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February 16, 2003

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New Web Page

Grant Jeffrey makes the extraordinary claim in his book Signature of God, that there are writings of the Hebrews from the time of the Exodus in Sinai. These are not Hebrew inscriptions from the time of the Exodus. These are Aramaic inscriptions from the time of the Nabateans who rose to political power after Alexander the Great conquered Persia. Dr. Eccles has written about this in detail at

New Products Offered

Replica Coin sets from Biblical Times: Get Coins of the Bible set 1&2, Romans Emperors set, and the new Greek coins set. All four sets for the low price of $50 plus $6 for shipping. See

Religion in the News

U.S. Muslim leaders reject bin Laden call
For U.S. Muslims, the Osama bin Laden bugaboo was back. In a tape aired worldwide Tuesday by the Al-Jazeera television station, a man believed to be the terrorist mastermind urged Muslims to fight with Iraq against the United States and its allies. See

Why Don Richardson Says There's No 'Peace Child' for Islam: The author and missionary says he has tried to find bridge-building opportunities with Islam, but failed. See

U.S. theologian tries to counter Pope's Iraq view
In an unusual effort to counter increasingly fierce criticism by the Vatican against a possible war in Iraq, the U.S. government was host to a conservative theologian here yesterday who argued that a military strike against Saddam Hussein would meet the definition of a "just war" in Catholic doctrine. See 

Vatican opens pre-WWII papers to examine pope
For years, the Vatican has struggled to defend its wartime pope, Pius XII, against claims he was anti-Semitic and didn't do enough to save Jews from the Holocaust. See

Schools risk U.S. funds if prayer isn't tolerated
In one fell swoop, the federal government this month told public schools that they must accommodate religious speech - and warned school districts that they would risk losing federal funds if they did not allow "constitutionally protected prayer." See

Guidelines on Religion in School
To ensure that public schools are "neutral in their treatment of religion," the U.S. Department of Education has issued enforcement guidelines as part of the new No Child Left Behind Act. See

Yoga in Aspen public schools draws opposition | Some parents and religious leaders are objecting, saying that teaching yoga in school violates the separation of church and state (The New York Times). See

Bush's Agenda at Religious Broadcasters' Meeting Isn't Just Political. See

Joe Lieberman saves face Lieberman abandons End Time Christians (Hartford Advocate). See

Will the Bible change Alabama's tax code?
The front page of today's Wall Street Journal reports, "An unlikely force is setting off a tax revolt in Alabama: religious fervor." See,,SB1045001360300692183,00.html

Is Africa's Christianity the key to its development?
While we're on the subject of Christian-Judeo concepts of finances, it's worth noting this piece of investment advice from Archie Richards in the Amarillo, Texas, Globe-News: Richards needs to brush up on his Weber. It's Protestant virtues, not the fear of hell, that made the "work ethic" so famous (???). And evangelicals don't believe that you can do anything improve the status of your afterlife. But, hey, invest in Africa anyway. See

Pat Robertson has prostate cancer
Broadcaster Pat Robertson announced yesterday on his 700 Club broadcast that he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer and will undergo surgery Monday to remove his prostate gland. Several media outlets note that Robertson has long been on a health kick, and one of his most recent campaigns is for "Pat's Age-Defying Protein Pancake," which he designed to "help protect against breast, uterine, and prostate cancer." See

Soul-searching survey: Gallup poll reveals trends in religion Religious faith is broad but not deep, with many Americans holding strong beliefs but see little impact that religious faith has on individual lives and society (Knight Ridder Newspapers). See

Italians Find St. Valentine Relic The silver relic, in the shape of the saint's face, contains fragments of his skull and has been missing for over 30 years (Zoomata, Italy). See

The origins of Valentine's Day: Anthony Aveni, an investigator of our holiday beliefs, has traced Valentine's Day from Lupercalia to the proclamation of St. Valentine's sainthood (UPI). See

Science in the News


Sizing up evangelicals Fundamentalism persists but shows signs of moderation (Scientific American). "Fundamentalism represents more than a continuation of traditional religion; it is also a transformation of old religious attitudes that arose in reaction to modernity and, in particular, Darwinism and progressive Protestantism. Its most prominent feature--the doctrine of biblical inerrancy--was a creation not of the 16th-century Reformation but of 19th-century Princeton University theologians attempting to preserve traditional belief in divine origins. Unlike the Calvinist tradition from which it grew, American fundamentalism is unsympathetic to science. After the Scopes "monkey trial" of 1925, it entered a quiescent period, reawakening in the 1960s and 1970s as a reaction to feminism and events such as the U.S. Supreme Court's 1963 decision banning prayer in public schools and its 1973 decision overturning laws against abortion in 46 states." See

