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Web Site of the Month - January 2016
by Lothar Janetzko

The ENCODE Embroilment, Part 1
http://www.salvomag.com/new/articles/salvo31/the-encode-embroilment-part-I.php

“Why Are Biologists Lashing Out Against Empirically Verified Research Results?”

This month’s web site review looks at the first of a six-part article about ENCODE. I discovered this information by performing a search for the top stories of 2015 regarding creation and evolution. For some background, the article begins by asking the question “Is the vast majority of the human genome useless junk or crucial for cellular function? Scientists are split over this question, with evolutionary biologists principally holding the former viewpoint, and molecular biologists the latter.”

The paper presenting the results of the ENCODE (Encyclopedia of DNA Elements) Project created quite a controversy. The ENCODE Project was a years-long research consortium involving over 400 international scientists studying noncoding DNA in the human genome. The Project produced a lead article along with 30 other groundbreaking papers. “The lead ENCODE article found that the ‘vast majority’ of the human genome shows biochemical function: ‘These data enabled us to assign biochemical function for 80 percent of the genome, in particular outside the well-studied protein-coding regions.”

Of course this report was bad news for Darwinism. You can learn about the reaction of evolutionists from the sections entitled:

In the Evolutionists Strike Back section, the article author asks and answers the question, “How could they (Darwin defenders) possibly oppose such empirically based conclusions? The same way they always defend their theory: by assuming an evolutionary viewpoint is correct and reinterpreting the data in light of their paradigm—and by personally attacking those who challenge their position.”

Just from the first of the six-part article about ENCODE you can learn a great deal about the uproar the lead article of the Project has created.

The other articles of the series have the titles:

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Web Site of the Month - February 2016
by Lothar Janetzko

Ghost of Lamarck: Working Epigenetics into Evolutionary Theory
http://www.evolutionnews.org/2014/03/ghost_of_lamarc083371.html

Evolution News and Views

This month’s website review looks at an article found on the Evolution News and Views website. In the headline of the website you learn that “Evolution News and Views (ENV) provides original reporting and analysis about the debate over intelligent design and evolution, including breaking news about scientific research.” On the main page of the site you will find links to

  1. Evolution
  2. Intelligent Design
  3. Science
  4. Academic Freedom
  5. Culture & Ethics
  6. Education
  7. Faith & Science

There is much to explore on this website.

The article on the website that I found interesting was the one on Epigenetics. The article begins by stating that “Epigenetics is a reality that can no longer be ignored. Too many studies have shown that factors above DNA code are not only influential in trait formation, but can be passed to offspring. Is this a bridge too far for Darwinian evolution, or can they extend their theory to encompass ‘epimutations’ to the epigenetic codes?”

The article continues by describing the reaction of the scientific community to what Michael Skinner, called “the epigenetics heretic” by Science Magazine, has maintained “that chemicals can cause changes in gene expression in mice that persist across generations.” The reaction is typical to when the theory of evolution is challenged by any new findings. First you attack the presenter of the new findings. Consequently “opinions differ about whether Skinner is a ‘pioneer who has uncovered a new and exciting potential driver of evolution’, or a troublemaker with ‘uncompromising personality’ some find ‘cavalier’”.

In the article, you can learn more about the reactions to the Skinner controversy from publications such as Nature, Science Magazine, Science and Nature News. All this makes for interesting reading and shows that the controversy regarding evolution is still going strong. In his concluding remarks on the website article, the author states that “design thinking has taken the lead in the epigenetics age. We expect it to continue to do so.”

As always, explore this website to find topics that you may find interesting. The main website provides scrolling links of Top Articles, Top Videos and Top Podcasts.

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Web Site of the Month - March 2016
by Lothar Janetzko

Scientific Evidence that God Created Life
http://www.creationism.org/heinze/SciEvidGodLife.htm

Did God Create Life? Ask a Protein!

This month’s website review looks at a site that provides interesting insights into many questions regarding the debate surrounding creation and evolution. The site presents an article by Thomas Heinze which presents challenging questions for evolutionists.

At the beginning of the article, you will find links to the contents consisting of

  1. Did God Create Life? Ask a Protein!
  2. A Cell Must Have a Membrane
  3. Where Did the Information in Cells Come From?
  4. Redefining Science to Eliminate the Creator
  5. Did Time Perform the Miracle of Life?
  6. Did Life Come from Space?

The first link takes you to a lengthy discussion about proteins, amino acids and RNA. You also learn that “Proteins are so hard to make that in all of nature, they never form except in already living cells. Never! This scientific fact stands in stark contrast to what was taught.” You will also find a discussion about the Principle of Biogenesis (living things come only from living things) and abiogenesis.

In the 2nd section, you will find information about the important function of a cell’s membrane.

The 3rd section provides an interesting discussion about the information contained in cells. Where does the information come from? Can matter compose information? The statement is made that, “Information never happens apart from intelligence, yet cells contain huge amounts of information. I believe this is the most important single evidence that life came from the mind of an intelligent Creator rather than from dumb chemicals.

In the 4th section, you find how the term science has been redefined. “The term ‘science’ once meant ‘knowledge discovered by experimentation, observation and objective investigation”, but now many, including the Kansas state guidelines, redefine science as “The human activity of seeking natural explanations [emphasis ours] for what we observe in the world around us.”

The last two sections of the article also provide interesting material to ponder regarding how life could have formed here on earth.

At the top of the website article, you will find a link to the Main Heinze Page which will take you to many more articles written by the author that you may find interesting. Many topics are covered.

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Web Site of the Month - April 2016
by Lothar Janetzko

Okay, We Give Up
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/okay-we-give-up/

Scientific American gives up on evolution.

This month’s website review looks at an article written by the editors of Scientific American. Since April 1st is a day commonly referred to as April Fools’ Day, I decided to search the Internet for interesting articles covering the topic of creation and evolution and April Fools’ jokes. I came across this article which was just one of many that try to portray creationists as being gullible for April Fools’ jokes.

How the editors of Scientific American describe their coverage of “so-called evolution” is really quite funny, but also informative regarding their views of science. “In retrospect, this magazine’s coverage of so-called evolution has been hideously one-sided. For decades, we published articles in every issue that endorsed the ideas of Charles Darwin and his cronies. True, the theory of common descent through natural selection has been called the unifying concept for all of biology and one of the greatest scientific ideas of all time, but that was no excuse to be fanatics about it.”

Although the article is really just meant to be an April Fools’ joke, it really is easy to detect the bias the editors have regarding evolution. “Why were we so unwilling to suggest that dinosaurs lived 6,000 years ago or that a cataclysmic flood carved the Grand Canyon? Blame the scientists. They dazzled us with their fancy fossils, their radiocarbon dating and their tens of thousands of peer-reviewed journal articles.”

The topic of Intelligent Design really is shamefully mistreated by the editors. They also make the common criticism that because creationists believe that God designed all life that creationism is a religious idea and not science.

The general tone of the article shows that the editors really are elitist, which they claim as being wrong.

I think it would really be great if Scientific American would “be dedicated purely to science, fair and balanced science, and not just the science that scientists say is science.”

If you are interested in April Fools’ jokes and pranks you will find many just by searching the Internet.

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Web Site of the Month - May 2016
by Lothar Janetzko

10 Things I Wish Everyone Knew about the Creation vs. Evolution Debate
http://www.faithstreet.com/onfaith/2014/11/04/10-things-i-wish-everyone-knew-about-the-creation-vs-evolution-debate/34879

Some quick insights about the ongoing conflict between two very big ideas.

This month’s website review looks at an article by Mike Lehman who edits Jesus & Dawkins, a blog that looks at the intersection of Christianity, science and atheism. The article is the result of asking Mike to list what he wishes everyone understood about creation and evolution after he had an exchange with Answers in Genesis founder Ken Ham about the creation/evolution debate.

The 10 things are as follows:

  1. Darwin’s idea can help us read the Bible better.
  2. Yes, evolution is just a theory – and so is gravity.
  3. Evolution doesn’t disprove creation. It can’t.
  4. If you believe Genesis 1 is science, you should also believe the sky is domed.
  5. The structure and numbers in Genesis 1 are a big hint: It’s not about science.
  6. If they’re read as straightforward history, the six-day creation story and the Adam and Eve story contradict each other.
  7. There are other creation stories in the Old Testament.
  8. How did Christians react to Charles Darwin’s discovery? Some of their responses might surprise you.
  9. Darwin wasn’t an atheist, nor did he have a deathbed conversion to Christianity.
  10. Accepting evolution does not require accepting atheism. Choosing between creation and evolution is a false dilemma.

After each one of the above listed items you will find a brief discussion about the statement and links to additional information.

You may not agree with Mike and the 10 things he mentions in the article, but I believe it is interesting to learn the views of people who are actively involved in the creation/evolution debate. As with most blog posts, especially ones discussing creation and evolution, you will find many comments (111 at the present time) which provide insights into the views held by readers of this particular article.

