Amateur naturalist Gene Sparling, the man who made the sighting that convinced experts the birds were still alive, said he saw the woodpecker while canoeing in a remote, bug and snake-infested area. To him it was "a spiritual experience."
John Fitzpatrick of the Cornell University Laboratory of Ornithology in New York said it best. "This is the most spectacular creature we could ever imagine rediscovering ... For three generations this bird has been a symbol of the great old forests of the southern United States. It is a flagship of the blunders of excess of overharvesting. Nothing could be more hoped for than this Holy Grail."
Conservationists are thankful for a second chance to preserve the species, and in the words of Sparling, "those are rare."
Evolutionists Make 'Call To Arms'
by Jonathan Drake
S: USA Today (3-23-05)
They say they're feeling the pressure from the people, and need to fight back. Science teachers, roughly 1/3 of them across the United States according to a recent poll, express that they are seemingly forced to include creation-related material in the classroom so as not to raise too many complaints. They're not expected to all give in, however.
"I write to you now because of a growing threat to the teaching of science," said Bruce Alberts, National Academy of Sciences chief, in a letter to colleagues two months ago. He said he and his colleagues must "confront the increasing challenges to the teaching of evolution in public schools."
"Teachers are under attack all the time and need more support from scientists."
What kind of support? For the most part, affirmation. Scientists need to not only provide scientific backup, but verbal backup, such as that given by Alberts in the previous quote. Executive director of the National Science Teachers Association, Gerry Wheeler, calls the letter "a good call to arms" to scientists. "I'm hoping it will give teachers the energy to make sure they stand for high-quality science teaching."
In an article by USA Today on the subject, Creationism was labeled as "the belief that species have divine origin," while Evolutionism was described as "changes in genes that lead to the development of species." These are misleading labels to say the least, as most creationists fully adhere to speciation (birds producing varieties of birds, etc), while most evolutionists see evolution as more than just the development of new species; they view it as the very origin of species.
In any case, the fiasco only goes to show that evolutionists have yet to provide enough concrete evidence to convince the masses that all living things share a common ancestor.
T-Rex Soft Tissue Discovered
by Josef Long
S: AIG (3-25-05)
They were forced to break open the leg bone of a Tyrannosaurus Rex in order to lift it by helicopter, and what transpired afterwards became one of the greatest dinosaur discoveries of all time.
Inside the mostly hollow bone was found blood cells and soft tissue, along with complete blood vessels; and mind you, unfossilized. One described a portion of the tissue as “flexible and resilient and when stretched returns to its original shape."
According to Dr. Mary Schweitzer of Montana State University, "The microstructures that look like cells are preserved in every way ... preservation of this extent, where you still have this flexibility and transparency, has never been seen in a dinosaur before.”
Question is, why not? Probably because it hasn't even been looked for. Afterall, after supposed millions of years in existence, how could a bone possibly preserve such microstructure in the first place?
That's exacly what Schweitzer asked herself when she first found what appeared to be blood cells in a T. Rex specimen years ago. "It was exactly like looking at a slice of modern bone," she said. "But, of course, I couldn’t believe it. I said to the lab technician: 'The bones, after all, are 65 million years old. How could blood cells survive that long?’"
She didn't question evolutionary history, of course, but instead the evidence itself.
In any case, the goal now for scientists is to figure out how these structures could have survived in such preserved states for over 65 million years.
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Quote of the Month
"In spite of these examples, it remains true, as every paleontologist knows, that most new species, genera, and families and that nearly all new categories above the level of famillies appear in the record suddenly and are not led up to by known, gradual, completely continuous transitional sequences."
George Gaylord Simpson, Ph.D.
Agassiz Professor of Vertebrate Paleontology, Musuem of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University
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