Creation-Evolution Headlines
August 2010
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“Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts” is how the great Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman defined science in his article “What is Science?”.... Feynman wrote: “When someone says, ‘Science teaches such and such,’ he is using the word incorrectly.  Science doesn’t teach anything; experience teaches it.  If they say to you, ‘Science has shown such and such,’ you should ask, ‘How does science show it? How did the scientists find out? How? What? Where?’ .... And you have as much right as anyone else, upon hearing about the experiments (but be patient and listen to all the evidence) to judge whether a sensible conclusion has been arrived at.”  And I say, Amen.
—Frank J. Tipler, Professor of Mathematical Physics, Tulane University, in Pajamas Media 07/27/2010.
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Exoplanet Hunters Fail Predictions     08/31/2010    
August 31, 2010 — Before the first extrasolar planets were discovered, astronomers had high confidence that other solar systems would resemble ours.  We have rocky planets close to the sun, and gas giants farther out.  Planetary scientists were pretty sure the pattern would hold up around other stars.  Now that we have hundreds of examples to compare, the reality has been far different from expectations.  The number of surprises in real exoplanet systems underscores the potential flaws in building models based on a sample size of one.
    In Caltech’s latest Engineering and Science magazine,1 John Johnson was interviewed about the state of extrasolar planet hunting.  Johnson has been involved with leading planet-hunting pioneers.  A recurring theme in the interview is the surprise that planetary systems were found to be radically different from predictions.

What are some of the current big questions that you guys are trying to tackle?

We’re interested in how the solar system formed.  We’re interested in our immediate environment and describing its origins.  And beyond that, we’re interested in general in how planetary systems formed.  There are some very specific questions that arise at every turn.  There are so many surprises in this field—almost nothing is turning out as we expected.  There are Jupiter-mass planets in three-day orbits.  There are planets with masses that are between those of the terrestrial planets in our solar system and the gas giants in the outer part of our solar system.  There are Jupiter-mass planets with hugely inflated radii—at densities far lower than what we thought were possible for a gas-giant planet.  There are giant planets with gigantic solid cores that defy models of planet formation, which say there shouldn’t be enough solids available in a protoplanetary disk to form a planet that dense.  There are planets with tilted orbits.  There are planets that orbit the poles of their stars, in so-called circumpolar orbits.  There are planets that orbit retrograde—that is, they orbit in the opposite direction of their star’s rotation.  There are systems of planets that are in configurations that are hard to describe given our understanding of planet formation.  For instance, some planets are much too close to one another.

But a lot of those surprises have to do with the fact that we have only one example of a planetary system—our solar system—to base everything on, right?

What’s interesting is that we’ve found very little that resembles our example.

Johnson went on to say that the leading theory of planetary migration to explain how the so-called hot Jupiters get so close to their star has “gone into the dustbin” now that so many inclined and retrograde examples have been found.  “We’re scrambling to find a new way of describing how these gas giants can move in that also causes their orbits to be tilted,” he added.
    Although Johnson reaffirmed the old Laplace nebular hypothesis with a “2.0” upgrade, the number of “wacky” things his team has discovered belies any attestation of confidence.  “We’re going out into the solar neighborhood, where there are things that we thought were just familiar, things that we thought we understood,” he said.  “But just the wackiest stuff comes up—and it’s sure keeping me busy.”  He compared it to going on safari and discovering a blue lion.  “That might be the level of wackiness I would attach to it.
1.  Marcus Y. Woo, “Discovering New Worlds,” Engineering & Science, Volume LXXIII, Number 3, 2010, pp. 18-23.
He didn’t really find a blue lion.  He found a natural lion, but the funny glasses he was wearing made it look blue.
    Johnson went on to describe how Stephen Hawking’s book A Brief History of Time had made a profound influence on him.  He also affirmed at the end that he thought humans would figure out that their place in the universe is insignificant, following the theme of the positivists and Carl Sagan: “We are coming out of the darkness from a couple hundred years ago and we’re rubbing our eyes today, realizing that we are on a really small planet around a really average star in an unspectacular part of the galaxy, and we’re learning our place in this whole universe,” he said.  “Once we find more planets like our own, it’ll further define our place and give us a better universal context for what it means to be human.”
    This kind of bluffing means Johnson has been a good apprentice.  His mentor Hawking was similarly prone to wild speculation without evidence, pontificating as he did in his book about how close humans were to finding a “theory of everything” when in fact he could point to little more hard evidence than mathematical speculations whirring about in his nimble imagination.  If anyone in economics or sportscasting had this bad a track record of predictions, though, they would be out of a job.  Cosmology is one of the many evolutionary sciences where you can brag about how wrong you have been, and people will still think you are wonderful because you are busy stamp collecting.
Next headline on:  StarsSolar System
Atheist Doctors Might Kill You     08/30/2010    
Aug 30, 2010 — Your doctor’s religious beliefs – or lack of them – might have a lot to do with how soon you exit this world when elderly or infirm.  Science Daily reported, “Atheist or agnostic doctors are almost twice as willing to take decisions that they think will hasten the end of a very sick patient’s life as doctors who are deeply religious, suggests research published online in the Journal of Medical Ethics.”  The press release from the British Medical Association concluded, “the relationship between doctors’ values and their clinical decision making needs to be acknowledged much more than it is at present.
The findings appear to be subject to interpretation, because not all religions are created equal.  The article said, for instance, “Specialists in the care of the elderly were somewhat more likely to be Hindu or Muslim, while palliative care doctors were somewhat more likely than other doctors to be Christian, white, and agree that they were ‘religious.’”
    Interpretation aside, consider the logic: a religious person is likely to care very much about the afterlife and the consequences of dying.  Religious doctors are also likely to have moral principles about the sanctity of life.  Why would an atheist care about such things?  When you die, you die; it’s only natural (everything dies, after all), and better that a patient be put out of misery.  Let the dying sleep so we can focus the resources on the living, he or she might say.
    Ideas have consequences.  You had better consider your doctor’s beliefs, and the beliefs of health care policy makers, when considering your final will about prolonging your own life.  The new leftist/progressive push toward universal health care (mostly promoted by the non-religious) also contains the seeds of rationing – decisions about what lives are worth preserving without any thought of human dignity.  Despite the promises and repudiations about rationing, the American president snuck in a recess appointment for head of the healthcare program who has overtly promoted rationing as a preferred policy (see TownHall.com).  Watch what politicians do, not what they say.  That principle applies more than ever in the current political environment..
    One tragic statistic in the press release illustrates the erosion of belief in God among the majority American population: “But, overall, white doctors, who comprised the largest ethnic group among the respondents, were the least likely to report strong religious beliefs.”
Next headline on:  HealthPolitics and EthicsBible and Theology
Intelligent Design as Entertainment     08/26/2010    
August 26, 2010 — It’s been around a few months now, but OK Go’s music video of their song “This Too Shall Pass” featured an elaborate Rube Goldberg set.  What many viewers may not know about the backstory of the production is that several JPL rocket scientists helped design and operate the contraptions that filled a good-size warehouse.
    The NASA Wiki post from June 1 includes interviews with the JPL'ers about their participation, and all the trials and fun of getting the dozens of finely-tuned contraptions to operate in sequence so that the entire number could be shot non-stop by a single hand-held video camera.  “More than 40 engineers, techies, artists, and circus types spent several months designing, building, rebuilding, and re-setting a machine that took up two floors of a Los Angeles warehouse,” the blog said.  More about the elaborate set and the six months of planning and shooting with 60 takes to get it right is explained on Wikipedia.
Teachers may want to use this video, lame as it is, to illuminate some aspects of intelligent design.  (Hint: the forgettable music with its shallow lyrics can be dispensed with to focus attention on the action.  Another good choice is the famous Honda Accord Cog Commercial.)
    Some evolutionists complain that the cell acts like a clumsy Rube Goldberg device.  Notice what the engineers said, though: the smaller the parts, the more design and care was required.  And the whole set was irreducibly complex, in that a failure of one part would bring the rest of the production to a halt.
    Another lesson is that it’s not necessarily the parts, but the way they are arranged, that showcases design.  The video was made almost entirely with used household items.  Similarly, a cell achieves phenomenal intricacy with just a few simple atoms: carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, sulfur, phosphorus, calcium, and a few metals.
    The design of a phenomenon should be judged by its effectiveness, not by some subjective human measure of clumsiness.  The workings of cells are far more elegant and effective, and, as orders of magnitude smaller, require far more fine tuning to remain robust to fluctuations.  Compare what magnificent music can be made from a few black and white keys.  There’s a lot more going on under the surface.

Exercise:  Ask young physics students this question: How is it that a tiny domino falling can lead to a human being flying through the air?  The domino does not have much energy; where does the energy come from to produce such large effects from a small source?
Answer:  The energy is stored in the potential energy of each contraption.  The flags, for instance, are held down by springs storing potential energy that can be released by a small trigger.  No energy is created or destroyed, but according to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, it becomes more unusable over time.  Once released, the Rube Goldberg Machine would never reset itself.  It takes intelligently-directed outside energy to reset it each time.
Next headline on:  Intelligent Design

  Read about the planet-making trap Laplace didn’t consider: the death spiral, in the 08/21/2009 entry.

Who Invited the Scientist in Here?     08/25/2010    
August 25, 2010 — If you envision science in terms of white-coated lab chemists holding flasks, field biologists gathering bird eggs, astronomers peering through a telescope or geologists chipping rocks with hand picks, think again.  Today’s science sweeps everything into its domain, including the human mind, intellect, emotions, will, creativity, and our most sincere beliefs and actions.  When not explained in terms of evolutionary impulses from some animal past, they are often described in sterile, dispassionate terms, reducing our sincerely held beliefs, choices and partnerships into matters of neurotransmitters in the brain or impulses little different than the behavior of ants.  Humanities departments should beware letting scientists in the door.  They come in and take over.