Unexpected evolution of a fish out of water This is the story of two small, plastic, adhesive plaques and all that came forth and multiplied after them: the Jesus fish and the Darwin fish (The New York Times). See


New findings put Noah's epic story to the test
Research team claims the catastrophic flood idea doesn't hold water
By Robert Cooke / Newsday. What Aksu of the Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada, and his co-workers argue is that for the past 12,000 years brackish water has been steadily streaming out of the big inland sea and into the Mediterranean. Their studies of deltas, sea-floor sediment cores and the remains of marine life at the southern end of the Bosporus show no evidence of a Noachian flood. See

Stonehenge, one of England's best-known prehistoric landmarks, may have been built by nobleman hailing from modern day Switzerland or Germany, according to a new analysis of a nearby burial site. The remains of a wealthy and powerful man were discovered five kilometers from the ancient stone circle in May 2002. Known as the Amesbury Archer, this man was buried with the oldest gold and copper artifacts ever discovered in Britain, dating from as far back as 2470 BC. See Also

Chariots of Fire: Archaeologists in north-eastern Greece have discovered a remarkable Roman burial site with well-preserved remains of chariots and horses which were most probably used to take the dead to be cremated. See


Shuttle piece is from wing that was hit
After three days of uncertainty, NASA said yesterday that a piece of broken wing found last week was from the space shuttle Columbia's left side - where the problems appear to have begun in the final minutes of its doomed flight. See 

After 14 years, Galileo's space journey nears end
As NASA temporarily grounds its shuttle fleet after the Columbia disaster, an unmanned spacecraft that has been exploring the solar system for 14 years is nearing the end of its mission - and still revealing the secrets of a planet hundreds of millions of miles from Earth. See 

The Oldest Light in the Universe: Huntsville - Feb 13, 2003 - NASA has released the best "baby picture" of the Universe ever taken; the image contains such stunning detail that it may be one of the most important scientific results of recent years. Scientists used NASA's Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) to capture the new cosmic portrait, which reveals the afterglow of the big bang, a.k.a. the cosmic microwave background. See

Undergrads Discover New Class Of Star; "They Pulsate Like Jell-O"
University of Arizona astronomy undergraduates have serendipitously discovered a new class of star that thrills astronomers who specialize in a relatively new field called "astroseismology." See

Planetary Scientists Applaud President's FY04 Budget Proposal: Washington - Feb 07, 2003 - The Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society applauds the President's FY04 budget proposal for its vision towards implementing the recommendations within the National Research Council's Solar System Exploration Decadal Survey Report. A new initiative is proposed for a Jupiter Icy Moon Orbiter (JIMO), enabling the detailed study of Jupiter's icy moons including the investigation of a subsurface ocean and possible life on Europa. The JIMO mission would accomplish the science at Europa given highest priority in the Flagship mission class by the Decadal Survey Report. See

New Space Weather Journal Will Track Solar Science: Washington - Feb 10, 2003 - The American Geophysical Union will soon launch the first journal devoted to the emerging field of space weather and its impact on technical systems, including telecommunications, electric power, and satellite navigation. Space Weather: The International Journal of Research and Applications will present peer-reviewed research, as well as news, features, and opinion articles. See

Violent Truth Behind Sun's 'Gentle Giants' Uncovered
Solar physicists at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London (MSSL-UCL) have discovered new clues to understanding explosions on the Sun. See

Titan's Great Lakes: See

Carnegie Mellon Scientist to Develop Probes to Detect Life on Mars: Pittsburgh - Feb 12, 2003 - Carnegie Mellon University scientist Professor Alan Waggoner has received a three-year $900,000 award from NASA to develop fluorescent-dye-based systems to be used in remote operations to detect life on Mars and in other hostile or distant environments. See

NASA Study Shows How Water May Have Flowed On Ancient Mars: Moffett Field - Feb 13, 2003 - NASA scientists have discovered how an intricate Martian network of streams, rivers and lakes may have carried water across Mars. Using new three-dimensional data from the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft and a powerful state-of-the-art computer code that 'models' overland water flow, scientists visualized the complex flow of Martian water. See

