Creation-Evolution Headlines
May 2008
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“Every religious idea, every idea of God, even flirting with the idea of God, is unutterable vileness... of the most dangerous kind.... Millions of sins, filthy deeds, acts of violence and physical contagions... are far less dangerous than the subtle, spiritual idea of God.”
—Vladimir Lenin, dictator of communist Russia.
“The idea of God is the keynote of a perverted civilization.  It must be destroyed... I wish to avenge myself against the One who rules above.”
—Karl Marx, founder of communism.
(Source: letter from Voice of the Martyrs, May 2008.)
“To describe religions as mind viruses is sometimes interpreted as contemptuous or even hostile. It is both.”
—Richard Dawkins, The Devil’s Chaplain (2004), explaining why he is so hostile to religion.
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  Watch for the Recycle logo to find gems from the back issues!

  Visit an exhibit of molecular machines in the cell, from last year, 05/30/2007.

NSF Funds Misleading Cartoons on Origin of Life   05/31/2008    
May 31, 2008 — A slick new multimedia website called Exploring Life’s Origins made its debut this month.  Dazzling artwork and vivid animations are highlights of the site.
    The journey begins with a timeline of life’s evolution in which the viewer can drag a marker through billions of years of evolutionary progress.  Controversial theories about the formation of the planets and the moon, the alleged Late Heavy Bombardment, and the origin of earth’s crust and atmosphere are presented in vivid artwork.  Evolution and long ages are immune from falsification on the site, if and when controversies are admitted; e.g., “it appears that life evolved within a short billion years after Earth’s formation.”  Of the Cambrian Explosion, the caption says that a sharp increase in diversity occurred in a relatively short time span, but the cause is unknown.
    The centerpiece of the site is a series of colorful animations of molecules coming together to form the first living cell.  The site gives prominence to the RNA World theory, though, surprisingly, the links page includes a reference to Robert Shapiro’s sharp criticism of it (see 02/15/2007).  Once the building blocks are assembled, animations show the ingredients of protocells coming together with little trouble at all.  The site makes all its visuals freely available to educators.
    Where did this website come from?  A look at the About page shows that the animator is Janet Iwasa, a National Science Foundation (NSF) Discovery Corps Postdoctoral Fellow, working in collaboration with Jack Szostak from Massachusetts General Hospital and the Museum of Science.  A click on the link for the NSF site reveals that Janet received a $200,000 3-year grant primarily to “present chemical evolution in a clear and engaging way” to the general public.  As could be expected, the pro-evolution blog Panda’s Thumb is thrilled.

A picture is worth a thousand blurs.  Visualization is one of the most powerful, attractive and deceptive means of propaganda.  For years we have presented technical reasons why these origin-of-life schemes do not work, mostly with admissions from the evolutionists themselves.  Recently, for instance, the treatises by Robert Shapiro and Leslie Orgel take opposite sides on the leading theories and essentially falsify each other.  Pigs don’t fly, Orgel said.  Well, with animation, they can!  Clever artwork can make anything seem real.  Mountains of contrary evidence are almost powerless against the propaganda power of misleading visualizations.
    Think of the thousands, perhaps millions, of public school students who could be subjected to the seductive mythology of chemical evolution with these videos.  How many teachers will tell them about the problems?  Damaging cross-reactions, the implausibility of a genetic code arising from repetitive crystals (10/30/2007), the thermodynamics that drive reactions toward disorder, the problem of chirality (see online book), and a dozen more falsifying facts that militate against the story are glossed over in these visuals.  There is not one stage of the evolutionary timeline that is not subject to severe objections.  Gaze into the crystal ball of Iwasa’s miracle visions, though, and it suddenly seems so real.
    What’s real is that evolutionists are enraptured by imagination, not evidence (see 01/17/2007 commentary).  Their faith rests on visions that could never come true in the real world.  This isn’t the science lab; it’s Disneyland.  It’s Journey into Imagination with Figment.  Fun.  Amusement.  Entertainment.  Escape.  Fantasy.  Virtual reality, conveyed by intelligently-designed false fronts backed by humans managing computers and machinery to create the illusion that impossible things happen every day (see 06/27/2005 commentary).  What they fail to remind you is that when it’s over, you have to re-enter the real world, get into your car, and drive home.  Then you have to balance your checkbook and realize what a fortune you just spent on titillating your imagination instead of getting any useful work done.
    Disney loves to advertise the power of imagination, as do evolutionists (see 04/17/2008 and examples in the Baloney Detector under visualization).  The difference is that the Disney company knows their imagineering is just for show, but the evolutionists believe their visions are real.  They confuse their imagination with science.  That’s a very dangerous delusion.  Now, empowered with hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars, these Priests of the Magic Kingdom are on an evangelistic crusade to spread their gospel of imagination to the next generation of impressionable students.
    Disraeli warned that error is often more earnest than truth.  It will take some earnest reality checks to snap this crowd out of their hypnotic state.  Do your duty to prevent a whole generation of amusement-addicted, imagination-inebriated zombies from overrunning the world.  Want to get really mad about what’s happening with visualization in school?  Read this.
Next headline on:  Origin of LifeMediaEvolutionEducation
Evolution Out of Sync   05/30/2008    
May 30, 2008 — Evolutionary theory explains everything but the kitchen sink, but what if things get out of sync?  According to Darwin’s tree of life, things happen in a particular order.  The same complex trait should not emerge on separate branches independently.  Findings contrary to the tree pattern could sink the theory – or at least give some Darwinists a sinking feeling.
  1. A placoderm is born:  Imagine finding a fossil of a primitive fish giving live birth.  That’s what was reported in Nature this week.1  The scientists were not only surprised to find an animal fossilized in that maternal instant.  Another surprise was that this kind of animal was supposed to lay eggs, not give birth to live young.  Carina Dennis, commenting on the paper in the same issue of Nature,2 said, “The discovery of embryos in fossils of placoderms (ancient, armoured, jawed fish) indicates that vertebrates have been copulating and giving birth to live young for at least 380 million years.”  That is over double the previous date for viviparity detected in fossil marine reptiles in the Jurassic.
        The fossil from the Gogo Formation in Australia was also remarkably well preserved.  One of the researchers said, “Gogo fish are three-dimensional, uncrushed, perfect specimensas if they died yesterday.”  Muscle tissues, nerve fibers and a yolk sac were all detectable.  The discoverers said that it “shows additional soft-tissue preservation never before recorded in any fossil.”  They could even tell that the young inside the womb was the same species, and that it showed no sign of etching from stomach acids.  For these and other reasons they were convinced this was a young fish about to be born, not the adult’s lunch.
        Placoderms were thought to be dull, slow, primitive fish, paddling about in their armor.  This fossil implies implacably that placoderms were anything but primitive.  They had an elaborate courtship ritual, along with all the internal biology necessary for giving birth to live young.  The paper ended by saying “Further discussion of the significance of viviparity and evolution can be found in the Supplementary Information.”3  Thus teased, we went there and looked.  The first paragraph of the Supplemental Information revealed a multi-faceted conundrum about evolution:
    Live bearing evolved independently in all classes of vertebrates except birds, and also in many invertebrate clades.  Phylogenetic analysis of viviparity in living fishes indicates a non-reversible transition from egg-laying to live bearing in teleosts [bony fish, like tunas], with two possible reversals in chondrichthyans [cartilaginous fish, like sharks].... Similarly, lack of parental care has been assumed the ancestral state in fishes.... Such analyses assume oviparity [egg-laying] as a primitive and comparable condition in teleosts and chondrichthyans, and that viviparity in the latter can be interpreted as a form of parental care.  However, the complex behavioral, morphological and physiological mechanisms required for successful copulation and internal fertilisation in chondrichthyans must have evolved independently and non-reversibly 12 times in teleosts, whereas they are part of an ancient evolutionary heritage in all living chondrichthyans.  This fundamental difference has been overlooked in some recent analyses....
    So here they admitted that a transition from egg-laying to live birth involves multiple overhauls of body shape, organ function and behavior, yet claim that evolution figured out how to do this a dozen times independently in teleost fish, to say nothing of all the other classes of vertebrates where it also emerged independently.  At the end of the Supplemental Information they said, “whether internal fertilisation was ancestral for, or evolved within placoderms, it can be assumed now to have been acquired independently of internal fertilisation in chondrichthyans.”
        What this means is that a highly improbable event on one branch of Darwin’s tree must have occurred multiple times on other branches.  The complex morphological-physiological-behavioral package for giving live birth was not bequeathed by a common ancestor to all the upper branches, as Darwin supposed, but was invented independently and irreversibly – and that multiple times.  National Geographic News repeated the evolutionary interpretation and provided a video of the fossil and its soft parts, along with an artist’s rendering of the fish giving live birth, umbilical cord and all.  The article did quote Long remarking, “Having such advanced reproduction for a fish that primitive is amazing.”  David Catchpoole and Jonathan Sarfati of Creation Ministries International analyzed the plausibility of this evolutionary story.
  2. Wood this happen twice?  Lignin, the molecule responsible for the toughness of wood, is a complex molecule manufactured by complex enzymes in plants.  Wikipedia4 states that the complexity of lignin biosynthesis is still challenging biochemists after a century of study:
    Lignin biosynthesis (Figure 4) begins in the cytosol with the synthesis of glycosylated monolignols from the amino acid phenylalanine.  These first reactions are shared with the phenylpropanoid pathway.  The attached glucose renders them water soluble and less toxic.  Once transported through the cell membrane to the apoplast, the glucose is removed and the polymerisation commences.[citation needed] Much about its anabolism is not understood even after more than a century of study.[3]
        The polymerisation step, that is a radical-radical coupling, is catalysed by oxidative enzymes.  Both peroxidase and laccase enzymes are present in the plant cell walls, and it is not known whether one or both of these groups participates in the polymerisation.  Low molecular weight oxidants might also be involved.  The oxidative enzyme catalyses the formation of monolignol radicals.  These radicals are often said to undergo uncatalyzed coupling to form the lignin polymer, but this hypothesis has been recently challenged.[12]  The alternative theory that involves an unspecified biological control is however not accepted by most scientist [sic] in the field.
    Given the complexity of lignin synthesis, it challenges credibility that a random process like evolution would achieve this feat even once.  Yet now, according to Science Daily, evolutionists are saying it happened twice – once in gymnosperms and again in lycophytes.  The title carries the theme: “Fundamental Building Block In Flowering Plants Evolved Independently, Yet Almost Identically In Ancient Plants.
In both these examples, the evolutionists have not considered Darwin’s tree of life to be falsified by the evidence.  They have, instead, expressed amazement that evolution produced these complex structures over and over again.  And they have promised that this new information will shed more light on the process Charles Darwin proposed would explain all the complexity and diversity of life on earth.
1.  Long, Trinajstic, Young and Senden, “Live birth in the Devonian period,” Nature 453, 650-652 (29 May 2008) | doi:10.1038/nature06966.
2.  Carina Dennis, “The oldest pregnant mum,” Nature 453, 575 (2008) | doi:10.1038/453575a, May 28, 2008.
3.  Supplemental information for Long et al (PDF photocopy) from Nature.
4.  We are not using Wikipedia as an authoritative source, but only for its recognition of the complexity of lignin.  The article includes links to scientific publications.
Evolutionists believe in miracles.  You have just seen it right here.  Let’s get them to stop this psychological game they play against creationism, wherein they claim that believers in God as an intelligent Designer of these complex structures resort to “faith” in the “supernatural” and “miracles” of creation.  What, pray tell, is the difference?  They have an endless stream of miracles themselves.  And they have much more faith in the miracle-working power of their naturalistic deity, natural selection, than any closed-minded, irrational religious nutcase you want to exhibit.
    You would think that contrary evidence this strong would be devastating to any scientific theory.  Look at them; no amount of falsification overcomes their faith.  These two cases alone, beside the dozens of others we have reported for years, should have tossed Darwinism overboard, but the evolution-talk, like the Titanic theme song, goes on and on and on, as their ship of evidence sinks into the night.  What does that take?  Belief.  Undying devotion to Charlie can produce miracles in the imagination, no matter what happens in reality.
Near, far, where bad data are
I believe that the theory goes on;
Once more no watertight door
But he’s here in my heart
And my faith will go on and on and on and on and on and on and on.....
Evolution is out of sync.  The H.M.S. Darwin is not only sinking.  It sank, and it is sunk.
Next headline on:  Marine LifePlantsFossilsEvolution
Mars Life Hopes Suffer Double Disappointment   05/29/2008    
May 29, 2008 — Just when the new Phoenix lander was flexing its arm and going to work (see JPL), hoping to determine the habitability of Mars, two papers came out expressing doubt it will find anything.
  1. Toxic salty stewSpace.com summarized a new paper in Science1 that concluded Mars has way too much salt.  Although some earth organisms are adapted to high saline environments, evolutionists believe they descended from less-tolerant progenitors.  Besides, the Mars salt levels are way above the most salt-tolerant creatures on earth.
        This is bad news for Martian hunters.  Team member Andrew Knoll (Harvard U) told Space.com, “Our sense has been that while Mars is a lousy environment for supporting life today, long ago it might have more closely resembled Earth.  But this result suggests quite strongly that even as long as four billion years ago, the surface of Mars would have been challenging for life.  No matter how far back we peer into Mars’ history, we may never see a point at which the planet really looked like Earth.”  The paper said that any Martian life “would require biochemistry distinct from any known in even the most robust halophiles on Earth.”  Indeed, the Opportunity rover may have been treading on “the last, best places for life on the early martian surface” even though it, too, was extremely salty.  See also Science Daily’s report.  National Geographic News called any past Martian water a “toxic stew.”  This is an update to our 02/18/2008 entry.
  2. Death knell for Mars interior:  Mars has big volcanic domes.  Scientists have assumed it must still have an active core, despite no plate tectonics or global magnetic field.  A new measurement reported in Science2 casts doubt on that supposition.  If the core were fluid, the load of ice at the poles should depress the surface a little.  A shallow radar instrument on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter measured no dent at all.  This, they infer, means that the surface is frozen solid.  “Is Mars geodynamically dead?” Matthias Grott of the German Aerospace Center asked in the same issue of Science.3  He is not convinced this measurement sounds the funeral bell, but the paper “will cause some controversy and stimulate activity as the planetary science community tries to fit their results into our current view of Mars.”
Closer to home, the moon continues to challenge humans hoping to return.  Space.com reported more dismal news about moon dust and radiation (see May 19 entry).  Imagine being surrounded by dust that clings to everything but having to keep it out of your shelter.  That would only add to the psychological trauma of loneliness and isolation from God’s green earth.
1.  Nicholas J. Tosca, Andrew H. Knoll, and Scott M. McLennan, “Water Activity and the Challenge for Life on Early Mars,” Science, 30 May 2008: Vol. 320. no. 5880, pp. 1204-1207, DOI: 10.1126/science.1155432.
2.  Phillips et al, “Mars North Polar Deposits: Stratigraphy, Age, and Geodynamical Response,” Science, 30 May 2008: Vol. 320. no. 5880, pp. 1182-1185, DOI: 10.1126/science.1157546.
3.  Matthias Grott, “Is Mars Geodynamically Dead?”, Science, 0 May 2008: Vol. 320. no. 5880, pp. 1171-1172, DOI: 10.1126/science.1159365.
The centuries-long myth of life on Mars is about to come to an end.  Let’s see if Phoenix closes the book, or if hopes rise from the fires of disappointment in the last chapter.
Next headline on:  Solar SystemOrigin of Life
  Evolutionists ballyhoo a “beneficial mutation” that makes you go deaf, from 05/09/2006.  Is this the kind of information source that produced humans from bacteria?

Think Like a Neanderthal Child   05/29/2008    
May 29, 2008 — How should you stop a child’s tantrum?  Think like a Neanderthal, reports Live Science.  Dr. Harvey Karp, a pediatrician, “sees our little darlings as less-evolved savages driven by instinct and emotion, not thoughtful reasoning, and he suggests it’s our job as parents to civilize them into Homo sapiens.”
    It’s fruitless, therefore, to talk like a Homo sapiens to your little cave boy or girl.  Karp suggests you just speak short phrases to the child, like “You are angry,” rather than try to reason with him or her.  To prepare for this, you need to do a mind meld with your evolutionary past:

And so parents need not read the history of human evolution to know how to deal with their unruly kids.
    All we have to do, even in the middle of the most embarrassing public tantrum, is to reach inside and feel that same frustration and anger with the world, and then bend down and say, as Dr Karp would, “I know just how you feel.”
Since Neanderthals supposedly went extinct, it is not clear exactly how Dr. Karp was able to know how they feel.  Reporter Meredith F. Small (anthropologist at Cornell), however, joined in the experience knowingly.  She said, “Apparently, nothing infuriates these little Neanderthals more than Homo sapiens logic.”  How much better to say, “I hear you.  I feel you.”
    The article did come to the defense of Neanderthals somewhat:
Of course, Dr. Karp maligns Neanderthals by suggesting there were instinctual creatures swayed by emotions rather than thought.  Neanderthals didn’t have language, but they had bigger brains than modern humans and could probably do logic problems with the best of us.
    His advice is better couched in the notion that Homo sapiens, and presumably our ancestors, were designed to feel very deeply, and little kids simply want their emotions acknowledged, just like adults.
Even with these acknowledgements, though, it is not clear how Small knows that Neanderthals could do logic problems without language, or to what extent her own adult logic was driven by a desire to have her emotions acknowledged.  One thing is clear: she does not believe in intelligent design.  Her phrase “Homo sapiens... were designed” must be interpreted in the light of the “history of human evolution” she referred to later in the article.
Remember, this is the same Live Science news site that recently embellished tales of a frog-amander (05/28/2008), told us the platypus holds clues to evolution (05/09/2008) and explained that evolution made us adulterers (03/19/2008) but called the movie Expelled bad in every way (04/07/2008) and called creationism creepy (05/22/2008) and anti-science (05/17/2008).
    So now we have the little evolutionist darlings doing mind-melds with people they never met, whose intelligence and parenting skills they know nothing about, and converting their imaginations into bad parenting.  Would any parents of toddlers like to vouch for the effectiveness of Neander-therapy?  If it works on children, why not on heads of state?  After all, Small said that adults have the same needs for acceptance as children.  Why don’t we tell the president of Iran, who is having a little nuclear tantrum right now, that we know just how he feels?
    Sometimes debunking the Darwin propagandists is too easy.  All we have to do is quote them.
Next headline on:  Early ManDumb Ideas
Preparing the World for Aliens   05/29/2008    
May 29, 2008 — Some people are so convinced there are alien intelligences in the universe, we should be getting ready to meet them.
    The Telegraph, a UK newspaper, reported that NASA has partly financed a creative writing class on “interstellar message composition” at the University of Wyoming.  Professor Jeffrey Lockwood wants to help the 11 students think about what we might say to an alien intelligence.  One student “created a poem about menstruation with syllables arranged in a mathematically harmonious order, known as the Fibonacci sequence.”  The course is being advised by Douglas Vakoch, director of interstellar message composition at the SETI Institute (see 04/17/2008).  Who better than writers, he said, to express the human condition to our stellar neighbors.  “It could be tomorrow that we’ll need to be ready to decide if we reply,” he said.  Don’t expect a lively dialogue, though; each one-way message could take thousands of years.
    Over the Rockies at Denver, Jeff Peckman is asking the city council to create an “Extraterrestrial Affairs Commission,” reported the Denver Post.  He believes the federal government is already aware of extraterrestrials and is spending a great deal of taxpayer money to conceal the fact.  Peckman is gathering signatures for a ballot initiative to create an 18-member commission, at the cost of $75,000 a year, to decide on policies for dealing with space beings.  The Rocky Mountain News said that Peckman believes he saw an alien winking through a window on a video of a UFO.
Which of these stories is absurd, pseudoscientific and an egregious abuse of taxpayer money?  Pick any two.
Next headline on:  SETIDumb Ideas
Noah’s Ark Gets Balanced Treatment   05/28/2008    
May 28, 2008 — Reuters gave balanced treatment to the question of how Noah fit all the animals on the Ark.  Evolutionists, of course, deny that Noah existed or a boat ever saved all the animals on earth.  The article quoted mocking comments to the effect that there is no way up to 50 million species with vastly different environmental needs could have lived in a floating zoo for a year.  But reporter Alister Doyle also quoted Dr. David Menton, from Answers in Genesis, explaining factors that would have allowed God’s directive to be carried out.  Doyle agreed that the Biblical description of the Ark is “far from the tiny vessel depicted in many children’s books with giraffes’ heads sticking out the top.”  He gave Menton surprisingly ample space in the article.
    The question stemmed from a meeting May 19-30 of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity.  Scientists are considering how to preserve earth’s biodiversity with some kind of modern-day refuge.  A picture of a large wooden ship taking shape with a Mount Ararat in the background adorns the article.
Thank you, Alister Doyle, for attempting to give fair and balanced reporting on this question.  Was a floating refuge for the animals possible?  Consider Noah’s Ark: A Feasibility Study by John Woodmorappe (see Answers in Genesis), or an article on the subject by Jonathan Sarfati on Creation Ministries International.  Don’t ridicule it till you’ve heard it defended with competence.  Consider also that dozens of people groups have legends of a worldwide flood during which people and animals were preserved on a floating vessel.  Only the Biblical account comes close to feasibility and plausibility.  Don’t forget, too, that geology provides evidence of sedimentation and erosion on colossal scales far greater than anything occurring today.  For more evidences of a global flood, see a brief article on Answers in Genesis by geologist Dr. Andrew Snelling.
Next headline on:  Bible and Theology
  You can’t help prejudice; it’s hardwired into your brain, say evolutionists.  See story at 05/27/2005.

Fossil Frog-amander Claimed to Be Missing Link   05/28/2008    
May 28, 2008 — It looks like a frog with four equal legs and a tail; is it the ancestor of frogs and amphibians?  It depends on whether you read the original paper or the popular press.
    Live Science writer Jeanna Brynner is absolutely certain this puts a feather in Darwin’s cap: “the creature represents a transitional amphibian, sporting features of both frogs and salamanders.”  The “walking frog” has fused bones in the ankle characteristic of salamanders, and a wide skull and large eardrum characteristic of frogs.  She quoted Jason Anderson (U of Calgary) who described the five-inch Texas fossil, named Gerobatrachus hottoni, as “kind of an early frog-amander.”  Brynner said the fossil “provides a marker of when frogs and salamanders went their separate ways along the evolutionary path toward modern forms.”  She did, however, quote a team member who remarked that the divergence date according to the fossil’s position in the geological record occurred “much more recently than previous molecular data had suggested.”
    What did the original paper in Nature claim?1  Right off the bat, Anderson et al remarked, “The origin of extant amphibians (Lissamphibia: frogs, salamanders and caecilians) is one of the most controversial questions in vertebrate evolution, owing to large morphological and temporal gaps in the fossil record.”  This indicates that one alleged transitional fossil could only provide a partial solution at best.  They did claim that G. hottoni “bridges the gap between other Palaeozoic amphibians and the earliest known salientians and caudatans from the Mesozoic,” but the paper revealed a number of questions and problems.  First, the specimen appears to be from a juvenile.  We don’t know what the adult form looked like.  Frogs undergo a dramatic transformation from tailed tadpole to hopping adult.  Second, only one specimen was found.  Third, frogs and salamanders already share a great many traits, both being amphibians, and a good deal of diversity exists within both groups.  Add to that the thousands of extinct species, and the result is a lot of leeway in where a specimen might fit into a big evolutionary picture.
    The following excerpt illustrates the amount of wiggle room involved in inferring evolutionary relationships:

If our interpretations are correct, the preaxial pattern of digital development is either independently derived in Gerobatrachus and salamanders, or primitive in batrachians but reversed in frogs.  Knowledge of development in fossil taxa is always inferential, especially when based on a single specimen, but our speculative hypothesis is testable with a more complete developmental series of either Gerobatrachus or another amphibamid.  A preaxial pattern of digital development has recently been demonstrated in branchiosaurids, which are thought to be closely related to, if not included within, Amphibamidae (Fig. 4), but branchiosaurids lack ossified carpals and tarsals and thus it remains unknown if they possessed a basale commune [fused distal tarsals].  This observation, however, may support the possibility that preaxial development is primitive for batrachians (and more basal amphibamids), and will be the subject of future research.
A good deal of the interpretation was thus left to future research.
    After the morphological analysis, the researchers performed a phylogenetic analysis.  Human choice also affects the inferences here: scoring and rescoring results, tossing out instances deemed irrelevant or misleading, and selecting what software and algorithm to use.  How much confidence, then, can be placed in their conclusion?  “Thus, the available morphological evidence supports the hypothesis of a diphyletic origin of extant amphibians from Palaeozoic tetrapods, with a separate origin of the limbless, largely fossorial caecilians from within the lepospondyls, whereas Batrachia originates within Temnospondyli.”
    The paper ended by estimating the divergence times of frogs and amphibians, given their hypothesis.  They agreed that the fossil evidence and molecular evidence were off.
1.  Anderson et al, “A stem batrachian from the Early Permian of Texas and the origin of frogs and salamanders,” Nature 453, 515-518 (22 May 2008) | doi:10.1038/nature06865; Received 23 October 2007.
We hope this little excursion into how evidence for Darwinism is manufactured was revealing.  The popular press (especially Darwin-loving, creation-hating sites like Live Science) stretches hypothetical possibilities into confident truths.  Get to the source; look at the raw data and see if the inference is justified.
    Look how much human tinkering was required to get the data to fit their inference.  Even if one accepts their dating scheme the match is imperfect and subjective.  Without the dating assumption, the fit is almost completely arbitrary.  Any number of relationships could be hypothesized between living and extinct individuals.  Besides, this is just a claim about a missing link within the amphibians.  We don’t see transitional forms between the higher-level taxa.  Where are the clam-frogs, echino-flies, and sponge-worms?  (No fair mentioning lionfish and scorpionfish – those are just fish.)
    The bottom line: data don’t jump up and draw Darwin’s tree of life.  Evolutionary trees are manufactured by certain people with biases, agendas and world views.  If you asked G. hottoni if it was a Tree frog, it would just say ribbit.
Next headline on:  Terrestrial ZoologyFossilsEvolution
Dismissing Religion by Evolving It   05/27/2008    
May 27, 2008 — Religion evolved, and a computer program shows it.  This is the claim made by an article on New Scientist.  “God may work in mysterious ways, but a simple computer program may explain how religion evolved,” remarked Ewen Callaway with sweeping implications for the majority of earth’s population.
    James Dow, an evolutionary anthropologist at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, wrote a program called “Evogod” that supposedly demonstrates how “believers in the unreal” spread in a population of early humans.  He began by assuming that the desire to spread religious information to others has a genetic basis.  The rest falls out of the software:
The model assumes, in other words, that a small number of people have a genetic predisposition to communicate unverifiable information to others.  They passed on that trait to their children, but they also interacted with people who didn’t spread unreal information.
    The model looks at the reproductive success of the two sorts of people – those who pass on real information, and those who pass on unreal information.
    Under most scenarios, “believers in the unreal” went extinct.  But when Dow included the assumption that non-believers would be attracted to religious people because of some clear, but arbitrary, signal, religion flourished.
    “Somehow the communicators of unreal information are attracting others to communicate real information to them,” Dow says, speculating that perhaps the non-believers are touched by the faith of the religious.”
Dow thus feels he has demonstrated that the transmission of “unreal information,” such as belief in an afterlife, has adaptive value and will be preserved by natural selection.
    Richard Sosis, another evolutionary anthropologist (U Connecticut) who has also speculated about the evolution of religion, believes that “the forces that maintain religion in modern humans could be very different from those that promoted its emergence, thousands of years ago.”
    For previous entries on the evolution of religion, see 09/25/2006, 02/02/2006, 03/16/2005, and commentaries from 08/16/2002 and 04/23/2003
In spite of the movie Expelled, and years of sophisticated criticisms of evolutionary theory, the Darwinists continue to flaunt their stupidity in public.  We don’t persist in the tedious task of unraveling their tangled logic with any hope of changing them.  They are incorrigible, hooked and stoned on Darwin beyond recovery.  For our sophisticated and discriminating readers, in hopes of empowering the paradigm revolution, let’s do the analysis.
    Always start by looking for pertinent questions to ask.  To an evolved monkey-brain, what is the difference between real information and unreal information?  What is information in the first place?  What is reality?  Can a theoretical system built on chance and necessity include abstract concepts and laws of logic?  (Remember, without laws of logic, you can prove anything, and if anything is true, nothing is true – including evolutionary theory.)  How can a genetic trait produce abstract concepts such as information?  What kind of genetic trait attracts the members of the population who do not have the trait?  What is an evolutionary force?  Can you write an equation for it?  How can I tell a selection force that maintains unreal information from one that causes real information to “emerge”?
    Good questions just warm the discussion up.  Next, test the evolutionists’ logic on their own assumptions.  They are assuming that their theorizing is immune from the same selection forces.  That’s a no-no.  Inconsistency and arbitrariness are two sins in logic.  If you commit either, you can prove anything, even opposite propositions, therefore you prove nothing.  Let’s see if evolutionary theory itself survives Dow’s Law.  He said that selection pressures on a genetic trait caused a population to wish to spread unreal information.  We observe that many Darwinists are eager to spread their ideas with evangelistic fervor.  Could we propose that the Darwin-dogma trait is genetic, that it emerged from selection pressure, and that evolutionary theory consists of unreal information?  Indeed we could.  The evolutionist has no basis to define reality, information, logic, truth or evidence.  He’s just doing what selection forces in his animal past are making him do.  He cannot stand outside the world of the evolved like some all-wise Yoda on a platform of neutrality and wisdom, observing what the silly humans are doing.
    Once you diagnose the Yoda complex in the evolutionist, the argument is over.  It becomes obvious his theory is self-refuting.  If it refutes itself, guess what!  It is refuted – it is necessarily false.  Dow’s own theory cannot survive itself.  The gig is up.  Salvation requires repenting of this sin of arbitrariness and inconsistency, and accepting the premise that at least some religious beliefs (certainly not all) might be real.  Why?  Because meaning requires an ultimate reference point.  Reality requires a reality-Maker.  Information requires an intelligent Communicator.  Logic requires a Thinker who is neither arbitrary nor inconsistent.  Truth requires a truth-Teller.  Only with those presuppositions can one reason inductively and deductively.  Only with those presuppositions is there a standard by which to make sense of the world.  The evolutionary world view does not provide a pole star; it wobbles uncontrollably and chaotically.  What’s up one moment is down the next.
    For overkill, let’s remind the evolutionist that writing programs requires intelligent design, and human designers are subject to bias (see 04/26/2008 commentary).  Dr. Dow conveniently defined his parameters to guarantee the outcome his bias preferred.  Could his critics design a computer program that shows Darwinism emerging and becoming established in a population?  Certainly.  Could they decide that Darwinism represents unreal information?  Why not?  Sounds like fun.
    A perceptive reader offered these additional thoughts:
The analysis assumes that those first promulgated the ‘unreal info” had no real experience--in other words they were liars.  The moral standards of religious people either do or do not support their claims.
    In the case of Judaism and Christianity, the high moral standard--perhaps the highest moral standard on earth--that developed at exactly the same time and by the exact same people who supposedly developed the “unreal info” contradicts the assumption that they were liars.
    It is more likely that Moses, for example, when he came down the mountain with the Ten Commandments described the truth about what he saw and heard than that he fabricated it.  If he had been lying, he quickly would have been exposed by the multitude that didn’t like his standards very much.
So you see that selection pressure in a population would actually work against someone commanding them to not bear false witness.  Let’s ask Dr. Dow if he agrees that bearing false witness is wrong.  Did that standard evolve?  Does it ever change?  Don’t let him appeal to the Ten Commandments.  He doesn’t believe in them.  When you cut off the Judeo-Christian grounding assumptions (truth, morals, logic, absolutes) from the evolutionary belief network, it short circuits.  When you force Darwinism to run on its own operating system, without a proper BIOS (Bible input-output system), every algorithm produces a blue screen of death.
Next headline on:  EvolutionTheologyDumb Ideas
The Phoenix Lands on Mars   05/26/2008    
May 26, 2008 — The Phoenix Spacecraft successfully landed on Mars Sunday night.  Its mission is to look for water and the potential habitability of life in the northern latitudes of the red planet near its polar cap for the next 3 months.  This is the first soft landing on Mars in 32 years, and the third in history since the Vikings landed in 1976.
    Visit the Jet Propulsion Laboratory website for latest news.  The landing was confirmed Sunday night, and spacecraft health was confirmed shortly afterward.  A suite of dozens of first images of this part of Mars was published at the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Lab which manages the mission.
    The lander is equipped with a robotic arm which will soon begin digging into the soil for evidence of ice.  The diggings will be transported to on-board instruments that will analyze the chemistry of the soil and ice with much better resolution than provided by the Viking landers.
    An image of the parachuted descent was taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter that arrived at Mars last May 25 and has already sent 55 terabytes of data back to Earth.  MRO’s high-resolution camera later pinpointed Phoenix sitting on the surface.
    These news sources also reported the landing: Space.com, the BBC News, and National Geographic.
The mission proceeds on the assumption that if conditions do not rule life out, then life will evolve.  Despite the dubious assumption, any achievement in space this demanding and complex is worthy of celebration and appreciation.
    This lander is not capable of discovering life.  It will only try to find if water and organics exist under the surface.  Marsologists already know that the radiation environment is too hostile to expect anything walking or crawling around.  It will take future missions like the Mars Science Laboratory, being prepped for a 2009 launch, to be capable of detecting life.  Optimism is bound to outrun empiricism, so we will try to help sort out the claims from the data as the mission continues.
Next headline on:  Solar System
  Wonders under the sea: whale flippers inspire engineers, from 05/11/2004; a fish with electric eyes, from 05/05/2004.

Geology: Another Catastrophic Rethink   05/23/2008    
May 23, 2008 — Amphitheater-shaped canyons are common throughout the West – and even on Mars.  Geologists had them pretty well figured out.  Water seeps out the bottom of a wall, weakening the face of a cliff.  Gradually, material collapses and leaves a large alcove that continues to recede headward.  That idea is now questioned by a new theory that says catastrophic flooding produces these canyons suddenly.
    Space.com has a summary of a paper published in Science this week that re-evaluated a classic case, Box Canyon in Idaho.  The new theory is that sudden flooding, perhaps from melting ice sheets to the north, released a torrent of water that cut the canyon at one time.  The article estimated the complete canyon, cut into solid basalt, was eroded in 35 to 160 days at most.  The flood theory explains unusual features, like scour marks on the walls and large boulders sitting out in the middle of nowhere, that were difficult to explain with the old theory.
    An idea of the size of this “megaflood” was given in the article.  Michael Lamb, geomorphologist at UC Berkeley, said, “Imagine forcing a quarter of the flow in the Mississippi through a chute 32 times as narrow and 1,000 times as steep as the Mississippi River channel.”  800 to 2,800 metric tons of water could have blasted through the channel at 22 miles per hour.
    Space.com reported this article because of its implications for Mars research.  If megafloods also formed the amphitheater-shaped canyons on the red planet, perhaps calm water did not exist for long periods – a blow for those hoping life would have time to exist.

Another old-age paradigm has had to shift under new investigation.  These kinds of canyons are very common in the arid southwest, like in the Grand Canyon.  Where did the water come from in the desert?  In the aftermath of a worldwide flood, such phenomena would be expected, but not in a place where geologists feel huge seas of Sahara-like sand ruled for millions of years.
    Access Research Network also reported on this paradigm-shifting theory.
Next headline on:  GeologyDating Methods
Creepy!  Creationism in School   05/22/2008    
May 22, 2008 — Is there some reason that two reports described creationism as something that is “creeping” into schools?
  1. USA:  In Live Science, senior editor Robin Lloyd described creationism as “creeping” into U.S. classrooms.  “One in eight U.S. high school biology teachers presents creationism or intelligent design in a positive light in the classroom, a new survey shows, despite a federal court’s recent ban against it.”  The basis of her report was a paper in PLoS Biology by Berkman, Pacheco, and Plutzer.1  The paper said 38% of the public would prefer that creationism be taught instead of evolution.  A survey of 939 teachers showed that between 12% and 16% are creationists, and only 23% feel strongly that evolution is a central unifying theme for biology.
        The federal ban that Lloyd referred to was the decision by John E. Jones in Dover, Pennsylvania – a ruling that had no bearing on any school outside that county.  She referred vaguely to “many other legal victories at the state and local level for the teaching of evolution.”  One should recall that calling a decision a “victory” depends on one’s point of view.  Science Daily and PhysOrg also alleged that creationism violates the Establishment Clause, but did not describe creationism as “creeping” into schools.  Actually, the US Supreme Court, while forbidding “equal time” laws, allows teachers “considerable leeway” in how the subject of origins is presented – a point Berkman admitted in his paper.
        Did Lloyd provide evidence that creationism is “creeping” into schools, as opposed to declining or maintaining a presence that has always been there?  She quoted Berkman saying “The status of evolution in the biology and life sciences curriculum remains highly problematic and threatened,” but otherwise there was no indication of a conspiracy to sneak creationism into schools – which is what the phrase “creationism creeps into U.S. classrooms” suggests.
        Lloyd used additional language to portray creationism as something sinister and threatening.  Whereas creationists believe life was created by God, “Scientists, on the other hand, agree that humans evolved from a common primate ancestor in a process that stretches back tens of millions of years,” she proclaimed.  “The theory of evolution on which this is based is one of the most well-supported theories in science.”  Other statements stressed the “victory for evolution” theme or the “all experts agree” theme: “This issue [the teaching of evolution] is particularly interesting in that context because the public opinion on it is in many ways so far away from where the experts are,” Berkman told Live Science.  He also told the reporter, “Victory in the courts and state standards will not ensure that evolution is included in high school science classes.”
        As usual, Live Science included icons at the bottom for its featurettes that mock creation beliefs: “Top ten creation myths” and “Top 10 missing links.”
  2. Et tu, Turkey?  “Creationism is creeping into the universities to the alarm of researchers supporting Ataturk’s vision of a secular state,” Nigel Williams wrote in Current Biology this week.2  His article has the bellicose title, “Secular Turkey’s evolution battle.”  Later he said, “Ankara is now the centre of a battle against the rise of creationism in Turkey.”
        Williams also did not provide evidence that creationism is “creeping” in under the wire.  He admitted that an Islamic version of creationism has been taught in Turkish high schools since 1985.  That’s 23 years – hardly a creepy new threat, though creationist leanings seem more prevalent among younger teachers.  If anything is creeping in now, it is American evolutionists like Douglas Futuyma and Jerry Coyne who came to lecture against creationism in Ankara.
        Like the Live Science article, the editorial in Current Biology stressed the warfare metaphor: “Ankara is now the centre of a battle against the rise of creationism in Turkey.”  There was a reference to Adnan Oktar (a.k.a. Hahrun Yahya), whose thick and lavishly illustrated Atlas of Creation was sent to teachers and researchers.  This person and his group, which also supports an elaborate multi-language website (see HarunYahya.com) has no connection to American creationists, who oppose the Islamic slant and many aspects of the beliefs presented.  American creationists also lack the kind of funding that supported this one organization’s effort, which most likely came from rich Muslim supporters, perhaps Saudis.3  American evolutionists, by contrast, are amply funded by the American government.  All creationist organizations in the West and Australia are privately funded and get no such government subsidies.
        Williams not only lumped Islamic and Christian creationism into the same pot, he linked it to the highly-charged word “fundamentalism” and described evolution as “secular” in the vision of Ataturk.  This begs the question whether Darwinism is devoid of religious implications, and whether scientific evidence for intelligent design could be presented with the same secular criteria as evolution.  The last word: “Although creationists are spending incredible amounts of funds of unknown origin in their campaign against evolution, we believe that science will win in the end.”

1.  Michael B. Berkman, Julianna Sandell Pacheco, Eric Plutzer, “Evolution and Creationism in America’s Classrooms: A National Portrait,” Public Library of Science: Biology, Vol. 6, No. 5, May 20, 2008, e124, doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0060124.
2.  Nigel Williams, “Feature: Secular Turkey’s evolution battle,” Current Biology, Vol 18, R398-R399, 20 May 2008.
3.  Science magazine reported on May 23 in its “Newsmakers” section that Adnan Oktar, an “influential Islamic creationist,” was sentenced by an Istanbul court to 3 years in prison “for starting a criminal organization and profiting from it.”  This organization, however, is unrelated to his Foundation for Scientific Research (BAV) that published the Atlas of Creation.  “BAV is not directly linked to the activities that landed Oktar in trouble, and creationism had nothing to do with the charges,” the news item stated.  Even so, members of BAV feel Oktar is being persecuted for his views – and Science quoted a physicist who feels that is “not entirely implausible” given the political pressures on Turkey’s justice system. 
The wording in these articles was rigged to color creationism in fundamentalist, religious, superstitious, insidious, sneaky, dark tones and evolution in secular, scientific, victorious, brave strokes, as the stalwart soldiers of Scientific Truth battle this “threat.”  Statistics were carefully selected to support the portrayal of creationism as a creepy minority view.  Lloyd and Berkman used the figure 38% for those wanting creationism taught instead of evolution – a minority, but substantial enough to appear threatening indeed.  When people are asked if they want both views taught, the number can be as high as 65-85% or more.  As few as 10-20% want DODO (Darwin-only, Darwin-only), yet that minority view is imposed by dictatorial courts and lawsuit-threatening organizations like the ACLU and Americans United for Separation of Church and State (a.k.a. secularists determined to overthrow the First Amendment free-exercise clause), funded by radical leftist liberals.
    Boy, could we have fun setting the record straight on what is really going on by the Darwinist minority imposing their religious view (atheism) onto the public, fighting Academic Freedom bills, shutting down debate, and issuing shrill, heated propaganda with no understanding of the issues involved, and precious little attempt to honestly articulate distinctions or weigh evidence.  Take a little tour through the Chain Links on Evolution and Education for plenty of supporting material.  A look at the history of the Darwin revolution, too, would be very illuminating about creepiness.  CEH does not endorse Yahya’s Atlas of Creation but would like to point out that even that was privately funded and offered as a free gift to teachers and academics.  Was anything stopping Dr. Hatecreationism from simply depositing it in the trash can?  It’s not like the organization was invading libraries and burning copies of Origin of Species or something.  The Darwinists, by contrast, get government funding to build pro-evolution websites taking positions on religion, and can send every teacher in the country their propaganda, like the NAS booklet Science, Evolution and Creationism.  How do they indoctrinate?  With bad science in textbooks (Haeckel’s embryos and other hoaxes, see 07/25/2003), with one-sided museum extravaganzas (04/30/2008) and with ridicule and intimidation by arrogant teachers and threats from the courts.  When someone doesn’t tow the party line, as shown in Expelled, the Darwinists ruin careers, lambaste, marginalize, deny degrees and tenure, and act in other creepy ways.
    Creationism is not creeping like some insidious spider or snake under the door, seeking opportunity to multiply and strike.  Belief in creation was the dominant view for centuries till a creeping secularism usurped the scientific institutions and shut off debate (the hallmark of science).  Today’s creationist ladies and gentlemen, well-dressed and educated, knock patiently on the door of public opinion, seeking an opportunity to talk rationally about the evidence once again.  This may seem creepy to inbred liberals unaccustomed to such things, but creepiness is in the eye of the beholder.  Does a creation scientist with a PhD in geology or biochemistry appear creepy?  To whom does a Doctor of Divinity with expertise in archaeology and history appear creepy?  Does a book written by PhD scientists and philosophers of science and a science curriculum writer like Explore Evolution appear creepy to a Darwin-indoctrinated high school biology teacher?  Undoubtedly conservatives appear creepy to liberals.  Why, under certain circumstances, sheep might even appear creepy to wolves.  (Especially those sheep with the big horns.)
    Teachers, would you like to really freak out the Darwinists?  Teach ALL the facts about Darwinism.  Spend lots of time on the subject.  Teach both the strengths and weaknesses about Darwinism.  You don’t even have to mention creation, God, or anything even remotely religious.  Just say something like, “Today, class we are going to talk about evolution.  Many scientists believe that humans came from bacteria.  They have lots of evidence for this.  Here, for instance, are some finch beaks that got longer and shorter as the weather changed.  Here are some moths that scientists glued to tree trunks.  Here is a display of embryos – whoops, I’m sorry, that turned out to be a hoax.  Here is the fossil record, where all the major phyla burst onto the scene without any apparent ancestors.  And here is the inside of a cell, with thousands of molecular machines and a coded language, which they say came from lucky mud.  Any questions?”  To Darwin Party enforcers, the giggles among the students would sound really, really creepy.
Next headline on:  EducationEvolutionIntelligent Design
Dinosaurs Walked in Yemen   05/22/2008    
May 22, 2008 — Dinosaur tracks have been found in Yemen – a region with few fossils of dinosaurs.  The reports on National Geographic News, Science Daily and the BBC News said the tracks had been covered up with rubble and debris.
    Dinosaur evidence is “exceptionally rare” in this part of the world.  The paleontologists believe that 11 sauropods were walking in the same direction.
    The reports claim the rocks are 120 million years old.  It was surprising, however, to find ornithopods this large in late Jurassic strata; “it tells us right now that big ornithopod dinosaurs maybe appeared a little bit earlier than was assumed so far,” said one of the researchers.  It was also unexpected to find ornithopods and sauropods walking together, since, according to conventional wisdom, the two types of herbivorous dinosaurs “do not commonly co-occur or co-exist together.”
Dinosaur tracks are fairly common throughout the world.  There are even some in southern Israel.  Texas, California, Utah, Mexico, Russia, and many other places have preserved tracks.  They don’t come with dates on them.  Certain reasonable inferences can be made about species, stride, and velocity.  Estimating the conditions necessary for preservation is also fair game.  The stories made up about when the creatures evolved and made the tracks, though, are interpretations of empirical evidence, not evidence itself.
Next headline on:  DinosaursFossils
  Battle of the Blurbs: Darwinists take their best shot against ID, from 05/09/2006.

Moon Still Feeling the Impact   05/21/2008    
May 21, 2008 — Craters on the moon seem so old.  Astronomers count them to try to figure out how long ago the surface was battered by impacts.  Although amateurs have claimed to see flashes on the moon’s surface through backyard telescopes, serious astronomers dismissed many of the reports as stories from the lunatic fringe.  “Not any more,” says Space.com and PhysOrg.  NASA astronomers decided to watch a little more closely and have so far counted over 100 flashes in the last two and a half years.
    More impacts occur during known meteor showers, but there is never a time of year that is impact-free.  “A typical blast is about as powerful as a few hundred pounds of TNT and can be photographed easily using a backyard telescope,” said an observer at Marshall Space Flight Center.
    A good question is why this was never noticed before.  The moon is, after all, our closest neighbor in space.  Astronomers at Marshall decided to start looking in late 2005 when NASA announced plan to return astronauts to the moon.  They figured we had better understand better the risk of impacts.  Though the chance of an astronaut being hit directly is nil, the article explained that debris can shoot out sideways like bullets for long distances.  These “secondary impacts” are of greater concern for extended visits or lunar bases.  A spacesuit could be pierced by a particle as small as a millimeter.
    The reporter said that while the article was being written, three more flashes on the moon were recorded.  The PhysOrg article included a map of the impacts seen since 2005, and a video of a bright explosion.

The article did not delve into a follow-up question: if impacts are coming in this frequently, how many would have occurred at this rate over the assumed age of the solar system?  And what effect would the explosions have had on the lunar surface?  Let’t do a little back-of-the-envelope calculation.  A hundred impacts over 2.5 years is 40 per year.  Over 4 billion years, that would equate to 160 billion impacts.
    Keep in mind, though, that 100 is all that was observed.  We can only see the near side of the moon, so assume another 100 or more hits the parts we cannot see.  Also, the moon is not observable all month due to lunar phases and weather.  It is very likely the impact rate is considerably higher.  And by most astronomical reckonings, the impact rate was much higher in the past, when the moon was formed and during the “late heavy bombardment” postulated by leading solar system models.
    Yet we see large areas of the moon with few impacts.  Some of the maria are nearly as smooth as when the lava flowed supposedly billions of years ago.  Wouldn’t it seem plausible that this continuous rain of impactors would have churned up the surface and coated the moon with a substantial layer of dust from secondary debris?
    You might recall that the Apollo astronauts could scratch bedrock with the toes of their boots in many places.  Without the necessary fiction of billions of years for Darwin, this would be easily explained as evidence the moon is relatively young.
    The earth gets bombarded continually, too.  Fortunately for living things, our atmosphere burns up most fragments harmlessly high above us, providing us not only safety, but a nightly fireworks show in celebration of our privileged planet.
Next headline on:  Solar SystemDating Methods
Cosmology in Crisis Over Dark Energy   05/21/2008    
May 21, 2008 — Ten years ago, cosmologists invented dark energy to explain certain features of the expansion of the universe that could not be reconciled with observations of supernova magnitudes.  Now, reported National Geographic News, dark energy remains the most profound problem in physics.  It’s like theory and observations are refusing to cooperate with an arranged marriage.
    Part of the problem has been the inability to unify the mathematics of quantum theory with the equations of general relativity.  But then Nature News added this bombshell: the theory of quantum mechanics, which has dominated physics since the 1930s, might be wrong – at least the Copenhagen Interpretation of QM, which leads to paradoxes that have long made physicists uncomfortable.
We have here a strange situation in science.  Leading cosmologists have been willing for a decade now to posit an imponderable substance, dark energy, to preserve favored theories of physics and views of the large scale structure of the universe.  Even more astonishing, they have been telling the world that this mysterious unknown stuff constitutes 74% of reality.  In addition, they have lived with the paradoxes of the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics for decades – a position that allows for instantaneous action at a distance and for objects to occupy two incompatible states simultaneously.  Are they dabbling in the occult or really getting a grip on the universe?
    Perhaps someday they will come up with an acceptable solution for the paradoxes of quantum mechanics, and figure out what dark energy is.  If so, they will be hailed as visionaries who predicted the nature of reality then found it.  If not, future scientists will look back at this period and wonder how brilliant thinkers could have clung to occult forces and unobservable substances for so long.  Today’s science could be regarded as tomorrow’s alchemy.
    There is a view of science that doubts man’s ability to comprehend reality as it is.  The job of science, many have argued, is to organize experience to give us a degree of explanation, prediction and control – not to comprehend reality.  This is a pragmatic view.  If by using the equations of quantum mechanics we can make lasers and Geiger counters and cell phones, and explain why a spectrum has broad emission lines, that’s all fine and good.  It may have nothing to do with reality.  Why?  Because there is no way we can get outside of our experience to compare our theories with reality and see if there is a good fit.  A corollary is that scientific knowledge is never universal, timeless, necessary and certain.  It is only tentative.  It is the best we can do for now.  The best theory, though, is not ipso facto a good theory (see best-in-field fallacy).
    We know from history that civilizations have had views of nature that we consider wrong, but those views at the time gave them useful degrees of explanation, prediction and control.  In fact, the whole industrial revolution in Western civilization proceeded on ideas about the earth, the universe, the atom and the mind that modern scientists long ago discarded or overhauled completely.  Who could know what revolutions are coming that will render today’s best scientific concepts as hopelessly inadequate?
    The tension between observation and theory in today’s cosmology underscores the tentative and historical nature of scientific knowledge.  We should not view science as necessarily progressing toward the truth.  Often, it is more the work of blind men striving to understand the elephant.  Just when they think they have the trunk understood, the tusk presents itself as an anomaly difficult to reconcile with theory.
    A few smart blind men might be able to put all the parts of one elephant together into an acceptable theory.  The universe is far too vast for such a program.  There is plenty of space in isolated pockets of the universe for sentient beings to do some work that might prove temporarily useful while such beings are completely out of touch with reality.  Dark matter and dark energy at the moment have all the attributes of occult phenomena.  We will have to wait and see whether dark energy becomes a truly productive hypothesis or joins the scrap heap of phlogiston, caloric, spider eyes, bat wings and rubber chickens.
Next headline on:  CosmologyPhysics
Vestigial Organs Have a Function: to Smear Creationism   05/20/2008    
May 20, 2008 — Are there body parts you could live without?  Sure; people get by without fingers, teeth, legs, or even brains (figuratively speaking).  Some people think this is proof of evolution.  New Scientist, rather than showing how new organs and structures could arise by mutation and natural selection, listed “five things humans no longer need” as evidence for Darwin’s theory.
    Laura Spinney’s article resurrects the “vestigial organs” argument for evolution, which “has come under attack from creationists anxious to deny that vestigial organs (and hence evolution) exist at all.”  Her list includes: (1) the vomeronasal organ, (2) goose bumps, (3) Darwin’s point (on the outer ear), (4) the tail bone (or coccyx), and (5) wisdom teeth.  Each of these structures, she argues, give evidence of animal ancestry and not creation.
    Incidentally, Spinney did confess that “Probably the most famous example,” the appendix, may have dropped off the list.  She said “it is now an open question whether the appendix is really vestigial.”  An entry posted here on 10/06/2007 showed how the appendix may cultivate normal flora for the gut.  The article suggested a similar function may be found for the tonsils – another erstwhile vestigial organ.  Spinney also was equivocal about goose bumps; they “may have taken on a minor new role,” like signalling emotions or heightening the pleasure of listening to beautiful music.
So here we have a fine thing; evolutionists using the loss of something as evidence that humans had bacteria ancestors.  Tell us how to get an ear, teeth, a spine, skin and a nose in the first place before picking at little bits to call useless.
    A number of questions should be raised about this old vestigial-organs argument.  Did Spinney connect any of these items with its actual effect on reproduction?  Are people with wisdom teeth dropping out of the dating game and failing to have children?  Are people with malformed bumps on their ears failing to hear the call of love?  Are people with a coccyx unable to have kids?  Is she a Lamarckian?  Does disuse itself lead to loss of structure?  Why isn’t evolution more effective at getting rid of vestigial structures if humans have been around for 300,000 years?  Stickleback fish got rid of their armor, and got it right back within human memory, according to a recent news report (SeattlePI.com) that tells us “Evolution is much faster than people give it credit for.”  Why has evolution been so slow at getting rid of useless structures in our case?  And who says they are useless, anyway?  Evolutionists told us the appendix, the pineal gland, the pituitary gland and a hundred other things were vestigial, only to have science find out they had a function after all.  How do we know that they are not wrong now about these five items?  If an organ or structure has a function at some stage in development, is it valid to call it vestigial?  If it is deformed in today’s physiology due to a congenital defect that became established in the population, but was once well adapted, is it valid to call that vestigial?  Has Spinney done any experiments to show what happens when the item is surgically removed?  Dare say she would not sit comfortably without her coccyx.  Many people were exposed to increased infections during the tonsillectomy craze of the 1960s.
    Spinney alleged that creationists have been anxious to deny that vestigial organs and evolution exist at all.  Let’s turn that ploy around.  We hereby allege that evolutionists have been anxious to deny that complex specified information and (and hence creation) exist at all.  We allege that Darwinism is a vestigial philosophy from an atheistic past.  Prove us wrong.
Next headline on:  DarwinismHuman Body
  All you wanted to know about spider webs, except their evolution – from 05/25/2005.

