News to Note, January 22, 2011

A weekly feature examining news from the biblical viewpoint

on January 22, 2011

The little predator/microbes/constant/sect that could, and more!

1. Toy T-Rex 2.0

Is a tiny dinosaur called Eodromaeus the predecessor to big beasts like T. rex?

Fossil remains of the newly identified dinosaur were recovered in Argentina, where the creature is believed to have lived 230 million years ago. But like many other lesser-known dinosaurs, Eodromaeus did not tower above the landscape nor shake the earth with each step. About the size of a dog, Eodromaeus was only 4 feet (1.3 m) long and half as tall, weighing in at no more than 15 pounds.

2. The Little Microbes That Could

Geologists have discovered microbes living inside salt crystals. The twist? The microbes are said to be 34,000 years old!

3. Laws of Physics, Jim

The laws of physics are fine-tuned for life, exactly what we would expect if the universe were intelligently designed. So what’s the latest atheistic rebuttal?

4. Laws of Physics, Jim

Is “distant starlight” as distant as we think?

One of the leading creationist research questions concerns distant starlight: concisely put, how could light from far-off stars reach earth in the 6,000 years since creation? While a number of solutions have been proposed (such as the recent paper Anisotropic Synchrony Convention—A Solution to the Distant Starlight Problem), creationist cosmological models—like those of cosmic evolutionists—are still subject to ongoing development.

5. Predisposition to Religion?

Watch as one researcher tries desperately to implicate population biology and genetics in the spread of religion.

And Don’t Miss . . .

  • The woolly mammoth may go “un-extinct” within a decade, if Japanese scientists successfully use cloning techniques to create a mammoth embryo. The embryo would be based on an elephant egg and would develop inside a surrogate elephant mother. Of course, the project reminds us that mammoths and elephants were probably part of the same original created kind.
  • In the beginning, asteroids created life? Scientists continue to find simple organic compounds on asteroids, but don’t forget how far these compounds are from even the simplest life-forms.
  • Most people probably don’t think of the hornet as one of God’s most delightful designs, but Israeli scientists have published evidence that the Oriental hornet can harvest energy from the sun and transform it into electricity directly through its exoskeleton. If confirmed, the discovery could pave the way for organically based solar cells—and offers another astonishing example of God’s creative capabilities.
  • Another study on incredible crow intelligence comes from the University of Oxford. Researchers there learned that crows not only use tools to gather food; they also use tools in self-defense, probing strange objects before reaching out with their beaks. (Our last full report on crow intelligence came Crows’ Intelligence.)
  • A new exoplanet discovered and a new record broken—for the hottest planet found yet. WASP 33b, 380 light-years away from earth in the direction of the constellation Andromeda, is an unappealing 5800˚F (3200˚C).
  • The Louisville Courier-Journal has been cited in News to Note twice of late, first due to a problematic editorial blasting and misrepresenting our Ark Encounter project, and second when we covered the “preemptive expulsion” of a Christian astronomer (though not a biblical creationist) from a University of Kentucky academic position. The paper now reports on the resolution of a lawsuit against the university while carrying an opinion column on the same topic. But the editors launched another attack against the Ark Encounter, this time claiming estimates of the theme park’s attendance are exaggerated.

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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