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News to Note, March 17, 2012

A weekly feature examining news from the biblical viewpoint

by Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell on March 17, 2012
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Feathered fossil, Racism confused, Gorilla genome’s surprises, Sugar-free, Some assembly required

1. Feathered Fossil: Still a Bird

Glossy black flirt by any other name is still a bird.

2. Weird History: “Anti-evolution” Linked to Apartheid

Strange train of historical connections illogically links “anti- evolution” to apartheid.

3. Scientists Admit Genetic Data Timing Uncertain

“The inability to observe past mutation rates means that the timing of events from genetic data remains uncertain,” report Cambridge geneticists.

4. Mutated Sense of Taste

Many meat-eating mammals have mutated sweet sense.

5. Father Space—Did Amino Acids Seed Earth?

Some like it hot; some like it cold; some think extraterrestrial amino acids seeded earth billions of years ago.

And Don’t Miss . . .

  • “We have discovered a new population of prehistoric humans whose skulls are an unusual mosaic of primitive features, like those seen in our ancestors hundreds of thousands of years ago,” writes evolutionary biologist Darren Curnoe, part of an international team that just published its analysis of human fossils in 1989 found in China with their culinary tools. Noting some unusual skeletal features, Curnoe adds, “In short, they're anatomically unique among all members of the human evolutionary tree.” National Geographic News reports, “Chinese fossils hint at ‘new evolutionary line’—depending on who you ask.” We know that all varieties of human beings are descended from Adam and Eve and, more recently, from Noah’s family, the sole survivors of the global Flood. Watch this website next week for a detailed report on the latest findings.
  • A popular blog this week queried, “Which Genesis story should Christians believe?” The blogger, Andrew Bolt, compared what he perceived as contradictions in the Gospel accounts of Christ’s birth with his perceived contradictions in the Creation accounts of Genesis chapters one and two. The bulk of Bolt’s blog is a compilation of alleged errors that ignores the plain reading of both Old and New Testament1 Scripture. To equip Christians with biblically sound, historically accurate answers to Bolt’s obfuscation of Genesis and the Gospels, this website featured an excellent article covering both topics in detail yesterday.2 In short, Genesis chapter one provides the wide-angle lens view of the whole Creation week. Chapter two recounts in telephoto zoom-lens fashion a detailed discussion of the creation of Adam and Eve, both of whom were made in God’s image, on the 6th day of Creation week. And Gospel accounts of the timing and events surrounding Christ’s birth are not only not in conflict, but the inclusion of precise details (such as specifics about who-was-governing-where when key events took place)—details that would have been common knowledge to contemporaries—authenticates the accounts, as those details would have been quickly disputed by those who knew better, and never accepted by the early church. For more information: Popular Conservative Journalist Attacks Genesis and the Birth of Christ, Answers . . . with Ken Ham Radio program: Genesis 1 and 2—Are they contradictory, Christmas Timeline of the Biblical Account, From One Flesh—Or Two?, Chronology of the Old Testament
  • A post by J. Wartick, “Animal Death?—A Theological Argument Against Young Earth Creationism,” attempts to show young earth creationism is wrong by demonstrating death documented in the fossil record preceded human sin and was unrelated to it. He cites no Scripture and seems oblivious to Romans 8:20–22, which explains the connection between Adam’s sin and animal death. Wartick somehow got the idea that young earth creationists claim animals were cursed because the serpent did something wrong. Despite his contention, “The post on Answers in Genesis hints that it is because animals are cursed due to the serpent’s deception of Adam and Eve,” we teach no such thing. The natural world—which God called “very good” (Genesis 1:31) on the 7th day—taught Adam and Eve about God’s glory and, according to Genesis 1:28, they were to have dominion over the living things on earth. After they sinned, God taught them lessons about the disastrous consequences of sin by cursing the perfect world He had created. He shed the blood of innocent animals to provide them clothing of skins. That animal death was a picture of the destructive power of sin. Without understanding their dependence on God and the wretchedness of rebellion against their Creator, Adam and Eve would have had little cause to repent and accept the grace of God. Yet as God provided clothing through bloodshed to cover their nakedness (Genesis 3:21), so He would “in the fullness of time” (Galatians 4:4) offer “one sacrifice for sins forever” (Hebrews 10:12), shedding Christ’s “precious blood” (1 Peter 1:19) that He “might taste death for everyone” (Hebrews 2:9). Thus, even the Curse and the introduction of bloodshed and death are directly tied to God’s message of redemption through Jesus Christ, “the last Adam” (1 Corinthians 15:45). A consistent understanding of the history recorded in Genesis explains both the origin of death and suffering and the reason Jesus Christ died to make salvation available to all people. For more information, see Compromised Creation.
  • The backlash from a logical defense of infanticide has brought forth many quotable quotes. The editor of Bioedge newsletter commenting on the ethicists’ astonishment that the world reacted with outrage to what they later called “a pure exercise of logic” not intended to cause any sort of policy change, writes:
    The real scandal here is . . .that two utilitarians—of all people!—are contending that ideas should have no consequences. Isn’t bioethics a form of applied ethics? Doesn’t it aim to change the world? Peter Singer, who is the intellectual godfather of all the characters in this little drama, characteristically entitled his most influential book Practical Ethics. . . .’ We are not policy makers, we are philosophers, and we deal with concepts, not with legal policy,’ they [Giubilini and Minerva] pleaded. Could anything be more naïve? Immediately people become convinced that a course of action (e.g., protecting whales, abortion rights, same-sex marriage) is ethical, they begin demanding it as a right. Ideas always have consequences. Sometimes very bad consequences.3

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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, 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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Footnotes

  1. Christmas Timeline of the Biblical Account
  2. Popular Conservative Journalist Attacks Genesis and the Birth of Christ
  3. www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/9971

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