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According to a study published in Nature, scientists believe they have found a gene sequence (HAR1, for those of you taking notes) whose evolution resulted in a tripling of the brain capacity of humans, thus distinguishing our mental abilities from chimpanzees.
For evolutionists, this is exciting news. For instance, the AP report on the find quotes Andrew Clark, a molecular biologist from Cornell University, as commenting that the news is “terrifically exciting”-although, interestingly enough, Clark “has a hard time believing it” because the gene has evolved (supposedly) so quickly relative to what evolutionists expect, based on commonly accepted rates of mutations. How quickly? Seventy times faster than all of our other genes, according to evolutionists.
A few important notes on this bit of news. First, the entire method by which scientists determine that these genes have “evolved” is based on circular reasoning. Basically, scientists compare the genetic code of humans with other mammals. Differences are then chalked up to evolution, period; the only “evidence” to show that these genes actually evolved is just the presupposition that our genetic code came from chimps. Second, the differences line up with what we would expect-God created our torsos and limbs to be fairly simliar to those of chimpanzees, whereas our minds were created to be less similar.
Finally, this is yet another find that upsets the traditional view of evolution-that slow, gradual changes produced all of life's diversity. Evolutionists must increasingly accommodate their theories to the contrary evidence, which is what originally led to Darwinism replacements, such as 11102 and neo-Darwinism.
2. The Guardian (UK): How did we get here?
This article from The Guardian reports on survey information on what students believe about origins, including some interesting facts. For example, ten percent of areligious students accept intelligent design, which counters the assertion that intelligent design is just religion masquerading as science, as some say.
According to The Guardian, “[T]hree years of learning how to weigh evidence appears to make students slightly more inclined towards evolution, with 57% of third-years choosing it compared with 54% of first-years.” But could this 3% of difference be due not to students learning how to weigh evidence, but instead just be a class-to-class variation?
Later in the article, Jeremy Rayner, a zoology professor at Leeds University, comments on the purpose of upcoming lectures on creation and intelligent design: “[T]he idea is to teach students about the creationism hypothesis 'so they are in a position to make their own rational judgement and counter it&rsquo.”
Well, which is it, Professor Rayner-do you want students to make their own rational judgement on the creation/evolution issue, or to counter creationism? We think it's obvious he wants the latter!
3. AP: Many Ark. candidates say intelligent design in schools is OK & : Evolution will be an issue in fall vote (requires free registration/login)
The battle over the teaching of evolution in public schools is not just occurring in 14666 and 4553. In Arkansas, both Democrat and Republican candidates for statewide offices have expressed openness to the topic of intelligent design in science classrooms, making it “available to students” or at least giving teachers academic freedom to discuss the creation/evolution controversy and address intelligent design.
The AP article also states that “[m]ost scientists view [intelligent design] as a new form of creationism.” In fact, the idea of intelligent design, as a notion apart from the true knowledge of God, has been around at least since 10170 (the first century BC).
In Ohio, a group called Help Ohio Public Education (HOPE) aims to unseat a state board of education who, HOPE believes, supports teaching intelligent design in the classroom. What we're seeing is an attempt at a grassroots-style reaction to the grassroots efforts to promote openness in science classrooms. The article closes with, “Most scientists view it as a new form of creationism.”
4. The New York Times: How to Make Sure Children Are Scientifically Illiterate
Lawrence Krauss, who will head the advocacy group HOPE (in item 3, above) started to unseat “anti-evolution” politicians in Ohio, authored this essay attacking a whole slew of anti-creationists. We would suggest he re-title his essay “A Sophomore's Guide to Arguing Against Creationism,” since it is basically a review of the more juvenile attempts to discredit creation.
Among the hackneyed arguments Mr. Krass peddles are that creationism is the same as believing in a flat earth, or that if you're a creationist, you have to believe airplanes and automobiles “work by divine magic,” or that “knowledge is a threat to faith,” or that by belief in creation “require[s] a denial of essentially all modern scientific knowledge.” By this, and by leaning on stereotypes and buying into inaccuracies (e.g., that “[c]reation science evolved into intelligent design”), Mr. Krauss managed to author one of the most worthless anti-creationism essays that We've seen. We would say we were surprised The New York Times printed it, but actually, we arn't.
5. National Geographic News: "Killer" Fossil Find May Rewrite Story of Whale Evolution
The recent discovery of a fossilized baleen whale with unusual features has evolutionists scrambling to redraw lines of whale evolution, because this fossil's features-“enormous” eyes, “flesh-ripping” toothed jaws, skull showing incapability of echolocation and broad, short snout-are unlike modern baleen whales. For this reason, evolutionists want to classify the new species (called Janjucetus hunderi) as an isolated “freak” (no offense, pal) in the ancestral baleen whale line.
The question is, is there any real evidence that this whale belongs in an evolutionary tree, rather than belonging in the creation 5011#models as just another variant within a created kind?
6. Los Angeles Times: Faithful to God, Science
This article, about evolutionist Christian Dr. Francis Collins (director of the [US] National Human Genome Research Institute), is riddled with inaccuracies and misleading statements. For example, according to the article, Collins “entreats his fellow believers to recognize it's not blasphemous to learn about the world.” By this statement, Collins is furthering the wild idea that Christians who accept the Bible simultaneously reject any knowledge not found in Scripture. Rather, we reject “knowledge” not founded in Scripture-ideas that contradict the knowledge of the true God. In fact, evolutionists do the same thing when they reject creation out of hand, calling it “unscientific” (though it is really not unscientific; rather, it is contradictory to the axiom of scientism, which rejects the idea of revelatory knowledge). But Collins' comment may make unwary readers think there is actually an “Eleventh Commandment” in the Bible that reads, “Thou shalt not learn about the world.” In fact, almost all of our knowledge about the world has its basis in 12671, and certainly doesn't require a Darwinist paradigm.
Later in the Times' article (after quoting Ken Ham, AiG-US president), Collins' thoughts are expressed:
[F]rom God's perspective, perhaps evolution is a logical, even elegant, way to populate the planet. Maybe God intended mutations in DNA over the millennia to lead to the emergence of Homo sapiens. Once man arrived, maybe God set him apart from the other creatures by endowing him with knowledge of right and wrong, a sense of altruism and a yearning for spiritual nourishment.
Maybe so-if we speak of “God” apart from what we know of Him in the Bible, and if “logical” and “elegant” mean billions of years of cancer-caused mutations, violent struggle, carnivory and death. Furthermore, according to this account, we were set apart because God “endowed” us with the knowledge of right and wrong. Our ancestor Adam was different from the animals because he was made in the image of God, and he gained the knowledge of right and wrong when he, along with Eve, disobeyed God and ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Collins knew he could never prove any of these ideas, but that no longer troubled him the way it once had.
Collins' faith is unapologetic, then-completely unlike the faith we're to have, as instructed by 1 Peter 3:15. Two paragraphs later, the article quotes physicist Steven Weinberg, who comments that attributing the unknown to God serves only to give believers a “warm, fuzzy, reassuring feeling.” And no wonder-Collins' theistic evolution is just evolution + God in the gaps. In other words, Collins just places “God” in his “unknown” box. If scientists come up with a naturalistic explanation for the origin of the genetic code, will Collins abandon his belief in a creator, lest he be seen as “rejecting knowledge” (like those of us at AiG apparently do!)? That is just one of the many problems of theistic evolution, which essentially accepts science plus God in the gaps.
7. The Times: Mammoths may roam again after 27,000 years
Scientists hope that by using frozen mammoth sperm, they may be able to reintroduce mammoth-like animals to the earth (specifically, animals that are 50% mammoth and 50% Asian elephant-something like heffalumps). This may help baraminologists better determine the exact composition of the elephant kind.
From this short article's headline, one gets the idea that Kenyan Christians are upset with the existence of the fossils-as though they are so upset that such solid “proof” of evolution exists. But what is Bishop Adoyo really worried about?
“The Christian community here is very uncomfortable that Leakey and his group want their theories presented as fact,” Adoyo said.
What theories? Isn't the age of these fossils a proven, scientific fact, independent of individual bias? Interestingly, we featured an appendix on our website this week that addresses this question quite directly. See 12529.
Remember, if you see a news story that might merit some attention, let us know about it! And thanks to all of our readers who have submitted great news tips to us. If you didn't catch last week's News to Note, why not 14663 now? See you next week!
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