Focus: creation news and views
IQ not related to brain size!
In France, a man aged 44, married with two children, and working as a civil servant, went to hospital complaining of weakness in his leg. There ‘a CT scan showed him to have massively enlarged ventricles [cavities] in his brain, so much so that the brain was reduced to a very thin layer of tissue next to his skull. Despite this, he had an IQ just within the normal range, and had gone about life in a normal manner’.
The average cranial capacity of a modern human is approximately 1300cc. Evolutionary paleoanthropologists in their field work usually claim that smaller brain size is evidence of a more primitive and less intelligent creature on its way to becoming a fully intelligent modern human.
- The Lancet blog, blogs.thelancet.com/archive/2007/07, 27 July 2007.
Old dinosaur thesis revived
It wasn’t the Chicxulub meteor impact in Mexico that wiped out the dinosaurs, but monumental volcanic eruptions in India. That’s what paleontologist Gerta Keller and geochemist Thierry Adatte claim in their poster presentations to the Geological Society of America 2007 annual meeting in Denver.
The gigantic lava flows of the Deccan Traps extend 1,000 km (600 miles) across India and are more than 1,000 m (3,000 ft) thick. 80% of the lava gushed from the eruptions in one main phase, spewing ten times more gas into the atmosphere than the Chicxulub meteor impact.
Keller’s revival of an old idea is based on her study of a 9 m (30 ft) layer of marine sediment sandwiched between two lava ‘traps’ near the Bay of Bengal.
The cataclysmic eruptions point to rapid processes. Thick sedimentation means lots of water. Such evidence for large-scale watery catastrophe is consistent with Noah’s Flood but seems to have been missed because of a blinding belief in long ages.
- Geological Society of America, www.geosociety.org/news/pr/07-59.htm, 29 October 2007.
Early embryos quash Haeckel
Studies of early embryo formation show that development of the body is different in mammals and birds compared to that in fish and amphibians, even from the very initial stages of growth.
Thus Ernst Haeckel’s ideas that stages of embryo growth reflect evolutionary origins (with the earliest stages being the most similar) are wrong. So notions that a human baby in the womb goes through a ‘fish stage’ are completely without foundation, yet some continue to hold to such notions even today. (See, e.g., ‘the fish gills girl’, Creation 29(1):34–36, 2006.) Haeckel’s drawings of various embryos purporting to support his evolutionary claims are demonstrably fraudulent—see creation.com/fraud.
- Nature 449(7165):1049–1052, 25 October 2007.
Evolutionist chemistry professor acknowledges ‘errors’
Retired evolutionist chemistry professor Dr Homer Jacobson, now aged 84, looked himself up in Google to see what use was being made of articles he had written in his career. To his horror he found that creationists have been quoting his 1955 paper entitled ‘Information, Reproduction and the Origin of Life’ published in American Scientist (45(1):121ff, January 1955), as proof that life could not have emerged on Earth without divine intervention.
So, after 52 years, Dr Jacobson has written to the American Scientist journal, retracting the offending statements. In this letter he says that one passage about the probability that a single molecule of a particular amino acid could spontaneously form from its components he now says ‘is completely inapplicable’. He said his retraction was ‘because of continued irresponsible contemporary use by creationists who have quoted me not merely out-of-context, but incorrect statements, to support their dubious viewpoint.’
How could it be ‘out-of-context’ or ‘irresponsible’ for creationists to quote what Prof. Jacobson put forward as gospel truth for evolution in 1955? He now calls it ‘bad science’.
We cannot help wondering how many of his own statements Darwin would now retract, if he was alive today!
- American Scientist online, www.americanscientist.org/template/AssetDetail/assetid/56234, 13 December 2007.
The ultimate ‘mystery’ in LiveScience’s ‘Greatest Mysteries’ series, ‘How did life arise on earth?’ contained this candid admission from geologist Diana Northup of the University of New Mexico, USA:
‘Many theories of the origin of life have been proposed, but since it’s hard to prove or disprove them, no fully accepted theory exists’ [emphasis ours].
However, evolutionists continue to cling to the idea that no Creator was necessary (2 Peter 3:3–5).
- LiveScience, www.livescience.com/strangenews/070822_gm_life_origins.html, 21 September 2007.
Design is sometimes skin-deep
Our skin is the largest organ in our body. But how does it manage to stay in one piece while being so flexible? Scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory found out how:
‘The trick is that each cadherin [adhesive molecule] binds twice: once to a molecule from the juxtaposed cell and once to its next-door neighbor. The system works a bit like specialized Velcro and establishes very tight contacts between cells.’
