Science & Evolution
Posted 12/9/13 at 1:45 AM | Jeffrey Goodman |
What was Comet Ison all about?
Comet Ison put on quite a show before it disintegrated as a result of its close pass around the sun. In the December 4, 2013 issue of NASA Science News Karl Battams of NASA says, “rather than mourn what we have lost, we should perhaps rejoice in what we have gained – some of the finest data in the history of cometary astronomy.” Ison dramatically demonstrated the fact that we live in a cosmic shooting gallery. It is interesting to note that a growing number of astronomers have been looking at the Bible for accounts of cometary impact and in the last decade scientific evidence for the Earth having experienced cosmic impacts during Biblical times is being found. This evidence includes impact craters and geological materials produced by the extremely high temperature associated with impact.
Furthermore, as we learn more about comets, we are discovering that not only does the Bible contain accounts of cometary caused catastrophes but the Bible also contains scientifically sound information about comets ranging from their origin, composition, behavior and what happens during and after various types of impacts. For example, when the media reported about Comet Ison’s outgassing, long tail and told about Comet Ison coming in from the Oort cloud, a reservoir of comets at the end of our solar system; we now know that information about comets outgassing and the reservoir of comets at the end of our solar system is contained in the Bible. FULL POST
Posted 12/7/13 at 11:46 AM | Mike Keas |
On November 30, 2013, two scholars demonstrated how to respectfully debate the merits of intelligent design in the natural sciences. Regardless of who you think "won" this remarkably friendly debate, perhaps we can all agree that Stephen Meyer and Charles Marshall model well how to engage in civil discourse over one of the most polarizing discussions in science today. Philosopher of science Stephen Meyer debated UC Berkeley paleontologist Charles Marshall on the Cambrian explosion and its treatment in Meyer's book Darwin's Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design. Hosted and moderated by Justin Brierley of Britain's Premier Christian Radio, this exchange is a milestone of civility in debate about science and its philosophical underpinnings. Listen to it yourself (on a Mac, control-click the link to download the MP3).
Before you begin listening, examine this Listener's Guide to the Meyer-Marshall Radio Debate (and follow its weblinks) to get oriented. Here are some highlights from this Guide to which you should pay special attention in order to get the most of your listening experience.
Posted 12/4/13 at 11:51 PM | CP Blogs |
Discovery Channel poses this question that is a mystery for evolutionary biologists:
"Why do we, and many animals, do good things for others when the results seem to offer no direct benefit to us?" According to research, altruism is instinctive behavior that forms without cultural training in babies [source: CBC].
The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy reports that the famous scientist Charles Darwin thought about this issue:
"From a Darwinian viewpoint, the existence of altruism in nature is at first sight puzzling, as Darwin himself realized. Natural selection leads us to expect animals to behave in ways that increase their own chances of survival and reproduction, not those of others."
A famous proverb says, "I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well." - Psalm 139:14 ESV FULL POST
Posted 12/3/13 at 7:04 PM | Michael Bresciani
“A man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument” – Anonymous
Whatever your world view is will pretty much determine the very course of your life. If, for instance, you have a completely secular world view, science and the generally accepted view of the day will guide your life completely. People with a Christian view have shifted their view of the world to include God as creator, guide and redeemer.
The difference is enormous. More than night and day, the difference is the balance between life and death.
I have spent my lifetime studying and teaching on the prophetic aspect of scripture. Unknown to many, including some Christians is the fact that there are many kinds of prophecy. From the ‘Protevangelium,’ the first prophecy in the Bible (Gen 3: 15) to the ‘Messianic’ (first coming of Christ) the Bible then moves on to include premillennial prophecies (second coming of Christ) and pre, mid and post exilic prophecies (the history of Israel before, during and after their exile.) FULL POST
Posted 12/2/13 at 11:29 PM | CP Blogs |
Scientist and author Eugene M. McCarthy has proposed an hypothesis that humans evolved from a female chimpanzee and male pig mating. McCarthy reports, "Is it possible for a pig to hybridize with a chimpanzee? I have no way of knowing at present, but I have no logical or evidential basis for rejecting the idea."
McCarthy's hypothesis is shared at Macroevolution.net.
The science website Phys.org reports the hypothesis is worthy of further exploration.
The hypothesis is attracting interest from fellow science enthusiasts and bewilderment from the media. On Twitter vegetarians are comparing the eating of pigs to cannibalism. FULL POST
Posted 11/30/13 at 10:10 PM | Mike Keas |
You should consult this Christmas shopping list for books and DVDs about the scientific theory of intelligent design. The list includes links to various places to purchase items that will spark great conversations with friends and relatives. Here are some of the items on that list about which I have blogged over the past year.
Darwin's Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design, by Stephen C. Meyer. Landing at #7 on the New York Times bestseller List, Darwin's Doubt had an explosive debut this summer. Expanding on the compelling case he presented in his last book, Signature in the Cell, Meyer argues that the theory of intelligent design is ultimately the best explanation for the origin of the Cambrian animals.
Discovering Intelligent Design, by Gary Kemper, Hallie Kemper, and Casey Luskin. This highly anticipated curriculum for homeschoolers and private school students was greeted with enthusiasm by parents and educators alike when it was released in May of this year. The multimedia curriculum -- complete with textbook, workbook with learning activities, and corresponding DVD -- explores various facets of intelligent design including the origin and development of the universe, the origin of biological complexity, the fossil record's dearth of unambiguous evidence for universal common descent, and the broader cultural debate over ID. The curriculum is recommended for middle school ages and up. The textbook by itself is a great introduction to ID for a general audience. FULL POST
Posted 11/23/13 at 8:12 PM | Mike Keas |
Biomimetics is devoted to building technologies that mimic biochemical processes in living organisms. Human engineers have much to learn from the wonders of design in the biological world. Some recent advancements in this field also remind us of how biological designs are best explained as real, as opposed to only apparent, intelligent design.
Intelligent Designs in Nature Make Engineers Envious
A news item from the University of Alabama shows Dr. Amy Lang studiously gazing at a Monarch butterfly on the wing. She has reason to stay focused. She just got a $280,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to study the scales on butterfly wings to find ways to improve flight aerodynamics for MAVs (micro area vehicles).
Butterflies don't require the scales to fly, but Dr. Lang knows they help the insects fly better. "The butterfly scales are beautifully arranged on the wing, and how the scales are arranged is where the aerodynamic benefit comes in," she says. This "unique micro pattern ... reduces drag and likely increases thrust and lift during flapping and glided flight." When the scales are removed, the butterfly has to flap its wings 10 percent more to maintain the same flight. Read more. FULL POST
Posted 11/18/13 at 9:37 PM | Mike Keas |
A new documentary has just been released in order to commemorate the 50th anniversary of C.S. Lewis's death (November 22, 1963). Lewis, author of The Chronicles of Narnia and many literary-philosophical works, engaged in a life-long struggle to find meaningful design and enduring purpose in a world filled with cruelty, pain, and imperfection.
The documentary "C.S. Lewis and Intelligent Design" premieres today on the NRB cable and satellite network and the YouTube C.S. Lewis Channel. The documentary unpacks portions of a book edited by Dr. John West titled The Magician's Twin: C.S. Lewis on Science, Scientism, and Society.
"C.S. Lewis is well-known for defending the existence of God, but he actually struggled for much of his life to see purpose in a universe that often seemed cold and heartless," says West. "In 'C.S. Lewis and Intelligent Design,' we explore the fascinating story of how Lewis became persuaded that design in nature was real." FULL POST
Posted 11/14/13 at 9:52 AM | Mike Keas |
What is life? How did it originate? If we could build a simple organism artificially in the lab, would we better understand the answers to these questions? Craig Venter thinks so, and he often speaks in public as if he and his scientific team were striving to do just that, and much more.
Biotech guru Craig Venter addressed such pressing issues in his October 2013 book, Life at the Speed of Light: From the Double Helix to the Dawn of Digital Life. Meanwhile his new San Diego biotech facility celebrated its grand opening on November 9, 2013. Former Vice President Al Gore graced the event with a speech (see the party pics here). "We cannot think of a more appropriate person to commemorate the opening of our net zero carbon, ultra green genomics lab than Al Gore," announced Venter. (Venter is probably unaware that sea ice in the Antarctic has increased inconveniently by about one percent per decade since 1979, despite Al Gore's Nobel-Peace-Prize-winning expectations to the contrary). FULL POST
Posted 11/9/13 at 5:57 PM | Mike Keas |
Below my last post Final Thoughts on Marshall's Failed Critique of Meyer's "Darwin's Doubt" SkepticNY made comments that include those indented below:
What specific, concrete explanation do YOU propose for the appearance of the fossils whenever they do appear?
Regarding the fossils of the major new animal body plans in the Cambrian explosion, all we know from scientific inquiry is that all of this radically new anatomy requires an adequate cause, and intelligent design is the only kind of cause that is adequate to get the job done. SkepticNY, I have never had the honor of meeting you in person, but I know that you are an intelligent agent who produces complex sequence specific code in the form of comments. The Cambrian explosion is similar. All we know is this event in earth history involved a huge influx of complex sequence specific code, but billions of times more than you have produced over the past year as a faithful comment author here at CP. Scientists need to limit their conclusions to the available evidence. That is what Meyer does in his book. I wish we knew more than this from scientific inquiry, but we need to be modest about what we know.
What peer reviewed main-stream scientific journals has Meyer's ideas been published in?
See this list of peer-reviewed pro-ID articles (Meyer is in this list, which includes over 50 published articles, and which is further explained here). This list would be many times longer if it were not for the discriminatory practice exemplified yet again by the editors of the journal Science. Let me explain what I mean by addressing this to my commenting friend who apparently lives in NY.
Dear SkepticNY, I encourage you to read the letter by Dr. Meyer that the peer reviewed journal Science would not publish. What exactly in this letter legitimately disqualifies it from publication in Science? Meyer's letter pinpoints the main scientific issues raised by the Cambrian explosion. Marshall is the one who is trying to avoid how the Cambrian explosion is a huge evidential challenge to Darwinism (he is being evasive). So, I encourage you to quote from this letter by Meyer and explain how it is undeserving of publication in the journal Science. Thanks SkepticNY.