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August 2, 2005

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New Biblical Recreations from the IBSS Gift Shop!

I have been busy making molds and casts. Here are some new inscriptions related to the Bible: The Tel Dan inscription that mentions the "house of David," see Tel Dan Inscription Recreation, the Gezer Calendar from the time of Solomon, see Gezer Calendar Recreation, the ivory pomegranate from Solomon's Temple, see Ivory Pomegranate Recreation, and Bullae from the Kings of Judah, see Biblical Bullae: Kings of Judah and the Siloam Inscription, see Hezekiah's Tunnel Inscription.

Religion in the News

The Man Who Wouldn't Give Up
No matter how great the obstacles, William Carey expected great things and attempted great things. By Mark Galli.

IRA ends 'armed campaign' but says it was 'entirely legitimate'
The long conflict in Northern Ireland has significant religious overtones, though the conflict itself is almost entirely over nationalism, and for the past several years the religious aspects have almost entirely been focused on peacemaking efforts.

On question of nominee questions, no clear answer
History of hearings is decidedly mixed as senators prepare to probe Roberts's legal philosophy —especially on Roe (The Washington Post)

Bible course becomes a test for public schools in Texas
A religious advocacy group based in Greensboro, N.C., has been pressing a 12-year campaign to get school boards across the country to accept its Bible curriculum (The New York Times)

Frist's stem cell stance creates rift
Bush's reaction mild; religious conservatives say they're outraged. (Chicago Tribune

Christianity is China's new social revolution
There may now be more practicing Christians in China than there are members of the Communist Party (The Telegraph, London)

Mormonism is global, but is it a 'world religion'?
Twenty years ago, University of Washington sociologist Rodney Stark observed the phenomenal growth of Mormonism and declare that it would "soon achieve a worldwide following comparable to that of Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism and the other dominant world faiths." (The Salt Lake Tribune)

A test of faith
Bruce Nelson contracted dengue fever during a mission trip to India two years ago. Since then, he lost his job as an assistant pastor at Calvary Chapel Rialto. (San Bernardino Sun, Ca.)

God vs. Satan
Who's the better investor? (Slate)

The state of the church-state debate
Has Noah Feldman come up with a feasible compromise? (Alan Wolfe, Slate)

Science in the News


Temple and Artifacts Discovered in Cairo Suburb
Archaeologists digging in Mataryia, a northeastern suburb of Cairo, Egypt, have uncovered a temple and a number of statues dating to the rule of Ramesses II (1279-1212 B.C.) during the 19th Dynasty.

DNA tests squelch Canadian sasquatch discovery
Researchers said on Thursday that a mysterious clump of hair found in the Yukon Territory is from a North American bison and not from he elusive ape-like sasquatch, or Big Foot, said to haunt the woods of western Canada. See also 'Bigfoot' hair tabbed big hoax by expert.

Ancient Tiberias Reveals More Of Its Beauty (July 29, 2005)
Further revelations of the beauty of the ancient city of Tiberias and of its uniqueness as a Jewish center were revealed in this season's excavations.

A Number Of Works Of Art Unearthed In Parion Ancient City CANAKKALE
Archaeologists unearthed a number of works of art including crowns of a prince or a king in the ancient city of Parion (also known as Parium).


Scientists Discover Solar System's Tenth Planet -- Bigger Than Pluto
A planet larger than Pluto has been discovered in the outlying regions of the solar system. The planet was discovered using the Samuel Oschin Telescope at Palomar Observatory near San Diego, Calif. The planet is a typical member of the Kuiper belt, but its sheer size in relation to the nine known planets means that it can only be classified as a planet. 

Cassini Finds Recent And Unusual Geology On Enceladus
NASA's Cassini spacecraft has obtained new, detailed images of the south polar region of Saturn's moon Enceladus. The data reveal distinctive geological features and the most youthful terrain seen on the moon. These findings point to a very complex evolutionary history for Saturn's brightest, whitest satellite.

