News and Notes title
from Does God Exist? November/December 2011

ANNOUNCING OUR 2012 CANYONLANDS TRIP! Last year we canceled our Canyonlands trip, and we received a significant amount of mail from readers who were canyon boatunhappy about that cancellation and indicated that they wanted to go but had not made a commitment to do so. Our problem is that we have an investment in the cost of the trip and we even lose some personal money in doing the trip. We have no resources to underwrite the costs for others. To try to eliminate that problem in 2012, we are going to ask anyone who would be interested in participating in the Canyonlands trip to pre-register. You do not have to pay anything now, but if you are reasonably sure you want to go, we would like to know that so we have some indication of whether there is enough interest.

Bryce Canyon
          hoodoosThe Canyonlands field trip, July 23 – 27, 2012, is for Christians and involves lectures on the bus and field examination of the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Zion Canyon, Petrified Forest, Meteor Crater, Lake Powell, Sunset Crater and the Painted Desert. We travel by air conditioned, chartered bus and stay in good motels. The cost this year will be $889 per Grand Canyonperson for two in a room. This covers all bus costs, entry fees, motel bills, breakfasts, and materials. No money is paid to your host or guides. Transportation to Flagstaff, noon and evening meals, gratuities, souvenirs, and housing for Sunday and Friday nights are not included.

If you want to go on this trip, please e-mail us at or mail us a note. Whether we do the trip this year will depend on the interest that is expressed.

Pictures on this page © Roland Earnst

Since 1972 we have had a book titled The Source: Eternal Design or Infinite Accident? The book has been reprinted with updated information and a different format, but its basic theme has been scientific support for the existence of God. In 2001 we released a college-level edition of the book that was published by Howard Publishing, and we still have that edition available. We have re-written that edition on a high-school reader’s level and the new version will be available about the first week of December from us at our cost of $8.00 postpaid or through our website with a credit card for $7.95 plus postage. It can also be borrowed like any of our materials by contacting us. To order send a check or money order for $8.00 to Does God Exist? PO Box 2704, South Bend, IN 46680-2704.

POLITICIANS  AND EVOLUTION. As we enter another election year, we find politicians trying to capture groups of voters by taking positions on issues. Rick Perry was asked in New Hampshire, “Why don’t you believe in science.” He then was led to take a position on evolution in which he stated evolution was a theory “with some gaps in it.” Jon Huntsman, another Republican candidate stated, “To be clear I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming.” Only eight percent of Republicans polled said they believed in evolution without any other intervention. The point that needs to be made here is that questions about science and religion need to be answered with clear definitions and with the candidate explaining what they mean, not just making superficial statements to get votes. Source: 8/25/11.

IS AIDS REALLY SYPHILIS? Dr. Lynn Margulis is a widely recognized scholar in the area of symbiotic factors in the history of life on earth. In Discover magazine (April 20, 2011, page 66) there is a fascinating interview in which Dr. Margulis makes some interesting points about the incompleteness of Darwinism. One controversial point she makes in the interview is that there is no proof that HIV causes AIDS. She also observes that penicillin does not kill syphilis. What causes syphilis is the spirochete (a corkscrew-shaped bacterium) that lives in a relationship with the genome of the person. AIDS is very much the same kind of infection, and both syphilis and AIDS exist in a relationship with the body so you never really are cured of either disease. All of this points out why not following God’s plan for sexual conduct is so dangerous.

COHABITATION DATA CONTINUES TO BE NEGATIVE. The number of people living together who are not married continues to climb. Glenn T. Stanton has written a book titled The Ring Makes All the Difference in which he presents scientific data on people who cohabit and what the results of that lifestyle is. Some of the conclusions of the scientific studies are: (1) People in cohabiting relationships are relationally and emotionally more manipulative than those who are married. (2) Couples who cohabit have less sex and less-fulfilling sex over the long term than those who are married. (3) Children in homes where their mother is cohabiting are three to four times more likely to see violence, have less money spent on them, and experience more drug and alcohol abuse and more infidelity than children in married households.

MORE EVIDENCE HUMANS ORIGINATED IN ASIA. The Bible indicates that humans originated in the Tigris-Euphrates-Pison rivers area of what is now Iraq. Traditionally evolutionists have maintained man originated in Africa. A west Asian site called Dmanisi is revealing specimens of Homo erectus much older than those found in Africa. Harvard anthropologist Philip Rightmire says “It certainly looks as though the African origin of Homo erectus, must be reconsidered.” It will be interesting to see if further studies vindicate the biblical record on this point. Source: Science News, July 2, 2011, page 8.

NO TIME TRAVEL. A research team in Hong Kong led by Dr. Du Shengwang has shown that photons (the basic units of light) cannot go faster than the speed of light (186,282 miles per second). That means that the information carried by a photon can only exist in the present so an effect cannot come before its cause. Science fiction fans will have to go back to the drawing boards to come up with a way to go back into the past to change the present. We would suggest this is a design feature God has built into the creation, so man has to live responsibly because he gets no chance to go back and undo his past mistakes. Source: The Week, August 12, 2011, page 21.

FIRES AND  PLAGUES. One of the questions asked us frequently is why God commanded Israel to destroy and burn whole cities of their enemies — killing and burning even the animals in the cities. Our response has always been that the diseases and plagues that these people had contracted by not following God’s laws left no choice, but to sterilize the area. In Discover magazine (October 2011, page 80) is a reference to the fact that the 1666 Great Fire of London destroyed 80 percent of the city and ended the bubonic plague that had killed some 65,000 people in the previous year. The fire killed the rats and fleas that carried Yersinia pestis, the plague causing bacterium.

