Evidence for the flood

Originally published in 1999

We have looked at the events leading up to the flood – the departure from God and abandoning what is right in exchange for the lust of the world. The result was children that were tyrants, filled with violence, whose thoughts were evil continually. There was no justice because the tyrants were mighty men of renown. Because they had the powerbase, justice was perverted (Genesis 6:4). Because evil men were the lords of the land, the land quickly became filled with evil and only one man continued to follow the Lord. God condemned man to the same destruction that they had already chosen for their souls. As God watched man race toward complete moral bankruptcy, He executed His judgment. God has never let the world go without a witness and He will always have a witness. We do know that the sign of His immanent return is that as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be when the Son of Man (Jesus Christ) returns. Godless men will be strong and will pollute justice; the world will race towards moral bankruptcy while the godly abandon God for the lust of the world. In spite of the continual warnings, the world will be blind-sided by God’s judgment.

This study is broken into two parts, the evidence (or defense) for the flood followed by a biblical study of the flood account. In our skeptical culture, I believe it is necessary to understand what you believe and why you believe it. Evidence does not produce faith, but it does support faith. 1 Peter 3:15 says, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear”. In obedience to the scripture’s command, we will first examine the defense of our reasonable faith so that we can ‘sanctify our hearts in the Lord’ by studying His word.

Defending the biblical account
The evidence for the flood is so overwhelming that I can’t possibly scratch the surface in this study. Instead of going through a long explanation of the flood, I am going to address 5 commonly asked skeptical questions and then conclude with what we observe scientifically and follow up with a possible scenario. We can never go back and see what actually happened, we can only piece together bits of this puzzle and conclude what we believe is the most plausible explanation. Both the biblical account and the evolutionary account take faith to believe. My hope is that when you look at the obvious evidence, you will conclude that it takes more faith to hold on to skeptical beliefs than it does to believe the Bible. With this in mind, let’s look at 5 common flood questions.

1. Where did all the water come from?
Genesis 7 says,

18 The water prevailed and increased greatly upon the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water.
19 The water prevailed more and more upon the earth, so that all the high mountains everywhere under the heavens were covered.
20 The water prevailed fifteen cubits higher, and the mountains were covered.
21 All flesh that moved on the earth perished, birds and cattle and beasts and every swarming thing that swarms upon the earth, and all mankind;

When we look at great mountains like Mt Everest which is over 29,000 feet, or some of the other natural heights, it seems preposterous to think that there could be enough water to cover these mountains. As it is today, that would be true. But look at Psalm 104:

NASB Psalm 104
6 You covered it with the deep as with a garment; The waters were standing above the mountains.
7 At Your rebuke they fled, At the sound of Your thunder they hurried away.
8 The mountains rose; the valleys sank down To the place which You established for them.
9 You set a boundary that they may not pass over, So that they will not return to cover the earth.

The Bible says that the mountains rose and the valleys sank. The water ran to the place God founded for it and He set a boundary that they would not return again to cover the earth. As we will examine later, there was much more going on here than just rain. The earth’s landscape was catastrophically changing. Even today we observe this in many ways. We see the mountains rising today. Even Mt Everest is still moving. This mountain moves northeast an average of 6 centimeters a year and increases in height 7.5 to 10 centimeters per year. If this happens during relative calm, what could have happened when the whole earth was violently moving? It is also interesting to note that the top 3,000 feet of Mt Everest is covered with clam fossils and other ocean living fossils. This would clearly indicate that either clams migrated upwards 26,000+ feet above sea level, or Mt Everest was once at or below sea level.

Both observable science and the biblical account agree that the waters were higher than the mountains. Otherwise, fossils could not have been covered with sediment and turned into fossils on top of the mountains. The only real question is, where did the water come from? Here is the Bible’s claim:

Psalm 24:1 The earth is the LORD’s, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein.
2 For He has founded it upon the seas, And established it upon the waters.

The Bible claims that the earth was founded upon the seas and established on top of the waters. Compare that to the Genesis account of the waters being released:

Genesis 7: 11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the same day all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened.
12 The rain fell upon the earth for forty days and forty nights.

The Bible says that the water spewed from below and rained from above. The majority of the water did not come from above, but below. The waters of the deep are still observable today. Just watch the news during a prolonged draught. As the water tables below the surface drain huge sinkholes often appear. Consider also that major fault lines circle the earth and still actively move today. A catastrophic event would have easily caused water below the crust of the earth to spew out violently and the land to sink. Look at this map of the earth’s fault lines.

In these maps, you will notice that almost every major fault is right on the ocean coastline or under the ocean. The west coastline of the US follows the ring of fire that begins south of South America, goes up to the Arctic and circles down the coastline of China heading back to the South Pole region. To the east of the US you will see that the Atlantic Ocean has its fault line running through the center of the ocean. Every continent is outlined or surrounded by these major fault lines. Every major fault as we see in this photo is on the coast of the ocean or under the ocean. The few exceptions that cross landmasses have created major waterways. If you look at the fault that crosses east of Africa, you see a connection from the Gulf of Aden, to the Red Sea, to the Mediterranean Sea, to the North Atlantic Ocean northwest of Africa. If the water burst out from below as the Bible claims, the areas surrounded by the fault lines would most likely sink and the areas remaining above would be pushed upwards. The result would be water running off into the newly formed oceans and mountains beginning to rise as the ocean floor pushes against the coastlines. This is, in fact, what we observe in science.

There is more evidence supporting this idea. Millions of fossilized sea creatures are found along fault lines. Consider for example the mining fields of diatomaceous earth in California. Diatomaceous earth is used for products that use absorbent material. It is formed by microscopic organisms called diatoms (hence the name diatomaceous earth). Evolutionists tell us that diatomaceous earth takes approximately 1,000 years to form 1 inch thick. In Lampoke California, these fields can be up to 1500 feet thick. Doing the math, that would take around 18 million years to form. Interestingly enough, this field resides right on one of the largest fault lines in the world. Consider this theory. Suppose the fountains of the deep burst open as the Bible states, and steaming hot water and lava or ash spewed out and killed all of the diatoms in this area of the world along with any sea creature close enough to be scalded. This would easily account for such a mass quantity of deceased diatoms that are not found in other areas that should also have built up this repository as well according to the evolutionary model.

In 1970, an 80-foot long baleen whale skeleton was found standing on its tail in the middle of this diatomaceous earth quarry. Did this 80-foot whale carcass stand in place for millions of years while the diatoms died and settled around it? Or is it more plausible that a sudden catastrophic event killed trillions of these microbes causing them to settle around a whale that was also killed in the same event? Christian scientists have long lauded this as evidence for the flood. To be fair to this topic, I read a rebuttal from an atheist resource. Darby South wrote an article called ‘A Whale of a Tale’ which refuted the conclusion of the skeleton found in this quarry. In this article, Darby claims that the whale was not found standing upright, but was more horizontal, at an angle between 40 and 50 degrees (right between upright and horizontal). He goes on to argue by saying:

These sediments lack any sedimentary structures that would indicate catastrophic deposition. Rather, the strata exhibit laminations indicative of slow accumulation on an anoxic bay bottom. Within the adjacent strata, several hardgrounds occurs. A hardground is a distinctive cemented layer of sedimentary rock that forms when the lack of sediments being deposited over a very long period of time on the sea bottom allows the surface sediments to become cemented.

In layman’s terms, the layers around the whale have several hard, cement-like layers that indicates that the diatoms were not suddenly deposited, but were slowly accumulated over time. If there are fewer diatoms dying, there will be thinner layers and these layers will also be harder and more cemented. His conclusion, because the sedimentary layers show slow development according to the evolutionary model, this accumulation must have been gradual over millions of years.

Is he saying that it is more believable that the whale carcass survived millions of years while the diatoms slowly formed, than it is to believe their dating methods might be wrong? That is blind faith in the truest sense. To think the whale skeleton could have survived so long is absurd, but then to claim that it also remained at a 40-50 degree angle for millions of years defies any sense of reason whatsoever. This is one of those decisions where you are the judge. Which takes the most faith – clinging blindly to skepticism of the flood, or acknowledging the biblical account fits what is observed in science?

2. Where did all the water go?
This question was answered with question one. As we read earlier in Psalm 104; The mountains rose, the valleys sank and the waters ran to the place You prepared for it and You have established the boundary so the waters would not return to cover the earth. The average depth of the ocean is around 12,000 ft. and the average height of land is 2,600 ft. above sea level. If the earth were rounded off, with the water present today, the sea would cover the earth by over 8,000 feet.

Let’s look at some of the other evidence that the water receded into its place as the Bible claims. As an illustration I am going to use the Grand Canyon. It is the perfect case study because evolutionists claim that the Colorado River formed it over millions of years while the creationist claim it was formed by the flood. As we examine some of the facts, I think it will be clear which explanation is more plausible.

The evolutionary account is that over millions of years the Colorado river cut through solid rock to form this massive gorge that is over a mile wide is some places. Below are two pictures to get this perspective. The picture on the left is the main section of the Grand Canyon and the right is one of the side canyons.

 

One thing that puts the evolution model into doubt is the height of the Grand Canyon. The top of the Grand Canyon is considerably higher than the beginning of the canyon where the Colorado River enters into it. This would mean that the river would have to flow uphill for thousands or even millions of years before it could cut a groove below the mouth of the canyon so the water could begin to flow downward. This ‘mystery’ can’t be explained by anything except the fact that the water had to be higher than the canyon when it was formed. It would either have had to be higher than the canyon for millions of years, or it would have to be flowing over a land that is not yet hardened into rock.

This leads us into the creation / flood argument. It is an undisputed fact that sedimentary rock was once mud. Remember, the issue between creation science and evolution science is not the observable facts, but the interpretation of the facts. There is nothing observed by science that Christian scientists or any Christian with any real understanding of science disagrees with. We can’t dispute what is plainly observed. The dispute is on how scientists interpret those facts and how they piece together the facts.

Creation science asserts that there was a great flood as the Bible claims and that as the waters receded, it flowed over sediment that was deposited from the floodwaters. While this sediment was still soft, the waters receded and quickly eroded the canyon. Because it was mud and had not yet hardened into rock, this occurred in days or weeks, not years or millions of years. I also believe that God, in His sovereignty, has given us an insight into this event through a modern day catastrophe. In 1980, Mt Saint Helens erupted and exploded into a landslide of scorching ash that raced down the mountainside and consumed everything in its path. This event forever altered the landscape around St Helens. The wall of ash spilled into the valleys below and completely blocked off the Toutle River for nearly a week. This dam of ash backed up the river until it rose high enough to cap over the top of the ash. When it began to flow over the ash, there was rapid erosion and the river cut a mini-canyon into the ash that was 1000 feet wide and 2000 feet long. Below is a picture of that canyon.

Did the small winding river at the bottom of this canyon form it? This photo was taken in 1984. Today, the walls of this canyon are solid rock. They have layers of sediment and if the origin was unknown, it would be assumed to have formed in millions of years as well. As one geologist put it, “We saw Mt Saint Helens do in one day what normally takes tens of millions of years to occur”. Perhaps, like the whale fossil, maybe the assumption is wrong.

Another interesting point to note is the after effect of this blast of ash. Spirit Lake was covered with the trees swept from the mountainside. Shortly after the eruption, the lake was so covered with trees that you could almost walk from one side of the lake to the other without touching the water. A year later, most of these trees were stripped of their bark due to the motion of the water causing them to rub together. How is coal formed? By large quantities of organic plant matter accumulating and being covered with sediment. This is exactly what we observe when the stripped bark became waterlogged and sank. Even more interesting is what happened to the trees themselves. As the trees became waterlogged they began to sink as well. Most of these sank root first and would float upright for a time until they slowly sank. Hundreds of these trees are partially buried in the sediment washed into the lake as rain continued to bring in the ash. We have layered sediment up to 30 feet thick around many of these trees as the heavier sediment settles first. Compare this to other observations of science. Here is a photo of a fossilized tree standing upright through multiple layers of the geological column that supposedly represents millions of years worth of accumulation.


This is not a rare find, but this phenomenon is found all over the world. These trees are commonly known as polystrate tree fossils because they stand through many layers of strata. The possible scenarios are that either these trees, like the baleen whale skeleton, stood erect through millions of years while sediment settled around them, or they were covered quickly by sediment, before they could rot or fall down. Both evolutionary science and creation science agrees that fossils are caused by sediment deposited by flooding. The disagreement is the concept of a catastrophic event such as the great flood in the Bible. However, the argument that a localized flood caused these trees is a poor explanation because the layers they protrude through represent millions of years of accumulation according to the evolutionary model. Each layer has different index fossils, which date each layer as a different time period. Also, as we have seen from St Helens, a few layers would be feasible with a local catastrophe, but even a mass of ash could not fully cover many of these trees. 30 feet is a lot of silt, but many polystrate trees are found in layers are much taller than 30 feet. The overarching them is, “Which worldview takes more faith?”
To find out more about polystrate trees, go to
http://exchangedlife.com/Creation/polystrate.shtml .

3.Why do the geological layers appear to show life progressing instead of showing all types of fossils in the same layers?
If you put muddy water into a jar, you will see that denser matter settles first and layers begin to form until all the mud has been settled. The same holds true for materials that float in the water. It would seem reasonable that water animals would be the first to settle because they are already on the bottom of the ocean and they also have shells and denser body masses. Do we observe a progression of complexity in the fossil record, or do we observe natural settling? What could we expect if we saw millions of animals die and be swept away by water? You would expect to see the more dense matter settle first and as the less dense matter, as it became waterlogged, would also sink. Isn’t this what we see in the fossil record? The fossil record is not a straight line from simple to complex as evolutionist lead us to believe. Some of the evolutionary chains have are found in layers of strata that are earlier than they are expected to evolve. Some of the fossils are found later than they are expected to evolve. Some are found across multiple layers instead of being confined to the time period in which they are supposed to exist. In fact, many fossils are found buried in layers below the fossils that they supposedly descended from. The strata accumulation is often (but not always) reversed from order it should appear on record if evolution were true.

In a flood, you would expect this. Some corpses would sink earlier than their peers. Some, trapped in debris would be buried earlier than they should. Some would not sink until they decayed and fell apart which would also explain why many of the larger animals are not found intact or and incomplete. The fossil record fits the flood model much better than it does the evolution model.

4. How could Noah get tens of thousands of species on the ark?
Let’s first look at what Noah brought on the ark. Look at Genesis 6:

17 “And behold, I Myself am bringing floodwaters on the earth, to destroy from under heaven all flesh in which is the breath of life; everything that is on the earth shall die.
18 “But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall go into the ark — you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you.
19 “And of every living thing of all flesh you shall bring two of every sort into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female.
20 “Of the birds after their kind, of animals after their kind, and of every creeping thing of the earth after its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive.

Land dwelling creatures and what has breath are the only creatures taken on the ark. The ark was 3 floors deep and almost two football fields long. Estimations are that there was enough room on the ark for 125,000 sheep. In our present world there are 18,000 species known that would qualify for a trip on the ark. Even if we doubled that to make room for extinct species that may have been around in Noah’s day, we would still only have 36,000 species. If we double that to take two of each kind, that would be 72,000 animals. The average size would have been much smaller than a sheep. However, it would be unnecessary to take 2 of each species, you would only need 2 of each kind. But even if each species were represented, there would be ample room to spare. However, the Bible calls for 2 of each kind, not each species. But whether God chose each species or each kind and the species are variants of each kind, the ark still accommodates the numbers.

On a passing note, I have heard it asked how Noah was able to round up all those animals. He didn’t have to round up any. The Bible says they came to the ark and Noah put them into the ark. It is also a known fact that when stormy weather hits, animals will hibernate or sleep it out. Almost all animals are inactive when threatened by stormy conditions. Inactivity would limit the amount of food needed, though the room was available for food as well.

To find out more about how kinds and species fit into creation, visit our page, ‘Micro verses Macro Evolution‘, which is located at http://exchangedlife.com/Creation/macro-evol.shtml .

5. How did animals get from across oceans to the ark?
This is the easiest one of all to answer. Look at Genesis 10:25a, “To Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg (which means division), for in his days the earth was divided”, Eber named his son after an event witnessed at the time of his son’s birth – the earth dividing. This event occurred on the fourth generation after the flood. There is a lot of dispute over how the earth was divided, but both creation and evolutionary scientists agree that the earth was one landmass in the past. The dispute is how this division occurred. One theory is that the land split apart and the continents divided. This is theorized because the pieces can almost fit together if you match them up. Some continents have to be rotated almost 180 degrees which is very improbable. This theory is what we commonly see in textbooks. The other scenario I believe is more probable. If you drained the ocean just a little, the similarity to a landmass puzzle would disappear. The shape of the earth under the surface of the water does not look like a puzzle that fits together. Instead it looks like the land collapsed and the water covered it. It is plausible scenario is that as earth continued to shift, and polar caps began to melt and caused the waters to cover the valleys between the continents while the earth continued to settle. If you drain the oceans a few thousand feet, you could walk between continents. In each of area, we see that the biblical account fits perfectly with what is clearly observed in science. Individually it might be arguable that it is a coincidence, but when you look at the chain of events that clearly support the Bible, it takes much more faith to be skeptical of the Bible than it does to believe the Bible.

A Plausible Theory?
Let’s look at the facts as they are clearly observed. The earth has a magnetic North Pole that is different from true north. The northern pole sits at a 23.5-degree angle from true north.

We also know that the earth wobbles. Magnetic north moves slowly in an elliptical pattern.

These two pictures came from two separate studies of the North Pole. One comes from a modern observation, the other from the early 1900s. Both clearly show that the earth has a wobbling center of rotation. One theory I read was described as a spinning top. If a round top were to be hit with an object that remained attached, it would alter its angle, wobble and begin to adjust to its new center of gravity. The wobbling would decrease as the top adjusted to the new angle. This fits what is observed by science on the earth.

In review:
The earth is at a 23.5-degree angle.
Magnetic north does not line up with true north.
Magnetic north moves elliptical with the irregular pattern of the earth’s rotation.
The fault lines follow the ocean coastlines or go under the ocean with few exceptions.
Fossils show mass extinction.
The polar caps once teamed with life.
Evidence shows that large animals such as the wooly mammoth froze quickly.

It has been theorized that a comet could have possibly become the catalyst for the catastrophic flood event. A comet hit Saturn a few years back. As it entered the gravity of Saturn, it gained so much speed that it began to break apart. By the time it impacted, it was in 7 pieces, which hit in a central region. If we could add the same scenario to the earth, it would provide a plausible explanation of the flood. The moon has large craters on only one side, which would indicate that all these craters occurred in one event. If the craters built up over time, they should be evenly distributed. If perhaps a similar comet hit the moon and earth in pieces, it would fit. Frozen debris at –300 degrees would create a sudden cold air burst that would trigger violent storms as cold air met the warm climate. The impact would do two things, ad a sudden weight to the earth causing it to adjust like the spinning top with a new center of gravity and would trigger massive earthquakes that could easily fracture the earth’s plates. The water beneath would spew out in great eruptions and the flood would begin.

We can only speculate as to what happened. What is important is that all observable facts support the flood account but they do not support the evolution model. This case will be tried in each of our hearts and minds. Until we all stand before God, we must decide which we believe. I believe that it clearly takes more faith to believe in a godless worldview than it does to believe the biblical account. My hope is that this glimpse at the flood account will either compel you to the truth, or strengthen the foundation of your faith. We can have confidence that the Bible is the revealed word of God and this should also give us confidence that God is in total control and capable to direct our lives.

Eddie Snipes
1999

Amazing Creations – Spiders

This article was originally posted on Exchanged Life in 1999. It has some fascinating information about God’s design revealed in spiders.

Spiders are a fascinating creation. I cannot see how any evolutionist can look at spiders and maintain evolutionary views. My hope is that after viewing these pages, you will see the signature of God in creation as well.

Mimicking Spiders

I find this the most amazing trait of spiders.  I believe mimicking defies evolution.  Adopting foreign habits and looks goes far beyond adaptation.  It is not a skill necessary for survival, but it is a valuable tool.  These ant mimicking spiders look amazingly like the ants they search out for food.  Other spiders and insects are attacked on sight, however these creatures are a close enough match to go ignored, thus allowing the spider to get close enough to the nest for easy pickings.   They also have movement imitations as well.  They wave their front legs so they simulate antlers movement and they also bob their tail in a similar fashion to natural movements of the ant as well.

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The above jumping spider (called Orsima formica) mimics the mutillid wasp below.   The long spinnerets in the tail imitate the wasp’s antennas and the colored abdomen appear to simulate the wasp’s tail.  The spider’s head is green for camouflage.

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The following spiders have some very unusual skills.  It was once believed that these spiders created visible patterns in the web to prevent birds from accidentally damaging the web.  Modern research has a new discovery.  Clear webs are poor reflectors of ultraviolet light.  Research has found that these spiders’ webs have patterns that simulate the ultraviolet light reflections of certain flowers.  The ultraviolet patterns draw insects to the web and increase the chances of successfully catching a meal.

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It is not logical to think that these spiders gained these skills by the evolutionary process.  Knowledge was necessary to create an interdependence.   Ant mimicking spiders were interdependent on ants that they mimic.  Both had to be present when the spider was designed or the mimic was useless.  Because insects decompose quickly, insect fossils are very rare.  Fossils exist that date spiders earlier than the supposed evolution of the flying insect.  The evidence does not support this concept.  The same holds true for ultraviolet reflecting web building spiders.  They must have been designed with knowledge of the spider, the web to catch airborne insects, understanding of the insects they prey upon and knowledge of the flowers they simulate.  Likewise with defensive mimicking of the mutillid wasp.  These discouraging color patterns must have been designed with the birds and other predators that would recognize these patterns as well as knowledge of the wasp itself.   Evolution is a much bigger leap of faith than creation.

How Spiders Hunt

Spiders baffle the evolutionary theorist with their specialized hunting styles.  The eyes of a jumping spider give it a 360 degree panoramic view.  It’s keen vision give it perfect accuracy when it leaps toward a moving or stationary prey.   Some spiders stalk, some wait and ambush, some create webs and wait.  I want to take a closer look at a few of the more fascinating styles of spider hunting.

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The American cowboy wasn’t the first to make a living off the lasso.  The Bola spider catches its prey by creating a poison sticky mixture and attaching it to a web.   It then throws it’s lasso at an insect who flies into the spider’s range.   Some Bola spiders produce a pheromone which attracts insects to her dinner party.
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Crab spiders are amazing creatures.  They come in many colors.  They hide from predators and ambush prey by hiding on a flower of their color.  They can remarkably resemble the color of a flower or plant.  They often lay motionless on a flower waiting for an insect to land.  Their long legs give them plenty of range to grab their prey.
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The net-throwing spider is an amazing creation.  This spider creates a small web that it uses as a net to toss on a passing insect.  Even more remarkably, many species have the ability to create pheromones that simulate the mating scent of a moth.   This attracts a male moth into its range so it can net it.
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Fisher Spiders are also fascinating.  They are able to stand on the water because their legs and feet are designed to create surface tension.  Surface tension prevents friction so they run by pushing the dimples created by the surface tension.  The dimples create resistance and puts them in motion.  They also have a few other amazing characteristics.  They can easily dive below the surface of calm waters.   They create webs below the surface and carry bubbles of air down to create a breathable climate.  Fisher spiders feed on small fish, insects and other pond life.   To catch fish, they thrust a leg below the surface and when a curiosity draws a small fish, they dive and catch it.
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Web spitting spiders (Scytodes thoricica).  This spider sneaks very carefully towards its prey and at about 10 mm distance it stops and carefully measures the distance to its prey with one front leg without disturbing it. Then it squeezes the back of its body together and spits two poisonous silk threads, in 1/600 sec, in a zigzag manner over the victim. The prey is immediately immobilized. When the prey is larger the spider spits several times.
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The pattern of design echoes from each species of spider.  The skill to lasso does not fit the evolutionary model.  There is no room for trial and error.   If a species could evolve, unless every mechanism was in place, it would have quickly died.  The Bola spider had to have fully developed vision, coordination to throw the lasso, perfect depth perception, and the ability to calculate the flight pattern of a moving insect.  Not to mention the ability to produce the mixture of glue, poison and a pheromone to create the lasso.  Logic drives us to conclude that evolution would have used the first successful mechanism.  Of course, evolution also cannot explain the knowledge of the genetic code to make that mechanism.  With all the odors in the air, how did the spider know which odor the female moth uses to attract males?  How did the spider gain the knowledge to reproduce this odor?  How did the Fisher spider know that fish would respond to its lure?  Evolution requires more faith than it takes to believe creation.

Spider Defenses

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Below are three species of trap door spiders and their style of defensive protection.  

Example 1 belongs to an Australian trap door spider called Stanwellia nebulosa.   It creates a burrow with a balanced pebble that it pulls down during a retreat if it is attacked.

Example 2 is also Australian.  It is called Lampropodus iridescens.  It creates a side shaft with a trap door that it pulls closed if it has to retreat from an attacker.

Example 3 is the Australian Dekana.  It digs two exits.  One exit is the main burrow.  The second exit is a trap door covered with loose debris.  The debris disguises the burrow but is loose enough to allow the spider to easily push through and escape from an attacker.

Another unique trap door spider not pictured here is the American Cyclocosmia truncata.   It has a simple burrow but the spider has a flat armor plated abdomen that fits snugly against the walls of the burrow giving it a natural shield if attacked.

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Ero pirate spiders create hard protective shells out of mud or rocks to protect their eggs.  Most of these types of spiders mount their eggs on stalks and cover them with mud that hardens to protect.  The South African species has a different approach.   They create egg sacs covered with an armor of pebbles and hang it from a thread of web.  The below example is similar to a crane bucket and is even equipped with a hook to hold the cross cabling.

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This spider hides by mimicking a dried leaf.  This protects from predators as well as providing an edge in the hunt for their own food.

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Now here is an evolutionary wonder.  In the rainforest of Madagascar, the Phyrarachne rugosa hides itself by passing as an almost identical match of the bird droppings of fruit eating birds in the trees it inhabits.

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Evolution, or design?  How did the trap door spider gain the knowledge to design a burrow with a balanced pebble sized to cover it’s safety chamber?   He is quite an engineer.  But not half the engineer that the designer of the crane bucket the African Ero pirate made for her eggs.  It baffles the mind to think a spider can evolve itself to the image of a dried leaf, and this idea becomes absurd when you look at a spider disguised as bird droppings.  By chance or by design?  The design speaks for itself.

Web Design

 

The artwork of web design shows everything but accidental evolution.   Orb web weaving spiders create an amazing design of strength, efficiency and beauty.  The spider begins by producing a light weight web that is easily caught by the wind and is carried until it anchors itself on an object.  Then the spider follows this guide web and spins a strong, thick support thread that will be the corner stone of its web.  Then she lays the foundation strands followed by supporting strands for the orb.  The orb is then weaved with intricate detail. 

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A product of evolutionary chance?  The faith it takes to believe this is a product of random evolution is even further challenged by the production of the web itself.  Lets look at the creation of the strand produced by the spider.

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These are the spinnerets magnified under the electron microscope.  Each spinneret contains a hollow tube connected to the gland.  Spider webs are pound for pound stronger than steel yet is incredibly flexible.  One study concluded the strength of a spider web in this way, if a web was produced the width of a pencil, it would have the strength to stop a 747 at full speed.  The strength material is measured by a unit called dernier. 1 dernier = 1 g per 9000 m.  A spider thread has a value between 5 – 8. This means that the thread will break under its own weight at a length of 45 – 72 km. Steel has a value of approximately 3.
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One of the more descriptive commentaries on spider webs I read on a biochemical research company that is actively seeking how to engineer this amazing technology.  Here is what they have to say:
Spider silk shows great promise for technological applications and is of tremendous
economical value due to its following extraordinary mechanical properties:

  • High tensile strength stronger than steel,
  • High extensibility comparable to rubber,
  • High capability of water uptake comparable to wool.

    The mechanical properties of the dragline  from the orb weaver (Nephila clavipes)
    is even superior even to the high performance fiber “Kevlar” that is used for bullet-proof vests.

What makes this amazing material?  There are seven types of web glands.  No spider has all seven.  Most spiders have a combination of these glands.

Glandula aggregata produces the sticky material.
Ampulleceae major and minor for the production of the walking threads
Pyriformes for the attaching threads
Aciniformes produces silk for the encapsulation of the prey
Tubiliformes for the silk of the egg-sac
Coronatae threads for the axis of the sticking threads.
Cribellar glands are only found in the cribellate spiders.

Spider silk’s main components are specialized proteins.  Not any ole protein would produce this mastery.  Three main proteins are found in spider silk.  
Pyrolidin – very hygroscopic (water retenative).  Pyrodidin prevents the web from drying out.
Potasium hydrogen phosphate – very acidic and acts as a deterrent to bacteria and fungi.
Potassium nitrate – prevents the low pH from causing the proteins to become insoluble.

The proteins are also salted to prevent decay from bacteria and fungi.

Inside the gland of the spider, the protein has a molecular mass of 30,000 Dalton.  Once outside the gland, the web polymerizes to a molecule called fibroin and expands to a mass of approximately 300,000 Dalton.  Scientist do not understand what activates the polymerization process.  The web then takes on its elasticity properties and can be stretched up to 40% before it breaks.  Compare this to steel which breaks at 8% and nylon (used in stockings) which breaks at 20%.

Because of the nutrients lost by spinning webs, the orb weaver eats her web to recycle the protein before re-creating her web.

Consider the facts.  There is no logical reasoning that can drive us to evolution for the interdependent design of chemical elements and skill necessary for web design.  It takes a knowledgeable designer to understand this process.  Out of the hundreds of different proteins, how could chance alone select the three needed for the infallible web design that man has yet to duplicate?  This is even more baffling when we consider the natural decay of these proteins and how the spider prevents this by adding anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties to the web.  Even the process of dehydration is prevented by this design.  It takes more faith to believe in accidental selection than to believe in a Creator’s design.

Mound building by Macrotermes bellicosus: Thermoregulation and other architectual aspects

Scriptie Orientatiefasecursus Populatiebiologie 1998

Anna den Held and Thijs van der Velden


Introduction

We were asked to write a literature study about a subject that interested us during the course population biology. An amazing phenomenon in nature is the ingenius moundbuilding by certain termites. We decided to focus on the Macrotermes bellicosus, which belongs to the subfamily Macrotermitinae. These are fungus-growing termites which occur in parts Africa and Asia. First we will give some general information about this so-called social insect, and then go to to our main point, the thermoregulation in the nest of the M. bellicosus by different architecture.

The founding of a nest starts by the royal couple who make a hole in the soil, called copularium. In here the queen lays her first eggs which develop into stunted workers. They accomplish the further developement of the nest and after a while receive help from newborn soldiers. Just after four years alate reproductives are produced.

As said before the M.bellicosus is fungus-growing. They build fungus combs which

occupy special gardens in the center of the nest in large compartements. The gardens are organized into complex sponge-like structures with numerous convoluted ridges and tunnels, evidently designed to give the maximum surface for growth. The substrate of the fungi is finly chewed wood provided by the termites themselves.

At first there was doubt about the exact function of these gardens. Some thought they were somehow part of the ventilation system of the big nests by providing some of the heat needed for convection. Nevertheless convincing evidence has been collected that the fungi are an important nutritive symbiont for some of the Macrotermine species. Microscopic examination of macrotermes workers gut contents indicated that the fungi serve to degrade the lignin and to expose the minute fragments of cellulose for quicker digestion by the intestinal bacterial flora.

Even more remarkable than the phenomenon of fungus-growing is the size and complexity of the nests constructed by the macrotermites. An important aspect of this complexity is the thermoregulation concerning the nests. Several studies have been made about the ability of M. bellicosus to regalate the internal temperature of their nests and the influence that the environmental temperature has on the architecture of the mounds.

Top


Termitenests and their composition.

The nests of termites are generally regarded as a future of social organisation. The inside of a adult nest is always build according to a certain plan, containing one or more breeding centres from which radiate a network of galleries and runways to special chambers which store food, water and all kind of soilparticles.

In general we can classify the nests into six categories, gathered into two main groups. The first group contains three categories of areal nests, i.e. in the aerial parts of plants. The second group contains three categories of terranian nests; one under the soil surface, one half on it, and one above the soil surface, called mound. It is in this kind of nests that our M.bellicosus lives. Their mounds are impressive feautures characterising whole landscapes. They reach heights up to 8 meters, and appear sometimes in densities of 83 mounds per hectare.

The mounds are constructed of soil particles, (like coarse sand, fine sand, silt, clay and organic carbon), extracta and saliva, these in varying proportions. The M.bellicosus uses re-packed, orally transported soil particles, cemented with saliva into walls.

It is thought that mound structure of termites is determined by three important factors: the species, the soil composition and the microclimatic conditions (like rain and temperature). This last item is supposed to be very important because it can change on large scale in the same area.

That there is correlation between moundshape and thermoregulation within the nest, has often been suggested. Stable temperature inside the nest is very important for an optimum in fungus production, and so the termites use special archtitectual technics to construct a mound with certain thermoregulatory qualities.

Investegation on this subject has been done in Comoé-National Park (Ivory Coast) by Korb and Linsenmair (1997). In this park we find the M.bellicosus in two very different areas. First, they are found in the very warm shrub savanna. Here, the mounds have rather thin walls with numerous ridges and complex structures. The ridges on the outside of the mounds are made to increase the surface. The result is that the temperature inside will not increase above the critical level during the day. Inside the nest there are several ventilationchannels, essential for the gasexchange. These channels are also involved in the thermoregulation. During the cold savanna night, the diameter is reduced by constructing obstacles in the channels so ventilation decreases and heatloss is regulated. When temperature increases during the day these obstacles are removed so that ventilation takes place and heat is lost.

Second, they appear in the moisty gallery forest. This habitat has a relative cool, but stable climate. So in this environment it is important for M.bellicosus to reduce the loss of heat. Therefore the mounds are dome-shaped with massive walls and hardly any portraiding structures. The reason for this is that in this type of habitats it is not nescessary to have an extended channelsystem for this would only increase heatloss.

It can be concluded that the differences in moundarchitecture performed by termites of the same species is caused by the diffrences in temperature between the two habitats. The

M. bellicosus apparently is capable of influincing its own microclimate By building mounds with special structures they can actually achieve thermoregulation.


References

Wilson, Edward.O.,1971, ‘The Insect Societies’, Harvard University Press.

Brian,M.V. (ed) 1978, Production ecology of ants and termites, Cambridge University Press.

Korb,J., Linsenmair, K.E., 1997, ‘The effect on …… savanna’. Insectes Sociaux 45:1-112.

Korb,J., Linsenmair, K.E., 1997, ‘Experimental heathing ….architecture’. Insectes Sociaux 45:.235-347

Thanks to H.Velthuis for his important contribution.

Amazing Creations–Termite Towers

TERMITE TOWERS

The termite is the acknowledged master architect of the creature world. No other insect or animal approaches the termite in the size and solidity of its building structure. The world’s tallest non-human structures are built by Australian or African termites. If a human being were the size of an average termite, the relative size of a single termite nest is the equivalent of a 180 story building–almost 2000 feet high. It would easily be the tallest building in the world. How is it possible that this tiny creature has the engineering know-how to erect an edifice of this magnitude? Obviously this knowledge is innate to the termite. The process of construction, the materials and correct combination of materials to yield an elegant, structurally efficient and durable structure is simply awe-inspiring.

The building material is usually local soil mixed with saliva. Sometimes dung is mixed in. It becomes so hard and impervious that the native people of the area use it for building their mud and stick shelters. The termite mound, or termitary, consists of hard, thick walls that seal in moisture and keep heat out. The Australian and African variety of termite towers are designed for cooling. A system of channels and ducts circulates air through the mound. These passageways run through areas of the mound that have walls that are porous or have tiny ventilation holes. The pores act as fresh air ventilation and stale air exhaust. This supply and return system performs solely on heat and gravity with no moving parts. Can our tall building work with such efficient simplicity?

At the lower core of the termitary are the living and working quarters. This area is the coolest and most insulated zone of the nest. The royal chamber, which is the largest chamber in the nest, houses the queen and king. Below the royal chambers are where the workers store food and care for the young termites, called nymphs. In some colonies the workers tend gardens where tiny mushrooms and varieties of fungus are grown. The termites grow this fungus inside a comb which is located in several pockets in the central zone of the inner nest. The comb, made of termite droppings, provides nourishment for the growing fungus and the termites feed on both the fungus and the comb. Termites live on cellulose, the substance which makes the framework of vegetation, and fungi. Ingress and egress from a termite tower is provided by a series of underground tunnels. The tunnels lead outward and branch into a network of passage that open to the outside. The insects make their trips to the outside at night, when it is cooler, and collect twigs, leaves, seeds and other food. In very hot, dry climates some species in the desert dig straight down exceeding 125 feet(38m) to connect with underground water. Underground wells supply the termitary with water and a source for cooling the interior. The peaks and towers of the termite’s nest act as lungs that expel rising hot air, which is generated by the breaking down of the fecal comb by the fungus. The air then rises via a large central air duct, and moves up through the long porous chimneys.The carbon dioxide in the air then diffuses to the outside, while oxygen diffuses into the chimneys. The oxygenated air eventually loses its heat to the cooler outside air and cools sinking down into the cellar.[4] Such an ingenious HVAC system is necessary for the survival of some three million termites to a single colony.

The exterior form of the termite nest depends upon the climate. For instance some termite nests have adapted to their rainy surroundings by creating umbrella-like roof structures that direct water from heavy rains away from the nest. Compass termites appear like giant wedges with the broad side facing due east and west. This solar orientation serves to keep the high, intense sun from hitting any appreciable portion of the mounds surface and allows the weaker morning and setting sun to warm the greater surface area of the structure; thus, the structure attempts to create an even heating situation whereby the mound does not overheat.

See http://www.tdrinc.com/home.html for the article in full.

2001

Amazing Creations – The African termite called Macrotermes Bellicosus is truly an amazing creation.

 

These termites build the larges non-manmade structures in the world. If they were the equivalent size of man, their tower would be 180 stories high. This would easily be the highest structure in the world.

The cement is so hard and water resistant that the local natives of the are often use it for their huts.
The architectural design is an engineering masterpiece.
The air circulation is an essential element for survival in the African sun. They obviously have no moving parts, but the structure removes and refreshes the air continually.
Ventilation ducts use heat to create current that passes along thing inner walls that are porous. This allows the protected chambers to breathe and refresh oxygen.

These creatures have literally achieved thermoregulation. During cold nights, the openings are blockaded to reduce heat loss and during the sunlight hours, the openings are opened fully to maximize ventilation. Some species also cap their structures with umbrellas of mud. It repels water away from the structure and blocks out the hot afternoon sun. The overhang is designed to allow the early morning sun to warm the structure.

The M. Bellicosus supplements its diet by growing fungi. They chew up wood and digest what nutrients can be taken in. The rest is passed and used for gardening. The primary food source is not the wood itself, but fungi. Growing rooms are built for the purpose of raising this food source for the colony.

The M. Bellicosus termite’s structure is so climate efficient that it maintains a constant temperature of 88-89 degrees in the growing chambers. This is significant in the fact that their primary fungus harvest can only grow if the temperature is below 89 degrees and above 88 degrees. The two degree variable is essential for the health of the colony. Even more interesting is that the primary fungus grown is only found one place in the natural world – inside the growing chambers of the M. Bellicosus termite.
 

  Can evolution teach this kind of engineering? This fungus is dependent on the M. Bellicosus termite and the termite is dependent on the fungus and the engineering technology it uses to survive. It takes a lot of faith to believe that this glory belongs to blind evolution.
  For More information see the following articles:
   
   
   

Genetics – Science Against Evolution

What is Theorized 
The basic philosophy of evolution is that gradual change occurs over millions of years to evolve one species into another. This mutation occurs at the genetic level. In order for evolution to be possible, new information must be added to the gene code that creates new traits and eventually changes the species into a new species. This must be done without damage to the species. All mutations must be positive mutations or they will begin to destroy the species. The burden of proof rests upon evolutionists to show with observable science that positive mutations can and do occur.

How it Works
One strand of Human DNA within each cell could stretch out 6 feet in length. It contains 3 billion pairs of DNA subsets and 46 chromosomes, and yet fits within one microscopic cell. If you covered a pinhead with DNA, the information contained in its code could fill up enough books to stack one on top of another and reach the moon 500 times. Every living organism – both plants and animals – have the blueprint of every function of their body written in this code. DNA tells every cell in your body how to build its structure, manufacture proteins and carry out its functions necessary for life to exist.

DNA is a four-letter alphabet that can create a possible 64 ‘words’. Each strand of the code is constructed like a micro-sentence. The ‘word’ is three letters long and has a code that tells the interpreting key to ‘begin here’ and ‘end here’. Each letter is represented by one of these specific proteins: adenine, thymine, guanine, or cytosine. These are labeled in diagrams simply as A, T, G, or C. Most cells in your body divide and multiply many times during your lifetime. Each time a cell multiplies, each strand of DNA must be duplicated into two exact copies. Any errors in this copy becomes a mutation in the cell. Mutations are plainly observed in science and this problem has never been in dispute. The dispute is over positive mutations which is not observed in science but is necessary for the evolution model. Howard Hughes Medical Institute gives us this explanation:

We each inherit hundreds of genetic mutations from our parents, as they did from their forebears. In addition, the DNA in our own cells undergoes an estimated 30 new mutations during our lifetime, either through mistakes during DNA copying or cell division or, more often, because of damage from the environment.

What mutations do we see in people? Cancer is a mutation. A cell becomes damaged due to toxins, radiation or other triggers and as it divides, it creates more cells that the body cannot control until the body is destroyed or the cells eradicated through medical treatment. Many mutations can also be passed on to children. Any medical questionnaire will ask if immediate members of our families have suffered from heart problems, cancer, mental illness or any number of potential health problems. The reason for these questions is that if our parents suffered from these mutations, there is a possibility that we could have inherited the tendency to contract these illnesses as well.

