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September 9, 2004
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Religion in the News
to National Security'
Nationwide campaign launched against Chinese house churches. By Tony Carnes.
Catholic Church Support, Prop. 71 Opponents Still $12 Million Behind in
Compiled by Rob Moll.
pushes evangelical vote
Focus on Family begins a national registration drive (Rocky Mountain News).
In his new book, The Minding of Planet Earth, Cahal Daly argues that caring for the Earth is integral to our Christian vocation. He talks to Sean McDonagh about sustaining the planet, global warmingand population control (The Tablet, UK).
for the Holy Grail continues
This summer The Holy Grail has been discovered by millions on different beaches across the globe. This mysterious object has been buried, not under the flagstones of Rosslyn Chapel, nor at Glastonbury nor even in the vault of the Valencia Cathedral, but in the pages of The Da Vinci Code, now recognised as the best-selling novel in American history. (The Scotsman, UK).
The New York Times gets on the religious schools beat
The New York Times has published two excellent articles on Christian higher education this week. The first, a Times Magazine profile of Biola University, is a slice-of-life-ish examination of how the neoevangelical rejection of fundamentalist isolationismsomething that saw its largest battles in Billy Graham era following World War IIis playing itself out today. The cover kicker gets it wrong: "Fast Times at Fundamentalist U."
population threatens an ancient faith
Zoroastrians debate inviting outsiders in (The Boston Globe).
We Believe in Both Science and Religion?
PBS special featuring Michael Shermer, Nancy Murphy, and Muzaffar Iqbal.
History Corner: Think TV
A PBS special personalizes the questions of God, morality, miracles, and the afterlife in the lives of C. S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud. By David Neff.
shows Bibles as signs of the changing times
The Huntington Library collection spans 1,000 years, chronicling the book's evolution from a tome for the elite to a worldwide bestseller (Los Angeles Times).
End of Faith': Against toleration
It's not often that I see my florid strain of atheism expressed in any document this side of the Seine, but ''The End of Faith'' articulates the dangers and absurdities of organized religion so fiercely and so fearlessly that I felt relieved as I read it, vindicated, almost personally understood (Natalie Angier, The New York Times Book Review).
pokes fun at fundamentalists' horror shows
Gruesome scenes in real hell houses are intended to shock adolescents into believing that Jesus is their only escape from the fiery wages of sin. The folks in Hollywood say they're using the drama to scoff at a literal hell and at ministers who try to scare the hell out of children.
Science in the News
Honolulu mans bid to find Noahs Ark.
A Honolulu businessman's plan to take an expedition to Mount Ararat in search of Noah's Ark ended this week when the Turkish government refused to permit it because of security concerns about the area, which borders Iran and is 150 miles from Iraq.
Did a tongue loosened by alcohol unmask a massive forgery enterprise? Is the Israel Museum the unwitting home to scores of fake inscriptions? Duke University professor outs paleographer accused of probably lying.
renews debate over Dead Sea Scrolls
Researchers in dispute over sect's lifestyle (San Francisco Chronicle).
Did John the Baptist really eat locusts? A survey of the "debate" (Christopher Howse, The Telegraph, London).
Americans Weren't the First. Sept. 6, 2004
DNA analysis of skulls found in Baja California that belonged to an extinct tribe called the Pericues reveal that the Pericues likely were not related to Native Americans and that they probably predated Native Americans in settling the Americas, according to an announcement Monday.
Spent Days in Pain Before Death. Sept. 6, 2004
Ötzi the Iceman, the world's oldest and best-preserved mummy, might have spent at least three days in excruciating pain before he died, according to new research presented at the 5th World Congress on Mummy Studies in Turin.
Gypsies Came From India. Sept. 7, 2004
Legend has it that European Gypsies came from Egypt, but a new genetic study has shown they came from a small population that emerged from ancestors in India around 1000 years ago.
Face Revealed with CT Scans
Scientists have reconstructed the face of a mummified Egyptian man without removing his 3,000-year-old bandages.
Sample Probe Crashes in Desert. Sept. 8, 2004
A capsule containing particles from the sun crashed into the Utah desert on Wednesday after its parachute failed to deploy.
Bouncing Back From Hard Landing. Washington DC (SPX) Sep 13, 2004
Scientists who conducted the preliminary assessment of the Genesis canister are encouraged by what they see. They believe it may be possible to achieve the most important portions of their science objectives.
Discover First Of A New Class Of Extrasolar Planets. Berkeley CA (SPX)
Sep 01, 2004
Astronomers announced today the first discovery of a new class of planets beyond our solar system about 10 to 20 times the size of Earth - far smaller than any previously detected. The planets make up a new class of Neptune-sized extrasolar planets.
Ring And One, Possibly Two, Objects At Saturn. Pasadena CA (JPL) Sep
Scientists examining Saturn's contorted F ring, which has baffled them since its discovery, have found one small body, possibly two, orbiting in the F ring region, and a ring of material associated with Saturn's moon Atlas.
Glimpse Exotic Matter In A Neutron Star. New Orleans (SPX) Sep 09, 2004
Scientists have obtained their best measurement yet of the size and contents of a neutron star, an ultra-dense object containing the strangest and rarest matter in the universe.
