Creation 18(3):7–9, June 1996
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Focus: news of interest about creation and evolution
Early bird falls off its perchThe famous fossil bird Archaeopteryx, which for years was claimed as a creature part-way between reptiles and birds, was actually an evolutionary dead end, a palaeontologist from China says.
The palaeontologist, Lian-hai Hou of the Institute of Vertebrate Palaeontology and Palaeoanthropology in Beijing, is part of a team which discovered two new fossil birds in north-east China which are said to be nearly as old as Archaeopteryx but were strong fliers.
New Scientist, 13 January, 1996 (p. 16).
It is interesting that when evolutionists had only Archaeopteryx as a candidate for ‘earliest bird’, it was claimed to be proof of evolution between reptiles and birds. Now that true birds from the same geological period seem to have been found, Archaeopteryx is explained away as an evolutionary dead end.
‘Dear students, evolution is not a fact’
Students in schools in Tennessee would be reminded that evolution is theory, not fact, under proposed legislation.
The proposal, in committee stage in the Tennessee Senate, may allow schools to dismiss teachers who insist that evolution is a fact.
The Tennessee move follows a decision by Alabama's education authorities that all school biology textbooks in the State must carry a disclaimer saying that evolution is simply ‘a controversial theory’.
And in Georgia, the attorney-general has been asked to consider including creation science in the high-school science curriculum.
The Australian, March 12, 1996 (p. 10).
Planets can swap rocksPhysicist Paul Davies, in a recent radio interview, discussed the possibility of life on other planets, specifically Mars. He pointed out that if bacteria or similar micro-organisms are found on Mars, they may have come from Earth in the first place.
Professor Davies said there is no scientific reason why bacteria deep in a specimen of rock would not survive the journey. He said it is not simply speculation to say that rocks from Earth could reach Mars, because rocks identified as definitely Martian in origin have been found on Earth.
The obvious mechanism for this is a major impact by a comet, for example, which blasts rock particles at high velocity in all directions. Some of these particles would break free of Mars' gravitational field and later be potentially swept up by other planets, including Earth.
Since there is evidence of large impact craters on Earth, there is no reason why this could not have happened in reverse.
Interview on Radio 2GB (Sydney, Australia), February 1, 1996.
The earliest known flute has been discovered in Slovenia in south-east Europe.
Archaeologists in the former Yugoslavian republic claim the 12-centimetre (5-inch) flute was made by Neanderthal humans 45,000 years ago.
The instrument was made from the leg bone of a bear, and its original four finger-holes are intact. Its lowest note was identified as a B flat or A.
The flute was found in a cave near the town of Nova Gorica, 65 kilometres (40 miles) west of Slovenia's capital, Ljubljana.
he revelation that Neanderthal Slovenes learned to play music is said to have ‘far-reaching implications for human evolution’.
The Sydney Morning Herald, February 21, 1996 (p. 9).
Ignoring the 45,000 year date, which we do not accept, it is no surprise to creationists that early humans were playing music. Genesis 4:21 tells us that Jubal was the father of all who play the lyre and the flute — and he lived not many generations after the first two people had been created.
Spider silk a sticky problem
Spider silk is five times as strong as steel, twice as elastic as nylon, and waterproof. Despite great success in making synthetic fibres, scientists have not had much success in matching the capabilities of spider silk.
A molecular biologist at the University of Wyoming put a gene into a bacterium so that the bacterium would make a protein similar to spider silk. The protein was then purified, dried, redissolved, and forced through a very fine needle, resulting in the formation of fibres.
These fibres are ‘nowhere near as strong as spider silk’ says Randy Lewis, the main scientist involved.
Science, November 3, 1995 (p. 739).
The scientists, starting with genes for spider silk, and applying a great deal of human intelligence, failed to produce something which is supposed to have come into existence through a series of chance mutations, without any intelligent input from a creator.
Fossil dinosaur found sitting on eggs
Dinosaur experts have been amazed at the finding in southern Mongolia of a fossilized dinosaur sitting on a nest of eggs.
The stunning find in the Gobi Desert has been described as ‘one of the two best specimens of dinosaur fossils ever found’.
The dinosaur was an oviraptor, which looked like a wingless ostrich with a shorter neck and a long tail.
Mark Norell, associate curator of vertebrate palaeontology at the American Museum of Natural History, said the oviraptor is ‘in the exact same position as if you looked at a chicken sitting on a nest’.
Nature, Vol. 378, December 21, 1995 (pp. 774-776),
The Salt Lake Tribune, December 21, 1995.
The dinosaur sitting on a nest was also said to suggest that ‘birds inherited this behavior from dinosaurs’. But all it really shows is that birds and these dinosaurs sat on eggs.
No evolution of budgies
The only known fossils of a budgerigar have been found in Australia by a museum scientist. They are identical to the bones of modern budgies.
Three fossilized outer wing bones and a foot bone were found in the Rackham's Roost site at Riversleigh in north-west Queensland.
Discoverer Walter Boles, from the Australian Museum in Sydney, believes the bones are about 4 million years old. He says they are ‘indistinguishable from a modern budgerigar’.
The Sydney Morning Herald, February 15, 1996.
Like the examples we regularly feature in Dr Scheven's 'Living Fossils' column, this shows that no evolution has taken place over the alleged millions of years or, rather, that the millions of years are imaginary.
Red faces over ‘dino’ DNA
Strands of DNA which were excitedly said to have come from a dinosaur actually came from human contamination, several molecular evolutionists now agree.
Scott R. Woodward, of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, reported in 1994 that he had identified DNA from dinosaur bones.
Now researchers from the State University of New York at Albany have confirmed earlier findings from Germany that Woodward had almost certainly detected contaminating strands of human DNA.
Researcher Caro-Beth Stewart said, ‘It's exceedingly difficult to keep human tissue out of an experiment, because specks of dust have human skin and hair on them’.
Science News, December 2, 1995 (p. 373).
There are other claims of 'ancient' DNA (such as that of a 120 million-year-old weevil—see Journal of Creation, Vol.8 Part 1, pp. 7-9) which most evolutionists do accept as real DNA from that creature, not contamination. Since DNA should only last for thousands of years, this is powerful evidence for the fossils' being young.
High IQ view of ‘big bang’
The woman who has the highest IQ ever measured believes that if theologians had been the first to propose evolution's ‘big bang’ theory of the formation of the universe, scientists would have laughed at the idea.
Marilyn vos Savant, who is listed in The Guinness Book of World Records Hall of Fame for ‘Highest IQ’, at 230, was asked to comment on the 'big bang' theory in her column in Parade magazine.
She said, ‘I think that if it had been a religion that first maintained the notion that all the matter in the entire universe had once been contained in an area smaller than the point of a pin, scientists probably would have laughed at the idea.’
Parade, February 4, 1996 (p. 7).
Magnetic sharks mystery
Huge numbers of hammerhead sharks swim and rest around a submerged mountain in the Gulf of California. Marine biologists have been puzzled for years as to why the sharks converge at this spot.
A.P. Klimley and colleagues found that the sharks whiled away the daylight hours around this basaltic mountain, but disappeared at night.
They fitted some sharks with transmitters, and found they swam at night about 15-25 kilometres (about 10-15 miles) to deep water where they devoured squid. At dawn they were back at the mountain.
How did the hammerheads find their way back so reliably? Often they followed the same paths in waters which seemed featureless.
Klimley towed a magnetometer behind the research boat, and found the sharks were following magnetic paths back to the mountain, which turned out to be a type of ‘magnetic beacon’ — radiating the magnetic paths used by the sharks.
Like some birds and mammals which are known to orient themselves by magnetic fields, the sharks are also puzzling the researchers as to how they sense such tiny changes in the geomagnetic field.
Science Frontiers, March-April 1996 (p. 2),
Natural History, October, 1995.
God created all things for a purpose. Animals that would get lost on the way to feeding and breeding grounds would have no future, so migratory instincts were implanted in them. See the article on the amazing Pacific salmon in this issue.
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