News to Note, March 22, 2008

A weekly feature examining news from the biblical viewpoint

on March 22, 2008

Uncultured Neanderthals, gliding geckos, “mummified” dinosaurs, biased television hosts, and goodbye to a science fiction icon.

1. Culture Considered the Key Differential Between Modern Humans and Neanderthals

It wasn’t skull differences—or any other biological difference—that ultimately separated “modern” humans and their supposedly different kin the Neanderthals, according to a recent anthropology study.

2. The Gecko Tail and Its Feats

Regardless of the attention given to those clingy gecko feet, gecko tails play an important role in keeping the mobile little creatures agile.

3. National Geographic News: “Workers Uncovering Mummified Dinosaur”

A “mummified” dinosaur found in North Dakota in 1999 is finally escaping its sandstone tomb, thanks to tiny brushes and chisels (and their handlers) at the North Dakota Heritage Center.

The dinosaur, an Edmontosaurus named Dakota, is notable because its skin has been fossilized, generally a rarity in fossils. This has led researchers to a conclusion that sounds strangely familiar, as the National Geographic News story by Blake Nicholson reports:

Animal tissue typically decomposes quickly after death. Researchers say Dakota must have been buried rapidly and in just the right environment for the skin to be preserved.

“The process of decay was overtaken by that of fossilization, preserving many of the soft-tissue structures,” explained Manchester University paleontologist Phillip Manning, a member of the team investigating Dakota.

Rapid burial—just the sort we would expect from a global Flood, perhaps? For our full take on this find, read our coverage in this week’s Dino Age Is Only Skin Deep.

4. Media Attempts Expose on Creationist Tours of Secular Museums

Bill Jack, a worldview expert who is a close friend of Answers in Genesis, went under the camera last night on a Brian Rooney-hosted Nightline exposé attempt on creationist tours of secular museums.

5. Los Angeles Times: Obituary: “Arthur C. Clarke, 90; scientific visionary, acclaimed writer of ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’”

British-born science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke, famous for more than a half-century of writing, died this week at the age of ninety in Colombo, Sri Lanka, after experiencing a cardio-respiratory attack.

Clarke, the key mind behind 2001: A Space Odyssey, foretold many of the innovations we enjoy today, from space stations and moon landings to cell phones and the Internet. Clarke is often referred to as one of the preeminent, if not the preeminent, science fiction author of the twentieth century.

Interestingly, Clarke’s worldview can partially be ascertained by the three wishes he listed on his ninetieth birthday, which was last December, the Times reports: “to embrace cleaner energy resources, for a lasting peace in his homeland of Sri Lanka, which has been beset by civil strife for decades, and for evidence of extraterrestrial beings.”

For a full review of 2001: A Space Odyssey (a Stanley Kubrik film based on a screenplay he and Clarke wrote), see 2001: A Space ‘Oddity,’ Part 1 and Part 2.


Remember, if you see a news story that might merit some attention, let us know 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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Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible—particularly the book of Genesis—regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth.