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News to Note, September 29, 2012

A weekly feature examining news from the biblical viewpoint

by Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell on September 29, 2012
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Tabbies and tigers and cheetahs, oh my! The ultimate free lunch African melting pot Moral Landscape No supernatural jumpstart?

mackerel tabbyThis mackerel tabby pattern is produced by the dominant form of the Tabby gene. This cat could therefore be TaM/TaM or TaM/Tab. Image credit: Helmi Flick, from news.sciencemag.org

blotchedThis blotched (also known as “classic”) tabby pattern requires the cat be homozygous for the recessive form of the Tabby gene. This tabby is Tab/Tab. Image credit: Helmi Flick, from news.sciencemag.org

cheetahsThe top cheetah’s spotted pattern is dictated by the dominant form of the Tabby gene. This cheetah could therefore be TaM/TaM or TaM/Tab. The bottom cat is a king cheetah. The exotic blotches and the characteristic wide black stripes on its back result from the recessive form of the Tabby gene. The king cheetah is Tab/Tab. Image credit: Greg Barsh/Ann va Dyk Cheetah Preserve, from news.sciencemag.org

black-footThe black-footed cat, Felis nigripes, native to southern Africa, is the smallest African cat. Males average around four pounds and females only about three pounds. Its name comes from the black undersides of its feet.1 While exhibiting a number of genetic differences from other cats in the study, it has the same mutation of the Tabby gene as domestic cats with an atypical swirled coat pattern. This particular mutation is not expressed as reproducibly as the blotched mutation. Image credit: Pierre de Chabannes (www.photozoo.org) from Wikimedia Commons

1. Tabby Trait Ties Cat Evolutionary Tree

Tabby trait traced through genetic analysis ties together the cat family tree.

2. Physics Creating the Earth

In the beginning were the laws of physics (not!).

3. Presence of Ancient Anatomically Modern Humans in Africa

Genomic study suggests the presence of ancient anatomically modern humans all over Africa.

4. Good Without God?

Can’t we be good without God?

5. Physics Theories to Explain Big Bang

Cosmologist asserts physics theories will explain the big bang without a “supernatural jumpstart.”

And Don’t Miss . . .

  • As most of our readers are already aware, Pastor Youcef, who was imprisoned in Iran for nearly three years in violation of both Iranian and international laws protecting religious freedom, was recently freed. Youcef’s earthly fate hung under the shadow of a death sentence for much of that time. Read his letter of gratitude to those who took a stand to demand his release. While we continue to seek protection for so many others persecuted for their Christian faith, let us also notice that Youcef is thankful for the many who have “faithfully passed on the Word of God.” The Bible says that faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17). The Scriptures are able to make even children “wise unto salvation” (2 Timothy 3:15). About 634 million people still lack access to God’s Word in their own language, and 4,400 languages lack a single verse of Scripture. Translators often must devise alphabets and teach literacy. The “laborers are few” (Luke 10:2), as thousands of languages await the start of Bible translation projects. While we seek to teach people to trust the Bible from the very first verse, let’s not forget to support and pray for those who labor to translate the Bible and to teach its truths to all mankind. Jesus said, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Statistics on Bible-less people groups are from the Joshua Project.2
  • Bill Nye, interviewed recently by Associated Press, continues to ignore the difference between historical science and the “here-and-now” science that discovers not only innovative technologies but also how things actually work. Nye said, “If we raise a generation of students who don't believe in the process of science, who think everything that we've come to know about nature and the universe can be dismissed by a few sentences translated into English from some ancient text, you're [sic] not going to continue to innovate.” Bible-believing creation scientists do not suggest that anything we actually know about nature and the universe should be dismissed. Rather, creationists rightly question worldview-based interpretations about the untestable, unobservable past. The “process of science” involves making actual observations and controlled scientific tests. Controlled scientific tests of the time of origins are simply not possible, and the only available “actual observations” of that time are those provided by the Creator God, whose eyewitness account Nye and other evolutionists have chosen to reject. Creative scientific innovations spring from actual observational science, not from speculations about the past. Creationists do not wish to raise a generation of kids who “don’t believe in the process of science” but rather a generation with the discernment to know the difference between experimental observations and opinion-based interpretations. For more information see Ken’s blog: My Challenge to Bill Nye and Bill Nye’s Crusade for Your Kids
  • What did famous Christian writer C.S. Lewis think about evolution? Though a letter written late in life shows he had begun to doubt Darwinian evolution, Lewis appeared to be a theistic evolutionist to the end. His writings support that point of view. (As we’ve written many times, belief in evolution does not keep a person from being saved, but it introduces an inconsistency into the solid foundation for understanding the saving work of Jesus Christ.) A new book quoting and analyzing material from Lewis’s personal library—The Magician’s Twin: C.S. Lewis on Science, Scientism, and Society—demonstrates that Lewis had serious doubts about Darwinian evolution from early in his life, even prior to his conversion to Christianity. “C.S. Lewis’s personal library contained more than three dozen books and pamphlets on scientific topics, many of them focused on evolution,” says the book’s editor Dr. John West. “Several of the books on evolution contained annotations and underlining by Lewis, including Lewis’s personal copy of Charles Darwin’s Autobiography. One of Lewis’s most heavily annotated books was a nearly 400-page book critiquing the creative power of Darwinian natural selection that Lewis first read as a 19-year-old soldier during World War I. Lewis wrote careful notes on most pages of that book, and he later stated that the book’s ‘critique of orthodox Darwinism is not easy to answer.’” Lewis, while still an atheist, also wrote of his misgivings in a letter to his father, saying the evolutionary notions of Darwin and Herbert Spencer were built “on a foundation of sand.”

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Footnotes

  1. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black-footed_cat
  2. www.joshuaproject.net/great-commission-statistics.php

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