Each year medical research discovers more genetic related diseases. As of this writing, there are over 4,000 known genetic diseases (The National Institute of Health says there are 6,000 including rare diseases and disorders). Cystic Fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, hemophilia, leukemia, and sickle-celled anemia are examples of genetic mutations that are passed down as genetic related diseases. Each year the list grows longer. Howard Hughes Medical research makes this statement about genetic mistakes:

Considering the difficulties involved–the 6 feet of DNA in a human cell consists of 6 billion subunits, or base pairs, coiled and tightly packed into 46 chromosomes, all of which must be duplicated every time a cell divides–our general state of health is something of a miracle.

How Mutations are Passed On
Consider the evolution claims that it is only a short step from man’s closest ancestor. It is often stated that human DNA is only 2% different than our closest ‘related’ ape. Because it sounds simple, it appears to be feasible. However, when we consider that we have 3 billion pairs of DNA, that 2% becomes 60 Million new pairs of DNA that must be inserted through positive mutations. Each new rung of information must be a properly organized subunit with the stop and start codes and be clearly interpreted by the ‘key’ which is used to instruct the cell’s development. Depending on which argument you look at, man supposedly split from our common ancestors around 500-600 thousand years ago. Some argue that this common ancestor could not be farther back than 50 thousand years. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published an article by Giorgio Bertorelle (University of California, Berkley), and Bruce Rannala (Department of Ecology and Evolution, State University of New York) which tracked the genetic disease, Cystic Fibrosis to determine trace modern populations back to a common source. Douglas J. Futuyma argues the opposite. As a die-hard evolutionists, he sticks to the strictest millions of years ideology and claims that we share a common ancestor 6 million years ago.

This means man needs 10 positive mutations per month to achieve what evolution requires if 500-600 thousand years are correct. If the 50 thousand year theory is true, that rate increases to 100 mutations per month. If Futuyma’s numbers are chosen, then we drop the mutation rate to 1 new pairs of DNA per month per month to achieve evolution’s goal. We should still see man and all other species visibly transforming and observable in science. We have already seen that negative mutations cause disease in the species, but we need positive mutations without diseased ones tagging along.

To understand this fully, let’s look at how mutations are passed along. Generally speaking, there are two types of genes – dominant and recessive. To put this in elementary terms, I have heard this illustrated like a twin engine airplane. A recessive gene is in charge of production of proteins. Like the engines of the airplane, if one fails, the other will continue to drive the craft. It will not be as efficient, but it will not crash. However, if the other engine fails, the production will fail. In the same sense, if one parent has a recessive gene defect but the other parent does not, the normal gene will keep the cell functioning without a visible defect. For a recessive gene, both parents MUST possess the same defect or it will not be passed on to the children. The figure below illustrates this:

Both parents carry a single defective gene (d) but are protected by the presence of a normal gene (N), which is generally sufficient for normal function. Two defective copies of the gene are required to produce a disorder. Each child has a 50 percent chance of being a carrier like both parents and a 25 percent risk of inheriting the disorder.

Even if the defect is present in both parents, there is only a 25% chance of a genetic change in the child and only a 50% chance of carrying this to the next generation. This presents a huge problem for evolution. In the best-case scenario both parents would have the same mutation. If it were possible to create a positive mutation in the gene code and both parents carried the exact same mutation, this still only leaves a 25-50% chance of passing the mutation on. If both parents do not have the defect, the odds of passing a mutation fall well below 25%. Even if a child carries the mutation, it will not produce a new trait on its own. It must sit in the background until another parent carrying the same gene arrives on the scene. Even so, the odds are still against evolution. Compound this problem by 60 Million mutations and the odds of us evolving from a common ancestor of ape to where we are becomes staggering.

To understand Dominate genes, let’s go back to the twin-engine airplane. If recessive genes represent the engines that drive the plane, a dominant gene represents the structure of the plane (or gene). A twin-engine airplane can remain airborne with only one functioning engine, but it cannot fly with only one wing. A dominant gene tells the cell in an organism how to build its structure. If a dominant gene is inherited, a genetic disorder will occur. Look at the illustration below:

The affected parent has a single defective gene (D), which dominates its normal counterpart (n). Each child has a 50 percent risk of inheriting the faulty gene and the disorder. Since each parent only provides half the genetic material, there is a 50% chance that the child will not inherit the defect. As we can see, even if a mutation is a dominant gene, there is still only a 50% chance that it will be passed on. Also keep in mind that these mutations must already be in effect before childbearing years. Defects later in life have zero chance of being passed on unless the tendency was already present. Geneticists estimate that our bodies mutate negatively 30 times in an average life. This is one of the reasons why birth defects are higher risks when the parents are 35 and older. Only mutations present during those childbearing years will have any chance of affecting the next generation.

What is Observed
Micro-evolution is a fact of science. Micro information is simply the rearranging of genetic information that is already present. A child may be born with blond, brown, red, or black hair. Hair could be curly, straight or a combination of the two. However, hair is still hair and no new information has been added to the genes. Micro-evolution can also be a loss of information. We often see evolutionists point to things like cave fish that have no eyes and claim this is evidence of evolution in action. However, evolution requires new information, but what is observed is a loss of information or a damaging of information. Lost information only gives evolution a greater obstacle to overcome and sends the species in the opposite direction than it should be going to fit the evolutionary model. In every case of micro-evolution that evolutionists attempt to claim for evidence, the trait is still the same trait and the species is still the same species. (For more information on micro/macro evolution, go to http://exchangedlife.com/Creation/macro-evol.html ).

Positive mutations are not observed in science. Evolution requires up to 10 positive mutations a month to progress from our theoretical evolutionary ancestor to modern man. This mutation rate is not limited to man, but we should see the same rate in all living organisms. The mutations needed are not the rearranging of information, but the addition of new information. We do see mutations in science. Each year more genetic diseases are discovered. We have already seen that the average person will have 30 negative mutations in their lifetime and that most of these will occur later in life after the child-bearing years and will not affect our descendants. The question must be asked – where are the 10 positive mutations a month? Science does not even observe 10 negative mutations per month and zero positive mutations have been observed where new information is added to the genome. When evolution’s leading propagator, Richard Dawkins was asked to give one example of a positive mutation or evolutionary process in action as observed by science, he could not name one. Pro-evolutionary ‘Atomic Scientists’ stated:

“It is entirely in line with the accidental nature of mutations that extensive tests have agreed in showing the vast majority of them detrimental to the organism in its job of surviving and reproducing — good ones are so rare we can consider them all bad.” (Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 11:331)

Even the positive mutations heralded by evolutionists are simply the rearranging of information. In every example, either there is no new information added or a smoke-and-mirrors illusion is created to imply that a positive change has occurred. A good example of this is the often-touted fruit fly mutations. Researchers damage the fly’s DNA with radiation and it sometimes produces mutated offspring. Sometimes the fly will have legs where its antenna would normally be or some other defect. One supposed break-through came when researchers produced a fruit fly with two sets of wings instead of the normal one set.

Evolutionists declared that this was proof that positive mutation was possible. What is not openly publicized is that the second set of wings is not new information, nor is it functional. The fruit fly normally has halters (or balancers) behind each wing. These halters are necessary for flight and balance. When the radiation damaged the gene, the halters were missing and in its place was another set of wings produced by scrambled DNA, which was ‘borrowed’ from the code that was already present. These wings do not have muscles, therefore they cannot aid in flying. The weight change and the absence of halters leave the fly helpless. Outside of the lab, these flies could not survive. If anything, this proves that evolution is impossible. Without fully functional wings, a fly cannot fly. Without functional antennae, the fly cannot detect scents that it must find to locate food or a mate. Crippled fruit flies do not prove evolution, but it does cast a lot of doubt on evolutionary theory.

Negative mutations are frequently observed. With each negative mutation, the species begins its descent from evolution rather then ascending to it. A cave fish with no eyes has less complexity than it did in the past. If information is becoming damaged or lost, how does this help evolution? Scientific observations prove that organisms are drifting away from the direction that evolution demands living things to rise toward.

If each year, more negative mutations occur and the observation of new genetic diseases increase, where does this leave evolution? Shouldn’t evolution be streamlining the DNA code rather than scrambling it? Does a hemophilic (inability to stop bleeding) increase or decrease the chance for survival? Does Cerebral Palsy increase or decrease the chance of passing genes to the next generation? Today, an estimated 1 in 25 descendants of North Europeans are carriers of the defect that causes Cystic Fibrosis. 1 in 12 Blacks across the globe carry the Sickle Cell Anemia genetic defect. Of course those who actually contract the disease will be much lower because it takes both parents passing on the gene before a child can contract it. My point is that the increase in the number of carriers of genetic diseases proves that we are distancing ourselves from the ideal demanded by evolution. Evolution can’t explain this dilemma, but creation can. The Bible teaches that man and all of creation were created perfect. The curse of sin is the cause of death, disease and suffering. If the Bible is true, we should see mankind drifting away from the perfect creation that we were intended to be. If evolution is true, we should see mankind perfecting and overcoming our defective past. These two worldviews are in direct contradiction to each other. Observable science confirms scripture but contradicts evolution.

