News to Note, November 3, 2012

A weekly feature examining news from the biblical viewpoint

by Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell on November 3, 2012

Jurassic turtles HIV evolution Moon boom Gene genesis Galactic evolution

1. Turtles Found in Chinese Jurassic Rock Layer

1,800 turtles violently swept into a watery grave: found in Chinese Jurassic rock layer.

2. HIV Mutation Possibly More Vulnerable to Vaccines

HIV mutation may make it more vulnerable to vaccines.

3. Comeback of Giant Impact Hypothesis

“Giant impact hypothesis” makes a comeback.

4. New Function through Gene Duplication

5. Interpretations of Data Reflect Evolutionary Expectations

Interpretations of data from Deep Evolutionary Exploratory Probe reflect evolutionary expectations.

And Don’t Miss . . .

  • Why are some sounds universally annoying to people? Evolutionists have suggested that high-pitched sounds like fingernails on a chalkboard are annoying because they resemble the distress calls of ancient primate relatives. In the evolutionary scenario, the emotional distress evoked by alarming screeches is a by-product of the evolved survival instinct telling us to flee. That particular evolutionary theory has been laid to rest by research demonstrating cottontop tamarins (a tiny New World monkey) are upset by the white noise we find pleasant as much as they are by high-pitched scraping. Despite the demise of this evolutionary explanation, the neurological footprint of sounds that get our attention (or get our goat) has been uncovered. Sukhbinder Kumar and colleagues report in the Journal of Neuroscience that the amygdala—a part of the brain associated with emotions—is stimulated when human subjects in an MRI machine are exposed to high-pitched scraping and squealing sounds. Other sounds that evoked increased activity in the brain’s emotional center were female screams and baby cries. Of course the evolutionary quest to explain why these sounds evoke a response will continue. Meanwhile, at least someone has shown that the emotions evoked by screams, scrapes, and squeals really are all in your head.

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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, the 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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