The Ultrastructure of Lichen Cells—Part 1

      Comments Off on The Ultrastructure of Lichen Cells—Part 1

by Mark H. Armitage and George F. Howe
CRS Quarterly, Volume 44 Number 1, Summer 2007, pp. 40-53.

Lichens are a life-form composed of a fungus called the “mycobiont,” growing in close union with some alga or blue-green bacterium known as the “phycobiont” (Howe and Armitage, 2002). Some workers consider this to be a symbiotic union, while others see it as a mild form of parasitism. Lichen pigments probably play many important physiological roles, while their brilliant colors provide considerable aesthetic enjoyment (Howe and Armitage, 2003). The versatile array of lichen asexual reproductive bodies and other features of the lichen upper surface have been illustrated by using scanning electron photomicrography (Armitage and Howe, 2004). Lichen algae and fungi are woven together forming “tissues” that resemble the tissues of unrelated “higher plants” in a generalized fashion (Armitage and Howe, 2006). In this two-part article (our fifth lichen paper) we show that the cellular ultrastructure of lichen provides evidence favoring design and direct creation. Our hope here, as with the other lichen papers, is that the readers’ knowledge of the Creator and their esteem for His handiwork will be enhanced by the study of lichens.

Read more…

PDF of article


German minister caught in creationism row

      Comments Off on German minister caught in creationism row

by Derek Scally in Berlin
Saturday`s Irish Times (Ireland), page 11
July 21, 2007

A German minister for culture and education has come under fire for suggesting that the biblical story of creation should be discussed in school science classes.

The suggestion by Karin Wolff, culture minister in the western state of Hesse, appears to call into question the separation of church and state in German schools and has caused alarm among leftwing politicians.

They are wary of the “creationist” teachings of some evangelical Christians in the US, in particular the idea of “intelligent design”: that many life forms have elements too complex to be explained by the random process of evolution, proposed by Charles Darwin in 1859, and must instead have had a creator.

Ms Wolff, a theologian and former religion teacher, told the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper that she saw “no contradiction between biological evolution and the biblical explanation for origin of the world”.

read more…


Portuguese Newspaper Spotlights Creation Museum

      Comments Off on Portuguese Newspaper Spotlights Creation Museum

No EUA, a abertura de um museu dos erros
by Thomas Dévry
Publico (Portugal), page 8, P2 section
10 Jul 2007

Fundado pelos criacionistas, um museu recém-inaugurado no Kentucky apresenta uma história do mundo decalcada da Bíblia com muitos dinossauros à mistura.

a Por uma razão desconhecida, as crianças americanas passam um tempo considerável a engolir tudo que podem sobre dinossauros. Não é, pois, de admirar, que um museu que procure moldar o espírito das crianças exiba quantidades generosas de triceratopos, diplococos e outros estegossauros, em plástico ou animados, tal como se fossem robôs. Instituições sérias, como o Smithonian Museum, em Washington, já recorreram a esta estratégia de atracção dos mais novos.

read more…


French newspaper coverage of Answers in Genesis Creation Museum

      Comments Off on French newspaper coverage of Answers in Genesis Creation Museum

Aux Etats-Unis, l’ouverture d’un musée des erreurs
by Thomas Dévry
Liberation (France), page 6
July 7, 2007

Pour une raison inconnue, les petits Américains passent un temps considérable à ingurgiter tout ce qu’ils peuvent sur les dinosaures. Il n’est donc pas étonnant qu’un musée qui cherche à modeler l’esprit des enfants déploie quantité de triceratops, diplodocus et autres stégosaures, en plastique ou animés tels des robots. Des institutions fort sérieuses, comme le Smithonian Museum à Washington, sont passées par là. Mais voilà, à Petersburg, au coeur des collines du Kentucky, les tyrannosaures et quelques vélocirapteurs batifolent en parfaite harmonie aux côtés d’enfants souriants (en plastique aux aussi). Ce tableau, propre à effrayer tout spectateur de Jurassic Park, a le don de hérisser le poil de n’importe quel naturaliste qui sait que les dinosaures et les humains ont raté leur rendez-vous de 60 millions d’années. Pas ici, car nous sommes au musée de la Création, fondé sur la parole littérale de la Bible (Ancien et Nouveau Testament), qui fait remonter l’âge de notre bonne vieille planète Terre à 6 000 années maximum.

read more…


Science Fiction Goes Back to the Future in Nature

      Comments Off on Science Fiction Goes Back to the Future in Nature

Nature July 5 2007The science fiction issue
Nature, Vol. 448, No. 7149, pages 1-104

05 Jul 2007

In this special issue of Nature, we celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the ‘many worlds’ interpretation of quantum mechanics with an editorial, two news features, an essay and a commentary presented together in the science fiction web focus.

Also this week is the return of Nature’s award-winning weekly science fiction short story series, Futures.

View the July 5, 2007 Nature table of contents


One tonne soup. Villagers brewed dinosaur bones.*

      Comments Off on One tonne soup. Villagers brewed dinosaur bones.*

Power-hungry Chinese ate dinosaur fossils
The Washington Times Daily, page A10
July 5, 2007

BEIJING (AP) — Villagers in central China dug up a ton of dinosaur bones and boiled them in soup or ground them into powder for traditional medicine, believing they were from flying dragons and had healing powers.

Until last year, the fossils were being sold in Henan province as “dragon bones” at about 2 yuan, or about 25 cents, per pound, scientist Dong Zhiming told the Associated Press yesterday.

Mr. Dong, a professor with the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said when the villagers found out the bones were from dinosaurs they donated 440 pounds to him and his colleagues for research.

“They had believed that the ‘dragon bones’ were from the dragons flying in the sky,” he said.

The calcium- rich bones were sometimes boiled with other ingredients and fed to children as a treatment for dizziness and leg cramps. Other times they were ground up and made into a paste that was applied directly to fractures and other injuries, he said.

The practice had been going on for at least two decades, he said.

Mr. Dong was among a team of scientists who recently excavated in Henan’s Ruyang County a 60-foot-long plant-eating dinosaur, which lived 85 million to 100 million years ago. Local officials held a press conference Tuesday, showing off the find to the public for the first time.

Another two dinosaur fossils were being excavated in the area, which is rich in fossilized dinosaur eggs, Mr. Dong said.

View Washington Times article

* Headline from The Guardian (UK).


Bashing Behe’s Book – The Edge of Evolution: the Search for the Limits of Darwinism

      Comments Off on Bashing Behe’s Book – The Edge of Evolution: the Search for the Limits of Darwinism

Design? Maybe. Intelligent? We have our doubts
Reviewed by Michael Ruse
The Globe and Mail Weekend, (Canada), page D5
02 Jun 2007

In 1961, at the height of the Cold War, biblical scholar John Whitcomb and hydraulic engineer Henry Morris published a book, Genesis Flood, arguing for a “young Earth” history of the origins of the world. According to the best of modern science, they claimed, everything happened exactly as described in the early chapters of Genesis – six literal days of creation, humans last, worldwide deluge.

read The Globe & Mail article…

British evolutionist Richard Dawkins reviews Behe’s book for the Sunday, July 1, New York Times Book Review section: Inferior Design. The review also appeared in the International Herald Tribune Culture section. Dawkins said:

Continue reading


They don’t have a prayer – Atheist camp for kids

      Comments Off on They don’t have a prayer – Atheist camp for kids

Ed Kagin, mentioned later in this article (first printed in the June 27 Chicago Tribune) , was the original organizer of the Rally for Reason protest at the Answers in Genesis Creation Museum opening on Memorial Day, May 28, 2007. We say “original” because the left-wing Defending the Constitution organization (DefCon) made a sudden appearance at the last minute (dressed as carpetbaggers) and hijacked Kagin’s protest as their own. DefCon arrived with money, but little in the way of boots on the ground. In the days leading up to the protest, Kagin had boasted of thousands of atheists, freethinkers, humanists and even *GASP* a Christian attending the rally! (United Church of Christ Pastor Mendle Adams — long time opponent of God’s Word the Creation Museum.) Despite all the hype and $upport of DefCon, only about a hundred protestors showed up…

And, for those not familiar with the term “carpetbagger”, Wikipedia gives a nice definition:

“Carpetbaggers” was coined from the carpet bags used as inexpensive luggage. It was originally a derogatory term, suggesting an exploiter who does not plan to stay. Although the term is still an insult in common usage, in histories and reference works it is now used without derogatory intent. Since 1900 the term has also been used to describe outsiders attempting to gain political office or economic advantage, especially in areas (thematically or geographically) to which they previously had no connection.


They don’t have a prayer
by Ron Grossman
National Post (Canada), page A3
03 Jul 2007

At the same time youngsters at Bible camps across the nation are reciting “Now I lay me down to sleep; I pray the Lord my soul to keep,” children at Camp Quest are climbing into their bunks confident there is no one out there to hear those prayers.

Proudly proclaiming the motto “Beyond Belief,” Camp Quest bills itself as America’s first sleep-away summer camp for atheists. Founded in 1996, it has inspired four similar camps across the nation for children whose parents are either opposed or indifferent to religion.

Much of what goes on here amid the cornfields of southwestern Ohio is little different from any other camp. Campers canoe, practise archery skills, and go on nature hikes.

They also engage in some unusual rainy-day discussions of philosophical issues. Children who barely come up to an adult’s waist toss around terms like “circular logic.” And those nature hikes focus on the beauty of evolution, unaided by any unseen hand.

read more…