Ancient DNA Comes to Life: Giant Virus Resurrected from Siberian Permafrost

Pithovirus. Credit: Julia Bartoli & Chantal Abergel

Just how long can DNA survive after the death of a cell or without cellular activity to maintain itself?  I addressed this question a few months ago (Young Earth Creationism and Ancient DNA) and suggested that we would learn much more in the coming year.  Already we have seen multiple complete genomes from fossil bones […]

Geological Context V: Human Fossil Footprints Found Below Ice Age Deposits


A story is breaking today of a significant fossil find that was made almost a year ago but kept under wraps until the significance of the find could be evaluated.   What has now been reveled is that over 100 footprints were found in newly uncovered rocks along a shoreline of England.  Careful analysis of […]

Canine Transmissible Tumors: Seeking Immortality By Becoming a Parasite


Cancers are cells that have forgotten who they are supposed to be.  They become independent brats in the body, hogging resources and dividing uncontrollably.  The problem, from the cancers perspective of course, is that being a spoiled brat may bring short-term rewards, like lots of progeny and freedom from having to behave like the cell […]

Cosmogenic Dating Methods Allow Estimates of Erosion Rates on Mars

Layers of rock seen at yellowknife bay in Gale Crater of Mars by the Curiosity Rover.  Image: JPL/NASA-Caltech

Just how fast are some rocks on Mars eroding?  A few months ago I asked a Martian rock that question (see: My Interview with a Martian: A Story of Origins) and I was not given a very satisfying answer.  Well, that rock can be excused for being a bit confused about time given how boring […]

Young Earth Creationism and Ancient DNA

The premise of Jurassic Park was that DNA was retrieved from blood in insects trapped in amber. Repeated tests of amber dated to be millions of years old has thus far yielded no evidence of intact DNA molecules.

So how long can DNA or even cells last in the environment once an organism dies?   This has been a hot topic in the scientific literature the last 15 years.  I have read the majority of the literature on the subject partly because I teach a class called genomics and we spend quite a bit […]

Invoking Super-Speed Evolution: How to Squeeze 10,000+ Bird Species onto Noah’s Ark

Pictures of most of the living species of penguins. Young earth creationists consider these all to be members of the same "kind" and thus all of these evolved from a common ancestor.  Image credit: Wikipedia.

There are about 10,000 species of birds alive today.  Almost 200 additional species have gone extinct since the year 1500 and there are innumerable fossil species of birds in the geological column. One of the persistent challenges for modern young earth creationists is how to fit the diversity of life on the Noah’s ark.  Answers […]

NH Notes: Rising Star Expedition Update


The process of discovery in science can be as fascinating to follow as a sporting event:  if we knew how it was going to end we would be much less likely to watch.   The Rising Star Expedition has the drama but not the finality, fortunately!, of a sporting event where there is a final score.  […]

Science in Progress: The Rising Star Expedition in South Africa


An expedition to recover hominid remains is underway and you can follow the progress of that expedition in real-time thanks to social media.   From Twitter (LeeRberger, johnhawks and #risingstarexpedition) and the National Geographic Explorer web page that provides videos and reporting on the expedition, we learn that Dr. Lee Berger, a professor at the University of […]

My Interview with a Martian: A Story of Origins

Our martian friend hanging out on the surface slowly eroding in the wind.  The Curiosity rover snapped this image while driving by. Image: JPL/NASA-CalTech

Everything has an origin.*  Some stories of origins are very simple (eg. the current island of Krakatoa from a volcanic blast recorded in history)  while others are much more complex (eg. the Grand Canyon).  The study of origins is the study and reconstruction of past events.  We have eyewitness accounts of some events from the […]

NH Notes: Answers in Genesis and a Mountain of Extraterrestrial Dust


How long would it take for falling dust to accumulate into a mound 2 1/2 miles tall?  Answers in Genesis has commented (Wind, not water, may have built the Martian Mount Sharp) over the weekend on the same research article that I referenced in my post last week (NH Notes: Did Wind and Dust Create a […]


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