Showing posts from July, 2018

Continuing the baraminology panel discussion

Today at the ICC, we had a panel discussion on created kinds with Kurt Wise, Jean Lightner, and me.  It went really well, and I really, really enjoyed all the good questions from the audience.  Thankfully, the panel's moderator required all questions to be submitted on paper, and after the panel was over, I pocketed the stack of unanswered questions.  So here are my answers.

Question: Is the current baraminological understanding consistent with the Levitical Laws?  I wonder, if, as Prof. K. Wise said, baraminology has the potential to offer a window into the way God thinks in the prescribed Mosaic laws.

Interesting question.  I'm not sure what the answer would be.  My crude suspicion is that there isn't much direct correlation yet, partly because we haven't focused too carefully on the animals mentioned there and partly because we don't always know what animals those Hebrew words refer to.

It's also an interesting question when thinking about Noah taking clean …

Creationists at the International Conference on Creationism admit feathered dinosaurs exist, so evolution is true!

So there's a new paper on feathered dinosaurs just presented at the ICC here in Pittsburgh, and I'm literally sitting in the audience as I write this.  I had nothing to do with the writing of the paper, so this is an independent perspective.  One point of the paper was that feathered dinosaurs exist, which I've known for a long time.  No surprises there.

During the Q&A, there was a question about what this talk will mean for publicity and media.  What will happen if the headlines read, "Creationists at the International Conference on Creationism admit feathered dinosaurs exist, so evolution is true!"  Here's one thought about that: Admitting reality is never, ever bad.  Never.  Denying reality is very, very bad.  We have more than enough evidence that there are feathered dinosaurs.  More than enough.  There's no legitimate reason to doubt the existence of feathered dinosaurs.

Beyond that, drawing the conclusion that evolution is true because feathere…

Origins 2018 and ICC updates

The Origins 2018 schedule has been posted at the conference website.  There are still tickets left if you're interested in attending.  Get them while you can!
The ICC schedule has been updated, and I also updated my downloadable version.  Be sure to get the latest version if you want to use it to plan your conference experience.  I'd especially like to draw your attention to the great set of baraminology talks at this year's ICC, with which I am quite delighted: Monday, 8:00 am, Room D: A Survey of Cenozoic Mammal Baramins, Thompson and WoodMonday, 10:30 am, Room D: Feathered Dinosaurs Reconsidered: New Insights from Baraminology and Ethnotaxonomy, McLain, Petrone, and SpeightsMonday, 1:00 pm, Room E: The CRS eKINDS Research Initiative, Lightner and AndersonTuesday, 8:00 am, Room C: Baraminological Analysis of Devonian and Carboniferous Tetrapodomorphs, Garner and AsherWednesday, 10:30 am, Room C: The Dinosauria: Baraminological and Multivariate Patterns, Doran, McLain, Yo…

Ewert's dependency graph paper

The ID journal Bio-Complexity recently published a paper from Winston Ewert on one of my favorite topics, the pattern of life.  By "pattern of life," I mean the pattern that the similarities of organisms forms, a pattern that an evolutionary biologist would say is an evolutionary tree.  I've been interested in this subject for more than 20 years, and I've conducted at least three substantial research projects trying to understand it.  I have yet to publish this work, mostly because I've been dissatisfied with the projects.  I keep finding complications that cause me to reconsider the hypotheses that I'm testing.  In other words, I haven't yet figured out how to really tackle what appears to be a largely intuitive problem.

So Ewert's paper just came out, and people are excited about it.  I've gotten several emails asking about it, and I have to say that it is definitely the most interesting paper I've seen in Bio-Complexity in a long time.  At…

Neandertal fire at Human Genesis

What's this shocking development?  My Human Genesis website updated for the first time in two years?

Yes, it's true, my friends.  Human Genesis is back.  If you're wondering about the latest headlines on Neandertal fire, check out my commentary over there!

Ancient Fire
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Recent headlines in hominin origins

It seems like forever since I started writing The Quest and put off blogging, and in that time, a couple of mildly interesting research on human "evolution" have appeared.  So let's see what we have.

First up, Aurore Val and colleagues have a paper on the deposition of the Australopithecus sediba fossils at the Malapa site.  Nothing earth shattering here, but it's an interesting study.  Like the Homo naledi fossils, the fossils show no evidence of predator or scavenger damage.  Val and colleagues propose that the bodies had partially mummified when they were washed into their final resting place.

Next, DeSilva and colleagues have a new paper on the Dikika juvenile, Selam (above), originally discovered back in 2000.  It's a magnificent fossil with a number of traits that are intermediate between living humans and apes.  The authors suggest that A. afarensis might have retained some climbing ability even though they could walk erect like we do.  Yet more evidence …

What I do with my summer vacation?

Due to my part-time job as a teacher, I am regularly asked what I do on my summer vacation.  It always amuses me, because I guess people think teachers sleep in, watch TV, and generally lollygag their summers away.  So it's been a while since I posted here, and this seems as good a time as any to answer that question.  What do I do with my summer vacation?

Short answer: I work.  A lot.  I catch up on all the stuff I can't get done during the school year while I'm teaching.  A typical summer includes travel (professional and personal), conferences, lots of writing, and some organizational brainstorming.  Here's my latest summer:

As soon as school let out, my wife and I drove to Grand Canyon and did some filming.  It was a long drive.  We also stopped to pick up a substantial library donation in Arkansas on the way back.

After that trip, I spent most of my time working on my new book, The Quest: Exploring Creation's Hardest Problems.  (Thus, I have not taken much ti…