News & Notes

Ghost Galaxies. When discussing the evidence that the Creation did not happen by chance, one area that has enormous bearing is how many conditions in space have to be exactly right. An excellent example of this is the fact that not all galaxies are the same. Our galaxy is a spiral type b galaxy. What that means is that our galaxy has arms wound with medium tightness and has enormous amounts of interstellar matter--lots of material to make planets out of.

The most abundant kind of galaxy in space is the elliptical galaxy. Over 80% of all galaxies in space are elliptical galaxies--but elliptical galaxies have very little interstellar material! There is nothing to make a planet out of in an elliptical galaxy. We would not look for life in a place like that.

New studies by astronomers have shown a new type of galaxy called a ghost galaxy. These galaxies contain few, if any, stars at all. They seem to be made up of dark matter and perhaps a few dim stars. These objects are smaller than our Milky Way, but they show that conditions for a planet that can sustain life are even more difficult than man has previously understood. (Reference: Science News, Vol. 155, January 30, 1999, page 79.)

Clones Dying Early. There has been an enormous amount of publicity concerning successful clones of sheep and cows, but recent articles in scientific journals indicate that major problems exist in cloned animals. Dolly, the famous sheep cloned in Scotland, is not aging like the three-year-old sheep that she is, she is aging like the nine-year-old donor from which she was cloned. A French study of cows that have been cloned report that they are "ten times more likely to be unhealthy than their naturally conceived counterparts." The problems are obvious when one thinks about practical uses of cloning. If you are going to keep a genetic characteristic alive by cloning you have to get young clones not old clones that would die as soon as the animals that they were cloned from. The basic message is that the whole process of reproduction is far more complicated than the media makes it appear, and attempts to improve upon God's design seem to be doomed to failure because of this complexity. (Source: US News & World Report, May 24, 1999, page 65, and June 7, 1999, page 56; USA Today, May 27, 1999, page 2D.)

More Abortion Complications. There are many issues that get into the question about whether abortion should be legal or not, but one of the major ones is whether the fetus is a human with an individual make up, or whether it is an extension of the mother's body, and thus not an individual. New data from studies on immunology now add to the weight of evidence that the fetus is an individual, and not just a part of the mother. The question is whether the fetus is recognized by the mother's immune system as a foreign object, and thus attacked, or whether it is part of the mother, and thus not attacked by the mother's immune system.

David Munn at the Medical College of Georgia has done research which shows that the fetus not only has its own immune system, but it has a complicated defense system which protects it against the immune system of its mother. The fetus produces an enzyme called IDO which destroys the amino acid that produces tryptophan. Without tryptophan, the T cells in the mother's immune system cannot divide, and the fetus is safe.

The important point here is that saying the fetus is an extension of the mother's body does not make any sense scientifically. It is a separate organism, recognized as that by the mother's immune system. Trying to justify abortion on the basis of the mother's rights has no validity, unless one is willing to say that certain classes of human beings do not have any rights, and others do. (Discover, February, 1999, page 14.)

Cohabitation Battle Grows. Since 1978, the number of couples living together that are not married has doubled, and is now estimated to be 4,000,000. Media attacks on the institution of marriage continue to escalate, and the growing hostility to Christianity has included attacks on the family since family values are so strongly emphasized by the teachings of Christ. University of Wisconsin sociologist Larry Bumpass reports that studies of live-in relationships indicate that the average duration of such relationships is 18 months. Total commitment, a common spiritual bond based upon a proven standard of moral conduct, and a desire to make the marriage more than a sexual union are all critical to making marriage work. No amount of media hype will change that. Here is a letter we received recently which highlights that concept.

