News to Note, April 10, 2010

A weekly feature examining news from the biblical viewpoint

Featured in News to Know

Identity crisis, the genetics of decoration, an amber graveyard, and more!

1. Another Missing Link

Is it time already for the announcement of yet another alleged “missing link”? Apparently so!

2. No Oxygen for Jellyfish-Like Creatures

For humans and other animals, oxygen is critical to survival. But for tiny jellyfish-like creatures living on the floor of the Mediterranean Sea, oxygen is nothing special.

3. How Did Tigers Get Stripes and Leopards Get Spots?

Creationists often discuss how the species we see today descended from the original “created kinds.” But how did tigers end up with stripes while leopards got spots?

4. National Geographic News: “First African Amber Photos: Thunder Fly, Wasps, More

A huge hunk of amber entrapped dozens of arthropods, preserving them so that we can see them clearly today. But how old are they?

The answer, according to the scientists who describe the collection of creatures in the amber, is 95 million years. Publishing in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers believe the amber reveals one segment of life during the time of the dinosaurs.

The trapped organisms include a variety of arthropods, including wasps, moths, beetles, spiders, an ant, and other creatures—most of which are familiar to us today, and look quite similar (see photos). Indeed, National Geographic News notes that “[t]he organisms date back to an evolutionary period when the types of insects that are common today first started appearing.”

Or could it be that the amber isn’t really from 95 million years ago—and the creatures look, on the whole, essentially the same as those today because there has been no progressive evolution since?

5. Creationist Wants Book Banned from Local School District

A creationist in Tennessee wants a book “banned” from use in his local school district. What’s the argument?

6. And Don’t Miss . . .

  • It’s no dinosaur, but the monitor lizard is among the animals living today that give us some small idea of what dinosaurs may have been like “in the flesh.” Now, scientists have discovered a new species of monitor in the Philippines.
  • Biological mimicry—when one creature imitates another in some way—is a fascinating example of some organisms’ sophisticated behavioral patterns. Some birds—perhaps we could call them “mocking” birds?—excel at such mimicry.
  • More evidence, albeit indirect, of dinosaur in-fighting that is occasionally captured in the fossil record.
  • The dominant creationist view of “ice ages” is that there was just one Ice Age that occurred shortly after the global Flood as the climate adjusted. While it’s certainly not the same model, other scientists recently proposed a similar flood-caused ice age around 13,000 years ago.

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