“. . . science itself requires the assistance of outside critics to check the tendency of ambitious scientists to go into the worldview business.  A scientific community that is immune to outside criticism will be tempted to expand its territory and in the process will forsake rigorous scientific practice in order to justify conclusions that go far beyond what the data can justify.”

– Dr. Phillip E. Johnson, The Wedge of Truth (IVP, 2000), pp. 103-104.

 Creation-Evolution Headlines, July 2001
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DNA from 1.8 Million Year Old Apeman Alleged  07/31/2001
An anthropologist claims to have recovered DNA from a blood stains on 1.8 million year old stone tools, according to the
BBC News.  Bonnie Williamson of the University of South Africa claims “The DNA we have found is something between a chimpanzee and a human, which suggests a hominid.”  Others are skeptical.  Alan Cooper of the UK, for instance, regards the likelihood that DNA could survive the heat of Africa for more than 10,000 years as “highly improbable, in fact almost impossible.” Some put an upper limit of 100,000 years as the length of time DNA molecules could survive outside a cell, and view the DNA found as probably contamination.

Wait and see.  We saw a similar claim in January.  Either it is contamination, or the bones are not 1.8 million years old.  There is not enough data to assert the DNA is transitional between apes and man.  According to Cooper, “Sadly, it is part of continuing claims of ancient human DNA finds lacking experimental and intellectual rigor.”
Next headline on: Early Man. • Next headline on: Dating Methods.
Evolutionists Try to Explain Animal Looks and Lifestyles  07/31/2001
A paper in the July 31
Proceedings of the National Academy of Scientists by three biologists from New Mexico, Texas and Oregon formulates a new model for optimum life history, relating the variables of reproductive potential, life span, maturity, and body size.
We include this paper for an exercise in how to detect bluffing.  At first glance it looks very impressive: loaded with technical terms and differential equations, and printed (after peer review) in the prestigious journal of the NAS.  But look through the text and you find example after example of questions, puzzles, anomalies and failures of the model.  Some examples:
  • Many equations have been statistically fit to body-size growth data (8, 9) and most merely describe rather than explain.
  • Theory for life-history evolution presents a major puzzle with reference to Fig. 1; many formal evolutionary models (19) predict that growth should cease with the onset of reproduction....  Because such determinate growth is uncommon outside of birds, mammals, and insects, the models must be ignoring something very basic and widespread.
  • ...a second puzzle: b is the metabolic maintenance cost per existing cell, which raises the question of why any species would have a high b– Why build a body of cells expensive to maintain? We hypothesize that expensive cells (high b) allow greater reproductive effort...
  • Thus, lizards weakly support the model, whereas snakes do not at all.
  • One wonders why birds are almost 10 times more productive by this measure (flight? endothermy? habitat productivity?).
If their model worked, why is the world filled with so much diversity?  The paper is filled with assumptions.  It tries to manipulate variables whose relationships are poorly known, makes a feeble model that might make predictions, but then finds whole groups of organisms that don’t fit it.  This is characteristic of evolutionary theory.  To the uninitiated, it looks very impressive and scientific.  Look at it in detail, however, and you find more exceptions than rules (see the First Law of Scientific Progress, right).  It is simply the art of storytelling advanced to a high level.
Next headline on: Darwinism and Evolutionary Theory.
Astrobiologist Claims to Have Found Bacteria From Space  07/31/2001
Chandra Wickramasinghe at the
Cardiff Centre for Astrobiology claims to have detected bacteria above earth’s atmosphere, which he assumes has an extraterrestrial origin.  He says, “There is now unambiguous evidence for the presence of clumps of living cells in air samples from as high as 41 kilometres, well above the local tropopause (16 km), above which no air from lower down would normally be transported.”  Scientific American says that peers are skeptical.  Max Bernstein of NASA-Ames, a member of the SETI institute, argued that “it would strain one’s credulity less to believe that terrestrial organisms had somehow been transported upwards than to assume that extraterrestrial organisms are falling inward.”
Wickramasinghe, a close collaborator with Sir Fred Hoyle, has long been cited by creationists for his trouncing of evolution, such as in their statement that the origin of life by chance being as improbable as the assembling of a Boeing 747 by tornado in a junkyard.  Their alternative, however, is far from creation by a transcendent, personal God.  They have long promoted panspermia, the theory that life was seeded on earth as bacteria from space, then evolved into all the higher organisms.  Hoyle and Wickramasinghe have a vested interest in finding evidence to support their theory, but it is going to be a hard sell to both creationists and evolutionists.
Bernstein also commented, “I think that since the claim comes from him, it is regarded with perhaps a little more skepticism than if it came from someone who was a little more critical of the theory.”  Then why do evolutionists discount creation arguments out of hand, and only accept the claims of those already committed to evolution?
Next headline on: SETI.
Nazi Memories Haunt Stem Cell Debate in Germany  07/30/2001
Like the U.S. and the rest of the world, Germany is embroiled in the ethical debate about embryonic stem cell research.  But according to the
Washington Times, “the battle is complicated by the ghost of Germany’s Nazi past.” Both liberals and conservatives want to avoid repeating the horrors of Nazi experimentation on humans.  Germany’s president Johannes Rau has warned against moving ahead without a full debate.
In a related story, the LA Times has a Washington Post article by Rick Weiss on the new ethical dilemmas posed by genetic engineering of humans:  “..ethicists and scientists have no trouble identifying reasons to be concerned about embryo screening.  The most obvious reason is the idea of the designer baby, with its echoes of the eugenics movement of early 20th century America and its later adoption by the Nazis.” He asks if we are ready to face ethics based on a market economy.
Why did Nazi Germany experiment on humans?  Because the Social Darwinism of Haeckel and others promoted the ideas that that we are just evolved animals, that ethics is defined by pragmatism, and that personhood is granted by consensus or the state.  Sound familiar in 2001? 
Next headline on: Politics.
Christian Legal Expert Urges Christians to Think and Defend Creation  07/28/2001
Berkeley law professor Phillip E. Johnson, widely recognized as one of the leaders of the
Intelligent Design movement, urged Christians to use their heads and not just their emotions, reports the Baptist Press.  Frustrated at churches that seem indifferent to ideas (which have consequences), and by Christians who seem weak and unable to defend their faith intellectually, Johnson points to the doctrine of creation as the natural starting point for effective Christian witnessing to our current culture that embraces evolutionary naturalism and postmodernism.  In the interview, Johnson said he believes it is essential to point out irrational beliefs within Darwinian evolution, such as the concept that man simply evolved from nothing.  He said that starting with a sovereign Creator fits the world as we see it.  There is no need, therefore, to be intimidated by those who, trusting that science has given mankind all the answers to ultimate reality, rail against believers.  “The real data for science, the real knowledge that comes from science points to the need for a creator,” he said.  “So we have to understand some science, but we have to understand our own doctrines as well.”
Creation-Evolution Headlines can help you do just that.  Feed your head: bookmark this page and come back often.  This site is unique in pulling together, on a nearly daily basis, current science news that illustrates the fallacies in evolutionary teaching, and the evidence for design that is consistent with belief in the God of nature and Scripture.  The Chain Links at the top can guide you by topic through the hundreds of headlines this service has reported in its first year of operation, and the Baloney Detector can train your mind in the art of discernment.
Next headline on: Bible.
Humans Evolved to Talk, Not Send Email  07/27/2001
Dr. Ned Kock at Temple University School of Business claims that people evolved to relate to one another face to face, not through phone calls and email.  According to the story reported in
EurekAlert, it will take many years before people evolve better expertise at electronic relationships.  “Since we have communicated during most of the past three to five million years by using face-to-face interaction,” Dr. Kock says, “you have to conclude that we have optimized our biological apparatus for that type of communication.”
There is an alternative explanation, you know.
Next dumb story.
Spiders and Cavemen Puzzle Evolutionists With Their Art  07/26/2001
The August 2001 issue of
National Geographic is out, and contains two honest admissions of puzzlement for evolutionists.  In an article on spider webs, biologist Bill Eberhard ponders how evolution could have endowed the lowly spider with these skills:
You have an essentially blind animal with a limited nervous system building a complicated structure in an unpredictable environment.  The spider makes what for a human would be very complex calculations: ‘How big is the open space?  How much silk do I have?  What attachment points are available?’  Spiders are not little automatons making the same thing over and over.  They’re flexible.  And they’re not stupidly flexible; they’re smart flexible.
The article describes how most spiders have three pairs of spinnerets, each with with hundreds of silk-producing spigots controlled by muscles.  Spider silk is more elastic than nylon and stronger than steel.
In an unrelated article, the magazine comments on the artistic skill of prehistoric art found recently in a cave in France, alleged to be 35,000 years old.  “Art this old was supposed to be crude and stiff, but there is nothing primitive about Chauvet.”  The published pictures reveal the “subtle shading, ingenious use of perspective, and elegant lines of Chauvet’s masterworks” that stunned its discoverers in 1994.  “For decades scholars had theorized that art had advanced in slow stages from primitive scratchings to lively, naturalistic renderings . . . . Then carbon dates came in, and prehistorians reeled.  Approximately twice as old as those in the more famous caves [such as Lascoux], Chauvet’s images represented not the culmination of prehistoric art but its earliest known beginnings.  A few thousand years after anatomically modern humans appeared in Europe, cave painting was as sophisticated as it would ever be.”
Here you have two anomalies for evolution to explain: lowly spiders with skill unmatched by humans, building all sorts of clever insect nets that look like works of art, to say nothing of the problem of how they invented a substance more flexible and strong than Kevlar.  Then on a totally different front, you find the earliest human art to be the best!  Compare these Chauvet paintings with the crude petroglyphs and cowboyglyphs of the southwest, and you do not find evolution, you find degeneration.  If we just keep reporting stories like this, maybe some skeptical readers will just let the evidence itself gradually convince them that something is drastically wrong with the evolutionary view of the world.
Next headline on: Bugs. • Next headline on: Early Man. • Next amazing story.
Red Hot Peppers Are for the Birds  07/25/2001
According to the
BBC News, Arizona scientists figured out why chilis are so hot.  It’s an evolutionary ploy to repel mammals from eating the seeds.  Birds, you see, who are not affected by the hot sauce (capsaicin), eat the chilis and pass the seeds, undigested, to a new location.
We need to be like good toddlers here and ask lots of Why, Mommy? questions when we are told this bedtime just-so story.  Why didn’t the mammals evolve a tolerance for the hot sauce? (After all, Texans did).  Why don’t the birds digest the seeds, too?  How come there are sweet fruits attractive to mammals?  Why are you telling me this – is it true, I mean really, really true (cross your heart), or did you just make it up?
Next headline on: Darwinism and Evolutionary Theory. • Next dumb story.
Creator Becomes the New Politically Incorrect Word  07/25/2001
According to California state senator John Campbell, appearing on
Hugh Hewitt’s syndicated radio talk show July 25, the California Legislature voted down a resolution that would have declared the week of July 4 as Freedom Week because it made the mistake of including the word “Creator.”  Also, according to World Magazine for July 21, ABC Newscaster Diane Sawyer on a July 4 TV special was heard to edit out the C word while quoting the Declaration of Independence, saying, “All men are created equal, endowed with certain inalienable rights.”
Taking by their Creator out of the phrase is like turning off the engine in a hot air balloon.  The balloon may drift for a short time, but will crash into reality once people (or politicians) realize there is no ultimate basis for rights.  If God our Creator is not the Author of Liberty, then who is?  Darwin?  Chance?  Hydrogen?  Let’s try that: All men are created equal – no, that doesn’t scan; start over – All men are evolved equal – no, equal implies value, which presupposes some kind of transcendent standard; – All men are evolved, and endowed by hydrogen with certain inalienable rights – Aw, skip it.
If the Declaration of Independence goes, the rest of our nation’s references to God as the giver of rights cannot be far behind.  In hydrogen we trust.  Hydrogen bless America.  One nation, under hydrogen, indivisible, with whatever the courts and politicians decide for all.
Next headline on: Politics.
Prayer Lowers Blood Pressure  07/24/2001
A research project by Psychosomatic Medicine funded by the National Institutes of Health appears to show that religious coping activities lower blood pressure.  The study of 155 subjects showed that, at least among the African Americans, those who engaged in prayer, scripture study and seeking religious guidance had consistently lower blood pressure.  The finding is summarized in
EurekAlert.  In contrast to previous studies that attempted to correlate blood pressure and religion by taking measurements in clinics, this study included measurements during sleep and normal workday activities.  The white participants, interestingly, did not show the correlation, because, according to the report, “African-Americans were much more likely than whites to turn to prayer, religion and God to cope with daily life.”
While it’s to be expected that trusting in the Lord will be good for your health and overall well being, one cannot test the Holy Spirit with the scientific method.  We need to pray whether or not prayer lowers blood pressure; in some cases, agonizing in prayer might even raise it.  We pray not for our own sakes but because there is a God who hears and answers prayer.
Next headline on: Health.
17-Year Locusts Evolved Prime Number Life Cycle  07/23/2001
Why do cicadas emerge from their sleep in 13 or 17 year cycles?  Possibly because evolution drove them to pick prime numbers, says a report in
Nature.  By landing on prime numbers, which are only divisible by one, they evaded predators with life cycles divisible by 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 years, thus evading enemies that would be awaiting the emergence with watering mouths.  The hypothesis was supported by computer modelling done by a Mario Markus, a physicist in Germany.
So why don’t we have 3, 5, 7, 11 and 19 year locusts?  And why are the prey smarter than the predators – is the goddess Evolution playing favorites when passing out skill at natural selection?  Even the authors admit that this hypothesis is highly speculative, and it raises as many questions as it answers.  Notice how ad hoc their model is:
Cicadas were assigned a random fitness score on the basis of cycle length and the frequency with which they encountered competitors.  Over time, cycle length evolved until the cicadas hit a prime number, they found.  The model assumes that in the past there were cicada predators and parasites that became extinct though a lack of the insects.  “It’s a bold assumption,” says Markus.  Evidence of such a creature would give the model a boost.  An ancient wasp is one hypothetical parasite . . . . But the idea is highly speculative, as fossil records of the wasp have never been found.  Why cicadas evolved such long cycles is also unexplained, says Simon.  A long cycle seems to be a disadvantage, as the population would grow more slowly than that of competitors who reproduce more often.
This hypothesis has enough loopholes to drive a truck through.
Next headline on: Bugs. • Next dumb story.
Next headline on: Darwinism and Evolutionary Theory.
Article 07/23/2001: In the August 2001 Impact article #338 from the Institute for Creation Research, Dr. D. Russell Humphreys recaps the turbulent debate he spawned seven years ago when he launched a young-earth cosmology based on general relativity in his book Starlight and Time.
Next headline on: Cosmology. • Next headline on: Dating Methods.