NASA Develops A 'Nugget' To Search For Life In Space
Conceived by scientists at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., the Neutron/Gamma ray Geologic Tomography (NUGGET) would be able to generate three-dimensional images of fossils embedded in an outcrop of rock or beneath the soil of Mars or another planet. Tomography uses radiation or sound waves to look inside objects. NUGGET could help determine if primitive forms of life took root on Mars when the planet was awash in water eons ago. 


One Hit Of Crystal Meth Causes Birth Defects, Affects Fetuses At All Stages Of Development
A single prenatal dose of methamphetamine -- commonly known as speed -- may be enough to cause long-term neurodevelopmental problems in babies.

Multiple Genetic 'Flavors' May Explain Autism
In a pair of studies, the researchers identify and characterize a number of mutations in the gene that regulate brain levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter involved in breathing, digestion, sleep, appetite, blood vessel constriction, mood and impulsivity. About 25 percent of people with autism have elevated levels of serotonin in their blood.

Gene Found In 90 Percent Of Breast Cancers May Be Cancer Vaccine Target
A gene that appears to help regulate normal embryonic development is found at high levels in virtually all forms of breast cancer, according to a new study led by Laszlo Radvanyi, Ph.D.

Combination Hormone/Vaccine Therapy For Prostate Cancer May Benefit Patients Whose Disease Returns
A new study finds that a cancer vaccine combined with hormone-deprivation therapy can help patients with recurrence of prostate cancer. 

New Method Shows It Is Possible To Grow Bone For Grafts Within A Patient's Body
An international team of biomedical engineers has demonstrated for the first time that it is possible to grow healthy new bone reliably in one part of the body and use it to repair damaged bone at a different location. The research, which is based on a dramatic departure from the current practice in tissue engineering, is described in a paper titled "In vivo engineering of organs: The bone bioreactor" published online by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

Studies Reveal How Plague Disables Immune System, And How To Exploit The Process To Make A Vaccine
Two studies by researchers at the University of Chicago show how the bacteria that cause the plague manage to outsmart the immune system and how, by slightly altering one of the microbe's tools

Chronic Sinus Infection Thought To Be Tissue Issue, Mayo Clinic Scientists Show It's Snot
Mayo Clinic researchers have found that the cause of chronic sinus infections lies in the nasal mucus -- the snot -- not in the nasal and sinus tissue targeted by standard

Immune System's Distress Signal Tells Bacteria When To Strike Back
The human opportunistic pathogen, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, has broken the immune system's code, report researchers from the University of Chicago, enabling the bacteria to recognize when its host is most vulnerable and to launch an attack before the weakened host can muster its defenses.

Carbon Monoxide: Poison Gas Or Anti-inflammatory Drug?
Carbon monoxide, a poisonous gas that kills thousands of Americans every year, could turn out to be a life-saver for patients recovering from organ transplants, strokes or heart attacks.


Information Theory and Creationism
Both young-earth and intelligent-design creationists often claim that evolution is impossible because of various claims about information such as mutation and natural selection "cannot create information." This article provides a brief background on Information Theory and explains how Creationists such as Werner Gitt and Lee Spetner misuse one of the greatest contributions of the 20th Century. (This FAQ is more technical than most. It is hoped that a less technical version will eventually be posted.)

Petroleum Evidence for Huge Ancient Biomass
Birger Rasmussen, "Evidence for Pervasive Petroleum Generation and Migration in 3.2 and 2.63 Ga Shales," Geology 33 (2005): pp. 497-500.

Confirmation of the biological origin of kerogen on the Apex fossils
J. William Schopf, et al, "Raman Imagery: A new approach to assess the geochemical maturity and biogenicity of permineralized Precambrian fossils," Astrobiology 5 (2005): pp. 333-371. Related Resource: The Origins of Life: Biblical and Evolutionary Models Face-Off, by Fazale Rana and Hugh Ross.

Multi-Species Genome Comparison Sheds New Light On Evolutionary Processes, Cancer Mutations
An international team that includes researchers from the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has discovered that mammalian chromosomes have evolved by breaking at specific sites rather than randomly as long thought - and that many of the breakage hotspots are also involved in human cancer. 