Did Music Evolve?   05/19/2008    
May 19, 2008 — Nature is running a nine-part series on music.  The most recent entry by Josh McDermott, psychologist at University of Minnesota, asked how music might have evolved.1  The theme, with variations, is that nobody knows.
    Music is a uniquely human trait.  It is ubiquitous across cultures.  Bird songs and animal calls, while musical to us, do not appear to have a music-appreciation function to the animals themselves.  The great apes have nothing like it.  McDermott stated the theme in paragraph one:

We think we understand why we are driven to eat, drink, have sex, talk and so forth, based on the uncontroversial adaptive functions of these urges.  The drive to engage in music, a compulsion that is arguably just as pervasive in our species, has no such ready explanation.  Music was one human behaviour that Charles Darwin was uncertain he could explain, writing in The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex: “As neither the enjoyment nor the capacity of producing musical notes are faculties of the least use to man ... they must be ranked amongst the most mysterious with which he is endowed.”
With access to all the latest insights from evolutionary biologists and psychologists, was McDermott at least able to suggest a leading explanation?  No; “Music’s origins have remained puzzling in the years since, although there is no shortage of speculation on the subject.”  Speculation is cheap.  Science demands a more convincing body of evidence.
    McDermott ran through the list of short answers: attracting mates, pacifying babies, a spin-off of language evolution (which only creates two problems).  “These discussions run the risk of being mostly ‘Just-So’ stories, as there are few data with which to test or constrain theories.”  He didn’t have much more to say other than to suggest ways future studies might suggest possible answers.
    For his finale, he called music an “enduring puzzle” that may never have an evolutionary explanation. 
Music is universal, a significant feature of every known culture, and yet does not serve an obvious, uncontroversial function.  As such it stands in contrast to other universal human behaviours.  Speculation about its possible adaptive functions has been popular since the time of Darwin, and shows few signs of resolution.  Empirical approaches offer a promising alternative.  There is no guarantee that a full account of music’s origins will ever emerge; in fact, that seems quite unlikely at present.  Nonetheless, the right experiments will reveal a great deal – about the innate core of musical behaviour, the traits that might be unique to music, and the possible origins of those components that are not.  All of which promises to enrich our appreciation of this human obsession.
His coda thus repeated the theme allargando in minor.
1.  Josh McDermott, “The evolution of music,” Nature 453, 287-288 (15 May 2008) | doi:10.1038/453287a.
Do you want to follow the Darwinians, who admit that after 149 years they have nothing but speculations and just-so stories?  How much time should they get before admitting defeat?  Why not come back to the theists who love music as a gift of God to sentient creatures?  Music demonstrates that we are more than physical bodies.  Music is the expression of souls and spirits who are able to communicate rationally on a divine level.  Drive a Darwinist crazy: sing a hymn.
    May we suggest a short piece to cleanse out of your mind all thoughts that music evolved?  Of the thousands of beautiful pieces of music that could be selected (and we are sure each person has their favorites), here is one that approaches musical perfection – a blend of human voice and orchestra that, to a well-trained ear, will lift one’s soul to heaven.  It achieves a perfect balance of simplicity and complexity, melody and harmony, dynamism and tranquillity, loud and soft, orchestral tone color, alternating masculine and feminine voices, and a designed structure that enhances its spiritual message.  It’s the fourth movement from the Brahms German Requiem, “How Lovely Is Thy Dwelling Place.”*  English versions are available, but a particularly superb performance is sung in German by Gachinger Kantorei of Stuttgart, conducted by Helmuth Rilling, available for just 99 cents on iTunes or at eMusic.  This gem is only 5 minutes long.  Listen through good headphones and try to convince yourself that musical artistry this superb is a product of evolution.
*Text: How lovely is Thy dwelling place, O Lord of hosts.  O my soul; it longeth, yea fainteth for the courts of the Lord.  My heart and flesh cry out for the living God.  Blessed are they that dwell in the house of the Lord; they will ever praise Thee.
Next headline on:  Human BodyDarwinBible and Theology
Beware of Starstuff   05/19/2008    
May 19, 2008 — Stars can be dangerous.  They spew out deadly particles, unless you are protected from them in a safety bubble – like Earth has.  The Earth’s magnetic field and atmosphere only let in the life-giving part of sunlight.  Studies of other stars, and our own moon, show that things could be far worse.
  1. Record flare:  A little star 16 light-years away in Lacerta just went whoosh!  On April 25, it “unleashed what is considered the brightest burst of light ever seen in the universe from a normal star,” reported Space.com.  If that is normal, be glad our sun is abnormal (see 03/07/2007).  A NASA scientist said, “Flares like this would deplete the atmospheres of life-bearing planets, sterilizing their surfaces.”  Science Daily called this star “the mouse that roared.”  For an artist conception of a planet near a roaring star, see Astronomy Picture of the Day for 5/21/2008.
  2. Electric dust:  Future moon astronauts will have new challenges only briefly experienced by the Apollo crews.  NASA Science reported that the moon flies through Earth’s magnetotail once a month.  That’s a stream of charged particles from the sun that flows around Earth’s magnetic field and hits the full moon.  The Apollo astronauts never felt the full brunt of this stream.
        Physicists believe that electrons from the sun can charge moon dust and make it levitate above the surface.  Not only that, it can start moving from one hemisphere to the other in a kind of lunar wind, depending on charge differences.  The Apollo astronauts learned a little about the hazards of moon dust.  It scratched visors, got into everything, stuck like glue and smelled like gunpowder.  Future astronauts living through magnetotail crossings may get the full brunt of hazards that electrified dust will throw at them.
Question: if dust like this has been dancing around the moon for billions of years, would it alter the appearance of lunar features?
Our waterful, airful world is such a blessing, we often take it for granted.  Skeptics can argue all they want that if it weren’t this way we wouldn’t be here arguing about it.  Don’t be such an ingrate.  Thank God for that blue sky with its ozone and magnetic shield.  It’s not just a necessity for survival; it’s a blessing that didn’t have to be.
Next headline on:  StarsSolar SystemHealth
Will Hardcore Scientism Warm Up to Artificial Religion?   05/17/2008    
May 17, 2008 — Live Science reported on a series of papers presented in Washington on the subject of science and religion.  One might have expected warfare from the title, “God and Science Collide in Nation’s Capital”; indeed, Robin Lloyd portrayed the usual take-no-prisoners attitude of some scientists: “Scientists hate God.  Or find God very disturbing.  In fact, modern science has found no evidence of God and so it’s stupid anymore to think God exists.”  But then she re-opened the forum with, “The above statements are often presented as conventional wisdom, but are they true?”
    A booklet was prepared with 13 short essays, sponsored by the Skeptics Society (Michael Shermer) and the John Templeton Foundation.  They included essays by William D. Phillips, Michael Novak, Ken Miller, Mary Midgley and Stuart Kauffman.  The points of view varied from atheist to Muslim to Methodist.
    Judging from Lloyd’s report, it appears the group leaned heavily against religion.  The following line was presented as the “standard scientific line” – “Science has failed to find natural evidence of God.  Natural evidence is all there is.  No God.  Case closed.”  Only slightly softer is the view that science has eliminated the need for God, or that God is a “failed hypothesis.”
    Some of the essayists pointed out that science does not have all the answers.  Some argued that science and religion are not necessarily at odds.  And Stuart Kauffman seemed to want to soften the pointlessness of an evolutionary universe:
Kauffman, director of the Institute for Biocomplexity and Informatics at the University of Calgary, takes a slightly New Age tack, saying we must “heal” the schism between science and religion by “reinventing the sacred” and evolving from a supernatural God to a “new sense of a fully natural God as our chosen symbol for the ceaseless creativity in the natural universe.”
With adamant anti-creationists like Michael Shermer and Ken Miller in the forefront, both of whom have fought both creationism and intelligent design for years (while allowing for the possibility of a remote Deity), it is unlikely anyone at the symposium would have had much ear for the likes of a Ken Ham, to say nothing of a Phillip Johnson.
Foolishness.  This is like a bunch of leopards pretending to be sensitive to their prey, and saying maybe the prey would like them better if they washed off some of their spots or maybe didn’t growl so hard before pouncing.  “After all, we’re not the only predators in the jungle,” they say to one another.  “Just the coolest, sleekest and best!”
    Whom does Live Science and Michael Shermer think they are kidding?  Live Science never ceases to twist facts to ridicule any idea of God while pushing Darwin inches into miles of storytelling.  This party was of Darwin-worshipers, by Darwin-worshipers, and for Darwin-worshipers.  True worship requires two things this crowd doesn’t have: spirit and truth.
    Sorry, no deal.  God does not share the stage with idols.  All idols must go.  That includes Darwin and scientism.  Only when they stop telling God what to do, and telling Him what He must act like, and start listening to Him in humility, will they begin to stop committing idolatry.  “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me,” the eternal Creator said.  The Creator makes the rules.  The Creator defines reality.  The Creator is the Truth.  All else is lies and idolatry, and there is no compromise.
    We don’t need Kauffman’s Neanderthal Dance around the Naturalistic Campfire to drum up some phony sense of the sacred.  We need the Lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy.  One does not get sacredness (holiness) while worshiping one’s own reason and inventing one’s own philosophy.  One gets there by dropping all one’s baggage and humbling oneself before the Creator, who declares, “I am.”
    The question to be asking is not “How can we scientists, who already know it all, be nicer to stupid people of faith,” but “Is there a Creator?” and “Who is He?”  For those questions, ample empirical evidence is available to the true scientist (seeker of knowledge) and philosopher (lover of wisdom).
Next headline on:  Bible and Theology
Star Light, Star Bright, I Wish I Knew What’s Going On   05/16/2008    
May 16, 2008 — Astronomy is fun, if for no other reason than it gives one endless opportunities to be shocked and surprised.
  1. Pulsar outside the box:  Theory has it all laid out nice and neat.  Pulsars form when a red giant drops matter onto a binary companion, making it go boom in a supernova, leaving behind a spinning pulsar.  Why, then, is PSR J1903+0327 orbiting a sun-like star?  This “wacky pulsar,” said Space.com, is sending surprised theorists back to the drawing board.  Maybe its red giant kicked it out of orbit towards the sunlike star.  Who knows?  Maybe not.  See also Science NowScience Daily, quoted an astronomer saying, “What we have found is a millisecond pulsar that is in the wrong kind of orbit around what appears to be the wrong kind of star.”
  2. Where are the supernovae?  Astronomers are glad to have found another supernova remnant in the Milky Way, but they should have found six times as many by now.  Science Now said this is “a step in the right direction,” but “there are a lot of steps.”  Since the material from this burst is expanding out at a record speed of 15,000 kilometers per second (yes, that is per second), it must have gone off just a hundred years ago.  Now they’re trying to find if it shot off starstuff so they can figure out where life comes from.  Should they look for the other supernova remnants first?
  3. Wear your starglasses:  The night sky may look dark, but astronomers just discovered it is twice as bright as it appears.  This is news from astronomers who just recently figured out that dust blocks half the light we see.  Space.com quoted a Scottish astronomer who was “shocked by the sheer scale of the effect” of the dust.  Oh no; “We’ve really got to take dust seriously and we’ve got to make large adjustments to our magnitude calculations.”  Magnitude calculations are the cornerstone of almost everything in astronomy.
Did they tell this to the Europeans who, according to Science Now, are bragging about nailing the temperature of the young cosmos to three significant figures?
Well, what do you know.  Seriously.
Next headline on:  AstronomyCosmologyDating Methods
  Is the geological column set in stone?  An insider reveals too much in the 05/13/2004 entry.  And do fossils show a worldwide sequence of evolution?  Take a detailed look by an insider in the 05/21/2004 entry.

Animals Outsmart Scientists   05/15/2008    
May 15, 2008 — In science, long-standing beliefs are often challenged by new evidence.  Several recent findings not only show animals to be more remarkable than thought, they pose some new questions for evolutionists.

  1. Slothlessness:  Sleeping almost all day, the sloth is the epitome of laziness in the animal kingdom.  Or is it?  The BBC News now tells us that the animal’s lazy image is a myth.  The sloth only sleeps 9.6 hours a day, not 16, as formerly thought.  Some government workers can relate to that.
  2. Cheetah whales:  There were thought to be limits on how fast a whale could dive.  Nothing like a little measurement to find out; the BBC News reported that scientists in Spain tagged short-finned pilot whales and found them diving 1000 meters in just 15 minutes, and sprinting after their prey like cheetahs, even at great depth.
  3. Insect aeronauts:  Dragonflies can hover, move backwards, and do other tricks with their four independently-operable wings (recall the 08/13/2004 entry).  Computer models had shown it came at a cost: reduced lift.  Scientists decided to compare the models with a robotic dragonfly, reported Science Now, and found the models were wrong.  The dragonfly actually gets more of a lift at less energetic cost, because the back wings ride the rush of air from the front wings.
  4. Human efficiency:  We the people have gotten a leg up on our furry primate friends.  Science Now says that we are more efficient at walking on the ground than monkeys are at climbing in the trees.  A graduate student at Duke University found this out with a specially-designed vertical treadmill she built.  She was “surprised to find that no studies had been done in nonhuman primates to measure the amount of energy needed to climb up a tree or wall.”  The bigger your body size, she found, the more efficient it is to walk on the ground than to climb up a limb.
  5. Bird’s-eye view:  How do we know the eye of the beholder, when the beholder is a peahen studying a peacock’s feather bouquet?  We don’t, said an article on Science Daily.  Scientists at Uppsala University are upsetting evolutionary assumptions about sexual selection with their findings.  Birds perceive colors differently in 39% of cases they studied, suggesting that “it is possible that more than one third of previous studies have been based on inaccurate information.” 
  6. Scalloped turkey:  Why would a molecular machine named myosin 2 be structurally identical in two animals on completely different evolutionary branches?  Science Daily wondered about that, especially since in humans, any changes to this motor protein cause disease or death.  The protein performs different functions in the bird than in the seafood creature, but the structure is the same.  The finding was called “puzzling” and “astonishing.
        A professor at University of Leeds apparently knows more about evolution than what is right in front of his nose: “The fact that the scallop has retained all the functions of its myosin 2 over hundreds of millions of years tells us that this folding is of fundamental functional importance in muscle and that we don’t know as much about it as we need to know.”
  7. Mouse in your genes?  Though mice share 85% genetic similarity to humans, the way their proteins interact is apparently vastly different.  Science Daily reported on knockout experiments at University of Michigan that showed in mice you can knock out 22% of 120 genes that are essential in humans, but the mice do just fine.  This is adding evidence to a growing realization that it’s not the genome alone that determines the animal phenotype (physical nature).  The way gene products interact – the “interactome” may be more important.
  8. Counting fly genes:  Humans have only 72% more genes than a fruit fly, but 10 times the protein interactions.  Science Daily said this shows earlier ideas about the differences between animals based on genetic differences have been called into question.  “Understanding the human genome definitely does not go far enough to explain what makes us different from more simple creatures,” a researcher at Imperial College London explained.  “Our study indicates that protein interactions could hold one of the keys to unraveling how one organism is differentiated from another.”
Bouncing off this last quote, how will we know when we have all the keys?  What confidence can we have that new evolutionary assumptions based on findings about the “interactome” will survive discoveries by future scientists?
Surprises in biology are fun.  They keep the Darwinists dancing, like the drunk in the Western providing sport for the gunslingers.  It’s not clear a Dar-wino could walk a straight line anyway.
Next headline on:  MammalsTerrestrial ZoologyMarine BiologyBirdsGeneticsEvolution
Hagfishing for Eye Evolution   05/14/2008    
May 14, 2008 — Darwin recognized the vertebrate eye as one of the biggest challenges for his theory.  Still in 2008, evolutionists are debating it.  Two recent articles, both pro-evolution, reveal almost black-and-white attitudes about the problem.  One is cheery and optimistic; the other sober.
    Eye evolution?  No problem.  That seems to be the view of Kate McDonald, who wrote “Slimeballs and eyeballs: hagfish and the evolution of the eye” for the Australian Life Scientist.  She thinks recent attempts in putting the parts together have forced creationists to blink.  She quoted Darwin’s famous worry as a fulcrum to spring back against critics:
Charles Darwin famously highlighted the eye, “with all its inimitable contrivances”, as one of the hurdles in the acceptance of his theory of natural selection.  “[It} seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest possible degree”, that this complex organ arose as the result of natural selection.  This confession has in the past been seized upon by the bright lights of the intelligent design movement and their ilk as proof that Darwin himself had doubts about his own theories.
    Creationists have gone a bit quiet on this front in recent years as more is known about the evolution of the eye, and they might just be done away with completely if a hypothesis set out in a Nature Reviews Neuroscience paper last December proves to be correct.
A hypothesis is not a proof.  One looks in vain in Ms. McDonald’s five-page treatise for evidence that the team of Trevor Lamb, Shaun Collin and Ed Pugh have pulled off an upset in this long-standing contest.  All they have proposed is a five-stage pathway animals might have traversed from simple light-sensitive spots to the vertebrate retina with its focusing lens and optic nerve.  This all assumes the eye evolved in the first place.  By the end of the article, it becomes apparent that they have only suggested a path for further investigation.  Their solution lies in future tense.
    A key player on their proposed evolutionary path is the hagfish – a slimy jawless eel, which McDonald spends time telling us is as ugly as its name.  Both hagfish and lampreys belong to Agnatha, a group of marine jawless fish thought to have arisen 530 million years ago.  While hagfish have simple “proto-eyes,” their cousins the lampreys have the whole shebang.  Lamb, Collin and Pugh have to cram a lot of innovation into the next period:
Then comes stage four, a period of about 30 million years, in which lamprey-like ancestors evolve and photoreceptors with cone-like features appear, along with an explosion in visual ability.  Genome duplications give rise to multiple copies of the phototransduction genes, which allow light to be converted into electrical signals; cell classes diverge into five cone-like receptors; cone bipolar cells and ganglion cells evolve; ganglion-cell axons project into the thalamus and the optic equipment evolves – the lens, the iris and the extra-ocular muscles.
That’s a lot of evolution in the blink of a geological eye.  Nowhere did the article indicate how the authors tied these innovations to random mutations.  In fact, the flavor of the entire article is Lamarckian.  A need exists, so the environment delivers (cf. 04/20/2008).  This does not dismiss the null hypothesis that needs might go unfulfilled, nor does it explain why the primitive solutions survived quite well for hundreds of millions of years.
    Since hagfish and lampreys provide a key milestone on Lamb et al’s map of eye evolution, let’s look at a different paper on the topic.  In the Journal of Experimental Biology this month,1 two Swedes and an Australian published a paper right on this point: the evolution of focusing eyes in lampreys.  Their abstract reveals a less optimistic attitude:
Jawless fishes (Agnatha; lampreys and hagfishes) most closely resemble the earliest stage in vertebrate evolution and lamprey-like animals already existed in the Lower Cambrian [about 540 million years ago (MYA)].  Agnathans are thought to have separated from the main vertebrate lineage at least 500 MYA.  Hagfishes have primitive eyes, but the eyes of adult lampreys are well-developed.  The southern hemisphere lamprey, Geotria australis, possesses five types of opsin genes, three of which are clearly orthologous to the opsin genes of jawed vertebrates.  This suggests that the last common ancestor of all vertebrate lineages possessed a complex colour vision system.  In the eyes of many bony fishes and tetrapods, well-focused colour images are created by multifocal crystalline lenses that compensate for longitudinal chromatic aberration.  To trace the evolutionary origins of multifocal lenses, we studied the optical properties of the lenses in four species of lamprey... with representatives from all three of the extant lamprey families.  Multifocal lenses are present in all lampreys studied.  This suggests that the ability to create well-focused colour images with multifocal optical systems also evolved very early.
So even though coming from an evolutionary perspective, this says their findings reduce the time for all the innovation required in Lamb et al’s Stage Four.  The hagfish is not an intermediate.  Whatever was ancestor to lampreys and hagfishes already had the equipment and know-how to focus optical images.  By implication, this includes the rest of the toolkit: retinal cells, ganglion cells, optic nerves and a brain to interpret them in living color.
    Get an eyeful of this: the BBC News has a picture of the lens from a giant squid.  This denizen of the dark ocean depths has the largest eyeball of any known animal – 11 inches in diameter.  The squid’s “truly amazing eyes” are probably the largest of any animal living or extinct.  National Geographic has photos of the monster.
    Squid belong to the mollusk Cephalopod class, which originated in the late Cambrian.  Though octopus and squid are said to have evolved later, the presence of complex, focusing, retinal eyes presents another evolutionary problem.  Either these eyes developed completely independently by “convergent evolution,” or the common ancestor of cephalopods and lampreys already possessed the complex genetic toolkit for focusing color vision.
    A paper in Nature May 15 makes this remarkable statement: “human melanopsin – which on the basis of sequence similarity – is more closely related to invertebrate than to vertebrate rhodopsin.”2  In fact, the similarities between the light-sensitive proteins of animals from completely different branches of Darwin’s tree is striking: “The crystal structure shows that the arrangement of helices I to VIII is similar to that of the rhodopsins isolated from frogs and cattle, so the overall three-dimensional structure of the protein is very similar in vertebrates and invertebrates.”  Differences seem attributable to the different environments of the respective animals.
1.  Gustaffson, Collin and Kroger, “Early evolution of multifocal optics for well-focused colour vision in vertebrates,” Journal of Experimental Biology 211, 1559-1564 (2008), published online May 2, 2008 by The Company of Biologists 2008, doi: 10.1242/jeb.016048.
2.  Gebhard F. X. Schertler, “Signal transduction: The rhodopsin story continued,” Nature 453, 292-293 (15 May 2008) | doi:10.1038/453292a.
Where has Kate McDonald been?  Where has she been getting her information about creationism and intelligent design?  Certainly not here; we have a string of articles from 2000 to the present revealing that severe challenges to “eye evolution” show no signs of abating (see, for instance, as recently as 03/31/2008 and its embedded links to earlier entries; also 07/17/2006, 05/22/2003).  Every time the Darwinists have tried to blind the public by bluffing about the evolution of vision we have poked them right back in the proverbial eye with the facts (e.g., 12/13/2007, 09/29/2006, 09/22/2005).  If McDonald thinks the debate has gotten quiet on the creationist side she’s got fingers in her ears as well as her eyes closed.
    Anyone who thinks this latest manufactured five-stage fictional plot about how eyes evolved has any credibility should notice that the Gustaffson et al paper made the story come apart in the middle.  Our watchful eyes don’t let evolutionists get away with bluffing.
Next headline on:  Marine BiologyHuman BodyIntelligent DesignEvolution
Cell Electronics Is High-Tech   05/13/2008    
May 13, 2008 — To describe a living cell these days, you have to borrow electronics lingo.  Notice how two recent articles described cell specs:
  1. Ham radio immunity:  What acts like a radio dial, a signal amplifier, and a precision rheostat?  Your immune system, according to Science Daily.  Scientists at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital described how the cell controls its T cells.  They don’t just use simple on-and-off switching.  “Rather, they possess sophisticated molecular controls that enable them to adjust their function with exquisite precision,” the article says.  “Such subtle adjustment enables T cells to modulate their development and function, including avoiding autoimmunity.”  It’s all done with genes and proteins and other molecules.  How cool is that?  It’s wireless.
  2. Dim the lights:  A plant leaf has to deal with a wide range of light, from darkness to overcast to overpowering noonday sun.  To avoid sunburn, reported Science Daily, it has a dimmer switch.  A multi-disciplinary team of scientists identified pigment-binding protein CP29 as the “antenna” (there’s another one of those electronics terms) that squelches the photosynthesis engines when too much light is coming in.  Like a lightning rod, it safely channels the energy down other pathways so that the “light harvesting machinery” is not overwhelmed.  Actually, there is triple redundancy built in, so that no one protein becomes a single point of failure.  The reactions take place in the timescale of a femtosecond (a millionth of a billionth of a second).
        The article explained another reason why scientists are keen to understand how a plant cell does this.  Plants achieve an astonishingly high efficiency – 97% – in the conversion of light energy to chemical energy.  Part of that is due to the chloroplast’s ability to quickly fine-tune the available light, even when clouds are passing overhead.  If electronics engineers could mimic that, energy-hungry humans could have a bright future: “This discovery holds important implications for the future design of artificial photosynthesis systems that could provide the world with a sustainable and secure source of energy.”
Here’s one for the guy who likes sports instead of nerdy stuff.  Another Science Daily article talked about a cellular tag team.  Two proteins work in tandem to help a dividing cell run the gauntlet of critical functions without getting slammed.  To figure this out, scientists at Duke University had to look at the match from the grandstands, because there were too many players in the ring.  “It’s a new way of thinking,” said Stephen Haase, biology professor.  “We’ve spent decades on a reductionist approach to science.  That method has been phenomenally successful.  But now, with genome technologies, we have the opportunity to look at the dynamics of all the genes at the same time.”  This approach is known as Systems Biology (see 05/07/2008).
Where did the cell earn its electrical engineering degree?  From the University of Chance?
    None of these articles mentioned evolution or had any use for it.  Engineers, come on in.  Science labs are hiring.  There will be a lot of room after the Darwin Party deadbeats move out with their 19th-century hangovers.  Check out the new Biologic Institute that employs the intelligent design approach explicitly, the way the above stories do implicitly.  Bio-logic.  Get it?
Next headline on:  Cell BiologyPlantsBiomimeticsAmazing Facts
  Learn about an enzyme that does in a thousandth of a second what a primordial soup would require a trillion years: from 05/06/2003.

