from Does God Exist? January/February 2010

WARNING: If you are on our mailing list for the printed Does God Exist? bulletin and have not let us know you want to remain on our mailing list and “Renew” is in your address, the January/February 2010 issue will be your last issue.

CANYON LANDS FIELD TOUR 2010. This year, as in past years, Does God Exist? will offer a field trip designed to help Christians learn to be more effective in using apologetics to build faith and answer questions. Our Canyon Lands Trip goes to Zion Canyon, Bryce Canyon, and the Grand Canyon as well as the Painted Desert, Petrified Forest, Meteor Crater, and Sunset Crater. John Clayton will be your host and teacher along with Alan Doty. Mark Story and QueensLander Tours will handle the travel arrangements. The date for this year’s trip will be September 20–24, 2010 and it will begin and end in Flagstaff, Arizona. The cost will be $797 per person for double occupancy, $898 for singles, or $549 per person for triples/quads. The price includes transportation from Flagstaff and back, motels, park fees, and some meals. For more information contact Does God Exist? at the address inside the front cover, or Mark Story,, or phone 877-865-6711. See this page for more information on this trip.

NEANDERTHAL FLUTE. The evidence of spiritual characteristics unique to humans can come from several directions when archeological digs are being conducted—worship items, the burial of the dead with artifacts from their life or things to be used in the next life, art work, and sometimes musical equipment. In the June 24, 2009, issue of Nature is a report on the Hohle Fels bone flute. This flute is from the earliest finds of humans, and shows finger holes that were carefully prepared. Skeptics had maintained that animal punctures could explain the finger holes, but the research team has shown clearly that was not the case. Music is a part of culture, and apparently the Neanderthals had it. Our contention is that this is a racial division of man, not a new species of man and this find would support that view.

EUTHANASIA GOES BIG TIME. Sir Edward Downs was known by many people as the former director of Britain’s Royal Opera. He recently got attention because of the mutual suicide of him and his wife in a Zurich clinic. Downs was in good health, but was 85 with weak hearing and limited vision. His 74-year-old wife Joan was dying of pancreatic and liver cancer. The two of them paid $7,000 each to a clinic that facilitates suicide. They drank a lethal barbiturate, laid down beside each other and died together. Their death has stirred a great deal of controversy, being called highly romantic, highly civilized, and “typically brave and courageous.” This event has stirred all kinds of reports and claims. One study in the Netherlands found that one in four doctors said they had killed patients without an explicit request. The growing costs of medical care and the desire not to bankrupt their families is at the basis of much of this. We would suggest the need for an understanding of the value of human life, at all stages, is a major issue in our world today. Source: Time, August 3, 2009, page 64.

ATHEISM CONTINUES TO GAIN. The American Religious Identification Survey released data in September 2009 showing that the total number of people calling themselves Christians in the United States has dropped 12 percent since 1990 while those claiming no religion has grown to 15 percent. Twenty-five percent of people in their 20s claim to have no religious belief and Protestant church membership has dropped 20 percent in the last 20 years. What is interesting about these numbers is that a Reader’s Digest (November 2009) survey shows that 91 percent of all Americans hope to go to heaven. That survey also shows that in England 72 percent of all women believe in heaven but only 55 percent of all men believe.

DOWNS AND CANCER. Scientific American (August 2009, page 27) reports that people who have Downs syndrome almost never get tumors. The reasons for this are being studied by researchers who believe there is a genetic answer which might provide a clue for stopping cancer.

DINOSAUR DNA. Reports in both creationist literature and national media about dinosaur DNA being found, are generating a great deal of misinformation. DNA degrades with time unless it is constantly repaired inside a living cell. While proteins have been discovered in some fossil remains, you cannot extract DNA and experts do not believe it will ever be possible to do so. Fossils more than 100,000 years old have virtually no DNA left in them. Source: Science Illustrated, September/October 2009, page 28.

