News to Note, March 14, 2009

A weekly feature examining news from the biblical viewpoint


Imagine less “religion,” scientists “see” God, Santino the Frustrated Chimp, and more!

1. Imagine Less Religion

A new poll conducted by Connecticut’s Trinity College helps resoundingly confirm our answer to what Ken Ham has asked audiences for years at seminars: is America growing more Christian or less?

2. God on the Brain

Scientists are once again reporting how the brain processes religion—or does it simply create it?

3. Chimp Stones Zoo Visitors

The almost humorous—yet sad—story of a frustrated chimp throwing stones at zoo visitors could come straight out of a children’s story.

4. BBC News: “Obama Ends Stem Cell Funding Ban”

Federal funds can now flow into new lines of embryonic stem cell research, thanks to an executive order by U.S. President Barack Obama.

The decision overturned a rule signed by former president George W. Bush that restricted federal funds except for embryonic stem cell lines created before August 9, 2001.

President Obama pledged to “vigorously support” new embryonic stem cell research. Unsurprisingly, many scientists are championing the move and promising that medical breakthroughs will follow, though Obama hedged his action with the caveat that “the full promise of stem cell research remains unknown and it should not be overstated.”

A separate Congressional bill, the Dickey–Wicker amendment, restricts using tax money to create embryos, but Obama’s decision could lead to its repeal as well.

Sadly, this new executive order may push research away from non-embryonic stem cell research, even though such research has resulted in important breakthroughs and successful therapies. One reader brought to our attention that the last clause of the new executive order even revokes former president George W. Bush’s executive order 13435, which ordered research into non-embryo-destroying stem cell research.

For our full response, see The Debate over Stem Cells.

5. As Opposed to Dead Evolution?

Ooh! Live evolution! Could it really be!?

According to the news, French scientists have been busy watching predator and prey bacteria “evolve” over some 300 generations in a controlled environment—until the prey becomes “resistant.” Does that sound like the story of antibiotic resistance?

6. Washington Post: “The Genesis of a Debate”

The Washington Post follows along on a creationist journey through the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Will they fare better than those who have gone before?

And Don’t Miss . . .

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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, 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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