Bat Flight – Evidence of Design Surprises Researchers

 Bat flight -a sophisticated flip to landing made possible by a neronal compass and sophisticated geometry Evidence of a sophisticated navigation system in bats is evidence of Intelligent Design
A bat performing a complex flip to land maneuver navigates with a system based on a sophisticated geometric shape.


The website of the prestigious science magazine Nature recently published an article titled:

Bat-nav’ system enables three-dimensional manoeuvres1 Study reveals surprising neural code based on bagel-shaped coordinate system.

 

The article states that bats are able to navigate because their brains function as a sophisticated compass, programmed with a complex geometrical shape (a torus – a figure similar in shape to a bagel).  In their words:

“The brains of bats have a neuronal ‘compass’ that enables them to navigate in three dimensions.

The discovery, published in Nature2 on 3 December, explains the long-standing mystery of how bats — and perhaps other mammals such as monkeys, which do not fly but swing between branches — manage to orient themselves in the air as well as on the ground.

The ‘bat-nav’ system is “surprising — but also surprising in its beauty”, says May-Britt Moser, a neuroscientist at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim…

Computational neuroscientist Andreas Herz, from the University of Munich in Germany adds that the simple elegance of the neural coding that makes up the compass has wider implications for how the brain computers.

This article was based on a paper which talks about the requirements for such a sophisticated system:

Navigation requires the knowledge of one’s location (‘map’) and direction in space (‘compass’). The neural representation of spatial location in mammals includes place-cells which compute position, together with grid cells that encode distance.3

Here is a video of a bat performing a complex landing maneuver which includes a flip to the inverted position that such a system allows:

  During flips, bats are able to keep track of their orientation in space thanks to a surprisingly complex ‘head-direction’ system. 

Notice researchers are surprised not only by the sophistication of the system, but also it’s elegant beauty. These are unmistakable signs of intelligent design, but when you subscribe to a worldview that says there is no design, then yes, such sophistication is quite surprising – especially when the design is complex yet elegantly beautiful. Still, researchers do not want to stray beyond the bounds of orthodox evolution. Here are those bounds, in the words of William Provine, professor of the history of science at Cornell University:

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“Questioning Darwin” – Perpetuating Stereotypes and Misinformation

HBO's Questioning Darwin Documentary HBO’s documentary Questioning Darwin   questions Christian belief instead of Darwin
From Questioning Darwin, an HBO Documentary

The IMDB storyline synopsis of HBO’s recent1  documentary  ends with the statement, “the film takes a balanced look at this 150-year-old debate.”  It appears the film wants to take a balanced look, and they certainly had the opportunity, but if they were trying to achieve a balanced look, they failed miserably.  Either the writers are so steeped in anti-Christian evolutionist doctrine that they couldn’t see their own bias, or they willfully withheld important data that is relevant to the discussion. Or perhaps it’s a bit of both.

If they were seriously trying to present objections of those who “Question Darwin” why have they chosen to only present the case from the point of view of Bible believing Christians (of which I, of course, am one)? Such objections stem primarily from the fact that evolution is in direct contradiction to Biblical teaching. But that is not the only source of objections.  Why did they not also present the case of scientists who do not believe in evolution from a scientific point of view? Surely the existence of scientific objections to Darwin is not a newsflash to the writers of a documentary on Darwin. There is an entire site highlighting the hundreds of scientists who have signed their names to the statement:

” We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.”

The site is Dissentfromdarwin.org and you can look up all the scientists who dissent yourself.  Instead, the picture that is painted is that only fundamental, Bible believing Christians who,  as the narrator tells us,  “… believe their Bible is the Word of God, the ‘literal truth’ …”2,  don’t believe in Darwinian evolution. That only Christians object to Darwin is clearly not the case and so that is a  misrepresentation.  The fact that they have omitted any reference to any scientific objections to Darwin points to what this documentary is really about: questioning Christians who question Darwin.

Without speaking to those responsible for this production, one  can only speculate as to their motives. But based on what they choose to include (statements from Christians without any investigation as to whether they might be true)  and what they chose to omit (objections from scientists who disagree with Darwin’s theory), and the amount of time they spent explaining how Darwin arrived at his theory vs. the amount of time spent showing Christians who “question Darwin,” the motives seems clear: to present Christians as slightly irrational, slightly backwards, science rejecting people whose opinions should not be taken to seriously in this matter. Unfortunately,  too often Christians provide ample fodder for this distorted view.

A pastor3  is shown saying,  “If in the bible I were to find a passage that says 2 + 2 = 5, I wouldn’t question what I’m reading in the Bible, I would believe it, accept it as true, and then do my best to work it out and understand it.”  Brother, I understand what you’re saying.  It is incumbent on the reader of the Bible to investigate further to work out apparent contradictions so as to resolve the contradiction and understand what the Biblical writer was saying. (Of course that clarification was not in the documentary.)

For instance, Jesus while standing in the magnificent temple that took 46 years to build  is quoted as saying, “Destroy this temple and I will raise it again in three days.” (John 2.19) This was clearly misunderstood by his audience, the Jews. (As it would be by anyone in that context who didn’t know Jesus.) Thankfully John, the writer of the gospel explains what he meant – that he was referring to his body.  So Jesus was in essence saying if you kill me, I will physically raise this body and make it live again in 3 days, which is proof of my claims. A prediction and a promise he made good on that first Easter Sunday by his resurrection from the dead.

So I understand the pastor to be underscoring the importance of working out apparent contradictions – though he chose, in my estimation, a poor example to illustrate the point. Arithmetic statements by nature and design leave little room for interpretation; and as such don’t illustrate the broad (though clear) range of meaning that verbal statements may convey, particularly when set in various contexts. So while his point is valid, it was used by this production to stereotype Christians as following blindly without a rational basis. As I state in What is Rational Faith Part 2, Christian Faith does not require a blind leap of faith.

From there, the depiction of Christians gets worse, with a Professor  accusing Christians of lying to children because they teach as truth what’s taught in the Bible; things that contradict evolution such as creation and a young earth. His exact  statement was:

“If the only way you can get your beliefs to persists is to lie to children – which is what creationists do about the age of the earth and things of that nature, if that’s the only way this thing can persist, it’s now worth it, it should disappear.”4

Clearly,  instead of looking at scientists today who “Question Darwin” and how they view Darwin’s theory against today’s evidence, the writers chose to channel the accusations of the new atheists, who accuse Christians of child abuse for teaching them religion.5   Instead of looking at the scientific questions, they chose to look at how Christians interpret the Bible, apparently appalled that Christians can take Genesis “literally”6, and even more appalled that such an approach can be persuasive, noting:

“Creationism – the fastest growing branch of Christianity – not just here in the United States but worldwide.”

That fact is only surprising (and disconcerting) to those who have bought into Darwinism lock, stock and barrel.  While the program does an admirable job of correctly articulating Christian views – since they directly quote Christians, and even shows scenes from Ken Ham’s Creation Museum – still  it is quite apparent that they mean to question those views. With their disdain for the views of those who doubt Darwin apparent, their refusal to show scientists who doubt Darwin gives the show a strong appearance of suppressing the evidence.  This point is underscored by the fact that they had comments from former college professor Dr. Jobe Martin, who has published evidences against evolution in titles such as Incredible Creatures that Defy Evolution (I-III), but you don’t see any of his evidences; he provides history and commentary on Darwinism and its effects. Yet as philosopher of science and Intelligent Design advocate Dr. Stephen Meyer put it,

“For every evidence based argument for one of Darwin’s two key propositions, there is an evidence based counter argument.”7

You won’t see any of the counter arguments to Darwin in this documentary however.  In fact to the contrary,  Darwin is presented as a hard working, state of the art (even if it is 19th century art) scientist who worked tirelessly to gather evidence for his theory.  We are told of all the specimens he examined and the correspondences he had with other scientists.  Darwin no doubt considered himself an objective researcher. (We’re supposed to believe that too.)  We’re led to believe that his conclusions were valid based on all the research he did, however the documentary never bothers to mention or even question if the research that he conducted supported the conclusions he jumped to. The evidence suggests his research did not support his conclusions.

