News to Note, September 15, 2007

A weekly feature examining news from the biblical viewpoint

Featured in News to Know

“Evolution-causing” potatoes, compromised integrity at Baylor, fossilized footprints, and more dino-bird fairytales make up this week’s News to Note.

1. Potatoes: the Fuel of Life?

They are the icons of evolution that many have used to prop up Darwinism: Galapagos finches, peppered moths, Lucy, the Miller–Urey research, Archaeopteryx, and potatoes. Wait a second—potatoes?

2. Baylor Professor Under Pressure for Supporting Intelligent Design

We’re saddened to report on a recent administrative action at Baylor University (a Baptist school) in Texas, where administrators ordered a professor’s personal website be shut down because of “anonymous concerns” that the site supported ideas associated with the intelligent design movement (IDM).

3. LiveScience: “Oldest Identifiable Footprints Found

For the first time ever, fossilized creatures considered to have lived during the Paleozoic Era (240–540 million years ago by uniformitarian dating methods) have been unearthed along with their own footprints. Writing in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, researchers describe fossils of Diadectes absitus and Orobates pabsti that were recently discovered in central Germany. Not far away were fossilized footprints that have been matched with the animals, thanks in part to the “exceptional preservation” of the bone remains.

Although the LiveScience article covering the research does not say if the researchers suggested any cause of fossilization, one has to ask what sort of long-term process could account for the fossils of both the bodies and footprints of not one, but two creatures in close proximity. Team member Dale Berman of Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museum of Natural History even comments on the rarity of the fossils’ intact extremities: “[i]t's rare that we get feet with all the toe and wrist and ankle bones [intact].” Would the long-age, gradual process of fossilization proposed by uniformitarians have preserved these creatures and their footprints without disruption by scavenging animals or weather erosion? It certainly doesn’t seem likely.

Additionally, the footprints are prompting scientists to “rethink how the ancient creatures moved.” Unlike most reptiles we see today, and like many mammals, the fossil creatures’ footprints appeared to have been imprinted under the reptiles’ bodies, rather than somewhat out to the side. Of course, since the creatures, one of which is an entirely new discovery, have “no close living relatives,” it is difficult to formulate any definite ideas of their behavior.

4. Tiny Mongolian Dinosaur Wreaks Havoc

A tiny Mongolian dinosaur is wreaking havoc on evolutionists’ traditional ideas of how flight (and birds) evolved.

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