EVOLUTION OF NEW VIRUS SPECIES IN A FLASK?
Scientists have recently claimed to have observed the evolution of viruses in a flask. They
grew ‘bacteriophage λ’ (a virus that infects bacteria) in the laboratory on two different strains of E. coli, each of which had different receptors (i.e. binding sites) on its
surface. Viruses are tiny infectious agents that are not truly living, as they can’t
reproduce on their own; they must hijack the machinery of truly living cells.
The virus was initially able to infect both of these strains. It was then isolated
so that only one of these strains was available for it to infect. After a number
of generations, the virus lost the ability to infect E.coli that displayed only the
alternative receptor. The researchers ended up with two different strains of
bacteriophage λ that could each only infect one of these two very specific E.
The researchers declared that they had observed speciation for the very
first time in a tiny laboratory flask and that this was evidence of evolution. Of
course, speciation was a part of the creation model even before Darwin (see
creation.com/speciation). But is this really evolution?
Particles-to-people evolution would have required an overall massive
increase of new genetic information. But what we are seeing in this flask is
specialization caused by the loss of a function. The virus could previously infect
bacteria with either of two receptors, but could now infect only one. So nothing new
was created, and instead it is an example of specialization coming about through the loss of information.
Meyer, J. et al., Ecological speciation of bacteriophage lambda in allopatry and sympatry, Science 354(6317):1301–1304, November 2016 | doi: 10.1126/
OUR WATERY MOON
Scientists have long assumed that the moon would be largely depleted of water and other
volatile compounds, but recent research suggests the bulk of the interior of the moon is
wet. Volcanic glass beads brought back from the Apollo 15 and 17 missions revealed the
presence of water in areas formed by volcanic eruptions on the moon’s surface. Recent
observations made by satellites orbiting the moon show these are widespread, indicating
the presence of considerable amounts of water in the moon’s interior.
Since the moon was supposedly formed from the debris left behind after a collision
between a Mars-sized object and the early earth, volatile compounds like water should not
have survived the heat of the impact. The presence of so much water in the interior of the
moon challenges conventional models of lunar formation.
However, the Bible suggests that the earth and the solar system were made from water
so it should be no surprise that evidence of water is found not only on the moon but elsewhere in the solar system.
Milliken, R.E. and Li, S., Remote detection of widespread indigenous water in lunar pyroclastic deposits, Nat.
Geosci. 10:561–565, July 2017 | doi: 10.1038/ngeo2993.
Moon has a water-rich interior, sciencedaily.com, July 2017.
MUMMY DNA SUPPORTS BIBLICAL HISTORY
In the first full DNA sequencing of ancient Egyptian mummies, researchers have found that the people of pharaonic times
were more closely related to modern and ancient Europeans and near-eastern inhabitants than to present-day Egyptians. The
mummies “have these closest genetic links to the Fertile Crescent and the eastern populations of what’s now Israel”, said
research leader Johannes Krause. Modern Egyptians have a sub-Saharan African
component to their genome, from cultural admixture in more recent times, but
this wasn’t found in the ancient mummies.
This is consistent with the biblical claim that the early Egyptians
descend from the line of Mizraim, Noah’s grandson. In recent
decades, however, it has been widely touted by some secular
researchers that Egyptians were likely descended from African
people, in line with the secular, evolutionary ‘Out of Africa’
theory of human origins. This theory is not supported by
the latest DNA evidence. Instead, the Bible’s account has
Watson, T., Mummy DNA unravels ancient Egyptians’ ancestry, Nature
546(7656): 17, May 2017 | doi: 10.1038/546017a.