Earth and Sky Science: The Year in Review

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This past year of 2018 we covered several news items from many disciplines of science. With each news item we focused on what was actually discovered, what the evolutionary spin for each item was, and how we interpret the same data in a biblical worldview. Moreover, all of the news items pointed to the accuracy of Scripture in history and science. When we observe our universe, our planet, and the people, plants, and animals on Earth, we are amazed at the complexity of design, the intricacies of interactions between different organisms (whether beneficial or parasitic), and (even in a fallen world) the beauty and symmetry of God’s creation.

Digging Out the Archaeology News

We kicked off our coverage of archaeological news with a late January article detailing that ancient peoples (post-Babel migrants) in Egypt, the Near East, and China made use of any meteoritic iron they found and fashioned it into weapons, tools, and jewelry. In February we had an article that examined some of the faulty assumptions when looking at artifacts. Many items assigned cultic religious significance, may, in fact, have been toys for children, or training tools. Some of the artifacts and cave paintings discovered in locations in France, northern Spain, Belgium, and Germany even appear to have been designed to give the illusion of motion for the viewing pleasure of the tribe.

In March there were a couple of articles which highlighted discoveries which corroborated biblical places or names. A seal was discovered with the name Isaiah on it in close proximity to a seal of King Hezekiah. Then we covered an item about the city of Nineveh in Iraq, where several inscriptions were uncovered listing four Assyrian kings. All of these kings were mentioned in Scripture, and the inscriptions even mentioned times when the Assyrian kings resettled conquered peoples (like the Northern Kingdom of Israel) into different areas, and brought foreigners settling them in Samaria (just as Ezra 4:10 states).

In May we looked at an article on the Bell Beaker cultures across Europe, and how recent archaeological and genetic finds point to there being two distinct Bell Beaker people groups: one from the Iberian Peninsula and the other from Eastern Europe. The article also mentioned that all evidence points to Western and Northern Europe being settled by people who had left the area around Turkey (Eastern Europe/Western Asia) or right around the biblical region of Ararat. When examining the data in light of the post-flood and post-Babel chronologies of Genesis 10–11, the picture of human migration and place names associated with Noah’s grandsons (and great-grandsons) all seem to fit the patterns of the genetics quite well.

Also in May, we learned that Neanderthals may have sailed the Aegean and Ionian Seas to island hop. Several islands boasted stone tools similar to those found at continental Neanderthal sites. This pushed back the evolutionary timeline for seafaring as much as 100,000 years. Of course Neanderthals were just post-Babel humans, and those dates are based on faulty assumptions. Not only could Neanderthals sail (which means they had much more advanced technology than is generally credited to them), but -according to a news story we covered in July - they also used cooperative and coordinated hunting techniques to bring down big prey.

Finally, our last archaeology news article in September dealt with “Neolithic European” farming and cheese production. Again, from a biblical perspective these would be post-Babel peoples. Cheese (and other things like butter and yogurt) from cow, goat, or sheep milk would have provided a good source of calcium, been portable, and likely caused a shift to a lactose-tolerant lifestyle. Farming, animal domestication, and processing foods from animals are things mentioned often in Scripture, and very early on.

The recurring theme for all these archaeology items, is that mankind was intelligent from the very beginning, utilized advanced tools and technology, showed ingenuity and migrated all over the world—just as Genesis 10:32 states. And when the data and history of these archaeological finds are studied, they time and again corroborate people, places, and cultures mentioned in Scripture.

Looking Up—Astronomy News

We rocketed into our astronomy news items in February, with a look at how lithium-rich stars are a conundrum for cosmic evolutionists. Too much lithium in certain stars, but not enough in the universe? Not an insurmountable problem for the plastic models of Big Bang cosmology, which can bring a variety of rescuing devices to bear. Then we sailed along and learned how intricate solar sail design is, as well as how important cryogens are to space missions. From there, we looked in on Saturn and two of its moons, which were captured in stunning detail by the Cassini-Huygens mission. Unfortunately for the cosmic evolutionists, most of the findings were troublesome. Saturn has young rings, a strong magnetic field without a dynamo, and its moons have fewer craters, but more methane and volcanism than expected.

In March we noted the passing of famed physicist Stephen Hawking. We also covered an item that says we will never hear from aliens—and if we do, they’ll already be dead. Then in April we examined the NGC 1052-DF2 galaxy, which has little to no dark matter. Ironically, this find indicated that Modified Newtonian Dynamics (MOND) is not a viable theory and that dark matter likely does exist and exists in approximately a 5:1 ratio over normal matter.1 As Dr. Faulkner noted in this article “Isn’t it humbling that God created the universe so complex that we don’t even know what most of it is made of?”

In June we looked at the summer solstice and the real causes for the change of seasons. We also celebrated Asteroid Day and learned about the Tunguska Event that happened 110 years ago on June 30, 1908. July had us asking the question of why scientists have no problems with global catastrophes on planets other than Earth. August gave us another chance to rebut an alleged support for a flat earth, the changing size of North America in satellite photos. Unlike the earth though, a flat-earth explanation falls flat.

September had us asking whether redshifts are cosmological, offering a summary of Dr. Danny Faulkner’s technical article on the subject in March. We learned that indeed they are cosmological, which means that the universe is expanding. While some creation astronomers have opposed universal expansion because it is an integral component of the current Big Bang cosmology, there are ample references in Scripture to God “stretching out the heavens”.2

In October, Dr. Faulkner wrote on the axis of evil and the cold spot. The former is an area of warmer than expected temperatures, and the latter is one of colder than expected temperatures of the cosmic microwave background (CMB). Both of these are problematic for the standard Big Bang cosmology. Additionally, the axis of evil aligns with the plane in which the earth and the other planets orbit the sun; something that is disturbing in a supposed cosmological paradigm that views the earth as non-unique and residing in a non-descript solar system—just another planet in a universe of billions of planets. But the heavens do indeed declare the glory of God (Psalm 19:1) and Scripture tells us that our infinite God ordained our solar system and is mindful of humanity (Psalm 8:3-4)!

