Tag Archive: Origins


Tails up all those who think we’re related to chimps, or descended from ape-like creatures. No monkeying around now…

chimpanzee_wide

Despite all the propaganda and speculation foisted onto me at school and through television I have never for a moment believed that I was descended from ape-like creatures. As a kid I wondered why pre-humans would shed all their ape-like fir and then shiver in the cold and start making clothes. I must admit though, that sometimes I can’t help appreciating why some people believe they have ape in their ancestry…

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Here are a few related tails tales. This post is an edit of something I wrote four years ago, and which I thought deserved another airing.

ONE

At a creation seminar I attended, given by ex-evolutionist Dr. Tommy Morton, the audience was shown part of a PBS (equivalent and sister to BBC TV) “Nova” special on Lucy, one of the alleged evolutionary links between an ape-like creature and humans. For us all to see and hear, Nova’s narrator explained how scientists had decided that when fossilized, the hip had somehow been fused in the “wrong” position, so that the remains made the animal look like it walked too much like an ape, and not much like the link they believed it to be. So, in front of the camera, the scientist cut the joint and fixed it in the position he believed it was originally, and hey presto…it’s a genuine missing link, touted and promoted by public television for millions to see! Don’t think for a minute that this type of scientific “research” is rare…

TWO

A few years ago I played escort for a party of people on a trip to the “Chimpanzee and Human Communication Institute” at Central Washington University. The institute’s website makes the claim that chimps living there have “acquired the signs of American Sign Language (ASL), and use those signs in conversations with each other and their human companions”. This “accomplishment” apparently has resulted “in a better understanding of ourselves, as well as our place and role in nature”. The site also refers to the chimps as “our fellow apes” (hey-speak for yourself and count me out!)

I can remember seeing the first chimp to “acquire a human language”, on TV in the UK. Her name was “Washoe”, born in 1965. Washoe was the matriarch of the CHCI family at CWU. Even at the age of twelve it seemed to me that there was something not quite right about the link they were making between us and the chimp’s mimicking of gestures.

Anyway, when my party and I arrived at the institute, and before being allowed to see any of the chimps, we were given strict instructions on how to behave in front of them. We were told to stoop and not to stand erect, in a gesture of peace and deference.  We were given one or two simple hand signs in order to have some basic communication with them. And we were told not to reveal our teeth: a toothy smile was a serious no-no, as this is a sign of aggression to chimps (wait a moment – I thought they were supposed to be becoming more like us, not us more like them!)

Once inside the enclosure, we were all extremely relieved to bear in mind that there was a thick, shatterproof glass wall between us and those rather large chimps, because with one accord they decided that instead of having a nice chat about the weather, or the latest football scores or stock market report, they were going to make us jump out of our skins by charging at the glass and hammering on it with all their might. The glass boomed… everyone gasped and jumped back, then after a few seconds laughed nervously, realizing and hoping that that glass barrier would keep us apart from animals which were capable of ripping our limbs off.

Sahelanthropus may have inhabited the gallery forest

THREE

In 2002, researchers at Plymouth University in England were so inspired by the belief that a million monkeys poking away at typewriters for a million years would generate the entire works of Shakespeare, that they decided to go at least some way towards proving it. They left a computer in a cage with six macaque monkeys at Paignton Zoo for a month.

The best that could be said about the following achievements of the monkeys is that they had a very effective stint at typing S’s – pages of them. However, rather than sitting down to get to work on a literary masterpiece, the lead male decided to “bash the hell” out of the keyboard with a rock, as one researcher put it. The male and the other five also took great pleasure in urinating and defecating on it.

As Benjamin Wiker and Jonathan Witt remarked,

“Even the simplest English sentence of the “See Spot run” type is beyond the capabilities of real monkeys, no matter how long you give them” 1

FOUR

As far back as the 1960’s, there were a number of individual not involved in scientific research, who had independently arrived at the conclusion that they were indeed close relatives of chimpanzees. In fact, they were so sure of it that they formed an association to affirm their heritage, aptly named “The Monkees”. Before long they had written an anthem to celebrate their shared beliefs and characteristics:

Hey!

Hey!

We ARE the monkeys!

People say we monkey around,

But we’re too busy singing

To put anybody down!

