Sunday, 31 January 2010
A Confuciusornis fossil. Image courtesy of Wikipedia. Recently, researchers found melanosomes in this bird.
Natural history museums often present birds as the descendants of dinosaurs. This idea has become a Darwinian myth that has lived a life of its own despite studies and evidence that have shown that it is impossible.
The popular press is abuzz with the news of two recent discoveries made in China. Nature published a paper detailing research conducted by Michael Benton, a paleontologist at the University of Bristol, UK, and colleagues on fossilized melanosomes in different animal fossils.
Melanosomes can be found in skin, fur and feathers. Benton and his colleagues looked at birds and dinosaurs. They noticed that Confuciusornis, which is a bird, had two types of melanosomes. They also found one of them on the dinosaur Sinosauropteryx in which no feathers were observed. The researchers think that they saw ”feather-like bristles”, though. They assume that this supports the view that dinosaurs had feathers.
However, not all experts are convinced that they made the correct interpretation. Finding melanosomes might say something about the colour of a dinosaur, but it is a long way to feathers. Alan Feduccia, a biologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, disagrees with their view, saying that they "make a leap of faith going from Confuciusornis to Sinosauropteryx."
Science published a paper by Jonah Choiniere of George Washington University, Xing Xu and colleagues on a well-preserved dinosaur of the family Alvarezsauridae. Named Haplocheirus sollers, Science’s Richard Stone said it was 15 million years older than the earliest bird Archaeopteryx.
The researchers did not find any feathers on the earthly remains of Haplocheirus sollers and they did not claim that it was a transitional form between dinosaurs and birds. The missing feathers did not keep the popular media from getting excited, though.
This is interesting since according to physorg.com, ”Mr. Choiniere's research demonstrates that the family Alvarezsauridae evolved in parallel to birds and did not descend from them.” (bold added).
Dinosaur discovery helps solve piece of evolutionary puzzle (w/ Video).(28 January) http://www.physorg.com/news183909269.html
Lundin, Sverker. 2010. The Lost World, Now in Color. ScienceNOW Daily News. (27 January)
Stone, Richard. 2010. Bird-Dinosaur Link Firmed Up, And in Brilliant Technicolor. Science(29 January). http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/short/327/5965/508
Saturday, 30 January 2010
According to New Scientist, ET is not a threat to religion. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.
When little or nothing happens in science, popular magazines resort to speculations. New Scientist with its fascination for extraterrestrial life is the latest example of this trend. Last week the magazine discussed how we should communicate with ETs. Now, it’s obviously time to assess what effect the existence of extraterrestrials will have on religion.
Last Tuesday, the Royal Society in London discussed a survey on how the discovery of ETs will have an effect on religious faith. Ted Peters, a professor of Systematic Theology, drew up the questionnaire. Most of the 1,300 respondents represented various religions as well as non-religious individuals in the USA.
The discovery of ET would not be a problem for Buddhists. Only 8 per cent of Roman Catholics thought that it would shake their faith. Neither did Protestants think that it would make an end of their belief. Interestingly, one per cent of the non-religious or atheists thought it would affect their ”faith”.
Little green men have nevertheless become an object of religious worship. Darwinian evolution is probably the greatest culprit.
New Scientist also recounted the views of Paul Davies, an astrobiologist at Arizona State University in Tempe. He thinks ETs would pose theological problems for Christianity. "They believe that Jesus came down to earth to save humankind – not dolphins, Neanderthals or extraterrestrials," he said.
According to a genuine Christian worldview Neanderthals were real humans, descendants of Adam, just like me and you and Paul Davies. The Bible is silent on the existence of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe so perhaps we should refrain from hasty speculations.
New Scientist could also have speculated whether atheism could survive if scientists were to discover that that there is no extraterrestrial life elsewhere in the universe.
