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  • Knowledge Validation

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2014 Epistemology is a study of knowledge. Searching the topic further, we find that our knowledge must be validated. We must strive to achieve justified true belief. We st...Read More...

  • Agricultural Turning Point

    Published 10-27-2016 With respect to major turning points in human history, none is more significant than the Neolithic Revolution. Literally, neolithic means new stone age. The term stone age has...Read More...

  • Scofield and Gap Creationism

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 One of my treasured possessions is a King James Version Scofield Reference Bible presented to my father in 1966 by board members from the church he pastored. The Scofi...Read More...

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©2018

    Published 8-8-2018 Fantasize with us: If visitors from a faraway planet were to visit our Solar System, what would be their impression of our planet ? If our visitors have sensory systems similar to ours, they would be impacted by the enormous multitude of life forms. To comprehend and catalog even a small part of […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2018

    Published 7-31-2017 “One-of-a-kind” connotes a person or thing that is not like any other person or thing. “Exceptional” is not nearly so exclusive. Virtually all athletes on major league baseball, football, basketball, and hockey rosters are exceptional. Numbers of players range from 420 professional basketball competitors, to 620 hockey, 750 baseball, and nearly 1700 football […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2018

    Published 7-23-2018 SETI, an organization committed to searching for life beyond the confines of our Earth and its Solar System, now researches many other wonderful features of our cosmos. The search for extraterrestrial intelligence is now a subsidiary topic of focus and has retreated into the background of their scientific research. The focus of SETI […]

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Other Articles

  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2018

    Published 7-19-2018 The question of whether humanity shares characteristics of life with other human or human-like creatures in our enormous universe has long piqued interest from coffee-table conversationalists to professional astro-biologists. The question fascinates some young people whose extrospective abilities are stimulated when they first study the subject of astronomy. Scripture does not address this […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2018

    Published 7-14-2018 Once again, we recall childhood thoughts about our cosmos. This time, we need to advance our early childhood ideas of the Sumerian cosmic dome to our contemporary concept of the cosmos. Science teachers now use models of globes even in early grades to establish the concept of Planet Earth as a sphere. Students […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2018

    Published 6-27-2018 To introduce astronomy studies to my former students, I regaled them with an account of my early childhood musings about the the Earth and the sky. Some confessed similar youthful personal misconceptions about the cosmos. As a young child I gazed out and envisioned a solid dome of sky arching down to Earth […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2018

    Published 6-22-2018 Recall your personal response to the “first day of summer” when you were a school student. Children greet this day with happiness and fervor. By this date in June some midwestern school children have been on summer vacation for several weeks. Other schools, primarily in the mostly non-agricultural east, have school calendars extending […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2018

    Published 6-19-2018 The CRISPR/Cas9 genetic editing phenomenon receives much press in our current climate. Our government regulators solicit public commentary on lively issues of the day. Well they should, particularly when bioscientists develop novel processes which could impact human life negatively. In particular, when genetic experts deliberately alter in some way the human genetic heritage […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2018

    Published 6-12-2018 The concept of God’s image in humanity is a deep and provocative concept. God’s image does not occur in sub-human life even though God’s creative power is evident in all life. God’s creative power is also manifest in the coherent orderliness of the cosmos, especially in our unique Solar System with our Planet […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2018

    Published 6-5-2018 The universe God created may not be described as “paradise,” a perfect, ideal, idyllic place. Yet, In Genesis chapter 1, God pronounced His creation “good” or “very good” several times. Scriptural and historical records do not describe the existence of an early paradise on Earth long ago. From Scripture, however, we may infer […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2018

    Published 5-27-2018 In 1962 the popular Book-of-the-Month Club selection Fail Safe authored by Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler hit the shelves during the uncertain days of the Cuban Missile Crisis. As a public school teacher I remember many civil defense drills such as moving my students from the classroom to the hallway and directing them […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2018

    Published 5-19-2018 Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) elicit profound fear in many areas of the world. Foods produced by genetic modification are shunned and outlawed in many countries, even though there have been no documented cases of nutritional harm from human consumption of genetically modified foods or food products. Many optimistic promises of GMOs have been […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2018

    Published 5-12-2018 In the lifetimes of some readers of this blog, the most fundamental knowledge of genetics has been revealed. Even in the 1940s and 1950s geneticists were uncertain which cell features were responsible for heredity and how heritable traits were passed to the next generation. For instance, bioscientists were unsure whether cellular protein or […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2018

    Published 5-7-2018 Three weeks into the month of April our local area began to emerge from the throes of winter. Spring conditions have suddenly arrived to the delight of farmers. “Spring planting” is a term frequently heard in farming regions. Frost is now out of the ground and the soil will soon be warm enough […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2018

    Published 4-30-2018 Are Earth’s weather and climate systems merely the result of chance? Do they manifest the elements of exquisitely designed systems? Temperature is but one of many weather-defining factors. Our ability to forecast temperatures connects our knowledge of astronomy with the topic of weather. The tilt of Earth’s axis of rotation is central to […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2018

    Published 4-22-2018 Once or twice each year most areas of our country experience truly unusual stretches of weather. In the writer’s Midwest tri-state neighborhood region—Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin,—our local newspaper, the Dubuque Telegraph Herald highlighted this year’s “weather of discontent” in an editorial entitled “We Can Stay Silent No More on Source of Our Discontent.” They […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2018

    Published 4-18-2018 Human nutrition is a subject of interest for every human virtually every day. Because food is readily available in our modern society, we are usually not engaged with the demands of food procurement. Rather, we focus on the plethora of food choices. For most residents of advanced nations, personal food selections may present […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2018

    Published 4-13-2018 Previous discussions of the agricultural and domestication revolutions have highlighted startling results for human life. Paramount is the Neolithic agricultural revolution and its effect on human population on our planet. Several other more recent agricultural revolutions have resulted in expansion of the human food supply and population. The  works of God did not […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2018

    Published 4-6-2018 The Neolithic Agricultural Revolution began about 10,000 years ago. Planetary climate conditions changed suddenly for humanity. Humans went from the Ice Age to climate conditions with which we are familiar in a relatively short time. After the sudden climate change humanity experienced the Rise of Civilization—growth of cities, towns,  human government entities, spread […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2018

    Published 3-27-2018 Humanity’s rapid move to agriculture was a startling development beginning about 10,000 years ago. The rather abrupt change from hunter/gathering is a fascinating study topic. The move to agriculture within the world population followed thousands of years of a non-agricultural human existence. Anatomically modern humanity has been present on Earth for well over […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2018

    Published 3-19-2018 Modern anatomical humans originated about 200,000 years ago. Prior to that there existed a virtual managerie of different hominid species, sometimes historically reported using the imagery of a lawn of individual diverse plants rather than a branching tree. A few of those diverse hominids may have overlapped with anatomically modern humanity. We do […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2018

    Published 3-14-2018 In less than one month two human giants have passed into timeless eternity. The subjects of their achievements could not have been more dissimilar. Notwithstanding, for different reasons, the focus of their instruction for humanity was equally consequential. Evangelist Billy Graham passed into eternity on February 21 while physicist/cosmologist Stephen Hawking began his […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2018

