Watch for the Recycle logo to find gems from the back issues!
Could 90% of what doctors tell you be wrong? David H. Freedman explores the work of Dr. John Ioannidis, whose survey of the medical
literature shows most of it being poorly tested, unduly influenced, and falsified in short order
Atlantic). If science can provide so little confidence about things we can see and feel and test in the present,
how can scientists confident pronouncements about the unobservable past, with all its untestable unknowns, be trusted?
Cambrian Explosion Solved
Oct 31, 2010 Geologists have come out swinging against the idea the Cambrian Explosion
damages Darwinism. In a lengthy new paper in the Geological Society of America Bulletin,1
they believe they pitch three strikes against creationists and intelligent-design supporters who claim that the sudden appearance of all the
animal body plans at the base of the Cambrian falsifies Darwinian claims about gradual evolution.
Their last paragraph sums up their victory announcement that Darwin was right after all:
In his chapter on the imperfection of the geological record, Darwin alludes in passing to a different explanation
for the supposed sudden appearance of animals in the lowest fossiliferous strata. He writes [w]e should
not forget that only a small portion of the world is known with accuracy (Darwin, 1859, p. 307). It is this
explanationthe incompleteness of our knowledgethat has turned out to be closer to the truth. The
problem of missing fossil ancestors was solved by the discovery of the Precambrian fossil record, the problem that
nearly all the animal phyla appear in the Lower Cambrian with no evidence of intermediate taxa was solved by the
recognition that most Lower Cambrian fossils represent stem-groups of living phyla, and the problem of the explosive
diversification of animals at the start of the Tommotian was solved by improved correlation and radiometric dating
of Lower Cambrian sequencesto which we contribute hereshowing that this diversification was drawn out over more
than 20 m.y.
This paper, with over 500 references, is probably the most extensive defense of Darwin against the Cambrian explosion since Charles Marshall
explained in 2006 that, essentially, evolution did the evolution (see 04/23/2006).
These scientists from Princeton, MIT, UC Santa Barbara, and Washington University at St. Louis knew about Marshalls
paper, because they referred to it several times. They also understood Darwins dilemma (not the
film by that name, but the issue), saying, The dilemma Darwin faced
was that if all life descended via gradual modification from a single common ancestor, then the complexity and diversity
of fossils found in Cambrian strata ... demand a long interval of evolution prior to the beginning of the Cambrian.
This was their challenge, and victory was their goal.
They used a two-pronged
approach of radiometric dating with comparisons of calcium carbonate isotopes in fossil shells to determine
a new absolute time line for first appearances of skeletal animals and for changes in the carbon, strontium, and
redox chemistry of the ocean during the Nemakit-Daldynian and Tommotian ages at the beginning of the Cambrian.
(The Nemakit-Daldynian strata are the first Cambrian after the Ediacaran era, dated from 542-525 million years before the present;
the Tommotian follows, where the first trilobites appear). As a result of their analysis of leading Cambrian outcrops
from around the world (primarily Siberia), they claim that both the problem of disparity (morphological distinctness without intermediates) and
rapid diversification have been somewhat exaggerated. But can they undo 150 years of hand-wringing so easily?
The argument for Darwin in this long paper can be summed up in two words: stretch and simplify.
By stretching out the timeline from 5 or 10 to 20 million years, they muffle the explosion. And by claiming
that the first appearances of the phyla were fairly simple stem-group members compared to those that came later,
they leave less innovation for Darwinism to have to produce all at once. The bulk of their paper concerns measurements
of calcium carbonate isotopes, by which they argued that changes in ocean chemistry may have been responsible for
the so-called explosion: aragonite was favored in the Nemakit-Daldynian, while calcite was favored in the Tommotian.
This pattern supports the hypothesis that carbonate skeletal mineralogy is determined by the chemistry of seawater
at the time carbonate skeletons first evolve in a clade.
Their revised timeline was a big part of their argument. They mapped calcium carbonate isotope
traces from Siberia, China and Mongolia onto uranium-lead dates from Morocco, a method that they claimed
avoids the circularity associated with using biostratigraphic correlations and that is presented in the
context of coincident changes in the cycling of carbon and trace elements in the ocean. So,
Better than ever before, we are now capable of determining the absolute timing of biological and environmental
change in the earliest Cambrian. Having a new radiometrically-determined timeline, they produced a key
figure in the paper: a timeline of first appearances. At 544 mya, they show anabaritids.
At 540 mya, they show protoconodonts, cap-shaped fossils, hyoliths, hyolithelminths, and caeloscleritophorans.
At 534 mya, they show molluscs, conulariids, cambroclaves, and paracaranichitids. Coleolids and possible archaeocyaths show up at 532 mya,
calcareous brachiopods at 528 mya, phosphatic bracheopods at 526 mya. At 525 mya, the sea chemistry changes from
favoring aragonite to calcite. Shortly after, at about 523 mya, trilobites appear. Put together, the pattern
of diversification looks more like what Darwin envisioned a gradual unfolding of new forms spread over 20 million years.
The researchers also looked closely at patterns of diversity
in the small shelly creatures that appear first in the lowest Cambrian layers. They claim that four major
groups in these shelly creatures, including molluscs, were all related, and therefore illustrate a gradual unfolding
of diversity through the Nemakit-Daldynian ... rather than a burst at or just before the Tommotian boundary.
In addition, they identified four possible bursts of diversity within the explosion. Other sections on phosphate,
strontium, and other ocean-chemistry data were used to envision scenarios of environmental changes that contributed to
the rapid diversification of organisms in the Cambrian. Looking at the big picture, though, they argued that
the Cambrian explosion was really not all that special; other parts of the fossil record show similar patterns:
the observation that disparity reaches its peak early in a groups history seems to reflect a general
phenomenon, also observed in plants (Boyce, 2005), the Ediacara biota (Shen et al., 2008), Precambrian
microfossils (Huntley et al., 2006), and within many individual animal clades, such as crinoids (Foote, 1997), gastropods
(Wagner, 1995), and ungulates (Jernvall et al., 1996). Although of significant interest, this high disparity
soon after a groups appearance is not unique to the Cambrian, they said.
So is the Cambrian explosion explained? They didnt claim such a landslide victory.
Instead, they ended (before the final paragraph quoted above), An explanation for the processes responsible
for the radiation of animals, and of whether the radiation was a consequence or a cause of
associated geochemical changes, requires a thorough understanding of the pattern of that radiation, to which
this paper contributes. The research was partly funded by the National Science Foundation.
1. Maloof, Porter, Bowring et al, The earliest Cambrian record of animals and ocean geochemical change,
Geological Society of America Bulletin,
v.122 no. 11-12 p. 1731-1774 (November 2010), doi: 10.1130/B30346.1.
OK, guys, nice try, but no cigar; valiant effort, but no valium. This explanation (or
contribution toward an explanation) assumes much and explains little. Fully half the bulk of this paper is taken up with 500 references
from Darwin-Party sources and tedious nitty grit about isotopes of strontium, calcium carbonate and other
The elephant standing in the room is standing on Darwin. The poor man needs help! Dont pore through
your chemistry notebooks while he cant breathe.
A 13-year study on natural selection found only differences in color in a wildflower.
This is the process that created humans from bacteria? See the 10/19/2007 entry
for an illustration of what happens when Darwinian theory is taken out of the storytelling department and put to
actual empirical tests.
Does his mechanism of mindless, undirected processes create body plans
and genetic codes and complex organs or not? Saying that miracles happen better if they happen slowly is not
an answer! Look at a trilobite. It has compound eyes of
sophisticated design and optical quality (09/13/2003),
a gut, antennae, jointed appendages, and a central nervous system to operate them. Do eyes just pop
into existence? Who made that happen Popeye?
The first trilobites are not becoming trilobites; they are trilobites. Same is true for all the phyla.
They are not microbes becoming cnidarians, or Ediacarans becoming worms; they are what they are when they appear
in the record. Their genetic programs know how to develop into complex body plans out of a single-celled
zygote. Moreover, the trilobite record is opposite evolutionary expectations theres
more diversity in the lower layers (07/28/2007).
Another huge, glaring omission in this paper is evidence for intermediate forms, the transitional forms that
must have existed between all the phyla. To talk over and over about the appearance of this complex
animal, and the appearance of that complex animal is only multiplying miracles. Where are the
gradual transitional chains from simple to complex that Charlie is crying out for?
There was a big lie in the conclusion that their own previous words
exposed. They announced in triumph at the goal line, The problem of missing fossil ancestors was solved
by the discovery of the Precambrian fossil record. In the Introduction, however,
here is what they admitted, without ever coming back to it and solving the problem:
Despite abundant evidence for a variety of life extending back to at least 3.5 Ga, Precambrian fossils mostly record the evolution
of bacteria and microbial eukaryotes. The earliest evidence for animals predates the Precambrian-Cambrian boundary by
only ~100 m.y. (Xiao et al., 1998; Yin et al., 2007; Love et al., 2009, Maloof et al., 2010b), and the few unquestioned
examples of Precambrian Bilateria are <15 m.y. older than the beginning of the Cambrian (Fedonkin and Waggoner, 1997;
Martin et al., 2000; Jensen, 2003; Droser et al., 2005). Significant increases in trace fossil diversity and complexity
across the boundary and the absence of soft-bodied animals in upper Precambrian Burgess Shale–type biotas (Xiao et al., 2002)
suggest that the general absence of bilaterian animal fossils from upper Precambrian rocks is not a preservational artifact.
Rather, it appears that animals originated and began to diversify relatively close to the base of the Cambrian.
Although early studies using a molecular clock suggested that the divergences between major animal groups long predated
the Cambrian (Wray et al., 1996; Bromham et al., 1998), some of the more recent work has produced dates that are closer to (if
still older than) those supported by the fossil record (Aris-Brosou and Yang, 2003; Peterson et al., 2004, 2008).
Furthermore, Konservat-Lagerstätten such as the Chengjiang biota and the Burgess Shale record a breathtaking array
of soft-bodied animals by the late Early and Middle Cambrian (Briggs et al., 1994; Hou et al., 2004), respectively, and,
together with more conventional skeletal assemblages, suggest a great radiation of animal life during the Early Cambrian.
You can give these Darwin-worshippers the most generous rope, stretching out the minimum claims of 5 m.y. for the explosion to
20 m.y., and the noose still wont let their feet come near the ground. The Cambrian explosion is real.
Appeals to calcium carbonate, carbon dioxide, oxygen, moving continents none of that has the capacity to code for
a complex body plan, developmental programs, and hierarchical designs as explained thoroughly in the documentary film
Darwins Dilemma. Watch the film! It covers so much more than
just the timeline the least of Darwins problems, though even 20 million years is the blink of an eye in
their evolution-incestuous dating scheme.
Once again, the evolutionary explanation makes no sense unless you already believe in evolution.
To a creationist, it is question-begging nonsense. Evolution is the question! You cannot assume what your critics
will not grant. Did you catch the bad breath in their statement about microbes, ungulates and all?
Although of significant interest, this high disparity soon after a groups appearance is not unique to the Cambrian,
they said. Good grief. So they
expect creationists to be converted to Charlie worship on the argument that since miracles happened throughout
the fossil record, its not hard to accept another one in the Cambrian. This is science class, remember?
This long, tedious paper is no improvement on Charles Marshalls circular paper that says, in
a nutty shell, evolution did the evolution. He promised his readers a long trip and dumped them off
at the starting line. The new paper does the same. It also offers
more of the if you build it, they will come theory of evolution: somehow, by unknown processes, if you give the
ocean calcite, trilobites will pop into existence. This foolishness appears over and over for those willing to wade
through the endless details about chemistry: evolution is assumed when that is the very issue at stake
This is so old. Why wont the Darwinians listen? Stop talking in an echo chamber.
Stop assuming evolution, and stop assuming that appeals to evolution are going to be taken seriously by your critics.
No amount of scholarly jargon can cover for circular reasoning. The fossil
record is a record of design, not evolution.
To borrow a quip from Ronald Reagan, its not that our opponents are ignorant; its that they know a
lot of things that arent so.
- Precambrian fossils mostly record the evolution of bacteria and microbial eukaryotes....
- ... many of the basic features that distinguish the major groups of animals had evolved by this time...
- Lowest Cambrian trace fossils offer a record of the evolution of macroscopic, primarily soft-bodied, animals.
- an age model ... that we use to elucidate the evolution of small shelly fossils...
- carbonate skeletal mineralogy is determined by the chemistry of seawater at the time carbonate skeletons first evolve in a clade...
- ...how many small shelly fossil genera must have evolved by a certain time...
- ...the skeletal mineralogy of animals that evolved during the Early Cambrian.
- animals that evolve carbonate biomineralization associated with the youngest pulse of first appearances...
- ...calcareous plankton had not yet evolved in the Early Cambrian...
Next headline on:
Darwin and Evolution
Purpose-Driven Science Ignores Darwin
Oct 30, 2010 While some Darwinists feel that the Intelligent Design (ID) movement is a major
threat to science, many scientists unconnected to ID are acting as if it provides for them a more
fruitful approach to research. Several recent examples illustrated what might be called
a silent de facto intelligent design movement.
Only the third team even mentioned evolution. A leader of the team from the University of Western
Australia hoped that the findings could provide insight for biologists looking at the evolution of bipedalism,
both in humans and in dinosaurs, but clearly the focus of the story was on the biophysics, not
- Purposeful proteins: PhysOrg
reported work at the RIKEN Advanced Science Institute in Japan with the eye-catching title,
Searching for purpose in proteins. Its not that the team is invoking
a deity or searching for ultimate meaning in their work; they just want to understand what some enigmatic
proteins do. Going on a kind of fishing expedition with fishing tackle known as
bioprobes, they have demonstrated the ability to watch how proteins bind, and deduce their role in
biological processes. The case reported in the article concerns tumor progression in cancer,
but the methodology assumes that enigmatic proteins have a purpose and are not just cellular junk.
- Imitating insects: Meanwhile, inventors at Penn State, Harvard and the Naval
Research Laboratory have their eyes on water striders and butterflies. They have developed
an engineered thin film that mimics the natural abilities of water striding insects to
walk on the surface of water, and for butterflies to shed water from their wings.
The natural material has what is known as superhydrophic properties and is an active
area of research because producing artificial materials with those properties would have many
applications The nanofilm produced by this technique, called oblique angle deposition,
provides a microscale smooth surface for the transport of small water droplets without pumps or optical
waves and with minimal deformation for self-powered microfluidic devices for medicine and for
microassembly. Inherent in biomimicry is the belief that the thing being imitated
is well designed.
- Biophysics on birds: Researchers in Australia were curious why ostriches are
such good runners compared to humans, so they compared their leg physics with a computer analysis.
the resulting paper by saying its spring in their step. Ostriches store so much elastic
energy in their tendons, they can run as if on pogo sticks. The
BBC News includes
a video showing the difference in gait efficiency.
Notice how many previous entries with the Intelligent Design
chain link were not about scientists actively promoting ID, but were about subjects that assumed design
and had no use for Darwinism (e.g., 10/27/2010,
10/25/2010). Most of the Biomimetics articles fall in this category
Join the silent ID revolution. You dont have to use the maligned
phrase, or declare your allegiance to the Discovery Institute. Just stay focused on the design in your subject,
and gradually say less and less about Charlie D. After enough good design science, fewer people
(except for the diehard blowhards) will even miss him.
The Blue and Red States of OOL
Next headline on:
Oct 29, 2010 When it comes to the origin of life (OOL), some scientists
color it blue; some color it red.
Scientist votes for the blue state.
LIFE may really have been created by a spark,
one that came as a bolt from the deep blue. Inspired by visions sent from Ryuhei Nakamura at the University of Tokyo,
reporter Jon Evans looked deep into the deep blue ocean and envisioned electrical currents down in dark, hydrothermal vents.
The team thinks that the chimney walls catalyse the conversion of sulphides into elemental sulphur as the hot vent fluid
travels through them, Evans wrote. The reaction releases electrons which pass through the wall to the salt water
outside, where they convert dissolved oxygen into hydrogen peroxide. Nakamura postulates that this electrical current
could provide a source of energy for bacteria.
Unfortunately for this notion, even Nick Lane, who makes OOL sound simple,
points out that there was hardly any oxygen at the time. Nakamura quickly substituted carbon dioxide.
If this was the case, then the CO2 would have been converted directly into carbon-based molecules,
making complex organic molecules on the early Earths sea floors perhaps the chemical precursors of life.
Others find a red state in the deep of space.
opined, Icy Red Objects at Solar Systems Edge May Point to Lifes Building Blocks.
Indeed, The reddish hue of many objects in our solar systems frigid outer reaches may be evidence of
complex organic molecules, perhaps even the building blocks of life, new research suggests.
John Cooper (NASA) quickly backpedaled, Were not saying that life is produced in the Kuiper Belt,
just that the basic chemistry may start there, as could also happen in similar Kuiper Belt environments
elsewhere in the universe, and that is a natural path which could lead toward the chemical evolution of life.
Cooking by radiation could produce delicious morsels like formaldehyde, acetylene and ethane. Cooper hoped for more:
In some cases you may be able to produce the components of life not just organic materials,
but biological molecules such as amino acids. In this, he failed to clarify that amino acids have no
meaning without ribosomes and a genetic code.
The second article tried to be patriotic. About 1,000 Kuiper Belt objects have been directly imaged so far, and these
bodies appear to be a wide range of colors, from red to blue to white, researchers said.
OOL fools are like politicians. They wave the colors and deceive the gullible with
the building blocks of lie (03/19/2008).
Next headline on:
Origin of Life
Scientists find a gene for liberal politics (Science
Daily). Question is, will there be a cure for the mutation?
Early Man in Trouble
Oct 28, 2010 New findings (or claims) are throwing long-held beliefs about
human ancestors into disarray. Early people were smarter, and traveled farther,
than paleoanthropologists thought.
One report summarized by PhysOrg
says, A highly skillful and delicate method of sharpening and retouching stone artifacts by prehistoric people appears to have been
developed at least 75,000 years ago, more than 50,000 years earlier than previously thought, according to a new study led by the
University of Colorado at Boulder. The technique is called pressure flaking. It allows finer control over
the sharpness of stone tools. Pressure flaking adds to the repertoire of technological advances during the Still Bay (period)
and helps define it as a time when novel ideas were rapidly introduced, wrote researchers studying the stones in a South Africa
cave. This flexible approach to technology may have conferred an advantage to the groups of Homo sapiens who migrated
out of Africa about 60,000 years ago.
That story about migrating out of Africa, though, took a falsifying hit.
Science Daily reported,
An international team of researchers, including a physical anthropology professor at Washington University in St. Louis,
has discovered well-dated human fossils in southern China that markedly change anthropologists perceptions of the
emergence of modern humans in the eastern Old World. Maybe it was out of Asia instead of Africa.
The BBC News has a photo of the cave in China where the bones were found.
Geographic News said that these bones, 60,000 years older than previous finds, presents a strong challenge
to the out-of-Africa theory and the traditional early-human time line.
Speaking of changing directions in migration, another story in
claims that fossil evidence is showing anthropoid apes colonized Africa 39 million years ago rather than
These claims and the dates are all incestuous with evolutionary assumptions. Fossils are real,
and stone tools are real, but the stories about them are convoluted and contradictory.
Since they have told us everything you know is wrong year after year, why
do we pay them any attention? Are they making progress toward understanding human
history? No, they are revealing their Know-Nothing Party affiliation
Vote no on Proposition D, the evolutionary storytelling initiative of the Darwin
Have evolutionary paleoanthropologists learnt their lessons from Piltdown?
Have they earnt any credibility? See 10/18/2006.
Next headline on:
Cells Know Their Physics
Oct 27, 2010 At the microscopic level of cells, forces come into play that are
unfamiliar to us at the macro level: quantum mechanics, Brownian motion, and subtle
elastic forces that we might overlook. Two recent papers in the Proceedings of the
National Academy of Sciences explored physical mechanisms cells use to good advantage.
Good thing cells know their physics, or we could not exist.
In a paper in PNAS by a team at the University of Oregon,1
Harland, Bradley, and Parthasaranthy explored the forces at work in cell membranes,
which they called natures most important two-dimensional fluid
composed of lipid bilayers. What keeps the membrane intact? It is generally assumed,
for lack of evidence to the contrary, that homogeneous lipid bilayers are simple Newtonian fluids
that is, purely viscous two-dimensional liquids incapable of an
in-plane elastic response. To the contrary, we find
that membranes are not simply viscous but rather exhibit
viscoelasticity, with an elastic modulus that dominates the response
above a characteristic frequency that diverges at the fluid–gel
... phase-transition temperature, they said. This means that the membrane
is stretchy and it requires force to pull it apart. These findings fundamentally
alter our picture of the nature of lipid bilayers and the
mechanics of membrane environments.
As for why this matters,
The fluidity of membranes is crucial to functions such
as the assembly of proteins into signaling complexes and the controlled
presentation of macromolecules at cell surfaces i.e., we could not live
without membranes that know how to take advantage of viscoelastic properties.
At the level of single proteins, rapid conformational changes on the part of transmembrane proteins
such as ion channels and pumps must couple to the local lipid environment; they said at the end of their paper;
whether this environment is viscous or elastic must
therefore influence any molecular model of protein function.
The authors did not mention evolution in their paper.
Another team at UC Davis explored the quantum mechanics of an important
molecular machine the Complex I macromolecular complex.2 This machine employs a railroad-like
piston and coupling-rod mechanism (07/07/2010,
09/22/2010) to create the proton gradient that drives ATP synthesis.
This process is vital to all life: in humans and in respiring bacteria it
takes the energy from food and stores it as chemical energy in ATP molecules that are
used like currency to pay for most of the energetic activities in the cell.
Complex I transfers two electrons from NADH and passes them like hot potatoes down a series of cofactors
in the long arm of its L-shaped structure. One of the electrons is apparently used for control, and the other
gets passed 90 angstroms (a fair distance on the scale of proteins) to a ubiquinone molecule for the next stage of energy transfer.
This happens in the cells power plants, the mitochondria. The electron pathway includes
a flavin molecule, water molecules, and eight iron-sulfur (Fe/S) clusters in two conformations,
each acting alternately as donors and acceptors of the electrons creating an electrical current.
Hayashi and Stuchebrukhov found that Complex I takes advantage of electron tunneling a phenomenon in quantum
mechanics to pass the electrons down the chain. Tunneling occurs when a particle
faces an energy barrier that seems insurmountable, but makes it through somehow,
because in the probabilistic world of quantum mechanics, a particle, being wavelike and having a wave function, has a
probability distribution of where it might be located, due to the uncertainty principle.
Theres a certain probability the particle will be found on the other side of the barrier.
Its as if a soldier at a castle could magically appear on the other side of the wall without climbing over it.
In this paper we use state-of-the-art electronic structure calculations
to show that the mechanism of electron transfer is quantum mechanical tunneling, as in the
rest of electron transport chain; they said. Another surprise was that water
molecules in path amplify the efficiency of transfer many-fold: the water between
subunits of complex I plays the critical role in mediating electron transport.
Heres how they summarized their findings:
The whole electronic wiring of complex I is obtained by combining
tunneling pathways of individual processes, as shown in
Fig. 3. It is clear that specific peptide residues serve as electronic
wires connecting neighboring Fe/S clusters; individual electron
tunneling paths involve up to three protein residues, including
two cysteine ligands and one additional key residue (Table 1). Notably,
the clusters in the protein are oriented in a specific waycorner
to cornerwith Cys [cysteine, an amino acid] ligands mostly pointing toward each
other, which is clearly the most efficient way to transfer electrons
from one cluster to another.
In addition, they noted that the wires employ thermodynamics to good effect:
the tunneling orbitals in the core regions are constantly changing on the time scale
of thermal dynamics of the local protein environment, which is much faster than that
of the slowest electron transfer. This mixing is another
efficiency mechanism: If there were no mixing of
the electronic states, the incoming and outgoing electrons would
tunnel from the same gateway atom of a cluster, which obviously
is very inefficient because of the additional tunneling distance.
On top of all those efficiencies, the water molecules help even more:
With water present between the subunits, the tunneling rates
are dramatically increased by two to three orders of magnitude, they said with
evident surprise and delight: The internal water at
the subunit boundaries is therefore an essential mediator for the
efficient electron transfer along the redox chain of complex I.
Did these scientists bring evolution into the story? Only to show
it had not happened here: The key residues identified in this study
as mediators of electron transfer (Table 1) are remarkably conserved
among different organisms. To test that conservation, they watched
what happened with mutants. The electron transfer rate decreased dramatically.
All the elements of the chain appear to be precisely tuned for optimum efficiency.
Even though water can repair some tunneling paths if gaps are created
by mutations, they were not prepared to say evolution produced this finely-tuned pathway for electrons.
Yet there is conservation of specific residues along the paths described
above, and whether it was evolutionarily determined or not remains to be examined further.
That was all they had to say about evolution.
In essence, they shuttled off the question to someone else, but left open the possibility
that it was not evolutionarily determined. What is the alternative?
Their concluding paragraph revealed a bit of emotion about all this:
It is remarkable
that the most fundamental energy-generating machinery in cells
is based on the wave properties of electrons, which allow for an
efficient transport of energy-carrying particles along the chain of
redox cofactors toward molecular oxygen via quantum tunneling
as demonstrated by this study.
1. Harland, Bradley, and Parthasaranthy, Phospholipid bilayers are viscoelastic,
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,
published online before print October 25, 2010, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1010700107.
2. Hayashi and Stuchebrukhov, Electron tunneling in respiratory complex I,
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,
published online before print October 25, 2010, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1009181107.
Notice the precision of these machines. The efficiency of electron transfer in Complex I,
for instance, depends on precisely-placed amino acids and water molecules down a fairly long chain.
The fact that these amino acids are conserved (i.e., unevolved), only means that they cannot
be altered without severe consequences (like death). It does not mean that they evolved
into that configurationthat would be a logical fallacy. Both creationists and
evolutionists realize that mutations occur a cosmic ray could hit the molecule or a gene,
or an editing error could result in a different amino acid being inserted. Many of these will
cause death. The ones that do not may allow the organism to survive and reproduce (genetic drift and stabilizing selection).
Over time, mutations can accumulate (mutational load) at rates that are not well understood (despite
the evolutionary molecular clock that circularly
depends on evolution as an assumption), but genetic drift and stabilizing selection are level or downhill processes.
They are only creative if you believe the Tinker Bell myth already (10/08/2010). How did the first microbe
even get off the starting line without Complex I and ATP Synthase already in place? Evolutionists imagine stepping stones, but never
provide them. Its like imagining stepping stones to Hawaii or across the Grand Canyon
with no evidence just the belief that they had to be there for evolution to get across the chasm.
Well, guess what. Some people have no need of that hypothesis.
Amazing Insects Defy Evolution
The elegant, functional structures of these molecular marvels should make us
stand in awe of their Creator. Scientists dare not utter such thoughts. Look again at
that circumlocution in the second paper, whether it was evolutionarily determined or not
remains to be examined further. The position of the authors about evolution vs design is
unknown to us, but that statement is about as close as a scientist can safely get these days to
saying, Darwin was a mush-head and still get published in PNAS. Thoughtful readers
can look at the evidence and draw their own conclusions.
Next headline on:
Oct 26, 2010 Two recent articles about insects call for the ring buoy on the H.M.S. Darwin.
The first is about fossil amber from India, reported by the
We have complete, three-dimensionally preserved specimens that are 52 million years old,
one of the discoverers announced with astonishment, and you can handle them almost like living ones.
The insects are so perfectly preserved they look like they could crawl out if released from their gooey prison.
Several things about the discovery challenge conventional evolutionary wisdom. One is that they contradict the theory
of endemism, the notion that organisms living in isolation will tend to become more unique. The
insects found resemble those from other parts of the world. Gondwana and Laurasia were supposed to have
drifted apart slowly for 100 million years, but here in the Indian amber, the diversity of insects resembles
specimens from Asia, Africa, and even South America. This means that, despite millions of years
in isolation in the ocean, the region was a lot more biologically diverse that previously believed.
To rescue the theory, the team envisioned insects flying long distances or drifting on ocean currents.
Another challenge from these fossils is that rain forests were not supposed to exist in
this region 50 million years ago. Finding evidence of a tropical environment twice as old
as previously thought, the team had to say that they hadnt found such environments before because
fossil deposits are simply very uncommon in tropical regions. A photo with the article
shows where the amber samples were found in lignite mines in western India.
Scientist also reported the story, underscoring the falsifying evidence that calls for theory revision:
India spent tens of millions of years as an island before colliding with Asia.
Yet the fossil record contains no evidence that unique species evolved on the subcontinent during this time,
so India may not have been as isolated as it seemed to be.
Living insects defy evolution, too.
The Guardian wrote
a fascinating article about honeybees computational abilities. Bees can solve complex mathematical
problems which keep computers busy for days, research has shown.
One well-known puzzle, the so-called traveling salesman or Chinese postman problem,
tries to solve for the optimal route between a number of points. If computers had to calculate every route and
then try to solve for the shortest one, it could take days. Bees, however, manage to reach the same
solution using a brain the size of a grass seed. This is, in fact, their specialty:
Foraging bees solve travelling salesman problems every day. They visit flowers at multiple locations
and, because bees use lots of energy to fly, they find a route which keeps flying to a minimum.
Its unclear whether bees use a heuristic algorithm (by which computers could converge on solutions more rapidly, too),
but the bee succeeds somehow, and with dramatically smaller hardware.
A team at the University of London thinks humans could learn from honeybees how to solve such problems more efficiently.
Despite their tiny brains bees are capable of extraordinary feats of behaviour, a researcher remarked,
daring not explain how evolution could have produced a brain the size of a grass seed that can challenge our best computers.
Darwinism is like the patient who has more bandages than skin, or the traveling salesman that
lost money on every sale but thought he could make it up in volume. In either case,
the outcome will not be pretty. Time for a body transplant and a new product.
Automatic Turnstiles Found in the Cell
Next headline on:
Darwin and Evolution
Oct 25, 2010 One of the things students learn about in high school biology classes is
active transport: the ability to control flow through a semi-permeable membrane. Contrary
to osmosis, in which the flow goes naturally from high concentration to low concentration,
cell membranes employ active mechanisms to push or pull the molecules through their membranes
according to what they need even against the concentration gradient. Students
were often presented these concepts as simple facts of life, but only in the last decade or
two have researchers developed the tools to see how cells do it. The results are amazing.
Cells have whole families of transporters that employ a variety of mechanisms to shuttle cargo
through their membranes. The structure of one of the last transporter machines has finally
been cracked and reported in Nature.1 Although many
questions remain, it appears to act as a rocking turnstile activated by a flow of cations (positive ions).
This transporter, called NorM, a member of the MATE family (multidrug and toxic compound
extrusion), exists in all domains of life, from simple bacteria to humans.
Cellular export of toxins and substrates is a fundamental life process, the authors said. Its importance is
profound: in plants, it determines crop yields according to its ability to pump toxins out from the
soil. In the liver of animals, as well as in microbes, it pumps toxins out of the body.
It does such a good job that, unfortunately, it confers multi-drug resistance on some germs we
would like to destroy by allowing them to pump out the medicine, or prevents targeted medicines
from reaching good cells doctors would like to help. Understanding this transporter gateway
enzyme is therefore of crucial importance.
The teams findings, using X-ray crystallography, show NorM to be made up of 12 intermembrane
helices of amino acids, arranged in two groups of six to form a cup-shaped V pattern facing outward.
When a sodium ion (Na+ enters the cup, it binds to a particular site that has
three evolutionarily conserved amino-acid side chains that can carry a negative charge due to the
presence of a carboxylic acid group. Somehow, this binding causes the cup to flip into an
inward-facing conformation just long enough for the toxin inside the cell to bind to the cup.
When the sodium ion is released, the cup flips back out, tossing the toxin outside the cell.
Hendrick W. van Veen, commenting on this paper in Nature,1 said that
this automated turnstile can pump anywhere from 14 to 1,500 molecules out per minute. Try to imagine
this little cup flipping over up to 25 times per second, each time shuttling out its unwanted cargo.
Even that, though, is slow compared to some other specialized transporter families that can pump 100,000
ions per minute, he said. The difference is that NorM and other MATE transporters have to shuttle a wide
variety of larger molecules. The sodium ion gradient indicates that this little machine, whats more,
runs on an electrical current.
A number of questions still remain about how NorM achieves its mechanical effectiveness.
He et al said nothing about evolution nothing about how this mechanism came to be.
Hendrick van Veen said very little: Over the past decade, crystallographic evidence has been obtained supporting the general
concept of alternating access for a variety of membrane transporters, demonstrating that this mechanism has
been evolutionarily conserved (i.e., unevolved). Such a statement clearly begs the question of
evolution. It also leaves unanswered the question of how the first primitive microbe could have avoided
death by poison without the ability to actively, effectively, pump toxins outside its protective walls.
1. He, Szewczyk et al, Structure of a cation-bound multidrug and toxic compound extrusion transporter,
467, pp. 991–994, 21 October 2010, doi:10.1038/nature09408.
2. Hendrick W. van Veen, Structural biology: Last of the multidrug transporters,
pp. 926–927, 21 October 2010, doi:10.1038/467926a.
Cell biology needs evolution like a king needs a jester. The jester may not win wars
or feed the peasants, but provides some comic relief, standing there juggling balls and
telling jokes about where the leopard got its spots (10/20/2010).
Bring it on, Chuck: tell us how an unguided, purposeless process arranged twelve precisely-arranged
intermembrane helices of amino acids into a cup shape, provided a precise pocket for a sodium ion,
figured out how to invert the cup to the inside just long enough to recognize and bind a toxic molecule, and then
flip over and shuttle it out, and do this 25 times a second. Did this all happen in a single
chance miracle or a string of chance miracles? Tell us also how all the other tens of thousands
of molecular machines essential for life emerged, like the topoisomerases that
fold DNA into compact shapes and separate the chromosomes, the winches that pull chromosomes
apart, the molecular highways that transport the good cargo all throughout the cell, the
DNA repair molecules, and much, much more.
The Darwinists have refuted the intelligent-design irreducible complexity argument!
See the 10/31/2005 entry.
Neo-Darwinism is utterly incapable of standing up to these findings about precision
molecular machines in the cell. The Old Guard Darwinists are like the old guard communists
in the former Soviet Union, who clung to their worn-out Marxist-Leninist talking points when
it was clear to everyone that they didnt work. The Darwinist talking points, with
their ridiculous notions of conservation and convergence, are a ball and chain to molecular
biology. This is the age of systems biology, reverse engineering, nanotechnology,
biomimetics, information science, machine language. Take off the ball and chain.
Run toward the future with intelligent-design gusto.
Next headline on:
Biomimetics: Does It Flatter Darwin?
Oct 24, 2010 The imitation of natural design (biomimetics) is a cutting-edge approach
to engineering these days. Many times, the reports on attempts to mimic the amazing properties
of cells, plants, and animals have no time to discuss evolution (e.g., 09/24/2010).
Once in awhile, though, scientists or reporters go out of their way to tell their readers that the exquisite designs they
want to imitate are the work of billions of years of evolutionary trial and error. A press release from
MIT News is a recent example
and an occasion to investigate the explanatory power of Darwin vs intelligent design. It begins:
Nature has one very big advantage over any human research team: plenty of time. Billions of years, in fact.
And over all that time, it has produced some truly amazing materials using weak building blocks
that human engineers have not yet figured out how to use for high-tech applications, and with
many properties that humans have yet to find ways to duplicate.
Presumably the human engineers use intelligent design (ID), but want to mimic the products of an undirected
natural process (evolution) acting slowly over billions of years. Thats the thesis.
The advantage humans have is choice: they can choose their building blocks to make their materials.
Thats ID purpose, goal, choice.
Most of the article concerns how organisms, such as diatoms, achieve their feats.
First, they use simple local materials: Nature ... often has to make do with whatever is
readily available locally, and whatever structures have been created through the lengthy
trial-and-error of evolution. Second, they take these local, simple materials and
employ them in complex ways:
It all comes down to assembling complex structures from small, simple building blocks, Buehler explains.
He likes to use a musical analogy: A symphony comprises many different instruments, each of which on its own
could never produce something as grand and complex as the combined rich, full musical experience. In a
similar way, he hopes to construct complex materials with previously unavailable properties by using simple
building blocks assembled in ways that borrow from those used by nature.
The MIT team wants to follow natures lead: pick simple materials and creatively combine them.
A brick is a simple structure that doesnt vary with scale. A protein complex, however, depends
heavily on how its simple parts are assembled. Life builds hierarchical structures
patterns built on patterns at different scales.
This paradigm, the formation of distinct structure at multiple length scales, enables biological materials
to overcome the intrinsic weaknesses of the building blocks, Buehler said.
Evolution was left by the wayside, as the remainder of the press release focused on biomimetics.
Buehler suggests that just as biology has done, humans could engineer materials with desired properties
such as strength or flexibility by using abundant and cheap materials such as silica, which in bulk
form is brittle and weak. The question left begging is how a living thing, like the diatom accompanying
the article, could build hierarchical structures with desired properties by an
impersonal, undirected process like natural selection. Is evolution really an engineer?
If its method is trial-and-error, who or what decides when success has been achieved?
The answer to that last question, you evolutionists are itching to say,
is survival adaptation. Caught you. Re-read the first part of the
10/19/2010 entry. Now, realize also, that you must purge your
mind of all teleology, all purpose-driven-life concepts, all personification
fallacies, to be a consistent evolutionist. Evolution is not a person, nor is Nature.
Natural selection, furthermore, is a chance process: both the mutation part and the selection part.
Why? Because mutations or variations (Darwins term) are clearly random, and the environment
is random. Earthquakes and landslides and meteors just happen; they have no goal to push life toward
survival. What do you get when you add chance to chance? Chance! Stuff happens!
If all you can say is Stuff Happens, even if you call it a law (SHL; see 12/07/2009,
09/22/2009 and 09/30/2008),
it is equivalent to saying, I havent the foggiest idea. You may now exit the Science Lab
and return to your cult.
The rest of us sensible people are wondering how evolutionists get away with this shallow tripe
year after year after year. It is illogical, absurd, nonsensical, empty, and devious. It is dumbness
taught to the dumb, and if the dumb lead the dumb, both will fall into the dumpster.
Next headline on:
Darwin and Evolution
Laugh at this Animal Planet video, titled by
Evolution News & Views,
If a Chimp Did This, Darwinists Would Claim They Figured Out How Boating Evolved.
Weekend Grab Bag
Oct 23, 2010 Heres another unclassified assortment of news stories readers can
follow and evaluate on their own (cf. 10/18/2010).
Take your Baloney Detector along and discern the Amazing from the Dumb.
We will award one Stupid Evolution Quote of the Week in this entry. Danita Brandt from
Michigan State, according to PhysOrg,
wants us to Get off Chucks back! (thats Chuck Darwin).
While wanting to clear up a few misconceptions about Darwin and evolution, she may have introduced
a few of her own. Trying to explain why humans are not descended from apes, but
rather from a common ancestor, though Brandt acknowledges that the last common ancestor of
humans and apes must have been ape-like, she blurted out,
Humans are humans and apes are apes; theres no transmogrifying one into another.
That train left the station 7 million years ago when the last ancestor common to humans and chimps
climbed down from the trees and took up knitting.
- Fast Lane: Nick Lane explains how life became complex: cells invented mitochondria
(Science Daily). Gem from his paper in
Nature:1 If evolution works like a tinkerer, evolution with mitochondria works like a corps of engineers.
For this he gets a royal prize (The Guardian,
- The Code Delusion: Steve Talbott tries to wean biology away from the metaphor of codes
(The New Atlantis).
- Why, chromosome? Nature News
struggles with the apparent rapid evolution of the Y chromosome; or are they overlooking the possibility
that humans did not evolve from chimps?
- Pick your poison: Nature
News does some head-scratching about convergent evolution of toxins in animals, but recommends
we pick a platypus to find useful ingredients for drug design because that animal is an evolutionary newcomer.
Heart patients might like scorpions better, says PhysOrg.
- Dawkins talkin: Richard Dawkins is still worried about America becoming a
theocracy, likes Obama, and is worried about Islam (Houston
- But is it science? Why is PhysOrg
worried about the perception America is a Christian nation?
- Moon water: Where did the moon get all that water? Ask the
BBC News and
Geographic, who reported on LCROSS crash test results. Be amazed as
Space.com tells us
Moon Crater Has More Water Than Parts of Earth.
- Times Are a-Changing: Check out the equatorial clouds photographed by Cassini at
Titan, reported by PhysOrg and
- Oil remedy: Forgotten about the Gulf oil spill already? Maybe because microbes have cleaned
up more than expected, reported Science Daily.
- Cool imagery: New microscopic techniques are allowing scientists to culture cells in 3-D
- Archaeolo-gee: Soon you will be able to view the Dead Sea Scrolls online,
- Edge of space: The most distant galaxy ever seen has been announced (BBC
News), already bright at just 600,000 years after the big bang, 13 billion light-years away (redshift 8.55).
- Stuff Happens: Its official: evolutionary theory is equal to the Stuff Happens Law.
100-million-year-old mistake provides snapshot of evolution,
- The Kipling sloth: Science
Daily tells us How sloths got their long neck.
- Jaws and Jawless: Jawless evolution explained, announced
The Scientist triumphantly. But was it?
- Evolve or perish: New
Scientist brings together two leftist favorites: global warming and human evolution.
Past climate change influenced human evolution, the article claimed, but then
Steve Jones was not sure thats encouraging. Arguing like a male chauvinist, he said
Were not going to evolve our way out of trouble. The answer lies in our skulls, not our testicles.
- Left face: David Horowitz described the beautiful world of academia and its open marketplace
of ideas on TownHall.com.
And you thought we were serious.
- ALH 84001 wont die: Mars meteorite supporters are at it again.
PhysOrg is keeping
the controversy about life in the Martian rock alive.
1. Nick Lane and William Martin, The energetics of genome complexity,
467, pp. 929–934, 21 October 2010, doi:10.1038/nature09486.
More to report than time permits. Are you a skilled and
knowledgeable reporter who likes this site? Want to report, or help in some other way?
Write our Feedback line. Reward: ridicule and hate from the leftist
radical bigoted foam-at-the-mouth Darwin dobermans. It brings a kind of satisfaction.
Next headline on:
Oct 22, 2010 The conundrum of how reasoning could have emerged by an undirected evolutionary
process persists. Atheists and materialists are convinced that natural selection is up to the
task, while theists strongly disagree and use human rationality as evidence for creation by an
intelligent source (usually God). Perhaps a few recent findings can illuminate on the options.
Filmmaker Luis Nieto claims that A well-trained monkey could do my job. Interviewed for
Scientist, Nieto explained why he made Capucine, a documentary shot by capuchin monkeys.
His experience led him to believe that creativity is just an illusion; it is free association, an ability
innate to primates. Monkeys have consciousness, they have sophisticated relationships with humans, and
even excel at morality: With Capucine I learned something about animals: they never lie.
Since his job could be done by a well-trained monkey, he thinks Maybe film-makers will soon compete for jobs against monkeys.
That may have to wait till they invent cameras, projectors, editing equipment, sound stages, theaters,
agents, directors, critics, award ceremonies and paparazzi.
- Smarter than your average bear: PhysOrg
reported on work by psychologists and computer scientists at University of Georgia that concluded:
New research shows people are better at strategic reasoning than was thought.
Experiments with video games of strategy apparently showed that recursive reasoning the
ability to foresee an opponents moves and plan accordingly is well-established in the
human mind. This so-called recursive reasoning ability in humans has been thought to be somewhat limited,
the article began, But now, in just-published research led by a psychologist at the University of Georgia,
it appears that people can engage in much higher levels of recursive reasoning than was previously thought.
In fact they do it fairly easily and automatically according to the head of the Georgia Decision Lab at UGA.
No attempt was made to explain how evolution produced this ability.
- Smart vegetarians: Toss out the image of cavemen ripping meat with their teeth over the fire.
Stone Age humans liked their burgers in a bun, an article on
announced. What this implies is that human ancestors alleged to have lived 30,000 years ago had the smarts
to grind flour. Researchers at the Italian Institute of Prehistory and Early History in Florence examined
grindstones in Italy, Russia and the Czech Republic, looking for signs of plant material and found evidence
of flour making, a complex process involving harvesting roots, then drying, grinding and finally cooking them
to make them digestible. That takes foresight, learning from experience, and well thought out procedures.
The reason Palaeolithic humans were thought to have lived solely on wild meat, says [Anna] Revedin, is that
previous plant evidence was washed away by overzealous archaeologists as they cleaned the tools at dig sites.
She claimed hers was the first time anybody has tried to find vegetable material on the grindstones.
- Smart jewelers: A debate over the chic of Neanderthal jewelry is going on, according to
An Oxford team claims that Neanderthal ornaments were really made by modern humans.
Another researcher at University of Bordeaux, though, disagrees, still thinking that other sites show
sophistication in Neanderthal taste. Reporter Michael Marshall perpetuated a stereotype by concluding
whimsically, I would suggest settling the debate with the enthusiastic use of hefty stone clubs, but
that would be positively Neanderthal.
- Smarter than paleoanthropologists: 500,000 years ago, human ancestors like Heidelberg Man were
supposed to be emerging from the fog of animal instincts.
Scientist reported that a fossil specimen found in Spain with a distorted pelvis indicates that the 45-year-old
hunter-gatherer would have been too hunchbacked and in pain to support himself. The researchers at the
University of Madrid argue that this shows his compatriots cared for him, even though he had no way to help
contribute to the survival of the fittest; it implies a level of social support, and that he was valued
by his contemporaries. Were values and charity already well-developed half a million years ago in
the evolutionary timeline?
- Smarter than the herd: Are humans just lemmings who will follow the herd over a cliff?
Theres no doubt that crowd behavior has a certain attraction for many people, but that can apparently
be switched off by the force of will, according to an article on PhysOrg.
An Oxford team performed a study of Facebook behavior (a good place to look for herd instinct). How much did users react
to social influence about whether online apps became flops or hits? Users only appear to be influenced
by the choices of other users above a certain level of popularity, and at that point popularity drives future popularity,
the article said, supporting the herd mentality, but its not always so simple. The data for the study
contained no information on individuals, for one thing, and as a researcher cautioned,
we simply dont know whether this marks an important difference between offline and online behavior,
or whether more detailed and comprehensive data from offline contexts will identify similar collective behaviour
in settings that do not involve online environments.
- Smarter than computers: Another study on CAPTCHA (see 09/14/2008)
has appeared. The basis of this technology to discern human identity on computers
(Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart) is the human gift of pattern recognition.
We can read cursive handwriting, even when messy a task that gives a computer headaches. Researchers at the University of Buffalo
are trying to extend CAPTCHA to biometric signals such as hand gestures that could be used to activate
devices in smart rooms, elderly living facilities, airports and other transportation venues.
- Smarter than philosophers: Heavy-duty thinkers may want to analyze and critique a new theory
of rationality by Philip N. Johnson-Laird published in
PNAS, who said in his
introduction, The theory predicts systematic errors in our reasoning, and the evidence corroborates this prediction.
Yet, our ability to use counterexamples to refute invalid inferences provides a foundation for rationality.
On this account, reasoning is a simulation of the world fleshed out with our knowledge, not a formal rearrangement
of the logical skeletons of sentences. That may leave a number of questions begging in the shadows.
- Smart about mental health: The mind-body problem is aggravated by the recognition of
mental illness and mental decline with age. An article on
Science may encourage those growing older (who isnt?) to get off the couch and take a hike. A study at the
University of Pittsburgh suggests that the onset of Alzheimers Disease could be delayed, maybe for months
or years, by walking about a mile a day. In the end, though, we all know that gray matter that did so much thinking
and reasoning during our lives is destined to turn to dust. What then?
- Thinking about smartness: What makes humans so special? Robert Sapolsky, neurobiologist and
primatologist at Stanford, shared his thoughts on
Is it just quantity of neurons over quality? After all, Animals may share characteristics with humans
such as politically motivated aggression, empathy and culture, but humans take them to a level without parallel among animals,
reporter Jeremy Hsu said, describing Sapolskys views. Do we just have more of the same?
It cant be, if an article at PhysOrg draws the right
metaphor: Neurons cast votes to guide decision-making. According to neurobiologists at Vanderbilt
University, our brain accumulates evidence when faced with a choice and triggers an action once that evidence
reaches a tipping point. Yet the experiments were done with monkeys, which humans would like to believe
do not have reasoning minds like our own. This is one of many experiments trying to draw links between
psychological processes and what neurons are doing. But then, if a better analogy is a logic
circuit, who programmed the circuitry?
Sapolsky is not worried about neurobiology reducing our humanness to mechanistic stuff. For one thing,
even if it could, explaining everything in purely mechanistic terms would not diminish our appreciation of
classical music composed by Johann Sebastian Bach or the sight of a leaping gazelle. For another,
Every time neuroscience comes up with an answer, its attached to 10 new questions, and nine of them are
better than the original, Sapolsky said. Maybe just thinking about thinking helps answer the question.
This food for thought is delivered fresh by Creation-Evolution Headlines, which encourages you to
think critically about each claim, evaluate the evidence, use your power of choice, exhibit honesty, and
thereby prove that materialism is hopelessly incapable of explaining what you just did. For if truth
and honesty are not illusions, but really exist, which must be true to carry on this discussion, they refer to things
that are timeless and universal things in the conceptual realm that, expressed in language with semantics
or meaning (which, according to our uniform experience always have an intelligent cause), can be rationally
inferred to have an intelligent cause that is likewise timeless and universal. Or, more succinctly,
in the beginning was the Word (John 1:1-14).
Creationism Wont Die
Next headline on:
Mind and Brain
Philosophy of Science
Bible and Theology
Oct 21, 2010 To ardent evolutionists, creationism should have died a long time ago.
Some of them are confounded, if not dumbfounded, that they cannot get rid of it. They think
(many of them) that the Dover case in Pennsylvania should have settled the issue once for all.
Well, it didnt. It keeps coming back like a cat that, according to
Scientist, lives on in US public schools.
Reporter John Farrell puts most of the blame on the Discovery Institute, which has not
been idle, he said. According to Barbara Forrest, philosopher and long-time activist opposing Discovery,
Louisiana is the only state to pass a state education bill based on the Discovery Institutes template,
a policy which Farrell says prevents Louisiana school boards from stopping schools using supplementary
creationist texts hostile to evolution, such as books published by the Discovery Institute (see
loaded words). Both Forrest and Farrell conflated
creationism with intelligent design (a common Darwinist tactic), contrary to the Discovery Institutes stated
positions which distinguish intelligent design from religious beliefs that rely on sacred texts.
Forrest is alarmed that stronger measures are at work in Louisiana to allow students
more access to creationist material, with no outcry from the media or from the scientific community,
she complained. Farrell ended by quoting the lead attorney for Dover commenting on the impact of the ruling that was
limited to Dover countys school board. If wed lost, intelligent design would be all over the place now,
Eric Rothschild worried.
Popular and controversial TV commentator Glenn Beck touched on the issue on the campaign
speech trail, according to World Net Daily, linking evolution
to progressive politics. If God didnt create, if things evolve, then your rights evolve.
Youre not endowed by your Creator, he said. Just like you go from a monkey to a man,
you go from simple rights to higher rights and somebody has to take those rights and give them to you and take
them away or change them. This is again the evolutionary thinking of progressivism. To him,
thats why The left must have evolution. (cf. 10/14/2010.)
Speaking of a Creator, Barack Obama has famously omitted that word twice now in speeches
quoting the Declaration of Independence, a slip duly noted by Becks news site,
Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, in damage-control mode (see video at World Net Daily),
quickly said that I can assure you the president believes in the Declaration of Independence.
Whether that response controlled the damage rests on whether the public realizes that the issue was not belief
in the Declaration of Independence, but in a Creator who endows mankind with rights. And if a third slip
removes all doubt, WND just reported this evening that Obama has
for the third time omitted the reference to a Creator in a speech quoting the famous Jefferson line two days ago.
He did say all men are created equal, but then said they are endowed ... with certain
inalienable [sic] rights (see US History.org)
failing to make it clear the Creator is the source of those rights.
Meanwhile, over at Evolution
News & Views Michael Egnor, M.D., is recovering from a near-choking incident after hearing atheist P.Z. Myers
say, you dont get to use the influence of government to help promote your cult.
Catching his breath again, Egnor responded in his blog entry, arguing that the shoe belongs on Myers foot.
The deep irony in Myers comment is
that atheists have used the First Amendment itself, which they mischaracterize as demanding a wall of separation
between church and state, to promote their cult in public schools, he said. In the atheist creed,
questions about Darwinian weaknesses, let alone inferences to design in biology, comprise a heretic church,
and any challenges or even critical questions about Darwinism must be expunged from school curricula.
Atheists have misused the First Amendment, which was intended to prohibit government enforcement of orthodoxy and
to protect free inquiry, to bludgeon anyone who disagrees with them. And so the atheist cult survives,
skimming new recruits from a public school system in which children are harnessed
to a dozen years of indoctrination in atheisms creation myth.
Neither Dover, Louisiana, or any of the other school board cases in recent years have involved trying
to teach religious creationism. The whole point about Dover was to allow students to hear a
short message that other material supporting intelligent design was available in case they were interested.
Darwinism was the only view taught in the curriculum. The Discovery Institute does not even support that
approach they only want Darwinism to be taught honestly, with critical thinking, as any scientific theory
ought to be taught.
It must also be remembered that some of the most controversial court cases over the years
were won or lost by the narrowest of margins, or were overturned on appeal. Darwinist control on education
hangs on for dear life against a strong majority of Americans who feel that if arguments for Darwinism are taught, then the
arguments against it should also be taught.
Judge Jones at Dover thought he had his finger safely in the dike, but dont be so sure.
A tremendous amount of pressure has been building behind it scientific evidence that Darwinism cannot withstand
(e.g., 10/07/2010), and evidence the dike is cracking (10/19/2010,
10/03/2010). Rothschild said that without that one victory
in Dover (which only applied locally), intelligent design would be everywhere now. That gives hope that one finger
in their dike cannot stop all the leaks threatening to burst everywhere.
Six years ago, the author of Grand Canyon: A Different View was standing up to atheist geologists
who had ganged up and pressured the National Park Service not to sell a creationist book in the park bookstores.
He eventually won a story of a brave individual taking on establishment science, and free speech against
consensus dogma. Learn what the ruckus was about in the 10/14/2004 entry.
Better yet, order the book.
When the artificial moat protecting
the Darwin Castle goes, and people are free to see the foundation of quicksand and termites everywhere,
there will be revulsion and astonishment at how King Charles with his imperial robes was able to put on airs for so long.
Darwinism cannot survive in free and open debate. Thats why the Darwiniacs and other leftists
(10/14/2010) ratchet up the rhetoric as they scream in pain at fingers
about to turn blue.
Next headline on:
Darwin and Evolution
Politics and Ethics
Ring Around the Moons
Oct 20, 2010 Saturn is known for its rings, and some small moons have been
found inside its rings. But wouldnt it be strange if some of its moons
had rings of their own? Such a thing had not been widely considered before 2007, when
there was a tentative detection of a ring around Rhea (see
That ring has not been confirmed by subsequent observations. The thinking now,
however, is that it used to be there and not only there, but there
might have been one around Iapetus, too.
Speaking of moons, Cassini
was a weekend warrior on a major moon hunt last week. It observed nine moons in just 62 hours.
A few of the early unprocessed images were posted by the Cassini
Imaging Team. The new images of Dione
revealed a major area that is remarkably smooth and devoid of large craters. The smooth plains must have been
resurfaced at some point in Diones past, the caption said. Whatever caused that must remain
a story to tell.
- Rhea ring tones: Paul Schenk, planetologist at Lunar and Planetary Institute
in Houston and stereo animation wizard, was glad to be able to share his secrets at his blog
3D House of Satellites now that his paper in
Icarus was published.1 The paper concerned color patterns
on Saturns inner moons Mimas, Enceladus, Tethys, Dione, and Rhea. All of them show
evidence of plasma stains and electron discolorations from the magnetosphere and E-ring,
some on the leading hemispheres and some on the trailing hemispheres, or both. The last
section of the paper is the intriguing one: A ring at Rhea? The authors
acknowledged that the cameras couldnt see a ring the plasma and magnetospheric instruments
thought they had detected earlier, but Schenk noticed a chain of blue splotches along the
equator, only 20 km wide, going almost all the way around the moon. Could these be the smoking gun of
a ring that was there but partly collapsed onto the surface? Well, he said
on his blog, we dont need the ring to be present today to explain the ultraviolet
splotches on the surface. They could have formed a few thousand or million years ago
and still exist on the surface today. Probably not much longer than that but that's [sic] very
young for the Solar System.
To see these blue features that might mark impact points of ring boulders driven
into the surface, look at the JPL
or fly over them on Schenks YouTube page.
blog entry from 02/25/2010 has the best close-up photos of the blue streaks.
Strangely, the orientation of the features suggest that the ring rotated in the wrong direction
retrograde to the orbit of the moon and Saturn. Where did the particles come from? The authors
doubted that it could have been debris from one of Rheas largest and youngest impact craters.
Whatever the impactors were, the strong bluish color indicates that formation occurred recently and
these may be among the most recently formed features on the surface, the paper said.
On the other hand, the surface features we observe might date from an earlier time, as no
bright rays have been observed in association with the equatorial deposits. This would imply
that sufficient time has lapsed for ray erasure to have occurred but not sufficient time to erase the blue
crater rims associated with relatively young impact craters elsewhere on Rhea. In short,
this means they dont know. The latter suggestion (of old age) sounds ad hoc; Schenks
true feelings are probably reflected by his blog statement that they are very young for the Solar System.
Interesting how he can thrown thousand or million years around without blinking an eye.
- Iapetus ring bumps: The detection of possible ring impact debris on one moon opened
up a search for others. (On Saturn, of course, ring debris that falls into the planet disappears into
the fluid clouds). None of the other major moons have an equatorial signature like Rheas,
but Iapetus, that walnut mimic way out in the suburbs (picture),
has its mysterious equatorial mountain range (see 01/07/2005,
09/13/2007). Schenk thinks that the evidence at Rhea supports
the theory that the mountain range is debris from a collapsed ring (see
Geophysical Research Letters paper by W.-H Ip). The idea gains a little support from
a couple of small moons, Atlas and Pan, that have a pronounced saucer shape that might indicate deposition
of ring material during their histories (see Cassini image).
The alternative, the spin-up theory (see 03/01/2006, bullet 2), got more press from
Geographic this week. Both the exogenic and endogenic theories require highly special conditions
(e.g., 07/18/2007) that are running rings around planetary scientists.
1. Schenk, Hamilton, Johnson, McKinnon, Paranicas, Schmidt and Showalter,
Plasma, plumes and rings: Saturn system dynamics as recorded in global color patterns on its midsize icy satellites,
Cassini! What a great collection of fantastic
discoveries and surprises have come from this epic mission. Schenk said, Its [sic] times like these
when I really enjoy my job. Keep those images and data flowing, Cassini.
The Why and How of Leopard Spots
Next headline on:
Oct 20, 2010 A leopard may not be able to change its spots
(Jeremiah 13:23), but maybe evolution can
if evolutionists or Rudyard Kipling can tell us how or why. A headline in the
BBC News promised to tell us
how the leopard got its spots, while
promised to reveal, Why the leopard got its spots. Neither did either;
neither a rule nor a mechanism was found.
The inspiration for a study of cat fur markings was Rudyard Kiplings
Just-So Story, How the leopard got his spots.
According to the BBC story, researchers at the University of Bristol subtitled their paper in the Royal Society Proceedings B,
Why the leopard got its spots. They came up with a mathematical model relating
species to habitat for 37 species of wild cats. Kiplings story, they concluded,
was only half right; cats needed to camouflage themselves in the forest, but the mechanism that he
said produced them (an Ethiopian imprinting them with his fingers) was a childish tale.
Unfortunately, their explanation didnt provide much more insight, because their rule that
cats living in the trees and active at low light levels are the most likely to have
complex and irregular patterns has notable exceptions, leaving them puzzled why tigers have stripes
but lions dont, and why cheetahs have spots but dont live in the forest.
William Allen [U of Bristol] attempted to explain the data: The pattern
depends on the habitat and also on how the species uses its habitat if it uses it at night
time or if it lives in the trees rather than on the ground, the pattern is especially irregularly
spotted or complexly spotted. But the BBC had to admit he only found some rough correlations:
Dr Allens study still fails to explain the mechanism of wild cats pattern development
but the scientists managed to find a set of numbers to measure the irregularity or complexity of
a pattern and correlate this with where the species lives to explain its behaviour.
Why, though, does patterning emerge and disappear very frequently within the cat family?
Allen said, particular genetic mechanisms can solve very different appearances of cats,
but how? What are these genetic mechanisms? Genes cant see the forest. If evolution selects out of existence those
without lucky patterns that provide camouflage, why are the results inconsistent?
Other explanations for cat markings have fallen into disfavor. The patterns dont
seem to be for sexual display or for social signals. But the new study has its
problems: Although a clear link between environment and patterning was established,
the study also highlighted some anomalies, the
said. For example, cheetahs have evolved or retained spotted patterns despite a strong
preference for open habitats, while a number of cats, such as the bay cat and the flat-headed cat,
have plain coats despite a preference for closed environments. Why this should be remains unclear, he said
so unclear, in fact, that the evolutionary explanation seems unable to distinguish whether the cheetah evolved the
spots or retained them. The former notion would make the explanation circular;
the latter, contrary to the expectations of natural selection.
So despite Allens claim that The method we have developed offers insights into cat patterning
at many levels of explanation, it seems that evolution has done little to explain how or why
the leopard got its spots.
Cataloguing and describing cat patterns is one part of
science, but explaining a phenomenon is another, often harder, exercise. Scientists
dont want to just do stamp collecting. They want to offer insight.
(Note that finding correlations is not the same as explaining the relations). Darwin came
along and thought he could shed light on the living world. Natural selection was a law-like mechanism that could
account for all the diverse designs of life. If he had found a law of nature, we would see
consistency in results, but we dont. Neo-Darwinism hasnt provided any more insight.
It just re-packaged the old darkness. What lucky mutation occurred in what gene?
How did it correlate with the environment? Was it really adaptive? (see
10/19/2010). If natural selection can explain opposite
results, it explains nothing at all. What did he improve on, really, more than John Ray and
Linnaeus, who saw Gods design in the adaptive patterns in living things?
Darwinism in Chaos, but Gave Us Morals
Evolutionists like to look busy: doing field work, whipping out their math
tools, publishing papers. Their answers of how and why become as elusive
as a stealthy leopard in the jungle. When all is said and done, evolutionary explanations amount to
little more than just-so stories. What Kiplings story lacks in insight it makes
up for in entertainment. Given that insight is comparably lacking in Allens paper,
full as it is of dry math without justification, which would you prefer reading?
Exercise: Go to a zoo and admire the intricate patterns on animal fur
tigers, zebras, giraffes, pandas, leopards, chipmunks, ringtail cats, and more. Consider the remarkable
adaptation of each animal to its ecological niche. Dont ignore the ones with
plain fur the black panthers, prairie dogs, and bears. Read the evolutionary
explanations and ponder whether adaptation implies evolution (see next headline), or whether
evolution is merely a narrative gloss applied in retrospect to a dazzling array of diverse phenomena.
In what cases is microevolution (sorting of pre-existing genetic information) adequate to explain adaptation
as opposed to macroevolution (common ancestry with increase of genetic information)?
Does the former imply the latter? (see extrapolation).
How do genes without eyes on the environment get translated into precise geometric patterns
in fur on the outside? Look at your dog or cat while you think on these questions.
Next headline on:
Darwin and Evolution
Philosophy of Science
Oct 19, 2010 Two papers on evolutionary theory create a strong tension. One says
that there is no law of evolution just chaos. The other claims that morality
evolved out of the mess.
So on the one hand, Bennett claimed that evolution is completely unpredictable and not necessarily adaptive,
and on the other hand, der Waal argues that morality was a natural adaptation to social populations.
Can these disparate views be reconciled? A heated set of comments followed the second article.
Should schools teach the controversy?
- Evolution is a theory in chaos...: If you thought Charles Darwin brought biological evolution
under natural laws, think again. Keith Bennett on
Scientist argued, Forget finding the laws of evolution. The history of life is just one damn thing after another.
His surprising article undermines the two pillars of evolution: common descent and natural selection.
Common descent, he says, was not discovered by Charles Darwin; it was stipulated by him. It has
been accepted as a basic premise of biology since 1859. If it is a premise, it is an
a priori assumption or axiom; it is not a finding. Bennett left it at that.
As for the second pillar, the claim that life evolves by means of natural selection and adaptation,
a principle he equates with adaptationism, Bennett says it is more controversial, but has come to be accepted
over the past 150 years as the principal mechanism of evolution. But is it? Microevolution
is uncontroversial, he said, but there is still huge debate about the role of natural selection and adaptation
in macroevolution big evolutionary events such as changes in biodiversity over time, evolutionary
radiations and, of course, the origin of species. The impact of that admission can hardly be
overestimated. Many of the bitter disputes at school board meetings across the country have occurred over
the presumption that there is no controversy over evolution among scientists. Darwinians have railed against citizens
who have lobbied to teach the controversy about evolution. But Bennett continued to say that
a long-running debate about it included the famous Stephen Jay Gould, who in 1972
challenged the assumption that evolutionary change was continuous and gradual.
His notion of punctuated equilibria also challenged the expectations of adaptation to produce
continuous change over long periods.
Bennett argued instead for a Chaos theory of evolution, a theory that acknowledges
that evolutionary changes are unpredictable, individualistic, highly sensitive to initial conditions,
nonlinear, and fractal. Even the dynamics of evolution are changing all the time, he said, meaning
that even the principles of flux are in flux. Using fossil data
from the Quaternary period with its ice ages, he shows that many populations did not adapt to the changes,
others adapted in unpredictable ways, and many went extinct. Heres how he summed up the
implications of his view:
This view of life leads to certain consequences. Macroevolution is not the simple accumulation of
microevolutionary changes but has its own processes and patterns. There can be no laws of evolution.
We may be able to reconstruct the sequence of events leading to the evolution of any given species or group after the fact,
but we will not be able to generalise from these to other sequences of events. From a practical
point of view, this means we will be unable to predict how species will respond to projected climate changes over next century.
Yet it has been the great goal of Darwin and his followers ever since to bring biology under natural laws.
His ending reinforces the fact that there are none. In the last analysis, evolution can be likened to
the description of human history as just one damn thing after another, he smirked.
If the only law of human history is that we do not learn from history, then his analogy is apt.
What can a biologist learn from a Chaos theory of evolution? No predictions can be made; there is no
way to falsify it, there is no way to understand it.
- ....But it creates morality: Its doubtful that Franz der Waal read Bennetts
article, because he launched out in the New
York Times Opinion Pages to explain how natural selection produced morality. Taking on all creationists
and moralists, he argued that moral motions emerged out of the pleasure response. These building blocks
of morality evolved into
social instincts, he said, that increased the pleasure and survival of the group. Drawing on
observations of apes, he constructed a bottom up morality
Such findings have implications for human morality. According to most philosophers, we reason ourselves towards
a moral position. Even if we do not invoke God, it is still a top-down process of us formulating the principles
and then imposing those on human conduct. But would it be realistic to ask people to be considerate of others if
we had not already a natural inclination to be so? Would it make sense to appeal to fairness and justice in the
absence of powerful reactions to their absence? Imagine the cognitive burden if every decision we took needed to be
vetted against handed-down principles. Instead, I am a firm believer in the Humean position that reason is the
slave of the passions. We started out with moral sentiments and intuitions, which is also where we find the
greatest continuity with other primates. Rather than having developed morality from scratch, we received a
huge helping hand from our background as social animals.
Taking that cue from David Hume, he argued that religion came in as a latecomer and stole the credit for sanctioning
these evolved behaviors. He admitted, though, that no human culture has been studied that was never religious.
That such cultures do not exist should give us pause.
Interestingly, however, though he believes science no longer needs God to explain how we got
where we are today, he ended by supporting religions role in society. I doubt that science and the
naturalistic worldview could fill the void and become an inspiration for the good, he concluded.
Any framework we develop to advocate a certain moral outlook is bound to produce its own list of principles,
its own prophets, and attract its own devoted followers, so that it will soon look like any old religion.
Bennett has reaffirmed something said often here: Darwinism is the Stuff Happens Law (SHL) in disguise.
If universal common ancestry is a premise, then it is a deduction from a chosen world view, not a science.
And if macroevolutionary changes are not adaptive, natural selection reduces to stuff happens,
the absence of an explanation (see 10/03/2010). Thank you, Dr. Bennett,
for affirming the demise of evolution as a theory in chaos.
How could an undirected process like evolution produce fast-forward scanning?
That sounds like a goal-seeking activity with foresight and purpose. Read about how
the ribosome does this in the 10/23/2003
As for Franz der Waals attempt at putting a narrative gloss on his a priori
commitment to naturalism, it doesnt work, and it cant work. There is no law inherent in
producing moral motions in any population, because natural selection has no direction, no goal, no
predetermined outcome. An impersonal, unguided universe could not care less whether it produces Disneyland or
a world of all against all. Whats more, you cant believe that morality is good or normative without begging
the question. An anonymous commenter said, The basic problem with De Waals approach (as so many
other sociobiologists and evolutionary psychologists) is that if altruism is simply an evolved trait, then so is genocide.
If helping the old lady across the street is an evolved trait, then so is raping the young woman in the dorm....
both are simply acting according to the moral character given to them by evolution. Q.E.D.
He pointed out also that there is a distinction between viewing God as the source of morality (as stated,
for instance, in the Declaration of Independence) and religion as a source of morality. These separate issues
must not be confused.
Bennett and de Waal illustrate the bankruptcy of evolution as a scientific approach to biology,
and the shallow thinking of Darwinians pretending to be philosophers. You cant get there from
here, and evolution doesnt even know where here or there is. Stuff happens?
Science was supposed to do better. If Hume and de Waal really believed that reason is the slave
of the passions, then the rest of us should most passionately reject their views as unreasonable.
Next headline on:
Darwin and Evolution
Politics and Ethics
Bible and Theology
Philosophy of Science
A Dozen Leftovers
Oct 18, 2010 Heres a rapid-fire list of links to science stories that looked interesting,
but were filling up our backlog. Thinkers, bloggers and reporters might want to do what they want
These 12 stories would have been classified under more than 12 Chain Links, but the catch-all
categories Amazing and Dumb will have to suffice for now; readers can pigeonhole them into
one or the other.
- Baby born after 20 years as a frozen embryo: PhysOrg.
- Where dinosaurs died reveals how they lived: Live Science.
- Clues included in diamonds: PhysOrg; but did they look for carbon-14?
- Neptune was incapable of sending asteroids out to the edge: Science Daily.
- Crystal cave in Mexico: great photo gallery on National Geographic.
- NASA has a busy year of the solar system on tap: PhysOrg.
- Talk about global warming: the universe overheated, according to Science Daily.
- Earliest land plant in Argentina? BBC News.
- Fish were first to have sex: Discovery Channel.
- The case of the cannibal T. rex: Live Science.
- Giant pterosaurs might have flown 10,000 miles nonstop: National Geographic.
- Monkeys try to make a movie: New Scientist.
The list provides a small taste of the dozens of headlines, stories,
papers, and claims that have to be evaluated each day for a chance to be reported on
Creation-Evolution Headlines. Which one(s) would have won Stupid Evolution
Quote of the Week?
Biomimetics Frontier: The Wild Wet
Next headline on:
Oct 18, 2010 Some animals have figured out how to turn wetness into an ally instead of
a nuisance, and some research teams are hard on their heels trying to learn how to settle that
Brooks Miner, who is using National Science Foundation funds to study the water flea, is learning his
Darwin storytelling well. Faced with no explanation for how the bugs shield themselves from ultraviolet
light, he said, It could be that they evolved to use other strategies because the ultraviolet isnt
as intense here. According to this notion, melanin slows down their growth, so
the water fleas in the Olympic Mountains apparently evolved less-costly means to deal with UV radiation.
How they did that, he did not say.
- Wet feet: Geckos cling to walls and ceilings even when their feet are wet.
How do they do it? It would be nice to know, because human adhesives typically get gooey and
slippery when wet. Kellar Autumn, the one who figured out how their feet cling to surfaces
using atomic van der Waals forces, has been studying the effects of moisture on gecko feet.
According to Science Daily,
he and his team at Lewis and Clark College figured out via experiments on discarded gecko setae
that the cling isnt due to capillary action. Composed of keratin, the setae become
softer when moist. This makes them deformable and creates more adhesion, giving the animals
an even better grip than their remarkable cling on dry surfaces.
- Wet silk: Another completely counterintuitive discovery was made about wet silk from silkworms.
Most man-made substances become more diffuse when wet, but silk becomes more concentrated.
Researchers at the Institut Laue-Langevin in Sweden, working with others from Oxford, first found
that the silk proteins are hundreds of times more concentrated inside the silkworm than most proteins
can be and remain stable. Even stranger, as the concentration drops the proteins begin
to expand and flow, until they eventually clump together this is the reverse of what wed expected,
a team member said, according to Science
Silkworms exceed the capabilities of the scientists to control this substance.
The scientists lose control when the proteins get diluted.
In the lab, the effect is a like a neat ball of string becoming unravelled into a big mess that
ties itself in knots, the article said. However, the silkworms are able to control this
process so that the proteins are spun into highly ordered silk filaments as they unfold and begin to flow.
This surprising observation is a vital step towards understanding the liquid precursor, which is
essential to synthesise silk and develop new materials with silks desirable mechanical properties.
- Wet backs without sunburn: Somehow little creatures called water fleas can live under UV radiation
in their clear watery habitat without getting sunburn.
described how they manage without extra melanin the dark protein that provides some UV protection
in human skin. The article did not explain how the water flea Daphnia does this trick in its
Olympic Mountain pond environment. Scientists at the University of Washington would like to know.
Miners little transgression illustrates how Darwinists take irrefutable evidence for design and subvert it into
Darwinian storytelling, not because the evidence demands it (quite the contrary), but because the
culture of storytelling Darwin created with his one long argument tall tale makes it a
kind of expected tradition.
For more examples of this besetting sin of the Darwin Party, listen to Casey Luskin on an
ID the Future
podcast describe how several more of Natures list of Evolutionary Gems
turn out to say, when the original sources are examined, almost nothing about evolution, but only
add a narrative gloss to the explanation in spite of the evidence. Meanwhile, the
de-facto I.D. science of biomimetics marches on.
SETI: To the Unknown, Full Speed Ahead
Next headline on:
Oct 16, 2010 This year marks the 50th year of the search for extraterrestrial intelligence
(SETI). Seth Shostak, senior astronomer at the SETI Institute and one of its most outspoken
spokesmen, made the cover of Sky and Telescopes
November 2010 issue. He stands proudly over his
Allen Telescope Array in his feature story, Closing in on E.T. celebrating
SETI: 50 Years and Beyond. He also got space on the
Sky & Telescope
website to discuss The Future of SETI. Theyre mostly technology articles,
discussing the old and new ways of looking for signals as hardware and software improves.
Did he say anything to scientifically justify the search? Not much.
Despite a half-century of SETI experiments, he began in the print
article, we still dont know if theres anyone out there as clever as we are.
The web article began, As far as we know, were alone in the universe.
No sense looking close by, he continued: But nearby life, if it exists at all, is undoubtedly dumb.
If we want to look for smarter extraterrestrial biology the kind that could rival or perhaps far
surpass us humans for reasoning, inventing, and building we have to look much farther afield,
among the stars. And we dont know where.
What keeps him going is the fact that even the best current searches are sampling only a
paltry amount of space in one galaxy our Milky Way out of billions. Shostaks articles provide an entertaining
way to learn all about radio waves, optics, antennas, statistical search strategies and interferometry.
He assumes that every reader wants to find aliens indeed, many in the public find it fascinating
and think it worthwhile. But what is really important about this search program are the
philosophical and possibly theological implications for a successful detection of alien intelligence.
About this, he said nothing. Neither did Paul Shuch of the SETI League, a group of radio amateur SETI
enthusiasts, who added another article in the November issue about their ham radio approach to detection.
So far the SETI Leagues search has been exactly as successful as every other SETI project!
he beamed whimsically, aware that they are hearing nothing. The fun is in just trying.
Theres no denying that SETI is an uncertain enterprise, Shostak said, hedging
his bets a little. No one can tell when or if success will ever come. He
placed his SETI crew in the tradition of great explorers, akin to that of Christopher Columbus as he sailed
past the breakwaters of Palos de la Frontera in August 1492 and headed into the rolling swells of the
Atlantic i.e, at just the start of the trip. Its still very early
days, and the great excitement lies before us.
Columbus, however, had high confidence in success at landing somewhere.
Columbus knew that China was out there, and it had Chinese intelligences willing to trade their goods.
Shostak and most SETI enthusiasts base their entire hopes on a sample of one human beings
whom they assume evolved from particles.
The same positivist confidence was palpable in a
Astrobiology symposium this week, featuring panelists and scientists working on various aspects of the origin of life.
It seemed only a matter of time before we find life of some kind, intelligent or not. One questioner in
the audience, however, offered up a question that only got blank stares: what if life is not found?
The panelists had apparently not given much thought to the possibility of failure.
David Grinspoon, who was on the webcast, also wrote about this in the November
Sky & Telescope in the context of discussing a strange
ballot initiative in Denver seeking to set up an Extraterrestrial Affairs Commission (see
something Grinspoon, an ardent astrobiologist, opposes because of its alien conspiracy leanings.
But he had this to say about the possibility of not finding life out there:
I do believe in aliens
as much as I can, being a scientist believe in anything without actual evidence. A universe
teeming with life is consistent with what we have learned about the history of the Earth, the apparent
requirements for life, and the materials and environments that exist elsewhere in the universe.
Given all this, to propose that life, and even intelligent life, is unique to Earth seems the
scientifically less plausible condition.
Yet anything can seem plausible in the absence of evidence. His wording did not rule out an intelligent
cause for extraterrestrial life, but later he did say, To think deeply about the possibility of alien
intelligence we need to ponder our origin, evolution, and uniqueness. He ended by encouraging
critical thinking and teaching people how to evaluate evidence and avoid being taken in by bogus claims.
Apparently he was thinking of extraterrestrial conspiracies not his own belief in aliens.
The editor of Sky & Telescope, Robert Naeye, was less hopeful in his opening editorial to
the SETI issue. He even considered humans as potentially unique: Given the lack of
reproducible evidence for E.T., and that humans have a highly anomalous combination of abilities
that makes us unique in our planets history, I wouldnt be surprised if the closest
technological civilization lives in another galaxy, he said. We need to keep our minds
wide open, he continued, jesting, but not so open that our brains fall out. His pessimism
was a foil for the confidence of Shostak and Shuch. The history of astronomical discovery suggests that if we ever detect
another civilization, it will probably be serendipitous. Unfortunately, I dont expect this to
happen in my lifetime.
Secularists and the religious know so little about what is out there,
it is foolhardy to be dogmatic. There is no basis for making rational estimates from either an evolutionary
or a theistic position. Consider the extremes: to an evolutionist, life could be common or unique.
To a theist, life could be common or unique. The evolutionist would be more surprised if life is
unique, and some theists might be surprised if life is common, but no firm prediction can be made either way.
