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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Seeing God's Creatures With Help From Government Funding

Scientists can learn a great deal from seeing God's creatures in a lab setting, but more is to be had by getting more up close and personal in the wild. For instance, the famous ornithologist John James Audubon (unhappily) killed those birds that appeared in his book, but a great deal of information was gained. But it was incomplete, of course. Watching animals in zoos and wildlife preserves can give additional information. But you can't walk up to a grizzly bear and ask it to sit down at your campfire for coffee and biscuits for a discussion, some things are best kept at a safe distance. In addition, observers doing their observing can affect the subjects of their observations.


Scientists can learn a great deal from seeing God's creatures in a lab setting, but more is to be had by getting more up close and personal in the wild.
Caribou / US National Park Service
The United States government passed the Pittman-Robertson Act in 1937, and it has been used to fund research in the wild — which is better than speculating based on studies in non-natural environments. A great deal has been learned through the Act and modern technology about God's creatures. Slime-to-scientist evolutionary thinking need not apply.
An unusual law has helped some creation science evidence to “go wild.”

Unsurprisingly (for Bible believers), mounting evidence increasingly shows that only the Genesis explanation of our world’s origin—and Earth’s present ecological equilibrium—makes sense. Animal ecology is purposefully balanced; it’s not a simple hodgepodge of evolutionary “accidents.”

We can thank Congress for much of what we now know about American wildlife, specifically, the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration [Pittman-Robertson] Act (P-R Act) in 1937.1 The P-R Act focuses financing of scientific research projects involving field studies of animals in their natural habitats. This approach improves upon stereotypical research done on experimental animals in laboratories because the facts learned in the field are usually more relevant for understanding how animals actually function.

But if biologists can conveniently research in climate-controlled laboratories, why spend money on ecologists’ in-the-wild field studies?
To read the rest of the article, click on "Crayfish, Caribou, and Scientific Evidence in the Wild".