“Scientists at the Fudan University and Changchun Institute of Optics, Fine Mechanics and Physics in China have developed a 500MP cloud-connected ‘super camera’ that can reportedly pick out facial details of an individual person among thousands in a crowded stadium. The new tech is raising serious concerns about privacy and government monitoring. According to a report by ABC News, the camera was revealed at China’s International Industry Fair by Xiaoyang Zeng, one of the scientists who worked on the new system. The camera combines its 500MP resolution with a connection to the cloud and AI-powered, real-time facial recognition technology, making it possible to identify every individual in an ultra-wide image of a crowded stadium. As if that’s not enough, the camera can reportedly record video at the same resolution. The applications were put aptly enough by the China News Service, who writes that the ‘cloud-camera system is able to capture thousands of faces at a stadium in perfect detail and generate their facial data for the cloud while locating a particular target in an instant.’ According to the CNS report, the technology is being praised by ‘most Chinese experts’ for its potential ‘military, national defense, and public security applications,’ although ‘some’ have expressed concerns around privacy.”
“China’s New 500MP ‘Super Camera,” petapixel.com, Sep. 27, 2019
“He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.”
Some frogs are regular little drug factories. Their skins produce a wide range of powerful alkaloids, are a large family of chemicals usually produced by plants. Familiar alkaloids include quinine, caffeine and morphine. Different alkaloids have different effects, usually on the nervous system.
The poison-arrow frog may be the most famous alkaloid-producing frog. South American natives simply rub their arrows or darts on the frog’s back. One species of this frog contains enough poison to kill about a 100 people! Another frog, native to Ecuador, produces an anesthetic more powerful than morphine. South American natives rub another frog on their wounds. Researchers discovered that the frog’s skin makes a powerful antiseptic. Yet another frog alkaloid will change the colors on parrot feathers. Some of the alkaloids produced by frogs are so complex that it takes years of study, using modern science’s most sophisticated equipment, to discover the active chemical.
Researchers in this field are only beginning to learn about the alkaloids produced by frogs. They have yet to research a frog that natives claim to use to heighten their senses for the hunt. What puzzles scientists who believe in evolution is that the frogs’ exotic skin chemistries don’t follow the patterns they anticipated based upon expected evolutionary relationships.
This means that these frogs have one more exciting purpose. They provide evidence against evolution and for the Creator.
“Smoking pot doesn’t do your heart or your brain any favors, a pair of new studies shows. Frequent pot smokers are more than twice as likely to suffer a stroke compared with those who don't partake, the first study found. They’re also more likely to be hospitalized for a dangerously erratic heart rhythm, according to the second study. Both studies are to be presented at an upcoming meeting of the American Heart Association (AHA), in Philadelphia, Nov. 16 to 18. Research presented at meetings is typically considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal. The findings are ‘thought provoking at a time when there is a great push to legalize marijuana, and the herb and its metabolites are being promoted as a cure-all for a myriad of medical conditions and ailments,’ said Dr. Ranjit Suri, an electrophysiologist at Mount Sinai St. Luke's in New York City. Suri was not part of either study. The first study found that non-smokers who use marijuana more than 10 days a month are nearly 2.5 times more likely to have a stroke versus non-users. The study team was surprised that people so young had such an elevated stroke risk, said lead author Tarang Parekh, a health policy researcher at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. In the second study, researchers found that people who compulsively use cannabis have an up to 50 percent greater risk of being hospitalized for an arrhythmia--an erratic heartbeat that can increase risk of stroke, heart attack or heart failure.”
“Frequent pot smokers,” HealthDay News, Nov. 11, 2019
“Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word.”
Many people promote meditation as harmless and healthful. Of course, growing interest in meditation cannot be separated from the increased popularity of Eastern and New Age religion.
However, many don’t place the claims that Eastern meditation reduces stress in the same category as the magical New Age claims made for crystals. Unfortunately, even children in public schools go through Eastern meditation exercises.
