T. Rex a Slow Poke. We have been told by the movies if nothing else, that T. Rex was a terrible carnivore that could run at astonishing speed and chew up everything from Ford Explorers to the toughest lizard in no time at all. Jurassic Park may have given us some marvelous special affects, but the facts suggest that they are far from the truth. Scientists studying leg bones, muscles, and body masses are now saying that an animal the size of T. Rex with the body make up he had, probably could not run at all, and in all likelihood was a scavenger, not a hunter. If you have a huge body mass, you cannot run for very long, and usually not very fast. Zigging and zagging is almost impossible because of inertia problems. The world of the dinosaurs may not have been as horrifying as we have been told, but it still would not have been a world conducive to man's existence.
--Reference: Science News, March 2, 2002, page 131.
Cosmic Quirks. Just when you think you have heard everything, someone comes up with something that you not only never heard of, but which is almost impossible to comprehend. A new example of that is a star that seems to be made of quark material. That is a star where neutrons are so close together that the components of electric charge and of matter itself exist as an entity of its own. It would convert anything it touched into more quark material. Referred to by astronomers as "an astonishing discovery of fundamental significance," it adds to the wonder and complexity of the cosmos as we see it.
--Reference: US News and World Report, April 22, 2002, page 18.
Media Attacks on Bible Continue. It seems that, when magazines run out of tragedies and abuse stories, they always resort to attacks on the Bible. One of the latest of these is in the March issue of Harper's in which the Bible is called False Testament and the subtitled says "Archeology Refutes Bible's Claim to History." The author, David Lazare, attempts to knock down what he calls several pillars of biblical history--attacking the idea that Abraham ever lived, that there ever was an Exodus from Egypt, and that David was ever a king. The problems here are, first of all, that Lazare has no expertise in what he is writing about. He is not an archeologist, and does not have training or experience in the history of the period he is discussing. His previous experience has been writing on urban problems and constitutional law. Those who do have expertise in this area realize that there is much indirect evidence to support the three areas listed above, and that new discoveries are being made daily--some of which seem to support the biblical position.
The problem is that many people think that anything in a newspaper or news magazine is valid, and the result is that there is considerable damage done by such unprofessional writings as this. Even the magazine Biblical Archaeological Review which tends to be on the minimalist side, has taken issue with Lazare (Biblical Archaeological Review, May/June 2002, page 6).
New Galapagos Study. Most students of biology are aware that much of Charles Darwin's field work was in the Galapagos Islands and had to do with finches. For 30 years a team of biologists from Princeton have been studying finches in the Galapagos Islands and have verified much of what Darwin said. When there was a drought and the only food was big tough seeds, the birds in a few generations developed bigger blunter beaks. When weather conditions produced only small seeds, the bird population shifted to smaller quicker birds with thin beaks--ideal for that food source.
We would like to point out that nothing in studies like this contradicts the Bible. Many biblical stories like what Jacob did with Laban's flocks point to the fact that animals can change for a variety of purposes. It is not the design changes that allow survival that is an issue. The question is whether such changes are totally a product of chance, or whether they speak of the design and wisdom built into living systems of this planet.
--Reference: Newsweek, May 6, 2002, page 11.
Faith After September 11. The
of September 11, 2001, has had all kinds of influence in this country.
Many people have tried to suggest that this was an event that spurred
people to greater faith in God and brought a spiritual rebirth in the
States. Unfortunately, that is not what the numbers show. Maritz
and Barna Research have released studies that show that after a brief
of belief in the days immediately after the 11th, faith and Church
has dropped dramatically. Surveys show that twice as many people
"no religion" on surveys as did ten years ago. Of all Americans, 39% do
not belong to any church, synagogue or mosque--that is 111 million
Fourteen percent of all people tell pollsters that they are atheists,
or disinterested in religion--which is 40 million Americans living
religion. Nationwide, Church attendance has dropped by 30% in the last
months. Belief that the Bible is the Word of God was 23% by Catholics,
66% by Baptists. Only 40% of the whole population believes that Jesus
sinless, and only 27% feel that Satan is real.
--Reference: Pulpit Helps, February 2002, page 1; Readers Digest, April 2002, page 21; Free Inquiry, a mailout published by Council for Secular Humanism, May 1, 2002.
Web Protection for Kids. Occasionally, we tell our readers about a new product that we have seen that might be something that they are interested in. We have a program for those who have computers in their homes that kids or grand kids use. What it does is to make sure that no objectionable web sites are available to your computer. We have seen it work and it seems to be able to keep a lot of the porn and sexually explicit material that keeps getting sent to us from getting in. It is called Ethinet and can be seen a email@example.com or www.ethi.net. You can also get information at 1-877-865-3214.
Circumcision Battle Continues. Every time we run an article or comment related to biblical medical practices in the Old Testament, we get hostile mail about circumcision. There are many people who feel it was never a good idea, and many who feel it might have been good in the past, but not today. In Journal of the American Medical Association, April 2002, is a report on cervical cancer in women and circumcision. The data says that women who have sex with uncircumcised men who have had multiple partners (six or more) in the past, are twice as likely to get cervical cancer. There are two messages here. The first is that promiscuous sex has risks to everyone in the population, even innocent partners years removed from the illicit affair. The second is that there is a health concern that shows that circumcision has some value. Whether it is necessary today or not will continue to be debated.
Girls and Drinking. In our opinion, one of the consequences of America's rejection of God and His word has been a steady slide in morals. In my 41 years of public school teaching, I saw alcohol use and problems from that use escalate astonishingly. In Time, April 1, 2002, an article titled "Women on a Binge" makes the point loud and clear how alcohol is affecting young people today. Since 1982, women's fatal accidents have increased 30%. Women arrested for aggravated assault has increased 46% from 1991-2000, and 15-year-old girls are 15 times as likely to use illegal drugs as their mothers were. Smoking in high school senior girls is up 4% since 1992. One in 10 high school girls was in at least one physical fight in the past year. There are many ways you can point fingers with this data, but the bottom line is that, when you remove God and the biblical plan of living, it is difficult to make a compelling argument against recreational drugs and violence when it is glorified on TV and in the movies.
Adult Stem Cell Repair Kit.
New data on stem cells now shows that adults have stem cells
in the blood stream which is essentially a storehouse of repair parts
for whenever and whenever they are needed. The idea that there is a
for human embryo stem cells gets to be more and more difficult to
when you see how many other sources of stem cells are available. These
cells seem to be a design system the body already has built into it to
it the capacity to meet any number of external challenges to health.
Reminder: This journal is available in cassette format for the blind. Just send your name and address, and we will send it to you in our material for the blind mailout.
DVDs Available! Our new video tape series (see May/June, 2002) is now available in DVD format. The cost is $60.00 (ppd.) for the 6 DVDs with 24 programs with a Teacher's Guide.. To borrow the DVDs, send $60.00 as a deposit, and we will refund the money if you wish to return them. Send your request and deposit to Does God Exist?, PO Box 2704, South Bend, IN 46680-2704. (Make check payable to Dowagiac Church of Christ.)
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