December, 2002-Dr. Janksuk Oh

Embryonic Recapitulation

 

At our last meeting Dr. Jangsuk Oh, a cell biologist doing research on HIV at Fort Detrick spoke on the "Recapitulation" theory.  Ernst Haeckle, who developed this theory, Darwin and many others, presented this as an important evidence for evolution of the species.  The theory says that as an embryo develops, it goes through stages which show its evolutionary ancestors. As an example, a pig embryo was thought to be similar to a fish, than later in its development to resemble a reptile, and then a pig.  It was said that embryos of different species look very alike at comparable stages of development.  Even though this theory and the falsified embryo drawings of Ernst Haeckel were soon criticized by noted scientists, it won the publicity war and became one of the main arguments for evolution.

Dr Oh showed how the drawings were not accurate and gave accounts by one of Haeckle's assistants that some were based on imagination.  One problem is the great differences in size at comparable stages of embryos of various species which are not seen in Haeckle's drawings.  Embryos of different species are clearly distinct even at the earliest stages and significant differences continue in their development till a later stage when they tend to become similar, but after that they diverge. 

Even though few scientists, evolutionists or otherwise, now believe this theory, recent textbooks continue to present this idea and the original drawings of embryos. Dr. Oh showed a copy of these drawings in a recent biology textbook, but it had a footnote stating the recapitulation theory had been discredited, but other books give no disclaimer.

After Dr. Oh's talk we presented parts of the video “Incredible Animals that Defy Evolution."

 

 

November 2002-Dennis Martin and Bob Scovner

Video on wonders of the animal world and Cells

Dennis Martin gave a devotional on Job 12: 7 thru 9,

Text Box: "But ask now the beasts and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall they tell thee, or speak to the earth and it shall teach thee; and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee.  Who knowest not in all these that the hand of the Lord hath wrought this."
 

 

 

 

 


He showed parts of a beautiful video on the wonders of animals made by the Moody Science Institute.  One was about salmon which are born in fresh water streams or tanks and after one to four years swim as a group to the ocean where they swim in a circuit of thousands of miles.  In a few years they return to the same place they were hatched. There they lay and fertilize eggs and a new group of salmon is born. This trip is in large part a mystery of navigation and shows great persistence by the fish which often swim up rapid rivers and waterfalls.  A fully grown salmon was found in the same hatchling tank that it was raised in years earlier. It was figured that the return trip involved swimming up ditches and drainage pipes and jumping up several feet to knock a screen off the pipe that drained the tank.  It was discovered that many salmon also raised in the tank were in the pipes but did make the last jump.

An experiment on brain waves showed the great sensitivity and precision of a salmon's sense of smell.  The brain waves responded markedly only when the water from its site of birth were instilled into its nostrils, even though the differences among various waters were extremely small.

We also saw the part of the video about Monarch Butterflies which fly as much as thousands of miles from the U.S.A. and Canada to Mexico and back.  A great wonder is that their offspring that had never made this trip, know where, when and how to travel.

Bob Scovner gave a talk on living cells. The implausibility of these amazing, complex structures to have originated without intelligent design seems evident.  The millions of essential parts of a living cell and their coordinated functioning had to be in place at their origin. A cell cannot function without a cell membrane but this structure cannot be made except by the cell.  Proteins are only made in a cell but these must be present for any cells to exist.  There are many other great problems that any naturalistic origin of life must overcome, including the laws of thermodynamics, the statistical impossibility of even a single functioning protein originating over billions of years by chance combinations of amino acids, and the thousands of different proteins with thousands of copies of each one needed for a cell to function.  There are attempts to back up totally natural explanations, but it seems these contradict laws of science and are not founded on significant evidence.

 

 

August, 2002-Nicholas Miller

Teaching Origins in Public Schools

On August 5, at the Frederick Creation meeting, attorney Nicholas Miller gave a presentation that he had prepared several years ago when trying to promote a more open discussion of origins in schools.

Mr. Miller talked about the famous Tennessee trial in which Mr. Scopes was found guilty of breaking the law by teaching evolution in a public school.  Eventually, state laws banning evolution teaching were overthrown, and now almost all public schools teach evolution only, and do not allow the presentation of Biblical creation or even a fair critical discussion of origins.  A main point of the case in support of Mr. Scope was that the state law violated the principle of free speech.

Although it is broadly accepted at this time that the promotion of the Bible's teaching is unconstitutional, this should not apply to scientific ideas and evidence critical of Darwinian evolution or that support intelligent design.  To reverse this unfair situation, the points of contention should be that the current situation is an abridgement of free discussion, and the crucial importance of the issue of origins on one's world view and morals.  Also, the one sided teaching of evolution inherently promotes a religious view.  It should also be pressed that allowing intelligent design in schools does not promote a particular religion and should pass constitutional standards.  We have a few copies of a pamphlet written on this issue by Mr. Miller.

A farewell celebration was held for Nicholas Miller who has done such great work in our creation society.  He was going to leave in a few days to live in California.  We presented him a book, served refreshments and gave our good wishes to him and his family.      

 

 

July 2002-Jay Auxt

Mount St. Helens Eruption

In our [July ‘02] creation society meeting the eruption of Mount St Helens was discussed.  Jay Auxt showed slides and gave information on the significance for the creationist view of this very important geological occurrence.

The eruption, witnessed and documented by many people, portrayed the tremendous power of catastrophic earth events and resulted in geological changes unimagined by previous theories.  The initial explosion was equal to thousands of atomic bombs.  This force and huge amounts of earth, water and steam destroyed much of MT. St Helens and hundreds of square miles of forests.

Multiple layers of sediment were formed in hours or days that according to most traditional explanations would have been thought due to millions of years of gradual sedimentation.  Canyons, one 600 feet deep with features similar to Grand Canyon, were cut through new soft and old hard rock in days.  Floating trees eventually settled upright into multiple levels, which was very similar in appearance to the Petrified Forest which had been attributed to successive forests over millions of years.

 

June 2002-Jay Auxt

Virtual Tour of the Smithsonian Museum

A tour through the Smithsonian museum hall of evolution was presented by Jay Auxt.  He showed a photograph of a time pillar that had on one side that the age of a rock layer is interpreted by its contained fossils, and on another side that the date of the fossils is known by the layer it is in.  This interpretation is subjective and circular reasoning.  In portraying the evolution of man, in a significant change from earlier exhibits, only one fossil of an extinct ape like animal and one of modern man were shown. The "Cambrian Explosion," which was the sudden appearance in the geologic column of almost all the multi-cellular phylum, was presented in the museum which had as an explanation only unsupported guesses. 

After that, the last portion of a video “The Rocks Cry Out" was shown.  It presented evidence in geology that seemed to be best explained by a worldwide flood.  

 

May, 2002-Attorney Nicholas Miller

The Biblical Flood

 The subject of this month's meeting of the creation society was the Biblical flood.  Nicholas Miller gave reasons supporting the belief that the flood was worldwide, and disputed a recent book by explorer Robert Ballard about a large local flood in the Black Sea area which its author states may have been the  the flood of Noah.  

Mr. Miller gave ten points showing that the Bible portrays the flood of Noah as universal.  The book of Genesis uses language that clearly shows this to be its view.  Among these are “all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth --- therefore I will destroy them with the earth,” and “all the high hills that were under the whole heaven were covered."   If the flood was not worldwide, the building of the great ark and the coming of the animals to Noah seem unnecessary since the animals and man could have walked away to avoid the flood.  If the flood was local, the promise that God would not again destroy the earth by a flood would be false because many large local floods have occurred.   Other parts of the Old Testament, and the New Testament gospels and letters support a real universal flood.

A video was shown that gave geological findings of massive flooding. Among these are large amounts of marine fossils found throughout the earth.  There is evidence that many rock layers were deposited one upon the other over a brief period, as there are few erosive features between layers.  In addition, many layers of sedimentary rock on the land originated as turbidity slides under water.  There are many resources on this subject.  The best known is the book “The Genesis Flood" by Whitcomb and Morris.

For More information

 

April, 2002-Dennis Martin and Bob Scovner 

Extinction," and "The Evolutionary Arms Race"                                                           

At the last creation meeting we had a discussion of subjects on the TV series "Evolution."  Dennis Martin spoke about extinction.  It was stated on the show that about 95% of species have become extinct.  Actually, the known extinct species make up less than 10% of all known species. The 95% evolutionary estimate may come from the belief that there must have been millions of transitional forms which are not now which are extinct, but very few of even alleged transitional creatures have been discovered in the fossil record. The TV program called many things evolution, including extinction and changes in the ratios of various species in an area, but these are not evolution by any consensus definition of the term. The TV show falsely gives the impression that these facts support and are examples of evolution.

“The Evolutionary Arms Race" TV episode is an interesting demonstration of the fight for survival between predators and prey.  Examples were the HIV virus, TB bacteria, and the defense mechanisms of the garter snake.  This snake is partly resistant to the poison of the newts which it can eat.  The most resistant of these snakes are less agile and therefore overall less hardy.  The resistance and loss of agility may stem from a lesser amount of neurotransmitter chemicals.  The idea, possibly true, is that there is a cycle over years of increasing toxicity of the newt and resistance of the snake.  The main issue is that there is nothing basically new in the creatures, but likely increased or decreased production of, or small changes in the makeup of existing body chemicals. The emergence of resistant microbes to drugs is due to the presence of a few organisms which have a trait that protects them while the main population of sensitive microbes is killed.  Than, these resistant varieties reproduce and become the dominant type.  Often, these resistant members are less hardy overall in ordinary environments. In conclusion, new varieties appear, but there is no substantiation of a creature becoming a new kind.    

