News to Note, May 12, 2007

A weekly feature examining news from the biblical viewpoint


1. One People

Bible-believers know it, and a popular evolutionary idea says the same thing: all humans alive today can be traced back to the same small group of people.

2. ScienceDaily: “Gene Mutation Linked To Cognition Is Found Only In Humans

For several years, evolutionists have trumpeted the similarity between the chimpanzee and human genomes as proof of evolution (although similarities in features or genes can never “prove” anything of the sort—see “Similarities don’t prove evolution”).

In the last few years, however, the degree of similarity has been quietly acknowledged by evolutionists to be less than once thought (see “Chimp genome sequence very different from man” and Genetics). Now, scientists led by Bing Su of the Chinese Academy of Sciences have discovered a fundamental distinction in the human genome that speaks volumes: a protein that plays a key role in learning, cognition, and memory is found only in humans, and not in chimpanzees.

Of course, the Bible makes it clear that a gaping chasm separates man from the animals (and, for that matter, all other life): man was made in the image of God, whereas other animals, despite superficial and functional similarities, were not. This discovery is just the latest reminder.

3. Opossum: Genome Sequenced

A team of scientists led by Tarjei Mikkelsen and Kerstin Lindblad-Toh of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University announced this week in Nature the completed sequencing of the opossum genome. The opossum joins a motley contingent of animals who have had their genomes sequenced—mice, chimpanzees, and macaques—and is the first marsupial with its sequence “in the books.”

4. Search for Spock: New Mission

We at Answers in Genesis are continuing the “Search for Terrestrial Intelligence”—looking for earth-based experts on extrasolar planets who aren’t rabidly speculating about the life that (they seem to think) is most certainly out there (see, for example, item #1 in News to Note two weeks back). Unfortunately, our search ends up fruitless for another week: scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory are eagerly considering the prospect of life on an earth-like planet (named Vulcan in homage to Star Trek) orbiting a nearby star.

5. Be Yourself: Survive!

It’s another example of “evolution in name only”: research conducted by doctoral student Mark Fitzpatrick of the University of Toronto at Mississauga is uncovering how more unique individuals of a species enjoy a survival advantage. But while this finding is labeled as shedding light on the “evolution of behavior,” it bears no resemblance to the molecules-to-man fairy tale popularized as evolution.

6. ScienceDaily: “Scientists Release Encyclopedia of Life Into the Wild

In an exciting announcement, scientists around the world have begun work on an online catalog of the world’s 1.8 million known species. This “Encyclopedia of Life” will be a collaborative web project designed to give free access to wealth of information and “allow users to add information and details, such as species sightings and photos [...].”

Through collaboration, we all can increase our appreciation of the immense variety of life [...]. The Encyclopedia of Life will ultimately make high-quality, well-organized information available on an unprecedented level.

Certainly, those looking at the world with biblical glasses can use this resource to see the amazing diversity of life that arose from the original kinds that God created.

Answers in Genesis is also constructing an encyclopedia of life near Cincinnati, Ohio—the Creation Museum. Visitors will see how all of creation, the rich variety of life (as well as the origin and history of it), is a testament to the power and wisdom of our Creator. In a little over two weeks, people from all over the world will come and be able to see that God created the earth in six literal days and hear the entire gospel message, beginning in Genesis.

Be sure to check out the new Creation Museum website that is launching today and “Prepare to Believe.”

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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