“. . . science itself requires the assistance of outside critics to check the tendency of ambitious scientists to go into the worldview business.  A scientific community that is immune to outside criticism will be tempted to expand its territory and in the process will forsake rigorous scientific practice in order to justify conclusions that go far beyond what the data can justify.”

– Dr. Phillip E. Johnson, The Wedge of Truth (IVP, 2000), pp. 103-104.

 Creation-Evolution Headlines, June 2001
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Senate Supports Sound Science  06/30/2001
The June 30, 2001 issue of
World Magazine mentions that a two-sentence amendment to the Senate education bill has passed by an 91-8 margin.  It mentions simply that students should be taught “to distinguish the data or testable theories of science from philosophical or religious claims that are made in the name of science.”  The amendment was framed by Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) with help from Berkeley law professor Phillip Johnson who has long maintained that schools indoctrinate children with naturalistic philosophy in the way they teach Darwinism.  The bill passed with large bipartisan support from liberals and conservatives.  According to World, even Sen. Ted Kennedy said, “I hope all of our colleagues will vote in support of it.  We want children to be able to speak and examine various scientific theories on the basis of all the the information that is available to them.”

And yet the National Association of Biology Teachers opposes the amendment!  What possible harm could it do to teach children the art of critical thinking, and separating the facts of science from philosophical assumptions?  What could more clearly demonstrate the attitude of the evolution establishment, that they are not interested in open inquiry but in the power of indoctrinating our children in their philosophy?  The amendment simply states what creationists have been asking for all along: teach all the science, including the facts that oppose evolution.  Phillip Johnson has often said that we want to teach more Darwinism than the Darwinists want the kids to hear.
Next headline on: Schools. • Next headline on: Politics. • Next headline on: Darwinism.
Astronomer Claims Dark Matter is a Fantasy   06/30/2001
The August issue of
Astronomy contains a lead article about astronomer Stacy McGaugh who is questioning the conventional wisdom that 90% of the universe consists of an unknown substance called dark matter.  He proposes a Modified Newtonian Dynamics (MOND) model that doesn’t need it.  “It’s an embarrasment that the dominant forms of matter in the universe are hypothetical,” he says.
We include this story to point out that science often is not the gradual self-correcting process that we are led to believe in school.  Often there is a majority view that dominates all the media and all the funding for decades or even centuries sometimes, but then the lone ranger turns out to be correct.  We are not jumping on the MOND bandwagon, but just pointing out again how long we have been indoctrinated that dark matter exists, and yet here is credible evidence it does not.  Could the establishment be wrong about the age of the earth, the fossil record, and the big bang?  Don’t blindly accept majority rule in science.  Respect the brute facts, but learn to separate the facts from the storytelling.
Next headline on: Cosmology.
Stalactite Calls Carbon Dating Into Question  06/29/2001
Cave divers studying a submerged stalactite in the Bahamas found unexpected “huge peaks” in radiocarbon levels embedded in the limestone, reports the
BBC News.  The article claims this finding might help improve the accuracy of radiocarbon dating, which is known to be increasingly unreliable for alleged dates older than 16,000 years.  But it issues this caution: “Already, it is clear that some ancient items could have been wrongly dated by several thousand years because of the sharp fluctuations in radiocarbon levels revealed in the stalagmite.” 
Radiometric dating is riddled with circular reasoning and hidden assumptions.  This story just underscores the fact that empirical data do not always support the conventional wisdom.  Despite their bluffing about the stalagmite helping improve the accuracy of radiocarbon dating, how do we know that another finding tomorrow wouldn’t introduce another fudge factor?  Remember Skinner’s constant: “that number which, when added to, subtracted from, multiplied or divided by the number you got, gives you the number you should have gotten.”
Next headline on: Geology. • Next headline on: Dating Methods.
Cells Use Triple Fail-Safe Systems During Division  06/28/2001
During cell division, when millions of DNA base pairs are duplicating, a lot could go wrong and lead to runaway duplication – e.g., cancer.  Now, scientists have found at least three mechanisms that drastically reduce the chance of failure.  According to
Scientific American.  Joachim Li at the University of California, San Francisco, said, “We eventually demonstrated that not one or two but at least three distinct controls have to be turned off simultaneously for cells to start replicating again.  This is unlikely to happen by accident, so this multilayered protection is virtually fail-safe.  That’s what you want when there is no room for error.”
The remarkable thing is not that errors occur in a world governed by Murphy’s Law, but that they occur so rarely.  Consider how many billions of organisms each with trillions of cells reproduce themselves over the ages nearly flawlessly.  If it were not for tight security and fail-safe controls, the first generation would never even make it to birth, and natural selection would be helpless. 
    All we have to do to help thinking people realize evolution is untenable is to just keep reporting stories like this.  Unless these controls existed from the start, life could never have survived.  It is not just this story but a thousand others that proclaim Intelligent Design.
Next headline on: The Cell and Biochemistry. • Next amazing story.
Lightning Bug Flashing Explained  06/28/2001
Scientists have known about the complex proteins luciferin and luciferase that combine to form biological light in fireflies and many other animals, but they didn’t know till a report published this week in
Science  that the switching on and off of firefly lanterns was signalled by nitric oxide (NO).  Normally, the mitochondria are busily consuming the oxygen that would otherwise let the lights shine.  But when the nerves send a signal to produce nitric oxide, the mitochondria immediately stop, allowing the oxygen to flow to the light-producing organelles and turn them on.  Another signal starts the mitochondria up again, consuming the oxygen and switching the lights off.  Thus the mitochondria act like a gatekeeper, feeding the oxygen fuel to the lanterns in response to the nerves.  By experiment, the researchers found that nitric oxide is an essential signal for firefly’s amazing ability to blink on and off in short bursts – a feat that makes a million kids each year wonder, “How do they do that?”
How, indeed, did a little beetle “evolve” the ability to orchestrate a complex suite of generators, switches, and power plants to send its little morse code I love you messages to its mate?
Next headline on: Bugs. • Next amazing story.
Ray Bradbury Believes Genesis?  06/27/2001
Exclusive  Science fiction writer Ray Bradbury, author of The Martian Chronicles and Fahrenheit 451, referred to the mystery of life’s origin in remarks to the
Cisco Networkers Conference in Los Angeles Wednesday.  He described the idea that life arose from a primordial soup and decided to animate itself as “impossible, but here we are.”  It’s too far back, too mysterious, he claimed.  He asked himself (paraphrasing), “Do you believe in Darwin?  Yes.  Lamarck?  Absolutely.  Genesis?  Of course.  I take a religious smorgasbord approach . . . What’s it all about?  I’ll tell you what it’s all about.  It’s no use having a universe without an audience.  You were created to behold.  The universe had to create eyes to see, ears to hear, and mouths to speak.  We represent God, the Creator, the cosmos, the universe – use your own label – but celebrate and pass it on.  Create and pass it on.  Improve it as you go.”  He marks Apollo 11 as the greatest day in the history of the world, the Independence Day of the human race from earth, because it insured humanity can be immortal by travelling through space and populating the universe.
Bradbury received a standing ovation from the assembled Internet gurus as he feebly walked with his cane back to his chair.  One has to wonder if the 81-year old author, friend and colleague of Carl Sagan, is feeling a little unsatisfied with atheism as he approaches the end of his earthly sojourn.  Or maybe he just doesn’t want to offend the god(s) in case they exist.  The God of the Bible, of course, demands we make a choice of Him apart from all the false gods of the nations.  Despite how exuberant Bradbury felt in 1969 when Armstrong stepped onto the moon, is it really a comfort to him now?  Even if his science fiction dream were to become reality in the distant future, how can the achievements of people he will never know console a man when it comes time to face the dark beyond naked, alone, and unredeemed?
