Archive of items from Evidence News

Global flood didn’t happen, claim BioLogos. On the day that Answers in Genesis opened their Ark Encounter (7 July 2016) the theistic evolution organisation BioLogos published an article condemning Answers in Genesis and all young earth creationists, claiming “Young-earth creationist teaching is causing unnecessary harm to the reputation of the Church and creates a stumbling block for people who are considering the Gospel”. In the Common Questions section on their website BioLogos claim (in bold print) “The scientific and historical evidence is now clear: there has never been a global flood that covered the entire earth, nor do all modern animals and humans descend from the passengers of a single vessel”.

In spite of this, they claim in their Ark article: “The story of Noah’s ark and the Flood is an essential part of the Bible’s divine teaching about God, his relationship to creation, and the just punishment that sin deserves. The story points to the magnitude of Christ’s work, saving us from judgement and giving us new life”.

They also have another series of articles entitled “The Flood: Not Global, Barely Local, Mostly Theological”.

BioLogos

Editorial Comment: Wake up BioLogos. If Noah’s Flood did not happen as described in Genesis then it is time for you to fess up and admit it is nothing but a fairy tale, which has no theological significance, and that your teaching undermines everything else the Bible has to say about God as truthful Creator and worldwide Judge, what sin is, and Christ’s saving work.

It is the reality of the past world-wide judgement of the Flood that affirms the reality of future world-wide judgement. Jesus Himself teaches this in his warnings about being ready for the coming of the Son of Man. (Matthew 24:36-44, Luke 17:20-37). The Apostle Peter warns that scoffers will come denying the reality of future judgement by being deliberately ignorant of the fact that “the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished”. (2 Peter 3:5-7).

What a prophecy about BioLogos as they deny the reality of the Flood and do actually give people an excuse to ignore the reality of sin and judgement, and their need for salvation in Christ, who is the real Creator, Judge and Saviour. The Bible is the real history of the real world, and not mere theological theory, or morality tales. (Ref. sceptics, theistic evolution, liberal theology)

Evidence News vol. 16 No. 15
17 August 2016
Creation Research Australia

Great flood in china found, according to articles in BBC News, ScienceDaily and Science (AAAS) News 4 August 2016, Science vol. 353, pp. 579-582, doi: 10.1126/science.aaf0842, and Science Perspective, vol 353 pp538-539, doi: 10.1126/science.aah4040, 5 August 2016. An international team of scientists have found evidence of a massive flood in the Jishi Gorge at the upper reaches of the Yellow River in China. In 2007 Wu Qinglong, from Nanjing Normal University, and colleagues studied “ancient lakebed sediment” in the gorge. They speculated that a lake formed behind a dam created by an earthquake, which had later burst open releasing the water in the lake as an outburst flood.

They also carried out further research on sediment in an archaeological site named Lajia, where a number of cave dwellings had been destroyed by an earthquake and engulfed by a massive flow of sediment, leaving preserved human remains and artefacts so well preserved it is referred to as a Chinese Pompei.

Wu explained: “In July 2008 I suddenly realised that the so-called black sand previously revealed by archaeologists at the Lajia site could be, in fact, the deposits from our outburst flood. The subsequent investigation confirmed this speculation and showed that the sediments from this outburst flood are up to 20m thick, and up to 50m higher than the Yellow River - indicating an unprecedented, devastating flood”. The Lajia remains have been dated by radiocarbon dating to be around 1900 BC.

The researchers suggest their findings fit with the Chinese story of the founding of the Xia imperial dynasty, which was founded by Yu, who earned his right to become the first Emperor after overseeing a program of dredging and canal building that controlled flooding from the Yellow River.

In a commentary article written for Science, David Montgomery a geologist at University of Washington, Seattle wrote: “The timing of the flood, Wu et al. report, coincides with an avulsion that redirected the Yellow River to carve a new course across the North China Plain about 2000 BCE. It would have taken considerable time for a large river to adjust to such a change, and the associated sustained flooding would fall in the right time and place to account for Yu’s story—including the long time it took to control the floodwaters”.

Montgomery went on to comment about the world wide phenomenon of ancient stories of “epic deluges”. However, he quickly dismisses Noah’s Flood. He wrote: “After all, attempts to explain the biblical story of Noah’s Flood not only shaped the early development of geology but later fuelled discoveries refuting the biblically inspired idea that a global flood laid down the world’s sedimentary rocks in the first place. But how many of these ancient stories might actually record regional flood disasters?”

BBC, Science, ScienceDaily

Editorial Comment: The Chinese story of Emperor Yu is about local flooding and water management. The Chinese were brilliant civil engineers, so the findings described above certainly seem to confirm the Yu flood story as real history, but we do need to note the Chinese do not claim the Yu event was about a world-wide flood sent in judgement.

One trend in modern thinking has been to relegate all “flood legends” as purely local memories that have nothing to do with Noah’s Flood, yet almost every culture in the world has legends of a great flood sent by a Supreme Being in judgement on man’s evil, and this flood wiped out all humanity except for those saved by the Supreme Being of the account. Furthermore, the people of these flood judgement stories know this event was different from the local natural disasters that they experience.

There is no doubt that since the time of Noah’s Flood there certainly will have been localised catastrophic floods associated with earthquakes, and the end of the ice age mentioned in Job’s day would certainly have resulted in massive flooding as ice-sheets melted, ice dams burst and massive amounts of water flowed over the land and into the sea. However, these local events cannot be used as an excuse to deny the reality of the Genesis Flood, which is clearly described as a unique world-wide event that inundated all the land surface. (Genesis 7:17-24).

There is also no doubt that the early development of geology was shaped by the Biblical account of Noah’s Flood, and all early geologists started right there, but attempts to refute it exist only in the minds of anti-Christian sceptics, in spite of the evidence. There is undeniable evidence of massive catastrophic flood deposits all over the world, but modern day sceptics insist on interpreting these as separate local events, even when they are far larger than any observed local event. They are happy to have a long series of separate local disasters, but draw the line at one world-wide disaster, largely due to the influence of Darwin’s mentor Charles Lyell who admitted he wanted to “free the science from Moses”. (Charles Lyell, Letter to George Scrope, 14 June 1830).

The fact that modern geologists have followed in Lyell’s footsteps is not due to the evidence – it is mostly due to man’s desire to deny the reason Noah’s Flood was sent, i.e. judgement on human sin. By freeing science from Moses the sceptics are trying to free themselves from the One whom Moses wrote about – Jesus Christ, who is Creator and Judge. Sadly this “freedom” means they also deny the free gift of salvation that Christ offers, because, as Christ Himself warned, “if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?” (John 5:46-47) (Ref. catastrophe, earth science, geomorphology)

Evidence News vol. 16 No. 15
17 August 2016
Creation Research Australia

Hagfish eyes reverse evolution, according to ScienceDaily 2 August 2016 and Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, doi: 10.1098/rspb.2016.1151 3 August 2016. Hagfish are eel-like jawless fish with simple eyes that do not have a lens or eye muscles pigment granules in the retina. As such, hagfish eyes were considered to be an evolutionary intermediate between the primitive eyespots and the complex camera eye of vertebrates. Sarah Gabbott from the University of Leicester explained: “To date models of vertebrate eye evolution focus only on living animals and the blind and ‘rudimentary’ hagfish eye was held-up as critical evidence of an intermediate stage in eye evolution. Living hagfish eyes appeared to sit between the simple light sensitive eye ‘spots’ of non-vertebrates and the sophisticated camera-style eyes of lampreys and most other vertebrates”.

Gabbott and colleagues studied a fossil hagfish from Mazon Creek fossil bed, dated as 300 million years old, and found it had fully formed eyes with a lens and melanosomes (pigment granules) in the retina. The researchers studied the pigment in the retina using mass spectrometry, and found it was melanin – the same pigment found in any living vertebrate retina.

According to ScienceDaily, these findings show “fossil hagfish eyes were well-developed, indicating the ancient animal could see, whereas their living counterparts are completely blind after millions of years of eye degeneration – a kind of reverse evolution”. The scientists concluded, “Our data indicate that the eyes of extant (living) hagfishes are degenerate and are not an appropriate model for the evolutionary assembly of the vertebrate eye”.

Gabbott also commented: “Sight is perhaps our most cherished sense but its evolution in vertebrates is enigmatic and a cause célèbre for creationists. We bring new fossil evidence to bear on an iconic evolutionary problem: the early evolution of the vertebrate eye. We will now scrutinize the eyes of other ancient vertebrate fossils to see if we can finally build a picture of the sequence of events that took place in early vertebrate eye evolution”.

ScienceDaily

Editorial Comment: The eye certainly is enigmatic for evolutionists because evolutionists simply cannot explain how blind chance made a seeing eye. Any picture they build of an evolutionary sequence of eyes is based on faith, not observation, as no-one has seen a simple light sensitive eyespot change into a complex eye, but many have observed the loss of vision by degeneration.

They also face the dilemma that even if evolutionists are able to find vertebrate fossils with primitive eye spots and others with fully formed eyes, it actually does not show that one developed into the other, for it only ever proves palaeontologists can arrange fossils according to their already held belief that simple structures evolved into complex structures.

The research team’s conclusion that hagfish are degenerate is correct, but this is the opposite of evolution. The discovery of a fossil hagfish with a fully formed eye, when living hagfish are blind, fits perfectly with the Biblical history of the world. In the beginning the world was very good, filled with complex, fully formed, functioning creatures, but as the world has degenerated many creatures have lost structures and functions and many have died out altogether.

And don’t miss the line: “Gabbott also commented: “Sight is perhaps our most cherished sense but its evolution in vertebrates is enigmatic and a cause célèbre for creationists””. (Ref. cyclostomes, degeneration, optics)

Evidence News vol. 16 No. 15
17 August 2016
Creation Research Australia

Cuttlefish colour vision theory described in Science (AAAS) News 6 July 2016 and PNAS doi: 10.1073/pnas.1524578113, published online 5 July 2016. Cuttlefish, octopuses and squid, collectively called cephalopods, can rapidly change colour to match different surroundings, and they also signal to one another using colour changes. This has intrigued scientists because their eyes only have one kind of light sensitive protein, which means they should not be able to see colour. So how do they know the colour of their surroundings, or communicate using colour?

