Creationism News -- May 2012 -- 2012 5 Dedicated to David Coppedge who sacrificed his career as the Head Systems Administrator for the Cassini Spacecraft in JPL to honor the Creator of the Universe. He also spent literally thousands of hours to make his excellent websites. The contents of this presentation were taken from various sources. Thank God that David Coppedge came back from the lawsuit after two months of vacation. Pray for the results of the lawsuit. I now resume using his website materials. Pastor Chui http://ChristCenterGospel.org [email protected] 01/27/20 1 Creatures of Light Discover (May 2012) announces that in the American Museum of Natural History in New York City many exhibits on creatures of light: New Zealand cave where gnat larvae string glowing lines to ensnare the
insects they eat; the underwater world of a jellyfish that absorbs blue light and radiates flashes of green. Live light-emitting creatures include a tank of flashlight fish, who lure the shrimp and plankton they eat with a blue-green glow, produced by bacteria living in translucent sacks under their eyes. 01/27/20 2 Learning from the Octopus Discover (May 2012) reports that Rafe Sagarin observed that top-down management and bureaucratic inertia stymied government efforts to adapt to constantly evolving security threats. He promotes an alternative strategy he calls natural security: the idea that we can model our own strategies on the survival techniques of highly successful organisms. Its a humbling thought, but Homeland Security may have a lot to gain from studying octopuses, whose skin cells can adapt to threats without reporting to or taking orders from a central brain.
01/27/20 3 The Taste of Tomorrow Discover (May 2012) reports that Josh Schonwald first heard of cobia, a steaklike fish that some seafood industry say will soon become a culinary staple. As his investigations progress, Schonwald realizes that any vision of the future food must balance ethical and environmental concerns with culinary ones. While he optimistically champions biotechs potential to make the future more sustainable, most of the possibilities that he exploressuch as lab-grown meat, a food pill, and saltwater fish raised indoorsare still a long way from reaching our plates. 01/27/20 4 Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone
Discover (May 2012) reports the Yellowstone National Park powers the 10,000 springs, geysers, and other thermal features located where magma-heated water and steam come simmering to the surface. Yellowstones biggest hot spring, Grand Prismatic, also hosts some of the planets strangest, hardiest life, which thrives at temperatures up to 180 degrees F. Water flows from the ground at 560 gallons per minute. Brilliant green, yellow, brown, and orange bacterial mates encircle the spring. Some bacteria use arsenic instead of phosphorus in their DNA! This is still controversial. 01/27/20 5 Transit of Venus over the Sun (June 5) 6 5 Discover (May 2012) reports on June 5, 2012, Venus will pass over the sun. This can be seen all over US on a cloudless day. Use a sheet of welders glass or project an image with a telescope. The next chance wont come until 2117! You will see a black dot which will move over the solar disk. The observations can be
used to calculate the distance between us and our star. That was how the astronomer Edmond Halley did it in 1716. 01/27/20 6 Human Organ for Transplant Discover (May 2012) has an interesting article on organ transplant. In 2011, doctors in the US transplanted some 21,000 organs from deceased donors, obtained through 58 organ procurement organizations. Heart donations must be transplanted within 4 to 6 hours; livers have 24 hours; kidneys can last 2 days before expiration. Kidneys are the most common organ transplanted. In 2011 more than 15,000 people received kidney transplants; 10,000 came from deceased donors. Liver, heart, lung, pancreas, and intestine come next, in that order. Acceptable organ donors range from newborn to over 65. Seniors can donate corneas, skin, and bone. 113,000 people are still waiting. 18 people die waiting for an organ each day. 01/27/20
7 Things you didnt know about allergies Discover (May 2012) has an interesting article on allergies. According to NIH, more than 50% of Americans have allergies. Most food allergies result from an immune response to a protein. Parasites can distract the immune system from food allergies. Allergies to shellfish, nuts, fish, milk, eggs, and other foods cause an estimated 150 to 200 deaths a year in the US. A walk in the grass can turn you into a vegan. Tick bites can cause the immune system to produce antibodies to alpha-gal, a carbohydrate in beef, pork, and lamb. These antibodies can induce allergic reactions to meat. Human dander can cause allergic rashes in dogs and cats, and in other humans. Jewelry containing nickel can trigger a lifelong metal allergy. 01/27/20 8 Planetary Radiometric Dates 1/3 Younger
1/3 http://crevo.info reports: The half-lives of radioactive isotopes may not be as well-known as thought. One decay rate frequently used to date solar system objects had to be adjusted down to 66% of its former assumed value, impacting theories of planet formation. PhysOrg headlined, Faster-Ticking Clock Indicates Early Solar System May Have Evolved Faster Than We Think. The old decay rate for samarium-146 (146Sm) was re-evaluated by a team from Argonne National Laboratory, Hebrew University, two Japanese universities and the University of Notre Dame. The old value of 103 million years for its half-life was recalculated at 68 million years, two-thirds of its previously measured value. 01/27/20 9 Planetary Radiometric Dates 1/3 Younger 1/3 http://crevo.info reports: The smaller value, previously adopted as 103
million years, to a much shorter value of 68 million years, the article continued. It has the effect of shrinking the assessed chronology of events in the early solar system and in planetary differentiation into a shorter time span, the article said. The story was reported a month ago by Science Daily. 01/27/20 10 Planetary Radiometric Dates 1/3 Younger 1/3 http://crevo.info reports: The article put a positive spin on this adjustment, saying, The new time scale, interestingly, is now consistent with a recent and precise dating made on a lunar rock and is in better agreement with the dating obtained with other chronometers. It seems they could just as well
have said that the other chronometers are now cast into doubt by the adjustment of 146Sm, which was also considered a precise chronometer till now. 01/27/20 11 Planetary Radiometric Dates 1/3 Younger 1/3 http://crevo.info reports: In any case, it is disturbing that a physical value that is out there in the world could be found to be so far off by human measurement. How many published papers are affected by this change? Papers often quote radiometric dates to 4 or more significant figures. Theorists rely on these values. If values are not discovered but adopted, is it possible there was motivation by theorists to adopt a different value to create consistency with other chronometers? Does the new value make the assessed chronology of events in the early system more or less plausible? What will be the ripple effect from here on for a chronometer that ticks 33% faster than previously thought? Who will go back and
correct theories based on the previous value? These are questions the press releases never ask. 01/27/20 12 Earth Myths with a Sprinkling of Data According to Live Science, Bill Hammond has been measuring uplift of the Sierra Nevada range since 2000. Currently they have measured about a millimeter or two of uplift a year for less than 12 years. Launching from that, the article stated: The amount might seem small, but the data indicate that longterm trends in crustal uplift suggest the modern Sierra could be formed in less than 3 million years, which is relatively quick when compared to estimates using some geological techniques. This represents an extrapolation of five orders of magnitude (stretching 12 years of data to suggest what happened in 3 million years). Nevertheless, they are convinced they have determined a
young uplift for the California mountain range. Despite the bold announcements, Hammond said, The Sierra Nevada uplift process is fairly unique on Earth and not well understood. 01/27/20 13 Earth Myths with a Sprinkling of Data Even more hubris was displayed in another article, Earth history and evolution, on PhysOrg. The opening paragraph is the operative statement about mythology referred to in our title: In classical mythology, the cypress tree is associated with death, the underworld and eternity. Indeed, the family to which cypresses belong, is an ancient lineage of conifers, and a new study of their evolution affords a unique insight into a turbulent era in the Earths history.
This article claimed that genetic data between several genera of cypress thought to have evolved independently after a mythical supercontinent, Pangea, split apart, has revolutionized the field of biogeography and given us understanding of earth history. 01/27/20 14 Earth Myths with a Sprinkling of Data The new study confirms that cypresses represent a very old plant family. Their origins can be traced back to Pangea, and the evolutionary divergence of the northern and southern subfamilies of cypresses actually reflects the break-up of Pangea about 153 million years ago. This adds another couple of orders of magnitude to the extrapolations from data evaluated in the present. The insight generated comes with some caveats, however. Some groups
have turned out to be surprisingly young in evolutionary terms, others much older than people had assumed. It appears that using assumptions about a law of nature concerning evolutionary rates requires sacrificing laws of nature in other aspects of the story. 01/27/20 15 Earth Myths with a Sprinkling of Data Lets take stock of what we know (or think we know) based on the data presented. (1) The Sierras have risen 1 or 2 millimeters per year since 2000, give or take the uncertainties that always need to be factored into any measurement. (2) Certain selected genes in certain selected species of cypress have a measurable percent difference, give or take the
uncertainties that always need to be factored into any measurement. Thats it. The rest is interpretation. 01/27/20 16 Earth Myths with a Sprinkling of Data Are you better off with modern mythology than the Greeks and Romans were? The fighting gods of classical lore have been lumped into a new god named Evolution that performs whatever miracles are necessary to keep the myth going. We are told new lineages were established. By whom? Evolution, the god of death, the underworld and eternity. Evolution weaves tales of turbulent eras in earth history when he fought the Earth Giants, splitting continents and sending the spirits of Life Force on separate evolutionary trajectories. We dont see Evolution, but through his oracles, we gain understanding. We
envision detailed pictures. We achieve unique 01/27/20 17 insight. We Became Human by Mistake Live Science headlined in bold print, Did a Copying Mistake Build Mans Brain? (We assume this includes womans brain, but this could arouse controversy, depending on whether the mistake is deemed a good or bad thing). Not to be outdone, New Scientist titled their version in a less sexist way, One gene helped human brains become complex. The provocative headline stems from new research from the Scripps Research Institute that identified a gene that appears to result from 01/27/20 18
a gene duplication: We Became Human by Mistake There are approximately 30 genes that were selectively duplicated in humans, study researcher Franck Polleux, of The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif., said in a statement. These are some of our most recent genomic innovations. An extra copy of a gene gives evolution something to work with: Like modeling clay, this gene isnt essential like the original copy, so changes can be made to it without damaging the resulting organism. By selectively duplicated, Polleux was clearly referring to natural selection, not selection by an intelligent designer wanting to make humans smarter. The gene, SRGAP2, appears to be involved in the efficient organization of the cerebral cortex.
01/27/20 19 We Became Human by Mistake When the researchers added the partially duplicated gene copy to the mouse genome (mice dont normally have it) it seemed to speed the migration of brain cells during development, which makes brain organization more efficient. The mice, however, were not observed to start writing music or philosophy. Somehow, using evolutionary dating assumptions, the Scripps team was able to surmise that this gene got duplicated not once, but twice in human evolution: the first time 3.5 million years ago, when it duplicated completely,
and again 2.5 million years ago, when only part of it got duplicated. 01/27/20 20 We Became Human by Mistake These cells that expressed the incomplete duplication of SRGAP2 also had more spines knoblike extensions on the cell surface that connect with other brain cells, which make them look more like human brain cells. Interestingly, the incomplete copy of the gene seems to have showed up just as the extinct hominin Australopithecus made room for the genus Homo, which led to modern humans. Thats also when the brains of our ancestors began to expand and when dramatic changes in cognitive abilities are likely to have emerged. Sarah Reardon in New Scientist expanded the story to imagine different
lineages of humans with different numbers of gene duplications of SRGAP2. When it comes to brain development, slow and steady wins the race, she began. A single ancestral human gene that made two copies of itself may have helped the evolution of our large brains 2.5 million years ago, as our ancestors were diverging from australopithecines. 01/27/20 21 We Became Human by Mistake Whats interesting about the duplication, Eichler says, is that it would have changed brain development immediately and dramatically. Human ancestors with two, three, or even more copies of SRGAP2 and consequently stark differences in their cognitive abilities could have been running around together at one point. Thats fun to think about, he says. Live Science was even more dramatic about the scientific earthquake
generated by this fun thought. Eichler said, These episodic and large duplication events could have allowed for radical potentially Earthshattering changes in brain development and brain function. Yet so little is understood about how the matter of the brain connects to the mind, the self, cognition and intelligence, as an essay by Sumit PaulChoudhury explored on New Scientist. Along that line, perhaps another PhysOrg article would be appropriate in connection with the daring assertions above: Has modern science become dysfunctional? 01/27/20 22 We Became Human by Mistake OK; if this is a new law of nature, lets count all the SRGAP2 genes in mammals and see how they correlate with cognitive function. Are you smarter because of knoblike spines on your brain cells? If so, IQ should be a direct reflection of your knobs, making some people Einsteins and others witless knobs who are spineless. Heres the question you should ask when reading
stupid claims like this. How would they ever know? If evolution made a mistake and duplicated a gene, then our intelligence arrived by mistake. But evolution is what evolution does; i.e., this was not a mistake at all. Stuff happens. 01/27/20 23 We Became Human by Mistake Now, if an evolutionist wants to reach outside of evolution and engage in philosophy, to determine whether something was mistaken, or whether a mouses brain is less efficient than a human brain, then he (or she) is making reference to Truth, something that is outside of nature. Truth must be timeless, universal, necessary, and certain. It is not made of particles, and cannot evolve. If, on the other hand, the scientist says that science is not about Truth, but about exploration, then the game is over. Science is not about finding the truth. Its just something fun to think
about (whatever thinking refers to in a primate brain with more or less knobs and spines). Maybe its the kind of fun a chimpanzee gets from scratching its butt. So if scratching your head or your butt is fun, have at it. Enjoy; both ends are equally cognitive. 01/27/20 24 Coelacanth: Survival of the Dullest A new fossil species of coelacanth was discovered in Canada. Scientists think from its tail fin shape that it was a fast swimmerperhaps a hunter. Sadly, it was a spectacular failure in evolution. The luck of the evolutionary draw went to todays slow-moving, docile species. PhysOrg states that the new fossil rewrites the history of ancient fish. The discoverers named it Rebellatrix, calling it a rebel that does everything a coelacanth should not do. Modern coelacanths have broad tails
and are fairly docile, but the discoverers think that the forked tail in Rebellatrix indicates it was a fast swimmer with a muscular tail fin. 01/27/20 25 Coelacanth: Survival of the Dullest National Geographic pointed out what this means to evolutionary theory: In general, the discovery shows how plastic and flexible evolution can be, said John Long, a coelacanth expert at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County in California. It really shakes things up that coelacanths can suddenly deviate what theyve been doing for 200 million years and
occupy a lifestyle thats radically different from other coelacanths. Still, the fossil record shows that the slow-moving version of the coelacanth ultimately won out, while the speedy Rebellatrix was replaced by sharks and other cruising predators, study leader Wendruff said. I like to say Rebellatrix was a spectacular failure. 01/27/20 26 Coelacanth: Survival of the Dullest National Geographic also reminded readers about the historic importance of the coelacanth as a living fossil: The coelacanth (pronounced SEE-la-kanth) is a type of primitive, slowmoving fish that was thought extinct until its rediscovery in 1938, the article said. The modern fish is sometimes called a living fossil, because it apparently existed largely unchanged for 320 million years. The new find shows that only one species remains from
a past diversity survival of the dullest. 01/27/20 27 Coelacanth: Survival of the Dullest Too bad for all the social Darwinists in the 1930s who glorified strength, speed, warfare and might as the evolutionary law of nature. If youre a modern evolutionist, maybe you should take a cue from the surviving coelacanths and pursue slothfulness (one of the seven deadly sins). Better yet, ditch Darwinism as a falsified Victorian myth. Surviving largely unchanged for 320 million years should be a colossal embarrassment. So is imagining these creatures going extinct millions of years ago then finding them doing just fine off the coast of India. Remember, too, that the coelacanth had long been touted as a missing link, its bony fins suggesting it was a transitional form between fish with fins and feet. Now that coelacanths still have those bony fins but dont use them for anything resembling
walking, that notion has been soundly debunked. Its a survivor; why call it primitive? 01/27/20 28 Stem Cells Getting Healthier How they work: Researchers in the Netherlands found a new way to culture mouse embryonic stem cells in vitro. They found to their surprise, according to Science Daily, that the stem cells seem to be on hold, their gene expression inhibited, rather than actively transcribing genes as previously believed. From this state, the ES cells can efficiently specialize, the article said. Embryonic self-sacrifice: Researchers at the North Carolina School of Medicine found that embryonic stem cells will commit suicide rather than risk DNA damage. A protein called Bax, responsible for programmed cell death, is activated but kept in a safe place in the Golgi apparatus for the crucial days of embryonic development. If DNA damage occurs, Bax migrates to the mitochondrion, where it initiates cell death. PhysOrg titled its
report, Stem cells poised to self-destruct for the good of the embryo, as if they will fall on their swords for the good of the 01/27/20 29 organism rather than let DNA damage propagate. Stem Cells Getting Healthier Safe adult cells: Techniques for inducing pluripotent stem cells from tissues (iPS) continue to improve. PhysOrg reported that researchers at Johns Hopkins verified that iPS cells contain no more genetic changes than normal cells. This adds confidence that therapies developed from them will be safe, not adding cancer risk. Skipping a step: According to Science Daily, researchers at Duke University were able to generate heart muscle tissue from scar tissue without going through a stem cell stage by programming microRNAs to turn scar cells back into heart muscle cells. By eliminating the need for a stem cell transplant, this promises to improve the hopes of
damage repair for heart attack patients. 01/27/20 30 Stem Cells Getting Healthier Dystrophy hope: It seems like forever that people have raised money for muscular dystrophy patients. Is any progress being made? Yes; according to PhysOrg, researchers at the University of Minnesota have demonstrated a therapy using iPS cells that has been shown to be effective in the treatment of muscular dystrophy. The mouse model sets the stage for human clinical trials. Researchers were able to deliver muscle progenitor cells from iPS cells. Upon transplantation into mice suffering from muscular dystrophy, human skeletal myogenic progenitor cells provided both extensive and long-term muscle regeneration which resulted in improved muscle function, the article said.
01/27/20 31 Stem Cells Getting Healthier The good work continues to come from adult stem cells and iPS cells which, unlike embryonic stem cells (ES), are ethically sound (not involving the destruction of a human embryo). The ES promoters offer hope with hype. Due to these unique properties, expectations for the use of ES cells in the clinic are high, but ES cells therapies have not yet been developed to full potential, the first Science Daily article stated. If iPS cells do better with fewer problems and no moral concerns, why is there a dispute? Let human embryos develop into human beings, but let adult tissue cells be reprogrammed to heal. 01/27/20
32 Follow the Leader: Plants and Animals Need solutions to engineering problems? Look no further than the plants and animals around you. Thats what more and more scientists are doing. How dry I am: Lotus leaves and gecko toes stay clean and dry because they repel water very effectively. They do this with structures that are billionths of a meter in size. The BBC News reported how an Australian team of chemists has created a superhydrophobic surface that is impossible to wet by imitating the properties of the lotus leaf and gecko foot. A short video clip shows how water just beads off the surface. This technology could lead to better raincoats and self-cleaning fabrics. 01/27/20 33 Follow the Leader: Plants and Animals
Got those butterfly blues: Nature News reported that a Korean team has successfully imitated the microstructure of a Morpho butterfly wing to create the same shimmering blue color that can be seen from many angles when the insect flies. The butterfly uses a combination of regularly-spaced ridges and randomness: The tight, semi-random packing of the ridges makes the wings appear bright across a wide range of viewing angles. The Korean team deposited silica microspheres onto a surface and then sprayed layers of titanium dioxide and silicon dioxide over them, Nature said. The resulting film had just the right mix of regularity and disorder to create the even 01/27/20 34 blue colouring. Follow the Leader: Plants and Animals
The nose knows: An electronic nose is closer to reality, thanks to work by a team from the American Institute of Physics. They placed DNA molecules specially designed to react to certain chemicals on carbon nanotubes that conduct electricity. PhysOrg said, The researchers are next interested in creating something akin to an actual electronic nose consisting of many individual DNA-based sensors performing the same role as an olfactory receptor. In biological noses, though, a huge variety of chemicals can be differentiated by a signal chain that expands and compresses the input signals through codes. It appears the electronic version uses a one-to-one type 01/27/20 35 of signalling. Follow the Leader: Plants and Animals Spider men: The dragline silk of garden spiders continues to baffle materials scientists who would really like to imitate it. Part of the problem is that about 10% of the spiders silk is ordered, and 90% is
disordered. Researchers from Argonne National Lab looked at the disordered portion for clues, PhysOrg reported, untangling the mysteries of spider silk. The amorphous regions are made up of all these proteins that are incredibly complicated, one researcher said. Another remarked, When it comes to silks, humans are just so far behind nature in terms of the quality of the materials that we can produce. Solving the mysteries of spider silk may bring wonderful new products possessing flexibility and strength to the marketplace. Other teams are looking at silkworms for additional ideal materials, reported PhysOrg. Think of the advantages: As produced by spiders and insects, natural silks are made under benign conditions ambient temperature, low pressure, and with water as solvent. Its a cinch that this is something we should aim to copy when designing 01/27/20 36 and making fibers for the future. Follow the Leader: Plants and Animals Make like a squid: Wouldnt it be cool to have clothes that could flicker with color rapidly? Squid, octopi and cuttlefish make this trick look easy. Engineers at the University of Bristol
are making it happen, reported Science Daily; they have created artificial muscles that can be transformed at the flick of a switch to mimic the remarkable camouflaging abilities of organisms such as squid and zebrafish. Imitating the chromatophores in squid and zebrafish, the team developed artificial versions made of polymers connected to electrical circuits. This might lead to smart clothing that can imitate natures camouflage something that might help a soldier vanish into a changing environment some day. Lead author Jonathan Rossiter said, We have taken inspiration from natures designs and exploited the same methods to turn our artificial muscles into striking visual effects. 01/27/20 37 Follow the Leader: Plants and Animals
Workin on the railroad: Inspired by the molecular machines in the cell that move cargo along microtubules, British researchers have created a molecular track and a two-legged walker molecule that can move along it. Its as clumsy as a stick figure compared to a real machine, PhysOrg noted, but its a start. If scientists use intelligent design to create materials and machines that imitate biological counterparts, how can anyone think that the biological ones, that are almost always superior to the artificial ones, are products of unguided processes? The inference to intelligent design is clear. There was no mention of evolution in any of these articles, once again, showing that Darwinism is useless in the rapidly-expanding field of biomimetics. Speaking of which, can anybody think of anything useful Darwins Stuff Happens Law has done for mankind? 01/27/20 38 Evolution for Men and Women
Y chromosome? Because it is a unique structure, the Y chromosome in human males seems more subject to deleterious mutations. The Y is also unable to distribute linked genes through recombination, a process that makes selection more effective, the article claimed. Earlier claims that the Y chromosome is evolving away to extinction were premature. PhysOrg reassures males, Men can rest easy sex chromosomes are here to stay, even though a study from University College London was done on chickens (no epithets, now). Humans have a unique Y chromosome in males, but chickens have a unique W chromosome in females. A research team examined how sex-linked genes on the W chromosome are passed on. 01/27/20 39 Evolution for Men and Women
The results confirm that although these chromosomes have shrunk over millions of years, and have lost many of their original genes, those that remain are extremely important in predicting fertility and are, therefore, unlikely to become extinct. Professor Judith Mank, from the UCL Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment and senior author said: Y chromosomes are here to stay, and are not the genetic wasteland that they were once thought to be. It was nice of her to rescue the opposite sex. Mank studied sexlinked expression of genes in a variety of chicken breeds and found that they adapt to selection pressures. She deduced that female-specific selection related to fertility acts to shape the W chromosome, and that the chromosome is able to respond to that selection despite all the problems with the lack 01/27/20 40 of recombination. Evolution for Men and Women
To her, this means evolvability is the key to their success: Professor Mank said: We have shown that Y and W chromosomes are very important in fertility the Y in males and the W in females. It is the ability of the W-linked genes to evolve that is the key to their survival, and which suggests that both the Y and the W chromosomes are with us for the long haul. Oddly, this implies that survival of the fittest applies to both the XX and the XY combinations: selection 01/27/20 has produced opposite strategies that both work.41 Evolution for Men and Women
Udder disaster: Female mammals lactate, but milk is loaded with calcium. Why dont breasts calcify into stiff, hard structures, like bone? Just the thought is rather disconcerting to both sexes. New Scientist came along to explain Why milk doesnt turn breasts to bone. First, the Darwin commercial: Charles Darwin suggested that lactation evolved through natural selection, starting when the ancestors of mammals gained a nutritional advantage from lapping up sweat-like secretions from glands under their mothers skin. This idea had some grounding. Darwin would have studied monotremes egg-laying mammals such as the echidna. Monotremes have nipple-less mammary patches, and these 01/27/20 secrete a fluid that provides moisture to permeable eggs. 42 Evolution for Men and Women Reporter Catherine de Lange introduced a
problem: milk has 100 times the calcium and 1000 times the protein of these glands. The glands (one would think) would calcify over time, and the milk would quickly build toxic fibrils around them. A pair of researchers, Carl Holt (University of Glasgow) and John Carver (University of Adelaide) found what keeps breast tissue soft and supple. Milk casein has the ability to squirrel away the stiffening calcium phosphate into micelles naturally occurring polar molecular aggregates akin to soap bubbles. 01/27/20 43 Evolution for Men and Women The Darwin commercial came back for the last line: Holt and Carver say that the concentration of these spherical micelles in milk may have increased over evolutionary time, producing a progressively more nutritious fluid.
