Sunday, 31 December 2017

Ticks Are “Masters of Survival” – And Defy Darwinian Expectations

This tick found in the Dominican Republic was trapped in amber. Image courtesy of George Poinar, Jr., Oregon State University, CC BY-SA 2.0.

Joel Kontinen

A paper published in Nature Communications features a tick found sucking the blood of an ancient bird-like creature that evolutionists think was a dinosaur. It was found in the famous amber deposit in Myanmar (Burma) “thought to be 99 million years old.”

There is something fishy about this age. An article in Science admits that the samples “were originally purchased from amber dealers by private collectors, who later donated the samples to museums.”

The second problem has to do with the way evolutionists are willing to turn a bird into a dinosaur, as long as it fits in with their ideology. Thus, if the assumed age might cause a problem for their thinking, it is explained away as a dinosaur.

Fossils trapped in amber tend to be problematic for Darwinians, as – regardless of their assumed age – they almost always show a profound lack of change.

Practically all insects trapped in amber look the same as today’s animals. Creatures like ticks, beetles, spiders, wasps or ants defy Darwinian expectations by their stasis or lack of evolution.


Vogel, Gretchen. 2017. 99-million-year-old ticks sucked the blood of dinosaurs. Science (12 December).

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Amazing Navigation Skills in Young Loggerhead Sea Turtles

A baby loggerhead making its way to the sea. Image courtesy of Hillebrand Steve, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Public domain.

Joel Kontinen

Young loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) can swim against tides to get to their preferred destination, new research shows.

Katherine Mansfield (University of Central Florida in Orlando) and her colleagues monitored the movements of 19 young loggerheads via satellite-tracking tags. They released the turtles into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Brazil.

In a few months the tiny animals swam some 4,350 kilometres. They mostly followed seasonal currents but would also swim against the ocean currents.

Darwinian mechanisms can hardly explain the loggerheads’ amazing skills.

They are not the only marine animals that display such prowess. Jellyfish share their ability.

Turtles present another major dilemma for Darwinism. These living fossils have resisted evolution for “230 million” years.


Mansfield, Katherine L et al. 2017. First satellite tracks of South Atlantic sea turtle ‘lost years’: seasonal variation in trans-equatorial movement. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 284 (1868) (6 December).

Fake Science Papers in the News

Image courtesy of Frederick Burr Opper, Public Domain.

Joel Kontinen

In 2015, a group of Chinese scientists published a paper entitled “Nucleolin Promotes TGF-β Signaling Initiation via TGF-β Receptor I in Glioblastoma” in the Journal of Molecular Neuroscience.

While it might sound like a genuine scientific paper, there is little genuine in it. 1) Its stated funding source was not the real funding source. 2) One of the co-authors admitted he had not taken part in the research or in writing the paper and didn’t even know about the study. 3) The senior author acknowledged that he had not taken part in the submission process and did not support its publication. 4) The journal’s editors suspected that the peer-review process was compromised,

The paper was retracted in June 2017. This year, the journal’s publisher Springer has retracted over 100 scientific papers, prompting Live Science to begin an article with the words:

“Lies, exaggerations, criminal acts, unbridled irony, alternative facts,
fake news
… No, we're not talking about 2017 politics. This is the 2017 world of science.”

The article goes on to say:

This past year, hundreds of scientific papers were retracted from professional journals. In the majority of cases involving these retractions, the reason was an innocent, yet sloppy, error in the methodology of the experiment that the authors themselves caught. But for quite a few papers, the retractions reflected scientific misconduct and a not-so-innocent attempt to tweak the data — or make it up entirely.”

And Live Science didn’t even mention the case of a dog sitting on the editorial board of 7 journals.

It seems that scientific misconduct thrives in the Darwinian community.

Quite often, big science gives rise to big lies.


Wanjek, Christopher. 2017. Lies, Mistakes & More: These Scientific Papers Got Nixed in 2017. Live Science (27 December).

Friday, 29 December 2017

Saturn’s Rings Are Young, Cassini Data Suggest

Too young for an old solar system? Image courtesy of NASA/JPL.

Joel Kontinen

Belief in a 4.5-billion- year-old solar system requires explaining away unexpected details that point to a much younger date.

Previous research had already suggested a youngish age for Saturn’s rings and moons, and observations made this year by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft and reported at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU )confirm this.

An article in Science states that the rings

are surprisingly youthful: Until a few hundred million years ago, they did not exist. Saturn acquired its jewels relatively late in life. If any astronomers had gazed at the sky in the time of the dinosaurs, they might have seen a bare and boring Saturn.

The naturalistic scenario needs a catastrophe of sorts, for instance, a comet or asteroid that crashed into one of Saturn’s moons, breaking it into pieces that formed the rings, or a shift in the orbits of the moons.

However, if Saturn is much younger, such storytelling becomes superfluous.


Voosen, Paul. 2017. Saturn’s rings are a recent addition to the solar system, Cassini observations show. Science (12 December).

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Bisons and Buffaloes Remind Us of Genesis’ After Its Kind Principle

A European bison (Bison bonasus). Image courtesy of Michael Gäbler, CC BY 3.0.

Joel Kontinen

Recently, a Live Science article took up the differences between bisons and buffaloes. These animals do look a bit alike, but there are some major differences. American bison are shaggy and have a shoulder hump, but the buffaloes of Asia and Africa don’t. They are more adapted to a warmer climate.

However, the differences do not nullify the obvious, i.e., they belong to the same Genesis kind. This phenomenon can also be seen in many other animals.

What is more, bisons haven’t changed in aeons. They appear in early cave art in Europe.

Hybrids, such as ligers, zonkeys, geeps, grolars, wholphins and leopons, likewise suggest that the Genesis principle is still valid.


Weisberger, Mindy. 2017. Bison vs. Buffalo: What's the Difference? Live Science (23 December).

Monday, 25 December 2017

Former Pentagon UFO Investigator Does Not Rule Out Alien Life

Image courtesy of Phylyp, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Joel Kontinen

"My personal belief is that there is very compelling evidence that we may not be alone," said Luis Elizondo, former head of the Pentagon Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program, in a recent interview with CNN.

