News to Note, May 30, 2009

A weekly feature examining news from the biblical viewpoint

on May 30, 2009

Bird Brains VI; for acid thou art?; The 3/4 Million Dollar Apeman; and more!

1. Bird Brains VI

In yet another study, scientists have revealed the intelligence and sophisticated tool-use abilities of crows.

2. Space Rock Acid

A meteorite that landed in Canada supposedly holds a clue to the origin of life: record levels of formic acid, a substance rich in carbon.

3. The Three-Quarter Million Dollar Ape-man

The paleontologist who brought Ida to the media spotlight dropped a cool $750,000 (£465,000) to get his hands on it.

4. LiveScience: “Giant Blob Found Deep Beneath Nevada”

It sounds like the plot line of a cheesy science fiction film: a giant blob lurking deep beneath Nevada and neighboring states. What could it tell creationists?

To be more specific, the “blob” is a section of rocky material that is essentially dripping, slowly, through the earth’s crust—like honey dripping off a spoon. Arizona State University scientists discovered the cylindrical blob during research in coordination with seismic tomography of the earth’s lithosphere (the crust and upper mantle). The blob is between 30 and 60 miles (50–100 km) in diameter and runs between 47 and 310 miles (75–500 km) into the earth.

According to the scientists, heat from the earth’s interior is slowly warming the area, causing the blob of heavier rock to slowly “drip” through the surrounding rock, which is lighter and less dense. According to Arizona State University scientist Allen McNamara, the popularly presented division of earth’s interior into crust, mantle, and core is somewhat inaccurate; instead, there are blobs of highly compressed, flowing rock, such as the one below Nevada.

While the scientists believe the so-called “drip” began 15 to 20 million years ago, creation scientists have proposed a model of catastrophic plate tectonics to account for some major geological changes during the disastrous Flood year. Central to this model (and any plate tectonics model) is, among other factors, the fluidity of rock in response to heat and other stresses. The “blob” beneath Nevada reminds us that the earth is much more dynamic than most of us usually think when walking across seemingly solid ground.

5. Proposed Gay Curriculum Causes Problems

Should children as young as five be exposed to curricula that normalize homosexuality? That’s the central question of a new debate in a California school district.

And Don’t Miss . . .

  • They’re small, they’re cute, their skin glows under ultraviolet light, and they may help scientists study human diseases: marmosets genetically modified by Japanese researchers.
  • Dutch astronomers have devised a method to observe changes in the phases of an extrasolar planet as it orbits its host star. The breakthrough will be used to infer how reflective various planets are and, consequently, will help scientists speculate as to those planets’ atmospheres.
  • Perhaps sauropod dinosaurs held their heads higher than was believed, BBC News reports. The potential repositioning is a reminder of how much fossils don’t tell us, and—consequently—how so much of what we think we know is actually rooted in speculation and supposition.
  • Astronomers have discovered an example of fast stellar evolution—nine years of observations that show the formation of a pulsar about 4,000 light-years from earth.
  • How does Darwinian evolution explain apparent quirks in human behavior—like blushing, for instance—that seem to have no selective advantage? It’s interesting to see evolutionists try to hypothesize a plausible Darwinian explanation.
  • Skeletal proof now shows that leprosy has been with humans 1500 years longer than was previously confirmed. It’s one more discovery that connects what we read in Scripture to real history.
  • Could an alien spacecraft have saved earth from a meteorite collision in 1908? That’s the far-fetched hypothesis one Russian scientist has proposed to explain markings found at the location of the famous Tunguska explosion.

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Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible—particularly the book of Genesis—regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth.