First North American ‘Feathered’ Dinosaur?

Out of the drawers at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology were stored specimens that were discovered in upper Cretaceous, which is when true birds  were already flying around the earth when they lived.  Impressions of mostly straight lines was interpreted to be that of “feathers” on a dinosaur!

Artwork began to emerge in the media as it just loves to hype up these kinds of things, the specimen was touted as the very first North American “feathered” dinosaur! Where was the critique or alternative analysis in these publications that were claiming that those mostly straight line impressions were not only feathers but claiming the dinosaur was using those alleged feathers as a courtship display like the BBCscience daily, phys.org, and even live science?

In Zelenitsky’s paper, where all this hype is coming from, words like vane, and pennaceous are noticeably missing throughout the paper! One does find the word barbule being mentioned.  Further, these supposed “feathers” are not connected to the skeleton, rather the impression in the rock is separated by a centimeter or more at various angles from parallel to almost perpendicular.

They give it a name, Ornithomimus  which means  “ostrich-mimic” dinosaur which they claim has a filament or shaft, much simpler than the complex vanes of true feathers with their barbs, barbules and interlocking hooks.  This species is different from other claims of ‘feathered’ dinosaurs, because those others were lizard-hipped dinosaurs and this one is, bird-hipped.

This adds to the complexity of the evolution of birds from dinosaurs because it would claim that dinosaurs had feathers long before flight. They admit, their new discovery (interpretation) is too heavy to fly. So they suggested it was some sort of courtship dance.

It is interesting to note, that the adult had the scratch like impressions (labeled as feathers) but one juvenile did not have it.  The third had markings on the bone itself.  The paper stretches  hard data for imagination  by claiming that criss-cross markings on the bone are inferred traces left by shafted feathers without bearing any resemblance to actual feathers! Yet we see their artwork showing the adult with fully-fledged wing feathers, barbs, barbules and all, and even multiple colors! Talk about using the imagination with so little data. Whatever the markings mean, they complicate the story of dinosaur-to-bird evolution.

Part of the reason of all this hype over little markings on a bone and mostly straight line impressions in the rock, is because they use dinosaurs to try and spark interest in evolution ( they know that kids love dinosaurs) and do not like the fact that dinosaurs fit well in the biblical creationism. So was there a first North American “feathered” dinosaur that was discovered in storage at a museum? The answer of course is no, there is not enough evidence to suggest  that the animal had a courtship dance with all its colors of its feathers!

Advertisements

Pseudoscientific Poison: Social Darwinism

Nature News published an article that was quite shocking to say the least, it went like this… “Mostly The Big-Brained Survive” and the article went without mentioning evolution which says nature favors the fittest.

“Brain size relative to body size is fairly predictable across all mammals, says Eric Abelson, who studies biological sciences at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. “As body size grows, brain size grows too, but at slower rate,” he says.”

“Plotting brain size against body size creates a tidy curve. But some species have bigger or smaller brains than the curve would predict for their body size. And a bigger brain-to-body-size ratio usually means a smarter animal.”

Using conservation as its passion rather than what it is, a social Darwinian idea which is poison…The doctrine implies that smarter automatically means that are more capable avoiding extinction because nature they claim favors the smarter animal.

Marris and Eric Abelson from Stanford University did not embrace the poison of social Darwinism rather to their credit, they outlined some disadvantages of being big-brained.

“For species larger than about 10 kilograms, the advantage of having a large brain seems to be swamped by the disadvantage of being big. Large species tend to reproduce later in life, have fewer offspring, require more resources and larger territories, and catch the attention of humans, either as food or as predators. Hunting pressure or reductions in available space can hit them particularly hard.”

There might be an underlying reason why Marris and Abelson did not distance themselves from the poison of social Darwinism like Marris and Eric Abelson did.  They engaged themselves with speculations they are not possible to prove. They make a terrible assumption that brain size has something to do with how smart species are when it fact it could be quality of the brain rather that its size.

They link intelligence to survival which implies nature only sees the strong worth saving while getting rid of the weak. And lastly, implying that it’s others who make the decisions on what species is worth saving and what species is worth not saving and their work is supposed to help those who make the decisions.

