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Creationism News -- April 2012 创造 论新闻 -- 2012 年 4 月. Dedicated to David Coppedge who sacrificed his career as the Head Systems Administrator for the Cassini Spacecraft in JPL to honor the Creator of the Universe. He also spent literally thousands of hours to make his excellent websites.

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Creationism News -- April 2012 创造 论新闻 -- 2012 年 4 月


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    1. Creationism News -- April 2012创造论新闻 -- 2012年4月 Dedicated to David Coppedge who sacrificed his career as the Head Systems Administrator for the Cassini Spacecraft in JPL to honor the Creator of the Universe. He also spent literally thousands of hours to make his excellent websites. The contents of this presentation were taken from various sources. Thank God that David Coppedge came back from the lawsuit after two months of “vacation.” Pray for the results of the lawsuit. I now resume using his website materials. Pastor Chui http://ChristCenterGospel.org ckchui1@yahoo.com 11/1/2014 1

    2. Adaptation Mechanisms in Biology 生物学中的适应机制 • ICR Acts and Facts (April 2012) has an article on the mechanisms of adaptation. Most expressed traits and adaptations are biologically complex responses. A creationist model of adaptation is based on the organism’s innate physiological capabilities and fault tolerance mechanisms that are genetically programmed by the Creator. Scientifically valid descriptions employ recent molecular discoveries in genomics, cell physiology, and phenotypic plasticity to explain an organism’s behavior to their environmental niches. 11/1/2014 2

    3. The Grand Staircase大楼梯 • ICR Acts and Facts (April 2012) has an article on the Grand Staircase, which describes the landforms of Utah and Arizona, starting from the colored Bryce Canyon, to Grey Cliffs, to White Cliffs, to Vermillion Cliffs, and finally to the Grand Canyon. These cliffs and canyons do form a grand staircase which spans the geologic era from the paleozoic, mesozoic, and the cenozoic. The staircase is best explained by receding flood waters in short duration. The Redwall limestone, in which billions of 2-foot long nautiloid fossils were discovered, prove the deposit could not have been due to gradual processes. The Coconino Sandstone is an underwater sand ripple deposit. The Zion Canyon has vast marine deposits of fossils. Bryce Canyon is a failed lake bed full of Flood waters. It all fits inferences from biblical information. 11/1/2014 3

    4. Tech Innovations from the Creator 从造物主来科技创新 • ICR Acts and Facts (April 2012) has an article on how engineers copied from nature and produced many designs that still fall short of the real thing. Examples include the intricately designed scales of the large Arapaima Brazilian fish gave inspiration for engineers to develop flexible ceramics. Diving watercrafts are designed after the sleek water dynamics of killer whales, dolphins, and sharks. The humpback whale flippers have dome-like bumps called tubercles are now used in wind turbine blades which increased yearly electrical production by 20% with reduced noise! Now this design can be applied to fans, pumps, compressors, and turbines. God had it first. Rough shark skin is designed to smooth the water flow over the shark. 80% of the medals were won by swimmers with these suits. 11/1/2014 4

    5. Tech Innovations from the Creator 从造物主来科技创新 • ICR Acts and Facts (April 2012) further describes how scientists took the wing design of long-distance birds to develop an amazing morphing airplane wing. The wing skin were covered by an outer skin like fish scales. This leads to rapid flights with less fuel consumption. • Velcro was invented to imitate the burr structure of plants. • Blood-clotting is not copied for use in aircraft composite material. Composites with tiny hollow tubes filled with epoxy resin. When the aircraft is over stressed, a crack would appear and resin leaks out. The scar is sealed. • Gecko technology now includes tapes that would improve recovery from surgery and make more robust surgical materials, patches, and bandages. Let us give glory to God. 11/1/2014 5

    6. Spider Web Design 蜘蛛网设计 • ICR Acts and Facts (April 2012) has an article on the masterful design of spider webs. Spider silk is stronger than steel and tougher than Levlar pound-for-pound. A spider silk strand resists stress in a stepwise fashion. After initial stiffening, the thread absorbed stress by stretching. Additional pressure caused the thread to sharply stiffen, thus transferring pressure to the rest of the web. The load capacity increased by 3-10% with the introduction of defects. It’s as if the web was designed to anticipate breaks. Because their webs remain stable after damage, spiders repair them to catch multiple means with the same web. Now scientists use modified bacteria and goats to manufacture silk proteins. Automobile designers can incorporate crumple zones to absorb head-on collisions. • Thank God because He optimized the spider web. 11/1/2014 6

