Evidence News 10/06 – 9th August 2006
Welcome to the first 2006 BACKLOG of some great evidence news files which have been waiting for a space to come to you, interspersed with some of the latest "hot off the science press" releases. We know you will enjoy them all. John Mackay and the Creation Research Team have certainly enjoyed preparing EVIDENCE NEWS 10/06 with Editorial Comment for you. INDEX 1. COOKED ROACH SOLVES FOSSIL CHEMICAL PROBLEM 2. HEAR LATEST Creation Research INTERVIEW 3. NINETY PERCENT OF HUMANITY NEEDS TO DIE 4. KEN HAM GETS SET TO RE-LAUNCH MINISTRY IN AUSTRALIA 5. FINCH BEAK VARIATION 6. "EVOLUTION CAUGHT IN THE ACT" 7. DON’T MISSS JOHN MACKAY IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA AUGUST 11-27TH 8. EVOLUTION FAILS AGAIN 9. OLDEST ORB WEAVER FOUND 10. SPIDER AGES BY 80 MILLION YEARS 11. SELF POLLINATING ORCHID FOUND 12. FISH WITH FRONT LEGS 13. FISH CATCHES FOOD ON LAND 14. DONATIONS 1. COOKED ROACH SOLVES FOSSIL CHEMICAL PROBLEM suggests an article in [email protected], 26 July 2006. A team led by organic chemist Neal Gupta of the University of Bristol have solved a chemical puzzle on the difference between living and fossil arthropod exoskeletons. Living arthropods, a large group of invertebrates, such as insects, crabs and millipedes, have exoskeletons made of fibres similar to cellulose embedded in a matrix protein, with a waxy layer on the surface. The exoskeletons of fossilised arthropods are mainly made up of long chain carbon compounds called aliphatic molecules that are similar to molecules found in fossil fuels. To see if the aliphatic molecules could be derived from chitin by fossilisation processes Gupta's team took exoskeletons from cockroaches, scorpions and shrimps and baked them at 350 degrees Celsius and 700 atmospheres pressure for one day. The researchers claim this treatment "mimics the way fossils form over millions of years, compressed into a single day by upping the temperature." The roast "fossils" did contain aliphatic molecules similar to those of more conventionally formed fossils. The researchers concluded that aliphatic molecules were derived from the waxy layer and possibly from the internal tissues of the animals. The team hope their technique will help to understand how fossil fuels form. ED. COM. This experiment reminds us that it doesn't take time to make fossils - it takes the right physical and chemical processes. The 700 atmospheres pressure is quite a realistic model for many deeply buried fossil fuels. As such, this experiment adds to the evidence that fossils and fossil fuels were actually formed by rapid deep burial in a brief time span, not slowly and gradually over millions of years. The very weight of the sediments becoming one source of the heat to cook them. This editors research on the rapid formation of fossil fuels has shown that the similar chemical changes to those that occurred in this experiment can be produced equally rapidly, but at lower temperatures, if the organic matter is baked with clays which seem to act as a catalyst. (Ref. time, chemistry, hydrocarbons) 2. HEAR LATEST Creation Research INTERVIEW on Premier Radio UK click Full of helpful information . This file is almost 6MB not recommended for slow computers. Evidence News 10/06 – 9th August 2006
3. NINETY PERCENT OF HUMANITY NEEDS TO DIE, claimed leading conservation biologist, according to a report by Forrest Mims in The Citizen Scientist, 31 Mar 2006. Eric Pianka, an expert in lizards and desert environments, claims that the world is drastically over populated by human beings, and would be better off if 90 percent of the current human population died from an epidemic of a killer virus, such as Ebola. Pianka made these claims in a speech to the Texas Academy of Science where he condemned anthropocentrism - the idea that human beings have a special place in the Universe and are intrinsically different from other living organisms. He told a story about how a neighbour asked him what good are the lizards that he studies. Pianka answered, "What good are you?" He then rammed home his point with the claim, "We are no better than bacteria." The speech was given during 109th meeting of the Texas Academy of Science at Lamar University in Beaumont on 3-5 March 2006. At that same meeting the Texas Academy of Science named Pianka as the 2006 Distinguished Texas Scientist. The Citizen Scientist: ED. COM. Pianka is one of a rare breed - a consistent evolutionist. If human