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1. BBC NEWS: Creation museum pushes 'true history'
From the UK comes yet another article on AiG's Creation Museum, which has been drawing increasing attention even though it won't be officially open until late in the Spring.
The article, although managing to portray the museum accurately on the whole, still fails to hide the author's anti-creationist bias-especially at the end:
Despite adopting the structure and technology of the most extravagant science museum, it remains that none of it is remotely plausible without first accepting Genesis.
Without taking that leap and rejecting centuries of scientific reasoning, it all resembles just another Disney-style magic kingdom.
And sadly, the author furthers the falsehood that “[t]here is no mention of dinosaurs anywhere in the Bible,” apparently unaware of passages such as Job 40:15-24 that almost certainly refer to dinosaurs (see Dinosaurs and the Bible for details).
Even so, the author points out that “[w]herever you stand on the [creation vs. evolution] debate, it is impossible not to be impressed by the effort that has gone into constructing the $27m (£13.5m) museum.” We heartily agree! The article also quotes Answers in Genesis supporter Dr. Michael Sherwin and resident AiG geneticist Dr. Georgia Purdom. And despite the author's bias and misstatement on dinosaurs, we are glad more and more people are becoming aware of the Creation Museum.
2. ScienceNOW: Milk Tolerance Evolved More Than Once
“Recent instance of human evolution!” is the cry of evolutionists this week (that phrase coming from The New York Times), who are cheering an analysis of mutations that have led to lactose tolerance in various human populations.
But what's the real story? Simply put, the genetic mutations that allow some humans to properly digest milk throughout life are different between various people groups:
The researchers sequenced the DNA of 110 individuals and tested them for milk tolerance. They found three new mutations in the same stretch of DNA as the European variant. The mutations turned up in varying frequencies in the Masai and other Nilo-Saharan populations in Tanzania and Kenya, in Afro-Asiatic speaking Kenyans, and in the Beja from Sudan.
In other words, lactose-tolerant individuals can digest milk due to a variety of mutations. But are these the sort of information-adding mutations molecules-to-man evolution would require? Of course not. The Science NOW article explains that: “All humans digest mothers' milk as infants, but [when] cattle were domesticated it became advantageous for [humans] to digest milk, and lactose tolerance evolved.” All humans are able to digest milk from birth; the mutations allowing lifelong lactose tolerance don't “add” any new ability; they merely cause a malfunction in the automatic shutdown of lactose digestion in children. The article also notes that this mutation may have happened as recently as 3,000 years ago.
Of course, scientists glorify evolution for providing this mutation-which, while perhaps beneficial, is still a loss of information: “Anthropologist Ken Weiss at Pennsylvania State University in State College adds that the study is an elegant example of how evolution can find several different solutions to the same problem.” What's agonizing is that, based on the superficial hype some news organizations give to this story, some may come to believe evolution is that much more “proven.”
3. LiveScience: Mammals Might Have Soared Before Birds
Evolutionists now say that mammals may have traveled by air before birds, according to evolutionary interpretations of an allegedly 130 million-year-old fossil. The fossil has given rise to a new taxonomical order and species designation, Volaticotherium antiquus, that “is comparable in size and shape to flying squirrels … [but] is not considered a direct ancestor of these or other flying mammals.” Despite this difference, the V. Antiquus was discovered with a “large body skin … that [was] used for gliding,” similar, perhaps, to a flying squirrel.
But what's really interesting is how the researchers, led by Jin Meng of the American Museum of Natural History, knew about this large body skin and its role:
The fossil also preserved a large piece of the animal's skin membrane [image].
“We know this [was skin] because it was covered with dense hair,” Meng said. “The fur or body hair is another mammalia characteristic.”
This find truly showcases the vast chasm of differing interpretations based on one's presuppositions. The evolutionist who reads about this discovery will likely accept the “revised dates” for earliest mammalian air travel, accept that this fossil just happened to be preserved before the skin (or fur, apparently) had time to be destroyed, and accept that this organism evolved the capability to fly (to some degree) independently, as the article points out.
The creationist, on the other hand, accepts this fossil as another flying mammal created by God and destroyed in the catastrophic (and, in some cases, skin-preserving) Flood of Noah's day, about 4500 years ago.
4. LiveScience: Snot-Like Microbes Help Carve Caves
Pardon the title of this article, but an interesting discovery is helping challenge uniformitarian ideas about cave formation. Scientists have found that cave bacteria actually “help turn a meager underground residence into an ever-expanding dark palace.” Although this may seem like minor news, it is a perfect example of the problem with using uniformitarian assumptions to try to “date” age (and, even worse, to use such suspect ages to reject Scripture-see The Parable of the Candle). Before this recognition of the cave-expanding role of cave bacteria, a scientist might have exclusively used data on water erosion to extrapolate the age of a cave. Now, cave “ages” will have to change as geologists factor in the role of these microbes.
Really, this is an example for all fallible dating methods-radiometric and otherwise-of fallible humans. Based on a series of assumptions (for example, that the decay rate of certain elements has always been constant), scientists arrive at dubitable dates. But when new evidence forces the assumptions to change, the dates-construed as facts!-change, too.
Would you compromise on the Word of God based on such solid “science”?
5. The Daily Mail: Christmas cards are losing their religious message
This story won't be a shock to more than a few, but it remains a sad reminder of the modern “secularization/neutralization” of Christmas (uh, that is, the Winter holiday). A Daily Mail survey of British Christmas cards revealed that “[o]nly one in 100 Christmas cards sold in Britain contains any religious imagery or message.”
Traditional pictures such as angels blowing trumpets over a stable, Jesus in his man[g]er, the shepherds and three wise men following the star to Bethlehem are dying out.
Instead, scenes of the Nativity has been replaced on cards by designs or jokes with little or no relevance to the Bible story and the true meaning of Christmas.
What can Christians do to counter the secularization of Christmas (i.e., Santa Claus instead of Jesus Christ) and the neutralization of Christmas (i.e., “Happy December” instead of “Merry Christmas”)? One way to start is by making it clear to friends and family where you stand on the issue by distributing cards that emphasize the true meaning of Christmas. Through this effort, perhaps such false theories of the origin for Christmas can be pushed aside. Sound similar to another battle over true origins?
6. National Geographic News: Top Ten Stories of 2006 From National Geographic News
National Geographic News put together a “top ten” news stories of the year (apparently confident the last half of December won't hold anything big!), and although the stories themselves are old news, it is surprising to see how many have clearly direct or indirect connections to the Bible.
For some, the connection is there, though indirectly-see items 10, 9, 8, 7, 3. But item 6 is about another claim of a Noah's Ark discovery; item 5 refers to uncovering an “Eden”; items 4 and 1 discuss the Gospel of Judas; and item 2 refers to the family that walks using arms and legs (see 4205).
Maintaining a biblical worldview truly influences not only one's behavior and beliefs, but one's interpretation of the latest news and views.
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