Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell – Does Gill Embryology Show Fish Evolved from a Common Ancestor?

Gill embryology is similar in all sorts of fish, but this does not support the fishy story of our evolutionary past.

Can a landmark discovery about how fish embryos grow their gills connect us firmly to roots under the sea? Cambridge University zoologists J. Andrew Gillis and Olivia R.A. Tidswell think so.

Fish use gills to extract oxygen from water. Evolutionists maintain that vertebrates without gills—like us—have gills “present as vestiges in our own embryology.”1 (More on that below.) But where did gills come from in the first place? Enquiring evolutionists want to know! To find out, they look for similarities in the gills of different sorts of fish embryos. They hope to thereby unveil the gills of the common evolutionary ancestor of all fish and to gain a clue about how very different groups of fish—jawless, bony, and cartilaginous—diverged.

A Fishy Controversy

The skate is a jawed fish with a cartilaginous skeleton. Like all fish, it has gills. Gillis and Tidswell have used modern methods to study the skate’s embryonic gill development. Their surprising discovery has resolved a long-standing controversy and overturned information accepted since the 19th century. The controversy has hinged on the cellular origin of gills within a fish embryo.

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Ken Ham – Was There Death Before Adam Sinned?

Which history of death do you accept?

Annie’s cruel death destroyed Charles’s tatters of beliefs in a moral, just universe. Later he would say that this period chimed the final death-knell for his Christianity…Charles [Darwin] now took his stand as an unbeliever.”

When Charles Darwin wrote his famous book On the Origin of Species, he was in essence writing a history concerning death. In the conclusion of the chapter entitled “On the Imperfections of the Geological Record,” Darwin wrote, “Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows.”

From his evolutionary perspective on the origin of life, Darwin recognized that death had to be a permanent part of the world. Undoubtedly, he struggled with this issue as he sought to reconcile some sort of belief in God with the death and suffering he observed all around him, and which he believed had gone on for millions of years.

This struggle came to a climax with the death of his daughter Annie — said to be “the final death-knell for his Christianity.”

Belief in evolution and/or millions of years necessitates that death has been a part of history since life first appeared on this planet. The fossil layers (containing billions of dead things) supposedly represent the history of life over millions of years. As Carl Sagan is reported to have said, “The secrets of evolution are time and death.”

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Dr. Andrew Snelling – Five Mass Extinctions or One Cataclysmic Event?

Many scientists claim the fossil record shows many mass extinctions separated by millions of years. Does the Bible give a better explanation?

Imagine relaxing at your dream vacation spot. Do you prefer a tropical forest, lush and humid, where fragrances from exotic flowers overwhelm your senses? Or a sandy coast, where the sun warms your skin and the palm trees sway? Or a secluded old-growth forest, where the only sound for miles around is a trickling brook?

Now add a triceratops splashing in the water, while a duck-billed dinosaur lazily chomps on a tasty conifer tree nearby. Overhead, a pterosaur glides toward its lair in the jagged cliffs.

What an amazing world we live in, and what an amazing world it once was! Fossils indicate that the earth has been covered with a wondrous array of environments in the past.

Then something happened. The earth’s rocks indicate that past catastrophes struck on a scale unlike anything we see today. The earth’s crust split open, belching toxic fumes into the sky and sending rivers of lava that swallowed up forests and everything else in their path.

The original continent also broke apart. The land rose and fell as the broken landmasses slid around and bashed into each other. A deluge of floodwaters battered the shallow seas and coasts, and then moved inland. Terrified animals roared and screamed, seeking safety but finding none.

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Dr. Andrew Snelling – Determination of the Decay Constants and Half-Lives of Uranium-238 (238U) and Uranium-235 (235U), and the Implications for U-Pb and Pb-Pb Radioisotope Dating Methodologies

Introduction

Radioisotope dating of rocks and meteorites is perhaps the most potent claimed proof for the supposed old age of the earth and the solar system. The absolute ages provided by the radioisotope dating methods provide an apparent aura of certainty to the claimed millions and billions of years for formation of the earth’s rocks. Many in both the scientific community and the general public around the world thus remain convinced of the earth’s claimed great antiquity.

