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February 2, 2003

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Religion in the News

Religious leaders offer mixed assessment of Bush speech: The president's words on Iraq prompted a more divided reaction than his words on AIDS did (Religion News Service). See 

Evangelicals are silent on Iraq, says The Washington Post
"In the fall, when a preemptive military strike against Iraq turned into a serious possibility, it appeared that a major religious debate over the morality of war was heating up, pitting evangelicals against mainline Protestants, Catholics and Orthodox Christians," Bill Broadway reported in Saturday's Washington Post. "Then the discussion went flat—or, more accurately, one-sided—as the religious voices for peace multiplied and strengthened while the pro-Bush religious forces went mum. . . . Such reticence suggests that most evangelical leaders, who strongly supported the Persian Gulf War a decade ago, are ambivalent about the prospect of war with Iraq, according to several evangelical theologians and scholars." See 

Kentucky reverses course, allows religion major to receive financial aid
In October, Cumberland College junior Michael Nash was told he couldn't receive financial aid from the Kentucky Education Excellence Scholarship program because he declared a major in philosophy and religion. Six weeks ago, the American Center for Law and Justice sued on Nash's behalf, and last week the state reversed course, saying Nash and other religion majors could receive state funds. See 

Bad Company Corrupts: What do recent business scandals mean for church and state? An interview with Michael Novak See 

The Profit of God: Finding the Christian path in business. By Jeff Van Duzer and Tim Dearborn. See 

'Once You Forgive, There Will Be Healing' :How a martyr's widow turned her life around and won India's prestigious Gandhi harmony award. By S. David, with additional reporting by Manpreet Singh. See 

Baptist missions board "counsels" missionaries who haven't signed statement
Christianity Today has earlier reported the debate among Southern Baptist foreign missionaries about requirements that they sign the denomination's latest statement of faith. Most missionaries supported by the denomination's International Missions Board were appointed before the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message was adopted, and several disagree with the changes. For the last year or so, whether missionaries should be forced to sign has been a matter of frequent debate in the denomination. See 

Evangelicals produce American religion's classiest magazine Books & Culture, sister publication of evangelicalism's quality middlebrow voice, Christianity Today, has established a solid niche as a spiritual equivalent to The New York Review of Books (Associated Press). See 
Books & Culture's website at 

Superman's Scientology 'truth' Christopher Reeve didn't like the "e-meter" machine much. Reeve says he “grew skeptical” of the whole process and told an outrageous lie — which wasn’t caught by the auditor or the e-meter. “The fact that I got away with a blatant fabrication completely devalued my belief in the process,” Reeve wrote. He felt similar disillusionment with various alternative religions and cults he encountered in Hollywood. (Jeannette Walls, MSNBC). See also 

Science in the News

ASA Meeting: 

You are invited for our spring meeting of the Eastern PA section of the American Scientific Affiliation on Saturday, March 1st. Our speaker will be Dr Thomas Davis: Bio: Dr. Tom Davis received his BA in Near Eastern Archaeology from Wheaton College and his MA and PhD from the University of Arizona. His dissertation on the History of Biblical Archaeology is being published by Oxford Press. He is currently Assistant Vice President for Archaeology at R. Christopher Goodwin & Associates, Inc., a cultural resource management firm in Frederick, MD. On July 1, 2003, Dr. Davis will become the new director of the Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute (CAARI) in Nicosia Cyprus. This is the premier international archeological research facility in the Republic of Cyprus. Tom will be speaking on the general topic of how the Bible is viewed within the archeology community, ranging from Biblical minimalists who consider it a cultural document with virtually no historic value to the "Biblical archeologists" who use it as a textbook for ancient history. We will be meeting at Emmanuel Orthodox Presbyterian Church near Wilmington, Delaware. (  ). Cost will be $10.


Alabama disclaimer in every textbook that discusses evolution. See 

Many in state support teaching creationism Despite split, poll shows room for religious thought. Half of Wisconsin's residents favor requiring that public schools teach the biblical theory of creation along with evolution, according to a poll conducted by the University of Wisconsin Survey Center. (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel). See 

Justice Department probes Texas Tech professor's policy He refuses to write letters of recommendation to students who don't believe in the theory of human evolution (Houston Chronicle). See 

Evolutionary Genomics: Compensation or innovation. See 



Human evolution (31 Jan) - The fossil of an early human-like creature (hominid) from southern Africa is raising fresh questions about our origins. Remains from the Sterkfontein Caves near Johannesburg suggest our ancestors were less chimp-like than we thought. See 


Dan Bahat on Jerusalem Archaeology: One of Israel's leading archaeologists talks about the importance of the Temple Mount and key historical finds in the Holy Land. See 

Finding God in a Box: Have archaeological discoveries like the James ossuary served or obscured the quest to verify the Bible? By Steven Gertz. See 

Ancient Greek Wreck Found
In the Black Sea, researchers have discovered a 2,300-year-old shipwreck. From fish bones to olive pits, its everyday cargo is yielding clues—and raising questions. See

Lewis and Clark Anniversary Supersite
Thomas Jefferson expected the explorers to see woolly mammoths and a mountain of salt. What they found was no less mind-boggling. Retrace their journey via journals, maps, and more. See 

