News & Notes
Nuwaubian Invasion of Georgia In 1993, Dr. Malachi York and his followers bought 476 acres of land in Eatonton, Georgia. York claims "I am the Supreme Being of this Day and Time, God in Flesh." He says that a space ship is coming on May 5, 2003 to take his group called Nuwaubians away. Nuwaubians claim that black people are genetically superior to white people and that they are direct descendants of Egyptians who came to America before continental drift separated the land masses and thus are the original Americans. As Native Americans they claim they are not subject to local or state jurisdiction.
Whether this will turn into another Marshall Applewaite situation or not remains to be seen, but the vulnerability of our society becomes obvious when things like this happen. In the next election in Eatonton, the Nuwaubians will have considerable influence. With their 40 foot pyramids, obelisks, giant sphinx, and membership approaching 50% of the county population, and name called "Yamassee Native American Moors of the Creek Nation" they have some interesting tools to use in influencing the vote.
Chinese Comment on Darwinism in America The Wall Street Journal, August 16, 1999, had an interesting quote of a Chinese paleontologist who claimed that his fossil finds were inconsistent with Darwinism. "In China we can criticize Darwin but not the government. In America you can criticize the government, but not Darwin."
Billboard Messages. If you have been doing much driving around the country, you have probably noticed some huge billboard advertisements. Here are two examples of what these billboards say: "Let's meet at my house Sunday before the game
"Loved the wedding, invite me to the marriage God."
The client who paid for the ads remains anonymous, but the ads are produced by Smith Agency in Fort Lauderdale, FL, to reach people who have stopped attending church. Over $100,000 was donated to start with and now over $12 million of free advertising space has been given so that 200 cities are involved.
Good Quote. We have tried over and over again to point out to readers that the big bang theory is not at odds with the Bible nor with the concept of God as Creator. In Astronomy, September, 1999, page 40, is a quote of Alan Guth, who is well known in scientific circles, that clearly states what we have tried to point out. "The big bang theory proposes no answer at all to the question of what banged, how it banged, or what caused it to bang." Critics of the big bang fail to understand that the creation of matter from nothing is the issuenot how it got into its present configuration.
New Dating Method Underlines Old Point. Another point we have made over and over in this journal is that the Bible does not tell us the age of the earth. To determine the age of the earth or of man or anything else from the Bible, one must make huge assumptions that are unwarranted by Scripture. There is no way that a 6,000 (or even a 10,000) year old earth can be justified biblically because of these assumptions.
The University of Western Australia has released a new dating method called Xenotime dating. This method involves Xenotime crystals embedded between grains of material in sedimentary rock. This new mineral provides a way of locking up uranium so it cannot be influenced by outside variables, and thus it may solve some of the problems involved in standard radiometric dating. Those denominational creationists who insist on forcing a young age on the biblical record will have to try to find a fault in this new method. With over 400 methods like this available, trying to find fault in each one becomes a huge problem. It is much simpler not to force something on the Bible that is not there. (Reference: US News and World Report, July 12, 1999, page 55.)
Accelerating Universe Evidence Grows. Over the years, one of the more basic questions related to the existence of God has been whether the creation had a beginning or whether it has existed eternally. Those who believe the creation has existed eternally have often proposed a theory called the oscillating universe theory in which it is proposed that the universe expands, but is eventually stopped in its expansion by gravity. The theory then proposes that the cosmos is drawn back to a singularity from which the original process of explosion or inflation is repeated, causing the cosmos to expand again. This expansion and collapsing could go on forever and ever so that there would never have been a beginning.
Studies of supernovas and of the shape of space are showing that the universe is accelerating in its expansion, not slowing down. A proposal has been made for a space satellite called SNAPSAT to explore the question more fully. SNAPSAT stands for Supernova Acceleration Probe Satellite and may offer some new data as to what is causing the acceleration, but the idea of an oscillating universe seems to be deadat least as far as the traditional explanation is concerned. (Reference: Science News, June 12, 1999, page 379, and Scientific American, April, 1999, page 24.)
Topless Dancers Helped. One of the problems in helping people who have gotten into moral compromises is the question of what can be done to really help. We have maintained over the years that the best help can come from those who have worked their way out of the moral problem and know what it is like to have been there. When Amy Dupree, a topless dancer in Dallas, heard a sermon at the Preston Road Church of Christ about the body being the temple of the Holy Spirit, she decided she had to quit dancing.
Since that time, she has started a program called "Amy's Friends" that offers help to topless dancers, strippers, nude models, and escort services. They have a hotline (972-520-3400) and a group of volunteers that help solve financial problems as well as the strength to break away from the exploitive businesses that these folks have gotten themselves into.
It is easy to find religious people who have messed up, but there are a ton of people who quietly go about helping others and doing what Christ really called his followers to do, and this is just one example. (Reference: Christianity Today, May 24, 1999, page 19.)
More Evidence Against Nannobacteria. When the Martian meteorite ALH84001 received media hype because there were spheres that resembled dwarf bacteria, researchers all over the world started relooking at their samples. The structures looked a little like dwarf bacteria from hot springs, so all kinds of models were proposed as to how the cosmos might be brimming over with life. That may or may not be true, but it turns out that like a lot of other things, nannobacteria is oversold.
In New Scientist, April 10, 1999, page 19, is a report that Robert Folk of the University of Texas at Austin have formed nannobacteria from pure calcite (Calcium carbonatea chemical). Folk has been a promoter of organic causes of nannobacteria so it is signifcant that he has admitted inorganic causes do exist.
Modern Man/Neanderthal Hybrid Still Valid. The past year has had a great deal of seemingly contradictory information about the nature of Neanderthal man. For years, writers have pointed out that specimens with Neanderthal characteristics exist among us today. Jim Thorpe, for example, a famous football player had a skeleton that was very neanderthalic in nature. Then came the report that genetic studies showed a huge difference genetically between modern man and Neanderthals. Now a discovery has been made of a four-year-old boy who is young enough that skeletal oddities cannot be explained as environmentally caused who has a mixture of modern human and neanderthal characteristics.
The boy was buried with strings of marine shells and painted with red ocher. His facial characteristics are fully modern human with a prominent chin, but his body and short legs are identical to those of the Neanderthals. It is important to note that one fossil never answers any questions because it could be an abnormal specimen, but to discard the Neanderthals as nonhuman is at the very least premature. (References: Science News, May 8,1999, page 295, New Scientist, May 1, 1999, page 27, and Time, May 3, 1999, page 68.)
More Government Pressure on Churches. There continues to be a heavy prejudice against religion in America from the media and from the government. Over and over, we get reports of churches who are not allowed to own property or build buildings in a particular city. We have had reports of this over the years in a variety of cities, but a recent one is Evanston, Illinois. The Vineyard Christian Fellowship purchased a commercially-zoned building in 1997 to hold worship services in. Apparently, no business wanted the building as the group got it for a very good price so the alternative would have been that the building would have been empty. The church offered to open a day care center and provide $25,000 worth of services to the community as a part of the plan to own the building. The city is demanding an additional $35,000 as an annual cash payment to offset tax revenues.
The point that continues to be missed in this kind of dispute is that churches offer services and help to individuals and groups that the government would have to pay for if the churches were not doing it. You almost never hear of zoning problems with any other kind of group even when they are tax exempt, so one has to wonder about the motivation for the continued zoning problems that religious groups have in the United States. (Reference: Christianity Today, September 6, 1999, page 22.)
More man-made causes. Most cancer is caused by man-made factors in the environment. Recent studies show that abdominal CT scans cause 12.5 cancer deaths per 10,000 people which is comparable to smoking-related death rates of 12 per 10,000. Paying attention to what we expose ourselves to and considering the benefits verses the risks is very important. (Reference: Discover, August, 1999, page 8.)
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