Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Long necked Sauropods had All-or-Nothing Design Features

The Bible’s history provides a framework that best explains the most significant facts about Sauropods, such as Diplodocus and Apatosaurus. They were immense, four-footed dinosaurs. Sauropods’ long necks allowed them a wide reach through the treetops. They were able to eat the massive amount of foliage required to maintain their size without having to expend extra energy moving from tree to tree. Some of the largest may have needed up to a ton of vegetation every day. This is according to Fredric Heeren's report in Nature.1

Clearly, sauropods had all-or-nothing design features. Without small heads, hollow vertebrae, long necks, pillar legs, specially shaped pelvis bones, and fast growth ratesall at the same time—sauropods could not have existed. This is why sauropod evolution has been imagined as having happened in “an evolutionary jump.”1

If sauropods evolved, then why are there no fossil “pre-sauropods” that have at least two, three, or four of the uniquely sauropod features, instead of just one or merely a possible part of one? If sauropods evolved over eons, then most of these fossils should be transitional. For example, why are gradually lengthening dinosaur necks not apparent as one ascends the rock record? Instead, these candidate “prosauropods” were perfectly developed creatures of their own types, showing no hint of evolutionary experimentation.

The Bible’s framework best explains the facts. First, sauropods were intentionally formed at one time, not morphed from other creatures. This is why no single undisputed ancestor exists, why their evolution is imagined to have happened in a “jump,” and why sauropods have all-or-nothing design features.

And the very reason that sauropod fossils exist “on almost every continent” is because, being a worldwide phenomenon, the Genesis Flood was powerful enough to totally overwhelm even the world’s most massive land creatures of that time. Unlike the miserable state of evolutionary guesswork, these observations confirm the biblical record!

(excerpted from Brian Thomas and Frank Sherwin, What the Fossils Really Say about Sauropod Dinosaurs, Acts & Facts, November 2011, Institute for Creation Research)

(To receive new uMarko posts via a daily email, please click Subscribe)
(On Twitter: FOLLOW uMarko or http://www.twitter.com/uMarko)

References (selected)

1.Heeren, F. 2011. Dinosaurs: Rise of the titans. Nature. 475: 159-161.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Red Letters Broke His Heart

Badi, a Muslim living in Libya, was given an English language Bible from a relative who did not read English and did not realize what he was giving Badi. Fortunately, Badi had learned to read English in school.

Badi soon learned that the red-lettered words in the Bible were the words of Jesus. His heart broke when he read the Sermon on the Mount in the fifth chapter of Matthew, and he soon came to revere the Word of God.

Badi studied his Bible, and he gained a deeper understanding of the faith about two years later when he met some foreign workers on a farm. He noticed that some of them were carrying Bibles, and they began to discuss Christ. The foreigners were Christians, and they invited him to attend church services with them.

When government officials discovered that Badi had become a Christian, he was arrested and imprisoned. He was charged with treason (!) rather than apostasy. Badi was beaten and tortured during his imprisonment. The pain was so severe that Badi wanted to die. But his torturers told him, "We won't kill you, because we want you to wish for death and not find it."

Badi survived and was released from prison six months later. He is now a follower of Jesus.

Recent news from post-Gaddafi Libya: one of the scattered Christians in Libya was arrested by rebels a few months ago. According to a friend, "they arrested him and beat him just a few days and released him. That is normal as a Christian in Libya. But the Gadhafi troops would kill him surely. The rebels would work with him quietly."

Pray for Badi for Libya's small indigenous church. Pray that the civil war and its aftermath will lead to new opportunities to advance the gospel.

(excerpted from Voice of the Martyrs newsletter, November 2011)

(To receive new uMarko posts via a daily email, please click Subscribe)
(On Twitter: FOLLOW uMarko or http://www.twitter.com/uMarko)

Friday, November 25, 2011

One Bible you can have, Two Bibles you cannot

Individual Christians have long suffered for their faith in Algeria, but not until 2006, when Algeria enacted a new religion law, did the government have the legal means to restrict the church.

"If they find you with Christian materials, they will arrest you immediately," Gerard* says. "One Bible, you can have. Two Bibles, you cannot have because the second one is clearly not yours. They say you are just trying to give it to someone else."

