News Icon

Institute for Biblical & Scientific Studies

Site Map | Contacts | Links | Newsletter |  

March 23, 2003

Note: Due to the archiving policies of the various news Websites some links on this page may no longer be valid. All links will take you away from the IBSS Site - use your browser's "back" button to return to this page.

Religion in the News

Speaking Out: Where Do We Go From Here? Now that the bombs are falling, we'll need to repair Iraq--and our nation's moral standing. By David P. Gushee. See

Babylon revisisted | Much biblical history, not all of it good, came from the lands of present-day Iraq (The Wall Street Journal). See

Associated Press reports drop in American missions since 9/11
While saying they're not forsaking [Jesus Christ's command to "go and make disciples of all nations,"] some Christian universities and churches are canceling international mission trips out of concern that Americans could become targets," a widely circulating Associated Press report says. See

Torn between church and country? | While consistently warning against the war, Pope John Paul II has consistently sounded more nuanced than many mainline Protestant church leaders critical of Bush's policies (Uwe Siemon-Netto, UPI). See

FBI arrests 8 men in scheme that used religion to bilk investors of $50 million | John Franklin Harrell claimed to be in charge of a $1.6-trillion trust created by a descendant of Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon Church (Los Angeles Times). See,1,4972827.story?coll=la%2Dnews%2Dreligion

The Dick Staub Interview: Jim Van Yperen on Church Conflicts: The author of Making Peace: A Guide to Overcoming Church Conflict says the early church was also "full of problems." See

Groping at shadows in a darkened room | To say that my religion is the one true religion can only ever be a claim based on faith (Chris McGillion, The Sydney Morning Herald). See

Colorado professor wins religion prize (Los Angeles Times). Holmes Rolston III, a philosopher, clergyman and scientist whose explorations of biology and faith have helped foster religious interest in the environment, has been awarded the 2003 Templeton Prize. See,1,2214746.story?coll=la%2Dheadlines%2Dnation

Oh, Brother: Most everyone agrees that the James ossuary is a significant find. Ask what it means, however...By Jeremy Lott. See

Do our genes reveal the hand of God? (22 Mar) - The scientists who launched a revolution with the discovery of the structure of DNA in Cambridge 50 years ago have both used the anniversary to mount an attack on religion. See

Science in the News


Researchers Identify Gene Unique to Humans and Their Ape Kin. Each newly sequenced genome allows scientists to determine how humans stack up against other members of the animal kingdom. As it turns out, our genome is rather similar to that of the puffer fish, and we have only about twice as many genes as a worm or a fly. Now a report published online this week by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences identifies a gene specific to hominoids--the group made up of apes and humans--that arose as recently as 21 million years ago. Because the gene is expressed primarily in the testes, the researchers say it could have played a role in speciation, eventually helping humans become humans. The gene described in the new work, Tre2, was first identified by the Human Genome Project. The team determined that Tre2 was a hybrid of two different genes, USP32 and TBC1D3. The former is evolutionarily ancient and exists in many mammals. The latter, in contrast, is present only in primates that are closely related to humans. The scientists posit that the two genes fused to form Tre2 between 21 and 33 million years ago. See

Student knowledge of evolution deficient : Researchers from McGill and Indiana Universities tackle issue in Evolution. Public understanding of evolution is woefully lacking. Despite a considerable boost in evolutionary teachings over the past decade, says Brian Alters, director of McGill's Evolution Education Research Centre, people's lack of evolutionary understanding is still affecting science literacy, research and general academia. See

An urge to organize
Even with tiny brains, birds have to flock, fish have to school, and ants have to march in line. A Princeton scientist explains this "intelligent" behavior.
As individuals, army ants have almost no brain to speak of, just a clump of neurons inside their tiny heads. Working as a group, however, they rule the Amazon jungles, marching in formation over acres of land and flushing out thousands of insects, even scorpions, that are their prey. The ants move out and then file back in orderly lines, with the returning parties efficiently forming lanes inside the outgoing ants. See

Six legs good: (21 March 2003) The six-legged arthropods are a result of convergent evolution. See

Does Irreducible Complexity refute neo-Darwinism? a review by Gert Korthof. See

Design on the Defense. by Kenneth Miller. See

Behe's empty box. Reviews and Criticisms of Michael Behe's book: See

The Seven Warning Signs of Bogus Science. By ROBERT L. PARK. See


Ancient tablet breaks
But that may ease examiners' task.
An ancient stone tablet some experts believe may date to the ninth century B.C., providing rare confirmation of biblical narrative, broke in half while being moved to an Israeli police station, officials said yesterday. See 

Oldest Human Footprints Discovered: March 13, 2003 — Italian scientists have discovered the oldest human footprints, according to a report in this week's issue of Nature. Trodden in ash from the Roccamonfina volcano in Campania, southern Italy, at least 325,000 years ago, the prints were made by fully upright hominids who probably belonged to the species Homo heidelbergensis. See

Language (18 Mar) - Do some of today's languages still hold a whisper of the ancient mother tongue spoken by the first modern humans? Many linguists say language changes far too fast for that to be possible. But a new genetic study underlines the extreme antiquity of a special group of languages, raising the possibility that their distinctive feature was part of the ancestral human mother tongue. See

Petroglyphs in the Southwest: See

Remapping History
Did a 15th-century parchment help guide Columbus to the New World? See

Iraq War Threatens Ancient Treasures: See


Race To Gamma-Ray Burst Reveals Gigantic Explosion, Death & Birth
Scientists arriving on the scene of a gamma-ray burst just moments after the explosion, have witnessed the death of a gigantic star and the birth of something monstrous in its place, quite possibly a brand new, spinning black hole. See

Chandra Image Reveals Supernova Origin
NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory image, left panel, of the supernova remnant DEM L71 reveals a hot inner cloud, aqua, of glowing iron and silicon surrounded by an outer blast wave. This outer blast wave is also visible at optical wavelengths, right panel. Data from the Chandra observation show that the central 10-million-degree Celsius cloud is the remains of a supernova explosion that destroyed a white dwarf star. See

NASA'S Mars Odyssey Changes Views About Red Planet
NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft has transformed the way scientists are looking at the red planet. "In just one year, Mars Odyssey has fundamentally changed our understanding of the nature of the materials on and below the surface of Mars," said Dr. Jeffrey Plaut, Odyssey's project scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. See

Dawn's Attractive Science: Pasadena - Mar 19, 2003 - The solar system contains a spectrum of magnetic dynamos in large bodies like the Sun and Jupiter, in more modest-sized bodies like the Earth and in smaller bodies like Mercury and Ganymede. See

Record Breaking Galaxies May Shed Light on Dark Ages
The Subaru Deep Field Project commences with discovery of farthest-removed Milky Way cousin and a promising new window on the universe in its infancy. See

Moon Meteorite Mystery
We find as many chunks of Mars lying on Earth as chunks of the Moon — although the Moon is closer and loses pieces more easily. Why? See


Scientists say they have found virus of mysterious illness
Eleven labs worldwide hunted it down. A health agency said a test to diagnose it was coming.
Scientists believe they have found the virus responsible for the mystery illness that has sickened hundreds of people worldwide and are perfecting a test to diagnose it, the World Health Organization said yesterday. See

New Crystalline Structures May Open Door to Molecular Filters: Rochester - Mar 17, 2003 - Imagine a mask that could allow a person to breathe the oxygen in the air without the risk of inhaling a toxic gas, bacterium or even a virus. Effectively filtering different kinds of molecules has always been difficult, but a new process by researchers at the University of Rochester may have paved the way to creating a new kind of membrane with pores so fine they can separate a mixture of gases. See

The Lowdown on Ginkgo Biloba: The use of ginkgo leaf extracts can be traced back for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine. Today ginkgo biloba is perhaps the most widely used herbal treatment aimed at augmenting cognitive functions--that is, improving memory, learning, alertness, mood and so on. But is there any evidence that ginkgo biloba can really improve cognitive performance? A review of the experimental evidence both for and against its usefulness in enhancing brain functions suggests that the popular herbal supplement may slightly improve your memory, but you can get the same effect by eating a candy bar. See

15-Foot Needle Samples Life In Oceanic Crustal Biosphere: Seattle - Mar 19, 2003 - Teeming with heat-loving microbes, samples of fluid drawn from the crustal rocks that make up most of the Earth's seafloor are providing the best evidence yet to support the controversial assertion that life is widespread within oceanic crust, according to H. Paul Johnson, a University of Washington oceanographer. See

Undercover genes slip into the brain
A way to smuggle drugs and DNA past the formidable blood-brain barrier may finally allow the treatment of many debilitating diseases. See

Genetic Link May Tie Together Pesticides, ADHD, Gulf War Syndrome And Other Disorders
Research at the Salk Institute has identified a gene that may link certain pesticides and chemical weaponry to a number of neurological disorders, including the elusive Gulf War syndrome and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). See

Online Biology Book: This is a great resource!