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Web Site of the Month - June 2016
by Lothar Janetzko

Science and Creation
http://www.science-creation.com/science.htm

Scientific Evidence for Creation

This month’s website review looks at a site that seeks to provide scientific evidence for creation. The website main page is organized by providing nine tabs to the following topics: 1) Home, 2) Scientific Creation, 3) Science, 4) Creation, 5) Hoaxes, 6) Debate, 7) Self-Help, 8) Humor and 9) Contact. As you can tell from the link to the website, the material for discussion is found on the Science tab.

Three observations or definitions present an introduction to the material discussed:

  1. Science Verifies Creation. Evidence for special creation surrounds us. Everywhere from microscopic elements to the unfathomable recesses of the Universe. This website is a collection of unbiased evidence supporting Creation.
  2. Scientific evidence: Verifiable measurements or observations that support or oppose possible physical explanations
  3. The Law of Biogenesis: Living things come only from living things (life arises from pre-existing life, not from nonliving material)

What follows are a few questions the website author asks to try to point out to the reader that the technology in use during Darwin’s time led Darwin to make wrong conclusions about the complexity of living cells. The microscope Darwin used provided 850x magnification. At this magnification “Darwin saw a primitive, rounded glob of matter called ‘protoplasm’. He thought it consisted of a few elementary components that could be easily assembled.” The electron microscopes we use today provide a maximum magnification of 10,000,000, showing us that even bacteria “contain complex molecular machines, each bacterium being more like a sophisticated automobile factory with multiple robotic devices and a complex control center.”

What follows next on the page are links to a number of videos that provide interesting insights into the Evolution versus Creation Debate. Additional links cover topics such as

  1. The Improbability of Abiogenesis
  2. The Top 30 Problems with the Big Bang
  3. Intelligent Design in Nature

We have just discussed what is found on one of the tabs of the website. Just select one of the other tabs to explore additional material that you may find helpful in gaining a better understanding of the issues involved when discussing creation and evolution.

On a lighter note, the Humor tab provides some cute jokes, especially the section with the title “Church Ladies with Typewriters”.

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Web Site of the Month - July 2016
by Lothar Janetzko

A Noah’s Ark in Kentucky, Dinosaurs Included
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/26/us/noahs-ark-creationism-ken-ham.html?_r=0

How the news media is responding to the enormous model of Noah’s ark.

This month’s website review looks at some articles found on the web commenting on the “gargantuan Noah’s ark” which is scheduled to open on July 7 in Williamstown, KY. Just searching “noah’s ark kentucky” with the Bing search engine yielded 4,100,000 results, so you can tell that there has been a lot of news regarding what is being constructed in Kentucky. Besides the article, which provides some details about the project from the New York Times, the Internet search also gives you articles from various other newspapers, Reuters, Fox News, NBC News, ABC News, Newsweek.com, USAToday and many other sources. The general tone of many of these articles provides insight into how the creation versus evolution debate is portrayed in the public press.

Although the author of the New York Times article does not try to just report general information, you do learn some details about the “Ark Encounter” project. The main man behind the project is Ken Ham, the president and founder of Answers in Genesis. He is the person who in 2014 had a debate with “Bill Nye the Science Guy”, which was widely reported in the news and on the Internet. The cost of building a full scale replica of Noah’s ark was more than $102 million. It was constructed by Amish woodworkers and financed with donations, junk bonds and tax rebates from the state of Kentucky.

The New York Times article makes it clear that the author enjoys reporting on the difficulties the project has had to deal with in the past. “The state tried to revoke the tax rebates after learning that Mr. Ham would require employees to sign a ‘statement of faith’ that would exclude people who were gay or did not accept his particular Christian creed.” What I find truly amazing is that Mr. Ham went to court and in January, he won.

Mr. Ham, in an interview in a cabin overlooking the construction site, has stated that “The reason we are building the ark is not as an entertainment center. I mean it’s not like a Disney or Universal, just for anyone to go and have fun. It’s a religious purpose. It’s because we’re Christians and we want to get the Christian message out…We’re becoming more like the days of Noah in that we see increasing secularization in culture.”

You can learn more details about the Ark Encounter from the many sources found by searching the Internet. Learn why it is planned to open on July 7, 2016, how many visitors it should attract annually and how much it will cost to visit the site.

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Web Site of the Month - August 2016
by Lothar Janetzko

Evolution: Science or Creation Story?
http://www.faithfacts.org/evolution-or-creation/evolution-science-or-creation-story

Faith Facts finding facts for life’s tough questions

This month’s website review looks at an article found on the faithfacts.org website. In the introduction, the following statement is made: “The uninformed are sometimes of the opinion that the debate over evolution is about science versus the Bible. This could not be further from the truth. The modern debate is about whether or not science itself supports the theory of evolution. This article is about the scientific problems of Darwinism.”

