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Dr. John Baumgardner addressed large appreciative crowds at CSAA’s Creation Weekend in October 2016. Following his introductory lecture on Friday evening (“How language powerfully affirms God’s reality”) [described in the previous issue of Dialogue], he continued the next morning with “Mendel’s Accountant: Why Darwinism Fails”. This work resulted from a collaboration with geneticist Dr. John Sandford of Cornell University. Many people in modern society find Darwin’s conclusions extremely appealing: the idea that competition in nature ought to lead to organisms better suited to the environment. While this is reasonable, there are limits to how far this idea can take us. Read the rest of this entry »


We hear all the time about how complicated living cells are. It makes us think that such entities  were designed to work as they do. People who support the idea that all things came about by natural processes, however, do not want to think that there is a mind behind what we see in all living creatures from microbes up to the largest, most complicated organisms. These latter people want to show how the living cell developed spontaneously, without any direction. So they want to demonstrate that there were early cells which were much much simpler than what we see today, cells that could have appeared through natural processes. These scientists want to demonstrate that the barriers to spontaneous development are not too high. Read the rest of this entry »


Review Anyone?

Review Anyone?

Intermediate

Review of Evolution’s Achilles’ Heels (book)

Like Alice of Wonderland fame (in Through the Looking Glass), who found that she had to run extremely fast just to stay in the same place, so also it is hard to maintain an up-to-date understanding in science. The scientific journals constantly churn out new articles with new information and arguments. Keeping up to date is hard work! But it is extremely helpful to have an understanding of current issues in science and their significance. This makes the new book Evolution’s Achilles’ Heels (Robert Carter, Editor) and its companion DVD of the same title, extremely relevant. Read the rest of this entry »


Dr. Paul Nelson is a prominent spokesperson for the creation and intelligent design communities. It was in that capacity that he introduced enthusiastic participants at the 2013 Creation Weekend in Edmonton, to new arguments and exciting information. Read the rest of this entry »


It was in April 1953 that Frances Crick and James Watson published their proposed description of the DNA molecule. As they anticipated, biology was forever changed. Now biologists had a molecule which they could study, which stored hereditary information. The 1960s saw the emergence of the ‘standard model,’ which held that DNA codes for proteins which determine the characteristics of each creature. However on the occasion of the 60th anniversary, one commentator in the journal Nature declared: “We do not know what most of our DNA does, nor how, or to what extent it governs traits.” (496 #7446 p. 419). Read the rest of this entry »


Fruit Fly Shenanigans

Fruit Fly Shenanigans

Intermediate

The experiment with fruit flies was basically uncomplicated. Any university student could have carried it out providing they could identify and count the various mutant forms. But there was more to the issue than mere counts of fruit fly offspring. The study was supposed to, and had long been considered that it in fact did, support a key idea of Charles Darwin. More than sixty years had passed since the fruit fly work was published. Subsequent to publication in the new journal Heredity in 1948, few people paid much attention to the study until it was quoted favourably in 1972 and 1994 as supporting Darwin’s idea of sexual selection. Those references conferred celebrity status on the work and many citations followed. But then in 2012 a study was published which questioned not only the 1948 work, but also a major component of Darwin’s theory of evolution. However the reasons and issues surrounding the new study are not what we might hope or expect. It is important to remember that scientists draw conclusions in keeping with their world view and there is more diversity in world views in science than one might imagine.

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Sometimes it seems as if information is the most important commodity in our technological age. Information, of course, can be put to good or bad uses. We would all agree, no doubt, that computer viruses are a bad use of information. In that situation, a small piece of computer code (information), once it is inside your computer, can take over the whole operating system, with disastrous results for your interests. Of course such problems are nothing new. The term “virus” comes from natural phenomena that do the very same thing to living cells. Invading information occurs to even the smallest cells, bacteria. In fact, some of the bacteria that most threaten our health, are themselves the victims of invasive information from outside unrelated sources. Consider the case of the infamous Escherischia coli 0157:H7, cause of potentially fatal hamburger disease and in some isolated situations, contaminated water. Read the rest of this entry »


If bats were prettier to look at, we might appreciate their amazing talents more. The fact is that bats exhibit some astonishing design features which our engineers and technologists really envy. Traditionally scientists have grouped bats according to their food preferences. There are the fruit bats with good eyesight, the insect consuming, echolocating bats and the vampire or blood consuming bats. Further research has revealed how amazingly these animals are designed for their life styles. Such studies have also revealed that the old fashioned ways of categorizing the creatures according to lifestyle and physical appearance do not really work. This has had some serious implications for ideas concerning whether Darwinian evolution could ever work or not.  Read the rest of this entry »


CSAA’s featured speaker for Creation Weekend 2011 was well known creation apologist Dr. Jerry Bergman. Large numbers of people came to hear one or more of his lectures and all declared themselves delighted with his genial, non-confrontational manner and his interesting material. In that Dr. Bergman’s area of expertise is biology, chemistry and medical anatomy, the issues he discussed were quite different from the geological topics which we have considered in recent years. This material demonstrated anew that the issue of creation is broad and encompasses all aspects of nature. Read the rest of this entry »


DNA by the Numbers

DNA by the Numbers

Intermediate

An avid fan of spy stories, I have read many which involve an apparently harmless document (like a friendly letter). But the document actually conveys dangerous information if one is provided with the appropriate convention for decoding it. Read the rest of this entry »


Introducing You

Introducing You

Intermediate

Recently scientists finished the detailed study of each human chromosome. The whole effort, begun in the 1980s, ended when the analysis of human chromosome number 1 was published on May 18, 2006. Since each of these strings of chemical code or genetic information is so different, allow me then to introduce you to some of your own chromosomes. Read the rest of this entry »


I really hate to admit it, but in certain situations I am old fashioned! In the good old days, biology students were taught about living organisms. We learned the appearance, life cycles and ecological preferences of various groups of plants, animals, fungi and microbes. Read the rest of this entry »


Scientists are continually discovering remarkable molecular machines which work inside each living cell. One such machine involves proofreading. Anytime you or I copy a document, it is always a good idea to proofread the script. Since each cell copies or duplicates its own genetic code or DNA before cell division, the cell would be well advised to check the new strands to make sure there are no copying errors. Read the rest of this entry »


The striking image on the cover of this book is a crystal of DNA. What more effective illustration could one imagine for a book which deals with the significance of biochemistry for our understanding of biology? Read the rest of this entry »


The big surprise in April 1953 was not that the structure, and by implication the function, of DNA had been discovered, but rather who had done it. With established scientists like American Linus Pauling of Caltech in Pasadena, and British scientists Maurice Wilkins and Rosalind Franklin at King’s College, University of London, carrying out such research, it was expected that the problem would soon be solved. These scientists all had research funds, experience and appropriate equipment. Read the rest of this entry »