The Martian Polar Caps Are Almost Entirely Water Ice: Pasadena - Feb 14, 2003 - For future Martian astronauts, finding a plentiful water supply may be as simple as grabbing an ice pick and getting to work. California Institute of Technology planetary scientists studying new satellite imagery think that the Martian polar ice caps are made almost entirely of water ice-with just a smattering of frozen carbon dioxide, or "dry ice," at the surface. See


An early death for Dolly
The cloned sheep was euthanized. She had progressive lung disease.
Dolly the sheep, the world's first mammal cloned from an adult, was euthanized well short of her normal life span after being diagnosed with progressive lung disease, her creators said yesterday. See

Scientists say they altered stem cells
Medical researchers yesterday said they had, for the first time, genetically manipulated human stem cells - a first step toward making the body's master cells into a useful tool. See 

Researchers Discover How Leukaemia Virus Spreads Through The Body; Discovery Could Eventually Lead To New Treatments For HIV And AIDS
Researchers from Imperial College London, University of Oxford, Kagoshima University (Japan) and University of the Ryukyus (Japan) have discovered the mechanism by which human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1), the virus which causes adult T-cell leukaemia, spreads through the body. See

Researchers Develop 'Natural Bandages' That Mimic Body's Healing Process
With the same compound the body uses to clot blood, scientists at Virginia Commonwealth University have created a nano-fiber mat that could eventually become a "natural bandage." Spun from strands of fibrinogen 1,000 times thinner than a human hair, the fabric could be placed on a wound and never taken off — minimizing blood loss and encouraging the natural healing process. See

The 50th year anniversary of the discovery of DNA (Time). See

Earth Science

Cloneable Mammoth Cells Discovered in Russia: Feb. 9 — Russian scientists said Wednesday that they've found living cells in a frozen ice-age mammoth that could provide the DNA needed to resurrect the long-extinct tuskers. See

Sea Floor Hot Springs As Teeming With Valuable Minerals And Microbes: New Brunswick - Feb 10, 2003 - With only about 5 percent of the sea floor explored in detail, a picture is emerging of a vast system of natural undersea dynamos, fueled by hot springs, that produce not only valuable mineral deposits, but habitats for unique, heat-loving organisms that can provide materials for products ranging from detergents to pharmaceuticals. See

Nanotechnology Could Save The Ozone Layer: London - Feb 10, 2003 - Whilst experimenting with nanospheres and perfluorodecalin, a liquid used in the production of synthetic blood, researchers at Germany's University of Ulm have stumbled across a phenomenon that could ultimately help remove ozone-harming chemicals from the atmosphere. The perfluorodecalin, against all expectations, was taken up by a water-based suspension of 60 nm diameter polystyrene particles. See

Ancient Climate May Augur Future Effects Of Global Warming: West Lafayette - Feb 12, 2003 - Ancient lake sediments and modern computers both indicate that El Nino might react differently to global warming than current theory claims, according to a Purdue research report. See


Headship with a Heart: How biblical patriarchy actually prevents abuse. By Steven Tracy. See

Wrath Control: Pop psychology teaches that restraining anger will only make you sick. Not according to Jesus. By M. Blaine Smith. See


Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography Reaches Commercial Sector: Livermore - Feb 12, 2003 - The Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer has granted the Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography (EUVL) project an Excellency in Technology Transfer award for technology that will lead to microprocessors that are tens of times faster than today's most powerful chips. See

Can Sentient Machines Evolve: Ann Arbor - Feb 12, 2003 - It's coming, but when? From Garry Kasparov to Michael Crichton, both fact and fiction are converging on a showdown between man and machine. But what does a leading artificial intelligence expert--the world's first computer science PhD--think about the future of machine intelligence? Will computers ever gain consciousness and take over the world? See


Antarctic Fish Found in Arctic Seas: Feb. 5 — A type of fish that normally inhabits the frigid waters around Antarctica was recently caught off Greenland, a discovery that has led experts to conclude that deep ocean currents must have helped it on an extraordinary trek almost halfway around the world. See

Beluga Whales Relay Arctic Data: Feb. 5 — European oceanographers have found a new way to explore ocean currents under the Arctic ice: they've recruited wild beluga whales. Researchers from Scotland and Norway have equipped some of the white whales with sensors that record water depth, salinity and temperature, and then transmit the data to satellites whenever the whales come up for air. See