit them. The tactic is the latest attempt by the animal rights group to shut down monkey behavioral experiments at Suomi’s Poolesville, Maryland, laboratory.”
An activist said that the bad treatment of monkeys was comparable to “having a sexual predator in your neighborhood.”
While we should certainly not mistreat animals, activists seem to think that animals (like a lion called Cecil) are more important than humans.
Many, for instance, Peter Singer, would want to re-define animals as persons.
However, in doing so, they diminish human worth. At least part of their struggle is against biblical ethics that start with the unique place we have in the created order.
Only humans were created in God’s image. Only humans can sin, and Christ died for humans, not animals, on the cross, redeeming us from sin.
Grimm, David. 2015. Animal rights group targets NIH director’s home. Science (18 November).
Tuesday, 24 November 2015
The Arctic should be one of the last places where we’d expect to find traces of a tropical forest. However, that is exactly what a new paper published in the journal Geology shows.
An article on the discovery in LiveScience features some naturalistic speculations. Researchers think that the forest grew near the equator and then drifted north some “380 million years ago.”
The trees were mostly lycopsids that are still found in our days. Some grew to be 4 metres (13 feet) high.
It would not be too difficult to see this fossil forest as evidence for Noah’s Flood that devastated the early earth.
Dinosaur fossils found in the Arctic (read more here, here and here) also suggest that they were trapped by the Flood.
Massive fossil graveyards found on many continents, huge aquifers and mountain gaps also remind us of the Flood.
Weisberger, Mindy. 2015. Fossilized Tropical Forest Found — in Arctic Norway. Live Science (20 November).
Sunday, 22 November 2015
It’s not easy to see a chiton that looks like a rock on which it lives. But with its thousand tiny rock-hard eyes the mollusk is by no means blind.
Although its eyesight might not match that of an eagle, its tiny lenses – each merely a tenth of a millimetre across – lets the creature evade predators.
A report in New Scientist quotes Sönke Johnsen, an ecologist at Duke University, as saying:
“It’s a basic camera eye design. The difference is they’re embedded in rock and the lens itself is made out of rock.”
While Acanthopleura granulata might look simple, its exceptional eye design suggests that the Creator loves diversity.
You can read about some other intelligent solutions seen in the animal kingdom here, here and here.
Nowogrodzki, Anna. 2015. Mollusc sees the world through hundreds of eyes made out of rock. New Scientist (19 November).
Pennisi, Elizabeth. 2015. Video: Sea creature makes a thousand eyes from its shell. Science (19 November).
Friday, 20 November 2015
In January, Kepler-438 b was touted as the most Earth-like planet ever discovered. As it orbited its star within the habitable zone, it was seen as a potential home for alien life.
But now a press release issued by the University of Warwick suggests that the planet doesn’t even have an atmosphere:
“The most Earth-like planet could have been made uninhabitable by vast quantities of radiation, new research led by the University of Warwick has found.”
Kepler-438b orbits a red dwarf in the constellation Lyra some 470 light-years from us. Slightly bigger than Earth, it orbits its sun in 35.2 days.
It seems to be too close to a hot object:
“The atmosphere of the planet, Kepler-438b, is thought to have been stripped away as a result of radiation emitted from a superflaring Red Dwarf star, Kepler-438.
Regularly occurring every few hundred days, the superflares are approximately ten times more powerful than those ever recorded on the Sun and equivalent to the same energy as 100 billion megatons of TNT.”
The naturalistic worldview needs habitable exoplanets. It rejects the idea that Earth is special, and wants to see alien life wherever it is possible.
The search for life-friendly exoplanets has produced questionable “discoveries” as some of them, like Gliese 581d and Gliese 581g, might not even exist and some others might be a lot less friendly to life than once assumed.
It’s still safe to say that there’s no place like home in the universe.
University of Warwick. 2015. Most Earth-like planet uninhabitable due to radiation, new research suggests. (18 November).
Wednesday, 18 November 2015
Many animals make use of the Earth’s magnetic field in their migrations. Researchers knew this but they were not sure how butterflies, birds, turtles and wolves did it.
Actually, even fruit flies and worms are able to navigate in this way.
Now, a research team led by Can Xie at Peking University has “found a protein in fruit flies, butterflies and pigeons that they believe to be responsible for this magnetic sense.”
Examining the fruit fly genome, they found a protein called MagR that interacts with another protein, cryptochrome.
An article in New Scientist explains how these two proteins work together:
“They found that MagR and cryptochrome proteins formed a cylinder, with an inside filling of 20 MagR molecules surrounded by 10 cryptochromes.
The researchers then identified and isolated this protein complex from pigeons and monarch butterflies.
In the lab, the proteins snapped into alignment in response to a magnetic field. They were so strongly magnetic that they flew up and stuck to the researchers’ tools, which contained iron. So the team had to use custom tools made of plastic.”
Can blind Darwinian processes invent such a delicate method that would be of no use unless all the parts worked together from the beginning?
The logical answer is no. We know that marvels of engineering are the result of intelligence.
And intelligence requires a mind.
Many other amazing solutions seen in the animal kingdom rule out purely naturalistic explanations.
Nowogrodzki, Anna. 2015. Animal magnetic sense comes from protein that acts as a compass. New Scientist (16 November).
Monday, 16 November 2015
Brains were not supposed to fossilize. That was something every palaeontologist knew.
Even when Nature published a paper on a fossilized brain in 2012, many remained sceptical.
Now, however, Nicholas Strausfeld, one of the authors of the 2012 paper, has with his colleagues published a new study in the journal Current Biology.
An article in Phys.org says their discoveries “turn paleontology on its head,” as they provide evidence of fossilised arthropod brains assumed to be ”520 million years” old:
”The species, Fuxianhuia protensa is an extinct arthropod that roamed the seafloor about 520 million years ago. It would have looked something like a very simple shrimp. And each of the fossils - from the Chengjiang Shales, fossil-rich sites in Southwest China - revealed F. protensa's ancient brain looked a lot like a modern crustacean's, too.”
So, Cambrian brains looked much like modern brains.
In case you’ve forgotten, stasis is the very opposite of evolution. If animals don’t change in “520 million years,” then how much time do they need?
The soft brains of Fuxianhuia protensa show clearly that Darwinian evolution is in a very deep crisis.
University of Arizona, 2015. 520-million-year-old arthropod brains turn paleontology on its head Phys.org (9 November).
Saturday, 14 November 2015
We all knew that animals and plants are intelligent, but now evolutionists would want us to believe that algae were able to plan ahead.
According to Science Daily,
“A team of scientists led by Dr Pierre-Marc Delaux (John Innes Centre / University of Wisconsin, Madison) has solved a long-running mystery about the first stages of plant life on earth.”
So what did they find out?
They “analysed DNA and RNA of some of the earliest known land plants and green algae and found evidence that their shared algal ancestor living in the Earth's waters already possessed the set of genes, or symbiotic pathways, it needed to detect and interact with the beneficial AM fungi.”
The rest is fact-free storytelling:
“Dr Delaux said: 'At some point 450 million years ago, alga from the earth's waters splashed up on to barren land. Somehow it survived and took root, a watershed moment that kick-started the evolution of life on earth. Our discovery shows for the first time that the alga already knew how to survive on land while it was still in the water. Without the development of this pre-adapted capability in alga, the earth could be a very different place today.' ”
Actually, their discovery did not show it. Their interpretation is based on anything but a critical analysis of the data. In other words, they assume that they have discovered algae that are capable of thinking and planning ahead, because their worldview requires this to happen.
Otherwise, life would never have made it to land. Evolution would be dead.
What the researchers failed to keep in mind is that evolution was supposed to be blind. Just ask Richard Dawkins.
John Innes Centre. 2015. Ancient alga knew how to survive on land before it left water and evolved into the first plant. ScienceDaily (5 October).
Thursday, 12 November 2015
Last week a terrorist group associated with ISIS celebrated the destruction of a civilian airplane over Sinai. Most people would instinctively say that something is very much amiss with the ethics of the group.
Describing the killed passengers – some of whom were babies – as crusaders cannot be understood as an extenuating circumstance that would make the killing less blameworthy.
We know it is wrong because we all have an inner witness:
“Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.” (Romans 2:14–15, NIV.)
In contrast, we would expect a Darwinian world to be callous and indifferent to human suffering.
But the recent atrocities have prompted evolutionists to search for a plausible (naturalistic) explanation of why “an apparently normal young adult” would “drop out of college and turn up some time later in a video performing a cold-blooded execution in the name of jihad?” as New Scientist puts it.
“It’s a conundrum we have been forced to ponder ever since a group calling itself ISIS declared war on infidels. But 70 years ago we were asking something similar of guards in Nazi concentration camps – and, sadly, there have been plenty of opportunities to ponder the matter in between.”
NS asks a pertinent question but cannot come up with a plausible answer.
“What turns an ordinary person into a killer? The idea that a civilised human being might be capable of barbaric acts is so alien that we often blame our animal instincts – the older, 'primitive' areas of the brain taking over and subverting their more rational counterparts. But fresh thinking turns this long-standing explanation on its head.”
The answer is not blowing in the wind, nor can it be found in neuroscience. It can be read on the pages of the Bible. People do bad things because they live in a world tainted by sin, marred by the consequences of Adam’s Fall.
They know instinctively that it is wrong, but they do it nevertheless.
The only antidote is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He died on the cross to transform people. In God’s eyes, a sinner becomes a saint (also known as a redeemed sinner), when he or she accepts the Lord Jesus.
It is a miraculous transformation, from darkness to light, from death to life.
New Scientist. 2015. Syndrome E: Can neuroscience explain the executioners of ISIS? (11 November).
Tuesday, 10 November 2015
How does a cold world that is assumed to be billions of years old not look its age?
NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft has introduced us to a Pluto we never knew. Far from being a dead world, the dwarf planet has shown signs of vigour and youth.
The latest surprise is the assumed presence of two cryovolcanoes. An article in the journal Science introduces them in this way:
“Volcanoes built out of frozen ice that once oozed molten ice from the inside of the dwarf planet. The discovery points to an internal heat source that, at some point in Pluto’s past, drove the melting of interior reservoirs of volatile ices, such as nitrogen and methane, that then erupted at the surface. It also suggests that the cryovolcanoes were a way for Pluto to periodically rejuvenate surface supplies of these volatile ices, which sublimate into the thin atmosphere and are eventually lost to space.”
The description obviously includes some long-age assumptions, which tends to be the norm in reports like these.
How long would an internal heat source not only survive in a frozen region of space but also warm Pluto’s surface?
The logical answer is a lot less than 4.5 billion years.
Hand, Eric. 2015. Ice volcanoes spotted on Pluto, suggest internal heat source. Science (9 November).
Sunday, 8 November 2015
According to evolutionary dogma, dino-age mammals were tiny creatures that hardly resembled anything we see today.
But fossils tell a very different kind of story.
In 2014, a paper on the discovery of three Jurassic squirrels (or at least animals that looked a lot like today’s squirrels) was published in the journal Nature.
While some researchers might hesitate to call them squirrels, the media used that very name, either with or without quotation marks. According to Sci-News:
“A group of paleontologists led by Dr Jin Meng of American Museum of Natural History has discovered three squirrel-like mammals that lived in what is now China during Jurassic, about 160 million years ago.”
If animals are “squirrel-like,” might they not actually be squirrels? The title of the article – Three Jurassic Squirrel Species Discovered in China – does suggest this.
Sci-News goes on to say,
“The three new species, named Shenshou lui, Xianshou linglong, and Xianshou songae, are described from six nearly complete 160-million-year-old fossils.
These animals were successful tree-dwellers, weighing between 30 and 300 grams.”
The fossils were extremely well preserved. Despite some minor differences with today’s specimens, they support the view that squirrels have been squirrels since time immemorial.
Some leading evolutionists have previously acknowledged that tree squirrels are living fossils. They should have even more reason to do so after this discovery.
Living fossils show that change of the Darwinian variety is rare in the animal kingdom.
Animals produce offspring after their kinds but do not change into other kinds. In other words, an important biological principle introduced in the Book of Genesis describes reality much better than the Darwinian story.
Sci-News. 2014. Three Jurassic Squirrel Species Discovered in China. (11 September).
Friday, 6 November 2015
Earth and Mars don’t look like twins, although astronomically speaking they’re next-door neighbours. They both orbit the Sun in the goldilocks zone and should thus theoretically be able to sustain life.
While some researchers think that once upon a time Mars “sloshed with water," others are not so dogmatic, as it appears to be a dead planet.
Water does not necessarily equate life. Earth has plate tectonics and a big moon that keep it habitable.
The naturalistic worldview does not tolerate exceptions, however. It rejects the view that Earth is special and has to explain why it isn't.
Here’s what TIME suggests:
“The Red Planet could have been a garden world, but something went terribly wrong early in its history. A NASA spacecraft unravels the mystery.”
The title of the newsletter article is Here’s What Murdered Mars, which assumes that the red planet was once blue and green but then meteorites “blasted a lot of the atmosphere into space.”
Even more devastating were the massive solar storms, i.e. coronal mass ejections (CMEs), that “clobbered the planet” and robbed it of more of its gasses.
This scenario is based on the CME recently witnessed by NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft and reported in the journal Science.
Earth was bigger and could better withstand these incidents.
This thinking is based on speculation that in the beginning, conditions for life on Earth were no better than on Mars.
However, it seems obvious that ours has always been a privileged planet that was designed to sustain life.
And Mars was not murdered, as it was never alive.
Kluge, Jeffrey. 2015. Here’s What Murdered Mars. Time newsletter (5 November).
Wednesday, 4 November 2015
Last year, The Telegraph asked whether Richard Dawkins was the ultimate grumpy old man.
Recently, in an interview with CNN, he put to rest all doubts concerning this theory. Or should we, in a Dawkinsian manner, call it a fact.
The evidence is staring at us.
The objects of Dawkins’ ire were non-believers - Republican presidential candidates who were critical of Darwinian evolution:
“This fills me with despair. This is not something you believe in or not. I mean, this is a fact. It is a fact. It’s just as much of a fact as the Earth goes around the Sun. You can’t not believe it unless you’re ignorant.”
Dawkins went on to say that he didn’t think they were ignorant but were merely saying what their supporters expected them to say.
He was especially displeased with famed neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson, who has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and over 60 honorary doctorates.
In contrast, Dawkins has hardly done any science in decades, and has repeatedly used outdated and misleading arguments in favour of evolution.
These include his views on the genetic code, the human eye and Ernest Haeckel’s embryo drawings.
Even the journal Nature has criticised Dawkins for spreading misinformation.
In the CNN interview, Dawkins once again repeated that evolution was “the bedrock of biology.” He said that Carson’s view is “a disgrace. But for a very senior eminent distinguished doctor as he is to say that is even worse. Because of course, evolution is and biology is the bedrock of medicine.”
Dawkins could not resist adding a bit of amateur theology: “It is a form of arrogance to say we know what God does. The only way to know anything is by looking at the evidence. In this particular case, the evidence is overwhelming… In the case of evolution, there is no doubt. It is a fact.”
The problem is that Dawkins is very selective in his use of facts. He disregards all that don’t support molecules-to-man evolution.
Vale, Paul. 2015. Richard Dawkins Vilifies 'Creationist' Presidential Candidates, Calls Dr Ben Carson A 'Disgrace'. The Huffington Post – UK (2 November).
Monday, 2 November 2015
Saturn’s moon Enceladus has been in the news rather frequently in the past few years (see, for instance here, here and here). Last week, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft took some close-ups from this alien world that defies naturalistic expectations.
While researchers could see some ancient terrain, in “other areas, huge grooves and ridges and the absence of craters indicate recent geological activity.”
This seems to be a recurring trend. Planets and moons that were thought to be more or less dormant are displaying signs of relative youth.
It’s the very thing we would expect to see, if we take Genesis at face value.
Sokol, Joshua. 2015. First images of Enceladus’s icy breath from closest ever fly-by. New Scientist (30 October).
Saturday, 31 October 2015
Richard Dawkins and some other evolutionists tend to claim that no reputable scientist doubts evolution. However, Darwinists often define evolution in anything but a precise manner.
If one defines it as gradual development from a common ancestor (goo-to-you, via the zoo), then a very different picture appears:
“The theory of evolution is the great white elephant of contemporary thought. It is large, almost entirely useless, and the object of superstitious awe,” as mathematician David Berlinski famously put it.
