News to Note, April 21, 2007

A weekly feature examining news from the biblical viewpoint


1. CNN: “Massacre at Virginia Tech

The media this week has understandably been awash in the wake of the tragic Virginia Tech massacre, a massacre that reminded us of the repercussions of the Fall and the inevitability of death as a consequence of that Fall.

No doubt many at this time are asking how there can be a loving God if He allows such trauma. We believe this answer is found in Genesis, and it is our prayer that through the midst of such tragedy and heartache, many will find not only theodicy, but (much more importantly) God’s love.

2. All About the Differences

A sensational headline ran across the science media this week: “Chimps More Evolved than Humans.” Could it be that there are philosopher-apes out there after all? In reality, such exuberant headlines referred to a less shocking-yet still unusual-finding: the chimp genome, according to evolutionists, has undergone greater evolution since humans and chimps allegedly went separate ways a supposed 7 million years ago.

3. A Tree of Today?

A study published in this week’s issue of the science journal Nature describes two recent discoveries of the world’s oldest (allegedly) tree fossils. The study’s lead author, paleobotanist William Stein of New York’s Binghamton University, describes the fossilized tree as looking like “a palm tree, or perhaps a tree fern.” According to Stein, the trees “belong to a previously known plant group called cladoxylopsids.”

4. The Jerusalem Post: Israeli researchers: “‘Lucy’ is not direct ancestor of humans

Remember Lucy, the sensational simian fossil find that was long championed as the forerunner of humankind, et al.? For some time we’ve explained (c.f. Lucy (and her ‘child’)-look like extinct apes after all) the many difficulties with this apeman portrayal of Lucy. Now, a group of Tel Aviv University anthropologists claim to have “disproven the theory that ‘Lucy’ […] is the last ancestor common to humans.”

Examining jaw bone specimens from modern humans and various apes, scientists led by Yoel Rak researched the “ramus element,” a jaw structure that, while present in Lucy’s own Australopithecus afarensis and similar Australopithecus robustus, are not present in the same form in modern apes and humans. Rak explained, “The presence of the morphology in both [A. robustus] and [A. afarensis] and its absence in modern humans cast doubt on the role of [Lucy] as a common ancestor.” Instead, Rak’s team, writing in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, concludes that Lucy and her ilk ought to “be placed as the beginning of the [evolutionary] branch that evolved in parallel to ours.”

As we see it, it’s only a matter of time before Lucy is relegated to status of a quasi-human ancestor, then eventually to an evolutionary “side-path.” Of course, we’ve little doubt that by that time, evolutionary anthropologists will have found a new “sure thing” apeman.

For more on this topic, see Farewell to “Lucy.”

5. The Cincinnati Enquirer: “Creation Museum touches lives

As you know, we often include links to media coverage of the soon-to-open Creation Museum (less than a month and a half away!) near the Cincinnati Airport, but this one has a more joyous and celebratory topic than mere updates on construction progress. This article presents the story of how the Creation Museum-even before it opens-has affected the staff and contractors at Answers in Genesis. We’ll not spoil the enjoyable read for you, other than to again emphasize the right-around-the-corner grand opening of the museum.

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, the 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 all the latest News to Know, why not take a look to see what you’ve missed?

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