Report on the 2005 Mega Creation Conference
Part Two After Falwell came David DeWitt, who directs the Center for Creation Research at Liberty University. He made only a few brief remarks, emphasizing Liberty's adherence to a literal interpretation of the Bible from “Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21” In particular, they believe Adam and Eve were real people and that God created in six literal days.

Phillip Johnson's assault upon faith-based Darwinism
A modern monkey trial isn't what Phillip Johnson expected when he wrote a critique of evolution that launched intelligent design -- or was it? (East Bay Express, Emeryville, Ca.)

Let's have no more monkey trials
To teach faith as science is to undermine both. (Charles Krauthammer, Time)

Listen to NPR's interview of Haught.
Listen to NPR's story with Miller, Hoonhout, and Haught.

Ape to Man: Special History Channel presentation on August 7 at 9 PM.

Earth Science

Earliest Embryos Ever Discovered Provide Clues To Dinosaur Evolution
The embryos of a long-necked, herbivorous dinosaur are the earliest ever recorded for any terrestrial vertebrate and point to how primitive dinosaurs evolved into the largest animals ever to walk on earth, say scientists from the University of Toronto at Mississauga (UTM), the Smithsonian Institution and the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa. 

Brown Grad Student's Seismic Study Shakes Up Plate Tectonics
In a surprising study in Nature, a team led by a Brown University graduate student shows that a sharp boundary exists between the Earth's hard outermost shell and a more pliable layer beneath. Earth’s cool, rigid upper layer, known as the lithosphere, rides on top of its warmer, more pliable neighbor, the asthenosphere, as a series of massive plates. Plates continuously shift and break, triggering earthquakes, sparking volcanic eruptions, sculpting mountains and carving trenches under the sea.

Texas A&M Oceanographer Challenges Plate Tectonics As Reason For Poles' Shift (January 25, 2000)
Millions of years before Carole King felt the earth move under her feet, the planet rapidly and drastically shifted on its axis, according to research by Texas A&M University oceanographer.

Researchers First To Document Earth's Movement In Turkey (August 12, 2003)
Geologists from University of Missouri-Columbia, Cornell University and several Turkish researchers recently completed a major project in which they observed and measured the earth's movement.

Liverpool Scientist Discovers New Layer Of The Earth (April 14, 2005)
A University of Liverpool scientist has discovered a new layer near the Earth's core, which will enable the internal temperature of the Earth's mantle to be measured at a much deeper level.

Virtual Trip To The Heart Of 400 Million Years Old Microfossils (July 25, 2005)
Researchers from France, China and ESRF have identified enigmatic fossils from Devonian (400 million years) as fructification of charophyte algae. Charophytes are land plants living in fresh water.


Watching The Birth And Death Of Exotic Molecules
Researchers from Korea, Italy, France and the ESRF have just observed how a molecule changes structure after being hit with a short flash of laser light. Thanks to very intense pulses of X-rays.

Is it a cosmic string or are we seeing double?
The case for the existence of cosmic strings has just been boosted - the threads of energy could be the first sign of extra dimensions in the universe.


Medication Eases Obsessive-compulsive Symptoms
A medication used to ease symptoms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease, also is helpful in treating people with treatment-resistant obsessive-compulsive.

Stress Slows Wound Healing; Oxygen Helps
Wound healing is slow when an animal is stressed, but supplying oxygen almost completely reverses the effect, according to researchers at the University of Illinois.


Fifth subspecies of chimpanzee revealed
The species has been lurking under primatologists' noses for decades, according to a new study of chimp skulls.

New animal species evolved in an instant
A brand new insect may have arisen in an evolutionary eye-blink as a result of cross-species mating - usually the preserve of plant species.

Gruesome habits of the giant squid
Enshrined in myth as ferocious beasts that overturn boats to munch on sailors, giant squid, it appears, also indulge in cannibalism.