Cyber archaeology is a new field that recreates archaeological sites and artifacts using the latest technology. The first serious use of the technology was the recreation of King Tutankhamun’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings in ancient Thebes (modern Luxor). It is an exact replicate of the 3,245-year-old tomb. The five-year project, competed in 2014, began with making a high-resolution scan of the tomb using 3-D laser scanning systems that measured up to one hundred million points per square meter (“Tut’s Tomb: A Replica Fit for a King,” National Geographic, May 20 2014). This computer data was used to create an exact copy of the tomb by means of computerized routing machines with a resolution of less than a quarter of a millimeter, silicone molds, resin casts, flatbed digital printers. The digital images can also be used in a 3-D visualization theater. Thomas Levy, professor of anthropology and archaeology at the University of California, San Diego, says, “We’re able to walk away from an excavation with the whole archaeological site on a hard drive. With this amazing data I've collected, I can then take you into a 3-D visualization theater and we can enter the excavation. I can be in San Diego and I can get a cup of coffee and I can throw in my 3-D data set with geo-reference pics of the actual excavation, and I can walk around in it again.”
(Friday Church News Notes, April 12, 2019, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)
“SpaceX successfully launched its Crew Dragon spacecraft on a Falcon 9 rocket from historic Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 2:49 am EST this morning. Main engine cutoff and stage separation were confirmed by SpaceX at 2:52 am EST. First stage successfully landed on the drone ship platform Of Course I Still Love You at 3:00 am EST. The Crew Dragon is scheduled to dock with the International Space Station early Sunday morning. It will spend about five days docked to the station before returning to Earth and splashing down in the Atlantic. The launch marks the first time a private American rocket and spacecraft built for human passengers has ever been launched to travel to the space station. An upcoming crewed mission, Demonstration Mission 2, is scheduled for July.”
“SpaceX Launches,” Futurism.com, Mar. 1, 2019
“To cause it to rain on the earth, where no man is; on the wilderness, wherein there is no man.”
How do you get the water you need in a desert in which it almost never rains? We have often looked here at how God’s designs in nature show us practical designs we may never think of. The water-hoarding beetle provides us with one more such example.
This particular beetle is found in southwestern Africa in the Namibian Desert where it almost never rains. Early in the morning, a fog settles over the desert. Any water that might condense out of it is quickly evaporated by the sun and daily winds that come later in the day. But the beetles are up early to collect the water from the fog on their backs. Their back shell has tiny bumps about a half millimeter in diameter. The tops of the bumps are covered with a material that attracts water. The valleys between the bumps are coated with a waxy material that repels water. So, when large-enough droplets of water collect on the bumps, they roll down into the waxy valleys, and down those valleys into the beetle’s mouth. Researchers have duplicated the beetle’s covering and found that such coverings will aid desert survival for man.
This design also teaches us that these beetles and all the other myriad living things in creation were not produced by mindless evolution, but by a loving, caring Creator.
“The most senior Catholic convicted of child sex abuse was sentenced Wednesday (March 13) to six years in prison for molesting two choirboys in an Australian cathedral in a crime the judge said showed ‘staggering arrogance.’ Cardinal George Pell must serve a minimum of three years and eight months before he is eligible for parole, according to the judge’s order. The five convictions against Pell carried a maximum possible sentence of 10 years each. ‘In my view, your conduct was permeated by staggering arrogance,’ Victoria state County Court Chief Judge Peter Kidd said in handing down the sentence. Pope Francis’ former finance minister was convicted by a unanimous jury verdict in December of raping a 13-year-old choirboy and indecently dealing with the boy and the boy’s 13-year-old friend in the late 1990s, months after Pell became archbishop of Melbourne. … the judge also said that Pell had abused his position of power and had shown no remorse for his crimes. Kidd described the assaults as egregious, degrading and humiliating to the victims.”
“Cardinal Pell sent to prison,” RNS, Mar. 13, 2019
“By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent.”
Mention snakes or other crawly reptiles, and people usually shy away. Typically, snakes have a reputation for being dangerous or, at best, completely unable to show affection. New research shows us that in many cases this isn’t true at all.
A number of studies have now shown that at least some snakes take care of their young, have friends and even prefer to hang around with relatives. Mother pythons will stay coiled around their eggs for the two months they take to hatch, not even leaving them for food. Though she is cold-blooded, should the temperatures drop too low, she can generate muscle heat by shivering. A black-rattler mother will stay with her hatchlings for nine days. During that time, she can protect them from predators. The young snakes can barely see at all until they shed their skin at nine days, after which they set off on their own. Cage studies involving non-sibling and sibling rattlesnakes, showed that non-siblings distance themselves from each other. However, rattlesnakes that were siblings would touch each other frequently and often intertwined. Live-bearing skinks, found in Australia, are monogamous for life.
While evolution leads people to think of reptiles as primitive, here we see that their Creator, the God Who is love, blessed them with feelings for one another. This, too, is testimony of His loving nature.
“South Carolina lawmakers moved forward with a bill late Tuesday to ban abortions after an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable. Following the lead of Georgia and other states, the South Carolina House Judiciary Committee passed the heartbeat bill in a 15-7 vote Tuesday night, the AP reports. State House Bill 3020 would require abortionists to test for a fetal heartbeat before every abortion and prohibit abortions if a heartbeat is detected. Exceptions would be allowed for rape, incest and threats to the mother’s life. It also would require abortionists to offer the woman the chance to hear her baby’s heartbeat and see the ultrasound. An unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable by about six weeks of pregnancy, though new research suggests the heartbeat may begin as early as 18 days after conception. If the bill becomes law and withstands a legal challenge, it could ban almost all abortions in South Carolina. WSPA 7 News reports the committee heard a number of heartbreaking testimonies prior to the vote. One came from a local chaplain who said she deeply regrets aborting her unborn baby. About 5,100 unborn babies were aborted in South Carolina in 2017, and most were later than six weeks of pregnancy, according to the state Department of Health and Environmental Control. Pro-life Gov. Henry McMaster, who also is in a legal battle to defund the abortion giant Planned Parenthood, said he would support the legislation.”
“South Carolina Panel Passes Bill,” LifeNews.com, Apr. 4, 2019
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”
There is so much to be gleaned from considering the fact that Man was made in the Image of God. There are many aspects, in consideration of this, which have more import than the one that I will address in this broadcast. Imago Dei implies a value to humanity, which is far beyond that of the rest of God’s creation.
Many have commented on how human consciousness, thought, intelligence and morality are all corollaries of our being created in His image. Another aspect of this, is our own ability to create.
Human creativity is obviously qualified by the fact that we must use pre-existing materials for our creations. It is only God who created ex nihilo. But the author J.R.R. Tolkien got this right when he stated that “In such ‘fantasy’, as it is called, new form is made; Faerie begins; Man becomes a sub-creator.”
One does not only have to consider novels that imagine new or different worlds. One can also include artistic creativity in the visual arts, in painting, in sculpture, or in aural arts, especially music. No such artistic ability or creativity would be possible if we were mere animals. This sort of creativity would not have arisen by blind, random, evolutionary chance. Where is the evolutionary advantage in creating “Lord of the Rings”, or Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony? Even those creations that we do not like – that may have been tainted by man’s fallen nature – are still explicable only by the doctrine of Imago Dei.
“A new report from the Public Religion Research Institute finds that strong majorities within all religious groups, including white evangelicals and Jehovah’s Witnesses, show sustained support for LGBT nondiscrimination policies. The newly released data from PRRI’s 2018 American Values Atlas, an annual survey of more than 40,000 Americans, showed that 69 percent of all Americans are in favor of enacting laws shielding LGBT people from discrimination in jobs, public accommodations and housing. The two faith groups least likely to support these policies, according to the survey, were white evangelical Protestants and Jehovah’s Witnesses, but even they were in favor of laws protecting LGBT people by small majorities, at 54 percent for white evangelicals and 53 percent for Jehovah’s Witnesses.”
“Survey: Faith groups maintain widespread support,” Religion News Service, Mar. 12, 2019
“He made the stars also.”
In a previous Creation Moment, we discussed the giant planet Uranus and its anomolous motion. The tilt of the planet’s rotational axis is at 98° to the Solar System Normal. By “Normal”, we mean a line drawn perpendicular to the plane, on which most of the planets of the Solar System orbit. As a comparison, the Earth’s rotational axis is at 23° to the Normal. Additionally, the planet Uranus is rotating clockwise, as seen above its North Pole, whereas the Earth and most other planets rotate counter-clockwise.
In that previous Creation Moment, we opined that no one knows how this anomalous rotation and tilt came about. That is still true, but evolutionary astrophysicists have recently suggested a catastrophic reason.
Some half a billion years, after the initial formation of the planets from stellar dust, an object about twice the size of Earth crashed into Uranus. It was a glancing blow but sufficient to cause the planet’s current tilt and rotation. This idea was suggested after a large number of computer simulations were run by researchers.
The reason for proposing this catastrophe is clear. Current evolutionary theories require the Solar System to have congealed from dust, in which case angular momentum would have had all objects rotating in a nearly similar way. The anomaly that is Uranus spoils this story. As creationists, we do not need to search for such speculations. We do not need to expect that God created all the planets with the same spin or axial tilt.
“Many of America’s top colleges and universities are now offering courses designed to ‘advance a liberal agenda, malign conservatives and their values, and shut out ideological diversity,’ asserts a new report from Young America’s Foundation (YAF). YAF argues the curriculum at a wide range of American schools, from Harvard University to Columbia University to Swarthmore College, seems to target conservative and Christian values in some shocking ways. ‘Many of the courses and descriptions listed in this year’s report may seem comical at first glance, but the situation that continues to unfold on America’s campuses is hardly a laughing matter. Beyond the inane, identity- and intersectionality-obsessed topics, these classes advance a liberal agenda, malign conservatives and their values, and shut out ideological diversity,’ said YAF spokesman Spencer Brown, author of the 25th annual Comedy and Tragedy Report. The report examines the curriculum of approximately 50 top schools. One of the most unsettling classes from a Christian perspective may be Swarthmore's religion class called ‘RELG 033—Queering the Bible.’ Here's the description: ‘This course surveys the queer and trans readings of biblical texts. It introduces students to the complexity of constructions of sex, gender, and identity in one of the most influential literary works produced in ancient times. By reading the Bible with the methods of queer and trans theoretical approaches, this class destabilizes the long held assumptions about the Bible—and religion—says about gender and sexuality.’ There’s a similar course at Pomona College called ‘RLST 184—Queer Theory and the Bible.’ Here's what it teaches: ‘This course will look at how the Bible can be read productively through queer theory. We will examine biblical passages that are central to prohibitions on homosexuality and the larger discourses of heteronormativity (constructed around gender, sexuality, class, national identity, state formations, kinship, children, etc.) in which homophobic readings of the Bible emerge. We will also look at the ways in which these discourses and the identities they shore up can be queered, as well as at biblical texts that can be read as queer friendly. This process of queering will allow and require us to approach the biblical text in new ways.’ According to Brown, the schools' goal in presenting such subject matter is clear—to indoctrinate the younger generation with left-wing ideology. ‘Peel back the shiny veneer colleges and universities place on themselves in the name of “higher” education to reveal a stark reality: campuses devoid of intellectual diversity populated with leftist professors, faculty, and administrators intent on indoctrinating the rising generation in the ways of the Left,’ he charged.”
“Queer and Trans Readings,” CBNNews, Feb. 19, 2019
“And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?”
Genesis chapter 3:8 is both a beautiful verse, and a worrying verse. We read “they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day”. This sounds so pleasant. The way it is worded suggests to me that this event had occurred before. Therefore, it is likely that Adam and Eve had been experiencing close fellowship with the Lord God. If He was walking, then this must have been a theophany – a pre-incarnate appearance of the Second Person of the Trinity. It would literally have been paradise just to walk with Jesus in the cool of the day, having fellowship with Him.
But on this occasion, there was no longer close fellowship. “Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.” Where there had previously been sweet fellowship, now there was fear, guilt, and shame. But, as David noted in the Psalms, there is nowhere we can go to hide from the presence of the Lord. So God calls, “Where art thou?”
Why does God ask questions like this? God knows exactly where Adam and Eve are, and what they have done. The answer to this question will not be of benefit to Him, so it can only be of benefit to the man and his wife. God is offering them the chance to repent, and by the subsequent events, He shows them a way back to fellowship again.