Looking Down—Geology Features

We kicked off our geology items in April with Dr. Andrew Snelling’s sneak peek AM article on mudrocks. Dr. Snelling highlighted research that shows that mud particles can settle out quickly in rapidly moving water. Since mudrock and shale formations around the world (many of which are hundreds of feet thick) are assumed to form slowly according to secular geologists (partially due to the belief that mud particles are slow to settle out), this research is quite damaging to the long-age interpretation.

In June, Dr. Snelling showed that there are serious problems with the uranium-lead and lead-lead radiometric dating methods and that they are based on unverifiable assumptions. Dr. Snelling also recounted in an AM sneak peek, a recent field trip to the Smoky Mountains, where in addition to the natural beauty, he demonstrated how we can appreciate some spectacular evidence for the Flood in metamorphosed biotite—polonium radiohalos. Also in June, Dr. John Baumgardner presented a new numerical model for investigating the large-scale erosion, transport, and sedimentation processes associated with the Genesis Flood. It is believed that this model will aid creation geologists in accounting for the thick sediment sequences that cover the surfaces of the continents.

In August we learned how an extremely rare ice storm on the Hawaiian volcanic mountains of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa may have given us insight into a potential mechanism for rain production during the year-long global flood of Noah’s day. It showed that rain can be easily produced by hot lava interacting with the sea water.

Finally, in September we learned that coral reefs can grow quickly, especially ones which are recolonizing new areas, as would have occurred right after the Flood. They do not need long ages to grow to the sizes we observe in the present. The more we look at the earth, the more we see that it testifies to the handiwork of our creator God, but also the catastrophism of a global flood. God has left us markers to see his design, judgement, and providence. How encouraging to know that all the places on earth are in his hands (Psalms 95:4).

Looking Below the Surface—Paleontology News

We started digging up paleontology news items in February with a report on a supposedly 100 million year old spider that was preserved in amber. This spider had a 3 mm tail that was longer than its 2.5 mm body, but it is definitely recognizable as a spider. The researchers who found it even speculated that it could still be a living species, as the southeast Asian rainforest where the fossil was discovered is an under-researched area even today.

In August we answered the question where are all the pre-flood human fossils? We highlighted such factors as the nature of the flood, the ecological zones that were overcome with sediment, and the destructive force of water and scouring erosion on creatures not buried or shallowly buried near the end-stages of the Flood.

In September, Dr. David Menton asked the question did dinosaurs evolve into birds? Dr. Menton pointed out several major differences in anatomy like respiratory systems, scales vs. feathers, arms vs. wings, balance points between dinosaurs and birds, and cold-blooded vs. warm-blooded arguments, including the fact that birds have nasal conchae and dinosaurs apparently did not. We also examined claims of a proposed Pleistocene Park in Siberia, where woolly mammoths and rhinos, cave lions, and long-extinct horse specimens are being sought to find intact DNA for cloning attempts. This exciting news item demonstrates the complexity of DNA and that a very narrow set of conditions (in this case creatures being well-preserved in permafrost) is required for intact DNA to be preserved.

October was a busy month as we started with a look at disharmonious fossils in the fossil record. Animals like supposedly 127–million-year-old modern birds, a mammal with undigested dinosaur bones in its stomach, dinosaurs buried with sharks—all of which are troublesome from an evolutionary perspective, but expected in a creation paradigm. We also examined how Noah's flood and a biblical worldview (and timeline) explain things like preserved dinosaur soft tissue and blood vessels, sea creatures buried with dinosaurs in several locations on various continents, and the almost universal recollection of dragon legends. Lastly, we looked at a recent dinosaur find that is housed in a Cincinnati museum. This was a juvenile sauropod dinosaur, which was estimated to be between 2–6 years old and about 15 ft. in length. As we’ve stated many times, Noah would have likely brought juvenile dinosaurs on the ark, and this particular sauropod fossil showed that bringing them onto the ark would not have been a problem—this juvenile dinosaur (which as an adult would have been 90 ft. long and weighed close to 15 tons) would have only been about the size of an adult giraffe. In addition, it appears from dental wear that juveniles did not need as specialized a diet as adult sauropods, making it easier to provide food for on a year-long voyage.

Finally, in December we examined a recent discovery on ichthyosaurs, showing that they had blubber, soft skin with no scales, and apparently were warm-blooded. This allegedly 180–million-year-old fossil still had flexible skin. Again this baffles evolutionary paleontologists who then just absorb this new find into their paradigm. But in reality, this is just another evidence that the fossil is not 180 million years old, but instead was buried during the flood of Noah just over 4,300 years ago. All of the above paleontology news items and articles just reinforce the truth of Scripture—from the catastrophism of the biblical flood, the continuing post-flood catastrophes (like the Ice Age), and the complete folly of the millions of years in the fossil record. The Apostle Peter summed this up perfectly when he foretold that people would scoff at the worldwide flood of Noah’s day and willfully adopt a uniformitarian view of history (2 Peter 3:3-6)

Footnotes

  1. NASA Science, “Dark Energy, Dark Matter,” NASA, accessed December 20, 2018, https://science.nasa.gov/astrophysics/focus-areas/what-is-dark-energy.
  2. For a more in-depth discussion of this see Danny Faulkner’s ARJ article “A Proposal for a New Solution to the Light Travel Time Problem.”

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