This article is from
Creation 15(4):7–9, September 1993

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Focus: News of interest about creation and evolution

Surprise over dinosaur start

Dinosaur researchers have admitted surprise over the huge variety of dinosaurs around from the outset of their history.

Paul Sereno of the University of Chicago said the abundance of types—big and small, two-legged and four-legged—came so suddenly that he suspects they did not have ‘a nice, stately evolution’.

Sereno and a colleague found a turkey-sized dinosaur skull in the foothills of the Andes in 1991.

They believed it was only a couple of evolutionary steps from the unidentified ancestor of all dinosaurs.

But the sudden burst of different dinosaurs which quickly appeared around the world makes Sereno think some sudden climatic or geological change must have caused them to proliferate rapidly.

Newsweek, 18 January 1993.

The Bible makes it clear that God created the different kinds of animals together in Creation week—that is why there is no evidence of ‘a nice, stately evolution’ for dinosaurs.

‘Birdosaur’ more like a mole

A new dinosaur called Mononychus, which we mentioned last issue, had some birdlike features (keeled sternum and bird-like wrists, among others), so it was called a ‘link’ between dinosaurs and birds.

It was shown with feathers on a recent cover of TIME magazine, even though it was definitely non-flying, had lived (by evolutionary reasoning) a long time after its alleged flying ancestor, and no feathers had been found.

Now a reassessment of its short, stubby single-clawed forelimbs suggests that they were most likely used for digging. The author of the article states that ‘moles and other diggers have keeled sternums and wrists reminiscent of birds’.

Science News, Vol. 143 No. 16, 17 April 1993 (p. 245).

We wonder—will there be a front-page retraction from TIME in due course? Their spectacular drawing has been seen by millions, further cementing belief that there really are such things as definite evolutionary transitions.

Early shark intact!

The world’s only complete fossil of an early shark called Hybodus has been found in West Dorset Cliffs in England.

Some scientists have claimed that Hybodus may be the evolutionary ancestor of all modern sharks.

The specimen is so well preserved that it features fossilized skin and cartilage, which is extremely rare.

Remains of the shark’s last meal—fragments of squid—have also been identified.

The Star (UK), 12 March 1993.

That such an ‘early’ shark is clearly identified as a shark gives no comfort to those who believe sharks evolved from something else. And the meal in its stomach means the shark was buried rapidly in a catastrophic event—before it had time to digest or disgorge its food.

New twist on vanishing hippos!

The island of Cyprus contains the fossil bones of many pig-sized pygmy hippos.

Until now, it was believed that these died out about 20,000 years ago, and that the first people reached the island only about 10,000 years later.

However, two US researchers have uncovered the bones of these hippos associated with human artefacts, in such a way as to indicate that people regularly cooked and ate these creatures, and may have caused their extinction.

Previously, climate changes were blamed for the extinction.

New Scientist, 9 January 1993 (p.18).

This is not the first time, and will probably not be the last, that animals thought to be ‘long-extinct’ before man’s arrival in a particular area have turned out to have been hunted, probably to extinction, by man.

Penguin mania

The rest of the world may be going delirious over dinosaurs, but at Berlin Technical University scientists have become obsessed with penguins.

‘Everything about the penguin is perfect’, said polar researcher Rudolf Bannasch, who has spent 13 years researching the aquatic birds.

Dr Bannasch said that the penguin’s body is a natural torpedo, economical on fuel. He believes that penguins are more effective models to copy than dolphins or fish.

A Hamburg company is considering producing airships modelled on the penguin’s barrel-like body, which it believes will use 30 per cent less fuel than the older designs. And a Japanese firm is planning underwater tankers that look like steel birds.

Cars, trucks and trains will follow, Dr Bannasch said. ‘We just can’t ignore the perfection of the penguins.’

Daily Mail, 27 March 1993 (p.7).

God makes a good product!

Freezing dino find slows climate theories!

A find of dinosaur and other fossil bones in Antarctica is causing some hard thinking among evolutionists.