    Published 3-8-2018 The process of editing is a high level human skill. With respect to written works from high school essays to newspaper articles to drama texts, skillful editors are highly valued. When we apply editing to the human genome and making changes in human DNA we enter sacred ground. Genomic editing has made huge […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2018

    Published 2-28-2018 The DNA code, discovered during the lifetimes of millions of people alive today, provides instructions for simple atoms and molecules of matter to form and assemble themselves into many thousands of proteins. In our early grades, we learned that proteins are the building blocks of life. As young people we neither understood how […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2018

    Published 2-21-2018 Miracle: A highly improbable or extraordinary event, development, or accomplishment that brings very welcome consequences. The foregoing definition of “miracle” modifies what many people traditionally believed about the term. A traditional definition of miraculous relates to events that are “not explicable by natural or scientific laws.” Immediate physical healing or raising from the […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2018

    Published 2-11-2018 When public media assign extra hyperbole to celestial events that already possess appeal and fascination, science educators are grateful. Extensive publicity was given to the last two total eclipse events in the last six months. These were unusual closely spaced natural events, worthy of heightened popular interest, attention and explanation. Since summer 2017, […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2018

    Published 2-5-2018 The total lunar eclipse on January 31 merited many superlatives from media reporters. After all, no total eclipse had coincided with a blue moon for 152 years and a repeat coincidence will not occur again until 2037. The occurrence appropriately acquired the moniker “super blue blood moon” total lunar eclipse. Our current post […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2018

    Published 1-31-2018 During extended discussions concerning life origins with friends, exchanges have often revolved around evolution as a natural process. According to theory, evolution occurs as a mysterious undirected force propelling the appearance of the wondrous multiplicity of life, its astonishing processes, and its magnificence. Whereas random mutation and natural selection formerly held sway in […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2018

    Published 1-23-2018 The paradigm of evolution is still relentlessly promoted in our culture. Its link to mutation and natural selection, however, is weakening. Quoting a term popularized by science philosopher Thomas Kuhn’s (1922-1996) words, major structures of scientific belief sometimes experience “paradigm shifts.” Evolution’s previous support structure, mutation and natural selection, is undergoing an uneasy […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2018

    Published 1-18-2018 In our last post we dealt with the positions of two famous commentators concerning the origin of living things—Stephen C. Meyer and Perry Marshall. For Christians, believing the God of Creation acted in an intelligent manner to design the physical universe, and more particularly, the living humanity which inhabits our planet seems like […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2018

    Published 1-11-2018 Introduce a discussion of creationism, evolution, or Intelligent Design (ID) at a mixed gathering of friends and we have the makings of a lively discussion. Blend these topics with deeper theology and we have the makings of an even livelier discussion. Many people have firm, established views and may not be happy with […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2018

    Published 1-3-2018 Many regions of our country experienced severe cold weather in late December 2017. Current forecasts indicate we will endure at least another week of below zero conditions, in some cases, substantially below zero. Some are already poking fun at the global warming climate change contingent without acknowledging that there is a distinction between […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2017

    Published 12-23-2017 Our neighborhood in autumn is often full of riveting excitement. When we moved to this area in 2002, I pronounced it “bird heaven.” This judgment has not changed. This morning as I took pen in hand to begin this post, I experienced a reprise of the rousing action in our back yard several […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2017

    Published 12-17-2017 Most college students were required to enroll in introductory courses such as Western Civilization. More recently these introductory courses have transitioned to World History, sometimes combined with Ancient Civilization. A study of syllabuses of these courses reveals few topics concerning pre-civilization people and cultures. This indicates the paucity of knowledge about the lives […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2017

    Published 12-8-2017 Do creation miracles still occur? We have discussed infrequent, spectacular transcendent creation miracles, fascinating transformative creation miracles, and constantly occurring sustaining creation miracles. According to this scheme we may select a sequence of historical events from the origin of time/space/matter/energy to the events of this present moment. These creation events may be considered […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2017

    Published 12-2-2017 Details concerning early human history often center on the period of “The Rise of Civilization” which commenced about 7,000 BC. In our previous post we highlighted the important transformational miracle which occurred at the conclusion of the Wisconsin Ice Age: http://jasscience.blogspot.com/2017/11/transformational-creation-miracles.html Had the Wisconsin Ice Age not ended, we may still be living […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2017

    Published 11-21-2017 Viewed from outer space our home on this planet appears considerably different than it would have appeared at the glacial maximum of the Wisconsin Ice Age 22,000 years ago. Imagine we are traveling toward Earth on a spacecraft 22 millennia ago. Ice caps covered Canada entirely, a large part of northern United States, […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2017

    Published 11-13-2017 We observe our planetary home’s beauty and functionality with awe and wonder. We consider how this world came to be with its many complex interlocking systems. Our planet functions for the benefit of humanity and all life forms as a marvelously dynamic machine. Older generations hark back to early Sunday School flannel graph […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2017

    Published 11-7-2017 Skillful preparation of a residential homesite is a complex process. There are many layers of preparation sequences as a home is constructed in anticipation of owner occupancy. Many families have documented the steps of building their new home. This includes the initial search for a physical site, architectural planning, financial accountability, ground breaking, […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2017

    Miracle is a term with many meanings in different contexts. When the term is used in connection with radical or unexplained improvement in one’s medical condition—miracle is frequently applied. Seldom do people comment on what type of miracle has occurred. Most people tacitly understand and approve characterizations of such events as miraculous. For example, recently […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2017

    Published 10-27-2017 Planet Earth’s annual sequence of seasons is a defining characteristic. Weather and climate manifestations are intricately related to conditions generated by our seasons. As we travel north or south from equatorial regions, seasonal variety becomes an all-important factor in describing earth’s weather and climate. Mid-latitudes between 30º and 60º have well defined periods […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2017

    Published 10-20-2017 The seasons of Planet Earth sustain humanity in several ways, including supplying emotional needs. Seasonal changes are enjoyable to many Earth residents, especially those who choose to live in regions where changes are more pronounced. We revel in delightful seasonal variety. Seasons are welcomed by some and scorned by others. For example, springtime […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2017

    Published 10-9-2017 Humans propose diverse rationale for believing or not believing in the the existence and actions of an omnipotent Creator. One of the most common reasons is personal belief that God, loving, powerful, and all-knowing, would not or should not permit evil to exist in this created sphere. This includes natural evil such as […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2017

    Published 9-29-2017 Our recent posts on the Atlantic hurricanes of 2017 have triggered serious reflection on the meaning of thriving. Does the recent spate of destructive hurricanes and earthquakes strengthen or weaken our description of Earth as “a place to thrive?” We acknowledge that thriving is a value-laden word. We are ill-advised to use the […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2017

    Published 9-22-2017 “In a perfect world there would be no hurricanes.” Does this pithy aphorism involve a universal truth? Depending on how we define perfection and, in particular, what a perfect world would be, we acknowledge there may be truth to this aphorism. Some skeptics who reject the existence or work of a Creator of […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2017

    Published 9-17-2017 Genesis: the origin or mode of formation. In the context of hurricanes, two of which devastated the Caribbean region and the US mainland in late summer 2017, we wonder about the sequence of events which results in a fully mature hurricane. The energy of a hurricane exceeds by 200 times the electrical generating […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2017

    Published 9-12-2017 The onset of two deadly hurricanes in late August and early September 2017 broke a twelve year stretch of relative calm with respect to the most destructive Category 3 or stronger hurricanes. We acknowledge that many Christian and secular commentators are searching for answers to the difficult problem of horrific destruction. The apparent […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2017

    Published 8-23-2017 What is the “Everest” event to which we refer? My wife and I experienced the “Great American (total solar) Eclipse of August 21, 2017 at Marion, Illinois. The town was a few miles from Carbondale which has achieved notoriety as the Great American Eclipse capitol. The low 90s summer day dawned essentially cloud […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2017

    Published 8-18-2017 In our final post prior to the Great American total solar Eclipse, we examine additional science related to the physical eclipse. As we anticipate this experience with excitement, we ask if there is a deeper meaning to the upcoming events in our sky. In so doing we may describe metaphysical phenomena. Philosophy is […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2017

    Published 8-14-2017 We live at the exact moment in Earth’s extensive history when perfect solar eclipses, such as the event of August 21, 2017, are possible. These eclipses occur because the apparent disc of the Moon and the apparent disc of the Sun are virtually identical. Much earlier or much later in geologic history the […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2017

    Published 8-12-2017 As we approach the total solar eclipse “zero hour” on August 21, we have a few days to reflect concerning Earth’s Moon—our planet’s constant companion in space. The event will generate genuine awe, punctuated by audible “oohs” and “aahs.” The glory of the visual spectacle will take precedence on the actual day. Temporarily […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2017

    Published 8-6-2017 An eclipse is defined as the partial or total blocking of the light from one celestial body to another celestial body by an intervening body. This definition fits both solar and lunar eclipses. In a solar eclipse the intervening body, the Moon, passes between Earth observers and the sun. In a lunar eclipse […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2017

    Published 7-28-2017 Our previous post discussed the concept of an error-free creation. God did not err in creating dozens of physical constants by which our cosmos functions. Neither did he err in designing the physical structure or functionality of the human body and all other living things. We admire the beauty and organization of the […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2017

    Published 7-25-2017 A look at the creation of Planet Earth, our Solar System, the Milky Way galaxy, and our entire cosmos reveals a creation with no divine errors. If we believe in an omniscient and omnipotent Creator, we posit that his works of creation are mistake-free. From a human perspective, however, we may errantly identify […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2017

    Published 7-13-2017 In ten years of our science/faith blog we have made 14 references to the unique monarch butterfly. Four entries were detailed personal family accounts of the monarch phenomenon. First, our gymnastics instructor son, unbeknown to me, challenged his young gymnastics students for an out-of-the-gym project. They were to search for and collect a […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2017

    Published 6-5-2017 James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879) is a model for affirming the reality of God in a powerful way. This brilliant scientist masterfully promotes the dual reality of the existence of God linked with the reality of a divinely designed and wonderfully ordered physical world. Incredible human achievement is but a subset of the orderliness […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2017

    Published 5-11-2017 When we think scientifically, we are acutely aware of the cause and effect phenomenon. Causes are easy to observe in some cases. For other situations causes are difficult to observe without devising appropriate observational strategies. Before the Scientific Revolution empirical observations were not systematically utilized. At the onset of the Revolution implicit powers […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2017

    Published 5-4-2017 Our current focus on the wonders of air pressure directs us to some deeper questions. It is appropriate to backtrack somewhat to discuss a few questions about constantly moving sub-microscopic atoms and molecules. Children and adults fascinated by air pressure will profit from a discussion of the structure and characteristics of atoms and […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2017

    Published 4-30-2017 During my tenure as an earth science teacher weather was one of my favorite units of study. I hoped it would become a student favorite as well. Many of the experiments we assembled to teach weather concepts possessed an element of the “wow factor.” My reticence about over-stressing the pure entertainment value of […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2017

    Published 4-28-2017 The popular idiom “Vanish into thin air” has acquired meaning in our modern experience. It refers to a mysterious disappearance of something which is no longer visible but may still be present and real. Not always does the expression apply to a literal physical substance. It could indicate, for example, the peculiar disappearance […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2017

    Published 4-21-2017 In a metaphorical sense we may have heard the term “seeing God.” Recently I have encountered several parents who have been challenged by questions from their children concerning the reality of God’s existence. Adults are also challenged by questions from their friends concerning the reality of God. This is a hot discussion topic—one […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2017

    Published 4-14-2017 Many of our recent posts have been written with children in mind. How successful are parents in presenting God as real for our children? How could Sunday School teachers do the same for their students to affirm that God is real? We may also ask how our pastors could present biblical theology from […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2017

    Published 4-8-2017 In our desire to make the existence of God real for our children we may also consider how vital it is to make God real for ourselves and our adult friends. The author of the fourth gospel and the epistles of John made clear statements: “No one has ever seen God” (John 1:18; […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2017

    Published 4-3-2017 Theologically, the Biblical revelation that “God is a Spirit” (KJV) is an extremely deep concept. Likewise, the subject of God’s invisibility is exceedingly profound. We cannot see a spirit. Our Christian faith is anchored to belief in the reality of a God who cannot be seen. Humans are accustomed to visual imagery to […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2017

    Published 3-28-2017 Parents of young children hope for positive responses in their efforts to instill appropriate behavior and value systems. They train their offspring to be obedient, cooperative, cheerful, and encourage a host of other positive self-disciplines. Parents divert the young people from selfishness, meanness, and lying, making sure they understand the downside of such […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2017

    Published 3-19-2017 Exuberant optimism abounds when certain popular ideas are proposed. One example is the idea by Seth Shostak, senior astronomer for the SETI Institute that “…the universe is replete with real estate on which biology could both arise and flourish.” Shostak calls this idea “a growing conviction.” Many scientists claim mankind needs a new […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2017

    Published 3-17-2017 Depending on which source of information we quote, the number of exoplanets—planets orbiting stars other than our sun—is experiencing an exponential population explosion. The longer we wait, the more exoplanets are discovered. Their number has roughly doubled every 27 months from the discovery of the first exoplanets in the 1990s. The population explosion […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2017

    Published 3-13-2017 Recently I was challenged to create posts affirming the usefulness of science to promote faith–belief in the existence of God and the past and present action of the Creator to sustain our present existence. In particular, the request was framed with young people in mind. Presenting evidence for the existence of God and […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2017

    Published 3-5-2017 Climate change is really a metaphor for global warming in today’s conversation. The warming of our planet is perceived by many citizens as undesirable. Many less informed citizens think any departure from the climatic status quo is a source of worry. More specifically, since the last three years have produced, by some metrics, […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2017

    Published 2-21-2017 Human consciousness is on a higher plane than consciousness in animals. Nevertheless, biologists acknowledge that mammals, birds, and perhaps a few lower animals possess the “neurological substrate” to experience consciousness. Anyone who has owned a pet, most especially a dog, would recognize the presence of conscious feelings. Their feelings are not simply explained […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2017

    Published 2-16-2017 In a healthy person the eleven interconnected biological body systems function normally as a single system. The brain, part of the central nervous system, controls and coordinates the functions of the other ten systems. Electrical messages pulse through the spinal column and into a network of neural branches toward the organs of the […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2017

    Published 2-7-2017 “Over the years my enjoyment of the game of football has been increasing. This game offers a level of complexity which I had not realized in my earlier years. The offensive and defensive options are fascinating because they are nearly limitless.” (This quote originated from our May 17, 2009 post.) After the incredible […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2017

    Published 2-4-2017 Human consciousness is usually not a coffee table topic of conversation. Consciousness is fairly easy to define. Awareness of self and surroundings is a common definition, but the simplicity of the definition belies the complexity of the topic. Historically, scientists and philosophers have devoted plentiful attention to understanding the phenomenon of consciousness. Ironically, […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2017

    Published 1-31-2017 In conversations with our young grandchildren we sometimes observe some surprisingly deep thinking. Several years ago our almost three year old granddaughter, in response to one of our questions replied, “I haven’t thought about that yet.” At her tender age she was already aware of the thought process as an outgrowth of her […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2017

    Published 1-27-2017 What really happens in our brain when we think, desire, create, feel, recall, or decide? One neuroscientist, Paul King, says, “The brain is a multilayered ecosystem of hierarchically organized neurons, circuits, networks, and brain areas.” Alva Noe is a philosopher working in the area of perception and consciousness. He has stated, “A human […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2017

    Published 1-23-2017 All human abilities, aptitudes, achievements, talents, and gifts are mediated by the human brain. The primary organ of the central nervous system, the brain is a command and control center and the source of our ability to function. Virtually all human ability and performance originates with activity of the brain. Even aptitude, a […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2017

    Published 1-16-2017 For centuries there has been a robust discussion concerning the relative importance of nature and nurture with respect to the traits humans develop. Are human traits inherent and innate or are they environmentally and culturally determined? Stated differently, are we born with our human traits, or do they manifest themselves as we are […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2017