Darwinist Intolerance Continues Unabated after Expelled   05/12/2008    
May 12, 2008 — Ben Stein’s documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed has ranked #12 in documentaries after 3 weeks.  It could easily rank much higher after the DVD comes out.  Has the scientific community shown any signs of remorse over their treatment of individuals and groups who question Darwinism, as illustrated in the film?

  1. ICR expelled:  On April 24, a week after Expelled hit the theaters, the Texas State Board of Education denied the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) the right to grant graduate degrees in the State.  ICR, a privately-funded organization, had been granting Master’s degrees in California for 27 years.
        It appears that Commissioner Raymund Paredes made his recommendation to deny the authorization after consulting with an undisclosed group of educators in non-public meetings.  It also appears that ICR’s well-known creationist position, not the academic standards of its Graduate School, was the reason for the decision.
        ICR, which had been expecting easy approval based on a positive recommendation from the Site Evaluation Team in December (see ICR press release), considers this a clear case of viewpoint discrimination and an abridgement of their academic freedom.  Their statement includes a 371-page document that had been delivered to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.  Even some of the most liberal supporters of intelligent design, who disapprove of young-earth creationism, have expressed alarm at the decision because of what it portends for any viewpoint deemed to lie outside the scientific consensus.
        Paredes may have been influenced by a negative editorial that appeared in Nature February 28.  The editorial revealed that concerted arm-twisting was going on behind the scenes: “High-powered scientists in Texas are already weighing in, asking board commissioner Raymund Paredes to deny accreditation,” it said, “And there are signs that the board is listening.”  The editorial called ICR’s creationist position “anti-scientific” even though its professors have PhDs from secular institutions.  It even accused the graduate school of dishonesty: “ICR has managed to con its way into the California educational system for decades.  Texas must not succumb as well.”  ICR has always been above board in its dealings with the states of California and Texas.  They never pressured anyone to succumb to anything.  They met all requirements and answered all questions.  This amounts to libel, but ICR was never given an opportunity to respond.
        Naturally, Nature was delighted in its April 30 issue with the denial decision.  They proudly quoted a compliant commissioner, who had learned his talking points well.  “Religious belief is not science,” Paredes said.  “Science and religious belief are surely reconcilable, but they are not the same thing.”
  2. Context is keyNature took the following swipe at Ben Stein in its featurette Sidelines: Scribbles on the Margins of Science from May 7:
    “Love of God and compassion and empathy leads you to a very glorious place, and science leads you to killing people.”
    Ben Stein, star of anti-evolution movie Expelled, adds his sensible and rational voice to the science-versus-religion debate, during an evangelical webcast.
    Stein’s comment was a summary statement at the end of a long discussion about Nazi science, not science in general.  In the movie, Stein had made it clear he supported true science.  His investigation was about the intolerance of Darwinists, whose leading spokespersons (Richard Dawkins, P. Z. Myers, William Provine, E. O. Wilson) are atheists, toward intelligent design.  This out-of-context quote not only Nature’s complete denial of any culpability for fostering intolerance, but an attempt to tarnish the reputation of the whistleblower.
  3. Freedom is slaveryScare tactics are often effective for avoiding rational discussion.  A news story in Science took on the difficult task of explaining why it is important to oppose academic freedom legislation.  Reporter Yudhijit Bhattacharjee set the tone of her investigation of Academic Freedom bills with a scary metaphor, “If creationism is a mutating virus, as many educators believe, then its latest guise is legislation to protect ’academic freedom.’”  The scare quotes imply a conspiracy is lurking.  Selling this line is a bit of an uphill battle, though.  She quoted Barbara Forrest, activist against the bill in Florida, saying “It has been difficult to rally opposition.”
        Casey Luskin at Evolution News pointed out that Science quoted no proponents of the bill – only opponents.  Bhattacharjee quoted evolution defender Eugenie Scott, for instance, claiming that Academic Freedom bills are essentially a “permission slip to teach creationism,” though there is nothing of the sort in the wording of the bills to suggest such a thing.  Luskin used it as an illustration of “checkpoints” outlined in Expelled that guarantee the party line goes unchallenged.
        Incidentally, the Academic Freedom bill in Florida, which had looked set to pass earlier, got defeated by procedural derailments rather than debate, reported Robert Crowther for Evolution News.
  4. To revile or not to revileScience on May 9 printed a pair of letters on the subject of whether to be considerate of creationists.  (It should be noted that Darwinists lump creationism and intelligent design in the same category, despite volumes explaining the differences).  They were responding to an earlier article that told, somewhat sympathetically, the story of one young scientist’s “traumatic” journey from evangelical belief in creationism to evolutionism.
        Craig Stevens (Oklahoma State) could not stomach the sympathy.  “Science magazine is not the place to give even a hint of respectability to those who would deny the fundamental fact of evolution,” he said.  “There is too much at stake, for our children and our society, to give any credence to those promoting unscientific nonsense (creationism or intelligent design) and justifying irrational beliefs under the guise of religion.”
        Andrew Whipple, biologist at Taylor University, had a more conciliatory tone.  Based on his experience with students coming from a Biblical creationist background, he called for humility:
    We within the scientific community must continue to present the demonstrable evidence from the physical realm and clearly express how that evidence supports our current interpretations.  This effort is not served well at all by dogmatic pronouncements such as “Evolution is fact,” even if such statements are accurate.  Furthermore, for members of the scientific community to make theological statements in the name of science is philosophically illegitimate, and destructive in our truth-seeking efforts.  In this short essay, Science has published the only example I have read in the leading scientific literature that takes the time and effort to understand and express what really drives the concerns of the majority of evangelicals, and does so in a manner that respects the integrity of both the scientific endeavor and the integrity of the faith commitments within the evangelical community.
        Allow me to suggest that this serves as a call to us in the sciences to be more humble as we interact with the faith community.  We as scientists ought to be those most keenly aware of the tenuous and ever-changing nature of human knowledge, even as we build on that which has stood the test of time.  We ought to behave as though the faith community poses no threat to the integrity of science, just as the faith community ought to behave as though science poses no threat to the integrity of faith.... Let us all humbly seek for truth as we respect one another’s efforts to do so.
    Even in this conciliatory letter, however, Whipple still implied that evolution is a fact because it has stood the test of time, which implies the dubious proposition that time is a measure of scientific validity (see best-in-field fallacy).  He also drew an either-or distinction between the science community and the faith community.  This fails to identify the faith involved in evolutionary theories.  It also ignores the scientific evidence those with non-evolutionary theories employ in defense of their views.  What may be most noteworthy, however, is his observation that the article was the “only example I have read in the leading scientific literature that takes the time and effort to understand” the concerns of the majority of evangelicals in a respectful tone.
  5. Beneath disdainCMI published a response to a campaign by the Geological Society of London to fight creationism.  (The quotes are from before the release of Expelled, but it is unlikely the film altered their attitude, based on condescending reviews in other pro-evolution journals.)  In an editorial from the January issue of their magazine Geoscientist, Ted Nield not only conflated Intelligent Design with Young-Earth Creationism, he looked for space in the dungeon below contempt to find words to express the depth of his disdain.  “Are Young Earth Creationists, Intelligent Designers and other adherents of long-exploded ideas even worth the expenditure of our contempt?” he asked.
Some commentators have expressed alarm at the condescending tone that academics express to those outside their peer group.  In a guest editorial for the UK Times Higher Education, Dennis Hayes exposed the disdain academics have for the general public.  He found it ironic that academics are trying more to engage in public outreach while simultaneously treating the public as hapless, hopeless, ignorant and prejudiced.  He pictured academics as out of touch – living in a closed society that generates misanthropic attitudes.  Their own habits, though, provide a poor model for how one should behave like an intellectual: “At academic conferences, there is little discussion; there are hundreds of papers but few questions,” he accused.  He warned that progress in understanding will only come when academics open themselves up to debate (cf. 04/09/2008).
    More focused on the issues brought up in Expelled was Ken Conner’s op-ed piece for Townhall.com.  He alleged that modern academia is in a 1984 time warp, with its own thought police and revisionist policies.  He alluded to the Orwellian turnabout wherein Academic Freedom bills are being opposed as “academic tyranny” by the very people who refuse to allow criticisms of their views.
    Conner juxtaposed the derisive comments of Darwinists against ID with some of their own irrational views expressed in Ben Stein’s documentary, such as life being seeded by space aliens or on crystals.  “Intelligent Design,” he remarked, “seems eminently plausible compared to the ravings of these scientists who appear educated beyond their intelligence.”
    At issue, though, is the academy’s intolerance of contrary views.  “These efforts to extinguish controversy and to mute dissenting voices are antithetical to traditional notions of academic freedom,” he ended.  “But that doesn’t bother the scholars who are interviewed in the film.  In the academy, it’s 1984 and, in their world, freedom is tyranny.”
Poor, lovable old Ben Stein.  Likeable, funny, common-sensical, soft-spoken, unflappable; a kinder, gentler celebrity one could hardly find, but now he has joined the Expelled.  His reputation will be forever tarnished as one of “them.”  All he wanted to do was open up the debate about Darwinism again.  Such an innocent quest.  In his droll, deadpan way, he interviewed the leading lights on both sides (and not a single young-earth creationist, by the way – those who have been so systematically marginalized that the mere mention of them brings a Pavlovian growl).  Ben never raised his voice.  His questions were the innocent, honest questions that a man on the street might ask.  In a country that values academic freedom, what is it about this issue that gets scientists so upset?.
    In each interview, Stein sat there meekly without interrupting.  He gave plenty of time for Dawkins, Myers and Ruse to explain what they meant.  His producers sent them the types of questions that would be asked, paid them for their time, got their permission to use the footage, and followed standard documentary protocol.  For this crime he has been viciously slandered by scientists and the secular media, who show absolutely no sense of remorse for their intolerance.  They continue to illustrate the very point of Expelled: question Darwin and your career is over.  If there is to be any revolution, any pressure to tear down the Berlin Wall that protects Darwinism from honest questions, it won’t be starting on the Darwin side.  If anything, they are building it higher and thicker.
    Are you shocked by this?  That academics, the ones historically the champions of academic freedom, have become some of its most vicious enemies?  That the very ones who should be models of civility and rational discourse turn into sneering, snarling Dobermans at the mere sound of intelligent design?  How could it be, when so many great scientists in history exalted the supreme architect of the universe in their work, and pointed to their admiration for God’s designs as motivation for doing science, that this could happen?  It does happen, and it happens elsewhere, too: the very institutions set up to solve the problem wind up making it worse.  Consider the following parallels.  Recognizing that there are exceptions in each case, charges have been made repeatedly by numerous commentators that the following institutions do the opposite of what they were designed to do.
  • Labor unions: Initially motivated to address real issues of worker rights and safety, unions and their bosses are almost synonymous with corruption.  Workers refusing to join become targets of intimidation and physical violence.  States have had to pass Right to Work laws (imagine that!) to protect workers from the very unions that were designed to help them.  The unions, of course, spend their millions from the dues extracted by force from paychecks of common workers to lobby against such legislation, and routinely oppose any attempt to allow workers to designate whether they wish their dues to be spent on lobbying or not.
        To add insult to injury, labor unions pile on so much burden on corporations through exorbitant and unrealistic demands for pensions and benefits (enforced by threats of crippling strikes), they end up killing the goose that lays the golden egg – the employers who create jobs.  The high cost of employment causes companies to go out of business or look overseas.  Who loses?  The laborer.
  • The National Education Association has been called the most useless bureaucracy in Washington.  One might think that it exists to help teachers and students.  Instead, like the teachers’ unions, it defends and protects a top-sided bureaucracy bloated with administrators and office workers.  Despite billions spent on education, student-teacher ratios continue to rise, test scores continue to plummet, American students continue to fall behind even many third-world countries, and some teachers have to spend their own money buying textbooks.  Who loses?  Public school students.  Private schools and home schools, without NEA help or government funding, at a fraction of the cost, graduate students that score substantially higher on average.
  • The National Endowment for the Arts exists, one would think, to uphold high standards of art appreciation and taste, to reward those with true talent, and to promote expressions of artistic excellence that bring national pride.  How many new Mozarts or Raphaels can you name that thank this institution for their patronage?  By contrast, how many news reports have you heard about “controversial” government-funded displays of a crucifix in urine, or a dung-splattered Madonna, or “artistic” exhibits of pig parts in formaldehyde?
  • Racial organizations:  Does any member of an ethnic minority really need an organization to speak for him?  That’s an interesting question itself, because it would certainly backfire if some ethnic groups tried it.  Regardless, certain black commentators (Bill Cosby, Thomas Sowell, Larry Elder, Juan Williams) have been pointing out for years that well-known black organizations and their high-profile leaders actually do more harm than good for black families.  This is because creating an atmosphere of crisis is essential to their ongoing leadership.  Actually solving problems would make them irrelevant.  So while fatherless families, drug abuse and dropout rates never seem to improve, certain high-profile black leaders literally scream about racism in America with half truths, stoking the fires of racist conflict that keep them in the spotlight and create a cycle of self-fulfilling prophecy.  Individuals who succeed and become integrated into the colorless society are accused of abandoning their roots; they are called awful names.  The concentration on black identity works to perpetuate the very segregation that early civil rights leaders worked so hard to eliminate.
  • The United Nations is perhaps the most egregious example of an institution becoming its own nemesis.  What was the UN’s founding goal?  World peace: to have nations work out their differences by diplomacy rather than war.  There is arguably no war since its founding that the UN has successfully prevented, and oftentimes, it has made things worse.
        The same goes for its “humanitarian” causes.  The world has known about the Sudan genocide for years; millions have died, and the UN has done worse than nothing: reports of UN workers raping the people they were sent to help have been scandalous.  UN workers also stood idly by or fled during the Rwandan genocide.  The UN was irrelevant in Cambodia, or in Iraq, or in any communist or radical-Islamic country you can name.  The first relief workers on the ground after a disaster are usually privately funded Christian ministries like World Vision, Baptist World Alliance, Christian Freedom International and Gospel for Asia.  The UN is so inefficient with relief, it sends supplies locals cannot use (condoms to families who are starving), or the food rots on the tarmac, or it is delivered into the hands of corrupt dictators instead of the suffering people.  Imagine the craziness of sending relief to the Sudanese government, which uses it to buy weapons to attack Darfur!  Millions of Africans die from malaria but the UN opposes spraying to kill the mosquitos that carry it.  Millions die from AIDS but the UN opposes teaching people about the most effective prevention: abstinence.
        As for diplomacy, UN General Assembly meetings become soap boxes for the most radical countries to denounce the West.  Since there are so many of small-country dictatorships, any voices of reason from democratic countries are often drowned out.  The Security Council can never oppose totalitarian atrocities because one of the worst perpetrators, China, has veto power, as did communist Russia throughout the Cold War.  The UN’s inability to act is legendary.  Regardless of what you think about the Iraq war, President Bush’s coalition waited and waited for the UN to act on its own resolutions which mandated a military response to Saddam Hussein’s violations of UN rules.  Coalition leaders pleaded with the UN to act on its own promises.  The UN did nothing.
        Meanwhile, the magnitude of the scandals at the UN – oil-for-food being one of the worst in history – is breathtaking.  Does anything change?  Kofi Annan brought in Paul Volcker to investigate and propose reforms.  Volcker found that oil-for-food was not unique, but endemic to the UN’s practices.  He proposed sweeping reforms, including opportunities for outside audits.  None of them were passed.  After months of negotiations, the reforms were rejected by a margin of two to one!  Endemic corruption has thus been validated as official UN policy.
        The world is now teetering under the threat of a nuclear Iran and North Korea, but the UN is essentially irrelevant, if not obstructionist in countering the threat.  In sum, the greatest threat to world peace is now arguably the very institution chartered to safeguard it.
        For a depressing report on how bad things are in the UN, read an article by a man who knows, and who tried to fix it: former ambassador John Bolton.  Writing for Imprimis April 2008, he said that any hopes that the UN could offer world peace have been completely dashed – and he gave plenty of stark examples.
Yes, it is possible for institutions to become the worst enemies of the values they were created to protect.  Don’t be surprised to see the defenders of Big Science behaving badly.  When you see haughty, incorrigible, self-interested, dogmatic, irrational, corrupt, sneering hotheads claiming to speak for “science,” remember that other big institutions have called black white and white black.  Other institutions have paid off the torturers with funds designated to help prisoners.  Other institutions have poured gasoline on fires they were sent to quench, and killed the children they were sent to feed.  Is there a common denominator to these reversals of values?  As an exercise, check out how many are led by secular progressives embracing radical leftist ideology.  At a more basic level, try human depravity.  Give any depraved person or group power, and you know what power does.
    Each of the institutions listed above has some honest, hard-working individuals who don’t deserve the blame for what Headquarters is doing.  Some of them decry the abuses but work within the institution either due to lack of alternatives or from sincere hopes to bring reform from within.  A great many of the rank and file probably don’t even know what is going on.  They assume an institution with a nice sounding name is doing its job, and they try to do theirs the best they know how.
    Maybe that’s the point.  The best work is done by individuals.  Science began with individuals.  As an individual, you can make a difference.  As an individual, you can change the world. 
Next headline on:  DarwinismIntelligent DesignMediaEducationPolitics and Ethics
Earth’s Core Values Questioned   05/11/2008    
May 11, 2008 — Geologists have long assumed that iron attracted certain elements toward the earth’s core during its formation.  The amounts of them we find today were added by meteorites and comets as a veneer on the surface later.  A press release from Florida State University is questioning those core values.  New research “calls into question three decades of conventional wisdom regarding some of the physical processes that helped shape the Earth as we know it today.
    Munir Humayun, an associate professor of geology, did experiments on palladium at high temperatures and pressures using NASA equipment.  His team found that at these extreme conditions, thought to mimic those 300 miles down in the mantle, the distribution of palladium in both rock and metal was the same – no partitioning had occurred.
    The iron, descending toward the center of the earth toward the core, was supposed to pull in certain “siderophile” (iron-loving) elements with it – gold, platinum, palladium, and iridium.  Since these elements are found at earth’s surface today, they must have been delivered during a late bombardment of comets and meteors.  That has been the conventional wisdom:
“For 30 years, the late-veneer hypothesis has been the dominant paradigm for understanding Earth’s early history, and our ultimate origins,” Humayun said.  “Now, with our latest research, we’re suggesting that the late-veneer hypothesis may not be the only way of explaining the presence of certain elements in the Earth’s crust and mantle.”
Why did he say this affects views of our ultimate origins?  The presumed late-heavy bombardment “also would have brought in water, carbon and other materials essential for life, the oceans and the atmosphere.”
    These experiments, therefore, could have a ripple effect on other fields, including planetary science and biology.  The press release calls the potential ramifications of the research significant.  “This work will have important consequences for geologists’ thinking about core formation, the core’s present relation to the mantle, and the bombardment history of the early Earth,” Humayan said; “It also could lead us to rethink the origins of life on our planet.”  Astrobiology Magazine took note of this announcement.
Everything secular astronomers, geologists and evolutionary biologists claim about the history of life on earth is tied into a complex web of belief – a phrase coined by philosopher of science William Van Orman Quine.  In Two Dogmas of Empiricism in 1951 (11 years before Thomas Kuhn brought “paradigm shift” into common parlance), Quine argued that scientists rarely abandon a web of belief in the face of falsifying data.  They absorb the blows by modifying the web of belief in other areas.  So will this announcement begin unraveling the web?  Unlikely.  The spiders are well trained at spinning repairs.
    Some might respond by questioning the relevance of experiments using equipment on the surface to conditions in the real mantle.  But what alternative experiment would a critic propose?  Digging a 300-mile deep hole and running experiments down there?
    The interior of the earth is a good example of a “scientific object” that can only be studied indirectly.  Seismic and gravitational measurements provide first-hand data on the core and mantle, but even that data must be interpreted within models of earth’s interior.  Models are both simplifications and extensions of empirical data; simplifications, because no model can take into account all possible relevant data; and extensions, because models make claims beyond what can be experimentally validated.
    These scientists were bold enough to test a key assumption in the web of belief.  They found it inconsistent.  They concluded, “the distribution of palladium and other siderophile elements in the Earth’s mantle can be explained by means other than millions of years of meteorite bombardment.”  Their results also imply that it didn’t require tens of millions of years for the siderophile elements to fall into the core.  That, in turn, implies what we find on the surface today could be primordial (i.e., present from the beginning).  If so, it has nothing to say about age.
    The ramifications could, indeed, be profound.  This could threaten assumptions about differentiation processes inside other planets and moons throughout the solar system, and, consequently, their ages.  It could undermine a major prop for a key explanatory tool – the so-called “late heavy bombardment” – invoked to map out ages of planetary surfaces and the presence of volatiles on earth (particularly, earth’s oceans and atmosphere).  That, in turn, leaves evolutionists hanging about conditions on the primordial earth for the origin of life.
    Secularists continue to absorb blows in their web of belief from all sides.  They make whatever adjustments to the web are necessary to hold onto their core values of naturalism and scientism.  Creationists, with different core values and a web of belief that does not exclude God, could perk up at this finding.  It’s another strand of empirical evidence that the earth was designed with its elements, atmosphere and oceans intact from the beginning – no long period of differentiation, no ad hoc rescuing device of a late heavy bombardment, and, of course, no primordial soup or special delivery of water by comets.  Some of them might point out, too, that appeals to millions of years are superfluous.
Next headline on:  GeologyDating MethodsOrigin of LifeSolar System
Update:  Cambrian Explosion Damage Control   05/10/2008    
May 10, 2008 — Here’s an update to the “State of the Cambrian Explosion.”  Two years ago, our 04/23/2006 entry analyzed a lengthy paper in Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences by Dr. Charles R. Marshall, a Harvard professor of biology and geology.  Dr. Marshall had taken on the arduous task of explaining, in evolutionary terms, the sudden emergence of all the animal phyla in a geologically short period of time.  It seemed that all Marshall had done by the end of the paper was to say that animals evolved because they evolved.  Needs, he argued, produce the pressure to evolve.  The survival need, for instance, will force an animal to explore the fitness landscape and come up with an optimal solution, especially if the fitness landscape has been “roughened” by some environmental or ecological change.  But can necessity really be the mother of invention without a guiding intelligence?  Why would a population of non-sentient, blind colonies of cells even care about surviving?  And what is the source of information to build an eye, a leg or a gut?
    Marshall’s latest views were shared in a piece on Science Daily.  Has he fleshed out his explanation with more rigor?  The headline teased readers, “‘Missing’ Ancestors Of Today’s Animals May Not Be Missing After All.”
    Marshall’s latest idea is that “it was an increase in interactions between species, such as predation, that drove an escalating evolutionary process that led to the development of teeth and claws and the wide variety of characteristics that we see among Earth’s animals today.”  For the first creature able to invent teeth, it must have been free shopping at the meat market.
“I believe ... the explosion was driven by the onset of adult-adult interactions,” Marshall said.  “Maybe the evolution of jaws or a large enough gut, or the evolution of something like chitin so they could bite rather than just giving a nasty suck.”
Marshall admitted, however, that the Cambrian Explosion was unique in the history of life on earth, and that none of the transitional forms leading up to explosion have been found.  He supported his model with a computer program that started with primitive plant-like forms and offered them 4 genetic rules and 6 selection pressures.  He let the initial forms evolve in the computer and ended up with 20 different body types, all of which had counterparts in the Cambrian fossil record.  The article did not elaborate on how much the model might have been rigged to get the desired result, however, nor what criteria were used to compare the computer forms with real animals.  Also, Marshall had considered the interaction class of explanation interesting but inadequate in 2006.  He left it as an unanswered question how a need could generate innovation.  It looks like it still is an unanswered question.
    As is common in science reporting, Science Daily merely reprinted the press release from the home institution (Harvard) and tacked on its own title and opening summary.  An institution has a vested interest in making its researchers look good.  This arrangement rarely allows a reporter to ask the scientist any hard questions, and most science reporters end up reproducing the claims verbatim – if not embellishing them.
Since no one else exposes the charlatans pretending to be scientists, do your part to get the word out about Creation-Evolution Headlines.  Marshall and the Darwinists have given the same song and dance we refuted two years ago.  Nothing has changed.  They are appealing to miracles, saying that the mere presence of opportunities prompts Evolution (capitalized, because it’s is essentially their deity, a tinkering goddess) to invent eyes, jointed appendages, digestive tracts, lungs, blood and all kinds of sensory organs.  Look at this nonsense: “it may have been something as simple as the evolution of jaws with toothlike projections that allowed the world’s first painful bite.”  Good grief; instant jaws and teeth.  Simple, isn’t it.  Two miracles, special order, coming right up.  Don’t bite; it’s painful all right.
    Another trick they try is to stretch out the timeline to make it sound less explosive.  But in fact, as we pointed out, no matter how long they try to make the Cambrian explosion period, every new animal appears abruptly in the record.  There are no pre-trilobites.  Trilobites appear fully formed with all their complex equipment already functioning.  They were actually more diverse at their first appearance than higher up in the rock layers (see 07/28/2007).  Same for echinoderms, worms, brachiopods, jellyfish, crustaceans, and all the rest.  Paleontologists do not see a progression at all no matter how many millions of years they want to add.  Everything just shows up fully formed from the get go.  Shouldn’t this be told to students?
    The upshot is that evolutionists are deceiving the public.  This one problem falsifies Darwin’s theory, but they tiptoe around and it make up fables to distract readers.  Meanwhile, when not ignoring the creationists entirely (whose view is supported by the fossil record), they harangue them as fundamentalist idiots who are “anti-science.”  No one in the news media takes them to task for this huge deceptive campaign.  Science Daily’s headline that the “Missing ancestors... may not be ‘missing’ after all” is one of the worst big lies ever seen on this subject in recent memory.  Who is being anti-science here?
    Creationists have been hounding the Darwinists about the Cambrian Explosion since the days of Darwin himself, who was well aware of it and called it the biggest objection that could be lodged against his theory.  Well, his disciples have had all this time and the problem has only gotten worse.  Any apologies?  Any show of sorrow?  Any humility?  Any consideration of alternatives?  Never.  When they aren’t dodging the issue, they make up preposterous fables about it.  And they pretend the critics don’t even exist.  Look at the article; there is not one mention of the criticisms of Darwinism.  Talk about a nasty suck.
    Where are you going to get straight talk on the breaking science news except here?  We are glad our readership has been climbing steadily, but there are still millions who need to know what’s going on in the Science Academy since the Darwin Party dictatorship took over.  If you respect real science and the search for truth based on the evidence, please help spread the word.  Our shortcut URL is simply crev.info: CR for creation, EV for evolution, INFO for information from an intelligent source.  That’s redundant on purpose: information always requires an intelligent source.  Deception does not.
Next headline on:  Fossil RecordEvolution
  Despite the urban legend, the first man in space (Yuri Gagarin) was not an atheist, from 05/03/2006.

