U.S. Supreme Court Supports Scouts. The Boy Scouts of America have been involved in a series of lawsuits with atheists over whether the scouts have the right to require scouts to take the Scouts' oath "to do my duty to God and my country." Atheist John Scalise took the battle to the Supreme Court in 1998 after Michigan courts had refused to support his challenge to the Mount Pleasant School System which allows the scouts to have a partnership with their schools. The Supreme Court rejected Scalise's claims and refused to review the lower court's decisions. In 2000, the Supreme Court ruled that the Boy Scouts can bar homosexuals from serving as troop leaders. The Boy Scouts are under siege because of their attempts to maintain a positive family structure for boys who participate, and so far they have been successful in maintaining their right to do that. --Source: Michiana Christian News, June 2006, page 1.
Adoption and Homosexuality. In the July 2006 issue of Michiana Christian News is an article by Ed Vitagliano about gay couples adopting children and what the data is showing about such adoptions. The article has a series of studies which show that mother-father couples have a greater success than same-sex couples when it comes to child raising. Gay couples tend to produce disproportionately larger percentages of gay children--24 percent of the children raised in gay couple environments having had same-gender sexual experiences by an early age--while mother-father couples had none reported for the same aged child. Children of lesbian couples declared themselves as lesbians at a rate eight times the general population. All of this tends to support the notion that homosexuality is not an inherited behavior, but is strongly catalyzed by environmental pressures.
Fish to Land Claims. Much has been made in the media of a fossil called Tiktaalik roseae found on Ellesmere Island near the North Pole and claimed to be a transitional fossil. The animal was up to nine feet long, had scales and fins, but had what look like the beginnings of legs, wrists and elbows inside its fins. The animal also had a snout, eyes on top of its head, ribs, a neck, and a skull like land animals. The statements made about the specimen are that it is the link that creationists claimed did not exist between fish and tetropods or land animals.
There are many living fish today that have air bladders and can in a sense walk on land--the Bowfin, the walking catfish of Florida, and the lungfish to name a few. The Bible actually describes four kinds of flesh--fish, bird, beast, and man (1 Corinthians 15:39 and Genesis 1:20-28). This is clearly the "flesh of fish" and is like many animals living today. It may be that some uninformed creationists have made an issue of fish and land animals being different, but that is not a biblical issue. This is an interesting find, but it is not an affront to the Bible and poses no problem for the Genesis account. --Source: Scientific American, June 2006, page 27; The Week, April 21, 2006, page 20.
Prayer of No Value. A three-year study of the Therapeutic Effects of Intercessory Prayer (STEP), has been published in the American Heart Journal, April 4, 2006. Major heart centers at Harvard and the Mayo Clinic were involved. The study was of 1,800 patients undergoing heart-bypass surgery. The patients prayed for in the study actually did worse than those who were not prayed for with 59 percent of the prayed for group having heart arrhythmias while only 52 percent of the unprayed-for group had the problem. This data is being widely circulated on skeptic and atheist web sites and journals and has been widely cited in the media.
There are so many fallacies in the 2.4 million dollar study funded by the John Templeton Foundation that it is hard to know where to start. Church group prayers were used for the prayer patients. That assumes that group prayers are more significant than individual prayers. The physiological benefits were very specific and had only to do with physically measurable criteria. It is assumed that physical healing is the only thing of significance, and that the patients knowing whether they were prayed for or not had no influence. Prayer has never been a device to solve medical problems. It has always had to do with people's spiritual well being and how they are able to handle what comes in life. The miracles of Jesus were done for reasons that went way beyond living forever, and in fact the one promise we know is true is that "it is appointed unto man once to die." Human attempts to turn prayer into a circus or a lab are doomed to failure, because that is not prayer's primary purpose. God can perform a miracle any time He wants to, but human attempts to manipulate, measure, and control God are doomed from the start. --Data from Scientific American, June 2006, page 20.
Meth and God. The methamphetamine problem is growing at an astronomical rate in the United States. From 2002 to 2004 abusers and dependency on the drug has risen to 22 percent. Meth can be produced from rubbing alcohol, lye, and cough medicine. The drug started in Hawaii in the 1980s and has been spreading eastward. Usage in California, Oregon, Idaho, and Wyoming has exceeded 200 cases per 100,000 people with Iowa reaching that level in 2004.
Like all drugs, mankind has taken good materials that God has given us and has twisted them to produce a highly destructive material. This is not a God-made product, but a dangerous chemical that destroys its users. Organized crime is now involved with the production of this material. This is not a creation of God, but a tool of Satan; and Christians will have to get involved to meet this growing menace. We are now beginning to see Christians organizing to help people who have allowed meth to destroy their lives. --Source: Scientific American, August 2006, page 28.
C.S. Lewis Web Site. One of the most prolific writers in apologetics of the past century was C.S. Lewis. His work has been very helpful to many, and a new group in California has established the C.S. Lewis Society. They are promoting much of the work of Lewis on a web site that is at http://www.lewissociety.org.
For the Blind. We want to remind our readers that this journal is available on cassette for the visually impaired. All we need is the address of the person who needs the cassette, and we will send it under the postal rules for blind materials. There is no cost for this as long as the person receiving it is legally blind.
Back to Contents Does God Exist?, NovDec06.