    7. Dead Galaxies Live On 死星系仍然活 • Discover (April 2012) reports U of Michigan astronomer Joel Bregman looked into red-and-dead elliptical galaxies and found all of them have some young stars. The reddest and deadest galaxy, Messier 105, harbors dozens of young stars, although these young stars are a fraction of our own Milky Way. This fact will force astronomers to revise their models of galaxy formation. The fact is all galaxies have both “old” and “young” stars. It is a matter of interpretation. Some have more “old” stars, while others have more “young” stars. It is like some families have more elderly and others have more youngsters. • Thank God for these families of galaxies. 11/1/2014 7

    8. A cu. mm of Brain Tissue  1015 byte 一立方毫米的脑组织1015字节 • Discover (April 2012) reports MIT neuroscientist Sebastian Seung who models the brain’s connectome—the million billion points of contact between neurons in the brain. If successful, we’ll glimpse the anatomy of the mind. He needs bigger and faster computers for modeling. He needs more eyeballs to analyze the results. He is designing a game so that the public can play. It may take years to know what the brain is in store for us all. Thank God for our brains. 11/1/2014 8

    9. The Clouds Are Alive 云层活着 • Discover (April 2012) reports that clouds are teeming with microorganisms so much as that it says the clouds are “alive.” The ecosystem in the sky may influence much of the world’s weather. The amount of microbial life present in the cloud droplets that make up a winter storm is amazing. The skies are full of invisible life. Bacteria, algae, and fungi are swept up by winds and lifted to the altitude of 20 miles into the stratosphere by electric fields during thunderstorms. Some researchers proposed the ice-making bug and others like it might be creating ice crystals in clouds that result in precipitation. Now cloud seeding has more chances. Thank God for that. 11/1/2014 9

    10. Surprising Scientific Fraud 令人惊讶的科学欺诈 • Discover (April 2012) has the last page dedicated to “20 Things You Didn’t Know about Science Fraud.” In 18 surveys of researchers, 2% confessed to falsifying or manipulating data, but 14% said they knew a colleague who had. From retracted biology papers from 2000 to 2010, Americans were more prone to commit fraud than scientists of other nations. Chinese scientists were actually 3 times more likely to commit fraud. If caught stealing other’s ideas, they excused themselves that a memory as an original thought. Even geniuses succumb to temptation. Isaac Newton fudged numbers in his Principia, considered to be the greatest physics text ever written. Others who have altered data include Freud, Darwin, and Pasteur. • This says that “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” 11/1/2014 10

    11. Genome Length 基因组长度 • Popular Science (April 2012) has an interesting section on the length of genome of various life forms: • Bacterium (Escherichia coli): 6.2 million DNA base pairs • Foot fungus (Trichophyton rubrum): 22 million DNA pairs • Earthworm (A. tuberculata): 655 million DNA pairs • Piranha (S. brandtii): 1600 million DNA pairs • Human (Homo sapiens): 3000 million DNA pairs • Daffodil (N. jonquilla): 16000 million DNA pairs • That is why one single leaf of daffodil can grow into a plant. • Is daffodil more complex than humans? Not necessarily. • The fact is that all cells are very complex. There are hundreds of types of highly complex cells working in harmony in us to make us breathe and think. Thank God! 11/1/2014 11

    12. Jesus vs. Scientists: Who's Better at Miracles? 耶稣与科学家:谁在神迹更好? • Yahoo Science quotes Live Science (April 7) on Jesus vs. Scientist: Who’s Better at Miracles? The article compares Jesus’ miracles to current successes of science on topics of virgin birth, free wine, healing lameness, feeding the masses, making blind people see, resurrection of Lazarus, and found that science is still lag behind. It might take another 2000 years for science to catch up. The article says. 11/1/2014 12

    13. Oil Spill Anniversary 石油泄漏周年 • Popular Mechanics (April 2012) has a short article on the two year anniversary of the worst oil spill in America. The mishap killed 11 people and dumped 5 million barrels of crude into the Gulf of Mexico. Federal officials found it is not a catastrophe as predicted. Favorable currents and topology prevented the oil from spreading and allowed bacteria to break it down quickly. A reduction of bluefin population was found to reduce less than 4%. Thank God for the bacteria to avert a catastrophe. 11/1/2014 13

