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News to Note, February 14, 2009

A weekly feature examining news from the biblical viewpoint

on February 14, 2009

Darwin is the news; our imaginary friend?; inspired robots; and more!

1. Darwin is the News

Two weeks ago, we covered Darwin in the news. This week, Darwin is the news!

In January, it seemed that newly elected U.S. president Barack Obama was the star of every magazine cover and newspaper headline. But move over, Mr. Obama: February is the month of Charles Darwin, whose birth 200 years ago is now the talk of every media outlet.

2. Religion Is in Your Head

Religion? It’s all in your head: New Scientist takes an unmitigated swipe at theism.

Based on a report that attendance in “strict” churches rose during the Great Depression, New Scientist writer Michael Brooks has leapt to a conclusion: that all of religion is imaginary, and that tough times spur our belief in the imaginary.

3. Cockroaches Inspire Robots

Robot designers are taking a cue from lizards and cockroaches!

Anyone who has tried to traverse a sand dune on foot knows it’s a far more difficult task than walking on asphalt. Even driving across soft-packed sand presents problems because, as ScienceNOW writer correspondent Phil Berardelli explains, “the loose agglomeration of sand grains often collapses into a hole under the weight of a vehicle’s wheels and provides too little traction for those wheels to roll back out.”

4. Evolving Robots

Robot designers are taking a cue from Charles Darwin!

Can a robot’s software “evolve” to cope with physical changes, such as the addition of new features?

5. Abortion and Morality

The tragic account of a cold-hearted abortion clinic murder—and the ensuing legal battle—reminds us of the dark connection between abortion and morality. (Warning: revolting content.)

6. Neanderthal Symphony

In April of last year we heard a Neanderthal voice for the first time. Now it’s time to hear Neanderthal music.

7. Cedarville University: “Geology Degree Added to Course Offerings”

Ohio’s Cedarville University, one of relatively few Christian schools of higher education that supports young-earth creation, has launched a major in geology.

The university’s board of trustees approved a bachelor of science in geology, to be offered as of next fall. The school’s news release notes, “The program will be unique in that no other Christian school, that holds to a literal six-day account of Genesis offers geology as a major for undergraduates. The course of study will be taught from both naturalistic and young-earth paradigms of earth history.” In other words, students will be taught to understand the old-earth worldview (as we recommend), but they will also be taught what the Bible teaches and shown a coherent biblical framework for understanding geology.

Associate professor of geology John Whitmore, a regular contributor to Answers magazine, explained, “The degree will offer a whole host of new opportunities for graduates. Geologists help us find clean drinking water, petroleum, natural gas, coal and valuable minerals.” He continued:

“It is extremely important to develop critical thinking skills within the minds of young scientists. We believe that using a two-model approach of earth history will be advantageous to our students, since others are only taught a one-model, naturalistic approach. Geologists are important when it comes to thinking about earth history, especially within a biblical context.”

We applaud Cedarville for their stand on God’s Word and hope the new major helps train a new generation of “scriptural geologists.”

And Don’t Miss . . .

  • The supposed big bang “replicating” Large Hadron Collider won’t be back in operation until late in the year, so we’ll have at least that long before it creates world-destroying black holes. Confused? Check out A Miniature Big Bang or More Hot Air?
  • A fascinating news report in the journal Science describes the intricacies of ant communication. It’s no surprise that the little creatures are more sophisticated than most of us think!
  • A genetic study of some African Pygmies has determined that they likely all descend from the same ancestral population about 2,800 years back. While we don’t completely accept such gene-based dating, it is interesting to consider how various people groups have expanded and subdivided in the roughly 4,000 years since Babel.
  • Human hairs (or so it appears) from allegedly around 250,000 years ago have been found in fossilized hyena dung in South Africa. How did they determine the date? The dung “encompasses the known temporal range in Africa of archaic human species . . . and the emergence of the first anatomically modern humans.” In other words, the old-earth paradigm begets more old-earth dates.
  • We mentioned last week that AiG–UK’s Paul Taylor had been invited to discuss recent issues in the creation/evolution debate on the BBC One program The Big Questions. Readers in the UK can watch that program online.
  • Last week we also reported on British university students who are handing out copies of the Gospel of Mark in response to the infamous “probably no God” bus banners. The Associated Press reports the latest response: three new banners that declare, first “There definitely is a God. So join the Christian Party and enjoy your life”; second, “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God”; and third, “There is a God, believe. Don’t worry and enjoy your life.”
  • 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, 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!

    [Please note that links will take you directly to the source. AiG is not responsible for content on the websites to which we refer. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.]


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