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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Design of the "Flying Lemur"

The "flying lemur" is one of those creatures that has a name with no bearing in reality; it does not fly, and it is not a lemur. (Sort of like the guinea pig, it is not from Guinea and is a rodent.) It's a tree-dwelling glider. The better name for this strange creature is "colugo". No relation to the interviewer Neil Cavuto, he is not a tree dweller and does not glide, and the names are spelt rather differently. 


Wikimedia Commons / Colugo / Lip Kee Yap

The colugo has nasty sharp pointed teeth, but it eats leaves. The big eyes are your first clue that it is nocturnal. They are puzzling, since their classification has been disputed until it was given one of its own. One of the most amazing features is the ability to easily glide for long distances. The surprising Cavuto colugo is an example of the creative work of their Designer.
You might think the colugo (ka-LOO-go) of Southeast Asia is a clumsy creature—well, maybe at first glance. On the ground, these odd, squirrel-like creatures seem to flop and jump along with the awkwardness of a baby bird. They also make climbing a tree look like a laborious process, which involves scraping at the bark with sharp claws and then hopping up quickly on their tiny paws. You get exhausted just watching them.

But once they’ve reached high into the canopy of the rainforest—the place where they belong—something amazing happens. These clumsy ground-walkers take to the air in an elegant display of aerodynamics. They glide like no other mammal on earth and prove, once again, that our ingenious Creator knows how to surprise us.
To finish reading, fly on over to "Colugos—Soaring Above Expectations".

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Instincts and Preprogramming


We have Basement Cat. I like to watch what I call the "feline machine" in action. She likes to stalk the birds on the porch through the screen door and will occasionally lunge at them, causing a flurry of avian panic. But she's never been an outdoor cat and never been the fierce huntress that she considers herself. One time, I put my hand in something wet on the porch railing (I think it was squirrel pee) and wiped it off. There was still a faint smell on my hand even after rinsing. I was petting Basement Cat later, and she started biting me. Not the playful bites, either. Eyes dilated, all that. She wanted blood; the predatory instinct kicked in.


Basement Cat using e-book reader as a pillow, picture by Robert Sorensen © 2014
No instinct here, just cuteness.
Humans and animals are born preprogrammed with an assortment of reflexes and instincts. They could not have been learned many behaviors, but they do things anyway. There is no rational evolutionary explanation for this. Like a computer with a basic operating system, we are given certain instincts from our Creator, and then build from there.
As a newborn infant, how did you know to do the things that you were never taught?

At first that question might strike you as nonsense. Perhaps you’re thinking, “Huh? Babies don’t know anything they didn’t actively learn. We’re all born with a brain that’s a blank slate, and after we’re born, we begin to learn through experiences, through environment, and through lessons taught by others.”

However, the notion that humans (or animals or insects) are born with a brain that is devoid of knowledge, simply waiting for a chance to sponge it up, is incorrect. To draw a rough analogy, a computer can be assembled with every physical component in place down to the last screw, but it can accomplish nothing until information is installed onto its motherboard.
You can read the rest by clicking on "Ready-Made Instincts".

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Silence is Another Problem for Peer Review

First, an update. I was informed by Radar's wife that he had knee surgery one week ago. It was successful, but he is in considerable pain. We are asking the Christian readers to join us in praying for his full and rapid recovery. -CBB

Although some people hide behind the "Yeah, but it's not peer reviewed!" concept, secular peer review processes have some serious drawbacks. In addition, people who believe in Scientism (where "science" is the only way to discern truth) do a disservice to scientists by expecting them to be more than human. Although they should have higher standards of integrity and objectivity, they are human and subjected to avarice just like you and me. (Also, some people think that scientists are completely objective and dispassionate, but that ignores both the scientific process and human nature.) They also seek success, recognition and grant money.



What value is there in doing a study, recording all the steps and set-up, making notes and then saying, "Here is the study. It was a waste of time?" Actually, it has quite a bit of value. There is a disputed quote attributed to Thomas Edison about his failures in inventing the light bulb: "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work". Even if he did not say it, there is some value to that remark. Just like reporting a failed result in a peer reviewed paper, scientists can help other scientists and not give artificially inflated value to successful results.
Sociology is under scrutiny, but the issues apply to all of science.

Is there a message in nothing? Yes, Jeffrey Mervis said in Science Magazine. When a scientist gets a null or empty result, that’s still a result. It should be announced, so that other scientists know what doesn’t work, not just what works. Publication of null results is valuable. It saves time by avoiding needless repetition. It also presents a more accurate picture of the world. As PhysOrg’s headline by Bob Yirka reads, “lack of published null result papers skews reliability of those that are published.” That’s a serious charge. It means that published papers suffer credibility loss when null results are not shared.

The question of what to do with null results has plagued medical research, where people’s lives could be on the line. The Stanford team now found similar publication bias in social and behavioral sciences.
To review the rest of this article, click on "Peer Reviewed Science Can Mislead in a Major Way".

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Misotheists Misfiring


Although it is usually quite tedious to deal with militant Internet atheopaths, sometimes we have to give warning to thinking people to show what these arrogant, manipulative and frequently vile people are like. They wonder why some of us do not wish to spend our time interacting with them and their overgrown egos that need constant coddling. Here are some reasons why.
  • They often start with the assumptions that, because they are atheists, that somehow makes them more intelligent than "theists". It is also quite often a result of prejudicial conjecture.This "smarter than you" claim falls to the ground because not only is it related to the genetic fallacy, but their claims are instantly refuted because their conversation is loaded with logical fallacies. 
  • Watch for personal insults, usually the first line of attack. Quite often, they appeal to pride and ridicule. 
  • Then, they attempt to put their opponents on the defensive. This attempt at manipulation usually involves the aforementioned appeal to pride and ridicule, plus using the straw man fallacy; guess what, Buttercup? We do not need to defend positions that we do not hold, and putting words in our mouths show how shallow and disingenuous you are.
  • These militant misotheists claim to know your motives. This is often used with the straw man and with ridicule, but unless they have magical powers (a concept they deny), they have no idea what is in someone's heart and mind.
  • Swarming like piranhas. This is most common in social media. Just block them and move on to something more productive.
  • Attacking "theists" is an attempt to justify their unbelief, and the arguing never stops even when they are shown to be full of hot air. If they can manipulate someone into acting "bad" or not giving an answer that they deem to be sufficient, they will cry, "Victory is mine!" The Atheist Handbook® instructs them to never allow a "theist" to be right about anything of substance.
  • They are such bullies, they will try to make someone feel guilty for not following their arbitrary rules for posting, conversation, engagement and so on. Somehow, they demand the "right" to say whatever they want, whenever they want, and you are the bad guy if you do not cater to their whims. We are under no obligation to give them a platform for their insults, fallacies and hatred, although their massive egos compel them to state opinions (no matter how uninformed) as well as personal attacks.
I have better things to do than fall for misotheist trickery.
Yet, all of their game playing is simply a waste of the thinking person's time and energy. They try to build up their egos and strive for bragging rights to their friends who also lack intellect, character and integrity. Here is an example of dismantling a letter from an angry atheopath.
This week’s feedback is an example of the uninformed misotheistic elephant hurling that we normally don’t publish because it breaks our feedback rules. But we wanted to show the sort of thinking out in cyberspace, and also show that there are good answers to objections to Christianity. The response shows that Christianity has provided the foundation for science, alleviation of poverty and rejection of superstition.
If you have the courage to finish reading, you can click on "Mangling Misotheism". By the way, since atheist narcissistic sociopaths seem to be the only ones leaving comments, guess what you can't do? Hey, you might want to rub some aloe on that burn. Addendum: I was called a coward by someone posting anonymously. Doubly ironic, hiding behind anonymity to call me a coward, and also proving me right at the same time!


Saturday, August 30, 2014

Darwin's Finches and Epigenetics

Galapagos finches ("Darwin's finches") have been touted as good evidence for evolution. Beak sizes changed, therefore, evolution. Unfortunately for Darwin's Cheerleaders, they are not only extrapolating small changes into justifying goo-to-you evolution, but variations and speciation are not evolution (except in the loosest definition of the word). In fact, some evolutionists think that these small changes are a slap in the face of creationists, but they are uninformed about creationists: we know about speciation, and it fits with the biblical models.


Medium Ground Finch, John Gould / PD
Traditional Darwinian evolution held that small changes led to big changes and eventually, something would turn into something else. That was largely abandoned with more understanding of genetics and mutations. However, variations are limited by genetics, so you still will not get something changing into something else; there is no vertical evolution. Now scientists are learning that a major factor in change is epigenetics.
Authentic speciation is a process whereby organisms diversify within the boundaries of their gene pools, and this can result in variants with specific ecological adaptability. While it was once thought that this process was strictly facilitated by DNA sequence variability, Darwin's classic example of speciation in finches now includes a surprisingly strong epigenetic component as well.

Epigenetic changes involve the addition of chemical tags in an organism's genome without actually changing the genetic code. Both the DNA nucleotides and the proteins that DNA is wrapped around (called histones) can be chemically tagged by different types of controlling molecules that determine how genes are turned on and off. Thus, the epigenetic regulation of the genome can produce differences in traits without actually being related to changes in the DNA sequence itself. What's even more amazing is that these changes can be inherited over multiple generations. Thus, epigenetic changes unexpectedly facilitate variability and speciation within created kinds.
To finish reading, dip your beak into "Darwin's Finches: Answers From Epigenetics".

Friday, August 29, 2014

Busy-ness


I've been attempting to post once a week here to help out Radar. My preferred day is Wednesday, but with various difficulties that I will not divulge, plus being busy in other areas (including an interview), I'll give this quick post. There is one scheduled for Saturday, August 30, 2014.



Briefly, an anonymous whiner was complaining about the way I post things. (Some people are desperate to find any excuse to demonize people, especially under cover of anonymity, but never mind about that now.) S/he does not deserve a detailed, personal response, but I do have something that I posted on our Facebook Page:
While I do write some articles myself, most of those are other (smarter) people's work. This [Facebook Page] is not a link mill where any old thing from a creation science organization is posted. I read the featured articles (well, read at some of the more difficult ones) to select things for you, the viewing audience. The format is generally Introduction, Excerpt, Link to finish reading. Those intros have a couple of purposes: First, so the search engines do not penalize the site I link to site and mine by regarding them as duplicates, and also, I often have material that I want to add that may supplement the linked article.
Mmmkay, Skippy?

Here are some of the things I've been writing as full articles and not posts this month:
I have written a couple of original articles for this Weblog as well, but not recently. 

By the way, some of the obstreperous attention seekers are proving me right in this article from May, "Evolution and the New Atheo-Fascism".

So, I've been busy writing, posting and dealing with some things that may take me away from doing those things. But tomorrow's post for this blog is ready, anyway. —Cowboy Bob


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Created Or Evolved? Do you have a reasonable answer?

Lost any hope of finding meaning of life?  Lost your desire to figure it out?  Buried under a mound of idiotic propaganda on "science" and "animal" and "history" channels, news media, magazines and online mainstream websites?   Give yourself a chance and read "Created Or Evolved" please?!!

Lost Radar?  No, I am awaiting surgery and it takes almost every ounce of my strength to merely work from home and keep providing for my family.  Meanwhile, Cowboy Bob aka Piltdown Superman has graciously kept posts coming in my stead.  I've survived terrible accidents, a tumor, awakening just in time in the middle of a catastrophic fire, a MRSA infection, attempted murder and the stupidity of mountain climbing without proper equipment not to mention various youthful endeavors typical of my "Boomer" generation.  Next month I have surgery which will either quickly restore me to close to normal or possibly bring me closer to my demise.  I went from playing tennis and basketball to having trouble running to being barely able to walk in a fairly short time.  I thank God for my life and I trust Him no matter what!  So if I do not come back, it will be because I have left this life behind.  I'll know in about a month.

When I do return (I am an optimist, after all), I will try to figure out what is wrong with the comments, as almost all of them are being filtered out by the Google spam engine and NOT by Bob.  Anyway, I figured I could muster some energy and start a brilliant Creation.com article and hope you go there to finish reading it so that you have a chance (should you believe in evolution) to reorient yourself...

Created or evolved?

Where do we come from? Find your answer to the vital creation vs evolution question

Biston betularia
The peppered moth (Biston betularia, in its light and dark forms) is often paraded as evidence for evolution, whereas it actually isn’t. See: The moth files. Minor variation within a species of moth does nothing to explain the origin of the moth or how (for example) a worm could change into a fish. 

For readers wanting to dig deeper still, see the many articles accessible from Q&A: Natural selection.

Photos by Olaf Leillinger, wikipedia.org 

Published: 25 June 2013 (GMT+10)
Are you created or evolved?

Since Charles Darwin first published his Origin of Species in 1859, the idea that everything just evolved by itself over millions and billions of years has come to dominate our public media and educational institutions. Evolution is often spoken of as ‘fact’.

So it surprises many that there are an increasing number of voices speaking out against evolution. They say we are not evolved, but created. It’s even more of a surprise to discover many of those voices are from leading scientists across a range of disciplines. Not only are they pointing out the flaws in evolutionary theory, but they’re also showing that the evidence around us fits with the Bible’s account of the past, not evolution.

What is this evidence for creation that these scientists are pointing to? There’s lots. Here’s just a taste.

The design of living things

If we look at even just one aspect of our bodies, such as the dexterity of our hand, wrist and fingers, it speaks of design, and therefore, a Designer. Robotics engineers are still striving to copy that dexterity!1 And our movements are controlled by our brains—no mean feat! The immense complexity of the human brain, its creativity and power of abstract reasoning, with capacities vastly beyond that required for sheer survival, is perhaps the most obvious evidence for intelligent creation.2

New jaw-dropping discoveries of the cell’s hitherto-unrealized complexity are continuing to be made.

At the time that Charles Darwin published his Origin of Species, a cell was considered a simple ‘blob of protoplasm’—a basic building block of life. But with the development of technology allowing us to study living things at a molecular level, it’s now realized that a single cell is enormously complex. And new jaw-dropping discoveries of its hitherto-unrealized complexity are continuing to be made. E.g. the cell has a ‘switchboard system’ to coordinate the multiplicity of biochemical events happening within.3


And much more! E.g. it’s humorous now to look back on the prediction, by a scientist (J.B.S. Haldane) who believed that, because of evolution, no-one would ever find a wheel in nature.4 He was wrong, as this video clip (duration 1 minute, 26 seconds) of the world’s smallest rotary motor, the incredible ATP synthase enzyme present in all living things, shows:5




And there are linear motors, too, including the kinesin protein that ‘walks’ as it transports essential components to where they are needed in the cell, as this video (duration 1 minute, 11 seconds) shows:6




Note that every ‘step’ the kinesin protein takes requires one ATP molecule for energy—i.e. ATP which is generated by the rotary ATP synthase motor shown in the previous video clip. The eukaryotic cell needs both of these highly complex motors to be present and fully functional—and much more besides. No wonder the Psalmist wrote …
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (Psalm 139:14)
… and the Apostle Paul said:
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. (Romans 1:20)

There are many more videos and much more evidence to be seen if you read the rest here!

Hope to be back soon!  Are you still here?  Go read that article!!!  Thanks!