“Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker signed into law on Wednesday a bill that pro-lifers are calling the most ‘extreme’ late-term abortion measure in the country. ‘The governor and the Democratic supermajorities who fast-tracked this legislation have created a new death penalty in Illinois, with no possibility of appeal, for viable unborn preemies,’ said Peter Breen, former Illinois representative and vice president of Thomas More Society, in a statement. The Reproductive Health Act, or SB 25, establishes a fundamental right to have an abortion while removing all rights from the unborn. It repeals the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, legalizing late-term abortion, even when there is fetal viability, ‘to protect the life or health of the patient.’ The bill broadens the definition of ‘health of the patient’ to include (but not limited to) physical, emotional, psychological and familial health and age. ‘This bill is a horrible contradiction of fundamental scientific truths and the work that I do every single day,’ said Emily Kelly, a neonatal ICU nurse at a major Chicago hospital, according to Illinois Right to Life. ‘Under this law, every single one of my patients could be legally killed in utero in our state.’ Other provisions in the Reproductive Health Act include requiring private insurance companies to cover abortion with no exceptions for religious institutions explicitly made in the bill and allowing non-physicians, such as advanced practice registered nurses, to perform abortions. Gov. Pritzker said the new law is a ‘giant step forward for women’s health.’ ‘The legacy of this governor, and any legislator who voted to pass this law, will be that of cruel dehumanization of unborn Illinoisans on a mass scale,’ said Breen. ‘They will bear the legacy of thousands of late-term dismemberment abortions inflicted on perfectly healthy, viable children.’”
“Illinois gov. signs ‘extreme’ abortion bill,” The Christian Post, June 12, 2019
“And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.”
Some orchids are remarkable. In a previous Creation Moment, we referred to the bucket orchid and its relationship to the orchid bee. There is a very strange orchid in Australia, called the hammer orchid, which seems to fool wasps.
The thynnid wasp is, itself, quite strange. The females have no wings, but emerge from tiny burrows and climb up a plant to await the male wasp, which flies in, attracted by the female’s scent.
The hammer orchid produces a flower which closely resembles the appearance of the female thynnid and even releases a scent similar to that of the female wasp. So, the male wasp flies in, but instead of a female wasp, he finds the flower awkwardly pivoted, and a little hammer knocks him into the anthers to collect pollen. If he is already coated in pollen, then some of this is rubbed off on to the flower’s stamen.
This process cannot be described as co-evolution because the thynnid wasp gets no advantage. One article on the hammer orchid points out that the male wasp would never confuse the orchid for a female if both were side by side. Therefore, the article stated that natural selection has favored plants which flower just before the females emerge. But an incorrectly timed, pre-evolutionary orchid would not have survived to pass on the supposed evolved genes. Therefore, once again, we see that evolution is impossible as a means of explaining this remarkable design.
“Doctors have turned the brain signals for speech into written sentences in a research project that aims to transform how patients with severe disabilities communicate in the future. The breakthrough is the first to demonstrate how the intention to say specific words can be extracted from brain activity and converted into text rapidly enough to keep pace with natural conversation. In its current form, the brain-reading software works only for certain sentences it has been trained on, but scientists believe it is a stepping stone towards a more powerful system that can decode in real time the words a person intends to say. Doctors at the University of California in San Francisco took on the challenge in the hope of creating a product that allows paralyzed people to communicate more fluidly than using existing devices that pick up eye movements and muscle twitches to control a virtual keyboard. The work, funded by Facebook, was possible thanks to three epilepsy patients who were about to have neurosurgery for their condition. Before their operations went ahead, all three had a small patch of tiny electrodes placed directly on the brain for at least a week to map the origins of their seizures. During their stay in hospital, the patients, all of whom could speak normally, agreed to take part in Chang’s research. He used the electrodes to record brain activity while each patient was asked nine set questions and asked to read a list of 24 potential responses. With the recordings in hand, Chang and his team built computer models that learned to match particular patterns of brain activity to the questions the patients heard and the answers they spoke. Once trained, the software could identify almost instantly, and from brain signals alone, what question a patient heard and what response they gave, with an accuracy of 76% and 61% respectively. While the work is still in its infancy, Winston Chiong, a neuroethicist at UCSF who was not involved in the latest study, said it was important to debate the ethical issues such systems might raise in the future. For example, could a ‘speech neuroprosthesis’ unintentionally reveal people’s most private thoughts? Chang said that decoding what someone was openly trying to say was hard enough, and that extracting their inner thoughts was virtually impossible. ‘I have no interest in developing a technology to find out what people are thinking, even if it were possible,’ he said. ‘But if someone wants to communicate and can’t, I think we have a responsibility as scientists and clinicians to restore that most fundamental human ability.’”
