Archive for November, 2008

Horseshoe Crab debunks Evolution Again

Posted in evolutionary news articles with tags on November 26, 2008 by egoeimi3

Horseshoe Crabs Unchanged Since Ordovician   01/28/2008    
A fossil horseshoe crab has been discovered in Canada that pushes back their origins at least 100 million years in the evolutionary timetable.  The previous record placed these marine arthropods in the Carboniferous (350 million years BP in the geologic column); others were known from the Jurassic.  “Both the Carboniferous and the Jurassic fossil discoveries indicate the ancient horseshoe crabs greatly resembled their modern-day counterparts,” said Live Science.1
    The article contains photos of the two nearly-complete specimens, which look like tiny versions of modern horseshoe crabs.  From head to tip of the tail, these are 1.5″ long.  Modern ones can grow to 20″.  The discoverers put it into a new genus, Lunataspis aurora, but were not sure if the small specimens were juveniles or adults.
    How do evolutionists deal with this example of extreme stasis, or lack of evolution, for hundreds of millions of years?  Comments in the article revealed the reaction: surprise, yet no loss of confidence in evolution or the timeline.

  • “We wouldn’t necessarily have expected horseshoe crabs to look very much like the modern ones, but that’s exactly what they look like,” [David] Rudkin [Royal Ontario Museum] said.
  • “This body plan that they’ve invented, they’ve stayed with it for almost a half a billion years.  It’s a good plan,” Rudkin told LiveScience“They’ve survived almost unchanged up until the present day, whereas lots of other animals haven’t.”
  • And whereas major extinction events have wiped even the mightiest, non-avian [sic] dinosaurs from our planet, this primitive-looking organism has come out unscathed.
  • “The horseshoe crab, the lowly little animal that crawls out of the sea every once in a while to mate, it’s survived for at least 445 million years in more or less the same form,” Rudkin said.
  • The specimens were so finely preserved, even the compound eyes and flexible chitin coating were visible.  “Chitin degrades over time,” the article states.  “For that reason, ancient specimens of horseshoe crabs have been sparse.”
    Update 02/01/2008: Science magazine, in its “Random Samples” feature,2 admitted these fossils are virtually identical to modern horseshoe crabs.  David Rudkin said these are the “quintessential ‘living fossils’ of biology textbooks.”  Another paleontologist said the common ancestor should exist somewhere in Cambrian.

    1.  An article from National Geographic News in 2002 (reported here 06/21/2002) claims that horseshoe crabs go back 500 million years, but did not cite any specific fossils.  If true, it pushes the horseshoe crab into the Cambrian.  Horseshoe crabs possess many similarities to those icons of the Cambrian explosion, the trilobites.
    2.  Random Samples, Science, Volume 319, Number 5863, Issue of 01 February 2008.

    Friends, you have just witnessed ideology driving belief to the point of absurdity.  This is why evolution gets falsified over and over and over again, and its adherents still refuse to admit defeat.  And this is not the worst example.  Remember the fossil ctenophores that look identical to modern ones, but were found fossilized in Cambrian strata 540 million years old? (04/03/2007).  The whole fossil record is replete with similar stories of extreme stasis (e.g., 12/26/2006, 11/15/2007 bullet 6, 04/23/2006).
        Notice that these specimens were already fully-equipped horseshoe crabs.  They were not primitive, transitional forms.  An evolutionist would have to infer that their ancestors existed far earlier, probably back in the Cambrian or before.  It’s probably only a matter of time that a Cambrian horseshoe crab will be discovered.  Trilobites, similar complex arthropods with jointed appendages and compound eyes, are well known Cambrian animals.  In any case, these fully-formed horseshoe crabs appear abruptly in the Ordovician strata without ancestors, with soft parts fossilized and undisturbed.  If they are juveniles, they could well be identical to modern species.
        The only explanation is that the millions of years in the evolutionary timetable are complete fiction.  These specimens are not hundreds of millions of years old.  That would be obvious to any impartial jury hearing all the evidence.  To admit that, though, would be tantamount to reclassifying Darwin’s little book from the science section to the storybook section – a fate too horrible for the Darwinists to imagine, so the faith goes on.
        But faith it is.  What shameless credulity allows these people to believe that delicate fossils like these sat in rocks half a billion years only to show up now, unchanged from living counterparts?  Think about how many generations that is (in their timeline).  There was ample opportunity for the inexorable forces of evolutionary change we are forced to learn about in school to have modified these spider-like animals – to have given them harder armor, lungs, snorkels, water wings or something to show for all that time.
        The claim that they invented a good body plan and stayed with it half a billion years is so ludicrous, all sensible people should rise up and laugh the Darwinists to shame.  If this were the only case it would be sufficient, but critics have been pointing out these anomalies since Darwin’s day, and nothing ever changes.
        So strong is the grip of the Darwin Party on institutional science, theirs is the only belief system too sacred to criticize.  By force of decree it has been labeled the “scientific” view of the world.  It and it alone is permitted to be taught as “science.”  All other explanations must be relegated to the religion class, where the pseudoscientists and clowns hang out.  Something is really rotten in this regime.
    Next headline on:  FossilsMarine Biology

      Geologists admit they were wrong about isochron dating methods, from 01/12/2005.


    Biological Complexity (Article)

    Posted in evolutionary news articles with tags on November 26, 2008 by egoeimi3

    Biological Complexity Continues to Astound   11/03/2008    
    Nov 3, 2008 — There’s more going on in your thinking apparatus than you think.  New scientific discoveries continue to unfold new layers of complexity and control.  Here are a few examples:

    1. Meta-code:  Your body has codes directing codes.  Geneticists were initially dismayed to find only 20,000 to 30,000 genes in the human genome.  “We were expecting that something as sophisticated, complex and intelligent as ourselves would have about a hundred thousand genes at least,” said one geneticists quoted in Nature News.  Something has happened since, “restoring the dignity of complexity to the human genome.”  It’s called alternative splicing.  A given gene can produce multiple RNA transcripts, depending on how the pieces are assembled.  These, in turn, can produce vary different protein machines: “This process, called alternative splicing, can produce mRNA molecules and proteins with dramatically different functions, despite being formed from the same gene.”  The report on Science Daily that two proteins coming from the same gene can have opposite functions, depending on how they are spliced and in what cells they are expressed.
          The potential for expansion of the DNA code is huge; one gene in fruit flies, reported Nature News, is thought to generate over 38,000 protein products.  Only about 6% of human genes, it turns out, produce a transcript from a linear strand of DNA.  Most others put together parts from different locations on the chromosome.  With alternative splicing, it’s possible that dozens, or hundreds, or thousands of different products can be produced from the same gene.  This begs another question: what code is directing the assembly of these pieces of DNA code?
    2. Motor memory:  Your long-term memory may depend on little cellular trucks that run on cellular highways.  These trucks haul neurotransmitters to the junctions between neurons, keeping the junctions active.  Read all about Science Now.  This begs a question: who is the dispatcher?
    3. Rewind repair:  Another molecular machine has been discovered that fixes unwound DNA.  “When your DNA gets stuck in the unwound position,” an article on Science Daily says, “your cells are in big trouble, and in humans, that ultimately leads to death.”  This “rewinding machine” takes a damaged portion of DNA and rewinds it into the familiar double helix.  In effect, it does the opposite of the helicase machine that unwinds DNA for transcribing.  The machine, named HARP, uses ATP, the universal energy currency of the cell.
          The UCSD scientists were “astounded” to find out how this little machine works.  “It didn’t occur to us that such enzymes even existed,” they said.  “In fact, we never knew until now what happened to DNA when it got stuck in the unwound position.”  Good thing the machine knows what to do.  Failure to heal unwound DNA leads to fatal diseases; yet it cannot interfere with the other helicases that legitimately unwind DNA for transcription.  This begs another question, though: what tells this machine where the damage is and how to fix it?