He went on to say that some unidentified flying objects might not necessarily hail from outer space, but some might.

Ufos seem to have an evolution connection.

If life evolved here, it should have also evolved elsewhere, they seem to believe.

Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell believes in ufos, and the SETI folks are searching for alien life everywhere.

Some evolutionists speculate what aliens might look like, others are concerned with how to communicate with them, and some, like professor Stephen Hawking, are afraid of them.

Unfortunately (for them, that is), all alleged signals have been false alarms.

In other words, there is no proof of extraterrestrial life or evolution anywhere.


Howell, Elizabeth. 2017. We May Not Be Alone, Former Pentagon UFO Investigator Says. (20 December).

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Glória in excélsis Deo

Gerard van Honthorst: Adoration of the Shepherds (1622). Public domain (Google Art Project).

Joel Kontinen

Glória in excélsis Deo are words that mark the time God began a new era in His dealings with mankind.

Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”(Luke 2:14, NKJV), the angels and heavenly hosts told the shepherds to whom they announced these glad tidings.

Adam’s descendants were unable to set right the wrong things their predecessor had done by rebelling against his Maker, so God had to step into human history to reconcile mankind to Himself.

Christmas fulfilled the prophecies uttered by Old Testament prophets such as Isaiah and Micah.

Christ, the Lamb of God, chose to live among human beings to lead us to salvation.

Friday, 22 December 2017

Young Venus? Venus Might Be Geologically Active

Image courtesy of NASA.

Joel Kontinen

An increasing number of observations don’t support the standard age of the solar system, i.e, 4.5 billion years. Instead, they seem to indicate a much younger date.

The list of “bad dates” is anything but short. It includes Venus, Saturn, Pluto, Saturn’s moon Enceladus and Jupiter’s moon Europa, among others.

A recent report posted on gives more details about Venus:

For planetary scientists, Venus's geologic heartbeat flat-lined around 700 million years ago. Now, a global view of some well-known deformation features on Venus's surface may indicate it's capable of crustal motion, and that motion might even be happening today, scientists reported Monday at the 2017 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in New Orleans.”

Research presented by Paul Byrne, a planetary geologist at North Carolina State University, and colleagues suggests “signs of deformation within a few of the lava plains.”

At least some of the jostling and moving and rotating could have taken place very recently,” he says.

While they did not find plate tectonics, they certainly discovered signs of unexpected youth.


Rehm, Jeremy. 2017. Lava-filled blocks on Venus may indicate geological activity. (18 December).

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Bumblebees “Solve the Travelling Salesman Problem on the Fly”

Bumblebees are amazingly smart. Image courtesy of Bernie Kohl, public domain.

Joel Kontinen

Bumblebees are amazingly smart: they can detect weak electric fields with their mechanosensory hairs.

Recent research disclosed another amazing skill they have: “a grasp of maths that enables them to crack the classic travelling salesman problem as they forage for pollen and nectar.”

New Scientist describes this problem as follows: “Given a list of cities and the distances between each pair of cities, what is the shortest possible route that visits each city and returns to the origin city?”

It seems that bumblebees with their tiny brains are at least equal to, if not better than, the best human computer programmes that attempt to tackle this problem.

If this sounds a lot like intelligent design, the obvious reason is that it indeed is.

The animal kingdom abounds with designed features that challenge Darwinian evolution, for instance jellyfish navigation, the gliding skills of lemurs, gecko feet and the co-ordinated flight of tens of thousands of starlings.


New Scientist staff and Press Association. 2017. Bumblebees solve the travelling salesman problem on the fly. New Scientist (11 December).

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Scallops’ Eye Works Like A Telescope, Inspires Better Optical Devices

Image courtesy of Rachael Norris and Marina Freudzon, Public Domain.

Joel Kontinen

Scallops are anything but simple creatures. They have “200 eyes that function remarkably like a telescope, using living mirrors to focus light,” an article posted on says, reporting on a recent paper published in the journal Science.

Researchers at Israel's Weizmann Institute of Science and Lund University in Sweden found out these animals have “a mosaic of tiny mirrors and crystals, carefully arranged inside scallops' small poppy seed-like eyes which line their outer edge, known as the mantle.

Each mirror is layered, reflecting wavelengths of light in their habitat and giving them a spatial view of their surroundings

And there’s more.

Each mirror is also ‘tiled with a mosaic of square-shaped crystals, minimizing surface defects for a clearer picture,’ the Science report said.

‘The mirror forms images on a double-layered retina, to separately image both peripheral and central fields of view.
’ "

The research also has a biomimicry dimension: Engineers might use this complex system to design better optical devices.

The animal kingdom is full of intelligently designed features or solutions that cannot be explained away by Darwinian mechanisms.

Source: 2017. Scallops have 200 eyes, which function like a telescope: study (30 November)-

Monday, 18 December 2017

Dark Energy: “The Worst Theoretical Prediction in the History of Physics”

Image courtesy of Szczureq, CC BY-SA 3.0.

Joel Kontinen

Dark energy is in big trouble. It was assumed to make up 68.3 percent of the mass of the universe, but it might be a mere illusion.

Live Science calls it the worst theoretical prediction in the history of physics. Physicists don’t know what it is or if it is.

“We're clueless," astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson admits, but he’s unwilling to throw overboard the model that requires it.

Dark matter hasn't fared any better. Experiments can’t find traces of it.

The Big Bang model has been struggling for years. The facts don’t support it.

Early galaxies grew too fast, there’s no clear evidence of cosmic inflation (that, by the way, has been called a totally bonkers idea), and antimatter is still missing.


Pomeroy, Ross. 2017. The Worst Theoretical Prediction in the History of Physics. Live Science (1 December).

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Cambrian Jellyfish Embryos Haven’t Evolved in “500 Million Years”

Image courtesy of the University of Bristol

Joel Kontinen

Microfossils known as Pseudooides (‘false eggs’) are the inspiration behind a story issued by the University of Bristol. Smaller than grains of sand, they nevertheless succeed in wrecking Darwinian thinking on how things are supposed to change:

Everyone wants to be with their family for Christmas, but spare a thought for a group of orphan fossils that have been separated from their parents since the dawn of animal evolution, over half a billion years ago.