We’re only trying to be friendly…!” (2).

My Wife with her boyfriend

FIVE

The research on this topic has progressed since I wrote the summarized info below four years ago. Please see note 7 for a link to a 2017 update. This is slightly technical: sorry about that.

For several years now we’ve been told there is conclusive evidence that human and chimp DNA is 95 to 99 percent similar. The evolutionary concept is that apes, particularly chimpanzees and humans, descended from a common ancestor.

In the “chromosome 2 fusion  model”, researchers claimed that two small chimpanzee chromosomes fused at some time in the not so distant past, forming one large stable chromosome, which is “why” the great apes have 24 chromosomes and humans have 23. The evidence that led them to make this conclusion was that there was a cluster of “telomere” sequences in the middle of human chromosome 2. Since telomeres were originally considered to be only at the ends of chromosomes, and that they serve only as a kind of “cap” on the chromosome, researchers concluded that this cluster was evidence for the fusion model.

At the Institute for Creation Research, Dr. Jeffrey Tomkins, with a PH. D. in genetics, and Dr. Jerry Bergman, a professor at Northwest State College in Ohio, have been following the secular research and resulting claims closely, and have carried out extensive studies of their own from the standpoint of the creationist. In 2011 they reported that they had found that telomeres are not unique structures only present at chromosome ends, but that there are in fact many telomeres, telomere clusters, and telomere repeats throughout the genome, often within internal regions of human chromosomes (3).

In 2012 Tomkins and Bergman authored reports in the Journal of Creation on the human-chimp DNA question. The first reviewed relevant secular science literature. Their own analysis detailed many differences in genomic DNA, gene regulation, regulatory DNA features, micro DNA code and gene splicing.

The second paper examined secular research methods and discarded data. It concluded that:

“All analyzed cases of reported human-chimp DNA sequence similarity is based on biased data selection and exclusion techniques. DNA sequence data that is too dissimilar to be conveniently aligned are omitted, masked, or completely excluded. Furthermore, gap data within DNA sequence alignments are typically omitted, further biasing similarity estimates”

The report continues:

“These highly selective data-discarding techniques, fueled by Darwinian dogma, lead to the commonly claimed 98 percent similarity between human and chimp”

The authors concluded at that time from their own analysis that the two are not more than 81-87 percent similar (4).

In January of 2013, Dr. Tomkins wrote a report titled “Epigenetics Proves Human and Chimp are Different”.

Epigenetics is the study of how DNA has been modified in such a way that its chemistry has changed, but not the actual base pairs that make up the genetic code of the sequence. Recent studies have shown dramatic differences in human and chimps in regard to epigenetics, particularly in a process known as “methylation”. This difference is recognized by secular researchers (5).

In February of 2013, Tomkins’ article, “Chromosome Comparison Shows More Chimp-human Differences”, discussed ICR’s ongoing research. Tomkins wrote:

“For the primary chimp chromosomes (autosomes), the amount of optimally aligned DNA sequence provided similarities between 66 and 76 percent, depending on the chromosome…”

Continuing, Tomkins noted that only 69 percent of the chimpanzee X chromosome and only 43 percent of the Y chromosome were similar to human DNA. His conclusion:

“These results illustrate the genetic and biblical fact that humans are not just another primate, but are uniquely created in the image of God” (6).

This Bible passage comes naturally to mind, in which major signs of the decline of a civilization are outlined:

“Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools…They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator – who is forever praised, Amen” (Romans chapter 1, especially verses 22, 25).

NOTES

1 Benjamin Wiker & Jonathan Witt: “A Meaningful World” (Pub. Inter Varsity Press, Downers Grove, Ill., copyright 2006 by authors) pg. 32.

2 The Monkees: “Hey-hey we’re the Monkees” (written by Tommy Boyce& Bobby Hart)

3 “Acts and Facts”, a monthly publication of the “Institute for Creation Research”, Dallas Texas, (www.icr.org) May, June and November 2011 copies

4 “Acts and Facts”, June 2012

5 “Acts and Facts”, January 2013

6 “Acts and Facts”, February 2013

7 http://www.icr.org/article/dna-variation-widens-human-chimp-chasm/

ICR gives you a free subscription to Act and Fact – a great creationist magazine:

http://www.icr.org/icr-magazines/

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Whether you think we were designed and created, or that we evolved from non-life and then lower forms of life, you believe in miracles. Either way, it’s not something that happens every day: have you seen either one occur?

