Charles Darwin was right!?
"Charles Darwin was right and the Creationists
are wrong" proclaims Anthony Browne, Environment Editor, The Times (London,
UK) 20 Feb 2003, in an article about the discovery of "the first new
species to have evolved naturally in Britain in the past 50 years". In 1979
Richard Abbott, a plant evolutionary biologist from St Andrews University
(Scotland) noticed a weed growing on waste ground in York. The weed had not been
classified. Abbott recently carried out a study of the weed's DNA and found it
is a natural hybrid between the common Groundsel and the Oxford Ragwort. It
produces fertile offspring, it breeds true and does not breed with its
"parent" species, thus it is technically a new species.
"Evolution in action" according to the Times.
John's comment: The standard biological definition of a
species is a group of living organisms that breed with one another but are
reproductively isolated from other living organisms. By this definition the York
Groundsel is a different species from the common Groundsel and Oxford Ragwort.
However, it is not an example of evolution. Hybrids are the result of re-mixing
already existing genes. Evolution from molecules to man can occur only if a
living organism can form new genes for characteristics that did not exist
before. This discovery is probably evidence that Groundsel and Oxford ragwort
are descended from a common ancestor which was a member of an original Genesis
Since Creation, original kinds appear to have been split into
smaller less varied gene pools due to genetic mutation and the geographic
isolation that followed Noah's flood. Occasionally, as happened with the York
Groundsel, some previously separated genes are re-mixed. The splitting and
re-mixing of genes within kinds has probably occurred many times but it is only
since DNA mapping that it can be shown to have occurred.
Genipulated bacterium makes "Unnatural" Amino Acid,
according to a report in ScienceNOW, 29 January 2003. Living cells make proteins
from twenty different amino acids, although other amino acids do exist. Two
years ago scientists at Scripps Research Institute, California manipulated the
genes of a common bacterium, E. coli, so it incorporated into its proteins an
amino acid not from the normal twenty. Now they have further
"genipulated" the bacterium to make a new amino acid as well as
incorporate it into its proteins. This involved splicing enzyme producing genes
from another kind of bacterium into E. coli. Harvard chemist and specialist in
molecular evolution commented the experiment was very exciting because it
provides a new way to explore evolution.
John's comment: Whatever this bacterium is doing it is
not evolving. It is providing an excellent example of how intelligent design and
creative manipulation from outside are needed to introduce new characteristics
into living organisms. The chemists and biologists involved in this project were
making use of cellular machinery that already existed. Consider how much more
intelligence and manipulation is needed to design and build a bacterium from raw
materials. We have also used this article to release our newly created word:
GENIPULATION, meaning genetic manipulation. We hope you like it, and note that
it didn't evolve, any more than the bacterium did.
New finds of fossil land plants in "Marine"
Limestone reports Geologist Bob Powell, USA, (February 2003). The plants were
found west of Nashville in the St Louis formation which is even lower down the
geologic column than the land plants we discovered in Hartselle Shale, near the
Cumberland Plateau (2001). No land plants are registered in the TN geological
archives from either "marine" location. The discovery was made by
Bob's youngest daughter, Marilyn, and a friend as they were out biking. The new
plants are long strap-like structures up to1.5cm (¾ inch) wide and have been
found in crystalline limestone which seems devoid of any other fossils. Your
support enables us to do further exploration and research. We praise God for His
help in such discoveries.
Cloned Matilda waltzes off stage February 2003, as
"Matilda the sheep - the first animal successfully cloned in Australia
(April 2000)" dies. Scientists at the South Australian Research and
Development Institute, outside Adelaide, have expressed astonishment and an
independent autopsy has failed to identify the reason for her death. According
to the Courier Mail February 7th, 2003, "Scientists say that her death was
surprising as Matilda had been healthy and had even produced three offspring
herself. However, they say its unlikely that her death was connected with the
fact that she had been a clone."
John's comment: One setback coming from the cloning of
mammals appears to be inherited maturity. The age of the body which cells are
taken from to produce clones seems to be producing aging symptoms in the
offspring, whereas embryos produced by normal means don't suffer this problem to
anywhere near the same degree. This may not be the yet proven cause of Matilda's
demise but it serves as a useful reminder that when man tries to play God, we
only end up proving ourselves a little devil. It also makes you pity any
children the Raelians are claiming to have cloned, doesn't it!
Dogs out-perform chimps at taking human hints, according
to a study published in Science, vol 298, p1634, 22 Nov 2002. Biological
anthropologist Brian Hare and scientists at Harvard University and Wolf Hollow
Wolf Sanctuary compared the ability of domestic dogs, wolves and chimps to find
hidden food using cues from humans who looked and pointed towards the place
where the food was hidden. The food had been sealed so the dogs could not use
their sense of smell. Domestic dogs performed best. Even young puppies with
little previous experience with humans responded well to the visual cues,
indicating that the ability is built in to dogs, much to the surprise of Brian
Hare who expected the chimps to win. He commented to Nature Science Update (www.nature.com/nsu)
"Chimps are our closest relatives, but they co-operate and communicate with
humans very poorly."
John's comment: Genesis 1-7 describes land animals in
three categories: livestock or beasts of the field; wild animals or beasts of
the earth; and animals that crawl on the ground or creeping things. It seems
that right from the beginning some animals were meant to live in closer
association with humans than others do, even though human beings had dominion
over them all. After the Fall and the Flood the wild animals became even wilder
and many lost whatever affinity with humans they had. However, the animals we
now call domestic animals even if they went wild would have retained some of
their original affinity with human beings. The scientific study described above
indicates dogs were always in the domestic category and chimpanzees in the wild
For more information on Creation Research : www.creationresearch.net
John Mackay will be back in New Zealand in the
Auckland/Hamilton area July 25th to August 11th, 2003. Those of you wanting
ministry at this time please contact the Australian head office at [email protected]
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