The bones included a large, crested, meat-eating dinosaur (like an allosaur, as yet unnamed), a flying pterosaur, and a small mammal-like reptile the size of a beaver. They were so close to the poles that these creatures could not have migrated north each year to escape the freezing polar winter.

Continental drift does not provide the solution, either. Current evolutionary ideas about where this continent was during the ‘Jurassic’ place it so far south that, according to current models, the average temperature would have been –35°C (–31°F), far too cold for these creatures to have survived even if they were warm-blooded. Hibernation is no answer, either—the smaller animals could not have held their body heat long enough.

Geologist William Hammer, who made the find, says the current models of climate in that alleged evolutionary era ‘are almost certainly off’.

Earth magazine, Vol. 2 No. 3, May 1993 (p. 11).

Creation scientists generally agree that today’s tremendous extremes of climate came only after the Flood. Finding coal beds, fossil coral and other evidences of flourishing past life in polar regions is therefore no surprise.

Apeman link falls flat

Anthropologists have been unable to demonstrate an evolutionary connection between a fossil ape’s jaw found in Kenya and any other ape-like genera—even though the fossil’s discoverer believed it was a close relative of the alleged ‘common ancestor’ of modern apes and humans.

Monte McCrossin of the University of California, Berkeley, and Brenda Benefit of Southern Illinois University, found the lower jaw in 1988 on Maboko Island in western Kenya.

The jaw contained eight teeth, which helped the pair assign the fossil to the species Kenyapithecus africanus, formerly known only from fossil fragments. They gave it an evolutionary age of between 14 million and 16 million years.

McCrossin found that tooth shape and arrangement in the fossil was like that of today’s apes.

No evolutionary link could be established among Kenyapithecus and the more than 20 other ape-like genera which allegedly lived between 25 million and five million years ago on the evolutionists’ time-scale.

Science News, Vol. 143 No. 18, 1 May 1993 (p. 287).

Carol V. Ward, of the University of Missouri in Columbia, said some of those 20 ‘ape-like’ groups seemed to have similar skeletal features without having any ancestral links to each other. Ward said this throws a monkey wrench into current fossil comparisons.

Six-day atheist

An atheist who produced a series of radio programs in which he spoke with unbelievers about their beliefs said he agreed with conservative Christians that the Bible’s days of creation were meant to be ordinary days.

Atheist Dick Gross prepared the series, ‘Understanding Unbelief’, which was broadcast on Australia’s ABC Radio National in April and May this year.

Gross said he had ‘more in common with religious fundamentalists’ than with modern religious intellectuals who say the Bible is the Word of God ‘but we’ll just massage it a bit’.

‘I agree with the fundamentalists that the Bible says God created the world in seven days and this is what it meant to say. You either believe it or you don’t.’

The Age (Melbourne), 23 April 1993.

Hot news from North Pole

North Pole, near Marble Bar in Western Australia, is in fact one of the hottest places in the world. It also has some accessible rocks which are dated (according to evolutionary reckoning) at the vast age of 3.5 billion years.

Now American paleobiologist J. William Schopf claims to have firmly identified fossils of bacteria in this ‘ancient’ rock at North Pole. This is a surprise to evolutionists, because their scenario proposes this is only 400 million years after the earth cooled enough for life to exist.

This is not nearly enough time for the usual chemical evolution theories to remain remotely plausible. The discovery consists of 11 distinct types of microbes, indicating that life was ‘thriving and fairly diversified’.

Several of the organisms described are said to be ‘essentially indistinguishable’ from, for example, modern Oscillatoria. This would extend the ‘living fossil/no evolution’ paradox to an incredible alleged time-span.

The discovery is said to support either panspermia—the theory that life did not originate on earth but came from outer space—or theories of explosive evolution of living things.

TIME Australia, 10 May 1993 (p.15). Science, 30 April 1993 (pp. 640–646).

The evolution model predicted no evidence of life would be found in such rock, whereas the creation model would expect at least some of such ubiquitous creatures as bacteria in every sedimentary rock, regardless of its assumed evolutionary ‘age’ because life was present from the beginning of earth history.