In This Issue
Creation Safari to SE Missouri
How to Live Longer Part 1
Cloning the Woolly Mammoth
Local (Kansas City) Evidence of Rapid Sedimentation
Creation Safari to SE Missouri
Aug 31 – Sept 3
Southeast MO Safari over Labor Day weekend – Three days of exploring Missouri’s volcanic past. We swim and play in chutes carved into volcanic ash rock at “Johnson’s Shut-ins,” explore a huge granite pluton with strange and fanciful boulders at Elephant Rocks State Park, climb a mountain to see Devils Post Pile, visit an old silver mine for mineral samples, camp, and enjoy lively discussions and fantastic fellowship.
This safari visits the St. Francois [“fran-swah”] volcanic mountain range. The boundaries of this volcanic range are outlined in red in this map of Missouri.
Walk up to the highest geographic point in Missouri.
Swim in Johnson’s Shut-ins waterfall and rapids.
Check out the Taum Sauk Reservoir catastrophe and see how this lake at the top of a mountain...
...overflowed it’s bank and devastated the Johnson’s Shut-ins State Park.
Walk along the scour path and observe layers of bedrock that were scoured away in moments as the water flowed downhill into the valley below.
Look for precious metal ore at “Silver Mine.”
Climb to the top of Hugh’s Mountain, where you’ll see columns of rhyolite.
Discover “Pink Elephants” at Elephant Rock State Park.
Camp; engage in fellowship and creation-oriented discussions.
Please register for this event, so we can arrange accommodations. (Scroll down for registration information.)
CSA Monthly Meeting
Tuesday September 3rd, 2013
“The Great Debate”
DVD Part 2
Ken Ham, AiG president, is perhaps the most widely recognized creation-apologist in the world today. Ken Ham and AiG astrophysicist Dr. Jason Lisle engage Drs. Hugh Ross (Reasons to Believe) and Walt Kaiser (president of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary), both of whom are proponents of an old earth, no-global-flood view of Bible interpretation. In this eye-opening debate, well-mannered disagreement is punctuated by intriguing confrontations as these four Christian leaders communicate their views. Ham and Lisle implore Ross and Kaiser to accept the Genesis account of history as written, while Ross and Kaiser argue for their view that the first chapters of Genesis are more symbolism than history.
CSA Monthly Meeting Location
Overland Park, KS 66121
10 blocks east of 69 Highway (or Switzer) on 95th St. to Antioch, south two blocks on Antioch, on east side of street.
Fellowship & book table: 6:15PM - Meeting: 7:00PM (meeting entrance in back of building)
How To Live Longer
Introduction by Doug Dexheimer
- Choose your parents carefully.
- Select a year of birth that occurs before Noah’s Flood.
- Avoid life-threatening injuries.
The Benefits of Modern Sun Screen
A recent radio news item caught my attention. It claimed that sunscreen does more than protect you from cancer and painful sunburns -- it offers a boost to simple vanity.
According to the story, regular sunscreen use protects against photo-aging: the wrinkling, spotting, and loss of elasticity caused by exposure to the sun's ultraviolet radiation.
While not necessarily shocking, these findings are the first to quantify sunscreens’ anti-aging properties. The claim is that daily sunscreen use can slow the signs of aging, and protect against cancer.
The research was done in Australia -- skin cancer capital of the world. According to Australian government statistics, the continent “down under” has the highest rate of skin cancer on the planet, with two out of three Australians diagnosed with skin cancer before the age of 70.
So…, how did the patriarchs born prior to the Noahic Flood, avoid skin cancer and live so long?
Many years ago, yours truly did a study of the ages of the patriarchs, versus years since creation. You can see by the figure in the article below that, prior to the time of the flood, the patriarchs lived about a thousand years each; Noah’s children and grandchildren lived several hundred years each.
What explanation can be offered for the patriarchs’ longevity? How did they survive almost a thousand years without modern “sunscreen-in-a-bottle”? Was some type of natural sunscreen available in those days? Coco butter? Olive oil? “Snake oil”? Some kind of prehistoric “Vasoline Petroleum Jelly”?
Some creationists ask if some kind of canopy surrounding the earth’s atmosphere could have filtered the short-wave UV, effectively serving as a pre-flood sunscreen?
Below are excerpts of part 1 of a possible answer from Dr. Carl Wieland, an Australian medical doctor (I highly recommend you read the entire article). 1
Today, a few people live until around 120 years. We’re understanding more … but, with new research, can we live longer? Is there any hope for “life extension”? New information about how we age sheds fresh light on the long lifespans of pre-Flood people.
The Book of Genesis, records human lifespans which seem incredible based on our recent experience. Adam lived to 930 years; Noah even longer, to 950 years (see graph below). These long lifespans are not haphazardly distributed; they are systematically greater before the Flood of Noah, and decline sharply afterwards.
The lifespans recorded in the Bible, beginning with the pre-Flood patriarchs (plotted at date of birth). Notice the pronounced drop in lifetimes following the Flood. This is evidence for something very dramatic happening in world history.
(For a much larger illustration, see:
Are such ages “biologically impossible”? Today, even if men avoid all fatal diseases, humans will generally die of old age before they reach much past 100.
Recent research shows that the apparent upper limit on today’s average lifespans is not something that is “biologically inevitable” as such.
It now appears that there are factors somehow written into our genetic code, which determine what our “upper age limit” is. Although an average “upper limit” seems to be “programmed” into each species, breeding experiments have shown that extra longevity can be bred into and out of a population. Even a genetic “switch” involved in longevity has been identified in one species of worm.
All biological machinery has built-in “intelligence” (programmed into the DNA) which gives it the ability to repair itself. Our individual organs do wear out. The cells within them can multiply for a while, but not forever. After a certain number of times, they simply stop dividing. It is known that ordinary human cells will only divide some 80–90 times, then no more.
It appears that there is, on the tips of each of our chromosomes, a structure called a telomere. Think of it as a counting device, with a number of beads on the end. Every time the cell divides, it is as if a bead is snipped off, shortening the telomere.
Once all of the beads have gone, cell division can no longer take place. From then on, as each cell “runs down,” it is not replaced by any new ones. So even if you avoid any sort of fatal accident or disease, you will eventually succumb to failure of one or more organs.
The machinery by which cells divide is controlled by the instructions written on the DNA, the genetic code. So it looks as if some pre-programmed genetic limit, while not all there is to aging, could well be a big part of the story. In short, there is no known biological reason why lifespans of 900 years or more would be impossible if that genetic limit were set at a different point.
And there is reason to think that there could indeed be great variation in this genetic “upper limit.” We have already seen that simply reshuffling gene frequencies through breeding selection in fruitflies can drastically increase their lifespan.
The real question changes from, “How could they possibly live for so long?” to “Why don’t we live that long any more?”
Looking at the drop in lifespans after the Flood, it is natural to think that it must be related to the world having changed so drastically. Evidence from the fossil record does suggest that carbon dioxide (also possibly oxygen) levels were higher in the pre-Flood world. Many have suggested that an atmospheric canopy of water vapor sheltered the pre-Flood world from cosmic radiation. However, whether this is so or not, there is little evidence that aging is substantially influenced by any of these factors.
The idea; (that the environment became so much more “toxic” after the Flood as to slash our lifespans by nearly eight centuries, to one-ninth of what they were); stumbles at one important point. Noah was already over 600 years old when he stepped out of the Ark. But this allegedly much more hostile environment did not cause him to rapidly wither and die in a few decades. Instead, he lived for another 350 years, outstripping the age of even his ancestor Adam.2
This puts an end to the idea that long life of patriarchs was due to a canopy. (Read a continuation of our look at human lifespan, by Dr. Carl Wieland, next month – Ed.)
Coming Events: 2013
(1st Tuesday of each month; content subject to change; no signup or registration necessary.)
- September 3: “The Great Debate” DVD, Part II, moderated by Bob Farwell.
- October 1: “The Great Debate” DVD, Part III, moderated by Bob Farwell.
- November 5: “Cave Formation, & Mineral Placement,” Bob Farwell, Doug Dexheimer, and Kevin Anderson.
- December 2: “The Star of Bethlehem” DVD, moderated by Bob Farwell.
Cloning the Woolly Mammoth
by Doug Dexheimer & Paul Fennern
A few weeks ago a group of CSA Safari explorers visited the KU Natural History Museum, where they observed the fossils of many now-extinct animals. Among them were some bone specimens of a woolly mammoth.
Approaching the category of “stranger-than-fiction” phenomena, the timing of the visit was remarkable. A casual internet search for recent woolly mammoth articles reveals the following links pointing to a recent find of well-preserved woolly mammoth fossils:
The idea of cloning the woolly mammoth is the subject of an article distributed that same week as part of the K-house News: 1
The article discusses the possibilities being studied of cloning a live woolly mammoth from the DNA contained in the amazingly well preserved blood of a recently discovered specimen in Siberia. Also discussed are the environmental, societal, and moral implications that might lie ahead for us if “re-creation” of a live woolly mammoth or a cloned human being becomes a reality.
A number of attempts have been made to clone animals in recent years. Perhaps the best known fictitious example is the cloned dinosaurs in the film “Jurassic Park.” In that story, the blood of a dinosaur found in the stomach of a mosquito is cloned in a female amphibian, a frog. If you think that sounds impossible, you’re right: it is impossible -- given current scientific knowledge and technology.
The reality of scientific cloning was brought into public focus in the late 1990’s by the successful cloning of a sheep dubbed “Dolly” by scientists associated with the experiment.
Most of the following information about “Dolly” is extracted from an article in Wikipedia. 2
The process of cloning “Dolly” was unnatural, to say the least. Three ewes were involved:
- One ewe provided the egg.
- Another ewe provided the DNA
- A third ewe carried the lamb to term.
“Dolly” was born on 5 July 1996.
Regarding the unnatural cloning process that produced Dolly, the article states:
Making cloned mammals is highly inefficient. (Dolly was the only lamb that survived to adulthood after 277 attempts -- DRD.)
Dolly did not live a normal sheep’s life: she lived her entire life at the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh. On 14 February 2003, Dolly was euthanized because she had a progressive lung disease and severe arthritis. A Finn Dorset sheep such as Dolly has a life expectancy of around 11 to 12 years, but Dolly lived to be only six years of age. Some have speculated that a contributing factor in Dolly's death was that she may have effectively been born with a genetic age of six years, the same age as the sheep from which she was cloned. One basis for this idea is the finding that Dolly's telomeres were short, which is typically a result of the ageing process.
Can you imagine the ethical dilemma if attempts were made to clone a human being? Does the clone have a soul, does the clone have identical fingerprints, etc? So far, these questions have not had to be answered. Pray that it will not happen any time soon! (Editor’s note: See the article “How to Live Long” elsewhere in this issue for insight into the telomeres, and how it is possible that “Dolly” began her short life with pre-aged, 6-year-old DNA.) A similar aging phenomenon has been observed in the plant world where cloning is commonly done to propagate certain specimens.
Consider the bamboo species Phyllostachys bambusoides (Sieb. & Zucc.). In this species, all plants of the same stock will flower at the same time, regardless of differences in geographic locations or climatic conditions, and then the bamboo dies. The lack of environmental impact on the time … of death … indicates the presence of some sort of “alarm clock” in each cell of the plant, which signals … the cessation of vegetative growth. 3
This is another example of aging that is thought to be predetermined by the changes in length of the telomere4 of each cell. Current research on the function of the telomere is at the heart of some cancer research.
3 Thomas R. Soderstrom; Cleofe E. Calderon; Thomas R. Soderstrom; Cleofe E. Calderon; T.R. Soderstrom, C.E. Calderon (1979). "A Commentary on the Bamboos (Poaceae: Bambusoideae)". Biotropica 11 (3): 161–172.doi:10.2307/2388036.JSTOR 2388036.
Past and Future
- April 12: Astronomy.
- April 13: South East Kansas Fossils and Mineral.
- May 10: Astronomy.
- May 25 - 27: Western Kansas.
- June 8: Photo.
- June 20 - 22: A Float Trip Down the North Fork of the Black River.
- June 29: Astronomy.
- July 20: Kansas University Natural History Museum.
- July 27: Astronomy.
- August 9: Astronomy.
- August 17: Greater KC Fossil Hunt.
- Aug. 31 - Sept. 3: Southeast MO.
- September 6: Astronomy.
- October 18 - 19: Ha Ha Tonka.
- October 4: Astronomy.
- November 1: Astronomy.
- December 7: Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge; Eagle Days.
- Recurrent safari's not schedualed for 2013:
- (July) Rock Bridge / Connor’s Cave
- (August) Zoological Park Caney KS.
- (October) KATY Bike Trail.
Local Evidence of Rapid Sedimentation
by Doug Dexheimer & Paul Fennern
Kansas City residents will very likely recognize the name “Steamboat Arabia.” Somehow the once sunken riverboat caught the eye of a Mr. Jonathan O’Brien, author of a very interesting article first appearing at the CMI website, www.creation.com.1
Mr. O’Brien relates Kansas City’s well-known story of how, in 1856, the cargo-laden steamboat Arabia, traveling upstream on the Missouri River, hit a submerged log and rapidly sank. Except for one animal – a mule -- all the passengers and crew were rescued, but despite immediate and slightly delayed attempts to salvage it, the entire cargo was lost in the rapidly sinking vessel.