There are several lists of scientists who doubt evolution. The best-known one is Discovey Institute’s Scientific Dissent from Darwinism with over 800 names. In addition, the Creation Research Society has over 600 members and Dr. Jerry Bergman has “compiled a list of 3,000 ‘Darwin Skeptics,’ including about a dozen Nobel Prize winners.”
Dr. Bergman has another list of 1,000 scientists who do not want to go public with their dissent. He says that he “could easily complete a list of over 10,000 names,” if he had the time and resources to do so.
Cloud, David. 2015. How Many Scientists Reject Darwinian Evolution? Way of Life Literature (25 March).
Thursday, 29 October 2015
Belief in a billions-of-years-old solar system is becoming increasingly difficult due to some recent discoveries.
The latest scoop came from oxygen found in Comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko. According to New Scientist:
“Oxygen is a volatile chemical that shouldn’t stick around for long in space, and the team couldn’t be sure that it wasn’t coming from the spacecraft itself. But after seven months of observing, they were confident that the oxygen had been buried in the comet since its birth about 4.5 billion years ago.”
It is a huge problem for a worldview not based on Genesis. As yet, no one has figured out a plausible explanation.
And we should not forget that there are many other signs of youth on planets, moons, dwarf planets and even asteroids.
Sokol, Joshua. 2015. Rosetta’s comet has oxygen made before the solar system’s birth. New Scientist 3045 (31 October).
Wednesday, 28 October 2015
In 2011 a paper published in the journal Nature Communications on two harvestmen fossils uses expressions like “surprisingly modern”, “remarkable similarities”, “extensive morphological stasis” and "fully modern body plans", suggesting that the long-legged creatures have hardly changed at all in “305 million years.”
The authors begin with some background information:
“Harvestmen, the third most-diverse arachnid order, are an ancient group found on all continental landmasses, except Antarctica. However, a terrestrial mode of life and leathery, poorly mineralized exoskeleton makes preservation unlikely, and their fossil record is limited. The few Palaeozoic species discovered to date appear surprisingly modern, but are too poorly preserved to allow unequivocal taxonomic placement.”
Then they highlight the importance of their discovery:
“Here, we use high-resolution X-ray micro-tomography to describe two new harvestmen from the Carboniferous (~305 Myr) of France. The resulting computer models allow the first phylogenetic analysis of any Palaeozoic Opiliones, explicitly resolving both specimens as members of different extant lineages, and providing corroboration for molecular estimates of an early Palaeozoic radiation within the order. Furthermore, remarkable similarities between these fossils and extant harvestmen implies extensive morphological stasis in the order. Compared with other arachnids—and terrestrial arthropods generally—harvestmen are amongst the first groups to evolve fully modern body plans.”
Charles Darwin could hardly have anticipated how rapidly the list of living fossils would evolve 150 years after The Origin of Species.
The fossil record is often characterised by stasis, or lack of change – the opposite of what evolutionists would expect.
Garwood, Russell J., Jason A. Dunlop, Gonzalo Giribet and Mark D Sutton. 2011. Anatomically modern Carboniferous harvestmen demonstrate early cladogenesis and stasis in Opiliones. Nature Communications 2: 444.
Monday, 26 October 2015
It’s a tiny lizard, barely 20 centimetres (8 inches) long, but it can glide 8 metres (26 feet). This colourful creature looks like a dragon, so it is no surprise that it’s called Draco volans, or flying dragon.
A fact sheet on the creature explains how it glides:
“The flying dragon has 6 to 7 pairs of ribs which are much longer than others. The skin between the ribs forms a large membrane called the patagium. This membrane can be folded just like a fan. When the lizard glides, it spreads out its ribs foward, forming a gliding surface.”
It’s not the only amazing glider.
The lizard displays the hallmarks of design. Researchers have a hard time explaining why and how these tiny dragons or other creatures took to the air, but here’s one attempt from the journal Integrative and Comparative Biology:
“The evolution of gliding can be cast as a multistep process initiated with an aerial righting reflex, and then followed by behavioral adaptations such that the falling lizard assumes a characteristic splayed posture with the body and tail oriented in the horizontal plane while falling. This allows the lizard to maximize drag and thus to parachute to the ground at a reduced velocity relative to that of a tumbling lizard (Oliver 1951).”
Like all animals, the Draco volans is amazingly well designed to do what it does.
McGuire, Jimmy A. and Robert Dudley. 2011. The Biology of Gliding in Flying Lizards (Genus Draco) and their Fossil and Extant Analogs. Integrative and Comparative Biology, July 2011, 1–8.
Sunday, 25 October 2015
It’s known as a mountain monkey after its Spanish name monito del monte, but it is a marsupial. Evolutionists believe that it is a living fossil,
“the only surviving member of an otherwise extinct lineage dating back more than 40 million years [sic]. Only slightly larger than a mouse, this little marsupial is an excellent climber. The base of the prehensile – or grasping – tail is capable of storing fat, which enables the animals to hibernate during the winter when food is scarce.”
All living fossils are fully functional, highly specified creatures that defy Darwinian storytelling.
Zoological Society of London. 2006. EDGE of Existence programme.
Friday, 23 October 2015
They are not shrews, and they are not big. Elephant shrews are tiny (10 – 30 cm or 5 to 15 inches long) insect eaters living in Africa.
Evolutionists believe that they have remained more or less unchanged for “30 million years.”
With the list of living fossils growing almost weekly, it is becoming difficult to keep count of the number of species that haven’t changed for aeons, i.e. that have not evolved at all.
Natur Spot. n.d. Short-eared elephant-shrew (Macroscelides proboscideus) - A "living fossil" from the Namib-desert.
Thursday, 22 October 2015
Zoologists tend to describe the chevrotain as a very primitive creature as some of its features resemble those of a pig.
A paper published in the journal Zoologica Scripta suggests:
“Tragulids are traditionally considered as the most primitive living ruminants (e.g. Janis 1984), and they still survive as tropical relicts: the water chevrotains (Hyemoschus) of Africa and the mouse deer or Asiatic chevrotain (Tragulus) of south-east Asia. They are characterized by their skeletal and dental features which are primitive within ruminants, and their general shape, digestive system and ethology which are reminiscent to those of pigs (Dubost 1965).”
The chevrotain has hardly changed in “34 million years”. In this context, describing a feature as primitive is a way of saying that there’s been no evolution in this cute little animal.
The enormous number of living fossils should be an embarrassment to a theory (Darwinian evolution) that is often defined as change over time.
Other living fossils include the ant Martialis heureka, pangolin, okapi, tarsier, red panda, sponges, nautilus. koala and starfish, for instance.
I’ve listed some others here.
Métais, Grégoire, Yaowalak Chaimanee, Jean-Jacques Jaeger & Stéphane Ducroc. 2001. New remains of primitive ruminants from Thailand: evidence the early evolution of the Ruminantia in Asia. Zoologica Scripta 30 (4): 231–248 (October 2001).
Tuesday, 20 October 2015
Many evolutionists assume that our planet’s early days were so hot that they call the period the Hadean Era after a place known as Hades.
New research challenges this assumption. Reporting on a recent paper published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), New Scientist says:
“But Elizabeth Bell and Mark Harrison at the University of California, Los Angeles, and their colleagues think life might have existed in the Hadean after all.
They analysed more than 10,000 zircon crystals smaller than a millimetre in length that date from the Archaean and Hadean. In one Hadean crystal they found tiny flecks, or inclusions, of graphite, which must have been incorporated into the zircon crystal when it formed some 4.1 billion years ago.”
This would leave very little time for a naturalistic origin of life, even though the date is accompanied by some naturalistic inflation that cannot be corroborated.
Previous studies suggested that Earth probably had water from the very beginning.
Naturalistic explanations fail to account for the source of the Earth’s water.
Fine-tuning is a much more plausible explanation than a lucky accident. Moreover, the naturalistic scenario includes other weird puzzles, such as snowball earth, that have never been solved.
The most plausible explanation for our origins is given in the Book of Genesis: “In the beginning God created.”
Colin Barras, Colin Barras. 2015. Life may have begun 300 million years earlier than we thought. New Scientist. (19 October).
Monday, 19 October 2015
We might think that guitarfish had a huge problem. A brief article in Science says:
“Like sharks, the giant guitarfish doesn’t have eyelids that close all the way, so it can’t blink. That might guarantee a win in a staring contest, but it does pose problems for eye protection in the sandy, tropical waters where the creature lives.”
But that is by no means the end of the story:
“So when thrashing prey kick sand or bits of coral its way, the guitarfish protects itself with an eye-catching method: retracting its eyes almost completely into its head, leaving a craterlike depression. Now, new research shows that guitarfish can thank a specialized eye muscle for that ability. Using high-speed video, researchers found a guitarfish could sink its eye nearly 40 mm. That’s almost as much as the diameter of the eyeball itself and likely more than any other vertebrate, the researchers reported online before print in Zoology.”
The animal kingdom abounds with sophisticated solutions, for instance in the moth’s eyes, cormorants, the seahorse’s tail, mantis shrimp and the octopus, to name just a few.
These wonders suggest they were designed. And design suggests an All-Wise Designer, whom we call God, and who speaks to us in the Bible.
DeMarco, Emily. 2015. Video: Giant guitarfish eye gymnastics. ScienceShot (16 October).
Sunday, 18 October 2015
When Edward O. Wilson saw the ant, he thought it looked so strange it could have been from Mars. The name, Martialis heureka (‘From Mars! Wow!’) started as a joke, but that is how museums and biology textbooks now know the pale ant that was found in Brazil in 2000.
It does not have compound eyes, and researchers tend to think that it hasn’t changed much in over “100 million years.”
Like other living fossils, this little ant reminds us that stasis or the lack of evolutionary change is very common in the animal kingdom.
In other words, it challenges evolutionary dogma.
Chang, Kenneth. 2008. Scientists Find One Specimen of Bizarre Primitive Ant. The New York Times (17 September).
Saturday, 17 October 2015
In 1655 Robert Hooke’s book Micrographia made history. For the first time people could see what parasites, plants and small insects looked like.
Robert Hooke (1635 –1703) was one of the most important pioneers of modern science. A member of the Royal Society, he was a polymath who has been likened to Leonardo da Vinci.
A ScienceShot article says,
“Robert Hooke was one of history’s most important scientists, coining the word ’cell’ and making profound contributions to timekeeping, astronomy, physics, and microscopy. He also argued, controversially in Micrographia, that fossils were the mineralized remains of ancient living organisms. We’ve learned a lot in the intervening centuries, but Hooke’s illustrations still inspire us to look closer.”
What the brief article in Science does not say is that Hooke gave glory to God. He was humble enough to acknowledge that seeing life through a microscope indicated that compared to us, the Maker of all living beings is really awesome:
““The more we magnify the object, the more excellencies and mysteries do appear; And the more we discover the imperfections of our senses, and the Omnipotency and Infinite perfections of the great Creator.”
Like many other pioneers of modern science, for instance, Sir Isaac Newton and Louis Pasteur, Hooke believed in God, who is introduced to us in the Book of Genesis.
Harrison, Peter. 2001. The Bible, Protestantism and the Rise of Natural Science. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Rogers, Nala. 2015. Hooke opened up the world of the unseen 350 years ago. ScienceShot (16 October).
Thursday, 15 October 2015
Pangolins are intriguing creatures that have hardly changed at all in “45 million years.” According to the University of Berkeley – California website:
“An essentially modern-looking fossil pangolin, Eomanis, has been found in the Eocene of Germany, and another fossil pangolin has been found in the lower Oligocene of North America.”
The ever growing list of living fossils should be an embarrassment for Darwinian evolution, a theory that is supposed to be characterised by change over time from humble beginnings to ever increasing sophistication.
In very many cases, the data do not support this view at all.
(You can read more about living fossils here, here, here, here, here and here.)
University of Berkeley – California. n.d. Pholidota.
Wednesday, 14 October 2015
Charles Darwin and other evolutionists have made up fact-free stories about the assumed evolution of the giraffe’s long neck. What they have failed to notice, however, is that some animals, such as zebras and gazelles, tend to cope well on the savannah with their much shorter necks.
While the okapi (Okapia johnstoni) prefers to live in the rainforest, it is related to the giraffe. 1.5 metres (4.9 ft) tall at the shoulder, it has remained much smaller than its cousin and mostly unchanged for some “18 million years” and is thus assumed to be a living fossil.
Evolution is often defined as change over time, especially when its advocates want to advertise it as a viable theory, but in practice stasis or lack of change in often the norm, for instance in the red panda, nautilus, koala, or Gingko tree, to name only a few of the tens of living fossils found all over the world.