Dialogue 2020 #3
Creation Weekend 2020: Online and Inspirational
For almost everyone, the year 2020 has certainly presented obstacles to our normal tasks and social gatherings. So it was that CSAA, like many Christian organizations, found that an on-line fall program offered the best hope of sharing our message. Blessed with someone on our team with expert computer skills, the appropriate programs were selected to make the event possible and professional. When David Coppedge of southern California agreed to be our speaker, we were so pleased! All the pieces of the organizational puzzle had fallen into place. One benefit of an on-line event, we discovered, was that people from as far away as Ontario and B.C., were able to enjoy the program. Read the rest of this entry »
High Tech Expertise from Fruit Flies
It was a surprise to read in the September 17 issue of Nature1 that fruit flies have some interesting things to teach us in the field of technological applications of extremely thin protective coatings.
For this story, we focus on their beautiful red eyes. Like all insects, fruit flies have compound eyes consisting of multiple miniature light receptors which focus on one spot at the back of the eye. We immediately notice that these compound eyes tend to bulge outward, or at least they are highly exposed. There are no eyelids to protect them from damage and/or to protect them from glare. It was back in the 1960s and 1970s that biologists began to notice that insect eyes seem to have some protection after all. Depending upon the lifestyle of the insect, their eyes seem to have anti-reflective or anti-adhesive protection. An anti-reflective coating allows more light to be transmitted through a transparent layer than would normally occur. And an anti-adhesion coating repels water from such a surface. Read the rest of this entry »
Check-Up Time: The Importance of Critical Thinking
I remember suggesting to one of my professors, when I was at university, that a certain course would be a waste of my time since I had already studied that topic. He suggested that there might be more to learn and he was right, of course. In fact, there is always more to learn on any topic. That is why we hear so much about life-long learning. We don’t want to atrophy (dry up) mentally or physically. It is important to keep developing our skills.
Naturally in everything we learn, we have to be cautious. We don’t want to plant desert-loving plants in a wet area of the garden, or do stretches the wrong way, nor do we want to acquiesce to wrong interpretations in science, or history or philosophy or whatever. This does not mean we stop reading! What it means is that we apply critical thinking skills to our various pursuits. Read the rest of this entry »
Pterosaurs: Weird Animals that Defy Classification and Evolution
Pterosaurs (Greek pteron and sauros, meaning “wing lizard”) are constructed from a combination of the characteristics of mammals, birds and dinosaurs with one of the weirdest looking beaks possible added on. This example points to the problem of taxonomy, the science of classifying life. Pterosaurs fly like birds and can flap their “wings” like a bird. They also can soar like an eagle using bat-like wings made from a flap of skin stretched between their body and a long fourth finger called the wing finger. They also have many body traits like dinosaurs. For this reason, they are often referred to as flying dinosaurs, or dragons of the air (Unwin, 2006, p. 2). Ironically, they are classified as reptiles likely because birds supposedly evolved after them.
Pterosaurs were first discovered in 1784 in the German Solnhofen limestone quarries. This is the same location where another strange creature, Archaeopteryx, originally identified as a pterosaur, was found (Clarey, 2015, p. 66). Twenty-nine pterosaur species, over 26% of the 110 pterosaur species currently known (in about 85 genera), have been found in Solnhofen limestone quarries alone.