Monday, 27 March 2017

Saturn’s Moon Enceladus: Trying to Save Billions of Years by Appealing to Cosmic Collision


It looks youngish. Image courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech.





Joel Kontinen

If our solar system were 4.5 billion years old as we’re told, the big moons of Jupiter and Saturn as well as dwarf planets like Pluto and Ceres should be sleepy worlds.

They should definitively not have active volcanoes or sprouting geysers.

But some of them do.

Saturn’s moon Enceladus is one of these worlds that do not act their (assumed) age.

New Scientist explains:

Enceladus’ south pole is wounded, bleeding heat and water. Its injury may have come from a huge rock smashing into this frigid moon of Saturn less than 100 million years ago, leaving the area riddled with leaky cracks.”

There seems to be no evidence for this collision. But evolutionists need to explain why the moon looks too young:

The region near Enceladus’ south pole marks one of the solar system’s most intriguing mysteries. It spews plumes of liquid from an interior ocean, plus an enormous amount of heat. The south pole’s heat emission is about 10 gigawatts higher than expected – equivalent to the power of 4000 wind turbines running at full capacity. The rest of the moon, though, is cold and relatively homogeneous.”

Enceladus might also have a global ocean.

This likewise challenges belief in billions of years.

Source:

Crane, Leah. 2017. Enigmatic plumes from Saturn’s moon caused by cosmic collision. New Scientist (24 March).


Saturday, 25 March 2017

Soft Tissue Found in Dino-Era Bird Confuciusornis


Confuciusornis. Image courtesy of Laikayiu, Creative Commons (CC BY 3.0).




Joel Kontinen

Finding soft tissue in fossils assumed to be tens, if not hundreds of years old, has become so commonplace that evolutionists have begun to believe that soft animal parts can last for aeons.

They have found them in birds, fish, marine reptiles, salamanders, mammoths, and, of course, dinosaurs.

A paper published in Nature Communications discusses a recent discovery:

Here, we document a fossil of an Early Cretaceous bird, Confuciusornis sanctus, which has some strikingly well-preserved soft tissues around its ankle joint. Microscopic analyses of these tissues indicate that they include tendons or ligaments, fibrocartilages and articular cartilages, with microstructure evident at the cellular level.”

This would imply that the bird is at least “100 million years” old.

The paper goes on to say,

Further chemical analyses reveal that even some of the original molecular residues of these soft tissues may remain, such as fragments of amino acids from collagen, particularly in the fibrocartilage. This concurs with accruing evidence that some biomolecules may survive, under exceptional circumstances, over many millions of years.”

A more logical explanation would be that the fossils are not that old. Soft tissue might last a few thousand years in exceptional circumstances, but not for many millions of years.

Source:

Jiang, Baoyu et al. 2017. Cellular preservation of musculoskeletal specializations in the Cretaceous bird Confuciusornis. Nature Communications 8:14779.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Tree-Climbing Crab Fits Nicely into the Creation Model But Is a Big Surprise for Darwinists

It looks like a crab but it climbs trees. Image courtesy of Dr. Peter K. L. Ng;Creative Commons(CC-BY 4.0).






Joel Kontinen

The Genesis kinds can vary more than we might expect. We would tend to believe that crabs live near the beach and burrow tunnels in the sand.

However, that is not the whole story. Recently, researchers found a new species called Haberma tingkok that likes to climb trees.

An article posted on Science Daily introduces this bizarre creature:

Among the crab's characteristic traits are squarish predominantly dark brown carapace, very long legs and orange chelipeds. The species is less than a centimetre long, with the studied specimens measuring between 8 and 9 millimetres, irrespective of their sex. However, the chelipeds of the males appear stout, while in females they are distinctly more slender.

The scientists who found the new species (Haberma tingkok), Dr. Stefano Cannicci, the Swire Institute of Marine Science at the University of Hong Kong, and Dr. Peter Ng, National University of Singapore, have placed the new species in a small genus, which now contains merely three species …

The discovery of the tiny crustacean once again proves how little is known about the diversity of these crabs in Hong Kong
.”

Haberma tingkok is not the only crab that climbs trees. The enormous coconut crab does so also.

Some crabs are blind and live in caves.

Still, they are all crabs. Like other animals, crabs were created according to its /their kind. Thus a crab will never evolve into a non-crab.

Source:

Pensoft Publishers. 2017. New species of terrestrial crab found climbing on trees in Hong Kong. Science Daily (21 March).

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Human Rights for Ganges River


Image courtesy of Babasteve, Creative Commons (CC BY 2.0).




Joel Kontinen

In a world seeped with Darwinian thinking, it is difficult for some people to see that humans are special, made in the image of God.

Animal rights activists, who tend to embrace evolutionary thinking, have for years tried to blur the differences between humans and animals.

In January 2008 a chimpanzee named Matthew Hiasl Pan made headlines throughout the world as activists attempted to get the Austrian High Court to grant it the status of a person. The court refused to do so, however.

In June 2008 the environmental committee of the Spanish parliament approved a resolution that called for the right to life and freedom for great apes.

In early 2010, Thomas White, a professor of ethics at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, caused a stir by suggesting that dolphins should be treated as ”non-human persons."

In 2014, Professor Peter Singer wanted to re-define chimpanzees as people.

In April 2014 animal rights activists claimed that two research chimpanzees, Hercules and Leo, were being unlawfully detained.

Some activists are not content with giving human rights to animals. They also want to give them to rivers.

Last week, the Whanganui River in New Zealand became the first river to get human rights. India was quick to follow suit.

BBC News reports:

A court in northern Indian has given the Ganges and Yamuna rivers the status of ‘living human entities’.

The high court in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand said this would help in the ‘preservation and conservation’ of the highly polluted rivers.

It added that the ‘legal status’ ensures that polluting the rivers would now amount to harming a human being
.”

While the motive behind the decision might be excellent, only humans can be “living human entities.

Rivers will remain rivers, regardless of whether they are deemed to be sacred by adherents of a religion or not.

Pollution is a serious issue and so is pretending that inanimate things can be persons.

Source:

BBC News. 2017. India court gives sacred Ganges and Yamuna rivers human status. (21 March).

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Brambles Defy Naturalistic Expectations: They Can Crawl

Some brambles like to move. Image courtesy of Anthony Appleyard, public domain.



Joel Kontinen

Flowers and other plants do not fit in well with Darwinian expectations.

Charles Darwin was puzzled by the lack of evidence for the evolution of angiosperms or flowering plants.

The earliest flowers look more or less like today’s flowers.

And plants defy Darwinian thinking in other ways as well. They communicate with other plants. Trees sleep.

Some plants thrive in almost impossible conditions. Some use a clever trick to avoid being eaten. Some use colour to get more energy from the sun.

Recently, BBC Earth introduced yet another feature that makes plants special: brambles can crawl up to 7,5 centimetres (3 inches) a day.

It's their branches that move. Obviously, their roots have to stay where they are.

It seems that even thorny plants that remind us of the Fall described in Genesis 3 defy Darwinian expectations by doing the seemingly impossible.

Source:

BBC Earth. 2017. Time-lapse footage reveals a bramble ‘crawling’(14 March).

Friday, 17 March 2017

Fishy Fish Evolution Story in New Scientist: Blenny Fish Are Evolving into Land Creatures


Tasmanian Blenny (Parablennius tasmanianus). Image courtesy of Nick Eades. Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0).




Joel Kontinen

New Scientist describes it as evolution in action. A little blenny fish is probably seeking refuge from predators by climbing up and around wet rocks when the tide comes in.

This prompts the popular science magazine to remind its readers of the assumed evolutionary transition from sea to land:

Fish first began crawling onto dry land about 400 million years ago, kicking off an evolutionary chain of events that led to humans.”

Darwinian stories tend to be entertaining but they are often a bit fishy.

But without them, evolution would be boring.

Blenny fish come in many shapes, sizes and colours. New Scientist is reporting on the extraordinary behaviour of blennies living in the waters of Rarotonga, the largest of the Cook Islands:

At low tide, blennies are commonly found swimming in rock pools around the edges of the island. But when high tide moves in, they climb up to dry land and shuffle around the rocks until the tide retreats.”

So, the fish are not moving permanently to land; they only spend some time out of the water, just like mudskippers do.

Some evolutionists thought they saw superfast evolution in mudskippers, but they forgot that these fish would dry out if they didn’t return to the sea.

Like mudskippers, blennies use gills to breath which are good for breathing in water but not so good on land. If they tarry too long on dry land, they will eventually die.

End of evolution.

While fish might behave in bizarre ways, it does not mean that they are evolving into something else.

Even walking fish will not solve the Darwinian enigma as they won’t leave their watery world.

Source:

Klein, Alice. 2017. These fish are evolving right now to become land-dwellers. New Scientist (16 March).


Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Time Is Running Out for the Evolution of Multicellular Life

A false-colour image of the recently discovered red algae, courtesy of Stefan Bengtson; CCAL.





Joel Kontinen

Charles Darwin thought that the millions of years he believed in would give him all the time he needed for his theory to get complex creatures from simpler ones.

But recent discoveries are challenging this evolutionary truth. Many kinds of fossils appear way too early, leaving hardly any time for evolution.

And deep time has fatal problems of its own. Radiometric dating often gives too old dates, making the case for Darwinian evolution even more desperate.

New research published in the journal PLOS Biology suggests that the earliest plants resembling red algae are "1.6 million years" old, 0.4 million years older than the previous record-holders.

Scientists at the Swedish Museum of Natural History discovered the fossils “in uniquely well-preserved sedimentary rocks at Chitrakoot in central India.”

Science Daily gives us some details:

The presumed red algae lie embedded in fossil mats of cyanobacteria, called stromatolites, in 1.6 billion-year-old Indian phosphorite. The thread-like forms were discovered first, and when the then doctoral student Therese Sallstedt investigated the stromatolites she found the more complex, fleshy structures. “

Cyanobacteria are a huge problem for evolution. Assumed to be the oldest living fossils, they already had hi-tech technology.

In 2015, an article posted on Phys.org stated:

have an ingenious system to prepare themselves for the coming daylight when it is dark by setting up a large 'antenna'. This antenna helps them capture light energy in an efficient way, while also providing protection against damage to the photosynthesis mechanism of the bacteria.”

The Science Daily article goes on to say:

The research group was able to look inside the algae with the help of synchrotron-based X-ray tomographic microscopy. Among other things, they have seen regularly recurring platelets in each cell, which they believe are parts of chloroplasts, the organelles within plant cells where photosynthesis takes place. They have also seen distinct and regular structures at the centre of each cell wall, typical of red algae.”

It seems that the more we get to know about fossils, the weaker the case for Darwinian evolution becomes.

Sources:

Phys.org. 2015. Blue-green algae efficient in 'harvesting' light (17 December).

PLOS. 2017. World's oldest plant-like fossils show multicellular life appeared earlier than thought. Science Daily. (14 March).