Bulletin Banner

Return to 3rd Quarter 2019 articles.

News and Notes title picture
from Does God Exist? 3rd Quarter 2019

STAY UP-TO-DATE ON NEWS AND NOTES. The stories in News and Notes are condensed from articles previously published on our website DOES GOD EXIST? TODAY. You can use the links within each of these articles to see the original posts (on the Does God Exist? Today website) for more details. (Some of the articles below have links to outside sources, which may not be available after we have published this page.) There are also many other interesting and informative articles on the Does God Exist? Today website each day. We encourage you to follow us daily on “Does God Exist? Today.” On that website you can also subscribe to our free weekly e-mail update. We call it “The Best of the Week from DOES GOD EXIST?” It contains links to the most popular of our posts on DOES GOD EXIST? TODAY and our facebook page (Facebook.com/evidence4god).

A migratory locust

BIBLICAL PROTEIN. Some time ago, an article appeared in one of the atheist journals ridiculing the idea that men such as John the Baptist and Samson could live on a diet of locusts. The question is whether eating locusts and honey is unwise nutritionally and medically (not to mention aesthetically). I never had an answer to that allegation until I came across an article concerning medical research on the subject.

It turns out that the protein content of all insects, especially locusts, is very high. Locusts and grasshoppers have over three times as much protein as chicken and fish and over four times as much as pork and lamb. Beef is more than three times lower in protein than locusts. Among insects, the protein content of locusts is very high. For example, locust protein content is three times as rich as ant protein.

So that seems to settle the question of biblical protein. From a nutritional standpoint, I would have to say there was great wisdom in eating locusts. I cannot comment on the flavor, but for the time being, I suspect McDonald's will stick with hamburgers.

NEANDERTHAL RESEARCH. The popular perception of Neanderthals has been connected to the term “ape-man” often used to describe them. At the Max Planck Institute early in the twentieth century, a French paleontologist depicted Neanderthals as “apelike and backward.” In 1953, a movie titled The Neanderthal Man popularized them as primitive humans with passions and desires common to apes. The view for years was that the Neanderthals were brutes who huddled in cold caves gnawing on slabs of slain mammoths. The truth is that Neanderthals walked upright and had larger brains and larger lung capacities than modern humans. They made complex tools, built shelters, created and traded jewelry, wore clothes, created art, buried their dead, had language and a form of worship. What has convinced scientists to change their understanding has been Neanderthal research and the sequencing of the Neanderthal genome. Comparisons of the Neanderthal genome and the modern European genome shows that up to 4% of modern human genes came from Neanderthals. They were not brutes or ape-men. They were totally human.

a portrayal of a Neanderthal man

Dr. Joao Zilhao, a Portuguese paleoanthropologist and an expert on Neanderthals, says: “The mainstream narrative of our origins has been fairly straightforward: the exodus of modern humans from Africa was depicted like it was a biblical event: Chosen ones replacing debased Europeans, the Neanderthals. Nonsense, all of it.”

Neanderthals were not apes or brutes of a different species of humans. They were a race of humans that had specific physiological characteristics that are somewhat different from the appearance of humans today. The Neanderthal Museum near Dusseldorf, Germany, displays a recreation of a Neanderthal groomed, wearing a business suit, and looking like the politician he could have been. As Neanderthal research continues, we will see what develops. Sources: Smithsonian magazine, May 2019 and https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/new-research-redefining-what-we-thought-about-neanderthals-180971918/

GALLUP POLL ON RELIGIOUS BELIEF. The latest Gallup Poll on religious belief shows a disturbing trend. The Associated Press reported that the percentage of U.S. adults who belong to a church or other religious institution has dropped by 20% over the past two decades to a low of 50% in 2018. The most significant drops were among Hispanics and politically among Democrats.

Crowd of people walking on the city street

Atheists will say that all of this is just a sign that as people become informed and involved in change, they turn away from God. We would suggest that the problem is with the way Gallup has posed the questions. Most Hispanics have come from cultures where Catholicism has been forced upon people. Catholic teachings on birth control and the problems produced by church support of unpopular politicians have contributed to many Hispanics not continuing allegiance to the Catholic church, especially when they immigrate to new cultures. In the same way, many Democrats have found themselves at odds with traditional religious practices and requirements.

We provide evidence for the existence of God and the inspiration of the Bible as his word. What the Gallup Poll on religious belief does not address is that many people who have stopped belonging to a particular church or religion are still firm believers in God. While organized religion is in decline in America, many people still have a firm conviction about the Bible as God's Word and Jesus Christ as the son of God. Source: https://www.apnews.com/f15241378057486ea437cad490a2ed67

An illustration of a Bigfoot crossing sign.

BIGFOOT CONFERENCES. Bigfoot still draws large audiences. This summer enthusiasts are holding Bigfoot conferences in Ohio, Texas, the Smoky Mountains, Oregon, Georgia, and at least one international conference. Bigfoot has different names and stories from all over the world. In British Columbia, indigenous tribes have Sesquac which has been anglicized to Sasquatch. In China the name is Yeren, and in Australia it is Yowie.

The reasons people believe in Bigfoot are quite varied. For many, Bigfoot is a proof of human evolution — a missing link. For others, Bigfoot is a symbol of freedom in the modern world — a simple creature that lives “free of civilization's rules and boundaries.” Lynne McNeill says that Bigfoot “satisfies a deep human hunger for the mysterious and the magical, and serves as proof that humans have not totally dominated nature.” The famous anthropologist Jane Goodall said she believes in Bigfoot and gave her evidence as: “I guess I'm a romantic. I don't want to disbelieve.”

We applaud Ms. Goodall's candid admission. When people reject God, they are very likely to grab hold of a substitute, and many people use Bigfoot as a substitute for the faith they have discarded. This journal is dedicated to evidence. We contend that the evidence must resolve questions of the existence of Bigfoot or any other creature. There is absolutely no evidence for a Bigfoot creature that has stood up to scientific study.

Bigfoot is a myth that draws people to Bigfoot conferences around the world. In contrast, there is enormous evidence for the existence of Jesus Christ as the Son of God. His activity in human lives is not a legend but a living testimony for those who continue to serve him. Source: https://theweek.com/articles/833273/enduring-legend-bigfoot

QINGJIANG DISCOVERY. Paleontologists who study the earliest fossils of life on Earth refer to an event they call the “Cambrian Explosion.” The fossils from that event are unique because they have advanced body plans and no previous ancestors. A vast range of marine species that lived in an ancient sea suddenly appeared in the fossil record. Scientists have discovered fossils from the Cambrian Explosion (Qingjiang biota) in Qingjiang, China, and they are calling it one of the most significant fossil discoveries in the last 100 years.

A trilobite fossil found on ground in cambrian rocky sediments.

It appears to be an ancient mudslide that buried a vast range of fossils. The site contains at least 20,000 individual specimens. At last report, 4,351 fossils have been examined, and they represent 101 different species. Fifty-three of those are new to science meaning that fossils of those species have not been found before. Because they were buried so quickly, not just shells, but even some soft parts have been preserved.

This find gives further support to the Cambrian Explosion model that says marine life suddenly appeared on planet earth. This conflicts with the Darwinian concept that life evolved over a long time with one form gradually changing into another. The biblical narrative tells us “… God said, ‘Let the water teem with living creatures’  ” (Genesis 1:20). That is what the Qingjiang fossils show. Source: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2019/03/fossils-found-from-day-dinosaurs-died-chicxulub-tanis-cretaceous-extinction/

BLACK HOLE PICTURE. On April 11, 2019, scientists released the first actual image ever taken of a black hole. Astronomers used eight radio telescopes to see wavelengths that are beyond human vision.

a picture of a black hole

This scientific accomplishment is significant because it allows scientists to test some of the predictions of Albert Einstein even down to the shape of the hole. A black hole is so massive that even light itself cannot escape the gravitational pull. The relationship of gravity and the shape of space is a concept proposed by Einstein that has radically improved our understanding of the nature of the universe.

There are important implications for apologetics in this discovery as well. A significant question that has been debated by atheists and believers for hundreds of years is whether the universe had a beginning or whether it has always existed. The biblical concept is that there was a beginning. Well-known atheists have claimed that matter/energy is eternal and just gets changed from one form to another forever.

The nature of a black hole is that it sucks in everything that gets near it, including light. If the universe has existed forever, and if black holes are continuously sucking in all matter including electromagnetic radiation, what would be the ultimate result? It seems pretty obvious that everything would have been sucked up by black holes and there would be nothing left but one supermassive black hole. That obviously is not the case, so there must have been a beginning to the creation.

If there was a beginning, there had to be a cause to that beginning. If there was a cause, there has to be a Causer. The design, intelligence, and purpose that we see in the cosmos identify some of the properties of that Causer, and God fits those criteria uniquely. Source: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/black-hole-first-picture-event-horizon-telescope

CHICK-FIL-A GIVING. San Antonio, Texas, and Buffalo, New York, have kicked Chick-fil-A out of their airports for “aiding and abetting Christian organizations.” What is especially ironic is that it is the charity work of Chick-fil-A that those cities object to.

A Chick-fil-A fast food restaurant in Jacksonville.

Chick-fil-A is accused of “anti-equality giving.” They gave significant amounts of money to the Salvation Army, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and a home for troubled young men in Vidalia, Georgia. The main problem, according to those challenging Chick-fil-A is that these organizations promote a traditional Christian understanding of sex and marriage.

The programs that Chick-fil-A contributed to were sports camps and school programs for inner city kids. The Salvation Army has a budget of about two-billion dollars which it uses to provide aid for the homeless, anti-trafficking programs, disaster relief, etc., but not for policing LGBT civil rights. The Fellowship of Christian Athletes asks its leaders not to engage in homosexual or heterosexual acts outside of marriage as well as pledging not to use drugs, alcohol or tobacco. Once again, it is not carrying on an anti-LGBT campaign.

Have we reached a point in America where anyone who has strong moral standards and Bible-based beliefs is being denied the opportunity to own a business? The fact that they close their restaurants on Sunday continues to cause attacks on them. Are Christian moral standards a crime? Source: https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/mccarthyite-anti-christian-campaign-against-chick-fil-a/

Young research scientists and senior professor preparing and analyzing microscope slides in research lab.

ARE MOST SCIENTISTS ATHEISTS? Baruch Aba Shalev wrote a book titled 100 Years of Nobel Prizes. That book contains a report on the Nobel prizes awarded between 1901 and 2000. It shows that during that period when 423 prizes were awarded, 65.4% of Nobel Prize laureates identified Christianity in its various forms as their religious preference. Scientists who identified themselves as Christians won 78.3% of all Nobel prizes in Peace, 72.5% in chemistry, 65.3% in physics, 62% in medicine, 54% in economics, and 49.5% in literature.

So, are most scientists atheists? Certainly not. You do not have to put your brain in park to be a Christian. Believing there is intelligence and purpose in the creation gives searching people a leg up in any attempt to understand the world in which we live.

Picture credit:
© wrangel. Image from BigStock.com.
© Pavlo Vakhrushev. Image from BigStock.com.
© Larry Rains. Image from BigStock.com.
© Couperfield. Image from BigStock.com.
© RobWilson. Image from BigStock.com.
© kasto. Image from BigStock.com..