News to Note, October 11, 2008

A weekly feature examining news from the biblical viewpoint

on October 11, 2008

The oldest “footprints” around, another case of “evolution” in action, the invention of a missing link, saying goodbye to human evolution, and more!

1. New Set of Oldest Footprints Found In Nevada

They may not be much to look at, but the supposed oldest “footprints” are trampling over previous estimates of the age of animals.

2. Rapid Speciation of Fish New Evidence For Evolution

Evolution observed in nature—again! Will it convince us this time?

3. Mystery of the Turtle Shell

The turtle is known for its slow speed. So was turtle evolution so slow that you can’t even see it?

4. Geneticist Says Human Evolution Has Ended

That’s one small step for a man, one giant falling-flat-on-its-face step for mankind’s evolution.

5. BBC News: “Scientists Meet for Alien Summit”

No, extraterrestrials haven’t been invited to the conference—but they will nonetheless be the keynote subject of this year’s Royal Observatory, Edinburgh, workshop.

The theme of the annual workshop is the quest for discovering alien life, which will be discussed in a variety of settings during the multi-day, multi-session conference. Monica Grady, a planetary and space scientist at the Open University, will give the keynote speech.

One specific question conference attendees hope to work on is just how astronomical instruments can help study the extreme environments of outer space, including on the more than 300 known exoplanets outside of our solar system. Speakers come from various scientific backgrounds, including astrobiology, atmospheric physics, and astrophysics.

It’s both a comedy and a tragedy as tax money continues to be spent in pursuit of elusive extraterrestrial life—which always seems to be just beyond our reach, whether as close as Mars or as distant as exoplanetary systems. Don’t expect anything from secular scientists except more uncertainty as the search for alien life continues!

6. Clay Seal Offers Another Physical Connection to the Bible

It may not seem like a discovery of biblical proportions, but a clay seal found in Israel adds yet another physical connection between the Bible and the present.

7. LiveScience: “New Flying Dinosaur Drone to Resemble Pterodactyl”

In one of the most stunning examples of biomimicry to date, the design of a next-generation unmanned spy drone is being inspired by the pterodactyl.

The Pterodrone, as it’s called, is about the size of a crow, though its wings stretch nearly 32 inches (80 cm) from tip to tip. Its designers explain that “The next generation of airborne drones . . . [will] alter their wing shapes using morphing techniques to squeeze through confined spaces, dive between buildings, zoom under overpasses, land on apartment balconies, or sail along the coastline.”

They are basing the Pterodrone off a pterosaur known as Tapejara wellnhoferi, which was purported to be quite skilled at morphing its wings and head crest into varying aerodynamic surfaces as it tackled different challenges. The Pterodrone even replicates the head crest of T. wellnhoferi. The Pterodrone’s flying surfaces will incorporate carbon fiber and nylon, and the drone will house gyroscopes and a GPS for navigation.

As with other technologies inspired by God’s designs, the Pterodrone is a great reminder of how human engineering, through great effort, can only approximate the seamless efficiency and incredible capabilities of the natural world that God created. Regardless of whether people recognize it, each example of biomimicry is a testimony to the Designer’s ingenuity!

For more information:

8. AP: “Creation Museum Draws Big Crowds”

An Associated Press article (picked up by several newspapers in the U.S. and major websites like MSNBC) highlights our Creation Museum.

The article quotes Dan Phelps of the Kentucky Paleontology Society, who says his evolutionist friends are “depressed” and laments that creationism “still hangs around.”

AP writer Dylan Lovan notes that teachers in Kentucky haven’t encountered student challenges “based on conclusions drawn from visits to the Creation Museum.” However, he quotes Kentucky Department of Education spokeswoman Lisa Gross, who reports that “[t]eachers have been dealing with these things long before the Creation Museum came into being”—which makes it sound like there probably are challenges based on materials presented at the museum, but that they aren’t new.

Lovan also reports (based on our data) that we’ve had more than half a million visitors to the museum since its opening in spring 2007. We are so thankful for the visitors and support God has blessed us with, and we thank Him for every opportunity to present biblical history and the gospel to supporters and skeptics alike—even skeptics like TV personality Bill Maher, who crashed the museum last year for his mocking-of-Christianity film Religulous, now in theaters.

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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