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July 6, 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

Did the court get the establishment clause right?
Paul Finkelman and John C. Eastman debate the Ten Commandments decisions. (Legal Affairs)

Smithsonian exhibit introduces little-known Biblical land to U.S. public
Kings came from the East and brought gold, frankincense and myrrh to the infant Jesus, the Bible says. All three are typical products of Yemen, whose ancient civilization is being introduced to Americans in a big exhibit of finds made since the mid-1900s. (Associated Press)

Evangelicals, mainline Protestants clash on Israel
A clash between evangelicals and mainstream Protestants on divestment from Israel marks what appears to be the groups' first direct confrontation over the Jewish state. (Baltimore Jewish Times)

Sainthood bid opens for John Paul
The Catholic Church has launched the official process which may culminate in a sainthood for the late Pope John Paul II with a service in Rome. (BBC)

Graham didn't intend to endorse Clinton
Evangelist's praise for senator at crusade just that, son says. (The Charlotte Observer, N.C.)

Air Force school chief gives cadets rules
As 1,400 new cadets were welcomed at the Air Force Academy on Thursday, the chief of staff of the Air Force was reminding commanders that promoting their religious faiths is against regulations .(Associated Press)

The Pentecostal Gold Standard
After 50 years in ministry, Jack Hayford continues to confound stereotypes—all to the good. By Tim Stafford.

Are Short-Term Missions Good Stewardship?
More than two million teens go on such trips ever year, and giving may exceed that given to long-term missionaries. But is short-term ministry built to last? A conversation between Robert Priest and Kurt Ver Beek. 

Jesus Lives!
Stephen J. Patterson - Thirty years ago, almost no one was searching for the historical Jesus. Today, bookstore shelves are bursting with good books about him. What do they say about Jesus that we didn’t know before?

'Kings City' theme park opens in Eilat
After four years of construction, the much anticipated "Kings City" biblical theme park opened in Eilat this week at an investment of NIS 162 million, bringing a unique concept in family entertainment to Israel. (The Jerusalem Post)

The suspension of disbelief
Alister McGrath contends atheism was relevant and important for 200 years, but is now weary, frail and tediously eking out its last days as a significant philosophy, slain by postmodernism and resurgent spirituality. (The Age, Melbourne, Australia)

Science in the News


Footprints rewrite history of first Americans
Human footprints discovered beside an ancient Mexican lake have been dated to 40,000 years ago. If the finding survives the controversy it is bound to stir up, it means that humans must have moved into the New World at least 30,000 years earlier than previously thought. “If true, this would completely change our view of how and when the Americas were first colonised,” says Chris Stringer, head of human origins at the Natural History Museum in London, UK.

Ancient Greek Writings Inscribed In Stone, Digitized By Case Classicist (July 3, 2005)Finding information about ancient Greek inscriptions used to take years of res
earch and countless hours tracking down answers in the library. Through contributions by Case classicist Paul Iversen's work with the Packard Humanities Institute (PHI) Greek Epigraphy Project, classics scholars now can access and search more than 150,000 inscriptions through a comprehensive digitized database in a matter of minutes.

The Temple Menorah—Where Is It?
Steven Fine - The Temple candelabrum has been lost to history almost since it was carted off as booty to Rome. Is it still there?

Sifting the Temple Mount Dump
Thanks to an intrepid archaeology student, scores of artifacts are being retrieved from the mounds of earth carted off the Temple Mount during the unsupervised excavation of a new entrance to an underground mosque.

The Kitchen Debate
Ronald S. Hendel, William W. Hallo and Kenneth A. Kitchen - No, it’s not Nixon vs. Krushchev. It’s two prominent scholars reviewing a new work by an equally prominent colleague—with a reply by the latter.

Update—Finds or Fakes?
Digging Deeper
     The IAA is digging—a hole for itself.
Is the New Royal Moabite Inscription a Forgery?

Ancient Egyptian Glass Factory Found
Glass was a high-status item in the Late Bronze Age that was used extensively in prestigious artifacts. Much evidence has been uncovered to suggest that early glass making arose in Mesopotamia. But the recent excavation of a site in Egypt suggests that people in the region were adept glassmakers as well, a find that shines new light on how the commodity developed and was traded.

How to Date a Pharaoh
Leo Depuydt - Ancient chronology—yes, that kind of “Date”—is not the most glamorous of sciences, but it can be one of the most contentious. Every generation, it seems, someone causes a ruckus among the general public and in the scholarly world by trying to knock down this “house of cards.” But the foundations are stronger than they look.

New Leonardo Da Vinci drawing discovered in London
Art curators have uncovered a new Leonardo Da Vinci drawing hidden beneath the surface of one of the Renaissance artist's most celebrated works, Britain's National Gallery said on Friday. (Reuters)

Simulating Ancient Societies
Computer modeling is helping unravel the archaeological mysteries of the American Southwest.


Deep Impact Collision Provides Comet Clues
In the early hours of July 4, Deep Impact's 820-pound probe collided with the Comet Tempel 1, providing scientists with a celestial show that should garner new insight into the evolution of comets. See also Comet's crater hidden, but plume tells story.

Carina Nebula Dust Pillars Harbor Embedded Stars Boulder CO (SPX) May 31, 2005
Astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have imaged a giant molecular cloud being shredded by howling stellar winds and searing radiation, exposing a group of towering dust pillars harboring infant stars, according to a University of Colorado at Boulder researcher.

