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A Tale of Two Pollens

Ambiguity is a bad word in science. Scientists want to be objective. To scientific realists, scientific truth is “out there” in the world, waiting to be discovered. The 20th century tempered scientific realism somewhat from its extreme form (scientism, the belief that science is the only reliable guide to truth). Knowledgeable scientists are more or less aware of the role of paradigms, social pressure and webs of belief that can affect interpretations of scientific data. But there is still a widespread perception that science “finds” truth in the world. Whether that happens can be pondered while exploring two recent stories about fossil pollen that arrived at opposite conclusions: one (by evolutionists) that supports old-earth geology (and “climate change” politics), and one (by creationists) that undermines it, finding fundamental biases among evolutionists who refuse to accept the implications of the data.

Avoid Confusion: Disbelieve Paleoanthropologists

If you care about the true history of the human race, don’t believe paleoanthropologists. They are clueless and confused. Every solution they come up with creates new problems, and their boastful announcements are likely to be overturned. That’s the gist of a commentary in PNAS by Bernard Wood, who wrote, “The origin of our own genus remains frustratingly unclear.” He ought to know; he’s an eminent paleoanthropologist himself.

Flap Over Flight Evolution

Birds flap their wings when they run up ramps. It takes less energy than flying. This is uncontroversial; it is observable, and science can measure the energy cost. But for at least eight years now, Ken Dial at the University of Montana has been claiming that this behavior explains the origin of flight in birds (01/16/2003, 12/22/2003). When he first came out with this hypothesis in 2003, Elisabeth Pennisi in the journal Science said, “I imagine people will continue to argue about the origin of bird flight for a long time.” There’s been very little argument in the media over the years, though (05/01/2006, 9/22/2007, 1/25/2008); in fact, the BBC News just gave another plug for Dial’s hypothesis with no criticism at all.

If This Is Evolution, What Is Trivia?

Some science news articles appear confident about evolution, but offer little evidence except trivial change . Sometimes, they even offer evidence that contradicts their expectations. If this is evolution, what is trivia?

Follow the Leader: Nature

Ever since biomimetics (the imitation of nature) gradually emerged around 2002 and really took off in 2005, it has not slowed down. Over 90 previous entries in these pages have reported teams all over the world seeking out natural designs for ideas. The reports have accelerated in recent years to the point where there is only space for short summaries that give a taste of the wide variety of engineering work taking inspiration from plants, animals, and even cells. You yourself might inspire some inventor. Here are a few more highlights from recent adventures in biomimetics.

Evolution Against Intuition

As a general theory of life, evolution promises to explain everything. Not all observations fit neatly into that assumption. How do evolutionists respond when surprising or counter-intuitive observations require integration into the theory? Sometimes the only answer is that they evolved because they evolved. These 10 examples (with encore) can provide case studies for the discerning.

How They Do It: Amazing Organisms

The plants and animals around us seem so ordinary, but they all are so extraordinary, the extraordinary becomes ordinary simply because of their numbers. But if you expanded the sample space to include the entire solar system, what we have in earth’s biosphere should astonish everyone. Here are nine notable fellow creatures.

Precambrian Rabbit or Evolutionary Transition?

Some evolutionists have defended their theory by proposing a falsification test: the discovery of a Precambrian rabbit. No such fossil has ever been found, partly because any stratum containing a rabbit fossil would never have been labeled Precambrian in the first place. But evolutionists would be surprised at finding complex non-marine multicellular eukaryotes in Precambrian strata, and this has just been announced in the journal Nature.

Fossils Support Evolution! (Because Evolution Is Assumed)

Fossils come in a variety of manifestations – not always bone.  They could be leaf imprints, whole animals trapped in amber, footprints, or mineral traces made by once-living organisms.  Some recent fossil finds are having trouble fitting into evolutionary theory.  But one thing about those Darwinists: they always find a way. Graph fight:  Evolutionists have […]

Dinosaur Classification Is a Mess

Are there a thousand species of dinosaurs – or far fewer?  John Horner, a dinosaur hunter himself, thinks the classification is a mess and wants to clean it up.  According to Science Magazine News Horner is worred that “with almost 1000 types of dinosaurs on record and a new species being named somewhere in the […]

How to Fill In Missing Fossils: Imagine Them

Evolutionists have long known of systematic gaps in the fossil record.  This has been a frequent criticism lodged by Darwin skeptics against the evolutionary notion of a gradually unfolding tree of life.  Now, however, it appears that evolutionists have revived use of a tool in their arsenal for combating the critics: imagination.  Missing transitions in […]

Original Soft Tissue Found in Mosasaur Fossil

Original collagen has been found in a mosasaur fossil.  Mosasaurs are marine reptiles that lived in the age of dinosaurs.  This one, found in chalk layers in Belgium, is alleged to be 70 million years old.     The press release on PhysOrg said, “the discovery demonstrates that the preservation of primary soft tissues and […]

Evolutionary Language Lingo Contradictory

Human language is such a unique feature of our species, it would seem to defy evolutionary explanations.  Can evolutionists take this living phenomenon and fit it into a historical narrative?  A couple of papers in leading journals attempted to do so.  Are their conclusions the only ones that can be drawn from the evidence?   […]

Complexity Appears “Earlier than Thought”

Widely-separate branches of science seem to converge on a common puzzle: complexity goes farther back than scientists expected – evolutionary scientists, that is. Cosmology:  More evidence has come that galaxies formed very early.  A mature galaxy detected through gravitational lensing was announced by the Hubble Telescope team, with an estimated redshift of 6.027.  In the […]

Science Sites Stretch Truth About “Transitional Form”

A tiny piece of cartilage-turned-bone has science news sites jumping for joy about an evolutionary transitional form.  But is it one?  A closer look shows a much more complex picture than the simple evolutionary victory being told in the media.     “Long-sought fossil mammal with transitional middle ear found,” trumpeted PhysOrg; in close harmony, […]
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