Focus: News of interest about creation and evolution
- ‘Dolphin-Man’ Evolution Theory
- Dinosaur with Cancer?
- New life—or false hope for struggling theory?
- No Change In Fossil Chiton
- ‘Lucy’ Not Man’s Ancestor
- Neanderthals: ‘Just like us’
- New Planet Vanishes
- Mystery Of ‘Big Al’s’ Burial?
- Bye-Bye Planet X
- ‘African Eve’ Boo-Boo!
‘Dolphin-Man’ Evolution TheoryYou have more in common with dolphins than with apes, according to a new theory which challenges a central part of the theory of evolution. Professor Michael Crawfoord, from the Institute of Brain Chemistry in London, said in Adelaide (Australia) in March that it was the sea rather than land-based food chains that provided what was necessary for human brain development. ‘The dolphin is the only species which remotely approaches us in terms of relative brain capacity’, he said. Professor Crawford said that humans also share with dolphins a generally hairless state, a layer of fat under the skin, and swimming ability in the new-born. He said that no-body had really looked at human evolution other than from the angle that ‘little stooped chimpanzees’ got taller, more upright, and grew bigger heads. ‘What research today shows is that that didn’t happen at all’, he said. The Advertiser (Adelaide), March 3,1992 p. 4).
This new theory is not likely to be popular. Think of the embarrassment of having to replace all those ‘ape-men’ displays with ‘dolphin-men’! There are pitfalls in arguing ancestry from similarities. And there will always be such disputes amoung those who ignore the fact that man is a special creation of God. We share some design characteristics with other creatures, without being related to them by common descent.
Dinosaur with Cancer?A dinosaur fossil found in Colorado shows a ‘bizarre bone structure’ which could be a cancerous growth, medical and fossil experts say. They believe this could be proof of the oldest cancer ever found.
The 30 centimetre fossil of a humerus (upper arm box) is from a large Allosaurus.
Dr Roger Thorne, associate professor of orthopaedic surgery at the University of California at San Diego, said of the cauliflower-like growth: ‘It certainly looks like chondrosarcoma, which is a type of bone cancer.’
Columbus Dispatch (Ohio), January 9, 1992 (p. 4A).
New life—or false hope for struggling theory?A major problem for the ‘big bang’ theory of cosmic evolution has been the fact that the universe’s background radiation (allegedly the residual glow of the primeval fireball) was totally ‘smooth’ (i.e. uniform), whereas to evolve to today’s ‘lumpy’ universe the theory needed some unevenness in the background. When none was found, Britain’s Astronomer Royal says, theorists were ‘almost ready to jump off high buildings’.
Thus the discovery of some extremely tiny temperature differences in the distant background (less then one thirty-millionth of a degree) has sparked near-religious fervour, with talk of the astronomical ‘Holy Grail’ and Nobel prizes. Some cautious voices, however, point out that even if it is confirmed, has anything ever been perfectly uniform anyway?The ‘big bang’ has been widely regarded as in deep trouble on other scores: periodically bunched galaxy red-shifts which cannot be due to the universe’s expansion, molecular clouds which shouldn’t be there …
None the less, early indications are that these tiny flickers will revive faith in this popular creation myth of our culture. An editorial comment in New Scientist, December 21, 1991 says that ‘big bangers’ have had the ‘audacity to believe that they can understand what happened during the earliest picoseconds of the Universe. But it is well to remember that the big bang theory has been built on just three pieces of observational evidence... Never has such a mighty edifice been built on such insubstantial foundations.’
Sunday Mail (Brisbane), April 26, 1992, p. 48.New Scientist, December 21-28, 1991 (pp. 3 and 10).
The standard ‘big bang’ also relies on belief in the existence of a mysterious form of ‘dark matter’, thought to make up more than 90 percent of the universe’s mass, which has never been detected.
No Change In Fossil ChitonHorse Gully, near the sleepy seaside town of Ardrossan on South Australia’s Yorke Peninsula, is the site of discovery of a fossil chiton. Chitons are a class of molluscs (a group which also includes snails and shellfish) which have soft bodies and a shell composed of 8 overlapping plates.
Because of evolutionary assumptions about the age of the rock in which it was found (550 to 600 million years), evolutionists regard it as the worlds ‘oldest’ fossil chiton by some 30-80 million years.Experts at the South Australian Museum say the basic structure of the animal has not changed—chitons found living on the rocks of the South Australian seashore today are not essentially different from those living in allegedly ancient times.
New Scientist, December 21-28, 1991 (p. 10).This is just one more example of creatures that show no evolutionary change between their ‘first’ appearence as fossils and today. There are no known evolutionary ancestors to this class of creature. The is also none for the mollusc phylum as a whole , as for all the other known phyla. The fossils indeed say ‘no’ to evolution.
‘Lucy’ Not Man’s AncestorThe face-bones in apes, monkeys, and men grow and change their shape by a combination of two processes—new material being deposited, and old bone being reabsorbed. The pattern in which this occurs differs markedly between men and apes, and is characteristic for each of them.
A new technique using a scanning electron microscope has been developed which can ‘read’ this pattern from the surface of fossil face-bones.The extinct fossil species australopithecus afarensis (made famous by the specimen called ‘Lucy’) has long been touted in many publications as a definite human ancestor. There are many differences between afarensis face-bones and those of humans. One striking similarity between afarensis and humans is the sweep of the cheek-bones relative to the upper jaw. This has been used to support the idea that humans inherited this feature from this species.
However, evolutionist Tim Bromage, using the new scanning technique, has poured cold water on the idea of Lucy’s kind being our ancestor.
He says: ‘I have analysed the way in which the cheekbones are built during development in the two species. If the human species inherited the characteristically shaped cheekbones from A. afarensis, then the bones would develop in an identical way in the two species. They do not.’
After giving details which indicate that the pattern in Lucy is the same as that for a chimp, not a human, he says: ‘So although the two faces have some similarities, they are built in very different ways during development. This particular characteristic cannot be used in support of an ancestral relationship between A. afarensis and humankind.’
New Scientist, January 11, 1992 (p. 35).
Neanderthals: ‘Just like us’
Several researchers at a recent symposium claimed that Neanderthals had been given false negative publicity. Anthropologist Anne-Marie Tillier of Bordeaux University said that Neanderthals should be assumed to be ‘just like us, until proved otherwise’. The researchers said that Neanderthals had larger then average brains, and were almost certainly as capable of articulate speech as we are today;.
New Scientist, February 15, 1992 (p. 9).
The article concedes that some of these points are ‘still hotly contested’, evolutionists having preferred to cast this group of undoubted humans as ‘having limited speech, a stooping posture, and brutish appearance’.
New Planet VanishesIn mid-1991 there was a flurry of media excitement about the discovery of what we were told was the first planet outside the solar system, apparently orbiting a pulsar. There was the usual evolutionary speculation about life on other planets, which generally ignored the fact that this ‘planet’ would have been bathed in deadly radiation.
We reported in Focus (Vol. 13 No. 4) that a planet outside the solar system, while welcome to evolutionists, was no threat to a biblical world view. We also said:
‘It may exist, but it has not been directly observed. Certainly variations in radiation from the pulsar have been interpreted as requiring the existence of a planet.’The astronomers who made the announcement have now declared that there was a mistake in their calculations. They had not taken into account certain facts about the earth’s orbit. They now say there is no planet orbiting the pulsar.
Nature, Vol. 355, January 16, 1992 (p. 188 and 213).
Many evolutionary scenarios have been presented to the public as ‘fact’ when they are really interpretations. New information can come along to change such ‘facts’. To their credit, these astronomers did not hesitate to tell about the ‘disappearance’ of the planet that never was, although the media generally are slow to publish such corrections.
Mystery Of ‘Big Al’s’ Burial?
The most complete Allosaurus fossil ever found was uncovered last year by Swiss fossil-hunters in Wyoming. They thought they were on private land and could ship the fossil home for commercial gain. At least 90 per cent of the bones were present.
It turned out that the skeleton was on government land, leaving the disappointed Swiss to abandon their find. The Allosaurus, nicknamed ‘Big Al’, will now end up in the Museum of the Rockies in Montana.
Allosaurus fragilis is like a smaller version of the known Tyrannosaurus rex. ‘Big Al’ is a sub-adult specimen which was about 7.5 metres (25 feet) long.
Palaeontologists working on this well-preserved specimen report that they ‘know was rapidly buried’, but they don’t know why.
Perhaps Genesis chapters 6 to 8 could provide some answers to their inquiry, if only they were to consider it.
Bye-Bye Planet X
For more then 5O years, observation of the motion of some of the other planets convinced many astronomers that there had to be a tenth planet in the solar system. The ninth and furthest one, Pluto, was itself predicted on the basis of such observations before its discovery in 1930.
Now, however, a direct look by infrared at the region in which the planet is supposed to exist strongly indicates that there is no such object after all, and another explanation for these observations has to be found.New Scientist, November 30, 1991 (p. 15).
Indirect (circumstantial) evidence can seem to point overwhelmingly towards one conclusion, but when more information comes to hand, what was thought to be a fact may be wrong. Evolutionary scenarios, like the ‘Big Bang’, are all based on indirect evidence and should not dogmatically be pushed as fact.
‘African Eve’ Boo-Boo!
Evidence from the dna of mitochondria (small energy factories within the cell which are only inherited from the female) has strongly suggested that all modern humans are descended from one woman, dubbed ‘Eve’. Avoiding the obvious biblical implications requires postulating that all humans decended from one small population.The link with Babel is obvious, and our article in Creation magazine Vol. 13 No. 4, pages 20-23, indicated that the evidence for both sides of the current controversy fit the biblical model well. However, statistical analysis of this mitochondrial data seemed to show that this original population came from Africa, not the Middle East.
Now it is admitted that the computer program used in the analysis was flawed, and was based on circular reasoning. Depending on the starting assumptions, any one of a billion different ‘family trees’ could be made just as plausible, with any possible area of the world as the centre of human origin.
The Age (Melbourne), February 24, 1992.
Science Vol. 255, February 7, 1992 (p.686).
Defenders of the ‘African Eve’ hypothesis would be quick to point out that this only casts doubt on (without disproving) the geographical aspect of their conclusions. It does not negate the findings that we all seem to carry DNA inherited from one woman.