News to Note, July 19, 2008

A weekly feature examining news from the biblical viewpoint

Featured in News to Know

Multicolored twins, multicolored fossil feathers, multicolored bugs, and more colorful news!

1. CNN Video: “Twins’ Skin Color Different’

Twins born in Germany may be alike in many ways, but they have at least one noticeable difference: their skin shades are somewhat different!

Sky News reports that the twins, named Ryan and Leo, are the children of father Stephan from Germany and mother Florence from Ghana. Ryan’s skin is a lighter shade of brown that people call (somewhat mistakenly) “white,” whereas Florence’s is a darker shade of brown that people (equally mistakenly) call “black.”

Sky News reports that doctors acknowledged both that the rare occurrence is genetically possible and that the two were definitely the twins’ biological parents.

Answers in Genesis has drawn attention to such mixed-color twins for years in our resources because they help demonstrate how skin color is merely another genetic variable in the human body, like other physical traits. Making it clear that we are all just different shades of the same skin color—brown—is a reminder that we are all of one human race, descended from our ancestor Adam through Noah. No matter what skin color an individual has, we are all made in the image of God, fallen because of sin, and in need of salvation from Jesus Christ.

2. Tibetan High-Altitude Fossils Revise History of Elevation and Climate

High in the Himalayan-Tibetan Plateau, 15,000 feet (4500m) above sea level, scientists were surprised to find “thick layers of ancient lake sediment filled with plant, fish and animal fossils typical of far lower elevations and warmer, wetter climates.”

3. Fossilized Plumage Adds to the Creation/Evolution Controversy

What could the plumage of extinct birds have to do with the creation/evolution controversy?

4. Cro-Magnon Man DNA Similar to that of Modern Humans

Cro-Magnon Man, you may be 28,000 years old, but you haven’t changed a bit!

5. ScienceDaily: “Marine Worm’s Jaws Say ‘Cutting-edge New Aerospace Materials’”

Researchers are uncovering the secrets of super-strong, lightweight materials—thanks to the anatomy of a common marine worm.

The American science team conducted the first in-depth study of the jaw protein composition of Nereis virens (a.k.a. the sandworm or ragworm), a burrowing marine worm found in shallow waters of the North Atlantic. The sandworm’s jaws are fang-like and extremely strong—approximately as hard as human teeth and far tougher than many synthetic plastics.

The study, which was published in the journal Biomacromolecules, uncovered a unique protein in the sandworm jaw that is rich in histidine, an amino acid. Its formation also involves zinc.

The research press release, from the American Chemical Society, comments:

Their work could lead to the design of a new class of super-strong, lightweight materials for use as construction and repair materials for spacecraft, airplanes, and other applications.

Once again, human engineers can only marvel at the designs of the Creator—who engineered this super-strong, lightweight protein thousands of years before it was discovered!

For more information:

6. Unidentifiable Insect Appears at London's Natural History Museum

Have a fancy for identifying bugs? Maybe you can help the experts classify an otherwise baffling bug that first appeared on the grounds of London’s Natural History Museum last March.

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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