Monday, 19 February 2018

Clever Ants Ward Off Diseases by Using Antibiotics

The thief ant (Solenopsis molesta) is surprisingly clever. Image courtesy of AntWeb.org. ,CC BY-SA 3.0.





Joel Kontinen

Ants have made headlines in the past few days.

First, research showed that they treat injured comrades.

Then a paper published in the journal Royal Society Open Science suggested that 60 per cent of ant species examined by researchers at the North Carolina State University used antibiotics to ward off infections.

Researchers already knew that some species of ants produced antimicrobials or “chemical compounds that kill pathogens,” but the results were a big surprise:

“The most potent antimicrobial was produced by one of the smallest ants in the study — Solenopsis molesta, also known as the thief ant — which also lives in some of the smallest colonies,” Live Science reports.

This sounds a lot like intelligent design.

Ants defy Darwinian expectations by harvesting seeds, creating elaborate farming systems, mastering basic mathematics, as well as by building impromptu bridges and living rafts.

Moreover, ants are living fossils that haven’t changed in aeons.



Source:

Weisberger, Mindy. 2018. Ant Species Stay Healthy with Self-Made Antibiotics. Live Science (13 February).

Saturday, 17 February 2018

The Odds of Getting Proteins from the Primordial Soup Are Beyond Astronomical, NASA Acknowledges

An artist’s impression of the early Earth. Image courtesy of NASA.




Joel Kontinen

Scientists have previously acknowledged that the origin of proteins is “close to a miracle.”

Yet. without them we wouldn’t have life. An article in Astrobiology Magazine explains this naturalistic dilemma:

Life relies on the intricately folded amino acid chains known as proteins for practically every chemical task. Proteins catalyze chemical reactions throughout the cell, stitch RNA strands together, transport molecules around the cell and control what enters and leaves through the membrane. A modern cell cannot be a cell without them.

Evolution’s enigma is a lot more complex. It has to get DNA, proteins and RNA at the same time.

But according to a naturalistic/materialistic scenario, even getting proteins is practically impossible:

Proteins pose a problem for scientists who study the beginnings of life… They are highly specialized and, compared to most molecules, they are enormous. The odds of such lengthy amino acid chains forming ‘out of the blue’ in life’s primordial soup are beyond astronomical.”

Trying to explain the nigh impossible, Andrew Pohorille, a senior astrobiologist at the NASA Ames Research Center, and colleagues used computer simulations to suggest a potential pathway for producing proteins.

They propose that the earliest protein was a lot smaller and less precise than today’s proteins. They call it the handyman of proteins.

There is absolutely no evidence for the existence of such a protein, however. Life is far too complicated to have arisen through naturalistic means.

Source:

Crow, Diana. 2018. ‘Handyman of Proteins’ Got Life Started. Astrobiology Magazine (15 February).



Thursday, 15 February 2018

Ants Treat Injured Comrades, Defying Darwinian Expectations

Image courtesy of Dawidi, CC BY-SA 3.0.B.




Joel Kontinen


We would not expect animals to care for their wounded comrades in a Darwinian world, but in a created world it is no big deal, as God has given animals the intelligence they need for coping in a post-Fall environment.

A new paper published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B features African Matabele ants (Megaponera analis) that are known for waging wars against other ant colonies. Now, researchers found that they care for the injured, carry them home and even clean their wounds, perhaps with an antibiotic substance to “fend off infections,” as an article in The Guardian puts it.

Ants defy Darwinian expectations by harvesting seeds, creating elaborate farming systems, mastering basic mathematics, building impromptu bridges and living rafts.

Ants are living fossils that haven’t changed in aeons.

Source:

Sample, Ian. 2018. ‘Paramedic ants' observed treating injured comrades. The Guardian (14 February).

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Darwin Day 2018: Wikipedia Receives Censor of the Year Award

Wikipedia is the 2018 Censor of the Year.




Joel Kontinen

On February 12, which happens to be Charles Darwin’s birthday, Discovery Institute grants the Censor of the Year (COTY) award on individuals or organisations, recognising their “outstanding efforts in silencing debate about Darwinian evolution and alternative theories of life's origins.”

Past recipients of the award include Jerry Coyne, Neil deGrasse Tyson, the Commission on the General Conference of the United Methodist Church and the German Natural History Museum.

This year’s award goes to Wikipedia for the erasure of German palaeontologist Günter Bechly, disinformation about intelligent design and the biased treatment it gives to ID scholar Walter Bradley.

Source:

Klinghoffer, David. 2018. Happy Darwin Day! Our 2018 Censor of the Year Is Wikipedia. Evolution News & Science Today (12 February).

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Woodpeckers Are a Darwinian Headache

Image courtesy of Sławomir Staszczuk, CC BY-SA 3.0.




Joel Kontinen

Woodpeckers are a Darwinian headache:

A woodpecker hammering away at a tree experiences forces up to 1,400 times that of Earth's gravity, or 1,400 G's. To put that into perspective, humans can withstand about 8 G's of continuous momentum before eventually blacking out, and a sudden application of 50 G's would detach most of our organs. Even relatively small amounts of g-force in people can cause concussion, lingering pain in the neck and back, and red dots on the skin from ruptured capillaries — known as "G-measles" or "geasles" — according to Go Flight Medicine, a website for aviation and medical professionals,” Live Science explains.

Woodpeckers are designed to withstand hard knocks. They have “skulls with spongy layers — particularly in the front regions — that cushion their brains. Robust neck muscles also help to soften the impact, while thick inner eyelids protect their eyes.”

A new study suggests that a protein known as tau might “serve as a protective adaptation, providing a buffer around the birds' neurons that insulates them against harm.

That sounds like intelligent design.

Evolutionists believe that the earliest woodpeckers arrived at least “25 million years” ago, but they could never have survived if their only option was to follow the Darwinian trial-and-error approach.

Source:

Weisberger, Mindy. 2018. Does All That Headbanging Leave a Mark on Woodpeckers' Brains? Live Science (5 February).

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Justin Trudeau, Peoplekind and Political Correctness

Image courtesy of Jean-Marc Carisse, CC BY 2.0.



Joel Kontinen

Without the excesses of political correctness, bloggers might have less topics to choose from:

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau invented the word peoplekind in a recent town hall event in Edmonton, Alberta.

He interrupted a longish comment by a young lady who spoke on the virtue of maternal love as “the love that's going to change the future of mankind."

On hearing this, Mr. Trudeau said, "We like to say peoplekind, not necessarily mankind. It's more inclusive."

It seems that Liberals are having a hard time in using time-honoured words in their proper sense. Think of marriage, for instance.

No wonder then that #peoplekind has been immensely popular on Twitter, and it has inspired a new “political correct” version of space exploration, with Neil Amstrong supposedly saying, “One small step for people, one giant leap for peoplekind”, of people (Nelson peopledela), comic heroes (Batpeople), places (Peoplehattan), fruit (peopledarin oranges) and even a soccer club (Peoplechester United).

Source:

BBC News. 2018. Canada PM Trudeau faces PC backlash over 'peoplekind' comment.

LGBT Group Blocks Ken Ham’s University Talk

LGBT people are afraid of this ark. Image courtesy of Jameywiki, CC BY-SA 4.0.



Joel Kontinen

Political correctness can easily lead to behaviour that can rather aptly be described as madness. A recent real life illustration has Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau correcting a lady who used the expression mankind and replacing it by a more gender-neutral though imaginary word peoplekind.

No wonder then that #peoplekind has been immensely popular on Twitter, and Mr. Trudeau’s expression “We like to say peoplekind” has inspired new political correct versions of people (Nelson peopledela), comic heroes (Batpeople), places (Peoplehattan), fruit (peopledarin) and even a soccer club (Peoplechester United).

In the USA, however, the consequences of an all-inclusive policy has led to the suppression of conservative views. Recently, Ken Ham, President of Answers in Genesis-USA – was denied the chance to speak at the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) though the presentation had already been approved by the University.

Then, however, a campus LGBT group protested, in fear that Mr. Ham would bring up the biblical view of marriage in his talk.

The censorship of Christian views used to be the norm behind the iron curtain, but until a few decades ago we would hardly have expected to bump into it in the west, where the local peoplekind are increasingly becoming ashamed of their rich Christian heritage.

In contrast, Answers in Genesis is certainly not ashamed of Jesus’ teaching. Its Creation Museum and Ark Encounter park will unashamedly proclaim the biblical truth.

Source:

Kanewske, Patrick and Mark Looy. 2018. University Denies Free Speech to Ken Ham and Boots Him from Speaking. Answers in Genesis (6 February).

Monday, 5 February 2018

New Darwinian Tale: US Scientists Engineered a Human-Chimp Hybrid 100 Years Ago

Image courtesy of Delphine Bruyere, CC BY-SA 3.0.





Joel Kontinen


Human exceptionalism is a Darwinian enigma
. Thus, evolutionists are willing to see human traits in animals and animal traits in humans.

At times, their strategy borders on the absurd. A case in point is the rumour that US scientists engineered a human-chimp hybrid in the 1920s in the first primate research centre established in the US in Orange Park, Florida.

According to the rumour, a female chimpanzee was supposedly inseminated with human semen and gave birth to a “humanzee”.

The tale is full of holes, as such a hybrid is biologically impossible, and the details in the story are doubtful as well, as the purported research centre was established in the 1930s, not the 1920s.

No wonder, then, that scientists are not convinced; they rend to believe that the rumour is just a rumour.

The Russian biologist Ilya Ivanovich Ivanov also attempted to produce a human-chimp hybrid, but needless to say, he failed.

Humans are created in the image of God, but apes aren’t so trying to hybridize them is doomed to failure.

All successful hybrids belong to the same Genesis kind.



Source:

Dockrill, Peter. 2018. Scientist Claims US Lab Engineered 'Humanzee' Human-Chimp Hybrid 100 Years Ago. Science Alert (31 January).

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Human Exceptionality Is Still a Darwinian Enigma

IMAGE COURTESY OF Oscar Arias-Carrión1, Maria Stamelou, Eric Murillo-Rodríguez, Manuel Menéndez-González ja Ernst Pöppel. Dopaminergic reward system: a short integrative review. International Archives of Medicine 2010, 3:24 doi:10.1186/1755-7682-3-24 http://www.biomedcentral.com/1755-7682/3/24, CC BY 3.0.




Joel Kontinen


Darwinians have a hard time in trying to figure out why humans differ so much and in so many ways from all other life forms.

Our social skills are a Darwinian enigma. We can talk with strangers on a full bus, but if we had a bus full of chimpanzees, most of them mot make it off the bus alive, Ann Gibbons says in Science.

As evolutionists assume that all organisms share a common ancestor, they have to postulate that something happened to our forefathers that didn’t happen to any other species.

Recent research suggests that humans have ”dramatically more dopamine in their striatum than apes,” the article in Science says.

But dopamine does not just happen or increase, it has to be designed.

Apes and monkeys were not made in the image of God, but we are.

Source:

Gibbons, Ann. 2018. Dopamine may have given humans our social edge over other apes. Science (22 January).

Friday, 2 February 2018

Darwin’s Long Shadow on Vegan Activism

Sheep farmers are murderers and rapists – according to UK vegan activists.





Joel Kontinen

Vegans don’t use animal products, and they don’t want others to use they either. It not only has to do with eating meat but also with using eggs or milk-based products like yoghurt and cheese.

In the United Kingdom, vegan activists have begun to threaten farmers, calling them murderers and rapists.

We can see Charles Darwin’s long shadow on this trend, as on some other things, such as violence, wars, racism, eugenics, assisted suicide, euthanasia and abortion.

Bad trees produce bad fruit. Evolution assumes that there is no real difference between humans and animals and that we are basically naked apes.

In contrast, Christianity sees humans as created in the image of God, and as such intrinsically valuable.

This does not give us the right to mistreat animals, though, but using them does not amount to misuse.

Source:

Haque, Amber. 2018. ‘Vegans call me murderer and rapist'. BBC News. (29 January).