Tuesday, December 27, 2016

My Top Twelve Science & Creation Stories of 2016, Part 2

In my previous post, I revealed the first part of my top twelve science and creation stories of 2016.  Here, we'll look at the next four items.

Back in 2005, the Biologic Institute was formed as a research organization to explore intelligent design, the idea that life's complexity can best be understood as the result of intentional design.  Biologic's director is Doug Axe, a 1990 graduate of the California Institute of Technology.  He and his colleagues have been doing research on protein function, and this book Undeniable: How Biology Confirms Our Intuition That Life Is Designed (from HarperOne) describes in general terms how that research relates to the basic intuition that living things are designed.  I haven't always had positive things to say about intelligent design in the past, but I have to admit that they genuinely want to do research, which is commendable.  I also think it's fascinating that the Amazon reviews of the book have very few one-star reviews compared to ID books of the past.  Are critics just getting tired of hearing about ID?  Or is this book better than most?  Click below to get your own copy and find out!

John Baumgardner's Flood modeling and the larger Catastrophic Plate Tectonics model was a big deal in my development as a creationist.  The original ICC paper from the CPT team was the first time I had seen creationists trying to develop a scientific model to explain global features of geology.  (It probably wasn't the first time creationists had tried to create a model, but it was the first one that really grabbed me.)  Previously, Baumgardner's work focused on the continental plates and their motion, but in this new paper, he extends his modeling to the water and erosion of the Flood.  His new results include tsunami formation and massive erosion and deposition.  It's well worth checking out, and it's free to read in ARJ:

Baumgardner. 2016. Numerical modeling of the large-scale erosion, sediment transport, and deposition processes of the Genesis Flood. ARJ 9:1-24.

So I cheated with this one because there were many different stories from the solar system worth talking about from 2016.  Continuing its mission from last summer, the New Horizons probe spent a big chunk of the year finishing the download of data from its historic flyby of Pluto.  During the summer, an extension of its mission was approved, sending New Horizons to another transneptunian object called "2014 Mu69" in 2019.  Also in 2016, NASA's Juno probe entered orbit around Jupiter, and the ESA's ExoMars lander apparently crashed on the red planet.  It wasn't all failure for the ESA though, as they rediscovered the Philae lander on the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko after a two-year search.  The solar system continues to amaze and delight those who diligently seek the wonders of God's creation!

I know, I know, Homo naledi was initially announced in 2015 not 2016.  That's true, but the creationist response in the Journal of Creation Theology and Science really was a somewhat unique event in the history of creationism.  Usually creationists get one person to write a single response to big research news, but this time, we put together a special issue of papers related to human origins and especially to Homo naledi.  You can read all about it in my blog post from May 9 of this year.  We definitely haven't heard the last of Homo naledi.  There are new papers appearing now on the details of its anatomy, and new excavations are underway in South Africa.  Who knows what the future will hold?

In the next part of this series, I'll finish up with my top four science and creation stories of 2016.

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