News to Note, August 14, 2010

A weekly feature examining news from the biblical viewpoint

on August 14, 2010

Lucy’s butcher, doggy diversity, the myth of Rome, and more!

1. Meat-Butchering Tools for "Lucy"

Did the friends and family of supposed ape-woman “Lucy” use tools to butcher meat for meals?

2. Life between Sheets of Mica

Evolutionists continue to speculate about where life began. The latest answer? Between sheets of the geological substance mica.

3. ScienceNOW: “Dogs Keep Their Genes on a Short Leash

Last week we discussed the domestic dog’s ability to illustrate how natural and artificial selection fit perfectly in the creation/kinds framework.

This week, the story turns to doggy genetics, the basis for the diversity we see among our canine friends. Researchers led by geneticists Carlos Bustamante of Stanford University and Elaine Ostrander of the National Human Genome Research Institute have been busy analyzing genetic data taken from domestic dogs—915 dogs, to be exact, which represent 80 breeds. The scientists hoped to better understand how many genes it takes to produce the broad doggy diversity we see—size, fur length and color, skull shape, and more.

The data indicate that 51 genetic regions govern the physical features that vary between dog breeds. But what’s more amazing is that of these 51, a mere six or fewer of the regions can explain some 80 percent of the variation.

ScienceNOW’s Michael Price, citing University of Tennessee–Knoxville geneticist Jeffrey Phillips, notes, “The study validates the idea that a relatively small amount of genetic variance can lead to a large degree of physical diversity.” The research thus serves as an important reminder of the plausibility of getting a great deal of biological diversity—all that we see today—in just a few thousand years, since the global Flood. By pairing up the creation model of kinds with all we know about genetics, selection, and speciation, the diversity of life makes perfect sense.

4. BBC News: “Arctic Rocks May Contain Oldest Remnants of Earth

Have scientists found the oldest pieces of the earth?

Lava rocks from the Arctic may be the oldest known pieces of the planet, according to a team of scientists reporting in the journal Nature. The rocks were recovered from Greenland and from Canada’s Baffin Island by a team including Boston University earth scientist Matthew Jackson.

The basis for the claim about the rocks’ age is chemistry. Although the scientists believe the rocks were ejected volcanically “only” 60 million years ago, the team discovered chemical signatures that suggest an age of nearly 4.5 billion years old—only slightly less than the earth’s purported age. That places the rocks’ existence before the earth’s crust had formed, during a time that one scientist calls “a key phase in the evolution of the earth [that] set the stage for everything that came after.”

Creationists have a number of reasons to question our ability to use a rock’s internal chemistry to accurately establish its date of origin; such an ability is predicated upon key uniformitarian assumptions that are incompatible with biblical history (e.g., constant radioactive decay at today’s slow rates). As for earth’s supposed evolutionary formation and the internal behavior, scientists continue to face riddle after riddle, the answers to which are often based on the same uniformitarian assumptions.

5. Denying Evolution like Denying History?

Is denying evolution “like . . . ignoring the exquisite ruins of the Roman Colosseum”?

6. And Don’t Miss . . .

  • Will gene mutation NDM-1 be the latest example in bacteria “evolving” resistance to antibiotics?
  • The moon is, indeed, dry and lifeless—an unsurprising conclusion recently reaffirmed.
  • Modern engineering marvels may be incredible, but can any compare to the unbelievable efficiency of the salp, a marine organism?
  • “Orangutans mime to get message across,” reports BBC News. The rare behavior shows that ape communication is “far more complex” than was thought. But while some may think that implies humans and apes are evolutionarily related, the complexity of communication in any species makes us think of creation.
  • Does thinking of God help you feel relaxed? Or does the thought of a god stress you out? A new study reveals what may seem an obvious conclusion: theists are relaxed by the thought of God and religion, while atheists find such notions stressful.
  • An ancient marine creature called Platecarpus swam like a shark, not like an eel, reports ScienceNOW. To evolutionists, that means that shark-like swimming evolved 20 million years earlier. To creationists, that simply means that Platecarpus swam like a shark, not like an eel!

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 last week’s News to Note, why not take a look at it now? See you next week!

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