Wednesday, 30 March 2016

”Smart Evolution” Learns, New Scientist Claims

New Scientist attempts to see the feather as a product of smart evolution.

Joel Kontinen

New Scientist introduces an article on smart evolution with words that remind us of design:

A FEATHER isn’t just pretty: it’s pretty useful. Strong, light and flexible, with tiny barbs to zip each filament to its neighbours, it is fantastically designed for flight. The mammalian eye, too, is a marvel of complex design, with its pupil to regulate the amount of light that enters, a lens to focus it onto the retina, and rods and cones for low light and colour vision – all linked to the brain through the optic nerve.

Pro-evolution publications don’t have any love for the words 'design' or 'designer'. If anyone doubted this, the recent episode featuring the use of Creator and design in a PLOS ONE article might have prompted a rethink.

Way back in 2011 the journal BioEssays instructed would-be authors to avoid using terms that might suggest that a biological trait is designed.

Now, however, New Scientist wants to hijack the word and use it for solely Darwinian purposes. Relying on the views of computer scientist Richard Watson, an associate professor at the University of Southampton, UK, it introduces an unorthodox view of evolution.

This approach allows the magazine to use expressions like “fantastically designed for flight”, without attracting the ire of the Darwinian thought police.

It manages to do this by giving all the credit to evolution. The solution is to use phrases like “evolution’s incredible prowess as a designer”.

In what it calls a radical new view of evolution, evolution remembers past solutions and is clever enough to use them in the future.

" 'If past selection has shaped the building blocks well, it can make solving new problems look easy,’ says Watson. Instead of merely making limbs longer or shorter, for example, evolution can change whether forelimbs and hindlimbs evolve independently or together. A single mutation that changes connections in the network can lengthen all four legs of a giraffe, or allow a bat to increase its wingspan without getting too leggy. And a feather or an eye needn't be generated from scratch, but can evolve by mixing and matching building blocks that have served well in the past.

Evolutionists might believe that mutations are marvellous mistakes but they have usually overestimated their power, and the new view repeats the same old mistakes in a slightly different way.

The article discloses the real reason for this new approach (apart from the self-evident truth that Neo-Darwinian orthodoxy isn’t working) is to explain nature without God.

This ability to learn needs no supernatural intervention -- it is an inevitable product of random variation and selection acting on gene networks.”

This approach has merely changed the unit of selection: gene becomes gene networks, and everyone can pretend that the watchmaker isn’t blind at all. Poor Dawkins.

What the article misses is that creation is not a god-of-the-gaps approach (and neither is intelligent design), but in the Genesis based model, God makes everything good in the beginning, without the need for improvement, and even programmes the ability for variation – within kinds, that is.

Creation is a far more plausible model than any new view of old evolution.


Nature’s brain: A radical new view of evolution. New Scientist 3066 (22 March, 2016).

Monday, 28 March 2016

Religious Belief May Promote Scientific Creativity and Insight, New Study Suggests

David Livingstone meets Henry Morton Stanley. Image courtesy International Mission Photography Archive, ca.1860-ca.1960, public domain.

Joel Kontinen

Religious faith might not be a bad thing for a top scientist. The pioneers of modern science (for instance Robert Hooke, Sir Isaac Newton and Louis Pasteur) were Christians. In spite of what atheists might claim, “from 1901 to 2000, 654 Nobel laureates, or nearly 90 percent, belonged to one of 28 religions.”

A new paper published in PLOS ONE attempts to fathom the assumed dichotomy between science and belief. The researchers believe they were able to explain this by the structure of our brains.

They also found that people of faith tend to be more prosocial and empathic than those who take a more analytical approach to the great questions of life.

Even some atheists acknowledge that religion is good for us.

However, religions do differ. Christianity is the most pro-social religion, but political correctness would not allow the researchers to say so. Christians have done much to make the world a better place. William Wilberforce and David Livingstone fought against the slave trade, for instance.

"Having empathy doesn't mean you necessarily have anti-scientific beliefs. Instead, our results suggest that if we only emphasize analytic reasoning and scientific beliefs, as the New Atheist movement suggests, then we are compromising our ability to cultivate a different type of thinking, namely social/moral insight," says Jared Friedman, a co-author of the paper.

The study throws cold water on those who emphasise the bad consequences of religion: “Religious belief is associated with greater compassion, greater social inclusiveness and greater motivation to engage in pro-social actions.”

The paper’s lead author, associate professor Anthony Ian Jack, also issued a warning: "Religion has no place telling us about the physical structure of the world; that's the business of science.”

This perhaps reflects the same journal’s recent episode featuring the Creator’s design that attracted much attention – and ire – from some atheists.


Case Western Reserve University. 2016. Conflict between science, religion lies in our brains. Science Daily (23 March).

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Famous Bonobo Fails Easy Language Test

Bonobos might be good at hunting termites, but they don’t understand grammar. Image courtesy of Mike R., Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0).

Joel Kontinen

In the early 1980s, a male bonobo named Kanzi made headlines with its assumed linguistic skills. Coached from an early age by primatologist Sue Savage-Rumbaugh, the ape understood a wide variety of commands.

A new study throws some cold water on the enthusiasm. According to a report in the journal Science:

But a new study reveals he may not be as brainy as scientists thought—at least when it comes to grammar. The original test consisted of 660 verbal commands, in English, that asked Kanzi to do things like ‘show me the hot water’ and ‘pour cold water in the potty.’ Overall, the ape did well, responding correctly 71.5% of the time (compared with 66.6% for an infant human). But when the researchers asked him to perform an action on more than one item, his performance plummeted to just 22.2%, according to the new analysis.”

Obviously, the bonobo failed to understand basic grammar:

When he was asked to ‘give the lighter and the shoe to Rose,’ for example, he gave Rose the lighter, but no shoe. When asked to ‘give the water and the doggie to Rose,’ he gave her the toy dog, but no water. The cause? Animals like bonobos may have a harder time than humans in processing complex noun phrases like ‘water and doggie,’ linguist Robert Truswell of the University of Edinburgh reported in New Orleans, Louisiana, this week at the Evolution of Language conference.”

While we can teach animals to carry out easy tasks, it seems that grammar is beyond their comprehension:

This feature of grammar—which effectively ‘nests’ one unit within the bigger construct of a sentence—is easily picked up by humans, allowing us to communicate—and understand—more complex ideas.”

This all highlights our uniqueness. Only humans were created in God’s image. While dogs can be cute and we can teach them to fetch the newspaper, for instance, a huge intellectual gap makes us distinct from all animals.

While evolutionary publications tend to see human traits in apes, much of the reporting is little more than pure speculation.

For Charles Darwin, the sudden appearance of language was a horrid doubt.

For Darwinists, language evolution has remained a big mystery that cannot be solved by storytelling.

Some researchers say that humans may be programmed to learn language.


Matacic, Catherine. 2016. Ape ‘language ace’ gets tripped up by simple grammar. Science (25 March).

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Brussels Bombings: Reminders of the Fall

Reminder of a world plagued by the consequences of sin. Image courtesy of Miguel Discart, Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Joel Kontinen

Despite all the beauty around us, we are no longer living in the perfect world that Adam and Eve were able to enjoy before they turned their backs on God, bringing death and suffering into human history.

The first murder soon followed. Their son Cain killed his brother Abel.

ISIS follows the path Cain chose.

We cannot understand evil if we don’t believe that Genesis means what it says.

But in the midst of all the turmoil God has not given up on humans. He is still in control. He still wants to give us hope.

He still loves the ones created in His image, the ones for whom He suffered and died, but rose from the dead.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Religion Is Good for Us, It Helps Us to Co-operate, Research Suggests

The old rugged cross could help us to be better individuals.

Joel Kontinen

Even though PloS ONE recently deemed that one should not use the word Creator in a science paper, journals cannot escape the concept of a supernatural being.

While some atheists used to claim that religion was bad for us, it seems that those days are past and gone, as several studies have pointed out the very opposite.

A paper published in the journal Nature looked at how beliefs affected behaviour suggested that religion helps us to co-operate.

Science Daily summarises the findings:

Beliefs about all-knowing, punishing gods -- a defining feature of religions ranging from Christianity to Hinduism -- may have played a key role in expanding co-operation among far-flung peoples and led to the development of modern-day states.

