Saturday, February 17, 2018

Digging Past the Doubts

by Bryant Wood on ; last featured December 31, 2017
Audio Version
Today most archaeologists claim that no evidence supports the Bible’s claims about many Old Testament events. There is a problem, but it’s not with the evidence.
Have you ever tried to share your faith and heard these ominous words? “But archaeology has disproved the Bible!” If you haven’t, it’s coming soon. As our Western culture increasingly abandons all semblance of Christianity, more and more people think the Bible is just a bunch of myths.
Perhaps you’ve been taught to respond confidently: “Recent discoveries have forced archaeologists to admit the reliability of Old Testament history.” But the answer is much more complicated than that. In fact, most experts are now saying just the opposite. They’ve been looking very hard for evidence of biblical events, but nothing has turned up, they say.
So if you don’t know how to respond to these questions, your gospel presentation could effectively end right there. Answers really do matter.
The short answer is encouraging. Archaeologists have found evidence that supports the Bible, but many times the evidence is ignored because of preconceptions about the Bible’s historicity, or their dates or places are wrong for the biblical events. The longer answer is even more exciting. Any supposed contradictions turn out to be human errors, not Bible errors. Consider five of the most common examples.
  1. Tower of Babel
  2. Sodom & Gomorrah
  3. Israelite Slavery in Egypt
  4. Conquest of Jericho
  5. Conquest of Ai

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

RNA Miracle

'RNA World' Paper Retracted

The whole concept of how life originated is an insurmountable naturalistic hurdle. Life requires DNA, RNA, and protein in an interdependent triad in which each molecule is wholly dependent on the other two to exist. It’s worse than a chicken and egg scenario. Furthermore, since each type of molecule carries and conveys complex encoded information, an intelligent information provider is the only logical cause of this information source. Code implies a coder.
Shortly after the largely unfruitful origin of life research on amino acids by Miller and Urey in the 1950s,1scientist Alex Rich speculated in 1962 that RNA may have been the first biomolecule to spontaneously evolve. That first RNA biomolecule would possibly have both informational and enzymatic properties, thus omitting the original necessity of DNA and proteins.2 This idea slowly gained traction and eventually became more popular in the 1980s with discoveries that some types of RNA were involved in enzymatic-like reactions in the complex processing of RNA transcribed from genes. One of the main researchers in these discoveries was Scott Gilbert who coined the term “RNA World.”3
Since the late 1980s, researchers explored many aspects of the evolutionary possibilities related to RNA being the first biomolecule, but have found nothing but obstacles including no method of spontaneously forming RNA or its nucleotide building blocks. In fact, a secular scientist published a 2012 paper expressing this great frustration titled, “The RNA world hypothesis: the worst theory of the early evolution of life (except for all the others).”4
If we grant the evolutionists a lot of slack and assume that RNA molecules with meaningful biological information could somehow magically burst onto the scene in a chemical milieu favorable to RNA stability and life, there are still many other problems. One of these additional obstacles is how the first RNA molecule could have possibly replicated itself without the aid of protein polymerases. In 2016, research was published that seemed to provide a solution to this dilemma by showing that RNA could be partially replicated without protein enzymes.5 Small chains of amino acids called peptides were used to help keep the products of the replicated short RNAs from binding to each other. Peptides are merely really short versions of proteins, so the scientists essentially cheated and the RNA replication process was not exclusively RNA-based. Nor was it very efficient or reliable. As fate would have it, the famous study also contained some major errors and could not be replicated. Thus, the famous—now infamous—paper had to be retracted. The authors—one of them a Nobel Laureate—later confessed, “In retrospect, we were totally blinded by our belief” and “we were not as careful or rigorous as we should have been.”6
So not only did this so-called RNA World study cheat by using peptides, meaning it really wasn’t just an RNA World, but the research was misinterpreted and unrepeatable. This led to its complete retraction. Even if the study had been a success, the conditions surrounding it were carefully engineered by humans in a state-of-the-art laboratory—a classic case of intelligent design, not an example of purposeless random evolutionary processes.
  1. Thomas, B. 2011. Historic 'Primordial Soup' Study Yields New Data, But Not New AnswersCreation Science Update. Posted on April 25, 2011, accessed January 5, 2017.
  2. Lehman, N. 2015. The RNA World: 4,000,000,050 Years OldLife. 5(4): 1583-1586.
  3. Gilbert, W. 1986. The RNA World. Nature. 319:618.
  4. Bernhardt, H. S. 2012 The RNA world hypothesis: the worst theory of the early evolution of life (except for all the others). Biology Direct. 7:23.
  5. Jia, T. Z. et al. 2016. Oligoarginine peptides slow strand annealing and assist non-enzymatic RNA replication. Nature Chemistry. 8 (10): 915-21. DOI: 10.1038/NCHEM.2551.
  6. Stern, V. 2017. “Definitely embarrassing:” Nobel Laureate retracts non-reproducible paper in Nature journal. Posted on December 5, 2017, accessed January 10, 2018.
*Dr. Jeffrey Tomkins is Director of Life Sciences and earned his Ph.D. in genetics from Clemson University.
Article posted on January 15, 2017.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

