Category Archives: God’s creation

Aquarium to raise “genderless” penguin

DCG

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Cockatiel sings Darth Vader’s Theme from Star Wars

What a talented little bird!

And here’s the original theme:

H/t John Molloy

~Eowyn

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Yale U. professor: Darwinian theory of evolution cannot explain the origin of species

In a recent article published in the Spring 2019 issue of the Claremont Review of Books, David Gelernter, professor of computer science at Yale University, maintains that the Darwinian theory of evolution is not just accepted as “settled truth,” it is “the basis of a worldview” and a “replacement religion”.

The problem is this: Although called a “theory,” Darwinism is not a scientific theory because it neither predicts nor explains what it means to explain, which is the actual origin of species, because:

  1. Darwinian evolution is “gradual, step by step” as new life forms evolve gradually from old ones “in a constantly branching, spreading tree of life.” However, fossils of those predecessors of new life forms cannot be found. Instead, the fossil record shows the opposite: “In general, most species enter the evolutionary order fully formed and then depart unchanged.” During the Cambrian explosion of around half a billion years ago, for example, the fossil record shows that a striking variety of new organisms — including the first-ever animals — just “popped up suddenly”.
  2. At the molecular biology level, according to Darwinism, evolution is the consequence, over millions of years, of small good-for-survival (“natural selection”) mutations to genetic information within cells which are passed on to the next generation(s), thus changing the future of the species. Inventing a new gene by mutation requires inventing or creating a new protein. But it has been calculated that the mathematical odds of creating a new protein stable enough to be useful are zero, which means that the odds of producing “a single promising mutation in the whole history of life” is also zero. 

Gelernter concludes that “The exceptional intricacy of living things, and their elaborate mechanisms for fitting precisely into their natural surroundings, seemed to cry out for an intelligent designer.” That intelligent designer did not act just once, but “interferes repeatedly,” which suggests (what Thomas Aquinas called) “the first cause” must have a purpose — “some sense of the big picture of life on earth.”

David Gelernter

Below are excerpts from Gelernter’s essay, “Giving Up Darwinism“:

Darwinian evolution is . . . basic to the credo that defines the modern worldview. Accepting the theory as settled truth—no more subject to debate than the earth being round or the sky blue or force being mass times acceleration—certifies that you are devoutly orthodox in your scientific views; which in turn is an essential first step towards being taken seriously in any part of modern intellectual life. But what if Darwin was wrong?

Like so many others, I grew up with Darwin’s theory, and had always believed it was true….

Charles Darwin explained monumental change by making one basic assumption—all life-forms descend from a common ancestor—and adding two simple processes anyone can understand: random, heritable variation and natural selection . . . conceived to be operating blindly over hundreds of millions of years….

Yet there are many reasons to doubt whether he can answer the hard questions and explain the big picture—not the fine-tuning of existing species but the emergence of new ones. The origin of species is exactly what Darwin cannot explain.

Stephen Meyer’s thoughtful and meticulous Darwin’s Doubt (2013) convinced me that Darwin has failed. He cannot answer the big question. Two other books are also essential: The Deniable Darwin and Other Essays (2009), by David Berlinski, and Debating Darwin’s Doubt (2015), an anthology edited by David Klinghoffer…. These three form a fateful battle group that most people would rather ignore. Bringing to bear the work of many dozen scientists over many decades, Meyer, who after a stint as a geophysicist in Dallas earned a Ph.D. in History and Philosophy of Science from Cambridge and now directs the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, disassembles the theory of evolution piece by piece. Darwin’s Doubt is one of the most important books in a generation. Few open-minded people will finish it with their faith in Darwin intact.

Meyer doesn’t only demolish Darwin; he defends a replacement theory, intelligent design (I.D.) … [but]  never uses religious arguments, draws religious conclusions, or refers to religion in any way….

Some I.D.-haters have shown themselves willing to use any argument—fair or not, true or not, ad hominem or not—to keep this dangerous idea locked in a box forever. They remind us of the extent to which Darwinism is no longer just a scientific theory but the basis of a worldview, and an emergency replacement religion for the many troubled souls who need one….

Darwin himself had reservations about his theory, shared by some of the most important biologists of his time. And the problems that worried him have only grown more substantial over the decades. In the famous “Cambrian explosion” of around half a billion years ago, a striking variety of new organisms—including the first-ever animals—pop up suddenly in the fossil record over a mere 70-odd million years. This great outburst followed many hundreds of millions of years of slow growth and scanty fossils, mainly of single-celled organisms, dating back to the origins of life roughly three and half billion years ago.

