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News to Note, August 8, 2009

A weekly feature examining news from the biblical viewpoint

on August 8, 2009
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We are the champions, On the Origin of Man’s Best Friend, the secret of Jeholopterus ninchengensis, and more!

1. We Are the Champions (of Evolution)

“Mammals are special,” declares the leader of a new study on animal success rates. Just what does he mean?

2. On the Origin of Man's Best Friend

If the idea behind item #1 (above) is correct, perhaps the domestic dog would be the biggest “winner” of all.

New research by an international group of researchers has fueled the debate over where the domestic dog originated: Africa or East Asia? At the center of the debate is the question of whether African or East Asian dog populations have more genetic diversity, based on the idea that earlier domestication would result in more genetic diversity today.

3. The Secret of the Mongolian Pterosaur

What were pterosaurs really like? An uncertain topic grows all the more perplexing after a new look at an old fossil.

4. Crow the Builder

They’re the incredibly intelligent, tool-wielding animals we’ve covered frequently in the past. No, not chimps; we’re talking about crows once again.

5. Dr. Andrew Parker and the Strange Genesis Interpretation

In one of the strangest news stories we’ve examined to date, an Oxford biologist declares that Genesis is incredibly accurate; then says “creationism is totally unfounded”; then admits “the first page of the Bible . . . doesn’t spell out any of the science in detail.”

6. And Don’t Miss . . .

  • Our condolences and prayers go out to the families and survivors of the fitness center shooting in Pennsylvania this week. Despite strange religious comments in his blog, the killer appears to have had a very un-Christian perspective on many issues.
  • A tragic account of persecution of Christians in Pakistan is just one reminder of ongoing persecution of our brethren abroad who need our prayers.
  • The incredible design of adhesive gecko feet is activated by gravity, researchers have discovered. The scientists hope the find will help engineers create better adhesive systems.
  • Methane on Mars continues to fuel hopes for life, but the possibility of geological origins seems much more reasonable if one removes evolutionary speculation.
  • An interesting “Science Friday” podcast episode on paleoart covers ground from the exacting work paleoartists do to early misrepresentations of Neanderthals to brief (and surprisingly moderate!) comments about our Creation Museum. By the way, the Creation Museum features a saddle on a triceratops (mentioned in the show) as a photo opportunity and child’s play spot separate from our science exhibits. Although we do believe dinosaurs and humans coexisted, there is no evidence that humans ever rode dinosaurs (besides the mysterious and controversial Ica stones, as one reader points out).

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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, 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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