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 Phys.org 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:

Phys.org. 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.

Source:

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.

Source:

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.

Source:

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 Phys.org 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.

Source:

Yirka, Bob. 2017. Fatty bird gland preserved over 48 million years. Phys.org (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.

Source:

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.

Source:

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.

Convincing?

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.

Source:

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




Friday, 13 October 2017

New Origin of Life Hypothesis Fails Despite Invoking Meteorites and Warm Little Ponds


Image courtesy of NASA.




Joel Kontinen

While Charles Darwin's idea of a warm little pond has been discarded several times, it has recently made a comeback. This time it is combined to meteorite strikes, another contentious hypothesis.

A report issues by McMaster's University has the gist of what they believe could havehappened:

”The spark of life, the authors say, was the creation of RNA polymers: the essential components of nucleotides, delivered by meteorites, reaching sufficient concentrations in pond water and bonding together as water levels fell and rose through cycles of precipitation, evaporation and drainage. The combination of wet and dry conditions was necessary for bonding, the paper says.”

The number of logic-defying gaps in this hypothesis is no smaller than in previous ones, for instance in the ones featuring hypothermal vents or things like that.

The heat produced by meteorite impacts would almost certainly destroyed all incipient building blocks of life and the lack of any ozone would have killed of anything that could have survived.

In other words, even the latest scenario is a total disastre. It could not have produced life.

Source:

Hemsworth, Wade. 2017. Meteorites may have brought building blocks of life to Earth.McMaster University (2 October).

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Wikipedia Expells Distinguished Scientist for Doubting Darwin


Dr. Bechy is a dragonfly fossil expert, but that wasn't notable enough for Wikipedia's non-scienctist contributors. Image courtesy of Daderot, public domain.





Joel Kontinen

The message of Ben Stein's Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed is as timely now as it was almost a decade ago.

The latest installment of Darwinian censorship features Günter Bechly, a distinguished German paleontologist.

Dr. Bechly was a curator at the State Museum of Natural History in Stuttgart, Germany, but he lost his job when he became disillusioned wth Darwinian evokution.

Now, some evolutionists want to make him invisible as well. Wikipedia editors, most of whom are non-scientists, have erased his Wikipedia page, ostensibly for trivial reasons, but the real reason seems to be that he embraces intelligent design.


Source:

Klinghoffer, David. 2017. Wikipedia Erases Paleontologist Günter Bechly.
Evolution News & Science today
(10 October).

Monday, 9 October 2017

Human Evolution: Just Add Some Exploding Stars, Savannah, Lightning and Wildfires?

Image courtesy of Famartin, CC BY-SA 3.0.




Joel Kontinen

Darwinian explanations tend to make headlines – not because they are plausible but because they are bizarre.

Secular scenarios are often so full of gaps that to go from a to b (say, for instance, from an ape-like creature to a human being) requires good jumping skills and a fair amount of imagination.

Origin of life scenarios are particularly interesting, as they tend to be remarkably short-lived, but almost every stage of evolution has its impassable hurdles.

A new study looks at the environment that assumedly made our ancestors’ evolution possible. It suggests that some exploding stars, savannah, lightning and wildfire were needed to kickstart hominid evolution.

Would this be plausible? No, nothing except pre-programming could even in theory turn assumed ape-men into humans, and in practice that just didn’t happen, as in contrast to what the folks over at BioLogos claim, there is no programmer in evolution.

In other words, apes are designed (and created) to be apes, and humans are designed (and created) to be humans.

We are truly fearfully and wonderfully made.

Source:

Barras, Colin. 2017. Exploding stars could have kick-started our ancestors’ evolution. New Scientist (9 October).

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Amazingly Beautiful Deep-Sea Toad Defies Darwinian Expectations

Sea toad or coffinfish (Chaunacops). Image courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Deep-Sea Symphony: Exploring the Musicians Seamounts




Joel Kontinen

In September 2017, during one of Okeanos Explorer’s recent expeditions in the central Pacific, its remotely operated vehicle (ROV) spotted and filmed an unusual creature at a depth of 3,148 meters (1.96 miles).

