Focus: News of interest about creation and evolution
Aborigines knew about Flood
Australian Aborigines knew about the Flood long before Europeans came to Australia.
They even had a concept of God’s Son coming to earth and returning to His Father, Pastor Bob Brown, from Adelaide, said during a week-long Aboriginal missions conference in Canberra in March. Pastor Brown said he believed that most of the Aboriginal culture has been lost. Yet there are aspects of the culture which, instead of being destroyed by missions, had been preserved by them, he said. ‘The missionaries who came and related the Old Testament had no problem reaching Aboriginal people,’ he said. When Christian missionaries had spoken to the Wiradjuri people about the Son of God, the Wiradjuris had said they knew about Him because He is in their stories, Pastor Brown said.
The Canberra Times, April 1, 1991 (p. 16).
Was Adam a pygmy?
Adam was really a pygmy from a remote part of Africa, a French anthropologist says.
Professor Gerard Lucotte, from the College de France in Paris, says he created a male family tree for mankind by conducting complex research into generic material.
He says Adam’s tribe, known as the Aka, lived in a triangle of land between the Oubangui, Sanga and Lobaye rivers in the Central African Republic. ‘The theory is controversial, I admit, but it is the best one that fits the facts’, the professor says.
The Columbus Dispatch, February 16, 1991
Ape gets university award
Using reward-based animal training techniques, a chimp named Kanzi at the Yerkes Primate Center in Atlanta, USA, learned how to use a sharp-edged stone flake for cutting string around a box containing a reward. It took weeks of effort to get the chimp to make a flake, by smashing the rock on the ground and looking for a sharp-edged piece.
With patience, the experimenters were able to condition the animal to make flakes for his own use by bashing a stone held in one hand with a stone in the other. The researchers had to ‘force the issue’ somewhat, such as removing the ape from where he could just pound it on the floor.
Although Kanzi does not show the intuitive ability to use the steep angle required to chip off suitable flakes, this ape has been given an annual achievement award by Indiana University’s Center for Research into the Anthropological Foundations of Technology. Archaeologist Nicholas Toth from the university said: ‘Kanzi has taught us more about this aspect of human evolution than we could have ever hoped.’
New Scientist, January 23, 1991 (p. 11).
This award to a chimp reinforces the article’s admission that anthropologists are ‘obsessed’ with the ape/human ‘cognitive dividing line’.
Belief in chance evolution unfounded
‘To insist, even with Olympian assurance, that life appeared quite by chance and evolved in this fashion, is an unfounded supposition which I believe to be wrong and not in accordance with the facts.’
Pierre-Paul Grasse (University of Parius and past-President, French Academie des Sciences) in Evolution of Living Organisms, Academic Press, New York, 1977, p. 107.
Creation in Peru
A creationist group has sprung up in Peru to try to counter the growing teaching of evolution in the Peruvian educational system.
The group is called Centro de estudio e investigacion creacionista. Co-ordinator Juber F. Neyra Figueroa says the group’s purpose is to ‘spread the Good News from a scientific point of view.’
Little has so far been done in Peru regarding creation research. But the group has already begun studies on Noah’s Food and fossils in the country. The group can be contacted at Apartado 268, Huaraz, Ancash, Peru, South America.
Dino eggs in Romania
A rock fall in Transylvania, the large tableland region in Romania, has revealed to scientists the country’s first find of dinosaur eggs. Fourteen eggs were clustered in four linear rows, each comprising two or four eggs. Eight of the eggs were well preserved, with their lower surfaces almost complete. The upper parts were cracked and eroded.
Dan Grigorescu of the University of Bucharest, and colleagues, are tentatively regarding the eggs as belonging to a Magyarsaurus.
Geology Today, January-February, 1991 (p. 5).
A dinosaur in Japan?
A Japanese family says it has videotaped a dinosaur-like creature swimming in a lake on a Japanese island.
Mr. Hideaki Tomiyasu, 39, says his teenage son filmed the brown and yellow monster swimming in Lake Jkeda on Japan’s southern island of Kyushu. Sightings of the creature, nicknamed Issie, have been reported for at least 13 years. But this is the first time anyone claims to have film of it.
‘What we saw must be an animal with a length of more than 10 metres’, Mr. Tomiyasu said. Scientists won’t dismiss the claims, although the videotape does not show the creature clearly.
