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Scientists from North Carolina’s Duke University claim to have demonstrated, for the first time, “an evolutionary connection between available food supplies and brain size.” (Many evolutionists believe hominid brain capacity expanded when bipedal hominids began to eat better.) The ScienceDaily article explains:
Members of the orang species inhabiting Sumatra, called Pongo abelii, live in the island’s most favored environment, where soils are best for growing the fruits they most like to eat. “They’ll eat fruits as often as they can, and they’ll travel farther away for them if not nearby,” Taylor said.
Sumatra also appears to be less subject to periodic “El Niño” climatic fluctuations that disrupt vegetative growth on other islands in the Indonesian region, the researchers’ report said.
The scientists found that the nutritionally well-off Sumatran orangutans differed most strikingly from Pongo pygmaeus morio, one of the three subspecies occupying the island of Borneo. The morio subspecies lives in the northeastern part of the island where soils are poorer, access to fruit is most iffy and the impact of El Niño events can be significant.
But does this finding give us an idea of “the conditions steering cognitive evolution,” or is it “vital for understanding what happened during human evolution,” as study coauthor Andrea Taylor suggests? Not exactly. The “problem” (for those who would use this as evidence for evolution) is that Dr. Taylor and her colleagues are quick to explain how natural selection explains this diet / brain size correlation—but natural selection is a creationist concept, described before Darwin! Natural selection is important in understanding how rapid speciation occurs. This is undoubtedly the origin of these two species of orangutan, which would have diverged from one another sometime after the Flood. Evolutionists have yet to discover any information-containing mutations that would actually support the idea of molecules-to-man evolution.
2. National Post: Evangelical schools ordered to teach Darwin
We’re surprised—yet, in a way, not all that surprised—to read that the Quebec Ministry of Education in Canada is now telling “unlicensed Christian evangelical schools” that they must teach Darwinian evolution (and government-approved sex education) according to the official provincial curriculum. This last part is important, because the schools already teach evolution; they simply teach it “warts and all.” Now, they must use the curriculum, which presents evolution as scientific fact.
How long is it before governments worldwide require all children to be indoctrinated in Darwinism?
3. BBC NEWS: Lucy’s ancient bones to tour US
Eleven US cities will be hosting the remains of “Lucy,” the australopithecine considered by evolutionists to be an ancestor of humans. Obviously, touring this fossil doesn’t change what Lucy really was. What’s most interesting are the two images in this BBC article. One is a depiction of a somewhat human-like Lucy; the other, a photo of what actually exists of Lucy. Compare the two—do you think evolutionists are filling in any of the details with their imagination? Unfortunately, not everyone realizes this.
4. National Geographic News: Bloodsucking Lamprey Found to Be “Living Fossil”
We’ve got another “living fossil,” according to a paper published in this week’s issue of Nature. Living fossils are life-forms that are found to be virtually identical to fossils of creatures that lived “millions of years” ago (according to evolutionists). Of course, when one views the fossil record through the creationist perspective, the existence of living fossils makes complete sense: though species can change over time, these changes never turn one kind of animal into a completely different kind!
5. Reuters: Dinosaur fossils spill their guts, out come worms
This widely picked-up Reuters story discusses evidence of parasitic worms in dinosaur fossils. That may be fascinating to some, but what we find most interesting are some “clues” about how this dinosaur was buried:
… [a]n unusually well-preserved fossil …
… [t]ypically a carcass attracts multiple scavengers, and this one was largely undisturbed …
… the carcass was apparently buried before it had a chance to fall apart …
Pardon the flippancy, but what possibly could have caused this fossil to be buried so rapidly?
In other news, thirteen fossilized footprints have been discovered in northern Mexico. What do scientists say?
It is likely they were imprinted in mud and preserved by some rapid change in the environment, said Arturo Gonzalez … “[t]here must have been a natural phenomenon to rapidly cover them so they were not rubbed out and were perfectly preserved.”
6. National Geographic News: Viking Mission May Have Missed Mars Life, Study Finds
If you’re an evolutionist saddened at the lack of extraterrestrial life discovered so far, take heart! NASA’s 1976 Viking missions to the red planet “may have missed signs of life” because the Viking landers’ tests were not “robust enough.”
