News & Notes

GOOD-BYE AND THANKS TO RUTH SULLIVAN. For over 25 years, Ruth Sullivan has been a tireless and supportive worker for the Does God Exist? program. She has printed just about every copy of this journal we have ever put out and has been a dedicated, positive force in every project we have done. Due to health problems, Ruth has been forced to end her work with us. We want to thank her for her efforts and encouragement and ask you to join us in praying for her health and well-being. We wish her the best and want her to know we will miss her very much.

CORRECTION. We have received several letters about an error that was in the last issue of Dandy Designs. Dr. James Morrill, a dairy cattle nutritionist in Manhattan, KS, has written the following for us. Thanks.

The article about horse colostrum in the May/June, 1997, issue is very interesting. Unfortunately, the author of the original article from which the material was taken made an incorrect statement by saying "Horses are unique among mammals in that there is no transfer of antibodies from mare to foal during gestation." Actually, this is a characteristic of several other species including the cow, pig, goat, sheep, and others.

Another feature of the system that could have been mentioned, which certainly argues against chance explanation based on evolutionary theories, relates to the protection of the immuno-globulins during passage through the stomach (abomasum in case of ruminants). The immunoglobins (also called antibodies) are proteins and normally would be denatured or digested during passage through the stomach and first part of the small intestine. However, during the first day of life of the newborn, pepsin activity is absent or diminished and colostrum contains an antitrypsin factor. Thus the enzymes pepsin and trypsin have no effect on the immunoglobulins and they are still viable at the time they are absorbed in the intestine.

BIBLICAL CREDIBILITY AND ARCHAEOLOGY. One of the great friends of the Bible is the field of archaeology. Over and over, the biblical record has been validated by archaeological finds. Here is a list of some new ones reported in the Associated Press, December 9, 1996.

The Associated Press article takes pains to say that belief in the biblical account has gained favor, not because the archaeologists believe the Bible, but because the evidence of the event the Bible describes is so great. Our question is "how much evidence do you need before you are willing to recognize the Bible as what it is--the Word of God?"

COMET SNOWBALLS HITTING EARTH. Eleven years ago, Dr. Louis Frank at the University of Iowa proposed that a rain of comet snowballs were hitting the earth on a regular basis. His suggestion was based upon studies of NASA's Dynamics Explorer I satellite taken in the late 1970s. Frank pointed out that, if his observations were correct, much of the water on the earth could be explained this way instead of by suggesting that the cooling earth gave off water which is the standard explanation in textbooks. His studies were castigated and even ridiculed by scientists so that Frank called the picture he had studied "the image that launched 10,000 criticisms." Recent pictures from NASA's polar spacecraft orbiting some 30,000 miles in space clearly show some 43,000 objects per day streaking toward the earth at some 20,000 miles per hour. These objects are mostly water and vaporize into the earth's atmosphere. There are lots of questions that still remain, but clearly these objects are significant. Water may not be as rare in space as some thought, and there may be a connection between these objects and the uniqueness of our solar system as a place where life can exist. Accepting a theory about how water got on earth with such tenacity that you are willing to ignore new data is a charge that many scientists are going to have to plead guilty to if this discovery stands further tests.
--Science News, May 31, 1997, page 332; AP Release, May 29, 1997; Time, June 9, 1997, page 52

TERRA CREATOR--A YOUNG EARTH CREATIONIST. Those of us who teach Earth Science are familiar with a superb computer program called "Terra." The program is designed to give models of earth processes and came from Los Alamos National Laboratory and is the product of John Baumgardner. Using geophysical convection, the program gives scientists the ability to understand how plate tectonics works and to explain volcanoes and earthquakes.

If you put different assumptions into the computer, you can get radically different results as to how the processes have actually functioned and for how long. One set of assumptions gives you a flood similar to the biblical flood and an age to the earth of less than 10,000 years. Another set of assumptions gives an age of about 4.6 billion years by the same computer program. Baumgardner, who is a member of a group called Calvary Chapel, believes the younger model is the right one based on his religious convictions. This also leads him to accept the other tenants of denominational creationism.

Atheists and skeptics have always been fond of claiming that those who believe in any version of creationism cannot be good scientists. Baumgardner's genius and scientific credibility is recognized by his peers. His beliefs have not skewed his scientific credibility and, in fact, support his work. This contribution to the evolution/creation controversy cannot be denied even by those who disagree with his assumptions.
--U.S. News and World Report, June 16, 1997, pages 57-58

BEHAVIOR IS IN THE BRAIN? Dr. Evan Balaban,Neurosciences Institute, LaJolla, CA, has been using microsurgery to transplant cells from the brains of Japanese quail into Plymouth Rock chicks. When this is done, the chicks sing like quail and have bobbing-head motions like quail and not chickens. In animals, it appears that behavior is pre-programmed into the brain and is not the product of learning on the part of the organism.
--Popular Science, July, 1997, page 33

MAKING A DINOSAUR OUT OF A CHICKEN? You can buy a paperback titled Make Your Own Dinosaur out of Chick Bones by Chris McGowan, (Harper Perennial Books, 1997, $13.00). What you need is three young chickens to cook and get the bones from and, with this book, you can construct the chicken into a Apatosaurus. It would seem that this project might tell us something about reconstruction problems, but it is interesting that such a project is marketable.

COLLEGE DRINKING. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, binge drinking has reached epidemic proportions on United States college campuses. It goes on to say that drinking is the most frequent cause of academic failure, vandalism, public indecency, fights, sexual assaults, date rape, accidental death, and murder. The study showed that 87% of all college students had been negatively affected during their college work by binge drinking. MADD reports that there are 10 million current drinkers under the age of 21 and that 4.4 million of these are binge drinkers while 1.7 million are heavy drinkers. They also report that eight young people a day die from alcohol-related crashes and that alcohol users are 50 times more likely to use cocaine that young people who do not drink. Alcohol is the most destructive drug in the world, and for Christians to maintain that there is no real way to oppose alcohol is to admit we are paralyzed and incapable of opposing evil.

SHROUD OF TURIN AGAIN. A 2,500-name petition by the French Scientific Congress has been submitted to the Vatican demanding new testing of the supposed burial cloth of Christ. The group contends that samples were scrambled in the first tests done in 1988 and that other irregularities in the testing exist. This seems to be a resurrection of the age-old question of whether the Shroud is authentic or not. We have pointed out reasons why we do not believe the Shroud is valid in previous issues of this journal, but people are apparently not satisfied with those explanations, and so the issue is going to be brought up again.
--Alberta Report, December 23, 1996, page 33

ALIENS, UFOS, AND ROSWELL. The exploitation of the claimed UFO crash near Roswell, NM, has turned the whole episode into a circus. Some authorities have shown up with dummies that they say were being tested in the area. All of the news magazine have run stories dealing with the Roswell claims that are full of all kinds of pictures. I have a friend in Roswell who says "most of us in Roswell are laughing all the way to the bank." Let us re-emphasize that there is no evidence that anything ever happened in or near Roswell involving extraterrestrials. We live in a rational world and live and move and have our being in God--not in crashed saucers.

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