Creation-Evolution Headlines
November 2009
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150 Years of the Origin of Specious Stories: Will Science Ever Recover?

“In an era when natural philosophers were consciously coming to rely on idioms of prediction, experiment, demonstration, and discovery, when accredited truths of nature were established by seeing and believing, Darwin’s approach was doubly unusual.  He was inviting people to believe in a world run by irregular, unpredictable contingencies, as well as asking them to accept his solution for the simple reason that it seemed to work.”  —Janet Browne, Charles Darwin: The Power of Place (Princeton, 2002), p. 56, describing the decidedly un-empirical approach Darwin used in the Origin 150 years ago this month.

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Biomimetics Is On a Roll     11/30/2010    
Nov 30, 2010 — There’s a gold rush on: a rush to copy living technology.  Scientists have found that plants, animals and cells have the solutions to problems that will help us all, if we will just study them, imitate them, or harness them.

  1. Jellyfish pumps:  Need a flexible pump for medical use?  Look no further than the aquarium tank, where jellyfish have mastered the art of propulsion with soft material.  Science Daily reported on work at Caltech to study how jellyfish do it.  “Jellyfish at millimeter scales, for example, exploit the small layer of water that adheres to their surface as they move and use it as additional paddle at no extra cost,”  the article said.  “Further, a clever arrangement of multiple pacemakers within the jellyfish body allow for a reliable yet tunable pumping mechanism.”  One of the researchers “plans to use this practical understanding to help design a whole spectrum of flexible pumps that are optimized for different tasks and conditions.”
  2. Elephant trunks:  Getting robotic arms to act gracefully and gently has been a major challenge.  Imagine the pain of shaking hands with a typical robot.  Why not learn the secrets from an elephant, whose trunk can gently pick up a peanut out of a child’s hand?  That’s what Festo, a German company, did.  They created the “elephant’s trunk-inspired Bionic Handling Assistant,” reported New Scientist, which “is peppered with resistance sensors that limit its extension when it senses contact – potentially making it safe for anyone to use and interact with.”  A video clip shows the device doing a clumsy but encouraging imitation of an elephant trunk.
        The short article makes it clear this is not the only example of bio-inspiration going on in Germany:
    Despite its futuristic appearance, Festo’s isn’t the only odd robot arm in development.  A European-wide team has developed something similarly flexible – but here the inspiration came from an octopus’s limb.  Instead of pneumatics, the EU team wants to drive their arm with “electroactive polymers” – smart plastics that bend when a voltage is applied.
        Festo’s decision to seek inspiration from a lumbering mammal marks a departure: it has previously created the most graceful of robotic penguins, jellyfish and manta rays.
        And another German team has created the AirFish: an airship that wags its tail like a rainbow trout.
    Live Science also discussed cheerfully the new elephant-trunk robotic arm, but gave the credit to chance as the inventor: “‘Biomimicry,’ as this design and engineering aesthetic is called, draws inspiration from the biomechanical systems that the process of evolution has honed for millions of years, often resulting in startling insights over manmade artificial solutions.”
  3. Shark skin:  Want to reduce drag on swimsuits and ships’ hulls?  Make like a shark, said National Geographic News says.  Its “scaly hide serves as both a suit of armor and a means of streamlining movement,” researchers at the University of Alabama are finding.  Professor Amy Lang also gave credit to Darwin: “Overall, sharks’ 400 million years of evolution for strength and speed may someday inspire better designs for machines that are prone to drag, such as aircraft, Lang noted.”
  4. Shark sub.  The whale shark is the world’s biggest fish.  How does it keep all that mass afloat?  “Whale Sharks Use Geometry to Avoid Sinking,” reported Science Daily.  Marine biologists publishing in the British Ecological Society journal Functional Ecology found that the whale shark’s glide, that looks so natural, is really an “astonishing feat of mathematics and energy conservation.”  Adrian Gleiss from Swansea University noted, “oceanic animals not only have to consider their travel speed, but also how vertical movement will affect their energy expenditure, which changes the whole perspective.”
        Sensors placed on the giants showed that they can use their negative buoyancy to descend, but need to flap their tails when ascending; nevertheless, their motion “optimized the energetic cost of vertical movement,” the researchers found.  “This use of negative buoyancy may play a large part in oceanic sharks being able to locate and travel between scarce and unpredictable food sources efficiently.”  Although this article did not mention biomimetics, the principle sounds like something submarine designers could use.
  5. Cell rotors:  Another German team has succeeded in getting a three-blade structure in a hexagonal cage billionths of a meter across to rotate spontaneously.  “Nature itself provides the role model for such self-organizing systems,” a report on PhysOrg said, accompanied by a video clip that shows the nano-rotor in action.  The primitive device is a far cry from those found in living cells: “However, the coveted dream of using self-organization effects in such a way that nano machines [i.e., in the cell] assemble themselves is still a thing of the future.”  Presumably, progress will be made by intelligent design.
  6. Electrical engineering turns bioengineering:  Students at the University of Texas at Dallas are competing in contests to harness bacteria for useful purposes.  Since E. coli bacteria already have the toolkit for probing chemicals, the students employ synthetic biology techniques to make them do what they want – such as turning green when sensing toxins.  Story at PhysOrg.  An engineering prof said, “Synthetic biology borrows a lot of ideas from engineering and puts them in the context of biology.” 
  7. Got that glow:  Speaking of fluorescent proteins (retrieved from jellyfish), Vyv Salisbury, a biomedical researcher at University of West England, is excited about the possibilities of putting glowing bacteria to use.  They have “enormous future potential” to “produce exquisitely sensitive and versatile microbial biosensors,” PhysOrg reported, opening with the promise, “A professor from the University of the West of England will present her inaugural lecture on bioluminesence [sic] and give insight into how this natural phenomenon has been used to make biomarkers that are making exciting breakthroughs in several areas of health research.”
  8. Whale blades:  According to PhysOrg, “lessons learned from the ocean’s largest mammals has inspired United States Naval Academy researchers to tackle one of the serious challenges of this technology: the low velocity associated with many tidal flows and the difficulty of extracting useful energy from low speed flows using current designs.”  Enter the humpback whale, with its bumpy-edged fins.  Turns out that design improves performance: “We designed a novel blade modification for potential turbine performance improvement, which was inspired by humpback whale flippers, with the addition of tubercles, or bumps, to the leading edge of each blade,” announced Mark Murray, a Naval Academy engineering professor.  He showed that “the addition of biomimetically derived protuberances (technology that mimics nature) improved stall characteristics and aerodynamic performance.”
  9. Studying flight:  Four recent articles did not mention human applications yet, but showed how scientists are eagerly studying the flight capabilities of animals to gain understanding, with a subtle indication that human engineers can learn from them.  Students at Wright State in Ohio are studying dragonflies (New Scientist).  An engineer at Bristol University gained insights into pterodactyl flight (BBC News).  And the BBC News also posted half a dozen dazzling photos of flying fish.  PhysOrg spoke of scientists studying flying snakes.  You thought this one was going to be about birds, didn’t you?  That last article did mention another team proposing that “airplanes be designed more like birds.”
The excitement over biomimetics can be sensed by the conferences, journals and societies devoted to it, such as the Bioneers at Georgia Tech (10/29/2005) and the Information Science and Technology initiative at Caltech (06/5/2005).  PhysOrg reported on one such recent event: “The physicists, biologists and engineers were huddled around every available bar-height table in the Long Beach Convention Center, covering their tiny surfaces with laptops and notebooks.”  What did they come for? – “many of the scientists were gathered earlier this week at a fluid-dynamics conference to show how insights from the world of animals and plants might guide tomorrow’s technology -- a burgeoning field known as bio-inspired engineering.
    Here’s a short list of the animals that were inspiring their design plans: flying snakes, sharks, birds, whales, hummingbirds, and jellyfish.  “These scientists from far-flung fields share a common conviction: that future engineering has a great deal to learn from the natural world.”  The article quoted a USC engineer who said, “The number of people who are developing, encouraging, thinking about biologically inspired designs is vastly more than it was five years ago, two years ago even.”
    A journal called Bioinspiration and Biomimetics published a special edition called “Bioinspired Flight” this month, said PhysOrg.  And it’s not just for the birds.  Scientists analyzed controlled falling and gliding by geckos, snakes and insects.  Bioengineering brings together engineers and biologists, who have typically lived in different academic worlds.  “Because biologists and engineers are typically trained quite differently, there is a gap between the understanding of natural flight of biologists and the engineer’s expertise in designing vehicles that function well,” David Lentink from Wageningen University said.  “In the middle however is a few pioneering engineers who are able to bridge both fields.”  The article includes three video clips, one of a falling gecko flipping over and landing on its feet like a cat, one of a test robotic fly, and an amazing series of snake flights showing how they can maneuver and even turn while gliding.
    The Biomimicry Institute is open for business with a website, newsletter, educational resources, and even a children’s music CD.  Why?  “Biomimicry is the science and art of emulating Nature’s best biological ideas to solve human problems,” the website explains on its front page.  “Non-toxic adhesives inspired by geckos, energy efficient buildings inspired by termite mounds, and resistance-free antibiotics inspired by red seaweed are examples of biomimicry happening today -- and none too soon.  Humans may have a long way to go towards living sustainably on this planet, but 10-30 million species with time-tested genius to help us get there.”  Another of their websites, AskNature.org, provides a “database of nature’s strategies” with 1360 entries so far.
    Not everybody is inspired to the same degree.  The PhysOrg article about the Long Beach convention quoted USC engineer Geoffrey Spedding cautioning, “Just because it exists in nature doesn’t mean it’s an optimum ... the designs that come through evolution are just good enough to survive, that’s all,” adding that “Nature has yet to come up with a decent wheel.”
What is Spedding talking about?  Hasn’t he seen a bacterial flagellum?  It’s a more efficient wheel than anything man ever invented.  And his logic is bad.  Like a Darwinian, he has to see everything in terms of mere survival.  The world has a great deal of “useless beauty” that goes beyond mere survival.  Look at the coloration on birds and insects, the patterning on mammal fur, and the shapes and colors of flowers.  Survival does not require these things, or every bird, mammal, and flower would be so decorated.  Beauty and elegance are not incompatible with survival; they provide frosting on the cake, making this a world of incredible variety and beauty.  Even evolutionary scientists can recognize that animals are “overengineered” for the functions they require for survival (03/23/2004).
    Biomimetics has the potential to make Darwinism irrelevant, and bring together both creationists and evolutionists for the common goal of improving human life through understanding and imitation of natural design.  Darwin need not have anything to do with it.  Evolutionary theory could be a harmless sideshow, if not a distraction, to the goals of biomimicry.
    Two alarming subtexts are tainting the biomimetics movement, however.  One is that Darwinists are trying to co-opt the movement by forcing their worldview onto it: e.g.,
  • “...the designs that come through evolution are just good enough to survive, that’s all,” (PhysOrg)
  • “...the biomechanical systems that the process of evolution has honed for millions of years” (Live Science)
  • “...sharks’ 400 million years of evolution for strength and speed may someday inspire better designs for machines” (National Geographic)
  • “...Scientists in the US and Canada are studying how flying fish evolved the enlarged paired fins...” (BBC News)
  • After 3.8 billion years of evolution, nature has learned what works and what lasts” (Biomimicry Institute)
Hopefully many will discern that oil and water mix better than biomimetics and Darwinism.  How long can the public endure the halitosis that billions of years of chance accidents yielded engineering marvels that our goal-oriented, purposeful human intelligence cannot duplicate?  Remember, too, that as good as the robotic flexible arm or mechanical insect perform, artificial biomimics cannot reproduce themselves, repair themselves, or proofread themselves.  Human technology looks pathetic by comparison.  Darwinists insert their rhetoric into the biomimetics adventure at their peril.
    A second and more worrisome trend is a kind of new-age mysticism arising about nature.  This can be seen at the Biomimicry Institute where Nature is capitalized, as in, “How would Nature heat and cool a home?”  Even though hardcore atheist evolutionists like E. O. Wilson are on its advisory board, the Biomimicry Institute risks a return to Pocahontas-style nature worship with lines like, “Humans may have a long way to go towards living sustainably on this planet, but 10-30 million species with time-tested genius to [sic] help us get there.”  Their children’s CD is labeled “Ask the planet,” as if we are to seek inner wisdom from the Earth goddess.
    It’s an alarming sign, but Bible-believing Christians can take heart at this in a backhanded way.  For one, it unmasks the secular evolutionists as the pantheist pagans they always were at heart.  For another, it fulfills Scripture.  Their behavior follows exactly what the Apostle Paul described in Romans 1, “For his [God’s] invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.  So they are without excuse.  For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.  Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.  Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever!  Amen” (Romans 1:21-25).
    Nothing has changed since the old paganism except the sophistication of its ignorance.  Creationists and proponents of intelligent design can embrace biomimetics, but should be on guard against these trends that would distort it into Charlie worship or pagan Nature worship.  By contrast, engaging in diligent biomimetics research and design is one way to honor and serve our Creator, and to say, “Thank you, Lord.”
Next headline on:  BiomimeticsMarine BiologyMammalsCell BiologyTerrestrial ZoologyBirdsPhysicsDarwin and EvolutionIntelligent DesignEducationAmazing Facts
  Give your eyes a break.  A story on rapid geology from 11/27/2002 includes links to some pretty (amazing) pictures.

Is SETI Morphing Its Mission?   11/29/2009    
Nov 29, 2009 — Look at the mission statement at the website of the SETI Institute: “The mission of the SETI Institute is to explore, understand and explain the origin, nature, and prevalence of life in the universe.”  What happened to the aliens?  The word “intelligence” is not found in their mission statement.  It sounds indistinguishable from the mission of Astrobiology (which does not care whether the life is intelligent).  A look at the dozen activity boxes on the home page only reveals two or three that seem clearly relevant to the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence.
    Further indications that the SETI Institute is morphing its mission into a bigger tent can be seen in the News links: a report on the Leonid meteor shower (this is about planetary science, not SETI); an interview about the ethics of space exploration (that’s human space exploration, not Star Wars); an interview with a young scientist studying extremophiles in salt ponds on earth (that’s regular biology); and an airship-based investigation of climate change (that’s political science – 11/26/2009).  Only at the bottom of the column is there one clear article about SETI.
    For some reason, Space.com dropped its link to weekly news articles from the SETI Institute.  These used to be clearly noted on the top title bar.  “SETI Thursday” is gone.  The last two articles did not deal with SETI: Sept. 2009 dealt with the institute’s “Adopt a Scientist” program, and Oct. 2009 was a review of the movie 2012..  The link Space.com/SETI only lists previous articles.
    The SETI project has long been lampooned in some quarters (notably the Senate; 04/17/2006 and 11/18/2005 commentaries) but supported with almost religious fervor in others (09/24/2005, 06/03/2006).  Carl Sagan used to promote the search as the noblest ambition of the human species.  It’s not clear why Space.com and the SETI Institute appear to be downplaying SETI at this time.

Who knows; perhaps the economy has affected funding and, like a private company, they feel the need to diversify.  Perhaps Paul Allen is re-evaluating his charitable contributions (10/12/2007).  Perhaps the public is losing interest in SETI after 50 years of failure to find anybody out there.  Or perhaps SETI advocates are smarting from accusations that they are using intelligent-design methods inconsistent with their Darwinian world view (see 12/03/2005 and this Brett Miller cartoon).  Astrobiology is a bigger, warmer tent.  The life can be microbes on planet Xircon Z589 and an astrobiologist will be happy.
    That was not, however, the mission of SETI.  Jimmy Carter wrote on the Voyager record that “We hope, someday, having solved the problems we face, to join a community of galactic civilizations.”  SETI scientists don’t want to join a community of slime (do they?); they want to talk with sentient beings like ourselves.  Has SETI become impolitic again?  For the time being, discretion seems to be calling the SETI Institute to de-emphasize its raison d'etre and pretend to be regular scientists – studying earth life, meteors, climate, extrasolar planets, and normal astronomy.
    If their mission has changed, so should their acronym: SETL, the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Life.  Or SET: the Search for Extra-Terrestrial whatever.  Or SE: the Search for Extra whatever.  Or just S: Search.  You don’t need radio telescopes for that.  Google is free – and you’ll find lots of aliens.
Next headline on:  SETI
Nov 28, 2009 – Does God Exist?  A high-quality, professionally produced DVD of the 2009 debate between Christopher Hitchens and William Lane Craig has just been released by La Mirada Films (makers of The Case for Christ and The Case for Faith), in conjunction with Biola University, where the debate was held April 4, 2009.  The trailer at LaMiradaFilms.com illustrates how the multi-camera angles and editing professionalism of the producers makes this a highly attention-holding debate on the most fundamental, intriguing and important topic of all – is there a God?
    The two-DVD set, very respectful and fair to both debaters, includes a dynamic introduction and bonus features.  Its balanced treatment of the debaters and high production values make this a good gift or loaner for friends and neighbors (especially skeptics).  Even though Craig acknowledged he felt like he was playing to the home field, Hitchens considered this a contest between two Goliaths, and moderator Hugh Hewitt welcomed him to the “den of lambs” at Biola.  The DVD set, including 73 minutes of bonus features (interviews, Q&A, and press conferences) is available from LaMiradaFilms.com and from RPI.
Next resource of the week:  11/21/2009.  All resources: Catalog.

Seeing Sound and Hearing Light   11/28/2009    
Nov 28, 2009 — Synesthesia, the syndrome in which people’s senses become confused, may not be so off the wall.  Research at the University of British Columbia “flips the traditional view of how we perceive the world on its head.” Experiments show that our brains perceive the world by synthesizing multiple inputs.  The latest evidence of this is that we can “hear” through our skin.
    BBC News and Live Science reported on experiments by Bryan Gick at the U of BC that show blindfolded subjects perceive words differently when receiving puffs of air on their skin.  He believes that this is very different from traditional interpretations of sense organs as independent channels of perception.  According to Gick, humans are “whole-body perceiving machines.”  The research, he believes, could lead to more effective hearing aids and prostheses for the blind and deaf.

Our bodies are marvelously designed whole entities.  Evolution cannot “tinker” with one thing without affecting other things.  Applying a proverb by John Muir to anatomy, the more we try to pick out one function, the more we find it tied to everything else in the body.
Next headline on:  Human BodyAmazing Facts
Notable Notes and Quotable Quotes
According to the BBC News, the Herschel NASA telescope discovered a star that is so big (How big is it?) that if placed where our sun is, would have a surface engulfing Saturn.

Gap Between Origin-of-Life Research and Simplest Life Grows   11/27/2009    
Nov 27, 2009 — Evolutionists are celebrating experiments that allegedly showed RNA chains can assemble in water – given nucleotides to start with (see Science Daily).  The suggestive steps over the gap from nonlife to life should be tempered with other discoveries that life is anything but simple.
    New Scientist reported today that a “‘Simple’ bacterium shows surprising complexity.”  A species of Mycoplasma, an obligate parasite, should represent a stripped-down life form that can be considered a minimal living cell.  Researchers at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory uncovered “uncanny flexibility and sophistication, allowing it to react fast to changes in its diet and environment,” even with just 689 genes (compared to 4000 in most other bacteria).  Peter Bork said, “There were a lot of surprises.  Although it’s a very tiny genome, it’s much more complicated than we thought.”  Among the cell’s tricks are the ability to use antisense strands of DNA as molecular switches, the ability to employ operons in sequence rather than simultaneously, and ability of cellular components to do multitasking.
    Another report on Science Daily described the highly-choreographed dance of the chromosomes during meiosis.  Scientists at UC Berkeley found that “the cytoskeleton appears to encourage the dance of the chromosomes around the nuclear membrane as they search for their partners, and help make sure they have the right partner before meiosis continues.”  The cytoskeleton does this by means of teams of molecular motors called dyneins.  “Our work teaches us about the fundamental mechanisms of genome organization, about how cells execute processes in precise ways, monitor their own mistakes and correct or eliminate them.
    A cell is so smart, it can even employ mistakes on purpose.  Science Daily reported that some cells cause their own mutations for protection.  By making proteins with mistakes (the wrong amino acid inserted here or there), they employ a “non-genetic strategy used in cells to create a bodyguard for proteins.”  As a result, “this way the cells can always ensure that a subset of these proteins is somewhat less sensitive to the extra hits” caused by invading viruses, chemicals or other bacteria.  It “sounds chaotic and doesn’t make a lot of sense according to the textbook,” but the net result is that the organism gains protection from reactive oxygen species when under stress by means of “regulated errors.”  The organism must have ways of recovering from these errors after the stress is relieved, else the population would mutate itself out of existence.
    Interestingly, human designers might employ a similar strategy to ward off computer viruses.  New Scientist reported that a company in the UK is patenting a strategy to insert “dumb code” into file headers to defeat any computer virus instantly.  “A key feature of the scheme is that no knowledge of the virus itself is needed, so it can deal with new, unrecognised ‘zero day’ viruses as well as older ones,” the company claims.  It remains to be seen whether human programmers will be as successful at defensive strategies as cells are.

If cells are so well designed they can even regulate errors to maintain their genetic integrity, how could life evolve?  This might be a defeater for neo-Darwinism.  And if even the most minimal life is so complex it surprises scientists, how can origin-of-life researchers keep up hope?  Their simple experiments are like baby steps on the beach with an ocean to cross, and no motivation for the baby to go in that direction.
Details, details.  They sure get in the way of a good myth.
Next headline on:  Origin of LifeCell BiologyAmazing Facts
  We critiqued Michael Shermer’s baloney-detecting skills in our 10/30/2001 and 11/29/2001 entries.  These might provide useful background material for those watching his upcoming debate with Donald Prothero against Stephen Meyer and Rick Sternberg on Nov 30 (see American Freedom Alliance).

