Geoscience Research Institute

News Archives – July-Dec 2013

DISCLAIMER:  The following links do not necessarily represent endorsement by the Geoscience Research Institute, but are meant to provide information from a wide range of viewpoints and expertise on scientific issues, religious issues, and the interface between the two, particularly in the area of creation and evolution.





  • Forgotten aliens: We should hunt for viruses in space / 1 January 2014 / Ken Stedman / New Scientist, n.2948, p.42-43 — viruses outnumber all cellular life forms on Earth at least 10 to 1 — so we can’t ignore them in our search for extraterrestrial life, argues astrovirologist
  • Goodwill hunting: Random ants of kindness / 24 December 2013 / Laura Spinney / New Scientist, n.2948, p.62-63 — it’s the season of selflessness, so meet some unlikely altruists — the ants that work tirelessly to rescue their sisters
  • 2014 preview: First million-year-old genome / 24 December 2013 / Michael Marshall / New Scientist, n.2948, p.26 — be it mammoth, penguin or a distant human ancestor, the first genome sequence to pass this milestone will be a triumph
  • Dawkins: ‘I’d rather be remembered for science’ / 23 December 2013 / Rowan Hooper / New Scientist, n.2948, p.40-41 — the world’s pre-eminent atheist speculates about why he polarises people, what prompts him to take on religion, and whether humans are built to be irrational
  • Mega-Eruptions Drove the Mother of Mass Extinctions / 20 December 2013 / Richard A. Kerr / Science, v.342, n.6165, p.1424 — huge volcanic eruptions triggered the biggest mass extinction 252 million years ago
  • Genomic Clues to the Ancestral Flowering Plant / 20 December 2013 / Keith Adams / Science, v.342, n.6165, p.1456-1457 — the genome sequence of Amborella trichopoda provides insights into the molecular evolution of flowering plants
  • There’s no resting place for the human race / 19 December 2013 / New Scientist, n.2948, p.5 — this year, many fixed points in the human condition have begun to look distinctly movable
  • First ever animals were made of jelly, not sponge / 17 December 2013 / Catherine de Lange / New Scientist, n.2948, p.10 — the finding that comb jellies might have been the earliest animal on the tree of life challenges our understanding of the early evolution on Earth
  • Duck-billed dinosaur had rooster-like cock comb / 17 December 2013 / Chelsea Whyte / New Scientist, n.2948, p.15 — the skeleton of a duck-billed dinosaur, Edmontosaurus regalis, unearthed in Canada, has a never-before-seen crest atop its skull
  • Did asteroid fracking cause Earth’s worst extinction? / 16 December 2013 / Colin Barras / New Scientist, n.2947, p.42-46 — Hit Earth in the wrong spot, and you risk releasing massive amounts of methane. That’s how a space rock might have wiped out over 90 per cent of species.
  • New Results Send Mars Rover on a Quest for Ancient Life / 13 December 2013 / Richard A. Kerr / Science, v.342, n.6164, p.1300-1301 — recent results from the Curiosity Mars rover have helped scientists formulate a plan for the next phase of its mission: looking for possible “molecular fossils” left by ancient martian microbes
  • Ancient DNA: Fossilized Teeth Offer Mouthful on Ancient Microbiome / 13 December 2013 / Andrew Curry / Science, v.342, n.6164, p.1303 — microbial DNA preserved in ancient dental calculus — and in equally prosaic human coprolites (fossilized or preserved feces) — carries a record of the communities of bacteria that lived in and on people who died hundreds or thousands of years ago
  • Cavefish Study Supports Controversial Evolutionary Mechanism / 13 December 2013 / Elizabeth Pennisi / Science, v.342, n.6164, p.1304 — unleashed genetic changes may explain rapid loss of cavefish eyes
  • The Thousand-Year Graveyard / 13 December 2013 / Ann Gibbons / Science, v.342, n.6164, p.1306-1310 — scientists uncover a tortured history of disease and death from the Middle Ages onward
  • Genetics: My Oldest Sister Is a Sea Walnut? / 13 December 2013 / Antonis Rokas / Science, v.342, n.6164, p.1327-1329 — decoding of the ctenophore genome prompts reevaluation of the complexity of the metazoan ancestor
  • The 19 superbugs that rule Earth’s hidden depths / 11 December 2013 / Catherine Brahic / New Scientist, n.2947, p.12 — Deep inside Earth’s crust, the same kinds of microorganism are found wherever we look. Nobody knows how they became so widespread.
  • Alien life could have basked in big bang’s afterglow / 11 December 2013 / Jacob Aron / New Scientist, n.2947, p.14 — the cosmic radiation that existed about 15 million years after the big bang could have made the whole universe warm enough to support life
  • Modern moral responses need a manual mode / 11 December 2013 / Tiffany O’Callaghan / New Scientist, n.2946, p.30-31 — our moral reasoning is based on cognitive glitches — we need to rethink it for the world we live in now, says moral psychologist Joshua Greene
  • Mouse memory inheritance may revitalise Lamarckism / 4 December 2013 / New Scientist, n.2946, p.5 — the idea that mice can pass on memories to subsequent generations could revive a long-discredited theory of inheritance
  • Animal-rights group sues to secure freedom for chimps / 4 December 2013 / Lisa Grossman / New Scientist, n.2946, p.6 — animal-rights groups have filed the kind of lawsuit notably used in the antislavery movement to try and get chimps recognised as persons rather than property
  • Oldest human genome dug up in Spain’s pit of bones / 4 December 2013 / Michael Marshall / New Scientist, n.2946, p.8-9 — a 400,000-year-old genome from ancient human bone could herald a missing link species — taking us closer than ever to our common ancestor with Neanderthals
  • Alien-hunting equation revamped for mining asteroids / 4 December 2013 / Jacob Aron / New Scientist, n.2946, p.14 — a classic equation to estimate the number of alien worlds has gotten a reboot as a tool for finding asteroids worth mining for resources
  • Synthetic primordial cell copies RNA for the first time / 4 December 2013 / Michael Marshall / New Scientist, n.2946, p.16 — genetic information inside simple cells designed to mimic primordial life has been copied, with the help of a chemical made from citric acid
  • Snakes outpacing other vertebrates in race to evolve / 4 December 2013 / Bob Holmes / New Scientist, n.2946, p.18 — the king cobra and Burmese python are the first snakes to have their genome sequenced, and the results show their genes are unusually prone to change










