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|‘SEAHORSE DADS BUILT FOR BIRTH. Seahorses and pipefish males carry developing babies in a brood pouch and give birth to live young. Scientists at Sydney University have studied the process of how males gave birth. They originally thought it would be like the female birth process in other vertebrates that give birth to live young, where the babies grow in a uterus that has layers of smooth muscle in its walls. When the young are ready to be born hormones stimulate the smooth muscle to contract and expel the babies. Smooth muscle, also known as “involuntary muscle,” is the muscle found in internal organs and is controlled by hormones as well as the nervous system. However, the research team found the seahorse brood pouch had very little smooth muscle, and did not respond to hormones that stimulate contractions. They then compared the muscle and bone anatomy of male and female seahorses and found that male seahorses had three bones near the pouch opening. These had robust skeletal muscles attached to them and were oriented so that contraction of the muscles controlled the opening of the pouch. The research team suggest that seahorse males give birth by contracting these muscles and bending their bodies. This combination of movements opens the brood pouch and expels the babies. The researchers wrote: “We propose that these muscles control the opening of the seahorse pouch, allowing seahorse fathers to consciously control the expulsion of their young at the end of pregnancy.” In an article in “The Conversation” they commented: “Our unexpected results suggest male seahorses use different mechanisms to give birth compared to female pregnant animals.” They went on to say: “Despite the similarities that male seahorses share with female mammals and reptiles during pregnancy, it seems seahorse fathers have a unique way of giving birth to their young.”References: ABC News 2 September 2022; The Conversation 2 September 2022; Placenta, 6 August 2022, doi: 10.1016/j.placenta.2022.07.015|
ED. COM. These findings confirm the fact that seahorses are a unique kind of fish, with their own distinctive well designed structure and function. As such they are a challenge to the belief they evolved from a general fish ancestor, but confirmation of Genesis, which tells us that living creatures were created as fully functional separate kinds. All the evidence we have of studying living and fossil seahorses confirms they only reproduce after their kind, in their own distinctive way. Creation Research has a connection with seahorses. The seahorses studied in the research described came from Seahorse Australia, a seahorse breeding facility run by our Tasmanian colleagues Craig and Rachelle Hawkins. Next to this is our Tasmanian creation museum. John Mackay and Diane Eager will be joining Craig for the official opening of the museum this weekend. Diane will be bringing three seahorse fossils to the museum. These were originally obtained by our UK colleague Joseph Hubbard, but they had to wait until they could be safely carried to Australia when Diane returned from a trip the UK earlier this year.’
‘Alex regularly interviews John on Vision180 radio. Here they discuss the school science textbook.
Q John, let’s talk more about evolution. Well, biology I guess. Because I studied biology in senior school, and I remember going through my textbook…
A And I heard a rumour you actually did moderately well.
Q I did, just humbly. I was quite good at biology. I was I think second in the class. I wasn’t first. If I was in class with you, if we were the same age, you would have been first for sure.
So I remember going through my biology book, and looking at some of these things, and going ‘that doesn’t make sense as a Christian’. You start to question lots of things. So one of the things I remember, and I actually saw this on your website, that’s what jogged my brain, is about the peppered moths. SO the peppered moths — you can correct me if I’m wrong — they ‘change colour’ to suit their environment ‘over time’ because of the pollution in the air. When they were sticking on the trees, their prey would eat them, because they could see them so clearly with the pollution. So they changed.
A Good example of natural selection, adaptation, all the other things in the chapter on evolution. SO if moths can change colour, fishes can turn into radio commentators.
Q Are you calling me a fish?
A Well, David Attenborough is. An evolved fish. So we have to be honest about what this theory is all about. So I’m not surprised you felt challenged. And one reason we set up the Ask site on creationresearch.net is to put the answer that we’ll give you briefly now, in depth with more references.
