Focus: news of interest about creation and evolution
First Dino DNA?
Associate professor Dr Scott Woodward, from Brigham Young University, has published in the journal Science that he has isolated what may be dinosaur DNA. The DNA came from two pieces of ancient bone which he believes are dinosaurian, and which are assumed to be 80 million years old. The sequences, he says, are 'like nothing we've seen before.'
The DNA was more than 30 per cent different from that of modern mammals, reptiles or birds. If it is from dinosaurs (and others have yet to reproduce the results), this is surprising to evolutionists, who think that dinosaurs have evolved into birds.
The Sydney Morning Herald, November 19, 1994 (p. 15).
DNA from fossils allegedly millions of years old is of great interest to creationists. Chemical studies show there is no way DNA should last anywhere near that long.
'Dinosaur' Washes Up
A huge creature which looked like a dinosaur washed up on Russia's north coast after a storm in the Arctic last October, a Russian news service has reported.
The carcass was 12 metres (39 feet) long.
Researchers from the Rybichy Meteorological Station, near Cape Nemetsky (1,500 kilometres north of Moscow), said they would send scientists to examine the creature and to try to identify it, ITAR-TASS news agency reported.
The Australian, and Daily Telegraph Mirror, October 27, 1994.
Crayfish — no evolution
In the evolutionist's geological 'time' chart, crayfish were thought to have evolved around 140 million years ago. Now Steven Hasiotis, a palaeontologist at the University of Colorado, has found specimens of crayfish in rocks dated at 220 million years — and they are almost identical to modern crayfish.
Hasiotis came to look for these fossils by noticing a particular type of fossil burrow in these supposedly ancient rocks. They were just like those dug by crayfish today — but the notion was deemed heretical.
These crayfish fossils indicated that they were 'just as varied in body and burrow as they are today.' They had all the specializations of modern crayfish. Hasiotis says, 'If it weren't for being squashed flat and preserved in rocks, they'd look nearly identical to modern crayfish.'
Discover, January 1995 (p. 84).
Crayfish that die naturally in their burrows do not turn into fossils — squashed or otherwise. The burrows would not be preserved unless some catastrophic burial process occurs.
Why are people getting bigger?
People are getting bigger because of evolution, experts say, although that belief is occasionally heard. People are growing larger, especially children, but this is not an evolutionary (inherited genetic) change, but an environmental one.
In 1985, a survey of Australians showed that the average 10-year-old was four centimetres (1.5 inches) taller and two kilograms (four pounds) heavier than 10-year-olds were in 1970.
This trend has almost certainly continued, according to clothing designers and retailers who have to change garments to fit. The average 12-year-old girl today is about 10 centimetres (four inches) taller and 10 kilograms (five pounds) heavier than her counterpart in 1911.
Professor Colin Binns, of Perth, Western Australia, believes the major causes are better nutrition and fewer infectious diseases in childhood.
Sunday Telegraph, October 9, 1994 (p. 130).
A vague belief in increasing size as an evolutionary trend helps to account for the surprise when 'early’ humans such as Homo erectus were found to be around six feet tall.
Meteorites from outer space have been said to contain exotic amino acids. Amino acids are simple chemicals — several of them are the building blocks of which proteins are constructed in living things. This has caused some to speculate that life may be forming 'out there'.
Now Canadian biologist David Brez Carlisle has told a meeting of geologists in Waterloo, Ontario, that these discoveries on space rocks may not be what they seem. He says those he has examined 'contain not the exotic amino acids but flakes of human dandruff, which have a similar chemical makeup to the amino acids.'
Salt Lake Tribune, October 2, 1994 (p. A18).
The speculations were unwarranted in any case. The gap between an amino acid and the programmed complexity of life is like that between a grain of sand (silicon) and a fully programmed super-computer.
Rocks forming in months
Stones measuring up to a foot across are forming in a Norfolk (UK) marsh in a process which is happening in a few months or years.
Small (and not so small) black lumps of rock are forming, as bacteria thriving on rotting vegetation produce 'an iron-rich form of limestone, which acts as a mineral cement, binding the sand and mud together.'
Geologists have dug up similar stones before, which 'often contain beautifully formed fossils.' These fossils show a lot of detail of the soft flesh, 'as it had no time to rot before the rock formed around it.'
