Return to 4th Quarter 2020 articles.
from Does God Exist? 4th Quarter 2020
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).
BIBLES PRINTED IN 2020: By the end of 2020, the annual total of Bibles printed will be 95 million. That is nearly double the number printed 20 years earlier. In 1900, five million Bibles were published, and you could find them in motel rooms everywhere. In the 1950s, Bibles were distributed to every student at the start of the school year. In 60 years, we have moved to the point where schools are sued for allowing Bible distribution, and schools take disciplinary actions against a child or teacher for bringing a Bible to school. In 1900 there were 2,300 people for every one Bible printed. Now that figure is 82 people per Bible. In spite of that, in many countries, Bibles are hard to find. There are ministries attempting to change that.
As secularism, atheism, and paganism continue to attack the Bible, we can expect to see more conflict and power struggles. Conflict is rising in America and continues in much of Africa and Asia. The situation highlights the mission of this ministry. The total of Bibles printed means little if people do not bother to read them because they do not believe in God. A presentation of the evidence for God, the Bible, and the teachings of Jesus, along with the living example of real Christians, can change the world. Source: Christianity Today, October 2020, page 18.
ANTARCTIC GLACIERS MELTING: Two of the most massive Antarctic glaciers have broken loose from their land connections and are floating in the ocean. It is another evidence of global warming and a warning to the world that we must pay attention to the coming rise in sea level.
When ice is exposed to the air on land, it absorbs a minimum of heat, so melting on a landmass is very slow. In water, however, heat exchange is very rapid. The melting of ice is much faster once it is in water, and the Thwaites glacier, the larger of the two Antarctic glaciers involved, is one of the fastest-changing glaciers on Earth
Job 38:22-23 refers to the “treasures of the snow” and says that this frozen water is “reserved against the time of trouble.” In Earth's design, the snow and ice preserve water and provide a vital heat sink to the whole planet. The polar ice caps have been the primary water storage areas. Glaciers are also part of the design of Earth to make it hospitable for life.
Rising sea levels present a potential catastrophe we can avoid if we take care of the planet as God instructed us to do. Realize that the possible flooding is a consequence of human actions, not a vindictive act of God. Source: https://www.pnas.org/content/117/40/24735.
MONEY BUYS SCIENCE: Jeffrey Epstein, the late millionaire who sexually abused many minors, donated $6.5 million to Harvard University. As a result, he was appointed as a visiting fellow, even though he had no academic qualifications. Epstein had a close connection with Harvard's Program for Evolutionary Dynamics and visited their offices over 40 times between 2010 and 2018, even though he was a registered sex offender at the time. That meant he had a key card and passcode with which he could enter buildings during off-hours.
Epstein fancied himself as a latter-day eugenicist who wanted to seed the human race with his own DNA. He got some researchers at Harvard to give support to his ideas. This affair between Epstein and Harvard shows clearly that academic institutions are vulnerable to being bought. Universities must ensure that research funding is based on merit, not cronyism. There have been cases where researchers faked a discovery because their funding would be cut off if they did not produce results. Survival of the fittest seems to be the moral standard used in research funding, and having money to do research only comes to those who are viewed as being “fit.” Fitness, in this case, means being able to produce discoveries that get front page acclamation. Source: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/jeffrey-epsteins-harvard-connections-show-how-money-can-distort-research/
DID SCIENCE FIND LIFE ON VENUS? In the past few months, we saw several headlines suggesting that scientists have found life in the atmosphere of Venus. As usual, the media have sensationalized a scientific discovery. The fact is that a Japanese robotic satellite orbiting Venus since 2015 records data in the ultraviolet spectrum. The satellite detected spectra for the chemical phosphine (PH3). Phosphine is a flammable, toxic gas made of one phosphorous atom attached to three hydrogen atoms. It is difficult to make in a typical chemistry lab, but some microbes can make phosphine. Finding the chemical in the upper clouds of Venus, where the temperatures are low enough for the gas to exist, raised some questions about whether microbes could have produced it.
It is possible that the phosphine could have been produced by conditions on Venus that are not available on Earth. The environment of Venus is highly toxic, even to microbes, so microbe production is unlikely. Scientists have found many of the chemicals essential to life or possibly produced by living organisms on several moons in the solar system. The environmental parameters of all of those places are so extreme that no astronomer expects to see an alien walking around.
The Bible does not say that Earth is the only place where life exists, and it may be that God has created life elsewhere. Did science find life on Venus? No. This newest media hype does not tell us anything we did not already know, but the discovery is interesting. Source: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/venus-life-phosiphine-gas-scientists/
MIGHTY MOUSE DRUG AND SPACE TRAVEL: One of the problems with space travel is that the human body was designed to live on Earth. When people are in weightlessness for an extended time, they lose muscle and bone mass. This loss can be as much as 20%. A possible solution might be called the “mighty mouse drug.”
Scientists have developed a drug that blocks a pair of proteins that typically limit muscle mass. When scientists treated mice with this drug, they maintained their weight and muscle mass even when they were in the International Space Station for a month. The application of this research can do more than provide a way for humans to survive a trip to Mars. It may also benefit people who are confined to a bed or a wheelchair.
This research reminds us that God designed our bodies to function in Earth's gravity, just as he designed Earth to support life. He has also given us the ability to use science to find solutions to our physical limitations, such as the mighty mouse drug. Source: https://www.fiercebiotech.com/research/mighty-mice-could-yield-new-treatments-for-bone-muscle-loss
COLLEGE MIND CONTROL: One of the challenges that college students face in America today is the fact that many of their professors try to force their own personal opinions on them. The Week magazine (August 28, 2020, page 8) reported on a case at Iowa State University. Professor Chloe Clark announced she would eject any student who engaged in saying anything negative about “Black Lives Matter, gay marriage or legal abortion.” Say goodbye to academic freedom for students being able to express their own opinions.
A free and open discussion leads to understanding and learning. There is no way to advance those things when professors attempt to force their young disciples into college mind control. To make matters worse, they are doing it while being supported by public tax dollars and high-priced tuition paid by the parents.
DOGS FOR DINNER: In August, The Week magazine (August 28, 2020, page 11) reported that the North Korean government is confiscating all pet dogs for use as food. Hungry North Koreans regard feeding a pet as wasteful, and the Communist government labels keeping a pet as a “bourgeois extravagance.” Authorities in North Korea are forcing households with pet dogs to surrender the animals for dog-meat distribution to restaurants and meat markets.
PLANNED PARENTHOOD DEFEAT: In 2016, the Indiana legislature passed a law, signed by then governor Mike Pence, requiring women to have an ultrasound at least 18 hours before an abortion. Planned Parenthood succeeded in blocking the law by tying it up in various courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court. Now according to Indiana's attorney general, “Planned Parenthood has conceded defeat.”
With the ultrasound requirement, when a woman sees her baby moving its limbs and making facial expressions, she may decide not to have the abortion. One of the problems with abortions is that many women have guilt and psychological reactions in later years. The ultrasound may avoid some of that.
The U.S. Supreme Court decision in a Louisiana abortion law case is apparently why Planned Parenthood conceded defeat. The Court struck down the Louisiana law, but Planned Parenthood seems to be concerned that wording in Chief Justice John Robert's opinion might justify other restrictions on abortion. Thus, the State of Indiana and Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky agreed to ask U.S. District Court to dismiss the lawsuit and end the injunction. Reference: Tom Davies (Associated Press), South Bend Tribune, August 23, 2020, page A7.
WOULD YOU RECOGNIZE JESUS?: Interestingly, people portray Jesus according to their culture. Some artwork shows him as a light-skinned, blue-eyed, Scandinavian. I have seen pictures showing Jesus as a black-skinned, dark-eyed African. I have also seen pictures showing him as a man with typical oriental facial features. The closest picture physically is one that shows Jesus with characteristic Jewish features.
The fact is that all of these pictures are correct. However, all of them must fit the description of Matthew 25. In that passage, Jesus gives six different scenarios that tell us how you could recognize Jesus in someone standing before you. Those six scenarios describe Jesus as being one who is hungry, thirsty, a stranger needing a place to sleep, naked, sick, and imprisoned. Jesus tells his followers who had taken care of people with these problems that Jesus was the one they had treated well (Matthew 25:35-40). Many people are looking for Christ with the wrong standards as to how to recognize him. Source: Buck Griffith, NewLife Behavior Ministries, www.nlbm.org.
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