Sunday, 28 May 2017

Intelligent Design Spreads to Brazil and Turkey


Part of the Mackenzie Presbyterian University’s campus. Image courtesy of charlesblack, Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 1.0).




Joel Kontinen


Design in nature has become so obvious that it can no longer be ignored.

Often, the solutions we see in animals and even plants are far more better than anything human engineers have invented.

This is good news for advocates of intelligent design (ID) for whom May has been a good month.

First, mathematician Granville Sewell (University of Texas at El Paso) and informatics expert Winston Ewert took part in a conference on evolution at Uskudar University in Istanbul.

Then, ID heavyweights Douglas Axe and Michael Behe were at Brazil’s Mackenzie Presbyterian University (Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie) in São Paulo to inaugurate a research centre on ID.

Sources:

Klinghoffer, David. 2017. Intelligent Design Shines in Brazil — More from Discovery Institute-Mackenzie Launch Evolution News (16 May).

Sewell, Granville. 2017. Intelligent Design Goes International — A Report from Istanbul. Evolution News (16 May).

Friday, 26 May 2017

Fishy Tail Tale, Courtesy of Live Science

Image courtesy of Terry Howard, Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0).




Joel Kontinen

When the title of a pro-evolution article starts with the words 'Tale of 2 Tails,' we would expect to be treated to an intriguing, yet speculative Darwinian story.

This is what recently happened at Live Science.

Marine creatures, we are told, do not swim in the same way. Whales evolved from mammals that lived on land. They move their tails up and down. Sharks, in contrast, are fish, so they move their tails from side to side.

This is how Kenneth Lacovara, a professor of paleontology and geology at Rowan University, explains the difference.

He says that this is the way their respective ancestors (Pakicetus for whales and Tiktaalik for fish) moved, and they obviously haven’t had the time to change their habits despite making transitions from land to water (whales) and water to land (fish ancestor) during the assumed tens of millions of years, and then the poor fish had to get wet again.

Tales like these might be entertaining, but they’re definitely not based on facts.

Source:

Geggel, Laura 2017. Tale of 2 Tails: Why Do Sharks and Whales Swim So Differently? Live Science (20 May).

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

The ”Earliest” Animal Dickinsonia Grew in a More Complex Way Than Assumed

Image courtesy of Verisimilus, Creative Commons (CC BY 2.5).





Joel Kontinen

Darwinian evolution would predict that the earliest animals were small and at least relatively simple creatures.

However, the fossil record doesn’t always lend support to this view.

Evolutionists tend to believe that the Ediacaran-era sea creature Dickinsonia was the earliest animal.

A new paper on Dickinsonia fossils published in the journal PLOS ONE suggests that it nevertheless “developed in a complex, highly regulated way using a similar genetic toolkit to today's animals” despite the assumption that it lived “550 million years” ago.

Ediacaran animals are problematic for evolution, as they appear from nowhere without any ancestors, and some of them might still live in our time.

Moreover, soft-bodied creatures should not last half a billion years.

The Cambrian Era is even more of an enigma for Darwinism. There is definitely a limit to how long soft tissues should last – and it is nowhere near 500 million years.


Source:

University of California - Riverside. 2017. Shedding light on Earth's first animals: Complex and highly regulated development of Dickinsonia, one of the oldest fossil animals, broadens our understanding of early evolution. Science Daily (17 May).


Monday, 22 May 2017

Wonders of Creation: Almost a Magic Forest Deep Below the Surface


An Anthomastus mushroom coral (centre) with some other animals. Image courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Mountains in the Deep: Exploring the Central Pacific Basin.




Joel Kontinen

The wet world deep below the ocean surface is anything but dull.

Recent discoveries made by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) ship Okeanos Explorer and its remotely operated vehicle Deep Discoverer has shown the incredible variety – and beauty – of deep sea animals and plants.

A recent dive discovered a mushroom coral that thrives at 2, 240 metres (7,350 feet) below the ocean surface in an environment that looks like a magic forest.

NOOA’s expeditions have shown us how incredibly beautiful deep sea life can be (see here, here, here, here and here).

They testify of the Creator, who made everything beautiful.

Source:

NOAA. 2017. NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer: Dive 03: "Te Kawhiti o Maui Potiki” (2 May).

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Jumping Parrots Inspire Origin of Flight Storytelling

Pacific Parrotlets. Image courtesy of markaharper1, Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0).





Joel Kontinen

When it comes to watching what birds do, it’s a small step from operational science to a just so story about how dinosaurs learnt to fly.

Here’s the latest version, courtesy of the journal Science:

If you’ve ever watched a bird hop from branch to branch in search of food, you’ve caught a glimpse at how prehistoric flying dinosaurs foraged among forest trees.”

Here’s their "proof":

That’s what researchers are saying after they trained four Pacific parrotlets (Forpus coelestis)—small, pastel-colored parrots about 13 centimeters long—to jump and fly for millet seed rewards. The researchers designed a cage decked out with perches that doubled as sensors to measure the birds’ leg forces, and surrounded the cages with high-speed cameras to study the birds’ wing beats as they moved between branches.”

If the next branch was near, the parrot jumped. If it was a bit further, it jumped and flapped its wings.

Then, the researchers used this data to figure out how some extinct birds that they define as “birdlike dinosaurs” took to the air:

“Archaeopteryx and Microraptor —feathered dinosaurs that likely flew or glided between trees—would have had the most success at boosting the range of their long jumps by 20%. The larger and heavier feathered dinosaurs Protarchaeopteryx and Caudipteryx would not have been able to generate enough force from a wing beat to support their body weight or significantly increase their long jumps. The scientists surmise that Archaeopteryx developed an edge over other tree-foraging competitors by using their jumping and wing flapping to minimize energy expenditure while foraging for food in their trees. Thus, long jump Olympians of the Archaeopteryx world may have spurred the evolution of flight.”

The problem with this scenario is that it is pure Darwinian storytelling that sees birds evolving from dinosaurs.

Several studies suggest that birds and dinosaurs lived at the same time.

In addition, Archaeopteryx had the flight feathers of modern birds.

Source:

Cross, Ryan. 2017. Watch these tiny parrots reveal how dinosaurs may have learned to fly. Science (17 May).



Thursday, 18 May 2017

Frog’s Amazing Design Features Prompt Darwinian Storytelling


Kassina maculuata. These legs were made for jumping. Image courtesy of Dawson, Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 2.5).





Joel Kontinen

It is no secret that frogs are masters of jumping.

New Scientist claims that new research has shown that they “have a unique skeleton made for jumping that evolved over hundreds of millions of years, new research has shown.”

This is a mixture of fact and fiction.

The fact is that the frog’s skeleton “allows them to jump horizontally or vertically…

Precise control over their long hind legs allows the amphibians to achieve an ‘amazing’ range of jump angles, from near-horizontal to almost vertical
.”

The rest is Darwinian storytelling, an art form well mastered by pro-evolution writers.

New Scientist was commenting on research on the red-legged running frog (Kassina maculata), recently published in the Journal of Experimental Biology.

NS uses words like amazing (twice) and astonishingly to describe the skills of this African frog and does not attempt to describe its assumed evolution.

The problem with evolution is that it relies on the wrong type of change.

Actually, frogs confirm the after its kind principle introduced in the Book of Genesis.

Source:

New Scientist staff and Press Association. 2017. Frog skeleton allows them to jump horizontally or vertically. (18 May).

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Ladybird’s Hi-Tech Folding Wings Inspire Solar Array Paddles and Foldable Wings


Transverse Ladybird (Coccinella transversalis). Image courtesy of JJ Harrison, Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0).




Joel Kontinen

Ladybirds might be tiny, but they’re not stupid or clumsy. After landing, they can pack their wings into almost no space at all.

Kazuya Saito (University of Tokyo) and colleagues used high-speed video to watch a ladybird fold its wings.

They found that prominent veins along the edge of the wings allow creases to form and fold the wings away in a complex, origami-like shape. A bend in the wing can drift down a vein as it gets folded, but the wing is ready to spring back to a rigid form when the elytra [i.e. wing cases] open,” New Scientist explains.

The insect does this very fast.

The wing frames do not have any joints. The NS article also suggests a biomimicry dimension. This “folding mechanism could help us build solar array paddles that unfold themselves in space, foldable wings for small vehicles, or even lead to better umbrellas.”

Biomimicry or copying intelligent solutions seen in nature has in recent years become a popular and lucrative research field.

Nature is a library from which industry can learn,” says David Hills, Director of Research and Technology (R&T) at Airbus.

From lotus leaves and mantis shrimps to the chameleon’s tongue and gecko’s feet, engineers are copying intelligent solutions they see in nature.

Amazing design implies an amazing Designer. The most logical explanation is that the Creator God designed them all.



Source:

Whyte, Chelsea. 2017. Ladybird’s transparent shell reveals how it folds its wings. New Scientist (15 May).