Category Archives: “News” Comments

Comments on relevant and interesting news articles, starting September 2015

Scientifically confirmed: The universe is not a box of rocks

When science began to expand beyond its proper, logical limits, a large part of the motivation for doing so seems to have been a desire to eliminate the perceived uncertainty of a world where supernatural things sometimes happened. It doesn’t seem to have been an atheistic impulse, as some proponents made it clear they were trying to “save” Christianity and/or belief in God. For some people, the lack of genuine miracles in recent history and the success of science (known as natural philosophy at the time) in explaining the natural workings of the natural world made it seem unlikely that miracles had ever happened. Perhaps God had divinely created the Earth, but after that surely He maintained the laws of nature that He had created without violation.  Even centuries later, Lyell, the main proponent of interpreting geology as the product of uninterrupted natural processes over vast ages,  rejected the idea that humans had evolved from animals, although he was a friend of Darwin and his work had inspired and provided the basis for Darwin’s theory.

So for about two hundred years or more, as far as many were concerned, the universe could be likened to a box of rocks of different sizes, all behaving in simple, ordinary ways. Dalton’s atomic theory (similar to the ancient Greek idea) emphasized that even liquids and gasses were made of tiny, distinct bits of matter. Not only was there no room for miracles like Noah’s flood, there wasn’t even anything the least bit strange, no sign that there was anything more to reality. It is no wonder that full-fledged atheism began to grow and be endorsed publicly. With the widespread acceptance of Darwin’s theory in the late 1800s, it began to look as if scientists were about to lay to rest the last great mysteries and leave nothing for future researchers but to fill in the details  Continue reading Scientifically confirmed: The universe is not a box of rocks

Life is funny — I mean, the way some evolutionists think about life is funny.

Normally when I comment on a new article, I simply have some doubts and questions and a different way of looking at things, but sometimes I see articles that seem so funny to me I’m afraid my response will offend some people… but please excuse me if I can’t help it in a case like this:

“Life Started On Earth 300 Million Years Earlier Than We Thought”

This is the title of an article from the Huffington Post ( http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/earth-age-carbon-study_562688dfe4b02f6a900e2320?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592 )

It’s based on a scientific report that isn’t so funny itself, but this presentation for public consumption has this side-splitting subtitle or lead-in quote: “Life on Earth may have started almost instantaneously. With the right ingredients, life seems to form very quickly.” Yup, just throw a bunch of cosmic dust around a baby star until it balls up into a planet, maybe has some of those basic amino acids, the “building blocks of life” mixed in, and POOF! there’s your life for you! Just like magic! Practically a miracle… whoops, I mean, perfectly natural, of course. Must be happening all the time… well, somewhere, out there with all those other planetary systems forming. Of course, in this context, “almost instantaneously” and “very quickly” refers to several hundred million years. Then again, the processes taking place in most of that time could be said to have little direct relevance to the formation of life.  If you’re going to believe that raw chemicals came together and became a living thing all on their own, you may as well believe it happened quickly. But what’s behind this bold pontification?  Continue reading Life is funny — I mean, the way some evolutionists think about life is funny.

Hair is hair, for as long as it’s been here.

Today I’ve been studying about the oldest-dated fossil mammal hair. (http://news.yahoo.com/cretaceous-fur-ball-ancient-mammal-spiky-hair-discovered-132251323.html
“Cretaceous Fur Ball: Ancient Mammal With Spiky Hair Discovered”
from LiveScience.com, By Elizabeth Palermo, 10/16/2015 (updated at 3:52 p.m. EDT)

Surprise, it’s not from China! Spain has a very excellent fossil site, the Las Hoyas quarry. Back in 2011, they dug up a fossil now called Spinolestes xenarthrosus. Now a report has been published in the October 14th Nature, and LiveScience had this article about it (repeated by Yahoo). Major take-away quote:

You may think that, over the course of 125 million years, the process by which mammalian hair grows would have changed somehow, but that’s not the case, Luo said. The bones of Spinolestes, which was about the size of a small rat, are proof that ancient mammals grew hair the same way as modern mammals do.

Continue reading Hair is hair, for as long as it’s been here.

NPR admits existence is a mystery

All too often, scientists and others give the impression that we know very nearly all the answers to the major questions, and there’s little left except filling in the details. This was a widespread attitude in the late 1800s, too, about the same time that Darwin’s theory became widely adopted. Soon after, physical science took some strange new turns, with Einstein’s General and Special theories of relativity and quantum mechanics. Our “knowledge” of the solar system and universe has increased and undergone some alterations, too. There are still a lot of major mysteries and unresolved discrepancies, so it is very strange that some people seem to think that “Science” has pretty much figured out everything and left no room for the supernatural and religion.