Ancient Floods On Mars: Where Iani Chaos Opens Into Ares Vallis Paris, France (SPX) Jun 02, 2005
These images, taken by the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) aboard ESA's Mars Express spacecraft, show a large depression called Iani Chaos and the upper reaches of a large outflow channel called Ares Vallis.

The Many Faces of Mars
One rover found an ancient desert; the other, a once watery world. Mars's diversity rivaled Earth's.

Black holes cannot escape the phantom menace
The big rip - the potential violent death of the universe in which all matter is torn apart - could dissolve black holes like aspirins in a glass of water.


New Movement in Parkinson's
So far researchers and clinicians have found no way to slow, stop or prevent Parkinson's disease. Although treatments do exist--including drugs and deep-brain stimulation--these therapies alleviate symptoms, not causes. In recent years, however, several promising developments have occurred. Such findings are feeding optimism that fresh angles of attack can be identified.

The Future of Stem Cells
Stem cells promise fantastic therapies but also raise profound questions. This special report--in collaboration with the Financial Times--provides an essential guide to the pivotal scientific, business and political issues.

Agricultural Antibiotic Use Contributes To 'Super-bugs' In Humans
A paper published in the open access journal PLoS Medicine discusses evidence suggesting that antibiotic use in agriculture has contributed to antibiotic resistance in the pathogenic bacteria.


Did the big bang really happen?
Is it time to admit that the idea of a big bang just does not stack up? Marcus Chown meets the doubters thinking the unthinkable.

Bill would allow 'intelligent design' in Pennsylvania schools
The House Subcommittee on Basic Education heard testimony Monday on a bill that would allow local school boards to mandate that science lessons include intelligent design, a concept that holds the universe must have been created by an unspecified guiding force because it is so complex.

Kansas evolution poll shows majority want change
A majority of Kansans polled say they want public schools to either allow evolution to be criticized or teach other theories alongside it in science classes. (Knight Ridder Newspapers)

Kansas Evolution Hearings: Transcripts of an Intelligently-Designed "Kangaroo Court"
A transcript of the "science hearings" held by a subcommittee of the Kansas Board of Education composed of three creationists in May, 2005. A background article and many relevant links are also provided. 

'Intelligent Design' belongs in church and not in biology classes
"Intelligent Design" (ID), the religious alternative to Darwinism, ought to be taught in schools — Sunday schools and high-school social studies or history classes. But in biology classes? No way. (Morton Kondracke, Naples Daily News)

Teaching Evolution Controversy.

The Privileged Planet.

Tulsa Zoo caught in creationism-vs.-science flap
Board persuaded to create origins display; to some, it's out of place. (The Dallas Morning News)

Evolve fish
Most of us have seen the Darwin Fish symbol on the backs of cars. It's a takeoff on the Christian fish symbol. The so-called "Evolve Fish" have feet and "Darwin" written inside them. Ever wonder where they come from? Would you be surprised to learn it's Colorado Springs? Philip Lightstone recently talked to the folks who sell the "Evolve Fish" icons. (Western Skies, Col.)

Trees, Vines And Nets -- Microbial Evolution Changes Its Face
EBI researchers have changed our view of 4 billion years of microbial evolution. Christos Ouzounis and colleagues have gained intriguing quantitative insights into how gene families are transferred, not only 'vertically' through passage from one organism to its progeny, but also 'horizontally' through the exchange of genetic material between distantly related organisms. This new view of the tree of life could help us to better understand how disease-causing bacteria manage to stay one step ahead of us in our battle to tackle antibiotic resistance. 

Earth Science

Mountain-building Process Much Faster -- And Cooler -- Than Previously Thought, Say Queen's Geologists
Geologists at Queen's University have discovered that the time it takes for mountain ranges to form is millions of years shorter than previously thought. 

NASA Satellite Data Capture A Big Climate Effect On Tiny Ocean Life
New research found that phytoplankton population and size can change dramatically due to the physical processes associated with the climate phenomena known as El Niño and La Niña. In turn, these changes not only affect ocean ecology, but also influence our climate by impacting carbon storage in the ocean.

How Dinosaurs Grew So Large--and So Small
Overlooked clues to how fast the creatures grew and how long they lived lurk in their bones.


The Mysteries of Mass
Physicists hunt for a field that permeates reality and lends mass to particles.


Psyching Out Evolutionary Psychology: Interview with David J. Buller
Philosopher of science David Buller has a bone to pick with evolutionary psychology, the idea that some important human behaviors are best explained as evolutionary adaptations to the struggles we faced tens to hundreds of thousands of years ago as hunter-gatherers.

Scans Show How Hypnosis Affects Brain Activity
The word "hypnosis" tends to conjure up images of subjects partaking in silly activities they might not otherwise agree to. But over the past few decades, scientific study of hypnosis has begun to identify how the approach can work to alter processes such as memory and pain perception. According to a new report, hypnotic suggestions regulate activity in certain regions of the brain and can help it manage cognitive conflicts.

Training the Brain
Cognitive therapy as an alternative to ADHD drugs.

Women Feel More Pain Than Men, Research Shows
Women feel pain more than men despite the popular notion that the opposite is true, according to research by the University of Bath, in England. Scientists investigating gender differences.