Scientists Rethink Possibility of Life on Mars  07/20/2001
Friday 7/20/01 was the 25th anniversary of the exciting day the Viking 1 lander touched down on the Martian surface on July 20, 1976 and began the first scientific search for life on another planet. 
Space.Com in its commemorative article describes the Viking missions and current thinking about life on Mars.  After the results of two experiments were negative, and a third ambiguous, scientists became pretty convinced that Mars was a dead world.  These days, however, some think the uncertain results of the labelled-release experiment could keep hope alive for Martian life.  (These scientists also tend to be the ones that view the controversial ALH84001 Martian meteorite as containing evidence for fossilized single-celled lifeforms.)  The European Space Agency’s Beagle 2 scheduled for June 2003 liftoff will pick up where the Vikings left off, analyzing the chemistry in greater detail. 

Give up, you guys.  If life is so improbable on a water-rich planet like earth that it would never evolve, how much more so for Mars, a dry, freezing desert, bombarded by deadly radiation?  But let them go and get facts to end the speculation.  Prediction: if life is found, it will be contamination from earth.
The article does contain interesting historical links to the Viking missions, with pictures and descriptions, for those who missed those adventurous days during the American Bicentennial.
Next headline on: Mars. • Next headline on: Origin of Life.
Tiny Crustacean Fossil Fuels Cambrian Explosion Debate  07/20/2001
A tiny but detailed fossil of a crustacean, less than half a millimeter long, has been found in rocks alleged to be 511 million years old (see picture in the
BBC News).  Most fossils have only hard parts preserved, but this remarkable find has mummified soft parts and legs; it must have been fossilized rapidly (see Discovery.Com for close-up pictures).  The fossil is “so old, yet so advanced” it adds fuel to the “Cambrian Explosion” controversy – why do so many different animal phyla appear abruptly at the onset of the Cambrian, 545 million years ago?  Some scientists speculate that more fossils like this are not found because geological conditions did not favor fossilization at the time.
That cannot be an excuse, because the Cambrian is a long period of time in their scheme, and other similar periods of time have abundant fossils.  The Cambrian Explosion remains a clear problem for Darwinism.  In the absence of any evidence, scientists in this story claim that “there must have been a period of evolution prior to the Cambrian explosion.”  The fossil record itself, however, supports the Theory of Abrupt Appearance, not the Theory of Slow, Gradual Evolution.
Next headline on: Fossils. • Next headline on: Darwinism and Evolutionary Theory.
Blame Your Tardiness on Evolution  07/20/2001
If you’re always on time, the predator may be waiting to eat you, according to a speculation by a Japanese scientists writing for
Physical Review Letters (see Philip Ball’s summary in Scientific American).  By keeping the biological clock a little imprecise, evolution may be giving the tardy critters a chance at survival; e.g., you don’t want to be the early worm if the early bird knows by habit you’ll check in on time.  But the evolutionist confesses that his model is preliminary: “The underlying assumptions and simplifications remain to be carefully examined,” he says.
OK, so let’s do that.  Let’s carefully examine the assumptions: read these pages.  Evolutionists go out of their way to pay homage to Darwin at every turn for every phenomenon.  Anything that happens can somehow, some way be called an evolutionary adaptation.  Evolution, therefore, fails as an scientific explanation that can be falsified.
Next headline on: Darwinism and Evolutionary Theory. • Next dumb story.
Movie 07/19/2001: Answers in Genesis gives Top 10 Reasons Not To See Jurassic Park III.
Next headline on: Movies.

Scientists May One Day Hatch Jurassic Chicken  07/19/2001
The cover story of the current
New Scientist is called “Rewinding Evolution.”  Scientists think they might some day regress offspring of living creatures into their evolutionary ancestors.  The blurb says, “Bring out the T. Rex in your chicken and the ape in your aunt.  The past is coming back to life with a roar as we discover the power of evolution’s sleeping genes, says Philip Cohen.” A review in Ananova says “Jurassic Chicken is not far-fetched; Chickens could be turned into Jurassic Park monsters by turning back the evolutionary clock to when birds were dinosaurs.”

How much did the makers of Jurassic Park III pay New Scientist to run this story on opening day?
Next dumb story.
Digital Organisms Achieve Survival of the Flattest  07/19/2001
A team of biological modelers created computerized organisms and made them mutate and replicate at various rates, according to
Nature.  The ones that survived the best were not the fittest, nor the ones with the most offspring, but the ones on a fitness plateau (a flat rate of reproduction) that were the most robust against mutations.
Evolutionists need to stop playing video games and get back to the real world.
Next dumb story. • Next headline on: Darwinism and Evolutionary Theory. •
25 Years of Study on DNA Copy and Repair Mechanisms Summarized  07/18/2001
The July 17 issue of the
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences contains a long paper by two MIT biochemists on what we have learned so far in 25 years of study of enzymes that help copy and repair DNA: the DNA polymerases.  Apparently these wonder molecules not only synthesize DNA but repair a number of different kinds of errors.  The coordination of which polymerase is activated and tosses the baton to another is still poorly understood.  Most of the work has been done on E. coli, a prokaryote (simpler one-celled organisms lacking a nucleus), but the situation is even more complex in the eukaryotes (all higher organisms), “where both the number of DNA polymerases and the level of complexity of the events are far greater.”
If your brain can tolerate the technical jargon without crashing, and if you need evidence for a Designer, you should read this paper.  The authors seem truly amazed at the performance of these submicroscopic molecules.  Some sample sentences:
  • A common, defining feature of these DNA polymerases is a remarkable ability to replicate imperfect DNA templates . . .
  • The recent discovery of additional eukaryotic DNA polymerases...further complicates the already daunting issue of understanding the control systems that govern which DNA polymerase gains access . . . .
  • A growing body of evidence suggests that an important additional level of control results from DNA polymerases being "coached" as to their correct biological role through interactions with other proteins associated with the particular DNA substrate . . . .
  • In addition to their roles in chromosomal DNA replication, DNA polymerases participate in numerous DNA repair pathways, including double-strand break repair, mismatch repair, base excision repair and nucleotide excision repair . . . .
  • Elaborate regulatory controls and a sophisticated system of protein-protein contacts ensure that the...gene products carry out their appropriate biological roles.  However, as is so often the case in science, the discoveries of today are posing even more challenging questions for tomorrow.
And this all takes place in the simplest kinds of bacteria!  Remember that Darwin did not know any of this.  To the Darwinians, cells were little blobs of unknown stuff called “protoplasm” and it was easy to talk glibly about it arising in some warm little pond and evolving into higher organisms.  As Michael Behe said, the cell was a “black box” to Darwin, but now we have opened the box and are staring with awe at the contents.  Does a system as complex as a robotic factory, complete with fail-safe mechanisms, feedback, automatic repair and inspectors originate out of ooze?  No way!  Darwin himself said, “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.  But I can find no such case.” Well, biochemistry is providing cases by the truckload.  How do you spell DNA?  “Darwinism Not Adequate.”
Next headline on: The Cell and Biochemistry.
Recombination Vital to Genome Stability  07/18/2001
The latest issue of the
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (July 17) contains a symposium on gene replication and recombination, among other papers on DNA.  Among the interesting papers:
(1) A theory on how genomes can contain vast stretches of non-coding DNA, apparently inactive retrotransposons that were inserted by recombination, polyploidy or lateral transfer.  These inactive stretches, while harmless, can greatly expand the genome while keeping the number of actual genes relatively constant. 
(2) A description of how recombination is an essential method for repair of DNA breaks, stating that “DNA synthesis is an accurate and very processive phenomenon; nevertheless, replication fork progression on chromosomes can be impeded by DNA lesions, DNA secondary structures, or DNA-bound proteins.  Elements interfering with the progression of replication forks have been reported to induce rearrangements and/or render homologous recombination essential for viability, in all organisms from bacteria to human.” 
(3) Another paper describes how specialized proteins called topoisomerases help prevent the strain of uncoiling DNA from breaking,  but when they fail, recombination can help restart the replication process. 
(4) A paper describes how recombination works to repair breaks in a replicating chromosome
(5) Some Japanese scientists describe how a gene codes for a motor protein that is essential for genome stability.
(6) The cover story describes the various repair mechanisms, stating, “Maintenance of genomic integrity and stable transmission of genetic information depend on a number of DNA repair processes.  Failure to faithfully perform these processes can result in genetic alterations and subsequent development of cancer and other genetic diseases.” Describing one such mechanism named Rad52, the authors state, “The key role played by Rad52 in this pathway has been attributed to its ability to seek out and mediate annealing of homologous DNA strands . . . . our data indicate that each Rad52 focus [i.e. active site] represents a center of recombinational repair capable of processing multiple DNA lesions.”
These are just samples of the exciting findings being made about DNA replication.  These and other papers show that it is a fail-safe system with many sophisticated backup and repair mechanisms.  While there is still much to learn, and many mysteries to explain, DNA’s ability to replicate is truly a marvel of engineering.  Think about the classic chicken-and-egg conundrum for evolution illustrated by (5) above: a gene codes for a protein that is essential for the gene to exist.  Browse through the abstracts of these papers just to get a feel for the amazingly complex world of cellular processes going on in your body right now, without your conscious thought or control.  Modern biochemistry is putting the exclamation point on David’s praise in Psalm 139:14I will praise Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Next headline on: The Cell and Biochemistry.
Time Cover Story Features Ethiopian Ape-Man Find  07/17/2001
With color art of ape-faced upright creatures warily traversing the forests of Africa,
Time Magazine put the latest Ethiopian fossil find onto its cover this week, stating “The discovery of a handful of bones in Ethiopia this week brings scientists tantalizing close to the time, 6 million years ago, when our most ancient ancestors took their first upright steps.  A look at the juncture when chimps and man went their separate ways.”
Red baloney alert! Red baloney alert! Time has built an evolutionary mountain out of a data molehill that Nature called “extremely fragmentary” and hard to distinguish between hominid or ape.  A handful of tiny bones were found in a gravelly area in Ethiopia, that have no dates on them and no explanation attached; so what?.  All the evolutionary talk is manufactured out of a pre-existing commitment to evolution; it is not justified by the raw data.  Follow our chain links to see what a hopeless tangle their whole story is, before granting any credibility to this propaganda outlet for Darwinism.
Next headline on: Early Man. • Next dumb story.
Science Students Learning in Moral Vacuum  07/16/2001
A report on
Ananova and the BBC News says that today’s science students are learning in a moral vacuum, and are ill-equipped to deal with serious ethical questions such as human cloning and genetic engineering.
In the age of relativism, who is to do the moral teaching?  “Moral” is an undefined term in Darwinland.
Next headline on: Schools.
Discovery Channel Debuts New Dino Virtual Reality TV  07/16/2001
The
Discovery Channel declared Jurassic Week on Sunday with a new sequel to their immensely popular Walking with Dinosaurs computer-animated world: When Dinosaurs Roamed America, on the eve of Jurassic Park III which premieres on the 18th.  Clearly aimed at kids and students (watch the commercials), the TV program puts hair and feathers on the dromeosaurs, describes in detail the senses of various species (how acute their hearing and eyesight and sense of smell), and ends with the Yucatan asteroid, followed by an eagle in the sky described as the last dinosaur, and a tiny mammal emerging from the boneyard intact with the words “someday its children will walk on the moon.”
You don’t need facts any more; virtual reality TV brings good myths to life.  The program is interspersed with a few vignettes of scientists describing what could have or might have been true, but all the narration is stated so matter-of-factly, and the visuals are made so believable, it doesn’t matter what the data (or lack of them) are – why, you’re right there, so it must be true.  Kids watch this without any hint of the controversies that exist behind the scenes, and without being shown any distinction between data and interpretation.  The behavior, motives and even sex appeal of these creatures is all described, extrapolated from silent bones.  If you have kids, teach them to look for the raw data and see if the picture is justifiable from it.  You’ll hear a lot of wiggle words in the scientists’ explanations.
The fossil graveyard at Dinosaur National Monument is interpreted as having formed during a drought, when both predator and prey died together looking for the last water hole; but if you have ever seen the quarry, you know the bones are so jammed together it looks like a catastrophe occurred.  Animals in deserts today do not fossilize in such a manner!  Their bones bleach in the sun and decay to dust.  They don’t tell you that dinosaurs, like everything else in the fossil record, appear abruptly and fully formed, and that there are systematic gaps between the different orders.  The viewer gets no information about the guesswork that goes into dating methods, nor the wrangling among scientists behind the scenes about the origin of birds, feathers, and the cause of the extinction. 
Dinosaurs were clearly loaded with complex functions and capabilities, but who gets the credit?  Why “Nature,” of course, the goddess of modern paleontology, who works miracles with her magic wand of natural selection.  Typical quote: “At [such and such a place, xx million years ago], an experiment in evolution is underway.”  This is the fallacy of personification at work.  Don’t let them get away with it.  When Dinosaurs Roamed America makes good cartoon but poor science.  We observe dry bones, but the rest is inferred.  The only one who watched dry bones come to life was Ezekiel (Eze. 37).  The ankle bone connected to the leg bone . . . Now hear ye the Word of the Lord.
Next headline on: Dinosaurs. • Next headline on: Movies.
Congress Urged to Fund SETI Again  07/15/2001
Ever since the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) was removed from the Federal Budget in 1994 and deemed unworthy of funding by the National Science Foundation, according to
CBS News, proponents have been depending on private funding.  Now, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) believes it is time for the government to support the search again.  Four scientific witnesses testified to Congress that the time is ripe, based on the following findings: (1) Over 50 new planets have been discovered; (2) New technologies will soon allow chemical spectra from extrasolar planets; (3) Water has been deemed likely on several planets and moons of the solar system; (4) New theories suggest planet formation around stars may be common; (5) Life has been found to exist in extreme environments.
Every one of these arguments is either disputable or inconsequential.  The planets discovered so far have all been Jupiter-sized and inhospitable.  Water is necessary for life, but not sufficient: did the Internet evolve because earth had dirt, from which copper and other ingredients could be extracted?  We reported recently that earthlike-planets may be rare, not common, and if life has been found in extreme environments, that argues for its design.  It is a logical fallacy to think that since life is found in extreme environments that it evolved there.  Did firemen evolve inside burning buildings?
Next headline on: SETINext headline on: Politics.
Sandia Big Screen TV Approaches Acuity of the Eye  07/13/2001
A 10x13 foot screen with 20 million pixel resolution has been developed that renders complex scientific data sets faster and sharper than any previous displays.  According to the news release from
