Evidence for God Newsletter June, 2007
Subject: Evidence for God Newsletter June, 2007
Date: June 27th 2007
Greetings in the name of the Lord! This is the latest update for the Evidence for God website. Welcome to our new subscribers.
Contents (scroll down for descriptions)
- Book Review
- Answers for Atheists
- Design vs. Evolution
- Problems with the Origin of Biological Membranes in an Early Earth Environment
- Thomas Aquinas Meets Nim Chimpsky: On The Debate About Human Nature And The Nature Of Other Animals
- Link to Today's New Reason To Believe
- When Junk DNA Isn't Junk (updated)
- Pseudogenes: Argument for Evolution and Against Design? (updated)
- Call to action
The website was kicked off by a second hosting company for excessive server load. The owner suggested that I get a virtual private server (VPS) account with another company (which is more expensive, but better for high volume websites). The good thing is that I can now control all of the functions of the VPS. The bad thing is that I have no idea what I am doing (and don't even know what I don't know!). It made me think about what it would be like to suddenly become God and be put in charge of everything in heaven and in the universe. Quite a number of atheists think that the universe is designed so poorly that they could do a better job. However, I think their perspective would change if they were suddenly put in God's place. I feel I have a good handle on why God created the universe the way He did, but the idea of planning everything out and being in charge would be overwhelming.
I got a new laptop computer for working on the ministry in my vanpool. Unfortunately, it came with Windows Vista Ultimate, which is loaded with bugs. It is as if nobody ever tested some of the basic file functions, since many of them do not work the way they are supposed to. Windows Mail (the successor to Microsoft Outlook) is almost unusable. Instead of all messages within a folder being in one file, they are all now separated and organized through a database. However, the database gets corrupted on a regular basis (for me, three times so far in one month). So far, I have been unable to connect to any network servers, which is very annoying, since I usually connect to a network at home and at work. Anybody know how to troubleshoot this?
End Time Passover
This is the first of two books by Joe Ortiz's on end times events and prophecy. Both books refute the prevalent pre-tribulation rapture scenario, although this book focuses more on the rapture and the New Jerusalem. At just over 500 pages, the topics are covered in much detail. To his credit, Mr. Ortiz quotes long passages of scripture and commentaries, so that readers know that nothing is taken out-of-context. This book makes the case for a belief that there will be no rapture and no millennial kingdom, and that believers will live forever on a modified version of planet earth. I don't agree with all Mr. Ortiz's interpretations, but some are definitely worth considering. More...
Answers for Atheists
Richard Dawkins likes to brag that he has never heard to good rebuttal to his "ultimate Boeing 747" argument. However, he misrepresents theistic beliefs in order to "prove" that design is impossible. The article shows that Dawkins' argument is formally fallacious. More...
Why didn't God create the universe instantly?
I received a question from a skeptic who reasoned that if God were truly omnipotent, He would have created the universe instantly, rather than create over a period of time. Astronomical data indicates that the universe began 13.7 billion years ago, but the earth was not formed until 4.5 billion years ago. Why would God wait 9.2 billion years after creating the universe to create the earth? And why would He wait another 4.5 billion years to create humans, if we are really God's ultimate reason for creating the universe? Are the atheists correct in asserting that the whole thing was an unplanned accident? The Bible actually addresses many of these issues and provides answers that tell us why God created the universe the way He did. More...
Why are Christians Judgmental?
It is a common perception that Christians are judgmental. In fact, a couple visitors to the website accused the site of being judgmental. Although the website does not make any personal judgments against anybody, it does proclaim the biblical mandate for morality. People who don't like having their behavior "judged" by others claim that Jesus spoke against being judgmental, citing His sermon on the Mount and the story of the woman caught in adultery. However, both these examples are really about hypocrisy, not judgment. The truth is that Christians do judge between right and wrong. However, so does every other person on earth - even those making the claim that we should not make moral judgments. Even society itself makes moral judgments through the creation and enforcement of criminal law codes. Yes, you can legislate morality. We do it all the time. More...
Why won't God heal amputees?
Marshall Brain, founder of "How Stuff Works" and author of a number of books thinks he has found the ultimate question for believers, "Why won't God heal Amputees?" Contrary to Brain's claim, there is at least one example of an amputee being healed by God. In addition, Brain's thought experiment has never been carried out, so his conclusion is unjustified. I propose an alternate prayer experiment. Pray that Mr. Brain would become a lover of God. Such a prayer would be much more meaningful to God, who desires all people to come to repentance. More...
Design vs. Evolution
The Origin of Biological Membranes
The origin of primitive membranes is one of the more neglected fields in origin of life research. Although fatty acids can be produced under early earth conditions, they are quite resistant to assembly under conditions under which they are generated. In addition, these membranes fail to provide a reasonable mechanism for nutrient/waste transport or any way to produce a proton gradient. Therefore, any "proto-cell" generated would soon die from an inability to use energy. For an explanation of these, and other reasons, why life did not arise through a naturalistic process, read the semi-technical article on the origin of biological membranes. More...
Thomas Aquinas Meets Nim Chimpsky
Are human beings really different from the other animals? Marie George, professor of philosophy at St. John's University, NY, examines this question by looking at ape language studies from a philosophical perspective. "Thomas Aquinas Meets Nim Chimpsky" was first published in The Aquinas Review, Volume 10, ©2003. More..
Today's New Reason To Believe
Junk DNA and pseudogenes
A couple new studies have come out that examine the role of "junk" DNA and pseudogenes in the functioning of human DNA. The most recent of the two experiments examines, in depth, the nature of 1% of the human genome. Scientists were surprised to find that the majority of DNA in the human genome is transcribed into functional RNA. Even more surprising was the finding that these transcripts extensively overlap one another (including regions on the opposite "anti-sense" strand of DNA), suggesting that there exists some complicated interactions among neighboring regions of DNA. According to a news release from the ENCODE Project Consortium, "This broad pattern of transcription challenges the long-standing view that the human genome consists of a relatively small set of discrete genes, along with a vast amount of so-called junk DNA that is not biologically active." Find out more about how these new findings impact the argument f or design in these updated pages...
Call to action
Sexism in a local newspaper
Whether you are a theist or an atheist, you should be opposed to the promotion of women as mere sexual objects to be ogled by men. My local newspaper, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune is promoting sexism by hosting ads for adult "nudie" establishments. Whereas most newspapers (including the liberal Los Angeles Times) refuse to promote such sexist establishments, the "family-friendly" San Gabriel Valley Tribune still hosts such ads. Despite a call to their head editor, they refuse to change their policy. The editor needs to hear from many other people regarding this policy (especially you guys) or else the San Gabriel Valley Tribune will continue to promote women as sex objects. Please click on the link below and send the form to let the the San Gabriel Valley Tribune know how you feel about the promotion of nude establishments by their paper. Feel free to use the "canned" message or change i t to reflect what you want to say. Thanks for your help! I will let you know the outcome in the next newsletter.
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