Darwin’s theory predicts that new life forms evolve gradually from old ones in a constantly branching, spreading tree of life. Those brave new Cambrian creatures must therefore have had Precambrian predecessors, similar but not quite as fancy and sophisticated…. Each must have had a closely related predecessor, which must have had its own predecessors: Darwinian evolution is gradual, step-by-step. All those predecessors must have come together, further back, into a series of branches leading down to the (long ago) trunk.

But those predecessors of the Cambrian creatures are missing. Darwin himself was disturbed by their absence from the fossil record. He believed they would turn up eventually. Some of his contemporaries (such as the eminent Harvard biologist Louis Agassiz) held that the fossil record was clear enough already, and showed that Darwin’s theory was wrong. Perhaps only a few sites had been searched for fossils, but they had been searched straight down. The Cambrian explosion had been unearthed, and beneath those Cambrian creatures their Precambrian predecessors should have been waiting—and weren’t. In fact, the fossil record as a whole lacked the upward-branching structure Darwin predicted.

The trunk was supposed to branch into many different species, each species giving rise to many genera, and towards the top of the tree you would find so much diversity that you could distinguish separate phyla—the large divisions (sponges, mosses, mollusks, chordates, and so on) that comprise the kingdoms of animals, plants, and several others—take your pick. But, as Berlinski points out, the fossil record shows the opposite: “representatives of separate phyla appearing first followed by lower-level diversification on those basic themes.” In general, “most species enter the evolutionary order fully formed and then depart unchanged.” The incremental development of new species is largely not there. Those missing pre-Cambrian organisms have still not turned up.

Some researchers have guessed that those missing Precambrian precursors were too small or too soft-bodied to have made good fossils. Meyer notes that fossil traces of ancient bacteria and single-celled algae have been discovered: smallness per se doesn’t mean that an organism can’t leave fossil traces…. The story is similar for soft-bodied organisms…many fossils of soft-bodied organisms and body parts do exist. Precambrian fossil deposits have been discovered in which tiny, soft-bodied embryo sponges are preserved—but no predecessors to the celebrity organisms of the Cambrian explosion.

This sort of negative evidence can’t ever be conclusive. But the ever-expanding fossil archives don’t look good for Darwin, who made clear and concrete predictions that have (so far) been falsified….

Darwin’s main problem, however, is molecular biology. There was no such thing in his own time. We now see from inside what he could only see from outside….

Darwin’s theory is simple to grasp…variation occurs naturally among individuals of the same type—white or black sheep…. A sheep born with extra-warm wool will presumably do better at surviving a rough Scottish winter than his normal-wooled friends. Such a sheep would be more likely than normal sheep to live long enough to mate, and pass on its superior trait to the next generation. Over millions of years, small good-for-survival variations accumulate, and eventually (says Darwin) you have a brand new species….

[M]olecular biology…explains (it doesn’t merely cite) natural variation, as the consequence of random change or mutation to the genetic information within cells that deal with reproduction. Those cells can pass genetic change onward to the next generation, thus changing—potentially—the future of the species and not just one individual’s career….

But what does generating new forms of life entail? Many biologists agree that generating a new shape of protein is the essence of it. Only if… Darwinian evolution is creative enough to do that is it capable of creating new life-forms and pushing evolution forward….

Inventing a new protein means inventing a new gene…. Genes spell out the links of a protein chain, amino acid by amino acid. Each gene is a segment of DNA….

Your task is to invent a new gene by mutation—by the accidental change of one codon to a different codon…. But if you mutate your way to an actual, valid new gene, your new gene can create a new protein and thereby, potentially, play a role in evolution….

Douglas Axe did a series of experiments to estimate how many 150-long chains are capable of stable folds—of reaching the final step in the protein-creation process (the folding) and of holding their shapes long enough to be useful. (Axe is a distinguished biologist with five-star breeding: he was a graduate student at Caltech, then joined the Centre for Protein Engineering at Cambridge…. He estimated that, of all 150-link amino acid sequences, 1 in 1074 will be capable of folding into a stable protein. To say that your chances are 1 in 1074 is no different, in practice, from saying that they are zero. It’s not surprising that your chances of hitting a stable protein that performs some useful function, and might therefore play a part in evolution, are even smaller. Axe puts them at 1 in 1077.

In other words…The odds bury you. It can’t be done…. The odds against blind Darwinian chance having turned up even one mutation with the potential to push evolution forward are 1040x(1/1077)—1040 tries, where your odds of success each time are 1 in 1077—which equals 1 in 1037. In practical terms, those odds are still zero. Zero odds of producing a single promising mutation in the whole history of life. Darwin loses….

