News Icon

Institute for Biblical & Scientific Studies

Site Map | Contacts | Links | Newsletter |  

November, 2005

Note: Due to the archiving policies of the various news Websites some links on this page may no longer be valid. All links will take you away from the IBSS Site - use your browser's "back" button to return to this page.

Religion in the News

Exploring a Parallel Universe
Why does the word evangelical threaten so many people in our culture? by Philip Yancey.

Should senators ask Alito about the role of his faith?
If confirmed, he would become the fifth Catholic among the nine justices on the Supreme Court (The Christian Science Monitor).

Evangelicals in a Secular Society
Ted Haggard says Galatians bars us from using the law to create a Christian nation. Interview by Stan Guthrie.

GOP's fundamentalism hurts U.S., Carter says
In a new book, the former president expounds on politics past and current (Tammy L. Carter, The Orlando Sentinel)

Narnia film set to premiere as a big plug for Christianity
Zondervan, the evangelical imprint for publishing giant HarperCollins, is calling New Zealand's $219 million Narnia movie, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, one of the year's "biggest religion stories." (NZPA, New Zealand)

Michael Scanlon: How to "bring out the wackos"
Here's something that should at least temporarily replace "poor, uneducated, and easy to command" as the most outrageous characterization of conservative Christians.

Britain lifts ban on Rev. Sun Myung Moon
Britain lifted a 10-year-old ban that kept the Rev. Sun Myung Moon from entering the country, saying Friday that the controversial religious leader was unlikely to threaten public order. (Associated Press)

Charles Colson's Christian-based prison project on trial in Iowa
Prison Justice Ministries' InnerChange Freedom Initiative is a 'government-funded conversion program' says Americans United's Barry Lynn. (Bill Berkowitz,

Billy Graham association says no more crusades
Though long-assumed, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association on Thursday gave its first official word that the ailing evangelist would no longer hold crusades (WCNC, Charlotte, N.C.)

Friendliest book in the world
Tony Campolo sets his record straight on Bibles and endorsements. (Gene Edward Veith, World)

Egypt arrests blogger
Abdolkarim Nabil Seliman, a 21-year-old law student at Al-Azhar University, was critical of Muslims who rioted against Christians. (, South Africa)

The Raputure Exposed: The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation.

Science in the News

Science of the Bible
In the series Science of the Bible, the quest is to find what modern science can prove about the stories of the Bible and what most likely really happened—from Jesus' birth to crucifixion—according to history, archaeology and forensics. National Geographic channel program on Sunday 2 PM and Wednesday 10PM (EDST).


Where was Jesus Born?
Theologians question biblical accounts of the Nativity. Now archaeologists are doing the same. by Aviram Oshri.

When Giants Roamed the Earth
In the golden age of hoaxes, petrified men came to life. (The Cardiff Giant) by Mark Rose. Also see Do You Believe in Giants? The Great Cardiff Giant Hoax.

Ancient Church Found at Israeli Prison
The ruins of a church, which archaeologists say could be the oldest Christian church in Israel, were recently discovered on the grounds of that nation's Megiddo Prison.

Founder Mutations
Special genetic changes that can cause (and protect against) diseases enable scientists to trace human migrations over thousands of years. By Dennis Drayna.


Next Stop Venus: Europe's Express Probe Launches Toward Earth's 'Twin'
A European probe is bound for the planet Venus on a mission to peel back the shroud of the planet’s thick atmosphere after successfully launching into space atop a Russian rocket.

Two New Moons Discovered Orbiting Pluto
Scientists have discovered two new moons circling Pluto, an ice-shrouded chunk of rock that will soon lose its status as the only unexplored planet in the solar system. A NASA spacecraft called New Horizons is being prepared for launch to Pluto in January.

Infrared Glow of First Stars Found
When NASA's infrared Spitzer Space Telescope snapped pictures of a distant quasar in the Draco constellation in October 2003, the photo shoot was only intended to calibrate the instrument. Those images, however, just may have provided a glimpse of the very first stars in the universe.

Lichen Survives In Space
Leopoldo Sancho from the Complutense University of Madrid, indicate that lichens have the capacity to resist full exposure to the harsh space conditions, especially high levels of UV radiation. Analysis post flight showed a full rate of survival and an unchanged ability for photosynthesis.

Ripples in a Galactic Pond
The beautiful shapes of galaxies are essential consequences of their growth and development. By Françoise Combes.

How Do Massive Stars Form?

Chinese Company Closed For Selling Land On The Moon Beijing (AFP) Nov 07, 2005
A Chinese company has had its license suspended after it tried to make money by selling land on the moon, state media reported Monday.

Take a Virtual Trip to the Moon.


Drug Cuts Deaths after Heart Attack
Taking a blood-thinning drug in addition to aspirin daily after a heart attack significantly reduced the risk of death, follow-up heart attacks and strokes, according to a six-year study of nearly 46,000 patients in China. Researchers found that the drug, clopidogrel, increased overall survival by 9 percent.

Flu Chip May Help Combat Future Epidemics, Pandemics Boulder CO (SPX) Nov 08, 2005
A novel "Flu Chip" developed at the University of Colorado at Boulder that can determine the genetic signatures of specific influenza strains from patient samples within hours may help world health officials combat coming epidemics and pandemics.