    Published 1-6-2017 All life is a gift bestowed by the Creator of Life. In this sense, all humans are gifted. The broader phenomenon of giftedness, however, is associated with possession of exceptional talent. Giftedness is a topic of considerable worth and wonder, both to those blessed by possession of exceptional talent and also to those […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 12-31-2016 A famous parable offered by Jesus Christ during his ministry relates to the chemical value of salt as a preservative, a seasoning, and most effectively as a fertilizer. The imagery of salt in its agricultural context provides an exceptional object lesson related to our desire to expand the effectiveness of our personal witness. […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 12-23-2016 Scripture passages found in Psalm 68:18 and Ephesians 4:8, God gave gifts to men, were intended to highlight spiritual gifts such as prophesying, evangelism, pastoring, or teaching. The Bible, after all, is primarily a textbook of spiritual gifts given to man: righteous living, pleasing God, and the ultimate gift of redemption from sin […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 12-14-2016 When George H. W. Bush was president of the United States, he was involved in a interesting and humorous “dust-up” with nutritionists and parents alike. The humor of the incident may have carried over from discussion of the informal utterances of our nation’s chief executive all the way to resolution of “See, I […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 12-9-2016 Humanity’s transition to agriculture in the last 10,000 years could not have occurred without the domestication phenomenon. Domestication of animals and plants was associated with the transformative revolution in agriculture which led to significant human population gains. Background for this discussion is our recent post of 11/26/16: http://jasscience.blogspot.com/2016/11/genetics-king-of-domestication.html Fundamental changes in animal and […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 12-5-2016 In post-retirement reverie I have imagined what my profession might be if given a second chance at a career decision. I have never regretted becoming a public school science teacher. Nevertheless, in retirement my opportunity to research diverse topics of science has yielded many opportunities to expand personal knowledge beyond the curricular requirements. […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 11-26-2016 Our recent blog posts have highlighted the human agricultural revolution which occurred about 10-12,000 years ago. The transitions were not uniform in all areas. Some changes had begun earlier in an era when human population growth was limited. The full scope of the agricultural revolution, however, delivered a positive jolt to human population […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 11-19-2016 Our world is a world of multiple dualities. Let us give a few examples. There are many physical dualities such as day and night, light and dark, hot and cold. In the world of morality, good and evil exist. There are many dualistic manifestations of good and evil, such as kindness vs cruelty. […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 11-14-2016 Many readers count winter, spring, or summer as their favorite season. Others consider autumn their favorite. Their reasons are abundant and diverse. Many factors contribute to one’s assignment of favorite status to one quarter of the annual calendar. Our ability to rationalize is strengthened and refined. We are able to trace interrelated factors […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 11-4-2016 In 10,000 BC many changes occurred in the condition of our planet and the humanity calling Earth their home. The Ice Age had locked up millions of cubic miles of earth’s water in ice and had provided a rather harsh planetary environment for Earth residents. Agriculturalists could not thrive in the cold temperatures. […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 10-27-2016 With respect to major turning points in human history, none is more significant than the Neolithic Revolution. Literally, neolithic means new stone age. The term stone age has a connotation of an exceedingly primitive human culture. In terms of our modern culture, primitive is a generally appropriate description. Neolithic culture, however, was the […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 10-20-2016 Our post title suggests a relationship between cycles of global climate and their effects on humanity. This proposal is true in a powerful way. Long term earth temperatures cycle between warmer and cooler. On a short time scale, daily and seasonal temperature changes impact what we wear, what activities we enjoy, when we […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 10-12-2016 Before we launch into continuing discussion of the startling sudden shift of society toward agriculture about 10,000 BC, accelerating human society toward what is termed the rise of civilization, I digress with a few personal observations of the remnants of glaciation in the area where I grew up and later lived and worked. […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 10-6-2016 Our enthusiasm for our contemporary agricultural bounty is well merited. We offer thanks to God for record breaking 21st century crop production and its fascinating diversity. The quality and abundance of fresh and frozen fruits, vegetables, and meats in our modern food stores have inspired my personal tongue in cheek characterizations of supermarket […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 10-2-2016 Wondrous progress occurred in human culture approximately 10,000 BC. These changes are associated with what has been termed “The Rise of Civilization” especially in the area of Mesopotamia. A significant segment of the human population began to assume an increasingly urban, agriculture-based, sedentary society. This marked the transition from the Old Stone Age […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 9-23-2016 World food security has generally kept pace with the world population explosion of the last 200 years. Regional famines have occurred since man appeared on Planet Earth. A widespread famine involving billions of Earth residents, however, has been averted as the planet population inexorably headed from one billion to over seven billion in […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 9-19-2016 Our post title, Designer Plants, suggests a commonly used meaning: plants of interest to landscape designers and plant retailers—beautiful, utilitarian, exotic, unusual, or even bizarre. In contrast, we use our post title as it applies to the improvement of food quantity and quality for earth dwellers. As such, we focus on how humans […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 9-14-2016 Food security is a term indicating access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food to meet dietary needs for an active and healthy life. One of humanity’s most significant challenges is how to address food security. Historically, most people would be startled to discover that hundreds of famines have struck periodically in many societies […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 9-9-2016 The midwestern US is enjoying the prospect of bountiful crops during the upcoming 2016 harvest season. It is doubtful the corn crop has ever been taller. When the soybeans were in their full growth, I joked that some fields appeared as tall as the corn. Bountiful appears to be an understatement. Both the […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 9-3-2016 Summer 2016 provided opportunity for personal travel to three different vacation venues to visit with family in different regions of our country. Two journeys were extended automobile trips; one was by commercial airline. Each trip provided occasions for scientific and geographic observation and interesting conversation and potential for research when we returned. Traveling […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 8-22-2016 Endearing photos of grandchildren may now be instantly shared by grandparents hundreds of miles away. Last week we were apprised of the capture of “Cray-Cray,” a two inch long crayfish proudly named by our 4-year old granddaughter, Juliana. Their neighborhood pond and stream produced the healthy little crayfish. It resided in a plastic […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 8-20-2016 Approaching New York City by automobile, bus, train, or aircraft we are struck with the architectural engineering technology applied in the city’s physical construction. Most visitors are impacted by the aesthetic grandeur of the skyline. Soon they experience a close-up immersion into the city. An abundance of additional sensations surround the tourist—close-up sights, […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 8-15-2016 New York City is a mainstay of family vacations to the United States Northeast. This city is unique for its multiple tourist attractions and has been dubbed the cultural and financial capital of the world. In many decades of residence in New Jersey just a few dozen miles west of this great city, […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 7-31-2016 Irony is defined as a state of affairs or an event that seems contrary to what one would expect. Our focus on the proliferation of data and the resultant increase in knowledge resulting from the recent Digital Revolution triggers a question concerning beliefs of professional scientists: With the exponential increase in scientific understanding […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 7-29-2016 Marshall McCluhan (1911-1980) coined a amusing play on the title of his famous best seller, “The Medium Is the Message.” In humor, McCluhan once substituted “massage” for message. The Medium is the Massage recognized that visual or print media could “massage” human awareness and leave a profound impact on an individual’s perception of […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 7-26-2016 The Digital Revolution has the imprint of codes wherever we look. Codes are languages and are evidence that an intelligent agent had substantial input into the digital coding process. Not often when we use a digital device do we consider the significance of the coding phenomenon. The phenomenon today is rather like breathing […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 7-22-2016 Many 21st century residents are highly attuned to technology as an instructional tool to plumb previously unknown mysteries of how our God-created world works and how man has harnessed its working features. The modern world supplies ample opportunity to study scientific advances occurring at an ever accelerating pace. Recently our automobile trip to […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 7-14-2016 Our post title is a play on the popular term GPS—Global Positioning System. Summer is the active season for vacations and family reunions, sometimes in distant locales. Travel by automobile is not nearly the same challenge as decades ago. One travel accessory was the inevitable set of roadmaps and Trip-tiks. In our day […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 7-5-2016 Our Creator has designed a physical world demanding precision fine tuning of hundreds of systems to be comfortably and healthily habitable. These physical systems with all their cosmic and geological magnificence could be perceived as a work of grandeur even if humans did not exist. Creation’s purpose, however, would be unfulfilled without the […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 6-30-2016 Students of climate science encounter an interesting term—climate forcing. Our earth climate had been “forced” naturally into warmer conditions by increased solar radiation in distant geologic history. In effect, the sun became brighter and warmer. More recently earth’s climate has been temporarily “forced” by several significant volcanic eruptions into cooler temperatures. Many climate […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 6-29-2016 Two groups were organized in 2005 in response to the perceived environmental challenges posed by climate change. We highlight these two groups, pointing out similarities and differences. The Evangelical Climate Initiative is composed exclusively of 300 evangelical leaders in the United States sharing concern about environmental stewardship. The Cornwall Alliance For The Stewardship […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 6-24-2016 Our somewhat warmer 2016 Northern Illinois winter and spring may call attention to the issue of climate change in a few residents’ minds. But as I write, the southwestern United States bakes in oppressive, record-breaking heat. As usual, the anthropogenic climate change subject receives much attention at such times. Imagine daytime temperatures of […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 6-20-2016 In 1966 there was a famous Time Magazine story asking “Is God Dead?” The thought of the death of God could have been interpreted in several ways. Did a pre-existent God cease to exist? More likely, the meaning of the title was captured by the thought that our culture had created no need […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 6-13-2016 Christian parents raising children desire to instill a sense of divine existence and love for their Creator in their offspring. We are always pleased when our grandchildren want to pray before mealtime, thanking God for the gifts of food and asking him to bless all the dear ones in their acquaintance. At some […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 6-7-2016 Atheists and agnostics challenge belief in God by claiming there is no evidence for God’s existence, much less proof. Personal research provides plentiful commentary on the question of God’s existence and how individuals deal with the issue. Believers in God function as missionaries attempting to carry their message of faith to unbelievers. Personal […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 6-1-2016 In 1997 Stephen Jay Gould proposed a principle to experts in both science and religion. It became known as the NOMA (non-overlapping magisteria) principle. The conflict between science and religion had occupied the attention of authorities in both fields of knowledge for many years. It was described as a conflict where answers posed […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 5-27-2016 Does God exist? This question may be uttered somewhat softly. Most people have considered the question in their minds, but have less often verbalized it. Perhaps this is because few people in our circle of friends wish to be noted as doubters on the issue of God’s existence. A large majority profess to […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 5-22-2016 Why am I so invested in the origins issue? This question has been posed to me over many years by a friend with whom I have carried on a longstanding, fascinating discussion concerning the difference between evolutionary theory and creationist belief. There is strong distinction between evolutionary theory and creationist belief because evolution […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 5-19-2016 Our beliefs depend extensively on our reliance on evidence. Concerning our belief in the reality of God’s existence, it is commonly recognized that the issue of evidence is a frequent request among those who inquire about the reality of God. Direct physical evidence does not exist, but there is indirect physical evidence of […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 5-12-2016 Our English language words and terms possess a wealth of meanings. One of the most difficult features of the English language is its multitude of vocabulary words. One example concerns words like create, creative, creation, and creationist. Let us consider the term creation. It could entail the action of production, or it could […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 5-5-2016 In 1972 a new concept became popular among evolutionists. It was called punctuated equilibrium (PE). Niles Eldredge and Stephen Gould popularized the term. This revolutionary idea was a surprise to many in the public who had become accustomed to the concept that gradual change within species and a slow transition to other species […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 4-28-2016 Our previous post spoke of human creativity as it reflects the Image of God. Humans experience joy in their creative activities of work or play. Multiple expressions of imagination, innovation, and originality produce joy in the men, women, and children possessing these creative traits. We now shift our focus to the realm of […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 4-25-2016 Creativity has been extensively studied in humans young and old. Educators readily identify creativity in their students. It is a trait also admired by parents in their children. Employers encourage creativity in virtually all dimensions of their employee’s job performance. There is a relationship between creativity and skill in any professional performance. For […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 4-19-2016 The Image of God is one of the deepest concepts in theology. If we are created by God, it follows that we reflect the Creator’s attributes. Humans possess special qualities which allow God himself to be made manifest in us. We have a natural, innate resemblance to God. At the level of genetics, […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 4-12-2016 Our post title may provoke cries of “Inappropriate!” God is omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent. We might ask, “How could such a God, Creator of the universe, be a playful God?” If we consider that humanity was created in the “Image of God,” and consider that humans are endowed with consciousness from a very […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 4-6-2016 As a science teacher one of my favorite curricular topics was astronomy. Some years I extended the unit beyond the time our teaching syllabus actually prescribed. Our supervisor understood that the interests and talents of individual staff members might supersede strict rigidity in applying curricular time allotments. Time, space, distance, and speed were […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 4-1-2016 Our universe, 13.8 billion years of age, reveals a marvelous story of its existence. Within this age-span we possess the timeline of cosmological history. The earliest events following the initial creation have been understood and described surprisingly well. Likewise, events as they have evolved in the vast time since the universe’s infancy, have […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 3-21-2016 As a student I wondered if there was a beginning to time. I reasoned that every day must follow a preceding day. Therefore, time had always existed without a beginning. Likewise, I wondered about the end of space. If space had a hypothetical “end,” what was just on the other side of the […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 3-16-2016 The trio of gifted scientists beginning with Michael Faraday and James Clerk Maxwell ends with Albert Einstein, the 20th century contributor to the revolutionary “field” concept. Einstein, who died in Princeton, NJ in 1955, contributed his theories of relativity, extending his reputation as one of the most brilliant scientists ever to tackle long […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 3-11-2016 The popular excitement generated by the detection of gravity waves (more accurately gravitational waves) in February 2016 has inspired popular broadening of interest in science as it molds our visualization of reality in our creation. Our recent posts highlighted the concept of fields, in particular, gravitational fields. The recent gravitational wave publicity emphasized […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 3-7-2016 “Every child starts out as a natural born scientist, and then we beat it out of them. A few trickle through the system with their wonder and enthusiasm for science intact.” Carl Sagan, famous scientist and popularizer of science for the public, shares authorship of this idea with many other commentators, especially science […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 3-2-2016 Brilliant theologian Thomas F. Torrance passed into eternity in 2007. We imagine that Torrance would have experienced exuberant enjoyment at the recent scientific detection of gravity waves. He related science and theology in unique ways, a gifted expositor within both disciplines. We quote a portion of the foreword from one of Thomas Torrance’s […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 2-26-2016 My maternal grandfather was born in Switzerland in 1860. I enjoy informing friends that my direct ancestor, only two generations removed from me, was born before the American Civil War. He passed away just a few weeks after I was born, the father of 16 children and the grandparent of dozens of grandchildren. […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 2-19-2016 The recent detection of gravitational waves highlights not merely one, but two of the greatest scientists in history and the startling intersections of their respective discoveries. Many news articles proclaimed the idea that “Einstein was right” in his 1916 declaration concerning the reality of gravitational waves and the theories of relativity. But we […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 2-14-2016 The world has been in the grip of gravity in recent days. Of course, each moment of our lives we experience the physical grip of gravity. But lately the news from scientists has been more gripping than usual. Gravity waves were directly detected for the first time in history and reported to the […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 2-9-2016 “Be fruitful and multiply” has multiple implications. The scripture mandate of Genesis 1:28 does not list detailed concomitants of healthy population multiplication. Our knowledge of the intellectual abilities gifted to the human population by our Creator, however, implies that healthy population multiplication accompanies wise human stewardship of human lives and our environment. The […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 2-4-2016 One look at the world’s population explosion in the last two centuries provokes concern. Over seven billion souls inhabit the planet, six billion more than the world population at the beginning of the 19th century. The problem is not physical overcrowding. The capacity of the Earth is ample, but every location does not […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 1-30-2016 One of the most powerful scripture verses occurs in the first book of Genesis. God said to his newly created humanity, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it…” (Gen. 1:28a ESV). Population multiplication has been a source of both blessing and concern for human society ever since man has […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 1-22-2016 A mid-winter retreat from the cold winter climate of our permanent residence affords an opportunity to connect with relatives and friends. Some siblings have already become permanently ensconced in warm climates. Many personal friends and neighbors from frigid northern states have taken the opportunity to escape to Florida or Arizona, some for a […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 1-11-2016 Our way of envisioning and explaining life and the world surrounding us, our personal traditions and past and present external reality is called worldview. Our total experience revolves around our worldview, even when we are unaware of the concept or its meaning. In this post we continue with statements offered by The Truth […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 1-9-2016 Our science/faith blog is hosted by the Ankerberg Theological Research Institute (ATRI), an apologetic ministry for the truth of Christianity. Included in Dr.Ankerberg’s apologetic approach are strong affirmations of the Christian theistic worldview. In all Christian ministries, a proper theistic worldview is one of the foundations of the faith experience. During the last […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2016

