from Does God Exist? November/December 2009


Those of you familiar with this ministry know that for many years Ruth Sullivan has been one of our workers. She and Ward, her husband, were major supporters of our work when it was just starting in 1968. On several occasions they loaned us money to do projects that we all felt needed to be done. In those early days Ruth was our printer and did all of the early bulletins and courses before we were able to go to color printing. She also helped with many of the mechanical processes of making up lessons and processing materials. Ruth passed away on August 29, 2009 at the age of 92. She was one of the kindest, gentlest, humblest, most spiritual, and most positive persons I have ever known, and her contributions to this ministry were huge. Ward Sullivan was an elder in the Church when I first moved to South Bend and he and Ruth were major factors in my development as a Christian and my decision to make this ministry my life long work. We will miss Ruth a great deal, but we rejoice with her family and friends that she is with the Lord she served so faithfully for so many years.

NEW DATA ON ICE AGES IMPACTS GLOBAL WARMING. There is no question but that global warming is going on here in the twenty-first century, but debate over the causes and man’s impact on the process continues to be an area of concern. A new study at Oregon State University has shown that the ice levels in the past reached their peak during a time of reduced solar levels and not due to changes in carbon dioxide or ocean temperatures. Dr. Peter Clark says, “Solar radiation was the trigger that started the ice melting, … changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and ocean circulation … happened later and amplified a process that had already begun.” Predictable changes in the earth’s rotation and axis cause periodic changes in world-wide average temperatures, and while man may speed up or slow down these processes, man is not the sole cause of what is happening. The paper was released August 7, 2009, in the journal Science, page 710.

AIDS PICTURE GETS MORE COMPLICATED. There are over 40 different simian immunodeficiency viruses (SIV), and there is very little doubt that the AIDS epidemic started with the virus being transmitted from apes to humans. In Time magazine (August 17, 2009, page 12) is an article about a 62-year-old Cameroonian woman who has a variant of the HIV virus which apparently came to her from gorillas. In the August 15, 2009, issue of Science News is a report of SIV starting to cause deaths among chimps (page 5). It has previously been believed that the apes did not get ill from these viruses, but that is apparently not the case. These studies show that the viruses involved are becoming very diversified and are having a significant effect on humans and apes. The viruses get to humans in a variety of ways—eating apes, aberrant sexual practices, and communal living. Once in humans the virus spreads rapidly, especially when God’s instructions for sexual conduct are not followed.

ACTIVE INFIDELITY BLOSSOMS ON THE WEB. You can find anything you want online, but the availability of open immorality on the web has gotten to be a huge business. Craigslist has a plain-Jane listing, but a new site [name omitted].com is designed to facilitate extramarital affairs. The company says that in just the month of June 679,000 men and women used the site and 92 percent of the males were married. The CEO of this site said, “Humans aren’t meant to be monogamous,” but admits he would be devastated if his wife used the site. The notion that multiple partners brings sexual satisfaction is a cruel deception based on an ignorant understanding of sex. Humans ARE meant to be monogamous, and the best of sex is not found in uncommitted, unstable relationships. Source: Time, August 17, 2009, page 59.

MEDIA EXAGGERATIONS SURFACE AGAIN. On May 19, 2009, the claim of a major find that was the missing link between humans and more primitive primates was made by the media. The specimen was called Darwinius masillae and nick named “Ida.” A Web site, a book, and a documentary on the History Channel were all timed to coincide with the announcement. News reports were made that called the specimen “the eighth wonder of the world,” “the Holy Grail,” and “a Rosetta Stone.”

Experts in the field are now saying that all of this hype was blown way out of proportion. The earliest claimed human ancestors by any scientific study is seven million years old. Darwinius masillae is 47 million years old, so there is no possible connection to modern humans. Experts studying the fossil say that the specimen is more closely related to the group of animals that includes lemurs, bush babies, and lorises—not the group that includes monkeys, apes, and man. This is another case of media-driven hype that has no scientific validity and is designed around commercial purposes, not an attempt to ascertain truth. Source: Scientific American, August 2009, page 24.