  • Overcoming Natural Evil with Good / November 1, 2013 / Creation-Evolution Headlines — Things that bite and sting are not always 100% harmful. Maybe some of our categories of natural evil are due to ignorance.














  • The Moon Is 100 Million Years Younger Than Thought / September 23, 2013 / Mike Wall / Yahoo! News
  • The Universe Was Born from a Four-Dimensional Black Hole, Says Big Bang Alternative / September 20, 203 / Amy Teitel /
  • Cascade of Events’ Caused Sudden Explosion of Animal Life / September 19, 2013 / University of Oxford / Science Daily
  • Earth Expected to Be Habitable for Another 1.75 Billion Years / September 18, 2013 / University of East Anglia / Science Daily
  • Biblical Archaeology Still Has Much to Discover / September 18, 2013 / Creation-Evolution Headlines — some exciting discoveries in Jerusalem and other near eastern sites emphasize the fact that archaeologists have much more to explore in the lands of the Bible
  • DNA in Amber Doesn’t Last Long / September 17, 2013 / Creation-Evolution Headlines — Claims of ancient DNA hundreds of thousands of years old may be false. No DNA was found in an insect encased in amber said to be 10,600 years old
  • Darwinist Intolerance Is Intensifying / September 15, 2013 / Creation-Evolution Headlines — Some recent cases of intolerance against Darwin skeptics are so extreme, they defy all logic or propriety. Yet when Darwinists promote radical ideas, they get a pass.
  • Cosmos Does Not Look Evolutionary / September 14, 2013 / Creation-Evolution Headlines — evidence continues to mount that the universe and its contents appeared mature from the beginning
  • Junk Science Gets Good Press if It Supports Darwinism / September 13, 2013 / Creation-Evolution Headlines — The headlines for some scientific news stories might leave philosophers of science wagging their heads. Few, though, are the reporters willing to call something really dumb, or at least questionable — especially if it appears to support evolution.
  • “Evidence-Based” Findings May Not Be / September 12, 2013 / Creation-Evolution Headlines — patients are encouraged to seek only “evidence-based” treatments for disease, but a look behind the scenes of clinical trials reveals some of the same human foibles that plague any science: shortcomings in honesty and transparency
  • Tiger in Oil and Other Surprising Fossils / September 9, 2013 / Creation-Evolution Headlines — deposits in North and South America reveal a rich diversity of mammals discovered by oil workers, some fossils in the oil
  • Mars Panspermia a Sign of Desperation / September 7, 2013 / Creation-Evolution Headlines — a second article proposes life began on Mars, prompting some observers to point out the failures of naturalistic origin-of-life theories
  • Genetic Convergent Evolution Strains Credibility / September 6, 2013 / Creation-Evolution Headlines — “Convergent evolution” is the term given to similar designs that shouldn’t be related. Recent widespread examples threaten to make the term lose any coherence it might have had.
  • Solomon Corroborated: It’s His Copper Mine / September 5, 2013 / Creation-Evolution Headlines — copper mines in the Aravah of Israel were most likely Solomon’s property, not the Egyptians’, new date estimates show, supporting the Biblical chronology
  • Scientists’ Letter Challenges PZ Myers’ Revisionism / September 4, 2013 / Creation-Evolution Headlines — in a letter to Nature, three scientists set the record straight about theology and science, after atheist P.Z. Myers got off with only a mild rebuke in a previous book review.
  • Darwin Fumbles / September 4, 2013 / Creation-Evolution Headlines — 154 years after Darwin’s Origin of Species, evolutionists say they still do not understand the origin of species … in addition, they’ve lost most of whatever data they had
  • Grand Canyon Demoted by New Discovery / August 29, 2013 / Creation-Evolution Headlines — A canyon longer than Grand Canyon has been discovered under the ice of Greenland. Scientists are surprised that it has persisted through the ice ages.
  • You Are Not a Martian / August 28, 2013 / Creation-Evolution Headlines — Every once in awhile, someone “suggests” that life began on Mars, not Earth. Here it comes again from someone who knows better.
  • Observable Chemistry Does Not Logically Apply to the Origin of Life / August 22, 2013 / Creation-Evolution Headlines — origin-of-life researchers assume that intelligently-designed experiments in the lab can inform them about the emergence of life without design — in short, that design proves non-design
  • Survival of the Weakest / August 21, 2013 / Creation-Evolution Headlines — If “sometimes it pays to be a weakling,” what does that mean for 154 years of Darwinian teaching about survival of the fittest? What does it mean, further, when sexual selection doesn’t work?
  • Fossilization Requires Special Conditions / August 20, 2013 / Creation-Evolution Headlines — A science writer wrote a semi-amusing account on how to become a fossil. In so doing, he pointed out that fossilization is a very rare fate for most organisms.
  • Scientists Dodge Youthfulness of Saturn Moon Titan / August 17, 2013 / Creation-Evolution Headlines — like Enceladus, Saturn’s moon Titan shows multiple signs of being far less than 4.5 billion years old — yet the press releases are strangely silent about the implications
  • Discovering Mammals, Dead and Alive / August 15, 2013 / Creation-Evolution Headlines — Two mammal discoveries made the news this week: a cuddly one and a fossil. Do they tell evolutionary tales?
  • The Surprising Origins of Evolutionary Complexity / July 16, 2013 / Carl Zimmer / Scientific American — scientists are exploring how organisms can evolve elaborate structures without Darwinian selection

















  • Astrobiology: The Science of Could / July 1, 2013 / Creation-Evolution Headlines — Anything “could” happen. Shouldn’t science deal with what does happen and what did happen? The “could” word is rampant in astrobiology literature and origin-of-life studies.
  • Mad Scientists Poised on the Slippery Slope / June 30, 2013 / Creation-Evolution Headlines — Stem cells can do good or harm, depending on their source. When scientists think themselves above ethics, watch out.
  • Homo erectus were good pitchers / June 29, 2013 / Creation-Evolution Headlines — Science news sites are talking about the evolution of human throwing, but it’s mostly speculation based on prior faith in Darwinism. The real story is good design in the human shoulder.
  • Big Flood on Mars; Why Not on Earth? / June 28, 2013 / Creation-Evolution Headlines — More evidence has been presented for a “voluminous” flood on Mars, where there is no water today. So why is a comparable flood disfavored for Earth, where water covers 70% of the surface?
  • How ‘Parrot Dinosaur’ Switched from Four Feet to Two as It Grew / June 28, 2013 / University of Bristol / Science Daily
  • Are These Horse Genes Really 700,000 Years Old? / June 27, 2013 / Creation-Evolution Headlines — News sites are celebrating a “spectacular” new record for fossil DNA, claiming horse genes found in permafrost are 700,000 years old, placing the common ancestor two million years earlier than thought.
  • The Problem with Evolutionary Explanations / June 26, 2013 / Creation-Evolution Headlines — A new theory attempts to explain why mammals vary from teaspoon size to battleship size. But what does it really explain, if anything?
  • Living Design Inspires Design / June 24, 2013 / Creation-Evolution Headlines — Engineers continue to look to the living world for solutions to practical problems. One of them is as close as your skin.