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How Does Your Garden Grow?

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Children

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 »


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

Eye-Deal Example of Design

Intermediate

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

Quality Programs for Free

Intermediate

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 »


Creation Weekend 2015
October 23 & 24, 2015

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 »


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 »


Armadillos (Spanish for little armoured one) are New World nocturnal mammals covered by a leathery armour shell overlaid by horn. Of all living animals, “few are as amazing … as the armadillos” (Storrs, 1982). Even Carolus Linnaeus, the father of taxonomy, was puzzled about how to classify this “strange-looking mammal” (Smith and Doughty, 1984, p. 2). They are shy, timid mammals that mammalogist David Lamp calls bizarre (1977, p. 36). They look nothing like any other living animal, appearing much more like a fierce miniature dinosaur. These nearly blind and deaf animals must use their keen sense of smell to locate food. Read the rest of this entry »


Dragonflies: Fancy Catchers

Dragonflies: Fancy Catchers

Introductory

The ball arcs into the air, and then downward. A player rushes forward. Whew!! Another save made. The player’s strategy was to move to intercept the ball as it follows a predictable trajectory downward. We are happy the ball was caught, but the situation was not complicated. This is called a “constant bearing strategy” in pursuit of a target moving in a predictable arc. The strategy becomes more serious however when we learn that many animals similarly catch their prey by converging on the straightforward escape route of the hapless victim. Read the rest of this entry »


Manatees (family Trichechidae, genus Trichechus), often called sea cows, are large, fully aquatic, mostly herbivorous marine mammals. Three living species exist, the Amazonian, West Indian, and the West African manatee. These are huge animals weighing from 400 to 550 kilograms (880 to 1,210 lb), and 2.8 to 3.0 metres (9.2 to 9.8 ft) long. The females tend to be both larger and heavier.

In many ways manatees are unique compared to all other life forms, a fact that poses major problems for evolutionists. It is almost like a designer selected their traits from a wide variety of existing life forms, from reptiles to fish to mammals. For example, manatees feed almost entirely on aquatic plants and that is “unique among living marine mammals” (Berta, 2012. Return to the Sea: The Life and Evolutionary Times of Marine Mammals. University of California Press. Berkeley p. 127). Read the rest of this entry »


Elementary My Dear Readers

Elementary My Dear Readers

Children

Book Review of Guide to Animals

The author, Frank Sherwin has organized his introduction to animals in interesting ways. The message is conveyed partly by the text, partly by his organization of topics, but also by the amazing variety of beautiful illustrations. In style, this book closely resembles its sister publication Guide to Creation Basics. Read the rest of this entry »


Animal Secrets from High Tech Espionage

Animal Secrets from High Tech Espionage

Introductory

Animals display many remarkable behaviours. To better appreciate their talents, how often have we wished that these creatures could communicate with us? We would love to know where they go during migrations, for example. In recent years however, animal ecologists have developed techniques to allow us to track some of these creatures. As a result, these animals communicate with us simply by doing what comes naturally, during the course of which our little espionage devices report where the animals have gone. Read the rest of this entry »


In many parts of North American, the most common wild mammals one sees are  rodents in the order Rodentia. The largest known modern rodent is the South American semiaquatic capybara, which can grow to be 107 to 134 cm (3.51 to 4.40 ft) long, 50 to 64 cm (20 to 25 in) tall and typically weighs 35 to 66 kg (77 to 150 lb). Rodents are classified in one of the most successful mammalian groups today (Churakov et al. p. 1315). Read the rest of this entry »


Appreciating Rodents

Appreciating Rodents

Introductory

Most people have a love-hate relationship with rodents. That is, people love to hate them. This is a pity since rodents exhibit various interesting talents. For a start, when we think of rodents, we think of rats. Rats certainly have a bad reputation because they thrive in so many environments where nobody wants them. Nevertheless rats are smart and individually very clean. Most rats live less than a year in the wild. Mama rats however are definitely overachievers. Read the rest of this entry »


Beauty Reconsidered

Beauty Reconsidered

Introductory

Sometimes scientific studies seem more frivolous than serious work. That does not happen too often, of course since scientific research is expensive. However there was one study published in 2005 that did seem “cute rather than deep” (in the words of psychologist Steven Pinker of Harvard University.) Actually the study was intended to demonstrate serious evolutionary implications. As such it was chosen as the cover story for the December 22/29 December 2005 issue of Nature. Thus the caption on the cover featured the expression: “Fascinating Rhythm: Dancing’s Role in Sexual Selection.”  However on November 27/13 Nature withdrew this article from its published collection. Read the rest of this entry »


New DVD — the Most Exciting Yet!

New DVD — the Most Exciting Yet!

Introductory

Illustra Media has produced many excellent DVDs, but the last one Flight: the Genius of Birds is one of their most awesome! It is certainly one that will appeal to entire families. While the previously released Metamorphosis (dealing with butterflies) provides amazing scenes and discussion, Flight not only provides wonderful photography, but also discussion which is easily understood by all. Moreover, even if one could not understand a word of the commentary, the scenes of birds in flight and the graphics still convey a powerful message. Read the rest of this entry »