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March 21, 2004

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Breaking News

I just recently found out that half of the big long building next to our 14.9 acres of property (Triassic Park) in St. Peters, PA, is now up for sale for $250,000. This building would be ideal for a museum. Half of the building is about 150 feet long by about 50 feet wide. This building was where they cut and polished the stone from the quarry at Triassic Park. The first floor has been remodeled with nice wood floors. There is a second floor that has not been remodeled. I recommend that we try to raise enough money to buy this building for a museum.

I envision the museum as a natural history museum exploring the wonders of nature. I see a time tunnel that takes you back to the beginning of creation. As one walks through the geological ages you will be able to see the different rocks and fossils. I would like to have different piles of fossils and rocks that children could take samples home. They would also be able to tour our Triassic Park where they can find more interesting rocks and fossils.

One key section of the museum would illuminate the creation/evolution debate. It would picture the different sides to the debate with pros and cons of each side.

Another section would be the local history of the quarry and mining operation explained with old pictures and artifacts. I would also like to have a museum gift shop that would help support the museum. I would like school groups and families to be able to come.

Would you help us raise money for this project? Could you direct us to people or organizations that would be interested in this project? Our first step is to raise enough money to buy the building. Any donations are tax-deductible.

If you are interested in seeing Triassic Park and the building, I can give you a special tour. Any help would be appreciated. Contact me at

Stephen C. Meyers, Th.D.
Institute for Biblical & Scientific Studies


Religion in the News

Four Southern Baptist Aid Workers Killed in Iraq
and other stories from online sources around the world. Compiled by Ted Olsen.

Coming Attractions
What the success of The Passion of The Christ may mean for future films. Compiled by Ted Olsen.

Black Theology Revisited
Two authors argue that this strain of liberation theology is as relevant as ever. Reviewed by F. Burton Nelson.

Scholarship Wars
Supreme Court says states can deny public funds to some religious students. By Sheryl Henderson Blunt in Washington, with CT staff reports.

Vatican condemns fertility treatments
The Vatican issued a broad condemnation Tuesday of fertility treatments such as in-vitro fertilization, calling the destruction of embryos in the process a "massacre of the innocents" (Associated Press).

'Da Vinci' called heavy lifter
Dan Brown, the author of last year's best-selling "The Da Vinci Code," is nothing but a plagiarist, charges the author of two novels that are strikingly similar to Brown's (New York Post).

Cultural icons and alternative religions
Recent books on religion and spirituality (The Washington Post).

The Dick Staub Interview: Transforming Culture into God's Image
Gregory Wolfe, author of Intruding Upon the Timeless, has opted out of the culture wars in order to build a Christian culture for others to imitate.

Science in the News


Did Noah really build an ark?
In the Bible, God tells Noah he has to build an ark and load a pair of every kind of animal before a great flood engulfs the world. It is widely regarded as a myth, but could it actually be true?

Remains of an ancient civilization discovered in the depths of the Northern sea.
While some scientists spend all their time and efforts in search of Atlantis, others have already discovered remains of an ancient civilization that had existed on the same territory as present-day Northern sea. With the help of modern technology, archaeologists were able to get a better glimpse of the ancient world. Approximately 10 000 years ago the entire bottom of the Northern sea had been a blossoming valley, inhabited by ancestors of modern-day Europeans. Scientists from the Birmingham University were able to reach such conclusion after reconstructing local landscape by means of computers. Archaeologists analyzed data of earth's crust's fluctuations and using a specially designed program managed to come up with a 3D image of the area. The region connects today's British Isles with continental Europe.

Cosmic dust may unlock secret tombs.
Remnants of space dust that constantly showers the world are helping to unearth the secrets of a 2000-year-old Mexican pyramid where the rulers of a mysterious civilisation may lie buried. Deep under the huge Pyramid of the Sun north of Mexico City, physicists are installing a device to detect muons, sub-atomic particles left over when cosmic rays hit Earth.

Grave of Egyptian king's courtiers uncovered. Cairo
A grave believed to belong to courtiers or servants of King Aha, the first king of ancient Egypt's first dynasty, was uncovered by an American excavation mission in Abydos in Upper Egypt, a culture ministry statement said on Sunday.


Mystery of far-out planetoid deepens
Full details of the discovery suggest it may be the first ever sighting of an object orbiting in the remote Oort Cloud.  Nicknamed Sedna, for an Inuit goddess of the sea, the object lies three times as far from the Sun as Pluto and appears to be about three-quarters Pluto's size.

Blueberries' secret solves Mars mystery.
The Mars rover Opportunity has now solved the key puzzle it was sent to the Meridiani Planum to figure out: where is the hematite that was spotted in the area by the Mars Global Surveyor orbiter? The answer is in the "blueberries", the tiny mineral spheres that litter the rover's landing site. The question was a key one, because hematite almost always forms in water, and water is thought to be a pre-requisite for life.

Martian Moons Block Sun In Unique Eclipse Images From Another Planet. Pasadena - Mar 17, 2004
This image shows the transit of Mars' moon Phobos across the Sun. The images were taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity on the morning of the 45th martian day, or sol, of its mission. This observation will help refine our knowledge of the orbit and position of Phobos.

"Vast" Reserves Of Frozen Water On Mars Pole: Study. Paris (AFP) Mar 17, 2004
Mars holds huge reserves of frozen water in its southern pole, according to the first detailed assessment of the data sent back by Europe's Mars Express spacecraft earlier this year.

Hubble image kicks off astronomy race
Researchers rush to translate image of early Universe. 10 March 2004.

Probing Europa Ice Will Take A New Class Of Plantary Exploration Tools Bremerhaven (UPI) March 15, 2004
Researchers in Germany are testing a probe that could melt through Europa's ice sheet to analyze the water below for microbial life.


Embryo created using frozen ovary
Resurrected tissue offers fertility hope to cancer patients. 9 March 2004.

Ovaries may lay new eggs
Possible stem cells in ovaries prompt fertility boosting ideas. 11 March 2004.

Ricin vaccine protects mice from poisoning
Skin patch could offer simple treatment route. 15 March 2004.

Chip takes over lab routine
Stamp-sized device could assess workings of single cell. 15 March 2004.

Cheap blood test heralds speedy stroke diagnosis
The test could help patients get the right treatment as soon as possible and, in future, distinguish between different kinds of strokes.

New monkey virus jumps to humans.
The discovery of a new class of monkey virus jumping into humans has reinforced claims that HIV came from bushmeat hunting. It also suggests that viruses jump species much more often than thought - raising the risk that new viral diseases will eventually develop in humans.

New Drug May Help Fight Some Lung Cancers.
Northwestern Memorial Hospital is the only Chicago area hospital currently enrolling participants in a research study to find out if the drug Tarceva, also know as erlotinib, may help fight bronchioloalveolar cell carcinoma (BAC), a type of non-small cell lung cancer generally considered resistant to chemotherapy.


DNA Tests Refutes Neanderthal Ancestry Theory For Modern Humans. Leipzig (UPI) March 16, 2004
DNA analysis by researchers across Europe have yielded the best evidence yet Neanderthals made no significant genetic contributions to modern humans.

Clues To Life In The Mines Of Murgul Moffett Field - Mar 16, 2004
The Mine of Murgul sounds like an ominous place in "The Lord of the Rings," a dark cavern filled with menacing orcs and trolls. But, in fact, this copper mine in Turkey may help shed light on life's origin. The mine contains pyrite, a form of iron sulfide (FeS2) also known as "Fool's Gold." This iron sulfide mineral may have acted as a template for the early chemical reactions that led to amino acids, proteins, and other building blocks of life.

No Moon, no life on Earth, suggests theory
Four billion years ago, when life began, the Moon caused massive ocean tides to ebb and flow, and without these life may never have got started.

Geneticists study chimp–human divergence Nature 428 p.242
Membership required.

Baker's Yeast Rises From Genome Duplication. CAMBRIDGE, Mass.
In work that may lead to better understanding of genetic diseases, researchers at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard show that baker's yeast was created hundreds of millions of years ago when its ancestor temporarily became a kind of super-organism with twice the usual number of chromosomes and an increased potential to evolve.

Hybrid Mosquitoes Blamed for Peculiar Pattern of West Nile Virus Spread
Last year, West Nile virus (WNV) infected more than 9,000 people in 46 states across the U.S. and claimed the lives of 240. The spread of the virus is alarming; it also poses an epidemiological mystery. WNV is a bird disease that spreads to humans through mosquito bites. Yet countries in northern Europe, which has all of the same components for a similar WNV epidemic--including virus-infected birds and plenty of mosquitoes--have seen few human infections. New research suggests that the reason is genetic: whereas northern European mosquito strains preferentially bite either humans or birds, some U.S. mosquitoes are hybrids, carrying genetic material from both "bird-biters" and "human-biters."

The Earth's Magnetic Field: Closing a Loophole in the Case for its Youth.
By:  D. Russell Humphreys, Ph.D. Although I was rooting for Barnes in the debate, I did not find his arguments about reversals and fluctuations persuasive.  After studying the issue, I concluded that the evidence for past magnetic reversals is very strong (Humphreys, 1988).

Should students be taught alternatives to Darwinism?
Religious leaders respond (Los Angeles Times).

George Ellis wins 2004 Templeton Prize
George F.R. Ellis, a leading theoretical cosmologist renowned for his bold and innovative contributions to the dialogue between science and religion and whose social writings were condemned by government ministers in the former apartheid regime of his native South Africa, has won the 2004 Templeton Prize. The announcement was made today at a news conference at the Church Center for the United Nations in New York.

Award for a science of optimism
At the heart of George Ellis's alternative cosmological view is the principle of kenosis, or self-sacrificing love — a force he contends is permanently embedded in the universe, and capable of inspiring humanity to reach ever higher (The Christian Science Monitor).

The Nobel Prize in Medicine
In this op/ed piece, Michael Ruse, Professor of the Philosophy of Biology at Florida State University, considers the possible political and religious issues at stake in the selection of winners of the 2003 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. The 2003 prize was awarded to Dr. Paul Lauterbur and Dr. Peter Mansfield for their work in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Amidst the controversy surrounding the Nobel committee's exclusion of Dr. Raymond Damadian despite his groundbreaking work in MRI, Ruse speculates that Damadian's exclusion was motivated by knowledge of his religious commitments, specifically his support of creation science.

Earth Science

Stunning amber butterflies hint at ancient origins
The insects may even have fluttered alongside the dinosaurs, suggest the perfectly preserved fossil specimens.

Dragons Of The Air: Pterosaurs Flew With Smart Wings Boulder - Mar 16, 2004
These are the images of which nightmares are made: ancient pterosaurs darkening Earth's skies above the heads of dinosaurs during the Mesozoic era 225 million to 65 million years ago.

A 'snowball Earth' climate triggered by continental break-up through changes in runoff

NASA Explains 'Dust Bowl' Drought.
The study found cooler than normal tropical Pacific Ocean surface temperatures combined with warmer tropical Atlantic Ocean temperatures to create conditions in the atmosphere that turned America's breadbasket into a dust bowl from 1931 to 1939.


Bible on the brain
MU psychiatrist's book investigates effects of religion on psyche (Columbia Daily Tribune, Mo.).