Wonders of Creation

Islam is a religion with many adherents, and many intelligent, educated people believe in the teachings of the Koran. In a similar way many intelligent, educated people believe in the altered Bible of the Jehovah's Witnesses. The same can be said of followers of Buddha and his collected sayings, Mary baker Eddy and her own ?Bible, the Mormons and their leader's books and so on. Every religion has a body of beliefs which are either contained in some sort of text for transmission to new converts.

Obviously, the fact that a person is intelligent and educated gives us no assurance that what they believe is reliable truth.

Christianity shares some things in common with all the religions of the world, but also stands in stark contrast to all of them. Only Christianity, for example, teaches that Jesus is God the Son. Only Christianity holds Jesus up as the one and only Saviour of the world. But despite this exclusivity, religions other than Christianity have much appeal, and satisfy, to a certain extent, the spiritual hunger within people's hearts.

Dr David Catchpoole, plant physiologist and science educator, has made some careful comparisons between the Bible and the Koran. Comparing the accounts of creation he noticed the following differences:

The Koran says Man was created . . .
National Radio (24th March 2005) ran a debate between David Penny an evolutionist, and Adrian Bates a creationist, in which both men were allowed a little time to present their case. Adrian went first, and spoke meekly but accurately, defending the Bible point of view and keeping within the limits of the debate theme.

David however had no interest in being objective. His opening words were prefaced with a laugh of mockery, and from there on he attacked Mr. Bates with personal slights, ridiculed the Bible and the God of the Bible, cast aspersions at Christians in general, and turned the debate into a grandstand for his atheistic opinions. He repeatedly cut in and drowned Adrian out, dominating at least two thirds of the allotted interview time with his opinions, which stretched far and wide. Intelligent listeners would have been struck by the radically different styles of the two men.

David raised two main points, on which he rested his belief in an ancient Earth: ice core samples and tree rings. Ironically, these two supposed evidences for an ancient Earth are actually very good evidences for the very opposite.

It was claimed by David that the "annual rings" in the ice core samples, taken in the north polar regions, prove that the ice is . . .
A stalactite grows downwards from the roof of a cave, and a stalagmite grows upwards from the floor. They are formed slowly, drip by drip, as dissolved calcite is brought down by water. When the water is exposed to air, carbon dioxide in the water is lost, which means the water cannot carry as much calcite, and a few grains are left behind as a deposit. Gradually, grain by grain, the calcite forms a solid column, curtain, terrace or straw-shape.
When the drop falls it leaves a little more calcite behind and this begins to form the columns, pans, saucers and other shapes which grow upwards.

The standard text book will tell you that most of the really large formations are many thousands or even millions of years old. This dating is based on two things: the speed at which the columns are growing today, and the assumption that the columns are very old. There are two problems with these points of view. Firstly, present rates of column growth are not proof that speeds were the same in the past, and secondly, it is not scientific to give dates based on assumptions. Good science works on measurable things, observed things, not assumptions.

It is interesting that stalactites and stalagmites usually form in or under deposits of limestone. What is limestone? The encyclopedia says, "Sedimentary rock composed chiefly of calcium carbonate, derived from the shells of marine organisms." Also note that marble is limestone that has been . . .
When you buy a new packet of rubber bands they are usually dry, stretchy and you expect them to last a few weeks, even out in the weather, but after some time the rubber changes. It loses its stretch and it cracks, and eventually becomes sticky and useless. Why is this?

Natural rubber, or latex, is a gooey, sticky fluid. But when some chemicals are added it becomes tougher and stronger. It is made of polyisoprene chains, which slip past each other when they are stretched, and the great thing about rubber is its resistance to change. It can return to its original state when the tension is released.

Man's ingenuity has found that the addition of sulphur, which creates cross-links between the chains, turns a useless product into a useful one, but when rubber is exposed to sunlight, the ultraviolet reacts with oxygen and snips the polyisoprene chains into shorter and shorter segments, until it returns to a state similar to its original. Meanwhile, the molecules of short segments form new cross-links and alter the structure of the runner. It becomes brittle and harder.

Rubber may also contain fillers, dyes and . . .
There are many examples in Nature, of large organisms needing very small organisms to survive. Whales need krill, for example; yucca plants need the tiny grubs of yucca moths. Some spiny trees need ants for protection. Large flowers need small flies for pollination. Humans need microscopic bacteria in their gut to be healthy. Perhaps this balance between the large relying on the comparatively insignificant is an object lesson from God? Never overlook the value of small things.

Another case in point is the douc langurs, the world's most endangered primates in the world. Whenever they are captured and kept in the best of environments, they have always languished, or done poorly. The problem is always the same: digestive disorders, and frequent episodes of vomiting. The most likely suspect is the lack of some microbe missing from the langur's gut - a bacteria it always manages to obtain when it is in the wild.

Research to find the microbe which will cure the douc langur continues, but the whole subject of interdependency has surfaced again, in the area of parasites. There is an incredibly rich field waiting to be studied, in the area of parasitical microbial diversity and symbiosis in and around endangered species. Which parasites do plants and animals need to stay healthy? There are lice which suck blood, and tapeworms that grow inside intestines, there are millions of . . .