    14. Vikings’ Crystal Compass海盗水晶罗盘 • Archaeology (March/April 2012) reports Vikings were able to sail from Norway to North America 1000 years ago without magnetic compass. The crystal Iceland spar could be used to ascertain the sun’s position even on a cloudy day. When light passes through the crystal, it is doubly refracted. As a person holds up the crystal to the sun and rotates it, the two beams line up when facing the sun. This is true even on a cloudy day. Thank God for the ingenuity of the Vikings to navigate without compass. 11/1/2014 14

    15. Heart Disease is Still the No. 1 Killer心脏疾病仍是头号杀手 • Time (April 2, 2012) has an article describing why heart disease is still the number 1 killer in America. Each year more than half a million people die of heart-related causes in the US, but despite increasing awareness of the key contributors to heart disease, we haven’t been getting much better at preventing it. Of the seven major heart risk factors(high cholesterol, elevated blood pressure, high glucose levels, an unhealthy diet, a sedentary lifestyle, smoking and being overweight—most of us succeed at keeping only 3 or 4 under control. • That is why Paul said that “the flesh is weak. The things that I want to do I did not do.” We need the grace of God and help of the Holy Spirit to help us to walk in His path. 11/1/2014 15

    16. Man-made Sound Helps Hummingbirds人做声音帮助蜂鸟 • Time (April 2, 2012) has an article describing how man-made sound from natural gas compressors help the hummingbirds to survive. Strange as it may sound. The man-made sound scare away the predator, the bluejay, which eats nesting babies of the hummingbirds. • Man-made engine noise is not all that bad. At least in the case of the hummingbirds. It helps the birds to survive. We praise God for that. 11/1/2014 16

    17. Cambrian Explosion: Sedimentary, My Dear Flotsam寒武纪大爆发:沉积,我亲爱的漂流 • The short sentence “Then something happened” appears in a press release from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, entitled, “Great Unconformity: Evidence for a geologic trigger of the Cambrian explosion” (see it also on PhysOrg). The references to geology, fossils and evidence sure sounds like this is coming from the science lab. Here’s the context: • The oceans teemed with life 600 million years ago, but the simple, soft-bodied creatures would have been hardly recognizable as the ancestors of nearly all animals on Earth today. 11/1/2014 17

    18. Cambrian Explosion: Sedimentary, My Dear Flotsam寒武纪大爆发:沉积,我亲爱的漂流 • Then something happened. Over several tens of millions of years – a relative blink of an eye in geologic terms – a burst of evolution led to a flurry of diversification and increasing complexity, including the expansion of multicellular organisms and the appearance of the first shells and skeletons. • The results of this Cambrian explosion are well documented in the fossil record, but its cause – why and when it happened, and perhaps why nothing similar has happened since – has been a mystery. 11/1/2014 18

    19. Cambrian Explosion: Sedimentary, My Dear Flotsam寒武纪大爆发:沉积,我亲爱的漂流 • Although Darwin and other palaeontologists [sic; Darwin’s only degree was in theology] have regarded the resultant widespread hiatus in the rock record as a failure of preservation, the formation of this prominent gap may have actually been an environmental trigger for biomineralization, thereby promoting the Cambrian explosion of marine animals. Determining the geodynamic causes of extensive Neoproterozoic continental denudation followed by Phanerozoic sedimentation, and linking those dynamics to the timing and spatial distribution of marine transgression and biogeochemical change, is now a challenge for geoscience. 11/1/2014 19

    20. Cambrian Explosion: Sedimentary, My Dear Flotsam寒武纪大爆发:沉积,我亲爱的漂流 • Then something happened. Over several tens of millions of years – a relative blink of an eye in geologic terms – a burst of evolution led to a flurry of diversification and increasing complexity, including the expansion of multicellular organisms and the appearance of the first shells and skeletons. • The results of this Cambrian explosion are well documented in the fossil record, but its cause – why and when it happened, and perhaps why nothing similar has happened since – has been a mystery. 11/1/2014 20

    21. Cambrian Explosion: Sedimentary, My Dear Flotsam寒武纪大爆发:沉积,我亲爱的漂流 • This is all part of the gap. They filled the gap with their own imaginations. There’s no evidence that shallow seas repeatedly advanced and retreated, wearing down imaginary sediments to basement rock all over the world. There’s only the gap– igneous basement rock, with flat sediments stacked on top of them a billion Darwin Years later. This is clearly visible in the Grand Canyon, but it represents a global phenomenon. That’s why it’s called the Great Unconformity. Furthermore, there’s only one Great Unconformity, so they have not found a Law of Nature that creates global unconformities from time to time. Peters himself said in the press release, “there’s nothing else like it in the entire rock record.” 11/1/2014 21

