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December 7, 2003

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New Products

Rosetta Stone replicas (7.5 inches), ancient Egyptian plaque replicas, small  Egyptian canopic jars. Don't forget our coins of the Bible, Roman emperors, and Greece. Free shipping now for those in the USA until Christmas. See our products page.

Religion in the News

LA Times Continues Its Discovery of Christian Higher Ed
Undergraduate schools given the same grades they've seen before. Compiled by Ted Olsen.

Newsweek Goes to Sunday School
And learns about all the women in the Bible, who have been there for millennia. Compiled by Rob Moll. See also Newsweek story at

Oh Who Are the Evangelicals in Your Neighborhood?
U.S. News examines the movement and its founder Jonathan Edwards. Compiled by Ted Olsen.

Supreme Court Justices Ask 'How High a Wall of Separation?'
Should the Supreme Court strike down Washington State's "Blaine Amendments," the implications nationwide would be "breathtaking." Compiled by Rob Moll.

Supremely Rejected
Lower-court decisions the Supreme Court let stand Compiled by Ted Olsen

Muslim God and Christian God
President George W Bush has come in for some stick this week for saying that the God he worships is the same God that Muslims worship (Christopher Howse, The Daily Telegraph, London) See Do all religious paths lead to the same God?  Bush remark renews old debate (Newhouse News Service)

Culture vs. faith
A sociologist sees the end times for traditional religion in the United States (John T. McGreevy, Chicago Tribune).

From Fenton to fortune in the name of God
The way Joyce Meyer spends her ministry's money on herself and her family may violate federal law, legal and tax experts say. That law bars leaders of non-profits—religious groups and other charities—from privately benefiting from the tax-free money they raise. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch). See also

Salon tells of friendship between Lewis and Tolkien
How J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis' all-night argument about God paved the way for both "The Lord of the Rings" and "The Chronicles of Narnia."

C. S. Lewis journeyed from atheism to Christianity
C.S. Lewis scholar explores author's beliefs (Toledo Blade, Oh.).

Holy Land Photo's
Free, instantly downloadable, Power Point Ready Images of Israel, Turkey, Greece and Jordan.

Science in the News

Science News for Kids


New experiments done this year for the RATE project strongly support a young earth. This article updates results announced in an ICR Impact article last year and documented at a technical conference last summer. Our experiments measured how rapidly nuclear-decay-generated Helium escapes from tiny radioactive crystals in granite-like rock. The new data extend into a critical range of temperatures, and they resoundingly confirm a numerical prediction we published several years before the experiments. Other scientists disagree, like Dr. Hugh Ross. See 9/18/03 radio discussion at

Up until fairly recently, nearly all printings of the King James Bible included dates in the marginal notes which helped place Biblical events in their chronological context. Using this as a guide we can see that "God created the heaven and the earth" in 4004 b.c.; the Flood covered the Earth in 2348 b.c.; the Exodus occurred in 1491 b.c.; David became King of Israel in 1056 b.c.; and the Nation of Judah was carried into captivity in 593 b.c. Obviously, the numbers are helpful in understanding the sequence and timing of events, but where did they come from, and are they reliable? I would disagree with this. See my article entitled "The Date of the Exodus According to Ancient Writers."

Ethiopian Fossil Finds Elucidate Elephant Evolution.
Fossils recovered from the Ethiopian highlands are helping scientists fill in long-lost branches on the family tree of modern-day elephants. According to a report published today in the journal Nature, five kinds of proboscidean (the group that includes elephants and their extinct relatives) were recovered, as well as three other types of prehistoric creatures. The discoveries should help explain why certain mammal species survived and thrived once a land bridge granted access to Eurasia some 24 million years ago.

Ocean Currents Slow Adaptation Of Tree-dwelling Lizards, UCLA Study Finds; Research Sheds New Light On Island Evolution (December 4, 2003)
Evolution of genetically distinct species that live exclusively on land can be slowed by over-water dispersal following tropical storms, according to a UCLA study that suggests classic theories of island evolution need an overhaul.


