News Icon

Institute for Biblical & Scientific Studies

Site Map | Contacts | Links | Newsletter |  

August 8, 2004

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

U.S. Appeals Court: Town council can't pray in Jesus' name
A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has unanimously upheld a ruling against "sectarian" invocations at the Great Falls (S.C.) town council meetings.

Translating values into votes, Republicans seek parish directories
Martin J. Gillespie, Director of Catholic Outreach at the RNC, made the request earlier this year (National Catholic Reporter).

A Steady Christian Influence
Has the nation finally abandoned its Judeo-Christian heritage, or is there still hope? By Leith Anderson.

Democrats' senior advisor for religious outreach quits amid "under God" controversy.

US House calls Darfur 'genocide'
Genocide is being committed in Sudan's Darfur region, the US House of Representatives says in a resolution.

Former missionary returns to the Philippines
Former New Tribes missionary Gracia Burnham, who was held hostage with her husband for more than a year by Islamic militants in the southern Philippines, is returning to the country to testify against some of her former kidnappers.

Peru's Second-Class Citizens
Christian legal activists fight to protect women and girls. By Deann Alford.

Bill Cosby Was (Mostly) Right—Part 2
Why is church influence among blacks wide but not deep?

When Bible study is controversial
Student Bible clubs are said to be growing in popularity (CBS Evening News).

PBS chooses Homeschooling
PBS has teamed up with leading home schooling publication Homeschooling Parent Magazine to promote PBS' on-air and online educational content (Broadcasting and Cable).

Spanish sect leader says he is the real pope
Papal pretender "Gregorio XVII" is leader of a self-styled church in Spain who says God crowned him after Pope Paul VI's 1978 death, that Satan controls the Vatican and that the devil will crucify him at the start of an apocalyptic end of an era (Reuters)

Scripture Candy delivers message
A Birmingham candy company is hoping to spread the word of God one piece of candy at a time (Associated Press)

Reality show moves us as it exploits Amish
Within the contrivance, the series manages to be disarming, touching, even moving. For young viewers unfamiliar with the Amish, it will be an eye-opener (The Denver Post)

Stephen Baldwin plans ministry
Actor Stephen Baldwin, a veteran star of more than 60 films including "Bio-Dome" and "The Usual Suspects," announced Friday he planned to start a religious ministry (Zap2It).

Churches buying 'Passion' DVD in bulk
Churches are being offered bulk discounts on The Passion of the Christ DVD in hopes that the second-biggest movie of 2004 will top DVD sales charts (USA Today).

Faith Under Fire is a brand new hour-long talk/debate show that takes an unflinching look at the provocative issues of religion, spirituality and morality in the fast-paced, face-off format of "Hardball" or "The O'Reilly Factor."

The Dick Staub Interview: Faith and the Newest Rock & Roll Rebellion
Some bands are rejecting the Christian label for their music and instead singing about Christ to the masses, says Mark Joseph.

Interview with inspirational Joni Eareckson Tada
At 17, a diving accident left her quadriplegic, too paralyzed to even act on suicidal urges. And then, a miracle. She's finds faith in God that's done so much more than help her survive. And now, she sees her tragedy as a blessing (Larry King Live, CNN).

Books & Culture's Book of the Week: China's Spiritual Hunger
The lessons of Falun Gong. Reviewed by Joy Lo Cheung.

Once-atheist parents find relief in religion
Nine-year-olds have endless questions, big and small. One that Cecilia Zhang asked her mother was: "Do you believe in God?'' (The Globe and Mail, Toronto).

When spirituality goes awry: students in cults
Adolescents are objects of recruitment for religious cults. Identifying new religious movements, cults, and dissenting religious groups, understanding their practices, and discovering reasons for their attractiveness to some students are helpful to the school counselor. Suggestions are offered as to how to identify which cults are destructive, and how professional school counselors can assist students involved with such group (Professional School Counseling, via Religion News Blog).

Science in the News


Archeologists claim Essenes never wrote Dead Sea Scrolls
Israeli archaeologists now argue that Qumran "lacks any uniqueness" (Haaretz, Tel Aviv).