So I found it refreshing to see an article on the NPR website that points out that “There was a big bang and the universe appeared and that’s how we got here” isn’t really settled and the end of the story.  Continue reading NPR admits existence is a mystery

Chinese teeth claimed to alter “Out of Africa” story

Here’s a news story regarding human evolution, or rather, the old-
Earth saga of the wanderings of modern humans. It’s claimed that a
bunch of teeth found in a cave prove that humans left Africa behind
long ago, moved to China, and then spread out from there.

Hmmm, seems there have been a lot of fossils coming out of China with
claims to being the first and best. Several of the key dino-bird
fossils showed up with stories of having been dug up by farmers, and
nobody has found another of the same species since. Is there something
fishy here? Could the Chinese be up to something for the prestige?
There certainly seems to be a note of pride in this quote:

“Our discovery, together with other research findings,
suggests southern China should be the key, central area for the emergence and evolution of modern humans in East Asia,” the study’s co-lead author, Wu Liu, of China’s Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology in Beijing, told Live Science.

Continue reading Chinese teeth claimed to alter “Out of Africa” story

bird dinosaurs - Archaeopteryx fossil

Dinosaur birds were flying like modern birds

While I was researching the story on the oldest fossil shrimp, I noticed another story about one of my favorite subjects, birds that lived with dinosaurs.  The title is “Tiny ancient fossil from Spain shows birds flew over the heads of dinosaurs.” Now, a lot of creationists would read this and imagine robins and bluejays and such, but fossils of modern birds like those aren’t found in the same rock formations as dinosaurs.

It should also be noted that it isn’t news that there were extinct kinds of flying birds that were fossilized in Cretaceous and even Jurassic rocks alongside dinosaurs.

What’s exciting about this find is it provides very strong evidence that the extinct birds in the “early” or deeper Cretaceous layers had wings that were just as complex and well-designed for flying as modern birds’.  Continue reading Dinosaur birds were flying like modern birds

Black Holes, Gravity Waves, and Unending Gaps

First, two news stories.

First up: “Black hole is 30 times bigger than expected” By Amanda Barnett, CNN, Updated 8:04 PM ET, Sat September 26, 2015

“This shouldn’t be possible. Researchers say they’ve detected a supermassive black hole at the center of a newly found galaxy that’s far bigger than current theories allow.” As the title indicates, specifically it’s about 30 times larger than a galaxy the size of the one it’s in should be able to form. Wow.  Not much else to say about it; if you want the details, click on the title to go to the article. As to how this surprise came about, the scientists can only guess: “…it could be that the black hole just grew much faster than the galaxy surrounding it, or maybe the galaxy’s growth was prematurely stopped.” Why or how the black hole would or could grow fast, or what would or could stop the galaxy’s growth, they don’t say.
Continue reading Black Holes, Gravity Waves, and Unending Gaps

A Tale of the (Evolutionary) Tooth Fairy

Here’s a cute one. How do you get animals with a special substance in one part of their body, but not anyplace else? You start with ancestors that had it everyplace else but that part! Sounds like a joke? Take a look at “Fish scales to fangs: Surprising tale of how teeth got their bite” – the Yahoo version of a Reuters report By Will Dunham,  September 23, 2015.
Continue reading A Tale of the (Evolutionary) Tooth Fairy

Instant Rock

We live in an age of “instant” things — instant gratification, instant coffee, instant oatmeal…

Rocks, on the other hand, are supposed to be the epitome of slow. Not only do they not move (or move very slowly via plate tectonics), but they also are supposed to have formed very slowly. But nobody scientifically observed the rocks forming. Therefore, it’s not really rational and scientific to think we know that the Earth must have formed over a long time, or argue that the animals and people coming off Noah’s Ark would have sunk into and drowned in a deep ocean of soft muck that would take a very long time to turn into rock.
Continue reading Instant Rock

Bunostegos: Something weird just got more weird

Today I checked out the report on Bunostegos.  The news article that directed me to it is “Knobby-Faced Beast May Be Earliest Known To Stand Tall On All Fours.” This is a fossil that is grouped with other “parareptiles.” The Huffington post article said they were “pre-reptiles,” but actually they are believed by evolutionists to have evolved separately from true reptiles. Most of their “earliest” fossils appear after those of the “first” true reptile fossils. One exceptionally early parareptile fossil is Erpetonyx arsenaultorum.  That was found in Carboniferous deposits.  The parareptiles included a group that once was thought to be the closest to the ancestors of turtles, but the most recently proposed turtle ancestor, Pappochelys,  belongs to a different group.  Of course, the next new fossil could change that view again.
Continue reading Bunostegos: Something weird just got more weird