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Showing posts from February, 2012

Church fathers on the Flood

We hear a lot about what the Church fathers did (or did not) believe about the days of creation. Plenty - PLENTY - of people want us to think that creationism is some twentieth (or nineteenth) century theological abnormality, but that's simply not true. The majority of the church fathers would view the history of the earth in accord with the history recorded in the early chapters of Genesis, as a modern young-earth creationist would. Even though the fathers' view of creation is the focus of most modern scholars' debates, the fathers also had opinions about the global Flood, which I think is at least as important as what they believed about creation. On the CMI website, Paul Garner's got a new article on the church fathers and their views of the Flood. Not surprisingly, he concludes that the fathers explicitly favored a global Flood. It's interesting reading, and I recommend it.

The Church Fathers on the Genesis Flood

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Publication controversy

This post is likely going to tick off everybody. You've been warned.

Some of you might recall the interesting furor that arose after a paper published in Science claimed that researchers at NASA found a bacterium that could substitute arsenic for phosphorus in its DNA. I mentioned it briefly here and here. One of the major critics of the paper was microbiologist Rosie Redfield, who also happens to be an advocate of "open research," wherein the public (including other scientists) are free to make comments and/or criticisms of her work while she's doing it. Accordingly, she recently posted her formal critique of the work to the arXiv.org website and invited an open peer review of the manuscript on her blog.

The latest Genome Technology has an interview with Redfield, and this bit caught my eye:
GT: Why refute the paper so publicly?

RR: It was this sense of outrage. As one of the thousands and thousands of scientists who would love to get a paper published into the …

Itty bitty chameleons

Image
This is old news, but it's still cool. Check out this itty bitty chameleon discovered recently in Madagascar.


(Photo from PLoS ONE)

I don't know that this has much to do with creation/evolution, but they're itty bitty! I'm amazed that a vertebrate can get that small. Check out the full story at PLoS ONE:

Glaw et al. 2012. Rivaling the World's Smallest Reptiles: Discovery of Miniaturized and Microendemic New Species of Leaf Chameleons (Brookesia) from Northern Madagascar. PLoS ONE 7(2):e31314.

Feedback? Email me at toddcharleswood [at] gmail [dot] com.

What is a pathogen?

I have been quite interested for some time in the nature and origin of pathogens. For a creationist who believes the original creation was benign and absent of animal and human death and suffering, pathogens have always struck me as a difficult topic. Put in more crass terms, if God is so good, why is there anthrax, AIDS or the flu?

Creationists have emphasized the idea of degeneration to explain pathogens, but that only carries you so far. It turns out that the nature of pathogens and pathology is quite a bit more complicated than what we might expect at first glance. What hasn't been nearly as emphasized in the creationist literature is the idea that the host is at least as much to blame as the "pathogen" for the origin of disease, but surely that seems like an obvious place to look for problems.

That's why I was intrigued by an interesting new Q&A essay from Pirofski and Casadevall in BMC Biology. They downplay the very idea of "pathogen" or &qu…

CBS elects new executive editor

Times are changing, and so is the Creation Biology Society. Recently, our long-time treasurer Tim Brophy resigned his position to pursue other callings in his personal life. At the same time, our long-time editor Roger Sanders has taken on additional responsibilities at Bryan College, and he was also looking for relief from his editorial duties. As a result, the Executive Council of the Creation Biology Society elected Roger as the new treasurer and Joe Francis of The Master's College as executive editor. Roger served faithfully as our editor for ten years, and we definitely want to thank him for his service to the CBS.

Remember also that abstracts for Origins 2012, to be held on the campus of Patrick Henry College, are due April 1, 2012. Godspeed to Joe Francis, who will be overseeing the editing of all of these abstracts this year!

Call for Abstracts
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Welcome!

Just got back from California, and I'm really kind of exhausted. I had a nice time touring some interesting places, and the 18th Annual Creation Symposium at Master's College was splendid. I'd like to extend a welcome to anyone I met there who might be checking out my blog.

Regular readers will note that this post breaks a nearly three-week silence. I'm not sure how to explain my absence, because I'm not sure I understand it myself. It's not that I have nothing to post about. I've seen a number of interesting papers that warrant comment. I'm also not too busy. I do have a lot on my plate right now, but I've just been oddly reticent to post. Not sure why. I think things will change in the near future. My little holiday in California was rejuvenating.

In any event, I have to run to a faculty meeting, so check back tomorrow for an important announcement.

Feedback? Email me at toddcharleswood [at] gmail [dot] com.