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July 25, 2004

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Religion in the News

Promise Keepers Coach Has a New Team, Aiming to Unite Christians and Messianic Jews.

Reclaiming Occupied Territory
The Great Commission and the cultural commission are not in competition. By Charles Colson with Anne Morse.

Baylor's Sloan Keeps His Job—for Now
Regents take no vote to remove president, but reaffirm Vision 2012. By Deann Alford and Timothy C. Morgan in Waco, Texas.

These religious Times
The Times has been busy on the religion beat lately. Be sure to check out yesterday's front-page story on evangelical singles, which prominently features Camerin Courtney, an editor with our sister publications Christian Singles Today and Today's Christian Woman. This weekend also saw Times columnist Nicholas Kristof return to the religion beat with "Jesus and jihad." His bottom line: Americans should be more critical of religious intolerance.

Reality show turns Amish into TV stars
Television is not part of the traditional Amish world. But the Amish are now part of television, like it or not (Associated Press).

The ties that bind can form the noose
Leaving an abusive marriage is difficult for any victim, but counselors and victims say the stakes for Amish and Mennonite women are often even higher (Intelligencer Journal, Lancaster, Pa.).

Scientology's town
As Scientologists launch unprecedented expansion, downtown Clearwater's identity is at stake (St. Petersburg Times, Fla.).

How Disney bypassed God to preach the gospel of dreams coming true
Entrepreneur who became icon of family values shied away from religious imagery, and none of his company's theme parks contains a church (The Guardian, London).

Christian History Corner: All of Christian History in 6 Hours
This audio tour de force is strong meat for a mature Christian audience. By Chris Armstrong.

Science in the News


Death on the Nile.
Recent discoveries at Abydos including the evidence for human sacrifice when early Egyptian kings were buried.

50 Minoan graves found.
Archaeologists have found 50 graves in a Late Minoan cemetery at Aghios Ioannis in Crete. Artifacts indicate that some are warrior burials and others are family tombs.

Ancient DNA Reveals Skin Color July 19, 2004
Researchers may be able to make more accurate reconstructions of what ancient humans looked like with the first ever use of ancient DNA to determine hair and skin color from skeletal remains.

Family words came first for early humans
A trawl of a thousand languages suggests that common family words may have come from the Neanderthals.


First Contact Within 20 Years: Shostak. Mountain View CA (SPX) Jul 22, 2004
If Intelligent life exists elsewhere in our galaxy, advances in computer processing power and radio telescope technology will ensure we detect their transmissions within two decades. That's the bold prediction from a leading light at the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute in Mountain View, California.

Mars Rover Spirit Finds Bedrock. July 16, 2004
Six months after arriving at Mars for detailed geologic studies, the Spirit rover finally has reached what scientists came for: bedrock.

New Martian Meteorite Found In Antarctica. Moffett Field CA (SPX) Jul 21, 2004
While rovers and orbiting spacecraft scour Mars searching for clues to its past, researchers have uncovered another piece of the red planet in the most inhospitable place on Earth - Antarctica.

Allan Hills Meteorite Abiogenic? Moffett Field CA (SPX) Jul 22, 2004
The scientific debate over whether a meteorite contains evidence of past life on Mars continues to intensify, with colleagues of the team that announced the possibility in 1996 revealing new findings that may cast doubt on some of that earlier work.

A Day In The Lives Of Galaxies. Baltimore MD (SPX) Jul 23, 2004
Like a photographer clicking random snapshots of a crowd of people, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has taken a view of an eclectic mix of galaxies.

Space Scopes Image Massive Black Hole Surrounded By Doughnut-Shaped Cloud. Greenbelt MD (SPX) Jul 21, 2004
Using ESA's Integral and XMM-Newton observatories, an international team of astronomers has found more evidence that massive black holes are surrounded by a doughnut-shaped gas cloud, called a torus.

Astronomers Measure Mass Of A Single Star - First Since The Sun.