Next headline on: Origin of Life. • Next headline on: Bible.
Trees Changed the World  06/26/2001
According to evolutionists from the
Geological Society of America, the evolution of trees on land had drastic effects on climate and animal evolution.  Trees soaked up more carbon and added lignin to sediments, and produced much more oxygen allowing the growth of giant insects.
The use of computer models adds an air of respectability to evolutionary storytelling, but there’s no reason the same data could not explain different conditions in antediluvian times.  Before the Flood conditions could have been very different allowing for a lush biota that was impoverished by the deluge.
Next headline on: Plants.
Mountains Erode Much Faster than Expected  06/25/2001
Steep mountains in Idaho are eroding at rates 17 times faster than previously estimated, according to a news story in the journal
Science titled “Mountains Crumble Quickly, Catastrophically.”  Researchers from Berkeley, instead of observing bulk erosion from cliffsides, measured cosmogenic radionuclides (produced in surfaces exposed to cosmic rays) from selected samples around the mountains.  They calculated erosion rates much higher than those estimated from observations of soil and gravel washed into reservoirs, measured by geologists over decades.  They postulate that freak catastrophic events must have produced the higher rates of erosion.  A hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey questions their conclusions: “They’re talking about truly extraordinary erosional events, and I don’t know where the evidence for that is in the geologic record.”
How long have we been led to believe that mountains grow and erode over many millions of years, and that this is evidence for an old earth?  While not necessarily accepting this study’s methods or conclusions, we can see this story illustrating how geologists themselves find surprising evidence for much faster rates, and that some of their colleagues are skeptical because the conclusions don’t jive with assumed long ages.
    Consider how quickly large changes have been seen to occur in human history.  A million years is a very long time, too much time for evolutionists to be smug with the amount of change that must have occurred.  But even so, whatever rate is measured today, extrapolating it back into the unobservable past is based on the assumption of uniformitarianism; a belief, not a scientific fact.
Next headline on: GeologyNext headline on: Dating Methods.
Bacteria Genes Evolved, Not Hopped, into Human Genome  06/25/2001
Evolutionists have come up with an explanation for 113 genes that were earlier reported to be candidates for horizontal gene transfer from bacteria to humans.  They say that the genes have a common ancestor, but that some lines lost the gene.  The explanation is published in
Nature Science Update, which claims that “the gold standard for establishing whether horizontal gene transfer has occurred is drawing up evolutionary trees to trace a candidate gene’s inheritance.”
Do you see the circular reasoning here?  Evolution is the “gold standard” by which all explanations must be judged!  If the explanation does not fit the assumption of evolution, out it goes.
Next headline on: The Cell and Biochemistry.
Editor Explains “Cosmologic Illogic”   06/23/2001
The August Sky and Telescope is on newsstands, and editor Rick Fienberg in his opening Spectrum editorial tries his best to explain the seemingly contradictory and illogical statements from modern cosmology.  He imagines a conversation with a nonastronomer:
“The universe began with the Big Bang.”  “Where’d it happen?”  “'It didn’t happen anywhere; it happened everywhere.  Now the universe is expanding.  “Into what?”  “Not into anything; space itself – space-time, actually – is expanding and carrying the galaxies with it.  Astronomers used to think the expansion was slowing down as galaxies tugged on eath other with gravity.  Now they think the expansion is speeding up.”  “Really?  What’s pushing it?”  “Something scientists call the ‘cosmological constant’ or ’vacuum energy.’  Most people just call it ‘dark energy.’”  “Oh, so it comes from dark matter?”  “No, that‘s different.  Dark matter, like ordinary matter, pulls on stuff with its gravity.  Dark energy pushes on stuff.  “So the universe has been expanding faster and faster since the Big Bang, pushed by dark energy?”  “Not exactly.  In the first fraction of a second after the Big Bang, the universe inflated like a balloon, but over the next few billion years the expansion slowed.”  “But you just said it’s speeding up.”  “It is now, but it wasn’t in the distant past, except during the early burst of inflation.  It took a while for the outward push of dark matter to overcome the inward pull of dark matter and begin to accelerate the expansion.”  “Oh.  Well, what exactly is the dark energy?”  “Nobody knows.  Some astronomers think it has something to do with quantum physics or higher dimensions.”  “Hmm.  How about the dark matter – what’s that made of?”  “Nobody knows that either.  Some of it may be made up of black holes, small planets, or dead stars too faint to see in telescopes.  But most of it is probably made up of subatomic particles that haven’t been discovered yet.”  “The whole thing sounds made up to me.”
After this impasse, Fienberg comments:
“Of course, it’s not all made up – it’s backed up by abundant data, much of it very recent and very compelling.  Nevertheless, modern cosmology is so counterintuitive that it sounds like nonsense.  I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that more people say they believe in a religious story of creation than in the story told by cosmologists.”
He’s referring to all Bible-believers, of course.  And why should we not question the cosmologists’ story?  It is a hodgepodge of fudge factors designed to keep the universe safe for atheism.  There is so much leeway in all the parameters it can be made to fit any new data.  The inflation theory is so ad hoc and counterintuitive and lacking in physical basis, it surely out-amazes any theistic account of creation.  The followers of Ptolemy’s cosmology kept it going as more and more anomalies were found by adding more epicycles, which were simply fudge factors trying to “save the appearances” from the theory (or vice versa).  Should we not ask whether that is happening again with the Big Bang theory?  Follow the chain links to see some of the recent problems with modern cosmology.
Next headline on: Cosmology. • Next dumb story.
Jupiter’s Moon Io Is Hot All Over  06/22/2001
Scientists from the
Jet Propulsion Laboratory meeting in Boulder, Colorado are puzzled that Io is hot all over.  Most bodies like earth are hotter at the equator, which receives more sunlight, but a new temperature map shows that Io is just as hot at the poles as at its equator.
This is an update on the first story we reported on Creation-Evolution Headlines.
Next headline on: Solar System. • Next headline on: Geology.
Neandertals Smart and Savvy, but Needed Better Tailor   06/21/2001
If clothes make the man, then Neandertals went extinct because they went out on the hunt half-dressed.  Is that the implication of a new theory summarized in
Scientific American?  Two researchers at Northwestern University analyzed Neandertal skeletons and deduced that their owners were active and had high energy requirements, contrary to the popular image of sluggish, beetle-browed, bow-legged brutes.  They figure Neandertals must have been intelligent, good hunters, and “more like us than is commonly portrayed.”  So why did anatomically modern humans overtake them?  “...cultural modifications such as improved clothing and shelter may have given moderns the evolutionary edge by reducing the metabolic costs of daily survival, which could have allowed them to allocate more energy to reproduction.”  “Not tonight, dear; I’m freezing!”
The storytelling talent of evolutionists is a wonder to behold.  All this drama from a few bones.  It’s like a Peter Steiner political cartoon that shows a lecturer proclaiming, “If there was water on Mars, there could have been life, which means there could have been elections, which means there could have been lawyers.” 
    Don’t swallow this current tall tale, or you will be disappointed tomorrow when it all changes again.  Remember just three weeks ago, when they claimed Neandertals died because of their red meat diet?  The main thing to notice is that after all these years of museum displays and TV documentaries and textbook artwork showing brute beasts, the evolutionists finally admit that there is no essential difference between Neandertals and rocket scientists, except for their clothes.
Next headline on: Early Man. • Next dumb story.
Outsider Poses Origin-of-Life Alternative  06/20/2001
MSNBC News posted an origin-of-life article about outsider Gunter Wachtershauser, (a patent attorney with only a side interest in abiogenesis) who in 1988 realized that conventional theories about life originating in a primordial soup wouldn’t work.  “It is by definition one of the most complex problems there is,” he told Reuters. “It is 4 billion years in the past.  You can’t observe it.  You can only theorize about it.  But the theories are so inadequate that we need new theories.” 
    He realized assembling building blocks in 3D was enormously improbable, even impossible.  So he theorized that the improbability might be reduced by having the building blocks form on flat surfaces, such as minerals or the ocean floor near deep-sea vents.  This, he believes, makes the process easy and it happens “lickety-split.” 
    Jeffrey Bada, a NASA astrobiologist, and many others, have major disagreements with the theory, however.  Nevertheless, Wachtershauser believes the mystery of life’s origin will be solved in 20 years.  “The origin of life still isn’t solved.  Don’t think my theory is the be all and end all in this field.  The most one can hope for is if one is proved wrong in a fascinating way.”
The reason there are critics among other ardent astrobiologists is they know it won’t work.  You still have the left-handed amino acid problem, the hydrolysis problem, and the major problem of all - the origin of information.  And to claim it is more probable on 2D than 3D is smoke-blowing bluff.  If a con artist reduced your odds of losing on a lame horse from one in 1040,000 to one in 1039,999 (Wow!  Better by a factor of 10), would you change your mind and bet on it?  Would the horse now run lickety-split?  The main point to glean from this outsider’s opinion is that theories of the origin of life from naturalistic presuppositions are woefully inadequate, and that we need new theories, actually a very old and reliable one – Intelligent Design.
Next headline on: Origin of Life.
Royal Society Urges Worldwide Ban on Human Cloning  06/20/2001
According to the
BBC News, the Royal Society has said the only way to stop progress on controversial human cloning is with a world-wide ban: 
Reporting for the Royal Society to the House of Lords Ad Hoc Committee on Stem Cell Research, Professor Richard Gardner said cloning techniques should not be employed in human reproduction. “Our experience with animals suggests that there would be a very real danger of creating seriously handicapped individuals if anybody tries to implant cloned human embryos into the womb,” he said.
The Society, however, opposes a ban on therapeutic cloning of embryos for harvesting stem cells.
Brave New World is here, with the scientific elite making ethical decisions for us.
Next headline on: Politics.
PNAS Explores How Cells Transport Freight  06/19/2001
The June 19
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has a colloquium section devoted to molecular kinesis, a fancy term for the study of how cells ship their freight around, such as from nucleus to cytoplasm and back.
If you are not too frightened by technical jargon, glance through some of the abstracts to get just a feel for how complex cells are.  You don’t have to understand biochemistry to get the point: cells are dazzlingly complex, with multitudes of finely-tuned operations and functions all harmonizing together. Some common themes in the colloquium are: (1) Cells are much more complex than we previously thought; (2) There is still much we don’t know; (3) Any slip-ups in the machinery mean disease or death.  Now, look at a rock, a cloud, or jar of salt water.  See any processes anything that complex going on in any of these objects?  The difference in complexity between life and non-life is monumental.  Yet evolutionists are compelled by their world view and a priori assumptions to believe that, somehow, these marvels arose from rocks, clouds, and salt water, and some unknown impersonal energy source, without any intelligence or directing purpose whatsoever.
    Recently in casual conversation, an evolutionist was asked about the complexity of life as an argument for a Designer.  He agreed scientists do not have answers, but resorted to faith in what science will discover someday.  When shown that the probability is vanishingly small to get a reproducing cell by chance, such as Hoyle’s estimate of 1 chance in 1040,000, he replied, “So there is a chance!  You just said it, one chance in 1040,000.  That means it is not impossible, by definition!”  If you can see the fallacy in this reasoning, you have just unmasked the evolutionary bias for what it is: willful unbelief, in spite of the evidence.  Let’s hope this evolutionist is not a gamblin’ man.
Next headline on: The Cell and Biochemistry.
Is There a Dino in the Congo?  06/18/2001
The
Discovery Channel aired a segment of Nigel’s Wild, Wild World about the deep, dark Ndoki rainforest of the Congo and gave some respectability to the local legends of a mysterious creature the Pygmies call Mokele Mbembe.  Showing Japanese airborne fuzzy footage of a long-necked creature swimming in remote Lac Tele, and interviewing Pygmy eyewitnesses, the narrator says though unlikely a dinosaur could survive after millions of years, the Congo is the one place left on earth that is so remote, it just might be true.  After teasing the listener the whole hour, though, Nigel identifies M.M. as just a rhino.  He shows rhino photos to the Pygmies who say, “Yeah, that’s him!”  Nevertheless, as the program rhapsodizes about the Congo being a panoply of evolution and the ancestral home for early man, it leaves the possibility Mokele Mbembe is something more.  Showing new airborne footage revealing vast unexpected grasslands south of Lac Tele, it makes a surprising claim that most of the Congo was grassland as recently as 2000 years ago, and was home to large human farming populations.
    The Discovery Channel is advertising its next computerized make-believe dinosaur tale, “When Dinosaurs Roamed America,” to air in July.  (See the June 14 story about “Walking with Dinosaurs.”)
One should not be too quick to accept or dismiss the local legends.  If Ndoki is truly the last great unknown, perhaps hopes of finding a dinosaur alive today are fading.  We have seen recently, however, other living fossils from age of dinosaurs turn up in unexpected places, so who knows?  Wouldn’t that be a headline.  Certainly this part of the world is home to exotic creatures, some of which, like the Okapi (1901), were only discovered recently.  It’s exciting to see new knowledge coming from one of the last unexplored regions of the earth, but important to recognize that the amount we don’t know still probably exceeds what we do.  Let the watcher beware, therefore, and learn to filter the confident-sounding claims of the evolutionists.
Next headline on: Dinosaurs. • Next headline on: Movies.
Is Religion a Property of the Brain?  06/18/2001
An article in the
Times of India discusses a Washington Post story on efforts by some neurologists to determine whether spiritual experience is a property of brain cells and chemistry, similar to the effect of drugs or epilepsy.  One researcher used radioactive dye to watch areas of the brain altered during meditatitve trances by Buddhists.  He argues the brain is predisposed to having religious experiences and that is why people believe in God. Another neurologist, admittedly an atheist, reported that four out of five wearers of helmets fitted with magnets expressed having a mystical experience, and made this claim: “religion is a property of the brain, only the brain, and has little to do with what is out there.”
    In response, the article quotes John Haught, professor of theology at Georgetown University: These people, he says, talk of religious experience but they are actually talking of meditative experience. “Religion is more than that.  It involves commitments and suffering and struggle – it is not all meditative bliss.  It also involves moments when you feel abandoned by God.”
There you have it, reductionism alive and well in academia.  The article’s ending says it well: “Belief and faith, believers argue, are larger than the sum of their brain parts.  Daniel Batson, a University of Kansas psychologist says: ‘to say brain produces religion is like saying a piano produces music.’”
    This article also illustrates the Self-Referential Fallacy.  Let’s ask these neurologists if their atheism is “a property of the brain, only the brain, and has little to do with what is out there.” Maybe they are constrained to have “scientific experiences” as a response to pheromones or genes or neurotransmitters.  If so, the gig is up; nothing has any validity any more, including their science.  Under their own ground rules, they can no longer claim to sit outside their brains like little gods making pronouncements about what is true and what is not.
Next headline on: Human Body.
More Feathered Dinosaurs Alleged  06/18/2001
Fossils have been found in New Mexico similar to the species bearing apparent feathers in Asia, according to a report in
BBC News.  The headline trumpets, “More Feathered Dinosaurs Found,”, but the last sentence reads: “No fossil evidence was found of feathers, but Wolfe noted that similar dinosaurs from Asia were found with feathers and speculated that this one had ‘a loose gaggle of feathers around the head and along the spine, back of the arms and legs’.”
This is dishonest reporting.  People who read the headline only are going to think actual feather impressions were found.  The Asian specimen is still questionable, and of course Archaeoraptor was a foolish hoax.  The presupposition that birds evolved from dinosaurs is driving the search by these paleontologists, as well as the desire to be first.  A feathered dinosaur may turn up some day, but so far, the evidence is highly doubtful.  Furthermore, these specimens are late in the evolutionary time scheme, certainly not ancestral to birds.  Also, did you notice these animals weighed over a ton?  Better flap those wings hard.  Worse, any alleged feathers on these species would have been hindrances.  If they served no purpose because they were not fully formed for either body warmth or flight, the very process of natural selection would have evolved them away.
Next headline on: Dinosaurs. • Next headline on: Birds. • Next headline on: Fossils.
Mystery of Missing Solar Neutrinos Solved?  06/18/2001
Scientists using the new gigantic
Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) in Ontario, Canada have announced their first results, and it is a celebration: they are claiming success in solving a 30 year old mystery, according to the BBC News.  For decades, solar neutrino counts have amounted to only a third of predictions, leading to doubts about our understanding of nuclear fusion reactions in the sun’s core.  Now, physicists using the new detector, which uses 1000 tons of heavy water in a nickel mine 2000 meters underground, claim the neutrino emissions have been correct all along, but the neutrinos have evaded detection by changing “flavors”en route to earth.  (Neutrinos come in three flavors; experiments had suggested that the expected electron-neutrinos could change to tau-neutrinos or muon-neutrinos, but only if they have slight mass.)  They claim a 99% confidence that this is the explanation for the missing solar neutrinos.
    The measured mass, however, indicates that neutrinos cannot supply the “missing mass” to halt the expansion of the universe.  Also, in accordance with the Murphyism that every solution breeds new problems, the article states: “The finding raises new questions about the so-called Standard Model of Particle Physics, which seeks to explain the basic building blocks of matter.”  (The Standard Model does not allow neutrinos to change flavors.)
This is a preliminary finding that will have to be followed closely.  Some creationists had argued that the missing neutrinos indicated that fusion was not powering the sun, but rather gravitational energy, which would put upper limits on the sun’s age, far too low for evolution.  Many other creationists have long accepted the fusion model, however.  There are plenty of other indications that conventional dating methods are vastly in error (follow the Chain Links).
Next headline on: Solar System. • Next headline on: Stars. • Next headline on: CosmologyNext headline on: Physics. • Next headline on: Dating methods.
Do We Really Know What Killed the Dinosaurs?  06/15/2001
NASA’s
Astrobiology Website posted a layman’s explanation of current thinking about the asteroid theory for extinction of the dinosaurs.  Buck Sharpton, planetary geologist for the University of Alaska, doesn’t feel that dust kicked up by an impact was a sufficient cause for so much death.  He says that although the Chicxulub impact seems to be the logical cause of the K-T extinction, there’s still a lot we don’t know.  In fact, he says we may never know the exact cause of extinction.  “We have good circumstantial evidence,” says Sharpton.  “In a general sense, we have it nailed down, the case is closed.  But as to the particular cause of the extinction, be it dust, sulfur, CO2, or smoke, we don’t know.  When you roll all those things up together, it’s a wonder that anything on the planet survived!  “It makes me think sometimes that we’re all out to lunch – that there’s something critical that we’re overlooking.”
So the case is closed, and they’ve all gone to lunch.  Their entire case is based on circumstantial evidence, but some of it doesn’t fit.  Lawyers have sent innocent men to death row with this kind of logic; but of course, the Discovery Channel will present the impact theory as gospel truth, complete with dramatic computer graphics and sound effects of the asteroid hitting the earth. 
    On the other hand, maybe there is “something critical they’re overlooking.”
Next headline on: Dinosaurs. • Next headline on: Fossils. • Next headline on: Dating methods.
You Have Fruit Fly Genes  06/15/2001
Scientists at the
University of California, San Diego have identified 548 genes in the genome of the fruit fly, Drosophila, that have very similar counterparts in human genes known to be implicated in 714 genetic diseases.  This may make fruit flies useful candidates for testing potential cures.  Noting that the similarities only have a 1 in 10 billion chance of being accidental, Ethan Bier say “That means that the proteins these genes code for are so similar that all of them or part of them most likely came from an ancestral protein.”
Similarity only proves relationship if you start with the assumption they are related.  This is a priori reasoning (begging the question).  It overlooks other possibilities for the similarities, such as transposition or common design for common function.
Next headline on: Human Body. • Next headline on: Bugs.
Flowers Are Glorified Leaves, Gene Researcher Claims  06/15/2001
Researchers at the
Salk Institute claim to have found that plants use the same gene for leaves and stems to establish the central pattern for the flower.  Another gene terminates the flower after it has produced the fruit.  Says Dr. Weigel, “Now, we show that the pattern arose through clever recycling of another pattern that plants had previously used in shoots, for other purposes.  This is a big step toward solving the ‘abominable mystery,’ as Darwin put it – the evolutionary origin of flowers and flowering plants.”
This discovery runs an inch and claims a mile.  It is still an abominable mystery if you are an evolutionist.  This story sees orchids and pansies and irises through reductionist eyes as nothing more than modified leaves.  If you scuttle the evolutionary assumptions, you can have a very different interpretation: design efficiency in genetic coding and signalling.  The whole process of producing a flower and a fruit is monumentally more complex than this article simplistically describes it.  Complex specified information never arrives from materialistic, mechanistic, impersonal causes.  Let’s give credit to the divine Mind that designed such marvels as flowers.
Next headline on: Plants. • Next headline on: Darwinism.
Walking With Dinosaurs To Be New Theme Park(s)  06/14/2001
Ananova reports that the popular BBC computer-animated series Walking With Dinosaurs is “set to be turned into a theme park attraction with BBC bosses in talks to licence it worldwide.”
Evolutionists use dinosaurs to push evolution, when in fact dinosaurs (like everything else) appear in the fossil record abruptly and fully formed, and then (like most other things) go extinct.  This is not evolution.  The series uses computer animation, weaving fact and fiction into a modern myth about the ancient world.  Much of what is depicted is probably plausible, but much is pure speculation about things scientists could not possibly know from bones, but to viewers it is a seamless facade.  Where does the virtual end and the reality begin?  Take a look at dinosaurs from a creation perspective.
Next headline on: Movies. • Next headline on: Dinosaurs.
Cell Nucleus Surface More Complicated than Expected  06/14/2001
Researchers at
North Carolina State University made an unexpected discovery: cell nuclear membranes are groovy.  The surfaces of some plant cells were found to contain tunnels and grooves with complex channels used by RNA, enzymes and organelles to enter and exit the cell’s master control center.  They found that parts of the endoplasmic reticulum (a system of folded channels) passes right into the center of the nucleus, and watched organelles moving along actin filaments in the grooves.  Dr. Nina Allen, botanist at the university, said, “The implication of this discovery is that we need to look more closely at communications between the nucleus and the cytoplasm, and we need to understand why these grooves and tunnels are there.”
What they witnessed was a highly complex transportation system at work.  Imagine a city with overlapping monorails shuttling cargo loads in all directions, with loading docks, signalling systems and security checks: this is what goes on in miniature inside the cell.  The picture of the cell that is being slowly revealed to our instruments is one of bewildering complexity.  Every day, it becomes increasingly difficult to imagine Darwinism surviving the onslaught of such discoveries.
Next headline on: The Cell and Biochemistry.
Inflation Theory Flattened by Magnetism  06/12/2001
The Big Bang theory was rescued in 1981 by Alan Guth’s hypothesis of inflation, i.e., that the universe expanded at a fantastic rate for a brief instant at the beginning.  Now, however, Christos Tsagas writing in
Physical Review Letters says that large magnetic fields, if present, would have prevented such inflation (see summary in Scientific American).  Moreover, magnetic fields might damp out any hoped-for gravity waves that cosmologists building expensive new devices are trying to detect, hoping they would reveal clues about the early universe, black hole formation, and other cataclysmic events.
Whether this will another serious wet blanket on top of other problems with the Big Bang theory remains to be seen, but it sounds ominous.  How come “Until now, though, no one has merged relativity with magnetism to find out the effect that these fields might have on the shape of space”?  Whoops . . . .
Next headline on: Cosmology.
German Scientists Apologize for Nazi Social-Darwinist Human Experiments  06/12/2001
Better 56 years late than never; Max Planck Institute president Hubert Markl offered a historic apology to victims of human experimentation performed with the aid of German scientists from 1933-1945, reports
Science Now.  A translation of the entire speech can be read at the Institute’s site, which is examining the cooperation of Kaiser Wilhelm Institutes in Hitler-era human experiments.  In his apology, Markl stated (emphasis added):
National Socialism’s entire body of racist thought is an expression of a materialistic, Social Darwinist, dehumanized form of biology, for which Charles Darwin himself, however, in contrast to his racist disciples, is the last one who can be held responsible.  For certain, the roots of this body of ideas were planted before 1933 and were even international and not just confined to Germany.  But, here in Germany, doctors and biologists, having accepted that man descended from animals, went one step further: to treating human beings like animals.  The guilt for utilizing human beings as laboratory animals can be specifically placed on biomedical science that was robbed of every moral boundary, a science whose racist theories do indeed not deserve to be called “scientific”, but which cannot deny that it is also to blame for the terrible consequences to which they led.
Can we really let Darwin off the hook so easily?  His views were racist, too (On the Origin of Species, and the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life).  And Social Darwinism, no matter how much today’s Darwinists try to distance themselves from it, is a logical outworking of the principle of survival of the fittest.  When evolutionists counter that Christians have also committed atrocities, consider that you cannot derive the Inquisition and racism from Jesus’ two most fundamental principles of loving God with all your heart and loving your neighbor as yourself.  But you can derive Auschwitz from the principles of competition for resources and survival of the fittest, and you can derive human experimentation from the belief that humans are just evolved animals.  Isn’t that what is happening with stem-cell research and human cloning today?
    Dr. Markl speaks glibly about moral boundaries (he uses the stem moral fifteen times), but “moral” is a vacuous term to a Darwinist; morals evolve like everything in the universe.  Anti-Semitism and racism were moral to the Nazis; they were doing the scientifically moral thing, according to their reasoning: they were advancing the onward natural struggle as defined by Darwin.  Hitler thought it very immoral to allow the unfit to corrupt the purity of the race.  If there is no absolute standard of what constitutes moral, than the word gets to be defined by the party in power.
    Scientists today are still stepping over themselves to absolve Darwin for any responsibility for the effects of his ideas, while the blood of millions is crying from the ground.
Next headline on: Politics. • Next headline on: Darwinism.
Scientific American Plays the Dating Game  06/11/2001
In a short Explore article “The Dating Game” on their website,
Scientific American has published a layman’s explanation of dating methods.  “These days hardly a week goes by without important discoveries concerning the history of life on Earth making headlines,” the article begins.  After giving some examples of such headlines, it continues: “Although visual inspection of the rocks, fossils and archaeological remains used to reconstruct our planet’s past provides critical information, only by ascertaining their ages can researchers put this data into a meaningful context.”  The article proceeds to tell the history of dating methods, and discusses various methods such as radioactive isotopes, thermoluminescence and electron spin resonance, and amino acid racemization.
What this explanation lacks is critical examination of the assumptions behind the methods, such as how much parent and daughter were present from the beginning, and whether or not we really know the rates are constant.  Such assumptions are incapable of proof.  It also fails to identify many other methods that produce far younger ages, and neglects to point out that scientists often toss out results that do not coincide with their preconceived evolutionary notions.  In actual practice, evolution is the guiding paradigm about how old rocks are.  Radioactive dating is just an “expert witness” brought in to testify about what has already been decided in Darwin’s kangaroo court.  If it were not, you would see scientists having to toss out their evolutionary tales as often as they toss out anomalous radioactive dates.  This is not to say evolutionists are intentionally deceitful; they are so just convinced evolution is a fact that it’s intuitively obvious to them that a young-age result can’t possibly be correct, so onto the cutting room floor it goes.
Next headline on: Dating methods.
“Evolution” Movie Opens in Theaters   06/08/2001
From Netscape’s
Openings page: “David Duchovny plays a former government scientist busted to community college teacher in Ivan Reitman’s latest film.  When a meteor crashes on Earth, bearing one-celled organisms that begin multiplying faster than reality TV shows, Mulder, er, Duchovny has to team up with the always-dishy Julianne Moore to save the world. With Orlando Jones and Seann William Scott.  Rated PG-13.”
One reviewer quips, “. . . the movie is visually witty and even marvelous when it comes to depicting the spectacular creatures evolving at a speed previously known only in the Bible.”  Good grief, they can’t even get the Darwinism right.  If this were reality TV, you’d have to watch it for millions of years, and then still nothing would happen except entropy.  When the whole premise is dumb, what do you expect?  Here’s a review from a reliable source.
Next headline on: Movies. • Next dumb story.
Scientists Argue Over Ancient Bacteria Claim  06/07/2001
We reported on
Oct 19 about scientists who had claimed to revive 250 million year old bacteria from a New Mexico salt deposit.  Now, the BBC News reports that rival groups are at odds whether the specimens are really that old or not.  Critics claim the samples are too similar to modern bacteria, but proponents are standing their ground.  “we have no idea about how fast mutations occur in living microbes.  There is some new evidence emerging that bacteria evolve faster in the lab than they do in the wild.  It suggests that in some instances bacteria in the wild take centuries to change in a way that takes only days in the lab,” claims one of the proponents.
This is an example of some of the infighting between evolutionists that rarely makes the press.  What this illustrates is that neither side has a clue how old these bacteria are, and that molecular clocks for dating them are completely unreliable and based on evolutionary assumptions.
Next dumb story.
Early Mammal Chewed Its Way to Success  06/07/2001
A fossil from Central Russia of a mammal-like reptile shows the first evidence of power chewing.  Published in Nature (see summary and picture in
Scientific American), the finding is based on microscopic analysis of the jaws and teeth.  Co-author of the study Robert Reisz speculates this created the modern ecology of zoology: “There is a link between the time when land-dwelling herbivores started processing food in the mouth and a great increase in animal diversity,“ he says.  “So you can say that the evolution of the moden terrestrial ecosystem with lots of herbivores supporting a few top predators is based on animals efficiently eating the greenery on land.”
You can say anything you want as long as it assumes evolution, then you can turn right around and use it as evidence for evolution, then you can say nothing in biology makes sense without evolution.  Take one fossil, place it in your scheme assuming evolution, then weave a gigantic tale about the whole vertebrate ecology.  That is what is happening here.  Take a look at the picture - the raw data - and see if the tale is justified if you do not begin by assuming evolution.  If evolutionists had to justify their tale, they would be accused of begging the question.  They don’t have to justify their tale, of course, because as every reasonable person knows (this excludes creationists by definition), evolution is a fact.
Next headline on: Mammals. • Next headline on: Fossils.
Chaplain Forbids Christian Presentation on Science, Prays to Witches  06/07/2001
Dean Ortner has been giving stage presentations on science with a gospel message for 30 years as part of Moody Institute of Science, and now with Whittier Christian Schools.  Many of these have been at military bases and academies with outstanding response.  In his latest newsletter, however, he wrote:
    “A chaplain at a recent air base emailed his entire congregation and talked with lay leaders forbidding them to attend the Wonders of Science programs at the base theater because, as he put it, “They are against our religion.”  At a later military banquet, this same chaplain was asked to offer the opening prayer during which he invoked the Native American spirit gods, Mother Earth and Wicca (witches)!
    He then called ahead to other bases and the Air Force Academy and ‘warned’ select chaplain friends about the upcoming programs with Wonders of Science and ‘the gospel that guy promotes.’”

Military chaplaincy ain’t what it used to be.  Who is the our in “our religion”? 

If interested in Dean’s excellent and amazing stage presentations, call (562) 698-0433 X 280 or email WCSWonders@aol.com.
Next headline on: Schools.

Scientist Studies How Ants Stick to Glass Upside Down  06/05/2001
A German researcher was intrigued by how insects can stick to smooth surfaces even upside down and yet not stick to their own feet, so he studied their tiny footpads under the microscope, according to
Science News 06/02/2001 (159:22), p. 341.  Dr. Holldobler found secrets that would make nanorobot designers envious: claws that engage retractable adhesive footpads under hydraulic pressure.  He found that the footpads that secrete a sticky substance are only deployed on smooth surfaces, and that the fancy footwork doesn’t require brain power, but activates even when the legs are separated from the body.  Bees employ an additional mechanism similar to elastic springs.  Some insects can hold objects 100 times heavier than they are when hanging upside down, and not be bowled over by a raindrop hitting them broadside.
How many times have you watched a little ant scurrying up a window and thought it a nuisance, rather than a marvel of nanotechnology?  Next time, look, wonder, and give God the glory.
Next headline on: Bugs. • Next amazing story.
Early Man Researchers Look to Children for Answers, Get Gibberish  06/05/2001
The cover story of
Science News 06/02/2001 (159:22), pp. 346-348, “Evolution’s Youth Movement”, by Bruce Bower, says early man researchers have missed some important clues by examining only adult skeletons.  The article considers possibilities, debates, unknowns, controversies and potential misinformation the few known skeletons, skulls and fragments of juvenile human ancestors reveal, and concludes, “The moral of this tangled developmental tale is a cautionary one: Give fossil kids due respect when investigating human origins.  Just don’t expect them to blurt out any precocious evolutionary insights.”
Read this article to get a feel of how subjective evolutionary paleoanthropology is.  Among their own, evolutionists are at odds and don’t know what to make of the data.  Are juvenile skeletons of different species more alike than adults?  On second thought, maybe it’s the other way around.  But some living baboons show both trends.  Is it diet that makes the difference?  Lifestyle?  Neoteny?  Nobody knows.  The data are so fragmentary and inconclusive, and evolutionary theory is so flexible, that rivals can claim the evidence supports opposite conclusions.  Let this be a lesson when watching the next Discovery Channel TV special on early man; it’s a snow job.
Next headline on: Early Man.
Editorial 06/05/2001: In the Closing Thoughts of the 06/09/01 issue of World Magazine, Andree Seu takes on the reductionist science of Andrew Newberg’s new book Why God Won’t Go Away: Brain Science and the Biology of Belief, claiming “y’ can’t get there from here.”  She argues science has not proved anything about the origin of religion.

Quasars Found Closer to Big Bang  06/05/2001
Preliminary results from the
Sloan Digital Sky Survey were shown to members of the American Astronomical Society, says Space.Com, and revealed two quasars just 800 million years after the big bang.  The President of the AAS was enthusiastic about the initial survey data: “It’s going to turn a great number of astronomical theories on their head and confirm others.”

The title is a bluff; the article is primarily about the Sloan Survey, an important new wealth of 3D astrometric data on the sky.  What the article doesn’t say is that finding quasars this soon after the alleged big bang is part of the “lumpiness problem” in cosmology: too much structure too soon.  It is analogous to the Cambrian explosion in biology.
Next headline on: Cosmology.
Copper-Grabbing Proteins Essential for Life  06/05/2001
A developing embryo dies before birth if it does not contain a working set of proteins that can pull copper ions into the cell and transport them to the proper subcellular compartments where copper-dependent enzymes are manufactured.  Dr. Dennis Thiele and colleagues at the University of Michigan published their findings in the June 5
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  They isolated a gene that codes for Ctr1 protein that is able to transport copper through the cell membrane.  Working with mice, which have the same Ctr1 proteins as humans, they found that embryos without the proteins develop major deformities and die before birth.  Summaries of this paper can be found on NewsWise and Scientific American.
Proteins, you recall, are made up of hundreds of amino acid units, all left-handed, that must be arranged in the proper sequence.  The Ctr1 protein has a unique shape that binds to copper then inverts and carries it inside the cell membrane, where it hands it off to chaperone proteins that transport this essential micronutrient to the manufacturing plants that need it.  This report freely describes the entire process as copper transport machinery.  It is one of thousands of small wonders that constantly take place in all living things.  When broken, this process results in death.  How can intelligent people believe such things just happened by hit-and-miss methods, like evolution?
Next headline on: The Cell and Biochemistry.
Ethicist Defends Stem Cell Research As Consistent With Christian Morality  06/04/2001
Dr. Louis Guenin, ethicist at Harvard Medical School, argues in this month’s entry in Science Magazine’s Essays on Science and Society, that stem cell research is not opposed to Christian ethical principles of sanctity of life and what he terms “zygotic personhood.” Since Catholicism is the strictest argument, and its own principles, when examined, do not oppose it (he claims), and since no other moral systems oppose it, stem cell research should be encouraged on the grounds of the Golden Rule which is advocated by all moral systems.
Dr. Guenin makes a valiant effort to defend the argument They’re going to die anyway, so why not use them for good?  He fails to adequately treat the problem that moralizing stem cell research gives abortionists and fertility clinics ammunition to justify their practices: if you donate your embryo, you may help advance medical science and save millions of lives.  Even granted the researcher is not responsible for the source of the material, this creates a potentially lucrative black market in embryos and, by extension, fetal body parts.
    He also creates a straw man, calling Christian teaching that personhood begins at conception “this materialist thesis, this radical genetic reductionism.”  In this he appears to misunderstand the doctrine of traducianism, that personhood is passed on through the parents, not created individually by God for each soul.  Further, he fails to recognize that an arbitrary political standard of what is permissible will never endure.  It may pass majority vote now to forbid research beyond 14 days, but what tomorrow?  Someone will argue 15 days, then a month, and on it goes, all the way to birth.
    In his most polemic moments, Dr. Guenin appears to be making a pragmatic argument: the end is so good, it justifies the means; or, forbidding federal research will only give away the technology to private interests.  These are slippery arguments for calling something moral.  Maybe his argument will become a non-issue, however; other lines of research are showing promise for alternate sources of pluripotent stem cells, without our having to play God with human reproduction - and its concomitant moral issues of life and death.
Next headline on: Politics.
Galaxy Evolution Stumped by New Findings  06/04/2001
Two presentations at the June 4 meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Pasadena indicate that theories of galaxy evolution are far from complete. 
EurekAlert reported on observations of spiral galaxy M33 using adaptive optics at the new Mauna Kea 8-meter Gemini North Telescope.  Astronomers did not expect to find young and middle-age stars in the central bulge, which is presumed to be older than the disk, but the population of stars was similar to those in the spiral arms.  Another presentation was made to the society by two astronomers from Johns Hopkins who focused Arizona’s Kitt Peak 4-meter telescope, equipped with a new sensitive CCD device, on a distant patch of sky the size of the moon.  They found 150 galaxies with unexpected high energy spectra.  Noting that current models cannot explain the strength of the lines, one of the astronomers said, “We’re going to have to think harder about what’s happening in galaxy formation and star formation at these times, early in the history of the universe.”
If nothing else, Creation-Evolution Headlines points out the difference between the raw data and the way stories are fed to the public.  If this were the Discovery Channel, Time Magazine or a popular astronomy book, you would hear glib talk about old and young stars, old and young galaxies, how galaxies evolved throughout billions of years, and other tales as if they were eyewitness news.  (News sources are headlining the second article with titles like “Astronomers Report Galactic Baby Boom” – come on!)  Real astronomy is done by individuals gathering faint pixels and spectra from distant objects, squeezing their instruments to the limit of the possible, and attempting to fit the data into poorly-understood models of stellar and galactic evolution.  We are 70 years past Edwin Hubble’s first attempts to explain how galaxies evolve, and still appear to be at square one.  Here are two stories that find unexpected results (a common occurrence), but this should not be surprising to those in the know.  JPL astronomer Brian Rush says, “I think these articles simply point out how little we already know about galaxy formation.  They don’t really poke holes in current theories, because current theories are so general and vague as to allow for all sorts of tweaks . . . . Observations like these wouldn’t have been a surprise to astronomers who realized how unspecific their models already were.”
Next headline on: Stars. • Next headline on: Cosmology.
Great Barrier Reef Surprisingly Young  06/03/2001
Why, it’s less than a million years old, a mere youngster, says
Science magazine about the Great Barrier Reef.  A combination of seismic data, radioactive strontium, and paleomagnetic estimates leads scientists publishing in the June issue of Geology to the surprising estimate that it could even be 500,000 years young, much younger than the 45 million year old coral atolls in the South Pacific.
Does this give you any confidence in the ability of evolutionary scientists to date things?  Just browse through the other Chain Links on dating to see that the anomalies that keep cropping up.  The dating techniques assume long ages to start with (circular reasoning) and have huge error bars they won’t admit; the whole scheme is a house of cards.  If the Great Barrier Reef is so much younger than the others, how do they know they others were older?  Remember these stories when you hear their confident claims about the ages of things.  This whopper of a tale was off by two orders of magnitude!  (Maybe it’s still not right.  Maybe they need to lop off a couple more.)
Next headline on: Dating methods.
Egyptian Behemoth Discovered  06/01/2001
A massive sauropod, possibly the largest known, has been unearthed in Egypt and was announced in
Science today, according to a news release in EurekAlert.  It has been given the name Paralititan, or “tidal giant.”  It could have been 100 feet in length and weighed 80 tons.  The area appears to have been a dinosaur heaven.
Bet this behemoth had a tail like a cedar tree (Job 40:15-24).
Next headline on: Dinosaurs.
Cosmologists Still Lack Many Basic Answers  06/01/2001
The June issue of
Astronomy Magazine has as its cover story “The Ultimate Cosmic Mysteries.” Astrophysicist Mark Sincell lists “The Eight Greatest Mysteries of Cosmology” which sound pretty great, indeed:
  1. How multidimensional is the universe?  (We don’t understand gravity.)
  2. How did the universe begin?  (How did an explosion produce such smoothness?)
  3. Why does matter fill the universe?  (There should be an equal part of antimatter.)
  4. How did galaxies form?  (“The details are devilishly difficult to understand.”)
  5. What is cold dark matter?  (What is the other 95% of stuff that must be out there?)
  6. Are all the baryons assembled in galaxies?  (Astronomers have only found a tiny fraction of what they expect.)
  7. What is the dark energy?  “Physicists have tried to calculate the observed dark-energy density from accepted theories of physics, but their results don’t jibe with reality.  So far, the computed value is roughly 1060 times greater than the observed value.  (Others say the number could be off by a factor of up to 10130, but let’s not quibble over the details.)”
  8. What is the destiny of the universe?
    And you were taught the Big Bang Theory explained everything.  If you sweep away the facades of bluff in this article, you find that cosmologists really don’t know very much at all.  For instance, inflation is still the rage, but the author says: “What drove inflation?  Nobody knows.  Physicists have suggested different models to describe the inflating universe, but all the solutions are mathematical conveniences with no particular physical basis.”  (See inflation, below).  Regarding dark energy, “The biggest problem with this idea is that no one has any idea what dark energy is.  ‘So far, all we’ve been able to do is name it,’ says [Michael] Turner.  ‘It could be the energy associated with nothing [sic!], or the influence of hidden spatial dimensions.’”  Sincell figures we will have all these mysteries solved by 2010, but provides no assurance that cosmologists are actually moving forward instead of backward.  That is why it is so disengenuous for compromise creationists like Hugh Ross to confidently tell uninformed audiences that the Big Bang is well established except for a few minor details.
    Cosmologists are often guilty of the Best-In-Field Fallacy, defined and roundly trounced by Norman Macbeth in his excellent book Darwin Retried (Gambit, 1978).  Astronomers admit that the Big Bang has problems, but respond that it’s the best theory we have (assuming, of course, that only naturalistic theories are permitted, so theism is ruled out by definition).  So if the Big Bang is the leader of problematic theories, Macbeth would claim this is faint praise.  “Is there any glory in outrunning a cripple in a foot race?  Being best-in-field means nothing if the field is made up of fumblers” (Macbeth, p. 77).  He continues (p. 78), “It seems that the standards of the evolutionary theorists are relative or comparative rather than absolute.  If such a theorist makes a suggestion that is better than other suggestions, or better than nothing, he feels that he has accomplished somthing even if his suggestion will obviously not hold water.  He does not believe that he must meet any objective standards of logic, reason, or probability.”
    #2 - How did universe begin: see Genesis 1:1.  #8 - Destiny of universe: see Revelation 20-22.  Take your pick of the best in field; at least these have an Eyewitness.
Next headline on: Cosmology.
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A Concise Guide
to 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).

