CorrectionsAnswers Research Journal, Volume 2, 2009

Table of Contents

  • p1–9A Brief History of Intolerance in Modern Cosmology

    by Dr. Jerry Bergman

    A review of some recent well-documented cases of intolerance in the cosmology field illustrates a common problem in science. Many relate to the Big Bang theory, such as the case of Geoffrey and Margaret Burbidge and Halton Arp. None of the accounts involved Intelligent Design advocates or creationists. This selection removes this compounding factor from the evaluation, but the cases have direct relevance to both Intelligent Design and creationism because both groups face the same resistance. It was concluded that it is critical for science to advance that new ideas must be evaluated on the evidence and not because they challenge established science. This problem has persisted during the entire history of science, the most well known example being Galileo.
  • p11–20There is no Darwin Conspiracy

    by Todd Charles Wood

    Roy Davies’s book The Darwin Conspiracy contends that Charles Darwin plagiarized his theory of evolution from Edward Blyth, Patrick Matthew, and especially Alfred Russell Wallace. In support of these contentions, Davies offers evidence of similar terminology between Darwin and Blyth/Matthew and mail delivery schedules that allowed Darwin to take advantage of Wallace’s letters about evolution. Careful scrutiny of Davies’s claims finds them lacking credibility. The similar terminology between Darwin and Blyth/Matthew are inconclusive. Darwin could have derived the incriminating words from other sources. The mail schedules presented by Davies are unverifiable since the letters in question are no longer extant. Given the weakness of Davies’s argument, Darwin is unlikely to have plagiarized any component of his theory of evolution by natural selection.
  • p21–28Toward An Understanding of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi

    by Tom Hennigan

    Building a creation model of ecology is a worthwhile endeavor. An important ecological relationship is the understanding of arbuscular mycorrhizae (AM) which are complex symbioses between plants and fungi. Understanding these relationships has implications in origins issues, taxonomy, post-Flood diversification, and land stewardship. A working knowledge of the plant/fungus system has potential for how God’s people can exercise a biblical ethic of environment because as we unravel their intricacies they demonstrate incredible design. As we seek to discover the intent of the Designer, we can enhance our stewardship of the land by using this symbiosis to re-establish polluted and disturbed landscapes and grow sustainable crops.

  • p29–51Chalk and “Upper Cretaceous” Deposits are Part of the Noachian Flood

    by John D. Matthews

    Thick chalk deposits exist in several parts of the world, including Europe, Australia, and the USA. The bulk of this chalk is considered to belong to what is referred to as the “Upper Cretaceous” period.

    Geologists working within a framework of uniformitarianism (or actualism) claim that they result from millions of years of accumulation of coccoliths. If we are to take the new understanding of the age of the earth from RATE studies seriously, then it is necessary to explain the chalk by mechanisms which do not involve such long timescales. Snelling (1994) attempted to explain the chalk deposits within a timescale of a few days, so that chalk could be considered as part of the visible evidence for the Noachian Flood. Tyler (1996) then tried to show that the model proposed by Snelling was not tenable and described how chalk had to be interpreted as a post-Flood deposit, but within a short timescale.

    This document shows two things. First, that the certain features of the “Upper Cretaceous” period correspond closely with the biblical account of the Noachian Flood around day 150. Second, that uniformitarian explanations for “chalk” are inadequate to explain their deposition, reworking, and geomorphology and that only by considering the rapid events in the middle of the Noachian Flood can their deposition and characteristics be explained. En passant we make two additional discoveries, viz (i) that the concept of the geological column is not robust over small distances, and (ii) that there is independent support to the RATE studies that show that the earth is young.

    A consequence of this geoscientific study is that geology is a powerful visible witness to the testimony of the Bible, and such facts should therefore be used in evangelism. Specifically, the real fossil record, rather than the constructed geological column, disproves evolution. The geoscience also shows that active promotion of what was commonly known as the European Recolonization Model (or its variants where the bulk of the strata are judged to be “post-Flood”) to explain geology was ill-founded.

