News to Note, March 5, 2011

A weekly feature examining news from the biblical viewpoint


Bible-believing Christians need not apply; in action or out of service?; John Scopes, creationist?; and more!

1. Bible-Believing Christians Need Not Apply

A British couple have been denied the privilege of caring for foster children because they hold biblical views on homosexual behavior.

2. Evolution Goes On?

Darwinists are quick to insist that humans evolved. But do they think we’re still evolving?

3. Shark Navigator

Thinking of taking a GPS-powered navigational device on your next road trip? Why not let a shark “ride shotgun” instead?

Research published in the Journal of Animal Ecology describes the “mental maps” that certain shark species rely on to find exact destinations with pinpoint accuracy.

4. Butterflies the Evolution Icon

They’re not quite peppered moths, but might black swallowtail butterflies be a new icon of evolution?

University of Texas–Austin biologist Larry Gilbert has spent years studying butterflies of the genus Heliconius, dramatically colored creatures that are common throughout tropical and subtropical America. Because they sport both diverse coloring and a range of behaviors, the butterflies are giving Gilbert’s team an ideal chance to observe the workings of natural selection—and perhaps see a new species form.

5. John Scopes, Creationist?

The Scopes “monkey trial” of Dayton, Tennessee, over eighty years ago, plays a unique role in the modern creation–evolution controversy. From the original media circus to the trial’s misrepresentation in the film Inherit the Wind, evolutionists have pointed to the trial as an example of creationist inanity. So should creationists be blamed for trying to advance our interpretation of the trial?

And Don’t Miss . . .

  • The distribution of color-detecting cones in human eyes is an accurate match for the distribution of colors in the sub-Saharan landscape. Is that evidence that we evolved in Africa or evidence that God designed the eye to see well in terrestrial environments?
  • Is earth witnessing its sixth great extinction? The question is based on an old-age interpretation of the fossil record that suggests that, on average, less than two mammal species have died out per each million years of history; yet at least eighty mammal species are believed to have died out in the last half-millennium. But what if the fossil record mostly consists of creatures killed in the year-long Flood event of Noah’s day? Then, ironically, the fossil record is a reminder of how God saved many kinds from extinction. However, the fossil record indeed shows that many species have gone extinct since Noah’s day, extinctions which are all ultimately the result of the entry of death into God’s perfect creation after Adam’s sin.
  • The website of sports network ESPN may not seem a likely locale for evolutionary perspectives, but a recent article (originally published in ESPN The Magazine) carries a purely evolutionary perspective on running.
  • More “evidence” that life on earth may have come from space: an asteroid discovered in Antarctica over a decade ago is “rich in the gas ammonia,” BBC News reports. What’s still missing is evidence that nitrogen, a key component of ammonia, could form with other elements to “accidentally” become life. Meanwhile, we are evaluating another related claim—released only this morning—that a NASA astrobiologist has supposedly found fossil evidence of bacterial life in a meteorite.
  • Does a brachiopod’s light-sensing spot prove that the eye could have evolved? Or, once again, is evolution merely the unobserved link that some posit to explain similarities between otherwise very different organisms—similarities that could also be explained by common design?
  • If only Cain could have used the excuse at the time: “Natural selection made me do it!

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