News Icon

Institute for Biblical & Scientific Studies

Site Map | Contacts | Links | Newsletter |  

January 25, 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

Baptized in Fire
A new book on Martin Luther King, Jr., emphasizes his spiritual transformation. Reviewed by John Wilson.

Joyce Meyer Responds to Critics, Shifts Income Source
Amid cancellation and watchdog's call for IRS investigation, evangelist defends finances. By Corrie Cutrer, in St. Louis.

Missing Jewish Ways
Lauren Winner's latest book explores how 11 aspects of Judaism can enrich Christian practice. Reviewed by Cindy Crosby.

Discovering Unity
J.I. Packer and Thomas Oden are bullish on evangelical futures. By David Neff.

Heartless marriage plans
The whole idea of encouraging poor people to get married and stay married through classes and counseling sessions ignores the main reason that stable wedlock is rare in inner cities: the epidemics of joblessness and incarceration that have stripped those communities of what social scientists call "marriageable" men (Editorial, The New York Times).

Salvation Army receives a gift of $1.5 billion 
Joan B. Kroc, the wife of the builder of the McDonald's restaurant chain, left the charity the money in her will when she died last fall (The New York Times).

Seminary functions as a spiritual United Nations 
A small evangelical campus in Pasadena draws a large contingent of scholars from around the world (Los Angeles Times).

Christian History Corner: When God—or Allah—Is in the Details
What do Islamic "sharia" law and the colonial Massachusetts' Puritan experiment have in common? By Steven Gertz.

Science in the News


Kent Hovind (Dr. Dino) answers his critics on his radio program that you can listen to online at

December 10, 2004 radio program: Hovind answers Carl Marrychurch? from Australia at (The $250,000 challenge, 6 different kinds of evolution).

December 11, 2003 radio program: Hovind continues to answer Carl Marychurch? from Australia at (Hovind's side of the story about his arrest. Hovind claims to have a real Ph.D., and other charges).

December 12, 2003 radio program: Hovind continues to answer Carl Marychurch? from Australia at (Hovind answers the charge of him falsely claiming bankruptcy, dinosaurs are alive and well today, fake footprint casts from Paluxy, and other charges).

December 15, 2003 radio program: Hovind answers (Dave Matson's critique at The shrinking sun, moon dust, and comets plus more.

December 17, 2003 radio program: Hovind answers the New Mexicans for Science and Reason ( and answers the sarcastic sermon (of Dr. Stephen Meyers) at Dr. Meyers' debate with Hovind at

December 18, 2003 radio program: Hovind answers Questions (Why the IRS came after him for not paying taxes, where's the $250,000? and the Budikka debate).

December 19, 2003 radio program: Hovind answers Critics (The Gap Theory of Peter Ruckman, and Hugh Ross at

December 22, 2003 radio program: Hovind answers Hank Hanegraaff (The Bible Answer Man at; the pyramids and the gospel in the stars).

Hovind answers Ken Ham with Answers in Genesis "Arguments we think creationists should NOT use"  by Answers in Genesis and Maintaining Creationist Integrity: The verbal battle between Ken Ham of AIG and Kent Hovind of CSE. See the arguments at

A Grand Canyon schism
A bookstore is a citadel of ideas, much like a library, and the lifeblood of a free society is the publication of those ideas, no matter how bizarre they might seem. Conversely, religious plaques quoting verses from the Bible's Book of Psalms do not belong in public spaces no matter how lyrical or ecumenical they might seem (Editorial, The Boston Globe).

At Grand Canyon park, a rift over creationist book
Visitors to the Grand Canyon won't be able to find a U.S. park ranger who will tell them the chasm was created as a result of the very same flood that threatened to drown Noah and sink his ark, but they can walk away from the park souvenir shop with a book that tells that version of how the canyon came to be (The Washington Post).

Critics say the park service is letting religion and politics affect its policies
A national alliance of public environmental workers claims evidence of a new program of "faith-based parks" promoted by the Bush administration with the strong support of conservative groups (The New York Times).

MBL Scientists Confirm Evolutionary Exception To Reproduction. Woods Hole - Jan 21, 2004
Biologists at the Josephine Bay Paul Center for Comparative Molecular Biology and Evolution at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) have confirmed that a group of microscopic animals has evolved for tens of millions of years without sexual reproduction. Their results demonstrate a radical exception to the biological rule that abandonment of sexual reproduction is an evolutionary dead end. See and

A primitive Y chromosome in papaya marks incipient sex chromosome evolution
Nature, January 22, 2004 p.348 ZHIYONG LIU et al.


Red Sea parting was possible: ST. PETERSBURG, Russia, Jan. 21 (UPI)
Russian mathematicians have determined the legendary parting of the Red Sea that let the Jews flee Egypt was possible, the Moscow Times reported. The study, published in the Bulletin of the Russian Academy of Sciences, focused on a reef that runs from the documented spot where the Jews escaped Egypt, which in Biblical times, was much closer to the surface, according to Naum Volzinger, a senior researcher at St. Petersburg's Institute of Oceanology, and a colleague based in Hamburg, Alexei Androsov.

What’s in a Name?
Jeffrey H. Tigay - Personal names in the Bible often contain the names of gods—leading many scholars to view them as evidence of rampant polytheism in ancient Israel. But the overwhelming preference for names that include the divine name Yahweh suggests just the opposite might be true.

Peter in Rome.
The apostle Peter is forever linked in the Christian imagination with Rome, where he is supposed to have been martyred and buried. But what is the evidence? Have his bones been found?

Canadian finds signs of ancient Greek battle: Archeologist uncovers artifacts of Persian invasion.
With help from Herodotus and an Aegean Sea octopus, a Canadian-led scientific expedition appears to have discovered the site of a turning point in world history: The sinking of a massive Persian invasion fleet in a fierce storm that saved Greece at the dawn of western civilization.

Bronze artifacts recovered off Egyptian coast: CAIRO, Egypt (AP)
A French archaeological team has retrieved more than 1,000 bronze artifacts, including statues and busts of Pharoanic gods and goddesses, from the site of an ancient port city off Egypt's northern coast, officials said Sunday.


Opportunity Bounces Down On Mars. Pasadena - Jan 25, 2004
Opportunity, the second of two US robotics rovers sent to explore the surface of Mars, was working normally early Sunday after a successful landing Saturday night at 9:05pm PST (0505 GMT) in an area known as Meridiani Planum.

Spirit Beeps It's Alive And "Commandable": NASA Official. Pasadena - Jan 22, 2004
NASA officials at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory have confirmed that the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit has responded to an emergency command this morning by sending back a radio beep -- an event which had been stated as a possibility, but not a certainty, at the end of this morning's JPL press conference. "This means it's commandable," a JPL spokeswoman told SpaceDaily. The command was tailored to the assumption that the rover's onboard computer is currently in a "fault mode", and the beep confirms that it has detected a serious fault, either in the hardware or the software. The fact that the rover responded at all, however, is encouraging. (this file will be updated until the rover is fully recovered).

Stormy Cloud Of Star Birth Glows In New Spitzer Image.
A dusty stellar nursery shines brightly in a new image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, formerly known as the Space Infrared Telescope Facility. Spitzer's heat-sensing "infrared eyes" have pierced the veiled core of the Tarantula Nebula to provide an unprecedented peek at massive newborn stars.

Stardust Pelted In Surprise Burst Of Bigger Dust. Huntsville - Jan 19, 2004
On Jan. 2nd, 2004, NASA's Stardust spacecraft approached Comet Wild 2 and flew into a storm. Flurries of comet dust pelted the craft. At least half a dozen grains moving faster than bullets penetrated Stardust's outermost defenses. The craft's 16 rocket engines struggled to maintain course while a collector, about the size of a tennis racquet, caught some of the dust for return to Earth two years hence.

Squirty Star Imitates Black Hole. Canberra - Jan 19, 2004
Scientists using CSIRO's Australia Telescope Compact Array, a radio synthesis telescope in New South Wales, Australia, have seen a neutron star spitting out a jet of matter at very close to the speed of light. This is the first time such a fast jet has been seen from anything other than a black hole.

Cassini/Huygens Closing In On The Lord Of The Rings. Paris - Jan 21, 2004
This time next year, ESA's Huygens spaceprobe will be descending through the atmosphere of Saturn's largest moon, becoming the first spacecraft to land on a body in the outer Solar System.

A distance of 133–137 parsecs to the Pleiades star cluster Nature Januaruy 22, 2004 p.326 XIAOPEI PAN, M. SHAO & S. R. KULKARNI.


Simple sugar eases Huntington's disease in mice
Discovery provides taste of a possible route for human drug development. 19 January 2004.

Ebola spreads from animals to hunters
Future outbreaks may be hard to predict, tests suggest. 16 January 2004.

Vitamin D health benefit boon?
Supplements lower risk of rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. 13 January 2004.

Sleeper Effects: Slumber may fortify memory, stir insight.
In two separate studies, researchers found that a specific sleep stage may amplify recent memories and that sleep can inspire problem-solving insights.

Earth Science

Volcanic impact not so chilling
Super-eruptions might not be as environmentally devastating as we thought. 19 January 2004.

Unearthing the past
French peat bog reveals thousands of years of mining pollution. 13 January 2004.

Scooting on a Wet Bottom: Some undersea landslides ride a nearly frictionless slick of water.
New computer simulations suggest that hydroplaning may be responsible for the unexpectedly large distances traversed by some undersea avalanches.

L.A.'s Oldest Tourist Trap: At Rancho La Brea, death has been the pits for millennia.
Modern excavations at the La Brea tar pits are revealing a wealth of information about local food chains during recent ice ages, as well as details about what happened to trapped animals in their final hours.


Glimpse of a new type of matter
Frozen helium has been turned into a solid that behaves like a superfluid. 15 January 2004.


Man Injured After Claiming God Told Him to Enter Lion's Den.

Singing Strengthens Immune System.


Scientists Solve Chilean 'Blob' Mystery.
When a huge, unidentifiable, gelatinous blob weighing 13 tons and measuring 41 feet long and 19 feet wide washed up on a beach in Chile in July, 2003, many speculated that it was the remains of a giant sea monster. The fibers, Pierce’s team found, were totally unlike the fine structure of an octopus or squid. Further, the molecular test results proved that the blob was the highly decomposed remains of a sperm whale. See also

Mole rat's magnetic magic revealed
The blind mole rat continually monitors its direction using an internal compass - the first animal discovered to have this talent.

Monkey morality
Sharing might not be as nice as it's cracked up to be. 14 January 2004.

Puzzled monkeys reveal key language step
The key cognitive step that allowed humans to become the only animals using language may have been identified, scientists say.