News to Note, August 25, 2007

A weekly feature examining news from the biblical viewpoint

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Great ape fossils, ancient diamonds, creating life, water-less geysers, smart crows, and wishful thinking about Martian life round out this week’s News to Note.

1. Teeth When There Should Be None

A collection of nine fossilized teeth found in Ethiopia is overturning previous evolutionary thought, reports the BBC.

2. Woman's Best Friend Disrupts Man's Plans

The Jack Hills region of Western Australia is home to diamonds “nearly as old as the Earth itself and considered the oldest terrestrial diamonds ever discovered,” according to a new study, reports LiveScience.

3. AP: “Scientists expect to create life in next 10 years

Mark your calendars: according to an Associated Press wire, “experts expect an announcement within three to 10 years” of the creation of synthetic life. Despite current obstacles, leaders in the field such as Mark Bedau, COO of aspiring “creator” ProtoLife, are enthusiastic—with Bedau exulting, “It’s going to be a big deal and everybody’s going to know about it.” We have little doubt that the “big deal,” if synthetic life is ever created, will be presented to the tune of, “scientists have now proven life can originate without divine intervention,” even though such synthetic life will have required thousands of hours of intelligent design to be put together!

We’ve put together a more detailed response to the AP story, titled Origin of hype, a prelude to an upcoming in-depth review of the topic by AiG’s Dr. Georgia Purdom. Stay tuned!

4. Water-less Geysers

National Geographic News reports on a new model, published online in last week’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, that removes the need for liquid water in explaining the “unusual” geysers on Enceladus’s south pole.

5. Crows and Their Tools

Need a fix-it person around the house? Why not bring home a crow instead? BBC News reports on a University of Auckland study that highlights the tool-adapting and tool-using ability of New Caledonian crows.

6. Martian Life: Old News?

Some News to Note readers may have read or heard reports of a controversial new study that postulates that NASA Mars landers during the 1970s discovered life, albeit without anyone’s notice until last week. Although the claim was largely ignored, LiveScience offers some perspective on the announcement, including a quote from University of Colorado microbiologist Norman Pace, who says the claim “sounds bogus.”

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