CRUCIFIXION DATING HOAX. Christianity in the 20th century had a history of well meaning Christians making wild and erroneous scientific claims of support for biblical statements. They ranged from the "missing day of Joshua" to human tracks in the same rock strata as dinosaur tracks, but they were destructive because they gave atheists lots of material to claim that Christianity was invented by incredibly ignorant people who knew nothing about the real world. Now we are in the 21st century, but the situation does not seem to be any better. There is now an article circulating in brotherhood periodicals that maintains that two Romanian astronomers have pin-pointed the date of the crucifixion as Friday, April 3, 33 AD. The problem is that the so-called astronomers are matching the first full moon following the vernal equinox with a solar eclipse to get their date. Any seventh grader can tell you that you never get a solar eclipse anywhere near a full moon. The reason is that to get a full moon the moon has to be on the opposite side of the earth from the sun, and to get an eclipse the moon has to be between the earth and the sun.

GEOCENTRIC NONSENSE. Another item circulating which is in the same category is a book being sent free to lots of churches claiming that the biblical concept of astronomy is geocentric (the earth being orbited by everything else) with claims of scientific proof of geocentricity. This book is horrendous both scientifically and biblically. The claims of the meanings of Hebrew words violate every lexicon we have in our library, and major scientific demonstrations that the earth orbits the sun are ignored.

CENSUS DATA. The 2002 Census Bureau figures are out and are revealing: 2.9 million children under the age of 18 live with a parent and his or her unmarried partner and 4.9 million homes reported the head of the household living with an unmarried partner (up from 3 million in 1990). About half of all marriages now involve couples who have previously lived together with an unmarried partner of the opposite sex. It is not hard to understand why there is a huge jump in America's social and educational problems when you look at what is happening to our homes.

--Reference: USA Today, September 18, 2004, page 1A.

INTERESTING NEAR-DEATH DATA. We have had articles in this journal from time to time discussing claims that some people have made that, when they nearly died, they experienced a visit with God. The gist of our articles has been that we feel this is a physically induced sensation, not a spiritual experience. A recent study has shown that near-death experiences are 10 times more likely to occur in people who have cardiac arrest than in other problems where the person comes into a near-death experience. We would suggest that this lends support to our contention that, even though it may be very realistic, this is not a miraculous connection to God

--Reference: Science News, August 16, 2003, page 109.

LIBRARIES SHUT OFF SCIENTIFIC LITERATURE TO PUBLIC. If you had leukemia, you might want to read current issues of Leukemia Research, a research journal telling of new discoveries. In the past, you could go to a library and on the library computer terminals you could tap into the magazine and read. Scientific American reports in the September 2003 issue (page 24-25) that this is changing. Publishers have contracts with libraries and have demanded that users have a HSL Online password to access journals they print. This is obviously a money issue, but what it does is to prevent lay persons from having access to technical information-- something that is a liability for everyone.

LACI PETERSON CASE AND ABORTION. The inconsistencies of the abortion problem are showing up again in the trial of Scott Peterson, who is being accused of murdering his wife and their unborn child. The charges against Peterson are of a double murder, but Laci Peterson was in her eighth month of pregnancy. NOW head Mavra Star said it well: "If this is murder, then any time a late-term fetus is aborted, they should call it murder."

--Reference: World, May 3, 2003, page 9.

GIVING TO OTHERS EXTENDS LIFE. A study in Psychological Science, July 2003, reported that those who are care givers for others have a significantly higher life expectancy than those who do not help others. The reasons for this are not known, but we would suggest that the Christian concept of serving others is good for the server as well as the one being served.

--Reference: Science News, July 26, 2003, page 51.

ANOTHER STEM CELL SOURCE. There is no question about whether stem cells can have huge value in treating disease. It is obvious that there can be all kinds of beneficial things come from the use of cells that do not have a genetic identity. The question is whether these cells have to come from aborted babies. In almost every issue of this journal, we have reported a new source of stem cells, and the latest is from baby teeth. Inside baby teeth, there is a significant amount of stem cells which can be used in any stem cell application. Pamela DenBesten, a stem cell researcher had the one liner on this. She said, "This could put the tooth fairy out of business."

--Reference: Popular Science, August 2003, page 29.

MISSING FATHER AND EARLY SEX BY DAUGHTERS. One of the problems of the breakdown of the biblical concept of family apparently is that the daughters of families where the father is absent engage in sexual activity sooner than their peers. The most recent study shows that the teenage pregnancy rate of girls who were under five when their fathers left the home was eight times that of families where both parents were present. Girls who were between 6 and 13 years old had three times the pregnancy rate. There are a lot of theories about why this is true, but the bottom line is that God's plan for the family is what is best for children.

--Reference: Science News, July 19, 2003, page 35-36.

ATHEISM. We have contended for 35 years that belief in God is going to be the major battle that Christians will face in the next 100 years. Christianity Today, August 2003, page 17, reports that in recent surveys only 38% of Americans asked had attended a church or synagogue during the past seven days. Obviously, nonattendance does not equate to atheism directly, but there is certainly a link. In Gospel Herald, June 2003, page 4, is a statistic that shows that Canadians that expressed "no religion" when asked their religious affiliation has grown by 43.9%, or 4.8 million people.

BONE BOX BATTLE CONTINUES. We have reported that the bone box found in Israel with "James, Son of Joseph, brother of Jesus" inscribed on it was being studied by a number of experts. The Geological Survey of Israel tested the box and found it to be valid. The Israel Antiquities Authority declared in June that the inscription was a fake. Biblical Archaeology Review and Hershel Shanks disagree and charges and counter charges have been flying. Part of the problem is that a private individual owns the box which is an irritation to the state.

--Reference: Christianity Today, August 2003, page 28.

MORE TROUBLE WITH HERBS. We have mentioned in previous issues the problems and misunderstandings that people have in using herbal supplements. In Science News, June 7, 2003, page 359, is a report that more problems are coming to light involving potency inconsistencies. Be careful how you use herbs!

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