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August 3, 2003

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Religion in the News

Put Yourself in Jesus Shoes
Within 48 hours, a supermarket chain pulls shoes with Jesus' image from the shelves.
By Ted Olsen. See

Ken Connor Resigns from Family Research Council
Former trial lawyer now considering Senate bid favors judicial strategy over Federal Marriage Amendment. By Tony Carnes. See

The price of healing | For critics of extravagant faith healer Benny Hinn, the Good Book isn't enough. They want his ministry to be an open book (Los Angeles Times Magazine). See

Showdown at Baylor, Continued See

Vatican seeks to stop okays for gay unions | Instructions to be released this week outline a course of action for politicians and other lay people to oppose extending the rights accorded to traditional couples (Associated Press). See

'U.S. Credibility Hangs on Whether It Can Do Justice for the Palestinians'
A Palestinian Christian and former PCUSA moderator talks about his faith and critiques Bush's road map to peace in the Middle East. See

Reaching for the Invisible God by Philip Yancey. Award winning book. Reviews at

Science in the News


Experts Say There Is NO Loch Ness Monster July 28, 2003 The Loch Ness monster does not exist, according to a team of scientists who have taken a sonar and satellite survey of the loch. Using 600 separate sonar beams and satellite navigation technology to make sure that none of the loch was missed, the BBC team surveyed the waters, looking for telltale signs of the air in Nessie's lungs to distort the sonar signals. But it found nothing. See

The fossil record, online
By analysing masses of data compiled from fossil collections throughout the world, a group of leading palaeontologists hopes to address the big questions about the history of life on Earth. Quirin Schiermeier logs on to the Paleobiology Database. OR Online website:

ICC Meeting: The Fifth International Creation Conference on August 4-9 at Geneva College. See 

58th Annual Meeting of the American Scientific Affiliation held at Colorado Christian University. For papers and links of this meeting see  New online articles see

Reasons to Believe new video: Journey Toward Creation, 2nd Edition Preview Clip website at  also Register and watch full video of the RTB 2003 Conference.

Clarifying the Issues in the Texas Textbook Controversy
By: Discovery Staff. See

Evolutionary capacitance as a general feature of complex gene networks Nature July 31, 2003 p. 549 AVIV BERGMAN AND MARK L. SIEGAL. First paragraph  The following links to Nature may require membership.


PHARMACOPHYLOGENOMICS: GENES, EVOLUTION AND DRUG TARGETS by David B. Searls. The study of genomic data from an evolutionary perspective -phylogenomics - is useful in the prediction of protein function,protein interactions and other relationships. Evolutionary analyses also indicate new ways to consider the overall space of gene products in terms of their suitability for therapeutic intervention. In this article, David Searls discusses how pharmacophylogenomics, that is, the use of phylogenomics in drug discovery, can inform target selection and validation. See

Evolution: A tangled web. See

Evolutionary genetics: Growing apart. See

Evolution: Closing the net on chordate origins. See



Israel's  "Aramaean" Origins (The Iron IA Archaeological Evidence For This). See

Archaeologists uncover 12,000-year-old settlement. Israeli archaeologists said today they had discovered a 12,000-year-old neolithic settlement west of Jerusalem which they believe is the largest of the period ever discovered in the Holy Land. See


New Species Of Organism Found In Mars-Like Environment. Huntsville - Aug 01, 2003 - They thrive without oxygen, growing in salty, alkaline conditions, and may offer insights into what kinds of life might survive on Mars. They're a new species of organism, isolated by scientists at the National Space Science and Technology Center (NSSTC) in Huntsville, Ala. See

Nearest Cosmic Mirage: Discovery Of Quadruply Lensed Quasar With Einstein Ring
An international team of astronomers has discovered a complex cosmic mirage in the southern constellation Crater (The Cup). This "gravitational lens" system consists of (at least) four images of the same quasar as well as a ring-shaped image of the galaxy in which the quasar reside - known as an "Einstein ring". The more nearby lensing galaxy that causes this intriguing optical illusion is also well visible. See

The future of Hubble is unclear
The Hubble Space Telescope, which has opened new vistas on the universe, was supposed to keep working until 2010, when astronauts would go up in the space shuttle and bring it carefully back down to Earth. But plans have changed since the crash of the shuttle Columbia on Feb. 1. Now, NASA is considering an earlier and more unseemly demise for the orbiting telescope, possibly forcing it to crash into the ocean before the end of the decade. See

Small Galaxy Springs 'Dark Matter' Surprises
Astronomers from the University of Cambridge, UK, have found for the first time the true outer limits of a galaxy. They have also shown that the dark matter in this galaxy is not distributed in the way conventional theory predicts. See

Intriguing Celestial Images Arrive From Galaxy Mission. Pasadena - Jul 30, 2003 - NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer has beamed back revealing images of hundreds of galaxies to expectant astronomers, providing the first batch of data on star formation that they had hoped for. See

Sloan Digital Sky Survey detects physical evidence for Dark Energy. Pittsburgh - Jul 28, 2003 - Scientists from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey announced the discovery of independent physical evidence for the existence of dark energy. See and

