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News to Note, October 6, 2012

A weekly feature examining news from the biblical viewpoint

by Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell on October 6, 2012
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Martian water Causeway clamor Jurassic clone Evolution of a novelty? Fortunate Fall

1. Running Water in Martian Past

Running water flowed in the Martian past.

2. National Trust Caves to Pressure at Causeway

National Trust caves in to pressure at the Causeway.

3. Dinosaur Clones

“Dinosaur Encore”? Harvard physicist thinks dino-clones are around the corner.

4. De-Regulation of an Existing Trait

Genome analysis confirms “a key evolutionary innovation” is only de-regulation of an existing trait.

5. Was the Fall of Man a Good Thing?

Was the Fall of man a good thing?

And Don’t Miss . . .

  • There is a good deal of misinformation circulating, falsely accusing Hobby Lobby of being against birth control. But the “morning-after pill” and “week-after pill” destroy the lives of unborn human beings—yet providing them is a mandated “birth control” benefit under what is called ObamaCare in America. Hobby Lobby has filed suit demanding businesses be allowed to opt out of paying for these drugs. Attorney Lori Windham of the Becket Fund, which is providing legal assistance to Hobby Lobby, considers this case a matter of religious freedom. “Hobby Lobby is a family-owned business, and the Green family has said they’re going to honor God and biblical principles in their business,” Windham said. “The government's telling them now that they have to start paying for abortion-causing drugs, and that's just something they cannot do . . . The Green family said, We can’t in good conscience pay for those things because they could cause an abortion at the very early stages of a pregnancy.” And sadly, a coalition of liberal Christian groups has petitioned Hobby Lobby to drop its lawsuit and is threatening a boycott. Responding to this, a social media campaign has risen to voice mass support for Hobby Lobby’s stand for life. The text of the campaign reads, “Similar to what Chick-fil-a is going through, Christian-based Hobby Lobby is being boycotted for not wanting to provide government-mandated insurance that covers the morning after pill and similar drugs. If you agree that the federal government is overstepping its authority forcing private businesses into adopting policies that the owners disagree with, please stand up and be counted. Join us on Facebook for ‘Shop at Hobby Lobby Day!’ on Friday, October 12th!!’” We are saddened but not surprised to see those termed “liberal Christians” opposing a company for speaking out against a requirement to fund the death of innocents. Scriptural compromise leads to such wrong conclusions. Despite efforts to euphemistically and deceptively call these abortifacient drugs “birth control,” semantics don’t change truth.
  • Evolutionary apologists objecting to the ENCODE discovery—that most of the human DNA previously considered “junk” is functional—are primarily objecting to the way ENCODE researchers define biological function. Trinity Western University biology professor Dennis Venema—who recently wrote of the joys of creating a crisis of faith1 in Christian students (though adds that he does not “enjoy the anguish it can produce”)—has joined the chorus. His essay on “The BiLogos Forum” points out that imperfect mutant copies of DNA sequences may continue to be transcribed into mRNA without producing any useful product. Venema also brings up the “onion test”—a challenge to the functionality of most DNA—because some organisms have more DNA but less complexity than humans. And if similar genes in different kinds of organisms serve different functions, he considers the gene nonfunctional in the "more evolved" organism. Yet due to his evolutionary bias, Venema cannot acknowledge the possibility of divine design by a common Designer. Read about the onion test and more in molecular geneticist Dr. Georgia Purdom’s latest blog post, “ENCODE and the Dark Matter of the Genome—Part 2.” See also News to Note, September 15, 2012; News to Note, October 8, 2011 (transposons); Startling Plant Discovery Presents Problems for Evolution; “Junk” DNA—past, present, and future, part 1; “Junk” DNA—past, present, and future, part 2; and Pseudogene Function: Regulation of Gene Expression.

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Footnotes

  1. News to Note, September 15, 2012

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