This article is from
Creation 16(3):7–9, June 1994

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News of interest about creation and evolution. Items are based on articles from sources shown.

‘Walking whale’ doubtful

Paleontologists claim they have found a ‘walking whale’ which, they say, was an ancestor of modern whales.

The skeleton is highly fragmented and incomplete. No pelvic bones or nearby backbones were found to show that the reconstructed upper leg bone (femur) belonged to the rest of the skeleton, or that it was used for swimming and walking in the manner claimed.

The upper forelimb bone (humerus) and shoulder-blade (scapula) were also not present, so it is not possible to say much about how the forelimb was used.

Science, January 14, 1994 (pp. 210–212).

True whales have been found in strata of the same evolutionary ‘age’ as the so-called ‘walking whale’, so ancestry cannot be claimed. (See Journal of Creation, Vol. 8 (Part 1), 1994, pp. 2–3 for more details.)

Goldilocks cosmology?

In trying to explain how a universe resulting from a ‘big bang’ could structures such as galaxies, astronomers proposed the presence of vast amounts of ‘cold dark matter’. Others proposed vast amounts of ‘hot dark matter’.

Neither cold nor hot dark matter can be seen, but other astronomers now suggest a mixture of the two—one that is ‘just right’.

Many astronomers dislike the new idea because it is too complex. Jeremiah Ostriker of Princeton University commented that the universe could be even more complex, or it could be far simpler, than most astronomers imagine.

Scientific American, November 1993 (p. 10).

Fast fossils bug those long-agers

Occasionally, some fossils show extremely well preserved details. In such specimens, phosphate minerals have replaced delicate soft tissues, including gills, muscles, even shrimps’ eggs, in such a way that every detail, even down to the cell nuclei, can be seen.

Many people think such replacement of soft tissue by minerals must take a long time, but in recent years it has been realized that bacteria play an active role in this rarer form of fossilization.

Researchers have imitated this process with bacteria-laden sea water of low oxygen content. In fact, dead shrimps became so mineralized in only four to six weeks that their, ‘mineral composition, textures and features’ were very similar to the shrimps found in the stomachs of certain well-preserved fossil fish from Brazil.

New Scientist, March 19, 1994 (p. 17).

The article also says of the researchers: ‘In only a few weeks, they managed to mimic a mineralisation process that takes millions of years in nature’ Yet the article has shown that such preservation does not need millions of years. Common sense indicates that whatever the process, it had to be rapid for the tissues to escape decay.

Fresh dino bones

Bones of a young duckbilled dinosaur found in Montana (USA) have been viewed under a microscope. The fine structure had been preserved to the extent that cell characteristics could be compared with chicken bone cells.

Claudia Barreto and others said, ‘In the dinosaur specimens, the same high degree of structural resolution can be seen as in modern specimens.’ Even the calcium and phosphorus ratios were comparable.

In other words, these appear to be fresh bones, not fossilized—even though they are claimed to be more than 70 million years old according to evolutionary dating assumptions.

Science, December 24, 1993 (pp. 2020–2023).

Such research casts doubt on the age-authenticity of all bones claimed to be millions of years old by evolutionary dating assumptions and techniques.

Comet collision coming!

Astronomers say that in late July, comet Shoemaker Levy 9 (SL 9) will smash into Jupiter, giving observers a heavenly spectacle (especially from cameras on the Galileo spacecraft, which has a direct view of the potential impact site).

Comets, huge balls of dust and ice, often break up. Since they need to be billions of years old in evolutionary theory (yet those with short inner orbits could last only a few thousand years) evolutionists theorize a non-observed cometary ‘deep freeze’ around the solar system to ‘resupply’ the inner regions.

SL 9 broke up a short while ago into at least 21 pieces between one and four kilometres across, travelling at 60 kilometres (37 miles) each second.

When each of these pieces hits, it will unleash an energy equal to many trillions of tonnes of TNT. As each piece hits Jupiter’s atmosphere, it should create a huge fireball of intensely hot gases thousands of kilometres in radius.

New Scientist, March 5, 1994 (pp. 24–27).

This catastrophic event is particularly relevant to criticisms of creationist astronomy concerning how long it would have taken to get all those craters on the moon and Mars. A large crater on the moon is about 40 kilometres across; this event anticipates one broken up comet giving rise to at least 21 such craters.

Open season on Aborigines

Scores of Australian Aborigines were killed by station owners and public officials in the late nineteenth century One official was Korah Wills, Mayor of Bowen in Queensland, in 1866.

Even Edward Ramsay, curator of the Australian Museum in Sydney from 1874 to 1894, encouraged the slaughter by buying Aboriginal skulls for evolutionary research and evolutionary displays, according to a documentary, Darwin’s Bodysnatchers, on Australian national television. (See also Creation magazine, Vol.14 No.2, 1992, pp. 16–19.)

British museums paid from 5 to 10 shillings for skulls in good condition. But research was not the only motive—part of the skin of the last male Tasmanian Aboriginal was made into a tobacco pouch!

Another person involved, German evolutionist Amalie Dietrich, was known as the ‘Angel of Death’ because of her request for Aborigines to be shot to provide specimens for museum displays in Germany.

ABC television (Australia), October 14, 1993, and April 2, 1994.

The theory of evolution involves the ‘survival of the fittest’ through the death of the weakest. Tragically, Aborigines were believed to be less evolved, and therefore were not treated like humans.

Russians seek creation education

A Russian education official who visited Australia in March said that her department is seeking creationist material to improve its education programs.

Dr Olga Polykovskaya, a specialist in the department of extra-curricula studies in Russia’s ministry for education, said that after 75 years of communism and evolutionary teaching, re-education had become one of the country’s greatest needs.

‘There is a lot of interest in creation science among Russians’, she said. Much of this had stemmed from a major creation conference two years ago.

‘Several Russian scientists were there—and other specialists as well.’

Dr Polykovskaya said Russian parents were looking for correct information to teach their children. Her department was looking at special programs to prepare children for family life—to teach girls what it means to be a wife and mother, and boys to be a good husband and father.

‘We want to have very strong moral children’, she said. Dr Polykovskaya’s visit was sponsored by ORA International. She said materials such as Creation magazine would be extremely useful in pointing students and their parents in the right direction.

‘Yeti’ another living fossil?

Natives in Brazil’s rain forests have reported a red-haired bear-sized animal with a loud cry. They call it mapinguari. Brazilian museum scientist David Oren has spent eight years collecting eyewitness accounts and believes mapinguari could be a ground sloth. (Evolutionists believe ground sloths existed from 30 million to about 10,000 years ago.) The accounts are from diverse parts of western Amazonia have strikingly similar details, which are ‘consistent with characteristics gleaned from fossilized remains’—such as red hair and tough skin.

Scientific American, December 1993 (p. 18).

The recent case of a large antelope in the Vietnamese jungle, known to locals but only recently ‘discovered’ by scientists, reminds us that indigenous accounts of animals which evolutionists believe to be extinct should be investigated. This includes not only mapinguari, but the reported Congolese dinosaur Mokelembembe.

Belgian ‘Piltdown’ unmasked

The famous ‘Piltdown man’ hoax in England consisted of an ape’s jaw and a human skull doctored to look old. Many Ph.D. theses were written on the evolutionary significance of this Eoanthropus (‘Dawn Man’)—a prime human-evolution textbook exhibit for more than 40 years. [This many-PhDs idea is an urban myth—see 500 Piltdown Doctorates? Ed.]

Another hoax regarding ‘early man’ was carried out about the same time. Outside Mons, in Belgium, a spectacular ‘find’ was unearthed in 1891—ancient humans apparently had been digging in flint beds when buried in a sand-fall. These ‘Neolithic (late Stone Age) flint miners’, with antler picks found nearby, were displayed as proof of the mining techniques of the time.

This now appears to have been a fraud. The bones show no sign of burial at that locality, and one skeleton even has a male head and female torso. Carbon-14 dating suggests they lived more recently than the so-called ‘Neolithic’. The antler picks appear to have been deliberately ‘aged’ by physical treatment and staining.

Geology Today, September–October, 1993 (p. 176).