Seen from a Darwinian perspective, the problem is that they haven’t changed since the Cambrian Era:

Pseudooides fossils have a segmented middle like the embryos of segmented animals, such as insects, inspiring grand theories on how complex segmented animals may have evolved.

A team of paleontologists from the University of Bristol’s School of Earth Sciences and Peking University have now peered inside the Pseudooides embryos using X-rays and found features that link them to the adult stages of another fossil group.

It turns out that these adult stages were right under the scientists’ noses all along: they have been found long ago in the same rocks as Pseudooides.

Surprisingly, these long-lost family members are not complex segmented animals at all, but ancestors of modern jellyfish.

“500 million” years is a long time for the oxymoron known as evolutionary stasis, i.e. absence of change.


University of Bristol. 2017. Fossil orphans reunited with their parents after half a billion years. (13 December).

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Lizard “Evolves a Complex Trait It Once Lost”?

Image courtesy of Jörg Hempelage, CC BY-SA 3.0 de.

Joel Kontinen

Most female lizards lay eggs, but the Zootoca vivipara (‘live-bearing’) gives birth to young offspring, expect for two subspecies.

This prompted New Scientist to speculate that this is a “rare example of a species re-evolving a complex trait that had been lost.”

According to this scenario, lizards first laid eggs, then stopped laying it, forgetting the trait, and then re-discovered it.

The problem with this kind of reasoning is that any kind of change can be seen as an example of Darwinian evolution, even when it clearly isn’t.

It is an example of Darwinian storytelling, which often tends to be more or less fact-free.


Le Page, Michael. 2017.Lizards re-evolved eggs after thousands of years of live births. New Scientist (5 December).

Monday, 4 December 2017

Rapid Burial of Pterosaur Eggs Suggests Noah’s Flood

Intelligently designed for flight. Image courtesy of Hugo Salais López, CC BY-SA 3.0.

Joel Kontinen

Pterosaurs present many formidable dilemmas for Darwinian evolution. They could grow to be as tall as giraffes and they were almost too heavy to fly.

But they did.

And there’s more. New research suggests that many pterosaurs of all ages met their death in a flood.

Science polishes the account of their demise with creative storytelling:

“The fossils formed about 120 million years ago when disaster struck a group of pterosaurs. The researchers speculate that when a sudden rain flooded a river, hundreds of pterosaur eggs buried in shallow sand or under a layer of leaves or grass were drowned and washed downstream, along with a number of older individuals. Quickly buried by sediment, the eggs and bones did not decay but instead were preserved as fossils.”

The global flood of Noah’s days is a more logical explanation. It has left animal graveyards, petrified forests and geological formations even in the most unlikely places.

Science focuses on the assumption that these flying reptiles cared for their young. In a Darwinian dog-eat-dog world, parental care might not be self-evident.

But in the creation model it certainly is.


Vogel, Gretchen. 2017. Ancient flying reptiles cared for their young, fossil trove suggests. Science (30 November).

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Setback for Alien Life Hopefuls: No Signs of Water on Mars

Where’s the water? Image courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

Joel Kontinen

Just over a century ago, it was customary to see signs of an alien civilisation on the red planet. Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli (1835–1910) thought he saw canals on Mars.

Many others, including Percival Lowell (1855–1916), adopted this view.

Some people still think that there’s at least an inkling of truth in this.

Furthermore, Many people think that the red planet was once blue, sloshing with water.

Time magazine, for instance, has claimed that the Sun helped murder Mars.

And researchers have continued to speculate that liquid water might still be sloshing down the slopes of the red planet.

Now, however, Colin Dundas of the US Geological Survey and colleagues analysed satellite images.

Their research suggests that the assumed signs of running water on Mars dunes are probably just dry sand, as an article in New Scientist put it.


McKinnon, Mika. 2017. Signs of running water on Mars dunes are probably just dry sand. New Scientist (22 November).

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Lightning Can Produce Atmospheric Radiocarbon (C-14)

More radiocarbon forming? Image courtesy of Simon Q, CC BY 2.0.

Joel Kontinen

In February a thunderstorm in Japan had unexpected consequences. Teruari Enoto, an astrophysicist at Kyoto University, and his colleagues discovered that lightning produced more atmospheric radiocarbon.

A news article in Nature states:

The main source of the carbon-14 in the atmosphere has generally been considered to be cosmic rays. In principle, lightning could also contribute to the supply. But it is not clear yet how much of the isotope is produced in this way, says Enoto, in part because it’s possible that not all bolts initiate photonuclear reactions.”

Many evolutionists used to think that radiometric dating methods were reliable, but a number of studies have shown that they were wrong.

This applies to several dating methods and their basic assumptions.

Geologists will now admit that zircon crystals, ultrasonic cavitation and even solar flares can skew dates.

In addition, science publications have suggested that the uranium-lead method and some other methods tend to give too old dates.

Radiocarbon dating is a special case, as it does not give dates in the millions of years due to its relative short half-life of approximately 5,730 years.

Nonetheless, the Japanese study suggests we should be a bit more critical of radiocarbon dates as well.


Castelvecchi, Davide. 2017. Lightning makes new isotope. Nature News (22 November).

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Bryozoans, Tiny Living Fossils from the Cambrian, Are Still Very Much Alive

Bryozoans come in many shapes and sizes. Image courtesy of Rob Kool, CC BY-SA 1.0.

Joel Kontinen

According to the evolutionary story, the world has changed dramatically in "500 million years."

But scientists now know that some Cambrian animals have resisted change for aeons:

Recently, a tiny bryozoan was named after David Jablonski and Susan Kidwell, who both are University of Chicago researchers.

This creature, called Jablonskipora kidwellae, is assumed to be “105 million years” old.

A University of Chicago news release attempts to highlight the significance of the find:

Lurking in oceans, rivers and lakes around the world are tiny, ancient animals known to few people. Bryozoans, tiny marine creatures that live in colonies, are “living fossils”—their lineage goes back to the time when multi-celled life was a newfangled concept. But until now, scientists were missing evidence of one important breakthrough that helped the bryozoans survive 500 million years as the world changed around them.”

This is obviously a problem for evolution, so they have to explain it away:

Bryozoans never figured out a symbiotic partnership with photosynthetic bacteria, as coral did, so their evolution took a different turn. Each one in a colony is genetically identical, but they have specialized roles, like ants or bees. Their shelly apartment complexes house thousands of the creatures, which have soft bodies with tiny tentacles to catch nutrients.”

The Cambrian Era is still an enormous enigma for evolution. For some, it might be a real headache, as the creatures assigned to this period are far too complex and some Cambrian fossils are too well preserved to be that old, calling their assumed age into question.


Lerner, Louise. 2017. Fossil that fills missing evolutionary link named after UChicago professors UChicago News (16 November).

Sunday, 26 November 2017

More Archaeological Evidence for the United Monarchy of David and Solomon

These ruins probably hail from King David’s time (ca. 1000 BC). Image courtesy of MathKnight, CC BY-SA 2.5.

Joel Kontinen

Archaeologists known as Biblical minimalists tend to believe that the Bible is historically more or less unreliable.

They have argued that Israel’s monarchs David and Solomon either were not historical figures or did not reign over the area described in the Bible.

Recently, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz published a longish article on this issue. Philippe Bohstrom takes a look at recent archaeological discoveries in Israel that probably hail from the Davidic era.

He discusses a vast copper mining operation that produced over 100,000 tons of slag and says this suggests a strong central government at a time when Egypt was in decline and Edom and Philistia had yet to rise.

Supporting Timna's massive mining operations, therefore, required long-distance trade, or in other words, complex economic activity involving a bureaucratic apparatus. Archaeologists have indeed found evidence of imports from afar (and cloth) dating to the time of David and Solomon. Next to 5-meter high fortification walls, the archaeologists found slingstones, a variety of seeds, fish bones, and donkey bones and dung preserved well enough to be analyzed: it shows the draught animals at Timna ate hay and pomace, the pulp from pressing grapes, olives and suchlike, imported from the Mediterranean coast, more than 200 km afar,” he writes.

He goes on to mention other discoveries, such as the ruins of King David's Palace that Hebrew University professor Eilat Mazar found in 2005.

Bohstrom is not a biblical apologist and does not have an axe to grind. He does, however, ask why it is easier for some sceptics to believe that Agamemnon and other Homeric kings were historical figures but biblical characters were not, given that there is more evidence for the historicity of the latter.

Archaeology confirms biblical history, people, buildings, places and even catastrophes such as earthquakes.

Statues, coins, ossuaries (bone boxes) and seal impressions show names mentioned in the Bible.


Bohstrom, Philippe. 2017. Did David and Solomon's United Monarchy Exist? Vast Ancient Mining Operation May Hold Answers. Haaretz (21 November).

Friday, 24 November 2017

Darwinian Psychologists Deny Consciousness and Free Will – and Have to Resort to Storytelling

It’s hard to get free will and consciousness from rocks.

Joel Kontinen

If we believe that matter is the only thing that exists, we’re heading towards great trouble, as the immaterial realm is anything but imaginary.

Thus, consciousness and free will are hard dilemmas for evolutionists.

In 2014 Michael Graziano, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Princeton, wrote an opinion piece in The New York Times in which he admitted that consciousness was a “ghostly thing” - seen from a Darwinian perspective, that is.

If this evolutionary conception of consciousness were applied coherently, it would mean the end of the idea of self.

However, recently two psychologists tried to navigate around this skerry. Writing in The Conversation, David A Oakley (Emeritus Professor of Psychology at University College London) and Peter Halligan (Hon Professor of Neuropsychology at Cardiff University) attempt to explain away both consciousness and free will:

It’s easy to assume that these contents of consciousness are somehow chosen, caused or controlled by our personal awareness – after all, thoughts don’t exist until until we think them. But in a new research paper in Frontiers of Psychology, we argue that this is a mistake.

We suggest that our personal awareness does not create, cause or choose our beliefs, feelings or perceptions. Instead, the contents of consciousness are generated ‘behind the scenes’ by fast, efficient, non-conscious systems in our brains. All this happens without any interference from our personal awareness, which sits passively in the passenger seat while these processes occur.

Put simply, we don’t consciously choose our thoughts or our feelings – we become aware of them

This has repercussions for the idea of free will:

We argue that free will and personal responsibility are notions that have been constructed by society.”

This sounds like an excuse to avoid being accountable for our actions, and is very unbiblical notion.


Oakley, David A. and Peter Halligan. 2017. What if consciousness is not what drives the human mind? The Conversation (22 November).

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Rocket-Builder Wants to Prove from Space That the Earth is Flat

Not so flat. Public domain image included in the 1550 edition of De sphaera mundi (On the Sphere of the World). The book was originally published in 1230.

Joel Kontinen

A self-taught rocket builder is getting ready to be launched into space on November 25th. Mike Hughes has a mission that differs quite a bit from the average space flight: to prove that the Earth is flat.

He hopes to reach an altitude of 550 km (1,800 feet), soaring at a speed of 800 km (500 miles) an hour above the Mojave Desert in a rocket built from scrap metal.

Mr. Hughes thinks that the round earth is a Freemasonic conspiracy propagated by men like John Glenn and Neil Armstrong.

It is not easy to understand how a space flight could prove that the Earth is flat, as the evidence does not support this.

Several astronauts and Wernher von Braun (1912 –1977), the father of the US Apollo space programme, were or are Bible-believing Christians who certainly would not propagate falsehoods.

In contrast, it is often the sceptics who argue that the Bible teaches a flat Earth, although they can’t find any real proof for this.

Unfortunately, many people still believe that intellectual darkness prevailed in Europe during the Medieval Period (i.e., from roughly AD 500 to AD 1500).

They assume that even the few scholars who existed at the time thought that the earth was flat.

However, it would be very difficult to find any reputable medieval source that could corroborate this view. Most scholars who wrote on the shape of the earth said that our planet was round.

One of the earliest writers to do so was the English monk known as Saint Bede or the Venerable Bede (673–735). In his book De temporum ratione (On the Reckoning of Time), he explicitly stated that the earth was round.