True to form, Charles Darwin suggested that something evolved over millions of years. Thats because Darwin liberated science from rigor and introduced storytelling into science. Now, instead of making scientists work the old-fashioned hard way, by trying to tie laws of nature to their effects, he introduced the power of suggestion granting scientists the ability to employ their imaginations and weave tall tales. 01/27/20 44 Evolution for Men and Women His method was to introduce a new law of nature with an impressive name: natural selection. If its natural, it must be good, right? What he meant was that random variations occur. But selection has the feel of intelligent design about it a problem he aggravated in The Origin by comparing it to artificial selection (intelligent design). What to do? Solution: personify Nature as an
invisible Selector, scrutinizing the slightest variations, rejecting those that are bad, adding up all the ones that are good. This introduced another problem: what is good and bad in a world ruled by contingency? Evolution is what evolution does. Its not good or bad. Darwin pivoted by changing natural selection into survival of the fittest at the suggestion of his buddy, Herbert Spencer. But since the fitness of the fit is undefined, except for whatever increases survival, this phrase collapsed into the survival of the survivors. Whatever survives is fit by definition even if it has traits that are opposite what another survivor has. 01/27/20 45 Evolution for Men and Women So, natural selection became indistinguishable from the Stuff Happens Law. Why are flatworms flat and roundworms round? Stuff happens. Why are sloths slow and cheetahs fast? Stuff happens. Why do normal chromosomes survive with two copies, evolving with
the benefit of recombination, and sex chromosomes survive with one copy, evolving without recombination? Stuff happens. To keep critics at bay, Darwin bequeathed to his disciples a magic wand: millions of years. Improbable as a given evolutionary story seems, given millions of years that no human ever observed or experienced, any stuff can happen. This wonderful new law with its magic wand suddenly explained everything. Now, scientists can look fondly back to Father Charlie for giving them powerful new explanatory tools to tell the peasants about everything in the world. All one has to say is something might have evolved this way, or may have evolved that way over millions of years. It sounds scientific. How can anybody dispute it? 01/27/20 46 Evolution for Men and Women Like good Darwinians, Holt and Carver say that the concentration of these spherical micelles in milk may have increased over
evolutionary time, producing a progressively more nutritious fluid. (Note: Evolutionary time is a synonym for millions of years.) Similarly, Judith Mank suggests that even though sex chromosomes have shrunk over millions of years they are able to respond to selection (meaning, they are susceptible to stuff happening). 01/27/20 47 Evolution for Men and Women Without this powerful army of Darwin disciples shouting Stuff Happens in unison and pounding their chests, ID advocates might have gotten away with announcing that the Junk DNA argument has taken another setback (e.g., Y chromosomes are not the genetic wasteland they were once thought to be). And nobody will be able to hear critical
questions : e.g., (1) Why has selection become effective with opposite outcomes? (2) Where is an unbroken chain of slight modifications between monotremes and lactating mammals? (3) Why are monotremes still around without the progressively more nutritious fluid? (4) Who is the engineer, and where is the squirrel, that can squirrel away calcium phosphate into micelles in breast tissue (but not in bone) so that lactating breasts stay soft? Whatever other questions come to mind dont matter, because 01/27/20 48 an unheard question is indistinguishable from an unasked one. New Chirality Solution Proposed Its long been a mystery why cells use one hand of two-handed molecules, like left-handed amino acids and right-handed sugars. A new proposal solves the mystery, explaining how this phenomenon called homochirality arises naturally. Wait a
minute Life scientists unlock mystery of how handedness arises, announced a headline on PhysOrg. Dr. Thomas G. Mason, a professor of chemistry and physics at UCLA, was fascinated by the long-standing mystery of how life chooses one hand over the other when either isoform is equally probable. Why many of the important functional molecules in our bodies almost always occur in just one chiral form when they could potentially exist in either is a mystery that has confounded researchers for years, the article said. So what is his solution? Surprisingly, its entropy something 01/27/20 49 we usually associate with disorder and randomness. New Chirality Solution Proposed Its quite bizarre, Mason said. Youre starting with achiral components triangles which undergo Brownian motion and
you end up with the spontaneous formation of superstructures that have a handedness or chirality. I would never have anticipated that in a million years. .We discovered that just two physical ingredients entropy and particle shape are enough to cause chirality to appear spontaneously in dense systems, Mason said. In my 25 years of doing research, I never thought that I would see chirality occur in a system of achiral objects driven by entropic forces. The body of the article explains, though, that he didnt try his experiment with actual amino acids or biological molecules. He experimented with colored equilateral triangles, imprinting them on a static surface using lithography. He perceived superstructures 01/27/20 made up of parallelograms in the densely-packed arrangement.50 New Chirality Solution Proposed Does this have anything to do with life? Not yet. Were learning some new physical rules, but the story in biology is far from
complete. We have added another chapter to the story, and Im amazed by these findings, he said. Good grief. Drop the self-serving hype about how amazed he was. This is stupid. Entropy is not a force. OK, so triangles form parallelograms when you artificially etch them onto an artificial surface. Big deal. This has about as much to do with living cells as a backgammon board has to do with a backgammon champion. Amino acids are not triangles. They are 3-dimensional molecules with complex side chains. Living cells employ homochiral amino acids and sugars because they provide the optimum arrangement for structure and function of proteins and nucleic acids. They are 100% one-handed. Any deviation from 100% pure chirality 01/27/20 51 destroys the protein or DNA molecule. New Chirality Solution Proposed Even more important, the sequence of the amino acid
building blocks is critical to function. Amino acids do not link together at random. They are forced together by molecular machines (ribosomes) that order them according to a genetic template, complete with proofreading. That this silly attempt would get published in the journal Nature Communications is a sign of desperation at not having solved the mystery for over a century since Pasteur first noticed it. You know what solves it perfectly? Intelligent design. If Mason thinks he has written another chapter to the story, its a chapter in the wrong book the storytelling book, not the science textbook. 01/27/20 52 Best Cave Art Is Still the Oldest
A new research study confirms that the exquisite cave art at Chauvet Cave is the oldest. The study is documented in an open-access paper on PNAS (May 7, 2012). The abstract begins, Since its discovery, the Chauvet cave elaborate artwork called into question our understanding of Palaeolithic art evolution and challenged traditional chronological benchmarks. The artwork on the walls of Chauvet Cave is unequalled in Paleolithic art, superior even to the better-known works of Lascaux dated much later. Evolutionists had expected that cave art would progress from simple to complex as mans cognitive abilities evolved, but Chauvet challenged that idea by showing that the oldest was by far the best. 01/27/20 53 Best Cave Art Is Still the Oldest
The authors of the paper were astonished at its quality: Chauvet cave, in Vallon Pont dArc, Ardche, France, is a site of exceptional scientific interest for a number of reasons: (i) the variety of its majestic parietal; (ii) very good conservation of the floor and wall ornamentations, exhibiting human and animal imprints; (iii) revelations of unknown techniques in Palaeolithic rock art (such as stump drawing); (iv) predominance of rare themes such as felines and rhinoceroses; and (v)unequalled aesthetic delivery. The new research tried to corroborate or refute carbon dates using a different dating method, cosmic ray exposure. 01/27/20 54 Best Cave Art Is Still the Oldest
Unfortunately for evolutionists, the results continue to call into question their understanding of the artistic abilities of early man: Remarkably agreeing with the radiocarbon dates of the human and animal occupancy, this study confirms that the Chauvet cave paintings are the oldest and the most elaborate ever discovered, challenging our current knowledge of human cognitive evolution. Their last sentence re-emphasized the challenge to evolutionary understanding of human capabilities: These results have significant implications for archaeological, human, and rock art sciences and seriously challenge rock art dating based on stylistic criteria. 01/27/20 55 Best Cave Art Is Still the Oldest
PhysOrg summarized the paper, stating that the scientists determined that a rock fall closed the cave for good 21,500 years ago, ensuring that the paintings had to have been made much earlier. Finding the oldest and most elaborate [cave art] ever discovered at such an early time implies that the method of dating by style (using evolutionary assumptions) is no longer valid. Nearly twice as old as the Lascaux paintings that are dated at 12,000 to 17,000 years, evolutionary scientists estimate the Chauvet paintings date from 28,000 to 40,000 years ago, befuddling some who believed that early art took on more primitive forms. PhysOrg included a photograph of modern-looking footprints that were also found in the chamber. 01/27/20 56 Best Cave Art Is Still the Oldest
The point is not whether their calculated dates are correct or not; all dating methods depend on assumptions that cannot be independently verified. The point here is that evolutionary assumptions about the mind of man are 100% off. Cave art started out wonderful and degenerated. The first humans capable of expressing themselves artistically on cave walls did so with such expertise and unexcelled aesthetic delivery as to make Picasso blush. Why do we listen to evolutionists? Over and over their predictions are falsified. This story matches a Biblical account of the creation of man, not a Darwinian picture. Let the evidence speak for itself. This story confirms what we have reported for over a decade. Chauvet has been studied since 1994. That they can still believe in evolution after 18 years of falsifying evidence is a measure of intransigence, not progress in cognition. 01/27/20 57 From Toxin to Medicine
Botulinum toxin (botox) is now big business in health and fashion, but few may remember it derives from one of the deadliest substances known in nature. Other examples show that some forms of natural evil can be seen in a different light. New Scientist featured a series of articles called Drugs with bite: The healing powers of venoms. 01/27/20 58 From Toxin to Medicine
If you are scared of snakes, scorpions and other nasty things, consider how they might save your life: Have hypertension? A new remedy called captopril comes from the bite of pit vipers. Worried about cancer? A chlorotoxin from scorpions shows promise for cancer treatment. Suffering from severe pain? A substance called Xen2174 from deadly cone snail venom offers hope. For multiple sclerosis or HIV, the venom of the deadly cobra is being looked at. Autoimmune diseases may find treatment from the stinging cells of sea anemones. Diabetes patients can be prescribed Exenatide, a drug from the bites of gila monsters. These new drugs show that theres more than one way to look at a59
01/27/20 scary creature. From Toxin to Medicine A T. rex bite could also cure headache instantly. This subject should not minimize the harm from creatures to humans, but does point out two interesting possibilities; (1) toxins are just molecules with delivery methods that are not evil in themselves; (2) perhaps some of these substances originally had beneficial functions. Only Biblical creationists have an answer to natural evil the original creation contained no suffering, and some day it will be redeemed. In the meantime, lets continue to look for good uses for bad things out in nature. 01/27/20 60 Lamarckism: Dead but Useful
In all fairness, she could have been speaking of how random mutations that were naturally selected led to better adapted physiques and undoubtedly, if questioned, she would affirm that. Yet for the anthropologists she quoted, it seemed too tempting to speak of humans acquiring their physiques by Lamarckian pressures: Modern humans have gone through a lot of changes in the past 30,000 years. We switched from hunting and gathering to farming and herding; from life as nomads to settling in urban centers; from eating meat, nuts, and tubers to consuming grains, sugars, and dairy products. Now, a remarkably comprehensive analysis of more than 2000 European skeletons presented at the meeting reveals how these cultural changes have altered our physiques. When you become a modern human, what happens to your body? asked paleoanthropologist Christopher Ruff of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, co-chair of the session on skeletal adaptation in recent Europeans. 01/27/20 62
Lamarckism: Dead but Useful If cultural changes to anatomy are not Lamarckian, what are they? According to neo-Darwinism sensu strictu, changes due to habit have to find expression in the gametes through mutation and natural selection. In the second paragraph, Gibbons seemed to mix Darwinian and Lamarckian mechanisms: While other studies have documented a decrease in height after the transition to agriculture, this is the first systematic study of how the skeleton changed from the time modern humans spread through Europe 30,000 years ago until they were circling the globe in jets by the 1960s. In 10 posters, Ruff and his colleagues focused on how each part of the body, from the spine to leg and arm bones, evolved over time through both genetic and cultural change. One anthropologist attributed a drop in strength of leg bones to the switch from a hunting and gathering lifestyle to the sedentary life of the farmer. Another attributed changes in upper body strength to agriculture.
01/27/20 63 Lamarckism: Dead but Useful Recalling how Lamarck argued that men with strong arms from work might pass that trait on to their sons, its hard to get more Lamarckian than the description of how anatomical changes occurred: Over the same 30,000-year period, upper body strength declined after the introduction of agriculture. In males, it then increased in the Medieval period, possibly due to intensive upper-body labor such as blacksmithing. One trend through time is that the right arm lost much of its asymmetric larger size compared to the left arm, perhaps due to fewer strongly lateralized activities such as spear throwing. Women show particularly symmetrical arms from the beginning of agriculture 7000 years ago to Europes Bronze Age, 3000 years ago. The researchers suspect that this stems from using both arms to make flour with grinding stones.
01/27/20 64 Lamarckism: Dead but Useful Perhaps its too tedious or confusing to speak in strict Darwinian terms, calling on random mutations to be selected. For Gibbons and the anthropologists she interviewed, Lamarckian terminology the environment or culture leading to adaptations directly may be a tempting shortcut. Even so, there were no disclaimers in the article, despite its subject of how the human body evolved over time. Another example was found on PhysOrg, where Dean Falk (University of Florida) attributed the shape of the Taung baby (a hominid fossil) as an environmental adaptation: The persistent metopic suture is an adaptation for giving birth to babies with larger brains; is related to the shift to a rapidly growing brain after birth; and may be related to expansion in the frontal lobes. Mutations in the birth canal should have nothing to do with mutations in the brain.
01/27/20 65 Evolutionists Need to Mind Their Matters To a Darwinian evolutionist, the mind is the product of unguided mutations and random environmental pressures acting on material forces. This raises questions about the mind and morals: do they have any validity? Evolutionists need to mind their matter. The following examples show how they try to justify these non-material entities arising from matter in motion. The smart thing: Intelligence is an immaterial property that, to an evolutionist, must be an epiphenomenon or illusion arising from particles in motion. New Scientist asked whether intelligence what distinguishes humans from the myriad other species with which we share our planet can be explained in evolutionary terms.
01/27/20 66 Evolutionists Need to Mind Their Matters The article is more a question than an answer about intelligence: It is a key factor in everything from our anatomy to our technology. To ask why we are intelligent is to ask why we are human; it admits no discrete answer. But lets ask it here anyway. Why are we, alone in nature, so smart? One answer is that maybe we arent as smart as we think we are. Maybe our anthropocentric conceit prevents us from fully appreciating the intelligence of other animals, be they ants, cephalopods or cetaceans. This approach however, invokes one immaterial concept, conceit, to dodge another, intelligence. It seems the article is marching in place so far.
01/27/20 67 Evolutionists Need to Mind Their Matters Time for another tentative step: So lets rephrase the question. There is a cluster of abilities that seems unique to humans: language, tool use, culture and empathy. Other animals may have rudimentary forms of these abilities, but they do not approach humans sophistication and flexibility. Why not? Again, though, language, tool use, culture and empathy are immaterial, so this approach suffers the same shortcomings. Appeals to variations of intelligence within species doesnt solve the problem. At this point, the anonymous author of this article leapt into storybook land about why not all chimps became champs of intelligence:
01/27/20 68 Evolutionists Need to Mind Their Matters Some did, but a long time ago: our own ancestors. Somewhere in our evolutionary history, there were presumably similarly prodigious protohumans, produced by some accident of genetics or environment, whose greater intelligence gave them the edge over their less gifted peers. Todays chimp prodigies do not seem to profit from their intelligence in the same way. Their society and environment do not reward it as ours did. So our ancestors may have been fortuitously placed to embark on the runaway cycle of biological and cultural development that led to modern, multitasking humans and to a level of adaptability that allows us to adjust readily to changes in our environment, and even modify it to suit ourselves. 01/27/20
69 Evolutionists Need to Mind Their Matters To avoid belaboring the point that words like history, prodigy, gifted, reward, and suit refer to immaterial concepts and values, this answer reduces to stuff happens we got smart fortuitously, by some accident of genetics or environment. If intelligence is an accident, though, philosophers will want to know what gives it validity to be turned on itself to ask questions about its own origin. The right thing: Kate Douglas tried to evolutionize morality with a book review for New Scientist entitled, When did our ancestors learn to do the right thing? but whether she did the right thing evolutionarily is the question at issue. The book under review is Christopher Boehms Moral Origins: The evolution of virtue, altruism, and shame. A social anthropologist, Boehm studied the !Kung people of the Kalahari Desert in South Africa for answers. He believes the !Kung mimic the original moralists late Pleistocene foraging societies living in Africa 45,000 years ago.
01/27/20 70 Evolutionists Need to Mind Their Matters Heres his thesis in a nutshell: So how did we evolve from amoral apes to moral humans? It is a question that has perplexed many, from Darwin onward, but what sets Boehms approach apart is his effort to make the natural history of moral origins more historical. In so doing he provides a new and coherent map of the evolution of morality. He argues that our ancestors were preadapted for morality. Like todays chimps and bonobos, they had a sense of self and of fairness, a tendency for young to learn appropriate behaviour from their mothers, and the potential for collective action, giving subordinates some power over dominant individuals.
