Archive of items from Evidence News

Snails pollinate smart plants, according to Annals of Botany blog, 5 July 2016. A plant named Volvulopsis nummularium, a low growing plant of the convolvulus family, has short lived flowers, which open in the morning and only last for about half a day. It is pollinated by bees, but if it is raining and bees are not out foraging, then the flowers would not be pollinated. However, it turns out the flowers are also pollinated by a snail named the Graceful Awl Snail, which is out and about in rainy, but not in dry weather.

According to Nigel Chaffey, a botanist who wrote the blog post, “The advantage of dual pollinators is that the snails are able to mediate this important process on rainy days when the bees are not active, and vice versa. Continuity of pollination regardless of the weather, that’s a smart move on the plant’s part”.

AoB Blog

Editorial Comment: How about that – snails actually do something useful! There had to be some good in them somewhere, although this editor has very little time for snails after having my flower seedlings ravaged by snails. However, God said that everything He created was very good and that had to include snails.

Both editors of this newsletter love plants, but even the most ardent plant lover has to admit it is not the plants that are smart enough to co-opt the snails for fertilisation. It is the Designer of the plant/bee/weather/snail system who is smart. He created the plants, along with two pollinators who are able to complement one another, and make a workable system that benefits all involved.

Furthermore, in the first world that had no rain, but only an early mist, both bees and snails had fair go at assisting the plant in return for benefit to themselves (see Gen 1-2). The down side now lies in facing the fact that it is only since human sin brought God’s judgement that snails and other pests as well as the weather have got out of sync. (Ref. botany, pollination, malacology)

Evidence News vol. 16 No. 14
27 July 2016
Creation Research Australia

Bear diet extinction theory reported by Science (AAAS) News, 1 July 2016. European cave bears, Ursus spelaeus, once inhabited northern Europe from Britain to Russia and were depicted on cave walls. However, they are now extinct, yet other bears have survived to this day.

Looking for clues to their extinction, two scientists from University of Helsinki have examined the molars of lower jaws of cave bears and other Northern Hemisphere bears, and studied the pattern of ridges and cross ridges on the molars. They found the cave bear teeth had the most complex teeth, and there was considerable variation between individual bears.

The scientists suggest the complex teeth are signs of a strict vegetarian diet, and the huge variation shows high environmental stress. Both factors could have led to their extinction during the ice age.


Editorial Comment: Now put this into the Biblical history of the world. In the beginning people and all animals were vegetarian, but after Noah’s flood God gave permission to eat meat. The post flood diet provision (Gen 8:22 - 9:6) mentions the coming of winter and we are also informed later that by Job’s day ice, snow and hail are on the planet. Total vegetarians would have had a hard time surviving in many places.

Brown bears today eat mainly plant food, including berries, fruit, seeds, bulbs and tubers, but supplement this with river fish, which are very nutritious and full of protein. If brown bears cannot get enough protein and other nutrients they will eat beetles and other insects, worms and even small mammals. They will also scavenge human food.

Ice age Europe would certainly have been a tough environment and any animal the size of a cave bear would have had a hard time finding enough nutritious plant food. The result would have been a trend to scavenging, carnivory, and even cannibalism, so environmental stress added to any inability to adapt their diet would certainly contribute to the bears’ demise.

One cave this editor has visited, where there are large numbers of cave bear bones, reveals that bears trapped in the cave by a landslide ate each other till finally the biggest one died last of all.

But there is also another factor – the human beings who left such graphic evidence of the bears on the cave walls, probably killed off quite a few for warm fur as well as a food source for themselves. (Ref. diet, nutrition, teeth, adaptation)

Evidence News vol. 16 No. 14
27 July 2016
Creation Research Australia

New dinosaur tumour found, according to ScienceDaily 5 July 2016 and Scientific Reports, doi: 10.1038/srep29271. A group of scientists from USA, UK and Romania have studied the jaws of a small dinosaur named Telmatosaurus transsylvanicus, a type of hadrosaur, or “duck billed dinosaur”. As its species name suggests, it was found in Transylvania, in rocks of the Haţeg County Dinosaurs Geopark, dated as 67-69 million years ago.

The lower jaw had bony excrescence on the left side, which they studied using a CT scan. The researchers concluded the dinosaur had a tumour known as an ameloblastoma. This is a benign, i.e. non-cancerous, growth originating from tooth-forming cells. Although it is not cancer, it can weaken the bone, and if allowed to grow would cause pain and dysfunction. The jaw is quite small and the researchers suggest the dinosaur died before reaching adult size, even though the tumour would not have killed it.

The researchers suggest the facial deformity resulting from the tumour may have made it more likely to be attacked by predators. Zoltán Csiki-Sava, of University of Bucharest, explained: “We know from modern examples that predators often attack a member of the herd that looks a little different or is even slightly disabled by a disease. The tumour in this dinosaur had not developed to its full extent at the moment it died, but it could have indirectly contributed to its early demise”.

Other tumours have been found in dinosaur bones, but this is the first of this type of tumour to be found.


Editorial Comment: Now here is a challenge for those who call themselves Bible believing Christians, but believe that dinosaurs lived and died millions of years before human beings came into the world. It would make this discovery evidence of disease, suffering and death millions of years prior to man, which is simply not compatible with God’s statement that He made all things and everything He made, which has to include dinosaurs, was very good (Genesis 1:31).

