All posts in Marianis from the Front

Perfect Placement for Life – Naturalistic/Evolutionary Perspective

 

Introduction:

The earth has been called the Goldilocks planet as it is in the perfect place ( ‘Just Right’ as she would say ) to support life.[i] It’s at the right distance from the sun and moon, has the right magnetic field, the right atmosphere, the right rotation rate, the right tilt for seasons, the right percentage of gases in the atmosphere, the right amount of liquid water, the right weather systems (size, length, power), the right tides, the right moon rotation and even the sun and moon match to allow for the perfect eclipse. The Earth is even protected by its atmosphere, its magnetic field, the moon, and Jupiter, and so much more.

astrophotomedleyThe Drake Equation attempts to include all the variables in estimating the likelihood and possibility of life arising in the universe. According to the Drake Equation, there are numerous variables that have to all be right for life to exist in the Milky Way.[ii] So what are the chances of everything being perfect for life? How have all those variables worked out like they have? Is our existence itself proof that this is simply one of the luckiest planets in the universe, perfect for life by chance, or designed by a creator?

Naturalistic/Evolutionary Answer:

Almost fifteen billion years ago, the universe was created from a singularity, an “infinitely small” mass which was, however, the mass of the whole universe.[iii] The mass exploded and expanded, and this is referred to as “the big bang.”[iv] The universe, and eventually life, have slowly evolved over those billions of years to the current situation today.

After the big bang, the right gas clouds collided and, in places, collapsed in seeming chaos, but out of that chaos came the first stars, galaxies, supernovas, the heavier elements and more. Over billions of years the Milky Way galaxy slowly formed and in a perfect spot between dense spiral arms, with our specific chemical composition and gravitational field, our sun starting forming as did the planets shortly thereafter. Around every star, there is a habitable zone, and this is where the Earth starting forming… in just the right place.

The material forming the earth condensed due to gravity as well as heating up due to the density, friction, radioactive and solar activity,  and further collisions as the earth, along with the other planets, cleaned up the majority of the loose mass in our solar system. The best theory is that this molten planet earth was impacted in just the right way to form both the earth and the moon, as well as causing the tilt of the earth, the rotation rates for both, and perfecting their revolution around the sun. So the distance of the sun and moon from the earth have resulted in the correct temperatures, seasons, tides, eclipses and weather patterns – all by chance.

At this point, the sun was dimmer and cooler, which allowed the earth to cool off as well. The movement of the earth’s material created the magnetic field while the worldwide volcanism spewed gases out, both of which allowed the atmosphere and large amounts of water to form on the surface of the earth as it cooled. The water and the rapid exchange of elements, along with a rich stable atmosphere, allowed the perfect conditions for life to start evolving. The mixtures of chemical ingredients have naturally changed over time and have been just right at just the right time. Due to this, there has been, and still is, the perfect amount of Oxygen, Nitrogen, and Carbon Dioxide in the air to allow for continued evolution. The perfect mixture of chemicals primarily happened due to natural chain reactions.

Basically, in any random event, there can be many destructive results, but comparatively, there will sometimes be a more ideal result. As the Drake Equation demonstrates, the earth happens to be in the most ideal and advantageous situation in our solar system, and our galaxy, and possibly the entire universe, although there may be many other commensurate, or even more advantageous places out there due to these random processes.

The Drake Equation’s requirements emphasize that there are tons of failed places and Earth was simply the lucky one. It states that the chances of a place being perfect for life are practically impossible. There is always a small chance of these perfect placements being coincidental and thus life on earth is evidence that it was and is in the right place at the right time, and that may not last for long with all the variables that are possible.

Ultimately, there is no need to resort to the supernatural when everything can be explained naturally. For thousands of years, humans have resorted to the notion that “God did it” because they haven’t had the scientific capabilities to understand the amazing phenomena in our world. But now, there is no excuse, God is not necessary for the perfect conditions of life.

 

by Brian Mariani and others

 

Is the above correct? Do you evolutionists agree with this position? I have tried to write it as you believe it. Do you have any disagreements or concerns or additions?

 

Before commenting, please read the following disclosures.

Any offensive language will automatically disqualify your comment for publication, even if the arguments contained are good. Please comment on the ideas that are presented and not the presenter.  If your comment becomes an ad hominem argument and does not substantially address the issue, your comment will be disqualified as well.  We are looking for real arguments, not fallacious ones, so that we can present and challenge opposing ideas and arguments as they are truly believed by evolutionists.  We do not want to tear down straw men as well as you do not want to be misrepresented. Also, please keep your comments as brief as possible, and if the majority of the comment does not address the current issue, but becomes a red-herring, it will not be posted as well. If your comment does not fall into one of the above restrictions, then your comment will be posted unedited (you may want to check your spelling, grammar, etc.) We thank you for your time and comments.

One thing to keep in mind, each blog is one piece of evidence. Evidence has to then be interpreted, which is not a fact…but evidence strengthening or weakening a specific hypothesis or theory. So there can be multiple ways of interpreting the same evidence. I am not being unscientific, but asking more questions and being skeptical is being more scientific. I am still working on these, so please help with your comments.



[i] Clara Moskowitz, What Makes Earth Special Compared to Other Planets, July 8, 2008, Space.com, http://www.space.com/5595-earth-special-compared-planets.html, accessed June 23, 2014.

[ii] Answering another uninformed atheist: Galileo, Miller-Urey, probability, March 5, 2009, Creation Ministries International, http://creation.com/answering-another-uninformed-atheist-galileo-miller-urey-probability, accessed June 23, 2014.

[iii] BernieM, Why is an infinitely small point required for the big bang?, February 13, 2011, PhysicsForums, http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=472481, accessed June 23, 2014.

[iv] Michael Anissimov, “What is the big bang theory?”, last modified October 31, 2012, wiseGEEK, http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-the-big-bang-theory.htm, accessed June 23, 2014.

 

Evolution of Feathers and Birds – Creation Perspective

 

Creation Answer:

God was very intentional about every detail of His creation, including feathers on birds! “Birds are ‘custom designed for flight!’” Without the complex make-up of feathers, birds would never have flown. In fact, their entire bodies are designed specifically for flying with their light, hollow bones, their open respiratory system, their efficient digestive and circulatory systems, as well as their streamlined shape accompanied by powerful specialized muscles and tendons. “All of these factors work together to produce a system that is highly efficient and intricately coordinated.”[i] These characteristics would not be just simple little changes, but rather, unbelievably extensive changes from the structures of reptilian dinosaurs that birds supposedly had evolved from.[ii]  For example, “A transitional series from the reptile to the bird lung design would need to start from a poor creature with a diaphragmatic hernia (hole in the diaphragm), and natural selection would work against this.”[iii]

