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News to Note, April 11, 2009

A weekly feature examining news from the biblical viewpoint

on April 11, 2009

The magic of “gradual change,” Survivorman, Birkat Hachama and a recent creation, and more!

1. Bird Origin Problems

Can evolutionists rescue their own model of bird origins?

Evolutionists are pointing to another gap in the dino–bird evolution model. Robert Nudds of the University of Manchester and Gareth Dyke of University College Dublin “point to the obvious but hitherto overlooked fact that modern birds don’t offer many clues about how they arrived at their current state of aerial prowess,” PhysOrg reports.

2. Sharp Survivorman

Stone blades from more than 500,000 years ago: the work of an alleged human ancestor or someone playing Survivorman?

3. The Dawn of Creation

People around the world celebrated a recent, literal creation this week.

Jews observed Birkat Hachama, the Sun Blessing, as the sun returned to where “it was, Jewish tradition says, when God created the world thousands of years ago,” BBC News reports.

4. Creation in Germany

In February we noted a Der Spiegel article on European creationists (which followed a Guardian article that covered British creationists). Now English-language German paper The Local focuses on Bible believers in that country.

5. Texas Age of the Universe Battle

In the ongoing war over Texas school science standards, the age of the universe is the next battleground.

And Don’t Miss . . .

  • How does evolution explain cooperative behavior? By applying game theory to yeast behavior, MIT researchers discovered that the “cooperating yeast have preferential access to approximately 1 percent of the sucrose they produce[, a] benefit [that] outweighs the cost of helping others, allowing them to successfully compete against cheaters.” Of course, this is how game theory explains cooperative behavior, and tells us nothing about evolution or about how evolution explains selfless behavior.
  • Do similar genes among animals thought to be evolutionarily related support evolution? We’ve long explained why not, and now it seems evolutionist Jerry Coyne (author of Why Evolution is True) agrees with us. In his blog, Coyne wrote, “Similarities of molecular and morphological trees don’t necessarily rule out the action of a celestial designer. He/She/It could have used similar genes to make similar organisms.” Bingo. Of course, Coyne goes on to discuss one genetic evidence he thinks rules out creation: pseudogenes (read a creationist overview). Coyne also makes the embarrassing mistake of saying that creationists “don’t accept that organisms change with the passage of time”—we do accept that, just not that they change from one kind of animal into another.
  • National Geographic News reports on an interesting zoological study on animal intelligence. The researchers tested how well a certain type of crow can “read” human eyes to figure out what the human is looking at (for example, food).
  • Two weeks back we covered astronomers’ excitement over pieces of a car-sized asteroid that landed on Earth (in many small fragments) not long ago; the fragments revealed a unique chemical composition. Another meteorite with a unique chemical composition has been discovered as well, BBC News reports; however, this one is far, far smaller than even fragments of a car-sized asteroid!
  • A photograph of frog embryos over at LiveScience is accompanied by an interesting discussion of surprising embryo capabilities, including risk detection.
  • For those who participated in Red Envelope Day (which we mentioned in February), WorldNetDaily reports that the envelopes definitely made it to the White House.
  • McClatchy, a newspaper holding company, issued a wire report on continuing human evolution. The report’s coverage of the hackneyed topic (which came up in both the March 21 and March 28 News to Note editions) unsurprisingly confuses natural selection with evolution.
  • What does stone structures shaped like oversized feet have to do with biblical archaeology? A University of Haifa news release explains.

For more information: Get Answers

Remember, if you see a news story that might merit some attention, let us know about it! (Note: if the story originates from the Associated Press, Fox News, MSNBC, New York Times or another major national media outlet, we will most likely have already heard about it.) And thanks to all of our readers who have submitted great news tips to us. If you didn’t catch last week’s News to Note, why not take a look at it now? See you next week!

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