 

 

March 2002-Jay Auxt

At the last meeting Jay Auxt talked on the eye and many of the complex and precise structures that had to be in place for it to function in a useful way.  Some of these are the retina, the clear cornea, eye muscles, nerves and a part of the brain to interpret the messages.  Each of these parts would not help survival unless all were present simultaneously at the origination of the animal.  The PBS TV program "Evolution” stated that the eye had a blind spot due to poor design.  In reality hardly anyone would know there is this insignificant blind spot since the brain fills in for it.  The computer model showing steps in the evolution of the eye on the TV show was poorly supported by fossil or biological evidence, and in a facile manner avoided the implausibility of the origin of the individual steps in the supposed evolution of the eye.   

Linda Dunn and Charmaine Richman, cell biologists, talked about "master genes” which initiate the development of basic segments of a creature.  These genes have been demonstrated to be interchangeable between very different kinds of creatures.  The very different structures that result, such as the eyes of insects or mice, are due to many genes and complex series of mechanisms which are turned on by the master genes which serve as switches    Evolutionists say these common genes are evidence for common descent of all life.  A creationist interpretation is that they are consistent with a common designer.

 

 

February, 2002-Charmaine Richman and Bob Scovner

TV show "Evolution. DNA”, and Whales,

 

We discussed several subjects from the public broadcasting show” Evolution."  Charmaine Richman demonstrated how the DNA in various species does not back the claim by evolutionists of a universal DNA code which supposedly shows the common ancestry of all living things. There are 4 nucleotides in DNA and one more which not uncommonly substitutes for one of these. Specific sequences of three, among these codes, for one of the twenty amino acids that are than joined to form proteins. This arrangement applies in most cases, but there are often exceptions, where an amino acid is coded by a different sequence of three nucleotides.

Whales were an important part of the TV show.  Much of the evidence for the evolution of whales are fossils of extinct animals which are believed to show a series from fully land going mammals to amphibious animals and finally to fully marine animals.  Since the production of the TV series, the family of land animals from which it was claimed whales originated is no longer accepted as such by evolutionists. The next few fossils are from basically land going animals. Basilosaursus, a fully marine creature, showed legs much too small for walking, which may have been used in mating.  Several of the fossils found in the series were very incomplete. The great features of whales such as its wonderful sonar, different types of eyes and ears for living in water, the ability to live in subfreezing water even though they are warm blooded, the ability to stay under water for over an hour with one breath of air and to nurse their young under water seem impossible to have come about through small adaptions over millions of years.  The evolutionary story does not even seem compatible with the supposed years involved and the usual rate of mutations accepted by evolutionists.

Nick Miller told about a course in religion he is taking at Georgetown University.  The teacher, a professed Christian, said essentially that the Gospels were not written by those alleged to be their authors.  He claimed that people who accept them as true history are in the same class as those who think the world was created in six days, which in his view is an indication of how ignorant they are. Over the past hundred and fifty years, most mainline church leaders have accepted Darwinian Evolution, commonly in its most naturalistic form. However, the staunchest opponents of evolution have often been scientists including outstanding pioneers such as Faraday, Pasteur and Maxwell.

 

 

January, 2002-Nick Miller and Bob Scovner

TV series “Evolution”. Finches, H.I.V., and Homology

We had a very illuminating meeting [January 2002].  The discussion about the TV series "Evolution," led by Nicholas Miller, showed clearly that the minor changes proclaimed as demonstrations of evolution did not come close to substantiating the main thesis of the show that all life descended from a common ancestor.  One of the most widely known of these changes is the variety of beaks in finches.  It was supposedly shown by DNA research that it takes a million years for different beak varieties to become established from an early type of finch.  A paper was presented at our meeting by a student, Martina Houmann, which related a study which gave reasons why these changes could have occurred within 200 to 1200 years.  It is likely that the varieties of beaks are inherent in the genes of finches, with each becoming the dominant form in a particular environment, and not a trait that arose by random changes.

The TV show claimed that the rapid build up of resistance of H.I.V to antiviral medicines demonstrates fast evolution. It is likely, on the other hand, that different inherent immunities are present in small numbers of the original population of viruses, and these viruses take over as susceptible viruses are wiped out by drug therapies.  The resistant viruses that had been a minority are overall less hardy than the original dominant types.  Actually, this pattern is also seen in bacteria.  This really represents an overall decrease in survivability and loss of genetic information in the new population of organisms.

A brief talk was given by Bob Scovner on homologies, the similarities in different organisms, which are said by evolutionists to be due to common descent.  Interestingly, many homologous organs and parts derive from different genes in supposedly related types of life forms.   Often, similar structures arise in embryos from different cells and processes.  For example, the kidney in amphibians and fishes arises from a different structure than that of mammals.  The earliest stages of development such as the blastula and gastrula are much different in the various classes of vertebrae.   However, many structures that develop from these are similar.  These observations appear to be inexplicable by evolutionary theory.   This issue is brought out in a paper in 1971, “Homology, an Unresolved Problem," by Sir Gavin de Beer, former curator of the British Museum of Natural History, and in the book, "Evolution, a Theory in Crisis,” by Michael Denton.