ATHEISTS INSTITUTE “DE-BAPTISM” TO RENOUNCE FAITH. A major new approach by atheists world wide is to de-baptize people and give them a de-baptisimal certificate. The National Secular Society says they have distributed over 100,000 of these certificates in Britain and over 1,000 in Italy. Most of the de-baptisms make fun of religion with a spoof on communion (crackers with peanut butter) and theatrical satires. Source: USA Today Web site, July 21, 2009.

TEACHER RIDICULE OF FAITH BRINGS SUIT. Chad Farnan found himself being ridiculed by his history teacher at Capistrano Valley High School. When the teacher referred to creationism as “religious, superstitious nonsense” the teacher found himself in court. On May 1, 2009, US District Court Judge James Selna found that the teacher had violated Farnan’s rights. The teacher also said, “When you put on your Jesus glasses, you can’t see the truth,” and, “When you pray for divine intervention, you’re hoping that the spaghetti monster will help you get what you want.” Many young people put up with that kind of harassment daily, and many accept the premise that their faith is wrong. Perhaps this case will help some kids realize they are living in America and their beliefs should be respected. Source: Newsletter of the American Scientific Affiliation, July/August 2009, page 3.

CIRCUMCISION AGAIN. We have mentioned several times in this journal that the act of circumcision which is so heavily ridiculed by opponents of the Bible has strong scientific evidence to back up its validity. An article in Science News (April 25, 2009, page 10) offers a considerable amount of new data. Genital herpes, the human papillomavirus, and HIV, all of which are currently incurable, can be prevented by circumcision. Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Bethesda, Maryland, says “Circumcision not only prevents HIV outright, but also prevents genital herpes.” The risk of HIV is lessened by up to 60 percent by circumcision. Thomas Quinn of NIAID says “the medical evidence of long term benefits is now overwhelming.” God’s laws have offered many benefits to man, but science is now showing the circumcision law was far more beneficial than anyone imagined.

ASTRONOMICAL DATA INTERESTING. One of the strong evidences for the existence of God is in the field of cosmology. As we look at the cosmos and learn from what we see, there is more and more reason to believe in God as the Creator. In the April 25, 2009, issue of Science News (page 5) is a news article about galaxy formation and how complex the system seems to be. The mechanisms of creation are becoming better understood, and as that happens the intelligence behind the system becomes all that more astounding. Also of interest is the fact that in July, 2009, a comet slammed into Jupiter. In 1994 the Levy Shoemaker Comet had an encounter with Jupiter, and many of us saw 17 pieces of the comet slam into Jupiter creating fireballs nearly as large as the earth itself. As astronomers look at the data and model what took place, it becomes increasingly obvious that our major planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune do a special service for us. They protect us from incoming debris from outer space that otherwise could hit our planet and do massive damage here. God has installed comet sweepers to protect us, and this is just one more design feature of the solar system in which we live.

GENETIC PROGRAMMING FOR MIGRATION. One of the things we have discussed extensively in this journal is the evidence of design in animals that migrate from one place to another. We have tried to show that all evolutionary explanations of migratory behavior fail in rather obvious ways to explain what we see. One of the animals where that is especially clear is the monarch butterfly. The monarch flies to a nesting area in Mexico and then returns to the Midwest, battling wind, storms, hurricanes, and the fact is that their life expectancy is too short to make the journey. They have to reproduce along the way and their offspring actually do the final part of the journey. Steven Reppert at University of Massachusetts Medical School has been doing a genetic analysis of the monarchs. He and his team have analyzed over 9,000 of the monarch’s genes. The migration itself involves some 40 of the genes which govern when to start, directions, chemicals needed, and defense mechanisms. We have maintained that such intricate genetic programming can never be the product of chance, and this new discovery seems to back that position. Source: Science News, April 25, 2009, page 14.

Speaking of migration—a recent study of the bar-tailed godwit showed that one bird flew 11,680 kilometers nonstop from Alaska to New Zealand. The journey took more than eight days without food, water, or rest. Source: Science News, November 22, 2008, page 14.

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