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News to Note, April 20, 2013

A weekly feature examining news from the biblical viewpoint

by Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell on April 20, 2013
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Sediba’s shadow Hobbit who? Primordial batteries Shroud 2.0 Science standards on the march

1. Sediba Fossils Fail to Connect the Evolutionary Dots

Sediba fossils shuffle the deck of diversity but fail to connect the evolutionary dots.

Australopithecus sediba, which was discovered in 2008 in South Africa’s Malapa Cave, resembles other australopithecine apes, especially Australopithecus africanus, according to a set of six new articles just published in a special issue of Science magazine. The fossils do, however, have enough differences to be considered a separate species. (Some critics have suggested that sediba and africanus were the same species.) The new analyses cover the mandible, teeth, thorax, vertebrae, and upper and lower limbs. In September 2011, as we reported in “Sediba with a Little Sleight of Hand,” articles covering the skull, hand, pelvis, foot and ankle as well a report about the fossils’ age created a stir among evolutionary paleontologists.

2. Japanese Study Affirms Hobbits’ Humanity

Japanese study affirms hobbits’ humanity and offers clues to their origin.

Ever since the discovery of tiny human skeletons in Liang Bua cave on the Indonesian island of Flores a decade ago. Ever since that time anthropologists have debated their origins. Found with advanced cutting tools and the charred remnants of dwarf elephant bones, the Homo floresiensis—nicknamed “hobbits”—were clearly human. But their remarkably small brain size—estimated at around 400 cubic centimeters (cc), in the same neighborhood as a chimpanzee’s—has baffled scientists. And where did such small people come from?

3. Powerless Primordial Soup is Dead in the Water

Without power, the show’s over before it starts.

How could life randomly emerge from non-living elements? That would, after all, be the necessary first step in a molecules-to-man evolutionary scenario. In their endless quest for the keys of such abiogenesis, scientists often look for self-replicating molecules that could potentially carry simple coded information. But another show-stopper for abiogenesis—a process never observed in biology, by the way—would be a lack of power. Without a usable source of energy, a biological battery of sorts, living cells could never do the things living cells do.

4. Re-dated Shroud of Turin Gets Its Own App

This spring saw a revival of interest in the Shroud of Turin, a 14 by 4 foot linen cloth supposed by many to have been used to cradle the body of Jesus when He was taken down from the Cross or to have wrapped His body for burial. Kept in the Cathedral of Turin for the past four centuries, the linen sheet is noted for red stains thought by many to have been made by Christ’s blood marking the nail imprints on His wrists and feet, the crown of thorns, and the stripes from His scourging.

5. Textbook Market Likely to Take the Reins of Education

As publishers plan to implement NGSS science standards, textbook market will likely take the reins of education.

The New Generation Science Standards (NGSS), a project commissioned by about the half the states to re-write K-12 educational standards for science and mathematics in America, is now complete. It’s now up to the individual states to adopt or reject them. But since major textbook manufacturers are already gearing up to conform their curricula to the “latest and greatest” in science education, the decisions made by state and even local authorities may ultimately make little difference.

And Don’t Miss . . .

  • A recent article in the Skeptical Inquirer falsely accused the Creation Museum of demanding that journalists who wished to visit the museum would only be allowed to do so if they signed an agreement not to mock the museum in their subsequent articles. This published statement is absolutely false. Furthermore, such a position, which would discourage unbelievers from coming to the Creation Museum, would be completely contrary to the museum’s mission and purpose. The Creation Museum exists to demonstrate to individuals that they can trust God’s Word from the very first verse. In so doing, it is our hope, not only that many believers be strengthened in their faith, but also that many unbelievers will see their need of Jesus Christ and, convicted of the truth of Christ’s claims (Colossians 1:16–17; John 1:1–3) from the beginning of the Bible to the end, will receive the salvation that He freely offers to all (Hebrews 2:9–10; John 3:16). You can read more about the allegations in Ken Ham’s blog.
  • Thanks to Answers in Genesis’s Diane King for checking out the new movie 42 for us. She brought us this report: The movie 42 which opened April 12th is the story of Jackie Robinson, the first African American to play in Major League baseball. The movie deals with the racial tensions present in the United States after World War 2 and contains language that is offensive to today’s audience but is a good learning tool to present what segregation and dehumanizing prejudice really looked like during that time in American history. There are a lot of references to the Bible and Christian principles in 42 and an underlying theme of the importance of parenting and how children learn behavior (both good and bad) by watching and imitating the adults in their lives. Jackie Robinson’s lack of a father present in his life and his vow to be there for his son is also a significant moment in the movie. While the evolutionary concept of racism is blatant only in one brief comment about the “Negro” heel bone being longer and giving a speed advantage (a comment made by a journalist, which is immediately shot down and laughed at), racism to the extent seen in this movie is really a product of evolutionary philosophy. For more information about the curse of racism see: One Blood.

For more information: Get Answers


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