Focus: News of interest about creation and evolution
Love and evolution
Romantic love is the latest subject for evolutionary speculations. According to a recent review, love is nothing more than our ‘ancestors’, on the ‘plains of Africa 4 million years ago’ who are ‘whispering in our ears’.
We have allegedly inherited the predisposition for such love behaviour as gazing deeply into another’s eyes because such strategies helped our ancestors to survive. When humans first began walking upright, say evolutionists, it made the whole person visible ‘for the first time’ and so each person had ‘a unique allure’.
The ‘four-year itch’—the tendency for couples to divorce after the first flames die out—is blamed on the fact that primitive pairs stayed together ‘just long enough to rear one child through infancy’.
The same article blames adultery on inheritance from our ‘primitive ancestors’.
TIME, 15 February 1993.
Using unproved evolutionary ideas to explain away such things as love, and to justify sin, is not new, but is increasing. Hopefully more Christians will wake up to the fundamentally anti-Christian nature of the evolutionary belief system.
Cricket-hunting flies mystery
Singing male crickets sometimes attract parasitic flies instead of a mate. These flies deposit maggots, which consume the crickets within 10 days.
Crickets usually sing at frequencies above 3 kilohertz, and flies usually buzz or hum at only 100–500 hertz (cycles per second). The ears of the crickets and flies are therefore normally attuned to different frequencies. Evolutionist researchers say that the flies (genus Ormia) would starve to death if they couldn’t hear the high-pitched cricket songs, so they have concluded that the flies ‘evolved’ a cricket-type ear to detect their prey.
Science Frontiers, March–April 1993 (p. 2).
The editor of Science Frontiers asks: ‘How did the parasitic flies survive until they evolved, through small random mutations, just the right sort of ear to tune in on the crickets?’
Cave-men baked elephants … in ovens!
Until now, evolutionists have believed that all earlier people using stone technology ‘have eaten meat raw or barbecued over flames or smoked’. However, a site in Japan, dated by evolutionary assumptions at 28,000 years (which would put it in the so-called ‘Stone Age’) has revealed otherwise.
The four-metre deep excavation contained, in addition to many elephant bones left over from human meals, the remains of stone ovens indicating ‘a high degree of culinary sophistication’.
An education board official in Numazu (west of Tokyo, where the find took place) pointed out that using such stone ovens ‘allows you to cook more delicately, without charring the meat’.
The Sun-Herald, 20 December 1992 (p. 23).
The Babel incident recorded in Genesis 1–11 would have seen many of the dispersing groups plunged into an ‘instant Stone Age’ through loss of metal technology (or loss of its easy availability). However, they would have been as intelligent and resourceful as people alive today.
Are cats getting dumber?
University of Tennessee researchers studying the Spanish wildcat, which appears to be almost identical to the one tamed by the early Egyptians, found that it had 50 per cent more brain cells (neurons) than the house cat, particularly those giving sharper vision in daylight.
Puzzled by this evidence suggesting that cats’ brains have ‘devolved’, one of them has suggested that cats have ‘shed’ brain cells because of living in the ‘stressful’ proximity of humans.
In order to survive they needed to produce larger litters, so to nourish these effectively they shed brain cells which need a lot of nourishment, he proposed.
The Times Picayune (New Orleans), 17 January 1993 (p. A-18).
Items which are not ‘needed’ to the same extent for survival can be lost through degenerative mutations. Losses of ‘hunting vision’ neurons would be of no survival consequence for house cats. Perhaps also those with genetically fewer neurons happened to be naturally ‘tamer’ and thus automatically selected for. This would lead to a genetically depleted subgroup compared with its ‘wild’ (and less specialised) ancestor, which in turn would have less genetic variability than the original ‘cat kind’ on Noah’s Ark. Such downhill changes are not evolution. Creationists have long suggested Adam and Eve were more intelligent than today’s people.
… and platypuses are devolving, too!
Australian palaeontologist Michael Archer has found another definite fossil platypus tooth in South America, making three in all. The teeth are almost identical to fossil platypus teeth found in Australia.
He says, ‘This should shatter our warm conviction that the platypus was uniquely Australian.’
Today’s platypuses, which have no teeth, are far inferior to earlier platypuses in other ways, too, Dr Archer notes. He is quoted as saying it has ‘changed from a highly robust animal with good sets of teeth’ into what is effectively ‘an extremely degenerate small mammal’.
The Weekend Australian, 23–24 January 1993 (p. 10).
The Sydney Morning Herald, 21 January 1993 (p. 5).
This is relevant to the problem raised by skeptics of the frail, timid platypus’ migrating to southern Australia from Ararat. It also helps answer the common belief that Australia’s unique fauna must have evolved here, because their fossils are found nowhere else. Marsupial fossils have now been found on every continent.
‘Big Bang’ mirage?
Is there evidence for the ‘big bang’? A brief item in Scientific American about the long-sought ‘evidence’, so widely publicized recently, was titled ‘The Cosmic Microwave Mirage?’
The alleged evidence was the discovery of slight ‘bumps’ of unevenness in the cosmic background radiation. These bumps are widely believed to be from the variations in density in the early universe predicted (needed) by a ‘big bang’ theory (see Creation magazine Vol. 14 No. 4, pp. 14–15 and Vol. 14 No. 3, p. 8). The measurements apparently have been confirmed as real (New Scientist, 9 January 1993, p. 4, and 16 January 1993, p.15).
However, two Yale scientists argue that these ‘bumps’ may, instead, be caused by gravity waves—a prediction of general relativity. This means they doubt ‘whether the COBE (Cosmic Background Explorer satellite) measurements have any relation at all to the structure of the universe billions of years ago’.
The article concludes that the controversy may take years to resolve.
Scientific American, October 1992 (p. 15).
As with so many evolutionary ‘discoveries’, the initial hype (in this case about ‘seeing God’ or ‘disproving God’ or ‘proving’ the ‘big bang’ beyond doubt) is often followed in the science journals by more sober admissions of the weaknesses, alternative explanations, and so forth. Unfortunately, the average newspaper reader never gets to hear this sort of follow-up.
Micro-life in amber: No evolution!
Most creatures known to be preserved in amber (fossilized sticky tree resin) are insects. A recent study has shown well-preserved microscopic organisms in German Triassic amber. These include:
- Ciliate protozoa (one-celled organisms with appendages).
- Sheathed bacteria and algae.
- Spores and pollen grains of vascular plants.
- Fungal spores.
Most were easily identified as being essentially the same as their modern counterparts, which means no significant evolutionary change since the amber was formed. However, the amber, within an evolutionary framework, is supposed to be around 230 million years old!
The researchers conclude: ‘That the fossil ciliates and most of the other micro-organisms reported here can be referred to modern groups confirms this morphological stasis [staying the same in structure—Ed.] as far back as 230 million years.’
The problem of how things could ‘stay the same’ over hundreds of millions of years of random mutation and selection is made worse by considering that these micro life-forms go through a generation thousands of times more often than, say, people or dogs.
Science, Vol 259, 8 January 1993 (pp. 222–224).
Many experts today acknowledge that the two main features of the fossil record are extinction (organisms disappear from the record) and stasis (staying the same, even spanning many geological periods). This should be a huge credibility problem for the idea of vast time periods and/or of macro-evolution itself.
Famous feathered fossil falters
Creationists have long pointed out that the fossil Archaeopteryx (‘ancient wing’) shows fully formed feathers and wings. Nevertheless, this creature has been the pride and joy of evolutionists as one of the few candidates resembling a transitional form between major classes.
The public has been told by experts that Archaeopteryx was nothing much more than a dinosaur with feathers, and as such showed definitely that dinosaurs evolved into birds. Also, that it definitely ran along the ground, scooping up insects with its wings.
However, Alan Feduccia of the University of North Carolina has found that crucial evidence has been overlooked in the rush to claim Archaeopteryx as transitional.
Its wings have the same aerodynamic shape used by birds today to achieve lift, and the hind claws are identical to those of modern perching birds. He concludes that it is definitely not a running, feathered dinosaur. In fact, ‘not a transitional form but a fully-fledged bird’.
‘Paleontologists have tried to turn Archaeopteryx into an earth-bound, feathered dinosaur’, Feduccia says. ‘But it’s not. It is a bird, a perching bird. And no amount of “paleobabble”? is going to change that.’
Science, Vol. 259, 5 February 1993 (p. 764). The Sun-Herald, 14 February 1993.
Rather than give up the evolutionary faith, Feduccia now says the common ancestor of reptiles and birds has yet to be found in some earlier geologic period.
Volcanoes caused extinctions
The distribution of many extinct plant and animal species above and below so-called Permian rocks means that evolutionists must assume that 95 per cent of the species present at that point in the evolutionary system of history disappeared from earth more or less at the same time.
Researchers from the Australian National University are convinced that this ‘great Permian extinction’ was due to huge volcanic eruptions, with massive chilling due to blocking out sunlight, acid rain and other effects.
They dated lava from these eruptions to ‘248 million years ago’, using what they claim is a spectacularly accurate device and a ‘very precise’ method. The extinctions, they say, happened 251 million years ago, but because of the error margins of the method, ‘this is effectively the same date’.
The Australian, 23 February 1993.
The fossil record certainly is one of great extinction, catastrophe and volcanic eruption, as the fountains of the great deep broke open and poured forth for many months. Not so long ago, it would have been taboo for evolutionists to admit any worldwide catastrophism.