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1. BBC NEWS: “European skull’s evolving story“
According to evolutionary anthropology, “modern” humans have been slowly evolving over tens of thousands of years, and before that, earlier forms of humans (and, farther back, an ape-like ancestor) prowled the land. According to biblical anthropology, humans were created on the sixth day of creation -fully “modern!”-and have undergone only downhill “evolution” ever since. Furthermore, biblical anthropology teaches that alleged “ancient” humans, such as Neandertals, were actually modern, too-see The caring Neandertal for a full explanation.
Now, a skull discovered in Romania is causing some head-scratching among evolutionists because it includes “traits normally associated with more ancient species” even though it is “undeniably a Homo sapiens specimen.” The article explains:
In addition to its large face and retreating forehead, the specimen has the largest cheek teeth so far known for an otherwise anatomically modern human[.]
How do evolutionists explain these supposedly ancient features in a supposedly modern skull? “Dr[.] Helene Rougier, from Washington University in St[.] Louis, USA, and colleagues say the fossil suggests the first modern humans to enter Europe continued to evolve after they had settled.” Furthermore, the scientists speculate that these mixed features may be the result of interbreeding between Neandertals and other humans, or that these are simply ancient traits “reappearing” on a modern human skull. One thing is clear, however: evolutionary anthropology is beginning to recognize a continuum of human fossils rather than distinct groups-just like biblical anthropology, which recognizes the continuum of humans descended from Adam.
2. Christianity Today: “Creation or Evolution? Yes!“
January’s Christianity Today included a short interview with famed human genome researcher Francis Collins, author of the Christianity-plus-evolution (or is that evolution-plus-Christianity?) book The Language of God. We encourage you to examine Dr. Collins’ comments in the interview-then read a review of his book.
Perhaps the most interesting statement Dr. Collins offered was that “God is the author of all truth. You can find him in the laboratory as well as in the cathedral.” Of course, we agree that God is the Author of all truth; and we would say (as Romans 1:20 says) that God’s qualities can be discerned in the laboratory. But in Collins’ worldview, what acts as the arbiter when “truth” in the lab conflicts with truth in the metaphorical cathedral? Science, of course; science trumps (or forces an eisegetical “re-interpretation” of) Scripture. One wonders what Collins’ view on the Resurrection is; after all, lab tests would indicate people can’t rise from the dead-yet we pray he doesn’t allow lab science to trump Scripture in that instance!
3. BBC NEWS: “White beetle dazzles scientists“
In the first of three major design-in-nature articles for the week, BBC NEWS reports on research into the ultrawhite Cyphochilus beetle. The beetle’s thin layer of scales-ten times thinner than a human hair-are whiter than milk or the average tooth, reports Dr. Pete Vukusic of the University of Exeter, who explained that “Such pure bright whiteness is uncommon in insects.”
Of course, don’t expect credit for this awesome design to go to any Designer:
The team thinks the beetle evolved to be so white because the colour provides camouflage in amongst the white fungi common to where it is found.
4. PhysOrg.com: “Bats in flight reveal unexpected aerodynamics“
The second of three design-in-nature articles this week highlights the amazing flight maneuvering capabilities of bats. Scientists Kenneth Breuer and Sharon Swartz, both professors at Brown University, are “combining high-resolution, three-dimensional video recordings with precise measurements of the wake field generated by the bats’ wing movements.” Why, you ask?
The results suggest the possibility that a novel lift-generating mechanism may be at work in bats and point to the highly maneuverable mammals as a model for tiny flying machines.
Breuer […] is particularly intrigued by bats because “they can generate different wing shapes and motions that other creatures can’t.”
The article further extols the “tremendous flexibility and articulation” of bat wings and the “substantial savings” in energy output for the bat. “Bat wings are highly articulated, with more than two dozen independent joints and a thin flexible membrane covering them,” the article explains. But, unsurprisingly, the complexity of bat flight is attributed to evolution:
“The assumption has always been that bats evolved from some sort of flying squirrel-type animals,” says Swartz. “Gliding has evolved in mammals seven times. That tells us that it’s really easy for an animal with skin to evolve into a glider […]”
Yet attributing bat flight to evolution creates perplexing problems:
“[…] but going from a square gliding wing to a long, skinny flapping wing has not happened seven times. It might have happened once. And now it doesn’t look like bats have any relationship to these gliding things.”
In other words, scientists recognize the incredible complexity of design in the bat flight mechanisms and recognize the problem in accepting that the bat flight mechanism evolved! Sadly, it appears these scientists would prefer to retain blind faith in evolution than credit the Creator for His designs.
5. Gadget Lab: “Scientists Copy Nature For Self-Cleaning Plastics“
In the third article on design-in-nature, Wired magazine’s Gadget Lab blog summarizes ongoing research in “self-cleaning plastics.” Quoting research published through the (Dutch) University of Twente, the blog explains how the self-cleaning process of lotus leaves is being adapted into self-cleaning plastics:
“The phenomenon of self[-]cleaning surfaces is demonstrated in nature by the leafs of nelumbo nucifera, the lotus flower. Water droplets barely touch the leafs of this plant before forming beads and rolling off. … Dirt is absorbed into a droplet and washed off this way.”
In essence, a combination of water-repellent surface (to prevent the material absorbing it) and microscopic surface characteristics that keep dirt slightly elevated (so beads of water can pick them up) make for easy, contact-free cleaning.
But-surprise!-the designer cited for this system is evolution:
[Nature’s] solutions are the results of millions of years of natural selection, which keeps everything that doesn't actively [mess] up an organism's differential reproductive success.
On top of that, the blog tacks on a jab against creationists:
Hence appendixes, five toes, platypuses, and other things whose engineering isn’t exactly easy or desirable to duplicate. As anti-creationist wags are knows to say, “unintelligent design.”
As we’ve explained before, those examples of so-called “unintelligent design” (which are, in fact, often still marvels of complexity) are, most likely, misunderstandings of their functions (see Get Answers: Vestigial organs for a few examples), although some may be testaments to the destructive results of the Fall and the generations of harmful mutations that have accumulated since Eden. Yet despite these, examples that shout “design!” abound-including self-cleaning leaves, bat flight, and pearly-white beetles.
6. Reuters: “ Dinosaurs, humans coexist in U.S. creation museum“
It almost seems routine now to find an article on AiG’s soon-to-open Creation Museum in the news; however, this Reuters report is a refreshingly unbiased and accurate update on the latest in Creation Museum news. Remember, the museum opens, Lord willing, May 28! We look forward to seeing you soon.
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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