1. NewScientistSpace: “Earth Canyon Hints at Ancient Megafloods on Mars”

A new study of Idaho’s Box Canyon suggests the canyon was formed by “a megaflood—a catastrophic outpouring of massive amounts of water in a relatively short period.”

The study, led by Michael Lamb of the University of California–Berkeley, investigated the snake-like Box Canyon in Idaho. Generally a box canyon is a narrow, flat-bottom canyon with steep walls that is closed off at one end (and thus has only one entrance/exit)—“amphitheater-headed,” as the researchers call Box Canyon.

The prevailing wisdom among uniformitarians is that box canyons are formed slowly, as groundwater seeps out and erodes the canyon away. Obviously, it would take millions of years for canyons of such size to be carved by seeping groundwater—millions of years many are willing to presume existed.

But there’s a problem with the slow-and-gradual hypothesis, Lamb’s team concluded: slow seepage could not move large boulders downstream, as in Box Canyon; furthermore, Box Canyon is carved out of hard, basaltic bedrock. “It requires a lot of water to remove them,” Lamb said of the boulders.

Instead, it must have been a “megaflood,” the team reports, that would have resulted in a “catastrophic outpouring of massive amounts of water in a relatively short period.” The team also acknowledges, as New Scientist reports, that “[s]uch megafloods occurred numerous times in the western US several tens of thousands of years ago and played a significant role in shaping the landscape.”

Additionally, the team has carried their conclusion far from Idaho—all the way to Mars, where similar canyons may also be carved in the basaltic bedrock that forms much of Mars’s surface. Thus, Lamb’s team thinks there may have once been a rainfall cycle on Mars. For now, however, orbital images of the red planet are not clear enough for scientists to determine what sort of rock Martian canyons are carved into.

Lamb and his team believe that the “megaflood” that chiseled out Box Canyon originated from the collapse of large lakes. They believe these megafloods occurred frequently in prehistoric times. But what is fascinating is that even as these secular scientists credit more and more geological marvels to the work of catastrophic floods, they refuse to consider the possibility that it was the working of one tremendous worldwide flood—both in its initiation and as the waters receded—that was responsible for laying down and then cutting through the geological layers we see today. Imagine it—a flood that involved rain from above and fountains from below, that covered the then-highest mountains on earth, and that took more than a year to recede. Such a fearsome flood would have left more than a few reminders of its presence, and we have God’s account of the destruction in Genesis.

What about the possibility of flooding on Mars? We’ve said in the past (including in radio episodes of Answers . . . with Ken Ham) that it’s incredibly ironic that scientists have, time and again, referred to flooding (even planet-wide flooding) on Mars, which today appears to have no liquid water, yet these same scientists laugh at the prospect of a worldwide flood on Earth, which is mostly covered with water already! The Bible says nothing about a flood on Mars, of course, so as Christians we have no reason to dogmatically accept or reject the idea. But the Bible is abundantly clear that there really was a worldwide flood on Earth, and scientists—secular and Christian—are time and time again uncovering evidence of the Flood. Let’s not forget what the Flood was—and what it represented!

2. AP: “AP Engages Pastors, Parishoners about Racism in US”

A prominent Associated Press article takes a look at religion and racism in America—including a profile of an individual whose views on race were transformed through an old AiG book, One Blood.

Thirty-six years ago, Jesse McGee’s son reported something McGee considered unfathomable: he had married a white woman. McGee’s feeling of discomfort over his daughter-in-law continued for another three decades, but today something is different.

“I’ve gotten past that now,” McGee, now 84, said. “When we started studying about ‘one blood’ that was a big help.” McGee is referring to an older Answers in Genesis resource, One Blood, that focuses on the origin of people groups as recorded in Genesis. The Associated Press reports on the efforts of McGee’s church:

At New Hope Baptist Church, Bible study classes have been reading about the concept that all God's people are connected. In small groups, hovering over Bibles, members were taught that mankind is descended from Adam and Eve and that blood shed by Jesus Christ is a means to salvation for everyone of every race.

The AP story is even accompanied by photos of McGee holding a copy of One Blood, McGee and his wife in church, McGee’s son, and Rev. Jerry Young, pastor of the church McGee attends, who “preaches to his congregation about the unity of believers,” the AP reports.

It’s always encouraging to read about the positive effect biblical teaching can have on individuals’ day-to-day lives, and it is even more encouraging when biblical teaching transforms and corrects destructive lifelong attitudes. Answers in Genesis is thankful to play a part in God’s workings, and we are overjoyed when the secular media reports on Christianity in a positive light (though no mention of Answers in Genesis was made).

The AP report also tells the saddening story on Brandon Taylor Sides, who “was caught between two conflicting visions of God”—one that had God sending homosexuals to hell, another that taught that homosexuals have a place in heaven. Today, 21-year-old Sides is a deacon at a Chicago church that “celebrates” gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered black parishioners.

“We’re still stuck on getting people to understand that God loves them the way they are,” Sides said. The problem is, sadly, that Sides and others have forgotten (or deliberately ignored) passages such as 1 Corinthians 6:9–10, which make it clear that any sex outside heterosexual marriage (which certainly includes homosexuality) is displeasing to God (sin). Romans 6 makes it clear that Christians should not continue in sin. Condoning, much less celebrating, another’s sin is both harmful and sinful in and of itself! Thankfully, God in His grace has not left us in bondage to our sins, but sent His Son to save us. 1 Corinthians 6:11 continues, “And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”

Prejudice, bigotry, and hateful attitudes toward other humans are inappropriate attitudes for Christians, who are commanded to show God’s love to the world. But ignoring or whitewashing the truth is not Christian love.

3. BBC News: “Fossil Reveals Oldest Live Birth”

A fossilized fish—allegedly 380 million years old—is pushing back evolutionists’ estimations of when animals gave birth to live young.

Scientists reporting in Nature describe the fossil specimen of a fish preserved along with an embryo attached by an umbilical cord. Previously, evolutionists thought animals were only able to develop their young inside eggs until millions of years later.

The report adds that the “extremely well-preserved” fish had “a remarkably advanced reproductive biology, similar to modern sharks and rays.”

After the researchers discovered the embryo, they looked at another fossil, unearthed in 1986, and discovered that it, too, contained evidence of the fish’s ability to give live birth. That fossil contained three embryos.

Museum Victoria’s John Long explained, “This is not only the first time ever that a fossil embryo has been found with an umbilical cord, but it is also the oldest known example of any creature giving birth to live young.”

One paleontologist, commenting on the find, called the fish “most primitive”—despite the reported “remarkably advanced” biology of the fish. Hence we have a window into the contradictions of the evolutionist’s mind: since the fossil record “cannot” lie, primitive and modern can be juxtaposed when an otherwise advanced specimen is found deep in the fossil record. This is much the same as the ooh-ing and aah-ing that occurs when an “ancient” fossil is found to be still living today. Notice, though, that the accuracy of the fossil record or the truth of the ever-plastic evolutionary story is never questioned, no matter how astonishing the claims; instead, evolutionists just push the appearance of “modern” features deeper and deeper into the fossil record.

4. LiveScience: “Huge Flying Reptiles Ate Dinosaurs”

Mighty pterosaurs may have landed and strolled about on land when it was time to dine, reports LiveScience on a study published in PLoS ONE.

Previously, paleontologists hypothesized that pterosaurs—who are often mistakenly thought of as “flying dinosaurs”—scooped fish straight from the water as they flew, much as do gulls. But researcher Darren Naish of the University of Portsmouth explains, “All the details of their anatomy, and the environment their fossils are found in, show that they made their living by walking around, reaching down to grab and pick up animals and other prey.”

Naish’s colleague Mark Witton adds, “We think the majority of their lives, when they’re feeding and reproducing, that’s all being done on the ground rather than in the air.” The two suggest that flight was simply a method of getting “from point A to point B.”

So why the shift in thinking? Naish and Witton analyzed the fossils of azhdarchids, a group of large, toothless pterosaurs. One of these, the Quetzalcoatlus, weighed some 550 pounds (250kg), stood as tall as a giraffe, and had a wingspan of more than 30 feet (10m)! In their analysis, the researchers discovered that more than half of the fossils had been found inland, and determined that the azhdarchids lacked the skeletal features of a “mud-prober” or “skim-feeder”.

For instance, azhdarchids had long hind limbs, stiff necks, and tiny feet that would not have held up well while skimming the water for food or standing in soft mud searching for food. Thus, the scientists conclude that azhdarchids must have stayed away from water and instead stalked landlubber dinosaurs—including perhaps velociraptors and infant T. rexes.

Although pterosaurs are very likely extinct today, it is fascinating to think of the size and capabilities of these beasts of the air—and the testimony they provide to their Creator, who presumably created the azhdarchids to land and eat plants.

5. National Science Foundation: “When Plants ‘Think’ Alike”

It’s another tall tale of “convergent evolution”: two separate plant groups that evolved the same critical building block.

Publishing in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Purdue researchers describe how they studied the genome of Selaginella moellendorffii (commonly sold as an ornamental moss). Purdue University researchers discovered that Selaginella plants include a substance called syringyl lignin, a critical part of the plants’ scaffolding and water-transport systems. Purdue colleague Jody Banks (who was not involved in the study) referred to syringyl lignin as an “evolutionary innovation.” Nothing surprising so far, right?

However, angiosperms (flowering plants) also contain syringyl lignin—and here’s where things get sticky for evolutionists. Angiosperms are said to have evolved from gymnosperms—conifers, gingkos, and related plants—which supposedly split apart from the moss’s ancestor, lycophytes, long ago. Thus, the researchers were forced to conclude that the syringyl lignin evolved separately—“yet almost identically”—in lycophytes and (much later) in angiosperms.

“It apparently emerged separately in the two plant groups, much like flight arose separately in both bats and birds,” explains the news release from the National Science Foundation, which funded the research.

As with item #3 above, this is a perfect example of evolutionary dogma forcing evolutionists to jump to strange conclusions. Previous studies have already established, within evolutionary theory, that lycophytes and angiosperms are on different branches (pardon the pun) of plant evolution. Since gymnosperms lack syringyl lignin, the lignin had to have evolved separately—the only other conclusion would be that the entire understanding of plant evolution is wrong!

The incredibility of evolution is stretched more each time a biological feature or function, in all its complexity, is said to have evolved multiple times (such as bird and bat flight). When scientists have such little evidence—if any—of features evolving once, how much less likely is it that the same function evolved twice? Does simply stating that something highly improbable occurred in one scenario really make it more plausible that it has occurred elsewhere? It takes more faith to believe such a story, since there’s no supporting evidence, versus believing that an intelligent Creator made plants exactly the way He wanted them to be.

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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