Smoking Supernovae: Astronomers Claim Solution To A Mystery Of The Universe
Astronomers from Cardiff University, in Wales, and the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh, Scotland, believe they have solved one of the long-standing mysteries of the Universe - the origins of cosmic dust. See


Vitamin C May Protect Against Ulcer-causing Bacteria, Study Finds
A study led by researchers at the San Francisco VA Medical Center (SFVAMC) has found that the lower the level of vitamin C in the blood the more likely a person will become infected by Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria that can cause peptic ulcers and stomach cancer. See

Protein That Fights Bacteria And Viruses Cloned By Scripps Scientists
A team of researchers at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) has published a paper appearing in an upcoming issue of the journal Nature that explains how pathogens as different as viruses and bacteria can have such a common bottom line. See

Diet May Cut Cholesterol As Much As Drugs Do. Eating a diet similar to that of our ape ancestors can have as much of an effect on cholesterol levels as modern medicine does, a new study suggests. Recent research indicates that a strict, low-fat vegetarian diet high in specific plant products can lower levels of bad cholesterol as much as widely prescribed statin drugs can. See

Earth Science

New Dino Species Found on Dusty Shelf
Neglected for 20 years on the dusty shelves of a South African university, scientists have rediscovered the 215-million-year-old fossil bones of a new dinosaur species, one of the first true giants. See

Dinosaur Watch: See the Latest Discoveries at

Which Dinosaurs Once Lived in Your Neighborhood? Type in your zip code to find out. See

The "Fixed" Hotspot That Created Hawaii Not Stationary At All. Menlo Park - Jul 29, 2003 - Geologists have long assumed that the Hawaiian Islands owe their existence to a "hotspot" -- stationary plumes of magma that rise from the Earth's mantle to form Mauna Loa, Kilauea and Hawaii's other massive volcanoes. But a new study posted on the online version of the journal Science disputes that long-standing paradigm by concluding that the fixed hotspot in the Pacific was not stationary after all. See

Scientists Off Hawaii Closing In On Puzzle Of Ocean Energy. San Diego - Jul 30, 2003 - Scientists from six institutions, including Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, are closing the gap in deciphering one of the most puzzling aspects of the world's oceans. See

New Location Of Deep Convection May Exist In North Atlantic. Falmouth - Jul 30, 2003 - Deep convection, or mixing, of ocean waters in the North Atlantic, widely thought to occur in only the Labrador Sea and the Mediterranean, may occur in a third location first proposed nearly 100 years ago by the explorer and oceanographer Fridtjof Nansen. The findings, reported this week in the journal Nature, may alter thinking about the ocean's overturning circulation that affects earth's climate. See

New Underwater Imaging Vehicle Maps Coral Reefs. Falmouth - Jul 29, 2003 - Deepwater coral reefs in the US Virgin Islands may occupy a much larger area and be in better health than previously thought, based on evidence gathered by a new autonomous underwater vehicle which flies through the sea like a helicopter. See

Ichthyosaurs ate turtle soup
Dietary preference backs extinction re-think. See

New Paleobiology Database: See


Meditation: Time Magazine Story: The Science of Meditation
Just Say Om Story: Peace Be With You Gallery: Meditation Nation  Timeline: Ancient Practice See

Happiness helps fight off colds
Squirting cold virus up the noses of volunteers reveals that people with more positive emotions are three times less likely to get sick. See

"Wishful thinking"?
To some, male infidelity is evolutionary
A fierce debate about whether jealousy, lust and sexual attraction are hardwired in the brain or are the products of culture and upbringing has recently been ignited by the growing influence of a school of psychology that sees the hidden hand of evolution in everyday life. See

The Terror of the Therapeutic
Margaret Atwood's new novel considers the price we may pay for looking to technology to remedy our ills, personal and social. See

A Gerontologist Gets Older
David Petty, author of Aging Gracefully, has long taught about the process of aging. Now, he is personally learning that one of the most important aspects is the spiritual side. See

Short Training Period Can Strengthen Key Regions of Dyslexic Brains. For the 10 to 15 percent of school-aged children in the U.S. who suffer from dyslexia, the written word often feels like an insurmountable obstacle. But a spate of research is helping scientists get to the root of the condition and suggest novel methods of treatment. New findings suggest that some therapies can make a difference quickly. Scientists report that dyslexic children showed normal brain activation patterns during reading tests after just three weeks of specialized instruction. See

Who's the daddy? Being a big, macho male does not always impress the female. Contrary to commonly accepted wisdom, the females of some species prefer to mate with weedier partners. In salmon this may be due to the earlier maturation of the smaller males, which could be a sign of higher genetic quality, or perhaps because weaker males are less likely to harm females during mating. See

Stress (27 Jul) - Scientists at Oxford University have pioneered the world's first test for accurately measuring stress. A simple blood sample could be used to select people for the right jobs, help drivers know when to take a break, monitor stress at work and diagnose those in need of medical help. See


ARKive saves threaten

ed wildlife
Website stores rare images and film of endangered species. See story at Its main website, ARKive has two further educational websites. Kids aged between 7 and 11 can log on to for fun facts, figures and interactive games, For teachers, has lesson plans and ideas for projects and trips. Both will expand to cover more topics and age groups.