Archive for August, 2011

Riddle Me This My Good Brother
Which Folly is More Dumber (sic) Than the Other?
To Bow Down to That of Which You are the creator
Or to Think a Dead Rodent Your Mother?

Amusing?, Church of Darwin,, Science, Uncategorized | Posted by Chris Parker
Aug 27 2011

“….For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles”. Romans 1

“This Descended From A Rodent Declaration Causes a Chuckle
And What of Your Prior Claims of Being A Monkey’s Uncle?”……

Dinosaur-Era Mammal Possibly “Mother” of All Humanity
August 25, 2011

A tiny, dinosaur-era mammal may have been the mother of all humanity — at least in a sense, National Geographic News reports.

According to a new study, the newly discovered 160-million-year-old fossil species, named the “Jurassic mother from China” [Juramaia sinensis], is the earliest known ancestor of placental mammals — that is, animals, such as humans, that give birth to relatively mature, live young.

Although it’s unclear if the creature is a direct ancestor of modern placentals, it’s “either a great grand-aunt or a great grandmother,” the study’s authors told National Geographic.

According to the study, the newfound eutherian scurried about temperate Jurassic forests, dined on insects under the cover of darkness, and weighed about half an ounce (15 grams), making it lighter than a chipmunk.

“The great evolutionary lineage that includes us had a very humble beginning, in terms of body mass,” Zhe-Xi Luo, a paleontologist at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, who led the team that discovered the fossil, told National Geographic

The discovery brings the fossil record in line with DNA evidence that indicates that the split between ancestral marsupials and placentals occurred around 160 million years ago, Luo added.

“What is clear is that, besides the fact that marsupials and placentals start to differentiate, we also have the other mammals that diversified as well,” he continued. “But we don’t know what would be the specific environmental trigger for that.”

Placentals, which includes creatures ranging from mice to whales, are all that remain of the eutherian mammals.

The findings of the study will be published Thursday in the journal Nature.

“They Refuse to Worship God the Genuine Article
But Bow the Knee to a Non-Existing Particle?”…

All idols are not carved from a block of wood.

It wasn’t more than two weeks ago that headlines around the world rang out with the news that CERN had finally found/discovered the elusive “God Particle” which was responsible for giving the matter in the universe mass. Now here we are a short time (and billions of dollars since the start of the program) later with the less than banner, worldwide headlines that the “God particle” might not exist after all. When they thought it might exist they called it the “God particle”; when they realized that it probably doesn’t exist they call it Higgs-Boson. Hedging their bets, scientists claim that the world of physics will be almost as excited if they learn that the particle doesn’t exist as they would have been to have discovered it. …

God Particle May not Exist After All

August 24, 2011

Photo: Statue of the Hindu god, Shiva Outside Cern Headquarters in Geneva

A particle believed to have played a key role in the creation of the universe might not exist after all, a media report said Tuesday quoting experts.

Scientists said last month that they were close to cornering the elusive Higgs boson or ‘God particle’ – a tiny but vital element in the construction of life as we know it.

But hope is now fading after the disappearance of signals scientists had hoped would lead them to it, the Daily Mail reported.

The CERN research centre, whose giant Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has been carrying out the work under the mountains on the French-Swiss border, announced its scepticism at a conference in Mumbai.

Guido Tonelli, from one of the two LHC detectors chasing the Higgs, said: “Whatever the final verdict on Higgs, we are now living in very exciting times for all involved in the quest for new physics.”

CERN said new results, which updated findings that caused excitement at another scientific gathering in Grenoble last month, “show that the elusive Higgs particle, if it exists, is running out of places to hide”, the Mail reported.

The centre’s research director Sergio Bertolucci told the conference at Mumbai’s Tata Institute of Fundamental Research that if the Higgs did not exist “its absence will point the way to new physics”.

Under what is known as the Standard Model of physics, the boson – named after British physicist Peter Higgs – is posited as having been the agent that gave mass and energy to matter just after the Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago.

As a result, flying debris from that primeval explosion could come together as stars, planets and galaxies.

In the subterranean LHC, which began operating in March 2010, CERN engineers and physicists have created billions of miniature versions of the Big Bang by smashing particles together at just a fraction under the speed of light.