Gerard* was riding a bus that was stopped by police at a checkpoint. A policeman who searched Gerard's bag found his Bible-study book and began to curse him. "And I just told him, 'Ok, that is enough. This is my faith. This is what I believe.' He didn't beat me, but he spat on me," Gerard says. Gerard's faith has sustained him through multiple beatings for being a Christian, and he now sees this treatment as normal.

As the bus left the checkpoint and drove on, the other passengers began to verbally abuse Gerard. "All of them started to say bad things," he says, "and I hoped that long distance would finish soon. "The persecution is there, but the church is there no matter what happens."

Not a single church has been granted registration since the 2006 law's enactment, and in 2008, the government ordered the closure of 26 churches in Algeria's Kabyle region, where the majority of Christians live. In May 2011, authorities ordered seven more churches in Bejaia province to close for failure to comply with registration regulations.

Charred items pulled from burned
Tafat Church building in Tizi Ouzou.
 Instead of closing, however, the seven churches decided to continue meeting to test the government's resolve. "Many people are praying, and that is why the churches keep the doors open," says one Algerian Christian. In 2010, rather than wait on the government to close down a church, extremists chose to burn down the Tafat Church in Tizi Ouzou, also in the Kabyle region.

In this environment, many churches have begun to meet in the countryside, while others meet in homes where the walls have been removed to make room for worshipers.

(excerpted from Voice of the Martyrs newsletter, November 2011)

(To receive new uMarko posts via a daily email, please click Subscribe)
(On Twitter: FOLLOW uMarko or http://www.twitter.com/uMarko)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Liberal Academics Ignore the Most Ancient Account of Noah's Flood

Unknown to many today is the earliest Flood tablet ever found. It pre-dates the 5 written books of Moses by at least 800 years. It was discovered in the ancient Babylonian city of Nippur in the 1890s. The tablet was so encrusted that its value was not immediately recognized, but by 1909 Dr. Hermann Hilprecht had discerned the figures and translated the text. Given the catalogue designation CBM 13532, it dates from about 2200 B.C., or soon after the Flood itself. More importantly, while the differences between Genesis and Gilgamesh are striking, the similarities between Genesis and this tablet are obvious. There is no detail that differs from Genesis, and nothing extra is added.

Hilprecht’s translation reads as follows, with damaged sections reconstructed by Fritz Hommel and unreadable portions of the text noted:

The springs of the deep will I open. A flood will I send which will affect all of mankind at once. But seek thou deliverance before the flood breaks forth, for over all living beings, however many there are, will I bring annihilation, destruction, ruin. Take wood and pitch and build a large ship!….cubits be its complete height…. a houseboat shall it be, containing those who preserve their life….with a strong roofing cover it…. the ship which thou makest, take into it….the animals of the field, the birds of the air and the reptiles, two of each, instead of (their whole number)….and the family of the….1
This clear text stands as both a confirmation of Scripture and a condemnation of liberal “scholarship.” It so clearly undermines the “critical” view that it never sees the light of day. Professor Hilprecht himself was hardly a defender of Scripture, yet he was a recognized expert in ancient languages. His translation originally caused quite a storm of controversy among academics, for it undercut their position that Genesis carries no authority, but no challenge was ever levied against his translation. Nevertheless, it remains hidden today. Few know of the tablet, or of its strong testimony to Scripture’s authority.

(excerpted from John D. Morris, Genesis, Gilgamesh, and an Early Flood Tablet, Acts & Facts, November 2011, Institute for Creation Research)

Marko comments: We have Dr. Bill Cooper to thank for rediscovering this tablet and Hilprecht's work. Cooper is a tireless investigator into historical truth and how it confirms the accuracy of Scripture. His tremendous work After the Flood, (available for free in an online edition), chronicles the early histories of northern Europe, and the striking echoes found there to the Table of Nations recorded in Genesis chapter 10. His new rediscovery demonstrates how liberal academics have once again selectively ignored this most priceless tablet, and steer people away from the historical truth of Scripture to sheer ignorance.

(To receive new uMarko posts via a daily email, please click Subscribe)
(On Twitter: FOLLOW uMarko or http://www.twitter.com/uMarko)


1. Pinches, G. and F. Hommel. 1910. The Oldest Library in the World and the New Deluge Tablets. Expository Times. 21: 369. Pinches’ editorial marks were omitted for clarity.

Source: Dr. Bill Cooper, The Earliest Flood Tablet, Pamphlet 382, May 2011, published by the Creation Science Movement, Portsmouth, UK.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Watch and Pray as People around the World Come to Christ

"At the Global Media Outreach website, you will see a world map that pinpoints in real time the responses of people around the world who are visiting one of the evangelistic websites set up by Global Media Outreach. You may watch as a visitor in Libya comes to one of the sites and begins to read a gospel message. If this visitor prays to receive Christ, the color of the pinpoint changes from blue to yellow. If the person asks for follow up, the color immediately changes to red. (What a tool for intercessors to use for prayer!) Of the average of 150,000 visitors that come to a GMO related website every day, 25,000 pray to receive Christ, and 5,000 ask for follow up.

"A ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ called Map Factory. Led by mission strategist Christopher Deckert, the vision of Map Factory is to equip every ministry in the world with the ability to dynamically map the vision God has given them and the progress in seeing it fulfilled. High-end, commercial map servers can cost as much as $50,000 to deploy, plus the ongoing costs of programming and maintenance.

"Map Factory is raising the funds to provide this service to the missions community at a relatively low cost and recruiting computer volunteers to meet this need. (We would encourage our Mission Frontiers readers, who are interested in helping, to contact Campus Crusade’s Map Factory division and inquire how you may be able to contribute to this important new initiative. Chris can be contacted at cdeckert@ccci.org)

"Secular startup companies are currently attempting to provide location-based services to local and city governments to track crime, graphitti, road hazards, and weather related issues. Non-Government Organizations are utilizing simple, real-time mapping software to track disaster response, such as in the recent earthquakes in Haiti and Japan. At a moment’s notice, on the ground responders are sharing, through their cell phones, the locations of needs and the type of assistance required. Software then presents a composite of those needs on a map to enable better coordination. Now picture the Church rallying together after the recent tornadoes in Joplin, Missouri using collaborative tools such as this. Or imagine a city that works together to plant churches and initiate outreaches in areas where crime databases tell us there is the greatest need.

"Today we have the opportunity to capture the big picture, as well as zoom in on the details of the unfinished task before us."

(for more, see David Taylor, Mapping the Unfinished Task, Mission Frontiers, November-December 2011)

(To receive new uMarko posts via a daily email, please click Subscribe)
(On Twitter: FOLLOW uMarko or http://www.twitter.com/uMarko)

Friday, November 18, 2011

You're saying this Gospel is for Receiving, but not for Sharing?

In 1999 in Mozambique a group of sixty-five pastors and a handful of missionaries got together for several days to discuss how to overcome unhealthy dependency. During one of the presentations, they began to discuss when the Gospel was first preached in that region of their country. After some discussion the church leaders decided that the Gospel first came there about 1915. The next question was natural: “How many of your own missionaries have you sent out since that time?” The answer was, “None”.

I responded by saying, “So apparently this gospel is for receiving, but not for sharing. Is that right?”

The question I asked startled my translator to such an extent that he asked if he could speak with his fellow pastors. I agreed and stepped aside. The translator then suggested that they all needed to confess the sin of being receivers, rather than givers in relation to the Gospel. Before the conference ended, the sixty-five pastors appointed a committee to send out their first missionaries. They sent several workers to a ripe mission field in Northern Mozambique. Later, they sent one couple to Brazil and another to Portugal where they could use the Portuguese language they already knew.

It was local initiative that took hold because of an idea that was planted in the hearts of the pastors.

(for more, see Glen Schwartz, Ideas Can Be More Powerful Than MoneyMission Frontiers, November-December 2011)

(To receive new uMarko posts via a daily email, please click Subscribe)
(On Twitter: FOLLOW uMarko or http://www.twitter.com/uMarko)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

"Natural Selection" - Idol worship updated for the modern age

Charles Darwin displaced God as a supernatural cause for the origin of species. He replaced God with a mystical agent, "natural selection."

