Volume 4, Number 1
Ararat - The Mother Of Mountains
This article presents some of the observations made during an expedition to Mt. Ararat sponsored by the Archaeological Research foundation of New York. Eastern Turkey consists of a relatively barren undeveloped area. Tectonically it is very active, and unstable structurally. The region has been folded, faulted, and intruded with basic types of volcanic rock, such as andesite and basalt. Mt. Ararat is 17,000 feet high, and at its greatest height perhaps measured nearer 20,000 feet.
Evidently the cover rocks were Paleozoic and Mesozoic limestone, and in places like Mt. Ararat were domed up by rising magma which burst through channels along fault lines.
During the Flood period at least three blankets of basaltic or andesitic lava were extruded over the original Ararat which may have only been about 10,000 to 12,000 feet high originally.
Much of the lava is in rounded blocks called pillow lava, having a conchoidal appearance indicating it flowed out from the fractures while under water. After subsidence of the flood waters, almost the whole north-east side of the mountain blew up forming the Ahora gulch. Rock fragments and ash from this eruption cover about 100 square miles.
Greater Ararat is covered with an ice cap down to the 14,000 foot level. This cap is hundreds of feet thick and divides into 12 "fingers" or glaciers.
An analysis of five rock samples is given and also a list of fossils found by Abich.
DNA: Its History And Potential
A brief history of the discovery of nucleic acid is given.
Specificity of DNA synthesis is amazing and the sequence of amino acids in proteins as a result of DNA coding is most precise. Rather than being the master chemical, DNA is the servant of the cell. Thus its operation is repressed by the cell until needed.
Reasons for not being carried away by false hope of altering genes controlling our own body and mental traits are given, most important of which is the lack of specificity of any irradiation or chemical mutagen. These all tend to be random in their effect. Thus we cannot "tell" a nitrate ion which of about 2500 adenine bases it should change to guanine.
As we continue to learn more of the complexity of the DNA-RNA system we should be ever more impressed by Psalm 139:14, "Man is fearfully and wonderfully made." Surely such a complexly integrated system could only have been created by a wisdom far superior to our own. Unbelieving man, willfully stubborn, prefers to believe this marvelous system could have evolved from properties inherent in the neutron. How much more reasonable to accept the clear proclamation "In the beginning God created . . ."
Some Molecular Approaches
A method for studying the proteins of various turtles is given, based essentially on production of antiserums by injection of turtle blood into rabbits or chickens. When mixed with serial dilutions of serum from various species of turtles, varying degrees of turbidity or precipitation are obtained. These results are shown to have a definite taxonomic value and do not support the present widely-held position that snapping turtles belong to a separate family related to the Kinosternidae, but rather are in the Emydid family group.
A method of comparing DNA of various species by studying the amount of pairing of DNA strands in agar in relation to a standard "reference" DNA is described. Since DNA consists of an "alphabet" of only four letters, until we can learn to read the "words" made by sequences of any three of them, it would seem that more progress in unraveling molecular taxonomy can be made by studying proteins, built from an "alphabet" of twenty letters or amino-acids. Rather than use evolutionary presuppositions, this research proceeds from the working assumption that the world of life is to be viewed as having arisen from certain stem organisms or "kinds" which in most cases need to be elucidated.
DNA Studies In Relation To
Creation Concepts: The New Biology, Based On Molecular Structure, Shows
No Proof Of Evolution
Finding no evidence for evolution in the DNA code, a new search is on for "the origin and evolution of the genetic mechanism." DNA, after all, is basic to all life. Evolutionists had a rude awakening when the fundamental nature of the DNA code, that defines and directs the inheritance of each living organism, proved to be equally large and complex for all genetic kinds. Statistics now show that the evolutionary theory has been postulated against ridiculous odds. "God does not throw dice" was the conclusion of Einstein about all this, and now this is spelled out in detail. Immutability of the kinds of animals and plants is conceded by those specialists who should know. Man's hopes cannot refute God's word. Faith and revelation are also required in the great new discoveries of Nature's laws. The latest supposed "proof" of evolution is contradictory, internally.
The Evolution Of Complex
Organic Compounds From Simpler Chemical Compounds: Is It Thermodynamically
And Kinetically Possible?
Present sources of energy for conversion of inorganic molecules to various organic molecules are given. Electrical discharges, used by Miller and Urey, are shown to be relatively minor ones, compared to the sun's energy which is so effective in destroying organic compounds.
Even though set up as a closed system, so as to force the reaction to the product side by selectively removing and accumulating the products, only slight amounts of various organic compounds, such as glycine, resulted. Quoting Hull as estimating the half-life of glycine as only about 30 days, 97% of it would be decomposed before reaching the earth.
Considering the possible 3% which falls into the ocean, Hull concludes that ultraviolet radiation would decompose it in the upper 100 meters in a half-life of about 20 years. The physical chemist guided by proved principles of chemical thermodynamics and kinetics cannot offer any encouragement to the biochemist who needs an ocean full of organic compounds to form even life-less coacervates.
Miller's experiment is an excellent one, scientifically-speaking, and when properly interpreted leads to the conclusion that life could certainly never originate spontaneously.
Mutations Reveal The Glory
Of God's Handiwork
Mutations have been studied through three levels of investigation: (1) their original discovery and proof of inheritance according to Mendelian principles; (2) the artificial production of them by radiation and mutagenic chemicals and parallel with this work, the study of their actual behavior in natural populations; and (3) the molecular genetic approach.
In spite of great enthusiasm and many claims, no investigator has shown as yet that any mutation is so advantageous as to spread through an entire species population of plants or animals. Molecular geneticists, such as Seymour Benzer, conclude, "in the DNA of living organisms, typographical errors are never funny and are often fatal."
The technique used by Benzer in analyzing T4 bacteriophage virus mutations is described, and it is shown that all mutations in this phage are either deletions of varying length, nucleotide base changes, or addition or loss of a base. When either an addition or loss of a base occurs the remainder of the code becomes a nonsense code and the combination is non-functional.
Molecular genetics shows the DNA code to be a marvelously complex one. Surely in studying it we are coming close to understanding how God is daily at work maintaining and preserving all creatures.
Is DNA Only A Material Cause?
By means of philosophical considerations and, secondly, through specific examination of experimental facts, the author investigates the notion that DNA is "the secret of life."
An objection is raised that use of the word "code" in references to DNA involves nothing more than a metaphor. This and other objections are studied regarding DNA as a material, efficient, and formal cause. Objection is raised against the idea that memory is the encoding of experiences in DNA.
Examination of experimental data brings out denial of the normal expectation that complicated organisms would have larger amounts of DNA than less complex forms. Facts indicate that DNA is influenced by environment as well as heredity.
Comparisons are presented between results in vitro and in vivo experiments involving DNA.
The author concludes from is theoretical arguments and from experimental evidence that DNA is not the whole cause of life and heredity. DNA is a material cause, but the author asserts there still must be a formal cause.