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News to Note, May 29, 2010

A weekly feature examining news from the biblical viewpoint

on May 29, 2010
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Hello, Homo; high five, Mr. Handfish; who’s not playing well?; and more!

1. Ancient Human Cannibal

Add to the list of ancient humans Homo gautengensis, a chimp-like creature that may have had a dark past.

2. Synthetic Organism Spurs Evolution Talks

Last week’s major announcement about the creation of a “synthetic” organism spurred evolution talk then—and continues to do so this week.

3. Water Less Likely to Support Life

Searching the heavens for water as a proxy for life has been astrobiologists’ pastime for years now. But what if—evolutionary beliefs aside—water is even less likely to support life than was believed?

4. National Geographic News: “Pictures: Nine Fish With ‘Hands’ Found to Be New Species

Does this fish really have hands? And if so, isn’t it a startling confirmation of Darwin’s theory?

Perhaps the most famous transitional form of all—or if not, second to only the ape-man—is the fish that supposedly first walked on land, considered the evolutionary predecessor to everything from T. rex to humans. So photographs of members of the handfish family seem, at first glance, to have a clear evolution connection.

A new review of the handfish family identified new species, such as the pink handfish. There are 14 species of handfish, all of which are only known to live in shallow waters off the coast of southeast Australia.

While handfish use their “hands” to “walk,” the ambulation is slow and doesn’t require the fish to support their weight on their hands—a fundamental difference between these fish and land-dwelling tetrapods. And random mutation and natural selection can’t explain how such a fish could have acquired the sophisticated muscular and bone changes required for fins to become weight-bearing appendages (or for gills to be changed into lungs)—not to mention all the other changes that would have to occur (e.g., changes in breathing) for fish to have walked on land.

5. Answers in Genesis Seen as a Cult

Is Answers in Genesis a cult? Apparently so, according to Eastern Nazarene College professor Karl Giberson, a prominent theistic evolutionist.

6. And Don’t Miss . . .

  • “[T]he tools used to align genomes from different species [for genetic comparisons, often used in evolution research] have serious quality-control issues,” a University of Washington news release explains. The release, discussing new research appearing in Nature Biotechnology, adds that biologists should be “very cautious” when using such technology.
  • Northern Ireland culture minister Nelson McCausland caused a stir in the UK this week by his suggestion that museums pay more attention to how “alternative views on the origin of the universe,” as BBC News puts it, could be recognized and accommodated. Unsurprisingly, several groups quickly attacked the minister’s comments.
  • The emergence of life from inanimate matter is a “chicken and egg question,” reports one scientist, because “[y]ou need enzymes to make ATP and you need ATP to make enzymes.” On top of that, you need energy, he adds, according to new research that tries to shed light on one source for such primordial energy.
  • Thanks to the University of Havana’s Federico Falcon, evolutionists have yet another potential “solution” to the chirality problem, one obstacle that unguided natural processes would have to overcome to produce the first living, reproducing cell. Whether this “solution” actually solves the problem (in evolutionists’ eyes, at least) remains to be seen.
  • For a time, there was hope that the Mars lander, Phoenix, might still be “alive,” as we reported in January. But such hopes have now been put to rest, with reports that the lander is “buried by hundreds of kilograms of frozen carbon dioxide.”
  • There is even more doubt among evolutionists about the fossil skeleton Ardi as the common ancestor of humans and chimps, reports Friday’s New York Times. (Note: You may be asked to register with the paper to gain access to the article.)

For more information: Get Answers


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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