C-14 Supports Biblical Account. It has always been amusing to me to hear denominational creationists denigrating carbon-14 as a dating method--for two reasons. First, carbon-14 is only usable for very young things. It has such a short half life that it is of no use in trying to date the dinosaurs or some other very old object. Second, carbon-14 has consistently supported the Bible in claims about the age of events in the Bible and whether the biblical account is trustworthy or not. We have a modern example of this in the Siloam Tunnel. This tunnel was a shaft that carried water into ancient Jerusalem from a nearby spring. The Bible says that Hezekiah built the tunnel during his reign from 727 B.C. to 698 B.C. Skeptics had argued that the tunnel was built between 200 B.C. and 100 B.C. based on inscriptions at the tunnel's outlet. Dr. Amos Frumkin of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has proven that the biblical date is correct. Using carbon-14 on bits of wood and plants found in plaster used to coat the tunnel, Frumkin has proven that the biblical date is correct. Further support has been gained by studying uranium and thorium isotopes in stalactites which formed in the tunnel after its construction. Human denominational traditions may have something to fear from various dating methods, but those who take the Bible literally will always find true science to be a supporter of the Bible.

--Reference: Science News, October 4, 2003, page 221.

Homosexual Public High School. Harvey Milk High School in New York City is the nation's first public school devoted to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students. About 100 students are expected to enroll in the high school when it opens in 2004 at a cost of $3.2 million. Liberty Counsel has filed suit opposing the opening of the school "that discriminates based on sexual preferences where heterosexuals are not welcome." There are many problems with this situation; but a basic issue, it seems to this writer, is what the purpose of this school is. If it is to promote homosexual agendas, then there is a constitutional issue. If it is to help these young people learn to deal with their sexual problems and especially if it is to get at the root cause of their homosexuality (which in a vast majority of cases involves abuse), then it is quite another situation. It will be interesting to see how this situation develops.

--Reference: Pulpit Helps, October 2003, page 30.

Monkeys and Fairness. A study at Yerkes National Primate Center by Sarah Brosnan has added a new dimension to the evolution-of-man discussion. When monkeys do something that they are being trained to do, rewards are given. Brosnan has shown that when a monkey is given a better reward for the same performance than another monkey, the monkey with the lesser reward rejects the lesser reward. Evolutionists are claiming that this trait is a proof that we have a common evolutionary history with these capuchin monkeys. One would have to wonder about the way the experiment was conducted. If I gave one dog a steak and another a banana for standing on its hind legs, what would happen? It would seem some anthropomorphizing is going on here in what could easily be a steak/banana situation. --Reference: AP release, September 18, 2003.

Christian Teens. A recent study by Christianity Today.com and Campus Life magazine on Christian teenagers shows that the impact of Christianity on teenagers is indeed a positive quantity. The survey asked questions of Christian teenagers. Seventy-two percent of United States teens had used alcohol during the past 12 months compared to 15% of Christian teenagers; 66% of U. S. teens had been involved in sexual intercourse compared to 9% of Christian teens; 36% of U. S. teens had smoked marijuana compared to 4% of Christian teenagers. We hear a lot about the failures of Christianity, but the fact is that Christianity continues to have an incredibly positive influence upon everyday people in everyday situations in life. The importance of bringing Christianity to people as a means of dealing with the challenges of life cannot be overemphasized.

--Your Church, October 2003, page 120.

More Moons. New techniques and new instruments have allowed mankind to see smaller and smaller objects in the solar system. Since 1999, the number of moons in the solar system has grown from 64 to 129. Of these new moons, 45 are orbiting Jupiter and 13 are orbiting Saturn. The presence of these moons and the orbits that they have are giving us more information about how the solar system was formed and how the parts of the solar system interact. It is this interaction that gives stability to the earth's orbit and to its position around the sun. The complexity of the system is beautiful, but more importantly it gives stability to the earth and allows life to exist on this planet. The more we study the solar system, the more we realize how many things had to be carefully designed to allow life to exist here.

--Discover, August 2003, page 11.

Frozen Human Embryos. The number of frozen human embryos in fertility clinics is now over 400,000, and some of them have been in these clinics since 1983 when in vitro fertilization was introduced in the United States. Of these, 88.2% will not be used by the donor couples, but are set aside for possible future use in scientific research, infertile couples, or destruction. The moral implications of this situation are obvious, and there are a number of possible solutions--adoption being one of them. Groups like Nightlight Christian Adoptions and Christian Medical Association are working in this area, but progress is slow. One problem is that freezing an embryo at -319û Fahrenheit is likely to do damage to the child. The need for Christian values in this situation is enormous.

--Resource: Christianity Today, July 2003, page 17-18.

Space Worms. One fact about the Columbia space shuttle tragedy that has not gotten much attention is that there were some living things that survived the explosion. Some small worms named Caenorhabditis elegans had been sent into space to perform some tests on, and they were found alive in canisters among the shuttle's debris. It is incredible how diverse life forms are and what they are able to endure. We do need to point out that these are very small life forms, each of them being about a millimeter long and having 959 cells.

--Resource: Scientific American, July 2003, page 26.

Harry Potter Author and Magic. J. K. Rowling, who is the author of the Harry Potter series, is quoted in Newsweek, July 7, 2003, page 21, as saying "I really don't believe in magic." There have been those who have tried to accuse the Harry Potter materials of promoting the occult, and one is reminded of situations in the past with Dungeons and Dragons and other board games where terrible things were attributed to a game that had originally been no more dangerous than Monopoly. Even the old Ouija board, which has become a common occult tool, was originally just an innocent child's board game. There is no limit to what people with warped minds can do to turn something wholesome and fun into something horribly destructive. Fantasy is just that--fantasy. When people fail to understand what is fantasy and what is not is when it becomes dangerous. McCarthyism in religion is a mindset that cannot only make outsiders consider Christianity to be a fanatical group of irrational alarmists, but can fill our children with irrational fears and beliefs that they are not really in control of their destiny.

Solar Explosions Remind Us of How Special Our Sun Is. As I write this column in early November, I am able to see auras from my house here in southern Michigan. The sun has had some explosions in its corona which are affecting the earth. The effects are on our electronics and atmosphere and pose no threat to us living on the earth, but as we look at other stars we see massive explosions and changes that would affect life forms anywhere near them. We have to be reminded that our sun is a special star and that this is one of many chosen and designed objects that allow us to live on this planet.

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