Sandia National Laboratories, this is achieved with massively parallel imaging, using 64 computers splitting the processing into 16 screens as a 4x4 set.  The technique allows complex images to be computed in seconds instead of the half-hour time frames required for“rendering farms” used by the movie industry for complex special effects.  The news release states – and this is the punch line – “The facility’s digitized images, created of 20 million pixels, approach the visual acuity of the eye itself.”
Did you hear that!?  Think about it!  Here our top physicists and engineers have built a screen taller than a man that can finally approach the capabilities of what God or evolution (depending on your worldview) has packed into a little 1.5-inch eyeball.  And yet Sandia’s 64 massively parallel imaging computers take several seconds to render what the 3-pound human brain does instantaneously (in 3D, with surround sound accompaniment, a variable focus lens, automatic diaphragm, tandem movement, automatic cleaning, and more).  No wonder the eye gave Darwin cold shudders!  The eye is just one of countless wonders that point to a Designer infinite in wisdom.
P.S.  The Sandia engineers are bluffing.  Their big screen has 20 megapixels, the eyeball has 120!
Next headline on: Human Body. • Next amazing story.
Plants Talk to Themselves in Email  07/13/2001
How does one part of a plant know that another part is under attack, or how do the roots know the weather is changing and affecting the leaves?  According to
Nature, plants have a busy system of email messages spreading the news.  Scientists have discovered messenger RNA (mRNA) molecules travelling from cell to cell and onto their own little Internet (the phloem), that apparently let one part of the plant know what’s going on in another part.
Look at the nearest plant and stare at it for awhile.  It seems to static and motionless; did you have any idea this beehive of communication was going on?  Now look at a rock for comparison.  Evolutionists have to get from one to the other; it’s like believing a desolate planet, pockmarked with craters and exposed to deadly radiation, somehow spontaneously developed its own Internet.
Next headline on: Plants. • Next amazing story.
Embryos Grown for Stem Cell Farming  07/12/2001
For the first time, according to
New Scientist, embryos have been created and destroyed for the purpose of harvesting stem cells.  Sperm and eggs from donors were fertilized for the purpose at the Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine in Norfolk, Virginia.
For more on the debate, read this BBC News article.
This sounds so harmless to so many people, but the ethical questions are very serious.  What is the difference between this and playing with any other human being that is not “really alive”  Will we eventually have farms of specially grown brain-dead people to experiment on or harvest organs?  When man plays God, does he have the righteousness to restrain his omnipotence?
Next headline on: Politics.
How Small Can Life Be?  07/12/2001
The NASA
Astrobiology Institute discusses the debate about the lower limits of life; how small can a cell be to be able to replicate itself?  The article interviews believers and nonbelievers on whether tiny organic structures called nanobes (see 11/20/2000) are alive or not, and whether the Martian meteorite has fossil evidence of life, even though they are smaller than the lower size limit some claim is possible for a self-replicating (and therefore evolvable) organism.
For some of the issues about the lower limits to size for replication, see Chapter 6 of Evolution: Possible or Impossible? at this site.
Next headline on: Origin of Life.
Astrobiologists Discuss the Societal Impact of Finding Aliens  07/12/2001
Lee Steigel, writing for NASA’s
Astrobiology Institute , speculates on the societal impact of finding aliens in “The Meaning of Life.”  He interviews various thinkers who believe such a find would generate a new renaissance in human knowledge, and fundamentally change the way we look at life and the universe.  One of the interviewees, Steven J. Dick of the U.S. Naval Observatory speculates on the impact on religious belief:
If extraterrestrial life is found and “if humanity is not the center of attention of a deity, what does that do to various theologies and religions?” Dick asks.  “If it is Christianity, for example, [what does it mean for] the doctrines of redemption and incarnation?  Would Christ have to die on other worlds for their sins the way he did here? . . . For Eastern religions, where you don’t have the idea of salvation or a single deity, it would be quite different.”
Why is Christianity always the target of these speculations, but Eastern religions come out smelling like a rose?  You get the impression from some SETI people that they would love to find aliens just to hammer the last nail (in their thinking) in the coffin of New Testament theology.  But would it?  There is nothing in Christian thought to prohibit a universe filled with sentient beings; see the science fiction trilogy by C. S. Lewis, for instance.  The Protestant Christian astronomer Johannes Kepler didn’t hesitate to speculate freely about beings on other planets just because he was a Christian.  The New Testament is earth centric in its focus, but says nothing for or against other creatures an omnipotent God could have created.  Despite centuries of speculation, and decades of listening for signals, it remains true for now that there is no evidence of other life in space, even bacteria.  Evolutionists are understandably very uncomfortable with that hole in their data.
Next headline on: SETI. • Next headline on: Bible.
Gene for Hardwood Evolution Identified  07/11/2001
Researchers in Michigan have isolated a gene that produces a type of lignin unique to angiosperms, claims a report in
EurekAlert.  “We thought it didn’t make sense for plants to evolve new proteins and still use the old gene,” Chiang said.  “Our discovery of a syringyl-specific gene overturns that traditional model; it’s been very exciting.” They also claim two features of syringyl lignin confer an evolutionary advantage: structural support and resistance to disease.
All they did was put this gene into a bacterium and grow angiosperm lignin.  The raw data saw nothing about the evolution of hardwoods or angiosperms, which to Darwinists is still an “abominable mystery” as Darwin put it.  Although they claim that “At least a part of that mystery may now be solved,” it does nothing of the kind.  So angiosperms have a second gene for lignin.  So what?    There is no gradual chain of transitional forms between them.  What is to demonstrate that either one evolved from the other, unless you already have a preconceived notion of their evolution? 
Both gymnosperms and angiosperms represent diverse and highly complex organisms that use photosynthesis, ATP, DNA code, and a host of other irreducibly complex structures that defy Darwinian explanation.  The experimental data here do not support the conclusions.  Some day when the myth of Darwinism is no longer assumed a priori, these kinds of just-so stories will be seen for the fallacies they are. 
Next headline on: Plants. • Next headline on: Darwinism and Evolutionary Theory.
Oldest Human Ancestor Found in Ethiopia  07/11/2001
According to
EurekAlert, the oldest human ancestor (5.2 million years old) has been found in a gravelly area in Ethiopia.  No skull bones were found, just some other bones and teeth.  A Berkeley paleontologist arrived at the date with argon measurements of the volcanic rocks, dates of magnetic reversals, and corroboration with other fossils.
In another story, Univ. of Illinois paleontologists claim to have found soil evidence that early man did not evolve on grasslands, as is commonly believed, but preferred humid forests.  “The discovery challenges long-held beliefs, beginning with Darwin,” the report states.
Nature has pictures of the fossils and calls them “extremely fragmentary” and hard to distinguish from hominids or chimpanzees.  Moreover, it claims this new find fuels the controversy over the February find in Kenya named Orrorin. Science Now has a picture of the single tooth on which the team judged the the bones to be hominid, but calls the evidence weak, saying neither fossil makes a watertight case.
(sigh) Better start revising the Discovery Channel documentaries again.  The storytelling goes on and on.  There is no way to put a few scattered ape bones onto a human family tree unless you already presuppose evolution and want to make headlines or keep the funding stream flowing from the NSF. 
Try reading the Nature article from an unbiased viewpoint, without assuming evolution, and see whether there is anything in the actual evidence to support the belief that these bones tell anything about human ancestry.  The article is filled with wiggle words like “could”  Well, that leaves some room for alternate speculations, doesn’t it?  Let’s try our hypothesis: “these bones could have nothing whatsoever to do with human evolution, but might be recent fossils of apes.”  Think that will get a research grant?
Next headline on: Early Man.
Computer Simulates the Origin of Sex  07/11/2001
Space.Com News has a light-hearted account of two Caltech/JPL scientists who created digital organisms in their computers to simulate the origin of sex, “one of biology’s greatest mysteries,” since life seemed to get along fine without it.  What mutations and selection pressures could account for such a radical change?  The article summarizes the findings, saying“Comet or asteroid impacts could have stressed asexual organisms enough to send them down the path of sexual reproduction after forcing a flurry of genetic mutations, the study shows.  Heavy doses of radiation might also have done the trick.”
An evolutionary geneticist from Wake Forest University has doubts about the technique, however: “Since the idea came from a study of digital organisms and not from any historical evidence that such stresses actually acted on living organisms, or that they would have had the effect of selecting for sex, I think it’s highly speculative.”  One of the authors of the study is confident the computer simulation would also work in real life experiments, but he can’t do them – it would take too long.
Your Baloney Detector will get high readings on this one.  Have a good laugh.  If you like your baloney served in a intellectual bun with jargon sauce, read the original paper in the Royal Society Biological Proceedings B for 7/22/01, where you will find words like “digital organisms in silico” (i.e., imaginary creatures in the computer!).
Next headline on: Darwinism and Evolutionary Theory. • Next dumb story.
Utah Sandstone Formed by Jurassic Monsoons  07/11/2001
Geologists from the University of Nebraska claim to have found evidence of monsoon rains in Navajo Sandstone deposits, common in southern Utah.  According to the report in
SciNews, heavy rains falling on sand dunes created characteristic patterns in the deposits, which can total more than 2000 feet in thickness.  The rain evidence, however, they find in only the bottom layers, but David Loope claims “an amazing amount of detail is recorded in these cliffs and we can tell how far the dunes moved each year, and tell that the dominant wind was in the winter.”
The ruddy Navajo Sandstone provides some of the most dramatic scenery in the southwest.  The layers are so thick and so widespread, it is hard to imagine any uniformitarian processes producing them.  Nothing in these findings preclude huge floods depositing the Navajo Sandstone; in fact, they seem to support it.  Why would you have annual monsoon rains occurring each year in a vast desert of sand?  Other alleged dune deposits like the Coconino Sandstone in the Grand Canyon, which also show widespread evidence of crossbedding, have been explained by Dr. Steve Austin at ICRas the result of waves from strong currents under deep water.
Next headline on: Geology.
Haeckel Fraud Criticized  07/10/2001
The July issue of
WorldNet Daily is devoted to the subject: “Evolution: The Complex and Profound Basis of All Life, or a Fairy Tale for Scientists Who Reject God?”  The online magazine includes this expose of Haeckel’s embryos as one of the “worst cases of scientific fraud; It’s shocking to find that somebody one thought was a great scientist was deliberately misleading.  It makes me angry . . . . What he [Haeckel] did was to take a human embryo and copy it, pretending that the salamander and the pig and all the others looked the same at the same stage of development.  They don’t . . . . These are fakes.”  So said Dr. Michael Richardson to the Times of London in 1997, after organizing a team to re-photograph embryos and compare them with Haeckel’s drawings.  Many textbooks, however, still reprint the drawings as evidence of evolution.
How much evidence of evolution is based on fraud or misrepresentation?  If you look at the ten most-cited evidences, including homology, the horse series, Darwin’s finches, peppered moths, the ape-man series, Haeckel’s embryos and more – you find every one of them evaporating under scrutiny.  For a complete analysis of all ten, read Jonathan Wells’ recent book Icons of Evolution.  The Huntington Library’s recent exhibit on Darwin still featured both the peppered moths and Darwin’s finches without providing any information that the evidence was not favorable to evolution.

