Wednesday, August 29, 2007

"These chemical responses have been going on for a long time." Abrupt appearance and stasis are the discriminants to use.

Here's a quick one ... but the "discriminants" of:




are vital to sort out truth from flim-flam in the creation-evolution controversy..

I just saw in today's Oregonian about a soldier beetle, alleged to be 100 million years old, discovered trapped in amber while discharging a chemical repellant to chase off some hungry invader (Oregonian, August 29, 2007, p. A12. "Amber shows ancient battle." You can read more about it at:

The photo (right) is really cool. The big guy appears to have been splattered with a blob of tree resin just as he was in the process of excreting his bug-off juice. The discharge, as well as the antenna of an apparent attacking predator trapped in the goo, is visible in the figure.
As the Oregonian article puts it, "George Poinar, an OSU courtesy zoology professor, examined the specimen about a year ago ... (and) ... was surprised to see a chemical oozing from the beetle's sides.
"It's remarkable that this beetle's defensive response was at the precise moment the resin fell on it," said Poinar, an emeritus professor of entomology at the University of California, Berkeley. "This shows that these chemical responses have been going on for a long time."
Let's discuss the statement "these chemical processes have been going on for a long time." The point is that the chemical class of defense mechanisms we see today (e.g., the bombardier beetle ... see Dwayne Gish's discussion of "Bomby" ) was also functional at the time the critter was gooed up. Let's look at some key discriminants to see what this may imply in the creation-evolution controversy.
Note: "discriminant" is not necessarily something that will get you in trouble with the EEOC. It just refers to a way or means to decide if an item is drawn from one population or another by evaluation of distinguishing characteristics. For example, a medical diagnosis may rely heavily on a "discriminant analysis" statistical tool to decide if a subject has disease A or disease B.
So what are the major discriminants we seek in sorting out the many evolution and creation claims? It seems pretty straightforward: if neo-Darwinian evolution is true, the fossil record would be generally described by (1) gradual appearance and(2) continued gradual change (pretty much a continuum). The creation hypothesis (yes, let's call it a hypothesis) would be characterized by (1) abrupt appearance (discontinuity), and (2) stasis. "Stasis" means once you see it in the fossil record, it stays pretty much the same in the fossil record up to the present time or until it becomes extinct.
To the fair-minded, the fossil record is indeed characterized, with reasonable precision, by "abrupt appearance" and "stasis" rather than by gradual appearance and change. Hence, the creation hypothesis is supported and the evolution hypothesis is weakened.
So how about our beetle who thought his big problem was an approaching predator until an even stickier problem dropped in? Professor Poinar was surprised to see the chemical repellant in the (alleged) 100-million-year-old fossil as he said "these chemical processes have been going on for a long time."
That is a statement of STASIS.
Just add that to the jillions of examples of stasis in things both living and fossil. The creation hypothesis continues to be supported as each discovery comes in.
Respectfully submitted,

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Lucy in the sky .... to Texas? But she ain't yo' granny.

Hope you saw the hot news today that Lucy, the famed Australopithecus afarensis fossil oft claimed as part of human ancestry, recently landed in Houston, Texas. There is such a furor about removing Lucy from her (his?) resting place in Ethiopia that several American museums have refused to show the fossil.

If you want to read a bit about Lucy, here is the link where I got the free picture:

The Houston, Texas, exhibit is described by Monica Rhor of Associated Press ("Lucy makes her debut", August 28, 2007):

After passing through the rooms devoted to Ethiopian history, visitors enter three dimly lit chambers. In the first two, the exhibit focuses on the prehistoric era and asks: What is our origin? What is our purpose?

In the third, a darkened circular room, they meet Lucy.

Her skeleton, laying flat inside a sleek glass and black case, is dusted by soft lighting. Around her, a 78-foot-long mural tells the story of 6 million years of human evolution. Near the fossil, a life-size model of what Lucy might have looked like stands encased in her own glass enclosure, observing the viewer with a half-smile.

Wow! I'm 'a thinkin' this evolution thing is really a done deal. Our origin! Our purpose! Denial is obviously only for the anti-realists. When you are finally ushered in to her very presence, she even half-smiles!

Well, the story is not all told here, I fear.

I will try to shorten it and make it quick, since I need to get to Woodco and get some cedar chips for the play yard before they close.

Here is a quote from Australopithecine authority Charles Oxnard of University of Western Australia, who says: "The genus Homo may, in fact, be so ancient as to parallel entirely the genus Australopithecus, thus denying the latter a direct place in the human lineage" (Charles E. Oxnard, "The place of the australopithecines in human evolution: grounds for doubt?" Nature 258 ( 4 December 1975):389).

Though merely a retired engineer, I think I read that paleospeak correctly to say that Lucy ain't yo' granny. Lucy is simply representative of an extinct hominid (or simian).