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A miracle is defined as it is because it’s so unnatural in terms of normal every day events and what we believe to be possible.

If we evolved, nothing-or virtually nothing-turned into billions of stars and galaxies. A huge lump of rock, at just the right distance from a just-the-right-sized star began to rain on itself.  Some “organic” chemicals got together and came alive, formed an inconceivably complex DNA molecule which then found a mate and some food.

A just-the-right-sized moon just happened to be in orbit at just the right distance to keep the oceans moving and alive without causing tsunamis every day, and a couple of billion years and countless billions of beneficial mutations later (which have never been observed) here we all are, yearning to communicate our deepest feelings and to have them satisfied.

You may think evolution is all “science”. I certainly believe in science-that is, observable testable phenomena. But when did anyone ever show you life forming from non-life, or a universe coming into existence from nothing, or a cow turning into a whale, or a mutation producing a new species?

They didn’t, and we all have faith…

(This post was originally published in April of 2015 and has been edited a little)

It seems to me that pronouncements from evolutionists always provide more questions than answers. Here’s just one more of those pronouncements…

A_smiling_baby

According to a BBC news report* the regular use of caesarian sections in birth is affecting human evolution:

“Women with a very narrow pelvis would not have survived birth 100 years ago. They do now and pass on their genes encoding for a narrow pelvis to their daughters.”

“Historically, these genes would not have been passed from mother to child as both would have died in labour”.

I can’t help wondering, after one million, or one-and-a-half million, or two million years of human evolution, or how ever long current thinking says it’s been going on, and at the outset of which only a couple or a few proto-humans started us all off, why we haven’t already bred out all those nasty narrow-pelvis genes. Wouldn’t all related women and children and so their inferior genes have died off by now? How did any survive at the beginning?

I know I’m no expert at all, but I’ve had the impression for decades that more and more doctors and surgeons are preferring caesarian birth as a simpler and safer option for their patient. Surely this could account for the six-in-a-thousand increase in caesarian births since the 1960s, and not human evolution taking a turn for the worse?

The expert quoted in this report lets slip one of the hardest matters for evolutionists and secularists to deal with. He said that the death of such women and their offspring:

“…is, from an evolutionary perspective, selection.”

I don’t think he meant to say so, but the natural inference of this view when considered with the mechanics of evolution is that if your wife and your baby die because of a narrow birth canal it’s okay: evolution is doing its work.

Being one of those not willing to blindly accept the conceit known as human evolution I can’t help asking some questions. From the perspective of natural selection and the survival of the fittest, are we actually attempting to oppose nature by having hospitals, doctors and fitness clubs? Shouldn’t we just let it all happen…death, disease and suffering? Are we tinkering with the ultimate goal of mud-to-god transformation by having police forces, prisons, governments, armies, laws and education establishments? Or are wars, hospitals, police forces and caesarian births actually an integral part of that evolutionary process-a product of it?

Gosh, that’s a tough nut to crack for the philosophers and politicians determined to shape our society. And make no mistake, they do think about and discuss those very questions. The Margaret Sangers  and the Adolph Hitlers of the world are infamous examples of people who’ve taken evolution seriously, but they’ve only been visible because they’ve taken gigantic, consequential steps to act upon their ideologies. How many more were and are acting unseen?

Atheists and evolutionists claim that we theists and Christians sweep under the carpet all the difficult issues they see in our beliefs. But they’re really no better off. At least Adolph Hitler was man enough (if totally insane and megalomaniacal) to state as plainly as day his view that nature needs a “helping hand” to wipe out those who are weakening the human gene pool.

The consequences of evolution, when confronted honestly, are far more serious than those that any unbeliever can cook up to stick on the believer. Yes, it does seem like an impossible task, on the face of it, to reconcile suffering and faith in a loving God. Search my series on suffering. But in evolution struggle and death are creative and necessary: in the creationist, theistic worldview struggle and death are destructive and bad.