01/27/20 71 Evolutionists Need to Mind Their Matters The first step was to develop a conscience, or what Boehm describes as a Machiavellian risk calculator. At first, this controlled selfish urges through fear of punishment, but morality began to emerge when our ancestors learned to internalise their societys social rules, connecting them with emotions such as shame and honour. Finally, he says, altruistic genes got a boost as societies came to value generosity and punish selfishness. Our egotistic and nepotistic tendencies still far outweigh the altruistic ones, but by social selection we have unwittingly made our own gene pool more virtuous. 01/27/20 72
Evolutionists Need to Mind Their Matters Its hard to see how Boehm can justify using words like self, fairness, rules, values, shame, honour, altruistic, and virtuous in a materialistic context. Some of these things he seems to think were just there, being somehow preadapted. His law of social selection seems contrived out of Darwins natural selection. Another problem is that Boehm studied modern, living humans who already are egalitarian and share big game equitably, begging the question on how such immaterial traits got started. Kate Douglas tried to be as nice as she could: It is a complex story and Moral Origins is a bit muddled at times, but Boehms experience doing fieldwork with humans and wild chimps makes him a wonderfully knowledgeable guide. And some of his ideas are truly revolutionary. 01/27/20 73 Evolutionists Need to Mind Their Matters
In short, somewhere, in an unobserved evolutionary history, presumably, an accident of genetics or environment did something, perhaps developing a conscience, that internalized rules, generating altruistic genes that in turn produced true altruism, leading chimps down a path that led to us humans with our intelligence, virtue and morality. To call evolutionary answers a bit muddled at times is being truly altruistic. That, in and of itself, is evidence that altruism and intelligence are not products of material processes of selection and fortuitous accident, but of design. It follows logically that it is neither virtuous nor sensible to think otherwise. 01/27/20 74 Noahs Ark Claim Not Trustworthy A creationist group in Hong Kong is releasing a dramatic
documentary filled with fantastic claims about the discovery of Noahs Ark on Mt. Ararat. Other prominent creationists are warning of fraud and scientific malpractice. The two whistleblowers have no antipathy to the subject. They would love real evidence of Noahs Ark, knowing full well how powerful such evidence would be for the historicity of the Genesis Flood account. Nevertheless, they have found it necessary, at personal risk, to call attention to fraudulent practices such as selective reporting, doctoring evidence and reliance on unscrupulous characters by the Hong Kong based group NAMI (Noahs Ark Ministries International). 01/27/20 75 Noahs Ark Claim Not Trustworthy
1. Dr. Carl Wieland of Creation Ministries International has just written a lengthy article, The Hong Kong Ark fiasco an overview to date (May 2012) after personally visiting with the NAMIteam. 2. Dr. Randall Price, a Biblical archaeologist, author, and ark researcher, also wrote a lengthy PDF document at his site, World of the Bible. A wise old preacher of righteousness, Dr. Bob Jones, Sr., said, It is never right to do wrong to get a chance to do right. Good intentions can never atone for misconduct. Integrity is essential for science and any scholarly enterprise. We urge NAMI to come clean on their evidence, refrain from hype, and admit wrongdoing, even though millions of dollars are at stake for them after their fundraising and promotion. Meanwhile, help those deceived by their claims to learn the facts. 01/27/20 76 Rapid Undersea Geology Observed
An undersea volcano near the Cook Islands was observed to grow and shrink rapidly in a fortnight, rivaling the rapid changes in Vesuvius and Mt. St. Helens. The BBC News reported that a research team from Oxford recorded huge changes in height in just two weeks. In fact, they were glad they werent there during an explosive phase, or else rocks could have hit the hull of the ship that could have been potentially dangerous. Submarine geology is little known, the article said. Sonar images of the undersea volcano before and after showed rapid changes had occurred: 01/27/20 77 Rapid Undersea Geology Observed
Later the ship returned to the scene and the scientists were surprised to see how much the volcano had changed. In the space of a fortnight, one part of the volcanos summit had collapsed by as much as 18.8m while new lava flows had raised another area by 79.1m. Most striking was the creation of an entirely new volcanic cone. The researchers believe the changes are larger than at most other volcanoes. Only Vesuvius and Mount St Helens have recorded larger growth rates. The paper says the speed of growth and change is a reminder of how rapidly geological processes such as submarine landsliding and volcanism can occur. 01/27/20 78 Rapid Undersea Geology Observed
The article stated that some 32,000 undersea mountains have been identified, many believed to be volcanic in origin. Lead author Tony Watts called this a wake-up call that the sea-floor may be more dynamic than we previously thought. He remarked, Ive spent my career studying the seabed and have generally thought it pretty stable so its stunning to see so much change in such a short space of time. Live Science called the volcano the Monowai Seamount. Based on sonar measurements from 2007, Tony Watts team figures the volcano must have undergone 10 to 13 similar eruptionsperhaps 2 or 3 large, quick eruptions each year, the article said. If submarine geology is indeed little known, there could be many other examples of rapid undersea volcanic changes that have so far been out of sight, out of mind. 01/27/20 79 Rapid Undersea Geology Observed
Why was he stunned? Undoubtedly, its due to the fact that he was indoctrinated as a student into Lyells cult of uniformitarianism and Darwins vision of millions of years of slow, gradual changes. His own words show that such doctrines put geologists into the bad habit of thinking in their sleep. Lets help amplify the wake-up call so other Darwin zombies get out of their dogmatic slumbers and face reality. 01/27/20 80 Dark Matter as an Escape Employing exotic unobservable entities such as dark matter may be an escape from scientific rigor in more ways than one. Recently, the notion that most of the universe is composed of dark matter took an evidential hit.
Live Science said, A sprawling collection of galaxies and star clusters surrounding our own Milky Way is challenging long-standing theories on the existence of dark matter, the mysterious substance thought to pervade the universe. According to a survey of satellite galaxies of the Milky Way conducted at the University of Bonn, dark matter theories fail to account for the arrangement of matter in a region 01/27/20 81 spanning 10 times our galaxys diameter. Dark Matter as an Escape The astronomers extended the impact of their findings to the entire universe: Our model appears to rule out the presence of dark matter in the universe, threatening a central pillar of current cosmological theory, said study
team member Pavel Kroupa, a professor of astronomy at the University of Bonn. We see this as the beginning of a paradigm shift, one that will ultimately lead us to a new understanding of the universe we inhabit. The statement also implies that previous understanding of the universe was misguided or 01/27/20 82 absent. Dark Matter as an Escape Last month Ker Than, reporting for National Geographic News, quoted an astronomer who said the finding of a huge structure of satellite galaxies surrounding the Milky Way puts cosmology basically in a shambles. He referred to his other National Geographic article two weeks earlier that also questioned the existence of dark matter because it wasnt detected where needed to explain the Milky Ways halo. That finding could provide ammunition for skeptics who argue that the invisible substance is just an
illusion, he said. About the same time, though, another National Geographic reporter claimed that dark matter particles hit the average human once a minute. 01/27/20 83 Dark Matter as an Escape Growing questions about dark matters existence may be giving rise to a proverb called the dark matter argument. In another context, Maggie McKee at New Scientist reported doubts that the star Fomalhaut has a planet. A bright spot imaged in a dust disk surrounding the star, imaged by the Hubble Telescope in 2004, had been hailed as a direct observation of an extrasolar planet. Astronomers were encouraged at the time by the fact that it appeared in a gap in the dust dusk, suggesting that the planet had cleared a path for itself. Now, however, a new study from NASAs Goddard Space Flight Center has shown that the bright spot might be a dust cloud, not
a planet. Furthermore, simulations shown in a computer animation within the article indicate that gaps in dust disks even with sharp edges can form without the presence of a planet. 01/27/20 84 Dark Matter as an Escape A JPL scientist used the occasion to joke about the escape hatch dark matter theories provide: I call it the dark matter argument, says Wladimir Lyra at NASAs Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. There is something you are seeing that you cannot explain, and you blame the gravity of something you cannot see.
Dark energy has also come under scrutiny. National Geographic asked, is it a kind of reverse gravity as usually described? Perhaps not. The pressure leading to accelerated expansion of the universe might come from normal old antimatter, well characterized in earth-based detectors. These appear to be dark days for dark matter theories. 01/27/20 85 Dark Matter as an Escape Philosophers call appeals to unseen, unknown entities occult phenomena. Like spiritually occult things, they are placeholders for ignorance. But given a name, these placeholders take on a reality of their own, used by scientific shamans to tell the peasants why things are the way they are. For too long, dark matter has been a rhetorical
flubber to impress laypeople while escaping scientific rigor. Its time to call astronomers to account. Account for dark matter, or turn on the 01/27/20 86 light. Improbable Ape Speaks Randomly Its not uncharitable to call someone an ape when he calls himself that. New Scientist entitled a short article, We Are the Improbable Ape. Its perhaps fortunate that the author(s) did not identify himself, herself, itself or themselves, because it claimed that 3 chance mutations made us what we are, complete with thinking brains (5/05/2012) and language. One excerpt wins Stupid Evolution Quote of the Week: But on another it brings home the sheer improbability
of our existence. The essence of humanity largely boils down to a bunch of random mutations, every one of them happening by chance. 01/27/20 87 Improbable Ape Speaks Randomly Richard Dawkins once described evolution as climbing mount improbable. It is always worth remembering that humans have climbed the highest. Its not entirely clear that an improbable ape arriving by the Stuff Happens Law would know which way is up. Maybe the improbable ape who wrote for New Scientist is highest on another level, the under the influence level. The rest of us rational human beings can be content we are on the level on purpose. Just hope the improbable apes dont throw their rocks with as good aim as the Swedish chimp reported in PLoS One does. Both are
equally good at practicing deceit, though. 01/27/20 88 Butterfly Mimics Dont Evolve; They Share A non-evolutionary explanation has been found for a classic evolutionary showpiece: mimicry in butterflies. Heliconius butterflies are well-known for having nearly identical wing patterns between species. Prior evolutionary explanations involved developing these patterns independently through mutation and natural selection. Now, a
new paper in Nature shows that the butterflies share the genes for the patterns through hybridization. 01/27/20 89 Butterfly Mimics Dont Evolve; They Share PhysOrg summarized the surprising findings: The genetic sharing between species, researchers believe, is the result of hybridization. Considered extremely rare, particularly in animals, hybridization occurs when insects of two different species interbreed in the wild. The resulting hybrid offspring share traits with both
mother and father. Though often considered evolutionary dead-end, hybrids occasionally interbreed with a parent species, in the process introducing new genes that can help populations adapt to new or changing environments. 01/27/20 And what does this mean for Darwinian evolution? 90 Butterfly Mimics Dont Evolve; They Share What we show is that one butterfly species can gain its protective colour pattern genes ready-made from a different species by hybridizing (or interbreeding) with it a much faster process than having to evolve ones colour patterns from scratch, said Kanchon Dasmahapatra, a postdoctoral researcher at the University College of Londons Department of Genetics, Evolution, and Environment, and a co-author of the paper. This project really changes how we think about adaptation in general, said Marcus Kronforst, a Bauer Fellow at Harvard, who participated in the sequencing. Evolutionary biologists often
wonder whether different species use the same genes to generate similar traits, like the mimetic wing patterns of Heliconius butterflies. This study shows us that sometimes different species not only use the same genes, but the exact same stretches of DNA, which they pass around by hybridization. 01/27/20 91 Butterfly Mimics Dont Evolve; They Share
The Nature paper had nothing to say about mutation and natural selection. Instead, as these excerpts show, it described the adaptation spreading by sharing genes (called introgression), not neo-Darwinism: These patterns would be very hard to explain in terms of convergent functional-site evolution or random coalescent fluctuations. Instead, our results imply that derived colour-pattern elements have introgressed recently between both rayed and postman forms of H. timareta and H. melpomene. We have demonstrated repeated exchange of large (~100-kb) adaptive regions among multiple species in a recent radiation. Although it was long suspected that introgression might be important in evolutionary radiations, our results from the most diverse terrestrial biome on the planet suggest that adaptive introgression is more pervasive than previously realized. This leaves an obvious question: How did the first butterfly evolve the ready-made pattern from scratch? 01/27/20 92 Butterfly Mimics Dont Evolve; They Share
Sharing by hybridization is not neo-Darwinian evolution. How many textbooks have used butterfly mimicry as an example of Darwin in action? Now, scientists have to consider that the genes for these color patterns were already there, ready made. We learn that butterflies have the ability to swap & share pre-existing genetic information. This begs the question of where the information came from in the first place. Darwinists might counter that the process aids survival of the fittest. OK, so what? That still doesnt answer the question of the origin of the information. That evidence fits just as well, if not better, with the argument that intelligent design permits adaptation by mechanisms that allow sharing of beneficial genetic information. Its a robust design feature, not an evolutionary innovation. 01/27/20 93 Butterfly Mimics Dont Evolve; They Share
Notice that the scientists confessed that they long suspected that introgression could be important in evolutionary radiations, because it was hard to believe that convergent evolution could generate these patterns from scratch. But if its not evolution by neo-Darwinian means, its not an evolutionary radiation, and its not convergent evolution either. Its design all the way around. Notice also that they said these hybridization events occurred recently. They didnt say how recent, but obviously, hybridization can occur in one generation. Presto: instant information in the genome, ready made for better survival. We cant let a butterfly story pass without a reminder that you can see Heliconius butterflies, and many other beautiful species, in Illustras latest ID masterpiece, Metamorphosis, available at metamorphosisthefilm.com. 01/27/20 94
Earths Magnetic Field Less Sustainable than Thought Geophysicists have found that their favored dynamo theory for Earths magnetic field is less sustainable than thought, leaving them wondering how our planet retained its magnetic field for geologic time. Nature wrote, New calculations show that the electrical resistance of Earths liquid-iron core is lower than had been thought. The results prompt a reassessment of how the planets magnetic field has been generated and maintained over time. This is from Bruce Buffett,1 reporting on a paper by Pozzo et al. in the same issue.2 01/27/20 95
Earths Magnetic Field Less Sustainable than Thought They said their findings have significant implications: Revised estimates of and k calculated directly at core conditions have fundamental consequences for the thermochemical evolution of the deep Earth. New estimates of the power requirements for the geodynamo suggest a CMB [core-mantle boundary] heat flux in the upper range of what is considered reasonable for mantle convection unless very marginal dynamo action can be sustained, while a primordial inner core is only possible with a significant concentration of radiogenic elements in the core. There are objections to a high CMB heat flux and also to radiogenic heating in the core, but one of the two seems inevitable if we are to have a dynamo. If the inner core is young, these high values of conductivity provide further problems with maintaining a purely thermally driven dynamo. 01/27/20
96 Earths Magnetic Field Less Sustainable than Thought A thermally stratified layer at the top of the core also appears inevitable. Viable thermal history models that produce thin stable layers and an inner core of age ~1 Gyr are likely to require a fairly rapid cooling rate and some radiogenic heating. The presence of a stable layer, and the effects associated with an increased electrical conductivity, have significant implications for our understanding of the geomagnetic secular variation. This makes it sound like the geodynamo is a theory in crisis with two requirements, both of them undesirable to maintain the dynamo for the assumed age of the 01/27/20 97 Earth.
Earths Magnetic Field Less Sustainable than Thought Buffett left the finding as a remarkable challenge to existing theory and understanding, not only for our planet, but for all the planets, even those around other stars: It is remarkable that a modest change in thermal conductivity can have such a dramatic affect on the dynamics of Earths core. More broadly, the latest study reveals how the properties of liquid iron make the operation of magnetic dynamos in terrestrial planets even more precarious than was previously believed. We are left with the challenge of understanding how Earth has succeeded in maintaining its magnetic field over most of geological time. Where have they been? Creation geologists have been pointing out these problems for decades. As usual, they get no credit.
01/27/20 98 Shrink Validity Is Shrinking Should you trust the diagnosis of a psychiatrist? If it helps, individuals are free to choose. Behind the scenes, however, there are severe, deep-seated debates about whether professional shrinks understand disorders, let alone diagnose them properly. In New Scientist, James Davies reported about protests at the American Psychiatric Associations (APA) annual meeting. Some protestors feel that psychiatry is not even wrong; psychiatrists dont know what they are 01/27/20 99 doing, and sometimes end up abusing patients: Shrink Validity Is Shrinking
The demonstration aimed to highlight the harm the protesters believe psychiatry is perpetrating in the name of healing. One concern is that while psychiatric medications are more widely prescribed than almost any drugs in history, they often dont work well and have debilitating side effects. Psychiatry also professes to respect human rights, while regularly treating people against their will. Finally, psychiatry keeps expanding its list of disorders without solid scientific justification. That list includes major changes with each new edition of the psychiatry bible, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Edition V is coming out, loaded with new maladies that were never diagnosed before, and altering the description of other disorders changes that can have major effects on prescriptions, insurance policies and scientific explanations for various behaviors. 01/27/20 100
Shrink Validity Is Shrinking In another article on New Scientist, Trials highlight worrying flaws in psychiatry bible, Peter Aldhous focused on flaws in tests that psychiatrists use to diagnose mental illness. While for some diagnoses reliability was good, others yielded scores little better than chance, he said. Some of the worst results concerned some of the most common diagnoses: The conditions with questionable reliability include subtly altered descriptions of two of the most common diagnoses in psychiatry: major depressive disorder and generalised anxiety disorder. That has opened a can of worms, leaving some mental health professionals wondering about the reliability of even established psychiatric diagnoses. The final wording of DSM-5, scheduled for publication in May 2013, will have profound effects on peoples lives. The manual not only helps determine who is given psychoactive drugs, but in the US may determine whether treatment is covered by health insurance. Some diagnoses are even used to justify holding people indefinitely in secure mental hospitals. 01/27/20
101 Shrink Validity Is Shrinking There are others that Aldhous worried about: diagnoses of autism, and an alleged precursor of schizophrenia dubbed attenuated psychosis syndrome. Psychiatrists use a value called kappa that is supposed to measure the the consensus between different doctors assessing the same patient, with 1 corresponding to perfect diagnostic agreement, and 0 meaning concordance could just be due to chance. Unfortunately, chance could not be ruled out as a hypothesis for some of the most common disorders. For instance, regarding attenuated psychosis syndrome, While field trials gave a kappa of 0.46, the variability was so large that Darrel Regier, APAs head of research, told the meeting that the result was uninterpretable. 01/27/20 102 Shrink Validity Is Shrinking
One theory escape mechanism for the questionable reliability of major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder diagnoses was to suggest that depression and anxiety are like the fevers of a deeper mental disorder whose symptoms can mask a variety of conditions. Aldhous did not seem impressed; if depression and anxiety cant be reliably diagnosed, many patients will wonder how many more disorders stand on similarly shaky ground. 01/27/20 103 Shrink Validity Is Shrinking
Psychiatrist: Our new textbook indicates that your delusions of grandeur were misdiagnosed. In other words, youre cured. Patient: Some cure! I used to be Napoleon. Now Im nobody! Psychiatry is a pseudoscience acting like a religion (i.e., telling people their problem and the solution), but masquerading as a science with big words and lots of money. Since it is a pseudoscience, we can have a little fun with it by imagining a world in which the Darwin skeptics have the money and the power. Like them, we can use scientific jargon to diagnose our foes as mentally ill. We could publish our manual in the DSM, Darwinian 01/27/20 104 Symptoms of Madness. Shrink Validity Is Shrinking Suppose, for instance, we were to diagnose Richard Dawkins with Design denial disorder (DDD) with symptoms including (1)
obsessive acts of self-persuasion that what one is observing was not designed, but evolved; (2) incessant repetition of Dobzhanskys proverb that nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution; (3) willingness to believe in intelligent design when it comes to aliens seeding life on Earth, but only if the aliens evolved by natural selection; (4) a compulsion to persuade others that there is no God by making money selling books, and (5) an illogical preference to live in a theistic country while promoting atheism. With the right consensus, we could probably obtain high kappa values to prove our etiology is valid and our diagnosis reliable. We might even get insurance companies to cover prescription drugs aimed at curing DDD. Anyone protesting our actions we could diagnose with DDD co-dependent syndrome (DDD-CDS), and drug them, too. Remember, we have the power and the self-serving science to back 01/27/20 105 it up. Shrink Validity Is Shrinking We would never do such a thing, of course, since we believe in
compassionate persuasion and intellectual integrity. We would never wish to manipulate power by imitating psychiatrys flawed methods and Darwinian survival of the fittest ethics. We would wish to be transparent and consistent about our belief that mental illness is an oxymoron, believing instead that peoples behavioral problems are caused by either sin or physical flaws such as brain damage. But our imaginary power play is certainly a conceivable thought experiment. It turns the tables on what some Darwinians actually do: calling their critics insane. The evolutionists bible is Darwins Origin of Species, with its evolutionary tree of life, and the shrinks bible is the DSM-V, with its man-made judgments of what constitutes normal and abnormal behavior. These bibles have their genesis in the flawed assumption that human brains were not designed, but evolved. The authentic trees of life and of knowledge of good and evil are 01/27/20 106 known by their fruits. What SETI Guru Wants to Know
Seth Shostak, a SETI advocate, has two key questions for aliens. A frequent spokesperson for the Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence (SETI), Shostak was recently invited to be a science consultant for Hollywoods latest cosmic battle epic, Battleship. His interview for Space.com ended with the following: what would he ask the aliens? First, Shostak clarified whether the question meant getting an answer back or not. Assuming it could be a two-way conversation, he did not care so much to learn about alien science or technology. Instead, 01/27/20 surprisingly, he would ask something very different. 107 What SETI Guru Wants to Know
Seth Shostak said, But if it ever got to a point where you could get into a conversation and ask questions, my two have always been: do you have music and do you have religion? I wouldnt ask about physics because we could eventually figure that out, but those two questions are things only they would know. As for whether aliens would be friendly or hostile, Shostak shrugged and said its basically too late to worry, because our messages are already out 01/27/20 108 there. What SETI Guru Wants to Know Yes, they have both music and religion. Angels
serve the living God and sing for joy in His presence. Next question? Shostak would never ask such things if he did not realize deep in his soul that music and religion make no sense in a Darwinian universe. Somebody send him Handels Messiah for contemplation as he ponders the conundrum of whether aliens would send signals by intelligent design or not. 01/27/20 109 Beak Careful: Variation May Be Non-Darwinian Finch beaks loom large in classical Darwinian theory, but two
examples of mouth parts in very different animals show that dramatic variations can be achieved quickly without the slow and gradual accumulation of small changes Darwin envisaged. A. Pufferfish: The pufferfish that can quickly inflate themselves into spheres have a mouth that is unique among teleost fishes: it looks like a parrots beak. A paper in PNAS1 claimed that their unusual dentition most likely arose through a regulatory modification during embryonic development: Teleost fishes comprise approximately half of all living vertebrates. The extreme range of diversity in teleosts is remarkable, especially, extensive morphological variation in their jaws and dentition. Some of the most unusual dentitions are found among members of the highly derived teleost order Tetraodontiformes, which includes triggerfishes, boxfishes, 01/27/20 110 ocean sunfishes, and pufferfishes. Beak Careful: Variation May Be Non-Darwinian Adult pufferfishes (Tetraodontidae) exhibit a distinctive parrot-like beaked jaw, forming a cutting edge, unlike in any other group of teleosts. Here we show thatdespite novelty in the structure and
development of this beak, it is initiated by formation of separate first-generation teeth that line the embryonic pufferfish jaw, with timing of development and gene expression patterns conserved from the last common ancestor of osteichthyans. Most of these first-generation larval teeth are lost in development. Continuous tooth replacement proceeds in only four parasymphy seal teeth, as sequentially stacked, multigenerational, jaw-length dentine bands, before development of the functional beak. These data suggest that dental novelties, such as the pufferfish beak, can develop later in ontogeny through modified continuous tooth addition and replacement. We conclude that even highly derived morphological structures like the pufferfish beak form via a conserved developmental bauplan capable of modification during ontogeny by subtle respecification of the developmental 01/27/20 111 module. Beak Careful: Variation May Be Non-Darwinian Science Daily printed a summary of the paper with a picture of a
pufferfish. It said that pufferfish tooth development is unchanged through evolution and uses a highly conserved process in its beak development. The unique structure represents an adaptation of pre-existing tools: It is an example of re-specification of its genetic tool-kit for tooth development toward a very alternative, and unique, dentition. B. Madagascar birds: Move over, Darwin finches: the vangas of Madagascar show more diversity than the Galapagos birds Darwin made famous. The seed-eating vangas show wide variation in body size, feeding habit, beak shape and size, and coloration. Science Daily showed a vanga family tree of 22 species inhabiting the island that differ considerably in terms of morphology and resulting foraging habits. How did these differences arise? Not the way Darwinians thought, the article surprised readers. Until now, Madagascan vangas were also viewed to be a textbook example of this process the rapid filling of vacant ecological niches. 01/27/20 112 Beak Careful: Variation May Be Non-Darwinian
The new idea is that vangas underwent two bursts of rapid diversification separated by long periods of stasis: the first when the birds arrived, the second when a key morphological innovation emerged among some of them much later a sickle-shaped bill that enabled the new species to retrieve insects hidden under the bark of trees, and so occupy a new dietary niche. At first glance, this sounds like two Darwin wins instead of one. The last paragraph, however, casts doubt on what is known in even textbook cases of Darwinian evolution: 01/27/20 113 Beak Careful: Variation May Be Non-Darwinian The fundamental study by the international team indicates for the first time that the amazing diversity of the vangas evolved in a two-step process. The study also illustrates how much
of Madagascar and its unusual biodiversity is still not fully understood, and what exciting scientific discoveries may await there. Furthermore, the study shows that a morphological key innovation and related new foraging strategy may result in a burst of speciation, even after the group has already reached its ecological limit. Previously, researchers had thought this to be possible, but it had never been demonstrated. However, the high specialization of the vangas might now be their doom: the habitat to which the birds have adapted over the past 25 million years is shrinking quickly as a consequence of land use and climate change. 01/27/20 114 Beak Careful: Variation May Be Non-Darwinian The subtitle of that paragraph was, First evidence for old ideas. Did they really mean to imply that there has been no evidence for a Darwinian idea for 153 years? The new story,
being told by an international team that studied the vangas, is that a founder population arrived 25 million years ago, quickly diversified and reached an ecological limit, and stopped evolving. Then, a key innovation just emerged 15 million years later, and the birds that had been living without evolving all that time underwent another rapid burst of diversification with the new sickle-shaped beaks (until humans started threatening them with land use and climate change). The abstract of the original paper in PNAS chirped,2 Morphological space bears a close relationship to diet, substrate use, and foraging movements, and thus our results demonstrate the great extent of the evolutionary diversification of the Madagascan vangas. 01/27/20 115 Beak Careful: Variation May Be Non-Darwinian
Science Daily did not explain how the sickle-shaped beak emerged, how the male with the sickle beak found a female with the same innovation to pass it on, how the birds learned to use it and develop a taste for new food, why the prey did not evolve counter-measures, how the beak shape correlated with color changes, or why innovations were so rare as to keep Darwins theory in check for millions of years at a time. The original paper also stated, Why some lineages undergo adaptive radiation is not well-understood, but filling unoccupied ecological space appears to be a common feature. C. Hopelessness: PLoS Biology3 shared a paper that underscored how difficult it is to confirm a case of adaptive evolution in an ecological community: 01/27/20 116 Beak Careful: Variation May Be Non-Darwinian
Understanding how natural selection drives evolution is a key challenge in evolutionary biology. Most studies of adaptation focus on how a single environmental factor, such as increased temperature, affects evolution within a single species. The biological relevance of these experiments is limited because nature is infinitely more complex. Most species are embedded within communities containing many species that interact with one another and the physical environment. To understand the evolutionary significance of such ecological complexity, experiments must test the evolutionary impact of interactions among multiple species during adaptation. 01/27/20 117 Beak Careful: Variation May Be Non-Darwinian The authors suggested a method for isolating evolutionary
effects from the tangle of infinite complexity in the real world, but could only offer hope for the future. If evolutionary biology is to become a predictive science, they concluded (implying it is not yet a predictive science), future research needs to embrace the complexity inherent to communities and ecosystems. They even stated that previous studies are misleading: In this regard it will be important to move beyond studying static patterns of trait variation and selection that are currently employed, which can provide a misleading snap-shot of evolution. Perhaps the pufferfish and vanga beak studies come to mind, warning evolutionists to be careful when speaking about freak beaks or diversification 01/27/20 118 peaks. Beak Careful: Variation May Be Non-Darwinian Birds are real, pufferfish are real, but evolutionary understanding (an oxymoron) is a flight of fancy.
