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Two major European publications, Britain's The Guardian and Germany's Der Spiegel, published mocking articles on the Creation Museum this week. Stephen Bates, in Monday's Guardian article, quipped that the Creation Museum “may, quite possibly, be one of the weirdest museums in the world.” (Of course, we agree that the museum is unique!)
Bates then drifts off the trail of objectivity, saying the Creation Museum “will be the first institution in the world whose contents, with the exception of a few turtles swimming in an artificial pond, are entirely fake.” True, the Creation Museum won't have the real Garden of Eden, only an artificial representation (we can't adequately-with our fallible minds and means-represent a perfect place). And our dinosaurs are mostly sculptures by AiG artist Buddy Davis. Yet the museum will have real fossils in addition to the artwork and displays that help explain the biblical history of the world.
It is quite obvious Bates doesn't aim for a fair handling in his story:
Theological scholars may have noticed that there are, in fact, no dinosaurs mentioned in the Bible - and here lies the Creationists' first problem. Since there are undoubtedly dinosaur bones and since, according to the Creationists, the world is only 6,000 years old - a calculation devised by the 17th-century Bishop Ussher, counting back through the Bible to the Creation, a formula more or less accepted by the museum - dinosaurs must be shoehorned in somewhere, along with the Babylonians, Egyptians and the other ancient civilisations. As for the Grand Canyon - no problem: that was, of course, created in a few months by Noah's Flood.
Bates' flippant tone has slipped him up, as the Bible does mention dinosaurs; it simply does not use the word “dinosaur,” which has been around for less than 200 years. And Bates' choice of verb-shoehorn-clearly displays his failure to grasp our point of view: dinosaurs don't need to be crammed into the Bible awkwardly; rather, the existence of dinosaurs is completely consistent with the Bible.
Similar, when Bates discusses the museum's planetarium, he comments that Dr. Jason Lisle says “The sun's distance from earth did not happen by chance,” which shows astronomical design. Yet Bates then smugly remarks, “There is much more in this vein, but not what God thought he was doing when he made Pluto, or why.” That's right, since the Bible doesn't explain why God made Pluto, it certainly can't be right!-or so Bates' closed-minded logic goes.
The Spiegel article does not start out much better: “In a museum whose motto is 'Prepare to Believe!' only the Neanderthals are nowhere to be seen.” (Our museum has limited space, of course; we deal with the topic of Neanderthal Man in many articles on our website.)
Interestingly, both articles make the error of reporting the Cincinnati / Northern Kentucky International Airport as being in Ohio. We won't use just this to speculate on the depth of their research and accuracy of reporting, of course.
In another error, this quotation (parts of it, at least) is used in both articles:
There are no such things. Humans are basically as you see them today. Those skeletons they've found, what's the word? … they could have been deformed, diseased or something. I've seen people like that running round the streets of New York.
The problem is, the Guardian article credits the statement to Patrick Marsh; the Spiegel article credits it to Ken Ham. So much for accurate reporting.
Unfortunately, the damage done by these falsehood-filled, mocking articles will not be easy to repair-even though answers to their gibes are throughout our website. (For more on how the Bible explains dinosaurs [without any “shoehorning”], see 1787.)
2. National Geographic News: Evolution's “Driving Force” Shifts Based on Behavior, Study Says
“Darwin got it right!” Observations are “confirming Charles Darwin's theory on natural selection!” With such sensational headlines and stories, it's no wonder much of the public believes science has “proven” evolution.
So what's really going on in this story? Scientists in the Bahamas have been carefully observing the leg lengths of brown anole lizards after scientists released predatory curly-tailed lizards onto the islands. At first, natural selection served to increase the average length of anole legs, as the longer-legged, faster anoles could escape the curly-tailed lizards. But then:
[A]s the anoles increasingly sought safety in trees, where the bulky curly-tails could not pursue them, shorter-legged lizards were favored for their superior climbing ability.