Platypus Genome Surprises Evolutionists   05/09/2008    
May 9, 2008 — Thanks to more efficient sequencing techniques, genomes of more and more animals are coming to light.  The latest is from one of the most unusual animals in nature: the duck-billed platypus of Australia.  The long and short of it: if evolutionists were confused about the phenotype (outward appearance) of this creature, they are just as confused by the genotype (the DNA).
    Nature,1 which published the genome as its cover story, also printed a news summary with illustrations on its Nature News site.  Other science sites quickly printed articles about it but varied on their spin: New Scientist (“platypus genome is as weird as it looks”); Science Daily (“Platypus Genome Explains Animal’s Peculiar Features; Holds Clues To Evolution Of Mammals”); Live Science (“World’s Strangest Creature?  Part Mammal, Part Reptile”); and National Geographic (“Platypus Genome Reveals Secrets of Mammal Evolution”).  Science Daily began its coverage, “The duck-billed platypus: part bird, part reptile, part mammal – and the genome to prove it.
    Among the oddities in the genes: the platypus has 52 chromosomes, including 10 sex chromosomes (but its X and Y are not sex chromosomes).  The animal has genes for lactation and egg-laying.  Scientists cannot seem to figure out whether it is closer to reptiles or to mammals.  Its webbed feet, duck bill, venomous spurs, electric sensory organ, fur, egg-laying and beaver tail make it an incongruous mosaic of features.  The first scientists to examine one thought it was a hoax, as if some practical-joking taxidermist sewed a duck bill on a beaver.
    The Nature article, while claiming that this new genome supports evolution, stated clearly that the confusion of traits in the platypus extends right down to the genetic level:

Since its initial description, the platypus has stood out as a species with a blend of reptilian and mammalian features, which is a characteristic that penetrates to the level of the genome sequence.  The density and distribution of repetitive sequence, for example, reflects this fact.  The high frequency of interspersed repeats in the platypus genome, although typical for mammalian genomes, is in contrast with the observed mean microsatellite coverage, which appears more reptilian.  Additionally, the correlation of parent-of-origin-specific expression patterns in regions of reduced interspersed repeats in the platypus suggests that the evolution of imprinting in therians is linked to the accumulation of repetitive elements.
They only made suggestions about platypus evolution.  None of the explanation sounds clear and unambiguous.  Calling certain characters “reptilian” in an animal with fur that lactates seems to confuse rather than elucidate the relationship.  They called the male platypus’s ability to produce venom reptilian, for instance.  But snakes strike with their fangs, and the male platypus strikes with its heel.  How many mutations did it take to move the venom apparatus from one end of the ancestor to the other end of the descendent?  Why did it happen?  Where are the missing links?  In fact, they had to admit that there is no relationship: “Convergent evolution has thus clearly occurred during the independent evolution of reptilian and monotreme venom,” they said.  This only doubles the mystery of the origin of venom.  Furthermore, the platypus venom was found to be a cocktail with at least 19 complex compounds, each one requiring specific genes for its manufacture.  They claimed some of these genes had arisen by duplication of genes with other functions.  There are difficulties with this class of explanation, however (see CMI).
    A fossil monotreme found last year, said to be 112 million years old, stunned evolutionists ( (11/27/2007, 01/21/2008, bullet 2).  Timothy Rowe commented, “It’s really, really old for a monotreme.”  No clear fossil sequence connects the earliest monotreme with the modern platypus or echidna.
    Meanwhile, the platypus seems unconcerned with all this genealogical hubbub.  It swims along with its happy duckbilled grin, its sleek fur and sensory organs perfectly adapted for its unique habitat. 
1.  Genome consortium, “Genome analysis of the platypus reveals unique signatures of evolution,” Nature 453, 175-183 (8 May 2008) | doi:10.1038/nature06936.
It’s kind of funny to see the Darwinists squirm.  Do they really need to conjure up a mythical tree to hang this wonderful animal on?  Maybe that’s a very misguided quest for a scientist.  Why not just study the living animal and understand how it is put together, so we can learn some practical things that might improve our lives?  Did Galileo have to study the ancestry of the rocks he dropped from the tower?  Did Faraday have to ponder the ancestry of magnetism to build a motor and generator?  Did Carver have to ponder the phylogeny of the peanut to make 300 products with it?  What is this obsession with genealogies?  Are Darwinists in the worldview business perhaps?
    The Apostle Paul cautioned against “foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless” (Titus 3:9).  This does not say that scientific research into genomes is useless.  Deciphering genomes helps us understand how organisms function in the present.  Comparisons between animals also illuminates the way genomes produce adult animals that are adapted to various ecological niches.  The useless genealogies begin with questions about who begat whom.  Notice that we only observe live platypi (pardon the Greek).  We do not see them 112 million years ago.  (Fossils exist in the present, not in the past.)  Animals are what they are.  They have what they have.  They do what they do.  They do it well.  That’s about all that can be investigated with any confidence using the limited methods of science.  For information about unobservable prehistories, one needs a different source of information.
Exercise:  Defend or refute the proposition, “God created the platypus to confound evolutionary theories.”  Provide evidence to support your position.
Next headline on:  MammalsGenetics
Noah’s Ark Goes Dutch   05/08/2008    
May 08, 2008 — Noah’s ark has landed in the Netherlands.  Johan Huibers, a Dutch contractor built the model to showcase the Biblical story and renew interest in Christianity in a country that has lost its faith.  Fox News, USA Today, the BBC News, the Christian Post, CBN and many other news sources carried versions of the Associated Press story.
    Visitors were stunned by the size of the model.  One visitor described it is “past comprehension.”  She said, “I knew the story of Noah, but I had no idea the boat would have been so big.”  She might be more stunned to learn that Huibers’ model is only one-half the original as described in Genesis (see ChristianAnswers.net for measurements and artists’ reconstructions).
    The AP story quipped that this might help people concerned about rising sea levels from global warming.  Nowhere did the reports claim that Huibers expected his model to be seaworthy, though.  It’s more a museum.  It will have a 50-seat theater, “ancient tools and old-fashioned barrels, exotic stuffed animals, and a wax model of an exhausted Noah reclining on a chair in the forecastle.”  Huibers only looked half as exhausted.
This is certainly better than the cartoony representations of Noah in a floating bathtub with elephant and giraffe heads sticking out the top.  The true Ark’s dimensions ranked with those of large ocean liners.  Anything that helps elucidate the actual story instead of mocking it like the BBC show in 2003 (03/10/2003) might help a jaded, secularized public think about Bible history more seriously.  Maybe this limited project will inspire someone to build a full-size model.  That would be a real stunner.  Better start soon; it might take 100 years. 
Next headline on:  Bible the TheologyEducation
Whence Plague?   05/08/2008    
May 8, 2008 — Where did bubonic plague come from?  Science News reported that two mutations turned the bacterium from a docile, innocuous bacterium into a curse.
    The combination of two mutations disabled the gene for aspartase, an enzyme that breaks down aspartic acid.  When the crippled Yersinia pestis enters a host, more aspartic acid is generated than the host can manage.  This may lead to a domino effect that takes its toll on the biochemistry of the host.
    Researchers at the University of Toledo in Ohio were able to reproduce the problem in a related bacterium by putting the same mutations into its aspartase gene.  Then, they were able to restore function in the plague bacterium by substituting base pairs from its cousin at the two mutated sites.  Neither restoration alone restored function, they found.  They plan to test the restored bacteria on rodents to see whether the plague symptoms fail to develop.
    In his 2007 book The Edge of Evolution, biochemist Michael Behe described pathogens and their hosts as in a kind of “trench warfare” of survival.  He outlined the difficulty of achieving a double mutation that would produce a new function, and the near impossibility of getting a triple mutation for a new function (such as to disable an antibiotic).  This story, however, is a case of a double mutation for loss of function – a frequent occurrence – that has the effect of putting a non-sustainable burden on the resources of a host.
This story helps underscore the delicate balance in biochemistry and in ecology.  The mutations did not give Yersinia pestis a new function.  They took one away.  In an orderly ecology, this germ would have been harmless.  A motorcycle can usually drive around a park and interact with pedestrians safely.  Imagine what might happen when its brakes fail.
    One question this story does not answer is the problem of evil.  A religious person might be tempted to think this shows God did not create the bubonic plague—it was just a result of mutations to something that might have been originally beneficial.  Even if so, God could have stopped its horrific effects.  The proposal also doesn’t address many other devices in nature that appear designed to bring pain and suffering, like snake and spider venom.
    These are questions for theology, not science, unless you are content with the explanation that “stuff happens” and there is no hope or reason for anything.  If that is your choice, why even do science?  One could not have any assurance that human perception is in touch with reality.  Taking that path abandons all hope of understanding anything.
    If we were left to speculate about reasons for good and evil on our own, we would be no better off.  Speculations are a dime a dozen.  We would have no way of knowing whether Wise Man A has contact with ultimate reality any more than Wise Man B.  A revelation is needed from the only One who knows.  A revelation was provided.  It tells of an omnipotent and righteous Creator who provided a world for sentient beings that was perfect in harmony.  Sin changed it and brought judgment.  We live now in a cursed world in which we will all die, because the wages of sin is death.
    In a real sense, the question “whence plague?” is not far removed from “whence death?” by any means, including old age.  Death was foreign to the original creation.  God’s righteousness requires it.  Who is to stand up to the Judge of the universe and claim that one form of death is unjust over another?  From a human perspective, we walk in a booby-trapped world, not knowing when our time is up.  There is a blessing in this.  The Judge could have instituted capital punishment on mankind instantly.  Instead, He gives us time to experience the blessings of His goodness and the fear of His judgment, and time to make a choice.
    God, being omniscient, knows our frame and knows each person’s allotted time.  He has provided sufficient revelation for each individual to respond to Him (see natural revelation).  For those blessed with the full revelation of the Bible and Christ, the explanation is much richer – which is why the good news needs to be spread to all.  Could we have expected that God would show love to those deserving death?  And what amazing love He demonstrated!  The righteous Judge took our penalty of eternal death on Himself, in sending His Son to die in our place, so that we could be fully reconciled to Him.
    We can enjoy enough of the remnant beauty of the original creation to give Him thanks and worship Him.  Through our limited abilities in science, we can also seek to understand some of the hazards around us and disable them.  We can improve our health and increase our enjoyment in life.  This will only delay physical death, not eliminate it.  But the rest of the story is even better.  Those who take God’s offer on His terms have His promise of a future creation with no pain, suffering, death, and sin.
    A brief outline like this opens up many questions and may leave a skeptic unsatisfied.  Why not make this a project?  Lee Strobel was a hardened atheist legal reporter, till his wife “got religion” and became a Christian.  It almost destroyed his marriage.  He decided to look into the evidence for Christianity so as to refute it.  He applied his skills of legal investigation of evidence to the issues of the trustworthiness of the Bible.  The result changed his life.  The once crabby, selfish, prideful guy now has an infectious smile and enthusiasm that commands attention.  What made this guy so darn happy?
    Lee’s experience led to his three best-selling books, The Case for a Creator, The Case for Christ, and The Case for Faith, in which he interviewed leading theologians and scientists to get answers for skeptics’ questions that could stand up to legal standards of evidence.  Two of these are now available on high-quality documentaries from Illustra Media and Strobel Films.  The third is due for release September 2.  Read these books.  Watch these films.  Like Strobel encourages, “make it a front-burner project” and commit at the outset to follow the evidence wherever it leads.
Next headline on:  HealthGeneticsTheology
  Learn about the layers of image processing that take place in the eyeball before you perceive what you are looking at, from 05/12/2005.

How Useful Is Evolution Theory?   05/07/2008    
May 7, 2008 — Is evolution good for anything?  There’s no question it keeps a lot of scientists busy, but has it helped the proverbial man on the street?  Here are two perspectives.
    Michael LePage hit the sales beat for evolution on New Scientist this week:

Evolution is a beautiful theory.  It explains everything from why some birds lose the ability to fly, to the bizarre meandering path of the vagus nerve in our bodies.
    Sure, evolution makes sense of the extraordinary diversity of life on Earth, but can it actually be put to practical use?
    The answer is: it can and it should.
His argument was that evolutionary theory can help explain the rise of “superbugs” that race right past our antibiotics.  The death toll, he said, provides “an example of what happens when we don’t apply evolutionary theory.”  He didn’t say just how a doctor or pharmacist would apply it, though.  Would it have changed FDA policies, even if doctors knew “it has only recently become clear just how fast evolution can produce change”?  LePage implied that evolution has application to a broad range of disciplines, “from cancer to conservation.”  This begs the question whether evolutionary theory is the only point of view with such a broad range.  Creationists might also want to throw their hat in that ring.
    LePage’s preface was the build-up to an announcement of a new journal called Evolutionary Applications.  He continued with more examples of how evolutionary theory might inform policy on HIV, bird flu and global warming.  He tied this to a theological issue.  Quoting journal editor Rudolph Nesse, he said, “many medics still think of the body as a machine designed by an engineer, when in fact it is a “bundle of compromises ... designed to maximise reproduction, not health”.  LePage ended, “There is no question about the importance of applied evolution.”
    If this is so, why is Systems Biology the hottest new trend in the life sciences?  Systems Biology looks at the entire organism as a well-structured and interrelated system.  Technology Review interviewed Leroy Hood, a former Caltech professor, who left the prestigious university to co-found Applied Biosystems.
Traditional biology tends to study one gene or protein or process at a time.  Systems biology takes a cue from engineering and treats organisms as complex systems.  Systems biologists, often using computer models, try to understand how genes, proteins, cells, and tissues interact to create complex organisms.  By mapping out, rather than reducing, biological complexity, systems biologists hope to reach a new understanding of the fundamental processes of life, from embryonic development to normal metabolism to the emergence of diseases like cancer.
This approach, in other words, makes just as many claims to revolutionize biology and help mankind that evolutionary theory ever did, but it treats organic systems as if they had been engineered.  It is not necessary for the scientist to assume God is the engineer.  This is clear from Leroy Hood’s assertion on page 2:
Evolution has had four billion years to figure out really clever solutions for new materials, new chemistries, new types of molecular machines, even new approaches to computing.  I think by studying living organisms and deducing the mechanisms that underlie these evolutionarily sculpted solutions to complexity, those solutions can be applied to other fields.  A classic example is materials science.  The spectrum of different materials that organisms have evolved to make is enormous.
So what’s the difference?  Both LePage and Hood believe in evolution.  The difference is that LePage claims we need to focus on the evolutionary process, whereas Hood thinks we just need to understand the finished product.  The process of evolution, therefore, is incidental and inconsequential in systems biology.  One can believe evolution did the engineering, or that God did the engineering.  The approach one uses to do the work – to understand and apply the solutions – is an engineering approach.  Just like one would reverse-engineer an operating system to imitate it, systems biology reverse-engineers life to understand and apply it.  Darwin’s theory need not even enter the discussion.
Sure, evolutionary theory is good – good for nothing.  Its recklessness and death and chance are beautiful.  Just lovely, isn’t it?  Let’s turn loose the systems biologists and biomimetics engineers.  Let’s give them a chance to revolutionize biology and bring wonderful new technologies inspired by nature’s engineering.
    The last thing anyone should hope for is “applied evolution.”  Isn’t that exactly what Darwin’s disciples already tried?  They applied evolution, all right – eugenics, social Darwinism and Darwinian utopian regimes that murdered millions.  Scream and run when you hear a Darwinist wanting to apply evolution!  On what moral basis could LePage argue it will help people?  The ethics of Malthus?  of Marx?
    It might just be that if systems biology becomes the new paradigm, Darwin and his myths will just slip unnoticed into the history books while people enjoy longer, happier lives.  Slowly, without a war, scientists might warm up to the language of intelligent design.  It will be perfectly natural.  They will have been thinking like engineers instead of like selfish genes.  One can even imagine that Darwinian stories will eventually sound so, well, so last-century.
Next headline on:  Darwinism and Evolutionary TheoryBiomimetics
Fitting Data to Darwinism Takes Creativity and Spin   05/06/2008    
May 6, 2008 — Fairly regularly, papers appear in journals under the heading of Evolution.  The ones dealing with genetics tend to be hard to follow.  They are filled with jargon, correlation scores, charts and network diagrams.  They employ algorithms and databases unfamiliar to the lay reader.  Overall, though, they claim to find support for Darwin’s tree of life in the genes or metabolic networks of this or that group of organisms.  Does Darwinism pop right out of the data, or does it take some massaging to make Darwin fit the observations?  Let’s take one example that appeared in PNAS today for a look inside the engine room of how evidential support for evolution is manufactured.1
    Kreimer et al set out to find the “evolution of modularity in bacterial metabolic networks.”  What they were looking for, in other words, is whether the amount of modularity in the ways proteins interact follows their assumed evolutionary relationships.  What is modularity?  That had to be defined in the Materials & Methods section.  First, they had to assign network scores to proteins based on what other proteins they interact with.  In the process, they tossed out water, protons and electrons.  Why?  Because someone else in the references did so – who had also written a paper on “The effect of oxygen on biochemical networks and the evolution of complex life.”  Already there seems to be some circularity in the reasoning.
    Next, they had to assign “modularity” values to the networks.  (This refers roughly to the degree a network of interacting proteins could be isolated from other networks.)  To do this, they used Newman’s algorithm, but they purposely avoided using an algorithm from another paper on the evolution of network modularity.  The authors could probably justify these choices, but they were clearly making human judgment calls on what algorithms would produce meaningful results.
    Once they had modularity scores, they had to decide how to measure environmental influences on various bacteria species.  They used the number of transporter genes found in databases as a proxy for environmental diversity; however, the paper admits that “the large scale KEGG data [Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes] used is not free from noise and missing information, and the representation used lacks reactions’ directionality, stoichiometry and more.”  That word “more” sounds worrisome.  How can they know they have meaningful data?  Their reassurance was only general: “However, the large scope of the data used permits a very large-scale investigation across hundreds of networks and leads to the identification of general relations that run across the data.”  OK, we’ll take their word for it.  The worries do not stop there, though.
    Next they had to figure out the phylogenetic tree of their bacteria.  Here they just borrowed one from another paper in the references.  One might think this is odd, since the goal of the paper was to show evolution, not to assume it:
The tree of life generated in ref. 21 was used to identify the phylogenetic relations between the species studied in our analysis and for inferring ancestral metabolic networks along the tree.  This tree includes a relatively large number of species, covering most of the taxonomic groups for which metabolic data are available.  Specifically, this tree was used to measure the distance of each extant and ancestral species to the last universal common ancestors of bacteria and to calculate the species pairwise phylogenetic distances (measured as the sum of distances from the two species to their last common ancestor).
It appears they assumed a universal common ancestor from the start.  And as shown by a paper reported here on 03/17/2006, scientific papers can perpetuate false “microparadigms” by referring to other papers uncritically.
    These worries notwithstanding, what remained was for the team to show a correlation between modularity and phylogeny.  They generated a large circular diagram color-coded with modularity values for the assumed phylogenetic tree of bacteria.  Unfortunately for their thesis, the color values appear random.  To the rescue: the team had lots of explanations for why the anomalies were really not significant.
    There actually is a correlation if you look at it right, they said.  Each exception had a ready explanation.  Horizontal gene transfer, obligate parasitism, unusual environmental factors, a trend downward in modularity as one goes up the tree – there was no shortage of reasons why they found that modularity was only “moderately concordant with organismal phylogeny along the tree of life.”  There is the tree-of-life assumption again.
    Let the disinterested reader evaluate the following claims and caveats in the paper.  Are these valid explanations, or rescuing devices for a theory in crisis?  Keep in mind that the goal of the paper was to establish the claim that all bacteria have evolved from a common ancestor, and the evolutionary tree should be visible in the modularity of their metabolic networks.
  1. Overall, our analysis is applied to a large set of 325 reconstructed bacterial metabolic networks (of which 138 appear on the phylogenetic tree), offering insights concerning the forces that have shaped the modularity of metabolic networks since the dawn of bacterial life.
  2. Given the moderate level of this overall correlation, it is instructive to examine a few specific cases, where different phylogenetic-modularity similarity patterns emerge.
  3. Obviously, habitat variability may also increase as larger classes are examined, so phylogenetic proximity probably involves both genetic and environmental similarities.
  4. Other cases, however, may involve substantial variation among strains of the same species.... Such divergence of modularity scores across closely related strains is likely to occur because of the loss of just very few central reactions, fragmenting the metabolic network and consequently altering modularity scores in a considerable manner.... Clearly, such loss of central reactions that affects major metabolic functions is probably detrimental and hence very rare..... Reassuringly, one may note that such variation in modularity among strains is probably not just a result of varying annotation practices that bias the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) data....
  5. In summary, there is an overall rather marked correlation between network size and modularity, but it mainly arises because of the significantly lower modularity scores of small-sized networks.  Interestingly, no significant correlation was observed between bacterial growth rate and modularity... despite the fact that network size is positively correlated with a faster growth rate....
  6. It is instructive to examine some of the outliers marked by an asterisk in Fig. 3a; specifically, a few species of Rickettsia and Borrelia have very small networks but high modularity scores.  Although genetically very remote, these species have a shared lifestyle—they are obligate mammalian pathogens that are transmitted by parasitic insects such as fleas or ticks.  This intricate life cycle requires a rapid and efficient shift between two very different environments, which probably dictated the emergence of niche-specific metabolic subsystems, increasing modularity.  This may be an extreme example of the principle laid out by ref. 19, that environmental diversity promotes network modularity.
  7. Interestingly, among the host-associated organisms, endosymbionts have miniscule metabolic networks ... but these networks are slightly more modular than those of commensals and pathogens ... Furthermore, we find that thermophilic bacteria have significantly higher modularity scores than organisms in either mesophilic ... or hyperthermophilic ... environments, and facultative bacteria have lower modularity scores than aerobic bacteria ... (after correcting for multiple hypotheses testing using the Bonferroni correction).  However, the evolutionary forces that have shaped these differences remain unclear.
  8. Finally, we note that the genomic fraction of transporters and permeases, which may have been putatively thought to constitute a simple rough correlate of environmental diversity, does not manifest a significant correlation with network modularity.
  9. This overall trend, where ancestral modularity scores tend to be higher than those of the descendants, may be attributed to speciation and niche specialization of the organism and to the gradual addition of more peripheral metabolic pathways during evolution.
  10. An additional important force that has been assumed to effect the emergence of modularity in metabolic networks is HGT [horizontal gene transfer].  HGT refers to several biological mechanisms by which one organism may transfer genetic material to another organism that is not its descendant and is a major evolutionary force in prokaryotes.
In summary, they concluded that the correlation of modularity to phylogeny is modest at best:
This complex mixture of driving forces reinforces the notion that modularity can be thought of as a product of both the organism’s past evolutionary heritage and its present adaptation to a certain lifestyle and to available niches.  The determination of whether modularity is a converging vs. a genetic trait remains an open challenge.
After this, they unloaded a series of “methodological limitations” that might randomize the modest correlation even further.  They left it to others to see if the correlation would hold up outside the limited scope of their study: “It remains to be seen whether the forces identified here in bacterial metabolic networks do play a similar or a different role in the evolution of modularity in other kinds of biological networks.”  So what, exactly, was demonstrated?
1.  Kreimer, Borenstein, Gophna and Ruppin, “The evolution of modularity in bacterial metabolic networks,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, Published online on May 6, 2008, 10.1073/pnas.0712149105
Every once in awhile we need to take our readers kicking and screaming into the stench of the baloney factory to show them how the Darwin sausage is made.  We know you can only stand it for a few minutes at a time.  This is the garbage that is force-fed to students.  They have no choice; it’s the only thing on the menu.
    We bring you the very best smelly sausage.  This was not cooked up in a corner; it was presented by the National Academy of Sciences, one of the most prestigious scientific societies in the world.  It passed peer review.  No one in the Academy criticized it.  This can be considered representative of the very best the Darwinists have to offer in support of their world view that humans had bacteria ancestors by a chance process with no design.
    There were more rescuing devices in this paper than reasons to believe in evolution.  Even when they assumed evolution and referred to other evolutionary papers, they could only find a modest correlation at best, with whopping outliers and anomalies that had to be explained away.  Worse, they failed to even consider other explanations for the data.  It was DIDO all the way – Darwin in, Darwin out, and DIGO, too: Darwin in, garbage out.  The data were only incidental to the storytelling spree – mere props in the never-ending Darwin drama.
    Did you catch them conjuring up evolutionary “forces”?  We think of forces in science like gravity and electromagnetism, but they redefined the word.  To them, a force is any happenstance that steers the miracle-working potential of evolutionary tinkering.  Did they ever explain how a new environment would generate the necessary random mutations that were supposed to create new, functional metabolic networks?  Never; they merely assumed it would.  Referring to horizontal gene transfer as a source of innovation only pushes the miracle onto another germ.  Playing theoretical hot potato is not a scientific way to explain how complex interactions of highly-specific protein parts came about.  Remember?  They even admitted that tinkering with networks is probably detrimental and extremely rare – but in their view, tinkering is the only available source of innovation.
    At one point they said, “the evolutionary forces that have shaped these differences remain unclear,” but a few paragraphs later they were crowing about “the forces identified here”.  Forces?  What forces?  Let’s see an equation.  There were no forces; just obstacles.  The telephone pole on the sidewalk does not force a bicycle rider to become an airplane pilot.  More likely, it forces him into an opportunity for a concussion.
    Undoubtedly, the Darwin Party Propaganda Mill will add this paper to their mountain of evidence that supports Darwin.  They will argue also that nothing in biology makes sense without evolution.  They will use it to show how much useful science Darwinism is generating.  In truth, the guys in the baloney factory spill their guts and sacrifice their brains into the mix to show their devotion to Charlie.  Maybe that’s why the Good Book warned against eating meat offered to idols.
Next headline on:  Cell BiologyGeneticsDarwinism
Neanderthals Can’t Get No Respect   05/06/2008    
May 6, 2008 — Will evolutionary paleontologists ever make up their minds about Neanderthals?  The story seems to change every year.  Just when they had been getting more respect as Homo sapiens brethren, another researcher is demoting them to outsiders.
    An Argentinean anthropologist has measured anatomical features and concluded they were a separate species, reported PhysOrg.  Understandably, “Reconciling these diverse classifications from a tiny number of specimens spanning millions of years has led to lots of claims and counter-claims, as well as much confusion in the general public, about how we came to be here.”
    Meanwhile, National Geographic News claimed Mr. Neanderthal had a big mouth.  A team of Israeli anthropologists believe Neanderthals could open their mouths wider than modern humans.  Perhaps all this proves is that they were good politicians.
    The alternate spellings of Neanderthal and Neandertal seem to be equivalent, according to Dictionary.com.
The PhysOrg article has a picture of a Neanderthal thinker in a pensive pose.  He’s thinking, “I tell you, I can’t get no respect from evolutionary anthropologists.  One of them, he told me I was crazy.  I told him I wanted a second opinion.  He said, OK, you’re ugly, too.  I bet your mother fed you with a slingshot.  When I was born, he said, the doctor shoulda slapped your mother.  You are the sap in the family tree.  Better watch out for that saber-tooth cat over there – he’s likely to cover you up.  I tell you.  I got a PhD, a muscular physique, a wall covered with hunting trophies and a voice like Pavarotti, but I can’t get no respect.  The government taxed the shirt off my back.  At least I don’t have to worry about pickpockets.”
    How should you read news articles like this?  Sadly, you must ignore them.  Science, a word that used to mean “knowledge,” has abandoned its respect for rigor and restraint.  It has become a playground for storytellers shooting off their gaping mouths to get a moment of fame in the news.  Anything you read today is likely to be overturned next month.
    What does this Brazilian know about Neanderthals and their relationship to the human family tree?  Nothing.  He made it all up.  The article said as much.  “Various species of Homo have been put up for the crown of being our direct ancestor, only to find themselves dismissed by critics as failed branches of the Homo tree.”  So on what basis do they dismiss Neanderthal and promote Homo habilis today?  They could take any random sample of living humans and come up with dozens of theories of who is related to whom.  Undoubtedly some of us would be demoted from the human line.  Certain individuals demote themselves from the subspecies Homo sapiens sapiens by their own folly.
Next headline on:  Early ManDumb Ideas
  Caves are made by bacteria, from 05/10/2004.