Can Scientists Conspire to Mislead?   11/26/2009    
Nov 26, 2009 — Scientists are only human.  Objectivity may be a noble aspiration; empiricism a worthy goal – but recent scandals illustrate the propensity for large-scale manipulation and misdirection by the very people supposedly devoted to intellectual integrity.  Though off-topic for Creation-Evolution Headlines, the flap over stolen documents that appear to reveal collusion to support anthropogenic global warming (AGW) is alarming and cautionary.
    The BBC News (#1, #2) has been reporting about this flap some are calling “Climategate.”  Captured emails appear to indicate that the Climate Research Unit that feeds data to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change deliberately suppressed data that undermined the consensus about human-caused global warming.  Michael Egnor summarized the scandal on Evolution News:

A week ago, hackers released 160 mb of emails, data, and computer code from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia.  The data extends back a decade, and rather clearly documents an astonishing pattern of manipulation of evidence, concealment of doubts about whether the validity of global warming, destruction of data not favorable to global warming, fantasizing violence against prominent climate skeptic scientists, and a long series of communications discussing how best to squeeze dissenting scientists out of the peer review process.  The data reveal extensive scientific misconduct and even criminal fraud in the top echelons of the pro-global warming scientific community.
The scandal is exploding on conservative TV news, in newspapers, and radio, though liberal media are trying to ignore it.  Some are comparing it to the video embarrassments at ACORN.  The internet is on fire with blogs (example in The Telegraph), jokes and cartoons – prompting a flood of repostings of the emails with commentaries (example in the Wall Street Journal); Climate Depot is keeping a list of links to articles and editorials.  While AGW advocates are scrambling to re-interpret the emails and gloss over the implications, as popular science journalist (and consensus science ally) Chris Mooney attempted to do in quotes in the Michael Egnor piece, these attempts appear to be backfiring.  Outrage and ridicule are growing in the public – illustrated by a viral music video on YouTube that says Al Gore and the perpetrators belong in jail.  AGW skeptics (often dubbed “deniers” or “denialists” by the consensus, to suggest they are kin to Holocaust deniers) are feeling vindicated; some are on the warpath, calling for investigations and indictments (example in The Telegraph).
    This week in Evolution News, Michael Egnor has been applying the lessons of this scandal to the Darwinist consensus (see also here).  He noted that British AGW skeptic Christopher Monckton has called the climatologists caught with their pants down as criminals, and that the scandal should make us angry (Evolution News).  Like Michael Crichton (12/27/2003), Egnor pointed out the inherent oxymoron in “consensus science.”  He said, “Invocation of ‘consensus science’ is merely a tactic to insulate bad science from scrutiny.  ‘Consensus science’ is to science as money-laundering is to finance.”
The unfolding of this scandal will be instructive to students of philosophy of science.  It remains to be seen whether the advocates can weather this storm, or if the scandal will deflate upcoming policy discussions in Copenhagen.  Ignoring the scandal (an inconvenient truth), the BBC reported that the UN Secretary-General is pushing for world leaders to “seal a deal” on a legally binding climate treaty.  Can they get it done before the roof caves in?  It’s possible the perpetrators will get away with their lies and crimes.  It’s happened before – with the UN Oil-for-Food scandal (05/12/2008 commentary).  When power corrupts this far, don’t expect an ethical response from the perpetrators, even when they are exposed.
    That’s not our concern here.  What is important is what this scandal reveals about the possibility that virtually the whole scientific world can be wrong and downright complicit in criminal cover-ups – in spite of the supposed protections against such things in the peer-review process and the assumed self-correcting nature of science.  If this can happen with one of the biggest scientific consensuses (yes, that’s the plural, not consensi) of the last decade, why not ask these same questions about the Darwinists, who similarly use political clout to suppress criticisms of its consensus?
    The only climate that may be warming now is the climate of public distrust of big science.  This is a bad time for the Darwinists to emphasize their talking point that “all scientists accept evolution.”  Now read Michael Egnor’s latest scathing rebuke of the scandal that includes, among reasons for getting really angry, a quote by a scientist calling other scientists to get on the right side of history before “The reputation of science – and of many scientists – will be damaged severely.”  That’s small stuff compared to the damage potential Darwin defenders will face when his idol collapses, revealing the hollow interior where solid data was supposed to be.
Next headline on:  Politics and EthicsMedia
Photo Op
Stunning photographs from Cassini’s Nov. 21 flyby of Saturn’s geysering moon Enceladus can be found at the Imaging Team website, with captions at Jet Propulsion Laboratory and story at BBC News.

Ardi Party Is Over   11/25/2009    
Nov 25, 2009 — The hubbub over Ardipithecus (10/02/2009) may have been premature.  Despite 600 pages of material submitted to Science in October, many doubts and questions remain about the status of this hominin, or hominid, or whatever it was (the nomenclature is confusing and inconsistent even among paleoanthropologists).  In an article by Katherine Harmon in the pro-evolutionary magazine Scientific American, so many doubts are evident that laymen should seriously question whether this fossil suggests anything about human origins.   In brief, here are some key issues:

  1. Debate:  Ardi has “sharpened more differences than it has smoothed over.
  2. Manipulation:  William Jungers (Stony Brook U) criticized Tim White’s team for overstating interpretations.  “I think some of the things they said might have been for effect,” he claimed.
  3. Negative evidence:  Even White himself does not claim that Ardi demonstrates linkage to humans.  Harmon wrote, “White and his fellow authors do not propose to have a definitive answer, but through painstaking analysis of the fossil data and surroundings, they conclude in the overview paper that, ‘There are no apparent features sufficiently unique to warrant the exclusion of Ar. ramidus as being ancestral to Australopithecus,’ thus proposing she might indeed be an early hominin (the ever-changing nomenclatural group that usually includes living humans and our close extinct relatives, also referred to by White et al. as hominids—although the latter title now often includes the great apes, as well).”
  4. Rotation:  Key to the claim that Ardi walked upright is the position of the ilium.  Rotating the ilium can lead to mistaken interpretations.  Jungers said, “It’s very difficult not to make them look like something you have in your mind if there’s any chance of play.” Harmon mentioned that “Despite the numerous images and descriptions put forth by the researchers, others are reluctant to take the reconstructions without a grain of salt.
  5. Faculty:  Humans are obligate bipeds, but facultative tree climbers.  If Ardi was a facultative biped and obligate tree climber, as her divergent big toe indicates, she may have been no different in her transport habits than chimpanzees.  No knee joint was found in the Ardipithecus specimens.  This also confuses the interpretation.
  6. Social studies:  White and the supporters of Ardi argue that the teeth show little sexual dimorphism.  What does this mean?  They take it to mean that males were not larger and more aggressive, which means that they might have helped care for the young, which seems kind of human-like.  This reasoning is very subjective.
  7. Face book:  So what if Ardi’s face was not as protruding as that of apes?  Harmon explained, “outside researchers focus on the similarity in size to other nonhuman primates, such as extinct Miocene epoch apes.
  8. Combination plate:  Tim White prefers to look at the combination of features that make Ardi unique, instead of focusing on piecemeal analysis of each part.  This raises questions, however, about the value of his own painstaking descriptions of those parts.  David Begun (U of Toronto) also opined that it could mean Ar. ramidus had nothing to do with human evolutionary history.  In Ardi he finds “very little in the anatomy of this specimen that leads directly to Australopithecus, then to Homo sapiensThis could very easily be a side branch.
About the only thing they agree on is the amount of detail White’s team put into the description of the fossil is commendable.  Jungers considers the work a “new standard” that is “truly extraordinary.”  That aspect, however, affirms nothing about the interpretation of its place in human evolution.  It might only serve to elucidate the sophistication of their subjectivity.
*Sigh.*  The Darwin Party song and dance is getting so tiring.  Lots of old apes and monkeys went extinct.  Who cares about another?  Considering the rivalries and ambitions among the paleoanthropologists, and the ever-changing stories, and the leeway for fudging that exists, why do we even pay these guys any attention?  Here at CEH we have to, in order to forestall the misguidance of the public that results from one-party rule in Science.
    In support of that criticism, let us remind you of Tim White’s own cautions about how distorted bones can mislead even the experts (see 03/28/2003).  Let us remind you that Nature accused Tim White’s storytelling proclivities as “more philosophy than fossils” (04/27/2006).  Let us remind you that variability within humans can swamp interpretations of putative ancestral traits (07/22/2007).  And to reinforce the subjectivity of their art, let us remind you of Leslie Hlusko’s debunking of three common presumptions anthropologists use when interpreting alleged hominid bones (02/19/2004).  If you follow this stuff, consider it sport or entertainment – not science.
Next headline on:  Early ManFossilsDarwin and Evolution
Last of the Darwin Celebrations   11/24/2009    
Nov 24, 2009 — On the 24th of November 1859, 150 years ago today, Darwin’s On the Origin of Species by Natural Selection and the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life sold out.  Biographer Janet Browne (03/07/2009) explained in the bonus features of the film The Voyage that Shook the World (see Resource of the Week for 09/19/2009) that the image of people rushing into bookstores, bumping elbows to grab copies of Darwin’s bombshell book, is a myth.  It was only a modest run of 1750 copies, for one thing – far less than the hundreds of thousands of copies a Dickens novel might obtain, “or the 60,000 copies of the solidly religious Bridgewater Treatises that had accumulated on the nation’s shelves by 1860.”1   And the Origin was sold out to booksellers – not to the public.  Nevertheless, the impact of Darwin’s ideas is no myth.
    With the passing of the second big Darwin celebration this year (see 02/13/2009), it is perhaps appropriate to note some of the last hurrahs of the season.  Live Science reported that “Darwin is going digital” as drafts of rare Darwin manuscripts are being posted online by the Darwin Manuscripts Project.  Making this information accessible can, of course, benefit both supporters and critics of Darwinism.  The BBC News published winning entries in a “Darwin photo competition” that celebrated “exploring and investigating nature” (a worthy activity engaged in by both creationists and evolutionists).  A cartoony image of Darwin graced Science Magazine’s Darwin Anniversary blog Origins announcing that the National Science Foundation posted an interactive, online report on “The Evolution of Evolution” – i.e., “on the influence of Charles Darwin on many walks of science.”  National Geographic allowed evolutionist reporter Ker Than to clobber Discovery Institute rep Casey Luskin with a quote from Don Prothero that “intelligent design advocates simply ignore the evidence.”  (Luskin typically answers such charges on Evolution News and Views.)  Over at New Scientist Rowan Harper gathered quotes from Darwin’s letters and writings and organized them in interview fashion.  First Q&A: “What was it like, coming up with the idea that changed the world?” – to which Darwin replied, “Like confessing a murder” (see 11/30/2005).
    One last anecdote: PhysOrg reported that a rare 1st-edition copy of the Origin was discovered on a toilet bookshelf of a guest lavatory in Oxford.  Perhaps its owner hoped the guest would become intrigued enough by the subject to motivate a Victorian download.
1.  Janet Browne, Charles Darwin: The Power of Place (Princeton, 2002), p. 88.
Whew.  Now that the silliness is over, let’s; get on with 200 years of intelligent design science.
Next headline on:  Darwin
  150 years ago, Darwin called the origin of flowering plants an “abominable mystery.”  Nine years ago, Scientific American said it was a mystery (11/08/2000).  Today it remains a mystery to evolutionists.  How much time do the Darwinists get before truth-loving people call their game?

Hammerhead Sharks Have 360-degree Stereo Vision   11/23/2009    
Nov 23, 2009 — Scientists at Florida Atlantic University have found that the strange heads of hammerhead sharks give them exceptional binocular vision.  This has long been debated.  By placing electrodes in the eyes of three hammerhead species, and comparing the visual overlap they obtain compared to other sharks, the scientists confirmed that there is a “massive 32-degree overlap” in their forward vision, providing stereoscopic acuity, even though the eyes are seemingly pointed in opposite directions.  The researchers concluded, “They have a full 360-degree view of the world.”  The story was reported by Live Science, National Geographic, BBC News, and New Scientist.
    Live Science and National Geographic did not mention evolution.  The BBC article mentioned it in passing.  Dr. Michelle Macomb, one of the researchers from Florida Atlantic University, was quoted as saying that “This study has confirmed that vision may have played a role in the evolution of one of the ocean’s most bizarre inhabitants.”  This statement, of course, offers no insight into how that might have occurred.  In the New Scientist article, by contrast, Shanta Barley started right off on a Darwinian foot, mentioning evolution in each of the first three sentences:

It’s one of evolution’s most eccentric creations: a head shaped like a hammer.  Now, a study suggests that the hammerhead shark may have evolved its oddly shaped snout to boost the animal’s vision and hunting prowess.
    For over a century, scientists have speculated why hammerheads evolved such an odd shape and whether having eyes so far apart would enhance their vision....
In the second sentence, Barley made it sound like the shark actively evolved its vision for a purpose – a very un-Darwinian notion.  Her choice of title suggests the explanation is, instead, Kiplingian: “Why the hammerhead shark got its hammer.”
    On a related subject, New Scientist and the BBC News reported on research by marine ecologist Andrea Marshall, “queen of the manta rays.”  The shark relatives she studies enjoy a remarkable mutualistic symbiosis with other fish that groom and clean them in “beauty parlors”.  Marshall told New Scientist,
Cleaning stations are pretty well known in the marine environment, but for manta rays it’s an extraordinary event.  Because they are so large, “cleaner fish” partition up the ray and clean different parts of the animal.  It looks so co-operative and gentlemanly.  The mantas have to eat 14 per cent of their body weight a week in plankton, so any time taken out from feeding has to be invested in something important.  As they can spend up to 8 hours having parasites removed and shark bite marks cleaned, it must be detrimental if they’re not groomed.
Evolution was only mentioned briefly in the BBC article to say that a “vestigial sting” in the manta suggests it evolved from the sting ray.  Both articles contain video clips of manta rays in action.  In the New Scientist clip, Marshall said that when she saw one of the giant rays swim over her head in the waters off Mozambique, she was “awestruck by its beauty.” 
Who gave hammerheads 360-degree stereo vision?  Did they think it up on their own and “evolve” their heads and eyes on purpose?  That would be oxymoronic.  There’s nothing evolutionary about this.  In the manta ray “beauty parlors” we see cooperation among creatures – not competition and survival of the fittest.  The cleaner fish act like mechanics on fighter jets that keep the craft in good repair while earning gainful employment.
    Whether or not mantas have vestigial stingers should be critiqued.  If so, it might only suggest a divergence within the ray “kind” (baramin) that represents devolution, not evolution.  Design scientists would approach the structure to see if it has a function.  That approach has many times proved more fruitful than the vestigial organ story (08/21/2009).
    Evolution itself is a vestigial organ of explanation.  It will vanish by intelligently designed thought processes.  We should focus instead on the design of these creatures and enjoy learning more about them.  Proper thinking will result in awe.
Next headline on:  Marine BiologyEvolutionAmazing Facts
Giraffe Has Supercharged Heart   11/22/2009    
Nov 22, 2009 — In many ways, the giraffe has been an icon of evolution.  Why, and how, did it get its long neck?  These questions have often been the focal point of a clash of Darwinian and Lamarckian explanations.  Today, many just assume it evolved somehow.  For instance, BBC News article stated flatly, “A giraffe’s heart has evolved to have thick muscle walls and a small radius, giving it great power.”
    Diversions into how and if it evolved, however, should not distract from the point of the story: the giraffe’s heart is strong.  The BBC article said, “Now research reveals that giraffes have a small, powerful, supercharged heart that is different to that possessed by other similar mammals.”  Apparently this has not been studied before.  South African biologists studied dead specimens culled from Zimbabwe over the last few years and found that the giraffe has multiple mechanisms to pump blood two meters up to its neck to its head.  The giraffe heart is “smaller than you’d expect in similar-sized animals, but the walls are incredibly thick,” the researchers found.  It delivers blood pressure twice that in most mammals.  This also means that the blood vessels have to be thick to compensate for the high pressure.
    The blood vessels actually thicken with age.  As the giraffe grows, and its neck reaches ever higher, the thickness of the vessels is regulated.  “Giraffes have got a way of adjusting the capacity of the cardiovascular system and are able to shrink and expand their blood vessels to change the volume of the cardiovascular system very efficiently.
    Blood pressure and heart efficiency are just two of the questions the researchers are exploring with a rare chance to analyze giraffe anatomy.  What they would really like to do is further these discoveries with live giraffes in the field.  “To measure blood pressure in a free living giraffe doing its thing, that would be really interesting,” said a researcher who classed himself with “people just like me who wonder how giraffes get it right.” Taking the blood pressure of a galloping giraffe is a challenge.  Does one tighten the cuff around its neck?
The strong heart is only part of the story.  Giraffes need mechanisms to prevent damage to the brain when they bend over to drink.  Some of these are explained in the film Incredible Creatures that Defy Evolution (10/03/2009), volume I.  There are so many mechanisms that had to be in place simultaneously, it strains credulity to think they could have evolved by accident.  Another problem with the evolution tale is that the giraffe is a mammal; what about the more “primitive” dinosaurs, not in the giraffe’s supposed evolutionary ancestry, who had much longer necks?  Two meters is nothing.  Supersaurus weighed 40 tons and reached 34 meters – as much as 112 feet.  While the Darwinists get sick thinking about that, the rest of us can enjoy marveling at these wonders of design.
Next headline on:  MammalsAmazing
Nov 21, 2009 – Is Darwin’s Origin a work of profound scientific logic and evidence?  John Angus Campbell, one of the founding fathers of a branch of Philosophy of Science called Rhetoric of Science, examined Darwin’s “one long argument” in rhetorical terms in a memorable interview you can watch on YouTube.
    Campbell’s presentation, in Q&A format, is calm, fair, clear, informed, reasonable, and thought-provoking.  Campbell speaks for nearly an hour without notes.  He draws on a wealth of knowledge of history, philosophy, argumentation and literature.  His diction and vocabulary are exemplary.  It is a pleasure to listen to a leading scholar who understands the issues and can articulate them with such clarity and fairness.  His analysis should be considered an essential antidote to the emotional sway of Darwin’s celebrated prose, so that you maintain your logical equilibrium while reading the Origin and see how the father of evolutionary theory is manipulating your mind and emotions.
Next resource of the week:  11/14/2009.  All resources: Catalog.

Origin 150th: Time to Mock the Creationists   11/20/2009    
Nov 20, 2009 — With the 150th anniversary of Darwin’s Origin just around the corner (Nov. 24th), Evangelist Ray Comfort and actor Kirk Cameron and volunteers are invading some 50 universities today to hand out free copies of Darwin’s magnum opus.  These, however, are spiked with a critical introduction that criticizes evolutionary theory and presents the Christian gospel.  Amanda Gefter at New Scientist is trying to pre-empt the effort.  She wrote an editorial mocking Comfort and trying to make the messenger look ridiculous.  Typical words in her article: outdated, wrong, bizarre, pseudo-scientific, ignorance, laughable, bananas.  Cameron says, “All we want to do is propose the opposing and correct view.” The Origin into Schools Project website elaborates:

A gracious man once said, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”  However, it seems that some contemporary atheists don’t share such honorable convictions.  When they found out that I was writing an Introduction to this book, they threatened lawsuits, tried to organize themselves into gangs with the intent of tearing the Introduction out of the book, and have even talked about book burnings.
The site also cites Darwin’s own words from his Introduction to the Origin: “A fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question.”  Richard Dawkins allegedly told students to rip out Comfort’s introduction.  Comfort responded, “It seems very strange that Professor Dawkins would say that my Introduction didn’t worry him at all, and in the next breath tell university students to rip it out.  If, I am, as he says, an ‘ignorant fool,’ then what I have written will be nothing but ignorance and foolishness.  So why is he so concerned?  I think the man protesteth too much.”
You can read Amanda’s hot air if you want to (remember, she’s the one whose motive-mongering piece was pulled by New Scientist – see 02/26/2009, but two months later described her vertigo when she was slain in the spirit of Charlie, 04/11/2009).  Notice that something different happens here at Creation-Evolution Headlines.  We give you the original sources and quote extensively from the evolutionists’ best champions.  Then we set apart our editorializing which, though spicy and satirical sometimes, is directly related to things just said by the champions in the body of the article.  It critically examines their own specific statements and logic.  You can check it all for yourself.  Gefter, and her henchmen at New Scientist, by contrast, hand you predigested us-vs-them, either-or verdicts like this: As for the creationist Origin, I see no need to seriously worry about it.  The arguments in Comfort’s introduction are so outdated, wrong and at times downright bizarre that anyone with a half a brain will realize immediately that it is bogus; meanwhile, Darwin’s well-reasoned, evidence-based text that follows shines with added brilliance by comparison.
We respect our intelligent readers too much to hand them such shallow rhetoric full of loaded words.  Here is a link to the Introduction Gefter swept into the trash, hoping you wouldn’t look at it: Introduction (PDF).  Go ahead and read it yourself and form your own opinion.  Gefter then appealed to authority by calling in the Darwin Dobermans, Eugenie Scott and Ken Miller, hoping you would fear them instead of forming your own opinion.
    Our commentary should not be construed as an endorsement of Comfort or his approach, but his website at Living Waters is completely up-front, honest and open about what he is trying to do.  He certainly has the right in a free country to present his point of view with his ministry’s own money.  If you think some of his arguments are weak, you can judge for yourself.  Some of them might be strong.  Keep in mind that one strong, true argument can overcome a thousand volleys of mudslinging.  Our readers are intelligent enough to discern valid arguments on their own.
    The Darwin Party already has complete control of the universities, the textbooks, the media, the courts and the government.  Why are they so paranoid about one man handing out free material that is 90% Charlie and 10% critical analysis?  Who is really going bananas here?  They retort and deride; we report so you can decide.
Next headline on:  DarwinMediaBible and Theology   Responsibility is just a game, the Darwinians say.  Stick out your tongue as in the picture when reading this one from 11/22/2008.

Evolutionary Explanation Is Always a Work in Progress   11/19/2009    
Nov 19, 2009 — As evolutionary biologists examine diverse plants and animals, it seems they are never able to give a definitive answer as to how they got that way.  Their work merely begins or continues to search for clues.  Like mothers, their work is never done.  At least this provides them job security.

  1. Box jellyfish:  There are about 50 species of box jellyfish.  Some have highly toxic stings; some do not.  Some mate in groups without contact; others appear to pair off.  PhysOrg reported that a team of scientists from several universities has “unraveled the evolutionary relationships among the various species of box jellyfish, thereby providing insight into the evolution of their toxicity.”  While this knowledge will be useful to help predict which species are toxic to humans, and which antivenom strategies will be likely to work, it does not explain how box jellyfish evolved in the first place, nor how they developed “as many as 24 eyes, capable of sensing light and forming an image of their surroundings.”  Indeed, “Why they have complex eyes, how well they see, and what role vision plays in their mating and feeding behavior remain unknown.”
  2. Orchids:  There are about 25,000 species of orchids.  These are among the most diverse flowering plants in the world.  They have the most diverse pollinators; many have structures that are very specific to certain insects or birds.  PhysOrg posted an article about the “evolution of orchids” that actually spoke of diversification within orchids, not how they evolved from something else.  “Charles Darwin and many other scientists have long been puzzled by the evolution of orchids, the largest and most diverse family of flowering plants on Earth,” the article began.  “Now genetic sequencing is giving scientists insights into how these plants could evolve so quickly.”
        Genetic studies show that there is a special petal controlled by different genes than the others.  “This genetic difference enables it to evolve differently to the remainder of the flower, producing structures such as the petal resembling the female bee” in the fly orchid.  This species tricks male bees to come and “mate” with the flower, which in turn gets pollinated by the bee.  Another suggestion in the article says “The rapid evolution of so many species of orchids and other flowering plants may also lie in the fact that flowering plants exhibit allopolyploidy or genetic redundancy, in which there is more than one gene to do a particular job.”  This explanation, however, does not address why other flowering plants don’t use allopolyploidy to the same extent as orchids, nor why genetic redundancy could not be viewed as a design strategy by a Creator.  It should be noted that staunch creationists admit a significant degree of adaptive natural selection within created kinds, while denying that orchids evolved from some other kind of plant.
  3. Moa please:  “The evolutionary history of New Zealand’s many extinct flightless moa has been re-written in the first comprehensive study of more than 260 sub-fossil specimens to combine all known genetic, anatomical, geological and ecological information about the unique bird lineage,” Science Daily announced.  Aside from the fact that prior knowledge about said evolution becomes passé with this announcement, did it really explain how the giant birds came to be?  “The many species of moa are thought to have descended from a common ancestor of other large living flightless birds that evolved on separate southern landmasses when Gondwana broke up: the ostrich in Africa; the emu and cassowary in Australia; the rhea in South America; and New Zealand’s kiwi.  Another presumed relative was the extinct giant elephant bird in Madagascar.”  That simple thought, however, must pass through a “complex history” after the land masses separated.  “We were surprised to discover just how recently many of the moa species -- and probably many of the iconic New Zealand animals and plants -- evolved in the South Island after the uplift of the [Southern] Alps,” the researchers from the University of New South Wales said.
  4. BatsScience Daily printed a story about the “evolution of bat migration.”  This story had little to do with Darwinian evolution.  It was more about behaviors of existing populations looking for food.  Even so, it involved a convoluted explanation about how behaviors evolved multiple times: “The researchers revealed that the migratory behavior over long and short distance evolved repeatedly and for the most part independently within the family of vespertilionid bats.”  Speculation rules again: “The evolution as well as the loss of the migratory behavior is probably based on the fast evolutionary adaptation that is caused by climate changes or changes in the social life of the bat.”  This composite explanation does not distinguish bats from other species that lived during the same climate changes, and fails to establish a natural law that causes evolution.  Some might dispute the claim that climate causes anything in evolution.  It was also not explained whether changes in the social life of any population are causes or effects of evolution.
  5. Cold-blooded goat?  PhysOrg and National Geographic celebrated the discovery of an extinct island goat that might have “lived like a reptile” – i.e., exhibited the ability to reduce its body temperature depending on the food supply.  “A prehistoric goat survived for millennia on a resource-poor island by living like a reptile—changing its growth rate and metabolism to match the available food supply, according to a new study of the animal’s bones.”  Of course, the goat had fur and all the mammalian characteristics – not scales.  It’s not clear what can be adduced from bones alone, or what this claim has to do with evolution, unless it is an illustration of devolution to a more primitive life history.  The diminutive goats on the island Majorca, near Spain, apparently had no natural enemies and a limited food supply.  They survived for a long time before humans hunted them to extinction about 3,000 years ago, the articles said.
  6. Flashing sabers:  Big sharp teeth apparently don’t translate into ferociousness.  Live Science said that “Study Paints Sabertooths as Relative Pussycats.”  Compared to the extinct America lion, the saber-tooth tiger Smilodon fatalis might have been mild-mannered.  This was based purely on sexual dimorphism, though.  “After generations of male-male competition, the males of some species evolve to be much larger than their mates,” the article stated.  Since saber-tooth cats have less sexual dimorphism, the males of the species may not have had the aggressiveness suggested by the dimorphism in American lions.  Even so, this says little about the origin of these animals.  It accommodates the limited variation within created kinds that a creationist would accept.
  7. Hobbitses:  The latest salvo in the controversy over how to interpret Homo florensiensis, the small-skeleton human remains found in Indonesia a few years ago, comes from Stony Brook University Medical Center.  PhysOrg reported that researchers there decided it represents a new human species – not a population of modern humans with a brain disorder called microcephaly.  Their explanation, however, revolves around different notions about what evolution would do.  Were these little people modern humans that became dwarfed while stuck on an island?  “It is difficult to believe an evolutionary change would lead to less economical movement,” said Dr. William Jungers of Stony Brook.  “It makes little sense that this species re-evolved shorter thighs and legs because long hind limbs improve bipedal walking.  We suspect that these are primitive retentions instead.”  What makes sense to one researcher, however, or what looks primitive, may be disputed by others.
        Perhaps the Darwinians should tackle the more difficult question raised by another article on PhysOrg about brains.  Neuroscientists at UCLA found that the human brain has a remarkable ability to reorganize itself and compensate for disabilities.  The blind, for instance, learn to “see” things from tiny changes in heat, sound, touch and other cues.  The neuroscientists found that the frontal lobes and memory centers in blind subjects become enlarged, “perhaps offering an anatomical foundation for some of blind individuals’ enhanced skills.” See also the 11/17/2009 entry about brain size.
  8. Cannibal evolution:  Cannibals are apparently more fit than the rest of us.  They have a gene mutation that protects them from the ravages of a brain disease that would result from eating their fellow humans’ gray matter.  New Scientist called this “the most clear-cut evidence yet of human evolution in action.”  Simon Mead the University College London is all excited.  “I hope it will become a textbook example of how evolution happens,” he said.  “It’s a striking and timely example, given the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin’s Origin of Species.”  It wasn’t clear if Mead was advocating cannibalism for health and fitness, but it left a question begging of whether a single point mutation in one gene that breaks kuru, a brain disease, is really evolution.  Presumably the survivors are the only ones left from a population that died from the ravages of the disease.  More apt might be the question of why the people of Papua New Guinea ever were led to believe that engaging in a risky behavior was a worthwhile way of showing respect for the dead.
Darwin got a little more personal notoriety – as if he even needed any more – by PhysOrg.  It wasn’t for his theory of evolution, though.  Some museum curators are glad he collected specimens of mockingbirds on the Galapagos, because it may enable them to reintroduce an endangered species back to the islands.  The observations sound downright un-Darwinian: “They discovered that the populations living on the small satellite islands of Champion and Gardner-by-Floreana do not have long independent evolutionary histories.,” the article ended.  “In fact, they split from each other perhaps as recently as Darwin’s visit and probably as the result of the extinction of the Floreana population – a bridge between the two.”
We keep showing you ad nauseum how the Darwinians play their game (see “How not to work a puzzle” in the 05/01/2008 commentary).  Their explanations are not conclusions emerging naturally from the observations; they are beliefs imposed on the observations by a prior chosen world view.  Watch for the tricks of the trade: extrapolating microevolution (which is not disputed even by Biblical creationists) to molecules-to-man Darwinian evolution, tossing in ample fudge-words (e.g., this suggests that such-and-such might, could have, may have, or probably evolved); promissory notes (this promises to shed light on evolution), composite cop-outs (such-and-such evolved because of climate, or a social change, or whatever), assuming evolution instead of demonstrating it, and failing to deal with the primary question of the origin of genetic information for complex, functional capabilities.
    Since critics of their game have been expelled in advance, the Darwinian storytelling society has become a corrupt, incestuous tradition.  They do not feel threatened because of their enormous power base inside academia, protected by media and legal checkpoints.  If you ever make it past the guards into their protected enclaves, ask them to explain to you “the evolution of the tendency of evolutionary biologists to engage in just-so storytelling” and see if the question even registers on their intellectual radar screens.  Most likely you will get a blank stare for a few seconds, followed by a personal attack, like What are you, some kind of creationist?  We’re talking about science here!  Guards: seize this fundamentalist!
Next headline on:  Marine BiologyBirdsMammalsFossilsEarly ManDarwin and Evolutionary Theory
Consequences of Bad Choices: Well, Duh   11/18/2009    
Nov 18, 2009 — Responsibility – integrity – honesty – respect – healthy choices.  Those are the values of a bygone generation.  Do we need science to tell us that our grandparents were right?
    PhysOrg reported that “Teen sexual activity and gambling [is] associated with taking nonprescribed medications to get high.”  And Live Science reported, “Coed Dorms Fuel Sex and Drinking.”  Some 90% of college dorms are now coed.  A new study of 500 students from five college campuses, published in the Journal of American College Health, found that students in coed dorms were 2.5 times more likely to engage in binge drinking weekly.  “Perhaps unsurprisingly, the study found students in coed dorms were significantly more likely to have had multiple sexual partners in the past year,” Science Daily added.  “Pornography use was also higher among students in coed dorms.”
    The profligate students were not necessarily correlated with frats or sororities.  Students in gender-specific dorms were usually placed there by the administration, not by their own choice.  That sounds so 1950.
When you find something incredibly obviously stupid going on in public life, that makes no sense at all, and produces terrible consequences, you can usually find a Darwin-based liberal policy behind it.  What’s Darwin got to do with the above stories, you ask?  Well, since the 1960s, Judeo-Christian values have been marginalized in society under the guise of separation of church and state.  Universities have stepped on themselves to remove anything resembling the Ten Commandments.  Simultaneously, the Church of Darwin has been preaching in their sanctuaries (the school classrooms) that we are all evolved animals and that selfishness and promiscuity are just natural.
    If they find the consequences distasteful, well, duh, what did they expect?  Did they expect the children of tolerance and liberation and selfishness to become altruistic scientists?  Teach young people that they are mere animals and they will act like them.  When the subjects outnumber the researchers, Darwinistic science will lead to its own demise – in the Animal Farm.
Next headline on:  HealthPolitics and Ethics
In Brains, It’s Quality, Not Quantity, that Counts   11/17/2009    
Nov 17, 2009 — Most anthropologists are obsessed with brain size.  How many cc’s (cubic centimeters) of brain could fit in the skull of this or that hominid?  PhysOrg reminds us that “Bigger not necessarily better, when it comes to brains.”  Here’s a shocker from scientists at Queen Mary University: “Tiny insects could be as intelligent as much bigger animals, despite only having a brain the size of a pinhead.”
    The article describes the brain range: from pinhead sizes in insects to the 9kg computers in whales.  What we don’t often think about it is that not all that matter is devoted to intelligence.  Some of it is redundant, or offers refinement of existing functions.  A large animal may need more brain because it has more body to control.  One researcher said, “To use a computer analogy, bigger brains might in many cases be bigger hard drives, not necessarily better processors.”  There’s no reason a high degree of intelligence could not fit in a very small space.
It’s not the hardware; it’s the programming.  And with human brains, as with computers, no amount of good programming can compensate for a stupid user.
Next headline on:  Human BodyEarly Man
  Could Mt. St. Helens grow to its pre-eruption size in less than two centuries?  That possibility was reported in our 11/21/2007 entry.  And that same month, on 11/30/2007, we asked “Who knows the age of the Grand Canyon?”

New Word Means Green Living: Bioplastics   11/17/2009    
Nov 17, 2009 — Did you know that 10% of America’s oil consumption goes into making plastic?  The plastic products from oil pollute our landfills and harm the environment.  Next month, a company founded by a biology professor from MIT is going to make plastic from something green: corn.
    Anthony Siskey and Oliver Peoples, according to PhysOrg, sequenced a gene in bacterium that makes a naturally occurring polyester called polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA).  The bacterium creates the bioplastic out of sunlight, water, and a carbon source.  By tweaking the bacterium to produce more PHA, the researchers will be able turn it loose on corn, sugar cane or vegetable oil and other plant material.  The bacteria will reciprocate by cheerfully generating plastic for people.  The resulting bioplastics are biodegradable and reduce dependence on foreign oil.
    Speaking of oil, maybe that is not a product of decayed plants.  PhysOrg reported evidence for a 19th-century theory that oil and gas can be produced by inorganic processes deep in the earth.  If so, that may alter estimates of how much global oil remains in the earth’s crust.

Science is one of man’s most valuable activities when it is done right.  It is an organized form of knowledge construction that should result in benefits for mankind and the environment.  Absent from this project were useless excursions into storytelling.  The researchers made a discovery, tested techniques to amplify the output, applied it, and now have the opportunity to market it.
    If they are successful, it will be a win-win situation for everyone.  Knowledge and wealth will be generated.  The researchers deserve to make money for their invention, and businesses will create new jobs to mass-produce it, create products, and distribute them.  Consumers will enjoy the products, and the earth will be greener.  Governments will benefit from increased tax revenues from both income and sales taxes.  Dependence on foreign oil will decline – a political and economic benefit.  This shows that applied science is not a zero sum game.  Contrary to mercantilism and socialism, nobody has to get poorer for someone to get richer.  Because these researchers had the freedom to investigate and dream, everyone stands to benefit from their scientific discovery.
    And who is the unsung hero of our story?  The bacterium, which already had the information technology to take simple water and sunlight and carbon and build a complex polymer out of it.  There’s a wealth of additional technologies embedded in the living world waiting to be discovered.  The future is bright for biomimetics and information-based research.  Let’s stomp out of the Darwin Theater of the Absurd (11/29/2004) and each help make the world a better place with real, testable, scientific research.  Since science is a product of character and rationality that is not owned by the university, you don’t even have to be a professor to take part (see Citizen Scientist).
Next headline on:  BiomimeticsHealth
Darwinizing Everything   11/16/2009    
Nov 16, 2009 — 150 years after The Origin of Species, it’s clear that Darwin succeeded in one thing: granting biologists free rein to speculate about how everything under the sun evolved.  Anything not understood, or seemingly contrary to the law of natural selection, or to previous speculations, can be shuttled off to future research.
  1. Noble amoebas:  You may have thought that survival of the fittest rewarded the strong and selfish.  At least that’s now many governments and individuals understood it (see 11/12/2009).  Now, Science Daily is telling us that natural selection rewards the noble – in amoebas.  This surprising conclusion was sloughed off by researcher Joan Strassman (Rice U): “In some ways it’s no surprise that resistance to cheaters has evolved.”
  2. Female choice:  Sexual selection is supposed to be driven by female choice.  That’s the simple answer provided in many a news article or textbook, showing peahens and other birds sizing up the strutting males.  Readers of an article in PhysOrg may be surprised to read, therefore, “Remarkably, there is no consensus among biologists over the key question why females choose among males.”  (This answer also begs the question of whether “choice” lies within the capabilities of birds under the law of natural selection.)  Readers may be further surprised to learn that one conclusion of researchers at Upsalla University is that “Female choice benefits mothers more than offspring.” 
  3. Evolution of the rat race:  Charles Q. Choi in his 10-part series on human evolution for Live Science wrote about “Our Crazy Family Tree” in part 7.  He admitted that the fossil record appeared to take man in “bizarre directions” but quoted Ian Tattersall confidently asserting that “These fossils tell us that human evolution was a long process of experimentation, not the outcome of a long process of fine-tuning leading just to us.”  Choi leaned primarily on the opinions of John Hawks (U of Wisconsin) who said, “The fact that we stuck around when others didn’t could be because of how we heavily leaned on technology in ways that earlier hominids didn’t,” he said, neglecting to address the origin of technology.  He continued, nevertheless, saying, “Maybe that’s what it took to survive this rat race.”  The survival of other primates (and rats) without technology would seem puzzling if it was essential in the case of humans.
  4. Shrinking evolution:  Is it really evolution in the Darwinian sense when fitness goes down?  Charles Q. Choi in his 9th episode on human evolution proposed the conundrum that “Humans Still Evolving as Our Brains Shrink.”  In Live Science John Hawks told him that even though “When it comes to recent evolutionary changes, we currently maybe have the least specific details with regard the brain,” nevertheless it appears that our brains are 10% smaller than those of our ancestors.  Maybe it’s like the shrinking microchip in computers.  Hawks thought otherwise; “As to why is it shrinking, perhaps in big societies, as opposed to hunter-gatherer lifestyles, we can rely on other people for more things, can specialize our behavior to a greater extent, and maybe not need our brains as much.”  Perhaps he should speak for himself.  Maybe humans will grow two heads, Choi speculated in his last entry in the series on Live Science.  This led to a discussion of taboos and science fiction.  He quoted Peter Ward looking into his crystal ball and speculating, “We’re opening up new ways of evolving involved with machines.”  Almost sounds like intelligent design.
  5. Justice for monkeys:  Frans de Waal on New Scientist claims that “Monkeys share our sense of injustice.”  By that, he surely does not mean that the same Just God imparted some moral sense to others of his creatures than humans, but rather that our sense of justice comes from the bottom up, through rudimentary indications of a sense of morality that somehow emerged by evolution.  Citing studies on capuchin monkeys, bonobos and dogs (which, incidentally, did not express their judicial philosophy in writing), de Waal said, “All of this shows that our hostility to conspicuous consumption and excess at the top is only natural,” (whatever natural means).  “It is part of a long evolutionary history in which cooperation and equity go hand in hand, even though it is undeniable that we have also a hierarchical streak.”
  6. The origin of organism:  A prerequisite to understanding the origin of species is to understand what an organism is.  David Quellar and Joan Strassman (Rice U) are arguing that we need to change the meaning of organism.  “Some of the traits scientists use to describe an organism, such as individuality or even membership in the same species, may not be necessary to achieve organismality,” PhysOrg said, summarizing their views.  “What is necessary, they argue, is a commonality of interests and minimal conflict that when combined, makes this the premier level of adaptation.”  They came up with a scheme for determining which entities constitute “organismality” based on the degree of cooperation and conflict.  They claimed that humans are individual organisms, but if their definition of organism centers around “shared purpose,” it would seem to open the door to proposing that a totalitarian society is an organism acted on by natural selection.
  7. Composite explanation for sex:  The “evolutionary cost of males,” a problem that perplexed Darwin, was addressed in a press release posted by Science Daily.  Researchers at the University of Oregon, some of whom are male, were able to reassure themselves that the benefits of males outweigh their costs.  “Many scientists have argued that outcrossing [e.g., sex] has evolved to avoid the genetic consequences of inbreeding, while others have emphasized the role that outcrossing plays in generating the genetic variation necessary for evolutionary change,” explained Patrick Phillips.  So which is it?  “Our work shows that both of these factors are important,” he said, while admitting earlier, “biologists going all the way back to Charles Darwin have been puzzled why sexual reproduction via outcrossing exists at all.
        If a problem has puzzled leading biologists for 150 years, though, it is unlikely that one opinion in 2009 will change things.  A composite explanation also leads to philosophical problems.  If a scientist says, Your insanity is due to your mother’s anxiety, or to your horoscope, or to your genes, you might wish to identify the proximate cause, or claim the explanation is not helpful in producing understanding.
  8. Color me blue:  Why do animals, especially males, have so many different colors?  The question was addressed in an article on Science Daily.  Sure enough, Darwin had the answer: sexual selection.  But two UCLA scientists preferred to “emphasize another evolutionary factor.”  They believe that “The cost of attacking the wrong type of male and of being attacked by the wrong type of male favors the rich diversity of coloration and of birdsong and chemical cues, such as odors, to identify rivals.”  While this may explain the exaggeration of existing traits, can it explain the origin of the proteins, cells, tissues and organs that produce the traits?  Isn’t it odd, too, that after all these years, “The idea never really reached the level of attention in evolutionary biology that it deserved.”  Their theory is another composite explanation: “this finding can be explained either by selection against mating with the wrong species or selection against fighting with the wrong species,” they said.
  9. Speed limit:  According to PhysOrg, researchers at University of Pennsylvania are trying to model limits to the pace of evolution.  “A major conclusion of the work is that for some organisms, possibly including humans, continued evolution will not translate into ever-increasing fitness,” the article began.  “Moreover, a population may accrue mutations at a constant rate -- a pattern long considered the hallmark of ‘neutral’ or non-Darwinian evolution -- even when the mutations experience Darwinian selection.”  Remarkably, “In some of these [fitness] landscapes, the fitness eventually levels out and the organism ceases to adapt, even though mutations may continue to accrue.”  How fitness could be assessed objectively in this un-Darwinian confusion was not stated in the short article (see “Fitness for Dummies,” 10/29/2002).
  10. Platypus orderPhysOrg reported on studies at the University of Adelaide about the duck-billed platypus.  Because the platypus has 10 sex chromosomes compared to our two, they are trying to get “valuable clues about the evolution of Y chromosomes in all mammals, including humans.”  What they found, however, doesn’t sound like Darwin’s undirected path of evolution: “We discovered that a remarkably organised mechanism must exist in platypus, where sex chromosomes from one end pair first and then they go down the sex chromosome chain, just like a zipper.  There is nothing random about it.
  11. Romantic religion:  “We are proposing a new way to look at religion – as a strategy to advance evolutionary goals,” announced Yexin Jessica Li at Arizona State University in Tempe (see “Evolutionizing of Religion Continues,” 11/09/2009).  Her new idea is that religion begins in romance.  “Rivals on the dating scene could make one feel closer to God, according to new research that suggests one’s religiousness may be more closely related to mating strategies than previously known.”  She did not address the large number of singles who are strongly devout, nor the mixed couples of religious and non-religious that seem to mate just fine.  And if someone’s strongly-held theological beliefs, often supported by reason and evidence, can be modeled as reproductive strategies by unseen evolutionary forces, how do the strongly held beliefs of evolutionary biologists escape being characterized the same way?
  12. Darwin’s dark matter:  Where is the secret to Darwin’s mystery of mysteries?  It’s in the dark matter of the genome, said Science Daily.  What’s Darwin’s mystery of mysteries, you ask?  The origin of species.  That’s right: “Speciation is one of the most fascinating, unsolved problems in biology,” said a researcher at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.  We know that most hybrids produce sterile offspring.  It would seem unlikely, therefore, that hybridization could lead to a new species.  The team looked into the dark matter of the genome and found an “evolutionary arms race” in the behavior of chromatin and a gene that binds it.  Maybe that is where speciation begins.  On the other hand, “Altered expression and localization has profoundly deleterious consequences for the process of sperm formation, a process that remains a mystery and is under active study” in the lab.  Stay tuned.  The article did not link the genetic process to adaptation in the phenotype.
Speaking of phenotypes, David Houle of Florida State University complained in PNAS1 that evolutionary biologists have been neglecting phenomics – the study of morphology – for fascination with genomics – the study of genes.  The phenotype is where natural selection acts.  We need mapping between the two.  Why?  “the causation of key phenomena such as natural selection and disease takes place in a continuous phenotype space whose relationship to the genotype space is only dimly grasped,” he said.  Trouble is, this involves massive amounts of data collection.  It would be like counting the hairs on our heads, he said, providing a rare reference to the Bible in a scientific paper: “The title of this article includes a quotation from Luke 12:7, where God is ascribed the power to evaluate the tiniest details of existence, not only to number the hairs of our heads, but to understand their meaning.  Can we hope to do as well?
    In his paper, which was more a challenge to fellow biologists than an announcement of a scientific finding, he gave some suggestions for narrowing the mountain of data to focus on the relevant factors.  He used a mathematical analysis to show how trends in evolution might be predicted once genomes and “phenomes” are mapped to each other.  But he admitted, “the need [of such mapping] in evolutionary biology is particularly acute, because no predictive science of evolutionary dynamics can emerge without such understanding.”  Indeed, “The study of natural selection is even more primitive than our knowledge of phenotypes,” he said.  It sounds like the challenge of understanding the origin of species by evolution is still primitive 150 years after Darwin.  At least now we can celebrate the sophistication of our ignorance.
1.  David Houle, “Numbering the hairs on our heads: The shared challenge and promise of phenomics,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, published online October 26, 2009, doi: 10.1073/pnas.0906195106.
The Darwinians, who took over biology in the 19th century, are still busily engaged in mythmaking, comforting the feebleminded who accept their explanations as wisdom, denouncing the heretics who call their bluff.  They wear S on their chests: Science, the equivalent of Superman in intellectual circles.  They are phonies.  Bring out the kryptonite of critical analysis.  It scares them to death, even though they never had special powers to begin with.
Next headline on:  Darwin and Evolutionary TheoryEarly ManFossilsBible, Theology, or Philosophy
Insect Wing Photocopied for Good   11/15/2009    
Nov 15, 2009 — Biomimetics is the new science of imitating nature – but why not save a step, and just copy the design directly?  That’s what Aussie and British researchers did.  They wanted a self-cleaning surface that could repel moisture and dust, so they made a template of an insect wing.  And why not?  “Insects are incredible nanotechnologists,” reported Science Daily.  Their wings are self-cleaning, frictionless and super-water-repellant.
    Insect wings have these properties due to their properties at the scale of billionths of a meter.  “For instance, some wings are superhydrophobic, due to a clever combination of natural chemistry and their detailed structure at the nanoscopic scale,” the article said.  “This means that the wing cannot become wet, the tiniest droplet of water is instantly repelled.  Likewise, other insect wing surfaces are almost frictionless, so that any tiny dust particles that might stick are sloughed away with minimal force.”  That’s a dream surface for many human applications.  Instead of having to invent a surface by imitation, the research team is developing a way to use the wing as a natural template to cast a polymer surface that duplicates the exact structure of the wing onto silicone gel.  “One of the advantages of this approach is that no prior ‘design’ of the surface of the material is needed and so the team can exploit the enormous diversity of surface types from different insects and so produce materials with specific characteristics.”
    Evolution was only mentioned once in the opening paragraph: “The surfaces of many insect wings have evolved properties materials scientists only dream of for their creations.”  Evolution and creation sometimes make strange bedfellows.
Next time you see a tiny little gnat flying around, take a better look at it.  Would you have thought that its wings have such amazing properties that top researchers want to copy it?  Who trained those little insects to be “incredible nanotechnologists”?
    Good grief, evolution has nothing to do with it.  This is design from beginning to end.  It’s design in the tiniest of flying creatures that is so good, materials scientists “dream of their creations.”  Humans create; so does their Creator.  Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but plagiarism is copying some other Designer’s work without giving credit.
Program Note: this is the 600th entry in Creation-Evolution Headlines tagged with “Amazing Facts.”  Follow the Chain Links back through the past 9 years and you will find a wealth of incredible facts about design in nature.  That’s plenty of material to leave Charlie perpetually sick, wondering how his hopeless little speculation will ever explain them.  He gets sicker listening to the joyful sound of Christians across town singing with more and more gusto, Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of Creation.
Next headline on:  Terrestrial ZoologyBiomimeticsIntelligent DesignAmazing Facts
Nov 14, 2009 – Darwin Was Wrong is a conference that was held at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa on Nov 13-14, 2009.  A slate of PhD speakers from Logos Research Associates explained the scientific evidence against Darwin.  The lectures are being made available on combination disks with DVD and MP3 files by The Word for Today, Calvary Chapel’s online store.  Here’s a list of the speakers and their topics:
  • Dr John Baumgardner: So What If Darwin Was Wrong?
  • Dr Tom McMullen: Darwin Was Wrong about Science
  • Dr Steve Austin: Darwin Was Wrong about Geology
  • Dr Marcus Ross: Darwin Was Wrong about the Fossil Record
  • Dr Robert Carter: Darwin Was Wrong about the Complexity of Life
  • Dr John Sanford: Darwin Was Wrong about Genetics
  • Dr Jerry Bergman: Darwin Was Wrong about the Tree of Life
  • Dr Charles Ware: Darwin Was Wrong about Race
  • Dr Robert Carter: Darwin Was Wrong about the Origin of Man
  • Pastor Chuck Smith: Darwin Was Wrong about God
    This series was perfectly timed — right before the 150th anniversary of the publication of The Origin of Species..  The speakers unmasked the speculation masquerading as science that sent the world down a wrong path.
    Next resource of the week:  11/07/2009.  All resources: Catalog.

      The moon a hot spot to hang out?  You thought it was a dull, geological dead zone.  Not as this story from 11/09/2006 indicated.

    Is the Universe Evolving Upward?   11/13/2009    
    Nov 13, 2009 — It’s intuitively obvious that to get from a big bang to intelligent astronomers looking for evidence of the bang through telescopes, the amount of organization in the universe must increase over time dramatically.  Lately, astronomy has uncovered much more dynamism in space than previously recognized – but much of it seems destructive, not creative.

    1. Orion blast:  Look at the picture in this article on PhysOrg.  Something explosive happened in Orion.  It sent at least 40 stars careening outward at speeds up to 300,000 miles per hour.  They’re not sure what it was, but it had to pack a punch to fling out that much material.  “The energy in this explosive display is estimated to be as much as that from a hundred trillion suns; nothing else quite like it is known.”  The explosion is thought to have occurred just 500 years ago.
          Yet the Orion Nebula is often described as a “nursery of massive stars.”  Even its rare supernovae are described with creative energy: “the birth of massive stars involves a subset of the processes that produce all stars, while their deaths, as supernovae, will scatter into space the rich mix of chemical elements made in their nuclear furnaces, elements without which life could not exist.”  The power of suggestion leaves one thinking these explosions are giving birth to highly-organized complexes of matter called living cells.
    2. Crash into life:  “Was life founded on cyanide from space crashes?New Scientist asked.  In one sentence we have two destructive energetic things – crashes and cyanide – leading to life.  The article later spoke of “Life-giving poison.”
    3. Black holesLive Science wrote of black holes as “powerhouses of the universe.”  That they may be, but they are formed from the destruction of stars and result in singularities, where all information and order is lost.  What these energetic events create, if anything, is high-power cosmic rays that rip through our flesh after traveling across the universe.  “We detect some of these particles on Earth, where they still pack such a punch they can knock out electronics systems.”  The article was not trying to ascribe creative powers to black holes or cosmic rays.  It should be noted, though, that energy and organization are not one and the same.
    4. The outer limits:  One of the most energetic explosions known in space is enabling astronomers to probe the “dark ages” of the universe, reported PhysOrg.  Gamma-ray bursts are thought to occur when massive stars run out of fuel and collapse.  The rebound sends shock waves that are the most luminous events known.  The astronomers say this distant burst occurred when the universe was just 5% of its age, but involved the destruction of a star that must have been formed some other way.
    Cosmology enthusiasts are aware that astronomers have argued over dark matter for decades.  PhysOrg asked if we really need dark matter.  The short article entertains the minority opinion that “we are simply misinterpreting the data and that what in fact is happening is that we don’t understand gravity.”  If we don’t yet understand something as everyday as gravity, it could be judged hubristic to presume we could understand the origin of complex entities like stars and life.
    You may find an article posted this month in ICR Acts & Facts magazine pertinent to this discussion.
    Next headline on:  AstronomyCosmologyPhysicsOrigin of Life
    Where Chairman Mao and Teenage Nihilists Got Their Motivation   11/12/2009    
    Nov 12, 2009 — What propelled Mao Zhedong to become the biggest mass murderer in world history?  Let a professor of Chinese history answer the question.  James Pusey (Bucknell U), writing in Nature this week for a series on “Global Darwin,”1 was explaining the vacuum left by the collapse of the reform movement in the early 20th century.  A “group of intellectuals” found Marxism attractive.  It was the fittest ideology:
    Many tried to fill it: Sun, Jiang Jieshi (Chiang Kaishek) and, finally, the small group of intellectuals who, in indignation at the betrayal at Versailles, found in Marxism what seemed to them the fittest faith on Earth to help China to survive.
        This was not, of course, all Darwin’s doing, but Darwin was involved in it all.  To believe in Marxism, one had to believe in inexorable forces pushing mankind, or at least the elect, to inevitable progress, through set stages (which could, however, be skipped).  One had to believe that history was a violent, hereditary class struggle (almost a ‘racial’ struggle); that the individual must be severely subordinated to the group; that an enlightened group must lead the people for their own good; that the people must not be humane to their enemies; that the forces of history assured victory to those who were right and who struggled.
        Who taught Chinese these things?  Marx?  Mao?  No.  Darwin.
    The ideology that led Mao to murder 77 million of his own people (11/30/2005) began with a view of nature that values struggle and fitness over the individual.  Though acknowledging that the political currents in China were complex, with reformers like Yan Fu and Sun Yat-sen incorporating Darwinian principles without radical revolution, Pusey placed the worldview that empowered Marxist ideology squarely at the feet of Darwin.  Darwin was Mao’s ideological mentor.
        Darwinian ideas can produce murderous results in individuals, too.  The Sunday Times Online printed an article that described the Darwinian motivations behind some of the serial killers of recent memory.  “The naturalist [Darwin] outraged the church, prompting a bitter debate that still sets creationists against evolutionists,” Dennis Sewell wrote.  “Now a sinister link has emerged between his work and the recent spate of high-school killings by crazed, nihilistic teenagers.”  Despite Darwin’s personal reputation as an “amiable Victorian gent,” Sewell continued, he “has been fingered as a racist, an apologist for genocide, and the inspiration of a string of psychopathic killers.”  The shooters at Columbine High School, for instance, saw themselves as eliminators of the weak.  Harris wore “Natural Selection” on his T-shirt the day of the shooting spree.  Many other artifacts gathered afterwards, described in the article, uncovered the boys’ fascination with “survival of the fittest.”
        In 2007, detectives intercepted a school shooting in Pennsylvania.  They “discovered that their suspect often logged on to a social networking site called Natural Selection’s Army,” the article says.  Sewell discussed a personality cult around Harris and Klebold in certain chatrooms and websites, including a computer game that lets the player act out the massacre.  “Natural Selection” apparel is hot with these aficionados, and “‘Natural Selection’ is the name of a popular computer game in which competing teams attempt to annihilate one another – a sign that Darwin’s term is still associated by many teenagers with sudden and extreme violence.”  Another case is the killing spree in 2007 in Finland by Pekka-Eric Auvinen, who declared in his manifesto before the event that he was a social Darwinist wanting to weed out the unfit.  In his words: “It’s time to put natural selection and survival of the fittest back on track.
        Sewell acknowledged that Darwin himself would have been horrified by all this.  He knows that other great figures have been used by murderers as their inspiration.  Still, he was not ready to let the bearded old man off the hook.  “One conclusion implicit in evolutionary theory is that human existence has no ultimate purpose or special significance.... Darwin also taught that morality has no essential authority, but is something that itself evolved,” he continued.  These simple (and simplistic) ideas are certainly accessible to disturbed adolescents who feel nothing stops them from taking natural law into their own hands.  And Darwin himself wrote in 1881, “Looking to the world at no very distant date, what an endless number of the lower races will have been eliminated by the higher civilized races throughout the world.
        Sewell is author of the book The Political Gene: How Darwin’s Ideas Changed Politics.  His Times article was published on the Science page, not the Opinion page.  On page 2, he continued supporting his premise that Darwin’s views feed into the nihilism behind high school shootings – and political genocides – because it destroys all moral restraint.  One particular example shows this is not an isolated interpretation.  He said, “Cheerleaders celebrating Darwin’s 200th birthday in colleges across America last February sang ‘Randomness is good enough for me, If there’s no design it means I’m free’ – lines from a song by the band Scientific Gospel.”  With a gospel like that, no wonder some go beyond the mere abandonment of sexual mores taught by their parents.  “But wackos such as Harris and Auvinen can just as readily interpret it as a licence to kill.”  Sewell ended by pointing out that we cannot begin to address the issues when presented only with a “bowdlerized account of Darwin’s work” – i.e., a sanitized version portraying Darwin as a scientific saint.  He said, “The more sinister implications of the world-view that has come to be called ‘Darwinism’ — and the interpretation the teenage nihilists put on it – are as much part of the Darwin story as the theory of evolutions [sic].”
    1.  James Pusey, “Global Darwin: Revolutionary road,” Nature 462, 162-163 (12 November 2009) | doi:10.1038/462162a.
    You have just seen what two scholars said who were not intelligent design leaders, creationists, or Bible-thumping preachers.  If you will not listen to the latter, then listen to the former.  You heard them saying what the preachers would have said anyway.  Let’s recap the list of principles that Pusey said you have to believe in to be a Marxist:
    1. Inexorable forces push mankind to inevitable progress (are we there yet?)
    2. There are set stages of progress (which can be skipped; e.g., by revolution).
    3. History is a story of violent struggle (i.e., violence, not peace, is the ultimate reality).
    4. The struggle is between classes or races (meaning, genocide is sometimes a moral obligation).
    5. The individual must be severely subordinated to the group (so you are just a pawn in a game played by forces of nature).
    6. An enlightened group must lead the people for their own good (e.g., the Communist Party leaders, who lived more royally than Czars, while their people suffered in famines and cramped apartments or in prison camps).
    7. People must not be humane to their enemies (or to the unfit).
    8. The forces of history assure victory to those who struggle (i.e., evolve or perish; eliminate the Mother Theresas and hospitals who unnaturally prolong the life of the unfit).
    Again: who taught the Chinese these things?  Marx?  Mao?  No.  Darwin.
        What a world we live in.  On one side you have radical revolutionaries and teenage nihilists killing for Darwin.  On the other you have radical Muslims killing for Allah.  What to do?  Run not to the poorly-named Scientific Gospel, or to any self-proclaimed messiah who’s dead, but to the true gospel of the risen Lord Jesus Christ.  Run to the true Messiah who gave his life for his friends.  Run to Teacher whose two greatest commandments were to love God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind, and to love your neighbor as yourself.  Notice how un-Darwinian his Sermon on the Mount is.  The truth, not randomness, will set you free.  The truth will lead to a flourishing free society based on individual responsibility and charity.  You will know teachers of lies and teachers of the truth by their fruits.
    Next headline on:  DarwinPolitics and EthicsBible and Theology
    Leaping to Evolutionary Conclusions   11/11/2009    
    Nov 11, 2009 — In classical science, researchers were reluctant to announce bold conclusions without sufficient data.  These days, it seems that science reporters are quick to announce sweeping conclusions that go far beyond the evidence – especially if they appear to support some sort of evolution.
    1. Planet magic crystal:  Where to find intelligent life?  Look for stars depleted in lithium.  That seems to be the implication of a story in the BBC News and Science Daily that extrapolated measurements of lower lithium levels from some stars known to have planets.  Maybe the aliens around those stars are using it for di-lithium crystals.  Clara Moskowitz didn’t even need the lithium.  Simple sunlike stars “May be Cosmic Road Signs to Intelligent Aliens,”  she announced on Space.com.  To her, this is all very logical: “The distinction between habitable planets and planets harboring intelligent life is based on the fact that intelligent life requires stars with lifetimes greater than the time required for intelligence to evolve,” she said.  “For example, in the case of this solar system, we could not find ourselves around a star with a lifetime less than 4.5 billion years.”  No other source for intelligent life than blind, purposeless evolution was entertained as a possibility.
    2. Cool earthScience Daily leapt from a Stanford study of isotope ratios in rocks said to be 3.4 billion years old that the earth was cooler a billion years earlier than thought, and therefore life must have evolved earlier than thought.  “Their findings suggest that the early ocean was much more temperate and that, as a result, life likely diversified and spread across the globe much sooner in Earth’s history than has been generally theorized.”  How one gets from isotope ratios to life was not clear.
    3. Origin of life:  An article in Science Daily is accompanied by a picture that looks like a scene from Frankenstein.  Researchers at NASA-Ames are zapping ice with ultraviolet light.  The headline announces, “NASA Reproduces A Building Block Of Life In Laboratory.”  What really happened was that they made uracil (one of the pyrimidines in RNA) under highly specialized conditions.  It’s not really news, anyway; Jonathan Sarfati on Creation.com wrote about this 10 years ago.  Nevertheless, one of the researchers fired a conclusion heard round the universe: “Since we are simulating universal astrophysical conditions, the same is likely wherever planets are formed.”  They speculated that UV light shining on ices could have formed the uracil in comets, but did not explain how the “whimpy” [sic] molecules would have survived re-entry or concentrated in significant amounts to do any good.
    4. Plant charityPhysOrg reported on work on the yellow jewelweed.  Experiments show that it recognizes kin from non-kin and adjusts its growth accordingly.  Conclusion: “This study demonstrates that plants are social organisms.  It shows that altruism is possible among plants and that response to both kin and strangers depend on the ecology of the plant species.”  When they find plants donating to the Red Cross, they’ll really be onto something.
    5. Missing dino link:  The BBC News announced, “Missing link dinosaur discovered.”  It’s a sauropod that the discoverers infer walked on two legs most of the time but occasionally walked on all fours.  But then the article added that it lived in the early Jurassic.  “Although structurally it’s intermediate, it lived too late to be an actual ancestor, because true sauropods already existed [then].”  Now it has to be described as an extinct “living fossil” (an oxymoron) because “the transition” (for which there is no evidence) “must have happened much earlier.”  Science Daily was only slightly more reserved, announcing Darwinly, “New Species Of Vegetarian Dinosaur Close To Common Ancestor Of Gigantic Sauropods.”
    6. Dino sweat:  Speaking of dinosaurs, PhysOrg reported on a comparative analysis of dinosaur body types.  The scientists inferred that some of them must have been warm blooded because if not it would be hard for them to function.  The headline: “Warm-blooded dinosaurs worked up a sweat.”  The article also claimed that this demonstrates that warm-bloodedness (endothermy) “evolved” earlier: “This pushes the evolution of endothermy further back into the ancient past than many researchers expected, suggesting that dinosaurs were athletic, endothermic animals throughout the Mesozoic era.”  No fossil dinosaur pole-vaulters were discovered.
    7. Bird philosophy:  Some songbirds appear to use sets of syllables in their songs.  PhysOrg jumped into a discussion of “The Link Between Birdsong And Human Language.”  Maybe there is more scholarship in those tweets than we thought.
    8. Talking genes:  Most popular science outlets were abuzz today about a paper in tomorrow’s Nature that discussed more research into the FOXP2 gene and its complex interactions with motor actions.1  The paper was reserved in its implications, as was the review by Dominguez and Rakic in the same issue,1 which said of the work by Konopka et al, “it answers many questions, but raises even more.”  You wouldn’t know that by looking at the Live Science headline, where Jeanna Bryner announced triumphantly, “Human Speech Gene Found.”  PhysOrg followed suit, saying, “Why can’t chimps speak?  Study links evolution of single gene to human capacity for language.”  New Scientist was a little more careful, saying in its headline, “Suite of chatterbox genes discovered.”  It should be noted that no gene can create language (in terms of semantics, syntax, and abstract thought).  What has been found is that mutations to the human FOXP2 gene cause serious problems with speech because the motor neurons involved in talking are affected.

    1.  Konopka et al, “Human-specific transcriptional regulation of CNS development genes by FOXP2,” Nature 462, 213-217 (12 November 2009) | doi:10.1038/nature08549.
    2.  Martin H. Dominguez and Pasko Rakic, “Language evolution: The importance of being human,” Nature 462, 169-170 (12 November 2009) | doi:10.1038/462169a.
    It’s kind of funny watching the Darwinists go ape in their news stories.  They are desperately trying to shore up support for Darwin by showing that naturalistic science can do the job from the bottom up.  This has all the hallmarks of East Germany boasting the day before the Berlin Wall fell.  In spite of his collapsing economy, Honnecker was so confident of his ideology, he was planning a new high-tech fence that didn’t need guards to mow down its citizens wishing to escape to freedom; it could do the job automatically.  Before he knew what hit him he was history.
        Look how Eugenie Scott is fighting little Ray Comfort with an arsenal of resources to overwhelm his little initiative to offer a little bit of Darwin-skeptical material to college students: she’s got a new Don’t Diss Darwin campaign to scare academia into action: “Creationism is coming to a campus near you.”  The campaign website even sells “Darwin: Evolve!” posters and other silly propaganda – posters, bookmarks and flyers.
        Why the paranoia?  The Darwin Stasi know that once the wall is breached there is no going back.  Do your part to tear down this wall.  Work fast: if it falls before Nov. 24, the 150th anniversary of Darwin’s Origin, wouldn’t that be one for the history books: big party for has-been falls flat.
    Next headline on:  StarsOrigin of LifePlantsDinosaursFossilsBirdsGeneticsHuman BodyDarwinEducationDumb Ideas
      A chilling reminder of the death toll brought by Darwin defenders: 11/30/2005.

    Darwin Marketed to Kids   11/10/2009    
    Nov 10, 2009 — There’s a move on to get Darwin’s ideas taught to tots.  Britain is giving a “birthday present to Darwin,” wrote Andrew Copson for The Guardian, in the form of national curriculum for primary schools that will mention evolution for the first time – and prohibit teaching of creationism or intelligent design in science lessons.
        The addition of evolution to elementary school curriculum was in response to a letter promoted by the British Humanist Association and signed by “scientists and experts.”  Copson was obviously delighted with what he perceived as a long-overdue smackdown against intelligent design – a belief espoused by the majority of his fellow Britons:

    “Those who care about public reason are routinely shocked by opinion polls and surveys showing high levels of credence given to the idea of intelligent design.  The most recent poll purported to demonstrate that a majority of Britons think that it should be taught alongside evolution in schools.
        To solve this problem, we have to know what causes it and there are two reasons why you might prefer the idea of intelligent design to that of evolution.  You may do so because your prior ideological convictions, mostly to do with religious belief, simply don’t allow you to accept the evidence that is presented to you.  Or you may do so because you genuinely do not know of the evidence for evolution, have never had it explained to you, or because you just don’t understand it.  In a society as decreasingly religious as England, it is impossible to believe that most of the people who do not accept evolution are motivated by ideology rather than ignorance.  This means that the best way to solve the problem is through better education and that is what makes the inclusion of evolution in the science curriculum as early as possible so important.
    Repeatedly in his article, Copson characterized the Darwin doubters as ignorant, but refused to acknowledge any ideological bias on his part.  He also made it seem as if all evidence is for evolution and against religion – despite numerous evidential claims by intelligent design against evolution.  He spoke favorably of a slate of new children’s books on evolution such as What Darwin Saw, How Whales Walked Into the Sea, and Mammals Who Morph.  “This is a good thing, because as evolution is arguably the most important concept underlying the life sciences,” he said, winning SEQOTW for the following non-sequitur: “providing children with an understanding of it [evolution] at the earliest possible age will surely help lay the foundations for a surer scientific understanding later on.”
        A new company is making Darwin toys for tots.  Charlie’s Playhouse offers “Evolution for kids” in the form of apparel, games, cards, and a giant evolution timeline kids can hop and skip on.  Of special interest is their 30-second commercial, Why are we making evolution toys?  The answer: nobody else is.  The commercial laments the thousands of toys about physics, biology and chemistry – even all those popular dinosaur toys– that don’t mention evolution.  “But we do!” a cartoony Darwin exclaims, dancing proudly at the end of the video.
        William Dembski, the double-PhD scholar of the intelligent design movement, has had enough with all this.  His latest article on Uncommon Descent is called “Getting over our love for Darwin.”  In it he quotes Malcolm Muggeridge, who wrote, “I myself am convinced that the theory of evolution, especially the extent to which it’s been applied, will be one of the great jokes in the history books in the future.  Posterity will marvel that so very flimsy and dubious an hypothesis could be accepted with the incredible credulity that it has.”
    We can only hope some of the silliness will end when the Darwin Party packs the circus tents and fires the clowns for the next 50 years.  You’ll notice we are not the only ones calling him Charlie.  Picture Lucy (the fossil) saying, “You’re a blockhead, Charlie Clown,” to which Charlie replies, “I can’t help what my groupies do.”
    So much more than
    Charlie’s waking me
    To the core and
    Charlie’s shaking me
    Tell my story
    Charlie’s making me
    And Charlie’s making me smile.
    Ooh-oo, whoa now.

    Whoa now, indeed.  Sober up and read the next entry.
    Next headline on:  DarwinIntelligent DesignEducationDumb Ideas
    How a Christian Family Stood Up to Tyranny   11/10/2009    
    Nov 10, 2009 — When the Berlin wall fell 20 years ago, Dorothee Hubner first dared to think, “Are we allowed to leave and finally be free?”  Her story and that of her parents Gerhard and Gertraude, scientists trapped in East Germany, was told by Andrew Curry, a freelance writer, in Science.1  Dorothee was 23 years old in 1989.  Her parents, also biochemists, “had spent decades struggling to do research in East Germany without compromising their personal ideals with allegiance to the ruling Communist Party.”
        By not pledging allegiance to the ruling Communist Party, the Hubners faced a life of difficulty.  “Everything from university admissions to teaching positions depended on allegiance to the Communist Party,” Curry wrote:
    It was a difficult offer to refuse.  In exchange for signing a loyalty oath and an agreement to report back to the Stasi on friends and colleagues, you could attend international conferences and have your career fast-tracked, Gunter Fischer [a colleague of the Hubners] says.  “If you said no, you’d have no higher-ranking position or travel, and you might lose your job,” he notes.  The pressure went beyond career and travel to petty indignities.  Party members were given the best lab times.  Non–party members could only use equipment between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m., Gerhard recalls.
        Committed Christians, the Hübners refused to give in; they surrounded themselves with like-minded friends and colleagues.  “My parents were never hiding what they were thinking about the whole system,” Dorothee remembers.  “We knew scientists who were honest and didn’t join the party and sell their soul just to have advantages.
    In fact, the Hubners found out from Stasi records that at the time the wall fell, the Party was planning to force Fischer and the Hubners out of their jobs.  It was the last indignity for a life of nonconformism.  They had to be very careful.  “You couldn’t speak your mind,” Gerhard said.  “There was always the fear that you could say something that could have harmed your spouse or kids by accident.”  It was difficult for them to get their three children into the university.  Ideology infected everything: “Before 1989, science in the German Democratic Republic, like almost everything else, was political.” Curry said.  “Everything from university admissions to teaching positions depended on allegiance to the Communist Party.”  The Stasi were constantly pressuring scientists and citizens to work for them and spy on their families and neighbors.  By remaining faithful to their principles, the Hubners placed themselves at a severe disadvantage. 
        Curry’s article mentions other evils behind the Iron Curtain: the pressure on Olympic athletes to dope their bodies, the discrimination against women, the collaboration of many top scientists with the regime, and the constant poor economy: “Like most of the Communist bloc, East Germany was in a perpetual state of financial crisis.”  Dorothee readily acknowledges that the fall of communism “changed everything.”  Now she lives in the United States and enjoys her freedom to work at top labs with state of the art equipment.  Discovering what had gone on in East German labs, though, was like opening a rotten egg: “The Stasi archives were opened in 1991, revealing that some of the country’s top scientists had been collaborators and forcing them out of universities,” Curry wrote.  “In the social sciences, entire institutes were simply closed, their scholarship too tainted by ideology to salvage.
        Gerhard’s integrity and hard work paid off.  “And after decades of isolation, an entire generation of scientists suddenly had to compete for jobs with West Germans and others,” Curry wrote.  “Gerhard found himself the lone East German in the running for a position as the chair of his department, up against more than 30 West Germans—he won.”  And his friend Gunter Fischer is now at the Martin Luther University at Halle-Wittenberg.
    1.  Andrew Curry, “Twenty Years After the Wall: Profile: Hubner Family: Big Dreams Come True,” Science, 6 November 2009: Vol. 326. no. 5954, pp. 792-793, DOI: 10.1126/science.326_792.
    This inspiring story with a happy ending of character enduring hardship is provided as an antidote to the year of Darwin.  What historical scientist inspired the communist worldview?  What historical worldview provided the courage to stand for freedom of conscience?  Which worldview tried to suppress the other one?  There are many lessons here.  Dig them out.
    Next headline on:  Politics and EthicsEducationBible and Theology
    Darwinizing of Religion Continues   11/09/2009    
    Nov 9, 2009 — In an ongoing series for the Year of Darwin in Science magazine,1 Elizabeth Culotta wrote an article with the Darwinesque title, “On the Origin of Religion.”2  The editor’s summary acknowledges that “No consensus yet exists among scientists,” but sought the only answer in Darwinian terms: “in the past 15 years, a growing number of researchers have followed Darwin’s lead and explored the hypothesis that religion springs naturally from the normal workings of the human mind.  This new field, the cognitive science of religion, draws on psychology, anthropology, and neuroscience to understand the mental building blocks of religious thought.”  Building blocks – there’s a suggestive phrase right out of origin-of-life labs.
        Culotta began with a Darwin imprimatur.  “To Charles Darwin, the origin of religious belief was no mystery.  ‘As soon as the important faculties of the imagination, wonder, and curiosity, together with some power of reasoning, had become partially developed, man would naturally crave to understand what was passing around him, and would have vaguely speculated on his own existence,’ he wrote in The Descent of Man.”  Culotta acknowledged that “Darwin’s scientific descendants” are not quite so sure,” but we can trust them, because “potential answers are emerging from both the archaeological record and studies of the mind itself.”
        Here’s a quick rundown on those potential answers.  Evolutionary sociologists are studying the propensity of humans to infer agents acting when things happen.  Evolutionary archaeologists are looking for clues of symbolic behavior.  Cognitive neuroscientists are looking for parts of the brain that tend toward “purpose-driven beliefs” that might be “a step on the way to religion.”  Evolutionary psychologists investigate “theory of mind” explanations that see people attributing mental states to others and to things.  Evolutionary anthropologists consider the social aspects of sharing beliefs in gods to develop social cohesion.  It’s Darwin’s game from start to finish.
        Each discipline seeks to explain their piece of the religion puzzle in adaptationist, progressive terms.  The psychologists, for instance, reason that if people from childhood onward develop a tendency to see the natural world acting in a purposeful way, “It’s a small step to suppose that the design has a designer.”  Stewart Guthrie sees the invisible hand of Darwin in primitive man’s thinking processes.  “Guthrie suggested that natural selection primed this system for false positives, because if the bump in the night is really a burglar—or a lion—you could be in danger, while if it’s just the wind, no harm done.”  The anthropologists find other ways to see religion as adaptive: “By encouraging helpful behavior, religious groups boost the biological survival and reproduction of their members.”
        Here, though, Culotta admitted others see such explanations as little more than just-so storytelling.  She quoted Pascal Boyer cautioning, “It is often said that religion encourages or prescribes solidarity within the group, but we need evidence that people actually follow [their religion’s] recommendations.”  Speaking of evidence, which is supposed to elevate science above other forms of explanation, she admitted to large gaps.  For instance, she said there is “a yawning gap between the material evidence of the archaeological record and the theoretical models of psychologists.”  The archaeologists have a hard time inferring beliefs from artifacts, and the psychologists are crying, “we need more evidence.”  What about the cognitive scientists?  They try to get at the roots of innate tendencies vs. learned beliefs, but they are crying for more evidence, too: “I haven’t seen lots of empirical evidence that you can get from there to religious beliefs,” said social psychologist Ara Norenzayan.  Culotta’s last sentence, quoting Norenzayan again, amounted to a promissory note admitting to gaps in evidence: “In the next 10 to 15 years there’s likely to be quite a transformation, with a lot more evidence, to give us a compelling story about how religion arose.”
    1.  Intro, “On the Origin of Religion,” Science, 6 November 2009: Vol. 326. no. 5954, pp. 784-787, DOI: 10.1126/science.326_784
    2.  Elizabeth Culotta, “Origins: On the Origin of Religion,” Science, 6 November 2009: Vol. 326. no. 5954, pp. 784-787, DOI: 10.1126/science.326_784.
    What’s this?  You were told that science was science, and religion was religion, and never the twain shall meet.  What are the Darwinists doing putting your dear pastor, priest or rabbi in the test tube?  Didn’t Stephen Jay Gould promise that science would stay out of religion if religion stayed out of science?  What is this “evolution of religion” talk?
        As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, let us draw some parallels.  East Germany was one of the most tightly controlled ideological regimes in the communist sphere.  The thought police (Stasi) had informers everywhere and kept miles of files on everyone.  It was a crime to think outside the party doctrine.  As with all the communist dictatorships, religion was suppressed, although the regime allowed some puppet churches to operate for propaganda purposes (e.g., when U.S. diplomats visited, so that they could talk about all the religious freedom they witnessed).  What the puppet churches were allowed to say and not say, of course, was monitored and controlled.  Yet history surprised the dictators.  Their regime fell literally overnight, as thousands of freedom-starved East Germans rushed the gates at the first indication of hope, and Gorby refused to send in the tanks, stinging from Reagan’s challenge, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”
        To communists, everything in the universe must be interpreted in the light of Marxist ideology.  Darwinians are cut from the same cloth; just substitute Darwin for Marx (who admired Darwin).  In fact, in the same issue of Science, the editors allowed Gretchen Vogel to call the fall of the Berlin wall a “mixed blessing” for East German science directors.  Are they feeling nostalgia for the good old days?  After all, Darwinists are dictators themselves with informers and thought police everywhere, looking for the slightest uprising in a classroom or school board that might challenge Dictator Darwin.  The Darwin Stasi (fronted by the ACLU, Americans United, PAW, NCSE) race into action to cut off any hint of the threat of “creationism.”  They court liberal theologians for propaganda purposes, allowing them to practice their faith as long as it is inside the science lab under the control of the white lab coated thought police.  All the pastors, priests and rabbis have to do to keep peace with the Stasi is pledge allegiance to Darwin.  See how tolerant they are?  Their captives, the renegade appeasers in theological garb, are in for a surprise that was expressed well by Brett Miller in this cartoon.
        Don’t fall for the Party line.  It should be crystal clear that Culotta’s own imprimatur-blessed propaganda piece is fluff.  How long are suckers going to wait for their promised “compelling story about how religion arose”?  Sounds like the promised utopia that never arrives.  It’s a story, all right.  Where’s the evidence?  How convenient that every discipline is moaning about the need for more evidence.  Folks, without evidence, they do not have science!  Ignore the fMRI blips; they are trading in ideologically-guided speculation.  And they want to tell YOU how you are supposed to think.  Love freedom!  Tear down this wall!
        As the Western democracies won by the human tide pouring through the opened gates, the creationists will win when freedom comes.  Jesus Christ said “You will know them by their fruits.”  Where laws have protected free expression of religion, the arts and sciences have flourished.  Where the Bible has been taken by missionaries, poverty and dictatorship has diminished.  And where informed and evidence-supported creation science is permitted, education will flourish, too.  Check the record; compare achievement of 19th century and early 20th century schools, where McGuffy Readers quoting the Bible were stock in trade and classes opened with prayer and science was done to the glory of God, with the awful record of dropouts and school shootings in today’s DODO schools (Darwin-only, Darwin-only).  Look at how home school students, often from Christian homes, are trouncing their politically-correct peers.  It’s the Christian schools that teach evidences for and against Darwinism.  They don’t fear losing their students.  The Darwin-only public schools rightly fear losing their students if the truth about the scientific evidence were allowed.  Forget creationism – the thought police don’t even allow scientific criticisms of Darwin to be heard.  This artificial selection imposed by Darwin-only breeders is producing monstrosities that could not survive in the wild.  You might even say it shows that the creationists are the fittest.
        But all this is unnecessary posturing, because the Darwinists have no case.  We know this, because if we applied their very same reasoning to themselves (i.e., the evolution of Darwinizing speculation), their argument would collapse into a recursive black hole.  So while Culotta and her interviewees are swimming around like little Darwin fish scooping up the detritus on the bottom (animism, cult figurines, fMRI scans, etc.), they have not yet realized their ocean is inside the Christian fish.  They are feeding on gifts the Christian fish is bringing them (see 11/05/2009 and 08/13/2007 commentaries).  Like captives pretending to be autonomous, everything they depend on—logic, reason, evidence—is not of their own making.  The Christian fish is the universe of which nature is a subset.  If the Darwin guppies want to repent and help build up the true fish, they can provide nourishment for the truth.  If not, they can keep swimming in circles a little while longer till they get pooped out.
    Next headline on:  Early ManDarwinTheology
    Nov 7, 2009 – Here’s a fascinating diversion for our Resource of the Week: a creation-based novel.  Take a break from technical books on science and imagine what life was like after the Tower of Babel.  This period, so tantalizingly brief in Genesis, has become the real-world stage for a fascinating story by Jon Saboe, The Days of Peleg.  Part historical novel and part science fiction, Peleg recreates a little-known world filled with change and intellectual ferment, deception and violence, tragedy and hope.  Contrary to the evolutionary picture of primitives emerging from the apes, Jon takes the Biblical picture of man seriously: people were more intelligent, stronger, and more capable than we have become after millennia of physical deterioration from the curse.  Don’t be surprised to see characters out-thinking and out-performing their mutation-challenged descendants (that’s us).
        Jon Saboe (M.A., Johns Hopkins University) is a multi-talented renaissance man—martial arts expert, chess player, masterful concert pianist, network engineer, history enthusiast, lecturer, and now novelist.  He’s also a long-time fan of Creation-Evolution HeadlinesPeleg is full of surprises.  You never know how it will end.  Each twist and turn of the plot leaves you in suspense, eager to keep reading.  Interspersed among the narrow escapes and intrigues and unexpected encounters are thought-provoking dialogues about knowledge, logical inference, the purpose of life, and the plan of the Creator – knowledge that the post-Babel civilization is rapidly choosing to ignore or reject.  Each chapter begins with a point to ponder: e.g., Is it the destination that is important, or the journey itself?, or, Free will—without guidance—is the most terrifying prison of all.  Throughout its far-reaching, creative portrayal of characters, places and adventures, the novel is anchored to archaeology, science, historical records and the Bible narratives.  If this is not what really happened, you may wish it had.  It really fills in the blanks of a crucial period in world history.  One caution: after reading Chapter 1, you’ll be hooked.
        Find The Days of Peleg on Amazon.com or look at the link on his other website Evolution Is Dead where you might notice some familiar looking Headlines.  Read Peleg first, before going to the author’s Days of Peleg website, where you will find historical support for the accounts described in the book and evidences for the high intelligence of the ancients.
    Next resource of the week:  10/31/2009.  All resources: Catalog.

    Soft Muscle Tissue Found in Fossil Salamander   11/06/2009    
    Nov 6, 2009 — More soft tissue has been found in a fossil – this time in a salamander said to be 18 million years old.  The article on PhysOrg called it “the highest quality soft tissue preservation ever documented in the fossil record.
        Unlike the previous discoveries of fossil tissue inside bone or amber, the recognizable sinewy muscle tissue was found tucked inside the body of the animal.  “The scientists claim that their discovery is unequivocal evidence that high-fidelity organic preservation of extremely decay prone soft tissues is more common in the fossil record - the only physical record of the history of life on earth.”
        Were the scientists at University College Dublin surprised by their discovery of this fossil in southern Spain?  Yes and no; they acknowledge that soft-tissue preservation is extremely rare, but also think that more is to be found.  A new treasure hunt is on.  “Using the same sampling methods and high resolution imaging that led to this find, scientists will now begin to investigate existing fossils in national museums and elsewhere across the world, for similar types of soft tissue preservation.”  This was not taken as a challenge to Darwinian time scales.  The article ended, “further discoveries will help scientists paint a better picture of life on earth since the beginning of evolutionary time.”

    Notice that the evolutionists don’t want to tell the truth; they want to paint a picture.  Evolutionary time is dancing in the visions of their closed eyes.  Instead of seeing the falsification of evolutionary time, they see its vindication – sketched out on the canvas of imagination.  View their picture as abstract art of visions and dreams, not as the history of the world.
    Next headline on:  Terrestrial ZoologyFossilsDating Methods
      One of the most interesting articles we’ve explored about the human body was the 11/18/2004 story about distance running.  Most runners probably never considered all the factors necessary to run a marathon – and how unique it is to humans.  If you haven’t read it yet, it’s worth looking into.