Iohannes de Sacrobosco (ca. 1195–1256) was a monk and an astronomer who wrote an entire book on the shape of the earth. Entitled De sphaera mundi (On the Sphere of the World), it was published in 1230. His argumentation sounds very modern:

THE EARTH A SPHERE. -- That the earth, too, is round is shown thus. The signs and stars do not rise and set the same for all men everywhere but rise and set sooner for those in the east than for those in the west; and of this there is no other cause than the bulge of the earth. Moreover, celestial phenomena evidence that they rise sooner for Orientals than for westerners. For one and the same eclipse of the moon which appears to us in the first hour of the night appears to Orientals about the third hour of the night, which proves that they had night and sunset before we did, of which setting the bulge of the earth is the cause.”

Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274) was probably the greatest theologian of the Middle Ages. In his Summa Theologica, he described the earth as being round like a ball. He pointed out that it was not shaped like a shield.

In addition to books, we can also see evidence for a spherical earth in the symbols that the rulers of the Byzantine Empire and the Holy Roman Empire used. A coin minted during the reign of Emperor Theodeseus II (who ruled from AD 408 to AD 450) already shows the Globus Cruciger, which is Latin for “cross-bearing orb”. The cross symbolises the victory of Christ on the cross and the orb beneath it depicts the shape of the Earth.

The Globus Cruciger became a symbol of imperial power. For instance, a 7th century coin depicts Emperor Leontius holding this object.

A medieval painting shows Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor (1017–1056), being presented with this symbolic sphere. And a 13th century painting shows Emperor Fredrick I Barbarossa holding the Globus Cruciger in his hand.

It looks very round.

For many centuries, the Globus Cruciger was used as a symbol in the crown jewels of several European monarchies.

It thus seems that there is no historically sound basis for the belief that people in the Medieval Period thought that the earth was flat like a pancake.

But the Jews already knew that the earth was round in the 7th century B.C. The prophet Isaiah wrote: “He [God] sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers” (Isaiah 40:22, NIV).


Selk, Avi, 2017. This man is about to launch himself in his homemade rocket to prove the Earth is flat. The Washington Post (21 November).

Update (1 December):

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) heard of the planned launch and forbade Mr. Hughes to carry out his experiment, as the launch pad was on public land.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Antarctica’s Petrified Forest Reminds Us of Noah’s Flood

Petrified trees can be seen on many continents. Here’s one on the Greek island of Lesvos.

Joel Kontinen

We would most probably not expect to find petrified trees in Antarctica, even though researchers had discovered pollen on the now frozen continent.

But now evolutionists have to resort to creative storytelling to account for a fossilised forest they found there.

An article on Live Science suggests:

From about 400 million to 14 million years ago, the southern continent was a very different, and much greener place. The climate was warmer, though the plants that survived at the low southern latitudes had to cope with winters of 24-hour-per-day darkness and summers during which the sun never set, just as today.”

They found “the oldest polar forest on record”. They believe that it’s 280 million years old. It is mostly composed of Glossopteris trees that resemble today’s Bald Cypress.

It’s hard to believe that the trees are as old as they assume:

The plants are so well-preserved in rock that some of the amino acid building blocks that made up the trees’ proteins can still be extracted, said [paleoecologist Erik] Gulbranson, who specializes in geochemistry techniques. Studying these chemical building blocks may help clarify how the trees handled the southern latitudes’ weird sunlight conditions, as well as the factors that allowed those plants to thrive but drove Glossopteris to its death, he said.”

Previously, researchers found a fossilized tropical forest in Norway and dinosaur fossils in Alaska.

The global flood of Noah’s day is the most logical explanation for these discoveries. It has left marks all over the world, including fossil graveyards and geological formations.


Pappas, Stephanie, 2017. 280-Million-Year-Old Fossil Forest Discovered in … Antarctica. Live Science (15 November).

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Capybara: The World’s Biggest Rodent Is Intelligently Designed for Swamp Life

A Yellow-headed caracara on a capybara. Image courtesy of Charlesjsharp, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Joel Kontinen

The animal kingdom is full of creatures that defy simplistic Darwinian explanations.

One of them is the world’s biggest rodent capybara (Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris). It is optimally designed for swamp life – with webbed feet, and ears and eyes high on the head so it can hear and see clearly while in water.

This South American rodent can weigh almost 80 kg (175 lbs) and have a body length of 100 – 130 centimetres (40 to 50 inches) without the very short tail, but it is no bully and prefers to eat grasses, aquatic plants, grains, melons, and squashes.

Some other creatures, such as the binturong (Arctictis binturong) or bearcat, star-nosed mole, spiny anteater, platypus and the warm-blooded fish opah (Lampris guttatus), also defy Darwinian thinking.


Capycarafacts. com

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Ross 128 b: Newly Discovered Exoplanet Might Not Be Habitable, Despite the Media’s Expectations

Ross 128 b. Image courtesy oF ESO / M. Kornmesser.

Joel Kontinen

When it comes to reporting on potentially habitable exoplanets, it is not difficult to see an interesting trend, i.e., a more honest approach to previous discoveries.

They are suddenly seen as less plausible candidates for life or they are simply forgotten.

The recent discovery of the planet Ross 128 b, which orbits a red dwarf star 20 times closer than Earth orbits the Sun 11 light years from us, follows this tendency.

Red dwarf stars are notorious for bombarding their planets with intense solar radiation that can be lethal.

Many planets orbiting them might be tidally locked, with the same side always facing the star.

However, astronomers think that of Ross 128 b might receive less solar radiation although they are not sure whether it orbits its star in the habitable zone.

It is roughly Earth-sized with a temperature assumed to be between -60 and +20°C.

It might well give a false hope for those who expect to find alien life in the universe. Hitherto, all candidates have turned out to be worlds that most probably cannot sustain life.

And then it’s still a giant leap from being potentially habitable to actually being habited. There’s no life without information, no information without design, and no design without a Designer.

As far as we know, there’s no place like our created home planet anywhere in the universe.


Rincon, Paul. 2017. Nearby planet is a target for life. BBC News. (15 November).

Monday, 13 November 2017

Fruit Fly Brains Inspire Search Engines of the Future

Image courtesy of André Karwath, CC BY-SA 2.5.

Joel Kontinen

Fruit flies have an amazing skills, including their sense of smell. They can distinguish between very subtle differences in odours.

Recently, Salk Institute assistant professor Saket Navlakha and colleagues reviewed the published literature on fruit flies and came up with some interesting details, reported by Science Daily:

When fruit flies first sense an odor, 50 neurons fire in a combination that's unique to that smell. But rather than hashing that information by reducing the number of hashes associated with the odor, as computer programs would, flies do the opposite -- they expand the dimension. The 50 initial neurons lead to 2,000 neurons, spreading out the input so that each smell has an even more distinct fingerprint among those 2,000 neurons. The brain then stores only the 5 percent of those 2,000 neurons with the top activity as the ‘hash’ for that odor.”

This strategy is surprisingly elegant and efficient:

The whole paradigm helps the brain notice similarities better than it would compared to reducing the dimension, Navlakha says.”

This discovery is very likely to inspire better search engines.

Biomimicry or copying intelligent solutions in living beings has become a lucrative research field. (See here, here, here and here for some other examples.)


Salk Institute. 2017. Fruit fly brains inform search engines of the future. Science Daily. (9 November).

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Origin of Life Research Invokes a Synthetic Enzyme – And Fails

The Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park. Image courtesy of Jim Peaco, National Park Service, public domain.

Joel Kontinen

Origin of life is a messy research field. No one has ever come up with a plausible explanation of how non-life could have turned into life.

With naturalistic ideology running the show, explanations tend to be both speculative and impossible.

But they keep on trying. The latest attempt features a synthetic enzyme called diamidophosphate (DAP).

Ramanarayanan Krishnamurthy and his colleagues at the Scripps Research Institute report on their research in the journal Nature Chemistry.

While they cannot be sure that DAP even existed at the time life supposedly popped out of the prebiotic stew, they assume that it might have.

An article posted in Live Science does no spare conditionals in reporting on the research: “may have existed”, “could have reacted”, “may have reacted” and “could have been leached out”, to name a few.

Krishnamurthy has no proof that DAP even existed four billion years ago. He synthesized the molecule in his lab as a way to solve one of the fundamental challenges to phosphorylating in wet, early Earth conditions. For most phosphorylation reactions to work, they need to remove a molecule of water in the process.

‘How do you remove water from a molecule when you are surrounded by a pool of water?’ asked Krishnamurthy. ‘That’s thermodynamically an uphill task.’

DAP gets around that problem by removing a molecule of ammonia instead of water.”

However, that will not give us life. This scenario is anything but plausible.

Krishnamurthy is working with geochemists to identify potential sources of DAP in the distant geological past. Phosphate-rich lava flows may have reacted with ammonia in the air to create DAP, or it could have been leached out of phosphate-containing minerals. Or maybe it even arrived on the back of a meteorite forged by a far-off star.”

You don’t have to be a prophet to say that their scenario will not work.


Roos, Dave. 2017. Chemists May Have Found the 'Missing Link' to the First Life on Earth. Live Science (10 November).

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Giant Planet Orbits Dwarf Star: Monster Planet NGTS-1b Challenges Planet Formation Theories

An artist’s rendering of the monster planet and its sun. Image courtesy of University of Warwick/Mark Garlick.

Joel Kontinen

They refer to it as the monster planet.

A giant gas planet orbiting a dwarf star is causing astronomers to scratch their heads in bafflement. The combination challenges the established planet formation theory.

NGTS-1b is a hot Jupiter very close to its sun, with an orbit lasting 2.6 days. Its host star is a red M-dwarf with a radius of 50 per cent that of our sun.

The problem is that such a planet should not exist, if naturalistic theories were true.

It appears that they aren’t.

NGTS-1b is not the only “impossible” exoplanet. Some are extremely hot, some others have three suns, and many others are likewise more or less weird.

It might be high time to ditch naturalistic speculations and keep in mind that ours is a privileged planet, fine-tuned for life.


Royal Astronomical Society. 2017. Monster' planet discovery challenges formation theory. Science Daily. (31 October).

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Ingredients of Life Cooking Up on Enceladus?

Image courtesy of Cassini Imaging Team, SSI, JPL, ESA, NASA.

Joel Kontinen

A can of sardines has all the ingredients that life needs, but its content is as dead as dead can be.

Much more than just the necessary ingredients are needed for life to suddenly pop up.

This same principle also applies to Saturn’s icy moon Enceladus that is geologically far too active for a solar system that is assumed to be 4.5 billion years old.

To solve this dilemma, some secular scientists, for instance Gaël Choblet at the University of Nantes, France, and colleagues, have to invoke tidal forces caused by Saturn’s gravity,

According to New Scientist,

Choblet and his team found that the tidal heating effect could persist for tens of millions to billions of years, giving any potential life plenty of time to evolve in the resulting warm, chemically diverse areas.”

However, this is not a discovery; it is an assumption based to the belief that Saturn and its moons are billions of years old.

And it might be good to keep in mind that life only comes from life.

All secular origin of life hypotheses are speculations and /or wishful thinking.

They are certainly not supported by facts.

Water does not magically turn into molecules or even mice in our solar system or anywhere else.


Crane, Leah. 2017. Enceladus’s hot, gritty core may cook up ingredients for life. New Scientist (6 November).

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Giraffe-Sized Flying Creature Defies Darwinian Explanations

Quetzalcoatlus might have looked like this. Image courtesy of ДиБгд, public domain.

Joel Kontinen

Researchers recently found a fragmented fossil of an enormous flying creature in the Gobi Desert in Mongolia.

Pterosaurs were enigmatic creatures. They were almost too big and too heavy to fly, but they somehow managed to take to the air.

Tall as male giraffes (5.5 metres or18 feet), they had a wingspan of 9.7–11 metres (32–36 feet).

They appear suddenly, fully formed in the fossil record at the time when dinosaurs ruled the Earth (according to Darwinian thinking).

Pterosaurs had exquisitely designed features, some of which are found in modern bats and some in modern birds.

There is no shortage of mosaic-like creatures in the animal kingdom. The extinct ones include Archaeopteryx and Tiktaalik.

