Fibonacci Correction. We try to make sure that everything in our materials is accurate. Sometimes we get some bad information, and when we do, we always try to correct it. In our materials on Fibonacci's ratio there is a statement about the nautilus (an ocean-going cephalopod) which indicates its shell is curled in the Fibonacci ratio. In reality the shell is a logarithmic curl, not the Fibonacci curl.
Darwin's 200th/150th. Charles Darwin was born on February 12, 1809, and in 1859 his famous book The Origin of the Species was released. National Geographic and Smithsonian magazines devoted their February issues to Darwin, and countless essays and articles on Darwin's work have appeared in just about every mainstream media publication. What is interesting is that if you read what Darwin actually did and what he actually studied, you will find brilliant science, and wonderful discoveries that support and agree with the Bible on every checkable point. It is the wild speculations and theories of later writers trying to equate Darwin's work on the finches with naturalism that has created the hostile climate that exists in the relationship of faith and evolution. The fact that species can adapt and change to fit a changing world is a design feature of life, whether it be the beaks of Darwin's finches or modern farm animals and plants. When you read all the publicity about Darwin, do it with your brain engaged and be critical of the author's hidden agenda.
Great Apes Project. One of the major issues connected with evolution and naturalism is the value of a human being. If you accept the proposition that all life is the product of chance directed by mechanical forces, then humans have no more worth or value than any other living thing. The biblical contention that man is specially created in the image of God and has intrinsic worth because of that unique creation, is denied by those who promote naturalism. In 1993 a group was established called "Great Ape Project" which demanded a basic set of moral and legal rights for apes. In June of 2008 the Spanish parliament was asked to approve a resolution that would prohibit the use of apes in any experiments, entertainment, or commercial venture. Peter Singer, a well-known atheist and promoter of this philosophy, calls it an historic breakthrough. Similar efforts are underway in the United Kingdom, Austria and New Zealand.
Dr. Frans de Waal of Emory University made the comment that should come to everyone's mind, "... if we give rights to apes, what would be the compelling reason not to give rights to the monkeys, dogs, rats, and so on?" GAP responded, "All creatures that can feel pain should have a basic moral status." No one is suggesting animal cruelty, but if all animal testing is stopped then medicines will either have to be tested on humans or medical research will have to stop. How then will we solve the disease problems facing mankind today? Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Japan, and the US all have research ban laws or dignity laws being proposed. The Swiss law could even be applied to plants. The biblical claim that man is special is important. We are created in the image of God and are charged by God to manage the creation with compassion and wisdom (Genesis 2:15). When we abandon that concept, all kinds of proposals have to be considered equally valid. Source: Seed Magazine, December 2008, page 12.
An Atheist Appeals for Christianity. Marcello Pera is an atheist and Italian senator who stirred things up recently by releasing his latest book titled Perch� Dobbiamo Dirci Cristiani (Why We Must Call Ourselves Christians). Pera was president of the senate from 2001 to 2006 and has written a number of books. In this latest book he points out that Europe with its enormous diversity needs to have a force that can bring it all together. Pera notes that "Christianity's concept of the human person as created in the image of God is not something found in other cultures, and this exists prior to the state's intervention." Source: Zenit at www.zenit.org/article-24494?l=english.
Circumcision Availability a Problem. During the last ten years in the United States there has been a movement to stop circumcision, claiming it is a barbaric custom that has religious significance but no health benefit. The recent HIV epidemic in Africa has laid to rest any notion that there is no benefit in circumcision. Data shows there is a high correlation between a lack of circumcision and HIV infection with HIV infection being reduced by 50 percent where circumcision is practiced. There is now a backlog as health officials try to meet the demand for circumcision. We would add that if lifestyles were brought in line with what God teaches in His word HIV could be wiped out. Source: Science News, January 3, 2009, page 24.
New Studies Deny Wine Benefit. We have noted in this column in the past about claims that moderate wine drinking lowers the risk of heart problems. A new study reported in the Medical Journal Watch reports that the benefits reported in the past were for people with unhealthy behaviors such as smoking, lack of exercise, or poor diet. Among people who got regular exercise, ate fruits and vegetables, and did not smoke, there was no advantage. The study report mentions that with data showing connections to genetic predispositions to alcoholism and the risk for certain kinds of cancers there is no justification for drinking. We continue to maintain that there is good reason for Christians to abstain from using the most destructive recreational drug on the planet.
New Problems For Radiometric Dating. We have tried to emphasize in this journal, that the age of the earth is not a biblical issue. The problem is that both biblical and scientific methods of dating have massive assumptions involved that could make significant errors in the methods. A new discovery has added some more data to that discussion. Radiometric dating assumes that the decay we see in radioactive nuclei always takes place with the same decay scheme and that the half life of the decay does not change. New data on radioactive decay now suggests that neutrinos can induce a change in the decay rate of certain isotopes. The earth's distance from the sun alters how many neutrinos strike the earth, and changes in decay have been observed as this process takes place. How much influence this has on common methods of dating used in geology and anthropology is still being debated, but dogmatically insisting on a certain age either scientifically or biblically is not wise. Source: Science News, November 22, 2008, page 2.
Homosexual Data. One of the problems involved in the ongoing debate about gay marriage is getting data from scientists who have actually done studies without having an ax to grind. On both sides of the issue we have had people who tended to select data to support what they already believed. That accusation can certainly be leveled against gay activists and anti-gay activists. However, there is one study available on the Web and in print that has a documentation list that makes it worth examining. The ten-page report opposing homosexuality has a reference list of 32 studies and articles which tend to suggest it is more than just the opinion of the author. You can get it on the Web at www.familyresearchinst.org/FRI_EduPamphlet7.html or write for it at Family Research Institute, PO Box 62640, Colorado Springs, CO 80962, phone 303-681-3113.
Global Warming. Ice core studies in Greenland have reported that 11,500 years ago the temperature of the planet increased 22 degrees in just 50 years. If that research holds up, it is an incredible change, far greater than what we are experiencing now. Stay tuned. Source: Science Illustrated, January/February 2009, page 20.
More Marijuana Problems. The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center released a report on February 9, 2009, revealing that there is a high correlation between marijuana use and testicular cancer. The cancer is nonseminoma, and it has increased rapidly in recent years, especially in Europe where cases have increased by 6 percent. The study was of 369 testicular cancer patients between the ages of 18 and 44 and showed a 70 percent increased risk for the disease. Marijuana has a strong interaction with hormonal production, so the finding is not a major surprise.
"Human Chimp" Goes Bad. We have maintained in this journal that what makes us human is the fact that we are created in the image of God. Our soul is what gives us our capacity for creativity, and our capacity to feel guilt, sympathy, and love. Atheists have maintained that these characteristics are a product of our brains, and that animals have these traits, but they are just not developed. One animal that has been used to back this claim is "Travis" a chimpanzee used in Old Navy and Coca Cola commercials and several movies. His owner, Sandra Herold, had the chimp doing human things--eating at the table, channel surfing TV with a remote, bathing, dressing, using a toilet, etc. On February 16, 2009, the 200-pound chimp attacked and mauled a 56-year-old friend of Ms. Herold who is in critical condition at the present time. Authorities say the animal "reverted to instinctive behavior." Our point is that animals do not have a soul and are not created in the image of God. Trying to turn an animal into a human with human values and spiritual characteristics is doomed to failure. Source: AP, February 18, 2009.
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