Design biologists have explanations, too; they put the capacity for adaptation in the design of the organism, not in the ability of the environment to make lucky adaptations emerge, or in the Stuff Happens Law to create key innovations by chance. How did the Darwin charlatans ever gain such power and control over the journals and media? How can their hegemony be hedged? Maybe the environment will take care of it. Maybe land use and climate change will threaten the Darwinists ecological niche, too. A niche in time saves design. 01/27/20 119 Animal Sin: What Does It Imply? Some animals commit cruel or disgusting acts humans would consider immoral. What does this mean? Some pro-evolution scientists seem to take particular
pleasure in pointing out the sins committed by animals. Examples abound: some commit cannibalism and infanticide, engage in open homosexual acts, cheat on their spouses, steal, and deceive their neighbors essentially breaking most if not all of the Ten Commandments. Evolutionists are usually quick with Darwinian explanations for how these acts increase survival of the fittest, but generally fall short of advising that humans should follow their examples. 01/27/20 120 Animal Sin: What Does It Imply? Here are some recent instances in the news: Lion cannibalism: The BBC News addressed the question of cannibalism and infanticide among lions and other animals. Anna-Louise Taylor offered several evolutionary explanations for why killing or eating ones own offspring, or the offspring of a rival, can benefit animals. For instance, males can beat their rivals by killing the young of
another. Females can allocate limited resources to the best offspring. Both males and females might survive if food is scarce by eating their young. Although this act of cannibalism is difficult to comprehend in a human context, when meat is scarce, in the natural world it can make all the difference to whether other members of a family survive, she said. 01/27/20 121 Animal Sin: What Does It Imply? Bird cheating: There have been Christians who have pointed to certain birds that mate for life as lovey-dovey natural object lessons of the virtues of marital faithfulness. Some evolutionists have responded by chirping about other bird species that are either promiscuous or cheat on their assumed faithful partners. The fact is, some animals are monogamous, but many others are not, so its not reasonable to pick and choose any one as an example for humans. Nature News had to backtrack recently, though, about an evolutionary rationalization for bird promiscuity. A study by researchers in the UK found there might be a selective
advantage against cheating, not for it. Since both phenomena exist, though, its hard to attribute explanatory power to natural selection. 01/27/20 122 Animal Sin: What Does It Imply? While observational facts about animal behavior are fair game for study, philosophical and theological problems emerge when reporters or scientists try to moralize about the implications for human beings. What are the limits of our animal nature? How should we behave in light of these observations of animals? Occasionally, evolutionists imply that humans, being mere animals, have no reason to behave differently than animals. They teach that morality is a mere convention that emerged by natures law of natural selection. Some argue that human vices can be excused on the basis that animals do it. Its not clear that such casual philosophers would wish to live in a society governed by the law of the jungle. Worse, if human morality has only an evolutionary basis it destroys any ground for assuming that
cannibalism or infant torture could not be justified by a society as morally good for them. 01/27/20 123 Animal Sin: What Does It Imply? Every society recognizes morality is necessary, but only Biblical theology can account for (1) the reason human beings are set apart from animals, and (2) the need for grounding morality in absolute standards of right and wrong. First, humans are not mere animals. This is not only clear from Genesis 1:26 and many other Bible passages that state humans were created in the image of God, endowed with the mind, reason, a conscience, worship, creativity and other attributes not found in animals, but in passages that distinguish humans from brute beasts (e.g. Jude 10, But these men revile the things which they do not understand; and the things which they know by instinct, like unreasoning animals, by these things they are
destroyed. Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 4 was judged by being turned into a virtual animal: Let his mind be changed from that of a man, And let a beasts mind be given to him. 01/27/20 124 Animal Sin: What Does It Imply? Until his mind was restored, he acted like an animal. In Biblical theology, therefore, humans are a kind of hybrid possessing the attributes of mammals but also having the capacity to fellowship with the Creator. As souls cast into animal bodies, as Wernher von Braun once described human nature, we need to address our bodily needs as well as our spiritual needs. Second, the spiritual nature of mankind implies that we must live by different standards than animals. These standards have been made clear in natural revelation (e.g., conscience) and special revelation (e.g., the Ten Commandments, all of Scripture, and the life of Christ). It is a non-sequitur to conclude that if animals commit
infanticide, homosexual acts, or infidelity, that humans are permitted to do so. Even societies oblivious to special revelation can reason from creation and conscience that we are accountable to a Creator, and have need of laws governing acceptable behavior. Those laws are best informed by special revelationthus the need for sharing the 01/27/20 125 Word of God. Animal Sin: What Does It Imply? Third, humans know intuitively that individuals who have lost their rational capacity are not responsible for their actions. We do not condemn the actions of a victim of microcephaly or severe brain damage, or of a loved one suffering dementia from Alzheimers disease. Thats why courts assess the mental capacity, thus the accountability, of those accused of a crime. Its also why the circumstances of a crime can mitigate punishment: for instance, if a person stole from hunger or desperation, or murdered someone because of fear of immediate bodily harm (even if misguided), as opposed to premeditated anger. In such cases, a physical drive (hunger,
adrenaline) that influenced the rational choice provides grounds for mitigating punishment. 01/27/20 126 Animal Sin: What Does It Imply? In short, human beings are expected to behave differently than animalsto use their reason and consciencebecause we are not mere animals. This is not unique to Christianity. The Romans and Greeks taught this. If you come across a pool of water surrounded by dead animals, you are expected to reason that the water is poisonous, rather than act like the dumb beasts that responded to their instincts. If you see other people jumping off a cliff (as Mom and Dad perennially warn their teens), you should think before following the herd. 01/27/20 127 Animal Sin: What Does It Imply?
With this background, we can address a thorny question: why would a morally perfect Creator permit animals to sin as in the above examples? Did God create lions to eat their young or murder the babies of a rival? First of all, the question presumes that what is is what ought to be. On the contrary, Genesis 3 teaches that the creation, pronounced as very good in Genesis 1, fell due to human sin. Plants and animals suffered the consequences through a curse on nature. Like a damaged machine, nature has to get by without its original perfection, though still retaining enough design to exhibit the Creators wisdom and love. Romans 8, thankfully, teaches that the curse will be lifted and nature will be restored to its original goodness. This is the only world view that explains natural evil as the result of a paradise lost while simultaneously offering the hope of a paradise regained. 01/27/20 128 Animal Sin: What Does It Imply?
Remember that animals, as brute beasts without the human capacity of rationality and morality included in the image of God, are not morally responsible for what they do. They cannot sin. They follow their imbedded physical drives. A hungry lioness, with no conscience to get twinged, might eat its cubs if hungry enough. A male lion that kills its rivals will be most likely to pass on its genes. A pack of scavengers will push others aside to get to the meat. This has nothing to do with evolution, but can perpetuate behaviors that humans, with a conscience, might find repulsive. The Creator endowed animals and plants the ability to adapt to a cursed world without thereby endorsing those behaviors as very good. The creation had to ratchet down to a new level to adjust to damaged circumstances. In fact, the Creator may have left natural object lessons as stimuli to remind humans to live uprightly, so as not to be like the brute beasts. 01/27/20 129 Animal Sin: What Does It Imply?
In this regard, evolutionists who use animal examples as justification for human morality are teaching the opposite of what they should infer from the observations. An evolutionist, to be sure, will not accept any of these Biblical arguments for morality. Fine. Let them be sentenced to live in a society for a year where might makes right, where humans kills their infants, or cannibalize the weak, that has unrestricted sex and cheating, that endorses lies and theft and abides by the law of the jungle, and they will come running and screaming back to a Christian civilization long before the time is up. Even Richard Dawkins knows better than to take up residence in a country operating by natural selection. 01/27/20 130 Written in Ink: No Evolution
An ink sac from a fossilized Jurassic cephalopod said to be 160 million years old looks identical to those from living cuttlefish. Science Daily did not blink at the surprise that something would not evolve for 160 million years. Indeed, the reporter seemed to relish what this means for evolution. Quoting John Simon (University of Virginia), the article even highlighted the fact that this cephalopod had a complex machinery to operate its inky escape: Its close enough that I would argue that the pigmentation in this class of animals has not evolved in 160 million years, Simon said. The whole machinery apparently has been locked in time and passed down through succeeding generations of cuttlefish. Its a very optimized system for this animal and has been optimized for a long time. 01/27/20 131 Written in Ink: No Evolution
Live Science, similarly, did not consider this a problem for evolution. Reporter Stephanie Pappas even dubbed the fossil a cuttlefish ancestor even though its ink sac looks like that of an identical twin. All the popular reports based on the UVA Today press release, including the echo on PhysOrg, pointed out that original melanin protein was present in the fossil: Generally animal tissue, made up mostly of protein, degrades quickly. Over the course of millions of years all that is likely to be found from an animal is skeletal remains or an impression of the shape of the animal in surrounding rock. Scientists can learn much about an animal by its bones and impressions, but without organic matter they are left with many unanswered questions. But melanin is an exception. Though organic, it is highly resilient to degradation over the course of vast amounts of time. 01/27/20 132
Written in Ink: No Evolution National Geographic called this an example of exceptional soft tissue preservation, adding that the ancient ink is indistinguishable from modern ink. In short, the articles all stated unequivocally (yet without doubting evolution), that (1) protein degrades quickly, but melanin is an exception that can last 160 million years, (2) no evolution occurred over 160 million years because the ink sac system was very optimized from the start, and (3) lack of evolution constitutes evidence for evolution. This is clear from the final quote by Simon in the last paragraph of Live Science: The aha moment for me was when we looked at the techniques for chemical bonding and we couldnt find anything that distinguished the pigment in the fossil from the pigment in a modern-day cuttlefish, which suggests the pigment hasnt changed in 160 million years, Simon said. When I think 01/27/20
about other evolutionary transitions that just amazes me. 133 Written in Ink: No Evolution Simon next hopes to look for original pigment samples in fossils dating back (in evolutionary terms) from 500 million years ago. Simple Simon needs another aha moment, as in: Aha! Darwin was wrong! Simon needs to be amazed further by another Aha: Lyell was wrong! 160 million unobserved years cannot, therefore, be assumed for purposes of keeping the two Charlies (Lyell & Darwin) in the science race. Falsification is the main thing Charlie & Charlie have in common. Since Simon has apparently not thought very deeply about this evolutionary transition (which is not a transition at all, but rather evidence for stasis and exceptional soft tissue preservation in the recent past), what should he think about other evolutionary transitions? Be amazed yourself at the gullibility and complicity in what passes for science reporting these days.
01/27/20 134 Crater Count Dating Still Unreliable Worries about the crater count dating method, widely relied upon to infer ages of planetary surfaces, began emerging in 2005. Those worries have not subsided; they have only grown worse. Crater numbers may have nothing to do with age. Were kept track of the crater count crisis since 2005, when the problem of secondary craters was brought to light . Secondary craters are formed by fallback debris from large impacts (primary craters). A single large impact can produce a million secondary craters, blurring relationships between crater counts and the age of a surface. Astronomers had hoped that secondaries could be identified, thereby alleviating the confusion. Not so; a new paper in Icarus by Xiao and Strom1 indicates that many secondaries are
very difficult to distinguish from primaries, because debris lofted up may go into orbit for years, falling down far away from the 01/27/20 135 initial impact (distant secondaries). Crater Count Dating Still Unreliable The authors tested dating by counting small craters in a variety of presumed old and young regions of the moon, and got widely divergent results despite using standard methods and software. They urged a high degree of caution, therefore, when trying to infer the age of a planetary surface. The abstract states: The small crater populations (diameter smaller than 1 km) are widely used to date planetary surfaces. The reliability of small crater counts is tested by counting small craters at several young and old lunar surfaces, including Mare Nubium and craters Alphonsus, Tycho and Giordano Bruno. Based on high-resolution images from both the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera and Kaguya Terrain Camera, small craters in two different diameter ranges are counted for each counting area.
01/27/20 136 Crater Count Dating Still Unreliable Large discrepancies exist in both the cumulative (absolute model ages) and relative plots for the two different size ranges of the same counting areas. The results indicate that dating planetary surfaces using small crater populations is highly unreliable because the contamination of secondaries may invalidate the results of small crater counts. A comparison of the size-frequency distributions of the small crater populations and impact ejected boulders around fresh lunar craters shows the same upturn as typical Martian secondaries, which supports the argument that secondaries dominate the small crater populations on the Moon 01/27/20 137 and Mars.
Crater Count Dating Still Unreliable Also, the size-frequency distributions of small rayed lunar and Martian craters of probable primary origin are similar to that of the Population 2 craters on the inner solar system bodies post-dating Late Heavy Bombardment. Dating planetary surfaces using the small crater populations requires the separation of primaries from secondaries which is extremely difficult. The results also show that other factors, such as different target properties and the subjective identification of impact craters by different crater counters, may also affect crater counting results. We suggest that dating planetary surfaces using small crater populations should be with highly cautious. 01/27/20 138 Crater Count Dating Still Unreliable
Some of those other factors include not knowing the incoming rate (impact flux), saturation criteria, differences in target properties, erosion rates, or what complicated resurfacing histories have occurred. In addition, human judgment can bias the counts based on what individuals consider significant: this problem is severe in small crater counts, the authors noted, although it might be alleviated with automated counting methods in the future. Even so, someone would have to tell the computer the difference between the small potatoes and the large potatoes. Non-impact structures (like volcanic vents) can sometimes look like craters. 01/27/20 139 Crater Count Dating Still Unreliable Crater count dating would be straightforward if impactors of predictable
size came in at a predictable rate within predictable rates of speed, were made of predictable materials and impacted a uniform surface material and left marks distinct from those of any other source. Even correcting for known complicating factors, astronomers thought they could calibrate the old and young craters with radiometric measurements from Apollo samples. Unfortunately, complications quickly arise in all those assumptions. Absolute dating was not a help: We counted the small crater populations on both young and old lunar surfaces to determine the problems of using small crater counts for age dating. Our counting areas are not smaller than those used in other publications, and the absolute model ages were determined from the widely employed production and chronology functions. Great discrepancies are observed in the small crater counts. 01/27/20 140 Crater Count Dating Still Unreliable
The authors were so pessimistic, they could not even recommend crater counting to assess relative ages. Small crater counts are highly unreliable for either relative or absolute age dating on both old and young surfaces, they said. In addition, the uncertainties they learned from testing the method on the moon and Mars extends to the whole solar system: All crater counting ages on other celestial bodies, they warned, are based on certain assumptions about the origin and impact rate of the impactors. The take-home message from the paper was bleak: In general, statistics of small craters are affected by numerous factors, e.g., contamination of secondaries and different target properties. Crater counting is a subjective process which causes more uncertainties to the results. Simplistic attempts to date planetary surfaces from small crater counts may be invalidate if they do not take these 01/27/20 141 factors into account. Crater Count Dating Still Unreliable Update 5/24/2012: Mike Wall, seni0r editor for Space.com, unwittingly illustrated the arbitrariness of crater count dating
in an article on Live Science: One of the Red Planets most mysterious landforms is probably 2 billion years older than has been thought, he began, suggesting it may have had a volcanic origin, a new crater count finds. While not questioning the validity of the method, Wall wrote that different astronomers, all using crater counts, arrived at ages for the Medusae Fossae area on Mars of a few hundred million years (very young), then 1.6 billion years, and now, up to 3.8 billion years. This not only shows that the same method produced results differing by over 250%, but also raises doubts whether the newly-published date is any more reliable. 01/27/20 142 Crater Count Dating Still Unreliable
Some relative dating can be preserved. If a crater sits inside or on top of another crater, all that can be said is that the inside or top crater happened after the other one. But without knowing when they formed or how much time had passed between them, how useful is that? Its a subjective process with too many uncertainties. So, toss another dating method into the dustbin, along with all its secondary impacts the Late Heavy Bombardment, the age of the solar system (A.S.S.), relative events between solar system bodies and all the other mythoids* the moyboys** use to pretend they have gnosis about an unobserved history and can tell us all about it. *Mythoid: An easily understood, workable falsehood that can be stated succinctly to sound like a fact. Not to be confused with factoid. 01/27/20 143 Doomed Worlds: Planets Seen Disrupting, Not Forming
Much as astrobiologists would like to see the birth of a new planet, the ones we observe seem to be dying, not being born. Newly found planet may turn into dust, reads a headline on NASAs Astrobiology Net. This does not bode well for any inhabitants the astrobiologists would like to meet. Echoing a press release from MIT, the article described how a planet around a star 1,500 light-years away appears to have a comet-like tail, evidence of a cloud of dust following the planet as it disintegrates. The press release includes a 40second animation of how the doomed world is shedding its material, and ends with this statement: 144 01/27/20 Doomed Worlds: Planets Seen Disrupting, Not Forming This might be another way in which planets are eventually
doomed, says Fabrycky, who was not involved in the research. A lot of research has come to the conclusion that planets are not eternal objects, they can die extraordinary deaths, and this might be a case where the planet might evaporate entirely in the future. PhysOrg today described another place where planets are doomed. Too remote to be observed directly, this systems dust disk appears to be tugged at by a black hole at the galactic center. No need to worry about the inhabitants there; there arent any. Yet, even if planets do form, living near a supermassive black hole is still not a hospitable place for life, the article said. The extreme amounts of UV radiation emitted as the black hole devours gas and dust is likely to sterilize the region. 01/27/20 145 Doomed Worlds: Planets Seen Disrupting, Not Forming As referenced in the May 14 entry, New Scientist warned that dust disks
around stars can no longer be assumed as planet maternity wards. Dust rings not smoking gun for planets after all, wrote Maggie McKee. (Sorry for the unfortunate mixed metaphors; the thought of a smoking gun in a maternity ward may be disturbing unless nothing was being born there in the first place.) The dust surrounding a star can form sharply-defined rings without congealing into a paradise for aliens. Astrobiologists and planet hunters have a new worry announced in Nature today:1 Startling superflares. Bradley Schaefer, referencing a study done by the Kepler Spacecraft team published in the same issue of Nature,2 said, Stars that are just like our Sun have flares more than a million times more energetic than the biggest flare ever seen on the Sun. A couple of minutes of exposure to one of these flares would doom the Earth, but some of these flares from other sun-like stars can last for half a day or several days. The astronomers found no correlation of superflares with hot Jupiters or with rotation rates, leaving them clueless about the causes of the flares. 01/27/20 146 Doomed Worlds: Planets Seen Disrupting, Not Forming
Statistically, superflares are not common on sun-like stars. Nevertheless, our sun is special, as Schaefer explained: The possibility that the Sun has superflares is not realized. Historical and geophysical records show that the Sun has not had any superflares in the past two millennia, and no superflares with more than roughly 1036 erg for perhaps a billion years. Maehara et al. show that only 0.2% of Sun-like stars have superflares, so it is unlikely that the Sun has such events. With their average rate of occurrence (once every 100 days for 1035erg flares) and their observed size distribution (with a power-law index of roughly 2.0), the expected frequency of 1032erg flares on all superflare stars should be very high. In stark contrast to this, the Sun has one 1032erg event roughly every 450 years and so is completely different from superflare stars. While recognizing the deadly force of a superflare, Schaefer exercised a vivid imagination by thinking of ways they might be good 01/27/20 147 for evolution:
Doomed Worlds: Planets Seen Disrupting, Not Forming Superflares have implications far beyond being just a challenge for stellar physics. If a superflares energy is linked to the orbital energy of a hot Jupiter, then three events a year on the star would make its planetary companion spiral in towards it on a timescale of a billion years. The huge energy output of superflares could make any planets around the star uninhabitable for far-future human colonization, and astrobiologists will have to consider the effect of the superflares on possible alien life. Superflares might provide the highenergy radiation required to create organic molecules, so perhaps superflare systems are a good place to look for alien life that has evolved to avoid the effects of the huge flares. 01/27/20 148 Doomed Worlds: Planets Seen Disrupting, Not Forming
Preach it, Bradley; Darwin comes to the rescue to create aliens that evolve the ability to avoid being fried to a crisp. Why not test your idea by looking for imaginary friends on Venus or the Sun? The findings do not support the bottom-up view that everything emerges from nothing. Instead, they are consistent with the top-down view of the universe: the universe, stars and planets were created perfect and are degenerating under entropy. Planets and stars are not being formed now; they are disrupting and getting fried. Were it not for providential design of our star and planet, it could happen to us, too. 01/27/20 149 Doomed Worlds: Planets Seen Disrupting, Not Forming
The findings are also consistent with the Privileged Planet hypothesis of Jay Richards and Guillermo Gonzalez, that our planet was designed for life and for scientific discovery. The only place in the universe we know about where sentient beings can observe distant stars and see that they have superflares is Earth. Those same beings can notice that our sun is remarkably stable and life-sustaining. Intelligent design, of course, is not at all surprising to Biblical creationists who read the words of Isaiah, revealing Gods purpose in making the Earth: For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord; and there is none else. (Isaiah 45:18) 01/27/20 150
Doomed Worlds: Planets Seen Disrupting, Not Forming With great privilege comes great responsibility, as the Lord, speaking through Isaiah, continued in the next verses (referring back to Genesis 1 as His revelation): Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the Lord? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. Surely, shall one say, in the Lord have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed. (Isaiah 45:2124) 01/27/20
151 How to Liven Up Dead Geology A new study shows some carbon compounds from Mars arose from geological processes. What does life have to do with it? Ask some science reporters. The facts: According to a new study by the Carnegie Institution, some carbon compounds in Martian meteorites arose by chemical processes on the red planet, probably volcanism. The compounds in the famous Martian ALH 84001 meteorite that sparked the birth of the new science of Astrobiology in the 1990s were also found to be non-biological in origin. This means the compounds have nothing whatsoever to do with life. One might suspect this would be tragic news for those who have devoted their careers to finding life on Mars, but heres how popular news reports treated the story:
01/27/20 152 How to Liven Up Dead Geology Live Science began by saying that organic compounds (by definition, those containing carbon, including cyanide and tailpipe soot) are linked with life and used the popular phrase, building blocks of life twice. It quoted a scientist saying, We now find that Mars has organic chemistry, and on Earth, organic chemistry led to life. The article was more lively than the dead geology facts indicated. It even turned the bad news (astrobiologically speaking) into good news: Now that scientists have a better picture of the foundations of Martian chemistry, they can better look for anomalies that might be signs of life, reporter Charles Q. Choi said. 01/27/20 153
How to Liven Up Dead Geology Science Daily also used the suggestive phrase building blocks of life and accentuated how the new knowledge of dead rock will help aid future quests for evidence of ancient or modern Martian life. New Scientist called the finding that Tiny carbon nuggets in meteorites from Mars were formed by cooling magma, not left by ancient alien microbes to be good news and bad news for astrobiologists. MacGregor Campbells headline read, quizzically, Bottled carbon from Mars bodes well for ancient aliens. Campbell quoted a researcher who brought the lava, like Lazarus, from the dead with a word: The presence of organic carbon at or near the Martian surface provides a potential nutrient source for putative life. The ending paragraph, which mentions St. Paul, would probably make the creationist saint roll over in his tomb: 01/27/20 154
How to Liven Up Dead Geology Perhaps the formation of prebiotic chemistry on Mars was as simple as cooling of Martian lavas, says Marc Hirschmann, a planetary scientist at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and St. Paul, who was not involved in the research. It reinforces the idea that early Mars may have been ripe for the development of life. National Geographic topped off the lava-lamp theory of life (9/17/2003) by suggesting that Earth life came from volcanoes, too. Magma Rise Sparked Life as We Know It? Reporter Ken Croswell began. Shift in planets volcanoes flooded Earth with oxygen, study says. He even deduced the middle ages: First, though, the rise of oxygen subjected our planet to a mid-life crisis: Oxygen readily reacts with methane, a greenhouse gas that had been warming the world before the oxidation event, he ended. With a drop in atmospheric methane, Earth and its inhabitants suffered the planets first major ice age. Nevertheless, like Campbell agreed, just having the potential molecules, whether carbon or oxygen, makes a planet ripe for putative life. 01/27/20
155 How to Liven Up Dead Geology While were at the Game of Life, why not just define volcanoes as alive already? Charles Lineweaver, in an interview for New Scientist, lamented the typical woes of defining life, so he moved the bar a little with a provocative definition of his own. Asked how he would define life, he answered, To the extent that the question makes sense, as a far-from-equilibrium dissipative system. When confronted with the fact that this makes hurricanes and stars (and presumably volcanoes) alive, he responded, Im moving the bar in what I consider to be a reasonable way. People should be disappointed, not at my moving the bar, but in the unrealistic expectation that there should be a bar where we have traditionally placed it. 01/27/20 156 How to Liven Up Dead Geology
Unexpectedly, Lineweaver scoffed at the idea that life can be defined as something that undergoes Darwinian evolution. We pretend that makes sense, but if you look it makes no sense at all, he remarked. What is the unit of Darwinian evolution? Is it the gene? Is it the cell? Is it a multicellular organism? Is a city evolving? How about Gaia? Is that a life form? Perhaps allowing a star, hurricane or volcano to qualify as life forms has the advantage of legitimizing Astrobiology and making the search for life on Mars a lot easier. Just dont ask Lineweaver what the unit of a far-from-equilibrium dissipative system is. 01/27/20 157 How to Liven Up Dead Geology This is more evidence that evolutionists are really animists and pantheists. They turn lava lakes into gardens of Eden. Just add water; just add lava; just add oxygen all dead things and what
happens? Emergence. Some two billion years later, Earths oxygen-rich air allowed animalsincluding humansto emerge and thrive, Croswell wrote. The universe is brimming with a life force, a potentiality that permeates space and time, filling volcanoes and meteorites with putative possibilities, accumulating building blocks of life so that the Unseen Hand of Evolution, the Tinkerer, Gaia, or whatever (doesnt need to make any sense at all), can work behind the scenes in some mysterious, unguided way. But the Unseen Hand is not allowed to act until the Spirit of Charlie, hovering over the surface of the lavas, shouts: Come forth! Emerge! Arise! Be fruitful and multiply! 01/27/20 158 Fine Art and Music Emerges Earlier Still With the best came first art of Chauvet cave fresh
on our minds (5/09/2012), another discovery shows that exquisite art and music existed even further back than evolutionists expected. Hand-crafted flutes found in caves in southern Germany, dated by radiocarbon at 43,000 years old, show that humans were possibly singing and playing musical instruments around their campfires far earlier than previously supposed: The bone flutes push back the date researchers think human creativity evolved, Jennifer Walsh wrote for Live Science. No pre-flutes were reported. 159 01/27/20 Fine Art and Music Emerges Earlier Still Science Daily reported, Oldest Art Even Older: New Dates from Geienklsterle Cave Show Early Arrival of Modern Humans, Art and Music. The evolutionists attempted to dress up the surprise with a theory that the cultured elite of the period moved up the Blue Danube to spread their culture, but they clearly were only guessing: Whether the many innovations best documented in Swabia were stimulated by climatic stress, competition between modern humans and Neanderthals or by other socialcultural dynamics remains a central focus of research by the
archaeologists, the article pointed out, continuing with the theme that many questions remain: High-resolution dating of the kind reported here is essential for establishing a reliable the [sic] chronology for testing hypothesis [sic] to explain the expansion of modern humans into Europe. This implies no such reliable chronology is established, and no hypotheses have passed the test. 01/27/20 160 Fine Art and Music Emerges Earlier Still Well, if this was published in the Journal of Human Evolution, the journal editors are not going to let it undercut their reason for existence, are they? They have to concoct an evolutionary tale even when evidence appears that humans were artistic and musical from the beginning (remember Jubal? Genesis 4:21). For reasons why radiocarbon dates beyond about 5,000 years are unreliable, see CMIs list of articles. Ignore the jargon words in the articles like Aurignacian culture, Kulturpumpe Hypothesis, Danube Corridor hypothesis, etc. These
are modern placeholder names covering up ignorance. How can you tell its ignorance? First of all, by the composite explanations: Whether the many innovations were stimulated by climatic stress, competition between modern humans and Neanderthals or by other social-cultural dynamics. 01/27/20 161 Fine Art and Music Emerges Earlier Still This splatter gun method of explaining is like your doctor saying, your pain is caused by your genes, your diet, the weather, or other social-cultural dynamics. Well, which is it? Come back when you know. Until then, dont call it knowledge. The other way you know its ignorance is that it requires believing the preposterous corollary that humans who were anatomically indistinguishable from us and were smart enough to migrate around the world, make musical instruments, paint
art that rivals Picassos and wear jewelry sat around in caves for another 25,000 years before figuring out how to ride a horse or build a house. If that is considered knowledge, dont ask the Journal of Human Evolution what constitutes folly. (Their answer would undoubtedly be, intelligent designthus proving our point.) 01/27/20 162 Ready, Aim, Flower How does a plant know the time to flower? A new study describes a process involving genes, sunlight sensors, switches, clocks, feedback loops and messages. The research, published in Science,1 focused on a protein that is sensitive to day length. The longer the day, the more the protein is produced. Its activity is controlled by the circadian clock, a set of genes and proteins that keep time in all plants and animals. In the
lab plant Arabidopsis, this protein, named FKF1, is allowed (when the days become long enough) to activate another protein that activates flowering. This second protein, though, has to travel from the leaves where it is made to the tips of the stem. There, it turns 01/27/20 163 on the flowering system. Ready, Aim, Flower The paper described the complexity of the system: The FKF1 photoperiod sensor uses multiple, partially redundant switches to allow strong activation in long days. As the Sun rises higher in the sky each day when spring approaches, plants can sense the increased intensity in the blue-light range of the spectrum each afternoon through multiple photoreceptors, including FKF1. The complexity of this mechanism even in a temperate species such as Arabidopsis suggests that it has the flexibility to regulate successful reproduction in a wide
range of environments. 01/27/20 164 Ready, Aim, Flower In other words, their lab plant has probably one of the simpler systems. Seasonal response is probably even more complex in some plants and animals, but even bacteria are known to have circadian clocks of Paleylike complexity. Neither the paper nor the summary on PhysOrg mentioned evolution. 1. Song, Smith et al., FKF1 Conveys Timing Information for CONSTANS Stabilization in Photoperiodic Flowering, Science 25 May 2012:Vol. 336 no. 6084 pp. 10451049, DOI: 10.1126/science.1219644. No comment, except: Darwin lovers, when are you
01/27/20 165 going to face the reality that Paley was right? Aliens: Evolutionists Imaginary Friends Some evolutionists have a lot to say about imaginary friends no one has ever seen. SETI prima donna Jill Tarter is sure aliens dont want to eat us (PhysOrg). Presumably this implies they wont wish to season their dishes with Tarter sauce, either. Perhaps, then, their treatise on How to Serve Man really was a genuine offer of help, rather than a cookbook. Mark Thompson assures us that the Fermi Paradox means Earthlings dont need the Men in Black (Live Science). Men in white, maybe but dont assume they are scientists. Mark Mardell (BBC News) is convinced that aliens use Legos.