No matter the result, both camps will doubtless find a way to incorporate it into their world view.
Last year, right at the peak of hoopla over Darwins anniversary,
Darwinism unraveled. A scientist reporting in Science revealed that
everything they thought they knew about evolution is wrong. Re-read the important
10/16/2009 entry. Does this mean we should take
Evolution out of Creation-Evolution Headlines?
So isnt it better to do something and search? Wont this alleviate our ignorance?
The diagrams in Shostaks article are not encouraging. Even with the Allen Telescope Arrays expanded
reach, the search space is a relatively small sphere in one spiral arm of the Milky Way. It has taken years
and millions of dollars to search that far. Would people still be giving money in 2079 if nothing has been
detected by then? What are the criteria for failure? The public cannot be led along the primrose path
forever. Undoubtedly some spin-off benefits will come in radio and optical technology and in software design,
but those could be found through traditional science. But you cant have a science without evidence.
Shostak is doing a great job demonstrating the sophistication of his ignorance.
The history of science can provide illuminating examples. The classic case is alchemy.
This science was highly respected for centuries. Even the great
Isaac Newton dabbled in it with some passion.
Alchemists used the tools of chemistry to search for a hidden reality that existed only in their minds eye:
the possibility of turning base metals into gold. They had much of the same intense confidence in their
quest seen in todays SETI folk. They felt they were getting warmer, and warmer, and their tools and
techniques better and better. It was only a matter of time. And they knew gold existed! SETI
doesnt even know that much. They know humans exist, but humans are not aliens in the way they think
of them evolving independently. Alchemy finally had to be abandoned, as real chemistry began to supplant it.
It was eventually deemed a pseudoscience. It had never been a science in the first place.
What if SETI succeeds? Will it then become a science? Will the years leading up to detection
count as scientific work? Perhaps. But what if it fails? Like alchemy, will it be abandoned or
replaced with a new science acknowledging human uniqueness? Nobody knows. All we can say for now is that, like
alchemy, it is not a science merely for using the tools of science, because no evidence exists for life beyond
the earth, let alone intelligent life (08/12/2010). SETI could be a fools errand.
With no criteria for failure, with no end-point in sight, it will look more and more foolish as time goes on,
while its proponents can always claim they are getting warmer. Its been 50 years so far.
How much time do they get? A century? A millennium? Eventually watchers will complain that SETI has become a
perpetual job-security gimmick.
By assuming that detectable physical signals carrying a message with purposeful intent might exist, and by employing their intelligence to make
contact with it, SETI researchers are accomplishing something many of them would resent hearing: they are validating
the legitimacy of intelligent design science (12/03/2005), and
they are recognizing their own uniqueness as rational, mindful creatures capable of acting with purpose
and intent. This is something that an unguided process like
natural selection is incapable of generating. Intelligence must be viewed as existing in the
conceptual realm, not the physical realm. The conceptual realm presupposes immutability and integrity.
For greatest likelihood of success, therefore, the search for extraterrestrial
intelligence should begin looking in places where the purpose that brought sentience into the physical realm has been revealed.
Next headline on:
Origin of Life
Mind and Brain
Babbages Computer May Be Built
Oct 15, 2010 The Analytical Engine, a 19th-century computer conceived
by Charles Babbage, may finally be built 140 years after
his death. The remarkable contraption was to be powered by steam and would fill a warehouse,
but the eccentric old man could not get the Royal Society to back it. His idea,
100 years ahead of its time, would be a true general-purpose computer, able to solve any
problem expressible in numerical algorithms. It would take instructions with
punched cards, operate a CPU, use memory, and print output, just like early computers in the mid 20th century.
Given the technology and parts available in the mid 19th century, however, it was a
dream far in advance of its time. His son tried but was unable to get the plans off the
ground. Others also attempted the project but failed.
News reported that interest is growing in bringing the inspirational piece of equipment
to reality, for its historical interest if not for its ability to compete with modern computers.
A hundred years ago, before computers were available, [Babbage] had envisaged this machine,
a leader of the effort said. A real working model would answer profound historical
questions, a historian of computer technology remarked; Could there have been an information
age in Victorian times? That is a very interesting question. Now, with distributed
planning and world-wide cooperation, Babbages historic computer might just become a reality.
Too bad this contemporary of Darwin did not get his
project off the ground. If the information age had begun in Darwins day,
perhaps it would have taken the steam out of the idea of random variation producing
complexity. Read our online biography of
Charles Babbage a Christian scholar who would
have been comfortable with Intelligent Design theory for a really entertaining look
at a fascinating visionary whose ideas would eventually triumph and change the world.
Migrating Whales Fertilize the Sea
Next headline on:
Philosophy of Science
Oct 15, 2010 Two recent discoveries about whales show them to be not only benign
but beneficial. PhysOrg
reported on work at the University of Vermont that indicates whale waste carries nitrogen nutrients
to the depths of the ocean, fertilizing the food chain and increasing the production of ocean
In another article on PhysOrg,
a humpback whale has broken the distance record for any mammal. A female photographed off Brazil in 1999
was found at Madagascar two years later having traveled 6,125 miles. She probably did a whale of a job fertilizing the sea en route.
And if their theory that she was in search of a mate is true, we can add faithful love to the whales growing
list of admirable qualities.
The largest animals that have ever lived on this planet are useful as well as
ornamental, valuable as well as voluminous, constructive as well as well constructed. Thank God for whales.
How did the oceans ever survive before that first cow sprouted flippers and took to the sea? Just kidding.
Institutional Science as a Leftist Cabal
If humans are mammals, maybe they should be included in the contest. The Apostle Paul,
for instance, is said to have walked and sailed some 13,500 miles on his missionary journeys.
If airplanes count, the average American business executive with Far East connections blows whales out of the water
in his annual migrations. Well, are we part of nature or not? And why arent the whales
keeping records on the humans?
Next headline on:
Oct 14, 2010 Something strange happens in scientific journals and reports.
Whenever they talk politics, it is almost always from a leftist point of view.
Why is that? Did they arrive at that position by the scientific method?
Is there something about the need for government funding that drives institutions to
a leftist position? Whatever the reason, its not hard to find evidence
that the secular science media have a pronounced blue streak.
Nature is a prime example. Its latest Editorial
decries hyper-partisan fighting but worries about what a Republican victory in Congress
will mean for science.1 The editorial advocates the presidents
health-care bill, cap and trade, and embryonic stem cell research all leftist agenda items
unpopular with the majority and blames Republicans for obstruction of progress: e.g.,
The current Congress has failed to pass cap-and-trade legislation designed to limit US
greenhouse-gas emissions, thanks chiefly to strong Republican opposition. No Democrats
were blamed for the political poison. Democrats were not even named,
while Republicans were mentioned three times, always in a negative light.
Nature also publishes letters to the editor designed to make conservatives
look bad. In the latest issue, Richard Kool [Royal Roads U, British Columbia] claimed that science is a threat to the
far-right fringe.2 He said, The scorn of the US
far-right Tea Party fringe for science, particularly relating to sustainability,
climate change and biodiversity, stems from a perceived threat to its idealized views of how
the world should be. By implication, leftists have no idealized views of how the
world should be. He mentioned Climategate only to smear the conservatives who pointed it
out, claiming they used the scandal to discredit science as a method for understanding
the world. Compare this with a BBC
News story about reforms taking place at the IPCC in the wake of the scandal.
A news story in Nature evaluated the effect the Tea Party movement may
have on science funding. Ivan Semenjuk mentioned It is difficult to predict how all
this will affect scientists and the government agencies that fund them, and worried
about conservative candidates coming to Washington who are less committed to funding
science research and education, and who lack the general science and technology savvy to
make informed decisions. By implication, only leftists and Democrats have
scientific savvy and are informed. Note the contrast: In the current Democrat-controlled
Congress, science was given plenty of attention in spite of the economic crisis.
Three other news articles in the same issue of Nature depicted Republicans
as obstructionists. Jeff Tollefson, for instance, ended his article with quotes from
Paul Bledsoe, whom he called a centrist: Climate-science denial is a by-product of
extreme partisanship and a kind of reactionary mode among conservatives, and I expect that this will wane,"
he said. But if large parts of the Republican Party begin to deny consensus science,
then the climate community will have to confront them about it.4.
Similarly, Heidi Ledford portrayed Republicans as attackers of health-care research,5
standing in the way of the presidents health-care bill, which was actually strongly opposed
by almost two thirds of American voters, and succeeded only with back-room deals and presidential
arm-twisting last March even though Democrats controlled both houses of Congress. And
Emily Waltz reported about unhappy scientists who are upset that Barack Obama, ranked the
farthest-to-the-left Senator before he was elected President, who promised a new era
of integrity and openness for American science after the election, has not worked faster to
undo former President George W. Bushs policies.6
In each of these articles, science was presented as a unilateral consensus
in favor of policies that many Americans, particularly conservatives, consider leftist, costly, of doubtful
scientific credibility, or even immoral (in the case of embryonic stem cell research; see
01/31/2009, 09/26/2010). But
thats just Nature. Do other science publications follow this leftist political line?
Scientist gave unrestrained print space to Chris Mooney, author of The Republican War on Science.
Mooney now claims that the Tea Party [is] luring US into adventures in irrationality
(cf. 02/27/2010 commentary).
And why is that? Because many of them doubt the consensus about man-made global warming
(cf. 05/25/2010). This was
enough for Mooney to launch into tirades about patriotic extremism, disdain for science,
anti-intellectualism, paranoia, and conspiratorial fantasy among conservatives,
even though the Tea Party includes Democrats and independents fed up with big government.
The BBC News reported that
scientists are calling for defence cuts in order to fund scientific research.
It would be hard to find any pro-Republican, pro-conservative science article in the secular
news media. Pro-conservative views tend to be aired only on sites that question Darwinian evolution, such as the
intelligent design blog Evolution News & Views.
This clear lopsidedness in reporting indicates that there is something fundamental about world views
which either embrace or criticize evolution that bleeds over into other subjects, like political philosophy,
economics, and morality (07/23/2010).
Another factor may be whether the spokesperson is on the giving or receiving
end of the public dole (05/18/2009).
A prominent fellow of the American Physical Society, Harold Lewis, illustrates something
of the tension between the individual scientist and the scientific institutions. Lewis wrote an indignant letter
explaining why he was resigning after 67 years
He felt that fund-grubbing had corrupted the society and its scientific practice so thoroughly
that the APS no longer represented him or its original values. Describing the societys
response to the Climategate affair, the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have
seen in my long life as a physicist Lewis deplored the pompous airs of the leadership,
as if the APS were master of the universe, he complained. It is not, and I am
embarrassed that our leaders seem to think it is. This is not fun and games, these are serious matters
involving vast fractions of our national substance, and the reputation of the Society as a scientific
society is at stake. The APS responded
denying the allegations; however, Lewiss long tenure with the APS and impressive list of credentials cannot be
easily dismissed. Long-time TV meteorologist
Watts dissected the APS response and documented contradictions with a number of its claims to openness, integrity, and scientific rigor.
1. Editorial, Politics without the poison,
467, p. 751, 14 October 2010, doi:10.1038/467751a.
2. Richard Kool, Science as a threat to far-right fringe, Letters to the Editor,
467, p. 788, 14 October 2010, doi:10.1038/467788d.
3. Ivan Semenjuk, News: US midterm elections: Volatile forces shape US vote,
467, 759-760 (published online 13 October 2010), doi:10.1038/467759a.
4. Jeff Tollefson, News: US midterm elections: A chilly season for climate crusaders,
467, p. 762 (published online 13 October 2010), doi:10.1038/467762a.
5. Heidi Ledford, News: US midterm elections: Opponents battle health-care research,
467, p. 763, (published online 13 October 2010), doi:10.1038/467763b.
6. Emily Waltz, News Feature: Science & politics: Speaking out about science,
467, pp. 768-770 (published online 13 October 2010), doi:10.1038/467768a.
Readers are encouraged to find examples that contradict the claim that pro-Darwin, secular
science writers in the mainstream media and scientific institutions are predominantly leftist.
There are sure to be some, but the leftist slant is, in our experience, so predictable that
exceptions prove the rule (see 05/13/2010).
Any evolutionary smart aleck told us how not to teach evolution: see the
10/21/2008 entry and commentary.
Teachers and parents beware.
So is the left really pro-science and the right anti-science?
Hopefully our graduates of Baloney Detecting University are more skilled than
to accept such false dichotomies, and our graduates of the
history of science know better. Define science. Separate
science as a concept from scientific institutions (06/25/2010). The latter often have soiled
hands, being dependent either directly or indirectly on the public dole. Any institution that must fight for its survival
on keeping government money flowing will necessarily promote big government and higher taxes
hallmarks of the left. Consequently they will try to portray science in terms of
consensus, a monolithic entity composed of all those who stand to gain from public funding of
their pet projects (cf. 09/15/2010). We speak here of
the leadership, publicity and lobbying arms of such institutions; at any given institution there is
undoubtedly a mix of liberals and conservatives at work.
The arrogance of some of these people is astounding. They act like they own
public money, that they are entitled to it. How would they like it if other citizens of this
country say Tea Party members walked into their houses and demanded tribute, claiming it was owed to them? Public money is a
limited commodity. It needs to be collected and spent wisely by a representative government according to
well thought out priorities. The case needs to be made every year for why certain projects deserve funding,
and these projects must have an understandable link to public interest. Numerous commentators write about
wasteful spending on science (example at Wall
Street Journal). Do we want $100,000 of taxpayer money going to UC Irvine scientists to study how US and Chinese students
play World of Warcraft? (see Orange
County Register). Some will remember former Senator Proxmires Golden Fleece Awards for wasteful
spending. SETI was a winner back in the 1980s. Its proponents have had to survive on private funds ever since, though NASA
pulled in millions for Astrobiology with the Martian Meteorite useful lie back in the 1990s (see 01/07/2005 commentary).
Many worthwhile science projects, such as space exploration and cancer research,
cannot be done by citizen scientists or private enterprise. Large research labs and universities will of necessity
need foundation grants or government funds (but look how entrepreneurs are making inroads into
Those paying the bill, whether the US government or foundations, have the right to decide what projects
are in their interest. Oversight and scrutiny over spending should be valued, because hubris
leads to fraud and abuse, which ultimately damages the reputations of scientific institutions. What if
whistleblowers had not found the errors in Climategate? Contrary to what Chris Mooney thinks,
he should welcome the input of conservatives as a necessary check on power. Scientists,
after all, are only human (02/17/2010).
Next headline on:
Politics and Ethics
Philosophy of Science
Living Fossils Found in Space
Oct 13, 2010 A type of galaxy that should have only existed long ago is alive and well
nearby, astronomers from Swinburne University are claiming.
The Swinburne researchers have likened the galaxies to the living dinosaurs
or Wollemi Pines of space galaxies you just wouldnt expect to find in todays world,
said Science Daily.
Very turbulent galaxies were thought to represent early stages in the evolution
of our universe, the article claimed. Somethings wrong, then.
Their existence has changed our ideas about how star formation is fuelled and understanding
star formation is important, Professor Karl Glazeburg said.
Just look at the Big Bang, which is how we all got here.
Maybe that is how he got here, but the rest of us think
we got here by design. Prof. Glazeburg and the biological Darwinists lose credibility
when data that should have falsified their notions get recast in new rhetorical schemes,
like living fossils a contradiction in terms. If theyre alive, maybe
they were never dead as long as claimed. Would you trust an antique dealer who guaranteed
that a certain grandfather clock was only made in 1789, but then you find a Sony part number on the
back, and he exclaims, Well, Ill be darned! A living fossil!?
Then why do we grant the time of day to these evolutionary salesmen? A lot of things
have gone terribly wrong with their scenarios, but they never repent, never come clean,
never admit they have no idea what they are talking about. So when you read that
the universe likes to form galaxies similar to the Milky Way
or that rapid star formation was a teenybopper thing
have a little skepticism, OK? Data are one thing; interpretations are something else;
cute stories are sales gimmicks.
Hairy Bacteria Walk and Talk
Next headline on:
Stars and Astronomy
Oct 12, 2010 Little hair-like projections on some bacteria, nearly invisible with light
microscopes, are not just for decoration. They do amazing things as a pair of
recent discoveries brought to light. They help bacteria walk and talk.
Humans tend to fear bacteria because of the few nasty kinds that cause disease, but many of these
mechanisms at work in the microbial world may actually be beneficial. That growing feeling
extends to viruses, too. Science
Daily in another article spoke of a burgeoning field of physical virology that might allow
doctors to employ viruses as natural nanoparticles for targeting therapeutic agents to cells, and
another article in Science Daily
discussed using friendly bacteria to treat bone cancer.
Could the germs we fear have had a function for good in the beginning? Food for thought.
Answers in Genesis
presented a lengthy article examining possible pathways how some beneficial E. coli and other bacteria
might have degenerated into agents of disease.
- But can they dance? Bacteria swim, but they also land on surfaces and when
they do, they put out little legs and walk. This fascinating discovery, discussed on
Science Daily, was
made at UCLA. The legs are called type IV pili in Pseudomonas, some of
which cause diseases in humans. What enables this upright walking are appendages called
type IV pili, which function as the analog of legs, the article said.
Whats more, walking allows P. aeruginosa to move with trajectories optimized
for surface exploration, so that they can forage more effectively.
- Social network: Some bacteria are wired with their own electrical
intranet. This was announced also by
Science Daily in an
article titled, Bacteria Grow Electrical Hair: Specialized Bacterial Filaments Shown to Conduct Electricity.
Tiny microfilaments extend out between bacteria to provide a means of communication and mutual support
a kind of cellular FaceBook system. These create large living biological circuits (see
made of biological
nanowires that function just like social networks. This is the first measurement of
electron transport along biological nanowires produced by bacteria, a researcher said.
Science Daily explained,
A bacterial nanowire looks like a long hair sticking out of a
microbes body. Like human hair, it consists mostly of protein. Imagine if
people communicated through their
nanowires hair. For bacteria, these
networks are like a lifeline. They exchange electrons, allowing bacteria to breathe
and also communicate.
Microbes were already known to communicate with chemical signals. The nanowire
networks apparently provide a faster channel. Said one of the researchers of the wired net,
in stressful situations or when survival is at stake, You want the telegraph, you dont
want smoke signals. One can only guess at what they are saying. Do they speak in Morse code?
The current hypothesis is that bacterial nanowires are in fact widespread in the microbial world, he added.
Darwin was obsessed with the appearance of natural evil in the world,
because his acquaintance with natural theology did not take the Fall and the curse of sin seriously.
William Paley, for all his good reasoning, tried to use induction from the happy things in nature to
a benevolent God. Darwin saw design, but then looked at the suffering and disease everywhere.
Since he could not reconcile parasitism and disease with a benevolent God, he fell away from Paleys view that
originally was a strong influence in his thinking, and decided that design was just an illusion.
So he came up with an even more miracle-working god chance!
Brain Rewires for Lost Senses
Without understanding sin and judgment, one cannot
correlate the irrefutable evidence of design with the existence of evil. The world is like
a bombed city, with relics of its original goodness clearly evident, but with the marks of judgment just
as clear. The Creator does not plan to make this world a better place. He is going to destroy
it and build a new one (II
Peter 3:3-13). In the meantime, He has left enough marks of good design to put individuals on trial without excuse for denying
His existence (Romans 1:16-22),
and yet in His grace has provided enough happiness to motivate all people to seek Him
The gospel is a means to escape this present evil world destined for judgment, for a new creation
in which righteousness dwells (II
Evolutionists mock at this, of course. OK, take their answer: design is just
an illusion. Machinery emerges. Weird stuff just happens sometimes (10/03/2010).
Evil doesnt exist. Everything came from nothing and is going nowhere. Morality is a myth because it
came from an undirected process of natural selection (10/10/2010). Be consistent, now, and thank
that E. coli when it lays you low, because it is merely showing it is more fit than you. And no fair
taking a stand on any moral issue, including the environment and climate change: the words ought and should
are not in the Darwin Dictionary. Take a random walk in Afghanistan; maybe the mutation-enhancing bullets will
do you some good, whatever that word means.
Next headline on:
Oct 11, 2010 Born without vision or hearing? The brain can apparently
rewire itself to accommodate the loss, reported the
Dr Stephen Lomber, who led research published in Nature Neuroscience, said:
The brain is very efficient, and doesnt let unused space go to waste.
Dr. Lombers team studied the peripheral vision of congenitally deaf cats.
The general principle was that the brain does not like to let unused capacity go to
waste. Both deaf and blind people frequently say their other senses are sharper
by way of compensation.
The brain wants to compensate for the lost sense with enhancements that are beneficial.
For example, if youre deaf, you would benefit by seeing a car coming far
off in your peripheral vision, because you cant hear that car approaching from the side
the same with being to [sic] more accurately detect how fast something is moving.
Compensation algorithms? Rewiring?
Explain that, Darwin and we dont mean explain by telling us a
Darwinism was unraveling in 2007 (10/08/2007),
but it takes a long time to finish unraveling a tangled web.
Next headline on:
Mind and Brain
DNA Performs the Linking Rings Trick
Oct 11, 2010 Those who love a good magic show should be aware of a world-famous
trick going on inside their own bodies. The Chinese linking rings
trick is done by a team of protein magicians in the cell but its not for
entertainment, its to repair damage that could lead to cancer.
a press release from UC Davis about a team of proteins named Sgs1, Top3 and Rmi1.
This magic team makes DNA strands pass through one another when repairing double-stranded
breaks (see 10/07/2010). The team has to get the information
from the matching chromosome, so a sophisticated repair process is activated that
uses the same DNA sequence on the matching chromosome, the article explained.
One of the strands is stripped back, leaving an exposed single strand.
The matching chromosome is brought alongside and partly unwound, and acts as a template
to repair the broken piece.
Aside from the wonder at how protein machines can find a matching strand on
another chromosome, when the chromosomes separate at points called Holliday junctions,
the real magic happens. To finish the process, the chromosomes have
to separate like the magicians interlocking rings, one has to pass through
the other. Stephen Kowalczykowski, microbiology professor at UC Davis,
remarked, This protein complex does what magicians do.
Natural selection was Darwins little magician that was advertised to create wonders on stage
that seemed like natural theology. The rest of us know that magicians really act with
purpose and intent. When they are really good, magicians make what they do seem
miraculous. But Darwin hyped his magic show without delivering the show. He not only
promised to pull a rabbit out of the hat; he promised to pull the magician out of
the rabbit and the hat out of nothing! We came to watch this miracle, but
the hat, the rabbit, and the magician were already on display. Darwin came out and
said, The magician exists; therefore, he evolved from the rabbit. It all happened
long ago without anyone watching. It must be so, because God wouldnt have made things
this way. All together, now: booooo.... give us our money back.
Altruism Researchers Could Use a Little
Next headline on:
Oct 10, 2010 Hidden from public view, theres a fight going on between evolutionists trying
to explain the origin of altruism (unselfish behavior) by natural selection. This problem
that bothered Darwin 150 years ago appears to be heating up. Last month, 30 evolutionists squared off in
Amsterdam and apparently made little progress, because Nature published an article trying to
make peace between the rival groups.
Samir Okasha wrote Altruism researchers must cooperate in Nature,1
contending that theres nothing worth fighting about. The irony was apparently lost on him.
It appears everyone at Amsterdam was acting a little selfish, yet here was Okasha presenting almost a moral
sermon trying to get them to love one another. Believers in kin selection (inclusive fitness), he said,
are just arguing the same point as believers in multi-level selection or group selection, but from another
angle. Whats the fuss?
Rival camps have emerged, each endorsing a different approach to social evolution. Heated exchanges
have occurred at conferences, on blogs and in journals, and have even been reported in The New York Times.
Biologists have accused each other of misunderstanding, of failing to cite previous studies appropriately,
of making unwarranted claims to novelty and of perpetuating confusions. Yet I contend that there
is little to argue about.
The bulk of his paper was trying to prove that the competing theories are really different sides of the same
coin. But he also demanded that researchers on both sides stop flouting basic practice as
citing references, using consistent terminology, and avoiding unjustified claims of novelty or of the
superiority of one perspective over another. He used an analogy from quantum mechanics: the
wave and matrix formulations are different but equivalent. So, Okasha contends, are the different
explanations for altruism.
Much of the current antagonism stems from the fact that different researchers are focusing on
different aspects of the same phenomenon, and are using different methods. In allowing a plurality of
approaches a healthy thing in science to descend into tribalism, biologists risk causing
serious damage to the field of social evolution, and potentially to evolutionary biology in general.
If the last thing in a paper is any clue to the prime motivation for writing it, Okasha
may actually be most concerned about money, or what the creationists will do, or both:
Researchers should take stock before another overblown dispute does serious damage to the field.
Up-and-coming researchers are unlikely to be attracted to a discipline plagued by controversy.
Moreover, if the experts cannot agree about what theoretical framework works best, the supply of research
funding may eventually be threatened. Also worrying is the possibility that onlookers perceive
the central question of social evolution theory how altruism can evolve as unresolved, even
though it was answered decades ago. During the sociobiology wars of the 1970s and 1980s,
creationists proved adept at seizing on and exaggerating the differences in opinion between biologists for
their own ends. It would be a disaster if the same were to happen again.
Update 10/21/2010: In a letter to Nature,2 Karl Sigmund responded to Okasha,
saying, his concerns that it could threaten research funding and provide ammunition for creationists should
not be allowed to mute scientific debate. The debate is real, he argued: inclusive fitness theory is
full of pitfalls. This is not just the view of a handful of rebels.
1. Samir Okasha, Altruism researchers must cooperate,
467, 653-655 (7 October 2010) | doi:10.1038/467653a.
2. Karl Sigmund, Let's keep the debate focused, Nature
467, p. 920, 21 October 2010, doi:10.1038/467920e.
This is rich. So creationists have their own ends, but these pure-minded
Darwinists have none of their own. So it would be a disaster if creationists pointed out this controversy
and commented on it, but not if evolutionists gave them occasion for it. Social evolution theory is plagued by controversy,
he admits, but were not supposed to teach the controversy. Why? Because there is none. It may look like a controversy
evolutionists behaving badly, making accusations, flouting basic scientific practice, misunderstanding
one another, making unwarranted claims, unable to come to terms, but they all really agree deep down. Controversy?
I dont see any controversy, do you? This was all solved decades ago. All this disagreement
creates the impression of a field in massive disarray, he said. Its just an impression,
not a reality. Cant we see that both sides are just looking at the same solution from different
angles? Cant we just get along? Maybe the 30 at Amsterdam know more than Okasha does.
Life: Do Ingredients Imply Emergence?
The really funny thing about this article is that Okasha is treating his fellow evolutionists
as rational beings capable of moral behavior. By speaking of altruism as a moral capacity that can be
strengthened by reason and appeals to unselfishness and integrity, he has just undermined all views of the evolution
of altruism by natural selection, because natural selection by definition is mindless, purposeless, directionless
and amoral. Hes too busy to shoot the creationists, because he just shot his own views on social evolution in the foot.
Theyre laughing hysterically, but are willing to come over and explain a thing or two about the origin of altruism,
and even share some, if permitted.
Next headline on:
Darwin and Evolution
Politics and Ethics
Oct 8, 2010 Science articles continue to push the idea that if water is found somewhere,
life is certain to emerge. Other articles look for so-called building blocks of life
or ingredients for life, implying or even plainly stating that life simply emerges from its parts.
While many have complained that this kind of thinking is as ridiculous as assuming a building will construct
itself from a lumberyard, reports persist without shame or apology.
If simple ingredients can be expected to overcome the biggest hurdle life itself it follows
that simple ingredients will help evolution proceed up the path of complexity. For instance,
PhysOrg called on oxygen as a cause.
When oxygen levels varied as plants and animals emerged and flourished, an astrobiology
wizard claimed, the variation had direct consequences for the evolution of complex life.
The article headline was, Plants kick-start evolutionary drama of Earths oxygenation.
- Asteroid water bombs: Water ice has been discovered on a second asteroid, reported
Science Daily, echoing a
press release from University of South Florida. A professor said, And it supports the theory
that asteroids may have hit Earth and brought our planet its water and the building blocks for life
to form and evolve here.
- Primordial haze: Space.com
and other sites are publishing speculations by Sarah Horst [U of Arizona] claiming that Titan may have the
ingredients for life in its atmosphere. We dont need liquid water, we dont
need a surface, she said. We show that it is possible to make very complex molecules in
the outer parts of an atmosphere. The toxic sludge pouring through Hungary contains complex molecules,
too (BBC News).
Horst omitted explaining how a genetic code or molecular machinery might arise from her ingredients for life.
She was focused on the ingredients themselves. She simply assumed they will spontaneously spring into living things:
The results suggest that Titans
upper atmosphere could be a reservoir of prebiotic molecules that could serve as the springboard to life,
according to the scientists, the press release continued, failing to state who the diver was. And the find may offer a new
perspective on the emergence of life on Earth as well: Instead of a primordial soup, the first ingredients
of life on our planet may have formed from a primordial haze high in Earths atmosphere.
Geographic interviewed Horst and published her speculations uncritically. See also the
- Life signs: The news reports about Gliese 581g, an exoplanet in its stars habitable zone
(09/29/2010), were spiced with liberal use of the L-word.
Most recently, David Shiga remarked in
Scientist that it might be be awash with liquid water and perhaps life. Maybe we
could tell by detecting possible by-products of life, such as oxygen and methane,
he said, even though Saturns lifeless rings have oxygen and Titan has lots of methane without sentient
beings peering through telescopes at earth. Incidentally, the unfunded Terrestrial Planet Finder mission
was renamed Darwin.
- Hard questions and genetic divination: How life got started is one of the biggest questions in evolutionary biology,
but that didnt stop PhysOrg from publishing
Oxford Universitys press release about one of its scientists teasing insights from the genetic tea
leaves of archaea, bacteria and eukaryotes about which one emerged around 3.5 billion years ago.
- Complexity and computer divination: Computers provide another way to peer into the mysterious origins of
life. PhysOrg reported on supercomputer simulations
being done at Oak Ridge National Lab into the mechanics of a ribozyme, an RNA molecule of catalyzing some
reactions while being composed of nucleotides that could be considered a rudimentary code.
The article claims these simulations are helping scientists unravel how nucleic acids could
have contributed to the origins of life. Admittedly these experiments, that are
simply looking at how a magnesium atom keeps an active site open in one ribozyme, are a far cry from life,
but the simulation is said to probe an organic chemical reaction that may have been important in the
evolution of ribonucleic acids, or RNA, into early life forms.
Science Daily promoted the
idea that novelty and complexity are [the] result of small evolutionary changes.
A researcher at University of Oregon may have found differences in a particular nuclear receptor protein which existed before
the last common ancestor of all animals on earth as much as a billion years ago, failing to
answer how that complex enzyme emerged so far back; but then he applied
it as a general principle: evolution tinkers with early forms and leaves the impression that complexity
evolved many times. The tinkering theme was mentioned four times in the press release and eight times
in the paper in PLoS Biology,1 including the title, but neither said anything
about the evolution of multi-part molecular machines, tissues, organs, and complex structures like wings and eyes.
1. Bridgham, Thornton et al, Protein Evolution by Molecular Tinkering: Diversification of the Nuclear Receptor
Superfamily from a Ligand-Dependent Ancestor,
Public Library of Science
Biology, 8(10): e1000497. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1000497.
The Cult of Tinker Bell pervades our scientific institutions and schools. Its a cult of
magic, superstition, and imagination. Dont be tricked by the trappings of science; this cult
has wizards, divination, and indoctrination. In this cult, buildings not only emerge from the
lumberyard in their Magic Kingdom; they evolve into castles and thrill rides every time Tinker Bell comes
by with her mutation wand. When they wish upon a star, like Gliese 581, all their dreams come true
God may not pay dice, but Darwin does.
Four papers exposed internal controversies and appeals to chance within Darwinism in the 10/16/2006 entry,
showing its advocates to be hopelessly muddled. It can only be accepted with stiff gin and tonic, one said.
Evolution was a tinkerer, he claims, thus personifying the favorite little Darwin Party goddess and
proving that not even an evolutionist can be a consistent atheist. Now we know who their ding-a-ling goddess is.
She gets the gong for her hopelessly inadequate impersonation of an intelligent designer. Its Tinker Bell.
If this were just fun and games, it would be a temporary escapist fantasy. But this is presented
as science (05/27/2010 commentary). Its a bag of lies, with all the building blocks of lie
(03/19/2008) and ingredients of deception built in (see Baloney
Detector). Deceiving the public by implying that life is a simple matter of stirring
ingredients with water is a crime. But can you blame a perpetrator of a crime when he or she believes
the crime is a good thing? Thats the problem: the deceivers are among the deceived.
This hopeless situation is the fulfillment of a scientifically-testable prediction by someone who came face to face with a
lot of their kind: evil men and imposters will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived
(Paul, in II Timothy 3:13).
Suggested reading: Meyer, Signature in the Cell
ch. 3-5; Behe, Darwins Black Box ch 3-7;
Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis ch. 13-14; and our online book, ch. 6-10.
These books describe the complexity of life (particularly the cell) and dispel the notion that life
would ever emerge from building blocks.
Next headline on:
Origin of Life
Darwin and Evolution
Keeping Saturn Old
Oct 7, 2010 Keeping a planet like Saturn going for billions of years has been
a problem lately, especially when evidences show that what we see today of its rings
and moons could not have lasted that long.
Another article on PhysOrg shows how Cassini scientist
Paul Schenk (see his interesting blog with 3-D flyovers of planets and moons)
has detected Enceladus spray paint on Mimas, Tethys, Dione and Rhea.
The JPL article contained this amazing factoid:
Scientists estimate from the Cassini data that the south polar heating is equivalent to a continuous release of about 13 billion watts of energy.
The Space.com article added that this energy is
five times more heat per unit area than flows through Earths geologic hot spot, Yellowstone National Park.
- Ringside gambling: The rings of Saturn are majestic, colorful,
and young-looking. Their ices are too clean, and the forces acting on them too
pervasive, to have lasted 4.5 billion years. The old idea that they formed along with Saturn has,
therefore, fallen into disfavor. Robin Canup came up with a new alternative, according to the
BBC News: a body the size
of giant moon Titan (larger than Mercury) floated within range of Saturn and dove in.
Just how these icy rings came about has always been a mystery, the BBC said.
Earlier theories envisioned an icy comet, not a minor planet, forming the rings, leading to its
90 to 95% icy composition. To keep the rock out, Canup proposed that the impacting bodys
surface ices got stripped off on the way in and became the rings, then the rocky part smacked into the planet.
Canups story requires a body 10 times the size of previously-supposed comets. She even thinks there
was enough material left over to form icy moons like Enceladus, Dione and Tethys.
Whether or not such an explanation is likely, Carl Murray thought it was
a clever way to explain the peculiarly icy nature of the rings.
- Titans vanishing oceans: An article on
was primarily devoted to allowing Akiva Bar-Nun of Tel Aviv University to say I told
you so about Titans oily lakes and 6,000-foot mountains. One of the
things he had predicted in 1979, though, was that there would be enough hydrocarbons
formed on the surface over its age to cover the large moon 43 meters deep.
Later estimates were around ten times that high. Bodies of liquid the
Cassini spacecraft actually found in 2005 are
restricted to scattered lakes in the polar regions.
Bar-Nun agreed that the liquids accumulate from precipitation of compounds formed
in the atmosphere by solar radiation. He disagreed with astrobiologists and researchers like
Sarah Horst (see 10/08/2010)
who find Titan a tempting target in the search for life. The chemical processes on Titan are different
than those on Earth because there is no water vapor in Titans air, leading to
hydrocarbon-based lakes unlike those seen on our planet. Because of this, the frequent claims
that Titan could be a laboratory for the investigation of lifes emergence on Earth
are unfounded, he says.
- Enceladus: bubbly or wobbly? The discovery in 2005 of active geysers at the
south pole of little moon Enceladus jolted many astronomers, according to a story by Mike Wall on
echoed on Live
Science. How could this small, frozen and presumably dead moon be geologically active
after four and half billion years? One new way of thinking that former Cassini Project Scientist
Dennis Matson came up with to account for its unique properties is fizz. A subsurface ocean
picks up ions in the rock that bubble upward and explode out the south polar cracks. According to his
computer models, it doesnt take much fizz to produce the effect. Mike Wall got excited about
this Perrier ocean model without asking too many questions, like how the ocean survived for billions
of years in a moon just 500 miles across, why they erupt at the south pole, and why other moons dont do this.
Matson admitted, Until now, how you got so much heat out was a big, big problem.
Some of the details of that big, big problem were stated more overtly in an article on
PhysOrg, echoing a news feature from
Jet Propulsion Laboratory,
that took another new way of thinking to explain the puzzle. No one expected little Enceladus to
be one of the most promising places in our solar system to look for extraterrestrial life
(because of its water); Instead, it should have frozen solid billions of years ago.
Whereas larger astrobiological targets like Mars (4,200 miles across) and Europa (2,000 miles across)
harbor hints of subsurface water, Enceladus (500 miles across) just doesnt
have the bulk needed for its interior to stay warm enough to maintain liquid water underground.
Internal heating from radioactive decay is woefully inadequate: in smaller moons like Enceladus,
the cache of radioactive elements usually is not massive enough to produce significant heat for long, and
the moon should have soon cooled and solidified. So, unless another process within Enceladus
somehow generated heat, any liquid formed by the melting of its interior would have frozen long ago.
The JPL story calls for friction between the sides of subsurface cracks to keep the interior
warm. As Enceladus wobbles in its orbit due to a tiny bit of libration (non-uniform rotation) from its
slightly-out-of-round shape, it may gain the added increment of tidal stress to cause the friction
perhaps up to five times as much, according to computer models. The hypothesis was made by trying
to match the computer model with known hot spots at the south pole. They didnt line up without
adding libration. Libration has not been observed, but if it occurs, must be less than 2%.
Terry Hurford, author of the model, believes thats enough: the extra heat makes it likely that
Enceladus ocean could be long-lived, according to Hurford. The L-word life
was not far behind: This is significant in the search for life, because life requires a stable environment to develop.
Similar questions arise, however, with the wobble model as with the bubble model.
Why does this happen only at Enceladus, and not nearby Mimas or Tethys? What makes this unique to this
one moon? Dont other moons librate? Are all others perfect spheres? Have they no
tidal stresses? Invoking ad hoc conditions after the fact is generally frowned upon in science.
Photos. A new clear picture of the geysers was posted Oct 6 at JPL.
The PhysOrg article included two Cassini photos; the
first one, taken 11/21/2009, also at JPL,
shows over 30 individual jets (see large at Planetary
A reader calculated that Enceladus could power 2.3 cities the size of Las Vegas with 13 billion watts.
After all, Las Vegas is at the south pole of Nevada, a state about as big across as Enceladus.
Isnt it wonderful that this little tiny moon has been putting out this power, and this water-ice
paint, for four and a half billion years? Science says so. You must believe.
More DNA Repair Wonders Found
Next headline on:
Oct 7, 2010 One of the most phenomenal discoveries since the structure of DNA was revealed
must surely be the discovery of multitudes of protein machines that repair DNA (01/04/2002).
The repair machines are themselves coded by DNA, but DNA would quickly decay into nonsense without them.
Another fundamentally new repair mechanism was discovered by researchers at Vanderbilt University
recently, and other scientists reporting in Nature uncovered more secrets of a key player in
DNA double-stranded break repair.
began its echo of the university press release saying, Tucked within its double-helix structure,
DNA contains the chemical blueprint that guides all the processes that take place within the cell and
are essential for life. Therefore, repairing damage and maintaining the integrity of its DNA is
one of the cells highest priorities. The wording brings to mind a well-managed
business. How can a cell have priorities, integrity, and maintenance?
Explaining that DNA is highly reactive, the article goes on to describe how DNA damage
repair is a constant process. On a good day about one million bases in the DNA in a human cell are damaged.