A Beautiful Story

Army atheist yells, ‘God save me’, as shells explode

This article arose from an exchange of information between CMI’s translations facilitator Roger Griffiths and John T. Tolbert, an evangelist working with several language groups in Asia, primarily Vietnamese.
Published: 12 December 2017 (GMT+10)
John and Beverly Tolbert on the mission field. Click for larger view.
John recalls, as a five-year-old, looking up at the sky, and realizing there must be a God. At 17 years, he joined the US Army, which was engaged in the Vietnam War. During basic training, an older colleague, hearing that John believed in God, gave him Mark Twain’s Letters from the Earth, which lampoons the Bible. John says, “Not having read the Bible, I fell for it, and became an atheist.”
In March 1969, he arrived in Vietnam and became an interpreter of Vietnamese. That period in his life had a huge impact, because he discovered that when the shells were falling around him and people were getting killed, “I was running for the nearest bunker praying, ‘God save me’!”

Looking for life’s purpose

Honourably discharged in April 1970, John returned to the US and immediately enrolled at the University of Delaware. He was constantly discouraged by the fact that he did not know the purpose of life, or even if it had a purpose. If anyone sat down next to him at a bar, within minutes he would ask, “What do you think the purpose of life is?” No one had a satisfying answer.
John was so turned off by the Vietnam War that he decided to study political science. In the introductory course, he was enamoured with the reasoning and eloquent language of some Supreme Court opinions. Something about ‘truth’ captured his heart and he na├»vely thought the study of law would lead him to the ‘truth’. So, after he received his B.A. in political science, at the age of 24 he decided to go to law school.
John says, “While a law student, I went to a Christmas Eve party. I left it about 2 am, drove out to the countryside, and parked near a big field. I walked out into the field and just stared up at the sky and the blinking stars. It seemed like a cold, lonely universe.” Then, as John thought about God, he began to cry, and called out, “God, I know you are there. Why can’t I know you? Send me a priest to tell me about you.”
Nothing happened. No meteors flashed through the sky. Dejectedly he walked back to his car and drove home. But God had heard that prayer.

John’s ‘priest’ arrives

John began to practise law in Delaware. One day, he was assigned a new client, a church pastor, and so met his ‘priest’. John observed that the pastor always brought a Bible with him, and prayed before making decisions about the case. What surprised John was that the pastor clearly seemed to think that someone was listening at the other end.
John was aware that the Bible taught a six-day creation, which was contrary to everything he had ever been taught. “So in my arrogance, and belief that I was smarter than the pastor, I decided to challenge him. One day when he came to my office, I picked up his Bible and said, ‘How can you believe in the Bible, when it’s wrong in the very first chapter’?”
He smiled, and said, “What do you mean, Mr Tolbert? Evolution?”
John replied, “Yes, evolution. Six-day creation. Noah’s Ark.”
“Come on!” He said, “You’re a lawyer, right?”
John said, “Yes.”
Then, he asked John a question that changed his life. He said, “Do you always form conclusions before you’ve studied both sides of the evidence?”
John was stunned, and said, “Are you saying there is evidence for a sudden creation, and against evolution?”
He said, “Quite a bit. Do you have an open mind?”
John replied, “Yes, I do.”
He said, “Ok. Next week I’ll send you some books written by PhDs in their fields, who don’t believe in evolution. They believe in a sudden creation by God, just as Genesis says.”
Sure enough, the next week, two people from his church brought a stack of books on creation and evolution. One of them was Beverly, whom he would marry three years later. But at that time, he was only interested in seeking ‘truth’.
As John read the books, he says he realized three things:
  1. Evolutionists, when pressed, seemed to admit that there was very little evidence to support their conclusions.
  2. The Genesis account of Creation and the Fall provided a serious, cogent explanation for the existence of the universe, and in many ways accounted for the sometimes horrible world in which we live.
  3. Genesis 3 provided the best explanation he had ever encountered concerning how there could be a ‘good’ God and a ‘terrible’ world.

Checking the sources

One morning in 1980, John took the books to the public library and began looking up the footnotes in the original sources (NatureScienceSmithsonian, etc.). As John put it, “There was no distortion, twisting or misquoting. I slowly pushed my chair back from the table covered with all the original source materials, and said to myself, ‘Evolution is the biggest fraud that has ever been perpetrated upon the world. I have been deceived’.”
John then began to study the Bible, and about two to three months later, got down on his knees in his apartment and said to Jesus: “You are who I have been looking for, for 25 years. I am yours.”
“And that’s how I got saved,” John said. “It was obvious to me that the Scriptures taught a sudden creation in six 24-hour days. As a lawyer, I could reach no other conclusion. I had become convinced of the total reliability and inerrancy of the Bible.”
“I also was convinced that creation was recent,” John said. “Jesus said that ‘from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female’ (Mark 10:6), and He spoke of the blood of all the prophets shed ‘from the foundation of the world’ (Luke 11:50).”

