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This week in News to Note we take a look at the jawbone of an ape, Mars microbes? ID/evolution education war, cladistics, monkey clones, and inspiring bat sonar
A new fossil found in Kenya’s Rift Valley is shaking up the latest hypotheses about alleged ancient apes and their postulated connection to modern humans, chimpanzees, and gorillas.
Men (and women) are from Mars—though the popular tongue-in-cheek hypothesis lacks proof, it received an injection of plausibility in September from a baseball-sized rock that fell from the sky.
Television producer Paula Aspell—behind Public Television’s popular Nova program—originally had no desire to use her show to deal with the “nasty” controversy of discussing intelligent design in public schools.
That was before Aspell read news accounts of the landmark Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District trial of Pennsylvania and recalled that many Americans reject the evolutionary explanation of human origins. “As someone concerned about science literacy, that concerns me—a lot,” she said, reports the New York Times.
Finding “plenty of drama” in various aspects of the trial, Aspell set out to film a two-hour Nova segment that “takes viewers through the trial, illuminating the theory of evolution, the flaws of intelligent design, the politics of those who back it, and the course the case ran in Dover.”
This week, AiG’s Mark Looy and Liberty University’s David DeWitt took a closer look at the resulting documentary, Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial, uncovering the substantial bias in the program. To read their take, visit “Is It Over After Dover?” and “Biased Judgment: Comments on NOVA TV’s Judgment Day and its analysis of the Dover ID Trial.”
Despite centuries of scientific effort classifying life, the vast majority of living things remain unknown, reports LiveScience on comments made by renowned Harvard biologist Edward O. Wilson.
It’s what we’ve all been waiting for, and just in time for gift-giving season: cloned monkey embryos!
The latest cancer-fighting technology, under development in Scotland, has been inspired by a source you might not expect: bat sonar.
A team at the University of Strathclyde is “developing a diagnostic device that employs the same technique used by some animals to recogni[z]e objects.”
Essentially, the device is an ultrasound that functions similarly to bats’ sophisticated sonar system, custom-creating different “acoustic codes” for “a wide variety of targets, including cancer cells.”
If successful, the technology could even be adapted for military uses, such as minesweeping.
News to Note frequently includes stories of animal (and sometimes plant) abilities that fuel scientists’ and engineers’ imaginations, leading to technological breakthroughs. For the evolutionist, these abilities all have the same origin: random mutations shaped through the mechanism of natural selection. For creationists, these abilities all have the same origin: information “pre-loaded” into an organism when it was designed by the master Designer.
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!