Feather1The Theory of Evolution has claimed that birds have evolved from dinosaurs and thus feathers from scales.[iv] This hypothesis has been disproven as Dr. David Menton explains in saying “the only similarity is that they are both made of the protein keratin—like hair, nails and our skin.”[v] He also goes on to say that feathers are closer to hair than to scales and he lists 18 similarities between feathers and hair.[vi] “An evolutionary feather expert, Alan Brush, concludes ‘At the morphological level feathers are traditionally considered homologous with reptilian scales. However, in development, morphogenesis, gene structure, protein shape and sequence, and filament formation and structure, feathers are different.’”[vii] So reptiles must have evolved hair filaments growing through their scales first, before feathers. Interestingly, a reptile’s skin is one large sheet that is folded to create the scale shape and that’s why reptiles can shed their skin all at once.[viii]

“Feathers may look simple, but they’re really very complicated. Each one can have more than a million tiny parts.”[ix] “The precise position of each feather is monitored by sensory receptors and controlled individually by tiny muscles to change shape and position in response to varying air pressure.  Feathers are stronger by weight than any man-made substitute.”[x] They are so strong because each feather is made up of a shaft with two vanes. Each vane has, on average, 400 barbs extending out from the shaft of the feather. Each barb has an average of 800 barbules that have many hooklets that interconnect each barb. This interconnecting structure acts like Velcro and is therefore extremely strong, flexible and very light-weight.[xi]

The Theory of Evolution makes a lot of assumptions about the process of going from running or tree climbing reptiles into bouncing/gliding and eventually flying birds.[xii] Think about all the steps that evolution has to assume from the following quotes and commentary. “The chief difficulty in thinking about the evolution of the first feathers is the difficulty in accounting for the genesis of the structure through a continuous sequence of selective forces and with a continuous series of hypothetical morphological steps that are functionally plausible.”[xiii]

The above explanation of a feather is simply about the flight or contour feather whereas there are other types of feathers as well. “The belief in feather evolution requires evidence for the evolution of each kind of feather (or evidence for the evolution of each feather from the first feather), which requires speculation about ‘feasible selective demands acting on evolution of feathers,’ a task no-one has yet achieved.18 The evolution of feathers is considered so improbable—even by evolutionists—that Darwinists generally conclude that ‘feathers evolved only once in the history of the vertebrata’.20 Much speculation also exists about this first feather—was it a simple contour feather, a downy feather or a flight feather?”[xiv]

Ultimately, there is no evidence of intermediates between a scale and a feather. The fossil record shows accessories that are either 100% scale or 100% feather.[xv] In the fossil record, “the oldest known feathers … are already modern in form and microscopic detail.”[xvi] A Columbia University biologist stated, “we lack completely fossils of all intermediate stages between reptilian scales and the most primitive feather.”[xvii] The same can be said for transitions between hair and feathers.

Birds “are actually ideal animals to use to study evolution because their fossils preserve very well. The fact that 9,000 living species are now known, all of which have a very unique skeletal morphology yet only 45 extinct bird taxa have ever been identified, providing strong evidence that relatively few types of non-modern birds have existed throughout history. This conclusion is supported by the fact that of 329 living families of terrestrial vertebrates, fully 79% have been found as fossils, as have 97.7% of the 43 living terrestrial vertebrate orders.”[xviii]

Evolution’s best and most prestigious evidence for reptile – bird evolution has been Archaeopteryx, but at a “major meeting of scientists who specialize in bird evolution…there was very broad agreement on the belief that Archaeopteryx was a true bird.”[xix] Regarding proposed feathered dinosaur Sinosauropteryx, “Ruben and ancient bird expert Larry Martin believe that the so-called ‘feather’ traces are actually frayed collagen fibres beneath the skin. Feather expert Alan Brush, University of Connecticut, Storrs, points out that they ‘lack the organization found in modern feathers.’7[xx] Proposed feathered dinosaur Psittacosaurus was found to have very thick skin, but “no presented evidence of feathers on this dinosaur”[xxi] Some claim that Velociraptor had feathers. The evidence is one ulna bone that they assume is from a Velociraptor based on where they found it and the potential “quill knobs” that are not very well defined on the fossil. Also, the Velociraptor is supposedly about 70 million years older than the earliest supposed bird, so it doesn’t help much (if at all) with the necessary missing steps for bird evolution.[xxii] Anatomist Dr. David Menton says, “The obvious bird fossil Confuciusornis sanctus, for example, has long slender tail feathers resembling those of a modern scissor-tail flycatcher.”[xxiii] Regarding Confuciusornis sanctus, “even this beaked bird, with even more direct evidence of feathers, is ‘dated’ to 135 million years, so older than its ‘feathered dinosaur’ ancestor.”[xxiv]

In fact, “Dr Carl Werner’s book and DVD, Living Fossils, reveals that fossil researchers have found many modern bird remains with dinosaurs.” These modern bird discoveries throw a wrench into the idea that dinosaurs came first and became birds.[xxv] These examples are only part of the growing controversy regarding the evolution of birds.[xxvi]

The “evolution of feathers (or any of the many other structures required to fly [bone structure, respiratory system, circulatory system, musculatory system, nervous system, shape of the wing, etc]) as separate structures is unlikely and clearly counterproductive because, as separate structures, they would impede survival.”[xxvii] (examples added) Also to counter the insulation theory, hair would have been a lot easier to develop as an insulator for the evolving reptiles.[xxviii] There are many theories regarding bird and feather evolution, but all of them are so far “insufficient.”[xxix] “These feather-evolution schemes, although they may appear plausible, all tend to obscure crucial difficulties, and are too vague to be able to criticize their specific claims.”[xxx]

If all that is not enough, the supposed evolutionary order is inconsistent with the Biblical order. The first mention of birds is found in Genesis 1:20, “And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that has life, and fowl that may fly above the Earth in the open firmament of heaven.” This passage explains that God created birds on day 5 and then land animals on day 6. One of the most comforting things for believers is that God “will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge.” (Psalm 91:4, NIV)

 

What the Bible Says: Ps 68:13, Ps 91:4,

 

by Brian Mariani and others

 

Before commenting, please read the following disclosures.

Any offensive language will automatically disqualify your comment for publication, even if the arguments contained are good. Please comment on the ideas that are presented and not the presenter.  If your comment becomes an ad hominem argument and does not substantially address the issue, your comment will be disqualified as well.  We are looking for real arguments, not fallacious ones, so that we can present and challenge opposing ideas and arguments as they are truly believed by evolutionists.  We do not want to tear down straw men as well as you do not want to be misrepresented. Also, please keep your comments as brief as possible, and if the majority of the comment does not address the current issue, but becomes a red-herring, it will not be posted as well. If your comment does not fall into one of the above restrictions, then your comment will be posted unedited (you may want to check your spelling, grammar, etc.) We thank you for your time and comments.

One thing to keep in mind, each blog is one piece of evidence. Evidence has to then be interpreted, which is not a fact…but evidence strengthening or weakening a specific hypothesis or theory. So there can be multiple ways of interpreting the same evidence. I am not being unscientific, but asking more questions and being skeptical is being more scientific. I am still working on these, so please help with your comments.

 

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.

 


[i] Dave Nutting, Birds in Flight, April 14, 2011, Alpha Omega Institute, http://www.discovercreation.org/documents/BirdsinFlight.htm, accessed May 22, 2014.