  1. Moral calorimeter:  A Harvard press release posted on PhysOrg analyzed moral decision making in terms of brain wiring.  “It seems that our capacity for complex, life-and-death decisions depends on brain structures that originally evolved for making more basic, self-interested decisions about things like obtaining calories.”  The scientists assumed that since the same brain circuits for moral decisions lit up in brain images as those for obtaining money or food, that therefore morality was an artifact of the evolutionary selection for self-preservation.
  2. Evangelical species:  A Rice University press release posted on PhysOrg classified evangelical leaders into four categories with the coldness and aloofness of a museum worker pinning insects to a cladogram.
  3. Shame on poverty:  An Oxford press release announced an international study to measure the relationship of poverty to feelings of low self-esteem, PhysOrg announced.  This study did desire, however, to “tackle poverty effectively while simultaneously recognising the importance of promoting dignity and a sense of self-respect.”  It is not clear, however, whether science can establish which is the cause, and which is the effect, if either.
  4. Evolution of crying:  Several articles such as this one on SmartPlanet analyzed the evolutionary purpose of tears.  Assuming anything that exists evolved, the article said, “according to scientists who study evolution, crying has likely evolved to be a tool – a leg up in natural selection – to help the species persist.”  The reporter called NPR’s coverage of this idea a “great report” because it supposedly explains a human behavior as “an evolved mechanism to save relationships in distress.”
  5. Evolution of marriage:  A press release from University of Chicago posted by PhysOrg analyzed the stress levels and hormones of married couples compared to singles, and classified human marriages right along with the animals: “in species of primates and birds where males assist females with rearing offspring ... testosterone levels in males drop as they engage in more fatherly behavior.”  The human subjects were subjected to saliva sampling before and after playing computer games.
  6. Religious patriotism:  A press release from the American Sociological Association claimed, according to PhysOrg, that “People with no religious affiliation have less favorable views of the US.”  It’s not clear whether the sociologists intended to state a cause-and-effect relationship between patriotism and three demographic factors (ethnicity, religious affiliation and nationality), or just wanted to state a pattern in the statistics.  The press release was too brief to describe the instrument used.  What does a national-pride-o-meter look like?
  7. TV Sex:  A press release from Temple University published by PhysOrg claims that TV sex is not linked to early teen sexual activity.  “There are many reasons to find the portrayal of sex in mass media objectionable,” the researcher remarked, “But let’s not confuse matters of taste with matters of science.”  Apparently science is tasteless.
  8. Goys and birls:  In a claim sure to cause furrowed brows among some parents, Michigan State University claims, “Boys and Girls Not as Different as Previously Thought.”  The article on Science Daily admitted that “further research is needed to confirm the results by examining a single group of children over time.”
  9. Don’t tell dad:  My, what would Mom and Dad think of a press release from the American Sociological Association that exonerates college unmarried sex on the grounds that it is “often harmless to their academics”?  Read Science Daily if you dare.  Apparently the opinions of parents, religious leaders, ethicists and counselors were irrelevant to this kind of “scientific” study.
  10. Mr. Wilson against Dennis the Menace:  E. O. Wilson was at it again this week, explaining the evolution of eusociality (self-sacrificing group behavior, as seen in beehives and human charitable organizations).  Science Daily summarize his latest Nature paper.  The apostate Christian and his colleagues figured out a way to explain unselfish behavior entirely in terms of Darwinian natural selection.  Part of the collateral damage of this view, if it becomes the new paradigm (not a new game; see 05/07/2002 and 08/26/2004), is that decades of Hamilton’s kin selection (inclusive fitness) theory, regarded as “one of the most (or even the most) important evolutionary insights of the recently finished century” gets tossed into the dustbin of history.  For more on the “disturbing” legacy of W. D. Hamilton, see 03/07/2002 and 09/02/2004.
Remember Abraham Maslow?  He was the evolutionary psychologist who devised the iconic pyramidal diagram called the “hierarchy of needs” (physical needs, safety, affection, esteem, and self-actualization).  According to Arizona State University, that was a good start, but the pyramid needs an upgrade to take into account evolutionary psychology.  PhysOrg reported that the ASU researchers flipped out their need-o-meters (maybe it’s an app on the Droid) and concluded they had a need to replace self-actualization with some evolutionary needs that Maslow overlooked – “mate acquisition, mate retention and parenting.”  Now that they are considering evolutionary needs, they hope they can take Maslow’s “wonderful idea” and “get it right” this time.
It’s time to turn the tables on these Yoda wannabes again.  According to their own belief systems, they are evolved animals, too.  No fair excluding oneself from the population.  If they want to treat the rest of us as lab rats, we can ask for reciprocation, so here goes.  These evolutionary researchers go through these scientific motions because they use the same brain circuits for getting food and money.  We can divide them into four categories: the dogmatic, hilarious, circumlocutious and brazen.  Their affluence causes a lack of shame.  Their atheism causes their unfavorable attitude toward their country.  They are stressed out because their marriages are either unstable or non-existent.  Justifying TV sex is an evolutionary defense mechanism they employ to cover up their own dalliances.  Their scientific conclusions are artifacts of their hormones and gender identities.
    Why not let the humanities teachers, philosophers, theologians and preachers turn their measuring instruments on the denizens of the science department?  It would not be hard to envision G. K. Chesterton, C. S. Lewis or Billy Sunday having some rather colorful rhetoric to explain the propensity of evolutionary psychologists to be predominantly atheist, leftist, intolerable, arrogant reprobates.  Undoubtedly, the sin meters of some of these poor scientific scoundrels would be so active, they could be used on hot days as a fan.
    What happens when scientists leave the lab and presume upon the domains of other modes of inquiry is that they become caricatures of themselves.  Like the proverbial carpenters with a hammer seeing every problem as a nail, they start hammering the water, the air, the language, and the music.  It looks pretty silly to hammer a Mozart concerto.  One thing they never do, though, is hammer their own heads.  Maybe they should.  Somehow they need their sense knocked back into them, so that they can “experience” the psychology of self-refutation.
    Notice how the evolutionary psychos leapt onto the Maslow pyramid to evolve it better.  What is this “hierarchy of needs”?  Who was Abraham Maslow to presume to prescribe what his fellow creatures need most?  Even if he had not been a new-age mystic, he got it wrong – his hierarchy was the complete opposite of what the Manufacturer commanded.  We don’t need self-actualization; we need self-sacrifice!  Jesus said, “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God” (Matthew 6:33) and all your other needs would be added to you.  Paul admonished believers to present themselves to God as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1-2) and have our minds renewed by the word of God.  Jesus told his followers to deny themselves and take up their crosses and follow him, not to seek self-actualization.  Without question the nobility of Jesus Christ, and the life He lived, is incomparably more to be desired than the whims and myths of this joker Maslow who put his puny little self at the center of the universe.  Like all the other leading-light psychologists, he appeared on stage briefly to give his short soliloquy, garner some applause, and then disappear into the wings, out of a job, along with Freud, Jung, Rogers, and all the other pretenders.
    It’s time to unmask the charlatans who misuse the good name of science to hawk their deceptive wares.  The know-nothing Yodas described above are only fallible people.  Their hammer works good on physical nails, but not on the mind and the things of God.  Call their bluff, pastors; be bold!  We need some modern-day Elijahs, unaffected by labels and histrionics and costumery, to challenge these priests of Darwin-Baal and show who can draw down the true fire.  One good Elijah is all it takes.
Next headline on:  Darwin and EvolutionPolitics and EthicsMind and BrainBible and TheologyPhilosophy of Science
Dinosaur Graveyards and Arctic Tortoises: Who’s Got the Context?     08/24/2010    
August 24, 2010 — Science articles often go beyond the data.  A jumble of bones found on an island is boring; people want a story of what they were, and how they got that way.  Many scientists and reporters are only happy to fulfill that curiosity.  But are the stories they tell, usually presented as fact, the only way to interpret the context?
  1. Wight wash:  The Isle of Wight is “one of the most important dinosaur sites in the world,” reported PhysOrg.  On this British isle, a great variety of dinosaur bones and other species are found in a “chaotic jumble” showing signs of fire and drowning.  Something dramatic happened here, and two UK paleontologists are quick to tell their tale:
    “Rainfall occurred all year round but during the summer months, when temperatures soared to between 36-40°C, evaporation exceeded rainfall causing drought conditions.  At these times vegetation became parched leaving it vulnerable to fires caused by lightning strike.
        “Occasionally very heavy rain would follow electrical storms and wild fires causing flash floods.  These swept up all loose objects in their path, swallowed complete dinosaur skeletons and eroded floodplain sediments.  The more debris and sediment the water collected the thicker and thicker it became until eventually it was like mixed concrete.”
    Can this tale be untangled from the data?  According to one of the paleontologists, “On the Isle of Wight you get a complete muddle of the smallest fossils blended with the biggest, nothing quite like it has been seen anywhere else in the world.”  The article claims that the Isle of Wight once lay farther south at the latitude of Gibraltar.  The new study, it claims, “revealed” that “the island’s once violent weather explains why thousands of tiny dinosaur teeth and bones lie buried alongside the huge bones of their gigantic relatives.”  Why the violent weather, lightning fires, floods and concrete muddle did not happen on the mainland simultaneously was not explained.
  2. Arctic reptiles:  One does not normally envision alligators and tortoises roaming on Arctic ice, but according to Science Daily, these cold-blooded animals “thrived” there on Ellesmere Island 50 million years ago, despite being relegated to very little sunlight six months of the year.  University of Colorado scientists are certain they have figured it out.  Back in the Eocene, they surmise, it never got below freezing on Ellesmere.  It was a balmy forested swamp back then, like Louisiana.  It’s still a bit north, Dr. Jaelyn Eberle admitted: “the existence of large land tortoises in the Eocene High Arctic is still somewhat puzzling, said Eberle, since today’s large tortoises inhabit places like the Galapagos....”  Interesting that bowfin fish were also found mixed in with the fossils, which including a surprising assortment of animals like “giant tortoises, aquatic turtles, large snakes, alligators, flying lemurs, tapirs, and hippo-like and rhino-like mammals” in a “lush landscape.”  Interesting, also, that the paleontologists are concerned about coal miners disrupting the fossil beds.  Coal – in the Arctic?  Eberle managed to make her research politically relevant by describing the Eocene as a “a deep time analogue” to modern concerns about global warming.
  3. The early sponge:  In an attempt to show that animals started their emergence long before the Cambrian Explosion, some Princeton scientists have described traces in Australian rocks said to be 650 million years old as the first sponges – among the simplest of multicellular animals.  The BBC News shows the squiggly lines in rock from the Flinders Ranges as a kind of Rorschach test for visualizing animal life.  After all, based on Darwin’s tree, the Geologic Column and molecular phylogeny, sponges should have appeared about that time.  Problem is, we have no idea what they would have looked like.  Are they really animals?  A skeptical Aussie scientist described the traces as “coco-pop breakfast-cereal-like forms” that anyone could use to claim were the “oldest sponge-grade fossils.”
It’s doubtful many readers would be attracted to a story about a chaotic jumble of dinosaur bones, a chaotic jumble of reptile and mammal bones, and a chaotic array of lines in rock from the Aussie Outback.  Seeing into the bones, using them as a crystal ball to envision deep time, provides more satisfaction for scientist and reader alike.  Whether the data will bear such phantasmagorical scenarios is another question.
Try our interpretation: a global flood.  Why not?  If storytelling is the thing, that one has a lot going for it, including adequate mechanisms, eyewitnesses and a lot less special pleading.
Next headline on:  FossilsDinosaursMarine BiologyTerrestrial Zoology
Moon May Be Active Today     08/23/2010    
August 23, 2010 — The old story of our moon was that it was geologically dead.  Except for the occasional meteor impact, not much happens there; the interior had cooled down long ago, leaving it an inert, battered sphere.  That was before the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter showed scientists evidence that it has continued to shrink and form new surface features recently.  In fact, the activity may still be occurring today.
    Science Daily reported that analysis of lobate scarps and small craters is changing scientists’ ideas about the moon.  Small craters should be erased in relatively short time, but some scarps, thought to be due to lunar shrinkage, run right through them – indicating the scarps are younger than the craters.  Such lobate scarps were known from the Apollo missions but it was uncertain whether they were a peculiarity of the equatorial regions.  LRO has shown them all over the globe.  Whatever causes them must be a global phenomenon.  Furthermore, the moonquakes detected by Apollo instruments might be due to ongoing shrinkage rather than impacts as earlier thought.
    One of the scientists put his error bars far apart.  “We estimate these cliffs, called lobate scarps, formed less than a billion years ago, and they could be as young as a hundred million years,” Dr. Thomas Watters (Smithsonian) speculated.  But since “the scarps look crisp and relatively undegraded” why couldn’t they be as young as 1,000 years, or 10 years?  After all, “The moon cooled off as it aged, and scientists have long thought the moon shrank over time as it cooled, especially in its early history,” the article said.  “The new research reveals relatively recent tectonic activity connected to the long-lived cooling and associated contraction of the lunar interior.”
    The article also spoke about Mercury’s lobate scarps, which are much larger than the moon’s despite its smaller volume.  On Mercury they can be 100 miles high and snake across the surface for hundreds of miles.  Without explaining why, the article said, “the team believes the moon shrank less.”
    On a related note, Science Daily reported that the mountains on Titan, rising nearly two kilometers, may be due to shrinkage, too.  “Since the formation of Titan, which scientists believe occurred around four billion years ago, the moon’s interior has cooled significantly,” the article said, stating tradition.  “But the moon is still releasing hundreds of gigawatts of power, some of which may be available for geologic activity.”  Lessons being learned there, however, cannot be generally applied.  Jonathan Lunine opined, “These results suggest that Titan’s geologic history has been different from that of its Jovian cousins, thanks, perhaps, to an interior ocean of water and ammonia.”
    And speaking of activity, Cassini bagged another close-up view of the geysers on Enceladus, Science Daily reported.  The photos (see Imaging Team site) shows the hot jets are still going strong, years after their discovery in 2005.  The JPL press release includes photos it also took of Dione and Tethys on this, the 11th close flyby past Enceladus.
Scientists try hard to make it look like they know what they are talking about.  Describing how things look today is one thing.  That’s observation.  Telling us how they got that way is interrupted frequently by the refrain, “Scientists had long thought... but....”  Heard often enough, it’s not cause for confidence in what they are telling us now, even when they crow about nailing the age of the solar system to 5 significant figures (see New Scientist) which, by the way, they just decided is some 2 million years older than the previous value they crowed about (see Space.com).  Let’s stack their confidence in that number by the pile of mistakes in all their predictions (07/29/2010).  They don’t know, and they weren’t there, so is this science, or is it educated storytelling with unlimited withdrawals from the Ad Hoc Bank?
Next headline on:  Solar SystemDating MethodsGeology
  An evolutionist said evolution made everybody crazy two years ago – but did she include herself?  Read 08/27/2008 and decide.

Universe Is Doomed     08/22/2010    
August 22, 2010 — Astronomers have decided the universe will expand forever, growing colder and darker, till it ends in a heat death.  According to the BBC News, a study of gravitational lensing by a huge galactic cluster named Abell 1689 determined that dark energy will push galaxies apart till they burn out.  One researcher remarked that the study proves “exactly what the fate of the Universe will be” – which the article described, “Eventually it will become a cold, dead wasteland with a temperature approaching what scientists term ‘absolute zero’.”

This is not news, but a reaffirmation of what 19th century physicists inferred from the second law of thermodynamics.  It doesn’t matter whether the universe is expanding or not (a factor 19th century astronomers did not consider).  No process can prevent the increase of entropy and the unavailability of usable energy in the universe.  When everything becomes a uniform temperature, approaching the asymptotic limit of absolute zero, that is the end.
    This is a blow to all positivistic conceptions of human progress.  Even in the movie Contact, there was meager comfort for the intelligences of the universe to have nothing more to offer than biding time till the inevitable fate awaited everything.  In our day, cosmic acceleration speeds up the gloom.  Sure it is far off (far beyond our individual lifetimes), but what hope is there for any activity that ends in a cold, black nothingness?  There is no point in ultimate pointlessness, no purpose in ultimate purposelessness, no initiative to energize mental activity in dread of the ultimate disappearance of mind, reason and communication.  The same despair holds, for anyone who ponders it, in the cyclic worldviews that teach a universe vanishing into a cosmic sea only to emerge again with no memory of what it had been.
    Lord Kelvin, one of the most eminent in the field of 19th century thermodynamics, understood that there is no hope in a world view that omits God.  Kelvin noticed the second law clearly stated in Scripture thousands of years before his generation had discovered it (Psalm 102:26-27).  Not leaving his Creator’s universe decaying away in vain, he affirmed the revealed promises of God, the only eternal hope that can energize our yearnings: “We have the sober scientific certainty that the heavens and earth shall ‘wax old as doth a garment,’” he said.  “....Dark indeed would be the prospects for the human race if unilluminated by that light which reveals ‘new heavens and a new earth’” (Revelation 21-22).
Next headline on:  CosmologyPhysicsBible and Theology
Inserting Evolution into Data     08/13/2010    
August 13, 2010 — Evolution takes credit for a lot of things other scientists might think say nothing about evolution.  Are the statements in these articles about evolution warranted by the observations?
  1. Do the RNA:  Scientists at Yale University found an RNA complex that helps proteins to infect cells.  That’s interesting as far as it goes, but Science Daily embellished the observation with a story about the distant past: “Yale University researchers have discovered an ancient but functioning genetic remnant from a time before DNA existed,” it said.  Ron Breaker of Yale elaborated the reasoning behind the claim:
    This is the sort of RNA structure would have been needed for life exist [sic] before the evolution of double-stranded DNA, with its instruction book for proteins that carry out almost all of life’s functions today.  If proteins are necessary to carry out life’s functions, scientists need to explain how life arise [sic] without DNA’s recipe.  The answer to the chicken or egg question is RNA machines such as the one identified in the new study, Breaker said.
        A lot of sophisticated RNA gadgetry has gone extinct but this study shows that RNA has more of the power needed to carry out complex biochemistry,” Breaker said.  “It makes the spontaneous emergence of life on earth much more palatable.”
    Incidentally, even though the observation showed this RNA helping a bacterium infect a cell, the RNA probably had a more beneficial function: “They were though [sic] to be molecular parasites, but it is clear they are being harnessed by cells to do some good for the organism.”  The article did not attempt to explain how machinery evolves.
  2. Moses oar:  One of the most complete skeletons of the mosasaur Platecarpus, an extinct marine reptile that was a dynamite swimmer as well as a fierce predator, was announced by Science Daily.  The article said that earlier beliefs about it swimming like an eel have had to be revised, as analysis shows it probably swam more like a shark.  That’s interesting as far as it goes, but it has evolutionary implications, as Luis B. Chiappe of the Los Angeles National History Museum explained:
    The findings underscore how these adaptations for fully aquatic existence evolved rapidly and convergently in several groups of Mesozoic marine reptiles, as well as in extant whales.  “This fossil shows evolution in action, how a successful design was developed time after time by different groups of organisms adapting to life in similar environments,” said Chiappe.  “It highlights once again the potential for new discoveries to challenge well-established interpretations about dinosaurs and other animals that lived with them.”
        “From this beautifully preserved specimen it seems that advanced, shark like swimming began in mosasaurs millions of years earlier than we previously thought,” said Dr. Kevin Padian, a paleontologist at the University of California, Berkeley, not involved in the paper.
    The article praised the curators and workers on the fossil, and remarked that new discoveries can challenge well-established interpretations about dinosaurs and other animals, but was strangely silent about how evolution produced complex adaptations time and time again in different groups of animals.  Incidentally, the fossil was exceptionally well preserved: “It retains traces of a partial body outline, putative skin color markings, external scales, a downturned tail, branching bronchial tubes, and stomach contents (fish).”  Most sea creatures decay in the ocean.  The article did not explain how this specimen was preserved so delicately.
  3. Reasoning about irrationality:  People say and do dumb things.  That’s interesting as far as it goes, but Sharon Begley at Newsweek used her powers of reason to argue “why evolution may favor irrationality.”  Putting herself in the mindset of a hunter-gatherer in prehistoric times, Begley explained, “Forms of reasoning that are good for solving logic puzzles but bad for winning arguments lost out, over the course of evolution, to those that help us be persuasive but cause us to struggle with abstract syllogisms.”  She said this very persuasively, if not logically; for if evolution favored irrationality, how would she know the difference?
The habit of drawing evolution into explanations for observations has a long history.  Darwin took credit for bat sonar, symbiosis, insect size, and even lack of evolution as an evolutionary strategy in the 08/24/2007 entry, for space dust and magnetic fields and Mediterranean microbes in the 08/11/2010 entry, and for all kinds of other things – as 1430 chain links on “Darwin and Evolution” over 10 years reveal.
When you read evolutionary science articles with your Baloney Detector on, it all becomes very clear.  It’s like seeing with those new scanners at airports.  Evolutionary storytelling is an ideology searching for evidential threads to cover Emperor Charlie.
Next headline on:  Cell BiologyGeneticsOrigin of LifeFossilsMarine BiologyDinosaursHuman BodyMindDarwin and EvolutionDumb Ideas
Taking the Sci-Fi Out of SETI     08/12/2010    
August 12, 2010 — SETI might well stand for “Sci-Fi of Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence” with its ROI (return on investment) of zero in 50 years of searching (12/31/2009).  In his latest piece for Space.com Seth Shostak did the best he could to distinguish SETI as science, not science fiction, though plenty of the latter will be evident at a conference in Santa Clara this weekend called SETIcon (SETI Conference), sponsored by the SETI Institute.  Shostak, erstwhile Director, preferred in this article to call himself by his new scientific title, “Senior Astronomer.”
    The conference will feature a who’s who of SETI glitterati, including Frank Drake, Jill Tarter, and Seth Shostak himself, who has tried to make the scientific case for SETI for years (01/05/2005, 04/22/2009).  They will be accompanied by Apollo astronaut Rusty Schweikart, planet hunter Mike Brown, Alex Filippenko and other astronomers.  Mixed in with the “science” category are plenty of “science fiction” people, like Robyn Asimov (the daughter of noted atheist science fiction writer Isaac Asimov), sci-if screenwriters, actors from sci-if movies, and book authors, making this a blend of views “all dealing with the science and science-fiction of extraterrestrial life.”
    What did Shostak offer up as the science of SETI?  Without a subject (02/20/2004, 07/25/2006), is it really right to call it science (08/13/2004)?  Without doubt, there has been plenty of progress in astrophysical theories about the lifetimes of various star types, the conditions for habitable environments, and a growing roster of extrasolar planets.  The search tools have become much better, with the Allen Telescope Array coming online (08/17/2007, 10/12/2007).   But much of his material is in future tense – what scientists can expect is possible, given the constraints of physics (12/07/2007).  Scientists help inform overactive screenwriters’ imaginations with a dose of realism.  The dinner in honor of Frank Drake is more a celebrity toast than a science presentation, since Drake never found anything.
    Shostak insisted that “there’s never been a time when the search for life beyond Earth – a staple of the [science fiction] genre – was more informed by real science.”  But the only scientific achievements he listed deal with stars, planets, radio waves, and the like – the usual astronomy – not matters of sentient beings.
Would it be science if you published many articles on scientific constraints for the survival of gnomes and leprechauns?  Shostak knows a lot of astronomy, but his reason for being in his current post is SETI, for which there is no scientific evidence.  He loves to mingle with the sci-if crowd (05/31/2005), but when the legitimacy of SETI is at stake, he can easily point to Filippenko and Brown and the other legit astronomers, and say, “I’m with them.”  Note: they haven’t found ET, either.
Next headline on:  SETI
  Was Homo habilis an ancestor of Homo erectus?  No; they were contemporaries.  For a look at the arbitrariness of human bone classification, and the “messy kinks” in the evolving evolutionary story, revisit the 08/09/2007 entry.

Conjuring Up Evolutionary Implications from Current Data     08/11/2010    
August 11, 2010 — What does observable reality imply about unobservable reality?  Some scientists say, a lot.  But is unobservable reality really real?  Or is it an oxymoron?  A couple of recent articles in the science media show scientists observing things in the present, then saying they have “huge implications” for things no scientist ever observed.
    In one article, some Yale geologists measured the angle of magnetization in rocks in Australia in the present.  That’s the data.  The implication they drew was that a supercontinent in the unobserved past called Gondwana underwent a 60-degree rotation 525 million years ago.  According to Science Daily, one of the scientists exclaimed, “this could have had huge implications for the Cambrian explosion of animal life at that time.”
    A picture of a professor and his post-doc working in a Frankensteinish lab accompanies another article in Science Daily.  They are looking at space dust.  That’s the data.  They are trying to tally up the chemicals in meteorites and dust samples brought back from space missions, and detected in spectra from the Herschel space telescope, and make their tally available to researchers around the world.  What is the significance of dust?  The article announced the implications: “Because space dust contains the basic ingredients that form planets, the University of Central Florida physicists’ analysis could provide important clues about how the solar system formed and how life emerged.”  The postdoc is learning her lessons well.  “A complete understanding of the mineralogy of cosmic dust is essential to understanding the formation and mineralogy of planets and, ultimately, to unraveling how life emerged in the universe,” she said.
    An evolutionist at the University of Dusseldorf found organisms deep in the Mediterranean that can live without oxygen.  That’s the data.  It led Bill Martin to propose a radical idea about the origin of life and its subsequent evolution that shows all the other evolutionary biologists are wrong: the origin of complex life did not revolve around oxygen.  The tale told as a “hydrogen bombshell” in New Scientist conjures up the union of a bacterium and an archaeal microbe to form mitochondria.  It conjures up the Cambrian explosion.  It conjures up images of the rise and fall of oxygen, the interactions of that gas with microbes directing the course of evolution.  For example,

