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News to Note, January 3, 2009

A weekly feature examining news from the biblical viewpoint

on January 3, 2009

Evidence upon evidence, musical apes, and more!

1. Southeast Asia Tsunami Anniversary

Last week marked the fourth anniversary of a deadly natural disaster.

Just after Christmas Day 2004 an Indian Ocean tsunami hit land in Southeast Asia, ravaging the coastal areas of Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia (in particular) and killing nearly a quarter of a million people.

2. Two Colors, One Race

Twins of different skin color are now the older siblings of another set of twins of different skin color!

Twins Hayleigh and Lauren Durrant were newsworthy from their birth in 2001: Hayleigh’s skin and hair is dark brown like her dad, while Lauren has light skin, blue eyes, and red hair like her mom.

3. Whistling Orangutan Clue to Language Evolution

Is that the sound of a wolf whistle or an orangutan whistle we hear?

An orangutan at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., has a talent that shouldn’t seem surprising for humans: it can whistle, and has been doing so for about two decades.

4. The Web of Spider Evolution

What was once “the world’s oldest spider” is now just a primitive version of the “web-spinning modern spider,” BBC News reports.

5. Who Thinks Creationism Should Be Taught and Why?

From the United Kingdom come the surprising results of a teachers’ poll about creation in the classroom.

Nearly a third of teachers (30 percent) surveyed in an Ipsos Mori poll believe creation should be taught as part of science lessons, with 37 percent believing that the subject should be taught “alongside” evolution and the big bang.

6. AFP: “Huge Dinosaur Discovery In China: State Media”

In east China is the “largest ever” natural collection of dinosaur remains—on the order of thousands of bones.

Since they began digging in March, paleontologists have unearthed nearly 8,000 dinosaur bones in a collection of areas around the city of Zhucheng. In one dense segment alone, measuring 300 m (985 ft) by 10 m (33 ft), scientists dug up more than 3,000 bones.

“This group of fossilized dinosaurs is currently the largest ever discovered in the world . . . in terms of area,” said the Chinese Academy of Science’s Zhao Xijin, a paleontologist. According to Zhao, the mass grave could provide “clues” to how dinosaurs became extinct. Chinese news agency Xinhua reports that the entire area has yielded some 50 metric tons (55 tons) of dinosaur fossils since the 1960s.

Perhaps the Zhucheng area holds more fascinating dinosaur fossils—and perhaps paleontologists will speculate on how so many dinosaur fossils ended up in the same location. Could it be the work of catastrophic forces, namely, a very large flood (Genesis 6–8)?

Remember, if you see a news story that might merit some attention, let us know 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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