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Embryonic Stem Cell Decision Overturned
April 30, 2011 Judge Lamberths decision to block federal funding of embryonic stem cell (ESC) research last
fall (09/03/2010) has been overturned by a 2-1 vote in a federal appeals court.
PhysOrg called this a major victory
to President Barack Obamas administration. Theistic evolutionist Francis Collins, head of the
NIH, expressed delight at the reversal. The earlier decision did not ban ESC research, but only
forbade federal funding for it. It appears the reversal was due to a technicality about alleged vagueness
in the Dickey-Wicker Amendment upon which Lamberth had ruled, but did acknowledge that federal funding cannot be
used to destroy human embryos.
Has there been any progress in ESC research to justify Collins enthusiasm?
Medical Xpress posted a
report from UC San Francisco where scientists are figuring out how mouse embryonic stem cells form the neocortex
of the little rodent brain, but no promise for human health was presented.
PhysOrg announced that
Stanford is creating the first PhD program in stem cell research in cooperation with the California Institute
for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), but did not mention whether the research would involve human embryos.
The article mentioned that students can learn both the science and ethics of human stem cell research
but did not elaborate on what those ethics might entail.
Theres also a legal battle in Europe over whether labs can patent their ESC products (see
PhysOrg. The article stated,
The advocate-general of the European Court of Justice has recommended the prohibition on ethical grounds
of patents involving human embryonic stem cells.
The real progress in medical treatments continues to be made with adult stem cells.
For instance, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) might be able to treat immune diseases,
Medical Xpress reported.
An article on Science Daily detailed
the major innovations in both ESC and iPSC research.
Treatments using ESCs were mentioned only in future tense: they hold tremendous promise for regenerative medicine
Also, Many in the science community consider the use of stem cells to be key to the future treatment and eradication
of a number of diseases, the article said, but did not mention any actual studies with results. By contrast,
adult stem cells were distinguished by several benefits, including ethics: iPS cells can be ideal for a personalized
approach to drug discovery and for rejection-free transplantation, while they wholly avoid the ethical concerns
of embryonic stem cells.
Ron Prentice at the Family
Research Council expressed disappointment at the decision. As the dissenting opinion by Justice Henderson noted,
the logic for the current decision is a case of linguistic jujitsu rather than straightforward interpretation of the law.
He promoted research on adult stem cells that are already healing diseases and improving lives.
Federal taxpayer funds should go towards helping patients first, not unethical experiments.
on the Family called it a small victory for the Obama administration in a long battle.
Once again we see money and fame trampling over ethics.
Secular science pays lip service to ethics when it comes to research fraud, but routinely shreds the
concerns of ethicists over the use of human embryos for research. Although the media are usually
strongly biased toward the pro-ESC side, we do acknowledge that Peter Aldhous at
New Scientist at
least included one quote from the Family Research Council.
SETI in Reverse
If ESCs were so promising for health, private investors would flood research labs with dough.
The only way the ESC-greedy research community can proceed is by taking money from taxpayers, many of whom are
appalled by killing embryos. Such a selfish, ethics-be-damned mentality is pervasive in many other
segments of our culture, including politics, law and business. Can judgment linger forever?
Next headline on:
Politics and Ethics
April 29, 2011 The SETI Institute has had to close down its search with the Allen Telescope Array (08/12/2010)
due to lack of funds. But while incoming messages might be missed, outgoing messages are still
en route. The Voyager record is approaching interstellar space.
Live Science and
the BBC News all told about the budget
cuts for SETI. The news comes at a bad time for SETI hopefuls, since 2011 is the 50th anniversary of
the first attempt at contact (11/13/2010); but so far, no outcry has been heard from the public or from the aliens,
nor has new funding come to the rescue.
Bob McDonald, commenting on CBC
News, feels SETI is worth a lot more than the tens of millions spent on the royal wedding. Just
two to three million could have been used to keep SETI going. That tiny sum pays for a group of
very intelligent and highly accomplished people to look for the answer to a fundamental human question,
while many times that amount will be spent on security alone for the wedding of two people who have not
really accomplished that much.
The flipside of SETI, METI (Messaging to Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence, 02/06/2011)
is something humans can control. The Voyager message to aliens was spotlighted on PhysOrg
with a commemorative video from Science@NASA that summarizes the twin Voyager spacecrafts historic missions to
the outer planets. They are now at the edge of interstellar space.
The video ends with the story of the Voyager Record,
put together by a team under the direction of Carl Sagan, tasked with encapsulating the sights and sounds of life on earth
(09/01/2004; cf. 01/13/2003).
We couldnt help but appreciate the enormous responsibility to create a cultural Noahs Ark with a shelf life
of hundreds of millions of years, said Ann Druyan, team member. The record could not come within a few light years
of nearby stars for at least 40,000 years. Even then, chances of it being detected and retrieved under the most
optimistic circumstances are vanishingly remote.
Notwithstanding the low odds of interception, the Voyager Record served as a statement of earthlings to
earthlings. The video clip from NASA ends, What are the odds of a race of primates evolving sentience,
developing spaceflight, and sending the sound of barking dogs into the cosmos? Expect the unexpected indeed.
Good grief; the aliens arent going to know anything about phonograph records. They want it on Blu-Ray.
And a cultural Noahs Ark is doomed without an Ararat to land on.
Five years ago, it was becoming apparent that non-coding junk DNA has far more complexity than imagined
(see 04/27/2006). Now a new book has come out to demolish the old
paradigm: The Myth of Junk DNA by Dr. Jonathan Wells (Discovery Institute Press, 2011), available at
The real irony of the Voyager Record is that it was put together by materialists, but it presupposes intelligent design
Natural selection did not create the record; humans did, with purpose and intent. And they expected it to be
received by intelligent beings who, with purpose and intent, would follow the directions and figure out how to use
40,000-year-old technology to play an old-fashioned phonograph. SETI itself depends on the notion of ID.
We want to hear from intelligent beings who communicate on purpose. Pulsars and natural sounds cannot
fulfill that longing.
So what are the odds of a race of primates evolving sentience,
developing spaceflight, and sending the sound of barking dogs into the cosmos?
Pretty low, unless you believe the Stuff Happens Law routinely produces miracles (online book).
The Voyager Record is a lonesome cry for meaning in a senseless universe racing toward a heat death.
But that lonesomeness betrays a spiritual reality that materialism cannot deny
Exercise: Debate the proposition that humans are the lone sentient physical beings in the universe
(see the misanthropic principle, 02/27/2011, bullet 9).
Do materialism and theology lean toward opposite answers? What are the grounds for the common assumption
that the vastness of space demands life be common? How solid are those grounds from both perspectives?
Next headline on:
More Complexity in Simplicity Found
April 28, 2011 Primitive things arent. That seems to be a common thread in some
recent stories that found more complexity in simple living things.
Speaking of cell machines, a new video of actin filaments was produced by scientists at Yale and Grenoble, France
Thread-like actin filaments, strong as commercial plastic, are the muscular workhorses of our cells --
pushing on membranes to move cells to the proper location within tissues and applying pressure within the interior to keep
all working parts of the cell where they need to be, the caption said. These filaments do their jobs
through a mysterious process of continual splitting and reassembly. The video shows the splitting process.
- Box jellyfish eyes: Jellyfish are among the simplest of animals, so why do box
jellyfish have two dozen eyes but no brain? Some of these eyes have now been
found to detect features above water so that the animal can stay in its mangrove habitat
Science and PhysOrg).
It is baffling how an animal lacking a central nervous system can receive visual input
and respond with coordinated movements. One marine biologist told New Scientist, We have an
under-appreciation for how sensory systems in simple organisms are used for fairly sophisticated adaptations.
Another agreed in the Live Science entry: This shows that the behavioral abilities of simple animals,
like jellyfish, may be underestimated. See also 05/13/2005 about
the box jellyfish eyes, and 11/19/2009
on the lack of an evolutionary explanation for this phenomenon.
- Innate immune system: Compared to the sophistication of the acquired or adaptive immune system,
the innate immune system was considered a rather simple and blunt instrument, said an article on
MedicalXpress. No longer;
Scientists at Max Planck Institute were astonished to find that neutrophils, part of the innate system,
are able to spread elaborate networks of DNA-histone filaments to capture intruders.
When scientists cant believe their eyes, it is very likely that they are on to something quite extraordinary,
the lengthy article began.
Neutrophils were found to form NETs (Neutrophil Extracellular Traps) when summoned to an infection site.
Under the scanning electron microscope, the NETs appear as fine fibers and particles that link the threads
to form more complex structures, the article said. This causes the formation of a ball in which the
bacteria become engulfed. The main ingredient of this ball is chromatin. This mixture of DNA and proteins is
normally found in the cell nucleus and contains genetic information.
The unexpected discovery of complexity in a simple system subsequently led to other fruitful leads about how the
immune system operates, and how serious diseases ensue when mutations muck up the works. The adaptive immune
system is even more complicated.
- Proteasome: The disposal of protein trash in the cell is the job of a complex machine
called the proteasome. What could be more mundane than trash collection? Even there, sophisticated
mechanisms work together. PhysOrg
described a new finding that shows that two different mechanisms are required to determine which targets to destroy.
The recognition tag and initiator tag both have to be aligned properly to enter
the machines disposal barrel. The proteasome can recognize different plugs, a researcher at
Northwestern University said, but each one has to have the correct specific arrangement of prongs.
Essay question: which world view expects more simplicity in the lower forms of life?
Which world view is usually wrong?
Humans As Guinea Pigs
Next headline on:
April 27, 2011 Some scientists like to examine everything except themselves.
Human beings are natural objects, they think; why not apply the scientific method to the study
of other human beings? Its a perfectly natural inclination; the question is
whether the findings have scientific validity, or result in understanding of human nature better
than the explanations offered by the humanities department.
Researchers on humans should take caution from the history of psychology. It wasnt terribly long ago
when charismatic individuals like Mesmer and Freud swept large numbers of elites into the illusion that they had
scientifically explained human nature. Newly introduced vocabulary like animal magnetism, or Freuds
id, ego, superego, and unconscious added to the illusion of scientific validity.
- Eyeing IQ: What does an IQ test measure? For many decades, psychologists have
assumed that it measures intelligence. The assumption has been supported by empirical results:
people who do better on IQ tests tend to do better in life. But are the testers overlooking other
A new paper in PNAS thinks so.1 A team from
four universities believes it measures motivation as well as intelligence. Collectively,
Duckworth et al said, our findings suggest that, under low-stakes research conditions,
some individuals try harder than others, and, in this context, test motivation can act as
a third-variable confound that inflates estimates of the predictive validity of intelligence
for life outcomes.
In other words, motivated individuals do better in their careers and on IQ tests because
they are motivated by nature. This does not mean the test has nothing to do with intelligence; it just
means that a third factor not usually considered by the test designers and proctors could compromise the
validity of the test. Consider a bright kid who, for some reason, is bored stiff having to take
a test he or she considers a waste of time.
The problem is summarized on Medical Xpress,
asking, What are IQ tests really measuring? Other critics of IQ tests over the years
have claimed they measure cultural accommodation, or were designed to marginalize certain races.
Regardless of whos right, no one knows whether a future finding will add a fourth-variable confound,
or a fifth, or an n-th. The BBC News
quoted psychologist James Thompson quipping that life is an IQ test and
If an IQ test doesnt motivate someone then that is a good predictor in itself.
The question now becomes how to design a valid MQ test.
- The science of cruelty: There is always a certain danger that the simple art of
observation may be lost, that clinical description may become perfunctory, and the richness of the human context ignored.
That quote by Oliver Sachs set the stage for a book review in Nature by Stephanie Preston, who doubts
that Simon Baron-Cohen has accomplished what his new book claimed in its title,
Zero Degrees of Empathy: A New Theory of Human Cruelty/The Science of Evil: On Empathy and the Origins of Cruelty
(Allen Lane/Basic Books 2011). Natures caption summarizes her position:
Malfunctioning brain networks only partly explain why some people act cruelly, finds Stephanie Preston.
Preston found some value in Baron-Cohens bold analysis of a difficult topic, but argued that his thesis
(Baron-Cohen reconstrues evil as the product of a failure to empathize, caused by malfunction in an empathy network within the brain),
along with confusing vocabulary and dubious classification, raises questions about how his model advances our understanding of human cruelty.
She was repulsed by the disturbing examples of cruel behaviour in the book, including the seemingly gratuitous levels of humiliation
of victims in genocides and massacres.... A photo of a disfigured victim from the Rwanda genocide raises questions
whether psychologists are able to understand such brutal behavior.
It would seem other sources should be used to inform our scientific theories.
She called for some input from the humanities: An interdisciplinary framework that combines our neuroscientific knowledge
with findings from social and political science may allow us to capture the richness of the human context
in such a consequential topic. She left out theology, ethics, and philosophy, but recognized some
limits to naturalistic science. Understanding our simultaneous capacity for great compassion and cruelty is no easy feat,
she ended. We should take Baron-Cohens accessible book as an invitation to leave the comforts of our smaller,
more tractable problems in a genuine attempt to address larger social issues.
That raises additional questions. What will be the criterion for success?
Will neuroscientists decide, or social scientists, or political scientists? Others? To what degree?
Will this be an ongoing project with no denouement? Will satisfaction be pragmatic or theoretical? As with
the IQ Test study, could scientists be overlooking critical variables by isolating their search for the roots of cruelty in neural circuits,
heredity, or the environment?
Scientist, Tiffany OCallaghan interviewed emeritus Harvard psychologist J. Allan Hobson, author of 9 books, who, like
many others, had been swept into the euphoria. Hobson eventually abandoned Freuds idea that dreaming is unconscious:
I had to ask myself, why do I say its an unconscious mental process? The answer was because Im
still a Freudian, even though Ive been trying to get over it. The philosopher Willard Quine once told me I
belong to Freudians Anonymous. Its true, and its not just me: I think everyone is addicted to
Freudian misconceptions. Weve got to take all of these received ideas more seriously, and then take them apart.
Now he states, Psychoanalytic theory is popular because its easy to understand, but I think its wrong.
This was from somebody who was trained to think science is our defence against belief. Yet somehow
Freud pulled a con job on a generation of scientists: Theres nothing scientific about psychoanalysis, theres
nothing scientific about Sigmund Freud. He didnt do a single experiment, he didnt do any direct observation,
he used no controls. The guy was out to lunch.
But when Hobson suggests we
take the science of subjectivity seriously, has he himself come back from lunch?
Science was supposed to be the paragon of objectivity.
1. Duckworth et al, Role of test motivation in intelligence testing,
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,
published online before print April 25, 2011, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1018601108 PNAS April 25, 2011.
2. Stephanie Preston, Psychology: the empathy gap,
472 (28 April 2011), p. 416; doi:10.1038/472416a.
Even if Freud had done experiments, made observations and used controls, he would have been out to lunch.
In fact, all the secular materialist psychologists who think human beings (other than themselves) can be reduced
to molecules in motion spend their lifetimes at the Yoda lunch counter, sipping martinis.
Animal Tricks Inspire
experiments and controls do not by themselves produce understanding. They have to be interpreted within
a paradigm that involves core assumptions about the nature of reality. Psychologists who think their
science is a defense against belief need to cure their Yoda complex
and get back on the level playing field with their fellow human beings. Psychoanalyst,
Only when they listen to their
own consciences speaking, when they acknowledge the law of God written on their hearts, when they include the
missing factor in human behavior sin will they will begin to understand
motivation, cruelty, and the other character traits and flaws in human nature.
Science cannot put moral accountability in a test tube.
Next headline on:
Mind and Brain
Philosophy and History of Science
Bible and Theology
April 26, 2011 Here we are in the millennium of science, and we are still trying to figure out
how animals do such nifty things. Some of their nifty tricks we didnt even know about till
researchers took a look. With high-tech monitoring tools, we might even learn the tricks for
our own good.
Most of us are repulsed by cockroaches, but before you stomp on them, spray them or loathe them, take a moment to understand
what makes them so successful. New
Scientist posted a description of the cockroach family, noting that only a couple of the 5,000 known species have adapted to
living in human dwellings. New Scientist
accompanied the description with a gallery of nine photos of the critters, noting that they are among the fastest-moving insects
on earth. Their scuttling movements are so distinctive that they have inspired modern six-legged
robotic systems. Maybe someday a cockroach-inspired robot will invade your kitchen to help with the housework.
- Owl fowl: The flapping flight of owls is being studied carefully by German scientists for
clues to better aerospace engineering.
Live Science has a picture
of their sophisticated monitoring apparatus. Owls are good for studying flapping flight because
they start out sl-OWL-ly.
The researchers coax their pet barn owls, Happy and Tesla, with
food to get them to fly through the apparatus where eight cameras follow their every move.
In addition to revealing more about bird flight, the article said, the information could be
applied to small, unmanned aerial vehicles.
Live Science accompanied
the article with a gallery of nine photos of various owl species, including the Harry Potter owl (snow owl)
with a wing span of 5 feet.
- Ant rafts: Fire ants will drown alone, but in groups, they have an ingenious method
to survive floods: join hands and make a living raft. The abstract of a paper in
PNAS dubbed the phenomenon
a self-assembled hydrophobic surface. The authors, Mlot, Tovey and Hu [Georgia Tech], explained,
We find that ants can considerably enhance their water repellency by linking their bodies together,
a process analogous to the weaving of a waterproof fabric.
An eye-catching video at Inside
Science shows the ants flowing like a living fluid when encountering various novel situations. To hold onto one
another, they have to exert forces 400 times their own weight. The ant balls are like a super-organism
that can float for weeks in water. How do they resist drowning?
The ants are so tightly knit together, that air pockets form between the water and the ants, and water cannot penetrate
through any part, said Nathan Mlot, a graduate student at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta and one of the studys authors.
Speaking of ants, a paper in PLoS One
is entitled, Ants in a Labyrinth: A Statistical Mechanics Approach to the Division of Labour. That paper begins,
The bottom layer of ants rests on top of the waters surface, and others pile on above them.
Even when they do get submerged, the pockets of air bring them back to the surface quickly and allow them to breathe.
When they get submerged, the ants flex their muscles in unison to form a tighter weave.
Both human and animal societies display a division of labour, in which there may be an unequal distribution of effort
between or within particular tasks, according to age or experience, sex, physiology or morphology. Such specialisation
has long been known to improve collective productivity because learning allows individuals that focus on a subset
of tasks to perform more efficiently than generalists (note however the exception to the rule provided by Dornhaus, 2008).
Division of labour is most advanced in the societies of insects such as ants, bees, wasps and termites.
The division of labor promotes homeostasis (dynamic stability) in colonies of ants and other social insects. The paper
did not discuss evolution or the origin of this collective efficiency.
Although the authors referred to division of labor in
human societies, they did not address differences between the phenomenon in insects and humans.
Division of labour characterises all levels of biological organisation as well as human and artificial social systems,
the paper ended. Our spatial fixed-threshold model links this organisational principle with the statistical mechanics
approach to complex systems and provides testable hypotheses for future experiments.
- Beetle bling: In a projection theme reminiscent of the old motivational sermon Acres of Diamonds
a press release from the Optical
Society of America begins:
Costa Rica was once regarded as the poorest of all the colonies of the Spanish Empire, sadly deficient in the silver and gold
so coveted by conquistadors. As it turns out, all of the glittering gold and silver those explorers could have ever wanted was
there all along, in the countrys tropical rainforestsbut in the form of two gloriously lustrous species of beetle.
Accompanying the article are photos of dazzling silver and gold beetles the shimmering metallic color covering their entire bodies,
as if they had been dipped in liquid metal or been fashioned by a skilled jeweler. The authors surmise that the iridescent color,
which can be seen from any direction, allows the insects to blend in with the numerous water droplets in the rainforest.
So why is an optical society suddenly taking interest in entomology?
Today, the brilliant gold- (Chrysina aurigans) and silver-colored (Chrysina limbata) beetles have given optics
researchers new insights into the way biology can recreate the appearance of some of natures most precious metals, which in
turn may allow researchers to produce new materials based on the natural properties found in the beetles coloring.
The article then described how the light is produced not by pigment but by light refraction through a complex series of protein tissue interfaces.
A result of this study might be the production of not real gold, not fools gold, but what might be called
ID gold: This potentially could lead to new products or consumer electronics that can perfectly mimic the appearance of
precious metals, the article said. Other products could be developed for architectural applications that require
coatings with a metallic appearance. Wouldnt
be stunned by the sight of a future city of ID gold, only to learn that it was inspired by the beetles he would have unwittingly stepped on.
- Cute lil fish: Many households only know of cuttlefish through the cuttlebone they put in the parakeet cage.
Actually, cuttlefish (not fish, but cephalopods) are some of the most amazing light-show magicians in the animal world able to change their appearance from
camo to tuxedo in less than a second (Science Daily).
A new study led by Sarah Zylinski of Duke University shows just how good these animals (relatives of octopus and squid) are
at this quick change routine. (See also 06/06/2007.)
Dazzling video of cuttlefish changing color in wave-like patterns on their bodies is featured in the third volume of the film series
Incredible Creatures that Defy Evolution from Exploration Films.
More footage of cuttlefish doing instant camouflage can be seen in the film God of Wonders from Eternal Productions
(GodofWondersVideo.org, available at Go2RPI.com).
The latter shows a male camouflaged on one side, but simultaneously displaying bright color on the other side to attract a female, then
switching the colors rapidly when she swims on his other side.
- Caterpillar robots: What child has not been tickled by the movements of a caterpillar on his or her arm?
Scientists have another goal in mind: according to Science
Daily, they want to build robots that use the same locomotion method. Robots dont have to be tin-man contraptions;
they can be soft and silky. Caterpillars Inspire New Movements in Soft Robots is the headline.
Despite their extreme flexibility and adaptability, current soft-bodied robots are often limited by their slow speed,
leading the researchers to turn to terrestrial soft-bodied animals for inspiration.
We all know how they crawl, but did you know caterpillars invented the wheel? Some caterpillars have the
extraordinary ability to rapidly curl themselves into a wheel and propel themselves away from predators, the
article said. This highly dynamic process, called ballistic rolling, is one of the fastest wheeling behaviours in nature.
(That statement would have to exclude cellular motors, like the flagellum or ATP synthase, which are rated at tens of thousands of RPM.)
Within a split second, the caterpillar turns itself into a wheel and rolls rapidly out of harms way.
GoQBot is the latest test model at Tufts University of a robot that imitates ballistic rolling. It can reshape
its linear self into a letter Q in 100 ms and then roll at over a half meter per second. Not only did the study provide an insight
into the fascinating escape system of a caterpillar, it also put forward a new locomotor strategy which could be
used in future robot development.
Robots of the crawling kind are being inspired not only by caterpillars, but by snakes and worms, the article said.
- Rock eyes: A dispatch article describing chiton eyes made of rock (see 04/23/2011)
is open-source on Current Biology for those wishing to read more about how they work.
The eyes on the backs of molluscs known as chitons are shadow and motion detectors, the lenses of which are made of birefringent aragonite,
author Michael Land wrote. These provide a focus both in and out of water. As for how these evolved,
he appeared to have more questions than answers.
The acres of diamonds opportunities for wealth creation and inspiration truly are all around us in
the living world. Help young people see the potential for design-inspired
science to provide exciting careers and improve our lives. No Darwin Party membership required.
It might even be an encumbrance, like an albatross around the neck. Study the albatross by design and
make a better glider instead.
Miller Time: take a break for some warmed-over primordial soup (04/22/2005).
Next headline on:
Was Einstein Wrong?
April 25, 2011 Relativity and quantum mechanics are among the weirdest ideas that educated
people have taken seriously. They required suspending belief in the most intuitive concepts
we have of time, space, and matter. But just because they appear to work does not necessarily
mean they are true. In fact, physicists continue to beat on one or the other with alternative
theories, though not as yet successfully.
One example of a challenge was entertained on PhysOrg
today. Amrit Sorli, Dusan Klinar, and Davide Fiscaletti have published a paper in Physics Essays
that claims Einstein was wrong about time (this is not the same as saying its about time Einstein
was wrong). Students of relativity are familiar with Minkowski diagrams that show time as a
fourth dimension along with three spatial dimensions. Sorli et al claim that time is not
independent of space; it is a spatial dimension. Time is measured not by clocks, but by
movement of objects in space. They claim their model solves Zenos paradox and
has more explanatory power (see PhysOrg and abstract
This is not unusual; many papers are submitted to journals and to open-source forums
like arXiv.org all the time. Some of them reach media level,
some are forgotten. Why did this one by Sorli et al gain 15 minutes of fame on PhysOrg?
And why did a premature rumor about the God particle being discovered leak from CERN
(see PhysOrg), when
rigorous checks must be done before a claim like that can even be made tentatively? To what
degree are social factors steering the science? If a majority of physicists end up accepting
the claim, will that make it true with a capital T?
Verifying relativity and quantum phenomena experimentally is often difficult, yielding
ambiguous results. Even observations are often theory laden which means that
theory dictates what is observed the experimental apparatus used to measure the phenomenon, and
the criteria for success, are not always independent of the theory itself. Observations are sometimes
matters of likelihood statistical or probabilistic, rather than either-or. Even a definitive
observation can have multiple explanations, depending on the assumptions used and the model of space or
time employed. Falsification is not an easy criterion to judge complex theories managed by strong personalities
or institutions adept at supplying auxiliary hypotheses to maintain their paradigms.
Those who assume a theory must be true
if it works or makes predictions should disabuse themselves of that notion by considering
that in the history of civilization, many notions were very useful and widely accepted, but are
now thought to be wrong. The wave theory of light is one example; absolute space and time are
others. The Egyptians made supreme achievements in architecture with erroneous notions of physics.
Ptolemaic astronomy and Newtonian physics were masterpieces of theoretical insight that stood for centuries.
Pragmatism cannot be equated with realism, nor notoriety with validity. Even today, our best
theories of relativity and quantum mechanics cannot be reconciled, suggesting that our understanding
of the physical world remains incomplete.
Physicists sometimes get frustrated with philosophers, thinking they dont understand the rock-solid
reliability of their methods. But the philosophers are their equals in rebuttal, arguing that scientists
make naïve assumptions about verification and explanatory power, or the correspondence of their models
(that invoke unobservable realities, like charm quarks) with observable reality. Perhaps were all naïve; some are
just more sophisticated in covering up their naïveté than the rest of us.
David Berlinski took cynical glee in exposing the pretensions of cosmologists to thinking they understood
the material universe (see The Deniable Darwin and Other Essays, Discovery Institute, 2009).
Why Stuff Evolves: Not Having Stuff Would Be Terrible
The headline, Was Einstein Wrong? cannot be answered without metrics
more reliable than what works. The point is not to take sides, or to accept the claims of
Sorli et al any more than the hundreds of other claims that pile up in journals year in and year out.
Pragmatism offers solace from naïveté, but not escape. Same for endless model-making
and model-challenging. The only escape from our shadow-cave would be to have someone with ultimate knowledge and wisdom,
who was also an eyewitness of the origin of the universe, tell us about reality. Now Who could that be?
Next headline on:
Philosophy of Science
April 23, 2011 The delicate yet effective choreography of DNA Damage Repair was described by
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab in terms
of amazement: Safeguarding genome integrity through extraordinary DNA repair. DNA repair is
essential for health: To prevent not only gene mutations but broken chromosomes and chromosomal abnormalities
known to cause cancer, infertility, and other diseases in humans, prompt, precise DNA repair is essential.
But can something evolve just because it is needed?
Homologous recombination is a complex mechanism with multiple steps, but also with many points of regulation to insure
accurate recombination at every stage. This could be why this method has been favored during evolution.
The machinery that relocalizes the damaged DNA before loading Rad51 might have evolved because the consequences of not
having it would be terrible.
That seems an odd way to describe evolution. If evolution is a chance process with no goal or purpose, it would not
care if something emerges or not. How can a mindless process favor a method? How would a mindless process
know that the consequences of not having something would be terrible?
How would that motivate a non-mind to produce machinery and complex mechanisms to avoid terrible consequences?
Lets extend this logic to other areas:
The constants of physics became fine-tuned because the consequences without it would be terrible.
Earth emerged because the consequences of not having one would be sad.
Life emerged because the consequences of not having it would be a lonely universe.
Eyes emerged because the consequences of not having them would be blindness.
Flowering plants emerged because the consequences of not having all that color would be boring.
Mathematics emerged because the consequences of not having it would make science inaccurate.
A college education emerged in your brain because the consequences of not having one would be hard on your career.
Fire trucks emerged because the consequences of not having them would be disastrous.
Missile defense emerged because the consequences of not having it could be catastrophic.
The machinery that repairs DNA might have evolved because the consequences of not having it would be terrible.
Science Jelly Beans
The consequences for intelligent researchers who misuse logic in support of evolutionary myths should be terrible.
Instead of Charades, lets play Truth or Consequences.
Next headline on:
Darwin and Evolution
April 23, 2011 Time to clear the deck again. Heres a collection of sweet and sour news nuggets readers may wish to
As an exercise, readers may want to practice writing their own commentaries on some of the above.
- Fossils: big early spider: An exquisitely preserved spider has been found in Chinese Jurassic strata;
see picture on National
Geographic News. This pushes the origin of its genus back 130 million years, according to the article.
- Early man: waggle dance: Is the human mind a collective innovation, like the waggle dance of the honeybee?
John Hoffecker [U of Colorado] got free rein to speculate about the emergence of the human brain by evolution
in a Science Daily article that spoke of evolution
six times and emergence three times, but never tied any genetic mutation to the ability to create stone axes, mechanical clocks,
music, and space shuttles.
- Solar system: poisonous Pluto: According to
Pluto has a surprisingly high concentration of poisonous carbon monoxide in its tenuous atmosphere.
Another surprise is that its atmosphere extends not just 60 miles above the surface, but 1,860 miles one fourth
the distance to its large moon Charon.
- Extrasolar planets: hot Jupiter shock: How can giant planets orbiting their stars closer than Mercury avoid
being stripped of their atmospheres? Royal
Astronomical Society reported that they create bow shocks that stream deadly ions around them. The presence of a magnetic field could
greatly reduce the amount of stellar wind the planet is exposed to, effectively acting as a shield and helping the atmosphere survive.
Incidentally, thats what protects earth from a deadly fate. The L word life was brought up at the end of the article.
- Plant evolution: plot change: The ancestors of land plants were not stonewort-like algae after all.
PhysOrg now tells us that the ancestors were actually
conjugating green algae [Zygnematales] such as Spirogyra. Why the change? According to a multinational research team,
It seems that Zygnematales have lost oogamy and their ability to produce sperm and egg cells, and instead,
possibly due to selection pressure in the absence of free water, use conjugation for reproduction.
Investigation of such a large number of genes has shown that, despite their apparent simplicity, Zygnematales have
genetic traces of other complex traits also associated with green land plants.
Evolutionists must be getting warmer at least; PhysOrg
also told its readers, Researchers pinpoint key events in ancient plant evolution. Those clever evolutionists
are like magicians: Researchers from the University of Florida and six other institutions have unlocked some of the key foundations
for the evolution of seed and flowering plants. Maybe your foundations dont have locks, but the ones
at Down House apparently do.
- Dinosaurs: mighty mouths: Artwork of a giant Brontomerus delivering a sharp kick, sending a predator flying,
accompanies an article on Live
Science, How dinosaurs got huge. But the article is not about dinosaur kickboxing, really; its about
what the giants had to eat to get so big. Apparently their teeth just raked in the vegetation without the need to chew it.
Compare your diet with theirs: 100,000 calories a day just to stay slim.
- Marine evolution: divining plankton: According to
Plankton fossils tell tale of evolution and extinction. According to a Dr Thomas Ezard [University College London],
if we want to understand evolution fully, we need to acknowledge that not all species are one and the same.
The astonishing abundance and diversity of these foraminifera provides crucial clues in awkward parts of evolutions puzzle.
- Fossils: tooth tales: In an article about how wear marks on teeth can provide clues to diet,
PhysOrg got into all kinds of other subjects:
when early man learned to cook, why gorillas prefer fruit with their sharp teeth, 14 hour days in the rainforest removing leeches,
and attracting kids who love dinosaurs into careers studying evolution.
- Fossil politics: oyster climate change:
According to PhysOrg,
oyster reefs provide a record of past climate change millions of years ago. But according to
teens get a failing grade for not realizing that humans are responsible for climate change.
- Evolutionary theory: new law: If you thought evolution was a story of upward progress from simplicity to
complexity, consider this new evolutionary law stated by Science
Daily: Successful Blueprints Are Recycled by Evolution. This is evolution with a twist,
said a team of evolutionists looking into the question whether the gene regulatory programs that control this development
have been invented only once during evolution or whether they might have arisen anew in different species.
One odd finding from genetics of fruit flies: Some of the fly species that we looked at are as closely related as humans
are to other primates. Others are as distant as humans and birds.
- Evolution and the human birth canal: According to a story on
Evolutionary changes that make us uniquely human such as our large heads and narrow pelvises may have pushed
human birth timing earlier and can be used to identify genes associated with preterm birth, a new study suggests.
It may not be clear to others if they have identified a cause, an effect, or neither.
- Marine biology: rock eyes: Chitons are primitive mollusks that have an ingenious sense:
the ability to use calcium carbonate crystals as lenses. Live
Science has a picture and description. Chitons first appeared on Earth more than 500 million years ago,
the article claimed. But according to the fossil record, the oldest chitons with eyes didnt emerge until the last
25 million years, making their eyes among the most recent to evolve in animals. The eyes likely evolved so chitons could see and
defend against predators, [Daniel] Speiser said. It is plausible that these highly successful creatures
never saw a predator for 475 million years 97% of their tenure on earth?
- Solar system: fluffy cosmogony: How to solve the problem that particles dont stick when they collide?
Answer: make them fluffy, like cotton candy. That seems to be what Science
Daily is suggesting. Our study makes us even more convinced than before that the early carbonaceous chondrite rocks
were shaped by the turbulent nebula through which they travelled billions of years ago, in much the same way that
pebbles in a river are altered when subjected to high turbulence in the water, someone from Imperial College London said.
Our research suggests that the turbulence caused these early particles to compact and harden over time to form the first tiny rocks.
They appeared to just assume, however, that the rocks would stick together an idea other studies have contradicted. But they hedged with
the admission, Our work is another step in the process helping us to see how rocky planets and moons that make up parts
of our Solar System came into being.
- Origin of life: cultural entertainment: One would think that an article in
Live Science would defend the idea that
life emerged in mica sheets at the ocean floor. But one would be wrong. One will learn more about Helen Hansmas
taste in music and how her theory provides entertainment for the masses. The best advice she ever got:
Do an experiment poorly.
Quotable quote: My Mica Hypothesis for the origin of life is an entertaining
and thought-provoking piece of science that interests a wide audience. It provides new ways to understand how
irremediable complexity was not necessary for the origin of life and its evolution. Is this
misquote of Dr. Michael Behes phrase irreducible complexity part of the entertainment?
- Solar system origin: some truth: PhysOrg
discussed our unlikely solar system by claiming that only 15-25% of planetary models end up with solar systems
like ours rocky planets on the inside tracks, and gas giants in stable orbits outside. While you might be skeptical
about the validity of a model that puts our best known planetary system in the unlikely basket, there may be some truth
in this finding. Whether models are the same thing as findings sounds like a good question for
philosophers of science.
- Health: know thyselves: Science Daily
depicted our normal flora as cheats that worked out a deal with our immune system. Quotable quote:
On a more philosophical level, [Sarkis K.] Mazmanian [Caltech] says, the findings suggest that our concept of self should
be broadened to include our many trillions of microbial residents. These bacteria live inside us for our entire lives, and
theyve evolved to look and act like us, as part of us, he says. As far as our immune system is concerned, the
molecules made by gut bacteria should be tolerated similarly to our own molecules. Except in this case, the bacteria teaches
us to tolerate them, for both our benefit and theirs.
Real science involves observation and practical application. Evolutionary theory is a useless appendage, a devil on the
shoulder telling the scientist that the intelligent design so clearly evident is really Tinker Bells magic. Evolutionary theory
gives MAD scientists* a fun game to play, a charade, a game of pretend, loosening their inhibitions as scientists, helping them feel comfortable
that their entertaining myths provide understanding of the world. Or that some day it might. Hope rings eternal.
Who helped Copernicus the most to get his heliocentric message heard? Lutherans. Thats what a prominent
historian of science said; see 04/30/2004.
More, more about Darwin,
More, more about Darwin,
More of his SHL to see,**
More of his myth who set us free.
*MAD: Mutual Admiration of Darwin.
**SHL: Stuff Happens Law (09/22/2009, 09/15/2008 commentaries).
Next headline on:
Politics and Ethics
Philosophy of Science
Darwin and Evolution
Mind and Brain
Origin of Life
Are Earthquakes Increasing?
April 22, 2011 The recent rash of deadly earthquakes has many people asking: is this unusual?
Have the frequency and intensity of earthquakes been increasing in recent years? Geologists
secular and theistic have weighed in on the question.
Two reporters at Live Science (Live Science #1
and Live Science #2)
took up the issue and quoted geologists who concluded that the long-term pattern is random. Richard Kerr for
Science Magazine News quoted experts on both sides:
some who see the trend as unusual, some who see it as random.
Theres no question that the recent series of megaquakes (Japan, Indonesia, New Zealand,
Chile) has been a cluster. But there have been other clusters of great quakes, notably a series from
1952 to 1964. Weve only been measuring earthquake magnitudes for about 100 years, so scientists
do not have a long enough record to fully establish the random hypothesis.
It takes many trials to get reliable statistics. Thats why Richard Kerr titled his article,
More Megaquakes on the Way? That Depends on Your Statistics. What remains to be seen is
whether one great quake can trigger others across the globe. Some geologists are preparing models to
see if future quakes will confirm or disconfirm the random hypothesis as opposed to the trigger hypothesis.
Steve Austin, a prominent creationist geologist, has also written on the subject (see
article on ICR).
He included more long-term data from historical reports and agreed that the perception of increasing numbers of
earthquakes in recent years is an illusion: Since good seismographs went into operation late in the 1890's,
no steady trend suggesting increased frequency or intensity has been demonstrated. Other factors
contribute to the illusion: rapid reporting, larger populations in urban centers, and consequent greater damage
and loss of life.
Noting that Jesus had prophesied There will be earthquakes in divers places as the
beginning of birth pangs of his coming (Matthew 24:7; Mark 13:8), Austin said it is not necessary to interpret
the metaphor as an increase in frequency and intensity, but as something erratic and unpredictable:
Global seismic activity is very non-uniform in time; it is like waiting for birth pangs.
Christians need to be good statisticians and not jump to conclusions. The megaquakes in Japan, Indonesia, and Chile,
and others in New Zealand, Haiti and elsewhere in recent years are disturbing, but inconclusive as to whether they are
unusual in the long term. Remember, too, that one moderate earthquake in a densely-populated, unprepared country
like Haiti can create far worse damage than several megaquakes in remote regions. The perception of an
apocalyptic rise in earthquakes can be fanned by rapid, eyewitness reports, as seen in Haiti and Japan.
Scientists Invade Religion
Perhaps a cluster of great earthquakes will accompany the other signs Jesus described, such as wars and
rumors of wars and famines See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet,
Jesus said, instructing his disciples not to conclude His coming was imminent; All these are but the beginning
of the birth pains. Remember that the beginning of birth pains are infrequent, and that a day to the Lord
is as a thousand years. Wars, famines and earthquakes have been ongoing since His death and resurrection.
Jesus continued by describing what else would precede His coming:
worldwide persecution of His disciples, a great falling away
of nominal believers, hatred, lawlessness, and false prophets. But only at the imminent time of His
appearing would there be specific signs, like the abomination of desolation in the Temple.
And His actual coming would be accompanied by great signs in the heavens signs so clear as to remove all doubt.
The book of Revelation further describes great earthquakes as part of the judgment leading up to His return.
Parts of Jesus Olivet Discourse shortly before His crucifixion (Matthew 24, Mark 13), in answer to His disciples
question about signs of the end of the age, are warnings not to try predict the day of His coming, because
no one knows the day or the hour. Just like the days of Noah or of Lot, He said, nobody expected the
sudden destruction that was imminent. It is wise to avoid rash conclusions from a few earthquakes,
yet also to weigh the sum total of the signs all the Biblical prophets mentioned. Those who stay awake and
faithful will not be completely surprised at that day, like the uniformitarians will be
(2 Peter 3).
Next headline on:
Bible and Theology
April 21, 2011 Science and religion, those uneasy combatants in turf wars, do not get
equal treatment in the media. The referees in the science news media frequently overlook
invasions by science into religious territory, but fail to heed calls of foul by the invaded.
The experimental research described above begs some epistemic questions on several levels.
Are moral experiments on human guinea pigs ethical? Do they generate knowledge, or merely reinforce the
researchers bias? Are psychological investigations of religion scientific?
- World religion: Last month in
Scientist, Kate Douglas theorized about what an ideal religion would look like
if humans could start one from scratch. She acknowledged that religion is good for
some things like a sense of community and promotion of happiness, but she accepted the
speculations of researchers who treat religion as something that can be classified like plants,
focusing on outward ritual activity instead of epistemology. (The article was posted, after
all, on New Scientist.)
From there, Douglas speculated about how an ideal world religion would promote a
blend of physical activities like chanting and dancing to stimulate the release of endorphins
and social cohesion It could even include few tame myths to keep people coming back.
It would even be polytheistic: With many gods and great tolerance of idiosyncratic local practices, the new religion will be
highly adaptable to the needs of different congregations without losing its unifying identity,
she continued. The religion will also emphasise worldly affairs it would promote
the use of contraceptives and small families and be big on environmental issues,
philanthropy, pacifism and cooperation. She even proposed a name for it: Utopianity.
- Free willy nilly: Theologians have debated free will for centuries; does science have
a better position to provide answers? New
Scientist has posted several articles recently about the subject. In one,
MacGregor Campbell promoted the answer from some secular neuroscientists that free will is an illusion.
The short article includes a video beginning with a cartoon of a tea-party patriot SUV waving American flags,
whose owner turns out to be a murderer.
The video states without criticism that every choice you have
ever made was predetermined billions of years ago at the moment of the big bang accompanied
by a cartoon of evolutionary progress. It continues claiming our brains are lying to us,
and that murderers (like said tea party patriot) are not responsible for their actions. As scientific justification for
these radically deterministic views, the narrator says, Many neuroscientists think that what we call
free will is just the result of electrical and chemical signals in the brain, explainable ultimately by
the laws of physics. (No critics were called on to point out that the narrator was predetermined
to say that, or that laws of physics are not composed of matter.)
The narrator continued, with apparent scientific authority, to opine that belief in
free will and moral accountability is a useful fiction, because a society that doesnt believe
in free will would suck. It ended by advertising the April 16 issue of New Scientist,
with its cover story, Free will: the illusion we cant live without.
In a follow-up article on
that showed the same video, freelance writer Dan Jones again gave the scientific edge to neuroscientists who present the manifest truth of determinism.
He made matter-of-fact statements claiming materialism is scientific truth, such as Francis Cricks
remark, you are nothing but a pack of neurons. Jones did acknowledge that when people are taught
that free will is an illusion, their ethics, altruism and values plummet. But he never questioned the materialistic
view; he just presented arguments that belief in free will is so ingrained, we will probably not have to worry about
an amoral society.
- Convert the Muslims: In another article in
Scientist, Michael Bond interviewed scientist imam Usama Hasan, who thinks Muslims need to talk about evolution.
I want Muslims to question creationism, says the physicist and imam who has had death threats for supporting evolution.
As could be expected, there were no calls for any scientists to question Darwinism.
- Experimental cheating: Psychologists at the University of Oregon used human guinea pigs to
measure the effect of ones view of God on the propensity to cheat.
The write-up on Medical Express includes
a video that tried to correlate cheating on a sample test with the students view of God as forgiving and loving
or God as vengeful and punishing.
According to the results, students who specifically perceived God as punitive,
angry and vengeful showed significantly lower levels of cheating. Nowhere did the press release
question the ethics of this kind of experimentation or its validity as a scientific investigation.
Should a priest, rabbi or preacher have evaluated the psychologists instead?
- Psychological swearing: Swearing isnt a sin; its good for you. That was the
message of an article on PhysOrg taken from the Los Angeles
Times based on experiments at Keele University, England. The researchers found that swearing helped
subjects endure pain when their hands were immersed in ice water.
A rare article that questioned the validity of psychological/psychiatric research was posted
recently on Medical Express,
Rethinking Psychiatry by Candace OConnor. She started by noting the difference between
positions of the American Psychiatric Association today and that of a few decades ago, when
Everywhere, psychiatry departments were dominated by psychoanalysts, who focused on Freudian theory.
She quoted George E. Murphy, who said, I remember one meeting, when I told a psychiatry professor
about a study I had read showing that no two psychiatrists could agree better than chance on diagnosis, implying
the obvious: our diagnoses dont mean anything. Since then, instead of relying on Freud
like a modern Moses, the field has tried to live up to evidence-based approach to clinical psychiatry.
She seemed supportive the latest iteration of the APAs Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM),
but ended by quoting a psychiatrist eager to keep asking questions: We want to keep reminding people that we havent
done enough and to keep asking: Where is the next thing coming from? (See 02/17/2010.)
Admirable as that inside-skeptical spirit may be, it leaves open the possibility, illustrated
by the evolution from DSM-II to DSM-V, that the next thing may undermine todays current thing.
By contrast, religions tend to be stable over centuries, an observational fact that may lead to questions about
sciences pretensions of epistemic authority.
The presumption that science can study religion and answer ultimate questions is a kind of religion itself.
Instead of the gamesmanship between the Science Building and the Arts and Humanities Building, academics need
to realize they are fallible human beings, not purveyors of absolute truth.
Notable Notes and Quotable Quotes
The secular materialists who honor themselves as scientists disqualify themselves,
when making claims about free will and the ideal religion, by committing the
self-refuting fallacy. If beliefs are determined, so is their
belief in determinism. It cannot make any independent claims to validity or truth.
The ideal religion proposed by Kate Douglas sounds a lot like the end-times mythology predicted by the Apostle Paul
(2 Timothy 3:1-5).
Prediction is supposed to be valued in science. Heres a prediction 2,000 years old that was right on.
Notice also that Paul did not have to keep revising and repudiating his
documents like the APA does. Since the observational evidence for Pauls validity appears superior to
those who have disqualified themselves by shooting their own feet, it seems justified to take seriously Dr. Pauls
advice, Avoid such people (2
Timothy 6:5) and Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called
knowledge, (I Timothy 6:20-21).
Next headline on:
Mind and Brain
Philosophy of Science
Politics and Ethics
Bible and Theology
Its remarkable how nature has solved complex topological puzzles in DNA substrate recognition with such elegant simplicity.
Lorena Beese, Ph.D., Professor of Biochemistry at Duke University, quoted by
Your Inner Postal Service
April 20, 2011 Zip codes those five- or nine-digit numbers on mail have an analogue
in every one of your cells. Like a city,1 a cell has information to ship from
place to place.2 To make sure that the manufacturing instructions for protein
parts arrive at the appropriate assembly site, the shipper puts a molecular tag on a transport vehicle (the postman)
that works just like a zip code. At least that is the way an article in PLoS Biology described the process.
Richard Robinson is a freelance science writer who wrote in the peer-reviewed, open-access science
journal PLoS Biology about A Two-Step Process Gets mRNA Loaded and Ready to Go.3
(mRNA refers to the messenger RNA, the edited transcript of DNA, that contains the coded instructions for a protein.)
He used the word zipcode five times in his description of recent findings about the process:
Proteins are the workhorses of the cell, but to get the most work out of them, they need to be in
the right place. In neurons, for example, proteins needed at axons differ from those needed at dendrites,
while in budding yeast cells, the daughter cell needs proteins the mother cell does not. In each case, one
strategy for making sure a protein gets where it belongs is to shuttle its messenger RNA to the
right spot before translating it.
The players in this process are the messenger RNA (mRNA) with the coded instructions (like blueprints) for a molecular
machine, the zipcode elements attached to the mRNA that tell it where it needs to go, and the myosin taxi that takes
the mRNA to the right factory (ribosome) where the protein parts will be assembled. But other parts must be involved;
who sorts the mail? Who checks that the zip code is present?
The destination for such an mRNA is encoded in a set of so-called zipcode elements,
which loop out of the RNA string to link up with RNA-binding proteins. In yeast, these
proteins join up with a myosin motor that taxis the complex to the encoded location.
The rest of Robinsons synopsis discussed how recent findings show more complexity than previously known
01/13/2007). It was known that proteins called She2p and She3p were involved,
but not how they interacted with the zipcode elements on the mRNA. There is a new level of quality control, he said,
that has come to light:
Based on their results, the authors propose a two-step model of transport complex formation. Within the nucleus,
She2p binds to the mRNA as it is transcribed, and then shuttles it to the cytoplasm. She2p binds loosely
and promiscuously, though, catching up mRNAs both with and without zipcodes. Once in the cytoplasm, She3p joins on,
tightening the grip on mRNAs that contain zipcodes while booting out those without them. With the myosin motor
attached to She3p, the complex motors off to its destination elsewhere in the cell.
In other words, one protein (She2p) binds to the parcel inside the nucleus and takes it outside, where the other
protein (She3p) recognizes its counterpart, checks the zipcode, and joins the transport complex to the myosin taxi.
Studies have shown that without this quality-control mechanism, like when She2p mutated to prevent it joining with the
mRNA, the ability of the RNA–protein complex to reach its destination was impaired.
The results in this study indicate that quality control in mRNA transport relies on a reciprocal action:
the complex proteins together ensure that only those mRNAs with a destination tag are incorporated into the transport complex,
and the mRNA, by binding to each of the proteins in the complex, ensures that all are on board before the journey starts.
Robinsons comments referred to a paper by Muller et al in PLoS Biology.4
The authors stated, We propose that coupling of specific mRNA recognition and assembly of stable transport complexes
constitutes a critical quality control step to ensure that only target mRNAs are transported.
They also used the phrase zip code 68 times, but never mentioned evolution once, except obliquely in one figure, to show
phylogenetic comparisons of She3p between different species of yeast.
1. Michael Denton compared the cell to a city in a memorable chapter of his 1985 book, Evolution: A
Theory in Crisis, p. 328. His description began, To grasp the reality of life as it has been
revealed by molecular biology, we must magnify a cell a thousand million times until it is twenty kilometres
in diameter and resembles a giant airship large enough to cover a great city like London or New York.
What we would then see would be an object of unparalleled complexity and adaptive design.... a world of
supreme technology and bewildering complexity.
2. Ibid., A huge range of products and raw materials and raw materials would shuttle along
all the manifold conduits in a highly ordered fashion to and from all the various assembly plants in the
outer regions of the cell.
3. Richard Robinson, A Two-Step Process Gets mRNA Loaded and Ready to Go,
Public Library of Science: Biology,
9(4): e1001047. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001047.
4. Müller M, Gerhard Heym R, Mayer A, Kramer K, Schmid M, et al. (2011), A Cytoplasmic Complex Mediates Specific mRNA
Recognition and Localization in Yeast, doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1000611.
The guys who make up stories about life originating from primordial soup dont think of any of these things.
They get all excited if they find a strand of RNA that can make one simple chemical reaction occur, as if thats
all that is needed. But give them the best case scenario: a primitive cell filled with the essential molecules
of life, but no process for getting the molecules where they are needed. That includes no quality control,
no inspections, no checks and balances, no feedback, no networks. What will happen? Entropy.
30 questions to ask before swallowing a scientific claim: 04/02/2010 commentary.
We remind our readers that evolutionary theory provided nothing to this scientific discovery.
We also remind them that these complex processes were described not for the most complicated eukaryotes, like
giraffes, but ones much more humble: yeast.
Next headline on:
Biomimetics: Who Is Imitating Whom?
April 19, 2011 Biomimetics is a cutting-edge branch of applied science that looks for ways to
imitate nature to solve engineering problems. Sometimes, though engineers invent things then
find that nature had a similar solution all along. Other times, there is overlap, with
engineers inventing things that affect nature, or nature guiding engineering that is already in progress.
And sometimes nature and the human body merge with solutions from nature for healths sake.
Humans are a part of nature, yet apart of nature in the sense of studying it as an object.
While animals may employ strategies such as mimicry to attract mates or escape predators,
only humans study nature with a designers mind, looking for designs and seeking to
learn the design principles and how they might be applied in radically different ways.
- Using chance by design: Humans invented computers without help from nature, but inventors are
looking over their shoulder at bacteria and viruses for ways to improve them. Computer chips are getting so small
they are approaching the nanotechnology threshold the size range of DNA molecules. As size decreases,
thermal noise and randomness become bigger issues for inventors. What is it about viruses and bacteria that
allow them to thrive in the noise?
By striving for control and perfection in everything from computer chips to commercial jets,
scientists and engineers actually exclude a fundamental force that allows nature to outperform even their best efforts,
a press release from
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
began. Although it may appear to defy logic, imperfections and the seemingly [sic] randomness
among even the lowly bacteria help keep nature a couple of steps ahead according to Oak Ridge National Laboratorys
Peter Cummings and Mike Simpson, co-authors of a paper published in ACS Nano.
Through a strategy of contrarian bets, bacteria and viruses explore opportunities in the
noise to evade mans strict on-and-off logic. Human logic requires more and more power to get rid of
the noise by brute force, because engineers want their computer chips to be perfectly predictable.
In contrast to the computer chip, the bacterial cell has imperfect chance-ridden switches, and through these imperfections,
the bacteria can do things the computer chip cannot.
So maybe its time to rethink our designs by imitating the ways of the lowly bacteria.
After all, as the headline read, Nature still sets standard for nanoscience revolution.
- Sea squirt rejection: Organ rejection is a major problem for transplant operations.
Can the lowly sea squirt help? Scientists at
UC Santa Barbara are asking,
because they have noticed that sea squirts colonizing next to one another are able to recognize self or non-self
and fuse safely if related. Researchers think if we could imitate the sea squirts method of
recognition and manipulate it, we might be able to help more patients accept organs from others.
- Ant Facebook: Ants friend each other just like people do with Facebook.
They build social networks that extend out into hubs of connections, using chemical signals instead of texting.
Thats what researchers at Stanford University found out, according to
when studying red harvester ants in the southwestern desert.
Like people, some ants appear more popular than others. On average, each ant had
around 40 interactions, the scientists found. However, around 10 percent of the ants made more than
100 contacts with other ants. Apparently ants and humans have hit on this strategy independently. The research can be found on the
Royal Society interface.
- Catalytic converters: Science Daily
reported that researchers at New Jersey Institute of Technology are working to develop biologically-inspired catalysts.
Motivated by how heme enzymes do it, they are looking into the replacement of carbon-hydrogen bonds with a combination of
aromatic and aliphatic carbon-fluorine bonds.
This ability would help sweeten petroleum products by the transformation of smelly and
corrosive thiols into disulfides. Work by this team was of great interest to the fragrance industry.
Anybody see Charlie around?
Upsets in Space
Next headline on:
April 18, 2011 Three different astronomy teams have announced findings that upset long-held beliefs.
What does this portend about the confidence we can have in other theories?
When a paradigm gets shattered in one area of science, there can be ramifications for others, depending on how
foundational it was. The American philosopher Willard Quine noticed that when faced with potentially falsifying
data, scientists often absorb the shocks into their web of belief without changing the web.
- Galaxy growth: direct challenge: Galaxies are thought to develop by the gravitational
attraction between and merger of smaller sub-galaxies, a process that standard cosmological ideas suggest
should be ongoing, announced the
Astronomical Society. But new data from a team of scientists from Liverpool John Moores University directly
challenges this idea, suggesting that the growth of some of the most massive objects stopped 7 billion years ago
when the Universe was half its present age.
How serious is this claim? The lack of growth of the most massive galaxies is a major challenge to
current models of the formation and evolution of large scale structure in the Universe, commented Claire Burke,
team member. Our work suggests that cosmologists appear to lack some of the crucial ingredients they need to
understand how galaxies evolved from the distant past to the present day.
- Star spin: poking holes: Researchers at the
University of Michigan have poked holes in a
century-old astronomical theory. The theory, called the von Zeipel law, has been used for the
better part of a century to predict the difference in surface gravity, brightness and temperature between a rapidly
rotating stars poles and its equator.
Doctoral student Xiao Che and other astronomers on the team found that the data from Regulus dont fit
the theory. It is surprising to me that von Zeipels law has been adopted in astronomy for such a long time
with so little solid observational evidence.
- Impossible wet comet: shattering paradigms: Current thinking suggests that it is impossible to form liquid water inside of a comet,
states a press release from University of Arizona. But lo and behold, Comet Wild-2
explored by the Stardust spacecraft found minerals that could only have formed in the presence of water.
This is a shattering find: For the first time, scientists have found convincing evidence for the presence of
liquid water in a comet, shattering the current paradigm that comets never get warm enough to melt the ice that makes up
the bulk of their material. The press release was echoed on PhysOrg.
There are several dynamics at work here. One is that scientists enjoy finding flaws in earlier beliefs because
it makes their research seem important. They usually limit their hole-poking to small claims that can be absorbed
by the web of belief without tearing it. Another dynamic is that beliefs and laws like the von Zeipel law
are often taken on faith yes, even scientists have faith. Nobody has the time to check out the validity of
every claimed law, so they are assumed to be laws of nature rather than the sausage-type laws of legislature.
Secular Science Analyzes Jesus
We see often that long-held beliefs in science are vulnerable to new evidence.
Whats next to go? Darwinism? Unlikely. Darwinisms
web of belief is so paramount to the cultural world view, its supporters are ready with reinforcements any time falsifying evidence comes along.
All the original web is long gone. It is now a steel framework of belief, protected behind a Berlin Wall with
machine-gunners ready to mow down any creationists trying to cross the line.
Next headline on:
Philosophy of Science
April 17, 2011
In a classic religion-vs-science confrontation,
took on the question, Jesus Christ the Man: Does the Physical Evidence Hold Up?
The answer may say more about science than about Jesus.
To begin with, reporter Natalie Wolchover drew distinctions between scientific evidence
and belief as if evidence requires no belief or assumption or interpretation. The belief
of Christians in Jesus life comes from textual evidence in the Bible betraying
a bias that textual evidence is less credible than scientific evidence. Her headline also implies
that evidence must be physical. This rules out logical and textual evidence and eyewitness testimony.
It also begs questions about whether other beliefs accepted by scientists are based on physical evidence alone.
Wolchover spent a moment on a
red herring about Simcha Jacobovici (The Naked Archaeologist from
the History Channel) and his latest documentary about two crooked nails he claims are tied to the crucifixion.
Many scholars consider this little more than a publicity stunt (see
Bible Places blog #1
From there, Wolchover debunked various other relic stories, including the lead plates recently announced
from Jordan (see Bible Places).
But dubious archaeological claims, frauds and forgeries have little to do with the question of whether Jesus really lived.
After dispensing with relics, Wolchover turned her science scanner on texts.
The Dead Sea scrolls are not much help, she claimed, because the Teacher of Righteousness mentioned in
some scrolls could be anybody.
Regarding the Biblical text, she seemed to indicate that non-canonical gospels have
equal bearing with Matthew, Mark, Luke and John on the history of Jesus: There are still other Gospels, she said,
without naming them, never canonized but written by near-contemporaries of Jesus all the same.
She did not mention that the Gospel of Judas (04/09/2006,
12/26/2007) was written much later by Gnostics, and that
the Gospel of Thomas and others have long been considered spurious by early church fathers who lived closest in
time to the writing of those documents. Nor did she explore the church fathers criteria for
authenticity, the social dynamics of heretics and cults who might have reasons to write spurious accounts,
nor the science of textual analysis, concerned with the authenticity of texts.
All the same, she drew a middle ground on the historicity of Jesus, quoting Marcus Borg, a secular scholar at
Oregon State: We do know some things about the historical Jesus less than some Christians think, but more than
some skeptics think. That judgment, though, rests on what documents one takes as credible.
Borg did not question the fact that Jesus lived, but from the textual evidence, presented a synopsis of Jesus life
sanitized of the miraculous. Acknowledging that More healing stories are told about Jesus than about
any other figure in the Jewish tradition, he proceeded to the crux of the story: the cross and resurrection:
He was executed by Roman imperial authority, and his followers experienced him after his death.
It is clear, Borg said, that they had visions of Jesus as they had known him during his historical life.
Only after his death did they declare Jesus to be lord or the son of God.
To make such claims, Borg (and Wolchover, the reporter) had to rule out of court the eyewitness testimony of
Thomas, the doubter, who reached into the wounds of the risen Jesus (John
20:24-27), of John, who said their hands touched Him (I John 1:1-4),
and of all the disciples who saw him eat and drink in their presence
John 21), and the 500 who saw
him at one time (I Cor 15:1-11),
most of whom were still alive when the testimony was written.
Moreover, to deny the resurrection, they would have to completely discount the life testimony
of the Apostle Paul
(I Corinthians 15, written
at most 25 years after the crucifixion), the fact that Paul had been a hostile witness
(I Timothy 1:12-16), yet
spread his testimony of the risen Christ throughout the middle east and Europe, finally being martyred without
flinching from his testimony.
They would have to deny
that Matthew, Mark, Peter, John (1 John 1:1-10),
James and possibly the writer of Hebrews were also eyewitnesses of Jesus and the resurrection, and that
the New Testament authors, including Luke (Luke 1:1-4,
Acts 1:1-3), Peter
(2 Peter 3:16-21),
John (I John 4:1-6),
Paul (2 Timothy 3)
all advocated telling the truth, each of them staunchly opposing myths and fact-free speculations
(I Timothy 4:1-4).
Furthermore, they would have to ignore the fact that all the apostles (except possibly John),
who claimed they had seen the resurrected Christ, died martyrs deaths without recanting. Plus,
they would have to explain the explosive growth of the early church in a time of persecution, when all the
enemies of the new faith would have to do to squelch it was produce the body of Jesus and parade it down the
streets of Jerusalem. Furthermore, Wolchover and Borg
had to dismiss a priori the possibility of predictive prophecy (Isaiah 53,
Luke 24, esp. vv. 25-26).
No philosopher of science would affirm that the opinions of Borg and Wolchover were dictated to them by the
scientific evidence itself. Clearly a different set of authorities would produce different conclusions.
The question of what constitutes evidence is a philosophical question about science,
not a statement by science. Invariably, one must consider the biases that fallible human beings bring to a question.
Easter is approaching; that must mean its time for Jesus-debunking articles by secular bigots.
Secularists pick and choose the kinds of evidence they like, draw their conclusions based on that selected
evidence, filter it through their materialistic biases, and proclaim to the world that science has shown
the resurrection to be a myth, congratulating themselves that they have been neutral scientists
and not selfish, biased, sinful dogmatists like the rest of the rabble.
Did early man have a soul? Asked and answered in the 04/08/2009 entry.
Understand what is behind these writings. It is vital for Evil Science (thats Live
backwards) to debunk Jesus, because He gets in the way of their favorite god, Charlie the Bearded Buddha, who lets
them do whatever they want. Dont be distracted by the red herrings
about relics; that is not what conservative Bible scholars who accept the historicity of Jesus rely on;
if anything, they dismiss it as holy junk.
If you want a more credible testimony, read the writings of the Apostle Paul,
who had been dedicated to crushing the early Christians until he saw the risen Christ on the road to Damascus
See also the DVD The Case for Christ
(available from La Mirada Films), which presents numerous lines of evidence by
knowledgeable scholars, narrated by Lee Strobel, formerly a hard-hearted atheist,
who had no reason to believe the Bible and every reason to oppose it, till he checked out the evidence for
himself. It all converged on a uniform conclusion that was so powerful, Strobel said it would take more faith
to deny it than to accept it.
Nobody should be gullible. Its OK to be a doubting Thomas for awhile, till presented with
undeniable evidence (John 20). Let this be the
year you get the best evidence from the most reliable sources and come to grips with the reality of Jesus Christ
Next headline on:
Bible and Theology
Philosophy of Science
Evolutionary Language Lingo Contradictory
April 16, 2011 Human language is such a unique feature of our species, it would seem to
defy evolutionary explanations. Can evolutionists take this living phenomenon and fit it
into a historical narrative? A couple of papers in leading journals attempted to do so.
Are their conclusions the only ones that can be drawn from the evidence?
In Science,1 Quentin D. Atkinson [U of Auckland] argued
that language began in southern and central Africa. He counted phonemes (individual sound elements) in over 500 languages
and believes he detected decreasing diversity with distance, supporting his contention that language was born
in Africa and spread from there. The founder effect in evolutionary theory asserts that
diversity decreases with distance from a center of innovation. Charting phenomic diversity this way
requires dealing with potential mixers like population size and density, cultural stability, migration habits,
and other things; Atkinson believes he controlled for these factors and the clinal trend persisted.
Whether he controlled for all possible demographic variables is not clear.
Atkinson believes his phoneme evidence
correlates with genetic and phenotypic evidence of declining diversity with distance from Africa, but he did not explain how
language originated; it was just some kind of innovation, he suggested. Truly modern language, akin to
languages spoken today, may thus have been the key cultural innovation that allowed the emergence of these and
other hallmarks of behavioral modernity and ultimately led to our colonization of the globe, he said, without explaining what
combination of mutations led to this innovation.
In a study of a different kind in Nature,2 Dunn, Greenhill, Levinson and Gray
feel they have debunked the idea of language universals long promoted by Noam Chomsky. This is the idea
the human babies have innate parameters that steer them toward the adoption of a language, and that these universals
constrain language diversity. J. H. Greenberg had also taught that universal biases in human development lead toward
common features of language. Instead, Dunn et al showed that language characteristics are lineage specific,
not universal, at least in regard to word order.
The papers were reported optimistically by Science
Daily and the BBC News. Ferris Jabr in
used a Genesis meme to quip that Evolutionary Babel was in southern Africa. Jabr did provide
some skeptical counterpoint: Most linguists do not think its possible to trace linguistic history past 10,000 years,
Merritt Ruhlen of Stanford University, California was quoted as saying. There is a lot of anger and tension surrounding
that kind of analysis.
Even taken at face value, though, the two papers appear at odds. One suggests a universal common origin of language from a single spreading center; the
other suggests independent lineages. A wider question is whether such historical questions are tractable by science
without access to the speaking habits of alleged hominid ancestors who, according to evolutionary thinking, first began tying
grunts to thoughts, beliefs and concepts.
The editors of Nature recognized some distasteful ramifications of the paper by Dunn et al..
Extrapolating the new disjunct theory of language evolution into a wider philosophical issue that affects all of science, they said:
Since at least the days of Aristotle, a search for universal principles has characterized the scientific enterprise.
In some ways, this quest for commonalities defines science: without it, there is no underlying order and pattern,
merely as many explanations as there are things in the world. Newtons laws of motion, the oxygen theory of combustion
and Darwinian evolution each bind a host of different phenomena into a single explicatory framework....
It would seem that this lesson of Darwinism could undermine Darwinism itself. If Darwinism cannot explain how a
particular feature got to be the way it is, or about how it works, what is it explaining at all? Darwin was
attempting to propose a universal cause, a one size fits all natural law for biology: the law of natural selection.
If, as the editors said, the word actually consists of particular solutions in a contingent history,
claims to universality have been lost within Darwinism itself including claims about the evolution of language.
This tendency in the natural sciences has long been evident in the social sciences too. Here, Darwinism
seems to offer justification, for if all humans share common origins, it seems reasonable to suppose that
cultural diversity could also be traced to more constrained beginnings....
That, at least, is the hope. But a comparative study of linguistic traits published online today ... supplies
a reality check.....
The conclusion? We should perhaps learn the lesson of Darwinism: a universal mechanism of
adaptation says little in itself about how a particular feature got to be the way it is, or about how it works. This
truth has dawned on physicists too: universal equations are all very well, but the world actually consists of particular
solutions, and these are generally the result of contingent history. One size does not always fit all.
1. Quentin D. Atkinson, Phonemic Diversity Supports a Serial Founder Effect Model of Language Expansion from Africa,
Science, 15 April 2011:
Vol. 332 no. 6027 pp. 346-349, DOI: 10.1126/science.1199295.
2. Dunn, Greenhill, Levinson and Gray, Evolved structure of language shows lineage-specific trends in word-order universals,
published online 13 April 2011, doi:10.1038/nature09923.
3. Editorial, Universal truths, Nature
472 (14 April 2011), p. 136, doi:10.1038/472136a.
Notice how Natures editors used the phrase this truth. Ask them Pilates question,
What is truth? Truth is a concept, expressed in language, that is not reducible to particles and forces.
It certainly would not be an expected outcome of an evolutionary process, whose end product is survival. A good lie that
leads to survival would be favored equally with any that happened to correspond with reality. [Got truth?
Try The Truth Project.]
Who Should Teach Self-Control?
Studies like these are unlikely to come up with any conclusions immune to future falsification.
As such, they are just games being played by members of the scientific establishment. To fortify this charge, remember
that evolutionists believe mutations led to the innovation or emergence of this complex ability
(02/18/2009) an ability
rooted in the conceptual realm, a unique ability that separates human beings from animals: language. The human body is ideally
designed to speak (vocal chords, airways, mouth, tongue, ears, brain), and the human mind is able to use the hardware to
convey abstract concepts (many with no survival value) in sentences with syntax and semantics. Evolve that, Charlie
Alfred Russell Wallace denied that the evolutionary theory he co-discovered with Darwin could
account for language and the other traits that so clearly separate humans from animals:
The special faculties we have been discussing clearly point to the existence in man of something which he has not derived
from his animal progenitors--something which we may best refer to as being of a spiritual essence or nature, capable of
progressive development under favourable conditions. On the hypothesis of this spiritual nature, superadded to the
animal nature of man, we are able to understand much that is otherwise mysterious or unintelligible in regard to him,
especially the enormous influence of ideas, principles, and beliefs over his whole life and actions. Thus alone we can
understand the constancy of the martyr, the unselfishness of the philanthropist, the devotion of the patriot, the enthusiasm
of the artist, and the resolute and persevering search of the scientific worker after nature's secrets. Thus we may
perceive that the love of truth, the delight in beauty, the passion for justice, and the thrill of exultation with which we
hear of any act of courageous self-sacrifice, are the workings within us of a higher nature which has not been developed
by means of the struggle for material existence.
Source: Western Kentucky University; see also Michael Flannery,
Alfred Russell Wallace, A Rediscovered Life (Discovery Institute, 2011), appendix B, pp. 138-139.
To fit these beliefs
into his belief in common ancestry of humans with lower life forms, Wallace had to interject a creation event into the human line.
Why not save a step and start with creation? Either way, he has undermined any evolutionary explanation for mankinds
special faculties, including language. Take that, Charlie.
Next headline on:
Darwin and Evolution
Philosophy of Science
April 15, 2011 A symposium at Massey University in New Zealand has come up with a profound
thought: self-control is a key to a happier life. Academics have helped themselves to an
ancient notion that teaching self-control to children leads to happier outcomes as adults.
Did the world need science to reach this conclusion?
Self-control is an important virtue in many religions and philosophies, such as
Judaism and Stoicism. But at the symposium, Head of School Associate Professor Cindy Kiro,
a former Childrens Commissioner, says the symposium would bring together some of the most prominent
scientists, health researchers, community providers and policy makers in New Zealand to make sure
that science informs policy on such matters.
The press release from
University said nothing about parents, churches, synagogues or other non-scientific entities having any
role in teaching self-control to children. Rather, If we can do the right things to promote
self-control among children when they are young, we will significantly improve their chances of economic wellbeing,
good health and lower participation in crime when they are adults, according to a professor involved.
The press release was echoed on PhysOrg.
We need science telling us about obvious things like self control is valuable like we need government
telling us to be kind to one another. Teaching self-control belongs at home, but only by parents
guided by the Creators instruction manual. Scientists and educators cannot direct knowledge and
virtue to good ends. Just as a well-taught mathematician can be a better swindler, a self-controlled
sinner could become a radical terrorist, or a follower of a false religion willing to endure useless acts of self-torture.
Complexity Appears Earlier than Thought
Self-control must be directed to good ends, but who decides the good ends? It takes
self-control to become a champion athlete or skilled musician. These are best as individual decisions.
Beware the government or scientocracy (see ID
the Future) that decides the ends and trains its citizens, like Hitler Youth, to accomplish its political desires.
Virtuous self-control requires submission to the Creator. Paul said that self-control is a fruit
of the Spirit (Galatians 5:23,
I Timothy 1:7).
In the last days, he said, people would be without self-control (2 Timothy 3:3).
That is the natural state to which people descend without pressure from outside or inside.
Can scientists, educators and government bureaucrats lacking the spirit of God produce a self-controlled society?
How can they decide on the right thing for children? What does right mean for someone who believes in evolution
or scientism? They have neither the means nor the ends to accomplish such feats among a population of sinners. Imagine teaching Johnny,
Now today, Johnny, we are going to teach you how to be self-controlled. What answer could they give to
Why should I? Its doubtful that an answer like ,You'll be happier twenty years from now, will carry
much weight to a youngster who, as a self-indulgent brat, cares only about the present.
To be lasting, self-control must be seen as a responsibility or duty toward our Maker. It is a virtue
that is expected of us, but something for which (in relation to God) we are incapable of producing on our own.
Righteous self-control has to start on the inside. Let those lacking self-control repent before God for
their autonomy and self-indulgence. Let them submit to Christ for redemption and reconciliation. Let them receive Gods spirit and
be grafted into His life. Then they will have the resources for learning self-control.
Churches, dont outsource the teaching of self-control or any other virtue to scientists.
Bring the scientists inside. They need it, too.
Next headline on:
Mind and Brain
Politics and Ethics
Bible and Theology
April 14, 2011 Widely-separate branches of science seem to converge on a common puzzle:
complexity goes farther back than scientists expected evolutionary scientists, that is.
- Cosmology: More evidence has come that galaxies formed very early.
A mature galaxy detected through gravitational lensing was announced by the Hubble
Telescope team, with an estimated redshift of 6.027. In the conventional
big bang chronology, that dates it at 950 million years after the big bang.
Other galaxies have been detected at redshift 10 or more, but this
appears to have mature stars, pushing back the epoch of its formation to about 200 million
years after the Big Bang, much further than we had expected,
a NASA spokesperson said in the Hubble
press release. That is about 1.5% of the assumed age of the universe. This suggests,
he continued, that the first galaxies have been around for a lot longer than previously thought.
- Biology: Complex Life Emerged from Sea Earlier Than Thought, reported
Jennifer Walsh at Live
Science. Although her article assumes evolutionary time, the announcement from Boston College
and University of Sheffield, who studied sediments in Scotland lakes, poses a challenge for evolutionists who
had assumed the climb onto dry land was much later.
Life on Earth began in the oceans, but new fossils are showing that complex algae-like organisms left
these salty seas earlier than thought, about 1 billion years ago, and spent more time evolving on land.
Science Daily titled their report,
Loch Fossils Show Life Harnessed Sun and Sex Early on.
This suggests that life on land at this time was more abundant and complex than anticipated, a co-author
of the study said. It also opens the intriguing possibility that some of the major events in the early
history of life may have taken place on land and not entirely within the marine realm.
- Geology: Belemnites are a type of cephalopod known only from fossils. They were thought to
have gone globally extinct at an alleged Cretaceous-Paleogene event, after which time modern cephalopods evolved.
According to an abstract in Geology,1
In the North Pacific, however, a turnover from belemnites to the modern types of cephalopods about 35 m.y.
before the Cretaceous-Paleogene event documents a more complex evolutionary history of cephalopods than previously thought.
- Botany: Recall also, as reported here 04/12/2011 (bullet 5),
scientists at Penn State found evidence in their evolutionary scheme that genetic upheavals leading to the emergence
of flowering plants occurred nearly 200 million years earlier than the events that other research groups had described
1. Iba et al, Belemnite extinction and the origin of modern cephalopods 35 m.y. prior to the Cretaceous-Paleogene event,
Geology, v. 39 no. 5 (April 2011), pp. 483-486, doi: 10.1130/G31724.1.
What this means is not that the evolutionary dating schemes are now more accurate
than before, but that empirical evidence is falsifying earlier beliefs about slow, gradual increases in complexity appearing over
time. The data wont give evolutionists what they want even within their own assumptions; why should the rest of us
pay any attention? Whats a word that means the early appearance of complexity? Starts with a C, but we
cant utter it, because in academic circles it is offensive and makes scientists feel uncomfortable.
Did you read the parody of Seance Daily provided by a reader in the
If you need a chuckle, read Watch for falling amino acids and its commentary.
Next headline on:
Darwin and Evolution
Science Sites Stretch Truth About Transitional Form
April 13, 2011 A tiny piece of cartilage-turned-bone has science news sites jumping for joy
about an evolutionary transitional form. But is it one? A closer look shows a much more
complex picture than the simple evolutionary victory being told in the media.
Long-sought fossil mammal with transitional middle ear found,
in close harmony, Science Daily
sang about the Long-Sought Fossil Mammal With Transitional Middle Ear.
Jennifer Walsh at Live Science
was astonished at the Jaw-Dropping Find: Ancient Mammals Ear Bones. And
Scientist told its readers, with no shadow of turning, that The bones of your middle ear were once part
of a mammalian ancestors jaw. Now a remarkable Cretaceous fossil provides a snapshot of how this shift took place.
Whats all the
commotion about? A well-preserved specimen of Liaconodon, though crushed, was discovered in China.
Unfortunately, the fossil, while certainly interesting, does not paint so clear a picture
of evolution. In their paper in Nature,1 Meng et al defended their
interpretation that the bone represents an evolutionary transitional form, but Ann Weil, commenting in the same
issue,2 brought out some problems: namely, convergence of multiple lineages, and
possible evolutionary reversals. Animals living and extinct share some of the features of Liaoconodon
but are widely separated on Meng et als phylogenetic diagram. In addition, the ossified
Meckels cartilage (OMC) is resorbed or retained in development of some animals.
The confusing palette of traits in fossil and extant animal jaw bones and middle ears defies a
simplistic explanation that the complex middle ear bones developed from mutations in ancient jaw bones (see
03/19/2007). The critical trait scrutinized in Liaoconodon
is only a spur of bone attached to the ossicles, which were already advanced structures for hearing in this extinct
mammal. (In living mammals, the ossicles are completely separated from the jaw.)
Its not clear what a small spur of bone would do to help or hurt hearing anyway.
Ossicles are only transmitters of vibrations; the real hearing is done by the cochlea, auditory nerve and
hearing center in the brain.
Weil was much more tentative than the news reporters who made it sound all but proven
that ears evolved from jaw bones because of this transitional form. She said,
Their attachment in Liaoconodon might support the contention that the ear bones
remained tenuously attached to the jaw higher in the evolutionary tree of mammals than some have supposed.
In other words, Liaoconodon is a high mammal already. And contention it is, because Weil admitted that
How, when and how many times these ossicles detached from the
mandible during the course of mammalian evolution is a topic of some controversy.
Whether or not some extinct mammals had bony
attachments from their ossicles to the jaw says little about the function of hearing, to say nothing of its
1. Meng et al, Transitional mammalian middle ear from a new Cretaceous Jehol eutriconodont,
472 (14 April 2011), pp. 181–185, doi:10.1038/nature09921.
2. Anne Weil, Mammalian evolution: A jaw-dropping ear,
472 (14 April 2011), pp. 174–176, doi:10.1038/472174a.
News media are shameless in their promotion of Darwin.
Scientist genuflected with this ending quote:
Charles Darwin predicted animals like this would have existed, says Rob Asher of the University of Cambridge.
Palaeontologists have hypothesised [about it] for a long time - now we have a very well-preserved specimen.
You can tell a secular science news reporter is lying: when Darwin is found in a sentence.
Dubious Darwinian Inferences Unquestioned
This is just another case of the truth-stretching, connect-the-dots, Charlie-worshiping gamesmanship we saw
four years ago with Yanoconodon (03/19/2007).
Read that commentary again; it still applies. Darwinians have much more to worry about than a tiny piece
of ossified cartilage in an extinct animal; see 03/24/2011,
11/29/2010 (note links in commentary),
and 270 other chain links on mammals going back 10 years.
Next headline on:
Darwin and Evolution
April 12, 2011 Science was invented to stop jumping to conclusions. Leaps of faith from small
clues to grand explanations were to be replaced by slow, careful, methodical investigations of raw data
until rational inferences could be drawn. Do the following research examples do justice to that ideal?
Some conclusions are admittedly hard to make in science. The effectiveness of a new
pill, for instance, is complicated by many factors: age, sex, genetic condition, allergies, and much more.
When data are hard to come by, particularly in the historical sciences, inference to the best explanation
is commonly used. It requires, however, a detailed examination of all competing hypotheses, as Stephen Meyer
performed in his book Signature in the Cell.
- Smelly dinobird air space: The news media are chortling over the latest idea coming from paleontologists:
birds inherited their excellent sense of smell from dinosaurs because it gave them evolutionary fitness
(see Science Daily).
Aside from the fact that no scientist has ever tested the smelling ability of dinosaurs, the researchers
at Ohio State only had olfactory bulb cavities to measure empty spaces devoid of the brain hardware and software needed
to know how good it was. Of course the actual brain tissue is long gone from the fossil skulls,
Lawrence Witmer admitted.
The researchers measured 157 olfactory bulb cavity sizes in birds and dinosaurs, but what inferences
can be drawn from volume alone? Scientists can compare olfactory bulb size in living birds and test their smelling
ability; the article said that larger size in birds and mammals tend to correlate with smelling ability.
be, but exceptions are common in biology, and nothing is known about dinosaur olfaction. Insects arguably have some
of the most sensitive smelling organs in the animal kingdom, but their equipment is smaller than the head of a pin.
If brain size is not a clear indicator of intelligence, it would seem olfactory bulb cavity size alone cannot be used as a
proxy for smelling ability, particularly among a whole class of extinct reptiles (cf. 10/06/2010).
Nevertheless, the Ohio State team let their imaginations take flight into the skies of data-challenged inference,
drawing a grand scenario of evolution covering millions of unexperienced years, while the press release cheered them on:
The study revealed details of how birds inherited their sense of smell from dinosaurs.
Witmer speculated about the smelling ability of T. rex and other dinosaurs, but then the press release
caught him in a potentially falsifying catch-all hypothesis: Witmer noted that the ancient beasts most likely
exhibited a range of olfactory abilities.
The oldest known bird, Archaeopteryx, inherited its sense of smell from small meat-eating
dinosaurs about 150 million years ago, said François Therrien, curator of dinosaur palaeoecology at the
Royal Tyrrell Museum and co-author of the study. Later, around 95 million years ago, the ancestor of
all modern birds evolved even better olfactory capabilities.
If so, it would seem no evolutionary inference could be drawn
Witmer drew one anyway: T. rex had large olfactory bulbs, which probably aided the creature in tracking prey,
finding carcasses and possibly even territorial behavior, while a sense of smell was probably less important to
dinosaurs such as Triceratops, he said. But couldnt that point be made about birds as well? Indeed, it can, and they did:
If early birds had such powerful sniffers, why do birds have a reputation for a poor sense of smell?
Witmer explained that the new study confirms that the most common birds that humans encounter today the backyard
perching birds such as crows and finches, as well as pet parrots indeed have smaller olfactory bulbs and weaker
senses of smell. It may be no coincidence that the latter are also the cleverest birds, suggesting that their
enhanced smarts may have decreased the need for a strong sniffer, he said.
So far, we have seen a range of olfactory abilities in dinosaurs and birds, but the headline promised
something else: Birds Inherited Strong Sense of Smell from Dinosaurs. Has anything about that really been
discovered in the raw data other than a hodgepodge of varying measurements of empty space where olfactory bulbs once lurked?
Aside from the fact that dinosaur-to-bird evolution remains contentious (09/09/2010),
their inferences about bird evolution were held together by a lot of hedging words like probably, might, may, and suggesting,
not by empirically justified inferences (for other examples of risky inference, see 01/14/2011
Meanwhile, over at Live
Science Charles Q. Choi even presented his readers with a cartoony dinosaur proud of his opossum-like prey, sporting some
kind of incipient wings. His inference was even bolder: The ancestors of modern birds might have survived
the mass extinction that wiped out their dinosaur forebears by having a better sense of smell, researchers suggest.
From the idea that olfactory bulbs grew in early birds then shrank again, he drew this inference: This improved sense of smell,
as well as larger brains overall, might have provided an edge that could explain why modern birds are still around
and their dinosaur and archaic bird relatives are not.
- Missing dinobird link: Cross out the missing in
Science Daily rejoiced to announce, New Species of Dinosaur Bridges
Gap in Dinosaur Family Tree. The congratulatory headline was accompanied by a picture (artist drawing, not photo) of a dinosaur found in New Mexico, claimed to be
230 million years old (labeled late Jurassic).
What was the gap? The evolutionary position of these early predatory
dinosaurs was contentious because there was a gap in the fossil record between them and later theropod dinosaurs.
What were the data? A team of scientists led by the Smithsonian Institution has discovered a fossilized dinosaur skull
and neck vertebrae that not only reveal a new species, but also an evolutionary link between two groups of dinosaurs.
Actually, the data stop at the word vertebrae in the prior sentence; the rest is inference.
Because only the skull and neck of Daemonosaurus were found, the total length of the new species is unknown.
How much can be inferred from a skull and a few vertebrae? Possibly that these bones differed enough from those of other known
dinosaurs to justify classifying it as a new species (although changes in morphology during development should not be ignored;
see 07/14/2010). But without a traceable pedigree, the story about ancestry has to be inferred:
Various features of the skull and neck in Daemonosaurus indicate that it was intermediate between the
earliest known predatory dinosaurs from South America and more advanced theropod dinosaurs, said Hans Sues, curator of
vertebrate paleontology at the Smithsonians National Museum of Natural History and lead author of the teams findings.
One such feature is the presence of cavities on some of the neck vertebrae related to the structure of
the respiratory system.
Once again, a research team used air space as data. Assuming Dr. Sues gave his best example, it would seem that cavities in vertebral
bones could vary substantially within species, let alone between them. The respiratory system itself, of course, is not available for
study. But many fossils indicate something else mosaics of traits that do not neatly fit into
evolutionary sequences; could that not be the case here?
Charles Q. Choi at Live Science
posted an even larger copy of the artist drawing to start off his cheery, uncritical report, but had to admit,
The formative steps of theropod evolution are still poorly understood.
- Parroting the scientists: It is well known that general science news sites like
PhysOrg and Science Daily parrot the press releases from
universities and research labs, which parrot the opinions of the research scientists themselves. After all, no institution
wants its staff to look bad. For institutional prestige, their findings need to be portrayed as significant discoveries.
In this case,
CSIRO (the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization
in Australia) announced, Tiger-parrots show their true evolutionary stripes. The predictable echo from
PhysOrg was nearly instantaneous.
In this story, Dr. Leo Joseph of CSIRO promised enlightenment: This research on tiger-parrots and some other
enigmatic Australian parrots such as the little-known Night Parrot of inland Australian deserts sheds light on the
bigger picture of parrot evolution for Australia and New Guinea. Beaming with pride, he continued,
It has shown for the first time, for example, that tiger-parrots represent a very early branch of the parrot evolutionary tree
in Australia and New Guinea.
On what basis did he show that? After all, the data were surprising and confusing: During our research on these
oddball parrots of Australia and New Guinea, we affirmed that the Australian parrots are far from one cohesive group,
Dr. Joseph said. They appear, instead, to be made up of about five different main branches of the parrot evolutionary tree.
That inference was hedged with a bit of non-evolutionary convergence or conservation: We have shown that the New Guinea
tiger-parrots arent rosella-like parrots and that their resemblance in some aspects of their appearance to rosellas
probably indicates some plumage characters that have been part of the evolution of parrots of Australia and New Guinea
for a long time. Conservation, though, is not the kind of evolution Darwin was interested in.
Even more shocking, he upset an apple cart: We also showed, because we included so many other parrots,
they arent even part of the Asian and African assemblage with which they have even more often been associated.
So he replaced one evolutionary story with another that has even more branches, and tossed in some stasis for good measure.
Its not clear this is shedding light or stirring the pot: The researchers found that the tiger-parrots of New Guineas rainforests
named for their striped or barred plumage are not, as has been widely accepted, closely related either to a group of rosella-like parrots
found in Australia and Oceania, nor a similar group found in Asia and Africa. Nevertheless, readers were promised
that the parrots themselves would show their true evolutionary stripes.
- Early enzymes: With an Easter-like flair, Columbia University heralded
revelation and resurrection: Researchers Resurrect Ancient Enzymes to Reveal Conditions of Early Life on Earth.
This was no mean resurrection: for the first time [they] reconstructed active enzymes from four-billion-year-old
extinct organisms. the press release said, shedding light all around the tomb: The results shed new light on
how life has adapted to changes in the environment from ancient to modern Earth. Let the world rejoice.
To pull off this miraculous inference, they engaged in ancestral sequence reconstruction by comparing
gene sequences of living organisms. They focused on thioredoxin enzymes that are found in all living cells.
A devilish design idea threatened the inference. They expected to find the resurrected enzyme would be simple, but
Instead we found that enzymes that existed in the Precambrian era up to four billion years ago possessed
many of the same chemical mechanisms observed in their modern-day relatives, even though the organisms back then supposedly
predated the buildup of oxygen in earths atmosphere.
Furthermore, the putative Precambrian proteins were seen to be highly resistant to changes in temperature and acidity
more features indicating advanced early function instead of simplicity. The team was courageous in the face of these difficulties:
By resurrecting proteins, we are able to gather valuable information about the adaptation of extinct
forms of life to environmental alterations that cannot be uncovered through fossil record examinations, they assured
the crowd. PhysOrg and
Science Daily blessed
the assembly with a firm Amen.
- Absolution of flowering plants: The angiosperms (flowering plants) have acted shamefully by hiding evidence of their
evolution from evolutionists since Darwin, who called their sudden appearance an abominable mystery. Scientific
bishops at Penn State are ready to forgive them, after their Study [that] helps to solve Darwins
mystery about ancient plant evolution managed to get the penitent petunias to confess their genes.
And what a confession: The evolution and diversification of the more than 300,000 living species of flowering plants
may have been jump started much earlier than previously calculated. Apparently they carried on their
anti-evolutionary activities a long time nearly 200 million years earlier than the events that other research groups had described.
The mystery, however, has a strange new twist. According to their genomic comparisons, some undescribed upheavals
in the plant genome produced thousands of new genes that may have helped drive the evolutionary explosion that led
to the rich diversity of present-day flowering plants. Whats odd is that neo-Darwinists would have stated it the other way
around: evolution drove the production of new genes. The Penn State evolutionists even described this upheaval, whatever caused it, as a series of genetic
miracles: one or more important genetic metamorphoses had occurred in the ancestor of flowering plants, they said,
and we also knew that these metamorphoses could explain the enormous success of so many species living on the Earth today.
Their explanation, however, suggests that the predecessors were not successful. Conifers and other gymnosperms,
had, by any measure, great success already. Were they able to naturalize their miracles? Yes; they examined volumes of
molecular evidence, the press release said, and inferred that said metamorphosis was a special kind of DNA mutation called a polyploidy event
that revolutionized the flowering-plant lineage.
Such polyploidy mutations are generally lethal in vertebrates, they said, but
Plants, on the other hand, often survive and can sometimes benefit from duplicated genomes. The explanation is similar
to that of gene duplication, where evolutionists assume that one copy can continue to function while the other finds new things to do, like
invent petals, sepals, stamens, veined leaves, and fruit.
The explanation presumes that Darwins tinkerer loves extra copies of things to work on. A copy of a screwdriver,
for instance, might make a nice power saw: Some of these new genes led to true innovations and have become vital parts
of the genetic toolkit for the regulation of flower development, Claude dePamphilis explained.
This left the dark ages behind. According to the congratulatory press release, such polyploidy events probably set
in motion a kind of genomic renaissance, and that present-day varieties now are reaping the rewards.
Science Daily dutifully recorded and broadcast the good news.
Assured that Father Darwin would be pleased to see so much light shed on his mystery, dePamphilis congratulated himself on his inference
that polyploidy is the solution. The further we push back the date of when these events happened, the more
confidently we can claim that not most, but all flowering plants are the result of large-scale duplications of the genome,
he said, turning to Fred Hoyles abominable epithet: Its possible that the important polyploidy events weve identified
were the equivalent of two big bangs for flowering plants.
Hoyle had criticized his rivals cosmology as a big bang with the explanatory power of an explosion from nothing,
so its hard to see how dePamphilis can take comfort in the comparison. The Penn State press release, furthermore,
neglected to go into details of how a copy of anything can innovate new things full of functional genetic information.
They apparently left that essay question as an exercise. It is unclear, though,
if the big-bang theory of flowering plant evolution provides understanding on the origin of orchids any more than saying, stuff happens.
When contrary inferences are ignored, however, anything goes; the sky is the limit on inferences that can be drawn,
because there is nothing to compare them to. It is a risk in normal science as Thomas Kuhn described it
that no one will be challenged to think outside the box (the paradigm). Researchers working on the paradigm form a kind
of guild of mutually supportive workers who only seek to confirm or fine-tune the paradigm. They may even be oblivious to the
possibility that other paradigms exist or they may rule them out because of peer pressure. They can also be
oblivious to other interesting questions that the paradigm does not ask.
Signs that a paradigm is vacuous and due for a scientific revolution may have to come from outside, among observers
not beholden to the paradigm, who are able to point out its flaws. Any paradigm that assumes its own validity could be
ruled circular and immune to falsification. If so, Karl Popper would have said it is not science.
Year after year we have pointed out the shenanigans of the Darwin Party. They turn emptiness into confidence,
air space into data, duplicates into toolkits, science into storytelling. These blind guides, professing wisdom in folly,
promising what they cannot deliver, are driven by pantheistic visions of molecules self-organizing into minds.
Teacher Protection Inflames Darwinist Outrage
Theres ample enough evidence in 10 years of these pages to convict them of pseudoscience, yet they remain in power so much so
that to question their authority is to risk ones career (see next entry, 04/11/2011).
If you are sick of their tactics, and have had it with stuff happens as scientific explanation, if you are
fed up with totalitarian rule by fools masquerading as scholars, and toady reporters incapable of asking hard questions,
then join the resistance. Arm yourself with truth, answers, wisdom, honesty, and courage. Have a strategy.
Learn to be effective, not boisterous or careless. Know what you are up against, and count the cost.
Only by driving the Darwin Party from power will there be hope of a scientific revolution that, once again, is dedicated
to following the evidence where it leads.
Next headline on:
Darwin and Evolution
Philosophy of Science
April 11, 2011 Imagine a bill that protects teachers who wish to present facts the facts about
Darwinism. Assume that it specifically forbids teaching creationism or intelligent design. Imagine the
bill seeking to increase critical thinking among students about controversial subjects. Should it
be a cause for alarm?
Theres actually a bill like that in Tennessee, and yet opponents are treating it with
the same emotional vitriol with which they attacked laws from decades ago that mandated equal time for creation
when evolution is taught. Even though this bill has nothing to do with teaching creationism, and allows critical
thinking on any subject that scientifically controversial, the opponents are up in arms, claiming it will somehow inject
religion into science class. The bill expressly states that it shall not be construed to promote any
religious or non-religious doctrine.
The Tennessee state house overwhelmingly voted to approve HR 368, the Teacher Protection Act.
It will next go to the state senate and, if passed, to the governor. Casey Luskin explained the bill and
the vote for Evolution
Magazine last week started the media uprising with claims that the bill will embolden creationist teachers. It quoted
Luskin in rebuttal, but also AAAS CEO Alan Leshner claiming There is virtually no scientific controversy among the
overwhelming majority of researchers on the core facts of global warming and evolution. The
editorial urged AAAS members to speak out against the law.
Nashville radio station
WPLN (National Public Radio) reported on some of the debates, quoting
various talking heads and characterizing it as a Republican-vs-Democrat issue. Anika Smith on
Evolution News alleged
that Nashville Public Radio Will Take Your Talking Points Without Even Fact-Checking Them, explaining,
That is, theyll take the talking points they already tend to agree with, without questioning or investigating their veracity.
WPLN noted her allegation and clarified it in a footnote.
The most vitriolic article against the bill so far was posted by Robert Roy Britt on
He decorated his tirade with a photo of a blackboard, the word Evolution crossed out and
a hand replacing it with creationism. The caption gives a bit of the flavor of what follows:
Creationism and intelligent design are not science, whereas evolution is a solid scientific theory.
Britt used emotional language and loaded words geared to
inflame his readers, claiming that (italics added):
...and thats just in the first three paragraphs. Britt went on to equate creationism with intelligent
design. He almost shouted, Creationism is religion.
The loaded words and fear-mongering only
accelerated from there: intelligent design is sneaky; It is rooted in religion but couched in pseudoscience
with enough scientific-sounding mumbo-jumbo that will confuse a kid into thinking there just might be something to it.
- ...the advocates of the bill are politicians, not scientists;
- ...the bill will chip away at the solid theorys foundations (speaking of evolution);
- ...the bill is an effort to interject religion into the teaching of science in public schools;
- ...six other states are trying to weaken evolutions standing in the classroom;
- ...the legislation is often couched as supporting academic freedom;
- ...the NCSE is a defender of the teaching of evolution;
- ...such bills attempt to foster the false belief that evolution is just a theory;
- ...alternatives to evolution favor a deity;
- ...the law is dangerous to an informed citizenry (according to NCSE);
With a wave to the bandwagon, Britt announced,
Neither has any place in a science curriculum, scientists overwhelmingly agree.
According to him, the bill is lousy, there is no controversy that needs teaching, and according to
his indisputable authority, the NCSE, the bill is unnecessary, anti-scientific, and very likely unconstitutional.
Britt continued by evoking images that the bill might mutate and spread ironic, since
that sounds like a kind of evolution. He ended with an Inherit-the-Wind-style depiction of
the Scopes Trial. It would be hard to pack more alarmism into 900 words than Britts article did.
American, Joe Wolverton gave a more dispassionate description of the bill and the views of its supporters and critics.
Keep it up, Robert. Youre just showing what irrational, intolerant bigots you DODOs are (Darwin-only,
Darwin-only). Your densely-packed propaganda donates good exercise material for our upcoming generation of
baloney detectors. In fact, we encourage readers to make an exercise of Britts tirade,
counting the propaganda tactics, logical fallacies and
smokescreens, and calculating the P/S density (propaganda to sentence ratio).
Britt left so many questions begging (e.g., Is Darwinism free of religious implications? Is science determined by
majority rule?) that it would take a national soup kitchen to feed them all.
Is This What Darwin Had in Mind?
Britt used to be a somewhat fair-minded science reporter. Something happened; he is now one of the most
comical anti-creationists, to the point of being a caricature of himself. Its doubtful that he does his side much
good. Some rational readers are going to read his fact-challenged tirade and wonder what gets him so worked up;
what does this character have against critical thinking? (02/15/2011).
A suggested strategy would be to give Mr. Britt and others like him more cause for emotional backlash,
to the point where his willful bigotry comes to the surface in catatonic fits of rage (presumably, we can trust
that he will not become violent). This is not just for the entertainment value of watching someone make a fool
of himself; it has an intelligently-designed purpose. The behavior will likely undermine his effectiveness; yea, rather, will
cause observers to flee him as they would a box of fireworks catching fire.
Find a quiet place away from the wrathful noise of the Darwin Party and consider: teachers can
lose their jobs for the mere suggestion that parts of Darwinian theory have problems
etc., etc. work your way back through the Darwin chain links). Forget teaching about creation
or intelligent design or religion in science class; academia has become so intolerant that the mere hint of
questioning evolution is grounds for persecution and dismissal. Have we wandered so far from the open marketplace
of ideas that it has come to this?
Darwinists of the 19th century struggled to get
academic freedom for their views; Darwin himself appealed to allowing both sides of a controversy to be heard
(see AcademicFreedomDay.org). But like communists and Nazis and other
totalitarians, as soon as they seized power, they snatched the very freedom they so eagerly desired away from their opponents.
You can trust a card-carrying Darwin Party member to be an insufferable, intolerant bigot. Call them what they are;
but dont be like them. The only way to fight bigotry is to stand up to it with resolute firmness and courage,
boldly speaking the truth with equanimity and without compromise.
Next headline on:
Darwin and Evolution
April 10, 2011 Evolution is a word loosely used in science these days. Reporters and scientists
talk about the evolution of this or that sometimes carelessly, without regard to how the explanation
fits old Darwinism or neo-Darwinism. Has the word evolution become a kind of catch-all hypothesis,
for which rigor is no longer necessary?
It appears from these and many other stories that evolution is a flexible word. Any change of any kind, no matter how fast or slow
it occurs, and whether it produces any fitness gain or not, can be called evolution. Explanations that become too loose wind up
- Survival of the discreetist: Mark Buchanan on New
Scientist coined a term exo-evolution to discuss how aliens evolve: Aliens who hide, survive is the idea in
a nutshell. Has ET evolved to be discreet? he began. An evolutionary tendency for inconspicuous
aliens would solve a nagging paradox – and also suggest that we Earthlings should think twice before advertising our own existence.
The paradox he mentioned is the Fermi Paradox: the puzzle of why we havent found aliens, and they havent found us,
if the universe is full of them. In order to explain the Fermi paradox, [Adrian] Kent [Perimeter Institute, Waterloo, Ontario,
Canada] turns to natural selection and suggests that it may favour quiet aliens. From there, the
discussion descended into what aliens might want to do. Evolution as Darwin meant it has no purpose or intention.
- Survival of the sprinters: In another article on
Michael Le Page denied that slow and steady evolution (gradualism) wins the evolutionary race. Darwin might be astonished to
hear one of his disciples say, its a sprint one in which the runners might change direction at any minute.
The article told Michael Bells observations of stickleback fish that appear to adapt within decades. They had been
assumed to evolve slowly, over thousands of years, he said. Compared with the gradual process described by Darwin,
this is evolution at warp speed.
- Instant evolution: It would be harder to think of evolution any faster than warp speed; but how about instant?
Heres an easy way to get whiteflies to evolve instantly: just add bacteria.
That was the headline of a press release from the University of Arizona.
Molly Hunter did experiments that showed Rickettsia-infected whiteflies had more offspring. She assumed this was
instant evolution on that basis; In evolution, fitness is the money, she quipped. Darwin,
Mr. Gradualist himself, would be shocked.
- Evolutionary interest: Can organisms have an evolutionary interest in something? Darwin assumed that natural
selection is random and undirected; Dawkins assumed selfish genes were interested only in their own survival, the organism be damned.
Why, then, did Jiggins and Hurst say this in Science?1
Being maternally inherited, these microbes have an evolutionary interest only in the production and survival of female hosts;
consequently, they have evolved a variety of traits through which they promote the production and survival of daughters.
They were talking about a case of horizontal gene transfer in insects: It has recently become clear, however, that
horizontal transfer of traits can play a major role in arthropod evolution. Such transfer is contrary to 150 years of
speculation about how evolution operates.
- Losing sleep over evolution: Evolution might make you lose sleep. If you are a cave fish, and lose your eyes,
you might be able to get by with less sleep, according to a press release from
York University. The researchers found behavioral changes in sleep patterns between cave fish and their counterparts on the surface,
but did not tie them to any genetic changes, at least yet. They did not explain whether this made them more fit in some way;
if its always midnight, does evolution make you burn more midnight oil, and if so, is that good for you or for fish?
1. Francis M. Jiggins and Gregory D. D. Hurst, Rapid Insect Evolution by Symbiont Transfer,
Science, 8 April 2011:
Vol. 332 no. 6026 pp. 185-186, DOI: 10.1126/science.1205386.
The phrase the evolution of now serves the same purpose as
the demon of has in explanation, as in the demon of obesity. It fits anything and
everything the speaker wishes to blame on some unknown quantity operating by an unknown process.
What could be more simple than a jellyfish. Did you know some box jellyfish have human-like vision?
Look at the 04/01/2007 entry.
Darwin might be shocked by these abuses of his theory, but its all his fault.
He was the one that introduced storytelling into science. How is his fiction any
better than these?
Next headline on:
Darwin and Evolution
More Youth on Titan
April 09, 2011 Hopes that Saturns giant moon Titan might have volcanoes just dropped.
A new paper in Icarus1 concludes Titan gets its geology from the outside,
not the inside. If confirmed, it implies all the surface features were created by wind, impacts and
weather not by active geology. The hopeful cryovolcano announced last year (Sotra Facula, see
12/24/2010, bullet 12) was disputed by
Moore and Pappalardo, authors of the new paper. Titan may be a geologically dead world.
Titans atmosphere, however, remains a subject of intense interest. Scientists were
eager to visit Titan via Cassini because of its thick atmosphere of nitrogen and methane. Because
precipitation of methane and its byproducts was considered inevitable, astrobiologists were eager to find liquid
as possible abodes for life. Some proposed a global ocean several kilometers deep.
When the Huygens Probe landed in January 2005 with a thud on a moist but mostly dry lake bed, those hopes
Planetary scientists have also had an age conundrum with Titan. They know that the
methane in the atmosphere is destroyed and converted to other compounds in a one-way process. This puts
strong upper limits on the age of the atmosphere far less than the 4.5-billion-year age assumed for the
solar system. They had hoped that a reservoir of methane under the surface would be found to erupt in
cryovolcanos to replenish the atmosphere. The new paper casts doubt on that solution; see the
Cassini press release
for a summary of the findings, and also PhysOrg,
Instead of volcanoes, another possible large crater has been found.
The ghost crater reported by New
Scientist is disputed by others. The surprising dearth of volcanoes leads many planetary scientists to
say they are quickly erased by erosion. If it werent for the atmosphere, scientists expect Titan would
look like Callisto, a dead moon orbiting Jupiter.
Another paper in press in Icarus analyzed Titans equatorial sand dunes.2
The longitudinal dunes, covering about 12.5% of the surface, were a surprise when discovered, because scientists were expecting large lakes or even a global
ocean. They had also doubted that the winds were strong enough at the surface to move particles around. Dunes also exist
on Mars, Venus, and of course, Earth, but on Titan, the average 300-foot-high dunes are nearly 3 km apart, getting farther apart at
higher latitudes. Unlike the silica sands on Earth, the particles in Titans dunes are thought to be composed of
hydrocarbon dust and ice precipitated out of the atmosphere. All together, they constitute the largest known reservoir of organics on
Titan, because the combined area of dunes is about as large as the United States (Titans diameter is also about that size).
The dunes also impinge on theories of Titans age. For one, they are among Titans most youthful
features; for another, they indicate a lack of persistent liquid on Titans equator, even though liquid ethane should have
been raining onto the surface throughout Titans history. The presence of dunes implies that much of Titan is arid.
If spread out evenly over the globe, the particles in this largest reservoir of organics (larger than all the observed lakes
combined) would doubtless fail to cover Titan with the predicted accumulation of hydrocarbons that must have been produced in
the assumed 4.5-billion-year age of the moon. The dune distribution places constraints on Titans meteorology and
geology, the authors said.
1. Jeffrey M. Moore and Robert T. Pappalardo, Titan: An Exogenic World?,
Icarus April 2011, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2011.01.019.
2. LeGall, Janssen et al., Cassini SAR, radiometry, scatterometry and altimetry observations of Titans dune fields,
Icarus (article in press), doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2011.03.026.
We are still discovering facts about Titan, so definitive conclusions are premature; however, enough is known to
falsify many assumptions and predictions made by those who refuse to budge from their A.S.S. (age of the solar system,
4.5 billion years; see 02/19/2011). They were wrong about a global ocean; they were
wrong about huge lakes of liquid ethane; they were dumbfounded to find sand dunes; and now it appears they were wrong about active geology.
Researchers Violate Separation of Science and State
The upper limits on age appear to be growing stronger with
time. The puzzlement on their faces, and the silence about defending the consensus age, are tell-tale signs that
their fascination with discovery is tempered by panic over looming destruction of favored beliefs about the age of
the solar system (02/15/2008). Titan may be the old-agers Titanic.
Next headline on:
April 08, 2011 What are the limits of science? Many of us envision men and women in
white lab coats holding test tubes, studying readouts on instruments, or hacking rocks with picks.
A look at headlines from science news sites, though, shows some scientists inserting their opinions
in areas traditionally led by scholars in the humanities and doing so as if their opinions
carry the presumed authority of science.
Paul Feyerabend, a post-Kuhnian firebrand in philosophy of science, thought that science was a threat to democracy.
The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy described his concern:
- Abortion policy: PhysOrg,
normally concerned with science news, reprinted an AP story about abortion foes tactics on their site.
The article portrayed crisis pregnancy centers as somehow devious in their attempts to help women find alternatives to abortion,
even though New York Citys abortion rate is 41% the highest in the nation, double the national rate.
Reporter Cristian Salazar disparaged the small number of pregnancy service organizations accused by abortion rights
groups and city officials of misleading women about their reproductive health options and disguising themselves as medical clinics,
as if abortion clinics could not be similarly accused. Salazar also mentioned Margaret Sanger having opened a family planning clinic in
Brooklyn in 1916 without any mention of her racist eugenics policies.
- Wisdom science: To whom do you go for wisdom? A pastor, priest, or rabbi? A holy book?
A trusted friend or academic? Never fear; science is here science in the form of psychology.
What the world needs now? More wisdom, is the headline of a press release from
reprinted by PhysOrg. While the headline is true,
is science the one to tell anyone how to get it? Isnt science concerned with natural laws and material
Dolores Pushkar defined wisdom as something that benefits society as a whole as well as the self.
Yet that definition might well be disputed; perhaps it is wise to sometimes stand alone against a whole society bent on evil,
as did Bonhoeffer against the Nazi society at the cost of his own life. Paul wrote of a hidden wisdom that
God performed in Christs sacrifice on the cross, a move that at the time seemed futile in Roman society. Does Pushkar, as a scientist,
have more wisdom than King Solomon on wisdom? No single definition of wisdom exists, the press release admitted.
To be sure, the article described how the psychology department was engaging the philosophy department
in research on wisdom, and was funded by sources in the Social Sciences and Humanities. Interdepartmental initiatives
can be seen as wise moves; science can bring observational and statistical data to bear on questions about wisdom.
Yet the press release frequently discussed research being done by Pushkars team. At some level, it implies
that moral qualities like wisdom are amenable to scientific analysis.
- Government spending: Live Science the website name tells what its about. Why, then, did
Chad Brooks write the following un-scientific headline: Dont Like How Tax Dollars Are Spent? Get Used to It.
Its part of a series the website whimsically calls $ci-Fi: The Science of Personal Finance, described as
an ongoing LiveScience series that explores the science of personal finance to help you navigate everyday life.
Again, science seems to be inserting itself into the wisdom business. Can science, though, provide anything more than raw data
and statistics? Whose job is it to tell individuals how to live their lives? Does a science site have any more
presumptive authority than a financial adviser or a research staffer in a senatorial office?
The article provided data about government spending, and made the inductive claim that things are not likely
to change soon. Moreover, the article heavily quoted Scott Lilly, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress,
a radically liberal think tank funded by multibillionaire George Soros. So not only is it unclear how science can do any better job
of analyzing government spending, or helping individuals navigate everyday life, it here risked soiling its objectivity with
accusations of partisanship.
- Right-to-work: PhysOrg
published another scientific finding that leans to the left. Right-to-work laws not only
hurt labor unions financially, they also may jeopardize worker safety, according to research by Roland Zullo
that conveniently plays into the liberal desires of union bosses to deny freedom of choice to workers.
should be concerned if labor unions are hurt financially seems a moot point. Zullo was quick to paint the unions in a favorable light;
Unions appear to have a positive role in reducing construction industry and occupation fatalities, but only in
states without right-to-work laws, he claimed. At least one reader wrote an angry comment about this article,
focusing on the rights of individuals to work without being forced to join a labor union.
- Girl scout cookies What can science say about Girl Scout cookies?
Daily apparently thought the presumptive authority of science can judge that traditional Boy Scout and Girl Scout activities
are guilty of gender stereotyping. Looking under the hood shows that Science Daily reprinted, under its banner of science,
a press release from Sociologists for Women in Science, an organization
that supports feminist sociological research, activism and scholars.
One might think that the standards of scientific objectivity would provide equal time for scholarly views from
conservative organizations (perhaps Focus on the Family or the Family Research Council), but a Google search finds
not a single mention of these prominent organizations in Science Dailys listings, but three from the feminist Sociologists for Women in Science and
nine from the ultra-liberal Center for American Progress.
- The science of sin: Update 04/11/2011: in perhaps the most blatant act of
usurpation by scientists of the humanities, McMaster University
researchers decided they would find scientific solutions to sin. Is their solution theological?
Do they have a new method of salvation? Are they suggesting moral teachings, or offering psychological counseling?
No; their working assumption is that all sin has molecular underpinnings.
Their solution, therefore, was to look in the chemical cabinet for antidotes to human moral deficiencies.
Most people are familiar with the
seven deadly sins pride, envy, gluttony, lust, wrath, greed and sloth but could there be molecular solutions
for this daily struggle between good and evil? (assuming science has the taxonomic tools for such distinctions).
Groups of students were told to get out of the theological box and into the scientific box: By getting students to think outside the box, the aim was to
come up with the best molecule and design for a drug, or remedy, that counteracts sin.
Looming questions rise when political ramifications of this research are considered. Who
will control the medicine chest? Who will prescribe, and who will partake? The researchers apparently didnt
ask whether there is a drug to combat scientific hubris.
The separation of church and state should therefore be supplemented by the separation of science and state, in order
for us to achieve the humanity we are capable of. Setting up the ideal of a free society as a
society in which all traditions have equal rights and equal access to the centres of power (SFS, p. 9), Feyerabend
argues that science is a threat to democracy. To defend society against science we should place science
under democratic control and be intensely sceptical about scientific experts, consulting them only
if they are controlled democratically by juries of laypeople.
Law professor Phillip E. Johnson found another Feyerabend quote to end his article on the pretensions of science for world conquest:
Scientists are not content with running their own playpens in accordance with what they regard as the rules of
the scientific method, they want to universalize those rules, they want them to become part of society at large, and
they use every means at their disposalargument, propaganda, pressure tactics,
intimidation, lobbyingto achieve their aims (Objections Sustained,
Inter-Varsity Press, 1998, p. 66). Feyerabend is widely regarded as extreme in his views, but readers can judge for
themselves (as juries of laypeople) to what extent his fears have become realized.
All the so-called secular science news sites and institutions are uniformly leftist in their politics.
They are the same ones that give uncritical acceptance of Darwinism. Thats why they are secular; they adore
the secular religion Darwin founded, and science is their primary tool for spreading their intolerant bigotry around
the world. Let the reader beware.
Adult Stem Cell Advances Continue
Science does not have to be that way; clearly it was not before the
Darwinian revolution. But thats what it has become. Many individual scientists are not that way, just as
many hard-working Americans in labor unions hold views far more conservative than the union leaders, whose views are also
uniformly leftist often radically so, and just as bent on world conquest.
One cannot get genuine science out of science news or scientific papers these days without first a
severe acid wash. By that, we mean not applying acid to the news, but applying heavy doses of pure water instead,
to wash out Darwins universal acid that corrodes everything it touches. Another technique is to apply
Darwin Acid to Darwinism itself, which causes an implosion, leaving a vacuum that intelligence rushes in to fill.
Next headline on:
Politics and Ethics
Darwin and Evolution
Philosophy of Science
April 07, 2011 The momentum for stem cell therapy is still on the side of adult stem cells (ASC),
not embryonic stem cell (ESC) research. Here are some recent findings:
Stories about embryonic stem cells generating eyeballs are circulating on the net (see
Science Daily and
Actually, just a rudimentary eye cup has been observed to form from ES cells in mice. These eye cups
show differentiation in to several times of retinal tissues. The work was published in Nature.1
- Blood vessel repair: A press release from
Kings College London says,
Scientists from Kings College London have uncovered the first genetic evidence that shows cells found on the
surface of blood vessels can act as stem cells to assist in both organ growth and tissue repair. Leader of
the study Paul Sharpe said, This is the first time perivascular cells have been shown to differentiate into specialised
cells during a natural tissue repair process. In addition to the obvious significance for understanding the cellular
mechanisms of tissue repair, it also has wider implications for areas of regenerative medicine/dentistry directed towards
stimulating natural repair following tissue damage or disease.
- Heart bypass aid: Your own stem cells may stop heart damage. In a new research study under way
at the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center, surgeons are adding a patients own stem cells to the heart during cardiac
bypass surgery, a press release from The
Methodist Hospital System said. The goal of this research study is to determine whether the stem cell infusion
will generate new blood vessels and improve heart function more than what is seen through bypass surgery alone.
- Genetic defect correction: At University
of Wisconsin, scientists are learning that genes from a patient with genetic defects can be cultured, repaired, and induced into
pluripotent stem cells that can be re-injected for tissue repair without risk of causing cancer. The press release from
Morgridge Institute for Research
at the university said that the research moved gene therapy one step closer to clinical reality by determining that the process
of correcting a genetic defect does not substantially increase the number of potentially cancer-causing mutations in induced pluripotent stem cells.
- Skin repair: Another press release from
Kings College London
gives hope for burn victims. Researchers have found that bone marrow stem cells that can transform into skin cells to repair
damaged skin tissue during skin grafts. It was already known that bone marrow may play a role in skin wound healing,
but until now it was not known which specific bone marrow cells this involves, how the process is triggered, and how the key cells
are recruited to the affected skin area. They identified a marrow protein named HMGB1 that can mobilise the cells from bone
marrow and direct them to where they are needed. This story was featured in News in a nutshell on
- Plentiful supply: The efficiency of reprogramming cells into stem cells just got better.
University of Pennsylvania posted a news
report that describes how micro-RNAs (miRNA) can do the job without the usual reprogramming factors.
A team headed found that a specific group of miRNAs can indeed reprogram mouse and human adult cells into an iPSC state by themselves,
and can do so very rapidly and efficiently. A video clip showing by Dr. Edward E. Morrissey explaining how the new
process is more efficient by two orders of magnitude.
Either way, the work at RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology in Kobe, Japan is not necessarily
concerned with farming human ESCs for regenerative repair, but only learning how stem cells in an embryo form the
bodys tissues in three dimensions.
Commenting on this research in the same issue,1 Ali and Sowden said in Regenerative
medicine: DIY eye that this research could offer the prospect of disease modelling and drug testing
using induced pluripotent stem cells generated from patients' tissues.
1. Eiraku, Takata et al, Self-organizing optic-cup morphogenesis in three-dimensional culture,
472, (07 April 2011), pp. 51–56, doi:10.1038/nature09941.
2. Robin R. Ali and Jane C. Sowden, Regenerative medicine: DIY eye,
472 (07 April 2011), pp. 42–43, doi:10.1038/472042a.
Does anyone see any need to tamper with human embryos? The tangible results are coming from work with adult stem cells.
If scientists want to play with mouse embryos, fine; but where is the gold rush that was promised with ESCs?
What happened after all those tear-jerking commercials that disabled people were all going to die without embryonic stem cells,
and warnings from scientific institutions that other countries would leave American science in the dust if we didnt
relax restrictions on ESC research?
Did you know that isolated DNA bases fall apart quickly? How, then, could life ever have gotten
started? The 04/11/2006 entry showed
origin-of-life theories getting improbabler and improbabler (new word; dont be an improbabbler;
see online book).
Meanwhile, work with adult stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells, without
the ethical issues, has been leaping forward with actual results. The only applications
for embryonic stem cell research so far have been fraud, greed,
hype and quackery (QuackResearch.org). Even leading
scientific journals have been guilty (01/09/2006). Let this be a lesson in
Next headline on:
Politics and Ethics
Does Observing Flight Explain Its Evolution?
April 06, 2011 In various research labs, evolutionists are studying the origin of flight.
Recent articles, though, only show them observing animals or fossils that already fly or flew.
Does this provide any insight into how flight might have originated by a purposeless material process?
Each of these articles spoke confidently about the evolution of flight, but as evidence, only showcased flying things.
Wouldnt arguing that flight evolved require showing a sequence of animals progressing from flightless to flying?
- Birds: With a quote from Charles Darwin decorating the heading,
announced a book Living dinosaurs: The evolutionary history of modern birds by Gareth Dyke and Gary Kaiser
(Wiley, May 2011).
Darwin speculated on a straightforward evolutionary path from dinosaurs to birds via Archaeopteryx, a new
fossil discovered in his day. Yet in the centuries [sic] following this discovery the rise of modern
birds remains greatly debated, the article began, with rise signifying an evolutionary rise.
So what do Dyke and Kaiser offer to win the debate? The article said they set out to
unite ornithologists and paleontologists to form a modern understanding of the evolution of birds
at the beginning of the 21st century. They dont believe birds evolved beginning in Y2K, of course; they
just wanted to get the debating wingless humans to join hands.
But first, they had to sweep away the simplistic march of progress imagined by Darwin and Huxley.
After slumbering for more than a century avian paleontology has been awakened by startling new discoveries
on almost every continent, co-author Gary Kaiser said, undoubtedly thinking of discarded ideas that Archaeopteryx
represented a transitional form.
Old controversies have been swept away and replaced by new and more difficult questions, such as
how did birds learn to fly and how did they survive the great extinction that ended the Mesozoic Era?
This replacement of old controversies with newer, more difficult ones indicates that not much progress
has been made in the last 150 years of Darwinian theory. The authors are still trying to figure out the most
basic question: how did birds learn to fly? Any answers are in future tense: Answers to these questions
may help us understand how the different kinds of living birds are related to one another and how they evolved
into their current niches, PhysOrg just reproduced this press release verbatim from
- Flies: What about insect flight? PhysOrg
in a separate article announced cheerfully, History of flies takes flight. The headline suggested that an
explanation of the origin of flight in flies would be forthcoming. Unfortunately, again, a team of 25
international scientists led by Simon Fraser University only had flying flies to exhibit. They used
genomic sequencing and morphological information to plug gaps in the 250-million-year history of Diptera (true
By definition, though diptera (two wings) already had wings, and presumably already flew. Did the
article provide information on the origin of fly flight? A look at the body of the article finds discussion of
fly radiation, fly survival and fly extinction, but nothing about how the first non-flying insects evolved wings, muscles,
and brains that allow these tiny acrobats to dazzle Caltech engineers (12/08/2003,
The work was all part of a large-scale effort to place all living organisms into a comprehensive tree of life,
the article said. Strange that they left out the most important limb of all: the one leading to flight.
- Have wings, may fly: Scientists at the University of Illinois discovered the oldest known flying insect.
In PNAS,1 they announced the following. Look for any explanation of how
Insects were the first animals to evolve powered flight and did so perhaps 90 million years before the
first flight among vertebrates. However, the earliest fossil record of flying insect lineages (Pterygota) is poor,
with scant indirect evidence from the Devonian and a nearly complete dearth of material from the Early Carboniferous.
By the Late Carboniferous a diversity of flying lineages is known, mostly from isolated wings but without true insights into the
paleoethology of these taxa. Here, we report evidence of a full-body impression of a flying insect from the Late Carboniferous
Wamsutta Formation of Massachusetts, representing the oldest trace fossil of Pterygota. Through ethological and morphological
analysis, the trace fossil provides evidence that its maker was a flying insect and probably was representative of a
stem-group lineage of mayflies....
But mayflies not only may fly, they do fly. Where did their ancestors learn how to get from desire to accomplishment?
Geographic News posted a photo of the fossil imprint.
1. Knecht, Engel, and Benner, Late Carboniferous paleoichnology reveals the oldest full-body impression of a flying insect,
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,
published online before print April 4, 2011, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1015948108 PNAS April 4, 2011.
What a scam artist this Darwin was. His science doesnt fly. Dont invest in his companys
promissory notes; theyre already 150 years old and not backed by any collateral. But oh, did Charlie know
how to hire fast-talking hot air salesmen. Put your stock in biomimetics. Those are the guys who know
design when they see it (03/15/2011,
Poison Comets Brought Life to Earth
Next headline on:
Darwin and Evolution
April 05, 2011 You dont drink formaldehyde; you stick dead things in it.
Why on earth would some evolutionists claim that Poison could have set the stage for the
origins of life? Thats exactly a headline on
Science chiming in that the poisonous chemical has been linked to the
origin of life on earth.
The story begins with speculation that formaldehyde may have made up some of the fabric of
the early bodies of the solar system asteroids and comets. The only observational evidence in
the story is that formaldehyde is found in interstellar space by its spectrum, and that researchers at
the Carnegie Institution were able to create one organic solid similar to one in a certain kind of meteorite starting with
it. This mineral was also similar to material found in Comet Wild-2, samples of which were analyzed by the Stardust spacecraft.
From there, the researchers leapt to the idea that the carbon in the formaldehyde that made
up these minerals got to earth. George Cody at Carnegie was excited about this wild idea.
We may owe our existence on this planet to interstellar formaldehyde, he said.
And whats ironic about it is that formaldehyde is poisonous to life on Earth.
So even though its a long conceptual leap from formaldehyde to comets to carbon on earth to life,
Cody felt he had done his fellow carbon units a favor: Establishing the likely origin of the
principal source of organic carbon in primitive solar system bodies is extremely satisfying.
Update 04/06/2011: Ker Than wrote an independent article about this for
Geographic News, entitled, Space Poison Helped Start Life on Earth?
Formaldehyde on asteroids may have delivered planets carbon.
His article showcased a dead frog preserved in formalin (dissolved formaldehyde), and explained that formaldehyde
is poisonous because it interferes with many metabolic reactions.
Like the other reporters, though, he offered no critique of Codys theory.
Meanwhile, at University of Oxford, Don Fraser has been divining clays as possible maternity
wards for incipient life. PhysOrg
reprinted a press release from the university with a cast of characters including Darwin, Huxley,
Pasteur, Oparin, Miller, ISIS and NIMROD to see if clays could have solved
the problem of getting one-handed molecules together. Scenes shift from warm little ponds to
labs with spark-discharge tubes, primeval soup kitchens to hospitals with thalidomide babies, all
with the climax of taking our understanding of the origin of life a step further.
ISIS is a neutron source near Oxford, and NIMROD is an instrument for analyzing clays.
The Oxford team believes they are We are thus building an increasingly detailed picture of the steps that
lead to the origin of life.
Paul Davies lacks the confidence of these teams. Denyse O'Leary at
found a video on YouTube of the famous
astrobiologist and author acknowledging that evolutionists have no idea how life began.
It is tragic to watch smart people deceive themselves and to become fools while professing to
be wise. ISIS, NIMROD the techniques of divination change, but somehow the stories
stay the same.
Ironically, the room in which Davies was speaking was decorated with Christmas trees symbol of
another story in which life was brought to earth not by poison, but by a Person.
Seeing Is Believing, or v.v.
Next headline on:
Origin of Life
April 04, 2011 What you see is not what is out there in the world not exactly, at least.
Scientists have shown that your brain is tweaking the light coming in from your eyes and making predictions
about what you expect to see.
The blind spot experiment is well known to students. Thats where it
can be shown that your brain fills in the blind spot of each eyeball (where the optic nerve
leaves the retina, with no photoreceptors) with imagery from the surrounding field. A brick wall pattern,
for instance, continues seamlessly into the blind spot even though your eye actually receives no
light from that part of the retina.
Researchers at the University of Glasgow performed four experiments on participants, and
monitored brain activity with functional MRI, to see what parts of the visual field were doing when shielded
from visual input. Their findings were published in PNAS.1
It appears that the context influences what we see. The primary
visual cortex (V1) uses context and memory to prepare the image presented to the mind.
We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and
pattern-classification methods to show that the cortical representation
of a nonstimulated quarter-field carries information that can
discriminate the surrounding visual context. We show further that
the activity patterns in these regions are significantly related to
those observed with feed-forward stimulation and that these
effects are driven primarily by V1.
The way PhysOrg put it,
What our eyes cant see, the brain fills in. And it fills it in
from prior experience: The results show that our brains do not rely solely on what is shown to the eyes
in order to see. Instead the brain constructs a complex prediction of what it expects to see.
One neuroscientist called this predictive coding. Dr. Lars Muckli from U of Glasgow
explained how this is helpful: If you are driving a car and a pedestrian is suddenly obscured
say by a pillar box or your rear view mirror your brain still knows where they are and where they will reappear
in your line of vision. Without that ability, we would be lost in everyday life.
For more on image processing done by the eye and brain, see 05/22/2003,
1. Smith and Muckli, Nonstimulated early visual areas carry information about surrounding context,
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA,
published online before print November 1, 2010, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1000233107 (open access). Note: the
paper was published Nov 1, 2010, but PhysOrg reported on it April 4, 2011.
Unfortunately, Dr. Muckli tossed in this Darwin stinkincense bomb: The brains main function is to minimise surprise
that is what it has evolved to do. Were you surprised? That not only violates logic, it violates
Darwins own principle of Stuff Happens. Things dont evolve to do anything in Darwinland; they just
evolve. Implying a purpose for anything invokes teleology something Darwin and his disciples wanted to eliminate.
Enough of that distraction.
Like our Stupid Evolution Quote of the Week entries? There were so many six years ago we let the
readers pick from a long list (04/06/2006).
Findings like these bear on important philosophical questions about the relationship of our
senses to external reality. Philosophers have long wondered to what extent we can trust our senses. There is a long
chain of causal phenomena interceding between the photons emitted by an object and our perception of that object by
the mind. Here we see that our brains are manipulating reality for us in ways that can be tricked by experience
Those who say they only believe what they can see should realize they cannot see the whole electromagnetic spectrum,
for one thing, and the narrow range of visible light they can see is being transformed by their brains.
The only worldview that provides grounds for trusting our senses comes from the Bible. Our eyes and brains were created by
a Creator who loves honesty and truth, and has equipped his creatures with sufficient equipment to have reasonable,
though not exhaustive, access to external reality. Otherwise we would be lost in everyday life and
unable to respond to him by perceiving his works. Even so, we need to
train our equipment to discern the truth, and not deceive ourselves.
Next headline on:
Mind and Brain
Assuming Reality: Can Crater Dating Be Tested?
April 03, 2011 Two astronomers in Paris have come up with a new crater chronology for the moon
and offered it as a way to date other objects in the inner solar system. Their paper in Icarus,1
however, assumes so many unobservable things, the reader may wonder if it talks about the true history of the moon or some
alternate reality in the imagination. Here are some instances of assume in their paper (readers may wish to
just scan the blue text to get a feel for the assumptions):
Le Feuvre and Wieczorek admitted in the abstract that Our model may be inaccurate for periods prior to 3.5 Ga because of a different impactor
population, or for craters smaller than a few kilometers on Mars and Mercury, due
to the presence of subsurface ice and to the abundance of large secondaries,
respectively. Nevertheless, they felt that their new revised chronology
is better than earlier ones. Standard parameter values allow for the first time to naturally
reproduce both the size distribution and absolute number of lunar craters up
to 3.5 Ga ago, and give self-consistent estimates of the planetary cratering
rates relative to the Moon.
- The measured size-frequency distributions of lunar craters are reconciled with the observed population
of near-Earth objects under the assumption that craters smaller than a few kilometers in diameter form in a porous
- The total predicted size-frequency distribution for any given time is obtained
by multiplying the production function, assumed independent of age, by a
- ...the crater chronology method
assumes that craters accumulate uniformly on the surface of the planetary body...
- Under the assumption of a steady state distribution of impactors, the distribution of
craters on ~ 3 Ga old surfaces2 should be consistent with the present astronomically inferred cratering rates.
- Wiesel (1971) used a simplified asteroid population, and Bandermann and Singer (1973) used analytical formulations
based on strongly simplifying assumptions in order to calculate impact locations on a planet.
- This formulation assumes that no correlations exist between the size of the object and its orbit, which is consistent
15 with the observations of Stuart and Binzel (2004) for diameters ranging from 16 ~10 m to ~10 km.
- This model assumes that the NEO population is in steady-state, continuously replenished by the
influx coming from source regions associated with the main asteroid belt or the transneptunian disk.
- Various assumptions have led to all these estimates. Among them, the assumed
impact velocity and bolide density are only of moderate influence.
- Consequently, we simply fit a 10th-order polynomial
to the entire dataset, assuming each data is error free, and that the average
combination of all estimates gives a good picture of the impactor population.
- The size-frequency distribution of impactors is here assumed to be the same for all bodies in the inner solar system.
- ....the assumptions under which an encounter is considered to occur can be summarized as follows:
- An encounter between the target (Moon or planet) and impactor occurs
at the geometrical point of crossing of the two orbits (the mutual node)....
- The relative encounter velocity does not account for the acceleration generated by the mass of the target....
- The impactor, as seen by the target, is treated as if it were approaching from
an infinite distance, under only the gravitational influence of the target....
- For simplicity and without altering the results, it is assumed that the lunar
orbit is circular about the Earth and possess a zero inclination with respect to the ecliptic.
- A major difference between our approach and previous investigations (Shoemaker and Wolfe, 1982;
Zahnle et al., 1998, 2001) is that the argument of pericenter of the hyperbolic orbits is not assumed to precess uniformly
within the Earth-Moon system, but is explicitly given by the encounter geometry.
- It is assumed that only the vertical component of the impact velocity, whose value is obtained from the
impact angle, contributes to the crater size (Pierazzo et al., 1997), though other relations could be easily incorporated into this analysis.
- An increase of the transient crater diameter by wall slumping and rim formation is under the assumption of a constant impact flux over the last ~3 Ga.
- ...we assume in calculating dp that the density of the porous material is 2500 kg m-3...
- We note that given the simplicity of our crater-scaling procedure in the
transition zone, the correspondance [sic] between T and the actual megaregolith
thickness should not be expected to be exact.
- By the use of a porous regime dictated by the properties of a megaregolith,
our model production function reproduces the measured crater distributions
in shape and in the absolute number of craters formed over the past 3 Ga,
under the assumption of a constant impact flux. We caution that our simple
formulation of the porous / non-porous transition does not account for the
temporal evolution of the megaregolith and that the inferred megaregolith
thicknesses are only qualitative estimates.
- For illustrative purpose, Rc is shown for the inner planets in figure 3 by assuming
that craters with diameters less than 10 km form in a porous soil on both
the planet and Moon, while craters with greater sizes form in solid rocks (except for the Earth and Venus where only the non-porous regime is used).
- These calculations assume that the lunar obliquity stayed equal to
its present value in the past.
- ...we leave the implications for the
contribution of secondary craters to further investigations.
- These authors used Öpik equations (Shoemaker and Wolfe, 1982) for hyperbolic orbits that were assumed to
precess uniformly inside the planet-moon system. We nevertheless point out that Zahnle et al. (2001)
applied equation (20) to the moons of Jupiter, where this approximation might be valid.
- We further assume that the lunar obliquity
was equal to its present value (nearly zero) for the entire time between 3.9 Ga
and the present.
- The vertical component scaling appears to be the safest assumption for a
single target body, though the impact angle dependence of the average crater
efficiency may vary from planet to planet....
- Recently, Marchi et al. (2009) proposed a revised crater chronology. The main
differences with our approach (excluding the assumption of spatially uniform
cratering rates in the latter) are the following:
- We use the orbital distribution of near-Earth objects of Bottke et al. (2002),
modified for Mars, which is assumed to be in steady state and independent
of bolide size....
- We assume that the size frequency distribution of objects impacting the
planets is the same for all planets and that the probability of an object
impacting a planet is independent of size....
- When converting transient crater diameters to final crater diameters, we
use a multiplicative factor of 1.56 as suggested by Melosh (1989, 253 pp.)
and Melosh (1998), whereas Marchi et al. (2009) assume that the transient
crater diameter is equivalent to the final simple crater diameter for their
preferred impact scaling law that is based on the equations in Holsapple
and Housen (2007).
- Both studies treat the case of impact crater scaling in the porous megaregolith differently....
- It is difficult to quantify how each of these differences affect the final crater
size-frequency distribution on a planetary object, and hence the derived ages
of a surface. Nonetheless, we note that the different bolide size-frequency
distributions and the different crater scaling laws could be significant.
- Öpik probabilities assume that the argument of pericenter [omega] takes any value
between 0 and 2 [pi] with an equal probability.
- Equations (A.27) and (A.29) come from the assumption that the projectile
and Moon follow straight lines trajectories in the vicinity of the node, and are demonstrated in Öpik.
- Other assumed functional dependencies on the incidence angle can easily
be used in place of equation (A.62).
While simplifying assumptions are commonly employed in lab work, they can usually be tested by experiment.
These assumptions involve an unobserved history of the solar system that cannot be observed, repeated, or tested.
The authors also did not state to what degree their parameters might have been chosen to reproduce a crater history that
was also assumed.
1. Mathieu Le Feuvre and Mark A. Wieczorek, Nonuniform cratering of the Moon and a revised crater chronology of the inner
solar system, Icarus (article in press, accepted manuscript),
March 31, 2011, DOI:10.1016/j.icarus.2011.03.010.
2. Ga = giga-annum, billions of years.
We do not expect readers to wade through all the quotes above (feel free if that is your favorite form of self-flagellation).
It is the visual impact of the sheer number of assumptions that go into crater count dating that makes a powerful point: does their
model have anything to do with reality?
Imagining Worlds: Is It Science?
This is not to deprive Mssrs. Le Feuvre and Wieczorek of the convenience of some of their beloved assumptions.
Perhaps it really is only the vertical component of velocity that matters for an impact, and if it makes the math easier, fine.
But many of their assumptions seem naïve if not audacious. How could they possibly know that the incoming impact rate
has been in steady state for three billion years? The impact rate could be episodic. A few heavy episodes in short order
could completely invalidate their model. Further, they appeared to gloss over the big issue of secondary craters
03/25/2008), leaving that little difficulty to further investigation.
Well, guess what. As the links above show (q.v.), that one difficulty alone could completely confound their imaginary chronology.
Notice, too, that these authors invalidated other crater chronologies that were state-of-the-art for previous generations
of scientists. One could hardly get better than Gene Shoemaker in the 1990s, whose views they revised (overturned).
At least he got out there and did experiments firing rifles at rocks to see what happened.
They also showed how their assumptions differed from the assumptions of Marchi et al. Well, whose assumptions
are better, when nobody was there to watch? Take your pick.
The distinct possibility arises from these considerations that Le Feuvre and Wieczorek, bless their hearts,
have done nothing but manipulate numbers to create an imaginary history that doesnt match reality. If so,
why should anybody believe a word they said? It reduces to an exercise in impressing their colleagues with
mathematics and prose in a closed mutual admiration society that has nothing to say to people who want science to talk
about reality that is really real.
If they want to claim that their exercise was worthwhile because it is the best that can be done under
the circumstances, they commit the best-in-field fallacy. How do they know that
ten years from now, some young upstarts from another university wont refer to this paper as a misguided piece of
Popper explained that it is easier to falsify a hypothesis than to confirm it, but that was for observable,
testable things, like the effect of Einsteins relativity on starlight during a solar eclipse. Observations will
never be able to confirm this papers model about an unobservable history. It may, however, be possible to falsify their
model by arguing that their assumptions are unrealistic. It is more likely, therefore, that this model will be
falsified in the future than supported.
You may or may not agree that scientific papers about unknowables, like this one, are worthwhile
exercises. After all, we can observe craters in the present, and they got there somehow at some time.
Let us all, however, take their caution seriously: It is difficult to quantify how each of these differences affect the final crater
size-frequency distribution on a planetary object, and hence the derived ages of a surface.
Difficult, yes, in the sense of impossible. There are some things that science can never know.
For some of those, other sources of information are required.
Next headline on:
Philosophy of Science
April 02, 2011 An entry on Space.com
is almost pure speculation with no observation. Does it belong on a science news site?
Reporter Clara Moskowitz gave Viorel Badescu [Polytechnic University of Bucharest, Romania]
free rein to imagine life on free-floating planets (FFPs) bodies wandering free in space after being
abandoned, like wayward children, from their parent stars. The search for alien life usually focuses on planets
around other stars, she began. But a lesser-known possibility is that life has sprung up
on planets that somehow were ejected from their original solar systems and became free-floating
in the universe, as well as on small bodies called sub-brown dwarfs [SBDs], which are stars so small and dim
they are not really stars at all, but function more like planets.
First of all, do such bodies exist? Badescu admitted they are extremely hard to detect.
Moreover, Present day technology does not allow a systematic search for habitable FFPs and SBDs, but that did
not stop him from imagining that Sub-brown dwarfs weighing between 1 and 13 Jupiter masses may be about as common as stars, Badescu said.
So far, we have imaginary planets; now, we need to imagine life on them. What are the conditions for life, and can
we imagine them existing on these imaginary habitable planets?
After surmounting all these difficulties with leaps of imagination, Badescu gave his grand finale: it might be conceivable that
FFPs and SBDs are the most common sites of life in the universe. Well, then, we should search for them:
the existing observation programs [theres the other instance of the word observation]
of young star forming regions should be supplemented with activities related to
FFP and SBD identification and characterization. It might be worthwhile; we might just find imaginary life some imaginary day.
But even before that, since it might be conceivable that imaginary life is common on imaginary worlds, we would first
have to find out if it is even possible to conceive of such things; it might be, or it might not be.
- Heat: Without a star to warm them, FFPs would presumably be hopelessly frozen to death.
No problem; thanks to internal radioactive decay, One may expect a rather stable heat release for long periods of time,
exceeding two or three times the present age of the solar system, Badescu surmised, not having observed even
one present age of the solar system.
- Atmosphere: The imaginary planets also have imaginary atmospheres. Though meager, this heat
could be trapped on the object by an optically thick atmosphere.
- Solvent: Needless to say, FFPs would probably not be warm with lush oceanic baths of water for microbes.
But even though all life we know about relies on water, one can imagine any other liquid doing the job:
In particular, Badescu found that ethane a compound of carbon and hydrogen could function well
as a solvent for alien life.
One of the two instances of observation in the article is found in this
sentence: Synthesis of observational data makes it possible to conceive chemical reactions that might
support life involving non-carbon compounds, occurring in solvents other than water, Badescu wrote in his paper.
The observations were not about actually making chemical reactions work that might support life but only
data that makes it possible to conceive of reactions that might do so.
Speaking of ethane, no life has been observed on the only world we know about that has some liquid ethane Titan.
And no origin-of-life researcher has ever come up with a theory of how ethane would work in alien life-forms.
Despite those difficulties, Badescu said that some sub-brown dwarfs might have lakes or oceans of liquid ethane
that could prove quite homey to alien microbes.
- Polar solvent: Problem: ethane is not a polar molecule, like water. Its the polar properties of
water [that] enable certain kinds of molecules to dissolve easily in water, while others remain stable. That would not
be the case with ethane. However, the challenge is not insurmountable, according to Badescus fertile imagination:
a completely different type of molecule could be used to code lifes blueprint on a FFP or SBD.
He did not offer any candidate molecules.
- Genetic code: So what would convey the genetic information required by alien cells swimming in ethane
on imaginary worlds? After all, small changes in molecular structure may create large changes in molecular behavior
with a non-polar molecule, and That is not acceptable in an encoding biopolymer that must support Darwinian evolution,
in which case, the molecules physical properties must remain relatively constant when the informational content changes.
Again, though, his way out was simply to assert that the challenge is not insurmountable.
The article was decorated with imaginary images of imaginary landscapes. Speaking of imaginary
landscapes, that was the title of musical compositions by John Cage that experimented with chance music as a kind
of divination i.e., imitating nature in its manner of operation (Wikipedia).
In Imaginary Landscape No. 4, 12 operators twiddled the knobs of 12 radios at random. One never knows; it might produce
imaginary music. To be more like Badescus speculation, though, one must imagine the radios and the operators, too.
Reread the 01/17/2007 commentary.
Plants Generate Their Own Sunscreen
Exercise: Write a fairy tale with this much imagination and see if you can get Space.com or one of the other
secular science news sites to publish it without any criticism whatsoever. If Badescu can do it, it would
be discriminatory not to let you do it. Be sure to portray it as a scientific quest.
Extra credit: make a case for funding your search for your imaginary whatever. Be careful not
to specify a timeline, dollar limit, or any criteria for success.
Next headline on:
Origin of Life
April 01, 2011 Ultraviolet radiation hits plants as well as humans, but plants cant
reach for a tube of sunscreen. Too much exposure can damage them; what do they do?
They have a sensor that turns on production of their own brand of sunscreen and spreads it on their skin automatically.
UV-B rays are the most damaging rays in sunlight. In Science this week,1
researchers at the University of Glasgow explained how plants have a protein named UVR8 that normally comes in
pairs. UV-B rays break up the pairs; as single molecules now, UVR8 proteins link up with others named COP1.
This combination signals the nucleus to ramp up production of sunscreen. The abstract said in jargon,
Absorption of UV-B induces instant monomerization of the photoreceptor and interaction with COP1, the central regulator of
light signaling. Thereby this signaling cascade controlled by UVR8 mediates UV-B photomorphogenic responses securing
plant acclimation and thus promotes survival in sunlight.
Professor Gareth Jenkins
explained for University of Glasgow News,
When a plant detects UV-B light this light stimulates the synthesis of
sunscreen compounds that are deposited in the outer tissues and absorb UV-B, minimizing any harmful
transmittance to cells below. So its not just having UVR8 able to absorb the harmful
photons its also a matter of having them link up with other proteins and switch on genes
then having the gene products arrive at the proper destination to give protection quickly.
Scientists knew plants were able to protect themselves, but didnt know what photoreceptor
was sensitive to UV-B light. UVR8 is always present throughout a plant so it can respond immediately to sunlight,
the press release said.
1. Rizzini...Jenkins, Ulm et al, Perception of UV-B by the Arabidopsis UVR8 Protein,
1 April 2011: Vol. 332 no. 6025 pp. 103-106, DOI: 10.1126/science.1200660.
April 1 makes fools of some of us, but plants dont fool around. Especially foolish were the brain offerings
given to Charlie in the articles. The press release lit this stick of stinkincense: plants rarely show signs of
damage because they have evolved a way of protecting themselves from the suns harmful rays by making their own
sunscreen and depositing it in the outer tissues of leaves. Would that evolutionists would evolve a way
of evolving away evolutionary folly.
As an example of how amoral the Darwinists can be, remember the entry in 04/02/2004 that
tried to explain the evolution of suicide terrorism? It was NOT an April fool joke.
The paper in Science was no better: Several families of plant photoreceptors have evolved
that monitor light ranging from ultraviolet-B (UV-B) to the near infrared and allow optimal adaptation to light.
Their last sentence lubricated the Darwinian imagination: This raises the intriguing possibility that, together with the development
of an ozone layer in the stratosphere of Earth, the evolution of terrestrial plants may be coincident with the acquisition
of the UV-induced responses mediated by the UVR8 UV-B photoreceptor. Anythings possible; pigs could evolve wings and fly
coincident with the acquisition of big bad wolves in the neighborhood. Thats intriguing to imagine, too.
How long must we put up with this foolishness? Its happening 365x24x7, not just on April Fools Day.
Turn off the black light and let the sun shine in, under the ozone of critical thinking.
Next headline on:
Thank you so much for all the hard work you put into your fabulous site.
I have gleaned great amounts of very useful information from the many articles you have posted and then following the
chains of information to which they have led.
(a rabbi and author)
You have a wonderful site that is up-to-date. I check it about every other day. Thank you for your hard work.
(an electrical engineering major in Pennsylvania)
I love your blog [sic; science news site], and have been very blessed by your hard work of staying up to
speed on current science news. In fact, I like your ... articles so much that I am constantly quoting you
and using some of your material on Facebook discussion boards.
(a paralegal in California)
The things these scientists and priests of Darwin write are hysterical....
Thanks for the work of gathering it into a convenient location.
(a maintenance tech in Colorado)
I just found this site earlier today, and I can't stop reading! This seems like a great place to keep
myself updated in this heated debate between Creation science and Darwinian nonsense. Though being an electrical
engineer student, I may or may get involved with much biology in my future career; I still hope that my appreciation
for Gods design may help me become a better designer myself.
(an undergrad in California)
Your site is great. I read it every day. Whoever is doing the writing and researching is a genius:
witty, funny, insightful, informed and always right on....you make the darwinian farce look utterly laughable.
Keep up the great work...I'll be tuned in. God Bless you!
(a real estate investor in Texas)
First, thank you for your site. It is truly wonderful. I spend a lot of time debating evos on web sites ... and your site
is indispensable reading for me. I've been reading it for several years now and I would like to become a regular donor....
It wont be much, but Id like to do what I can. I feel this issue is the primary issue standing between
humanism and revival in America and the world.
(a reader in Florida)
I have just recently started studying this science of God stuff with some degree of diligence and I am astonished at what
I did not know and did not understand, despite my 58 years, and 4 Masters Degrees, to include from an Ivy League school.
Thank you for your efforts to get the true word out.
(a reader in Alabama)
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 April
1834 - 1907
Every science student is familiar with the Periodic Table of the Elements.
It is one of the great patterns in nature
discovered by careful, painstaking work in chemistry by many scientists over many
years. The one who is most famous for putting the pieces together in a systematic
way is our scientist of the month, Dmitri Mendeleev.
The following quote
is taken from Pioneer Explorers of Intelligent Design: Scientists Who Made a
Difference by Dr. Donald DeYoung (BMH Books, 2006), p. 67.
One of 17 children, Mendeleev was told by his mother to
patiently search divine and scientific truth. He firmly believed
in Scripture, especially Proverbs 25:2 which says, It is the glory of
God to conceal a thing, but the honor of kings to search out a matter.
Mendeleev thus saw chemistry as a royal and godly pursuit. He was led to
seek out the underlying order to the atomic elements based on their weights
and other properties. In Mendeleevs funeral procession in St. Petersburg,
Russia, his appreciative students carried a large banner displaying the
periodic table of the elements.
Coming from a religious family, Mendeleev naturally viewed the world as an orderly system
amenable to scientific investigation. It is said he first got the idea of
the periodic table in a dream, and the next day began working out the pattern.
As he was building the table, his belief that the pattern he saw emerging would
continue led him to take the intellectual leap of leaving spots blank in the table,
in faith believing that elements would be discovered to fill the blank spots. He
predicted the existence of gallium, germanium and scandium, for instance, and even
was able to predict some their properties by interpolating from other known elements
in similar positions on the table.
The story of the discovery of the periodic table is told in detail in A Meaningful
World by Benjamin Wiker and Jonathan Witt (IVP Academic, 2006). They use
it as one of
many illustrations from history of how the arts and sciences reveal the underlying genius
and meaning in nature.
After Dmitris death, element 101 was named Mendelevium in his honor.
A crater on the moon also bears his name.
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 surprised [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.|