The notion of human 'race' has had a troubled history, in both social and scientific circles.  But can human populations legitimately be divided into groups?  The authors argue that dividing humans on the basis of genetic similarity might be more reliable than using common 'racial' subdivisions, and that this information will be most useful for understanding our genetic ancestry and improving human health.


New Theory Links Neutrino's Slight Mass To Accelerating Universe Expansion. Seattle WA (SPX) Jul 28, 2004
Two of the biggest physics breakthroughs during the last decade are the discovery that wispy subatomic particles called neutrinos actually have a small amount of mass and the detection that the expansion of the universe is actually picking up speed.

Fiery blastoff sets US probe toward first rock from the Sun. Washington (AFP) Aug 03, 2004 - US spacecraft Messenger lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, early Tuesday on a six-year exploratory journey toward Mercury, the closet planet to the Sun.  With Messenger safely nestled in its payload bay, a massive Delta II rocket roared off from its launching pad at about 2:16 am (0616 GMT), turning in a matter of seconds from a fire-breathing giant into a tiny speck of light in the sky.

Briefing: As Mars Express sends back the best ever data about the chemicals present in the martian atmosphere, rumours abound that scientists are beginning to detect signs of life on the red planet. weighs up the evidence so far.

Virtual Mars. Moffett Field CA (SPX) Aug 03, 2004
NASA scientists have modified a scientific Web site so the general public can inspect big regions and smaller details of Mars' surface, a planet whose alien terrain is about the same area as Earth's continents.

Scientists Explain Mysterious Plasma Jets On The Sun. Palo Alto CA (SPX) Jul 29, 2004
Solar physicists from Lockheed Martin and the Solar Physics and upper-Atmosphere Research Group at the Department of Applied Mathematics of the University of Sheffield, UK have used computer modeling and some of the highest resolution images ever taken of the solar atmosphere to explain the cause of supersonic jets that continuously shoot through the low atmosphere of the Sun.

Titan's Purple Haze Points To A Fuzzy Past. Pasadena CA (JPL) Jul 30, 2004
Encircled in purple stratospheric haze, Saturn's largest moon, Titan, appears as a softly glowing sphere in this colorized image taken on July 3, 2004, one day after Cassini's first flyby of that moon.

Catching A Falling Star. Cerro Paranal, Chile (SPX) Aug 02, 2004
While observing a supernova in a distant galaxy with the FORS instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope at the Paranal Observatory (Chile), astronomers were incredibly lucky to obtain serendipitously a high quality spectrum of a very large meteor in the terrestrial atmosphere.

Moon Written In Stone Moffett Field CA (SPX) Aug 02, 2004
Scientists have pinpointed the source of a meteorite from the moon for the first time. Their unique meteorite records four separate lunar impacts. See also Odyssey of a Moon rock and Lunar Meteorite's Life Story Revealed.

In cosmic terms, our solar system could be special after all.


Francis Crick Remembered. Moffett Field CA (SPX) Aug 02, 2004
The British molecular biologist Francis Harry Crick died on Wednesday at the age of 88. Crick changed our understanding of life when, in 1953, he and James Watson announced that DNA came packaged in an elegant double helix structure. Crick reportedly claimed they had found 'the secret of life,' and many scientists agree.

Vision And Recommendations For Microbiology In The 21st Century.

Mice cloned from cancer cell
Nuclear transfer of a melanoma cell nucleus reveals epigenetic changes to be reprogrammable.

Genetic discovery shows how plants organize their shape.


New ARN Video: Debate at UCLA—William Dembski vs. Niall Shanks
William Dembski and Niall Shanks debate at UCLA.  The topic for this debate is “Can Intelligent Design be Detected in Biology?”

Evolution-design debate rages on
Scientists say nothing new has been added to the design claim (Salina Journal, Kan.)

Science and religion
Noted author Ian Barbour talks about these often warring worlds (Grand Forks Herald, N.D.)

