This Old Body

I must admit, that I was surprised by the old “vestigial organs” argument. I really shouldn’t have been, but I was. I thought these evolutionists had grown up past these childish things by now, but I forgot – this is a propaganda piece. I am also absolutely blown away by how imagination is portrayed as science in this segment, and just how utterly ludicrous these imaginations are! Hold on to your hats, this is going to get wierd.

Vestigial organs?

(appendix image from Gray’s anatomy, 20th US edition)

According to the theory of evolution, we “evolved” from lower life forms. A simplified rendition would be that a frog turned into a prince, and that prince happened to be your ancient ancestor, so you happen to have had a frog in your distant past. In case you think I’m exagerating, wait for it.
As a result of this step-by-gradual-step process, leftovers from the frog, or fish, or whatever, remain in your body. These are called vestigial organs.

Some evolutionists may claim that we are still evolving, and thus some of your organs are a step in your evolution into…. whatever it is yer evolvin’ into. And these extra / extraneous organs would be called “nascent” organs as they are first appearing.

For the record, I know of no evolutionist who is claiming any organ we have is nascent, but I thought I’d mention it because you will encounter that term when dealing with theoretical evolution in the fossil record.

appendixThere was once a loooong list of supposed supposed recognized “Vestigial organs.” The list was well over 100 quite a few years back, but funny – the list has slooowly dwindled down to a scant ZERO.

Why? Because what was thought to be “vestigial organs” (for no other reason than evolutionary bias and preconceptions I might add!) turned out to be organs that served a purpose! Stay tuned to this concept, as I will revisit this in the “Evolution in the everyday world” segment.

For example, it was not long ago that the appendix was cut out of people regularly (see image right). All too often it was when there was absolutely nothing wrong with the person’s appendix, but the doctors were going in for surgery in that area anyway, and “it serves no purpose – it’s just a leftover from our evolutionary ascent anyway – let’s cut it out and be done with it.”

In fact, Wikipedia still lists the appendix as a vestigial organ: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vestigial_organ

Turns out the appendix is the “storehouse” for beneficial bacteria. These bacteria normally reside in your intestine and help you digest your food. Sometimes, due to illness, your body gets rid of the bacteria. The culture in your appendix helps repopulate your intestine.

Creationists would claim that we were designed, therefore, every organ and body part has a function and a purpose. So one must first realize that not knowing what a body part does, only speaks of our ignorance, not our evolutionary past.

The Subtle Arrogance:

Now I’m going to use some strong words here that are not intended to be insulting, but are appropriate.
A major blunder that anti-creationists (and some evolutionists) make is in a very subtle arrogance.

I’ve heard many anti-creationists say things like “If God is so perfect, why did he do such a lousy job in designing the human body? Why is the retina of the eye built upside-down?” yada, yada, yada…. yaaaawn.

sersol2aA good dose of humility is required here. As an engineer, I’ve had repeated, healthy humiliations. For example, years ago, I built a series of submarine robots. The reason I built a series is because I was young, foolish, and didn’t know what I was doing. The robots had a nasty habit of failing – and sinking. Yes, I know, submarines are supposed to sink – but not in this way. And believe it or not, sometimes the problem was the submarine wouldn’t sink!

Anyway, I’d wind up going back to the drawing board over and over and over again.

I remember when I first set out to do this, I saw other, commercially available ROV’s (Remotely Operated Vehicles), but the design was too complicated for me to build in my limited shop. I felt I could build it better and simpler (and cheaper, seeing as how I was funding the whole thing myself!).

Let’s just say I learned an awful lot about what works, and what doesn’t work, by experience. In the end, if I were to build a submarine robot now, you’d find my robot would look strikingly similar to the other, commercial designs that I originally rejected.

Why? Because there are specific reasons submarine robots are designed the way they were, in order to make them work!

Sadly, most evolutionary theorists aren’t engineers. Perhaps they should quit their day jobs for a couple of years and take up engineering. They might be converted to creationists by the time they get back to their original job as an evolutionary theorist!

You see, when a person looks at the design of the human body, and claims that it is a “poor design,” they are making an unbelievably ignorant and arrogant statement.

My response is simple: Impress me! Talk is cheap! You think you’re so good, then build me any human organ, from scratch. Then we’ll talk.

I say this because A) Anyone who criticizes the design of any living organism is horribly underqualified to make criticisms. It’s like a kindergarten student telling a NASA engineer that his design of the space shuttle is “poor.” It is arrogant and ignorant. By building a human body from scratch, you will be quite a bit more humbled and a little slower to criticize the Creator.

B) When you have designed and built a human body, from scratch, not only will it make you more qualified to comment on the design, I can also promise you that you will wind up agreeing with the designer’s original design. You will learn (the hard way) why the human body was designed the way it was.

With all of these things in mind, let’s examine what Mr. Shubin brings to the table in terms of supposed “evolutionary leftovers” in his article “This Old Body.”

The Spermatic Cord:

(no, not the band called spermatic chord…)
After complaining about how the spermatic cord (image right from Gray’s anatomy, US 20th edition) in men is routed in a round-about way, Shubin offers up a convoluted evolutionary explanation for why the cord is routed the way it is.

In graphics reminiscent of Haeckel’s long-discredited embryos, Shubin tries to paint a story of the development of the human male gonads in relation to the gonads of a shark. FYI: Haeckel’s chart of embryonic development, though exposed as fraudulent in 1874, is still in high school textbooks today to convey evolution. I kid you not.

I couldn’t help but notice the similarities between Haeckel’s arguments and Shubin’s. For the same reasons Haeckel’s arguments are bogus, so are Shubin’s.

While it’s true that the gonads in a human embryo are “higher up” in the body at 1 month old (see the SciAm drawing), at this point the baby is a whopping 1 centimeter long! (3/8″)

Ummm… where else are you going to put the gonads?

Secondly, let us not forget that the fetus can become either male or female, and so for females, the gonads stay higher up in the body anyway! For males, they simply drop down later on in development. This is efficient design and use of materials.

This has absolutely nothing to do with sharks, except in the fruitful imaginations of those who want desperately to somehow make a relationship between a fish and a human. What a stretch! This is no different than Haeckel’s embryos, it’s just dressed up in a different package. Read Jonathan Wells’ excellent article on this subject, and I will simply repeat his closing comments:

As recently as 1976, biologist William Ballard (who, according to Richard Elinson, coined the term “pharyngula” [Elinson, 1987]), lamented the fact that so much energy continues to be “diverted into the essentially fruitless 19th century activity of bending the facts of nature to support second-rate generalities.” Ballard concluded that it is “only by semantic tricks and subjective selection of evidence” that one can argue that the early stages of the various classes of vertebrates “are more alike than their adults.”

The Spermatic Cord, part II:

So Shubin then ventures into the subtle “poor design” argument, noting that the routing of the spermatic cord can cause inguinal hernias in men.

He doesn’t mention that females also get inguinal hernias almost as often as men do. In fact, women get femoral hernias five times more then men do, for reasons similar to those Mr. Shubin cited for the inguinal hernias, but in a different part of the body. Because women have wider hips, the hernia happens where the femoral vein and inguinal ligament enter the body wall at the lower side of the pubic bone.

So how is the evolutionary theorist supposed to explain femoral hernias with regards to evolutionary development? From what are our femoral arteries left over?

Hiccups prove evolution:

Oh ya folks – here we go! Finally – we have proof of evolution! At least, according to Shubin we do, as this hypothesis is “well supported” (pg 67, first sentence).

Mr. Shubin ventures into the typical argument that he obviously knows how to design a better human body, saying “A more rational design of the human body would have the nerves traveling not from the neck, but from a spot nearer to the diaphragm.”
(emphasis mine)

Besides making this irrational claim that he is utterly unqualified to make, he once again tries to relate us to fish!

“Unluckily, we became heir to this design from fishy ancestors with gills closer to the neck, not a diaphragm well below it.”
(emphasis mine)

Funny how these evolutionists, who deny any intelligent design in the universe, always use the word “design,” eh?

Once again, this utterly, completely bogus argument has no basis except in the imagination of Mr. Shubin and other evolutionists of his ilk. But wait – his imagination gets wilder! He then tries to tie hiccups in with tadpoles who have a very interesting way of breathing, and tells us we shouldn’t be so surprised when we tear cartilage in our knees or get back-aches for daring to walk upright, or getting carpal tunnel from typing, ’cause after all – tadpoles and fish never tried to walk upright or type!

And you thought I was exagerating when I said evolutionists claim a frog turned into a prince!

He then rants on about how if you redesign a fish into a human, you’re going to have problems.
Of course. That’s why God designed us in His image, and not in the image of a fish.

This is laughable! Yet here it is, presented as “science.”
Well did the Apostle Paul prophesy of such people who do indeed take the image of God and change it into an image of corruptible man, and birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. (Romans 1:22, 23)

Let’s examine this quickly before moving on:

Tadpole hiccups:

This reminds me very much of the evolutionary claims of the Coelacanth (said see-lah-canth), a “lobe-finned fish” which is supposed to be our ancient ancestor, just before it walked up on land. As the fish swims with its big fins, it moves the right/front fin forward in time with the left/rear fin, while propelling itself forward with the left/front and right/rear fins.

The silly peoples producing the NOVA program (my commentary here) claimed this was because the fish wanted to walk like you and I – we swing our right arm in time with our left leg, and vice-versa.

This is an interpretation and imagination, nothing more, nothing less. That is the way the fish swims, because it works for that fish. By swimming that way, it maximizes the thrust from its four large fins while expending the least amount of energy.

A tadpole taking a sudden, deep, underwater “breath” is simply the way it breathes, because of its makeup. You want to interpret that as the reason we hiccup, be my guest – just please, please don’t call it science.

robotsBut Shubin keeps citing various maladies, in hopes of convincing readers that either a) there is no creator, or b) if there is a creator, he’s a horrible designer.
Whoever engineered the human body is mind-bogglingly intelligent and skilled. I challenge Mr. Shubin to make me a living human being from scratch. Heck – I’d be impressed if he made a dead human being from scratch!

Maladies and sickness most certainly do not prove there is no God. Being a robotics engineer who has created “life” for my pleasure (Revelation 4:11), I’ve found that my profession and hobby has actually helped me understand my Creator better.

Envision if you will, an assembly line of robots.
(image courtesy of KUKA, Germany)
These robots were intelligently designed of course, and on this assembly line, they have one sole purpose in life: To make other robots just like them.

So if a robot comes off the assembly line, and it’s got a malfunction because a bolt is missing or something, does that mean the assembly line had no creator?
To further complicate matters, let’s build an assembly line of robots, and each of the robots has a free will.

Shubin has been allowed the priviledge of going hog-wild with his imagination, so I’ll simply let the imaginations of the readers take it from here.

From Atoms to Traits

The continuing saga of the January 2009 Scientific American “The Evolution of Evolution” special edition – see bottom of page to links to the other commentaries.

“From Atoms to Traits” is the next article in the magazine, for which there’s really not a whole lot to say. It is the typical “Open by stating evolution is a fact, go into a whole pile of science speak, close by pointing out that evolution is a fact, go home and get a coffee.” The majority of the article is interesting, informative, and true. The majority of the article has nothing to do with evolution. But there’s one twist prevalent throughout the article:

The author of this SciAm segment, David Kingsley, (professor of developmental biology at Stanford) starts this segment off with the brazen (and flat-out false) claim that “Modern scientists are revealing how that diversity arises from changes to DNA and can add up to complex creatures or even cultures.” (emphasis mine)

genentropyLet me simply respond to this opening statement by referring you to an excellent book, but it’s a book not for the faint of heart. It’s very technical, although Dr. Sanford did an excellent job of explaining complicated genetics in fairly simple terms – but even then it’s still a tough read for most.

“Genetic Entropy” is a compilation of the results of some of the latest research in genetics. The gist of the book is this: The DNA of all of life is deteriorating.

In other words, scientifically speaking, life is losing complexity, not gaining it, as is required by evolution, and falsely claimed in the SciAm article.

Kingsley is correct in saying that changes in the DNA are adding up, however, they are adding up to larger and larger accumulations of errors. Think about it this way: Take a telephone book, or a dictionary. Either one contains a lot of information. Now randomly remove or add random letters throughout the book.
Does such action add to, or take away from, the information?

The answer is obvious: You lose information. Adding letters does not add information, and obviously taking them away does not add information. Now if you used your intelligence to add letters, then yes, you could add information, but evolution is anathema to intelligence. Evolution operates with no intelligence, but uses a whole lot of blind luck – while simultaneously claiming that blind luck somehow formed the seeing eye!

dnademiseNow back to the genome: We are accumulating random errors in our DNA (the genome), which is the blueprints on how to build you, or a fish, or a tree, etc…

The rates of accumulation for these errors (and loss of information) in the DNA have effectively sealed our “doomsday” for us. In fact, these rates are so high, that it’s alarming.

That doomsday may be hundreds, perhaps even thousands of years down the road, but it does tell us one thing:

We have not been around for millions of years.

For example, read A.S. Krondashov’s 1995 article, “Contamination of the genome by very slightly deleterious mutations: Why have we not died 100 times over?” (Journal of theoretical biology, 175::583-594)

Presumably these observed mutation rates have been going on since the beginning of man. We’re concerned about how much longer we’ve got as a human race, because these mutation (error) rates are so high. So just how have we survived millions of years? I’d suggest we haven’t – we’ve only been around for a few thousand years, and the creation was “perfect” at the beginning, and is deteriorating. But, I’m just a cooky creationist – what do I know.

It also means that we are losing complexity, not gaining it. Our DNA is disingtegrating.

In his article, it appears Dr. Kingsley doesn’t clue in to the significance of what we’re talking about here. On page 55, first paragraph, he says:

“Absolute rates of mutation differ in different species by typically average 10-8 per nucleotide per generation for single base-pair substitutions.”

Doing the math on a 3.2 billion base pair DNA of a human, that’s roughly 32 errors per generation. While this number alone spells doom for humans, the numbers are actually considerably higher. According to Krondoshov, the number is actually between 100 and 300 per generation, and that’s just for the germ (reproductive) cells!

What does that mean? Let me put it to you in terms of a book. We’re going to make a copy of a book that has 3.2 billion letters in it, but replace 32 random letters in the book everytime we make a copy of it. We then take the copy, make a copy of it, adding another 32 random mistakes into it, and so on. How many times can we make these copies before the book becomes unreadable? You see what I’m getting at here: The book will be useable for a while, but continually degrading – eventually getting to the point where it is unreadable.

‘Beneficial’ errors:

There is another error Kingsley makes, and that is the assumption that variation is the result of mutations (errors) in the DNA.
Errors in the DNA (mutations) are not good! For every ‘beneficial mutation’, there are literally millions of neutral to negative mutations – which are preserved and add to a whopper of an error load in the DNA. Yet throughout his entire article, Kingsley props up mutations as the incredible source for the variation of the species!

Now some have claimed that genetic errors have caused a benefit for an organism. While there has been a few cases of arguable benefits from these errors in the DNA, they are exceedingly few, and far between. Also, without exception, every single one of those cases was a loss of information, and a loss of variation with the species.

The variation in the DNA (such as change in hair colour, etc…) are simply programmed into the genes. These variations are not the result of errors, in fact the errors are the source of destruction for the DNA.
A classic example are bacteria that somehow “evolved” to be able to digest nylon. As it turns out, it appears that this is a preprogrammed function in the bacteria (see Don Batten’s article on the AIG website).

The Human Pedigree:

You can’t have good evolutionary propaganda without the nice, fictitious diagrams of ape to man. So SciAm makes sure to not disappoint us. One thing that’s humorous is that I regularly quote a previous SciAm article where the author wrote “The fossils are set in stone, their interpretation is not.” But when it comes to evolution, the fossils are worth far more than their weight in gold, and if you were to weigh the claims made of these fossils, the claims would probably outweigh the fossil itself ten to one!

I’ll address some of the fossils specifically, but first, a quick crash course in identifying fossils.

Ape/human comparisons:

There are numerous differences between ape and human skulls that allows for identification. There are some wildcards though: Let us not forget the incredible variation that can occur within a species (see part 1 of this commentary). Humans and Apes are no exception. Furthermore, the fossil record is one of extinction, and thus we could have a wide variety of apes in the fossil record that are not around today. Furthermore, fossils are typically found crushed, fragmented, or incomplete. There is a lot of room for error, interpretation, and bias. Also, evolutionists (who do most of the digging for said fossils) have preconceived notions about what to find, and can literally mix human and ape fossils together into composite skeletons making true “ape-men”… that never actually existed. Lastly, a little known fact is giantism in the fossil record: Most (if not all) lifeforms had larger representatives in the past then they have today.

These factors alone have a heavy influence on our interpretation of fossils, and the potential for misidentification of fossils.

One difference between apes and humans is the shape of the jaw.

jaws

(Original images from “Science vs. Evolution handbook“)

As you can see, apes have a “U” shaped jaw, while humans have a parabolic shaped jaw. Seeing as how evolution has a frog turning into a prince (or an unknown amphibian turning into a university professor if you want to get technical), I’ve included Kermit’s jaw shape for comparison.
Keep this in mind when comparing fossil homind skulls.

Artistic renderings:
But now you’ll notice that in the SciAm article, there are nice drawings depicting what these “hominid” creatures probably looked like. These images serve no purpose, except wild speculation and propaganda. They have no scientific value.

Such images always take “liberties” in their reconstruction. One common tactic used in both magazines and museums is subtle human features depicted on apes. For example:

apeeyes

By merely giving human eyes to an ape, or an ape-like creature, human like expressions and emotions (and even intelligence) can be portrayed and communicated. Notice what ape eyes really look like in the untouched photos, and then with human eyes thrown in for effect. It’s very subtle, but very powerful. Now look at the nice brown eyes depicted on homo habilis in the SciAm article.

To their credit, the artists at SciAm actually did make the eyes on the apes look like ape eyes, with the exception of H. habilis.

One major difference between human and ape skulls can actually be seen in some of the pictures of the “hominid” skulls on the timeline chart of pages 61-63. Humans have a bony nose-bridge, apes do not. There is a simple test to tell if a skull is ape or human, I call it the OculusTM test (Oculus is latin for glasses):

oculustest1

As you can see, Homo erectus is clearly man – he can wear glasses. Zinji on the other hand, cannot because he is missing that vital, bony nose-bridge because he is an ape.

So examining the photos of the skulls in the SciAm timeline (see diagram below on pages 61-63):

evolutionofman

You can already get a feel for which skulls are ape, and which ones are human.

Also, you see those nice, pretty lines on the drawing? Those are indicators of the best guess, because of the absence of evidence.
But let’s go down the list of supposed “evidence” that is provided. Rather then reinvent the wheel, I will simply provide links to different online articles dealing with the specific fossils at hand:

  • Sahelanthropus tchadensis (aka the Toumai skull): When discovered, was heralded as our oldest relative found to date. Later interepretations labeled it as most likely a female gorrilla (oops.).
    http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2006/0926selam.asp
  • In the end, the original discoverers tried to use the hole for the spinal nerve to argue that tchadensis walked upright – but the skull was crushed pretty bad, and this is just more speculation.
  • Orrorin tugenensis was found in 2000. Umm… there’s not a whole lot to say here, because there’s not a whole lot of fossil! The interpretations are frankly little more than speculation and wishful thinking. Judge for yourself: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orrorin_tugenensis
  • Ardipithecus ramidus & kadabba, the “Flintstone fossil” (Ardipithecus ramidus kadabba-dabba-dooooo! Thanks to Teno from GEM creation ministries.) Originally the same fossil (Ardipithecus ramidus kadabba), it’s now been split into two separate species. There wasn’t enough fossil to go around for one individual – let alone two species! I will simply point you to two excellent articles, one by science against evolution.org: http://www.scienceagainstevolution.org/v5i12f.htm  and one by Dr. Joseph Mastropaolo, who analyzed the “toe bone” that was claimed to be the proof that kadabba walked upright – a toe bone which, I might add, was found kilometers away from the rest of the skeleton: http://www.josephmastropaolo.com/data11.html
  • Australopithecus anamensis … notice how only a jaw is shown? That’s ’cause there’s not a whole lot to show! The jaw bone is the best piece, and is clearly ape-like (see chart above). Later fossils of anamensis, found in 2006, apparently showed enough detail to reveal that the locking bones in the wrist were present in anamensis. That means it’s an ape – it has those locking bones for walking on its knuckles. Lastly, the evolutionists themselves debate over the bibedality (upright walking) of anamensis, and some have stated that anamensis isn’t ancestral to humans at all!Further reading farther down the page at: http://www.scienceagainstevolution.org/v12i2t.htm
  • Australopithecus afarensis is the group that the famous “Lucy” fossil belongs to. The occulusTM test shows it to be ape, Johanson (Lucy’s discoverer) claims it walked upright, but I deal with this in “The Complete Creation”, part 16, and in “Corrections,” part 19. The afarensis finds, as a whole are clearly ape-like, and may have walked semi-upright, but nothing like a human. They have a strong resemblance to the pygmy chimpanzee.
  • Notice that Kenyanthropus platyops is off on its own on the chart? Evolutionists were not exactly thrilled with the discovery of this mashed-up skull, as it upset the current evolutionary thinking… although that seems to happen quite regularly. In fact, Leiberman, writing in Nature, said
    “At present, it is hard to believe any reconstruction of hominid relationships because of the abundance of independently evolved similarities in the hominid fossil record. The complex mosaic of features seen in this new fossil will only exacerbate the problem.”
    I’ll simply let ScienceAgainstEvolution.org tell the humorous story: http://www.scienceagainstevolution.org/v5i8n.htm
  • Australopithecus garhi was originally promoted as a missing link between the Australopithecines and Homo, (actually, it’s not a link that’s missing – the entire chain is gone!) but now it is not even believed by evolutionists to be an ancestor to humans – so why, pray tell, is it on the chart? I would suggest it’s there to help convey the false message that the evidence for the evolution myth is overwhelming, when it is, in fact, dreadfully underwhelming. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australopithecus_garhi
  • taung_oculusAustalopithecus africanus is listed on wikipedia (that wonderful treasure trove of anti-creationist misinformation) as ancestral to humans… but the chart in SciAm has it as a dead-end branch, just like garhi. Why? In fact, on the wikipedia page, they show the “Taung child” (a skull of which I recently aquired a cast for the Creation Science Museum of Canada), which is nothing more than the skull of a baby chimp.It’s interesting to note that when the discoverers first reported on this skull, its cranial capacity (the space for the brain) was quite large at 510 cubic centimeters.Later reassessments of that capacity dropped it down to 407cc’s! Why the drastic change of over 20%? Because brain capacity plays a role in evolutionary thinking: To an evolutionist, a larger brain equals more intelligence. (See Duffertt’s article in the Sept 1983 CRSQ)

    Bottom line: africanus was originally believed to be bipedal, we now know it wasn’t, it’s just an ape. The oculusTM test confirms its ape characteristics as well.