“Neuroscientists,” The Guardian, Jul. 30, 2019
“Hast thou not poured me out as milk, and curdled me like cheese?”
I love cheese if I am a little hungry. I am from a land of great cheeses – from light but sharp Wensleydale, to my favorite, the rich, salty tang of Blue Stilton, with its noble cheese mold.
Most of these cheeses actually improve with age. So a five-year-old Cheddar is likely to be richer in flavor than one that was only made last year. So perhaps I would have enjoyed the discovery made recently at an archaeological site at Pokrovnik, on Croatia’s Dalmatian coast.
I have brought up teenagers, so I know the difficulty involved in getting them to wash the pots. But archaeologists discovered some ceramic bowls at Pokrovnik that neither the original owners nor modern discoverers had washed. To their surprise, when they examined the residue, there were traces of lipids, which strongly suggests that the bowl may once have contained cheese.
The exciting find is tarnished somewhat by archaeologists insisting on an evolutionary date. They conclude that the bowls were used by farmers 7,200 years ago. However, this is impossible by a biblical timescale. Besides, if these were early farmers settling in the Balkans, then they would have been post-Flood – so we would suggest a date of 2,200 years ago. Either way, the cheese has probably passed its best-before date. Now I’m just waiting for the discovery of a 2,000 year old Ritz Cracker.
A serious point is to see how early civilizations had advanced technology, probably passed down from their ancestors who were on the Ark.
“Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) signed legislation ensuring state schools teach the role and contributions of LGBT people in American history. Pritzker signed off on House Bill 346, which was recently passed by state House earlier this year, on Friday. The law requires all schools in the state include ‘the role and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the history of this country and this State’ in official textbooks. The state’s Board of Education is also required to publish a list of the textbooks authorized to be purchased under the law annually. ‘Each public school district and state-recognized, non-public school shall, subject to appropriations for that purpose, receive a per pupil grant for the purchase of secular and non-discriminatory textbooks,’ the bill text reads. The bill also includes a section that allows the department to adopt rules ‘as necessary’ for the implementation of the law and ‘to ensure the religious neutrality of the textbook block grant program.’ State Sen. Heather Steans (D), who sponsored the legislation, said in a previous statement that ‘one of the best ways to overcome intolerance is through education and exposure to different people and viewpoints.’”
“Illinois Passes Law,” The Hill, Aug. 10, 2019
1 Chronicles 12:32
“And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their commandment.
Sometimes there are some tiny passages in the Bible which are easy to overlook but which can open up a wealth of meaning. One such passage is this little verse in 1 Chronicles 12, verse 32.
This verse is part of a section discussing David’s Mighty Men, focusing on their skills in battle. It seems a little different, then, when those from the tribe of Issachar are labeled as those who “know what Israel ought to do”. However, this is surely a very important attribute in battle – and especially in spiritual battle. The reason they knew what to do was because they “had understanding of the times”.
I would suggest that this verse has application to an apologetics ministry like this. We are to apply the truths of creation and Genesis, and in order to do so, we need to have understanding of the times.
In these Creation Moments broadcasts, we often relate our teaching to the society that we live in. To do this, we must understand the times. To understand the times, we need to read, to watch, and, most especially, to pray. Let’s be like those sons of Issachar in our apologetic work and become mighty men and women for Great David’s Greater Son as we proclaim His truth.
