Creation-Evolution Headlines
 October 2001
 
“If the situation is as I have described it, the intellectual bankruptcy of Darwinism cannot be concealed for very much longer.  The Darwinists may delay the day of reckoning for a while by wielding the weapons of power, but more and more people are learning to press the right questions and to refuse to take bluff or evasion for an answer.”

– Dr. Phillip E. Johnson, The Wedge of Truth (Inter-Varsity Press, 2000), p. 150.

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Peacock Tails and Human Language Related by Evolutionary Game Theory  10/31/2001
Signals that animals employ, from elaborate peacock tails to subdued sparrow throat patches to human language, are the subject of a paper, “Cost and conflict in animal signals and human language,” in the
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  How do signal receivers know that the sender’s signals are honest, and not devious for selfish ends?  Previous theories held that evolution would favor honest communication when both parties had coincident interests, but these researchers dispute that claim.  They analyze various factors such as the cost of signalling, coincidence vs conflict of interest, honesty and accuracy of the signal, and equilibrium.  They discuss real-world examples of peacock tails, sparrow throat markings, and human language, then conclude that signalling theory and game theory can provide frameworks for future studies of the origin of human linguistic communication.

It seems that if you can dazzle the editors with a few calculus equations, you can get any evolutionary tall tale published.  The popular Darwinian idea of game theory as an explanation for animal behavior is riddled with the personification fallacy.  Clearly the animals are not consciously playing games, so who is?  Mother Nature?  Charles Darwin?  The spirit of the coyote?  It’s a ridiculous structure to build on a materialist foundation.  It’s also so versatile that it explains opposite phenomena equally well, so how is anyone supposed to test it?  Furthermore, it’s self-defeating.  Read their paper as just their own strategy to win the Darwinopoly game (i.e., pass on their genes), and any honest search for truth or understanding evaporates.  (That’s exactly what PBS’s Evolution series said last month: all our noblest arts and intellectual achievements are just expressions of our sex drive, so that includes the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.) 
What is this term “honesty,” anyway, which they use 26 times in the paper, in the context of game theory?  The very term honesty implies rules and a referee, but evolution provides none.  Honesty has no moral content in Darwinland.  If you say honesty is what gives the best success at reproduction, then who is the scorekeeper, and who are the spectators?  A peacock does not have a mind or values, so it couldn’t care less whether its genes get passed on or not.  So who does care?  No one!  Nobody is watching the game; no one cares whether a rule is broken, and no trophy will be awarded, nor could it be understood or appreciated by a dumb animal if it was handed to them.  An asteroid could obliterate them all and no one would weep.  Rules?  Who needs rules in evolutionball?  But if you have no rules, is it really a game?  Evolutionists who invoke game theory need to see these glaring inconsistencies in their logic.
Scientific papers like this, after you brush off the bluff and logical fallacies, are almost comical.  Philosophically and scientifically, they are without form and void.  The observed fact remains that there is a tremendous gap between human language – with its rich syntax, vocabulary and meaning – and animal chirps and grunts.  Read the headline below from the very same issue of the Proceedings to grasp the extent of the problem human language poses for evolutionists.
Next headline on: Darwinism and Evolutionary Theory.
Israel’s “Evolution Canyon” Contains Divergent Fruit Flies  10/31/2001
A paper from the
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences contains a study of two populations of fruit flies in a wadi in Israel dubbed “Evolution Canyon” in which opposite walls contain different microclimates.  Researchers found the populations on opposite walls to be very different genetically even though they live within each other’s air space.  The authors conclude that “adaptation to the contrasting microclimates overwhelms gene flow and is responsible for the genetic and phenotypic divergence between the populations.”
Aside from the irony of naming a site “Evolution Canyon” within the Holy Land, this story raises as many questions as it attempts to answer.  It cannot determine whether the two populations diverged from an ancestral population, or migrated in from different sources and remained isolated.  Either way, it doesn’t matter to the debate on origins; they’re all just fruit flies.  Variation is accepted within creation and evolution world views.  The paper is listed in the category Evolution, but microevolution is not true Darwinian macroevolution.
Next headline on: Bugs.
Article: 10/30/2001  Michael Shermer, “Baloney Detecting: How to draw boundaries between science and pseudoscience, Part I,” Scientific American.  A renowned skeptic offers five questions to ask when evaluating claims of pseudoscientists.
OK, let’s be good skeptics and apply Shermer’s baloney-detecting guidelines to evolution:
  1. How reliable is the source of the claim?  I.e., is there a pattern of error and distortion from the proponent(s)?  We invite you to browse through the Darwin chain links and decide for yourself.  PhD’s alone don’t cut it; you have to provide sound evidence without bias.  We have been showing in these very pages how evolutionists frequently espouse their ideas in spite of the observations, and stretch any molehill of data into mountains of claims in support of their belief system.  By contrast, if it can be demonstrated that there is a God who has revealed Himself in the Bible, then you have the ultimate reliable source: God, who cannot lie.
  2. Does this source often make similar claims?  Shermer claims that “Flood geologists (creationists who believe that Noah's flood can account for many of the earth's geologic formations) consistently make outrageous claims that bear no relation to geological science.”  (cf. our own Baloney Detector on Big Lie, Half Truth, Loaded Words, and Bluffing.)  So is Darwinism the shining example?  A year's worth of outrageous claims by Darwinists can be found right here on Creation-Evolution Headlines.  Again, read their stories below and decide for yourself.
  3. Have the claims been verified by another source?  Verified is the key word here.  There is no possible way to verify just-so stories about the unobservable past, no matter how many evolutionists agree with themselves about them.  But there are plenty of prominent scientists, both creationist and evolutionist, who dispute almost any given claim made to support evolution.  Consider how Haeckel’s embryos, peppered moths and finch beaks continue to be presented in school textbooks as prime examples of evolution after evolutionists themselves have admitted in print they are either fraudulent or irrelevant.
  4. How does the claim fit with what we know about how the world works?  Darwinism fails on at least three counts.  (1) It violates the First Law of Thermodynamics (nothing comes from nothing) and the Law of Cause and Effect; (2) It violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics (tendency toward disorder), claiming things become more ordered through time; (3) It violates the universal observation that Information always comes from an intelligent source. 
  5. Has anyone gone out of the way to disprove the claim, or has only supportive evidence been sought?  Creationists and anti-Darwinists try, (some of whom are assuredly non-Christians), but Darwinists consistently deny them a hearing.  Look at the PBS Evolution series for a recent example.  Look at how evolution is simply assumed on almost every TV documentary and National Park exhibit, and contrary evidence is ignored.  Look at how the Center for Science Education tries to systematically exclude even criticism of Darwinism in the public schools.  Yet when both sides are given the opportunity to face each other, as in public debates, evolutionists most of the time are embarrassed, so much so that other evolutionists warn them to stay away from debates with creationists.  (Eugenie Scott recently told her colleagues not to argue with creationists on scientific grounds.)  Evolution succeeds best in a vacuum of criticism.  Darwinians try to stifle their opposition, rather than face it fairly.
So by Shermer’s own guidelines so far, evolution looks like, sounds like, and smells like pseudoscience.  Stay tuned for Part II next month and see if it can at least score a D minus.  Meanwhile, our own Baloney Detector is open for your browsing convenience, and unlike Shermer, we don’t talk in Glittering Generalities.
Next headline on: Darwinism and Evolutionary Theory.
Bugs Are Good for the Woods  10/30/2001
Researchers at
Oregon State University are out to change the reputation of forest insects from pests to partners.  While some insect infestations (especially non-native ones) can wipe out a forest, in most cases bugs are good for the woods.  They pollinate many plants, loosen the soil, and by eating parts of plants without killing them, allow them to grow stronger and aid in plant succession.  “It now appears that insects, which are the most abundant and diverse animals on Earth, are anything but destructive pests,” the article states.  “Rather, they are major architects of the plant world in both structure and function, and in natural balance help to maintain healthy and productive forest ecosystems.”
Forest fires also used to be seen as an evil that had to be destroyed; now they are viewed as normal parts of the balance of nature (in many cases).  Here is another paradigm shift.  The new Darwinism is characterized by harmony, balance, and cooperation.  That fits in well with multiculturalism and native American religion.  The old Darwinism of struggle and survival of the fittest fit in with cut-throat capitalism and Marxism.  How much of this paradigm is science and how much is politics?  Try the creation paradigm on for a better fit. 
Footnote: Notice that Progressive Creationists have a problem.  If plants were created on Day Three but bugs not till Day Six, how did the forest get along without them for millions of years?
Next headline on: Bugs. • Next headline on: Plants.
Out of the Mouths of Babes  10/30/2001
A fascinating article in the
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences explores the amazing ability of infants to acquire language skills, identify words, and recognize syntax.  The paper comes from a presentation the authors gave at a Frontiers of Science Symposium last year.  A couple of quotes from the paper are sufficient to arouse awe:
Imagine that you are faced with the following challenge.  You must discover the internal structure of a system that contains tens of thousands of units, all generated from a small set of materials.  These units, in turn, can be assembled into an infinite number of combinations.  Although only a subset of those combinations is correct, the subset itself is for all practical purposes infinite.  Somehow you must converge on the structure of this system to use it to communicate.  And you are a very young child.

This system is human language.  The units are words, the materials are the small set of sounds from which they are constructed, and the combinations are the sentences into which they can be assembled.  Given the complexity of this system, it seems improbable that mere children could discover its underlying structure and use it to communicate.  Yet most do so with eagerness and ease, all within the first few years of life.

The researchers ran experiments with infants presented with artificial languages interspersed with subtle elements of surprise to see how they adapted to novel elements.  They also investigated a Nicaraguan school for deaf children who were learning sign language.  A review of the literature revealed no commonly accepted evolutionary explanation for the remarkable ability of children to acquire language.  The authors conclude:
These examples of language learning, processing, and creation represent just a few of the many developments between birth and linguistic maturity.  During this period, children discover the raw materials in the sounds (or gestures) of their language, learn how they are assembled into longer strings, and map these combinations onto meaning.  These processes unfold simultaneously, requiring children to integrate their capacities as they learn, to crack the code of communication that surrounds them.  Despite layers of complexity, each currently beyond the reach of modern computers, young children readily solve the linguistic puzzles facing them, even surpassing their input when it lacks the expected structure.