The West Australian, February 11, 1991 (p. 15).
Dinosaurs may owe their extinction to a magnesium deficiency which led to heart disease, Chinese researchers say. Professor Jiang Jiuyu and his team from the geochemistry institute in Guiyang found abnormally low amounts of magnesium in dinosaur eggs.
Magnesium is vital for the survival of egg-laying animals. A large deficiency usually leads to heart failure, the Xinhua news agency quoted Professor Jiang as saying. The magnesium deficiency probably resulted from major changes in the dinosaurs’ environment, the agency said.
Newcastle Morning Herald, February 7, 1991.
But if the dinosaurs died from lack of magnesium, how did all the other egg-laying animals survive?
Educator pushes creation
Creation science should be taught along with evolution in schools and universities, a Californian educator says.
Professor Patrick Groff, from San Diego State University, said in a letter to the Los Angeles Times that learning would be more attractive to students if they were urged to make critical judgments rather than accepting without question the authoritative viewpoint. Professor Groff said that letting students discuss creation science alongside evolutionary science ‘would be an effective way to motivate them to learn science’.
‘If the orthodox truth about evolution is as easy to prove as its defenders say it is, the debate about this theory surely would win students over to it’, Professor Groff said. ‘At the same time’, he suggested, ‘science classes would be far more spirited and student-active learning environments than they now are.’
Los Angeles Times, January 27, 1991 (p. B2).
Ex-evolutionists now run creation camps
Two former evolutionists who became creationists after studying science are organizing two creation family camps in Colorado in August.
Dave and Mary Jo Nutting have put their evolutionary beliefs far behind them and now run creation evidences seminars. Dave holds M.S. degrees in geology and mathematics, and Mary Jo is a certified teacher who holds two degrees in biology with an emphasis on science education.
Alpha Omega Institute of Grand Junction, Colorado, is sponsoring the two weeklong ‘family creationist adventures’. Further information: Alpha Omega Institute, P.O. Box 4343, Grand Junction, CO. 81502. (Phone: (303) 872 8042.)
Think and Believe, January-February, 1991.
Investigators have indicted an Indian scientist who was accused in April 1989 of faking 25 years of fossil research, the Press Trust of India has reported. The Geological Survey of India found that palaeontologist V.J. Gupta’s claims of rare fossil discoveries contained ‘serious discrepancies which make the research work fictitious and based on spurious fossils.’
Australian fossil researcher John Talent, from Sydney’s Macquarie University, accused Professor Gupta in 1989 of faking research on Himalayan fossils. The Geological Survey of India and Professor Gupta’s own colleagues checked his research papers produced between 1969 and 1988. They found serious discrepancies in his work.
The Canberra Times, January 31, 1991.
Fossil remains of 17 manlike apes have been found on the floor of the Great Rift Valley in Ethiopia, scientists say.
They have been identified as Australopithecus afarensis [the same species as the famous ‘Lucy’ fossil].
The Australian, February 7, 1991 (p. 8).
Despite the belief by many that these are man’s remote ancestors, anatomical experts such as Professor Charles Oxnard have concluded that the Australopithecines are a unique extinct group further removed from ape and man than each is from the other. They are not man’s ancestors.
A gut feeling about mutations
An average person ‘grows’ 20 billion new Escherichia coli every day. This bacterium plays a useful role in our intestine. The genetic material inside E. coli displays every mechanism of change known to science: point mutations (copying errors), transfer of DNA from other bacteria (even other species or genera) by means of direct ‘mating’; transfer by bacterium-attacking viruses; mutations of whole chromosomes; even ‘jumping genes’ that leap from one point of the DNA to another.
With about five billion people on earth, this means there are about 100 billion billion new E. coli produced each day. It is likely that, in spite of sophisticated repair systems, more than 1,000 billion E. coli mutations happen every day. That means that on average each gene in E. coli mutates at least 100 million times a day! Yet E. coli remains E. coli, and has done so for the past 150 years of observation.
New Scientist, February 16, 1991 (p. 30-32).
Most evolutionary molecular biologists believe E. coli has been E. coli for at least 100 million years. Like begets like!
Life in suburbia?