You don’t turn up a useful protein merely by doodling on the back of an envelope, any more than you write a Mozart aria by assembling three sheets of staff paper and scattering notes around. Profound biochemical knowledge is somehow, in some sense, captured in every description of a working protein. Where on earth did it all come from?….

There are many other problems besides proteins. One of the most basic, and the last I’ll mention here, calls into question the whole idea of gene mutations driving macro-evolution—the emergence of new forms of organism, versus mere variation on existing forms.

To help create a brand new form of organism, a mutation must affect a gene that does its job early and controls the expression of other genes that come into play later on as the organism grows. But mutations to these early-acting “strategic” genes, which create the big body-plan changes required by macro-evolution, seem to be invariably fatal. They kill off the organism long before it can reproduce. This is common sense. Severely deformed creatures don’t ever seem fated to lead the way to glorious new forms of life. Instead, they die young….

Meyer explains: “genes that are obviously variable within natural populations seem to affect only minor aspects of form and function—while those genes that govern major changes, the very stuff of macroevolution, apparently do not vary or vary only to the detriment of the organism.”….

Darwin would easily have understood that minor mutations are common but can’t create significant evolutionary change; major mutations are rare and fatal….

The exceptional intricacy of living things, and their elaborate mechanisms for fitting precisely into their natural surroundings, seemed to cry out for an intelligent designer…now that we understand so much cellular biology, and the impossibly long odds facing any attempt to design proteins by chance, or assemble the regulatory mechanisms that control the life cycle of a cell….

If Meyer were invoking a single intervention by an intelligent designer at the invention of life, or of consciousness, or rationality, or self-aware consciousness, the idea might seem more natural. But then we still haven’t explained the Cambrian explosion. An intelligent designer who interferes repeatedly, on the other hand, poses an even harder problem of explaining why he chose to act when he did. Such a cause would necessarily have some sense of the big picture of life on earth. What was his strategy? How did he manage to back himself into so many corners, wasting energy on so many doomed organisms? Granted, they might each have contributed genes to our common stockpile—but could hardly have done so in the most efficient way. What was his purpose? And why did he do such an awfully slipshod job? Why are we so disease prone, heartbreak prone, and so on? An intelligent designer makes perfect sense in the abstract. The real challenge is how to fit this designer into life as we know it. Intelligent design might well be the ultimate answer. But as a theory, it would seem to have a long way to go.

~Eowyn

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Good Samaritan homeless dog untethers pup tied up outside store

In the town of Novorossiysk, Russia, the owner of a pit bull puppy tethered the pup to a fence in front of the store so he could do some quick shopping inside.

But a homeless dog, who is well-known in the area to be very smart, always using the crosswalk to cross streets, was convinced the pup had been abandoned.

So he worked to set the pup free by using his teeth to untether the pup from the fence.

After untethering the pup, the homeless dog tried to lead the pup away by its leash.

Fortunately, Dmitriy Timchenko witnessed this and went inside the store to alert the pup’s owner.

Timchenko took this video:

The “Good Samaritan” stray dog seems to be in good health and able to take care of himself. But hopefully someone would adopt this smart, kind-hearted and well-meaning “creature without sin”.

H/t PawMyGosh

~Eowyn

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Goldfish lets owner stroke and hold it in his hand

Bon Shaw has a goldfish that is a genuine pet.

The fish demands Shaw’s attention. When Shaw puts his hand into the aquarium, the goldfish interacts with the hand and even allows Shaw to stroke and hold it in his hand.

Shaw writes:

This little guy just loves to watch me wherever I am in the room, he’ll do anything to get my attention. And when I look at him he flares out his gills and dances from side to side just hoping that I’ll come over to play. If I drop food in the aquarium he’ll ignore it and hope to play. I have to walk away to get him to go find the food which has floated away by then.

We think fish have no expressions, but this goldfish’s face clearly shows pleasure and joy in interacting with Shaw.

Simply remarkable.

Watch this and be amazed:

Did you know that a 2016 study found that archerfish can recognize human faces? In so doing, the study upended a long-standing belief that only “intelligent” creatures like humans and primates have the ability to recognize human faces because of their large and complex brains.

A 2017 study found zebrafish to be social animals in a similar way to humans and other mammals. The researchers discovered that being in a group gives zebrafish a kind of “social buffering” so they are less afraid when confronted by danger. This effect was associated with a distinct pattern of brain activation known to be involved in social buffering in mammals.

The study led the (UK) Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) to conclude that fish are sentient animals who form friendships, experience positive emotions and have individual personalities. Dr. Penny Hawkins, head of the RSPCA’s research animals department, told The Independent the study added to the growing body of evidence that fish should not be viewed as lesser animals: “I think if you are going to think it’s okay to eat any animal, then you have to realise what you are doing. You are causing the death of an animal who is sentient, who has experiences, interests.”