No less determined, researchers are assembling a variety of methodologies to uncover the mechanisms underlying language acquisition . . . . As these techniques and others probing the child’s mind are developed and their findings integrated, they will reveal the child’s solution to the puzzle of learning a language.

The gap between humans and animals is more than just biological.  We were endowed by our Creator with an eternal spirit, and bodies equipped to communicate.  Unlike the animals, we have the ability to communicate meaning, not just signals, and to form relationships based on mutual love and understanding.  Evolutionists strive to package humanness into a materialistic box that is too small for it.  King David, in Psalm 8, said, “Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have ordained strength, because of Your enemies, that You may silence the enemy and the avenger.”  The enemies today are the materialists who would rob God of His honor as Creator, and who would ascribe His wonders to chance.  The strength He has ordained is the powerful evidence of nature.  Look no farther than the feeble infant in a mother’s arms, focusing its little eyes and ears on her every gentle word.
Next headline on: Human Body. • Next amazing story.

Article: 10/28/01  Paul Giem, “Carbon-14 Content of Fossil Carbon”, Origins, Geoscience Research Institute (51:6-30, Oct 2001).  Dr. Giem examines dozens of reported cases of anomalous carbon-14 residuals in Cambrian to Pliocene rock, which should have been long decayed if the world were as old as claimed.
Next headline on: Dating Methods.

Tiny RNAs: A Whole New World of Regulators Discovered  10/26/2001
Cell biologists have uncovered a whole new class of regulators that control development and gene expression: micro-RNAs, or miRNAs.  These short sequences of genetic material (usually around 10-30 nucleotides, much smaller than genes) that had
“almost escaped detection until now,” may number in the hundreds or thousands in the cells of all living things.  They work not by coding for proteins, but by latching onto messenger RNAs, that are en route to the protein assembly plants, and inhibiting them until the right time, thus acting as switches or timing controls.  But the range of possible functions is just now beginning to be explored.  One geneticist comments, “Each miRNA is probably matched to one or more other genes whose expression it controls.  Their potential importance to control development or physiology is really enormous.  If there are hundreds of these in humans and each has two or three targets that it regulates, then there could be many hundreds of genes whose activity is being regulated this way.”  Three reports on miRNAs are in the Oct 26 issue of Science.  See also this summary in SciNews.

Switches, controllers, regulators– is this the language of purposelessness and chance?  The microscopic world of the cell just keeps getting more amazing, and harder to explain by evolution.  Now we have another category of tools to marvel at.
Next headline on: The Cell and Biochemistry. • Next amazing story.
Article 10/26/2001: Writing for the ICR Impact series, Gregory G. Brewer, medical microbiologist at Southern Illinois University, predicts the “Imminent Death of Darwinism and the Rise of Intelligent Design.”  He bases his forecast on the collapse of evolutionary trees of life, the genome sequence data, and the existence of irreducibly complex features in living cells.  “The death of Darwinism will be a hard pill to swallow because it requires replacement by intelligent design, a paradigm outside the box of naturalism that many scientists embrace,” Dr. Brewer concludes.

Did Cro-Magnon Outsmart Neandertals, Or Both Outsmart Scientists?  10/26/2001
An article in the Oct 25
Nature makes it clear that there are almost as many opinions about human evolution as there are paleoanthropologists.  Neandertals used to be pictured as brutish transitional forms in the human ancestral tree, and smarter Cro-Magnons survived because of their superior brains.  But the picture today is not so simple.  Points of dispute include: did Neandertals go extinct, or just merge into modern man?  Were they as smart as Cro-Magnon?  Did the Cro-Magnon invade and destroy them, or intermarry with them?  Why are carbon-14 measurements so inconsistent?  Who made the artifacts and stone tools?  Although there have been new archaeological finds recently, paleoanthropologists are still far from answers, the article explains.