Thats on a good day. Toxins, reactive oxygen, radiation, and just normal chemical activity
in the cell can lead to all kinds of problems. Untreated, these damages can lead to cell death or cancer.
The newly discovered mechanism acts on DNA bases that become alkylated. This results in lesions
on the double helix that can impair translation or replication. To make matters worse, there are
dozens of different types of alkylated DNA bases, each of which has a different effect on replication.
Several known mechanisms can treat the lesions by scanning the DNA chain, something like
crewmen on a railroad car, looking for damaged cross-beams, latching onto them and then flipping each one outward
and holding it in a special pocket so that other repairmen can attach
to the site, fix it, and put it back. The new mechanism found by the Vanderbilt team operates in bacteria.
It finds the lesion and, unlike most known glycosylases, flips out both the damaged base and the base it is
paired with. Why? This appears to work because the enzyme only operates on deformed bases
that have picked up an excess positive charge, making these bases very unstable, the article explained.
If left alone, the deformed base will detach spontaneously. This specialized enzyme may attract
other repair enzymes to the site, and speeds up the process by about 100 times.
The enzyme uses several rod-like helical structures ... to grab hold of DNA.
Whats more, this enzyme is considerably different from that of other known DNA-binding
proteins or enzymes, though it bears some resemblance to a family of very large molecules that
possess a small active site that plays a role in regulating the cells response to DNA damage.
The article said nothing about evolution.
On another DNA-repair front, todays Nature described a protein giant named BRCA2
that is critically involved in DNA repair, specifically targeting the dangerous double-stranded breaks that can
lead to serious health consequences (double-stranded breaks, as the name implies, involve both rungs of the DNA
ladder separating). The BRCA2 enzyme, more than 400 kilodaltons in size (containing
roughly 400,000 atomic mass units), is a key player in the repair, said Lee Zou [Harvard] in Nature,1
commenting on a paper by Jensen et al in the same issue that elucidated the structure of this giant fix-it molecule and explained how
Since it repairs damage that can lead to breast and ovarian cancers and Fanconi anemia, BRCA2 is of great interest
to medical researchers and their patients. Zou described and illustrated four specific functions of this enzyme in the
multi-player teamwork process that fixes double-stranded breaks. In addition, the histone code
(07/26/2006) appears to
play a role in regulating the whole repair team. Both articles mentioned evolution only in passing, suggesting
possible ancestral relationships, but only in a most cursory and ancillary manner.
1. Lee Zou, DNA repair: A protein giant in its entirety,
467, pp. 667–668, 07 October 2010, doi:10.1038/467667a.
2. Jensen, Carreira and Kowalczykowski, Purified human BRCA2 stimulates RAD51-mediated recombination,
pp. 678–683, 07 October 2010, doi:10.1038/nature09399.
How Darwinism can survive in todays environment is a tale of the capacity
for humans to cling to dogma far beyond whatever usefulness it may have had. Darwinism may have made
19th-century Victorian racists in the British empire feel like they had latched onto something. It may
have allowed certain racist totalitarian tyrants to justify their atrocities with a veneer of scientific
credibility. That was all before 1951, when the basis of heredity was found to involve a coded language.
Shortly after, Crick discovered that one code gets translated by a family of interpreters into another code.
Now, in the 21st century, we have whole systems of molecular machines dedicated to preserving the code,
and codes upon codes regulating the codes.
Animals Can Skew Archaeological Dates
Darwin didnt write code. Software was only
beginning to be invented by Babbage in those days. Darwin knew nothing about networks and codes and double-stranded
breaks with BRCA2 machinery at the ready, and other complex mechanisms operating even in bacteria,
the simplest little blobs of protoplasm he envisioned, that turned out to be more complex than any machinery
in Britain. Why must we cling to an outmoded view of life that spun from minds eager to rid science
of intelligent causes? We need a biology for the Information Age, where intelligent causes are well
known. Intelligence, and only intelligence, explains codes, messages, software, error-correction routines, networks, and
hierarchical systems of all the above. Step aside, Charlie. You had your day. You did your
damage. We have a lot of repair work to do.
Next headline on:
Oct 6, 2010 Archaeologists date stone age artifacts by the depth of the layer.
They may not have paid sufficient attention to one factor that could have shoved them deeper
down: animals trampling over them. Animals push human tools into ground—and back in time, study says,
was a subtitle of a report in
Geographic News. This factor could cause mis-dating of stone tools and other artifacts,
making them seem older than they really are—in some cases, thousands of years older, experiments have
The assumption has been, The deeper the object, the older it is, generally speaking.
A team from Southern Methodist University tested that assumption by placing artifact replicas on the ground in India,
having local herdsmen walk their livestock over them, letting the ground dry out, and then excavating the plot
like it was a real archaeological site. To our amazement, lead author
Metin Eren said, the disturbance was much greater than we had anticipated.
The misdating is especially pronounced in wet ground. But it is precisely
in wet areas where stone age people most likely settled. Whats more, archaeologists
typically date carbonaceous material next to stone artifacts to corroborate the date, unaware that the
two types of material may not have been contemporaneous.
Eren believes that evidence of trampling can be detected by the random orientations
of artifacts. In some cases, artifacts might even be pushed upward and yield younger ages.
Sorting out what happened could be tricky, though. Trampling could even create the illusion
of ancient sites where none really existed, Eren said. For example, you could
have artifacts washing into a valley from somewhere else and herds walk over them, pushing the
artifacts into the ground.
Is this a minor matter?
Anthropologist Julien Riel-Salvatore of the University of Colorado Denver said,
Pretty much any open-air site located near a water source will potentially be very seriously
affected by some of these conclusions.
Apparently no one ever tested the effects of trampling by animals before, even
though some of them were aware of it. The follow-up question we should be asking is, what other
factors are they not considering about the unobservable past? Dont be so sure that archaeologists
are able to separate trampled sites from non-trampled sites. A herd of elephants walking over a site
might not leave it the same as a herd of wildebeest. Or a herd of supersaurus, either, but we say that
just to irritate the Darwin dogmatists.
Five years ago, a busy year for the anti-ID campaign (10/24/2005,
Michael Behe was called to testify at the Dover trial (10/18/2005).
Myths and legends have already risen in the Darwin blogs about what he said, as Casey Luskin revealed today at
Evolution News & Views.
One would think those pretending to be historians would examine the transcript instead of making things up.
The article said, Scientists often date artifacts of the Stone Age, which began about
two and a half million years ago, based on the depths at which the items are found: The deeper the object,
the older it is, generally speaking. The 2.5 million number is based on evolutionary reasoning
i.e., how long did it take monkey-men to come out of their trees, develop a taste for meat, reorganize their anatomy for
long-distance running (11/18/2004), figure out it was easier to carve the meat with a stone than
by hand, and decide cooking was womens work, and getting impaled and trampled by mammoths was
mens work? How many times did a site get trampled before it dried up? Say the site
was wet for just a million years less than half the assumed age. Say that it got trampled
once a month. Thats 12 million tramplings. OK, cut that in half, or a tenth
its still an outrageous amount of time for the artifacts to just sit there undisturbed by large
animals, to say nothing of worms and burrowing creatures. Does the possibility dawn on you that
many of these claimed ages, which no scientist ever experienced, could be flawed?
Next headline on:
Kinder, Gentler Dinosaurs Envisioned
Oct 6, 2010 See if this statement by Tim Rowe [U of Texas at Austin] meets your
mental picture of dinosaurs after a lifetime of movies: We used to think of dinosaurs
as fierce creatures that outcompeted everyone else, he said. Now were
starting to see thats not really the case. They were humbler, more opportunistic creatures.
They didnt invade the neighborhood. They waited for the residents to leave and
when no one was watching, they moved in.
This quote from an article in PhysOrg
may not make for a very dramatic sequel to Jurassic Park, but its
based on his teams analysis of migration patterns of a new species of dinosaur from Arizona
gently named Sarahsaurus. And so its starting to look like some of our ideas
about how size and evolution work are probably in need of revision, Rowe said,
and that some of the features we thought were tied to gigantism and the physics and
mechanics of the bones may not be right.
Does Rowe know that dinosaurs were humbler, more opportunistic
creatures? No, because he wasnt there. Neither does Steven Spielberg
know that they were terrors. Who knows; maybe they were like large cows and sheep,
and the predators were like large coyotes. Maybe Alley Oop had to beat off Sue with
a stick. Make up your own scenario. Its as good as anyone elses,
because all such opinions about behavior are inferred from indirect evidence and are
inherently subjective. For best chance at fame, come up with a scenario that lends
itself to a screenplay and keeps the animators employed.
Cosmology Faces More Chaos
The one thing that you can
be sure of is that the opinions of evolutionists will continue to change, so that any
of their claims today are probably in need of revision tomorrow.
Next headline on:
Oct 5, 2010 Most of us have experience with orderly things going to chaos: an unkept room,
the garden, our list of things to do. We all work hard to overcome that universal tendency.
Clara Moskowitz reported on two cosmologists who think the universe went the other way. She wrote in
The universe was in chaos after the Big Bang kick-started the cosmos, a new study suggests.
That means that all the order we see came out of chaos.
Its probably not a surprise to think that a colossal explosion like a big bang
would be pretty chaotic, but actually, cosmologists have worried about the entropy problem
for a long time. Entropy is a measure of the disorder of a system. For our universe to
have the low entropy it has now (organized into stars, galaxies, and planets), it would have had to
have incredibly low entropy at the start where incredibly low means unfathomably low.
Can Adilson Motter (Northwestern U) and Katrin Gelfert (Federal U, Rio de Janeiro) really propose
chaos after the big bang?
The article tries to explain that they are defining chaos differently than lay people do
in common experience small changes can cause large-scale effects. Yet in
chaos theory, one cannot predict what will happen and getting a highly ordered system as a result
would seem most improbable. After all, our universe is no longer chaotic according to
the article. But then the article speculates that the universe could return to chaos in a
big crunch a big bang in reverse. Most cosmologists and astronomers think that the
acceleration of the universe rules out such a possibility. It doesnt help explain
the order we see now, anyway.
Suffice it to say, that before one can believe their ideas about the origin and
fate of the universe, one should take to heart a disclaimer by Moskowitz, This period of the
early universe is not well understood.
According to New
Scientist in its Cosmic Accidents series, the big bang was all a well, a
cosmic accident. Believe it or not, most physicists regard the quantum fluctuations that
created it as having no cause at all, Stephen Battersby wrote. Of all happy accidents,
this one might be the most accidental. As to the low-entropy whatever before the bang, he admitted,
What cosmic coincidences preceded our universes birth are in the realms of speculation.
Good grief; Moskowitz titled her display of nonsense, After Big Bang Came Moment of Pure Chaos, Study Finds.
It found nothing of the sort. It found nothing, only sordid hubris pretending to be science.
Be sure to read the 10/03/2010
commentary as a preface to this one. Since Battersby and Moskowitz, Motter and Gelfert have
surrendered all credibility and lowered themselves to shaman status, their speculations can be
safely disregarded as no better than anyone elses, and decidedly worse. For they
present themselves as scientists you know, those who know.
Big Gains for Adult Stem Cells Announced
If youre thinking, Well, the Bible states that things
started without form and void, and that sounds like chaos, consider that chaos can be molded
by intelligent design. The creation account is top-down, like a potter taking a formless mass
of clay and designing art or dishware out of it. Take the secularist, materialist, evolutionary
bottom-up approach on clay without a potter, and try getting the palace of Louis XIV out of it, all
orderly and furnished to the hilt. That would be far more credible than getting our universe out of
Not only that, the materialist has to account for the origin of the clay out of
hydrogen, and the hydrogen out the chaos, and the chaos out of some undefined, unobservable,
fantastically-low entropy nothingness that is not well understood and in the
realms of speculation. Its all speculation. None of it is well understood.
Genesis 1:1 sounds downright scientific by comparison.
Suggested Reading: For a scholarly introduction to some of the problems with modern cosmological speculations,
read Was there a big bang? by David Berlinski (1998), posted at the
Discovery Institute. Other apropos essays in his book
The Deniable Darwin and Other Essays (Discovery Institute, 2009) include God, Man, and Physics (2002)
and The State of the Matter (2009). These penetrating essays will not convince someone of God,
since Berlinski is a non-practicing Jew, but his deftness at exposing the pretensions of the self-acclaimed wise
will surely confront the reader with the deep and enduring problems of trying to bring a universe into existence without Him.
Next headline on:
Bible and Theology
Oct 4, 2010 Ever since Shinya Yamanaka figured out how to coax skin cells to become
pluripotent stem cells in 2007 (something for which he is being considered for a Nobel Prize,
see PhysOrg), other researchers have
been improving on his idea. Three big gains were announced recently.
Scientist reported work by Derrick Rossi of the Childrens Hospital Boston, who
found that programmed messenger RNA (mRNA) can safely insert the cocktail of genetic switches
into a cell without modifying the DNA with virus vectors. PhysOrg said that the
resulting induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) are apparently identical to human
embryonic stem cells, the initial building blocks of all the organs of the body.
said the new method is remarkably efficient.
Another remarkable finding that could speed up the production of adult
stem cells was made in Australia. PhysOrg
reported that researchers at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and the University of Sydney has
found a way to increase the number of blood-forming stem cells when growing them outside of the body.
The secret is to put them on a unique stretchy surface that mimics their own natural environment
in the body. Combining this factor with the previously-used hormone treatments produced
two to three times more stem cells in culture. The more they can be grown in the lab,
the less they must be harvested from the body umbilical cords, bone marrow, and
other sites and the more patients can benefit.
In another breakthrough, researchers at the University of Buffalo have
found a way to keep adult stem cells from aging.
said a team has engineered mesenchymal stem cells to grow continuously in culture, a discovery
that could speed development of cost-effective treatments for diseases including heart disease,
diabetes, immune disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. This will not only
help bring down the price of stem cell therapies, but permit the production of individually-tailored
cell lines. Dr. Techung Lee envisions a day when
one can generate a line from each ethnic group for each gender for people to choose from.
on a presentation at MIT on the progress being made with stem cell therapy.
The ability to reprogram adult stem cells to behave just like embryonic stem cells
really electrified the field, said biologist Rudolf Jaenisch.
Some of the hurdles he mentioned with iPSCs in his lecture are being overcome by the
announcements from Boston and Sydney. This is great news, because
Using reprogrammed body cells to treat disease would overcome one of the major hurdles
to using embryonic stem cells, which is that embryonic cells would likely cause an
immune reaction in the patient. Adult stem cells also overcome the major
ethical hurdle of using human embryos for research. Its onward and forward for
reattaching teeth (Science
Daily), treating stroke (PhysOrg),
repairing damaged hearts (PhysOrg),
and who knows else might come from these wonder cells.
This is good science as it should be done: pure research that produces understanding, and
looks ahead to the possibility of improving our lives. Do no harm states the Hippocratic
Oath. A corollary of that is Do no Darwin
Watch a Darwinist explain living fossils: see the 10/13/2004 entry.
Next headline on:
Politics and Ethics
Cosmic Accidents Are Not Scientific Explanations
Sunday Meditation Oct 3, 2010 The classic understanding of science is that it explains things with reference
to natural laws, makes predictions, is testable, quantifiable, and falsifiable. Depending on the branch of science,
many researchers still attempt to hold to those ideals. Eugenie Scott put it this way:
modern science operates under a rule of methodological materialism that limits it to
attempting to explain the natural world using natural causes. Natural causes include
natural laws, predictable patterns, probability, or combinations of these. Pure accidents, by contrast,
contain no explanatory power. How satisfying would it be to hear a scientist explain a
phenomenon by saying, Weird things just happen sometimes? Thats tantamount
to saying, We have no idea. See if the following two articles from New Scientists
series Cosmic Accidents can do better than that.
Scientist has a headline: Cosmic accidents: Inventing language, the easy way.
What is this easy way of which reporter David Robson speaks? Heres how he explained it.
He picks up the tale as hominids migrate out of Africa to discover new habitats:
Released from many of the selective pressures that had shackled their evolution,
they began to change subtly. Their calls, for example, had once needed to be very specific
one to signal aggression, one to announce feeding time and so on and were hard-wired in the brain.
Any variation from a small inherited vocabulary risked a potentially fatal misunderstanding,
so mutations that promoted greater flexibility were quickly weeded out.
The key to the story is mutations that emerged. If an environment itself could create
language, every organism in the environment would end up talking.
Selective constraints cannot create anything, either. They can only hold creative powers back.
In the end, Robson himself attributed the ultimate cause to chance: an accident created language one time,
in Europe but not in Africa, in humans but not in other animals. Weird things just happen sometimes.
In the new havens, however, mutations emerged that allowed more complex vocalisations, controlled by
wider regions of the brain. Ultimately, these morphed into huge learned vocabularies and flexible
grammars that exploded the tight constraints on interpersonal communication. A change of scene
had accidentally created that most human of features: language.
Attempting to explain how bacteria became humans, Michael Le Page wrote another entry for the
Cosmic Accidents series: One giant leap for a single cell. How did single cells cross the
chasm between simple prokaryotes, like bacteria and archaea, and eukaryotes, which include
everything from one-celled organisms to giraffes, orchids and humans? Enquiring scientists want to know.
Le Page set the stage: while bacteria never form anything more complex than strings of identical cells,
eukaryotic cells cooperate to make everything from brains and leaves to bones and wood.
Heres his explanation:
The countless simple cells living in many different environments on Earth have had over 3 billion years
to evolve complexity. It could have happened repeatedly - and yet it appears to have happened just once,
perhaps 2 billion years ago. All complex life is descended from a single common ancestor.
Le Page added that it seems there was nothing inevitable about the rise of the complex cells
from which we evolved. If it was not inevitable in any way, shape, or form that science
can get a handle on, where does science enter the explanation?
Why is that so? Because, says Nick Lane of University College London, natural selection
normally favours fast replication, keeping simple cells simple. Then a freak event occurred: an
archaeon engulfed a bacterium and the two cells formed a symbiotic relationship. That transformed the
dynamics of evolution, leading to a period of rapid change that produced innovations such as sex.
The incorporated bacterium eventually evolved into mitochondria, the energy generators of complex cells.
Once again, the heart of the explanation was pure chance: a freak accident occurred.
The prokaryotes were trying to evolve complexity for a billion years, but they just couldnt. Then a freak accident
occurred. The archeon was not trying to engulf the bacterium. It had no desire or plan to do
such a thing. A freak accident occurred something completely unforeseen, something weird. It transformed the
dynamics of evolution. This freak accident, though, was pregnant with possibilities. It produced
innovations such as sex and mitochondria you know, those little organelles with piston engines
and rotary engines (09/22/2010). Weird things just happen sometimes.
Other articles in the Cosmic Accidents series include Stephen Lawtons chance explanation
for the big bangs fine tuning (New
Scientist), Stephen Battersbys chance explanation for antimatter imbalance
his chance explanation for the unlikely ingredients of our sun
David Shigas lucky impact theory for the origin of our moon
Richard Webbs lucky fungus theory for our atmospheres oxygen balance
Graham Lawtons lucky asteroid impact for the origin of mammals
Anil Ananthaswamys lucky rift theory for the growth of the human brain
and Stephen Battersbys summary of the certainty of chance and the contingency of evolution
Our existence is perilously perched on a great pyramid of trivia, he said.
Maybe thats why all these freak-accident explanations are published by New Scientist, not by old scientists.
Science is stuck with chance explanations sometimes. We have no theory
at this time for why one radioactive nucleus decays when it does, or why a photon goes through one slit instead
of the other. Usually, though, scientists can assign probability values, given a large sample size.
Watch enough radionuclei, and you can predict to a high degree of accuracy how many will decay within the
isotopes characteristic half-life. Watch enough photons, and you can predict the pattern that
will emerge on the screen. If there were only one nucleus or photon, though, all bets would be off for
predicting what would happen. Scientists would have to admit, We have no idea.
Even in chaos theory, which camps on unpredictability, large sample sizes allow predictable patterns
called strange attractors to emerge.
