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March 2, 2003

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Religion in the News

Moody Closes Magazine, Restructures Aviation Program: Moody Bible Institute announces strategic changes to ensure financial stability for core education program. By Todd Hertz and Stan Guthrie. See

E.V. Hill, 69, dies of pneumonia
The Rev. E.V. Hill, the pastor of Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles, passed away Monday night at the age of 69. Hill, an influential player in politics and the National Baptist Convention, died of an aggressive form of pneumonia. Pastor of Mt. Zion for 42 years, Hill had continued to preach at the church despite diabetes and a condition that weakened his legs so much that he had to deliver sermons sitting down for the last eight months. His wife, Jane, passed away from cancer several years ago. See,1,7774908.story

High court says RICO was misapplied to abortion protest case
Seventeen years after Roman Catholic abortion activist Joseph Scheidler and other pro-life advocates were sued by abortion clinics under 1970's Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, the Supreme Court ruled yesterday that racketeering laws are not applicable to the case. See

Forefathers' belief in God is the foundation of democracy in America | The greatest strength of American democracy lies not in the nation's economics, but in the morals and ethics of its people. (Jerry Fortunato, Philadelphia Daily News). See

Gujarat to pass anti-conversion law
Following up on his campaign promises, the state governor of Gujarat, India, announced yesterday that a ban on religious conversions will be brought before the state assembly during the current legislative session. The bill will be drafted at a cabinet meeting next week. See

After Jabez | The author of a phenomenal best-seller takes on a whole new territory (Bruce Wilkinson, Guideposts). See

Finances get blurry for Focus on Family | Cutbacks follow stagnant giving (Denver Post). See,1413,36~53~1198166~,00.html

'Church of Oprah' lectureship class bridges new-age spirituality gap | The "Church of Oprah" filled faster Monday than most mainstream churches could ever hope on a Sunday (The Abilene [Tex.] Reporter-News). See,1874,ABIL_7959_1769097,00.html

Won't You Be My Neighbor? At the center of Mister Rogers' cheery songs and smiles lies a God-ordained mission to children. By Wendy Murray Zoba. See

Churches warned of e-mail scams | The Secret Service is warning local churches that con artists are targeting them via e-mail addresses (Pasadena [Calif.] Star-News). See,1413,206~22097~1202146,00.html

Christian Parents Flee Public Schools. See

'Boston Movement' Founder Quits: Facing growth problems, controversial group changes leadership structure. By Timothy R. Callahan. See

EdCC instructor won't be excommunicated | An Edmonds Community College instructor who had faced excommunication for challenging Mormon teaching will not face disciplinary action, the instructor said Sunday night (The Daily Herald, Everett, Wash.). See

Doctor calls on Jesus to deliver USA from the hamburger | Drawing on the inspiration of loaves, fishes, water and wine, a doctor from Florida has published a self-help manual, What Would Jesus Eat?, and a companion volume, the What Would Jesus Eat Cook Book (The Daily Telegraph, London). See

40 Best Christian Places to Work: The Complete List & A Closer Look at the Top Finalists: Christianity Today salutes four finalists in ten categories. See

Science in the News


The Struggle to Find and Defend the Truth about the Earth’s Past

David C. Bossard, PhD

Date:        Thursday, March 27, 2003
Time:        8 PM Lecture; 9 PM Discussion & Refreshments
Location:  Biblical Theological Seminary (Hatfield PA)
Cost:         Free - Public Welcome


The Golden Age of Geology bloomed in the decades just prior to Darwin’s 1859 Origin of the Species. Geologists could read for the first time the details of how God created a place for mankind. Opposition came both from religious leaders and from secular opponents who saw their cherished notions challenged. The opposition was answered by painstakingly careful argument, which by the time of Darwin was seen by some prominent geologists to give strong evidence of  God’s hand at work. After Darwin, though, this evidence in favor of a creator largely vanished from mainstream geology. In this talk we will discuss the state of geology just prior to Darwin and then ask whether the conclusions reached at that time were valid and why they largely disappeared from the literature after 1859. See

