“If the situation is as I have described it, the intellectual bankruptcy of Darwinism cannot be concealed for very much longer.  The Darwinists may delay the day of reckoning for a while by wielding the weapons of power, but more and more people are learning to press the right questions and to refuse to take bluff or evasion for an answer.”

– Dr. Phillip E. Johnson, The Wedge of Truth (IVP, 2000), p. 150.

 Creation-Evolution Headlines, February 2001                    
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Fossil Ancestor of Bony Fish Found in China  02/28/2001
A report in the
BBC News claims a primitive lobe-finned fish fossil indicates that the first land vertebrates may have evolved in China.  “The discovery of a 400-million-year-old fossil fish at a site in what is now southern China throws light on a fishy ‘garden of Eden’, where creatures first evolved lobe-like fins that went on to form limbs.”

A stretch from flimsy evidence, a lot of storytelling, and maybe a little political posturing combine in this story.  Evolution is assumed, dating methods are assumed, then the presence of bony fins is assumed to be relevant to the previously assumed story.  The actual evidence shows that lobe-finned fishes like Coelacanth are doing just fine today, perfectly adapted to their environment and not showing the slightest desire to crawl out onto the land, where they would surely die without dozens of other fine-tuned adaptations for survival out of water.  Maybe the Chinese just want to promote their country as a Garden of Eden.
Next headline on: Fossils.
Magnetic Evidence for Martian Life Claimed  02/28/2001
Two new NASA studies (summarized by
Scientific American) suggest that the magnetite crystals found in the Martian meteorite ALH84001 could only have been produced by living organisms. 
Here we go again.  Stay tuned for the next round, where another team will show a abiotic way to produce the magnetite.  Even if they don’t, the old Mars-life-in-a-meteorite story has 2.9 strikes against it.
Next headline on: Mars.
Comets Make Ingredients for Life  02/27/2001
Jeffrey Bada and colleagues at
Scripps Institute claim to have isolated pristine amino acids from the Orgueil meteorite (which fell in 1864).  They claim these amino acids were synthesized in space, probably in a comet nucleus.  Thus, “ the amino acids that helped generate life on Earth may have been delivered by meteorites that were derived from the remnants of comets.”
See the Baloney Detector definition of Non Sequitur.
Next headline on: Comets.
Hibernating Bears Stay Fit  02/26/2001
How would you like to perform this experiment: crawl into a bear’s den and study the bruin’s reflexes?  That’s what researchers in Wyoming did, to study how bears are able to fend off muscle atrophy during hibernation.  Apparently shivering episodes are involved along with recycling of nitrogen from urea to manufacture new protein.  The study, which might shed light on human muscle atrophy in space, was reported in the Feb. 22 issue of Nature.
Science can be an adventure; imagine crawling into the lair of a bear in the dead of winter in the Rockies.  Thinking about the findings of this study, one has to wonder how many bears had to die figuring out how not to freeze to death, until one came along that was smarter than your aver-age bear.  The cost of selection means that for every beneficial mutation that comes along, all the individuals that don’t have it must die off in order for the benefit to propagate in the population.  Soon the cost becomes astronomical.  This and other little-known dark secrets of natural selection theory are explored in Walter ReMine’s classic, The Biotic Message.
Beetle Horns Tell Evolutionary Tales  02/26/2001
For dung beetles, growing bigger horns has its tradeoffs, according to a story in the journal
Science.  The bigger the horn, the smaller other organs like antennae can be.  This is giving scientists who study “evo-devo” (evolutionary development) food for speculation about sexual selection and adaptation to habitat.  See also this summary from USA Today.
Two things to remember about these kinds of evolutionary stories: (1) This is micro-evolution, not macro-evolution: it doesn’t explain the origin of beetles, but just variations on features that already exist.  (2) Evolutionary storytelling is so plastic it can explain anything.  If it can explain anything, it explains nothing.
Next headline on: Bugs and Crawlers.
Comet Dives Into Sun  02/26/2001
The
SOHO spacecraft (Solar and Heliospheric Observatory) caught another kamikaze comet on film, the latest of nearly 300 comets to dive into the sun.  These sun-grazers are possibly fragments of a large comet that broke up.  Click here for a Scientific American summary and pictures.  The SOHO website also has movies of sun-grazing comets falling into the sun (click on Gallery/LASCO).
This is but another ongoing destructive process in the solar system.  Astronomers who believe the solar system is 4.6 billion years old need to keep a source of comet material coming in to maintain this rate of input to output for long ages, but as we saw last month, the hypothetical reservoir of comets doesn’t appear nearly as substantial as earlier believed.
Next headline on: Comets. • Next headline on: Solar System.
Ape-Man Believers Fight It Out  02/23/2001
Claims by French paleoanthropologists of the discovery of a 6-million-year-old fossilized human ancestor in Kenya named Orrorin are causing strife among their colleagues, says the journal
Science.  If accepted, this fossil predates the famed Lucy and other leading candidates by two million years.  The fossil fragments consist of a few fragments of leg bone, jaw and teeth.  It’s the teeth the discoverers claim are most human-like, and in their opinion, relegates all the other candidates to side-show freaks.  Naturally, other scientists disagree.  One researcher says he can’t tell whether Orrorin was “on the line to humans, on the line to chimps, a common ancestor to both, or just an extinct side branch.”  (See our Feb 7 report on this find.)
Paleoanthropology is more like sports than science.  Rival teams are waiting for their chance to go out on the field and score points in the media.  Now another team is claiming “Everything you know is wrong.”  Considering paleoanthropology’s shameful history (Piltdown Man, Nebraska Man, Peking Man, Ramapithecus, etc.), stories like this make it look like a free-for-all without rules or referees.  Maybe they should take up a sport that’s more sensible and honest, like professional wrestling.
Next headline on: Early Man.
Article 02/24/2001: As part of the cover story of World Magazine Nancy Pearcey explains in “Phillip Johnson Was Right” how just when society is languishing for ethics and meaning, we find a basis for human dignity and purpose as close to home as our own DNA.  (Same article also available at the Discovery Institute.)

Asteroid Wiped Out 90% of Earth Life  02/22/2001
An asteroid wiped out 90% of earth life within 8000 to 100,000 years some 250 million years ago, according to a
NASA press release also presented on a webcast today.  The evidence consists of carbon geodesic molecules called fullerenes with noble gases trapped inside that appear extraterrestrial.  Unlike the asteroid that is claimed to have killed the dinosaurs in Triassic time, this asteroid left no iridium layer in the geologic record.

This whole story is a house of cards.  First, they assume the geologists know their dating methods.  Then they trust the disputed theory that an asteroid killed the dinosaurs.  Then with the flimsiest evidence, some molecules (which don’t contain, by the way, any labels saying “I’m 250 million years old!”), they weave a fantastic story of a huge asteroid impact, which left no crater, and picture the poor survivors undergoing Darwinian survival of the fittest to cling to life.  The theory is so plastic, any anomaly like the lack of iridium can be explained.  No doubt the Discovery Channel or National Geographic will soon have a computer-animated documentary to portray the whole sad story along with the nightly news.  There is an alternative explanation that not only explains the observations, but has a singular advantage: a credible Eyewitness.
Next headline on: Dinosaurs. • Next headline on: Geology.
Genetic Potential Increases  02/22/2001
New findings provide further evidence that the old “one gene – one enzyme” paradigm is incorrect.  Researchers at
Johns Hopkins have found that two genes in combination can make multiple proteins through a process called trans-splicing.  Apparently messenger RNA can simultaneously read both halves of a DNA molecule in opposite directions and splice them together.  This increases the protein-generating potential of the human genome, which was announced earlier this week to have fewer genes (around 30,000) than expected.
This means the DNA stores vastly more information than could be stored on one strand, the other being just a template.  It is just one of many marvels sure to come out of our ongoing investigation of the genetic code.  The whole story of transcription by messenger RNA to transfer RNA to protein, accompanied by a host of specialized enzymes, is dazzlingly complex and exquisite in its precision and speed.  How do these little blind molecules know how to do these things?  Truly amazing.
See also next story, below.
Next headline on: Human Body. • Next headline on: DNA. • Next amazing story.
Biological Motor Has Tight Specifications  02/21/2001
Scientific American has an article about dynein, a protein essential to cell division, which the article describes as a protein motor composed of 12 parts.  Researchers have found that “in order to function properly, dynein’s components must have a certain form and must fit together in a particular way.  Problems with even a single component, it turns out, can have disastrous effects.”  This line of research may help lead to anticancer treatments by disarming dynein in cancer cells.  Click here for the Ohio University press release with further details.
Here is another bona fide case of irreducible complexity: twelve parts that are each essential to a functioning motor.  Remove or harm just one of them and it doesn’t work.  There is no way such a system could have formed by slow, gradual changes as evolutionary theory demands.  Just think . . . your body is filled with little motors running smoothly, doing their job without your conscious thought, but if they broke, you would be dead.  Fascinating, Captain.
Next headline on: The Cell and Biochemistry. • Next headline on: Human Body. • Next amazing story.
Articles 02/21/2001:  The Discovery Institute website has posted five new articles this month, including a doctor’s testimony, articles about the human genome, and other subjects related to Intelligent Design vs. Darwinism.