beings only came into being by chance random or naturalistic processes, then they are not intrinsically different to bacteria, lizards and have no more value than any other life form that got here by the same processes. If "survival of the fittest" is the basis of living on this planet then no-one can complain when they are selected against by a deadly virus, or a Hitler or Pol Pot, leaving only those who are tough enough to survive. Those who want human beings to be protected by health care, social welfare and laws against murder and violence, must understand that the only basis for protecting human lives is that human beings are special creations made in the image of God. See Genesis 9: 1-6. (Ref. genocide, humanity, pandemic) 4. KEN HAM GETS SET TO RE-LAUNCH MINISTRY IN AUSTRALIA as Dr David Crandall takes several meetings in Queensland. This re-launching follows Ken's recent parting from Carl Weiland's CMI organization. We would encourage you to attend Dr Crandall's meetings. Details: Sunday 13th August 2006 7.45am and 9.30am Gold Coast Christian Family Contact Russell Hinds (07) 5525 2477 for further information. Sun 13th 6 pm Creek Rd Presbyterian 5. FINCH BEAK VARIATION described in Nature, vol. 442, p563, 3 Aug 2006. Changes in beak shape of Galapagos Island finches is presented in textbooks and popular media as a classic example of evolution of new species. A group of researchers led by Arhat Abzhanov of the Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts, have studied the development of finch beaks as the birds develop inside the eggs. They found that variations in the amount of a molecule named calmodulin (CaM) regulates the length of the beak. Increased levels of CaM result in increased length of the beak, resulting in a beak like that of the cactus finch. Several years ago variations in another molecule named Bmp4 was found to regulate the depth and thickness of the beak. The Harvard researchers suggest that combinations of levels of these two molecules can explain all variations in beak shape and size between the different finch species, e.g. high CaM and low Bmp4 results in the long thin beak like a cactus finch, low CaM and high Bmp4 gives a short stout beak of the large ground finch. ED. COM. This is exactly what you would predict if the birds were variations within one created Finch Kind. Apart from their beaks and their feeding behaviour, the Galapagos finches are remarkably similar, and hybrids between them can produce fertile offspring. The study described above confirms that the variation in beak shape is just built in variability in the same gene that ensures that some Finches within the population can survive if the environment changes. The more research that is done on the finches the more the evidence fits with the Genesis account of living creatures being made as separate Kinds. (Ref. adaptation, development, kinds) 6. "EVOLUTION CAUGHT IN THE ACT" is the headline of an article in [email protected], 13 July 2006. A study of two species of Darwin's finches on one of the smaller Galapagos Islands has "provided the best description of a characteristic trait evolving in the wild." The study was reported in Science vol. 313, p224, 14 July 2006 by Princeton University biologists Peter and Rosemary Evidence News 10/06 – 9th August 2006
Grant. They have studied the medium ground finch and the large ground finch on the island of Daphne Major. Both these finches eat seeds but the large ground finches find it easier to eat the large seeds of a low shrub named "Tribulus cistoides" (Tc) and they have thrived on the island since they first arrived in 1982. The medium ground finch can eat these large seeds but finds it easier to eat small seeds. In 2003 and 2004 there was a drought, and the supply of large Tc seeds was drastically reduced. The smaller birds could more easily eat small seeds, so they survived. In 2004 and 2005 the researchers noted the average size of medium ground finch beaks was smaller than before, and the birds were only eating the large seeds half as often as before. ED. COM. NOTE WELL! No birds have actually evolved. They already had beaks of varying sizes and all that has happened is that some birds were already better equipped to cope with drought induced change in seed availability. The ones that weren't, i.e. those with big beaks, died out, while the small beaked birds survived. This is "survival of the fittest" or natural selection, but it is NOT evolution. The change