Given enough smokers, medical researchers can predict what percentage will get lung cancer; but all
bets would be off for predicting the fate of a particular smoker. If either outcome
the smoker lives, the smoker dies could be explained by the probability value, then nothing
has really been explained at all. He dies: Just as we predicted, he was part of the 70% group
that gets cancer. He lives: He was lucky and beat the odds. Opposite outcomes are
encompassed by the theory. The bottom line is, We have no idea.
When a scientist is reduced to saying, We have no idea, his or her opinion is
essentially no better than anyone elses. For all a neutral observer could tell, a New Guinea
shaman or the Oracle at Delphi has just as good an explanation for a phenomenon. A scientist reduced to
saying Weird stuff just happens sometimes has no claims over a theologian, for sure.
Sheer dumb luck as David Berlinski calls it is no explanation at all. It is the
antithesis of explanation. If science gets reduced to sheer dumb luck, the Stuff Happens Law (SHL),
it surrenders all claims to epistemic priority. Possession of a white lab coat, a PhD, and a university
professorship amounts to nothing more than costumery the shaman could put on, by all rights.
The GSA talking points say,
Science cannot be used, by definition, to study events or phenomena that cannot be
perceived by natural or empirical senses and do not follow any natural rules or regularities.
This statement, though intending to disparage creationism and intelligent design,
rules out explanations that ultimately depend on freak accidents.
It therefore rules out so-called scientific explanations of the Big Bang, the origin of life, the
origin of eukaryotes, the origin of sex, the origin of consciousness, and most of the subject matter
evolutionists are interested in.
Darwinism itself is outside the bounds. Why? The root
of its explanation is contingency sheer dumb luck. Darwinism is the SHL in different words.
Early critics of Darwinism pointed this out. They were appalled that Darwin was introducing contingency into
scientific explanation in an era when natural law was king. Darwin believed he had found a law
the law of natural selection but closer examination shows it is chance masquerading as law.
Nothing could be selected without random mutation, obviously, but selection itself is directionless
therefore random. The environment is random. Selection pressure is unpredictable;
it pushes this way, and that: up, down, sideways. Everything at the fundamental level is
explained by freak accidents. Whatever happens happens. Darwinists cannot
appear after the fact and say, natural selection did it. Thats equivalent to
saying, A freak accident produced this outcome by sheer dumb luck. Weird things (like
eukaryotes, like language) just happen sometimes. As we have shown repeatedly, Darwins
law explains opposite outcomes therefore it explains nothing (12/19/2007
commentary). Might as well invite the Delphic oracle, the New Guinea shaman and a gambler to
give presentations at the Darwin convention. On what basis could they be denied admission?
Their clothes? Their taste in cuisine? That kind of diversity already exists at science conferences.
Eugenie Scott, in her talking points on the NCSE website, used to say,
Science and religion are different. Scientific explanations are based on human observations of
natural processes, where processes include laws, patterns, causes and logical deductions other than
appeals to chance or so-called supernatural forces taken on faith. The newer explanation, What is science?
at NCSE web, emphasizes method and ways of
thinking more than laws and cause. The process of science is creative and flexible.
There is no single scientific method used by all scientists.... All scientific conclusions are tentative.
This looser description, more nuanced and postmodern, appears to have been adopted to insulate the
NCSE from charges that evolution is unscientific. But do the gains in defense offset the gains in
offense? Scott can keep evolution in science only by widening the tent. If she looks carefully,
though, she lets in the Delphic oracle and the New Guinea shaman. After all, they have methods;
they are creative; they are flexible. They can even hold their conclusions tentatively.
To maintain a distinction in the wider tent, Donald Prothero adds the only claim
in the article to epistemic priority: the hope of converging on the truth, whatever that is, somehow:
Science is not about finding final truth, only about testing and refining better and better hypotheses
so these hypotheses approach what we think is true about the world.
But in attempting to kick the shamans and oracles out, Prothero has let in a more fearsome group: the logicians and
philosophers. They will ask what he means by truth, what constitutes testing and refining if there is no
standard of truth by which one can measure progress, and whether what one thinks is true about the
world corresponds to what is really true about the world. Prothero will need more than sheer dumb luck
to get out of that predicament.
Have we gotten lost in a postmodern fog, where everyones opinion is equally valid
and deserving of a hearing? Fortunately, no. Intelligent design (ID) identifies a measurable
quantity, complex specified information (CSI), that can dispel the fog. Intelligence is a known,
testable cause of CSI the only known cause. And there is a threshold for separating chance from
intelligence as a scientific explanation the universal probability bound, based on the information
content of the phenomenon under study. Human language and eukaryotic cells are rich in CSI.
While ID cannot yield final truth, either, it provides an inference to the best explanation for measuring
the confidence one can have in design as the cause versus chance as the cause. This can be achieved
by running the explanation through the Explanatory Filter (ARN).
With this background, re-examine the articles above and their explanations.
The scientists (if deserving of that honor) attributed the causes to freak accidents sheer dumb luck.
But the phenomena under question human language and eukaryotic cells, are rich with CSI that exceed
the universal probability bound. Chance is therefore excluded; design is the best explanation.
ID leads to another advantage: a theory of truth. While ID restricts itself
to design detection, additional logical inferences can be made once an inference to design has been made
just like when an inference that a string of bits contains a message, rather than being natural noise,
leads to additional inferences about the content of the message and the nature of the sender.
Given that many phenomena (DNA, the human brain, and the universe itself) pass through the Explanatory
Filter into the design explanation, it follows that a designer capable of producing a universe must be
greater than the universe, therefore transcendent, and outside of spacetime, therefore timeless.
That provides an anchor point for truth to allow it to be timeless, universal, necessary, and certain.
Reflexively, it provides the preconditions for intelligibility that a scientist assumed to draw that conclusion.
It is therefore logically coherent and explanatorily rich.
So lets kick the Know-Nothings (10/28/2009,
mumbling sheer dumb luck and freak accidents out of the lab
and give them new jobs in the caves of Delphi and the jungles of New Guinea. Lets welcome
back ID scientists (the heirs of Kepler and Newton,
Boyle and Maxwell) to clean up the mess and put scientific
explanation back on track: chance for single events of low information content, probability for quantifiable
events, natural law for predictable patterns, design for high-CSI phenomena with high information content.
Help achieve this if logical coherence is something you value in science.
Suggested Reading: David Berlinski, The Deniable Darwin, (1996) and What Brings a World Into Being? (2001),
The Deniable Darwin and Other Essays (Center for Science and Culture, Discovery Institute, 2009).
Next headline on:
Darwin and Evolution
Philosophy of Science
Be a science reporter! Martin Robbins, the Lay Scientist, provides a template for writing a typical science article
at The Guardian UK.
Galileo Affair: Plenty of Blame to Go Around
Oct 2, 2010 What is the true account of Galileo Galileis troubles with the
Catholic church? We may never know. Complex historical events are often difficult
to interpret, and new details sometimes shed different light on commonly-accepted views.
One thing does seem certain, according to Thomas Mayer, historian at Augustana College, Illinois:
The notion that Galileos trial was a conflict between science and religion should be dead.
He told this to Live
Science in a report about new findings showing a new angle on the 17th-century trial of the
eminent astronomer and physicist.
Theres a difference between simple and simplistic.
Many adults grew up with the simple explanation that Galileo was a heroic victim in a
classic clash with religion. It was the theme of 19th-century books intent on exalting
science by bashing the church books now almost universally deplored as simplistic and
wrong. A clash existed, but its causes are multiple and intertwined. Mayer has
been poring over Inquisition documents and finding that many of them are just sloppy.
While thats a blot on the church, Galileo made his share of mistakes.
He could have avoided a lot of his troubles with a little research into the rules about
negotiating a settlement, but he apparently didnt. Mayer says he
didnt know the rules and deliberately kept himself ignorant of them.
He contradicted himself, and he made every imaginable mistake in the second
part of his trial, Mayer believes.
Mayer is trying to understand the players as human beings as opposed to cardboard cutouts
as they are often portrayed. The Galileo Affair was not a simple, good-guy-vs-bad-guys story.
The nuances wont diminish Galileo as a hero, nor exonerate the church for persecuting him,
but it will surely make the story more interesting than a melodrama.
Could your entire life be reduced to a few episodes that would give a true picture of yourself?
Thats what weve done to Galileo. Like the Scopes Trial, the Galileo Affair has been
for too long a cardboard cutout story that has colored perceptions of the relation of
science and religion. Sometimes knowing more detail wont change the conclusion, but it
will significantly alter the route by which you arrive at it, and make the journey much more interesting.
It also softens hatred of villains into a kind of reluctant empathy when you understand their times and
motivations. Galileo remains a fascinating character, but if you
want a better role model, check out Kepler.
Super Penguin: Seeing Is Believing, But Is It Understanding?
Comment on historical interpretationNext headline on:
Politics and Ethics
Bible and Theology
Philosophy of Science
Its common for history professors nowadays to emphasize that characters need to be evaluated
in the context of their times and cultures. It is not right, they say, for us to judge them by
our cultural values; we need to put ourselves in their shoes and see the world as they saw it.
This is sensible as far as it goes, but taken too far, it can lead to a kind of relativism that
is self-refuting. To see why, picture a history professor, Dr. Smith, 400 years from now evaluating a history
professor, Dr. Jones, from 2010. He says, To evaluate Dr. Jones, we need to judge him by his context,
which was to judge historical characters by their context. 800 years from now, another history
professor, Dr. Bennett, says, To evaluate Dr. Smith, we need to judge him by his context, which was
to judge Dr. Jones by his context, which was to judge his predecessors by their context.
Infinite regress: no context becomes solid enough to provide
a basis for evaluating anything. Instead, there needs to be a foundation for truth and values that is
fixed and eternal, by which all things can be evaluated. The Bible provides such a foundation for
building on the rock instead of the shifting sands of human opinion
Psalm 119). Works for
Oct 1, 2010 Another fossil of a giant penguin in Peru has been found (cf.
06/26/2007). It apparently had reddish-brown
underwings and stood as tall as a man. It must have been a strong swimmer. Nicknamed
water king, the mammoth penguin was placed at the 36 million mark on the evolutionary
timeline. One remarkable feature of this fossil, however, is the variety of statements it has
generated by scientists saying, on the one hand, We just dont know much about this
amazing bird, and on the other, that it sheds light on bird evolution (see article
Writing for NG news, Ker Than began: They dont make penguins like they used to.
The pronoun had no antecedent, but it is doubtful Mr. Than was embracing creation: The new species, called the water king,
sheds light on bird evolution, researchers say. This remarkable bird was apparently
fully penguin. It had strong flippers and more tuxedo decor than many modern species.
Even more remarkable, feathers were recovered that still had pigment bodies melanocytes
with reddish brown coloration remaining in them. The finding, detailed this week in the journal Science,
marks the first time feathers and preserved scales from an ancient penguin have ever been found.
Its hard to understand how this fossil could shed light on bird evolution, given that the
melanocytes had a similar structure and organization as those of living birds that have reddish
brown and/or grey feathers, including robins and zebra finches.
A succession of maybes and perhapses ensued. As to why the black tuxedo fashion
evolved, Ker Than suggested that perhaps it was to help camouflage them against predators, but Then again,
the melanosome evidence suggests the tuxedo look might have been a side effect of the birds increasingly
aquatic lifestyle. The melanocytes differ from those of living penguins. As to which way
evolution was going, the answer appears to be luck of the draw from a grab bag of possibilities:
Its possible, the team speculates, that the melanosome metamorphosis made penguin
feathers strongerhelping transform their wings into stiff, narrow flippers for
swimmingor conferred some other unknown advantage. Two other possibilities followed
the catch-all unknown advantage category. The shape shifts in the melanosomes might not have
anything to do with color; Then again, the black-and-white look may have arisen due to changes in
penguin ecology that we havent figured out yet, one researcher fumbled.
We just dont know.
The paper in Science1 also had little to show about evolution, either by
observation or understanding: The fossil reveals that key feathering features including
undifferentiated primary wing feathers and broad body contour feather shafts evolved early in the
penguin lineage. Analyses of fossilized color-imparting melanosomes reveal that their dimensions
were similar to those of nonpenguin avian taxa and that the feathering may have been predominantly gray
and reddish-brown. No explanation was given for the different shapes of the melanosome clusters,
whether the modern ones are fitter, or why saying something evolved early confers understanding.
As for the implausible idea that feathers and melanosomes could survive in Peru
for 36 million years, the authors admitted that the Presence of intact lesser covert feather bases
and tips (in part and counterpart) represents a dimensionality rare in feather preservation.
The paper also said little about bird evolution, leaving the inquisitive reader of
Geographic News wondering how it sheds light on it, in spite of the title that promised to reveal
Fossil Evidence for Evolution of the Shape and Color of Penguin Feathers.
Somehow, all the bet-hedging and fabrication of composite explanations produced
understanding. The ability to interpret the color of the water king penguins
feathers is really quite remarkable and represents a huge breakthrough in the study of
vertebrate paleontology, a New Zealand zoologist promised. Mike Benton of the UK University
of Bristol crowed, the water king fossil shows how paleobiologists now can span the boundary between
living and fossil and seek to understand important functional systems.
1. Clarke et al, Fossil Evidence for Evolution of the Shape and Color of Penguin Feathers,
Published Online in Science Express September 30, 2010; DOI: 10.1126/science.1193604.
Tell us when you get there. Tell us when you understand.
Tell us when you can span the boundary between living and fossil so as to tell how penguins got from there to here.
Tell us how melanocytes and feathers survived for 36 mythical million years.
Tell us why changes from bigger to smaller without morphological changes should be called evolution.
Tell us when you get the flashlight to shed some light on evolution. All we hear so far is confusion
and waffling. We dont see any evolution to shed light on in the first place.
Have you been told that mitochondria are remnants of a microbe that became an endosymbiont of another
microbe? Our 10/07/2003 story said, dont be so sure.
This super-bird was bigger, badder and fitter than todays penguins exceeding by a foot the
four-foot emperor penguins made famous by March of the Penguins, with twice the body mass. According to the artists
reconstruction, it was fully equipped with tuxedo wetsuit and outfitted for powerful swimming just as much
as todays penguins. The melanocyte differences are trivial. They should have worried
about how the delicate structures and the feathers could be preserved at all for so long.
The Darwin bluffing charade continues: they promise but dont deliver (cf.
Some of us are not convinced that Darwin should get a pass just because he wears
a Science badge. Science badges can be faked. They dont make reliable
science badges like they used to.
Next headline on:
Darwin and Evolution
Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy creation headlines. I check them every few days and constantly gain perspective.
Without you, even I would possibly believe at least some of the baloney. Your baloney detector
is more sensitive and I appreciate it!!
(a pastor in Ontario, Canada)
Crev.info is by far my favorite website. The information is helpful in understanding and dismantling Darwinian foundations.
Some of my favorite articles are the biomimetics articles revealing the fantastic design that is obvious to anyone not blinded
by the evolutionary goggles. The commentaries are priceless, and love the embedded humor and clever innuendoes... Keep up the tremendous work!
(a database administrator in Texas)
Creation Evolution Headlines is my favorite website on intelligent design and Darwinism. This is both due
to your being always on the cutting edge of all the latest research relevant to the debate over evolution, as well as
due to your soberness coupled with your uncomprimising [sic] stand against Darwinism. Your work is invaluable.
Please keep it up all costs.
(founder of the Danish Society for Intelligent Design, who is beginning to translate some of our articles into Danish at
Thank you for your work. You show how the theory of macroevolution makes absolutely no contribution to scientific
progress and in fact impedes scientific progress. Conversely you show how the design assumption points the way toward
true progress in science.
(an aerospace engineer in California)
Your website is by far the best for getting the most up to date news on what is going on in the science realm,
and then separating the useful information from the baloney.
You have a knack for ripping the mask off of Darwin. Keep up the great work!
(an electrical engineer in North Carolina)
I love your work. I check in nearly every day.
(an associate pastor in California who works with college grad students)
Ive been a fan of your site for some time, since a friend in an intelligent design group I joined
(quite clandestine for the sake of job security of those involved) clued me in to it. I check what you have to say every day.
I cant say enough about your highly credible scientific arguments, your incisive dissection of the issues, and your practical format.
Your references are always on target.
(a physician, surgeon and writer in Georgia)
Nice site. I enjoy reading the comments, and find it quite informative....
I am a frequent visitor to your headlines page. I am a former agnostic, and Creation Safaris
was one of the first pieces of open evolution questioning read (The Baloney Detector). Great stuff.
(a historian in Australia)
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)
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)
Like your site especially the style of your comments.... Keep up the good work.
(a retired engineer and amateur astronomer in Maryland)
Support This Site|
Scientist of the Month
Find our articles in:
Dutch Spanish Russian
|Guide to Evolution
Featured Creation Scientist for October
1875 - 1957
An eminent ornithologist and former evolutionist, Douglas Dewar helped organize a
movement against the theory of evolution in Britain in the post-Scopes era.
description of his life is taken from Men of Science, Men of God by Henry M. Morris:
Douglas Dewar (1875 - 1957) was a founder of the Evolution Protest Movement
in London in 1932 and was a long-time leader of this organization. He had been
a graduate of Cambridge in Natural Science and was an evolutionist in his early
career, even authoring books on evolution. He had a distinguished career in
India, both in politics and as a naturalist and ornithologist, authoring more than
20 books on the birds and the history of India. After he became a Christian
and creationist, when he was about 50 years of age, he wrote numerous papers and
books expounding the scientific basis of creationism. He was elected Vice
President of the Victoria Institute and participated in a number of both written
and oral creation/evolution debates with leading British evolutionists, including
H. S. Shelton, J. B. S. Haldane, and Joseph McCabe.
The Evolution Protest Movement is now called the
Science Movement and is still active. Their website mentions Douglas Dewar as
one of the prime movers of the organization. His title is listed as barrister and
Auditor General of the Indian Civil Service. He served as the EPMs third president
from 1946 to 1957, the year he died.
Some may remember a palm-sized booklet distributed
by the Evolution Protest Movement that summarized key scientific evidences
against Darwins ideas. This booklet was widely circulated in the 1950s and 1960s when
few creationist resources were available.
A search on Amazon.com shows that 38 books by
Dewar are still listed. To have written 20 books on birds of India, the Himalayas
and Kashmir suggests years of travel, adventure, and detailed scientific observation in
a country far distant from his native land.
Among the many scientific books on birds and
ornithology, the catalog lists half a dozen other books by Dewar on the creation/evolution
controversy. Most notably, his anti-evolution book
Transformist Illusion (1957) received three five-star ratings by reviewers.
The reviews are well worth reading.
Another book is a debate against J. B. S. Haldane. For Dewar to take
on this prominent evolutionary theorist is noteworthy. Remember what evolutionist Steve Jones
said about Haldane? (09/02/2004)
Set against the bearded bigot [R. A. Fisher], the Gandalf-like figure of Haldane is revealed in a rather better light. A daring and often reckless experimenter, he was known in the trenches as the Rajah of Bomb and was pursued by the whiff of cordite [smokeless powder] throughout his career. He stuck with the Communist party long after his colleagues had abandoned it, and Kohn provides a telling account of Haldanes readiness to support Comrade Lysenko even in the face of powerful evidence against his theories.
So if the communist Haldane was fond of Lysenko, who is today roundly denounced as a mad scientist
responsible for artificial famines in Russia and China that killed millions, what should we think
of Haldanes adherence to Chairman Charles as Jones called Darwin? This
should be an interesting debate to go back and review.
Douglas Dewar gives the lie to the myth that creationists are atavisms from the church indoctrination
of their youth and cannot accept evolution for religious reasons. Here, a man was an
esteemed scientist with a long scientific and publishing career, with political leadership
experience, before he turned against Darwinism
in his mature years. He was so adamant in
his scientific objections to evolution, he devoted himself to the
formation of an Evolution Protest Movement and helped lead it for 12 years in his
70s and 80s. In addition, he debated leading evolutionists, and
wrote books that are still highly regarded today.
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.
Copies are also
available from our online store.
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).
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)
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.|