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August 31, 2004

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Religion in the News

Forgetting God
By Philip Yancey. Why decadence drives out discipline.

They'll Know We Are Christians By Our Ad Hominem Attacks.

Joe Stowell announces resignation as president of Moody Bible Institute
After 18 years at the post, Joseph Stowell says he's stepping down as president of Moody Bible Institute, which also operates a book publishing company, a radio network, and other ministries.

A Crumbling Institution
By David P. Gushee. How social revolutions cracked the pillars of marriage.

Mel Gibson's Film Now on Video
The Passion of The Christ comes to your living room—but without the hubbub and media frenzy that surrounded its theater release six months ago. By Mark Moring.

Olympic Symbols Have Sinister Origins.

Burial Ordered for Man Who Fails to Resurrect.

DNA Will Test Claims of 13 "Immaculate Conceptions"


Ancient tomb uncovered in Cairo suburb. Cairo
A domed Pharaonic tomb dating back to the 7th century BC was uncovered in a residential Cairo suburb, officials at the Supreme Council for Antiquities said on Wednesday.

Ruins Found in Peru From BEFORE the Incans

Scraps Of Prehistoric Fabric Provide A View Of Ancient Life. PHILADELPHIA
Fragments of ancient fabric – some dating back to the time the Coliseum was built in Rome – may give researchers better insight into the lives of Native Americans who lived in eastern North America some 800 to 2,000 years ago.


Life On Mars: A Definite Possibility Moffett Field CA (SPX) Aug 31, 2004
Was Mars once a living world? Does life continue, even today, in a holding pattern, waiting until the next global warming event comes along? Many people would like to believe so. Scientists are no exception. But so far no evidence has been found that convinces even a sizable minority of the scientific community that the red planet was ever home to life.

Fourteen Times The Earth Garching, Germany (SPX) Aug 31, 2004
A European team of astronomers has discovered the lightest known planet orbiting a star other than the sun (an "exoplanet"). The new exoplanet orbits the bright star mu Arae located in the southern constellation of the Altar. It is the second planet discovered around this star and completes a full revolution in 9.5 days. 

How Did The Planet In The Gamma-Cephei Binary System Form? Paris  (SPX) Aug 26, 2004
The formation of a planet in a binary star system poses serious problems, in particular when the two stars are very close, like in the system of Gamma-Cephei. A giant planet was discovered there, close to the primary star, but the perturbations from the secondary star should have prevented the accretion of planetesimals.

Footprints On The Moon Moffett Field CA (SPX) Aug 30, 2004
The Moon preserves unique information about changes in the habitability of the Earth-Moon system. This record has been obscured on the Earth by billions of years of rain, wind, erosion, volcanic eruptions, mountain building, and plate tectonics.

South Polar Storms Pasadena CA (JPL) Aug 30, 2004
This Cassini spacecraft narrow angle camera view of Saturn's southern polar region features a bright white spot, or storm, surrounded by faint, darker swirls of clouds.

Odyssey's New Odometer Moffet Field CA (SPX) Aug 30, 2004
NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter begins working overtime today after completing a prime mission that discovered vast supplies of frozen water, ran a safety check for future astronauts, and mapped surface textures and minerals all over Mars, among other feats.

Deepest Image Of Exploded Star Uncovers Bipolar Jets Huntsville AL (SPX) Aug 24, 2004
A spectacular new image of Cassiopeia A released today from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has nearly 200 times more data than the "First Light" Chandra image of this object made five years ago. The new image reveals clues that the initial explosion, caused by the collapse of a massive star, was far more complicated than suspected.

Backyard Telescopes For New Planets. Is It Possible? Boston MA (SPX) Aug 25, 2004
Fifteen years ago, the largest telescopes in the world had yet to locate a planet orbiting another star. Today telescopes no larger than those available in department stores are proving capable of spotting previously unknown worlds.


Researchers Uncover Secrets Of Immune System’s Munitions Factory
Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers have discovered a new component of the machinery immune cells use to generate a remarkably diverse array of antibodies from a relatively small number of genes.

Images Reveal How Rotavirus - Leading Cause Of Diarrhea - Enters Cells
High-resolution images constructed by researchers at Children's Hospital Boston (CHB) and Harvard Medical School (HMS) reveal the molecular rearrangements that rotavirus – the most common cause of severe, dehydrating diarrhea and vomiting in children worldwide – uses to break into cells.

Small Bumps Could Make A Big Difference For Hip Replacement August 10, 2004
When patients undergo hip replacement surgery, they can hope for 10 to 15 years of use before the implant wears out. After that, they will need another artificial hip--a surgery that will probably be less successful than the first one.


Darwin, Design & Democracy V: September 24-25, 2004 at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. To view the full conference schedule or to register now for this exciting event go to:

Religion/Science Reading Group at Messiah College Thursday, September 9, at 7:00 pm. We will meet in Kline Hall, room 108.  Barring unforeseen surprises, parking should be available in the lot behind the Kline-Jordan complex. That's the large rectangular space inside the L-shaped complex that consists of buildings 20 and 23 on our campus map: A plurality of votes were cast for the following book, which we will read this year: Kenneth R. Miller, Finding Darwin's God: A Scientist's Search for Common Ground between God and Evolution (HarperCollins, 1999).  My review is here: (Ted Davis)

"Meyer's Hopeful Monster":

Meteorites Supplied Earth Life With Phosphorus Tucson AZ (SPX) Aug 25, 2004
University of Arizona scientists have discovered that meteorites, particularly iron meteorites, may have been critical to the evolution of life on Earth.

Prions Act As Stepping Stones In Evolution.
When a protein misfolds, the results can be disastrous. An incorrect change in the molecule's shape can lead to diseases including Alzheimer's and Huntington's. But scientists have discovered that misfolded proteins can have a positive side in yeast, helping cells navigate the dicey current of natural selection by expressing a variety of hidden genetic traits.

Earth Science

Layer Of Material Ejected From Chesapeake Bay Meteor-Strike Discovered Athens GA (SPX) Aug 24, 2004
People in Georgia's Dodge and Bleckley counties have for years picked up small pieces of natural glass called "Georgiaites," which were produced by an unknown asteroid or comet impact millions of years ago. Just where these small, translucent green objects came from, however, was unclear.

China's Glaciers Being Flushed Down The Yellow River Beijing (AFP) Aug 23, 2004
Global warming is causing China's highland glaciers, including those covering Mount Everest, to shrink by an amount equivalent to all the water in the Yellow River every year, state media said Monday. 


Quark Study Breaks Logjam Between Theory, Experiment Chicago IL (SPX) Aug 30, 2004
University of Chicago scientists have solved a 20-year-old puzzle in particle physics using data from an experiment conducted for an entirely different purpose.

Cornell Apparatus Probes The Mystery Of A High-Temperature Superconductor Ithaca NY (SPX) Aug 27, 2004
With equipment so sensitive that it can locate clusters of electrons, Cornell University and University of Tokyo physicists have - sort of - explained puzzling behavior in a much-studied high-temperature superconductor, perhaps leading to a better understanding of how such superconductors work. 

First practical plastic magnets created
Researchers create the first plastic magnet that works well at room temperature – computers may be the first to benefit.

The Role Of Particle Physics In A New Universe Stanford, CA (SPX) Aug 26, 2004
A string of recent discoveries in astronomy has left scientists with an unsettling realization: The stuff we know and understand makes up less than 5 percent of the universe. The rest has to be yet-unknown forms of "dark matter" and "dark energy." 


Chaotic homes hamper child development
Growing up in a noisy, disorganised home hinders a child’s developing mind, according to a new study of twins.

Children With ADHD Benefit From Time Outdoors Enjoying Nature
Kids with attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) should spend some quality after-school hours and weekend time outdoors enjoying nature.