Why we are here:

Our signature Bible passage, the prologue to John's Gospel, tells us that Jesus (the Logos) is God and Creator and that He came in the flesh (sarx) to redeem His fallen, sin-cursed creation—and especially those He chose to believe in Him.

Here in Bios & Logos we have some fun examining small corners of the creation to show how great a Creator Jesus is—and our need for Him as Redeemer. Soli Deo Gloria.


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Feathers are not frayed scales -- period -- end of story!

It has almost become the ruling paradigm that reptiles (dinosaurs, that is) evolved into birds -- in fact that birds are really merely highly evolved dinosaurs, flitting about and singing sweet dinosaur songs.

There are about a zillion reasons why this is a fantasy; and one, illustrated by our photos, is the difference between scales (here shown on a representative reptile -- couldn't seem to find a dinosaur to photograph) and bird feathers (here illustrated by the flank of a cooperative Canada Goose and a somewhat less cooperative Chickadee). I invite you to click on the photos (especially the bird photos) to see at least the superficial details of what makes feathers so special.

The story goes that scales somehow evolved into feathers -- that somehow scales became frayed and became feathers. This story is ridiculous at every level. The vast difference in complexity between the two types of structure should prove the obvious. While scales are formed as mere skin folds (which the snake in the photograph will periodically shed as one piece), feathers originate from follicles whose complexity is difficult to imagine -- with the ability to generate feathers whose complexity is even more difficult to imagine.

And what about those "feathered" dinosaurs dug up in China? They have generated as much controversity among ardent evolutionists as they have between evolutionists and creationists -- and not a small number of out-and-out fraudulent claims.

Of course, the scales vs. feathers difference between reptiles and birds is but one of the multitudinous reasons that the two life forms are of different created kinds. Believing otherwise is a matter of pure darwinian faith and has little to do with real scientific evidence.

If you've been drinking the darwinian Koolaid, it's time to switch from that unhealthful sugar water and start taking big gulps from God's inerrant communication to man -- starting from Genesis 1. Good reading!

Of course, listening to this 15-minute clip might be of value as well: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCiVaiv0HN0 

Soli Deo Gloria

Monday, July 12, 2010

No such thing as a good-for-nothing

Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese Knotweed) is one unpopular plant. It grows so fast that we, as kids, used to sit and think that we could actually see it growing before our eyes. It's an alien and it's invasive, so when it grows and spreads into huge stands (of huge plants), it crowds out smaller native species. And it's nearly impossible to eradicate, once it gets a foothold. So there is nothing much to like -- we might legitimately call it a "good-for-nothing."

The photos above show the leaves of P. cuspidatum and its unique, not too unattractive fruit. But what on Earth is that bottle of a popular dietary supplement doing here? What is the connection between Resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant and anti-aging compound usually assocated with red wine, and a nasty invasive weed?

The truth is that the knotweed plants have the talent for producing and concentrating resveratrol, primarily in their roots, at a concentration hundreds of times greater than any grape can possibly do. Hence, P. cuspidatum has become the primary commercial source of the supplement. It is certainly easy to grow year-round. Grape vines are seasonal and require lots of tender loving care. So the choice is an easy one.

Conclusion: there is really no such thing as a "good-for-nothing" plant. God has given us all things richly to enjoy." We just have to go looking for the good that exists even in the nastiest and most unpopular among us.

Of course, use, enjoy and misuse are all operative words here. Sinful man can always find ways to misuse even the most useful gifts of God. Maybe even grapes. Enough said--don't get me started on that subject.

Now I'll go pop a couple of Resveratrol capsules--maybe I can save my telomeres yet. (Certainly a subject for another blog post.)

Soli Deo Gloria

Friday, July 09, 2010

Of Amberwings and F-22 Fighters

I sat by water's edge for an hour or more, trying, mostly in vain, to photograph Eastern Amberwing dragonflies in flight. They are tiny; they are fast, so even the camera's auto-focus usually failed to catch them accurately. And even shooting six frames per second produced only an occasional moderately clear image. Our one lucky shot, however, caught a surprising feature--the retractable landing gear! With the front pair of legs tucked under the chin and the other two pairs pressed tightly against the "fuselage," this odonate exhibits all the precision engineering of an F-22 Raptor!

Of course, when the Amberwing extends its legs and lands, photography becomes less tricky; and even more of the design features--the radar dome-like head, with 360 degree-vision compound eyes--and especially those crystal-clear amber wings, with their precise pattern of supporting veins!

Billions of dollars were spent engineering and building the F-22 fighter. Only 187 have or will be built. God designed and built the Eastern Amberwing with a snap of His mighty finger--and millions of copies are made, using engineering and manufacturing programs that man can never come close to duplicating.

We should be amazed at His incredible skill and wisdom and at our relative lack thereof.

Soli Deo Gloria

Thursday, July 08, 2010

No Gestalt -- No Rorschach

I suppose you expect me to tell you to stare at the above and find people, animals or psychological insights. Or perhaps that a switch will flip and you will see an old hag instead of a pretty young lass -- or that you should concentrate intently and eventually you will see Jesus.

