News to Note, February 25, 2012

A weekly feature examining news from the biblical viewpoint

by Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell on February 25, 2012

Empty schools “He that believeth on the Son . . .” Our cratered moon Ultrafast evolution Primordial soup

1. NYC Schools Evict Churches

NYC schools evict churches.

2. The Battle of Bible Translation

. . . the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God” (1 John 4:14–15).

3. Our Scarred Moon

Moon story stretches to accommodate unexpectedly recent activity.

4. Ultrafast Parasite Evolution

Bird parasite said to “evolve” rapidly while losing information.

5. Primordial Soup Debate

Was primordial soup a warm pond or a hot salty ocean? Evolutionists debate.

And Don’t Miss . . .

  • An Iranian court has issued a final verdict ordering execution of Christian Iranian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani. He was arrested in October 2009 and sentenced to death for converting from Islam. His lawyers appealed the decision, maintaining he had never been Muslim in adult life. The appeals court admitted he had never practiced Islam but declared him guilty because his parents were Muslim. The United States, the European Union, France, Great Britain, Mexico, and Germany have all condemned the arrest and called for Nadarkhani’s release. Pennsylvania Representative Joseph Pitts notes Iran’s government “has stepped up persecution of religious minorities. . . . The persecuted are their own citizens, whose only crime is practicing their faith.” Nadarkhani’s case has attracted international attention, and many feel the public outcry has helped keep him alive. “The world needs to stand up1 and say that a man cannot be put to death because of his faith,” says Jordan Sekulow, of The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ). “This one case is not just about one execution. We have been able to expose the system instead of just letting one man disappear, like so many other Christians have in the past.”
  • Adult stem cell treatment for heart attack has had another successful clinical trial. Dr. Eduardo Marbán at Cedars–Sinai Heart Institute grew stem cells from patients’ own biopsied heart tissue, thus avoiding the possibility of rejection. Not only was the treatment safe, but a year later patients had a 50% reduction in the amount of non-functional scar tissue. Dr. Marban said, “While the primary goal of our study was to verify safety, we also looked for evidence that the treatment might dissolve scar and regrow lost heart muscle. . . . This discovery challenges the conventional wisdom that, once established, scar is permanent and that, once lost, healthy heart muscle cannot be restored.” Although these patients did not demonstrate a corresponding increase in “ejection fraction”2—a measure of pumping efficiency—a similar study from Louisville in November did report improved ejection fraction as well as a decrease in physical limitations.3 An adult stem cell trial with 3,000 such patients in Europe will soon begin and hopefully confirm the efficacy of this ethical form of stem cell technology.
  • Voting has been intense on a website that asks Americans to select the top 15 U.S. locations for “the definitive family vacation.” An on-line poll called the “15 Places Kids Should See Before 15” has been extended through Tuesday “due to popular demand.” The popularity, however, has more to do with controversy rather than the picking of an idyllic vacation spot. Alarmed that the Creation Museum has consistently been in the top 3 out of more than 400 vacation nominees, several evolutionist bloggers and websites have spurred thousands of people to effectively vote against the Creation Museum by voting for other attractions, in what has become an almost-daily campaign to drop the museum’s high ranking. Creation Museum supporters (there have been over 1.5 million visitors in four years), however, are responding with their votes—and without the museum itself having to organize a massive get-out-the-vote campaign. Meanwhile, evolutionists are skewing the poll’s results by nominating and inserting slightly misspelled names for the Creation Museum, hoping that people would mistakenly vote for an incorrect museum entry. While most attractions in the poll have few if any comments next to their vote tallies, the “Creation Museum KY” listing (with over 6,200 votes) has had an astounding 1,800-plus comments (far more than any of the other 400-plus nominated attractions). We hope the survey will prompt many more families to pay a visit to the Creation Museum and see that the Christian faith is logically defensible.

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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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  3. News to Note, December 10, 2011

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