News & Notes

LAWSUIT OVER ARK CLAIMS GOES ON. In our last News and Notes, we mentioned a lawsuit in Australia in which a professor sued a preacher over claims the preacher made about Noah's Ark. The professor, Ian Plimer, sued the preacher, Allen Roberts, because Roberts made "false or unprovable claims in a video that purports to show the remains of Noah's Ark in Turkey." The judge in the case ruled in favor of Roberts on the grounds that Roberts had not been involved in trade or commerce as defined by Australian law. The judge went on to say that "Roberts had made false and misleading statements in his lectures and brochures." Plimer is expected to appeal, but the case really adds very little to the debate over evidence for Noah's Ark.
--Biblical Archaeology Review, September/October, 1997, page 26

WHO HAS SEEN NOAH'S ARK? We make reference in our lesson titled "The Flood of Noah--Fact and Myth" that there have been a whole series of fakes, misrepresentations, and false claims about people who have claimed to have found Noah's Ark in one form or another. We have gleaned that information from a dozen different sources--some of them hard to find in any library. Now Natural History magazine has put them all together in an article in their October, 1997, issue. It starts on page 14 and will be of interest to people interested in what has really happened over the past centuries as people have tried for one reason or another to find the Ark.

250,000-YEAR-OLD SCULPTURE? On page 23 of the same magazine is an article about a statuette of a woman that has been found in Israel's Golan Heights area. The lava from which the statue was formed was dated to be over 233,000 years old. The article does not tell where the figure was located relative to the basaltic strata in which it was found, so the date may be arguable. What this does show is that art work is in fact an activity of the earliest humans--whatever their antiquity may have been. Those who attempt to project an evolutionary explanation of artistic expression will have a difficult time explaining this figurine if it turns out to be from very ancient times.

MINI COMET THEORY GAINS GROUND. In Astronomy, November, 1997, page 24-25 is a report of new data supporting the idea that mini-comets are striking the earth at the rate of 5-20 a minute adding a constant supply of water to the earth. A German satellite has measured hydroxyl ion concentrations in the upper atmosphere and found them to coincide with what the mini-comet theory predicts. If evidence confirms this theory, it will overturn almost all previous explanations of the earth's oceans and may explain many of the cycles that sustain the earth

GRAND CANYON TRIP. Over the years, we have offered a float trip or hiking trips into the Grand Canyon to those who have an interest in it. Due to Phyllis Clayton's physical problems, the Claytons have not scheduled a Grand Canyon seminar. Nils Jansma, who has worked with us for many years and who has been with us on three different trips, is offering a Grand Canyon float trip to those Christians who are interested. Nils is accumulating a list of those interested in going and, as soon as he gets a large enough group to be able to have only Christians on the raft, he will set the trip in motion. At this time, he is looking toward the summer of 1999. If you are interested, contact Nils at 2621-42 Sweetwater Rd, National City, CA 92050, call him at 619/475-7581, or e-mail him at

MAY 5, 2000 AND THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST. Well, here we go again! Several years ago, it was The Jupiter Effect in which writers claimed a planetary alignment was going to destroy the earth and lead to the second coming of Christ. Now we have writers making the same claim for the year 2000. It is true that on May 5, 2000, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn will be more or less lined up (within 25° of each other.) It is not true that there will be an effect on the earth. The sun exerts so much more gravity on us than any planet or combination of planets do that there is simply no validity to these claims. Here are some interesting facts to use on someone who tries to make this claim:

  1. The same five planets were even more closely aligned on January 31, 1962, and nothing occurred from that event.
  2. A Boeing 747 flying at 30,000 feet produces more of a tidal effect on the earth's surface than will occur from the May 5, 2000, alignment.
  3. In early January when we are closest to the sun, the pull of gravity on the earth is greater than all the planets combined on May 5, 2000.
  4. Adding the combined gravitational effect of the five planets on May 5, 2000, shows their force is .00003 times that of the sun.

--Astronomy, October, 1997, page 86

ABORTION IN ENGLAND. A company in England named "Marie Stopes International" is advertising 10-minute walk-in, walk-out abortions. Dr. Tim Black, the chief executive of the organization, says it is "an opportunity for women to have an abortion during their lunch break." Even the staunchest advocates of abortion will admit that abortion is not an acceptable method of birth control, but the casual approach being made to abortion throughout the world is carrying that message to young people. Education about the long term effects of abortion, and on what a human being really is are desperately needed in our world today. Abortion is not even a good treatment of a symptom, much less a solution to the real problem.
--Pulpit Helps, November, 1997, page 21

BABIES FROM FROZEN EGGS. We have mentioned several times in this journal that embryos have been taken from their mothers' wombs, frozen quickly, and then reimplanted years later with the pregnancy being successfully completed. On October 17, 1997, Emory University's Center for Reproductive Medicine announced that they have frozen the eggs of women and successfully fertilized them later. New reproductive strategies are coming out all the time. We would suggest that God is concerned about the spiritual makeup of everyone involved in this type of question and that the physical and mechanical methodologies do not have religious significance, but is it not ironical that we have one facility working feverishly to help people have babies and another working just as hard to kill babies? With the challenges facing the world today, one has to wonder what the Lord must think of us.

DINOSAUR BIRD LINK BEING QUESTIONED. One of the main arguments of evolutionists over the past 25 years in support of their theory has been that birds seem to have many characteristics that the dinosaurs are believed to have. PBS and the Discovery Channel have produced marvelous animations and descriptions of "the dinosaurs living among us." Researchers at the University of North Carolina have published an article in Science magazine showing that dinosaurs have an embryonic thumb and that the development of embryos in dinosaurs eggs rules out any relationship to the birds because bird embryos lack such a digit. Dr. Storrs Olson of the Smithsonian says "This is the end of it as far as I am concerned. There is no way that birds and dinosaurs could be directly related." Paul Recer of the Associated Press released an article on this on October 24, 1997, which was in many newspapers around the country. If this discovery stands, it will be a major blow to modern evolutionary theory about the origin of the birds.

NO WAY TO WIN. Time, August 25, 1997, page 46, ran an article titled "Feeding the Flock" in which it presented and praised churches that were able to fill in needs caused by gaps in welfare. The secular world seems to fail to understand that religious groups have always been the main source of aid to the disadvantaged in society. The media is so busy bashing religion that it rarely sees the huge, overpowering amount of good that is done by religious people. Another situation that does not get much press is the fact that many people and churches trying to help people are blocked and even jailed by politicians and government agents. In Buena Park, CA, for example, a minister named Wiley Drake has been sentenced to six months in jail and fined $4,000 for allowing homeless people to sleep on the church property where he preaches (Christianity Today , September 1, 1997, page 94 and April, 29, 1997, page 72). This is just one of dozens of cases where the political and judicial machine persecutes those trying to meet the needs of people rather than helping work out solutions and find permanent changes.

DOMINO EFFECT OF DIVORCE. Time, August 25, 1997, page 22, reports that, if parents divorce, their children are also much more likely to experience divorce. A child who has gone through two divorces is 4 times as likely to go through multiple marriages themselves as someone who has not experienced divorce in the family. The reason God hates divorce becomes more and more obvious when one sees how divorce affects others, not just the participants.

HOW MANY SPECIES ARE THERE? That is the title of an article in US News and World Report, August 18/August 25, 1997. The numbers are huge--4,000 mammals, 4,200 amphibians, 6,100 echinoderms, 6,300 reptiles, 9,000 birds, 12,000 earthworms, 18,800 fishes, 26,900 algae, 30,800 protozoa, 50,000 mollusks, 69,000 fungi, 123,400 noninsect arthropods, 248,000 plants, and 751,000 insects. The Bible identifies four "kinds"--the flesh of fish, birds, beasts, and man. The point is that scientific taxonomy is radically different than Biblical taxonomy. What we have is a splitter verses lumper battle with different definitions and assumptions. Just recognizing this would bring the evolution/creation controversy down to a more rational level of discussion.

OREOPITHECUS BECOMES ERECT: One of the more famous fossil apes popularized by the Time-Life materials is likely to have been able to stand erect because of foot bones which gave a unique posture. The real message is that no smooth flow from a monkey to a human is possible even in the most liberal evolutionary proposal. It will be interesting to see how this find is handled by the popularizers of evolution. --Science News, October 10, 1997

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