December, 2006-DVD “The Privileged Planet”

     In December we showed The Privileged Planet, an outstanding DVD that presents strong  evidence that Earth is likely the only planet in the universe inhabited by complex life. This extraordinary production proceeds from the book by the same name written by Guillermo Gonzalez, Assistant Professor of Astronomy at the University of Washington, and Jay Richards,

philosopher and a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute. 

 

    The following paragraph is quoted from a catalog of the Institute for Creation Research.

   

   "This video asserts that Earth is privileged because it is not only ideal for life, but also surprisingly conducive for viewing and measuring the universe around us.  Earth is within the Sun's habitable zone; Earth has a large moon that regulates its tilt and gravity; Earth is protected by big planets in its solar system; Earth has an oxygen rich and transparent atmosphere; Earth inhabits an ideal place in the galaxy for life and discovery." 

 

   The improbability of these and many other factors necessary for life coinciding at another place, evidences that the Earth is likely the only planet in the universe where complex life can exist. The video discusses the physical forces that have to be finely tuned for matter as we know it to even exist.  Some of these are: the precise strengths of  gravity, nuclear forces and electrical charges of sub-atomic particles. 

   

     Remarkably, the location of the earth, our kind of atmosphere, and other factors make it a unique place to view and study the universe.  One illustration of this is our ability to view total eclipses of the Sun, which requires almost exactly the existing sizes of the Sun and Moon, and their distances from the Earth.  These eclipses have enabled  man to gain much important  knowledge of physics.

 

   The video was scheduled to be shown at a special reception at the Smithsonian Institute, but opposition by intelligent design adversaries led to cancelling of the event.  See articles about Dr. Gonzales, the video and the Smithsonian dispute (for the latter, read Denyse O'Leary's columns) at the web site of the Discovery Institute, www.ARN.org.  The DVD can be loaned from the Frederick Creation Society, or bought from ARN or ICR.

 

November, 2006-Dr. Wear

   Douglas Wear, M.D. presented a talk entitled "Right Before Your Eyes" at this month's meeting of the Frederick Creation Society.  He is head of infectious diseases at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, likely the preeminent such organization in the world.  He presented a program showing how the truth and evidence right before our eyes are often missed because of our assumptions and past experiences.

 

   Some misinterpretations are physiological such as optical illusions which he demonstrated. Others are due to our expectations as shown by a story puzzle which we could not solve, although the solution seemed

obvious after it was given.   

 

     His work often involves finding answers to baffling medical cases. These solutions not unusually go against accepted beliefs.  As an illustration, Dr Wear told of a case highly suspicious for cat scratch

fever, a disease which for many years was thought to be from a virus.  He used a special stain to rule out the unlikely possibility of syphilis, and this showed a heretofore unknown bacteria.  The stain was then used on tissues from earlier cases of cat scratch fever which confirmed this bacteria as the cause.  Another situation involved apparent plague in India, which after careful study of slides, showed that the cases were in fact Tularemia.  

 

     Dr. Wear had observed that rock layers in the Grand Canyon for hundreds of miles are almost perfectly horizontal.  He thinks it very unlikely that these layers are very old, as commonly believed, since geologic events over millions of years would have left them in various dispositions and not so level.

 

    He talked about DNA studies by the AFIP which showed the identity of the bodies of Czar Nicholas and family, and our Unknown Soldier.  The AFIP has DNA records of all members of our present military, as well as of many going back to the civil war.  He gave out an article about mitachondrial DNA of races around the world that apparently shows all people to be descendents of a woman who lived about 6,500 years ago. We then had a good number of questions from the audience.

  

October, 2006-Dr. Jackson

About 50 people attended an enthralling talk on "Debating Evolutionists" by Dr. Charles Jackson (Dr. J.) at the October meeting of the Frederick Creation Society.  He has lectured on origins at universities, schools and churches, and debated university teachers on evolution.  Dr. Jackson has several degrees, including a PhD in Science Education, and has been on the staff of various schools and colleges.  

 

    Using a power point system and many quotes, Dr. J. gave an incisive presentation on the weaknesses of evolutionary beliefs, including a review of a feature article about the close relationship between chimpanzees and humans in the Oct 9, 2006 issue of Time magazine.  The article stated that at least some so called "junk genes,"  which supposedly comprise about 98% of all human genes, have been shown to perform important functions.  "Junk genes" had been claimed to be left over, non-functioning  genes passed down from ancestors.  Several years ago, when he was the only creationist on the science staff of a Christian college, Dr. J was ridiculed by faculty members for not accepting this claimed evidence for evolution.  

 

  The major differences in the appearance and abilities between chimpanzees and humans makes it obvious that much cannot be explained by the claimed 1.3% difference in known protein coding genes.  Dr. J. said mice have 70% (or 90%), and bananas 50% the same genes as humans, and asked is these were our ancestors.

 

     Dr. J. said that among the major differences between humans and other primates, living and extinct, is the shape of the human pelvis, the only one known that can allow for bipedal gait.  Lucy, a fossil of an ancient primate is believed to have walked upright, and to be a significant link between apes and humans.  However, the half of its pelvis that was found appears distinctly ape-like.  To account for this apparent impossibility, Dr. Owen Lovejoy, who is quoted in the Time article, had postulated on a PBS program that the pelvis had been human-like, but an animal stepped on the fossil breaking the pelvis and compacting it into one that appeared ape-like.  

 

     We were shown a video exert from the P.B.S. show in which Dr. Lovejoy cut a model of the Lucy pelvis into several pieces with a saw, and rearranged them into a human like pelvis.  Dr. J. said this is a demonstration of a theory shaping facts, and not good science.  Another Lucy type fossil has been found in recent years. Its pelvis is missing, as are the feet of the first Lucy fossil, but the new Lucy's feet are still imbedded in rock.  Dr. J. expects that when excavated, they

will show thumbs on the feet, which is typical of apes.

  

     Dr. Jackson told of debates he has had, and attributes to God the wisdom to answer the claims and questions of evolutionists.  He said we should ask those who present the case for evolution how they know their claims are true.  He encouraged the audience by saying that now that they know the basic fallacies of evolution, with God's help, they could answer the claims of this false theory.  Following the talk, Dr. J. answered many questions from the audience.  

 

    While in our area,  Dr. J. also spoke at four schools, 2 colleges and several church groups.  His web site is  PointsofOrigins.com.  To receive his brief e-mails on origins, write  Drjxn2004@Yahoo.com.

 

September, 2006-Dr. Lester Harris

On September 12, the creation society was honored to have Dr. Lester Harris as our speaker.  This brilliant and enthusiastic field biologist taught science at all levels for over 50 years.  In undergraduate school he majored in Biology and minored in Chemistry.  At the U. of Maryland he majored in Herpetology and minored in Botany, and at Cornell his major was Vertebrate Zoology, and minors were Nature Education and Economic Botany.  He was head of the biology department at Columbia Union College for 20 years.  He is acclaimed as a teacher, and several of his former students came to our meeting.

Dr. Harris had over a thousand articles in popular nature magazines, articles in peer reviewed journals, and has written several books.  He spent 2 months a year for 20 years on the Galapagos Islands where he founded a school which recently was dedicated to him.  His extensive book on the natural history of the Galapagos Islands was praised by all reviewers, one of whom stated it would be the definitive book on this subject for decades.  Interestingly, the book has not been published due to a reviewer who initially favored the book for the Cornell University Publisher, but after learning Dr. Harris was a creationist, threatened to blackball it, and said he would never approve the publication of a book by a creationist.

Dr. Harris’ very interesting talk included many subjects.  He described amazing creatures, perhaps the most unique being a species of frog that lives on an island near the mouth of the Amazon River.  These frogs mate for life, and the male has a hard beak which he uses to drill a hole and make a cavity in a special type of tree.  The male and female make about 200 trips to a particular variety of maple tree in which are stingless honeybees. The frogs leave the honey but take wax which they use to line the cavity in the first tree.  Then they bring water and fill a basin at the bottom of their nest in which their eggs are laid.  The male then plugs the entrance with his head; which matches the color of the wood.  Tadpoles emerge from the eggs and after these become frogs, the male removes his head from the entrance and the tiny frogs jump out of the tree.  Dr. Harris said about one of the fantastic creatures (which would apply to the others he described) that he could think of no way it could have arisen without intelligent design.

Dr. Harris said that new species can form in as little as 20 to 100 years.  But, there are others that have remained essentially the same throughout a long history on the earth.  He believes that Noah's Ark may have had as few as 400 species, from which many new species developed.  For example, the progeny of a basic kind of cat may have become the many species of the cat family.

These and many other absorbing accounts were enjoyed by the audience.  He has written a new book, Theistic Natural History, which may soon be available to the public.

 

August, 2006-Lou Reinagel

"An Excursion into a Few Different Dimensions - An Evening of Imaginative Diversion" part 2

For our August meeting Mr. Reinagel continued July’s “stretching” of the imagination with another very interesting discussion that also stretched ones thinking. This part built on the foundation of the previous discussion and brought some ideas to the floor that challenged my thinking and understanding of who God is and what powers His angels may have.

 

July, 2006-Lou Reinagel

"An Excursion into a Few Different Dimensions - An Evening of Imaginative Diversion"

 

Mr. Reinagel had a very interesting approach to Cosmology in Julys meeting; he calls it “Armchair Cosmology,” because it doesn’t involve any “hands on” the data but quite a bit of imagination. This lecture, he explained, originated in one of the college courses he taught.

 

June, 2006-Dr. Jim Smith

This was the first time Dr. Smith spoke to our group. He gave us a little background about himself and what he does, and then he showed some clips from a DVD called “DNA Interactive,” about how complex the DNA is and even more complex some of its processes are.

 

April, 2006-Jay Auxt

Thousands Not Billions Presentation

The Institute for Creation Research (ICR) concluded an eight year research study on Radiometric Decay in November of 2005. In this presentation Jay Auxt presented ICR's findings and showed how even the Evolutionists pet theory has turned against them.

In this presentation, Mr. Auxt explained ICR's findings during an eight year research program called “Radioisotopes and the Age of The Earth” (or RATE for short), and why ICR spent over one-million dollars to research Radioisotopes. This technical presentation discussed each of the major researches that the RATE program undertook and; a) Introduces the audience to the individual in charge of the study, b) Provides some background information as to why it was studied, c) Describes the nature of the study, and e) Reports the findings/conclusions of the study. This presentation followed the previous months showing of the “Thousands not Billions” DVD that ICR put together.

 

March, 2006-Jay Auxt

Thousands Not Billions DVD

An interesting DVD, "Thousands...not Billions,” was the main feature at the meeting. It presented an overall view of a recently concluded 8 year research project, "Radioactivity and the Age of the Earth."  Four radioactive processes were discussed, which strongly support the need for a re-evaluation in estimates of the age of the earth. The specific issues were fission tacts, Helium in Zircon crystals, Polonium Halos and Carbon 14 dating.

The most easily understood of these is C14 dating.  If fossils and other carboniferous objects which have been buried in the earth are more than 100,000 years old, they should contain no measurable carbon 14, but old fossils, coal and diamonds showed significant amounts of carbon 14 when evaluated with the most accurate tests at some of the best laboratories in the world.  Also the various objects showed they may have been buried in the earth at the same time.  

Material in the DVD was simplified, but may require considerable attention to understand. It may be available for loan. We plan to continue discussion on this subject at the April 11 meeting.

 

February, 2006-Jay Auxt

Creation Overview

“What's the big deal? Can't Creation and Evolution work together?” In this presentation Jay addressed some of the major differences between Creation and Evolution and the consequences and implications of each.

This presentation was a very basic introduction to the reason “why” evolution is such a problem and why it is important to study Creation Science. This discussion started with the differences between the two “world views” or ways of thinking that we call “Creation” and “Evolution.” After establishing the basic differences Mr. Auxt gave a brief over-view of ten areas of science that supports a special creation, by God, of the entire universe.

 

January 2006 Meeting-Jay Auxt

At the January meeting, the subjects were the Dover Pennsylvania School Board Trial and Intelligent Design. Jay Auxt talked about "Intelligent Design in the News Today."  He presented the statements outlined below.  We showed an excellent DVD about intelligent design, "Unlocking the Mystery of Life," and had very interesting discussions on both.

 

Jay started with a short quiz:   True or False

1. The recent court case in Pennsylvania shot down the Dover School Board's attempt to teach the concept of "Intelligent Design" in their district.

2. Intelligent Design is a theory that certain aspects of science are "too complex to form naturally."  

3. Intelligent Design is a religiously based theory.

4. To defy modern evolutionary science is to defy great scientists like Albert Einstein.

5.  The theory of evolution is based on science, and the theory of creation on religion. 

(If you answered true to any of the five statements above, you have been listening to the public media too much. All five statements are "false.")  

                                              ____________________

 

1.  The case pertained to censorship, not the teaching of intelligent design (ID).  The Dover School Board was merely attempting to inform the students with a statement that other theories exist; specifically, "Intelligent design is an explanation of the origin of life that differs from Darwin's views. The school leaves the discussion of the origins of life to individual students and their families." 

2. The "ID" theory is not about complexity.  The formation of hurricanes is extremely complex beyond our imagination, yet they do occur naturally.  The theory of ID (in simple terms) illustrates that certain aspects of science could not have possibly formed naturally without defying existing natural laws.  Consequently, they must have been directed by an intelligent being.

3. The modern "ID: movement was started by evolutionists that recognized the fallacies of the theory.  As Christians, we know Who that Designer is, and should embrace ID guardedly.  ID is an evolutionary attempt to scientifically address existing pitfalls of evolution.

4. Many great scientists were Christians.  Although Albert Einstein did not profess to be a Christian, he was a proponent of ID long before the movement became popular! 

5. For a hundred years, the word "science" was defined by a concept called "the scientific method" which is unfortunately too lengthy to address in this short monograph.  Today, the word "science" clearly does not fit.  However, regardless of one's definition of the word "science," evolutionists claim that creation science is not science because it cannot be observed or openly tested in a laboratory and defies existing scientific laws.  Since it isn't natural, it's therefore deemed "supernatural" (outside the realm of science).  YET, NEITHER the evolutionary "Big Bang" NOR the evolutionary "origin of life," can be observed or tested in a laboratory, and both defy natural laws!  Furthermore, creation science goes way beyond the study of origins.  Contrary to what you hear in the news, creation scientists, (a) conduct and analyze controlled tests, (b) use nationally recognized independent laboratories, and (c) publish peer reviewed results of those tests.