Griggs, Jessica. 2010. Religion could survive discovery of ET, survey suggests. New Scientist (26 January) http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18437-religion-could-survive-discovery-of-et-survey-suggests.html?DCMP=NLC-nletter&nsref=dn18437
Wednesday, 27 January 2010
Arbeit macht frei? These gates were opened 65 years ago. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.
Soviet troops liberated the remaining prisoners of Auschwitz on January 27, 1945. It marked the end of one of the darkest and grisliest periods of Polish and German history.
The racist ideology of the Nazis had its roots at least partly in the writings of Ernst Haeckel. A zoology professor, Haeckel (1834-1919) spread the good news of evolution in central Europe in the late 19th century and early 20th century.
Nowadays, Haeckel is mostly remembered for his faked embryo drawings. His views on race are less well known. Like Charles Darwin, Haeckel thought that the coloured ”races” were not as evolved as the white ones.
The German Nazis assumed that their racial ideology was based on good science. The consequences of that ”science” turned out to be extremely horrible.
Darwin, Charles, 1871. (republished in 1981) The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Sunday, 24 January 2010
New Scientist discusses the issue of communicating with aliens. The same question was brought up in the 1970s when the first message addressed to ETs began its long voyage through space. Image courtesy of NASA.
The latest issue of New Scientist strays far from empirical science. The popular magazine takes up the issue of communication with aliens. While the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence)project has cost millions of dollars, euros and pounds, it has not produced any results. ETs have been as unwilling to reply to humans as the ancient Philistine god Dagon.
In any case, Stephen Battersby thinks that ETs are social beings who at least have eyes and some kind of limbs and that they eat meat and procreate sexually.
Battersby does not mention that we do not have any proof of the existence of ETs.
The belief in UFOs and aliens stems from Darwinian evolution. The evolutionist believes that since (in his view) life began randomly on Earth it must also have developed elsewhere in the universe.
However, one needs more than just water to create life. One also needs information and a sender. In addition, life can only come from life, and thus the Genesis model is a much more logical explanation than abiogenesis (spontaneous generation) or panspermia (the view that life came from outer space).
Battersby, Stephen. 2010. Exolanguage: do you speak alien? New Scientist 2744 (20 January).
Battersby, Stephen. 2010. The face of first contact: What aliens look like. New Scientist 2744 (20 January)
Saturday, 23 January 2010
Perhaps these rocks in southern Finland are much younger than was supposed.
For the most part, scientists have assumed that radiometric dating methods give reliable results. They have thought that nothing else except radioactive decay has had an effect on the amount of parent isotopes (the original radioactive substances) and daughter isotopes (the decay products) in rocks.
A new paper published in Science challenges this view. Gregory Brennecka, a geochemist at Arizona State University, and colleagues studied meteorites by using mass spectrometry and found out that their original 238U/ 235U ratio was not stable but varied.
The uranium-lead method is based on the knowledge that uranium-238 decays into lead-206 and uranium-235 into lead-207.
The researchers conclude that results obtained by this method are roughly five million years too old. In other words, our solar system is much younger than previously supposed.
This is not the first paper to throw doubts on the assumptions behind radiometric dating. Last July, CERN, The European Organization for Nuclear Research, published a study that showed that ultrasonic cavitation in water caused thorium-228 to decay 10, 000 times faster than previously supposed.
It thus seems that the model based on Genesis is becoming increasingly relevant.
Brennecka, G. A., S. Weyer, M. Wadhwa, P. E. Janney, J. Zipfel and A. D. Anbar. 2010. 238U/235U Variations in Meteorites: Extant 247Cm and Implications for Pb-Pb Dating. Science 327 (5964), 449 – 451.
Friday, 22 January 2010
Jerusalem. Image courtesy of Berthold Werner, Wikipedia.
In BBC's documentary Panorama Jane Corbin takes a walk in Jerusalem and suggests that practically everything Israel does in East Jerusalem is illegal since in her view it is not a Jewish city.