So what’s interesting is, you find in England, they noticed in 1950 that a famous collection of moths was not quite the same as it was in the real England of the 1950s and 60s. So a man called Kettlewell actually began to study the number of black and white versions of the peppered moth. Now we’d known they’d been around for a long time, because if you go to the 1850s and 1860s, there are collections of these in the Naturalista Museum. And you can see the ratio of them. But when he counted them in the trees outside of Manchester, high industrial area, lots of smoke for a hundred years, trees dirty, what he noticed was the lighter ones seemed to be fewer in number, and the darker ones had increased in number, compared to the original trays in the Naturalista museum.
So as an evolutionist, he said: ‘Ah, example of evolutionary change’! The reason why the dark moths are increasing is because, in the old days, the trees were clean. The birds could see the dark moths on the clean trees. Peck! Less dark moths, right? Now in dirty England, in dirty trees, the birds can see the white moths, so peck! So it changes the number. So this was put up as an example of natural selection. Natural selection is used as a keystone to Darwin’s evolution and in Darwin’s evolution, fishes give rise to people.
Now secondly, I had to do a debate in Manchester University Museum, for public television, against the head of their evolutionist society. But what was interesting is, the reason why the people picked the University Museum for the debate was they had a big display on the peppered moths. And this is now in the early 2000s. And what they’d noticed by the 1990s, hmm, over in America where the trees didn’t get dirty, the moths changed numbers in the same way! So it can’t be due to the change in colour of the trees. Therefore it can’t be due to the birds being able to see the white ones easier, because something else is involved here. So therefore the museum display now said: ‘We no longer know if this is even connected to natural selection.’ In other words, it’s got no connection to evolution at all.
So go to creationresearch.net, and learn how to think. God gave us all a brain, and He expects us to use it. But one thing that stops us is our textbook sounds so authoritative. It teaches us what to think, and this stops us thinking.’https://vision180.org.au/2020/07/11/the-peppered-moth-controversy/
QUESTION: ‘MAN & WOMAN: Is there a real definition of man and woman in a world that wants fluid gender?
Answer by John Mackay and Diane Eager
The easy bit is that the word “man” refers to an adult human male, and a “woman” is an adult female human. But can we actually give a testable, provable meaning to the traditional words “male” and “female”, or are they just roles allocated for convenience which can be abandoned as life evolves?
This is a battle being fought hardest in school classrooms to conquer the minds of the next generation. Consider the following actual events:
A woman teacher was caught up in a staff room debate about who could use the girls’ toilets and change rooms at her schools. A transgender supporter claimed ‘We can be whatever gender we choose and therefore we must be allowed to use whichever toilet suits our choice’. The frustrated lady teacher retorted: “Why don’t we just look between their legs – that should settle it!”
Second event – November – 2020! Two Christian parents spend several frustrating hours with a Government school principal and deputy. What’s the problem? Their daughter has reported to them that their school class has been ordered to call one boy she.
Mum and dad ask why the school is forcing their child to lie. ‘But that’s just your opinion’ retorts the deputy. ‘If the boy feels he’s a girl we have to accept that. It’s the law!’
But my wife and I are both scientists, state the parents. We can give you a testable definition of what a male or female is. All the creatures we work with have very observable features of male and female. The boy is the one with the testicles who makes sperm. And in every case they are provably different from the females who make ova and babies. And we humans are the same.
So why are you teaching my daughter to lie? And why are you lying about this yourselves? Did you intend to tell us as parents that you had ordered the class to call this boy a girl?
“No,” replied the increasingly embarrassed principal, while a very emphatic “NO!” was uttered by an obvious radical feminist deputy. Government policy is that we must accept whatever gender the students feel they are, and this student feels they are female no matter what your opinion is.
The result? Despite being long-term participants and active supporters on school councils, both parents advise the Principal that because you’re teaching our children to lie and you are lying about it, our children are out of here today – not this afternoon, but right now!
Of course, the school authorities are rightly concerned about what they should tell students’ parents, especially other Christian parents in the school.
