Thursday, 29 June 2017
The Darwinian community has an enormous problem that Science Daily recently tried to downplay.
When Australian fish “separated by 30– 50 million years of evolution" look like they were siblings, this is said to fulfil a Darwinian prediction.
The report was based on a paper published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B and it “identified significant convergence in body form between Australian freshwater terapontid grunters and several distantly related marine fish families.”
Science Daily goes on to exclaim: “Convergent evolution is one of the fundamental predictions of evolutionary theory.”
It is no such thing. In contrast, it falsifies Darwin’s tree of life. Only close relatives should look alike.
But very often genetically distant species look alike, regardless of how long ago they parted ways (in the Darwinian scenario, that is).
Evolutionists resort to convergent evolution as an excuse for why Darwinian predictions fail so often.
James Cook University. 2017. Distant fish relatives share looks. Science Daily (15 June).
Tuesday, 27 June 2017
Consciousness is a ghostly thing in a naturalistic world.
A new paper nonetheless attempts to explain its purpose in a purely Darwinian way.
However, it can only offer some speculations as to why humans are conscious creatures. New Scientist mentions a few advantages of consciousness:
“It may have evolved to help us learn and adapt to changing circumstances far more rapidly and effectively.”
The magazine quotes philosopher of mind Thomas Metzinger at the University of Mainz in Germany, who suggests: “The capacity for rapid, effective learning would almost certainly be something that evolution would have selected and maintained.”
Not a single word about the origin of consciousness. Obviously, natural selection cannot select a trait that does not exist.
It thus seems that in this research, the beef is missing.
New Scientist has previously admitted that evolution does not explain consciousness. Now it seems that its reporters have forgotten what they have said.
Ananthaswamy, Anil. 2017. Consciousness helps us learn quickly in a changing world. New Scientist (27 June).
Sunday, 25 June 2017
The Darwinian version of Earth’s history has plenty of twists and turns. First, nothing happened for billions of years (except some cyanobactria that haven’t changed since and are anything but simple).
Then our planet almost froze to death, but luckily, roughly “635 million” to “541 million years” ago, bizarre creatures emerged that have no place in Darwin’s tree of life.
A recent article in The Conversation and re-published in Live Science admits:
“Despite nearly 70 years of careful study, paleontologists have yet to identify key features among them that would allow us to understand how these organisms are related to modern animals. The forms evident among Ediacaran organisms are, for the most part, truly unique – and we are no closer to understanding their place in evolutionary history.”
The most obvious explanation is that they have none. Like some modern animals, such as the duck-billed platypus and the spiny anteater, they lack ancestors – and thus defy Darwinian expectations.
Parvancorina, a tiny(1-2 centimetres long) sea creature obviously moved in water. Image courtesy of Matteo De Stefano/MUSE-Science Museum, Creative Commons (CC BY-SA).
Some Ediacaran creatures were rather complex. Moreover, some of them might still be living in our time.
Darroch, Simon and Imran Rahman. 2017. The Lives of Weird 500-Million-Year-Old Creatures Revealed. Live Science (25 June).
Friday, 23 June 2017
New research published in the journal Nature Communications suggests that we may have an inbuilt GPS system that enables us to find our way.
Dutch researchers Jeroen Bos, Martin Vinck, Cyriel Pennartz and colleagues have “identified a new type of neuron which might play a vital role in humans' ability to navigate their environments.”
An article in Science Daily gives us the gist of what they found out:
“The ability to make fine grained assessments of location is seated in the hippocampus, a seahorse-shaped structure located in the temporal lobe. Research shows that the precise mechanism for navigation includes hippocampal place cells, which increase or decrease in electrical activity depending on one's location. However, when making their daily commute, people don't need very detailed representations of which houses they pass in which order. Instead, they can make due with more course information.”
They made rats navigate their way in a maze and looked at what parts of the brain they mainly used.
Jeroen Bos, the lead author of the paper, thinks they found a new type of neuron, which they dubbed the ‘neighbourhood cell.’
“This neuron seems to enable the brain to specifically differentiate between distinct segments (‘neighbourhoods’) of the environment,” he says.
Our big brain is a Darwinian enigma that keeps on giving surprises to neuroscientists.
Its amazingly complex interactions cannot be explained away by Darwinian just so stories.
Universiteit van Amsterdam (UVA). 2017. New 'GPS' neuron discovered. Science Daily. (29 May).
Wednesday, 21 June 2017
The fossil record can be a nightmare for Darwinian evolution, as animals often appear fully formed in the wrong places, don’t evolve for aeons and any assumed intermediate forms (aka missing links) tend to be more or less suspicious.
Usually more, as in the case of Ida (Darwinius masillae).
