Breaking Eggs

A new That’s a Fact video has at last arrived. It’s called Jurassic Omelette – or, according to their website, “Jurassic Omemette.” They have at least fixed that now, though they’re yet to change the URL.

The subject matter should be broadly familiar. The video starts off with asking “which came first – the chicken or the egg?” before moving on to the dinosaur egg protein issue from the other week. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, however. Continue reading

Edible Eggs?

LufengosaurusWhat with all the genetics articles lately we haven’t seen a soft tissue DpSU from the ICR in a while. For today, Brian Thomas writes The Incredible, Edible ‘190 Million-Year-Old Egg’. To nitpick, these eggs are 190-197 million years old, fairly unusual if not necessarily “incredible,” and almost certainly not edible. I cannot determine the origin of the image Thomas has put at the top of his article, but I doubt that it is of this find.

Their age places them in the “Lower Jurassic,” giving them the position of first-equal for oldest known dinosaur eggs with a South African find, and were found in China. It’s difficult to match fossils of the bones of adults with other fossils like eggs and tracks, but these eggs were probably of the early Jurassic sauropodomorph Lufengosaurus. Thomas claims that there is evidence that they are not 190 million years old, but instead were fossilised as a result of the Global Flood: Continue reading

Swimming with Dinosaurs

Dinosaurs left plenty of bones, but some also created another type of fossil: preserved track marks. A handful of these tracks were made from swimming dinosaurs, and a new paper in the Chinese Science BulletinA new Early Cretaceous dinosaur track assemblage and the first definite non-avian theropod swim trackway from China (open access) – reports on the discovery of one such find.

Timothy L. Clarey’s new article on these tracks is called Dinosaurs Swimming out of Necessity, but the “necessity” conclusion is entirely his own. His article is quite similar to one from Brian Thomas published in January which we looked at in Stampede? For instance both Thomas and Clarey chose to claim in their opening paragraphs that, in the present day, it is very difficult to form footprints that will eventually be preserved as fossils – here’s Clarey’s opener:

What’s so fascinating about dinosaur tracks? Maybe it’s because their many mysteries beg for solutions. For instance, because tracks in mud are so short-lived today, how did dinosaur tracks ever preserve in the first place? Newly described prints bolster biblical creation’s explanation of dinosaur footprints.

It may be true that it’s hard to preserve footprints in mud, but it’s not so improbable once you consider the shear number of footprints that would have been made over the more than 180 million years of the Mesozoic Era. Clarey never does explain, meanwhile, how “biblical creation” suddenly makes preservation so much easier – not even a “footprints need to be preserved rapidly” claim (which is false, by the way). Continue reading

Insta-Gold

The Great 2013 Catch-upIn Striking It Rich with ‘Instant Gold’ (17 April 2013) Timothy L. Clarey points us to a Nature Geoscience paper called “Flash vaporization during earthquakes evidenced by gold deposits.” The gist is as follows:

The two scientists found that faulting events are key to gold deposit formation, where rocks split apart and quickly slip past one another, causing earthquakes. Faults through solid rock are never straight. Instead, they follow zigzag patterns that look like chain lightening and create small voids—openings in the rocks called “jogs.” Fast-forming jogs create instantaneous drops in pressure during movement, causing superheated deep waters to almost instantly “flash vaporize,” leaving behind thin coatings of gold and quartz.

Repeated earthquakes could build up the gold to levels that would be economical to mine. Continue reading

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

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

Stampede?

Dinosaur tracks at Lark Quarry The several-thousand prints at the Lark Quarry dinosaur track-ways, in Queensland, Australia, have long been interpreted as being the result of the only known dinosaur stampede. They were caused, it was believed, by a large hungry theropod spooking and scattering a group of smaller dinosaurs. A new paper – Re-evaluation of the Lark Quarry dinosaur tracksite (late Albian–Cenomanian Winton Formation, central-western Queensland, Australia): no longer a stampede? (pdf, SI) – argues that the site does not represent a stampede at all, but dinosaurs swimming with the current as part of a migration. Somehow, Brian Thomas gets from this research the title “New Dinosaur Tracks Study Suggest Cataclysm.” Continue reading

The Book that Deceived the World

The Institute for Creation Research has a weekly radio show called Science, Scripture, & Salvation. Or at least they had a radio show – certainly, I can’t find any evidence that they’re still making new episodes. The Book that Deceived the World is one of these episodes, and yes, they’re talking about The Origin of Species:

Words can be a powerful and persuasive tool for good or evil. In 1859 a book that challenged the truthfulness of God’s Word and denied Him as Creator was published and became widely received. What was this book that deceived the world? Tune in to find out and to learn why it is still so popular.

The radio show shares certain similarities with the That’s a Fact videos. Most importantly both shows contain a lot of spurious claims about how the evidence shows that evolution is false, but at the same time they never actually show this “evidence.” As such, both SSS and TaF constitute examples of how the ICR presents its case to the true believers. It’s not particularly nuanced. Continue reading

The Black Sea Deluge

The Black Sea, from spaceAs the last surviving remnants of the ancient Tethys Ocean, the various bodies of water in the area stretching from the Mediterranean to (what’s left of the) Aral sea have had a rough time of it during the last couple of million years. The Mediterranean is of course connected to the Atlantic via the narrow Strait of Gibraltar, which has closed in the past causing the sea to largely dry up. Similarly, the Black Sea is connected to the Mediterranean via the even narrower Bosporus.

There is a hypothesis, recently brought back to public attention, that around 5600 BC the Bosporus was opened, flooding what had previously been a freshwater lake and bringing its level up to the modern height. This idea has become associated with a possible origin for the Noachian flood myth. Hence Brian Thomas’ latest article, Did Underwater Archaeologist Confirm Noah’s Flood?

Underwater archaeologist Robert Ballard claimed to have found evidence beneath the Black Sea that Noah’s Flood really occurred. Christians who only read headlines may count this as confirmation of the Bible. But whatever Ballard found should not be considered direct evidence of Noah’s Flood.

Thomas’ position is unusual: similar to what we saw with the apocalypse business yesterday, Brian is pointing out that no this is not evidence of the Flood, but at the same time insisting that the Flood did in fact happen anyway. Continue reading

Dating the Grand Canyon

Stratigraphy of the Grand CanyonAs easily accessible American landmarks, Mt St. Helens and the Grand Canyon feature disproportionately in young Earth creationist publications. For example Brian Thomas’ Monday article was called Age of Grand Canyon Remains a Mystery.

It is one thing to calculate the age of a layer of rock – this is a textbook application of radiometric dating – but quite another to date a canyon, say, that has cut through said rock at an unknown point later on. Less direct methods of dating must be used, and there is therefore a greater potential for disagreement (at least between scientist’s interpretations of the results). The more generally accepted date for the age of this particular canyon is 5-6 million years, but a recent paper in Science offers evidence in favour of the alternative view, that it was carved almost completely by around 70 million years before the present. Both dates are much more than 6000 years, but that doesn’t faze Mr Thomas: Continue reading