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March 8, 2005

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Religion in the News

Global Suspense
The trick of faith is to believe in advance what will only make sense in reverse. By Philip Yancey.

Who's Driving This Thing?
Everyone wants to name the leaders of the evangelical movement. By Ted Olsen.

Islam's Culture War
Author says Muslims are troubled by our morals more than our politics. Reviewed by J. Dudley Woodberry.

House okays job training bill with faith provision
The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday approved legislation on job training, despite Democratic objections to a provision that would allow faith-based programs to use religion as a hiring criterion (Reuters).

High court seeks line between law, religion
Kentucky case brings hundreds to Washington (The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Ky.).

Hook, line, and sink 'em
What's the NAE really trying to say? (Kathryn Joyce & Jeff Sharlet, The Revealer).

Pastor visits BTK suspect in jail
On the same day he was fired from his job, the suspect in the BTK serial killings got assurances he will continue to be a member the church where he is a leader (Associated Press).

Welcome to Doomsday
Fundamentalists want to destroy the earth (Bill Moyers, New York Review of Books).

Science in the News


Vatican archaeologist
Paul really is buried where the church said he is Giorgio Filippi, a archeology specialist with the Vatican Museums, says a sarcophagus containing the remains of the apostle Paul has been discovered in the basilica of San Paolo Fuori le Mura (St. Paul Outside the Walls). 

Tut Not Murdered Violently, Scans Show
CT scans of King Tutankhamun found no physical evidence of murder. But they did reveal unusual features, including a broken leg that may have helped kill him. 

'Man The Hunter' Theory Is Debunked In New Book (February 26, 2005)
In a new book, an anthropologist at Washington University in St. Louis goes against the prevailing view and argues that primates, including early humans, evolved not as hunters but as prey of many predators, including wild dogs and cats, hyenas, eagles and crocodiles.


Seeing The Invisible - First Dark Galaxy Discovered? Manchester, UK (SPX) Feb 24, 2005
A British-led team of astronomers have discovered an object that appears to be an invisible galaxy made almost entirely of dark matter - the first ever detected.

Black Holes In A Radar Trap Garching, Germany (SPX) Feb 25, 2005
European astronomers succeeded for the first time to confirm the signatures predicted near Black Holes by Albert Einstein's theory of Relativity in the light of the cosmic X-ray background.

Black holes bend light the 'wrong' way
Refraction effect may be distorting astronomers' results.

NASA's Cassini Spacecraft Continues Making New Discoveries Pasadena CA (JPL) Feb 25, 2005
NASA's Cassini spacecraft continues making new and exciting discoveries. New findings include wandering and rubble-pile moons; new and clumpy Saturn rings; splintering storms and a dynamic magnetosphere.

New images reveal volcanic hotspot on Mars
Pictures from the Mars Express spacecraft suggest recent volcanic activity may have spewed out water and ash - it may be happening still.

In The Stars: Starmaking's Helping Hand Washington (UPI) Mar 03, 2005
Science has come a long way since the days of the clockwork universe, when the stars of the night sky remained fixed in their positions and the objects the Greeks called planets, or "wanderers," followed precise and simple paths across the heavens.

Launch site secured for space tourists.
The race to launch the first commercial passenger spacecraft is gaining pace as one of the Ansari X Prize competitors, AERA Corporation, signed an agreement with the US Air Force on Monday to use the launch services at Cape Canaveral, Florida. It is the first space tourism company to do so and claims it may be ready to offer tourist flights as early as 2006.

Genesis capsule reveals solar wind secrets
Particles of solar wind have been successfully extracted from NASA's Genesis space capsule, despite its spectacular crash landing in 2004.


HIV Protein's Protean Prowess Revealed
HIV is a consummate trickster. Availed of a human body, it can thrive for years on end, foiling the immune system's attempts to squelch it. All the while, it continues to infect host cells. Scientists have recognized for some time that a single protein on the virus's outer membrane known as gp120 is responsible for much of this chicanery. New research is yielding fresh insights into how the protein operates.

New retroviruses jump from monkeys to humans
The discovery of two viruses in bushmeat hunters suggests the species jump - which happened with HIV - may not be such a rare phenomenon.

Paste for Teeth Repairs Cavities: March 1, 2005
A team of Japanese dentists has invented a paste of synthetic enamel that seamlessly heals small cavities, according to a paper in the latest journal Nature.


"Hobbit" Brains Were Small but Smart
Tiny, newfound fossils are in fact from a new human species, says a study that could turn evolution theory on its head.

Science, 'frauds' trigger a decline in atheism
Godlessness is in trouble, according to a growing consensus among philosophers, intellectuals and scholars (UPI).

Creationism: from the US, with love (Stephen Pincock).

Journals and intelligent design (Graciela Flores).

Bryan Appleyard meets Richard Dawkins
The fault is not in our genes but in our minds. Here are two recent news stories: we’ve found the genes that make people believe in God and that make women unfaithful. At a stroke, scientists have scuppered religion and taken the moral sting out of infidelity. If you think you have any of these genes, go to your doctor at once and get them removed.

The Science and Religion Dialogue: Where It Stands Today and Why It Matters, by George F. R. Ellis
"Science and religion are two major long-term themes of human thought-indeed two dominating aspects of human culture, each making major contributions to how we live and think. At issue here is the way we understand ultimate reality and humanity: the very nature of existence."

Evolution revolution
Scientists and educators fear conservative muscle could force religious ideology into public schools (Deidre Pike, Las Vegas City Life).

Earth Science

Antarctic Ice Shelf Retreat Nothing New Say British Antarctic Survey Scientists Durham, UK (SPX) Feb 24, 2005
The retreat of Antarctic ice shelves is not new according to research published this week (24 Feb) in the journal Geology by scientists from Universities of Durham, Edinburgh and British Antarctic Survey (BAS).

Geologists Discover Clockwork Motion By Ocean Floor Microplates Durham NC (SPX) Feb 24, 2005
A team of geologists from Duke University and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has discovered a grinding, coordinated ballet of crustal "microplates" unfolding below the equatorial east Pacific Ocean within a construction zone for new seafloor.


Moonbeams Shine On Einstein, Galileo And Newton Pasadena CA (JPL) Mar 07, 2005
Thirty-five years after Moon-walking astronauts placed special reflectors on the lunar surface, scientists have used these devices to test Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity to unprecedented accuracy.

Scientists Work To Detect Mysterious Neutrinos Livermore CA (SPX) Mar 07, 2005
Livermore scientists are working to solve a 50-year-old question: Can neutrinos – a particle that is relatively massless, has no electric charge yet is fundamental to the make-up of the universe – transform from one type to another?


Tiny particles Could Solve Billion-Dollar Problem Houston TX (SPX) Feb 24, 2005
New research from Rice University's Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology finds that nanoparticles of gold and palladium are the most effective catalysts yet identified for remediation of one of the nation's most pervasive and troublesome groundwater pollutants, trichloroethene or TCE.


Hydrogen And Methane Sustain Unusual Life At Sea Floor's 'Lost City'
The hydrothermal vents at the ocean bottom were miles from any location scientists could have imagined. One massive seafloor vent was 18 stories tall. All were creamy white and gray, suggesting a very different composition than the hydrothermal vent systems that have been studied since the 1970s.