Monday, September 8, 2014

NEANDERTHALS, RICKITS, SYPHILIS DEFORMITIES, RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS, PROMINENT BROW RIDGES, SLANTED PROTRUDING MANDIBLES, APE-LIKE, LONG LIFE SPAN, ANCIENT HUMANS, NOAH, SHEM

THE NEANDERTHALS

Hey everyone! How has your week been? I had a wonderful weekend spend with family to celebrate my oldest grandson’s 2nd birthday. It’s hard to believe that he’s TWO years old already! Time passes so quickly!

But then I can’t help but wonder what the ancient people who lived so long thought of the passage of time. How cool would that be able to do things over because you had so much time to make it right! There certainly would be enough time if you lived six hundred years!


You know that concept seems strange at first but the more I research the longevity of early humans, the more it becomes familiar and reasonable. Having grown up an atheist that believed in evolution, these concepts of a young earth, dinosaurs are dragons and long ages of ancient man all seemed unusual at first. But I believed it because that is what the Bible taught and it is all very logical, but mostly because I know God doesn’t lie. But since I have been teaching this so long it is more familiar to me than the fallacy of evolution. 

And speaking of teaching, back in May of 2013 I wrote a blog entitled Differences of Mankind. When I wrote it, I was unaware of other research that I have recently discovered about the Neanderthal people. I would like to present this information, and you can decide for yourselves which line of thought you agree with. Let’s go over some of the pertinent information in regards to Neanderthals found in the Differences of Mankind:

I wrote “First, it is absolute fact that the earliest (most ancient) human fossils (found in the lowest layers of deposits) are in fact Homo erectus. Again, fact-Homo erectus is so similar to Homo sapiens that they really should be considered one and the same. But even if they never get classified as one and the same, you must understand that Homo erectus (and H. neanderthalensis, H. florenensis, and H. devonianensis) are all 100% human. Differences in height, skull shape and even body size do not make or take away from our humanness.” This is absolutely correct and I included it here more as a refresher.

And then these three paragraphs that I wrote referencing the Neanderthals are a line of thought as to how they got their unique features: 

“The other question most frequently asked is; why was only the
Neanderthals affected so badly by rickets? Well, rickets is a disease brought on by the lack of vitamin D. Vitamin D comes to us can through our diet and/or supplements and can also be synthesized (from cholesterol) when sun exposure is adequate. In humans vitamin D is produced in the deep layers of our skin through irradiation by the ultraviolet component of sunlight. 

Now, with that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the Neanderthal lifestyle. They are a people that in general, lived in the frigid shadow of the Ice Age glaciers. So what would be a natural response to such a harsh climate? “1) to seek out natural shelters such as caves, 2) to construct shelters out of whatever materials was available, and 3) to wear heavy clothing, probably animal skins, to cover much or all of the body. The lack of access to sunshine because of the heavy cloud cover, their need for shelter [and therefore much time spent indoors], and the wearing of heavy clothing would have predictable results; rickets.” Remember the component of sunlight that ‘brings’ the vitamin D? Ultraviolet waves. The very component of sunlight most effectively filtered out by heavy, thick, snow ladened clouds.”

This is the traditional teaching of neanderthal 

But take a close look at the evidence that I found that is contrary to this:

The three most prominent reasons paleoarcheologists have contributed the unique features of the Neanderthals to disease are rickets (of which I wrote about), syphilis, and arthritic deformities. 

Listed below are several aspects found in known rickets cases:

  1. The thinning and softening of portions of skull especially the posterior parietal bones.
  2. The brain case takes on a box-like look because of bony lumps on the front and sides of the inside of the skull.
  3. A flattening and/or concavity of the base of the skull but not the top or roof of the skull.
  4. A high arched and/or narrow hard bony palate.
  5. Delayed eruption of the teeth.
  6. Premature closure of the ‘soft spot’ in toddlers.

The Neanderthal skulls show only one of these features and only slightly and still within normal perimeters. 

In regards to syphilis deformities:

  1. Mulberry molars contain very little enamel.
  2. The second molars  are larger than the first molars which are very small.
  3. The upper and lower incisor crowns are permanently notched on the incisal edge. 
  4. The permanent lower incisors are barrel-shaped.
  5. A short maxilla
  6. A high palatal arch
  7. A saddle nose
  8. Relative protuberance of the mandible.
  9. Perforation of the hard palate

No Neanderthal skulls have any of these manifestations. 

In regards to rheumatoid arthritis:

  1. Very little boney changes are found in the head with one exception, the jaw joint.

Therefore arthritis could not have caused the large brow ridges, facial protrusion, dolichocephalic skull, forward cheekbones and large noses. Only one Neanderthal skull has an arthritic erosion at the jaw joint and spine. 