Oldest Toothpaste Formula Used Iris: Jan. 23 — A Egyptian toothpaste formula dating to the fourth century A.D. recently was found in a collection of papyrus documents at the National Library in Vienna, Austria, making it the world's oldest-known recipe for toothpaste and also adding to the growing body of evidence that the medical system of ancient Egypt was one of the most advanced of its time. Ingredients for the recipe, revealed at a recent dental congress in Vienna, include one drachma of salt, two drachmas of mint, 20 grains of pepper and — perhaps the most active component — one drachma of dried iris flower, which since has been found to be effective against gum disease. The Egyptians tried various tooth remedies, including chewing myrrh-like gum to sweeten the breath, and application of honey, a natural antibiotic. Fillings were made from resin and malachite, a mineral with antibiotic properties. See  


The space shuttle Columbia disintegrated in flames over Texas yesterday just 16 minutes from home. All seven astronauts - six Americans and an Israeli - died as the shuttle broke apart, traveling 39 miles above the Earth at 12,500 m.p.h., and rained debris over hundreds of miles of countryside. See & 

DARK MATTER HALOS FOUND? Astrophysicists spot solution to puzzle of quasars' quick formation. See 

Meteorite Hints at Mars' Watery Past: Jan. 27 — Analysis of a Martian meteorite that fell to Earth suggests that magma rocks beneath the surface of the Red Planet once were rich in water, a scientific panel that carried out the study said here on Thursday. See 

South Pole Telescope Follows Trail Of Neutrinos Into Deepest Reaches Of The Universe
A unique telescope buried in Antarctic ice promises unparalleled insight into such extraordinary phenomena as colliding black holes, gamma-ray bursts, the violent cores of distant galaxies and the wreckage of exploded stars. See 


Coffee Halves Risk of Colon Cancer in Women: Jan. 19 — A Japanese research team found a cup of coffee a day halves the risk of colon cancer among women, a news report said Sunday. See 

Stem Cell Breakthrough in MS Research: Jan. 21, 2003 — Australian researchers Tuesday announced a technique using stem cells to treat brain cells damaged by multiple sclerosis, which could eliminate debilitating symptoms of the neurological disease. See 

LIVER CONVERTED TO PANCREAS: Tissue switching could lead to new diabetes treatment. See 

FUNGI IRON-OUT ASBESTOS POLLUTION: Bioremediation might make fibre-contaminated soil safer. See 

Study Sheds Light On How The Sun Causes Skin Cancer
Researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have made a discovery that could help solve a mystery in cancer biology: how a sunburn acquired during a childhood day at the beach can develop into a deadly tumor decades later. The scientists report in the Feb. 4 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that the sun's damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays target a series of biochemical signals inside the young skin cell, impairing the cell's ability to control its proliferation. See 

New Study Shows Tea Extract Protects Skin; White Tea Extract Reveals Anti-cancer, Anti-aging Properties
Scientists at University Hospitals of Cleveland and Case Western Reserve University have proven that ingredients in white tea are effective in boosting the immune function of skin cells and protecting them against the damaging effects of the sun. The discovery that white tea extract protects the skin from oxidative stress and immune cell damage adds another important element in the battle against skin cancer. See 

Study Is First To Confirm Link Between Exercise And Changes In Brain
Three key areas of the brain adversely affected by aging show the greatest benefit when a person stays physically fit. The proof, scientists say, is visible in the brain scans of 55 volunteers over age 55. See 

Protein Linked To Movement Disorders
Using a tiny worm to model a severe childhood movement disorder, researchers at The University of Alabama have discovered the role of a protein that may have implications for a number of neurological syndromes such as Parkinson's and Huntington’s diseases. See 

Researchers Unwind Secrets Of Biological Clocks
Even this lowly one-celled bacterium has a biological clock, the sophisticated internal timing device that governs the daily rhythms of people, animals and plants, says Susan Golden, a biology professor at Texas A&M University. Golden and her colleagues also study the biological clocks of birds, rats and fungi, but it was the bacterium known as Synechococcus elongatus that yielded the latest revelation: the first structural model of part of the clockworks. See 

Earth Science

Gulf Stream Not Responsible For European Mild Winters: New York - Jan 27, 2003 - Research suggests that ocean circulation plays less of a role in climate change than previously thought New research shows that the Gulf Stream has little effect on the contrast in winter temperatures between Europe and eastern North America, dispelling a long-held assumption. See 

Correlation Found Between Impacts And Increased Volcanic Activity: New York - Jan 28, 2003 - Supporting the theory that catastrophic events significantly influence major Earth processes, researchers have determined that comet and meteorite impacts on Earth occurring over the last 4 billion years have directly correlated with the activity of strong and normal mantle plumes - heated mantle rock causing volcanic eruptions (e.g. Hawaii, Iceland). See 


ANTINEUTRINOS CAUGHT IN VANISHING ACT: Disappearance of nuclear reactors' subatomic particles confirms theory. See 

Blinded By The Light At 20,000 THz: Oak Ridge - Jan 31, 2003 - Experiment generates THz radiation 20,000 times brighter than anyone else; breakthrough lights way for application development. An experiment conducted with Jefferson Lab's Free-Electron Laser has shown how to make a highly useful form of light -- called terahertz radiation -- 20,000 times brighter than ever before. Jefferson Lab is a Department of Energy laboratory located in Newport News, Virginia. See