Researchers looked at how religion affects humans' willingness to co-operate with those outside their social circle. They found that beliefs about all-knowing gods fosters co-operation

It was a fairly comprehensive study, involving “interviews and behavioural experiments with nearly 600 people from communities in Vanuatu, Fiji, Brazil, Mauritius, Siberia and Tanzania whose religious beliefs included Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, animism and ancestor worship.”

The study suggested that religion is good for us. It helps us to co-operate. Knowing that we are accountable for our deeds will keep us from being nasty, even towards strangers.

The take away message of this paper is that if we believe in a Deity that sees what we are doing and that He will punish us if do bad deeds, we will be morally better individuals.

Religion has not been absent from science publications lately. They have speculated on the assumed evolution of religion and the significance of God and religion.

It is indeed difficult to escape God. I wonder what God thinks of us, as we don’t believe in him?,” a young atheist kid once asked.


University of British Columbia. 2016. Beliefs about all-knowing gods fosters co-operation. Science Daily (10 February).

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Soft Tissue from Two “247-Million-Year-Old” Reptiles

Nothosaurus mirabilis. A recent study featured soft tissue found in nothosaurid bones. Image courtesy of Nobu Tamura, Creative Commons (CC BY 3.0).

Joel Kontinen

How long can old fossils retain soft tissue? Research recently published in the journal PloS ONE documents perhaps the oldest cases of biomolecules supposedly hailing from the Early/Middle Triassic, ca “247.2 million years” ago.

Polish scientists examined the fossils of two ancient reptiles, and found much more than just old-looking stony material:

Fossil biomolecules from an endogenous source were previously identified in Cretaceous to Pleistocene fossilized bones, the evidence coming from molecular analyses. These findings, however, were called into question and an alternative hypothesis of the invasion of the bone by bacterial biofilm was proposed. Herewith we report a new finding of morphologically preserved blood-vessel-like structures enclosing organic molecules preserved in iron-oxide-mineralized vessel walls from the cortical region of nothosaurid and tanystropheid (aquatic and terrestrial diapsid reptiles) bones. These findings are from the Early/Middle Triassic boundary (Upper Roetian/Lowermost Muschelkalk) strata of Upper Silesia, Poland."

The researchers pointed out that they really found what they reported:

"Multiple spectroscopic analyses (FTIR, ToF-SIMS, and XPS) of the extracted ‘blood vessels’ showed the presence of organic compounds, including fragments of various amino acids such as hydroxyproline and hydroxylysine as well as amides, that may suggest the presence of collagen protein residues.”

Just to keep on the safe side, however, they put blood vessels in quotes.

Because these amino acids are absent from most proteins other than collagen, we infer that the proteinaceous molecules may originate from endogenous collagen. The preservation of molecular signals of proteins within the ‘blood vessels’ was most likely made possible through the process of early diagenetic iron oxide mineralization. This discovery provides the oldest evidence of in situ preservation of complex organic molecules in vertebrate remains in a marine environment.”

To their credit, they acknowledged finding “complex organic molecules” in the bones.

Previous studies have reported on blood vessels, collagen, haemoglobin, elastin and laminin, as well as radiocarbon (C-14) found in dinosaur bone.

Researchers have also found soft tissue in
dino-era marine fossils.

The most logical explanation is that biomolecules cannot last millions of years. But that might go against the evolutionary worldview of some people.


Surmik, Dawid et al. 2016. Spectroscopic Studies on Organic Matter from Triassic Reptile Bones, Upper Silesia, Poland. PloS ONE 11(3): e0151143. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0151143. (15 March).

Friday, 18 March 2016

Pluto’s Atmosphere Challenges Faith in Billions of Years

Pluto has managed to keep its atmosphere. Image courtesy of NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI.

Joel Kontinen

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft keeps on sending new images from its flypast of Pluto. Researchers were surprised at what they saw in July when they got to see the first pictures: Pluto was anything but cold and old.

The dwarf planet is strikingly active and has glaciers and ice volcanoes.

New Scientist acknowledges that Pluto presents a big dilemma for the old age of the solar system:

One of the biggest surprises of the mission was how closely Pluto holds its atmosphere.

‘Pluto’s really tiny, so it doesn’t have the mass to hold on to an atmosphere over the age of the solar system – at least we wouldn’t have thought that,’ says Randy Gladstone of the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas.

The magazine also touched on a related mystery:

Remote observations showed that the atmosphere was dominated by nitrogen, and astronomers expected to find a tail of nitrogen streaming off the dwarf planet like a comet. But in reality, the chief material Pluto is losing to space is methane, and much less of it than predicted.

Pluto is not the odd one out. Many other planets and moons look far too young for a 4.5 billion-year-old solar system, for instance Ceres, Jupiter’s moons Io and Europa, as well as Saturn’s moons Enceladus, Mimas and Titan.

Just what we would expect from Genesis.


Grossman, Lisa. 2016. Pluto gives up its icy secrets as New Horizons data pours in. New Scientist (17 March).

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Gorilla "Song" Prompts Darwinian Speculations on Language Evolution

A gorilla “song” prompted speculations on language evolution.

Joel Kontinen

Evolutionists tend to see human traits in animals even when others wouldn’t. In 2012 science publications claimed that a beluga whale could speak (sort of, anyway), although it was no match for parrots.

Recently, stone-throwing chimps prompted at least one researcher to speculate about a chimp shrine.

When an orang-utan recently killed another orang-utan, the media did not hesitate to call it murder. The implication is that the great apes have some sort of moral code, as if the animal knew what was right and what wrong.

Now, when researchers heard a gorilla uttering voices that they described as song or hum, they claimed that it was a “discovery that could help shed light on how language evolved in early humans.”

Darwinian stories are often entertaining, but one might ask whether they have anything to do with science.

Mark Twain once said: “There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.”

This applies very well to Darwinian speculations on the human-animal connection.


Owens, Brian. 2016. Wild gorillas compose happy songs that they hum during meals. New Scientist (24 February).

Monday, 14 March 2016

Chimp ”Shrine” And the Assumed Evolution of Religion

Animals are not known to worship God.

Joel Kontinen

The naturalistic / materialistic worldview has no place for the supernatural or for the unique status of humans, and its adherents tend to believe that somewhere along the way, religion evolved because it helped our semi-human ancestors to survive.

Thus, when evolutionists heard that chimps were throwing rocks at a tree, some were ready to see this as a ritual, evidence of a mysterious shrine in a forest in Guinea.

Laura Kehoe, a PhD student at Humboldt University in Berlin, thought it might be a sacred tree. Daily Mail actually asked whether this was proof that chimps believed in God.

Fortunately, other researchers were able to take a more critical view of the chimps’ strange behaviour. However, this obviously did not stop them from speculating about the evolution of religion.

We should not forget, though, that only humans were made in God’s image. Belief in one God (monotheism) did not evolve. It was the original religion. And as far as we know, animals cannot worship the Creator.

Christ never died for animals. He died for us, the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve.


Barnes, Simon. 2016. Is this proof chimps believe in God? Scientists baffled by footage of primates throwing rocks and 'building shrines at sacred tree' for no reason. Daily Mail (4 March).

Hooper, Rowan. 2016. What do chimp ‘temples’ tell us about the evolution of religion? New Scientist (4 March).

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Meat Made Us Human, New Darwinian Story Says

We differ by many orders of magnitude from all other creatures.

Joel Kontinen

What would evolution amount to without its ubiquitous just so stories?

Obviously, not very much, as the fossil record does not support the view that animals would over millions of years gradually change into different kinds of animals, with scales turning into feathers through mutations, for instance.

The umpteen other tall stories are also relatively fact-free.

Darwinists have had to say goodbye to many icons of evolution that were once thought to be solid evidence for the theory. Junk DNA and vestigial organs have turned out to be junk science, vestiges of an era that has long since passed.

Radiocarbon (C-14) and soft tissue in fossils assumed to be tens of millions of years old and the rapidly increasing numbers of living fossils are likewise challenging the Darwinian edifice that already has enormous cracks.

But evolutionists haven’t yet thrown in the towel. They keep on re-issuing old arguments about how a trait might have evolved. A recent example has to do with our big brains, a big problem for evolution.

And the Cambrian Explosion shows no signs of being solved.

Now, a paper in the journal Nature suggests we should thank our meat-eating ancestors for our brains that are far too complex to come about through Darwinian mechanisms.

The new study ignores the information dimension. Darwinian mechanisms cannot account for the origin of information. It is obvious that genetic information does not simply happen. It has to come from an intelligent source.

Humans are special. The answer to the question of why this is so is not blowing in the wind.

It can be seen in the work of the eternal Creator we are introduced to in the Book of Genesis.


Kluger, Jeffrey. 2016. Sorry Vegans: Here’s How Meat-Eating Made Us Human. Time newsletter (9 March).

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Sniffing for Life on Mars: ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter Goes to Search for Martian Life

An artist’s impression of the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter. Image courtesy of ATG medialab/ESA.

Joel Kontinen

The evolutionary worldview has life popping up in all places where it could potentially be possible. Next week, the European Space Agency (ESA) is sending the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) towards the red planet on a Russian Proton rocket from Baikonur in Kazakhstan.

The orbiter carries a lander named Schiaparelli. The agency aims to find out whether there could be any kind of life on Mars.

The TGO is packed with very sensitive instruments. An article in New Scientist explains how they will be used:

Previous sightings of methane by NASA’s Curiosity rover, along with other orbiters and telescopes, have proved confusing, as the gas seems to be more short-lived than expected. To get to the bottom of this mystery, TGO is equipped with two suites of spectrometers designed to sniff out the planet’s atmospheric gases down to tiny amounts, a camera to photograph potential ground sources, and neutron detector to map water ice down to a metre below the surface.”

New Scientist goes on to say:

Those tiny amounts – the trace gases that give TGO its name – will crack the planet’s methane secrets. If the methane is accompanied by a whiff of sulphur dioxide, and traced to geological features on the surface, active volcanism is the most likely cause. Methane laced with higher levels of the isotope carbon-12, which is preferred by life on Earth, would point to a biological origin – though we would still be far from confirming that there is life on Mars.”

Evolutionists seem to have a big dilemma. On Earth, life appears in extreme conditions, so they assume it should also exist on other worlds.

However, although Mars orbits the Sun in the habitable zone just like our planet and Venus, it does not appear to be very habitable. It lacks the fine tuning Earth has – for instance, a big moon at the right distance – for keeping it habitable.

Earth seems to be unique.

And we should not forget that life only comes from life. It requires hi-tech design and genetic information. Without these, no gases can ever produce life.

It has to be created, as the book of Genesis says.


Aron, Jacob. 2016. ExoMars probe set to sniff out signs of life on the Red Planet New Scientist (7 March).

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Darwinian Mechanisms Cannot Improve a Fruit Fly, Study Suggests

Drosophila melanogaster. Image courtesy of André Karwath, Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 2.5).

Joel Kontinen

Researchers tested whether they could design a fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) that would be better than the amazing design we see in the tiny creatures attracted by overripe apples and bananas.

They changed the fly’s wing shape in many ways, hoping to produce a more efficient flier. However, in each case the original turned out to be better than the altered model.

The researchers published their findings the journal Nature Communications.

Our aerodynamic model shows that all of the wing morphs we have tested show a decrease in aerodynamic efficiency in comparison with the control,” they had to admit.

Alterations always came with a cost. Tweaking a trait to make it more effective resulted in the loss of another trait. The altered flies were less able to evade predators, for instance.

Natural selection cannot vary the fly’s shape indefinitely without actually causing the insect to be worse off than before the alteration.

In other words, the original design is the best. It also suggests that the assumed evolution is not very clever.

Evolution could never match the amazing design that is obvious in all living beings, including us.


Ray, Robert P. 2016. Enhanced flight performance by genetic manipulation of wing shape in Drosophila. Nature Communications 7, 10851. doi:10.1038/ncomms10851 (1 March).

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Smart Plants Use Clever Trick to Avoid Being Eaten

Sand keeps a plant from becoming a meal.

Joel Kontinen

Plants are not stupid. That does not only mean turning towards the sun. They are masters of communication and cooperation. They also know how to defend themselves against insects and bigger predators that might otherwise eat them.

An article in Science says:

Thorns, poisons, and partnerships with biting insects are just a few of the ways that plants avoid getting eaten. Now, researchers have added one more to the list: armor made of sand. Scientists have long wondered why some plants secrete sticky substances that trap sand on their stems and leaves. Over the years, they’ve floated ideas from temperature regulation to storm protection to armor against hungry herbivores.”

It turns out that plants were not doing this just for fun:

To find out which is right, researchers removed sand grains from armor-wielding sand verbenas in California. After 2 months, the ‘naked’ plants had twice the chewing damage of plants that kept their sandy armor intact, the team reports this week in Ecology. The study also shows that herbivores were far less likely to chomp off the flowers of honey-scented pincushion plants when the researchers sprinkled some extra grains on the flowers. The key may be animal tooth care—an herbivore’s teeth are its most important tool, and anyone who has used sandpaper knows that grains of sand can wear down hard surfaces. Plants worldwide may be wielding a sandy shield to avoid becoming a meal, say the researchers, who add that the armor could still have other uses, like protection against sandstorms.”

This is exactly what we would expect in a world made by a benevolent Creator. In a world tarnished by sin, He has given plants the know-how so they can resist becoming the next meal of a hungry herbivore.

Plants are intelligent in other ways, also. Some of them are probably able to count.

God created plants to be “pleasing to the sight” (Genesis 2:9). Even in a fallen world, we can still see beauty in flowers and other plants. At least to some extent, this is based on mathematics.


Monahan, Patrick. 2016. Plants defend themselves with armor made of sand. Science (4 March).

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Creator And Design Are “Inappropriate Language” in Science Publication

A biology paper was expelled from PloS ONE due to “inappropriate language.

Joel Kontinen

The concept of what amounts to inappropriate language has evolved quite a bit in science publications.

The pioneers of modern science (for instance Robert Hooke, Sir Isaac Newton and Louis Pasteur) were doing research for the glory of God.

In contrast, their modern successors seem to think that 'Creator' and 'design' are indecent words. Somewhere along the way
Darwinists hijacked science publications and now they want to set their own rules.

Recently, a paper published in PloS ONE mentioned the word Creator (written with a capital C) three times.

This was too much for the Darwin lobby. They were furious.

PlosOne reacted promptly. The journal editors decided to retract the paper. Here’s their explanation:

Following publication, readers raised concerns about language in the article that makes references to a 'Creator', and about the overall rationale and findings of the study.

Upon receiving these concerns, the PLOS ONE editors have carried out an evaluation of the manuscript and the pre-publication process, and they sought further advice on the work from experts in the editorial board. This evaluation confirmed concerns with the scientific rationale, presentation and language, which were not adequately addressed during peer review.

Consequently, the PLOS ONE editors consider that the work cannot be relied upon and retract this publication.

The editors apologize to readers for the inappropriate language in the article and the errors during the evaluation process

This shows to what lengths evolutionists will go to silence any dissent. In this case, the Chinese researchers who wrote the paper might not actually have endorsed creation or even intelligent design, but the word Creator obviously crept into the paper during the translation process.

In any case, it highlights the narrow-mindedness, and probably also hatred, of some evolutionists.


PLOS ONE Staff. 2016 Retraction: Biomechanical Characteristics of Hand Coordination in Grasping Activities of Daily Living. PLoS ONE 11(3): e0151685. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0151685. (4 March 2016).

Friday, 4 March 2016

CreatorGate? Use of the Words Design and Creator in PLoS ONE Article Prompts Angry Protests from Darwinists

This kind of design is acceptable. Image courtesy of Steve Swayne, Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0). But saying hand co-ordination is designed prompted censors to protest against an article recently published in the journal PLoS ONE.

Joel Kontinen

A paper published in PLoS ONE was recently retracted after complains from evolutionists that it attributed human hand co-ordination to the Creator’s design.

The critics did not find fault with the actual science in the paper; what they disliked was the use of the words design and Creator. They were especially unhappy with the fact that the source of the design was written with a capital C.

This obviously was too much for the Darwin lobby.

The paper, written by three Chinese researchers, used the following expressions:

The biomechanical characteristic of tendinous connective architecture between muscles and articulations is the proper design by the Creator to perform a multitude of daily tasks in a comfortable way.”

Hand coordination should indicate the mystery of the Creator’s invention.”

But the writers also disclosed a belief in some sort of evolution over millions of years:

“Our study can improve the understanding of the human hand and confirm that the mechanical architecture is the proper design by the Creator for dexterous performance of numerous functions following the evolutionary remodeling of the ancestral hand for millions of years.”

None of the three Chinese researchers speaks English as their first language, so something might have been lost in translation and the entire affair might well turn out to be a storm in a teacup.

They saw design where anyone would see design, but they might not have known that design is such a touchy word in the west, especially if coupled with the use of its source – the Creator.

The entire episode reminds me of what Ben Stein pointed out in the documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed – Darwinists will go to great lengths to exclude all dissent.

Design is so obvious in nature that it has become increasingly difficult to evade the d-word. However, in 2011 the journal BioEssays instructed would-be authors to avoid using terms that might suggest that a biological trait is designed.

It seems that for Darwinists, the very use of the words design and Creator smacks of heresy.

They seem to prefer the Blind Watchmaker approach instead, regardless of the evidence.


Cressey, Daniel. 2016. Paper that says human hand was 'designed by Creator' sparks concern. Nature news (3 March).

Liu, Ming-Jin et al. 2016. Biomechanical Characteristics of Hand Coordination in Grasping Activities of Daily Living. PLoS ONE. (5 January).

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Complex Cambrian Brain Suggests Evolution Went the Wrong Way

Chengjiangocaris kunmingensis. Image courtesy of Jie Yang (Yunnan University, China).

Joel Kontinen

Cambrian fossils have presented evolutionists with more surprises than what they could have bargained for.

For Charles Darwin, the sudden appearance of Cambrian animals was a big dilemma. For some of his followers, it can cause a real headache,” as evolutionary biologist Matthew Wills (University of Bath, UK) put it in 2012.

Trilobite eyes were probably more sophisticated and hi-tech than the ones today’s creatures have.

And the headache has progressively worsened in the past few years, as researchers have dug up soft tissue and fossilised brains from animals assumed to be over 500 million years old.

In 2012 Nature published a paper on Fuxianhuia protensa.

The well-preserved fossil of this tiny invertebrate inspired interesting comments and headlines in science portals and publications:

· Science suggested that the creature presumably did a fair amount of thinking.”

· Last November, published an article entitled 520-million-year-old arthropod brains turn paleontology on its head. It was reporting on a study published in the journal Current Biology.

Evolutionists have attempted to find a cause for this biological big bang, but the solutions have been anything but convincing.

The latest discovery makes Darwin’s dilemma and its concomitant headache a whole lot worse, probably beyond recovery. A “520 million-year-old” fossil has a nervous system that is “more complex” than what today’s arthropods have. Yet, as New Scientist characterises it, the Chengjiangocaris kunmingensis has “the most ancient nervous system we’ve ever seen.”

Found in South China, the five Cambrian fossils belonged to a group of organisms that gave rise to the arthropods, including insects, spiders and crustaceans. The fossils are of Chengjiangocaris kunmingensis, a creature around 10 centimetres long, with a segmented body, multiple pairs of legs and a heart-shaped head.”

What the researchers found prompted New Scientist to say: “Evolution isn’t a one-way street to complexity.”

We would agree.

The article goes on to say:

But most interesting of all is its nerve cord and associated neurons. Together, the fossils show the entire nervous system of the organism, apart from its brain – making this the oldest preserved nervous system that has ever been found.

Surprisingly, the team found dozens of fine, subsidiary nerves fanning out across the entire length of the nerve cord, making this nervous system more complex than those seen in today’s descendants

What the fossil shows is the opposite of evolution, it is devolution. Darwinian thinking never predicted anything like this.


Coghlan, Andy. 2016. Exquisite fossils reveal oldest nervous system ever preserved. New Scientist (29 February).