News to Note, July 12, 2008

A weekly feature examining news from the biblical viewpoint

on July 12, 2008

Fishy missing links, the uniqueness of Earth, electrostatic robots, and more!

1. Scientists Discover Another Suspicious Missing Link

Scientists have discovered yet another missing link—but like others, this one strikes us as a little fishy.

2. Ancient Hebrew Tablet Stirs Theological Debate

An ancient stone tablet covered with Hebrew text has created a “quiet stir” in biblical and archaeological circles, reports the New York Times.

3. What Makes Earth So Unique?

Earth is one special planet—and it seems the more we learn, the more we know it!

4. National Geographic News: “Ancient River Camps Are Oldest Proof of Humans in Paris”

Evidence of ancient riverside camps in Paris would seem to be a sign of civilization in 7600 BC—3,500 years before Creation.

The evidence comes from a recent archaeological dig not far from France’s Seine river that turned up thousands of arrowhead bits and animal bones “from about 7600 BC,” reports National Geographic News. The site was likely used by a nomadic tribe that camped on what then was likely the shore of the Seine before moving on.

The archaeological survey of the site was commissioned by Inrap, the French governmental archaeology agency, as part of preparations for a new recycling plant construction project.

As is typical with archaeological reporting, however, the dates of the find are boldly given without justification—as though “7600 BC” is an indisputable fact, established without any presupposed starting points.

But as with fossils, we don’t find tags on artifacts that give exact dates of origin. Secular archaeologists use several methods to date finds, including radiometric dating, dating by analysis of sediments covering archaeological sites, and perceived complexity of and material used in the artifacts. However, all of these methods are deployed in ignorance of the Bible’s clear, firm date of Creation around 4000 BC.

5. ScienceNOW: “Eyeless Worm Senses Light”

In terms of physical capabilities, the eyeless worm may at first look unimpressive. But its ability to detect light, reports ScienceNOW, “may help illuminate the evolutionary history of vertebrate eyes.”

The worm, Caenorhabditis elegans, has been a frequent subject of research over the years, but until recently it was not known that the eyeless worm has the ability to detect light. That is, not until University of Michigan–Ann Arbor neurobiologist Shawn Xu and colleges noted that the millimeter-long C. elegans had the humorous habit of trying to wiggle away from the bright light of the scientists’ microscopes.

Xu’s team then began to play with the worms, using flashes of light to direct the course of worms and discovering that the worms are highly sensitive to some ultraviolet light (UV-A), which is lethal to them. The scientists concluded that the light-sensing capability helps the worm stay in its (safe) natural habitat: underground.

For evolutionists, the eyeless worm represents a stepping-stone on the path to eye development. Evolutionists since Darwin have, in the face of the eye’s astounding complexity, hypothesized how light-sensitive spots could have gradually evolved, through curvature, the addition of a lens, and the like.

What’s more notable, however, is that this animal is perfectly designed for its habitat. The light sensitivity guides the worm and keeps it safely underground, away from the life-threatening light and near its nutrients. While evolutionists still have no explanation for the origin of genetic information (as would be required for the evolution of UV-sensing neurons or the development of the complex eye), creationists can easily understand the light-sensing eyeless worm as a perfect creation of the Creator God.

6. BBC News: “Robots Scale New Heights”

An American team has engineered wall-climbing robots that mimic insect behavior.

The robots, which are about the size of a remote-controlled car, use electrostatic charges to cling to walls—similar to how balloons hang on to walls after being rubbed.

More specifically, the robots have tracks that have both the ability to produce positive and negative charges, which the wall responds to by generating the opposite charge.

The team hopes to develop the technology for use by the military, the service industry, and (of course!) the toy industry. And their inspiration? The insect world, for one thing at least. “The team is now working on a way to apply their technology to more insect-like robots, to mirror the way that creatures such as flies are able to walk upside-down,” reports the BBC. It’s an always-welcome reminder that God was the original pioneer of technologies that amaze us today as we attempt to replicate them—as well as designs far beyond our current level of understanding!

For more information:

7. John Templeton Foundation: “Sir John Templeton Dies at Age 95”

Sir John Templeton, global investor and renowned philanthropist, died of pneumonia at Doctors Hospital in the Bahamas this week. He was 95.

Templeton founded the Templeton Prize, the world’s largest annual award given to an individual, to “recognize exemplary achievement in work related to life's spiritual dimension.” Sadly, over the years Answers in Genesis was often compelled to point out times when the award went to staunch evolutionists and even agnostics. While Templeton’s goal was to ask questions, our goal at Answers in Genesis is to show that there are real answers—spiritual and otherwise—to be found when we start from Scripture.

To continue reading, visit Obituary: Sir John Templeton.


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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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.