News to Note, August 29, 2009

A weekly feature examining news from the biblical viewpoint

Featured in News to Know

They’re catching on, the demise of WASP-18b, meet chickenosaurus, and more!

1. Appendix Isn’t Useless

“Creationists will have a field day with this one,” writes one blogger on the news. Bingo.

Actually, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, even if simply because scientists have known about the appendix’s function for some time now.

2. The Demise of Planet WASP-18b

A recently discovered exoplanet may have been found just in the nick of time—in time for us to witness its demise, that is.

3. Meet Chickenosaurus

It sounds like an April Fools’ Day joke that came months too late: a Canadian scientist declares he will “flip some levers” and develop a dinosaur out of a chicken embryo.

4. Dawkins' Crusade

Although we frequently decline to comment when individuals inveigh against creationists (especially because such comments are often redundant and misinformed), we can hardly help but respond to vocal atheist (and anti-creationist) Richard Dawkins.

5. Introducing “Readers’ Voice,” the Newest News to Note Feature

Have your own thoughts on a news item? Want other News to Note readers to hear them?

When we put together News to Note each week, our goal is not only to offer our Bible-based analysis of science and other news. Just as important is encouraging readers to think biblically as well.

That’s why we’re offering a trial run of “Readers’ Voice,” an opportunity for us to share some of the best comments sent in by readers. If it’s a success, we hope to feature at least one reader comment each week.

If you would like to participate, find a current news story that you think we should cover in News to Note and that you have a pithy comment or interesting question on (fifty words or fewer, preferably). Then send the story and the comment or question to us along with your name and location, and be sure to mention it’s for “Readers’ Voice.”

Please don’t be offended if your comment isn’t selected the first week—our hope is that many readers will have thoughts they would like us and other readers to hear. If we continue to receive plenty of comments, we’ll make it a regular feature.

Remember, we’re looking for concise, thought-provoking (or even humorous) comments and questions on current news from a biblical perspective. If you have something that fits the bill, let us know!

6. And Don’t Miss . . .

  • Fossils discovered in Germany in 2007 and 2008 made news this week, as many were recently put on display. The finds include an incredibly preserved lizard, rodents, an iridescent beetle, and many other animals. And some of the fossil feathers discovered, along with fossils found elsewhere, are helping teach scientists about the colors and glosses of ancient birds and other creatures.
  • In a recent speech, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary president Albert Mohler warned listeners, “We’re losing at least two-thirds of our young people somewhere along the line between adolescence and adulthood.” Sounds like someone has read the research Ken Ham and Britt Beemer present in Already Gone! Actually, the forthcoming issue of Answers magazine features an interview with Dr. Mohler—be sure to check it out!
  • Still aren’t sure that evolutionary conclusions are based on presuppositions? A news release for a study of epigenetics declares, “Researchers . . . have found that the protein coding parts of a gene are packed in special nucleosomes. The same type of packaging is found in the roundworm C. elegans, which is a primeval relative of humans. The mechanism can thereby be traced back a billion years in time.” In other words, because the scientists already believe humans and roundworms are related, they arrive at the conclusion that the packaging has been “evolutionarily preserved.” Could it not also be a brilliant design from a common designer?
  • A team reporting in Science details a new method of aluminum-based radiometric dating that “can now offer precise timing of events 4.5 billion years ago.” But like all other forms of radiometric dating, the new technique must (necessarily) rely on a series of questionable assumptions.
  • Are we (and other advocates of intelligent design) guilty of “an underestimation of natural selection’s creative power”? That’s one of the many points that Robert Wright opines in the New York Times recently. But strangely enough, it seems that most writers advocating “science” (read: “Darwinian evolution”)—including Wright—offer absolutely no science to justify their assertions.
  • Could examinations of life on Earth in any way show that there is life on Mars? Of course not, yet that seems to be the implication of recent work by NASA and other scientists. (The linked article also mentions the discovery of methane on Mars as a “possible clue that life currently exists on the planet or did in the past,” despite that notion having been recently discarded.)
  • Do evolving robots prove that life could have evolved? Hardly. Not only were the robots and their “genomes” intelligently designed, but we’re confident that the “mating” and “mutating” of their genomes were intelligently managed as well. Furthermore, what “evolved” was not new anatomical features, but rather simply a variety of behaviors (i.e., the behaviors that evolved were no more complex than the ancestral behaviors).
  • While reports indicate that the news has “implications for the evolution of an ancient group of crustaceans,” the discovery of an eyeless crustacean in the Canary Islands would require no evolution: evolutionists need organisms to evolve eyes out of nothing, not to lose the eyes they (possibly) once had.
  • Lobsters are capable of “jet-assisted walking” thanks to their fin-like pleopods, according to a recent study that reveals the unexpected utility of the design.
  • In a bit of a twist, erstwhile Answers in Genesis critic Ian Plimer (well, still a critic as far as we know—just not in the news for it) has come out dismissive of claims about human-caused global warming. We suppose Plimer now knows what it’s like to be in the scientific minority.

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 all the latest News to Know, why not take a look to see what you’ve missed?

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