So how did the Neanderthals get their features? Simple...old age. First let’s define what makes a Neanderthal and Neanderthal.  The most prominent features, of course, in the large bony brow ridges and  slanted upper and lower mandible bones and remaining teeth and the bulbous bulge at the back of the skull (which is what evolutionists try to say makes them partial apes). All three can be
explained by old age. After humans reach adulthood, most of their bones stop growing. But growth still takes place in the face and head. When people live to the long modern age of one hundred, this growth is minimal. But add another five centuries and the cranial-facial features now extend rather dramatically. Which is exactly what is found in Neanderthal skulls. What’s even more interesting is two of the children’s skulls look exactly like normal, modern, human children’s skulls just slightly larger. No large brow ridges or slanted mandible bones. (If you think about it--how do you age a horse? By how slanted the teeth--which are rooted in the mandible bone--are. The more slanted, the older the horse!)

The unfortunate thing is, is that Neanderthal skulls were not presented to the public that way. As a matter of fact most pictures of Neanderthal “children” skulls are actually of adults. Why? Because if Neanderthal children didn’t possess these defining characteristics then evolutionists would be hard pressed to call these people a separate species and a “missing link”.

The chart below shows how after the flood, and even more so after the dispersal from the language split at the tower of Babel, human life spans dramatically decreased. The humans that were born in the generations of Shem through Eber were still alive while generations after the dispersal all the way to Abraham and beyond where dying and being buried. This burial arrangement would put the people with very aged Neanderthal-like features at higher levels and later dates in time than the earlier more modern-appearing humans.

So you see, even though the first post-flood generations were obviously born earlier, due to their long life spans, they didn’t die until after at least six or more later generations were born and buried. This is the best explanation I have encountered that explains why the Neanderthals “suddenly” show up in the later burial layers and why they look so different. And yes the DNA of these ancient people is slightly different than “modern” man because they are direct descendants of the Former World before the genetics were split up. These people were actually more vital and better equipped physically than modern man. 



Fascinating isn’t it!

Until next week, God bless, and take care!
Willow Dressel 

This week in the night skies: “Monday, September 8 Full Moon (exact at 9:38 p.m. EDT). The Moon shines in dim Aquarius. To its upper left in the evening, the western side of the Great Square of Pegasus points down toward it (more or less). This is another perigean "supermoon," the third in a row.”1

For the southern hemisphere; “Near Earth Asteroid  2014 RC will  come close to Earth on 18:00 UT 7 September at distance of 0.0003 AU (around 0.15 Earth-Moon distances). It has an estimated diameter of  20m. It is brightest at 17:15 UT though. The asteroid is currently magnitude 19, and will be a reasonably mag 11.2 at closest approach, despite its small size. The asteroid is well placed for southern observers, and will be relatively bright (magnitude 13 to 11) from midnight on.”2

References:
Cuozzo, Jack, Buried Alive, Master books, Green Forest, AR, 2008.
1http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/weeks-sky-glance-september-5-13/
2http://astroblogger.blogspot.com

Monday, September 1, 2014

UNICORNS, BIBLE, CERATOPSIAN, DINOSAUR, RE-EM, MONOKEROS, MONOCLONIUS, RINOKEROS, NOSE-HORN, TRICERATOPS

UNICORNS IN THE BIBLE??

Hello all my fine friends out there! How have you all been this past week? I had a dear sister in Christ visit for the weekend and what a wonderful time we had. She loves creation science as well and we had some great talks about ancient man and also about dinosaurs. 

So speaking of dinosaurs….last week we discussed what the unicorn could possibly be. It is mentioned nine times in the Bible and both the auroch (the huge bovine creature) and the elasmotherium (a giant extinct rhinoceros) fit the bill. But there is one other animal that also fits the descriptions found in the Bible... a Ceratopsian Dinosaur. 

Genesis Park has researched this and written the following article:

“The “unicorn,” mentioned nine times in the KJV Bible, is the Hebrew word “Re-em.” The Septuagint (Greek translation of the

Old Testament) translated it “Monokeros” (one-horn) which was used in Bibles until the 19th century when Akkadian and Ugaritic records were found that mentioned the “Re-em” being hunted like a wild ox. However, their early pictograph for the “Re-em” shows an animal head with three horns, like a Triceratops. In Psalm 92:10 the “Re-em” has but one horn, while the language or Deuteronomy 33:17 implies two horns. Although most commentators and modern versions translate it as a bull or rhino, some have theorized that “Re-em” might be a Monoclonius (single horned dinosaur like Triceratops). In Job 39:9-12 God asks, “Will the unicorn be willing to serve you, or abide by your crib? Can you bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after you? Wilt you trust him, because his strength is great?” This passage shows that the unicorn, whatever it was, could not be tamed to be used in farming, as could an ox.

