1. AP: “Bush Talks of Belief in God, Evolution”

Much has been made in the past several months of the former U.S. presidential and vice-presidential candidates’ views on origins. Now the current president weighs in.

Asked about creation and evolution during an interview on ABC television’s Nightline, President Bush answered:

“I think you can have both. I think evolution can—you’re getting me way out of my lane here. I’m just a simple president. But it’s, I think that God created the earth, created the world; I think the creation of the world is so mysterious it requires something as large as an almighty and I don’t think it's incompatible with the scientific proof that there is evolution. . . . I happen to believe that evolution doesn’t fully explain the mystery of life.”

At first, Bush’s exact view may seem unclear, since he doesn’t clarify whether he means “evolution” as in “molecules-to-man” evolution, or whether he simply means that we do observe changes in genera and species across time. However, when asked if the Bible is literally true, he answered:

“You know, probably not. . . . No, I’m not a literalist, but I think you can learn a lot from it . . . the important lesson is ‘God sent a son.’”

Bush was nearly self-deprecating in his answers to many questions, claiming he “can’t go there” when asked if God chose him to be president, and saying religion was his “one-step” program out of alcoholism and that it is difficult for him to “justify or prove the mystery of the Almighty in [his] life.”

While Bush certainly goes farther than some others (including some presidents) in acknowledging the role of faith in his life, we are disappointed to hear that, like many others, he mistakenly believes evolution can be reconciled with the character of a loving God. Our mission is to empower the church to explain—to presidents and everyone else—why Christianity and Darwinian evolution are absolutely incompatible.

2. National Geographic News: “Jupiter Moon Has Violent, Hidden Oceans, Study Suggests”

The hypothesized subsurface ocean of Jupiter’s moon Europa was already a hotbed for evolutionists’ hopes for finding extraterrestrial life.

Recent research from University of Washington oceanographer Robert Tyler has stoked these hopes by indicating that the ocean—if it exists—could be turbulent, which “translates into a higher potential for life” per evolutionary wisdom.

The research is based on a new computer simulation that shows how Jupiter’s gravitational pull affects the far smaller Europa. If there is an ocean, the pull may create “huge planetary waves” and tides.

What’s that got to do with finding ET? Tyler believes the waves could help distribute heat, calling them “very energetic oceans.” The study, in this week’s issue of Nature, could also apply to other moons that may have oceans.

Of course, what no one explains is how turbulent water actually overcomes the hurdles of improbability to assemble life; their key line of evidence seemed to be that since it happened on earth, why not anywhere else where there’s liquid water? That sort of question-begging—believing where there’s water, there could be (and one day will be, the thought goes) life—drives much of our current space exploration agenda.

University of Arizona geologist Jeff Kargel drives the point home for us, telling National Geographic News, “The big thing is to have liquid water—and to the extent that [Tyler’s] paper adds an energy source—all the better for life’s prospects.” Water plus energy plus time equals life—even though this has never been experimentally shown and contradicts the scientific law of biogenesis.

On the same topic this week is the report of a water vapor-bearing planet outside of our solar system. The planet, HD 189733b, has surface temperatures that exceed a balmy 1650˚F (900˚C). Its molten core is covered with a gassy atmosphere, and it orbits very near its parent star.

Scientists have been looking for water vapor in the planets atmosphere for years, with BBC News noting they were “puzzled” and one of the scientists claiming some were “upset” when it wasn’t found previously as predicted. The recent detection was difficult, however, as the planet is so close to its sun that the radiation patterns of the two were hard to distinguish.

The same planet was found a few weeks ago to harbor carbon dioxide, as the BBC and LiveScience report. A team from NASA made the discovery using the Hubble Space Telescope.

“The very fact we are able to detect it and estimate its abundance is significant for the long-term effort of characterising planets to find out what they are made of and if they could be a possible host for life,” explained NASA’s Mark Swain, one of the team members. LiveScience writer Robert Roy Britt calls carbon dioxide “a potential fingerprint of life,” though obviously the high temperature of the planet precludes evolutionists’ hopes for life. Nonetheless, the scientists are excited, hailing the discovery as a “proof of concept,” with carbon dioxide the third of four major “biomarkers” discovered off earth (the others discovered are water and methane, says the Carnegie Institution’s Alan Boss; the fourth, oxygen, has yet to be detected).

Once again—as was the case just last week, for instance—secular astronomers mistakenly equate the existence of life’s ingredients and products with its ability to self-assemble. That’s why the search for water and anything else connected to life continues in space, while back home scientists are busy with the same search: finding support for what they already believe.

3. PhysOrg: “Why Life Originated (And Why it Continues)”

Darwin’s On the Origin of Species ironically doesn’t actually explain how species originated: that’s a clever point made, believe it or not, by evolutionists!

