News to Note, August 28, 2010

A weekly feature examining news from the biblical viewpoint

on August 28, 2010

Radiometric dating in peril?; Darwin was wrong . . . ; black-and-white evidence for evolution?; and more!

1. Solar Flares and Radioactive Decay Relationship

Last year we mentioned research that showed a relationship between earth’s distance from the sun and the rate at which certain elements undergo radioactive decay—an eyebrow-raising linkage.

2. ScienceDaily: “Bug with Bifocals Baffles Biologists

Bugs wearing glasses? Not quite, but research into the larvae of the sunburst diving beetle has revealed an amazing ocular design.

A team led by University of Cincinnati biologist Annette Stowasser studied the twelve-eyed larvae of Thermonectus marmoratus, the sunburst diving beetle. At least four of the larva’s twelve eyes feature bifocal lenses, and the research marks the first time bifocal lenses have been discovered in nature.

As in the case of human eyeglasses, the bug bifocals are used to switch the larva’s focus from close up to far away, effectively giving them “two eyes in one” and helping them better snatch prey. The larva lose the bifocals once they morph into adults, however.

The discovery is another look at God’s clever designs—created thousands of years before humans invented similar technology. And while many scientists “can’t believe their eyes” at how evolution could generate such complexity, creationists see the master Designer at work.

For more information:

3. Charles Darwin Wrong?

Was Charles Darwin wrong? A few headlines this week have made the claim, but the news isn’t anything that will thrill creationists.

4. Feathered Lice: Example of Evolution in Action?

Are feather lice—like peppered moths—a black-and-white example of evolution in action?

5. The Connection Between Values and Actions

Are controversies over religion, origins, and the like merely academic? Of course not; new research reminds us of the powerful connection between values and actions.

6. And Don’t Miss . . .

  • A newly found solar system may be “a bit like ours.” But with the system’s earth-like planet orbiting its star at one-twentieth the distance between our sun and Mercury, it’s easy to see the difference. But should astronomers be searching for earth-like planets, anyway? A new idea is that the aliens we may find in space will be mechanical, not biological.
  • It’s another “could have” report about life on Mars: volcanoes “could have contained enough organic materials to support primitive forms of life.”
  • Arrows from 64,000 years ago: another questionable result of radiometric dating.
  • It appears the cover story of the next issue of World magazine will discuss the question of the age of the earth within Christian academia. The article’s backdrop is the raft trips Answers in Genesis and Canyon Ministries run on the Colorado River and through the Grand Canyon. 
  • Scientists in Britain have created liver cells out of stem cells derived from skin. But in the United States, the Obama administration is appealing a court ruling that blocked federal government funding of embryonic stem cell research.

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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