Malaria Vaccine Proves Effective in Clinical Trial
A new vaccine stimulated human immune cells to recognize and kill malaria parasites in a recent clinical trial. The vaccine proved effective in both infected human blood samples and mice whose immune systems had been modified to mimic that of humans.

The Land of Milk and Money
The first drug from a transgenic animal may be nearing approval.


Evolution Slate Outpolls Rivals
All eight members up for re-election to the Pennsylvania school board that had been sued for introducing the teaching of intelligent design as an alternative to evolution in biology class were swept out of office yesterday by a slate of challengers who campaigned against the intelligent design policy.

UCSD Study Shows 'Junk' DNA Has Evolutionary Importance (October 20, 2005)
Genetic material derisively called "junk" DNA because it does not contain the instructions for protein-coding genes and appears to have little or no function is actually critically important to an organism's evolutionary survival, according to a study conducted by a biologist at UCSD.

Vatican: Faithful Should Listen to Science. VATICAN CITY
A Vatican cardinal said Thursday the faithful should listen to what secular modern science has to offer, warning that religion risks turning into "fundamentalism" if it ignores scientific reason.

Professor defends 'Intelligent Design'
A biology professor who supports classroom discussion of "intelligent design" testified Friday that major peer-reviewed scientific journals shun articles on the concept because it is a minority view (Associated Press)

Can biology do better than faith?
Religions continue both to render their special services and to exact their heavy costs. Can scientific humanism do as well or better, at a lower cost? (Edward O. Wilson, New Scientist)

Bird flu, Bush, evolution - and us: by Steven Salzberg.

Natural Selection Has Strongly Influenced Recent Human Evolution, Study Finds (October 23, 2005)
The most detailed analysis to date of how humans differ from one another at the DNA level shows strong evidence that natural selection has shaped the recent evolution of our species.

Picky Female Frogs Drive Evolution Of New Species In Less Than 8,000 Years (October 28, 2005)
Females typically have the upper hand in choosing mates, and this choice can rapidly give rise to new species

Adult Stem Cells May Be Just Remnants Of Evolution (November 2, 2005)
Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research in Bad Nauheim, Germany have now demonstrated, in a study published in the journal Molecular and Cellular Biology, that at least some adult stem cells could be the mere remnants of former embryonal differentiation processes, or, in other words, "footprints" of evolution.

Flipped Genetic Sequences Illuminate Human Evolution And Disease (October 30, 2005)
Chunks of inverted DNA are hundreds of times more common in primates than previously thought. These large structural changes in the human and chimpanzee genomes, called inversions, may account for much of the evolutionary difference between the two species. They may also shed light on genetic changes that lead to human disease.

Earth Science

New Method Of Dating Oceanic Crust Is Most Accurate So Far (November 1, 2005)
A newly developed method that detects tiny bits of zircon in rock reliably predicts the age of ocean crust more than 99 percent of the time, making the technique the most accurate so far.

Microfossils Show Promise In Prospecting Climate History (October 31, 2005)
Has global warming flipped a switch and returned us to a hurricane regime unseen for 1000 years? An analysis of 6,000 years of sediment layers taken from a back-barrier marsh in South Carolina shows a record of storm washovers that could only come from major hurricanes -- identified by the presence of foraminifera shells originating in ancient off-shore deposits. The result tentatively shows a long record of elevated hurricane activity prior to the last millennium.

The Workings of an Ancient Nuclear Reactor
Two billion years ago parts of an African uranium deposit spontaneously underwent nuclear fission.

The rise of oxygen levels over the past 205 million years (part 1) & (part 2) (audio tape, Hugh Ross)
See also Paul G. Falkowski, et all, "The Rise of Oxygen over the Past 205 Million Years and the Evolution of Large Placental Mammals," Science 309 (2005): 2202-2204.

Popping Rocks Reveal New Volcano Oct. 27, 2005
Noisy popping rocks hauled up from the deep Pacific seafloor off northern Mexico appear to be from a very young undersea volcano, say U.S. and Mexican geologists.

A Cool Early Earth?
Our planet might not have spent its first half a billion years drenched in magma. Oceans, proto-continents and opportunities for life may have formed much earlier. By John W. Valley.


The Illusion of Gravity
The force of gravity and one of the dimensions of space might be generated out of the peculiar interactions of particles and fields existing in a lower-dimensional realm.

Antineutrinos emerge from within Earth (audio tape, Hugh Ross)
See also T. Araki et al., "Experimental Investigation of Geologically Produced Antineutrinos with KamLAND," Nature436 (2005): 499-503.

Crossbar Nanocomputers
A future generation of microchips might not need transistors but would instead use crisscrossing wires only a few atoms thick.


The Neurobiology of the Self
How does the brain's activity give rise to a constant sense of being oneself? Biologists are slowly teasing out an answer.


Mice Found to Woo Mates with Song
Mice may not sing for their supper but male mice seem to sing to their prospective mates. Researchers made this discovery when they eavesdropped on male mice that had been exposed to the scent of female urine.

Warmer-Blooded Shark Found Oct. 28, 2005
Salmon sharks from the Gulf of Alaska have heat-hungry swimming muscles more like those of mammals than their scaly kin, say marine scientists.