Red Panda, Photo credit: schani

Red Panda

Red Panda, Photo credit: schani A few years ago we took our kids to a small local zoo and I got to see these critters for the first time.  Even the daddies are so adorable I wanted to pick one up and snuggle (poor guy)!

Like its neighbor, the Giant Panda, the Red Panda is endangered with only about 2,500 adults left alive right now.  But, unlike the Giant Panda, Red Pandas often have babies in zoos, making it more hopeful that we can protect them for the future.

So, besides being as cute as a stuffed animal, what is a Red Panda like? They grow to be about the size of a house cat, but with an 18in [46cm] long tail (ringed like a Racoon), making them about 42in [106cm] long from nose to tip.  They only weigh 7-13lbs [3-6kg], but they look heavier than that when you see them because their fur is so long and thick.

Like the Giant Panda, God has provided the Red Panda with an unusual feature. Their wrists have a bony projection that works like a thumb that helps them hang on to things.

A Red Panda’s coloring helps it blend into the lichens growing on its forested environment. Their soft fur grows everywhere on them, in their ears and even on their paw pads. This is a good thing for them because they like to live in the mountains and cool forests where it snows in the winter. Their bushy tail makes a particularly excellent nose warmer for a cold winter night!

Geographic distribution of the Red Panda (Ailu...

Geographic distribution of the Red Panda

Red Pandas live wild on the band of high land running from India, Nepal and Bhutan on the west through China and as far east as northern Myanmar and Laos.

Like the Giant Panda, their favorite food is bamboo, which is really hard to digest and has few calories. This means both of these animals are dependent on a large and steady supply bamboo, but bamboo has a habit of all flowering and dying at once. Farmers have cleared a lot of the land these animals used to roam around, so they are often stuck in one area where the bamboo might die suddenly.

Unlike the Giant Panda, the Red Panda regularly eats more than just bamboo. They are also fond of fruit and berries in the Summer and has even been known to occasionally eat eggs and baby birds, small rodents and bugs. Because of this better diet, Red Panda mothers usually have two babies each year and can bear up to 5! Baby Red Pandas stay with their mom until the next winter when they have to fend for themselves.

Adult Red Pandas live all alone except for mating time and when a mother is raising her babies. They only live to be about 13 years old in the wild with one known to have lived to 17 in captivity. This means an average mother could have about 20 babies in her life, but some of them are likely to be eaten by yellow martens (sort of like weasels) before they can grow up.

Red Pandas, being much smaller than the Giant ones, love to climb and hang out in trees. Their long tails help them balance as they move around on the branches. The one I saw at the zoo was taking a nap with its head stretched along a tree limb and its legs hanging down on both sides. Trees also make a good place to hide from snow leopards who find them tasty and people who like to turn their tails into wedding hats. They also tend to be fairly quiet, making twittering and whistling noises when they want to talk to each other.

Showcase for Evolution- Not!

National Geographic tells us that, “The red panda has given scientists taxonomic fits.”  [tax-uh-nomic: put into groups]  That means the Red Panda is a problem for people who want to say that everything developed from one animal along a bunch of Evolutionary paths that grew more and more unique from each other. Why?

The Red panda is similar to some animals that aren’t ‘supposed’ to be close on the ‘tree of life.’ They have a few features in common with the Giant Panda, which doesn’t surprise anyone. But, they have more in common with the raccoons of  North America as well as weasels.

We know that all things were designed by one Master Creator and it doesn’t surprise us at all that the Red Panda is a variation on a number of God’s themes.

Fossil Red Pandas

We’ve learned  that there were once Red Pandas living in what is now North America. In 1977 a fossilized Red Panda tooth was found in Washington State.  In the last ten years almost a whole fossilized skeleton has found  in Tennessee!!

A bunch of animals (like the Saber-tooth Tiger, Shovel-tusk Elephant, and more) got washed into a sink hole along with at least two Red Pandas.  Interestingly, the bones seem to show that they used to eat a wider variety of foods back then.  But from what I’ve read about dinos, scientists have vivid imaginations about possible diets for fossilized critters.

Pay attention to where they say the fossil Panda “has both primitive and derived characteristics.”  That means they think it was both closer to and farther from a single celled organism than modern ones!  Right…

Bonus

The page on Red Pandas at Animal Info had some interesting historical trivia about them.  It says westerners were told about the Red Panda before the Giant Panda. It was first called the “Wah” (the Nepali name for it) after its loud call and then the “Poonya” which was another local name meaning “bamboo eater”.  We English speakers had trouble saying this, so we changed the name to Panda.  So the Red Panda got its name first and the Giant one borrowed it!

But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee;  Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the LORD hath wrought this? Job 12:7a,9

Photos by my dear husband and me taken at Binder Park Zoo near of Battle Creek, MI

Other sites I used to research this post:

National Zoo: Red Panda

Curraghs Wildlife Park’s Fact File

Wikipedia: Red Panda

Two Hyraxes, photo credit: Arikk

Coneys, Rock Badgers, Hyraxs. What kind of critter are those?

The conies are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks; Proverbs 30:26

Growing up, I never could picture what these animals looked like.  None of the English names we have for these guys meant anything to me since I’d never seen one. If you look up Coney with an online dictionary, it will tell you that a coney is a fish (try to picture fish building a house in the rocks!). My kid’s dictionary says that ‘Coney’ is a different way of spelling ‘Cony’ which is a European Rabbit.
So, now you know why I was so confused, but…

What are they really like?

Two Hyraxes, photo credit: ArikkTurns out that the Biblical Coney, aka Rock Badgers, aka Hyrax is something that looks more like a ground hog! When I went to look them up last year, I realized that I had just read a story about their African cousins, The 3 Little Dassies, by Jan Brett*. Although in Africa they are known as Dassies, the most common name for them in English now is Hyrax [hi-raks]. The ones living in Israel are part of the Syrian Rock Hyrax family.

Studying this has been really fun, because the first thing I saw on the African Wildlife Foundation page is that they don’t fit neatly into any group of animals. Some Evolutionists say that they are really close relatives of elephants, sea cows, and manatees!! Now, that is pretty crazy. God defi

Rock Hyrax Range

nitely has a way of throwing wrenches into people’s neat “tree of life” machines.

 

From the picture, you can see that hyraxes look kind of like marmots, mongooses, and ground hogs.

They have short, thick, brownish fur that can range from light grey in the desert, to almost orange in southern Israel, to dark brown in greener areas.  They have small ears and thick bodies. Grown up Hyraxs weight around 9lbs and are about 20ins long, so they’re a little smaller than a ground hog.

Hyrax colony on rocks, photo credit: ArikkUnlike these other animals, Hyraxs don’t dig deep burrows. The places they choose for homes already have piles of rocks and crevasses to live in. They keep their homes tidy by deciding on one spot to use as a bathroom so the rest stays clean.

Hyraxs love to live in groups that range from 10 to as many as 80 members. Like prairie dogs, they post a sentry (usually the dad) to keep an eye out for danger while the rest find food. If the sentry spys danger, he will call a high pitched alarm and they all scurry into their hiding places among the rocks. This protection works so well that it is rare for one to be eaten by the south Judean wolves.

Singing is a favorite pastime for Hyraxes. They seem to let each other know how they’re feeling and keep in touch with neighboring groups with all kinds of whistles, twitters, shrieks, and growls. The Tree Hyraxs of Africa are nocturnal, so they keep all the neighbors awake at night with their squeals and screams.

To stay near the protection of their dens, Hyraxs only venture out about 150ft from their homes to look for food. They’re vegetarians, eating whatever kinds of plants they can find, especially grass and leaves. They have incisor teeth that are nearly tusks (that’s part of why people think Hyraxs are so close to elephants) to chew on tough plant parts.

Desert Hyraxs get most of their water from the plants they eat. They can climb trees and will get into people’s gardens to munch the citrus leaves there. They also will eat insects and grubs.

Hyrax in an Israeli tree, photo credit: Yael & Amihay

A mother Hyrax is pregnant for 6-7 months before giving birth to two or three babies. Compare that to a rabbit who only takes a month to pop out 4-12 babies! Baby Hyraxs are born with their eyes open and lots of fur to protect them. They start running around at just an hour old and try out the veggies within a day or two. They take over a year to grow up, while a rabbit only takes 6-7 months, but both animals live about the same length of time- about 10-12 years.

Hyraxs are a ‘lazy’ bunch. They spend about 95% of the time lying around. During the day they spend most of the time basking in the sun. Even though Hyraxs are mammals, they can’t keep their bodies constantly warm like we do. They get warmer and cooler with the day and night, so lying in the sun helps warm them like a snake.

Not surprisingly, the fossil record shows that before the Flood there were a lot more varieties of Hyraxs.  It shows that they lived in more places including Europe. And (guess what!) some of them were really big, “about the size of a small horse”!! Wow, that’s a big furry critter!

And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:25

Other websites I used to build this post:

Israeli Mammals

and a stop by Wikipedia, which is pretty decent on these animals (the pictures are from them)

*The Amazon link to 3 Little Dassies is an affiliate link. If you purchase anything from Amazon after clicking it, I get a percentage of the sale to support this ministry.

Folded Mountains: Part 2

 Peña Ubiña Spain

Continued from The Biggest Wrinkles Ever: Folded Mountains

We know that there are 4 kinds of mountains:

  • Volcanoes
  • Highlands surrounded by eroded valleys
  • Raised up crustal Rocks (with 2 sub-types, domes and fault-block)
  • Scrunched up crustal Rocks

This week we’re learning about this fourth type: Fold Mountains. Not only are these whole ranges folded, but many of them have some amazing folded rocks in them. I saw some of these enormous folds while visiting the Rockies around Grand Cache, Alberta. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a good camera with me to show you pictures, but you can have a look on a search engine and view some spectacular photos.

cs4k-folded_rock_provo_canyon

How do you get huge sheets of rock to fold up like this without breaking them in pieces?  Turns out rocks don’t always break when they are being forced to change direction.  I had to search and search to find these things out, but it turned out that the page above mentions all 5 of the commonly taught causes for rocks to bend without breaking (called fracturing).

  • (1) Softer rocks can bend more than hard rocks like quartz and granite under everyday conditions.
  • All rocks can bend more when they are (2) hot and (3) pressurized down deep in the earth (15km or more).

But the rocks I’m talking about weren’t down deep, they were near the surface when they were pushed together.

English: Folded rocks near Collieston. This is...

Folded rocks near Collieston. This is a splendid example of a tight recumbent fold, showing the forces which deformed these rocks during the Caledonian mountain building 400 million years ago. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Then the Tulane geology page said the Uniformitarians’ favorite cause with confusing words.  I found a clearer example of this explanation on a science for 3-6th Graders page, “High temperatures and slow deformation rates favor ductile behavior, while low temperature and fast deformation rates lead to brittle behavior.”  In other words,

  • (4) if you bend the rocks slowly enough, you can keep them from breaking.

To find out how slowly they are expecting the rocks to be able to bend without breaking I had to do even more searching.  I found the answer in a really long PDF that would make great geology reading when you get to be a Senior.  Here’s what they say, “Like faults, folds form slowly over millions of years, as rock layers gradually yield to differential stress and bend.”
Ah, ha, so that’s how they explain these things! Just give the rocks a dose of unobservable time and you’ve cleared up all your problems with folded rocks.  No one can possibly prove them wrong for the next 10,000,000 years or so!

Exposed rock layers in Iran as seen from the International Space Station

Exposed rock layers in Iran as seen from the International Space Station (for scale, that dark S shape is a lake)

Now for reason #5 (which was rather hard to find on the non-Creationist web, so listen close).  Rocks can bend rather than break when they are… full of water.  Now, when would we have had a lot of water-soaked rocks being pushed together and forced up?  I ran into an Old Earth Creationist site that said this idea of folded rocks being proof of the flood is nonsense because of the other ways to get them slowly.  They mentioned an unnamed chemical “solution” that would make rocks more bendable, but the only chemical I can find that does this is water!

Well, it looks like we’re back to what Answers in Genesis and the rest have been saying for years.  Water and soft, young rocks can fold.  Old rocks folding over millions of years?  That takes as much faith as it does to believe what Noah recorded.

Which removes the mountains, and they know not: which overturns them in His anger. Job 9:5

Behold, He withholds the waters, and they dry up: also He sends them out, and they overturn the earth.  Job 12:15

He puts forth His hand upon the rock; He overturns the mountains by the roots.”  Job 28:9

These are the main verses talked about in ICR’s Great Turnovers! article.

Don’t miss my Quotes for the Day!

Answers in Genesis: Rock Layers Folded not FracturedCreation Ministries International: Should atheists be free to teach what they believe?; and Folding Solid Rocks  This one is great with an account of a tree fossil upright through folded layers!

Institute for Creation Research: technical PDF of Tight Fold and Clastic Dikes.  If you take a minute to read the “abstract” you will see that Uniformitarians must believe that sandstone remained soft for millions of years before being bent.

Our “Backwards” Eyes

CS4K-Brown-eye

One of the reasons Evolutionists tell us that there ISN’T a Creator (and if there is, it’s really stupid) is what they call “imperfect design.”  They claim that if something doesn’t work as well as another design (that they come up with) would, it is proof that everything just happened by chance.  Our eyes are favorite ‘examples’ of these poorly formed parts.

SVG version of Image:Evolution_eye.png with ca...

[Wikipedia] “Vertebrates and octopuses developed the camera eye independently. In the vertebrate version the nerve fibers pass in front of the retina, and there is a blind spot where the nerves pass through the retina. In the vertebrate example, 4 represents the blind spot, which is notably absent from the octopus eye. In vertebrates, 1 represents the retina and 2 is the nerve fibers, including the optic nerve (3), whereas in the octopus eye, 1 and 2 represent the nerve fibers and retina respectively”

Here’s what Frank Zindler, interim president of the American Atheists said about our eyes, “As an organ developed via the opportunistic twists and turns of evolutionary processes, the human eye is explainable. As an organ designed and created by an infinitely wise deity, the human eye is inexcusable. For unlike the invertebrate eyes …, the human eye is constructed upon the foundation of an almost incredible error: The retina has been put together backwards!”

Of course, he’s not likely to change his mind no matter how many proofs you show him of the exquisite design of our eyes.  As always, it comes back to a person’s worldview.  But if you want to read all the things we could point out to show how foolish such thinking is, you could have a look at this ICR article.  “An evaluation of this argument reveals it is not only naive, but grossly erroneous…. Research by ophthalmologists has clearly shown why the human retina must employ what is called the “inverted” design.”  Turns out our rods and cones would die without this “backwards” design.

It’s interesting to compare our eyes to today’s best cameras. Engineers have been working for over 100 years to develop the most effective photographic capabilities possible. Not only are our eyes designed to focus on what matters most to us, they also don’t work alone. Our brain does all kinds of processing to help us understand what we are seeing.

Here’s what a photographer’s article comparing the two forms of seeing has to say:

A quick glance by our eyes might be a fairer comparison, but ultimately the uniqueness of our visual system is unavoidable because: What we really see is our mind’s reconstruction of objects based on input provided by the eyes — not the actual light received by our eyes.

 

A couple of weeks ago my kids were having fun finding out about their Blind Spots. First, we looked at a coloring book from the eye doctor with a special page to focus on in order to locate where the dot disappears. Then, my 5-year-old asked for a video to learn about why we have blind spots in the first place. It only took a minute on YouTube to locate a nice one!

This is just a guy with a white board, but it kept my kids’ attention (mostly):

 

(you’ll notice that he comments on our “backwards” eyes)

and the follow up video on:

I especially enjoyed the second video because now I know why the sky is blue!!!

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully [awesomely] and wonderfully [famously] made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. Psalm 139:14

To find out the truth about how smart our Designer God is see Velcro, Technology and the Designer

Dracorex: A Dragon the Scientists will admit to!

Dracorex at the Indianapolis Children's Museum

Dracorex at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum

[First published Aug. 2012] The other week I was watching a video of Eric Hovind and Paul Taylor from Creation Today visiting the Indianapolis Children’s Museum. Right near the end I saw something that blew my mind. At first I thought it was some kind of joke or mythology-as-science prank from the Museum.

Dracorex - 01

Dracorex

They had a dragon’s skeleton on display in the dinosaur department!  How could they allow such a thing in a Museum that claims these creatures died out millions of years ago? Well, they haven’t dropped the millions of years idea, but they did call this thing Dracorex Hogwartsia the “Dragon King from Hogwarts”.

First I’ll give you the statistics I found on this very real, dead animal.  Back in 2003 three friends were out digging in the South Dakota section of the famous Hell Creek formation when one of them spotted a large skull sticking out a bit.  After they dug it up, still almost covered in rock, they decided to donate it. One guy’s daughter had enjoyed the Indianapolis Children’s Museum, so they sent it there.

English: Dragon head on top of a grille, collé...

Dragon head, France

The Museum was a great place to give it to because they do fossil cleaning and other restoration work right on site where kids can watch the scientists at work.  At first the Museum’s staff wasn’t too excited about their new assignment.  They even figured the amateur fossil hounds might be wasting their time with cow bones!  But it wasn’t long before they realized they had a special find on their hands.

The first example of any animal we hadn’t yet written up in modern science gets a specific name.  It is known as the “Holotype.”  This means even if we find better, more complete, or more typical examples, the first one will always be special.  This skull of Dracorex is the holotype for its kind.

The ICM example was found with only most of the skull (and one of its lower teeth) along with 4 vertebrae from near but not right next to the skull. You wouldn’t realize that’s all we have from the display at the Museum, because they have recreated a whole skeleton.

Scientists often do this because it’s very rare to find anything like a complete set of bones together.  So they use their imaginations and common sense based on other fossils and known animal types. I don’t really mind, it just would have been really cool if they could have found wings for this thing!  No, I don’t really believe in four legged dinosaurs with shoulder wings, too, but the idea is fun and makes as much sense as some of the ideas scientists come up with (like feathered dinosaurs).

Sketch of a pachycephalosaur of uncertain syst...

Sketch of a pachycephalosaur

Some scientists are convinced that this particular animal was just a young pachycephalosaur that hadn’t grown its dome yet.   But the “oldest” (which actually means farthest down) we’ve found already had domes.  So, maybe Evolution had decided to drop the dome because it wasn’t useful any more?

How ’bout, all these guys were alive together and got buried in a major watery catastrophe?  I bet that’s much less confusing than the pretzels they have to force their brains into!

Turns out Draco with its vertebrae gives us the best evidence yet that any of these dinosaurs liked to violently bang into each other.  At the same time they can tell the bones were just about fused like a grownup’s, so there goes the young pachycephalosaur idea!

Psalm 91:13  Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.

Isaiah 51:9  Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old. Art thou not it that hath cut Rahab, and wounded the dragon?

For more info check out Creation International Ministries: Dracorex—the dinosaur that looks like a dragon

I had a lot of fun finding artistic representations of similar creatures to add to this post.  These pictures are from around the world and the art dates back sometimes hundreds of years.

Koocheekoo

Detail of dragon ring, Eze, France

Schwarz Weiss

Fresco of St. George with the dragon inside the Aarhus Cathedral

Three or four toe dragon at a former private garden in Shanghai, China

Three or four toe dragon at a former private garden in Shanghai, China

Mathiasrex

Duchy of Czersk coat of arms

Lara Eakins

Not So Old Dragon!

NASA image via WikiCommons

The Miller Urey Experiment: Proof for What?

 Definition of Abiogenesis: the supposed spontaneous origination of living organisms directly from lifeless matter—called also spontaneous generation

NASA image via WikiCommons

Stanley Miller

Louis Pasteur

Louis Pasteur

Remember learning about Louis Pasteur? Just before his time, many people believed maggots popped into life wherever meat was left out. They didn’t understand the connection between them and flies. They still thought wine fermented on its own, never thinking about yeast.

Belief in life just popping into existence without a parent is called Spontaneous Generation. Back before Jesus’ day, the Greeks and Romans already believed in it. It has never been observed and we now know it can’t happen.

But many scientists still believe it did happen, at least once, somewhere in the universe!

Scientists know people won’t take them seriously talking about spontaneous generation, so they changed the name of their belief. Now they prefer to call it “abiogenesis” which means non-life beginning.

Is abiogenesis really different? No. Which is why you don’t have kids’ books describing it. Instead you read about life after it already existed.

Miller Urey Experiment

Sometimes, books will talk about an experiment scientists did back in the 1953. They say it proved you can get the building blocks for life when things are just right.

equipment for a Miller-Urey type experiment

equipment for a Miller-Urey type experiment

That’s not really true. To get the results they were hoping for, the scientists Stanley Miller and Harold Urey carefully controlled everything:

  •  The amount of light was kept low
  • The temperature was kept just right
  • The ingredients in the experiment were carefully purified
  • No one today thinks they used the right ingredients
  • Most of the chemicals formed were deadly

After all this, they did get some amino acids (what proteins are built from).

Why is the most famous experiment for abiogenesis 60 years old? So many things couldn’t work in the real world, some scientists have switched to just using computers in “virtual laboratories”.

Others have decided life didn’t start on earth and are looking to outer space for answers. In the past few years, scientists have started searching meteorites for the building blocks of life. They are even finding some real extra-terrestrial amino acids. But they don’t like to point out one important thing

Just because you have an amino acid, doesn’t mean you can start new life

Many amino acids aren’t used by any life forms on earth. We know all of those can’t help explain abiogenesis. Even with the right kinds your work isn’t done.

Getting amino acids to combine themselves into something like a protein is a huge task. In the real world, there are a lot of things which would stop amino acids from building anything fancier.

Chirality with hands and two enantiomers of a ...

Chirality with hands and two enantiomers of a generic amino acid.

Even if they did, everything alive uses only half the amino acids produced by non-living reactions. Here’s how it works: amino acids are kind of like your hands; they have all the same parts but are mirror images. Cells almost only use the “left-handed” ones. But, there is always an even mixture of both outside of cells.

Any protein trying to form wouldn’t be able to separate out all the “right-handed” acids and couldn’t form properly. Even if one could somehow form, just one protein doesn’t come close to what you need for a “simple” cell.

The truth is, if you had a perfect environment with everything a cell needs to survive in just the right amounts…

You still couldn’t bring it to life

A dead body isn’t going to come back to life, even with all the parts in place, once the life is gone.

Only life can create life.

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Genesis 2:7

They Aren’t About to Give Up, Though:

2008: Biologists Attempt to Create New Forms of Life (AiG discussion)

2009: RNA “precursors” created in the lab (ICR discussion)

2010: “synthetic life form” created (CMI discussion)

2011: Still studying the Miller Urey experiment (ICR Discussion)

2014: Formation of life’s building blocks recreated in lab (New Scientist- all the same problems are left as with the Miller-Urey experiment except for more acceptable ingredients)

For more, check out:

Creation Research.net Origin of Life:

“I have spent the better part of my life learning how/why chemicals react (I am a PhD synthetic chemist). Our best efforts under carefully controlled conditions can only create moderately complex chemicals. Our experience shows that manufacturing complex bio-compounds requires an intelligent creator scientist and we can only make the simpler molecules.” Ed Neeland

Bible Science Guy: Evidence for God – Design Convinces Scientists 7

Institute for Creation Research: Origin of Life Research Still Dead

Institute for Creation Research: Evolution Hopes You Don’t Know Chemistry: The Problem with Chirality

Creation Ministries International: Detailed Criticisms of the RNA World Hypothesis

Answers in Genesis: Why the Miller-Urey Research Argues Against Abiogenesis

Sumerian Cylinder Seal, Flickr, Steve Harris

God Says Earth Spins like a…. Seal?

No, not the animal, but a seal to press into clay. Check it out:

Sumerian Cylinder Seal, Flickr, Steve Harris

Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; and caused the dayspring to know his place;
That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it?
It is turned as clay to the seal; and they stand as a garment. Job 38:12-14

If you read these verses in other versions, you’ll read something quite different. They say the earth was changed like clay under a seal. But King James’ translators tried to be super honest with the Hebrew even if something seemed odd. They just translated each word into English as best they could and left us to puzzle why God would say things the way he did.

Let’s see what we can solve using modern archaeology:

Mesopotamian Cylinder Seals:

Ancient Mesopotamians.com says: Cylinder seals, small stone cylinders covered with a design were the oldest form of art in Mesopotamia. Cylinder seals were used as ownership stamps for the people. They were also used as jewellery or magical amulets. Cylinder seals were related with the cuneiform system of writing because they were used to authenticate cuneiform documents.

These seals differ in sizes, designs and shapes. It was from the 3rd millennium BC that they began to be prevalent. They were used extensively by the government officials in various occasions such as sealing the closure of the door of a storeroom, confirmation of receipt etc. Cylinders were used as signatures in contracts and other documents.

Cool, huh?

How does this fit our verses? Verses 12 and 13 are easy enough; God is talking about the morning and how bad guys can’t hide once the sun comes up. Then He says, “It is turned as clay to the seal”. What is “it”? Not the earth, but the morning. The morning is compared to clay getting stamped by one of these cylinder seals.

“Morning” isn’t a thing like the sun or moon. It’s the name we have for the time of day when sunlight first starts shining onto us. When we put verse 14 together, it sure looks like God is talking about the atmosphere. “And they stand as a garment makes a lot of sense when you think of how the air wraps around the earth like a skin or clothes.

But what could God be talking about with “it” being turned or pressed like clay in one of those seals? I decided to check around to see if the atmosphere changes shape when morning comes. Here’s what NASA has to say about it:

Since air is gaseous, it is compressible. This means that the air pressure nearer the surface of the Earth is greater than the air pressure in the stratosphere. . . .

The page goes on and on about how temperature affects an airplane’s flying power. Air pressure also messes with the instruments telling pilots how high they are above sea level. Temperature gets higher every morning.

It isn’t easy to find out if the whole atmosphere changes shape; most people just want to talk about its “average height”. But, I kept looking and check out what I found:

Federation of American Scientists: Understanding the Atmosphere: The tropopause is a thin zone of transition between the troposphere [where we live] and the stratosphere. Obviously, the tropopause height varies directly with the troposphere thickness and depends largely on geographical location, season, and other factors.

Could the tropopause change height in the morning? I found a super eye-crossing paper saying, yes it does. About an hour after sunrise, the height starts changing. This study didn’t come out until the end of 2008AD, but God told us it happened 1,000s of years ago.

Once more we see God knows what He’s talking about. Our job is to remember how smart He is and watch for ways to check it out.

BTW, there’s one cylinder scroll creationists find extra interesting. You can read more about it on Creation Ministries International: Mesopotamian monsters in Paris

Long necked creature seal, Louvre, wikimedia

“Lions”?!!! Are you sure?

Van Gogh's Starry Night with Col. 1:14-16

One Human Race

School Friends

Answers in Genesis has been talking a lot about what it means to know that all people are children of Adam, Eve and Noah’s three sons and daughters-in-law. As Bible believers, we have no reason to think that we are better or worse than anyone else because of our body shape, size, color, or gender. We are all created in God’s image “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” Genesis 1:27,  So we are all one enormous family.

This is one of the most wonderful gifts God has given us. About the only thing that I can think of more wonderful than this is making Jesus a member of our family to be our Savior. “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.”  Matthew 1:21

I was really pleased by THIS ARTICLE where the former leader of Answers in Genesis’s UK branch, Dr. Monty White, talks about how people responded to his talks about being One Race. It’s not an eye-crosser, so I’ll just let you check it out for yourself.

Often I like to play “what if?”  with different things that people believe. There is only One Truth and that is Jesus and His Word, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6. But it can help us understand how wonderful God’s gifts are when we think about what other people believe the world is like. For example, there is no other religion that puts girls on the same level as guys before God!

So, let’s play “what if?” with Evolution and races. One of the big things Darwin wanted from Evolution is to feel that he was better than others because he was English. If someone’s face ‘looks’ more like a monkey’s to someone else, then they must not be as highly evolved and are therefore worth less to the future of humanity. If you’re old enough to handle seeing some of what people have done because they really believed this, watch Ben Stein’s movie Expelled to see some of the things that happened in the 20th Century because of these beliefs.

This is a H'Mong babygirl. H'Mong is one of th...

This is a H’Mong baby girl. H’Mong is one of the ethnic minorities living in Northern mountain area of Vietnam. She has pink cheeks due to the cold weather and sun rays. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For me, if you could make anything be true just by believing it, I would never choose to believe that my great, great grandparents were apes, whose ancestors were fish, whose ancestors were amoebas, whose ancestor was a rock. No thanks, I’ll take being made by God in God’s own image any day. And guess what, that is the TRUTH!!! Thank you, God, so much!

…which was the son of Noe, which was the son of Lamech,… which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God. Luke 3:36-38

Pasteur's Swan Flask

Louis Pasteur’s Swan Flask Experiments

Illustration of Pasteur's swan neck flask experimentSome time ago, I wrote about how Evolutionists still believe in spontaneous generation, just giving it a new name: Abiogenesis. That post mentioned Pasteur a bit and included a picture of one of his experiments using “swan flasks”. Ever since then, I’ve had a trickle of people searching for info about Pasteur’s flasks.

Eventually, I got so curious I did some searching of my own. Here’s what I found:

Louis Pasteur photo

Pasteur’s photo portrait by Nadar

Darwin’s Origin of Species book retelling the ancient idea of biological evolution was first printed in 1859. From the beginning, many people recognized what believing in life creating itself would do to Christianity and human equality, including Louis Pasteur.

Just a few years before, Pasteur had begun studying how microbes (tiny living creatures like bacteria and yeast) were the cause of food spoilage. He was in a perfect place to understand what Darwin was claiming and the scientific truth about life. He was soon busy showing how impossible the #1 necessary step of Evolution was: getting life to start in the first place.

Since the time of the ancient Greeks, people had believed everything from flies to mice to eels just popped into being every day. Slowly, scientists had shown all of them actually had parents.

But then we developed microscopes and started seeing all kind of miniature living things that Pasteur first called microbes. Where did they come from?

Others had tried to show whether microbes just came to life whenever things were right. Some reported that droplets of ocean water reenacted what they believed had been happening since the dawn of time: life springing into being all by itself. But no one really knew how these invisible things worked and they made mistakes like letting air in or not heating things enough to kill everything.

We all understand what Pasteur was the first to figure out: you don’t have to touch something dirty to get germs on you. Bacteria and viruses float around in the air ready to settle into a pleasant environment like your lungs and nose.

Pasteur proved this when he managed to catch some microbes from the air in cotton. He cultured the cotton and it grew the same kinds of microbes as usual. Now it was time to see if stopping those airborne germs stopped life from starting in a flask.

Swan Flask used by Pasteur

Here’s how Pasteur did it:

  • First he made flasks with bent, “swan”, necks. This was to trap all the organisms in the air before they could get through
  • He filled the bottom of the flask with some broth microbes liked to grow in
  • Then he boiled it to kill anything already there
  • While it was still hot, he melted the glass at the tip of the neck to keep microbes from getting in

Nothing grew in the broth

  • Even when the sealed end was broken off, the swan neck did its job (in fact, it’s still doing it’s job today almost 150 years later!)

Some people believed in a “vital ingredient” in air, so Pasteur broke off the tip of the glass neck to let air flow through. But the swan neck shape would catch anything heavier than gas. No microbes could float through.

Finally, Pasteur tipped the flask to expose the broth to the trapped microbes

  • sure enough, it started to culture just like usual

Artwork of Meteorite falling: WikiCommonsAs you know, Pasteur’s experiments were undeniable; what he discovered was true. To this day, evolutionists don’t like to talk about spontaneous generation; most books skip right over it to the “first cells”. The most recent experiment “proving” you could get life to start from non-life is over 60 years old. Some scientists have even turned to asteroids to give them enough time for the impossible to happen.

But, nature serves its Master whether people are willing to worship Him or not.

Let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That you might be justified in your sayings, and might overcome when you are judged. Romans 3:4

Want to see Pasteur’s original flasks keeping germs out? Have a look at the bottom of this page by the Pasteur Institute

You can do Louis Pasteur’s experiment for yourself with the right supplies. This article on how to do it at Biology Junction is worth the read even if you don’t have a lab.

There’s also an interesting 7 minute video about the Swan Flask Experiment at the Education Portal.

Did you notice how much these pages sound like creationists? The people who believed in spontaneous generation are rightly seen as ignorant of reality.

I found a lot of information for this post in the Answers Research Journal article by Alan L. Gillen and Frank J. Sherwin III: Louis Pasteur’s Views on Creation, Evolution, and the Genesis of Germs

Want to see Pasteur’s thoughts on evolution and the origin of life for yourself? Check out this speech he gave in 1864.