Dear Mr. Clayton,

Your website really confirmed what I already now believe... I have recently broken up with my fiance/live-in, and feel grateful that there are still people in the world who value saving sex for marriage. I wished I had waited till marriage to make "love" to her, and let me tell you, when you break up after so many nights of such "love," and after so many arguments, fights, and so on and so forth, its so much harder than if you had waited till AFTER the ceremony/honeymoon. Marriage, as I now believe, holds two people together much more strongly than otherwise not being married. The pain I felt after she left was so much to bear, feeling like a freight train hit after every night spent alone. It was like the death of your best friend. I offered her a diamond ring two months prior to her moving out, but it was too late. I truly believe if we had waited, we would still be together, albeit in different apartments. It was financially convenient for both of us to live in the same apartment, especially in New Orleans, but in the end, it just wasn't worth it. We had both omitted God completely from our relationship, and when He is gone, there is not chance for longevity. At any rate, I've made an oath to myself, and to God, not to do that again. I used to believe that His commandment in regards to premarital sex only applied to youngsters, not 28-year-olds still in college. Was I ever wrong. We were both worth waiting for. Please keep up the Good Message....

Regards, Name withheld

Lesbian Marriage Breakup Leaves Child Custody Fight Raging. Time (June 21, 1999, page 57) reports on a actual case of the children's book used in so many schools today to promote tolerance titled Heather Has Two Mommies. The only problem is that in this case the two mommies are fighting over the child. The story begins with two women in a lesbian relationship who decide to have a child. One is artificially inseminated and a baby girl is born. Now the girl is five years old and the lesbian couple has broken up and the birth mother is trying to block her former lover from contact with the child. So far this might not sound too different from a heterosexual couple who break up, but the problem is that if the child does in fact have two moms, the birth mom has no more right than the second mom. This is the claim of the woman who did not give birth to the child and who is suing for custody.

Our point is that when God's plan for family is not followed, there is no easy way to answer a situation like this. Our real pain here is for the child who will be the ultimate victim of this relationship and whatever the Florida court decides that is dealing with the case.

American Atheists Relocate. With Madalyn O'Hair's apparent murder (mentioned in our guest article) and the loss of $530,000 in funds, one might think that the American Atheists would be in their last days. Instead, they have a new president named Ellen Johnson and have moved into a new home in Cranford, N.J., just outside of New York City. Claiming that there will be no violence or "gunning down of people who disagree with us," the new leadership vows to get atheists out of the closet and work to protect "the civil rights of nonbelievers." Their latest periodical continues the usual high quality of materials and content. They will keep people aware of the need to know why they believe what they believe. (Source: USA Today, May 26, 1999, page 3A.)

Humanist Plea Underlines Weakness of Position. There is a wonderful ad being run in newspapers around the country (we saw it in USA Today, May 25, 1999, page 9B) that is titled "A Parent's Appeal to TV Sponsors." It challenges parents to get involved in forcing television to clean up its act. This ad says: that TV is leading children down a moral sewer and discusses how you and I can stop it. The article blasts what TV sends into our homes and specifically lists filth, vulgarity, sex, violence, steamy unmarried situations, filthy jokes, perversion, foul language, killings, advocacy of unmarried sex as clearly having an impact on America's youth. The thing that is amazing is that this is not a religious campaign. In fact the honorary chairman is Steve Allen, the famous entertainer.

Steve Allen has for many years been a major advocate and spokesman for the American Humanist Association. This is a group that has viciously attacked all attempts by religious people to stand for decency and morals. All one has to do is to read Humanist Manifesto and one can see the contradictions between Allen the Humanist and Allen the Clean-up-TV Person. The Humanist Manifesto (available from Promethus Books, 700 East Amherst St. Buffalo, NY 14215) maintains "Traditional moral to meet the pressing needs of today and tomorrow. Moral values derive their source from human experience. In the area of sexuality, we believe that intolerant attitudes, often cultivated by orthodox religions and puritanical cultures repress sexual conduct."

We applaud the idea of working to clean up TV, but an alliance with those who have promoted attitudes and values that have caused the problem to begin with is no way to accomplish it. There is a desperate need for people who have real answers and real standards that work to take the lead in opposing the media's attempts to destroy morality in the western world.

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