News to Note, November 14, 2009

A weekly feature examining news from the biblical viewpoint

on November 14, 2009
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The search for intelligence, a rift in the discipline, 18-million-year-old muscle, and more!

1. Vatican Looks for Aliens

For the Vatican, the question of whether “sentient life forms exist on other worlds” has yet to be answered.

2. New Ocean in Africa?

Thousands of years ago, God parted the Red Sea. Is He parting Ethiopia now?

In the middle of the Ethiopian desert, a 35-mile-long (56 km) gash cuts through the earth, the product of tectonic activity in 2005.

3. 18-Million-Year-Old Muscle

Fossilized soft tissue has been found in a salamander fossil said to be 18 million years old.

4. Creation in Turkey

Turkey is a nation uncertain of its identity, and that holds true in the creation/evolution debate.

Washington Post staff writer Marc Kaufman examines the rising tide of creationist teaching in Turkey, where the origins debate is in the context of Islam rather than Christianity.

5. Christian Post: “Planned Parenthood Clinic Director Resigns After Witnessing Abortion

An eight-year veteran of a Texas abortion center has resigned after watching an abortion on ultrasound for the first time.

“I just thought, ‘What am I doing?’” explained Abby Johnson, former director of a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic. “And then I thought, ‘Never again.’” Johnson is referring to her experience watching the abortion of a 13-week-old fetus on ultrasound. According to the Christian Post, seeing the fetus trying to move away from the abortionist’s probe was a particularly powerful moment for Johnson.

She added, “Over the past few months I had seen a change in motivation regarding the financial impact of abortions and really reached my breaking point after witnessing a particular kind of abortion on an ultrasound.”

For the last five years, the abortion clinic where Johnson worked has been prayed for by pro-life group Coalition for Life/40 Days for Life. According to pro-life activist Shawn Carney, director of Coalition for Life and a 40 Days for Life board member, “It’s truly been a testament to the power of prayer and the courage of Abby to leave a job she felt she could no longer do in good conscience.” Perhaps not surprisingly, Planned Parenthood sought a restraining order against both Johnson and the Coalition for Life, although a Judge, this week, did not grant it.

As for our thoughts, we think this news story speaks for itself!

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6. And Don’t Miss . . .

  • When scientists find examples of “evolution in action,” is it the same process that could lead to complex life-forms over hundreds of millions of years, or is it simply natural selection reducing the genetic information in specific populations?
  • Move aside, “elephants, dolphins, magpies, gray parrots, some primates, and humans”: pigs, it seems, have now joined the elite group of creatures who understand mirrors—sort of, anyway. The news serves as a good reminder that chimps aren’t the only intelligent animals out there.
  • Mont Blanc, the tallest mountain in Western Europe, is shrinking, reports Agence France-Presse. In fact, the peak has lost a foot and a half (45 cm) in two years. Imagine if that pace were accelerated by several orders of magnitude during the catastrophic Flood year.
  • Wait—Algeripithecus isn’t a human ancestor? But what about the resemblance? (Okay, pardon our sarcasm—that evolutionists ever considered Algeripithecus an “early human ancestor” is a stunning reminder of the absurd leaps of faith they must take.)
  • The chimpanzee version of a key human language gene, FOXP2, not only looks different but functions differently too, scientists have learned. One explained, “Our findings may shed light on why human brains are born with the circuitry for speech and language and chimp brains are not.”
  • Dating methods that rely on genetic analysis may “routinely underestimating the age of many specimens,” according to research at Oregon State University. While age underestimation goes in the opposite direction of young-earth creationist views, the news is a good reminder of how assumption-laden and fallible such dating methods are.
  • Can plants be altruistic? Evolutionary research saying that they can reminds us that, in the amoral world of evolution, “altruism” is ultimately egoistic behavior.
  • It took only months for an ice age to engulf Europe, New Scientist reports. While the scientists coming to that conclusion use old-earth methods, it shows that even they are willing to accept a relatively rapid onset for an ice age—just as creationists believe about the post-Flood Ice Age about 4,000 year ago.
  • Were dinosaurs warm-blooded? While there’s no way for us to say without finding a living dinosaur, much of the motivation for the “warm-blooded” conclusion seems to derive from some evolutionists’ belief that birds (which are warm-blooded) are descended from dinosaurs.
  • “Don’t Believe In God? You are not alone,” declares a new billboard not far from our Creation Museum—but that has been moved already after the board’s owner received complaints and supposed threats. Like other atheist billboards that have generated worldwide attention, we hope any in Cincinnati will encourage more people to think about their beliefs and come to the reasonable conclusion: theism! Meanwhile, our museum has many billboards posted along interstates in the area, which recently won some major advertising awards.

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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, 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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