in average beak size is the result of the larger beaked birds being removed from the statistics in the next generation. This is an ecological change, not an evolutionary one, BUT -it shows how researchers call any change evolution-even when it isn't! (Ref. variation, ecology, elimination) 7. DON’T MISSS JOHN MACKAY IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA AUGUST 11-27TH Fri 11th Lunch Meeting Adelaide Business Men's Meeting, contact Ray Ewers on (08) 8371 4330 Sat 12th pm Wayville Baptist Church. Contact Ray Ewers on (08) 8371 4330 Sun 13th am & pm Wayville Baptist Church. Contact Ray Ewers on (08) 8371 4330 Mon 14th lunch meeting Uni of Adelaide Tues 15th Public meeting Loxton, SA, contact Michael Zdanowicz on (08) 8584 5741 Wed 16th pm Public Meeting Caltowie, Contact David Henderson on (08) 8665 5082 Fri 18th pm Public Meeting Kangaroo Island Contact Andrew Ewers (08) 8553 0407 Email: [email protected] Sat 19th pm Public Meeting Kangaroo Island. Contact as above. Sun 20th am & pm Church Services Kangaroo Island. Contact as above Fri 25th Mt Gambier Contact: Paul Davie (Naracoorte) (08) 8764 2014 Sat 26th 7.30pm Naracoorte Town Hall Contact: Paul Davie (Naracoorte) as above Sun 27th 10am Presbyterian church Mt Gambier 8. EVOLUTION FAILS AGAIN according a report from Angus-Reid Global Scan following a Gallup Poll that asked 1001 Americans how they believed human beings came into existence. The poll asked the following questions: Which of the following statements comes closest to your views on the origin and development of human beings? 1) Human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God guided this process; 2) Human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God had no part in this process; 3) God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so." The results were: 36 percent said that man developed with God's guidance, 13 percent believed that man developed but God had no part in the process, and 46 percent said that God created man in his present form. The remaining 5 percent had no opinion. Recently New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg commented: "It boggles the mind that nearly two centuries after Darwin, and 80 years after John Scopes was put on trial, this country is still debating the validity of evolution." Angus Reid article: ED. COM. A similar result was produced by a survey in the UK (See Evolution fails in British Opinion Poll, Evidence News, 8 Feb 2006) and during our recent visit to the UK some prominent evolutionists were claiming the battle for evolution had been won over 100 years ago. The response to this American survey and the unprecedented interest in our work by the secular media in the UK confirms that it has not. The fact that a century of promoting evolution in popular and professional literature has failed to convince nearly half of the survey sample reminds us that deep down people know that chance random processes do not explain where they came from. (Ref. surveys, beliefs, faith) Evidence News 10/06 – 9th August 2006
9. OLDEST ORB WEAVER FOUND, according to reports in BBC News Online 14 June 2006 and Biology Letters FirstCite Early Online Publishing, DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2006.0506. David Penney of the Unviersity of Manchester, UK and Vincente Ortuno of the University of Alcala, Spain have found two specimens of a spider from the family Araneidae, the orb weaving spiders, preserved in amber from Alva in northern Spain. The amber is dated as Lower Cretaceous - between 115 to 120 million years old. This makes them the oldest orb weaving spiders found. Today there are over 2,000 species of orb weaving spiders in three families. Penny and Ortuno write: "Given the complex and stereotyped movements that all orb weavers use to construct their webs, there is little question regarding their common origin, which must have occurred in the Jurassic or earlier." They then suggest that orb weavers diversified during the Cretaceous period when flowering plants and insect pollinators evolved. BBC article: ED. COM. These are evidence that orb weaving spiders have always been orb weaving spiders, which is exactly what you would expect if living creatures were separately created to reproduce after their kinds. The claims that orb weavers evolved unseen in the millions of years before these specimens were preserved in amber, and they then gave rise to 2,000 other species is a blind belief - not an observed