Watch for the Recycle logo to find gems from the back issues!
Heal the Blind with Stem Cells
June 30, 2010 Have you heard that some cases of corneal blindness can be cured by stem cells #
from the persons own eyes? New
Scientist recounted some recent successes for victims blinded in one eye by burns or acid.
Stem cells taken from the limbus, a disk surrounding the iris, and transplanted onto the damaged
cornea, were able to regrow corneal cells and give the patients nearly perfect vision again.
82 cases have been successfully treated this way.
The report said this is a boost for valid
stem cell therapies after recent reports of a death caused by an untested technique and scandals
caused by private clinics offering bogus treatments.
This story reminds us that the toolkit for regeneration may exist in the human body, but in a
damaged state (03/31/2010).
In a perfectly-functioning, uncursed world, are these methods the Creator might have built in to
keep systems in good repair?
Take courage at tales of The Resistance: 06/29/2006.
And why was the phrase evolution in a nutshell so ironic?
Next headline on:
Farm Algae for Energy
June 29, 2010 Why manufacture fuels when microbes can do it faster, better and cheaper?
Researchers at the University of Cambridge are wiring electrodes to algae to produce green energy
solar-powered fuel that is carbon-neutral, cheaper to produce, self-repairing, self-replicating, biodegradable
and much more sustainable real green energy.
The team has already connected a film of algae to run an electrical clock. They did this by
harvesting some of the electrons produced by algaes photosynthetic machinery.
The University of Cambridge made an exhibit for the Royal Societys Summer Exhibition
called Meet the Algae. In addition to a demo of the biophotovoltaic device,
it features other ways in which algae could be exploited,
including for production of biodiesel and high-value products such as vitamins. The exhibit seeks to
acquaint viewers with the beauty and diversity of these organisms, and the important roles they
play. A 3-minute video clip
in the article explains how important algae are to the planet. Algae produce half the oxygen we breathe,
and are just as important as the rain forests.
The solution to the worlds energy crisis may be right around us. Algae are found everywhere
at sea, on glaciers, in hot springs, and in moist soil. Algae offer considerable potential as a source of bioenergy,
the article said.
Amazing facts, good science with applications that help humanity,
and no mention of evolution. Keep up the good work.
Using Aliens to Titillate the Public
Next headline on:
June 28, 2010 Geologists cannot even figure out our own planet (next headline),
but some of them claim to know a lot about other planets their geological history, and even their
prospects for life. Is it fair to tease the public with the L-word life when so much remains
to be understood on the ground under our feet?
For SETI fans, Space.com
announced that Frank Drake is retiring as director of the SETI Institute, and is turning the job of Chief
Alien Life Hunter to long-time astrobiologist David Morrison. Even though NASA doesnt do SETI work,
Morrison revealed an inside secret: The SETI Institute has partnered with scientists at NASA Ames in a teaming
arrangement that has greatly benefited both organizations. The Institute played an especially important role in
the development of the new multidisciplinary field of astrobiology. The two fields are closely allied,
if for no other reason than the fact that neither has any evidence to support its reason for being.
- Mars life: A new study reported by PhysOrg
from a JPL press release
claims that Mars had a nearly global wet era 4 billion years ago. Talk about water on Mars has gone back
and forth for decades; was it really necessary to evolve life there by just adding water? The new findings
suggest that the formation of water-related minerals, and thus at least part of the wet period that
may have been most favorable to life, occurred between that early giant impact and the later time when
younger sediments formed an overlying mantle. (Nobody saw that impact, by the way.)
- Mars hands: If theres life on Mars, it could be right-handed, teased a
headline on New
Scientist. The article was about chiral molecules, but it made Mars a lively place. Some astrobiologists
have never been able to forgive the 1976 Viking landers for not finding life. One experiment gave ambiguous results
that are the basis for ongoing hopes. They keep trying to find other explanations for the gas that Viking measured
coming out of a prepared broth when Martian soil was added. Jeffrey Bada, astrobiologist at Scripps, still
thinks non-biological explanations can explain this. No matter how you construct an experiment, Mars is
likely to throw you a curve ball, he said.
- Europa bones: An Arizona planetologist has an easier way to look for life on Europa.
PhysOrg reported how he feels one could find evidence of it
on the surface without having to drill through the ice. It might not even be microbes, Richard Greenberg
(U of Arizona) said: theres always the possibility that we could find structures something analogous to skeletal remains.
- Starry avatars: A JPL press release
seemed to play on the publics fascination with the recent 3-D alien movie by starting,
Many scientists speculate that our galaxy could be full of places like Pandora from the movie Avatar --
Earth-like worlds in solar systems besides our own. So have they found any? Nope; just looking.
Once considered the stuff of science fiction, it may not be long before Earth-like planets, or,
in the case of Pandora, Earth-like moons of giant planets, are found to exist other places besides the silver screen.
That was in a paragraph captioned, Pandora, up close and personal. Incidentally, the real Pandora is
a small moon of Saturn. Here it is, up close and personal from
Cassini. Not quite like the movies.
This has all the appearance of a cult (see CMI essay).
Only in this case, we have a cult funded by taxpayer dollars
and preached by the mainstream media. Its not science if you have no evidence.
Whatever happened to separation of search and state?
Colorado Plateau Stumps Geologists
Next headline on:
Origin of Life
June 27, 2010 Many of the Wests greatest parks and scenic areas lie on the Colorado
Plateau, a large basin covering parts of Arizona, Utah, New Mexico and Colorado. Within its
rugged acres are the Grand Canyon, Grand Staircase, Bryce Canyon, Zion Canyon,
Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Natural Bridges, Monument Valley,
Mesa Verde, Glen Canyon and Lake Powell, and numerous small parks and scenic byways. How this
vast region rose 2 kilometers high away from plate boundaries, and maintained sedimentary strata
miles thick that often lie flat as a pancake for hundreds of miles, is an enigma to geologists and it
underscores the problem historical sciences have with making pronouncements about the unobservable past.
Rebecca M. Flowers (U of Colorado, Boulder) wrote about The enigmatic rise of the Colorado Plateau in
the journal Geology this month.1
How and when the Colorado Plateau attained its current mean elevation of ~2 km has puzzled scientists for nearly 150 yr.
This problem is most dramatically manifest when standing on the rim of the Grand Canyon, viewing the extraordinary 1500-m-deep
gorge carved into nearly horizontal sedimentary rocks that were deposited during the 500 m.y. prior to plateau uplift
when the region resided near sea level. What caused the elevation gain of this previously stable cratonic region in Cenozoic time?
Did the source of buoyancy for plateau uplift arise from the crust, lithospheric mantle, or asthenosphere, or
through some combination of the three? Why did this low-relief plateau escape significant upper crustal strain during uplift,
in contrast to the Cenozoic surface deformation that is so strikingly apparent in the high-relief landscape of the surrounding
Rocky Mountain, Rio Grande Rift, and Basin and Range provinces (Fig. 1)?
The current issue contains two new theories, but Flowers is not convinced of either of them.
Here are a few quotes from the article indicating the degree of doubt and frustration explaining the Colorado Plateau.
The perplexing story is not limited to explaining this one region. As Flowers said, if we cant
understand this plateau, we cant explain a lot of other earth formations. The answers to these
contentious questions are significant for understanding how deep-seated processes control the elevation change
and topographic evolution of Earths surface.
- Although there is a first-order understanding of vertical motions in areas close to plate boundaries,
there is comparatively little consensus on the causes of such motions distal from these margins.
The Colorado Plateau exemplifies this problem.
- Hypothesized mechanisms include partial removal of the lithospheric mantle (e.g., Spencer, 1996),
chemical alteration of the lithosphere owing to volatile addition or magma extraction (e.g., Humphreys et al., 2003; Roy et al., 2004),
warming of heterogeneous lithosphere (Roy et al., 2009), hot upwelling within the asthenosphere (Parsons and McCarthy, 1995; Moucha et al., 2009),
and crustal thickening (McQuarrie and Chase, 2000). It is clear that there is no shortage of mechanisms that could explain the plateaus origin.
The core challenge is determining which mechanism, or combination of mechanisms, is indeed the cause.
- One question arising from these two studies is: are their conclusions compatible?
- The other obvious question that emerges from these efforts is both more important and far more difficult to answer.
Do the proposed models accurately describe the true origin and evolution of Colorado Plateau elevation?
- One reason why resolving the cause of plateau uplift is such a tough problem is that deciphering the paleoelevation of
continents is extremely difficult, and the plateaus elevation history is critically important for isolating the correct uplift mechanism.
- Not surprisingly, contradictory interpretations regarding the uplift history of the Colorado Plateau often arise
from the diverse information yielded by the many studies in this region.
- The two geodynamic studies in this issue of Geology underscore the probable complexity of the plateaus history.
They especially highlight the unlikelihood of the entire plateau undergoing a single spatially uniform phase of surface uplift,
and emphasize the potential for significant geographic and temporal heterogeneity in elevation gain.
Such a history would only exacerbate the challenge of accurately reconstructing the plateaus evolution from the geological record.
1. Rebecca M. Flowers, The enigmatic rise of the Colorado Plateau (open access),
v. 38 no. 7, p. 671-672, doi: 10.1130/focus072010.1.
They dont tell you these things on the National Park signs.
The parks make it sound so easy. A million years here, a few billion years there, and presto: Grand Canyon.
Remember this article next time you travel the Colorado Plateau. They dont have a clue after 150 years
of thinking about it. How much more time should we give the clueless before opening the doors to thinking
outside the box?
Wonders of the nose, with a little Cinderella thrown in: 06/27/2005.
One of the biggest stumbling blocks for them understanding this region is their insistence on deep time
and their denial of the catastrophic power of the Flood. They should really take some creation
geology papers more seriously (06/21/2010) unless they find cluelessness
somehow comforting. Now why would that be? Job security.
Next headline on:
Fish Feet: Can Evolution Add by Subtraction?
June 26, 2010 How did fish grow feet? One would think that feet require adding a lot of new parts:
bones, muscles, nerves, blood vessels, and additional supporting tissues. Each of those would require
genetic instructions and changes to embryonic development. One evolutionist, however, feels that
switching genes off paved the way to the invasion of land. The story was told on
PhysOrg and the
PhysOrg stated matter-of-factly, Fossil evidence suggests that around 365 million years ago,
fish, or fish-like creatures, emerged from shallow seas, moving onto land with the help of primitive, eight-fingered
limbs, which later simplified to five digits under evolutionary pressure. Victoria Gill said for
the BBC, Fin to limb evolution clue found. What kind of clue? Marie-Andree Akimenko, from the University of Ottawa in Canada,
discovered two genes that are not found in animals possessing feet. These genes create ray-forming fibers in the
fins of fish. When the genes were knocked out of zebrafish, the fin rays did not develop.
Moreover, she did not find the genes in mice embryos.
Akimenko surmised that a necessary step in the evolution of limbs from fins was the subtraction
of these genes. That would get rid of the fibers, and allow the emergence of bones, digits, and feet:
The loss of these fin rays, the scientists say, was a key step in fin-to-limb evolution.
The BBC article quoted John Bard, a retired Oxford biologist. He thought the work was
interesting, but only a small part of the story. He did not think it explained how the broad, multi-ray fins of fishes became transformed
into the eight digits of the hand or foot plate of the first tetrapods. Besides, he said,
hundreds of millions of years separate fish and mice. The PhysOrg article ended,
Further work is needed to confirm the theory, as it is unclear whether the fin genes were knocked
out to help make the transition to land or whether they were eliminated after the transition, as they were no longer needed.
The BBC was certain, nevertheless, that this is an ongoing part of the Darwin Enlightenment:
A study has shed light on a key genetic step in the evolution of animals limbs from the fins of fish, scientists say.
This scientist feels that for Darwin to build a complex new organ,
all that is needed is paving the way. It would be like building a shopping center by sending
in the bulldozers. Is that how evolution works? Keep subtracting genes from an already
complex animal, and maybe something wonderful will emerge from the empty space.
What Good Are Science Societies?
The usual other fallacies are present here: (1) Dodging with passive voice verbs: whether
the fin genes were knocked out to help make the transition (who knocked them out?).
(2) Personification: to help make the transition (who was the foreman of this project?).
(3) Composite explanations: whether... the genes were knocked out to help make the transition... or whether they were
eliminated after the transition (which is it?). (4) Making evolutionary pressure a creative
force; and (5) Promissory notes: Escaping responsibility by saying, Further work is needed to
confirm the theory. Did anyone call this a theory? Arent the Darwinians the very ones who
insist that a theory is a well-tested hypothesis that has stood the test of time and become widely accepted?
It appears that anyone can toss out a suggestion or fairy tale and grace it with the honorable word theory.
Since the Darwinians love to raise zebrafish, let them pursue this line of experiment. Keep knocking
out genes and see what emerges. Subtract enough genetic information, and a Darwin theorist cant be far behind.
Next headline on:
Darwin and Evolution
June 25, 2010 Its the 350th anniversary of the Royal Society, Englands oldest and
most prestigious scientific organization. Amid the celebrations are essays and commentaries about
the role scientific societies play for the public, the government, and the advancement of natural
knowledge. It should only be expected that the scientific journals will give the positive side,
but between the lines are some nagging questions left begging, like does science even need
organized societies? Even if they do some good, are they the only institutions capable of
doing those good things? And are they even capable of doing harm?
It should be intuitively obvious that sciences primary concern should be with
getting the world right discovering facts about the natural world, organizing and integrating
that knowledge, developing testable theories that can explain the facts and predict new discoveries, and
providing foundations for natural knowledge that can lead to useful applications. So what good
are the societies? How do they advance or obstruct these goals?
Many early scientists worked alone or in small interest clubs. Like most other
human beings, scientists often do better with social encouragement and reinforcement. The ability to
share and debate ideas with peers is not only a deeply felt human need, but a corrective against error.
The Society of the Lynx in Galileos day was an early example.
The Linnean Society, local geological societies, chemistry societies and other grass-roots organizations
grew in power and influence over time. The Royal Society is perhaps the best example of a scientist-instigated
formal club that sought advancement of natural knowledge through sharing of ideas, publication and education.
Some societies were government-sponsored: the Paris Academy of Sciences acted at the behest of the king in the
17th and 18th centuries. In the 19th century, the National Academy of Sciences was created in America
under the direction of the government to advise the government with scientific input on public policy matters.
does not rule out objectivity, but it often directs the research to be done. These days, more and more
countries want to get on the science society bandwagon. It becomes a mark of distinction to have a
national science academy. The big countries can afford to have multiple societies. Some are more government-leaning,
some more private: the National Institutes of Health, the British and American Associations for the Advancement of Science, the
Royal Astronomical Society, the Royal Chemistry Society, the Linnean Society, the Geological Society of America, and more.
Meetings of these societies can be rare or frequent; memberships can be large or small, national or international.
Annual meetings are sometimes huge affairs, involving hundreds of members spending a week at fancy hotels and resorts.
Typical gatherings involve sharing papers, debating theories, and occasionally discussing politics, funding and education.
Outside the member-attended meetings, societies keep their members informed with newsletters, journals,
emails, blogs, letters, podcasts and other methods of mass media. Officers sometimes are important
attendees at government advisory councils, bringing the consensus of their members to bear on
However enjoyable the societies are socially, though, the questions keep
begging do the goals of the academies necessarily coincide with the goals of science itself?
Do the academies advance some research at the expense of others? Do they tend to channel scientists into the
consensus, and quash independent thinking? Does government sponsorship corrupt the pure goals of a
scientist and make him or her a pawn of nationalism or internationalism? Do scientists provoke a
spirit of elitism and if so, is that necessarily bad? These and other questions
emerge from a careful reading of recent essays about scientific societies. One should not assume the
celebratory air in some of them will nourish the beggars.
If one could never doubt the pure motivations of a collective scientific body to seek the truth wherever the evidence leads,
then this focus on influence, media and politics could be understandable, even admirable. A scientific body can provide
a clear voice to governments, students and the public when a general cacophony
would otherwise leave them at the mercy of a kind of Brownian motion of conflicting voices. This presupposes, however,
a clear moral authority combined with a grasp on natures workings that makes them stand above the fray. Without that
clear, clarion call of truth, science academies risk becoming part of that same general cacophony.
Even worse, they can become government-funded hammers enforcing the collective will against individuals who might
wish to pursue a scientific question with motives unadulterated with thoughts of political power, increased funding,
social prestige, or public adulation.
- Be proud to be elite: Nature started off its celebration of the Royal Societys anniversary
with an editorial titled, The right kind of elitism. It began, Britains Royal Society is
350 years old this year, and its track record is one worthy of celebration. What did Nature consider
its honorable achievements? It stands today as a relatively successful model of what an independent national
academy can achieve, having made itself both highly regarded in the corridors of power and prominent in public debates
on major science-related issues.
Much of the praise seemed aimed at the societys ability to
speak with a unified, powerful, political voice: As the Royal Society has demonstrated, however, scientific academies ...
can offer authoritative input on contentious public-policy issues such as climate change, or the regulation
of human embryonic stem-cell research, and can thus enrich public debate by ensuring that science is properly heard.
Its a rather generous assumption to believe that what a society says is what science says, even if Nature
had taken a little more time to define its criteria for the bloated word science.
From politics, the editors took the society into the arenas of media and education again,
emphasizing influence instead of the search for truth
But these traditional avenues are only part of what academies can do to exert influence today. They can also
issue more concise statements for wider audiences. And they can proactively engage with the public and the media
in the same way that corporations and environmental pressure groups do by anticipating or responding rapidly to events,
and making sure that sciences voice is heard amid the general cacophony.
Here, the assumption is being made the science has a voice fundamentally different from any other groups
voice. It is pure, distinct, and sweet (as contrasted with the general cacophony). The editors are also
assuming that the scientific societies never contribute to the general cacophony. Yet in their conclusion, did
they succumb to the fad of diversity and inclusion? Academies can still have a crucial role in taking scientific truth to
the public, and to the heart of government, the editors said in conclusion, but noticing an ethnic diversity
imbalance in the NAS, they added: But to do so, they must constantly strive to properly represent an increasingly
diverse scientific community. (They had just been speaking about an under-represented ethnic minority.)
Diversity and inclusion may be admirable values, but it is not clear how the
editors linked those values to the ability to arrive at scientific truth. The pursuit of truth should be color blind.
- Fight to stay influential: Continuing the focus on the influence of scientific societies,
Colin Macilwain wrote a report on the history of scientific societies.2
Britains Royal Society has had to work hard to stay relevant and influential, said the subtitle,
setting the tone for the whole article.
Macilwain described some of the parties London is throwing for the anniversary.
But extravaganzas aside, did he provide evidence that the goals of
a scientific society mesh with the goals of science? Part of the reason for the parties is
to be seen as up to date, inclusive and important, not exclusive and aloof. Michael Faraday did not
strive to be seen as any of these things when he made his fundamental scientific discoveries. It is hard to see
what public image has to do with science. Nevertheless, the
article was all about influence, media, press, image, representation, and propaganda:
National academies of science in more than 100 nations are aiming for the same goal, with varying success.
Many were born in an era when a few select individuals practiced science, and those groups evolved to offer behind-the-scenes
advice to governments. Now, the academies represent much more diverse communities, and they must take their
messages not only to governments but also directly to the public.
But why? Does science need lobbyists and pressure groups? Must scientists become teachers? Theres more image focus, presentation,
soiling of hands with money, and political correctness: They must be seen to be independent of government,
despite considerable reliance on public funding. And they need to reflect the growing ethnic and gender diversity
of the scientific community, while still selecting members on the basis of their scientific reputations.
Macilwain shared some interesting history about the well-known societies. Abraham Lincoln set up the National Academy
of Sciences at the height of the Civil War in 1863. The Royal Society (note the name) was founded by the scientists,
but they were predominantly royalists, seeking and appreciating the patronage of King Charles II. Early on,
the Royal Society made clear that it owed allegiance not to king and country but to scientific truth, Macilwain
assures us. Nevertheless, their exclusiveness and high standards continue to generate accusations of elitism. Outgoing
society president Martin Rees responded, But were elite only in the sense that we ought to be elite.
The business of elections, nominations, and posturing that Macilwain discussed next, however, seem to have
little to do with science. Those trappings could characterize any organization.
So what does the Royal Society actually do? It distributes block grants from the government to
promising scientists, awards prestigious university fellowships, and it helps pick scientific advisers for the government.
It decides what positions to take on public policy issues like climate change and creationism, and to present those
positions with a unified voice. NAS head Bruce Alberts said, Theres a whole move now to make academies a voice for science
in every nation of the world.
Lately, to change its public image as an inward-looking body, the Royal Society has tried
to become more media savvy. It promotes TV documentaries and tries to get the societys position heard by the public.
Critics may contend that the public is indifferent to the academies grand pronouncements, and that their reports
are valued by politicians more for the cover they provide than for the carefully nuanced information they contain,
he granted. But in the end, Macilwain gave the societys executive secretary the last word: we have become more important
because there are so many more issues today that have a scientific component.
Somehow, Macilwain assures us,
a wider purpose is being served by all this talk about influence and collective power. One word in short
supply in this article was research how a society actually contributes to getting the world right.
If an outsider or maverick with a minority view was the one to get it right, how could his or her voice be heard against the
powerful collective voice at the top? Would not the majority seek to suppress this individual in the interest of
allowing the society to speak with prestige, unanimity, and authority? It is indeed ironic that the Royal Societys
motto is, Nothing on mere authority.
- Engage the public: Image and influence was also the theme of a short piece by Yves Quéré in the same issue of
Nature.3 The image of a club of old gentlemen is
the most common failings of scientific academies, he said. They have few female members, few young members
and they act too much like private clubs instead of speaking up on crucial matters of science and technology.
Diversity, inclusion, influence the same themes emerge in this article. Quere argues that
the idea behind such organizations has been to promote the role of science in society and politics, and support scientists
and science education. Then he got down to how societies might actually help science:
The best ones have come to embody three attributes. One is scientific expertise, because membership tends to be
restricted to a nations top scientists. Another is independence from external political, economic, religious or social pressures,
enabling academies to speak openly on any matter. The last is stability in the face of constantly shifting social
and political landscapes, because members are generally elected for life.
So far, however, these attributes desirable as they may be are about the sociology of science: e.g.,
membership, ambition, freedom, stability. None of these necessarily bear on the goal of getting
the world right.
Quere listed three things academies and societies can do to encourage scientific research:
(1) Promote excellence in science through grants, publications, debates, and the like.
(2) Mediate between scientists and politicians. (This puts societies in the role of lobbying groups.)
(3) Bolster science education through curricula and awards. It is not hard to see, however, how each of
these activities can be turned into preserving the consensus rather than promoting the independent
thinking individuals may need to buck the consensus when it is wrong. The rest of the article was devoted
to improving societies influence and political clout.
- Respect your elders: If anyone can declare the value of a society, its president should be able to.
Sir Martin Rees, president of the Royal Society, wrote an editorial for Science magazine on
The Societys Wider Role.4 He began by recalling the Societys
heroes of past ages: Christopher Wren, Robert Boyle and others. Continuity from
the 17th century into the 21st, however, needs to be demonstrated, not assumed. Those were very different times
in pre-industrialized England, before the word scientist had even been invented. Early fellows of the
Royal Society engaged their curiosity: They did experiments, peered through newly invented telescopes and microscopes,
and dissected weird animals, Rees said. He insists that the core values of the Society have not changed
despite vastly new horizons and discoveries. Todays scientists, like their forbears, probe
nature and natures laws by observation and experiment, but they should also engage broadly with the
needs of society and with public affairs. Rees pivoted on this point to talk about influence.
Because of global challenges today, engagement is needed more than ever before, and on a global scale,
he said, listing some of the modern issues climate change, nuclear power, genetic engineering
needing scientific expertise. Preserving the environment and correcting societal inequalities loomed high
on his list. He recalled the scientists of the Manhattan Project who not only ran the experiments and
uncovered the facts of atomic energy, but worked throughout their lives to control the power they had
unleashed. They are exemplars, Rees argued, for how a scientific society can have influence:
These men were an elite groupthe alchemists of their time, possessors of secret knowledge.
Todays dominant issues, in contrast, span all the sciences, are far more open, and are often global.
There is less demarcation between experts and laypersons. Campaigners and bloggers enrich the debate.
But professionals have special obligations; the atomic scientists were fine exemplars of this. Scientists
shouldnt be indifferent to the fruits of their ideas. They should try to foster benign spin-offs,
and they should prevent, so far as they can, dubious or threatening applications.
But is a society necessary for a scientist to act as good citizen? Todays trends toward globalization
require that the benefits of globalization must be fairly shared, he said. Rees recognized the value of
ethics: Theres a widening gap between what science allows us to do and what is prudent or ethical.
So far those are general ideals, but where does the Society fit in? In order to end on the note that the
Royal Society and its sister academies have a greater role to play than ever before, he bridged the ideas with
this statement: Everyone should debate these choices, but the agenda must be guided by science
academies and by individual scientific citizens, engaging, from all political perspectives, with the
media and with a public attuned to the scope and limits of science. An acknowledgement of the limits
of science, and a recognition of individual values, are interesting here. But Rees did not make it clear why,
and to what extent, scientific societies need to guide the agenda over individual scientific citizens.
1. Editorial, The right kind of elitism,
465, p. 986, 24 June 2010, doi:10.1038/465986a.
2. Colin Macilwain, Scientific Academies: In the best company,
published online 23 June 2010; Nature 465, 1002-1004 (2010); doi:10.1038/4651002a.
3. Yves Quéré, Academies must engage with society,
465, p. 1009, 24 June 2010, doi:10.1038/4651009a.
4. Sir Martin Rees, The Societys Wider Role,
25 June 2010: Vol. 328. no. 5986, p. 1611, DOI: 10.1126/science.1193400.
In this commentary, we do not wish to oversimplify or generalize. Scientific societies
are here to stay. Certainly they can do much good. A collective body can command
resources that would be impossible to the individual scientist. Many of todays scientific
questions cannot be approached without huge expenditures: the space program is a good example.
Sending a rover to Mars is a whole new ball game from playing with electrical wire and magnets at
the Royal Institution. Sir Martin Rees gave a whole laundry list of profound questions and
troubling issues that need collective, professional input:
The RNA Code: Pseudogenes Functional, Help Prevent Cancer
Such engagement is needed more than ever before, and on a global scale. Science transforms our lives, sometimes with staggering speed. Spin-offs from molecular genomics could soon change our lives as much as those from the microchip have already done. We must confront widely held anxieties that genetics, brain science, and artificial intelligence may run away too fast. And rapid advances raise profound questions: Is the world getting warmer, and why? Who should access the readout of our personal genetic code? How will lengthening life span affect society? Should nuclear power stations or wind farms keep the lights on? Should we use more insecticides or plant genetically modified crops? How much should computers be allowed to invade our privacy? Such critical questions transcend party politics, but because they are long-term, they tend to be trumped by more urgent items. Many require action on an international scale, as all parts of the world are more closely networked today than ever before.
Scientific societies past and present have engaged the public and governments with informed input
on the policy issues of the day. The role of influence, however, belongs to sociology
of science rather than to science itself. To the extent a society can enable the individual
or team to accomplish scientific goals, this is fine and good. We know, however, that institutions
sometimes become the worst perpetrators of the very problems they were formed to solve (examples: some labor
unions, the U.N., some government bureaucracies). The worst example in world history is probably
the communist dictatorships that sought to inculcate the ideals of Marxism to remedy the plight of the
proletarians. It is doubtful the proletarians were helped much by the Great Terror, Great Leap Forward and other
hideous atrocities perpetrated by the institutions that were formed to help them.
While not wishing to link scientific societies with the likes of those, we would point out that there is
no guarantee a human institution formed to advance the goals of anything will end up doing so. As with
other institutions, the track record of scientific societies has been a mixed bag. One must also remember
that the Royal Society of 1660 is very different from the Royal Society of 2010. Back then, members were
mostly Bible-believing Christians living before the industrial revolution. Today, as with many large institutions, the leadership are
left-leaning secular globalists in the information age.
We know from the stories of Leeuwenhoek,
Faraday, Thomson and Joule
that the Royal Society was instrumental in providing them encouragement and notoriety for their discoveries.
This is perhaps the best positive good a scientific society can provide: a place for discussion, exposure,
recognition, and encouragement among those who understand the subject matter and are interested in it.
Governments, kings, educators, publishers and reporters have no doubt also profited from the collective voice
of societies as sources they could trust. Its much easier for them than trying to weigh the
pros and cons of opinions from many individual experts. And the ability to steer funds toward great
projects may make possible scientific research that could not get done otherwise. In the capable hands
of societies with integrity, these can be good things.
But the very process of arriving at a collective voice is the most fraught with risk of doing
more harm than good. Science is not about consensus; thats sociology. Its about getting
the world right. That makes it undemocratic: better one scientist whos right than the collective
voice of a thousand who are wrong. Moreover, the collective is made of people with pride and the power
of numbers. The collective voice can give a false impression of authority. With the power of
numbers and institutional or political clout behind them, the collective can easily squash the maverick and
end up perpetuating myths. Does this happen?
Consider a recent struggle in the Royal Society about global warming. Roger Harrabin has
been taking notes of debates in Britain over this contentious subject. His entries for the
BBC News May 27 and
BBC News May 29 are instructive
about the wrangling behind closed doors at the Royal Society trying to come up with a consensus.
The majority who believe in human-caused global warming had to deal with a sizeable minority who felt their
opinions were being misrepresented or ignored in the Societys official statements to the media and
Parliament. This erupted after previous leader Lord May said, I am the President of the Royal Society, and I am
telling you the debate on climate change is over. That debate is over slogan was
influential with the Prime Minister, and was repeated often in the press. But as Harrabin shows,
the debate was not over. The dissenters in the minority were angry, and took up their side in blogs
something earlier Society presidents did not have to contend with. The danger to the credibility of
science institutions from the way they communicate uncertainty in climate change is immense, Harrabin said.
On the one hand, they desire a unified voice of consensus, but on the other, they risk being viewed as intransigent
purveyors of orthodoxy if they do not give sufficient place to those who disagree with the consensus.
It was clear that the minority were feeling dissed even insulted by the majority on this matter.
The climate skeptics they did not agree that the warming will be dangerous and they object
to being branded fools or hirelings for saying so. Now, after the scandals at the IPCC,
these bastions of authority are suffering serious credibility gaps, and the grass-roots blogs
are exposing the sausage-making shenanigans of arriving at consensus.
The reader is now in a position to understand those authoritative-sounding pronouncements from the
scientific societies. Whether the subject is stem cells, bioweapons, or the teaching of evolution, the process of coming up with an
official view for the press or the government can mask deep divisions beneath. But once
the position is stated, it takes on a life of its own. It becomes the authoritative voice of science.
The press takes the ball and runs with it. In a curious feedback loop, the scientists themselves in the
institutions become increasingly reluctant to buck the consensus, either through fear of retaliation, the
desire to get along with the group, or the ease of swimming with the current instead of against it.
For example, an open-access paper came out in PNAS
this week claiming that 97–98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field support the tenets
of man-made global warming. But the criteria for climate expertise and scientific prominence
included those actively publishing. The authors apparently failed to take into account the bias of
journals against publishing skeptical of the consensus, and the Kuhnian tendency for scientists to work within
the current paradigm. Science Daily
wrote this up only with the authors views, not with any critical response of the statistical methods used
to come up with the 98% number. But even if it were that high, is scientific truth decided by majority vote?
Consider the example of all those societies allied against creationism.
Does it mean that each and every individual scientist in the societies agrees with the pronouncements that
creationism is bad-bad-bad and must be stopped? Of course not not any more than members of Labor
Unions accept the political candidates the leadership officially endorse. Undoubtedly there
is a wide spectrum of opinions among the members on the subject of creationism, ID, evolutionism, and how they should be taught.
When the NAS published a booklet on Science, Evolution and Creationism (updated in 2008)
it carried the force of consensus and the prestige of the NAS. It influenced many judges, school boards and reporters.
Underneath the veneer of authority presented by the booklet, though, how many NAS members understood the issues,
were familiar with creation or ID literature, or even participated in the discussions prior to publication? Critics at
the Discovery Institute found lots of errors and misrepresentations in the document (see
Evolution News & Views).
Rather than promoting the kind of debate and discussion that is essential for the health of science, the booklet
simply dismissed, with the swipe of a hand, a whole lively field of inquiry into intelligent design that
overlaps heavily into secular science itself (biomimetics, forensics, archaeology, linguistics, SETI, communication
theory, cryptography, and more). It told any members who might have doubts about Darwin to basically
shut up. The debate is over.
The consensus of societies can sometimes mimic the dogmas of a pope or college of cardinals publishing
lists of heresies, stamped with the imprimatur of an authoritative institution. What a strange twist
of history. Its the Galileo affair all over again only with the ideological roles reversed.
An informed public, and brave individual scientists, need to be the watchdogs against such abuses.
For all their posturing, power plays and promotions, scientific societies have no more intrinsic authority
than what the facts of nature give them.
Next headline on:
Politics and Ethics
June 24, 2010 A surprising function has been discovered for a pseudogene an
apparently mutated copy of a regular gene that till recently was thought to be genetic junk.
This pseudogene, reported in Nature today,1
not only has a function unrelated to the production of proteins, but a
function that could save your life. It is part of the tumor-suppression system.
Without this piece of junk DNA your chances of getting cancer go up dramatically.
The old paradigm about pseudogenes appears poised for demolition. The old story
was that these were relic copies of good genes that, over time, started mutating away because
natural selection no longer acted on them.
The new story is that they are essential players in a complex interplay with coding genes and other
genetic regulators that control when, where, and how much genes get expressed into proteins.
Science Daily recounted the
old Central Dogma of genetics (DNA is the master controller of proteins), but said the new study
suggests there is much more to RNA than meets the eye.
The particular pseudogene studied by Poliseno et al (primarily from Harvard Medical School)
is named PTENP1. It has a clever way of working to regulate the coding gene, PTEN,
which is known to be a tumor suppressor. It acts as a kind of decoy. Since
it differs from PTEN by a mutation at the start of what would be its coding region,
it does not get translated into protein. It does, however, get transcribed into messenger RNA (mRNA).
As such, it closely resembles the regular PTEN transcript, like a decoy duck resembles a real duck.
The decoy lures the same micro-RNAs (miRNA) to latch onto it that latch onto PTEN.
Whereas the miRNAs suppress the action of PTEN, the decoys un-suppress the suppressors
by stealing them away from the protein-producing gene. In short, said the Harvard scientists,
These findings attribute a novel biological role to expressed pseudogenes, as they can regulate
coding gene expression, and reveal a non-coding function for mRNAs.
Isidore Rigoutsos (Thomas Jefferson U) commented on this discovery in the same issue of
Nature, under News and Views.2 He expanded this one case to a whole new fruitful area
Poliseno and co-workers findings could have broader implications beyond PTEN regulation. They suggest that any two co-expressed genes
lets call them g and G that are regulated by the same non-coding RNA (R) can, in principle, act as decoys for one another.
Moreover, for such a pair, any other molecule (R) that directly affects the abundance of g will also indirectly affect the abundance of
G by modulating the number of decoys g presents to G, and vice versa. Knowledge of shared targets as well as of
the relative amounts of g and G would now become relevant experimental considerations.
The commentary began by calling it surprising news that pseudogenes are functional and could
have a role in the control of cancer. While Rigoutsos noted that pseudogenes have been presumed to
be largely vestigial, he pointed to other recent findings that they are functionally connected to
other RNA regulatory elements. In the same News and Views article, and Frank Furnari (UC San Diego) said this:
Defining junk DNA is getting trickier. Pseudogenes, for instance, have been viewed as
non-essential genomic elements and have mostly been ignored. Well, they shouldnt be anymore,
according to Poliseno and colleagues, who show a clear functional relationship between the tumour-suppressor gene PTEN
and its pseudogene PTENP1 (Fig. 1). This study could have major implications for understanding mechanisms of
disease, and of cancer in particular.
Furnari also pointed to other possible diseases where breakdown of the tight regulation of the PTEN could be
responsible. Two of those are human breast and colon cancers. He said it may be time for a
redefinition of this seemingly vestigial pseudogene as a tumour-suppressor gene. In closing,
Furnari expanded the particular case to the general principle: The authors find similar associations between
other well-known cancer-associated genes and their corresponding pseudogenes. They thus demonstrate that
this unexpected mechanism of gene regulation could have broader implications in tumorigenesis and
could potentially offer new targets for anticancer drugs.
Poliseno et al made no mention of evolution in their research paper.
Rigoutsos captioned his figure Evolutionary relatives cooperate, but nowhere explained
why PTEN and PTENP1 were related by evolution, how the pseudogene evolved a function, or how evolutionary theory
enlightened the discussion or led to the discovery. Science Dailys article (a press release from
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center [BIDMC], part of Harvard Medical School) did not mention evolution, either, but
instead depicted nature as a crafty designer:
The new findings suggest that nature has crafted a clever tale of espionage such that thousands upon thousands
of mRNAs and noncoding RNAs, together with a mysterious group of genetic relics known as pseudogenes, take part in
undercover reconnaissance of cellular microRNAs, resulting in a new category of genetic elements which, when mutated,
can have consequences for cancer and human disease at large.
Another Genetic Code. This discovery multiplies the information content of the genome,
because it amounts to finding another genetic code. Non-coding transcripts are now bearers of functional information
independent of DNA. Maybe this should be considered the third genetic code (see
The past decade has witnessed an explosion in observations of small RNAs in the nucleus. What are they there for?
Since the function of pseudogenes, small RNAs and regulating mRNAs does not depend on the parts that code for proteins, they cannot have
gotten their genetic information from DNA via the Central Dogma. Pier Paolo Pandolfi of BIDMC explained,
This means that not only have we discovered a new language for mRNA, but we have also translated the previously unknown language
of up to 17,000 pseudogenes and at least 10,000 long non-coding (lnc) RNAs. Consequently, we now know the
function of an estimated 30,000 new entities, offering a novel dimension by which cellular and tumor biology can be regulated, and
effectively doubling the size of the functional genome.
1. Poliseno et al, A coding-independent function of gene and pseudogene mRNAs regulates tumour biology,
465, pp 1033–1038, 24 June 2010, doi:10.1038/nature09144.
2. Isidore Rigoutsos and Frank Furnari, Gene-expression forum: Decoy for microRNAs,
pp. 1016–1017, 24 June 2010, doi:10.1038/4651016a.
An exciting, paradigm-shifting discovery has been made.
We give it both the Darwin and Evolution and Intelligent Design tags in hopes
of starting vigorous discussion about how this came to be. Darwinists may insist that it looks
too clumsy to be designed, and could have evolved; creationists or ID people may respond that it is
ingenious, too tightly regulated to arrive at by gradual changes, and contrary to Darwinian expectations.
Biblical creationists might envision an original perfect system in partial working order.
Many interesting questions are sure to follow, but one thing everyone is agreeing on: what was once
considered junk is now known to be active and functional.
Underground railroad: read about a nutrient pipeline in the soil supplied by fungi, in the 06/17/2004 entry.
The important point for now is that the secular, Darwinist-leaning establishment was
surprised by this discovery (see Youngs Law, right sidebar).
Why were they surprised? It was because the picture of genetic junk, vestigial parts in a tinkerers
toolbox and useless leftovers mutating away under relaxed selection pressure fit their world view.
In the neo-Darwinian genetic picture, gene duplication is a source of both innovation and debris production. Two copies of
a gene, made by copy mistakes, might produce two different functional genes, or leave one functioning
and the other withering away under mutational load. Thats what pseudogenes, which
didnt make proteins or appear to do anything after getting transcribed,
represented. They were just sad leftovers of copying errors, left to die on the vine. Thats why
pseudogenes were ignored by the Darwinists for so long. They were vestigial; they were boring.
Even the name they were given pseudo genes (not really genes, but pretenders) was demeaning.
The ID scientist looks at a complex system like genetic transcription, translation
and regulation, sees all the complex activity and components, only some of which are understood, and
thinks, If its there, there might be a reason for it. Rather than dismiss something
out of hand as junk because it doesnt fit the current Central Dogma, the ID scientist looks for
evidence of function. He or she assumes an overarching purpose and design in the system, at least
in its salient features. Maybe no function will be found for a particular phenomenon, but at least
the ID scientist asks different questions: not what is this junk doing in the way? but
where does this puzzle piece fit in the picture? In this particular case, an ID scientist
would have been rewarded not with surprise so much as satisfaction: expectations fulfilled.
The only surprise would be not that the unknown piece has a function, but that the function is more
vast, marvelous and intricate than expected. Has the genome really just doubled?
Picture the Darwinist and the IDer saying Good heavens! with completely different facial
expressions and tones of voice at that revelation.
If all the geneticists had approached the black box of pseudogenes with the ID mentality,
it is quite possible that our understanding of gene regulation would have been propelled forward by years or
decades and maybe even our progress toward curing cancer. Ideas make a difference.
Recommended resource: Signature in the Cell is one year old; have you read it yet? It just
came out in paperback. Click
here for more information.
Next headline on:
Darwin and Evolution
Can the Earth Thwart Darwinism?
June 23, 2010 Microbes were all set to evolve into complex life, but the ocean held them
back. That seems to be the thinking of Dr. Simon Poulton of Newcastle University.
Toxic seas may have been responsible for delaying the evolution of life on Earth by 1 billion years,
PhysOrg reported. That seems to imply that it would have
been inevitable otherwise.
His team believes that a toxic layer of hydrogen sulfide in the oceans prevented the emergence
of complex life till the oxygenation of the oceans was complete. Then, complex life exploded into
existence, as if pent-up Darwinian energy was waiting for its debut: This has major implications as it
would have potentially restricted the evolution of higher life forms that require oxygen, explaining why
animals appear so suddenly, relatively late in the geological record.
But can the mere absence of
a toxin explain the origin of eyes, antennae, jointed appendages, fins, mouth parts, sexual organs,
digestive systems and all the other complex body parts that appeared without precursors during the
Cambrian explosion? Dr. Poulton did not discuss that side of the equation. In fact, he complicated matters by
speaking of some kind of co-evolution of life and the environment. He did not elaborate on
whether some kind of Darwinian principle of mutation and natural selection operates on the environment
as well as on life.
Here Dr. Poulton has just revealed two very non-Darwinian concepts.
First, that animals appeared suddenly not gradually, as Darwins theory predicted. He thus admitted (as he must) that the
Cambrian explosion that
was Darwins biggest dilemma in 1859 remains as a testament against Darwinian evolution.
Second, he proposed a mystical, vitalistic, almost spiritual explanation for evolution.
The life-force was there wanting to become trilobites and platypuses and orchids, but mean old Mother
Nature was holding it back. Like a wicked witch, she poisoned the brew deep in the oceans with
yucky hydrogen sulfide. Like Prometheus bound in chains, Darwins inexorable force of
evolution was powerless to proceed. Human brains would have to wait a billion years.
Lucy Gets a Date with Big Man
Over time, Mother Nature evolved from Wicked Witch to Tinker Bell. Gaia evolved
with her, as her pet microbes danced and bubbled up their oxygen. At some magic moment, the time
was ripe. The universal Life-Force was no longer restrained in its deep-ocean dungeon. It burst
forth from its prison. Gasping for oxygen, it gained new impetus and was ready to fulfill
its destiny. Life-Force invaded the microbes just as the benevolent Tinker Bell zapped them
with her mutation wand. Gaia celebrated with an explosion of color, form and function.
Eyes evolved, and now the cosmos could see! (Carl Sagan, Cosmos).
Better check this screenplay against the novel. It appears that
Dr. Poulton, the screenplay writer, took some liberties with the Origin-al plot.
Next headline on:
Darwin and Evolution
June 22, 2010 Another specimen of Australopithecus afarensis has been announced from
Ethiopia. This one supposedly preceded Lucy by 400,000 years, and according to its
discoverers, belonged to a group of primates that shows they were almost as proficient as we are
walking on two legs, and that the elongation of our legs came earlier in our evolution than
previously thought. The discovery by Yohannes Haile-Selassies team,
was published in PNAS.1 It was immediately announced
in the press by National
Geographic, Science Daily
True to tradition, the discoverers had to give the specimen a catchy name for the press.
In the local Afar tribal language, its Kadanuumuu, but in English, its Big Man.
Thats because the male had substantially larger stature than Lucy 5 feet instead of her 3 feet.
The researchers claim this specimen is 3.6 million years old (compared to Lucys 3.2 million).
Ardipithecus ramidus (Ardi), found in the same general area, is said to be 4.4 million years old.
The main claims about Big Man is that it shows upright posture more than Ardi, based
on pelvic positions and limb proportions. Only a scapula, a few ribs, parts of the neck and one
shoulder, parts of the pelvis, one arm and one leg were found no skull fragments.
Only National Geographic offered a dissenting opinion. Its writeup included the
observations of Zeresenay Alemseged, an anthropologist at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco.
He doubts that it belongs to A. afarensis, and says that without skull fragments and teeth, it is
hard to make a positive identification. He also thinks Lucy and another baby specimen claimed to
be 3.3 million years old show evidence of living in the trees.
In the paper, the team admitted that fitting the new find into an evolutionary sequence
requires a bit of punctuated equilibrium. Heres what the last paragraph said:
The total biomechanical pattern of Au. afarensis involves a host
of specialized postcranial characters, all of which are fully consistent
with data reported here for KSD-VP-1/1,2 those previously
available for Au. afarensis, and the Laetoli footprints (58, 60),
which at 3.66 Ma are just slightly older than KSD-VP-1/1 (61).
Equally important are similarities between the Au. afarensis pelvis
and the recently described H. erectus specimen from Busidima
(BSN49/P27a–d) (11). These similarities are particularly striking,
especially in light of the time separating them (at least 2.2 million
years). Such constancy of morphotype suggests that highly derived
terrestrial bipedality enjoyed a long period of stasis punctuated
only occasionally by additional modifications to the postcranium of
apparently decreasing selective significance (e.g., length of pedal
intermediate phalanges, lower limb length).
It should be noted that the Laetoli footprints, dated earlier than this specimen, are identical
to modern human footprints (03/22/2010).
Haile-Selassie seems to be claiming that bipedality evolved in a few
hundred thousand years, then remained essentially unchanged except for minor details for
almost four million years.
1. Haile-Selassie et al, An early Australopithecus afarensis postcranium from
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,
Published online before print June 21, 2010, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1004527107.
2. This is the designation for the new fossil.
This is the lightning flash before the thunder.
The news media all light up on cue, but then the long peals of thunder hit when the other teams
get angry at the Ethiopian team for trying to put the spotlight on their Big Boy, making him the new star on the
Human Evolution Walk of Shame (06/10/2010).
Just you wait. This is not the History Channel, you know; its the Follywood Squares.
Secular Geology Admits to Rapid Canyon Formation by Megafloods
Next headline on:
June 21, 2010 Its hard to deny catastrophic canyon formation when you have the
evidence right in front of you. Look what happened in Texas a few years ago, as
reported by PhysOrg:
In the summer of 2002, a week of heavy rains in Central Texas caused Canyon Lake the reservoir of the
Canyon Dam to flood over its spillway and down the Guadalupe River Valley in a planned diversion to save the
dam from catastrophic failure. The flood, which continued for six weeks, stripped the valley of mesquite, oak trees,
and soil; destroyed a bridge; and plucked meter-wide boulders from the ground. And, in a remarkable demonstration
of the power of raging waters, the flood excavated a 2.2-kilometer-long, 7-meter-deep canyon in the bedrock.
The actual canyon was formed in just three days, said
also reported the story, saying, Some of the most spectacular canyons on Earth and Mars were probably formed
in the geologic blink of an eye, suggests a new study that found clues to their formation deep in the heart of Texas.
Such catastrophic floods and canyons that resulted are not unknown in historic times, but whats new is that geologists
are taking note and applying the lesson of Canyon Lake to large, prehistoric megafloods on earth and even Mars.
PhysOrg continued, Our traditional view of deep river canyons, such as the Grand Canyon, is that they are carved slowly,
as the regular flow and occasionally moderate rushing of rivers erodes rock over periods of millions of years.
Quoting Michael Lamb of Caltech, co-author of a paper in Nature Geoscience,1 the article said that such is
not always the case: We know that some big canyons have been cut by large catastrophic flood events during Earths history.
Lamb went on to explain that there is not often an easy way to tell a catastrophically-formed canyon
from a gradually-formed one:
Unfortunately, these catastrophic megafloods which also may have chiseled out spectacular canyons on Marsgenerally
leave few telltale signs to distinguish them from slower events. There are very few modern examples of megafloods,
Lamb says, and these events are not normally witnessed, so the process by which such erosion happens is not well
understood. Nevertheless, he adds, the evidence that is left behind, like boulders and streamlined sediment
islands, suggests the presence of fast wateralthough it reveals nothing about the time frame over which the water flowed.
Lamb found that process like plucking in which boulders popped up from fractured bedrock
became sledgehammers in the current, and headward-eroding waterfalls, led to quick downward erosion of the canyon.
He hopes the features witnessed in the Canyon Lake flood will aid in interpreting megaflood evidence on earth and Mars.
Here is the abstract from the paper by Lamb and Fonstad:
Deep river canyons are thought to form slowly over geological time (see, for example, ref. 1 [Grand Canyon]), cut by moderate flows that reoccur every few years 2, 3. In contrast, some of the most spectacular canyons on Earth and Mars were probably carved rapidly during ancient megaflood events 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. Quantification of the flood discharge, duration and erosion mechanics that operated during such events is hampered because we lack modern analogues. Canyon Lake Gorge, Texas, was carved in 2002 during a single catastrophic flood 13. The event offers a rare opportunity to analyse canyon formation and test palaeo-hydraulic-reconstruction techniques under known topographic and hydraulic conditions. Here we use digital topographic models and visible/near-infrared aerial images from before and after the flood, discharge measured during the event, field measurements and sediment-transport modelling to show that the flood moved metre-sized boulders, excavated ~7 m of limestone and transformed a soil-mantled valley into a bedrock canyon in just ~3 days. We find that canyon morphology is strongly dependent on rock type: plucking of limestone blocks produced waterfalls, inner channels and bedrock strath terraces, whereas abrasion of cemented alluvium sculpted walls, plunge pools and streamlined islands. Canyon formation was so rapid that erosion might have been limited by the ability of the flow to transport sediment. We suggest that our results might improve hydraulic reconstructions of similar megafloods on Earth and Mars.
Their references included the paper by J H Bretz on the channeled scablands of Washington, and other research on the Lake Bonneville floods,
but no work by creation geologists who have postulated rapid formation of the Grand Canyon by a dam breach megaflood.
They did not discuss the Grand Canyon in their paper other than to state in the introduction that Most bedrock river
canyons are thought to be cut slowly over millions of years (for example, Grand Canyon, USA, ref. 1) by
moderate flows that reoccur every few years. They did not say whether they agree with that assessment now in
light of their work.
Lamb and Fonstad described in the paper how it is hard to tell slow processes from rapid ones:
It is difficult to identify morphologic features in Canyon Lake
Gorge that indicate canyon formation during a 3 day event, versus a
longer-lived flood or multiple events. For example, inner channels,
knickpoints and terraces are often formed slowly over geologic time
in response to shifting climate or tectonic forcing, but in Canyon
Lake Gorge and other megafloods they must have formed rapidly
through intrinsic instabilities in the erosion processes. A narrow
gorge is sometimes inferred to represent slow persistent erosion,
whereas Canyon Lake Gorge was formed in a matter of days. It
is clear that models for the rate of bedrock erosion are needed to
calculate the duration of flooding necessary to excavate a canyon
of known volume. Although notable progress has been made,
there are no well tested mechanistic models of bedrock erosion via
plucking during megafloods.
They did the best they could to come up with a semi-empirical theory of sediment transport
capacity to account for the rapid erosion of Canyon Lake Gorge. Apparently it was not the
strength of the bedrock that limited erosion, but the ability of the water to pick up and move large
blocks: Thus, it seems
plausible that erosion of well-jointed rock by large floods might
be extremely rapid, such that canyon formation is limited by the
capacity of the flood to transport plucked blocks rather than by the
plucking processes itself. Whether that is the only surprising
paradigm shift from this observational example of rapid canyon formation
remains to be seen. It may be time to change a lot of western national park
1. Lamb and Fonstad, Rapid formation of a modern bedrock canyon by a single flood event,
Published online: 20 June 2010 | doi:10.1038/ngeo894.
What does he mean this is not well understood? If the secular geologists had been reading the creationist
journals for decades, which are way ahead of the curve on this topic, they would not be so clueless.
The Creation Research Society Quarterly, Journal of Creation and other peer-reviewed journals written by
creation scientists, with field research and PhDs, have for years been talking about the power of catastrophic
processes to produce the Grand Canyon and other large earth features in just days and weeks by breached dams and
other megaflooding processes. This is nothing
new, but the secular journals and news media act like it is. Its nice for the secular crowd, still awaking
from their Lyellian slumbers, to catch the groove
finally (better late than never), but how about some attribution? Creationist authors of papers on this subject
should get together and walk into Lambs office with a stack of their papers on catastrophic canyon formation by megafloods, pile
them on his desk, and ask, Where have you been all this time?
Seduced by the dork side of the farce: 06/20/2003.
Who speaks for science? Notice what a bizarre situation this is. The secularists have been admittedly clueless
for a long time about the power of catastrophic flood geology, while the creationists have taken the lead on
the subject. But the creationists have been routinely and summarily ignored, because their opinions are
deemed religious from the outset and therefore pseudo-scientific. One would think
that what matters in science is being right. If a creation scientist has a PhD in geology or a related
subject, has demonstrated competence in field work and research, and has published his ideas, it should not be
an issue what his theology or motivations are it should matter whether his ideas are reasonable, testable,
and fit the evidence. In fact, ones degree or field work should not even matter. Some scientific ideas that have
stood the test of time were not published by people with degrees, or in peer-reviewed journals, or by the other standard
trappings of todays scientific milieu.
Philosophers of science recognize that the process of scientific
discovery is irrelevant to the designation scientific. If a geologist comes up with a theory
in a dream that turns out to work, so be it. Similarly, the process of scientific explanation should not
be evaluated based on beliefs, memberships, degrees or associations. Darwin and Wallace, you recall, were known mostly
for field studies. There may be political, social, and sociological reasons why Lamb and Fonstad did not reference
creation literature in their paper, but there is no logical or scientific reason not to do so.
But we have to have institutional standards to keep the crackpots out! some skeptical gatekeeper will say.
Guess what; a lot of them are running rampant inside the ivied walls right now (e.g., 06/14/2010,
follow the links on Dumb Ideas for a parade of the shameful). Didnt a famous Teacher once
say to clean the inside of the cup first?
Unless modern secularists want to cut out Newton, Kepler, Boyle, Faraday and a
host of other great achievers in science because they were Christians and creationists,
its wrong to exclude todays creation scientists simply on the basis of their beliefs and motivations.
Face it; everybody has beliefs and motivations. Inside the academy, they might include naturalism and defending
uniformitarianism. The only way to guard against dogmatism and self-deception is to square off with
those having other beliefs and motivations in light of the evidence. And you know, maybe some of the
best qualifications for good science come from the Judeo-Christian tradition: honesty, impartiality, humility, and
a deep, abiding respect for the truth.
Next headline on:
Hiding Comets Out of Bounds
June 20, 2010 Theres a new theory floating around about where most of the comets
came from: other stars. For many years, astronomers hid them in an unobservable region
called the Oort cloud that was assumed to be partly a remnant of the suns primordial disk,
and material that was ejected outward. Now, according to the
most comets may have an extra-solar origin. This contradicts the earlier theory that
most comets were born in the Suns protoplanetary disk.
Why the change in thinking? Dr. Harold Levison (Southwest Research Institute)
and Dr. Ramon Brasser (University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis) revisited a old model of the origin
of the Oort cloud that was rejected in the 1990s. By assuming that the sun was born in a
cluster, they used computer models to show that the sun could have grabbed disk material from
other stars. These became 90% of the suns comets, including the famous ones like
Halley, Hale-Bopp and McNaught. For 60 years we have not known how the Oort cloud
formed and for 60 years people have been looking for an answer, Brasser said.
It has been a missing piece and it might help understand the evolution and the formation of our Solar System.
If it might help, come back and tell us when it does.
In the meantime, your counterpart around another star that drifted away from the sun is falsifying
your theory. Brlxyzda Z0rls1+xb is saying that theres no way Sol could have gotten 90% of its comets
from other stars unless all the other stars in the clusters got 90% of theirs in the same way.
Its not only illogical, its unethical. Must have equality, you know.
Sol mustnt be piggish and steal all the comets from everybody else.
Evolution Tries to Figure Out Dads
The perceptive reader notices that the Oort Cloud is taught as a fact to
schoolchildren and on TV science programs, but here Brasser spilled the beans:
For 60 years we have not known how the Oort cloud
formed and for 60 years people have been looking for an answer.
Thats not surprising, since the Oort Cloud is entirely theoretical, and the
origin of theoretical entities without benefit of observations is usually somewhat puzzling.
But rest assured: now Brasser and Levison have the answer!
Problem solved! Never more will anyone ever wonder about this
six-decade-long puzzle! They just pushed the origin out to other stars
that have long since left the neighborhood. If you believe that, turn in your gullibility coupon
for an all-expense vacation to the beautiful Isle of DeBris, where you can
listen to the sea lions yodeling oort, oort, oort under nebulous theoretical clouds.
Next headline on:
June 19, 2010 Why did evolution produce fathers? After male adult humans deliver their genetic
component of the zygote, what are they good for? This is a subject in which the Darwinian
and the Judeo-Christian concepts of fatherhood begin at opposite poles. But they have to converge on the
practical observations of what fathers do best when they are at their best.
All the stories above speak of fatherhood as a healthy thing. The last one spoke of healthy
notions of masculinity and fatherhood as if those notions are intuitively obvious. Perhaps
they are, or should be, as innate parts of the male constitution. The origins of those notions,
however, and what they entail, will have radically different explanations depending on whether one is
a creationist or an evolutionist and so will the proposed societal remedies when men fail to
live up to the healthy notions of masculinity and fatherhood.
- Speak with authority: To an evolutionist, male traits are all about attracting a mate
and fighting off rivals. Ewen Calloway of
Scientist reported on a theory by UC Santa Barbara psychologist Aaron Sell
who tried to relate a mans voice with his upper body strength. Why? Sell
sold the idea that voice is a signal of fitness: You can tell a lot about a man by his handshake,
but his voice may give away even more, Calloway wrote. Both men and women can
accurately assess a mans upper body strength based on his voice alone, suggesting that the male
voice may have evolved as an indicator of fighting ability. Dr. Sell recorded
200 mens voices, and then tested their upper body strength. Next, he had his students predict
their strength based on their voices alone. The students accurately predicted
the outcomes, even though strength did not correlate with pitch or timbre. The article showed a photo
of a man lifting weights.
The missing ingredient in the Darwinian angle was whether the men with better upper
body strength had more sons, who also retained the trait and remained fitter in their populations. Keeping
the trait going would also
presuppose that women are more attracted to men with more upper body strength. Yet it seems
questionable whether males are being selected for marriage on that basis alone, at least in modern
society. If the Darwinians reply that the preference is a holdover from some evolutionary past, when the
voice-to-upper-body-strength correlation mattered (e.g., when fighting off rivals in the cave signaled
better chance for bearing live young), how long is the lag time before natural selection catches up
with current selection pressures?
Exceptions outnumber rules in many studies like this.
Charlemagne was a valiant warrior and fathered four sons, but
was said to have a wimpy, high-pitched voice. Perhaps we can all think of exceptions the other
way, too: men with macho-sounding voices (some bass-baritones, radio announcers)
who are not exactly images of physical fitness.
It is not clear that the fittest men always have the most kids, too; if the trait is sex-linked,
they would have to be sons.
There seems to be a lot of leeway for just-so explanations of any observation found. Maybe there
is some correlation between a mans larynx and his pectorals, but it is not clear Dr. Sell has
done a good Darwinian job in establishing a correlation between male vocalizations and fecundity.
A Bible theologian would look to the design in a mans body as part of the package that the Creator
pronounced good good for the purposes He had in mind. Those purposes could include, but are not restricted to,
signaling to women, children and other men that here is a man with strength and authority, worthy of dignity and respect.
- Protect the weak: It is no secret that the decline of fatherhood presence in poor
families, particularly American black families, has become a social crisis. An article in
Science Daily this week
reinforces the value of fathers for protection and nurturing of young children.
Studies have shown fathers who are active in their childrens upbringing can significantly
benefit their childrens early development, academic achievement and well being,
the article began. Now, a new study by University of South Florida researchers suggests that a fathers
involvement before his child is born may play an important role in preventing death during the first year of life
particularly if the infant is black.
Although this article did not discuss evolutionary theory, the implication is clear
that male involvement in human offspring must involve more than passing on genes. Evolutionists
and theists will have vastly different perspectives on how the need for fatherly involvement arose, but no one can
doubt, given the societal cost of fatherless homes on children, that governments need to promote two-parent
families on strictly pragmatic and economic grounds alone, if not on moral and charitable grounds.
Who could not be moved with compassion at Dr. Amina Alios concluding remark,
When fathers are involved, children thrive in school and in their development.
So, it should be no surprise that when fathers are present in the lives of pregnant mothers, babies fare much better.
- Fulfill your destiny: Men may suppress it, but they can get really torn up inside
by feelings of inadequacy, failure, purposelessness, aimlessness, and loneliness. Thats why
three times more men than women commit suicide. A study by University of British Columbia researchers
has shown that the male desire to be strong and protect the family can be a key to preventing depression
that can lead to suicide. Science
Daily said, The study suggests that men can best counter suicidal thoughts by connecting with others
namely intimate partners and family to regain some stability and to secure emotional support from others.
It was as if men were finding fulfillment in their traditional masculine ideals:
Here, mens strong sense of masculine roles and responsibility as a provider and protector
enables men to hold on while seeking support to regain some self-control, the article said.
But when they tried to be the stoic warrior and hide their feelings, failing to reach out to other men
for support, it could have bad effects, like leading to alcohol and other forms of escapism.
The psychologists recognized spirituality as an ingredient: Support from friends and
connecting to other things including spirituality is often the conduit to men seeking professional help
to overcome the suicidal thoughts that can accompany severe depression. Theists might
disagree on the sequence of causes, effects, definitions and treatment options listed, but no attempt
was made in the article to explain the evolution of responsibility, masculinity, or spirituality.
- Be involved with your kids: A strong but gentle dad of African-American descent, smiling
as he carries his daughter on his back, adorns an article on PhysOrg
titled, Even if they are absent from the home, men can learn to become better fathers.
The University of Chicagos School of Social Service Administration is making the point that
social workers need to wake up to the fact that fathers are important. For too long, their focus
has been on the needs of mothers. Much of the crisis in the black community, though, stems from absentee
fathers young men becoming dads before they are ready, boys in fatherless homes growing up without
male role models, poverty and crime, and single moms having bad attitudes about their childrens
The study listed a number of remedies, like: Female social workers should not immediately
negatively judge mens capacity to be fathers and should encourage single mothers to involve their
childrens fathers. That was mentioned as if it must be a common response; perhaps
social workers are a big part of the problem. In addition to the stating the obvious idea that fathers should be encouraged
to take more of an active role in their childrens lives, a study leader said, We must provide opportunities
for these young men to see and embrace healthy notions of masculinity and fatherhood.
We need social workers and psychologists to solve fatherless families
like we need ACORN to clean up street prostitution. If you want to get really angry, read this
history of the welfare state and backfiring liberal policy toward inner-city blacks in
City Journal by Kay S. Hymowitz,
The Black Family: 40 Years of Lies. Inner-city blacks, 70% of whom grow up in
fatherless homes, have been the victims of decades of lies and counterproductive
social policies perpetrated by leftists in academia, feminists and social liberals who attributed
inner city problems to the wrong causes. For some of them to be coming around now and saying,
Oh, we think that fatherhood is a good thing is like a pimp telling his girls that
virginity and motherhood are nice.
Fossils Without Evolution
Why is there this unspoken presumption in these articles
that the solution to societal ills resides in academia and among social workers? Good grief;
where are the preachers? Are there no churches that know how to open up and explain the Operations Manual provided by the
Manufacturer? There are many good churches in the inner city (the ones that have not been swallowed up by
liberals and neo-communists). That is what the black families need.
Get the young black absentee dads into church to hear the Word of God from a strong, masculine, black preacher
that commands respect; get them saved, and you will see lives changed. Lives changed will produce healed
families and healed communities, and healed cities without the help of government,
psychologists, social workers and academics; why? Because their God is strong, and has the power to heal.
Theres nothing more admirable than a strong, virtuous, masculine black father loving
his kids and teaching them to be good citizens.
At CEH we applaud all those who buck the trend of their culture and take their roles seriously especially
those who try to make a difference and reverse the awful toll that liberalism has taken on the African-American
family for 40 years. Of course there is nothing innate in any minority group that makes them prone to
this kind of problem. It is the policies that certain self-appointed leaders bring, saying,
We just want to help you. You dont need their help. You need a right relationship
with your Maker. You need to follow the directions in the Operations Manual he gave you, and you need
to stand up like a man and take responsibility for the role he created you to fulfill. Guess what:
things work when you follow the directions. (Guys, when will we ever learn that?)
Stop listening to the help of those who dont follow the directions. Stop voting for
them. Take away their power, and tell them to skedaddle out of town.
The evolutionary tale robs men of their dignity. It turns guys into sperm donors
with attitude. Darwinists try to make us like glorified elk or bighorn sheep knocking heads
with each other (well, there is the Rams football team). They make us merely hunters
and gatherers that evolved from apes, cavemen with nothing more to do than evolve, eat, fight, mate, and die.
No wonder men taught that way act that way. But neither should men and women deny their multi-faceted
natures. The key is to become integrated persons, fulfilling the roles we were given by our Creator.
Consider a couple of things: (1) Embrace your created physical nature (not the sin part). We are creatures.
You are not a god; you are not becoming a god; you will never be a god. We share a lot with the
other creatures God made. Thats OK; thats good.
Geographic has a photo gallery for Fathers Day of Best Animal Dads showing all the
funny, cute, and amazing things that male animals do for their young. Think of what an Emperor Penguin goes through.
Cool. But we are not merely animals we have a spiritual, intellectual nature that is unique.
If your sin is forgiven, you can share in the divine nature through Christ and be one with him. No other animal
can do that. We still have to eat, carry out our bodily functions, have sex, work, and do all the
physical things required to live on a planet with the animals, but we have a destiny beyond this world, too.
The physical part underwent a curse. It isnt the Garden of Eden any more, but its still quite good.
If something is clean and God made it, and not forbidden, God gave it to us to enjoy
(I Timothy 4:1-8). Just enjoy it in
moderation and dont make anything an idol.
(2) Exercise your unique spiritual nature. Become a hunter and gatherer for Truth.
Its the beyond-animalness that gives joy and depth to our lives. Integrity, responsibility, leadership,
hard work, perseverance, virtue these are manly values you can exhibit and teach to your children.
Ideas, missions accomplished, character qualities not possessions are things your family members and
colleagues will appreciate most about you.
They are also the things that will give you direction and purpose, and steer you away from depression.
Your work has dignity because everything you do is part of a witness of Gods work in the world.
Most of all, your personal walk with your Creator will keep you one foot in eternity till its time to leave your bodily tent behind.
Evolutionists mock all this, of course, which is the main thing they know how to do, but
lets turn the tables a bit, and ask them about this fatherhood business.
If you are a Darwinist, you presumably had parents, unless you were born in a test tube and raised by
robots or wolves or in an orphanage regardless of what happened in your case, are you either glad you had parents,
or did you wish you had good parents? Are you attempting to be a good parent, or would you
like to become one? Why do you feel that way? Is it because of some evolutionary pressure
that happened among a hominid population a million years ago that turned out good for the offspring then,
and continues today by some kind of genetic inertia? Are you under any obligation to follow that pressure now? Why not do your
own thing? Should the government promote healthy families in the inner cities, or do you care?
Why do you care? You should ask these questions. What is that tug in your soul to care about things,
even about evolutionism or creationism? Where did it come from? Did caring evolve? How would you ever know?
Why are you even thinking about the question right now? What is thinking? What is a thought? Is it made of molecules?
Was thinking inherent in the big bang? Youre ascribing a lot of fatherhood to an explosion right now.
One might say youre making it kind of a god. Why not choose a god that is purposeful, wise and caring,
instead of one that is pointless and dumb?
Next headline on:
Darwin and Evolution
Bible and Theology
June 18, 2010 New fossils continue to turn up around the world. Many of them
have an amazing characteristic in common: they look almost exactly like their living
counterparts, despite being millions of years old, according to the evolutionary timescale.
Its interesting sometimes to hear how the evolutionists explain the remarkable
lack of evolution in all that time.
Archaeology is a subset of paleontology that deals with human cultural remains. A few articles about that appeared
recently, and they also showed that we humans have not changed much. PhysOrg
reported a new set of cave paintings in Romania alleged to be up to 35,000 years old that show black-paint drawings of
a horse, bear, buffalo and rhinoceros the human propensity for representational art.
- Fig wasp: Dont evolve a good thing: Science
Daily reported that the worlds oldest fig wasp fossil has been discovered on the Isle of Wight.
The fossil wasp is almost identical to the modern species, proving that this tiny but specialized insect has
remained virtually unchanged for over 34 million years. Thats nearly double the previous record for
this species (20 million years), and almost six times the amount of
time apes are said to have come down from the trees and evolved into Platos, Mozarts and oil executives. Dr. Steve Compton
of Londons Natural History Museum stated an evolutionary theory rescue device called give the mystery a name
when he said, Although we often think of the world as constantly changing, what this fossil gives us is an example of
something remaining unchanged for tens of millions of years something which in biology we call stasis.
Science Daily tossed in a little humor on that point in its headline: Worlds Oldest Fig Wasp Fossil Proves That If It
Works, Dont Change It. But is that an evolutionary law of nature? If monkeys worked, why did they change into humans,
and why are there still monkeys?
- Amber alert: Scientists at Oregon State look into amber and use them as crystal balls to see
visions. PhysOrg reported that the static images of
dead insects and other animals become to them moving pictures of behaviors that tell evolutionary stories:
All kinds of behavior, ranging from the nurturing protection of a mother, mating and reproductive instincts,
to the behavior of pathogenic microbes can be observed in extinct life thats millions of years old, and was
captured in oozing tree sap that later turned into the semi-precious stone amber. A captivating picture
of a millipede clutching its newly hatched young at the moment it died accompanies the article.
If hoping to find evidence of evolution in the article, though, the reader will be disappointed.
The range of evidence, the researchers said, suggests a different view of evolution that most behavior
appears to be retained, and when it doesnt serve the long-term survival of the species, extinction occurs.
The article mentions a 100-million-year old fossil of a gecko the same sophisticated method of toe adhesion that
allows it to walk easily on vertical and even inverted surfaces - a capability that served it well when it was skittering
away from dinosaurs then, or is skipping through the jungles of Southeast Asia today. But how
did the traits and behaviors arise in the first place? Gecko toe adhesion is a very complex trait (12/06/2006).
Even speaking of humans, the authors of Fossil Behavior Compendium (George Poinar and Arthur Boucot), said
from what we know of basic human behaviors, it is clear there has been no significant change since the beginnings of recorded history.
Based on analysis of Neanderthal skull injuries, sexual behaviors, aggression, violence against members of their own
species appear to be hard-wired, they claim (though it would seem drawing such inferences from skull marks is profoundly subjective).
In short, if there were examples of fossils in their book that do show evolutionary change, they were
not mentioned in the article. It appears the authors did not mention them because they could not. Poinar said,
Species may evolve physically, but behavioral changes are much less obvious and many species
will go extinct because they cannot change the way they act. Yet it is not clear from this statement why
natural selection should be impotent to act on behavior, if it is presumed to be so powerful as to produce an elephant
or a giraffe from a small Cretaceous mammal in a few tens of millions of years. Presumably, natural selection outfitted
these animals with the behaviors needed to operate their bodies in their new habitats, so why could it not also modify
behaviors of animals when environments change, to prevent extinction? This seems to be a very subjective application
of evolutionary theory after the fact to explain opposite things.
Extinction, furthermore, is not evolution. It may clear the playing field of misfits, but surely it does not
add any genetic information for innovation.
- Pelican evolution? Not here. The earliest known pelican fossil, said to be 30 million years old, has been found
in France, reported the BBC News.
What has surprised them most about this ancient pelican is that it is almost identical to modern species.
Other than slightly different proportions, there is nothing primitive about it. The discovery has surprised the researchers,
because it reveals just how little pelicans have evolved over huge expanses of time. The article began to
sound like a broken record about the lack of evolution: That means that pelicans and their huge beaks
have survived unchanged since the Oligocene epoch.
The discoverer said, It is so similar to modern pelicans, despite its 30 million years.
Can evolutionists explain why there was no change in all that time? That suggests that pelicans quickly evolved their huge beaks and have
maintained them almost unchanged since because they are optimal for fish feeding.
Another possibility: However, it could also be that the giant beak has not evolved in the past 30 million years
because of constraints imposed by flying. But that idea seems a stretch. It does not seem to have affected other birds,
that grew large beaks, small beaks, large wings, small wings, in all kinds of different habitats.
Dr. Antoine Louchart, the discoverer, offered another explanation for the missing evolution. He
suggested that while the skeleton shows stasis, perhaps changes in other characterisics [sic] occurred, such as plumage or behaviour
though, conveniently, none of those are open to observation or testing. Louchart also made the odd claim
that this is a rare example of an animal showing little or no change in the fossil record. The only other
good examples, says Dr Louchart, are bats, which have a body shape that appears to have survived unaltered for around 50 million years.
Perhaps he had a memory lapse; horseshoe crabs are still living virtually unchanged after an alleged 500 million years
(06/21/2002) as are other members from the Cambrian explosion and many living fossils.
Also, there was no mention of a bat ancestor or a pelican ancestor in the article. Just as the first bat fossil
was 100% bat, if this was the earliest pelican ever found, it was already 100% pelican.
Update 06/22/2010: Jeff Hecht reported on this fossil in
that it poses an evolutionary puzzle. He said it raises interesting questions over why evolution
has left the birds so little changed over such a long period. Any hopes for solving this puzzle, however,
evaporated within the article. After mentioning only one suggestion, Hecht said,
Louchart is not convinced that either of these hypotheses offers a complete explanation; he thinks something
else may be involved but does not know what that might be. No other possibilities were even mentioned.
In fact, the puzzle grew deeper: The find not only pushes back the origins of pelicans, but of related birds too.
- Mammal evolution? Gnaw. Large gnawing marks were found on dinosaur bones, reported
PhysOrg. Experts identify the bite marks from the
alleged 75-million-year-old late Cretaceous bones: They think they were most likely made by multituberculates,
an extinct order of archaic mammals that resemble rodents and had paired upper and lower incisors.
Even though the species are extinct, Nicholas Longrich of Yale noticed something about them that made him pay
attention: The marks stood out for me because I remember seeing the gnaw marks on the antlers of a
deer my father brought home when I was young. Extinct or not, rodent tooth marks have not changed that
much in 75 million years.
The article hastily added an evolutionary spin to make it appear that at least something has evolved in all
that time: But he points out that the Late Cretaceous creatures
that chewed on these bones were not nearly as adept at gnawing as todays rodents, which developed that
ability long after dinosaurs went extinct. Its not clear how that claim could be tested.
They must have been good enough to gnaw on the rib bone of a large dinosaur. Thats pretty adept.
How much more adept did Longrich expect them to become?
- A hippos tale There was an article in PNAS trying to figure out where hippos, whales and
other mammals relate to each other.1 Their concern was to try to reduce the long (40 million year) ghost lineage between
the earliest whale and the earliest hippopotamus, assuming they had a common ancestor.
Their hypothesis reduces this ghost lineage down by a third. With more finagling they
felt they could reduce it further. Perhaps that represents
progress, but it still means there is at least a 15 million year gap with no evidence
for an evolutionary relationship. Heres what they said next. The reader can decide
if the outlook is promising:
Different hypotheses, reflecting the poorly understood basal
relationships of Cetartiodactyla, have been proposed for the origin
of anthracotheriids. Eocene Asian Helohyidae and
Diacodexeidae were suggested as stem groups. However,
recent phylogenetic analysis did not support close relationships
between those taxa and anthracotheriids (e.g., refs. 10, 15, 22, and
35). Alternative sister taxa to the Hippopotamoidea were recently
suggested, notably archaeocetes, cebochoerids, or larger
clades including cebochoerids, raoellids, cetaceans, and hippopotamids
(e.g., ref. 15). The Raoellidae (Eocene, Asia) have also
been suggested to be related to anthracotheriids, but to our
knowledge, no formal phylogenetic analysis supported this hypothesis
or included a suitable taxa sample to test this relationship.
Additional confusion was recently introduced with results
supporting a polyphyletic Anthracotheriidae, markedly at
odds with the paleontological literature. Our results offer
another hypothesis for hippopotamoid origins by suggesting close
affinities with the middle Eocene European Choeropotamus
(Choeropotamidae) based on molar and premolar morphology
(Fig. 3). This hypothesis is congruent with older hypotheses (e.g.,
ref. 69), but disagrees with most recent ones (43, 70, 71). Choeropotamidae
occur far back into the earliest Eocene of Europe, ~54
Ma (Cuisitherium), and are thus roughly contemporary with
the first archaeocete known in the Indian subcontinent deposits.
This hypothesis needs to be further investigated with review of
additional evidence, notably the craniomandibular morphology. If
confirmed, the basal history of the Hippopotamoidea would be
filled in, reaching probably very close in time to the hippopotamid–cetacean last common ancestor.
The authors did not explain how all these animals might have developed their complex traits,
behaviors and body types. Basically, to get these animals related by evolution somehow, they just compared teeth between 26 species.
There is nothing in the outward appearance of a hippopotamus and a whale that would suggest to a neutral observer
a shared ancestry between them; is a ghost lineage a scientific concept or an artifact of imagination?
- Modern teeth 1 million years BC: Another paper in PNAS demonstrates that our ancestors a million years ago,
if they lived that long ago, had tooth development just like ours.2 At a cave in Spain, scientists
tested the teeth of a juvenile hominin and found that at least one European hominin species had a fully modern
pattern of dental development with a clear slowdown in the development of the molar field regarding the anterior dental field.
This indicates that the youth had a prolonged childhood, just like modern children have. That hasnt changed in
a million years, they say, even well before Cro-Magnon man supposedly overtook the Neanderthals in Europe: If this
hypothesis is true, it implies that the appearance in Homo of this
important developmental biological feature and an associated increase
in brain size preceded the development of the neocortical
areas leading to the cognitive capabilities that are thought to be
exclusive to Homo sapiens.
What does this finding do to other ideas about human evolution?
These results push back the date of the earliest appearance of a prolonged childhood
in hominins to more than 600 kya than previously thought, they said in their conclusion.
Therefore, the appearance of a prolonged childhood and
an associated increase in brain size preceded the development of
the neocortical areas leading to cognitive capabilities, such as
language, which are thought to be exclusive to H. sapiens.
But if people had larger brains and the propensity for language and culture farther back in time,
it puts more stress on the evolutionary conundrum of why culture and civilization did not
originate sooner. Recorded history with written language begins in Sumer about 3500 BCE
and with it cities, agriculture, shipping, and long-distance trade. What was going on for the other 994,500 years?
Several science news sites, such as
Geographic, reported the discovery of the worlds oldest leather shoe found in a cave in Armenia stunningly
preserved with laces and all. The shoe was created about the time (3500 BCE) that cuneiform writing was being invented in Sumeria.
One shoe designer remarked, It is astonishing how much this shoe resembles a modern shoe! The desire
to keep feet away from thorns by using human ingenuity is something we can understand immediately by looking at the picture;
we can even sense the makers appreciation for style as well as function.
Moving to Iron Age times (1000-900 BCE), scientists in Israel found evidence at Tell Rehov in the Jordan Valley
that Israelites were using some of the finest honeybees for their apiculture (honey farming) by importing hives from Anitolia
instead of using the local Syrian species, finding imported bees superior to the local bees in terms of their
milder temper and improved honey yield.
Their paper, published in PNAS3, was
summarized by Live Science.
Add some cows from Bashan and you have the Biblical land of milk and honey.
1. Orliac et al, Early Miocene hippopotamids (Cetartiodactyla) constrain the phylogenetic and spatiotemporal settings of hippopotamid origin,
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,
published online before print June 14, 2010, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1001373107.
2. de Castro et al, New immature hominin fossil from European Lower Pleistocene shows the
earliest evidence of a modern human dental development pattern,
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,
published online before print June 14, 2010, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1006772107.
3. Block et al, Industrial apiculture in the Jordan valley during Biblical times with Anatolian honeybees,
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,
published online before print June 7, 2010, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1003265107.
The first realization that should sink deeply into the consciousness of readers
is that evolution is not happening and has not happened by the one empirical measure available: the fossil record.
Ponder that. Extinction, yes but not evolution. Fossils show that we live in an impoverished world compared
to the biodiversity that once was. Evolutionists attempt to parcel out fossils into their geological scheme to
make it appear that there has been progressive change, but the examples above, and many others we have reported over
the decade, show an abrupt appearance of complex life, extinction and stasis the absence of evolution
Have you heard that scientists can detect climate patterns in sediments based on long-term orbital patterns the earth goes through, called
Milankovitch cycles? Last year, a report said those cycles are indistinguishable from randomness.
See the 06/02/2009 entry.
Michael Oard published an article in the
recent Creation Magazine (Vol 32, No. 3, 2010, pp. 14-15)
that asked, Are fossils ever found in the wrong place? His answer is, yes, all the time.
Evolutionists have various explanatory tricks to brush away the evidence. We saw one above with the use of the
word stasis using it like a magic wand. The Darwin Magician holds up the Stasis Wand and
waves it over the fig wasp, and says, And you, little fig wasp, you shall have the magical power to withstand
the all-encompassing force of Natural Selection! I declare thee exempt from its power! The fig wasp
goes into a hypnotic trance, and like Rip Van Winkle, enters STASIS for 34 million years, while all the world around
them swirls in its fluid evolutionary continuum of change. If the magic show
doesnt impress you, maybe the comedy act will: Worlds Oldest Fig Wasp Fossil Proves That If It
Works, Dont Change It (see Humor in the Baloney Detector).
How did you like their ghost story? The Darwinists invoke ghost lineages to fill in gaps in their
story. Hey, Dawkins, what were you saying about people who believe in fairies, hobgoblins, and ghosts?
Talk to your buddies in the Darwin Party.
Oard describes other tricks of the Darwin trade: inventing terms like living fossils and
Lazarus taxa (theres a plagiarism from the Bible; for an example of the term in use by evolutionists, see
09/04/2009). These terms refer to species thought to be extinct for 60, 100, 200, 300,
million years or more leaving no trace in the record suddenly to rise from the dead and be found alive on some remote part
of the earth (to see how they try to explain these away, see 12/04/2007).
Out-of-order fossils cause their lineages to get pushed upward (old to young) and downward (young to old,
e.g. 03/26/2009). We see this happening
over and over again, all the time. Conclusion: the geologic column, with its representative fossils showing
an evolutionary history, is a myth: the fact is that evolution is assumed and then used to explain
the fossils, Oard said. So, when fossils are found in odd places and not known before, the
evolutionists just change their story about evolution. For another explanation on how evolutionists
morph their stories when the data dont fit, read Paul Nelsons Seeing Ghosts in the Bushes articles on Evolution News & Views,
Part 1 and
Part 2, where
he goes into more detail about evolutionists and their ghost lineages.
We must be wise to their tricks. That is
the first realization that should sink deeply into our consciousness.
The second realization follows logically from the first. All those millions of years of stasis
evaporate upon logical reflection. Think about it. Heres a fig wasp fossil in the UK the Darwinists tell us is 34 million
years old. Heres a fig wasp fossil in the Dominican Republic they say is 20 million years old.
Here is a living fig wasp. They all look identical. Question: if we already know the Darwinists are
tricksters, why should we trust them with their millions-of-years talk?
On the one hand, they tell us evolution is so powerful, so pervasive that it can turn a dog-size mammal into a sperm whale
in six million years. Is it credible that these wasps really did nothing for many times that amount of time?
Furthermore, are we to believe that the Wollemi pine lived throughout 150 million years since dinosaurs walked the earth, leaving not
a single trace in the fossil record, till it was discovered in 1995? Similar questions could be
asked about the many other living fossils that should be a huge embarrassment to the Darwinists.
Why not take the simpler, more parsimonious explanation? Cut out the needless millions of years,
which are not observable anyway, and recognize
that probably not very much time has passed between those fossils. But the dating methods prove it! someone screams.
No, they dont. Evolutionists pick and choose the dating methods they like the ones that give them the deep time they need.
They ignore many other dating methods that set severe upper limits on the fossils and strata. Deep time was invented as a
philosophical choice before the evidence spoke (07/25/2008). It was a choice intended to free geology from dependence
on the Bible (and with the secular geologists came the Darwinian biologists).
Deep time has become the Darwin Partys deep pockets. Like a government slush fund,
it has become an endless source of explanatory resources from which they borrow, with no responsibility or
accountability. Like a dusty museum archive, it is a place to stash the stasis out of sight of the public.
The evolution is just out there, in the millions-of-years somewhere, where we dont have to show it.
Meanwhile, the schoolchildren are shown the marbled halls and multimedia displays honoring Darwin not
the ugly truth of stasis, stasis, stasis.
This is why Baloney Detecting is so vital in our Darwin-drunk age. The reporters are not doing critical analysis.
If you learn to read science news articles carefully if you are up to their tricks if you sieve out the actual
data, then you can see what it actually indicates. Then you ask the right questions: where is the evolution?
Where is the actual empirical evidence of slow, gradual progress from bacteria to man? Where is the millions
of years? When all you actually see is stasis, and humorous evolutionary dances around the data to keep you
believing in the Darwin regime, while the Darwin damage control people are sneaking in behind the facades, then
you understand. Its not science; its an act. And its high time somebody clean up this act.
Next headline on:
Bible Times or Theology
How Well Do We Know What Stuff Is Made Of?
June 17, 2010 When we think of the hard sciences, physics usually tops the list.
A closer look at what physicists think the universe is made of, though, hardly makes the science look hard.
Look at this headline on PhysOrg, for instance:
Study finds there may be multiple God particles. The title refers, of
course, to the famed Higgs Boson, not to some supernatural entity. The Large Hadron Collider was
hoping to find evidence of this particle that Nobel laureate Leon Lederman called the God particle
because, he said, its discovery could help unify our understanding of the universe and
know the mind of God. But now, according to Fermilab scientists, there might be
five versions of the Higgs boson (which hasnt been discovered yet).
Frank Close wrote a book review in Nature this week on this subject.1
The book is Massive: The Hunt for the God Particle by Ian Sample. He points out that particle physicists
hate the label god particle that the media continue to give it, and notes that many argue that it should
not be called the Higgs boson because the concept has a longer history. It turns out there is as much
sociology, theory and nomenclature at work as physics in the conception of what lies at the foundations of matter.
Whereas the W and Z bosons that carry the weak force make use of this mechanism, the photon that carries the electromagnetic force does not; it remains massless. Why this happens remains unanswered....
An understanding of the terms is not as important as a perception that various competing teams appeared to be
playing with shadows in the dark, and making up concepts as they went along. Can a particle really be a carrier of
a force? Can mechanisms generate mass just because a theory needs it? Where is the mass coming from?
As useful as the terms and nomenclature become to theory, does nature owe any obligation to
conform to human conceptions? Did nature suddenly change properties this year when one Higgs boson became five?
Behind all this theory lies the work of another British physicist, Jeffrey Goldstone. In his investigation of spontaneous symmetry breaking in 1961, Goldstone identified two bosons that played a part: one was massive, the other massless. Both differed from the photon or W boson in that they lacked the intrinsic quantum property of spin. Empirical evidence indicated that the massless Goldstone boson does not exist, flagging up a theoretical quandary that received much attention at the time from those who hoped to use the theory as a basis for uniting the weak and electromagnetic interactions. The mechanism discovered by the three groups of physicists in 1964 explained how Goldstones massless boson could disappear, in the process giving a mass to the W boson that transmits the weak force. It thus solved two problems for the price of one, and paved the way for the modern theory of the electroweak force.
Sample recognizes this work but overlooks its massive counterpart, which is where the excitement lies today. The irony is that it also went largely ignored in 1964. Brout and Englert made no mention of it in their paper, although they were aware of its manifestation in condensed-matter physics. Guralnik, Hagen and Kibble suppressed it in their analysis, which was simplified to focus on the removal of its massless companion. Higgs alone pursued it. What is being called Higgss boson is, in effect, Goldstones massive boson. Although at least six physicists can lay claim to this particular mechanism for generating mass, only Higgs realized the importance of the massive boson in testing the theory.
The intuitive answer to such questions is that of course nature didnt change: we did.
Our scientific understanding of nature changed. But then can we assume it is improving? Is it evolving?
Is our understanding continuously changing, and if so, is there any point at which we can say we understand something
with a sufficient degree of certainty? At what point do we jettison things
textbooks have been teaching for decades? Can we assume we have the story right now?
What unforeseen discoveries in the next few years will have us regretting that what we are learning in 2010 is
These are serious questions, underscored by another example in
Scientist this week, Anti-neutrinos odd behaviour points to new physics,
as if all we need right now is a new physics (the hard science). Reporter Anil Ananthaswamy wrote,
The astounding ability of these subatomic particles to morph from one type to another may have created
another crack in our understanding of nature. This crack, he said,
cannot be explained by standard model physics. Granted, neutrino physics experiments are
difficult, but a Fermilab test of theory produced unexpected results. Jenny Thomas of University College
London put a happy face on it: If the effect is real, then there is some physics that is not expected.
Then there is something new that we dont understand, and thats fantastic.
1. Frank Close, How the boson got Higgss name,
465, pp. 873–874, 17 June 2010, doi:10.1038/465873a.
Rejoicing in ones ignorance may be an exuberant form of humility, but it is not the kind of
progress one expects from multi-million-dollar investments in science.
Remember this next time you watch some TV program boasting about how scientists are on the verge of coming
up with a theory of everything. For an excellent background on the Standard Model and what
it does and does not explain, read David Berlinskis penetrating essay, The
State of the Matter (The Deniable Darwin and Other Essays, Discovery Institute, 2009.)
Also recommended are the lectures on scientific reduction (23-24) in Jeffrey Kassers
Teaching Company series on
Philosophy of Science, which ask what value is being added to explanation when things get reduced
to fundamental physics. In another
Teaching Company series,
Steven L. Goldman (Lehigh U) in Science in the 20th Century : A Social-Intellectual Survey
provides a colorful look at the personalities and milestones involved in quantum mechanics,
quantum electrodynamics and quantum chromodynamics and how our views of reality changed
dramatically over the last 100 years. In another
Teaching Company series,
Science Wars, he asked what we mean by reality, whether science can approach it,
and what confidence we can have that our concepts of reality will remain intact a century from now
given that they have changed drastically and repeatedly over the past few centuries.
An Ugly Head Rises in Lenins Land
The reader should note that whether theories work is a separate question
from whether they are true. The Egyptians built the pyramids with remarkable precision while believing
astrology. We build cell phones and use GPS and lasers and a host of wondrous
devices using quantum theory without a clue why nature behaves in the bizarre ways described by
quantum mechanics. How can something be a wave and a particle? How can a photon pass
through two slits at once? How can two particles seem to interact instantaneously at a distance?
How can an observer play a role in the outcome of a quantum event? We have no idea.
One mark of a good scientist is humility.
Next headline on:
June 16, 2010 According to Andy Coghlan, reporter for
Scientist, the spectre of an ugly head is rising in Russia. What is it?
Its not atheism, because Coghlan admits that Russia once made that the state religion.
Its not communism, because Coghlan admits Godless communism once prevailed in
the Soviet Union. No, it is an ugly head Coghlan believes Russian dissidents, scientists and
liberals must band together to fight before it invades the schools of the vast country.
What is it, you ask? Creationism. Yes, creationism has now reared its
ugly and evolving head in Russia, the heart of the Godless communism that prevailed in the Soviet Union,
Andy Coghlan wrote. In a strange twist of fate, American creationists have taken on the role of
the Comintern and are propagandizing Russian schools with the subversive doctrine that Darwins
theory remains a theory... This means it should be taught to children as one of several theories,
but children should know of other theories too.
How could this ever happen in a land that once imprisoned pastors and closed churches,
turning them into museums of atheism? Coghlan referenced a superb blog by Michael Zimmerman
in the Huffington Post as a source. (Zimmerman, head of the Clergy Letter Project,
seeks to get American pastors to sign a statement that Darwinism is not such a bad idea.) Coghlan
also referenced the Dover, Pennsylvania court case as momentous in combatting American
attempts to allow creationism and intelligent design to get a foothold in schools.
The irony rises to a fever pitch at the end of the article. Coghlan quotes a
Russian dissident who conflates fighting alternatives to Darwinism with fighting communist
propaganda: Its a dangerous idea and we will do all we can to stop it.
We overcame communism as the state ideology and certain forces want to replace it with Orthodox Christianity.
It appears nobody not even the Archbishop of the Russian Orthodox Church whom Coghlan quoted
was even suggesting making the Russian Orthodox Church a state ideology; even so, it begs the question
how teaching creationism in science classes would lead to that, if such a suggestion were even on the table.
But visions of moral equivalency like booting Darwin out of science class, sending biology teachers to Siberia, or
turning science centers into museums of Russian Orthodoxy are surely absurd. Yet Coghlan ended with this shocker:
With pressure from evangelicals for the US to abandon the division between church and state insisted upon by
Thomas Jefferson and the founding fathers, and the growing influence of the Orthodox church within Russia,
we could see an unlikely alliance forged between former enemies.
Jefferson and Lenin would be spinning in their tombs.
For some clarity on what Jefferson meant by the oft-quoted wall of separation between church and state
(not a part of the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, or Bill of Rights, but part of a letter he wrote
to Baptists worried about the Federal governments power to infringe on their rights), readers are encouraged to
see this explanation on Wallbuilders.org that
shows it has been turned to mean the exact opposite of what Jefferson meant and believed.
Is there any reader not left breathless with disbelief at such
a statement like what Coghlan just said? Any reporter who can put Lenin and Jefferson in
the same sentence as allies against creationists has just reached a new low, both in historical ineptitude
and calumny. This guy needs a serious remedial education. We suggest some Teaching Company courses in the Rise
of Soviet Communism and Utopia and Terror in the 20th Century for starters, and some good books
on the horrors perpetrated by the communist dictators. Remember the unforgettable
11/30/2005 entry? How on earth can one compare such
polar opposites as Jefferson, lover of liberty, with a murderous totalitarian dictator like Lenin, whose
first acts were to shut down freedom of the press, freedom of education, freedom of religion, freedom
of speech, freedom of assembly, institute one-party rule, and start murdering everyone who opposed
him? We need a category not just for Dumb Ideas, but for Evil Ideas.
Butterfly Wing Shimmer Done With 3-D Crystals
If you are a Darwinist reading this, welcome. See? This is part of the
open marketplace of ideas. (Notice: This is part of the open marketplace that American students dont get.)
One thing you can be assured of is that creationists, as much as you may despise their beliefs, are not
bad people. Take any one of the famous ones: Henry Morris (see Scientist of the Month) or
Duane Gish, say; even pro-Darwin historians will be among the first to state openly that they are (or
were, in the case of Henry) nice, pleasant people (as well as qualified and informed scientists).
They didnt go around ordering purges of their enemies (with real guns and real bullets) and sending people to Siberia, OK?
The same is true of all the leaders of the Intelligent
Design movement. You would be hard put to find a more pleasant group of people to share a stage
or a lunch with. Even Michael Ruse knows that. Take Paul Nelson to lunch sometime as a
scientific experiment and youll see. If you had a chance to live in a country ruled by creationists or by communist
dictators of the likes of Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Kim Il Sung, Castro or the rest of those
murderous incarnations of evil, you can be sure that 100 times out of 100, you would flee the Iron
Curtain at every chance for the freedom that coincides with those who embrace ID or creation or both.
Please notice also that no mainline creationist or ID organization has ever advocating banning Darwin.
In fact, ICR and some ID organizations have stated clearly that they want to teach more Darwin
than the Darwinists allow the schools to teach. One reason is to include both the strengths and
weaknesses of the theory, but another is the reality that students cannot understand the 20th century
without an understanding of Darwinism. The only dogmatists who want to teach one side are the
DODOs (Darwin-only, Darwin-only). Its the Darwin-olators that would have Jefferson spinning
in his grave. As for Lenin, well; most people who know their history would be grinning
with satisfaction to see the RPMs turned up on his tomb.
Next headline on:
Darwin and Evolution
Politics and Ethics
Bible and Theology
June 15, 2010 Those shimmering flashes of light seen on butterfly wings are not done
with pigments. Theyre done with tiny, geometric crystals called gyroids stacked in 3-D patterns,
scientists have found. They are so effective at concentrating color, the scientists want
to imitate the trick.
A precise characterization of
color-producing biological nanostructures is critical to understanding their optical function and
development, the authors of the paper in PNAS said.1
Structural and developmental knowledge of biophotonic materials could also be used in the design and manufacture
of biomimetic devices that exploit similar physical mechanisms of color production.
Prior studies of the photonic crystals in butterfly wings did not reveal the 3-D nature of the
structures. By studying five tropical butterfly species with small angle X-ray scattering,
they found that the crystals begin as double gyroid precursors as a
route to the optically more efficient single gyroid nanostructures.
The paper has been summarized by Live
Science and PhysOrg.
Lead author Vinodkumar Saranathan [Yale U] told Live Science that these intricate structures
evolved over millions of years of selection for optimal function. Did the original
paper in PNAS elaborate on how that might have happened? Here are the only mentions of evolution in
By initially developing
the thermodynamically favored double gyroid nanostructure,
and then transforming it into the optically more efficient
single gyroid photonic crystal, these butterflies have
evolved to use biological and physical mechanisms that anticipate
contemporary approaches to the engineering and manufacture of
It appears that Saranathan and his team made butterflies into engineers that used
evolution as a tool with a purpose.
Butterflies have apparently evolved a diversity of photonic nanostructures
by using membrane energetics to arrive at different stable, self-assembled states.
1. Saranathan et al, Structure, function, and self-assembly of
single network gyroid (I4132) photonic
crystals in butterfly wing scales,
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,
published online before print June 14, 2010, doi: 10.1073/pnas.0909616107.
It is painful to put Amazing and Dumb awards together,
but as long as Darwinists insist on putting wonders of nature alongside the phrase
it evolved, what more can one do? The Darwin attack dogs are sure to
call this science bashing again, but show us where the science is in a statement
like butterflies have
evolved to use biological and physical mechanisms that anticipate
contemporary approaches to the engineering and manufacture of
photonic materials, and we will certainly honor it here.
In the meantime, we would not wish to dishonor our engineers and
manufacturers by attributing their work to happenstance.
The Limits of Scientific Speculation
Next headline on:
Darwin and Evolution
June 14, 2010 How far can a scientist speculate and get a respectful hearing, just because
he or she is a scientist? One case to examine is a story on
PhysOrg, The Chance for Life on Io
(see also Astrobio.net).
Jupiters innermost large moon Io might be considered the last place to look for life.
It is the most volcanically active place in the solar system. Its surface varies between
scalding hot lava lakes 1649°C and frozen sulfur dioxide snowfields at -130°F. Beside
that, the surface is bathed in Jupiters deadly radiation and there is no liquid water.
Yet astrobiologist Dirk Schulze-Makuch at Washington State University speculates that there could
be life there.
In the article, Schulze-Makuch acknowledges that most other scientists generally
dismiss Io as a habitat for life, but he thinks there might have been a time in its history when
water ice was plentiful, and if ice was there, liquid water might have been there, too.
If liquid water was there, maybe life was there. If life evolved, maybe some if it went
underground and still survives below the surface. He thinks that the possibility is enough
to warrant a future mission to Io to look for signs of life.
The comments after this article were interesting. Readers got into questions
of creation and evolution, atheism and religion. One called it sheer speculation, but no one
seemed to ask whether it was a scientific practice to engage in this kind of evidence-free
Some of the Darwiniac drive-by mudslingers who pass by this site call
what happens here science bashing. OK, please: where is the science in the above
PhysOrg story? If you will point it out, we will gladly respect it and honor it. Why?
Because we love science here (e.g., 06/12/2010,
06/09/2010 and 650 more Amazing
Facts entries). But we deplore nonsense. Is it OK to bash nonsense?
Would you Darwiniacs join with us in bashing nonsense?
An evaluation of evolution as an explanatory device: read the 06/03/2008
entry for some instruction in philosophy of scientific explanation.
This astrobiologist has asked for willing
suspension of disbelief by taking the most unlikely body in the solar system for finding life
and telling us it might be under the surface. OK, lets play that game. It might
be under the sun, too. After all, the sun has the building blocks of life: protons and
electrons. The sun is not a very likely place for life now, but early in its history
it was cooler. You never know, maybe life arose in a form we cannot even imagine and
maybe it persists today! We shouldnt rule that out. NASA should send a probe to
the sun to search for life under the sun. (No, we wont add the old joke about doing it
That extreme example could be multiplied endlessly with milder examples throughout
the solar system. We could speculate endlessly and mindlessly about life on Mimas, or
Ganymede, or Iapetus, Pluto, Venus, Miranda, Triton, whatever. Lots of bodies have water ice.
Many of them might have liquid water deep down under the surface. Why stop at the current
astrobiology favorites of Mars, Titan and Europa? As long as evidence isnt required,
speculate at will. All that is necessary is (1) Be a scientist in the modern
sense (i.e., have a degree, work at a university), which entails no obligation of being correct,
and (2) have the Darwinians on your side. Then you are guaranteed to have a lapdog press
to propagandize your views without critical analysis, and an army of Darwin Dobermans who will viciously
attack anyone who calls your nonsense speculations nonsense as engaging in
science bashing. Most of our readers are astute enough to see what is going on.
Next headline on:
Origin of Life
Planets Seen Forming! (or Dust Spreading )
June 13, 2010 Science headline writers were almost beside themselves with joy at the
prospect of watching other planetary systems in the process of forming.
Science Daily nearly
set a record with a large-print, bold, 22-word headline: Zooming in on an Infant Solar System: For the First Time,
Astronomers Have Observed Solar Systems in the Making in Great Detail.
PhysOrg, which regurgitated the same
press release from University of Arizona, headlined only
the first 7 words. A quick internet search showed this press release reverberating throughout
the web, with little modification, usually accompanied by the same artwork. What on
other earths was going on?
The press release was based on a paper by J. A. Eisner et al published in
Astrophysical Journal, available online in an open-access PDF at
Los Alamos National Laboratory.1
The title talks about spectra of hydrogen around certain stars nothing about planets.
The paper itself only makes a brief, data-free, theory-laden statement about planets in the introduction:
Protoplanetary disks play an integral part in the formation of both stars and planets.
Disks provide a reservoir from which stars and planets accrete material, and a knowledge of
the structure of inner regions of disks is needed to understand the star/disk interface as well
as planet formation in disk terrestrial regions. That was it.2
Wading through the hype about planets in the press release to get to the data, though, took a strong machete. The claims
were audacious from the first sentence. Not only did the press release deliver planets; it outfitted them for life:
Surely claims of this magnitude were based on incredibly hard evidence. Did Eisner and his colleagues
actually see any planets? Actually, no. They saw dust and hydrogen. They looked at 15 stars with dust disks
around them, and measured things like mass, rotation, and magnetic fields. They saw some of the dust
getting sucked into the stars. They saw some dust disks getting pushed back by magnetic field lines.
They saw violent process, like hydrogen flung out by magnetic field lines: the gas is being funneled along
the field lines arching out high above and below the disks plane, Eisner said.
The material then crashes into the stars polar regions at high velocities.
The press release explained what happens next: In this inferno, which releases the
energy of millions of Hiroshima-sized atomic bombs every second, some of the arching gas flow is
ejected from the disk and spews out far into space as interstellar wind.
Notice that this environment forms the boundary conditions for the story.
- For the first time, astronomers have observed solar systems in the making in great detail.
- A team led by University of Arizona astronomer Joshua Eisner has observed in unprecedented detail
the processes giving rise to stars and planets in nascent solar systems.
- The solar systems the astronomers chose for this study are still young, probably a few million years old.
- These disks will be around for a few million years more, Eisner said.
By that time, the first planets, gas giants similar to Jupiter and Saturn, may form, using up a lot of the disk material.
- More solid, rocky planets like the Earth, Venus or Mars, wont be around until much later.
- We are going to see if we can make similar measurements of organic molecules and water in protoplanetary disks, he said.
Those would be the ones potentially giving rise to planets with the conditions to harbor life.
Question: where are the planets?
Answer: in Eisners imagination.
But the building blocks for those could be forming now, he said, which is why this research
is important for our understanding of how solar systems form, including those with potentially habitable planets like Earth.
Summing it up, heres the score. Observations of planets: zero. (This includes habitable planets.)
Uh, what was that headline again? Zooming in on an Infant Solar System: For the First Time,
Astronomers Have Observed Solar Systems in the Making in Great Detail.
Incidentally, their work was funded by a Major Research Instrumentation Grant from the National Science Foundation.
1. Eisner et al, Spatially and Spectrally Resolved Hydrogen Gas within 0.1 AU of
T Tauri and Herbig Ae/Be Stars,
Astrophysical Journal Vol. 718, July 20, 2010 (scheduled); preprint at
Los Alamos Natl Laboratory.
2. The paper talks much about accretion, but its apparent both from the paper and the press release
that the accretion being spoken of is material getting swept into the star not material building up
planets. Planet formation (not even mentioned in the technical paper) was not spoken of in terms of data or observations, but
only as theoretical possibilities: gas giants similar to Jupiter and Saturn, may form, using up a lot of the disk material,
and More solid, rocky planets like the Earth, Venus or Mars, wont be around until much later, But the building blocks
for those could be forming now,...
Calling on all skeptics who respect science. Will you let this pass?
Those of you whose mission is to expose pseudo-science and skewer crackpots, do you ever turn your energies on the likes of these?
Theyre not your usual targets, but look at what these people have done. Dont be distracted by the fact that they work for major universities,
like the University of Michigan, Caltech, Berkeley, and Max Planck. Dont be impressed by the fact that
they used observations from Keck, one of the finest observatories in the world. Dont be intimidated by
the fact that they got a major research grant from the NSF. Who cares? If someone says
a dumb thing, its dumb, no matter who says it.
Flagellum Replaces Parts on the Fly
If you could, in your minds eye, transport
yourself to the middle ages, and find the King of France funding alchemical or astrological research, and all the
esteemed academics of the University of Paris thinking it was a great idea, would you endorse it on those bases alone?
Surely, science must be about more than (1) equipment, (2) prestige, (3) money, (4) consensus, (5) power and authority, (6)
publicity, (7) rhetoric, (8) hype, (9) enthusiasm, (10) imagination, (11) some of the above, (12) all of the above.
Presumably, science has at least something to do with truth. It has something to do with gaining
knowledge about the world through rigorous, testable, empirical methods, and applying what is gained logically,
consistently, and conservatively avoiding the exaggerations to which our natures incline us. Can we
agree on that?
But look what these scientists, intelligent as they are, educated as they are, privileged as they
are to work on the worlds greatest telescopes, honored as they are with taxpayer dollars, did in this press release.
They observed spectra of hydrogen around a few T Tauri and Herbig Ae/Be stars. From these spectra,
it was reasonable to infer some violent processes at work: hydrogen being accelerated along magnetic field lines, and
dust disks apparently either spiralling all the way in to the star or being compressed outward. Thats it.
But look at their inferential equation in the press release:
Dust + violence = planets
Planets + time = life
Look at the absurd teaser in the headline. Look at the suggestive
If that isnt pseudo-science, if that isnt an example of wild swings of speculation way out of bounds beyond what
the data can bear, then please, pray tell, what is? Why is it that the worlds press just laps up
this garbage and barfs it back out for the public? Why is Creation-Evolution Headlines the only
site with the guts to call this disgusting? Look; even Space.com
fell for it hook, line and sinker no critical analysis whatsoever. Not a hint of questioning. None of the debate or dispute
or controversy that should characterize good science. The media just fall in lockstep like a bunch of gutless, mindless lemmings.
If you agree, then do something about it (this is for skeptics). Write some letters to the editors of news sources that
regurgitated this press release uncritically and complain. Write the University of Arizona and say that this press
release was very unscientific. Tell them it violated your skeptical sensibilities. Tell them it gives the
creationist wackos occasion to mock science. Tell them it is illogical to extrapolate from hydrogen and dust to
earth-like planets and life. Point out that such talk only encourages the critics of evolution to keep up their rhetoric and grow more bold.
Tell them that if they keep publishing thoughtless press releases like this one, intelligent design is going to continue
to grow and proliferate, because evolutionary science is going to continue looking like a lunatic fringe of laughable
pseudo-science the way it is being exaggerated beyond all logic. Further, tell them that when it gets spoon-fed to
the public this way, with no critical analysis, the public becomes skeptical that they are being led down the primrose
path. (It might be effective to tack on the quote at the top right of this page.)
Do it. Read them the riot act for a change. Then at least we will know you are consistent.
Then we will at least know you are an honest skeptic.
Next headline on:
Stars and Astronomy
June 12, 2010 A new study appears to show that the bacterial flagellum, a molecular
rotary motor that has become iconic of the intelligent design movement, can repair parts of its
rotor while it is rotating. The results of the study by Oxford University were published in PNAS,1
and were also the focus of a Commentary in PNAS by Michael D. Manson of Texas A&M University.2
Previous studies had shown that parts of the stationary part (stator) could be replaced while the flagellum was
in operation, but the rotor? Turnover of a component of the rotor is even more surprising than stator turnover,
given that it was previously known that the number of stator complexes can change while the motor is running,
the Oxford scientists said. The abstract explained:
Most biological processes are performed by multiprotein complexes.
Traditionally described as static entities, evidence is now emerging that their components can be highly dynamic, exchanging
constantly with cellular pools.... It is powered by transmembrane ion flux through a ring of stator complexes that push on a central rotor.
The Escherichia coli motor switches direction stochastically in response to binding of the response regulator CheY to the rotor switch
component FliM. Much is known of the static motor structure, but we are just beginning to understand the dynamics of its
individual components.... We show that the ~30 FliM molecules per motor exist in two discrete populations, one tightly associated with
the motor and the other undergoing stochastic turnover.... In many ways the bacterial flagellar motor is as an archetype macromolecular
assembly, and our results may have further implications for the functional relevance of protein turnover in other large molecular complexes.
The bacterial flagellar motor is one of the most complex biological nanomachines, began the first sentence of their paper,
edited by Howard Berg (Harvard), one of the pioneers of flagellum research.
Using specialized imaging techniques, the Oxford team was able to identify components of the rotor complex undergoing dynamic
turnover in about 30- to 40-second timeframes. This turnover may be due to maintenance of the motor, or it may have functional
significance. It may be involved, for instance, in switching the rotation from normal counterclockwise runs to
the occasional clockwise tumbling that bacteria undergo when following a chemical trail. In E. coli,
which have four to eight flagella, it may be involved in synchronization of the flagella they dont yet know for sure.
It appears that signaling from the environment is involved in the turnover, because a response regulator in the
chemotaxis signal transduction response pathway is also required for measurable FliM turnover to occur over the time
scale of our experiments, they said. Though not certain whether it is a trigger or a by-product of the switch from
normal mode to tumbling mode, the association is compelling: This work represents direct evidence for signal-dependent
dynamic exchange of switch complex components in functioning flagellar motors, raising the possibility that turnover is involved in
the signaling mechanism.
Michael Manson commented on the findings in PNAS,2
offering additional interesting details about the flagellum: The flagellar motor was the first biological
rotary device discovered (Berg, 1973), he pointed out; Flagella spin at several hundred to >1,000
revolutions per second in different bacteria. He described the parts list and something about the torque and
operation of the flagellum, and provided a cross-sectional diagram. Filament
growth decreases with length, and a broken filament can regenerate, he continued. Unfolded flagellin
subunits diffuse through the hollow center of the filament and assemble at its distal tip. Filaments extend several
cell lengths and are quite fragile; their dynamic nature is necessary. Each flagellar motor functions for the
lifetime of its cell. He described how protons flow through the Mot complexes (parts of the stator) and then
couple to the rotor, and how these must be firmly anchored to the cell wall to endure the tremendous torques put on them
by the rotor: The high torque required to turn a flagellum under heavy load requires
that Mot complexes attach firmly to the cell wall. Even so, Despite its anchoring, the stator is
surprisingly dynamic. Other studies show that the Mot protein parts also turnover rapidly with a
half-life of 30 seconds.
As for the findings of the Oxford team, Manson said, Parts exchange
in the stator and rotor may just be routine maintenance, and the
aggregates of 18 FliM molecules could be storage devices rather than assembly
intermediates. The authors are suitably cautious about speculating whether FliM
turnover is involved in the switch function of the C ring, emphasizing that the exchange
of FliM subunits could be either a cause or effect of motor reversal. But as he looked forward
to additional exciting findings in this kind of research on flagella and other molecular machines, he paid his
respects to this machine in particular: Further studies of this type will undoubtedly lead to
exciting new revelations about the inner workings of the elegant molecular machinery
of the flagellar motor.
1. Delalez et al, Signal-dependent turnover of the bacterial flagellar switch protein FliM,
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,
Published online before print May 24, 2010, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1000284107.
2. Michael D. Manson, Dynamic motors for bacterial flagella, Commentary,
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,
print June 11, 2010, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1006365107.
Altogether now, shout the familiar refrain: These authors said nothing about evolution!
If nothing in biology makes sense except in the black-light of ev-illusion, where was Mr. Darwin? Is that him in bed, sick to
his stomach again? Go make him some intelligently designed chicken soup, and leave him be. The rest of us are
excited about the union of engineering and biology in this clear case of machinery on the molecular scale.
Now we have an example of possible maintenance during operation, and if not that, a functional operation that
involves dynamic swapping of parts while a rotor is spinning at more than 60,000 rpm! The bacterium doesnt need to go into a
drydock; its repair squad can fix parts on the fly. Imagine what would be required to swap out the blades on an outboard
motor while it is spinning. Furthermore, imagine having the process automated, with feedback from the environment.
How would you even design such a thing? The flagellum has a constant flow of FliM parts into the system. Apparently,
there is some sort of buffer store where parts can stand ready for use, and then something guides them into position.
Mansons oversimplified diagram shows a part attaching to a rotor blade, which might provide an attachment point for a
FliM molecule to get replaced during a reversal of direction. However this occurs, it is bound to be exciting and amazing.
Could Cosmology Be Based on Flawed Calibrations?
Did you catch that dramatic understatement by Manson?
Parts exchange in the stator and rotor may just be routine maintenance, and the aggregates of 18... molecules could be
storage devices.... What did he just say? Maintenance! Storage devices! This is bacteria we are talking about.
This is life that lives in dirty water. Thats like walking by a mud puddle and saying, The murkiness down
there could just be routine automated guidance and control operations with robotic feedback software, and the squiggles
could be gigabytes of storage area networks with rapid retrieval, but hey. Whatever. Oh, and theres a
maintenance crew that can swap out outboard motor blades on the fly, too. Stickagum, man?
Get the picture here, folks
these are cells that in Darwins day were thought to be made of undifferentiated blobs of jelly-like stuff.
For lack of a better word to describe it, they called it by the suggestive
pantheistic term, protoplasm (first living substance). Anybody who thinks that way now with what molecular
biology has revealed should get 39 lashes with a wet flagellum. Evolution was missing from these papers because it
is bankrupt. It thrived in another age, another time, when puffed-up, imperialistic, progress-minded Victorians didnt know better.
This is the information age. The only theory with the vocabulary, concepts and explanatory resources to deal with observations that
are rich in engineering, machinery and control language is intelligent design.
Next headline on:
June 11, 2010 This is the era of precision cosmology, we have been told (09/20/2004
Especially since the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP), measurements of faint deviations in the
cosmic microwave background have reached exceptional detail (02/14/2003, allowing cosmologists to discriminate
between cosmological models and, hopefully, provide insight into the nature and origins of the universe.
But what if the assumptions used to calibrate WMAP are wrong? Then other models tossed out could
actually be back in the running. Thats what a maverick cosmologist is claiming.
Scientist headlined, Has Jupiter sent cosmology down a false trail? Most cosmologists
have assumed that Jupiter provides a steady source of microwaves that can be used as a calibration source.
That may be, but Tom Shanks (U of Durham, UK) and a graduate student tried recalibrating the data
using radio galaxies that also emit microwaves. His calibration lets back in models that the
WMAP teams have tossed out.
Supporters of the standard model are not deterred. For one thing, according to
New Scientist, they do not know why Jupiter would fail to be a good calibration source.
For another, they criticize the use of radio galaxies as calibration sources.
Update 06/13/2010: Space.com
published an entry on this controversy, adding the thought that if Shanks is right, dark matter and dark energy
might not exist. Clara Moskowitz reported, A new look at the data from one of the telescopes used to
establish the existence of this strange stuff is causing some scientists to question whether they really exist at all.
Though she reported, like New Scientist, that the WMAP scientists disagree with Shanks and stand by their data,
she added that Shanks is aware of their objections and stands by his calculations. New measurements
of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) by the European Space Agencys Planck spacecraft may be
able to resolve the controversy.
In addition, Science Daily
reported on the controversy, adding this insight: If the Universe really has no dark side,
it will come as a relief to some theoretical physicists. Having a model dependent on as yet undetected exotic
particles that make up dark matter and the completely mysterious dark energy leaves many scientists feeling uncomfortable.
It also throws up problems for the birth of stars in galaxies, with as much feedback energy needed to prevent
their creation as gravity provides to help them form.
Although a mavericks view should not be accepted simply because
it is a maverick view, it should be evaluated fairly. As David Tyler wrote recently on
Descent, Consensus science is sleep-inducing. Rigorous debate is preventive
medicine against lethargic, authoritative consensus. Another lesson lurking in this article
is that widely-accepted theories can rest on assumptions that are, in principle, fallible.
The measurements on which cosmological theories are based are extremely tenuous. Would it not
be a cosmic joke to find out that Jupiter is not a reliable calibration source, and all this
precision cosmology rhetoric has been misplaced? Actually, in cosmology, the
number of assumptions stacked on assumptions is comparable to the storytelling in Darwinism.
Getting from temperature blips of one in 100,000 to grand scenarios of cosmic evolution and
landscapes of multiple universes makes even Darwinism look tame and you know what that implies.
Of all the nerve: watch what happens when an umpire is present when the Darwinians play their
game of all fouls. In this case it was finding neurons in a sea sponge one of the
simplest of all animals (06/06/2007). Then have a little
fun watching the birdie and Fred and explain
how that evolved.
Next headline on:
Not Lamarck Again
June 11, 2010 Remember Lamarck? He was the pre-Darwin evolutionist whose theories we
were all taught were overthrown by Darwins superior theory of natural selection. Lamarcks
theory of inheritance of acquired characteristics was shown to be demonstrably false
by the dramatic experiments of Weismann, right? It was never really so clear-cut as that,
as evolutionary historians know, but thats been the common understanding. This week,
Nature printed an Insight Perspectives article about epigenetics (above
genetics) that, while not referring to Lamarck by name, discussed acquired traits
that could be inherited by non-Mendelian methods. Its author, Arturas Petronis,1
even spoke of the growing realization of the importance of epigenetics as a new unifying principle
and a paradigm shift in the style of Thomas Kuhn.
For a long time since the structure of DNA was elucidated, the central dogma
of genetics has been that DNA is the master controller of inheritance. Information flows from DNA
to proteins, and that dictates the phenotype (the outward form of the organism). In recent decades,
the effects of environmental factors onto the genome has become a growing area of research. Proteins
are able to tag the histone proteins onto which genes are wound, affecting which genes are
expressed or repressed. Some of these epigenetic tags can be inherited. Like most dogmas,
the central dogma has been an impediment to new ways of scientific thinking, Petronis claims:
The nature-versus-nurture debate was one of the most important themes of biomedical science in the twentieth century.
Researchers resolved it by conceding that both factors have a crucial role and that phenotypes result from the actions and interactions
of both, which often change over time. Most normal phenotypes and disease phenotypes show some degree of heritability,
a finding that formed the basis for a series of molecular studies of genes and their DNA sequences. In parallel to such genetic
strategies, thousands of epidemiological studies have been carried out to identify environmental factors that contribute to phenotypes.
In this article, I consider complex, non-Mendelian, traits and diseases, and review the complexities of investigating their aetiology
by using traditional epidemiological and genetic approaches. I then offer an epigenetic interpretation that cuts
through several of the Gordian knots that are impeding progress in these aetiological studies.
It has been very difficult to assign cause-and-effect relationships from environmental factors to
traits. Even strong associations between an environmental factor and a disease
do not necessarily prove that the environmental factor has caused the disease, he said.
It is even harder to establish environmental factors to inherited traits, he continued.
Even a term like heritability can be hard to nail down when talking specifics.
Multiple genes become involved, and statistical likelihoods.
Nevertheless, traits do become established in populations. For instance, an article on
shows that Tibetans have inherited a trait for hemoglobin that allows them to survive
at high altitude. Petronis asks for breaking the gene-centric paradigm: I argue that taking
an epigenetic perspective allows a different interpretation of the irregularities, complexities and
controversies of traditional environmental and genetic studies.
He gave some examples of how acquired traits and environmental effects can influence
epigenetic tags that are heritable. There is no longer a clear black-and-white distinction
between the views of Darwin and Lamarck (neither of whom were mentioned in Petroniss essay);
the situation is now much more complex:
In the domain of epigenetics, the line between inherited and acquired is fuzzy.
Stable epigenetic nature merges fluidly with plastic epigenetic nurture. The ratio
between inherited and acquired epigenetic influences can vary considerably depending on species, tissue, age, sex,
environmental exposure and stochastic epigenetic events, all of which are consistent with empirical observations that
heritability is dynamic and not static. Another close link between heritable factors and environmental factors
in epigenetic regulation is the observation that exposure to certain environments has effects that, in some cases,
are transmitted epigenetically for several generations.
In his conclusion, he said that this new perspective has all the trappings of what Thomas Kuhn called
a paradigm shift: handling the same bundle of data as before, but placing them in a new system of
relations with one another by giving them a different framework. It might explain things
like sexual dimorphism, parental origin effects, remissions and relapses, intergenerational disease
instances, decline of symptoms with age, and other things questions that an old paradigm would
not find interesting, but a new one would. The considerable theoretical and experimental
potential of an epigenetic perspective makes it a strong alternative to the existing research into complex,
non-Mendelian, genetics and biology. he said. Although the existence of competing theories
may create some discomfort, it can also catalyse discoveries and is indicative of a mature scientific field.
Human genetics is not a closed book.
Oh, and what would this new paradigm mean for evolutionary theory? Glad you asked.
Of all things, Petronis recalled an old quote by Hugo de Vries sometimes paraded with glee by creationists. But by recalling this quote, he left
the reader hanging. In the new paradigm, what is the explanation for the arrival of the fittest?
All of the ideas that I have discussed here are highly relevant to the understanding of the fundamental principles of evolution.
Soft, epigenetic, inheritance can have a key role in adaptation to environmental changes and can endure for more than a generation.
Phenotypic plasticity might stem mainly from the ability of epigenetic genotype (or epigenotype) rather than genotype to
produce different phenotypes in different environments. Heritable epigenetic variation could explain the faster-than-expected
adaptation to environmental change that is often observed in natural populations. In addition, the large intra-individual
epigenetic variation in the germ line may shed new light on the problem presented by one of the first geneticists, Hugo De Vries, more
than a century ago, in his book Species and Varieties: Their Origin by Mutation, when he wrote Natural selection may explain
the survival of the fittest, but it cannot explain the arrival of the fittest.
Petronis had nothing further to say about fitness or its arrival. Furthermore, despite the title of his paper,
Epigenetics as a unifying principle in the aetiology of complex traits and diseases, he gave
no description of how any specific complex trait might arise by genetics, by epigenetics, or by any combination
of the two. He only said that a new paradigm shift might shed light on the problem presented by Hugo De Vries a century ago.
1. Arturas Petronis, Epigenetics as a unifying principle in the aetiology of complex traits and diseases,
pp 721-727, 10 June 2010, doi:10.1038/nature09230.
That Nature would let in the ghost of Lamarck is a sign of their desperation with Darwin.
So here we are a century after Hugo, waiting for some light. Petronis doesnt have any. Hugo didnt
have any. Darwin didnt have any. Lamarck didnt have any. Weve been sitting in
the dark an awful long time listening to this crowd promise that some day somebody will shed light on evolution.
Would you spare a dime for their paradigm? Dont buy their promissory notes; not even your great-great-grandkids
can expect to collect.
Darwins Sweatshop: Why Ethiopia Made People Hairless
Next headline on:
Darwin and Evolution
June 10, 2010 Five scientists think they have figured out why people walk upright and dont
have fur like other mammals. They had to evolve in Ethiopia, where it is hot. This led to
the loss of body hair, and the evolution of sweat glands and other adaptations to deal with the heat.
Its not that the scientists from Caltech, Johns Hopkins and University of Utah actually found
evidence for this. Its just that they studied rocks from the Turkana Basin, where some
important fossils of alleged human ancestors have been found. According to their analysis of
carbonate rocks, the temperature has always been hot and arid in this area for 4 million years,
they claim. They published their results in PNAS,1 and the story
was picked up by Science Daily
Although their paper primarily concerned deducing climate and temperature from the
rock record, they considered implications for human thermophysiology:
This temperature record
is relevant to the evolutionary origin or maintenance of a unique
suite of adaptations that permit humans to remain active under
high ambient heat loads. For example, upright posture in hot,
open environments confers thermophysiological advantages to
bipedal hominins owing to reduced interception of direct solar
radiation and to displacement of the body away from the near-surface
environment, which may be excessively hot due to solar
heating. Derived human traits such as very little body hair,
high sweating capacity, and high surface area to volume ratio are
also advantageous for daytime activity in hot, arid climates,
and temperature is a central variable in hypotheses of behaviors
such as long-distance scavenging and persistence hunting.
However, the thermoregulatory advantages of these adaptations
arise primarily under very hot, sunny conditions. Our
results suggest that such conditions were relevant to human
ecology in the Turkana Basin, either directly within or at the
spatial or temporal margins of human-preferred habitats....
If this is so, then it should also be a necessary prerequisite for beginning
to evaluate the null hypothesis, or for evaluating why such conditions
failed to generate similar physiological traits in the other mammals living
alongside the humans in the same ecological environment. It would also make one question why the
hominids they believe inhabited South Africa, Europe and Asia for millions of years and
during long ice ages did not quickly gain all that body hair right back.
The authors seemed to overlook those parts of the evolutionary logic.
Whereas our data are silent on
the importance of ambient temperature in shaping human evolution,
they comprise a necessary prerequisite for beginning to
evaluate temperature-related hypotheses.
[italics in original].
The popular press swallowed it all without question, though.
The need to stay cool in that cradle of human evolution may relate, at least
in part, to why pre-humans learned to walk upright, lost the fur that covered the
bodies of their predecessors and became able to sweat more, Johns Hopkins University
earth scientist Benjamin Passey said. Perhaps they need to consider
another uniquely human trait: blushing (see 12/19/2007 commentary).
1. Passey, Levin, Cerling, Brown, and Eiler, High-temperature environments of human evolution in East Africa based on bond ordering in paleosol carbonates,
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,
published online before print June 8, 2010, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1001824107.
This has the makings of a great cartoon:
the Turkana Gymnasium, where all the camels, wildebeests, zebras, giraffes,
oryx, lions, cheetahs, and gerbils all strip down to the skin, stand upright, and work up
a sweat under the hot sun, dancing to the beat of Do the
Plants Have Memories
Next headline on:
Darwin and Evolution
June 09, 2010 Have you ever noticed how plants have an uncanny ability to know, without eyes or
brains, when the time has come to bloom? Even when spring comes early or late in some years, they
sense the right time, and out come the flowers. This is even more remarkable when you consider
that the natural environment is a noisy place. The temperature is rising and falling every day
and night. Storms come and go. Early warm spells might trick the plant into thinking spring has
arrived just before more snow, with disastrous results for the plant. How does the plant tease
out the right signal from all this noise, and remember the overall seasonal trend? And then,
when blooming time has come, how does it tell the rest of the plant to go into action? Some
Japanese scientists have helped get a partial glimpse into the amazing memory system of flowering plants. Its
all done with controls on gene expression.
They published their results this week in PNAS.1 Using
a systems biology approach, they observed the favored lab plant, water cress Arabidopsis thaliana and
some of its relatives but this time not in the laboratory but out in the wild. This was a
rare field experiment where scientists could observe day and night cycles
and seasons having their natural effects on gene expression. They watched several gene levels known to
relate to flowering. We expected that the gene regulation of FLC orthologs
may serve as the mechanism to extract seasonal cues from natural
environments, because they are regulated by histone modification, which is often involved in stable cellular memory,
they said. Histone modifications are like small molecular tags that are put on the proteins
onto which DNA is wound. These affect where promoters seek and find genes to transcribe, or repressors
bind to genes to prevent expression.
The tags allow a kind of memory that can ride out the noisy highs and lows of
short-term variations. Once a certain threshold is reached, the gene can activate. In this
particular case, the scientists found that most of the expression was responsive to temperature for the
prior six weeks, but not over periods longer or shorter indicating a memory for that particular
range. The accuracy of our model in predicting the gene expression pattern under contrasting
temperature regimes in the transplant experiments indicates that such modeling incorporating the molecular bases of
flowering time regulation will contribute to predicting plant responses to future climate changes,
they said. One of the master regulators they studied controls many downstream genes
that affect flowering. It acts as a repressor on their activities. Like a general overseeing
a major operation, it commands the other genes, which are prevented from acting till given the signal.
The authors recognized at the end of the paper that this is just one piece of a larger puzzle about plant
regulation. For instance, it appears that some plants have a chilling requirement of a
certain time period before they will sprout and bloom. Some perennials need the temperature-dependent
gene controlling flowering to switch on at the right time, but then to switch back off as the temperature
rises further after flowering, so that they will go back to vegetative growth till the next year. There must be
multiple interacting factors in a complex network of gene expression patterns at play that botanists
are only beginning to fathom. The use of systems biology approaches and observations in natural settings
are helping to elucidate the mechanisms involved with a more comprehensive view than was possible before.
The authors had nothing to say about evolution.
1. Aikawa et al, Robust control of the seasonal expression of the
Arabidopsis FLC gene in a fluctuating environment,
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
USA, published online before print June 7, 2010, doi: 10.1073/pnas.0914293107.
Wonders of nature are all about us, even under our feet, if we
will only take a moment to look and learn. They are best understood by considering their
design. The intricacy and complexity of plants is truly mind boggling. How did these
robust systems, that respond magnificently to noisy environments, come to be?
If it were true that they only make sense in the light of evolution, this team would surely
have made evolution the centerpiece of their paper. But notice: they did not even mention
it once. Instead, the language was about patterns, codes, regulation, mechanisms and robustness.
Thats design talk. Look at this paper. There wasnt any religion, and there wasnt any useless
Darwin just-so storytelling, either. Everyone can read, appreciate, and enjoy it for its elucidation of
incredible design in common natural phenomena we would otherwise take for granted. This understanding
might lead to improvement in crops and other benefits for our lives. Lets move ahead with observable,
testable, understandable, empirical, inspiring, design-based science like this.
Why evolutionary trees are positively misleading see 06/08/2006.
See also the story about the housecat that treed a wild bear (06/11/2006).
Next headline on:
Making Model Earths
June 08, 2010 Modeling how the earth got here can be fun. One doesnt have
to be right, just creative. There are certain accepted paradigms to work within, and
certain accepted constraints that are taken as a given. Beyond that, there is a lot of
leeway. This is illustrated by two teams who published in two different journals who
used the same paradigms and constraints but came up with radically different models.
The Niels Bohr Institutes story was told by
PhysOrg and was published in
Earth and Planetary Science Letters. Well dub them the NBI team.
The ETH Zurich teams paper was published in Nature Geoscience, and was also
told by PhysOrg. Heres what
they both assumed: the earth and moon were formed by a collision when a Mars-sized object hit
the early earth once upon a time. When it happened, and how long it took for the
melted pieces to accrete and form our earth-moon system, is up for grabs, given a few
constraints like how long it took for some assumed radioactive elements to fizzle out.
Whats notable in the articles are the fudge factors, or unknowns, or
surprises, that give modelers plenty of wiggle room to either announce their model as a good
one, or change it at will for next time. For instance (labeling NBI or ETH for the
teams article involved):
Despite these wild swings in the story, both articles spoke of the collision theory as matters
of fact. The Earth and Moon were created as the result of a giant collision between two planets the size of Mars and Venus,
the NBI article said. Similarly, Earth was formed during the creation of our Solar System
when Moon and Mars-sized protoplanets collided, the ETH article stated flatly, as if
no one disagrees but geologist Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison Schmidt disagrees with it
(11/04/2002), and it has numerous problems (01/26/2007,
- ETH: just how long it took for the Earth to reach its eventual size and what the
accretion of the planet was like, however, is much disputed among the experts.
- ETH: The latest models reveal that an accretion period of around 100 million
years is the most consistent with the formation of the Moon and the Earth, says Bernard Bourdon,
a professor from the Institute of Geochemistry and Petrology at ETH Zurich, Switzerland.
However, there are also models that clearly suggest the Earth reached 70% of its size in just 10 million years.
- ETH: This distribution depends on the pressure and temperature conditions during
the core formation, which probably varied during the accretion.
- ETH: In their study published in Nature Geoscience, Bourdon and his team
now demonstrate that there are several models that are compatible with the chemical observations.
- ETH: Up to now, it was always assumed that you could only explain the distribution
of the elements through equilibrium; we show, however, that the distribution is just as easy to
explain in disequilibrium, says Thorsten Kleine.
- ETH: The observations are also compatible with a state of equilibrium of only about 40 percent;
this means the cores of the colliding protoplanets could have reached the Earths core directly
without a major equilibration with the Earths mantle.
- ETH: The age difference had always puzzled the scientists; after all, the termination of
the Earths accretion should actually coincide with the Moons age as it ended due to the impact
of a Mars-sized protoplanet that formed the Moon.
- NBI: But new research from the Niels Bohr Institute shows that the Earth and Moon
must have formed much later perhaps up to 150 million years after the formation of the solar system.
- NBI: Until recently it was believed that the rock and iron mixed completely during the planet
formation and so the conclusion was that the Moon was formed when the solar system was 30 million years old
or approximately 4,537 million years ago. But new research shows something completely different.
- NBI: The new studies imply that the moon forming collision occurred after all of the hafnium
had decayed completely into tungsten.
- NBI: Our results show that metal core and rock are unable to emulsify in these collisions between
planets that are greater than 10 kilometres in diameter and therefore that most of the Earths iron core
(80-99%) did not remove tungsten from the rocky material in the mantle during formation, explains Tais W. Dahl.
- NBI: The result of the research means that the Earth and the Moon must have been formed much later
than previously thought that is to say not 30 million years after the formation of the solar system ...
but perhaps up to 150 million years after the formation of the solar system.
Here is more job security for storytellers. They dont have
to be right. Theyre not even trying to tell the truth. Theyre happy if such and
such a set of models are consistent with a few observations. Well, guess what! An infinite number
of theories are consistent with partial observations. This allows them to play their little computer games and simulators
and make things come out partially consistent all the time, and thus keep their jobs comfortably till retirement.
They never have to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. They never have to show
progress toward the truth. No one could ever prove them wrong without a time machine. Its the perfect
scam. The tweak space is greater than the constraint space. There is plenty of room for
centuries of modelers to play this scam, publish their papers, get paid, and look like experts, without having
any accountability. What a racket.
Not Life on Titan Again
Next headline on:
June 07, 2010 Something
weird is going on at the large moon of Saturn. What is Consuming Hydrogen and Acetylene on Titan?
teased a press release from Jet Propulsion
Laboratorys Cassini mission:
Two new papers based on data from NASAs Cassini spacecraft scrutinize the complex chemical activity
on the surface of Saturns moon Titan. While non-biological chemistry offers one possible explanation,
some scientists believe these chemical signatures bolster the argument for a primitive, exotic form of
life or precursor to life on Titans surface. According to one theory put forth by astrobiologists,
the signatures fulfill two important conditions necessary for a hypothesized methane-based life.
What are these signatures? One is that
hydrogen molecules are apparently flowing down through the atmosphere and disappearing. Another is that complex hydrocarbons
are accumulating, but not acetylene as expected. What do these details imply? Chris McKay of NASAs Ames
Research Center thinks it may imply that unobserved
organisms down there are eating the acetylene as food. We suggested hydrogen consumption because its the obvious
gas for life to consume on Titan, similar to the way we consume oxygen on Earth, he said. If these signs do
turn out to be a sign of life, it would be doubly exciting because it would represent a second form of life independent from
water-based life on Earth. No one has ever observed such a life form anywhere, of course. To date, methane-based
life forms are only hypothetical, the next sentence hastened to add.
Scientists have not yet detected this form of life anywhere, though there are liquid-water-based microbes on Earth
that thrive on methane or produce it as a waste product.
Most astrobiologists consider liquid water as an essential ingredient for life. On Titan, however,
H2O is hard as rock. Methane and ethane, which are liquid at its -290°F
surface temperature, are the only candidates left: The list of liquid candidates is very short:
liquid methane and related molecules like ethane. Astrobiologists believe that liquid water is not a requirement
for life that one of these other liquids might work, although water is the best liquid when you can get it.
Back to Titans disappearing hydrogen. Darrel Strobel of Johns Hopkins University, a Cassini
interdisciplinary scientist, was surprised that the molecular hydrogen produced in the atmosphere by UV photolysis of methane,
some of which escapes to space, and some of which falls to the surface, was not accumulating at the surface.
It is apparently not being converted to acetylene, either. At this point, the reader, salivating for the exciting
climax of the story for scientific evidence that the best possible explanation is that exotic life-forms are
consuming the hydrogen and acetylene encounters nothing of the sort. Instead, there is only evidence that
unknown organic chemistry is happening and coating the ice: Titans atmospheric chemistry is cranking out
organic compounds that rain down on the surface so fast that even as streams of liquid methane and ethane at the surface
wash the organics off, the ice gets quickly covered again, said Roger Clark of the U.S. Geological Survey in
Denver.All that implies Titan is a dynamic place where organic chemistry is happening now.
Presumably that leaves room for alien seekers; after all, one could describe Earth as a dynamic place where
organic chemistry is happening.
As for his view on the life hypothesis, Scientific conservatism suggests that a biological explanation
should be the last choice after all non-biological explanations are addressed, Allen said. We have a lot of work
to do to rule out possible non-biological explanations. It is more likely that a chemical process, without biology,
can explain these results for example, reactions involving mineral catalysts. Project scientist Linda
Spilker was noncommittal but appropriately diplomatic: These new results are surprising and exciting,
she said. Cassini has many more flybys of Titan that might help us sort out just what is happening at the surface.
Mere mention of the L-word life is enough to make some reporters go bonkers.
Immediately, the Daily
Mail in the UK, as expected, threw all caution to the wind: Scientists find a hint of life on Saturns moon Titan
blared the headline. Right away, the aliens were breathing and eating: They have discovered clues that primitive aliens
are breathing in Titans atmosphere and feeding on fuel at the surface.
They found a quote mine in John Zarnecki, one of the Huygens Probe science czars:
We believe the chemistry is there for life to form. It just needs heat and warmth to kick-start the process.
In four billion years time, when the Sun swells into a red giant, it could be paradise on Titan.
Astrobiologists have enough difficulty on their hands explaining lifes origin here on the paradise planet
(01/26/2008), let alone the poison pit of Titan. Instead of being distracted by the
life hypothesis, may we direct your attention to this paragraph in the JPL press release:
What is the cause of a teapot? Can you explain human designs out of the big bang by waving a magic-wand word like
emergence? George Ellis tried to in a Nature essay five years ago; see if he succeeded
Strobel found a disparity in the hydrogen densities that lead to a flow down to the surface at a rate of about 10,000 trillion trillion
hydrogen molecules per second. This is about the same rate at which the molecules escape out of the upper atmosphere.
Why didnt Dr. Strobel expect this result? And why were the makers of the Huygens Probe, who designed it to float on a
global ocean of liquid ethane (02/15/2008), surprised when it landed with a thud on a moist lakebed?
Maybe we need to question some old assumptions, and boldly ask new questions (05/16/2010).
Its as if you have a hose and youre squirting hydrogen onto the ground, but its disappearing, Strobel said.
I didnt expect this result, because molecular hydrogen is extremely chemically inert in the atmosphere, very light and buoyant.
It should float to the top of the atmosphere and escape.
Next headline on:
Origin of Life
Get a Life with Nature
June 06, 2010 Feeling bored, low on energy, exhausted? Dont reach for a cup of coffee.
Get out into nature. Researchers at the University of Rochester ran some controlled experiments on
college students and found that those who spent a little time outdoors felt happier and more energetic.
Spending time in nature makes people feel more alive, the article on
PhysOrg announced. Being outside in nature
for just 20 minutes in a day is enough to significantly boost vitality levels, according to new University
of Rochester psychology research.
The findings, published in the June 2010 issue of the Journal of Environmental Psychology,
appear to be distinguished from merely exercising or socializing. Four different experiments were run
in an attempt to isolate the effect of nature alone including some tests with just photographs, looking
out windows, and visualizing oneself outdoors with and without companions. In each case, the students
who participated in either actually being outdoors or visualizing themselves outdoors recorded an increase
in vitality. The authors concluded that it was the presence of nature, not just the companionship or
exercise, that contributed to the vitalizing and energizing effect. Furthermore, this result appears
robust in that it correlates with earlier studies that show people gaining a better sense of well-being,
generosity and caring when relating to nature.
Nature is fuel for the soul, said Richard Ryan, the lead author of the study.
....Nature is something within which we flourish, so having it be more a part of our lives is critical,
especially when we live and work in built environments. He believes that access to parks and
natural surroundings in our cities is an important consequence of these studies.
We leave it as an exercise to figure out in what sense nature is being
used here. Nature is a very slippery word that can refer to all kinds of things, even opposite things.
Presumably we all are thinking together that here it refers to trees, grass, birds nice outdoorsy things.
Jupiter Scores Another Hit
What can you do in your situation to take advantage of the lessons of
this entry? Here are some easy suggestions. Take a walk outside every day either at
work, or before or after work. Decorate your house with plants and nature photographs.
Build more windows in your house or office. Take more vacations to national parks or scenic locations.
Learn an outdoor hobby like nature photography, birdwatching, tidepooling, astronomy, camping, backpacking, sailing,
river rafting or canoeing, bicycling, or whatever is appropriate to your age and skill. This is a good
habit to build into your life. Think of it as an investment: put some assets into your bank of vitality.
One of our sister ministries is called Creation Safaris a Christian camping and hiking
ministry with a variety of outings in the southern California area. Its just one of many
like-minded educational and recreational ministries that combine creation information with fun, fellowship
and adventure. Take a look at our photo gallery as an experiment in how
visualizing nature brings vitality and see if it works for you.
Next headline on:
June 05, 2010 Amateurs saw Jupiter get struck by something again on June 3. Last year,
an asteroid also hit the giant planet. Good thing Jupiter caught it and not Earth. The
asteroid, believed to be about 500 meters across, left a scar as big across as the Pacific Ocean.
Geographic and the BBC News
have photos of the scar left by the 2009 impact.
Had something like that hit our planet, it would be a catastrophe, one astronomer said.
Yesterdays impactor is unknown, since only the fireball flash was observed for a few seconds
(a movie clip can be seen on the BBC News article), but astronomers will be monitoring Jupiter for clues in the aftermath.
This is the third time humans have seen impacts on Jupiter: in 1994 (Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9),
last years asteroid, and now the June 3 fireball. Astronomers are puzzled, because they assumed
impact events were rare. Jupiter does have the largest gravity well of any planet and acts like a
giant vacuum cleaner of the solar system. Still, many objects lie outside its sphere of influence
or they can be accelerated by Jupiter outward like a slingshot. A lesson in both articles was how little
scientists know compared to what they thought they knew. Its back to the drawing board on
our understanding of the statistics of impacting bodies, said Heidi Hammel of the Space Science Institute in
Update 06/18/2010: According to
the object observed by the amateurs is believed to have been a giant fireball or bolide a meteor
that burned up high in the atmosphere of Jupiter before it reached the cloud tops. This explains why it
did not create a visible scar days afterward as seen by Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 fragments in 1994. The statement
was made by Heidi Hammel based on Hubble Space Telescope observations.
Does Jupiter absorb impacts that might hit Earth? Assuredly.
Does it also fling some toward the Earth? Probably. Between those extremes is a vast playground of
unknowns for theorists to dabble in models, most of which are probably wrong. Are impacts rare on Jupiter?
No; it would be ridiculous to claim that; certainly Jupiter is pulling in stuff every day. Observable
impacts from Earth are rare but that draws human beings and planet Earth into the equation. Clarity is important.
The answer to a question like that depends on where you draw the line. Impacts are not rare on Earth at all, if you draw the line to
include micrometeoritic dust, that rains like manna from heaven all the time. Every night the darkness is
punctuated by meteors. Occasionally some strike the ground or the oceans as meteorites. Flashes on the less-massive moon
are not that uncommon (05/21/2008).
Your Nerves and Heart Depend on Cellular Pulleys, Latches and Switches
Certainly Jupiter, with 318 times the mass of Earth, is capable
of drawing in much more material than Earth assuming one knows the amount of impacting material available in its
neighborhood, and each impactors position and momentum. One must also factor in unknowns like the
material coming in from the distant reaches of the solar system, where data are increasingly difficult to obtain,
or from outside the solar system altogether. Many of these factors scientists have little or no way of knowing.
Then there are observational unknowns, such as impacts hitting the far side of Jupiter, or those hitting Jupiter during the day, when we cant see them.
Observing three impacts within 16 years is well within the probability range of a random distribution. Its
nothing to be all that concerned about. Announcing a model about which one can have any confidence, though
is another matter. Consider an attempt at gathering empirical data with a dust collecting instrument on a spacecraft.
If you capture dust particles on one rare and expensive flight to Saturn with such an instrument, how justified can you be in extrapolating
that data over the entire azimuth of the solar system, the entire altitude of the solar system, and the entire lifetime
of the solar system, for an entire range of particle sizes, compositions and velocities, without making numerous
assumptions that are profoundly theory-laden and untestable?
In the limit, planetary science becomes a version of
the Stuff Happens Law. Something happens, and planetologists tell us it happened. Thats about
as useful as Eyewitness Weather. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the sun is up! You can see
outside your window, oops I mean, its raining! Yes, it is raining right now!
Thank you very much. No planetary scientists predicted or expected an impact on Jupiter.
How could they? There are way too many particles, forces, and unobservables in play.
Even a 3-body problem is devilishly difficult to solve.
Something like this happens, the planetologists look stunned, and they rush to their
drawing boards to try to understand it, because it didnt fit their earlier statistics of
impacting bodies. Others spin it according to Finagles Second Law #2c,
that it happened according to their pet theory.
You notice the discovery was made by amateurs
citizen scientists, God bless them. The only advantage the pros have is more money and better equipment.
They write the textbooks, they make a living at it, they get on TV once in awhile, theyre good at math,
they get to go to conferences, they write papers (or have their grad students do it). Once in awhile they
discover something, some of them are nice people (and some arent), they can usually bring clarity to
complex things and consider factors that many would leave out, but they dont know everything.
Theyre mortals like the rest of us. They have biases, favorite foods, political affiliations,
social preferences, hangups, and hangouts. Dont assume that the evident progress in data collection
correlates with progress in understanding. It should not be surprising when they have to go back to the drawing board when stuff
happens in a flash, in n-body problems, amidst swirling clouds of unknowns.
Next headline on:
June 04, 2010 Biologists continue to peer closer and closer at cellular machines that work
just like man-made ones, only at scales so tiny, they control individual atoms. Of particular
interest have been the gates in the membranes of cells that allow certain atoms in but keep others
out. A recent paper in Cell by an Australian team has found that the potassium gate has an elegant switch
that uses pulleys, switches and an iris-like rotating latch that selectively lets in potassium ions.1
Your heart and central nervous system (CNS) rely on potassium (K) to set up electrical charges
in nerve cells. These charges travel down nerves to carry messages, or, in the case of the heart,
set up the electrical oscillations necessary to keep the heart active. How do the gates let in
potassium ions but keep sodium (Na) ions out, which are 8 atomic mass units lighter?
Many groups have studied the potassium channels for years (e.g., 01/17/2002,
03/12/2002). The gate consists of four primary parts fitted together to form
a channel, with a selectivity filter that ensures only potassium ions get through.
The Australian team studied a particular potassium gate, the Kir channel, and found several mechanical actions at work:
All of these mechanical actions
are coordinated and global, they said. One subsection of the paper was titled,
Ion Configuration Is Linked to the Global Conformation of the Channel, and another,
Twisting: Global Conformation Is Correlated to Slide Helix Orientation.
Indeed, global was a characteristic word in the paper: A major finding is that the number and
site distribution of bound ions in the selectivity filter are contingent on global conformational changes.2
The paper included animations showing how these twisting, bending, latching, and pulling motions all work together so that the
right ions get through and the wrong ones do not. The entire gate switches between a conducting state and a nonconducting
state in response to environmental cues, just like an automated turnstile or drawbridge system on a vastly different scale.
- Latches: Intersubunit connections are clustered near the membrane in the latched arrangement,
but they reorganize, in the unlatched arrangement, into a more extensive array of interactions.
- Irises: The net effect of staged unlatching at all four interfaces (structures VI–VIII) is a
symmetrical iris-like dilation of a narrow opening to the intracellular vestibule by approximately 4.5 Å relative to I (Figure 1G),
extending the permeation pore through both domains (Movie S2).
- Pulleys: Coupling is facilitated by actions of the N and C termini, which effectively act as a pulley system. The intracellular domain of each subunit is an immunoglobulin-like [beta] sandwich, overlaid on the surface by N and C termini. Its C terminus is tethered both to the N terminus and the underlying [beta] sandwich such that all motions are interdependent. In addition, parallel [beta] sheet interactions formed between [beta]CN on one subunit and [beta]M on another (Figure 3D) adapt the basic fold by interweaving neighboring subunits into a circle, coupling the motion of each subunit to that of its neighbor.
- Switches: Our findings provide strong evidence that the selectivity filter can switch between nonconducting and conducting configurations without significant displacement of the inner helices. This is distinct from findings that inactivation at the selectivity filter is driven by widening at the bundle crossing, and vice versa ([Blunck et al., 2006] and [Cordero-Morales et al., 2007]). While research into selectivity filter gating has primarily focused on C-type inactivation, our data indicate that the selectivity filter is not limited to this and is susceptible to subtle global conformational change, suggesting a more universal role in gating than hitherto expected.
- Rotors: The structures cluster into two groups with distinct conformations, independent of space group and crystal form. The difference between the groups corresponds to a rigid body rotation of 23° (viewed from the membrane), about the molecular four-fold, of the entire intracellular assembly relative to the transmembrane pore (Figure 1C) (Movie S1).
For a short summary of this paper, see Science Daily.
PhysOrg reprinted the 5-minute movie from the paper by Gulbis and Clarke
that explains their main findings and shows animations of the Kir potassium gate in action. At the 2:20 point in the movie, one can
see the 23° rotation of the bottom subunit. At the 3:25 point, one can see some of the global conformational
changes (switches, latches and pulleys) that operate the channel mechanism. The viewer should keep in mind that in
real life these actions occur extremely rapidly. The Kir channel can selectively pass millions of potassium ions
per second while keeping out interlopers. Because of voltage-gated channels such as these, neurons can
transmit up to a thousand impulses per second at speeds of 120 meters per second.
1. Clark, Caputo, Hill, Vandenburg, Smith and Gulbis, Domain Reorientation and Rotation of an Intracellular Assembly
Regulate Conduction in Kir Potassium Channels,
Cell, June 3, 2010 DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2010.05.003.
2. Molecular biologists use the phrase conformational change to refer to any physical reorganization
of the domains of a protein or cellular molecular, such as a twist, rotation, bend, or fold of some parts relative to others.
It is comparable to the actions of machinery with moving parts.
There was no mention of evolution in this paper. The only oblique references
to evolution at all were six statements that some amino acids were conserved (i.e., unevolved) in various
positions of the channel, two of which were highly conserved. OK, great Darwin need not apply.
Here are molecules doing physical work, at a precision level, with exquisitely beautiful function, absolutely
essential to life, all the way from bacteria (03/12/2002) to man.
The elegance and sophistication of these gates is
astounding. Of what possible benefit is evolutionary theory here? Where does it help to elucidate the structure of
these gates or to help us understand their origin? On the contrary; it is by intelligent design that we
sense design, we find design, we understand design, we reverse-engineer design, and we apply design. We can look at the
design of these gates and learn something. The design we find in living things works so well, it can motivate scientists to
design better artificial devices. Its ID science through and through.
Look at a photograph. How many neurons are involved in perceiving that image? The amazing answer
was told in the 06/08/2004 entry. Did you know we have over
650 Amazing Facts collected in Creation-Evolution Headlines so far? They range from
astronomy to biochemistry. If youre bored, browse through the Chain Links on Amazing
and youll soon be saying, Wow! Heres a recent one that was kind of cool
(05/12/2010), and another (03/14/2010).
There are hundreds more. Go fishing.
Take a moment next time you feel a pleasant sensation whether from good food, sex, a warm cup of coffee, a gentle
breeze on the skin, the tightness of a well-exercised muscle, a beautiful view, wonderful music, a loving hug to
ponder that those feelings dont just happen. Those active sensations (and many more passive signals in the autonomic
nervous system) are mediated through trillions of exquisitely crafted potassium channel machines. They work throughout your life
without your conscious thought. This brings us to another benefit of design-based science.
Understanding the intricacy of these structures, that work so efficiently at this incredibly tiny scale, leads
to awe. Awe leads to humility. Humility leads to worship. Worship leads to unselfishness.
Unselfishness leads to altruism. Couldnt the world use a little more of those spin-offs?
Thanks to Brett Miller for another new donated illustration for Amazing Facts entries
in Creation-Evolution Headlines. Watch for this symbol and another new one in forthcoming articles.
His website is EvidentCreation.com, where you can find articles and a
collection of his clever and thought-provoking cartoons.
Next headline on:
Whale Evolution: Hurry Up and Wait
June 03, 2010 Whales evolved really fast, then just swam around with nothing to do for tens of millions of years.
Whales Evolved in the Blink of an Eye wrote Brett Israel for
about a new study that claims Whales evolved explosively fast into a spectacular array of shapes and sizes
about 35 million years ago, but then pretty much stopped evolving for 25 million years thereafter.
Over a period of 5 million years, like the blink of an eye according
to Graham Slater of UCLA, something dramatic happened: whale evolution ignited.
Whales began as basically similar body types and evolved into everything from porpoises to blue whales over
the next 5 million years, Brett Israel wrote. This is known as the explosive radiation
hypothesis (kind of like a big bang in whale origins). With this package came all kinds
of goodies like sonar, large brains, baleen filtering systems, and complex sociality. How?
By evolution, silly; or as teens like to say, whatever. Whatever conditions
allowed modern whales to persist allowed them to evolve into unique, disparate modes of life, and those
niches largely have been maintained throughout most of their history. Thats Michael
Alfaro talking. Hes an evolutionist at UCLA, too. Hes an expert. He should know.
So lets get this explosive radiation hypothesis straight. A dog-size
mammal walks into the sea some 48 million years ago and starts blubbering, becoming some kind of generic
whale by 35 million years ago. Then, within a blink of an eye (5 million years), we get
blue whales, right whales, sperm whales, porpoises, dolphins, baleen whales, exploding into the oceans,
by, whatever. Something gave them sonar, large brains, baleen and complex sociality.
What was it? Evolution. Wasnt evolution supposed to consist of the gradual accumulation of
numerous, successive, slight modifications? Whatever. OK, then what happened? Those differences were probably
in place by 25 million years ago, at the latest, and for many millions of years, they have not changed very much,
Slater said. Will that be on the test?
Environmentalists should be outraged. The conditions that
allowed for this spectacular evolution of whales have been maintained for 25 million
years. By whom? Who is responsible for this intolerable status quo? Life is languishing.
Species are going extinct. Life needs to evolve or perish! (They cant blame humans,
because Homo had not evolved yet; sorry, ACLU.) What a fine kettle of fish this is.
Mother Nature has left the whales in a stagnant ocean where they can no longer evolve, and we cant
blame the humans. Evolution was to be a constant fluid stream of change. Darwin is all
red-faced over there, angry at his UCLA supporters talking about explosive radiation
instead of gradual change.
Venters Synthetic Plagiarism Deflated by NY Times
Take a moment to savor this wonderfully elegant theory that Charlie Dearest (07/18/2006,
07/03/2007) brought to mankind. Realize that whale evolution has often been presented by
his disciples as one of the best examples. Yes, it certainly is.
Next headline on:
Darwin and Evolution
June 02, 2010 How significant was Craig Venters achievement of a so-called synthetic genome?
Somewhat significant, but it pales in significance to creating life from scratch. It was only like peering over
a fortress that is the mighty cell, wrote Natalie Angier for the
New York Times Monday, May 31.
The article was accompanied with a cartoon by Serge Bloch of a musician playing a DNA double helix
as if it were a concertina. It ended with an analogy of researchers in synthetic biology making a few
instruments, but failing to get an orchestra to sound together. The running theme of the article was that
molecular biologists are nowhere close to imitating what a living cell accomplishes with apparent ease.
Venters lab essentially copied the code, borrowed existing parts, and depended completely on cell machinery.
In effect, they plagiarized living cells,
just like our earlier entry claimed (see 05/31/2010). Only on
looking carefully at the genetic sequence in each cell, she said, would you find the researchers
distinguishing watermarks, brief chemical messages inserted into the otherwise plagiarized string
of one million-plus letters of bacterial DNA. In essence, she said that everything except the watermarks
amounted to plagiarism. But then, it could even be argued that the quotations from Joyce, Oppenheimer,
Feynman and Murray Gell-Mann, which they inscribed in DNA symbols, were not original work, either nor were their own names,
which had been assigned the scientists by their parents. What, exactly, was original about this achievement?
Angiers article employed amusing wordplay here and there, such as this excerpt: Other
researchers were impressed by the work but were quick to keep the feat on the ground. Throughout, she extolled
the cells complexity and power: every cell is a microcosm of life, and neither the Venter team
nor anybody else has come close to recreating the cell from scratch, she said: If anything, the new
report underscores how dependent biologists remain on its encapsulated power. On page two, she described
how cytoplasm, which pretty much has the texture of snot, conceals a beautiful architecture within.
Venters lab merely utilized the architecture without constructing anything new:
When the Venter team inserted the synthetic version of the Mycoplasma mycoides genome into the cellular housing of the
Mycoplasma capricolum bacterium, the newcomer took full advantage of the resident cytoplasmic wares.
It used the thousands of little biodevices called ribosomes to stitch together amino acids into new proteins.
It relied on complex molecular assemblages to maintain its DNA in working order and to duplicate that DNA
when it was time to divide. It thanked its lucky base pairs that a greasy lipid cell membrane and
stiffer bacterial wall not only kept the inside appropriately, bioactively dense, but also kept the outside appropriately out,
for an exposed cytoplasm would soon be scavenged for parts, most likely by a neighboring microbe.
Yet the article contained a strange tension. Intertwined with praise of the cell, Angier repeatedly attributed its design to time and chance.
She made it sound as if time alone was responsible for the dazzling power seen in ribosomes, codes and membranes.
For instance, she told how at the press conference announcing his so-called synthetic cell,
Dr. Venter displayed the savvy graciousness of an actor accepting an Academy Award,
but he acknowledged that none of his groups work would have been possible without a lot of help
from the parents Mother Nature and Father Time. Rather than ridiculing or at least criticizing that remark, Angier swallowed it
whole and regurgitated it: After all, that stalwart pair was responsible for designing and gradually refining the real cells
that brought the Venter teams synthetic constructs to life. Furthermore, she followed this winner of Stupid Evolution
Quote of the Week (which marred an otherwise well-written article) with additional Darwin bloopers that similarly
personified evolution or ascribed the majesty of cells to a single creative factor: time
Considered together, the modern cell is dauntingly complex....
The take-away quote goes to Dr. Bonnie Bassler of Princeton: I am always awed by nature and how it manages to work so well.
- Dr. Venter freely admitted his indebtedness to precedence. His team, he said, was taking advantage
of three and a half billion years of evolution.
- Throughout those preposterous eons, nature has had a chance to perfect the splendid entity of all earthly animation that is the living cell.
- The goal of contriving a self-replicating and autonomously metabolizing protocell, however, continues to elude them. We have the instruments, he [Dr. Steen Rasmussen, University of Southern Denmark] said, but it doesn’t sound like an orchestra yet. Just pick up your baton, hum a few bars, and give it three billion years.
The Darwiniacs will continue to get away with this intellectual schizophrenia unless we, the citizen sanitizers of sanity,
the local vocal focal points of biological logic, blow the whistle. Natalies essay is a mix of sublime insight and utter absurdity.
Hum a few bars and give it three billion years? What kind of nonsense is that? Is that how Brahms and Mozart wrote their orchestral
masterpieces? Is that how anything of beautiful architecture and encapsulated power came to be? No, its not,
and no, its not snot either (cytoplasm, that is). The exquisite design of cell architecture is nothing to sneeze at. If time
is all you need to create such things, the Earth has rocks that evolutionists believe are older than three billion years how come they arent making
codes and molecular machines and dividing into perfect copies of themselves? Its hard to believe that any self-respecting Darwinist
would not be blushing after reading those statements.
Catching Up to Butterflies for Improved Security, Optics
Instead of merely claiming that preposterous eons are
a necessary and sufficient condition for biological complexity, how about giving us a little empirical, scientific demonstration? We challenge these researchers to
go into their labs, put some sterile minerals, clays, and oils into a beaker with water, keep their dirty designing hands off and wait three billion years.
Natalie Angier can be the journalist to cover the story.
If something crawls out at the end of the experiment, all observers will surely be happy to acknowledge that time alone can produce a living cell.
(If anything did crawl out, we would have strong reason to suspect, given the deviousness of human nature and
the difficulty of preventing contamination, that pre-existing life got into the beaker.) We rather suspect that by the end of the first day
the Darwin Team will be jumping up and down, crying out to Mother Nature and Father Time, just like the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel.
But rules are rules; we wont let them touch it. This has to be a demonstration of the creative power of time and chance alone,
without any help from the intelligently guided hands of human beings. We can even make it easier. We can cut up dead cells in the
beaker and provide all the components and building blocks. Just add time. Thats all Angier wants, right?
It will quickly become apparent just how preposterous those
eons are. They are not anything as preposterous as Darwinists themselves; for, by conjuring up preposterous things, whether
eons, as here, or preposterous universes (09/20/2002, 07/02/2003),
they contradict themselves. Anything
preposterous is both pre- and post- at the same time (by definition), thus canceling itself out, and coming to naught. With
apologies to Ogden Nash,
The Darwin mind is a muddled beast;
For sound discourse, its not a feast.
Farewell, farewell, old Darwinist,
Ill debate one less preposterist.
Heres a call to sane Darwinists (Note: we didnt intend that phrase an oxymoron).
Join with us in condemning statements that attribute creative power to Mother Nature
and Father Time. Tell the press to stop parading absurdities like, preposterous eons will give nature (whoever
she is) a chance to perfect the splendid entity of all earthly animation that is the living cell. That may be
poetic license, but it is not Darwinism. Thats intelligent design. We cannot carry on a reasoned debate about origins if there is going to be
equivocation over terms and concepts. We are going to talk past one another if you allow fairy-tale
anthropomorphic gobbledygook into the discussion, where miracles can happen with mystical agents
that can be snuck in with rhetoric, contrary to naturalistic core beliefs. Stick with matter, motion, time, and impersonal law.
Furthermore, you cannot stash miracles of chance in unobserved eons, nor make reckless drafts on the bank of time (07/02/2007).
And it is not going to help your cause if your opponents understand Darwinian theory better than your defenders do. Get your disarrayed team in order.
If we are going to mop the floor with you, victory is sweeter if we achieve it in a fair fight.
Next headline on:
Darwin and Evolution
June 01, 2010 Butterflies do it better, but at least they provided the inspiration, and thanks
to them, we may have cash that is more secure.
From butterflies wings to bank notes how natures colors could cut bank fraud.
Scientists at the University of Cambridge were intrigued by the
Indonesian Peacock or Swallowtail butterfly (Papilio blumei),
whose wing scales are composed of intricate, microscopic structures that resemble the inside of an egg carton
(a microphoto accompanies the article). The structures, made of alternating layers of cuticle
and air rather than pigments, set up optical patterns that intensify some colors and cancel others
producing vivid flashes of light. These photonic crystals have been difficult to replicate
Using a combination of nanofabrication procedures including self-assembly and atomic layer deposition
[Matthias] Kolle and his colleagues made structurally identical copies of the butterfly scales, and these copies
produced the same vivid colours as the butterflies wings, the article said. Kolle was ecstatic:
We have unlocked one of natures secrets and combined this knowledge with state-of-the-art nanofabrication
to mimic the intricate optical designs found in nature. He quickly added that
nature is better at self-assembly than we are but humans have more materials to work with.
One application of this technology will be to encrypt bank notes, making them nearly
impossible for forgers to duplicate. Kolle thinks this may be what butterflies are doing.
To some eyes they appear bright blue, but to others they appear green. This could explain why the
butterfly has evolved this way of producing colour, he said. If its eyes see fellow butterflies
as bright blue, while predators only see green patches in a green tropical environment, then it can hide from predators
at the same time as remaining visible to members of its own species.
He did not explain how the butterfly could have evolved such a clever system.
Perhaps it was designed. Whether design or evolution, though, one thing is clear: Kolle admitted,
The shiny green patches on this tropical butterflys wing scales are a stunning example of natures ingenuity in optical design.
The article includes one of Kolles photos of the glittering scales on the butterfly wing.
Regular readers have the patterns memorized by now: Darwinism contributes nothing to the story but a
tacked-on, after-the-fact tale about the animal actively evolving some amazing capability
for the purpose of doing something, with no explanation of how it did such a thing, even
though human inventors, using intelligent design, cannot even come close to replicating it.
Thats why we award that part of the story the Dumb Ideas tag. Any questions?
Learn the ten spins of early man announcements, from the 06/11/2003 commentary.
The rest of the story is amazing. Wonderful physics, the imitation of design in
nature, fruitful science using both design detection and design imitation, no real debt to naturalism
or Darwinism, benefits to society, increased understanding, all-around good coming from efforts that
really are based in intelligent design. Any questions?
Next headline on:
Darwin and Evolution
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|Guide to Evolution
You do a terrific job on snatching content from the headlines and filtering it for stupidity and lockstep paradigm thinking!
Not only are you on top of things but you do garnish the dish well!
(an IT security consultant in the midwest)
I always thought that science and the Bible should not be at odds with each other and prayed that God
would reveal the truth about evolution/creation through science to us. I wondered if there existed
scientists who were believers and how they reconciled Genesis with science. Where were they when I was teaching?
Now I understand that these Godly men and women had been silenced.... I am so thankful for your website
containing your insightful and educational articles that reveal your understanding of science and Gods word.
(a retired biology teacher in Ohio)
It keeps getting better and better. Wonderful resources there.
(a mechanical engineer and educational consultant in Texas)
Just stopped by to say Hi; Thanks again for your posting--still the best web site on the net!!
(a regular reader in Illinois)
I accidentally came across your BRILLIANT website today.... your website is mesmerising and i sincerely thank you for it.
Wishing you every success.
(an author in Ireland)
I appreciate your reviews more than I can tell. Being able to find the references enables me to
share them with my colleagues and students.
(a teacher in Virginia)
Thank you for your site. I have thoroughly enjoyed it for a few years now and find it an awesome resource.
(a pastor in the arctic circle)
This is a lovely site, and I personally visit this often.... An interesting thing is also the
creation scientist of the month .... just this information alone is enough to write a book from.
(a reader in South Africa)
What God has done through you and crev.info in the past 9 years is nothing less than miraculous.
(an author, PhD in science, and head of a Christian apologetics organization)
I thank God for you and your contribution to His Kingdom. Yours is my favorite site.
May the Lord bless you this season as you get some rest. We really appreciate your work.
(a consultant in Virginia responding to our Thanksgiving-week hiatus)
Instead of criticising every piece of evidence for evolution how about presenting some evidence for creationism?
Obviously there are holes in evolutionary theory we cant even define a species! But its a theory with a
whole load of evidence and if taken at its definition is a mathmatical [sic] certainty.
(a student in Leeds, UK, who must have reacted to one or a few articles, and appears to be
philosophically and mathematically challenged)
In the creation vs. evolution world, which oftentimes is filled with a strong negative vibe,
your website is a breath of fresh air! Keep it up.
(a business manager in Texas)
The maple-seed helicopter (10/21/2009) is fascinating.
Ill be spending some time surfing your encyclopedic collection of articles.
(dean of the aerospace engineering department at a major university)
I stumbled upon this web site more than once by following links from my usual creationist web sites but now I visit here quite often. I am glad to see that there are more and more creationist web sites but disappointed to find out that this one has been running for nearly 10 years and I never knew about it.
(an electronics engineer in Sweden)
I am a teacher ... For three years ive been learning from you at crev.info/... My wife, a teacher also, passes your website on to all interested. We are blessed by your gifts to the body of Christ through this site! Thank-you for ALL your efforts over the decade.
(a teacher in California)
I just want to thank you for these resources that go back 9 years.
It has helped be tremendously when debating evolutionists. Just like in the Parable of the
Talents, God will say to you, Well done, good and faithful servant!
(an engineer in Maryland)
There is no other place I can find the breadth of subjects covered, yet with the detailed insight you give.
People actually think I am smarter than I really am after I read your summaries.
(a business owner in Utah)
I believe there is a middle ground between ID and Evolution that defines what goes on in the real world. It hasnt been labeled by humanity yet, and its probably better that it hasnt, for now. The problem is there is still so much that humanity doesnt know about the universe we live in and our learning progress is so uneven throughout our population. If there is an Intelligent Designer, and I believe there is, these problems too will be taken care of eventually. In the meantime, you do the best you can, the best that's humanly possible, to be objective and logical, while maintaining your faith.
(a retired letter carrier in Pennsylvania)
The information you have provided has been instrumental in completely resolving
any lingering doubts I had when I became a Christian and being faced with the monolithic
theory of evolution. Your website is unique in that it allows the evolutionists
themselves to shoot them in the feet by quoting them in context. Bravo!
(a retired surveyor in Australia)
I really enjoy reading your posts and often send out links to various friends and family members to direct them to your site.
You have an incredible gift and I truly appreciate how you use it.... I have been a satisfied reader of your headlines for the last 5 years at least...
cant remember when I first stumbled on your site but it is now a daily must-stop for me.
(a senior software engineer in Ohio)
Thank you so much for your news. Ive fully enjoyed your articles and commentary for a while now and look forward to the future.
(a doctor in North Carolina)
I like your stuff.
(a doctor in New York)
Thank you and may God bless you all at CEH, for the wonderful work you do.
(a retired surveyor in Australia)
The information you put out there is absolutely superb.
(a lawyer in Kansas)
Your website is the best website on the web for keeping me current of fast developing crev material.
(a medical doctor in California)
I am a christian & really appreciate the creation websites, I check your site every night.
(a logger in New Zealand)
I just found your website a day or so ago and am totally addicted.
You dont know what that says, considering Im only now within the last few days, as a matter of fact
a recovering old-earther ... Talk about going down internet rabbit trails.
I could go deeper and deeper into each headline you post and never get anything else done...
(a home school educator, graphic designer, painter, former geologist in Texas)
I very much enjoy your web site. I have used it as a resource for debating evolutionist for about a year.
I am impressed at the breadth of journals and quantity of articles you report on. I have recommended your site to
several of my on line friends. I dont care if you publish this post but I wanted you to know how thankful
I am for all the hard work you do.
(an engineering recruiter in California)
I pray that our Lord continue to give you strength to continue writing your articles
on Creation-headlines. I have been really blessed to read it daily....Unlike all
other creation sites I am familiar with, yours has such a high scientific quality and
your discussions are great.
(a scientist and university professor in Iceland, where 95% of the people believe in evolution)
Thank you for the work you do ... I scratch my head sometimes, wondering how you have the time for it all.
(a former atheist/evolutionist in aerospace engineering, now Biblical creationist)
Im a regular (daily :) reader of your site. It is amazing the amount
of work that you impart in such a project. Thank you very much.
(an IT professional with a degree in mechanical engineering from Portugal)
I find your site so helpful and you are so fast in putting up responses to current news.
I have your site RSS feed on my toolbar and can easily see when you have new articles posted.
(a geologist in Australia)
I have been reading your website for several years now. Working in an environment where
most people believe that there are only two absolutes, evolution and relativism, it has been wonderful
to be able to get the facts and the explanations of the bluffs and false logic that blows around.
I have posted your website in many places on my website, because you seem to have the ability to cut
through the baloney and get to the truth--a rare quality in this century. Thank you for all that you do.
(a business analyst in Wisconsin)
...this is one of the websites (I have like 4 or 5 on my favorites), and this is
there. Its a remarkable clearinghouse of information; its very well written,
its to the point... a broad range of topics. I have been alerted to more
interesting pieces of information on [this] website than any other website I can think of.
(a senior research scientist)
I would assume that you, or anyone affiliated with your website is simply not
qualified to answer any questions regarding that subject [evolution], because I can almost
single-handedly refute all of your arguments with solid scientific arguments....
Also, just so you know, the modern theory of evolution does not refute the existence
of a god, and it in no way says that humans are not special. Think about that
before you go trying to discredit one of the most important and revolutionary scientific
ideas of human history. It is very disrespectful to the people who have spent
their entire lives trying to reveal some kind of truth in this otherwise crazy world.
(a university senior studying geology and paleontology in Michigan)
Hi guys, thanks for all that you do, your website is a great source of information: very comprehensive.
(a medical student in California)
You are really doing a good job commenting on the weaknesses of science, pointing
out various faults. Please continue.
(a priest in the Netherlands)
I much enjoy the info AND the sarcasm. Isaiah was pretty sarcastic at times, too.
I check in at your site nearly every day. Thanks for all your work.
(a carpet layer in California)
I just wanted to write in to express my personal view that everyone at Creation
Evolution Headlines is doing an excellent job! I have confidences that in the
future, Creation Evolution Headline will continue in doing such a great job!
Anyone who has interest at where science, as a whole, is at in our current times,
does not have to look very hard to see that science is on the verge of a new awakening....
Its not uncommon to find articles that are supplemented with assumptions and vagueness.
A view point the would rather keep knowledge in the dark ages. But when I read over the
postings on CEH, I find a view point that looks past the grayness.
The whole team at CEH helps cut through the assumptions of weary influences.
CEH helps illuminate the true picture that is shining in todays science.
A bright clear picture, full of intriguing details, independence and fascinating complexities.
I know that Creation Evolution Headlines has a growing and informative future before them.
Im so glad to be along for the ride!!
(a title insurance employee in Illinois, who called CEH The Best Web Site EVER !!)
Thank you very much for your well presented and highly instructive blog [news service].
(a French IT migration analyst working in London)
Please keep up the great work -- your website is simply amazing!
Dont know how you do it. But it just eviscerates every evolutionary
argument they weakly lob up there -- kind of like serving up a juicy fastball
to Hank Aaron in his prime!
(a creation group leader in California)
I just want to thank you for your outstanding job. I am a regular reader of
yours and even though language barrier and lack of deeper scientific insight play
its role I still draw much from your articles and always look forward to them.
(a financial manager and apologetics student in Prague, Czech Republic)
You guys are doing a great job! ... I really appreciate the breadth of coverage and depth of analysis that you provide on this site.
(a pathologist in Missouri)
I have read many of your creation articles and have enjoyed and appreciated your website.
I feel you are an outstanding witness for the Lord.... you are making a big difference, and
you have a wonderful grasp of the issues.
(a PhD geneticist, author and inventor)
Thank you for your great creation section on your website. I come visit
it every day, and I enjoy reading those news bits with your funny (but oh so true) commentaries.
(a computer worker in France)
I have been reading Creation Evolution Headlines for many years now with ever increasing astonishment....
I pray that God will bless your work for it has been a tremendous blessing for me and I thank you.
(a retired surveyor in N.S.W. Australia)
I totally enjoy the polemic and passionate style of CEH... simply refreshes the
heart which its wonderful venting of righteous anger against all the BS were
flooded with on a daily basis. The baloney detector
is just unbelievably great. Thank you so much for your continued effort,
keep up the good work.
(an embedded Linux hacker in Switzerland)
I love to read about science and intelligent design,
I love your articles.... I will be reading your articles for the rest of my life.
(an IT engineer and 3D animator in South Africa)
I discovered your site about a year ago and found it to be very informative,
but about two months back I decided to go back to the 2001 entries and read through the
headlines of each month.... What a treasure house of information!
....you have been very balanced and thoughtful
in your analysis, with no embarrassing predictions, or pronouncements or unwarranted
statements, but a very straightforward and sometimes humorous analysis of the news
relating to origins.
(a database engineer in New York)
I discovered your site several months ago.... I found your articles very
informative and well written, so I subscribed to the RSS feed. I just want to
thank you for making these articles available and to encourage you to keep up the good work!
(a software engineer in Texas)
Your piece on Turing Test Stands (09/14/2008)
was so enlightening. Thanks so much. And your piece on Cosmology
at the Outer Limits (06/30/2008) was
another marvel of revelation. But most of all your footnotes at
the end are the most awe-inspiring. I refer to Come to the light
and Psalm 139 and many others. Thanks so much for keeping us grounded in the
TRUTH amidst the sea of scientific discoveries and controversy. Its so
heartwarming and soul saving to read the accounts of the inspired writers testifying
to the Master of the Universe. Thanks again.
(a retired electrical engineer in Mississippi)
I teach a college level course on the issue of evolution and creation.
I am very grateful for your well-reasoned reports and analyses of the issues that
confront us each day. In light of all the animosity that evolutionists
express toward Intelligent Design or Creationism, it is good to see that we on
the other side can maintain our civility even while correcting and informing a
hostile audience. Keep up the good work and do not compromise your high
standards. I rely on you for alerting me to whatever happens to be the news
of the day.
(a faculty member at a Bible college in Missouri)
Congratulations on reaching 8 years of absolute success with crev.info....
Your knowledge and grasp of the issues are indeed matched by your character and desire for truth,
and it shows on every web page you write.... I hope your work extends to the ends of the world,
and is appreciated by all who read it.
(a computer programmer from Southern California)
Your website is one of the best, especially for news.... Keep up the great work.
(a science writer in Texas)
I appreciate the work youve been doing with the
Creation-Evolution Headlines website.
(an aerospace engineer for NASA)
I appreciate your site tremendously.... I refer many people to your content
frequently, both personally and via my little blog....
Thanks again for one of the most valuable websites anywhere.
(a retired biology teacher in New Jersey, whose blog features beautiful plant
and insect photographs)
I dont remember exactly when I started reading your site but it was probably
in the last year. Its now a staple for me. I appreciate the depth
of background you bring to a wide variety of subject areas.
(a software development team leader in Texas)
I want to express my appreciation for what you are doing. I came across
your website almost a year ago.... your blog [sic; news service] is one that I regularly
read. When it comes to beneficial anti-evolutionist material, your blog
has been the most helpful for me.
(a Bible scholar and professor in Michigan)
I enjoyed reading your site. I completely disagree with you on just
about every point, but you do an excellent job of organizing information.
(a software engineer in Virginia. His criticisms led to an engaging dialogue.
He left off at one point, saying, You have given me much to think about.)
I have learned so much since discovering your site about 3 years ago.
I am a homeschooling mother of five and my children and I are just in wonder over
some the discoveries in science that have been explored on creation-evolution headlines.
The baloney detector will become a part of my curriculum during the next school year.
EVERYONE I know needs to be well versed on the types of deceptive practices used by
those opposed to truth, whether it be in science, politics, or whatever the subject.
(a homeschooling mom in Mississippi)
Just wanted to say how much I love your website. You present the truth
in a very direct, comprehensive manner, while peeling away the layers of propaganda
disguised as 'evidence' for the theory of evolution.
(a health care worker in Canada)
Ive been reading you daily for about a year now. Im extremely
impressed with how many sources you keep tabs on and I rely on you to keep my finger
on the pulse of the controversy now.
(a web application programmer in Maryland)
I would like to express my appreciation for your work exposing the Darwinist
assumptions and speculation masquerading as science.... When I discovered your site
through a link... I knew that I had struck gold! ....Your site has helped me to
understand how the Darwinists use propaganda techniques to confuse the public.
I never would have had so much insight otherwise... I check your site almost daily to
keep informed of new developments.
(a lumber mill employee in Florida)
I have been reading your website for about the past year or so.
You are [an] excellent resource. Your information and analysis is spot on, up to
date and accurate. Keep up the good work.
(an accountant in Illinois)
This website redefines debunking. Thanks for wading through the obfuscation
that passes for evolution science to expose the sartorial deficiencies of
Emperor Charles and his minions. Simply the best site of its kind, an
amazing resource. Keep up the great work!
(an engineer in Michigan)
I have been a fan of your daily news items for about two years, when a friend pointed
me to it. I now visit every day (or almost every day)... A quick kudo: You are
amazing, incredible, thorough, indispensable, and I could list another ten
superlatives. Again, I just dont know how you manage to comb so widely, in so many
technical journals, to come up with all this great news from science info.
(a PhD professor of scientific rhetoric in Florida and author of two books, who added that he was
awe-struck by this site)
Featured Creation Scientist for June
Dr. Henry M. Morris, Jr.
1918 - 2006
Henry Morris is considered the father of the modern creationist movement. A prolific
author, scientist and founder of the Institute for Creation Research (ICR), he was humble
and mild-mannered in person, but his influence was felt around the world. It continues to
reverberate through his writings, his sons, and the disciples he inspired, the institutions
he either founded himself or stimulated others to found. He had many enemies among secular
scientists. None of them, however, could ever fault him for his scientific credentials and
knowledge of science, his communication skills, his personal character, the consistency of his convictions,
his family, or his personal integrity. He was consistent and productive to the end of his life, and
died peacefully in 2006 among family and friends with no regrets, looking forward to heaven.
Dr. Henry Morris (PhD, hydraulic engineering, Rice University)
and Dr. John Whitcomb awakened a slumbering church in
1961 with The Genesis Flood, a book that many have claimed marked the beginning of the modern
creationist movement. The book presented convincing scientific evidence against long ages and for a global watery
cataclysm. In 1970, Morris left Virginia Tech where he was head
of the department of civil engineering, to pursue his creation activities full time.
With Dr. Duane Gish, a biochemist from UC Berkeley, Morris formed the Institute for Creation
Research. The fledgling work, begun on a shoestring, soon grew into the leading
creationist research institute in the world and added a museum and graduate school.
Morris and Gish debated hundreds of scientists on college campuses across America and
around the world. His 50+ books, unabashedly Christian and literally Biblical but also
very astute about science and the history of evolutionary thought, have had an enormous impact
on generations of readers.
Gentle and soft-spoken in person but impregnable with a pen, Dr. Henry Morris
was still writing things up to his final few days. The breadth and depth of subjects
he wrote about is remarkable. His mind stayed sharp through age 87. The work at ICR continues under
the leadership of his sons John Morris, a PhD in geological engineering, and Henry Morris III, a pastor and
businessman as President, at the new headquarters in Dallas. His son Henry Morris IV is Director of Donor Relations.
With a staff of scientists and writers, ICR continues its emphasis on scientific research and writing.
The institute has begun several new research projects including one in genetics, after the recent conclusion of
its 8-year RATE project, an interdisciplinary analysis of radioactive dating by 11 scientists, and a project
called FAST (Flood Activated Sedimentation and Tectonics).
One of Morriss last public appearances was in 2002, when ICR hosted a large, well-attended
conference at Calvary Chapel, Costa Mesa called Passing the Torch of Creation.
Dr. Morris received a standing ovation immediately upon being introduced to speak.
He demonstrated how one man, committed to God and
his word, can make a difference. Almost every creationist leader today is indebted
to his life and works. In the 1960s there were very few books on creation.
Evolution dominated the textbooks and most churches, intimidated by science, preferred to avoid the issue.
Henry Morriss first small paperback, The Bible and Modern Science, began to change things.
Then The Genesis Flood electrified a new generation of college-educated Christians.
Liberal churches had long since given in to Darwinism completely, and many Bible-believing
churches had capitulated to long ages and uniformitarianism. Assuming that science
had proved deep time, they merely tried to accommodate it with compromises like the gap theory
or progressive creation.
Morris and Whitcomb demonstrated that it was possible to
look at the fossil record and the geological strata in a new way that corroborated the
Bible record of a world-wide flood. Not only that, they showed how the scientific
evidence was superior to that of the evolutionists. A new army of creation scientists launched into further
investigations that continue to the present day. New organizations, like the
Bible-Science Association and the Creation Research Society, were formed. Numerous
spin-off clubs and societies have kept the creation movement growing in strength and extent
around the world. Almost all of them can trace some ancestry back to ICR.
Ken Ham, for instance, often talks about Morris as his inspiration; particularly how his
commentary on Genesis, The Genesis Record, provided a powerful influence on his
life to show that Gods word must be the foundation in all areas of life, not the
fallible opinions of man. As he often puts it, Are you going to believe the
words of men, who dont know everything and werent there, or the words of God,
who does know everything and who was there? That was certainly a key theme of
Morris: we take the word of God as our final authority, because it is the word of God.
We dont mold the authority of God to the fallible opinions of science; what better
authority could one have than the Creator of the universe?
Henry Morris never boasted about himself but always sought to honor Jesus Christ
and remain faithful to Gods word. He was aware to the last of the crucial nature of
this intellectual battle. The battle has become more heated than ever.
Having passed the torch on to a new generation, he didnt
leave the field, but continued to challenge and encourage others to the end. Dr. Morris
has been the Moses of modern creationism. His personal endurance,
patience and integrity, and the wisdom of his books, need to inspire a new generation
of Joshuas and Calebs to be strong and very courageous, and to take back the land,
for good science and the glory of God.
If you are enjoying this series, you can
learn more about great Christians in science by reading
our online book-in-progress:
The Worlds Greatest
Creation Scientists from Y1K to Y2K.
A Concise Guide|
You can observe a lot by just watching.
First Law of Scientific Progress
The advance of science can be measured by the rate at which exceptions to previously held laws accumulate.
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.
Nature will tell you a direct lie if she can.
So will Darwinists.
Science is true. Dont be misled by facts.
Finagles 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.
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.
Murphys Law of Research
Enough research will tend to support your theory.
If the facts do not conform to the theory, they must be disposed of.
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.
The number of different hypotheses erected to explain a given biological phenomenon
is inversely proportional to the available knowledge.
All great discoveries are made by mistake.
The greater the funding, the longer it takes to make the mistake.
The solution to a problem changes the nature of the problem.
Peters Law of Evolution
Competence always contains the seed of incompetence.
An expert is a person who avoids the small errors while sweeping on to the grand fallacy.
Repetition does not establish validity.
What really matters is the name you succeed in imposing on the facts not the facts themselves.
For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism.
Thumbs Second Postulate
An easily-understood, workable falsehood is more useful than a complex, incomprehensible truth.
There is nothing so small that it cant 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.
The best theory is not ipso facto a good theory.
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
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,
Wisdoms 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).
Like your site especially the style of your comments.... Keep up the good work.
(a retired engineer and amateur astronomer in Maryland)
I really enjoy your website, the first I visit every day. I have a
quote by Mark Twain which seems to me to describe the Darwinian philosophy of
science perfectly. There is something fascinating about science.
One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment
of fact. Working as I do in the Environmental field (I am a geologist
doing groundwater contamination project management for a state agency) I see that
kind of science a lot. Keep up the good work!!
(a hydrogeologist in Alabama)
I visit your website regularly and I commend you on your work. I
applaud your effort to pull actual science from the mass of propaganda for Evolution
you report on (at least on those rare occasions when there actually is any science
in the propaganda). I also must say that I'm amazed at your capacity to
continually plow through the propaganda day after day and provide cutting and
amusing commentary.... I can only hope that youthful surfers will stop by
your website for a fair and interesting critique of the dogma they have to
imbibe in school.
(a technical writer living in Jerusalem)
I have enjoyed your site for several years now. Thanks for all the
hard work you obviously put into this. I appreciate your insights, especially
the biological oriented ones in which I'm far behind the nomenclature curve.
It would be impossible for me to understand what's going on without some
interpretation. Thanks again.
(a manufacturing engineer in Vermont)
Love your site and your enormous amount of intellectualism and candor
regarding the evolution debate. Yours is one site I look forward to on
a daily basis. Thank you for being a voice for the rest of us.
(a graphic designer in Wisconsin)
For sound, thoughtful commentary on creation-evolution hot topics go to
(Access Research Network
Your website is simply the best (and Id dare say one of the most important) web sites on the entire WWW.
(an IT specialist at an Alabama university)
Ive been reading the articles on this website for over a year, and
Im guilty of not showing any appreciation. You provide a great service.
Its 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 dont 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
(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,
its apparent youve 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
(an amateur astronomer in San Diego)
What an absolutely brilliant website you have. Its 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)
Ive 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 dont 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
(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)
Ive told many people about your site. Its a tremendous service to
science news junkies not to mention students of both Christianity and
(a meteorology research scientist in Alabama)
...let me thank you for your Creation-Evolution Headlines. Ive 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 appearoften 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,
(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! Ive 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 dont 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 evolutions 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. Its such a refreshing difference
from the usual media spin. Often youll 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 cant 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 dont 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, Ive
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 dont know
enough to respond to their claims. Thanks for your good work and keep it
(a missionary in Japan)
I just thought Id write and
tell you how much I appreciate your headline list and commentary. Its
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
(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! Im 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 dont 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.
Youre 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 cant tell you how much I enjoy your article reviews on your
websiteits 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 laymans 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)
Im 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 dont know. But all things, including the laws of nature, originate from God....
To deny evolution is to deny Gods 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, Ive found that many of them do
not stay current with relative information. I love the almost daily updates to
your headlines section. Ive 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 cant wait for the next update. Thats 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. Ill 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 weve 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
(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 thats been going on. Now, Im 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 theyve 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 youre 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)
Im a small town newspaper editor in southwest Wyoming. Were pretty
isolated, and finding your site was a great as finding a gold mine. I read
it daily, and if theres nothing new, I re-read everything. I follow links.
I read the Scientist of the Month. Its the best site Ive 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 lifes education has been a lie!!!
Ive 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...Ive 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, Ive found it. 2. You have balanced fun with this topic. This is hugely valuable! Smug Christianity is ugly, and I dont 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. Thats 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
(a project manager in New Jersey)
Ive 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 youre 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.
Its incredible I dont know how you do it.
I cant 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 Darwins 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
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 cant stop reading it....
I also enjoy your insightful and humorous commentary at the end of each story. If the evolutionists
blindness wasnt 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, Im 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. Ive 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 dont 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 thats 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
Hey Friends, Check out this site: Creation-Evolution Headlines.
This is a fantastic resource for the whole family.... a fantastic reference library with summaries,
commentaries and great links that are added to
dailyarchives 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,
Ive 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?
Isnt 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)
Ive had your Creation/Evolution Headlines site on my favourites list for
18 months now, and I can truthfully say that its 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. Im 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
(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 Im not being presumptuous in suspecting
the existence of contributions from a Truth Underground comprised of
dissident college faculty, teachers, scientists, and engineers. If thats
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)
Im from Quebec, Canada. I have studied in pure sciences and after in actuarial mathematics.
Im visiting this site 3-4 times in a week. Im 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.
(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. Its great
to see real science directly on the front lines, toe to toe with the
pseudoscience that's mindlessly spewed from the prestigious
(a biology student in Illinois)
Ive been checking in for a long time but thought Id 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.
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.
Im 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
(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 readers
(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. Im a
Christian that is interested in science (Im 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 Ive 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)
Ive 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 dont 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
(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)
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 its 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
(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
(a reader from Scottsdale, AZ)
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 seevery
much. I really appreciate a decent, calm and scholarly approach to the
whole issue... Thanks ... for this fabulous
It is refreshing to read your comments. You have a knack to get to the heart of
(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
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? ... Im 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. Ill 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)
Disclaimer: Creation-Evolution Headlines includes links
to many external sites, but takes no responsibility for the
accuracy or legitimacy of their content. Inclusion of an
external link is strictly for the readers convenience,
and does not necessarily constitute endorsement of
the material or its authors, owners, or sponsors.|