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News to Note, February 12, 2011

A weekly feature examining news from the biblical viewpoint

on February 12, 2011
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Lucy on the ground with high heels, outsmarting ourselves, the partially legless snake strikes again, and more!

1. Lucy on the Ground With High Heels

“Lucy,” the name given to partial australopithecine remains found in Ethiopia in 1974, may seem like old news. But new research suggests that “if Lucy were alive today, she could fit in high heels or march for miles without breaking her feet”—evidence, researchers claim, that Lucy was an experienced upright walker.

2. The Dilemma That Isn't

Do the potential benefits of embryonic stem cell research justify the destruction of tiny, unborn human lives? Or is there a viable alternative?

3. Outsmarting Ourselves

Human brains are getting smaller, yet we’re apparently getting smarter. Does that mean dinosaurs with walnut-sized brains could have actually been geniuses?

4. The Legless Snakes

Why and how did “serpents” lose their limbs? The research may move forward, but the answer stays (largely) the same.

5. Popular Mechanics for Kids

Bill Nye, the “science guy” of children’s television fame, recently answered a few questions for the magazine Popular Mechanics. Although Ken Ham tackled Nye’s answers in a blog entry, we thought our perspective could bear re-emphasizing.

And Don’t Miss . . .

  • So you think evolutionists can’t find critical “missing links”? Well—abracadabra—and there are no missing links in the first place! This is according to one research team that claims the idea of missing links stems from the mistaken belief that organisms become ever more sophisticated as they evolve. The team’s research, described separately, purports to show that simple marine worms actually descend from more complex ancestors. If true, that would only serve to buttress creationist arguments that evolution removes complexity rather than adding it—as is the case with the nearly blind pseudoscorpion species discovered recently in Colorado caves.
  • New technology designed for Mars rovers could help scientists study “the composition of rocks and soils on Mars—possibly including evidence of life.” While we applaud attempts to better understand our universe, the link to finding evidence of life on Mars seems arbitrary. In evolutionists’ eyes, is the evidence for life on Mars always “one step away,” just beyond the reach of the technology we currently have on the Red Planet? If so, we may be hearing about the possibility of life on Mars for a long time, as researchers dig deeper and deeper (perhaps literally) to find what life they already believe is there.
  • A fossil surprise: arthropod remains said to be from the Paleozoic era contain remains of “chitin-protein complex,” which is “easily degraded by microorganisms”; consequently, “it has long been believed that chitin and structural proteins would not be present in fossils of moderate age, let alone in fossils dating back to the early Paleozoic.” Perhaps the remains aren’t as old as the reporting scientists think?
  • Meet Stonehenge rival Wurdi Youang, a large array of rocks that some scientists think were arranged by aboriginal Australians to track the sun’s movement. Whether it predates Stonehenge, the pyramids, and the like is uncertain, but it does remind us that early humans—from all people groups—were highly intelligent.
  • In a slide show describing “Places that prove Darwin was right,” Salon.com takes potshots at our Creation Museum, calling it “absurdly pseudo-scientific” with “kitschy dioramas.” The slides display natural sites and museums said to provide evidence of evolutionary history and the like—locations where our Wonders of Geology travel brochures and our Museum Guide may come in handy. But to get a glimpse of the thinking (or lack thereof) behind the Salon.com slideshow, note that the penultimate slide showcases “Ida” the fossil, which is unquestioningly described as a “missing link” and “perhaps our oldest ancestor.” In reality, Ida was widely dismissed by both creationists and evolutionists shortly after it was revealed.
  • The discovery of fox bones in a human grave, suggesting the fox may have been a pet, reminds us of how the original dog kind was domesticated by humans.

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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, 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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