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What a week to kick off AiG’s new weekly breaking-news feature, News to Note! We’ll be taking you on a brief tour of top news each week, looking at how major stories should be understood within the biblical worldview and how Christians should respond to the turmoil around us—from “wars and rumors of wars” to discoveries that “confirm” evolution. As Christians, we must have answers to the questions of modern society, and looking at the news—if done in balance and with the right attitude—is an important way to understand the questions people have and will have.

1. UPI: Second DNA code is discovered

[Originally accessed from http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/view.php?StoryID=20060726-111607-7101r.]

With every added layer of complexity we discover about our cells, we realize that God’s design goes beyond our own understanding, and see that the likelihood that such complexity arose from chance is absurdly low. To learn more about the significance of DNA, take a look at Michael Matthews’ DNA—What Does It Prove? and Dr. Gary Parker’s The origin of life: DNA and protein.

2. Fox News: Bone Marrow Found Intact in Ancient Fossils & National Geographic: Fossils Yield 10-Million-Year-Old Bone Marrow -- A First

Findings like this one illustrate the rigidity of the millions-of-years paradigm. Just as in the case of the soft dinosaur tissue discovered awhile back, scientists admit being shocked that tissues—in this case, bone marrow of fossilized frogs and salamanders—could last so long. “It pushes back the boundary for how far [soft tissue] fossilization can go,” according to the study leader.

Of course, there’s no real evidence that soft tissue can last that long; it’s certainly not something scientists have demonstrated in a laboratory! One can only swallow the idea that the tissues are millions of years old if one unyieldingly presupposes that fossils take millions of years to develop and, therefore, that these fossilized animals lived millions of years ago. To draw on The Parable of the Candle a bit (go ahead; read it—We’ll wait), let’s say Lucy proceeds to determine that the candle has been burning for at least a whole day. Then, on the table next to the candle, she discovers a bowl full of cold ice cream. Yet she unquestioningly believes, based on her estimate of how long the candle’s been burning, that no one has been in the room in the past day. So instead of allowing the bowl of ice cream to overturn her notion that no one’s been in the room (and realizing that someone has been there rather recently!), she instead remarks to Chris, “Well, this just shows you that ice cream can take an awfully long time to melt!” Even if she doesn’t accept Manuel’s note that says he’s only been gone since 2:30, the bowl of ice cream shows that someone had to have been in the room recently with the bowl of ice cream, otherwise it would have melted.

3. Baltimore Sun: Water ballet has a bit of fun with Darwin

[Originally accessed from http://www.baltimoresun.com/features/lifestyle/bal-to.fluid22jul22,0,7886461.story?coll=bal-artslife-today.]

We’re not worried that a whole slew of people are going to change their views on Darwinism based solely on this water ballet. But still, what does it say about a society in which Bible plays and Nativity scenes have, in areas public and private, been replaced by comedies about the theory of evolution?

It's impossible, Krandle says, to take the show too seriously.

Says Ted Alsedek, director of the Darwin-and-monkey scene: "We try to reflect both sides."

"And make fun of both sides," Beall chimes in.

Is it possible to be flippant about the creation/evolution debate? Maybe for some people. But if you don’t think the controversy matters that much, read Tragic Truth, and see if that changes your mind.

4. CNN: Cassini finds evidence of hydrocarbon lakes on Titan

[Originally accessed from http://www.baltimoresun.com/features/lifestyle/bal-to.fluid22jul22,0,7886461.story?coll=bal-artslife-today.]

Scientists increasingly focus on other bodies in our solar system, and now, on other stellar systems, all in the hope of finding alien life. However, as Ken Ham points out in Any Little Green Men Out There?, these scientists who spend millions of taxpayer dollars to find life “out there,” and who would offer ostentatious fanfare over the slightest sign of alien intelligence, are the same who will ignore the abundant evidence for a Designer and Creator here on Earth (see Romans 1:20).

5. CNN: [Latest in conflict between Israel and Hezbollah]

[Originally accessed from http://www.baltimoresun.com/features/lifestyle/bal-to.fluid22jul22,0,7886461.story?coll=bal-artslife-today.]

The top story on most news outlets this week has been the continuing conflict between Israel and Hezbollah in Southern Lebanon. This is yet another reminder that peace on Earth cannot come through man’s attempts, but only comes from above. In this situation of strife, what can we remember? Well, first, Matthew 5:9—we are to be peacemakers. Second, Matthew 5:44—we are to love our enemies. Third, Matthew 24:6–7—war is to be expected in this fallen world. It’s easy to get upset when war comes, for it goes against our God-given understanding of the way things are supposed to be. But by sticking to a biblical worldview, and understanding the Corruption that happened in Eden and the Consummation that God will bring one day, we can trust God to take care of us now and forever.

6. BBC: Geckos inspire 'super-adhesive'

Take a peek at this article, which shows how we are just now beginning to try to copy some of God’s most incredible designs. The BBC also reported on bees’ amazing ability to find their way around, even traveling up to eight miles (thirteen kilometres) away from their home hive. We have many articles on the topic of design in nature. How much more impressive were the original animals God created, before thousands of years of harmful mutations came into the picture? We can only imagine!

7. CNN: California heat wave death toll tops 130 & French heatwave toll reaches 64

[Originally accessed from http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/07/28/heatwave.ap/index.html and http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/europe/07/27/france.deaths.reut/index.html.]

In addition to praying for those afflicted with extreme heat, you might want to learn more about global warming: what it is, what the prognosis is for the future, and what a biblical response to the topic is. We’ve seen a preview of the upcoming fall/winter Answers magazine issue, and are pleased to report that you will find a comprehensive article on global warming in it. So pick up a copy when it comes out, and join me in learning more about what’s causing all the heat!

8. CNN: Seattle stunned by 'bizarre' killings; see also Police: Teen shot at vehicles to 'relieve pressure'

[Originally accessed from http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/07/27/seattlekillings.ap.ap/index.html and http://www.cnn.com/2006/LAW/07/26/highway.shootings.ap/index.html.]

For those of us blessed to live in areas where violence is low, the thought of any murder can be very frightening—of course, in this regard, we must remember Matthew 6:27. But these stories are really just more sad reminders of the nature of man in our fallen state; despite what secular humanists would have us believe, we struggle with the dark consequences of the Fall each day. The world, even for all its technological advances, is not getting better.

We recall thinking these same thoughts when, during the attempted evacuation preceding Hurricane Katrina last year, snipers began shooting at people helping evacuate hospitals in New Orleans.1 What makes the killings in Seattle so “bizarre,” really, is the seeming randomness of them. Decades and centuries ago, killings were much more about blind passion, greed, revenge, etc.—none of them justifications for murder, but reasons that society could “understand.” For example, if someone killed a bank teller during a bank robbery fueled by the love of money, society wouldn’t condone that, but would at least understand how the murder was rationalized in the killer’s mind.

But as evolution soaks into the minds of millions of people and poisons the conscience of entire generations, we begin to see murder used not as a tool to further avarice, lust, or revenge, but rather, just as an end unto itself. This is why we included the link to the story about Zachariah Blanton, who shot at highway vehicles to “relieve pressure.” There is an increasingly “Greek” mentality among young people today. Years ago, when children were taught do not murder, the teacher could point right to Exodus 20:13 and Genesis 4:10 as a justification, and everyone understood that this was a mandate from, literally, the mouth of God.

But in today’s public school system, the idea of not murdering is either (A) not justified, because it is assumed everyone agrees that it is wrong, or (B) it is justified based on some idea of a “social contract” to respect the lives of others. Regarding (A), it’s only a matter of time before society, as we “progress” farther and farther from Thou shalt not kill, loses the common understanding that “it’s just wrong.” Those who learn the (B) justification will eventually run into philosophical difficulties grasping what makes a social contract binding, especially for a generation already suicidal!

9. The Queens Gazette: Hall of Science Studies How Children Learn

This article really speaks for itself, we’re afraid. Basically, a new project—backed by a $2.5 million grant from the taxpayer-funded National Science Foundation—will “research how children acquire the concepts of biological evolution and look at new ways to engage children in exploring the topic.” The result of this study will be a “traveling exhibition on evolution geared to children and their parents.”

The project is yet another step to further the evolutionary indoctrination children go through in public schools and in the public arena. It’s not enough, humanists argue, to present the theory of evolution—exclusively—in junior high and high school science classes; rather, it must be drilled into the minds of students as young as five (the youngest age this study will target; the oldest age is twelve). We don’t doubt that these efforts are, in a large part, due to the increasing frequency and strength of attacks on evolutionary theory.

At one point, the article states, “Current research in cognitive psychology indicates that if children are introduced to these concepts at an early age, they are more likely to see the natural world through a scientific perspective.” We don’t disagree with the former part; actually, the Bible emphasized that educating children establishes their belief system quite a few years before “current research in cognitive psychology” did! But as for the latter part—will this program make children more likely to see “the natural world through a scientific perspective” or, instead, make them more likely to see the scientific world through a natural[ist] perspective?

And because this program is funded by the US government, those of us who work for Answers in Genesis–USA will be supporting this project!

10. nature.com: Extreme sports push hearts; see also National Geographic: Nepalese Porters May Be World’s Most Efficient Haulers

We recently had a discussion about what sort of incredible physical abilities Adam (and Eve) must have had. Society spends much time these days looking for the world’s strongest man, trying to set new records for foot races and so forth. But in our conversation, we wondered what Adam could have done physically. How far could he free dive? How fast could Adam run? What astounding, almost “inhuman” abilities, now lost through the Curse and millennia of mutations, did he have?

The so-called “fitness gene” must be a remnant of some of the genes Adam had for participating in “extreme sports” in the Garden of Eden, though Adam’s heart wouldn’t have tired as indicated in the article. And as for the study on Nepalese porters, might Adam have been able to lift loads of several hundred pounds almost effortlessly?


Well, We’re going to call it a wrap for this week! If you see a news story that might merit some attention, let us know about it! And since News to Note is a new feature, don’t forget to tell us what you think. Hope to see you next week!

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Footnotes

  1. Although some reports of violence in New Orleans may have been exaggerated, original accounts of violence have not been retracted. Back