Articles » Zoology
Book Review – Replacing Darwin: The New Origin of Species
Landmark Work: What’s Wrong with ‘Survival of the Fittest’
An exciting new book was published in the fall of 2017. The author, Nathaniel Jeanson, is a specialist in molecular biology and bioinformatics with a Ph.D. in cell and developmental biology from Harvard University. With such fancy credentials, one might expect his new book to be very difficult and full of technical mumbo-jumbo! Well, Dr. Jeanson does present some very interesting information, but he does undertake to make the discussion accessible to interested readers. Excellent illustrations (some in colour) really help. Nevertheless for reading this book a good background in high school biology at least would be a big help. Read the rest of this entry »Order Online
Backyard Animal Challenge
People who live in rural regions obviously have an enormous advantage in opportunities to observe and enjoy nature. For a start, they may be able to view the night sky much better than their friends in the city whose view of the stars is dimmed by city lights. Secondly of course there are the animals who make a point of visiting the property. There may be waterfowl in the spring, ducks and geese at least, who come to refresh themselves on your pond. And how about the frogs who deafen the night with their cheerful choruses. Read the rest of this entry »
Elephants: The Giant Wonder
The African elephant is the largest living terrestrial mammal, even larger than most dinosaurs. Its mammoth size means their primary enemy is humans, not the major carnivores, such as lions, that inhabit its homeland. The largest recorded African elephant reached 12 feet (four meters) at the shoulder and weighed over ten tons. Called “nature’s masterpiece” and “skilled engineers” elephants are one of “the most intelligent of domesticated animals.” (Redmond, 1993, p. 6). Read the rest of this entry »
The 2017 award of the Nobel Prize in physiology and medicine to three Americans, Michael Rosbash, Jeffrey Hall and Michael Young, has served to stimulate our interest in a phenomenon that is actually well-known. We all know why people get hungry about the same time of day, or wake up about the same time, or suffer from jet-lag. It is because of biological clocks. So what was so special about the work of these three scientists? The story actually goes back to 1729! Read the rest of this entry »
The Octopus: A Mixed-up Wonder
The Octopus is considered a primitive invertebrate, below chordates such as fish, yet it has advanced traits rivaling even those of humans. In the words of one scientist, “With its eight prehensile arms lined with suckers, camera-like eyes, elaborate repertoire of camouflage tricks and spooky intelligence, the octopus is like no other creature on Earth.” (Abbott, 2015, p. 1). He arrived at this conclusion because they “have the largest nervous systems among the invertebrates and present other striking morphological innovations including camera-like eyes, prehensile arms, a highly derived early embryogenesis, and a remarkably sophisticated adaptive coloration system.” (Albertin, at al., 2015, p. 220). In short, the octopus is utterly different from all other animals, even other mollusks. For this reason and other reasons, its origin has stymied Darwinists. Read the rest of this entry »
Appreciating the Creation
Many people claim they are not interested in science, but this is not really true. Perhaps they never really studied nature, but there are few people who do not notice how interesting and beautiful the surrounding countryside is. Did you realize for example that magpies are common in the western half of North America, but not in central Canada? Some people say that these distinctive birds are so common in Edmonton that this is the “magpie capital of Western Canada” (a dubious distinction). Read the rest of this entry »
Skunks: Interesting and Fun!!
We seldom reflect on how interesting skunks can be. The nine identified skunk species are notorious for their scent glands that can accurately shoot noxious oily amber spray as a defensive weapon. Two glands, one on each side of their anus, produce the spray, which is a complex mixture of sulfur-containing chemicals. The pungent spray causes irritation to the skin like pepper spray, even temporary blindness—which may be why skunks often try to target the face (Schuster, 1992, p. 34). Read the rest of this entry »
Mudskippers. The Strangest Creature ever to Defy Evolution
Mudskippers are amphibious fishlike creatures that use their short muscular pectoral and pelvic fins to “walk” on mud in a series of skipping like steps, thus their name. These unique about 30 cm long creatures, typically live in intertidal habitats where the water level changes with each tide change (Hafer, 2016, p. 66). Most other intertidal fish survive tide changes by taking refuge under wet seaweed or in tide pools. Mudskippers are different. They exhibit many unique adaptations to their muddy environment that are rarely, or never, found in other intertidal fishes (Marsh, 2015). Read the rest of this entry »
Zero Tolerance for “the Creator”
A prominent biology journal has withdrawn a research article which it had published a few weeks previously. The sole reason was three references to the “Creator” in connection with the structure and function (design) of the human hand. Retractions or withdrawing scientific articles from publication used to be almost unheard of. In recent years however such events have become increasingly common. The most common reason is that the information contained therein was falsified or fraudulent (made up). Read the rest of this entry »
Living Waters Review
This is one part nature documentary and one part evolutionary takedown. Illustra Media understand that a great way to expose evolution is to take a close in-depth look at some of the creatures that God has made. In Darwin’s day scientists didn’t have the ability to look inside the cell, and only had a glimmering of how incredibly complex even the simplest living creatures are. Now we know so much more – it turns out that even the simplest cell in our body has astonishingly complex and coordinated inner workings. Some have compared the complexity of a cell to the complexity of an entire city!
How Does Your Garden Grow?
Even in Alberta, there are many crops which we could choose to grow in our gardens. Do you like perennial flowers? Lots of people grow a wide variety of such plants, but maintaining them involves a constant battle with weeds. Others choose edible plants to grow. These may also be artistic, as in some cabbages or large areas planted with lettuce, or string beans. Humming birds love the bright red string bean flowers, so the garden can serve several uses. Other people choose plants that taste good but are not particularly attractive to look at (potatoes for example). Read the rest of this entry »
Earthworms: Master Caretakers of the Soil
The common earthworm, part of the Annelid phylum, (Annelida is Latin for little rings) plays a critical part in producing and maintaining fertile soil. Its role includes forming channels in the soil to allow for effective aeration, a critical process necessary for most soil dwelling life forms. The channels that earthworms produce also allow the soil to hold the large amounts of water that provide for plant survival (Johnson, 2002). Read the rest of this entry »
Eye-Deal Example of Design
The ability of fireflies to glow in the dark, delights those who have seen these insects in action. It really seems like a special talent. However a recent issue of National Geographic (March 2015) declared about bioluminescence: “Evolving to make light seems to be relatively easy — it has happened independently in at least 40 different lineages.” (p. 84) Just because we find a special talent in a number of very different creatures, does not mean that the talent was easily developed by chance. National Geographic is not aware that this unusual ability is much more reasonably explained as the choice of God, the creator. There are many examples where we can see the problem for evolution of special talents in very different creatures. And the camera eye is an ideal example. Read the rest of this entry »
Quality Programs for Free
There are some useful and visually attractive programs available on YouTube. For example, Privileged Species (previously reviewed in Dialogue) at 32 minutes, has already recorded 33,300 views. However for better quality display, a DVD is required which CSAA sells for $15.00 each.
Several years ago CSAA distributed free copies of the DVD Programming of Life which runs 44 minutes and is produced by LaBarge Media (with Don Johnson). We distributed this to high school and university students, teachers, and pastors. This program examines mathematical issues concerning the living cell. In this context, information is a critical feature of living cells. The kind of information required (proscriptive) involves instructions. From that discussion we proceed to protein manufacturing which is illustrated with beautiful graphics. We then learn the essential features of a computer and how the cell demonstrates these capacities. Read the rest of this entry »
It is not very often that an Edmonton audience has the opportunity to hear a world class expert tie together medical research, technology and Christian faith. Read the rest of this entry »