Accident of Nature or Intelligent Design?
Announcing a two day conference

March 28 - 29, 2003
Clemens Theater, Longacre Center
Christopher Dock Mennonite HS, Lansdale, PA

Ticket Reservations  Phone:  (215) 234-4759
Cost:  Suggested donation $10/ticket;  full-time students free. See

West Virginia science standards won't include evolution alternatives | State Board of Education refuses to insert intelligent design in guidelines despite lobbying by evolution foes (Associated Press). See

Taking flight
Recent findings offer insight into the evolution of winged and feathered creatures into true birds.
From the soaring hawk to the fluttering sparrow, birds in flight have inspired more envy among humans than perhaps any animal. Since time immemorial, poets and singers have invoked flight as a metaphor for escape and freedom. See

TRANSGENIC MOSQUITOES UNFIT FOR DUTY: Malaria-resistant insects must be bred for success. See

'The Journey of Man': Following the Genes of a Common Ancestor. By CARL ZIMMER. See

Rutgers' Tanzanian Fossil Reshuffles The Deck On Early Human Ancestry
The fossilized jaw of a 1.8 million-year-old human ancestor (hominid) from Tanzania may just be one of the five best specimens out of about 50 known to represent the earliest members of the genus Homo (H) – the genus to which the human species belongs. See


Biblical Archaeology Seminars
Lancaster Bible College, April 12, 2003
If you live in driving distance of Lancaster, PA, join us on Saturday, April 12, 2003 for a day of seminars on Biblical Archaeology! All sessions are free, and attendees can register at the seminar. It will be held in the lecture hall in the Sebastian Academic Complex on the LBC campus. Artifacts will be on display, and books and videos related to archaeology will be available for purchase. Directions and further information can be obtained from the ABR office by phone (1-800-430-0008) or e-mail (

'Egyptian Lourdes' Found in Desert Sand: Feb. 20 — British archaeologists have discovered the "Egyptian Lourdes," a town dating back to 2,500 B.C. that was probably home to priests, builders working on the pyramids and people who would have earned a living by selling religious objects. Buried in the desert sand near the necropolis of Saqqara, 15 miles from Cairo, the town has been pinpointed through geophysical imaging. It is lying 20 feet down in the sand, and measures approximately one mile by three-quarters of a mile, an area probably inhabited by 4,000 people. See

Seti Dies Again!
A pharaoh's tomb gets remodeled. See

Ancient Records of Egypt
James Henry Breasted. Reprinted. See

Villages of Stone: Sardinia's Bronze Age Nuraghi
Robert H. Tykot
It’s a place with “no history, no date, no race, no offering.” That’s how D.H. Lawrence described Sardinia, though archaeological investigations in the last few decades show how wrong he was. As early as the second millennium B.C., the Sardinians were participating in elaborate water-temple cults, mining copper, casting striking bronzetti and conducting trade with the eastern Mediterranean. Most impressive of all, they built the biggest houses in the world: the huge stone nuraghi. See

The dig begins for a long-hidden history
After the benediction, a team of shovel- and trowel-wielding archaeologists moved in - along with a large backhoe - and began scooping out tons of modern fill, bricks, concrete block and dirt. So began the effort to find some trace of James Dexter, a free African American and former slave who helped found the nation's first black human-rights group and the city's first black church more than 200 years ago. See

Archaeologists dig up surprising finds at site of ex-slave's home
Archaeologists excavating the North Fifth Street home site of James Dexter, an 18th-century black leader, said yesterday that the venerable ground was proving richer and more mysterious than anticipated.

Evidence Acquits Clovis People Of Ancient Killings, Archaeologists Say
Archaeologists have uncovered another piece of evidence that seems to exonerate some of the earliest humans in North America of charges of exterminating 35 genera of Pleistocene epoch mammals. See


Distant Galaxy Shreds Fabric Of Space And Time: Huntsville - Feb 24, 2003 - The sharp image of a galaxy halfway across the universe might shred modern theories about the structures of time and space, and change the way astrophysicists view the "Big Bang," according to two scientists at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). See