NINE MILLION UNKNOWN SPECIES ON EARTH. There are about 1.9 million species of life that have been identified by scientists on this planet, but research shows that many more exist. Biologists now say that there are 7.8 million species of animals, 611,000 species of fungi and 300,000 species of plants that have not been identified. Most of the animals that have not been found yet are very small. Recently a previously unknown, half-inch long Caribbean gecko was found in the Dominican Republic. The biblical word “kind” (Hebrew miyn in Genesis 1:11, 12 — Greek phusis in James 3:7) is a very broad word and not the same as “species.” In 1 Corinthians 15:39 Paul identifies four kinds of animals and the same grouping is given in Genesis. “Species” is a scientific term, and centers around the ability of offspring to be able to reproduce. Some of these newly discovered species may bring new drugs as exotic animals and plants frequently do. These forms may also provide new foods, and materials to mankind. The details of God’s creative wisdom and the methods He has employed to provide for man’s needs continue to astound those who research the wonderful planet on which we live. Source: The Chronicle-Journal of Thunder Bay, Ontario, 8/24/11, and AP science writer Seth Borenstein.

GAY MARRIAGE LAWS LEAD TO POLYGAMY SUIT. Kody Brown is a member of a Mormon group that espouses polygamy (one man/many wives). Brown is married to five women and has 16 children. He is suing the state of Utah claiming their anti-polygamy laws violate his rights. The suit claims “consenting polygamists deserve the same right to privacy as gay people.” The Browns are not accused of hurting their children or coercing minors. The suit says they “just want the right to create a loving family according to the values of their faith.” We would suggest this is a very predictable result of the gay marriage issue. Still to come are group marriages, marriages to animals, etc. How welfare laws, medical insurance laws, divorce laws, and tort laws function in all of this will keep a lot of lawyers in business. God’s definition of marriage is the one proven system that needs to be used as stated in Genesis 2:24 and by Christ. Other civil unions cannot be called marriage without creating a host of problems.
Source: The Week, August 5, 2011, page 16.

ARCHAEOLOGIST ADMITS PREJUDICE AGAINST BIBLE. Hershel Shanks is the editor of Biblical Archaeology Review, and is known for his controversial views on many subjects. In the July/August 2011 issue (page 6) Shanks takes on his fellow archaeologists by claiming that there is heavy prejudice against the Bible in professional archaeology. The particular archeology dig which has precipitated this is work by Eilat Mazar of Hebrew University who has used the Bible to decide where to excavate King David’s palace. Attacks on Mazar’s work have been extensive — which is normal in archaeology. The main critic is Ronny Reich of Haifa University who is a biblical minimalist maintaining that the Bible cannot be trusted. Shanks points out, correctly, that this attitude taints all of archaeology and is unfortunate. Hopefully he can get a more objective treatment of archaeological research.

NEANDERTHALS RETURN. For the past several years there has been an attempt to suggest that Neanderthal man was a different species than modern man. New genetic analysis has shown that some of the human X chromosomes have been found in a piece of Neanderthal DNA called a haplotype. Dr. Nick Patterson of MIT says “There is little doubt that this haplotype is present because of mating with our ancestors and the Neanderthals.” The report which is on says that “Neanderthals possessed a gene for language and had sophisticated music, art, and tool craftsmanship skills.” We have suggested for many years that racial differences are confused with speciation by the general public, and two races can look very different and yet still be one species. We are truly “one blood” as Acts 17:26 maintains. Source:

NEW PRINTING OF USSHER’S OLD BOOK. In 1650 an Anglican Bishop named James Ussher published a book titled Annals of the World. The 1,600-page book has now been reprinted in English (960 pages in this edition) and is being used by many homeschoolers. The book claims to be the history of the world from the Garden of Eden to the fall of Jerusalem. Ussher put the date of creation as October 23, 4004 BC, making the Earth 6,015 years old this past October. The date of October 23 was arrived at by guessing that the Jews started their calendar at harvest time. Ussher then took the first Sunday after the fall equinox which at that time was in October (today it is September 21.) About 15 percent of Ussher’s research is from the Bible, with the rest coming from secular sources. We have pointed out many times that Ussher makes huge assumptions in his calculations of dates, and many of these biblical assumptions can be shown to be incorrect. We have a list of some of these assumptions on our website in the booklet God’s Revelation in His Rocks and His Word.

MORE MULTIVERSE DISCUSSION. Many atheists explain the apparent fine-tuning of the universe by claiming that there are many parallel universes that have existed outside of time, and that we are in one that has all the properties necessary for life. In the August 2011 issue of Scientific American (page 38) there is an excellent article explaining multiverse theory. Two interesting statements in the article point out why this proposal is not an answer to the creation. The author states, “The trouble is that no possible astronomical observations can ever see those other universes. The arguments are indirect at best. And even if the multiverse exists, it leaves the deep mysteries of nature unexplained” (page 39). “Scientists proposed the multiverse as a way of resolving deep issues about the nature of existence, but the proposal leaves the ultimate issues unresolved. All the same issues that arise in relation to the universe arise again in relation to the multiverse. If the multiverse exists, did it come into existence through necessity, chance, or purpose? That is a metaphysical question that no physical theory can answer for either the universe or the multiverse” (page 43). We suggest that those answers can be found in Genesis 1 and the biblical concept of God and what God is.

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