News to Note, January 29, 2011

A weekly feature examining news from the biblical viewpoint

on January 29, 2011

Ain’t nobody home, odd non-man out, no place like this home, and more!

1. Ain't Nobody Home

Amid the feverish search for extrasolar planets that could harbor life, a scientist at the Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics has spoken up about what seems obvious to us: the earth is uniquely suited for life.

2. Don’t Let the Bedbugs Evolve

Don’t let the bedbugs bite—or evolve.

New studies of bedbug genes offer the latest supposed example of evolution in action. The Wall Street Journal reports that the “irritating pests . . . are quickly evolving to withstand the pesticides used to combat them.”

3. Odd Non-Man Out

When considered alongside humans and chimps, the orangutan is the genomic “odd man out.” Is that because it hasn’t evolved as quickly?

4. Evolution is Just Mistakes

As we saw in item #2 (above), a major fault line between creationists and evolutionists concerns the appearance of novel genetic information in nature. What does the latest research say about what’s supposed to be the driving force of evolution?

5. Carnivorous Conundrum

Carnivorous plants may seem, at first, to be a puzzling challenge to creationists’ claim that there was no need for death in nature as God designed it.

And Don’t Miss . . .

  • Is a gorilla that walks upright evidence for evolution? In fact, all gorillas stand on their hind legs occasionally, though this one—who lives in a British zoo—apparently “prefers” walking around upright. But gorillas already have the physical capability to walk upright, just as humans can walk on all fours; neither shows that an organism can undergo progressive genetic change to become a new type of organism.
  • Both evolutionists and creationists believe that earth’s past saw catastrophic events that killed much of life on earth. For evolutionists, these catastrophic events occurred hundreds of millions of years apart; for creationists, many of the largest occurred during the Flood year (and immediately after). So while the Permian–Triassic extinction event, perhaps caused by toxic ash, makes sense in an evolutionary framework, it also fits in the creationist framework given the expectation of massive volcanic activity associated with the tremendous geological forces at play during the Flood year.
  • Is it the oldest galaxy discovered so far—or just the farthest from earth? In astronomy as in other fields of science, assumptions and interpretation can make all the difference.
  • New research reveals remarkably well-preserved fossils from South Africa. But while the research envisions lakes “overwhelmed by rotting, sinking vegetation, becoming stagnant and lifeless—ideal conditions to preserve the animal remains,” how could “eyes and guts and muscles” be fossilized if they were rotting away? Catastrophic burial makes more sense.
  • Answers in Genesis has received the National Religious Broadcasters Association Best Television Mixed Media Campaign Award for the media campaign for the I Am Not Ashamed website. In the secular media, AiG was given a national profile on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” program with an informal debate on the proposed Ark Encounter project. See Prominent Clergyman Opposes the Ark Encounter on National TV.

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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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Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible—particularly the book of Genesis—regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth.