The Precambrian: Part 1 of 3
This first section of a 3 parts series on the Precambrian summarizes the standard model for formation of the Universe, Solar System and Earth, Moon, oceans, continents, and plate tectonics. Brief references to the Universe, Sun, and Moon are included because what happens beyond Earth sets the stage for what happens on Earth during the Precambrian and in the Genesis 1 account.
What Is Biology? Part 4 of 4
There is no simple clear definition of what life is. This is appropriate as life is a wonderful, complex, beautiful, enigmatic phenomenon that defies any effort to over-simplify it. Still, most people have no difficulty recognizing living things and differentiating them from non-living things.
What Is Biology? Part 3 of 4
The scientific method uses inductive reasoning to generate theories that explain data. Deductive reasoning is used to generate testable hypotheses that must be true if a theory is true. When the hypothesis is tested, it may fit well with the new data generated, thus supporting the theory (but not proving it true). If the hypothesis is inconsistent with data, then the theory is inconsistent with data…
What Is Biology? Part 2 of 4
There are still some rules that we have to follow if we are to do any science, including biology. The first is that empirical data is the authoritative test of all ideas in science.
What Is Biology? Part 1 of 4
Biology is the scientific study of life. But what is “science?” And what is “life?” Most of us use these words all the time and have a general idea of what we mean by them, however, it is common for scientists themselves to not have a clear understanding of what science is and this is not as surprising as it sounds. Philosophers of science struggle to define their own area of study, with different…
Mineralogy: A World of Law and Beauty
This article provides an introduction to mineralogy and outline the different mineral categories, discusses some interesting features about minerals, describes the formation of minerals in different environments, and mentions some minerals referenced in the Bible.
Is Homo naledi Your “Relative,” “Ancestor,” or “Part of the Human Family Tree”?
The aim of this article is to use the example of Homo naledi to illustrate the distinction between data and interpretations, and to discuss some of the questions a biblical creationist might have in relation to this new discovery.
Conserving Island Earth
The world must have seemed like a big place to Helga Estby, a Norwegian woman who walked across America in the year 1896. Helga immigrated to the United States with her parents in 1871 at the age of 11. On May 5, 1896, at the age of nearly 36, Helga and her 18 year old daughter Clara set out to walk across the United States. They started from Mica Creek, in far eastern Washington state, and walked…
Patterns in the Fossil Record, Part 2
A general note of caution is necessary in the discussion of patterns in the fossil record. As with many other aspects of the natural world, the complexity that we find in this field of study tends to transcend our idealized categorizations.
Patterns in the Fossil Record, Part 1
Fossils are remains of organisms or traces of their activity preserved in the rock record. The scientific significance of fossils is truly remarkable, because they represent the only available archive of past forms of life. Through fossils, not only can we reconstruct the morphology of extinct creatures but also infer aspects of their ecology and environment. Fossils are also very relevant in discussions…
Teeming Creatures of the Sea!
The number of different kinds of living organisms is one measure of biological diversity, or what has become known as “biodiversity.” Our world’s oceans have the highest known biodiversity, second only to the number of species found in the tropical rainforest.
The True Colors of the Ocean
Have you ever snorkeled or scuba dove in a coral reef? If you have, and I asked you to describe the experience in less than five words, I bet your answer would be an explosion of color. Well, maybe you would express it slightly differently, but I am sure that you would include the word color in your description. Coral reefs are one of the most colorful spectacles of nature; electric blues, vivid yellows,…
Playing the Game of Science by the Rules
Suppose we consider science to be a game. What are the rules of the game, and what difference would this approach make? Published in Origins, v. 64.
Worldviews and Predictions in the Scientific Study of Origins
However one defines the scientific method, the role of predictions is of significance. A researcher, from his/her knowledge of a topic, makes a prediction of a phenomenon to be found or verified by future research. Published in Origins, v. 64.
Naturalism: Its Role in Science
The philosophy of Naturalism dominates scientific thinking, for reasons that can be understood from review of the history of scientific thought. This article evaluates the nature and implications of Naturalism. Published in Origins, v. 6424
Annotations from the Literature
A collection of short commentaries on scientific papers published in 2015, covering topics such as phylogeny of moths, beak variations in species of Galapagos finches and scrub jays, functional synthetic chromosomes, horizontal gene transfer, Jurassic fossil snakes, stasis, trace fossils of swimming tetrapods, and habitat diversity in the fossil record. Published in Origins, v. 64.
Some Implications of Biological Information
A review of the book "Biological Information: New Perspectives," originally published in Origins, v. 64.
The Cambrian Explosion
Texbooks describe the fossil record as the ‘best evidence’ for evolution. They claim that the fossil record proves evolution because there seems to be a succession from simpler to more complex life forms, and a succession from marine to terrestrial forms. Charles Darwin suggested that all life has a common ancestor. “All the organic beings which have ever lived on this earth may be descended from some…
Red in Tooth and Claw
During 1833, Arthur Henry Hallam died suddenly and unexpectedly. This would be one of those sad but unremarkable facts of history were it not for his close friendship with Alfred Lord Tennyson. Tennyson spent the next 17 years struggling with the death of his friend. During this time, Tennyson composed “In Memoriam,” a long poem that wrestles with the shock, sadness and despair he experienced and his…
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