  • p53–78Implications of Polonium Radiohalos in Nested Plutons of the Tuolumne Intrusive Suite, Yosemite, California

    by Dr. Andrew Snelling and Dallel Gates

    The formation of granite plutons has conventionally been thought to be a slow process requiring millions of years from generation to cooling. Even though new mechanisms for rapid emplacement of plutons have now been proposed, radioisotope dating still dominates and dictates long timescales for pluton formation. However, a new challenge to those long timescales has arisen from radiohalos. Polonium radiohalos found in biotite flakes of granites in Yosemite National Park place severe time constraints on the formation and cooling of the granite plutons due to the short half-lives of the polonium isotopes. The biotite flakes must have formed and cooled below 150ºC before the polonium supply was exhausted and the radiohalos could be preserved, so the U decay had to be grossly accelerated and the formation of the plutons had to be within 6–10 days. Furthermore, rapid cooling of the plutons was facilitated by the hydrothermal fluid convection that rapidly generated the Po radiohalos, challenging conventional thinking that cooling is a slow process by conduction. It is evident that there were greater volumes of hydrothermal fluids in the later central intrusions of the nested plutons of the Tuolumne Intrusive Suite. So as expected, more Po radiohalos were generated in these plutons as they were sequentially intruded, confirming the hydrothermal fluid transport model for Po radiohalo formation. Thus granite pluton formation is consistent with the timescale of a young earth, and accelerated radioisotope decay renders the absolute ages for these granite plutons grossly in error.
  • p79–84Genetics of Coat Color II

    by Jean K. Lightner

    The creation model provides a valuable framework for evaluating the role of genetic changes in animals and man. Recognizing the population bottleneck which occurred in land animals at the time of the Flood, it is clear that genetic variation was once more limited than it is today. Here, variation in the agouti signaling protein gene is evaluated. In general, activating mutations result from regulatory changes, while loss of function mutations can result from regulatory changes and/or amino acid substitutions. The effects can vary widely. Various activating mutations are associated with the valuable white phenotype in domestic sheep, the adaptive coloration that arose in Oldfield mice, and negative pleiotropic effects in yellow lab mice. It appears that a number of different mechanisms are involved in genetic rearrangements that have potentially useful effects. Further research should help uncover a better understanding of how and why these rearrangements occur as well as a more detailed understanding of their effects. The benefits of this knowledge could range from aiding in the development of livestock suited to unusual environmental conditions to avoiding or mitigating the effects of deleterious mutations.

  • p85–95More Abundant than Stars

    by Joseph W. Francis and Georgia Purdom

    Microbes form a life-sustaining organosubstrate on earth and contribute to our understanding of geology, ecology, and biology. Creation microbiologists are actively involved in research and publication, but a field of creation microbiology has not yet been formally established. This paper represents a first attempt to organize the field of creation microbiology by providing an overview of the general classification of microbes and their functions in the biosphere.
  • p97–106The Natural History of Retroviruses

    by Yingguang Liu and Charles Soper

    Scattered in human and animal genomes are a class of repetitious genetic elements called endogenous retroviruses (ERVs), which bear sequence homology to retroviral genomes. They constitute about 8% of the human genome. Evolutionists assume that all endogenous retroviruses are remnants of germ line infection by exogenous retroviruses. However, the essential beneficial function of some ERVs and complex interaction between ERVs and other host DNA sequences suggest that some retroviruses were created in the cell as part of the host genome. The original ERV elements were endowed with the ability to package themselves in proteins and lipids and leave the host cell as infectious particles. Thus we speculate exogenous retroviruses were derived from endogenous retroviruses (exogenization, as opposed to endogenization). The ability of retroviruses to transpose within the host cell or to infect another host may have been designed for protein-coding, for gene regulation, and for DNA repair by homologous and non-homologous recombination. After the Fall, retroviral elements have been degraded by mutations. Retroviral insertion into the host genome also became deregulated, causing insertional mutagenesis. Deregulation of exogenous retroviruses resulted in pathogenesis.

  • p107–115A Review of Mitoribosome Structure and Function Does not Support the Serial Endosymbiotic Theory

    by Daniel C. Criswell, Logos Research Associates

    The theory of serial endosymbiosis states that eukaryotic cells, of which plants and animals are composed, evolved from the symbiosis of smaller aerobic and autotrophic prokaryotic cells (bacteria) living within larger prokaryotic cells. Unlike plant and animal cells, prokaryotic cells contain no membrane bound organelles or an organized nucleus. Based on this theory, organelles such as the mitochondria in modern eukaryotic cells would be the evolutionary descendents of the aerobic prokaryotic cells engulfed by the larger prokaryotes.

    Mitochondria have a few minor characteristics that are similar to bacteria, such as their size, lack of introns in the mitochondrial genome, and a bi-layer cell covering that have been used to support the theory of serial endosymbiosis. However, there are also significant differences that make the transition of a bacterium into a eukaryotic mitochondrion impossible. Mitochondria and bacteria both have ribosomes, made of protein and ribonucleic acid (RNA), to catalyze the synthesis of proteins. When the theory of serial endosymbiosis was first proposed, it was assumed that ribosomes occurred in only two forms: a smaller 70S variety found in prokaryotes and a larger 80S ribosome found in the cytosol of plant and animal cells (eukaryotes). According to the theory of serial endosymbiosis, the ribosomes present in mammalian mitochondria were expected to resemble the prokaryote 70S ribosome. However, the structure of mammalian mitochondrial ribosomes and their RNA and amino acid sequences indicate that mammalian mitochondrial ribosomes are completely different from prokaryotic ribosomes.

    The evolution of mammalian ribosomes from prokaryotes requires major mutation and selection events to change a prokaryote-like ribosome into the mammalian mitochondrial ribosomes observed today. However, computer simulations with yeast and human genomes have shown that natural selection is unable to create new beneficial structures from random mutational events. Experiments introducing minor changes in the RNA and protein sequences of ribosomes have also demonstrated that these changes are deleterious and lead to decreased fitness.

    It is apparent from the knowledge gained about mitochondria ribosome structure and function since the proposal of the Serial Endosymbiosis Theory that prokaryotes are not the ancestors of eukaryote or mammalian mitochondria.

  • p117–121A Possible Function of Entamoeba histolytica in the Creation Model

    by Frank Sherwin, Institute for Creation Research

    Parasitology is the study of the symbiotic interaction between two different species of organisms in which one (parasite) lives in or on the other (host) and is metabolically dependent upon it. This large field includes the study of community and microbial ecology. Man and animals provide the ecological niches parasites inhabit and other organisms (for example, symbionts) they encounter. There is a need for parasites such as Entamoeba histolytica to be addressed from a biblical perspective that may include their original symbiotic or mutualistic association in man. E. histolytica is a protozoan parasite of the family Entamoebae that is found throughout the world killing approximately 100,000 people per year.

    Eight amoebas (Endolimax nana, Entamoeba coli, E. histolytica, E. dispar, E. hartmanni, Iodamoeba bütschlii, E. moshkovskii and E. polecki) reside in the human intestinal lumen. In the pre-fallen world there was true ecological harmony with an intimate association of individuals of different species (symbiosis).

    Creation microbiologists are currently investigating the role of single-celled eukaryotic creatures in the organosubstrate model. While the controlling factors that direct invasiveness of E. histolytica are not well understood, the progression from originally free-living single-celled eukaryotes (neutral or beneficial) toward a pathogenic condition after the Fall could have occurred through a number of mechanisms leading to a parasitic condition.

  • p123–131Fungi from the Biblical Perspective

    by Ira S. Loucks, Independent Scholar*

    Fungi are intriguing organisms with a wealth of diversity in their morphology and ecology. Determining the fundamentals of their biology from a biblical perspective is a daunting but achievable task. This paper seeks to address the topic of fungal kinds by examining recent taxonomic data combined with new insights into the basic biology of the various types of fungi. Fungi can exist as single or multi-celled organisms, reproduce asexually and/or sexually, and can live in varying levels of intimacy with other species. To work toward a biblical creation model for mycology, this paper will address several questions. First, what was the originally intended role of fungi in creation, and when were they created? What can our current understanding of their symbiotic interactions with other organisms tell us about the original creation? How did pathogenicity arise as a trait of fungi? Answers to these and other questions will foster a more detailed and proper understanding of these important organisms and their relationship to creation as a whole.

  • p133–150The Role of Genomic Islands, Mutation, and Displacement in the Origin of Bacterial Pathogenicity

    by Georgia Purdom, Answers in Genesis

    Bacteria are mostly beneficial, even though a minority are known as pathogens. They are necessary for natural processes such as human digestion and biogeochemical cycling. In a pre-Fall (“very good”, Genesis 1:31) world, all bacteria must have been nonpathogenic, and many of the functions they were designed to perform originally can still be seen in a post-Fall world. However, as a result of the Fall, some bacteria now cause disease.

    Bacteria have pathogenic mechanisms that are very complex and specific (to the host). Genomic islands (GEIs), specifically pathogenicity islands (PAIs), typically harbor the genes necessary for the pathogenic mechanisms of bacteria and are thought to be important determinants of pathogenicity. These islands are gained through horizontal gene transfer (HGT) from other bacteria. Interestingly, comparisons of the genomes of pathogenic and nonpathogenic strains of bacteria have shown that many suspected PAIs reside in both and that PAIs themselves are insufficient for pathogenicity. I propose that bacterial pathogenicity is the result of multiple events in any given bacterium (vs. singular events) that occurred after the Fall and that no intentional pathogenic mechanisms exist. In the post-Fall world, mutations and HGT of GEIs are factors that have resulted in pathogenic bacteria. In addition, the host may have suffered changes (genetic or otherwise) that altered the relationship between itself and the bacteria resulting in pathogenicity.

    Another factor in pathogenesis may be the exploration of new environments by bacteria that they were not originally designed to interact with. This may be due to changes in the bacteria (HGT of GEIs and mutation) that allow them to explore new niches. It may also be due to host or environmental changes that allow bacteria (with or without genetic alterations) to explore new niches. Displacement and genetic alteration (through mutation and HGT) in the post-Fall world are likely necessary for the adaptation and survival of bacteria but in some cases also have the “side effect” of pathogenicity in living things.

    Many studies have clearly shown that bacteria have been designed with the remarkable ability to adapt to numerous differing environments. This paper will explore pathogenicity as a post-Fall event in which bacteria have adapted to novel environments due to combinations of mutation, HGT of GEIs, and displacement. A creation model of the origin of bacterial pathogenicity will be developed based on the findings.

  • p151–167Christian Theodicy in Light of Genesis and Modern Science

    by Terry Mortenson, Answers in Genesis

    The problem of evil is always a challenge for the Christian witness. Human suffering and moral evil are relatively easy for the apologist to explain, and the Fall of Adam is a key to that explanation. But the thornier question is that of natural evil (disasters like hurricanes, volcanoes, earthquakes) that kill not only people but innocent animals. In particular, if we accept millions of years of animal death, disease, and extinction before Adam was even created, how do we explain that in light of God’s attributes and purposes? William Dembski has published a 54-page response to this question. He explains his reasons for rejecting the young-earth creationist theodicy and several old-earth theodicies and proposes a solution that accommodates the millions of years of natural evil which evolutionary scientists insist occurred before man appeared. This paper will analyze and critique Dembski’s proposal, showing it to be inadequate and inconsistent with Scripture and contending that only the young-earth view gives an adequate and biblically sound answer to the problem of natural evil. It is therefore a powerful apologetic to make the Christian witness effective in our evolutionized world.

  • p169–174Towards a Creationary Classification of Mutations

    by Jonathan L. Bartlett

    Mutations are normally classified according to their proximal effect on an organism’s fitness, whether beneficial, deleterious, or neutral. While this is a very useful first-pass categorization of mutations, the realization that mutations are not always haphazard, but in fact may be part of a regulated design, means that creationists should be looking for a deeper classification of mutations based on whether or not they conform to their organism’s design. Design-consistent mutations are those which occur within the pattern expected by the genome’s architecture, and design-inconsistent mutations are those which occur outside of the genome’s architecture. Features such as metabolic consistency, mutational mechanism, mutation rate, reversibility, and preservation of genome semantics can be used by biologists to assess whether or not a mutation is design-consistent or design-inconsistent.

  • p175–200Systematic Theology Texts and the Age of the Earth

    by Terry Mortenson, Answers in Genesis

    In the past few decades there has been a growing controversy in society and in the Church over evolution and the age of the earth. Some Christians accept the idea of billions of years, as taught by the scientific establishment, while others contend that Scripture requires that we believe that creation is only a few thousand years old. Systematic theology texts are influential in this debate as they are used in the training of future pastors, missionaries, and seminary and Christian college professors and are also read by many lay people, thus affecting the Church’s witness. After briefly explaining the evidence in defense of the young-earth creationist view and why this subject is important, three deservedly respected theology textbooks will be examined regarding their teachings on the age of the earth. It will be argued that in spite of their many helpful remarks, these scholars have not adequately explained the biblical truth on this subject nor have they persuasively defended their old-earth positions and provided convincing rebuttals to the young-earth view. On this subject then, I conclude, these systematic theology texts are not helping but rather hindering the Church in her witness in our evolutionized world. (This is a slightly revised version of a paper the author presented at the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society in November 2006. Two of the authors of the critiqued texts [Grudem and Lewis] read the paper shortly thereafter but to date have given no specific responses to this critique of their views.)

  • p201–210Fraud and Forgery in Paleoanthropology

    by Jerry Bergman, Northwest State College

    A review of the history of paleoanthropology leads to the conclusion that the discipline is far less objective than that for physics, chemistry, or even biology. The field is rife with controversy and fraud, including outright faking. Classic examples include Piltdown man and Hesperopithecus, but many other less well-known examples exist that are reviewed in this paper. Several well-documented examples are cited in some detail to illustrate the types of problems encountered, and the results of fraud in paleoanthropology.

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Bibliography of Creationist Astronomy

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