Archive for January, 2012

Kansas Meteorite Museum

Right after speaking at Barclay College in Kansas, I had what I thought would be just a short 45 minutes to view a museum called the Kansas Meteorite Museum. I then had to be hurried away to Wichita for my plane trip back to Grand Junction.

Little did I know that the airplane which was supposed to leave at 5 PM would be 5.5 hours late!  Had I known it would be sooooo late, I would have spent another several hours at the museum.

It was fascinating to see the various assorted types of meteorites from all over the world. They had a huge number that had been collected right there on their own property in Kansas.

There were many that were cross sectioned and several polished specimens as well. What was special was learning about the meteorites from the very knowledgeable owners. Wanting to identify the composition of some meteorite specimens I had found only a week before, I was excited to see they had some almost identical to mine!

As soon as I have them analyzed, I hope to report more on them in an issue of Think and Believe. Stay tuned!

 

Dave Nutting

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Photosynthesis – Not so Simple

Photosynthesis

(Adapted from Considering God’s Creation, pg. 39)

Inside the cells of most plants are structures called chloroplasts, which are a type of organelle [a specialized subunit within a cell that has a specific function – organelles are to the cells what an organ is to the body].

Inside the chloroplasts is a green pigment called chlorophyll, which has the ability to absorb sunlight. The energy from the trapped sunlight is then used in a very complex chemical process called photosynthesis.

When sunlight falls on the green cells in the leaf, it causes chemical changes to take place within the chloroplasts. The water that is in a plant cell is split into hydrogen and oxygen, with some electrons left over. The oxygen is then released into the air (to be inhaled by animals and humans).

The hydrogen, electrons, and other ingredients are then combined with the carbon dioxide the plant has absorbed from the air (carbon dioxide that animals and humans exhale). This combination forms a sugar called glucose. Glucose is a very important source of energy (food) for animals, humans, and many other plants.

The above is a very simplistic explanation of photosynthesis. In reality, scientists have identified over 70 complex chemical reactions that take place during the process. It is so complicated that scientists have been unable to bring about the entire sequence of reactions in the lab.

It takes tremendous amounts of energy to split the very stable water molecule. Scientists are continually searching for an efficient, economical, and productive way to split the hydrogen off of a water molecule … yet, the brainless plant does it automatically!

Consider this: How did the plants survive while they tried to figure out how to harness the sun’s energy (energy that normally destroys biological processes)? At what point did a plant realize it needed a special green pigment to absorb that sunlight? How long could a plant survive as it tinkered in the chemistry lab trying to figure out a very complex 70 step process (that intelligent man has yet to duplicate) to produce sugar for food? This list of “how” could go on and on … I’ll let you ponder some of the many other problems the plant would have experienced waiting on evolution to “do its thing”.

Photosynthesis had to be working right from the beginning or the plant could never survive. That points to a master engineering designer, not the mindless chance and accident of evolution.

 

Lanny Johnson

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing. Thanks for your partnership.

Closed to the Evidence

In 2005, Dr. John Sanford, a Cornell genetics researcher, co-inventor of the gene sequencing gun, and holder of 25 patents in genetic research, wrote a book called Genetic Entropy and the Mystery of the Genome. In it he showed how the entire modern basis for modern evolution, mutation and natural selection, is absolutely dead wrong.

One would hope that people would really want to know what this top researcher has shown from his scientific research.  However, I ran across a post on a skeptic’s forum which really shows the close-mindedness of those bent on preserving the fable of evolution:

“My office is gearing up for a pandemic exercise and management issued a memo regarding a new strain of bird flu. I have a creationist friend at work and thought it would be interesting to see his response to this formal recognition of evolution at work. A couple of days later he emailed suggesting I read John Sanford’s Genetic Entropy and the Mystery of the Genome, my friend’s anti-evolution response. I’m not familiar with the book and certainly not a geneticist so was hoping to find some information debunking the book.”

First of all a new strain of virus is not evidence for broad evolution, but notice, that the skeptic’s  response is not one of openness, but one which is very closed:  I don’t want to read the book, but quick, give me something to debunk the book!

Actually, Dr. Sanford’s work does not need to be “debunked” but really needs to be read by this individual as well as by professors all over this country. However, the mind cannot be unlocked when all the keys are thrown away!

 

Dave Nutting

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing. Thanks for your partnership.

Phytoremediation

In my last blog I shared some of the many products we get from plants. Some of the other amazing qualities of plants are the abilities to clean up toxins in waste waters, air, or mining refuse – toxins that are very costly or mechanically difficult for us to remove.

The process of using plants for cleanup is called Phytoremediation. The list for plants used and different toxins they are able to cleanup is long … longer than this blog can incorporate. For more information on phytoremediation, take a look at the wikipedia article.

Phytoremediation is not only good for the environment (cleaning up toxins) but can also be profitable.

Years ago, a New Zealand engineer used phytomining to get gold and mercury from mining dumps in South America. The dumps still contained gold, but in such small sizes that it was unprofitable to mechanically remove. The dump also contained high concentrations of toxic mercury which had been used in the process of gold extraction.

He had the mine dumps leveled out into farming fields, and then incorporated a patented mixture into the soil to “unbind” or loosen it. Then corn and canola were planted in the prepared soil.

At maturity the plants were harvested and processed … removing the gold and mercury that the plants had absorbed during their growth cycle.

The result: they harvested or “mined” an average of 14 ounces of gold per acre land. At todays market price of gold ($1621.00/oz. US dollars on 1/7/12), that figures out to be $22,694.00 per acre! Wow! I don’t know of a farmer that would not like to get that kind of a return on his crops.

The cost of mercury is small, so the 7 ounces “mined” per acre was not as profitable … however the mercury toxins were now out of the soil, making the land usable in the future.

The plants are not simple forms of life as evolution teaches. The plants show incredible design and abilities that could only have come from a designer.

 

Lanny Johnson

“FOR WE WALK BY FAITH, AND NOT BY SIGHT:” II CORINTHIANS 5:7

God would rather we come to Him by faith. It is so easy to be fooled by the things we see or ‘think’ we see. Optical Illusions are an example of this.

Who is Bigger?

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Up, Up, and Far Away

While waiting for my flight to Houston, I decided to write a quick note from the Grand Junction Airport.

The Nances, Sue, and Me

Mark Sonmor, AOI’s graphic artist, is finishing the final details on some PowerPoint slides that I will need for teaching on this trip. He will be sending them by email upon completion. There never seems to be enough time to get it all done.

I will meet Allen and Molly Nance, friends of AOI as well as friends of India, in Houston and we will travel together to India.

Some Old Friends

The Nances will be in India for about two weeks and I will be there for three.  I’m planning to meet some old friends and making some new ones.  Of the many things planned for the trip, one of the activities Allen, Molly, and I will be doing together is visiting various mercy homes (orphanages).  I will also be teaching at a pastors’ conference this year, as well as the usual stops.

Please pray that the teaching will go well and God would open their hearts and minds to the teachings we bring. Also pray that He would watch over all of us as we minister to these beautiful people of God.  I will send updates as internet access allows.

 

Rich Stepanek

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing. Thanks for your partnership.

Salt Deposit Tour and Some New Ideas

While I was doing seminars in Kansas, I was also able to do a field trip to the Kansas Salt Museum at Hutchinson, Kansas.

This has been an active salt mine for quite a few years. It is 650 feet underground and according to their estimates, they have enough salt there to last the next 2500 years, even with the fact that the salt is mainly used for roads rather than for food.

Of course, a scenario involving millions of years of time for its deposition was liberally sprinkled in with the salt. The standard model is that an arm of the sea was enriched with salt brine, which then repeatedly precipitated as the brine solution hit saturation.

Years ago, I wrote one of my geology theses on a different model of getting salt, which did not take millions of years of evaporation (you can read the theses online). One of the guys who had accompanied me on this field trip mentioned that a recent National Geographic magazine article mentions a new and very promising model, which sounds like it has similarities to what I had suggested about 30 years ago.

I am eager to read the article he mentioned. If it is about what he says it is, then expect a Think and Believe article on that before too long!

 

Dave Nutting

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing. Thanks for your partnership.

Of Seminars and Incinerators

Part of my life consists of either driving long distances to conduct seminars or, in this case, flying out for a series of seminars in Kansas.

For those who are squeamish about flying on Friday the 13th, be comforted, I made it. The flights were not nearly as full as normal. However, the ticket price was certainly less considering the day!

I was actually glad the flight from Grand Junction was significantly delayed. I was wondering if I was going to have to run out onto the runway and grab hold of the landing gear. (Well, they do that in the movies, but homeland security wouldn’t appreciate that!)

Anyhow, my time in Kansas was packed with some church seminars, a field trip to a major salt mine (One of my college theses was on the formation of salt deposits – more on this field trip in a later blog). I also spoke at William Barclay College and for a group of teachers for an in-service training. There was a lot packed into the 5 day trip.

It could have been worse!

While I was in Kansas speaking, I snapped a photo I thought our readers might like of my friend’s cat. This kitty just happened to make the mistake of checking what just went into the trash incinerator as the flames came up.

At least this time, curiosity didn’t kill the cat, just singed him a bit! I thought the new handlebar mustache looked rather handsome on this cat.  A little more on this trip in my next blog.

 

Dave Nutting

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing. Thanks for your partnership.

Thank A Plant!

When you get up in the morning, take a deep breath and thank a plant! Plants take in carbon dioxide that we breathe out and they give back oxygen that you and I need in order to breathe [taken from THANK A PLANT!, Kids Think And Believe Too!, Summer 2004].

Plants give us much more than just oxygen to breathe. Put a plant in some dirt, give it some air, water, and sunshine, and what do you get?

You get: oxygen, textiles, lumbers, oils, medicines, paper, foods, grains, herbs, fruit, seeds, fertilizers, aromas, soil binders, beauty, poisons, alcohols, and so much more!

And don’t forget two of the most important products of plants for some of us … CHOCOLATE and COFFEE … which came from a plant!

As I began to look more and more at the complex systems plants use to produce all of the ingredients to make the above products, I was once again convinced that it could never have happened by chance and accident (aka evolution).

I am convinced that only an intelligent Creator (aka God) could have come up with plants!

And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.    Genesis 1: 11

 

Lanny Johnson

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing. Thanks for your partnership.

New Super Shark

Hybrid Shark

There was an interesting story on the TV news recently.  Off the coast of Australia, scientists have discovered a rare find, a wild hybrid shark.  The hybrid shark is a cross between the Australian blacktip, which favors tropical waters to the north, with the larger common blacktip, which favors sub-tropical waters of the south-eastern Australian coastline.

The report stated that they believe this hybrid could be a super shark.  This was evidence of evolution.

Well, probably micro-evolution (small variation within a family or genus of an animal), but certainly not Darwinian macro-evolution (big changes in animals where there will be a completely different family or genus of an animal).  You need to define your terms since some text books are confusing the meanings.

There wasn’t any evidence of Darwinian evolution at all!  They started with sharks and ended with sharks.  This is not evolution, but variation within a kind. The very thing the Bible has been proclaiming for thousands of years.   I will elaborate more on this in another blog.

The Denver Museum of Nature and Science has an exhibit stating sharks have changed very little over 450 million years.  Well the earth is not millions of years old, and as we read in the museum, there is no evidence of shark evolution in the past.  Sharks have always been sharks.

 

Rich Stepanek

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing. Thanks for your partnership.

Grasses Are Inefficient?

In 2003, some of the AOI speakers were at Colorado Mesa University (formerly Mesa State College) speaking on Creation. A biology professor stood up and proclaimed that, “He could not believe the design of an intelligent creator. After all, nature was full of flaws. Look at grasses for example. Grasses are inefficient …”  [paraphrased].

First, let’s look at the word inefficient; The American Heritage Dictionary defines inefficient:  (ĭn’ĭ-fĭsh’ənt) adj. Not efficient, as: Lacking the ability or skill to perform effectively; incompetent: Not producing the intended result; ineffective: Wasteful of time, energy, or materials.

In other words, the professor was essentially saying that grasses are unproductive … not very good at doing their job.

When many people hear the word grass, they think of the grass of a lawn, such as Crab grass or Kentucky Blue grass. However, grasses are very important staples of most diets. Corn, wheat, and rice for example are grasses in which we harvest the seeds for food.

Consider … is corn inefficient? Rich Stepanek was a Minnesota farmer before he joined the ministry of AOI. Two of the main crops he grew were corn and soy beans. He shared with me that in the spring he would plant approximately 20 lbs. of corn seed to an acre of ground. In the fall, he could normally expect a harvest of 100 bushels of corn seed per acre (in irrigated areas of Nebraska and Kansas they sometimes get an even higher yield).

Corn seed weighs about 56 lbs. per bushel. So one acre of Rich’s farm ground would normally produce 5,600 lbs. of corn seed.

From 20 lbs. to 5,600 lbs. … that is a 27,900% increase! Do you think that is inefficient? Was the corn plant productive? Did the corn plant do a good job of making more corn?

Unfortunately, so many professors can spout off nonsense that is not verified by observation, and it is taken as truth, because after all, they are professors, therefore they must be wise. Not always!

Proverbs 17:24 “Wisdom is before him that hath understanding; but the eyes of a fool are in the ends of the earth.”

Psalm 14:1; 53:1 “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God …”

 

Lanny Johnson

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing. Thanks for your partnership.