News to Note, October 24, 2009

A weekly feature examining news from the biblical viewpoint


What we already knew, a mammoth find, more good news, and more!

1. Monkey Not Our Uncle

Remember “Ida,” the missing link that wasn’t? In a Nature letter, scientists attack the lofty claims that surrounded the announcement of the fossil primate.

2. A Mammoth Find

In a special guest news analysis, creationist (and mammoth expert) Michael J. Oard considers the well-preserved mammoth “Lyuba” (whom we first discussed in A Mammoth Discovery). The occasion? Lyuba’s worldwide debut.

3. Chimps Help Each Other Too

Chimps, especially mothers and their offspring, help each other. While that makes them “more similar to humans than previously thought,” does it mean we’re all just apes?

4. Are You Evolving?

Many humans believe evolution does indeed happen. Is it happening to them as well?

A team sponsored by the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center reports in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that humans are, indeed, still “evolving.”

5. News on Ethical Stem Cells

Research into stem cell therapies continues to find new ways to harvest the valuable cells without ethical compromises, as is shown by a new breakthrough described in Nature Methods.

6. And Don’t Miss . . .

  • Meet a model of Fruitadens haagarorum, the smallest dinosaur known to have lived in North America. At just 28 inches (70 cm) long, it reminds us that taking dinosaurs on the Ark would have been feasible for Noah: not only were many dinosaurs smaller than those in popular films, but Noah could have taken juveniles as well.
  • “How evolution arrived at this solution to the challenge of genome storage is unknown,” a Wired article on the human genome notes, while PhysOrg carries a press release declaring that there’s “no such thing as ‘junk RNA.’” Both articles remind us of the incredible design in living cells.
  • In the news this week is a paper by Richard Lenski, et al., on the “evolving” E. coli at Michigan State University. Our perspective remains as we reported it last June; creation scientists also explored the research in A Poke in the Eye? and A Creationist Perspective of Beneficial Mutations in Bacteria.
  • Astronomers have discovered thirty-two new exoplanets; no word yet on how many are hoped to be harboring alien life.
  • Could a collection of “pulverized” dinosaur bones—considered evidence of a “massive die-off event”—have something to do with the catastrophic Flood?
  • The latest in a long line of old-earth ideas about what killed off the dinosaurs: two nearly simultaneous asteroid impacts (“only” a few hundred thousand years apart), the usually cited Chicxulub crater near Mexico and a hypothesized crater in the Indian Ocean.
  • Move over, Richard Dawkins; it’s “Atheism 3.0,” a gentler atheism that doesn’t find religion an entirely bad thing. Our guess is that Dawkins’ caustic atheism will return in the 4.0 “upgrade.”

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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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