1. The New York Times: “Footprint Fossils Offer Earliest Evidence of Dinosaurs’ Ancestors

This week:

  1. Fossilized footprints
  2. Pigmenting penguins
  3. Announcing Animism
  4. Agony Aunt answer angers
  5. Savvy in Sahul
  6. And Don’t Miss . . .

Did you miss it? Catch last week’s News to Note or any other!

Note: Over the last four weeks, we have had guest columnists contribute to News to Note. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading the different perspectives on the latest news, still from a biblical worldview.

Evolutionists claim that fossilized footprints found in Poland give clues as to the history of dinosaurs.

The New York Times published a web article on October 6 about the discovery of fossilized footprints in three different rock quarries in Poland over the past ten years. Stephen Brusatte, lead author of the journal article detailing the discovery, says that, though no actual dinosaur bones have been found at the sites yet, “the possibilities are really exciting.” He says, “Anatomically, for all intents and purposes, [the creature that made these footprints] was a dinosaur. If you saw this thing, you would call it a dinosaur.”

The Times article references Dr. Sterling Nesbitt of the University of Washington: “Dr. Nesbitt said that it was often hard to draw convincing conclusions about animals just from their footprints, but that Mr. Brusatte and his colleagues ‘put the best argument that anyone has ever put forth about early dinosaur tracks.’ He added, ‘And I think they’re right.’”

Though Dr. Nesbitt admits that it is difficult to draw conclusions about animals from their footprints, the Times article does not neglect to give an artist’s reconstruction of this cat-sized creature that, it claims, was one of “the earliest known relatives of dinosaurs.”

According to the article, these fossilized footprints “push back the first appearance of this dinosaur lineage to about 250 million years ago.”

But if one accepts the biblical account of history, these footprints cannot be more than a few thousand years old, because the universe is around 6,000 years old, and the footprint would have been fossilized during the Flood, about 4,300 years ago.

2. PhysOrg:Fossilized Giant Penguin Feathers Reveal Color, Feather Structure of Ancient Birds

While structures found in fossilized penguin feathers make evolutionists reconsider their ideas about these early aquatic birds, creationists can enjoy the variety God has put within this fascinating animal kind.

A research team from the University of Texas at Austin has discovered the fossilized remains of a giant penguin in Reserva Nacional de Paracas, Peru. The penguin, called Inkayacu paracasensis, stood approximately five feet tall and seems to have had gray and brown feathers rather than the black and white tuxedo coloring generally associated with penguins.

Feathers can be colored in two different ways. The first way is through pigments. The second way is through tiny structures within feathers that refract light like prisms. The team that discovered Inkayacu paracasensis found fossilized melanosomes and, after studying them, discovered that this giant penguin apparently had gray and brown feathers.

The shape of the giant penguin’s feathers is very similar to the shape of modern penguin feathers. PhysOrg.com notes, “Like living penguins and unlike all other birds, Inkayacu’s wing feathers were radically modified in shape, densely packed and stacked on top of each other, forming stiff, narrow flippers. Its body feathers had broad shafts that in living penguins aid streamlining the body.” After studying this similarity between the feathers of Inkayacu paracasensis and those of modern penguins, Julia Clarke, associate professor at the Jackson School of Geosciences, concluded that the unique shape of penguin feathers must have emerged early in penguin evolution.

A biblical worldview gives an easy answer as to why the Inkayacu paracasensis and modern penguins have similar feather shapes. Both types of penguin are descended from the original pair of penguins that emerged from the Ark after the Flood. It should be no surprise that both types of penguin share a similar feather design. The original penguin pair also had all the genetic material necessary to account for the large variation between the sizes of the giant penguin and the modern penguin as well as their different colorings.

3. London Telegraph: “Druidry recognized as religion in Britain for first time

Druidry, a pagan religion that once dominated the British Isles, is now recognized as a legitimate charity in Britain.

The Charity Commission for England and Wales has now granted Druidry charitable status and recognition equal “to more mainstream denominations.” The Druid Network, which has fought for recognition from the Commission for four years, has 350 official members, but one estimate says that the religion has approximately 10,000 adherents throughout the UK.

According to the London Telegraph, The Druid Network has demonstrated its benefit to the public—hence its claim to be recognized as a legitimate charity—because “its followers are keen to conserve Britain’s heritage as well as preserve the natural environment.” Druidry has its roots in the Celtic culture that was supplanted when the Romans invaded Britain.

Modern Druidry’s belief system involves the worship of nature, especially of the sun and the earth, and belief in spirits and “divine guides.” Emma Restall Orr, who founded The Druid Network, says that the Charity Commission “now has a much greater understanding of Pagan, animist, and polytheist religions, so other groups from these minority religions . . . should find registering a much shorter process than the pioneering one we have been through.”

The waning of Christianity in Britain has been going on for quite some time. As in the United states, professing Christianity suffers from a widespread loss of its biblical moorings on the one hand and outright hostility on the other hand. The surveys described in Already Gone demonstrate the first problem, and the widespread and outspoken hostility to the assertion that none are good (Romans 3:10) without God (made during the Pope’s recent UK visit) illustrates the latter. Thus it is not surprising to see the resurgence and rise in popularity of alternative religions. When Christians allow the authority of God’s Word to evaporate from their own minds and hearts and then lose the ability to give biblically sound reasons (1 Peter 3:15) for their faith, hope, and worldview, their witness loses its power. Many people seeking answers then naturally do what the Bible says they’ve been doing for ages—they worship the “creature” (animals, nature, or man himself) more than the Creator (Romans 1:25). Meanwhile, in the United States, we continue to see a similar decline as God’s Word is at best marginalized and at worst ridiculed.

For more information:

4. Daily Mail: “Outrage as agony aunt tells TV audience ‘I would suffocate a child to end its suffering’

An advice columnist in the UK says that a good mother would kill a handicapped child rather than force it to live in suffering.

On the BBC-TV’s Sunday Morning Live, advice columnist Virginia Ironside surprised viewers by saying, “If a baby’s going to be born severely disabled or totally unwanted, surely an abortion is the act of a loving mother. . . . If I were the mother of a suffering child—I mean a deeply suffering child—I would be the first to want to put a pillow over its face . . . if it was a child I really loved, who was in agony, I think any good mother would.”

During the same TV program, Ironside said that “abortion can often be seen as something wicked and irresponsible, but in fact it can be a moral and unselfish act. Sometimes the decision of a good mother is not to have the child.”

Clair Lewis, an advocate for the disabled, said that “the problems that disabled people face will not be fixed by killing off unborn children” and complained that Ironside’s approval of the abortion of disabled children was merely an excuse for eugenics.

Some praised Ironside’s comments, but the majority of viewers agreed with the TV program’s host, Susanna Reid, who was visibly appalled by Ironside’s opinion and said, “That’s a pretty horrifying thing to say, that you would put a pillow over a suffering child.”

Ironside’s statements are consistent with a belief system that rejects God’s authority. In Genesis 9:6, God explains that human life is sacred because man is made in the image of God. Someone who rejects God’s commandments as authoritative is left to create his own morality. If there is no ultimate moral authority outside human reasoning, why can’t a mother put an end to a suffering child’s misery? Why can’t a woman kill an unborn baby that would interfere with her own lifestyle, causing her great expense and inconvenience? Why can’t unwanted or unproductive individuals of any age be done away with for the betterment of society at large? All these things—along with many other atrocities—have historically been justified through human reasoning. Without God’s moral boundaries as presented in the Bible, there is nothing to keep man from reasoning himself into a frightening world where the only authority is man himself.

Recent discoveries in Papua New Guinea upset the evolutionary idea that early man was primitive and unintelligent.

Archaeologists from the University of Otago, studying ancient campsites in Papua New Guinea, have found evidence that the early inhabitants of the island understood agriculture and even crafted tools to help them alter the landscape and encourage the growth of useful plants. The team leader, Professor Glen Summerhayes, says that “all this is unprecedented evidence of careful, intentional colonisation over thousands of years, rather than people just wandering around foraging and moving on. These are unique footprints of humanity that challenge some current notions regarding at what stage humans can be truly said to have become ‘modern’ in their thinking and behaviour.”

This discovery should be no surprise to those who accept the Bible’s account of human history. Genesis 4:20–22 recounts the accomplishments of three brothers who lived a mere seven generations after Adam: The first brother, Jabal, was “the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle.” The second brother, Jubal, “was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ.” The third brother, Tubalcain, was “an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron.” Noah and his sons would likely have carried at least some of the knowledge and expertise of these men with them on the Ark and passed it on to the post-Flood world. After the Flood, man demonstrated his architectural ingenuity by building the tower of Babel, and, even after the confusion of languages, many ancient societies had highly advanced technology that often baffles evolutionist scientists today.

Evolutionary thinking requires the belief that early humans were ignorant ape-men barely able to speak or think logically, so evolutionists are often surprised to discover evidence of intelligence in early humans. However, the fact that the early settlers of Papua New Guinea were clever enough to adapt to new environments and cultivate land for efficient agriculture lines up perfectly with the biblical portrayal of early society.

For more information

And Don’t Miss . . .

  • Two photographers in Kenya were surprised to look up from their breakfast to see a pink hippopotamus trying to avoid sunburn by the banks of the Mara River. Although arguably “cute,” this is caused by a developmental problem and makes the animal more prone to sunburn. A reminder of a sin-cursed world, despite retaining some of the beauty and diversity of the original creation.
  • According to a recent article in National Geographic, the tramping of water buffalo and other large animals may skew the ages traditionally assigned to ancient tools. This small study reveals some of the erroneous presuppositions often used to date artifacts.
  • Uniformitarian beliefs cannot explain the dramatic features of the Grand Canyon and its surrounding areas. In an attempt to explain the origin of the Canyon, some geologists now speculate that the Colorado River once flowed backwards. However, the best explanation for the Canyon is still the global flood of Noah’s day and its after-effects.
  • In a limestone cave in Brazil, scientists have discovered a skull that resembles that of an Australian Aborigine. They say this discovery may “rewrite” evolutionary concepts of human history . . . again.
  • A rock formation resembling a tree has been discovered in New Brunswick. The provincial paleontologist from the New Brunswick Museum said, “I knew right away it wasn’t going to be a fossil tree because it’s about 500 million years old. We know trees don’t appear in the geological record until about 360 million years ago, so it’s much too old to be a tree.” Whether or not this rock formation actually turns out to be a tree, the circular argument of this paleontologist reveals his evolutionary presuppositions.

For more information: Get Answers

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