News & Notes

PORN INDUSTRY FACTS COME OUT. We mentioned in our last issue that Time and U.S. News and World Report had carried major stories on the pornography business in the United States. The articles have brought a flood of letters and articles from people in the pornography business, doctors, and psychologists who reveal interesting facts about people who are active in pornography. Dr. K.R. Pittenger, M.D., writing in U.S. News and World Report, March 3, 1997, page 5, says "In my work as a suburban family doctor...I have encountered multiple patients who were 'exotic dancers; and who 'acted' in porn films. Nearly all are survivors of childhood sexual abuse, addiction and depression. They 'follow the money' and approval in their sexualized lives, just as their abusers taught them.... These people are not happy-go-lucky exhibitionists...; 'normal' people who view pornography need to boycott the industry." The other side of this issue is the damage that is done to innocent people because of the effect of people viewing porn material.

Another related issue is a recent study showing that 70% of women who abuse alcohol or drugs were sexually abused as children. (U.S. News and World Report, June 17, 1996, page 20.)

NEW FLOOD DATA. There are a variety of evidences that can be used to support the fact that the flood described in the Bible did occur. In Biblical Archaeology Review, March/April, 1997, page 10, is a report of some new work in the Black Sea. William Ryan and Walter Pittman at Columbia University report that some 7500 years ago sea levels rose rapidly and salt water cascaded through the Bosporos strait into the Black Sea, raising levels some 500 feet and flooding at least 60,000 square miles of land. There are a variety of other indications of changes in sea level all around the world that further support the concept of a massive flood. These types of studies cannot answer questions about the extent of the flood or whether it is even the one described in the Bible, but they do show events like the one described occurring and lend credibility to the biblical account.

HALE-BOPP, UFOS, HEAVEN'S GATE, E.T., AND GOD. For many years, we have given a presentation which we called "UFOs, Ancient Astronauts, the Bermuda Triangle, the Loch Ness Monster, and God." The lesson has always been a debunking exercise to try to get people to realize that the hope that UFOs are going to bring beings to the earth who will solve our problems for us is misguided and that UFOs and related phenomena have logical rational explanations. God is the only solution to the problems facing man, and for most UFO proponents the whole area of study is a religious matter rather than a scientific one. If the recent Heaven's Gate tragedy has any positive thing that can come from it, we would hope that it would make clear to everyone no matter where they stand on this issue the danger of closed-minded approaches to this area of study.

Here are some facts that may be helpful to those interested in this area of study:

  1. There have been no real surprises in the Hale-Bopp comet. It was normal in every respect, never posed a threat to the earth, and (outside of a few trace elements and compounds that were un-expected), was exactly what scientists believed comets were. Comets are a regular phenomena in astronomy, but this one was bigger, was at a good observing angle to the northern hemisphere of the earth, and was widely publicized.
  2. Comets are objects running about 25 miles in diameter which have large amounts of gases in them. They come from the outer edges of the solar system, swing around the sun, and return to their origin in an elliptical orbit. When they get near the sun, the gases in them are activated by the sun and give off visible light. These gases can stretch a million miles away from the comet. No one lives on, in, or near a comet.
  3. The air force has not investigated UFO sightings since 1970. SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence project popularized by the late Carl Sagan) has been searching for microwaves or radio waves of aliens without success.
  4. Roswell, N.M., is having a special UFO extravaganza this summer to follow up on the hype around a claimed UFO crash in the area. Promotion materials and pictures from their museum are being shown in the media.
  5. The Bible does not say that this is the only place that God has seen fit to create life. If life is discovered elsewhere, it will not be a threat to the Bible or to Christianity.

The UFO material is available through our video or audio tape programs. We not only have the presentations on UFOs, but also on Demon Possession and Exorcism. To borrow these materials, write us for a catalog which explains procedures. Write Does God Exist? Catalog, 1555 Echo Valley Dr., Niles, MI 49120, FAX 616-687-9431, or e-mail

JOURNAL OF HUMAN SEXUALITY CONTRA-DICTS GAY CLAIMS. The Journal of Human Sexuality has as its 1996 theme a series of seven articles by experts in the field. The titles of the articles are: "The Gay Gene?" by Jeffrey Satinover, MD; "Gay Theology" by Joe Dallas; "Gender Identity Disorder" by George Rekers, PhD; "Kinsey and the Homosexual Revolution" by Judith Reisman, PhD; "The Gay Suicide Myth" by Peter LaBarbera; "How America Went Gay" by Charles Socarides, MD; and "Gay Marriage" by Anton Marco.

The journal is available from 3440 Sojourn Drive, Suite 200, Carrollton, TX 75006, phone: 972-713-7130, fax: 972-713-7670, or e-mail

RESEARCH SHOWS RELIGION HELPS REDUCE TEEN SUBSTANCE ABUSE. Listed below are some summaries of 10 research studies showing factors which reduce drug and alcohol abuse among students and young adults:

This material is made available by the National Institute for Healthcare Research, which has a great deal of material available for purchase as well as a newsletter. The address is 6110 Executive Blvd., Ste. 908, Rockville, Md 20852.

By the way--the April, 1997, issue of Reader's Digest has a family guide supplement titled "How to Raise Drug-Free Kids" that has some useful suggestions.

PLANETS OUTSIDE OUR SOLAR SYSTEM QUESTIONED. Astronomers over the past six months have been circulating a number of papers suggesting the finding of other planets circling stars that are not a part of our solar system. There is now a major question about whether these planets are really there or not. Recent spectral studies suggest that the pertubations in the stars like 51 Pegasi may be large scale oscillations of gases on the surface of the star and not large planets circling the star. The question of how many planets really exist in the cosmos is an interesting one, but the claims of sightings may be in trouble if this new spectra data stands. We will keep you posted. (Source: Science News, March 1, 1997, page 133.)

WHAT MAKES A GIRL A GIRL? Extremists in the feminist and gay camps and many prominent psychologists and sociologists have proposed that gender preference is determined by society--that all babies are born as blank slates and whether they have male or female preferences is dependent on how you raise them and what their genetic controls over their hormones dictate.

In 1963, a set of twins was born, but during circumcision damage was done that was irreversible. Johns Hopkins Medical School expert John Money convinced the parent that the child's best shot at happiness was to be changed into a girl, and surgery and hormone treatments were prescribed. To make a long story short, the child never made it as a female, and in 1977 (at the age of 14) was on the verge of suicide when he was told what had happened. The child's sex was reversed and he now has married and has three adopted children.

The full story is in Time, March 24, 1997, page 83 and in US News and World Report, March 31, 1997, page 17. The story shows that maleness and femaleness are not just culturally determined, but that there is a difference between the two genders which we would suggest is a part of the design that God has built into us all. This incident does not answer a lot of questions such as the true role of genetics in gender preference, but it does show that social variables alone are not the answer.

EVIDENCES OF GOD, VOLUME 7. We have been getting a lot of requests for previous issues of this journal. We can send issues that are fairly recent, but we would like for our readers to be aware that there are bound books of the main articles in this journal in five volumes titled Evidences of God. The articles run from 1972-1996: Vol. 1-3 (1972-1983), Vol. 4 (1984-86), Vol. 5 (1987-89), Vol. 6 (1990-92), and the new Vol. 7 (1993-96). They are $4.00 each or $17 for all five books, postage paid Like all of our materials, they may be borrowed by sending payment with your order to be refunded upon return. Send to Does God Exist?, PO Box 2704, South Bend, IN 46680-2704.  (Make check payable to the Dowagiac Church of Christ.)

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