Fact File

Archive of items from Evidence News

Lucy’s laughable baboon bone, reported in an article in New Scientist 10 April 2015. Gary Sawyer and Mike Smith at the American Museum of Natural History in New York along with Scott Williams at New York University have been working on a new reconstruction of the famous “Lucy” skeleton, described by New Scientist as “arguably the world’s most famous early human fossil”.

The researchers noted that one of the vertebral bone fragments did not fit with the rest of the bone fragments of the spine. They compared the bone with vertebral bones of other animals known to have lived in the Hadar region, where Lucy was found, and found the best fit was with a baboon.

Scott Williams explained: “Baboons were a close match, both in shape and size, so we think we’ve solved this mystery. It seems that a fossil gelada baboon thoracic vertebra washed or was otherwise transported in the mix of Lucy’s remains”.

New Scientist

Editorial Comment: So the impression you got from text books and the museum displays, was they found an intact skeleton of Lucy? Note carefully then the comment that the aberrant bone was “washed or was otherwise transported in the mix of Lucy's remains”. This is an admission that “Lucy” never was a whole skeleton, but actually a collection of disconnected bone fragments that had been moved about in flowing sediment.

Furthermore, never forget that even the scientists who found them classified them as an ape. The scientific name for Lucy is Australopithecus afarensis, which means “southern ape from Afar”.

What else can be said about the new baboon bone? Baboons are Old World Monkeys and they do currently live in the regions where the Lucy bones were found. Therefore, it seems that all that has happened is that a monkey bone has been mistakenly included in a collection of ape bones.

This finding is a good reality check about so-called “early human fossils”. Although they are invariably portrayed in museums and the media as whole functioning creatures with a mix of ape and human features, in reality they are collections of fragments that are embedded in an imaginary story made up by people who don’t want to face the fact human beings are unique creations made in the image of God, and are therefore accountable to God.

And yes, Prof Lovejoy’s TV comments from years ago that Lucy died and fell into a swamp and was stood on by a water-bufflo, so her hip bones were distorted to resemble a chimp pelvis instead of its man like pelvis are just as stupid today as they always have been. Read the transcript of Owen Lovejoy describing his “reconstruction” of the Lucy pelvis here. (Ref. anthropology, Australopithecines, ape-men)

Evidence News vol. 15, No. 5
15 April 2015
Creation Research Australia

Oldest sponge found, according to reports in Science Shots 9 March 2015 and PhysOrg 10 March 2015. A group of researchers from China, USA and France have found a tiny fossilised sponge in “a phosphorus-rich geological formation known for preserving animal fossils in an excellent state” in southern China. The fossil is described as “slightly more than 1.2 mm wide and 1.1 mm tall, is composed of hundreds of thousands of cells, and has a gross structure consisting of three adjacent hollow tubes sharing a common base”. The scientists studied it with an electron microscope and x-rays and found it has cell structures similar to modern sponges.

The fossil is dated at 600 million years, approximately 60 million years before the Cambrian era. According to Science Shots this makes it the “oldest known sponge”. Science Shots goes on to say, “Getting the date right is important for understanding the timing and course of animal evolution, because the split between the sponges and most other animals (called the Eumetazoa) was a key event in the early history of life on Earth”. The article also says: “The new discovery indicates that the common ancestor of sponges and Eumetazoa lived much earlier than many scientists assumed”.

Science Shots, PhysOrg

Editorial Comment: Sorry to blow their cover, but this fossil ‘sponge’ actually tells us nothing about “the timing and course of animal evolution”. The belief in a common ancestor for sponges and Eumetazoa is based on faith alone, definitely not by this fossil and nothing in real science. No-one has observed a creature that was not a sponge or a Eumetazoan turn into either of these kinds of animals.

The only thing we can tell from scientifically examining this fossil is that sponges have always been sponges, whatever age is claimed for them. This fossil was identified as a sponge because it has a cell structure like modern day sponges, as do the Cambrian sponges from our own collection. Therefore, it is evidence that sponges are separate kinds of animals, and have multiplied after their kind, as Genesis says. (Ref. Porifera, invertebrates, living fossils)

Evidence News vol. 15, No. 5
15 April 2015
Creation Research Australia

Limpet teeth are toughest, according to reports in ScienceDaily 17 February 2015 ABC News in Science and BBC News 18 February 2015. Limpets are small marine molluscs with conical shells that graze on algae growing on rocks along the seashore. A team of scientists led by Asa Barber of the University of Portsmouth School of Engineering, have studied the microscopic structure of limpet teeth and found they are made of the strongest natural organic material so far discovered.

The research team found limpet teeth were made of a composite of iron rich mineral fibres known as goethite bound together by chitin, a polymer that acts as glue to hold the fibres together. According to Barber, “The strength of the tooth is due to the diameters of the fibres being below a particular size, which is about 60 nanometres, or over a thousand times thinner than a human hair”.

A limpet’s teeth are arranged in rows embedded in a structure named a radula. The limpet feeds by scraping the radula over the rock surface and pulling scraped off algae into its mouth. Barber explained: “Limpets evolved strong teeth as the teeth scrape over rock surfaces every day to feed. If the teeth broke easily, then the limpet would not be able to feed and would die – hence evolution selecting the strongest teeth over many years”. He also commented: “Nature is a wonderful source of inspiration for structures that have excellent mechanical properties. All the things we observe around us, such as trees, the shells of sea creatures and the limpet teeth studied in this work, have evolved to be effective at what they do”.

ABC, BBC, ScienceDaily

Editorial Comment: Barber’s faith in evolution is truly remarkable, especially as he is an engineer, and should have learnt by experience that chance random processes only destroy things, which is what would have happened if half-evolved limpets didn’t yet have tough teeth, but tried to scrape algae off a rock. How does he think limpets with less tough teeth survived, when he admits limpets with broken teeth would not be able to feed and so would die?

Here we see the fallacy of crediting natural selection with the origin of any useful structure. Natural Selection will ensure that limpets that already have teeth sufficiently strong to scrape rocks will survive, but NS cannot produce tough teeth if they don’t. For that you need genes that control the cellular process that manufacture goethite fibres and chitin, ensuring the goethite fibres are the right thickness and combine them together with chitin in the right way. In other words, you need new information inserted into the limpet’s genome by creative design and intelligent manipulation.

It takes far less faith to believe that the Creator made limpets, complete with tough teeth, along with the radula that holds them and with the nervous system and muscle control to work it, and a digestive system that can cope with the bits of rock that the limpets scrape off along with the algae.

Furthermore, if we gain any inspiration from trees, seashells, limpet teeth and other things in the natural world that have excellent mechanical properties, we should give thanks and praise to the Creator who made them, and Who gave us brains to study the world around us and learn from what He made. In fact, the mandate for the scientific study of the world, and for engineering using materials of the world, was given by the Creator who made human beings in God’s image and told them to rule over the earth and the living things in it (Genesis 1:26-28). Don’t let anyone tell you the Bible is anti-science. (Ref. design, shellfish, bio-engineering)

Evidence News vol. 15, No. 4
25 March 2015
Creation Research Australia

Mass monster grave found, according to reports in BBC News and ScienceDaily 24 March 2015. Steve Brusatte, a palaeontologist at the University of Edinburgh, and colleagues have found a “big mass grave of monstrous amphibians” in the Algarve region of southern Portugal. The creatures were about two metres (6ft 6in) long, with big flat heads and hundreds of sharp teeth. Brusatte described them as “basically a salamander that's the size of a car”. He went on to say: “It's one of those creatures from the distant past that looks like an alien - but it actually has quite a lot of relevance. These kind of big amphibians were the ancestral stock that modern frogs, salamanders and newts came from”. These are not the largest amphibian fossils ever found, but compared with living amphibians, such as newts and frogs, they are monsters.

Brusatte’s team have found the bones of ten individuals, but have only explored a small part of the formation and expect to find many more. They suggest several hundred of the creatures may have died when the lake they inhabited dried up.

The creatures have been named Metoposaurus algarvensis and are dated asLate Triassic, 220-230 million years ago. Large amphibians are believed to have died out around 200 million years ago during a time of massive volcanic eruptions, but according to Brusatte, “In a way it was the death of these things that allowed the dinosaurs and mammals to take over”.

Links: BBC, ScienceDaily

Editorial Comment: These fossils show that salamanders used to be monsters and we know that at present most of them are now midgets. The Chinese Giant Salamander has been known to grow up to six feet (1.8m) long, but most living salamanders are between 10cm and 20cm (4 to 8 inches) long. Many salamander species have died out, and those that remain have only been observed to reproduce salamanders, not any other kind of amphibian. Salamanders may have changed by diminishing in size, but they have not evolved.

Neither is there any evidence that modern day frogs and toads are descended from these fossilised salamanders or any salamanders. All fossil frogs and toads are fully formed frogs and toads.

Furthermore, go and do some real science and observe a drying up lake to see it never produces a mass grave like this fossil deposit. It takes a rapid deposit of huge amounts of sediment to bury hundreds of car-sized monsters in a mass grave.

Altogether, these fossils remind us that the real history of the world follows the pattern described in Genesis. Amphibians were created as separate kinds, living in a good world that supported large water-dependent animals, but they have now shrunk, and many have died out, as the environment has degenerated. Some were rapidly buried and fossilised due to catastrophic flooding, beginning at Noah’s flood and continuing in a catastrophe plagued world ever since. (Ref. amphibians, vertebrates, fossilisation, degeneration)

Evidence News vol. 15, No. 5
15 April 2015
Creation Research Australia

Why mangrove trees don’t fall over described in Annals of Botany doi: 10.1093/aob/mcv002 published online 13 February 2015. Mangrove trees grow in soft unstable ground, which means they are likely to be blown over in storms if they grow too tall and top heavy. Red mangrove trees, Rhizophora mangle, have prop-like structures, named rhizophores, projecting from the sides of their trunks. To see if these helped the trees grow taller without getting too heavy to stay upright scientists in Mexico have studied the structural mechanics of red mangrove trees and compared them with black mangrove trees, Avicennia germinans, which grows in the same environment but does not have rhizophores.

They found that trees with rhizophores had a “thinner stem of higher mechanical resistance that is stabilized by rhizophores resembling flying buttresses”. They went on to say: “This provides a unique strategy to increase tree slenderness and height in the typically unstable substrate on which the trees grow, at a site that is subject to frequent storms”.

Editorial Comment: Flying buttresses are an architectural device that once discovered by man enabled builders to construct tall buildings without having to make the walls too thick. They work by transmitting outward forces through a bridge-like structure, often arched, to the ground through a pillar or block of masonry that is separate from the wall. This structure enabled walls to be thinner with larger areas free for windows and decorations, just like the rhyzophores enable mangrove trees to grow taller, but keep a narrow trunk so they don’t get too top heavy.

Flying buttresses are a distinctive feature of medieval cathedrals, which were supposedly erected for the worship of God, but were often more for the self-aggrandisement of men. Nevertheless, they involved very clever planning and construction, and are a credit to their architects and builders. Therefore, face up to it: more credit is due to the Creator who designed and made mangrove trees, which are more complex than any man-made building, and make excellent use of flying buttresses. (Ref. botany, architecture, design, swamps)

Evidence News vol.15, No. 3
11 March 2015
Creation Research Australia