Claims of new “lost microcontinents” – often associated in the media with Atlantis – seem to be everywhere lately. For instance we have the recent Brazilian discovery of potentially continental rocks in the Atlantic ocean. Today ICR geologist Timothy L. Clarey has a beef with “Mauritia,” an Indian Ocean microcontinent under what is now Mauritius whose existence was proposed back in Febuary – he writes Outlandish Claims for Missing ‘Continent’.
A group of European scientists have announced the “discovery” of a small continent in the middle of the Indian Ocean that doesn’t exist on any known map. What is this proclamation based on? It’s based on the age estimates of some beach sand and a belief that the “absolute dates” the researchers determined are reliable and factual.
Clarey is not fond of this claim at all. Continue reading
As I said, there’s a new That’s a Fact video out: Biblical Giants. For the June Acts & Facts edition Randy Guliuzza wrote an article called “Did Giants Ever Exist?“, and this video examines the same issue.
The point of the video is apparently to prove that the giants referenced in the bible are perfectly believable – they were just tall people! The obvious, but perhaps unintended effect of this strategy is to make them seem not all that impressive. Continue reading
The second in the series of YOM interviews with ICR employees has been posted. This one is of Frank Sherwin, talking about human evolution, and is quite a bit shorter than the previous one with Nathaniel Jeanson. Because it’s so short I’ve been able to reproduce a full transcript below, interspersed with commentary.
The interview is broken into three parts, separated by title cards (bolded). Continue reading
Unlike the Earth the Moon lacks a global magnetic field (though it does still have a field of sorts) but evidence from rocks brought back by the Apollo missions shows that this was not always the case. We haven’t seen an article on planetary magnetism from the ICR in some time now, but they used to be quite common. Brian Thomas’ latest, The Moon’s Latest Magnetic Mysteries, breaks the silence.
The topic is a recent paper in PNAS, “Persistence and origin of the lunar core dynamo” – the paper is not open access, but a conference abstract on the same subject is available as is a Phys.org article. The methodology is quite interesting: Continue reading
For our first June article Brian Thomas writes People Not Quite as Clever Anymore. Intriguingly this title seems to lack the usual hyperbole (anyone remember those “edible eggs”?) but this doesn’t mean that the article is correct.
Tying in with their conception of the Fall, young Earth creationists often talk about the concept of “genetic load,” or mutational meltdown. The Curse, they believe, caused mutations which they claim will go undetected by natural selection and build up over the generations until they eventually render organisms non-functional. This would exhibit itself in the form of genetic diseases, and also traits such as intelligence – it’s the root source of the common out when challenged on how Noah could have built such a large, seaworthy vessel: “people were smarter back then,” they say, “look at the pyramids.” An implication of this is that Victorians (such as Charles Darwin) would have been smarter than people living today – like the current batch of young Earth creationists, for instance. This may have something to do with their tendency to point to even older scientists, like Newton, who they claim believed as they did. Continue reading
A new video has been posted at Your Origins Matter called “College & Science: Nathaniel Jeanson.” I can’t find it on youtube anywhere (at least not yet) so you’ll have to click over there to view it. Jeanson is one of the ICR’s researchers, and the video is about 13 minutes long and covers the following:
- Who are you, what is your specialization, and what does your current research look like?
- When did you decide you were destined for a career in science?
- What background do you have in science and the study of creation?
- What advice do you have for prospective college students – science and non-science majors?
- What words of wisdom do you have for the Christian student in both Christian and secular universities?
The college advice portion is the longest, and perhaps the most interesting. In summary, Jeanson wants you to first ground yourself thoroughly in creationism. You should then go to a secular university, on the grounds that hearing a fellow Christian talk about “unbiblical” ideas will be more likely to persuade you than if it’s a non-believer talking, and take a course in science but not one that’s evolution-centric. Once you’ve got “credentials” you can investigate the issues you were originally interested in. If you’ve heard much about Jeanson before you might recognise his advice as being, in effect, “do as I did,” but it’s also quite similar to what Jake Hebert said in December.
Jeanson also recommends that you commute to university to avoid the debauchery (so that’s what I’ve been doing wrong – damn trains), to live either alone or with fellow believers, and to be suspicious of potentially compromising campus groups. And there’s plenty more where that came from – go watch.
We’re back to genetics, and Jeffrey Tomkins thinks he’s disproved evolution once again in Genetic Recombination Study Defies Human-Chimp Evolution. He says:
Results from a recent study in human and chimpanzee genetics have shipwrecked yet another Darwinian hypothesis.
Some parts of the chimp and human genomes are more similar to each other than others. According to Tomkins, the process of genetic recombination is supposed to have produced these differences. He points to a new paper – Recombination Rates and Genomic Shuffling in Human and Chimpanzee—A New Twist in the Chromosomal Speciation Theory – that shows, among other things, that recombination rates are actually lower in places where there are more differences. Or, in his own words: Continue reading
Here’s an interesting take on the soft tissue issue: Brian Thomas writes Can this Dog Sniff out Fossils?
Migaloo is a dog from Queensland, Australia, that has been trained as an “Archaeology dog” by dog trainer Gary Jackson. She sniffs for human remains, and apparently holds the record for the oldest bones found via this method – a 600-year-old Aboriginal grave. Jackson also claims to have trained a cancer-detecting dog, called Chance, but he has recently retired his research program due to expense and difficulty in finding test subjects. Continue reading
On Monday Brian Thomas wrote Scientist Stumped by Actual Dinosaur Skin. The topic is a sample of “intact” dinosaur skin – one of only three known worldwide – which is to be examined by the Canadian Light Source* (CLS) synchrotron. This is therefore a “soft tissues” topic, a subject which we last examined only last week.
Thomas’ title is pleasingly alliterative, but it is clear that he is misrepresenting the tone of the CLS press release – which seems to be all the source material we have to go on, unless this Flickr link starts working again before I finish here [just in time, it has - here's the relevant gallery, including the picture above right, though it doesn't tell us much that we don't already know]. The scientists are not “baffled,” but they are instead intensely curious, and there is quite a difference between those two responses. Continue reading
WordPress tells me that I just passed the second anniversary of this blog. Yay me? Last year I wrote a long post detailing what I’d learnt since starting, timed to go out at the exact moment. This year I clean forgot (not least because I thought, as I originally did last year, that the anniversary date was the 29th) and have no time now to prepare any sage thoughts.
Probably the biggest change between this year and last is that I currently have a bit of a backlog, something which I was fairly well over this time last May. So I think I had better get back to writing an actual post, don’t you?
If you have any comments or suggestions for me – or want to know anything about how these sausages are made – now is as good of a time as any to speak up.