[ii] Dave Nutting, Birds in Flight, April 14, 2011, Alpha Omega Institute, http://www.discovercreation.org/documents/BirdsinFlight.htm, accessed May 22, 2014.

Lanny and Marilyn Johnson, Dinosaur To Bird?, May 18, 2012, Alpha Omega Institute, http://www.discovercreation.org/documents/DinosaurToBird.htm, accessed May 22, 2014.

[iii] Jonathan Sarfati, Skeptics/Australian Museum ‘Feathered Dinosaur’ display: Knockdown argument against creation?, November 26, 2002, Creation Ministries International, http://creation.com/skeptics-australian-museum-feathered-dinosaur-display, accessed June 6, 2014.

[iv] Dave Nutting Feathers From Scales??, April 29, 2011, Alpha Omega Institute, http://www.discovercreation.org/documents/FeathersFromScales.htm, accessed May 22, 2014.

[v] Carl Wieland, Bird evolution flies out the window: Carl Wieland talks with anatomist [Retired 2000] Professor David Menton, who reveals some exciting new thoughts on that controversial ‘early bird’, Archaeopteryx, Creation 16(4):16-19, September 1994, Creation Ministries International, http://creation.com/bird-evolution-flies-out-the-window, accessed May 22, 2014.

[vi] Carl Wieland, Bird evolution flies out the window: Carl Wieland talks with anatomist [Retired 2000] Professor David Menton, who reveals some exciting new thoughts on that controversial ‘early bird’, Archaeopteryx, Creation 16(4):16-19, September 1994, Creation Ministries International, http://creation.com/bird-evolution-flies-out-the-window, accessed May 22, 2014.

[vii] Carl Wieland, Bird evolution flies out the window: Carl Wieland talks with anatomist [Retired 2000] Professor David Menton, who reveals some exciting new thoughts on that controversial ‘early bird’, Archaeopteryx, Creation 16(4):16-19, September 1994, Creation Ministries International, http://creation.com/bird-evolution-flies-out-the-window, accessed May 22, 2014.

A.H. Brush, ‘On the origin of feathers’, Journal of Evolutionary Biology 9:131–142, 1996.

[viii] Dr. Donn Chapman, David N. Menton, Ph.D, Formed to Fly: Birds & Flight, 2005, Origins, Cornerstone TeleVision Network, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1eZ7VUgfH2g, accessed May 26, 2014.

[ix] Jerry Bergman, The evolution of feathers: a major problem for Darwinism, Journal of Creation (formerly TJ) 17(1):33-41, April 2003, Creation Ministries International, http://creation.com/the-evolution-of-feathers-a-major-problem-for-darwinism, accessed May 28, 2014.

Quoted from: Bishop, N., The Secrets of Animal Flight, Houghton Mifflin, Boston, p. 9, 1997.

[x] Dave Nutting, Birds in Flight, April 14, 2011, Alpha Omega Institute, http://www.discovercreation.org/documents/BirdsinFlight.htm, accessed May 22, 2014.

[xi] Dr. Donn Chapman, David N. Menton, Ph.D, Formed to Fly: Birds & Flight, 2005, Origins, Cornerstone TeleVision Network, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1eZ7VUgfH2g, accessed May 26, 2014.

[xii] Lanny and Marilyn Johnson, Dinosaur To Bird?, May 18, 2012, Alpha Omega Institute, http://www.discovercreation.org/documents/DinosaurToBird.htm, accessed May 22, 2014.

[xiii] Jerry Bergman, The evolution of feathers: a major problem for Darwinism, Journal of Creation (formerly TJ) 17(1):33-41, April 2003, Creation Ministries International, http://creation.com/the-evolution-of-feathers-a-major-problem-for-darwinism, accessed May 28, 2014.

Quoting from: Regal, P., The evolutionary origin of feathers, The Quarterly Review of Biology 50(1):35–66, 1975; pp. 35–36.

[xiv] Jerry Bergman, The evolution of feathers: a major problem for Darwinism, Journal of Creation (formerly TJ) 17(1):33-41, April 2003, Creation Ministries International, http://creation.com/the-evolution-of-feathers-a-major-problem-for-darwinism, accessed May 28, 2014.

Quoting from: Bock, W.J., Explanatory history of the origin of feathers, American Zoology 40:478–485, 2000.

[xv] Dave Nutting Feathers From Scales??, April 29, 2011, Alpha Omega Institute, http://www.discovercreation.org/documents/FeathersFromScales.htm, accessed May 22, 2014.

Carl Wieland, Bird evolution flies out the window: Carl Wieland talks with anatomist [Retired 2000] Professor David Menton, who reveals some exciting new thoughts on that controversial ‘early bird’, Archaeopteryx, Creation 16(4):16-19, September 1994, Creation Ministries International, http://creation.com/bird-evolution-flies-out-the-window, accessed May 22, 2014.

[xvi] Jerry Bergman, The evolution of feathers: a major problem for Darwinism, Journal of Creation (formerly TJ) 17(1):33-41, April 2003, Creation Ministries International, http://creation.com/the-evolution-of-feathers-a-major-problem-for-darwinism, accessed May 28, 2014.

Quoting from: Martin, L. and Czerkas, S.A., The fossil record of feather evolution in the Mesozoic, American Zoology 40:687–694, 2000; p. 687.

[xvii] Jerry Bergman, The evolution of feathers: a major problem for Darwinism, Journal of Creation (formerly TJ) 17(1):33-41, April 2003, Creation Ministries International, http://creation.com/the-evolution-of-feathers-a-major-problem-for-darwinism, accessed May 28, 2014.

Bock, W.J., Explanatory history of the origin of feathers, American Zoology 40:480, 2000.

[xviii] Jerry Bergman, The evolution of feathers: a major problem for Darwinism, Journal of Creation (formerly TJ) 17(1):33-41, April 2003, Creation Ministries International, http://creation.com/the-evolution-of-feathers-a-major-problem-for-darwinism, accessed May 28, 2014.

[xix] Carl Wieland, Bird evolution flies out the window: Carl Wieland talks with anatomist [Retired 2000] Professor David Menton, who reveals some exciting new thoughts on that controversial ‘early bird’, Archaeopteryx, Creation 16(4):16-19, September 1994, Creation Ministries International, http://creation.com/bird-evolution-flies-out-the-window, accessed May 22, 2014.

[xx] Jonathan Sarfati, Dino-bird evolution falls flat!, Creation 20(2):41, March 1998, Creation Ministries International, http://creation.com/dino-bird-evolution-falls-flat, accessed June 6, 2014.

[xxi]BBC News: “Flesh Wound Reveals Dino Secrets”,  News to Note, January 12, 2008, Answers in Genesis, https://answersingenesis.org/answers/news-to-know/news-to-note-january-12-2008/, accessed June 6, 2014.

[xxii] Shaun Doyle, ‘Jurassic Park’ feathers? Does Velociraptor fossil suggest dinos had feathers?

[xxiii] David Menton, Did Dinosaurs Turn Into Birds?, January 17, 2008, Answers in Genesis, https://answersingenesis.org/dinosaurs/feathers/did-dinosaurs-turn-into-birds/, accessed June 6, 2014.

