Archive of items from Evidence News

Seagrass re-evolves, according to articles in 27 January 2016 and 1 February 2016, and Nature doi: 10.1038/nature16548, published online 27 January 2016. Scientists have sequenced the genome of seagrass named Zostera marina, otherwise known as eelgrass. This is not an algal seaweed. It is an angiosperm (seed bearing) plant, like a land dwelling grass. Angiosperms are believed to have evolved on land, with seagrasses returning to the sea later on in the evolutionary timetable.

According to the researchers, the transition from land grass to sea grass has resulted in loss of genes for the formation of stomata (breathing holes), UV protection and far-red light sensing molecules. They also claim: “Uniquely, Z. marina has re-evolved new combinations of structural traits related to the cell wall”. This means that the cell walls of eelgrass are more like those of seaweed, which land plants are believed to have originally evolved from. Jeanine Olsen of University of Groningen, the Netherlands, who led the study, commented: “They have re-engineered themselves”.


Editorial Comment: Let’s consider what they actually found, not the story they are telling about it. They didn’t find genes for breathing holes, sun protection and far-red light senses, but they did find genes to make cell walls like other plants that grow in the sea. The only evidence that genes were lost is the belief that seagrasses have evolved from land grasses.

Never forget that believing that genes for cell wall substances re-evolved is pure blind faith. Putting a land grass in the sea will never produce new genes, as the land plant will die first. Try it and ‘sea’. The most logical conclusion is that this plant was designed to live in the sea, so it does not have genes for characteristics that are needed on land, e.g. stomata, UV protection, but does have genes for characteristics useful for living in the sea.

Confession time for Cox and Dawkins, etc. etc. - your evolutionary explanations are ridiculous. Time to give the Creator Christ the glory due to his name. (Ref. genomics, genetics, marine biology)

Evidence News vol. 16 No. 12
22 June 2016
Creation Research Australia

Dung beetle navigation update reported in ScienceDaily 12 May 2016 BBC News 13 May 2016 and Current Biology, doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2016.03.030, 12 May 2016. Researchers from Lund Vision Group at Lund University working with scientists in South Africa conducted further research into how dung beetles navigate as they roll their balls of dung in straight lines.

It has long been observed that when a dung beetle has made a ball of dung it climbs on top of the ball and then turns around, a behaviour that has been nicknamed the “dance”. Previous studies have shown that this is when the beetle gets it bearings using various clues from the sky, including the position of the sun, moon and the Milky Way galaxy, the direction of polarised light and the spectral gradient across the sky.

The researchers studied beetles placed in an artificial environment where they could control the cues used by the beetles, even presenting them with a scene that “represents a physical impossibility for the real sky”, e.g. sun and moon in the wrong places. The beetles used the sky they were presented, rather than any previously stored information about a real sky, to orientate and navigate. The scientists concluded the beetles were taking a “snapshot of the celestial scenery” during the dance behaviour.

Basil El Jundi explained to the BBC: “In that situation they scan the sky and take a mental image of what the sky looks like and when they start rolling they try to match the actual visual scenery of the sky with the mental image they stored previously. And that brings them away in a straight line”.

The researchers suggest that this method of navigating could be used in developing navigation technology for self-driving vehicles. El Jundi commented to BBC News: “Based on these results you could create robots or algorithms that could be incorporated into autonomous vehicles that could navigate without cues that humans input into the system”.

BBC, ScienceDaily

Editorial Comment: This brilliant system enables dung beetles to carry out their essential function at any time of the day or night, and in any prevailing conditions in the sky. But don’t miss one factor – it works simply because the beetle knows what to do with the information it has captured, i.e. like a self-driving robot car it needs to be pre-programmed to use the information to guide it along straight lines.

However, it is foolish to think the beetle came up with this method of keeping them on the straight and narrow. All devices we know that capture images, process them, and use the information for some purpose, have required intelligent scientists and engineers to build.

The possible application for self-driving vehicles is interesting. Some of us are old enough to remember a certain iconic car that was nicknamed the beetle. Maybe one day, when some more creative design is used, we may see a car nicknamed the dung beetle. Well maybe not, but dung beetles are one of God’s more brilliant creations, and we should give thanks for them. Without them we would all be navigating through great piles of dung. (Ref. insects, navigation, ecosystem services)

Evidence News vol. 16 No. 12
22 June 2016
Creation Research Australia

Amazing! Walking fish evolved 33 times, according to reports in Science (AAAS) News 16 June 2016 and Evolution doi:10.1111/evo.12971 published online 7 June 2016. Many fish that live in shallow waters or near the edge of the sea, such as the mudskippers, are capable of moving out of the water and surviving a wet land surface for periods ranging from 20 minutes to a couple of days. This amphibious behaviour enables to them to survive when pools are drying up or the tide is going out, or move from one pool to another across wet ground. Some fish actually hunt for food on mudflats and intertidal zones.

Terry Ord and Georgina Cooke at the University of New South Wales, Australia, have surveyed the scientific literature for examples of amphibious fish and found 130 living fish species that survive on land. They then put these into an evolutionary tree for fish and concluded: “Thirty-three families have species reported to be amphibious and these are likely independent evolutionary origins of fish emerging onto land”.