I already abstain from eating animal meat. To quote English philospher Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832), Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation:

The French have already discovered that the blackness of skin is no reason why a human being should be abandoned without redress to the caprice of a tormentor. It may come one day to be recognized, that the number of legs, the villosity [hairiness] of the skin, or the termination of the os sacrum, are reasons equally insufficient for abandoning a sensitive being to the same fate. What else is it that should trace the insuperable line? Is it the faculty of reason, or perhaps, the faculty for discourse?…. [T]he question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer? Why should the law refuse its protection to any sensitive being?…. The time will come when humanity will extend its mantle over everything which breathes….

Now I will have to refrain from eating fish as well.

See also:

~Eowyn

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Rescue dog always leaves half of his food in bowl

PawMyGosh reports that a year ago, Joice Lamas and her husband adopted a dog named Otávio from a rescue group who took him in from an abusive household where many dogs were neglected.

Otávio was fearful of humans at first, but Joice was determined to change that. She told The Dodo: “From the first moment we saw him, we’ve never been apart.”

In the months after bringing Otávio home, the couple saw him blossom right before their eyes. He has learned to trust and cuddles instead of turn away in fear.

But a heartbreaking remnant from his past still remained.

Although dogs, unlike finicky cats, are known to eat any and everything, Otávio would only eat some of his food, always leaving half of the food in his bowl.

Joice suspects it’s because of Otávio’s past household where he and the other “many” dogs were abused and neglected. Otávio likely had to ration his meals or set aside some of the food for the other dogs.

Either way, it was heartbreaking.

Joice said: “It’s sad. I always tell him, ‘It’s OK if you eat everything.’”

Joice hopes that in time, Otávio will learn that he can leave that part of his past behind: “I know he will never be without anything in life — not food, not love. We try to make him as happy as possible.”

Joice said it’s one of the challenges of adopting a formerly abused dog: “They need patience and a lot of love, because they can take longer to adapt. But it is remarkable how love changes animals. A rescued animal is much sweeter, more grateful and affectionate than others. They’re simply incredible!”

See also “Animal altruism: Why homeless cat would only accept kibbles in a plastic bag,” because the cat was bringing food back to her kitten.

~Eowyn

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Muslim cleric killed by cow he tried to ritually slaughter

Qurban is the ritual animal sacrifice of a livestock animal during Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice) — one of two Islamic holidays celebrated worldwide each year, and considered the holier of the two. In 2019, the Feast of the Sacrifice was August 11.

According to News Punch, Eid al-Adha is “the Islamic festival that involves killing millions of helpless animals (sheep, goats, cows, camels) that are forced to have their necks cut so they bleed to death slowly while fully conscious and writhing in pain, which can take several minutes depending on the size of the animal.”

Asip Hasani reports for The Jakarta Post that on Sunday, August 11, 2019 at Miftahul Jannah Mosque in Blitar, East Java, a Muslim cleric named Sureki, 64, who was set to slaughter a cow as animal sacrifice for Eid al-Adha, was struck and killed by the cow.

Mosque caretaker Farhan said the incident started when one of several cows escaped from its tethers and ran full speed for about 100 meters (328 ft.). Sureki was supposed to slaughter 4 sacrificial cows and 17 goats when a “big and fierce” cow broke its leash, “suddenly ran toward him and struck [Sureki’s] chin with its head.”

Sureki fell backward with the back of his head hitting the pavement of the mosque yard. Knocked unconscious, he was immediately admitted to the hospital.

After undergoing head surgery and three days in a coma, Sureki died on Wednesday evening at Ngudi Waluyo Hospital.

Below is a video showing the cruelty of the Muslim ritual of animal sacrifice.

WARNING: Graphic!

H/t Paul Joseph Watson of Summit News

See also:

~Eowyn

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Doctor says “Jewish values” drive her to perform abortions that are necessary for women to “create the families they want”

I am not familiar with Judaism and their stance on abortion. Yet in my research, I understand that abortion in Judaism is permitted only if there is a direct threat to the life of the mother by carrying the fetus to term or through the act of childbirth.

There is a pro-choice Jewish woman doctor in DC that the Washington Post (reposted on the SF Gate when I read it) wrote a glowing story about. Her name is Sara Imershein and she performs first-trimester abortions and ritual circumcisions. The article from SF Gate describes her reasons for her work as such: She believes both practices achieve the same goal: allowing women to create the families they want. Given that, she said, her Jewish faith compels her to offer the two services to Washington-area residents.”