The Darwinist believes nature favors the fit but says who? Even though the world is far from perfect, humans do help the weak, feed the poor, assist the weak with certain tasks they are unable to do anymore, there are laws in such places as the United States were employers cannot discriminate a person based on handicap.  We live in an imperfect world that still cares for the weak!

What Marris and Abelson did is useless and illogical. Their underlying reason is to elevate people who are smart to blind faith. For example, if a group of smart people decide this particular species should survive over another, then that is the right decision because they are smart and the species whom they pick is smart as well. In reality, its circular reasoning using the poison of social Darwinism! Animal intelligence should have no baring whatsoever on conservation!

The Political Bias In Mainstream Science Journals

Scientific Journals and reports tend to take sometime to address the political atmosphere, often times advocating to the readers a particular leaning to a certain political party. In America, there has been discontent on how the economy is going and how much debt has been accumulating for services among the public at large.

It has alarmed mainstream science journals such as Nature who fear their issues such as man-made climate change, health-care bill, cap and trade, and embryonic stem cell research will not get enough funding and increased regulations if the Republicans get into power.

Nature only publishes letters that are one-sided like Richard Kool (Royal Roads U, British Columbia) who claimed that science is a “threat to the far-right fringe.” Nothing could be further from the truth! Let me tell Richard and the Editorial staff at Nature. How did those Chilean miners who were trapped 2300 feet below the surface get rescued? Was it government aid or companies who are driven to make profits?

They were able to rescue those miners because of an American company (Center Rock) who called the Chilean government and told them that they have a drill bit that might help them. Government aid, or donations to causes that Nature endorses, those miners would be still down there!  Relying on Chinese manufacturing the bit would have broken before the rescue could take place so they would be still down there as well. A drill bit for drilling into the earth would be considered a tool against biodiversity. An American business who makes things for a profit, helped saved those people with innovation which happened as the result of accumulating profits of something people want!

This is not to say, companies never do bad, because they do just like non-profits. But Nature’s biased position is totally illogical. They certainly didn’t use a scientific method to arrive at their conclusions. The people who are champing innovation are in the private sector which also provides the massive funding that scientists get for research. Without the private companies success, innovation dies and so does funding!

Three other articles in Nature that have depicted Republicans as obstructionists.  Jeff Tollefson, for instance, ended his article with quotes from Paul Bledsoe, whom he called a centrist: “Climate-science denial is a by-product of extreme partisanship and a kind of reactionary mode among conservatives, and I expect that this will wane,” he said.  “But if large parts of the Republican Party begin to deny consensus science, then the climate community will have to confront them about it.”

Deny consensus, yea right, is this the same consensus that brought us climategate? This also brings us to another question, should taxpayer money be used for left-leaning political agendas? Don’t they make enough money that they could do that on their own time? By thumbing their noses at the private sector innovations, is this not hindering science?

Looking For Clues About The Cambrian Explosion

The sudden appearance of complex major body parts in the fossil record during this period has surprised many evolutionists over the years. So researchers haven taken a sample of a genome from an animal that lives on the Great Barrier Reef.

Nature News unravels this latest story…“With a simple body plan lacking organs, muscles and nerve cells, the sea sponge hardly seems a rich avenue for study. Yet this humble organism squats firmly at the doorway to one of life’s great mysteries: the leap to multicellularity…

The paper also mentions the discovery moves complexity back in time and that the genome contains “analogues of genes that, in organisms with a neuromuscular system, code for muscle tissue and neurons.” This seems very strange considering a sponge doesn’t have a neuromuscular system nor does it have a central nervous system so why would a sponge have all those genes?

In that same issue of Nature…

“The researchers also identified parts of the genome devoted to suppressing individual cells that multiply at the expense of the collective.  The presence of such genes indicates that the battle to stop rogue cells — in other words, cancer — is as old as multicellularity itself.  Such a link was recently hinted at by work showing that certain ‘founder genes’ that are associated with human cancers first arose at about the same time as metazoans appeared.  The demosponge genome shows that genes for cell suicide – those activated within an individual cell when something goes wrong – evolved before pathways that are activated by adjacent cells to dispatch a cancerous neighbour.”

This is not one calls good science but there is much imagination going on here. There is no evidence for such an ancestor only a claim there was one and no evidence for a mechanism by which genes having foresight would have emerged in single-celled creatures. All they claim is an a non-observational  hypothetical that says complexity started with a genetic toolkit must have been present in a sponge ancestor. The Cambrian Explosion happened according to this paper is because of “quantitative rather than qualitative differences” in the tools.  But does this really explain a trilobite, or a segmented worm, or animals like shellfish, crabs, the predator Anomalocaris, and all the other amazing creatures found at the point of the Cambrian explosion?  And why would a microbe come up with these tools in the first place, even to produce a sponge?

This hypothetical is some sort of mythical science fiction novel, not real science. The animal evolved “foresight” that it was able to come up with many complex innovations? The only thing that has “foresight” and also has innovations in complex situations is intelligence! What we are seeing here is an evolutionary story trying to explain away the highly complex designs made by God, and giving a mindless direction with a mechanism (known or unknown) the same ability as what intelligence can do which is not logical nor good science!

Science Journal’s Religious Implications and Impact

A couple of months back, Nature Immunology goes outside the realm of science in it’s review on  how open Francis Collins is about his belief in God. The editor writes…

“The openly religious stance of the NIH director [Francis Collins] could have undesirable effects on science education in the United States. … In the introduction and in interviews surrounding [Collins’] book release, he describes his belief in a non-natural, non-measurable, improvable deity that created the universe and its laws with humans as the ultimate aim of its creation. Some might worry that describing scientists as workers toiling to understand the laws and intricacies of this divine creation will create opportunities for creationism adepts.”

It goes on attacking Christianity and religion by writing…

“Strikingly, despite being a world leader in science, the United States still struggles when it comes to scientific education. Creationism is creeping back into the science curricula of public schools. And although intelligent design, the latest form of creationism, suffered a major defeat in the 2005 Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District trial (Nat. Immunol. 7, 433–435, 2006), when the US Supreme Court ruled that including it in science curricula is unconstitutional, creationists are making a comeback.”

This is the Bible of Darwinian evolution for militants in which they attack a person’s character then use misleading statements.  First of all, they believe going with the odds. The scientist who believes casually in religion (not devoted) or none at all are most likely going to stay in the fold and the odds remain stacked. Secondly, there are major fundamental differences between the modern intelligent design movement and creationism. Thirdly, the writers at Nature Immunology are fully aware that it wasn’t the U.S Supreme Court who ruled in the Kitzmiller v. Dover case!  Rather, the editors of Nature Immunology inserted that on purpose  in order to try and overwhelm it’s opposition and have their followers invoke the same concept when defending Darwinian evolution.

This is not all, the piece also attacks recent standards in science that was passed by two states…

“In 2008, Louisiana state legislators passed bills that allow ‘open and objective discussions of scientific theories being studied, including but not limited to evolution and the origins of life.'”

“In 2009, the Texas Board of Education set new standards for incorporating ideas from intelligent- design literature, including doubts that the fossil records represent convincing evidence of evolution. Under the guise of promoting ‘critical thinking skills’, such decisions allow creationists to teach the controversy–a strategy designed to discredit evolution and introduce intelligent design as a viable alternative. Opponents of these bills justly point out that such discussions belong in religion, culture and philosophy classes but not in the science curricula.”

Remember how this piece claimed the U.S Supreme Court ruled against intelligent design back in 2005? If the editors actually meant what they wrote, there would be a calling for lawsuits because according to them, ID material in the public schools was rendered unconstitutional by the U.S Supreme Court in 2005. Another indication it wasn’t just an error but a lie!

Back in April 2010, Science agreed with the new science standards…

“Argument and debate are common in science, yet they are virtually absent from science education. Recent research shows, however, that opportunities for students to engage in collaborative discourse and argumentation offer a means of enhancing student conceptual understanding and students’ skills and capabilities with scientific reasoning.

As one of the hallmarks of the scientist is critical, rational skepticism, the lack of opportunities to develop the ability to reason and argue scientifically would appear to be a significant weakness in contemporary educational practice. In short, knowing what is wrong matters as much as knowing what is right. This paper presents a summary of the main features of this body of research and discusses its implications for the teaching and learning of science.”

Writers at Nature Immunology have demonstrated with it’s religious intentions without the morality, they are not interested in teaching good science rather they want indoctrination and keep students and scientists in line with Darwinian evolution by using lies!

Intelligent Designed Biomaterials Is The Future

While the ancient method of wooden teeth has been done away with, scientists using intelligent design methods are making replacement parts out of living tissue.

In Nature it said…

“Biomaterials made today are routinely information rich and incorporate biologically active components derived from nature,” wrote Nathaniel Huebsch and David J. Mooney in their review article, titled, “Inspiration and application in the evolution of biological materials.”

“In the future, biomaterials will assume an even greater role in medicine and will find use in a wide variety of non-medical applications through biologically inspired design and incorporation of dynamic behaviour.”

Even though Nature is trying to give evolution credit for it and is a sworn enemy of creationism, but in reality, the technology is not based in evolution but created by intelligence. What has evolution done for medicine? Nothing! In fact, things like a well-designed biological prosthetics available when injured is not from a mindless act of nature. Regrowing damage tissues is another example, using stem cells is not a mindless act either.

Intelligently designed science is not only here but it’s also the future for science not evolution which displays a wide range of complexity while being drowned in various interpretations based on contradictions with the evidence, and contradictory positions between its hardcore supporters.

Phys.org not a proponent of creationism or intelligent design but describes the new advances in medicine more accurately…

“The term ‘immunobioengineering’ is used to describe efforts by immunologists and engineers to design materials, delivery vehicles and molecules both to manipulate and to better understand the immune system.  Examples are the engineering of material surfaces to induce or prevent complement activation, the engineering of adjuvants to activate the immune system, the engineering of antigen or adjuvant carriers for subunit vaccine delivery, and the engineering of microenvironments to determine the interaction kinetics of mature dendritic cells and naive T cells.”

“These advances not only will contribute to prophylactic vaccine strategies for infectious diseases but also are likely to affect immunotherapeutics, particularly for cancer, and new approaches to prevent or treat allergies and autoimmune diseases.  The field is rapidly evolving along with advances in our understanding of immunology and is also contributing to our knowledge of basic immunology.”

This article uses “evolving” and “design” which means as a synonym for “intelligent designed” human progress of medicine.  Speaking of human design mimicking biomaterials what has Darwinian evolution done for medicine?

Richard Massey: Science Is A Fashion Statement

The philosophical Pandora box has been opened in order to explain the scientific method being used in our present time. This is the same method which creationists like myself  have been very critical about. In Nature, Richard Massey reveals the approach being used by scientists…

“As scientific fashions come and go, the rivalry between the three houses might be more at home on the catwalks of Paris or Milan.  The techniques are at different stages of the same product cycle.  Initial hype draws a flurry of excitement, but when systematic physical flaws show up, sober reflection brings a sheepish look back at the design.  Some methods may be consigned to a dusty drawer.  But the stitch or two of alterations by Schmidt and colleagues has ensured that gravitational lensing will still be on the hot list next season.”

“Initial enthusiasm for using supernovae as cosmic distance indicators, and thus as a probe of the Universe’s expansion, garnered vast allocations of time on ground- and space-based telescopes, and triggered the first plans for a dedicated, all-sky successor to the Hubble Space Telescope.  Unfortunately, the explosions were later found to depend on the stars’ environment and ingredients, which evolve over cosmic time.  Such effects can be parameterized only to a certain precision, and the technique is falling out of fashion.”

Richard Massey is right on target about how scientists use methods that reflects a fashion but gives no answer on how  cosmologists are converging on a correct answer. Science is about searching for truth which expands our knowledge about nature and the Universe, it’s not a fashion statement, narrowed to a particular framework (naturalism) because it’s popular.

What I find very strange but very common among those who embrace evolution about this article, Richard Massey begins with a very positive message…

“Since the Big Bang, the Universe’s initial expansion has been gradually slowed by the gravitational pull from the mass it contains.  Most of this mass is in the form of invisible and mysterious dark matter.  Today, however, the Universe seems to be re-accelerating under the influence of even weirder stuff dubbed dark energy.  For astronomy funding purposes, ‘dark’ is the new black.  Almost nothing is understood about either dark matter or dark energy – but both are many times more common than visible matter, and their tug of war will shape the fate of the entire cosmos.”

Wouldn’t you think if there is no reliable measuring tool which has been in fashion for many years cast doubt and be in question when it’s collected results are labeled as factual data? If observation is the key component of any science, that critic might also wonder why dark, mysterious unknown stuff which nobody really understands could even become fashionable in the first place!