Iapetus Is Losing Its Dry Ice   05/05/2008    
May 5, 2008 — How long can a moon afford to leak?  Iapetus is losing its dry ice (carbon dioxide) through sublimation at a prodigious rate, say scientists in a paper in Icarus this month.1  “One can see that the long-term stability of CO2 is problematic.”
    Solving the mystery of the dark side on this mystery moon has been a priority since Voyager days.  After the Sept. 10, 2007 flyby of Iapetus by Cassini (09/13/2007), a strange new theory was proposed: a runaway process makes the ice sublimate and migrate to the bright side or the poles (see Cassini press release from Oct 8, 2007).  This apparently happens to both water ice and carbon dioxide ice (dry ice); see 10/16/2007, bullet 3.
    The new Icarus paper modeled what happens to the carbon dioxide.  Because it is so volatile, it sublimates to gas and starts moving.  The warmth of the dark side makes it leave the leading hemisphere permanently.  It migrates to cold traps at the poles – for awhile.  During Saturn’s 29.5 year orbit, the angle of sunlight shifts.  The carbon dioxide molecules leave one pole and migrate to the other in a series of 350 hops.  Thus, the CO2 moves from pole to pole each Saturnian year.
    Not all of the gas makes it back.  Palmer and Brown calculated that 12% of it reaches escape velocity and leaves the moon each orbit, never to return.  Yet carbon dioxide was detected in abundance on the surface.  How could any be left after billions of years?  If Iapetus had started with a layer of carbon dioxide ice 5 km thick, they estimated, it could only last for 1.6 billion years.  That’s just about a third of the assumed age of the solar system (4.5 billion years).
    One way to save the old age would be to add in more carbon dioxide over time.  The authors ruled out comets as a source, or vents from the interior, like on Enceladus (02/10/2007).  All they could suggest was that carbon dioxide is continually produced by photolysis of the unknown dark material.  Yet the dark layer is known to be thin, because fresh meteor impacts show bright ice underneath.
    In any case, they think, the carbon dioxide could not be primordial (as old as the moon); “due to the large escape rate of CO2 from the surface, any free CO2 ice found on Iapetus implies active production, such as photochemical generation, liberation during an impact, or by an active vent.”


1.  Eric E. Palmer and Robert H. Brown, “The stability and transport of carbon dioxide on Iapetus,” Icarus, Volume 195, Issue 1, May 2008, Pages 434-446, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2007.11.020.
Do they have any evidence for photochemical generation, liberation during an impact, or active vents?  None whatsoever.  They have been forced into hand-waving to explain away their debt of billions of years.  They thought they could just drop in the Bank of Time again and make another one of their reckless drafts (07/02/2007).  This time, the teller Japheth (the root name of Iapetus) is refusing to heed their song and dance, saying they can’t withdraw any more billions without showing some collateral.
Next headline on:  Solar SystemDating Methods
First Galaxies Fast and Compact   05/03/2008    
May 3, 2008 — The old picture: after the big bang, matter is diffuse.  Out of the darkness, stars slowly begin to form, as the first galaxies take shape.  Galaxies start out large and slowly grow more dense and structured over billions of years.  The new picture: the first galaxies are very compact and dense, spinning rapidly, with stars forming at a prodigious rate.  The compact galaxies spin twice as fast as “mature” galaxies closer to us.
    This change in thinking was expressed by reports found on Science Daily and Space.com.  A look at the original paper in Astrophysical Journal Letters puts the surprises in context.1  Pieter van Dokkum et al made observations with the Hubble Space Telescope and the Keck Observatory at redshift z=2.3 in near-infrared light.  They found nine galaxies that seemed more compact than usual and did not find any of the large galaxies common at lower redshifts.  They deduced that the distant galaxies are 0.9 kiloparsecs in diameter (compared to 5 kpc for nearby galaxies), and that the compact galaxies rotate twice as fast.  They did, however, list 5 possible sources of error.  Their field of view was limited, for instance, and “the stellar ages and masses of the galaxies have large uncertainties.”  Most important, they said, studies at redshifts greater than 2 are “typically based on photometric redshifts, which are poorly calibrated for faint, red galaxies.”
    Nevertheless, they felt confident that their survey rules out “monolithic” models of galaxy evolution (i.e., “in which early-type galaxies are assembled at the same time as their stars”).  They viewed their results as “the most direct evidence to date for an essentially hierarchical assembly history for massive galaxies.”
    One of the unsolved problems in the paper was how to get large mature galaxies out of early compact ones.  How would a dense, compact object grow outward by a factor of six?  Galaxy mergers seem insufficient to do the trick.  Another problem is how they formed in the first place.  For that, the astronomers invoked one of their favorite fudge factors – dark matter:
Van Dokkum speculated on how these small, crowded galaxies formed.  He said, one way could have involved an interaction in the emerging universe between hydrogen gas and dark matter -- an invisible form of matter that accounts for most of the universe’s mass.  Shortly after the Big Bang, the universe contained an uneven landscape of dark matter.  He said that hydrogen gas could have been trapped in puddles of the invisible material which began spinning rapidly in dark matter’s gravitational whirlpool, forming stars at a furious rate.

1.  van Dokkum et al, “Confirmation of the Remarkable Compactness of Massive Quiescent Galaxies at z~2.3: Early-Type Galaxies Did not Form in a Simple Monolithic Collapse,” Astrophysical Journal Letters,677:L5–L8, 2008 April 10, DOI: 10.1086/587874.
You gotta love the imagination of some scientists.  Nobody has a clue what dark matter is, or whether it even exists.  This guy has the imaginary stuff forming puddles and whirlpools.  Let him connect his “mysterious unknown stuff” (02/28/2008) with empirical observations before telling us it will make stars form at a furious rate.
    Claims like the ones in this paper should always be taken with a grain of salt.  Many laymen read such things on Science Daily or other popular news sources and have no idea what the astronomers are talking about, let alone what it means.  Something to watch for is the element of surprise.  Why were the astronomers surprised by what they found?  What did they actually find?
    Measurements such as this are extremely difficult to make.  Astronomers are trying to interpret very faint objects near the limit of observability.  It becomes hard to establish where the noise stops and the signal begins.  The team was honest enough in the original paper to list five major sources of error that could invalidate the claims that these galaxies are unusually compact.  To us, each source of error seemed significant.
    Another caution is that observations at cosmological distances are very much tied into the theories employed to make the observations.  What does an infrared blob with a redshift of 2.3 (inferred to represent something at a given distance and age) actually represent?  Why were they focusing on these things instead of other things?  In the 1920s, recall, Edwin Hubble thought that galaxies began as ellipticals and evolved into spirals.  In later years some astronomers reversed the sequence.  Lately astronomers have been finding more structure, more density, and more “maturity” the farther back they look.
    It appears that this team was somewhat eager to substantiate the hierarchical model of galaxy evolution over the monolithic model.  But how do they know there are not other possibilities?  And how do they know other sources of error, unknown to us today, might confuse what they think they saw?  Consider that about 20 years ago, many astronomers were caught off guard by the discovery of gravitational lensing.  The bending of light by intervening galaxies, they realized, can seriously compromise the interpretation of distant objects.  It was something few had ever considered.  No one knows whether another phenomenon might be introducing systematic errors into the observations today.
    That being said, let’s assume they are correct, and that these distant galaxies are in fact more compact than expected.  It is noteworthy that the astronomers were surprised to see tight and dense structures so close to the assumed big bang.  Simplistic models would have predicted otherwise.  Creation astronomers might want to consider how this survey might fit a “top-down” model for galaxy formation.  Humphreys’ “white hole cosmology” predicted, for example, that distant galaxies would appear from earth to be changing rapidly due to gravitational time dilation.  We’ll leave such considerations to those interested.  The lesson for our purposes is that different assumptions allow for different interpretations consistent with the very same empirical observations.  Things are not always what they seem.  Some cosmologists have their scientific method backward.  They work according to the inverted principle, “No observation should be considered legitimate until confirmed by theory.”
    Observation should trump theory in science.  It may not be possible to observe something completely free of bias, but a good first step would be to state one’s biases up front as far as one is aware of them.
Next headline on:  AstronomyCosmology
Human Mind Outwits Darwinian Models   05/02/2008    
May 2, 2008 — Evolutionists struggle to explain complex human behaviors in Darwinian terms.  Sure, corporate squabbles can seem like survival of the fittest, but humans also sacrifice for people they don’t even know and do other weird, un-Darwinian things.  In Darwinism, selfishness rules.  How does cooperative and altruistic behavior arise from selfish motives?  Here are some of the recent attempts to reconcile observations with a theory in which selfishness is key.
  1. Charity an artifact of selfishness:  Omar Eldakar and David Sloan Wilson tried to conjure up altruism out of selfishness in PNAS.1  Wilson, author of the Evolution for Everyone curriculum (12/21/2005), taught that every behavior, even infanticide, was explainable in evolutionary terms.  Here he takes on sacrificial giving.  “Selfishness is seldom considered a group-beneficial strategy, the two authors began.  “In the typical evolutionary formulation, altruism benefits the group, selfishness undermines altruism, and the purpose of the model is to identify mechanisms, such as kinship or reciprocity, that enable altruism to evolve.”
        Eldakar and Wilson don’t believe that appeals to punishment can explain cooperation.  Punishment costs the punisher as well as the punishee, and experimental games show that individuals quickly stop being generous in the presence of selfish cheaters.  Instead, they invented a new “selfish punisher model” that proposes “behaving selfishly in first-order interactions and altruistically in second-order interactions by punishing other selfish individuals.”    How does it work?  The selfish guy punishes other selfish guys, increasing the pool of cooperators.  The model was reported by Science Daily with the quizzical title, “Selfishness may be altruism’s unexpected ally.”
        This, they propose, causes selfishness to be a self-limiting strategy that sustains altruism in a society.  “This polymorphism can be regarded as a division of labor, or mutualism, in which the benefits obtained by first-order selfishness help to ‘pay’ for second-order altruism.”  Their model keeps selfishness on top where it belongs in the Darwinian ethic: “This behavior might seem hypocritical in moral terms, but it makes sense as an evolutionary strategy,” they said.  They’re really not interested in morality, though.  They just want to model a stable process in a population.  It doesn’t matter whether it is made up of wasps or White Anglo-Saxon Protestants.
        So does this explain why grandma writes a big check to a charity in Africa?  The paper’s mathematics and charts might explain beehive behavior to some extent, and why the Mafia keeps its own cheaters in check, or why civilization needs police departments as “specialized punishers” of bad guys.  But these were only suggested applications of a theoretical model at the end of the paper.  They talked about how punishment could keep cheaters from taking over, but they didn’t say anything about how Darwinism would motivate sacrificial love for strangers.  At best, they visualized a stable society that would allow altruistic individuals to keep from getting stomped on.  How or why any individual would give sacrificially to total strangers was left as an exercise: “We hope that our model stimulates interest in the concept of selfish punishment in both humans and nonhuman species.”.
  2. Promised Land:  Jerusalem – the holy city, in the land of promise.  One is drawn to contemplate Moses’ commands to love God and one’s neighbor as oneself, confirmed by Jesus as the greatest commandments.  Today, Darwinian scholars in the land of Israel have other priorities in mind.  Science Daily described how three professors at Hebrew University played games with subjects to figure out the motivations for cooperation and competition.
        The article began, “Phrases such as ‘survival of the fittest’ and ‘every man for himself’ may seem to accentuate the presence of political and social competition in American culture; however, there obviously are similar instances of inter- and intra-group conflict across almost all known organisms.  So what makes competition so prevalent for life and why does it sometimes seem to be preferred over cooperation?”  Don’t look for the S-I-N word here.
        The researchers were surprised that the human subjects preferred to cooperate and leave the competition alone when given a choice.  “It appears, therefore, that participants much preferred avoiding conflict when given the option to strengthen their own group instead,” the article ended.  “But this still leaves behind yet another question of group dynamics: why, if humans prefer cooperation when given that option, are there so many instances of competition shown in everyday life?”  Maybe some things can’t be reduced to formulas and Darwinian games.
  3. Mimi vs We Oui:  A Science Daily article had the arresting title, “Decision Making: Is It All ‘Me, Me, Me’?”  The answering is, surprisingly, no.  People don’t always act in their own self interest.  British researchers found that team spirit trumps selfishness even when it costs the individual.
        “Orthodox or classical game predicts that people will act for selfish reasons,” the article said.  This is being challenged by “team reasoning theory,” the idea that individual self-interest is not always foremost in the way people act.  Instead, people often act in the best interest of their team.  This runs counter to the Nash Equilibrium (recall the movie A Beautiful Mind) that based its formula on individual self-interest.
        The researchers were “delighted” that they found a contradiction with orthodox game theory.  “Theories of team reasoning were developed to explain why, in some circumstances, people seem to act not in their individual self-interest but in the interest of their families, companies, departments, or the religious, ethnic, or national groups with which they identify themselves.”  Apparently they did not try to broach this observation in strictly Darwinian terms.
  4. Others Esteem:  If a little selfishness is good for Darwin, more should be better.  That’s another faulty inference, reported Science Daily about the opinion of Michael Kernis, psychologist at University of Georgia.  High self-esteem can be fragile and counter-productive.  “People with fragile high self-esteem compensate for their self-doubts by engaging in exaggerated tendencies to defend, protect and enhance their feelings of self-worth,” he said.
        Psychologists are trending away from the self-esteem fad of the 90s (05/12/2003).  “It was once thought that more self-esteem necessarily is better self-esteem,” the article said.  “In recent years, however, high self-esteem per se has come under attack on several fronts, especially in areas such as aggressive behavior.  Also, individuals with high self-esteem sometimes become very unlikable when others or events threaten their egos.”
        Kernis offered a more complex view of self-esteem: “it is now thought that there are multiple forms of high self-esteem, only some of which consistently relate to positive psychological functioning.”  Maybe Darwin can still save face.  Whether it is high self-esteem, low self-esteem or healthy self-esteem, it is still self-esteem.
  5. Against just-so psychology:  “Evolutionary psychology has tempted many scientists to indulge in just-so stories....; asserting that our brains are poorly engineered is an equally risky business.”  So Sandra Aamodt wrote in her review of two psychology books for Nature on April 23.2  It’s not that she was about to junk Darwin.  She just was pointing out that the brain and mind are pretty complex things to put into evolutionary terms.  For example, summing up Adam Zeman’s book A Portrait of the Brain (Yale, 2008) and Gary Marcus’s book Kluge: The Haphazard Construction of the Human Mind (Houghton Mifflin, 2008), she criticized reductionism:
    In the final chapter, Zeman grapples with consciousness.  He outlines how brains that are predisposed to tell stories and that attribute actions to agents rather than chance might lead us to believe in an immortal soul.  His own view is that this is “no more than a wonderful fiction”.  (Marcus makes the same point less gently.)  Zeman struggles with science’s failure to find an emotionally satisfying replacement story, conceding that such questions may be more in the realm of art than science.
    An aggressive, Darwinian science department has long sought to take over the arts and humanities (02/11/2008, 12/11/2005), reducing everything to selectionist terms.  What will happen if the Darwinians relinquish something as big as consciousness to the arts?  Aamodt left that crack in the dam unplugged.  And her claim that “Evolutionary psychology has tempted many scientists to indulge in just-so stories” might just tempt the philosophy professor to ask how far back the storytelling goes.
  6. Can’t Darwinize the Golden Rule:  Why do so many people follow the Golden Rule instead of the Law of the Jungle?  Prashanth Ak tried to address that conundrum in his book review of Donald Pfaff’s new book, The Neuroscience of Fair Play (Dana Press, 2008), in Science magazine this week.3  He began by summarizing the historical tug-of-war over reductionism:
    Naturalized ethics, the idea that principles of natural science bear on normative ethics, faces two longstanding objections.  The naturalistic fallacy cautions that good, in the moral sense, cannot be defined from natural properties.  Hume warned against deriving an ought (as in how people ought to act) from an is (how people actually act, for instance).  Most of those who seek to naturalize ethics are familiar with these arguments but maintain that scientific findings can have a profound impact on our understanding of morality and ethics.
        The question of whether ethical concepts have innate bases or are acquired has echoes of the nature-versus-nurture question and carries much the same ideological baggage.  Whether it is our natures or our cultures that make us who we are has been central to all sorts of intense debates, on topics including the ideal political system, effective means of teaching, and crime and punishment.  Discussions of the nature of morality exhibit similar polarity, with some boasting of their indifference to neuroscience and others embracing it wholeheartedly.
    In the book, Pfaff tried to make a case that since the Golden Rule is universal, there must be a neurological basis for it.  Remember “Wesley Autrey, who threw himself on top of a stranger in the New York City subway to save the person from being crushed by an oncoming train”?  How does Darwin explain that? (02/22/2004).  Ak summarized Pfaff’s hypothesis in academic gobbledygook:
    Pfaff hypothesizes that such altruism is due to brain mechanisms that override selfpreference and blur the boundaries between the self and the other through a “loss of social information.”  He conjectures that it depends in part on neurobiological mechanisms for fear, supplemented by neurohormonal bases of sexual and parental behaviors, and that departures from altruistic behavior are due to similar neurogenetic bases of antisocial behaviors.  Pfaff suggests that the capacity of a person to behave according to the golden rule depends on a balance--properly, an imbalance--among social behavioral mechanisms in which those producing prosocial actions outweigh those producing antisocial actions.
    Whether or not that was comprehensible, Ak was clearly not satisfied with it.  “Pfaff’s broad-brush treatment of altruism, however, is bound to bother quite a few readers,” he said, adding later: “considerably more sophisticated cognitive mechanisms than those posited in the book are required.”  Any unfinished business?  “the study of possible biological bases of morals.”
  7. Old folks:  Also in Science,4 Erik Myin reviewed a new book on folk psychology: Daniel Hutto’s Folk Psychological Narratives (MIT, 2008).  Myin seemed downright unsatisfied with traditional evolutionary stories about why humans act so – well, human:
    Traditional explanations of our folk psychological capacities split on whether the crucial mechanism for understanding others is a result of genuinely theorizing about their beliefs and desires (a theory of mind) or of simulating these.  Nevertheless, nearly all researchers in the tradition invoke complex “mindreading” machinery, operating behind the scenes.  Moreover, it is generally assumed that this cognitive machinery has a strong innate component.  The machinery must have been present in our evolutionary precursors, so a common argument goes, or else some of their well-established capacities--e.g., deception, social learning of tool use, social cooperation, the emergence of symbolic language--cannot be accounted for.
        In Folk Psychological Narratives, Dan Hutto presents an alternative conception of folk psychology as well as a thorough critique of its traditional treatment in the cognitive sciences.  Hutto, a philosopher of psychology and professor at the University of Hertfordshire, rejects the idea that our stance toward each other is genuinely “theoretical.
    Folk psychology – the attempt to explain one another’s actions in terms of their beliefs and reasons – has been viewed as an artifact of neuroscience.  We don’t really read each other’s minds to figure out what people believe and are about to do.  The assumption of psychologists, with their theory of mind, is that such reasonings are epiphenomena of what our neurons are doing.
        Hutto and his reviewer seem to be elevating the status of folk psychology as a genuinely explanatory tool.  We must explain one another in narrative terms instead of trying to develop a physical theory of mind.  Both still work from the premise that humans evolved from pre-human ancestors, but Hutto argues that human language was a prerequisite for folk psychology; it did not exist among tool-using hominids.  Maybe that sets humans genuinely apart from the animals—even to Darwinists like these.
        Regardless of one’s position on folk psychology, Myin pointed out that Darwinian psychology has not achieved explanatory nirvana.  There are still “fundamental debates that have raged in cognitive science through recent decades,” he said.

1.  Omar Tonsi Eldakar and David Sloan Wilson, “Selfishness as second-order altruism,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, published online on April 30, 2008, 10.1073/pnas.0712173105.
2.  Sandra Aamodt, “Biased brains, messy memories,” Nature 452, 938-939 (24 April 2008) | doi:10.1038/452938a.
3.  Prashanth Ak, “Neuroscience: On Deciding How to Do unto Others,” Science, 2 May 2008: Vol. 320. no. 5876, pp. 614-615, DOI: 10.1126/science.1157089.
4.  Erik Myin, “Cognitive Science: Rethinking Folk Psychology,” Science 2 May 2008: Vol. 320. no. 5876, p. 615, DOI: 10.1126/science.1157120.
Prashanth Ak did not answer the “naturalistic fallacy” (defining good by what is natural).  He merely bluffed that he knew about it and still had faith in reductionist science.  If we are only our brains, and those brains evolved ultimately from purposeless matter, then abandon all attempts to define morality, consciousness, or reason itself.
    The reductionist, physicalist, secularist wizards have had a long time to conjure up a mind out of matter.  Maybe if they continue to bump their heads against reality, it will sober up their Darwin-inebriated souls.
    Physicist John Archibald Wheeler passed away recently.  He seems to have been fond of the teaser, “What is matter?  Never mind.  What is mind?  No matter.”
Next headline on:  Early ManHuman BodyEvolution
  Hit the buzzer every time a Darwinist cheats, from 05/08/2003.

Astrobiologists Pool Their Ignorance at AbSciCon   05/01/2008    
May 1, 2008 — A big conference on Astrobiology was held in Santa Clara, California last month.  It was the fifth AbSciCon (Astrobiology Science Conference), a bi-annual cross-disciplinary event.  This one pulled together 675 researchers from 28 countries across a variety of disciplines, all interested in life in space.  Naturally, evolution was an overarching theme.  From Edna DeVore’s account on Space.com, the party atmosphere was stimulating: “Astrobiology is alive and well,” the SETI Institute director of Education and Outreach reported.
    Leslie Mullen also summarized some of the highlights for NASA’s Astrobiology Magazine.  Touching on everything from cosmology to biochemistry, there was way too much material to report in a short article.  Origin of life, the Drake equation, habitable zones, SETI, design of Martian rovers, non-human intelligence – such questions brought in views from chemists, astronomers, geologists, engineers, psychologists, cosmologists and even philosophers.  Educators were also present doing workshops on curricular materials to heighten awareness of astrobiology in schools.  Pre-conference summaries of the sessions were made available in PDF files from Astrobiology Journal, 8:2 (April, 2008).
    Not one presentation considered any alternatives to Darwinian evolution unless to dismiss them.  H. Peter Steeves (DePaul U), for instance, quickly disqualified a whole class of creation explanations by expelling them from the definition of science: “how might a basic understanding of philosophy of science help fight against the rising tide of ideologically/politically motivated pseudo-science (e.g., ‘creation science’)?;” (Session 35).
    Some, however, did struggle with problems.  Brandon Carter (Observatory of Paris) said that it has been necessary to revise upward the number of “hard” steps (difficult obstacles) to get intelligent life from two to six.  Paul Davies (Arizona State U) reminded his section that the universe appears fine-tuned for life; astrobiologists cannot just present simplistic answers by considering only crude prerequisites for life (for both summaries, see Session 25).  And Blair Hedges called the Cambrian explosion an “inconvenient truth” in Session 38.  Nevertheless, everyone joined in cheerfully and contributed their piece.  It was in the details where some things didn’t fit well.
    Steven Benner, for instance, presented his old sweet and sour sugar problem (see 11/05/2004).  Astrobiology Magazine showed him sweating in the kitchen after the bombshell went off:

According to Benner, chemists don’t believe that life can emerge from a prebiotic soup.  The Miller-Urey experiments showed that energy plus organics equals tar without evolution.1  “We put energy in complex chemical systems, we get pavement, not life,” said Benner.  “Do an experiment.  Use some glucose to make a soufflé, and leave it in the oven a little too long.  [You get] asphalt.
    The RNA world preceded DNA life, but it was not necessarily the first living system.  The big problem is with ribose, the “R” in RNA, which falls apart when heated and forms tar.  So life may have formed with a sugar other than ribose, but in lab tests nothing else works.  However, ribose-borate is a stable mineral, and Benner believes that boron makes an RNA prebiotic world more possible.  Boron is associated with deserts on Earth.  Benner suggested that because Mars had deserts long before Earth did, perhaps life originated there and was somehow transported to Earth (making us, in effect, Martians).
He was not alone in struggling about ribose.  Carol Cleland (Philosophy Dept, U of Boulder, CO) argued in Section 35 that the RNA World scenario, despite its dominance, is incoherent: “There is, however, a remarkable lack of scientific consensus about what constitutes the RNA world.”  These provide a taste of the devils in the details.
    It’s what Benner said before his soufflé talk that was most revealing. 
Steven Benner, a chemist with the Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution, said exobiology is a science without a subject matter.  But that’s nothing new -- Galileo wanted to know whether the Earth circled the sun, but he couldn’t study that directly so he rolled balls down inclined planes to answer the question.  Benner said that we often can’t rely on established science to be a guide.  Lord Kelvin said the Earth and sun could NOT be billions of years old, when Darwin was arguing they were.  “Who are you going to believe?” asked Benner.  “The gentleman who had a temperature scale named after him, or this guy who makes a living studying bird beaks?”  So science is often what we choose to believe.
Though Benner quickly retreated into a discussion of falsification (a la Karl Popper), the combination of his two statements, (1) that exobiology (today called astrobiology) has no subject matter and (2) science is often what we choose to believe, might indicate to an outsider that AbSciCom2008 was just a big party of believers fantasizing about their favorite story.
    When Stephen Hawking talks, people listen.  He wasn’t at AbSciCon, but in a different venue, the 66-year-old handicapped cosmology genius gave his speculations about astrobiology for Space.com.  Though he thinks primitive life may exist, he doesn’t think there are other intelligent beings out there.  We haven’t found them with SETI, and they haven’t visited here (except to “cranks and weirdos,” he joked).  He turned astrobiology around and proposed, instead, that humankind should spread its seeds of life abroad and colonize space.  If there are aliens, in other words, they will be us.  This seems to suggest a new SETI approach, called STI.  Turn off the radio telescope and pick up the cell phone, Edna.  Reach out and touch someone.
1.  Ironically, tributes to Stanley Miller (05/02/2003) and Leslie Orgel (01/26/2008) were given at the conference, even though the “primordial soup” icon they popularized with their spark-discharge experiments in the 1950s has been discredited, as indicated by Benner in this quote.
There were enough SEQOTW nominees in these documents to keep CEH supplied for a year.  If you want to see what’s going on among the Darwin worshipers, browse through the program notes.  Look at all the partying and backslapping and ask yourself how much they really know – especially, about things that relate to their reason for being astrobiologists.  One can only wonder how much richer the discussion might be if scientists, philosophers, theologians and historians outside the Darwin Party were allowed to participate.  Astrobiology is a one-party system, a population losing fitness due to inbred ideas.
    Instead of giving you a tedious analysis of every SEQOTW, a parable will suffice to sum up AbSciCom2008.  He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

HOW NOT TO WORK A PUZZLE

  1. Visualize your favorite picture.
  2. Invite your friends.  Check their credentials.  If anyone from a “different picture club” tries to sneak in, expel them.
  3. Make everyone feel good about the picture.  Reinforcement can be achieved with a few choice sermonettes from respected individuals.
  4. Draw a big outline of the picture on the floor.  A gymnasium is good for this step.
  5. Open the box and spill out the pieces.
  6. Throw away the box top and the instructions.  After all, this is science.  We do it our way.
  7. Form teams and pass out the puzzle pieces.  These can be distributed by color, shape, or any other useful scheme.
  8. Allow each team to work on their part of the picture.  Rearrangement of small parts is permitted, but not changes to the outline.
  9. The rules allow for complaints about how hard the work is.  If anyone complains about the big picture, though, they must be expelled.
  10. Every two years, throw a party with booze and croissants and let each team share their experiences.  Throw in a few more choice sermonettes to keep spirits high.
  11. Report to the media on the progress being made.
  12. Draw up a curriculum and teach the next generation how to work the puzzle.
INTERPRETATION
Note: Mature, well-trained, experienced readers can skip this section.
  1. Philosophy of discovery:  Theories do not emerge from raw data.  More often, scientists begin with a picture in mind.  Even deciding what to call “the data” requires a human choice, because not all inputs are relevant to the picture.  Like Benner said, “science is often what we choose to believe.”
  2. Sociology of science:  Scientists tend to hang out with people they know and like. 
  3. Sociology, cont.:  Science is a human activity, not something that could be done by robots.  It is not purely rational but involves emotions, rhetoric, herd mentality and other non-rational considerations.
  4. Kuhnian normal science:  The paradigm determines the research project.  The participants were not assembling to question astrobiology.  They were assembling to affirm it.
  5. Underdetermination of theories by data:  There are inevitably many possible explanations for one set of data.  The same puzzle pieces could be fit to a different picture.
  6. Naturalism:  Modern science has chosen to restrict itself to “natural causes” (whatever that means; see 05/11/2006).  Today’s scientists have been trained to deplore revelation (natural and/or special), no matter how well validated by empirical evidence, reason or history.
  7. Pragmatism:  Nature does not determine the choice of classification scheme; people do.
  8. Limits of science:  No one person can master the whole picture, especially one as broad as astrobiology. 
  9. Sociology/psychology of science:  Each researcher works under the assumption that his or her little piece will reinforce the paradigm.  Cooperation is ensured by the fear of being expelled as a maverick, or worse, a pseudoscientist.  Since no philosopher of science has successfully defended demarcation criteria for science vs pseudoscience, and since no universal scientific method has been defined, emotional and sociological judgments again come into play to determine who is “in” and who is “out.”
  10. Sociology, cont.:  Social activities, though they have nothing to do with the validity of the proposition under study, serve to reinforce the paradigm and draw in more party members.
  11. Positivism:  The party celebration attracts reporters and gives them some fun work to do at a nice hotel.  The atmosphere promotes a spirit of progress.  All this activity, all these smart people, and all the erudite PowerPoint slides must mean that productive science was being done, right?  It must be the case since the government is funding the work.
        The system feeds on itself.  Reporters get a share of the booze and croissants, paid for by their bosses, who get better advertising ratings for maintaining a lively science page.  The reporters make friends with some of the scientists and learn from the herd who is hot and who is not.  It is unlikely any reporter will go back to the office and write up a scathing rebuke of the entire philosophical premise underlying the event.  Party organizers will be sure to send the cheerful press releases to Senator Earmark.
  12. Education:  The paradigm might lose popularity without new blood.  Captive students must be trained and inculcated into the craft before other paradigms capture their attention.  This can be accomplished by making all other paradigms illegal.  Skilled facilitators can create visuals and curricula from the Policies and Procedures Manual of the Paradigm, to inculcate the novitiates into the craft and inoculate the young herd against critical thinkers (12/21/2005).  Successful novitiates are graded on their ability to regurgitate the talking points, meditate on the non-negotiable assumptions and doctrines, sense how to tell the good guys from the bad guys (the creationists), and honor the idol of Our Leader.*
Here and there, inadvertently, some actual science is done.  Benner finds that heating ribose forms asphalt.  Gibson discovers reduced carbon in a meteorite.  Ehrenfreund demonstrates that PAHs are stable in a vacuum.  Some logical reasoning (inductive and deductive) and some worthwhile historical analysis is presented.  Little of this, if any, however, supports the foundational assumption that time, chance, energy and matter has populated the universe with sentient beings (let alone bacteria).
    So let’s score Astrobiology as a science.  It has no evidence for its fundamental belief.  Its scientific activity, some of it legitimate on its own, bears no necessary or sufficient relationship to its propositions.  It provides no practical benefits to its clientele.  Can anyone deny that AbSciCon2008 has all the appearance of a grand, taxpayer-funded make-work boondoggle for eggheads with a big party at the end?  The aliens** think so.

Next headline on:  SETIOrigin of LifeEvolution
*Charles Darwin.
**The expelled.


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”Your website is simply the best (and I’d dare say one of the most important) web sites on the entire WWW.”
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“I’ve been reading the articles on this website for over a year, and I’m guilty of not showing any appreciation.  You provide a great service.  It’s one of the most informative and up-to-date resources on creation available anywhere.  Thank you so much.  Please keep up the great work.”
(a senior research scientist in Georgia)

“Just a note to thank you for your site.  I am a regular visitor and I use your site to rebut evolutionary "just so" stories often seen in our local media.  I know what you do is a lot of work but you make a difference and are appreciated.”
(a veterinarian in Minnesota)

“This is one of the best sites I have ever visited.  Thanks.  I have passed it on to several others... I am a retired grandmother. I have been studying the creation/evolution question for about 50 yrs.... Thanks for the info and enjoyable site.”
(a retiree in Florida)

“It is refreshing to know that there are valuable resources such as Creation-Evolution Headlines that can keep us updated on the latest scientific news that affect our view of the world, and more importantly to help us decipher through the rhetoric so carelessly disseminated by evolutionary scientists.  I find it ‘Intellectually Satisfying’ to know that I don’t have to park my brain at the door to be a ‘believer’ or at the very least, to not believe in Macroevolution.”
(a loan specialist in California)

“I have greatly benefitted from your efforts.  I very much look forward to your latest posts.”
(an attorney in California)

“I must say your website provides an invaluable arsenal in this war for souls that is being fought.  Your commentaries move me to laughter or sadness.  I have been viewing your information for about 6 months and find it one of the best on the web.  It is certainly effective against the nonsense published on Talkorigins.org.  It great to see work that glorifies God and His creation.”
(a commercial manager in Australia)

“Visiting daily your site and really do love it.”
(a retiree from Finland who studied math and computer science)

“I am agnostic but I can never deny that organic life (except human) is doing a wonderful job at functioning at optimum capacity.  Thank you for this ... site!”
(an evolutionary theorist from Australia)

“During the year I have looked at your site, I have gone through your archives and found them to be very helpful and informative.  I am so impressed that I forward link to members of my congregation who I believe are interested in a higher level discussion of creationist issues than they will find at [a leading origins website].”
(a minister in Virginia)

“I attended a public school in KS where evolution was taught.  I have rejected evolution but have not always known the answers to some of the questions.... A friend told me about your site and I like it, I have it on my favorites, and I check it every day.”
(an auto technician in Missouri)

“Thanks for a great site!  It has brilliant insights into the world of science and of the evolutionary dogma.  One of the best sites I know of on the internet!”
(a programmer in Iceland)

“The site you run – creation-evolution headlines is extremely useful to me.  I get so tired of what passes for science – Darwinism in particular – and I find your site a refreshing antidote to the usual junk.... it is clear that your thinking and logic and willingness to look at the evidence for what the evidence says is much greater than what I read in what are now called science journals.  Please keep up the good work.  I appreciate what you are doing more than I can communicate in this e-mail.”
(a teacher in California)

“Although we are often in disagreement, I have the greatest respect and admiration for your writing.”
(an octogenarian agnostic in Palm Springs)

“your website is absolutely superb and unique.  No other site out there provides an informed & insightful ‘running critique’ of the current goings-on in the scientific establishment.  Thanks for keeping us informed.”
(a mechanical designer in Indiana)

“I have been a fan of your site for some time now.  I enjoy reading the ‘No Spin’ of what is being discussed.... keep up the good work, the world needs to be shown just how little the ‘scientist’ [sic] do know in regards to origins.”
(a network engineer in South Carolina)

“I am a young man and it is encouraging to find a scientific ‘journal’ on the side of creationism and intelligent design.... Thank you for your very encouraging website.”
(a web designer and author in Maryland)

“GREAT site.  Your ability to expose the clothesless emperor in clear language is indispensable to us non-science types who have a hard time seeing through the jargon and the hype.  Your tireless efforts result in encouragement and are a great service to the faith community.  Please keep it up!”
(a medical writer in Connecticut)

“I really love your site and check it everyday.  I also recommend it to everyone I can, because there is no better website for current information about ID.”
(a product designer in Utah)

“Your site is a fantastic resource.  By far, it is the most current, relevant and most frequently updated site keeping track of science news from a creationist perspective.  One by one, articles challenging currently-held aspects of evolution do not amount to much.  But when browsing the archives, it’s apparent you’ve caught bucketfulls of science articles and news items that devastate evolution.  The links and references are wonderful tools for storming the gates of evolutionary paradise and ripping down their strongholds.  The commentary is the icing on the cake.  Thanks for all your hard work, and by all means, keep it up!”
(a business student in Kentucky)

“Thanks for your awesome work; it stimulates my mind and encourages my faith.”
(a family physician in Texas)

“I wanted to personally thank you for your outstanding website.  I am intensely interested in any science news having to do with creation, especially regarding astronomy.  Thanks again for your GREAT website!”
(an amateur astronomer in San Diego)

“What an absolutely brilliant website you have.  It’s hard to express how uplifting it is for me to stumble across something of such high quality.”
(a pharmacologist in Michigan)

“I want to make a brief commendation in passing of the outstanding job you did in rebutting the ‘thinking’ on the article: “Evolution of Electrical Engineering” ...  What a rebuttal to end all rebuttals, unanswerable, inspiring, and so noteworthy that was.  Thanks for the effort and research you put into it.  I wish this answer could be posted in every church, synagogue, secondary school, and college/university..., and needless to say scientific laboratories.”
(a reader in Florida)

“You provide a great service with your thorough coverage of news stories relating to the creation-evolution controversy.”
(an elder of a Christian church in Salt Lake City)

“I really enjoy your website and have made it my home page so I can check on your latest articles.  I am amazed at the diversity of topics you address.  I tell everyone I can about your site and encourage them to check it frequently.”
(a business owner in Salt Lake City)

“I’ve been a regular reader of CEH for about nine month now, and I look forward to each new posting.... I enjoy the information CEH gleans from current events in science and hope you keep the service going.”
(a mechanical engineer in Utah)

“It took six years of constant study of evolution to overcome the indoctrination found in public schools of my youth.  I now rely on your site; it helps me to see the work of God where I could not see it before and to find miracles where there was only mystery.  Your site is a daily devotional that I go to once a day and recommend to everyone.  I am still susceptible to the wiles of fake science and I need the fellowship of your site; such information is rarely found in a church.
    Now my eyes see the stars God made and the life He designed and I feel the rumblings of joy as promised.  When I feel down or worried my solution is to praise God the Creator Of All That Is, and my concerns drain away while peace and joy fill the void.  This is something I could not do when I did not know (know: a clear and accurate perception of truth) God as Creator.  I could go on and on about the difference knowing our Creator has made, but I believe you understand.
    I tell everyone that gives me an opening about your site.  God is working through you.  Please don’t stop telling us how to see the lies or leading us in celebrating the truth.  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.”
(a renowned artist in Wyoming)

“I discovered your site a few months ago and it has become essential reading – via RSS to Bloglines.”
(a cartographer and GIS analyst in New Zealand)

“I love your site, and frequently visit to read both explanations of news reports, and your humor about Bonny Saint Charlie.”
(a nuclear safety engineer in Washington)

“Your site is wonderful.”
(a senior staff scientist, retired, from Arizona)

“I’ve told many people about your site.  It’s a tremendous service to science news junkies – not to mention students of both Christianity and Science.  Kudos!”
(a meteorology research scientist in Alabama)

“...let me thank you for your Creation-Evolution Headlines.  I’ve been an avid reader of it since I first ‘discovered’ your website about five years ago.  May I also express my admiration for the speed with which your articles appear—often within 24 hours of a particular news announcement or journal article being published.”
(a plant physiologist and prominent creation writer in Australia)

“How do you guys do it--reviewing so much relevant material every day and writing incisive, thoughtful analyses?!”
(a retired high school biology teacher in New Jersey)

“Your site is one of the best out there!  I really love reading your articles on creation evolution headlines and visit this section almost daily.”
(a webmaster in the Netherlands)

“Keep it up!  I’ve been hitting your site daily (or more...).  I sure hope you get a mountain of encouraging email, you deserve it.”
(a small business owner in Oregon)

“Great work!  May your tribe increase!!!”
(a former Marxist, now ID speaker in Brazil)

“You are the best.  Thank you.... The work you do is very important.  Please don’t ever give up.  God bless the whole team.”
(an engineer and computer consultant in Virginia)

“I really appreciate your work in this topic, so you should never stop doing what you do, ’cause you have a lot of readers out there, even in small countries in Europe, like Slovenia is... I use crev.info for all my signatures on Internet forums etc., it really is fantastic site, the best site!  You see, we(your pleased readers) exist all over the world, so you must be doing great work!  Well i hope you have understand my bad english.”
(a biology student in Slovenia)

“Thanks for your time, effort, expertise, and humor.  As a public school biology teacher I peruse your site constantly for new information that will challenge evolutionary belief and share much of what I learn with my students.  Your site is pounding a huge dent in evolution’s supposed solid exterior.  Keep it up.”
(a biology teacher in the eastern USA)

“Several years ago, I became aware of your Creation-Evolution Headlines web site.  For several years now, it has been one of my favorite internet sites.  I many times check your website first, before going on to check the secular news and other creation web sites.
    I continue to be impressed with your writing and research skills, your humor, and your technical and scientific knowledge and understanding.  Your ability to cut through the inconsequentials and zero in on the principle issues is one of the characteristics that is a valuable asset....
    I commend you for the completeness and thoroughness with which you provide coverage of the issues.  You obviously spend a great deal of time on this work.  It is apparent in ever so many ways.
    Also, your background topics of logic and propaganda techniques have been useful as classroom aides, helping others to learn to use their baloney detectors.
    Through the years, I have directed many to your site.  For their sake and mine, I hope you will be able to continue providing this very important, very much needed, educational, humorous, thought provoking work.”
(an engineer in Missouri)

“I am so glad I found your site.  I love reading short blurbs about recent discoveries, etc, and your commentary often highlights that the discovery can be ‘interpreted’ in two differing ways, and usually with the pro-God/Design viewpoint making more sense.  It’s such a refreshing difference from the usual media spin.  Often you’ll have a story up along with comment before the masses even know about the story yet.”
(a system administrator in Texas, who calls CEH the “UnSpin Zone”)

“You are indeed the ‘Rush Limbaugh’ Truth Detector of science falsely so-called.  Keep up the excellent work.”
(a safety director in Michigan)

“I know of no better way to stay informed with current scientific research than to read your site everyday, which in turn has helped me understand many of the concepts not in my area (particle physics) and which I hear about in school or in the media.  Also, I just love the commentaries and the baloney detecting!!”
(a grad student in particle physics)

“I thank you for your ministry.  May God bless you!  You are doing great job effectively exposing pagan lie of evolution.  Among all known to me creation ministries [well-known organizations listed] Creationsafaris stands unique thanks to qualitative survey and analysis of scientific publications and news.  I became permanent reader ever since discovered your site half a year ago.  Moreover your ministry is effective tool for intensive and deep education for cristians.”
(a webmaster in Ukraine, seeking permission to translate CEH articles into Russian to reach countries across the former Soviet Union)

“The scholarship of the editors is unquestionable.  The objectivity of the editors is admirable in face of all the unfounded claims of evolutionists and Darwinists.  The amount of new data available each day on the site is phenomenal (I can’t wait to see the next new article each time I log on).  Most importantly, the TRUTH is always and forever the primary goal of the people who run this website.  Thank you so very much for 6 years of consistent dedication to the TRUTH.”
(11 months earlier): “I just completed reading each entry from each month.  I found your site about 6 months ago and as soon as I understood the format, I just started at the very first entry and started reading.... Your work has blessed my education and determination to bold in showing the ‘unscientific’ nature of evolution in general and Darwinism in particular.”
(a medical doctor in Oklahoma)

“Thanks for the showing courage in marching against a popular unproven unscientific belief system.  I don’t think I missed 1 article in the past couple of years.”
(a manufacturing engineer in Australia)

“I do not know and cannot imagine how much time you must spend to read, research and compile your analysis of current findings in almost every area of science.  But I do know I thank you for it.”
(a practice administrator in Maryland)

“Since finding your insightful comments some 18 or more months ago, I’ve visited your site daily.... You so very adeptly and adroitly undress the emperor daily; so much so one wonders if he might not soon catch cold and fall ill off his throne! .... To you I wish much continued success and many more years of fun and frolicking undoing the damage taxpayers are forced to fund through unending story spinning by ideologically biased scientists.”
(an investment advisor in Missouri)

“I really like your articles.  You do a fabulous job of cutting through the double-talk and exposing the real issues.  Thank you for your hard work and diligence.”
(an engineer in Texas)

“I love your site.  Found it about maybe two years ago and I read it every day.  I love the closing comments in green.  You have a real knack for exposing the toothless claims of the evolutionists.  Your comments are very helpful for many us who don’t know enough to respond to their claims.  Thanks for your good work and keep it up.”
(a missionary in Japan)

“I just thought I’d write and tell you how much I appreciate your headline list and commentary.  It’s inspired a lot of thought and consideration.  I check your listings every day!”
(a computer programmer in Tulsa)

“Just wanted to thank you for your creation/evolution news ... an outstanding educational resource.“
(director of a consulting company in Australia)

“Your insights ... been some of the most helpful – not surprising considering the caliber of your most-excellent website!  I’m serious, ..., your website has to be the best creation website out there....”
(a biologist and science writer in southern California)

“I first learned of your web site on March 29.... Your site has far exceeded my expectations and is consulted daily for the latest.  I join with other readers in praising your time and energy spent to educate, illuminate, expose errors.... The links are a great help in understanding the news items.  The archival structure is marvelous....  Your site brings back dignity to Science conducted as it should be.  Best regards for your continuing work and influence.  Lives are being changed and sustained every day.”
(a manufacturing quality engineer in Mississippi)

“I wrote you over three years ago letting you know how much I enjoyed your Creation-Evolution headlines, as well as your Creation Safaris site.  I stated then that I read your headlines and commentary every day, and that is still true!  My interest in many sites has come and gone over the years, but your site is still at the top of my list!  I am so thankful that you take the time to read and analyze some of the scientific journals out there; which I don’t have the time to read myself.  Your commentary is very, very much appreciated.”
(a hike leader and nature-lover in Ontario, Canada)

“...just wanted to say how much I admire your site and your writing.  You’re very insightful and have quite a broad range of knowledge.  Anyway, just wanted to say that I am a big fan!”
(a PhD biochemist at a major university)

“I love your site and syndicate your content on my church website.... The stories you highlight show the irrelevancy of evolutionary theory and that evolutionists have perpetual ‘foot and mouth’ disease; doing a great job of discrediting themselves.  Keep up the good work.”
(a database administrator and CEH “junkie” in California)

“I can’t tell you how much I enjoy your article reviews on your website—it’s a HUGE asset!”
(a lawyer in Washington)

“Really, really, really a fantastic site.  Your wit makes a razor appear dull!... A million thanks for your site.”
(a small business owner in Oregon “and father of children who love your site too.”)

“Thank God for ... Creation Evolution Headlines.  This site is right at the cutting edge in the debate over bio-origins and is crucial in working to undermine the deceived mindset of naturalism.  The arguments presented are unassailable (all articles having first been thoroughly ‘baloney detected’) and the narrative always lands just on the right side of the layman’s comprehension limits... Very highly recommended to all, especially, of course, to those who have never thought to question the ‘fact’ of evolution.”
(a business owner in Somerset, UK)

“I continue to note the difference between the dismal derogations of the darwinite devotees, opposed to the openness and humor of rigorous, follow-the-evidence scientists on the Truth side.  Keep up the great work.”
(a math/science teacher with M.A. in anthropology)

“Your material is clearly among the best I have ever read on evolution problems!  I hope a book is in the works!”
(a biology prof in Ohio)

“I have enjoyed reading the sardonic apologetics on the Creation/Evolution Headlines section of your web site.  Keep up the good work!”
(an IT business owner in California)

“Your commentaries ... are always delightful.”
(president of a Canadian creation group)

“I’m pleased to see... your amazing work on the ‘Headlines’.”
(secretary of a creation society in the UK)

“We appreciate all you do at crev.info.”
(a publisher of creation and ID materials)

“I was grateful for creationsafaris.com for help with baloney detecting.  I had read about the fish-o-pod and wanted to see what you thought.  Your comments were helpful and encouraged me that my own ‘baloney detecting’ skill are improving.  I also enjoyed reading your reaction to the article on evolution teachers doing battle with students.... I will ask my girls to read your comments on the proper way to question their teachers.”
(a home-schooling mom)

“I just want to express how dissapointed [sic] I am in your website.  Instead of being objective, the website is entirely one sided, favoring creationism over evolution, as if the two are contradictory.... Did man and simien [sic] evovlve [sic] at random from a common ancestor?  Or did God guide this evolution?  I don’t know.  But all things, including the laws of nature, originate from God.... To deny evolution is to deny God’s creation.  To embrace evolution is to not only embrace his creation, but to better appreciate it.”
(a student in Saginaw, Michigan)

“I immensely enjoy reading the Creation-Evolution Headlines.  The way you use words exposes the bankruptcy of the evolutionary worldview.”
(a student at Northern Michigan U)

“...standing O for crev.info.”
(a database programmer in California)

“Just wanted to say that I am thrilled to have found your website!  Although I regularly visit numerous creation/evolution sites, I’ve found that many of them do not stay current with relative information.  I love the almost daily updates to your ‘headlines’ section.  I’ve since made it my browser home page, and have recommended it to several of my friends.  Absolutely great site!”
(a network engineer in Florida)

“After I heard about Creation-Evolution Headlines, it soon became my favorite Evolution resource site on the web.  I visit several times a day cause I can’t wait for the next update.  That’s pathetic, I know ... but not nearly as pathetic as Evolution, something you make completely obvious with your snappy, intelligent commentary on scientific current events.  It should be a textbook for science classrooms around the country.  You rock!”
(an editor in Tennessee)

“One of the highlights of my day is checking your latest CreationSafaris creation-evolution news listing!  Thanks so much for your great work -- and your wonderful humor.”
(a pastor in Virginia)

“Thanks!!!  Your material is absolutely awesome.  I’ll be using it in our Adult Sunday School class.”
(a pastor in Wisconsin)

“Love your site & read it daily.”
(a family physician in Texas)

“I set it [crev.info] up as my homepage.  That way I am less likely to miss some really interesting events.... I really appreciate what you are doing with Creation-Evolution Headlines.  I tell everybody I think might be interested, to check it out.”
(a systems analyst in Tennessee)

“I would like to thank you for your service from which I stand to benefit a lot.”
(a Swiss astrophysicist)

“I enjoy very much reading your materials.”
(a law professor in Portugal)

“Thanks for your time and thanks for all the work on the site.  It has been a valuable resource for me.”
(a medical student in Kansas)

“Creation-Evolution Headlines is a terrific resource.  The articles are always current and the commentary is right on the mark.”
(a molecular biologist in Illinois)

Creation-Evolution Headlines is my favorite ‘anti-evolution’ website.  With almost giddy anticipation, I check it several times a week for the latest postings.  May God bless you and empower you to keep up this FANTASTIC work!”
(a financial analyst in New York)

“I read your pages on a daily basis and I would like to let you know that your hard work has been a great help in increasing my knowledge and growing in my faith.  Besides the huge variety of scientific disciplines covered, I also enormously enjoy your great sense of humor and your creativity in wording your thoughts, which make reading your website even more enjoyable.”
(a software developer in Illinois)

“THANK YOU for all the work you do to make this wonderful resource!  After being regular readers for a long time, this year we’ve incorporated your site into our home education for our four teenagers.  The Baloney Detector is part of their Logic and Reasoning Skills course, and the Daily Headlines and Scientists of the Month features are a big part of our curriculum for an elective called ‘Science Discovery Past and Present’.  What a wonderful goldmine for equipping future leaders and researchers with the tools of clear thinking!
(a home school teacher in California)

“What can I say – I LOVE YOU! – I READ YOU ALMOST EVERY DAY I copy and send out to various folks.  I love your sense of humor, including your politics and of course your faith.  I appreciate and use your knowledge – What can I say – THANK YOU – THANK YOU – THANK YOU – SO MUCH.”
(a biology major, former evolutionist, now father of college students)

“I came across your site while browsing through creation & science links.  I love the work you do!”
(an attorney in Florida)

“Love your commentary and up to date reporting.  Best site for evolution/design info.”
(a graphic designer in Oregon)

“I am an ardent reader of your site.  I applaud your efforts and pass on your website to all I talk to.  I have recently given your web site info to all my grandchildren to have them present it to their science teachers.... Your Supporter and fan..God bless you all...”
(a health services manager in Florida)

“Why your readership keeps doubling: I came across your website at a time when I was just getting to know what creation science is all about.  A friend of mine was telling me about what he had been finding out. I was highly skeptical and sought to read as many pro/con articles as I could find and vowed to be open-minded toward his seemingly crazy claims. At first I had no idea of the magnitude of research and information that’s been going on. Now, I’m simply overwhelmed by the sophistication and availability of scientific research and information on what I now know to be the truth about creation.
    Your website was one of dozens that I found in my search.  Now, there are only a handful of sites I check every day.  Yours is at the top of my list... I find your news page to be the most insightful and well-written of the creation news blogs out there.  The quick wit, baloney detector, in-depth scientific knowledge you bring to the table and the superb writing style on your site has kept me interested in the day-to-day happenings of what is clearly a growing movement.  Your site ... has given me a place to point them toward to find out more and realize that they’ve been missing a huge volume of information when it comes to the creation-evolution issue.
    Another thing I really like about this site is the links to articles in science journals and news references.  That helps me get a better picture of what you’re talking about.... Keep it up and I promise to send as many people as will listen to this website and others.”
(an Air Force Academy graduate stationed in New Mexico)

“I’m a small town newspaper editor in southwest Wyoming.  We’re pretty isolated, and finding your site was a great as finding a gold mine.  I read it daily, and if there’s nothing new, I re-read everything.  I follow links.  I read the Scientist of the Month.  It’s the best site I’ve run across.  Our local school board is all Darwinist and determined to remain that way.”
(a newspaper editor in Wyoming)

“ have been reading your page for about 2 years or so.... I read it every day.  I ...am well educated, with a BA in Applied Physics from Harvard and an MBA in Finance from Wharton.”
(a reader in Delaware)

“ I came across your website by accident about 4 months ago and look at it every day.... About 8 months ago I was reading a letter to the editor of the Seattle Times that was written by a staunch ‘anti-Creationist’ and it sparked my interest enough to research the topic and within a week I was yelling, ‘my whole life’s education has been a lie!!!’  I’ve put more study into Biblical Creation in the last 8 months than any other topic in my life.  Past that, through resources like your website...I’ve been able to convince my father (professional mathematician and amateur geologist), my best friend (mechanical engineer and fellow USAF Academy Grad/Creation Science nutcase), my pastor (he was the hardest to crack), and many others to realize the Truth of Creation.... Resources like your website help the rest of us at the ‘grassroots level’ drum up interest in the subject.  And regardless of what the major media says: Creationism is spreading like wildfire, so please keep your website going to help fan the flames.”
(an Air Force Academy graduate and officer)

“I love your site!  I **really** enjoy reading it for several specific reasons: 1.It uses the latest (as in this month!) research as a launch pad for opinion; for years I have searched for this from a creation science viewpoint, and now, I’ve found it.  2. You have balanced fun with this topic.  This is hugely valuable!  Smug Christianity is ugly, and I don’t perceive that attitude in your comments.  3. I enjoy the expansive breadth of scientific news that you cover.  4. I am not a trained scientist but I know evolutionary bologna/(boloney) when I see it; you help me to see it.  I really appreciate this.
(a computer technology salesman in Virginia)

“I love your site.  That’s why I was more than happy to mention it in the local paper.... I mentioned your site as the place where..... ‘Every Darwin-cheering news article is reviewed on that site from an ID perspective.  Then the huge holes of the evolution theory are exposed, and the bad science is shredded to bits, using real science.’”
(a project manager in New Jersey)

“I’ve been reading your site almost daily for about three years.  I have never been more convinced of the truthfulness of Scripture and the faithfulness of God.”
(a system administrator and homeschooling father in Colorado)

“I use the internet a lot to catch up on news back home and also to read up on the creation-evolution controversy, one of my favourite topics.  Your site is always my first port of call for the latest news and views and I really appreciate the work you put into keeping it up to date and all the helpful links you provide.  You are a beacon of light for anyone who wants to hear frank, honest conclusions instead of the usual diluted garbage we are spoon-fed by the media.... Keep up the good work and know that you’re changing lives.
(a teacher in Spain)

“I am grateful to you for your site and look forward to reading new stories.... I particularly value it for being up to date with what is going on.”
(from the Isle of Wight, UK)

“[Creation-Evolution Headlines] is the place to go for late-breaking news [on origins]; it has the most information and the quickest turnaround.  It’s incredible – I don’t know how you do it.  I can’t believe all the articles you find.  God bless you!”
(a radio producer in Riverside, CA)

“Just thought I let you know how much I enjoy reading your ‘Headlines’ section.  I really appreciate how you are keeping your ear to the ground in so many different areas.  It seems that there is almost no scientific discipline that has been unaffected by Darwin’s Folly.”
(a programmer in aerospace from Gardena, CA)

“I enjoy reading the comments on news articles on your site very much.  It is incredible how much refuse is being published in several scientific fields regarding evolution.  It is good to notice that the efforts of true scientists have an increasing influence at schools, but also in the media.... May God bless your efforts and open the eyes of the blinded evolutionists and the general public that are being deceived by pseudo-scientists.... I enjoy the site very much and I highly respect the work you and the team are doing to spread the truth.”
(an ebusiness manager in the Netherlands)

“I discovered your site through a link at certain website... It has greatly helped me being updated with the latest development in science and with critical comments from you.  I also love your baloney detector and in fact have translated some part of the baloney detector into our language (Indonesian).  I plan to translate them all for my friends so as to empower them.”
(a staff member of a bilateral agency in West Timor, Indonesia)

“...absolutely brilliant and inspiring.”
(a documentary film producer, remarking on the 07/10/2005 commentary)

“I found your site several months ago and within weeks had gone through your entire archives....  I check in several times a day for further information and am always excited to read the new articles.  Your insight into the difference between what is actually known versus what is reported has given me the confidence to stand up for what I believe.  I always felt there was more to the story, and your articles have given me the tools to read through the hype....  You are an invaluable help and I commend your efforts.  Keep up the great work.”
(a sound technician in Alberta)

“I discovered your site (through a link from a blog) a few weeks ago and I can’t stop reading it....  I also enjoy your insightful and humorous commentary at the end of each story.  If the evolutionists’ blindness wasn’t so sad, I would laugh harder.
  I have a masters degree in mechanical engineering from a leading University.  When I read the descriptions, see the pictures, and watch the movies of the inner workings of the cell, I’m absolutely amazed....  Thanks for bringing these amazing stories daily.  Keep up the good work.
(an engineer in Virginia)

“I stumbled across your site several months ago and have been reading it practically daily.  I enjoy the inter-links to previous material as well as the links to the quoted research.  I’ve been in head-to-head debate with a materialist for over a year now.  Evolution is just one of those debates.  Your site is among others that have been a real help in expanding my understanding.”
(a software engineer in Pennsylvania)

“I was in the April 28, 2005 issue of Nature [see 04/27/2005 story] regarding the rise of intelligent design in the universities.  It was through your website that I began my journey out of the crisis of faith which was mentioned in that article.  It was an honor to see you all highlighting the article in Nature.  Thank you for all you have done!
(Salvador Cordova, George Mason University)

“I shudder to think of the many ways in which you mislead readers, encouraging them to build a faith based on misunderstanding and ignorance.  Why don’t you allow people to have a faith that is grounded in a fuller understanding of the world?... Your website is a sham.”
(a co-author of the paper reviewed in the 12/03/2003 entry who did not appreciate the unflattering commentary.  This led to a cordial interchange, but he could not divorce his reasoning from the science vs. faith dichotomy, and resulted in an impasse over definitions – but, at least, a more mutually respectful dialogue.  He never did explain how his paper supported Darwinian macroevolution.  He just claimed evolution is a fact.)

“I absolutely love creation-evolution news.  As a Finnish university student very interested in science, I frequent your site to find out about all the new science stuff that’s been happening — you have such a knack for finding all this information!  I have been able to stump evolutionists with knowledge gleaned from your site many times.”
(a student in Finland)

“I love your site and read it almost every day.  I use it for my science class and 5th grade Sunday School class.  I also challenge Middle Schoolers and High Schoolers to get on the site to check out articles against the baloney they are taught in school.”
(a teacher in Los Gatos, CA)

“I have spent quite a few hours at Creation Evolution Headlines in the past week or so going over every article in the archives.  I thank you for such an informative and enjoyable site.  I will be visiting often and will share this link with others.”
[Later] “ I am back to May 2004 in the archives.  I figured I should be farther back, but there is a ton of information to digest.”
(a computer game designer in Colorado)

“The IDEA Center also highly recommends visiting Creation-Evolution Headlines... the most expansive and clearly written origins news website on the internet!”
(endorsement on Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness Center)

“Hey Friends, Check out this site: www.creationsafaris.com.  This is a fantastic resource for the whole family.... a fantastic reference library with summaries, commentaries and great links that are added to daily—archives go back five years.”
(a reader who found us in Georgia)

“I just wanted to drop you a note telling you that at www.BornAgainRadio.com, I’ve added a link to your excellent Creation-Evolution news site.”
(a radio announcer)

“I cannot understand why anyone would invest so much time and effort to a website of sophistry and casuistry.  Why twist Christian apology into an illogic pretzel to placate your intellect?  Isn’t it easier to admit that your faith has no basis -- hence, ‘faith’.  It would be extricate [sic] yourself from intellectual dishonesty -- and from bearing false witness.”
Sincerely, Rev. [name withheld] (an ex-Catholic, “apostate Christian” Natural/Scientific pantheist)

“Just wanted to let you folks know that we are consistent readers and truly appreciate the job you are doing.  God bless you all this coming New Year.”
(from two prominent creation researchers/writers in Oregon)

“Thanks so much for your site!  It is brain candy!”
(a reader in North Carolina)

“I Love your site – probably a little too much.  I enjoy the commentary and the links to the original articles.”
(a civil engineer in New York)

“I’ve had your Creation/Evolution Headlines site on my favourites list for 18 months now, and I can truthfully say that it’s one of the best on the Internet, and I check in several times a week.  The constant stream of new information on such a variety of science issues should impress anyone, but the rigorous and humourous way that every thought is taken captive is inspiring.  I’m pleased that some Christians, and indeed, some webmasters, are devoting themselves to producing real content that leaves the reader in a better state than when they found him.”
(a community safety manager in England)

“I really appreciate the effort that you are making to provide the public with information about the problems with the General Theory of Evolution.  It gives me ammunition when I discuss evolution in my classroom.  I am tired of the evolutionary dogma.  I wish that more people would stand up against such ridiculous beliefs.”
(a science teacher in Alabama)

“If you choose to hold an opinion that flies in the face of every piece of evidence collected so far, you cannot be suprised [sic] when people dismiss your views.”
(a “former Christian” software distributor, location not disclosed)

“...the Creation Headlines is the best.  Visiting your site... is a standard part of my startup procedures every morning.”
(a retired Air Force Chaplain)

“I LOVE your site and respect the time and work you put into it.  I read the latest just about EVERY night before bed and send selection[s] out to others and tell others about it.  I thank you very much and keep up the good work (and humor).”
(a USF grad in biology)

“Answering your invitation for thoughts on your site is not difficult because of the excellent commentary I find.  Because of the breadth and depth of erudition apparent in the commentaries, I hope I’m not being presumptuous in suspecting the existence of contributions from a ‘Truth Underground’ comprised of dissident college faculty, teachers, scientists, and engineers.  If that’s not the case, then it is surely a potential only waiting to be realized.  Regardless, I remain in awe of the care taken in decomposing the evolutionary cant that bombards us from the specialist as well as popular press.”
(a mathematician/physicist in Arizona)

“I’m from Quebec, Canada.  I have studied in ‘pure sciences’ and after in actuarial mathematics.  I’m visiting this site 3-4 times in a week.  I’m learning a lot and this site gives me the opportunity to realize that this is a good time to be a creationist!”
(a French Canadian reader)

“I LOVE your Creation Safari site, and the Baloney Detector material.  OUTSTANDING JOB!!!!”
(a reader in the Air Force)

“You have a unique position in the Origins community.  Congratulations on the best current affairs news source on the origins net.  You may be able to write fast but your logic is fun to work through.”
(a pediatrician in California)

“Visit your site almost daily and find it very informative, educational and inspiring.”
(a reader in western Canada)

“I wish to thank you for the information you extend every day on your site.  It is truly a blessing!”
(a reader in North Carolina)

“I really appreciate your efforts in posting to this website.  I find it an incredibly useful way to keep up with recent research (I also check science news daily) and also to research particular topics.”
(an IT consultant from Brisbane, Australia)

“I would just like to say very good job with the work done here, very comprehensive.  I check your site every day.  It’s great to see real science directly on the front lines, toe to toe with the pseudoscience that's mindlessly spewed from the ‘prestigious’ science journals.”
(a biology student in Illinois)

“I’ve been checking in for a long time but thought I’d leave you a note, this time.  Your writing on these complex topics is insightful, informative with just the right amount of humor.  I appreciate the hard work that goes into monitoring the research from so many sources and then writing intelligently about them.”
(an investment banker in California)

“Keep up the great work.  You are giving a whole army of Christians plenty of ammunition to come out of the closet (everyone else has).  Most of us are not scientists, but most of the people we talk to are not scientists either, just ordinary people who have been fed baloney for years and years.”
(a reader in Arizona)

“Keep up the outstanding work!  You guys really ARE making a difference!”
(a reader in Texas)

“I wholeheartedly agree with you when you say that ‘science’ is not hostile towards ‘religion’.  It is the dogmatically religious that are unwaveringly hostile towards any kind of science which threatens their dearly-held precepts.  ‘Science’ (real, open-minded science) is not interested in theological navel-gazing.”
(anonymous)
Note: Please supply your name and location when writing in.  Anonymous attacks only make one look foolish and cowardly, and will not normally be printed.  This one was shown to display a bad example.

“I appreciate reading your site every day.  It is a great way to keep up on not just the new research being done, but to also keep abreast of the evolving debate about evolution (Pun intended).... I find it an incredibly useful way to keep up with recent research (I also check science news daily) and also to research particular topics.”
(an IT consultant in Brisbane, Australia)

“I love your website.”
(a student at a state university who used CEH when writing for the campus newsletter)

“....when you claim great uncertainty for issues that are fairly well resolved you damage your already questionable credibility.  I’m sure your audience loves your ranting, but if you know as much about biochemistry, geology, astronomy, and the other fields you skewer, as you do about ornithology, you are spreading heat, not light.”
(a professor of ornithology at a state university, responding to the 09/10/2002 headline)

“I wanted to let you know I appreciate your headline news style of exposing the follies of evolutionism.... Your style gives us constant, up-to-date reminders that over and over again, the Bible creation account is vindicated and the evolutionary fables are refuted.”
(a reader, location unknown)

“You have a knack of extracting the gist of a technical paper, and digesting it into understandable terms.”
(a nuclear physicist from Lawrence Livermore Labs who worked on the Manhattan Project)

“After spending MORE time than I really had available going thru your MANY references I want to let you know how much I appreciate the effort you have put forth.
The information is properly documented, and coming from recognized scientific sources is doubly valuable.  Your explanatory comments and sidebar quotations also add GREATLY to your overall effectiveness as they 1) provide an immediate interpretive starting point and 2) maintaining the reader’s interest.”
(a reader in Michigan)

“I am a huge fan of the site, and check daily for updates.”
(reader location and occupation unknown)

“I just wanted to take a minute to personally thank-you and let you know that you guys are providing an invaluable service!  We check your Web site weekly (if not daily) to make sure we have the latest information in the creation/evolution controversy.  Please know that your diligence and perseverance to teach the Truth have not gone unnoticed.  Keep up the great work!”
(a PhD scientist involved in origins research)

“You've got a very useful and informative Web site going.  The many readers who visit your site regularly realize that it requires considerable effort to maintain the quality level and to keep the reviews current....  I hope you can continue your excellent Web pages.  I have recommended them highly to others.”
(a reader, location and occupation unknown)

“As an apprentice apologist, I can always find an article that will spark a ‘spirited’ debate.  Keep ’em coming!  The Truth will prevail.”
(a reader, location and occupation unknown)

“Thanks for your web page and work.  I try to drop by at least once a week and read what you have.  I’m a Christian that is interested in science (I’m a mechanical engineer) and I find you topics interesting and helpful.  I enjoy your lessons and insights on Baloney Detection.”
(a year later):
“I read your site 2 to 3 times a week; which I’ve probably done for a couple of years.  I enjoy it for the interesting content, the logical arguments, what I can learn about biology/science, and your pointed commentary.”
(a production designer in Kentucky)

“I look up CREV headlines every day.  It is a wonderful source of information and encouragement to me.... Your gift of discerning the fallacies in evolutionists interpretation of scientific evidence is very helpful and educational for me.  Please keep it up.  Your website is the best I know of.”
(a Presbyterian minister in New South Wales, Australia)

“I’ve written to you before, but just wanted to say again how much I appreciate your site and all the work you put into it.  I check it almost every day and often share the contents (and web address) with lists on which I participate.  I don’t know how you do all that you do, but I am grateful for your energy and knowledge.”
(a prominent creationist author)

“I am new to your site, but I love it!  Thanks for updating it with such cool information.”
(a home schooler)

“I love your site.... Visit every day hoping for another of your brilliant demolitions of the foolish just-so stories of those who think themselves wise.”
(a reader from Southern California)

“I visit your site daily for the latest news from science journals and other media, and enjoy your commentary immensely.  I consider your web site to be the most valuable, timely and relevant creation-oriented site on the internet.”
(a reader from Ontario, Canada)

“Keep up the good work!  I thoroughly enjoy your site.”
(a reader in Texas)

“Thanks for keeping this fantastic web site going.  It is very informative and up-to-date with current news including incisive insight.”
(a reader in North Carolina)

“Great site!  For all the Baloney Detector is impressive and a great tool in debunking wishful thinking theories.”
(a reader in the Netherlands)

“Just wanted to let you know, your work is having quite an impact.  For example, major postings on your site are being circulated among the Intelligent Design members....”
(a PhD organic chemist)

“It’s like ‘opening a can of worms’ ... I love to click all the related links and read your comments and the links to other websites, but this usually makes me late for something else.  But it’s ALWAYS well worth it!!”
(a leader of a creation group)

“I am a regular visitor to your website ... I am impressed by the range of scientific disciplines your articles address.  I appreciate your insightful dissection of the often unwarranted conclusions evolutionists infer from the data... Being a medical doctor, I particularly relish the technical detail you frequently include in the discussion living systems and processes.  Your website continually reinforces my conviction that if an unbiased observer seeks a reason for the existence of life then Intelligent Design will be the unavoidable conclusion.”
(a medical doctor)

“A church member asked me what I thought was the best creation web site.  I told him CreationSafaris.com.”
(a PhD geologist)

“I love your site... I check it every day for interesting information.  It was hard at first to believe in Genesis fully, but now I feel more confident about the mistakes of humankind and that all their reasoning amounts to nothing in light of a living God.”
(a college grad)

“Thank you so much for the interesting science links and comments on your creation evolution headlines page ... it is very informative.”
(a reader from Scottsdale, AZ)

“I still visit your site almost every day, and really enjoy it.  Great job!!!  (I also recommend it to many, many students.)
(an educational consultant)

“I like what I see–very much.  I really appreciate a decent, calm and scholarly approach to the whole issue... Thanks ... for this fabulous endeavor–it’s superb!”

“It is refreshing to read your comments.  You have a knack to get to the heart of the matter.”
(a reader in the Air Force).

“Love your website.  It has well thought out structure and will help many through these complex issues.  I especially love the Baloney Detector.”
(a scientist).

“I believe this is one of the best sites on the Internet.  I really like your side-bar of ‘truisms.’  Yogi [Berra] is absolutely correct.  If I were a man of wealth, I would support you financially.”
(a registered nurse in Alabama, who found us on TruthCast.com.)

“WOW.  Unbelievable.... My question is, do you sleep? ... I’m utterly impressed by your page which represents untold amounts of time and energy as well as your faith.”
(a mountain man in Alaska).

“Just wanted to say that I recently ran across your web site featuring science headlines and your commentary and find it to be A++++, superb, a 10, a homerun – I run out of superlatives to describe it! ... You can be sure I will visit your site often – daily when possible – to gain the latest information to use in my speaking engagements.  I’ll also do my part to help publicize your site among college students.  Keep up the good work.  Your material is appreciated and used.”
(a college campus minister)

 
Featured Creation Scientist for May


Walter Reed
1851 - 1902

You’ve probably heard of the Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, DC.  Now, it’s time to learn something about the man behind the institution.

Walter Reed was the son of a Methodist minister in Virginia.  Early in his education, he was noticed for “evidence of the intellectual brilliancy and earnestness of purpose which distinguished him in later years.”  These qualities, bred in a Christian home, led to him finding the cause of one of the greatest scourges of mankind.  The lifetime achievement he is most remembered for is the identification of the cause of yellow fever and the steps he took to eradicate it.

Yellow fever was the most dreaded disease in early America.  Primarily affecting the South and tropical areas, it would sweep through in devastating epidemics, killing thousands.  Some 100,000 died in the 18th century, 41,000 in New Orleans alone.  We forget how awful disease epidemics were to people who did not understand when and why they came.

A Major in the army, Reed took the knowledge of germ theory proved by Pasteur and Koch and put it to use in the service of mankind.  His work was instrumental in the budding fields of epidemiology and immunology.

By Christmas of the year 1900, he had found the cause of yellow fever and knew how to prevent it.  He wrote his wife that he and his assistants had lifted “the impenetrable veil that surrounded the causation of this most wonderful, dreadful pest of humanity . . . the prayer that has been mine for twenty years, that I might be permitted in some way or at some time to do something good to alleviate human suffering has been granted!  A thousand Happy New Years.”

Dr. Walter Reed’s 20-year prayer had been granted.  Magnanimously, he gave credit to all his assistants in the paper announcing the discovery.  Within two years Reed died of appendicitis before he could be treated.

Reed’s discovery led to the success of the Panama Canal.  The scourge of yellow fever in Panama had caused the French to give up on the attempt 30 years earlier.  Now, understanding that the mosquito Aedes aegypti, which Reed had identified, was the disease vector, Major William Crawford Gorgas set to work.  He rid Cuba of yellow fever in 90 days by eliminating the swampy breeding grounds of the mosquito.

This proved that the technique worked and canal construction was now possible.  The monumental project was begun in 1907 and completed in 1914, just as World War 1 was breaking out in Europe.  The canal’s strategic value to the United States and to international trade has been incalculable.

The defeat of yellow fever was not Walter Reed’s only important legacy.  “Between 1892 and 1902 Reed published 27 papers on original work, encompassing a wide variety of subjects including; cholera, erysipelas, leukemia, malaria, pneumonia, typhoid, vaccinations and yellow fever.”  He showed courage by allowing himself to be bitten by a mosquito carrying yellow fever in his research on the cause of the disease.  The Major, the Doctor, is fondly remembered by all who knew him.

The Walter Reed Army Medical Center is named in his honor.  This site and the Walter Reed Society contain detailed biographies of Major Walter Reed, and a Virginia roots heritage site tells about his life and prayer to be used of God.  The best science has always come from men and women with that kind of motivation.


If you are enjoying this series, you can learn more about great Christians in science by reading our online book-in-progress:
The World’s Greatest Creation Scientists from Y1K to Y2K.

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 according 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).

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