    Published 1-6-2016 “The more we study biochemistry and cellular biology the more we become sure of God’s hand in every biological process.” This statement emerged from a conversation among friends recently as we discussed epigenetics, the topic of our last few posts. To those attuned to the orderliness and apparent purpose underlying biological processes we […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 12-30-2015 DNA contains our genetic inheritance. In the DNA molecule there exists a code for the assembly of all the proteins in our body—up to 50,000 proteins. In this way, DNA is the reference manual for the materials of which our body is composed. These chemical materials must be assembled properly or they will […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 12-22-2015 What lies under the surface? The external and internal structure and function of the human body is complex and beautiful beyond belief. According to what master plan is the human body assembled? We could devote a lifetime of study even to scratch the surface of knowledge about molecular biology. Still, our knowledge of […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 12-15-2015 We have experienced a reprise of the fascination triggered when a new life enters the family. At the risk of being repetitive, we must acknowledge renewed awe of the traits and skills manifest by very young children long before the age of six months. Our visits to church, the supermarket, and other public […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 12-9-2015 Epigenetics is a new and unfamiliar term to many non-scientists. The term signifies inherited changes to the phenotype (physical and behavioral traits) that are not caused by the genetic code of DNA. To bioscientists knowledge of epigenetics opens new medical knowledge to enhance human health and longevity. It is the next step in […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 12-4-2015 Proteins begin their lives as chains of amino acids in the body. In humans, protein-forming amino acids are either acquired in foods we eat (essential amino acids) or are manufactured in our body (non-essential amino acids). Essential and non-essential amino acids are coded by the DNA molecule to produce the proteins of the […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 11-29-2015 Citizens who have lived through World War II may contemplate a treasure of science discoveries. One favored activity is searching out timelines of discovery in science as a general field. The timelines can be broken down into many branches of specialized knowledge including life science. Advances in this field have been startling. We […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 11-19-2015 Our bio-science vocabulary is expanding. Within the lifetimes of today’s senior citizens, the molecule of DNA was named as the bearer of genetic information. By mid 20th century, brilliant discoveries about the structure of the DNA molecule were published. Soon the DNA genetic code was discovered. Inherent in DNA was a code for […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 11-16-2015 Among many concerns with the truth of the evolutionary paradigm is the reality of building a new species. If evolution is true, new species made their initial appearance countless times in the history of earth life. New genetic information was necessary to produce a new species, replacing older genetic information. Molecules of DNA […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 11-11-2015 Stephen C. Meyer’s interview series with John Ankerberg on the JAShow in July and August presented a conceptual and descriptive outline of the broad subject of popular evolutionary theory birthed by Charles Darwin. Meyer is primarily an advocate of the Intelligent Design paradigm. He reviewed the evolutionary proposal that earth life has progressed […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 11-5-2015 Philosopher/cognitive scientist David J. Chalmers formulated an expression to characterize our quest for knowledge of consciousness. In 1996 he called it “the hard problem.” The term has since become associated with the scientific subject of consciousness. Consciousness is indeed a “hard” problem. Chalmers claimed that “Consciousness poses the most baffling problems in the […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 10-30-2015 When our neighborhood birds decided to engage in high-spirited, ebullient behavior, our thoughts wandered toward, “What caused this sudden display?” Description of the behavior is easy; explanation is complex and difficult. Our previous post on “Exuberant Wildlife” described the collective antics of thirteen different bird species in the woods behind our home one […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 10-16-2015 Looking out across our back deck into the trees of our northwest Illinois neighborhood in autumn, our birds (I’ve called this area “bird heaven”) occasionally stage an impressive drama. Several times each fall we are favored by an event we must characterize as “exuberant bedlam.” On 10-16-09 I first called attention to this […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 10-15-2015 Public attention is directed toward unusual and spectacular phenomena from the natural world by media accounts. The editorially injected “super” used in media descriptions generates added hype and sometimes well-deserved excitement. An example is “Superstorm Sandy,” the second most costly US hurricane which slammed into the east coast in October 2012. Several weeks […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 10-15-2015 Why call attention to the famous “Cambrian Explosion?” The John Ankerberg Show recently highlighted this remarkable event in the history of Earth’s life. We again invite our readers to review the full archive of Dr. Stephen C. Meyer’s seven interviews on the the Ankerberg Theological Research Institute (ATRI) website at www.jashow.org The programs […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 10-7-2015 In June 2013 Dr. Stephen C. Meyer’s popular volume Darwin’s Doubt appeared on bookshelves. In their fervor to uphold the proposal that 19th century Darwinian theory had been established as a prominent scientific icon of the day, many contemporary critics of Intelligent Design (ID) attacked Meyer’s treatise as “unscientific.” Believers in common descent […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 10-1-2015 Discovery Institute’s Stephen C. Meyer and ATRI’s John Ankerberg produced a series of interview programs on the John Ankerberg Show in July and August 2015. Meyer is Discovery Institute’s Executive Director. In that role he is a well known, articulate spokesman for the concept of Intelligent Design in our physical universe, including its […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 9-24-2015 Creationism is a faith-based belief. As a verb, “create” has multiple meanings including “bring into being.” If we count the creation of all things in our universe as “bring into being,” we assume that our universe did not exist before. Therefore, when we use the word “creationism,” we posit that God initiated the […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 9-22-2015 Stephen C. Meyer is director of Discovery Institute, possibly the most high profile organization promoting the theory of Intelligent Design. The theory (ID) endures criticism from a variety of sources ranging from atheists to theists, and from naturalistic evolutionists to theistic evolutionists. Even some evangelical Christians have taken up the anti-ID cause. Meyer […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 9-18-2015 Sources of wonder and worship spring from knowledge of mysteries of the distant universe. But lest we overstress the mighty wonders of astronomy discussed in the last few posts, we have decided to devote our current post to the wonderful animal residents close to our home in the northwest corner of Illinois. We […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 9-12-2015 As we study the history of the universe from its beginning until the present, the word “miracle” or a similar term is sometimes used by materialistic scientists notwithstanding their unbelief in supernatural creation to explain our current reality. Even if scientists do not believe in the action of a divine Creator, almost all […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 9-7-2015 When I taught astronomy I favored the naked eye approach in my classroom. What could be seen with the naked eye? What could we learn by observing and interpreting the skies without a telescope? Students responded favorably to visual stimuli in order to discover the nature of sky object movement, including the movements […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 8-31-2015 We confess to our use of an attention-getting blog title. Instead of “Four Theories of Moon Formation” we believe our chosen title engages readers with the currently best explanation of how Earth’s Moon was formed. This is known as the giant impact hypothesis. Some may object to our discussion with the rejoinder that […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 8-26-2015 Isaiah refers to bodies in our Solar System when he quotes, “…Thus says the Lord, ‘Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool…For My hand made all these things, thus all these things came into being’ declares the Lord…” (Isaiah 66:1-2 NAS). In several Bible references the Moon offers praise to […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 8-18-2015 “Snow birds” describes a population of US northern climate residents who take refuge from cold winters by migrating to the south, perhaps Florida or Arizona, during the harshest winter months. In the world of wildlife some animals, notably birds and a few insects, also journey to a warmer wintering spot in the southern […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 8-13-2015 Several weeks ago after family members observed the close conjunction of the crescent moon and planet Venus, my 10-year old grandson pleased me by asking if the Summer Triangle was visible. Last summer we had pointed out to him this popular asterism. Our family astronomy tutorials had been on hold since last summer. […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 8-9-2015 Observers on Earth have been examining the skies for thousands of years. Today’s young people are not often challenged to explain the movement of stars, planets, the moon, and the sun. They may not notice any movement of these bodies in just a few minutes or even an hour. Teachers instruct students that […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Publsihed 8-3-2015 In Holy Scripture there are many descriptive passages engendering wonder at the glory of the sun, moon, stars, and planets. Bible authors described what they saw in the heavens and assigned spiritual significance to their perceptions. One poetic King James passage describes the rising and setting of the sun as inspiring devotion and […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 7-29-2015 In our last post we observed that the conjunction of bright Planet Venus with the crescent moon on July 18, 2015 looked like a “Semicolon in the Sky.” As our family members watched the crescent moon and Venus set, thanks to Earth’s rotation, the darkening skies revealed another assemblage of stars—The Big Dipper. […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 7-22-2015 My 10-and 11-year old grandchildren journeyed outdoors toward evening last Saturday with their uncle to search for milkweed caterpillars, the larvae of monarch butterflies. Milkweed caterpillar collection has been a summer staple of family nature study in our family for three generations. If captured, each caterpillar greedily devours milkweeds in a jar, soon […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 7-20-2015 In our previous post on “Wildlife Perspectives” we closed our discussion of South African mammals and Midwestern birds by mentioning two theories of origins— creationism vs evolutionism. Our purpose was to highlight an ongoing television interview series on The John Ankerberg Show featuring Dr. Stephen Meyer and Dr. John Ankerberg. The PBS special […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 7-14-2015 Mammals in South Africa? Birds in the US Midwest? We highlight two geographic regions almost half a world apart for a brief wildlife discussion on animal diversity and origins. The television was tuned to a PBS special: The White Lions. The gripping subject matter filmed in South Africa won out over our favorite […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 7-8-2015 On June 23, 2015, vicious thunderstorms and windstorms tore through northeastern Iowa. Our local newspaper described widespread damage. Heavy winds knocked down trees and damaged multiple homes. There were no injuries but there was widespread damage even without a tornado. On the following day the local newspaper headlined the ‘Wrath of God’ on […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 7-3-2015 Our personal neighborhood in extreme northwest Illinois has been struck many times in the last dozen years by monumental rainfall events. It is debatable whether their frequency has been intensified over previous decades. Our locality has endured four or five rainfall events in the 8 to 13 inch category. These do not compare […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 6-24-2015 Many skeptics highlight their argument that a loving and benevolent God would not permit evil, decay, pain, suffering, or death. If God is both omnipotent and good, certainly he would permit only goodness and righteousness to exist, the argument goes. Moreover, he would not permit any physical laws such as the Law of […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 6-22-2015 Discussions about the body’s wellness or illness consume a large portion of conversation, whether among the young, middle-aged, or seniors. Regular medical monitoring is vital even for the very youngest among us. By retirement age and the years following, our discussions, not to mention a substantial portion of insurance coverage, are committed to […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 6-18-2015 Divine healing or medical intervention? God has supplied the benefits of both. In our day the confident pronouncement that “All healing is divine” accounts for phenomena such as (1) our body’s own repair mechanisms from cuts, scratches, and bruises, (2) our body’s responses to illness or infection, and (3) our body’s natural tendency […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 6-15-2015 Our friends and fellow church members often request prayer for physical injuries or illnesses. Useful perspectives on wellness and illness are sometimes under stressed in our church communities in light of diverse and ongoing physical needs. Within the church these conditions are often communicated as a need for divine healing. Outside the church […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 6-10-2015 Many science laypersons may not be enthralled with our recent discussions of science methodology such as methodological and metaphysical naturalism. For them, merely acknowledging the beauty and order of the natural world suffices. We hope one positive dimension of their experience consists in admiring the artistry of the Creator. Deeper research highlights the […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 6-7-2015 In past discussions with friends concerning science, including specific issues such as creationism and evolution, few subjects have consumed more attention than methodological naturalism (MN). MN is a guiding principle of secular and theistic scientists alike. Under modern principles of MN, scientists are strictly guided by the concept that in science, only natural […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 6-2-2015 “I believe methodological naturalism is a good operating principle for scientific discovery.” Your Ankerberg science blogger wrote this on his 9/15/2009 post. Lacking full knowledge of what this important term means and how it is used by science professionals, some science laypersons may be confused. At worst this confusion could cause misunderstanding concerning […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 5-30-2015 Skilled science philosophers and historians contribute to our understanding of seminal topics such as the Scientific Revolution. Robert Bishop is a Professor of Philosophy and History of Science from Wheaton College. His article “God and Methodological Naturalism in the Scientific Revolution and Beyond” appeared in the ASA Journal Perspectives on Science and the […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 5-28-2015 Several times in past posts we have referred to landmark scientific discoveries during the lifetimes of several of our most recent generations. For example, retirement age residents of the present day may be surprised to learn that sub-atomic particles, now commonly part of our current science lexicon—electrons, protons, and neutrons—were discovered and named […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 5-20-2015 Childish dreams sometimes materialize into adult reality. When I was in early primary school I envisioned becoming a teacher after observing my classroom instructor hold forth. The seed was planted in my awareness. My interest in science education did not materialize fully until after my senior college year. Many prior incidents had piqued […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 5-14-2015 Sacred Music is a rich and satisfying expression of man’s exultations from deep in the human soul. Musical creativity is the recognition of something new, different, and worthwhile. We shall later discuss a classic sacred choral work entitled “Salvation is Created” by Russian sacred music composer Pavel G. Chesnokov. Even its title expresses […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 5-9-2015 Why do some church ministries deal with complex science-related questions in their pulpit ministry only infrequently? They seem to revel in simpler, more comfortable questions involving Christian behavior, theology, and doctrine, leaving complex science issues for the science professionals. One reason may be that pastors feel more comfortable dealing with their acknowledged area […]

