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News to Note, May 15, 2010

A weekly feature examining news from the biblical viewpoint

on May 15, 2010
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The Bible’s “horrible hypothesis,” guided evolution, island laboratories, and more!

1. Probability of Humans Uniquely Created

According to one scientist, new research shows that the probability humans were uniquely created is 1 in 106000. How can such a specific figure be wrong?

2. "Directed Evolution" in MIT Laboratory

“Directed evolution” sounds like a page out of the theistic evolutionist’s playbook. So what’s it doing turning up in an MIT laboratory?

3. Unusual Fossilized Creatures

Once again, scientists have discovered the “remarkably well preserved” fossilized remains of creatures that, it would seem, shouldn’t have fossilized in the first place.

4. Large-Scale Natural Selection Test

Scientists have run one of the largest-scale tests of natural selection ever. Does the result do anything to convince us of Darwin’s theory?

5. ScienceDaily: “Peptides May Hold ‘Missing Link’ to Life

Emory University scientists have learned that simple peptides can self-assemble into “complex” arrangements. Is that evidence that life could have built itself?

Calling the discovery a “missing link” between inanimate matter and the first life-form, the Emory team observed peptides (short polymers of amino acids) organizing, without guidance, into a double-layered membrane. The team proposes that such self-organizing peptides could function similar to proteins, providing components for the hypothesized first cells.

“We’ve shown that peptides can form the kind of membranes needed to create long-range order,” said chemist Seth Childers. “What’s also interesting is that these peptide membranes may have the potential to function in a complex way, like a protein. If you just add water, simple peptides access both the physical properties and the long-range molecular order that is critical to the origins of chemical evolution.”

The interpretation of the laboratory results is less surprising when considering that the research was conducted as part of the Center for Chemical Evolution, a partially government-funded project to study chemical aspects of the (presumed unguided) origin of life. We note, however, that self-organizing peptides are a far cry from even the most basic functions of genuine life-forms. Furthermore, if God designed the amazing biochemical underpinnings of life, wouldn’t we expect to see a large degree of self-organization on the part of biomolecules—which adds even more evidence to the design hypothesis?

6. And Don’t Miss . . .

  • Last week’s big news about Neanderthals prompted an interesting response from Neanderthal expert Clive Finlayson, who noted that “we have, for far too long, considered the Neanderthals to have been so different from us” and that the idea that Neanderthals were a different species from modern humans “must surely now be removed from text books.”
  • Recent news reports have covered several projects that are taking God’s interesting designs (though God is not credited) and applying them in human engineering projects: mimicking plants’ “highly organized” photosynthetic systems, studying bats and dolphins to develop better cochlear implants and robots, and trying to understand how spider silk is spun.
  • While the eye is occasionally used as an example of “flawed design” (to justify evolutionary explanations), a team of Israeli researchers is revealing the design inside these “marvelous instruments.”
  • A report from the Tampa, Florida, area on horseshoe crabs notes that they have “been around for 350 million years, and they have changed very little since.” Is it a case of stalled evolution, or instead evidence for a recent creation?
  • Could humble phosphorus be responsible for the origin of life?
  • Ars Technica reports on yet another example of intelligent behavior in crows.
  • Are Tibetans the best evidence since Galapagos finches of Darwin’s theory? Again, the distinction between natural selection and molecules-to-man evolution matters.

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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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