    22. Cambrian Explosion: Sedimentary, My Dear Flotsam寒武纪大爆发:沉积,我亲爱的漂流 • During an imaginary billion-year gap that left no sign of gully erosion on a global flat surface while imaginary seas advanced and retreated. “Then something happened.” New minerals changed the chemistry of seawater. This “triggered” a geologically-sudden explosion of complex body plans with eyes, articulated limbs, digestive systems, muscles and nerves. In science, it’s now permissible to use gaps to fill gaps. You can use silence to fill silence. You can use imagination in lieu of scientific data. Stuff happens: in modern Darwinian thinking, that’s all you need to know. Imagining what may happen in the gaps gives you Understanding — Enlightenment — Nirvana. 11/1/2014 22

    23. Wernher von Braun Remembered要记得沃纳·冯·布劳恩 • Wernher von Braun (1912–1977) would have turned 100 on March 23. His name is almost synonymous with “rocket scientist” to many. Father of the American space program, including the first American satellite, the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs, the moon landings and Skylab, von Braun left an indelible mark on America and the world. 11/1/2014 23

    24. Wernher von Braun Remembered要记得沃纳·冯·布劳恩 • David Christensen, who worked with von Braun, spoke from his experience with the giant of rocketry: • He was very unique. I don’t know of another individual, frankly, that’s had those capabilities, either then or now, that could do the things he did. • He was a very warm personality. • He was very down to Earth and friendly, never talked down to anyone. But talking to him, working on a project, you learned very quickly he was a genius. • He was a very broad-based individual, very culturally capable; he played several musical instruments, wrote music, he was an astronomer and he was certainly a top notch engineer. 11/1/2014 24

    25. Wernher von Braun Remembered要记得沃纳·冯·布劳恩 • Late in the Apollo program, Wernher von Braun became a Christian and supporter of creation and academic freedom – the freedom of students to question Darwinian materialism. He wrote popular articles on the relationship of science and faith. “The better we understand the intricacies of the universe and all it harbors, the more reason we have found to marvel at the inherent design upon which it is based,” he said in 1972. 11/1/2014 25

    26. Wernher von Braun Remembered要记得沃纳·冯·布劳恩 • In a statement remarkably prescient of arguments used by the subsequent intelligent design movement, he added, “While the admission of a design for the universe ultimately raises the question of a Designer (a subject outside of science), the scientific method does not allow us to exclude data which lead to the conclusion that the universe, life and man are based on design. To be forced to believe only one conclusion—that everything in the universe happened by chance—would violate the very objectivity of science itself.” 11/1/2014 26

    27. Wernher von Braun Remembered要记得沃纳·冯·布劳恩 • The positive coverage of von Braun’s 100th birthday is a hopeful sign that the misinformed guilt-by-association slurs of this great man are finally dying down, and that history will treat him favorably, as it should. Consider that he made great effort at considerable risk to escape to the Americans as soon as it was possible. Look at his record from the moment he arrived on American shores. Is it believable his character suddenly switched from one pole to another overnight? 11/1/2014 27

    28. Wernher von Braun Remembered要记得沃纳·冯·布劳恩 • The weight of evidence is that his expertise, borne of childhood love of space and rocketry, had been temporarily co-opted during the German war effort by forces beyond his control, and put to uses that repulsed him. As soon as it was possible for him to escape the clutches of his desperate situation, he sought out the Americans and surrendered his whole team to them. As an American, he explained his German situation when asked, without dwelling on it, but a few continued to tar him with guilt by association. No other alleged “Nazi war criminal” led such a stellar, exemplary life afterward. 11/1/2014 28

    29. Wernher von Braun Remembered要记得沃纳·冯·布劳恩 • He quickly became an American citizen and dedicated himself to the peaceful exploration of space. Von Braun was never charged with or convicted of any war crimes; on the contrary, he was showered with honors. Even the British Interplanetary Society, in the London that felt the horror of the V2 rockets, honored him. His achievements cannot and should not be smeared with baseless suppositions. The man’s life speaks for itself. Happy Birthday, Dr. von Braun– one of the world’s greatest creation scientists. 11/1/2014 29

    30. From Wonders of Nature to Wonders of Technology 要从大自然的奇观到科技奇观 • 1. Butterfly black magic. Science Daily reported, “Butterfly Wings’ ‘Art of Blackness’ Could Boost Production of Green Fuels.” Notice they said art of blackness, not black art. It’s purely physical: the arrangement of cells on some butterfly wings are designed to absorb light to look as black as black can be. This observation portends fuel efficiency, the article says: • Butterfly wings may rank among the most delicate structures in nature, but they have given researchers powerful inspiration for new technology that doubles production of hydrogen gas — a green fuel of the future — from water and sunlight. 11/1/2014 30

    31. From Wonders of Nature to Wonders of Technology 要从大自然的奇观到科技奇观 • At a meeting of the American Chemical Society, Tongxiang Fang told the audience that the problem in fuel cells is light-gathering efficiency. • “We realized that the solution to this problem may have been in existence for millions of years, fluttering right in front of our eyes,” Fan said. “And that was correct. Black butterfly wings turned out to be a natural solar collector worth studying and mimicking,” Fan said. 11/1/2014 31

    32. From Wonders of Nature to Wonders of Technology 要从大自然的奇观到科技奇观 • 2. Does this float your boat? Imagine a one-pound boat that could carry 1,000 pounds. Wonders like this are coming into the realm of possibility by studying how water striders do it. Water striders literally walk on water, their specialized footpads creating mere dimples in the skin-like surface of water. By combining the bugs’ technique with one of the world’s lightest solid substances, aerogel, researchers at the University of Helsinki are looking to produce products useful for “cleaning up oil spills to helping create such products as sensors for detecting environmental pollution, miniaturized military robots, and even children’s toys and super-buoyant beach floats.” 11/1/2014 32

    33. From Wonders of Nature to Wonders of Technology 要从大自然的奇观到科技奇观 • Their findings were also presented at the American Chemical Society meeting. Biomimetics was the hot topic there: “The symposium focused on an emerging field called biomimetics, in which scientists literally take inspiration from Mother Nature, probing and adapting biological systems in plants and animals for use in medicine, industry and other fields.” The ACS is the world’s largest scientific society. Even the aerogel itself derives from cellulose in plants. If you wear cotton or use paper, you’re familiar with cellulose, but nano-cellulose is opening up a whole new age, according to one of the symposium organizers that invited a dozen presentations on it: 11/1/2014 33

    34. From Wonders of Nature to Wonders of Technology 要从大自然的奇观到科技奇观 • “We are in the middle of a Golden Age, in which a clearer understanding of the forms and functions of cellulose architectures in biological systems is promoting the evolution of advanced materials,” said Harry Brumer, Ph.D., of Michael Smith Laboratories, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. • Ikkala pointed out that cellulose is the most abundant polymer on Earth, a renewable and sustainable raw material that could be used in many new ways. In addition, nanocellulose promises advanced structural materials similar to metals, such as high-tech spun fibers and films. 11/1/2014 34

    35. From Wonders of Nature to Wonders of Technology 要从大自然的奇观到科技奇观 • 3. Biological batteries: If your surgeon left an Energizer battery inside you after sewing you back up, you would NOT last long like a toy bunny; you would be at a serious health risk. Some day, though, surgeons may intentionally sew batteries inside your body – batteries made with biological enzymes found in bacteria. “Nature’s billion-year-old battery key to storing energy” reads a headline on PhysOrg, referring to the time in Darwin years that evolutionists believe this enzyme, involved in photosynthesis, has existed. “Light induces a charge separation in the enzyme, causing one end to become negatively charged and the other positively charged, much like in a battery.” 11/1/2014 35

    36. From Wonders of Nature to Wonders of Technology 要从大自然的奇观到科技奇观 • If a team from Concordia University succeeds in controlling this enzyme, inventors may be able to create biological batteries that could internally monitor your vital signs with no ill effects from toxic chemicals, because the ingredients would be all natural. One of the driving forces for the research is that such materials are “carbon neutral and use resources that are in abundance: sun, carbon dioxide and water,” the article explained. “Researchers are using nature’s battery to inspire more sustainable, man-made energy converting systems.” 11/1/2014 36