The creature, identified as a sea toad or coffinfish (Chaunacops), was bright red.

For evolutionists, beauty in places where practically no one can see it, is bound to be a huge mystery in a world that ought to be be indifferent to everything that looks like it was made by a superb artist.

Natural selection can hardly explain it, and it fares even worse for sexual selection.

Beauty in all kinds of places and creatures is exactly that what we would expect to find in a created world:

He [God ]has made everything beautiful in its time” (Ecclesiastes 3:11, New International Version).

Recent NOAA expeditions have filmed many other deep-sea creatures that are astoundingly beautiful. (See, for instance, here, here, here and here.)

Source:

Mundy, Bruce. 2017. The Mysterious Identity of the Bright-Red Sea Toad. Okeanos Explorer, NOAA (12 September).

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Are City Mice Evolving to Eat Pizza – Or Do News Outlets Use the E-word Misleadingly?

John Tenniel, 1871: Humpty Dumpty from Through the Looking Glass, public domain.




Joel Kontinen

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less."

A lot of water has flown in the world’s rivers since Lewis Carroll penned those words in 1872, but at least in some respects there is little if anything completely new under the sun.

Take the word evolution, for instance. A few weeks ago, New Scientist suggested that losing eyesight was 'regressive evolution'.

More recently, the magazine proposed that rats living in New York City might be evolving to eat pizza.

However, some animals are opportunistic: they eat what they can find. They are adapting to city life, but this doesn’t have anything to do with Darwinian (molecules-to-mice) evolution.

Sources:

Baraniuk, Chris. 2017. New York City mice may be evolving to eat fast food like pizza. New Scientist (4 October).

Knowles, Elizabeth. (ed). 2004. Oxford Dictionary of Quotations. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Ceres’ Spots: The Dwarf Planet Is Younger and Geologically More Active than Expected

Much younger than expected. Image courtesy of NASA/JPL.




Joel Kontinen

The evidence against a 4.5 billion-year-old solar system keeps on growing:

It includes Saturn’s rings, Pluto’s atmosphere, oxygen on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, geysers on Saturn’s moon Enceladus, as well as ice on Mercury on the asteroid 24 Themis.

Saturn’s moon Enceladus has enigmatic plumes.

And then there’s Ceres.

The dwarf planet is geologically active though it shouldn’t be in a very old universe.

New research features Ceres’ bright spots. According to New Scientist:

These spots are telling a story of a younger, more geologically active Ceres than researchers expected. That’s because we would expect material ejected by impacts to mix eventually and create a uniform surface.”

The most logical explanation is that there hasn’t been enough time.

Source:

McKinnon, Mika. 2017. The mysterious bright spots on Ceres may have a common origin. New Scientist (2 October).

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Big Cretaceous Frog May Have Eaten Small Dinosaurs, Study Suggests

Dino eater's descendent? Image courtesy of Mauricio Rivera Correa, CC BY-SA 2.5.




Joel Kontinen

Named after an ancient Canaanite god, an extinct frog that lived in Madagascar could probably bite so hard that small dinosaurs were in danger of ending up on its menu.

'Bite force research reveals dinosaur-eating frog' was the title of a recent article in Science Daily.

The article is a report on research published in the journal Scientific Reports on how hard modern South American horned frogs could bite.

The study authors assume that the frog Beelzebufo lived some “68 million years” ago and resembled modern South American horned frogs in many ways.

They propose that it could have had a bite force of almost 2200 Newtons (N), which is roughly the same as that of wolves or tigresses.

Frogs have amazing design features and they confirm the after its kind principle introduced in the Book of Genesis.

The study shows that frogs, whether big or small, are frogs, and at least some frogs haven’t yet had the time to turn into princes.

Dinosaurs were supposed to rule during the Cretaceous Era, but research suggests that modern mammals and modern birds were also living at that time.

Source:

University of Adelaide. 2017. Bite force research reveals dinosaur-eating frog. Science Daily. (20 September).