The mystical quality of natural selection is evident when you try to unpack  statements that evolutionary scientists make, such as this one: “The remarkable diversity of life on Earth stands as grand testimony to the creativity of evolution. Over the course of 500 million years, natural selection has fashioned wings for flight, fins for swimming and legs for walking, and that’s just among the vertebrates.”1 Some Darwinists are somewhat troubled by the awe that they devote to the concept, such as geneticist John Sanford. He admits:
“It is obvious that the omnipotent power of natural selection can do all things, explain all things….” The above statement came from an early Darwinist, but I have lost the source. It could have come from just about any Darwinist. In fact, just a few years ago I might have said it myself.2
When websites show a subterranean water table “selecting” trees with longer roots, intelligence-based power has been ascribed to the inanimate water table—so why not attribute it to some god?

If someone held up a statue and ascribed to it powers to select, naturalists would see this as mysticism and Christians would see this as idolatry. But, in a mental disconnect, in place of a statue they make an identical but more subtle attributions toward an agent like a water table. The trick is to use descriptions such as an “operative force” that can “favor,” “act on,” “pressure,” or “punish” organisms.

Natural selection’s intrinsic spiritual problem was derided by non-theist observers from the outset. In 1861, the Perpetual Secretary of the French Academy of Sciences described Darwin’s Origin of Species as “metaphysical jargon thrown amiss in the natural history.”3 Darwin pointed the direction to a thoroughly naturalistic—indeed a thoroughly atheistic—theory of phenotype [trait] formation; but he didn’t see how to get the whole way there. He killed off God, if you like, but Mother Nature and other pseudoagents got away scot-free.”4

What is really explained scientifically by merely saying that a trait was “selected for” or “selected against”?Those magical phrases cannot truly be expected to reveal why certain traits originate and exist in populations. A mysterious power that “positively selects,” “operates on,” “punishes,” or “favors” ...  try to imagine what evolutionary literature could explain without using them—it would be starved of its mechanism and life. Selection-based accounts end up with mystical forces granting “favor.”

But explanations that honor the Lord will be based on the abilities that he designed into his creatures. So instead of the "god" of the subterranean water table “selecting” trees with longer roots, we recognize that trees have an innate capacity to produce longer roots enabling them to live in areas with deeper water tables.

Selection is idolatrous in the basest of ways. Not only does it ascribe intelligence-like powers to unconscious environmental features, like any other idol, but it induces people not to give the Lord credit for the incredible intelligence and machinery He has built into His creatures that enable them to adapt to environmental features.
(extracted from Randy Guliuzza, Darwin's Sacred Imposter: Natural Selection's Idolatrous Trap, Acts & Facts, November 2011, Institute for Creation Research)

(To receive new uMarko posts via a daily email, please click Subscribe)
(On Twitter: FOLLOW uMarko or http://www.twitter.com/uMarko)

References (selected)

1. Jones, D. 2010. Evolvability: How to cash in on the genetic lottery. New Scientist. 2766: 46-49.

2. Sanford, J. 2008. Genetic Entropy. Waterloo, NY: FMS Publications, 161.

3. Huxley, T. H. 1894. Darwiniana. New York: D. Appleton and Company, 65.

4. Fodor, J. and M. Piattelli-Palmarini. 2010. What Darwin Got Wrong. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 162-163.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Jesus speaks to the heart of a Muslim - through Internet Chat

Sinan is a young Muslim lawyer with a passion for truth and justice. When Sinan found the evangelistic Internet chat room, he was quite skeptical. He would get on and make comments defending Islam. He was defensive and argued strongly for his points. But God's Word began to speak to his heart, and last December, Sinan received Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.

Some time later, Sinan made a trip to see his family. By faith he told them that he had decided to follow the teachings of Jesus. His family's reaction was extreme, but not surprising. His elder brothers pointed guns at him and demanded that he denounce Jesus and become a Muslim again. Sinan refused. They did not kill him, but asked him to leave right away and never come back - unless he became a Muslim again.

There are many others throughout the Middle East and Europe, like Sinan, who are getting answers to their questions about the Bible and Jesus Christ on the Internet. They know that Islam does not offer assurance of salvation, and yet they long to be right with God. Only the gospel of Jesus Christ can give them the assurance they desire. And they are willing to face the persecution of family and friends to find it.

(from a Christian prayer letter, November 2011)

(To receive new uMarko posts via a daily email, please click Subscribe)
(On Twitter: FOLLOW uMarko or http://www.twitter.com/uMarko)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Evolutionary thinking doesn't do much for the Economy

If natural selection were both real and as important as evolutionists claim, then it would be reasonable to predict that there would be numerous studies actually measuring its significant influence. But, this is not the case. Evolutionary thinking hinders research—especially in medicine.1

One initial challenge is that anything being measured must first be defined. For example, “Fitness” has variably been defined as relating to number of mates, fertility, gross number of offspring, number of offspring living to reproductive age, offspring in specific environments, or any combination of these. The eminent evolutionist Leigh Van Valen sums up the conundrum:

Yes, fitness is the central concept of evolutionary biology, but it is an elusive concept.... There are literally dozens of genuinely different definitions, which I won’t review here.... Is it that we can’t define it because we do not fully understand it.2
The American Naturalist published in 2001 the largest analysis of the degree to which selection of changes of specific physical traits in an animal group affects their fitness—as measured by survival, mating success, and offspring.3 It tabulated 63 prior field studies covering 62 species and over 2,500 estimates of selection. The highest median correlation of trait selection to fitness was a low 16 percent. This means 84 percent of changes were not explained by selection. It found that in studies with species sample sizes greater than 1,000, the correlation of selection to survival was essentially negligible.

Even the University of Chicago’s expert on evolutionary biology, Jerry Coyne, is forced to admit the contrast between natural selection and aritificial selection:
In contrast, artificial selection has been stunningly successful. Virtually everything that we eat, grow or pet has involved transforming a wild species, through selective breeding, into something radically different.4
But Coyne then goes on to the illogical conclusion that "Artificial selection constitutes a true experimental—as opposed to observational—test of the hypothesis that selection causes evolutionary change"! If it is not evidently illogical, please also note that artificial selectors have always observed limits to variability (after millennia of breeding for speed, there are no 100-mile-per-hour horses). Second, scientists have never created two fundamentally different kinds of organisms from a common ancestor. If intelligent selectors cannot obtain fundamentally different kinds due to innate limits to change, what evidence exists that environments can?

Supporters of selection should consider that the reason for selection’s irrelevance is not that it is weak beyond belief, but that there is, in fact, nothing tangible to measure.

"Natural Selection" induces people not to give the Lord credit for the incredible intelligence and machinery He has built into His creatures that enable them to adapt to environmental features.

Marko comments: yes, evolutionary thinking doesn't do much for the Economy! Except that it guarantees publically funded jobs for all the evolutionary scientists who are tenured at thousands of universities around the world. If we measured evolutionists by the tangible improvements that they make to peoples' lives, they would be found to be a bankrupting effort....

(extracted from Randy Guliuzza, Darwin's Sacred Imposter: Natural Selection's Idolatrous Trap, Acts & Facts, November 2011, Institute for Creation Research)

References (selected)

1. Guliuzza, R. 2009. Darwinian Medicine: A Prescription for Failure. Acts & Facts. 38 (2): 32.

2. Van Valen, L. 1989. Three Paradigms of Evolution. Evolutionary Theory. 9: 2.

3. Kingsolver, J. et al. 2001. The Strength of Phenotypic Selection in Natural Populations. The American Naturalist. 157 (3): 245-61.

4. Coyne, J. The Improbability Pump: Why has natural selection always been the most contested part of evolutionary theory? The Nation, May 10, 2010

(To receive new uMarko posts via a daily email, please click Subscribe)
(On Twitter: FOLLOW uMarko or http://www.twitter.com/uMarko)

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Could a good God work through evolution?

Most compromise positions attribute the origins of biological life and humanity to evolutionary processes, whether through naturalistic processes alone or as directed by God. But, could God have used the processes of evolution in His creation? Evolutionary development by definition requires billions of years of chance, chaos, confusion, and death. Evolutionary processes are incompatible and inconsistent with the nature of God (holy, perfect, ordered, and good). God could not have used processes contrary to His nature as He is not the author of death.

Even evolutionists will not compromise to say that God created through evolution. A noted evolutionist astutely stated:
The evolutionary process is rife with happenstance, contingency, incredible waste, death, pain, and horror….[Theistic evolution’s God] is not a loving God who cares about His productions. [He] is careless, wasteful, indifferent, almost diabolical. He is certainly not the sort of God to whom anyone would be inclined to pray.1
The Gospel Message

Evolutionary processes (Big Bang and the origins of biological life and humanity) are all predicated upon long ages of time and death, requiring that death reigned as a creative force for billions of years before the existence of humanity.

