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Ever since the efforts of mankind at the tower of Babel, when the people sought to construct their own society based on their own agenda, the search for the perfect man-devised society has continued through the centuries. Indeed, since the advent of Enlightenment thinking in Europe in the eighteenth century, secular mankind has placed a particularly high value on his ability, based on reason alone, to find solutions to social problems. Recently we saw an example of this attitude in the pronouncements of Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City. This man is the philosophical successor of Carl Sagan who declared: “The universe is all there is, or was, or ever will be” (in his famous Cosmos series on the history of the universe). More recently Dr. Tyson has hosted a remake of Sagan’s Cosmos series for public television. Read the rest of this entry »


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 »


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 »


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 »


A recent list of the 100 most important “scientific discoveries that changed the world” lists Rick Smalley’s discovery of Buckyballs (English, 2014, p. 13). But who was this man? Richard (Rick) Smalley (June 6, 1943-October 28, 2005) was Professor of Chemistry, Physics, and Astronomy at Rice University. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1996 (along with Sir Harry Kroto and Robert Curl) for the discovery and research on a new allotrope (form) of carbon. He called this unique soccerball-shaped molecule buckminsterfullerene, nicknamed buckyballs. Soon a more comprehensive category called fullerenes was proposed to include nanotubes. Read the rest of this entry »