 
Featured Creation Scientist for June
Johannes Kepler
1571-1630

By anyone’s measure, Johannes Kepler ranks as a gold medalist in the history of science.  This great German mathematician and astronomer (contemporary with the King James Bible and the Pilgrims) discovered fundamental laws of nature that have stood the test of time and are still widely used today.  He advanced mathematics in science to new heights, including the first use of logarithms for astronomy and the foundation for integral calculus.  He made useful inventions.  He was a major force in moving science away from its subservience to authority and onto an empirical foundation, and from superstition to mathematical law.  He helped mankind understand how the universe works.  When the great Isaac Newton expressed that his ability to see farther than others was due to “standing on the shoulders of giants,” he most certainly had Kepler in mind.  Yet this humble, devout Christian, from a poor, uneducated home, had a life filled with difficulty.  In spite of it, he stands as a consummate example of a Christian doing excellent science from theological motives; Kepler pursued science as a mission from God.  In his words, he was merely “thinking God’s thoughts after Him.”  Anyone who thinks Christianity is inimical to science should take a close look at the life of this giant of science – and Christian faith.

Kepler is considered the Father of Celestial Mechanics.  The story of how he worked for nearly 20 years trying to figure out the orbit of Mars and the other planets from the observations of Tycho Brahe is legendary.  Kepler was a perfectionist; “close enough” was not good enough.  He started with a hypothesis that the orbits of the planets were circles with ratios the same as those of the regular solids, but it did not quite work.  It was Kepler’s genius and integrity that forced him to abandon his pet theory and discover the truth.  When he fit the data to the formula for an ellipse, everything fell into place.  This illustrates how in science frequently a fundamental truth lays lurking in the minute details that do not fit the expectations.  To an honest scientist, the data must drive the conclusions, and Kepler’s discovery ranks as a seminal point in the history of science.  With this finding, he overcame 1500 years of error based on the thinking of Ptolemy, Aristotle and even Copernicus that the heavenly orbits must be perfect circles.

From his discovery, Kepler derived his famous Three Laws of Planetary Motion.  These were the first truly scientific laws, based as they were on empirical data and not authority or Aristotelian logic.  Kepler established precise mathematical relationships describing orbital motion: (1) the orbits of the planets are ellipses, with the sun at one focus, (2) the motion of a body is not constant, but speeds up closer to the sun (a line connecting the sun and the planet sweeps out equal areas in equal times), and (3) the farther away a planet is, the slower it moves (the square of the period is proportional to the cube of the semimajor axis).  Newton later explained these relationships in his theory of universal gravitation, but Kepler’s Laws are just as accurate today as when he first formulated them, and even more useful than he could have imagined!  Even today, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory navigates spacecraft around the solar system using Kepler’s Laws, and astronomers routinely speak of Keplerian orbits not only for the solar system but for stars orbiting galaxies, and for galaxies orbiting clusters and superclusters.  The whole universe obeys Kepler’s Laws, or as he would have preferred to say, obeys God’s laws that he merely uncovered: he said, “Since we astronomers are priests of the highest God in regard to the book of nature, it befits us to be thoughtful, not of the glory of our minds, but rather, above all else, of the glory of God.”

These discoveries would be enough to guarantee Kepler membership in the science hall of fame, but there’s much more.  Not only was he the Father of Celestial Mechanics, Kepler is also considered the Father of Modern Optics.  He advanced the understanding of reflection and refraction and human vision, and produced improvements in eyeglasses for both nearsightedness and farsightedness, and for the telescopes that his colleague Galileo (with whom he corresponded) had first turned toward the heavens.  He invented the pinhole camera and designed a gear-driven calculating machine.  He investigated weather phenomena and also made other fundamental discoveries about the heavens, such as the rotation of the sun, and the fact that ocean tides are caused primarily by the moon (for which Galileo derided him, but Kepler was proved right).  He predicted that trigonometric parallax might be used to measure the distances to the stars.  Though the telescopes of his day were too crude to detect the parallax shift, he was right again, and the recent Hipparcos satellite used this principle to refine our measurements to thousands of stars.  Kepler’s “firsts” make an impressive list of accomplishments.

One would think a man must be the son of a privileged family to rise to such heights, but nothing could be farther from the truth for this, and other, great Christians in science like Newton, Carver and Faraday.  Kepler was from a poor, uneducated family.  He was often ill, and lived with no advantages that would have predicted his success.  His mother was a flighty woman given to superstition, and his father was a roaming mercenary, frequently off to the battlefield to fight for the highest bidder.  At age six, Kepler saw the Great Comet of 1577 which in those days people assumed were bad omens, but Kepler was fascinated.  Later, his father bought and operated a low-class inn, and young Johannes was required to do hard labor to help the struggling family business.  When given a chance to go to school, Kepler’s genius coupled with diligence advanced him quickly.  Devout by nature, he decided he would serve God as a clergyman.  He studied for two years in a seminary at the University of Tubingen, receiving training in Latin, Greek, Hebrew, mathematics and the usual Greek philosophy, but there also became acquainted with the newer ideas of Copernicus and those who doubted that the Greeks were the last word in knowledge.  It was only when he was pressured to accept a position as a mathematics instructor 500 miles away in Graz that he reluctantly postponed his goal to become a Lutheran minister.  Later, he was chosen by the great but eccentric Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe to figure out the problem of the orbit of Mars, and the rest is history.

In spite of his successes, Kepler’s life was filled with hardship, poverty, political turmoil, false accusations and difficult work.  He had to defend his mother who was falsely accused of being a witch.  He was forced to move on several occasions due to war or pestilence.  He was not paid near what he was worth.  He probably never thought of himself as famous.  Yet he had an inner joy that would make his imagination soar when he thought of the heavens and how everything worked according to the Creator’s mathematical plan.  He imagined space travel and speculated about earthlike planets around distant stars.  He wrote 80 books, including the first science fiction story, The Dream, along with more technical treatises such as the consummate compilation of Tycho’s data using logarithms, The Rudolphine Tables, that did much to advance the heliocentric theory.  His signature work, expressing his philosophy of science, is Harmony of the World in which he saw the heavenly bodies making a kind of celestial “music of the spheres” as the outworking of the mind of God, perfect in geometric harmony.  It expressed his belief that the world of nature, the world of man and world of God all fit together into a harmonious system that could be explored by science.  Kepler had believed that becoming a clergyman would be the only way to proclaim God’s truth, but found that astronomy and mathematics was also a type of ministry, a way to open windows to the mind of God.  Deeply spiritual, he said, “Let also my name perish if only the name of God the Father is elevated.”  His last words were, “Only and alone in the service of Jesus Christ.  In Him is all refuge, all solace.”

Craters on the moon and Mars are named in Kepler’s honor, and NASA’s Kepler spacecraft will be launched in 2008 to search for habitable planets around other stars.

For more information on Johannes Kepler and other great Christians in science, see our online book:
The World’s Greatest Creation Scientists from 1000 to 2000 A.D.
Copies are also available from our online store.