Atheists have long delighted in pointing out that the earth is not at the physical centre of the solar system, our sun is not at the centre of the galaxy, and there is no evidence that our galaxy is at the centre of the universe. They think this shows that the earth cannot be ‘special’ in God’s sight (which does not follow as a logical necessity).
Astronomer Ken Croswell points out that this disparaging trend has gone too far. For instance, our sun is regularly dismissed as a ‘run-of-the-mill’ star. In fact, 95 per cent of all stars would be too weak to do the job.
Also, contrary to popular belief, our Milky Way galaxy is much bigger and brighter than most. And despite the fact that the only planets we know of are those we can see (which makes the earth seem unique) ‘science popularisers delight in calling Earth an insignificant “speck of dustâ€?’.
Croswell concludes: ‘And so what if we aren’t at the centre of the Galaxy? Life is much better in the suburbs, anyway.’
New Scientist, February 16, 1991 (p. 50).
Mystery of rabbits’ ears
Rabbits in hot areas of Australia have longer ears than those in the cool Snowy Mountains. As all Australian rabbits have descended from one European species, Dr. Kent Williams and Robert Moore of the CSIRO Division of Wildlife and Ecology in Canberra looked at why. Rabbits from both hot and cold regions were bred in a laboratory at 25 degrees Celsius and 15 degrees Celsius. In one generation those bred at 25 degrees had longer ears than those bred at 15 degrees. The researchers speculate that what has ‘evolved’ is an ability to allow environment to modify genetic instructions.
Australian Geographic, January-March 1991.
Poll supports creation
A newspaper poll taken in the Boca Raton area of Florida in the second half of 1990 showed strong public support for teaching creation.
The Boca Raton area newspaper, The News, conducted the poll. It indicated that 56 per cent of Floridians supported ‘the teaching of the Biblical story of creation in addition to the theory of evolution.’ Only 29 per cent of respondents said they did not support it.
NCSE REPORTS, November-December, 1991 (p. 11).
Proconsul a monkey
Hip bones of Proconsul, a fossil which evolutionists at one time thought to be a common ancestor of humans, apes, chimps, and orangutans, have turned out to be very like those of living monkeys.
Researcher Carol V. Ward, of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, analysed a nearly complete left hip bone of Proconsul which was found in Kenya in 1985. Dr. Ward compared the Proconsul hip bone with 275 hip bones of modern monkeys and apes. The conclusion is that Proconsul generally looks monkey-like, with features shared with the hip bones of baboons, Dr. Ward says.
Science News, December 15, 1990 (p. 380).
When the first Proconsul fossils were found in 1931 they were thought to be from a creature very like a chimp (one of the apes). As more fossils have been found it is now thought to be very like a monkey. This is just another example of creatures that have joined the list of rejected ‘missing links’.
Backing for ready-mix pyramids
French geochemist Joseph Davidovits, who says the ancient Egyptians built the pyramids by mixing crushed limestone with water (like concrete) has a new ally.
Edward Zeller, director of radiation physics at the University of Kansas Space Technology Center in Lawrence, examined stone from a pyramid passageway. Under a binocular microscope he found the stone was filled with oval air bubbles, ‘like you'd expect to see in plaster.’ ‘The sample is clearly made of manufactured stone and it’s part of the pyramid’, Zeller says. If the rest of the pyramid was made the same way, this would support Joseph Davidovits’ theory that the Egyptians ground up rocks and made the blocks ‘on site’.
Science Frontiers, March-April, 1991(p. 1).
R & D Magazine, December, 1990 (p. 5).
An article on Davidovits’ idea appeared in Creation magazine Vol. 11 No. 1 (December 1988-February 1989). The idea explains why the edges of the blocks fit so tightly—an existing edge is used as part of the formwork.
Sea scrolls editor fired
Dead Sea scrolls curator, Professor John Strugnell, has been sacked as chief researcher of the scrolls. Professor Strugnell was officially relieved of his duties ‘for health reasons’. But many believe the real reason has to do with his criticism of Judaism, which he has reportedly described as a ‘horrible’ religion with ‘racist’ origins.
In 1986 Professor Strugnell toasted Austrian President Kurt Waldheim, who was involved in Nazi activities against the Jews in World War II.
There has been an outcry world-wide in recent years about the non-publication of many of the scrolls, which were found in 1947. Five scholars on the translation team had called for Professor Strugnell’s resignation.
Diggings, January 1991, (p. 4).