However, accurate radioisotopic age determinations require that the decay constants of the respective parent radionuclides be accurately known and constant in time. Ideally, the uncertainty of the decay constants should be negligible compared to, or at least be commensurate with, the analytical uncertainties of the mass spectrometer measurements entering the radioisotope age calculations (Begemann et al. 2001). Clearly, based on the ongoing discussion in the conventional literature this is still not the case at present. The stunning improvements in the performance of mass spectrometers during the past four or so decades, starting with the landmark paper by Wasserburg et al. (1969), have not been accompanied by any comparable improvement in the accuracy of the decay constants (Begemann et al. 2001; Steiger and Jäger 1977), in spite of ongoing attempts (Miller 2012). The uncertainties associated with direct half-life determinations are, in most cases, still at the 1% level, which is still significantly better than any radioisotope method for determining the ages of rock formations. However, even uncertainties of only 1% in the half-lives lead to very significant discrepancies in the derived radioisotope ages. The recognition of an urgent need to improve the situation is not new (for example, Min et al. 2000; Renne, Karner, and Ludwig 1998). It continues to be mentioned, at one time or another, by every group active in geo- or cosmochronology (Schmitz 2012).

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Thomas Fretwell – ‘Prehistoric’ Preachers: Dinosaurs as “The Gateway Drug to Atheism”: What is Their Real Message?

Dinosaurs have the power to captivate audiences, both young and old. They have fuelled people’s imaginations for generations. The veil of mystery surrounding them only adds to the intrigue. Where did the great beasts come from? Why did they go extinct? Such questions fuel the passion of a million would-be paleontologists still under the age of ten! It is no overstatement to say that almost every child, and adult for that matter, has heard of the fearsome Tyrannosaurus rex. Hollywood has cashed in on the public’s fascination with dinosaurs over the years, producing the Jurassic Park franchise. The most recent instalment, Jurassic World, was released in 2015. In addition to this, multiple documentaries and cartoons exist making use of the best CGI to bring the message of these ‘Prehistoric Preachers’ to a new generation.

Given their popularity, it is important to understand the message being communicated through these fascinating creatures. In an interview for the Huffington Post, David Krentz, the character designer for the 2014 big-budget 3D movie Walking with Dinosaurs, commented that,

“I have always said that dinosaurs are the gateway drug to science for kids.”

The thing about gateway drugs is that they lead to something else, in this case ‘science’. In this context, the term is clearly referring to a naturalistic interpretation of science—concerning events that happened in the past—not the observational science done in laboratories today. One blogger, writing for The Meaning Without God Project, phrases it even more candidly:

“Dinosaurs were my gateway drug to Atheism. And while I was still six or seven years away from reaching the conclusion that God either didn’t care about us or didn’t exist, the Dinosaurs had shared an important secret—that the Bible can be wrong.”

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Jean O’Micks – Molecular Structures Shared by Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes Show Signs of Only Analogy and Not Homology

microbiology

Introduction

According to the well-known paradigm, eukaryotes are defined by the presence of a nuclear membrane surrounding their DNA, which is wound up into several pairs of chromosomes, as well as the presence of endocytosis and an endomembrane system, thereby compartmentalizing different cellular processes and separating them from one another inside the cell (de Duve 2007). This molecular characteristic separates them from prokaryotes whose genome is much smaller, and condensed into a single, circular DNA moleculep. The transition from prokaryotes to eukaryotes (PET) counts as a major obstacle for evolutionary theory between these two types of cells (Maynard Smith and Szathmáry 1995).

Until now there have been two basic theories on the evolution of cellular complexity. According to one theory, cellular complexity came about via endocytosis between bacteria and archaea. The problem with this theory is that, in practice, newly made constituents are always inserted into pre-existing membranes (omnis membrane e membrana), which subsequently divide (de Duve 2007). Membrane fusion between archaea and bacteria has never been observed. According to another theory, membrane invagination occurred after the digestion of engulfed material by the cell (Lonhienne et al. 2010). The invaginated membrane grew more and more convoluted, and then more specialized into different compartments, such as the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), Golgi apparatus and lysosomes (de Duve 2007).

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Callie Joubert – A Critique of Scientific Explanations of Belief and Unbelief and the Conflict between Evolution and Creationism

creation-vs-evolution

Introduction

Psychological and neuroscientific research have established an unquestionable truth: all religious belief and behavior depend on a functioning brain. But so do, for example, bodily movements, breathing, sleeping, eating, and loving someone. However, under the influence of Darwinism, materialism, and/or atheism, what a brain is and does led far too many people to accept the following questionable logic: perceiving, thinking, believing, knowing, loving, or reading depends on a functioning brain; therefore, the brain is a perceiver, thinker, believer, knower, lover, or a reader. To see what is questionable about the logic is to consider what a belief, and believing something or someone, is. If it is not what these researchers think it is, then not only is the interpretation of their research results conceptually confused; their logic is also unintelligible, as I hope to show it is.