    The last article said that the discovery is spurring the scientists to look for more DNA-healing machines.  Here was a whole class of proteins they didn’t even know about.  “This will open up a whole new area of study,” said one team member.  “There are very few enzymes known that alter DNA structure.  And we’ve discovered an entirely new one.  This was not expected to happen in the year 2008.  We should have found them all by now.”  Young scientists should take encouragement: “The field potentially can be fairly large.  And as more and more people discover additional annealing helicases, this field will expand.”
        The palpable excitement in their tone required a look at the original paper in Science.1  Yusufzai and Kadonaga called their machine a “molecular zipper” and said, “the pleiotropy of HARP mutations is consistent with the function of HARP as an annealing helicase that acts throughout the genome to oppose the action of DNA-unwinding activities in the nucleus.”  By pleiotropy, they mean that mutated HARP genes can cause problems all over the place.  They identified one disease, SIOD (Schimke immuno-osseous dysplasia), that can actually be traced to mutations in HARP.  The genetic disorder leads to dwarfism, a damaged immune system and early death.
        The HARP machine is ubiquitous in the nucleus, they said, because the possibilities for DNA winding errors are ubiquitous.  Helicases might fail, or bubbles in double-stranded DNA might form spontaneously.  Without repair machinery available, the DNA transcribing and duplicating machines could fail.  “In this manner, HARP would be able to promote the proper functioning of the cell by catalyzing the rewinding of the stably unwound DNA,” their paper ended.  “More generally, HARP would serve as an opposing force to the numerous DNA-unwinding activities in the nucleus.”

    1.  Timur Yusufzai and James T. Kadonaga, “HARP Is an ATP-Driven Annealing Helicase,” Science, 31 October 2008: Vol. 322. no. 5902, pp. 748-750, DOI: 10.1126/science.1161233.

    None of these articles needed, referred to, or owed anything to evolutionary theory.  This was the good old science at work: uncovering the mechanisms of the world, as if it were designed, and seeking to understand the workings of nature.  In fact, the third article says this: “The discovery represents the first time scientists have identified a motor protein specifically designed to prevent the accumulation of bubbles of unwound DNA.”  If that does not presuppose intelligent design, what does?  And how did cells get along before chance found a way to invent a powered repair machine for DNA?
        Earlier scientists like Leeuwenhoek and Pasteur would have been pleased and thrilled to learn about the levels of complexity being revealed in the cells they only knew as black boxes.  There is plenty of work for design-motivated scientists to discover.  We will all benefit from their grand openings of the black box.
    Next headline on:  Human BodyGeneticsCell Biology

    Tip Link:  Is natural selection natural?  Neil Broom, a biomaterials researcher at University of Auckland, argues it isn’t.  In a penetrating essay on Metanexus, “Does Nature Suggest Transcendence?”, he shows how materialists unintentionally sneak intentionality into their supposedly materialistic explanations.    Excerpt:

    I think it is fair to say that at one popular level the expression natural selection serves as a kind of mantra, an almost magical utterance that quickly allays any doubts a skeptic might entertain.  It is uttered with power and authority when any kind of biological achievement required to be explained, and in the currency of a wholly material world.  My argument is that the claim that natural selection explains the extraordinary (read life processes) while drawing only on the ordinary (read material processes), is not only bad science, it is also contradicted by the very narrative the materialist seems compelled to employ to present his or her story of life.

    Biblical Archaeology News (Article)

    Posted in archaeology with tags on November 26, 2008 by egoeimi3

    Biblical Archaeology News   11/16/2008    
    Nov 16, 2008 — Amidst the turmoil of the Middle East, teams of archaeologists quietly work and uncover things that make history come alive.  Some findings have to survive years of debate.  Among the following stories are hints that Bible skeptics are on the defensive.

    1. Teaser: will David sling the critics?  Near the traditional spot where David slew Goliath, a piece of pottery was found with writing on it.  It dates from the time of David and Solomon, making it one of the earliest inscriptions in Israel ever found in situ.  What will it reveal?  Nobody knows for sure, but one archaeologist has teased everyone by exclaiming, “This is going to be VERY EXCITING!!!!”
          News media caught wind of this in late October (see BBC News and National Geographic) and wondered if it will provide proof that King David really existed (see NG video).  David has been under attack – not by Goliath or Philistines, but my minimalists who have claimed the Bible stories about him are mere legends.  The site where the pottery shard was discovered was apparently a fortress overlooking the Valley of Elah.  Called by the modern name Khirbet Qeiyafa, it might have been the Ephis Dammim mentioned in II Samuel 17:1.  See Arutz Sheva for picture of the ostracon and the discovery site.
          Translation of the inscription is expected to take months.  In the meantime, the scholars are sworn to secrecy.  Todd Bolen on Bible Places has provided the most detail and best balanced reporting about the Khirbet Qeiyafa inscription.  He blogged about it Sept 15, Oct 21, Oct 29, Oct 30 and Oct 31.  Bolen is a professor in Israel who has extensively photographed the country and knows the site and excavators.
    2. The King speaks:  Did King Jehoash of Judah speak to the world on a piece of pottery?  or was the inscription a clever forgery?  Controversy has surrounded the Jehoash inscription for over 5 years (06/19/2003, 04/21/2003) because it was found in the shop of an antiquities dealer.  Todd Bolen reported on Bible Places Blog for Nov. 14 that five scholars have now declared it authentic.  For details on the evidence behind their conclusion, see; the page has a translation of the message carved in Hebrew on the pottery shard that celebrates the offerings for repair of the Temple (see II Chronicles 24).  More information about the inscription controversy can be found at
    3. James was here:  Hershel Shanks of the Biblical Archaeology Society is crowing that the trial alleging the James Ossuary is a forgery is falling apart.  The ossuary inscribed with “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus” was found in 2002 (10/21/2002), but its authenticity has been on trial ever since.  The official position of the IAA (Israeli Antiquities Authority) has been that it is a forgery, but supporters feel the analysis has been incomplete and their views have been marginalized.  Shanks has not let go of the story for years in Biblical Archaeology Review and has repeatedly criticized the IAA for its refusal to heed the conclusions of scholars for the defense.  Now that the IAA’s forgery trial is collapsing, the supporters of the ossuary’s authenticity have been vindicated, Shanks said.  Read his report and decide.  Bible Interpretation also has the latest news.
    4. If I had a Hammer:  A segment of a wall in Jerusalem dating from the time of the Hasmoneans, descendents of Judas “The Hammer” Maccabeus (of Hannukah fame), has been brought to the daylight after 20 centuries.  See Science Daily for picture and story.
    5. Hearing and earring:  Sometimes archaeology happens by accident.  A beautiful earring of gold, pearl and emerald that looks like it was picked up at a modern Jerusalem fashion store was found in a parking lot – but it’s at least 1600 years old.  National Geographic has a picture of it.  It once graced the ear of some wealthy Roman-era noblewoman.  Bible Places has links to other articles about the find.
    6. Post-Babel apostasy:  A burial site from a cave in Galilee, said to be that of an elderly female shaman from the Natufian period, was reported by several sources including Science News and National Geographic.  The articles date the Natufian culture from 15,000 to 11,000 years BCE, but dating becomes increasingly uncertain prior to the first written records.  If people were already opposing the true God at Babel after the Flood, it is conceivable that cults and shamans arose quickly as people dispersed into the regions described in the Table of Nations (Genesis 10).  Secularists who deny that interpretation must nevertheless face the fact that from earliest times humans show a propensity for spirituality.  As Craig Hazen of Biola quipped on the new DVD The Case for Faith, humans should not be labeled Homo sapiens, the wise man, but rather Homo religiosis – the religious man, because in every culture throughout history, people have shown a need for reconciliation with the gods or God, sensing a spiritual vacuum in the heart.

    Biblical archaeology news must be approached cautiously, because the press sometimes hastens to inflate possible connections with Scripture.  Haaretz, an Israeli newspaper, said that a water tunnel found in old City of David excavations is the route Joab used to conquer Jerusalem (II Samuel 5).  Todd Bolen tried to cool these jets with caution on Bible Places Blog on Nov. 4 by saying, “The solution is not to refuse to make connections to the Bible, nor to deny that the Biblical record is historically accurate, but instead to carefully study all of the evidence, avoiding unwarranted and premature sensationalistic headlines”  But that cuts both ways, he continued: “more often it is scholars on the other side who use a scrap of evidence as complete and compelling proof that the biblical story is false.  Abuses on one side do not justify abuses on the other.”

    The Khirbet Qeiyafa pottery shard is bound to be significant already for three reasons: it dates from the time of David, it was found in situ, and it bears an inscription – a rare treasure in Biblical archaeology.  It would be inappropriate for CEH to speculate on the significance of the inscription for corroborating the historical David till it has been translated and published, but when that happens, we will be quick to measure it on the exciting-o-meter.
        Those who think all religions are the same should ponder the wealth of historical detail supporting the Bible.  The Bible is not just a book of aphorisms emanating from the imagination of a guru.  It is a work by 40 diverse authors covering a span of 15 centuries, yet it maintains one theology, one morality, and a unified story of redemption from creation to the final judgment and eternal blessing.  It contains a wealth of narrative history that can be cross-checked against independent sources.  The Bible contains hundreds of place-names from Iran to Spain, many described in detail that can be seen today: the Gibeon Pool, Hezekiah’s Tunnel, the sacred precinct at Dan, the synagogue at Capernaum, Lachish, Megiddo, Hazor, Jezreel and Jericho to name a few.  Jerusalem itself is filled with historical sites described in the Bible from the time span of Abraham to Paul – almost 2200 years.
        Debates continue about interpretation of the evidence, but the fact that so much evidence exists, and that a good deal of it has outlived the skeptics, should factor into one’s evaluation of the Bible’s trustworthiness compared to other religious writings.  Josh McDowell in Evidence That Demands a Verdict, citing Sidney Collett’s book All About the Bible, quoted M. Montiero-Williams, a professor of Sanskrit, who said this about Eastern religious texts which he had studied for 42 years: “Pile them, if you will, on the left side of your study table, but place your own Holy Bible on the right side—all by itself, all alone—and with a wide gap between them.  For, … there is a gulf between it and the so-called sacred books of the East which severs the one from the other utterly, hopelessly, and forever … a veritable gulf which cannot be bridged over by any science of religious thought.”
    Next headline on:  Bible and TheologyDating Methods

    Eugenics Victims (article)

    Posted in eugenics & evolution with tags on November 25, 2008 by egoeimi3

    No Apology Offered to Eugenics Victims  02/16/2001
    There have been no apologies offered to tens of thousands of Americans forcibly sterilized under eugenics programs between 1924 and 1979, including “mental defective” Raymond W. Hudlow who later was honored as a war hero, according to a story in the
    Nando Times.  “Although eugenics eventually was discredited as political and social prejudice rather than scientific fact, neither Virginia nor any of the 29 other states that conducted eugenical sterilizations has ever compensated or apologized to the more than 60,000 victims.”

    If this sounds like a Kafka horror story, remember two things: (1) it is recent history, and (2) the new eugenics is coming.  With the genetic revolution upon us, and new techniques for identifying “defectives,” there will be pressures brought to bear on not allowing them to breed and corrupt the human gene pool.  It all starts, of course, with noble intentions of alleviating the suffering of those afflicted, but just beyond is the prospect of not allowing defectives to be born in the first place.  Do you want your human rights determined by a scientific elite, or by bureaucrats tasked with implementing their policies?  Will we learn from history that unbridled Social Darwinism is a stepping stone to another holocaust?
    Next headline on: Politics. • Next headline on: Darwinism.


    Posted in evolutionary news articles with tags on November 25, 2008 by egoeimi3

    Single-Handed Amino Acids Selected by Experiment  02/17/2001
    Scientists at Scripps Research Institute have made polypeptides that were able to preferentially select single-handed amino-acids, according to a report in
    Nature.  The single-handed peptide chains were also able to edit out the mixed ones.  The article states, “Despite its relative simplicity, the peptide system has life-like characteristics: it can induce self-replication, select for molecules of the same handedness, and avoid the accumulation of errors.  This suggests that self-replicating peptides could have played a crucial role in the emergence of life, and homochirality, on Earth.”

    The experiment is clever but irrelevant to the origin of life.  The single-handedness of proteins has been a major difficulty for chemical evolution theories for decades and still is (read this explanation).  By tweaking and jury-rigging the molecules toward a predetermined outcome, these scientists injected intelligent design into the experiment.  This is a form of cheating called Investigator Interference.  Polypeptides do not form naturally; they hydrolyze.  These scientists started out with polypeptides which are highly improbable and would not survive in nature.  Moreover, if any oxygen were present (as most admit was probably present on the early earth), no amino acids would be formed in the first place.  These scientists also purposely excluded the many destructive molecules that would have been present under natural conditions.  But even if through some miracle they ended up with a pure one-handed solution of polypeptide chains, it would explain nothing of the origin of information and function.  If these scientists really wanted to do a fair experiment, they should keep their guiding hands off the apparatus and let the laws of thermodynamics and probability take their toll.  The results would be depressing.
    Next headline on: Origin of Life.

    Articles 02/16/2001:  A special focus on Sanctity of Life by Leadership U, with articles on euthanasia, stem-cell research, abortion and related topics.
    Next headline on: Politics and Ethics.

    Genetic Potential Increases (article)

    Posted in evolutionary news articles with tags on November 25, 2008 by egoeimi3

    Genetic Potential Increases  02/22/2001
    New findings provide further evidence that the old “one gene – one enzyme” paradigm is incorrect.  Researchers at
    Johns Hopkins have found that two genes in combination can make multiple proteins through a process called trans-splicing.  Apparently messenger RNA can simultaneously read both halves of a DNA molecule in opposite directions and splice them together.  This increases the protein-generating potential of the human genome, which was announced earlier this week to have fewer genes (around 30,000) than expected.

    This means the DNA stores vastly more information than could be stored on one strand, the other being just a template.  It is just one of many marvels sure to come out of our ongoing investigation of the genetic code.  The whole story of transcription by messenger RNA to transfer RNA to protein, accompanied by a host of specialized enzymes, is dazzlingly complex and exquisite in its precision and speed.  How do these little blind molecules know how to do these things?  Truly amazing.
    See also next story, below.
    Next headline on: Human Body. • Next headline on: DNA. • Next amazing story.

    Biased Science

    Posted in evolutionary news articles with tags on November 25, 2008 by egoeimi3

    Are We Getting Biased Science?   10/07/2008    
    Oct 7, 2008 — Much more scientific research is being done than ever gets reported, say three researchers in a story reported by Science Daily.  High-impact journals tend to report selectively from a large field of medical and laboratory research.  As a result, “only a small proportion of all research results are eventually chosen for publication, and these results are unrepresentative of scientists’ repeated samplings of the real world.”  This gives a very distorted view of scientific research, they said.  They feel it is a “moral imperative” to fix the way scientific research is judged and disseminated.

    There is a strong likelihood that the Darwin-loving mainstream journals give inordinate publicity to evolutionary papers.  If the journals printed a true sample of the actual laboratory research that goes on, the science-to-Darwin ratio (like the signal to noise ratio) would probably shoot way up.  Science would sound much sweeter and clearer without the constant noise of evolutionary static.
        This is the Darwin Party’s pump-and-dump scheme.  They artificially inflate the value of evolutionary research, then dump it on the unsuspecting public who think they are getting unbiased science.  This devalues science for everyone.
    Next headline on:  Politics and Ethics