How should we react when atheist governments and education are actually lying about gender and sex? How do we define boy or girl, male or female, man or woman? And can we go deeper than that and have a meaningful scientific and legally enforceable definition?
Male and Female
Let’s start with the obvious differences between what we traditionally call gender. Being male or female, whether infant or adult, is provably determined by a person’s chromosomes, and indicated by the resulting reproductive systems and naturally produced hormones. At different stages of a person’s life reproductive systems and related hormonally induced changes to body structures will go through maturation and degenerative processes, but an individual remains either male or female throughout his or her life, from conception, through childhood and adulthood, to death.
The chromosomes that determine whether a person is male and female are named X and Y. A male has an X and a Y, usually written as XY, a female has two Xs, usually written as XX. These are inherited at conception and remain in every cell in the body, with one notable exception for each sex* (see below) for the rest of a person’s life.
Therefore, it doesn’t matter what manipulation is done to the body or mind after conception – a person is male or female throughout life. It doesn’t matter what bits they may get cut off or added on, or any alterations caused by the chosen addition of alternative sex hormones or by blocking their own hormones. In spite of efforts by transgender activists to drive a wedge between gender and sex, neither gender nor sex are determined by an individual’s choice, or by feelings, by externally administered drugs or hormones, or by social acceptance of someone’s choice.
*The only cells in the body that do not have the XY or XX chromosome identity are the reproductive cells, i.e. sperm in a male and ova (eggs) in a female. When these cells are formed the chromosomes are separated and each sex cell gets one of the sex chromosomes. Therefore, sperm will have either an X or a Y, ova will have one of two X’s. But such cells are still male or female, as only males can produce sperm and only females can produce ova?
Where Did Male and Female Come From?
Each human being is formed from the union of one sperm, carrying an X or a Y chromosome, and one ovum, carrying an X chromosome. An X carrying sperm will give rise to a female when its X combines with the X in the ovum. Y carrying sperm give rise to a male when it combines with the X in the ovum. This process can be traced back through the generations to the first human beings – Adam and Eve. Sex is not something you can evolve. It has to be right first time or you die out!
Adam was created male. Therefore, he had an X and a Y chromosome. Eve was created from tissue taken from Adam. All the components needed to make a woman were already in Adam. To make a female from male tissue God took out the Y chromosome and duplicated an X. From then on human beings have reproduced by the process described above.
Adam and Eve were created individually by God. Adam was made from “dust of the ground” i.e. raw materials, and Eve was made from tissue taken from Adam. They were not derived from any other living creature. Human beings are unique and separate creations, and therefore it is irrelevant if other living things, such as fish or plants, can change sex in certain circumstances.
So, theistic evolutionists take note: Those who want to believe in evolution but defend God’s word on men and women, and marriage, will find themselves on shaky ground. If evolution is true, human ancestry goes back to creatures with no distinct sexes and/or interchangeable sexes, and those who oppose God’s rules can claim that blurring the sexes is just part of the natural world, and Christians should not impose their views on it.
It is time to humbly accept that in the beginning God created humans male and female just like He said He did.’https://askjohnmackay.com/mand-woman-is-there-a-real-definition-of-man-and-woman-in-a-world-that-wants-fluid-gender/
‘ANTARCTIC FLOWERING PLANTS “A CLIMATE WARNING”: Scientists from Italy and UK have been
studying the plants on Signy Island, a small island near Antarctica. They found two native flowering plants named Deschampsia antarctica and Colobanthus quitensis have increased their growth rate and range of habitation over the past decade. They are low growing grasses that grow in clumps on an otherwise rocky, snow-covered island. Researchers suggest the increased grow rate and expansion is the result of warmer summer temperatures and less trampling by fur seals. Whilst the changing conditions are good for these two plants the researchers are concerned that increased temperatures may allow non-native species to gain a foothold and cause “irreversible biodiversity loss and changes to these fragile and unique ecosystems”. They concluded that if global warming proceeded according to the worst case scenario proposed by the IPCC “Earth’s climate by as soon as 2030 could resemble warmer periods such as those recorded during the mid-Pliocene”.
References: Science Alert 19 February 2022, Current Biology 14 February 2022, doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2022.01.074.
ED. COM. These researchers admit the earth has been warmer in the past. Whilst we don’t agree with the
evolutionary timetable that places the Pliocene warm period millions of years ago, we agree there is ample evidence in the fossil record of a warmer world with lush vegetation in the past. So why do these
researchers complain about new warming and new growth? A warm environment with plenty of lush
vegetation makes for a better place for living things than the present cold, barren environment of the
islands around Antarctica.
Similar changes have happened in the northern hemisphere, where we know from history some frozen
wastelands, such as Greenland and Iceland were once warm enough for people to live and grow crops.
The dire predictions about “non-native” species moving in exposes the hypocrisy of modern
environmentalists – they believe in evolution, which is a process of survival of the fittest. The whole concept of “native” species assumes these plants evolved here and cannot live anywhere else. The reality is these plants survive here because others can’t, and there is no reason they could not or should not grow somewhere else given the opportunity. Currently these two Antarctic grasses are the fittest, but if the climate changes and other plants can move in, the new more successful ones will be the fittest.
Again, we are left with the hypocrisy of environmental evolutionists – they claim to believe in continual
evolution, but they don’t want anything doing it!
The IPCC’s latest report, with all its dire predictions, came out in August 2021 and has now been endorsed
by the United Nations.’https://creationresearch.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/Enews/enews-20220303.pdf
Good Ole Charles ‘Darwin proposed that evolutionary changes occur by a long series of small incremental changes over long periods of time. Six decades later Richard Goldschmidt proposed that evolution happened by sudden large changes resulting in new organisms with new structures and functions, which he called “hopeful monsters”. A group of evolutionary biologists at University of California Santa Barbara claim to have found an example of a sudden large change brought about by mutations in a single gene in a plant named Aquilegia coerulea, otherwise known as the Colorado Blue Columbine.
They noticed that approximately one quarter of the population of A. coerulea in central Colorado had flowers that lacked the distinctive nectar spurs seen in Columbine flowers. Instead, the flowers had an extra row of sepals. They studied the genetics of normal and spurless plants and found the change resulted from mutations to a gene named APETALA3-3. The mutations made the gene non-functional.
Hodges, a professor of Biology at UC Santa Barbara explained: “This finding shows that evolution can occur in a big jump if the right kind of gene is involved. When it’s broken, those instructions aren’t there anymore, and that causes it to develop into a completely different organ, a sepal.” He went on to comment: “We did not have a good example of a hopeful monster due to a single genetic change until now.”
The researchers wondered how the loss of function mutations survived in such a large proportion of the population, especially as the mutant flowers lacked nectar spurs. The plants are normally pollinated by moths that feed by inserting their proboscis into the spur, which positions the moth’s head in the right place to collect pollen. According to Scott Hodges, “To get that many of this mutant type really suggests that there’s selection favouring it somehow.” It turns out the mutant plants can be pollinated by bees so they could still reproduce, but the selection advantage that enabled them to survive and thrive was the fact that aphids and deer, which feed on Columbines, did not like the mutant plants as much as the normal plants.
References: ScienceDaily 16 February 2022; Current Biology 16 February 2022 doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2022.01.066
Editorial Comment: Richard Goldschmidt (1878-1958), who proposed the “hopeful monster” theory also recognised that some sudden large changes result in loss of function and he called these “hopeless monsters”. As the mutant columbines can survive, due to being disliked by aphids and deer, they not hopeless, but they are not hopeful either.
As the researchers admit, the change was caused by a gene being broken, i.e. a loss of genetic information. That is degeneration, not evolution. The plant has not gained a structure it did not have before. In fact, it has lost an important structure, the nectar spurs, which reduces its options for being pollinated. If moths with their long proboscises try to feed from the centre of the flower, rather than from the nectar spurs their heads are not close enough to collect any pollen.