Biblical answers make much more sense to me, and much kinder sense, than the hard, cold realities of the hypothesis known as “evolution”. Evolution is perpetual change, ostensibly for the better, but which in reality brings struggle and suffering, followed by annihilation, to every living thing. The Christian, on the other hand, knows that suffering and death are unnatural and temporal, and that everyone is offered an eternity of health, perfection and completion in Jesus Christ.

* http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-38210837

 

 

MYSTERY ISLAND

Looking around, I saw that I was in totally unfamiliar surroundings, and alone. Where was I, and more mysteriously, why didn’t I know? I couldn’t remember coming here. In fact, I realized for the first time, I couldn’t even remember where I came from. Why did I have no memory of this place, or for that matter, of any other?

Earth

I looked down at soft white sand between my toes. I looked up at the ocean, and at the waves washing lazily against the shoreline. Behind me were low, sandy cliffs, decorated with patches of long grass. Tall trees further back from the beach swayed gently in the warm breeze.

Who brought me here, and why couldn’t I remember? If someone else were around, I thought, I could ask questions and maybe get my bearings. I decided I would scale the highest rock I could see and look around for others like me.

It was an easy climb. I felt strong and full of energy, and in no time at all I was atop the rock and taking in the view. It was an amazing view…but it only served to form more questions in my already perplexed mind. Somehow I had arrived on a small island, with nothing else in sight but endless sky and blue rolling ocean.

Scanning the island I detected movement on the farthest beach. Was I seeing other people like me, or just birds? I had to find out. Hopping over rocks and kicking up sand my steps quickened as I became more anxious to understand my situation. On a high grassy peak in the middle of the island a fresh thought halted my progress for a moment. A strange sensation washed over my body when it occurred to me that I didn’t even know who I was. I could not name myself. I had no recollection of my origin or of my life: I was a stranger to myself.

Oregon Coast

I slid and jumped down the slopes towards the beach, and running through a group of trees I almost crashed into someone standing motionless on the sand. I stopped, and greeted him, breathing heavily. I noticed that he had feet, just like mine, and hands, and hair.

“Hello” I said again, receiving only a shrug and a grunt in return. His eyes remained fixed on the ocean, or the horizon. Questions came from my mouth in a stream:

“Where are we? Who am I? Who are you? How did we get here? What is this place..?”

I stopped to allow a reply, and waited for what seemed a long time, until the man’s eyes finally turned my way.

“Don’t know, don’t care”, he mumbled.

I stared incredulously at his face and at his demeanor.

“You don’t care?” I demanded.

“Well” he said rolling his head slowly away from me. “Who can know?”

He wasn’t requiring an answer: he’d clearly decided that he couldn’t-or wouldn’t-answer me.

I turned and ran over to another man, laying on his side, holding a hand full of something close to his face, examining whatever was there with fascination.

I rehearsed the questions I’d given the first man:

“Where are we? Who am I? Who are you? How did we get here? What is this place?”

The man continued his examination, grunting in a “What did you say?” sort of a way. Standing closer, and directly in front of him now, I repeated the questions. I waited for a response, though I began to wonder if it would ever come. It did.

“Well…” started the man, his face wrinkling in the sun in order to focus to a greater extent on the contents of his hand. He paused his verbal emanation, as though he wished to take an eternity to complete it.

“Well, you know, we’ve all been here for, ooh…for ever really”

He let sand run through his fingers, then picked up more, and began to stare at it in rapt concentration.

“We’re made of sand, you know” he continued. “And there’s no doubt….it’s obvious…it’s indisputable…that you, and I, young man, are the very offspring…of the stuff you’re standing on.”

With my mouth agape in astonishment at this statement, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. He seemed to be serious. He meant what he’d just told me, yet it seemed to me there were no real answers in what he’d said.

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Spinning around, I spotted another, sitting facing the sea, cross legged, his palms together in front of him. Perhaps I could get some information from him.

“Where are we? Who am I? Who are you? How did we get here? What is this place?”

For a moment my hopes were raised when he turned his face towards me, but as I looked into his eyes, it was as though this man were somehow vacant-as though I were looking at a shell of a man. I was almost surprised when his lips moved, and he spoke:

“My friend… we are not here. I am not here, and you are not here. What you think you can see is just an illusion”.