PhysOrg’s Lisa Zyga takes a look at research just published in the International Journal of Astrobiology on just why life “emerged” in the first place. Unsurprisingly, the evolutionary presuppositions are apparent from the very beginning (pardon the pun), since scientists are trying to find evidence for what they already believe took place.

In this case, the scientists are a Finnish father-and-son duo who use principles from thermodynamics to try to explain how life evolved. Zyga writes:

Although the researchers don’t speculate on the specific chemical reactions that created life, they explain that the molecules involved most likely underwent a series of more and more complex reactions to minimize mutual energy differences between matter on Earth and with respect to high-energy radiation from Sun. The process eventually advanced so far that it cumulated into such sophisticated functional structures that could be called living.

Since the scientists don’t even speculate—let alone try to support—any chemical reactions that could have obeyed thermodynamic laws and slowly morphed into life, the hypothesis seems almost entirely worthless. After all, all scientists who believe life spontaneously generated out of primordial chemicals believe that physical forces somehow (that’s the part they can’t explain) self-organized.

The same comments apply when Zyga reports:

Due to random variations stemming from the chemical reactions, some novel compounds may have emerged in the primordial system. Some of these compounds (such as those involving carbon) might have been exceptionally good at creating energy flow, enabling the system to diminish energy differences very efficiently and reach a higher level of entropy. Compounds with these advantages would have gained ground during this period of primitive chemical evolution. But the scientists emphasize that identifying which exact compounds were key players during this period would be very difficult to determine.

This sort of evolutionary storytelling is simple enough that it doesn’t even require a Ph.D. nor any scientific tests, but rather just evolutionary faith and an imagination. For instance, let’s hypothesize that life originated when chemicals obeyed not the laws of thermodynamics, in particular, but instead the laws of gravity. Perhaps we, too, could publish our speculation in a scientific journal. Obviously it would be an untested scenario, without any supporting evidence; nonetheless, could it be much more absurd than any other unspecific imagining of how the simplest life (supposedly) evolved? And when Zyga points out that the study “focuses on why life emerged, not how,” we wonder how the two could be separated.

Also strange is that the scientists’ idea is centered on life forming to dissipate energy and thus increase entropy within a system—even though life as we know it, and certainly human behavior, involves processes that both increase and decrease entropy.

One of the scientists told PhysOrg, “The most important idea in our study is that there is no distinction between animate and inanimate. Processes of life are, in their principles, no different from any other natural processes.” This also means that our only “purpose,” Zyga explains, is to “redistribute energy on the Earth.”

Sadly, these comments remind us of the 2007 school massacre (motivated by a belief in evolution) in the scientists’ own country. When people believe we are no different than animals, or no different than rocks, what authoritative code of morality could they possibly accept, and why? And if our only purpose is to redistribute energy, is all the rest of human behavior just a strange and meaningless accident? Sadly, under the influence of Darwinism, this attitude only continues to expand.

4. Sydney Morning Herald: “School in Clear Over Teaching Creation”

A Christian school in Australia will still be allowed to teach creation. Now, why is that newsworthy?

It doesn’t seem like Christian schools—backed by (mostly) Christian parents, staffed by (all, we hope) Christian teachers, and filled with (many) Christian students—should run into any problem teaching Christian doctrine along with school lessons, or teaching academic disciplines from a Christian worldview. Right?

In today’s societies, the answer often seems “wrong,” with even Christian schools levied with requirements for the teaching of evolution. In Dural, Australia, Pacific Hills Christian School was under fire for failing to teach the state’s evolution curriculum as required. The school was reviewed by the New South Wales Board of Studies, but was found to be “teach[ing] evolution theory appropriately.”

The individual who raised the original complaint, former Secondary Principals Council president Chris Bonnor, remains unsatisfied with the situation. Bonnor said, “I still want to know whether it is appropriate for a science teacher to exhort his or her students to consider what God’s revelation through his scripture shows you, so that you can come to some clear understanding about your view of evolution.” In other words, it wouldn’t be enough for a Christian school to teach evolutionary doctrine as required—teachers also must abstain from offering any commentary, criticism, or perspective on the topic, even if it’s a Christian teacher educating Christian students in a Christian school.

Member of parliament John Kaye claimed the ruling “opened the floodgates to a religious invasion of the curriculum” and that “[e]very fundamentalist private school in [New South Wales] will be emboldened by this decision.”

While New South Wales schools, like most Christian schools elsewhere in the world, are “safe” for now, there is certainly a growing movement to restrict teachers everywhere from making any negative comments toward evolution or encouraging critical thinking on the topic of origins. We can quite easily envision a future in which Christian schoolteachers’ hands are tied (or, perhaps more accurately, their mouths gagged) during evolution lessons. And if it comes to that, shouldn’t any other religious or moral instruction—in Christian schools or elsewhere—carry a state-mandated disclaimer that “science has shown religion to be fairy tales, and our morality is determined by evolution”?

5. PhysOrg: “Voiding the Cosmic Void: We're not at Center of the Universe After All”

Are we or aren’t we special? The debate continues!

Twice in the past year—May 17 and October 4—we’ve reported on the debate over earth’s position within the vastness of the universe. Are we in a mundane, seemingly random spot in the universe? Or are we in a central, special location suspiciously advantageous for observing the universe? The previous news items have covered tests proposed to answer the question—albeit tests based on information yet to be collected or new space probes yet to be launched.

Now, University of British Columbia astrophysicists believe they have solved the problem through a study of such astronomical data as the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation, a faint glow of energy coming from all directions (that is, not generated by stars) that big bang supporters claim is an “afterglow” of the big bang. According to PhysOrg, the new research—which is forthcoming in the journal Physical Review Letters—finds that “void models, unlike standard dark energy models, do a very poor job of explaining all of the latest data, taken together.” (Void models are a type that consider the earth in a “special” place.) The article continues, “The new study helps to solidify our place in the Universe as a completely typical and unremarkable one.”

Since all of our perceptions of the universe are rooted in observations made from the earth (or very close to us, relatively speaking), a great deal of interpretation—and presuppositions—are required to even guess at where we might be within the universe. Besides, though there is ample evidence of the privileged condition of earth within the solar system and the galaxy, secular astronomers interpret this away, saying that if everything wasn’t so perfectly suited for life, we wouldn’t be here to make note of it! Thus, regardless of where earth is believed to be within the universe, we can still see God’s hand at work, and others can still blind themselves to it.

Another example of the role of presuppositions and interpretation in the field of astronomy came late last month, when astronomers reported their puzzlement over the strange case of missing hydrogen in the far edges of the universe. The discovery (or lack thereof, more accurately) contradicted big bang wisdom, which held that “hydrogen was expected to be more abundant so early in the life of the universe because it had not yet been consumed by the formation of all the stars and galaxies we know today” (this is based on the idea that by looking at distant stars, we are seeing billions of years into the past). Even so, the astronomers big bang beliefs are undeterred by the missing hydrogen, and they’ve unsurprisingly come up with an explanation for the missing hydrogen that upholds their paradigm.

6. Discovery: “‘RoboClam’ Anchor Holds Ships Steady”

An incredible new nautical device takes design cues from the humble Ensis directus clam.

When we say incredible, we mean it: the new device is a pencil-sized anchor that burrows into the seabed and may be able to anchor everything from small sea craft to huge oil platforms, Discovery reports.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Anette Hosoi was one of a team who designed the new anchor, dubbed “RoboClam,” that digs into the seabed much like Ensis directus. By vibrating, RoboClam alters the consistency of the seabed so that it is easier to dig into; next, the two “shells” of RoboClam expand, locking the anchor, while a “worm-like foot” pushes farther in. Finally, the shells contract and the foot draws the entire anchor deeper.

Just how powerful is RoboClam? As of now, it can exert about 80 lbs (36 kg) of downward force, which allows it to dig about 15 inches (38 cm) deep. For comparison, Ensis directus can reach 28 inches (71 cm) deep or deeper—even though it uses 36 times less force than the RoboClam.

RoboClam isn’t the first anchor that uses vibration to help dig into the seabed, but it is far more efficient than both other vibration-based anchors and traditional anchors. It is also able to “dig” itself out of the seabed.

The University of Maryland’s Wolfgang Lohsert, who is testing RoboClam, believes it may one day serve as more than an anchor. “If you can dig more directly into sandy soil and also control the direction of the digging, there are a number of applications, including exploration of natural resources,” Lohsert said.

The RoboClam is yet another amazing design chalked up to human engineers copying God’s ingenuity!

For more information:

7. Roger Ebert: “Win Ben Stein’s Mind”

Ben Stein documented the expulsion of Darwinism-questioning academics in Expelled. No wonder he’s getting the boot from evolutionist film critic Roger Ebert.

To say that Ebert thinks Stein’s Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed has problems would likely be a great understatement. But rather than spending his time on a thorough scientific investigation of the movie’s claims, Ebert sandwiches nit-picks and misunderstanding between outright character assassination. In fact, the entire opening of the critique is a ridiculous scenario Ebert concocts to slander Stein.

In an article to run on this website on Tuesday, AiG’s Peter Galling takes a closer look at the errors and outrageousness in Ebert’s attack on Expelled. Check back then!

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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