The extra row of sepals is not a new structure, and the broken gene didn’t form them. The plant already had sepals. The extra row results from the loss of the signal to make petals muddling the complex sequence of genetic control that occurs during flower formation.
An extreme form extra sepals resulting from muddled genetic signalling occurs in flowers known as green roses. In these the flower bud can only make sepals, and it makes multiple rows of them resulting in a cluster of green sepals with no other flower parts. These are definitely “hopeless monsters” as they cannot reproduce themselves, but they survive because people like them and propagate them by grafting. Creation Research has several specimens in our collection of unusual plants.’https://creationfactfile.com/6475/hopeful-monster-flowers/
‘SCIENTISTS’ BALDERDASH BEATS GURUS: An international team of researchers have conducted a survey to see whether people have higher regard for statements made by scientists compared with spiritual leaders, even if the people don’t understand what has been stated. To do this they presented people with apparently erudite statements that were really nonsense generated by a computer algorithm that puts together modern-day buzzwords and technical terms into grammatically correct but meaningless sentences. The statements were neither overtly scientific or religious. The team surveyed 10,195 participants from 24 countries, asking them to rate how credible they found the statements. The sources of the statements were ascribed to either a person with a fictitious name and described as “a spiritual authority in world religions” or to someone else with a different fictitious name yet described as “a scientific authority in the field of particle physics”. Overall, the survey revealed people gave higher credibility rating to the “scientific authority” source than the “spiritual leader”, even by people who identified as being “religious”. The research team called this phenomenon the “Einstein effect” and summarised their results: “across all 24 countries and all levels of religiosity, scientists held greater authority than spiritual gurus”. They then concluded: “These findings suggest that irrespective of one’s religious worldview, across cultures science is a powerful and universal heuristic that signals the reliability of information”.
References: Science Alert 13 February 2022; Nature Human Behaviour published online 7 February 2022, doi: 10.1038/s41562-021-01273-8.
ED. COM. This last statement may also sound like it came out of the balderdash producing algorithm, but it does make sense if you understand the term “heuristic” which means enabling someone to discover or learn something for themselves. Therefore, these researchers were claiming that people see science, and therefore the teachings of scientists, as the way to find the truth. It is interesting that even people who considered themselves religious put scientists above spiritual leaders. This has provably happened in the Christian church over the past century and a half, as the evolutionary words of Darwin, Lyell, Dawkins and Attenborough and their followers have been elevated above the Word of God on Six Day Creation, Noah’s Flood and other Biblical issues.
It pays to remember that when something is not true, it won’t ever be made true by being said by scientists, no matter how many university degrees they may have. To find the truth you need to go to the One who is the truth – The Lord Jesus Christ. He spoke the truth and backed up His words with actions that only the Creator could do.
Finally, don’t let anyone bluff you with ‘heuristic’ balderdash or big words. If something looks or sounds like balderdash it probably is, and being said by a scientific or religious authority will not change that. God’s Word uses plain language, meant for all to understand. If someone claiming to have scientific or religious authority tries to make it more complicated than it is, or change the plain meaning to suit current popular theories, don’t let them confuse you. If someone tries to bluff you with big words don’t be intimidated. Politely ask them to explain. If they can’t give you an answer in plain language, they probably don’t know what they are talking about.
We were recently called upon to deal with this issue when we were asked about a book by Ken Coulson, a Science PhD who proposed a new theory that to many appears to reconcile Darwin’s and Lyell’s theories with Genesis. The same author also made claims about dogs and evolution. For our response to both his claims see the questions:
What do you think of the book ‘Creation Unfolding’ by Ken Coulson? Is it evolutionist? Answer here.
Dogs have undergone many changes since people have been breeding them. Surely this is evolution? Answer here. Also see the item on dog genes in this newsletter below.
