News and Notes title
from Does God Exist? January/February 2012

JULY 23-27, 2012

Lake PowellBryce Canyon     PURPOSE: To help Christians understand the Canyonlands area, the history of the earth as seen in the rock record, and how that history correlates with a literal understanding of the Bible.
    WHERE: Leave from Flagstaff, AZ, visiting Sunset Crater, Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park, Meteor Crater, Painted Desert, Petrified Forest, and points in between.
    CONDUCT: Air-conditioned motor coach with lectures presented by John Clayton and Alan Doty en route. At each point participants will have the option of hiking or staying in one place and enjoying the view. Hiking is not required.
    PARTICIPANTS: Anyone age eight or older who is willing to participate in lectures, devotionals, studies, and wholesome activity.
    INCLUDED: Bus transportation, motels, field guides, entry fees, breakfasts Tuesday through Friday. Not included: Other meals, gratuities, souvenirs, transportation to and from Flagstaff.
    COSTS: No money is paid to Does God Exist?, to your guides, or to John Clayton. The only cost is for the items described above. Cost is: singles: $949; doubles: $889; three or four in a room: $549. Trip insurance is available.
    FOR A COMPLETE ITINERARY, RESERVATION, OR INFORMATION, call Queenslander Tours at 877-865-6711 (toll free) or by e-mail at Information can be viewed at Other questions can be directed to John Clayton at 269-687-9426 or e-mail at

(These three pictures: Roland Earnst.)

FASTER THAN LIGHT FLAP. In September the newspapers were full of material from an experiment in Italy in which neutrinos were measured to have traveled from Switzerland to Italy, a distance of some 456 miles, at a speed slightly faster than the speed of light. Since one of Einstein’s prime principles is that the speed of light is an absolute limit, there was great media play on the idea that Einstein was wrong. In fact, such a discovery would be revolutionary! But it now appears that uncertainty in the measurements, not a failure of Einstein’s work, is the cause. The primary problem is that neutrinos should release energy in such a journey and no released energy has been detected. There will be more on this later, but do not throw out all your physics books yet. Source: Science News, November 5, 2011, page 10.

PLESIOSAUR HAD LIVE BIRTH. One of the interesting questions about ancient reptiles is whether they were like our modern reptiles or something altogether different. A discovery in Kansas of a plesiosaur with a large, fully-formed baby inside has provided more confusing data. Apparently this sea reptile did not lay eggs, but gave live birth in a way that resembles a whale. This is one more evidence that these animals were living in a different kind of world than the one we live in and were not a part of the description of man and his world given in the Genesis account. Source: El Paso Times, August 12, 2011.

TEXAS BOARD OF EDUCATION REJECTS INTELLIGENT DESIGN SUPPLEMENTS. In July 2011 the Texas state board in charge of curriculum rejected an attempt to have anti-evolution supplements added to high school biology textbooks. A spokesman for evolutionists said that the supplements were “laced with creationist arguments … remarkably shoddy, teeming with misspellings, typographical errors and mistaken claims of fact.” We have requested but have not been given a copy of the supplements. It is important to understand the nature of such material. Pressure from denominational creationism which includes church positions on science will never be accepted into the schools. When things like this come up I am always reminded of the Arkansas case which was one of the first to go to the courts. In that case the textbook being pushed by people opposed to evolution had a section in which UFOs were presented as angels of Satan coming to begin the Battle of Armageddon before the rapture. This was a view that many who were promoting the teaching of creation in the schools could not accept and did not want taught. It is important for all of us to be careful that religious views of all kinds, including atheism, are not promoted in public education. Source: Scientific American, October 2011, page 92.

VIRUS SOURCES AND UNCLEAN ANIMALS. As more and more data becomes available on the origins of the viruses affecting mankind, it is becoming increasingly obvious that most of the major virus infections of man have come about because of careless handling of animals. It is clear that HIV has been contracted by sexual and butchering practices with monkeys. The SARS virus has come to humans from civets, which are small cat-like mammals. The H1N1 virus emerged in pigs in Mexico and is a mix of other viruses. It is interesting that these animals were considered unclean in the time of Moses and would not have had enough contact with the humans who followed God’s law to cause a pandemic. Source: Time, November 7, 2011, page 35.

BELIEVING IN GHOSTS. One of the areas we have gotten involved in studying recently has been claims of the paranormal. Ghosts are a part of that, and we have tried to point out that there is no evidence scientifically or biblically that ghosts are real. There are always relatively simple scientific or cultural explanations for claims of ghosts. In Reader’s Digest (October 2011, page 94) there is a survey of belief in ghosts by country. The leading country for belief in ghosts is Malaysia where 57% of the people say they believe in ghosts. Number two is the United States and number 3 is Canada — with 47% of Americans and 43% of Canadians saying they believe in ghosts. We have frequently quoted the adage that “when you don’t believe in something you’ll believe anything,” and as people reject God the substitute is frequently ghosts or aliens.

