This article is from
Creation 16(2):7–9, March 1994

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Focus: News of interest about creation and evolution

Elephant hunters leave theorists at sea

It sounds far-fetched to deduce from finding elephant bones and bits of stone that the elephant was killed by skilled sailors.

However, a recent find like this has thrown many evolutionists’ beliefs about ‘early, primitive pre-humans’ into chaos. How?

  1. The stone implements had obviously been used to kill the elephant.
  2. The find was on a small Indonesian island which must have been reached by sailing from the mainland.
  3. The elephant, a stegodon, was a type which by evolutionary reasoning died out at least 200,000 years ago.
  4. Therefore (again by evolutionary assumption) the sailors made the tools at least 200,000 years ago.

But most evolutionists have believed that the only people around at that time were ‘too primitive to be regarded as human’—certainly too primitive to be making boats or rafts. They labelled these as Homo erectus.

Evolutionist Dr Allen Thorne of the Australian National University has heralded the find as showing that the toolmakers may have been prejudicially misjudged and mislabelled. He says ‘They’re not Homo erectus—they’re people.’

The Australian, August 19, 1993.

The evidence is accruing that so-called Homo erectus skeletons were just a racial variant of ordinary people. Of course, no skeletons were found—it was just assumed because of the dating that the sailors’ bones would have been of the Homo erectus type. However, evidence is piling up in any case that these were just skeletal variants of modern man (see Marvin Lubenow’s book, Bones of Contention: A Creationist Assessment of Human Fossils).

Aboriginal carvings may be star maps!

A geological researcher from Sydney University in Australia looks set to shatter standard evolutionary ideas about the ‘primitive’ nature of early Aborigines in Australia.

Rock carvings on the New South Wales central coast, which show patterns of holes allegedly tens of thousands of years old, appear to be maps of constellations such as the Southem. Cross and Orion.

So far, about 25 basic groups of patterns have been discovered. Researcher Dr David Branagan said they were probably used as directional pointers and to measure time—there was even evidence that ‘some of the carvings were maps of the lunar cycle’.

The Cairns Post, May 29, 1993 (p. 20).

While the actual dates are clearly in error, these carvings appear to have been made before many others which show no subsequent memory of this form of science. Regardless of cultural/technological loss in the centuries after Babel, man’s brain, not having evolved from some animal, was never primitive’.

Carbon-dating bombs out again

A shipwreck in New South Wales, Australia, made headlines last year when its wooden pegs were radiocarbon dated at between 350 and 550 years old. Captain James Cook’s discovery of Australia was only 224 years ago, so was this evidence of earlier European visits?

Respected marine archaeologists and academics had said that it was a nineteenth century ship, but carbon-dating is touted as being very accurate, especially when comparatively recent dates are involved.

Laboratory tests were carried out by the University of New England-Northern Rivers (now Southern Cross University) on the alloy used in the wreck’s rudder, and compared with the history of alloy use in the ship-building industry. They indicate that the vessel is only 100–150 years old, and is probably a whaling ship.

The Advocate (Byron Bay), December 15, 1993 (p. 4).

When radiocarbon shows something to be up to five times as old as it really is, it highlights the danger of using secular scientific ‘results’, with all the unprovable assumptions and possible errors involved, to challenge the chronology of the Word of God, as has often been attempted in archaeological circles.

Intelligence guru predicts eternal life

Leading researcher into artificial intelligence, Marvin Minsky of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, believes that it is only a matter of time before computers become more intelligent than humans. He regards humans as ‘nothing but “dressed-up chimpanzees”?.’

Scientists who believe that computers are mere mimics and can never become truly conscious are ‘idiots’, says Minsky. He believes he has solved the problem of consciousness, saying it is not much more than short-term memory systems capable of keeping records of their other parts. He thinks that (by his definition) there are already ‘extremely conscious’ computer programs.

Minsky believes that some day humans will be able to ‘download’ their personalities on to special computers, enabling ‘infinite life’. He also thinks that by making duplicate copies of his ‘brain program’, he would be able to undergo experiences he would otherwise avoid. For example, he says, ‘I regard religious experience as very risky, because it can destroy your brain. But if I had a back-up copy—’.

Scientific American, November 1993 (p. 15).

DNA expert: ‘Time travel easier’

A scientist who won the Nobel Prize for his discovery of the DNA technique that inspired Jurassic Park was asked how likely it was that in the future, a dinosaur could be re-created from ancient DNA trapped in amber, as in the movie.

Dr Kary Mullis replied in essence that it would be more realistic to start working on a time machine to go back and catch one.

Salt Lake Tribune, December 5, 1993.

Your amazing eyes

Researchers are trying to unravel the incredible complexity of how visual signals are processed in eyes. Rockefeller University physicist Joseph Atick points out that visual information pours into the eye at about 100 megabytes every second. ‘Even computers of today’s power couldn’t handle it’, he says.

This torrent of data needs to be dramatically compressed to flow along the optic nerve, yet retain enough information to enable the brain to reconstruct an accurate representation of what is seen.

Another baffling feat is the way in which the visual system somehow eliminates ‘noise’. Since every step in transmitting the visual signal involves only a few molecules, the random jostling of these molecules produces a ‘storm’ of noise, which has to be processed out.

In their early progress, the researchers have continually confirmed their working assumption—that all eyes, whether insect or vertebrate, do the best job possible—‘just the way an astute instrument designer would have made them’.

Cambridge’s Horace Barlow, referring to an unwise tendency to see biological systems as ‘inefficient’, says that deeper investigation ‘gives us a source of perpetual amazement’.

Science, Vol. 261, 20 August 1993 (pp. 982-984).

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse’ (Romans 1:20).

Fossil fly fraud

Jurassic Park made insects fossilized in amber all the rage. Allegedly millions of years old, they are preserved in such detail they are usually an embarrassment to evolution, because whenever they are not extinct, they can be seen to be virtually identical to the living type.

One of the most famous specimens, kept at the Natural History Museum in London for 70 years, is that of a latrine fly, Fannia scalaris, in Baltic amber supposedly 38 million years old.

It has now been established that this was in fact a modern latrine fly, carefully put in a cavity between two halves of cut Baltic amber and filled with amber-coloured resin.

The discovery of this 140-year-old fraud (probably done to make a valuable specimen for resale) has caused some relief to evolutionists, because we are now told ‘the fly was too advanced to have been around that long ago’.

New Scientist, November 13, 1993 (pp.4–5).

The interesting discovery of this ‘Piltdown fly’ (which fooled everybody, and which we have never featured. incidentally) doesn’t change the fact that there are hundreds of other specimens of other species trapped in ‘old’ amber which are also virtually identical to existing types, and therefore have not evolved.

Aborigines ‘inferior’ says ex Prime Minister

Former Australian Prime Minister Sir John Gorton seemed to have been strongly influenced by evolutionary notions about the history of Australia’s Aboriginal people when he said on a recent TV interview that Aborigines were ‘inferior’.

‘You can’t reconcile with Aborigines’, Sir John said. He said Aborigines needed more looking after than others because ‘they’re not as good as the white people are’.

Attempting to justify his remarks, Sir John asked, ‘Why did they never understand after 40,000 years to build a house?’

Sunday Telegraph, October 31, 1993 (p. 7).

Before Aboriginal leaders continue pushing such false evolutionary ideas as their having been here for 40,000 years (the world is not that old), perhaps they should consider the racist implications many draw from that picture, In fact, modern research confirms that all people are of ‘one blood’, just as the Bible says. Even evolutionists now concede that small, rapidly migrating population groups can lose a lot of their original cultural technology.

New dinosaur extinction theory

Just when the public is adjusting to the belief of many scientists that a large meteor impact wiped out the dinosaurs, a distinguished panel of scientists says the theory is wrong.

Announcing this news to a press conference at an American geological association meeting at Notre Dame University, they claimed that fossil patterns did not fit the idea that dinosaurs all died out in one geological ‘moment’. Rather, they gradually petered out over about 10 million years.

Their new ‘Pele Hypothesis’, named after a Hawaiian volcano goddess, postulates that volcanic activity produced high carbon dioxide levels, giving a ‘greenhouse’ effect with warmer temperatures and higher plant growth, producing more oxygen. As this climate changed towards that of today, the dinosaurs failed to adapt.

Palaeontologist J. Keith Rigby says that whereas the ‘extinction-impact’ was supposed to have occurred at the end of the Cretaceous, some dinosaurs seem to have survived into the ‘younger’ Tertiary rock system.

Fraser Coast Chronicle, October 28, 1993 (p. 9).

Flood geology is not at all surprised by the fact that some dinosaurs are found at levels ‘higher’ than previously postulated, which does not mean that they died gradually, as it has to in the ‘traditional’ interpretation of the rock layers as vast time sequences. The description of the dinosaurs’ environment given here is surprisingly close to common concepts of the pre-Flood atmosphere.