“Radio host and PragerU President Dennis Prager said Wednesday on ‘Fox & Friends’ that freedom of speech is being threatened by Google, pointing out content from his own platform that has repeatedly been restricted by YouTube. In a new Wall Street Journal column, Prager wrote that a video called ‘The Charlottesville Lie,’ from CNN’s Steve Cortes, was quickly moved to the ‘restricted list’ on Monday just hours after it was posted. ‘This happened two weeks after a Senate hearing at which a Google representative swore under oath that the company doesn’t censor based on political views,’ he wrote. Prager added that the video was also removed from Twitter after complaints from the left. He explained that a video from Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz called ‘Israel’s Legal Founding’ was also placed on the restricted list by Google-owned YouTube, along with Prager’s own video about the Ten Commandments. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, asked a Google representative at a recent hearing how ‘The Ten Commandments: What You Should Know’ made it onto a restricted list. The man said with a straight face, ‘because it mentions murder.’ Prager said Dershowitz told him in the upcoming film No Safe Spaces that he fears the left ‘much more than the right.’”
“Dennis Prager on Google restricting PragerU videos,” Fox News, Aug. 7, 2019
“And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.”
The reproductive cycle of a flowering plant is so easy to understand, and yet exists in so many varieties. The principle process for such plant reproduction is pollination.
The male organs of the flower, or anthers, produce pollen cells, or grains. These have to find their way to the female stamen, and thence into the ovary, which contains the ovule cells.
Generally speaking, pollen does not pollinate the ovules in its own flower. So the plant has to have a strategy to get pollen from one flower to the ovary of another flower of the same species. To do this, it employs go-between pollinators.
Have you ever thought why flower petals are so pretty? It is because most plants are attempting to attract insects to act as pollinators. But the insect has to need something that the flower provides. So many flowers produce nectar – a sweet liquid that is desirable for many insects, especially bees and butterflies. Visiting insects will brush pollen off the anthers, and, if they already have pollen from another flower, they might brush that pollen on to the flower’s stamen. But how do the insects know the nectar is there? By the bright petals that the flower produces!
But these features could not evolve by chance. Brightly colored petals deprive a plant of energy. What would be the advantage of that if there were no pollinators? As we think about pollination – especially that of the more unusual plants – we realize that this is a process designed by God.
“Who teacheth us more than the beasts of the earth, and maketh us wiser than the fowls of heaven?”
There is one activity almost compulsory for visitors to certain parts of Australia. That is to have one’s photograph taken with a koala. While kangaroos may be the most iconic Australian marsupial, the koala is surely the most endearing. Their apparent slothfulness, their large noses and attractive faces make them particularly photogenic. In fact, they are capable of some rapid movement through trees and are not always as docile as they appear.
Apart from their appearance, the other most well-known trait of the koala is its diet. It seems to live almost exclusively on the leaves of eucalyptus trees. Actually, they cannot even eat all eucalypts. They survive on about 30 species of the plant. Eucalypt leaves are rich in a pungent oil, and this would cause most other animals a problem with digestion. Koalas produce cytochrome P450, which is able to break down the difficult chemicals from the eucalyptus oil in a large caecum, attached to the intestines. This sort of mechanism will always raise a question for evolutionists. Did the koala start eating eucalypts first, and then evolved the systems to digest them? If so, would not the first couple of generations have been poisoned before evolution could occur? If the digestive systems evolved before the dietary behavior, then what evolutionary advantage would the koala accrue from such systems?
God has made so many magnificent and wonderful animals all over the world. It is astounding to see the meticulous design produced by our Creator God.