Geology Professor Max Coleman, who works for BP, is keen to study the marsh. The rock is 'forming faster than anyone had ever believed possible, with one stone creating itself in just six months.'
Eastern Daily Press (UK), October 5, 1994.
Creationists have long pointed out that hardening of sediments into rock is mainly a matter of the right cementing substances being present, and doesn’t require millions of years.
New insect flight theory
Evolutionists puzzling over how insects developed wings have a new idea for excluding the role of intelligent creation. In the past, it has been suggested that wings made their first appearance as:
Above: Fossilized psyllid in Dominican amber — its wings show it was designed to fly from the start.
Solar panels to warm them up.
Gills for swimming or gas exchange.
But insects need more than wings to fly — they also need complex muscles, patterns of movement and articulations.
Now a Penn State biologist has used the stoneflies, which skim across water using their wings ('waterproofed' by tiny hairs) for propulsion, to propose that wings arose for skimming, not flying.
His experiments showed, not surprisingly, that bigger-muscled stoneflies skimmed fastest and, under certain conditions, could become airborne. However, he also notes that stoneflies have not only the wings, but also all the things mentioned above needed for flight.
Science News, Vol.146 No.18, October 29, 1994 (p. 276).
The big problem for evolutionists is that fossil insects (including those beautifully preserved in amber) either have 'fully developed wings’ or 'no sign of wings at all’. This shows there is no evidence for any theory of wing evolution. Flying insects were designed to fly (and stoneflies to skim) from the start.
Volcano spews out riches
Mount Galeras in Colombia erupted in 1993, and when Fraser Goff, a US geochemist, went to research the site, he was shown a vein of high-concentration gold-bearing ore 16 kilometres west of the volcano's summit. He began to measure the gold in the fluids coming out of this mountain. It is well known by experts that volcanoes put out gold, but Goff estimates that Galeras is producing half a kilogram (one pound) every day.
This is astonishing considering that this represents the amount exuding along with the gases the volcano is daily giving off, and not the amount in an active eruption. If this rate continued unabated, then gas coming from one such volcano could produce some 18 tonnes of gold in a century. While Galeras is the leading 'gold-producer' of the few volcanoes studied for this effect, Mount St Helens in Washington State (USA) and Mount Erebus in Antarctica are also known to give off gold as they fume.
New Scientist, November 5, 1994 (p. 6)
It is not hard to conceive that with prodigious catastrophic volcanic and hydrothermal activity during Noah’s Flood, when 'all the fountains of the great deep’ broke up, it would not take much time to deposit today's gold-bearing veins and ore bodies.
There are many sites on the deep ocean floor which spew out mineral-rich hot water from volcanic fissures. Vast communities of living things inhabit these regions. The microscopic organisms at the bottom of the 'food chain' in these sunless depths gain their energy from the vents, not sunlight.
The 'towering chimneys of rich minerals' at such sites were thought to take a long time to develop. The growth of the associated 'eerie thickets' of biological communities was also assumed to take a long time.
However, it has now been observed that these can form 'not in eons, centuries or decades but as little as two or three years.'
Dr Robert Corell of the National Science Foundation in Washington says these findings 'dramatically alter our views of the rates at which biological and geological processes are occurring in a variety of environments on earth, particularly in the deep sea.'
Baltimore Sun, October 20, 1994 (p. 8A).
To be or not to be evolved
Palaeobiologist J. William Schopf has spent decades comparing fossils of blue-green bacteria with those of modern times (such as are found in pond scum). He says that whatever the geological 'age' he looks in, 'species after species, I find remarkable identity.'
Fossils of such bacteria in rocks supposedly a billion years old look 'exactly like modern species.'
If evolution were true, why would they stay the same over literally trillions of generations? Schopf says 'I think they've stopped (evolving).'
Stjepko Golubic at Boston University disagrees. Chloroplasts (green bodies within all plant cells which extract energy from sunlight) have similar DNA sequences to the blue-green bacteria.
Science News, March 12, 1994 (pp.168-169).
From a creation standpoint, this is unsurprising. Golubic takes it to mean that blue-greens underwent a 'co-operative merger’ with other cells to give rise to all plants. He retorts, 'who says they haven’t evolved?’
This confronts the evolutionary belief that the races have been evolving separately for tens of thousands of years. Such genetic closeness is, however, a direct prediction from the Bible’s claim that all people are closely related — first via Adam and Eve, and second through Noah’s family.