Missing Mass Exists As Warm Intergalactic Fog: Cambridge - Feb 20, 2003 - One of the fundamental questions astronomers are trying to answer is: What is the Universe made of? Numerous lines of evidence show that the Universe is about 73 percent "dark energy," 23 percent "dark matter," and only 4 percent normal matter. Yet this answer raises further questions, including: Where is all the normal matter? See

Short And Long Gamma-Ray Bursts Different To The Core: Budapest - Feb 21, 2003 - A new analysis of nearly 2,000 gamma-ray bursts -- the mysterious creators of black holes and the most powerful explosions known in the universe -- has revealed that the two major varieties, long and short bursts, appear to arise from different types of events. See

Do Pluto's Other Children Hide In The Shadow Of Charon: Boulder - Feb 25, 2003 - Pluto has only one known satellite - Charon - discovered in 1978 by American astronomer James Christy. At slightly more than half the diameter of Pluto, Charon's 1,200-kilometer diameter makes it the undisputed "relative size" king of solar system satellites. See

Flying With Nature's Own Fuel: Pasadena - Feb 24, 2003 - Hundreds of years ago, early discoverers used the Sun as a compass. Turns out the light of the Sun can do more than just guide us; it can actually propel us farther and faster into the vast realm of space than we've ever been able to go. See

Coldest Spot in Cosmos Found: Feb. 21 — To an Eskimo, the saying goes, hell is a very cold place, not a hot one. Now NASA and European astronomers have pictures of Eskimo hell: the coldest spot in the known universe. The place is 5,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Centaurus. It's the Boomerang Nebula: a cloud of gases that are being expelled from a dying star. See

Scientists Get First Close Look At Stardust
For the first time, scientists have identified and analyzed single grains of silicate stardust in the laboratory. This breakthrough, to be reported in the Feb. 27 issue of Science Express, provides a new way to study the history of the universe. See

New Spacecraft Tool Reveals Massive Gas Cloud Around Jupiter
Using a sensitive new imaging instrument on NASA's Cassini spacecraft, researchers have discovered a large and surprisingly dense gas cloud sharing an orbit with Jupiter's icy moon Europa. See


Scientists Find That Apes and Monkeys Provide Needed Help in Understanding the Human Genome: BERKELEY, CA —  Scientists with the U.S. Department of Energy's Joint Genome Institute (JGI) and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have developed a powerful new technique for deciphering biological information encoded in the human genome. Called "phylogenetic shadowing," this technique enables scientists to make meaningful comparisons between DNA sequences in the human genome and sequences in the genomes of apes, monkeys, and other non-human primates. With phylogenetic shadowing, scientists can now study biological traits that are unique to members of the primate family. See

Argonne Researchers Create Powerful Stem Cells From Blood; May Revolutionize Medical Research And Transplantation
The particularly powerful – and very scarce – flexible forms of stem cells needed for medical research and treatment may now be both plentiful and simple to produce, with a new technology developed at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory – and the source is as close as your own bloodstream. See

Fly Mutation Suggests Link To Human Brain Disease
Greater insight into human brain disease may emerge from studies of a new genetic mutation that causes adult fruit flies to develop symptoms akin to Alzheimer's disease. See

Laser Technique Able To Detect Developing Cavities
Forget sharp metal picks or X-rays-in the future, your dentist may search for cavities using a painless laser-based technique developed at the University of Toronto that can detect cracks or defects at an early stage of development. See

Earth Science

Can Carbon Sequestration Solve Global Warming? Denver - Feb 25, 2003 - The U.S. Government is spending millions of dollars to research the feasibility of stuffing carbon dioxide into coal seams and fields of briny water deep beneath the Earth. See

Indonesia Discovers 1,000 More Islands: Feb. 18 — Indonesia, the world's largest archipelago, has 1,000 more islands than previously thought, an official said Monday. Analysis of satellite imaging data by the Aviation and Space Institute shows 18,108 islands compared to some 17,000 previously believed to exist, said the head of the institute, Mahdi Kartasasmita. See

Fossil Records Show Methane In Seafloor Sediments Released During Periods Of Rapid Climate Warming
Scientists have found new evidence indicating that during periods of rapid climate warming methane gas has been released periodically from the seafloor in intense eruptions. See