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News to Note, March 24, 2007

A weekly feature examining news from the biblical viewpoint

on March 24, 2007
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Please note that links will take you directly to the source. AiG is not responsible for content on the news websites to which we refer.

1. Secular Scientists Jubilant Over Martian Caves

Thermal imaging experts analyzing photos of Mars have announced the possible presence of caves beneath Mars’ famous red surface. The research team identified seven circular pits on the surface that “appear to be openings to underground caverns.” These could-be caves, located near Mars’ second-highest mountain, “may be similar in structure to Hawaii’s lava tubes.”

But what’s the real draw for evolutionary scientists?

2. Engineers Look to Dolphins for Improved Sonar

It’s another case of science turning to God’s design for inspiration: a study published in Bioinspiration & Biomimetics (which focuses on such natural inspiration) describes how engineers may be taking a cue from dolphins in devising improved sonar systems. Dolphins navigate using sonar-sonar that “outperforms any man-made system, particularly in shallow water, “ according to the article.

3. AP: “Biology teacher fired for referring to Bible”

A substitute biology teacher in Sisters, Oregon, was fired for not following the official curriculum on evolution. Kris Helphinstine, a 27-year-old with a master’s degree in science, allegedly “included Biblical references in material he provided to students and gave a PowerPoint presentation that made links between evolution, Nazi Germany and Planned Parenthood.” At least one local parent cited his child’s “confusion” on evolutionary theory due to Helphinstine’s aberrations.

Helphinstine denied teaching creationism, claiming he only wanted to “teach students about bias in sources [and] teach critical thinking.”

Although the AP story does not give extensive information on why the Sisters board decided to fire Helphinstine, it is clear that the incident reflects similar educational censorship across the country: any hint of teaching anything other than unquestioned, mainstream, dogmatic evolutionary theory is instantly derided as creationism and attacked as a violation of everything from the U.S. Constitution to students’ rights. This reinforces an important point, however: Christian parents must anticipate the evolutionary indoctrination their children will receive in public school science classes.

4. Winter Harshness and Sheep Survival

A multi-decade study of Scottish sheep indicates that weather patterns have an effect on “body shape and population size,” according to the BBC, who reports on this ovine study led by Imperial College London professor Tim Coulson and colleagues.

5. National Geographic News: “Photo in the News: Ancient Lizard Glided Using Its Ribs”
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/03/070320-gliding-lizard.html

Scientists in China recently unearthed the fossil of an unusual “ancient lizard”: a 6.1-inch-long (15.5 cm) reptile that soared “on membranes supported by eight elongated ribs.” The treetop-dwelling creature is thought to have been highly maneuverable.

Of course, this “flying lizard,” which allegedly lived long ago in the early Cretaceous period, sounds strange to most people. But surprisingly, there is a similar genus of reptiles living today: the Draco genus, whose members glide using membranes stretched over their ribs.

Although members of the Draco genus are distinct enough from this new fossil find not to be considered living fossils, they are similar enough to make one wonder whether some of these “ancient lizards” may be alive today in a form just as the fossil record shows.

6. ABC News Online: “Canberra scientist identifies ‘dwarf’ galaxy”
http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200703/s1874190.htm

Dr. Helmut Jerjen, a scientist at Canberra’s Australian National University, recently made an interesting discovery: a thought-to-be “giant” galaxy pegged at 140 million light years from earth is actually a “dwarf” galaxy ten times closer.

This distance revision is a good reminder of a fact often forgotten in debates over the origin of the universe, distant starlight, and the like: our scientific understanding of the size, layout, and properties of the universe is based on incomplete information, especially since humans have not traveled beyond the moon. Scientific ideas that supposedly “overturn” the Bible are always subject to change-and usually do change sooner or later! The Bible, on the other hand, is truth (John 17:17). So why compromise truth to accommodate the shifting sands of science?

Visit our Astronomy page for informative reading on the universe around us!


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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