News to Note, July 11, 2009

A weekly feature examining news from the biblical viewpoint

on July 11, 2009
Featured in News to Know

Mental evolution, the content of a codex, toys for Batman, and more!

1. BBC News: “Aquatic Deer and Ancient Whales”

Several species of chevrotains (mouse deer) hide from predators in the water. Does that prove evolution?

2. The Content of a Codex

The world’s oldest known Bible: should it disturb Christians?

CNN reports on the launch of an online version for the world’s oldest Bible, the Codex Sinaiticus, discovered in the nineteenth century in Egypt and including several Apocryphal books.

3. Monkey Hear, Monkey Know

If you ain’t no good speaker of English, maybe you should talk to one o’ them thar monkeys to straight’n ya out.

4. Robo-Bats

As far as fliers go, most humans probably prefer watching birds or butterflies to bats. But in addition to sonar, bats have other interesting design features.

5. ‘Misleading’ Creationism Question in UK Teacher Exam

Even testing to see if pupils know what creationists say is too much, declare evolutionists in an outcry over a GCSE exam question.

6. And Don’t Miss . . .

  • The Wall Street Journal reports that noted geneticist Francis Collins has been nominated to head the U.S. National Institutes of Health. We quoted Collins—a theistic evolutionist who considers himself an evangelical Christian—in May, when he told Time magazine that intelligent design was “not a scientific proposal” and “not good theology either.” Still, we hope Collins’s Christian morals are a positive force at the NIH.
  • It’s another set of mixed-“race” siblings: the Daily Mail reports on the three children of Cornel and Carla Nurse, each of whom has a different shade of brown skin (as all humans do). Mr. Nurse notes, “They all have our facial features. It’s just the color of their skin which is different.” The Nurse family joins “rainbow” biological families we covered in January, last July, and October of 2006, all of which remind us that humans—no matter the skin color, hair color, eye color, height, weight, facial features, etc.—are all of one blood, just as the Bible teaches (Acts 17:26).
  • A new study suggests that so-called “mega-volcanic” eruptions may not be significant enough to spark an ice age, and emphasize the role of other meteorological factors. Many creationists believe the Ice Age was initiated, in part, by volcanism during and after the global Flood, so this research may prove fruitful in reminding us of other factors behind the Ice Age. However, the Flood would have likely caused far more volcanic activity than what these uniformitarian researchers take into account.
  • LiveScience reports on research into the skeletal forms of the “first animals to emerge from the ocean and walk on land.” After much work (no doubt presupposition-infused), one paleontologist claimed, “Some looked like crocodiles, some looked like little lizards, some like moray eels, and some were snake-like.” Or perhaps they just were crocodiles, lizards, moray eels, and snakes!
  • A blog reviews recent comments by famed physicist Stephen Hawking, who says humans have embarked on a stage of “self-designed evolution.” Hawking believes humans will “discover how to modify both intelligence, and instincts like aggression” through genetic manipulation within the next century. Of course, the difference between genetic manipulation and Darwinian evolution is that the former relies on an intelligent source for information, whereas the latter goes against everything we know about informatics.
  • National Geographic News reports on a trio of dinosaur fossils discovered in Australia and recently described in the journal PLoS One. The trio includes the first new sauropod dinosaur discovered in Australia in 75 years.
  • Chinese scientists announced that a genus of orb spider builds a replica of itself to throw off predators. Is the ability due to design or is it just an accident of evolution?
  • A frustratingly fallacious—and (be warned) vulgar and profane—column in the San Francisco Chronicle reiterates the idea that homosexuality among animals shows that God endorses homosexuality. This entire argument rests on a significant fallacy: that whatever happens in nature (whether in animals or in humans) is what God intended and what God decrees as “right.” Obviously this is not the case; animals kill, rape, and steal, for instance, without anyone deducing that God approves of such acts. The author ignores (willfully or not, we don’t know) the Christian view of creation as imperfect, having been corrupted by the Fall and Curse. Of course, we don’t expect the author to acknowledge this, since he instead blathers, “Life on Earth is messy and bloody and constantly evolving and transmuting and guess what? So is sexuality, and love, and connection, and what it means to exist.” Not very deep, we would say. (The author also fails to report that some examples of homosexuality in the animal world are not actually “natural,” as we reported last month.)

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 all the latest News to Know, why not take a look to see what you’ve missed?

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