Human Genome 07/10/2001:  The BBC reports that some scientists dispute earlier estimates that the human genome only has 30,000 genes.  Using different statistical techniques, they claim it has over twice as many: 70,000 or more. 
Update 08/24/2001: A report in Nature puts the number at 42,000 but admits it could go higher than 50,000.  One of the difficulties is the algorithms used to estimate the number of genes, and the lack of knowledge of function of various sequences. (Earlier reference: February 2001 headline).
Update 11/28/2001: According to EurekAlert, scientists at Cold Spring Harbor laboratories, Long Island NY, now have a computer program able to spot gene "on" switches and promoters.  They think the number of human genes is now between 50,000 and 60,000.
See also this report in the Feb 22, 2002 issue of Science about discussion among members of the AAAS. 

Another Antimatter Asymmetry Found  07/10/2001
News sources like the
BBC are reporting that Stanford physicists have found another imbalance in matter-antimatter pair production, and expect to find others.  A rarely observed asymmetry called charge-parity violation was previously only seen in the K-meson and its antiparticle (see our previous headline).  Now, Stanford physicists have confirmed CP violation in the heavier B-meson.  Physicists and cosmologists hope these observations might help account for the preponderance of regular matter in the universe.  A physicist at CERN (Switzerland) commented, “The standard [big bang] model cannot produce enough CP violation to explain the total dominance of matter in the universe.”