Ink Analysis Smudges Case for Forgery of Vinland Map
To some, the Vinland map offers proof that Norse explorers discovered North America before Columbus did; to others, it is simply a well-crafted forgery.  Last year, the publication of two studies that supported opposite conclusions fueled debate over the map's origins. One research group determined that the parchment indeed dates
back to 1434, but a second group countered that the map's ink was distinctly modern. Smithsonian Institution scientist Jacqueline S. Olin, who worked with the team that dated the map's paper, now suggests an alternative to the ink explanation.

Chemistry Could Save Chinese Terracotta Army
In 1974, archaeologists came across a vast army numbering in the thousands in Lintong, China. The soldiers were made of terracotta and they were part of the mausoleum of the first Chinese emperor, Qin Shihuangdi. So far, more than 1,500 life-size warriors have been excavated. But once the figures are removed from the pits, their pigment fades--a problem that established methods of stabilization have failed to address. Chemists recently developed a technique that may help the soldiers retain their color.

Discovering Dante's Damsel in Distress. Dec. 1, 2003
A 14th century jug unearthed in a Tuscan castle might shed new light on one of the most touching and mysterious female figures in Dante's Divine Comedy, according to Italian archaeologists.

West Nile Virus may have felled Alexander the Great
Dying ravens provide clue to conqueror's swift demise. Nature, November 28, 2003.


New Evidence For Solar-Like Planetary System Around Nearby Star. Edinburgh - Dec 01, 2003
Astronomers at the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Councils UK Astronomy Technology Centre (ATC) at the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh have produced compelling new evidence that Vega, one of the brightest stars in the sky, has a planetary system around it which is more like our own Solar System than any other so far discovered.

Genesis Scooping Up Solar Wind. Pasadena - Dec 01, 2003
The Genesis spacecraft continues its mission collecting solar wind material expelled from the Sun. Telemetry from the Genesis spacecraft indicates that all spacecraft subsystems are reporting nominal operation.

NASA Spacecraft Pinpoints Where the Wild Thing is. Pasadena - Dec 02, 2003
Forty-nine days before its historic rendezvous with a comet, NASA's Stardust spacecraft successfully photographed its quarry, comet Wild 2 (pronounced Vilt-2), from 25 million kilometers (15.5 million miles) away. The image, the first of many comet portraits it will take over the next four weeks, will aid Stardust's navigators and scientists as they plot their final trajectory toward a Jan. 2, 2004 flyby and collection of samples from Wild 2.

Pulsar Find Boosts Hope For Gravity-Wave Hunters. Canberra - Dec 04, 2003
Neutron star pairs may merge and give off a burst of gravity waves about six times more often than previously thought, scientists report in today's issue of the journal Nature [4 December].


Can Stormy Weather Bring on Migraines?
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, migraine headaches appear to be linked in part to changes in levels of the chemical serotonin in the body. When serotonin levels are high, blood vessels constrict. But when they are low, blood vessels may swell, and that swelling may cause migraine pain. Some speculate that barometric pressure changes may contribute to the blood vessel swelling and explain why many people report migraines with changes in both weather or altitude.

Elderly falls linked to vitamin deficiency
An unexpected risk factor for the potentially fatal falls suffered by many elderly people is revealed - vitamin D deficiency.

New Drug To Treat Enlarged Prostate Developed At University College London (December 1, 2003)
Millions of men stand to benefit from a discovery by UCL scientists that could provide a breakthrough in the treatment of enlargement of the prostate (BPH). The UCL team has developed a new drug, Rho-kinase inhibitor that, in preliminary tests, has been found to treat the condition by both relaxing the prostate and stopping the growth of cells within it.

Study Finds Clues To Brain Tumors' Origins (December 1, 2003)
Researchers at UCLA's Jonsson Cancer Center have discovered that brain tumors may be derived from the cells that form the nervous system, called neural stems cells, which may help researchers understand how this cancer begins and one day could lead to improved diagnosis and treatment.

Earth Science

Shrinking Arctic Tells Many Stories. Greenbelt - Dec 01, 2003
In 2002, a series of scientific studies pointed to dramatic changes in Arctic sea ice. Sea ice that survives the summer and remains year round—called perennial sea ice—is melting at the alarming rate of 9 percent per decade, according to a study by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center senior researcher Josefino Comiso.

Coastline carve thyself
Theory accounts for land's fractal fringes. Nature, November 26, 2003.

Earth's Elusive Mantle Plumes Detected At Last.
Using detailed seismic data, scientists have obtained the clearest picture yet of the earth's inner workings. The images provide long-awaited direct evidence for mantle plumes--large columns of heat emanating from the planet's interior--which were first predicted in the 1970s.

Geologists Discover New Class Of Spreading Ridge On Sea Bottom. Washington - Nov 27, 2003
Scientists have discovered a new "ultra-slow" class of ocean ridge involved in seafloor spreading in the remote regions of the far south Atlantic and Indian Oceans and the sea floor beneath the Arctic icecap.

Utah's Redrock May Have Changed Global Climate.
Now, a new study from the University of Utah concludes that bleaching patterns in the Navajo Sandstone suggest the rock formation once may have harbored vast amounts of hydrocarbons, likely natural gas (methane). And when the once-buried sandstone was exposed and started eroding roughly 6 million years ago, the gas would have been released to the atmosphere. Because methane is a so-called "greenhouse gas," the release of large quantities to the atmosphere may have warmed Earth's ancient climate.


Exploding black holes rain down on Earth
Mini black holes could explain mysterious observations from mountain-top experiments, and unveil hidden dimensions.

New Chemistry Could Overcome Nanotech Hurdles. Bloomington - Dec 03, 2003
According to the classic rules of physics, substances melt at a lower temperature when their sizes decrease. But scientists at Indiana University Bloomington have found that at least one substance, gallium, breaks the rules, remaining stable as a solid at temperatures as much as 400 degrees Fahrenheit above the element's normal melting point. Their report will be published in an upcoming issue of Physical Review Letters.


Sweet Tooth May Forecast Drinking Problem. FRIDAY, Nov. 14 (HealthDayNews)
Having a sweet tooth precedes alcoholism and may serve as a marker for the genetic risk for developing the disease. That's the sobering conclusion of a study in the November issue of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

Moderate Alcohol Consumption Linked To Brain Shrinkage
A study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and other institutions found a link between low to moderate alcohol consumption and a decrease in the brain size of middle-aged adults. Brain atrophy is associated with impaired cognition and motor functions. The researchers also found that low or moderate consumption did not reduce the risk of stroke, which contradicts the findings of some previous studies.

Do Fairy Tales Damage Girls' Self-Esteem? MONDAY, Nov. 24 (HealthDayNews)
As you tuck your daughter into bed tonight, you may want to think twice about what bedtime story to read to her. Classic fairy tales, such as Cinderella, Snow White and Hansel and Gretel, are loaded with subtle -- and many not so subtle -- messages that beauty is inherently good and should be rewarded, while people who are ugly are evil, wicked and mean. These messages may have more of an effect on girls and their self-esteem than parents realize, new research contends.

Social Behavior Among Monkeys May Be More Nature Than Nurture (December 4, 2003)
An unusual experiment with monkeys who were switched between mothers shortly after birth has demonstrated the importance of nature over nurture in behavior.

New Research Finds Some Animals Know Their Cognitive Limits (December 2, 2003)
Humans are able to feel uncertainty. One of the important questions in the field of animal and human psychology is whether this metacognitive capacity is uniquely human, or whether nonverbal, nonhuman animal species have a level of metacognition that approaches that of humans.


Breaking Into The Third Dimension Of Computer Chip Design. Brussels - Nov 27, 2003
Despite continuous technical advances in the semiconductor industry, microchips are still composed of laterally-arranged (side-by-side) transistors on a silicon substrate. EUREKA project E! 2259 VSI developed new ways to break through this two dimensional approach and the restrictions it imposes by designing 3-D chips or Vertical System Integration (VSI).