Now, from a creationist perspective, what's happening is pretty straightforward: natural selection (12548not Darwin's idea, by the way) is altering average leg lengths in a population by working on pre-existing information. This sort of so-called “evolution” will never generate new genetic information, such as a special organ to help the anoles fight the curly-tailed lizards. Furthermore, the fact that this “evolution” has happened fast helps show how rapid speciation could have occurred after the Flood.
Team leader Jonathan Losos comments that the study “demonstrates that evolutionary biology can be a predictive, experimental science like any other.” Yet this sort of “evolutionary biology” is nothing like the sort that allegedly shows how humans evolved from a primordial ocean, and which is based not on any experimentation or prediction but rather on naturalistic assumptions.
In a similar story this week, scientists encouraged the “evolution” of robotic tadpoles by “mating” the best swimmers to see how swimming ability increased. (The mating was actually a computer generated “genetic mixing.”) Yet again, this robotic “evolution” only worked on the designs the scientists had come up with-it's not as though one of the robotic amphibians mutated into a robotic reptile!
3. BBC NEWS: Neanderthal DNA secrets unlocked
A reconstruction of a chunk of Neanderthal DNA, from Neanderthal bone supposedly 38,000 years old, is causing scientists to claim that “Neanderthals were indeed different from us,” even though “the information gleaned from [the reconstruction] is limited.” Of course, interestingly, this isn't the first of such claims-see 10998. And despite possible differences in the Neanderthal genome, the behavior of Neanderthals 10372. Look forward to an upcoming full report on the latest on Neanderthal genome sequencing to be posted on our site soon.
The idea of “dark energy” is an interesting sign of problems with the big bang. A survey of 23 supernovae has revealed that “the stars are further away than would be expected if the Universe were expanding without the added force of dark energy to push things apart.” In other words, the predictions of the big bang regarding where the supernovae should be are wrong. The solution? Introduce the “fudge factor” of unobserved dark energy.
Cosmologist Sean Carroll puts it best: “We still don't understand some very basic things … [e]very clue on dark energy is important.” Indeed, it seems as though anytime a hole is found in the big bang model, these scientists have faith in some just-so model of resolution.
5. The Daily Telegraph: Stone Age babies buried with love
More evidence that our ancient ancestors weren't the “heartless brute[s]”s they're often made out to be: a gravesite in Austria reveals the remains of three infants (allegedly dead for 27,000 years) who “were covered with a mammoth shoulder bone, supported by part of a tusk” and were “embedded in red och[er]” (a pigment). One of the infants “was decorated with [a necklace containing] more than 30 ivory beads.”
The find helps disrupt the common, evolutionism-driven view that the human intellect is far more advanced now than it was thousands of years ago. For more on this topic, see 10225 and 10497.
All scientists seem to recognize the extraordinary implausibility of a naturalistic origin of the first living cell-for example, this article concedes, “The appearance of life on Earth seems to face so many obstacles … that scientists often feel forced to regard it as almost miraculous,” and later adds:
The biochemical processes of living organisms are highly organized. Scientists have long puzzled over how such systems can come spontaneously into being, when the second law of thermodynamics says that the universe as a whole generates increasing disorder.
Yet two scientists now claim that they have a solution: life was simply inevitable, like the formation of snowflakes or lightning bolts in the right conditions. “They argue that life was the necessary consequence of available energy built up by geological processes on the early Earth,” writes Philip Ball.
Of course, it's not so surprising to read that the two scientists “admit that they don't yet have the theoretical tools to clinch their arguments.” Although one supposed origin-of-life “expert” claims the idea is “instructive and inspiring,” there's another instructive, inspiring (indeed, life-changing) and plausible explanation for the origin of life and the design we see around us: special creation.
7. National Geographic News: Family Walks on All Fours, May Offer Evolution Insight, Experts Say
Although the story of five Turkish adults who walk using their hands has been out since spring, a new PBS documentary, The Family That Walks on All Fours, has caused a resurgence in interest in the topic.
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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