“In his classic work Naturalis Historia the first century author Pliny the Elder described “an exceedingly wild beast called the Monoceros [one-horned]. …It makes a deep lowing noise, and one black horn two cubits long projects from the middle of its forehead.” He describes it as like an elephant in length, but with much shorter legs. Other classical authors like Aelian, Oppian, and Martial also mention a “nose-horn” creature (a “Rinokeros”). Some claim that the “Rinokeros” sharpens his horn on a rock and utilizes it in fighting elephants. This is the root word from which we get the modern name rhinoceros, but the ancient descriptions do not fit the rhino very well (even though some species do have one horn). Rhinos do not have a true horn that attaches to the skull. Rather it is made of keratin, a hair-like substance that is similar to our fingernails. The correlation between the classical authors and some modern cryptozoological reports is striking. Dr. Roy Mackal’s explorations in the Congo brought back reports of a rare, single-horned animal called “Emela-ntouka” or “killer of elephants.” In a recent expedition, pygmies in Cameroon identified the horned creature (there called “Ngoubou”) with a ceratopsian dinosaur and claimed it could sport from one to four horns. Indeed, modern researchers believe that the ceratopsian dinosaurs likely did use their great horn for combat (Dodson, Peter, The Horned Dinosaurs:A Natural History, 1996, p.123.)”1 genesispark.com

How fascinating is that! We often tend to forget just how big the Congo swamp is and just how dense it is with vegetation. It is not only reasonable to think, but quite likely that there are animals roaming the swamps’ interior that we have not yet discovered. Someday someone might just get a snapshot of one of these unicorns!

God bless and take care,
Until next time,
Willow Dressel 

This week in the night skies; The First Quarter Moon is Tuesday September 2nd.  For the northern lats; “The Great Square of Pegasus is well up in the east as soon as nightfall is complete. It's larger than your fist at arm's length and currently stands on one corner.”

For the southern skies; “Mercury climbs higher in the evening sky. Mars and Saturn are prominent in the evening sky, forming a nice triangle with Alpha Libra (Zubenelgenubi). The trio are visited by the Moon on the 31st and September 1. This is the last week to see Venus is low in the morning twilight. Jupiter rises higher.”

References:


Photos: dreamtime.com; superstock.com; dinosaur-world.com

Monday, August 18, 2014

UNICORNS IN THE BIBLE??

Hi everyone!

How are all you fine people out there? I am well, enjoying all the rain we are having for this monsoon season. I think I like the stormy and overcast skies as much as I like the thunder and rain because cloudy skies are more like an anomaly rather than the norm here where I live. 

And that is what I want to share with you this week and probably for a few more weeks too. Bible anomalies. We have already gone over a few, in particular UFO’s and giants. But there is at least one more….unicorns!
Notice the cloven hooves and beard

Many people don’t even have a clue that unicorns are written about in the Holy Scriptures, but believe it or not, they are. So lets not just put our heads into a hole or look the other way! Let’s grab the bull by the horns and delve into this. After all, it must be important since God wrote about it.

What picture comes to your mind at the mention of unicorns? Is it the goatish horse like creature with a beard and mane and long fur on its legs? Or is it the majestic white stallion with flowing mane and tale and a single spiral spike growing from its forehead. That, of course is my favorite since I am a horse lover. But let’s see what scripture tells us unicorns really are.

The unicorn is mentioned nine times in the Bible. Numbers 23:22 (God brought them out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn.) and again in Numbers 24:8 (God brought him forth out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn: he shall eat up the nations his enemies, and shall break their bones, and pierce them through with his arrows.) Deuteronomy 33:17 (His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of unicorns: with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth: and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh.) Job 39:9 and 10 (Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib? Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee?) Psalms 22:21 (Save me from the lion's mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.) Psalms 29:6 (He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn.) Psalms 92:10 (But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn: I shall be anointed with fresh oil.) And Isaiah 34:7 (And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness.)

Now let’s put together what the Bible means. First we can deduct unicorns are very strong and that they are fierce. Then we see that the unicorn is not likely to be tamed, at least to pull a plow. Horses are domestic animals that train well (so scratch the beautiful, white, unicorn-horsey creature). It also seems this animal is fairly large. And lastly the Bible lets us know that it is a real animal, not a fairytale. Many commentators think it was the giant wild ox, or aurochs. Psalms 92:10 indicates, however, that it did have a “horn”, not two that may have looked like one horn from a distance. But Deuteronomy 33:17 speaks of the “horns of unicorns,” which could mean several one-horned animals or two-horned animals. 

pictograph from a cave painting
We can thus safely reason that the unicorns mentioned in the Bible were real animals, not an imaginary horse-like creature. Also all of the verses in scripture that refer to unicorns do so in the context of familiar animals—peacocks and eagles, lambs and lions, bullocks and goats, donkeys and horses, dogs and calves. In addition, the biblical unicorns behave like ordinary animals—skipping like calves (Psalm 29:6) and bleeding when they die (Isaiah 34:7). 

Then the question becomes...exactly what is a unicorn?

So does the Bible contain the only documentation of this unique animal? Let’s look into other historical resources. The famous

explorer Marco Polo traveled into the far east in the 12th century. In his travels to Sumatra, he encountered an animal with one horn. However his description of unicorns in Sumatra sounds like a rhinoceros: “They have wild elephants and plenty of unicorns, which are scarcely smaller than elephants. They have the hair of a buffalo and feet like an elephant’s. They have a single large black horn in the middle of the forehead . . . They are very ugly brutes to look at. They are not at all such as we describe them when we relate that they let themselves be captured by virgins, but clean contrary to our notions.”

It could be that Marco Polo had stumbled upon the elasmotherium, an extinct giant rhinoceros. “The elasmotherium’s 33-inch-long skull has a huge bony protuberance on the frontal bone consistent with the support structure for a massive horn. In fact, archaeologist Austen Henry Layard, in his 1849 book Nineveh and Its Remains, sketched a single-horned creature from an obelisk in company with two-horned bovine animals; he identified the single-horned animal as an Indian rhinoceros. The biblical unicorn could have been the elasmotherium.”1

Fossil of an elasmotherium


“Eighteenth century reports from southern Africa described rock drawings and eyewitness accounts of fierce, single-horned, equine-like animals. One such report describes “a single horn, directly in front, about as long as one’s arm, and at the base about as thick . . . . [It] had a sharp point; it was not attached to the bone of the forehead, but fixed only in the skin.”2

“Assyrian archaeology provides one other possible solution to the unicorn identity crisis. The biblical unicorn could have been an aurochs (a kind of wild ox known to the Assyrians as rimu). The aurochs’s horns were very symmetrical and often appeared as one in profile, as can be seen on Ashurnasirpal II’s palace relief and Esarhaddon’s stone prism. Fighting rimu (the Hebrew name) was a popular sport
 

for Assyrian kings. On a broken obelisk, for instance, Tiglath-Pileser I boasted of slaying them in the Lebanon mountains. Extinct since about 1627, aurochs, Bos primigenius, were huge bovine creatures. Julius Caesar described them in his Gallic Wars as: ‘a little below the elephant in size, and of the appearance, color, and shape of a bull. Their strength and speed are extraordinary; they spare neither man nor wild beast which they have espied . . . . Not even when taken very young can they be rendered familiar to men and tamed. The size, shape, and appearance of their horns differ much from the horns of our oxen. These they anxiously seek after, and bind at the tips with silver, and use as cups at their most sumptuous entertainments.’”

Egyptian carvings, and cave painting also depict animals with one horn or if the beast turned its head slightly, could look like one horn.

Some scientist have even suggested that the unicorn could be a type of dinosaur! We will continue next week… 

Until then, take care and God bless!
Willow Dressel

This week in the night skies for the northern latitudes “Saturday, August 23, August is prime Milky Way time. After dark, the Milky Way runs from Sagittarius and Scorpius in the south-southwest, up and left across Aquila and through the big Summer Triangle very high in the southeast and east, and on down through Cassiopeia to Perseus rising low in the north-northeast.”5

For the southern latitudes… “Evening sky on Thursday August 21 looking north-west as seen from Adelaide at 22:00 (10:00 pm) ACST in South Australia. Mars and Saturn are close together under the head of  Scorpius. Similar views will be seen elsewhere at the equivalent local time.”6



References:

Monday, August 11, 2014

MOVIE REVIEW, GOD’S NOT DEAD, ARGUMENTS, SCIENTIFIC OBJECTIONS TO GOD, MORAL OBJECTIONS, SKEPTICS

GODS NOT DEAD!

(SORRYTHE BLOG SIGHT IS NOT LETTING ME POST PICTURES.ILL TRY AGAIN TOMORROW!)

Good day everyone! And a fine one it has been today. And this week will get even better when both of my daughters are coming to visits with the grandkids! Yeah! One of the things we like to do best is go see a good movie.

If you haven’t already watched the movie “God’s Not Dead”, I highly recommend it. The movie went over some critical issue Christians face today. It is about a young freshman college student who stood up to his philosophy professor, and really the rest of the class too, to pronounce that God is not dead. Many arguments 
ensued from the professor that the student had to refute. I am not going into any more detail for the sake of those who haven’t seen it. I just want to point out that though we covered in quite a bit of detail the different skeptics, I neglected to mention one thing. That is that skeptics often overlap in their arguments. In this case the professor started out with scientific objections, but the real cause was moral objections because he had suffered a great deal of pain. 
If you get a chance to watch it you should recognize some of the objections that were used. It is a great movie to use for your own growth in answering the skeptic. Try to formulate your own response to the objections, then see how close they are to the college students explanations. Are your descriptions sound? Would they make the skeptic think?