Living mosaics, such as the e duck-billed platypus and the spiny anteater, are problematic for evolution.

They are not evolving into something else, and neither did pterosaurs.


Pickrell, John. 2017. Ancient Winged Terror Was One of the Largest Animals to Fly. National Geographic (31 October).

Friday, 3 November 2017

Kepler Finds 20 Habitable Exoplanets (That Might Not Be Habitable)

Some hope this is a habitable world. Image courtesy of NASA.

Joel Kontinen

Just add water is the major ingredient in the secular formula for creating life. Thus, every time NASA or some other agency reports on the discovery of an exoplanet that could potentially harbour water, the press creates big headlines.

Often, on closer inspection, discoveries have turned out to be false positives. It has even happened that some of the planets don’t exist.

Many secularists want desperately to find life in space. They are uncomfortable with the idea that Earth is a privileged planet, especially created by God, who is all-powerful and to whom all human beings are accountable.

New Scientist has this to say about the recent finds:

“The list of potential worlds includes several planets that orbit stars like our sun. Some take a relatively long time to complete a single orbit, with the longest taking 395 Earth days and others taking Earth weeks or months. The fastest orbit is 18 Earth days. This is very different to the very short “years” we see around smaller stars with habitable planets like Proxima Centauri.

The exoplanet with a 395-day year is one of the most promising worlds for life on the list, says Jeff Coughlin, a Kepler team lead who helped find the potential planets. Called KOI-7923.01, it is 97 per cent the size of Earth, but a little colder.

Its cooler temperature is due to its distance from its star and the fact that the star is slightly cooler than our sun. This means it may be a little more like tundra regions on Earth than temperate ones, but is still warm enough and large enough to hold the liquid water essential to life as we know it.”

However, water is by far not the only ingredient needed for life and at least some exoplanets assumed to orbit their sun in the habitable zone are not habitable at all.


Wenz, John. 2017. We may have found 20 habitable worlds hiding in plain sight. New Scientist (30 October).

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Star Wars Lookalike Monkey Is No Alien

Pied tamarin (Saguinus bicolor). Image courtesy of Stavenn, CC BY-SA 3.0.

Joel Kontinen

A tiny Brazilian monkey looks a bit like Yoda, a Star Wars character, but it is no alien. The pied tamarin (Saguinus bicolor) is an endangered species.

A mere 25 centimetres long, this tamarin might appear to be grumpy, but it is actually a social and curious creature.

Saguinus bicolor is yet another example of the rich variety within each created kind.


Hamzelou, Jessica. 2017. Pied tamarin doesn’t look too happy about its extreme close-up. New Scientist (25 October).

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Zircon Crystals Can ”Skew Timescales for Geological Events by Millions of Years,”Australian Researchers Say

Image courtesy of Chd, .CC BY-SA 3.0.

Joel Kontinen

Researchers at the Queensland University of Technology warn of trusting zircon dating uncritically and trusting assumptions that might well be wrong.

An article posted at says:

" 'One of the assumptions being made is that the composition of the zircons and the rocks in which they have formed give an accurate record of the magmas and conditions at which the zircons and magmas formed,' Associate Professor Bryan said.

From this, we then estimate the age of the event that caused them to form.

This might give dates that are off by millions of years:

"Some zircon crystals may not be related to their host rocks at all. They may have come from the source of the magma deep in the Earth's crust or they may have been picked up by the magma on its way to the surface.

A similar problem might skew dates obtained by other dating methods as well.

Source: 2017. Zircon as Earth's timekeeper: Are we reading the clock right? (23 October).

Friday, 27 October 2017

Darwin Was Wrong About Ancient Man

The .Greeks built the first computer over 2,000 years ago. Here's a model of it in the National Archaeological Museum in Athens.

Joel Kontinen

Evolutionists tend to believe in progress from simple beginnings to more sohistication.

However, we often do not see this in the animal kingdom – or even in human history. An intruiging illustration is the very first computer, the The Antikythera mechanism, an invention that is over 2,000 years old.

The device was housed in a wooden box that measured 34 cm (13 inches) x 18 cm (7 inches) x 9 cm (3.5 in), or slightly smaller but thicker that the average laptop.

The Antikythera mechanism could, among other things, be used to predicte astronomical events such as solar eclipses and the timing of the Ancient Olympic Games.

In other words, its technology was by far more advanced than anything inventors during Charles Darwin´s lifetime could come up with.

In real life, technology has often gone backward. This is something that Darwin would never ever have predicted.

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Live Science Gets Religion: Worshipping a Man-Made AI God

It's a long way from a robot to an AI ”god”. Image courtesy of Polimerek, CC BY-SA 3.0.

Joel Kontinen

Occasionally, science portals tend to overstep their expertise and give religious pronouncements.

The latest example is provided by Live Science. The article features Anthony Levandowski, a former Google and Uber engineer, who established Way of the Future, ”a nonprofit religious corporation dedicated to worshiping AI.

As with all false religions, its founder has the basics all wrong. He would have us worship a created object instead of the Creator. Artificial intelligence can never become a true God because contrary to some sci-fi claims it can't create anything.

That ”god” would in effect be a superfast calculator and nothing much more. Hence, all prophecies concerning an AI god will turn out to be false ones.


McDonald, Glenn. 2017. Church that Worships AI God May Be the Way of the Future. Live Science (20 October).

Monday, 23 October 2017

Researchers Question the Triassic Mass Extinction

Triassic sandstone in Germany. Image courtesy of ArtMechanic, CC BY-SA 3.0.

Joel Kontinen

Evolutionists have traditionally believed in five major mass extinctions that made room for new species by killing off the struggling ones.

Now, however, some scientists are casting doubt on the extinction that their colleagues assumed made way for the huge dinosaurs of the Jurassic period.

This extinction was supposedly accompanieed by volcanic eruptions, climate change and acid rain.

But the evidence tying these phenomena to the end of the Triasic is not very clear-cut, so there are valid reasons for doubting this event.

Actually, all mass extinctions could have taken place almost simultaneously, during the global flood of Noah's days some 4,500 years ago.


Barras, Colin. 2017. The mass extinction that might never have happend. New Scientist (19 October).