Death before the Fall cannot be reconciled with the gospel message. The biblical message is clear. God created a perfect world (Genesis 1–2). Evil and death are a result of Satan and man’s sin, a result of the Curse/Fall (Genesis 3). Death is an intruder into God’s perfect creation and will be conquered by Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:16; Revelation 21:4-5). If death existed before sin, then death is not the judgment for sin.


1.Hull, D. L. 1991. The God of the Galápagos. Nature. 352 (6335): 486.

(from Brad Forlow, Genesis Under the Microscope, Acts & Facts, October 2011, Institute for Creation Research)

(To receive new uMarko posts via a daily email, please click Subscribe)
(On Twitter: FOLLOW uMarko or http://www.twitter.com/uMarko)

Sunday, November 06, 2011

The message of salvation - wrapped very securely in a small plastic bag

The young hostess said, "We've watched the Jesus Film many times since we found it in the canal behind our house." The foreign Christian couple were amazed - they had just finished a breakfast of homemade butter, cheese, cucumbers, olives and tomatoes, along with plenty of good hot tea. "You could watch a movie after it had been in water?" they asked. The Kurdish woman replied, "It was wrapped very securely and put in a small plastic bag. This also contained a New Testament that wasn't damaged."

Although her visitors carefully explained the message of salvation, she remains staunchly loyal to Islam.

Pray that this young woman and her family will continue to read the New Testament and ponder its message. Ask God to open their spiritual eyes to discern between truth and error.

Please also give thanks for whoever placed the film and New Testament nearby! May the Kurdish woman recognize that God's message of salvation is also wrapped up very securely, in the person of Jesus Christ.

(from a Christian prayer letter, November 2011)

(To receive new uMarko posts via a daily email, please click Subscribe)
(On Twitter: FOLLOW uMarko or http://www.twitter.com/uMarko)

Friday, November 04, 2011

Pop and R&B preach Sex, Country is much better at True Relationships

Attention parents: it DOES matter what kind of music your child grows up on. If they listen to secular music, there is a pretty substantial difference between Country music, Pop, and R&B.

The four most frequent "reproductive" categories contained in the lyrics of hit Country songs in 2009 were commitment, parenting, rejection, and fidelity assurance, in that order.

For Pop songs the most frequent reproductive categories were sex appeal, reputation, short-term strategies, and fidelity assurance.

For R&B songs, sex appeal, resources (luxury items, cars, money), sex act, and status constituted the most frequent themes.
These are the findings of psychologists Dawn Hobbs and Gordon Gallup in their article Songs as a Medium for Embedded Reproductive Messages, a study published in Evolutionary Psychology, 2011. 9(3): 390-416.

They analyzed close to 60 hit songs from 2009 in Country, Pop, and R&B, and categorized all the "reproductive" messages contained in those songs. Please click on this graph to see the results more clearly(color codes added):

Whereas 46 out of the 58 parenting themes came from Country songs, only four appeared in R&B songs. In contrast, references to resources were featured 106 times in R&B songs, but appeared only six times in Country songs. Approximately 92% of the 174 songs that made it into the Top Ten in 2009 contained one or more reproductive messages, with an average of 10.49 reproductive phrases per song. The most popular/bestselling songs contained significantly more reproductive messages.

Marko comments: If you look at the graph carefully, Country scores the most messages in the positive green items (courtship, fidelity assurance, commitment, and especially parenting). The extremely negative red items (genitalia, arousal, sex act, sex appeal, infidelity) are the specialty of R&B and to a large extent Pop as well. These two also are big in red items (short term strategies meaning one night stands and sexual prowess, ), and materialistic areas in yellow (body parts, reputation, resources, and status).

Contemporary Christian music was not analyzed. This is much to the detriment of the readers of "Evolutionary" psychology. Also, these evolutionary psychologists did not comment on whether the cause of evolution is advanced by the increase in hedonism found in music. Perhaps this is devolution, not evolution!