The antimatter problem has been one of the puzzles of Big Bang cosmology.  If there were a big bang, there should have been equal quantities of matter and antimatter produced, which would have annihilated one another.  Physicists must believe that a tiny asymmetry existed, and that most of the material universe was annihilated, but this tiny leftover fraction of regular matter became our universe.  Is that credible? 
Next headline on: Physics. • Next headline on: Cosmology.
Plate Tectonics Occurs Less  07/09/2001
A report in
SciNews says that a discovery of a large amount of subducted lithosphere in the Fiji Islands suggests that plate tectonics occurs less than previously thought.
Theories seem so nice and neat until data get in the way.
Next headline on: Geology.
Proteins Evolve in Fits and Starts  07/09/2001
A paper in the Journal of Molecular Evolution reported in
Nature Science Update disputes the conventional view that proteins evolve steadily over long ages, regardless of environmental pressures (neutral evolution).  Michael Wallis of the University of Sussex in the U.K. studied growth hormone in various animals and concluded that the protein did not evolve at all for long periods, then had bursts of change.  Quote: “There’s an enormous mass of conventional ideas that the rate of protein evolution is relatively constant, but from what I’ve seen that isn’t the case,” says Wallis.  The constant rate of protein evolution is “part of the dogma” of molecular biology, agrees Rodney Honeycutt, who studies molecular evolution at Texas A&M University in College Station.
Did you notice their own use of the word dogma?  Here again is evidence against slow, gradual Darwin-style evolution.  It is analogous to the theory of punctuated equilibria that Niles, Eldredge and Gould promoted as a way to explain away the gaps in the fossil record.  Even so, this new story has built-in assumptions of evolution, so it is like one fairy tale finding fault with another.  Somewhere hidden in the storytelling is a little bit of raw data.
Next headline on: Dating Methods. • Next headline on: Darwinism.
Clones Express Genes Differently  07/06/2001
Why do so many cloned embryos die before birth?  Why do the ones that survive have abnormalities?  According to scientists at MIT reported by
Scientific American News, it’s because clones express genes differently than the donor; i.e., even though the donor and the clone have identical DNA, they do not activate the same genes in the same way.  Apparently there are “epigenetic” factors at work, influences other than the coded language of life.  These include enzyme tags on genes that affect their expression.  Embryonic stem cells with nuclei from donors can have different tags that cause them to develop in wildly different ways, producing chimeras (monsters), abnormally large offspring, or survivors that while appearing outwardly normal have hidden abnormalities that can lead to problems later.
The statement that the DNA is the master molecule that accounts for everything in life may be too simplistic.  What are all the epigenetic factors that influence development?  Are any of them heritable?  How do cells know which genes to express in which part of the body, even though the entire code is present?  We don’t know, but the science of cloning is showing just how complex a process development is, and the ramifications have ethical and political overtones.
Next headline on: The Cell and Biochemistry.
Sex Selection: The Next Pandora’s Box?  07/05/2001
A scientific breakthrough called the MicroSort technique, (that’s MicroSort, not MicroSoft - don’t blame Bill Gates) developed by the IVF labs in Fairfax, Virginia, can allegedly guarantee 90% accuracy in sex selection, reports the
BBC News.  While this is a boon to certain couples who wish to avoid passing on genetic defects associated with sex, it also raises many new ethical questions.
If you build it, they will come.  Many couples would pick the sex of their child for various reasons, some good, some merely preference.  Some cultures are known to prefer having a boy, especially where the number of children is controlled.  (Look what’s happening in India according to National Geographic.)  What happens a generation later when you have a population of 75% one sex or the other?  Is that fair to the children?  There are also concerns that the technique may cause genetic damage.  These are very serious times for the scientific establishment to be floundering without an ethical anchor.
Next headline on: Politics.
Patriots Claim Rights From Creator  07/04/1776
A group of anti-royalists gathered in Philadelphia today to declare publicly that all men are created equal and “are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights . . . ”  This new and radical notion is said to be the basis of a new form of government they are planning.
Aren’t you glad they didn’t say that some men are endowed with superior fitness to ensure their dominance over the weak.  As you wave the flag, don’t forget to honor the Creator on whose principles of law, morality and righteousness the founding fathers forged a new nation of free citizens.  Our father’s God, to Thee, Author of Liberty, to Thee we sing.  Long may our land be bright with freedom’s holy light; protect us by Thy might, Great God, our King.
Bird Evolutionary Tree Shaken  07/03/2001
A biologist at
Penn State has shaken up the bird family tree, putting short squatty grebes as close relatives of long-legged flamingoes.  Blair Hedges used both mitochondrial and nuclear gene samples to find close relatives, but was surprised by the non-intuitive results.  He claims this shows that features like webbed feet evolved not once but many times, and that evolutionary changes occurred faster than expected.
Does no one have any sense to consider the possibility that the methods and the conclusions are both bunk?  These findings ought to point out that either gene sequencing is unreliable, or their assumptions of phylogeny are wrong, or both; but evolutionary biologists get by with anything, no matter how illogical, counter-intuitive, or contradictory to previous evolutionary storytelling, as long as it assumes and promotes evolution.
Next headline on: Birds.
Duke Biologists Deny Validity of Molecular Classification  07/02/2001
Scientists at
Duke University claim to have debunked the method of classifying mammals and other organisms based on mitochondrial DNA sequences.  The molecular method claims the platypus is related to the kangaroo, for instance, and that widely disparate animals like hippos and whales had a common ancestor.  The Duke scientists analyzed nuclear genes with computer software that supported the older common-sense classification used by paleontologists that groups animals based on morphology (outward structure and anatomical similarities).  The article starts by saying, “Classifying kangaroos and platypuses together on the evolutionary family tree is as absurd as adding your neighbors to your own family ancestral line simply because they share your love of the opera, according to scientists at Duke University.”
This article is loaded with circular reasoning.  Both sides of this ongoing controversy assume evolution to prove evolutionary relationships and just argue over which method produces a better fit to their preconceived notions of the family tree.  It is like arguing over which classification method does better at proving hammers and screwdrivers had a common ancestor: metal content or shape.
Next headline on: Mammals.
Click on Apollos, the trusty

Scientist of the Month

Guide to Evolutionary Theory
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A Concise Guide
to Understanding
Evolutionary Theory

You can observe a lot by just watching.
– Yogi Berra

First Law of Scientific Progress
The advance of science can be measured by the rate at which exceptions to previously held laws accumulate.
Corollaries:
1. Exceptions always outnumber rules.
2. There are always exceptions to established exceptions.
3. By the time one masters the exceptions, no one recalls the rules to which they apply.

Darwin’s Law
Nature will tell you a direct lie if she can.
Bloch’s Extension
So will Darwinists.

Finagle’s Creed
Science is true.  Don’t be misled by facts.

Finagle’s 2nd Law
No matter what the anticipated result, there will always be someone eager to (a) misinterpret it, (b) fake it, or (c) believe it happened to his own pet theory.

Finagle’s Rules
3. Draw your curves, then plot your data.
4. In case of doubt, make it sound convincing.
6. Do not believe in miracles – rely on them.

Murphy’s Law of Research
Enough research will tend to support your theory.

Maier’s Law
If the facts do not conform to the theory, they must be disposed of.
Corollaries:
1. The bigger the theory, the better.
2. The experiments may be considered a success if no more than 50% of the observed measurements must be discarded to obtain a correspondence with the theory.

Eddington’s Theory
The number of different hypotheses erected to explain a given biological phenomenon is inversely proportional to the available knowledge.

Young’s Law
All great discoveries are made by mistake.
Corollary
The greater the funding, the longer it takes to make the mistake.

Peer’s Law
The solution to a problem changes the nature of the problem.

Peter’s Law of Evolution
Competence always contains the seed of incompetence.

Weinberg’s Corollary
An expert is a person who avoids the small errors while sweeping on to the grand fallacy.

Souder’s Law
Repetition does not establish validity.

Cohen’s Law
What really matters is the name you succeed in imposing on the facts – not the facts themselves.

Harrison’s Postulate
For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism.

Thumb’s Second Postulate
An easily-understood, workable falsehood is more useful than a complex, incomprehensible truth.

Ruckert’s Law
There is nothing so small that it can’t be blown out of proportion

Hawkins’ Theory of Progress
Progress does not consist in replacing a theory that is wrong with one that is right.  It consists in replacing a theory that is wrong with one that is more subtly wrong.

Macbeth’s Law
The best theory is not ipso facto a good theory.

Disraeli’s Dictum
Error is often more earnest than truth.

Advice from Paul

Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge – by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith.

I Timothy 6:20-21

Song of the True Scientist

O Lord, how manifold are Your works!  In wisdom You have made them all.  The earth is full of Your possessions . . . . May the glory of the Lord endure forever.  May the Lord rejoice in His works . . . . I will sing to the Lord s long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.  May my meditation be sweet to Him; I will be glad in the Lord.  May sinners be consumed from the earth, and the wicked be no more.  Bless the Lord, O my soul!  Praise the Lord!

from Psalm 104

Maxwell’s Motivation

Through the creatures Thou hast made
Show the brightness of Thy glory.
Be eternal truth displayed
In their substance transitory.
Till green earth and ocean hoary,
Massy rock and tender blade,
Tell the same unending story:
We are truth in form arrayed.

Teach me thus Thy works to read,
That my faith,– new strength accruing–
May from world to world proceed,
Wisdom’s fruitful search pursuing
Till, thy truth my mind imbuing,
I proclaim the eternal Creed –
Oft the glorious theme renewing,
God our Lord is God indeed.

James Clerk Maxwell
One of the greatest physicists
of all time (a creationist).

 
Featured Creation Scientist for July
Samuel F. B. Morse
1791-1872

For America’s Birthday, we celebrate a great story of a great American.

Though an artist by profession, not primarily a scientist or inventor, Samuel F. B. Morse brought a scientific principle to practical use and changed the world.  When the grand idea of instantaneous communication across great distances hit him, Morse caught an obsession that cost him every last penny and earned him scorn and snubbing for twelve years, until at last the country gave him a chance to prove his idea.  It’s a great American story of perseverance, of putting science to use to improve the lives of millions.

Morse, a devout Christian, built on the exploratory work of other Christians and creationists, like Davy, Faraday and Henry.  In the process, he gave the world the first binary code (Morse Code) and a whole new industry (including a huge boost to the American economy and thousands of new jobs), to say nothing of his other achievements – major improvements to the new invention of photography, and some of the most famous portrait and landscape paintings in America.  Did all this go to his head?  When asked to sum up his life’s work, Morse remembered the first message sent across the wires (see below), and said, “It is His work.”  Quoting Psalm 115:1, he confessed, “Not unto us, but to Thy name, O Lord, be all the praise.”

Samuel Finley Breese Morse was born in Boston when America was young, in the period when Ben Franklin had recently experimented with the strange phenomenon of electricity.  Franklin had proven that lightning was the same as the static electricity familiar to those scuffing their shoes across the carpet.  Electricity remained, however, a curiosity with no practical use.  His father, Jedediah Morse, had achieved fame as a minister and geographer who also investigated Flood geology.  Young Samuel Morse was not an exceptional student.  When his father saw he had some talent for sketching things, he reluctantly allowed him to pursue a career as an artist.  Samuel studied with American masters Gilbert Stuart and Benjamin West. 

After a “starving artist” period of time trying to support his new bride Lucretia with his portraiture work, Samuel’s skill garnered fame and aroused the notice of the political elite in Washington.  He was selected to paint the portrait of Lafayette.  While in Washington, meeting the rich and famous, he was unaware that his wife had taken sick and died!  It had taken weeks for the mail to arrive with heartbreaking news.  Regretting he had not even had time to say good-bye, Morse was reminded also of how many soldiers had died in the War of 1812 after peace had been declared, because news travelled so slowly.

Morse had seen demonstrations of electricity during his college years and his travels, but no one had yet put it to a practical use.  It was on board the Sully on a return voyage from France that he overheard a conversation about electricity and magnetism.  A passenger was describing how Benjamin Franklin had passed an electric current through miles of wire, and noticed an instantaneous spark at the other end.  Thus began the spark of an idea that would lead Morse through incredible trials, long hours of work, and near starvation, trying to bring a great idea to reality.

Until the telegraph, communication over long distances was slow and tedious.  The French had perfected a system of semaphores on mountaintops to send messages from peak to peak, but it only worked on clear days.  The proverbial Indians had their smoke signals.  Everyone else used feet and vocal cords.  Morse’s spark of an idea would bring the world the first instantaneous communication across the country and across the ocean, day or night, regardless of the weather.  But first he would have to sell his idea.

Samuel suspended his art work and poured himself into his new project.  Early on he succeeded in making a working prototype.  In his endeavors, he was helped by the most famous American scientist of his day, Joseph Henry (also a devout Christian and creationist).  To his dismay, Morse found few interested in the idea.  He spent all his money trying to garner support; years went by with hopes followed by disappointments: some dismissing the idea as foolish, some promising support but not delivering, few paying him serious attention.  One day, when he had raised enough support to attempt a public display across New York harbor, a passing ship cut the telegraph line and made Morse the laughingstock of the day.  Morse spent years experiencing the three stages of reaction to a new invention: 1. It’s crazy; 2. It’s a good idea, but it will never work; 3. I thought of it first.

Two years later Morse was in Washington with thirty-seven cents left to his name, waiting into the night for a Senate vote on whether or not to fund a test of the telegraph.  His proposal was low on the agenda after 143 other bills, the Senators were eager to adjourn for the season, and support did not look good.  Preparing himself for disappointment, he prayed and committed the work to the Lord, then slept.  At breakfast the following morning, he was approached by Annie G. Ellsworth, daughter of the Commissioner of Patents, with the exciting news that the Senate passed his proposal just before midnight without debate, and it was already signed by President Harrison.  This meant a test between Washington and Baltimore would be funded by the U.S. Government.  Re-invigorated by the news, Morse immediately set to work.

The good news, however, was beset by more troubles: the underground cables shorted out and melted the insulation, wasting the first seven miles of work and thousands of dollars - over half the funding.  By now Europeans were testing telegraph designs of their own; it was a race against time.  With the advice of Ezra Cornell and Joseph Henry, Morse agreed on a new design destined to change the American landscape forever; overhead cables, strung between glass insulators on tall poles.  The work resumed in earnest.  By May 24, 1844, the line was completed and ready for its historic test.  Morse gave Annie Ellsworth the choice of the first message to be sent over the lines.  She chose a phrase from Numbers 23:23, “What hath God wrought.”  Morse was pleased.  It would be sent with the world’s first binary code, invented by Morse years earlier, a concept that would someday lead to ASCII and other binary codes that power the Information Age of the 21st century.  (Interestingly, after the binary system of the telegraph was overtaken by the analog telephone, our modern computerized world has returned to binary digital representation so completely that analog messages may soon be a thing of the past.  A new generation of IP phones that transmit digitized voice over the Internet will probably soon have us making our phone calls through our computers.)

Morse tapped out the message from the Supreme Court building in Washington: • – –   ••••   •–   –     ••••   •–   –   ••••     – –•   – – –   –••     •– –   •–•   – – –   ••–   – –•   ••••   – .  Within seconds, Alfred Vail, 41 miles away in Baltimore, who had not been told the contents of the message, received it and echoed it back.  It typed out in dots and dashes on a strip of paper before the hushed onlookers.  Morse translated the code, and read it aloud.  The crowd erupted with an ovation of congratulations, as the excitement of possibilities this invention would bring dawned like the light of a new day.  After twelve years of hardship, Morse’s hare-brained idea was finally vindicated.  A new chapter in history began overnight.  Within two years, telegraph lines stretched to Maine and Milwaukee.  Soon they would overtake the Pony Express to the west coast.  Within decades, Lord Kelvin (another of the world’s greatest creation scientists), would lay the first successful telegraph cable across the Atlantic.  No more would travellers have to wait weeks for word of a dying relative, or soldiers hear too late of declarations of peace.  Instantaneous communication across continents was now a reality.

The telegraph is considered one of the ten greatest inventions in history.  Morse became one of the most famous men in America, and the world.  In his old age, thousands of telegraph operators came to thank him for creating a whole new industry and giving them well paying, satisfying jobs.  Morse gave all the credit to God, claiming the message Annie had chosen, What hath God wrought, seemed divinely inspired.  “It is His work,” he reminded them; “and He alone carried me thus far through all my trials and enabled me to triumph over the obstacles, physical and moral, which opposed me.  ‘Not unto us, not unto us, by to Thy name, O Lord, be all the praise.’”

Many who learned in school to equate Morse with the telegraph are surprised to hear that he also was one of the greatest American painters.  He painted three hundred major canvasses, portraits and landscapes, which hang in galleries across America and Europe.  One of his paintings sold recently for three million dollars, the highest paid to that date for an American painting.  Morse was also the father of photography in America.  He had seen Daguerre’s studio in France before it burned to the ground, and brought the technology to the United States, where he improved it greatly.  His improvements allowed people to sit for seconds instead of minutes under a hot lamp for their portrait. 

Morse supported education and Sunday School, making the prophetic comment, “Education without religion is in danger of substituting wild theories for the simple commonsense rules of Christianity.”  He saw a perfect harmony between the Word of God, the beauty of the landscapes he painted, and the scientific endeavors he undertook.  After a long and successful career, Morse said, “The nearer I approach the end of my pilgrimage, the clearer is the evidence of the divine origin of the Bible, the grandeur and sublimity of God’s remedy for fallen man are more appreciated, and the future is illumined with hope and joy.”

For more information on Samuel F. B. Morse and other great Christians in science, see our online book:
The World’s Greatest Creation Scientists from 1000 to 2000 A.D.
Copies are also available from our online store.