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Dwarf Planets Eris and Makemake Are Geologically Active – Defying Billions of Years Thinking

Eris remains an enigma for long-agers. Image courtesy of NASA.

Joel Kontinen

How could a dwarf planet (or in this case, two of them) be geologcally active for 4.5 billion years?

The answer is not even blowin' in the wind. It is beginning the resemble the epicycles that were used to keep alive a geocentric solar system before the days of Copernicus and Galileo.

Erin and Makemake orbit the sun in the Kuiper belt beyond Neptune.

New Scientist spells out the problem:

”Both worlds seem much too small and cold to have the sort of inner planetary activity that can lead to volcanism.”

But they are nonetheless geologically active.

New Scientist discusses a paper Will Grundy at Lowell Observatory and Orkan M. Umurhan at the SETI Institute presented at the American Astronomical Society meeting on 17th October:

But Grundy and Umuhan reason Eris and Makemake must have some inner activity. The proof is in their ices. When we measure reflection from the surface of both worlds, we see strong spectral lines associated with frozen methane. When this evaporates, it creates a reddish aerosol “gunk” called tholin on the tiny worlds’ surfaces. Grundy and Umurhan calculate that this gunk makes up about 10 per cent of the total ice on Eris, but more on Makemake.

Judging by the amount of methane, we would expect tholin to be a big part of the surface, making the worlds appear darker. Instead, they appear bright white, more like the regions of Pluto covered in nitrogen ice. So Grundy and Umurhan reason the dwarf planets must have volcanoes spewing nitrogen ice to cover the tholins.”

A more logical approach would be to question the assumed age of the solar system. It would make the epicycle type tricks superflous.


Wenz, John. 2017. Volcanoes that spew stretchy ice could make dwarf planets bright. New Scientist (20 October).

Friday, 20 October 2017

Early Bird Preened Its Feathers – Just Like Modern Ones

An early bird could have looked like this. Image courtesy of El fosilmaníaco, CC BY-SA 4.0..

Joel Kontinen

Birds have not changed their habits – or anatomy – for ”48 million years”.

A paper published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B describes a fossilized bird found in the Messel Pit in Germany.

An article in discloses what was special about this bird:

Upon examination of the remains, the team discovered an object near where its tail feathers had once been, which looked similar to the uropygial gland in modern birds—it produces an oil for feather preening. Preening with an oily material waterproofs feathers, and in some cases, can help birds ward off bacteria and fungi.”

The discovery calls into question two icons of evolutionary thought: millions of years and the Darwinian concept of evolution. Soft tissue should not last tens of millions of years and birds should not be able to resist change for aeons.


Yirka, Bob. 2017. Fatty bird gland preserved over 48 million years. (18 October).

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Religion According to Evolution: Replacing One Just-So Story with Another

Atheists have a hard time trying to figure out why religion is a global phenomenon.

Joel Kontinen

When it comes to religion, evolutionists have a huge problem: religious faith is not about to become extinct even though western society is getting increasingly secularised.

Since the days of Darwin and Freud, they have seen religion as belonging to the more primitive stages of human history.

Writing in The Conversation, Associate Professor Peter Kevern discusses the old Darwinian story of the origin of evolution:

”Our brains are hardwired with cognitive biases that have evolved in order to help us to survive, but which have the side-effect of making it natural to develop religious belief. For example, we are cognitively predisposed to imagine that every rustle in the bushes is a creature watching our every move: this hyperactive agency detection device was of real benefit to early humans alone in the jungle. It might have caused our early ancestors to run away from a few imaginary tigers, but they also will have escaped one that might otherwise have eaten them. The side effect, however, is that we see unseen watchers everywhere. From this point, it is a relatively easy leap to believe in gods that watch over us, unseen.”

Then he suggest that this is merely a just so story.

He proposes a new approach in which religion means different things to different individuals. It is a need-centered model that also fits the label of ”just-so story.”

In the world of evolution one gets to pick a story that is no more convincing than all the others. It fails to disclose why many people tend to embrace a religion. It does not delve into our inner search for meaning and truth.


Kevern, Peter. 2017.Could it be that religion is more like sex than school? The Conversation (29 September).

Monday, 16 October 2017

Epigenetic Changes, Not Mutations, Cause Mexican Cave Fish Lose Their Eyesight

Image courtesy of Johnston DJ, CC BY-SA 3.0.

Joel Kontinen

Mutations do not explain why some Mexican cave fish (Astyanax mexicanus) have lost their eyesight.

New Scientist reports on recent research of these fish:

"Aniket Gore of the US’s National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and colleagues haven’t found any disabling changes in the DNA sequences of eye development genes in the cavefish.

Instead, the genes have been switched off by the addition of chemical tags called methyl groups. This is what is known as an epigenetic, rather than genetic, change.”

It would not be honest to call this Darwinian evolution, as it isn't.

New Scientist calls it an unexpected evolutionary process, but it would be more appropriate to call it a non-evolutionary process or a non-Darwinian process.

The fish did change, they lost a feature they had (eyesight), but the cause of their adaptation to darkness is anything but Darwinian.


Le Page,Michael. 2017. Blind cave fish lost eyes by unexpected evolutionary process. New Scientist (12 October).

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Dwarf Planet Hammea Has a Ring That Suggests Young Age

Image courtesy of Stephanie Hoove, public domain.

Joel Kontinen

No one expected that a dwarf planet orbiting the sun some 2 billion kilometres beyond Pluto would have a ring.

Somewhat smaller than Pluto, Hammea is egg-shaped and it also has two small moons.

Astronomers know that at least one other dwarf planet has a ring.

Recent obsevations suggest that Hammea's ring is 70 kilometres wide and roughly 2290 kilometres from its centre.

If the solar system really were 4.5 billion years old, we would not expect to see any rings circling any planet, regardless of whether it is giant or small. Thus, secularists have had to invent a planet or other object that crashed into Hammea, creating the ring.


No, but as naturalism is the only gane in town (or the universe), design (not to mention creation) is strictlty verboten, at least until it becomes too obvious to reject.


Ken Croswell, Ken. 2017. Distant dwarf planet near Pluto has a ring that no one expected New Scientist (11 October).