News to Note, April 30, 2011

A weekly feature examining news from the biblical viewpoint

Rapid evolution, eyes in the night, skeleton in the closet, the eyes have it, mixing truth with error, more on Pluto in this week’s

1. Rapid Evolution of Genome Size

Different genome size in two “related” species of cress (genus Arabidopsis) is called the result of a rapid evolutionary process.

2. Dinos in the Dark

Big dinosaur eyes evolved because of the ecologically driven need to hunt food at night . . . so say researchers in a study from UC–Davis.

3. Skeletons in the Closet

The dark history of human genetics illustrates the dangers of science misunderstood and misused.

The current Annals of Human Genetics reveals a disturbing skeleton in the closet of science. The journal chronicles how a number of respected scientists pushed for immoral social and political agendas on the basis of naive scientific conclusions.

4. The Eyes Have It

So with peacocks—the classic Darwinian example of sexual selection—do the eyes have it or not?

Darwin said that peacocks with the most impressive plumage reproduce most successfully. But do they? And if so, why?

5. Washington Post: “Pope: Humanity not random product of evolution in Easter Vigil homily

The pope’s Easter message credits divine “creative Reason” for man’s origins but disputes God’s version of how He did it.

The pope claims that the creation account in Genesis is not “an account of the process of the origins of things, but rather . . . a pointer toward the essential.” Even though the “sweep of history established by God reaches back to the origins, back to creation,” he warns against accepting God’s account of those origins. Admitting that “Only because God created everything can he give us life and direct our lives,” he denies the source of that truth.

The pope bases his beliefs on mere human reason. He declares it is not reasonable to believe humans “evolved randomly.” Why? Because “life would make no sense.” By teaching that it is okay to “accept the theory of evolution” so long as you believe “that God, not random chance, is the origin of the world,” the pope is substituting his own fallible thoughts for God’s perfect Word.

The pope says “salvation history” must begin with creation because “the creation story is itself a prophecy” pointing to “new life” in Christ but considers that creation story unhistorical. Yet the Lord Jesus Christ validated its historicity when He warned “Have ye not read” in Matthew 19:4. And as Jesus warned in John 5:46–47, widespread disbelief in Genesis has been the stumbling block that has kept many from coming to saving faith in Him.

The pope’s message, mixing truth with error, contradicts and undermines God’s Word.

For more information:

6. Pluto’s Expanding Atmosphere

Pluto’s atmosphere is expanding dramatically.

Pluto is the only dwarf planet known to have an atmosphere. Its nitrogen-methane atmosphere, previously 60 km thick, has now swelled to 3000 km (1864 miles).

And Don’t Miss . . .

  • Next week will mark the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Version of the Bible. Standing on the shoulders of giants, scholars translated from the original Greek and Hebrew while using earlier work translated by William Tyndale and others.

    This news article addresses the contribution the KJV’s majestic language has made to everyday speech. But we should remember that the KJV represents the culmination of the efforts of countless individuals who for centuries suffered persecution, often death, for even possessing Bibles, much less sharing Bibles with others or translating them. In a world where 600 million people still do not have God’s Word in their language, we should not take for granted the heritage of possessing an English Bible, allowing it to get dusty from disuse or twisting its teachings to fit man’s fallible ideas. Let us be diligent to read it, study it, believe it, and build our thinking on it from the very first verse.

  • Has the “god particle” made a fleeting appearance at the Large Hadron Collider? A leaked memo hints that the long-sought Higgs boson may have been detected. Hoax, statistical anomaly, or genuine data awaiting confirmation—no one knows.

    The Higgs boson, which may or may not exist, is the subatomic particle believed to impart mass to other particles. Its existence would explain why subatomic particles have rest-mass but photons do not. The particle has been dubbed the “god-particle” because it controls the nature of all other particles. For more information on the “god particle” and the Hadron Collider see Beams Collide Today in Expensive Hadron Collider.

  • A white ram named Rowley recently sired 60 black lambs from 37 white ewes. While the black lambs have no doubt surprised the owners, the Daily Mail’s report that white fleece is dominant and black recessive is a little too simplistic: fleece color is controlled by many genes. While a pair of recessive genes is required for solid black, other genes produce patterns, patches, or graying. The lambs in the photographs appear to have white patches and therefore have not been the mysterious recipients of “rogue genes.” Test breeding the ram would elucidate the matter further as would information about his ancestry.
  • Researchers speculate that planets on exoplanets might be black in order to absorb the solar energy available from the star—or stars—around which they orbit. The documented existence of many planets orbiting stars other than our sun is no problem for creationists. But the problematic assumptions for evolutionists are clearly stated: “The research presumes first that plant life similar to that on Earth could evolve on an exoplanet in the ‘habitable zone’ around its star - which is not a given, but the odds of which are difficult to estimate. The idea then is that photosynthesis there would resemble that seen on our own planet, whereby plants use energy from the Sun.”

    Actually the odds are not difficult to estimate. The odds are zero. Evolution has not happened there or here. But if God did choose to create plant life elsewhere, He could certainly create photosynthetic machinery designed to glean whatever form of solar energy was available in that setting.

  • The SETI project facility at Mount Shasta is to be shut down due to lack of funding. Previously, funding has come through NASA, private support, and direct government grants. Needing $5 million dollars to operate for the next two years, project directors plan to seek government support via the Air Force. SETI projects monitor space for orderly coded signals suggestive of an intelligent source.

    Because information from the satellite-mounted Kepler telescope recently revealed 1235 more exoplanets, many who believe in evolution are distressed. They contend that the odds are great that some of those planets have earth-like conditions requisite for the evolution of life. Belief in cosmic companions springs from such evolutionary presuppositions.

  • “The navigational precision of humpback whales” tracked over a 600-mile migration “cannot be explained by known theories,” concludes a New Zealand study. Migratory creatures are usually thought to navigate using an internal compass aligned with earth’s magnetic field, but researchers believe it “unlikely” the whales could achieve the precision to deviate less than one degree using that method. We can be confident, like the scientists, that there is a yet-to-be-discovered physical explanation for this ability. We can also be confident that God designed the whale with this phenomenal ability.
  • The largest fossilized spider ever found is the same size as its “modern-day relatives.” This golden orb-weaver spider, found in volcanic ash in Mongolia, has a one-inch body and 2.5 inch long legs. The spider is alleged to be 165 million years old. Of course, this date was determined by dating the rocks in which the fossil was found.

For More Information: Get Answers

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