Editorial 02/20/2001: James Perloff has written an excellent article “The Case Against Darwin” on WorldNetDaily.Com recounting the history of Darwinian indoctrination in our schools and its harmful influence on society and politics.  In addition, he summarizes the main arguments and evidences against evolution.
Next headline on: Schools. • Next headline on: Darwinism. • Next headline on: Politics.

Protein Folding Regulated by Quality Control  02/20/2001
The upcoming Feb. 29 issue of the
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society is devoted to protein folding and disease.  As we reported earlier, it has been discovered that cells have chaperones that supervise and proofread the folding of amino acid chains of which proteins are composed.  In the preface to this edition of the Transactions, the editors speak of the quality control processes of the cell, stating that “Failure to satisfy the quality control process, particularly by proteins resulting from genetic mutations, is associated with a wide range of diseases including cystic fibrosis and diabetes.” (Normally, misfolded proteins are “rigorously excluded” from the cell.)  “And because it is so strongly linked to fundamental cellular activities, any aberrations in the folding process will lead to malfunctioning of the organism involved, and hence to disease.”

This is why it is so disingenuous for evolutionists to glibly talk about building blocks of life forming naturally à la Miller-type experiments.  Cells are much, much more than building blocks or aggregates of organic molecules: they have central storage of information and detailed processes for carrying out instructions and correcting mistakes.  Without these, life could not exist.  Considering how precise the quality controls must still be maintained in this cursed, mutating world, Dr. Joseph Henson used to say, “The surprising thing is not that we get sick, but that we are ever well.”
Next headline on: The Cell and Biochemistry. • Next amazing story.
Pond Scum Evolved Into Tulips  02/20/2001
Nature summarizes a report on plant evolution from this week’s meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in San Francisco.  Finding a similarity in cell division techniques between land plants and fresh-water algae, researchers infer now from DNA evidence that it was fresh-water plants that first made the leap to land, not seaweed as had long been assumed.  But many questions remain unanswered.
Speculation on top of speculation, weak evidence, storytelling, and anomalies abound in this article.  In addition to two cases of “no one knows” in the text, notice this statement by one of the researchers: Chapman and his team were “really very puzzled, almost a little nervous,” to find this strange correspondence.  “It just shouldn't be there,” he says, “these are very different organisms.”
Next headline on: Plants.
Life Molecules Found in Space  02/20/2001
CBS News has a story from the gathering of the American Association for the Advancement of Science that astronomers have found water and carbon chemistry around stars.  “This strengthens greatly the possibility of life forming elsewhere,” said Martin F. Kessler, a staff scientist for the European Space Agency.  “It shows that complex carbon chemistry is not unique to Earth.  We now see similar chemistry elsewhere in the universe.”
Welcome to the American Association for the Advancement of Storytelling.  Water and carbon are no closer to life than a fleck of graphite in an ice cube.  The gulf from chemical building blocks to a growing, reproducing organism is so vast, only a convinced evolutionist could have enough faith to believe it could be spanned by material processes.  But he has to believe that; he has ruled out intelligent design from the start. 
Next headline on: Stars. • Next headline on: Origin of Life. • Next dumb story.
Plants Win Fight Against Gravity  02/20/2001
But how they do it is a mystery being unveiled by a five-year study at North Carolina State University funded by NASA, according to a story in the