  • Paranthropus aethiopithecus: Besides being so ape-like that an amateur can see it (did I mention it fails the oculusTM test?), see that prominent, bony ridge down the back of the skull? That’s characteristic of male gorillas. Also notice again that P. robustus and P. boisei are off on dead-end streets again? Yup, that’s because they’re so ape-like, that even the evolutionists no longer consider them ancestral to humans. They are all apes, nothing more, nothing less.
  • Homo/Kenyanthropus rudolfensis (skull KNM-ER 1470) was originally classified as Homo, that is, on the way to becoming human. You’ll notice it’s now been reclassed as Kenyanthropus? You’ll also notice how there’s a dashed line between it and platyops? You also notice that the evolutionary thinkers don’t even have a “best guess” as to where platyops came from? The dashed line indicates that they question the relationship between rudolfensis and platyops! Smthsonian and wikipedia still have it listed in the Homo category. One just has to sit there and scratch his head, wondering what on earth they are doing with this skull. But then, take a look at the history of it, and you’ll being to understand why in “The Rise and Fall of Skull 1470”: http://www.trueorigin.org/skull1470.aspIf you get the chance, you certainly want to read the appendix in Lubenow’s book (mentioned below). This skull provided an excellent opportunity to demonstrate how subjective the “scientific method” of radiometric dating is.
  • 1813skullHomo habilis: Skull 1470 was originally classed as habilis, because what was interpreted as stone “tools” were found nearby.Now that 1470 is no longer grouped with habilis, we’ll look at the other habilis fossils, like KNM ER 1813 (on right, also a recently aquired cast for the Creation Science Museum of Canada), OH 7, OH 24 “Twiggy”, and KNM ER 1805. Originally habilis was thought to be the direct ancestor of Homo erectus, until last year. As noted in this BBC article, two fossil discoveries have altered that view, and has led to wild speculation – even on the sex lives of habilis and erectus!Yes, some think you can figure all that out from a fossil.

    Habilis is nothing more than an ape. Check out one of my favourite “ScienceAgainstEvolution.org” pages, on habilis:
    http://www.scienceagainstevolution.org/v4i6f.htm as well as Woodmorappe’s excellent article compiling characteristics of multiple “species” of hominds:
    http://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v13/i2/human_fossils.asp

  • Homo ergaster is human. It should be noted there are several ergaster fossils, but the size and cranial capacities fall within the variations observed within humans. You can check out a photo here of one ergaster skull, and even with his broken nose bone ridge, he would probably still pass the oculusTM test. Yes, he has very large brow ridges, but that is also present in modern humans! Much is made of prominent brow ridges, but the fact of the matter is, if you look around, you can probably see people in public with brow ridges like that. (Just don’t laugh, and don’t tell them I wanted their picture!) The heavy (“robust”) brow ridges are simply from a tough diet. The muscles from the jaws go up and over the skull, and a tough diet builds both muscle and the bony ridges above the eyes.
  • Homo antecessor doesn’t have much left over from his final, very bad day. Take a look here. From what little that can be interpreted from these rather sparse fossils, it does appear to fall within the range of modern human characteristics. You can’t really say a whole heck of a lot about antecessor.
  • Homo heidelbergensis is the same build and has the same jaw as modern humans. It has a cranial capacity perfectly within the modern human range. This is evidence of evolution?
    http://creationwiki.org/Homo_heidelbergensis
  • Homo neanderthalensis (shown above passing the oculusTM test with flying colours) was not human. It was superhuman. Neanderthal man had a larger cranial capacity than we do – so … were they smarter than us? Another excellent article by the folks at Science Against Evolution: http://www.scienceagainstevolution.org/v12i2t.htm  but I also need to steer you towards Dr. Pitman Hey’s excellent article on the comparison of human and Neanderthal DNA. The skinny: Modern humans are typically more different from each other, genetically speaking, than the neanderthal is from the average, modern human!
    About 2/3 down the page: http://www.detectingdesign.com/earlyman.html
  • Homo erectus. Originally thought to have evolved from habilis… until erectus fossils were found in the same layer and not far away from habilis fossils. I don’t think I need to say much. There is nothing un-human about these fossils! So again I ask, “How does this help evolution?”
  • Homo floresiensis is the most recent find, and certainly is stirring up debate. You may have heard of this “hobbit” fossil, as it was nicknamed because it was only about 1 meter tall. Found in a cave on the island of Flores, Indonesia, in 2004, these small skeletons are typically 1 meter tall. Some evolutionists have suggested these are simply the remains of humans with genetic disorders like microcephaly, or perhaps poor nutrition. The discoverers are claiming they were a separate species from modern humans.

At this point, there’s not a heck of a lot to say. From what very little I’ve been able to see, I haven’t been impressed with the arguments that they’re not human. As it is, even the evolutionists are up in arms about the interpretation of these bones (which aren’t fossilized). The apparently tools found in the cave appear to be appropriate for a 1 meter tall human, which seems to lend credence that the “hobbit” was an intelligent being. Frankly, even if it turns out to be another “species,” I fail to see how this supports evolution.

Whadabout the ape fossils?

After all of this, have you noticed that evolutionists never seem to find any fossils from apes? It’s intriguing to note that all of these “ape-like” human ancestors are being found, but no ancestors of apes! Coincidence?

bonescontentionFurther reading:

I’d highly recommend Marvin Lubenow’s book on the subject of supposed “ancestral human fossils.” It is easy reading, and chock full of good history and analysis of many fossil hominids.

The Evolution of Evolution

Is it evolving, or is it intelligently designed?

I couldn’t resist – I bought a copy of the January edition of “Scientific” American. Obviously this is the first of many “science” magazines that will come out in celebration of Darwin’s upcoming 200th birthday, and the 150th anniversary of his book, “Origin of the species.” (the words “science” and “scientific” in the previous sentences are used loosely)

jan2009sciamEven the title of this special edition is revealing – “The Evolution of Evolution.” The theory of Evolution was Intelligently designed (or arguably with perhaps not-so-much intelligence), and so were its many changes and alterations that it has undergone since its inception.
Aside from the oxymoronic title, the cover is chock full of promises for the public to see how evolution is science, and anyone who questions it is considered to be the moron.

But let’s have some fun and peek through the mag, shall we?

Propaganda 101:

Most of the articles are typical evolutionary propaganda: Open with “Evolution is true.” Throw in a whole wack of science speak which has absolutely nothing to do with evolution, then close with “Oh, by the way, evolution is true.” This, of course, is a prerequisite for getting a paper published in a mainstream scientific journal, for without the opening and closing bows at the altar of evolution, well your paper just isn’t scientific!

The propaganda approach is glaring – from trying to equate evolution with the real science depicted in the popular CSI shows (pg 82), describing it as a “theory for every man” that needs to be taught so we can understand true science (pg 32), describing Darwin as a “genius” (pg 40), the wonderful, fact-free but very impressive looking “evolution of humans” chart (pg 61-63), the new-agish and fictitious claim that we are continuing to evolve (contrary to all observable science which shows we are deteriorating) and -incredibly- vestigial organs (pg 64!!!) which were discredited decades ago.

So why on earth would they write on these things which are at best questionable, and at worst completely discredited – and often times discredited even by evolutionists?

It’s because the propagandists are not interested in the facts, they are interested in getting the populace at large to believe their message – even if it requires lying and misinformation. Don’t believe me? Here’s what one evolutionist recently had to say on the matter:

“You cannot bludgeon kids with truth [sic] (or insult their religion, i.e., their parents and friends) and hope they will smile and believe you. Yes, NOMA [a philisophical hypothesis claiming that religion and science can’t mix – it was proven wrong – I.J.] is wrong, but is a good first tool for gaining trust. You have to bring them over to your side, gain their trust, and then hold their hands and help them step by step. And on that slow journey, which will be painful for many of them, it is OK to use some inaccuracies temporarily if they help you reach the students.”

 

“…it is OK if they keep some of those little inaccuracies for the rest of their lives. It is perfectly fine if they keep thinking that Mickey Mouse evolved as long as they think evolution is fine and dandy overall. Without Mickey, they may have become Creationist activists instead. Without belief in NOMA they would have never accepted anything, and well, so be it. Better NOMA-believers than Creationists, don’t you think?

 

Education is a subversive activity that is implicitly in place in order to counter the prevailing culture. And the prevailing culture in the case of Campbell’s school, and many other schools in the country, is a deeply conservative religious culture.” [emphasis mine -I.J.]

Parents, I hope you’re taking notes here! Did you catch that? This is what they intend to do with your children in school. Yes, you read right – teach your children things that the teachers know are falsehoods, as long as it brings them to a belief in evolution.

This is their ulterior motive, summed up in a nutshell (emphasis on “nut”). Go ahead – read the blog for yourself. Also please note that “Coturnix” (the author of the blog) is also the online community manager for the PLoS ONE on-line science journal. Nope – no bigotry or bias against the truth or creationists here!

But I digress – let’s get back to SciAm and …

Dissecting the propaganda: “Darwin’s living legacy”

It’s interesting that the first article in this special edition has such heavy social implications. Darwin was a man with severe mental problems. He was hardly a genius, though SciAm would like to portray him as such. It saddens me to read of Darwin’s illnesses, and I feel for the man. I am quite confident in what I say here, for I too, for a time, suffered from serious depression and mental instability. Why? For the same reasons I suspect Darwin had his problems: We had both rejected our Creator.

Contrary to what my enemies would have you believe, I am of quite sound mind now – why? Because I turned back to my Creator, Jesus Christ, and He restored our relationship. I can truly say “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7, KJV, Holy Bible)

Darwin’s psychoses:

http://www.icr.org/article/112/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Darwin’s_illness

There are social consequences resulting from rejecting the Creator. The list goes on and on, influencing and affecting others in the “here and now” as well as eternity, but I’ll come back to this later.

Darwin was apparently the first to suggest the thinking that his was the first brain to realize evolution had produced his brain. However, natural selection, and his ideas on evolution that really made him famous, were borrowed (read: “plagiarized”) from his grandfather and many others.

It is particularly noteworthy that the idea of natural selection was a Creationist idea. Yes, you read correctly: the supposed mechanism for evolution that made Darwin the famous “genius” that SciAm claims him to be, was a creationist proposition.
SciAm deems the subject of natural selection important enough to mention repeatedly in their special edition, and I will delve into natural selection next when I address their claims about it.

For the moment though, here’s some good reading on the subject:
“Natural Selection – A Creationist’s Idea”, by Paul Humber, M.S.
http://www.icr.org/article/412/

“Darwin’s illegitimate brainchild – If you thought Darwin’s Origin was original, think again!”, by Russell Grigg
http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v26/i2/brainchild.asp

Sadly, Darwin’s reality cheque bounced, along with the reality cheques of most other atheists/anti-creationists who have not stopped to think of the consequences of suggesting that their brain was the result of evolution. C.S. Lewis was a once-hard-core atheist who set out to show Christianity to be the farce that he thought it was, but wound up becoming a born-again Christian, describing himself as “the most miserable convert” ever. He encountered this problem of the evolution of the brain:

cslewis“If the solar system was brought about by an accidental collision, then the appearance of organic life on this planet was also an accident, and the whole evolution of Man was an accident too. If so, then all our present thoughts are mere accidents – the accidental by-product of the movement of atoms. And this holds for the thoughts of the materialists and astronomers as well as for anyone else’s. But if their thoughts – i.e., of Materialism and Astronomy – are merely accidental by-products, why should we believe them to be true? I see no reason for believing that one accident should be able to give me a correct account of all the other accidents. It’s like expecting that the accidental shape taken by the splash when you upset a milk-jug should give you a correct account of how the jug was made and why it was upset.”
-C.S. Lewis

Darwin’s book a best seller?

SciAm makes a point to mention a number of things in the timeline on page 40, some of which have absolutely nothing to do with evolution (i.e., Watson and Crick discovering DNA, and Mendel – whose research actually refuted Darwin’s evolution).

sciam_booksoldoutThey reiterate the propaganda that’s been running around for years: Darwin’s book sold out on the first day it was released.

Isn’t it unusual that SciAm fails to tell the whole story? It’s not like Darwin’s book flew off the shelves in droves – oh no. It was “bought out” by bookstores to stock their shelves.

By comparison, “In the Arctic Seas: A Narrative of the Discovery of the Fate of Sir John Franklin” by Captain McClintock was released on the same day and sold 7,600 copies (to bookstores) the same day. Samuel Smile’s “Self-help” was released and sold 3,200 copies to bookstores, on the same day…. and 20,000 copies by the end of the first year! “Self-help” had sold over a quarter of a million copies by the time Smiles died. However, 13 years and six editions of “Origin of the species” later, Darwin had only sold 12,750 copies of his book. “Origin” averaged sales of about 1,000 copies per year.

SciAm, in the sidebar, describes Darwin as an “approachable genius” with writings that were “remarkably accesible to any literate person.”
Actually, even Leonard Huxley (the son of “Darwin’s bulldog,” Thomas Huxley) wrote “I have read … the Origin for the sixth or seventh time, becoming confirmed in my opinion that it is one of the most difficult books to exhaust that ever was written.” (Life and letters of Thomas Henry Huxley)

SciAm also refers to Darwin’s famous finches, another discredited “evidence” for evolution which will be discussed in the next segment.

I say all of this, not to bad-mouth Darwin, as I frankly feel for the man when I read his writings. Nevertheless, he has been elevated to the status of a demi-god by those who reject their Creator. The SciAm article is only one glorious example of the status that has been erroneously granted to Darwin. Believe me – you do not want to follow in Darwin’s shoes. This is not a man you wish to emulate. Reading his private writings will settle that issue, and right quick – at least, if you’re of a sound mind.

Testing Natural Selection

The next article is devoted to natural selection, which I’ve already shown to be a Creationary idea anyway. Though SciAm spent eight pages on the subject, I will spend a mere couple of paragraphs on the subject.

Surprisingly, evolutionists and creationists agree on almost everything with regards to natural selection! Natural selection, or “survival of the fittest” is an observed phenomena that has nothing to do with evolution. If an animal is sick, or has a genetic issue, its chances of survival (and consequently, chances of producing offspring) are less than those who are healthy. And thus, sick or “less fit” creatures are removed from the population.

We Creationists have no problem with natural selection.

  • Natural selection only selects from what already exists. Evolution requires new information, new organs, and new appendages to appear.
  • Natural selection does not produce anything new.
  • Natural selection removes information – the exact opposite of evolution. For example, breeding dogs into chihuahuas removes variation within the species. So natural selection doesn’t build up a super-dog, but rather over time it converts a super-dog into an animal that wouldn’t survive a day in the wilderness (but would make a nice appetizer for a hungry bear)
  • Little changes do not add up to big changes (see below and “From Atoms to traits”)
  • Natural selection is not evolution.

Think about it: Place a chihuahua, a great dane, a french poodle, a wolf, and a weiner dog beside each other (if you actually do this experiment, it’s probably a good idea to tie them a safe distance apart from each other). Now observe: This is the kind of variation you can get within a species. They are all dogs. While these are examples of unnatural selection (people bred these different variations deliberately), SciAm seems incredibly impressed with three examples of “Evolution in action” on page 48:

“Wild Rabbit (Australia); Animals brought from Europe changed in body size,
weight and ear size as they adapted to the hot, dry Australian climate.”

Ummm… are they still wabbits? Elmer Fudd would think so. Hey – I changed in size this past year! (That’s what living in your van and eating lots of fast food does) Am I any less human? Am I evolving?

“Scarlet honeycreeper (Hawaii); As its favorite source of nectar began disappearing, the bird sought nectar elsewhere, and its bill became shorter.”

Is it still a Scarlet honeycreeper? Yes.

“Marine snail (New England); Likely in response to being hunted by crabs, the snail’s shell changed shape and became thicker.”

For some evolutionists, that is enough to proclaim it a new “species” (which by the way, there is no real definition for “species.”), but it sure looks like it’s still a snail to me.

Let’s go over this: These incredibly minor variations don’t compare to the variations we see in dogs around the house.

dogs

If you want serious variation, driven by serious mutations, just visit Chernobyl. Why – you can see all kinds of creatures growing extra limbs and all kinds of cool stuff! It’s an evolutionist’s dream study! Think of all of the mutations – and the natural selection (read: “background radiation”) killing off the weak – hey!

But evolutionists are not studying evolution there, why not? Aside from the fact that they may start growing limbs and other “cool stuff”, becoming part of their own evolutionary study, there is a deeper reason I think: It’s because then they (and you) would see that “evolution” kills. In the absolute hotspot of “evolution” on the planet, it is amazing that anything survives – and the things that did survive didn’t improve. This is the real evolution, and not that cheap big-box store imitation that SciAm and others try to sell you.

Evolution is not a progression, it is a regression, a loss of information, a loss of variation, a loss of life. That is scientific, observable, testable, and repeatable.

But what of Darwin’s finches?

(image courtesy Big Valley Creation Science Museum, a museum which displays real science)

Okay, so Darwin documented some finches in the Galapagos islands – so what?

finchesIn fact, most people are surprised to find out that Darwin didn’t observe natural selection in the Galapagos finches – in fact, he erroneously labeled some of them as the wrong bird.

However, since that time, there has been considerable study of finches on isolated islands, and it’s been educational, but no help to evolution.

After 30 years of studying the finches, and watching rapid natural selection, we still have….. finches.
And apparently these different types of finches can interbreed, which of course means they aren’t different species – merely variations of the same bird.

Further reading:
http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v4/n1/natural-selection#fnMark_1_19_1

Variations in people:

Variations even occur in humans, due to diet and environment. Here in the Western hemisphere, we have a problem with “wisdom teeth.” In fact, depending on where you are, you may get the evolutionary take on this: Some have claimed that these teeth are “evolutionary leftovers” (vestigials) from our ascent from the apes. Later on, in “This old body” we’ll get a good laugh over some of the ridiculous suggestions of vestigials made in SciAm.

But for now – what about those teeth called “wisdom,” presumably because they smart? In cultures where they eat a hard-to-chew diet (i.e, lots of nuts), the human jaw actually grows the way it’s supposed to and their wisdom teeth don’t collide with their other teeth!

Yup, the jaw becomes “robust” (an evolutionary term) by a simple change in diet, whereas here, we have a dreadfully overcooked, soft diet. As a result, our jaws are underdeveloped. We get a lot of impacting wisdom teeth here, and it has absolutely nothing to do with evolution, or our “ancestral history” from the apes – which, by the way, typically have the same number of teeth we do.

Variation is not evolution.

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Other segments in this commentary:
“This old body”

Panderichthys, a supposed “fishopod”

Just this past week, an article came out in Nature magazine relating to Panderichthys, a supposed “fishopod.” Bear with me – this is going to be confusing, but that’s not my fault!

If you recall, the evolutionary myth has fish evolving legs and walking up on land, becoming tetrapods (land walkers). Hence the nickname “fishopod” – it’s half-fish, half-tetrapod…. or so certain evolutionists would have you believe.

This week’s ruckus arises from a CT scan of the front fin of a Panderichthys fossil, seen on the right. (To familiarize yourself with CT scans, see the video on the Delk track.)

The purple bone at the top is the bone that anchors to the body, and the little brown bones at the tip are what’s causing all the fuss.

You see, previously, it was thought that the bones at the end of the fin (the two blue, the yellow, and five brown bones) were only two bones. It turns out there was actually six of them (as revealed by the CT scans), and the four small dark brown bones may be “four radials that hint at the future development of fingers.”

To see just how clear the mud is, we need to first take a crash course in fishopod evolution – work with me here!

Wikipedia nicely spells it out for us, in graphic form:

fishapods

You can see the implied “evolutionary ascent” from fish to fishopod over time. Seeing as how all the fuss is over a fin, I’m going to focus just on the fins, timeline, and supposed evolution.
Let’s first ask the question “Why do they think these fossils show an evolutionary sequence?” The implied answer of course, is that these fossils show improvement and change from fish to tetrapod over time. But even just looking at the fins, the whole story just turns into another fish story real quick! While I don’t believe in these millions of years, and I don’t believe in these “radial bones,” I’m going to meet the evolutionary myth where it’s at and examine the interpretations. I’ll use a chart from Nature so you can see the “evidence” and claims yourself.:

Graphic from Nature magazine.

Eusthenopteron first appears 385 million years ago. It has six radial bones.
Panderichthys, first appearing 380 million years ago, is now believed to have four radial bones.
The Canadian fishopod, Tiktaalik, was found in 375 million year old rock. It’s not known how many radial bones it has, because some of the fossil was missing, but it probably had eight. What’s important here though is that Tiktaalik has a complex ‘wrist joint,” which was claimed to help it walk on land.
Ichthyostega has been found in rocks “dated” at 367 to 362.5 million years old. Because the front flipper/foot was not found, it is not known how many radial bones (if any) it may have had, nor if it had a wrist – however,
Acanthostega, supposedly 365 million years old, did not have a wrist, and had eight radial bones.

So if we were to follow this “fossil sequence,” it would appear that the evolution of the finger has been a wild ride:
First we evolved six fingers, then in our evolutionary ascent we lost two, then gained four back at Acanthostega. Once on land, the number went back down to four (most amphibians have four toes). Apparently we evolved a complex wrist, only to lose it again at Acanthostega, and then apparently re-evolve it back once the critters got onto land.

latmeriaIn the meantime, what is not shown accurately on the wikipedia timeline above is that the Coelacanth is actually the oldest known creature on that chart! The oldest Coelacanth known is from Australia and dated at over 410 million years old. Although only a jawbone has been found, presumably it’s at least similar to the other Coelacanths we do know of, which have lots of “radial bones” in its fin!
The Coelacanth has evolved over hundreds of millions of years into… Coelacanths.

So during all this time of Eusthenopteron evolving into Panderichthys, evolving into Tiktaalik, which was supposedly evolving into Ichthyostega and Acanthostega, the Coelacanth remained unchanged and has remained unchanged to this day.

The Coelacanth makes a marvelous study, because before it was found alive, evolutionists were saying the exact same things about it that they are now claiming about Ichthyostega, Tiktaalik, Acanthostega, etc….

In fact, you can still see this bias in modern day reports and websites. For instance,
“the fossilised lung fish – or coelacanth – sets back the timeline for when marine animals made their first excursions on to land….The coelacanth, which the paleontologists describe as a ‘living fossil’ fish with ‘proto legs’, ”
(From I.O.L. Science)
Are these interpretations based on observation? No – because the Coelacanth lives in very deep water, and does not use its fins for anything other than swimming. So what’s this nonsense in the I.O.L. article about excursions onto land? There is no connection – simply evolutionary assumption.
We can observe the Coelacanth behaviour. We can not observe the behaviour of Acanthostega, Ichthyostega, Panderichthys and others because they are not known to be alive now. Therefore, all this talk of using their fins to walk on land is nothing more than wild speculation, the same wild speculation they hurled upon the Coelacanth, which turned out to be false. The evolution of fish to tetrapods is also nothing more than wild speculation.

All of this talk of fish makes me hungry, so I’m going to go fry up some Captain Highliner and some chips. These arguements are arguments from Homology.

The bankruptcy of homology

homologyHomology is a comparitive similarity between two organisms. For example, in this incredibly complex-looking drawing:

the bones in the limbs of various animals can be similar in position, structure, etc…

This is a common argument used to promote evolution, as it could be interpreted that these animals all have similar limbs because they evolved from a common ancestor. Thus, they all inherited traits from this one ancestor they all had in common.

It sounds impressive at first, but there a few problems with this interpretation. Bear with me while I get a little technical on ya:
With the fairly new science of genetics, we can now map out what genes hold the blueprints for various parts of our bodies. As a result, we now know that while the bones between two animals may appear to be homologous, the blueprints for these bones come from completely different parts of the genome! Therefore similarity between two organisms is not because of a common ancestor, otherwise, they would also share similar, homologous traits in their genome as well. They do not.

ornisaurThe similarity between the organisms apparently has nothing to do with a common ancestor, but rather a common designer. One can see a lot of similarities between the early Volkswagens and early Porsches. Is this because they evolved from a common ancestor? No, it’s because they both had a common designer – Ferdinand Porsche.

Homology is only cited when it appears to support evolution. Simultaneously, the lack of homology is ignored when it poses a problem for evolution. For example, a great many evolutionists (and National Geographic) believe that dinosaurs evolved into birds.

Many dinosaurs fall into two classes, based on their hip structure.
The Ornithischians are named after their ‘bird-like hips.’ ‘Orni’ is from the Greek word ornitheos, for ‘of a bird,’ and ‘ischion’ for ‘hip joint.’

The Saurischians include bipedal dinosaurs like T. rex and the Sauropods. They are called this because they have hips like lizards and ‘Saurus’ is the Greek word for ‘lizard.’

So put yourself in the shoes of an evolutionist who believes that birds evolved from dinosaurs. Which group would you assume that the birds evolved from? The Ornithischians? Some of those dinosaurs have bird-like feet, some have bird-like beaks, and they all have bird-like hips.
Or would you assume it was the Saurischians? Some of the Saurischian dinosaurs have elephant-like feet, some have bird-like feet, but no other real similarities to birds. They all have lizard-like hips.

If homology were actually an argument for evolution, the answer would be obvious – it would have to be the Ornithischians. However, the dino-to-bird theorists actually believe it was the Saurischians that evolved into birds!

Clearly homology is not evidence for the evolutionary myth.

Examining the Delk Track

delk-locale

Background:

In July of 2000, Alvis Delk was wandering through the Paluxy river, in Glen Rose, Texas, when he flipped over a slab of rock which contained a pristine fossil dinosaur track. These tracks are common in the area, and he took it home for a keepsake.
It sat in his living room for eight years.

Sadly, in 2007, he had a bad accident which left him hospitalized for quite some time. When he got home, he needed money to pay off his medical bills, and began to clean off the dinosaur track in hopes that he could perhaps fetch a few hundred dollars for it.
This is when he discovered that was also a fossil human footprint in the rock, still covered under dried clay.

This find has profound ramifications for the Creation/Evolution debate. Evolutionary scholars have admitted that if dinosaurs and humans lived together in the past, then this completely destroys the theory of evolution.

The Delk Track: Evidence of dinosaur and human coexistence with Wazooloo

The slab was purchased by the Creation Evidence Museum of Glen Rose, Texas. It was photographed and documented by David Lines, and molded by Dough Harris, Daniel Elif, and myself.

This page is devoted to providing my own first-hand knowledge and information about the track, and to answer many of the common questions and objections.

Common criticisms:

delk_friable“It’s a carving”

Hey – maybe!  I’d just like to see some evidence of that, instead of this random ad-hoc claim being hurled around as if it were fact.

Unlike the skeptics, who make claims without one shred of evidence, I will actually present evidence as to why they are legitimate fossil footprints:


 

Friability of the rock:

Look at the photo yourself (close-up of matrix); I find it very difficult to believe that a rock this friable could be carved without disintegrating.  This friability is quite common in the main track-bearing layer of the Paluxy.

Doug Harris and I spent an hour just claying up all those cracks before molding.  We were gravely concerned that the silicone would literally rip the rock to shreds when we de-molded.

So how is one supposed to pound chisels into this rock, or run die grinders on it without shaking / hammering it into pieces?

Interestingly, I would also suggest this limits how far the slab could have been transported by the river.  The Paluxy is well known to float slabs of rock the area of a car downstream, and this rock was obviously ripped up from its host rock and deposited where Delk found it.  However, this rock simply could not sustain much tumbling – I doubt it went far.


 

CT scans show compression:

Of critical importance is the results of the CT scans that were performed on the slab.  Watch the video at the top of this page to see an explanation of CT scans, how to read them, and see the scans for yourself.  Also, head on over to David Line’s page which shows numerous cross-sectional X-rays produced by the CT scans.

These X-rays show distinct high-density areas in the rock immediately surrounding and underneath the tracks.  Carving the tracks would have cut through the harder surface layer, and would be visible in the X-rays.  Also, the typical claim of skeptics is that forgers in the past used acid to etch the rock after carving a dinosaur track, to hide the tool marks in the rock.  Acid etching would actually reduce the surface density of the rock, and would be visible in the X-rays.

Furthermore, Dr. Carl Baugh (director of the Creation Evidence Museum) actually interviewed people who carved dinosaur tracks during the depression.  These people tried carving human tracks once in a while (one must immediately wonder why they would do this – might I suggest it was because of the fossil human tracks they had seen in the Paluxy river bed which inspired them?), the human tracks never sold, and so they stopped carving them.  Secondly, they never carved a dinosaur track and a human track together, for the simple reason that everybody immediately thought it was a fake and wouldn’t buy the track.

I am open to the objection / claim that it’s a carving, but so far, I haven’t even been remotely impressed by the calibre of skeptical arguments.

If anybody’s got any other ideas as to what it could be, besides a genuine fossil human footprint that a dinosaur stepped on, then I wanna hear it: email me at ianjuby at ianjuby.org


 

“That’s not an Acrocanthosaurus track”

Alvis_Delk_Print_overview_800px_dsc9293First of all, dinosaur track identification is tenuous at best.  We were not there when the tracks were made, therefore dinosaur track identification is never anything more than a best guess – no matter who’s doing the guessing.  You’re quite welcome to place your guess!

Originally the Delk dinosaur track was identified by Dr. Baugh as a Trachodon, specifically because there was no claw impressions.  However, after comparing it side by side to other, actual fossil Acrocanthosaurus tracks in the museum, he concluded it was an Acrocanthosaurus track which simply had not pressed deep enough to leave claw marks.

There is the distinct possibility it could be the track from another dinosaur – I personally don’t care which one, because it’s a dinosaur track. Evidence of dinosaurs and humans living together completely destroys the concept of evolution, as leading evolutionary scholars have admitted.


 

human“Look how unnatural that human footprint is”

This is where it gets quite comical; because if it was a perfect track, the skeptics would say “it’s too perfect, it’s obviously a carving.”  I know this because that’s what they’ve argued before with other human tracks from the Paluxy!

Human footprints take on a remarkable and strange variety of shapes and forms.  If you don’t believe me, head down to the beach and examine footprints in sand, mud, clay, etc…  You will be surprised.  That footprint is completely human, there is no other creature that makes a footprint like a human.  Even apes have, essentially, four “hands” – they don’t have “feet.”

In this case, it appears that the big toe got hooked during forward locomotion.  Why would a carver carve a track in an “unnatural” position?  It would be far more convincing if it were a “perfect” track, so why the imperfection?  It makes more sense that it is a legitimate, albeit strange, track.


 

“It hasn’t been published in a reputable peer-reviewed journal”

Ah yes, this is quite a humorous argument too. No “reputable, peer-reviewed journal” dares to publish evidence like this which destroys evolution. Entire books have been written on this subject, not to mention the recent movie “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.” There are peer-reviewed creation journals out there, and this track will be included in our upcoming article on the Paluxy track research. However, evolutionists will simply reject such an article out of hand anyway, because it’s not an evolutionary journal.

Go figure – evolutionary journals won’t publish anything that knocks evolution, therefore because evidence like this won’t be published in evolutionary journals, it is rejected by evolutionists.

I’m not even going to waste much time with this very silly argument that has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not the tracks are authentic.

If there are some scientists who wish to legitimately examine it, I’m sure that can be arranged – but only under very strict control of CEM. Why? Because some evidence like this has been destroyed before. See Don Patton’s website for more details on this episode.

If there’s going to be a symposium / forum for interested investigators, I’ll post details here later.


 

“He’s not ‘Dr.’ Baugh – he faked his credentials”

Haha! First of all, I’m quite tired of this slanderous lie that’s been promulgated around the internet. I looked into it the whole matter myself – unlike the skeptics who just regurgitate a rumour they heard on talk.organs. Doctor Baugh worked very hard to earn his degree, and this has absolutely nothing to do with the authenticity of the Delk track…. does it?

It pleases me greatly to see such comments and railings, which are obviously nothing more than a desperate ploy to misdirect people from the evidence.

Look at the evidence people – it’s presented here, and ignore the babblings of those who would desperately try and distract you from it. In fact, you might want to ask yourself why they are so desperately trying to distract you from it! Look at the evidence, judge for yourself, and ask yourself what the ramifications are for you if the bible turns out to be true and evolution false.


 

“CT scans produce ‘beam hardening’ which accounts the higher density you see on surfaces”
(updated Aug 26, 2008)

prime_003Okay, this is going to get a little technical on youse guys (“youse guys” – that’s Canadian for “Y’all”).

After much ado about “beam hardening” artifacts in the CT scans, combined with one comment posted on YouTube, I wanted to be sure about a few things.  I called the Glen Rose Medical center and spoke with two separate CT technicians on a variety of issues surrounding the slab, including the technician who actually performed the CT scan on the Delk slab.  It was very enlightening.

“Beam hardening” is an artifact in CT scan X-rays that appears at surfaces, including the surfaces of cavities.  This was a problem in the early days of CT technology, as well as the early days of Gamma Ray CT.  Because CT scans are compiled by computer, an algorithm can be incorporated into the analysis to remove beam hardening artifacts.  While I’m not an expert on CT, everything I’ve been able to dig up so far shows that beam hardening artifacts never appear to go any deeper than 1-2 scan pixels below the surface.

Beam hardening is especially prominent with irregular surfaces, and the Delk slab would certainly fall under the category of “irregular surface.”

prime_004Could the higher density be from beam hardening and not from compression of the mud by the feet that made the prints?
In short, it would appear “no way!”

As I had written here before, the high density  is not visible around some of the cavities – like the outer toes of the dinosaur track.  It is also completely absent from the heels of both tracks.  As I argued then (and as the CT technician who performed the scan mentioned without my prompting), this “surficial beam hardening” would be visible on the entire rock, if it were from beam hardening.

Furthermore, the Glen Rose Medical Center’s CT scanner incorporates the anti-beam-hardening algorithms which removes beam hardening artifacts!

Can the very deep, high-density portions be explained by beam hardening or other artifacts?

There was a post on youtube by “ftom” that brought up some very good questions, but made a statement which must be addressed.  He claimed prime_005that 4cm deep “higher density” in the rock is not uncommon for beam hardening (at least, that was my understanding of what he said).  I choked on this big time, but didn’t want to say anything until after I did some investigation, after all, maybe I’m wrong.

But think about it: Would you spend millions of dollars on a piece of equipment that’s supposed to be ultra-accurate if you can get false readings 4 centimeters deep and wide??!!???  I wouldn’t!  Such false readings and beam hardening artifacts would complete invalidate the entire CT technology!

When I mentioned this to the CT techs, both of them remarked that this was flatly impossible.  The second CT tech (who did notperform the scans) was looking at the scans on file at the time.

Furthermore, I will reiterate the facts which anyone can see by watching the video and looking at the full-resolution scans here and on David Lines’ website:

  • the surface hardness is absent from many places in the rock
  • prime_006the highest density rock is at the junction of the middle dinosaur toe and the human footprint; where both tracks would have compressed the matrix.  It is up to 4 centimeters deep and wide at this point (see below).  This makes complete sense if the tracks are both authentic – both footprints compressed that area of mud.  This makes no sense when trying to explain it as artifacts like beam hardening, as this is the only place where such large-area, high-density is visible.
  • there are portions of the tracks which do not have any surficial hardening.  Thus, it is clear that the higher density seen elsewhere is quite real.  To claim that portions of the tracks show no higher density and thus must have been carved is a ludicrous argument: Did the carver only carveportions of the tracks?  What about the portions that do show higher density and are therefore legit?  No – thevariations in density only add to the authenticity of the density readings.

Are the density variations within a reasonable ratio?

There was “fall-out” from this post – click here to read the report.

Nevertheless, ftom made a very pertinent point about the density variations in the CT scans, and asked an excellent question: Are the density variations within reason?  i.e., if the highest density was very hard, but the lowest density was that of a jellyfish, then there was a problem.  I would agree, so I asked the CT techs to get a better handle on how density is calculated and portrayed on the scans.

As the CT technicians mentioned, they save people’s lives by scanning a tumour and diagnosing whether it is benign or malignant just by analysing the density variations!

It should be noted at this time that the images are also produced to maximize contrast.  The X-rays you see have variable grey scales, and thus the pixel colour is not a true representation of the density, merely a guide – i.e., you can’t judge the density of a pixel by its shade.

The density variations are calculated using the Hounsfield numbers, and on the right are several select X-rays images from the CT scans, each of which has density sample sites.  The circles are the sample areas, and the readings are in the bottom right corner of the image.  For example, in Figure 7e, there are three sample sites, and the reading from sample 1 is listed as follows:

1: m 2768.04, sd 292.37, a 36.30mm2

The only important things here are the first and last numbers.  “m” is the hounsfield number, and “a” is the area of the sample circle.

To give you an idea of how to interpret the Hounsfield numbers, the higher the number, the higher the density.  Hounsfield numbers have the density of water as their zero point.

The CT tech at GRMC very kindly gave me a smattering of sample numbers, so you have an idea of the density/hounsfield number ratio:

  • Air inside a lung: -651 (note this is negative)
  • Cortical bone: 172
  • Liver: 33
  • Rib center: 104
  • Rib surface: 754
  • Vertebrae: 195

So the lowest density sample in the Delk slab is a Hounsfield number of 487 (Figure 7e, sample 3), and the highest 3048 (Figure 7a, sample 2).

One thing can be said with certainty: the numbers are certainly of sufficient density – the lowest density is greater than that of most bone, except at bone surfaces like a rib, which is very hard, very dense, and very brittle.

The other conclusion which can be reached with certainty is that the density variations are real, and thus it is good evidence of compression of the mud matrix by two footprints, before the mud turned into rock.


“Dinosaurs don’t make tracks like that”

dino1

Um… yes, they do!  Honest!


 

Q&A

“Are those drill holes making a line up the middle dinosaur toe?”

Nope. That’s actually the deepest part of the track, which happens to break through laminations in the rock in places, as well as some dimples in the rock, giving the appearance of a line of holes. See photo on right. The toes on the human track also break through laminations, leaving similar, circular holes in the rock.

“You mentioned ‘unintuitive compression’ in the video – what do you mean by this?”

drill_holesParticularly when Dr. Baugh sectioned dinosaur tracks from the Paluxy a number of years ago, it was noticed that sometimes there was no visible deformation underneath the track. There was no doubt about the authenticity of these tracks, so what was going on? Furthermore, Professor M.E. Clark (University of Illinois at Champaign/Urbana) who is a Paluxy track veteran of a few decades, also noted the lack of visible compression artifacts underneath a dinosaur track that had been broken in half when a ledge on the side of the Paluxy had broken off, revealing the cross-section of the track.

The Loma Linda university research report also sectioned a dinosaur track and a human track, both reported to have come from the Paluxy. They cited the lack of distortion underneath the dinosaur track as evidence it was carved. Sure – maybe it is a carved track – but the lack of distortion of the laminations underneath a track is not definitive of a carving.

However, the presence of laminations distorted by the foot when making the track is obvious evidence of authenticity.

When the Burdic man track was first sectioned across the ball, it showed no apparent distortion of the laminations in the rock – however, sectioning towards the heel and toes revealed incredible and dramatic distortion of the laminations. See Don Patton’s report here to see the distorted laminations yourself.

“There appears to be a thin layer of higher-density rock on all edges of the slab – care to comment?”

There does appear to be higher density patches on the edges of the slab, though it is also absent from patches along the edges as well.

Again, this is probably crystalization over time. We do not know when this rock was ripped up from its host, we don’t know how long it sat in the river, and we don’t know how long it sat on shore. Thus, the idea that it is surface hardening/crystalization over time seems a reasonable explanation.

Please note however, that this does not invalidate the higher density associated with the two tracks in any way:

1) Both tracks have areas (particularly the heels) where there is no higher density rock
2) The density variations associated with the tracks are dramatically deeper and wider than any of the surficial high density – by a factor of up to 3. In particular, the displaced mud at the intersection of the human track and the middle dinosaur toe was first compressed by the human, then displaced by the dinosaur. This high-density area is over 4 centimeters deep and wide, whereas the surficial high-density layer seldom exceeds 1.5 centimeters.

The dramatic variations in the density lend much credence to their authenticity. The variations appear to be quite real, and align well with the ichnofossils being genuine.

“What if someone carved the rock, and then etched it with acid?”

To answer this deep question, one of our researchers, David Lines, took some gen-you-whine Paluxy limestone – the very same stuff the dinosaur and human tracks are found in – and soaked it in muriatic acid. Read his very technical report here.

In short, acid wouldn’t affect the CT scans, although if it did, it would show up as a less dense surface.


Preliminary reports of sedimentation experiments

Preliminary reports of sedimentation experiments held at Glen Rose, Texas, March 2007

Brief: In mid-march, 2007, M.E. Clark (Professor Emeritus, U of Illinois @ Urbana), Andrew Rodenbeck and myself performed a series of experiments over two weeks at Creation Evidence Museum in Glen Rose, Texas. The museum grounds have a rotary flume which was constructed by M.E. and Dr. Henry Voss, and was transported to Glen Rose some years ago. M.E. also brought down “Archimedes,” a specially designed and constructed liquefaction tank which will be discussed later. While we were there, we also constructed a linear flume, and had intentions to experiment with silica lithification processes, but ran out of time.

Many lessons were learned which altered my personal views on a number of things and have significance for the geology caused by the global flood of Noah. Specifically, the rotary and linear flumes, and just about everything we did with water (including a simple garden hose) produced layers. Probably the most dramatic results were the production of complex cross-bedding. The process was remarkably easy and solidifies the arguments that crossbeds within the geologic record were indeed formed by a global flood, and not by desert dunes as some have argued. Newts were also placed into the linear flume during runs and their behaviour also confirmed some hypotheses regarding the formation of the coconino fossil trackways that are so prolific throughout the Grand Canyon and area.
While it seemed everything we did led to sedimentary layers being formed, much like what is seen in road cuts, liquefaction was the ultimate destroyer of layers. For myself, this was a fairly radical change in my thinking, as I had wanted for years to perform experiments in liquefaction, and the results were pretty much the exact opposite of what I expected.


 

The Rotary Flume:

rotaryflumeShown on the right is the rotary flume.  The operation is quite simple:  The outer, plexiglass wall and the inner, green wall form a tank roughly 12 feet in outer diameter and 8 feet in inner diameter.  The paddles are in the upright position in the photo, but spring-lock into a downward position during the runs (paddle at far left is in the “locked” position).  The tank is filled with water and sediments, and the paddles drag in the water.  The paddles are spun in a counter-clockwise direction, pushing the water in the tank around in the circle, which picks up and carries the sediments in suspension.  When the rotation is stopped, the now forward-moving water pushes the paddles out of the locked position, which then spring up out of the water to avoid the turbulence and drag of a stopped paddle in the now flowing water.

The sediments settle out of the water as the water slows down and eventually stops.

 

The principle of the rotary flume is to produce an infinite flow or wave.  When we first arrived, this was the first time using the flume with the new, spring-loaded paddle mechanism.  We did not know what to expect entirely, but had some educated guesses.  Sand was hauled and cleaned, extremely fine dust was also obtained from a wash along the Paluxy River, and extremely fine, white, silica sand was bought from the local hardware store.

Upon filling the tank with water and pouring in sediments, we immediately saw what was to become the rule:  The sediments sorted themselves out in very clear layers.  This became so common that by the end of two weeks, we jokingly referred to Andrew’s law as “It’s difficult not to make layers,” and Clark’s law as “It’s easy to make layers.”  Later on, I proposed the “law” that liquefaction destroys layers, as much to my surprise as that was.

flume_layoutWe ran up the flume in a series of tests with essentially the same sediments for the first couple of runs while varying the water depth.  Multiple layers of varying numbers were made throughout the flume, and numerous cuts made in specific locations (randomly selected at first, then simply copied in later runs), followed by a complete circumferential cut on all runs.  Posts on the outside frame were labeled by myself, and in hindsight I wish I had labeled them differently:  The first, double post for each section was labeled with a negative number; i.e., A-1.  Going counterclockwise, looking from the top, they then increased in sequence until the next double post marked the next section.  Thus, A-1 and A1 can easily be confused.  So, please be aware of this denotation throughout the rest of this report.

 

flume_cut1Because of Guy Berthault’s previous research with flumes years ago, we half-expected to get three layers.  Instead we got everything from one uniform layer to seven layers.  Before the first run, Andrew correctly pointed out that the inner diameter of the flume would have slower-moving water than the outer diameter, and thus the sediments would settle on the inside first.  Not only was this true, but usually the sediments settled out without us seeing it at all, as the sediments would never reach the outside, plexiglass wall.
The differential water speeds also led to complex vortices and helix spirals in the water, which led to complex and confusing layering.  However, several principles were verified, namely the fact that layers are formed by flowing water – and quite easily.

Of especial interest was interbedding that was quite apparent, with three layers fingering in to one solid layer, then fingering to five layers.

wormAlso of special interest was a small worm that accidentally got mixed in with the sediments.  Andrew happened to cut exactly the correct spot on one of his sectionings.  The worm was polystrate (yes, it cut through layers), and the top portion of it was bent over flat within a layer.  The reason this is of interest is because this is precisely how a fossilized worm was found in the overburden limestone removed from the Paluxy riverbed in 2003.  Also on display within the Royal Tyrell museum in Drumheller, Alberta, is a depiction of three polystrate worms found in the Burgess Shale of Canada.  The Paluxy is quite unique in that fossil worms (sometimes still with pigment) are plentiful, and I was quite happy to see the same effect in the Burgess shale.

The point here is that a sediment-laden water flow deposited a dead worm in the upright position, precisely the same way one was found in the Paluxy limestones, which also have plentiful indications of being deposited by a strong current.  (I apologize for the lousy photo – my macro mode got turned off without my realizing, and I weren’t none too happy ’bout it neither!)

In the end, we saw pretty much every stratigraphical feature produced: Crossbedding, fingering, thinning and thickening of layers, interbedding, and scours.


 

The Linear Flume:

linflumeDue namely to time constraints, our linear flume was very simple.  It was a clear-walled (acrylic plexiglass), long box, measuring 6 inches wide, 1 foot tall and 8 feet long.  A steel trough, or funnel, was at one end to facilitate ease of loading sediments and water being poured in.  The other end was left open, emptying into a container which was merely to recycle the sediments while allowing the water to overflow the container.
A conventional cement mixer was used to keep the sediments homogenized, and a continuous stream of water was added to the mix during the runs.

The linear flume not only gave us plenty of radical lessons to ponder, but also enlightened us as to some of the complexities of layering within the rotary flume.  Specifically, we took the lessons learned from Berthault’s experiments and not only found them to be true, but that they applied to a much broader scope of sedimentology than I personally thought – both in the field, and in the lab.  For example, it appears now that horizontal layers we see throughout the geological record (and which we produced in the flumes) may really just be extremely long-wave crossbeds.
Berthault’s main point from his experiments is that sediments sort out by particle size, not density!  This certainly seemed true in all of our experiments.  While obviously density played a role, it was a minimal one which was usually so insignificant it could be safely ignored.

The reason is not so obvious at first.  I very much like the way Andrew explains the sediments being held in suspension:  He refers to the particles as “flying,” which really is what they are doing.  They are flying in a very dense fluid – water.
The density between two sediments may be as large as 0.1 g/cm3, for example – but when you are talking about two particles 10 microns in diameter, their difference in density is so small as to be extremely difficult to even measure.  However, the velocity of water needed to suspend and carry a particle 20 microns in diameter is significantly greater than that required to carry a 10 micron particle.
To bring this to layman’s terms, envision a boulder made of quartz that’s 30 centimeters in diameter, and a boulder of limestone that’s 60 centimeters in diameter.  The quartz is considerably denser than the limestone, yet the larger rock is obviously much heavier than the smaller rock, and thus will require water moving at significantly higher velocity to pick it up and carry it.  If they were both the same size, the water speed required to pick up both rocks would be different, but the difference would be nowhere near as great as the difference between two boulders of differing sizes.

The unusual thing noted when observing settling sediments is the tendency to sort out into three layers: fine on the bottom, coarse in the middle, and fine on top.   Berthault’s explanation seems to hold water:  The flow of water at the bottom of the tank (or river, or lake bed, or stream bed) is almost zero because the bottom of the tank is not moving with the water.  Friction causes a rolling of water along the bottom, thus there is a very thin layer of almost stationary water at the bottom of the tank.  We refer to this as the “boundary layer.”
Because the larger grains require the fastest moving water to carry them, they wind up settling out of the flow first, as the flow slows down.  However, within this boundary layer, you get water velocities which may be slow enough forall grains to drop out of the flow.  The largest grain winds up settling first, and the gaps between it and the other largest grains are filled in with the finer grains – up to the top of the largest grain.  This makes the first, bottom layer that appears at first glance to be all fines.

As the water slows down, the large grains then drop out, largest to smallest, making a “pile” which grows horizontally.  Finally, the fines are the last to drop out because they require the least amount of water velocity, and thus they make up the final layer of fines on top.

I will continuously refer to these three-layer sequences as they continually cropped up, and are probably related in some way to cyclothems which are well known in the rock record.


 

Experiment #1:  rapid emptying of entire sedimentary batch.

For the first experiment, I was operating the mixer.  It was filled with our variety of sediments and topped off with water.  After a brief mixing run to homogenize the sediments, I simply poured out the entire contents rather rapidly.  Total contents was probably around 12 gallons worth of water and sediments, poured out in roughly five seconds.  I had built a hill in the middle of the flume, which was promptly wiped out by the flow and had little to know effect on the very evident layering:

linear_fastdump

The layering was very long and the layers thin.

 


Experiment #2: Slow, continuous pour

The second run was a continuous pour of the same contents, with continuous water flow.  The whole pour probably lasted roughly 8 minutes or so and also produced very distinct layering.

lineflume1


Experiment #3: Pulsed flow

lineflumepulsedM.E. and Dr. Voss produced a paper on the subject of tidal action during the flood of Noah for the 1991 ICC.  The scriptures are quite clear that it took 150 days for the floodwaters to rise above the highest mountains, and thus during this time you will have tidal action influencing the continually advancing floodwaters.  Every twelve hours would see a mini-tsunami encroach upon the land, each higher than the last one.

To simulate this, we pulsed the flow of sediment-laden waters.  This produced the most dramatic horizontal layering, with the number of three-layered sets corresponding the number of pulses, or waves, we sent through the flume.  This is probably related to the cyclothems we see within the rock record.  Note the repeating sequence of layers, from bottom to top: coarse, white, red;  coarse, white, red, etc….


 

Experiment #4: Uphill flow

This experiment led, serendipitously, to the most dramatic find of the two weeks.  We merely tilted the flume so that the water and sediments had to go uphill a mere 2 degrees.  This produced some rather dramatic crossbedding.

crossbeds1

navajo

Allow me to introduce what a crossbed is.  This photograph is from the Navajo formation, taken within Zion National Park.  You’ll notice thick layers on top of each other, and within those layers are angled layers.  These angled layers are called crossbeds, and the crossbeds are composed of three parts:  The topset (the top, swooping downward curve), the foreset (the face of the slope), and the bottomset (the curve leading from the slope, leveling out against the top of the last layer).

I had a personal goal to produce crossbedding while we were down there, so I was thrilled to say the least.  However, none of us were expecting the ease at which it was produced.  This one experiment led to an understanding of their genesis, and led to a series of experiments in the linear and rotary flumes.

The secret was standing water.  While Andrew and I were well aware that Berthault had produced crossbeds in the lab, we considered his method unrealistic in nature.  In Berthault’s experiments, they had a horizontal, linear flume in which they had water and sediments flowing through.  He then dropped a door at the end of the flume, causing a backwash up the flume.  Neither Andrew nor I considered this realistic to nature, nor applicable to the global flood of Noah: What was this magical dam that suddenly appeared on land, blocking the floodwaters of a worldwide flood?

However, sediment-laden waters encroaching on land and encountering an uphill will pool standing water ahead of the sedimentary deposit it’s producing.  It isn’t the uphill that’s the key, but merely standing water – which could be an inland lake, water coming from the other side of the continent during the flood, or pooled water from the last tidal wave flowing back out to sea.
The fast-flowing water is carrying sediments in suspension.  Once it hits the standing water, it suddenly drops speed dramatically – well below the velocity required to hold the sediments in suspension.  The sediments “drop like a rock” (pun intended), and make a steep slope much like a conveyor belt will as it drops sand in a pile.  In this case though, the conveyor belt moves along with the pile!
The sediments fill in the standing water area, moving the front edge of the standing water ever farther back and making an ever-longer platform for the fast water to ride on.  Thus, the crossbeds continually build into the standing water – sometimes at remarkable speeds.

This also has some interesting ramifications:  If the flow truly is going uphill, then the standing water and the incoming water have no place to go – thus, the crossbeds will thicken inland as the standing water deepens.


 

Back to the rotary flume:

rotary_tilted1At this point, Dr. Clark suggested tilting the rotary flume to acheive an uphill on one side.  The rotary flume is mounted on several jackscrews, so we applied roughly a 2 degree tilt.  We added extra water and ran it.  If there were crossbeds, they were formed from the center out, on an extending, radial arm.  However, this experiment demonstrated that it was not the uphill nature of the deposition that produced crossbeds, rather it was flowing water hitting standing water.  Because all of the water in the rotary flume travels together, there was essentially no standing water and only brief pulses of backflow.

The high point was at C-1, with the low point obviously being between E2 and E3.  Layers were produced, but I would say less that we had before – it seemed to make a mess more than orderly layers, but still produced them in line with Andrew’s and Clark’s laws.  Essentially no recognizable crossbeds were formed.  The following radial cut was made at E1:


 

More experiments in the linear flume:

We then proceeded with a couple of experiments relating to crossbedding.

We first performed a run with a very aggressive introduction of sediments and water into a 1 degree uphill slope.  Andrew and M.E. were operating the equipment, and both Dr. Carl Baugh and myself witnessed very steep-sloped crossbedding being formed,

but within a fairly thin bed (the reasons for this will be discussed later).  This is mentioned in passing because while both Baugh and myself witnessed the crossbeds being formed, when we were finished, the sediments were so uniform as to appear to be one thick layer with no crossbedding!  Thus, it appears that perhaps some layers within the geological record may very well have been formed by a cross-bedding process, but leaving no distinct crossbedding.  For myself personally, I will be looking at layers and rocks differently in my investigations in the future, though hindsight of all that I’ve seen has not brought to remembrance any layer anywhere that looked like a solid layer that broke apart into angled layers like crossbedding.

 


 

Addendum, April 25:

Only weeks after we completed these experiments, I was out on a field trip with Mike Oard and Andrew Snelling in the Rattlesnake Mountains water gap in Montana.  I stumbled upon this layer which usually appears as a simple layer of sedimentary rock.  However, differential erosion had revealed that it was indeed crossbedded, but the crossbeds are not visible except by differential erosion.

rattlesnake_crossbeds

Again remembering our model of tidal formation of layers, we would have a main tidal wave every twelve hours.  Riding on top of this wave would be countless smaller waves; perhaps as big as ocean waves today – which easily achieve 5 to 10 feet high.  In this particular experiment, waves were superimposed on the flow of sediment and water being introduced.  The waves were not deliberate, but rather simply the result of the equipment being used.  As a wave would charge into the standing water, it would displace the standing water with a standing wave.  This wave would then collapse into the “vacuum” left behind at the face of the crossbed, slamming the sediments into the crossbed and producing incredibly steep crossbeds.

In an attempt to make two sets of  crossbeds on top of each other (much like is seen at Zion National Park), we performed two runs.  We produced crossbeds in the first run with the flume merely tilted uphill at 1 degree.  We then blocked the drain end of the flume, creating a 4″ high dam, and filled the flume with standing water.

While Andrew and I objected to Berthault’s dam at first, we realized that the dam was not the point:  The standing water was the point.  There is a variety of ways that standing water can be produced inland during a global flood:  The rains being trapped, lakes, small seas, etc…  I had proposed that because the east coast had essentially no crossbeds, yet the west (Arizona through Utah) had extensive crossbeds, that perhaps this is the where the two water flows of Noah’s flood met (the Rocky mountains having not yet formed)- one flow from the east coast, and one from the west coast.  Andrew shot this idea down in flames by pointing out the dinosaur tracks among and above the crossbeds.  However, later on I also proposed that one big wave will build up a heap of sediments along a shoreline.  When we are dealing with a global flood, I have no qualms envisioning a very large sedimentary build-up forming a dam on the shores of the coasts; thus the dam is not in front of the flow, but rather behind it.  This dam would trap water inland from the last tidal wave.

At any rate, standing water was the key, so we produced some by merely blocking the end of the tank and filling it up, on top of our previously formed crossbedded layer.  We then ran an agressive run, same as before.

crossbedGlobal flood skeptics have argued that wet sand will not produce crossbeds as steep as dry sand.  Such a suggestion is ridiculous:  If one merely takes a moment to ask oneself, “Which can produce a steeper bank?  Dry sand?  Or wet, sticky sand?”, the answer becomes quite obvious.  We also had Dr. Floyd with us on the last day of the runs, and he surprised me by saying that the geology textbooks specifically say that water will not produce crossbeds steeper than 30 degrees.  This amazes me because we produced 37 degree crossbeds with little effort, using fairly crude techniques!  I am fairly confident that if we worked at it, we could achieve crossbeds meeting or exceeding 40 degrees.  This photo is from the run we performed for the TV crew:

The grain size had no effect on the angle.  However, in our experiments, because of the equipment we were using, grain size tended to coarsen throughout the run.

Further crossbeds, and the reactions of newts:

We also ran one experiment which produced crossbeds with newts in the water.  This was done to examine their behaviour in flood conditions which produce crossbeds, in hopes that our observations would shed light on the prolific fossil tracks found in the coconino sandstone crossbeds – which I think it did.

To finish off the experiment and produce crossbeds to be left for the next day when a TV crew that was there, we cleaned up the flume and loaded the mixer with a double load of sediments.  We left the 4-inch high “dam” at the end of the flume and put in some standing water, though it was not filled completely.  The newts being as newts are, were quite content in the water and very docile.  It probably would have been better to have creatures (such as lizards which are not amphibian) which are not inclined to “hang out” underwater, but the newts still provided quite an education.

The crossbeds were produced, same as before.  While one newt swam around, the second was quite content to stay at the bottom of the crossbeds being formed.  The answer became obvious:  he was sitting the eddy currents; the place where the water was the slowest.  Thus, the newt really didn’t have to move or fight any current.  He was quite content to just sit there.
The encroaching crossbeds would eventually begin to cover him up, so the newt would simple “step up” onto the new crossbed.

salamander


 

Several lessons were learned:

  • This can explain why fossil tracks are so prolific on the foreset and bottomset of crossbeds.  The tracks in the coconino have not been positively identified but could be either lizards or salamanders.  They are quite consistent in only traveling uphill.  If the tracks are from salamanders, the same salamander could potentially be producing multiple trackways on the foresets of hundreds of feet, or perhaps even miles, of crossbeds.  The salamander would “hang out” in the eddy at the bottom of the crossbed, and would simply walk up the crossbed when he was getting buried, float away and catch the eddy once more, returning to the bottom of the next crossbed.
  • Animals (such as lizards) which are swept away by the flowing waters would be sucked into the hydraulics and trapped by the eddy currents.  Every year people die by being trapped in the hydraulics at the bottom of decorative dams and small waterfalls – the water is very powerful, even in small volume.  In this case, the forming crossbeds make the escarpment that the hydraulics form at, thus trapping animals in them.  The only way out was to go up the hill.  Thus we see why the trackways in the coconino are almost always going uphill, and often show the creature being bouyed up to produce a trackway that goes from heavy foot impressions, to lighter, to claws only, to completely disappearing – often within only a few feet.
  • The preservation of tracks within the crossbeds is now easily explained:  The water along the face of the foreset is virtually still.  Simultaneously, there is a continuous dumping of sediments on top of any freshly made tracks, thus protecting them until lithification of the sediments.

 

Conclusions of crossbed research:

  • the depth, or thickness of the crossbedded layer is determined by the depth of the standing water.  With an agressive flow, the layer will be slightly thicker than the depth of the standing water, otherwise it will pretty much be the same thickness as the depth of the standing water.
  • the crossbed dip increases during the formation.  The maximum angle of the crossbeds are determined primarily by the speed of the water carrying the sediments and forming the crossbeds.  More research needs to be performed to determine the relationship.  The only other factor in this is the distance from the starting point of deposition.  As can be seen in the videos and pictures, a “base” needs to first be deposited, built up to the depth of the standing water.  The crossbeds begin to form immediately, increasing to their maximum angle shortly after the deposition depth has matched the standing water depth.  Once the maximum angle is acheived, it varies with the flow speed of the incoming water.
  • the crossbeds which are sometimes thin and sandwhiched between perfectly horizontal layers are now easily explained:  The layer in the middle was simply formed with trapped, inland, standing water present while the layers above and below were not.  A simple beach dune, produced by the last inland flow of water, would trap water inland which then became the standing water during the next depositional episode.

I’ll interject my own, personal opinion here which is not necessarily shared by M.E. or Andrew: I am now quite convinced that the crossbeds of the coconino and navajo formations (as well as gravel crossbeds in various locations) are produced by water; convinced to the point that I will be dogmatic about it.  The evidence overwhelmingly points to a watery origin.


 

Crossbeds as a paleocurrent indicator:

Water-formed crossbeds are, in my opinion, easy to recognize compared to wind-blown sand dunes.  Wind-blown sand dunes have remnants of the windward and lee sides preserved somewhat in the crossbeds.  For example, this is a photo of a sand dune in eastern New Mexico that had been cut by a bulldozer:

nm_sanddune

While the dune did have bedding planes (layers), and if one were to look strictly at one side, one might interpret that one side’s layers as “crossbeds.”  However, looking at the breadth of the dune, one can see the layers curve right over to the lee side (on the left), within only a few feet.  The crossbeds we see throughout the west go on for many, many miles with no windward side evident.  This is exactly what we would expect with a continentally-deposited crossbed layer, and completely contrary to what we see with modern sand dunes.  While a lot of the crossbed layers we see in the stratigraphic record are considerably thinner than the height of the sand dune above, we can see layers on both sides of the sand dune (roughly 12 feet high)- but never see the windward side of the crossbeds.

There is one wildcard here:  Andrew would suggest that there are many, giant sand dunes in deserts today which were laid there during the flood; and I would tend to agree.

Addendum, April 25:  David Lines pointed out that there are clear crossbeds within the White Sands of New Mexico which match our crossbeds identically.  This of course has been used to argue that wind-blown sand dunes produce crossbeds.  However, I would contend that this evidence precisely demonstrates that the white sands were originally laid down by water and are now being reworked by the wind! The above photograph is of a sand dune which has clearly been formed only by wind.  The dune has moved enough that if it had been originally laid down by water, any remnants of the layering left behind by the working of that water has been destroyed by the reworking of the wind.  Thus, what we see are only the effects of wind and not large quantities of water.  Crossbeds are only formed by water.

Thus, water-produced crossbeds which are positively identified within the stratigraphic record (be they sands, gravels or boulders), can be used as a paleocurrent (ancient water flow direction) indicator.  I have personally examined crossbedded layers by the hundreds throughout North America, and I cannot think of a single one that even has the potential to be a wind-blown sand dune.  They are all missing the tell-tale windward side of the dune.  Thus, we can incorporate crossbeds into the mapping of megatrends in paleocurrents:  A valuable study reflecting what went on during the global flood of Noah.

 

Liquefaction Experiments:

archimedesLiquefaction is a state in which sediments are temporarily suspended in water, usually from water percolating up through them.  This effect can be seen by working wet concrete, vibrating mud, or even during earthquakes.

Archimedes was built by our late friend, Don Yeager, from Oklahoma.  Sadly, Don passed away literally the day we returned home after performing our research.  Archimedes consists of a sealed acrylic box designed to withstand some pressure.  Spaced off of the bottom is a membrane which allows water to pass through but not sediments.  Beneath this is the inlet from the water pump, and water from this pump goes through a series of baffles to spread out the flow so that it is as uniform as possible throughout the base of the entire unit.

Sediments are loaded into Archimedes on top of the membrane, and the pump intake sticks down from the top of the unit.

In the center of the top is a large, rolling-gasket piston which cycles up and down to induce pressure upon the water and sediments inside the unit.  This is to simulate the pressure of waves during the global flood, and the pump’s water flow is to induce liquefaction of the sediments.  The two mechanisms can be used separately, or in conjunction with each other.

I came to the table with a long-standing desire to perform research in this area of liquefaction, as it relates to the global flood of Noah.  I had high expectations that not only would the process produce layers, I had more than one model I had developed in which I used liqeufaction to explain anomolies in the geological and fossil record.  I suspected this research would verify some suspicions I had.

Much to my surprise, it became evident very quickly that liquefaction does not produce layers, it destroys them.

I do need to qualify this statement however:  liquefaction did indeed sort (more or less) the sediments by density.  However, the resulting “layers” were hardly layers at all; they blended together and if the system was to become lithified (cemented, or hardened into rock), it would be one, thick block.  If I saw these layers in the geologic record, they would be interesting and noteworthy, but I wouldn’t call them layers; I would call it a layer fining upward.

Futhermore, in an attempt to homogonize (uniformly mix-up) the sediments that were loaded into Archimedes, I stuck a high pressure garden hose into the pump return hole and blasted the sediments with high-speed water.  To my surprise, this made layers!  In fact, try as hard as I could, the only thing that best homogenized the sediments was liquefaction!

arch_plumesSome have suggested (and I personally believed, until now) that cycles of liquefaction during the flood were what produced layers.  To affirm/refute this, long period cycles were run in Archimedes.  All effects were finished with about 30 seconds, whether liquefying or settling the sediments.  We ran 20 cycles of 1 minute duration, pump-induced liquefaction, followed by 1 minute of settling (no moving water).  The results were virtually identical on each and every cycle – to the point that it was boring, it was so predictable.  It did not produce anything I would call layers, but did definitely (and very, very rapidly) destroy the very definite layers I had inadvertantly produced!

I did run a few long-period cycles with the piston being operated simultaneously, both during liquefaction and settling cycles.  The pumping action had no visible effect, except to flex the 1/2″ acrylic walls in and out.  To be honest, I did not expect the pressure differential to accomplish much.  The flexing was enough that it was producing more of an effect than the pressure difference; so the piston action was abandoned.

In the end, the results were the same, no matter what.  If we ran the pump any longer than 30 seconds, no change was noted, and no layers were recovered.

There has been some question of flow rates, and this is part of future research.  Flow rates will be controlled very accurately, but I strongly suspect this will make no difference on the final outcome except the time required to produce the same results.


 

Introducing a heresy:

Andrew and I both share a simliar skepticism for the metamorphic interpretation of gneises and schists, and after examining the Llano granite uplift, we both came to the same conclusion:  It’s a giant, sedimentary rock dome.  I know for myself, I believe granite simply has a supernatural origin – there is no natural way to produce it.  Contrary to common belief, it is impossible to form it from a melt.  This has been borne out both in the lab in and in nature.  While Andrew and I both agree that the granite batholith was a sedimentary rock, it’s formation still requires previously existing granites!  It is granite that has simply been crushed up, transported, and relithified elsewhere.  This is a continuing research which I will not discuss here.

One thing I personally noted with the liquefaction sediments was a stark resemblance to schist, gneiss and granitic outcrops I’ve examined in so many different places:  They have stratification, but it’s a disordered mess, in the midst of giant plumes.  This is precisely what we saw, on a small scale, in the liquefaction tank.

 The liquefaction went through several distinguishable phases:  Plumes, which brought lower layers through to the top, which caused a tilting of the upper layers downward.  This led to “boiling” where all of the layers would eventually go to vertical or near vertical, followed by collapse of all of the structures, including the plumes.  I have seen all of these stages within the rock record, namely in the “basement” rocks.
While I cannot be dogmatic on this, it appears as though the granite plume now known as the Llano uplift, was precisely that:  A plume.  However, it was not formed by a melt (as is conventionally believed), as that is impossible – so it must have been formed “cold” or at lower temperature.  I am suggesting that water, supersaturated with silica, produced a liquefaction plume of granitic gravels.  The silica precipitated out of the water, cementing the granite gravels into sedimentary granites.  The cementing silica (quartz) appears to simply be a part of the granite, as quartz is one of the three main constituents of granite.

Andrew and I were supposed to perform considerable research into silica supersaturation and sedimentary cementation while at Glen Rose, however we simply ran out of time.  Andrew has pointed out some processes which are now known which greatly simplify silica super-solubility, even in room termperature water.  This may play a major role in explaining the massive beds of silica-cemented sediments around the world.


Conclusions to liquefaction:

Liquefaction doesn’t produce layers, it destroys them.  However, it may very well be the father of plumes (such as those seen at Kodachrome basin) and the presumed metamorphic rocks referred to as the gneiss and schists so common throughout the Canadian Shield and in the bottom of the Grand Canyon.  Some granites and granite “dykes” within these rocks may also very well be simply the cemented sediments from a liquefaction event – layers that were tipped up during the liquefaction process and solidifed before liquefaction destroyed all of the structures.


 

Addendum, February 2011:

Dr. Walter T. Brown has expressed disagreement with my conclusions on this page, specifically regarding liquefaction. He claims that what we acheived with “Archimedes” was not liquefaction, but rather disruption. Dr. Brown has a rather large chapter of his book devoted to liquefaction here: http://www.creationscience.com/onlinebook/Liquefaction.html

One of our researchers, Professor M.E. Clark, had built a reproduction of Dr. Brown’s liquefaction apparatus (shown here, figure 94), but was unable to replicate Brown’s results. It was actually this failure to reproduce results that led to the design and construction of Archimedes, but Dr. Brown has contended that there was an error in Clark’s methodology and/or construction of the apparatus.

I do have to agree with at least some of Brown’s criticisms, though during our research there were considerably more applicable observations which I did not report here. These other observations, as well as Dr. Brown’s critique have raised questions which I’m convinced will lead to more exciting discoveries, but to date, we have not been able to get back to the liquefaction research.

Sadly, after a year of battling cancer, Professor Clark passed away in December of 2010.
References and footnotes:

1) M. E. Clark and H. D. Voss, Resonance and Sedimentary Layering in the Context of a Global Flood, Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Creationism, R. E. Walsh and C. L. Brooks, Editors, 1991, Creation Science Fellowship, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA, Vol. 2, pp. 53-63.

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