The results of those collisions are monitored by hundreds of physicists, not just at CERN but in linked laboratories around the world which sift through the vast volumes of information generated by the LHC, the Mail said.

For some scientists, the Higgs remains the simplest explanation of how matter got mass. It remains unclear what could replace it as an explanation.

A Short Q&A with Jon Saboe, Author of the New Biblical-Historical Novel; The Days of Laméch

Church of Darwin, Religious, Science, Uncategorized | Posted by Chris Parker
Aug 23 2011

Buy It on Amazon

I still have an email from Jon Saboe dated May, 2007 alerting me that his first novel; The Days of Peleg had been published and was available on Amazon. Around the same time, another friend of mine published his first book of poetry which at least one reviewer called; misogynistic. I decided to read Jon’s book first. I made the right choice as I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The Days of Peleg became more and more successful for Jon and even won the Editor’s Choice Award, from Allbooks Review and got new cover art.

Jon’s new book; “The Days of Lamech” is a prequel to “Days of Peleg”. I’m really impressed that he got that guy from CreationEvolutionHeadlines to read and review it. How does that guy have time to read a novel? A portion of CEV’s review is excerpted below but first; here is a Q&A I did with Jon with respect to life after book 1 leading up to book 2.

Chris Parker: Jon, How did you come to write the first book? What was the process you went through to write it?

Jon Saboe: “The Days of Peleg” actually was initiated by conversations with a friend of mine, Dave Ranck, as we discussed the evolutionary biases in modern archeology. It was actually anger at this subversion of a noble science, combined with my reading about the Buache Map that triggered what was supposed to be a short story. I had envisioned a quick tale about how this amazing map of Antarctica – without ice – could have come to be, all within a Biblical timeframe.

However, this soon blossomed into a large story. My study of the ancient Sumerians, coupled with Jewish Midrashim and a Biblical overview, presented me with too many wonderful possibilities. Soon, I had developed an intellectual, but secular, protagonist who is destined to be confronted with multiple world-views—all of which he instinctively despises because of his own natural chauvinism.

However, he soon encounters events and phenomena which he cannot explain, and when he is exposed to yet another world view (a Biblical one from an unexpected source) he reluctantly gives in, since THIS world-view is able to encompass the totality of his experiences, both external and internal.

My writing process was simply one of creating story targets for myself, and then filling in the details. One section, which is more of a Socratic dialogue, was mapped out by the simple verse “…for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6b.

Ultimately, I feel the book is designed to “entice” the unsuspecting reader into adapting a Biblical world-view—while at the same time enjoying a Indian Jones, Michael Crichton, or Odyssey-like (as Kirkus Reviews stated) adventure story. Also, a subtle but clear sub-plot introduces the reader to “The Seed” of Genesis 3, along with an understanding of the need for such a Savior.

Chris Parker: Was the reception for the book what you expected? What has happened as a result of the book that you hadn’t expected?

Jon Saboe: Actually, I had absolutely no expectation regarding Peleg’s reception. I had never written a book before, and I knew that most fiction, especially from a small publisher, never saw the light of day except for a few loyal friends and relatives. To be honest, I have been quite overwhelmed by the amazing response from many diverse quarters. Sales continue, and although I haven’t been able to quit my day job, I am pleased that so many people continue to enjoy it.

What I did NOT expect was the amazing discourses, interactions, and wonderful friends that have resulted from “The Days of Peleg”. I have had the privilege of getting to know many people, from many walks of life, whom I would have never met had it not been for Peleg. Among them are an orthodox rabbi, a Hispanic hip-hop artist, a children’s book author, and an Artificial Intelligence programmer, just to mention a few. I would never have met these individuals otherwise, and I can’t imagine any way, other than the internet, that my book could have ended up on their reading table.

Chris Parker: What came first; the idea for the story of the second book or the demand from readers that you write one?

Jon Saboe: This is an easy one. The demand from readers came first. At the time I finished Peleg, I could not imagine going through that process again, nor could I conceive of any possible story line for a second book.

However, as time went on, I began to envision a story line that utilized unorthodox antediluvian technologies and delved into the Family Wars and the Semyaz, alluded to in “The Days of Peleg.” Eventually I wrote a first chapter, but it wasn’t until about a year later that I began to continue “The Days of Laméch”.

The process for the second book was quite different, though, as I had to rely less on research (there is understandably, very little to study about the pre-flood world) and more on imagination and speculation. There were times I felt like the priests crossing the Jordan—in that the waters only parted once I stepped in. Instead of planning the book mentally before writing (as in Peleg) I was forced to begin the actual work of sitting at the computer before things came to me. It presented a much different walk of faith than the first book.

Of course, there is now a demand for a third book, and my response is invariably the same as the last time: “I don’t see how that will ever happen…”.

Chris Parker: Have you been approached about making a movie from one or both of the books?

Jon Saboe: No I haven’t, and I imagine it will require a much greater circulation before such an offer emerges. However, if anyone knows of a good script-writer—or someone who loves to fund such ventures—I would be very interested. A large number of reviewers about both books have insisted that they would make great movies.

Chris Parker: How does the second book relate to Peleg?

Jon Saboe: “The Days of Laméch” is a prequel that begins with Laméch (the father of Noah) as a twenty year old thrill-seeker who fancies himself an activist and is, initially, a very self-centered and oblivious person. I would say the setting is approximately 700 years before the flood (just as “The Days of Peleg” begins about 100 years after the Tower of Babel).

At this time, the Family Wars are still in the past, but an previously unknown race calling themselves the Semyaz, apparently were greatly involved in stopping these terrible wars, and are now “guiding” the newly rebuilt cities and offering help in improving humanity on many different levels.

Towards the end of “Laméch” we meet a young and “manic” Shem, and see the guiding hand of the Creator as He selects those who will repopulate the Earth

Excerpt from Creation Evolution Headlines Review of; “The Days of Lamech”.

“CEH deals with non-fiction almost all the time, but this fictional tale (based on Biblical history) was a welcome diversion. Little has been written about this period; non-fictional scholarship would necessarily be restrained by limited information available, but the setting is perfect for a novel. Jon Saboe, a man of many talents, has done Bible believers a great service by opening up this era for serious contemplation. Your editor admits he was hooked from Chapter 1. Though cognizant of the outcome in general terms, he was continually surprised by Saboe’s plot lines, woven with picturesque descriptions and lifelike dialogue. The characters are plausible, distinctive, and nuanced. It was very satisfying to see how all the diverse threads came together at the end in the way required by Genesis 6.

If this wasn’t the way things actually happened, maybe it should have been, because The Days of Lamech is a thrill ride for the mind and spirit, equal to – no, exceeding – the drama in The Days of Peleg, which says a lot. The take-home message is that, just as we should never underestimate the potential for evil in fallen beings, we should never underestimate the patience, mercy, and provision the Creator has made for the redemption of the creatures he loves in spite of their sins. And just as in the days of Noah, it is the few – individuals who trust and obey their Maker – who change the world, even when all seems lost. “Even one is worth it,” Lamech said, when the fruits of his sacrificial labors seemed outwardly disappointing. That one might become the mother of a new world, the bearer of a promised Seed. God works through flawed but faithful individuals. We can be, we need to be, the Enochs, Lamechs, and Noahs of our day.”

Read the rest of the review at CEH

In 1975 Human Footprints Were Discovered at Black Mesa Ok., in Cretaceous Rock Supposedly up to 145 Million Years Old. Keep Your Shirt On! Intrigued Archaelogists are Still on the Way Out There!?

Church of Darwin, Science, Unexplained Artifact | Posted by Chris Parker
Aug 18 2011

This illustrates once again how science actually works.

The title of the 1975 newpaper article suggested that Archaelogists were intriqued but that was and is incorrect. Archaelogists were not intrigued at all. They wanted no part of it in fact. Mr. Tucker who made the discoveries back in the mid-1970′s was 70 at the time and if he’s still alive, he is now 111 years old and has been waiting on intriqued “professional” archaeologists from the Smithsonian and/or the State of Oklahoma for about 41 years.

Evolutionists and other Genesis non-believers frequently ask for the evidence of this or that and I assume that at least some of them are asking in good faith. The problem is; they honestly believe that if there was evidence contrary to the current scientific paradigm of evolution over millions of years that this evidence would be catalogued, evaluated, investigated and discussed by ‘intrigued” scientists feverishly searching for “truth”.

In reality, no one in that fraternity wants to investigate anything that would tend to discredit or tarnish the paradigm; decisions or evaluations are made on this contrary evidence without getting off the couch and without having to actually see the evidence…

Mystery of Black Mesa Intrigues Archaeologists
Joplin Globe – August 11, 1975, Joplin, Missouri

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) The latest mystery of the Black Mesa, an eerie mountain of lava In the Oklahoma Panhandle, is stirring new interest among professional and amateur archaeologists.

Four states — Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico and Texas —corner near Black Mesa, which has yielded many relics of the ancient past, including the remains of dinosaurs and hairy mammoths.

But the newest find by R.Truman Tucker, 70-year-old retired rancher who has tramped the area all of his life, is mind-boggling in its possible scope.

Tucker has found what he believes to be human footprints in what looks like Dakota Sandstone, a cretaceous formation laid down during the age of dinosaurs. That, of course, is considered impossible by archaeologists and geologists who set man’s existence millions of years after the dinosaur age.

But Tucker and other students of the region say they are waiting for a qualified team of archaeologists and geologists to study the area where the footprints were found and lend .their expertise to an explanation.

“They have their answers and I have mine,” says Tucker.

“I’ve been contacted by someone from the Smithsonian Institution and the Museum of Natural History at Denver, but no one has ever showed up.”

The prints were first revealed in Oklahoma Today Magazine, a state publication featuring points of interest in the state. Reproduced from slides taken by Tucker, they graphically depict a variety of what appear to be human footprints in stone.

Bill Burchardt, editor of the magazine who has studied the Black Mesa region for a couple of decades, is among those who want a scientific determination of the significance of the stones.

“The more I work in that area, the more I am convinced that it is the cradle of civilization for North America Burchardt said.

It certainly is an interesting area. High in the northwest corner of the Panhandle, it rises to 4,978 feet above sea level. A plateau capped with lava left by a long extinct volcano, it’s the state’s highest mountain, yet is as flat on top as a Kansas prairie.

Tucker won’t tell anyone the location of the prints, except to say they are on another person’s property.

……State Archeologist Don Wykoff, head of the Oklahoma Archeological Survey team based at the University of Oklahoma, suggests several possible explanations for the prints. He said that natural sand exposures, laid down by ancient oceans, sometimes contain concentrations of oxides which weather and leave “funny little spots,” which may resemble hand or foot prints.

He also said the prints could have “been pecked into the stone by human beings . . . but of course that could have been only a thousand years ago, or four or five hundred years ago.”

Or, he said, they may have been left by animals from the dinosaur age, which scientists place at 70 million to 80 million years ago. Although stressing that he hasn’t seen the prints, he indicated the idea of human footprints in cretaceous stone was ludicrous on its face.

Asked if he was interested in sending an archaeologist to the area to examine the stones, he said he was “if we would be out there in that area” and arrangements could be made with Tucker. “We don’t have anything planned for being out there at present.”

Tucker, who lives at Kenton Oklahoma’s most northwestern town, isn’t the only one to have seen the prints. Mrs. Harold Kachel of the No Man’s Land Museum at Panhandle State College said she has seen them and “they make you wonder.”

“You can see the formation of what appears to be a human footprint in stone,” she said.

Tucker, who has contributed a good many relics to the museum at Goodwell, including dinosaur bones, is convinced of one thing: the prints are from “humans and not animals.

One is about the size of my number nine oxford, he said.

See Also:Evolution? The Stones Cry Out!
Fossil Human Footprints in Rock Supposedly Millions of Years Old.

In God-Less We Don’t Trust: Atheists Least Trusted Group In America?

Church of Darwin, Religious,, Science, Uncategorized | Posted by Chris Parker
Aug 08 2011

More recent polls continue to show that Atheists are the most distrusted although Muslims and Scientologists have made up some ground.

University of Minnesota Study on American Attitudes Towards Atheists & Atheism
Research Finds that Atheists are Most Despised, Most Distrusted Minority

By Austin Cline, Guide

Every single study that has ever looked at the issue has revealed massive amounts of bigotry and prejudice against atheists in America. The most recent data shows that atheists are more distrusted and despised than any other minority and that an atheist is the least likely person that Americans would vote for in a presidential election. It’s not just that atheists are hated, though, but also that atheists seem to represent everything about modernity which Americans dislike or fear.

The most recent study was conducted by the University of Minnesota, which found that atheists ranked lower than “Muslims, recent immigrants, gays and lesbians and other minority groups in ‘sharing their vision of American society.’ Atheists are also the minority group most Americans are least willing to allow their children to marry.” The results from two of the most important questions were:

This group does not at all agree with my vision of American society…

Atheist: 39.6%
Muslims: 26.3%
Homosexuals: 22.6%
Hispanics: 20%
Conservative Christians: 13.5%
Recent Immigrants: 12.5%
Jews: 7.6%

I would disapprove if my child wanted to marry a member of this group….

Atheist: 47.6%
Muslim: 33.5%
African-American 27.2%
Asian-Americans: 18.5%
Hispanics: 18.5%
Jews: 11.8%
Conservative Christians: 6.9%
Whites: 2.3%

Lead researcher Penny Edgell said that she was surprised by this: “We thought that in the wake of 9/11, people would target Muslims. Frankly, we expected atheists to be a throwaway group.” Nevertheless, the numbers are so extreme that she was led to conclude that they are “a glaring exception to the rule of increasing tolerance over the last 30 years.” It’s not that bigotry and discrimination against Muslims is appropriate, but at least it’s not hard to understand where such attitudes would come from.

Every group except atheists is being shown much greater tolerance and acceptance than 30 years ago. “Our analysis shows that attitudes about atheists have not followed the same historical pattern as that for previously marginalized religious groups. It is possible that the increasing tolerance for religious diversity may have heightened awareness of religion itself as the basis for solidarity in American life and sharpened the boundary between believers and nonbelievers in our collective imagination.”

Some respondents associated atheism with illegal behavior, like drug use and prostitution: “that is, with immoral people who threaten respectable community from the lower end of the social hierarchy.” Others saw atheists as “rampant materialists and cultural elitists” who “threaten common values from above — the ostentatiously wealthy who make a lifestyle out of consumption or the cultural elites who think they know better than everyone else.”

Given the relatively low number of atheists in America, and the even lower number who are public about their atheism, Americans can’t have come to their beliefs about atheists through personal experience and hard evidence about what atheists are really like. Furthermore, dislike of atheists doesn’t correlate very highly with dislike of gays, immigrants, or Muslims. This means that dislike of atheists isn’t simply part of a larger dislike of people who are “different.”

Why are atheists being singled out for special hatred and distrust? “What matters for public acceptance of atheists – and figures strongly into private acceptance as well – are beliefs about the appropriate relationship between church and state and about religion’s role in underpinning society’s moral order, as measured by our item on whether society’s standards of right and wrong should be based on God’s laws.” It’s curious that atheists would be singled out for special hatred on the basis of church/state separation which religious theists, including Christians, are usually on the forefront of fighting to preserve separation. It’s rare to find a case filed by or supported by atheists which is not also supported by theists and Christians. In fact, I can’t think of any off hand.

Although people may say that they consider atheists inferior because atheists don’t believe that civil law should be defined according to some group’s conception of what their god wants, I don’t think that’s the whole story. There are too many religious theists who also want civil law to be secular rather than religious. Instead, I think that a much better case can be made for the idea that atheists are being scapegoated the same way that Catholics and Jews once were: they are treated as social outsiders who create “moral and social disorder.”

Atheists can’t both be lower-class drug users or prostitutes and upper-class elitists and materialists. Instead, atheists are being saddled with the “sins” of American society generally. They are “a symbolic figure” that represent religious theists’ “fears about … trends in American life.” Some of those fears involve “lower class” crimes like drug use; other fears involve “upper class” crimes like greed and elitism. Atheists are thus a “symbolic representation of one who rejects the basis for moral solidarity and cultural membership in American society altogether.”

That’s obviously not going to change, because as long as atheists remain atheists, then won’t be theists and they won’t be Christians. This means that they won’t agree that any gods, much less the Christian god, can serve as the basis for moral solidarity or cultural membership in American society. Of course, neither can adherents of many other religions who either don’t believe in gods or who don’t believe in the Christian god. As America becomes more religiously pluralist, America is going to have to change and find something else to serve as the basis for moral solidarity and cultural membership. Atheists should work to ensure that this is as secular as possible.

Why is the Universe So Fined Tuned for Life? God Some Believe. However, Super Smart Scientists Conclude that There are an Infinite Number of Invisible, Undetectable Universes Occupying the Same Space and that The Earth is Carried on the Back of a Giant Tortoise

Church of Darwin,, Science, Unexplained Artifact | Posted by Chris Parker
Aug 02 2011

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. Rom 1:18-20

Existence: Why is the Universe Just Right for us?
by Marcus Chown NewScientist, July 29, 2011

IT HAS been called the Goldilocks paradox. If the strong nuclear force which glues atomic nuclei together were only a few per cent stronger than it is, stars like the sun would exhaust their hydrogen fuel in less than a second. Our sun would have exploded long ago and there would be no life on Earth. If the weak nuclear force were a few per cent weaker, the heavy elements that make up most of our world wouldn’t be here, and neither would you.

If gravity were a little weaker than it is, it would never have been able to crush the core of the sun sufficiently to ignite the nuclear reactions that create sunlight; a little stronger and, again, the sun would have burned all of its fuel billions of years ago. Once again, we could never have arisen.

Such instances of the fine-tuning of the laws of physics seem to abound. Many of the essential parameters of nature – the strengths of fundamental forces and the masses of fundamental particles – seem fixed at values that are “just right” for life to emerge. A whisker either way and we would not be here. It is as if the universe was made for us.

What are we to make of this? One possibility is that the universe was fine-tuned by a supreme being – God. Although many people like this explanation, scientists see no evidence that a supernatural entity is orchestrating the cosmos. (What! See Prior Paragraphs in this article, genuises!…

The known laws of physics can explain the existence of the universe that we observe. To paraphrase astronomer Pierre-Simon Laplace when asked by Napoleon why his book MĂ©canique CĂ©leste did not mention the creator: we have no need of that hypothesis.

Another possibility is that it simply couldn’t be any other way. We find ourselves in a universe ruled by laws compatible with life because, well, how could we not?

This could seem to imply that our existence is an incredible slice of luck – of all the universes that could have existed, we got one capable of supporting intelligent life. But most physicists don’t see it that way.

The most likely explanation for fine-tuning is possibly even more mind-expanding: that our universe is merely one of a vast ensemble of universes, each with different laws of physics. We find ourselves in one with laws suitable for life because, again, how could it be any other way?

The multiverse idea is not without theoretical backing. String theory, our best attempt yet at a theory of everything, predicts at least 10500 universes, each with different laws of physics. To put that number into perspective, there are an estimated 1025 grains of sand in the Sahara desert.

Fine-tuned fallacy

Another possibility is that there is nothing to explain. Some argue that the whole idea of fine-tuning is wrong. One vocal critic is Victor Stenger of the University of Colorado in Boulder, author of The Fallacy of Fine-tuning. His exhibit A concerns one of the pre-eminent examples of fine-tuning, the unlikeliness of the existence of anything other than hydrogen, helium and lithium.

All the heavy elements in your body, including carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and iron, were forged inside distant stars. In 1952, cosmologist Fred Hoyle argued that the existence of these elements depends on a huge cosmic coincidence. One of the key steps to their formation is the “triple alpha” process in which three helium nuclei fuse together to form a carbon-12 nucleus. For this reaction to occur, Hoyle proposed that the energy of the carbon-12 nucleus must be precisely equal to the combined energy of three helium nuclei at the typical temperature inside a red giant star. And so it is.

However, Stenger points out that in 1989 a team at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa showed that, actually, the carbon-12 energy level could have been significantly different and still resulted in the heavy elements required for life.

There are other problems with the fine-tuning argument. One is the fact that examples of fine-tuning are found by taking a single parameter – a force of nature, say, or a subatomic particle mass – and varying it while keeping everything else constant. This seems very unrealistic. The theory of everything, which alas we do not yet possess, is likely to show intimate connections between physical parameters. The effect of varying one may very well be compensated for by variations in another.

Then there is the fact that we only have one example of life to go on, so how can we be so sure that different laws could not give rise to some other living system capable of pondering its own existence?

Article Remainder; Page 2

“Ancestor of all Birds Knocked from its Perch”; Paleontologists Eat Crow? Horsefeathers Fly

Church of Darwin,, Science, Unexplained Artifact | Posted by Chris Parker
Aug 02 2011

Genesis 2:19
Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky.

