Volume 12, Number 3
STRANGE FIRE ON THE EARTH
ERICH A. VON FANGE
It is well known that, as well as Scriptural accounts such as Sodom and Gomorrah, there are legends in many parts of the world about great destruction by fire. It is not so well known that in many places there are marks, both on artifacts and on the face of the earth itself, of violent conflagration. Some of these stories and pieces of evidence are collected here, in what, it is hoped, will be the beginning of the investigation and eventual understanding of these fires in past times.
HOMOEOTIC MUTANTS AND EVOLUTION
WILLEM J. OUWENEEL
About 1950 geneticist R. B. Goldschmidt and paleontologist O. H. Schindewolf independently came to the conclusion that neo-Darwinism was completely inadequate to account for macroevolution. Goldschmidt judged that natural selection only results in preservation of the status quo and that accumulation of mutations with tiny effects could never explain the origin of really new organs and organismal types. Schindewolf judged that the sudden appearance of higher systematic categories in the fossil record and the discontinuities between present and fossil categories were in serious conflict with neo-Darwinism. As evolutionists, they came up with an "emergency solution": they decided that macroevolution could be explained only by postulating "macromutations" with large effects, stirring up the whole system. The best examples Goldschmidt could supply were the homoeotic mutants in Drosophila which replace certain organs by entirely different organs. The present author, however, reviews the wealth of data now assembled about homoeotic mutants, and extensively documents that the evidence is only negative with regard to evolution. He concludes that the mentioned criticisms of neo-Darwinism are still as valid as in 1950 but that the alternative ideas have proved to be even worse.
ORIGIN AND MAINTENANCE OF OPTICAL ACTIVITY
LARRY S. HELMICK
Optical activity is a fundamental physical property of all living organisms. Therefore, any theory used to account for the origin of life on earth must also account for this amazing phenomenon. The mechanistic theory, involving chance and natural selection, is inadequate to explain the origin and maintenance of optical activity which is presently observed in the biosphere. However, a teleological theory based upon a recent, highly ordered divine creation, followed by degeneration, will account for this phenomenon. Moreover, such a theory is in agreement with the Genesis account of creation, the laws of thermodynamics, modern chemical theory, and chemical, biological, and geological data.
CHARLES LYELL CENTENNIAL
The year 1975 is one which members of the uniformitarian establishment might have expected to notice. In fact, the anticipated flourish of trumpets and roll of drums has been strangely missing. It is left up to creationists, then, to comment on the occasion. The year, in fact, is the anniversary of Charles Lyell's death. Lyell's theories in geology went along with Darwin's in biology. It is shown here that not only do the two "theories" go together, but also there is similarity in the ways, not always in accord with good scientific practice, in which the "theories" were promoted.
MATHEMATICIANS DO IT AGAIN
DAVID J. RODABAUGH
Creationists have often argued, rather qualitatively, that if evolution had really happened, the many gaps in the 'fossil record" would be most improbable. That is true. The purpose of this paper is twofold: to obtain somewhat more quantitative estimates of the improbability, and to calculate from the presence of gaps in the fossil record being given empirically, the probability that evolution occurred. It is shown that that probability is vanishingly small; one may as well say that, the gaps being admitted, it is impossible that evolution occurred.
THE FORMATION OF CROSS STRATIFICATION:
A NEW EXPLANATION
DOUGLAS E. COX
Cross stratification has been invariably associated with a sedimentary cause, yet it exhibits significantly different features from those of sediments formed experimentally. Features of cross stratification are contrasted with those of sediments, and it is shown that cross stratification must have a completely different origin. A possible non-sedimentary process forming stratification of surface rocks involves the release of pressure on rocks being elevated from great depths of burial under water. Shattering due to expansion of diffused water disintegrates the rock in successive layers, forming stratified sand. In this new explanation of cross stratification, it is shown how such a process can account for the unique features of cross stratified rocks found in nature.