None of the above -- although I think I see a fez-wearing, left-facing, large-nosed fellow at the bottom -- and a dog, barking at something below, on the left -- and how about the beret-sporting gent in white, blowing smoke from his nose -- or maybe the whole thing resesembles a map of the Eastern Hemisphere after a thousand years of global warming.

Think anything you want -- it's a free country -- and the fantastically designed, God-given but sin-cursed human mind has almost limitless powers of imagination -- and ability to be tricked.

But our photograph is actually of a perfectly natural outdoor scene -- as evidenced by the mosquito flying off to the northwest -- the severely insect-chewed leaves of the Swamp White Oak. The chewed-up-ness is evidence that Quercus bicolor is a native species, gnawed by native insects. If it were an alien tree, its leaves would probably be in better shape, even in July. It's just another example of one species adapting to another, this time in a food chain relationship.

I am always yapping about imperfect things being evidence of God's curse on the ground (Genesis 3:17-18), but perhaps our chewed up leaves aren't such an example. After all, plants were the food of animals and humans before the entrance of sin. So you insects, eat your fill without guilt.

Soli Gloria Deo

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Three Tummyaches

Duckweed, goose feather or the bug on the feather--which should cause the darwinist the biggest case of indigestion? Answer: all three should be equally as nausiating to the devotee of random mutation and mindless natural selection as mechanisms by which these organisms have originated.

Botanists may call the duckweed a simplified version of a flowering plant, with only one leaf and some dangling roots. But any flowering plant, with its photosynthetic mechanisms, deserves the Darwin Abominable Mystery Award.

Feathers are not frayed reptile scales! While scales are mere epidermal folds, feathers originate from incredibly complex follicles--even more intricate than human hair follicles.

And as for the bug--Nobel Prize Astronomer Fred Hoyle once said than insects are so incredibly complex and weird that they couldn't have originated on Planet Earth--they must have arrived as spores from space.

Don't be duped by the popular literature, or even by "serious" scientific literature, that insists on clinging to increasingly stale, out-dated theories. In fact, doing a little digging into some time-proven literature, such as Genesis 1 and 2, might be profitable for learning about the true origins of life--and everything. But don't forget to go on to Genesis 3, because if you don't understand what happened there, you don't really understand anything about today's beautiful but sin-cursed world.

Soli Deo Gloria

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

The Right Flower/Bee Match

Yesterday, we saw a carpenter bee straddling a milkweed blossom and draining nectar from deep within the flower. No problem for the bee or flower, except for the fact that the energy-rich nectar was produced by the plant precisely for the purpose of attracting pollinators. The bee, however, is taking the nectar without necessarily picking up any of the golden pollen bodies (pollinia) because its feet are avoiding the slots in which they are lying in wait.

Today we see the insect for which the milkweed blossom is intricately designed--the honeybee. The bee perched on the leaf edge has visited several flowers and is literally weighed down with glistening pollinia. She will eventually continue her nectar gathering and will most likely deposit at least some of the pollen on the stigmas of the visited flowers, thus assuring the fertilization of the ovules deep within. In a few weeks, a pod containing hundreds of seeds will develop--and the reproductive cycle will have been completed.

Evolutionists would call the adaptations of bee and flower "co-evolution". But even devout darwinists are beginning to doubt that random mutations and natural selection are capable of producing such intricate mechanisms, let alone producing flowering plants and insects in the first place.

There are untold thousands of plant/insect relationships throughout the biosphere, many even trickier than those shown here. Information theory and probability theory argue powerfully against their existence without the designing power of mind--the mind of the Creator of all things, the God of the Bible, whose Son not only created all things but sustains all of His creation and redeems His elect people from their sin. He is Lord of All. (John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:16-17)

Soli Deo Gloria

Monday, July 05, 2010

Getting Down to Bees-ness

Since I have been particularly sporadic in my posts this year, I thought that something a little more spontaneous might correct the situation. Let's try some periodic photos with short blurbs, rather than the longer essays you are used to seeing.

No matter what the subjects of the photos may be--and they will certainly be small examples of God's creative handiwork, as our theme has always been--we should keep two passages of scripture in mind as we stare at the color, form and detail of each photographic subject: Colossians 1:16-17; and Romans 1:18-20. In essence, they say, (1) Jesus made them and holds them together; and (2) We had better recognize Who made them or we are in big trouble. "Under the wrath of God" is a terrible place to be.

So let's get down to business--or bees-ness--with the above photo of a carpenter bee extracting nectar from a milkweed blossom. Both bee and blossom exhibit intelligent design beyond our wildest imagination. Any thought that either could have "evolved" by random mutations and natural selection is an insult to the God Who created them.

Of course, there is a touch of Romans 8:19-22 seen in the photo as well. The carpenter bee is cheating on the flower by stealing nectar without necessarily carrying out the pollination duties for which the flower was designed. Tune in tomorrow to see a better flower-to-pollinator match.

Have you bothered to look up those passages? If not, why not pause to do it now, so you can make some sense of this little blurb. You can look them up in the Searchable Bible link on the right side.

Soli Deo Gloria