Saturday, 28 February 2015
The Bible speaks much about prayer. Jesus often taught about it. In the Sermon on the Mount He said:
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened” (Matthew 7:7–8, NIV).
The Bible tells us of many people who asked. They brought their requests to the Lord and He answered them.
God has not ceased answering prayer. Here’s an example. During World War II, as German forces pushed back the Allies and surrounded them on the French coast, King George VI called for a National Day of Prayer on 26th May 1940.
The consequences were astounding. History knows the evacuation as the Miracle of Dunkirk. Bad weather prevented the German ground forces from advancing and Luftwaffe from attacking the British troops but the calm sea enabled the Allies to use ships and boats of all sizes to rescue 338,226 troops to safety.
On June 8, 1940 The Telegraph reported: “The prayers of the nation were answered …the God of hosts himself had supported the valiant men of the British Expeditionary Force.”
Prayer seems to be a spiritual law. Once certain conditions are met, God does as He promises in His Word and answers prayer.
British National Days of Prayer in the Twentieth Century. United British Broadcasters.
Thursday, 26 February 2015
Recent research has suggested that there is no such thing as a simple organism.
Even the lowly Escherichia coli is anything but simple. A recent paper published in the journal PNAS compares the bacterium’s replication to a self-replicating factory:
“Surprisingly, our analysis of recently measured datasets of E. coli exponentially growing in a stationary medium reveals that the measured distribution of doubling times fits well to the predicted distribution of doubling times of an optimally scheduled self-replicating factory. This suggests that E. coli is optimally scheduling its replication in these media.”
It might be needless to add that the paper had nothing to say about the assumed evolution of this replicating mechanism – or the evolution of anything else.
E. coli looks as if it has been designed to be effective.
It seems that all organisms that we know about are much more complex than scientists ever imagined. There’s plenty of evidence for design everywhere.
Pugatch, Rami. 2015. Greedy scheduling of cellular self-replication leads to optimal doubling times with a log-Frechet distribution. PNAS 112 (8): 2611–2616 (24 February).
Tuesday, 24 February 2015
Mark Twain wrote: “There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.”
It might be good to keep this in mind when looking at a proposed solution for boosting oxygen levels in the seas and hence, according to Darwinian thinking, making the deep waters teem with life “hundreds of millions of years” ago and eventually making the Cambrian Explosion possible.
According to New Scientist,
“Last year, came the suggestion that sponges transformed Earth's deep oceans 750 million years ago, turning them into an oxygen-rich haven for life. Now it seems tiny bacteria living inside the sponges also played a part in the drama.”
Fan Zhang of the University of Maryland in Baltimore thinks that sponges and bacteria might have “evolved a hyper-efficient system for extracting phosphorus”.
New Scientist explains the reasoning behind this speculation:
“Phosphorus is an essential but rare nutrient for ocean life. Like all marine organisms, sponges need it to survive but can't extract it from the water – but the bacteria can help them out. Meanwhile, bacteria need the sponges to pump vast amounts of seawater over them so they can extract more phosphorus.”
However, much more than water is needed for life. And much more than oxygen is needed for complex life.
Without a massive infusion of genetic information the oceans would be absolutely dead. We can read the best and most logical explanation for complex life in the seas in Genesis 1:20: “Then God said, ‘Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures’ “ (NASB).
Brahic, Catherine. 2015. Were early seas transformed by sponge microbiome? New Scientist (23 February).
Sunday, 22 February 2015
Biologist PZ Myers has just seen a paper published in PLoS Biology way back in 2007 (Evolution by Any Other Name: Antibiotic Resistance and Avoidance of the E-Word) and he obviously did not like what he saw:
The paper stated:
“In research reports in journals with primarily evolutionary or genetic content, the word ‘evolution’ was used 65.8% of the time to describe evolutionary processes (range 10%–94%, mode 50%–60%, from a total of 632 phrases referring to evolution). However, in research reports in the biomedical literature, the word 'evolution' was used only 2.7% of the time (range 0%–75%, mode 0%–10%, from a total of 292 phrases referring to evolution), a highly significant difference (chi-square, p < 0.001).”