The point is made that “there are, it seems, two definitions of science. One is to look at the facts, test the hypothesis, and see where it leads you---even if you don’t like it. … or start with a definition of naturalism, and look only at the pieces which fit that philosophy.”

The article continues by surveying several books that present their arguments about the “growing problems for evolution”.

The issues discussed are grouped into the following four categories:

  1. Problems w/Darwinian Mechanism
  2. Problems of Building Consistent Evolutionary Tree
  3. Problems from Unexplained Anomalies
  4. Is Darwinism Good Science (or Bad Philosophy)?

On the main page of the website you will find links to the above mentioned categories which lead to separate web pages which provide the detailed discussion of the category. For example, the first category, Problems with the Darwinian Mechanism, discusses

  1. The Problem of the Obvious
  2. The Problem of Reverse Complexity
  3. The Problem of Irreducibly Complex Systems
  4. The Problem of Survivability of Intermediates
  5. The Problem of the Missing Models
  6. The Problem of First Life
  7. The Problem of Deleterious Mutations
  8. The Problem of Mathematical Improbability
  9. The Problem of Cosmology

Thirty-five problems in total are addressed by the various categories.

By following the links to the various categories, I am sure the reader will find topics of interest in understanding the scientific problems of Darwinism.

On the various web pages, you will find links to several books including page numbers and links to additional resources. On the home page there is also a link to Resource List, referencing 15 different books including a short description of the books’ content.

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Web Site of the Month - September 2016
by Lothar Janetzko

Dallas researchers out to scientifically prove biblical version of creation
http://www.dallasnews.com/news/metro/20140814-dallas-researchers-out-to-prove-creation-with-science.ece

Institute for Creation Research Review

If you search the Internet for information about the creation versus evolution debate, you will certainly find references or links to the work of the Institute for Creation Research.  In this month’s website review, we look at an article published in the Dallas Morning News that discusses the work and some of the background history of the Institute for Creation Research (ICR).

The staff writer of the Dallas Morning News begins his article by stating that: “Most scientists believe Darwin got it right: Single-celled creatures evolved into complex ones, a process of natural selection and genetic adaptation that over eons turned a primordial swamp into shape-shifting cells, into ape-like primates, into people.”  He correctly states that “His [Darwin’s] theory is taught in virtually every science classroom in the world.” He then makes some statements about how the theory of evolution is “used to demystify the complexity of life, translate the language of DNA, and make sense of geology, biology and paleontology.”  This is the propaganda you often read in the press regarding the theory of evolution.

After this introduction, the article author begins his discussion of the Institute for Creation Research.  Since the article appears on Dallas Morning News, I assume the author visited the Institute since it is currently located in Dallas.  From the article you learn that ICR is a group of nine Ph.D.s “from places like Harvard and Los Alamos National Laboratory that say all that molecules-to-man stuff is nonsense.  And they’re out to prove it.”

The article reports on some of the statements and views held by many ICR scientists.  From the general tone of the article you get the impression that the author is not just discussing his visit to the Institute, but also interjecting a lot of material that he believes proves that critics of the Institute are correct in their views of claiming the research done by the Institute is “pseudo-science.”

I think it is interesting to read about the challenges the researchers at the Institute face and some of the early history of the organization.

To the staff writer’s credit, a brief video by the staff of ICR is available at the beginning of the article allowing the reader to hear about the work done at ICR.

If you want to learn about the ICR first hand, just visit their website at www.icr.org.  Here you will find a great deal of information about ICR, its publications, resources and plans for the construction of the ICR Discovery Center for Science and Earth History.

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Web Site of the Month - October 2016
by Lothar Janetzko

Darwin Unhinged: The Bugs in Evolution
http://fredoneverything.org/darwin-unhinged-the-bugs-in-evolution/

Scurrilous Commentary by Fred Reed

This month’s website review looks at a site recommended by a reader of our newsletter.  In the words of the author of the site, “This is atrociously long, criminally even, by internet standards… few will read it, which is understandable.”  I hope this is not the case, however, since the article presents interesting insights into one person’s understanding about the issues involved when talking and reading about evolution.

The article begins with the author relating his experiences from high school when he began to think about evolution.  He points out that “The question of the origin of life interested me.”  He found the “evolutionary explanations that I encountered in textbooks of biology seemed weak.” The various thoughts of how life came about started to bother him.  He states that “Evolution began to look like a theory in search of a soup.”

In the next section of the article with the title “What Distinguishes Evolution from Other Sciences” you gain insight into why the author started to question the theory of evolution.  “Early on, I noticed three things about evolution that differentiated it from other sciences (or, I could almost say, from science).  First, plausibility was accepted as being equivalent to evidence… second, evolution seemed more a metaphysics or ideology than a science… third, evolutionists are obsessed by Christianity and Creationism, with which they image themselves to be in mortal combat.”

When addressing the animosity between evolution and Christianity and Creationism you learn that the website author is not a Creationist.  He points out what many of us experience: Evolutionists’ “constant classification of skeptics as enemies (a word they often use) of truth, of science, of Darwin, of progress…’Creationist’ is to evolution what ‘racists’ is to politics: A way of preventing discussion of what you do not want to discuss.  Evolution is the political correctness of science.”

So far I have only discussed the beginning of the “atrociously long” article.  Much more interesting reading follows.  In fact, right now I have only described the section “A Preamble” of the article.  Here you learn what the intent of the author’s essay really is.  “I write here for those who can look at the world with curiosity and calm, divining what can be divined and conceding what cannot, without regarding themselves as members of warring tribes.”

What follows in the article is how the author views the many claims made by evolutionists and considers whether or not the claims really make sense.

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Web Site of the Month - November 2016
by Lothar Janetzko

Answers in Genesis
https://answersingenesis.org/

Believing it. Defending it. Proclaiming it.

After recently visiting the Creation Museum and the Ark Encounter, both of which are located in Kentucky, I think it would be informative to provide some information in this month’s website review about the organization behind these two interesting projects, Answers in Genesis (AiG).

Visiting the website of AiG, you quickly learn that the site contains a wealth of information.  A quick “road map” is provided to help a reader get started in exploring all that information.

Before exploring the site, here is how AiG describes their message at the very beginning under a scrolling image for links to recent articles located on the website.  “Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively.  We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible---particularly the book of Genesis---regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth.”

On the About page you can also learn about the history of the AiG organization and its founder Ken Ham.

On the main page of the AiG site you will find links to:

Indeed, the search box comes in handy to find information about topics in which you may be interested. For example, when searching for the term “Science” you will find 23,300 results under the heading All.  You can also categorize the results in subcategories like Articles, Blogs, Media and Store.

Selecting the Answers link on the main page leads the reader to the following topics:

  1. Age of the Earth
  2. Animals
  3. Bible
  4. Creation
  5. Evolution
  6. God
  7. Science
  8. Worldview

Below each of these topics you will find links pertaining to the topic.  Also on the Answers page link you will find information about the Answers magazine and the Answers Research JournalAnswers magazine is published quarterly and you can subscribe for a print or digital edition.  The Answers Research Journal (ARJ) is a professional, peer-reviewed technical journal for the publication of interdisciplinary scientific and other relevant research from the perspective of the recent Creation and global Flood within a Biblical framework.

Space does not permit describing all the other information you can find on the AiG website.  Just explore the site to find answers to questions you may have regarding creation and evolution.

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Web Site of the Month - December 2016
by Lothar Janetzko

Microevolution vs. Macroevolution: What’s the Difference?

Internet sites don’t agree.

This month’s web site review considers a topic that often arises when searching the Internet about information regarding the creation vs. evolution controversy.  To begin the discussion from Wikipedia.org you learn that the terms “macroevolution” and “microevolution” were first coined by Russian entomologist Yuri Filipchenko in 1927.  The meanings of these two terms have changed several times since then.

On the About.com website you will find the following definitions for Microevolution vs. Macroevolution.  “Microevolution is used to refer to changes in the gene pool of a population over time which result in relatively small changes to the organisms in the population – changes which would not result in the newer organisms being considered as different species.  Macroevolution, in contrast, is used to refer to changes in organisms which are significant enough that, over time, the newer organisms would be considered an entirely new species.  In other words, the new organisms would be unable to mate with their ancestors, assuming we were able to bring them together.”

On creation web sites, such as ICR.org (Institute for Creation Research) you learn that microevolution might better be called variation, or adaptation and that macroevolution has never been observed.

Other terms you will encounter when reading about micro and macro evolution are gradualism and punctuated equilibrium.  These terms are used to try to explain how species have changed over time and what the fossil record shows.

What you will quickly notice when reading about microevolution vs. macroevolution is that there is little agreement as to even basic definitions about these terms.  Evolutionists will tell you that “there is no known mechanism that would prevent small changes (microevolution) from ultimately resulting in macroevolution” and creationists claim that microevolution can occur but macroevolution cannot.

Although there is little agreement about basic definitions when discussing micro and macro evolution, when searching the Internet about these subjects you will find an abundance of information from both evolutionists and creationists that try to provide answers to persuade you to their point of view about these terms.  Just read some of the many articles found on the net regarding this important topic of the creation vs. evolution controversy.

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