Focus: News of interest about creation and evolution
Crater Linked to Dinosaur DemiseScientists believe they have found where a giant asteroid crashed into the earth and possibly caused the extinction of the dinosaurs. Alan Hildebrand, from the University of Arizona, says the impact most likely occurred on the sea floor north of Colombia and south of Jamaica, in the Caribbean Sea. The crater is about 300 kilometres across and 500 to 1,000 metres deep. The popular evolutionary idea of dinosaur demise is that an asteroid collision sent up a huge cloud of dust which temporarily blotted out the sun and reduced temperatures, thus killing off the dinosaurs.
May 19, 1990 (p. 3).
Recently this common idea about dinosaur extinction has been challenged by Robert Bakker, from the University of Colorado, and others. Bakker says that if an asteroid hit the earth now, ‘it would send up a dust storm that would chill the earth. The dust would cause acid rain that would kill the frogs, turtles and fish right away. They are very sensitive to acid rain. Big animals wouldn’t be affected as much. So the theory of a meteorite hitting predicts just the wrong order.’
Fossil Bloops and Blunders
- Case No. 1: A fossil known to a generation of schoolchildren as Mexico’s oldest skeleton has been unmasked as an impostor. The fossil of ‘Tepexpan Man’ was believed to be of a man who lived more than 10,000 years ago. But archaeologist Jose Luis Lorenzo says that ‘Tepexpan Man’ has now been found to be less than 2,000 years old, and it is actually a woman. ‘This is the end of the myth’, says Lorenzo.
- Case No. 2: A giant fossil found in an opal mine in Coober Pedy, South Australia, in March 1990, was thought to be Australia’s largest dinosaur bone. After studying the fossil, the curator of fossils at the South Australian Museum, Neville Pledge, has now found that the fossil is not a dinosaur bone, but a fossilized tree trunk!
- Case No. 3: An object that officials proclaimed last year to be a fossilized egg up to 16 million years old has fumed out to be a stomach stone from a modern mammal, possibly a cow. Mike O’Neill, a US Bureau of Land fossil expert, says the object is probably only three to five years old, not 16 million.
February 12,1990 (p. 6).
April 24,1990 (p. 4).
Northern’ Territory News,
February 23,1990 (p. 6).
Aren’t you glad you didn’t jump to conclusions after hearing those earlier reports?
‘Great Wall’ of Speculation
Readers will remember the item in our previous Focus section about the ‘Great Wall’ of galaxies found by astronomers. The ‘Great Wall’ is so huge that models of universe formation based on the ‘big bang’ theory looked as though they were in trouble. All current models and computer simulations failed to show how such excessive ‘lumpiness’ could result from an explosion in such a time. Well, back to the drawing board—or rather, computer terminal. Results obtained in computer simulations (programs which attempt to show how everything came about after the supposed initial explosion) are of course governed by the starting assumptions built into the program. Now Richard Gott of Princeton University has produced a computer simulation, using starting assumptions he claims are ‘reasonable’, which ends up showing on the computer screen structures resembling the lumpy universe we have. What are these ‘reasonable assumptions’? One is that 90 to 99 per cent of the mass of the universe is made up of an invisible and hitherto unidentified and undetected form of matter!
February 3,1990 (p. 14).
Whether or not such speculative ‘dark matter’ (also known as ‘missing mass’ an frequently used to salvage long-age models against otherwise contrary results) is ever found or not is one thing. More importantly, readers should bear in mind that adjusting assumptions until one finally gets the results one wants hardly guarantees that one’s result has anything to do with the real history of creation.
Why have the pyramids lasted?
A Boston University professor believes he has solved the riddle of why the pyramids still stand. Professor Farouk El-Baz says the pyramids of Giza have survived, centuries after the other wonders of the ancient world have crumbled, because the pyramid builders understood the wind. He says that only a pyramid shape in the desert could shrug off sand storms because of its aerodynamic design. ‘Had the ancients built their monuments in the shape of a cube, a pentagon or even a doughnut, they would have been erased by the ravages of wind erosion lone ago.’
Professor El-Baz says the conical shape evades destruction by leading the wind up slopes and funnelling its erosive power to the peak, where its energy dissipates.
March 19, 1990.
Which again shows the undoubted intelligence of these early descendants of Noah.
Horned Figure ‘Mystery’?
The accompanying diagram (redrawn from a photo in the article referenced below) is an example of Aboriginal rock art from Mount Manning, north of Sydney, Australia. It shows a creature with horns.
Medical Journal of Australia’,
December 4/18, 1989 (p. 687).
Horned animals are unknown in Australia before European settlement. The obvious explanation is that it represents a memory of such animals passed down from the Aborigines’ ancestors, who would have known, for example, wild cattle or deer in south-east Asia. However, even though this explanation has been proposed by some evolutionists, it is generally (and understandably) dismissed by most of them as ‘rather implausible’. This is because, if the traditional (evolutionary) framework and dating for these paintings is correct, it would mean that the memory had been passed down through 2,000 generations! In a biblical framework though, there is nothing mysterious about such a picture. A memory of horned animals could easily have been preserved for a small number of generations.
Creacion in Espana
The Spanish creation science group Coordinadora Creacionista reports an active year in its attempt to reach the Spanish-speaking world with the message of creation and Noah’s Flood. Spokesman Santiago Escuain says the group has held a seminar in Salt (north-east Spain), presented lectures in Barcelona, and had numerous radio interviews.
In Ciudad Real, Senor Escuain, whose specialty is chemistry, gave a series of lectures in a public hall, covering creationist evidence for the origin of life, fossils, and the nonevolution of man. He also debated a physicist on a secular radio station in Aragon. Spanish-speaking people interested in contacting Coordinadora Creacionista should write to:
Santiago Escuain at Apartat 13,
17455 Caldes de Malavella,
A Chinese scientist has lent support to the idea that the sun is shrinking (see Creation magazine, Vol. 11 Nos. 1-3). Professor Wan Lai, a research fellow at the Shanghai observatory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, says the sun has shrunk 410 kilometres in the 273 years from 1715 to 1987. This is an average shrinkage of about 1.5 kilometres a year.
April 14, 1990.
If this shrinkage has always been 1.5 kilometres a year, it means the solar system cannot be billions of years old as evolutionists claim. At this rate, only one million years ago the sun would have been twice its current diameter. Ten million years ago it would have been too large for life to exist on earth. And 210 million years ago the sun would have been touching the surface of the earth. This is more in keeping with the creationist belief that the solar system is only thousands, not millions or billions, of years old.
See also That Matter of the Shrinking Sun.
How Close are Humans and Chimps?
According to the science journalist Graeme O’Neill, a strident anti-creationist (and self-confessed atheist and skeptic), in The Age (Melbourne, Australia), comparisons of the DNA of humans, chimpanzees, and gorillas ‘leave no doubt of our close affinities with the African apes, and our slightly more distant relationship to orangutans.’ He says humans are virtually as closely related to chimpanzees and gorillas as chimps and gorillas are related to each other.
‘ They differ by no more than two to three per cent of their DNA’, he says. This shows we have a shared ancestry with these animals, according to O'Neill.
The Age (Melbourne),
May 12, 1990.
For the truth about the alleged 97 % similarity and what it would mean, see
Ape and Human DNA Similarity: Does it prove evolution?.
Confucius’ Ancestor—Or Confusion?
In the early weeks of this new decade, three news reports appeared which were relevant to ‘human evolution’ in China. One claims to provide 'clues' in the mystery surrounding the disappearance of the controversial ‘Peking man’ fossils at the close of World War II. In reality this report merely describes different theories related to the disappearance.
Another claims that the ‘Peking man’ fossils have now been tracked down. An eyewitness supposedly says that they are buried under a car warehouse in Beijing (Peking). This theory wasn’t even mentioned in the other article.
A third report neatly caps the controversy. It says two human teeth found in south-western China have been dated as three million years old. This means that, using these sorts of evolutionary assumptions, humans in China predate their ‘Peking man ancestor’ (if he is ever dug up from under the warehouse) by more than 2.5 million years, as well as having lived in China at least half a million years before any of their alleged African ape-men ‘ancestors’!
January 3, 1990.
January 29, 1990.
February 3,1990 (p. 14).
This proves again that belief in evolution takes much more faith than belief in creation!