    37. From Wonders of Nature to Wonders of Technology 要从大自然的奇观到科技奇观 • While on the subject of physics, let’s notice a tribute to James Clerk Maxwell, one of the world’s greatest creation scientists. His famous “Maxwell’s Equations” have yielded a new solution to the question of whether self-bending light is possible — and it is. Does this mean we will some day be able to see around corners? Read PhysOrg for the scoop on what this profound discovery might have in store for everything that acts with wave-like behavior. 11/1/2014 37

    38. From Wonders of Nature to Wonders of Technology 要从大自然的奇观到科技奇观 • Did you notice the claim that the American Chemical Society is the world’s largest scientific society? and that they are jazzed about biomimetics–an intelligent-design based mode of scientific inquiry? What does that tell you about the future of Darwinism, that useless Victorian myth that produced things no more valuable to society than forced sterilization, genocide and totalitarian regimes? Yes, a Golden Age is coming, if we can extricate ourselves from the clutches of the Victorian myth, and return science to what it used to be: thinking God’s thoughts after him. The words of physicist James Joule are jewels in that regard, worth reading in this new age of biomimetics. 11/1/2014 38

    39. Saturn Moons Continue to Shine土星月亮继续绽放 • Saturn just passed opposition on April 15, making it a good viewing object from Earth this season. Amateur observers with telescopes may be able to make out the moons Titan, Rhea, Dione, Iapetus, Tethys, and Enceladus. They may look like beautiful little gems from Earth, but from the Cassini spacecraft in orbit at Saturn, they are no less than astonishing. Recent observations of these moons add to the astonishment. 11/1/2014 39

    40. Saturn Moons Continue to Shine土星月亮继续绽放 • Titan, the largest of Saturn’s family of natural satellites (larger even than the planet Mercury), yielded more secrets of its southern “great lake,” named Ontario Lacus (Lake Ontario, due to its resemblance and size to Earth’s counterpart). It turns out the lake is more like a mud flat, shallow and wide. Namibia has similar salt pans that occasionally fill in with liquid from the water table. Cassini scientists now think that liquid methane and ethane seep into the mud flat from below, instead of during downpours. This not only makes the giant “lake” a poor splashdown site for future spaceships, but adds to the mystery of the missing ethane, once thought to have covered Titan with a global ocean several kilometers deep. 11/1/2014 40

    41. Saturn Moons Continue to Shine土星月亮继续绽放 • Rhea is Saturn’s second largest moon, but smaller than Titan by a long shot (Rhea would cover Texas, but Titan would cover the entire United States). Cassini made another flyby of Rhea from 26,000 miles on March 10. The main thing of note in Space.com’s coverage was an impact basin 300 miles across, nearly a third of the moon’s diameter. Rhea also retains a tenuous atmosphere of oxygen and carbon dioxide, apparently replenished by charged particles. “Researchers think the oxygen comes from Rhea’s surface ice, liberated from water molecules that get blasted apart by charged particles streaming from Saturn’s magnetosphere. The source of the carbon dioxide, however, is more mysterious.” 11/1/2014 41

    42. Saturn Moons Continue to Shine土星月亮继续绽放 • Dione may be active like Enceladus, according to an article on the BBC News by Paul Rincon. “NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has spied possible signs of geological activity on Saturn’s icy moon Dione,” he reported. These tentative findings are based on fissures resembling the “tiger stripes” on Enceladus, a possible ice volcano, and areas that appear to have been resurfaced. So far, the suggestion has not been corroborated by observations of jets or heat signatures, although “rampart craters” hint that there may be internal heat in Dione remaining. Perhaps, though, the fissures are “fossil tiger stripes,” indicating past geological activity that ceased. It’s remarkable that little Enceladus, less than half the diameter of Dione, should be the most active moon of Saturn. 11/1/2014 42

    43. Saturn Moons Continue to Shine土星月亮继续绽放 • Iapetus hasn’t had any flybys as good as the best one in 2007, which led scientists to propose ice-hopping or “runaway migration” to explain the dichotomy between dark and light sides. Observations continue to be made and analyzed, though. Space.com reported how Paul Ries is using Earth radar to infer temperature changes across the dark and light parts of the moon. Unexpectedly, the measurements did not follow a Planck blackbody curve as Ries predicted, but rather showed a fairly flat spectrum across wavelengths, suggesting steep absorption. At this point Ries doesn’t have an explanation. He’s comparing radar on Earth ice to see what the signals can tell about grain size and other factors. “Iapetus certainly has some strange stuff that needs to be explained, so this is potentially very interesting for the future,” he said. 11/1/2014 43

