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January 18, 2004

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New Product Alert: We now have "Woods of the Bible" plaques available, ancient seals, and many more coin set replicas. See our Producdts page.

Religion in the News

Religion and Politics in this year's election.

Kelley story gets new scrutiny
USA Today is examining whether former reporter Jack Kelley, who resigned last week, plagiarized parts of a Washington Post article five years ago (The Washington Post).

Go Figure
Stats on God's existence, home schooling, and belief in God. Compiled by Ted Olsen.

Only Half of Protestant Pastors Hold Biblical Worldview
A respected Christian pollster says only half of Protestant pastors nationwide hold a biblical worldview. According to the newest study by the Barna Research Group (BRG), only 51 percent of ministers, representing a random cross-section of Protestant churches, have a biblical view on six core beliefs (the accuracy of biblical teaching, the sinless nature of Jesus, the literal existence of Satan, the omnipotence and omniscience of God, salvation by grace alone and the personal responsibility to evangelize).

Winning Them Softly
Evangelicals try to reach Mormons with respect—and hard science. By John W. Kennedy. See View the video about the Mormons online at

Simply Good Writing
The Best Christian Writing 2004 is an eclectic sampling from the spectrum of Christianity. Reviewed by Cindy Crosby.

Is this the headquarters of a growing media empire?
How a loophole in federal regulations turned this Wadsworth residence into the headquarters of 12 TV stations, and counting (Akron Beacon Journal, Oh.).

A Theoblogical Revolution
Billy Graham's vision goes from print to online, then back again. By Ted Olsen.

"The Bible Alone"? Not for John Calvin!
When we seek answers to churchly and societal issues in the Bible alone, citing the Reformation principle of sola scriptura, we are actually contradicting the Reformers. By Chris Armstrong.

Science in the News


Irreducible Complexity Revisited.
Michael Behe's concept of irreducible complexity, and in particular his use of this concept to critique Darwinism, continues to come under heavy fire from the biological community. The problem with Behe, so Darwinists inform us, is that he has created a problem where there is no problem. Far from constituting an obstacle to the Darwinian mechanism of random variation and natural selection, irreducible complexity is thus supposed to be eminently explainable by this same mechanism. But is it really?

Wells and Haeckel's Embryos: A Review of Chapter 5 of Icons of Evolution.
A biologist reviews the embryo claims of the "intelligent design" proponent Jonathan Wells. Haeckel's incorrect views, gill slits, and how textbooks deal with embryology are discussed.

Law, Darwinism, and Public Education: The Establishment Clause and the Challenge of Intelligent Design. By Francis J. Beckwith. "Darwin's great contribution ... was the final demolition of the idea that nature is the product of intelligent design."

The Bible and the Age of the Earth.

The deity and the data
How science is putting God under its lens (Chicago Tribune).

Gene 'helped create human brain'.
Scientists have identified a gene that appears to have played a key role in the development of the human brain.  They believe it is responsible for the expansion of an area of the brain called the cerebral cortex which controls abstract reasoning. This is much bigger in humans than their closest relatives - and gives us our extraordinary brain power.

Researchers Show Evolutionary Theory Adds Up. Calgary - Jan 15, 2004
All living plants and animals are likely derived from two primitive species of bacteria, a mathematics professor at the University of Alberta has shown. Dr. Peter Antonelli and a former post-doctoral student of his, Dr. Solange Rutz, used an original mathematical modeling system and software program to evaluate and compare the two main theories of biological evolution.

Borax Minerals May Have Been Key To Start Of Life On Earth. Gainesville - Jan 12, 2004
Astrobiologists, supported by NASA, have announced a major advance in understanding how life may have originated on Earth billions of years ago. A team of scientists report in the January 9 issue of Science that ribose and other simple sugars that are among life's building blocks could have accumulated in the early earth's oceans if simple minerals, such as borax, were present.

Space molecules point to organic origins
The most complex molecules yet found in space points to a rare type of star as the origin of life's building blocks.


New NEAS Website
The Near East Archaeological Society (NEAS) was founded in 1957 with a goal of promoting research in the lands of the Bible, the modern Middle East, from an evangelical perspective.

Evidence Found of Egyptian Lion Worship. Jan. 14, 2004
A mummified lion found in a bone-cluttered tomb in the Nile Valley has confirmed long-running suspicions that the pharaohs viewed the great animal as sacred, French archaeologists report on Thursday.

4,500-year-old city excavated in NW China's Shaanxi.
Archaeologists in northwest China's Shaanxi Province have unearthed the ruins of an ancient city dating back 4,500 years on a mountain in Jiaxian County.


See the latest from mars highlights on video.

Star twins
The first double-team of pulsars may reveal secrets of gravity. Astronomers have realized that a rare set of double stars is made up of two pulsars1. This unique discovery will allow them to test Einstein's theory of relativity in novel ways, and to better understand the energy beams that pulsars generate. Nature, 9 January 2004.

Is Gusev Crater The Site Of An Ancient Martian Lake? Pasadena - Jan 09, 2004
Scientists analyzing data from NASA's Spirit rover to determine water levels at the landing site may not have a final answer for several more weeks, but today they announced that they had uncovered one tantalizing clue. "We came [to Gusev] looking for carbonates," said Phil Christensen, payload instrument lead for Spirit's mini-thermal emission spectrometer (Mini-TES). "And we have found carbonates." They are present, however, in only trace amounts - 1 to 2 percent of the surface soil.

APS X-rays Reveal Secrets Of The Martian Core. Argonne - Jan 12, 2004
While astronomers peer at the surface of Mars, now making its closest approach to Earth in 60,000 years, scientists are learning the secrets of its deep interior using the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne.

Stellar Storm Points To First Exo-Planet Magnetic Field. Vancouver - Jan 12, 2004
Canadian astronomers announced today the first evidence of a magnetic field on a planet outside of our solar system which is also the first observation of a planet heating its star.

Astrobiologist Helps NASA Search For Life On Other Planets. Tucson - Jan 12, 2004
One of the tough parts about finding life on other planets is knowing where to look. A University of Arizona researcher has made a list of 17,000 stars that might be orbited by habitable planets. Starting in 2015, NASA's Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) will look at the top 30 stars from her list.


Easy breathing
Anti-mucus molecule may help asthma sufferers. Biologists have hit upon a molecule that can prevent the airways of asthmatic mice from clogging up. The finding may help human sufferers of respiratory diseases. Nature, 12 January 2004

Alzheimer's disease cause identified?
Amyloid beta protein may trigger mental decline. Researchers may have pinpointed the cause of Alzheimer's disease - a rogue protein called amyloid beta (Aß) that forms plaques in the brain. Dementia-prone mice with low levels of Aß are spared the disease, research reveals. Drugs that reduce this protein in humans may have the same protective effect. Nature, 8 January 2004

Chicken Soups Really Works. MONDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDayNews)
A cure for the common cold may still be out of reach, but temporary relief could be right in your kitchen cupboard. Chicken soup apparently does more than work wonders on the soul. Some doctors and researchers -- not to mention grandma -- say chicken soup actually helps reduce the inflammation and mucus production so characteristic of a cold.

Predicting miscarriage
A key protein could help tell when a pregnancy will fail, weeks in advance. About half of all fertilized eggs are aborted, often before the woman knows she is pregnant. Among known pregnancies, roughly 10-15% of pregnancies are spontaneously lost. Yet doctors often can't foretell which ones will fail. One of the few known hints is a hormone called human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG), whose levels fall around the time of a miscarriage. Nature, 9 January 2004

Pig-human chimeras contain cell surprise
The animals develop totally fused cells, with potentially serious implications for xenotransplantation and even the origin of HIV.

Earth Science

Extreme heat on the rise
Climate model predicts more stifling summers. Nature, 12 January 2004

Quakes Along Central San Andreas Fault Peak Every Three-Years. Berkeley - Jan 12, 2004
Medium to large earthquakes occurring along the central San Andreas Fault appear to cluster at regular three-year intervals - a previously unnoticed cycle that provides some hope for forecasting larger quakes along this and other California faults.


Mystery Particle May Hold Clues To Universe. Melbourne - Jan 12, 2004
Physicists from the University of Melbourne in Australia have helped discover a new state of matter that may shed light on the fabric of the universe. The University team of 14 is part of a group of 300 physicists from 13 countries known as the 'Belle collaboration'. They have discovered a sub-atomic particle that they are having difficulty explaining and difficulty fitting with any current theory that attempts to describe matter.

Probable Discovery Of A New, Supersolid, Phase Of Matter
In the 15 January 2004 issue of the journal Nature, two physicists from Penn State University will announce their discovery of a new phase of matter, a "supersolid" form of helium-4 with the extraordinary frictionless-flow properties of a superfluid. "We discovered that solid helium-4 appears to behave like a superfluid when it is so cold that the laws of quantum mechanics govern its behavior," says Moses H. W. Chan, Evan Pugh Professor of Physics at Penn State. "We apparently have observed, for the first time, a solid material with the characteristics of a superfluid."


Split personalities probed
Two personas trigger different brain networks. One human brain can have two different personalities dwelling in it, according to a new imaging study - and each personality seems to use its own network of nerves to help recall or suppress memories. Alternative personalities are typically developed by children who suffer severe trauma or abuse. The condition, called multiple personality disorder, or dissociative identity disorder, appears to help people cope by cutting off difficult memories, making them seem as if they happened to someone else. Nature, 9 January 2004

Intelligence (11 Jan)
Intelligence in the workplace is not that different from intelligence at school, according to the results of a meta-analysis of over one hundred studies involving more than 20,000 people. The findings contradict the popular notion that abilities required for success in the real world differ greatly from what is needed to achieve success in the classroom. The results are published in the January issue of the American Psychological Association's (APA) Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.


Superglue from the sea
Chemists show how mussels get a grip. Nature, 12 January 2004

Squid May Inspire New Nanolights
A Hawaiian squid is shining new light on optical nanotechnology: the creature has a built-in flashlight made up of a previously unknown type of protein. The discovery could help researchers design novel nanoreflectors.

Ocean Life Depends On Single Circulation Pattern In Southern Hemisphere. Princeton - Jan 15, 2004
A study has shown that marine life around the world is surprisingly dependent on a single ocean circulation pattern in the Southern Hemisphere where nutrient-rich water rises from the deep and spreads across the seas.

Animal Thought and Communication.
How do animals think and communicate with each other? And what can studying animals tell us about the evolution of language in humans? See also