Early fish hit land to be better predators
Primitive fish may have hauled themselves on to land to soak up energy from the Sun and become better hunters.

Genome Complexity: Adaptive evolution or genetic drift?
Does genome complexity produce organismal complexity? R B Phillips.

Researchers Review Evolutionary History Of Modern Algae.

Chagas parasite invades genome
Typanosoma cruzi kinetoplast DNA found in the genomes of infected patients and animals.

Study Suggests Humans Can Speed Evolution.

Catching Fish Evolving
Biologists watch an African fish species speeding toward a split.

Earth Science

Geologists Discover Water Cuts Through Rock At Surprising Speed.

Old Rivers More Active in Youth
Even a lazy river can have its productive moments. Recent data on two relatively flat rivers, the Susquehanna and the Potomac of the Mid-Atlantic states, provide evidence for rapid erosion over a relatively short 20,000-year span. A stormy climate is thought to be the cause.

Researchers Unearth Ancient Continental Rift Activity. Edmonton AB (SPX) Jul 29, 2004
Researchers at the University of Alberta have found evidence that a 2,000-kilometre corridor stretching diagonally across northern Canada was under tremendous pressure to split in two about 2.7 billion years ago. It is the first evidence suggesting enormous continental landforms and plate tectonics existed that long ago.

Research Traces Origins, Uplift Of California's Highest Mountains Boulder CO (SPX) Jul 30, 2004
A new study of California's southern Sierra Nevada range by a University of Colorado at Boulder research team has located a massive body of rock that sank into Earth's mantle some 3.5 million years ago, allowing the mountains to pop up.

The abyss reacts to El Niqo as quickly as surface ecosystems do.

Scripps Researchers Document Significant Changes In The Deep Sea. San Diego CA (SPX) Jul 23, 2004
Although it covers more than two-thirds of Earth's surface, much of the deep sea remains unknown and unexplored, and many questions remain about how its environment changes over time.


Theory links dark energy and neutrinos
Unlike other theories of dark energy, researchers say, this one relates it to known particles that can be detected in experiments.

Matter-Antimatter: New, Striking Difference Discovered. Rome, Italy (SPX) Aug 03, 2004
If we can look at stars, planets and all living beings in the Universe, as well as ourselves, it's because, as theoretical physicists suggest, after the primordial cosmic explosion, the "Big Bang", matter has prevailed over antimatter originating Universe as we know it.


Intelligence linked to size of key brain regions.

Medicine, Mind, and Meaning, by Eve A. Wood
In "Medicine, Mind, and Meaning," a step-by-step guide that combines traditional psychiatric approaches and spiritual principles.

New Views On Mind-Body Connection
Studies into placebo effect and empathy suggest how the brain encodes subjective experience.


Breakthrough Yields Simple Way To Make Microscopic Electronics. Boston MA (SPX) Jul 22, 2004
In a breakthrough that could lead to dramatically smaller memory chips and other electronic components, Princeton scientists have found a way to mass produce devices that are so small they are at the limit of what can be viewed by the most powerful microscopes.

Cool Fuel Cells Could Revolutionize Earth's Energy Resources.


'Ark' of DNA May Resurrect the Extinct. July 27, 2004
British scientists announced plans to create a "Frozen Ark" of preserved DNA from endangered animals and birds, with the eventual hope of resurrecting species extinct in the future though cloning, project organizers announced Tuesday.

Dozens of New Species Found at Panglao? Aug. 2, 2004
An intensive study of marine life off a small island in the central Philippines may have yielded "dozens of new species of crabs" and other sea creatures, the head of the project said recently.

Growing Tiny Totally Tubular Formations. Tucson (SPX) Jul 28, 2004
An accidental discovery may provide insights into the creation of tubular structures such as those found in caves and at hydrothermal vents.

Whale Carcass Yields Bone-Devouring Worms. Monterey Canyon CA  (SPX) Jul 30, 2004
Scientists studying a whale carcass in Monterey Canyon recently announced the discovery of two new species of unique worms that feed on the bones of dead whales.