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News to Note, August 20, 2011

A weekly feature examining news from the biblical viewpoint

by Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell on August 20, 2011
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Bonded bird behavior, early eel, a paleo-obstetrical surprise, snug as a bug in a bug, bigger bugs

1. Bird Bro-mance Behavior in Zebra Finches Trumps Mating

Bonded bird behavior in same-sex partners: what does it mean?

2. An Eel Emerges as the Next Living Fossil

Another living fossil emerges from deep time.

3. Plesiosaur Fossils Suggest Sea Monsters Gestate Early in Life

Plesiosaur harbors a paleo-obstetrical surprise.

4. Can Accumulated Mutations Produce New Species?

Can three walk together and evolve into one?

5. Giant Bugs: Why They Once Roamed the Earth

Did giant insects seek or shun a high oxygen atmosphere?

And Don’t Miss . . .

  • Don’t miss Associated Press coverage with videos about the Ark Encounter project. Listen to the people involved in the planning and building of this epic undertaking tell you about the nine themed areas of the Ark Encounter park as well as its positive economic impact. This full-size, authentically constructed replica of Noah’s Ark will immerse guests in the lives and times of Noah’s family and even enable them to see how they cared for the animals. Guests will see how Noah fit the animals on the Ark. The Ark Encounter will remind guests that God’s Word is true. While detractors express concern that the public is gullible and claim Kentucky has “cornered the market on Jesus freaks,” we know that people need true answers that they can examine with discernment. The goal of the Ark Encounter project is to reverently and joyfully fulfill God’s commission to “always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15). People should be able to see that faith in God’s Word is reasonable and that they can trust Jesus Christ, our Savior, whom the Bible proclaims.
  • The lower jawbone of a bird consistent with a 30 cm (1 ft.) long skull has been dug from Cretaceous rocks in Kazakhstan. The new species Samrukia nessovi is only the second giant bird deemed by evolutionary paleontologists to have coexisted with dinosaurs. “We can now be really confident that Mesozoic terrestrial birds weren’t all thrush-sized or crow-sized animals—giant size definitely evolved in these animals, and giant forms were living in at least two distinct regions,” Dr. Darren Naish1 said. “This fits into a larger, emerging picture—Mesozoic birds were ecologically diverse, with lots of overlap between them and modern groups.” Uncertain about its flight abilities until more bones can be found, he adds, “People have said there weren't big birds when there were big pterosaurs, but now we know there were.”2 We know biblically of course that birds shared the world with dinosaurs having been created one day before them. Given the evolutionary contention that human beings weren’t around in Cretaceous times, the sketch illustrating the CBSNews article titled “Big bird—really big bird—from dino era discovered” is rather amusing: it shows a human pondering the big birds.
  • The origin of wood has long been a mystery to evolutionists. Fossils of woody stems from rocks dated at 407 million years ago have pushed the evolutionary story about wood’s evolutionary roots back by ten million years. Because the stems are small, evolutionary paleobotanists are confident that wood evolved to transport water rather than provide strength. They express amazement that from little stems mighty trees evolved in just a few million years. We find it interesting that the microscopic structure of the stems is exactly like that we find today. There are no transitional forms being reported here, and the dating methods are subject to the usual faulty assumptions. The biblical account in Genesis chapter one assures us that God made trees on day three of Creation week.
  • The Everyday Champions Church is seeking permission from the British Department of Education to open a school in Nottinghamshire, England. Their website states, “We believe that the Bible is God's Word. It is accurate, authoritative and applicable to our every day lives.” Pastor Gareth Morgan says, “Creationism will be embodied as a belief at the Everyday Champions Academy but will not be taught in the sciences. Similarly, evolution will be taught as a theory.” Although the school’s application is under consideration, it faces an uphill battle. The British Secretary of Education has previously promised creationism would not be permitted in free schools. The British Humanist Association vocally opposes what they call “the creep of creationism into the English education system.” Though attendance at the school would be voluntary and would “welcome children from all faiths or none,” the website states that the “values of the Christian faith will be the foundation of the school philosophy.” For AiG’s views on education, see Get Answers: Education.

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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Footnotes

  1. www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/08/09/scitech/main20090354.shtml
  2. www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-14466814

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