    44. Saturn Moons Continue to Shine土星月亮继续绽放 • Enceladus remains the prima donna of Saturn, bursting out her fountains at the south pole like a show that never ends. On March 27, Cassini shot the plumes again from 46 miles, hoping to “taste” them and send home pretty pictures, too; dazzling geyser shots were posted. Space.com reported that continued study of the “tiger stripe” cracks show them to be deformed by Saturn’s powerful gravity. On April 14, Cassini made a second pass from 46 miles. Even though the tiger stripes are in the dark now, the infrared spectrometer and cosmic dust analyzer were poised for front-seat observations. A JPL press release showed latest unprocessed images from the encounter and a follow-up flyby of Tethys that provided the highest-resolution images of a side of Tethys not seen by the ultra-close 2005 encounter. A new close-up of Connecticut-sized Janus filled in a productive month by Cassini scientists. 11/1/2014 44

    45. Saturn Moons Continue to Shine土星月亮继续绽放 • Ringside. All that glitters at Saturn is not moons. Saturn’s sparkling F-ring was the subject of a report on New Scientist about puzzling observations of possible bursting moonlets that have on rare occasions brightened the F-ring significantly. Voyagers 1 and 2 saw sparkles in the 1980s, and Hubble saw one in 1995, but the ring has brightened overall since (implying more dust than before), except for an 84% brightening in December 2006 that took two years to fade. The F-ring is known to be perturbed by the little potato-shaped moon Prometheus, but if the sparkles are due to disruption of moonlets, there aren’t that many more moonlets around, unless Prometheus has ways of continually making and destroying giant snowballs made of ring dust. Reporter Lisa Grossman left it up as an oddity that may send scientists back to the drawing board. 11/1/2014 45

    46. Saturn Moons Continue to Shine土星月亮继续绽放 • The dynamism found at Saturn’s rings and moons raises questions about how long these energetic, entropy-rich processes on small moons and in thin rings can be sustained. Cassini already spectacularly falsified the “global ocean on Titan” hypothesis when its Huygens probe landed on a soggy mud flat in 2005. Are we to believe the geysers on Enceladus have been going on for 4.5 billion years but stopped earlier on larger Dione? Are we incredibly lucky to be seeing the flimsy F-ring running out of moonlets right when Cassini is there to observe it? 11/1/2014 46

    47. Saturn Moons Continue to Shine土星月亮继续绽放 • We must keep in mind that, in science, there is a vast difference between scientific observation and scientific explanation. Unquestionably, our maps of the surfaces of Enceladus, Iapetus and Titan are vastly superior today than they were after Voyagers 1 and 2. That’s significant progress. The images of the F-ring are also orders of magnitude better than they were in the 1980s. Nevertheless, the explanations for activity on Enceladus and Titan seem strained. Are these anomalies that could lead to a scientific revolution? 11/1/2014 47

    48. Saturn Moons Continue to Shine土星月亮继续绽放 • It’s notable that this is the 50th anniversary of philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn’s influential book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. David Kaiser in Naturetook note of that, as did Evolution News & Views in several posts. The book that brought “paradigm shift” into the vernacular started a wave of thought that toppled logical positivism and helped many people realize that science is not necessarily the objective, neutral, truth-seeking, progressive enterprise students are led to believe, but in fact is governed by sociological and cultural factors that often stifle creative thinking by focusing attention on what questions are worth answering, what puzzles are worth solving, and what research is worth funding. 11/1/2014 48

    49. Saturn Moons Continue to Shine土星月亮继续绽放 • The planetary science community tends to be a close-knit thought collective with a web of belief that is tolerant of maverick views only to a point. If enough anomalies continue to pile up at Saturn, though, it will be interesting to watch if several long-held assumptions may have to be jettisoned to account for them. This may be a good time for new minds, uncluttered by tradition and consensus, to look at Cassini’s observations afresh. 11/1/2014 49

    50. Paradigm Shift: Impact Didn’t Kill Dinosaurs 范式转换: 陨石没有杀死恐龙 • A new study casts doubt on whether asteroid impacts led to extinctions. It’s based on re-interpreting geological evidence used to identify impacts. This finding, if sustained, would undermine the theory that an impact killed off the dinosaurs and a later impact led to the extinction of many large mammals. Even more significant, an overturn of the impact hypothesis would illustrate that scientists are capable of going off on wrong tangents for decades. 11/1/2014 50