Apparently, having the family you don’t want to create can bring suffering to women: “She cited the Jewish concept of “mitzvot,” which means “commandments.” For her, she said: “It means I am commanded, if I have the skills as a physician, to use them to alleviate suffering. Not to use my skills would be wrong.”

The article does acknowledge that Halakhah mandates that abortion is necessary if the woman’s life is in danger.

More from the article: But Jews vary on what constitutes a sufficient threat. By performing abortions for all women who meet the clinic’s standards, Imershein, who is Reform, is taking a “very permissive” position that some more conservative Jews may see as immoral, said Elli Fischer, an Orthodox rabbi and halakhah historian.”

More about Imershein’s work:

“She does not advertise, operating by word of mouth, and she does not “make much,” she said. Of course, Imershein’s advocacy – appearing at Planned Parenthood rallies in a white doctor’s coat, for example – is free.

MiMi Levine, Imershein’s 32-year-old daughter, sees her mother’s work the same way it was explained to her at age 5, when Imershein told her that “it gives women freedom.”

“I have always been super proud of her,” Levine said. “I think she’s a hero.”

Apparently Jews have a different belief than Christian’s as to when life actually begins:

When she performs an abortion, Imershein believes she is not ending a human life. Jewish law – as laid out in the Torah, the Talmud and the “responsa,” rabbinic wisdom gathered across centuries – teaches that human life starts at birth rather than conception, according to Fischer. The fetus “attains the status of a fully human life” when its head emerges, Fischer said.

Eisenberg said some rabbis have understood this to mean the fetus is more akin to a kind of property than a person. Because of that, they say abortion is not murder, defined as the ending of a human life. Some faith leaders believe it still counts as killing, given that it ends a form of life, Fischer said, but halakhah insists there can be extenuating circumstances in which killing is permissible.”

The article concludes with the following:

“When a woman comes to the Falls Church clinic asking for an abortion, Imershein does not second-guess her reasoning. Same goes for when a mother asks her to officiate a brit milah (circumcision) – a less controversial procedure, though a small but growing number of Jews are questioning the tradition’s merits.

“I ultimately give all rights to the mother,” Imershein said. “With brit milahs, they’re having the family they want, and if I’m doing the abortions, I’m just fulfilling the wish of women to have the lives they want.”

Read the whole story on SF Gate here.

As is typical of libtards, there’s some mental gymnastics in this doctor’s reasoning to justify her position on abortion. First she says she does it to allow women to “create the families they want.”

The doctor also states she performs abortions to “alleviate suffering.”

She then states she performs abortions when the woman’s life is in danger.

Then her daughter says she performs abortions to “give women freedom.”

Yet apparently the doctor doesn’t ask WHY a woman wants/needs an abortion. How can she verify that she is performing the procedure within the parameters of her Jewish values?

One look at this doctor’s Twitter timeline and you’ll see she’s all about “reproductive rights” and protecting civil and human rights of “all people.”

It’s obvious to me that the good doctor is performing abortions as Margaret Sanger would prefer: On demand.

One thing I’ve come to understand about liberal logic: It’s not designed to make sense.

DCG

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Sunday Animal Funnies!

 

~Eowyn

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Tiny kitten’s persistence in following dog got rewarded with adoption

Jon Nienaber was walking his basset hound in his neighborhood in Cleveland, Ohio, when a tiny stray kitten ran up to them and decided to tag along.

Leslie Nienaber told Love Meow that her husband called her about the kitten. So she quickly grabbed some cat food to where her husband was. Leslie said the little kitten followed “Jon and I as we were walking away! He seemed determined to stay with us.”

When the kitten followed them to the end of the street, Leslie said to her husband that they had to take him home. The kitten, whom the Nienabers named Pinot, was so tiny he could fit into the palm of their hand.

Leslie said: “When I got him home, he was really dirty, and I tried to clean him the best I could. He seemed hungry.”

But the couple already had three cats and a dog, so Leslie thought about her sister, Sarah, who is also a cat lover. Sarah came the next day and was smitten with Pinot from the moment she saw him.

Leslie said: “My sister Sarah was seriously an angel. I am convinced that he would have died if we hadn’t brought him home. I’ll admit that it was really hard to give Pinot away – he was just this brave, determined little soul who wanted to survive, and was the cutest kitten we had ever seen. It made me really happy that my sister took him in, because I knew I’d get to see him grow and I could always visit him. He is obsessed with Q-tips, to the point where Sarah has found them scattered all around her bathroom, and loves watching birds from their apartment window.”

The tiny palm-sized kitten has blossomed into a beautiful fluffy cat.

That kitten knew what he was doing! >^..^<

~Eowyn

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