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1. Reuters: Gunman kills 3 girls at Pennsylvania Amish school
Perhaps the saddest news item in America this week was the death of five Amish girls, and their murderer, in an Amish schoolhouse in Pennsylvania. Unlike many school-shooting tragedies, the killer was neither a fellow student nor directly connected to the students, but instead was a troubled 32-year-old milk truck driver.
Although such tragedies often seem inexplicable, it is important to remember that the root of senseless violence and, ultimately, death and suffering was the Fall of our ancestor Adam. Furthermore, we must remember that although we speak of “innocent” individuals dying, none of us are truly innocent (Romans 3:23), and we are all deserving of death (Romans 6:23). None of us can escape the consequences of the Fall. Even the Amish, who shun modern technology, live simply and are generally very religious, cannot extricate themselves from this fallen world. Only through Christ can Redemption occur—not only for us as individuals, but for the entire heavens and earth as well.
We should also take heart in the Christian behavior of the Amish family and friends of the victim. News reports say that one girl asked that the killer shoot her and let the others go free—echoing John 15:13. The Amish also emphasize forgiveness for the killer, and have requested that a fund be set up for the killer’s widow and children (honoring Matthew 6:14).
Ultimately, murder can be traced back to shortly after the Garden of Eden, when Cain murdered Abel. But in recent times, the erosion of faith in the Word of God—partially due to acceptance of Darwinism—has contributed to a growing sense of purposelessness in individuals and weakens morals to be merely subjective opinions. It is no surprise to learn that the murderer of these Amish girls was reportedly mad at God.
Brian Rohrbough, father of a Colorado student murdered in the Columbine massacre, apparently shares our perspective:
This country is in a moral free-fall. For over two generations, the public school system has taught in a moral vacuum, expelling God from the school and from the government, replacing him with evolution, where the strong kill the weak, without moral consequences and life has no inherent value.
2. BBC NEWS: ‘Ancient light’ takes Nobel Prize
Numerous readers have submitted this news story for News to Note, and some have commented that they’re not sure how to respond to the news. First of all, just a reminder that this “news” is, well, nothing new! Drs. John Mather and George Smoot are being awarded for research originally announced back in 1992! Please don’t misunderstand—the age of the research doesn’t make it wrong (or right), but the point is, it’s nothing that requires any further defense of the Bible. Furthermore, CMB radiation supports creationist cosmologies when properly interpreted. And recent evidence indicates that the CMB radiation may not really be in the “background,” meaning it cannot be a legacy of a big bang (see item 1 of the September 9 News to Note). In other words, this Nobel notion is really social news, not science news.
3. TIME: What Makes us Different?
TIME magazine’s cover story this week asked the question, “What Makes us Different?” The article manages to commit philosophical mistakes and omit important information, but Liberty University neuroscientist Dr. David DeWitt tackled many of the genetics problems in an online response article this week for AiG (see TIME to stay current on human origins).
The article’s authors are quick to point out, in the first paragraph, that “[e]ven a child can see that [ape] bodies are pretty much the same as ours, apart from some exaggerated proportions and extra body hair.” Of course, even a child can see the many differences between ape and human bodies, and see the enormous chasm between ape and human behavior.
However, the most glaring philosophical mistake the TIME article makes is assuming all behavioral differences must come down to genes. If genes are the only thing that determine “what” we are and how we behave, then any difference in behavior between apes and man must result from disparate elements of our DNA. But if man was supernaturally created in God’s image—unlike animals—then the differences in our behavior are due to more than just differences in our DNA.
Differences in DNA are also underemphasized—for instance, the alleged 1–4% difference in the DNA of chimps and humans equates to whole books full of information! Also, there are factors other than DNA that regulate biological functions. The TIME article explains: “This shockingly small number made it clear to scientists that genes alone don’t dictate the differences between species; the changes, they now know, also depend on molecular switches that tell genes when and where to turn on and off.”
The authors conclude the article with another philosophical slip-up:
As scientists keep reminding us, evolution is a random process in which haphazard genetic changes interact with random environmental conditions to produce an organism somehow fitter than its fellows. After 3.5 billion years of such randomness, a creature emerged that could ponder its own origins—and revel in a Mozart adagio.
There are two key problems with this thinking. First, could all this haphazardness lead to creatures that could know truth? Second, if our origin was completely random, then are our morals and values not dictated, too, by randomness?
For those who accept evolution, every similarity between apes and humans is a sign of common descent. But for those who accept God’s Word, every similarity between apes and humans is a sign of a common Designer.
4. Irish Times: 2051 space oddity: TV station aims at an alien audience
A new television program, Cosmic Connexion, began its broadcast run last Saturday on the Franco-German TV network “arte.” Was it a hit? Will viewers tune in again next week? Unfortunately, the program’s producers will have to wait a long time to learn the answers to those questions, as the intended audience is any alien life near the star Errai (Gamma Cephei), approximately 50 light-years from earth.
The show includes two naked hosts describing “the main elements of daily human life” and “how the human body is created”—an “idiot’s guide to humankind,” the Times comments. The program hopes to broadcast messages submitted via the web, but the “halfway intelligible messages on the [Cosmic Connexion] website yesterday were rather political” (and, in the case of one the Times reprinted, somewhat offensive).
As long as people follow evolution-based worldviews and believe life can spontaneously “spring up,” there will always be those trying to contact aliens.
5. ScienceDaily: Stellar Birth Control In The Early Universe
In a recent study published in Astrophysical Journal, astronomers express surprise that even as we look farther away from earth—which some astronomers equate with looking farther back in time—they see only galaxies that look “old,” rather than newly formed galaxies. This is a major problem for those who believe in the big bang; if the big bang were true, galaxies far from earth—considered “young”—would look young.
The researchers examined 20 galaxies approximately 11 billion light-years away. Since uniformitarian astronomers believe the universe is only 13 billion years old, and since they believe these galaxies are 11 billion years old, these galaxies should show what the early universe was like. But such galaxies are dominated by “old stars,” and lack “a prominent signal from ionized [h]ydrogen, the tell-tale signature of star birth.”
To account for this, believers in the big bang are interpreting the find as “add[ing] to growing evidence that in big galaxies the formation of new stars was significantly suppressed after an initial period of vigorous activity.” But this growing body of evidence is simply a lack of what the big bang predicts: young galaxies in the “early” universe!
6. USA TODAY: Surveys shape museum exhibits on science
Deepti Hajela of the Associated Press reports increasing museum use of surveys to determine the design of future exhibits. But instead of using surveys to determine what museum-goers might find interesting or informative, museums are trying to determine “how little the public knows about science” in order to educate through displays. This includes, of course, Darwinian evolution—such as was showcased by the Field Museum, which the article mentions.
Here’s the problem: museum leaders who believe Darwinism is right will “push” the theory more and more even as an increasing number of people decide Darwinism is based on the foundation of naturalism rather than “hard” science. Jeff Rudolph, head of the California Science Center, remarks:
I think there is a clear understanding in museums that our role in education is significantly expanding, particularly within science institutions.
But don’t worry—AiG’s Creation Museum, which opens next year, will stand neither for nor against popular human opinions, but rather on the Word of God.
Answers in Genesis received mention in this caustic left-wing opinion piece, which varyingly takes aim at the Bush administration, pro-life groups, those who disagree with homosexual “rights,” creationists, Baptist churches, the American Deep South, and so forth. The author, Nick Cohen, suggests that there may be “no moral difference between Christian fundamentalism and Islamism” and compares those who believe both evolution and intelligent design should be taught in schools to Holocaust deniers!
He points out, accurately, that “you can’t have balance between truth and falsehood”; in this sense, his viewpoint is more consistent than those who argue for “equality” and “tolerance” for all religions while simultaneously promoting humanism above the rest. But at the same time, is “I’m right and you’re wrong!” (amid all the name-calling), without any supporting arguments, an effective method of argumentation for adults?
The headline of this brief article asks how bilateral symmetry could have evolved in flowers. The answer?
The researchers found that plants bearing bilaterally symmetrical flowers were more visited by pollinators and had higher fitness, measured by both the number of seeds produced per plant and the number of seeds surviving to the juvenile stage, than plants with radially symmetric flowers.
In other words, natural selection favors bilateral symmetry. But this tells us why bilateral symmetry might be preferred, not how the information generating an even number of flower petals evolved. Evolutionists often seem to miss this distinction: they may be able to explain why, according to their theory, a certain species evolved, but have no solution as to the actual how—how an increase in information could come about by chance.
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 take a look at it now? See you next week!
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