Archive of items from Evidence News

Ancient Britons underestimated according to the BBC News 19 August 2015. Archaeologists are revising their view of the first people who lived in Britain. I t had been assumed that the first inhabitants of Britain were hunter-gatherers who were “simple folk, living a brutal hand-to-mouth existence”. However, recent archaeological finds indicate the first people to live in Britain were an “adaptable, culturally rich, and sophisticated people”.

One of the sites is Blick Mead in Wiltshire, not far from Stonehenge. According to the BBC “The quantities of flint tools and animal bones, especially from extinct wild cattle known as aurochs, point to people living here for long periods of time and there being long-term special memories and associations with the place”.

Recent evidence of wheat found in a now submerged site off the south coast also fits with this revised view of ancient British society. The scientists who found the wheat suggest the ancient Britons were trading with people in Europe via a land bridge that linked Britain and mainland Europe.

BBC

Editorial Comment: Come on you evolutionists admit it! This picture of intelligent, adaptable people living in a culturally rich society, and trading with other similar people, is exactly what you would expect from the Biblical history of mankind. Humans were created as fully intelligent creative beings, who were instructed by God to make use of the resources of the earth. Therefore, they could always plant and build, make and use tools, look after animals, and when necessary, hunt animals, and trade with one another, as described in Genesis 1-11.

There is good evidence that most ancient people were highly intelligent and, if anything, we have lost brain power, not gained it. Evidence for this is seen in Cro-magnon Man and Neanderthal Man, who lived in Europe after the Tower of Babel. Both groups had larger brains than our modern day average. They only lived in caves and used stone tools because that was all that was available in the harsh conditions of post-Babel Europe.

The real history of the human race is from Adam downwards, not from ape upwards. (Ref. anthropology, Britain, archaeology, culture, intelligence)

For more on the declining human brain see the slide show Brain Drain here.

Oldest human hand bone found according to New Scientist 18 August 2015 and ABC News in Science 19 August and Nature Communications doi:10.1038/ncomms8987. An international team of scientists led by Manuel Dominguez-Rodrigo from the Institute of Evolution in Africa, in Madrid, Spain, have studied a finger bone found in the Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania. The bone has been named OH 86 and the researchers concluded: “On the basis of several lines of morphometric evidence, as well as qualitative features, we assign OH 86 to the fifth ray of the left hand”. In plain English, this means they carefully measured the bone and studied its shape, and decided it was a bone from the little finger of the left hand. The bone is a proximal phalanx, i.e. the finger bone closest to the knuckle.

The site where the bone was found is dated as 1.8 million years old, making the bone the “earliest modern human-like hand bone” found. According to New Scientist this means “we came down from trees earlier than thought”. Tree dwelling primates have a distinct curve in their finger bones, but this bone is straight. Manuel Dominguez-Rodrigo commented: “This bone belongs to somebody who’s not spending any time in the trees at all”.

According to Brian Richmond of the American Museum of Natural History in New York, “This provides good evidence supporting the hypothesis that, by about 2 million years ago, our early ancestors lost the anatomy linked to our tree-climbing past”. According to the ABC the bone “pushes back in time a key step in the evolution of our forebears from tree-climbing foragers to tool-wielding hunters”.

Dominguez-Rodrigo explained: “Our hand evolved to allow us a variety of grips and enough gripping power to allow us the widest range of manipulation observed in any primate. It is this manipulation capability that interacted with our brains to develop our intelligence, mainly through the invention and use of tools”.

ABC, New Scientist

Editorial Comment: The story about humans coming down from the trees two million years ago is an idea imposed on the evidence, not derived from it. If this bone had been found in a place that had been given a more recent date, no-one would call it a “human-like” bone. It would be recognised for what it is – a genuine human finger bone.

The story about hands evolving and then interacting with our brain to develop intelligence is another piece of evolutionary wishful thinking. Having hands with straight fingers is not going to change any genes that control brain development. Manipulative ability depends on the brain already having the circuits to control hand muscles irrespective of what shape the fingers are. Just ask anyone who has had a stroke and lost use of the part of the brain region that controls the hand. The invention and use of tools requires both brain power and correct hand structure. One does not make the other.

Human ability to invent things and use them creatively is testimony to the fact that both hands and brains were given to us at the same time by the Creator, who is outside us and far greater than us. Therefore, we should use our hands and brains to serve and honour Him. We should follow the example of Moses, who prayed: “May the favour of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us yes, establish the work of our hands”. (Psalm 90:17) (Ref. anthropology, fossils, anatomy, osteology)

For another story on an isolated human bone being assigned to a hypothetical human ancestor see our report Lucy Gets a Bone Graft

Plants call in bats, according to reports in Science Shots 9 July 2015 and ABC News in Science 10 July 2015. Pitcher plants are carnivorous plants that are well known for feeding on insects that fall into a pool of fluid at the base of the pitcher. A few years ago it was discovered that a pitcher plant named Nepenthes hemsleyana is a roosting place for bats. The plant does not harm the bats. They roost in the upper part of the pitcher, where they are well above the digestive enzyme containing fluid in the base of the pitcher. The bats leave their droppings in the pitcher, and these are broken down in the pitcher fluid, providing nutrients for the plant.

Scientists from Germany and Brunei have now found that Nepenthes hemsleyana attracts bats by reflecting the bats’ echolocation signals. The plant pitcher has a concave shaped region at the back of the opening on the pitcher that acts as a sound reflector. For a bat that navigates by reflected sound this would act like a beacon, guiding it to the plant. Otherwise, the plant would be hard to find amongst the dense rainforest where it grows.

According to the ABC article, “The study further adds to the growing body of research showing that plants can solve complex problems without having a brain”. One of the research team Michael Schöner of Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-University of Greifswald explained: “Carnivorous plants in general have already solved the problem of nutrient deficiency in a very unusual way by reversing the ‘normal system’ of animals feeding on plants. It is even more astonishing that in the case of N. Hemsleyana the system is taking a new turn. While N. Hemsleyana reduced many insect-attracting traits, it obviously exhibits some traits that are highly attractive for a species that provides the plants with nutrients without being digested by the plant itself”.

ABC, Science Shots

Editorial Comment: So the thesis is that this “poo-nivorous” plant somehow ‘solved’ its diet problems by changing its shape to attract bats and their poo ... correct? So notice how quickly they skipped the question: “What makes a plant that does not have an acoustic reflector develop it?” Obviously the bats’ acoustic signals will not do anything to alter its growth regulating genes to make the pitcher grow into the right shape.

The comments made by both the researchers and the ABC make it obvious they believe this plant deliberately changed from an insect attracting carnivorous plant to a bat attracting plant. Time to be honest guys: Brain or no brain, the plant is not going to change simply because there are bats in its forest sending out sounds, and brains or no brains, you are not going to get the right answer by leaving God the Creator out, because both plants and bats were designed by the Creator who designed them to work together to the mutual benefit of both. And yes, that means God is outside the plants and bats, and we know you hate things not being under your academic control, and isn’t that what this whole debate is about? (Ref. ecology, botany, mammals, recycling)

Evidence News vol. 15, No. 14
12 August 2015
Creation Research Australia

Languages not out of Africa, according to articles in Ars Technica 28 January 2015 and PNAS, 2015. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1424033112. A group of researchers from Canada and USA have conducted a wide ranging survey of the geographical distribution of human genomes and phonemes (speech sounds). They found that as populations split up and migrate away from one another genetic diversity within the groups decrease. However, languages show the opposite effect – they become more diverse.

This was surprising enough, but the real surprise was that languages did not fit an “out of Africa” pattern. The researchers wrote: “the geographic distribution of phoneme inventory sizes does not follow the predictions of a serial founder effect during human expansion out of Africa. Furthermore, although geographically isolated populations lose genetic diversity via genetic drift, phonemes are not subject to drift in the same way: within a given geographic radius, languages that are relatively isolated exhibit more variance in number of phonemes than languages with many neighbours”.

Ars Technica

Editorial Comment: This is no surprise to us. It is exactly what you would expect from the Biblical record of the origin and dispersion of modern human populations. Genesis tells that all human populations are ultimately derived from the people who gathered at the Tower of Babel in the region we now call Iran. At that time they all spoke one language. God had told them to spread out and fill the earth, but they wanted to make a name for themselves, rather than obey God’s instructions (Genesis 11:4). God judged them by splitting them into different language groups.

This means the people who settled in Africa were derived from the original population in Babel, just like all other human populations. Languages did not evolve in Africa by turning ape noises into human speech. Language was originally programmed into Adam’s human brain by God, then re-programmed at Babel, and then creatively modified and developed by our human minds as people spread all over the world. This is the real cause of the rich variation in language, even in fairly small populations. (Ref. linguistics, phonetics, genetics, judgement)

 

Butterflies are solar experts, according to Exeter University news 31 July 2015 and Scientific Reports doi:10.1038/srep12267. A research team led by Tapas Mallick of the Exeter University’s Environment and Sustainability Institute has studied the way cabbage white butterflies use solar energy to warm their wing muscles for flight. Cabbage white butterflies are noted for taking flight early, even on cloudy days, which means they must have some way of quickly warming up their flight muscles.

The research team found the butterflies absorb solar energy by holding their wings in a V-shape at an angle of 17 degrees. When holding their wings in this configuration the butterflies could heat their muscles 7.3 degrees C higher than when the wings were held flat. This is known as “reflectance basking” and it increases the concentration of solar energy directed on the thorax, which contains the wing muscles.

The warming process was also enhanced by the way the light was reflected by the microscopic structure of the scales on the wing surface. The research team attached the wings of a large white butterfly to a 1 cm square silicon solar cell to test for any increase in output power. They reported: “Attaching the wings increased the maximum power by 42.3% (from 16.8 mW to 23.9 mW) and when compared to the weight of standard reflective film increased the power to weight ratio 17 fold”.

They also found that applying a monolayer of butterfly wing scales was enough to give a high level of reflectance. Richard ffrench-Constant, one of the research team commented: “This proves that the lowly Cabbage White is not just a pest of your cabbages but actually an insect that is an expert at harvesting solar energy”.

Exeter University

Editorial Comment: This method of collecting solar energy certainly works well, but to be blunt, calling the butterfly an expert is stupid. Man-made solar panels work because intelligent scientists and engineers, who understand the properties of matter and energy, used their intelligence to manipulate materials and harvest energy from the sun. When it works, we call the solar panel designers the experts, not the panels! Therefore, scientists and engineers who use butterfly wings to make better solar panels should be giving the credit to the Designer and Creator of butterflies. If they use butterfly technology, but cannot recognize that butterflies were created, then they really are “without excuse” and deserve God’s wrath. See Romans 1:20. (Ref. insects, Lepidoptera, biomimetic, biomimicry)

Evidence News vol. 15, No. 14
12 August 2015
Creation Research Australia

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