Mars Punchthru?

There are many remarkable things about the planet, Mars. One that keeps getting my attention is the amazing “grand canyon” known as, “Valles Marineris”. This trench that stretches across the Mars surface is roughly the length of the American continent and about 6 miles deep. It raps around the surface of the planet with a roughly circular valley system at each end.

How did such a feature come about on the cold lifeless frozen planet? One theory suggests that it’s the result of the contraction of the planet as a whole due to the cooling of the planet’s core. So, why is there only one such feature on the planet? Why not many if the planet’s surface is covered with a rather uniform outer crust as on Earth?

Valles Marineris Punchthru sketch

Looking at the feature from above, Valles Marineris reminds me of something i’ve seen before. Like a BB or a pellet fired at a tomato or some sort of soft fruit. It penetrates the skin and travels just beneath the surface forcing the meat away from it bulging the surface as it blasts along inside the fruit and if it travels close enough to the surface the skin will rupture and split open leaving a gaping wound. Finally, the projectile exits thru the skin and continues on its way. Immediately the entrance and exit areas are filled back in with pulp leaving a circular distubance at the entrance and exit points.

Pulp and meat from the insides of the fruit have been ejected from the rupture region between the entrance and exit marks. But, the memory in the fruit’s outer skin will pull the rupture’s open tear back together and the liquified pulp inside will flow into the wound partially filling the remaining gap.

The Valles Marineris on Mars is more then vaguely similar to such a wound on a piece of fruit. It is rather precisely the same! If you have an air rifle handy, you can try this experiment for yourself. Get a nice ripe tomato or a soft apple. Put it at a safe distance and using basic shooting safety precautions, shoot at any edge of the fruit. You will need to hit the edge just far enough in to cause the skin to rupture as the BB, or pellet passes through the fruit.

Planets like Mars likely have a soft molten region below the outer crust. Could a huge asteroid or comet (perhaps 100 miles in diameter) have enough momentum and mass to penetrate the Mars outer crust, travel 1500 miles thru the molten interior and exit the crust to continue on its way? Perhaps badly mishappen and deformed, but nonetheless basically intact?

I suspect this is the story this huge gash on the surface of Mars is telling us. If so, think of the other impacts such an event would have on a planet. Would it be able to sustain life afterwords? Would the planet’s rotation on its axis be changed in ways, or its orbit shift any around the Sun?

What do you think caused the Valles Marineris?

Wayne Hollyoak

Evolutionism and Confusion

As an evolutionist for most of my academic career, i found myself pondering my significance more and more frequently as time went on. Well think about it.
1. You’re labeled an “animal”. Not much dignity in that.
2. Heaven and Hell are just “imaginary” places. You’re really just atoms and chemical processes. You die- they stick you in the dirt- and you become fertilizer.
3. Since we are the “products of natural processes”, why not do what comes “naturally”. Do your own thing, just look out for number uno.
4. Since we don’t know “why” we exist, it’s anyone’s guess whether “reality” is what we think, what we see, so maybe it’s just what we dream!

Some suggest that evolution leaves room for a creator somehow. The French scientist, Lamarck, proposed that creatures “aqcuired” new traits and changed due to a need they had. This was a sort of “theistic evolution” concept. Sort of like “Providence” would step in to help some starving deer or impala reach the higher leaves on the trees when grass was scarce so this group of animals was able to survive by evolving into what we call the, “giraffe”.

Today, the “Providence” part would be replaced with, “nature” and the process would be modified to eliminate mention of “divine intervention” and a very “scientific” moniker would be given it like, “punctuated equilibrium” as Harvard’s late Steven Gould was fond of saying. How would he maintain, “scientific orthodoxy” and successfully extract “Providence”? By cleverly inserting “neutral evolution” so as to relieve the already strained “natural selection” design engine and slip in very complex engineering, however yet imperfect, design processes without stripping “nature” of any credit for her cleaverness.

So, for our poor starving impala, they very conveniently went about their day to day as all the necessary physiological systems to support an 8 foot long neck were all put in place. The bigger, stronger heart and all the needed valves along the neck arteries were mutated in place. Valves needed to keep the eventual “giraffe” from passing out everytime it raised or lowered it’s head.

“Praise nature”, just at the critical moment when the grass dissappeared, all the necessary “neutral traits” were in place. For all those years, there was no need for check valves in the impala’s neck since it wasn’t very long. Now, in another stroke of luck, a mutation occurs and the neck of the starving baby impalas has mutated genes that extend it’s neck an additional 5 feet and it can feed from the tree branches all it wants and never worry about passing out when it needs to take a drink.

The irony is that Mr. Gould was considered one of the world’s greatest minds in Biology, while Lamarck is considered naive. They both were trying to understand how creatures changed suddenly at times. The bird was once a “dinosaur” we are told. Yet, there are a small handfull of specimens that could be considered to show any transition between the highly diverse groups. This transition would have millions of transitional stages and there already were flying reptiles that were very capable of navigating the air.

All this to say, that what the prophet once said is true, “the fool has said in his heart, ‘there is no God’. Say anything you want and try to make evolution sound completely free of “external help” and you are still left with questions that require “faith” in the system. Why does “nature” make exceptions for some species and stick to the rules of logic and physics for others? Why do “biologists” resort to obsurd theories to keep a real Creator out of the mix?

We all fear rejection and embarrassment. So the temptation is to fall back on something we call, “pride”. “Intelligent design isn’t science”, “real scientists agree that evolution is a fact” are sayings that come from fear and confusion which have been covered up with pride.

Letting go of Darwin’s creation story was terrifying to me. It had become a mindset, a sense of reality. To doubt it was like insanity. All of the lies i had been hearing about christianity and church and religion in general were swirling around. But, intellectual honesty was calling me. The arguments presented by creationists was at times slanted, but nonetheless compelling.

Evolutionism is like any other addiction. It gives you a certain sense of power “i can do my thing and not worry about eternal consequences”. How proud i was to seem to have all the answers to how life began and things got here at my fingertips. I knew better than all the religions of the world!!!

But, the disillusionment it causes is very sad. The sense of uselessness, hopelessness and pointlessness of life is everywhere. Look at Punk Rock-bellowing out an endless flow of rage. The same can be said of the rap culture, drug abuse and murder in the name of “womens rights”. And what about all those young men and women that are lining up to strap bombs to themselves.

True, we must accept reality, whatever we understand it to be. Not to do so is confusion. In the world of science, creationists and advocates of intelligent design have presented their case and “science” has resorted to pride rather than take the objections seriously. I for one, was willing to listen and admit error.

Wayne Hollyoak

Deep Down

We are told that the earth has a molten core, or at least the part that lies beneath the earth’s outer crust is molten rock. Supposedly kept that way by nuclear reactions taking place. Perhaps due to the extreme pressures from all the material weighing down on it from above.

There’s a problem with this idea in that gravity should actually decrease intensity the further you go down into the earth. True, there’s still lots of stuff weighing down, but things get lighter the further down you go. You see the material that is now above you also produces it’s own gravity conteracting the gravity from the remaining stuff under you.

Should you ever make it to the very center of the earth, all the gravity would be coming from all around equally and you would experience weightlessness and just float about. This is because gravity is produced somehow by any mass. The greater the mass, the stronger the gravitational pull.

So, if there isn’t enough pressure in the earth to sustain nuclear reactions, then the earths core is cooling and permantly losing heat as time goes on. As an object cools, it also shrinks. That would mean that at one time the earths crust was much thinner and warmer at the surface. This would also shrivel, wrinkle and buckel the surface as seen in the current topography complete with mountain ranges, canyons, oceans, etc. Air pockets and caverns would form as the molten material receeds lower from its constant cooling. Periodically, cracks and crevaces would form allowing the surface water to flow in from oceans and rivers.

Wayne Hollyoak

Is the Genome Unglued?

Living with ADD can be a little challanging at times. As a kid, i remember having a hard time looking at a person while talking to them. The only way i could pay attention to what they were saying was to look away, which usually didn’t go over too well. You see, if i were to look at them, instantly i would forget everything they had just said. It was kind of a catch 22. You were rude for not looking at them and ruder, yet, if you did and couldn’t follow their conversation.

Folks with ADD notice everything around them and have little or no power to maintain focus on one thing at a time. All day long, i have to force myself to stay on any task and it is exhausting at times to try to keep focused on any particular thing. But, it does have its advandages. I tend to be keenly aware of everything around me and i notice things like flies landing on the ceiling and a blade of grass recoiling from being stepped on.

So, what’s this got to do with genomes and stuff?? Genomes are the compliment of genetic variables for any given type of creature or species, if you will. Sort of like all the available switches in a creature’s DNA or RNA that determine how it will develop and thrive. It’s design information densly packaged on the molecular level.

Somehow, a gene or two were damaged some generations before me and those damaged genes(aka mutations) were passed on to me. So, i don’t have the talent of being able to focus on something at will like most folks. School was a bad scene for my cause i had to sit still and stay awake and focus all the time. Went home with a migrane almost every day! But, miraculously, i was able to complete a BS in biology and even work in 3 different masters programs, though never bothered to complete one.

Be that as it may, the truth is, we’ve all got errors to deal with in our individual genetic information. The genome of man has been in decay since the first were introduced thousands of years ago. How much longer will it last? Maybe a better question is, how has it held together for so long? The earth is bombarded constantly with subatomic radiation and we are exposed the ultraviolet radiation, asbestos, PCB’s, flourocarbons and all sorts of carcinogenic materials that can and do damage the human genome constantly.

Isn’t it another sign of the nurturing activity of the Creator the way we still function so well after thousands of generations and billions of copies of this wonderful thing we call, the “human genome”. It was designed to last and endure extreme hardship and continue to produce healthy productive people.

So, how much longer can, will it keep making good copies of itself? As so many of us abandon the Creator and go about to do our own things, shall we presume to expect this fragile coding system to continue making perfectly formed humans? If the Creator were to completely go “hands off” with His incredible human genome, how long would it survive? 1, 2 perhaps 10 generations before it would crumble and mankind with it?

Maybe that’s why the prophet, David, said this many years ago, “we are fearfully and wonderfully made”.

Wayne Hollyoak