I stood back, shocked at what I heard. For a moment, I asked myself if what he’d said could be true. I looked him up and down. I looked down at myself-my feet, my hands. I felt my arms and the grains of sand on my hands. I listened to my breath and felt a beating in my chest. I felt the breeze blowing on my neck. No, I could not accept what this person had told me.

From the corner of my eye I saw movement, and I turned just in time to see someone striding vigorously past me, panting heavily, his eyes fixed on the horizon.

“Excuse me” I called, running after him, and in a raised voice repeated my entreaty:

“Excuse me-where are we? Who am I? Who are you? How did we get here? What is this place?”

The man didn’t hesitate or even turn his head, but instead waved me away dismissively. I tried to keep up with him, and this time I shouted from behind him,

“Where are we? Who am I? Who are you? How did we get here? What is this place?”

“Can’t stop” he barked. Too busy! Too busy to even think about it!”

I stopped in his tracks, watching as he marched rapidly away, clearly determined not to allow me to engage him in conversation.

Feeling a sense of exacerbation building inside me, I decided to attempt to try speaking to one more of these people on the beach. As I scanned the scene, I noticed a man staring at me, standing with his hands clasped behind his back. I moved towards him, and seeing a slight smile break out on his face and his eyes meeting mine, I felt a little hopeful that this time I was in luck: this time I may get some answers.

Politely, he greeted me as I approached, and asked me how I was today.

“Oh, very well sir” I said, “…but I’m very confused, and I was wandering if you could answer some questions for me?”

“Ask on”, said the man in a winsome and relaxed way, seeming to be genuinely willing to consider what I had to say. Once again I expressed myself:

“Where are we? Who am I? Who are you? How did we get here? What is this place?”

The man nodded and smiled as though he was all prepared to put all my concerns to rest. However, I was not prepared for his take on the situation.

“There are some who say we can’t know the truth of any of these things. There are some who tell us with their expert knowledge and education that we are the offspring of the island we stand upon. Others insist we aren’t really here-we only imagine that we are. And still others tell me they’re too busy to even think about it.”

“But what about you-what do you say?” I said impatiently. “Who’s right, and who’s wrong?”

He smiled a wider smile, and turning his head to one side, said,

“My friend, there is no answer to any of your questions. No-one is wrong, and no-one is right: it really is a matter of opinion! We all must come to our own conclusions. And whatever is true for you, is true-for you!”

Copyright © Nick Fisher October 2016

PLEASE KNOW, dear reader who may not realize, that I have a very definite and clear understanding of where I am, who I am, who you are, how I got here, and what this place is, as you’ll see if you sample some of my other writing in this blog. In particular, please search my posts on the gospel of Jesus Christ. Thank you and God bless you with the light of Truth.

Hold on to your sanity and composure if you dare…as you read my fearsome tale of warfare, woe, and…wasps!

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My son and I had a rather unpleasant confrontation with the inhabitants of a wasp nest one day. They clearly decided that we were a threat and were trespassing on their territory. In the ensuing battle my nine-year old, bearing the brunt of the assault, received ten stings, and I received two while attempting to rescue him. The event got me wondering how the wasp may have managed to “evolve” its own stinger, had it not been created.  Here are one or two little “Just So” possibilities.

THE TALE OF WILLY WASP

Willy wasp was wandering winsomely through the warm wet forest one day, minding his own business, and whistling a song with wonderful words beginning with ‘w’ which he’d heard one week while watching Bert on ‘Sesame Street’. But as he skipped and fluttered gaily along his merry way he was suddenly gobbled up by a Lizow:

“SNAP!” went the jaws of the Lizow.

A Lizow, as you probably already know dear readers, is a creature which is no longer a lizard and not yet a crow.

“Good heavens!” whimpered Willy, as he started to slide down the Lizow’s throat:

“If only I’d evolved a stinger, I could stab this beast, and he’d have to spit me out!”

So Willy resolved that very minute that he would start evolving a stinger right away. There was only one problem…

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As you can imagine, little Willy’s terrible misfortune was repeated billions of times over countless millennia, because all of his descendants had no defense against the Lizow or their other enemies. That is, until a wonderful waspy miracle happened…

THE TALE OF WITCHARD WASP

Wayne wasp watched in wonder while his wife Wanda wasp wiggled and writhed, until “whoosh!”…out popped little Wichard, their first baby wasp, weak, wet and wailing. Wayne’s joy changed to astonishment when he noticed a strange appendage on little Witchard’s bottom. It was a spike – a long thin pointed object actually growing out of the babe’s bottom.