Lifes building blocks have been found on Mars, he said, even though NASAs Astrobiology Magazine admitted the carbon molecules detected are non-biological. Still, the NASA piece used the L-word life hopefully five times. 166 01/27/20 Aliens: Evolutionists Imaginary Friends New Scientist said that if the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL, due to land this fall) doesnt find aliens, its No problem, we will look elsewhere. The search will go on, even though Astrobiology is an odd science. It largely concerns itself with studying something that may not exist, the article said. Apparently, existence is not a requirement for science these days. Something else has taken the place of observing things that must exist: Even so, it [astrobiology] captures the imagination like nothing else. Live Science offered a quiz, Mars Myths & Misconceptions. Partakers may be surprised to learn that Guglielmo Marconi believed he contacted alien signals from Mars in 1921, and that the U.S. Government was seriously listening for radio messages from Mars as late as 1924. The quiz did admit that there is no
solid evidence for life on Mars, but neglected to classify any of the current Mars astrobiology claims as myths or misconceptions. 01/27/20 167 Bacteria as a Vast Unexplored Medicine Chest Most of our therapeutic agents have been derived from bacteria. A new survey shows we have barely tapped the surface of potential medicines beneath our feet. Science Daily reported on a study of three desert soils from California, Arizona and Utah published in the May issue of Applied and Environmental Microbiology. A team from Howard Hughes Medical Institute found greater diversity of potentially useful products than was previously supposed in the biosynthetic genes of soil bacteria, implying that environmental bacteria have the potential to encode a large
additional treasure trove of new medicines. 01/27/20 168 Bacteria as a Vast Unexplored Medicine Chest The article explained where most of our medicines come from: Natural compounds have been the sources of the majority of new drugs approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, and bacteria have been the biggest single source of these therapeutically relevant compounds. Most bacterially-derived antibiotic and anticancer agents were discovered by culturing bacteria from environmental samples, and then examining the metabolites they produce in laboratory fermentation studies. But the vast majority of bacterial
species cannot be cultured, which suggested that the world might be awash in potentially useful, but 01/27/20 169 unknown bacterial metabolites. Bacteria as a Vast Unexplored Medicine Chest It seems that researchers will not soon run out of material to investigate: the genomes of environmental bacteria could encode many additional drug-like molecules, including compounds that might serve, among other things, as new antibiotics and anticancer agents. When you think of bacteria, do you think of health? Maybe findings like this will help end a kind of microbial racism. A few bad ones should not create bias against
the majority that work hard to create a better world. This survey also suggests that bacteria originally had a useful function in the Creation paradigm. 01/27/20 170 The Wonder and Blunder in Your Skull Even when it goes awry, the brain wins an award of cosmic proportions, according to a veteran psychiatrist. In an article for the BBC News about Sir Robin Murrays lifelong research into the causes of schizophrenia, the interviewer put the most significant quote in the first paragraph: We wont be able to understand the brain. It is the most
complex thing in the universe, says Professor Sir Robin Murray, one of the UKs leading psychiatrists. Earlier this month, though, Chris Stringer entitled an article in Nature (485, May 3, 2012, pp. 3335, doi:10.1038/485033a ), Evolution: What makes a modern human. He seemed more interested in the skull the container than the cosmic superlative inside it. 01/27/20 171 The Wonder and Blunder in Your Skull PhysOrg, likewise, put the human brain on an evolutionary continuum with those of mice, even though the scientists admitted mouse brains have not evolved since mice first scurried about. The brains of larger mammals, such as humans, however, have a completely different structure to those of mice, the article said, leaving some readers to wonder
how evolution can produce opposites stasis and radical restructuring within a single theory. How does evolution get from brain to mind? Current Biology (22:10, R392-R396, 22 May 2012, doi:10.1016/j.cub.2012.03.033) recognized the philosophical difficulty in trying to explain, in material terms, something as simple as our conscious experience of qualia (singular, quale), i.e., the phenomenal aspect of consciousness or what it is like character of subjective experience. 01/27/20 172 The Wonder and Blunder in Your Skull Perhaps the most difficult biological question of all might be how and why electrochemical neuronal activity in the brain generates subjective conscious experience such as the redness of red or the painfulness of pain. Neuroscientists track how light impinging on the retina is transformed into electrical pulses (neuronal spikes), relayed through the visual thalamus to reach the visual cortex, and finally culminates in activity within speech-related areas causing
us to say red. But how such experience as the redness of red emerges from the processing of sensory information is utterly mysterious. It is also unclear why these experiences possess phenomenal characteristics, which can be directly accessed only from the subject having the experience. This is called the hard problem of consciousness as coined by the philosopher David Chalmers. 01/27/20 173 The Wonder and Blunder in Your Skull This was no problem at all for Dan Jones, though, who in New Scientist argued that evolution wired our brains to argue. Indeed, contra Sir Robin Murray, he believed he could understand the brain. Darwin showed him how. In The argumentative ape: Why were wired to persuade, Jones tried to persuade readers that evolution wired us to engage in several logical fallacies,
including confirmation bias. Were all guilty of flawed thinking because our brains evolved to win others round to our point of view whether or not our reasoning is logical, he argued persuasively, using game theory and other methods to show how our brains evolved to do this or that deceptive thing. Jones was sure he was not guilty himself, even if he didnt take time to explain how he himself got outside of evolution to look back at the rest of humanity from an unguided process that produced a flawed instrument geared to dupe others rather 01/27/20 than to recognize logic, reason, and truth let alone qualia. 174 The Wonder and Blunder in Your Skull Didnt Robin Murray discuss paranoia and schizophrenia as delusions? The amazing thing about schizophrenia is these are people who have to live their life without being able to believe their senses, he said. When you or I hear something we know that it is real. Yet Dan Jones can look at the most complex thing
in the universe and argue, as if he believes what he is saying is true and real, that it is the result of pointless mutations that resulted in our brains evolving to manipulate others. 01/27/20 175 Climate Change as a Philosophy of Science Case Study Climate change (what used to be called Global Warming) provides a test case on whether a scientific consensus is reliable or authoritative. A minority of scientists, most being strict Darwinians, rule a majority of their fellow human beings who believe in creation. A similar situation exists in climate change theory, where the scientific elite are frustrated that ordinary citizens and governments balk
at accepting their opinions. Though off topic for Creation-Evolution Headlines, some comparisons may be instructive on how to evaluate the consensus about Darwinism. 01/27/20 176 Climate Change as a Philosophy of Science Case Study The more inclusive climate change term evolved by punctuated equilibrium (or, as some might have it, by intelligent design) after years of warnings by scientists about global warming. But global warming carries no political baggage unless it is human caused the source of most of the conflict about anthropogenic global warming and what should be done about it.
01/27/20 177 Climate Change as a Philosophy of Science Case Study The scientific consensus is still adamant that humans are guilty of setting our planet on a dangerous course via industrial emissions of greenhouse gases. In recent years, their force of presumptive authority led to global summits and promises by governments to take draconian measures as penance. Some still do. The wind seems to have gone out of the scientific sails recently, though. Reasons include lingering damage from embarrassing exposures of fraud and flawed statistics, inconsistent claims, growing doubt about the validity of the data, governments that are figuring that cutting their own emissions puts them at an economic disadvantage, and a public reluctant to accept the sky is falling message. 01/27/20
178 Climate Change as a Philosophy of Science Case Study Climate change has become something of a catch-phrase that stands for too much and thereby means too little. For instance, just when the layman has learned to watch his carbon footprint, New Scientist tells him to watch out for his nitrogen footprint, water footprint and phosphorus footprint. How can John Q. Public avoid stepping all over himself? In addition, some of the warnings and advice appear downright nutty. National Geographic, for instance, seriously reported a proposal to put sunscreen in the sky. The environmental impact of pumping many tons of titanium oxide into the atmosphere has not been evaluated, for sure. What will happen to the coral and endangered species, including humans? Even if deemed safe, application could be decades away (too little too late), whether or not the EPA decides
what SPF factor Mother Earth needs to put on. 01/27/20 179 Climate Change as a Philosophy of Science Case Study A number of reports about past climate change undermines todays doomsday prophets. Climate change led to collapse of ancient Indus civilization reported Science Daily this week. Clearly, whatever climate catastrophe might be correlated with their demise was not anthropogenic so long before the Industrial Revolution. Sometimes the response of scientists is to warn that todays threat is greater than any historical climate change. Many onlookers find that unconvincing. If ice ages and warming periods happened before, dont blame us, they think. 01/27/20
180 Climate Change as a Philosophy of Science Case Study Another sign of the changing political climate appeared on Science Daily this week: Public Apathy Over Climate Change Unrelated to Science Literacy. This implies that skeptics of anthropogenic warming are not stupider than climate scientists who promote the consensus view. The skeptics may have different cultural values, but are just as able to comprehend the science, according to a study just published in Nature Climate Change. The article tried to divert attention to matters of public bias or the persuasive abilities of scientists, but the results must have been discomfiting to the journal editors and to the National Science Foundation that funded the survey. Whether the consensus is correct regarding global warming or not, its an issue with parallels to the evolution controversy: a scientific consensus bucking heads with a recalcitrant public. It shows that science is not out there as some ideal entity, but is necessarily a human enterprise. Elitists or not, scientists have to get down and dirty in rhetoric, politics, and reputation in messy relationships with their fellow
human beings who dont always buy into their right to tell them what to 01/27/20 181 do. Climate Change as a Philosophy of Science Case Study It doesnt help sciences reputation when commentators like Daniel Sarewitz write in prestigious journals like Nature on May 9, Beware the creeping cracks of bias: Evidence is mounting that research is riddled with systematic errors. Left unchecked, this could erode public trust, the article began. Though the context was different (medical research), the principle is the same. Arguably, a problem of bias in medical research, something more accessible and short-term than climate change, could erode public trust even more with talking about longer-term theories like global warming or evolution. Like the Darwinians, the climate-change people own the media, the schools and the U.N. The Darwinians had better be shaking in their boots about the possible collapse of global warming theory.
Even though a collapse by itself would not justify the climate skeptics it could be discounted as a rhetorical loss by the right side it would demonstrate that scientists cannot pretend to be a 01/27/20 182 global oligarchy. Climate Change as a Philosophy of Science Case Study The real issue relates to philosophy of science: how do scientists know what they know? If the consensus collapses from within, if a new consensus emerges that discards the old one, say, and warns that humans are causing a new ice age or whatever, it will demonstrate Kuhn was right. By parallel evolution, Darwinism will be relegated to a currently powerful paradigm that may some day give way to a new paradigm based on intelligent design. Darwinians are in a Catch-22 situation. They cannot simultaneously preach scientism (science is the path to Truth) and argue that evolution produced the human mind. If its Truth they want a Truth
that can allow a minority to persuade and direct a majority they cant posture themselves as argumentative apes . An embarrassment about climate change will only illustrate their fallibility. What are the Darwinians going to say if their critics mock them, saying, according to their own assumptions, evolution caused their demise? Its just survival of the fittest. Q.E.D. Stuff happens. The climates, they are achanging. Thats what you get for founding a belief system on chance 01/27/20 183 and contingency. Spiders Can Cross Oceans Why did the spider cross the ocean? To colonize the Old World after it originated in the New World. It seems inconceivable for creatures as small as spiders to play Columbus, but they did. Their ships were rafts of vegetation, a short article in Nature said this week (Nature 485, 31 May 2012, p. 550, doi:10.1038/485550a). A family of harvestmen that inhabits tropical forests on both sides of the Pacific Ocean originated in Mesoamerica roughly 82 million
years ago, the journal claimed. The arachnids migration is a rare example of a trans-Pacific dispersal. 01/27/20 184 Spiders Can Cross Oceans A genetic comparison of harvestmen from old and new worlds led Harvard scientists to conclude that the spiders got from Brazil to Indo-Pacific islands. The creatures probably did not disperse through the break-up of the supercontinent Gondwana, so the authors speculate that they made their way across the Pacific on floating vegetation carried by ocean currents. Lets see if the evolutionary explanation makes sense. The spiders, we are told, originated in Mesoamerica. Thats really helpful, isnt it? How did the world form? It originated. Why is there air? It originated. Where did the
philosophy of origins come from? It originated. Try that at home; even your kids know youre dodging their question. 01/27/20 185 Spiders Can Cross Oceans Next, we are told that the migration across the ocean is a rare example of a trans-Pacific dispersal. You dont say. No kidding; once in 82 million years is pretty rare. What could have gotten into those little spidey brains in that one generation to make them want to colonize new worlds? Is this a new law of nature? If so, we should see them hopping on vegetation rafts all the time, mixing their genomes up between continents, not doing it once after originating. 01/27/20 186
Spiders Can Cross Oceans Evolutionists tell their tales this way because theyve anchored their thoughts to an imaginary timeline Darwin needed, with its millions and millions of years. In their tale, a supercontinent (that originated who knows how) had to break up at a certain time. The spiders, who originated after MesoAmerica originated, couldnt have just ridden the drifting continent, so they had to swim or take a cruise ship. Whatever the authors speculate to keep the story intact (with its millions of years) gets 01/27/20 187 sanctified as science these days. Spiders Can Cross Oceans These are the same people who will scoff at the
Biblical Flood story as nonsense, saying there is no possible way for animals to get from the Middle East to the rest of the world. When a creation scientist offers the possibility that some of them floated on mats of vegetation, the laughter gets rip-roarin crazy. 01/27/20 188