fact. The reason for the comments about flowering plants and insect pollinators is the common evolutionary idea that if a type of food becomes available, flying insects or animals will evolve to eat it, e.g. spiders. This is also blind faith. The fact that a spider eat insects no more explains how spiders came into existence, than eating a BIG MAC proves where man come from. (Ref. arachnids, amber, webs) 10. SPIDER AGES BY 80 MILLION YEARS, according to a report in Cretaceous Research, Volume 27, June 2006, Pages 442-446. David Penney and Paul Selden have found the first fossils of a spider that now lives in New Zealand. The fossils were found in Cretaceous ambers found in Manitoba and Alberta in Canada. The fossils are juveniles but have all the distinctive features of a type of spider classified as belonging "to the single, extant, monotypic genus Huttonia O. Pickard-Cambridge". The researchers go on to say: "The fossils extend the known geological age of Huttoniidae back approximately 80 myr (million years)". ED. COM. If the oldest specimen of this spider is the same as the recent living specimens then this spider has not evolved, no matter how old you believe the fossil to be. This finding is exactly what you would predict on the basis of Genesis, which tells us that God made living things as separate kinds to multiply only after their own kinds. (Ref. arachnids, amber, fossil) 11. SELF POLLINATING ORCHID FOUND according to a report in Nature, vol. 441, p945, 22 June 2006. Flowers are fertilised when pollen is placed on the stigma, the female part of the flower. Although most flowers produce pollen they rely on outside agents, such as insects, to bring pollen to their stigma and take their pollen to another flower. A group of Chinese biologists have studied the flowers of an orchid named "Holcoglossum amesiamum" and found that the flower actively pollinates itself, without any outside help. The pollen is packaged into two pollinia on the end of a flexible stem called a stipe. The stigma sits in a cavity with a roof above it. When the flower first opens the pollen is covered by an anther cap and the stipe is folded back over the roof of the stigma cavity. When the flower is fully open the stipe rises up, curves forward and downward and inserts the pollen onto the receptive surface of the stigma. The orchid normally grows high in trees growing in still dry conditions at altitudes of 1,200 - 2,000m in China and south-east Asia. The researchers concluded: "The present self-pollination mechanism is likely to be an adaptation to the orchid's dry and insect-scarce habitat and may be widespread among species growing in similar environments." ED. COM. This orchid is a most attractive flower that has pretty pale pink and mauve petals and a striped pattern below the stigma, and is listed on gardening websites as a fragrant orchid. All of these features are considered to be adaptations for attracting pollinators. However, as the study described above clearly demonstrates, the plant does not need to attract pollinators. So, why is it beautiful? The question of beauty came up at the recent debate at Northampton University where Evidence News 10/06 – 9th August 2006
the evolutionists insisted that beauty in living things such as flowers and butterflies can be explained by sexual selection. However, that is not the case for this orchid, and it is not the only self-fertilising beautiful flower. Sweet peas have fragrant colourful petals but they fertilise themselves. The distinctive patterns on butterfly wings cannot all be explained as sexual selection either. Approximately half the species of Heliconius butterflies reproduce by pupal mating. The male butterflies emerge from the pupae before the females. The fully developed, but unopened female pupae emit pheromones that attract the males. The males open the pupal cases and mate with the females before they emerge. Many years ago Eric Laithwaite, a keen amateur butterfly collector, commented on this behaviour in an interview with Robyn Williams of the ABC (Australia) "Science Show". After describing the process of pupal mating, he said he had "a question for God and Darwin, i.e. why were these butterflies visually attractive when they didn't see one another when it mattered." We believe God gives us a clue in Genesis 2:9, which states the trees in the Garden of Eden were pleasing to the eye as well as good for food. Beauty does matter to God, Who also gave mankind made