News to Note, September 10, 2011

A weekly feature examining news from the biblical viewpoint

by Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell on September 10, 2011
Featured in News to Know

Paleo-puzzles, Denisovan DNA and the HLA, woolly rhino of Tibet, ancient antibiotic resistance, tools of the times

1. New African Fossils Alter Perception of Human Origins

Paleo-jigsaw or transitional form?

2. Researchers Believe Modern Humans Gained Immunity Boosts from Neaderthals

Doses of Denisovan and Neanderthal DNA may have provided immunity to many modern humans.

3. Woolly Rhinoceros Skull Found In Himalayas

Pliocene rhino plowing pre-Pleistocene snow pleases paleontologists.

4. Antibiotic Resistance an Age-Old Factor

Actually, antibiotic resistance is not evolving.

5. Stone Axes Push Anthropological Views on Humans Back in Time

Homo erectus tool time tinkers with anthropological thought.

And Don’t Miss . . .

  • Molecules-to-man evolution, for most evolutionists, is not a question of “if” but of “when” and “where.” Pumice rock rafts is the answer suggested by Brasier and Wacey in an article now appearing in the journal Astrobiology.1 (Brasier and Wacey answer “when” in their recently published claim that Australian stromatolites2 harbor proof that life evolved 3.4 billion years ago.) They suggest that volcanic pumice, because it tends to accumulate a variety of organic molecules and transition metals while floating on the ocean, would be the perfect habitat for life to evolve. “During its life cycle, pumice is potentially exposed to - among other things - lightning associated with volcanic eruptions, oily hydrocarbons and metals produced by hydrothermal vents, and ultraviolet light from the Sun as it floats on water,” explained Brasier. “All these conditions have the potential to host, or even generate, the kind of chemical processes that we think created the first living cells.” They say this floating rock could harbor the “overall inventory of organics available to evolving chemical systems that were the precursor to life.”3 However, they offer no suggestion for how inanimate matter, no matter what chemical reactions spontaneously occurred, could organize itself into self-replicating information-containing units capable of constructing living organisms.
  • An “intellectually absurd attempt to write Christ out of human history”—that’s what the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney termed Australia’s new school rules. The Australian government has ruled that teachers will no longer be allowed to refer to BC and AD dates but must say BCE and CE instead. BC and AD stand for “before Christ” and “Anno Domini—in the year of our Lord.” The politically correct abbreviations mean “before the common era” and “common era.” The Archbishop added, “Australia is what it is today because of the foundations of our nation in the Judeo-Christian heritage that we inherited from Western civilization. . . . Kowtowing to political correctness by the embarrassing removal of AD and BC in our national curriculum is of a piece with the fundamental flaw of trying to deny who we are as a people.” It is tragic that many people around the world dwell in spiritual darkness without having had the blessing of a Christian heritage and exposure to God’s truth. Yet it is equally tragic when many blessed with that heritage—not just in Australia but also in our own land—accord Christ no place in their hearts, their heritage, or the history of humanity and of all Creation. To “suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (Romans 1:18) and to be “willingly ignorant” ( Peter 3:5, KJV) of biblical truth from the very first verse is to start down a slippery slope to rejecting all of God’s eternal truth.
  • August brought a new bright light to our night sky: the Pinwheel supernova. Twenty-one million light years away, the beautiful exploding star was visible to backyard astronomers. Despite claims that the actual explosion occurred 21 million years ago, we can be confident that it did not. (Read more about the distinction between vast distances and vast times at Stellar Evolution, Distant Starlight and Biblical Authority and Does Distant Starlight Prove the Universe Is Old?). Astronomers are particularly excited about this supernova because it is a Type 1a. “Type 1a’s all blaze with nearly the same brightness. That makes them the perfect yardsticks for measuring cosmic distances. Their apparent brightness tells us how far away they are.” That property makes the Pinwheel and others like it a good tool for studying the accelerating expansion of the universe. The Bible actually speaks of this astronomical fact. Read more about it at The Universe Confirms the Bible and more about supernovas at The Search for a Cursed Cosmos.

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