(referenced on the Michael Medved Radio Program)

(To receive new uMarko posts via a daily email, please click Subscribe)
(On Twitter: FOLLOW uMarko or http://www.twitter.com/uMarko)

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

15 years of Cloning, not the Panacea we were Told

Remains of Dolly the sheep.
Would cloning be a scientific way for a person to achieve immortality, or at least for a succession of copies of him to live for an indeterminate length of time? Fifteen years ago, a sheep named “Dolly” was cloned from the mammary-gland cell of a six year old donor. There was discussion as to whether humans were next (Anonymous 2002).

One would expect that by today, fifteen years after Dolly was cloned, the cloning of animals would have advanced far beyond Dolly’s example. Yet this is not what has happened. Notice the extended quote below taken from a recent fact sheet put out by the U.S. Government’s Genome Project web site (Anonymous, 2011):

Reproductive cloning is a very inefficient technique and most cloned animal embryos cannot develop into healthy individuals. For instance, Dolly was the only clone to be born live out of a total of 277 cloned embryos. This very low efficiency, combined with safety concerns, presents a serious obstacle to the application of reproductive cloning.

Researchers have observed some adverse health effects in sheep and other mammals that have been cloned. These include an increase in birth size and a variety of defects in vital organs, such as the liver, brain and heart. Other consequences include premature aging and problems with the immune system. Another potential problem centers on the relative age of the cloned cell’s chromosomes. As cells go through their normal rounds of division, the tips of the chromosomes, called telomeres, shrink. Over time, the telomeres become so short that the cell can no longer divide and, consequently, the cell dies.

This is part of the natural aging process that seems to happen in all cell types. As a consequence, clones created from a cell taken from an adult might have chromosomes that are already shorter than normal, which may condemn the clones' cells to a shorter life span. Indeed, Dolly, who was cloned from the cell of a 6-year old sheep, had chromosomes that were shorter than those of other sheep her age. Dolly died when she was six years old, about half the average sheep's 12-year lifespan.
Marko comments: There seems to be something very mysterious that is at work here. Cloning evidently does not work as the way to eternal life. Bible believers who understand the fall of all mankind into sin would say that the finger of God is at work here....

References (selected)

Anonymous. 2002. Class Notes: The Cloning of Dolly, 'Cc', and other Mammals (see paragraphs V and VI). IUPUI Department of Biology. Retrieved August 18, 2011 from

Anonymous. 2011. What are the potential drawbacks of cloning animals? Fact Sheets about Science: Cloning. National Human Genome Research Institute. Retrieved August 19, 2011, from www.genome.gov/25020028#al-11

(based on Timothy R. Stout, The Testimony of Clones & Telomeres, published in Creation Matters, a publication of Creation Research Society, Volume 16, Number 4, July/August 2011, to appear at http://www.creationresearch.org/creation_matters/pdf/2011/CM16%2004%20low%20res.pdf)

(To receive new uMarko posts via a daily email, please click Subscribe)
(On Twitter: FOLLOW uMarko or http://www.twitter.com/uMarko)

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Jesus rescues Muslims from the occult side of Islam

The evil eye is a subject that generates a great deal of fear and superstitious bondage among Muslims of many countries. It is commonly believed that a jealous or hateful glance, or even a look of admiration, can deliberately or unwittingly bring a curse on others. Babies and young children are thought to be especia1ly vulnerable. For this reason, mothers typically pin blue and white charms on their little ones in the hope that this will protect them.

Occult practices are common in the world of the average Muslim. Many pray to Muslim saints at their tombs, visit astrologers and fortune tellers, wear protective lockets with verses from the Kor'an, and hire shamans and witches to place spells or curses on others.

A Christian camp in a Muslim country recently ministered to teens from horrific backgrounds surrounded by occult practices. Some of their families make sacrifices to folk gods, have incestuous relationships, are prone to violence, and are infested with demon possession.

Pray that these young people and their loved ones will be delivered from satanic bondage and experience the joy of salvation. Pray that Muslims who become followers of Christ will be diligent to forsake such practices, and will use the authority of Jesus to deal with such evils.

(from a Christian prayer letter, November 2011)

(To receive new uMarko posts via a daily email, please click Subscribe)
(On Twitter: FOLLOW uMarko or http://www.twitter.com/uMarko)