News to Note, March 2, 2013

A weekly feature examining news from the biblical viewpoint

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Flower power, body un-designed, homing in on pigeons, muzzling students, Bugs R Us

1. Electrical Charges Direct Bees to Nectar

How do bees know which flowers to visit to load up on nectar? Which flowers have already been plundered? A team from the U.K.’s University of Bristol believes the attraction is electrical.

2. Scars of Evolution or of a Sin-Cursed World?

“Scars of evolution,” a series at February’s meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, featured speakers explaining how human evolution has produced an inferior product. Speakers covered the un-wisdom of having wisdom teeth (which we recently discussed), fumed about the foot’s failures, bemoaned the back-aching consequences of bipedalism, and belabored childbirth.

3. How a Multitude of Homing Pigeons Vanished

How 60,000 homing pigeons got lost when something disturbed the sounds of silence.

It’s a modern mystery: how did 60,000 homing pigeons get lost between France and England on June 29, 1997, during the race commemorating the hundredth anniversary of the Royal Pigeon Racing Association? Unraveling the cause of this bizarre event, Jonathan Hagstrum of the U.S. Geological Survey may have finally filled in the pieces to the more ancient question of how these remarkable birds normally find their way home from distant unfamiliar places in all weather, day or night, in the first place.

4. Oklahoma House Attempts to Protect Students’ Freedoms

Students’ freedom of thought and expression are now in jeopardy in Oklahoma. While some states such as Louisiana and Tennessee have been successful in legislating protection for the rights of public school students and teachers to openly discuss the facts and assumptions underlying controversial scientific topics, others have been less successful. Oklahoma’s latest efforts have included Senate Bill 758 and House Bill 1674. Senate Bill 758, which was largely modeled on Tennessee’s new academic freedom law, died in committee a few days ago without being considered. House Bill 1674 has passed in committee by a narrow margin (9-8) and can now be sent to the House.

5. Hologenomic Theory on Evolutionary Development Resurfaces

“Creator of Species: How what lives on us and in us drives evolution” (New Scientist cover, 14 January 2013)

The cover art for the January 12 issue of New Scientist describes a rather unpopular view of evolution that has been periodically proposed by some evolutionary scientists. According to Richard Jefferson, who began promoting it in the 1980s, it can best be described as the “Bugs R Us” theory. This hologenomic theory of evolution proposes that natural selection acts not on individual organisms but on “holobiontic” units consisting of individuals and all their associated microorganisms.

And Don’t Miss . . .

  • Ever since the homosexual lobby lost before the U.S Supreme Court in Bowers v. Hardwick (1986) by a 5–4 decision, those wishing to expand the interpretation of the 14th Amendment’s Due Process clause to embrace homosexual rights have been busy. The key, historically, was for them to change the question from one of morality to one of civil rights. Following this strategy, the 1986 decision that had reinforced traditional morality was overturned in Lawrence v. Texas (2003). Now the U.S. Supreme Court is preparing to hear arguments in a lawsuit aimed at striking down California’s Proposition 8, a 2008 ballot initiative that banned same-sex marriage. (Gay marriage is currently banned by constitutional amendments in 30 states and recognized by 9 states and the District of Columbia.) To understand why we as Christians vigorously support civil rights as God-given rights but deny that same-sex marriage is a civil right, read R. Albert Mohler, Jr.’s pre-publication article, “Gay Marriage as a Civil Right—Are Wrongs Rights?
  • The Bible, a ten-hour, five-part docudrama,1 will premier on the History Channel tomorrow night, March 3. It will open with events from Genesis. Producer Mark Burnett has said he wishes to honor God’s Word and make it memorable for all viewers, whether they already know the Bible or are unfamiliar with the rich history it contains. The series’ publicists graciously provided Answers in Genesis with a preview copy of all ten hours of the broadcast, and these segments are being reviewed for their fidelity to the Scriptures, including the book of Genesis. This is of course how Christians should approach all the biblical material they encounter, from sermons to movies, following in the footsteps of the Bereans described in Acts 17:11. The Bereans were commended because they “searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things [that had been preached to them] were so.” Then come back on Monday to this website as we compare notes. The schedule for the entire series is available at nrb.org/news_room/articles/highly-touted-bible-docu-drama-to-air-on-the-history-channel

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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