Speck Of Light An Exoplanet? Paranal Observatory, Chile (ESO) Sep 13,
Since 1998, a team of European and American astronomers have been studying the environment of young, nearby "stellar associations", i.e., large conglomerates of mostly young stars and the dust and gas clouds from which they were recently formed.
Giving Up The
Galactic Ghost. Moffett Field CA (SPX) Sep 08, 2004
A stunning image released by the Gemini Observatory captures the graceful interactions of a galactic ballet, on a stage some 300 million light years away, that might better be described as a contortionist's dance.
Gravity Mission Weighs In On Earth's Changing Climate. Austin TX (SPX)
Sep 13, 2004
For the first time, scientists have demonstrated that precise measurements of Earth's changing gravity field can effectively monitor changes in the planet's climate and weather.
Search For A Kinder, Gentler Chemotherapy. Atlanta (September 9, 2004)
Painful and damaging chemotherapy may one day be a thing of the past. Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Purdue University have developed nano-sized particles that can target and trick cancer cells into absorbing them. Once inside, the particles may soon be able to deliver a pharmaceutical payload, killing the tumor from within, avoiding the destruction of healthy cells responsible for much of the damage caused by traditional chemotherapy. The research is published in the August 25 edition of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
Atkins Works ... But for How Long? THURSDAY, Sept. 2 (HealthDayNews)
Shedding more light on the popular but largely untested Atkins diet, a new analysis suggests that replacing carbohydrates with fatty foods is safe -- at least for six months.
produce cheap blood-clotting agent
Genetically modified fish are designed to make a cheap blood-clotting factor - it could help treat haemophiliacs and accident victims.
slow the progress of Parkinson's disease.
Two proteins have proved effective in fighting Parkinson's disease in rats - work towards a human therapy is underway.
of a Micro Revolution
Plant studies reveal a slew of miRNAs and some real surprises.
design study appears
Publication of paper in peer-reviewed journal sparks controversy.
of Debating Darwin
How to intelligently design a winning case for God's role in creation. Reviewed by Edward J. Larson.
It's time to cool the rhetoric in the Intelligent Design dispute. By John Wilson.
Green Protein Proves Darwin's Theory. Sept. 3, 2004
A glowing green protein has provided researchers with the first direct proof for a Charles Darwin theory that predicts complex structures evolve over time through an accumulation of small improvements. The findings, published in the current issue of the journal Science, add to the growing body of evidence that supports the theories of British naturalist Darwin (1809-1882).
May Arise From Combination Of Bacterial And Extreme Genomes. Arlington
VA (SPX) Sep 09, 2004
According to a new report, complex cells like those in the human body probably resulted from the fusion of genomes from an ancient bacterium and a simpler microbe, Archaea, best known for its ability to withstand extreme temperatures and hostile environments.
naming system faces challengers
Rethinking the names of every organism on the planet is a radical step but it might be worth the upheaval, say renegade biologists.
Answering a Darwinian question, scientists attribute differences in finches' beaks to Bmp4.
Bubbles Might Have Started Evolution. Baltimore MD (SPX) Sep 03, 2004
Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers are proposing that the first battle for survival-of-the-fittest might have played out as a simple physical duel between fatty bubbles stuffed with genetic material.
may have been doting parents.
A fossil of one adult Psittacosaurus dinosaur surrounded by 34 juveniles has provided the most compelling evidence to date that dinosaurs raised their young after hatching.
Reveals Gradual, Abrupt Climate Swings. Copenhagen (SPX) Sep 09, 2004
A new, undisturbed Greenland ice deep-core record going back 123,000 years shows the Eemian period prior to the last glacial period was slightly warmer than the present day before it gradually cooled and sent Earth into an extended deep freeze. See also North Greenland Ice core Project.
Direct Link Between Global Warming And Genetic Diversity. Stanford CA
(SPX) Sep 08, 2004
For the first time, scientists have found a direct relationship between global warming and the evolution of contemporary wildlife. A research team led by Stanford University biologist Elizabeth A. Hadly published its findings in the Sept. 7 online edition of the journal PloS Biology.
For Impact-Generated Fires. San Antonio CA (SPX) Sep 01, 2004
Scientists conclude that, 65 million years ago, a 10-kilometer-wide asteroid or comet slammed into what is now the Yucatan peninsula, excavating the Chicxulub impact crater and setting into motion a chain of catastrophic events thought to precipitate the extinction of the dinosaurs and 75 percent of animal and plant life that existed in the late Cretaceous period.
Leads To Discovery Of Super Superconductors. LOS ALAMOS, N.M., Sept.
University of California scientists working at Los Alamos National Laboratory with a researcher from the University of Cambridge have demonstrated a simple and industrially scaleable method for improving the current densities of superconducting coated conductors in magnetic field environments. The discovery has the potential to increase the already impressive carrying capacity of superconducting wires and tapes by as much as 200 to 500 percent in certain uses, like motors and generators, where high magnetic fields diminish current densities.
gene removes gender differences in mice brains
Significant structural differences in male and female brains may result from selective cell death orchestrated by just one gene.