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Showing posts from January, 2013

Were there tapeworms before the Flood?

There's a fascinating new paper in PLoS One this week on shark poop.  (Yes, this is another poop post.)  A group of researchers mostly based in Brazil report the discovery of tapeworm eggs in fossilized shark dung (called a coprolite).  You might recall that tapeworms are those little flatworms with a tiny, hooked scolex at one end and what appear to be little square segments extending the length of their bodies.  Tapeworms use their scolex to burrow into the intestinal wall of their host, where they absorb nutrients from the food the host eats and spew out eggs in the host's feces.  Such a lovely lifestyle.

As you might imagine, being infected with a tapeworm isn't very pleasant.  For the creationist, then, we wonder when these tapeworms came to be?  Were they always parasitic like this?  Were they created during creation week?  Or at the Fall?  Were there tapeworms on the Ark?  Were some of the animals or maybe even Noah himself infected?

I don't think we can answer …

CORE questions and answers

I'm getting a lot of questions about CORE and its future, and I want to clarify some things.  Obviously, I can't tell you everything right now, but I'll share what I can.

Why in the world would Bryan drop the Center for Origins Research?  This is a common reaction, and I understand the frustration (believe me, I understand the frustration).  It would be very easy for me to give in to bitterness and question the wisdom of the Bryan administration, but I am not a college administrator.  I only have a small tidbit of the college to worry about.  The administration is responsible for the well-being of the entire school and hundreds of jobs.  Given the strict stance on budget deficits by the college's accrediting agency, Bryan doesn't have the "luxury" of raising the debt ceiling.  If Bryan doesn't meet budget, it risks losing accreditation, which effectively means the end of the college.  In that position, if I were the president of the college, I would pr…

Darwin and Lady Hope

I just received the latest issue of the British Evangelical Times, in which I have a book review of the new Darwin and Lady Hope, written by L.R. Croft.  I could tell you all about it, but you can read my entire review online right here:

Darwin and Lady Hope book review

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

The future of CORE

On January 11, 2013, I had a meeting with Stephen Livesay, president of Bryan College.  He informed me that due to a significant budget shortfall, the college would be discontinuing support for the Center for Origins Research effective June 30.  He has offered to continue housing the CORE facilities, but there will no longer be any salary support for CORE faculty or staff.  Since we have very little regular donation support, his decision basically means the end of CORE as we know it.  You can read the official college statement on this closing at their website.

I have long known that CORE is a luxury for a small, Christian college.  In fact, every time I described my job, people were always shocked to hear that an undergraduate institution like Bryan employed faculty to do research (my teaching load is a quarter of a standard teaching load).  I also long feared that financial hardship would spell the end of CORE, since luxuries are always the first to be cut from a budget.  Given Dr. …

The Poop

I admit that sometimes I get pretty excited about weird things, and people look at me funny.  That's cool.  There's no accounting for taste, right?  But when I say that the paper I'm about to describe is FASCINATING, I hope you'll bear with me and perhaps even share my excitement.  Because this paper really is awesome.

A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine describes the results of human fecal transplants.  Yes, you read that right, fecal transplants.  As in, taking someone's poop and putting it in someone else's intestine.  That kind of fecal transplant.  The LA Times describes it this way:
The remedy was made by combining freshly excreted stool from a healthy donor with a pint of lightly salted water. After stirring and straining, the concoction was delivered through a nasal tube that snaked down to the first section of the small intestine, bypassing any opportunity for patients to taste or smell the solution. Why in the world would some…

Please stop re-inventing the wheel

I would like to draw your attention to an interesting letter in the latest CRSQ.  A couple issues back, CRSQ published an article by Bill Johnson titled "Biogeography: a creationist perspective," in which the author failed to cite a number of pertinent creationist writings on biogeography but nevertheless lamented that "creationists have largely remained silent on the issue."  In general, I found the article to be poorly written, overly basic, but especially unhelpful because Johnson seemed to be unaware of what creationists had actually written on biogeography.

On p. 158 of the newest issue of CRSQ, Carl Froede takes him to task for the omission of these citations.  After citing NINE creationist articles on biogeography absent from Johnson's citations, Froede wrote,
If we, as young-earth creationists, are unwilling to do the literature research and investigate the earlier work that is directly related to our subject matter (even when we are in disagreement wit…

Back in the saddle and an eye-opening Answers mag

Happy new year, everybody!  I've been unplugged for the past three weeks, so my calendrical greeting is past its sell-by date, but what the hey.  I just love January.  My teaching semester is over, my creative juices are at their highest point in the year, I've got a giant research to-do list, and I'm refreshed from my holiday break.  And this year is extra special, since I didn't get burned up in the Mayan apocalypse!  How great is that?

I've got a number of articles I want to discuss over the next few weeks (catch-up again), but there was a real eye-opener in Answers magazine that I wanted to point out ASAP.  You might recall my brief foray into human baraminology, wherein I proposed that Australopithecus sediba (and Homo habilis and Homo rudolfensis) was a human descendant of Adam and Eve.  That proposal was met with a lot of scorn, and rebuttals were quickly issued.  I'm kind of in the dog house with a lot of creationists over this, and that seems like a re…

Tour the Smokies with CORE!

UPDATE:  Unfortunately, due to the imminent closing of CORE, our tour of the Smokies is cancelled.  Refunds will be issued for those who already signed up, and no new registrations will be accepted.  We apologize for the inconvenience.

Last year, I organized a tour of the Shenandoah National Park for the annual CBS conference, and that tour turned out to be a great success!  I had such a good time doing it, I decided to try it again this year.  In May, the Center for Origins Research will be offering a one-day bus tour of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Here's the official tour description:
The Bryan College Creation Tour will be a unique time to see the Smoky Mountains through the lens of Biblical creationism. The tour will be led by Todd Wood and Roger Sanders, both faculty of the Bryan College Center for Origins Research.  Dr. Wood has spent 12 years researching creationist biology, and Dr. Sanders has a vast experience in botany and ecology research. 

These experts wil…