Apparently, now that few believe there’s any life on Mars (see item 7 of the August 12 News to Note), evolutionists are backing up and saying, “Well … uh … maybe we just missed it!”
7. Spiegel Online: The New Atheists: Researchers Crusade against American Fundamentalists
In this tragic article from the German magazine Der Spiegel, we read about the “crusade” against religious fundamentalism by the likes of atheist scientist Richard Dawkins of England. The article opens by recounting a scene last week at First Parish Church in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where Dawkins’ reading of his new book, The God Delusion, was met by laughter and “resounding applause” from an audience of 600. The reading, among other things, called “[t]he God of the Old Testament … the most unpleasant character in all fiction[.]”
One doubts that First Parish Church has an evangelistic mission—except, perhaps, for atheism.
The article also reviews the efforts of another atheist, author Sam Harris, who writes that he would prefer to eliminate religion than rape. Harris argues that the Bible and Koran are “little more than anthologies of violence,” though one wonders what Harris would call the “book” of evolution, with its millions of years of death, struggle, carnivory, extinctions, rape, and—if one is an evolutionist—ultimate production of beings that created religion! In other words, not only is the story of evolution an account of eons of violence, it also claims credit for why religion exists. Evolutionists who argue against religion must explain why religion should be abandoned if natural selection “produced” it.
Dawkins does explain his beliefs as to where altruism comes from: the motivation to “ensure that as many hereditary factors as possible survive into the next generation.” He believes evolution has shaped this drive into our modern-day morality (what’s left of it, anyway).
The most prominent of the many flaws and inconsistencies of these atheists’ arguments (some pointed out even by evolutionists) is this: they argue against religion by pointing out the alleged “bloodbath” that religion has produced, from the Crusades to 9/11. Yet to persuade others that religion should therefore be abandoned, they must make the case that bloodbaths are bad and that atheism will stop them. Virtually everyone agrees that bloodbaths are both bad and immoral. But if evolution and atheism are true, and someone decides he likes bloodbaths and has the power to mass-murder millions, what can an atheist evolutionist say in response? Can he legitimately say, “No, murder is wrong”? No, for atheists reject any absolute moral code, saying that whatever altruism exists has resulted merely due to selfish evolutionary forces. Can he say, “No, the rest of us would prefer you to not murder us”? He could say it, of course, but what basis does the mass-murderer have for respecting the preferences of anyone else? After all, mass murder is really just a type of natural selection.
And that’s what at least one of the Columbine shooters thought.
8. PHYSORG.com: Big Bang theory saved
An international team headed by John Lattanzio, Director of the Centre for Stellar and Planetary Astrophysics at Australia’s Monash University, announced in this week’s issue of Science that problems in the big bang model have been solved. The problems concerned the amount of helium-3 in the universe, which was previously considered too low for what the big bang model predicted. New data show that stars do not release helium-3 into space at the end of their lives due to a “core flash.”
What’s most interesting is that this flaw in the big bang model was barely reported to the public, and we certainly saw no flight from the theory. In other words, believers in the big bang have faith in the model even when empirical science shows discrepancies. This particular discrepancy may be resolved, but many more remain, such as the larger discrepancy pointed out in item 1 of the September 9 News to Note.
This faith in the big bang was shown by comments on the article in the PhysOrgForum. In a thread titled, “Saved? Never thought it was in jeopardy!” a user named “docdeal” writes, “I never doubted validity of Big Bang. Sure its [sic] great it is verified even further but your [sic] preaching to the choir on this one.”
The debate over Darwin is heating up in … Russia? That’s right, according to the Russian news agency Interfax. Maria Shraiber, a student in a St. Petersburg (formerly Leningrad) school, has filed a civil suit along with her father against the teaching of evolution in public schools. The suit alleges that “the teaching of Darwin’s theory in school as the only correct teaching violates [Shraiber’s] right of choosing her philosophy of life and insults her religious feelings.”
We are glad to hear that the message of the vacancy of evolution is alive and well in Russia (although we do not know Ms. Shraiber’s particular religious background or beliefs regarding creation). Answers in Genesis believes that students should learn about evolution, but not through indoctrinatory methods that present the model as scientific fact or restrict teachers from explaining other viewpoints. As for those interested in reading about our outreach to Russia, see Proclaiming the truth in Russia … from the very first verse.