One is that the initial rise in oxygen did not cleanse the oceans, but converted them into a stinking mess, full of hydrogen sulphide.  Far from having few refuges, anaerobes had whole oceans to themselves.  What’s more, these conditions lasted for more than a billion years, right through the period when the eukaryotes are thought to have evolved.
Notice that the qualifier “the period when the eukaryotes are thought to have evolved” refers to the period, not the evolution.  Evolution was nowhere doubted in the article, though controversies about the “how” of eukaryote evolution surfaced at one point.  Author Nick Lane1 admitted that Martin and his colleague “leapt straight in at the deep end” by suggesting that the “ancestor of mitochondria... was a versatile bacterium capable of living in a variety of environments” using hydrogen or oxygen, and that by combining its resources with a bacterium, it made a “primordial pact that gave rise to the eukaryotes.”
    In answer to his critics, Martin revealed something about the inability of drawing implications from other people’s data.  His critics, who “think the transformation from aerobic mitochondria to hydrogenosomes has little or nothing to do with the origins of eukaryotes,” typically use gene studies to make their point.  “Single gene studies are subject to so many artefacts that we can conclude almost nothing about deep evolutionary history from them,” Martin argued.  “Line up the same genes from the other end and you derive a totally different tree.
    Rather than learning that lesson from his own data, Martin and Nick Lane feel that if the hydrogen hypothesis is right, “the implications for complex life are striking.”  Reaching for the stars, Lane wrote, “The existence of animals that don’t need oxygen means that oxygen is not the be-all and end-all of complex life in the universe.”  Furthermore, “There was no magisterial progression from simple to complex life as oxygen levels rose; no inevitability about it,” he ended.  “Instead, there was a symbiotic union between a bacterium that could make hydrogen and an archaeal host cell that could exploit that hydrogen: a freak event that changed the world.”
    Amazing, is it not, the implications that can be derived from magnetic field lines, dust, and Mediterranean microbes. 
1.  Incidentally, Nick Lane, who authored the article in New Scientist, whisked by the problem of the origin of ATP Synthase (08/04/2010) by referring to it dismissively as, “the usual ATP-generating machinery driven by oxygen.”  In a book review in Science four years ago (see 03/31/2006), David Nicholls was stunned by Lane’s simplistic account of the emergence of ATP synthesis with the words, “all that the cells need to do to generate ATP is to plug an ATPase through the membrane.”  Reeling from the shock of that sentence, Nicholls responded, “Any bioenergeticist who has followed the elucidation of the extraordinary structure and mechanism of the mitochondrial ATP synthase over the past decade will pause at the word ‘all,’ because the ATP synthase—with its spinning rotor massaging the surrounding subunits to generate ATP—is without doubt the most amazingly complex molecular structure in the cell.”  Nick Lane’s book had the audacious title, Science, Power, Sex, Suicide: Mitochondria and the Meaning of Life.  For more examples of Lane’s glittering generalities in action, see 05/31/2010, 10/19/2009 and 06/15/2009.
They should be weeping over the Cambrian explosion and the inability of evolution to account for the “emergence” of complex life and body plans, and they should be blushing over reducing science to “freak accidents,” but instead they are rejoicing in their own freak imaginations.
    What are the implications of following their example?  If they can do it, so can we.  We can take observable reality and make up stories about unobservable realities that exist only in the imagination.  Here’s your assignment: assume a stupid thing, observe a fact, and make up a story about what it means about unobservable reality.    Here are a couple to get you started.
  • Assumption: Everything happens according to the will of Elvis.  Data: I got a junk phone call from an airline company.  Implication: Elvis wants me to fly to Memphis.
  • Assumption: Aliens planted gnomes on Earth to direct the course of evolution.  Data: Flies come into the house when the windows are open.  Implication: 128.523 million years ago, flies were change agents the gnomes used to pressure mammals to grow long tails as fly swatters.
        See?  It’s fun.  You, too, can be a scientist.  Send in your suggestions.
    Next headline on:  CosmologyPhysicsFossilsGeologyOrigin of LifeGeneticsDumb Ideas
  • Ancient Earth Smackdown at Santa Fe Tells Global Story     08/10/2010    
    August 10, 2010 — Biblical creationists believe in a global flood, but did you know secular geologists have a global catastrophe, too?  Both groups converge on evidence at a certain layer of rock.  To get there, we begin at a “a compelling story about the distant past” that emerges from a look at rocks near Santa Fe, New Mexico.
        Leslie Mullen, writing for the online Astrobiology Magazine (a NASA website), told the story of an ancient impact.  No crater was left, because this impact is assumed to have occurred “sometime between 1.2 billion and 330 million years ago” – but no earlier.  Why?  Because a boundary layer forms the point of convergence of two global catastrophe stories.  Her article focused primarily on the alleged craterless impact of a body 5 to 12 times larger than the stone that formed the more recent Barringer Crater near Winslow Arizona.  The mountains near Santa Fe, by contrast, look like a “random jumble of different shapes and colors,” Mullins said; but they “can tell a compelling story about the distant past” to trained geologists.
        As evidence for an impact, she cited the discovery of “shatter cones,” which are “cone-shaped rocks each have distinctive wavy patterns, as though the rock itself briefly became a flowing liquid before re-solidifying.”  Similar structures have been found at underground nuclear blast sites.  The only other force that can make these, she said, is the “instantaneous hypervelocity force of a meteorite impact.”  At the end of the article, though, she admitted that to tell the story of what happened will require “an army of scientists and graduate students studying this site, over many, many years.” – indeed, according to Horton Newsom of the University of New Mexico, an expert in meteor impacts, “It could take several lifetimes to do all the necessary work.”
        But why the upper limit of 1.2 billion years?  It’s not just that volcanoes or erosion tend to erase craters over time.  Something happened at that point in the evolutionary timeline that affected the entire planet:
    Complicating the question is the “Great Unconformity”, an event that wiped about a billion years of history out of the geologic record of this region.  The disappearance of these tons of rocks was due to erosion – seas receded, and the newly exposed rocks wore away through wind, rain and other weathering processes.  Then the seas flooded in again and sediments began forming new layers.  The result is that a 330-million-year-old rock layer now lies directly on top of rocks that vary between 1.2 and 1.6 billion years old, depending on the location.
    But was the Great Unconformity limited to the region around Santa Fe?  It is very obvious throughout the Grand Canyon, where underlying rocks, even tilted sediments, were planned flat as a pancake over a vast area.  New sediments (beginning with the Tapeats Sandstone) lie on top of this clear boundary, sometimes with huge boulders embedded in the sandstone.  Whatever caused a violent shearing force to underlying igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks covered a wide area.
        A search on “Great Unconformity” shows that this break in the sediments extends wider still.  A journal article posted at Cliffshade.com claims it is found in throughout Colorado, too: “Any volcanism or surface topography developing in Colorado during or before this time had been thoroughly erased by the close of the Great Unconformity.”  Wikipedia (no friend of Biblical creationism) states, “Geologist John Wesley Powell called this major gap in the geologic record, which is also seen in other parts of the world, the Great Unconformity.”  Clicking on the link elaborates further: “The Great Unconformity is a geologic feature that exists across the world at a relatively consistent rock strata (or depth relative to sea-level).”1 
        Any unconformity worldwide in its extent would seem to require to a global catastrophe.  Creationists confidently point to this layer as the onset of the worldwide Flood described in Genesis 6-9, when the rising, violent floodwaters sheared off the surface of the antediluvian world, destroying the world as it was (II Peter 3:3-9), then began depositing new sedimentary layers that became reworked as the floodwaters subsided (subject to post-Flood erosion and volcanism).  What else could have caused the Great Unconformity?  (See Canyon Ministries for arguments in favor of the Flood.)
        A sample pro-evolutionist site responded with a different kind of catastrophe.  A writer at the Milwaukee Evolution League in 2005 answered the creationist claim with a counter-claim that glaciers did it.  “Only a glacier can plane off rugged, jagged mountaintops with such level precision,” the writer, who calls himself “SaganJr,” said.  “A massive enough glacier can literally bulldoze over rock, leveling off everything in its path.”  He claimed this also coincides with a time geologists believe glaciers covered the planet: “we know from other geologic evidence that the world was virtually covered in glaciers in the largest ice age the planet had ever seen,” he said.  “It makes perfect sense that a glacier planned off the angled, mountainous layers over 250 million years, before the earth warmed, oceans rose, and sedimentary deposits began to accumulate once again.  Certainly, this makes much more sense than claiming that a global flood did it.”
        Either way, a global catastrophe occurred to form the Great Unconformity seen at Santa Fe, Grand Canyon, Denver, and other continents around the world.  Dates and mechanisms may differ, but creationists and evolutionists can’t dispute that flat, worldwide layer in the rocks.
    1.  CEH does not consider Wikipedia a reliable source; but for this reference, it can be considered reliably anti-creationist.
    If a “story” is required to explain the data anyway, who has a better one?  One thing is for sure: the present was not the key to the past, as Lyell believed.  This is also true for Venus and Mars.  So any hope of resting secular planetary science on natural laws – on observable, repeatable processes – is problematic, when they have to invoke very special ad hoc conditions to make their story fit the facts.  Creationists admit that the conditions for the Flood were special, but they are not ad hoc, because one chooses whether or not to believe the eyewitness that tells us what happened, and why.
        Another thing that seems clear is that glaciers are a poor explanation for the Great Unconformity.  Glaciers slide down mountains.  If the whole world were a mountain covered with ice, the glaciers would have no place to slide and plane off the surface.  Where are the valleys, like Yosemite?  Where are the moraines?  Why did it happen when they say it did, and not earlier or later?  Where are the millions of meteors that must have fallen in a billion years, and why were none of them large enough to end the ice age?
        The Great Unconformity is flat as a pancake in most exposures; this is clearly evident in the Grand Canyon for hundreds of miles.  The secular story also has to invoke about a billion years of missing history between the underlying rocks and the overlying sedimentary layers, which are also mostly flat as a pancake (all the way up to the rim of Grand Canyon).  If those million years took place, why are there not numerous gullies, channels and faults running through the Great Unconformity?  It appears that the surface of the earth was scoured flat in a single event, after which sediments quickly became deposited.  It looks like a global Flood.
        The meteor that Mullins talked about, if that’s what caused the Santa Fe rocks to look like they do, occurred after the Flood – not hundreds of millions of years ago.  The secular date is decided based on the rocks in their presumed evolutionary context – in other words, the rocks in their head.  It is not based on some true history that is out there in the world.  It’s part of their scheme, their story, of how the world came to be.
        If you want to believe the evolutionary story, full as it is of ad hoc special pleading, fine.  If you can live the several lifetimes for the army of secular geologists to try to figure out their story, fine.  But don’t fall for the notion that it is somehow superior or “scientific” because secular experts believe it.  Both camps need a story, but there is a difference between historical narrative and fiction.  Historical narrative has eyewitness testimony and usually tends to fit the observations better.  Look at the Great Unconformity and think about it.  You might want to also think about the 07/15/2010, 07/01/2010, and 06/27/2010 entries.
    Next headline on:  GeologyDating Methods
    Specialized Molecules Make Cells Work     08/09/2010    
    August 09, 2010 — Reports continue to show that vital cell processes depend on finely-tuned proteins and RNA molecules.  Most of the papers that discuss these specialized molecules fail to mention how they might have evolved, as shown in three papers in the recent issue of Science.
    1. Walker with muscle:  A paper by Kaya and Higuchi from the University of Tokyo discussed how myosin motors, the active force-generating machines in muscle, adjust their walking steps with non-linear elasticity.1  Myosins work together in muscle.  Their ability to reduce stiffness and adjust their walk is essential: “the load-dependent changes in the step size are an essential property of skeletal myosin,” the authors said.  Their last sentence explained why this contributes to their effectiveness: “Such molecular properties may be inherent in the assembly of molecular motors and may reduce molecular interference, leading to the high mechanical efficiency of muscle contraction.”  You have your elastic myosins to thank for every simple or complex move you make.  For more stories about myosin this year, see 04/19/2010, 02/19/2010, and 01/19/2010.
    2. Junk with control:  It wasn’t long ago when any non-coding region of the genome was considered junk.  No longer; lincRNAs are emerging as stars of regulation and control (see 08/02/2010).  Another finding to that effect was published in Science by an international team from Stanford, Harvard and the Weizmann Institute in Israel.2  They studied one lincRNA called HOTAIR that has two specific binding domains for making histone modifications.  Histone is the protein on which DNA winds.  It contains molecular tags that affect translation – the “histone code” (see 12/22/2009, bullet 5, with its embedded links).
          The team found that HOTAIR, an RNA generated from non-coding DNA, is intimately involved with the regulation of histone by forming a scaffold for PRC2 and LSD1 proteins: “The functional consequence of coordinate targeting of PRC2 and LSD1 by HOTAIR is gene repression,” they said.  What they found may apply to other cases: “Some lincRNAs may be ‘tethers’ that recruit several chromatin modifications to their sites of synthesis while other lincRNAs can act on distantly located genes as ‘guides’ to affect their chromatin states,” the concluded.  “On the basis of their dynamic patterns of expression, specific lincRNAs can potentially direct complex patterns of chromatin states at specific genes in a spatially and temporally organized manner during development and disease states.”
    3. Repairmen with teamwork:  A team at Zheijiang University in China studied the partners in DNA interstrand cross-link repair, one of many repair pathways active in the genome.  Fanconi anemia is a disease caused by mutations in 13 Fanc genes.3    “Here, we characterize a previously unrecognized nuclease, Fanconi anemia–associated nuclease 1 (FAN1), that promotes ICL repair in a manner strictly dependent on its ability to accumulate at or near sites of DNA damage and that relies on mono-ubiquitylation of the ID complex,” they said, referring to the tagging of a repair site with ubiquitin, a “ubiquitous” cellular tag signaling a site for repair or demolition.  “Thus, the mono-ubiquitylated ID complex recruits the downstream repair protein FAN1 and facilitates the repair of DNA interstrand cross-links.”
          For more on DNA repair teams in the cell, see the 07/18/2001, 07/26/2002, 01/30/2003, 02/13/2004, 03/31/2005, 08/14/2007, and 03/14/2010 entries.
    These three papers are examples of many that are continuously being published in leading journals that (1) explore highly-specific molecules involved in vital cellular processes and (2) say nothing about evolution.  Examples could be easily multiplied.
    1.  Kaya and Higuchi, “Nonlinear Elasticity and an 8-nm Working Stroke of Single Myosin Molecules in Myofilaments,” Science, 6 August 2010: Vol. 329. no. 5992, pp. 686-689, DOI: 10.1126/science.1191484.
    2.  Tsai, Manor et al, “Long Noncoding RNA as Modular Scaffold of Histone Modification Complexes,” Science, 6 August 2010: Vol. 329. no. 5992, pp. 689-693, DOI: 10.1126/science.1192002.
    3.  Liu, Ghosai, Yuan, Chen and Huang, “FAN1 Acts with FANCI-FANCD2 to Promote DNA Interstrand Cross-Link Repair,” Science, 6 August 2010: Vol. 329. no. 5992, pp. 693-696, DOI: 10.1126/science.1192656.
    Who needs evolution?  Not these authors.  Not medical science, genetics, or cell biology, either.  Let’s move along, and leave Darwinism to rust in pieces.
    Next headline on:  Cell BiologyGeneticsIntelligent DesignAmazing Facts
      It’s tough to get a date, but fun to keep trying.  See what we mean in the 08/08/2006 entry.