By the way, Martin Lubenov (Bones of Contention, Baker Book House, 1992, pp. 166-167) discusses how evolutionists try to slip afarensis Lucy's family cousin Australopithecus africanus into the human family tree. "Partridge's evidence for the recent date for africanus has not been adequately addressed by evolutionists. Since he presented his evidence twenty years ago (almost 35 years ago now. D.U.), evolutionists now feel free to ignore it. The more serious problem for africanus is that fossils identical to those of modern humans parallel the entire history of africanus. Thus africanus cannot be our ancestor. Some evolutionsists, such as Oxnard, are open enough to admit it."

So there you have it. Despite the glitzy and smooth Lucy exhibition now camping in Houston, Lucy ain't yo' granny. Neither is her cousin africanus.

I'm not sure if there is an updated edition of Lubenov's book, but it is a great read. Mine has about 30 dog-ears where I stopped reading to get all the way through it more than a decade ago. But worth it it was. Hope you can get your hands on a copy.

Oh, and by the way, there is no such thing as a "prehistoric era" referenced in the first two dimly lit exhibit chambers. God gives whatever history of the world that we need, beginning with "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." (Genesis 1:1, Holy Bible). We have the history right - right from the beginning.

Respectfully submitted,


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Disappearing comets and Mars water - Good News for YECs

If you would like to know answers to many puzzles of the universe, the Bible gives counsel:

"This is what the LORD says, he who made the earth, the LORD who formed it and established it - the LORD (JEHOVAH) is His name. 'Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know."

Calling on God was the method of choice for understanding puzzles of the universe for giants of modern science such as Newton, Maxwell, Pasteur, and others.

Disappearing water may be just one more mystery that God - Creator, Sustainer, Savior, and Final Judge of the universe - will maybe give us a hand with.

If you have been watching the news, you may have seen today that scientists are suggesting that solar flares (in addition to the effect of normal solar plasma and radiation) may have added to the loss of water from Mars, trying to explain why the planet is so dry. See:

That gets me a bit excited. Why does a dry Mars make YECs ("young earth creationists") salivate? It's all in the process. The point here is that, just as solar plasma "pushes" water off the planet Mars, it is even more effective in "pushing" water from comets, which have much weaker gravitational fields.

Comets are made up of dust and "ice" (not only water, but also frozen ammonia, methane, and carbon dioxide) orbiting the sun in highly elliptical orbits. As they near the sun, the "solar wind" (charged particles emanating from the sun) pushes a tail of ions directly away from the sun, while solar radiation pushes away dust particles from the comet that form a tail that curves gently away from the sun.

The tail is the visible evidence that the comet is being gradually destroyed at each pass around the sun.

The rate of loss of mass from comets is a clear evidence that comets could not have been around for millions and millions of years. Therefore, water disappearing from comets at each pass near the sun is powerful evidence of a young solar system ... and take that to mean a young universe as well.

The comet dissipation has been known for a long long time. And YECs (such as your fearless blogger) have known it as well. But evolutionists and OECs ("old earth creationists") will never speak a single word of acknowledgment that rapidly diminishing comets could imply a young solar system.

A couple of links:




But the "hear no creation, see no creation, speak no creation" folks keep imagining that new comets continue to be captured into elliptical orbits from an invisible and heretofore unobserved "Oort cloud" or from the "Kuiper Belt Objects" (now known as the Trans-Neptunian Objects). The TNOs observed so far seem far too large to be candidates for future comets.

The truth it seems may be "blowin' in the wind" - the solar wind, that is.

Respectfully submitted,


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

So where is Casey Stengel when you need a good question ? ?

Today, in typical fashion for your multifaceted blogger, let's start with the sublime and progress to the ridiculous.

For the sublime, my most memorable sports quotes:

(1) "This is like deja vu all over again." Coined by Yogi Berra, famed catcher for many world champion New York Yankee baseball teams, almost equally famous for his quintessentially quotable quotes.

(2) "The opera ain't over 'til the fat lady sings." Commonly attributed to writer/broadcaster Dan Cook, in April 1978, when he coined the phrase after the first basketball game between the San Antonio Spurs and the Washington Bullets.

(3) "Can't anyone here play this game?" Spoken in exasperation by Casey Stengel, former manager of many world champion New York Yankee baseball teams, when he came out of retirement to manage the woeful 1962 New York Mets baseball team.

So where do we go today for the ridiculous? How can we miss if we go to the amazing "revelation" splattered acros British papers this very day informing us how the processes of evolution explain why girls like pink and boys like blue. Want to have some head-scratching fun? Check out this link:

Oh, and the link has three really cool pictures too.

Researchers at Newcastle University pinpointed the present-day pink-blue division by presenting more than 200 men and women with a series of colored triangles and asking them to pick out their favourite hues. The stunningly shocking result was that, faced with more than 250 different color choices, the women clearly veered towards pinks and lilacs, while the men went mainly for blues.

How would you like to get beaucoup pounds for stuff like that, eh?

But, oh well, so far, so good.

The rub comes, of course, when in order to avert public scorn and a "Golden Fleece Award" for such a shocking discovery, the "researchers " took off to ... where else ... to evolution. Seems like for yarn-spinning "researchers", evolution is always assured easy money. You can just hear paycheques hitting the bank, Kaching ! !

Anya Hurlbert, a professor of visual neuroscience, thought that "the difference has its roots in evolution and the activities of our hunter-gatherer forebears. While men developed a preference for the clear blue skies that signaled good weather for hunting, women honed their ability to pick out the reds and pink while foraging for ripe fruits and berries."

Professor Hulbert, of Newcastle's school of psychology, said: "The explanation might date back to humans' hunter-gatherer days, when women were the primary gatherers and would have benefited from the ability to home in on ripe, red fruits."

So there you go. If you are a bold soul to ask questions, you might ask, "Hmmm ... since science involves observabilty, repeatability, and falsifiability, where is the science in these wild leaps from profoundly obvious observations into the wild blue (or pink) yonder of evolution? Does this wild leap seem like a fair inference of scientific endeavors, or .... ? Or what?

I wish Casey Stengel were still around to ask, "Can't anyone here understand science?"

When I repeatedly see stuff like this, with evolutionary assumptions to "prove" evolutionary conclusions, it is always like deja vu all over again .. again.

Respectfully submitted,


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Healthy bones, healthy man. Just like the Bible says (of course).

Don't say you read it first in Science News or in the journal Cell. For folks who had the Old Testament scriptures. it has been good reading for about 3,000 years !

If you have been reading the Bible much, maybe you have had the same nagging feeling as I that scripture affirms a close relationship between the healthy bones and mental-spiritual-physical health.

Examples (quotations from NIV) are :

Psalm 31:10. "My life is consumed by anguish and my years by groaning; my strength fails because of my affliction, and my bones grow weak."

Psalm 32:3. "When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long."

Proverbs 14:30. "A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones."

Proverbs 15:30. "A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones."

Proverbs 16:24. "Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones."

Proverbs 17:22. "A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones."

Habakkuk 3:16. "I heard and my heart pounded, my lips quivered at the sound; decay crept into my bones, and my legs trembled."

Now science continues to affirm the Bible in emphasizing the importance of bones in general health. Science News, August 11, 2007 (Vol. 172, p. 83) has an article "Skeletal Discovery: Bone cells affect metabolism". New research in mice "shows that bone cells exert a surprising influence on how the body regulates sugar, energy, and fat."

A research team led by Gerard Karsenty of Columbia University has identified a reciprocal relationship between (1) fat cells which secrete a hormone that influences bone-forming cells called osteoblasts, and (2) osteoblasts emitting a hormone osteocalcin that controls fat tissue.

SN reports: "'This could have important ramifications for cardiovascular disease because of the effect on the metabolic syndrome,' a condition related to diabetes, comments Dana T. Graves of Boston University. 'The fact that bone cells regulate energy metabolism, and that they do it through osteocalcin, is a major finding,' he says."

So there you have it. While the Bible is not specifically given by God as a book of science, it is always accurate when it touches on things observable in our physical world. The Bible is a good place to begin for every endeavor, whether it be biomedical research or seeking a happy destiny of the soul. Those who ignore God's Word do so at their own peril.

Respectfully submitted,


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Darwin feeling the heat? Monkey-to-Man Icon Continues to Wilt

Just a quick one for today. Gotta hurry on something that's gotta get done.

In case you did not see it, I just wanted to share how the (in)famous monkey-to-man icon featured on the cover of Jonathan Wells' book Icons of Evolution continues to wilt in the heat of continued investigation. Do they really still teach this stuff to kids? Or to adults?

The opening line of the AP news story today said:

"Surprising fossils dug up in Africa are creating messy kinks in the iconic straight line of human evolution with its knuckle-dragging ape and briefcase-carrying man.";_

I would say that Darwin is feeling the heat, but since he devoted his life to pulling down the King of the Universe, the Almighty Creator, from the eternal throne in Heaven, Sir Charles might be feeling a different kind of heat at the current time.

But I diverge.

So what is it this time? It seems Maeve Leakey and team in the year 2000 dug up a Homo erectus complete skull within walking distance of an upper jaw of the Homo habilis, and both dated from the same general time period. "That makes it unlikely that one evolved from the other, researchers said." The discovery is reported by Leakey and colleagues in a paper published in Thursday's (August 9, 2007) journal Nature.

Sooo ... here is the quote I hope you will all like, depending on your bent (or hate, depending on your twist):

"Overall what it paints for human evolution is a 'chaotic kind of looking evolutionary tree rather than this heroic march that you see with the cartoons of an early ancestor evolving into some intermediate and eventually unto us,' Spoor said in a phone interview from a field office of the Koobi Fora Research Project in northern Kenya.

That old evolutionary cartoon, while popular with the general public, keeps getting proven wrong and too simple, said Bill Kimbel, who praised the latest findings. He is science director of the Institute of Human Origins at Arizona State University and wasn't involved in the research team."

Wasn't that fun? For more fun, read Wells' book Icons of Evolution.

Respectfully submitted,