History knows a very different kind of Jerusalem. The Israelites ruled the city over 3000 years ago and even in the 19th century during the Ottoman period, there were more Jews than Arabs in Jerusalem. In 1844, out of a population of 15, 510, the Jews numbered 7, 120. There were 5, 000 Muslims and 3, 390 Christians in the city. At the time of Israel’s War of Independence (1948), 100, 000 Jews, 40, 000 Arabs and 25, 000 Christians lived in Jerusalem.
In reality, East Jerusalem was an Arab city only from 1949 to 1967 after the Jordanians expelled the Jews from their homes. In addition, it might be good to remember that up to 1865 ”Jerusalem” consisted of what is now known as East Jerusalem. The other parts of the city were built later.
Panorama gives the impression that many Israelis are scoundrels who will do anything to keep East Jerusalem in Jewish hands. The programme makes a big issue of Palestinian sufferings.
Corbin does not seem to know about the ethnic cleansing of 1948, when the Jews of East Jerusalem were forced to leave the dwellings that had been theirs for decades if not centuries.
Panorama is obviously not interested in objective reporting. Incidentally, the British have had a pro-Arab bias almost since time immemorial. For instance, in the 1948 war they sided with the Arabs. Recently a British MP claimed that the Israelis are playing mini-Mengele.
Bard, Michael. Myths & Facts Online: Jerusalem http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/myths/mf20.html#m
BBC: Denying Jewish Jerusalem. Honest Reporting 20 January 2009 http://www.honestreporting.com/articles/45884734/critiques/new/BBC_Denying_Jewish_Jerusalem.asp
Wednesday, 20 January 2010
K2 in 2004. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.
In 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicted that the Himalayan glaciers would melt completely by 2035. Its report was based on the Nepal programme of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), using data submitted by glaciologist Syed Iqbal Hasnain.
Other researchers have been unable to verify the credibility of the data. Recently, Hasnain told New Scientist that they were speculations.
The new disclosure will probably not lessen the ever-growing dissatisfaction with the IPCC’s approach.
Contrary to the predictions of Al Gore and other activists, climate change does not seem to conform to their doomsday model.
Schiermeier, Quirin. 2010. Glacier estimate is on thin ice. Nature News (19 January)
Monday, 18 January 2010
Ischnura heterosticta is a common Australian dragonfly. Image courtesy of Fir0002/Flagstaffotos, Wikipedia. The recently discovered damselfly is much smaller and extremely rare.
The latest addition to the ever-expanding list of living fossils is a damselfly found in south-western Victoria in Australia. The tiny dragonfly has a wingspan of 22 millimetres.
Dubbed Ancient Greenling Damselfly, the dragonfly is the only surviving representative of the family Hemiphlebiidae. It does not have any living relatives but fossilized remains of similar damselflies have been found in Brazil and Russia in rocks that are estimated to be 250-300 million years old.
''It's not every day that you find a living fossil pretty much in your backyard,'' says Di Crowther, a senior scientist at the Arthur Rylah Institute according to The Age.
The Australian population of these tiny damselflies now totals a few hundred. They are listed as endangered.
Evolution is often defined as change but this tiny damselfly has remained a damselfly for aeons. Similarly, the fossil record shows us that a squid remains a squid, a Coelacanth remains a Coelacanth, a horseshoe crab (Limulus polyphemus) remains a horseshoe crab and a tuatara (Sphendon punctatus) remains a tuatara throughout the time when dinosaurs were assumed to be turning into birds and early mammals into men.
Living fossils clearly support the Genesis model of after its kind. The biblical kinds are known for stubbornly resisting change into other kinds. Even the assumed millions of years of earth history have been unable to bring about change that would have bridged the enormous gulf between the biblical kinds.
Smith, Bridie. 2010. Found: fossil-linked, listed damselfly. The Age (5 January)
Sunday, 17 January 2010
Elvis Presley in 1970. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.
To commemorate Elvis Presley’s 75th birthday, LiveScience published an article on celebrity worship. Elvis, after all, was probably one of the earliest pop stars to have attracted a sizable following of swooning fans.