Notwithstanding these problems, scientific efforts to explain belief formation have increased over the last two decades (Connors and Halligan 2015; Seitz and Angel 2012; Sugiura, Seitz, and Angel 2015). Most remarkable and bewildering about these efforts are the explanations of belief in God,1 atheism, and the controversy between evolutionists and creationists. This will be explained in the following paragraphs.

In the first place, while some scientists think that religious beliefs are caused by brain dysfunction, such as epilepsy (Dewhurst and Beard 2003; Persinger 1983), others attribute religious beliefs to a “God module” (Ramachandran and Blakeslee 1998, 175−177, 179−188) or “God gene” (Hamer 2004) in the brain that has evolved over millions of years.

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Kevin Anderson – Dinosaur Tissue: A Biochemical Challenge to the Evolutionary Timescale

fossils

In 2005 a group of researchers, led by Dr. Mary Schweitzer, reported extracting pliable pieces of tissue from a T. rex fossil. Within this tissue they observed osteocytes, common cells found inside the matrix of bone. Even more surprising, they detected fragments of collagen (a common animal protein). Follow-up studies presented additional support for this discovery.

However, the presence of tissue and protein fragments still remaining in dinosaur fossils poses a direct biochemical challenge to the standard geologic dating paradigm. If dinosaur fossils are at least 65 million years old, how has this biological material survived? How could these bones not yet be fully fossilized even after millions of years? These questions raise significant issues about contemporary dating methods.

Not surprisingly, this discovery was widely challenged. Tissue containing proteins were certainly unexpected and should not have survived millions of years of decay and fossilization. Thus, alternate ideas were offered in attempts to dismiss the tissue as “fake.” These alternatives included the suggestion that the material was from a bird carcass mixed with the fossil, laboratory contamination, and even microbial biofilm. While the evidence for such claims proved weak,6 it does reveal an eagerness to show the extracted material was anything other than authentic dinosaur tissue.

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Dr. Kevin Anderson, Brian Catalucci, and Dr. Nathaniel T. Jeanson – Three Puzzles Evolution Can’t Solve

three-puzzles-header

For more than a century Christians have looked for the scientific silver bullet that would destroy Darwinian evolution and prove biblical creation to be true. We already know from God’s revealed, infallible Word how the universe, the earth, and all life came into being: He spoke them into existence (Genesis 1; Exodus 20:11; Hebrews 11:3). This fact alone refutes Darwinian evolution. Yet in a world where secular researchers reject the supernatural and divine revelation, many Christians still feel compelled to provide empirical (observable and repeatable) evidence to confirm the Bible’s claim.

The problem is that neither creation nor evolution is observable or repeatable. Empirical science alone can’t prove a miraculous, onetime historical event any more than it can prove evolution. Instead, we must make assumptions, and our conclusions are only as good as our starting assumptions.

The issue is not the evidence, but how we interpret the evidence through our worldview. Does our worldview make sense of the world we observe today?

Evolution is based on a faulty initial assumption, while belief in creation is based on facts revealed by the only eyewitness, the Creator Himself.

God’s Word says we should always be ready “to give a defense to everyone who asks” (1 Peter 3:15). When witnessing to unbelievers, we should challenge their worldview and show how the biblical worldview makes better sense of our world.

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Don Batten – Evolutionary Dilemma

evolutionary-dilemma

On the 60th anniversary of the discovery of the structure of DNA, science writer Dr Philip Ball wrote an article in Nature saying, “we do not fully understand how evolution works at the molecular level.” Ball referred to advances in understanding how DNA works to make organisms. The old idea of DNA comprising genes that are simple strings of DNA ‘letters’ that each makes an RNA copy, and then a protein, is simplistic—to the point of being misleading, he said.

He wrote of gene networks where many genes interact to produce something. Also, most of the DNA does not produce proteins directly, but regulates the production of proteins (where, when, and how much). There are also changes to the DNA structure, not the actual ‘letters’, which affect organisms, and are heritable (a relatively new field called ‘epigenetics’). This means that the prevailing evolutionary dogma — that organisms have evolved via mutations (random changes to the ‘letters’) sorted by natural selection — does not explain what scientists are discovering. This dogma is also known as Neo-Darwinism or the ‘Modern Synthesis’.

None other than the President of the International Union of Physiological Sciences, Professor Denis Noble (Oxford University), has presented a paper where he set out to show “that all the central assumptions of the Modern Synthesis (often also called Neo-Darwinism) have been disproved.” Noble says he hopes for a new theory of ‘evolution’ that will explain the evidence.

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