One gets the impression the whole story is bunk.  They’re not sure of anything about these fully-human beings: when they lived, when they died, how they lived, how they died.  Notice this statement about the carbon-14 dating evidence: “Where both bone and charcoal from the same level have been dated, some bone dates statistically match those on charcoal, but others are much younger and often make little stratigraphic sense.”  By translation, this means that some of the bones are way too young for evolutionists’ storytelling.  The carbon-14 dates and the rocks in which they are found don’t fit the evolutionary scenario.  But instead of seeing this as evidence something is wrong with the story, they disregard the evidence as making little sense! 
It is irresponsible for the Discovery Channel and other popular science outlets to portray Neandertals and Cro-Magnons in the usual Darwinian way, when the evidence is so confused and contradictory.  There is nothing in the raw data that invalidates a Biblical view that these were all fully human beings that lived in relatively recent times.  Put a Neandertal in a business suit and you would hardly notice him walking down the street.  Yet evolutionists expect us to believe these intelligent people eked out a subsistence living for 200,000 years – thirty times as long as known civilization – without the smarts to build cities, ride horses, plant farms and write books.  Something is drastically wrong with this picture.
Next headline on: Early Man. • Next headline on: Dating Methods.
Curious Anecdote:  Did you know that the first fossils of Neandertal Man were found in 1856 in the Neander Valley in Germany, where a large cave named Neander-höhle was named for Joachim Neander (1650-1680), a hymn writer?  Believe it or not, this was the original “Neander-höhle man” who wrote the famous hymn, Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of Creation.
How Plants Stand Up  10/26/2001
Plants are able to stand erect because of their rigid cell walls.  Scientists have known that cell walls contained a complex carbohydrate called RG-II, but didn’t know its function.  Now, scientists at the
University of Georgia have figured out that RG-II forms a fishnet-like arrangement held together by boron atoms that, along with cellulose, gives the cell wall rigidity something like reinforced concrete.  This carbohydrate, one of the most complex in nature and used by all plants, requires a host of enzymes to manufacture:
“RG-II has been known as an obscure, structurally weird polysaccharide that plants make,” said Malcolm O’Neill, senior research associate at UGA’s CCRC.  “But we had no idea why plants went to all the effort to make it.  There are 50 to 60 enzymes involved, 12 different sugars and 22 different linkages.  There’s even one sugar that’s actually not been found anywhere else.”
They observed that mutants lacking a crucial side chain on the carbohydrate, or lacking boron, end up as dwarfs.  The plants returned to normal by the addition of the missing ingredients. 
Did you catch the personification fallacy there?  Plants don’t go to the effort to make something; they just respond to the engineering designed into their coded instructions.  Think about a process that requires 60 enzymes to complete, when each enzyme is a complex, folded strand of dozens or hundreds of precisely-placed amino acids, coded for by genes in the DNA library.  The functions of enzymes and carbohydrates are highly dependent on having a precise shape, which in turn is highly dependent on the precise sequence of amino acids.  The article agrees, “The sugar substitution [in the mutant form] changes the shape of the molecule . . . . As in all molecules - and in all biology - it’s the shapes of molecules that control their function.”  The chance of getting one enzyme right, let alone 50 or 60, is infinitesimally small; yet if any one of them is wrong, the entire manufacturing process comes to a halt.  how could this and thousands of other complex functional systems arise without design?  Think about the degree of complexity at work the next time you look at a blade of grass standing upright against the force of gravity.
Next headline on: Plants. • Next headline on: The Cell and Biochemistry.
Are Meteorites and Moon Rocks Young?  10/25/2001
Two news stories last week are making planetary scientists jump through hoops to explain apparently youthful features in the solar system.
  • Duncan Steele writing in The Guardian Oct 18 says that “Most meteorites appear to be too young, in terms of the time spent on independent orbits after escaping their parent asteroids.”  This conclusion comes from observing too few cosmic ray tracks as a measure of space exposure.  Date calculations yield results orders of magnitude less than the 4.5 billion year assumed age of the solar system.  Steele theorizes that the Yarkovsky force, a drag force caused by differential radiation from a spinning body, may have accelerated their journey to the earth.
  • Oct 19 Sky and Telescope online news discusses analyses of Apollo 17 lunar soil samples by two Berkeley physicists.  They found about 15% more beryllium-10 than expected if it were produced by cosmic rays.  Moreover, “beryllium-10 has a half-life of 1.5 million years, far younger than the Moon, so there must be a source of continual replenishment.”  They propose that the solar atmosphere creates the Be-10 and flings it out into the solar wind that bombards the lunar surface.  This explanation, however, requires that little Be-10 mixing occurs in the sun; it must be created and transported quickly.
Any dating method is going to have problems and anomalies, whether you believe in an old or young solar system.  These two examples show how evolutionists deal with their anomalies.  Whether their explanations hold up or not is difficult to prove.  It should be clear, however, that the evolutionary old age is the constant that must not be questioned; other mechanisms are invoked to prop up that fixed and holy parameter.  This would be a good time to review our Concise Guide to Understanding Evolutionary Theory on the right sidebar.
Next headline on: Dating Methods. • Next headline on: Solar System. • Next headline on: Physics.
Scientists Should Write With More Feeling  10/24/2001
In an op-ed piece in the Oct. 25
Nature, “Wondrous Order”, Matthew Cobb tries to get his colleagues to express a little more awe at the workings of nature, rather than write in such dry, passive-voice dullness characteristic of scientific papers.  He recounts a 17th century anatomist whose descriptions sparkled with colorful adjectives and praise to God:
“For Swammerdam, the source of this structure could only be divine, and the only appropriate response was rapture.  As he put it when summarizing his findings on the anatomy and metamorphosis of butterflies: “How then can we avoid crying out, O God of miracles!  How wonderful are all thy works!  How beautiful are the ornaments!  How well adapted the powers which thou has so profusely bestowed upon thy creatures!”
Although in Cobb’s opinion science has removed the Designer and explained all by randomness, natural selection and adaptation, scientists should still get a little excited in their prose.  “The fragility of nature and the lack of any ultimate meaning or plan make the world an even more amazing place in which to live than if everything were pre-ordained.”
We caught this man red-handed trying to steal the word awe from the Christian vocabulary.  As a human made in the image of God, he misses the old heart-stirring feelings that the early creation scientists had for their work (Antonio Damasio in the same issue probes the elusive nature of feelings vs. emotions).  Cobb sets up a straw man with Swammerdam, and creates an either-or fallacy with purposelessness vs. predestination.  But away he goes, trying to smuggle some awe into modern materialism and saying a world without any ultimate meaning is even more awesome!  But like materialist Carl Sagan said shortly before his death, “Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark.  In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.”  There’s no experience of awe among particles in motion, nor blood in turnips.  Hand over the word awe to its rightful owners.  Evolutionists can use their own word: despair.
Next dumb story.
Entropy Leads to Self-Assembling Molecules  10/24/2001
A
University of Pennsylvania news release says that entropy has its benefits.  It can assemble “fuzzy” molecules into precisely distinct lattices.  Physicist Randall D. Kamien’s work “adds new evidence that entropy is far richer than the gloomy drive toward universal disorder it was once thought to be and suggests it could become a player in the world of self-assembling molecules.  Entropy’s knack for driving fuzzy molecules into distinct lattices offers scientists the promise of new materials designed rationally rather than through trial and error.”
Whenever evolutionists hear evidence for self-assembly and spontaneous ordering, they get excited.  This announcement won’t provide much comfort, though; the order is built into the valences of the atoms and is not information.  Any spontaneous ordering of the lattices is similar to snowflakes and crystals: pretty, but meaningless.  DNA transcription, on the other hand, involves a true code and elaborate translation mechanism, including error-checking and proofreading, that has nothing to do with the valences of the molecules.  It is the information content of the cell that baffles naturalistic origin of life, and though our understanding of entropy is growing richer, it is still a “gloomy” drive toward universal dis-information, without a Designer and Sustainer of the world.
Next headline on: Physics. • Next headline on: Origin of Life.
Finger-Pointing Over Cause of Mammal Extinction: Man or Climate?  10/24/2001
Donald Grayson, a University of Washington anthropologist, thinks the theory that early man hunted mammals to extinction (the overkill hypothesis) is a “faith-based credo that bows to Green politics.”  He says that the theory by Paul Martin in 1967 that Clovis people migrating into North America killed off all the large mammals 11,000 years ago “is glitzy, easy to understand and fits with our image of ourselves as all-powerful.  It also fits well with the modern Green movement and the Judeo-Christian view of our place in the world.  But there is no reason to believe that the early peoples of North America did what Martin’s argument says they did.”  Instead, Grayson believes climate changes could have caused the extinctions.  “Overkill is bad science because it is immune to the empirical record.“ he says.
Now there’s a first, putting the Green movement and Judeo-Christian view in the same sentence.  But give it up, guys; none of you were there.  It’s all bad science; it’s all faith-based credo.
Next headline on: Early Man. • Next headline on: Politics.
Mars 2001 Odyssey Enters Orbit  10/23/2001
Cheers went up at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at 10:56 p.m. EDT Tuesday, just twenty minutes ago at this writing, as a signal from the spacecraft was attained indicating that the orbit insertion burn had succeeded and the ship was now in orbit around Mars.  One of the goals of
Mars 2001 Odyssey is the search for life.  A Mars Atmospheric Chemistry and Astrobiology Workshop has just been announced to take place at Caltech December 17-19.
Update 10/24/01:  In a morning-after pep talk to JPL, retiring NASA Administrator Dan Goldin, who is largely responsible for the agency’s astrobiology emphasis, said that “if life is ubiquitous in the universe, you will be the ones to find out.”
Congratulations to the hard-working engineers who pulled off another deep space maneuvering success.  But how would you place your bet on the astrobiologists finding life on this dusty, rocky, cold desert?
Next headline on: Mars.
Veteran Activist Takes On Evolution Dogmatism in California – Again  10/23/2001
Nell Segraves, who won a California court order in 1981 requiring schools to present evolution as theory instead of fact, is out to remind the school boards they are breaking the law, according to a report in
Focus on the Family Citizen Link.  A textbook she examined was filled with evolution as fact and history, without a hint of evolution being controversial.  She called the Department of Justice.  They replied that the textbooks could be recalled and money refunded if enough students called and complained that evolution offended their religious beliefs; so she is launching a letter-writing campaign to the Department of Justice and hoping thousands of students will respond.  “No tax money can be used to offend religious beliefs,” Segraves says.  “But you have to be offended, and call their attention to the misuse of funds.”
We hope this will be effective, and that evolutionists will back off from their dogmatic propaganda, but we have some reservations about this approach.  It makes Christians and creationists look like whiners, when really it is the Darwinists who are on trial here, in two respects: (1) Evolution is bad science, not just an offense to someone’s religious beliefs.  If you are a regular reader of these pages, no doubt you have been appalled at the shameful storytelling that evolutionists continually engage in, contrary to what the actual evidence shows–see yesterday’s story about evolutionary trees of life, for instance.  (2) Evolution is also naturalistic philosophy masquerading as science.  It rests on unproveable assumptions and often absurd appeals to chance.  It is just as “religious” as any other philosophy or religion, and has no right being presented dogmatically in science classes when it is not only incapable of proof but contrary to the science we know. 
So we advise Darwin-doubters not to just whimper about how evolution is hurting our religious feelings– that plays right into the pro-Darwinist claims that “evolution is science, creation is religion.”  We also discourage demanding “equal time” for creation, because that approach also fails to address the real problem; they respond with the straw man fallacy that “if you allow the teaching of Genesis in the biology class, you also have to allow equal time for Polynesian creation myths and Eskimo creation myths.”  Darwinists are so entrenched in their belief that evolution is an objective science that they just cannot see their own philosophical bias for what it is, or conceive of the possibility that Darwinism is an unscientific creation myth.  Finally, this approach, noble as its intentions are, gives the appearance to some of using the power of the state to push the agenda of a special interest group.  In actuality, the shoe is on the other foot!  See our Aug. 19 story, for instance.  Darwin’s bulldogs are not above telling outright lies, shutting off dissent, discriminating against creationists and redefining science itself to prevent challenges to their philosophy from getting heard.
Instead of complaining from a religious stance, we encourage students and parents to challenge the “scientific” claims of Darwinism.  Teachers have no right to present bad science and bad religion as biological fact; isn’t it in the spirit of good scientific inquiry to challenge accepted beliefs, if you can make a better case with better evidence?  Textbooks and teachers should present all the scientific data, including the voluminous evidence that contradicts Darwinism and the strident controversies that exist between evolutionists themselves (such as between the neo-Darwinists and the promoters of punctuated equilibria, and between believers in and opponents of “evolutionary psychology”).  It is simply irresponsible for textbooks and school boards and teachers to pretend these issues don’t exist and to smilingly say, “Evolution is a fact.” or, “All scientists accept evolution.”  That’s indoctrination, not education.  Instead of removing Darwinism from the classroom, we want schools to teach all the facts about it and not let pro-evolution media get away with a one-sided, dogmatic, slick marketing pitch.  O, for a generation of well-informed, logical-thinking students!  Get informed and challenge the claims with scientific evidence; you’ll find plenty of ammunition right here on Creation-Evolution Headlines.
For an example of how one student made a difference, read our Scientist of the Month story, below.
Next headline on: Politics. • Next headline on: Schools.
Evolutionary Tree of Life More Confused Than in Darwin’s Day  10/22/2001
A surprising admission comes from the Oct 22 issue of the
Biological Proceedings of the Royal Society.  Michael J. Benton has researched 100 years of evolutionary phylogenies (family trees) and admitted that evolutionists are more confused than they were before; in most cases, the stratigraphic record, the molecular record, and the fossil record produce inconsistent results.  Here’s the abstract:
Phylogenies, or evolutionary trees, are fundamental to biology.  Systematists have laboured since the time of Darwin to discover the tree of life.  Recent developments in systematics, such as cladistics and molecular sequencing, have led practitioners to believe that their phylogenies are more testable now than equivalent efforts from the 1960s or earlier.  Whole trees, and nodes within trees, may be assessed for their robustness. However, these quantitative approaches cannot be used to demonstrate that one tree is more likely to be correct than another.  Congruence assessments may help.  Comparison of a sample of 1000 published trees with an essentially independent standard (dates of origin of groups in geological time) shows that the order of branching has improved slightly, but the disparity between estimated times of origination from phylogeny and stratigraphy has, if anything, become worse.  Controlled comparisons of phylogenies of four major groups (Agnatha, Sarcopterygii, Sauria and Mammalia) do not show uniform improvement, or decline, of fit to stratigraphy through the twentieth century.  Nor do morphological or molecular trees differ uniformly in their performance.
Benton says the most striking finding in the comprehensive study is the little change in congruence between stratigraphy and phylogeny (rocks vs Darwinian theory) throughout the 20th century, and especially the last 30 years, a time of major revolution in methods and data sources.  Apparently the advent of molecular phylogeny (finding ancestry in the genes) and cladistics has had little effect on resolving the problems.  He thinks it will be interesting to revisit the issue in 10-20 years time, but for the present, leaves the problems unresolved, admitting that “the ability of the fossil record to document the history of life requires further reassessment.”
Hear ye, hear ye!  That’s the value of Creation-Evolution Headlines.  If you watched the PBS Evolution TV series, you would have been propagandized into a belief system that is not supported by the evidence.  It’s in scientific papers like this that few laymen read that the truth comes out.  This is a surprising admission– it basically states that the whole Darwinian tree of life as presented in the textbooks and on TV is not supported by the evidence!  (Of course, some of us already knew that.)
Next headline on: Darwinism and evolutionary theory.
Thermodynamics of Cellular “Steam Engines” Described  10/22/2001
Three Japanese scientists have analyzed the thermodynamics of molecular motors in living cells in a new paper in the
Biological Proceedings of the Royal Society.  They compare the thermodynamic properties of macroscopic steam engines vs. the microscopic motors like dynein and myosin-V involved in cellular transport and cell division.  They describe how these “remarkable microscopic engines” are able to perform a biased random walk (like a ratchet), even though buffeted by Brownian (thermal) motion, and perform useful work.  The same equations shown here for linear molecular motors should be applicable to rotary motors like ATP synthase.
The scientific literature on biochemistry is teeming with phrases like molecular motors and cellular machinery.  How can any thinking person believe that machines evolved out of a primordial soup?  One can conceive a day in the not too distant future when belief in chemical evolution will be abandoned by all knowledgeable biochemists, leaving the superstructure of Darwinian evolution built on it without a foundation, poised for a monumental collapse.
Next headline on: The Cell and Biochemistry.
Fossil Lemur Teeth Found in Pakistan  10/22/2001
The origin of lemurs, small primates now found only in Madagascar, has long been a puzzle.  Now, according to paper in the journal
Science (see summary and picture in ScienceNow), fossil teeth “resembling” those of lemurs, estimated at 30 million years old, have been discovered in Pakistan.  Fossils on Madagascar, by contrast, only date back 40,000 years.  One team member believes this provides “unequivocal evidence” that lemurs had diversified in Asia long before arriving off the African coast.  How did they get to to their current location?  He believes that the lemurs “probably got to Madagascar–which had separated from Asia about 88 million years ago–by riding on a small island that could have drifted from Asia to Africa and bumped into Madagascar.”  Another paleontologist would like to see more fossil evidence than a few teeth.
Too little data and too many assumptions plague this story, as usual.  The perceptive reader will see more problems than solutions.  How do they know these are lemur teeth?  How do they know they are 30 million years old?  Even if so, why the huge gap between the Asian teeth and the oldest known lemur fossil in Africa?  Why do lemurs appear in the fossil record fully formed without ancestors?  How could lemurs ride some island to Madagascar and not leave any fossil trace anywhere else in the world?  What process would make an island with the last surviving lemurs drift across the sea and unload its cargo on Madagascar?  Making this finding fit evolutionary ages and biogeography is a stretch; they should be scratching their heads and admitting that something is terribly wrong with their theories.  As is common in pro-evolution research, data don’t tell evolutionary tales– people do.
Next headline on: Mammals. • Next headline on: Fossils.
Article 10/19/2000: An article from Creation magazine posted on Answers in Genesis, “The Collapse of Geologic Time,” argues that compressed radioactive haloes in coalified wood provide evidence for a young earth and a worldwide flood.
Next headline on: Dating Methods.

