News to Note, June 12, 2010

A weekly feature examining news from the biblical viewpoint

on June 12, 2010
Featured in News to Know

Are we seeker-friendly?; stem cells, design, and astronomy; mixing it up; and more!

1. Hug Evolution, Further Evangelism

WORLD editor-in-chief Marvin Olasky asks, “Should we hug evolution to further evangelism?”

2. Two Stem Cell Stories

Stem cell stories, times two

3. Three Design Stories

Design stories, times three

4. Four Astronomy Stories

Astronomy stories, times four

5. LiveScience: “Interracial Marriages Soar

Mixed “race” marriages have increased to 15 percent of all new marriages in the U.S. in 2008, according to a new Pew Research Center study.

Fifty years ago, fewer than one in 1,000 new marriages were between individuals from different so-called “racial” backgrounds; now, the proportion is one in 60. Asians and Hispanics remain the groups most likely to marry outside their “race,” although the increase in such marriages has largely come from increase in the proportions of blacks and whites marrying outside their groups. Interestingly, the most frequent “interracial” coupling in the U.S. is between whites and Hispanics.

While our use of quotation marks above may seem excessive, it serves a point: the idea of humanity being broken up among a variety of so-called races is not only a biologically and historically cumbersome notion, it’s also unbiblical. The Bible, starting in Genesis, makes it quite clear that we all descended from Adam through Noah’s family, and that we are all consequently of “one blood” (Acts 17:26; see also Colossians 3:11). After the dispersion at Babel, language barriers, geographic distance, and other historical contingencies contributed to superficial variation that, along with cultural differences, created the idea of “race.” Furthermore, Darwinists in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries exacerbated problematic, prejudiced racial perspectives by implying that some racial groups were less evolved than others.

At Answers in Genesis, we use the term “people group” to refer to the constantly shifting, historically contingent demarcations of human ethnicity, culture, language, skin shade, etc. What’s important is that the Bible makes no prohibitions for intermarriage between members of different people groups, but is rather clear about prohibiting one type of intermarriage: between a believer and a nonbeliever.

6. And Don’t Miss . . .

  • A hot story on physicist Gerald Schroeder’s attempt to reconcile Genesis and the big bang includes quotes from AiG’s Ken Ham and others well known in the debate over Genesis. (For more information on his views, see Gerald Schroeder and his new variation on the “day-age” theory: Part 1 and Part 2.)
  • The oldest archaeological evidence for beekeeping comes from ancient Israel, researchers report. A land flowing with milk and honey, indeed!
  • Will the real Mount Sinai please stand up? Archaeologist Emmanuel Anati claims to have found the true location of the biblical Mount Sinai in southern Israel, a ways away from the current namesake in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. But while he claims “it’s a reality[,] I’m sure of it,” at least one other archaeologist (quoted by the Jerusalem Post) is skeptical.
  • Famous physicist Stephen Hawking made no bones about his distaste for religion—and creation beliefs in particular—in a recent interview: “They made a human-like being with whom one can have a personal relationship. When you look at the vast size of the universe and how insignificant an accidental human life is in it, that seems most impossible.” Not only does this show how evolutionary beliefs (i.e., life being an accident) undermines belief in God, but it raises the question of how evolutionists can be logically valid in making ethical arguments—given that life is so accidental and apparently trivial (according to them).
  • A new study of Central and South American birds argues that in 70 million years, the birds have evolved a variety of plumage colors that help them imitate butterflies. But this is another example of birds “changing” into birds—not molecules-to-man–style (i.e., information-adding) evolution.
  • “We can’t go back a billion years in a time machine to see how introns proliferated in the early eukaryotes. What we can do is investigate the mechanisms that have allowed introns to proliferate in this organism, and try to infer how they evolved in eukaryotes, like humans, in which as much as 40 percent of the genome is made up of introns.” So says one researcher of a study of supposed genetic evolution. But the researcher’s comment reminds us that all such studies of hypothesized evolutionary history are based on interpretation and inference—not direct observation.
  • “[A]ncient shoe makers [who left a shoe in an Armenian cave] knew what they were doing,” reports ScienceNews. The leather lace-up has been dated through radiocarbon methods at approximately 5,500 years old.
  • Did the origin of humans take place in an Edenic environment or in sweltering heat?
  • We last mentioned research attempts to imitate cockroach locomotion in January, and LiveScience carries the latest look into this attempt to replicate one of God’s designs.
  • In March 2008 we reported on an Edmontosaurus named Dakota with that was preserved remarkably well. A recent report quotes one scientist as emphasizing that “[s]ediment somehow covered the creature quickly, which allowed its skin to be preserved.” What catastrophic event could suddenly bury a dinosaur in sediment? How about a massive Flood?
  • The Earth and our moon are younger than what most scientists believe—what creationists have been saying all along! Of course, the new estimation of the Earth–moon system’s age is “only” up to 120 million years younger than scientists had speculated—that is, as young as 4.4 billion years old rather than 4.5 billion. The new estimate was based on tungsten isotopes.
  • A tragic story raises the question of how evolutionary beliefs influence society at large: a child services report on a child’s murder hollowly declares, “Death is an evolutionary process of the natural world and of the universe” and states that death “is the way of the universe.” So why even bother with child services, one might ask?
  • A new survey adds to evidence that modern youths may be more self-centered than in previous generations. This is no surprise given the steady de-spiritualization of society that has occurred now that it’s illegal to teach “Love your neighbor as yourself” in the public school system.
  • A helpful listing of upcoming Vacation Bible Schools in the Kalamazoo, Michigan, area includes several churches putting on Answers in Genesis’s own Egypt File VBS.

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 last week’s News to Note, why not take a look at it now? See you next week!

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