In 1988, efforts were begun to locate, and to eventually recover as much of the ship and its cargo as possible. The vessel was found at a location far removed from the current location of the meandering river itself, in a cultivated farmer’s field. The recovery efforts were immensely successful, as is evident today to anyone who visits the Arabia Steamboat Museum in Kansas City, Missouri.
If you haven’t already visited the Arabia Museum in Kansas City, you owe it to yourself to check it out and see how the artifacts from the Steamship Arabia have been preserved for over 130 years by something as ordinary as Missouri River mud and sand. The Arabia Museum is located in Kansas City’s River Market area.2
In his article, O’Brien makes the following observation:
Secular geologists often say that it takes eons of time for sedimentary layers to form. But the steamboat Arabia was completely buried in sediment, and then some, in about 50 years [emphasis, DRD]. This gives a tiny insight into how the Noah’s Flood, global in magnitude and laden with sand and mud, would be capable of depositing much greater quantities of sediment than the Missouri River, over a much larger area, and in a much shorter space of time.
“The Rest of the Story”
Upon reading this statement, a few of us at CSAMA questioned its veracity. We wondered if perhaps there might be some disagreement among experts regarding the author’s time estimate involved in the burial of the Arabia.
As it so happens, CSAMA has among its membership a gentleman with years of experience performing dredging operations in the Missouri River: Mr. David Penny, proprietor of Masters Dredging Company in Lawrence, KS. The question of the amount of time taken to completely submerge the Arabia Steamboat in sediment was presented to Mr. Penny. Here is a summary of his reply, based on local evidence and his own personal experience with Missouri River sedimentation:
On display at the Arabia Steamboat Museum is information collected from newspapers published at the time of its sinking, from other sources, and from actual photographs of the sinking steamboat. The steamboat went down so quickly that the crew were unable to even rescue the helpless mule that happened to be aboard. Accounts indicate that people went back the next day to try to salvage valuables from the sunken vessel – particularly some full whiskey barrels – but that such efforts were completely unsuccessful. Evidently the sinking boat generated eddies that caused the sand to be rapidly washed away from under and around the hull, resulting in its extraordinarily rapid and deep burial. The upper decks of the steamboat were easily stripped from the hull by the river’s current and floating debris, as it sank deeper and deeper. Salvaging the steamboat itself, its boilers, its engines, and its cargo became a hopeless endeavor due to the vessel’s rapid descent.
Riverboats at that time generally navigated a river’s deepest channel so as to minimize the danger of hitting a “snag.” If such an encounter did occur, the snag’s less-firm attachment to the river’s deeper bottom would result in a decreased likelihood of serious hull damage. Of course, that required more power to work the heavier current but these steamboats had engines and paddle wheels powerful enough to handle the heavier workload. A steamboat’s demise was, more often than not, the result of its encounter with a sunken snag. A steamboat’s average life expectancy during that era was, I believe, less than three years.
In any case, the riverboat sank very rapidly – very likely in a matter of days, rather than months or years. The Missouri River in those days migrated widely in relatively short periods of time between the wide river bluffs. That was before the Corps of Engineers (COE) first began dredging the river, riprapping the banks, and placing rock jetties to stymie the river’s meandering nature. Prior to the COE work, a flood of the Missouri River would typically change its course by lateral distances of up to a mile within a matter of days.
The transport load of sand in a river is a function of the 6th power of the velocity. We create dredge holes in the river by dredging out sand. During a full river current -- even without its topping the river bank -- dredge holes which took an entire year to create (300,000 tons, or 225,000 cubic yards) would naturally refill with sediment within a time period of only three or four days!
The power to rapidly fill such a large manmade basin in a river bottom -- as well as the power to rapidly and deeply sink a large riverboat -- are two truly remarkable testimonies of the tremendous power contained in moving water.
I hope this information from the past and the present clearly demonstrates that any estimate in years of the time it might have taken for the Steamboat Arabia to sink is simply untenable. It certainly must have gone down in hours, taking with it the poor mule and its large cargo, in spite of the quite reasonable and heroic attempts that were made to rescue them.
Creation 34(1):42–43 January 2012
This is the website for the Steamboat Arabia Museum, KC, Mo.
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