These velcro-like molecules form a highly structured array, which the scientists call a ‘zipper-like organization’ which retains a ‘significant flexibility’.
It’s notable that cadherins are also found in heart muscle, where strength combined with flexibility is essential.
The authors had no suggestion about how these molecules and their organization could have evolved. Intact and flexible skin and heart are essential for survival, but evolution cannot explain the basic anatomy of the human body.
- Nature 450(7171):832–837, 6 December 2007.
- LiveScience, www.livescience.com/health/071205-close-look.html, 5 December 2007.
Two recent news items have highlighted widely differing views on the sanctity of innocent human life.
A Florida family was recently awarded $21 million because their second son was allowed to be born, rather than aborted, after being diagnosed as having the same disability as their first son. Fortunately the courts were not consistent enough to order a legal remedy of righting this ‘wrong’ of being alive, by killing the boys! This is a reductio ad absurdum to the nonsensical idea that there is a great ‘wrong’ to be born alive. However, the Nazi regime was more consistent in applying this idea that there is such a thing as ‘life unworthy of life’. Their euthanasia policies were largely based on a 1920 book, Release for Annihilation of Life Unworthy of Life by evolutionists Karl Binding (lawyer) and Alfred Hoche (psychiatrist).
For more information, see our web article ‘A “wrongful birth”? A Florida court case highlights America’s heightened devaluing of human life’, creation.com/wrongful.
On the other side, Donna Joy Vance celebrated her ‘Sweet 16’ birthday party recently. But she was fortunate to be alive: she was diagnosed with a major brain disorder, and her mother, Lori, was urged to abort her. ‘Experts’ said that Donna would be born completely blind, deaf, with no face, no ability to move limbs, suck or swallow. Even after Donna was born, Lori had to fight hard to stop doctors starving her to death. But while disabled, her brain has managed to rearrange so other parts take over the functions of the missing parts—an amazing evolution-defying feature of the brain, as we have noted before (Creation 25(2):7, 24(4):7). Donna Joy has grown to be pretty, happy and active, and suffers only mild cerebral palsy and peripheral blindness. She is active in her church choir and drama group, and ran good times in the Tennessee Special Olympics. Lori made the vital point: ‘But her life is not worthwhile because of what she has achieved. Her life is worthwhile because she was born into the human race’—just as Genesis 1:26–28 says.
- Pro-Life with Christ, pro.life withchrist.org/permalink/37031.html, 28 November 2007.
Jon Hall, www.mammalwatching.com
Fritz Geiser discovered that the marsupial pygmy-possum (Cercartetus nanus) was able to hibernate on average for 310 days. The longest hibernation season he recorded for a single individual was 367 days. Energy expenditure was greatly reduced to only 2.5% of energy for active individuals.
Some have suggested that some animals may have hibernated in the darker areas of Noah’s Ark during the year-long Flood catastrophe. For a more in-depth analysis of this, see creation.com/hibern.
- Naturwissenschaften 94(11):941–944, 2007; springerlink.com/content/nur70295384r5082.
Satellite measurements of Earth’s gravitational field just after the devastating December 2004 earthquake off Sumatra show it left an 8 mm (0.32 inch) depression in the planet’s crust and mantle. (This might seem small, but the shifting mass jolted Earth’s axis of rotation, moving the poles by 10 cm (4 inches).)
But less than one year later, the depression had nearly vanished—to the surprise of geologists who thought that rocks in the mantle move much more slowly. ‘It’s almost impossible for rocks to move, that quickly,’ said one geologist, explaining that the earthquake’s ‘geological scar’ had been expected to remain for 20 years.
The idea that the earth is billions of years old tricks geologists into assuming that things take a lot longer to happen than they actually do.
- New Scientist 194(2599):19, 14 April 2007.
Christian biologist fired for creationist beliefs
Christian biologist and zebrafish researcher Dr Nathaniel Abraham is suing the prestigious Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in New England, USA, for $500,000, claiming that he was fired in 2004 for telling his supervisor he did not accept evolution as scientific fact because he believed the Bible presented a true account of human creation.
The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination dismissed the case earlier this year, saying that a request not to work on evolutionary aspects of research would be difficult for Woods Hole because its work is based on evolutionary theories. However, Dr Abraham said this condition was never spelled out in the advertisement for the job and that his dismissal led to severe economic losses, an injured reputation, etc.
Dr Abraham is now a biology professor at the creation-supporting Liberty University in Virginia.
Religious discrimination is obviously alive and well in the USA establishment, despite any protestations to the contrary. See also the denial of tenure and promotion to Dr Guillermo Gonzales, assistant professor of astronomy and physics at Iowa State University in 2007 for his belief in intelligent design, despite his publishing more than his colleagues (creation.com/gonzalez). Also note the refusal of Scientific American to hire Forrest Mims III (the most widely read electronics author in the world) when they found out he was a creationist, despite admitting that his work was first rate (creation.com/mims).
The irrelevance of evolution to real science is shown by the fact that Dr Abraham was not dismissed until he had been working at Woods Hole for eight months, and presumably would be there still if he had not mentioned his creation beliefs.
- Reuters, www.reuters.com/article/oddlyEnoughNews/idUSN1034 266020071210, 7 December 2007.
Amphibians desperate to escape rising floodwaters
Photo by Spencer G. Lucas, New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science.
Illustration by Matt Celeskey, New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science.
Whole body imprints of amphibians have been found in reddish brown, fine-grained sandstone from Pennsylvania. Although collected decades ago, the rock samples have only just been examined. Paleontologist Spencer Lucas from the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science said, ‘Body impressions like this are wholly unheard of.’
As well as body impressions, there are imprints of the webbed feet of the animals, which may have looked like salamanders. Fossils of insects and plants, together with footprints of even larger animals were found in the same formation.
The impressions give an insight into the plight of animals desperately fleeing during the Noah’s Flood catastrophe. Their footprints mean they were still alive, running as the floodwaters were rising on the earth—a period some creationists call the Inundatory stage.
- Geological Society of America, www.geosociety.org/news/pr/07-60.htm, 29 October 2007.
The low-frequency rumbles that elephants make (some of which are too low for humans to hear), travel through the ground as seismic waves, and can be felt by other elephants.
In fact, researchers at Stanford University say that elephants can even identify from their ‘long distance calls’ who is calling—a neighbour or a stranger.
We have earlier reported that in many areas of intelligence elephants rival, and even surpass, chimps—a challenge to the evolutionary claim that chimps are supposedly the ‘closest to humans’ on the evolutionary ‘tree’. (See creation.com/jumbo.)
In contrast, the Bible’s explanation that elephants and chimps were created as distinct animal ‘kinds’, while human beings were specially created in the image of God, makes much more sense, given the observable reality of the world in which we live. (Cf. ‘Cetacean communication’—Creation 29(3):28–30, 2007.)
- The Advertiser, (Adelaide, Australia), 4 June 2007, p. 25.
James Watson, co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in 1962 for the discovery of the structure of DNA, has triggered an international furore by his recent claim that black people were less intelligent and less employable than whites. He said: ‘There is no firm reason to anticipate that the intellectual capacities of peoples geographically separated in their evolution should prove to have evolved identically.’
Commenting in New Scientist, Robert Sternberg, Professor of Psychology at Tuft University, Massachusetts, wrote:
‘[T]here is nothing special about skin colour that serves as a basis for differentiating humans into so-called races … . The significance of these labels stems only from the fact that society has found it convenient to label races on the basis of skin colour.
‘Curiously we do not apply the concept of race to colours of dogs or cats—or moths, for that matter. He went on to say it was ‘ … presumably because we are less interested in creating social classes for moths than for people.’
The editor of Nature commented:
‘Watson has apologized and retracted the outburst … although he did not deny its contents. He acknowledged that there is no evidence for what he claimed about racial differences in intelligence.’
It’s not often that we agree with the editors of New Scientist and Nature, but in this specific case they are right! There is only one race, the human race. We have not evolved from any animal ancestor, so no people group has evolved further than any other. We are all one family, descended from one original pair, related through Noah and his offspring, and all of us are in the image of God (Acts 17:26).
- Foxnews.com, www.foxnews.com/wires/2007Oct18/0,4670, ControversialScientist,00.html, 18 October 2007.
- New Scientist 196(2627):24, 27 October 2007.
- Nature 449(7165):948, 25 October 2007.
Which date would you like?
When basalts from the Grand Canyon were dated years ago using the potassium-argon (K-Ar) method, they gave ages of around 1.2 million years. However, basalt samples ‘dated’ recently using the newer argon-argon (Ar-Ar) technique gave dates ranging from 606,000 to 102,000 years—half the previous age and less. This means that all K-Ar dates must be considered suspect until they can be checked by the Ar-Ar method. And how are we to explain the scatter of Ar-Ar results? By inventing a good story about what could have happened in the past.
- Geological Society of America Bulletin 119(11):1283–1312, November 2007.
Did Neandertals have a brilliant smile?
Two fossil teeth unearthed in Pinilla del Valle near Madrid, Spain, suggest Neandertals practiced dental hygiene. Paleontologist Juan Luis Asuaga said the teeth have ‘grooves formed by the passage of a pointed object, which confirms the use of a small stick for cleaning the mouth’.
Some regard Neandertals as primitive predecessors of modern humans, but these teeth are more evidence that they were just as human as anyone living today. Ignore the dates (no one actually documented their age) and the evidence fits nicely with the biblical account of a human population migrating into Europe in the centuries following the Tower of Babel dispersion.
- Reuters, in.reuters.com/article/lifestyleMolt/idINL119 0325720070911, 12 September 2007.
As at Columbine (creation.com/bomb), the recent Finnish high school shooting (in which eight people plus the killer died) once again showed that classroom teaching of evolutionary theory can affect not only what a student writes on an exam paper but also the rest of his life—and the lives of those around him.
The mindset of the killer, Pekka-Eric Auvinen, was all too evident from his many comments posted on the internet (in which he admitted to being an atheist), including:
- ‘Life is just a coincidence … result of long process of evolution … ’
- ‘Religious people, your gods are nothing and exist only in your heads.’
- ‘Human life is not sacred. Humans are just a species among other animals … . Death is not a tragedy, it happens in nature all the time … . Not all human lives are important or worth saving.’
- ‘Today the process of natural selection is totally misguided. … It’s time to put NATURAL SELECTION & SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST back on track! … I, as a natural selector, will eliminate all who I see [as] unfit, disgraces of the human race and failures of natural selection.’
- ‘I am the law, judge and executioner. There is no higher authority than me.’
Auvinen’s comments, and his final actions, show that what a person believes about origins can be devastatingly destructive to his own and others’ lives (not to mention the terrible disruption to society—parents, teachers, police, ambulance and hospital staff, grief counsellors, even national leaders—following the shooting).
Even from a purely practical viewpoint, is evolution really the sort of ideology a society would want to teach to its children, now that the consequences are undeniably evident for all to see?
- (For source references, and our more detailed analysis, see creation.com/killer.)
Multiple dino species actually the same
Renowned paleontologist Jack Horner of Montana State University says that three dinosaur species are in fact just one.
Stygimoloch spinifer and Dracorex hogwartsia were thought to be two unique species, but Horner now says that they are in fact juveniles of different ages that would have grown up to be bony-headed Pachycephalosaurus wyomingensis.
Just as Noah wouldn’t have needed to take two lions and two tigers (which are two different species) on the Ark, but rather two of the ‘big cat’ kind, so too with the dinosaurs—it’s likely that there were only about 50 kinds of dinosaurs, not the multiplicity of dinosaur species that have been named. (See chapter 19 of The Creation Answers Book, available from addresses on p. 2.)
- Science 318(5854):1236, 23 November 2007.
Supersized stars surprise
The discovery of the two most massive stars ever found—114 and 84 times as big as our sun—has surprised astrophysicists.
The stars are located near the centre of the Milky Way where they circle one another—a binary star system dubbed ‘A1’.
‘I’m astonished and very curious,’ said John Brown of the University of Glasgow (UK). ‘I didn’t think stars that big could exist—they should blow themselves to pieces.’
But, as Psalm 19:1 says, ‘The heavens declare the glory of God’.
- New Scientist 194(2608):22, 16 June 2007.
Platypus jaw defies Darwin
Timothy Rowe from the University of Texas reported CT (computed tomography) scans on fossil jawbones from Australia that revealed a large canal along their entire length, just like that of the modern platypus. The canals carry electrosensing nerve fibres from the bill to the brain.
The jaws were dated as being at least 60 million (possibly 100 million) years older than the previously oldest platypus fossil. So, why didn’t the platypus evolve in all that time? In a much shorter time most of the other mammals are said to have evolved—mice, beavers, giraffes, tigers, elephants and whales. And why is there no evidence that the platypus evolved from a non-platypus?
With a bill like a duck, tail like a beaver, fur like a seal, and poison like a snake, these shy, egg-laying, Darwin-defying mammals continue to confound the evolutionists—even using their own dating. But disregarding those alleged dates (which were based on evolutionary assumptions, anyway), these intriguing creatures confirm Genesis creation, where all the animals were created fully functioning from the start.
- Science 318(5854):1237, 23 November 2007.