Two of the organizations most involved in education in America have had some interesting dialogue over a man involved in both. National Center for Science Education (NCSE) is opposed to creationism and any attempt to limit the teaching of Darwinism in American schools. American Scientific Affiliation (ASA) is an educational group of scientists who hold advanced degrees in science but are believers in God and in Christianity (in the broadest sense). The ASA recently ran an article about Dr. Peter Hess who works for the NCSE and is a member of the ASA. Hess is a practicing Catholic but feels that evolution is not a threat to Christianity, only to certain hermeneutics — or interpretations. As a result of the conflict, Hess has received a formal denunciation of heresy lodged with the Bishop of the diocese of Yakima, Washington, while atheists have bombarded the NCSE with demands that Hess be fired. There is a detailed treatment of this conflict titled “God and Nature — Clearing the Middle Path” on the ASA website at

On July 22, 2011, Anders Behring Breivik managed to kill 77 people in Norway. Because the media now reports things from anywhere in the world, we frequently get the idea that our world is more violent than it has ever been. A long study by Steven Pinker has been released which shows this is not the case. In fourteenth century England violent deaths were at a rate of 110 per 100,000 people and today in the same area the rate is one death per 100,000. Violent deaths of all kinds have declined from 500 per 100,000 in pre-state societies to 50 per 100,000 in the Middle Ages to 8 per 100,000 today. Pinker has an 832-page study entitled The Better Angels of our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined published in 2011 by Viking Press. There is a reference with some of the data in the October 2011 issue of Scientific American, page 90.

In the October 2011 issue of Christianity Today there is an article by Chai Ling who escaped from China 22 years ago and has been working to expose the abuse of women in that country. The data she reports is astounding: 500 Chinese women commit suicide every day, child brides number in the hundreds of thousands, 35,000 baby girls are aborted every day. We hear so much in the media about cooperation between the United States and China on trade and manufacturing issues, but the human rights issues connected with the one-child policy are not addressed and will not be addressed by the mainstream media.

The October 2011 issue of National Geographic has an article by Robert Kunzig titled “World Without Ice. ” It tells about a natural historic event (56 million years ago) that sent global temperatures soaring, apparently caused by a massive release of carbon. In our day of finger-pointing and alarmist claims about global warming and man’s role in causing it, this article should be considered.

ATHEIST NAME-STEALING BACKFIRES. One technique that atheists have used over the years is to quote major political figures of the past to make it appear they were atheists or shared atheist views. In Costa Mesa, Calif., a billboard was erected which said “I do not find in Christianity one redeeming feature. It is founded on fables and mythology. — Thomas Jefferson.” It now seems to be apparent that Jefferson never said this, and that it is another case where a famous name is tied to a belief he did not have. Jefferson opposed organized religion, but he did not embrace atheism. The atheist group responsible has admitted not doing enough research, but has used the media attention to emphasize their goal which is to “expose the myth that this is a Christian nation.” Source:, October 27, 2011. (See the next note relating to Jefferson.)

The Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., is displaying the Bible of Thomas Jefferson until May 28, 2012, in the Albert H. Small Documents Gallery. Jefferson called his Bible The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth. What Jefferson did at the age of 77 was to cut verses from the four gospels and paste them into blank pages which were then bound to make a book. The Smithsonian will also air a TV show in February titled “Jefferson’s Secret Bible.” There is more information available at Atheists like to claim Jefferson as one of their own, but while Jefferson had some complex views on religion, you cannot read what he did and conclude he was an atheist.

A lesbian couple in California has been giving their 11-year-old-son hormone blocking therapy. They plan to continue until he is 14 or 15 when they will let him choose whether to be a girl named Tammy or a boy named Tommy. Gender Spectrum is a California-based company that is defending the process. It would seem that such action would lend credence to those who do not want homosexuals to adopt or use artificial insemination to produce children. Dr. Paul McHugh at Johns Hopkins University says “This is child abuse. It’s like performing liposuction on an anorexic child.” The physical damage of the drugs, and the psychiatric problems in the case are unknown, but most experts believe they will be extensive. Source:, October 17, 2011 (

SESAME STREET REJECTS GAY MARRIAGE. The attempts of special interest groups to push their agenda has involved Sesame Street. Sesame Workshop, the creators of Sesame Street, revealed that they are rejecting a “campaign” demanding that Bert and Ernie have a same-sex marriage ceremony. The program released a statement that “They remain puppets and do not have a sexual orientation.” It is one thing to teach children tolerance, but when they have no capacity to understand the motives behind something like gay marriage the point of doing something like this has to be totally political. Source:, August 12, 2011 (

In the November 2011 issue of Scientific American (page 94), Michael Shermer has an article on Scientology. Shermer classifies the Scientology story of the origin of souls and unhappiness as a “creation myth.” Scientology teaches that 75 million years ago Xenu, the ruler of a Galactic Confederation transported billions of souls to earth where they were placed near volcanos and killed by hydrogen bombs. They then inhabited the bodies of future earthlings causing spiritual harm and unhappiness that can only be cured by the use of a special technique using an “E-Meter” (Electropsychometer) in a process called “auditing.” The late science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard is claimed to be the author of much of this, but it continues to have growing influence in America. May we point out that this is a paranormal explanation and not a creation story. The origin of time, space, matter/energy, etc., is not what is being described, but rather an explanation of the problems of human beings. Bizarre as the explanation is, there have been many famous names who have embraced it.

A recent study of what happens when a surplus of food is gathered has shown a surprising difference between adult chimpanzeechimpanzees and human children. Humans divide the spoils of a food gathering while chimps hoard the food. The study is reported in the August 27, 2011 issue of Science News on page 10 and is in the online August 18, 2011, issue of Nature ( Explaining human nature in evolutionary terms is always extraordinarily difficult and we would suggest it is because man’s spiritual nature is involved in things like sharing and caring for one another.

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