Fall Colors Lack Evolutionary Explanation  10/19/2001
Why do leaves turn a brilliant red in the fall?  Aside from aesthetics, no one knows for sure.  A feature story on the
Scientific American website examines the various theories.  Some feel the reds act as a sunscreen while recycling leaf tissues for winter food storage.  Some think they protect the plant from free radicals.  Others hypothesize that the red pigments help preserve water during drought, or repel insects, or advertise toxic substance to would-be predators.  But in the end, none of these ideas explain why some plants have red all year, other plants do fine without red pigment, and why there are such varying degrees in between.

Do we have to have a Darwinian explanation for everything?  Is there any room left for a Creator who might just create wonders because they are beautiful?  Take a walk in the woods this fall and just enjoy it without stressing yourself out on what survival value the colors have.  Darwinian tales are made by evolutionary biologists, but only God can make a tree.
Next headline on: Plants.
Dark Matter Options Diminish  10/19/2001
“Astronomers appear to have a heavenly crisis on their hands, and it concerns material they can’t even detect,” says Ron Cowen in the cover story of the Oct. 13
Science News, “Dark Matters.”  Since the 1930's, astronomers have built most of their theories on the assumption that over 90% of the universe consists of unseen, unknown particles.  Whether hot (fast moving) or cold (non-interacting), dark matter is the stuff that holds galaxies together and creates the early universe’s structure.  But observations are accumulating that conflict with theory; for instance, cores of galaxies are not as dense as predicted, there are 1000 times too few dwarf galaxies as predicted, and the distribution of dark matter should be football-shaped, but would have to be spherical to match observations.
Astronomers have responded by coming up with two alternative theories: warm dark matter, or self-interacting dark matter.  Recent observations by the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, however, seem to rule out the latter.  But the former appears too ad hoc to some.  They hope continuing observations by Chandra may set constraints on the nature of the elusive material.
One gets the distinct impression reading such articles that astronomers are debating the composition and character of ghosts.  How many of these problems are due to slavish devotion to the Big Bang theory and long ages?  Maybe there is no dark matter and they will have to live with the universe as it is, not as they think it should be.  Their models have so many degrees of freedom, though, that we should not expect a change of heart soon.  Cosmology is a game where the only rule is philosophical naturalism, and no observation can be considered legitimate until it is confirmed by theory.
Next headline on: Stars. • Next headline on: Cosmology.
Virus Motor Packs DNA Under High Pressure  10/18/2001
University of California at Berkeley scientists have measured the force with which viruses stuff their DNA into protein bottles called capsids.  A little molecular motor at the lid of the bottle is able to pack the coiled DNA with 60 piconewtons of pressure.  On a human scale, that is ten times the pressure in a champagne bottle.  The team is now studying whether the pressure is used to inject the DNA into the host bacterial cell, and whether the packing motor rotates as do some other molecular motors studied, such as the bacterial flagellum.
Think of this little motor packing a DNA molecule into a protein bottle, like stuffing a spring into a can.  When the Jack in the Box pops open, surprise!  This article uses the word motor two dozen times.  It underscores the fact that cellular components are molecular machines.  Evolutionists are up a creek to explain machines by chance, but creationists, too, should be intrigued by the high level of design being found in viruses.  We think of viruses as nasty disease-causing agents, and some certainly are today, but the vast majority are harmless and may be beneficial.  Jerry Bergman has speculated that viruses performed a vital role in the beginning; for instance, they may have prepared a host to enter a new environment, or provided functionality to pass from one organism to another by lateral gene transfer.  Whatever is theorized about their role in creation, they are turning out to be more intricately designed than we could have imagined.
Next headline on: The Cell and Biochemistry. • Next amazing story.
Birds, the High-Efficiency Long-Distance Flight Champions  10/18/2001
A paper in
Nature investigates the fuel efficiency of long-distance migratory birds, some of which can fly long distances of 4000 km or more with only a few short stops (click here for summary.).  How does a bird extract the maximum power from its fuel?  Doesn’t increasing body weight by stocking up on fuel decrease flight muscle efficiency?  Apparently, birds are better engineers than we thought, able to actually fly more efficiently when fully loaded.  Scientists used wind tunnels to measure factors like lift, power, drag and metabolic power output. 
A related study, also in Nature now proves that flying in formation also helps birds use 11-14% less energy.  Scientists measured heart rates of great white pelicans to estimate the benefit.
These papers give you a sense of the complex math and engineering required to fly a machine for a long distance with enough fuel (but not too much) to get there, when there are trade-offs between weight and efficiency.  How did a little birdbrain figure this out?  The paper uses the typical evolutionary lingo that nature selected the right parameters.  Presumably, millions of unlucky birds had to drop into the ocean before they got it right.
Next headline on: Birds. • Next amazing story.
Mouse Jitteriness Correlated With Food Abundance  10/17/2001
Pamela Mueller and Jared Diamond of UCLA, in a paper in the
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, studied five species of mice and found correlations between the abundance of food (net primary productivity) and the critters’ antsiness, as measured in basal metabolic rate.
This glorified high school science project is listed in the category evolution but proves nothing.  They start with mice and end with mice; so what?  Some mice are jumpier than others and bite more; so what?  Some people act that way, too.  Let’s correlate that with NCI (net coffee intake).  All this paper does is observe adaptation, not evolution.  Jared Diamond, who has written vitriolic anti-creationist rhetoric in popular science magazines, is doing his part to shore up the evidence for evolution in a scientific journal, but accomplishes nothing here.  Microevolution does not reinforce Darwinian evolution from amoeba to man.  Even so, this paper is riddled with doubt about what their observations prove.
Next headline on: Mammals. • Next headline on: Darwinism.
Feeling Depressed? Go Take a Hike  10/17/2001
Researchers at
Texas A&M University are confirming another common-sense notion that physical activity is good for you, both physically and emotionally.  According to the news release echoed in EurekAlert, participants in vigorous outdoor activities like backpacking, canoeing and rock climbing were not only physically fit, but were better able to handle stress and had a more positive mental outlook.  Doctors found more stress hormones in the bodies of couch potatoes, and found that the physically fit were better prepared to handle unexpected challenges.
Creation-Evolution Headlines is a proud partner of Creation Safaris.  After reading the news on this computer screen, get up, stretch, and go take a vigorous walk.  The Creator has made us an integrated whole–body, mind, and spirit–with each part influencing the others.  Don’t neglect any of your well-designed systems.
Follow the chain links on Health for similar stories, especially a study from the British Journal of Sports Medicine on March 27.  Even the sights and sounds of nature can have a calming effect, as we reported May 8 and March 23.  Go to the Creation Safaris Photo Gallery and try it out.
Next headline on: Health.
Female Goby Fish Strut Their Stuff  10/16/2001
Most studies on sexual selection have focused on male coloration, but a paper in the Oct 16
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences investigates a species of fish where the female has the bright coloration.  Two Scandinavian researchers found that the males flirted more with the females that had bright orange underbellies, whether or not they were fat.
This paper should not have passed peer review; if it were a creationist theory it would have been laughed off the stage.  These scientists are imposing their sexual fancies and thinking on dumb little fish.  Aren’t fish color blind, anyway?  What does an orange belly have to do with fitness?  If this is a law of science, why aren’t all species getting gaudier all the time, both male and female?  If gold is the magic color, why haven’t all fish evolved into goldfish?  The paper is full of wiggle room and doubt.  For example:
  • ....empirical studies addressing social and sexual selection in females are either scarce or completely lacking in most major taxa.
  • In most other taxa, including fish, female ornaments are almost unstudied and the evolutionary reasons for female beauty largely unknown.
  • This scenario does not explain the evolution of color characteristics whose expression may vary among reproductive females.
  • The only extant study conducted in such a system on convict cichlids (Cichlasoma nigrofasciatum) revealed no male preference for females with more bright ventral coloration.
  • Why are male two-spotted gobies so sensitive to female belly coloration?  One possibility is that belly coloration acts as an amplifier of female fecundity.  To a human observer [emphasis added], the orange belly of an ornamented female is a highly conspicuous trait, with a high contrast to the fish body and to the habitat background.  By adding color to an already round belly filled with mature eggs, females may facilitate male evaluation of fecundity [emphasis added].  But why are not all mature females equally colorful?  If the amplifying trait is costly to develop, it may at the same time be informative of female quality....It remains to be demonstrated which aspects of quality, if any, might be signaled through bright carotenoid-based coloration in female two-spotted gobies.
  • It remains to be demonstrated what benefits males may gain from being choosy.
  • Studies of relationships between ornamentation, parasites and immune parameters in females are very few and should be encouraged.
  • The demonstrated male preference for female coloration does not preclude a function of female ornamentation in contest competition among females.
  • We suggest that more attention should be directed at the largely unstudied phenomenon of female “beauty” in fish and other animals.
So after 150 years of Darwinism, nobody has studied female sexual selection, the data are contradictory, it could be this or it could be that, and we can’t possibly know what the little fishies are thinking, so let’s impose our human likes and dislikes on the fish (what does “beauty” mean to a fish, for crying out loud?).  You are watching evolutionary research in action.  This is how evolution gains an appearance of scientific respectability; Darwinists publish wishy-washy papers like this and can claim the literature is full of evidence for evolution.  A thousand buckets of sand do not give you a solid foundation.
Next headline on: Fish. • Next headline on: Darwinism. • Next dumb story.
Solar System Exhibits Chaotic Motion, But Not Too Much  10/16/2001
A Japanese paper in the
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences explores the extent of chaos in planetary orbits.  The authors explain that small bodies are clearly subject to chaotic influences, whereas the major planets, though not exempt, seem remarkably stable for long periods of time.  This is partly due to the large separation between them compared to their masses, but much remains poorly understood.  They state:
These recent advances are the beginning of a quest to tease out the critical properties of our solar system (and its subsystems) that give it the curious character of being only marginally chaotic or marginally stable on time spans comparable with its current age.  It is but a part of the quest to understand what processes of formation (and perhaps initial conditions) led to this remarkable system in nature and how common such systems are in our galaxy and the universe.
This subject is of interest to astronomers and geophysicists for setting constraints on our ability to extrapolate backward and forward in time, to ascertain or predict positions of planets or to correlate dates in the geological column with orbital influences.
The old Newtonian mechanists used to assume the heavens were as reliable as clockwork, and bragged on their ability to predict almost anything from mathematical laws of physics.  Now we know that initial conditions and perturbations can have dramatic effects, making it all but impossible to predict future motions.  (This also explains why the old urban legend about running the solar system orbits backward to find Joshua’s long day is not possible.) 
Our solar system is carefully balanced set of coincidences.  A little chaos is OK, but a lot of chaos could have ruled out life.  Notice how these scientists are awestruck at our “remarkable system in nature.”
Next headline on: Solar System.
Bones of St. Luke Found?  10/16/2001
DNA analysis of bones alleged to be those of Luke, writer of the Gospel of Luke and Acts of the Apostles in the Bible, have been performed by molecular biologists, says
Scientific American summarizing a new report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  The analysis of DNA from two teeth shows they are about three times more likely to have a Syrian origin than a Greek origin.  The story claims to highlight “the value of using genetic data to confirm history.” (Note: Scientific American incorrectly states Luke was born in 150 A.D. in Syria, whereas the original paper says he died in that year.)  Uncertainty remains, however, about other possible birthplaces, and the actual identity of the individual.
Dr. Luke was a historian of the first rank; the accuracy of his writings have been repeatedly confirmed by archaeology.  He was a traveling companion of Paul and died probably much earlier than 150 A.D.  Can this method really tell that much?  Couldn’t a Syrian be born in Greece or somewhere else?  As interesting as the dating of relics might be, we are beyond honoring relics.  It is far more important to listen to Luke’s message than analyze his bones, even if they were his (which this scientific paper cannot establish).  Brother Luke is in heaven, with a clear view of the risen and ascended Christ, of whom he wrote under inspiration of the Holy Spirit after doing diligent research from eyewitness accounts.
Next headline on: Bible.
Meteorite Might Hold Clues to Life  10/16/2001
According to the
Rochester News, local professors are studying the Tagish Lake meteorite that fell in British Columbia last year for clues to the origin of life on earth.  This meteorite contains carbon but no amino acids; others are said to have had amino acids.  “The sticking point is to get from simple molecules, like amino acids, to the complication of life,” said Sandra Pizzarello, a chemistry professor at Arizona State University and another member of the research team.  “You just put the puzzle one piece at a time in place.”
This is a priori reasoning.  Evolutionists are convinced life did evolve from chemicals, so they are on this slow, painstaking project to piece together evidence to show how it evolved.  There is a HUGE difference between amino acids and life, however; so huge it could never be bridged by natural processes acting under the laws of science we already know.  To get an idea of what evolutionists are up against, check out these animations of ATP synthase, a molecular motor used in all living things (these are simplified animations that do not show all the parts involved).  These motors are made up of thousands of amino acids, all left-handed, that are arranged into a precise sequence and work together as a 6000rpm motor, cranking out ATP molecules (used in all life processes), at over 90% efficiency.  Unless all these complex parts exist together simultaneously, the motor will not work at all.  This is one of many such molecular machines in the cell that must be present to have life.  Yet here we have researchers looking for little individual amino acids, thinking that if they find some they are getting closer to understanding the origin of life.  Amino acids are no closer to life than a child’s alphabet blocks are to an encyclopedia.
Next headline on: Origin of Life.
Baboons Capable of Abstract Reasoning   10/14/2001
Who knows what abstract reasoning lurks in the hearts of baboons?  The psychologist thinks he knows.  According to
EurekAlert, psychologists writing in the Journal of Experimental Psychology performed experiments in which, after thousands of tries, baboons were able to associate like things with rewards.
Big deal.  I had a horse once that figured out how to unlatch the barn door with her lips.
Next dumb story.
New Eugenics Movement Underway, Claims Historian  10/12/2001
In this month’s edition of Science Magazine’s
Essays on Science and Society, Garland E. Allen asks, “Is a New Eugenics Afoot?” and answers, “Yes.”  Allen is a historian of science at the Evolutionary and Population Biology Program of Washington University, St. Louis.  After describing the history and thinking of the Eugenics movement that was popular in Progressivist America (1900-1930) but got really ugly in Nazi Germany, he argues that similar socioeconomic and cultural trends exist today.  Today’s focus on the bottom line, ethnic prejudices, and tendencies to explain everything in the genes indicate we are “well on the road” to a new eugenics era.
This article is a must read.  Allen does an admirable job of summarizing the thinking of the early twentieth century eugenics movement that led to the forced sterilization of 60,000 “defectives” whom the scientific and political elitists had decided were not worthy of having children.  What Allen does not stress enough, however, is the Darwinist connection to eugenics.  He does admit that “Eugenicists were to be the ‘managers’ of the human germ plasm, in the progressive spirit, and would take control of human evolution.”  It was Darwinism that reduced humans to genes, and made them helpless expressions of heredity, with no responsibility.  Many of the early eugenics advocates, like Haeckel, were staunch Darwinists and racists.  They had an air of scientific respectability by appearing concerned about human suffering and economic prosperity, but their true motives were to be masters of human evolution, create a super-race, and exalt themselves as superior to those they viewed as defectives in the gene pool.  It’s haunting to see how even elite scientists of the day deceived themselves by picking samples that proved their biases. 
Could it happen again?  It’s happening already.  Cloning, stem-cell research, and abortion are essentially eugenics programs justified often in Darwinian terms.  The Human Genome Project has a reductionist side, giving scientists incentive to explain all human failings in terms of bad genes.  National Geographic TV recently had a special on how in the future we might design super-athletes and other “beautiful” people, or ideal warriors on the battlefield.  Taking control of our own future evolution is a dominant theme among Darwinists.  It was repeated in the recent PBS series Evolution.  While positive eugenics (improving people) sounds noble, there is the dark, negative side of the coin: preventing “defectives” from being born in the first place.  In many cases, abortion is eugenics in action: deciding that a baby with Down’s syndrome or some other genetic abnormality has no right to be born.  Stem cell research treats the human genome as property to be manipulated.
Will we learn from history?  It could get worse than the last time.  With the new genetic tools at our disposal, guided only by Darwinian ethics, there bodes a grim future for anyone society may deem undesirable.  Only the Christian ethic of human dignity and compassion for the weak can protect us from potentially catastrophic abuses of human rights ahead.
Next headline on: Politics.
Lightning Sprites Aid Life  10/12/2001
A Penn State team has modeled the ephemeral electrical discharges in the atmosphere called sprites that accompany lightning, and found that they extend not only up to the ionosphere but down to the cloud tops.  These forked streamers, which last only 10 milliseconds (a blink of an eye is 250 milliseconds), may therefore play a significant role in the formation of the ozone layer and in fixing nitrogen, vital to all life.  Most scientists did not even believe in the existence of sprites until about ten years ago.  The report in
Nature Science Update includes pictures, movies and sound.
Yet another small wonder on which life depends is thus discovered.  The world seems too complex a combination of fortuitous factors, producing a life-giving environment, to have been an accident.
Next headline on: Physics. • Next amazing story.
Virus Evolution Claimed Despite DNA Differences  10/12/2001
“Structural biologists have found that two viruses with very different DNA share remarkably similar molecular structures,” says a report in
Science Now.  Comparing structure of a human virus with a bacterial virus, Roger Burnet of the Wistar Institute:
thinks the two viruses could have shared a common ancestor, because key parts of individual proteins resemble each other in both species.  This has allowed the viruses to produce similar structures even as their DNA diverged.  “The evidence makes it hard to imagine they didn’t come from some common ancestor,” agrees Roger Hendrix, a biologist at the University of Pittsburgh.  The results, he says, support a growing body of evidence pointing to a billion-year-old family resemblance between bacterial viruses and human viruses—implying that viruses may be more closely related to one another than previously thought.
Evolutionists use the term convergent evolution to describe similarities in outward appearance (morphology) that they believe had different ancestries (phylogeny).
Evolutionists like to blow smoke when the evidence contradicts Darwinism.  Here is a superficial resemblance between two bugs, but their DNA code is “very different.”  Unless they can explain how the DNA went from one form to the other while preserving outward similarities, the “growing body of evidence” actually contradicts the theory they had common ancestors.  What will it take to convince evolutionists to give up?  No matter what shows up under the microscope, it is metamorphosed into evidence for evolution.  Darwinists are like Talibans being bombed to oblivion yet claiming victory.
Next headline on: Darwinism.
Sea Cow With Legs Found  10/11/2001
National Geographic claims that a fossil sea cow with legs has been found in Jamaica:
This new find fills a significant gap in the fossil record, helping scientists complete the picture of how land animals evolved to sea creatures . . . . “The fossil record for whales is more complete than for sea cows, but every day the fossil record is getting better,” said [discoverer Daryl] Domning.  “Major gaps are becoming minor gaps, and minor gaps are evaporating” . . . . The findings should go a long way toward settling the debate between creationism and evolution, said Domning.  Creationists claim there is no evidence of macro-evolution– intermediate forms of animals demonstrating the evolution from one kind of animal to another.  “We’re finding more and more dramatic evidence by the day that major changes have occurred in both appearance and adaptation,” said Domning.  “It’s no longer a matter of theory.  We have actual bones in hand representing all phases of the evolution, from land animal to sea animal, in different groups of animals.”
The report is published in the Oct 11 Nature.
We should be accustomed to National Geographic’s bluffing by now.  This is the rag that gave us Piltdown Chicken, remember?  Domning found a hippo-like creature; no flippers, able to walk around on land or in ponds; what does that prove?  We have sea lions; we have otters; we have beaver; we have dogs that like to swim– that are all having a jolly time just being what they are.  Let’s play the Darwin game and arrange them into an family tree.  While we’re at it, let’s do the same with the wrenches in the garage. 
This evolutionist is stretching an inch into a mile to prop up evolution, and NG does a disservice by exaggerating the recent whale fossil, which is fragmentary and disputed by evolutionists themselves.  If that record is bad, and the sea cow lineage is worse (as claimed here), does this new fossil justify calling it “dramatic” evidence to prove evolution and refute the claims of creationists?  Look at the evidence, not the words, and you see no such thing.
Evolutionists are dismayed by the rise of creationism.  They are stepping on themselves to dig up transitional forms to fill the voids that they know are there, and to span the wide gaps with flimsy bridges made of questionable bones, glued together with bluffing and just-so stories.  They won’t hold up.
Next headline on: Fossils. • Next headline on: Mammals.
Mars, a Watery and Stormy World  10/11/2001
Two Mars stories are circulating, one about the current
global dust storm that Mars Global Surveyor is watching from orbit.  The other story from NewsWise claims that Mars has a huge aquifer that has flooded large portions of the planet in the past.
Mars storytellers can’t resist the old tale, with assumptions stacked like cards, that since Mars had volcanoes, it might have had water; if Mars had water, it might have had hydrothermal vents; if Mars had hydrothermal vents, it might have had life:
More, there may be hydrothermally active sites in the basin/aquifer similar to hydrothermally active sites on Earth now known to harbor life, Dohm said.  These potential aqueous environments are prime candidates for hydrologic, mineralogic and "exobiologic" exploration, Dohm and his colleagues emphasize.
Is this the only way they can lobby for more Mars missions?
Next headline on: Mars.
Rodents Sailed to South America  10/11/2001
In an attempt to reconcile paleontological data with morphological data, scientists have proposed that South American rodents rode on rafts from Africa, because their distribution occurred too recently to have been due to continental drift.  Others have suggested multiple convergent evolution.  Now, according to
EurekAlert, molecular biologists want to try to find the true story of their ancestry in the genes.
Someone should tell them it won’t work.  We already reported that the DNA clock is unreliable, and molecular phylogenies don’t match evolutionary trees made the old way (by looking at the animals and fossils and guessing their family history).  This is an exercise in futility, trying to force fit data into preconceived theories of common ancestry.  This story contains numerous interesting admissions, such as:
The idea that the South American group shares a common ancestry with the African group has been controversial for years.  Scientists have indeed suggested that caviomorph rodents in South America had multiple origins....
Recent discoveries in molecular evolutionary biology are changing significantly the traditional ideas about mammalian evolution....
That finding [regarding ape and gorilla evolution] sent the entire paleontological community in a tailspin because it was so counter to what they had been proposing....
How many fossils have anything to do with a direct ancestry of the lineages we see living today?  And how do we fit those fossils to the genetic evolutionary tree?....
This work will help reconstruct more accurately the tree of life, which is a really important goal for the future....
It should be evident that the evolutionists are living in a fantasy world of storytelling and wishful thinking, not scientific evidence.
Next headline on: Darwinism and Evolutionary Theory.
Article 10/10/2001: Phillip E. Johnson is back on the speaking tour.  In his Weekly Wedge Update he finds rationalist Frederick Crews shooting himself in the foot.

Nobel Prize in Chemistry Goes to One-Handed Experts  10/10/2001
As reported in
Nature Science Update, the experts are not one-handed, but the subjects of their study are.  Sharpless, Noyori and Knowles have helped the pharmaceutical industry immensely by devising ways to sort lefties out of mixed populations of chiral molecules, since the body can only use one-handed versions of many medicines.  By developing chiral catalysts, they have made it much easier to mass produce quantities of only one hand.

So again we see that intelligence can sort the two with Nobel-level expertise, but who was there at the origin of life to produce only left-handed proteins?  Left- and right-handed forms are chemically equivalent but can have drastically different effects on life, while proteins composed of both hands are useless.  This is the mystery of the left-handed proteins, which in evolutionary circles remains unsolved.  Getting the first protein all one-handed, without the aid of natural selection, is immensely improbable, so much as so as to rule out a naturalistic origin of life on that basis alone.
Next headline on: The Cell and Biochemistry.
Nobel Prize in Medicine Goes to Discoverers of Cell Cycle  10/09/2001
The 100th Anniversary Nobel Prizes for medicine or physiology have been awarded to three cell biologists who helped understand the cell cycle, the process that leads to cell division, according to
Scientific American.  The report also has a link to an interview with Paul Nurse, one of the recipients.
The intelligence of these brilliant scientists is no match for the intelligence built into the simplest yeast cell.  The cell cycle is a wonderfully complicated system of feedbacks and checks and triggers and switches.  Leland Hartwell, one of the recipients, discovered that there are checkpoints that tell the cell whether to proceed with the operation or not, or to self destruct if damage has occurred.  The operations are all controlled by proteins, some of which are turned on and off by other proteins.  It is only when something goes dreadfully wrong in the system that we get cancer or other diseases; for trillions of times in our lifetimes, the systems work perfectly.  In a world cursed because of sin, it’s amazing that cell operations still work as well as they do.
If we could see a cell the size of a building in operation, we would be utterly amazed.  It would be a huge factory run by robots, sending cargo down subway tunnels, producing tools on automated assembly lines, sending instructions from the master library, and for the grand finale, on cue, replicating itself!  Can you think of any human invention that even approaches this level of technology?  The author of the Epistle to the Hebrews said that Christ is worthy of more honor than Moses, just as the builder of the house has more honor than the house (Heb 3:3).  Similarly, who deserves man’s highest prize more, the scientists, composed of cells, who look at and try to understand the cell, or the Maker of the cell?
Next headline on: The Cell and Biochemistry.
Bacteria Inspire Efficient Fuel  10/08/2001
Lowly bacteria possess a tool that is the envy of auto makers: an enzyme called hydrogenase that can produce clean-burning hydrogen from acids.  Researchers at the University of Illinois are trying to imitate the active parts of this enzyme to produce hydrogen economically for tomorrow’s fuel cell engines that can run a car with water as the waste product.  See summary report on the paper from the Journal of the American Chemical Society in
Nature Science Update.
The bacterial enzyme hydrogenase is a complex and precise structure.  It is composed of a chain of amino acids (all left-handed), that coils into a helical shape and then, due to precise placement of side chains on the amino acids, folds (with the help of other enzymes) into a complex three-dimensional structure.  The presence of iron and nickel atoms at precise locations creates the “active site” that allows the hydrogenase to extract hydrogen from acids.  The fact that molecular engineers have to apply a lot of intelligence to reverse engineer this molecule means the original is elegantly designed.  How can evolutionists believe this and a thousand other precision tools in the cell are the handiwork of blind, mindless, undirected forces?
Next amazing story.
Genomics Joins Geology in Search for Evolutionary Ancestors  10/05/2001
The
Astrobiology Institute posted a popular-level article about how molecular biologists are piecing together evolutionary family trees by studying proteins, and how they expect to correlate their data with those of geologists and paleontologists who piece together evolutionary relationships with bones and rocks.  Stephen Benner and colleagues are using a new search engine and database of proteins called DARWIN (Data Analysis and Retrieval With Indexed nucleic-acid-peptide sequences) to compare proteins from distant organisms and find evidence of ancestry.
The article is mostly bluff, with a lot of positive-sounding claims about evolution being evident in the genes and proteins, when in fact we have been reporting frequently that it is not, and that the molecular evidence does not match the paleontological evidence (click here for an example).  On October 1, for instance, we relayed a story about how the DNA clock method for dating evolutionary changes was found unreliable.  The same applies to any alleged protein clock, since proteins are encoded by genes.  One cannot draw relationships between diverse animals without first believing evolution to be true, so it becomes a case of question-begging to get the data to fit preconceived notions.  If you read this article with that in mind, you can find circular reasoning, extrapolation, and faith in evolution all built up on very little actual evidence.  Phanerozoic, by the way, is Greek, not Latin; more bluffing?
Next headline on: Darwinism.
Of Centromeres and Telomeres  10/05/2001
Two cell biology reports are revealing that “mere” parts of DNA are vital.  A news release in
Nature announced that a university team in Cleveland, Ohio has sequenced the centromere of the human genome.  These are the junction points that join the two strands of chromosomes.  They consist of long repetitive sequences of genetic letters.  Though no one understands how they work at this point, they parcel out equal shares of chromosomes during cell division.  Flaws in the centromeres are implicated in many cancers.
In a second news item, a paper in the journal Cell discusses the role of telomeres in cell death and cancer.  Telomeres are the “end caps” on DNA strands that prevent them from unraveling; at each cell division, the length of the telomere is reduced by one unit.  Researchers found that the shortest telomere determines when the cell signals itself to die, not the average telomere length.  Scientific American comments that cells with short telomeres act as if the DNA strand has broken, and receive a signal to “arrest or die as a protection against chromosome rearrangement and cancer.”  When the telomere-repair tool, telomerase, is present, it lengthens the telomere just enough to function.  Runaway telomere lengthening appears to be a characteristic of some cancers.  A related paper published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences demonstrates that “telomere dysfunction triggers extensive DNA fragmentation and evolution of complex chromosome abnormalities in human malignant tumors.”
The human genome is so complex, its wonders continue to baffle scientists.  It is also apparent that failures in its complex operations lead to cancer and death.  When God told man that he would surely die, and cursed the world because of sin, it subjected the original perfect designs to malfunction and entropy.  We see the grand design that points to a Designer, but we feel the malfunctions that take us eventually back to the dust from whence we came.  Is it possible that early in the history of mankind, better centromere and telomere operation (with fewer accumulated mutations) could have allowed men to live for centuries, like Methuselah? 
Evolutionists, however, continue to attribute these complex systems to chance, and look for ape in our ancestry at every turn.  Consider this statement from the centromere story:
The group also compared sequences that bookend the alpha repeats with equivalent sections in primates.  One part of an ancestral primate centromere is amplified in humans, they found.  The work “gives a clear picture of how [the centromere] might have evolved”, says chromosome researcher William Brown of the University of Nottingham, UK.  “It grew relatively recently in human evolution.”  Even with the sequence in hand, no one knows how centromeres work . . . .
So nobody knows how they work, but it doesn’t stop this scientist from confidently stating with an air of authority how and when they evolved.  In the presence of design perfection, a bit of humility is in order.
Next headline on: The Cell and Biochemistry.
Jupiter Moon Reaches New Volcanic Heights  10/04/2001
New pictures of
Jupiter’s Little Moon Io were released today by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory that have planetary scientists excited.  Although the Tvashtar volcanic plume was inactive that they had hoped to fly Galileo through, a new larger plume was seen 370 miles to the south that set a new height record above the surface– 310 miles.  In addition, two new global views show a donut ring of fresh material around the new vent, and another previously unknown vent can be seen with newly deposited material that was not present during the previous encounter in January.  The Galileo spacecraft then prepared for two final flybys of Io, the closest so far on October 15 (which was successful) at just 112 miles above the south pole, and the final one in January 2002.  These will be followed by a visit to the tiny moon Amalthea the following November and a crushing plunge into Jupiter, its grand finale, in September 2003.
It seems unbelievable that this tiny frozen moon could show this much activity after 4.5 billion years.  We reported in August 2000 that the common explanation of tidal flexing is insufficient to account for the heat being generated through the surface.
Next headline on: Solar System. • Next headline on: Geology.
Stellar Images Released  10/04/2001
The
Gemini Telescope North on Mauna Kea has released the “first light” from its new Multi-Object Spectrograph, and it’s a beauty: M74, a face-on galaxy in Pisces, a near-perfect “Grand Design” spiral.  It made NASA Goddard’s Astronomy Picture of the Day.  Also, the Hubble Space Telescope Heritage Project has just released a stunning photo taken in 1997 of the inner core of Omega Centauri, a big globular cluster of several million stars.  The detailed sample region contains about 50,000 stars, many sun-sized but with a scattering of red giants and blue supergiants.
Galaxies and globulars are prize targets for amateur astronomers, and these images will surely delight and amaze anyone.  M74 reminds us of the spiral galaxy wind-up problem for cosmologists.  If galaxies like this one are as old as claimed, they would have wound up so tightly that the spiral arms would be hopelessly scrambled.  Globular clusters also have their conundrums; we reported on March 6 that no planets were detected in a globular where astronomers expected to find several.  And their assumed ages (12 billion years) are in the same ballpark as the assumed age of the universe itself, putting pressure on theories of star and galaxy formation so soon after the birth of the universe.
Next headline on: Stars. • Next headline on: Cosmology.
Oldest Cave Art Is the Best  10/04/2001
According to
Scientific American, the cave art discovered in Chauvet is made up of “masterpieces comparable to the best Magdalenian art” that is much younger.  New radiocarbon dates set the Magdalenian art of Lascaux and Altamira at 12,000 17,000 years old, but sets the Chauvet art, which is just as good if not superior, at 27,000 to 32,000 years old.  According to Helene Valladas, who made the radiocarbon measurements, this is a problem: “Prehistorians, who have traditionally interpreted the evolution of art as a steady progression from simple to more complex representations, may have to reconsider existing theories of the origins of art.”
Like maybe it’s not as old as claimed?  Think about it.  Here you have artwork that is of the highest caliber, indicating a high degree of intelligence, yet evolutionists expect us to believe its creators did not evolve civilization, agriculture and rocket science for 32,000 years.  Consider how much mankind has learned and changed in just the last 5,000 years and see if their timeline is even remotely credible.  Look at the Chauvet art and judge for yourself.  Radiocarbon dates, like all other radioactive dating methods, are subject to unproveable assumptions and cannot be trusted.  It is only evolutionary assumptions that keeps these dates from being tossed into the wastebasket as unreasonable.
Next headline on: Dating Methods. • Next headline on: Early Man.
Early Cells Repeatedly Evolved Powerhouses  10/04/2001
Eukaryotic cells possess two organelles that can manufacture energy: mitochondria, which require oxygen; and hydrogenosomes, which do not.  The NASA
Astrobiology Institute theorizes that, because these organelles differ significantly from one protozoan to another, they must have evolved from one type into the other on many occasions.
Another example of circular reasoning.  Evolutionists assume that these complex organelles can evolve, then use unexpected data to tell stories how they did evolve.  Never would it be considered that perhaps could not evolve.  Instead, we are asked to believe in multiple miracles.
Next headline on: The Cell and Biochemistry.
Solar System Theories Still Not Solid  10/03/2001
The October 2001 issue of the
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society is devoted to Solar System Evolution, particularly the origin of solid matter within the solar system.  The opening paper, “Unresolved questions regarding the origin of solar system solids” by Patrick Cassen, makes it clear that there is much still not understood about our neighborhood.
One of the difficulties is the origin of short-lived radioactive elements in a supposedly 4.5 billion year old solar system.  The untouchable parameter is the age, so evolutionists have to invoke all kinds of ad hoc scenarios for getting these materials injected into the solar system that should otherwise have burned out long ago.  This issue of Philosophical Transactions should be a good source of information for those questioning the viability of naturalistic theories regarding the origin of our solar system.
Next headline on: Solar System.
Sex Retards Evolution  10/02/2001
The recent PBS Evolution series, episode 5 Why Sex? explained that sex helps evolution by providing more genetic diversity, and creates a moving target harder for opponents to attack.  This explanation is challenged in a new paper just published in the
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences which claims that in evolutionary terms, sex is a disadvantage:
... a sexual population may evolve two or more times slower than an asexual population because only asexual reproduction allows some overlap of successive allele replacements.  Many other fitness surfaces lead to an even greater disadvantage of sex.  Thus, either sex exists in spite of its impact on the rate of adaptive allele replacements, or natural fitness surfaces have rather specific properties, at least at the scale of intrapopulation genetic variability.
The origin of sex has been termed the “queen of evolutionary problems” because sex appears more costly to organisms than any benefit that can be described in terms of survival of the fittest.
This illustrates the difference between real scientific discussion of evolution, as seen in the journals, and evolution for the masses as portrayed on public television.  Darwinism does not predict sex, and cannot explain it.  The existence of sexual reproduction is a mystery for Darwinism, and it is disingenuous for PBS to ignore the controversy over this and other mysteries, and portray everything as support for evolution.
Walter ReMine’s book The Biotic Message contains a detailed analysis of evolutionist storytelling about the origin of sex, and concludes that sexual reproduction resists a Darwinian explanation.
Update 10/18/2001:  Scientists at University of California at Santa Barbara are claiming the opposite conclusion, that sex is advantageous to evolution.  By studying the rapidity with which a red eye gene in fruit flies (assumed to be beneficial mutation) accumulated, they found that the sexual population achieved maximum accumulation faster than the asexual population.
It is not new for evolutionary scientists to come to opposite conclusions.  Here they assume that red eyes are better, and find one species of fly accumulating the mutation faster.  Is that enough to declare a law of science, especially when other experiments reached opposite conclusions?  But the bluff goes on.  This press release makes it sound like it has proven an evolutionary law, and pretends that beneficial mutations are plentiful, when it’s doubtful they even exist. 
The way to read announcements like this is to sweep away the bluff like cobwebs, and look at the raw data, and notice their admissions.  They admit that the explanation of sex has stymied evolutionists for a long time.  They admit that sex has a cost that should make it a disadvantage.  They totally overlook how sexual organs, meiosis, and all the other appurtenances of sex arose.  But one tiny hint of victory is blown way out of proportion to make them dance on the 1-yard line that they have scored another touchdown for Darwinism.  The facts remain: sex is not predicted by evolution, it is not explained by evolution, and evolutionists are losing the game while their cheerleaders are screaming louder and louder trying to encourage the apathetic fans.
Next headline on: Darwinism.
More responses to the PBS Evolution series have appeared:
  • Michael Behe writing “Fatuous Filmmaking” in WorldNetDaily tells how claims the series made can be interpreted as evidence for the opposite view.  He explains that science often cannot provide a single cause for a given phenomenon. 
  • Stephen Meyer in the same issue writes in “Darwin’s Defenders” that the evolutionists are telling the public only what they want them to hear. 
  • Answers in Genesis in “Speedy Species Surprise” asks whether the rapid emergence of new species is really support for evolution, or is included in the creationist view.
DNA Clock Is Broken  10/01/2001
–or rather, never worked to begin with.  Molecular biologists are unhappy to hear that a dating technique they have relied on for decades is unreliable.  Based on a claim in 1965, they have built their evolutionary trees on the assumption that mutations accumulate at a constant rate.  Now, according to a report in the
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences summarized in a news report in Science, researchers at the University of California in Irvine have found “vastly different mutation rates, even for closely related species . . . . Molecular clocks in general are much more ‘erratic’ than previously thought, and practically useless to keep accurate evolutionary time, the researchers conclude.”
Hear, O skeptics!  Thy prophets have spoken lies unto thee in the name of science.  Molecular dating is flawed, and now evolutionists must cast away another worthless clock.  Creationists believed all along that the DNA clock was built on circular reasoning and therefore unreliable.  Let’s see some prominent Errata in the next issue for claims made over the last 36 years.  (So much for the Sept 17 story, for instance.)
So will this be a blow to evolutionary theory?  If you think so, you don’t understand the power of faith.  Evolution is a fact that must be saved from the evidence at all costs.  This 1998 article shows that doubts about molecular clocks have been around for some time, but no matter what the fossils or the molecules show, the story will be adjusted to fit Darwinism:
Is it then justified to test the accuracy of the fossil record using the molecular clock hypothesis, when this requires extrapolation between groups with scarce fossil data?  Can we even use the rates calculated within a group of organisms to infer the origin of this group?  Can we exclude the possibility that rates of evolution change over time?  Specifically, what if the emergence of a group of organisms coincides with an initial acceleration of substitution rates followed by a slowdown or period of molecular stasis? . . . . Perhaps we should consider the possibility that there have been significant changes in the rates of nucleotide substitution in taxa with remote origins before sending palaeontologists out to fill perceived gaps in the fossil record.
Evolutionists will argue about which evidence supports Darwinism better, but Darwinism itself, like American foreign policy with the Taliban, is not open to negotiation or discussion.
Next headline on: Dating Methods.
Review: National Geographic October 2001
“For more than 40 years the National Geographic Society has helped fund the Leakey family” . . . so it’s not a surprise that Meave Leakey’s Kenyanthropus gets big press in the October issue, even though it throws the human family tree into disarray (again – see our April 17 headline).  Nevertheless, they find a way to put a good face on flat-faced Kenya man, declaring authoritatively, “K. platyops shows that humans evolved through the same process as other animals.” 
Other examples of liberal bias in this issue:
  • Complaints about trafficking in wild animal parts in Africa, but never a word about American trafficking in human fetal body parts.
  • Ads for a TV special on “Noah’s Flood” but don’t think for a minute this is a Biblical apologetic.  By arguing Ballard’s theory of a Black Sea local flood, NG portrays Genesis 6-9 as only an exaggerated legend.
  • New Age gets good press in this issue.  In the article on Light, a phony crystal healer on p. 24 is pictured with his sucker client; without rebuttal, it amounts to granting his pseudoscience a backhanded legitimacy.  The article on Northern California gives almost as much coverage to local New Agers as it does to scientists, in non-judgmental, almost admiring, prose.
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 October
Richard D. Lumsden
1938-1997

