Stromatolitic chert


Photograph by James Kocher.

Photography contest, Honorable Mention.

Slice of Gunflint Chert
Digitate stromatolites in the Gunflint formation (Lower Algal Member), Nolalu, Ontario. Mr. Kocher writes, "Specimen is a vertical section cut on lapidary saw (i.e., perpendicular to bedding). Thin piece (1-2 mm thick) is translucent chert and shows preserved columnar algal colonies, hematite oolites, and algal pellets (peloids). Specimen is ~4 cm wide. Variously classified as Collenia undosa, Stratifera biwabikensis, among others. Age ~ 1.8 Ga; Mesoproterozoic." Mr. Kocher explains further, "'Lower Algal Member' is a designation given to a subset of strata within the Gunflint Formation. The Gunflint Formation has been divided up stratigraphically into at least 5 subsets of strata, i.e., 'Members.'" Perhaps it goes without saying, but the specimen is flat, despite the illusion of hills and valleys.

AIG owns some, or all, of new hotel adjacent to Ark


Summary: Ken Ham is being quiet that Answers in Genesis (AIG) owns part, or perhaps all, of the new Hampton Inn that just opened adjacent to the Ark Encounter in Williamstown, Kentucky. Moreover, he is trying to make it look as if the supposed “success” of the Ark Park has brought the new hotel to the region. Information below shows that AIG shares a high-level employee with the new hotel, and the LLC that owns the hotel shares a Post Office box with AIG.

Ken Ham is being quiet on who owns the new Hampton Inn hotel next to the Ark. It turns out that AIG is, in all probability, at least a partial owner. AIG has not stated their financial interest publicly. How long will Ham keep quiet about AIG being a part-owner, or more, of the new hotel?

On March 5, Ken Ham bragged that a new hotel was being built next to the Ark Park parking lot. Ken was proud that he and select AIG staff were “offered” and given a tour of a new Hampton Inn hotel. It was not stated, but implied, that a new business, independent from AIG and Ark Encounter, was being brought to the region by the overwhelming success of the Ark. His tour is implied to have been given by an unnamed owner.

The address of this new Hampton Inn is 2 Skyway Drive, Williamstown, KY. According to the free portion of the Grant County PVA (Property Valuation Administrator) site, this property is owned by Great Tourism Hospitality, LLC (GTH) of Bellevue, Kentucky (Figure 1).

Grant County PVA listing
Figure 1. Screenshot of Grant County PVA description of 2 Skyway Drive. For a higher resolution picture, click here.


"P Hacking" and natural selection

Pigeon Peas, often known by the Filipino Ilocano language word kardis


“P hacking” is a form of cheating, whether inadvertent or advertent. You test a bunch of chemicals on rats to see whether they cause, say weight loss. You do a statistical test on each, to see whether there is significant evidence for weight loss. The results are judged by the probability P that evidence this strong would arise by chance, if there were actually no effect. You use a small probability, say 0.05, as a sign that the effect is real. But suppose that you have 100 different chemicals, and do 100 separate tests. If none of these chemicals have any actual effect, what is the chance that none of the tests will have P smaller than 0.05?

That is easy to compute: it is 0.95100, which is 0.00592. The chance that at least one of the 100 tests shows a value of P below 0.05 is actually 0.99408. If what you do is pick that test (or tests) and write a scientific paper reporting the effectiveness of that chemical, you will be committing P-hacking. If none of the chemicals actually works, over 99% of the time you will be able to announce that you have found a weight-loss drug.

All that is relevant to evaluating the meaning of a mathematical paper in the ID journal BIO-Complexity in 2018. It is by George Montañez, a computer scientist at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California. It contains mathematical proofs that concepts of Specified Complexity can be considered in a unified way. The unstated implication is that with natural evolutionary processes, high levels of Specified Complexity cannot be expected. Montañez’s paper can be found here.

Why am I bringing up P-hacking? Not to accuse Montañez of it. In fact, the opposite. It is to point out that natural selection acts like P-hacking. Let me explain, first what Montañez’s paper does, then what it says about demonstrating Design, and finally how natural selection’s “P hacking” makes that difficult:

Tenodera sinensis


Photograph by Al Denelsbeck.

Photography contest, Honorable Mention.

Chinese mantis emerging from egg sac
Tenodera_sinensis – Chinese mantids emerging from egg sac, or ootheca. Mr. Denelsbeck writes, "I have yet to capture the actual emergence, but this is not long afterward. They appear to do an immediate molt, or perhaps partial molt, while still attached to a fine thread, but from what I've been able to observe the legs aren't included in the fragments left behind, so perhaps one of the more entomological readers can clarify. Within the hour, that bulging forehead will shrink, the eyes will swell, and the classic mantis head will become apparent, as the legs begin to gain mobility. Some already-mobile siblings can be made out in the background. There is also a brief video [and additional photographs] to accompany this, found at" We think you will not be disappointed if you follow the link; the video is near the bottom of the page, following a half-dozen still photos.

Ailuropoda melanoleuca


Photographs by Dan Phelps.

Obverse side of bill
Counterfeit* bill showing image of Ailuropoda melanoleuca – giant panda. You may purchase similar bills for less than $2 apiece here. As Mr. Phelps notes, at least it is not a religious tract. The panda in the center is, of course, Prof. Steve Steve, who (though we have not heard from him in quite a while) steadfastly maintains that he is not lazy. *Sense 2b.