Roger Patterson wrote for Answers In Genesis in their movie review section; “I trust that you can use God’s Not Dead...to equip yourself and others to stand boldly for Christ. Whether challenges come from other Christians or those who stand against Christ, I pray that you will look to Scripture as your absolute authority in every area of life and not be taken captive by old-earth, evolutionary views—whether cosmological, biological, or geological—that are based on the elementary principles of the world and the traditions of men (Colossians 2:1–10). Rather, look to Christ and rely on the Holy Spirit and the Word of God to carefully evaluate the arguments being offered to you, taking every
thought captive to the obedience of Christ, holding fast to the good and using it to spread the hope of salvation found in Jesus Christ—our Creator and Savior.” I couldn’t agree more.

Take care and God  bless,
Willow Dressel

This week in the night skies; for the norther hemisphere⎯“Tuesday, August 12 Peak Perseid meteor [shower] night late tonight. But the Moon, just two days after full, compromises the view. See our article, Perseids vs. Moonlight: Which Will Prevail?.”2

For the southern lats⎯“The Perseid Meteor Shower runs from July 17–August 24, and peaks on the morning of Wednesday August 13 between 11 am-2:00 pm AEST (00h to 03h on August 13 UT).  Despite this being a quite reasonable meteor shower in the northern hemisphere, for most of Australia the radiant is below the horizon, and only the very occasional meteor will be seen shooting up from the northern horizon.
This year is particularly bad, not only does the peak occur after sunrise, but the nearly full Moon is not far from the radiant on the best nights.
Anyone south of Brisbane will see only the occasional meteor, say maybe one or two per hour (or less), the further north of Brisbane you are, the more meteors you will see.
You can check predictions for your local area at the NASA meteor flux estimator (choose 7 Perseids and 12-13 August 2014). People around the latitude of Darwin have the best chance of seeing meteors, possibly as many as one every 10 minutes at the peak (see table below). Next is places with the latitude of Cairns, then with the latitude of Mackay (like Port Headland and Mt Isa), and the places with the latitude of Alice Springs (again,see table below). 
To see the meteors, you will need to be up from around 3:00 am local time on the 13th (yes, a really horrible hour of the morning), with best views 4:00 am-5:30 am. The meteor shower will be located due North, with the radiant just above the northern horizon. Cloud cover predictions can be found at SkippySky.
When you get up, allow at least 5 minutes for your eyes to adjust, and be patient, it may be several minutes before you are rewarded with you first meteor, then a couple will come along in quick succession. Choose a viewing spot where you can see a large swathe of sky without trees or buildings getting in the way, or with streetlights getting in your eyes. The darker the spot the better (but do be sensible, don't choose a spot in an unsalubrious park for example).”3

References:

Monday, August 4, 2014

2014.08.04.MORAL SKEPTICISM, PEACE, BROTHERLY LOVE, COEXIST, RIGHT, WRONG, DECIDE FOR YOURSELF, STANDARDS, TRUTH, ABSOLUTE TRUTH, NEUTRAL, ABORTION, MARRIAGE, SUBJECTIVE STANDARDS, OBJECTIVE STANDARDS, INTERNAL STANDARDS, EXTERNAL STANDARDS, LOVE, JUDGING, INTOLERANT, DISAGREE, HATE, DOGMA, FUNDAMENTALIST

MORAL SKEPTICISM

Hi ya’ll! We have been having wonderful rain here. I love to see the woods come alive with all the moisture. It’s such a blessing. It is peaceful and very calm to walk in the forest and smell the wet undergrowth and see so many plants and flowers appearing. 
Speaking of peace I realized I forgot to write about the moral skeptic. Moral skepticism appears to promote peace and brotherly love. Perhaps you have seen the universal bumper sticker coexist with each letter a symbol for a different religion. Moral skepticism deals with relativism and the real message behind this sticker is not that all religions should just get along, but that they are all equally true. This is an impossibility. How can Allah and Jesus both be

