News to Note, June 30, 2007

A weekly feature examining news from the biblical viewpoint

Featured in News to Know

Chimp altruism, an attempt to criminalize creationism, giant penguins, gene swapping, Lucy on tour, and an ice-covered plane round out this week’s News to Note.

1. Selflessness in Apes

An experiment conducted in the Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Uganda has provided possible support for chimp altruism, reports LiveScience on findings published in June 25’s PLoS Biology.

2. Reuters: “European rights body calls off creationism vote

Monday in Strasbourg, France, Europe’s “main human rights body . . . cancelled a scheduled vote on banning creationist and intelligent design views from school science classes, saying the proposed resolution was one-sided,” reports Reuters’ Gilbert Reilhac. The resolution targeted creation education that, it argued, is “rooted ‘in forms of religious extremism’ and amounted to a dangerous attack on scientific knowledge.”

The resolution, had it been passed by the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly, would not have been binding on the Council of Europe’s 47 member states. Even so, the resolution is indicative of growing efforts worldwide to vilify creationism and portray evolution education as absolutely “crucial” to the future of civilization. The proposed resolution, for instance, stated:

The teaching of all phenomena concerning evolution as a fundamental scientific theory is therefore crucial to the future of our societies and our democracies.

Answers in Genesis does not support the mandatory imposition of creation education in public school science curricula, nor the elimination of evolution education; we simply oppose the current censorship of problems with evolutionary theory and the all but naturalistic explanation of life’s origins and development as presented in public school science classes. Even that, it seems, has been enough to drive evolutionists in a frenzied panic; one can’t help but wonder why evolutionists are so afraid of presenting all the facts if their theory is, as they say, so robust.

See our Q&A: Education for more on this topic.

3. National Geographic News: “Giant Penguins Once Roamed Peru Desert, Fossils Show

A new study by North Carolina State University paleontologist Julia Clarke and colleagues, published in this week’s issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, “unveils two new species of giant penguins” extrapolated from fossils discovered in Peru. According to National Geographic News, one species of the now extinct penguins stood about 4.5 ft (1.5 m) tall, while the other was closer to 3 ft (1 m).

Based on the “first complete skull [discovered] of a giant penguin,” the researchers concluded that the penguins may have engaged in “some kind of spearfishing.” But receiving the most press is the fact that these penguins lived near the equator during what evolutionary paleontologists believe was a warm period. “The finding counters another theory published last year suggesting that today’s penguins diversified all over the Earth during a cooling period,” according to National Geographic News.

While the old-earthers duke it out over the specifics of penguin migrations and habitat tolerances many dozens of alleged millions of years ago, we’d like to point out that, despite their differences, these giant penguins were still penguins, and show one of many possible adaptations God “built into” the original created penguin kind.

4. From Organism to Organism: Gene Swapping

It’s a first in the field of genetics: scientists have altered one bacteria species into another by swapping bacterial genomes.

5. Lucy Fossil Soon to Visit America

She’s one of the most famous—and oldest—prophets of evolution, according to many: Lucy, an Australopithecus afarensi discovered in Ethiopia in 1974 who may be coming to a museum near you if you live in the United States (see our previous coverage in They Love Lucy).

6. Plane Flies in the Face of Glaciology

“An American fighter plane will be arriving in Britain from the United States next week—65 years after taking off,” reports BBC news on last week’s arrival of a World War II–era P-38 Lightning in Duxford, England.

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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