Evangelism and translation

In 1999, a church in Maine called him to be their pastor, and in 2002, John and Beverly commenced eight years service in Vietnam with the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism (ABWE). In 2010, they moved to Taiwan to work among the Vietnamese there.
In addition to this evangelism work, John also leads a team of 10 Vietnamese native-speakers helping to translate the website (an apologetics site that also holds to six-24-hour-day creation) into Vietnamese. He has also helped proofread a portion of the articles translated into Vietnamese and featured on CMI’s website
In 2010, John wrote a 20-page tract called The Ancient Path, which has been printed in Vietnamese, Burmese, Chinese, and Nepali, with over 1,600,000 copies distributed. They are also working on getting it translated into the native tongues of some people groups in Asia that do not yet have the Scriptures translated. It answers the most common objection to Christianity in Asia—that Christianity is a Western religion.
John advises, “Virtually all Asians believe that Christianity is an American or Western religion. The idea of ‘sin’ clashes with ‘karma’, and so we have to deal with Buddhism and Hinduism. Most Asians just think that the universe ‘has always been there’. So in evangelism, starting with ‘the beginning’ is crucial (Luke 24:27).” The Ancient Path does this effectively, with pictures.

Inspired by this article?

John, who has been reading CMI’s articles for years, says this is “because they are so well-reasoned and well-documented”. He says, “There is no reason to abandon the historical and traditional view of Genesis 1. There is an infinitely powerful God who loves us, who created the entire universe in six days and then stopped creating. It’s as simple as that!”
John and Beverly are people who believe what God says, take Him seriously, and respond by using their talents to point others to God. It leaves a question for us: how are we using our talents to do likewise?
If you are fluent in a language other than English, perhaps you could help multiply CMI materials by becoming a voluntary CMI translator. Contact

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Noah and the Nodosaur

Dinosaurs and Dragon Legends

"Look now at the behemoth, which I made along with you; he eats grass like an ox. See now, his strength is in his hips, and his power is in his stomach muscles. He moves his tail like a cedar; the sinews of his thighs are tightly knit. His bones are like beams of bronze, his ribs like bars of iron." (Job 40:15-18)
How do dinosaurs fit with the Bible’s history? They certainly existed—their fossil remains are found on every continent. And ancient historical records, including the Bible, chronicle human encounters with large reptiles whose descriptions best match dinosaurs. Could it be that these records show that dinosaurs and humans shared the earth at one time rather than living millions of years apart as evolutionary myth proclaims?
Dinosaurs certainly appear to be extinct now. Those that lived at the time of Noah’s globe-covering Flood drowned or suffocated (except those on board the Ark), as did all land-dwelling creatures with nostrils, according to Genesis 7:22. Fast-moving Flood mud quickly buried some of those outside the Ark. The mud layers covered the creatures’ dead bodies so deeply that scavengers couldn’t reach them, and the mud dried soon enough to preserve their remains as fossils faster than their carcasses could decay. Most, if not all, dinosaur fossil layers also contain fossil water creatures like fish and clams, and this fits the Flood explanation for their demise.
Although researchers have named hundreds of dinosaur species, all of them belong to only about 60 distinct families. These roughly equal the basic dinosaur kinds. That means Noah and his family only had to manage around 120 individual dinosaurs on the Ark. Could they all fit on board a vessel with the dimensions from Genesis 6? No matter how large some dinosaurs grew, the largest dinosaur egg wasn’t much bigger than a football. Even the Argentinosaurus, which could grow into a 120-foot-long monster, could have fit on the Ark if a younger and much smaller representative boarded the vessel. In contrast, many dinosaurs were small even when fully grown. For example, the compsognathids stood about as tall as a turkey. The average dinosaur size was about the same as a bison. One hundred-twenty bison would require a mere corner of one of the Ark’s three spacious decks.
We can infer from the reliable Genesis record that the descendants of the dinosaurs preserved on the Ark traveled from the Middle East to places around the globe. This makes sense when considering the unique post-Flood climate. The Ice Age occurred right after, and because of, the Genesis Flood. At that time the Middle East was tropical and regularly watered by heavy rains. This set up suitable and reachable environments for dinosaurs and other tropical creatures to fill. Various clues—such as dinosaur fossils buried alongside tropical plant fossils and the swampy setting that God describes for behemoth in Job 40—indicate many dinosaurs lived in very wet habitats.
This worldwide dinosaur migration happened only thousands of years ago. Adding the Bible’s time-stamped events from the fall of Jerusalem in 587 B.C. back to the Flood yields a date for the Flood either near 3168 or 2518 B.C., depending on manuscript variations.1 How long did dinosaurs live after the Flood, and why are they not living today?
Although creatures like dinosaurs scattered across Earth’s surface after the Flood, the first few generations of people determined to rebel against God’s command to fill the earth. Instead, they built a tower in Babel and remained in its growing city. In response, God supernaturally compelled them to disperse by confounding their languages. When families eventually migrated to far-flung places, they encountered the dinosaurs that had been there for a few centuries. Writings, depictions, and legends from people groups across the globe memorialized many of those encounters. As humans filled the post-Flood earth, dinosaur numbers would have dwindled due to hunting and loss of habitat as the Ice Age began to wane. The changing climate alone may have ultimately rendered the earth inhospitable to many of these creatures, eventually leading to their extinction. Even so, dinosaurs must have been living at least within the last several centuries, judging by the many tales of human encounters with them.
The sheer number of names given to dragons, or dinosaurs, worldwide builds a strong argument that dragon legends reflect encounters with real creatures. Most languages, either in written or spoken form, have their own unique terms. The word “dragon” here doesn’t necessarily refer to popular images of a bulky, fire-breathing reptile that somehow flies with tiny wings. Rather, it can mean one of the many kinds of post-Flood dinosaurs, or even flying reptiles. Some languages still use words like those shown in this table. Wikipedia lists many more “dragon” names, at least some of which probably refer to actual giant reptiles including dinosaurs.3
Ancient historians described dragons as real, living creatures, listing them right alongside their descriptions of other creatures familiar to today’s readers. For example, in his book Natural History written in approximately 78 A.D., Pliny the Elder wrote that “it is India which produces the largest [elephants] as well as the dragon…and [the dragon] is itself of such enormous size as to envelop the elephants with its folds.”
During that same era, Flavius Philostratus wrote:
The whole of India is girt with dragons of enormous size; for not only the marshes are full of them, but the mountains as well, and there is not a single ridge without one. Now the marsh kind are sluggish in their habits and are thirty cubits long, and they have no crest standing up on their heads.4
Such accounts sprinkle the pages of history. Alexander the Great wrote of a large serpent his army encountered during one of their conquering excursions. The explorer Marco Polo also described one in his logbooks. Although these probably referenced giant snakes and not dragons, they illustrate that giant reptiles once lived where they are long gone today. Bill Cooper’s book After the Flood describes similar accounts from Europe. Cooper relayed a report written in 1484 by England’s first printer, William Caxton, of a singular creature:
About the marches [marshes] of Italy, within a meadow, was sometime a serpent of wonderful and right marvelous greatness, right hideous and fearful. For first he had a head greater than the head of a calf. Secondly, he had a neck greater than the length of an ass, and his body made after the likeness of a dog. And his tail was wonderfully great, thick and long, without comparison to any other.5
The creature thus described matches Job’s behemoth, which had a “tail like a cedar,” lived in a marsh where it ate reeds, and as “the first of the ways of God” was obviously quite large.6
People groups that did not maintain written records nevertheless retain oral traditions of dragon encounters. They describe the dragons’ habitats and habits and provide specific names for the dragons and the long-dead heroes who vanquished them. Towns, hillsides, and ponds across Europe still have old dragon names—such as Drachenfels Castle and the town of Worms in Germany, Grindelwald in Switzerland, Dragon-hoard (near Garsington), plus the Peak District’s Grindleford in England, and many others.
But even more evidence shows that early peoples encountered dinosaurs. Carvings, sculptures, bas reliefs, paintings, mosaics, tapestries, sculptures, pictographs, and petroglyphs all over the world depict dragons, and many of them look like specific dinosaurs. Some of the telling features that help identify these images as dinosaurian include horns, spiky skin flaps along the spine called dermal frills, long tails, long necks, large teeth, and, perhaps most importantly, legs that went straight down from the body. Today’s walking reptiles like crocodiles and lizards have legs that extend out from the sides of the body, then angle down to the ground at the elbows or knees. Dinosaur reptiles’ legs extended down, just as dozens of genuine, ancient depictions show.
Evolutionists assert that such dinosaur-looking artifacts are fakes. However, this objection doesn’t result from a rigorous analysis of the data. Instead, it stems from an argument that goes like this: “Dinosaurs died millions of years before man evolved, making it impossible for ancient men to know what dinosaurs looked like. Therefore, this artifact must be a fraud.” This kind of argument takes as true the very evolutionary history that the artifacts challenge. Ignoring evidence often leads to wrong conclusions.
The late cosmologist and atheist Carl Sagan considered the historical evidence for dragons a serious enough threat to evolutionary history that he tried to explain them in his 1977 book The Dragons of Eden. In it, he speculated that unknown human ancestor primates may have encountered dinosaurs millions of years ago. Supposedly, the “memories” of those terrifying encounters so deeply traumatized those primates that they left indelible, heritable stamps in their genes. Eons later, ancient ape-like human descendants drew dinosaur look-alike pictures from those inherited memories. But no scientific evidence whatsoever suggests that memories can be genetically inherited! Knowing this, many scientists at the time shunned Sagan’s unscientific speculation. But it is equally unscientific for those scientists to assert that myriad dragon legends are all fraudulent without even investigating the historical evidence.
If the Bible is correct that representatives of all land-dwelling, air-breathing creatures were on the Ark, and if it is correct in describing an Ice Age dinosaur in the book of Job, then it makes sense to infer that people encountered (and rid themselves of) the threatening and fearsome reptiles during the centuries after the Flood. They left us dragon legends—written, spoken, painted, and carved—from virtually every ancient culture. Genuine dinosaur encounters best explain the sheer number of dragon descriptions and their similarities across space and time.
  1. Thomas, B. 2017. Two date range options for Noah’s Flood. Journal of Creation. 31 (1): 120-127.
  2. Thomas, B. 2010. Oblivious to the obvious: dragons lived with American Indians. A review of Fossil Legends of the First Americans by Adrienne Mayor. Journal of Creation. 24 (1): 32-34.
  3. List of dragons in mythology and folklore. Wikipedia. Accessed August 1, 2012.
  4. Flavius Philostratus (c170-c247 A.D.). 1912. The Life of Apollonius of Tyana, volume I, book III. F. C. Conybeare, trans. New York: Macmillan Co., 243-247.
  5. Caxton, W. M. 1484. Aesop. Folio 138. Cited in Cooper, W. 1995. After the Flood. Chichester, UK: New Wine Press.
  6. Job 40:15-24.
Adapted from “Dinosaurs and Dragon Legends” in Creation Basics & Beyond: An In-Depth Look at Science, Origins, and Evolution.
* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research and earned his M.S. in biotechnology from Stephen F. Austin State University.
Cite this article: Brian Thomas, M.S. 2017. Dinosaurs and Dragon LegendsActs & Facts. 46 (7)

