John Clayton, the director of the Does God Exist? program has written a new book titled Frequently Asked Questions which is a collection of questions that have been asked most frequently during the 39 years that he has been doing lectureships on university campuses and in town meetings throughout the world. There are 40 questions covering everything from personal questions about Clayton's early life as an atheist, to technical questions such as how chaos theory jibes with scripture. Some are biblical questions, and some have to do with such widely divergent subjects as UFOs and Ghosts. Many of these questions are things that parents and Bible school teachers have to deal with, so we hope it will be useful in answering the questions of our day. The book will sell for $5.00 ppd. We can also offer a special postage saving price on this book and our book The Source. This special price will be $10.00 ppd. for both books. Like all of our materials, these books can also be borrowed.
Reminder: We are sorry to announce that our Does God Exist? Canyonlands Tour, August 20-24, is full and there is a waiting list. This is a program designed to allow participants to see firsthand the evidence for the validity of the Genesis account seen in the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park, Petrified Forest, Lowell Observatory, Meteor Crater, and Lake Powell. Transportation will be provided by Queenslander Tours. This is an educational trip with the teachers being Alan Doty, Dave Strong, and John Clayton. No previous science background is required, and participants can do as little or as much hiking and climbing as they wish. Every year some of our participants are of limited mobility. The cost for participants is $611 per person (2/room--price varies with 1, 3, or 4/room). This covers all materials, fees, bus transportation, breakfasts, lunches, and motels. Participants must get to and from Flagstaff, Arizona, and pay for their own evening meals. For more information on the trip and registration forms, contact us: John N. Clayton, 1555 Echo Valley Dr., Niles MI 49120, phone 269/687-9426, FAX 269/687-9431, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Non-science Answer. For the last 25 years or so, skeptics
atheists have relied on a series of elaborate proposals to avoid having
to admit that the statements of Genesis 1:1 are true. The Bible clearly
states that there was a beginning. Atheists wish to avoid admitting
that there was a beginning, because it forces them to deal with cause.
It is easier to simply deny that there was a beginning. This has been
done by proposing multi-universes, parallel universes, and string
theories of eternally existing 11th dimensional entities that
continuously create matter/energy. Leonard Susskind, author of the book
The Cosmic Landscape, says
"There are 10500 universes, and we are in the one suited for us." There
has been a growing number of articles and books which are saying that
all of this is bad science because it is not falsifiable, and cannot be
tested in any way. Two examples are Peter Woits new book titled Not Even Wrong: The Failure of String
Theory and the Search for Unity in Physical Law, and Lee
Smolin's new book The Trouble with
Physics: The Rise of String Theory, The Fall of Science, and What Comes
Next. In the magazine Physics
Today Nobel Laureate Burt Richter gave the best statement about
all of this: "Much of what currently passes as the most advanced theory
looks to be more like theological speculation."
--Quotes and sources from Skeptical Briefs, December 2006, page 6.
More Non-embryonic Stem
Solutions. The debate over embryonic stem cells continues
misrepresented in the press. The problems with these cells are huge:
they lack the mechanisms that stop their reproduction making them prone
to cancer, they come in limited supply with the current number of
aborted babies, the time at which they can be harvested and not have
any predisposition to tissue types is debated, and a variety of
technical problems. New research on non-embryonic cells continues to
hold better promise. Three recent examples include University of
Florida scientists who have found a way to take young brain cells from
adult brains and using chemical methods produce enough brain cells to
fill 40 million adult brains. The researchers say this is essentially a
brain spackle which can be used to treat Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
University of Michigan researchers have identified a gene which
throttles back stem cells to stop uncontrolled cell growth which is
what cancer is. University of Pittsburgh and University of Connecticut
scientists have created cloned mice from mature blood cells, something
that had not been done before and which would give better results than
stem cells in treating many diseases or organs. The point is that there
are many superior alternatives to embryonic stem cells, taking the
question of paying women to abort babies out of the discussion.
--Data from Popular Science, January 2007, page 39.
Ozone Hole Increases.
During the year 2006 the size of the Southern Hemisphere's ozone loss
reached record values. The hole reached a size of 10.6 million square
miles on the average. It is believed that unusual weather caused this
increase, as the concentration of manmade chemicals made up of chlorine
and bromine previously blamed for the ozone size has decreased. There
is no question that mankind needs to avoid getting destructive
chemicals into the atmosphere, but the ozone hole may be far more
complex than being just something mankind has caused.
--Reference: Astronomy, January 2007, page 28.
Lucy's Baby Flap Continues.
In 2006 a juvenile specimen of the species called Australopithecus afarensis was
discovered and nicknamed Selam. This is the same species as the fossil
called Lucy which has been called "a missing link" by many popular
science writers. The fact is that these specimens are not links, but
have interest in the debates among anthropologists about evolutionary
models. Lucy has some characteristics that indicate she might have had
a fairly erect posture, and some theories suggest that apes became
erect and then their brain sizes enlarged. The brain size of Lucy and
Selam is very small--under 500 cc (a chimpanzee is typically 525 cc on
the average). The mandible (jaw bone) of these specimens is V shaped
like a monkey, not C shaped like a human. The scientists studying Selam
are interested in this specimen because the scapula looks more like a
gorilla than a human and that has generated heated debate. To call this
a link is an extreme stretch, but it is of great interest to those
debating anthropological theories.
--References: Scientific American, December 2006, page 78; National Geographic, November 2006, page 148.
Lobbying Organization. The Secular Coalition for America
organized a political action lobby to influence laws in the United
States. The group will oppose any statement that "rights are derived
from God" or that this country is a "Christian nation." They will also
work to stop any government program that "promotes or favors religion
over nonreligion," and "to remove `under God' from the Pledge of
Allegiance." The director is Lori Lipman Brown who has already had face
to face meetings with Nancy Pelosi (House Minority Leader). Brown
claims she represents 5 to 30 million unbelievers behind her, but the
list of supporters is about 1700. Brown says that gay rights serve as a
model for what she is doing, and if the homosexual activists are any
indication of how successful she will be, the movement will have
--Sources of information: The San Francisco Chronicle, February 20, 2006; Atheists United (www.AtheistsUnited.org); and www.secular.org.
Francis Collins Continues to Get Attention. Dr. Francis Collins is probably the most publicized figure in apologetics for the year 2006. Dr. Collins is recognized for being the director of the Human Genome Project which mapped the human genome. Unlike many scientists who are believers, Dr. Collins has been very public about his faith in God, and this has precipitated the media attempts to oppose this part of his background. Dr. Collins may look rather diminutive, but he is very capable of defending his beliefs, and has conducted several interesting interviews and participated in a media debate with Richard Dawkins--the leading atheist of the past year or so. Time recorded this debate in their November 13, 2006 issue (page 49) after running an article about Collins in their July 17, 2006 issue (page 46). We encourage you to read these articles. Collins does well with his defense of his faith, and while you may not agree with him on everything, you will find his approach and answers to be useful.
New Record for Movie
The movie Crash has set a record among major new films for expletives.
This 2006 film has 182 expletives including the F-word being used 99
times. Brokeback Mountain was
second in 2006 with 92 curse words and Munich was next with 22. When what
people watch is full of this kind of language, it is no wonder that we
hear such an increase in profanity in every part of our lives.
--Source: Mastermedia International's The Mediator, Fall '06.
Dolphin Found with Remains of Legs. Our newspapers all had an Associated Press article on November 4, 2006, about a bottlenose dolphin captured with an extra set of fins. These were odd shaped symmetrical protrusions found near the tail of the animal, about the size of human hands--much smaller than the fins of the 8.92 foot long animal. There has been very little information given about whether the fins had bones in them, and if so what those bones were like. Humans will sometimes have an extension of soft tissue from the base of the spine. It is not, contrary to what some have said, a tail. It is simply a growth of tissue that can be due to a mutation or chemical problems in the baby's development. The preliminary statement by Seiji Osumi at Tokyo's Institute of Cetacean Research is that this is "a freak mutation." To assume it is a throwback to the time when dolphins were land dwellers is a stretch. We would like to point out that while this is of scientific interest, it is not a biblical issue at all. The Bible's description of kinds is very broad--flesh of fish, flesh of birds, flesh of beasts, and flesh of man (see 1 Corinthians 15:39; Genesis 1:20-28; and Genesis 6). The dolphin is not a fish, and this find if it were a proof that dolphins were mammals on the land who adapted to the sea would not be an issue of any kind.
Home School Site Information. For those of you interested in homeschooling and its related problems, there are four web sites listed in the Wall Street Journal (September 14, 2006, page D1) you may be interested in looking at:
www.hslda.org--for legal information
www.nheri.org--statistics and links to an academic journal
www.nhen.org--resources and message boards.
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