“A colorful character, known for his shock of shaggy blond hair and blustering, entertaining, flamboyant style, Boris Johnson [b. 1964] has had one of the most amazing careers in English politics. A journalist, magazine editor, member of Parliament, the conservative who did the impossible in getting elected mayor of London twice, foreign minister, leader of the radical Brexit movement to leave the European Union, he’s done it all. Johnson’s a celebrity. He clowns around and quotes long passages of Homer in Greek. ‘BoJo,’ as he’s sometimes called, is England’s Donald Trump. Both came to office already famous. Both were international celebrities. Both were known for saying outlandish things, poking the politically correct and infuriating their political opponents. Sometimes infuriating their own party. As of July 24th, that is, when he became the new prime minister of the United Kingdom. He takes office with an unstable razor-thin majority, with many members of his own party opposing him. He’s taken up the almost impossible task of getting the U.K. out of the European Union by October 31st. Johnson’s election represents his party’s commitment to completing Brexit and leaving the European Union. It expresses the party’s rejection of the European Union globalists, including those in the other major political parties, Labour and the Liberal Democrats. It is part of a broader trend around the world electing conservatives as world leaders. The London Times fired him for making up a quote. He moved on to the more conservative Daily Telegraph. Still, he became the favorite journalist of conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. His writings became a key influence on the Eurosceptic UK Independence Party in the early 1990s. That party’s agitation eventually led to Brexit. He took some left-leaning positions, however, on climate change, LGBT issues and race relations. He became editor of The Spectator, the UK’s top conservative weekly. Tabloids revealed in 2004 that Johnson was having an affair with Spectator columnist Petronella Wyatt, resulting in two abortions. He was married to his second wife at the time. He was fired from his position with the Conservative party for lying about the affair. Another affair led to a child. Johnson became the mayor of London in 2008, the first Conservative to ever achieve that position. He ran on a campaign that included legalizing medical marijuana and allowing amnesty for illegal immigrants. When Theresa May became Prime Minister, she appointed him Foreign Secretary in 2016. As Foreign Secretary, Johnson praised U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel as a ‘moment of opportunity’ for peace. In a controversial 2018 article for The Daily Telegraph, he discussed the Danish face veil ban. While he opposed a ban on the burqa or niqab, he suggested that such garments make the wearer resemble a ‘letter box’ and ‘bank robber.’ Johnson was baptized a Catholic. He was later confirmed in the Church of England. However, he says ‘his faith comes and goes.’ He’s not a serious practicing Christian.”
“Who Is Boris Johnson,” The Stream, July 31, 2019
“And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.”
Australia, as we have frequently noted, is a land of exotic animals. And of all the strange and wonderful creatures of that continental country, perhaps none captures the imagination so much as the mighty kangaroo and its smaller cousin the wallaby. Although it’s native to Australia, I remember as a child being fascinated by the mysterious sightings of wallabies in England’s Peak District National Park, which was very close to where I grew up. A colony of sixty had, by 1975, grown from five individuals that had escaped from a zoo in 1940.
Kangaroos are marsupials. Though many species of marsupials – mostly opossums – live in the Americas, Australia and New Guinea are replete with a wide variety of them. The main distinguishing feature of a marsupial is that the female gives birth to its young at a very early stage of gestation (about 36 days), and the baby is then sheltered, usually in a pouch, where it continues its development. A baby kangaroo, or joey, will be in its mother’s pouch for about nine months before it begins to venture out for short periods. One fascinating feature of the reproductive cycle is that a female kangaroo can have one embryo in its womb and a developing joey in its pouch. It seems to be able to freeze the development of the embryo and restart it when the joey is ready to leave the pouch. It would seem that God designed this mechanism to allow for the long migration of such marsupials to Australia after the Flood.
“A former Google engineer who claims he has been blacklisted by the tech giant says he believes the company will try to influence the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. ‘They really want Trump to lose in 2020. That’s their agenda,’ Kevin Cernekee said Friday on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight. ‘They have very biased people running every level of the company,’ Cernekee continued. ‘They have quite a bit of control over the political process. That’s something we should really worry about.’ Cernekee was fired in June 2018 after Google told him he was terminated for misuse of the company’s equipment, including its software system for remote access. However, Cernekee, who describes himself as a whistleblower, maintains he was terminated for his outspoken conservative views. Cernekee spent ... three years fighting the Mountain View, Calif.-based firm over the alleged violations and arguing that conservative employees were being treated unfairly, according to the report, which cites interviews, documents and copies of posts on the company’s internal message boards. Carlson asked Cernekee if he thought Google would try to ‘influence’ the 2020 election and attempt to ‘prevent’ Trump from being reelected. ‘I do believe so. I think that’s a major threat. They have openly stated that they think 2016 was a mistake. They thought Trump should have lost in 2016,’ Cernekee responded. Cernekee called the Google operation ‘highly ideological’ and ‘plagued with bias.’”
