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June 13, 2004

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Religion in the News

Remembering Ronald Reagan
What Billy Graham, Jim Dobson, Pope John Paul II, and others are saying about the death of the former president—and what he said about evangelicals. Compiled by Ted Olsen.

Ronald Reagan's Faith, Not Just Policies, Ended Communism
The author of God and Ronald Reagan discusses the spiritual life of America's 40th president. Interview by Rob Moll.

The Cruel Edges of the World
There are some places that bring the distant biblical text closer to our lives. By Andy Crouch.

The Evil in Us
Prisoner torture in Iraq exposes the ordinary face of human depravity. A Christianity Today editorial.

Christians preach Bible-inspired diets
A batch of Bible-based eating plansare flooding bookstores and health food stores (Associated Press).

World Journalism Institute Changes Its Focus
"Biblical objectivity" replaced with mainstream objectivity in training of future Christian journalists. By Rob Moll.

Reversing Sloppy Thinking
Thinking Against the Grain asks what it means to think like a Christian. Reviewed by Cindy Crosby.

The Dick Staub Interview: Tom Wright's Theology for Everyone
The author of the Christian Origins and the Question of God series is also writing a theology series for the masses.

ABC doctor chronicles his faith journey
Timothy Johnson began reflecting on his faith as he approached his 65th birthday a few years ago. He thought back to his years in the seminary and what he has learned in the four decades since. The result is written in Johnson's new book, "Finding God in the Questions" (The Sacramento Bee, Ca.) This is a very interesting book.

Science in the News

Tool allows open-access search
New directory lets users search and retrieve articles from about 270 open-access journals.

Directory of Open Access Journals

Double check casts doubt on science statistics
Errors found in Nature and BMJ papers.


Dealing with the Devil
David R. Cartlidge - What happened after the Fall? A collection of ancient apocryphal tales supplements the brief biblical account of what happened to Adam, Eve and Satan east of Eden.

Is Homer Historical? An Interview with Gregory Nagy
The last several decades have completely altered our understanding of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey. It tuns out that these poems may not have been composed by a man named Homer; instead, they probably began as an amorphous group of myths, which, over the course of a millennium, evolved into the epics we know today. To get a sense of the real “Homer,” we turned ot Harvard professor Gregory Nagy, one of the scholars most responsible for changing our minds.

Rat DNA clues to sea migration.
Scientists have used DNA from rats to trace migration patterns of the ancestors of today's Polynesians.


Key Theory Of Galaxy Formation No Longer Conflicts With Observations. Chicago IL (SPX) Jun 09, 2004
Astrophysicists led by the University of Chicago's Andrey Kravtsov have resolved an embarrassing contradiction between a favored theory of how galaxies form and what astronomers see in their telescopes.

Newly Discovered Baby Planet Confounds Expectations
Raw Materials For Habitable Planets Around Surprisingly Young Stars.

Universe started with hiss, not bang
In the beginning, a low moan built to a roar that then gave way to a deafening hiss - and those sounds gave birth to the first stars.

The Geology Of Mars Mid-'04. Sacramento (SPX) Jun 08, 2004
But while the ability of Spirit to locate water-deposited and -modified material on Mars' surface is still in doubt, its twin Opportunity has rather stolen its thunder by finding solid proof of such material almost as soon as it landed on the strange, flat, hematite-covered Meridiani Plain.

Chasing Martian Dust Devils. Moffet Field (SPX) Jun 07, 2004
Mars has only a faint atmosphere [less than one percent of terrestrial pressures], yet offers up its history of dust devils as swirling tracks in a remarkable landscape of wind-swept and carved terrain.  These tiny twisters tend to appear in the middle afternoon on Mars, when solar heating is maximum and when warm air rises and collides with other pressure fronts to cause circulation.

Key To Predicting Martian Volcanos May Be Locked In Tiny Bubbles. Blacksburg VA (SPX) Jun 09, 2004
By summer 2005, researchers in the Fluids Research Laboratory at Virginia Tech will be able to look for evidence of water on Mars by examining submicroscopic bubbles in martian meteorites, determine whether fluids and silicate melts trapped in volcanic rock can help predict future eruptions, and locate buried mineral deposits using data from surface rocks.

Evidence Of "Flooding" At Mangala Valles Imaged By Mars Express. Paris (ESA) Jun 10, 2004
This images of fluvial surface features at Mangala Valles on Mars were obtained by the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on board the ESA Mars Express spacecraft.

Charting Giant Galaxy Clusters. Garching (SPX) Jun 04, 2004
Clusters of galaxies are very large building blocks of the Universe. These gigantic structures contain hundreds to thousands of galaxies and, less visible but equally interesting, an additional amount of "dark matter" whose origin still defies the astronomers, with a total mass of thousands of millions of millions times the mass of our Sun.

Cassini flies past Saturn moon
The Cassini spacecraft, which is en route to Saturn, has made a close pass of the planet's mysterious moon Phoebe.

Astronomers Detect Molecular Nitrogen Outside Solar System. Greenbelt MD (SPX) Jun 10, 2004
NASA's Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) satellite, has for the first time detected molecular nitrogen in interstellar space, giving researchers their first detailed look into how the universe's fifth most-abundant element behaves in an environment outside the Solar System.


An Eye On The Tongue. Montreal (SPX) Jun 04, 2004
Sitting blindfolded with a device equipped with 144 pixels in his mouth, any journalist would wonder about his career choice. But after a few minutes of experimentation, you have to recognize that the system developed by neuropsychologist Maurice Ptito of Université de Montréal, together with colleagues in Denmark and the United States , to allow blind people to "see with their tongue" appears strangely effective.

Mastering a task puts part of brain to sleep
Local snoozing implies that slumber makes for better learning.

Spinal cord injury treatment raises hope
Experts say the results look promising, but caution that with just 16 people treated so far, it is too early to draw any conclusions.

Power implant aims to run on body heat
The project hopes to tackle a big drawback of life-saving implants like pacemakers - their batteries running out.

Chocolate Compounds Boost Blood Vessel Function
Good news for chocoholics: the treat may help your heart. According to a report published in the June issue of the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, small daily doses of dark chocolate are associated with improved blood vessel function in healthy people.

Reproduction due to stress.

Yale Scientists Visualize Molecular Detail Of RNA Splicing Complex. New Haven CT (SPX) Jun 04, 2004
Scientists in the department of molecular biophysics and biochemistry at Yale revealed the crystal structure of the first described enzymatic RNA - what it looks like and how it reacts - in the journal Nature.


Parting Genomes: UA Biologists Discover Seeds Of Speciation. Tuscon AZ (SPX) Jun 08, 2004
The first eyewitness to the birth of a new species may be a University of Arizona graduate student. Her new findings could help biologists identify and understand the precise genetic changes that lead one species to evolve into two separate species. See also

The Transformation of a Young-earth Creationist
by Glenn R. Morton .

Earth Science

Next Ice Age 15,000 Years Away. June 9, 2004
The next Ice Age lies more than 15,000 years in the future, according to evidence garnered from the deepest, oldest ice core, extracted from the depths of East Antarctica.

Palaeoclimate: Frozen time
Researchers have pulled the oldest-yet core of ice from the Antarctic - giving us a 740,000-year record of the planet's climate.

Chemists Retrieve Clues To Ancient Ocean Chemistry And Global Greenhouse From Cretaceous Sediments
Chemists at the University of California, San Diego and Stanford University report in the June 11 issue of Science that they have extended their glimpse of Earth's oceanic and atmospheric past to 130 million years, during one of its greatest upheavals of climatic change.

Earliest Bilateral Fossil Discovered. Moffet Field (SPX) Jun 07, 2004
Scientists have reported that bilateral animals appeared 600 million years ago, about 50 million years before the Cambrian Explosion.

Baby Pterosaur Reveals Egg-Laying Species. June 9, 2004
The world's first discovery of a fossilized embryonic pterosaur has confirmed suspicions that these strange flying cousins of the dinosaurs were egg layers, a study published on Thursday in the British weekly journal Nature says. The embryo, dated to 121 million years ago, was found snuggled inside fragments of eggshell, its leathery wing membranes and skin imprints "exquisitely preserved," Chinese fossil hunters say.

Two Dinosaurs From Africa Give Clues To Continents' Split.

Primordial Pains: How Earth Got Hot? Stanford CA (SPX) Jun 07, 2004
If a time machine could take us back 4.6 billion years to the Earth's birth, we'd see our sun shining 20 to 25 percent less brightly than today.  Without an earthly greenhouse to trap the sun's energy and warm the atmosphere, our world would be a spinning ball of ice.  Life may never have evolved.


A Quantum Mechanical Tune Up For Better Measurement. Washington (SPX) Jun 07, 2004
By exploiting the weird quantum behavior of atoms, physicists at the Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have demonstrated a new technique that someday could be used to save weeks of measurements needed to operate ultraprecise atomic clocks.  The technique also could be used to improve the precision of other measurement processes such as spectroscopy.

Ultra-Cold Neutron Source Confirmed As World's Most Intense. Los Alamos NM (SPX) Jun 09, 2004
Some slow, cold visitors stopped by Los Alamos National Laboratory last week, and their arrival could prove a godsend to physicists seeking a better theory of everything.

Fermilab Results Change Estimated Mass Of Postulated Higgs Boson. Batavia IL (SPX) Jun 10, 2004
Scientists at the Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory today (June 9) announced new results that change the best estimate of the mass of the postulated Higgs boson from approximately 96 GeV/c2 to 117 GeV/c2.