News to Note, November 10, 2007

A weekly feature examining news from the biblical viewpoint

on November 10, 2007
Featured in News to Know

This week we examine a tragedy in Finland, a sleeping giant, a toad mix-and-match, and a robotic arm.

1. BBC News: “Man Kills Eight at Finnish School

In Finland this week, a teenager killed eight students and then himself at a high school. The shooter was motivated by his “social Darwinist” views.

Eighteen-year-old Pekka-Eric Auvinen opened fire in Jokela High School earlier this week, killing five boys, two girls, and the school’s female principal, then firing on police before shooting himself in the head.

The tragedy was premeditated by Auvinen, who posted a video on YouTube within the past two weeks titled “Jokela high school massacre 11/7/2007.” In the video (which has since been removed), the killer brandished a pistol and “called himself a ‘social Darwinist’ who would ‘eliminate all who I see unfit.’” The video shows the killer wearing a shirt that reads “humanity is overrated” in all-caps.

As is the case during any tragedy, our sympathies and prayers extend to the people and families affected. That said, there is also, sadly, even more reason to conclude that the underlying cause of much school violence, including the infamous Columbine shootings, is students taking Darwinism to its logical conclusion.

AiG’s Bodie Hodge takes a closer look at how Darwinism was behind the Finnish school shootings in “Finland School Shootings: The Sad Evolution Connection.”

For other full-length examinations of the questions behind school violence, take a look at Ken Ham’s “How Could a Loving God ... ?” and Mark Looy’s “The “Why?” Question—Why Is School Violence in the Headlines Again?

And, again, we offer our prayers for those affected by this tragedy.

Further Reading

2. Geologic Rate Change in Yellowstone Valley

Geologists working in Yellowstone National Park have discovered that the Yellowstone Valley is rising more than three times faster than “usual,” reports ScienceNOW on research published in the journal Science.

3. Toads Voluntarily Hybridize

Research published in the journal Science details how some female toads violate an “evolutionary rule.” Perhaps no one has told them about it!

4. LiveScience: “Robotic Arm is Amazingly Human-Like

A new robotic arm doesn’t merely imitate human motion; it is a complete imitation of the human arm’s skeletal structure.

Built by Festo, Airic’s_arm, as it is called, is essentially a robotic version of the human arm, complete with artificial bones and muscles. These include a radius and ulna (the primary bones of the forearm), metacarpal bones in the hand and fingers, and shoulder bones.

The muscles, as described on Festo’s website, are “Fluidic Muscle” that are controlled through “tiny, highly innovative piezo-proportional valves.” This allows the arm to function more quickly, with an improved power-to-weight ratio. (Festo has provided a video that shows the human-like robotic arm undertaking a variety of actions.)

According to the Festo website, Airic’s_arm is “inspired by nature.” That’s completely, true, of course—but we would like to give credit also to the One who inspired nature!

Further Reading

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