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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Perspectives on Ebola and Other Viruses

This post contains no medical advice. If you have reasons for concern, see your doctor right away.

There is a great deal of fear coupled with misinformation about the Ebola virus. People may envision an apocalyptic plague like the super flu in Stephen King's The Stand, but that is nowhere near the truth. Ebola is not known to be contagious through casual contact. As usual in anything require humanitarian relief, the Christian medical missionaries are heavily involved while the atheists essentially throw stones at them from the sidelines.

Micrograph of human liver tissue infected with the Ebola virus / US CDC
Dr. Jonathan Sarfati wrote an article that deals with several important points from a scientific as well as theological basis. All viruses are not harmful, some are even beneficial. Fruit bats have a symbiotic relationship with the Ebola virus, for instance. Also, viruses are a conundrum for evolutionists since they rely on RNA, which is fragile. The Ebola virus is inefficient, since it kills its own host and defeats evolution by making reproduction extremely difficult. For that matter, why did God create viruses, and what happened after the Fall?
For the last year or so, a deadly epidemic has ravaged West Africa. The culprit is the Ebola virus (genus Ebolavirus), named after the Ebola River in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Za├»re). This causes a high-grade fever accompanied by abnormal bleeding, both internal and external—hence the term ‘viral hemorrhagic fever’—plus other nasty things like diarrhea and vomiting.

The resulting loss of blood and accompanying organ failure means the disease is very dangerous—a 70.8% case fatality rate. So in Africa, it has claimed over 4,000 victims, and it’s estimated that the total death toll will reach over 20,000. Recently Ebola claimed a fatality in the USA, as well as infecting nurses at two modern hospitals in the USA and Spain.
To read the rest of this informative article, click on "Ebola disease: the result of the Fall".

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Taung Child — Missing Link Still Missing

Once in a while, creationists will get a bit rowdy with passing along bad reports or even hoaxes as if they were the final nails in the coffin of evolution. (Some Christians were spreading this bit from a satire site.) But those "proof" reports are about as effective as smoke signals in a blue norther. I keep telling people to slow down and check before posting stuff. Unfortunately, such hysterical reporting seems to be the norm for evolutionists.

Taung Child / Wikimedia Commons / Didier Descouens
There was a lot of noise made about the Taung Child. Supposedly, it was a transitional form where something was evolving for the purpose of having a bigger brain and eventually becoming human. This was based on assumptions and evolutionary presuppositions, as well as inferior equipment. Better equipment and more thorough investigation show that this specimen is nothing special. It would be helpful if evolutionists exercised a bit more restraint before making big announcements. Creationists don't need to imagine or make up stuff, but some of the lay people foul up now and then.
“Taung Child”—the first australopithecine ape discovered—didn’t blaze the trail to bigger better brains for humanity’s supposed ancestors after all. A 2012 CT X-ray analysis reported that Taung Child had an unfused frontal bone as human babies do—and quite unlike great apes. (See diagrams below.) Dean Falk and colleagues claimed that Taung Child and other hominins of its time were evolving increased capacity for expansion of the frontal brain by delaying fusion of this cranial bone. A new imaging study, published 9 September 2014 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, begs to differ.

Of course the evolutionary story is far more flexible than the fossils from which it seeks support. Therefore, though Taung Child has lost its recently acquired prominent status in the human evolutionary hall of brains, thanks to its dissimilarity to humans it will doubtless be retained for the evolutionary variability it supposedly demonstrates.
Use your head, finish reading the article by clicking on "Tale of the Taung Child Collapses". In addition, you can read "Australopith Child Gets an Academic Spanking".

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Was Darwin Right After All?

Darwinists love to assume that he predicted many things in his "masterpiece" books and writings. Did he get some things right? Well, sure. He said so many things, the odds are in favor of getting something right. In addition, although he was not a scientist, he was skilled at observation. Darwin's Drones give him a lot more credit than he deserves, however. And those owlhoots tend to ignore things that were already predicted by creationists, and give Papa Darwin the credit. Things like invasive species (the evolutionary imbalance hypothesis), the disputed "group selection", and biogeography. You can read those three examples at "Darwin Was Right, So They Say".

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Referring to Adaptation as Evolution is Difficult to Swallow

The equivocation trick is back in play as an explanation for changes. Many of Darwin's Cheerleaders are so intent on convincing people that goo-to-you evolution is real that they confuse people by using word games. Referring to adaptation as evolution is highly misleading at best, and has been used before (such as the twist in oysters). Creationists do not have a problem with adaptation or natural selection (which was first proposed by a creationist), but we do object when people are deceived into confusing adaptation with full-on evolution.

Swallows in Nebraska were making an impact — on cars, trucks, roads and so on. Those with smaller wingspans were surviving, and their population was increasing. That's adaptation, Arnie. But scientists gleefully called it evolution, even though the birds were doing what they were designed to do.
According to a news headline: “Birds evolving to dodge traffic”. Another proclaimed,“Evolution via Roadkill”. The articles were reporting research on changes in cliff swallows in southwestern Nebraska, USA. Since 1982, researchers have been conducting detailed annual surveys of the colonies of thousands of these birds that build mud nests on highway bridges, overpasses and road culverts in the area.

The researchers collected the carcasses of cliff swallows hit by vehicles, and discovered that road kill victims had longer-than-average wingspans, right through the study period. In 2012, for example, the average cliff swallow in the population had a 106-mm wingspan, whereas the average wingspan of roadkill swallows was 112 mm. What’s more, as the years passed, fewer and fewer birds were being hit by cars, even though the numbers of nests and birds had more than doubled, while the amount of traffic on the roads had remained steady.
To read the rest, fly over to "Traffic Clips Wings".

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

How Did Snakes Get Venom?

The question of the origin of snake venom has been re-questioned by researchers who were dissatisfied with the "we think maybe" evolutionary explanations. Evolutionary assumptions have hindered scientific research before, and here is a case where it happened again. Evolutionists will occasionally become dissatisfied with established guesswork and conduct overdue investigations, and they repudiated the established evolutionary view of the origin of snake venom. Interestingly, the results of their research fit well with biblical creationist views.
The origin of snake venom has long been a mystery to both creationists and evolutionists. However, by stepping outside the standard research paradigm, scientists recently showed that snake venom proteins may have arisen from existing salivary proteins.

The Bible indicates that at the beginning of creation, God's handiwork was not fraught with death, disease, and violence. Because of Adam and Eve's rebellion, creation became subject to all of these negative factors, including snakes with toxic venom. The question then arises of how the curse on creation brought about these deadly changes. Were new genes of malicious intent added by the Creator, or was pre-existing genetic information corrupted or altered in some way? According to what we know about genomic decay and the character of God as revealed in the Bible, it is more likely that genomic modification, possibly associated with degradation (genetic entropy), was the cause.
To finish reading, click on "Decoding Snake-Venom Origins".