News to Note, April 25, 2009

A weekly feature examining news from the biblical viewpoint

Featured in News to Know

The seal that wasn’t, Lord of the Tools, mini–T. rex, and more!

1. Fossil Seal Walks In

“Evolution at [w]ork,” declares National Geographic News. “[T]he evolutionary evidence we have been lacking for so long,” reports BBC News. So just what is this new fossil?

2. Lord of the Tools

“How could a hominid with a brain the size of a grapefruit craft tools?” asks ScienceNOW’s Elizabeth Culotta.

It seems the hobbit is still a hot news item. We last reported on the diminutive human remains in January, but two news stories this week bring us back to the question of just what the hobbit was.

3. The Earth That Wasn't

Astronomers have found another “Earthlike” planet outside of our solar system.

Known as extrasolar planets or exoplanets, most discovered to date have been distinctly un-Earthlike and (presumably) quite inhospitable. However, most of the study of exoplanets is based on conjecture because the methods to detect exoplanets are all indirect.

4. Mini T-Rex Ancestor

A fossil dinosaur found in China—the great great granddaddy of fearsome T. rex?

Xiongguanlong baimoensis is the easy-to-pronounce name (okay, just kidding) of the new fossil species, which has been identified as a potential “missing link” between T. rex and supposed smaller ancestors.

5. Earth Day and Creation

Earth Day: what is the creation perspective?

This week marked the U.S. celebration of Earth Day, a nearly 40-year-old observance promoting everything from conservation to Earth worship. National Geographic News profiles the history and current perspective of some of those behind Earth Day.

And Don’t Miss . . .

  • Scientists have made another breakthrough reprogramming adult cells into embryonic-like stem cells, reports ScienceDaily. Calling it “a revolutionary achievement,” the report states that the cells are “molecularly and functionally indistinguishable from embryonic stem cells.” Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reports on another breakthrough in life-honoring stem cell research.
  • We continue to discover that DNA isn’t everything—other factors play a part in determining the characteristics of an organism, and these factors can be passed on to offspring. It’s a reminder of how much we still don’t know about biology!
  • Will an object seen unexpectedly far away falsify part of the big bang—or will big bang advocates invent a story to fit the finding into their model? “There are two possibilities: the standard scenario of galaxy formation is wrong, or this particular object is showing something unique,” said one involved scientist.
  • The Institute for Creation Research has filed a federal lawsuit over the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s refusal to allow ICR to award master’s degrees in science education. (We last covered this ongoing story on March 21.)
  • A new study reveals that our female Neanderthal kin also had a difficult experience giving birth, something more difficult for humans than for any other primate, ScienceNOW notes. That lines up with Genesis 3:16; however, in Neanderthals the baby’s head did not have to twist during the birth process, making it slightly safer. Thus, the birth process for human mothers living today—in which the baby’s head must rotate—could have been made worse by mutations over the years, and in that aspect Neanderthals could have been closer to God’s original design (but this is all speculation).
  • “Humans won’t be around forever,” declares the History Channel’s provocative new series Life After People. It appears to be yet another unscientific perspective on the future of humans.
  • Could a study of tropical cyclones and meteorology shed light on the catastrophic climate change during the Flood year?
  • Astronomers have discovered two complex molecules, ethyl formate and n-propyl cyanide, in interstellar space. However, they are still searching for even the simplest amino acid, which (even if found) would be a far cry from the simplest life-form.
  • The BBC is promoting Darwin—in the form of classical music! “Evolution! A Darwin-inspired extravaganza for kids” will be held later this summer at the Royal Albert Hall.

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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