Archive for the Creation/Evolution Category

Dark Matter and Dark Energy Not Needed After All?

Posted in Creation/Evolution on November 19, 2011 by Dave

Big Bang Cosmology is broken! And a couple of physicists have the fix.  Interestingly, one is a young earth creationist and the other is an Israeli.  Just as Newtonian physics was inadequate for explaining the motion of Mercury and other phenomena, so the failure of Big Bang cosmology calls for a New Physics, based on the “Cosmological Special Relativity” of the late Moshe Carmeli. In this fascinating book (2007), Dr. John Hartnett explains how prior to 1915 astronomers proposed ‘dark matter’ or possibly a hidden planet (Vulcan) to explain the slightly anomalous orbit of Mercury. But in 1915, with the publication of Einstein’s general theory of relativity, this problem was solved. In fact, Einstein was able to calculate exactly the 43 arcseconds that had previously been measured. This meant that ‘dark matter’ was unnecessary and all that had been lacking was new, correct physics.

Fast forward to the early 21st century and we have a similar problem when contemplating the universe. Continue reading

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Shapiro Buries Naturalism

Posted in Creation/Evolution on July 24, 2011 by Dave

Shapiro is awesome! James Shapiro that is – bacterial geneticist at the University of Chicago. Two of his papers are a MUST read for anyone wanting to put the final nail in the coffin of naturalism. First, there is his 1997 paper, “A Third Way” – read the whole thing. It’s short and laymen like me can understand it. Secondly his 2010 paper, “Mobile DNA and Evolution in the 21st Century.” Read the conclusion. It’s all you need. Now let me whet your appetite … From “Third Way” …

Localized random mutation, selection operating “one gene at a time” (John Maynard Smith’s formulation), and gradual modification of individual functions are unable to provide satisfactory explanations for the molecular data, no matter how much time for change is assumed. There are simply too many potential degrees of freedom for random variability and too many interconnections to account for.

It has been a surprise to learn how thoroughly cells protect themselves against precisely the kinds of accidental genetic change that, according to conventional theory, are the sources of evolutionary variability.

(3) Mobile Genetic Elements and Natural Genetic Engineering. The second major lesson of molecular studies into the origins of genetic change is that all cells possess multiple biochemical agents for natural genetic engineering–processes that include the cutting and splicing of DNA molecules into new sequence arrangements.

In other words, genetic change can be massive and non-random.

The point of this discussion is that our current knowledge of genetic change is fundamentally at variance with neo-Darwinist postulates.  We have progressed from the Constant Genome, subject only to random, localized changes at a more or less constant mutation rate, to the Fluid Genome, subject to episodic, massive and non-random reorganizations capable of producing new functional architectures. Inevitably, such a profound advance in awareness of genetic capabilities will dramatically alter our understanding of the evolutionary process. Nonetheless, neo-Darwinist writers like Dawkins continue to ignore or trivialize the new knowledge and insist on gradualism as the only path for evolutionary change. Continue reading

Sir Isaac Newton, the 25 Inch Sacred Cubit and Noah’s Ark

Posted in Creation/Evolution, Genesis Flood on January 25, 2011 by Dave

“That the sacred Cubit was very large, appears from the Jewish Calamus or Reed, which contained but six of these Cubits; and from the antiquity of this Cubit, since Noah measured the Ark with it;” –Sir Isaac Newton [1]

“It is agreeable to reason to suppose, that the Jews, when they passed out of Chaldea, carried with them into Syria the Cubit which they had received from their ancestors. This is confirmed both by the dimensions of Noah’s ark preserv’d by tradition in this Cubit, and by the agreement of this Cubit with the two Cubits, which the Talmudists say were engrav’d on the sides of the city Susan during the empire of the Persians, and that one of them exceeded the sacred Cubit half a Digit, the other a whole Digit … The Roman Cubit therefore consists of 18 Unciæ, and the sacred Cubit of 25 3/5 Unciæ of the Roman Foot” –Sir Isaac Newton [2]

“The 25 inch cubit is found in ancient Egypt, Assyria, Persia, Syria, and probably in Greece, varying from 25.1 to 25.4. In modern Persia, Arabia, Greece, Candia, Algiers, and Italy, a pic or braccio of the same length is found, varying from 25.0 to 25.3. The possibility of this widespread unit having some connection with the Chinese foot (the double of which is 25.18 +/- .04) and with the North American mound builders’ foot (1/2 of 25.20 +/- .04) should not be disregarded; though farther evidence, beyond these very close resemblances, is needed to prove a connection. Don Quiepo also connects with it the Japanese inc 75.21–i.e., 3 x 25.07. … The Egyptian form of this cubit is probably nearest to the original, as being the oldest that we have, and this gives 25.10. This is well known as the sacred Hebrew, Royal Persian, and Chaldean cubit, mentioned by Newton, Golius, Kelly, Quiepo and Oppert.” –Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie [3]

Answers in Genesis is building an ark.  A full size one!  See this link. I think this is a fantastic project and will be a tremendous educational tool. When I heard about the project, I checked to see what size cubit they were planning to use and it appears that the current plan is to use what some refer to as the Royal Egyptian cubit of around 20.7 inches. Make no mistake, AiG’s ark will be impressive at ~500 ft long if they use this cubit. But what if the cubit Noah used was really ~25 inches as the opinion of Sir Isaac Newton appears to be? Wow. That would make AiG’s ark 625 feet long! Even more impressive!

What is the evidence? Well, first we have Sir Isaac Newton’s research in which he makes the statements listed above. He lists 6 evidences from ancient literature supporting his belief that the sacred cubit was close to 25 inches long. Continue reading

Did DNA Copying Errors Create Systems for Preventing DNA Copying Errors?

Posted in Creation/Evolution on September 12, 2010 by Dave

I recently studied DNA replication and was amazed to find out that all free living organisms have astoundingly sophisticated DNA copying error correction systems. And it’s not just higher organisms that have these systems. Even the lowliest bacteria has a highly sophisticated system. Bacteriologist James Shapiro writes …

The first point is to recognize that bacteria are far more sophisticated than human beings at controlling complex operations. The fast-growing bacterial cell is the ultimate just in time production facility. When an E. coli cell divides every 20 minutes, exquisitely reliable coordination has been achieved for hundreds of millions of biochemical reactions and biomechanical events. E. coli cells replicate their DNA at almost 4000 base-pairs per second but have an error frequency of far less than one nucleotide misincorporation per every genome duplication (2 X 4.6 million base pairs duplicated every 40 minutes; Cooper & Helmstetter, 1968; http://www.genome.wisc.edu/index.html). This incredible precision is accomplished not by rigid mechanical precision but rather by using two layers of expert error monitoring and correction systems: (1) exonuclease proofreading in the polymerase itself, which catches and corrects over 99.9% of all mistakes as soon as they are made (Kunkel & Bebenek, 2000), and (2) the methyl-directed mismatch repair (MMR) system, which subsequently detects and fixes over 99% of any errors that escaped the exonuclease (Modrich, 1991). Together, this multilayered proofreading system boosts the 99.999% precision of the polymerase to over 99.99999999%. At both stages of the error correction process, detailed molecular analysis has clarified the distinct roles of sensory and repair components. In the case of the MMR system, the sophistication is even more impressive because the molecules discriminate newly replicated from old DNA so that they only correct the newly synthesized strand (Radman & Wagner, 1988). Link to paper

I also investigated viruses and found that some viruses probably do have some sort of error correction systems and one virus researcher I queried said she believes that ALL viruses probably have some sort of error correction system.

Anyway, I got to thinking about error correction and evolution and it seems rather odd to me that the very thing that supposedly created all of life on earth — random mutations in DNA — is vigorously guarded against by the cell. All cells on planet earth are working very hard to prevent the very thing that supposedly created them!! Think about that!! If that isn’t evidence against the non-ID view of Origins then I don’t know what is.

Anyway, I presented this information at the TalkRational.org forum where a number of professional scientists gather to debate Creation vs. Evolution issues. One of them, a virologist, agreed that genomes larger than about 15kb (kilobases) wouldn’t be viable without error correction. He believes, obviously, that error correction systems had to evolve at some point in life’s history therefore he believes that there would have had to be a time in history when there were NO organisms with error correction systems. The problem with this view is that the only organisms alive today that (perhaps) don’t have error correction systems are viruses with genomes smaller than about 15kb. But viruses  cannot replicate without a host (i.e. a much more complex genome which would have required error correction).  So we have a problem.  This virologist can only believe — on faith — that there must have been some sort of free living ancient organism with a genome smaller than 15kb that could somehow self replicate. But there is absolutely no evidence available to us that any such organism ever existed.  And of course nothing remotely close to such organism exists today.

So which is more likely? That such a fantasy organism (shall we call it a virusoid?)  DID exist contrary to all known facts?  Or that an Outside Intelligence created life? Well … I pick the latter because that view is based on actual experience, i.e. we have experienced Higher Intelligences (humans) creating complex entities.  Fantasy Organisms like “virusoids”, flying horses, mermaids and centaurs are well … Fantasies.  Link to Talk Rational Discussion on this topic.

RATE Carbon 14 Study Withstands Scrutiny

Posted in Creation/Evolution, Genesis Flood on June 1, 2010 by Dave

“… Baumgardner’s coal samples do show significant radiocarbon above background, inviting explanation.” –Dr. Kirk Bertsche, AMS Expert  At left: Accelerator mass spectrometer (AMS) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (From Wikipedia)

The RATE team from Institute for Creation Research has produced some very interesting physical evidence for a young earth … one of their experiments involves measuring Carbon 14 in coal.  To make a long story short, there shouldn’t be any Carbon 14 in coal that is supposedly 300 million years old.  BUT … there is and Dr. Baumgardner and his colleagues were alert enough to notice.   Link here to Dr. Baumgardner’s paper.  Paul Giem of GRISDA did a literature survey of studies in which “too much” carbon 14 was found.  This prompted the RATE team to do their own experiment and sure enough … they found carbon 14 which was significantly above background.  Dr. Baumgardner argues that the C14 is intrinsic but of course Old Earthers say it’s not.  What are the Old Earth explanations?   Dr. Bertsche in his article at Talk Origins has suggested mobile humic acids, microbial growth and neutron bombardment.  Kathleen Hunt in her article at Talk Origins says …

The short version: the 14C in coal is probably produced de novo by radioactive decay of the uranium-thorium isotope series that is naturally found in rocks (and which is found in varying concentrations in different rocks, hence the variation in 14C content in different coals). Research is ongoing at this very moment.

(The fungi/bacteria hypothesis [that 14C in coal is produced by modern microorganisms currently living there –Ed.] may also be plausible, but would probably only contribute to inflation of 14C values if coal sits in warm damp conditions exposed to ambient air. [It wasn’t — read Baumgardner’s paper on how the samples were handled] There is also growing evidence that bacteria are widespread in deep rocks, but it is not clear that they could contribute to 14C levels. But they may contribute to 13C.)

So, it looks like in-situ production of new 14C is the best-supported hypothesis;

So this appears to be the leading Old Earth Hypothesis but Dr. Bertsche failed to mention in his article that Dr. Baumgardner had already thought of this hypothesis and had calculated the amount of Carbon 14 this would produce.  His calculations showed that the amount of C14 produced would be 4 orders of magnitude too small.  I challenged people at the Talk Rational forum to show that Dr. Baumgardner’s calculations are wrong and several people tried including Dr. Bertsche.  Here is what he wrote recently …

“When I do the above [calculations on neutron bombardment of 14N to produce 14C in coal] on the back of an envelope, I get a 14C abundance that is too low by about 3 orders of magnitude. LINK HERE.

So the two are very close.  Dr. Bertsche has come back today (6/1/10) saying that this is not conclusive and “in situ” contamination is not ruled out.  That’s fine, Dr. Bertsche, if you think it’s not conclusive … you are welcome to keep trying with the calculations.  As for “in situ” contamination, don’t you think your friend Dr. Gove has considered those other sources of contamination?  Why else would he think that in-situ production of new 14C is the best-supported hypothesis?  If Old Earthers would stop ignoring the Elephant in the Living Room — the Global Flood, SOOO many things would be easier to explain … like the bazillions of fossils all over the world which require rapid burial to be preserved, like global sedimentary rock layers, the short history of civilization, legends of a global flood from around the world and so on.  Oh … and Carbon 14 in coal that shouldn’t be there.

Common Ancestry Makes No Sense in the Light of Viruses

Posted in Creation/Evolution on December 13, 2009 by Dave

A new giant virus has been discovered and the researchers say something rather surprising about Darwin’s theory.

“There is a mechanism of permanent creation going on in amoeba producing a new repertoire of viruses and predisposing giant viruses to become pathogens once they specialise”, Raoult said.

He said the mechanism was not foreseen by Charles Darwin’s theory that life comes from a common ancestor.

“The idea of a common ancestor makes no sense in the light of viruses,” he said.

“That was Darwin’s idea, but he was clearly wrong.”

Rest of article can be found here … http://www.physorg.com/news179588551.html

Nifty Virus Nano-Motor Discovered

Posted in Creation/Evolution on January 10, 2009 by Dave

Thanks to Michael Behe, everyone knows about flagellar motors, but how about VIRUS motors. Whoa. Virus motors? Enjoy …

Clockwork That Drives Powerful Virus Nanomotor Discovered

ScienceDaily — Dec. 31, 2008 — Peering at structures only atoms across, researchers have identified the clockwork that drives a powerful virus nanomotor.

Because of the motor’s strength–to scale, twice that of an automobile–the new findings could inspire engineers designing sophisticated nanomachines. In addition, because a number of virus types may possess a similar motor, including the virus that causes herpes, the results may also assist pharmaceutical companies developing methods to sabotage virus machinery.

Researchers from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., and the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., collaborated on the study that appears in the Dec. 26, 2008, issue of the journal Cell.