Nando Times.  Apparently plants use a chemical trigger on the underside of a leaf or stem that sparks an increase in growth, bending the stem back to an upright position.  This stimulus even has a time delay to differentiate between the pull of gravity and bending caused by swaying in the wind.
This is just one of millions of little marvels that we often take for granted.  How a sightless, mindless plant could figure this out by evolution is incredible.  Compare the plant with a rock that falls down a cliff.  The rock doesn’t give a hoot about climbing back up again, and couldn’t if it did.  For a plant to defy the inexorable pressure of entropy, it has to capture the energy of sunlight, and harness it for the express purpose of growing against what it would otherwise do naturally – fall like a rock.
Next headline on: Plants. • Next amazing story.
Thank God Water Is Weird  02/19/2001
The Feb 17 issue of
Science News on p. 111 has an article “Research shows why water acts weird.”  Some Princeton chemists are finding out the specifics of why water becomes less dense when it freezes.  Computer simulations reveal that the distances and orientations of water molecules are “tightly dependent on each other over a particular range of densities and temperatures.”
Here again is a tiny coincidence that makes all the difference in the world.  If water didn’t float when it freezes, earth would be a big ice ball and life would be impossible.  With this and so many other coincidences in nature, aren’t we lucky.  Recommended videos: Wonders of God’s Creation: Planet Earth, and Where the Waters Run by Moody Institute of Science.
Next headline on: Physics. • Next amazing story.
Single-Handed Amino Acids Selected by Experiment  02/17/2001
Scientists at Scripps Research Institute have made polypeptides that were able to preferentially select single-handed amino-acids, according to a report in
Nature.  The single-handed peptide chains were also able to edit out the mixed ones.  The article states, “Despite its relative simplicity, the peptide system has life-like characteristics: it can induce self-replication, select for molecules of the same handedness, and avoid the accumulation of errors.  This suggests that self-replicating peptides could have played a crucial role in the emergence of life, and homochirality, on Earth.”
The experiment is clever but irrelevant to the origin of life.  The single-handedness of proteins has been a major difficulty for chemical evolution theories for decades and still is (read this explanation).  By tweaking and jury-rigging the molecules toward a predetermined outcome, these scientists injected intelligent design into the experiment.  This is a form of cheating called Investigator Interference.  Polypeptides do not form naturally; they hydrolyze.  These scientists started out with polypeptides which are highly improbable and would not survive in nature.  Moreover, if any oxygen were present (as most admit was probably present on the early earth), no amino acids would be formed in the first place.  These scientists also purposely excluded the many destructive molecules that would have been present under natural conditions.  But even if through some miracle they ended up with a pure one-handed solution of polypeptide chains, it would explain nothing of the origin of information and function.  If these scientists really wanted to do a fair experiment, they should keep their guiding hands off the apparatus and let the laws of thermodynamics and probability take their toll.  The results would be depressing.
Next headline on: Origin of Life.
Articles 02/16/2001:  A special focus on Sanctity of Life by Leadership U, with articles on euthanasia, stem-cell research, abortion and related topics.
Next headline on: Politics and Ethics.

Veil Nebula Grows A Lot Younger  02/16/2001
The February 2001 issue of
Sky & Telescope has a surprising admission: the Veil Nebula in Cygnus, a widely-dispersed supernova remnant, is much younger than previously believed.  Comparing Hubble images with views taken in 1953, astronomers at Johns Hopkins estimate its new age at only 5000 years, much less than the tens of thousands earlier claimed.