in His image, an appreciation for beauty. While most beautiful things in the created world also have a practical function, there are some that cannot be explained in purely function terms. The fact that this beautiful and fragrant Chinese orchid can reproduce in a "dry and insect-scarce habitat" does explain that it can survive because it already has a well designed method of self pollination. It does not explain how such a method of pollination evolved at all. (Ref. pollination, beauty, flowers) 12. FISH WITH FRONT LEGS found according to articles 5 April 2006, in Nature and [email protected] A team of researchers led by Neil Shubin of the University of Chicago, and Edward Daeschler of the Academy of natural Sciences, Philadelphia, have found fossils believed to be "an intermediate between a fish with fins and a tetrapod with limbs". The fossils were found on Ellesmere island in Northern Canada and include a "a near complete front half of a fossilised skeleton of a crocodile-like creature, whose skull is about 20 cm (8 ins) long). The front fins of the creature contain arm bones, with elbow and wrist joints but with fins instead of hands. The animal also had a crocodile-like head with eyes on the top and lacked a bony gill cover. It had bony scales and robust ribs, although its spine is poorly preserved. The researchers believe it used its front limbs to walk in shallow water. A "News and Views" article in Nature claims that the new fossil, named Tiktaalik roseae, "might in time become as much of an evolutionary icon as the proto-bird Archaeopteryx." ED. COM. What has amazed us about this report is that it has failed to catch the public imagination. In the time since this discovery was announced and promoted heavily in TIME etc, only one uni student has asked about it in a debate. Perhaps the fact that we already have living fishes Down Under that climb trees, sunbake and jump off branches into the water just for fun, makes the hype appear HYPER. These cute Aussie Mud Skippers have shown no sign of evolving. Perhaps the fact that the fossil is very incomplete and so it has been difficult to convince the public exactly what kind of animal it was. The fact that the fossil creature no longer exists does not prove it evolved into a land animal. It simply proves that like many other creatures we only know as fossils, it has died out, and extinction is no help to evolution, but fits the Biblical history of the world. (Ref. transition, fossilisation, evolution) 13. FISH CATCHES FOOD ON LAND, according to reports in [email protected] and BBC News Online 12 April 2006. The eel catfish is a long agile fish that lives in swamps in tropical Africa and is able to propel itself out of water and catch land dwelling beetles to eat. As it leaps onto the muddy shore it lifts the front of its body upwards and bends its head downwards so that it can grab the beetle from above. It then slithers back into the water. It is not the first fish known to hunt for land dwelling prey, but its method of catching insects has never been observed before, and scientists believe this behaviour helps explain how the "first vertebrates graduating to land caught their dinner." ED. COM. The way this fish bends its body to catch insects may be unique, but fish that that can move about and catch bugs on land are not. The great Aussie Catfish even climbs trees to catch food. Such fish are able to take advantage of a land based food source because they already have Evidence News 10/06 – 9th August 2006
the functional features needed to do it. This does not explain how a fish might turn into a land animal. (Ref. ecology, predation, transition) 14. DONATIONS TO HELP CREATION RESEARCH WORLDWIDE can be sent to the following addresses or use our secure Web site:and click DONATIONS. USA: P.O. Box 281 Hartsville TN 37074 (Donations in USA are tax deductible. Make checks to Creation Education Society) UK: P.O. Box 1 Ashton under Lyne Lancs. OL6 9WW (Donations in UK payable to Creation Research Trust are tax deductible - a Gift Aid Declaration is required - available from AUSTRALIA: P.O. Box 260 Capalaba Qld 4157 CANADA: P.O Box 31034, 15 Westney Road North, Ajax, ON L1T 3V2 NEW ZEALAND: P.O. Box 40480 Glenfield, Auckland IF YOU no longer wish to receive our updates please reply with REMOVE EN in the subject. To assist us please include your name as well as e-mail address (and organisation name, if any).



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