SDSS: Dark Energy, Inflation, & Neutrino Mass News. Princeton NJ (SPX) Jul 21, 2004
Using observations of 3,000 quasars discovered by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), scientists have made the most precise measurement to date of the cosmic clustering of diffuse hydrogen gas.

Newborn Star Observations Provide Details On Sol's Origin. Rochester NY (SPX) Jul 22, 2004
A new study has caught a newborn star similar to the sun in a fiery outburst. X-ray observations of the flare-up, which are the first of their kind, are providing important new information about the early evolution of the sun and the process of planet formation.

Apollo 11 Experiment Still Going Strong After 35 Years.
Scientists from various institutions who analyze the data from the lunar laser ranging experiment have observed, among other things, that the Moon is moving away from the Earth (3.8 cm. a year) and has a fluid core, and that Einstein's Theory of Relativity is accurate. See also What Neil & Buzz Left On The Moon.

Analysis: NASA Vote Opens New Space Debate. Washington (UPI) Jul 21 , 2004
The first substantive indication of congressional reaction to President Bush's proposed space exploration plan appeared Tuesday when the House subcommittee that oversees NASA's budget made deep cuts to the proposal, writes Frank Sietzen.


Researchers Uncover Surprising Degree Of Large-scale Variation In The Human Genome
A new study by Michael Wigler's group at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory has revealed surprising differences in the DNA of normal cells from different people.

Green light for 'designer babies' to save siblings
The last barrier to the creation of babies specifically to save the life of an ailing brother or sister was swept away by the fertility regulatory body yesterday to the delight of scientists and alarm of those who fear the advent of a designer baby age (The Guardian, London).

Scientists Discover New Intricacies In How Ulcer Bugs Stick To Stomach. St. Louis, July 22, 2004
Scientists working to develop a vaccine for the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, the primary cause of ulcers and a contributor to stomach cancers, have uncovered new intricacies in the way the bacterium sticks to the lining of the human stomach.

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


Mutations go tick, tock
Statistical analysis reveals evidence for molecular clock in neutral DNA substitutions.

A new book called Random Designer.
The book is written by a Christian biologist and is a practical, authoritative, and valuable resource. The author takes the reader from the Big Bang up through the origin of life and the genetic code to the emergence of man. Random Designer explains how these, and all the rest of the evolutionary processes, are but the tools of a loving God to establish and nurture life.

Dinosaur Red Blood Cells Found in Fossils?

Index to Creationists Claims.

Earth Science

Moonglow Sheds Light On Earth's Climate. Newark NJ (SPX) Jul 23, 2004
According to a new NASA-funded study, insights into Earth's climate may come from an unlikely place: the moon.


Hawking Flips on Black Hole Theory. July 16, 2004
It may be time to shift thinking on black holes, for decades believed to be sucking maws in space from which even light cannot escape. Noted physicist Stephen Hawking, who has long argued just that, now says he was wrong: black holes may ultimately allow something to get free. His about face might solve one of the longest-standing quandaries in quantum physics, called the black hole information paradox. See also Hawking raises new black holes theory and Hawking changes his mind about black holes.


Good mothers stop monkeys going bad.
Good mothering can abolish the impact of a "bad" gene for aggression, suggests a new study, adding spice to the "nature-versus-nurture" controversy.

Movies Can Raise Or Lower Hormone Levels
A romantic movie or an action-adventure film can send your hormone levels in measurably different directions, according to new research.


'Cool' Fuel Cells Could Revolutionize Earth's Energy Resources.
Imagine a power source so small, yet so efficient, that it could make cumbersome power plants virtually obsolete while lowering your electric bill. A breakthrough in thin film solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) is currently being refined in labs at the University of Houston, making that dream a reality.

Tech Researchers Funded To Smooth Out Kinks In Electromagnetic Propulsion. Atlanta GA (SPX) Jul 23, 2004
When electromagnetic propulsion was first demonstrated more than a century ago, it inspired science fiction dreams of rocket-less space launches, magnetic levitation (maglev) vehicles and super guns.