In the article, LiveScience editor Jeanna Bryner discusses what kind of people worship pop stars and other celebs and in what kind of circumstances. She concludes that in addition to one’s personality type and psychological state, religion, or rather the lack of it, also plays a major role in determining whether one engages in celebrity worship.
James Houran, a clinical psychologist, says that the less religious a person is, the more likely he or she is to worship celebs. It is easier for a non-religious person to worship George Clooney instead of Jesus.
Humans seem to have a natural inclination to worship someone bigger than they are. A Christian will worship the God of the Bible. An individual who is not religious will find an alternative object of worship, for instance another person or nature.
If you feel that there is too much celebrity worship going on these days, do not forget that there is an antidote to it.
It is called Christianity and it has to do with a relationship with the Creator of the universe.
Elvis Presley had a Christian background. He also sang gospel songs such as He Touched Me at the height of his career.
Bryner, Jeanna. 2010. As Elvis Turns 75, Celebrity Worship Alive and Well. LiveScience (7 January). http://www.livescience.com/culture/elvis-presley-celebrity-worship-100107.html
Saturday, 16 January 2010
New research: The Y chromosomes of the Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) and humans are ”horrendously different from each other”
The assumed genetic closeness of humans and chimps has for long been interpreted as a proof of Darwinian evolution. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.
The Y chromosomes of the Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) and humans are ”horrendously different from each other”. This is how David Page, a researcher at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts, puts the results of the recent sequencing of the chimp genome.
Page and his colleagues published the results of the differences between human and chimp Y chromosomes online in Nature on January 13.
From an evolutionary perspective, the results were astonishing. They make the Darwinian explanations of the genetic similarities between humans and chimps sound somewhat outdated. According to Nature News, ”Page's team found that the chimp Y chromosome has only two-thirds as many distinct genes or gene families as the human Y chromosome and only 47% as many protein-coding elements as humans.”
It seems that the chimps have been exceedingly careless.
However, ”even more striking than the gene loss is the rearrangement of large portions of the chromosome. More than 30% of the chimp Y chromosome lacks an alignable counterpart on the human Y chromosome, and vice versa.”
Natural history museums and biology textbooks have often advertised the genetic closeness of humans and chimps. Popular literature puts the difference at 1-2 per cent. However, the figures are based on a deliberate choice of the parts of the genome that were compared.
The new research will probably give rise to an assortment of explanations. Researchers are already saying that in contrast to humans, chimps must have evolved exceedingly fast.
The differences might have a much more logical explanation, however, viz. the genomes have always been very different. In other words, the Genesis model of after its kind is still a very robust explanation.
Buchen, Lizzie. 2010. The fickle Y chromosome. Chimp genome reveals rapid rate of change. Nature News (13 January)
Thursday, 14 January 2010
The Earth’s climate seems to be changing faster than Al Gore predicted – it’s getting colder. Image courtesy of NASA.
It might not be a bad time to buy a good sledge and a snow shovel. The US National Snow and Ice Data Center in Colorado predicts that we in the northern hemisphere will probably get used to snowstorms and harsh winters for the next twenty or thirty years.
According to the Center, the Arctic Sea ice has increased 26 per cent since 2007.
The new figures make Al Gore’s theses sound somewhat outdated. In December 2008 Gore, the self-appointed Father of the Climate Change movement, predicted that within five years, the Arctic would be ice-free in the summer.
At last December’s Copenhagen Climate Conference he was slightly less optimistic, saying that the Arctic ice would probably melt by summer 2014.
The new predictions are based on the normal temperature fluctuations in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Professor Mojib Latif, a member of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), says he warned of impending cooling in 2008. Together with his colleagues he designed a method for measuring ocean temperatures 1000 metres (3000 ft) below the surface instead of relying on surface temperatures in order to get a more reliable estimation of the effect of ocean currents on climate.
According to Latif, perhaps 50 per cent of the warming in the 20-year period ending in 2000 was caused by exceptionally warm ocean currents. Now we are seeing the beginnings of a cooler period.
Professor Anastasios Tsonis, Head of the University of Wisconsin Atmospheric Sciences Group, says that cooler and warmer periods lasting 20 to 30 years also alternate in the southern hemisphere.
Latif and Tsonis do not deny that overall temperatures have risen, especially in the past century, but they suggest that researchers should also take normal temperature fluctuations into account in their models.
Obsessed with their belief in the omnipotence of carbon dioxide, Al Gore and many climate scientists have obviously forgotten to pay any attention to this.
Stanglin, Doug. 2009. Gore: Polar ice cap may disappear by summer 2014. USA Today (14 December). http://content.usatoday.com/communities/ondeadline/post/2009/12/gore-new-study-sees-nearly-ice-free-arctic-summer-ice-cap-as-early-as-2014/1
Rose, David. 2010. The mini ice age starts here. Daily Mail (10 January) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1242011/DAVID-ROSE-The-mini-ice-age-starts-here.html
Wednesday, 13 January 2010
Reconstruction of a Neanderthal girl. Image courtesy of Christopher P. E. Zollikofer, Anthropological Institute, University of Zurich, via Wikipedia.
The more we learn about the Neandertals, the less they confirm to the traditional concept of grunting cavemen. (You can read more here, here and here.)
João Zilhão, an archaeologist at the University of Bristol, and colleagues recently found jewellery in two caves in southeastern Spain. The painted seashells are estimated to be 50, 000 years old according to the evolutionary timescale. Since researchers think that the first H. sapiens arrived some 10,000 years later in Europe, they believe that Neandertals made the brightly-painted ornaments.
The perforated shells were obviously used as necklaces.
The artists who made the ornaments mixed two colours - yellow goethite and red hematite - to produce orange paint. They obviously had to fetch the paints from five kilometres (three miles) away.
In addition to finding tools made from quartz and flint, Zilhão and his colleagues also discovered a horse bone covered with orange pigment. They suggest that it was used for mixing the colours.
Bible-believing scientists have known for a long time that depicting Neanderthal men as primitive cave dwellers is a myth that is unable to withstand critical evaluation.
According to the model based on Genesis, the Neandertals were descendants of Noah who lived in Europe during the ice age following the universal flood.
Zilhão and colleagues published their discovery online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Choi, Charles O. 2010. Heavy Brows, High Art?: Newly Unearthed Painted Shells Show Neandertals Were Homo sapiens's Mental Equals. Scientific American (8 January)
Sunday, 10 January 2010
A bottlenose dolphin. Image courtesy of NASA.
Thomas White, a professor of ethics at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, has caused a stir by suggesting that dolphins should be treated as ”non-human persons".
While dolphins certainly are intelligent animals capable of learning new tricks, regarding them as persons reveals more about the worldview of the one making the suggestion than about bottlenose dolphins.
This is not the first time that animal rights activists have tried to treat animals as persons. In January 2008 a chimpanzee named Matthew Hiasl Pan made headlines throughout the world as activists attempted to get the Austrian High Court to grant it the status of a person. The court refused to do so, however.
In June 2008 the environmental committee of the Spanish parliament approved a resolution that called for the right to life and freedom for great apes.
Unfortunately, animal rights activists often belittle human rights. Their ideology stems from Darwinian evolution. In their view, a human being has no more value than a field mouse. Bioethics professor Peter Singer, who is an intellectually honest atheist, for instance thinks that it is more ethical to kill human infants – even up to 28 days after their birth – than to eat animal meat.
We should view the current dolphin discussion from this perspective.
Occasionally, the plight of captive dolphins gives rise to more discussion than the killing of unborn babies for financial excuses.
It is deplorable that people have at times mistreated dolphins. However, we cannot solve the problem by pretending that they are human beings while we keep on trampling on the rights of unborn humans. We can let dolphins be animals and still take an ethical approach to them.
Edwards, Lin- 2010. Scientists say dolphins should be treated as non-human persons. Physorg.com. (6 January)
Tiktaalik was assumed to be the ultimate proof of Darwinian evolution. However, a new discovery challenges its intermediary status. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.
In April 2006, Nature published a paper on Tiktaalik roseae, a fish fossil found on Ellesmere Island in northern Canada. Since then, this ”375-million”-year-old fish has been feted as the intermediary between fish and tetrapods.
Evolutionists often forgot to mention that Tiktaalik roseae belonged to the same class of Sarcopterygii as the coelacanth Latimeria chalumnae that according to the fossil record has been dated as roughly the same age or 380 million years.
Latimeria was long assumed to be the intermediary between fish and land animals but then in 1938 the first living specimen was caught. It was not the only one to survive the ”age of the dinosaurs”, however. Some 200 living coelacanths have been found. In contrast to what Darwinists used to believe, none of them uses its fins for walking at the bottom of the ocean.
Called fishapod by some ardent Darwinists, Tiktaalik had great propaganda value in the debate on worldviews. A science journalist lauded it as a fish that could do push-ups. He could not deduce this from the fossil itself but this was not the only time evolutionists had resorted to storytelling to supplement missing data.
Recently, Nature published research that challenges Tiktaalak’s intermediary status. Grzegorz Niedźwiedzki, a fossil-footprint specialist at the University of Warsaw, Per Ahlberg, a paleontologist at Uppsala University, and colleagues reported on fossilized tracks found in Poland. Dated to 395 million years, they were made by a land animal that had four legs.
They were not the footprints of a fish. In other words, an animal walked on dry land before the earliest fish left the water for a much greener pasture on land.
Tiktaalik has become an icon of evolution. No wonder, then, that some Darwinists are reluctant to accept the full import of the Polish footprints.
Sic transit gloria mundi.
Dalton, Rex. 2010. Discovery pushes back date of first four-legged animal. Nature News (6 January). http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100106/full/news.2010.1.html
Saturday, 9 January 2010
Pope Benedict XVI. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.
In his Epiphany message, Pope Benedict XVI discussed the relationship between reason and faith. He pointed out that the Magi who travelled from the East to adore the newborn King were learned men but they did not despise God’s revelation. They were obviously honest seekers of the truth.
The Magi were humble. They did not allow their presuppositions to cloud their understanding and did thus not dismiss the idea that they would find the King not in Herod’s palace but in a more humble habitation.
Pope Benedict XVI generalises this attitude to the relationship of science and revelation. He did not mention naturalistic interpretations of science that attempt to expel the Creator from science, though.
The Vatican has not always taken a clear stand for creation; for instance Pope John Paul II said that evolution was ”more than a theory”.
However, adding a theistic component to an otherwise atheistic model does not sanctify Darwinism.
Faith and reason are not opposites. The universe and everything in it, including you and me, appear to be designed. The obvious interpretation is that it is – and we are – designed.
In contrast, some naturalistic interpretations of science, such as the belief that nothing gave birth to everything by pure chance, are absurd.
Vatican Information Service, 7 January 2009.
Wednesday, 6 January 2010
Richard Dawkins usually avoids debates like the plague. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.
For over two decades, Richard Dawkins has consistently refused to take part in debates on origins issues. This might well stem from sour memories. In 1986 he teamed with Professor John Maynard-Smith to debate professors A. E.Wilder-Smith and Edgar Andrews at Oxford University on creation-evolution.
The Darwinian duo obviously fared so badly that Dawkins had to launch an ad hominem attack against Professor A. E. Wilder-Smith and make an impassioned plea for giving zero votes to the creationists.
The audience did not agree with him, however.
Then Richard Dawkins had to face defeat on a video called ”From a Frog to a Prince”. When asked for evidence of a mutation that could increase genetic information, he searched for an answer in vain for about 17 seconds before eventually giving up and forgetting the question.
No wonder, then, that Dawkins turns down invitations to debate origins issues.
Recently, Renton Maclachlan, who runs a radio station in New Zealand focusing on creation, posted a YouTube video in which he interviewed ”Richard Dawkins”:
The video referred to this clip:
Fraudulent report at AAAS and the 1986 Oxford University debate. http://www.samizdat.qc.ca/cosmos/origines/debate_gc.htm
Was Dawkins Stumped? Frog to a Prince critics refuted again. Creation Ministries International, 12 April 2008.
Sunday, 3 January 2010
Although UFOs and crop circles have made headlines in the UK press, few if any have seen little green men lately. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.
The most recent casualty of the current economic recession is UFO research. The British Ministry of defence will shut down its UFO investigation unit. Set up over 50 years ago, the researchers at the unit have not seen a glimpse of an authentic flying saucer or a little green man.
While UK citizens have sent thousands of e-mails to the unit and used a special hotline to report their observations, they have not succeeded in convincing the researchers that the phenomena they have kept on seeing originate from outer space.
Perhaps the foremost reason for believe in UFOs and little green men is Darwinian evolution, although the money makers at Hollywood can hardly wash their hands. Those who believe that life developed randomly on Earth will also believe that it developed on other planets, and are expecting to find support for their view.
However, since the origin of life needs more than just water, other UFO research institutes might also run out of pounds, euros or dollars before any little green men appear on planet Earth to save us from impending climate change.
Ormsby, Avril, Tim Castle and Peter Millership. 2009. After 50 years, UK ministry shuts down UFO unit. Reuters (4 December). http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE5B32XH20091204
Saturday, 2 January 2010
A British MP associates Israelis with the notorious doctor of Auschwitz. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.
Truth is often one of the earliest casualties in the propaganda war, especially when it comes to Israel and the Palestinians. Recently British MP George Galloway, who is known for his pro-Palestinian bias, associated Israel with Josef Mengele, the notorious doctor at Auschwitz who experimented with concentration camp inmates.
According to Galloway, ”the body parts of Palestinian prisoners were systematically harvested without the knowledge or consent of their families”.
Galloway based his claim on a report aired on Swedish television in which fact and fiction merged into a thick stew. However, he says that Palestinian sources support his thesis.
A decade ago, there was a public outcry in Israel after it became known that doctors had taken body parts from fallen Israeli soldiers and some dead civilians, both Jews and Arabs, without notifying their relatives of the matter. In 2001, the Israeli Ministry of Health set up a commission to investigate the issue and ”forbade organ removal from deceased persons without family permission”.
The Israeli government also tightened legislation on the issue, broke up organ trafficking rings and prosecuted ”those involved both directly and indirectly. ”
After this, two notorious cases of organ trafficking were reported. Three men were indicted, two of them Israeli Arabs and a Jewish surgeon who was arrested in Ukraine.
Israelis never conducted experiments on living Palestinians. They did not ”harvest” organs from prisoners or kill any prisoners in order to do so. The kidneys and other organs were from dead Israelis and Palestinians.
In contrast, Mengele experimented with living prisoners. Galloway’s claim of Israelis playing ”mini-Mengele” turns out to be a bizarre distortion of what really happened. The real issue might well have to do with anti-Semitism.
Galloway, George. 2009. Dark echoes of Holocaust. Daily Record (28 December) http://blogs.dailyrecord.co.uk/georgegalloway/2009/12/dark-echoes-of-holocaust.html
Israel Reiterates Hard Line on Illegal Organ Trafficking Following Revelations of Decade-old Case. The Israel Project. (21 December 2009.) http://www.theisraelproject.org/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=hsJPK0PIJpH&b=3587015&content_id=%7B428A17E4-5043-4712-83D4-1037E77FF4B9%7D¬oc=1
Israelis "Playing Mini-Mengele". Honest Reporting (29 December)