Earth Science

Bizarre Dinosaurs Shed Light on Adaptation: March 14, 2003. See

Dino Dung: Paleontology's Next Frontier?
March 12, 2003 — The notion of fossilized dinosaur dung may draw wry smiles from some. But researchers who study coprolites say these dietary waste products can tell us much about the dinosaurs. Now, if they could only get a little more respect. See

Dinosaur Footprints: Tracks Tell Prehistoric Secrets
March 10, 2003 — Footprints impressed on the Earth millions of years ago are energizing the field of dinosaur paleontology which traditionally has relied on piles of old bones dug up from ancient sediments. By following their spoor, dinosaur researchers are able to track activities and lifestyles of the dinosaurs as they walked the Earth millions of years ago. See 

Cyclops Myth Spurred by "One-Eyed" Fossils?
February 5, 2003 — The fossil of a giant animal—much bigger than modern elephants—has been unearthed on the Greek island Crete. The extinct animal's extremely large nasal opening could have been the inspiration for Cyclops, a race of giants in Greek mythology with a single eye in the middle of the forehead. See

Collapse Of Antarctic Ice Sheet Triggered End Of Last Ice Age: Toronto - Mar 17, 2003 - The melting of an Antarctic ice sheet roughly 14,000 years ago triggered a period of warming in Europe that marked the beginning of the end of the Earth's last ice age, says a new study. See


Was Einstein Wrong? By Tim Folger
The unchanging speed of light is the heart of Einstein's theory of relativity—the c in E = mc2. Now a brilliant young physicist says it may not be so constant after all. See

How does relativity theory resolve the Twin Paradox?: Ronald C. Lasky of Dartmouth College explains. See

Let there be light: What do you get if you give a delicate thread of spider's silk a glassy coating - and then remove the silk by baking? The answer is ultra-thin, hollow optical fibres, which are narrow enough to carry light beams around the fastest nanoscale optical circuits, says Yushan Yan from the University of California at Riverside. New Scientist reveals how a little arachnid help may finally solve a major problem in photonics. See

Experiment May Help Size Up Neutrinos: Rehovot - Mar 19, 2003 - Our planet is bombarded every second with a large number of chargeless, seemingly massless, particles that originate in nuclear fusion reactions that power the sun. They're called neutrinos. See

Physics Central: A great online resource!


Be Grateful, Be Happy: Counting your blessings can improve your outlook on life. See

Psychoanalysis (22 Mar) - Sigmund Freud is both revered as a giant of twentieth-century thought and derided by mainstream psychologists and psychiatrists for his lack of scientific rigour. But in recent years, Freud's inspired guesses have been put under systematic scrutiny - and many have been proved to be accurate. Oliver James, a psychologist himself, and the son of psychoanalysts, explains how. See,3605,918281,00.html

Psychotherapy(12 Mar) - Despite the huge growth in the number of psychotherapists, you'd be better off talking to an intelligent friend, says Raj Persaud. See;$/2003/03/14/ixconn.html

Marriage - happiness (16 Mar) - In a large longitudinal study that sheds new light on the association between marital status and happiness, researchers have found that people get a boost in life satisfaction from marriage. But the increase in happiness is very small -- approximately one tenth of one point on an 11-point scale -- and is likely due to initial reactions to marriage and then a return to prior levels of happiness. Data from the 15-year study of over 24,000 individuals living in Germany also indicates that most people who get married and stayed married are more satisfied with their lives than their non-married peers long before the marriage occurred. See

Alcohol Dependence Linked To Chemical Deficit
Anxiety has long been linked to substance abuse. It is the key psychological factor driving the impulse to drink alcohol and one of the first symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. Now, researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have discovered they can control the urge to drink in experimental animals by manipulating the molecular events in the brain that underlie anxiety. See

Binge eating (20 Mar) - A weak gene -- not weak willpower -- makes some binge-eaters stuff themselves, a study suggests. But it also points to possible help: a future pill that might cool their appetites. See

Neurotheology (21 Mar) - According to Horizon (BBC2), our belief in belief is hardwired into our brains, and visions - like that of St Paul on the road to Damascus, on which sects, cults and denominations are founded - can be explained as fits of temporal lobe epilepsy. See,3604,918780,00.html also