There are many explanations given to explain the massive stone
structures seen in the Great Pyramid, Easter Island, Medicine Wheels in
Wyoming, and Stonehenge in Britain. Recent studies on the Salisbury
Plain where Stonehenge is located have uncovered a large Neolithic
settlement with roads running to the large stone structure. Researchers
feel they have found evidence of funerary practices in the area which
are believed to be connected to the purpose of Stonehenge. Those who
try to attach mystical or alien causes to monuments like Stonehenge are
badly misguided. Mankind has always had a concern with the fact that
there has to be a better existence than what we have here, and
elaborate efforts have been made to connect to that existence. The
Great Pyramid in Egypt has 57,000,000 tons of stone made up of
23,000,000 blocks with the largest weighing 15 tons. All of this makes
the Christian message with its simplicity and beauty just that more
marvelous and incredible.
Reference: Time, February 12, 2007, page 21.
How Much Salt? The scale of God's wisdom and planning in the creation frequently escapes us, but a recent figure describing the amount of salt in the ocean might stretch our thinking a little. Marilyn vos Savant in Parade February 11, 2007, reported that if you took all the salt in the ocean and built a wall around the equator with it, the wall would be 180 miles tall and one mile thick.
Radical Moslem Exposé. There is an interesting article on radical Islam in Reader's Digest, February 2007, page 174, by David Gartenstein-Ross. If you would like to see how an American kid from Oregon got into fundamentalist jihadist Islam, do not miss this article.
Ancient Christian Views on Abortion. Many of us seem to assume that the question of unwanted pregnancies is a new issue. In a series of books titled Quotes from the Ante-Nicene Fathers published by William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company (ISBN 0-80288-0-886) there are numerous quotes of early Christian writers condemning abortion and infanticide. Some examples are from the Didache: "You shall not murder a child by abortion or kill one who has been born." Cyprian wrote "The womb of his wife was hit by a blow of his heel. And, in the miscarriage that soon followed, the offspring was brought forth, the fruit of a father's murder." Tertullian wrote "In our case murder is once for all forbidden. Therefore, we may not destroy even the fetus in the womb ... . To hinder birth is merely a speedier way to kill a human. It does not matter whether you take away a life that has been born or destroy one that is not yet born." While these statements are not from God, they certainly show that the issue of unwanted children was present in the early Church, and killing them before or after birth was not considered an acceptable option.
Prison Condoms and HIV.
We have been involved in prison work for most of the 40-year history of
this ministry, with large numbers of incarcerated men and women taking
our free correspondence courses. One common question is how God views
sexual activity in the prison environment. While it is easy to talk
about sin and why any sexual activity outside of God's plan in marriage
is wrong, the fact is that all studies show that 40 to 60 percent of
inmates engage in sexual activity and HIV rates are eight times the
general population. Condoms are legal in prisons in Vermont and Los
Angeles, and a bill in California was vetoed by Governor Schwarzenegger
that would have allowed them in California state prisons. There is a
federal bill in the works at the time of this writing. The implications
of all of this are staggering, and a good reflection of how far our
society continues to slide towards a complete lack of moral behavior at
Reference: POZ magazine, January 2007, page 12.
Genetic Causes. One of the most debated subjects in science today, is whether behaviors like homosexuality are caused by one's genes or not. Unfortunately in the homosexual issue, the picture has been clouded by homosexual scientists producing data that was skewed to fit their own sexual orientation and by gay activists using the media to claim they have no choice in their sexual orientation as they feel it was genetically programed. In Scientific American (April 2007, page 46) is a detailed discussion of alcoholism and genetic influences. The bottom line is that there is a genetic influence on one's vulnerability to alcohol addiction. Making informed choices about what one does in life is linked to understanding this genetic predisposition. We would suggest that this is also true of many other destructive lifestyle choices, and this study strongly suggests that as well.
Psychic research lab
closes. The Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research group
known as PEAR was established in 1979 to investigate claims of the
paranormal. Since that time they have conducted experiments in all
kinds of psychic areas and the bottom line is that they have been
unable to find any evidence that there is any validity to psychic
claims. The notion that mysterious phenomena cause humans to do things
that are beyond their control is not only in contradiction to biblical
teachings, it is also at odds with any credible studies that have been
done in this area.
Sources: New York Times, February 10, 2007, and Skeptical Inquirer, May/June 2007, page 16.
Atheism a religion.
A series of court decisions have made it clear that the government
recognizes atheism as a religion. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals
stated it well: "... when a person sincerely holds beliefs dealing with
issues of ultimate concern that for her occupy a place parallel to that
filled by God in traditionally religious persons, these beliefs
represent her religion ... . Atheism is, among other things, a school
of thought that takes a position on religion, the existence and
importance of a supreme being, and a code of ethics." This is an
important issue for many reasons. One of them is that if a theory of
origins is an endorsement of atheism, it is supporting a religion and
is in violation of some recent court decisions. This will get
Source: Newsletter of the American Scientific Affiliation, May/June 2007, page 6.
More on dinosaur
collagen. Researchers who were able to extract soft tissue
from the bones of a T. Rex
have been able to extract collagen, a major component of living bone.
The amino acids of this material have given ratios similar to the
collagen of chickens and the collagen reacts with antibodies in the
same way that chicken collagen reacts. This is perhaps the best
evidence so far that the dinosaurs are related to modern birds. We
would like to remind our readers that the biblical classification gives
the groupings as "birds, fish, beast, and man" (1 Corinthians 15:39; Genesis 1:20-26; Genesis 6) and simply
us that these creatures were the flesh of birds, not fish. There is no
biblical issue here, but an interesting fact about the past.
Reference: Science News, April 14, 2007, page 228.
Scientific data usually
wrong. Scientific studies that are published are wrong to
an enormous degree according to those studying the long term
credibility of the data. John Ioannidis, writing in the Journal of the American Medical Association,
showed that of the 45 most highly cited clinical research studies in
molecular research during the past 15 years, 99 percent had been
refuted. There are many reasons for this, but perhaps the most
fundamental is the funding of research projects. You have to produce
results to get grants or to get grants renewed, and that has led to
poor scientific investigation techniques. It is important not to jump
to conclusions about new studies until there have been additional
studies to show whether they are true or false. We would suggest this
is true of moral issues and the data used to support them. Claims today
may turn out to be based on false data tomorrow.
Source: Seed magazine, May/June 2007, page 20.
Religion good for kids. A Mississippi State University researcher has found that of the 16,000 first graders that he studied, those kids with strong religious homes were better behaved and happier than their peers. The study identified youngsters who had both parents attending worship services regularly and who talked to their kids regularly about religion as having strong religious homes. The study is reported on the web at www.livescience.com/human-biology/070424_religion_kids.html.
Ancient man locations
expand. One of the interesting questions about the origins
of man is where man came from geographically. The Bible places Adam in
the Fertile Crescent area in the present day nation of Iraq. The modern
theory of many anthropologists is that man originated in Africa. New
finds in northern China continue to raise questions about the African
origin theory with some dates as old as those given to specimens in
Africa. There are many interpretations of the data, but it is obvious
that the out of Africa scenario is oversimplified at best.
Reference: Science News, April 7, 2007, page 211.
Oral sex and cancer.
Many modern teens believe that as long as they do not have sexual
intercourse, any other sexual activity is OK and puts them at no risk
of STDs or other problems. This attitude reveals a major
misunderstanding of what God intends for sexual relationships to be,
but new scientific data shows that oral sex which is touted as a viable
safe substitute for sexual intercourse is not very safe. People who
perform oral sex on more than five partners in their lifetime have a
250 percent higher risk of throat tumors due to infection.
Source: The Week, May 25, 2007, page 24.
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Does God Exist?, SepOct07.