Eastern meditation has often been recommended as one treatment for hypertension. However, no one had ever studied these medical claims to see if they were true. Then the results of such a study were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Government researchers had studied effects of Eastern meditation on more than 2,100 men and women with high blood pressure. They concluded that it is ineffective in lowering blood pressure. Yes, it is true that there are changes in the brain waves of someone who is meditating. However, brain waves normally change when one type of mental activity replaces another. Nor is Eastern meditation a particularly good choice to produce brain waves associated with mental peace.
Eastern meditation is not harmless. It can open the mind to negative influences. And claims that it can reduce the effects of stress have been scientifically shown to be untrue. Let’s return to our Bible and say with the Psalmist, “Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word.”
2 Corinthians 13:11
“Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.”
Love is one of the necessities of life that is both physical and spiritual. While it doesn’t fit with a strictly materialistic view of life, love and touch, or lack of love and touch, can determine our health and sometimes even life and death.
The claim that love and touch are necessary to life and health was considered so outrageous that it wasn’t until relatively recently that scientists began to test such claims. Researchers selected 40 hospitalized infants. These infants were not in intensive care, on oxygen, or intravenous feedings, but they were too tiny to leave the hospital. Researchers randomly selected half the group for attention. These infants were touched for three 15-minute periods a day. The first five minutes were spent stroking the infants’ bodies. The next five minutes were spent lightly moving the infants’ arms and legs. This was followed by five more minutes of stroking.
Even though the infants often didn’t seem to notice the attention, it made a difference. After only 10 weekdays of this attention, the stroked infants had gained 47% more weight than the infants that were ignored. This is especially amazing considering the infants that gained less weight had been fed the same number of calories. The stroked infants were also more active, so they should have actually metabolized more of the calories and lost weight rather than increasing in weight.
Can we literally live on love? Well, we do need food and other things, but we also need love—especially from our Creator.
“Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forrest, a seminary belonging to the Southern Baptist Convention, just hired a radical leftist and gay-affirming feminist to its faculty. Karen Swallow Prior’s days at Liberty University were limited after promoting her pro-gay book on Liberty’s campus only months ago and her increasingly brazen liberal stances becoming more apparent since Pulpit & Pen began to report on her shocking liberalism since 2015. Our first post on this exceedingly wicked woman aged exceedingly well, and over the years, verified on every point beyond a question of a doubt. That article, Gay Affirming Research Fellow at ERLC, Shocking Liberalism, laid out how Prior repeatedly uses affirming language toward the LGBTQ attended pro-LGBTQ fundraisers, supported pro-LGBTQ ad campaigns, and back-peddled and soft-handed abortion while pretending to have been a pro-life advocate (various claims about her past activism cannot be substantiated). Radical animal rights activists saw Prior as an ‘ally and resource contributor’ to ‘invade right-wing evangelical institutions with an animal-first agenda’ as far back as 2007. Prior said in Christianity Today that abortion is not murder and defended abortionists from the accusation of being ‘murderers.’ Prior said that calling abortion murder is unchristlike. Prior has been hired by Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, which has reverted to a pre-1979 liberalism every bit as progressive as it was prior to the Conservative Resurgence.”
Pulpit & Pen, Oct. 25, 2019
“The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.”
According to evolutionary thought, humans came from ape-like creatures. These ape-like creatures came from reptiles through many steps. Likewise reptiles ultimately came from fish, through many steps. Evolutionists say that with each major stage, more parts were added to the brain. The final development, and the greatest of all, is the cerebral cortex.
According to this theory, one of the oldest parts of the brain is the part deep inside. Evolutionists claim that this part of the brain, called the basal ganglia, comes from our reptilian past. They have described this part of the brain as “primitive.” It controls such simple things as movement and spatial memory. These are basic functions needed by reptiles. Of course, the evolutionary view that the basal ganglia is primitive was never scientifically researched.
Then researchers started to examine the workings of the basal ganglia. They have concluded that the deep structures of the brain that are supposed to be primitive are actually quite sophisticated. In fact, these so-called reptilian structures rival the cerebral cortex in sophistication. These structures receive input from all parts of the cortex. And all the neurochemicals found anywhere else in the body are also found in these structures. In other words, there is absolutely no evidence of their being primitive.
Once again scientific research has not found what evolutionists expected. The human brain has not developed by adding parts to reptile brains. It was specially created just for human beings.
“Forced organ harvesting is the stuff of nightmares. And it has been buried from public view, hard to prove, and shrouded beneath the cloak of silence for almost two decades. After 12 months of independent assessment of all available evidence, the seven-person China Tribunal panel – which was initiated by the International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China (ETAC), an international human rights charity--delivered its final findings in June. The tribunal, chaired by Sir Geoffrey Nice QC who led the prosecution of Slobodan Milosevic in the International Criminal Trial for the former Yugoslavia, stated with ‘certainty’ that ‘in China, forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience has been practiced for a substantial period of time.’ ‘Forced organ harvesting has been committed for years, and Falun Gong practitioners have been one--and probably the main--source of organ supply,’ the report concluded, pointing to the growing transplant industry already worth more than $1 billion. The report underscored that there were ‘extraordinarily short waiting times for organs to be available for transplantation,’ and numerous websites advertised hearts, lungs, and kidneys for sale--suggesting an on-demand industry. The Tribunal concluded that the commission of Crimes Against Humanity against Falun Gong and Uighurs had been committed. Witness testimonies provided to the tribunal, and interviewed by Fox News, paint the picture of an unfathomably callous trade often performed when the victims are still alive. Moreover, the China Organ Harvest Research Center (COHRC), which also testified before the China Tribunal, published its own incriminating report in July after years of underground research and analysis, deducing that the ‘on-demand killing of prisoners of conscience is driven by the state, run on an industrial scale and carried out by both military and civilian institutions.’ According to the COHRC, there are mountains of money to be made. Data from 2007 shows that hospitals charged more than $65,000 for a kidney transplant, $130,000 for liver, and more than $150,000 for lung or heart. Desperate patients might make a high-price ‘donation’ for a new organ at top-speed. The practice is alleged to have started in the 90s on a small-scale, but kicked into high gear around 2000 and focused on the Falun Gong. It was initially characterized as targeting the forcible removing of organs of prisoners on death row.”
“Survivors and Victims,” Fox News, Oct. 26, 2019
“When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?”
As I write this Creation Moment, the joint NASA / ESA InSight mission to Mars has just landed, and scientists wanting to study Mars are understandably excited.
The InSight lander was launched by an Atlas V rocket on May 5th 2018, and landed, safely and gently, in a sandy plain just 3° North of the Martian Equator known as Elysium Planitia. Early photos show this area to be largely devoid of rocks, unlike other recent landers, and this is what the Mars explorers wanted because the purpose of this spacecraft is to study the interior of the planet.
NASA first attempted to take seismic readings on Mars in 1976 with the Viking I lander. However, 40 years of technological advancement, and the partnership of the European Space Agency, has led to the development of a much more sophisticated set of apparatus. Mars is a solid planet like the Earth, so scientists expect to find the interior somewhat similar to that on Earth with a semi-molten mantle and a metallic core. It is hoped that InSight will be able to tell if the Martian core is solid or liquid.
It is true that NASA’s scientists will want to make conjectures about an evolutionary past for Mars. But this in no way negates the interest or importance of the mission. The data returning from the Red Planet will be fascinating, and I, for one, praise God for the abilities of talented people to explore further this universe that God has made for us.
The following research is confirmed by the many Southern Baptist and fundamental Baptist churches that are populated predominately by elderly people. The young people are gone. This is excerpted from ‘Young People Who Leave Church,’ Christian Post, Oct. 23, 2019: “While pastors have long banked on social science showing that young people who leave church generally return when they're older, a recent analysis of that trend suggests it might be over. In his analysis of data from the General Social Survey of five-year windows in which individuals were born spanning from 1965 to 1984 and published by the Barna Group, Ryan Burge, an assistant professor of political science at Eastern Illinois University and pastor of First Baptist Church of Mt. Vernon, Illinois, shows that younger generations raised in the church aren’t typically returning to church when compared with members of the ‘Baby boomer’ generation born between 1945 and 1964. In Burge’s analysis of the boomer generation, four different five-year cohorts reflected the ‘trademark hump’ supported by traditional social science ‘when each birth cohort moves into the 36–45 age range. That’s exactly what the life cycle effect would predict: People settle down, they have kids, and they return to church.’ When he examined data for the younger cohorts 1965-1969, 1975-1979 and 1980-1984, the data show a fading of the life cycle effect. While the hump is still there in the cohort measured from 1965-1969, a shift in the life cycle effect begins to emerge by around 1970. ‘That trend line is completely flat—those people didn’t return to church when they moved into their 30s. You can see the beginnings of a hump among those born between 1975 and 1979, but in the next birth cohort the hump is actually inverted. That trademark return to church—which pastors and church leaders have relied on for decades—might be fading,’ Burge said. For anyone concerned with church growth, Burge says ‘this should sound an alarm.’”
CONCLUDING NOTE FROM BROTHER CLOUD: Of course it should “sound an alarm,” but the young people shouldn’t be leaving churches in the first place, and we do not believe this is a lost battle by any means. The book Keeping the Kids: How to Keep the Kids from Falling Prey to the World, is filled with practical biblical help for homes and churches on this important subject. It is available as a free eBook from www.wayoflife.org.
(Friday Church News Notes, November 8, 2019, www.wayoflife.org email@example.com, 866-295-4143)
“Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.”
“Ancient stone-tool makers spread into largely unstudied parts of North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula surprisingly early” begins an article on the popular Science News website. The article concerns the recent discovery of stone cutting tools at two sites in Algeria. Evolutionary anthropologists have two possible explanations for this. Most evolutionists believe that human beings evolved in East Africa – areas now covered by nations such as Tanzania and Kenya. So the cutting tools found in North Africa suggest to some that there had been early migration of hominids from East to North Africa, or that hominids had evolved separately in more than one region.
The latter idea might well be worrying for classical evolutionists. The Out-of-Africa model of human evolution is more specifically an Out-of-East-Africa model, developed so that evolutionists can claim that all so-called “races” of people developed from the one group in East Africa. This enables neo-Darwinists to shake off the accusation of racism that can certainly be fairly leveled at Darwin’s writings. The Science News article complicates matters further by reporting on the finds of African-style stone axes in the Arabian Peninsula also.
Biblical creationists see stone tools as nothing unusual. People scattering throughout the world due to the Tower of Babel incident can be expected to have made early tools out of easily sourced materials such as stone when they were newly arrived into a region. And a biblical anthropology gives a much more accurate rebuttal to racism than evolution.
Kentucky Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Print Shop Owner Who Refused to Print Messages Violating His Beliefs
“On Thursday, the Kentucky Supreme Court issued a unanimous 6-0 ruling in favor of a Lexington-based print shop owner who refused to print messages that violated his deeply held religious beliefs. The case dates back to 2012, when the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization (GLSO) filed a complaint with the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission against print shop owner Blaine Adamson, who, citing his Christian beliefs, declined a request to print shirts promoting the Lexington Gay Pride Festival. Adamson reportedly declined politely and referred the organization to another printer who was willing to print the shirts. The GLSO complained that Adamson was discriminating against LGBT customers by refusing to promote the event. In 2014, the commission ruled that Adamson must print messages conflicting with his religious convictions. The court system subsequently ruled repeatedly against the commission’s order, until the case eventually made its way to the state’s highest court. The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), who helped represent Adamson in the case, maintained that the business owner has demonstrated that he ‘serves all people, including LGBT customers,’ as he did when his shop, Hands On Originals, printed promotional materials for an openly lesbian singer who performed at the Lexington’s 2012 Pride festival. Adamson also has taken a consistent stand on the issue of free speech, ADF underscored, refusing to print other messages that likewise conflict with his Christian beliefs, including shirts advertising a strip club, shirts containing violent messages, and ‘pens promoting a sexually explicit video.’ The ruling by Kentucky’s highest court, ADF argues in the release, ‘highlights why the U.S. Supreme Court should take up the important First Amendment issue at the heart of the case and decide whether governments may force creative professionals who serve everyone to print messages or create art that violates their beliefs.’”
“Supreme Court Rules in Favor, Daily Wire, Oct. 31, 2019
“Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.”
In my line of work as an apologist for the Christian faith, I often come across people who want to tell me about their favorite theory about the Ark. Many expeditions have been made to the regions around Ararat, and some of them have turned up what they call evidence that the Ark is still there. Yet, I am skeptical. Why am I so skeptical, you might ask? Don’t I want to see the actual, real-life Ark?
Well, yes I do! I would love it if the Ark were actually found. I would love it if someone found the true cross on which Jesus died. But I doubt we will find either of these objects. They were made of wood. That wood will have rotted away by now.
At first encounter, the motivation for wanting to discover the Ark seems sound. As one visitor to my Creation Center said, “When they see this, they’ll have to believe the Bible is true.” Well, they will have to accept the truth of God’s word one day, but finding the Ark won’t necessarily convince a skeptic to repent. Not even if the full-size Ark is uncovered, and on one side we can read, clearly scratched into the wood, “Ham, Shem and Japheth were here.”
Science and logic actually depend on the Bible being true, not the other way around. The best evidence that the Ark existed is clear for all to see – it is written in the pages of God’s word.
“During the American Civil War the opposing armies of the Federals and Confederates on a certain occasion were facing each other. One night a Confederate sentry was on duty when he heard the sound of singing coming from the Federal lines. He proceeded cautiously in their direction, and observed an enemy sentry pacing up and down, singing ‘Jesu, Lover of My Soul.’ Bringing his gun to his shoulder, he was about to shoot, when the singer came to the words, ‘Cover my defenceless head with the shadow of Thy wing.’ This was too much for the Confederate and he lowered his weapon and allowed his would-be victim to go unharmed. Many years passed, and the Confederate, now a private gentleman, was aboard an excursion steamer on the Potomac River, when he heard an evangelist singing this hymn. Memories were aroused, and thinking he recognised the voice, he made his way to the singer and in conversation found that the evangelist was indeed the sentry he had nearly shot. Great was their mutual joy when he revealed to the singer the peril from which he had been saved in that night long ago, when on sentry duty he besought divine protection by singing, ‘Jesu, Lover of My Soul.’”
Dr. Julian’s Hymnology
“They hatch cockatrice’ eggs, and weave the spider’s web: he that eateth of their eggs dieth, and that which is crushed breaketh out into a viper.”
Not every spider can kill you if it bites you! But I have never really warmed to the eight-legged monsters. It’s the sheer legginess of spiders that repels me. And jumping spiders are the worst.
So, when I came across a science news article about a particular jumping spider called toxeus magna, I didn’t think it was something I wanted to read, nor did I want to see the pictures. But, despite myself, I found this one fascinating. The mother spiders are actually good mothers and carefully look after their babies.
This particular species was discovered in a park in Singapore. When scientist Zanqi Chen found the species, he found a female surrounded by babies. Yet, other jumping spiders are loners and sometimes even eat their young. This one was nursing them.
Chen’s surprise deepened when he studied them in the lab. The mother spider was observed to be leaving droplets of white secretion around the nest, and the babies drank it up. Sometimes, babies clung to their mother and appeared to be suckling. Closer analysis showed that the baby spiders could not survive without this liquid, which, for a period, provided their only sustenance. Despite not being a mammal, these spiders appear to suckle their young on what is, for all intents and purposes, a liquid acting like milk.
God has made some remarkable creatures, and I never cease to be amazed at the marvels that He has created.