Calm down; it’s probably not what you think

Fundamentalism is sticking with the foundations, the heart or core of something. It can accept additional things that are built up from that solid beginning, but rejects additions that get away from it.

For science, we must keep in mind that it is a tool that we humans devised for learning about and understanding the natural world and how it works. It is a method for investigating the world around us and discovering how much we can know for sure.
Continue reading Calm down; it’s probably not what you think

no evolution of gorillas

Evolution data shows no sign of evolution – again.

Evolution? The headline seemed to be saying there was more data showing how ancient apes split into two groups, one heading toward modern gorillas and the other leading to other modern apes — and humans. I’m blogging about “Fossils Shed New Light on Human-Gorilla Split,” LiveScience.com, By Charles Q. Choi,  2/11/2016.

As usual, the title of the original research report was a bit clearer: “New geological and palaeontological age constraint for the gorilla–human lineage split.” (Nature 530, 215–218 (11 February 2016) doi:10.1038/nature16510) In other words, the data merely shows a limit on when the split might have happened — assuming that it did happen, and that the dating method is accurate.

What is this all about? Fossil teeth again. One thing we know for sure, the fossil teeth that appear to be the oldest gorilla teeth ever found “resembled those of modern gorillas.” Not much to go on, but it sounds like there has not been much change (evolution) between Chororapithecus and living gorillas. Continue reading Evolution data shows no sign of evolution – again.

Happy New Year

Just wishing those who are following this blog (both of you?) a great 2016. May there be many material and financial blessings for all, health and happiness, peace and good will. May we discover new things, and see old things in new ways, and especially see how science and faith, especially faith in Jesus Christ, have worked together and can continue to work together to bring such blessings to pass.

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You don’t need a formal conspiracy to be unified.

When creationists talk about things such as, how mainstream scientists believe in evolution because of their shared worldviews, or that evolution is specially protected by the scientific establishment, evolutionists seem to get the idea that what creationists have in mind is some sort of global network of conspiracy, or a secret cabal pulling strings. In actuality, it’s simply a matter of common education and the philosophy of naturalism that are built into science today. Science is not itself an objective fact or principle, nor a law or gift from God. It is a human invention, it has been modified over the centuries, and all human activities are prone to human error.  A recent study shows one small way that an area of science can be stifled by an effect that might appear to be conspiratorial if the true cause wasn’t known.

Continue reading You don’t need a formal conspiracy to be unified.

Help! Yourself to bargains at Amazon (and maybe help me, too).

I doubt I can keep this up as just a hobby, so I’m working on making some money on it. I’m not allowed to tell you about one of the ways, but I’m sure Amazon will be happy if I point out the link over on the side that will take you away to their famous online store. I’ve bought quite a few things from Amazon and have been happy with the selection (cheap used books as well as new ones) and speed (not to mention reliability) of shipping. I could probably tie this in with science and how it relates to creationism and evolutionism, but right now I don’t have the time or energy. I think I can add my special affiliate link right here in a way that will open a new tab. If you don’t need to order a Christmas gift or two, you can always have fun looking, although I don’t think I get any money for that. Not sure this is going to work anyway, but at least you can enjoy E-shopping to see all the wonderful things that … oh yes, they’ve got science toys, gadgets, and gizmos, robots and high-tech appliances, TVs, music — did you know Francis Bacon predicted that we would learn to transmit and store music? So go Shop at Amazon.com!

Or first see some of my suggestions (You can still use the link on the side after that, if you want to look for something else).

Another Great Story about Whales

The evolutionary story of how whales came to be is a classic example of how this sort of thing shouldn’t be considered the same as science that studies things we can repeatedly observe and test, even when it seems to be having success.  From Darwin’s speculating that “something like a bear” might have taken up eating stuff in the water for generations until the practice molded them into aquatic creatures, to a scrap piece of skull producing a picture of a paddle-legged swimmer when later discoveries of more extensive fossils showed it really had long, skinny legs and probably never stuck more than its head in the water.

The latest addition to the story is the report on “Fucaia buelli,” a very small whale classified as an “aetiocetid,” one of the extinct kinds of “toothed mysticetes.” Today, mysticetes are all toothless as adults, using the filtering structures known as baleen instead. They are commonly known as baleen whales: right whales, humpback whales, blue whales, and others. Evolutionists were thrilled to find fossils of adult whales with both teeth and baleen, assuming they showed how baleen whales came to be — they evolved from toothed whales that mutated to grow baleen, then they mutated so they lost their teeth. That second stage seems reasonable enough, it’s easy for a mutation to knock out the production of something. But what about that first step? Continue reading Another Great Story about Whales

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Soft Tissues: Hard to stretch over millions of years

When scientists step beyond the proper limits of science, such as the limit of time in which things  have been scientifically observed and recorded, something other than the method of repeatedly observing and testing things will dictate how data is explained. Supernatural events and explanations are by their nature not limited by the limits of nature, so naturally natural philosophers (now called scientists) tend to avoid them. So, whatever we find in nature, most scientists today have to explain without considering what the Bible (or other religious source) says that God (or other supernatural entity) did in the past that might throw off such explanations. Obviously, creating the heavens and the Earth in one swell foop of six days is going to produce things that would take billions of years to form, assuming that natural processes alone could somehow do it.

So there are some things that “Young Earth” scientists have struggled to explain, such as how we can see stars that are billions of light years away. I believe there’s a simple supernatural explanation, but there are a number of (more or less) natural explanations that have been proposed. There are other things that mainstream scientists are struggling to show nature can produce, such as the origin of life.   Continue reading Soft Tissues: Hard to stretch over millions of years

Religion antithetical to science? Obviously not …

Notes based on Men of Science — Men of God by Henry M. Morris, copyright 1988, 13th
printing 1997. (with plenty of my own thoughts and recollections added in) I hope they encourage you to look up the book and buy it so you can get the full stories.

 

I think the hardest part was to just note a few of the names and pertinent facts, and not give in to the temptation to copy the whole book. I’m going in chronological order. Anything not in quotes (other than the dates and names) is probably not in the book.

 

A lot of people may not see a lot of significance in these cases, but there are some people who seem to think that religion of any sort or degree is totally incompatible with science. However, it’s also been argued that it was the Christian worldview in which modern science flourished which was primarily responsible for its strength and vigor, and indeed science as we know it may never have formed under other cultural conditions. It seems enough to me to show how many different fields of science were founded by men who were sincere believers, even if some of them had unorthodox religious ideas.  It is also telling that some of the greatest scientists of all  are included in this list.  Some cases seem so significant to me that they could stand alone as refutations of the idea that religious thought is anathema to scientific research and the scientific mind. Perhaps you will feel the same about others.  When I saw the first one, it seemed that alone was “enough said” on the subject, but there were four or five more that seemed to have that status, along with all the other cases, examples of religious scientists spread all across the fields of science and over centuries of time.

Continue reading Religion antithetical to science? Obviously not …

(Image: A relatively close spiral galaxy)

Massive Monsters Mash Models (of universe evolution)

A net friend alerted me to the article “Galactic Monster Mystery Revealed in Ancient Universe” (Nov. 19, 2015, by Ian O’Neill). The “monsters” involved are massive galaxies. There are lots of massive galaxies in the universe. What makes these such monstrous mysteries is that they are very far away, and (given the time it would take light to travel so far) we’re seeing them as they were (or would have been) billions of years ago, so long ago that the earliest are said to be at the stage when the universe was just one billion years old: “This selection of massive galaxies all seem to have formed no earlier than around 1 billion years after the Big Bang;” Continue reading Massive Monsters Mash Models (of universe evolution)

The Cambrian explosion keeps popping…

Two news stories this week add to the bangs of the collection of fossils showing all sorts of living things that have few if any posited fossil-represented ancestors.  This “sudden appearance” haunted Darwin and arguably has gotten worse since. Like Darwin, evolutionists have continued to shrug and guess that for some reason most of evolution didn’t get recorded as fossils. Maybe the animals were too soft, maybe the water chemistry was wrong, maybe this, maybe that. After more than 150 years, how long does a supposedly scientific theory get a pass on bringing forth evidence for it’s greater part?  How can it be called an evidence-based theory, when belief in the theory has held in spite of this great lack of evidence for so long? It might be different if new fossils appeared to be making some dent in the problem (or it might be called too little, too late), but instead new fossils keep showing quite new (non-intermediate) forms, including features and whole organisms more like modern kinds than were known in these deposits before. Continue reading The Cambrian explosion keeps popping…

There’s no standoff if you think clearly

A response to “The Creation-Evolution Standoff” by Paul Arnold in “Converge.” ( http://convergemagazine.com/creation-evolution-standoff-14552/ )

 

For someone hoping to emulate Dr. Denis Lamoureux’s statement about being “as clean and as competent with the data in front of me” in order to “actually learn something from those we disagree with,” it’s sad to see Paul Arnold so badly misrepresenting this situation.

“To atheists, religion is oppressive and ill informed. To religious fundamentalists, science is morally bankrupt. ”
How can someone write something like that, and then bemoan the excessively binary way people look at it? What’s really bad, though, is the misrepresentation of religious fundamentalists as anti-science. The issue is about creation vs evolution, and while the atheists’ view of religion is essentially immaterial to that, the portrayal of religious fundamentalists as anti-science rather than anti-naturalistic philosophy is a symptom of the central problem. As it comes down to, later in the article, the question is, do we put our faith in God and his ability to communicate with us, or in men and their ability to divine the past from circumstantial evidence, and re-interpret what the Bible plainly says? Continue reading There’s no standoff if you think clearly