from Does God Exist? September/October 2009

MORE DATA ON EARLY OXYGEN EXISTENCE. For the past forty years or so, it has been popular to propose the Miller-Urey hypothesis on the origin of life. This proposal was based on Stanley Miller’s experiment in which amino acids were produced in an anaerobic (no oxygen) container where ammonia, methane, hydrogen, and water vapor were subjected to an electrical discharge. Critics pointed out that the contrived environment in which a trap removed the amino acids before the discharge could destroy them, was not comparable to the early earth environment. Since then it has been shown that the chemicals put into the container were based on their chemical activity, not the evidence of what was actually present on the earth. A recent report from the Marble Bar chert formation in Australia, which was formed during the time when life is believed to have started on earth, has hematite (an iron oxide mineral) in the sediments. This mineral is formed in an oxygen-rich environment and indicates that the assumption that the primitive earth was anaerobic is false. The more we learn about the history of the origin of life on earth, the more unique life seems to be. Source: Astronomy, July 2009, page 19.

STEM CELL MISREPRESENTATION CONTINUES. One of the most glaring examples of distortion by the media has been the kind of information presented about stem cell research. Michael J. Fox and Oprah have extolled the virtues of embryonic stem cells as a way of treating Parkinson’s and other diseases. The media made great notice of a biotech company that received FDA approval to do human clinical trials of embryonic stem cells to treat spinal-cord injuries. Three major studies in the past 12 months have shown that adult stem cells are already being used to treat spinal-cord injuries. They also are being used to treat more than 70 conditions--cancer, arthritis, and a variety of genetic disorders. Problems also continue with embryonic stem cell use as tumors and other control issues beset the research. It is important to know that adult stem cell research is already going on, that it does offer tremendous promise, and that it is already in practical use. However, the notion that embryonic stem cell research is the only hope and that cures are being held up by religious people is not true. Research must be moral and responsible, and killing babies to do research is not being responsible. Source: Focus on the Family Citizen, June/July 2009, page 4. For information on stem cells and problems involved see “The Essential Guide to Stem Cells” by Elizabeth Svoboda, Popular Science, June 2009, page 60.

FRANCIS COLLINS WEBSITE. One of the most visible figures in apologetics today is Francis Collins. Collins was the director of the Human Genome Project and has written a popular book titled The Language of God (reviewed in this publication in our March/April 2007 issue). Collins is a believer in Christ and has carried on a number of debates and discussions with people like Richard Dawkins. Collins is a theistic evolutionist, and tends, in our opinion, to embrace the front edge of evolutionary theory instead of what is factually known. He has, however, been very active in confronting primary atheist arguments and his material is very useful to that end. Last year Collins started a foundation called the BioLogos Foundation which is designed to foster discussion about the compatibility of science and religion. His Web site is

BIKINI ATOLL RECOVERS. One interesting fact about ecological damage on earth is the remarkable ability for recovery. Environmental extremists fail to take into account how beautifully designed the earth is, and how it is made to repair damage no matter what the source. On March 1, 1954 a 15-megaton hydrogen bomb with 1,000 times the power of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima was exploded in an area known as Bikini Island in the Marshall Islands. The bomb made a four-mile-wide fireball and left a one-mile-wide, 240-foot-deep crater in the floor of the ocean. There were predictions that it would take thousands of years for the area to recover. However, a team of Australian researchers recently visited the area to see how it was recovering. One reacher said, “I didn’t know what to expect, some kind of moonscape perhaps. But it was incredible, huge matrices of branching Porites coral had established, creating thriving coral reef habitat. We saw communities not too far away from any coral reef, with plenty of fish, corals and action going on, some really striking individual colonies.” When we look at environmental issues we need to avoid extremes on both sides. When God created the first man, He gave him the job of taking care of his environment “to dress it and keep it” (Genesis 2:15). That challenge is still one we need to take seriously--not just leave it alone but manage it and care for it responsibly. Source: Pollution Engineering, June 2008, page 13.

ATHEIST BUS ADS EXPANDING. We mentioned previously the atheist ads on buses in London, Washington, and Chicago. The campaign has expanded to other cities. In the midwest, the area around Notre Dame and Indiana universities have been targeted, and ads are being run in Indianapolis. The ACLU has gotten into the situation in places like Indianapolis where local people resisted the ads being accepted. The atheist web site for these ads is

NUMBER OF BABIES WITHOUT MARRIED PARENTS IS GROWING. While homosexuals campaign for being allowed to marry, the growth of straight couples having children without getting married is skyrocketing. Five million couples cohabit in the United States today. That is roughly eight times the number in 1970. Forty percent of all babies born in 2007 had unmarried parents. That is up from 25 percent in 2002. Non-marital births among women ages 25 to 39 has doubled since 1980. As the United States moves away from belief in God and rejects the teachings of Christ, there is a decline in marriage commitment. As a former public school teacher, I can personally testify as to what this is doing to the children in our culture. However, it is easier to throw money at the problems kids have instead of looking at how adult choices are making it impossible for kids to have the preparation they need for success in life. Source: Time, May 25, 2009, page 57.

CELIBACY DEBATE ACCELERATES. Newspapers reported the removal of Alberto Cutié from his clerical duties by the Miami Archdiocese after it became public that he was involved with an attractive young woman. Because he was the host of a popular Miami radio show the situation got a lot of media attention. Critics of Catholicism have pointed out that there is a likely connection between the celibacy requirement and the pedophilia scandals that have gotten so much press in the past several years. Seminary enrollment has dropped 75 percent for the Catholic Church and the shortage of priests is causing many churches to be closed or consolidated. The Bible is not the issue here. First Timothy 4:1-3 says that apostasy would include people forbidding marriage. In fact, the celibacy idea did not become official until 1139 in the Second Lateran Council. First Timothy 3:2 tells us a bishop must be the husband of one wife, and while this probably refers to not being a bigamist it cannot be an argument that celibacy was a requirement for bishops. Man-made rules and human traditions cause many to reject God, but we need to separate what is of human origin from what God has given us. Source: Time, May 25, 2009, page14.

EARTHQUAKE DANGER LESSENS. Scientific American (June 2009, page 21) has an interesting report on the New Madrid fault in the Midwest that also says something about earthquakes in general. The New Madrid fault caused one of the largest earthquakes in U.S. history in late 1811. The quake was so severe that the Mississippi River ran backwards for several hours. Measurements made along the fault show that the stress levels have decreased substantially in the past several years. Doomsday articles keep appearing in a variety of periodicals saying that earthquakes are increasing and that the end of the earth as we know it is near. There is no question that some areas of the world will continue to have earthquakes, but the more we understand what causes these energies to be released the more we see they are just a natural product of normal activity in the earth’s crust. We just need to be smart enough not to build huge buildings over the areas that are moving.

ATHEIST PROPOSES “TRANSVALUATION OF VALUES.” “Pigs, chickens and fish have more signs of consciousness and rationality--and, consequently, a greater claim to rights--than do fetuses, newborn infants, and people with mental disabilities. ... the calf, pig, and the much derided chicken come out well ahead of the fetus at any stage of pregnancy.” This statement by Peter Singer is typical of atheists minimizing the value of human life. Singer builds on the work of the atheist philosopher Nietzsche who coined the phrase “transvaluation of values.” The argument is that we are not creations of God, but rather mere Darwinian primates. Singer says “We must remove Homo sapiens from his privileged position and restore the natural order.” Singer would protect apes but allow unwanted children, people with mental disabilities, and noncontributing elderly to be euthanized. Atheists will not like to see Singer’s atheist views presented as what all atheists believe, but in reality, if God is removed from the picture it is difficult to avoid that conclusion. Dinesh D’Souza has more on this in his article “Staring into the Abyss” available on line at

PERSONAL. On June 27, 2009, John Clayton and Cynthia Ann Gift were married. The ceremony was witnessed by family and local friends in John’s backyard. There is a long story to this event, and we will share it with you in a future issue of this journal.

NEW MATERIALS FROM DOES GOD EXIST? In our July/August 2009 bulletin (page 27), we announced new items in our catalog. We described the items, but did not give all the prices.
All items are available from the address on the back cover or from The videos can be viewed, or downloaded at that site.


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