News to Note, February 17, 2007

A weekly feature examining news from the biblical viewpoint


1. BBC News: “Ancient chimps ‘used stone tools’

Excavations at the Noulo site in Africa, reportedly “the only known prehistoric chimpanzee” settlement, have turned up ancient stone tools thought to have been used by chimpanzees. “The discovery represents the oldest evidence of tool use by our closest evolutionary relative,” reports BBC News, which notes that radiocarbon dating of charcoal in the same ground layers as the tools indicated an age of 4,300 years.

The discovery has evolutionary researchers wondering how chimps learned to use tools — was it based on their observation (and imitation) of humans or an inheritance from an ancestor common to chimps and humans — or did chimps and humans figure out tool-use independent of one another?

The Bible’s teaching on the topic is fairly clear, however: it was a common “Ancestor” of sorts, the Creator, who created minds capable of conceiving and using tools. And not just primate minds, although evolutionists are fond of painting a picture of chimps as “nearly human”; other animals, such as crows, are expert tool-makers (see the November 4, 2006, News to Note, item #3).

2. National Geographic News: “Fossil Meat Found in 380-Million-Year-Old Fish

Australian paleontologists writing in last week’s edition of Biology Letters report on their discovery of “morsels of fossilized muscle” inside not one but two fossilized fish dated by evolutionists at around 382 million years old. Sean Markey’s National Geographic News report on the find claims the muscle would be “the oldest vertebrate tissue ever known.” The article details the find:

The fish’s remarkably well-preserved soft tissues include bundles of muscle cells, blood vessels, and nerve cells . . . found during recent electron microscope scans[.]

The article also explains that, in addition to the rarity of discovering fossilized muscle is the rarity of discovering fossils that have not been flattened, but rather maintain the original three-dimensional shape of the fish. The remarkable preservation of the fish — both in shape and in muscular content — seems to contradict an alleged date of over 380 million years.

Interestingly, this type of fish, called Gogonasus, “changed and revolutionized” scientists’ ideas of evolution because it was “remarkable for its many features resembling those found on modern land animals” (in other words, sort of the opposite of a living fossil — rather than a live creature nearly identical to a thought-to-be-extinct fossil, this is a supposedly ancient fossil that looks much like live creatures today).

3. ScienceNOW: “It’s Official: ID Out in Kansas

In news this week from the political end of the science spectrum, the elected Board of Education in Kansas has modified the treatment the state curriculum gives to the topic of origins. This marks the fifth time standards have been changed in eight years. The 6-4 vote to adopt new standards was a direct result of a swing in the board’s political balance of power, as pro-evolution Democrats and Republicans gained seats in November’s general election that were previously held by some intelligent design proponents.

Visit “What Happened in Kansas?” for a primer on the recent history of the curriculum conflict in Kansas. For AiG’s response to the latest reporting (and misreporting) on the curriculum, see “Evolution ‘Restored’ in Kansas?

4. Evolutionary Psychology Threatens Accountability

It may not sound like a triumph of evolutionary theory: psychiatrist Anderson Thomson treated the depression of a college student by helping her be more assertive about her goals, change schools (from one she disliked to one she liked), and change majors (from one she disliked to one she liked). Yet according to the Los Angeles Times' Julia Klein, this is an example of the success of “evolutionary psychology, a burgeoning field that is starting to influence psychotherapy.” Klein explains how evolutionary psychology differs from the psychological schools that have preceded it:

5. Creationist Submits But Doesn't Surrender

The New York Times examines the noteworthy case of a young-earth creationist being awarded a PhD in geosciences from the University of Rhode Island. (Noteworthy, sadly, because of the current domination evolutionary science has in doctoral programs.) Dr. Marcus Ross, reportedly a young-earth creationist who believes the earth is no more than 10,000 years old, completed his doctoral degree with the submission of a 197-page dissertation on the end of the mosasaurs (a marine reptile that supposedly died out some 65 million years ago in evolutionary history).

6. USA TODAY: “Flying creatures may help create aviation of future

Aviation experts are increasingly turning to the animal kingdom for inspiration and design ideas for new aircraft technology, reports Alan Levin of USA TODAY. “In labs around the world, biologists and aerodynamicists are studying birds, bats, insects and even extinct flying dinosaurs for new ideas,” Levin says, outlining some of the latest nature-inspired initiatives.

Of course, these experts are merely copying the design of the Master Designer. Yet where does the credit go?

The breeding ground of natural selection has improved flying creatures over millions of years[.]

And, according Graham Taylor of Oxford University:

“[N]atural selection has already done much of the brute computation for us by solving problems evolutionary[.]”

Once again, the glory the Creator deserves is being attributed instead to His creation.

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