JUPITER COMET COLLISION AGAIN. The earth is protected by a number of carefully designed shields. Our magnetic field around the earth shields us from charged particles coming to us from the nuclear power of the sun and other stars in outer space. Our atmosphere burns up small bits of rock and dust that could pulverize us. Bigger objects roaming through space that are produced by a variety of processes are more difficult to defend against. Asteroids are large chunks of rock, and comets are very large remnants of the formation of solar systems and contain rocks and gases. Our shield against these larger objects is the Jovian planets—Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, and Uranus. These four planets are very large, and their gravitational fields catch any objects invading the solar system and destroy them. On July 19, 2009, astronomers observed Jupiter getting hit by a very large object which left a scar on the planet the size of the Pacific Ocean. While it was not as large as the Shoemaker-Levy 9 comet of 1994, it was a reminder of how beautifully God’s system of design functions to keep us free of astronomical catastrophes. Source: Astronomy, November 2009, page 20. (On page 26 of that same issue is an explanation of why comets do not hit the earth.)

THE COST OF PORNOGRAPHY. Revenue from pornography in the United States was $13 billion in 2008. The legal problems of pedophile behavior, sexual abuse, and rape are very obvious, but even when pornography does not express itself in violence, its effect is devastating. A report on Christian men in Pulpit Helps magazine (October 2009, page 8) gives some sobering statistics. Fifty-nine percent admit to fantasizing about having sex with someone other than their wives, 61 percent admit they masturbate regularly with 16 percent saying they use pornography to do so. Twenty-five percent admit to having an affair since their conversion to Christ and 15 percent have had inappropriate physical contact with women other than their wives. Suggesting that pornography is only destructive when it is in the hands of emotionally-ill people does not work. There is no excuse for allowing pornography to exist in our homes or on any of our computers. The numbers in this report are just the tip of the iceberg, and in the general population the numbers are certainly much higher.

VACCINES AND AUTISM. There are very few families that have not had autism affect them in one way or another (including your author). The cause of autism is still being debated and is likely to be a combination of factors, but the question of vaccines causing autism has been a major bone of contention and a very dangerous one. Some of us can remember plagues that struck when there were no vaccines. In your author’s case it was polio. In 1998 a British doctor named Andrew Wakefield reported that he had found evidence that the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine had caused autism in children. Wakefield has published more reports on his claims and Jenny McCarthy (an actress, not a scientist) has been on a one-woman campaign against vaccines. Recent studies have discredited Wakefield’s work, and while people can have reactions to any vaccine or shot, there is no widespread evidence that vaccines cause any more problems than any other man-made medicine. The dangers of not vaccinating are huge, and can cause damage to a child for life. Source: Skeptic magazine, Volume 15, Number 2, 2009, page 26.

2012 NONSENSE CONTINUES. Doomsday predictions sell. It does not matter whether you talk about books or movies or tabloids, if you predict the destruction of the earth, someone will buy it. There are 175 books listed on as of November 1, 2009, dealing with the 2012 doomsday, and all of them are nonsense. The Mayan calendar does end in 2012, but so does my 2011 calendar. Nostradamus’ writings are more often wrong than right, and frequently are the rewrites of his followers and not his original material. The Bible does not indicate 2012 in any of its prophecies. The planets are not aligned in 2012, and even if they were it would not have any effect on the earth. There is no planet Nibiru and planet X is not a planet but a designation NASA gives to any object that has not been identified clearly. Names are given when identification is positively made. There is no “dark rift” in the Milky Way—just dust clouds in the inner arm of the galaxy. The solar maximum of 2012 is when the normal solar storms peak on the sun. It has happened every 11 years for as long as man has had telescopes to look at the sun, and nothing unusual is expected. The FOX News report that a “Solar Storm Could Shut Down the U.S. for Months” is a worst-case report of what could happen if a solar storm like one observed in 1859 happened today. It is a wild conjecture at best. There is a lot of nonsense being circulated in the tabloids and by the hucksters. (For more on the Mayan 2012 hoax see our September/October 2009 issue, page 8.)

YEAR END REPORTS AVAILABLE. Every year we prepare a report of the Does God Exist? work for the previous year. The year 2009 was a difficult year financially for everyone, including this ministry—but we have ended in the black. If you would like a copy of the report, just let us know. If you are one of our financial supporters on a regular basis, a copy will be sent to you automatically.

Back to Contents Does God Exist?, JanFeb10.