There you have it: another old-age proof falls down under the scrutiny of improved observations.  This one isn’t alone.  From recent stories reported on this site, here is one on pulsars, another on comets, and another on giant Sequoia trees, and another on granite mountains, and another on the Grand Canyon, and another on Jupiter’s moon Io.  Maybe there’s a pattern here.
Next headline on: Stars. • Next headline on: Dating methods.
No Apology Offered to Eugenics Victims  02/16/2001
There have been no apologies offered to tens of thousands of Americans forcibly sterilized under eugenics programs between 1924 and 1979, including “mental defective” Raymond W. Hudlow who later was honored as a war hero, according to a story in the
Nando Times.  “Although eugenics eventually was discredited as political and social prejudice rather than scientific fact, neither Virginia nor any of the 29 other states that conducted eugenical sterilizations has ever compensated or apologized to the more than 60,000 victims.”
If this sounds like a Kafka horror story, remember two things: (1) it is recent history, and (2) the new eugenics is coming.  With the genetic revolution upon us, and new techniques for identifying “defectives,” there will be pressures brought to bear on not allowing them to breed and corrupt the human gene pool.  It all starts, of course, with noble intentions of alleviating the suffering of those afflicted, but just beyond is the prospect of not allowing defectives to be born in the first place.  Do you want your human rights determined by a scientific elite, or by bureaucrats tasked with implementing their policies?  Will we learn from history that unbridled Social Darwinism is a stepping stone to another holocaust?
Next headline on: Politics. • Next headline on: Darwinism.
Samson Psychoanalyzed  02/15/2001
A psychologist detects symptoms of antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) in the story of Samson in the Old Testament book of
Judges, according to a story in New Scientist.
Just because you give something a name doesn’t mean you understand it.  While it’s nice to see this article treat the Samson story as historical, it misses the whole point.  Samson’s problem was spiritual, not psychological; he was walking in disobedience to God.  The symptoms were a consequence of his sin.  Would the Lord have accepted a modern psychological defense?  “Sorry, God, I can’t help myself; I have ASPD.”
   A science that claims explanatory authority over all areas of life, including the spiritual, ends up committing reductionist absurdities.
Next headline on: Bible. • Next dumb story.
Kansas Update 02/14/2001:  See our update on the Kansas school board decision to reinstate evolutionary emphasis.
Scientific American has a very biased, gloating report on the decision.  It also includes links to past editorials by editor John Rennie, who displays a shameless misunderstanding of the facts and the issues.  You would never know reading these editorials, that the Kansas school board in 1999 actually was increasing the teaching of evolution, but only shied away from including it as one of the principal general themes of biology.  For this, the school board was subjected to unbelievable ridicule in the press.  What does this tell you about the image of science as an unbiased search for truth?  The scientific establishment in America has become a potent political pressure group, where dissenters are quickly pounced on with fury and intimidation.  It is essential that readers understand what really happened in Kansas.  For a good introduction, read Phillip Johnson’s The Wedge of Truth.  See also ARN’s list of articles and editorials by various authors on both sides of the Kansas controversy.
Next headline on: Schools. • Next headline on: Politics.
Church-Going Good For the Heart  02/14/2001
The
Royal Society Science in the News for February 14 briefly mentions an article that claims “Regular churchgoers tend to have lower blood pressure and stronger immune systems than non-churchgoers, according to a study carried out at the Human Population Laboratory in Berkeley, California.  Scientists who carried out the study believe that the difference is a result of churchgoers having healthier lifestyles.”
If you want your machinery to function properly, you should follow the Operations Manual of the Manufacturer
Next headline on: Health.
Book Review 02/14/2001: Scientific American ”Who Owns Your Body” reviews Body Bazaar by Andrews and Nelkin, a disturbing book that reveals how the biotechnology revolution may be creating a market for body parts, with serious ethical quandaries.  See also this Los Angeles Times story about patents on human genes.
Next headline on: Politics.

NASA Sends Eros a Valentine  02/13/2001
Yesterday the NEAR-Shoemaker spacecraft made a soft landing on the asteroid Eros.

Now that Eros has a strange-looking object sitting on it, can you imagine the inhabitants stumbling across it and wondering about its origin?  The evolutionists would claim it arose through long ages of mutation and natural selection.  The William Paley of Eros might claim that a spacecraft requires a spacecraft-maker.  If the debate were anything like it is on Earth 2001, Paley would be ridiculed, forbidden to publish, called anti-science, booted out of the university and would be accused of violating the principle of separation of church and reality.
Newly-Published Human Genome Reveals Mysteries  02/12/2001
The Los Angeles Times has two stories about surprising discoveries being made now that the fully-mapped human genome is being published (on Charles Darwin’s birthday, by the way).  The first is that
differences between humans are small.  The other is that our functional genome is only about twice that of a fly or roundworm and only a hundred more genes than a mouse.  Apparently the rest of our genome contains a great deal of transposed material from other species, which may explain much of so-called “junk DNA.”  Nature is providing a new online news and information service on the human genome, the Genome Gateway, and also has several gene-related stories on its daily Nature Science Update page.  Not to be outdone, Science has a special issue devoted to the human genome, free to all users.
We are on the leading edge of a major revolution in our understanding of genetics.  Apparently the vast majority of genes code for the intricate biochemistry that goes on within cells regardless of species.  The new findings will also stimulate discussion of the role of transposons (transposable genes between species) that may relate to our ability to adapt to new environments - an original role, perhaps, for viruses before the Fall?  Scientists may find, additionally, that genes alone are insufficient to explain our makeup.  The ongoing discoveries are sure to raise many questions while at the same time revealing important new truths.  Already, as expected, the evolutionists are trying to force-fit their preconceived notions into the data and claim support for common descent.  Let’s resolve to keep the data independent of the philosophy and let it speak for itself.  As Jonathan Wells concluded his excellent book Icons of Evolution, Dobzhansky’s claim that “nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution” should be scuttled in favor of “nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of the evidence.”
Next headline on: The Cell and Biochemistry. • Next headline on: Human Body.
Article 02/09/2001: Stephen Meyer and colleagues at the Discovery Institute have published a lengthy paper in the Utah Law Review: “Teaching the Origins Controversy: Science, Religion or Speech?”  Available online in PDF format.

Article 02/09/2001: Jonathan Wells has published an expanded article originally written for The Scientist, “Second Thoughts about Peppered Moths: This classical story of evolution by natural selection needs revising.”

Professors at Risk of Censure for Advertising Lecture on Science and Faith  02/09/2001
The Feb. 3 issue of World Magazine contains a story (p. 55) about two University of Georgia professors who were taken to task for inviting students to an after-hours discussion about faith and science.  Students were invited to hear Christian chemist Dr. Henry Schaefer (often considered next in line for a Nobel Prize) speak, but another faculty member objected on constitutional grounds of separation of church and state.  The president delegated the decision to the faculty council.  A subcommittee of the council has ruled in their favor, upholding “diversity of opinion and freedom of expression on campus,” but a full vote will come Feb. 22.

The most outrageous and bizarre belief systems have free reign on university campuses these days, but just try to sneak in any extracurricular activity that hints of creation science, and the new McCarthyites go on the warpath.  Tolerance is not equally distributed in academia.
NASA Exobiology Team Focuses on Europa  02/08/2001
Europa, the little moon of Jupiter, is the focus of attention for a team exobiologists from the NASA Ames Research Center Astrobiology Institute, according to
Space.Com.  The frozen moon lacks an atmosphere, but “below the moon’s icy facade is where the action is.  Subsurface, a deep briny ocean may exist wherein chemistry, heat spewed up from undersea vents and the tugging of tidal forces from giant Jupiter could conspire to whip up the ultimate home brew -- a biosphere for life.”
Evolutionary theory works well in dreamland.  In the absence of evidence, anything sounds plausible.  But in the real world as we know it, life is indescribably complex and beyond the reach of chance.  Suppose someone finds a magnetized rock; does that explain the origin of television?  Let’s call reductionism for the fallacy it is. 
Next dumb story.
Extinct Bird DNA Reconstructed, Confirms Continent Separation  02/07/2001
According to a story in the
BBC News, a team of scientists pieced together DNA from an extinct bird that they believe sheds light on the breakup of the continents.  But sorry Jurassic Park fans, cloning of dinosaurs will never happen; the DNA from extinct animals is too difficult to piece together, among other problems.
This story commits circular reasoning; assumption of evolution in the alleged molecular clock (dating mitochondrial DNA by assumed mutation rate), and dating of continental breakup by evolutionary assumptions about fossils.  And if DNA degrades so quickly, how come we find it in fossils alleged to by tens of millions of years old?  After all, we have learned to never question the claims of millions of years, so DNA must just be pretty tough stuff.
Next headline on: Birds.
Lucy Upstaged by 6-Million Year Old Fossil  02/07/2001
The
Nando Times reports that French researchers on Tuesday unveiled what they believe is man’s oldest known ancestor, more humanlike than the remains known as Lucy and, at 6 million years, nearly twice her age -- a finding bound to fuel controversy over the origins of man.  Donald Johanson, the discoverer of Lucy, finds the claims interesting, but claims “Lucy continues to be the touchstone by which all of these (fossils) are judged.”
The evolutionary study of human origins is a morass of conflicting stories, just as Scientific American described it on Jan. 29.  This story just adds fuel to the fire.
Next headline on: Early Man. • Next headline on: Fossils.
Next Generation Mars Rovers Take a Hint From Insects  02/06/2001
Researchers from Georgia Tech and NASA will try to build hopping and hovering rovers for Mars, using ideas from insects.  See story on
Astronomy.com.  “Borrowing a few tricks from the ultimate designer nature the team hopes to have insect-like spacecraft, called ‘entomopters,’ fluttering away in touch and go operations on the Red Planet within a decade.”
Many human inventions just try to imitate nature; but did the insect itself evolve its capabilities of hopping and flying?  Did you design your own systems?  Could you if you tried?  “Nature” didn’t have it first God did.  Calling nature the ultimate designer is absurd; a designer is a Person, with intellect, emotions and will.
Next headline on: Mars.
Earth and Moon Pummeled from Space  02/05/2001
Barbara Cohen and colleagues, writing for Planetary Science Research at the University of Hawaii claim the moon and the earth were hit by a barrage of asteroids for a relatively brief period 3.9 billion years ago.  Using radioactive dates and analyses of lunar meteorites, they claim the impacts would have wiped out multicellular life, but bacteria may have survived, “so maybe these organisms survived and went on to populate the whole Earth, sort of like a microbial Noah.”`
Unwarranted extrapolation, just-so storytelling, trust in doubtful dating mechanisms and blind allegiance to Darwinism are just a few of the problems with this article; otherwise it has nice pictures.
Article 02/04/2001: Is Earth Unique? in March 2001 issue of Astronomy, pp. 55-57. 
British Astronomer-Royal Martin Rees seriously considers the possibility we are alone in the universe.  “We only know about our own biosphere; therefore, we can't dismiss the possibility that Earth resulted from a chain of events so immensely improbable that it only happened once in our galaxy” (p. 56). 
(Most of the article, adapted from his book Just Six Numbers, however, is typical astrobiology fare.)

Social-Darwinist School Bomber Thwarted in California  02/02/2001
Answers in Genesis found a report in the San Jose Mercury News that a school bombing was averted this week in California.  Police were alerted just in time, the day the attack was to have occurred.  The attacker appears to have been motivated by Darwinist sympathies, with mottos about natural selection and the phrase “Purification in the form of carnage” found on his website and belongings.

We would not claim at all that this incident is in any way representative of evolutionists, who would virtually unanimously deplore such acts of violence.  But consider this: had it been done by a religious wacko of any sort, you can be sure it would be all over the news.  Have you heard this story?  Why the double standard when the perpetrator uses evolutionary rhetoric?
Next headline on: Schools. • Next headline on: Darwinism.
Essay 02/02/2001: “Is the Human Genome the Secular Equivalent of the Soul?”  Molecular biologist concludes we are more than our genes.  Latest in series Essays on Science and Society in the journal Science.

Placental Mammals Play Fruit-Basket Turnover  02/01/2001
The phylogeny of placental mammals is in a chaotic state of disarray, according to a report in
Nature.  Humans, chimps, rabbits and mice now share the same limb on the family tree, but the molecular taxonomists keep disagreeing with the taxonomists who prefer to do it the old way, studying external features (morphology), including bones and teeth.