Further questions related to the issue of scientific authority:
A School Chaplain claims students lose faith unless we teach God used evolution. How do you reply? Answer here.
Can you show me one error made by Richard Dawkins? Answer here.‘https://mailchi.mp/creationresearch.net/creation-research-email-update-23rd-february-2022?e=ce21bf0337
‘Welcome to a world where Chinese leaders are rewriting the Bible to suit communism and make Jesus a sinner like everybody else. Where Trudeau is reportedly behaving as a Communist dictator while Boris in England is removing every last restriction concerning Covid. What a crazy mixed up world where facts are so often FACT CHECKED by experts who portray truth as fiction and sell us lies as fact and persuade governments to punish any who expose their falsehoods. Down under we are looking at MASKS possibly being removed next week but who knows what else after that. Yet a little freedom is a step in the right direction and very much appreciated.
Beware Chinese Communist leaders – God’s Word warns of harsh downfall to any individual or nation who dares interfere with His Word – it’s the beginning of the end of what you do. Beware Trudeau when you treat people like your own pet ants, they will turn and bite, and Boris you could probably do with a little more discretion but you are heading in the right direction mate; and all you scientists who spend your life denying the obvious truth that “God created, that He alone is truth, and He did come to this earth as the sinless Christ to give us the only freedom that truly exists both now and for eternity”.’https://mailchi.mp/creationresearch.net/creation-research-email-update-23rd-february-2022?e=ce21bf0337
RICH DIVERSITY OF FOSSILS FROM “THE ‘DEAD’ HEART OF AUSTRALIA”. A team of researchers in Australia have been studying a mass of exquisitely preserved fossils found in the Central Tablelands in the Australian state of New South Wales. The deposit contains a great variety of plants and animals, including insects, spiders, fish and a bird feather. The fossils are so well preserved that microscopic structures and soft tissues can be clearly seen. Scientists were also able to identify pollen grains on the insects, and the stomach contents of fish. According to Matthew McCurry, of the Australian Museum, who led the study, “Our analyses suggest that the fossils formed when iron-rich groundwaters drained into a billabong, and that a precipitation of iron minerals-encased organisms that were living in or fell into the water.”
The rich diversity of the fossils, including many rainforest plants indicate they lived in a warm, moist environment. McCurry commented: “The fossils we have found prove that the area was once a temperate, mesic rainforest and that life was rich and abundant here in the Central Tablelands, NSW.” The fossil site is dated as 16 million years old, putting it in the Miocene epoch, considered to be a time when Australia was starting to dry out, and the landscape was changing from widespread rainforest to scrubland and arid regions.
ED. COM. The description “The ‘Dead’ Heart of Australia” comes from the headline in Science Alert and SciTech Daily. While this may inspire visions of scientists toiling in a lifeless desert in a remote area of outback Australia, the Central Tablelands is a farming and woodland region in the mountain range that runs parallel to the eastern seaboard. This region may not be lifeless, but it is no longer a rainforest. It has a temperate climate with frosty winters, and the areas that are not farmed are dry sclerophyll forest, consisting mainly of gum trees and scrubland. This fossil site, with its rich diversity of plants and animals, is a good reminder that climate change is real and Australia has dried out significantly, but it happened without any human industry.
For those who don’t speak Australian, a billabong is an oxbow lake. However, merely falling into a lake would never preserve the delicate structures and soft tissues found in these fossils. The exquisite preservation of these fossils could only happen if they were rapidly and deeply buried before any decay processes could destroy the delicate structures. Such fine preservation and the huge variety of organisms, including fish, land animals and land plants, fits well however with it being a washed in deposit, where floodwaters have washed across the landscape collecting and mixing whatever was living there and then dumping it quickly.
PS – Climate change has been happening ever since God warned Noah that there would be hot times and cold times as long as the earth endured. See Genesis 8:22.’https://mailchi.mp/creationresearch.net/creation-research-email-update-9th-february-2022?e=ce21bf0337