In other words, it seems that medical researchers do not think that evolution is important in their work. They found little reason to invoke Darwinian mechanisms.
Antibiotic resistance does not have anything to do with evolution, as a paper published in the Journal PLoS ONE found that bacteria that had been “isolated from human contact for more than four million years” in a cave in New Mexico were already resistant to antibiotics.
While the date is suspect, there is no way of explaining the discovery away as “evolution in action”.
Real science is very much different from what advocates of the Darwinian creation myth would want us to believe.
Myers, PZ. 2015. It’s not just creationists! Pharyngula (20 February).
Friday, 20 February 2015
Few would deny that DNA is an amazing invention, if we could call it that. Bill Gates famously said: “DNA is like a computer program but far, far more advanced than any software ever created.”
Biochemist Thomas Carell had this to say: ”The DNA molecule, which encodes the complexity of all life forms on Earth, is arguably the most powerful medium known for data storage and processing.”
A recent article in New Scientist describes an other dimension of this supermolecule: “Just 1 gram of DNA is theoretically capable of holding 455 exabytes – enough for all the data held by Google, Facebook and every other major tech company, with room to spare.”
Biologist Ann Gauger points out that DNA continues to be a dilemma for evolutionists: “DNA is copied into RNA, then RNA is translated into protein. Consequently, proteins cannot exist without DNA. However, DNA cannot exist without proteins either.”
The only logical explanation is that they, like all other biological elements, were intelligently designed. They were created together at the beginning by the only One who is wise and intelligent enough do have done so:
“For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made” (Romans 1:20, NIV).
Aron, Jacob. 2015. Glassed-in DNA makes the ultimate time capsule. New Scientist 3008 (15 February).
Wednesday, 18 February 2015
Not so long ago Darwinists assumed that only H. sapiens was capable of creating art. However, last year the Neanderthal hashtag made news, challenging this view.
Previously, Neanderthals were known to be inventors, mariners and
even otherwise technologically advanced.
Now, Homo erectus is on its way to lose its apeman status. According to a recent letter in Nature:
“The manufacture of geometric engravings is generally interpreted as indicative of modern cognition and behaviour. Key questions in the debate on the origin of such behaviour are whether this innovation is restricted to Homo sapiens, and whether it has a uniquely African origin. Here we report on a fossil freshwater shell assemblage from the Hauptknochenschicht (‘main bone layer’) of Trinil (Java, Indonesia), the type locality of Homo erectus discovered by Eugène Dubois in 1891. In the Dubois collection (in the Naturalis museum, Leiden, The Netherlands) we found evidence for freshwater shellfish consumption by hominins, one unambiguous shell tool, and a shell with a geometric engraving. We dated sediment contained in the shells with 40Ar/39Ar and luminescence dating methods, obtaining a maximum age of 0.54 ± 0.10 million years and a minimum age of 0.43 ± 0.05 million years. This implies that the Trinil Hauptknochenschicht is younger than previously estimated. Together, our data indicate that the engraving was made by Homo erectus, and that it is considerably older than the oldest geometric engravings described so far. Although it is at present not possible to assess the function or meaning of the engraved shell, this discovery suggests that engraving abstract patterns was in the realm of Asian Homo erectus cognition and neuromotor control.”
In other words, H. erectus knew about geometry and was able to create art.
This makes the case for human evolution to be very weak and it is a hard nut to crack for progressive creationists like Hugh Ross who regards H. erectus as a soulless apeman.
The Genesis-based model has always seen Neanderthals and H. erectus as fully human. They lived during the post-Flood era.
Joordens, Josephine C. A. et al. 2015. Homo erectus at Trinil on Java used shells for tool production and engraving. Nature 518, 228–231.
Monday, 16 February 2015
Known as the father of sociobiology, E. O. Wilson has been involved in verbal warfare on several fronts. He has, for instance, disagreed with Richard Dawkins on the mechanisms of evolution and dismissed him as a journalist.
But his real battle has been against religious faith.
In an interview in New Scientist, Wilson was asked why he wrote his recently published book The Meaning of Human Existence. This was his answer:
”I think it's time to be audacious. The central questions of religion and philosophy are three in number: where do we come from, what are we and where are we going? Usually these are just the beginnings of long discussions, but that's no longer the case. We now have a pretty good picture of how humanity arose in Africa, what intermediate forms existed, the rate at which these forms evolved and the circumstances in which they evolved.“
Professor Wilson avoids touching on controversies related to evolutionary icons such as Archaeopteryx, Lucy and Tiktaalik, for instance.
He thinks that the way to improve our welfare would be to get rid of religion:
“For the sake of human progress, the best thing we could possibly do would be to diminish, to the point of eliminating, religious faiths.”
What he fails to realise is that religion was officially eliminated in countries like the Soviet Union and its satellites, Albania, China, Cambodia and North Korea under communism.
Instead of the promised progress, most of the people actually suffered from deprivation and even persecution. In order to thrive, people need freedom.
The freedom I would advocate in the kind that only Jesus Christ offers:
“If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8: 31–32, NIV).
Wilson might not like to admit it, but it was this very freedom that enabled the great pioneers of science, for instance Sir Isaac Newton and Louis Pasteur, to make their discoveries. They believed in a rational God who created a world that observes natural laws that we could observe.
Without Christianity, there would be no science. C. S. Lewis warned of the dangers of scientism. It can only lead us to bondage and deprivation.
Sarchet, Penny. 2015. E. O. Wilson: Religious faith is dragging us down. New Scientist (27 January).
Saturday, 14 February 2015
It’s not difficult to understand why Darwinian stories are so fascinating. While they are often more or less fact free and mutually contradictory, there’s no shortage of them.
A new story features Darwin’s finches. For many decades they have served as icons of evolution. The most obvious reason for their inclusion in this club is a dire scarcity of animals that have changed – at least to some extent. However, the changes have been temporary.
Recently, researchers sequenced the genomes of 120 individual finches. According to a report in Science, they found out that Medium ground finches (Geospiza fortis) had “different versions of [the gene] ALX1 depending on their beak's exact shape.”
In humans, mutations in the gene ALX1 “have been linked to frontonasal dysplasia, a birth defect that can range in severity from distinctly wide features or a cleft palate to more serious skull and brain malformations.”
Next, the storytelling takes off: “The researchers hypothesize that smaller variations in ALX1 could be responsible for the diversity of face shapes among people.”
This is not the first time evolutionists have seen human facial features in animals. Two years ago, when researchers discovered Entelognathus primordialis, a fish fossil assumed to be over 400 million years old, they believed they saw hints of a human face in it.
Few evolutionists ever see the circular reasoning in all of this. The only “proof” for this is that since according to Darwinian ideology, we evolved from fish, we should have traits that fish have.
In other words, ideology determines the outcome.
Williams, Sarah C. P. 2015. Genomes of Darwin’s finches may explain the shape of human faces. Science (11 February).
Thursday, 12 February 2015
Today, as some ardent evolutionists celebrate Darwin Day, we should not forget that it also is Academic Freedom Day.
David Klinghoffer describes the purpose of this award:
“COTY, as it's called for short, recognizes achievement in thwarting an open and informed discussion of science and scientific controversies. It is a serious thing -- since censorship is serious and often but not always casting fear on less powerful individuals whose ideas the censor doesn't like. That was the case with last year's winner, biologist Jerry Coyne, who with his partners at the Freedom from Religion Foundation was successful in silencing a young physics professor who dared to provide students with information about intelligent design.”
This year’s recipient of the Censor of the Year Award is Neil deGrasse Tyson of Cosmos fame. Mr. Klinghoffer explains why the award goes to Tyson:
“Cosmos represented a highly imaginative rewrite of the history of science. It was designed to convey an impression that faith was always an obstacle to scientific discovery, that all legitimate scientific controversies are in the past, that skeptics of scientific orthodoxy today are fools or worse.”
Believing that religion hampers scientific progress, Dr. Tyson has repeatedly ignored historical facts and fabricated quotes to further his naturalistic / materialistic worldview.
In other words, he has attempted to censor all views that do not agree with his opinion of the past, the present and the future.
Klinghoffer, David. 2015. Censor of the Year: Neil deGrasse Tyson Broadcast His Photoshopped Narrative of Science to Millions. Evolution News and Views (12 February).
Tuesday, 10 February 2015
Darwin Day (12th February) is almost here, and the faithful are already making preparations for celebrating it with pomp and circumstance. In a naturalistic /materialistic worldview, it is the closest thing to Christmas.
It is obvious that they don’t like Christmas, especially if it includes the word Christ – and they don’t want you to like it, either.
But they want you to celebrate Evolution Sunday in church, which, of course, would be a form of idolatry. After all, Charles Darwin wanted to do away with God who reveals Himself in human history as Creator and Saviour.
What are the likely consequences of an ideology based on the belief that apart from nature, nothing else exists?
In 2007 Dr. John G. West’s book Darwin Day in America: Darwin Day in America: How Our Politics and Culture Have Been Dehumanized in the Name of Science was published. Recently, World magazine printed an excerpt of the book’s updated edition.
Dr. West, Vice President of the Discovery Institute and Associate Director of the Center for Science and Culture, says:
“Our culture is witnessing the rise of what could be called totalitarian science—science so totalistic in its outlook that its defenders claim the right to remake every sphere of human life, from public policy and education to ethics and religion. Science is a wonderful enterprise, but during the Obama era, it’s being twisted in ways that are unhealthy for both science and society.”
During Obama’s presidency, science has eroded freedom and secularists have sought to silence all dissenting views in the public arena. They want to remove Christian morality and replace it with a vague Darwinian ethics. This leads to a gross devaluation of human worth, including experimenting with humans, which smacks of what Josef Mengele did at Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Dr. West says that Mr. Obama endorsed the Cosmos television series hosted by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, who has not hidden his anti-Christian agenda under a bushel.
West also mentions Princeton bioethicist Peter Singer, who believes that “the life of a newborn baby is of less value than the life of a pig, a dog, or a chimpanzee.”
This is diametrically opposed to the Christian gospel, which sees mankind as special. After all, Jesus only became a human being. He only redeemed mankind, not animals.
Over half a century ago, C. S. Lewis warned of the dangers of scientism. This is something that all too many of today’s scientists have chosen to ignore.
West, John G. 2015. From science to scientism in the Obama era. World (February 7).
Sunday, 8 February 2015
There’s no lack of expressions like "could have", "might have", "would be more likely to" and "offers a potential solution" in naturalistic origin of life scenarios. After myriads of failed explanations, the latest instalment invokes hydrothermal vents.
Tim Wogan writes in Science:
“On ancient Earth, the earliest life encountered a paradox. Chains of RNA—the ancestor of DNA—were floating around, haphazardly duplicating themselves. Scientists know that eventually, these RNA chains must have become longer and longer, setting the stage for the evolution of complex life forms like amoebas, worms, and eventually humans.”
However, this is pure storytelling. There is absolutely no evidence that RNA chains were “floating around” or that RNA is the ancestor of DNA. For the Darwinist, the origin of life remains a paradox.
Having taken off, the speculation reaches new heights (or depths):
“But under all current models, shorter RNA molecules, having less material to copy, would have reproduced faster, favoring the evolution of primitive organisms over complex ones. Now, new research offers a potential solution: Longer RNA chains could have hidden out in porous rocks near volcanic sites such as hydrothermal ocean vents, where unique temperature conditions might have helped complex organisms evolve.”
Imaginary RNA entities would not have had the desire or power to change into anything else. They would have hidden in porous rocks ad infinitum. Speculations featuring RNA stem from the belief that as RNA is not as complex as DNA, naturalistic processes might have produced it – given favourable condition and enough time.
There is an expression for this: wishful thinking.
Last year an article in The Scientist concluded that the RNA-world hypothesis is not viable. It does not produce life from non-life.
Wogan, Tim. 2015. How Earth’s earliest life overcame a genetic paradox. Science (26 January).
Friday, 6 February 2015
Living fossils share the same story. Once, they were thought to be extinct until in our days someone found a living specimen.
In the fossil record, the Metasequoia or dawn redwood appear in the Mesozoic Era known as the age of reptiles. Then for “70 million years” there is no indication that they were still living.
Until 1944, when a Metasequoia glyptostroboides was discovered in the Sichuan–Hubei region of China. The tree grows up to 60 metres (200 feet) in heightso it is not very easy to miss.
Today, thousands of these “living fossils” are growing in many parts of the world.
An astonishing variety of living fossils have been found all over the world. They vary from small to medium size to large:
· Horseshoe crab
· Wollemi pine
Evolutionists might claim that these species did not evolve because their surroundings did not change, but the truth of the matter is that the list of living fossils is getting too long for them to invoke this explanation that does not work.
Wednesday, 4 February 2015
A recent news item in ScienceDaily begins with the words “The greatest absence of evolution ever reported has been discovered by an international group of scientists: a type of deep-sea microorganism that appears not to have evolved over more than 2 billion years.”
However, then the article goes on to say something unexpected:
“But the researchers say that the organisms' lack of evolution actually supports Charles Darwin's theory of evolution.”
ScienceDaily was reporting on research published online by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences:
“The scientists examined sulfur bacteria, microorganisms that are too small to see with the unaided eye, that are 1.8 billion years old and were preserved in rocks from Western Australia's coastal waters. Using cutting-edge technology, they found that the bacteria look the same as bacteria of the same region from 2.3 billion years ago -- and that both sets of ancient bacteria are indistinguishable from modern sulfur bacteria found in mud off of the coast of Chile.”
On the evolutionary timescale, “2.3 billion years” amounts to over half of the age of Earth. As change is assumed to be the primary characteristic of Darwinian evolution, one might be excused in suggesting that a lack of change should be at least somewhat embarrassing for Darwinians.
Darwinian evolution seems to be so flexible that everything is seen as evidence for it. Punctuated equilibrium was invented to account for the dire lack of transitional fossils, and as Philip S. Skell, a member of the US National Academy of Sciences famously put it, just so stories on the power of natural selection – even mutually contradictory ones – are frequently used to bolster up the crumbling façade of evolution.
Scientists discover organism that hasn't evolved in more than 2 billion years. ScienceDaily, 3 February 2015.
Monday, 2 February 2015
Just over a year ago, Irving Finkel published his book The Ark Before Noah: Decoding the Story of the Flood. This was followed more recently by a documentary that describes what he thought Noah’s Ark was like.
Dr. Finkel, an Assyriologist at the British Museum, thinks that an old Babylonian tablet describes the real dimensions of Noah’s Ark. The Mesopotamian ark appears to be circular, with a diameter of approximately 68 metres (220 feet). As such, it was a lot more seaworthy than the cube-shaped Gilgamesh ark that would hardly have withstood the flood.
But it was a lot smaller and unlike the Ark described in Genesis, it could most probably not have survived a yearlong flood.
As coracles or round river boats were widely used in ancient Mesopotamia and the local flood hypothesis is so widespread in liberal circles, this might explain why Finkel and some others were so eager to associate the tablet with Noah’s Ark.
It all boils down to presuppositions. Those who assume that the Mesopotamian stories predate Genesis will claim that the writer of Noah’s account used extra-biblical sources to write Genesis.
However, the ark described in Genesis is a more credible vessel. There are flood legends in almost every culture, which suggests that the flood was a real global event.
The most logical solution to the ark dilemma is that the Mesopotamians copied the Genesis account and not vice versa. In doing so, they got the shape of vessel wrong.
Finkel, Irving. 2014. Was the ark round? A Babylonian description discovered. The British Museum Blog (24 January).