If you try to force-fit reality into a preconceived notion that is inherently wrong, you are going to have problems.  One of the problems brought up in the article is convergent evolution: scientists expect us to believe that highly improbable characteristics evolved multiple times independently.  Another is that the molecular evidence seems to go against common sense arrangement of animals based on their looks.
Next headline on: Mammals. • Next headline on: Darwinism.
Astronomers Fashion a Less Problematical Universe  02/01/2001
Two American physicists have crafted a universe that overcomes some of the difficulties of the old ones, according to a story in
Nature.  Reworking the cosmological constant, dark matter and the energy field of the vacuum, they get more pleasing results without the problems of the other two leading models.
Cosmologists can tinker with the parameters of the universe without having to pay the penalty for getting it wrong.  Actually, the real universe is a masterpiece of fine-tuning, and if it were not so, we would not be here to marvel at it.  Unlike God, though, these cosmologists are cheating by not starting with nothing.  No matter what you call it, vacuum energy or a new fancy name, if isn't really nothing, then where did it come from?  God is the only “uncaused Cause” adequate to produce the effect.  And what an effect it is!
Next headline on: Cosmology.
Story 02/01/2001: Astounding Bat Mobility (Nature, Feb 1). 
Theme: marvels of engineering in nature.

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A Concise Guide
for Understanding
Evolutionary Theory

You can observe a lot by just watching.
– Yogi Berra

First Law of Scientific Progress
The advance of science can be measured by the rate at which exceptions to previously held laws accumulate.
Corollaries:
1. Exceptions always outnumber rules.
2. There are always exceptions to established exceptions.
3. By the time one masters the exceptions, no one recalls the rules to which they apply.

Darwin’s Law
Nature will tell you a direct lie if she can.
Bloch’s Extension
So will Darwinists.

Finagle’s Creed
Science is true.  Don’t be misled by facts.

Finagle’s 2nd Law
No matter what the anticipated result, there will always be someone eager to (a) misinterpret it, (b) fake it, or (c) believe it happened to his own pet theory.

Finagle’s Rules
3. Draw your curves, then plot your data.
4. In case of doubt, make it sound convincing.
6. Do not believe in miracles – rely on them.

Murphy’s Law of Research
Enough research will tend to support your theory.

Maier’s Law
If the facts do not conform to the theory, they must be disposed of.
Corollaries:
1. The bigger the theory, the better.
2. The experiments may be considered a success if no more than 50% of the observed measurements must be discarded to obtain a correspondence with the theory.

Eddington’s Theory
The number of different hypotheses erected to explain a given biological phenomenon is inversely proportional to the available knowledge.

Young’s Law
All great discoveries are made by mistake.
Corollary
The greater the funding, the longer it takes to make the mistake.

Peer’s Law
The solution to a problem changes the nature of the problem.

Peter’s Law of Evolution
Competence always contains the seed of incompetence.

Weinberg’s Corollary
An expert is a person who avoids the small errors while sweeping on to the grand fallacy.

Souder’s Law
Repetition does not establish validity.

Cohen’s Law
What really matters is the name you succeed in imposing on the facts – not the facts themselves.

Harrison’s Postulate
For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism.

Thumb’s Second Postulate
An easily-understood, workable falsehood is more useful than a complex, incomprehensible truth.

Ruckert’s Law
There is nothing so small that it can’t be blown out of proportion

Hawkins’ Theory of Progress
Progress does not consist in replacing a theory that is wrong with one that is right.  It consists in replacing a theory that is wrong with one that is more subtly wrong.

Macbeth’s Law
The best theory is not ipso facto a good theory.

Disraeli’s Dictum
Error is often more earnest than truth.

Advice from Paul

Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge – by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith.

I Timothy 6:20-21

Song of the True Scientist

O Lord, how manifold are Your works!  In wisdom You have made them all.  The earth is full of Your possessions . . . . May the glory of the Lord endure forever.  May the Lord rejoice in His works . . . . I will sing to the Lord s long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.  May my meditation be sweet to Him; I will be glad in the Lord.  May sinners be consumed from the earth, and the wicked be no more.  Bless the Lord, O my soul!  Praise the Lord!

from Psalm 104

Maxwell’s Motivation

Through the creatures Thou hast made
Show the brightness of Thy glory.
Be eternal truth displayed
In their substance transitory.
Till green earth and ocean hoary,
Massy rock and tender blade,
Tell the same unending story:
We are truth in form arrayed.

Teach me thus Thy works to read,
That my faith,– new strength accruing–
May from world to world proceed,
Wisdom’s fruitful search pursuing
Till, thy truth my mind imbuing,
I proclaim the eternal Creed –
Oft the glorious theme renewing,
God our Lord is God indeed.

James Clerk Maxwell
One of the greatest physicists
of all time (a creationist).