The Bible clearly states that death, disease, suffering and struggle came into the world as a result of man’s sin and God’s judgement on man’s sin (Romans 5:12-21, and Romans 8:20-22). To be true to Scripture, you have to admit any dinosaurs found with tumours, arthritis, disease and traumatic damage, must have lived after Adam sinned, and therefore the rocks they are found in are not more than 60 million years old, but younger than Adam. Take note Moore College, John Walton, Alexander, Lennox, and Ravi, et. al. (Ref. reptiles, disease, neoplasm)

Evidence News vol. 16 No. 14
27 July 2016
Creation Research Australia

Dark matter failure reported in Science (AAAS) News and Science Daily 21 July 2016. An international group of physicists and astrophysicists have just completed a 20 month search for dark matter, described in ScienceDaily as “the missing matter of the universe” by looking for weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPS), “the leading theoretical candidate for a dark matter particle”.

The researchers built and operated a detector named the Large Underground Xenon (LUX) located deep underground in an old gold mine in South Dakota. The detector consists of 370 kilograms of cold liquid xenon surrounded by highly sensitive instruments that detect signals emitted when a WIMP collides with a xenon atom. According to dark matter theory, millions of these pass through us and everything else on earth every second.

However after running the experiment for 20 months scientists had to report: “With this final result from the 2014-2016 run, the scientists of the LUX Collaboration have pushed the sensitivity of the instrument to a final performance level that is 4 times better than originally expected. It would have been marvellous if the improved sensitivity had also delivered a clear dark matter signal. However, what we have observed is consistent with background alone”.

The Science News article summarised this result more bluntly: “The latest, most sensitive search for particles of dark matter—the bizarre invisible stuff in which our galaxy appears to be embedded—has come up empty”.

In spite of this, scientists are continuing the search for WIMPS and another experiment named LZ using a much greater amount of liquid xenon is being set up. Natalie Roe of Berkeley commented: “With the successful completion of LUX, we are now focused on the success of LZ, which we hope will produce a dramatic discovery”.

The Science News article commented: “Meanwhile, physicists’ enthusiasm for WIMPs may be cooling—not just because they haven’t found them yet, but also because experimenters working with the world’s biggest atom smasher, Europe’s Large Hadron Collider, have yet to blast such particles into existence, as theory suggests it should”.

Science, ScienceDaily

Editorial Comment: This theoretical dark matter, along with dark energy, neither of which can be seen, but current theory contends that the vast majority of matter and energy in the universe consists of dark matter and dark energy.

The search for WIMPS has actually been going on for many years, but each time the sensitivity of the detectors and length of the experiment are increased, they still get no results. Therefore, they are still living in hope for a “dramatic discovery”.

We admire their faith and hope, but we predict it will be false hope because it is based on the theories of scientists who weren’t there at the beginning, rather than the revelation of the creator God who was, and worse than that, it excludes God totally.

We reported one of the early dark matter experiments in 2004. At that time we wrote: “Instead of concentrating their efforts on mysterious matter and energy that can’t be seen, physicists would do better to concentrate on the matter and energy that can be seen, and take note of the
record left by the Creator who made matter and energy”. (See “No WIMPS Down Iron Mine” here.)

We haven’t changed our message, and neither has God, who stated He created the heavens and the earth, and all the heavenly bodies and put them into their appropriate places to indicate signs, times and seasons. (Ref. Astrophysics, cosmology)

Evidence News vol. 16 No. 14
27 July 2016
Creation Research Australia

Chameleon tongue glue found, according to Science (AAAS) News 20 June 2016, and ABC News and ScienceDaily 21 June 2016. Chameleons are able to shoot out and extend their tongues at a very rapid rate in order to capture food. However, the tongue has to then hold onto the food as it is pulled back into the animal’s mouth – a movement that is almost as fast as the shooting out, and could easily drop the captured prey.

Various theories have been suggested for how the chameleon keeps hold of its food, including a suction effect or a sticky glue on the end of the tongue. It seems the sticky glue theory is right. When a group of scientists from France and Belgium tested the prey capturing ability of the chameleon tongue, they measured the viscosity of chameleon tongue mucus and found it is as thick and sticky as honey – about 400 times as thick as human saliva.

They concluded the ability to hold onto prey was a combination of extremely sticky mucus and the tongue being deformed to make a large surface area of contact with the prey. This enables the chameleon to hold onto prey that is up to 30% of its body weight.

ABC, Science News, ScienceDaily

Editorial Comment: Did you also know some chameleons use their strong sticky tongue for dislodging and holding onto berries, along with leaves and flowers? Not surprising really, as Genesis tells us that all creatures were originally plant eaters.

This is also a good example of how evolution cannot build a creature one step at a time, and keep it functioning through all the generations it would take to change a lizard with an ordinary tongue into a chameleon with a long fast acting extensible tongue tipped with ultra-sticky glue. Without the glue a slow or a rapid fire extensible tongue is of no use regardless of whether it eats fruit or insects. Being unable to hang onto its food is not going to change the genes that control the composition of saliva. It would simply result in the animal dying as it tried to catch food which would only drop off before the food got to its mouth.

Creation by a Designer who made the whole animal to function straight away is a much better explanation.

Chameleons today mostly eat insects, which are fairly light weight, so a tongue that can hold onto food up to 30% of its body weight seems like over-engineering since the insects are way below its maximum load, whereas fruit isn’t. In the original very good world that God created plant food was plentiful, nutritious and large. After the environment was devastated by Noah’s flood, God gave permission for people to eat meat, and animals, knowing what nutrients they needed to survive resorted to whatever they could catch. Chameleons could catch and eat insects only because they already had rapid fire tongues with premade strong glue. (Ref. diet, reptiles, biochemistry)

Evidence News vol. 16 No. 13
13 July 2016
Creation Research Australia