god/God? 
What relativism does is allow a person to avoid moral judgements. Often these people appear thoughtful, nonjudgmental, and neutral because they say right and wrong are things people should decide for themselves. This is the root idea behind moral skepticism. So from their point of view, someone who holds to absolute truths--Jesus is the only way; a “choice” is really a baby; marriage is between one man and one woman--is an enemy of peace even though Jesus brought peace between God and man and between mankind….but not at the expense of truth. Truth often involves making hard decisions and choosing a side--something relativists do not want, like, and avoid. Relativism is quite seductive because it hides in plain sight. It seems tolerant, inclusive, and plays to the public’s emotions and sense of morality, so its inherent self-defeating nature slips by unnoticed. The probing question to confront these people with is “What is your standard for right and wrong?” With a simple followup question of why?”. The point is to make the skeptic aware that he/she is not really neutral. 
For example the skeptic might say in answer to your viewpoint that abortion is wrong, “I think people should respect each other’s opinions.” You can answer “Why, is it wrong not to do that?” Most likely they will will be shocked an say, “Of course it is.” Then you can ask, “What’s your standard for right and wrong.” You will probably hear an answer similar to, “Myself; my heart; I do what I feel is right; etc.” That’s the catch….you see they are imposing on you what they feel is right, but if they actually did respect your opinion, you would be free to do what you feel is right with out criticism. Here the skeptic attempts to be morally neutral by saying that all opinions should be equally respected, yet he/she goes on to say that your opinion is wrong. Similarly, if they say God is not good or kind or He wouldn’t send any one to hell, you can ask the probing question. They will probably answer something like, “I know in my heart it’s true.” You can then inform them of their not so neutral opinion by asking, “So, you think God should do what you feel is right? What if other people feel differently? Who should God follow?” In this case, the skeptic objects to God’s standards but then he/she plays God by judging God by his/her own standard. 
In both cases, you have made the skeptic aware that they are not as neutral as they believe. Because exposing the flaws of moral objections relies greatly on turning the skeptic’s words against them, be careful not to be confrontational. A way to avoid that is to say, “What I hear you saying is…”
It is good with all skeptics to clarify red flag words. Truth is the biggest for the moral skeptic. What they mean is what ever is true for me goes. This is subjective truth. Moral skeptics attempt to use internal (subjective) preferences as the standard for deciding truth in the external world. For example, the skeptic may believe gummy worms are the best candy ever. To the skeptic it is true as far as  taste (internal) goes, but everything else about gummy worms, their shape, size, color, texture, etc., is external. Beliefs can contradict each other but not physical, external evidence. We need to look for the reality (outside evidence) to shed light on moral decisions. Objective truth on the other hand, does not take into consideration anyones feelings or beliefs. Objective truths are proven true when external reality backs them up no matter what our opinion of them is. Whatever is real is true.
Here are a few red flag words to watch out for:
Should(n’t): the skeptic means conforming to his or her idea of right or wrong. Example; Christians shouldn’t talk about absolute truths. The skeptic’s personal goal is to escape the word should or ought so he/she can avoid moral absolutes and behave any way they choose. What they really believe is that “should” should apply to everyone but him/herself.
Love: the skeptic means affection toward another that makes both parties feel good. The highest form of love is agape and isn’t based on feelings. Instead it desires the greatest good for another person regardless of how it makes them feel. Tough love is unpopular because it initiates growth, which can be uncomfortable.
Judging: they mean being judgmental; unable to accept an idea or person who is different from the one doing the judging. But the moral relativist’s charge that others are “judging” him or her for merely opposing his ideas is in itself a judgement!
Intolerant: their meaning is disagreeing with their point of view. When these people labels  someone as being “intolerant”, they miss the fact that disagreement is the basis of true tolerance. You are expressing true tolerance when a person disagrees with your point of view, yet respects that person’s right to express it. You can always ask them, “why are you being intolerant of of my alleged intolerance?” They get intolerance and disagreement mixed up.
Hate: the skeptic means speaking against a person’s right to do what they want to do. Mere disagreement doesn’t rise to the level of hate. As with intolerance, the skeptic who declares that you are preaching “hate” or “hate speech” mischaracterizes your opposition to an idea as being opposition to the person expressing the idea. 
Dogma: they mean unbending, narrow thoughts about the world that “fundamentalists” believe because their sacred book says so. Today dogma is associated with someone who is certain about their beliefs. Skeptics often complain that Christians “force their beliefs down other people’s throats,” but sometimes even when a gentle manner is used to deliver truth, it can be hard to swallow. 
Fundamentalist: the skeptic means someone who gives easy answers to difficult questions; someone who is certain about their beliefs. Today fundamentalist denotes someone who is too closed-minded to consider other views. To be certain about one’s view is to be uneducated and dangerous. Often a fundamentalist is judged according to the certainty with which they hold their beliefs, not according to the substance of those beliefs. Point out the irony that if he or she is so certain about you being a fundamentalist, then according to his own criteria, he too is a fundamentalist.
There are other red flag words too but these are the most common. A relativist’s (moral skeptic) argument stands or falls on his or her ability to reshape words. So our ability to clarify words is the key to defusing relativism.
The moral skeptic preaches against absolutes and judgments but they must use absolutes and judgments to determine that not using them is better. What they don’t see is that relativism is enslaving, not liberating. If everyone decides for themselves what is right or wrong, standards will eventually conflict and chaos will follow. If all standards are equal, then who decides what is right? The only alternative is that  those with the most power will decide. A relativistic world is ultimately governed by one absolute principle--might determines right. And that’s what Hitler believed