Science News

Editorial Comment: This 33 fold claim of separately evolving walking fish is actually a good example of the failure of evolutionary trees. Claims (better called excuses) such as “independent evolutionary origins of fish emerging onto land” are not scientific observations. No-one has observed any non-amphibious fish evolve even once into something like the mudskipper, which can move about on mudflats between pools of water.

Time to be honest here, without observations of even one evolution of such amphibious fish, claims for multiple successes for separate but identical ‘evolutions’ is simply an evolving belief held by totally blind faith. To believe a non-amphibious fish evolved into something like a mudskipper requires fantastic faith, so belief it happened 33 times is not just fantastic – it is fantasy!

This beats the previous record for number of times something evolved – the appendix. (See our report Appendix Evolved 32 Times). It is much more sensible to have faith in the Creator who made the different kinds of amphibious fish as fully functional fish designed for behaviour. (Ref. ichthyology, phylogenetics)

Evidence News vol. 16 No. 12
22 June 2016
Creation Research Australia

Self-watering moss described in Science (AAAS) News, ScienceDaily, New Scientist 6 June 2016 and Nature Plants doi:10.1038/nplants.2016.76 published online 6 June 2016. Biologists and engineers from China and USA have studied a moss named Syntrichia caninervis (common name: Tortula Moss) that grows in the deserts of the Great Basin in the US, the Gurbantünggüt desert in China and other northern hemisphere deserts.

The plant does not absorb water through its roots, but survives well in the desert because it can capture water from the air using awns – tiny hair-like structures 0.5 to 2 mm long that project from the tips of its leaves. The surface of the awns is covered with hair about 100 nanometres deep and 200 nanometres wide. These lie within larger grooves about 1.5 micrometres deep and 3 micrometres wide. The nanometre sized grooves are just the right size for water vapour to condense and form droplets and films. The larger grooves are just the right size for collecting water droplets from fog. If it rains, raindrops get trapped between the awns. Whatever the source of water, once droplets have formed on the awns they are drawn towards the leaves by capillary action.

Because the plant is able to collect water from multiple sources, from water vapour, to fog, to raindrops, the scientists concluded: “Our observations reveal nature’s optimisation of water collection by coupling relevant multiscale physical plant structures with multiscale sources of water”.

New Scientist, Science News, ScienceDaily

Editorial Comment: This plant structure is certainly optimised, not by nature but for nature. This plant is designed by someone who understood the multiscale sources of water and in response designed the multiscale structure of the awns. The evolutionists always seem to invoke some mythical god named “nature” when they can’t avoid seeing the obvious design, such as the nanotechnology in these moss awns.

These water collecting systems would work brilliantly on a planet that was watered by a rising mist such as the one described in Genesis 2:1-6. The air would be humid all the time, so Syntrichia caninervis moss could survive very well without having to absorb water through its roots.

Ironically it is also this watering method that enables it to survive in the desert when other plants can’t. Even the driest deserts have some water vapour in the air, and are often covered in morning fog which does not moisten the ground very well, so any plant that can capture water from the air, rather than soil, will survive, whereas a plant that is dependent on water from the soil will not.

But note again our common theme: this plant only survives because it already has the awns, with their precise nanotechnology. Being placed in the desert would never give it the genes to make them. It is yet another example of a plant that was designed for the very good world of Genesis 1, but can now survive in the sin cursed world after Adam and the judgement of Noah’s Flood. (Ref. bryophytes, mosses, deserts, arid)

Evidence News vol. 16 No. 12
22 June 2016
Creation Research Australia

Quick rocks from CO2, according to reports in BBC News 9 June 2016 and Science (AAAS) News 10 June 2016 and Science vol. 352, pp. 1312-1314, DOI: 10.1126/science.aad8132, 10 June 2016. An international team of scientists working in Iceland have developed a process called Carbfix, which injects carbon dioxide into basalt. The project is part of a world-wide effort to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in an attempt to fight climate change.

The Carbfix process involves dissolving carbon dioxide in water, producing an acidic solution, which is pumped into basalt rock. The acidic water dissolves calcium and magnesium ions in the basalts, which then reacted with the carbon dioxide to make calcium and magnesium carbonates – solid chalky minerals. The researchers were surprised by how rapidly the carbon dioxide was incorporated into rock. They wrote: “We find that over 95% of the CO2 injected into the CarbFix site in Iceland was mineralized to carbonate minerals in less than 2 years. This result contrasts with the common view that the immobilization of CO2 as carbonate minerals within geologic reservoirs takes several hundreds to thousands of years”.

BBC, Science News

Editorial Comment: It seems these scientists have discovered something we have been saying for many years: It does not take long ages to make rocks – it takes the right physical and chemical conditions. Let me repeat my byword: ‘not time, but process’! And the more efficient the process, the shorter the time.

The same applies to another CO2 rock-making process – the formation of stalactites. In October 2015 Creation Research set up a stalactite making machine at our Jurassic Ark Outdoor Creation Museum near Gympie Australia. The rate at which the mites and tites have grown has exceeded our expectation, with visible stalactites and stalagmites forming in months, along with a petrified ball of wool. (Ref. petrification, geology)

Evidence News vol. 16 No. 11
15 June 2016
Creation Research Australia