[xxiv] Jonathan Sarfati, Skeptics/Australian Museum ‘Feathered Dinosaur’ display: Knockdown argument against creation?, November 26, 2002, Creation Ministries International, http://creation.com/skeptics-australian-museum-feathered-dinosaur-display, accessed June 6, 2014.

[xxv] Don Batten, Modern birds found with dinosaurs: Are museums misleading the public? Creation 34(3):48-50 July 2012, Creation Ministries International, http://creation.com/modern-birds-with-dinosaurs, accessed May 26, 2014.

[xxvi] A.P. Galling, Birds Did Not Evolve From Dinosaurs, Say Evolutionists: Stunning New Research Overturns Widely Held Evolutionary Idea, June 12, 2009, Answers in Genesis, https://answersingenesis.org/dinosaurs/feathers/birds-did-not-evolve-from-dinosaurs-say-evolutionists/, accessed May 26, 2014.

[xxvii] Jerry Bergman, The evolution of feathers: a major problem for Darwinism, Journal of Creation (formerly TJ) 17(1):33-41, April 2003, Creation Ministries International, http://creation.com/the-evolution-of-feathers-a-major-problem-for-darwinism, accessed May 28, 2014.

[xxviii] Jerry Bergman, The evolution of feathers: a major problem for Darwinism, Journal of Creation (formerly TJ) 17(1):33-41, April 2003, Creation Ministries International, http://creation.com/the-evolution-of-feathers-a-major-problem-for-darwinism, accessed May 28, 2014.

[xxix] Jerry Bergman, The evolution of feathers: a major problem for Darwinism, Journal of Creation (formerly TJ) 17(1):33-41, April 2003, Creation Ministries International, http://creation.com/the-evolution-of-feathers-a-major-problem-for-darwinism, accessed May 28, 2014.

Quoting from: Prum, R.O., Development and evolutionary origin of feathers, J. Experimental Zoology (Molecular, Developmental, Evolution) 285:291–306; 292, 1999.

[xxx] Jerry Bergman, The evolution of feathers: a major problem for Darwinism, Journal of Creation (formerly TJ) 17(1):33-41, April 2003, Creation Ministries International, http://creation.com/the-evolution-of-feathers-a-major-problem-for-darwinism, accessed May 28, 2014.

Denton, M., Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, Adler and Adler, Bethesda, p. 216, 1986.

Evolution of Feathers and Birds – Naturalistic/Evolutionary Perspective

 

Introduction:

The two most distinctive things about birds are that they can fly and have feathers. But have you ever wondered how feathers evolved? How complex are feathers? Could they have evolved from reptile scales? How long did it take to evolve feathers? What was their use before they enabled the bird to fly? If those are not enough questions, how did the whole bird itself evolve? 

Naturalistic/Evolutionary Answer:

Archaeopteryx-FossilOne of the prevailing theories is that some dinosaurs evolved into birds, so feathers evolved on reptilian dinosaurs. The fossil record gives only small glimpses of that transition. “By analyzing specimens from China, paleontologists have filled in gaps in the fossil record and traced the evolutionary relationships among various dinosaurs. The fossils finally have confirmed, to all but a few skeptics, that birds descended from dinosaurs and are the living representatives of a dinosaur lineage called the Maniraptorans.” Possible transitions from feathered dinosaurs to birds or examples of feathered dinosaurs include: Anchiornis huxleyi, Archaeopteryx, Confuciusornis, Sinosauropteryx, Psittacosaurus, Microraptor, Velociraptor, and more.[i]

“Feathers originate in a skin layer deep under the outer layer that forms scales. It is very unlikely that feathers evolved from reptilian scales, even though that thought is deeply embedded in the minds of too many paleontologists. Feathers probably arose as new structures under and between reptile scales, not as modified scales. Many birds have scales on their lower legs and feet where feathers are not developed, and penguins have such short feathers on parts of their wings that the skin there is scaly for all practical purposes.”[ii]

“Feathers in their most primitive form were single filaments, resembling quills, that jutted from reptilian skin” and started evolving nearly 240 million years ago. “After the emergence of single filaments came multiple filaments joined at the base. Next to appear in the fossil record were paired barbs shooting off a central shaft. Eventually, dense rows of interlocking barbs formed a flat surface: the basic blueprint of the so-called pennaceous feathers of modern birds. All these feather types have been found in fossil impressions of theropods, the dinosaur suborder that includes Tyrannosaurus rex as well as birds and other Maniraptorans.”[iii] One paleontologist says, “it seems that, genetically, it’s not a great trick to make a scale into a filament.”

Though many dinosaurs evolved feathers, the proto-feathers did not evolve for flight as they were not sufficient enough to fly with, but instead may have been useful for insulation, for mating practices, or for camouflage.[iv]

“The thermoregulatory (insulation) theory for the origin of feathers is probably the most widely accepted one today, but it does have problems. Why feathers? Feathers are more complex to grow, more difficult to maintain in good condition, more liable to damage, and more difficult to replace than fur. Every other creature that has evolved a thermoregulatory coat, from bats to bees and from caterpillars to pterosaurs, has some kind of furry cover. There is no apparent reason for evolving feathers rather than fur even for heat shielding.”[v]

It is possible that a fuzzy type of feather coat initially evolved for insulation purposes and very quickly these reptiles used their proto-feathers for dominance in mating situations, in competition for food, and in defense from predators (the display and fighting hypothesis). For these reasons, the more elaborate and longer feathers made these reptiles more impressive, or intimidating, and thus were more fit to survive based on natural selection tendencies. This display of feathers “would have been most effective on movable appendages, such as forearms and tail.”[vi]

As birds evolved from reptilian dinosaurs, the cursorial hypothesis states that the origination of feathers would have helped running dinosaurs gain extra lift for bouncing away from predators or closer to prey. The arboreal hypothesis states that those proto-feathers would have allowed tree climbing and dwelling dinosaurs to glide through the air better. Either way, these proto-feathers allowed dinosaurs to become more efficient at running, jumping, and moving on the ground or through the trees. “The Running Raptor” version of the cursorial hypothesis suggests that this reptile ran through the brush scaring out flying insects to which it would leap after by waving or flapping it’s hands to stay up long enough to catch its prey. From the display hypothesis, the flapping motion would have been impressive and intimidating and these circumstances would naturally lead to the selection of reptiles with stronger pectoral muscles, longer arms, and longer feathers. These features would also be advantageous for fighting as well.[vii]

“Since the last of the non-avian dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago during the mass extinction that closed the curtain on the Cretaceous period, birds have evolved other characteristics that set them apart from dinosaurs. Modern birds have higher metabolisms than even the most agile Velociraptor ever had. Teeth disappeared at some point in birds’ evolutionary history. Birds’ tails got shorter, their flying skills got better and their brains got bigger than those of dinosaurs. And modern birds, unlike their Maniraptoran ancestors, have a big toe that juts away from the other toes, which allows birds to perch. ‘You gradually go from the long arms and huge hands of non-avian Maniraptorans to something that looks like the chicken wing you get at KFC,’ says Sues.”[viii]

As more rocks are turned up, there will be more discoveries clarifying the transitions between reptiles and birds. There is difficulty, though, “partly because birds, then as now, were far less common than fish and invertebrates, and partly because birds more readily evaded mudslides, tar pits, volcanic eruptions and other geological phenomena that captured animals and preserved traces of them for the ages.”[ix] New discoveries are continuing to show links between dinosaurs and birds including the fact that traits specific to birds like “fused clavicles were common in dinosaurs after all. Deinonychus and Velociraptor bones had air pockets and flexible wrist joints. Dinosaur traits were looking more birdlike all the time.”[x]

 

by Brian Mariani and others

 

Is the above correct? Do you evolutionists agree with this position? I have tried to write it as you believe it. Do you have any disagreements or concerns or additions?

 

Before commenting, please read the following disclosures.

Any offensive language will automatically disqualify your comment for publication, even if the arguments contained are good. Please comment on the ideas that are presented and not the presenter.  If your comment becomes an ad hominem argument and does not substantially address the issue, your comment will be disqualified as well.  We are looking for real arguments, not fallacious ones, so that we can present and challenge opposing ideas and arguments as they are truly believed by evolutionists.  We do not want to tear down straw men as well as you do not want to be misrepresented. Also, please keep your comments as brief as possible, and if the majority of the comment does not address the current issue, but becomes a red-herring, it will not be posted as well. If your comment does not fall into one of the above restrictions, then your comment will be posted unedited (you may want to check your spelling, grammar, etc.) We thank you for your time and comments.

One thing to keep in mind, each blog is one piece of evidence. Evidence has to then be interpreted, which is not a fact…but evidence strengthening or weakening a specific hypothesis or theory. So there can be multiple ways of interpreting the same evidence. I am not being unscientific, but asking more questions and being skeptical is being more scientific. I am still working on these, so please help with your comments.



[i] Richard Stone, Dinosaurs’ Living Descendants: China’s spectacular feathered fossils have finally answered the century-old question about the ancestors of today’s birds, December 2010, Smithsonian Magazine, http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/dinosaurs-living-descendants-69657706/, accessed May 28, 2014.

[ii] Cowen, University of California – Davis, The Origin of Feathers: a Display Hypothesis, http://mygeologypage.ucdavis.edu/cowen/HistoryofLife/feathersandflight.html, accessed May 28, 2014.

Cowen, R., and J. H. Lipps. 2000. The origin of feathers and the origin of flight in birds. In Cowen, R., History of Life, 3rd edition, Chapters 13 and 14. Malden, Mass.: Blackwell Science.

[iii] Richard Stone, Dinosaurs’ Living Descendants: China’s spectacular feathered fossils have finally answered the century-old question about the ancestors of today’s birds, December 2010, Smithsonian Magazine, http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/dinosaurs-living-descendants-69657706/, accessed May 28, 2014.

[iv] Lanny and Marilyn Johnson, Dinosaur To Bird?, May 18, 2012, Alpha Omega Institute, http://www.discovercreation.org/documents/DinosaurToBird.htm, accessed May 22, 2014.

[v] Cowen, University of California – Davis, The Origin of Feathers: a Display Hypothesis, http://mygeologypage.ucdavis.edu/cowen/HistoryofLife/feathersandflight.html, accessed May 28, 2014.

Cowen, R., and J. H. Lipps. 2000. The origin of feathers and the origin of flight in birds. In Cowen, R., History of Life, 3rd edition, Chapters 13 and 14. Malden, Mass.: Blackwell Science.

[vi] Cowen, University of California – Davis, The Origin of Feathers: a Display Hypothesis, http://mygeologypage.ucdavis.edu/cowen/HistoryofLife/feathersandflight.html, accessed May 28, 2014.

Cowen, R., and J. H. Lipps. 2000. The origin of feathers and the origin of flight in birds. In Cowen, R., History of Life, 3rd edition, Chapters 13 and 14. Malden, Mass.: Blackwell Science.

[vii] Cowen, University of California – Davis, The Origin of Feathers: a Display Hypothesis, http://mygeologypage.ucdavis.edu/cowen/HistoryofLife/feathersandflight.html, accessed May 28, 2014.

Cowen, R., and J. H. Lipps. 2000. The origin of feathers and the origin of flight in birds. In Cowen, R., History of Life, 3rd edition, Chapters 13 and 14. Malden, Mass.: Blackwell Science.

[viii] Richard Stone, Dinosaurs’ Living Descendants: China’s spectacular feathered fossils have finally answered the century-old question about the ancestors of today’s birds, December 2010, Smithsonian Magazine, http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/dinosaurs-living-descendants-69657706/, accessed May 28, 2014.

[ix] Richard Stone, Dinosaurs’ Living Descendants: China’s spectacular feathered fossils have finally answered the century-old question about the ancestors of today’s birds, December 2010, Smithsonian Magazine, http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/dinosaurs-living-descendants-69657706/, accessed May 28, 2014.

[x] Richard Stone, Dinosaurs’ Living Descendants: China’s spectacular feathered fossils have finally answered the century-old question about the ancestors of today’s birds, December 2010, Smithsonian Magazine, http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/dinosaurs-living-descendants-69657706/, accessed May 28, 2014.

Control and Provision

 

hJust recently, we were blessed by a wonderful gift of money from a family member. We were excited as it added a buffer, some breathing room, as we look towards added expenses with our baby on the way.

The next day, we had to go to the DMV to register our cars in Colorado for the first time since moving here. The DMV, for many, is known for long wait times and over-complicated “simple” transactions. We got there, took our number and waited. We only had to wait for a little bit, and eventually our number was called.

We had both of our cars to register at the same time. The young lady was very helpful and walked us through signing the paperwork. Now, I knew car registration was not cheap, but I figured it wouldn’t be too terrible and that is when the young lady told us about the late fees! Ouch! What a bummer – we thought we were being wise by re-registering last year in our previous states, due to the fact that we were moving half-way across the country and had not settled or established ourselves in Colorado yet.

The late fees really added to the total, but thank God one of our cars wasn’t as late because we didn’t retrieve it until later in the year. As we were waiting at the desk, I realized that I didn’t have any checks with me – I usually have one or two in my wallet.  I also noticed that there was an extra charge for using a credit card. Then I remembered, that envelope of cash from my family member! It covered the entire cost for that day, plus a little more as well. This may just seem like a coincidence to some, or not sound like that big of an issue, but to my wife and I, it was the powerful hand of God providing for us.

We had a professor at Bible College who taught about God’s character and power. I don’t feel like I learned, or remembered, much academically from him during that class, but I do remember him telling story after story of God’s provision for him and his family. That impacted me. I thought, what a better way to live life than to have these challenging experiences and to see God provide and to glorify Him by sharing that with others!

It stills surprises and scares my wife and I that we are missionaries, but let me ask this question: would you rather trust a man, an organization, the government or God for a paycheck?

We thought we were being wise and were trusting God by not registering our cars earlier, and it didn’t seem to work the way we wanted. We worried about it. Why do we worry? Who is in control??? God is in control! God has a better purpose and a better plan than we do, and I think that through His provision for us, God is greater glorified… and that is the goal. We often worry because we don’t want our life to be hard. Who are we living for?

Consider the Words of God:

25 “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27 And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? 28 And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, 29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! 31 Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32 For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34 “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own…

“…Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him! (Matt 6: 25-34, 7:7-11)

28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose…If God is for us, who is against us? (Rom 8:28, 31b)

 

Brian Mariani

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.

Learn Through Experience

 

There is something spectacular about getting to live what you are learning. I didn’t think much about that until the years I spent working at a Christian Living History Camp in California. Each day as my fellow guides and I stepped into costume and into character, we experienced both history and ministry from a firsthand perspective. And that experience wasn’t limited to ourselves – we were privileged to provide countless 4th grade campers and their parents with that same unique opportunity.

Panning for GoldWe were blessed to watch as campers, who had been learning about the California Gold Rush for months, were able to practically live history with us. We got to watch their excitement at finding gold in the river, and their disappointment when they realized that it truly wasn’t an easy task. We encouraged them to think outside of their normal lives and consider what the lives of California miners were like. And best of all, we got to do all this away from their “comfort zone,” which for many of them consisted mostly of indoor activities, cement, video games, and comfort drawn from the fact that they knew the nearest Starbucks was less than five minutes away (yes, we definitely drew the parents out of their comfort zones as well as the kids!). In fact, the crux of our ministry at Rock-N-Water was, and is, founded on the basis of getting kids (and parents) out into creation….experiencing God through adventures in His creation, that through witnessing firsthand what He has made, they might see Him more clearly.

Yellowstone 1My experience at Rock-N-Water Christian camp has laid the foundation for me to be very excited about the camping ministry we have and are continuing to develop here at AOI. Our summer camps and tours offer the opportunity for youth, families, kids, and everyone in between to get out and experience Gods creation while being strengthened in their faith through amazing, and even life-changing creation science teaching. We are excited to be able to provide the chance to get out and see what God has made, as well as to provide the background pieces of scientific information that will allow people to see the beauty of creation with new eyes.

While this information is powerful and impactful in any setting, I personally feel strongly that there is a unique power and impact when it’s coupled with the chance to observe the evidence of the beauty and majesty of God’s creation.

As guests of AOI’s summer adventures “discover creation,” my prayer (along with all of us at AOI) is that they will be spurred on to “worship the Creator” who has divinely orchestrated a world scarred by catastrophe brought on by sin to still exhibit a breathtaking display of beauty.

It’s not too late to register for AOI’s summer Creation Adventures. Take a look and give us a call. We pray that you and your family are able to take advantage of this opportunity, and that you are mightily blessed!

 

Aimee Mariani

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.

What I learned on Father’s Day!

 

So Father’s Day has now come and gone and we haven’t had our baby yet (due in about a week and a half). At church, as well as from friends and family, I received comments saying “happy father’s day…almost” or “happy almost father’s day” and then some not even acknowledging me as a father. I have to admit, I think I may have said that to people in the past who were at that time just expecting.

Now it is natural to think that since we don’t have a baby yet, that we aren’t parents. I think this understanding also comes from our cultural context too. That is the point, things in our culture influence us often in very small ways – more often and in more ways than we realize.

For example, even if I am experiencing some pain, I don’t like taking medicine or even going to the doctor. I tend to grit my teeth and say, “people throughout history didn’t use medicine, they just dealt with it…and so can I.” And granted we do need sometimes to be wary about the chemicals or side-effects of medicines, but they can be helpful and necessary as well. I finally realized that my preconceived notions of ancient man were influenced by evolutionary thinking. I was actually picturing cave men never going to the doctor or the dentist. But cave men were humans possibly moving from one city to another (many maybe dispersing from Babel – which was a huge engineering project). Adam was created intelligent and able to walk with God. Humans have always been intelligent, possibly knowing a great deal about natural remedies and medicines.

hBack to my point, we consider a 3-month old as being 3 months old, but he/she is actually closer to 12 months old. A baby in the womb is alive no matter how long they have been there, but parts of our culture claim this not to be the case. God knows us as a person before we even are a physical person! (see verse 16 below) Sometimes making a change in our culture requires a shift in our own thoughts, perceptions, and beliefs. Let’s not forget to stop and ask…”what does God (the Bible) say about ———- ?“

 

13 For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
16 Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.

                                                Psalm 139:13-16

 

My wife and I are already parents. Leadership (parenting) takes personal preparation. Parenting is going to take on a whole new meaning for us in a couple weeks and again in a couple of years, but it has already started for us, even if that is simply… just talking to the baby, singing to the baby, feeling the baby move, preparing doctor appointments and insurance, getting “baby stuff”, practicing loving each other as an example to our children, praying, or studying God’s Word on His will and how to manage – everything. Actually that doesn’t sound that simple, but God is gracious to help. Praise God for His plan as everything is connected (even as our pastor taught that discipline is not just about fixing the behavior at the moment but about life-long instruction).

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.                                                                      Eph. 6:4

Even as we are still awaiting the birth of our baby, my wife and I fully celebrated my first father’s day, including special homemade muffins, burgers on the grill, and adventures at the park. We truly are soooo blessed by your support and encouragement and by God’s great provision! PRAISE GOD and Happy Mother’s Day and Father’s Day to all of those who were with child this year!

 

P.S. I hope you don’t get tired of hearing about us and our young family life…I have a feeling that we will be learning quite a lot this year! Thanks!

 

-Brian Mariani

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.

Preparing

 

Currently, my wife and I are preparing for the birth of our first child. In fact, I feel like this whole year has been one of preparation with researching for books, blogs, and PowerPoint presentations, as well as planning and preparing for the inaugural class of the Discover Creation Training Institute, Lord willing, in August 2015.

It has all been a challenge, but we are doing our best to prepare for the baby, ministry projects, and…everything…for the rest of our lives…Ha!

Prepare!

I was curious and so I typed “prepare” in a search of the Bible, and found that that word appears 174 times in the NASB. Many instances refer to the preparing of food or lodging, often for guests, or preparing for battle, or preparing to go to the temple and offer sacrifices. Preparation often goes hand in hand with being diligent, well-intentioned and wise.

God’s plan and God’s will are clearly shown in how he has wisely prepared and planned out all of creation and human history. He prepared a perfect creation for mankind, unfortunately Adam and Eve sinned… but God was prepared. He prepared the skins of an animal as the first sacrifice to cover their sin. (Genesis 3) He knew mankind would continue to become more and more wicked and consequently helped Noah and his family in preparing to survive the flood. God sought out Abraham and his descendants and prepared the way their family would move – even to Egypt – and then God prepared the way out of Egypt for that same family (now the Israelites). Since then, God has prepared the way for Old Testament judges, heroes, kings, and prophets to do His will.

Matthew 11:10 explains that John the Baptist fulfilled the prophecy from Malachi 3:1, speaking of the messenger before Christ,  by saying – “Behold, I send My messenger ahead of You, Who will prepare Your way before You.”  Many of Jesus’ parables explain how the master prepares dinners and wedding feasts, which were analogous to His Kingdom,  and exhorts us in the process that we need to be prepared! Prepare yourself and others for the battle of this life, in preparation for the next life, the enemy wants to take as many captive by vain philosophies and empty deceit as possible. (see Colossians 2:8)

As we prepare for our new baby and our new ministry with AOI, I am excited! And the baby and ministry are not the only exciting things. Check out these EXCITING promises from God’s Word:

“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way where I am going.” Thomas *said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”  John 14:1-6

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things [wicked things], he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.  2 Timothy 2:21 (clarification added)

By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.  Hebrews 11:3

But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.  Hebrews 11:16

Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.  1 Peter 1:13

Brian Mariani

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.

Firm Foundation

 

I’ve always known that a solid foundation is important, but until recently I had not seen firsthand the disastrous effects of not having one.  I recently had the opportunity to go on an unexpected adventure that led to a tour of a massive, uninhabited log home. Set on the edge of a lush, grassy meadow, with hillsides sloping up to snowy mountains behind, the expansive building fit beautifully into the landscape.

The large reception room’s wood floors had a glossy sheen, and the solid wood doors complimented the huge log walls. But something wasn’t right. We descended the split log staircase into the basement, where an intricate web of copper pipes and fittings added to the overall impression of costly outfitting. That’s where some of the problems came into view. As we got a better look at the underside of the house, it became evident that the foundation was nowhere near sufficient for the structure it was intended to support. Beams sagged, scrawny posts held up a wide deck, providing less than half of the needed support.

hammer-and-nailsAs we explored the rest of the house, huge rooms pleased the eye, but the other senses betrayed some hidden – and some not-so-hidden – flaws. There wasn’t a level floor in the place, and their angles tempted one to toss a ball to the floor to see which way it would roll; beams over 1 foot in diameter stood majestically in the great room, appearing to support the upper loft…but had hardly anything below to brace them.

As I looked over the house, and listened to the report that it had been pronounced in danger of “imminent collapse” by an engineer, I was struck by the profound spiritual analogy it presented. The building itself (completed only 8 years ago) appeared beautiful and stately – but it may as well have been rotten to the core. With such a poor foundation, the whole structure was compromised. All of the costly, quality details added later (like the exquisite kitchen fixtures and lavish bed frames) could not make up for the faulty workmanship done at the beginning. It grieved me to see such waste – what could have been a lovely, gracious building – if it had been properly founded – was now not only sitting empty, but posing a potential hazard to any who chose to spend extended time within its walls!

This situation bears a strong resemblance to the words of Jesus from the gospel of Luke:

“Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house on the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.”

(Luke 6:46-49)

I am challenged to ask myself: which one am I? Am I hearing and acting on the words of the Lord in Scripture, laying a deep and solid foundation for my life? Or am I like the man with no foundation, or the house with beautiful architecture and lavish design, but finding myself in danger of “imminent collapse” and ruin? I have put my hope and trust in Christ – may I not stop there and fail to act on the words of the Lord.

What about you? What is the condition of your foundation?

 

Aimee Mariani

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.

The Ken Ham/Bill Nye Debate – Thoughts

Ham-Nye debate

In researching about both speakers, they have two very different worldviews, perspectives, and goals. Ken Ham has been very active sharing his perspective and worldview for practically all of his life. He started out teaching public school science in Australia, but eventually moved to the US to work with Creation ministries.

Bill Nye has been a popular science teacher for many years, and recently, he has been especially outspoken on what he perceives are the dangers of allowing the US to slip in our position and emphasis in science. He passionately shares how he feels creationism is unscientific, evolution is basically a proven fact, and how it is wrong to teach children these erroneous viewpoints about science. He says he wants people to understand what science is and that through science we can then better impact our world.[i]

He said that he did not want to come as a scientist or to just spout off science, but he wants to teach people that evolution is proven science and that it is not acceptable to believe or teach creation as a scientific model. He has said that “your world just becomes fantastically complicated when you don’t believe in evolution.”i

Many secular and atheist individuals have warned not to do debates with creationists, because that gives creationism a platform or an opening to try to spread their non-scientific views. They don’t even want to give creationism a platform, or an option, to be heard or thought of as science. One atheist even gave Bill Nye tips on debating Ken Ham. Ultimately, Nye took the debate to raise awareness that “we need them (your kids), we need scientifically literate voters and tax-payers.”[i]

Here is a challenge that I might offer: Giving students numerous models (scientific, philosophical or religious) that they have to study and search out will make students more skeptical, critical, and better informed about each side and about what is truly science, philosophy, and religion. So teaching Creation and Evolution will help students to be critical and skeptical in searching out truth and to not just believe one side.

In fact, Ken Ham takes an even less imposing strategy on education by saying that “while we are not in favor of mandating that creation be taught in public school science classes, we believe that, at the very least, instructors should have the academic freedom to bring up the problems with evolution.”[ii]

The debate’s focus was on this question: Is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern scientific era? Both men were very cordial, kept to time, and played by the rules with very little mud-slinging. Out of all of Ken Ham’s presentations, I thought he did one of his clearest presentations yet. Albeit, there was still a lot of material that could possibly go over peoples’ heads …especially if they were not familiar with the Creation perspective. By using video testimonies, he made the case that there were real scientists that rejected evolutionary naturalism and favored Biblical Creation. Ken Ham also made a clear distinction between observational science and historical science.

Chess-BattleBill Nye was, as always, more entertaining and less staged than Ken Ham. But, Bill Nye did not make strong connections or explanations for the various scientific arguments that he used for evolutionary naturalism. I was surprised at many of the evidences that Bill Nye brought up, because many of those evidences have very consistent (or better) answers from a Creation perspective. In fact, Creation Ministries International wrote a response to the debate (http://creation.com/ham-nye-debate) and linked it to many articles where they explain the creation perspective for the evidences that Bill Nye used.

Coming from a creation perspective, Nye’s arguments are fairly weak and so I was surprised that he was not as researched and knowledgeable about the creation perspective. I think Bill Nye would be surprised at the level of scientific complexity and research that has been done by creationists and I would simply challenge him, or any other atheist or evolutionist, to honestly search out and understand the complete Creation Model. I also challenge all creationists to study and understand the entire Evolutionary/Naturalistic Model.

One of the biggest issues in regards to the Creation/Evolution debate is that both sides are very often ignorant of the other perspective. I think it is important to study BOTH and then consider which one makes more sense.  I think if students did that, they would be much more informed and scientifically literate.

Ultimately, I hope that Ken Ham and Bill Nye will continue dialoguing and corresponding. I think Bill Nye would be fascinated by the science incorporated in creation models. As this has been one of the most popular Creation/Evolution debates, I really appreciate Mary Jo Nutting’s reminder that “we really need to be praying for God to speak through Ken Ham (and all of us as well) to reach this generation with the truth. We also need to pray for God’s grace and compassion to shine through Ken and all of the other staff at AiG. Our desire is not for Bill Nye to look bad, but for the lies of evolution to be exposed and for Bill Nye and MANY others to come to the knowledge of the truth.” Ultimately, the crux of the matter is to share God’s Truth with others that they might be saved and that God would be glorified. I hope and pray that God might open Bill Nye’s eyes and heart so that he could be a tremendous tool in God’s hands for spreading His Truth!

You can watch the debate for free at http://debatelive.org/ for a limited time after the debate. There is a follow-up answers session featuring Ken Ham and Dr. Georgia Purdom on that website as well. Consider how you can use this debate to reach out to family, friends, or coworkers and to be able to share the gospel. Keep studying and Praise God for what He has done!

 

By Brian Mariani

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.



[i] Bill Nye: Creationism Is Not Appropriate For Children, Big Think Video, Published August 23, 2012 on Youtube, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHbYJfwFgOU, accessed February 6, 2014.

[ii] Ken Ham, Ken Ham: Why I’m debating Bill Nye about Creationism, CNN, Belief Blog, http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2014/02/03/why-im-debating-the-science-guy-about-creationism/, accessed February 5, 2014.

Comets – Creation Perspective

 

Creation Answer:

As written in the Bible, God created the Sun,  the Moon, and the stars on day 4 of the creation week, and we can assume this includes comets and all other objects in space. There are about 100 short-period comets and over 500 long-period comets discovered so far, which is still too many comets in our solar system, even if it is supposedly 4.6 billions of years old.

Day 4Comets have very elliptical or stretched orbits, unlike the circular orbits of planets. A comet’s orbit can be changed due to collisions with other objects or even just having a close encounter with a massive planet, like Jupiter. When a comet comes close to these planets, it can be sling-shot around (possibly toward or around the sun) due to the gravity of the planet and it also melts partially as it goes around the sun.

After a certain number of trips, the comets completely burn up and cease to exist. Creation Astronomer, Jason Lisle, estimates that “Comets can orbit the sun for only so long (perhaps about 100,000 years at most) before they completely run out of material.”[i]

Comets often orbit at long distances from the sun, but “if a comet’s orbit takes it too far from the Sun, then the comet could easily be captured by the gravitational attraction of other stars and thus would be lost to the Solar System.” This estimation of the maximum distance from the sun then tells us that comets must orbit around the sun within 11 million years. That means that in the supposed 4.6 billion year history of our solar system, they would have done nearly 400 trips around the sun, more than enough trips to have melted away completely.

Comets can be burned up, thrown out, or even consumed immediately by crashing into the sun or another planet. Evidence of these collisions are the craters that can be seen on some of our moons and planets. Objects (comets) in outer space will not last indefinitely.

Even one of the most famous comets, Halley’s Comet, was bigger and brighter in the past. It is estimated to be only a few thousand years old and may only withstand trips for the next 40,000 years.[ii]

If the Kuiper Belt does exist, as some evidence may suggest, it would provide some answers for short-period comets, but it still can’t explain everything. Creation Astronomer Spike Psarris says that, “Unfortunately for evolution, recent discoveries have shown the Kuiper Belt model doesn’t work any better than the Oort Cloud did.” He also explains how comets had “silicates that the evolutionary model says CAN’T have been out there where comets were supposedly born.”[iii] Naturalistic explanations for the origin of today’s comets are still riddled with problems and questions.

In fact, the Oort cloud cannot be observed and may never be observed. A popular secular astronomer, Carl Sagan and his wife Ann Druyan, wrote that, “Many scientific papers are written each year about the Oort Cloud, its properties, its origin, its evolution. Yet there is not yet a shred of direct observational evidence for its existence.”[iv] So we must ask the question: Is it scientific? It has to exist to make sense of the long age of the solar system and the existence of long-period comets. Studies have shown that over the supposed 4.6 billion years, many forces should have dissipated the Oort Cloud and so again, it shouldn’t be there.

Referencing our solar system, cosmologist Hal Levison says that “the standard model can’t produce anywhere near the number of comets we see.”[v] Therefore, naturalists are forced to assume that maybe comets came from other solar systems and have been captured by our sun and now orbit around our solar system. This model is challenged by the fact that the chances are extremely slim to actually capture these objects into orbit around our sun. It is more likely that the sun would either sling comets out and away or actually pull them into itself. To cause an object to come into a stable, precise orbit, necessitates a complex amount of forces being applied on the object.[vi]

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UMD

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UMD

Comet Hartley 2 is particularly intriguing in that it is still spewing out carbon dioxide from one of its sides as it spins through its orbit of the sun. It is a mystery how it formed, why it is spinning the way it is, and why it still has carbon dioxide. It appears to be quite young and further challenges the long-age naturalistic explanations.[vii]

There have been objects found orbiting beyond the orbit of Neptune, which would be in the region of the Kuiper Belt, but those objects are much larger than what a comet’s size should be. Also,  if the Kuiper Belt model is correct, there should be “around a billion icy cores” out there that have yet to be observed.[viii] This is similar to the idea of transitional fossils of geology/biology; there are still not enough found to justify their models.

 

What the Bible Says: Gen 1:14-19 

 

by Brian Mariani and others

 

Before commenting, please read the following disclosures.

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One thing to keep in mind, each blog is one piece of evidence. Evidence has to then be interpreted, which is not a fact…but evidence strengthening or weakening a specific hypothesis or theory. So there can be multiple ways of interpreting the same evidence. I am not being unscientific, but asking more questions and being skeptical is being more scientific. I am still working on these, so please help with your comments.

 

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[i] Dr. Jason Lisle, The New Answers Book 2, Chapter 9: Does the Bible Say Anything about Astronomy, March 4, 2010, http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/nab2/bible-say-anything-astronomy, accessed January 20, 2014.

[ii] Danny Faulkner, “Comets and the Age of the Solar System,” December 1, 1997, Answers in Genesis, http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/tj/v11/n3/comets, accessed January 20, 2014.

Chaisson, Eric and Steve McMillan. 1993. Astronomy Today Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, p. 339.

[iii] Spike Psarris, What You Aren’t Being Told About Astronomy, Vol II Our Created Stars and Galaxies, Creation Astronomy Media, DVD, 2012.

[iv] Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan, Comets, Random House, New York, 1985, p 201.

[v] Coulter, Dauna, The Sun Steals Comets From Other Stars, November 23, 2010, NASA Science: Science News, http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2010/23nov_aliencomets/, accessed January 22, 2014.

[vi] Brian Thomas, M.S., New Comet Origins Idea Adds New Problems, December 9, 2010, Institute for Creation Research, http://www.icr.org/article/new-comet-origins/, accessed January 22, 2014.

[vii] Thomas, Brian, M.S., Young Comet Challenges Solar System Formation Theory, June 28, 2011, Institute for Creation Research, http://www.icr.org/article/6217/, accessed January 22, 2014.

[viii] Newton, Robert, Kuiper Belt Objects: solution to short-period comets?, Journal of Creation 16 (2): 15-17 August 2002, Creation Ministries International, http://creation.com/kuiper-belt-objects-solution-to-short-period-comets, accessed January 22, 2014.