“Google wants Trump to lose in 2020,” Fox News, Aug. 3, 2019
“And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good”.
One of the most peculiar animals in Australia is the echidna – sometimes known popularly as the spiny anteater. There are actually four species of echidna, but they all resemble the anteater of the Americas. However, they have a number of unique features, the most famous of which is the fact that they lay eggs. For that reason, they are classed along with the platypus in the group monotremes. In fact, Wikipedia – that “fount of all knowledge” – suggests that they “evidently evolved between 20 and 50 million years ago, descending from a platypus-like monotreme”. Yet, their behavior is entirely different from the platypus. If the platypus and echidna were both species of bird, no evolutionist would suggest that one evolved from the other.
Platypuses lay a group of eggs in a burrow and then sit on them. Echidnas, in contrast, lay a single egg, which the female then places in a pouch. In this respect, they are showing a behavior similar to marsupials. We also don’t need to point out the obvious differences in appearance between the animals and their habitats. Are they really suggesting that the echidna just lost its beak over a period of time?
More to the point is the fact that the oldest known fossils of both platypuses and echidnas – old by evolutionary dating methods, that is to say – show no difference from the modern animals. It makes far more sense to say that these animals were designed by God.
“A little over one week ago, Apple approved LifeSiteNews’ application to publish our news on their Apple News platform. Today, without warning, Apple News abruptly reversed course, telling LifeSite that they had deleted our channel and all of our content from their platform. Apple claimed that LifeSite’s channel ‘didn’t comply with our Apple News guidelines.’ Specifically, they stated that LifeSite’s ‘channel content shows intolerance towards a specific group.’ ‘We don’t yet know the reason for Apple’s decision to delete our channel,’ said LifeSiteNews Editor-in-Chief John-Henry Westen. ‘However, at a time when there is growing evidence that tech juggernauts are engaging in concerted censorship against even mainstream conservative viewpoints, Apple’s decision--made unilaterally, and without opportunity to appeal--is frightening. It goes without saying that LifeSite would never promote intolerance or hatred against any group. However, in our current divisive political climate, even mild expressions of common conservative viewpoints are often written off as de facto hatred and intolerance. We certainly hope that this is not what Apple is doing. However, we urge our readers to contact Apple and to respectfully demand that they reinstate LifeSite’s channel.’”
“Apple News Bans LifeSite,” Lifesitenews.com, July 31, 2019
“And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.”
Australia has more than its fair share of unusual animals. Probably the most unusual of all is the platypus. Indeed, when scientists in Britain were first shown platypus skins in 1799, they believed it to be a fake, having been made of several animal parts sewn together!
Of course, it is a genuine species, but, even so, it contains some parts that are not usually expected together. It has a bill like a duck (hence its popular name, the duck-billed platypus), its body is furry, like a mammal, but it can deliver a reptilian-like venom. And, famously, it lays eggs like a bird.
The eggs are more like those of a bird than a reptile. Reptile eggs have a larger yolk than birds, but the platypus egg yolk is small and does not contain as much nutrition as that of a reptile. The reason for this seems clear. Baby platypuses are nourished by their mother with milk.
The platypus is classed as a mammal, but is classified into a separate group of mammals, called monotremes. The other creature in this group is the echidna, which looks and behaves nothing like the platypus, apart from the fact that it lays eggs. Evolutionists believe that this group of mammals is left over from the early evolution of mammals from reptiles. In fact, the platypus appears to be uniquely designed by God, filling a niche in the ecology of Australia that belongs to no other creature.