Blessed in Haiti

Thank you so very much for the materials that you donated to the prison ministry here in Haiti. . . . They seem to especially like the back issues of Answers magazine. They don’t get very much literature, and those who read English get almost none, so to have a quality publication like that donated to them is a real blessing.

P.S. Just a little note, I was fascinated by Dr. David Menton’s article on the eye in the last issue and was showing my family about the puncta. My two-year-old son was so impressed that for days he walked around wanting to look at everyone’s “punka.”

Matthew M., Ganthier, Haiti

A Fair Request

What a beautiful chart on “Little Green Machines” on page 41 of the current issue. I have a booth at our county fair and would love to make a poster out of it. Would you grant permission for that? I would make an 11 x 17 copy, laminate it, and use it as part of a display called “What Are the Odds?”

Mary W., West Bend, Wisconsin

Editor’s Note: We are glad to grant such requests. Our permissions statement on page 6 encourages readers to use articles for noncommercial, educational use in local churches and school classrooms, provided that copies are distributed without charge and written credit is given to Answers magazine, along with reference to our website, AnswersMagazine.com.

Cardinal Rule

I’ve just read an article by Melinda Christian about flying foxes, and I was quite shocked to see that not a single thing was referenced! . . . It is a cardinal rule of writing to always reference material.

Neil R., Lexington, Kentucky

Editor’s Note: Answers magazine is a popular magazine, similar to Science News and other respected periodicals, where the facts that come from standard references (e.g., they are considered “common knowledge”) are not footnoted. You should know that we run science articles by leading scientists in various fields to make sure our claims are accurate and to ensure we follow standard practice in making references. If an article references any ideas that are unique to one individual (not a standard reference in the field) they must be referenced in the magazine’s articles.

The Tully Monster

I was very impressed with Kurt Wise’s article “Mystifying Mosaics.” There is another animal, known only by fossil remains, which biologists have been unable to place in any particular group, even at the phylum level. That animal is the Tully Monster, whose fossils have only been found in northeastern Illinois. . . .

Since the Tully Monster was a soft-bodied invertebrate, the rapid burial which occurred during Noah’s Flood would have been the reason for the great degree of preservation. The Tully Monster would be another fine example of a mosaic.

Gaye A., Springfield, Illinois

Author’s Note: Tullimonstrum gregarium (the “tully monster”) is not a mosaic in the sense I was speaking in my article. It does not contain characteristics of multiple groups. It is merely a unique organism (and there are a bunch of those kinds of organisms in the world and in the fossil record)—arguably a phylum all of its own—that seems to have lived in association with the floating forest in pre-Flood times (see p. 40).

A Case for Name Calling?

[After reading your “Science News” claim] that a Nature magazine editor called Ken Ham and Andrew Snelling “evil twits,” I checked the website, and sure enough the editor used this, and worse, irresponsible name calling . . . .

When I worked in corrections, the lawyers used to say if you have a good case, you hammer on the facts; if not, you hammer on the person. This observation, unfortunately, seems to be very true in science as well.

Dr. Jerry Bergman,
Department of Biology and Chemistry
Northwest State College, Ohio

Missing Bacteria

In reading the article entitled “The Matrix: Life Support System” by Dr. Joe Francis in the July/September edition of Answers magazine, I found the article suspiciously devoid of any mention of archaea. These former members of the bacterial family are found in many of the ecosystems which are mentioned by the author . . . . In fact, archaea often work hand-in-hand with bacteria to perform the exact tasks which Dr. Francis discusses in his article and seems to attribute solely to bacteria.

Eric M., Lewisburg, Pennsylvania

Author’s Note: In effect I used the general terms bacteria or microbe to denote all eubacteria and archeabacteria. Archeabacteria are one type of bacteria, which evolutionary microbiologists believe are more ancient than the more common bacteria (eubacteria), hence they use the term archea in the name. Also the more proper term to describe both the eubacteria and the archaebacteria is the term prokaryote, but the brief article would have needed another paragraph to explain all these things. In hindsight, based on your comments, I could have put an explanation of the archea into a footnote in the article. Also, I do research with an archeabacteria, called halobacteria. I culture halobacteria in my lab, and I will soon have a webpage devoted to the work that my students at The Master’s College do with them. (Visit http://www.masters.edu/science to read more about the work of Joe Francis.)

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