Clearly, if we take an honest approach to science, what is observed points to creation and denies evolution. Genetics is just another example of this fact.

Eddie Snipes
2002

What is a Polystrate Tree?

Talk Origins responds to this article. Click here to read their rebuttal.

Polystrate trees are trees that are found in multiple layers of strata. Creationists observe these trees as evidence for a global catastrophe such as the biblical global flood. We believe these trees are consistent with what should be expected from silt and sediment as it settled after the flood. When you observe residue in water, it settles in layers consistent with the geological column found throughout the world. As this residue settled around the tree and hardened, these trees fossilized. This poses a problem to the evolution model. A rapid deposit is not consistent with evolution because fossils are throughout the layers and supposedly represent millions of years. How can a tree stand erect for millions or even hundreds of millions of years without decay in order to be embedded in these layers? Evolution, on the other hand, claims that these trees do not hinder evolution and attempt to explain away what is observed by science.

It is important for Christians to recognize the method of debate most evolutionists and atheist use. It is also important to recognize that they are not going to win the debate in the eyes of an atheist. Because atheism is a religion of pride – or self worship, to admit defeat is to deny self-identity. An atheist is not on a quest for truth, but on a quest for intellectual identity. They draw self-identity and self-worth from their claims of intellectualism. That is why evidence against evolution is always called religious. If they classify it as non-science, then they can justify in not answering the evidence.

When debating, you will recognize a few key methods almost all evolutionists use. They begin by intimidating critics; avoiding hard questions by machinegun fire questions to smoke screen the issue they are attempting to avoid; and establishing themselves as authoritative by declaring their position to be evolutionary. Once they have declared themselves to be ‘inside the box’ of evolution, they can then use their own quotes as facts. The reasoning is if evolution is the only authoritative position and they stand inside that box, others can then assume their opinions are fact because of that authority.

We often see the claims of evidence without having to provide the evidence. While an evolutionist requires irrefutable proof, they avoid having to prove evolution by bombarding critics with accusations and attempting to create rabbit trails for others to chase. We a creationist calls a bluff, they are either ignored or accused of misquoted evolutionists. To avoid answering opposition or explaining how evolutions leaders contradict themselves and the facts, they accuse others of dishonesty and ignorance.

I was recently given a link to an article as ‘proof’ that polystrate trees have been debunked by evolution: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/polystrate/trees.html . This article on talkorigins.org uses the typical evasive tactics found in almost every defense evolution attempts to establish. The prized tactic of evolution is to put critics on the defensive so that they will not bring the issues to light. Instead of cowering or being manipulated into chasing rabbits, Christians need to recognize these tactics and force the focus to remain on the issue at hand. Rabbit trails can be explored once the primary issue has been addressed. This article uses intimidation and evasion to avoid answering the objections that they fear. They also confirm creation claims and then try to twist them into evolutionary evidence.

The article begins with the typical insult to (hopefully) put creationists on the defensive. If I feel intimidated by my position, I will be less likely to challenge the facts or lack thereof.

The reason I am using Dawson (1868) rather than a more recent reference is to emphasize that many supposed “problems” with conventional geology were solved more than 100 years ago using very basic principles. The people suggesting these “problems” exist are so out of date that even 19th-century literature refutes their presentations.

Also in the 1800s evolutionist didn’t have a problem with spontaneous generation. They believed fruit flies evolved in closed jars. Right off the bat, the intended impression is that if you don’t believe in evolution, you are not even as intellectual as they were in the 1800s. Perhaps the reason he used an argument from the 1800s is because evolution still can’t come up with a reasonable explanation. However, the intent of the comment was to intimidate critics into compliance.

The most common criticism I get from atheists is that I take the quotes that show evolutionists in a bad light. I am frequently called a liar, but I provide references that are completely verifiable. Obviously, I will not quote the whole article, but at the risk of being called dishonest, I will only quote the points relevant to the argument. Anyone who wishes can read the article for themselves to verify my quotes. Dawson goes on to explain that polystrate trees begin by a rapid deposit of sediment (from a flood) and continue to build up over thousands of years. The article analyses the argument this way:

…he is simply interpolating the average depositional rates for an entire formation down to the scale of meters. This is not the correct way to do it, because individual beds can be deposited rapidly (say, sands and mud during a levee breach), and then little deposition can occur for a long time (e.g., a soil horizon),

This argument craftily avoids the issues while claiming to explain them. The issues in question are:

  • How did the tree survive during multiple catastrophes without rotting or being knocked down?
  • How can anyone reasonably believe that a tree could stand for the length of time it takes to build up the additional layers?
  • How can a tree representing a short life span (on evolution’s geological time scale) stand erect through geological layers representing millions and often hundreds of millions of years?

This is not a problem for evolution? Regardless of how you slice it, the tree had to stand erect without rotting, falling or being knocked down for millions of years. The layers of strata have fossils representing different time periods according to the evolution model. It DOES pose a huge problem for evolution. If the tree was buried rapidly as Dawson hints toward and as creationists have said all along, evolution is out the window. If all layers were deposited together, then there is no such thing as millions of years. That would mean that all fossils were laid at the same time.

If the trees were not covered rapidly, then there is no explanation as to how a tree could have embedded itself into layers of strata that accumulated over millions of years. The article does not attempt to answer any of these questions. Yet it claims (as all evolutionists do) to have the answers.

Instead of answers, the claim to intellectual thinking is made while carefully avoiding the real issues. To avoid critical thinking, the article ends by insulting those who may question the facts. This article is nothing more than manipulation through human psychology. If you put people on the defensive, they won’t think critically and the evolutionist can avoid critical analysis against his or her argument. The article claims that we see examples of polystrate trees today. Indeed we do, but they debunk evolution. Mount Saint Helens created a lake full of sediment, which created many polystrate trees. Evolutionists don’t point to this observance but creationists do. To avoid this argument, the article says:

This argument is completely fallacious, because most “fossil forests” do not occur in volcanic deposits

Who said the flood was dependent of volcanic deposits? That is a straw man. The article ends the way it began – by attempting to intimidate critics and make people who would think critically feel ignorant for not siding with evolution. The article concludes: 

…many “young Earth global flood creationists”, have no idea that even data from the 19th century, presented by a creationist geologist is enough to demolish the “polystrate fossil trees” part of their presentation. “Polystrate fossil trees” are probably one of the weakest pieces of evidence YEGF creationists can offer for their interpretation. I wish they would stop using it.

Of course he wishes we would stop using it. They cannot defend against it. The only friend to evolution is the people who blindly accept the propaganda. Critical thinking is not welcomed. While evolution clings to the 1800s, modern science continues to confirm the Bible and evolution must tap-dance around observable science.

Eddie Snipes
2001

A Response to my article ‘Polystrate Trees’

I recently received an email from someone who claimed to be the author of the article I rebutted on Polystrate Trees found on Talk Origins website. Given the detail of the email, I don’t doubt that it is from the author, but I don’t have any way to verify the email address. I get countless critical emails that dispute various pages on my website. This one was particularly interesting, so I am going to post the letter and rebut it here. My response will be boxed in to avoid confusion. For the sake of readability, I am posting Andrew MacRae’s response at the point where he begins to address the three questions I posed.

——

I don’t care if critics “comply”, I would like them to
research the question more thoroughly before assuming (wrongly)
that conventional scientists “can’t come up with a reasonable
explanation”. Such a claim has been so wrong for so long, it is
amazing that it can be made so frequently as if it were true.
That scientists did provide good explanations, more than 100 years
ago, is a demonstration of how poorly the
question was researched before some people came to the erroneous
conclusion or speculation that such explanations do not exist.

(My article quoted) “Dawson goes on to explain that polystrate trees begin by a rapid
deposit of sediment (from a flood) and continue to build up
over thousands of years.”

Yes, a major river flood, like you might see on the Mississippi River
every few years. There is nothing more dramatic implied by the
evidence at Joggins.

(My article quoted these questions)
How did the tree survive during multiple catastrophes
without rotting or being knocked down?
How can anyone reasonably believe that a tree could
stand for the length of time it takes to build up the
additional layers?
How can a tree representing a short life span
(on evolution’s geological time scale) stand erect
through geological layers representing millions and
often hundreds of millions of years?”

It does explain the basic point of confusion in many “young Earth”
creationist claims about polystrate trees and other types of fossils,
but it does so rather tersely. In the FAQ, I need to
explain the source of the confusion better, and why the
supposed problem does not apply.
I will do so here, by addressing your 3 questions:

1) How did the tree survive during multiple catastrophes without
rotting or being knocked down?

Trees commonly remain upright during multiple river floods,
season after season, year after year. Some trees (such as the
modern bald cypress) are tolerant of immersion in water, and
will survive floods commonly. Even if trees are killed by immersion
during the period of a river flood (weeks or months), the tree does
not rot away or fall over as promptly as is commonly thought. Trees
often survive upright, after death, for years or decades. Some
are known to have remained upright for at least a century after death.
For example, there are trees standing upright in Reelfoot Lake
in Tennessee that were submerged by an earthquake that happened in
the 1800s. Some were killed by the water, others have survived.
There is also ample evidence in the fossil record that trees
did rot and fall down, and these are often more common than the
ones that remained upright.

The problem is that a thousand years is not enough time for these trees to be covered and fossilize. Being covered with debris is not enough. How the tree is covered is only half of the problem. The tree must be covered by multiple layers of sediment and survive through many flood events in order to fit the evolution belief. Even if you can satisfy this problem (which you cannot), you still must fossilize the fossil before it rots. Burying a tree upright or horizontally does not prevent it from rotting. The conditions for fossilization must also be present. A buried tree will rot.

I will give Andrew the argument that on rare conditions, a tree may miraculously stand 100 years after death, but that does not help the evolution position. But consider the double talk of this argument. For a dead tree to survive for 100 years without rotting, it must be a non-eventful century. Water increases decay and a flood would highly increase the chances of the tree collapsing. However, if there is not major flooding, the tree can’t be buried. In this argument is an illusion of facts. The fact that a tree can survive for 100 years after death if conditions are right is presented to prove the trees survival is possible. Then gradual sedimentation is given to show that a gradual build up is possible. Both are presented as evidence, however, only one or the other can apply. Even so, a hundred years does not fit evolution or creation arguments.

Any walk in the woods brings this argument into question. Polystrate trees have roots in place and fossilized with the tree. The top of the tree rots over a short period of time even if it stands upright. The base of the tree and roots quickly decay. Even when we find trees slowly being covered in sediment, we don’t see fossilization, but we do see decay.

2) How can anyone reasonably believe that a tree could stand for
the length of time it takes to build up the additional layers?

There are two components to this question: a) how long a
tree can stand upright while being buried (whether dead or alive),
and b) how long sedimentary layers take to build up.
A tree that remains standing for decades to centuries (whether
dead for that whole period or alive) would have ample time for meters
of sediment to accumulate on a river floodplain or a coastline, if
sedimentation conditions are suitable. A single river flood
can deposit tens of centimeters to meters of sediment. Granted,
only selected environments have sufficiently high depositional
rates to realistically bury trees to meters depth in under a
few centuries, but they are not rare, and trees are commonly found
there (e.g., river deltas and floodplains are). As mentioned above,
trees can remain upright for longer than people commonly think.

I have to disagree with the ‘rewording’ of the question. It would be better to ask if science can observe buried trees that slowly fossilize?
-and-
Do we see trees buried in flooding that do not rot?

Keep in mind that fossils in the geological column date the layers. If we shorten the time frame that these trees are buried, we also must shorten the ages of the fossils found in the layers. The crux of the argument is that the layers represent hundreds of thousands of years and up to millions of years depending on the fossils found. The trees growing through the layers disrupts the neat package that evolutionist are trying to present.

I will be more than happy to agree with Andrew that these trees survived for a thousand years while sediment built up if he and other evolutionists will be consistent and date the fossils in the same age range as the trees. If the tree is 1,000 years old, the fossils on the bottom layers can only be 1,000 years older or less than the fossils in the top layer. We know for a fact that evolutionists cannot agree with this assumption. This leaves a problem. Either the tree is millions of years old and miraculously stood through millions of years of flooding, or the fossils are not millions of years old. As you can see, both disagree with evolution. Therefore, it is necessary to craft any argument to avoid either of these to conclusions. Even so, one or the other must be true.

3) How can a tree representing a short life span (on evolution’s
geological time scale) stand erect through geological layers
representing millions and often hundreds of millions of years?”

Most commonly, the misconception develops because
it is assumed that if geologists claim a formation 1000 meters
thick took 100 million years to deposit, therefore every
meter of it (such as the meters that may be piled up around a tree)
took 100000 years to form, and every centimeter took a thousand
years. Such an assumption will be spectacularly wrong in any
environment where the depositional rate varies greatly. In the
deep ocean, it might be reasonable, but on a river floodplain,
it is wrong in the extreme. A soil horizon a few centimeters
thick may have taken thousands of years to form, a river
channel sandstone meters thick might have been deposited in a
few weeks at that spot, and the bottom of the river channel
commonly erodes away sediments that were deposited previously
(creating a gap).

I consider this to be evolutionary double-talk. When it supports evolution, they claim that each layer takes (x) number of years to form. When it contradicts evolution, then what is observed is not necessarily accurate. However, the real problem is not in how long it takes for layers of sediment to form. The problem is the ages that evolution places on the fossils in the layers of sediment. If the fossils in the lower layers are millions of years older than the fossils in the upper layers and the tree stands through each of these layers, there is no reasonable explanation. Evolutionists claim this is a ‘non-problem’, but in reality it is a big problem. The only safe position to take is to ignore the facts. Just write it off as a misunderstanding and claim the issue is resolved.

“This is not a problem for evolution? Regardless of how you slice
it, the tree had to stand erect without rotting, falling or being
knocked down for millions of years.”

Yes, it is not a “problem for evolution”. It is a “young Earth”
creationist problem to understand what normally happens in
areas of river sedimentation in modern times, and how conventional
geologists really apply that to the ancient record. As it turns out,
the 19th-century explanations are much more readable than the
present-day technical literature, which is the other reason I
recommend Dawson.

“The article claims that we see examples of polystrate trees today.”

Yes. For example, there are the upright trees being buried in Reelfoot
Lake, Tennessee, that I mentioned above. There are some really nice
examples from Washington State and Alaska that are being buried in
tidal marshes. Near Joggins, at a place called Amherst, Nova Scotia,
there are trees, several meters tall, that have been standing upright
and dead for decades to centuries, and which are currently buried
by at least 30cm of tidal muds (refer to:
http://sts.gsc.nrcan.gc.ca/page1/landf/atlantic/nova/ns_fundy/subm_fo.htm).
Practically everywhere that trees occur and there
is significant, ongoing deposition of sediments, it is possible to
find examples of them being buried. It is harder to find the data/
necessary to figure out how long the process is taking, but there
are examples where periods of decades or centuries of burial can
be documented.

This is misleading at best. A polystrate tree is a tree that is fossilized through multiple geological layers of strata. This is a solid fossil in solid layers of rock. We do not see this today. We see living trees that have sediment built up around them, but they are not fossils. Nor will they fossilize. As I stated earlier, there is more to creating a fossil than burying a tree. Upright or laying down, the tree will rot unless there are conditions present that cause fossilization. A partially buried living tree is not a polystrate tree. A partially buried or completely buried dead tree is not a polystrate tree. These trees will rot under natural conditions.

Let’s look at the website referenced above as evidence: http://sts.gsc.nrcan.gc.ca/page1/landf/atlantic/nova/ns_fundy/subm_fo.htm 

Bay of Fundy

Tidal marsh encroaching on forest, Amherst Marsh, NS.

Sea level is rising slowly causing the tidal salt marshes to build up and advance onto the land surface. Here the salt meadows are invading a forest. Dating of the trees at the base of the marsh shows that tide level is rising about 30 cm (1 foot) per century; the outermost tree is 1000 years old and is buried by 1 meter of peat.

———–

How does this prove the evolutionary argument that polystrate trees are gradually covered and happening today? 1 meter of peat over a 1000 year period does not help the evolution argument at all. Peat is a very light soil and very organic. This is hardly suitable for fossilization. This is an amazing tree that can live for 1000 years, but once it does die, it will decay unless a catastrophic event occurs that allows the tree to fossilize. Polystrate trees are not buried in peat. A half-buried living tree is not a polystrate tree. These trees growing in peat will not become polystrate trees nor are there polystrate tree fossils found in the areas that have trees growing. Once they die, they will return to the soil as have all the other trees in these types of areas.

The bottom line is that you will believe what you want to believe. The evidence does not support evolution. Evolutionists do craft arguments that sound plausible until you actually look at what is being said. Once the facts are compared to the explanation, evolution falls short every time. However, out of a desire for evolution to be true, many will chose to believe it in spite of its lacking foundation.

Eddie Snipes
2002