This week in the night skies:For the northern hemisphere"Look northeast as the stars come out for W-shaped Cassiopeia. It's still not as high as the Big Dipper is in the northwest, but the two are on their way to their dusk balance point week by week.1
For the southern lats"on the evening of Monday 4 August Saturn is occulted by the Moon as seen from the most of Australia. This is the third and best of these rare occultations, it is under reasonable dark skies, with Saturn slipping behind the dark limb of the Last Quarter Moon. Saturn reappears while the Moon is still reasonably high.2 

References:
Foster, Bill. “Meet the Skeptic, A Field Guide to Faith Conversations.” Master Books, Green Forest, AR, 2012. Pp 57-82.
1.http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/weeks-sky-glance-august-1-9/
2.http://astroblogger.blogspot.com



Monday, July 28, 2014

MILLER-UREK EXPERIMENT, STANLEY MILLER, OPALINE, HAROLD UREY, 1953, UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO, LIFE FROM NON-LIFE, ABIOGENSIS, SPONTANEOUS GENERATION, AMINO ACIDS, BUILDING BLOCKS OF LIFE, LEFT HANDED AMINO ACIDS, PROTEIN, OXYGEN, METHANE, EARLY EARTH ATOMOSPHERE

THE MILLER-UREK EXPERIMENT 

Hello everyone! How are all of you doing? We are well here, working our way through the hot and stormy summer months. One of the activities I do is teach the youth at my church creation science. The subject of the famous Miller-Urey experiment came up and so I want to enlighten all of you the same as I informed my students about this experiment. 

Some of you may remember mention of this experiment in your science classes in regards to “proof” that amino acids--the building blocks of life--had been generated from this experiment. But for those of you who don’t remember let me refresh your minds…

In 1953 Harold Urey an advisor from the University of Chicago, and his 23 year old graduate student Stanley Miller, conducted what became a famous  biochemistry experiment. “The Miller-Urey experiments involved filling a sealed glass apparatus with the gases that Opaline (a Russian scientist) had speculated were necessary to form life—namely methane, ammonia and hydrogen (to mimic the conditions that they thought were in the early atmosphere) and water vapor (to simulate the ocean). Next, while a heating coil kept the water boiling, they struck the gases in the flask with a high-voltage (60,000 volts-an excessive energy input) tungsten spark-discharge device to simulate lightning. Below this was a water-cooled condenser that cooled and condensed the mixture, allowing it to fall into a water trap below.”1





But this begs the very logical question of how did Miller know what the atmosphere was like billions of years ago? It is easy to see that Miller assumed the early earth’s atmosphere was different from today. He based his starting chemical mixture on the belief that the early earth had an atmosphere that contains no free oxygen. Why? Because it is well known in the field of science that biological molecules (specifically amino acid bonds) are destroyed in the presence of oxygen, making it impossible for life to evolve. Oxygen is a poisonous gas that oxidizes organic and inorganic materials here on earth. It would be lethal to any organisms that has no protection against it. So unless protection against oxygen “evolved” the same time that the amino acids formed, the bonds would have been immediately broken. Therefore, in order to avoid this problem, evolutionists, including Opaline, Urey and Miller,  propose that earth’s first atmosphere did not contain any freestanding oxygen. But is there any evidence at all to support this, or is it all based on the assumption that evolution must be true? No, there isn’t any evidence. There is no proof that
Earth ever had a non-oxygen atmosphere. As a matter of fact, earth’s oldest rocks contain evidence of being formed in an oxygen rich atmosphere. Recent literature suggests there is far more oxygen in the early atmosphere than anyone imagined. H-m-m….this is the first problem with Miller’s experiment. Lets go on….

“Within a few days, the water and gas mix produced a pink stain on the sides of the flask trap. As the experiment progressed and the chemical products accumulated, the stain turned deep red, then turbid. After a week, the researchers analyzed the substances in the U-shaped water trap used to collect the reaction products. The primary substances in the gaseous phase were carbon monoxide (CO) and nitrogen (N2). The dominant solid material was an insoluble toxic carcinogenic mixture called ‘tar’ or ‘resin’, a common product in organic reactions, including burning tobacco.”2 This is the second problem; and intelligent being altered the process. In later experiments Miller removed the tar because he knew nothing could survive in this cancer producing mixture.

But in the first experiment the tar was analyzed by chromatographic techniques that revealed a number of substances had been produced. However no amino acids were detected during this first attempt, so Miller modified the experiment (removed the carcinogenic) and tried again. “In time, trace amounts of several of the simplest biologically useful amino acids were formed—mostly glycine and alanine. The yield of glycine was a mere 1.05%, of alanine only 0.75% and the next most common amino acid produced amounted to only 0.026% of the total—so small as to be largely insignificant. In Miller’s words, ‘The total yield was small for the energy expended.’ The side group for glycine is a lone hydrogen and for alanine, a simple methyl (-CH3) group. 
“Miller was attempting to illustrate how life’s building blocks (amino acids) could have formed by natural processes. However, throughout the experiment Miller relied on years of intelligent research in chemistry. He purposely chose which gases to include and which to exclude. Next, he had to isolate the biochemicals (amino acids) from the environment he had created them in because it would have destroyed them. No such system would have existed on the so-called primitive earth. It appears Miller used intelligent design throughout the experiment rather than chance processes.”3 Problem number two continues.

In subsequent experiments Miller was able to produce amino acids. However, “producing amino acids is not the hard part. The difficult part is getting the right type and organization of amino acids. There are over 2,000 types of amino acids, but only 20 are used in life. Furthermore, the atoms that make up each amino acid are assembled in two basic shapes. These are known as left-handed and right-handed. Interestingly, all amino acids that make up proteins in living organisms are 100 percent left-handed. Right-handed amino acids are never found in proteins. If a protein were assembled with just one right-handed amino acid, the protein’s function would be totally lost. As one PhD chemist has said: Life requires polymers with all building blocks having the same ‘handedness’—proteins have only ‘left-handed’ amino acids. . . . But ordinary undirected chemistry, as is the hypothetical primordial soup, would produce equal mixtures of left- and right-handed molecules.”4  And a
introductory chemistry textbook has written in it: “All the proteins that have been investigated, obtained from animals and from plants from higher organisms and from very simple organisms—bacteria, molds, even viruses—are found to have been made of L-amino [left-handed] acids.”5 This is the third problem Miller came up with, the wrong results.

But could there be a chance, however slim, that life could evolve from non-life? “What have scientists calculated the probability of an average-size protein occurring naturally to be? Walter Bradley, PhD, materials science, and Charles Thaxton, PhD, chemistry, calculated that the probability of amino acids forming into a protein is: 4.9 x 10191. This is well beyond the laws of probability [chance] (1x1050), and a protein is not even close to becoming a complete living cell. No matter how large the environment one considers, life cannot have had a random beginning. . . . There are about two thousand enzymes, and the chance of obtaining them all in a random trial is only one part in (1020)2000 = 1040,000, an outrageously small probability that could not be faced (obtained) even if the whole universe consisted of organic soup.”6

Sadly, despite the fact that the Miller experiment did not succeed by producing only left-handed amino acids (the building blocks of life), textbooks that teach our children continue to promote the idea that life could have originated by natural processes (from non-life). “For example, the following statement from a biology textbook misleads students into thinking Miller succeeded: By re-creating the early atmosphere (ammonia, water, hydrogen and methane) and passing an electric spark (lightning) through the mixture, Miller and Urey proved that organic matter such as amino acids could have formed spontaneously. First, note the word proved. Miller and Urey proved nothing except that life’s building blocks could not form in such conditions. Second, the textbook completely ignores other evidence, which shows that the atmosphere always contained oxygen. Third, the textbook ignores the fact that Miller got the wrong type of amino acids—a mixture of left- and right-handed. The Miller experiment (and all experiments since then) failed to produce even a single biological protein by purely naturalistic processes. Only God could have begun life.”7
One other thing I would like to point out. “If we were to grant the evolutionists’ assumption of no oxygen in the original atmosphere, another fatal problem arises. Since the ozone is made of oxygen, it would not exist; and the ultraviolet rays from the sun would destroy any biological molecules. This presents a no-win situation for the evolution model. If there was oxygen, life could not start. If there was no oxygen, life could not start.”8 Problem number four. Wouldn’t that be great to see this information in our public schools!

Until next time,
Willow Dressel

This week in the night skies; for the northern hemisphere; “Friday, August 1. At dusk this evening, the Moon forms the lower-right end of a very long, curving line of celestial objects. Counting to the Moon's upper left, these are Spica, Mars, and Saturn. This day is Lammas Day or Lughnasadh, one of the four traditional "cross-quarter" days midway between the solstices and equinoxes. More or less. The actual midpoint between the June solstice and the September equinox this year comes at 2:40 a.m. August 7th Eastern Daylight Time (6:40 UT). That will be the exact midpoint of astronomical summer.”9

For the southern lats; “The Southern Delta-Aquarids meteor shower runs from from 12 July to 23rd August, peaking on Wednesday July the 30th. The number of meteors you will see depends on how high the radiant is above the horizon, and how dark your sky is. This shower is fairly faint, with the highest rate of around a meteor every 4 minutes.”10 

References: