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News to Note, February 18, 2012

A weekly feature examining news from the biblical viewpoint

by Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell on February 18, 2012

Stripy ones don’t look tasty, Forbid them not, Peppered moth again, Mother of all living? Epigenetic on-off switches

1. How the Zebra Got its Stripes

So, how did the zebra get its stripes?

2. Forbid Them Not

Atheist websites scramble to stack the deck.

3. Peppered Moth Again

Peppered moth: “the poster child of Darwinian evolution”

4. Mother of All Living?

Ancient sponges take center stage as “our great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandmother.”

5. Epigenetic On-Off Switches

Epigenetic inheritance allows rapid adaptation without loss—or gain—of information.

And Don’t Miss . . .

  • A Grand Rapids parent is asking the school district to remove his seventh grade son’s history book because it “depicts the ancestors of black people looking like apes - unclothed, with small brains” while “[l]ater in the chapter when talking about Home sapiens, the illustrations depict an early human that looks white, is more intelligent and uses tools.” He told 24 Hour News 8, “The initial problem I had was that my son's origin is painted as some type of beast or a monkey man of sorts, walking through the landscape of Africa with no clothes on, eating animals without cooking them, and this of course is speculation. We don't know that those people did that or any people did that. Those anthropologists are speculating, and for my son to be taught that is like a needle being filled with poison and injecting it into his brain.” The first illustrations he spoke of, according to an anthropologist interviewed by the news channel, depict australopithecines, which she said “were not human at all.” Yet as the concerned dad has noted, these are being depicted as ancestors of humans. And despite the evolutionary claim that all human ancestors came from Africa, evolution has long been used as a justification for racism. Evolutionist Stephen J. Gould admitted, “Biological arguments for racism may have been common before 1859, but they increased by orders of magnitude following the acceptance of evolutionary theory.”1 Indeed, Darwin wrote that some groups of humans were closer to their supposed ape-like ancestors than others. Furthermore, the evolutionary worldview maintains humans are only highly evolved animals. For “animals” with no accountability to a Creator, right and wrong become only a matter for opinion, subject to determination by the majority or the powerful. And how much heartache and suffering and, yes, racism, has that sort of approach caused in this world! For more information, see Darwin’s Sad Legacy.
  • Outspoken evolutionist Richard Dawkins couldn’t quite recall the words he needed on the radio this week. Debating Rev. Giles Fraser, former canon chancellor of St. Paul's Cathedral in England, on BBC Radio 4, Dawkins could not remember the full title of Darwin's famous book: On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. Now, Dawkins can’t be faulted for not getting a lengthy title exactly right, but the radio gaffe must have been highly embarrassing for the arch anti-creationist. Fraser asked him the title after Dawkins indicated people who called themselves Christian but were unable to “name basic aspects of Christianity were not Christian.” Of course no one really thinks the “high pope of Darwinism,” as Fraser called Dawkins after the mental hiccup, isn’t really an evolutionist. But Fraser’s logic is inescapable. He told Dawkins, “If you asked people who believed in evolution . . . that question and came back and said 2 percent got it right it would be terribly easy for me to go ‘they don't really believe it after all.’” This “golden minute of radio” is definitely making the rounds, reminiscent of another embarrassing moment a few years back. While being interviewed on film, Dawkins—asked “for a concrete example in which an evolutionary process can be seen to have increased information on the genome”—responded with an exceedingly long pause, then a request to turn off the video, and finally an answer that had nothing to do with the question. Read the full story that footage, preserved in the video From a Frog to a Prince,2 at Skeptics Choke on Frog.
  • Answers in Genesis crossed two milestones this past week in the construction of a full-size, all-wood Noah’s Ark in northern Kentucky, about 40 miles from AiG’s Creation Museum. Despite a sluggish economy, the largest parcel of land (over 500 acres) was closed on this week for the Ark Encounter, and earlier in the week, the $5 million mark was reached for donations designated for the building of the Ark itself—one of nine attractions to be constructed on the property (though the Ark is the centerpiece). For more information, see Final Piece of Land for Full-size Ark Purchased; for the latest on the evangelistic Ark project, and to watch a new 5-minute Ark video on the revamped Ark Encounter website, go to

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 last week’s News to Note, why not take a look at it now? See you next week!

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  1. Gould,Stephen Jay. 1977. Ontogeny and Phylogeny, p. 127–128. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard Press.
  2. Listen to old Real media file (may not be playable in many browsers).


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