10. ScienceDaily: Research Discovers Oldest Bee, Evolutionary Link
A bee trapped in amber is exciting evolutionists, who see the bee’s wasp-like features as a sign that wasps and bees evolved from a common ancestor. Evolutionists are also connecting the evolution of pollen-eating bees to the spread of angiosperms (flowering plants).
Of course, this bee—as can be seen in the photo in the article—is very obviously a bee, and has not changed all that much in an alleged 100 million years! A more reasonable explanation is that bees and wasps come from one original created kind that then diverged into the various species we observe today. But even if bees and wasps were separate creations, this “oldest” bee has features that present-day bees lack, showing, if anything, a loss of genetic information—not the gain bacteria-to-bee evolution would require.
11. BBC NEWS: Amazon river ‘switched direction’
Geologist Russell Mapes, a student at the University of North Carolina, believes that the Amazon River once flowed east to west, the opposite of its current flow from the Andes toward the Atlantic in the east. Why? “Sedimentary rocks in the central part of South America contain ancient mineral grains that must have come from the eastern part of the continent.” Uniformitarians believe rocks on the eastern side of South America are significantly older, and use this to identify where in South America rocks originated from that, they say, have been carried elsewhere by the Amazon.
Of course, this is just an attempt to explain away the disorganized ages of these mineral grains, which do not make sense according to standard radiometric dates. Since the radiometric dates do not line up with the current flow of the river, this geologist is postulating this reverse-flow to try to account for why the dates are mixed up. But such a change is unnecessary if the dates are inaccurate in the first place.
12. National Geographic News: Seagulls May Inspire New Airplane Wings, Scientists Say
Scientists are again looking to nature for inspiration. National Geographic News reports on engineers’ attempts to mimic seagull wings in their aircraft designs in an effort to reduce drag. Scientists have also designed wings based on the fins of great white sharks and humpback whales.
Just another example of design in nature.
13. Evening Standard: Yes, we are biased on religion and politics, admit BBC executives
Don’t expect fair treatment of Christianity from Britain’s “Beeb,” according to details leaked about an “impartiality summit” comprised of BBC executives:
[E]xecutives admitted they would happily broadcast the image of a Bible being thrown away—but would not do the same for the Koran.
Humanists aim to remove the Bible from public discussion by claiming to seek “neutrality” and religious plurality. But, as is seen in the comments of BBC executives, often the humanist ideas of “political correctness” really mean the promotion of anti-Western, anti-Christian views.
Geologist Bradley Cramer of [The] Ohio State University has used new techniques to determine that rocks from the Niagara Gorge (in Ontario and New York) formed five times more quickly than previously thought—supposedly two million years instead of ten. Of course, this finding doesn’t directly support Genesis, since creationist models of sedimentary rock formation are based on catastrophic principles and differ substantially from uniformitarian ideas. What’s most interesting is the fact that scientists can so suddenly discover their numbers to be so significantly in error. Just last week, ten million years was the “right” number. This week, two million years is the “right” number. Scientists could “discover” tomorrow that they need to change their estimates of the age of the earth by a factor of five (or more!), as well.
15. Courier-Mail: Black and white twins
This week, Australia’s Courier-Mail reports on “black and white” twin sisters, born in May near Brisbane. One of the girls has dark brown skin and hair, while the other has very light skin and blonde hair. Because of the stark difference in skin and hair color, most would never think of the two as siblings. The twins’ mother is of Jamaican-English heritage, and the father is from Germany. The article also points out that light/dark twins were born last year in Britain as well (it is unclear if a similar story from the AP, released yesterday, refers to the same British twins), though neither represents the first time this has happened.
What does this interesting rarity have to do with the Bible? Sadly, racism has plagued humankind since just after the Tower of Babel. For the same reason that people ostracize those with other so-called abnormalities, human societies have often relegated minorities to second-class individuals, even considering them less than human. The theory of evolution did much to increase this bigotry.
The Bible clearly teaches that we are all of one blood, having all descended from Adam and Eve. Understanding this gives humans a basis for dismantling racism, as does recognizing that “racial” differences represent only 0.012% of the human genome, whereas other types of differences (e.g., height) account for 0.2%. Stories of “mixed twins” remind us of our universal heritage.
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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