Henry Morris (1918-2006)

Monday (February 25) was the 7th anniversary of the death of Henry Morris, the founder of both the ICR and the modern creationist movement in general. To commemorate the date of “our founder’s passing into glory” Your Origins Matter posted an article, which included some quotes: Continue reading

Smells Like Design

Scalopus aquaticusBrian Thomas’ article for Wednesday – Moles Can Smell in Stereo – is a quickie. The subject is well summarised by that title: new research does indeed show that eastern moles specifically do smell in stereo, in much the same way as an animal might hear or see in stereo. This research was discussed in much more detail at Carl Zimmer’s blog The Loom, so there is no need to go over it here. Continue reading

Pigeons “Confirm” Creationism?

A rock doveThe study of pigeons was instrumental in the formulation of Charles Darwin’s ideas about evolution, and using the same principles that underlie the theory in general he hypothesised that all pigeons are descended from the wild rock dove. A new study published in Science (pdf) used modern genomics to “prove Darwin right.” But somehow, through some twisted interpretation of the study, Brian Thomas has produced an article published under the headline “Pigeon Study Confirms Creation.” How did he do it?

Charles Darwin bred many varieties of pigeons. Some had differently shaped head crests and others had unique color patterns in their plumage. Darwin tried to use these superficial examples of human-guided animal breeding to support his false idea that nature repeatedly transformed one basic life-form into another. Today, over 350 breeds of the rock pigeon continue to showcase the plasticity of this bird’s feathery features. A recent study traced modern pigeon origins, and although the evolutionary investigators told some of the same wrong stories that Darwin did, three key details from their work clearly support creation.

“Three key details.” This should be good. Continue reading

So Why Bother?

Your Origins Matter have uploaded the following video, encouraging pastors and their flock to come to YOM’s conferences. (Go to 1:30 to skip the intro.)

The speaker would appear to be Randy Guliuzza. His first point boils down to “if God is not the Creator, then how can he claim to be God?” Then, he claims that people leave the faith because they no longer believe the “stories” in the bible, and noone is able to answer their questions. He’s talking in front of Mt Rushmore – or some kind of picture thereof, it’s not immediately obvious – and so he naturally makes the Paley’s watch “what would you think if I claimed that this was formed by natural processes of erosion” argument. There’s plenty like that in there, but nothing concrete.

The Crystal Gear of Vladivostok

Metal embedded in coalJust over a year ago we looked at a Brian Thomas article about a “Peruvian mummy” that he suggested was that of a biblical “giant.” The original news story – from the Daily Mail of all sources – had a slightly different nut-case theory to sell: the mummy was an alien. However, scrolling to the end of the Mail article it was revealed that intentional skull deformation of the kind that could produce features such as those being interpreted as alien (or giant) were common in the place and time that the find was from. A mundane explanation, though still an interesting one – one which Thomas didn’t even mention.

Wednesday’s article – Possible Human Artifact Found in Coal – also by Mr Thomas, has a number of parallels with the earlier story. Continue reading

Talking with Ants

Myrmica wheeleriFor the Friday DpSU Jeffrey Tomkins tells us that ‘Talking’ Ants Are Evidence for Creation. The subject is a paper in Current Biology called Ant Pupae Employ Acoustics to Communicate Social Status in Their Colony’s Hierarchy, about nearly-matured ant pupae communicating this fact to other ants via sound. Continue reading

Delayed-Action Flood

Modern Plate TectonicsLacking a DpSU for today as we seem to be it’s time to return to the Acts & Facts magazine for February. Our article is John Morris’ Geologic Changes to the Very Good Earth, which is apparently another adaptation from his recent book, The Global Flood: Unlocking Earth’s Geologic History. The topic of this excerpt is plate tectonics.

The Flood cataclysm dramatically morphed the early earth into the earth we know today. Its original “very good” state was pleasant and stable (Genesis 1:31), but today things are not so quiescent. Earth’s crustal plates move relative to one another. If they collide, they either crumple up into mountains or plunge one beneath the other, producing volcanoes, earthquakes, and tsunamis.

Genesis 1:31 is of course the verse where God calls His creation “very good,” but the extrapolation that this must mean that the Earth was then – geologically speaking – “pleasant and stable” would appear to be baseless. What, exactly, is “very good” to an omnipotent and omniscient deity anyway? Consider the implications if He happened to be quite fond of volcanic mudpools (they’re actually supposed to be quite good for you, so would that make their omission an imperfection?). Continue reading

How Evolution Doesn’t Work

White-tail deerBrian Thomas returns to give us a classic for the Friday article, titled Deer in Black and White. This is classic Thomas (or a Thomas “classic”) both in that it makes for a perfect example of his failure to understand the process known as natural selection, and because the most recently published references come from 2010. His article – which is about white-tailed deer that have a genetic condition known as melanism which makes them dark coloured, which can be considered the opposite of albinism – is therefore not in any way “news.” Continue reading

Samson’s Ears

Actin filamentLate last week That’s a Fact video #26, Muscle Man, was released. As I said on Friday, much of the text is taken from the portion of this article that I didn’t cover at the time, and there is a good reason why I didn’t do anything with it – it’s just not very interesting. I offer you the transcript below more out of completeness than any necessity, and after that we can look at something else. Continue reading

Turbulent Moons

The many layers of Titan's atmosphereThere were quite a number of articles in the 31 January edition of the journal Nature that would be potential topics for a post from the ICR. These included the discovery of the bizarre underlying genetic mechanism (pdf) behind the two different social structures of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta, which has implications for the evolution of sex chromosomes; a review of a biography of Louis Agassiz, “a great science populariser who resisted Darwinism”; an obituary for Carl Woese (though we’ve already looked at that topic); and some rigid biomemetic polymers, a field which creationists adore. But the article that Jake Hebert – yes, him again – has written about is a feature called Caught in the act. “We may be seeing some of the Solar System’s most striking objects during rare moments of glory.” His own article is called Youthful Solar System Bodies Puzzle Evolutionary Scientists.

A feature story in a recent issue of the journal Nature described four solar system bodies that are puzzling to evolutionary scientists. Specifically, the article discussed the rings of Saturn, two of Saturn’s moons (Enceladus and Titan), and Jupiter’s moon Io. These four bodies all exhibit properties that cannot persist for billions of years.

The Nature article is free to view (though Hebert doesn’t link to it), and is a good read. You’ll certainly find much more detailed and nuanced information there than what Hebert provides. Continue reading