“Well! Nature be praised!” said Wayne: “He’s got a stinger! And what’s even more wildly bewildering is that it’s complete with connective tissue, nerves and blood supply!”

It wasn’t long before little Witchard had his first opportunity to test the stinger. He was on his way to Grandma Wasp’s house one day, when:

“SNAP”- little Witchard disappeared inside Lizow’s mouth!

Slithering down the Lizow’s long, dark throat, Witchard put his incredible weapon into operation, and poked at the beast’s throat with his pointed bottom. But alas! The spike alone wasn’t enough to put the Lizow off his snack:

“Caw!” said the Lizow to himself, “This one’s a bit tickly in my throat! I wonder if he’s poking me with his newly evolved stinger?”

But Lizow breathed a sigh of relief and thought to himself, “It’s a good thing he didn’t evolve venom too!”

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THE TALE OF WENDLE WASP AND WALTER WASP

Unperturbed by their loss, Wayne and Wanda gave birth again. As little Wendle popped out, Wayne’s joy was tinged with disappointment when he noticed that Wendle didn’t have a stinger. “Woe to us and all wasps, Wanda”, he whined: “Our DNA wasn’t altered to give our offspring stingers, it was just a miraculous and totally unique mutation event that gave poor little Witchard his stinger”.

Wendle was gobbled up by the Lizow while on his first flight to the dentist.

Heartbroken, Wayne and Wanda wasp decided to doggedly-I mean waspedly-continue their family, and Wanda was soon reproducing again.

THE TALE OF WALTER WASP…

As Wanda was giving birth, Wayne could see that another of those unique mutation events had occurred, for there, on little Walter’s face, like a huge, lonely-mountain shaped nose, was a stinger! However,Wayne’s joy quickly turned to panic when the brevity of the situation hit him. “Oh no Wanda!” He cried, “Little Walter’s eyesight will be blocked by the stinger! He won’t be able to see where he’s going!”

Sure enough, it was not long before Walter wandered unwittingly into the very glade where the Lizow just happened to be looking for his lunch. As the Lizow loomed leeringly towards our unwary waspling, Walter did see a large shadow moving rapidly in his direction, so fearing the worst, Walter prepared himself for battle. But there was a problem: not only could little Walter barely see what was going on, but  his stinger was not connected to his nervous system-it was not operational. The Lizow, with his raven-sharp eyes, spied the unsavory looking appendage on little Walter’s face, and decided to just take his body and let the head fall to the ground. “SNAP…bonk”.

BACK IN WASPVILLE…

The Mayor of Waspville was animated and passionate.

“This must not go on!” he shouted to the crowd of wasps who had gathered at the annual meeting of Waspville’s citizens, buzzing with anger.

“Wallace, Wilson, Waylon, Willoughby, Wes and Juan were all eaten up yesterday by the dreaded Lizow! Our numbers are decimated! If we don’t act now Waspville will be wiped out completely!”

So that very day, the fearful but determined citizens of Waspville channeled their anger into action. Squatting in circles, they began chanting and praying that Mother Nature would give them stingers. “Not only do we need stingers with venom…on our bottoms and not on our faces…” they entreated, “…but we need loud, stripey uniforms to warn Lizow not to eat us in the first place!”

One million years later, Wayne yawned in boredom and looked around at the circle of wasps around him, all praising Mother Nature for finally causing some of their babes to be born with stingers, fully operational and loaded with venom, with bright scarey looking suits also.

Now, Wayne had always been a bit of a rebel who liked to speak his mind and stir up trouble, and today was no exception. So loudly enough for everyone else to hear, he turned to his mother next to him and said,

“Mom, if wasps need stingers and stripey suits to survive, how did we manage to survive for millions of years without them?”

Copyright August 11th, 2012 by Nick Fisher

This is an edited version of something I first published exactly four years ago. I offer it here in tandem with a recent, more serious post,  “The Positive Negatives of Creation and Design” https://nickyfisher.com/2016/05/19/the-positive-negatives-of-creation-and-design/

 

 

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