    Down with Human Evolution Just-So Stories     08/08/2010    
    August 08, 2010 — Stories of human ancestors around campfires evolving larger brains by eating meat or caring for animals often sound themselves life campfire stories.  For example, Jeremy Hsu in Live Science speculated that “Caring for Animals May Have Shaped Human Evolution.”  A cute girl with a puppy adorns the article.  “Our love of all things furry has deep roots in human evolution and may have even shaped how our ancestors developed language and other tools of civilization.”  For another example, see the 06/10/2010 entry on why humans became hairless.
        Paleoanthropologist John Hawks has had enough of this tale-telling.  “‘Just-so stories [are] driving me crazy,” he exclaimed in a rare outburst against reporters and those in his own field on his John Hawks Weblog.  Responding to one such story, the idea that eating meat gave humans bigger brains (12/20/2009), he showed how to ask skeptical questions: “How did meat make us smarter?  Is it a magical meat property?  If I fed enough meat to the local deer, would they get smarter?”  He did not reject the evolutionary tales outright: “These are serious hypotheses with literature and evidence supporting them,” he claimed, but then he blushed on his colleagues’ behalf: “I just wish that they could be reported in a way that made it sound like paleoanthropologists are skeptical scientists!

    Thank you, John.  Join our campaign to clean up science by ridding it of storytelling.  Just watch the ground under your feet.
    Next headline on:  Early ManDumb Ideas
    Grandma Gets Sexy Idea for Origin of Life     08/07/2010    
    August 07, 2010 — Helen Hansma likes being a grandmother and studying the origin of life, according to a video on PhysOrg.  To show she’s not over the hill, though, she came up with a sexy new hypothesis for how we got here: life emerged “between the sheets” – of mica.
        Her video clip explains three parts to her hypothesis: (1) Mica sheets provide safe havens for molecules to evolve; (2) Mica has potassium, and life uses lots of potassium; and (3) Mica sheets can rise and fall as waves of water intrude the thin layers, providing a source of mechanical energy to keep things thrusting between the sheets.
        Smiling with money from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to dream this up, she summarized it thus: “mica would provide enough structure and shelter for molecules to evolve but also accommodate the dynamic, ever-changing nature of life.”  In the video clip, she suggested that it might be possible some day to get good evidence for her ideas on the origin of life, implying that evidence has not yet been a primary concern.  She also welcomed diversity, boasting that her hypothesis can work alongside other theories, like the Lipid world (09/03/2004, 12/11/2006) and RNA World (02/15/2007, 07/11/2002).
        The article, based on a press release from the NSF, presented her new ideas cheerfully.  PhysOrg embellished the new hypothesis further with by claiming that “That age-old question, ‘where did life on Earth start?’ now has a new answer,” titillating readers with a flashy headline, “The Secret of Life May Be As Simple As What Happens Between the Sheets – Mica Sheets.”
    You can try this at home.  Put some watch parts in an accordion and pump till a watch comes out.  If you want NSF funding, find a way to make your experiment sound sexy.  (Warning: experimenting on the origin of life between your own sheets does not qualify.  Maybe the Kinsey Institute will finance that.)
    Next headline on:  Origin of LifeDumb Ideas
    God Forbid: Public School Field Trips to a Creation Zoo?     08/06/2010    
    August 06, 2010 — Is it legal?  Can a public school take kids to a creation zoo?  Environment reporter Michael Marshall at New Scientist just about had a fit when he heard that “A UK zoo that pushes a creationist message has been approved as a destination for school trips by the government.”  That could never happen in America, could it?
        That zoo, called the Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm, appears to be doing everything right; it earned a quality badge by the “Learning Outside the Classroom” program; its educational resources appear “absolutely fine” according to Marshall himself, it has lots of animals (including big ones like rhinos and giraffes), and it accepts school parties with kids of all ages.  But... creationism?  Marshall quoted the zoo’s website making this statement:
    Darwinism has no explanation of how the atoms and all the laws of nature should just come to “be there”, no adequate theory of how life with its highly complex DNA suddenly appeared, and no evidence to show that single-celled life forms evolved into the much more complex forms of the later fossil record.  It also cannot explain how consciousness, instinct, free will, and sexual reproduction came into being.
    Marshall retorted, “Life’s too short to go through and debunk all that,” pointing readers instead to an “Evolution Myths” page at New Scientist.  He also noted that in America, “education authorities” have balked at using AiG’s Creation Museum for field trips, handing that hot potato to local boards.
        Even though the kid-friendly Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm does not appear to be focused on promoting creation, the Noah story or even criticisms of evolution (see its news page), Michael Marshall began his short report with words that could only be described as mean-spirited: “Criticising a family-run zoo that introduces small children to the wonder of animals feels a bit like kicking a puppy – but in this case we might have to.
    It’s fun to watch bigots go ape.
    Next headline on:  Darwin and EvolutionIntelligent DesignMammalsTerrestrial ZoologyEducation
      “Not all motion is progress.”  For amusement, find all the words that rhyme with motion in the 08/15/2005 entry.

    Stem Cell News: Adults Still Lead     08/06/2010    
    August 06, 2010 — Stem cells are still hot.  Most of the significant findings are coming from adult stem cells (AS) or induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) rather than embryonic stem cells (ES).  For example, a PhysOrg article described progress at the University of Michigan in predicting what cell types stem cells will become.  Nothing was said in the article about embryonic stem cells.  Here are more news reports since the 07/20/2010 entry on the lead of adult stem cell discoveries over ES findings.
        RNA is a rising star in stem cell research.  For instance, according to Science Daily, Caltech found that micro-RNAs, once of unknown function or considered cellular junk, are intimately involved with stem cells.  It appears they control the function of mammalian stem cells in the blood, determining what types of blood cell they will become.  Similarly, PhysOrg reported on work at Massachusetts General Hospital that found micro RNAs are involved in controlling the number of blood cells in the body.  Science Daily reported on work at MIT that finds RNA provides a safer way to reprogram stem cells (iPS cells). 
        Research at Stanford found that purifying the stem cells from bone marrow increase the chances for successful bone marrow transplants, according to PhysOrg.  Adult stem cells continue to show promise for healing broken hearts.  According to PhysOrg mesenchymal stem cells injected into pigs with heart disease made their hearts “good as new.”  Want a renewed, all-natural joint?  PhysOrg reported that adult stem cells are coming along well in experiments.  It appears from tests on rabbits that “failing joints can be replaced with a joint grown naturally using the host’s own stem cells.”  Researchers foresee a future with “naturally grown joints that would last longer than currently used artificial joints.”  Another study announced by PhysOrg found that, for patients with deadly brain tumors called glioblastomas, survival time was doubled if radiation therapy was directed at parts of the brain known to harbor stem cells that perhaps had become cancerous.  The radiation apparently targets the source of proliferating cancer cells.
        Overall, PhysOrg reported, adult stem cell therapies are “far ahead” of embryonic experiments.  “For all the emotional debate that began about a decade ago on allowing the use of embryonic stem cells,” the article said, “it’s adult stem cells that are in human testing today.  An extensive review of stem cell projects and interviews with two dozen experts reveal a wide range of potential treatments.”  The score for ES cells is still zero.  While according to New Scientist the first embryonic stem cell test on humans has gotten a green light, PhysOrg said that “in the near term, embryonic stem cells are more likely to pay off as lab tools, for learning about the roots of disease and screening potential drugs,”  An ethicist quoted in the article, however, dubbed all the efforts for a decade to use ES cells for therapy as “fruitless.”
        But perhaps the most significant news was announced by Science Daily.  The Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research has added strong evidence that ES and iPS stem cells are “virtually identical,” apparently removing any need for embryonic stem cells with their “ethical hurdles.”  Garrett Frampton, co-author of a paper in Cell Stem Cell about this comparison, commented, “Billions of dollars have been invested in the idea that we will use ES cells at some point in the future as therapeutic or regenerative agents, but for ethical and practical issues, this may not be possible.  But if they work out therapies with ES cells, and iPS cells are equivalent to ES cells, then the idea is that those therapies could be used with iPS cells as well.”
        In light of this scorecard, why was the dominant theme in the past decade focused on the promise of embryonic stem cells?  PhysOrg reported on a study at the University of Arizona that found who drove the issue.  It wasn’t public demand.  It wasn’t even the media.  According to the study, President Bush had little influence holding back the tide of ES research because of the demands of scientific elites.  The scientific community held the ball on the issue, and the media followed them – not the President.  “They also found that while two-thirds of the sources included in the stories were ‘elites,’ such as experts and politicians, not one story used the president as a dominant source.”  When President Obama voiced support for ES research, that all changed.  The media, the scientific community and the President were then all on the same team.  One of the study authors remarked, “I think it is time for us to see whether the same pattern occurred during the debate for health care reform under the new Obama administration.”

    Defend science.  But when a scientist (or reporter, or President, or any other human being) does something deplorable, loses integrity, promotes a selfish agenda, wastes money, runs roughshod over ethics, or abandons common sense, “science” makes a pitiful shield.
    Next headline on:  Cell BiologyHealthPolitics and EthicsMedia
    Explosion of the Blob     08/05/2010    
    August 05, 2010 — Some scientists are looking into the folds of a sponge for clues about the Cambrian Explosion – the sudden emergence of all the major body plans in the geological blink of an eye.  What they are finding is more complexity than a first glance at the simple creatures would expect.
        A draft genome of a demosponge named Amphimedon from the Great Barrier Reef has just been published.  Adam Mann wrote about this in Nature News,1 hinting at the divination going on: “Researchers wring evolutionary clues from gene sequence.”  One result so far, he said, is “Telltale molecular fragments teased out of ancient sediment show that sponges existed some 635 million years ago – the oldest evidence for metazoans (multicellular animals) on Earth.”
        The sponge has some 18,000 genes.  This “represents a diverse toolkit, coding for many processes that lay the foundations for more complex creatures.”  What kind of tools?  “These include mechanisms for telling cells how to adhere to one another, grow in an organized fashion and recognize interlopers.”  In what may sound very surprising for such a lowly creature, “The genome also includes,” Mann continued, “analogues of genes that, in organisms with a neuromuscular system, code for muscle tissue and neurons.”  Why would a sponge have such genes without having a neuromuscular system or central nervous system?  He didn’t say.
        Mann suggested that the discovery of this complexity in a sponge genome forces the evolution of complexity back in time: “such complexity indicates that sponges must have descended from a more advanced ancestor than previously suspected.”  He quoted Douglas Erwin of the Smithsonian responding with alarm that “This flies in the face of what we think of early metazoan evolution.”  Charles Marshall, the master of Cambrian Explosion disaster (see 04/23/2006), added, “It means there was an elaborate machinery in place that already had some function.  What I want to know now is what were all these genes doing prior to the advent of sponge.
        The sponge genome was published by Srivastava et al in the same issue of Nature.2  Mann summarized its conclusions as an invocation of the power of emergence by unknown powers of evolution operating in a critical window of time.  During that time, nefarious processes that would plague humans 635 million years later, like a kind of ruthless communism, were being laid:
    The analyses of Srivastava and her colleagues suggest that there was a crucial window, some 150 to 200 million years in duration, when the basics of multicellular life emergedNearly one-third of the genetic alterations that distinguish humans from their last common ancestor with single-celled organisms took place during this period.  These changes would have occurred within our sponge-like forebears.
        The researchers also identified parts of the genome devoted to suppressing individual cells that multiply at the expense of the collective.  The presence of such genes indicates that the battle to stop rogue cells — in other words, cancer — is as old as multicellularity itself.  Such a link was recently hinted at by work showing that certain ‘founder genes’ that are associated with human cancers first arose at about the same time as metazoans appeared.  The demosponge genome shows that genes for cell suicide – those activated within an individual cell when something goes wrong – evolved before pathways that are activated by adjacent cells to dispatch a cancerous neighbour.
    By saying that nearly one-third of the genetic toolkit “emerged” in a blank period before the fossils of the first actual sponge, and that the changes “occurred” in undescribed “sponge-like forebears,” Mann shielded the fact that there is not only no evidence for such an ancestor, but no known mechanism by which genes with foresight would have emerged in single-celled creatures.
        Srivastava et al were no help explaining how this emergence occurred.  A search on evolution in the paper reveals these circumlocutions:
    • Comparative analysis enabled by the sequencing of the sponge genome reveals genomic events linked to the origin and early evolution of animals, including the appearance, expansion and diversification of pan-metazoan transcription factor, signalling pathway and structural genes.  This diverse ‘toolkit’ of genes correlates with critical aspects of all metazoan body plans, and comprises cell cycle control and growth, development, somatic- and germ-cell specification, cell adhesion, innate immunity and allorecognition.
    • The emergence of multicellular animals from single-celled ancestors over 600 million years ago required the evolution of mechanisms for coordinating cell division, growth, specialization, adhesion and death.
    • Sponges are diverse and their phylogeny is poorly resolved, allowing for the possibility that sponges are paraphyletic, which implies that other animals evolved from sponge-like ancestors.
    • Although the diversity of sponges and their uncertain phylogeny make it doubtful that any single species can reveal the intricacies of early animal evolution, comparison of the A. queenslandica draft genome with sequences from other species can provide a conservative estimate of the genome of the common ancestor of all animals and the timing and nature of the genomic events that led to the origin and early evolution of animal lineages.
    • We find 235 animal-specific protein domains and 769 animal-specific domain combinations that evolved along the metazoan stem (Supplementary Note 9).  Additionally, lineage-specific changes to these animal domain architectures occurred in early metazoan evolution.
    • The Myc oncogene illustrates how intramolecular regulation has also evolved.
    • This lack of phylogenetic resolution may reflect a period of rapid evolution and diversification of ligand/receptor molecules in sponge and eumetazoan lineages.
    • ...the expression of orthologues of post-synaptic structural and proneural regulatory proteins in Amphimedon larval globular cells suggests an evolutionary connection with an ancestral protoneuron.
    No such protoneuron is known, of course, but in the Conclusion section, the question of how this complexity originated was asked directly.  The answer was shrouded in passive voice verbs and unstated mechanisms:
    Whereas the eumetazoan lineage produced a wide diversity of body forms [i.e., the Cambrian Explosion], the sponge body plan has been stable for over 600 million years.  What can explain this disparity in evolved morphological complexity?  Although we have seen that sponges and eumetazoans share many common pathways related to morphogenesis and cell-type specification, there are notable genomic differences, including different microRNA assemblages, lineage-specific domains and domain architectures, and the differential expansions of gene families.  Although there has been minimal characterization of cis-regulatory architectures in non-bilaterians, we note that as most classes of bilaterian transcription factors are also present in sponges, cnidarians and placozoans, it may be that quantitative rather than qualitative differences in cis-regulatory mechanisms were needed to produce more diverse body plans.
        The sexually-reproducing, heterotrophic metazoan ancestor had the capacity to sense, respond to, and exploit the surrounding environment while maintaining multicellular homeostasis.  Although sponges lack some of the cell types found in eumetazoans, including neurons and muscles, they share with all other animals genes that are essential for the form and function of integrated multicellular organisms.  With these genomic innovations enabling the regulation of cellular proliferation, death, differentiation and cohesion, metazoans transcended their microbial ancestry.
    They just said, in brief, that all the genetic toolkit was there in the sponge ancestor.  The Cambrian Explosion was due to “quantitative rather than qualitative differences” in the tools.  But does this explain a trilobite, a segmented worm, shellfish, crabs, the predator Anomalocaris, and all the other amazing creatures found at the point of the Cambrian explosion?  And why would a microbe come up with these tools in the first place, even to produce a sponge?
        The news media, notably Science Daily and New Scientist, dutifully reproduced these sentiments without critique.  For instance, Mann in Nature said, “As an added benefit, this genome may shed light on how primitive animal cells first learned to cope with the enduring hazard of collective existence: cancer,” to which New Scientist echoed, “Figuring out how sponges get by without them may shed light on their role in human cancers.”  New Scientist put the solution to the Cambrian explosion in terms of hope and change: “Now that their genetic make-up has finally been sequenced, it could explain one of the greatest mysteries of evolution: how single-celled organisms in the primordial oceans evolved into complex multicellular animals with the spectacular diversity of body plans we see today.”
        As with the Nature articles, though, the explanation consisted of saying little more than complexity was already there: “This means that all the key genetic prerequisites for modern animals made up of trillions of cells were in place well before sponges split from other animals 600 million years ago.”  Somehow, we are told, sponges moved up from microbes to become inventors: “To this basic set of genes, sponges and other multicellular animals add a small suite of master-control genes which may allow the greater coordination needed when several cells are dividing together.”  Science Daily, likewise, admitted that “how this differential complexity is encoded in the genome is still a major question in biology.”  A coauthor of the study, Bernie Degnan, a professor of biology at the University of Queensland, Australia, engaged in ancestor worship.  “This incredibly old ancestor possessed the same core building blocks for multicellular form and function that still sits at the heart of all living animals, including humans.  It now appears that the evolution of these genes not only allowed the first animals to colonize the ancient oceans, but underpinned the evolution of the full biodiversity of animals we see today.”  They evolved because they evolved.
        Moreover, Degnan told Science Daily that “all the genomic innovations that we deem necessary for intricate modern animal life have their origins much further back in time that anyone anticipated, predating the Cambrian explosion by tens if not hundreds of millions of years.”  He was stunned by the revelations coming from the genetic crystal ball: “Remarkably, the sponge genome now reveals that, along the way toward the emergence of animals, genes for an entire network of many specialized cells evolved....”
        However they evolved, Degnan admitted that human engineers look to the sponge for inspiration for their own designed innovations.  “Sponges produce an amazing array of chemicals of direct interest to the pharmaceutical industry,” the quote in Science Daily continued.  “They also biofabricate silica fibers directly from sea water in an environmentally benign manner, which is of great interest in communications.  With the genome in hand, we can decipher the methods used by these simple animals to produce materials that far exceed our current engineering and chemistry capabilities.”  (See 11/20/2008 and its embedded links for descriptions of the exquisite fiber-optic structures produced by some sponges.)
        Tantalizing glimpses of a primordial sponge blob were revealed by PhysOrg: “Ancient blob-like creature of the deep revealed by scientists.”  Scientists at Imperial College London generated a 3D image of Drakozoon, the only known fossil specimen of a “cone-shaped, blob-like creature with a hood” that “probably had a leathery exterior skin.”  “We think this tiny blob of jelly survived by clinging onto rocks and hard shelled creatures, making a living by plucking microscopic morsels out of seawater,” said Dr. Mark Sutton, another diviner.  “By looking at this primitive creature, we also get one tantalising step closer to understanding what the earliest creatures on Earth looked like.”  But wait – Drakozoon was dated to 425 million years old, making it far too late to be the mysterious 635-million-year-old proto-sponge with all the tools needed to build a human.  The clever innovator remains shrouded in the presumptions of a long-lost evolutionary past.
    1.  Adam Mann, “Sponge genome goes deep,” Nature News, published online 4 August 2010, Nature 466, 673 (2010), doi:10.1038/466673a.
    2.  Srivastava et al, “The Amphimedon queenslandica genome and the evolution of animal complexity,” Nature 466, pp 720–726, 05 August 2010, doi:10.1038/nature09201.
    Are you angry after reading this?  You should be.  Ever since Charlie’s coup, the world has been told that evolution is the one-and-only scientific explanation for the living world.  It’s all smoke and mirrors!  Look at what they said – complexity just emerged in the genes of some hypothetical, unseen, mythical “common ancestor.”  (Note the imbedded evolutionary assumption there and the euphemism for miracle, emergence).  This ancestor was endowed with such incredible foresight, it somehow came up with “innovations” that would prove useful to the scientists 636 million years later who might want to use their neurons to write nonsense.  What?  Getting even one useful gene is astronomically improbable (online book), to say nothing of 18,000 genes matching in a functional “genetic toolkit.”  This is absolutely shameful.  It’s indescribably absurd.  Science is supposed to be about evidence, observations, data, testability, repeatability, proof, not just hollow thinking of ideologues, writing about magic visions reflecting in the vitreous humor of their darkened eyeballs.
        All the tricks of the racketeer are here.  Readers are shielded from contrary evidence and critical analysis (card stacking).  The nonsense is wrapped in the prestige of science (association).  Everywhere questions are begged (circular reasoning) in broad-brush statements (glittering generalities), while key issues, like how complexity “emerged,” are dodged in passive verbs and miracle words (sidestepping).  The lingo is loaded with bluffing and subjectivity and equivocationnon-sequiturs abound, such as the inference that complexity in sponge cells implies that thousands of genes exist in some putative microbe ancestor, based on circumstantial evidence interpreted according to an a priori commitment to naturalism (post hoc fallacy, it exists, therefore it evolved).  This has nothing to do with science; this is dogma in an echo chamber (repetition).  And when the lack of evidence is too overpowering to ignore, there’s always hope that the evidence “may shed light” on evolution (suggestion).
        Folks, we are not talking about some little, backwater issue with Charlie’s grand scheme, but the main argument even Darwin admitted could be deadly to his theory – the lack of evidence for transitional forms at the base of the fossil record (Origin, chapter 10).  It was unsolved in his day; it remains unsolved today.  In fact, it is far worse for evolutionists now than it was in 1859, because there are no more excuses that the fossil record is incompletely sampled, or that Precambrian rocks could not preserve soft tissues (see the film Darwin’s Dilemma).  Look at the flim-flam offered up a few years ago by Charles Marshall, the Master of Disaster, when tasked with explaining the Cambrian explosion (04/23/2006): basically, “it evolved because it evolved”.  This is smoke, not science.
        The fossil record, a spear-pointed battering ram aimed at the flimsy gate of evolutionary theory, should have toppled King Charlie’s castle long ago.  It’s not for lack of trying.  Critics have used the battering ram to good effect from the beginning, but Charlie’s demons maintain an impenetrable moat of smoke to hide the sacred image of the Bearded Buddha in the castle temple.  Long ago, they co-opted all the institutions – the journals, the media, schools and even some churches – keeping them occupied perpetuating the smoke moat with their fogma machines, sending the sensible soldiers with the battering ram coughing and the Darwincense-addicted Charlie worshippers inhaling deeply, euphoric in their hallucinations of “emergence.”  (For definition of fogma, see the 05/14/2007 commentary.)  The defenders of the castle are also well-trained in hate speech, knowing to close their eyes, cover their ears, and shout on cue “Creationism!  Pseudoscience!” at any sign of the battering ram.
        The Bearded Buddha is a false god.  It’s long past time to clear the air and demand scientific integrity.  Don’t get angry; get the power fans.  Once the truth can be seen, a battering ram will not even be necessary.  The Darwin Castle will vanish in its own fogma.  Expect a hard fight getting the power fans in place, though; there’s too much riding on this ideology.  Expect Screwtape to use his whole arsenal in its defense.
    Next headline on:  Cell BiologyMarine BiologyDarwin and EvolutionFossilsDumb Ideas
    Have you told a friend about CREV.INFO lately?

    Fine-Tuning Found in Life’s Rotary Engine     08/04/2010    
    August 04, 2010 — The universal energy currency in living things is ATP.  To produce the vast quantities of this molecule required by life 24 x 7, cells employ banks of rotary engines called ATP Synthase, which we have reported on previously in these pages many times.  ATP synthase has become somewhat of a mascot of intelligent design, because there are no known precursors to this multi-faceted, exquisitely efficient motor that is so tiny, 120,000 of them could fit on the head of a pin (07/16/2002).  Scientists continue to glimpse finer details of these engines using X-ray crystallography and other techniques.  A new finding, published in PLoS Biology,1 found that water molecules play a crucial role in the rotor.  The findings were summarized on PhysOrg, “Cells use water in nano-rotors to power energy conversion.”
        The international team (primarily at Max Planck Institute for Biophysics, Frankfurt, Germany) investigated the ATP synthase motors in an unusual bacterium that lives in highly-alkaline water.  “This bacterium prefers alkaline environments where the concentration of protons (H+) is lower outside than inside the cell – the inverse of the situation usually found in organisms that prefer neutral or acidic environments,” the authors said.  These cells have a special challenge.  Many cells live in neutral or acidic waters, providing no obstacles for the free flow of protons (hydrogen ions, H+) through the membranes and into the rotors they help turn.  In alkaline conditions, the protons would tend to leak out to neutralize the environment.  These special ATP synthase motors, therefore, need to maintain a gradient that is not as alkaline as the outside.  “The extreme alkaliphile [alkali-loving] Bacillus pseudofirmus Of4 grows by oxidative phosphorylation with cytoplasmic pH values maintained 1.5-2.3 pH units below the high external pH (up to 11) of the medium,” they explained (a pH of 11 is very strongly alkalinic).  “The existence of this reversed [delta]-pH poses a major thermodynamic problem, with which these cells must cope.”
        This species has some modifications to its engine design to help it cope with its special conditions.  It has a modified a-subunit, latent activity, and, most significantly, a modified c-ring with more subunits and a different shape.  The c-ring is the primary rotor.  In most organisms, it has 10 subunits; in B. pseudofirmus, there are 13 subunits (some other organisms have 11 or 15, and some run on sodium ions, Na+, instead of protons).  Though identical in many respects to the c-rings in other species, this one has an altered shape, somewhat like a “tulip beer glass,” they said soberly.  Although the ways in which these modifications serve to function in the alkaline environment of this bacterium are not yet clear, the authors are convinced that the cooperation of the water ion in the center of each subunit is a key:

    This work shows a new type of proton coordination in an F1F0 synthase rotor ring....  It is evident that the coordination network of the water itself... is a stabilizing and therefore a structural part of this c-ring.  The presence of the water has been shown to enhance the Na+-binding affinity in the Na+-binding c11 ring [in organisms with 11 c-subunits].  Given this observation we propose that the water in the c13 ring binding pocket also enhances the proton affinity.  High affinity rotor binding sites are of central importance for all ATP synthases but are especially important for ATP synthases of bacteria that grow in alkaline environments.... Perhaps the novel manner in which a water participates in proton binding is also a consequence of adaptation of the ATP synthase to alkaliphily [adaptation to alkaline environments].
    They speculated that this observation applies to a wider class of specialized c-rings, too.  Further comparative studies of c-rings are needed to determine the precise role of these ion-binding pockets in the c-ring subunits.  They speculated that they may have to do with “ion affinity and selectivity during torque generation” of the rotors.
        The authors mentioned evolution four times, but two of them were mere assumptions that the motors evolved; one was a statement about the lack of evolution (“This commonality of binding pattern underlines the evolutionary and functionally conserved relationship between the pmf- and smf-driven systems”) and the fourth was only a fleeting suggestion: “The smf-driven [sodium motive force] ATP synthases have been suggested to be evolutionary pioneers in the establishment of the modern ATP synthases,” they said, referring to a 2008 paper that suggested the idea.  “If this hypothesis is correct,” they continued, indicating the tentative nature of the idea, then perhaps the unusual forms of c-rings “could be derivatives of the c11 basic structure from an evolutionary point of view.”
        Nothing else from the “evolutionary point of view” contributed to the motivation, investigation, or the findings in the paper itself.  On the contrary, the authors praised the elegance of this ubiquitous nanomotor, including the modifications of this particular alkaline-loving species: “The subtle but important differences in the H-bonding network geometry allow a fine-tuning ... and serve to optimize the required solvation energy,” they said.  “;Fine tuning of these parameters is of crucial importance within the a/c-ring interface, where the rotor binding sites pass a more hydrophilic environment.”  The “fine-tuning” theme was significant enough to appear in the Abstract: “It appears in the ion binding site of an alkaliphile in which it represents a finely tuned adaptation of the proton affinity during the reaction cycle.”  And they certainly did not hesitate to describe the ATP synthase as a wondrous, functional machine: “Like the wind turbines that generate electricity, the F1F0-ATP synthases are natural ‘ion turbines’ each made up of a stator and a rotor that turns, when driven by a flow of ions, to generate the cell’s energy supply of ATP.”
        PhysOrg in its coverage of the paper heaped on additional superlatives:
    ATP synthases are among the most abundant and important proteins in living cells.  These rotating nano-machines produce the central chemical form of cellular energy currency, ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which is used to meet the energy needs of cells.  For example, human adults synthesize up to 75 kg of ATP each day under resting conditions and need a lot more to keep pace with energy needs during strenuous exercise or work.  The turbine of the ATP synthase is the rotor element, called the c-ring.  This ring is 63 A [Angstroms] in diameter (6.3 nm, or 6.3 millionths of a millimeter) and completes over 500 rotations per second during ATP production.
    500 rotations per second amounts to, in the terminology of more familiar motors, some 30,000 RPM.  Since three ATP molecules are synthesized for each rotation, one of these motors can generate just short of 100,000 ATP per minute – and your body has quadrillions of them working all your life, even in your sleep.
        The best way to visualize what is going on is through animation.  A simplified but effective animation can be found at University of Osnabrueck by Wolfgange Junge; see Movie #2 (QuickTime); the c-ring is at the bottom (notice this is slow-motion; imagine seeing this at 30,000 RPM).  DNA-tube has a more detailed animation (rotor at top) showing the reversibility of the engine.  Additional animations can be located with an internet search on the phrase, “ATP synthase animation”.
    1.  Preiss, Yildiz, Hicks, Krulwich and Meier, “A New Type of Proton Coordination in an F1F0-ATP Synthase Rotor Ring,” Public Library of Science Biology, 8(8): e1000443.  DOI:10.1371/journal.pbio.1000443.
    As usual, the references to evolution were mere incense offerings to Charlie at the start of festivities, having nothing to do with the substance of the show.  Those formalities could have been excised without any loss of information; yea, indeed, but with a net gain in clarity.  Did the authors propose any primitive ancestors of functioning machines?  Any half-way ATP synthase?  Of course not; they wouldn’t work unless completely functional from the beginning.  They admitted, “The amino acid sequence of the protein subunits in this rotor ... has features common to an important group of ATP synthases in organisms from bacteria to man.”  The modifications they found for the bacterium under study were not accidents or mistakes, but purposeful modifications allowing this species to survive in its harsh environment.  To say that it evolved from a more common form begs the question of evolution.  One would have to already subscribe to evolution to believe that.
        This machine is too wonderful for laypeople to be uninformed about it.  It keeps us alive!  It’s a real, mechanical, rotary engine spinning up to 30,000 RPM by the thousands in every cell on the planet!  The thought of rotary engines keeping us alive, even in our sleep, should be shouted from the housetops!  This was only discovered in the 1990s.  Aristotle, Descartes, Voltaire, Darwin and Freud could never have dreamed life was this exquisite at its core.  Could any finding in the history of science be as awe-inspiring?  People should know this.  Amaze someone at the water cooler today.  Instead of the useless phatic utterance, “How’s it going?” try opening with, “How’s your rotary engine doing today?”  Your surprised co-worker might respond, “I don’t have a Mazda,” to which you reply: “No, I mean your rotary engines – the ones inside of you.”  Now you have the springboard for an enlivening discussion that will put the engines spinning in your brains to good use.
    Next headline on:  Cell BiologyPhysicsIntelligent DesignAmazing Facts
      Before gassing that gopher in your garden, consider what good those little gardenia gluttons do for the globe.  Read the 08/02/2004 entry.

    Best Face-on-Mars Photo Looks Dead     08/03/2010    
    August 03, 2010 — Conspiracy theorists will probably have little to say now that the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has taken the clearest photo yet of the alleged “Face on Mars” in Cydonia.  For the before and after photos, see PhysOrg.  The new photo is clearly an eroded, rocky mesa – that’s all, folks.

    Use this as a teachable moment.  See our 09/21/2006 entry on design detection and the use of evidence to support a theory.  Most serious human observers of Mars never bought into the late-night-talk-show fantasies (05/24/2001), but there is a serious question in such cases that needs reflection: how do we humans differentiate between design and chance or natural law?  Look at our long list of paired objects, some designed, some not.  A pictorial presentation of these pairs for kids can be a great way to help them think logically about design.  Some of them are trickier than at first glance; they raise additional questions about deeper levels of design, and what we mean by design and natural law, that can trip up adults, too.  And some of the most ardent scientific opponents of the Face-on-Mars idea have a puzzle of their own: how did they use intelligent design theory to show the believers were wrong?  Moreover, how do they justify the inference of alleged microbes on Mars from methane, color, or other indirect biomarkers?  Dumb as the Face-on-Mars theory was, it can be turned into a lively discussion on important questions, and can refine everyone’s baloney detecting skills.
    Next headline on:  Solar SystemGeologyIntelligent DesignEducation
    Cell Regulation Doesn’t Just Happen     08/02/2010    
    August 02, 2010 — Scientists are finding that it’s not just having the right parts that makes a body go; it’s having those parts controlled by the right regulators.  Recent stories make the case with their headlines: “‘Guardian of the Genome’: Protein Helps Prevent Damaged DNA in Yeast,” announced Science Daily.  “Scientists find gas pedal – and brake – for uncontrolled cell growth,” reported PhysOrg.  Another PhysOrg article about stem cells gave “New insights into how stem cells determine what tissue to become.”  Still another on PhysOrg said that “Researchers find key step in body’s ability to make red blood cells.”  Finally, also on PhysOrg, another use was found for large pieces of RNA transcribed from the big stretches of code between genes.  In “‘Linc-ing’ a noncoding RNA to a central cellular pathway,” the opening paragraph announced, “The recent discovery of more than a thousand genes known as large intergenic non-coding RNAs (or ‘lincRNAs’) opened up a new approach to understanding the function and organization of the genome.  That surprising breakthrough is now made even more compelling with the finding that dozens of these lincRNAs are induced by p53 (the most commonly mutated gene in cancer), suggesting that this class of genes plays a critical role in cell development and regulation.”  All that was announced in just 3 days of science news, suggesting this is a hot area of research.  Without precise regulation of the parts of a cell and its genes, bad things happen.
    This brief entry today is a teaser to go and read the articles, look for mentions of evolution or design, and think about which point of view found these discoveries surprising or not.  Of course, don’t expect to see the words “intelligent design” anywhere, since that phrase is effectively banned from secular science journalism.  Look instead for indirect inferences that design is the best explanation.  Or, look for the lack of attempts to explain the regulation by evolution.
    Next headline on:  Cell BiologyGeneticsHealth
    Nature’s Designs Excite Inventors     08/01/2010    
    August 01, 2010 — The imitation of nature – biomimetics – is one of the hottest areas in science these days.  Recent reports tell about research teams racing to move natural designs to market, and there’s no end in sight.
    1. Pack it green:  Got parcels?  Don’t use styrofoam peanuts and bubble wraps; that’s so 2009.  Why manufacture plastic and oil-based stuffing when you can grow something soft and biodegradable?  Two grads from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute started a company that is making packing foam out of mushroom fibers and agricultural waste, reported Science Daily.  Gavin McIntyre said, “We don’t manufacture materials, we grow them.  We’re converting agricultural byproducts into a higher-value product.”  The products use mushroom fibrous roots called mycelia mixed in with waste from cotton gins.  It’s all natural, all green, all biodegradable.
          With fellow grad Even Bayer, McIntyre started up a company in Green Island, New York, called Ecovative Design to bring their idea to fruition.  They can produce custom-fitted foam packing material with very little energy.  The National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency are supporting their project.  By 2013, do-it-yourself homeowners may be able to use the technology in another way: for home insulation.  The award-winning company also invented Greensulate(tm): an insulating material based on mushroom fibers that has the added advantage of being flame retardant.
    2. It’s a plane, like a bird:  “Why can’t an airplane be more like a bird?” asked researchers at MIT.  Birds don’t have to slam into a runway and roll for a mile to land.  They “can switch from barreling forward at full speed to lightly touching down on a target as narrow as a telephone wire,” said Science Daily.  They do it by mastering the “stall” – a complicated maneuver that involves vortices and wakes.  The article explains how this “complicated phenomenon” works; “Even the best descriptions of it are time-consuming to compute.”
          Can humans make like a bird?  Hopefully, yes.  “MIT researchers have demonstrated a new control system that allows a foam glider with only a single motor on its tail to land on a perch, just like a pet parakeet,” the article said.  “The work could have important implications for the design of robotic planes, greatly improving their maneuverability and potentially allowing them to recharge their batteries simply by alighting on power lines.”  Picture that on your next long-distance flight.  The control system won its inventor the Engineering Student of the Year Award, but the article did not say if the parakeet got an extra treat for providing the inspiration.
    3. Eye of the fly:  Who would have ever thought that fly’s eyes would inspire a scientist?  What’s next, the bee’s knees?  Sure enough, PhysOrg reported that fly eyes are inspiring the next biomimetic surfaces that could revolutionize solar cells and materials for a “variety of applications.”  Scientists at Penn State are not only mimicking the fly eye; they are duplicating it.  They used a high-tech electroplating technique to reproduce the shape of they compound eye exactly, forming a “master template can be used either as a die to stamp the pattern or as a mold.”  The fly they chose is the blowfly – those disgusting flies that hang around dead things.  The researcher said, “These eyes are perfect for making solar cells because they would collect more sunlight from a larger area rather than just light that falls directly on a flat surface.”
          The same team is “currently looking at butterfly wings to understand how the surfaces create colors without pigment.”  Who knows; for more great ideas, maybe they should also take a closer look at the bee’s knees.
    4. Light farming:  Algae and plants achieve a feat that is the envy of engineers: harvesting the energy of sunlight with high efficiency.  Jeff Tollefson at Nature News reported about the new “Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis” that is using federal grant money “with the ambitious goal of developing, scaling up and ultimately commercializing technologies that directly convert sunlight into hydrogen and other fuels.”  Caltech and Lawrence Berkeley labs are teaming up to get the technology out of the lab and into commercially viable products.  Plants produce sugars and other complex molecules with their light harvest.  The human engineers would be happy to get cheap hydrogen for fuel cells.  They appear to be making progress; the article is accompanied by a photo of a test car that has a bumper message, “This plug-in hybrid gets 100+ MPG.”
    5. Snakes alive:  The thought of snake bite is enough to cause shudders, but there might be a bright side to learning more about it.  Science Daily told about a Japanese team that is studying snake venom for clues to how blood platelets respond to it.  This is not a true biomimetics story, in that the researchers are not trying to imitate snake toxin, but they think by controlling substances that have similar responses they can gain understanding for good ends.  The article began, “Researchers seeking to learn more about stroke by studying how the body responds to toxins in snake venom are releasing new findings that they hope will aid in the development of therapies for heart disease and, surprisingly, cancer.
    6. Spider prize:  Many of our previous biomimetics entries have mentioned spider silk as the holy grail for materials science.  A spider is able to take a watery fluid with special proteins and spin it out into some of the strongest flexible material known.  “It’s also flexible, durable and biodegradable, and can withstand extremely high temperatures,” Live Science added.  Simple as the spider makes it look, it is astonishingly difficult to duplicate the feat.  After years of work, several teams are making progress understanding and imitating the process of silk production.
          A paper in Science1 recently pointed out that “the development of silk hydrogels, films, fibers and sponges is making possible advances in photonics and optics, nanotechnology, electronics, adhesives and microfluidics, as well as engineering of bone and ligaments” that will be non-invasive and environmentally friendly, according to PhysOrg.  The authors of the paper, from Tufts University, said (pun probably intended), “Silk-based materials have been transformed in just the past decade from the commodity textile world to a growing web of applications in more high technology directions.”  One exciting new method for mass production of the coveted material would be through genetically-engineered plants that could be harvested like cotton.  Developing countries might find a new source of wealth by growing the stuff made famous by silkworms and spiders.
          On another front, Live Science and PhysOrg reported on work published in PNAS2 about the successful engineering of a bacterium, E. coli, to produce spider silk protein that mimics the properties of the real thing.  PhysOrg mentioned some of the uses that could come from mass production of spider silk: parachute cords, protective clothing (bullet-proof vests), and composite materials for aircraft are just the beginning: “Researchers have long envied spiders’ ability to manufacture silk that is light-weighted while as strong and tough as steel or Kevlar,” the article began.  “Indeed, finer than human hair, five times stronger by weight than steel, and three times tougher than the top quality man-made fiber Kevlar, spider dragline silk is an ideal material for numerous applications.”
    The abstract of the paper in Science1 mentioned the aesthetic as well as practical value of the spider’s product.  The opening paragraph serves as a model vision statement for all bio-inspired research:
    Spiders and silkworms generate silk protein fibers that embody strength and beautyOrb webs are fascinating feats of bioengineering in nature, displaying magnificent architectures while providing essential survival utility for spiders.  The unusual combination of high strength and extensibility is a characteristic unavailable to date in synthetic materials yet is attained in nature with a relatively simple protein processed from water.  This biological template suggests new directions to emulate in the pursuit of new high-performance, multifunctional materials generated with a green chemistry and processing approach.  These bio-inspired and high-technology materials can lead to multifunctional material platforms that integrate with living systems for medical materials and a host of other applications.

    1.  Omenetto and Kaplan, “New Opportunities for an Ancient Material,” Science, 30 July 2010: Vol. 329. no. 5991, pp. 528-531, DOI: 10.1126/science.1188936.
    2.  Xia, Qian et al, “Native-sized recombinant spider silk protein produced in metabolically engineered Escherichia coli results in a strong fiber,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, published online July 26, 2010, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1003366107.
    Biomimetics is a favorite topic in our pages for many reasons: the promise of wonderful products, the wonder of learning about amazing feats of plants and animals, the fact that biomimetics is intelligent-design friendly, and the reality that scientists do not need to pay homage to Charlie D. to participate, get funding, and be heroes.  For the years we have reported biomimetics news, we have rarely seen the researchers even mention evolution.  When they do, it’s usually just in passing, like “spiders evolved this fantastic ability 300 million years ago” or some other stupid dragline that wouldn’t hold up an ounce of scrutiny.  Whole university research departments have been set up to work on biomimetics, and the future is bright.  It’s time to ditch Darwin like a ball and chain and run into the future of design-based science.
        If you have precocious kids, take them into the yard and get them thinking along these lines.  Some of the most amazing technologies are right under our feet.  If your kid can help understand them, copy them, and make products out of them, he or she could become rich and help support you in your retirement, because if you can build a better fuel cell, Obama will beat a path to your door with stimulus money.  (Whatever works; the greed angle should be secondary, whenever possible, to the inspirational angle.)
        Spiders didn’t invent silk; birds didn’t invent landing on a wire; plants didn’t decide to harvest light and then find the perfect way to do it.  Such things do not arise from unplanned, unguided processes of chance and necessity.  This is engineering – and art.  Strength and beauty, magnificent architectures, efficient high performance – nature’s wonders should stimulate any clear-thinking person to ponder the master Mind that put these technologies into living things.  That’s a good first step toward wanting to know that Mind.
    Next headline on:  BotanyTerrestrial ZoologyBirdsBiomimeticsIntelligent DesignAmazing Facts
      What is the one fundamental cosmic entity that many cosmologists have been missing?  Click this link to the 08/14/2003 entry to find out.

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    “I wanted to personally thank you for your outstanding website.  I am intensely interested in any science news having to do with creation, especially regarding astronomy.  Thanks again for your GREAT website!”
    (an amateur astronomer in San Diego)

    “What an absolutely brilliant website you have.  It’s hard to express how uplifting it is for me to stumble across something of such high quality.”
    (a pharmacologist in Michigan)

    “I want to make a brief commendation in passing of the outstanding job you did in rebutting the ‘thinking’ on the article: “Evolution of Electrical Engineering” ...  What a rebuttal to end all rebuttals, unanswerable, inspiring, and so noteworthy that was.  Thanks for the effort and research you put into it.  I wish this answer could be posted in every church, synagogue, secondary school, and college/university..., and needless to say scientific laboratories.”
    (a reader in Florida)

    “You provide a great service with your thorough coverage of news stories relating to the creation-evolution controversy.”
    (an elder of a Christian church in Salt Lake City)

    “I really enjoy your website and have made it my home page so I can check on your latest articles.  I am amazed at the diversity of topics you address.  I tell everyone I can about your site and encourage them to check it frequently.”
    (a business owner in Salt Lake City)

    “I’ve been a regular reader of CEH for about nine month now, and I look forward to each new posting.... I enjoy the information CEH gleans from current events in science and hope you keep the service going.”
    (a mechanical engineer in Utah)

    “It took six years of constant study of evolution to overcome the indoctrination found in public schools of my youth.  I now rely on your site; it helps me to see the work of God where I could not see it before and to find miracles where there was only mystery.  Your site is a daily devotional that I go to once a day and recommend to everyone.  I am still susceptible to the wiles of fake science and I need the fellowship of your site; such information is rarely found in a church.
        Now my eyes see the stars God made and the life He designed and I feel the rumblings of joy as promised.  When I feel down or worried my solution is to praise God the Creator Of All That Is, and my concerns drain away while peace and joy fill the void.  This is something I could not do when I did not know (know: a clear and accurate perception of truth) God as Creator.  I could go on and on about the difference knowing our Creator has made, but I believe you understand.
        I tell everyone that gives me an opening about your site.  God is working through you.  Please don’t stop telling us how to see the lies or leading us in celebrating the truth.  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.”
    (a renowned artist in Wyoming)

    “I discovered your site a few months ago and it has become essential reading – via RSS to Bloglines.”
    (a cartographer and GIS analyst in New Zealand)

    “I love your site, and frequently visit to read both explanations of news reports, and your humor about Bonny Saint Charlie.”
    (a nuclear safety engineer in Washington)

    “Your site is wonderful.”
    (a senior staff scientist, retired, from Arizona)

    “I’ve told many people about your site.  It’s a tremendous service to science news junkies – not to mention students of both Christianity and Science.  Kudos!”
    (a meteorology research scientist in Alabama)

    “...let me thank you for your Creation-Evolution Headlines.  I’ve been an avid reader of it since I first ‘discovered’ your website about five years ago.  May I also express my admiration for the speed with which your articles appear—often within 24 hours of a particular news announcement or journal article being published.”
    (a plant physiologist and prominent creation writer in Australia)

    “How do you guys do it--reviewing so much relevant material every day and writing incisive, thoughtful analyses?!”
    (a retired high school biology teacher in New Jersey)

    “Your site is one of the best out there!  I really love reading your articles on creation evolution headlines and visit this section almost daily.”
    (a webmaster in the Netherlands)

    “Keep it up!  I’ve been hitting your site daily (or more...).  I sure hope you get a mountain of encouraging email, you deserve it.”
    (a small business owner in Oregon)

    “Great work!  May your tribe increase!!!”
    (a former Marxist, now ID speaker in Brazil)

    “You are the best.  Thank you.... The work you do is very important.  Please don’t ever give up.  God bless the whole team.”
    (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)

    “Like your site especially the ‘style’ of your comments.... Keep up the good work.”
    (a retired engineer and amateur astronomer in Maryland)

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    Scientist of the Month
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    Guide to Evolution
     
    Featured Creation Scientist for August

    Johannes Kepler
    1571 - 1630

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

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

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

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

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

    In spite of his successes, Kepler’s life was filled with hardship, poverty, political turmoil, false accusations and difficult work.  He had to defend his mother who was falsely accused of being a witch.  He was forced to move on several occasions due to war or pestilence.  He was not paid near what he was worth.  He probably never thought of himself as famous.  Yet he had an inner joy that would make his imagination soar when he thought of the heavens and how everything worked according to the Creator’s mathematical plan.  He imagined space travel and speculated about earthlike planets around distant stars.  He wrote 80 books, including the first science fiction story, The Dream (about an imaginary flight to the moon), and of course more technical treatises such as the consummate compilation of Tycho’s data using logarithms, The Rudolphine Tables; this work did much to advance the heliocentric theory.  His signature work, expressing his philosophy of science, is Harmony of the World in which he saw the heavenly bodies making a kind of celestial “music of the spheres” as the outworking of the mind of God, perfect in geometric harmony.  It expressed his belief that the world of nature, the world of man and world of God all fit together into a harmonious system that could be explored by science.

    Kepler had once believed that becoming a clergyman was the only way to serve God and proclaim His truth, but he found that astronomy and mathematics were also a ministry, a way to open windows to the mind of God.  Deeply spiritual all his life, he said, “Let also my name perish if only the name of God the Father is elevated.”  On November 15, 1630, as he lay dying, he was asked on what did he pin his hope of salvation.  Confidently and resolutely, he testified: “Only and alone on the services of Jesus Christ.  In Him is all refuge, all solace and welfare.”

    Craters on the moon and Mars are named in Kepler’s honor.  NASA’s Kepler spacecraft was launched in March, 2009 and is currently searching for earth-sized planets around other stars.

    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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    “I really enjoy your website, the first I visit every day.  I have a quote by Mark Twain which seems to me to describe the Darwinian philosophy of science perfectly.  ‘There is something fascinating about science.  One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.’  Working as I do in the Environmental field (I am a geologist doing groundwater contamination project management for a state agency) I see that kind of science a lot.  Keep up the good work!!”
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      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)

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    (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.”
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    “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.”
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    Sincerely, Rev. [name withheld] (an ex-Catholic, “apostate Christian” Natural/Scientific pantheist)

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    “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.”
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    “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.”
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    “Keep up the outstanding work!  You guys really ARE making a difference!”
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    “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.”
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    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.”
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    “....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.”
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    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.”
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    (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!”
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    (a reader, location and occupation unknown)

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    (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):
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    (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.”
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    “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)

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    (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)

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    “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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