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March 9, 2003

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New! Genesis One explained by Dr. Stephen Meyers: Video Clip at

New Book in! Holy Relics or Revelation is a book exposing the false claims of Ron Wyatt. Wyatt claims to have found the Ark of the Covenant, Noah's ark, the blood of Christ, and much more. Cost is $14.95 plus shipping and handling ($4). Order by phone with a credit card, Visa, MasterCard, or Discover Card. Call 1-215-423-7374. More product info Click Here.

Religion in the News

Bush and God:

God, Satan and the Media: By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF (New York Times) Claims that the news media form a vast liberal conspiracy strike me as utterly unconvincing, but there's one area where accusations of institutional bias have merit: nearly all of us in the news business are completely out of touch with a group that includes 46 percent of Americans. That's the proportion who described themselves in a Gallup poll in December as evangelical or born-again Christians. Evangelicals have moved from the fringe to the mainstream, and that is particularly evident in this administration. It's impossible to understand President Bush without acknowledging the centrality of his faith. Indeed, there may be an element of messianic vision in the plan to invade Iraq and "remake" the Middle East. See

Exegeting Bill Gothard: Three Christian apologists evaluate the conference speaker's life and teachings. Reviewed by Rich Poll. See We have this book available at IBSS for $15.99 plus $4 shipping and handling. Call 1-215-423-7374.

Gothard Staffers Ask Hard Questions: After public controversy in the early 1980s, employees pushed for reforms at the Institute. By Tom Minnery. See

Baptist missionary among at least 21 dead in Philippine airport attack
Southern Baptist missionary William P. Hyde, who has been a missionary with the Southern Baptist Convention's International Mission Board for 24 years, was at the airport in Davao, on the troubled Philippine island of Mindanao, to pick up another missionary family when a bomb exploded. See

Don't give up pretzels and hot cross buns | A look at food and abstinence during Lent across the centuries (The Beacon Journal, Akron, Oh.). See

Profit in the pulpit | A Denton televangelist Mike Murdock who says his mission is to rescue people from poverty is living lavishly, while the ministry he founded spends most of its money on overhead, an examination finds (The Ft. Worth Star-Telegram). See

Atheist group challenges Alabama governor's Bible study | Alabama Republican Gov. Bob Riley has incurred the wrath of ardent church-state separationists for offering early-morning bible study classes to his staff (Fox News). See,2933,80030,00.html

Mental health warning over Kirk's devil possession group (The Times, London). See,,2-600027,00.html

Bad theology is worsening spread of AIDS | Antiquated teaching and misplaced moral judgments could well prevent both Catholic and Protestant traditions from making the wholehearted effort needed (Steve Gushee, Palm Beach Post). See

Gallup notes links between faith, life | Large percentages of Americans link faith to their everyday lives, a new poll reveals. But overall, faithful Americans acknowledge a gap between what they believe and how they act (Religion News Service). See

Bring back the Sabbath | Why even the most secular need a ritualized day of rest (The New York Times). See

People of faith do good works | It was Christians who built hospitals, helped the mentally ill, staffed orphanages, brought hope to prisoners, established 100 of our first 110 American universities, and spread literacy (Randy Beaverson, Juneau Empire). See

Professor hits roadside to find religion in all the odd places | Life-size replica of Noah's ark prompts him to write new book (Religion News Service). See

Science in the News


Former defender of evolution now promotes creationism | Author and lecturer Mike Riddle isn't out to change anybody's mind. (Plano [Tex.] Star Courier). See

Evolution Boosted Anti-cancer Prowess Of A Primordial Gene
Researchers at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital have looked back in evolutionary time and identified what may be a gene that was once only moderately effective in slowing down cellular reproduction, until it linked up with a more efficient set of genes to create a powerful anti-cancer response. See

Reverse evolution: Genomic collinearity is important in yeast speciation. | By Jonathan Weitzman. The process of speciation (when one species splits into two distinct species that can no longer mate efficiently) takes thousands of years, and the mechanisms underlying speciation are therefore difficult to investigate in the laboratory. In the March 6 Nature, Daniela Delneri and colleagues describe experiments designed to reverse the process of speciation using genomic engineering in yeast (Nature, 421:952-956, March 6, 2003).See

Comparative genomics (3 Mar) - Comparison of human chromosome 21 with chimpanzee, orangutan, rhesus macaque, and woolly monkey DNA sequences have identified a significant number of random genomic rearrangements between human and nonhuman primate DNA. This evidence shows, contrary to popular belief, that genomic rearrangements have occurred frequently during primate genome evolution and are a significant source of variation between humans and chimpanzees as well as other primates. See

Genetic Patchwork Reveals Species Split: Chromosome rearrangement turns one species into another--partly. See (Must be a member to get the full text)


Israel's Antiquities Authority begins investigation of James ossuary, wants Joash tablet
A first-century limestone box that may have held the bones of James, the brother of Jesus and leader of the early church, is back in Israel after its display at the Royal Ontario Museum. The Antiquities Authority has created two separate commissions of archaeologists, geologists, and language experts to study the ossuary, the Associated Press reported yesterday. It's trying to authenticate the box and its inscription. Many scholars already accept their legitimacy, though there is some question about whether the inscription "James, the Brother of Jesus" must refer to the biblical men. See

Joash Tablet: A bigger biblical archaeology tempest is swirling around the Joash inscription, which describes repairs to the First Temple in language very similar to 2 Kings 12. The Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz reports that the inscription is "stirring controversy and suspicion among archaeologists, historians, religious and state authorities, and even the police." Biblical Archaeology Review says the inscription is big news, whether it's real or fake. The Associated Press says. "The owner of the artifact has since taken it from the institute, and police are investigating its whereabouts." See

Ancient Villa Rescued from Vesuvius' Mud: March 3, 2003 — The fabled Villa of the Papyri, Herculaneum's most famous building, opened its doors on Saturday for the first time since it was buried in Mount Vesuvius's lava and mud 2,000 years ago. See

What's Lost Is Found Again: 'Virtually' Rebuilding Native American Monuments
For five years now, a University of Cincinnati team has been piecing together the fragments of three little-known, prehistoric Native American cultures that left behind immense earthworks that rival Stonehenge in their astronomical accuracy. See

Ancient seals found at Hatab excavation site:VADODARA: The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) Vadodara circle, has unearthed 160 ancient seals, with the Brahmi script inscribed on them, from the Hatab excavation site, located some 20 km south of Bhavnagar. The seals are said to be 2000 years old and were probably used to stamp goods that were to be exported. See

Neanderthals (6 Mar) - Scientists have been pondering the question posed by the Neandertals-who were they, and what happened to them-since the first fossil remains were found in Germany's Neander Valley in 1856. By combining what can be told by fossils and artifacts with what has been learned by geneticists, we're getting closer to answering those questions, said Richard Klein, a paleoanthropologist at Stanford University, California. See


The Kuipers Beckon As Pluto Mission Funded: Sacramento - Mar 03, 2003 - After years of uncertainty, the strange "Pluto War" over whether to launch a Pluto flyby spacecraft in the near future is finally almost completely over - and Pluto won. NASA, Congress and the White House finally agreed that they do want an early Pluto probe rather than waiting years for as yet untested nuclear electric propulsion system to be developed and flight tested enough for dispatch to Pluto and out in the Kuiper belt beyond. See

Mars May Still Have Liquid Iron Core: Pasadena - Mar 07, 2003 - New information about what is inside Mars shows the Red Planet has a molten liquid-iron core, confirming the interior of the planet has some similarity to Earth and Venus. See

CHIPS Begins Interstelar Search For Birthplace Of Solar Systems
The Cosmic Hot Interstellar Plasma Spectrometer (CHIPS) satellite is living up to the adage "good things come in small packages," as the suitcase-size spacecraft is entering its second month of providing data to scientists about the birthplace of solar systems. See

'Phantom menace' may rip up cosmos: Stand by for a nightmare end to the Universe - a runaway expansion so violent that galaxies, planets and even atomic nuclei are literally ripped apart. The scenario could play out as soon as 22 billion years from now. See


Genetic Underpinnings of Pain Sensitivity Revealed: When it comes to pain, not everyone responds the same way. New work is helping to unravel why this is the case. Researchers report that variations in a single gene significantly affect the function of the brain's natural painkilling system, and may thus account for some of the observed variability in pain tolerance. See

Cocaine Use May Alter Brain Cells, Play Role In Depression
A study by researchers from the University of Michigan and the Ann Arbor Veterans Affairs Medical Center suggests that chronic cocaine use may cause damage to brain cells that help produce feelings of pleasure, which may contribute, in part, to the high rates of depression reported among cocaine abusers. See

Rutgers Researcher: Brains In Dyslexic Children Can Be 'Rewired' To Improve Reading Skills
In a scientific first, researchers have shown that the brains of dyslexic children can be "rewired" through intensive remedial training to function more like those found in normal readers. See

Tapeworm's Chemical Trick Could Make Drugs More Effective
To survive and thrive in a decidedly hostile environment, the lowly tapeworm uses a chemical trick to evade the propulsive nature of its intestinal home. See

Superbug strain hits the healthy: A drug-resistant superbug that spreads by skin contact is infecting thousands of people across the US and may now have reached Europe. See

Earth Science

Arctic Oscillation: Cold Heralds Hot: Boulder - Mar 05, 2003 - Why has the Arctic warmed so dramatically in recent years? How does the Arctic's circulation keep frigid air over the poles and sometimes allow it to spill across the United States? And how might global change affect the behavior of this circulation? See

NASA's Newest Maps Reveal A Continent's Grandeur And A Secret: Bethesda - Mar 07, 2003 - From Canada to Central America, the many grandeurs of North America's diverse topography star in a just-released high-resolution map from NASA's Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM). But a relatively obscure feature, all but hidden in the flat limestone plateau of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, is what emerges as the initial showstopper from the mission's first released continental data set. See

Changes In The Earth's Rotation Are In The Wind
Because of Earth's dynamic climate, winds and atmospheric pressure systems experience constant change. These fluctuations may affect how our planet rotates on its axis, according to NASA-funded research that used wind and satellite data. See


New Gravity Measurements Constrain String Theory Forces: Ever since the proverbial apple fell on Sir Isaac Newton's head, scientists have been able to calculate the force of gravity over a variety of distances. The first measurement of the gravitational constant came more than 100 years later, but testing gravity over very short distances has proved difficult. Now scientists have examined the gravitational attraction between two objects just a tenth of a millimeter apart--the smallest gap yet for such trials. The findings set upper limits for some of the forces predicted by string theory. See


Money and happiness (7 Mar) - "The evidence is clear: our wellbeing depends on cooperation and the public good, not personal enrichment," says Polly Toynbee. See,3604,909025,00.html