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Facts for Faith

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  • The Leap to Two Feet: The Sudden Appearance of Bipedalism

    October 1, 2001

    Did man crawl his way into existence over millions of years? Or did he leap to two feet by supernatural design? Did humans emerge from amoebas or did a Creator intend for life to possess purpose, value, and meaning? Answers to such questions mightily impact how human societies respond to their most pressing problems. A divinely-designed, sentient, spiritual creature deserves greater care and consideration than does a random fluke of nature.

    • Transitional Forms
    • TCM - Human Origins
    • Lucy and Other Hominids
  • Body and Soul Part 2: Why the Soul is Immaterial

    October 1, 2001

    Tom's mother lies in a hospital bed in a darkened room. Suddenly, the blips on her heart monitor become erratic. Within seconds, a flat line appears. A nurse hurries into the room and turns the monitor off. After a long illness, Tom’s mom is dead. But is she?

    • Consciousness
  • Take a Tip from Columbo

    October 1, 2001

    Have you ever taken a verbal beating when trying to talk about Jesus? If so, try this simple approach to stop challengers mid-punch and make them take a close look at their gloves. It’s called the Columbo tactic.

    • General Apologetics
  • A New Direction for Stem Cell Research

    October 1, 2001

    Linda’s daughter has heart disease, Sylvia’s husband Alzheimer’s. Joe’s neighbor has Parkinson’s, Jesse’s nephew is paralyzed. All of these people long for medical research to develop cures for debilitating disease and injuries.

    • Stem Cells/Cloning
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  • After Death I.D.—Will I Still Be Me?

    October 1, 2001

    Most Christians are convinced that people will know each other in heaven. This belief brings great comfort to believers as they watch loved ones pass on. But as popular as this belief may be, many Christians would be hard-pressed to produce much support for it. The tough question is this: How can Christians be sure that people will know each other in heaven? What kind of support, biblical or otherwise, can be found for the widespread belief that believers will recognize each other in heaven?

    • Consciousness
    • End Times
  • Climatology Reveals Creation Clues

    October 1, 2001

    By day, climatologist Kevin Birdwell seeks answers to mysteries of human history via climatological records. By night, he uses that research to enhance his teaching at a Christian college. Studying ancient weather at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Oak Ridge, Tennessee intrigues Birdwell “because it reveals so much about the intricacies of Earth’s ability to support life." And, the way these discoveries affirm the Christian faith stimulates his enthusiastic pursuit of more new evidence.

    • TCM - Faint Sun Paradox
    • Solar System Design
    • Geology and the Bible
    • Global Warming
    • Faint Sun Paradox
    • Earth/Moon Design
  • A Salute to the General of Education: Mortimer J. Adler

    October 1, 2001

    The motto for the National Negro College Fund sends chills up my spine whenever I hear it: “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” For a Christian, however, the message is even more challenging. The mind of a creature made in the image and likeness of an infinite, eternal, and personal God is a fortiori—Latin for "with greater force" or "all the more"—a terrible thing to waste.1 Because the human soul survives death, cultivating the life of the mind to the glory of God takes on an eternal dimension. The scriptural imperative of Matthew 22:37 calls us to love the Lord our God with all our being. This all includes, of course, God’s incredible gift of the mind.

    • Learning
  • Nanodevices Make Megascopic Statement

    October 1, 2001

    The “Watchmaker” argument asserts that as the intricacy of a watch implies the mind and work of a watchmaker, so the complexity of an organism also implies the work of an Intelligent Designer. Skeptics, in attacking the Watchmaker argument, challenge the necessity of a Creator’s existence from the study of nature, saying that at best, only a weak analogy exists between a watch and nature. However, recent discoveries showing detailed similarities between biomolecular motors and man-made machines revitalize and add a powerful dynamic to the Watchmaker argument for an Intelligent Designer.1

    • Biochemical Design
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  • Chordate Fossils Foil Theory

    October 1, 2001

    China’s rich cache of fossils provides paleontologists with a window to the time in Earth’s history when complex animal life first appeared. As scientists peer through this window, they see a scene that defies naturalistic explanation.

    • Speciation Events
  • Reading Between the Fossil Lines

    October 1, 2001

    One of the most frequently argued objections to the trustworthiness of Scripture is found in the apparent discrepancy between the account of creation given in Genesis 1 and the supposed evidence from the fossils and fissionable minerals in the geological strata that indicated Earth is billions of years old. Yet Genesis 1 allegedly teaches that creation took place in six twenty-four-hour days, at the end of which man was already on the earth. But this conflict between Genesis 1 and the factual data of science (in contradistinction to the theories of some scientists who draw inferences from their data that are capable of quite another interpretation by those equally proficient in geology) is only apparent, not real.

    • Biblical Evidence for an Old Earth
  • Book Reviews: Speculations on Origins

    October 1, 2001

    Why, in spite of entropy, nature’s imperative to overall disorder, does life on Earth become so much more complex and biochemically diverse as time passes? Investigations asks this question while attempting to bring Stuart Kauffman’s concepts of self-organization into mainstream science. A recipient of the Mac Arthur Fellowship, Kauffman has one of the keenest minds in the naturalist camp. He is a founding member of the Santa Fe Institute, where he conducts research into the emerging science of complexity. His more well known books include The Origins of Order and At Home in the Universe.

    • Life Design
  • A Stellar Array: An Interview with Dr. David Rogstad

    October 1, 2001

    Dr. David (Dave) H. Rogstad serves as executive vice president of Reasons To Believe with the goal of developing effective teamwork. An accomplished scientist, Dave earned his Ph.D. in physics from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). He conducted research there on galaxies for over ten years, interrupted by a two-year stint in Holland doing related research in radio astronomy. From Caltech, Dave went to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to supervise teams working on such projects as the Galileo mission and on Hypercube concurrent computation. Before retiring from JPL, he published over twenty scientific papers on various aspects of aperture synthesis and interferometric techniques, as well as reports on experiments in radio astronomy and related fields. Currently a consultant for JPL, Dave is cowriting a book on an antenna array technique developed by his team for the Galileo program. In this FACTS for FAITH interview, Dave speaks of his background, his involvement with Hugh Ross, and his zeal for living a successful Christian life.

    • People of Faith
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  • Biospheres Deemed Failures

    July 1, 2001

    Two tests of space travelers’ ability to support themselves independent of Earth have taken place in the Arizona desert (see www.bio2.edu). In 1991 a team of eight adults were sealed inside a 3.15-acre “capsule” for a two-year stint. In 1994 a team of seven entered for a half-year run. All the plants and animals needed for maintenance of food, water, and oxygen and for waste recycling were sealed inside with them. The challenge: maintain the quality and quantity of provisions and the quality of life in this confined habitat.

    • Space Travel
    • Mars
    • Problem of Evil
    • Life on Other Planets
    • Life Design
    • Earth/Moon Design
  • Black Holes, Singularities, and Wormholes

    April 2, 2001

    From a realistic rather than science fiction perspective, the wormhole question is moot. Since black holes are relatively rare, the probability that the singularities of two spatially distant black holes would come into contact is virtually zero, as is the probability that any possible wormhole would lie in a location useful for alien space travel. General relativity dictates, further, that wormholes would be extremely unstable. The longevity of any possible wormhole (briefer than a tiny fraction of a second) is far too brief to allow any physical being (or even any fundamental particle) to travel through.

    • Extra/Trans Dimensions
    • Galaxy Design
    • String Theory
    • Quantum Physics
    • Constants of Physics
    • Universe Design
    • Laws of Physics
    • Particle Physics
    • Einstein / Relativity
    • Unification
    • TCM - Cosmic Design
    • Big Bang
  • Augustine of Hippo (Part 2 of 2): Rightly Dividing the Truth

    April 1, 2001

    Augustine’s life (a.d. 354-430) can be divided virtually into halves. The first half of his life (see FACTS for FAITH 5) was spent searching for the truth that would give meaning, purpose, and significance to his life. The second half of his life was spent reflecting upon, explaining, defending, and living out the truth that he had encountered through faith in Jesus Christ. Given his lifelong quest for truth and his years of leadership in the church, Augustine made many contributions of enduring value.

    • Church Fathers
  • Alien Encounters Fail the Test

    April 1, 2001

    The “contactee movement” arose in the early 1950s as a direct response to the flying saucer phenomenon. In the context of UFO phenomena, a contactee is an individual who claims to have direct and/or personal contact with alien entities (a close encounter of the third kind, CE-III) on a recurring basis. These people assert that UFO occupants have “contacted” selected human beings in order to convey critical information through them to the entire human race. Over a forty-year period the movement has experienced advances and declines in popularity, but it remains a phenomenon deeply rooted in occult-based religion. This article will explore the contactee experience by briefly tracing its development as an occultic religious movement, inspect the typical contactee scenario, and provide a Christian assessment of this unusual UFO-related phenomenon.

    • Close Encounters
    • Aliens
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  • 30% Inefficiency by Design

    April 1, 2001

    Roughly 30 percent of all newly synthesized proteins must be degraded (broken down) by the cell immediately after formation because they are improperly made.1 On the surface, this new discovery seems to challenge the notion that an Intelligent Designer is responsible for life’s chemistry, but closer examination reveals a specific purpose for the “inefficiency” of protein synthesis.2-4

    • Biochemical Design
    • Bad Designs
  • Interstellar Rocks Miss the Mark

    April 1, 2001

    Where, when, and how did life originate? Answers to these questions prove more elusive than ever to the science community—specifically to those who demand a naturalistic answer. Because of the short timescales required for the complicated leap from nonlife to life on planet Earth, some nontheistic scientists propose that life originated elsewhere in the galaxy. This thinking belongs to a theory called “panspermia” (pan-SPUR-mee-uh), which says that life on Earth got its start in dormant life arriving from space.

    • Life on Other Planets
    • Primordial Soup
    • Geophysical Design
    • Prebiotic Chemistry
    • Panspermia
    • Extrasolar Planets
  • Search for Planets Draws a Blank

    April 1, 2001

    Is the universe really rife with life sites, as Carl Sagan asserted?1 Research data continues to shape an answer to this question, but the weight of evidence falls, thus far, on the negative side. The ever-optimistic naturalist must work harder and more imaginatively to keep up appearances—and hope.

    • Life on Other Planets
    • SETI
    • Earth/Moon Design
    • Solar System Design
    • Habitable Planets
    • Extrasolar Planets
  • Metal Matters

    April 1, 2001

    Uranium and thorium play a vital role in the plate tectonics and volcanism of planets. Consequently, the amount of these two metallic elements influences the ability of any planet to support advanced life. Recently, a research team from the University of Washington, including FACTS for FAITH contributing author and astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez, determined that the abundance of uranium and thorium relative to iron in the interstellar medium has been declining for the past 4.5 billion years.1 This suggests that only a planet formed 4.5 billion years ago could possibly possess enough uranium and thorium to sustain plate tectonics and volcanism long enough for advanced life to be possible. 2

    • Solar System Design
    • Geophysical Design
    • Galaxy Design
    • Universe Design
    • TCM - Life's Origin
    • Plate Tectonics
    • Life on Other Planets
    • TCM - Cosmic Design
    • Earth/Moon Design
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