The idea of feathered dinosaurs and the theropod origin of birds is being actively promulgated by a cadre of zealous scientists acting in concert with certain editors at Nature and National Geographic who themselves have become outspoken and highly biased proselytizers of the faith. Truth and careful scientific weighing of evidence have been among the first casualties in their program, which is now fast becoming one of the grander scientific hoaxes of our age—the paleontological equivalent of cold fusion. If Sloan’s article is not the crescendo of this fantasia, it is difficult to imagine to what heights it can next be taken”. .. Storrs L. Olson, Smithsonian, November 1999 Article

“The theory that dinosaurs gave rise to birds has been dealt a blow by palaeontologists who have examined critical evidence from a Chinese fossil. The discoverers of the turkey-sized dinosaur Sinosauropteryx say it would have had primitive feathers, supporting the bird-from-dinosaurs theory. But the latest research says these “proto feathers” are really frilly structures on the creature’s back.” Dinosaur “Feathers” Are No Such Thing-ABC NewsOnline, May 2007

Ancestor of all Birds Knocked from its Perch

By Laurent Banguet Yahoo News Jul 27, 2011

….The winged Archaeopteryx, long venerated as the forebear of birds, has been knocked off its hallowed perch on the tree of evolution, according to a study released Wednesday.

A new dinosaur species unearthed in northern China reveals that the iconic 150 million year old “original bird” is probably just another dino with feathers, of which there are many, the researchers said.

It is hard to imagine a harder fall from evolutionary grace.

Since its discovery 150 years ago in Bavaria, most scientists placed Archaeopteryx squarely at the root of the broad group of proto-birds, known as Avialae, from which our modern feathered friends have emerged.

The emblematic creature was also held up as a case study — THE case study during the late 19th century — of evolutionary transition, to wit, from dinosaur to bird.

Over the years, a few scientists have gingerly expressed doubts, pointing to supposedly defining bird-like characteristics — feathers, the wishbone, three-fingered hands — that were also showing up in non-avian dinosaurs.

But without hard proof that Archaeopteryx was not really where it belonged on the so-called phylogenetic tree, the presumed progenitor continued to reign over its feathered kingdom.

Enter Xing Xu, a professor at Linyi University in China’s Shandong Province and discoverer extraordinaire of dinosaur fossils.

In the new study, published in Nature, Xu and colleagues describe the attributes of a previously unknown dinosaur the fossil of which was found in Liaoning Province, in China’s northeast.

About the size of a chicken and probably weighing less than a kilo (about two pounds), Xiaotingia shared a host of key characteristics with Archaeopteryx but seemed, at the same time, to fall into another group of non-avian dinos called Deinonychosauria.

A standard computer analysis confirmed as much, but at the same time produced a stunning result: Archaeopteryx had been reclassified into the same group.

“In other words, Archaeopteryx was no longer a bird,” Lawrence Witmer, a professor at Ohio university’s Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, said in a commentary, also in Nature.

Xiaotingia, it turns out, was the smoking gun that sceptical scientists had been looking for.

Surprised by their findings, Xu and his team ran the analysis again, but this time without the newly discovered species. Archaeopteryx was restored — in error, they now knew — to its previous perch.

Xu has called for further confirmation, but suggests that his discovery will overturn long-held assumptions about the “avian ancestral condition.”

“Perhaps the time has come to finally accept that Archaeopteryx was just another small, feathered, bird-like theropod fluttering around in the Jurassic,” Witmer said.

One reason it has been so hard for biologists to embrace this idea may have more to do with history than science.

The first Archaeopteryx specimen was discovered, with uncanny timing, less than two years after the publication of Charles Darwin’s game-changing Origin of the Species.

With an evenly matched blend of avian and reptilian features, it became — in textbooks and public debate — “Exhibit A” in explaining the transformative power of natural selection and evolution.

“The familiar fossils have guided almost all scientific thought about the beginnings of birds,” Witman said, including himself among those led astray.

It’s reclassification, he added, is likely to “rock the palaeontological community for years to come.”

Who are the new candidates for king of the roost?

No single species is likely to ever gain the stature that Archaeopteryx once had, said Xu.

But among the new pretenders, three newly discovered creatures stand out: Epidexipteryx, Jeholornis, and Sapeornis.