Re: Weekly web watch: week beginning 3 October 1999

Stephen E. Jones (
Thu, 21 Oct 1999 06:32:59 +0800


In order to cut down my posts still further, and to provide a permanent reference to
what I consider important Creation/Evolution articles on the Web, I am trialling a
system of posting one summary a week entitled Weekly web watch, in the form
of an extract from one of my web pages.

Here is the first one for the week beginning 3 October 1999. I will post articles
from other weeks in October every few days or so until I catch up.

These articles will be archived for permanent reference on my web pages, starting
from next week.


Stephen E. Jones
Weekly web watch: 3 October 1999

Here is my summary of Creation/Evolution news on the Web from the week beginning: 3 October 1999.
My comments are in [SJ> square brackets]. Note: some of these links may require free registration. Please
let me know if any of these links don't work.

Neanderthals: "Some Neanderthals Practiced Cannibalism
Shows Find From French Cave Washington DC - The best evidence yet that some members of a now-extinct
species of human, the Neanderthals, practiced cannibalism has emerged at a cave site in France's Ardeche region.
A team of French and U.S. archeologists has discovered a set of bones that points to a grisly scenario in which
some Neanderthals were butchered, eaten, and disposed of similarly to local game. The team reports their find in the
1 October issue of Science..."

Light: "Speed Of Light May Not Be Constant,
Physicist Suggests A University of Toronto professor believes that one of the most sacrosanct rules of 20th-century
science -- that the speed of light has always been the same - is wrong. Ever since Einstein proposed his special
theory of relativity in 1905, physicists have accepted as fundamental principle that the speed of light -- 300 million
metres per second -- is a constant and that nothing has, or can, travel faster. John Moffat of the physics department
disagrees - light once travelled much faster than it does today, he believes."

Hemoglobin: "Common Parasite Overturns Traditional
Beliefs About The Evolution And Role Of Hemoglobin DURHAM, N.C. -- Science's understanding of the evolution
and role of hemoglobin, considered one of the most studied and best- understood molecules in nature, is being
rewritten with the help of a common intestinal parasite that infects more than 1 billion people worldwide. A team led
by Dr. Jonathan Stamler, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at Duke University Medical Center,
believes that the hemoglobin molecule found in the gut of Ascaris lumbriocoides is a remnant of a crucial
evolutionary junction in which anaerobic life forms, like bacteria, separated from newly emerging aerobic organisms,
such as humans. The worm, in short, reveals that hemoglobin evolved first and foremost to handle the molecule
nitric oxide (NO) rather than oxygen, as scientists thought, and tells the tale of when hemoglobin ceased being a
"consumer" of oxygen and became a "carrier" of oxygen, Stamler said..."More than a billion years ago, the
atmosphere on Earth contained NO, and not oxygen," Stamler explained. "So the early development of hemoglobin
in bacteria and other microbes could not have been for the delivery of oxygen, but instead was for the detoxification
of NO. On the evolutionary tree, the Ascaris worm sits right at the point where bacteria branches off one way and
man in another," he said." [SJ> This seems dubious. There is now evidence of bacteria 3.85 billion years ago and
that the Earth's atmosphere contained oxygen. Besides, how does he know what Ascaris's hemoglobin was like 1
billion years ago?]

Education: "Creationism, Coming to Life in
Suburbia Kansas Couple Typifies New Wave of Believers By Hanna Rosin Washington Post Staff Writer Tuesday,
October 5, 1999; Page A01 OLATHE, Kan.- Some millions of years ago, the last drops of the great inland sea
bathing the Kansas plains succumbed to the sun, leaving behind a record in fossils of shells and mussels and clams.
That is, if you believe all those science textbooks, which Joseph Smith most certainly does not. An avid fossil
collector, Smith has read them all, starting with the first book he ever owned, "Journey Through the Fossils of
Kansas." Still, he's concluded the earth can't be more than 6,000 years old, judging by the one textbook he trusts
completely: the Bible. So the sea must have been here far more recently, maybe sometime around Noah's
flood...Smith and his wife Bonnie, both 54, rejoiced at the Kansas school board's August decision to wipe out most
mentions of evolution from state science standards. And they know what people in cities like Washington think of
people like them: that they are ignorant country bumpkins, examples of the "long, sad history of American
antiintellectualism" that make decent people "cringe in embarrassment," as Harvard professor Stephen Jay Gould
wrote in a Time magazine essay on the school board decision. The words sting, but everything about the Smiths' life
comforts them that they aren't the backwoods stereotype that Gould imagines. Joe, a chemical engineer, has
master's degrees in chemistry and environmental engineering. Bonnie is a teacher with a college degree." [SJ> This
seems a step in the right direction by the media in acknowledging that the scientific establishment's official `only ignorant
Bible-thumper's reject evolution' stereotype is simply false.]

Copyright (c) 1999, by Stephen E. Jones. All rights reserved. This page and its contents may be used for
non-commercial purposes only. If used on the Internet, a link back to my home page at would be appreciated. Created: 19 October 1999. Updated: 21 October 1999.

Stephen E. (Steve) Jones ,--_|\ Email:
3 Hawker Avenue / Oz \ Web:
Warwick 6024 -> *_,--\_/ Phone: +61 8 9448 7439
Perth, Western Australia v "Test everything." (1 Thess. 5:21)