Evolutionists used to believe that dino-era mammals were tiny, until a fossil discovery suggested that at least some of them actually ate dinosaurs.
These dino-eaters looked a lot like Tasmanian devils, although researchers were quick to give them a different name.
Hu, Yaoming et al. 2005. Large Mesozoic mammals fed on young dinosaurs. Nature 433, 149-152.
Monday, 19 June 2017
The Gihon Spring was the main source of the water for the Pool of Siloam in Jerusalem and is mentioned in the Bible.
Some archaeologists assumed that a stone tower built to guard the water system hailed from circa 1700 BC.
However, Elisabetta Boaretto and colleagues recently carbon dated the remains of charcoal, seeds and bones found in the sediments and found out that precious studies had overlooked half a metre of sediment, representing hundreds of years.
This means that the tower was erected a lot later, between 900 BC and 800 BC, during the time of King David’s descendants, just like the Old Testament tells us.
The previous date was based on pottery and other artefacts.
Just like we would expect, archaeology has confirmed that the Bible describes ancient history and culture accurately.
It recounts real events, real people and even real catastrophes, such as earthquakes.
Geggel, Laura. 2017. Ancient Jerusalem Tower Is (Much) Younger Than Thought. Live Science (16 June).
Saturday, 17 June 2017
Evolutionists would agree that cyanobacteria are one of the oldest organisms alive today. These tiny bacteria have hardly changed in “3 billion years” or so.
A news item published by the University of Liverpool, UK. states:
“Cyanobacteria are a phylum of bacteria that produce oxygen and energy during photosynthesis, similar to green plants. They are among the most abundant organisms in oceans and fresh water. Unique internal ‘machines’ in cyanobacteria, called carboxysomes, allow the organisms to convert carbon dioxide to sugar and provide impacts on global biomass production and our environment.”
They are anything but simple.
Carboxysomes are so elegant and efficient that researchers would like to draw inspiration from how they work:
“The self-assembly and modularity features of carboxysomes make them interesting systems for nanoscientists, synthetic biologists and bioengineers, who hope to find ways to design new nanomaterials and nano-bioreactors.”
Darwinian mechanisms cannot produce tiny machines that are far more effective than anything human researchers have come up with.
University of Liverpool. 2017. Nanotechnology reveals hidden depths of bacterial ‘machines’. (8 June).
Thursday, 15 June 2017
How long does it take to form a canyon? It depends.
Charles Darwin thought it took millions of years, but he was wrong.
Remember Mount Saint Helens? In June 1980 a single lava flow formed over 7.5 metres (25 feet) of sediment in just three hours.
Zion Canyon was formed in a landslide in almost no time at all.
Da'an River in Taiwan carved a a 25-metre (82 feet) wide gorge in a few years.
Then there’s Canyon Lake Gorge in Texas, a 1.6-kilometre (1 mile) long canyon was formed in just three days in a single flood in 2002.
Just imagine what a year-long global flood with plenty of water could do.
Lamb, Michael P. and Mark A. Fonstad. 2010. Rapid formation of a modern bedrock canyon by a single flood event. Nature Geoscience 3, 477 – 481.
Tuesday, 13 June 2017
When it comes to defying heat, the dwarf swan-neck moss (Campylopus pyriformis) is the plant kingdom’s extreme champion.
Introduced to us in a paper published in the Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand, it can thrive in a volcanic environment where the temperature rises to 72°C.
Some animals and plants can survive in almost impossible conditions.
But as far as we know, only on Earth.
This reminds us of both Creation and the Fall.
Ceurstemont, Sandrine. 2017. Extreme plants thrive at 72°C in New Zealand’s hot volcanic soil. New Scientist (9 June).
Sunday, 11 June 2017
How do you preserve a mushroom for 115 million years? After all, they tend to disintegrate in just a few days.
Live Science attempts to give us an explanation: The poor mushroom fell into a river and was fossilised.
This is followed by more storytelling:
“After the mushroom fell into the river, it floated into a salty lagoon and sank to the bottom, where fine sediments began to cover it. Over time, the mushroom mineralized, and its tissues were replaced with pyrite, a mineral also known as fool's gold. Later, the pyrite transformed into the mineral goethite.”
Discovered in Brazil's Crato Formation, the mushroom is a mere 5 centimetres (2 inches) tall. Named Gondwanagaricites magnificus, it is the oldest known mushroom fossil.
Fossilisation is a very tricky business. It has to happen extremely fast.
The Flood of Noah’s days would have provided excellent conditions for preserving creatures of all shapes and sizes.
Geggel, Laura. 2017. World's Oldest Fossilized Mushroom Sprouted 115 Million Years Ago. Live Science (7 June).
Friday, 9 June 2017
Sceptics should probably stop questioning the source of the water that covered our entire planet during Noah’s days.
In 2014, research suggested that enormous amounts of water are hidden right beneath our feet, trapped in a mineral called ringwoodite.
A new paper published in the journal Science Advances confirms this discovery and proposes that there is almost as much water 410 to 660 kilometres beneath us than there is in the oceans.
And the water has been there for aeons: A recent study suggested that Earth makes its own water.
Modern science is finally catching up with Genesis: We now know that our extremely unique blue planet had water from the very beginning.
There’s watery evidence of Noah’s flood in many places, for instance under the Andes, in arid Northern Kenya and probably also in Greenland.
Coghlan, Andy. 2017. There’s as much water in Earth’s mantle as in all the oceans. New Scientist (7 June).
Wednesday, 7 June 2017
Some museums and textbooks (as well as Wikipedia, of course) have put feathers on T. rex although there is no fossil evidence that these huge reptiles ever sported them.
Recently, Dr Phil Bell (University of New England, Australia) and colleagues published a paper in the journal Biology Letters, examining skin impressions from a famous T. rex skeleton known as Wyrex.
They found no evidence of feathers.
In contrast, they found “scaly reptilian-like skin.”
However, belief in feathered dinosaurs will probably not become extinct in the very near future. Some experts have already come up with excuses for why this T. rex lacks the fluffiness they expected to see.
The Darwinian community has had to face serious problems in recent years with the discovery of Arctic dinosaurs, as well as soft tissue (that has almost become the norm) and radiocarbon (C-14) in dinosaur bone, which in effect falsifies belief in millions of years.
In addition, we have learnt that some dinosaur species never even existed.
Briggs, Helen. 2017. Study casts doubt on the idea of 'big fluffy T. rex' BBC News (7 June).
Monday, 5 June 2017
Researchers have recently learnt of, though not necessarily solved, new mysteries about trees. Who could have thought that they tend to sleep at night?
An older discovery is that they have self-assembling solar panels.
A recent paper published in the journal Ecology looks at a peculiar trait in Cook pines (Araucaria columnaris). On average, they tilt by 8.55 degrees, which happens to be twice as much as the Leaning Tower of Pisa does.
What is more, of the 256 Cook pines examined, all tilted towards the Equator.
They might do so to get more sunlight.
Like the Wollemi Pine (Wollemia nobilis), other Araucaria lived during the (assumed) heydays of the dinosaurs.
Researchers have found pollen grains of Araucaria araucana or the monkey puzzle tree below the ice cover in Antarctica, suggesting that Noah’s Flood left them there some 4,500 years ago.
Flowers also have some amazing traits. Blue leaves help them get more energy from the sun.
Malhotra, Richa. 2017. The strange Cook pine trees that always lean towards the equator. New Scientist (2 June).
Saturday, 3 June 2017
“If life can thrive on Earth’s ocean floors, feeding on the chemicals that gush from the rocks, why not on Europa too?” New Scientist asked recently.
The assumption behind this question is that given the chance, life will appear spontaneously almost anywhere.
However, there is no evidence for this and all origin of life hypotheses have turned out to be utter failures.
Life needs more than just water.
Europa obviously has a liquid ocean beneath its arid surface and naturalists are pinning their hopes on it.
But life needs design and design needs information. They are both non-material entities.
What makes the case even worse for their hopes is that Europa looks far too young to fit into a 4.5 billion- year- old solar system.
Battersby, Stephen. 2017. Send an ear: Listening for sounds of life in the solar system. New Scientist (31 May).
Thursday, 1 June 2017
Dr. Olivia Doll sits on the editorial board of seven medical journals.
Her CV says that she holds a degree from Subiaco College of Veterinary Science, where she currently works as senior lecturer and is an expert in canine massage. It also lists her past work at Shenton Park Institute for Canine Refuge Studies.
Dr. Olivia Doll happens to be a Staffordshire terrier named Ollie. The Shenton Park Institute is a code term for a dog shelter.
The five-year-old terrier is owned by Professor Mike Daube. He invented Dr. Doll’s credentials in an attempt to examine how carefully medical journals vet their reviewers.
Not very carefully, obviously.
None of the journals suspected anything fishy about this reviewer. She was even offered the position of associate editor of the Global Journal of Addiction and Rehabilitation Medicine.
Peer review and proper scientific conduct seem to be in a crisis. Journals have accepted bogus papers, and scientific misconduct thrives in the Darwinian world.
Ghose, Tia. 2017. Dog 'Scientist' Sits on Editorial Board of Medical Journals. Live Science (31 May).