“A baby boy born in Tokyo is believed to be the world’s smallest recorded preemie. He has recently been discharged from the hospital in good health, having survived delivery at 24 weeks. Weighing ‘the same as a large onion’ at 268 grams, the baby was so small he fit into an adult’s cupped hands. He was delivered by emergency C-section in Keio University Hospital after he reportedly stopped growing in the womb. He spent 5 months in the hospital for treatment in intensive care. When released last week, two months after his initial due date, he had grown to a weight of 3.2 kg, and is ‘now feeding normally,’ BBC News reports. The doctor who treated the infant, Doctor Takeshi Arimitsu, told the BBC that according to a database compiled by the University of Iowa of the world’s smallest surviving babies, the boy was the littlest infant born on record to be released from a hospital. The doctor said he wanted people to know that ‘there is a possibility that babies will be able to leave the hospital in good health even though they are born small.’ Before this latest record, the smallest surviving baby boy was in Germany, weighing 274 grams. The smallest surviving baby girl was born in 2015 in Germany and weighed 252 grams.”
“World’s Smallest Baby,” ChristianHeadlines.com, Feb. 28, 2019
“More than two decades ago, a doctor published a study claiming that vaccines can cause autism. Despite the fact that that study was later completely discredited and debunked—and the doctor behind it barred from practicing medicine—the belief continues to persist throughout society. Now, a massive study of more than half a million children has confirmed what those in the medical community have been saying for two decades: vaccines don’t cause autism. But in an era when fringe theories can continue to spread online in spite of overwhelming counter-evidence, some worry that studies alone won’t be enough to effectively address the world’s vaccine crisis. In a paper published on Tuesday in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers from Denmark’s Statens Serum Institut describe how they analyzed data about 657,461 children born in Denmark between 1999 and 2010, with regular checkups on the kids’ health. Of all the children, 6,517 were diagnosed with autism. The researchers then compared the mumps, measles, and rubella (MMR)-vaccinated children in that group with the MMR-unvaccinated children. Their conclusion: ‘The study strongly supports that MMR vaccination does not increase the risk for autism, does not trigger autism in susceptible children, and is not associated with clustering of autism cases after vaccination.’ Of course, this isn’t the first study to conclude that vaccines almost certainly don’t cause autism. However, it is one of the largest and longest, and it arrives at a time when vaccine fears are leading to measles outbreaks across the globe.”
“Massive Study” Futurism.com, Mar. 5, 2019
“And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.”
Theologian Peter Enns begins an article about the first two chapters of Genesis thus:
“The book of Genesis includes two very different creation stories.”
This is a common statement made by a lot of people – usually those, such as liberal Christians, or atheists – who want to undermine belief in the Bible. But Enns claims to be a Bible-believer. He just accepts the idea of two creation stories as self-evident. Why?
He says that
God meant them to be understood as pointing to realities deeper than the merely historical.
These sorts of statements are of concern to us. The apparent story does not have to be true. The “real truth” is deeper. To me, this sounds like saying: “God is telling a lie in order to tell us the truth.”
“But it’s not meant to be read as history”, they object, to which I reply, “Why not?”
Enns gives a number of reasons why he thinks the two stories are different. We will object to the term “story” and refer to both as “accounts”. He states that the order of events in the first two chapters of Genesis is different. In chapter 1, the creation of plants precedes the creation of man, whereas in chapter 2 the creation of man precedes that of plants. Is this the case?
Most emphatically not! Genesis 2:5 refers to types of plants – not plants in general – that God was to plant in the Garden. Genesis 2 presupposes Genesis 1 and is best understood as an expansion of the events of Day Six.
“Despite reports surfacing that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have learned they are having a boy, the royal pair don’t plan to let that change how they will raise their child. A source recently revealed to Vanity Fair, that Meghan has expressed wanting to raise her baby without gender stereotypes. ‘Meghan has been talking to some of her friends about the birth and how she and Harry plan to raise their baby. Her exact word was fluid,’ the source said. ‘She said they plan to raise their child with a fluid approach to gender and they won’t be imposing any stereotypes.’ While there are many definitions of fluid, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex may choose not to restrict what toys they buy their child or what sports they play based on sex. They may also go for a gender-neutral approach when dressing their child, avoiding pinks and blues. This is also the approach the parents-to-be are taking for the baby’s nursery. One of the major renovations happening at the couple’s new home of Frogmore Cottage is a neutral nursery. A source told VF in February that Meghan is planning for a natural, at-home delivery. ‘Meg wants a natural birth if she can have one,’ they said. ‘Her mother is very into anything that is holistic and natural, and having been brought up with yoga and mindfulness, it’s all very much part of Meghan’s birth plan.’”
“Meghan Markle and Prince Harry,” Yahoo.com/lifestyle, Mar. 1, 2019