News to Note, January 24, 2009

A weekly feature examining news from the biblical viewpoint

Featured in News to Know

The return of curriculum debates, lizard evolution, Caspian tigers, anti-God bus banners, and more!

1. Texas Curriculum Fuels Evolution Debate

The debate is still raging over how the science curriculum is being “messed with” in Texas.

2. Twitchy Lizards

Lizards are busy “evolving” again—is it more proof for Darwinism?

Fire ants are unpleasant, to say the least: their venomous bites are more than a minor annoyance for humans, and according to National Geographic News, they can strip animals as large as calves down to the bone. For the small fence lizard, the stings of just a dozen fire ants can mean death in a single minute.

3. Dead Tigers Live

The Caspian tiger was dead—but now it’s alive?

4. How is Language Driven?

“But if universal grammar did not evolve by natural selection, how could it have arisen?” That’s one question posed by a recent study—one we can certainly answer!

5. Christian Won't Drive Atheist Bus

A Christian bus driver has boldly refused to drive a bus sporting atheist banners backed by Richard Dawkins, et al.

6. Barna Group: “Christianity Is No Longer Americans’ Default Faith”

Pollster George Barna reports this week that Christianity is no longer the “default faith” in the U.S.

In a telephone survey of just over a thousand adults, 50 percent agreed that “Christianity is no longer the faith that Americans automatically accept,” with 44 percent disagreeing. Other findings of interest:

  • 74 percent of respondents agreed that “religious faith was becoming even more important to them than it used to be as a source of objective and reliable moral guidance.”
  • 71 percent agreed that “they are personally more likely to develop their own set of religious beliefs than to accept a comprehensive set of beliefs taught by a particular church.” 82 percent of respondents under the age of 25 agreed with the proposition.
  • Among those describing themselves as Christian, “close to half” do not believe in Satan, a third believe Jesus sinned, and a quarter believe the Bible is not accurate in “all of the principles it teaches.”

The study concludes that, more than ever, Christians serve as their own “theologian-in-residence,” even though it leads to “an unpredictable and contradictory body of beliefs” such as believing that the Bible is inerrant yet also believing that Jesus sinned. Individuals are also more likely to consider non-Christian perspectives as valid, which “has resulted in an abundance of unique worldviews based on personal combinations of theology drawn from a smattering of world religions such as Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, and Islam as well as secularism.”

Sadly, these results shouldn’t surprise us as we see the steady “evolutionizing” of the culture and the march away from the authority of God’s Word—the only reliable, unchanging source of truth. While it is inspiring that the majority of people still view religion as the source of moral guidance, it seems “religion” is becoming just as subjective as morality.

And Don’t Miss . . .

In our new News to Note feature, we’ll take a very quick look at some other news around the web for this week.

Every week we receive far more news tips than we can cover. Up to now, we generally haven’t covered those lower-profile stories even though they’re often quite relevant. “And Don’t Miss . . .” will come at the end of each News to Note, offering a short sentence or two and link to some of the best of the rest of the news we find or are tipped on. We hope it will be an opportunity for you to stretch your thinking muscle and read these stories through biblical lenses.

  • A species of dung beetle has changing tastes. Could it be reminiscent of some animals‘ conversion to carnivory after the Fall?
  • Children and women of “optimum reproductive age” were most likely to survive the Titanic disaster. Is that because of passengers’ morality or evolutionary instinct?
  • Was it a poor choice of words or reflective of the underlying worldview when one embryonic stem cell researcher enthused, “Twenty or thirty years from now, hopefully I’ll be full of embryonic stem cell products” (emphasis added)?
  • A “newly” discovered catfish (it’s actually been known for at least 20 years) can work its way onto rocks using its pelvic fin—as can another type of catfish. Scientists don’t consider it a transitional form; they’re just puzzled over how to classify it. Within the catfish kind, perhaps?

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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