The documentary makes clear however that he suffered  greatly at the loss of his favored daughter Annie, and couldn’t understand why there should be evil in the world.  Outspoken creationist, Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis  graciously offers that if his theology professors had told him the source of evil was sin – not God, it may have changed his perspective.  What is more likely the case, (since as the documentary tells us, Darwin once intended to be a clergyman)  is that  Darwin knew what the Bible said about the cause of evil, but didn’t care. It appears Darwin  was determined to reject God in spite of the Bible’s explanation of evil in the world.

The documentary further wants you to believe Darwin let science direct his thinking, not his (anti-God) theology; and that he reluctantly came to the conclusion that evolution is true. We are supposed to believe that he was objective about it all because he is quoted as saying: Continue Reading

GULO and other Irrational Atheist Arguments – Part 1

7 Popular, but Fallacious Arguments used by Atheists


Evolutionists believe glowing eyes evolved multiple times independently.
Arguments that are demonstrably wrong yet still believed demonstrate the irrational nature of atheist and evolutionist belief.


The Biblical book of Acts recounts an event where a demon possessed girl who made a business for her masters from telling fortunes took to following around the Apostle Paul, shouting:

“…These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.”  She kept this up  for many days. Finally Paul became so troubled that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her.1

For those wondering why the apostle cast out a demon providing free advertisement for him, the answer is simple: God’s people are forbidden from having anything to do with demons2 – even if what they do is initially helpful. The amazing thing to Christians is that Paul put up so long with it. I mention it because I likewise feel troubled by the recurring contention of Atheists that the pseudo-gene known as GULO or GLO proves common descent. So let me
cast out this demon and be done with this irrational contention once and for all.  And while I’m at at it I’ll address 6 other irrational atheist arguments as well.  (I use irrational in the sense that these arguments are easily demonstrated to be fallacious.) So following are 7 arguments used by evolutionists and atheists alike which are logically fallacious – and thus those who continue to use them – having read this – are showing themselves to be irrational in their anti-Christian beliefs.


To understand the atheists’ and evolutionists’ contention for these first two items that they present as evidence – GULO and LUCA – one must first understand one of the core theories of evolution – common descent. I say one component because according to the well respected late evolutionist Ernst Mayr, there are 5 basic components that make up the theory of evolution.3 The theory of Common Descent states that all creatures – from the worm in the ground to your cat and dog to you and your family are all descendant from a single common ancestor. That’s why they talk of the evolutionary “tree of life.” The common ancestor is at the trunk of the tree, and all other species make up the limbs and leaves. This concept is key to the next two items.

1. “GULO proves Evolution”

What is GULO and how does it supposedly prove evolution?


GULO and the implications for evolution

L-gulonolactone oxidase – commonly known as GULO – is a gene designed to synthesize vitamin C from glucose or galactose, but in some groups of animals, the GULO gene does function in that manner, and so it is given the label of “pseudogene.”4

Additionally, the gene is “broken” reportedly in the same place in multiple species resulting in a loss of the ability to synthesize vitamin C.  Humans are not able to synthesize vitamin C. Neither are guinea pigs, chimpanzees and several species of monkeys along with some species of birds, bats and fish. Evolutionists look at these facts and conclude that the only way the gene could have broken in the sample place is if the gene of a common ancestor became broken, and that same broken gene was then inherited by subsequent descendants.  Thus to their way of thinking the only way this broken gene would show up in multiple species is if it started in a common ancestor.

Recent evidence refutes this conclusion, and the attempts by evolutionists to salvage their conclusion makes matters worse – Continue Reading

Detecting the Doctrines of Demons


A member of an alien species transfigured on Star Trek: The Next Generation
An impossible lie disguised as entertainment is still an impossible lie. This one is from the father of lies.

Honest atheists will tell you there is no purpose or meaning to life, no hope of an after life and all your thoughts, feelings and desires are merely the result of the electro-chemical reactions in your brain and thus are ultimately meaningless. As one such honest atheist put it:

But make no mistake: all our dreams, loves, opinions, and desires are figments of our primordial imagination1

Or as Cornell University atheist William Provine famously stated:

Let me summarize my views on what modern evolutionary biology tells us loud and clear — and these are basically  Darwin’s views. There are no gods, no purposes, and no goal-directed forces of any kind. There is no life after death. When I die, I am absolutely
certain that I am going to be dead. That’s the end of me. There is no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning in life, and no free will  for humans, either.2


Yet in spite of their profession that everything is meaningless (including they themselves), and that there is no hope of an afterlife;  yet still you see their glimmers of hope poking out from behind their denials like Kilroy’s head poking over the fence.

Knowing that the atheistic worldview can not support any sort of future meaning, hope or purpose does not stop some of  them from trying to inject these into atheistic life and thought through any number of means. One such means is entertainment. Case in point – an episode of Star Trek: the Next Generation, titled “Transfigurations” which posits that man may be able to evolve into a higher spiritual state. Here’s how the guest character explains it:

“Captain, my species is on the verge of a wonderful evolutionary change. A transmutation beyond our physical being. I am the first of my kind to approach this metamorphosis.  They tried to convince us that it was a sickness we’d never survive.  They destroyed anyone who exhibited the signs of the transfiguration.”3

Thus the decidedly atheistic Star Trek series displays a curiously messianic figure who has been exhibiting messianic attributes (like healing) just before he is seen completing another messianic miracle: the transfiguration.

For those not familiar with the biblical account from which this is clearly drawn, here is the salient portion:

17:1 After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves.  2 There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light.  3 Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.
Matthew 17.1-3

One is left to ponder – what is an atheistic series like Star Trek: the Next Generation doing displaying an episode with Christian themes? The answer lies in the explanation given – “a wonderful evolutionary change.” There it is – the atheistic hope. So once again, it is the theory of evolution that comes to the rescue. Just as it has rescued atheists from having absolutely no explanation for the origin of  life, now they are hoping it will provide them with hope for a spiritual future for mankind; a hope that professor Provine has explained and clearly stated that atheists have no business expecting or hoping for.

And while it may seem curious for an atheistic series like Star Trek  to focus on such overtly Christian themes, once you hear the explanation, it’s supposed to all make sense. But there’s still a problem – a problem that becomes obvious – once you understand the recurring lie of the enemy. Before going there, a word on the historical account.
Continue Reading

Denying the Obvious

Boeing 747 Intercontinental

Boeing 747 Intercontinental

Those who can’t see the design behind clearly designed things such as a 747 or a human cell are denying the obvious.

In his critique of Stephen Hawking’s “Grand Design”, John Lennox writes:

“…after disparaging philosophy, he then proceeds to engage in it. For, insofar as he is interpreting and applying science to ultimate questions  like the existence of God, Hawking is doing metaphysics. Now, let us be clear, I do not fault him for doing that; I shall be engaging in metaphysics  all through this book. My concern is that he does not seem to recognize this.”1

Stephen Hawking is not the only atheist who doesn’t realize he’s engaging in metaphysics by dealing with questions of God. And  that is not the only truth atheists fail to recognize. As I demonstrate below, many have a problem acknowledging that they are working not from scientific  fact, but from deeply held belief. Lennox is not the first to point out obvious errors to someone who refuses to acknowledge it.