Sure, there have been Christians who did good science, but that was before Darwin.  Right?  Wrong!  This month we present the story of a staunch Darwinian who converted first to creation, then to Christ.

You couldn’t claim Dick Lumsden’s faith come from the culture in which he lived, like you might with someone from the 1500s.  If anything, he was a product of the anti-creationist second half of the twentieth century.  Dr. Richard D. Lumsden was fully grounded in Darwinian philosophy, and had no reason or desire to consider Christianity.  Science was his faith: the facts, and only the facts.  But at the apex of his professional career, he had enough integrity to check out the facts, and made a difficult choice to go where the facts led him, against what he had been taught, and against what he himself taught.  His life took a dramatic turnaround, from Darwinist to creationist, and from atheist to Christian.

Dr. Richard Lumsden was professor of parasitology and cell biology at Tulane University.  He served as dean of the graduate school, and published hundreds of scientific papers.  He trained 30 PhDs.  Thoroughly versed in biological sciences, both in knowledge and lab technique, including electron microscopy, he won the highest world award for parasitology.  All through his career he believed Darwinian evolution was an established principle of science, and he took great glee in ridiculing Christian beliefs.  One day, he heard that Louisiana had passed a law requiring equal time for creation with evolution, and he was flabbergasted– how stupid, he thought, and how evil!  He used the opportunity to launch into a tirade against creationism in class, and to give them his best eloquence in support of Darwinism.  Little did he know he had a formidable opponent in class that day.  No, not a silver-tongued orator to engage him in a battle of wits; that would have been too easy.  This time it was a gentle, polite, young female student.

This student went up to him after class and cheerfully exclaimed, “Great lecture, Doc!  Say, I wonder if I could make an appointment with you; I have some questions about what you said, and just want to get my facts straight.”  Dr. Lumsden, flattered with this student’s positive approach, agreed on a time they could meet in his office.  On the appointed day, the student thanked him for his time, and started in.

She did not argue with anything he had said about evolution in class, but just began asking a series of questions: “How did life arise? . . . Isn’t DNA too complex to form by chance? . . . Why are there gaps in the fossil record between major kinds? . . . .What are the missing links between apes and man?”  She didn’t act judgmental or provocative; she just wanted to know.  Lumsden, unabashed, gave the standard evolutionary answers to the questions.  But something about this interchange began making him very uneasy.  He was prepared for a fight, but not for a gentle, honest set of questions.  As he listened to himself spouting the typical evolutionary responses, he thought to himself, This does not make any sense.  What I know about biology is contrary to what I’m saying.  When the time came to go, the student picked up her books and smiled, “Thanks, Doc!” and left.  On the outside, Dr. Lumsden appeared confident; but on the inside, he was devastated.  He knew that everything he had told this student was wrong.

Dr. Lumsden had the integrity to face his new doubts honestly.  He undertook a personal research project to check out the arguments for evolution, and over time, found them wanting.  Based on the scientific evidence alone, he decided he must reject Darwinism, and he became a creationist.  But as morning follows night, he had to face the next question, Who is the Creator?  Shortly thereafter, by coincidence or not, his sister invited him to church.  It was so out of character for this formerly crusty, self-confident evolutionist to go to church!  Not much earlier, he would have had nothing to do with religion.  But now, he was open to reconsider the identity of the Creator, and whether the claims of the Bible were true.  His atheistic philosophy had also left him helpless to deal with guilt and bad habits in his personal life.  This time he was open, and this time he heard the Good News that God had sent His Son to pay the penalty for our sins, and to offer men forgiveness and eternal life.

A tremendous struggle was going on in Dr. Lumsden’s heart as he listened to the sermon.  When the service ended, the pastor gave an invitation to come to the front and decide once and for all, publicly, to receive Christ.  Dr. Lumsden describes the turmoil he was in:  “With flesh protesting every inch of the way, I found myself walking forward, down to the altar.  And there, found God!  Truly, at that moment, I came to know Him, and received the Lord Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.”  There’s room at the cross even for know-it-all science professors, if they are willing to humble themselves and bow before the Creator to whom the scientific evidence points.

Dr. Lumsden rejoiced in his new-found faith, but found out there is a price to pay also.  He was ejected from the science faculty after his dynamic conversion to Christ and creationism.  The Institute for Creation Research invited him to direct their biology department, which he did from 1990 to 1996.  Dr. Henry Morris said of him, “He had a very vibrant testimony of his conversion only a few years ago and of the role that one of his students played in confronting his evolutionism with persistent and penetrating questions.  He became fully convinced of the bankruptcy of his beliefs and realized that the only reasonable alternative was that there must be a Creator.”

Lumsden was also appointed to the science faculty of The Master’s College, and used his intimate knowledge of electron microscopy to help the campus set up an operational instrument for training students.  There was a joy present in his life and manner that made his lectures sparkle, and he loved to demonstrate design in the cell that could not have arisen by Darwinian processes.  In discussions with evolutionists, he knew “just where to get them” (he would say with a smile), having been in their shoes.  His students appreciated the training his depth and breadth of knowledge and experience brought to the class and to the lab.

Richard Lumsden gave his personal testimony on Dr. D. James Kennedy’s Coral Ridge Hour.  In the feature, he re-enacted that day in his office when the student made him rethink his beliefs.  In January 1996, he also spoke to the Bible-Science Association in a response to atheist Richard Dawkins’ book The Blind Watchmaker.  In his talk, called Not So Blind a Watchmaker, he gave several detailed descriptions of organs that could not have formed by Darwinian natural selection.  In the question and answer session, he shared his testimony of how God had saved him from his former life as a bragging evolutionist.  Unfortunately, years of unhealthy habits as an unbeliever, including alcohol and tobacco abuse, took their toll on his body, and he died too soon, at age 59, in 1997.  His students miss him very much.

In September 2001, PBS aired an eight-hour series portraying evolution as fact and as the central theme of biology.  It tried to portray the only opponents to Darwinism as being motivated by religion.  Dr. Richard Lumsden, if he were still with us, might just call up the producers and ask, Say, I wonder if I could make an appointment with you; I have some questions about what you said, and just want to get my facts straight.  It would be an interesting interchange.  Doc would know just where to get them.

For more information on Richard D. Lumsden 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.