News to Note, November 15, 2008

A weekly feature examining news from the biblical viewpoint

on November 15, 2008
Featured in News to Know

Designs of evolution, out on a limb, living with your ancestors, the skeletons in Darwin’s closet, and more!

1. Proteins: Evidence For Evolution or Intelligent Design

Proteins that act like “adaptive machines”—are they evidence for evolution or intelligent design?

2. Lizards Losing Limbs Case For Evolution in Action

Once again, it’s “evolution in action.” Once again, it isn’t.

3. BBC News: “Octopuses Share ‘Living Ancestor’”

The latest common ancestor wasn’t found in the fossil record; instead, it was found alive and well today in the Southern Ocean (near Antarctica).

Researchers compiling the first-ever Census of Marine Life think they’ve put a finger—or should we say tentacle?—on the common ancestor of most of the world’s deep-sea octopi: Megaleledone setebos, a shallow-water octopus still living today in the icy ocean surrounding Antarctica is the closest living relative.

That’s the conclusion from DNA studies by British Antarctic Survey biologist Jan Strugnell, who examined the relationship between various deep-sea octopi. According to Strugnell, the octopi diverged 30 million years ago as “nutrient-rich and salty” ocean currents drove formerly shallow-water octopi to various ocean basins.

Among the ways the octopi then adapted to their new, deep sea environments was the loss of their ink sacs, as the defense was useless in the already pitch-black depths.

Is M. setebos very similar to a common ancestor? It’s entirely possible that, within the original octopus (or perhaps cephalopod) kind, degenerative mutations (such as the loss of the ink sac) allowed M. setebos-types to adapt to deep-sea environments and become the deep-sea species of today. However, forming date-specific conclusions about how and when creatures are descended from one another based on genetic sequencing is riddled with evolutionary presuppositions. Nevertheless, the idea of a common ancestor is just as feasible within the “created kind” model as it is within evolutionary models, since we know animals have speciated to varying degrees—within their kinds—since the Garden of Eden only a few thousand years ago.

4. Darwinian Specimens Now On Display In London

If you’re interested in seeing the cornerstone of evidence for evolution—the birds that helped inspire Darwin—your chance is coming soon.

5. Dancing Dinosaur Footprints Busted

Remember the “dinosaur dance party” we reported on News to Note three weeks ago? Yeah, forget that.

6. New Possible Pre-Flood Pyramid Found In Egypt

Down in the Egyptian sand lay the remains of a pyramid that was once nearly five stories tall. Was it around before the Flood?

7. Super-Microscope Used to Seek Answers About Strength of Spider Silk

An amazing new human creation is a reminder of one of God’s amazing creations.

8. Humanist Ads Focus on Just Being Good

Atheists are spending tens of thousands of dollars in the United States to prove to the world they fail to grasp the connection between God and goodness.

Remember, if you see a news story that might merit some attention, let us know 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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