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

And so we press on...

Belief in Creation Declines
For generations, a large portion of Americans have believed that mankind began only thousands of years ago, not millions. A 2013 poll indicated that this next generation is finally beginning to depart from their forefathers’ creation-leaning beliefs.1 New Gallup results confirm this anti-Bible trend. Meanwhile, rhetoric about this trend reveals confusion over key issues.
The 2017 Gallup poll found that only 37 percent of Americans hold creationist views of human origins, down from 46 percent in 2012.2,3 This trend may reflect a change in generations, as younger Americans who are convinced of human evolution replace their more Bible-minded forebears. What does this trend mean?
Tom Krattenmaker from Yale Divinity School noted in USA Today that although more Americans believe in human evolution, they still identify as Christians. He wrote,
These tea leaves tell us that more people are refusing the all-or-nothing choice between faith and science and opting instead for a third way: Acceptance of the overwhelming scientific evidence for evolution while seeing a divine role in the process.4
This third way leads nowhere, since by definition evolution excludes the divine.
This perception of a divide between faith and science uses deceptive definitions of key terms. Many evolutionists like Krattenmaker define faith as believing as true that which has little or no supporting evidence. They assert that evidence demands our origins from apes and not Adam, while overlooking the fact that faith in evolution biased the way researchers interpreted that “evidence.”  
Biblical faith is quite different. It calls on people to trust Christ because of, not in spite of, the “many infallible proofs” that He left for us to discover in Scripture.5
Evolutionists also often misunderstand the meaning of science. They equate science with evolution. Real science investigates repeatable, ongoing processes and answers present-day questions like “What causes gravity?” The kind of evolution that supposedly transformed apes into men does not happen today, so it inhabits the past. Evolution is not science at all.
And those few scientific observations that do reach into the past completely rule out evolution. For example, fossils show stable life forms and no undisputed evolutionary transitions. Also, continual buildup of DNA mutations in every generation limits populations to time spans far shorter than what evolution requires. Last, all-or-nothing systems like hearts and certain protein complexes could never evolve step-by-step since they need all their parts together at once in order to work.6
The core disagreement is about history. Science cannot determine history, despite secular scientists’ confident claims about what they never witnessed, let alone measured.
The supposedly “overwhelming scientific evidence for evolution” is a total sham, just like the false choice between “faith” and “science.” If this next generation could just taste the basics of faith, science, and creation, instead of getting fed an evolution-only diet, then surely many more would side with Genesis—the Words of the One who created mankind.
  1. Thomas, B., and M. Stamp. Urgency & Opportunity: Poll Shows Evolving TrendsCreation Science Update. Posted on July 29, 2013.
  2. Swift, A. In US, Belief in Creationist View of Humans at New Low. Gallup. Posted on May 22, 2017.
  3. Newport, F. In U.S., 46% Hold Creationist View of Human Origins. Gallup. Posted on June 1, 2012.
  4. Krattenmaker, T. Creationism support is at a new low. The reason should give us hopeUSA Today. Posted on July 13, 2017, accessed July 14, 2017.
  5. Acts 1:3. See also the book of this same title.
  6. Thomas, B. 2009. ATP synthase: majestic molecular machine made by a mastermindCreation. 31(4):21–23.
*Mr. Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research and earned his M.S. in biotechnology from Stephen F. Austin State University.
Article posted on July 24, 2017.

Fossils formed recently?

Fossil Plants Contain Original Molecules

Researchers shined a laser light on fossil leaves and found some surprising results. Instead of mere impressions of leaves, the fossils turned out to contain original molecules—persisting after millions of supposed years.  
Research led by Lund University in Sweden used FTIR to find original molecular bonds still intact inside fossilized leaf wax. The technique detects stretches in specific chemical bonds.
Then the team compared the waxy cuticle that somehow persists in leaf fossils with the same cuticle molecules found in their living counterparts. Many of the scan results showed a match, even after all the years those fossils remained underground. The team published their results in Nature: Ecology & Evolution.1
They scanned leaves from living Araucaria trees—tropical conifers that today grow in New Guinea, Australia, and Argentina—and from fossil Araucaria leaves locked in Cretaceous stone. Only the living leaves had FTIR signatures indicating complex sugars like cellulose, but surprisingly the technique revealed the same alkanes, alkenes, and carbon-based ring structures in both living and fossil Araucaria.
Alkenes have double bonds. These tense bonds react more readily with other chemicals than many single bonds. They have not yet reached what chemists call thermodynamic stability—when they lose their potential to react. How can so much chemical potential persist in leaf molecules that are supposedly millions of years old?
Lund University News wrote, “The [waxy] membrane has been preserved in the fossil leaves, some of which are 200 million-years-old.”2 This age assignment clearly conflicts with short-lived original plant chemical bonds.
The second surprising result came from scan results between several fundamentally different kinds of plants. They found that specific chemical bond signatures signified the same basic plant kinds. For example, fossil and modern Araucariahad unique chemicals not shared with ginkgos. Lead author Vivi Vajda told Lund University,
The results from the fossil leaves far exceeded our expectations, not only were they full of organic molecules, they also grouped according to well-established botanical relationships, based on DNA analysis of living plants i.e. Ginkgoes in one group, conifers in another.
So they didn’t expect to find original organic molecules after supposed millions of years, nor did they expect to find those same molecules in similar plant kinds. It was as though millions of years of evolution never changed these plants’ basic forms or even their basic molecules.
Could ginkgos remain ginkgos and Araucaria remain Araucaria because they have been reproducing faithfully within separately created kinds from the beginning of creation?
The original biomolecules in fossil leaf cuticles point to their deposition thousands of years ago, not millions. Also, biochemical similarities between ancient and modern plants of similar groups show no hint of evolution, but fit just fine with the created kinds of Genesis 1:12.3
  1. Vajda, V. 2017. Molecular signatures of fossil leaves provide unexpected new evidence for extinct plant relationships. Nature: Ecology & Evolution. DOI: 10.1038/s41559-017-0224-5.
  2. Through fossil leaves, a step towards Jurassic ParkLund University News. Posted on July 4, 2017, accessed July 24, 2017.
  3. "And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind."
*Mr. Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.
Article posted on August 3, 2017.

More Related Articles listed in article at ICR website (link above)

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

2017 Fairs

We hope to see you at the fair this summer. This is where we plan to set up our museum-like displays and have some great conversations:
July 19-23
Dane County Fair
Waukesha County Fair

August 3-13
Wisconsin State Fair
We will be in a new location this year. Our location is the Central Marketplace near the Bank Mutual Stage.

August 31-Sept 4
Sheboygan County Fair

Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Wonders of Wisconsin- Creation and Biblical Flood Hike- Parfrey's Glen and Devil's Lake area

Christians often view the Grand Canyon as an icon of Creation and The Flood, but did you know Wisconsin also has an area that is full of compelling evidences of the same? Posted her are a few pictures, and as I have time I will comment on them. An adventurous group hiked near Baraboo on Saturday and learned some fascinating geology correlating with Biblical history.
The Sauk megasequence is named after Sauk county and is seen worldwide from the Grand Canyon, to Wisconsin, to the Middle East, to Africa. The Parfrey’s Glen formation is made up of sandstone which is the same as the Tapeats sandstone in the Grand Canyon.
Parfrey’s Glen is located near County Highway DL in Merrimac, WI. On June 7, 2008 Sauk county received 6 inches of rain in 8 hours. This flash flood caused the entire boardwalk and paved path system of Parfrey’s Glen to be destroyed, and washed out a new gully at the location of the old parking lot while blocking the original channel with large chunks of rock and concrete from further up the glen.
The hill behind the glen is made of the same Baraboo quartzite at Devil's lake but is only visible at a small outcropping. You can see the 25 degree angle consistent with the Baraboo bowl shaped syncline.
     Remaining in the glen are several igneous rhyolite and granite erratics. These rocks are not native to this area but were transported by the glacier all the way from northern Wisconsin or Canada.
     Since the Baraboo quartzite is from the creation week, then the Parfrey’s Glen conglomerate sandstone would have been the first layer deposited in the worldwide Food. This sandstone covers the bedrock and is a conglomerate consisting of rocks and boulders of Baraboo quartzite. During the flood other layers (Mt. Simon formation, Eau Claire formation, etc.) intersected the Parfrey’s Glen formation which lies on the sloping syncline of the Baraboo formation. Since Parfrey’s Glen conglomerate is found uniformly from the bottom of the bluff to the top, the same environmental conditions (the Flood) must have been in place while the entire bluff was being buried. Just a few hundred feet to the south and southeast, the Parfrey’s Glen formation intertongues with the rest of the Sauk megasequence layers which are horizontal. According to evolutionsists, these horizontal layers were formed over a period of 128 million years each under different environmental conditions including deep and shallow seas, beaches, and dry land. Obviously environments this different cannot exist within a few hundred feet of each other over millions of years. The most straightforward explanation is that all of the rock was deposited over a short period of time under flood conditions.
     Since Wisconsin sits on top of the granite continent, and the granite floats above the basalt ocean basin, then Wisconsin could never have been under an ancient ocean. All the sand (and cementing material to make sandstone) in Wisconsin had to be transported here from the coastlines. Being located at almost a center-point between the Pacific, Arctic, and Atlantic oceans the Flood water currents would have been coming from all directions carrying sand and silica from various sources.
     The flood waters deposited all the sedimentary layers we see today, but they also deposited over 325 ft. of additional sedimentary layers which eroded at the end of the Flood.      The release of this overburden caused orthogonal fractures (cracks at right angles) in the underlying rocks. Looking from above you can see that all the dells, glens, and the Wisconsin River follow right angle patterns that started as fractures which runoff water eroded into larger waterways. The erosion of the glen probably started with the Flood, but runoff and ruptures of glacial lakes widened the glen to what we see today.
     Rapid water flow also carved potholes in the glen riverbed. As the riverbed eroded some of these potholes remained up on the walls of the glen.
As the glaciers melted the under cutting of the sandstone caused large boulders to fall at the end of the glen. The flash flood of 2008 destroyed what used to be the scenic overlook at the end by the same undercutting process.

Look straight up from Melissa's head. There you can see some of the conglomerate layers in the sandstone. Lee explains: 
Parfrey’s Glen is the type site for the Parfrey’s Glen Formation, a formation that has outcroppings all around the Baraboo Bluffs. As we hiked the trail, looking straight ahead at the base of the hill the first time we forded the creek, we saw quartzite bedrock at about a 25 degree angle from horizontal confirming the fact that the quartzite has been folded. Once we climbed the first set of rock stairs and entered the narrow portion of the Glen, the quartzite bedrock cliff is buried several hundred feet west of the sandstone conglomerate that you have pictured. The only quartzite that you see in the narrow gorge are the pebbles and boulders of quartzite that had been broken off of the bluff by flood waters and cemented in a sand matrix. Unlike any other rock layer in the area, the Parfrey’s Glen Formation is a near vertical layer and was placed that way in situ up the face of the quartzite cliff. No matter what the geological “period” being studied, this formation remains the same and is therefore good evidence for deposition by an ongoing catastrophe of much shorter duration than evolutionists assume. If that were not the case, we would expect to see the conglomerate matrix to shift from sand to silt and then lime as the layers next to them did. But that is not what we find. The layers of sand, pebbles, rocks, and boulders were sorted by wave action and currents which changed constantly throughout the flood. While the Glen was glaciated, it was near the farthest reach of the glacier (terminal moraine). Therefore, this area endured the glacial abrasion for a shorter time frame and was not scoured clean. The glacier’s progress was also being impeded by its climb up the very hard quartzite bluff. It is difficult to say exactly how the Glen was formed but was likely a combination of receding flood waters cutting a channel through the Parfrey’s Glen Formation next to the resistant quartzite bluff and a deepening of that gorge by glacial meltwater later on. There was no dam breach erosion here as occurred in the Dells area.

Ripples form in sand from waves or water flowing. The top layer of sand could have developed ripples while underwater, and the catastrophic movement upward on day 3 instantly metamorphosed those ripples into quartz.

Quartz in its pure form is just silicon dioxide (SiO2). Liquid silicon dioxide is clear (like glass). The red color in the Baraboo quartzite is from varying amounts of iron mixed in the silicon dioxide. The layering of sand is evident in cross sections, and shows signs of moving water before God moved it to emerge above the surface. Each crossbed layer (horizontal layer with diagonal lines through it) was formed when fast-flowing water built sand waves that were originally twice as high as the resulting rock layer.
     The twisted structure seen in some quartzite forms in sandstone when an earthquake shakes the sand underwater on a slope.
     The Baraboo quartzite forms a bowl around the city of Baraboo. This bowl shape formed as the center depressed and the edges arose. This bending of the rock left slickensides on the horizontal planes between layers. These slickensides must have formed while the rock was warm enough not to fracture, but cool enough to leave evidence.

Quartzite is a common metamorphic rock on the Earth, but it only appears at the surface in a few places because it is usually very deep. The Baraboo quartzite is one of the few places in the world where scientists can study a quartzite formation.
It is impossible to measure the age of a rock. Several techniques have been developed to measure the elements in rock and use assumptions to determine the rock ages. The granite intrusions in the Baraboo quartzite were uranium-lead dated to be between 1.64 to 1.76 billion years old; however, helium diffusion rates of the same rock yields rock ages of 6,000 years old. Since raidometric dating methods are built on assumptions there is no way to know if a date is correct because it is impossible to go back in time to verify if the assumptions are true. The only way we can know what is true is if we follow the words of someone who was there and cannot lie. While the Bible is not a science book it never contradicts science, and science always confirms the Bible is true.
The Baraboo quartzite appears to have formed during the creation week because it is a basement rock and contains no fossils. Just by looking at a rock it is not possible to tell if a rock was created in the beginning or if it formed later, but since we know there was no death before sin we can know a rock was not formed during the creation week if it:
1.Contains fossils.
2.Is on top of layers containing fossils.

On day 3 of the creation week God said, “Let the dry land appear.” And it was so. It does not look like this was an instantaneous process, but like the rest of the creation God used supernatural movement of natural processes (during the span of one 24 hour day) to create the land. At the beginning of day 3 the sediment that makes up the Baraboo quartzite was below the surface of the water. As God moved the land to the surface the heat metamorphosed the sand into quartzite

"Mysterious" potholes at
Devil's Lake State Park, WI

At Devil's Lake you find potholes that were carved from swirling water. The potholes occur on the inside corner of a river bend when a course rock (chert) settled in a depression and were spun by the water moving past. The mystery for long age geology is how a river was flowing 500 ft. above the ground level! These potholes must have formed from the worldwide Flood waters as they were leaving the continent because at no other point in history was the water level that high.
     Wisconsin is dome shaped with the peak of the dome in northern Wisconsin. At the end of the Flood sheet erosion removed almost all of the sedimentary rock in northern Wisconsin while leaving sedimentary layers in the south and at the east coast.
     At the height of the Flood there was as much as 325 ft. of sedimentary rock above the top of the Devil's Lake bluffs. These sedimentary layers can still be seen in other places in Wisconsin like Blue Mound.

Though full of debris from the winter, you can still see the pothole formations in the very hard quartzite. The runoff from the Biblical Flood  gives a very solid explanation for their formation. Secular geologist call them "mysterious", but Christians have the Biblical text that gives understanding to the past.

"Mysterious" pothole
A megasequence is a sequence of rocks of the same contents that all appear in the same order across the globe. The rock layers in the first megasequence (Sauk megasequence) appear in the order of sandstone, shale, and limestone. The base layer of the Sauk is the coarsest layer being a conglomerate of sandstone and chunks of other rocks. After the conglomerate the smaller sized particles of sand drop out of the flowing water forming sandstone. Then shale drops out from silty mud. And finally the lime settles or precipitates into limestone. This megasequence as well as others have been to date found content wide in America, Africa, and and South America. Most megasequences span multiple contents. The only way a worldwide megasequence can be explained is by a worldwide flood.
Some examples of Wisconsin geology:
- Before the fold up of the Rocky and Appalachian mountains, northern Wisconsin was a high point on the continent. The sheet erosion event at the middle to late Flood exposed the igneous and metamorphic rocks that were created during the creation week.
- The Flood sedimentary layers that were not removed contain many amazing fossils like jellyfish and trilobites that can be found in quarries throughout the state. While much of the flood was violent and deposited conglomerates with huge boulders, the preserved jellyfish and sand ripples indicate the Flood ebbed and flowed between catastrophic and gentle.
- The glaciers came through Wisconsin leaving much evidence in lateral moraines, terminal moraines, till, erratics, drumlins, scraped rock, and kettle lakes. The moraines we see today are probably what was dropped at the end of the Ice Age. Each year the glaciers expanded and retreated with the seasons, reaching their climax about 500 years after the Flood.
- The south and west part of Wisconsin is covered with the Driftless Area. This is a part of the state that was not glaciated but was catastrophically eroded. Highway road cuts clearly show horizontal layers deposited by the Flood, but the uneven erosion indicates catastrophic water flow.
- Large amounts of water flowing through soft, easily dissolved limestone allowed for the formation of caves across Wisconsin.
- Wisconsin is surrounded by two of the largest bodies of fresh water on the planet that provide beaches, islands and bluffs. Walking along the shore you can easily find fossiliferous rocks containing various corals.
- The subcontinental divide runs through Wisconsin. The southern and western part of the state drain through the Mississippi River out to the Gulf of Mexico, while the northern and eastern part of the state drain out the Great Lakes through the St. Lawrence sea way to the Atlantic Ocean.
     The items presented here is a summary of data from multiple researchers, interpreted with the Bible as our starting point. The creationist model of geology changes as new facts emerge; however, the current model explains everything we see.