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” (Mat 7:3 NIV)    

With these words Jesus advises careful and close self examination to avoid not only the charge of  hypocrisy, but this current  issue of self denial. After all one can hardly miss a “plank” or “beam” in the eye unless one is  intentionally refusing to acknowledge it. That’s denial. And while some may find it questionable to poke the bear by  appealing to a historical figure that some atheists deny, what is undeniable is the logic and wisdom of the advice.  I mention it because one of the  reasons for this blog is to point out errors, blind spots and logical inconsistencies that atheists tend to be either unaware of, or attempt to avoid by refusing to address. As a creationist attempting to point out such errors and inconsistencies,  I find I keep running into the same kinds of  invalid (and often irrational) arguments from atheists, such as:

  • – Intentionally missing the point, or avoidance of the point being made
  • – Factual errors in their arguments which they refuse to acknowledge or address
  • – Engaging in illicit arguments – based on their beliefs

Often, when you point out these errors, they are not addressed, not because the objection is not understood, but because there  simply is no  reasonable answer to the objection. So instead of acknowledging a problem with their world view, typically the response from atheists or agnostics will be show their inability to address the issue by to changing the subject and/or  launching ad hominem attacks. But in refusing to address a glaring problem in their argument or logic by attempting to side step it, it leads one to an inescapable conclusion:

Many who hold to an atheistic world view and belief system are in denial about the fact that what they consider a “scientific” rational for supporting a “scientific theory” is  actually nothing more than a deeply held, but irrational belief.

By irrational I mean untrue, or in the case of an argument, invalid for any of a number of reasons. By refusing to acknowledge or address such blatant errors what they are actually communicating is – Continue Reading

Science by Fiat & failed Judo throws – Cosmos’ failed attempts to defend evolution

"...is there question anywhere in our future?" - A few Good Men
In a failed attempted to defend evolutionary theory, Cosmos Episode 2 resorts to science without evidence, and evidently expects to be  believed “because I said so
.”

 

 

 

…is there a question evidence anywhere in our future?

In the classic 1980’s Wendy’s ad, Clara Peller, after looking at a hamburger that’s mostly bun and almost no meat famously asks, “Where’s the beef?” After watching the second episode of the reboot of Cosmos – titled Cosmos A Space Time Odyssey episode 2 – Some Of The Things Molecules Do I was reminded of that ad as I wondered “Where’s the science?”

This episode of Cosmos wants to convince you that evolution is true, and it’s
pulling out all the stops to do so – winsomely asking legitimate questions (Where do all the species come from?), their answer being evolutionary theory,  and that answer is  aided by great animations. And they include what was no doubt intended to be the coup de grace to end questions from Intelligent Design theorists: an attempted  judo throw of Intelligent Design arguments – by redirecting Intelligent Design arguments originally directed against evolution against Intelligent design theory.

Yes, Cosmos took a page straight out of a judo manual: Continue Reading

The Poor Marksmanship of Evolutionists

Evolutionists claim to be answering a problem posed to them, but they often avoid the problem or miss the mark.

Captain Kirk to Kahn - "Like a poor marksman you keep missing the target!"Kahn: Kirk  – You’re still alive old friend.

Kirk: Still, – “old friend”. You’ve managed to kill everyone else, but like a poor marksman, you keep missing the target!

And so admiral1 Kirk taunts Kahn, a genetically engineered “super” human who is supposed to be superior to us mere humans in every way – physically, mentally etc. In another classic line, when Kirk is trying to get Kahn to follow the Enterprise into a nebulae where both ships would lose the benefits of key systems such as shields, Kirk taunts Kahn again, saying “I’m laughing at the superior intellect,” a taunt sufficient enough to get Kahn to follow them in.

I don’t mean to taunt the poor misguided evolutionists, but I do hope the air of superiority they tend to express motivates them to try to provide an answer to the questions posed in the post “Windtalkers and DNA” because the responses I’ve had so far don’t address the issues. So like Kirk I say, like poor marksmen, they keep missing the target of the difficulties that DNA poses. So let me spell it out the difficulties for them, – and give them a clear target to hit. But first here is a sample of the poor marksmanship: Continue Reading