A biologist from University of California, Berkeley, and a physicist from Harvard University have come up with an intriguing theory. Each colour in the visible spectrum is a different wavelength of light, and when light passes through a lens the different wavelengths are bent at slightly different angles, which means they do not focus on exactly the same plane. This effect is called chromatic aberration, and the researchers suggest cephalopods can determine colours by rapidly changing focus and sensing the different wavelengths as they went in and out of focus. The chromatic aberration effect would be enhanced by the oddly shaped off-centre pupils that cephalopods have.

To test their theory the scientist designed a computer model which showed “how chromatic aberration can be exploited to obtain spectral (colour) information, especially through non-axial pupils that are characteristic of coleoid cephalopods”. They claim their model offers “a possible solution to the apparent paradox of vivid chromatic behaviours in colour blind animals”.

Science News

Editorial Comment: Don't miss it! Such a dynamic method of seeing colour would only work if the animal’s brain was set up to interpret the changing focus, which is why the scientists had to use a well-designed pre-programmed computer model to see if it could work. Computer models only work because a creative software designer ‘made’ a program to interpret the information collected by the eye.

If this is how cephalopods see colour it would explain another characteristic of the cephalopod eye – the arrangement of cells in its retina. In the invertebrate cephalopod eye the photoreceptors are in the front layer of the retina, which is the opposite of a vertebrate eye, which has its photoreceptors at the back. For many years sceptics, such as Richard Dawkins have held up the vertebrate eye as an example of something that had to be an accident of evolution because an intelligent designer would never put the photoreceptors behind other layers of cells. To reinforce their point the sceptics held up the cephalopod eye as an example of evolution getting it right (e.g. “Denton vs squid; the eye as suboptimal design”, Panda’s Thumb website). However, recent research on the vertebrate retina has revealed there are specialised cells in their retina that function like fibre-optic cables and convey light through the layers of the retina, without loss, and these cells also correct chromatic aberration before the light gets to their photoreceptors.

If invertebrate cephalopods use chromatic aberration to see colour then they don’t want to have it corrected before the light gets to their photo receptors, as they need to see light after it has been bent, but before it passes through any other cells. Therefore, cephalopod photoreceptors need to be at the front, i.e. the opposite of vertebrates.

The researchers admitted there needs to be more research on cephalopod vision, and we await the results with interest. Whatever they find, we predict it will confirm all previous research: that eyes and brains are the brilliant creations of the ultimate optical engineer and software designer – Jesus Christ the Creator. (Ref. optics, molluscs, vision)

Evidence News vol. 16 No. 15
17 August 2016
Creation Research Australia

Sharks swim sideways according to reports in New Scientist 27 July 2016 and Nature Communications doi:10.1038/ncomms12289, 26 July 2016. Hammerhead sharks are well known for their strange head shape, but they also have unusual fins. Most sharks have longer pectoral fins than dorsal fins. They use their pectoral fins to stop themselves from sinking, while their dorsal fins facilitate quick turns and other manoeuvres.

An international group of scientists noted that hammerhead sharks have larger dorsal fins than pectoral fins, so they studied how hammerhead sharks swim by tagging sharks with accelerometer loggers, which keep track of body orientation as the shark swims, along with video recordings of the sharks. They also made a scale model of a shark and tested it in a wind tunnel to measure the forces acting on it at various orientations.

They found “Tagged wild sharks spend up to 90% of time swimming at roll angles between 50° and 75°, and hydrodynamic modelling shows that doing so reduces drag—and in turn, the cost of transport—by around 10% compared with traditional upright swimming”. They went on to comment: “Employment of such a strongly selected feature for such a unique purpose raises interesting questions about evolutionary pathways to hydrodynamic adaptations, and our perception of form and function”.

New Scientist, Nature Communications

Editorial Comment: Here is a classic case of the misuse of words such as selection and adaptation to prop up the idea that evolution gave this shark its efficient form of swimming. Forgive our repetition, but something can only be “strongly selected” if it already exists. Selection cannot change an upright swimming shark into a side swimming shark. Selection is not a creative process. At best it can maintain useful features, at worst it results in death of creatures that do not have features needed to live in a particular environment.

The long dorsal fin and angled swimming are not “adaptations”. Adaptation is the inbuilt genetic ability to alter structures and functions in response to changing needs. No-one has seen a shark change its fins or swimming action from a horizontal swimming shark with shorter dorsal fin to the fins and action of the hammerhead.

In fact, the fins and swimming action are design features that only work because they were built in from the beginning by the Creator, who made the whole creature with the right fins and the nervous system control needed to swim in this unique way. So note our prediction: The questions about pathways to hydrodynamic adaptations may be interesting, but will never be answered by evolution. (Ref. fish, locomotion, biomechanics)

Evidence News vol. 16 No. 15
17 August 2016
Creation Research Australia

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