Without a doubt the brain is a marvelous organ, although there is still a great deal to learn about how it works. We do know that brain cells communicate through connections which reach out in three dimensions to other cells. When thought and motion take place, they communicate with each other very quickly. They are even in communication while you sleep.
In contrast to the human brain, the "thinking" parts of a computer are connected in two dimensions to "communicate" with each other. Researchers thought that it might boost performance if a three-dimensional computer chip could be designed. Cell phones already use a three-dimensional chip arrangement, but these are just individual flat chips stacked one on top of another. Researchers wanted to see what true three-dimensional chips (called TSVs), could do.
Now several chip manufacturers have developed working TSVs. They have found that three-dimensional chips transmit information faster and use less power than flat chips. In other words, they are more efficient than flat chips and pack more "thinking" power into a smaller space. Chip manufacturers are now working on ways to successfully mass produce the TSVs.
The three-dimensional computer chip does improve chip performance by mimicking the wiring of the brain. However, except in the area of calculation, we are nowhere close to mimicking the power of the human brain.
Notes: The Nikkei Weekly, 12/29/08 & 1/5/09, p. 3, "Semiconductor makers head for third dimension." Illustration: Courtesy of Shmuel Csaba Otto Traian. (CC BY-SA 4.0). Creation Moments, Inc., P.O. Box 839, Foley, MN 56329 www.creationmoments.com
“The LORD hear thee in the day of trouble; the name of the God of Jacob defend thee” (Psalm 20:1). “Why does He call Himself ‘the God of Jacob’? I think there are a number of suggestive thoughts. Perhaps the first is that He is the God that the poor sinner needs, for Jacob was a poor crooked stick from the time he first came into this world right on through the years. The name Jacob means ‘the grafter’ or ‘the cheat,’ literally, ‘the heel catcher.’ A man who would trip another by catching his heel. It is like the flesh in every one of us; what heel catchers we are! But God is known as ‘the God of Jacob’ because He wants you and me to know that He is the God who is interested in poor sinners. And then again I think the thought of ‘the God of Jacob’ suggests the God of the individual. God singles people out. ‘I am that man’s God,’ and He singled you and me out. We can look up into His face and say, ‘You are my God.’ And then there is this thought that He is the God of patience, and what patience He had with Jacob! He took that crooked man and chastened, educated, and taught him by discipline until at last when an old man he became a quiet, patient, godly worshiper. We read that Jacob, when he was dying, ‘worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff’ (Heb. 11:21). It took him a long time to reach that place, but he attained it at last. What patience God has had with some of us!”
(H.A. Ironside commentary on Psalms).
It was once thought that only man used tools. However, scientists have learned that some monkeys and even some birds use "tools." Now we can add dolphins to the growing list of tool-users.
Researchers studying dolphins in Australia's Shark Bay noticed that some dolphins were swimming around with sponges on their beaks. After some observation, both on the surface and beneath the water, scientists discovered what the dolphins were doing. Holding the sponges in their mouths, they would sweep the sea bottom sand, flushing out fish. Then they dropped the sponge and ate what they had flushed out. When they were finished eating, they retrieved their sponge and repeated the process.
Researchers found that about 10 percent of the females obtained their food using sponges as tools. For some unknown reason, very few of the males used this method. Furthermore, most of the females using this method were related to two maternal tool-using dolphins. Researchers debate whether these two taught their descendants this method of obtaining fish or whether the behavior is based in genetics.
Since this is not a widespread behavior among dolphins, it seems likely that it is a learned behavior probably taught to younger relatives by the maternal dolphins. After all, dolphins are known to be very intelligent, and intelligence is a gift from their Creator.
Notes: Science News Online, 12/10/08, www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/39219, Bruce Bower, "Dolphins Wield Tools of the Sea." Creation Moments, Inc., P.O. Box 839, Foley, MN 56329 www.creationmoments.com
“Four Bible translators have been murdered by militants in the Middle East, Bible translating ministry Wycliffe Associates, reports. According to Wycliffe, a raid took place on the translators’ office. Two of the translators were shot and killed, while another two died of wounds from being beaten. The last two managed to protect and save the lead translator by lying on top of him while the militants beat them with their now-empty weapons. The militants also destroyed translating equipment, including Print on Demand equipment, books, and translation materials. However, Wycliffe says the militants did not destroy the ‘computer hard drives containing translation work for eight language projects.’”
“Four Wycliffe Bible Translators Murdered,” Christian Headlines, Mar. 18, 2016
1 Kings 19:9
Cavemen. The very word conjures images of bearskin clothing, wooden clubs and perhaps some simple stone tools. We think of the cavemen themselves as part ape and certainly less than modern humans. All of these images help make human evolution look more plausible.
However, in China there are some 20 million people living in caves. The caves there are easily carved in the silty soil of the Western regions of the Yellow River. The caves are generally 10 to 13 feet wide and can extend as far as 25 feet back into the hillside. Sometimes the caves are connected to one another, creating a larger place to live. Many of the people who live in these caves would not think of moving out of them.
Caves are warm in the winter, cool in the summer, and they are fireproof. These caves include flues for venting the exhaust from cooking fires. But these caves are not primitive dwellings by any stretch of the imagination. They feature plumbing, electrical wiring and even cable television! Except for windows, some of these cave homes are as modern as anything you'll see in the rest of the developing world.
Throughout the ages, people have taken shelter in caves and even set up housekeeping in them. The fact that they lived in caves does not make them primitive at all.
Notes: Minneapolis Star Tribune, 12/21/08, p. AA5, Tim Johnson, "Cave, sweet cave: Many Chinese find home is in a hillside."
Photo: Courtesy of Meier & Poehlmann. (CC BY 3.0).
Creation Moments, Inc., P.O. Box 839, Foley, MN 56329 www.creationmoments.com
Russian Dmitry Itskov is one of the world’s billionaires who is seeking immortality through technology. His 2045 Initiative aims to create an android capable of downloading someone’s personality within 30 years (“Media mogul Dmitry Itskov,”The Telegraph, Mar. 13, 2016). Itskov, who is “100 percent sure it will happen,” says, “The ultimate goal of my plan is to transfer someone’s personality into the new artificial carrier. Different scientists call it uploading or they call it mind transfer. I prefer to call it personality transfer.” Other billionaires who are seeking immortality through technology are Google founder Larry Page, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, and venture capitalist Paul Glenn. Page, who funds a company called Calico (California Life Company) with the objective of curing old age, believes that there is no need for humans to start dying once they hit their 80s (“Larry Page Lists 5 Things That Google Will Conquer,” Business Insider, May 15, 2014). Ellison says, “Death makes me very angry,” so he created the Ellison Foundation to find a way to cheat death. Glenn funds the Methuselah Foundation, which claims that “the first person to live to be 1,000 years old is certainly alive today.” The Bible gives both the bad news and the good news about death: “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
(Friday Church News Notes, March 25, 2016, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)
We all know that there is strength in numbers. Many animals have even discovered this and, for example, migrate in large herds. However, one would never expect bacteria to have discovered this or know enough to organize themselves collectively.
Bacteria consist of a single cell that doesn't even have a nucleus. They have no nervous system, and they reproduce by simply dividing in half. Of course, there is no brain; yet, they seem to display a sense of consciousness that totally baffles the neurosciences. Some marine species of bacteria are able to sense when there are other bacteria around them. Then, when a sufficient number have gathered together, their metabolism changes, and they begin to produce a slime that then holds them together.
While all this is now known, new research shows that the slime, called biofilm, includes chemicals that are poisonous to the very predators that would ordinarily feed on the bacteria. In fact, the biofilm seems to protect the bacteria. The more bacteria there are, the more biofilm they make and the more protection they have from predators.
There are no simple forms of life. Even bacteria, which are an important part of the ecosystem, have been designed with the ability to protect themselves – something they could never have invented for themselves.
Notes: Minneapolis Star Tribune, 7/29/08, p. A5, David Brown, "Cellmates: Research shows that bacteria, when under attack, stick together to survive." Creation Moments, Inc., P.O. Box 839, Foley, MN 56329 www.creationmoments.com
“A ‘manifesto,’ written by former Marine Kyle Odom, the 30-year-old man who shot Idaho pastor Tim Remmington, reveals that his life started to change drastically when he began doing meditation to relieve stress while in university. The meditation experiences led him into contact with familiar spirits (which he thought were aliens) and eventually led to two suicide attempts and then the shooting of Pastor Remmington. While Lighthouse Trails is not saying that every person who practices meditation is going to go crazy and start shooting people, we stand by our warning of 14 years that meditation does introduce meditators to demonic realms. For most, this realm seduces people into a complacent deception, and they may even appear more peaceful. For other meditators, like the student at Le Tourneau Christian University who graduated and told his parents he was now an atheist, they turn away from their Christian faith. Satan has many different methods of stealing a soul. And for some, these demons torture and torment a person, until they can eventually become like Kyle Odom. The occult (Satan’s domain) is not to be tampered with. When you consider that over 90% of the Christian colleges and seminaries are introducing contemplative spirituality (a belief system that incorporates meditation) to the lives of their students, it should make every Christian shudder and every Christian leader repent for allowing this into the church. ... [Contemplative guru] Richard Foster told his contemplative followers that they needed to say a prayer of protection before practicing contemplative prayer. Why would one need to do that, unless he is entering demonic realms? Meditation leads one to believe that God is in everything and all is connected together. This belief is an anti-christ religion, and that is why when people practice meditation, they are going to be influenced by familiar spirits. ... As we read the news story about Kyle Odom today, we were reminded about contemplative mystic Thomas Merton, who likened a contemplative meditation experience to an LSD trip. Odom’s manifesto expressed many experiences that sound like a bad LSD trip; but it wasn’t LSD--it was meditation, the very thing that most Christian leaders are either promoting or remaining silent about.”
“The Man Who Shot Idaho Pastor,” Lighthouse Trails, Mar. 10, 2016
It turns out that not all creatures need eyes to see light. It all depends on what the creatures were designed to do.
The roundworm, C. elegans, lives below the soil surface where it needs no eyes. At the same time, this roundworm needs to sense light because too much exposure will kill it. Researchers noted that the roundworm has only 302 nerve cells. Study of these cells showed that some of them sense light in the same way that similar cells in vertebrates sense light. Evolutionists suggested that this is an example of an early step in the evolution of eyes. However, there is no evolutionary pressure for this roundworm to evolve eyes because light will kill it. Besides, animals that supposedly evolved long before C. elegans already had eyes.
A better explanation is that, like the cave fishes, this roundworm lives in the dark and needs no eyes that would, in any case, be constantly filling with dirt. No, this is not an example of evolution, but of good design by God.
God has designed all things to fit well into their respective environments. The fish that lives in the dark depths of the ocean has lighted lures, the fishes that live in the darkest caves have no eyes and neither does the roundworm, C. elegans. All these show God's fingerprints.
Notes: http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/33889/title/Seeing_without_eyes. Photo: Uploaded to the Wikimedia Commons by Kbradnam. (CC BY-SA 2.5). Creation Moments, Inc., P.O. Box 839, Foley, MN 56329 www.creationmoments.com
In late 2015, archaeologists working at ancient Ur found an ebony stylus for inscribing cuneiform on clay tablets. This is the first ebony object found there and is further evidence of the city’s trade with the Indus civilization in South Asia (also known as Harappan and Meluhha). Elizabeth Stone of the State University of New York at Stony Brook, who is co-leading the Ur excavations, says, “There are texts that speak about the ‘black wood of Meluhha,’ but this is our first physical evidence” (“City of Biblical Abraham Brimmed with Trade and Riches,” National Geographic, March 11, 2016). The Indus civilization was a major commercial empire with trading ventures as far as Mesopotamia and Sheba in southern Arabia. The Indus people are mentioned in the writings of Mesopotamian kings such as Naram-Sin of Akkad, grandson of the famous kingdom builder Sargon. Indus ships had a capacity as large as 20 tons, equivalent to a modern 40-foot shipping container (“Digging in the Land of Magan,” Archaeology, Archaeological Institute of America, May/June 1997). They traveled across the Indian Ocean to ports on the Persian Gulf near modern Bahrain and up the Euphrates River to Ur, Akkad, Babylon, and other cities. Indus ships also traveled to the port of Al Mukulla on the southern tip of the Arabian peninsula in the modern Gulf of Aden. (For more about the ancient Indus Civilization and its international trade, including a PowerPoint presentation, see the “Queen of Sheba” section of Bible Times and Ancient Kingdoms, available from Way of Life Literature.)
(Friday Church News Notes, March 25, 2016, www.wayoflife.org, email@example.com, 866-295-4143)
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