    What Is Man?   11/05/2009    
    Nov 5, 2009 — Science often makes pronouncements about the human species.  We should be mindful of the worldview behind them.
        Live Science published an article with the confident-sounding title, “Human Evolution: Where We Came From,” accompanied by the iconic sketch of Ardi (see 10/02/2009) and an obligatory reference to Darwin.  Even though reporter Charles Q. Choi, in his 10-part series on human evolution, acknowledges “mysteries that remain to be solved,” he felt no qualms in trumping millennia of scholarship by theologians and philosophers because his Darwinian views about humans’ rise from the apes share the aura of “science.”  Yet his last paragraph allows infinite wiggle room about the details: “It is possible that Ardipithecus is a hominid, and that Australopithecus is its direct descendent.  It is also possible that Ardipithecus is the common ancestor of chimpanzees and our ancestors, and that Australopithecus is the first hominid ... or that Ardipithecus is a side branch of our family tree.”  Which is it?  Until a more definitive answer is available (including discussion of some alternatives he did not mention), does this deserve to be called science (i.e., knowledge)?  Why should non-Darwinian views not enter the discussion?
        In his 5th entry in the Live Science series, Choi announced a discussion about “Our Closest Living Relatives, the Chimps.”  He repeated the common myth that our DNA is 98.8% identical (but see 06/29/2007).  He also quoted an anthropologist who said, “Emotionally and socially, the psychology of chimps is very similar to humans.”  Be sure to let Mr. Choi know next time a group of academic chimps analyzes you and writes up the results in the Journal of Human Evolution.  He could use a little more data.
        Speaking of psychology, New Scientist gave good press to the views of Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961), the one-time colleague of Freud whose views were discounted by Nature last month as unscientific (see 10/15/2009).  Jung, whose quasi-spiritualist views included listening to voices in his head and actively promoting the use of imagination, occupied himself with analysis of an arguably occult entity – the unconscious.  The article concerned Jung’s lost “Red Book” of confrontations with dreams and visions that has been found and republished.  A salient observation about this article is that New Scientist considered the views of a man who openly acknowledged spirit guides as worthy of respectful consideration in a science magazine – but almost never applies that right to theologians or non-naturalistic philosophers.
        Most people believe that we are responsible for our actions, but New Scientist also reported a story about an Italian judge who cut a murderer’s sentence by a year because he was told the man had “aggression genes.”  Reporter Ewen Callaway asked the obvious question, “can your genes ever absolve you of responsibility for a particular act?”  Callaway also noted that the argument cuts both ways: prosecutors are just as likely to use genetic evidence as defense attorneys are.  The article discussed the usual nature-vs-nurture arsenal of causes such as “inherited genes, environment and violence” – things that scientists have studied for years (e.g., by tracing family histories and comparing twins).  Callaway neglected to ask whether personal responsibility can be subsumed under those categories.
        One human distinctive is economics.  Wall Street, and the empires of trading and buying and selling, are unheard of outside human society.  In economics, the conceptual realm of mind, information theory, logic, mathematics, ethics would appear to be central, but PhysOrg published the view of some economists at Binghamton University in New York that “economic activity can be regarded as an evolutionary process governed by the second law of thermodynamics.”  Are they just employing a clever analogy to give some predictability to a complex process, or does this imply that group behavior as distinctive as economics (discussed ad nauseum in daytime news shows) is somehow determined by physical laws of nature?
        One of the legacies of Darwin is viewing human beings as continuous with the animals.  It’s not that theologians and philosophers never noticed or thought about the similarities in our physical make-up with those of other mammals – it’s that now humans were to be looked at as nothing more than animals.  Anything “special” about human beings was not to be attributed to purpose or plan or divine endowment, but rather to the unique combination of ecological and environmental factors that natural selection acted on in the trajectory of human evolution – the same process acting on bears (see next entry).  Yet Live Science could not help but notice ten “things that make humans special” in part 2 of its series on human evolution.  Our bodies exhibit features that are hard to explain in Darwinian terms.  In combination, they seem prohibitive to account for in a few million years of mutations.  The countdown is striking: notably, (10) life after children (think grandparents), (9) long childhoods, (8) blushing, (7) use of fire, (6) clothing, (5) speech, (4) hands with fully opposable thumbs, (3) nakedness, (2) upright posture, and (1) extraordinary brains.  No doubt you could add more to the list, like arts, sciences, and religion.
        Another top-ten list for humans can be found on New Scientist – “10 inventions that changed the world.”  What animal ever came close to inventing X-ray machines, culturing penicillin, building a model of DNA’s double helix, launching rockets into space, flying to the moon, employing steam energy for travel, building a computer, making coal accessible by pumping water out of deep mines, building an automobile with replaceable parts in an assembly line, or employing electricity to send messages down a telegraph wire?  Are these also the products of Darwinian evolution?
        The arts are also unique to humans.  Despite the fact that a British dance company is “dancing with Darwin” as New Scientist reported, performing a routine “inspired by evolution and natural selection,” many humans deny they are the end product of a long process of unguided natural processes.  Even in Darwin’s home country 53% of the naked apes feel “other perspectives should be taught.”  The BBC News said that teaching only Darwin’s views “divides opinion.”  The percentages are higher in other countries.  The pro-Darwin educators are wondering how to get their message across without appearing antagonistic to religion.  Even after 200 years of Darwin, and 150 years of The Origin of Species, they admitted, “Darwinism remains controversial.”

    Humans are unique, and everybody knows it.  You own your cat; your cat does not own you.  (On second thought, maybe there’s a better example.)  Animal intelligence, though real, does not rise to the level of the arts and sciences.  Animals do not pray; they do not send relief to people they don’t know across the world; they do not write symphonies and novels; they do not derive equations; they do not seek to understand black holes; they do not communicate in abstract language; they do not blush or need to.
        It should be a cinch to stop the secular Darwinists in their tracks.  Just arrange a new debate between modern-day counterparts of Thomas Huxley and Bishop Wilberforce, and let Wilberforce begin by saying this: “Mr. Huxley, I am a man created in the image of God, and you are an evolved mammal.  Everything you do revolves around eating and mating.  Tell me, why should I believe anything you say?”  A little reflection shows that Huxley is trapped.  He wants to reach outside his fur and embrace the conceptual realm, but he can’t.  All Wilberforce has to do is smack his fanny every time Huxley tries to talk about reason, truth, and science.  “Objection!” Bishop cries out.  “Use of Christian presuppositions.  No appeals to logic, truth and morals allowed from my opponent!”  As a coup de grace, Wilberforce pulls a line from Greg Bahnsen’s debate with an atheist, where he remarked, “Your coming to this debate tonight proves that you agree with me.  By showing up, you have conceded that I have won this debate.”
    Next headline on:  Human BodyEarly ManDarwin and EvolutionEducationTheology
    Notable Notes and Quotable Quotes
    PhysOrg reports, “Study says dogs have larger carbon footprint than SUV.”  What?  No way.  Dogs are natural.  “Thanks for killing the planet, dog owners,” the article says.  “Well, that’s a rough paraphrase of a New Zealand study that claims a medium-size dog leaves a larger ecological footprint than an SUV.”  This should start some interesting discussions by the water cooler.  “Short of eating the dogs, what should be done about these four-legged eco-Hummers before they kill us all?”

    Polar Bears and Grizzlies Hybridize   11/04/2009    
    Nov 4, 2009 — What do you get when you cross a polar bear with a grizzly bear?  It’s not a joke; look at the BBC News and see.  You get bears with mixed shades of fur and a blend of characteristics.  Live Science also commented on the BBC report.
        Scientists have known that these species can hybridize, but the birth of mixed cubs in a German zoo allowed the first-ever study of them.  The blending of traits extends from behavior down to the individual hairs.
        Only one hybrid is known in the wild; a few others have occurred in captivity.  The male hybrid appears to be sterile, but scientists are trying to determine if the female hybrid is capable of bearing offspring.

    Hybrids are common in plants and animals.  This is nothing all that unusual.  It attracts attention because of the large size of the animals and their distinctive colorations.  Creationists commonly believe that most bears are descendants of a single bear “kind” or baramin.  That’s not evolution in the sense Darwin used the word (common ancestry of all life by unguided processes of variation and selection).  It’s just a sorting out of traits.  The sorting persists according to adaptation to the local environment.  For instance, thick hair on Alaskan dogs helps them survive the cold winter, even though all domestic dogs are the same species.  That kind of “natural selection” is not controversial.  The genetic information was already present.  Coming up with a dog from bacteria is another issue altogether.
    Next headline on:  MammalsGenetics
    Ferocity of Geological Change Stuns Scientists   11/04/2009    
    Nov 4, 2009 — A crack in Ethiopia 500 meters long took just days to form.  New Scientist reported about a team of scientists who used seismic sensors to reconstruct the event.  “They found that a 60-kilometre-long, 8-metre-wide dike of solidified magma formed in the rift, causing the crack, in a matter of days.”  They believe the crack will some day form a new ocean like the Red Sea.
        The team was amazed by the rapid change.  “The ferocity of what we saw during this episode stunned everyone,” said a team member who came over to study the continental rift that began in 2005 as plates began to shift (12/09/2005).  “Similar dikes in Iceland are typically around 10 kilometres long and 1 metre wide and can take years to form,” the article said.  “The new study shows the formation of dikes can occur in larger segments – and over much shorter periods of time – than previously thought.”  They estimate it will take 4 million years for an ocean to form in the rift.
        The report on PhysOrg called this a “magnetic deformation.”  The scientist interviewed was also interested in how quickly this occurred but said the ocean formation is “happening slowly, likely to take a few million years.”
    What’s ferocious is the hubris of scientists.  The speed of this episode amazed them.  They learned that big changes can occur faster than they thought.  Then they turned right around and announced confidently that we will have to wait 4 million years to go surfing.  Then spend millions and millions as recklessly as an identity thief with a stolen credit card.  Who is going to wait those millions of years to tell them if they were right or wrong?  It’s a built-in confidence scam.
    But scientists, who ought to know,
    Tell us that it must be so.
    Oh let us never, never doubt
    What nobody is sure about.
    – Hilaire Belloc.
    Next headline on:  GeologyDating Methods
    Inefficiency Made You Complex   11/03/2009    
    Nov 3, 2009 — Remember the old Darwinian story?  Slight variations that prove beneficial are naturally selected when they help an organism adapt to its environment.  Wrong.  According to Ariel Fernandez of Rice University, we humans are complex because natural selection is inefficient.  He said, “the origins of some key aspects of the evolution of complexity may have their origins in completely nonadaptive processes.”  His tale is told by Science Daily.
        According to Fernandez, bacteria are better at natural selection than humans are.  Humans and other complex animals tend to accumulate “paralogs” or partially-functional copies of genes.  Some paralogs actually decrease fitness.  Some, whether beneficial or not, accumulate like employees that can’t be fired.  He used an analogy of two delivery drivers that start out being redundant, but eventually specialize on certain parts of town.  “Eventually, even if times become tough, you cannot lay off either of them because they each became so specialized that your company needs them both.”
        Humans need many specialized organs and proteins to function, he admitted – and even more specialized parts to regulate them all.  How did all this integrated complexity arise?  The article did not mention genetic information, function or innovation once.  Somehow the genetic information must arise from duplicate genes that act as a jack-of-all-trades but are not removed by selection; this can only occur if selection is inefficient, he thinks.  “This is frequently a point of contention between proponents of evolution and intelligent design,” the article said.
        What does all this have to do with Darwinism?  “This supports the case for evolution because it shows that you can drive complexity with random mutations in duplicate genes,” Fernandez said.  “But this also implies that random drift must prevail over Darwinian selection.  In other words, if Darwinian selection were ruthlessly efficient in humans – as it is in bacteria and unicellular eukaryotes – then our level of complexity would not be possible.”
    Fernandez confuses complexity and coordination.  A random pile of Scrabble letters is complex but it doesn’t spell anything.  He had nothing to say about how genes and proteins can develop into a complex being that can compose a symphony in his head or do a triple-twisting dive off a 10 meter platform.
        It gets so tiring to watch the waffle iron.  First natural selection is the answer to everything; next thing you know, it is inefficient.  One moment adaptation is the goal of all evolutionary processes; next moment evolution happens by non-adaptive processes.  Never do they get to the key question of where genetic information comes from.  Can’t I just finish my waffle? says Fernandez.  No; not till you pass the fitness test.
    Next headline on:  Darwin and Evolutionary TheoryIntelligent DesignGeneticsDumb Ideas
      Frustrated that so many Americans still don’t “get” evolution, an evolutionary biologist pondered how best to persuade them in the 11/21/2003 entry.  He thinks the “consilience of inductions” method will work.  Find out why our commentary has a surprising suggestion: teach Darwin to Darwinist professors.

    Comets Didn’t Bring Earth’s Oceans   11/03/2009    
    Nov 3, 2009 — So much for the “water balloon” theory of how Earth got its oceans.  A new study by Belgian planetary scientists pretty much rules out comets as the source of our planet’s abundant water.  Their results are published in this month’s Icarus.1
        “The origin of water on Earth is still puzzling,” they began.  Our rocky planet, so close to the sun, should not have formed from ices.  Carbonaceous chondrites contain water sufficient to create a “veneer” of water after the Earth cooled, but ratios of osmium isotopes don’t match.  Comets have long been a popular source.  They’re cold, and made mostly of ice.  Could they have brought water by special delivery to a cooling earth?  Some TV documentaries have brought this story to life with colorful animations.  Early indications from deuterium-to-hydrogen ratios, though, cast doubt on the idea; comets have much more deuterium than ocean water.  Perhaps other classes of comets or asteroids have different ratios.  “Additional constraints are therefore mandatory,” the team said.
        Recently, the team found that nitrogen isotope ratios differed significantly between comets and Earth’s atmosphere.  Since any delivery of cometary nitrogen would have been accompanied by water, they used nitrogen isotope ratios to calculate how much water could have come from comets.  The result: very little, probably 6% at most.  Also, since the nitrogen isotope ratios is the same in both Oort Cloud and Kuiper Belt comets, the estimates apply to both classes of objects.  Bottom line: planetary scientists will have to find other sources.  The authors left that question unanswered.


    1.  Hutsemékers, Jean Manfroid, Emmanuël Jehina, and Claude Arpigny, “New constraints on the delivery of cometary water and nitrogen to Earth from the 15N/14N isotopic ratio,” Icarus, Volume 204, Issue 1, November 2009, Pages 346-348.
    The paper constrains, not disproves, naturalistic models, but it is clear that secular planetary scientists are running out of options (see 03/26/2002, 12/27/2007).  Cometary delivery was already a last resort for the bottom-up worldview.  The top-down worldview, that the Earth was created with its water and was designed with habitation in mind, has less arthritis and dandruff (i.e., less hand-wringing and head-scratching). 
    Next headline on:  Solar SystemGeology
    Photo Op
    Nov 03 — New pictures of the geysers on Enceladus have just come in from yesterday’s flyby: Ciclops.org (Cassini Imaging Team).  That’s incredible activity for a small icy moon the width of Arizona.  How long has that been going on?

    How a Biotoxin Evolved   11/02/2009    
    Nov 02, 2009 — What do shrews and lizards have in common?  Not much, but two species developed the same toxin in their digestive enzymes, giving them both a poisonous bite.  Science Daily said a harmless digestive enzyme became overactive through three related changes.  “What had been a mild anticoagulant in the salivary glands of both species has become a much more extreme compound that causes paralysis and death in prey that is bitten.”  That similar “catalytic enhancement” occurred within two unrelated species suggests that the path to this toxicity is not extremely improbable.  It could be selected if it enhances the ability of the species to survive and reproduce.  This was also reported by PhysOrg.

    This case might provide a test of Michael Behe’s ideas about limits to evolutionary change.  It appears the changes to this enzyme are minor – something like opening up the active site a little wider and allowing the substrate easier access.  If so, it is no more the “evolution of new protein function” than changing the concentration or pH of an existing acid.  It does not involve adding new functional information.  This is “horizontal evolution” that enhances and distributes existing traits according to the environment.
        Christians might take note of this story as a possible insight into the origin of natural evil.  This toxin appears to be a slight modification of an existing digestive enzyme.  It did not have to be created de novo.  Perhaps many things that cause pain and suffering, including thorns, are not far removed from original beneficial designs.
    Next headline on:  MammalsTerrestrial ZoologyEvolution
    To Advance Science, Imitate Nature   11/01/2009    
    Nov 01, 2009 — Biomimetics – the imitation of nature – continues to be one of the hottest areas in science.  Here are a few of the latest findings coming from the world of living creatures.
    1. Fish robotNational Geographic News shows a photo of the latest thing in underwater robotics: a robotic submarine modeled after the Amazonian knifefish.  In particular, the inventors at the University of Bath noticed that the knifefish “keeps its body rigid to sense electric currents in the water.”  Their “gymnobot” stays rigid but lets its rear fin propel it through the water.
          PhysOrg reported that engineers at Michigan State are also modeling their underwater robots after fish.  They could patrol underwater for months, providing information on water quality, oxygen, algae and bacteria levels, and other data.  “Fish are very efficient,” explained Xiaobo Tan, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering.  “They can perform very efficient locomotion and maneuvering in the water.”  The 9-inch robots use fins made of electro-active polymers to change shape and swim, and use GPS to navigate precisely.  The designers didn’t say, though, what they will do if their robots get swallowed by a bigger fish.
    2. Spider sutureNew Scientist had more to say about the efforts to reproduce spider glue as a biodegradable suture for surgery (see 10/24/2009, bullet 2).
    3. Shrimp DVDs:  “Mantis Shrimp Eyes Could Show Way To Better DVD And CD players,” announced Science Daily.  That’s because the eyes of this lowly shrimp sense 12 colors and can distinguish between different forms of polarized light.  Dr. Nicholas Roberts (U of Bristol) said, “Our work reveals for the first time the unique design and mechanism of the quarter-wave plate in the mantis shrimp’s eye.  It really is exceptionalout-performing anything we humans have so far been able to create.”  He also remarked emphatically, “What’s particularly exciting is how beautifully simple it is.  This natural mechanism, comprised of cell membranes rolled into tubes, completely outperforms synthetic designs.”  By using liquid crystals “chemically engineered to mimic the properties of the cells in the mantis shrimp’s eye,” the process “could inspire the next generation of DVD and CD players.”  The same U of Bristol press release was printed by PhysOrg.
    4. Flipper power:  Researchers at Duke University are figuring out the reasons for differences in the flippers of dolphins, reported Live Science.  It appears that form follows function.  Some dolphins swim slowly in shallow water; some swim fast in deep water.  The team is performing the “first-ever comparative hydrodynamic analysis of cetacean flippers.”  All dolphins have the backward swept fins we know from surfboards and behave “comparable to engineered hydrofoils.”  The fast species have sharply backward swept edges and exhibit “the same unusually advanced lift properties as triangular-winged aircraft, such as the Concorde and some military planes,” while the slower river dolphins have “relatively broad triangular flippers that aid maneuvering in complex river–floodplain systems.”  While the short article did not mention biomimetics, it is clear that understanding the biological designs will have applications for improving aircraft, ships and submarines — maybe surfboards, too.
    5. Wet cell batteryPhysOrg reported on attempts by Yale scientists to make tiny batteries, imitating the ion channels of living cells.  It’s a “daunting task” to understand the function of each molecule in a living cell membrane, but they’ve had some initial success with a very simplified bilayer system.  “Building synthetic versions of complex real cells—such as those that enable an electric eel to zap its prey – is far too difficult a task for now,” one of the researchers said.  One benefit of this kind of biomimetic research is that it feeds back into better understanding of living cells: “researchers can study cellular machinery one manageable piece at a time.”
    In the fish-robot entry above, National Geographic made a comment that could be applied to all biomimetic efforts: “Researchers worldwide are developing robots that look and act like aquatic creatures.  That’s because biomimetic gadgets—bots that take inspiration from nature—are often more efficient than their clunkier counterparts.”
    In the mantis shrimp story, Science Daily speculated about the evolution of the remarkable eye.  “Exactly why the mantis shrimp needs such exquisite sensitivity to circularly polarized light isn’t clear.”  Was it for sex, or for avoiding predators?  “If this mechanism in the mantis shrimp provides an evolutionary advantage, it would be easily selected for as it only requires small changes to existing properties of the cell in the eye.”  They need to read Michael Behe’s book The Edge of Evolution.  Strange that a blind process produced a system that seeing scientists cannot imitate.
        That was the only entry of the five that had anything to say about evolution.  As usual, it was not germane to the research.  It was only an oversimplified tale tacked on by someone willfully ignoring the issues involved in trying to tinker one’s way up to complex specified design.  In productive science labs, Tinker Bell need not apply.
    Next headline on:  Marine BiologyTerrestrial ZoologyCell BiologyBiomimeticsIntelligent DesignAmazing Facts
      Why you should believe the Big Bang (preach it, brother) – see 11/02/2002.

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    Featured Creation Scientist for November

    John Herschel
    1792 - 1871

    Continuing our celebration of the International Year of Astronomy, we look at one of the most prominent astronomers of the 19th century: John Herschel, son of the most prominent astronomer of the 18th century, William Herschel.

    William Herschel married at age 50 and had one son.  John Frederick William Herschel in many respects surpassed his father.  Though he did not make as many fundamental discoveries, he extended his famous father’s astronomical work enormously, and achieved excellence in other fields as well.  Also, his Christian faith appeared to be deeper and more sincere.  John Herschel became the most eminent scientist in Britain during the first half of the 19th century, and a highly respected philosopher of science.  In his senior years, he witnessed the rise of Darwinism.  Though he opposed evolutionary theory, some of his scientific philosophy may have lent unwitting support to it, as we shall see.

    It was a hard act to follow, growing up at Observatory House in the shadow of his father William.  An only child with few playmates, John found himself more often in the company of his father’s scientific friends.  Aunt Caroline loved him and provided a balance to the boy’s intellectual upbringing; the two remained close into her old age.  It is a credit to his father that he was able to inspire his son to continue the work rather than rebel against it.  This apparently was never forced upon him; William desired his son to enter a ministry in the Anglican Church, and John felt the freedom to consider law and other career paths.  Nevertheless, growing up around telescopes, young John learned early how to grind and polish mirrors, and to observe like a good scientist.  The lure of the stars gained a response; John also was destined to spend a good part of his life peering through the eyepiece of homemade telescopes, trying to understand the workings of the cosmos.  (Romantic as this sounds, it is hard work.  At age 30, he spoke of the sacrifice in time, health and strength involved, including “difficulties such as at one period had almost compelled me to abandon it in despair.”)

    John’s genius showed up early; at Cambridge, he was “Senior Wrangler” (top of the class) in the math exams, the most rigorous in the world.  Soon after, at age 21, he was elected member of the Royal Society, the youngest to date to achieve that honor.  With the resulting association with the most eminent scientists of the day, John Herschel formed close friendships with many of them, including Charles Babbage, who became a lifelong friend.  The two founded the Analytical Society of London and toured Europe together, where John met many more leading scientists.  He could have taken a government salary, but decided to extend the cataloguing of of astronomical objects begun by his father.  This would require a vantage point from the southern skies.  In 1834, with his wife Margaret Stewart, he sailed to Cape Town, South Africa

    For five years, John Herschel scanned the southern skies, cataloguing 1200 double stars, and observing nebulae, the Magellanic Clouds (sister galaxies of the Milky Way, visible only from the southern hemisphere), Halley’s Comet during its 1837 apparition, star clusters, moons of Saturn, sunspots and much more.  In all, his lifetime observations yielded an astonishing catalogue of 70,000 celestial objects, all presented neatly to the Royal Society and the Royal Astronomical Society.  A personal friend, N.S. Dodge, in an 1871 eulogy, stated that “His motives for his long expatriation had not been money, nor pleasure, nor health, nor fame, but increase and diffusion of knowledge among men.”

    John was a good theorist of astronomy as well as observer.  Important principles came out of these observations.  He debunked a popular response to Olber’s Paradox (the question of why the night sky is mostly dark, if space is infinitely filled with stars).  Some had suggested that the background starlight was simply being absorbed by dust or gas; Herschel correctly noted that the dust would heat up and re-radiate the light, maintaining the paradox.  (A more lasting answer had to wait till the 20th century, when relativity and the expansion of the universe led astronomers to acknowledge that the universe is not infinitely old.)  In addition, Herschel noted that most nebulae were composed of faint stars.

    He wrote of the physical insignificance of man, inhabiting a tiny dot of a planet among an innumerable host of stars.  He said that “we have here attained a point in science where the human intellect is compelled to acknowledge its weakness, and to feel that no conception the wildest imagination can form will bear the least comparison with the intrinsic greatness of the subject.”  The Copernican Principle was well along by Herschel’s time.

    Perhaps his most far-reaching conclusion from his observations was the universality of physical laws.  From studying the orbits of binary stars, he deduced that the laws of physics operated the same throughout the universe as they did for our own solar system.  This “memorable conclusion,” the Duke of Sussex wrote, was “justly entitled, by the generality of its character, to be considered as forming an epoch in the history of astronomy, and presenting one of the most magnificent examples of the simplicity and universality of those fundamental laws of nature by which their great Author has shown that he is the same today and forever, here and everywhere.”

    John’s diary of the South Africa years reveals that he and his wife attended church services regularly.  One entry, however, seems to indicate he disdained scientists who tried to build their scientific understanding from the pages of Scripture.  John Herschel believed that the Baconian ideal demanded a purely inductive science from observation and experience, regardless of his religious feelings.  Notwithstanding, his Christian commitment was strong.  As with most believers, there was a process of spiritual growth, particularly due to the example of his wife.  Dan Graves writes,

    Like his father before him, John Herschel had been a nominal Christian at best.  But following his marriage, he underwent a genuine conversion experience.  Margaret was the daughter of a Scottish Presbyterian.  Her piety and quiet life elevated John from a Christianity verging on pantheistic-deism to a total and clear acknowledgement of Christ as Lord and Savior.
    (Scientists of Faith, p. 115.)

    Graves says that his conversion fired him with a deeper moral sensitivity to his fellow man; he worked for educational reform in South Africa, stating his belief that schools should “fit them for a higher state of existence, by teaching them those which connect them with their Maker and Redeemer.”  This reveals that Herschel believed in Christ as Savior, and accepted the doctrine of Divine creation.  In a memoir of a visit with the Herschels in 1857, Maria Mitchell described them as representatives of three generations of “sound Protestants, in days when and in places where Protestantism was a reproach.”  She took note of their faithful attendance at a simple church.

    John published at least ninety papers in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, many of them of great significance.  In addition, he was president of the Royal Astronomical Society for six years, and presided over the British Association.  Herschel had many other interests besides astronomy, including chemistry, geology, philosophy, poetry and mathematics, any of which could have gained him fame had he been the type to seek it.  His knowledge of chemistry was so advanced, for instance, that he duplicated Daguerre’s discovery in photography one week after hearing about it, with only the “scantiest details of Daguerre’s process” (Graves, p. 115).  He even improved on it, finding additional chemical agents, such that “his photographs are among the earliest we possess” (Ibid.), and was the first to try applying it to astronomy, thus beginning a timeline on a fruitful field that led eventually to Hubble’s photograph plates and, in our day, to the Hubble Space Telescope and digital imaging.  One could only imagine William and John Herschel’s astonishment at today’s images of objects that, to them, were faint points of light that required the utmost in patience and concentration to discern.  To see the surface of Saturn’s moons from a spaceship, or to resolve stars in the faintest nebulae, must have been unimaginable, to say nothing of detecting bizarre objects like quasars, black holes, gravitational lenses, radio galaxies, gamma-ray bursts, pulsars, and so much more that is commonplace today.

    John Herschel was a humble, truth-loving man of integrity.  N. S. Dodge’s lengthy eulogy of Sir John William Herschel is almost embarrassingly gushy in its praise of Herschel, not only for his achievements, but for his personal character.  He waxes eloquent about John’s unselfishness and dignity, his willingness to alter any cherished belief if required by the evidence, his moral sensibility, his thoroughness, his “conscientious dealing, with indefatigable industry that characterized his life.”  He calls him “the Homer of science because he was its highest poet.”  Of Herschel’s integrity, Dodge writes:

    He was in the utmost degree a well-bred man, not from gentle birth and careful training, not from scholarly pursuits and polite society, not from association with persons of rank and intimacy with men of taste and thought, not even from his loving nature and noble aspirations—not from all these together, so much as from the lofty ideal he cherished from boyhood to old age of perfect manhood. ... the air and manner, and bearing of well-bred man never left him.  He received criticisms upon his own speculations with the same equanimity that he pointed out the errors of his opponents.  His action in discussion was never violent, nor his voice loud.  He readily acknowledged a fault, and still more readily apologized for a wrong. ...

    Sir John Herschel’s life-long contemplation of the infinite in number and magnitude, exalting and hallowing his mind, was exhibited in its effects upon his character.  The truths he had learned from the stars were converted into principles of action.  Lofty thoughts promoted noble deeds.  “Surely,” he himself had said ... “if the worst of men were transported to Paradise for only half an hour amongst the company of the great and good, he would come back converted.”

    Charles Darwin was strongly attracted to John Herschel’s philosophy of science.  Herschel had written an influential book, A Preliminary Discourse On the Study of Natural Philosophy, in which he advocated an inductive, religiously-neutral, bias-free Baconian ideal type of scientific investigation.  He taught that one should attempt to rid his mind of all presuppositions, and follow the evidence wherever it led.  So Darwin was quite mortified when the eminent scientist he so respected reacted negatively to his book, On the Origin of Species, calling Darwin’s idea of natural selection “The law of higgledy-piggledy.”

    Yet Darwin’s so called “law” triumphed.  It could be argued that John Herschel had handed his enemies the rope to hang his Christian faith, because he, like Bacon, had assumed the unbiblical postulate of Thomas Aquinas, that only the spirit of man was fallen, not the intellect.  Accordingly, Aquinas thought that natural revelation could be a means to finding God (or ultimate truth), apart from Scripture and the convicting and converting work of the Holy Spirit.  This incomplete view of the Fall gave secularists a free reign to discover their own truth apart from divine revelation – not only reproducible facts about the operation of nature, but its origin and destiny.

    Baconian science slowly evolved into scientism, logical positivism, and naturalism.  Secularists extrapolated methodological naturalism, in which the scientist attempts to discover laws through experiment, into a full-fledged philosophical naturalism, in which God had no place in nature.  The two naturalisms became indistinguishable.  God, spirit, faith and purpose were relegated to inner experience, until they became purely mystical and personal, unverifiable by history or science or logic or any objective means.  Secularists took great glee in capturing the flag of “science” and taking religious belief hostage, relegating any appeal to faith or divine revelation to the wastebasket of superstition and fantasy.

    This, of course, is a wholly unwarranted position, and an extrapolation far beyond what both Bacon and Herschel believed.  Both sincerely believed in God as the Creator, and Jesus Christ as His incarnate, resurrected Son.  Their reaction to the authority of Aristotle or any other teacher should not have been used as a rationalization for rejecting the authority of God and His Word.  Not every field of knowledge is open to the scientific method: history, for instance, and the arts.  Yet secularists arrogated to themselves a presumed unbiased inquiry into all fields of knowledge, till it became a substitute religion, unaware that their own position was as metaphysical as any faith.

    Though there are signs of change, we are still living today with the legacy of that unwarranted extrapolation of Herschel’s principles.  Phillip Johnson has characterized our secular society as having its own creation myth, and like any creation myth, it has a priesthood – the secular scientific establishment – that has sole custody of that myth.  Evolutionary theory today goes far beyond anything that can be observed or tested.  Cornelius Hunter describes the situation today: “Evolution is now found to be capable of creating just about anything.  We might say that evolution is a closed metaphysical system.  It not only supplies its own creation story but also supplies its own source of morality. ... Furthermore, having rejected divine creation and its Creator, evolution even becomes its own authority.  This story is true for those who believe it, but it cannot be demonstrated by strictly scientific argument, for it requires metaphysical premises” (Darwin’s God, p. 155.

    Methodological naturalism is reasonable to a point, as a tentative or default position when examining observable, repeatable phenomena subject to testing.  It is like William Dembski’s Explanatory Filter, in which the flowchart first attempts to rule out natural law and chance as causes before inferring design.  But methodological naturalism today has become an iron-clad rule that eliminates design from the field of causes at the outset.  It is an arbitrary rule that can prevent a scientist from ever discovering the truth, when in fact design was the cause.  It has led to a modern science that is stuck with hand-waving and just-so stories to explain the origin of the universe, planets, life, and eternal destiny – phenomena that are not testable nor repeatable.  Having ruled out the validity of revelation or purpose, evolutionists are hostage to a closed metaphysical system that excludes intelligent design by fiat, not by reason, logic, or evidence.  The hypocrisy of this position is revealed by the fact that scientists routinely invoke intelligent causes in certain fields, such as forensic science, archaeology, and SETI; yet when design is clearly apparent in natural phenomena, the rules of naturalism prevent a design inference.

    How would John Herschel have reacted to today’s reign of naturalism?  He probably would be appalled.  He never saw his scientific work as justifying atheism.  On the contrary, he wrote, with years of experience as one of the most eminent practitioners of the scientific method, “All human discoveries seem to be made only for the purpose of confirming more and more strongly the truths come from on high and contained in the sacred writings.”

    N. S. Dodge concluded his 16-page eulogy of Sir John:

    Herschel’s whole life, like the lives of Newton and Faraday, confutes the assertion, and ought to remove the suspicion, that a profound study of nature is unfavorable to a sincere acceptance of the Christian faith.  Surrounded by an affectionate family, of which he was long spared to be the pride, the guide, and the life, John Herschel died, as he had lived, in the unostentatious exercise of a devout, yet simple, faith.

    Herschel was buried in Westminster Abbey not far from Sir Isaac Newton.  In an ironic twist of fate, he was soon to have a strange bedfellow: interred next to him a few years later was an admirer who used some of his philosophical ideas against Christianity: Charles Darwin.


    If you are enjoying this series, you can learn more about great Christians in science by reading our online book-in-progress:
    The World’s Greatest Creation Scientists from Y1K to Y2K.

    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 according 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).

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    (an engineer and computer consultant in Virginia)

    “I really appreciate your work in this topic, so you should never stop doing what you do, ’cause you have a lot of readers out there, even in small countries in Europe, like Slovenia is... I use crev.info for all my signatures on Internet forums etc., it really is fantastic site, the best site!  You see, we(your pleased readers) exist all over the world, so you must be doing great work!  Well i hope you have understand my bad english.”
    (a biology student in Slovenia)

    “Thanks for your time, effort, expertise, and humor.  As a public school biology teacher I peruse your site constantly for new information that will challenge evolutionary belief and share much of what I learn with my students.  Your site is pounding a huge dent in evolution’s supposed solid exterior.  Keep it up.”
    (a biology teacher in the eastern USA)

    “Several years ago, I became aware of your Creation-Evolution Headlines web site.  For several years now, it has been one of my favorite internet sites.  I many times check your website first, before going on to check the secular news and other creation web sites.
        I continue to be impressed with your writing and research skills, your humor, and your technical and scientific knowledge and understanding.  Your ability to cut through the inconsequentials and zero in on the principle issues is one of the characteristics that is a valuable asset....
        I commend you for the completeness and thoroughness with which you provide coverage of the issues.  You obviously spend a great deal of time on this work.  It is apparent in ever so many ways.
        Also, your background topics of logic and propaganda techniques have been useful as classroom aides, helping others to learn to use their baloney detectors.
        Through the years, I have directed many to your site.  For their sake and mine, I hope you will be able to continue providing this very important, very much needed, educational, humorous, thought provoking work.”
    (an engineer in Missouri)

    “I am so glad I found your site.  I love reading short blurbs about recent discoveries, etc, and your commentary often highlights that the discovery can be ‘interpreted’ in two differing ways, and usually with the pro-God/Design viewpoint making more sense.  It’s such a refreshing difference from the usual media spin.  Often you’ll have a story up along with comment before the masses even know about the story yet.”
    (a system administrator in Texas, who calls CEH the “UnSpin Zone”)

    “You are indeed the ‘Rush Limbaugh’ Truth Detector of science falsely so-called.  Keep up the excellent work.”
    (a safety director in Michigan)

    “I know of no better way to stay informed with current scientific research than to read your site everyday, which in turn has helped me understand many of the concepts not in my area (particle physics) and which I hear about in school or in the media.  Also, I just love the commentaries and the baloney detecting!!”
    (a grad student in particle physics)

    “I thank you for your ministry.  May God bless you!  You are doing great job effectively exposing pagan lie of evolution.  Among all known to me creation ministries [well-known organizations listed] Creationsafaris stands unique thanks to qualitative survey and analysis of scientific publications and news.  I became permanent reader ever since discovered your site half a year ago.  Moreover your ministry is effective tool for intensive and deep education for cristians.”
    (a webmaster in Ukraine, seeking permission to translate CEH articles into Russian to reach countries across the former Soviet Union)

    “The scholarship of the editors is unquestionable.  The objectivity of the editors is admirable in face of all the unfounded claims of evolutionists and Darwinists.  The amount of new data available each day on the site is phenomenal (I can’t wait to see the next new article each time I log on).  Most importantly, the TRUTH is always and forever the primary goal of the people who run this website.  Thank you so very much for 6 years of consistent dedication to the TRUTH.”
    (11 months earlier): “I just completed reading each entry from each month.  I found your site about 6 months ago and as soon as I understood the format, I just started at the very first entry and started reading.... Your work has blessed my education and determination to bold in showing the ‘unscientific’ nature of evolution in general and Darwinism in particular.”
    (a medical doctor in Oklahoma)

    “Thanks for the showing courage in marching against a popular unproven unscientific belief system.  I don’t think I missed 1 article in the past couple of years.”
    (a manufacturing engineer in Australia)

    “I do not know and cannot imagine how much time you must spend to read, research and compile your analysis of current findings in almost every area of science.  But I do know I thank you for it.”
    (a practice administrator in Maryland)

    “Since finding your insightful comments some 18 or more months ago, I’ve visited your site daily.... You so very adeptly and adroitly undress the emperor daily; so much so one wonders if he might not soon catch cold and fall ill off his throne! .... To you I wish much continued success and many more years of fun and frolicking undoing the damage taxpayers are forced to fund through unending story spinning by ideologically biased scientists.”
    (an investment advisor in Missouri)

    “I really like your articles.  You do a fabulous job of cutting through the double-talk and exposing the real issues.  Thank you for your hard work and diligence.”
    (an engineer in Texas)

    “I love your site.  Found it about maybe two years ago and I read it every day.  I love the closing comments in green.  You have a real knack for exposing the toothless claims of the evolutionists.  Your comments are very helpful for many us who don’t know enough to respond to their claims.  Thanks for your good work and keep it up.”
    (a missionary in Japan)

    “I just thought I’d write and tell you how much I appreciate your headline list and commentary.  It’s inspired a lot of thought and consideration.  I check your listings every day!”
    (a computer programmer in Tulsa)

    “Just wanted to thank you for your creation/evolution news ... an outstanding educational resource.“
    (director of a consulting company in Australia)

    “Your insights ... been some of the most helpful – not surprising considering the caliber of your most-excellent website!  I’m serious, ..., your website has to be the best creation website out there....”
    (a biologist and science writer in southern California)

    “I first learned of your web site on March 29.... Your site has far exceeded my expectations and is consulted daily for the latest.  I join with other readers in praising your time and energy spent to educate, illuminate, expose errors.... The links are a great help in understanding the news items.  The archival structure is marvelous....  Your site brings back dignity to Science conducted as it should be.  Best regards for your continuing work and influence.  Lives are being changed and sustained every day.”
    (a manufacturing quality engineer in Mississippi)

    “I wrote you over three years ago letting you know how much I enjoyed your Creation-Evolution headlines, as well as your Creation Safaris site.  I stated then that I read your headlines and commentary every day, and that is still true!  My interest in many sites has come and gone over the years, but your site is still at the top of my list!  I am so thankful that you take the time to read and analyze some of the scientific journals out there; which I don’t have the time to read myself.  Your commentary is very, very much appreciated.”
    (a hike leader and nature-lover in Ontario, Canada)

    “...just wanted to say how much I admire your site and your writing.  You’re very insightful and have quite a broad range of knowledge.  Anyway, just wanted to say that I am a big fan!”
    (a PhD biochemist at a major university)

    “I love your site and syndicate your content on my church website.... The stories you highlight show the irrelevancy of evolutionary theory and that evolutionists have perpetual ‘foot and mouth’ disease; doing a great job of discrediting themselves.  Keep up the good work.”
    (a database administrator and CEH “junkie” in California)

    “I can’t tell you how much I enjoy your article reviews on your website—it’s a HUGE asset!”
    (a lawyer in Washington)

    “Really, really, really a fantastic site.  Your wit makes a razor appear dull!... A million thanks for your site.”
    (a small business owner in Oregon “and father of children who love your site too.”)

    “Thank God for ... Creation Evolution Headlines.  This site is right at the cutting edge in the debate over bio-origins and is crucial in working to undermine the deceived mindset of naturalism.  The arguments presented are unassailable (all articles having first been thoroughly ‘baloney detected’) and the narrative always lands just on the right side of the layman’s comprehension limits... Very highly recommended to all, especially, of course, to those who have never thought to question the ‘fact’ of evolution.”
    (a business owner in Somerset, UK)

    “I continue to note the difference between the dismal derogations of the darwinite devotees, opposed to the openness and humor of rigorous, follow-the-evidence scientists on the Truth side.  Keep up the great work.”
    (a math/science teacher with M.A. in anthropology)

    “Your material is clearly among the best I have ever read on evolution problems!  I hope a book is in the works!”
    (a biology prof in Ohio)

    “I have enjoyed reading the sardonic apologetics on the Creation/Evolution Headlines section of your web site.  Keep up the good work!”
    (an IT business owner in California)

    “Your commentaries ... are always delightful.”
    (president of a Canadian creation group)

    “I’m pleased to see... your amazing work on the ‘Headlines’.”
    (secretary of a creation society in the UK)

    “We appreciate all you do at crev.info.”
    (a publisher of creation and ID materials)

    “I was grateful for creationsafaris.com for help with baloney detecting.  I had read about the fish-o-pod and wanted to see what you thought.  Your comments were helpful and encouraged me that my own ‘baloney detecting’ skill are improving.  I also enjoyed reading your reaction to the article on evolution teachers doing battle with students.... I will ask my girls to read your comments on the proper way to question their teachers.”
    (a home-schooling mom)

    “I just want to express how dissapointed [sic] I am in your website.  Instead of being objective, the website is entirely one sided, favoring creationism over evolution, as if the two are contradictory.... Did man and simien [sic] evovlve [sic] at random from a common ancestor?  Or did God guide this evolution?  I don’t know.  But all things, including the laws of nature, originate from God.... To deny evolution is to deny God’s creation.  To embrace evolution is to not only embrace his creation, but to better appreciate it.”
    (a student in Saginaw, Michigan)

    “I immensely enjoy reading the Creation-Evolution Headlines.  The way you use words exposes the bankruptcy of the evolutionary worldview.”
    (a student at Northern Michigan U)

    “...standing O for crev.info.”
    (a database programmer in California)

    “Just wanted to say that I am thrilled to have found your website!  Although I regularly visit numerous creation/evolution sites, I’ve found that many of them do not stay current with relative information.  I love the almost daily updates to your ‘headlines’ section.  I’ve since made it my browser home page, and have recommended it to several of my friends.  Absolutely great site!”
    (a network engineer in Florida)

    “After I heard about Creation-Evolution Headlines, it soon became my favorite Evolution resource site on the web.  I visit several times a day cause I can’t wait for the next update.  That’s pathetic, I know ... but not nearly as pathetic as Evolution, something you make completely obvious with your snappy, intelligent commentary on scientific current events.  It should be a textbook for science classrooms around the country.  You rock!”
    (an editor in Tennessee)

    “One of the highlights of my day is checking your latest CreationSafaris creation-evolution news listing!  Thanks so much for your great work -- and your wonderful humor.”
    (a pastor in Virginia)

    “Thanks!!!  Your material is absolutely awesome.  I’ll be using it in our Adult Sunday School class.”
    (a pastor in Wisconsin)

    “Love your site & read it daily.”
    (a family physician in Texas)

    “I set it [crev.info] up as my homepage.  That way I am less likely to miss some really interesting events.... I really appreciate what you are doing with Creation-Evolution Headlines.  I tell everybody I think might be interested, to check it out.”
    (a systems analyst in Tennessee)

    “I would like to thank you for your service from which I stand to benefit a lot.”
    (a Swiss astrophysicist)

    “I enjoy very much reading your materials.”
    (a law professor in Portugal)

    “Thanks for your time and thanks for all the work on the site.  It has been a valuable resource for me.”
    (a medical student in Kansas)

    “Creation-Evolution Headlines is a terrific resource.  The articles are always current and the commentary is right on the mark.”
    (a molecular biologist in Illinois)

    Creation-Evolution Headlines is my favorite ‘anti-evolution’ website.  With almost giddy anticipation, I check it several times a week for the latest postings.  May God bless you and empower you to keep up this FANTASTIC work!”
    (a financial analyst in New York)

    “I read your pages on a daily basis and I would like to let you know that your hard work has been a great help in increasing my knowledge and growing in my faith.  Besides the huge variety of scientific disciplines covered, I also enormously enjoy your great sense of humor and your creativity in wording your thoughts, which make reading your website even more enjoyable.”
    (a software developer in Illinois)

    “THANK YOU for all the work you do to make this wonderful resource!  After being regular readers for a long time, this year we’ve incorporated your site into our home education for our four teenagers.  The Baloney Detector is part of their Logic and Reasoning Skills course, and the Daily Headlines and Scientists of the Month features are a big part of our curriculum for an elective called ‘Science Discovery Past and Present’.  What a wonderful goldmine for equipping future leaders and researchers with the tools of clear thinking!
    (a home school teacher in California)

    “What can I say – I LOVE YOU! – I READ YOU ALMOST EVERY DAY I copy and send out to various folks.  I love your sense of humor, including your politics and of course your faith.  I appreciate and use your knowledge – What can I say – THANK YOU – THANK YOU – THANK YOU – SO MUCH.”
    (a biology major, former evolutionist, now father of college students)

    “I came across your site while browsing through creation & science links.  I love the work you do!”
    (an attorney in Florida)

    “Love your commentary and up to date reporting.  Best site for evolution/design info.”
    (a graphic designer in Oregon)

    “I am an ardent reader of your site.  I applaud your efforts and pass on your website to all I talk to.  I have recently given your web site info to all my grandchildren to have them present it to their science teachers.... Your Supporter and fan..God bless you all...”
    (a health services manager in Florida)

    “Why your readership keeps doubling: I came across your website at a time when I was just getting to know what creation science is all about.  A friend of mine was telling me about what he had been finding out. I was highly skeptical and sought to read as many pro/con articles as I could find and vowed to be open-minded toward his seemingly crazy claims. At first I had no idea of the magnitude of research and information that’s been going on. Now, I’m simply overwhelmed by the sophistication and availability of scientific research and information on what I now know to be the truth about creation.
        Your website was one of dozens that I found in my search.  Now, there are only a handful of sites I check every day.  Yours is at the top of my list... I find your news page to be the most insightful and well-written of the creation news blogs out there.  The quick wit, baloney detector, in-depth scientific knowledge you bring to the table and the superb writing style on your site has kept me interested in the day-to-day happenings of what is clearly a growing movement.  Your site ... has given me a place to point them toward to find out more and realize that they’ve been missing a huge volume of information when it comes to the creation-evolution issue.
        Another thing I really like about this site is the links to articles in science journals and news references.  That helps me get a better picture of what you’re talking about.... Keep it up and I promise to send as many people as will listen to this website and others.”
    (an Air Force Academy graduate stationed in New Mexico)

    “I’m a small town newspaper editor in southwest Wyoming.  We’re pretty isolated, and finding your site was a great as finding a gold mine.  I read it daily, and if there’s nothing new, I re-read everything.  I follow links.  I read the Scientist of the Month.  It’s the best site I’ve run across.  Our local school board is all Darwinist and determined to remain that way.”
    (a newspaper editor in Wyoming)

    “ have been reading your page for about 2 years or so.... I read it every day.  I ...am well educated, with a BA in Applied Physics from Harvard and an MBA in Finance from Wharton.”
    (a reader in Delaware)

    “ I came across your website by accident about 4 months ago and look at it every day.... About 8 months ago I was reading a letter to the editor of the Seattle Times that was written by a staunch ‘anti-Creationist’ and it sparked my interest enough to research the topic and within a week I was yelling, ‘my whole life’s education has been a lie!!!’  I’ve put more study into Biblical Creation in the last 8 months than any other topic in my life.  Past that, through resources like your website...I’ve been able to convince my father (professional mathematician and amateur geologist), my best friend (mechanical engineer and fellow USAF Academy Grad/Creation Science nutcase), my pastor (he was the hardest to crack), and many others to realize the Truth of Creation.... Resources like your website help the rest of us at the ‘grassroots level’ drum up interest in the subject.  And regardless of what the major media says: Creationism is spreading like wildfire, so please keep your website going to help fan the flames.”
    (an Air Force Academy graduate and officer)

    “I love your site!  I **really** enjoy reading it for several specific reasons: 1.It uses the latest (as in this month!) research as a launch pad for opinion; for years I have searched for this from a creation science viewpoint, and now, I’ve found it.  2. You have balanced fun with this topic.  This is hugely valuable!  Smug Christianity is ugly, and I don’t perceive that attitude in your comments.  3. I enjoy the expansive breadth of scientific news that you cover.  4. I am not a trained scientist but I know evolutionary bologna/(boloney) when I see it; you help me to see it.  I really appreciate this.
    (a computer technology salesman in Virginia)

    “I love your site.  That’s why I was more than happy to mention it in the local paper.... I mentioned your site as the place where..... ‘Every Darwin-cheering news article is reviewed on that site from an ID perspective.  Then the huge holes of the evolution theory are exposed, and the bad science is shredded to bits, using real science.’”
    (a project manager in New Jersey)

    “I’ve been reading your site almost daily for about three years.  I have never been more convinced of the truthfulness of Scripture and the faithfulness of God.”
    (a system administrator and homeschooling father in Colorado)

    “I use the internet a lot to catch up on news back home and also to read up on the creation-evolution controversy, one of my favourite topics.  Your site is always my first port of call for the latest news and views and I really appreciate the work you put into keeping it up to date and all the helpful links you provide.  You are a beacon of light for anyone who wants to hear frank, honest conclusions instead of the usual diluted garbage we are spoon-fed by the media.... Keep up the good work and know that you’re changing lives.
    (a teacher in Spain)

    “I am grateful to you for your site and look forward to reading new stories.... I particularly value it for being up to date with what is going on.”
    (from the Isle of Wight, UK)

    “[Creation-Evolution Headlines] is the place to go for late-breaking news [on origins]; it has the most information and the quickest turnaround.  It’s incredible – I don’t know how you do it.  I can’t believe all the articles you find.  God bless you!”
    (a radio producer in Riverside, CA)

    “Just thought I let you know how much I enjoy reading your ‘Headlines’ section.  I really appreciate how you are keeping your ear to the ground in so many different areas.  It seems that there is almost no scientific discipline that has been unaffected by Darwin’s Folly.”
    (a programmer in aerospace from Gardena, CA)

    “I enjoy reading the comments on news articles on your site very much.  It is incredible how much refuse is being published in several scientific fields regarding evolution.  It is good to notice that the efforts of true scientists have an increasing influence at schools, but also in the media.... May God bless your efforts and open the eyes of the blinded evolutionists and the general public that are being deceived by pseudo-scientists.... I enjoy the site very much and I highly respect the work you and the team are doing to spread the truth.”
    (an ebusiness manager in the Netherlands)

    “I discovered your site through a link at certain website... It has greatly helped me being updated with the latest development in science and with critical comments from you.  I also love your baloney detector and in fact have translated some part of the baloney detector into our language (Indonesian).  I plan to translate them all for my friends so as to empower them.”
    (a staff member of a bilateral agency in West Timor, Indonesia)

    “...absolutely brilliant and inspiring.”
    (a documentary film producer, remarking on the 07/10/2005 commentary)

    “I found your site several months ago and within weeks had gone through your entire archives....  I check in several times a day for further information and am always excited to read the new articles.  Your insight into the difference between what is actually known versus what is reported has given me the confidence to stand up for what I believe.  I always felt there was more to the story, and your articles have given me the tools to read through the hype....  You are an invaluable help and I commend your efforts.  Keep up the great work.”
    (a sound technician in Alberta)

    “I discovered your site (through a link from a blog) a few weeks ago and I can’t stop reading it....  I also enjoy your insightful and humorous commentary at the end of each story.  If the evolutionists’ blindness wasn’t so sad, I would laugh harder.
      I have a masters degree in mechanical engineering from a leading University.  When I read the descriptions, see the pictures, and watch the movies of the inner workings of the cell, I’m absolutely amazed....  Thanks for bringing these amazing stories daily.  Keep up the good work.
    (an engineer in Virginia)

    “I stumbled across your site several months ago and have been reading it practically daily.  I enjoy the inter-links to previous material as well as the links to the quoted research.  I’ve been in head-to-head debate with a materialist for over a year now.  Evolution is just one of those debates.  Your site is among others that have been a real help in expanding my understanding.”
    (a software engineer in Pennsylvania)

    “I was in the April 28, 2005 issue of Nature [see 04/27/2005 story] regarding the rise of intelligent design in the universities.  It was through your website that I began my journey out of the crisis of faith which was mentioned in that article.  It was an honor to see you all highlighting the article in Nature.  Thank you for all you have done!
    (Salvador Cordova, George Mason University)

    “I shudder to think of the many ways in which you mislead readers, encouraging them to build a faith based on misunderstanding and ignorance.  Why don’t you allow people to have a faith that is grounded in a fuller understanding of the world?... Your website is a sham.”
    (a co-author of the paper reviewed in the 12/03/2003 entry who did not appreciate the unflattering commentary.  This led to a cordial interchange, but he could not divorce his reasoning from the science vs. faith dichotomy, and resulted in an impasse over definitions – but, at least, a more mutually respectful dialogue.  He never did explain how his paper supported Darwinian macroevolution.  He just claimed evolution is a fact.)

    “I absolutely love creation-evolution news.  As a Finnish university student very interested in science, I frequent your site to find out about all the new science stuff that’s been happening — you have such a knack for finding all this information!  I have been able to stump evolutionists with knowledge gleaned from your site many times.”
    (a student in Finland)

    “I love your site and read it almost every day.  I use it for my science class and 5th grade Sunday School class.  I also challenge Middle Schoolers and High Schoolers to get on the site to check out articles against the baloney they are taught in school.”
    (a teacher in Los Gatos, CA)

    “I have spent quite a few hours at Creation Evolution Headlines in the past week or so going over every article in the archives.  I thank you for such an informative and enjoyable site.  I will be visiting often and will share this link with others.”
    [Later] “ I am back to May 2004 in the archives.  I figured I should be farther back, but there is a ton of information to digest.”
    (a computer game designer in Colorado)

    “The IDEA Center also highly recommends visiting Creation-Evolution Headlines... the most expansive and clearly written origins news website on the internet!”
    (endorsement on Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness Center)

    “Hey Friends, Check out this site: Creation-Evolution Headlines.  This is a fantastic resource for the whole family.... a fantastic reference library with summaries, commentaries and great links that are added to daily—archives go back five years.”
    (a reader who found us in Georgia)

    “I just wanted to drop you a note telling you that at www.BornAgainRadio.com, I’ve added a link to your excellent Creation-Evolution news site.”
    (a radio announcer)

    “I cannot understand why anyone would invest so much time and effort to a website of sophistry and casuistry.  Why twist Christian apology into an illogic pretzel to placate your intellect?  Isn’t it easier to admit that your faith has no basis -- hence, ‘faith’.  It would be extricate [sic] yourself from intellectual dishonesty -- and from bearing false witness.”
    Sincerely, Rev. [name withheld] (an ex-Catholic, “apostate Christian” Natural/Scientific pantheist)

    “Just wanted to let you folks know that we are consistent readers and truly appreciate the job you are doing.  God bless you all this coming New Year.”
    (from two prominent creation researchers/writers in Oregon)

    “Thanks so much for your site!  It is brain candy!”
    (a reader in North Carolina)

    “I Love your site – probably a little too much.  I enjoy the commentary and the links to the original articles.”
    (a civil engineer in New York)

    “I’ve had your Creation/Evolution Headlines site on my favourites list for 18 months now, and I can truthfully say that it’s one of the best on the Internet, and I check in several times a week.  The constant stream of new information on such a variety of science issues should impress anyone, but the rigorous and humourous way that every thought is taken captive is inspiring.  I’m pleased that some Christians, and indeed, some webmasters, are devoting themselves to producing real content that leaves the reader in a better state than when they found him.”
    (a community safety manager in England)

    “I really appreciate the effort that you are making to provide the public with information about the problems with the General Theory of Evolution.  It gives me ammunition when I discuss evolution in my classroom.  I am tired of the evolutionary dogma.  I wish that more people would stand up against such ridiculous beliefs.”
    (a science teacher in Alabama)

    “If you choose to hold an opinion that flies in the face of every piece of evidence collected so far, you cannot be suprised [sic] when people dismiss your views.”
    (a “former Christian” software distributor, location not disclosed)

    “...the Creation Headlines is the best.  Visiting your site... is a standard part of my startup procedures every morning.”
    (a retired Air Force Chaplain)

    “I LOVE your site and respect the time and work you put into it.  I read the latest just about EVERY night before bed and send selection[s] out to others and tell others about it.  I thank you very much and keep up the good work (and humor).”
    (a USF grad in biology)

    “Answering your invitation for thoughts on your site is not difficult because of the excellent commentary I find.  Because of the breadth and depth of erudition apparent in the commentaries, I hope I’m not being presumptuous in suspecting the existence of contributions from a ‘Truth Underground’ comprised of dissident college faculty, teachers, scientists, and engineers.  If that’s not the case, then it is surely a potential only waiting to be realized.  Regardless, I remain in awe of the care taken in decomposing the evolutionary cant that bombards us from the specialist as well as popular press.”
    (a mathematician/physicist in Arizona)

    “I’m from Quebec, Canada.  I have studied in ‘pure sciences’ and after in actuarial mathematics.  I’m visiting this site 3-4 times in a week.  I’m learning a lot and this site gives me the opportunity to realize that this is a good time to be a creationist!”
    (a French Canadian reader)

    “I LOVE your Creation Safari site, and the Baloney Detector material.  OUTSTANDING JOB!!!!”
    (a reader in the Air Force)

    “You have a unique position in the Origins community.  Congratulations on the best current affairs news source on the origins net.  You may be able to write fast but your logic is fun to work through.”
    (a pediatrician in California)

    “Visit your site almost daily and find it very informative, educational and inspiring.”
    (a reader in western Canada)

    “I wish to thank you for the information you extend every day on your site.  It is truly a blessing!”
    (a reader in North Carolina)

    “I really appreciate your efforts in posting to this website.  I find it an incredibly useful way to keep up with recent research (I also check science news daily) and also to research particular topics.”
    (an IT consultant from Brisbane, Australia)

    “I would just like to say very good job with the work done here, very comprehensive.  I check your site every day.  It’s great to see real science directly on the front lines, toe to toe with the pseudoscience that's mindlessly spewed from the ‘prestigious’ science journals.”
    (a biology student in Illinois)

    “I’ve been checking in for a long time but thought I’d leave you a note, this time.  Your writing on these complex topics is insightful, informative with just the right amount of humor.  I appreciate the hard work that goes into monitoring the research from so many sources and then writing intelligently about them.”
    (an investment banker in California)

    “Keep up the great work.  You are giving a whole army of Christians plenty of ammunition to come out of the closet (everyone else has).  Most of us are not scientists, but most of the people we talk to are not scientists either, just ordinary people who have been fed baloney for years and years.”
    (a reader in Arizona)

    “Keep up the outstanding work!  You guys really ARE making a difference!”
    (a reader in Texas)

    “I wholeheartedly agree with you when you say that ‘science’ is not hostile towards ‘religion’.  It is the dogmatically religious that are unwaveringly hostile towards any kind of science which threatens their dearly-held precepts.  ‘Science’ (real, open-minded science) is not interested in theological navel-gazing.”
    (anonymous)
    Note: Please supply your name and location when writing in.  Anonymous attacks only make one look foolish and cowardly, and will not normally be printed.  This one was shown to display a bad example.

    “I appreciate reading your site every day.  It is a great way to keep up on not just the new research being done, but to also keep abreast of the evolving debate about evolution (Pun intended).... I find it an incredibly useful way to keep up with recent research (I also check science news daily) and also to research particular topics.”
    (an IT consultant in Brisbane, Australia)

    “I love your website.”
    (a student at a state university who used CEH when writing for the campus newsletter)

    “....when you claim great uncertainty for issues that are fairly well resolved you damage your already questionable credibility.  I’m sure your audience loves your ranting, but if you know as much about biochemistry, geology, astronomy, and the other fields you skewer, as you do about ornithology, you are spreading heat, not light.”
    (a professor of ornithology at a state university, responding to the 09/10/2002 headline)

    “I wanted to let you know I appreciate your headline news style of exposing the follies of evolutionism.... Your style gives us constant, up-to-date reminders that over and over again, the Bible creation account is vindicated and the evolutionary fables are refuted.”
    (a reader, location unknown)

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    (a nuclear physicist from Lawrence Livermore Labs who worked on the Manhattan Project)

    “After spending MORE time than I really had available going thru your MANY references I want to let you know how much I appreciate the effort you have put forth.
    The information is properly documented, and coming from recognized scientific sources is doubly valuable.  Your explanatory comments and sidebar quotations also add GREATLY to your overall effectiveness as they 1) provide an immediate interpretive starting point and 2) maintaining the reader’s interest.”
    (a reader in Michigan)

    “I am a huge fan of the site, and check daily for updates.”
    (reader location and occupation unknown)

    “I just wanted to take a minute to personally thank-you and let you know that you guys are providing an invaluable service!  We check your Web site weekly (if not daily) to make sure we have the latest information in the creation/evolution controversy.  Please know that your diligence and perseverance to teach the Truth have not gone unnoticed.  Keep up the great work!”
    (a PhD scientist involved in origins research)

    “You've got a very useful and informative Web site going.  The many readers who visit your site regularly realize that it requires considerable effort to maintain the quality level and to keep the reviews current....  I hope you can continue your excellent Web pages.  I have recommended them highly to others.”
    (a reader, location and occupation unknown)

    “As an apprentice apologist, I can always find an article that will spark a ‘spirited’ debate.  Keep ’em coming!  The Truth will prevail.”
    (a reader, location and occupation unknown)

    “Thanks for your web page and work.  I try to drop by at least once a week and read what you have.  I’m a Christian that is interested in science (I’m a mechanical engineer) and I find you topics interesting and helpful.  I enjoy your lessons and insights on Baloney Detection.”
    (a year later):
    “I read your site 2 to 3 times a week; which I’ve probably done for a couple of years.  I enjoy it for the interesting content, the logical arguments, what I can learn about biology/science, and your pointed commentary.”
    (a production designer in Kentucky)

    “I look up CREV headlines every day.  It is a wonderful source of information and encouragement to me.... Your gift of discerning the fallacies in evolutionists interpretation of scientific evidence is very helpful and educational for me.  Please keep it up.  Your website is the best I know of.”
    (a Presbyterian minister in New South Wales, Australia)

    “I’ve written to you before, but just wanted to say again how much I appreciate your site and all the work you put into it.  I check it almost every day and often share the contents (and web address) with lists on which I participate.  I don’t know how you do all that you do, but I am grateful for your energy and knowledge.”
    (a prominent creationist author)

    “I am new to your site, but I love it!  Thanks for updating it with such cool information.”
    (a home schooler)

    “I love your site.... Visit every day hoping for another of your brilliant demolitions of the foolish just-so stories of those who think themselves wise.”
    (a reader from Southern California)

    “I visit your site daily for the latest news from science journals and other media, and enjoy your commentary immensely.  I consider your web site to be the most valuable, timely and relevant creation-oriented site on the internet.”
    (a reader from Ontario, Canada)

    “Keep up the good work!  I thoroughly enjoy your site.”
    (a reader in Texas)

    “Thanks for keeping this fantastic web site going.  It is very informative and up-to-date with current news including incisive insight.”
    (a reader in North Carolina)

    “Great site!  For all the Baloney Detector is impressive and a great tool in debunking wishful thinking theories.”
    (a reader in the Netherlands)

    “Just wanted to let you know, your work is having quite an impact.  For example, major postings on your site are being circulated among the Intelligent Design members....”
    (a PhD organic chemist)

    “It’s like ‘opening a can of worms’ ... I love to click all the related links and read your comments and the links to other websites, but this usually makes me late for something else.  But it’s ALWAYS well worth it!!”
    (a leader of a creation group)

    “I am a regular visitor to your website ... I am impressed by the range of scientific disciplines your articles address.  I appreciate your insightful dissection of the often unwarranted conclusions evolutionists infer from the data... Being a medical doctor, I particularly relish the technical detail you frequently include in the discussion living systems and processes.  Your website continually reinforces my conviction that if an unbiased observer seeks a reason for the existence of life then Intelligent Design will be the unavoidable conclusion.”
    (a medical doctor)

    “A church member asked me what I thought was the best creation web site.  I told him CreationSafaris.com.”
    (a PhD geologist)

    “I love your site... I check it every day for interesting information.  It was hard at first to believe in Genesis fully, but now I feel more confident about the mistakes of humankind and that all their reasoning amounts to nothing in light of a living God.”
    (a college grad)

    “Thank you so much for the interesting science links and comments on your creation evolution headlines page ... it is very informative.”
    (a reader from Scottsdale, AZ)

    “I still visit your site almost every day, and really enjoy it.  Great job!!!  (I also recommend it to many, many students.)
    (an educational consultant)

    “I like what I see–very much.  I really appreciate a decent, calm and scholarly approach to the whole issue... Thanks ... for this fabulous endeavor–it’s superb!”

    “It is refreshing to read your comments.  You have a knack to get to the heart of the matter.”
    (a reader in the Air Force).

    “Love your website.  It has well thought out structure and will help many through these complex issues.  I especially love the Baloney Detector.”
    (a scientist).

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    (a registered nurse in Alabama, who found us on TruthCast.com.)

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    (a mountain man in Alaska).

    “Just wanted to say that I recently ran across your web site featuring science headlines and your commentary and find it to be A++++, superb, a 10, a homerun – I run out of superlatives to describe it! ... You can be sure I will visit your site often – daily when possible – to gain the latest information to use in my speaking engagements.  I’ll also do my part to help publicize your site among college students.  Keep up the good work.  Your material is appreciated and used.”
    (a college campus minister)

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