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  • By: John Ankerberg Show; ©2015

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2015 Jim Virkler explains how the large hadron collider relates to the Higgs boson. One of today’s science buzzwords is straight from the realm of the arcane. Around the coffee table, the buzz may be introduced with, “Have you heard about…” without the slightest suspicion that any coffee drinkers really know much […]

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  • By: John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 Jim Virkler provides more information on the Higgs boson. Buntings and Bosons? Could any title be more unusual? In the world of particle physics, the Higgs boson is a current news mainstay. Seldom does such pure science news make it to page one headlines. Indeed, the world is abuzz with news […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 5-4-2015 The Reasons to Believe Monthly Partners Ministry published some “stunning” findings in their February newsletter. As I read it I became aware that our science/faith blog is concerned with many of the same issues expressed in the RTB letter. They quote the president of The Barna Group, an opinion gathering research organization with […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 4-23-2015 One of today’s science buzzwords is straight from the realm of the arcane. Around the coffee table, the buzz may be introduced with, “Have you heard about…” without the slightest suspicion that any coffee drinkers really know much about the Higgs boson. In the future, however, thanks to the Higgs, our knowledge may […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 4-18-2015 When we speak of care in any realm we may also address the pre-existing interest level of the caregiver as well as the action of providing the care. Interest level precedes the action of care. Our last post discussed God’s original divine care for his creation as he conceived the plan for the […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 4-15-2015 Many organizations and ministries care for the earth and its environment. Some have interest in the Earth and care for its systems primarily for its own sake. Others care for Earth because humans benefit from a healthy planet. Most “creation care” enthusiasts take pleasure in the beauty of Earth’s systems as well as […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 4-9-2015 Interesting written and oral exchanges among my circle of friends have transpired over the past decade. These exchanges have supplied personal inspiration for significant subject matter of this blog. The sharing of views relates to how science discoveries contribute to and reinforce our faith. By faith we mean, broadly, (1) our belief in […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 4-1-2015 Local newspaper articles have recently covered concerns about the Common Core State Standards Initiative. Common Core is one of the most well-publicized educational strategies in the last fifty years. There is much misunderstanding concerning Common Core. Lively debate exists over the issue of Core Curriculum standards in pubic school education. Common Core is […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 3-28-2015 We have written about physical characteristics of atoms, the smallest units of matter. All matter is composed of the roughly 100 elements present on Earth. Atoms possess smaller constituent parts. Among the constituent parts are electrons and protons with negative and positive electrical charges possessing electric and magnetic fields. Tiny electrons swarm around […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 3-24-2015 The question “What is your favorite…” is a favorite conversation starter and sustainer. Usually we are asked to choose among games, foods, music, or people. Students of science may be asked to name their favorite laboratory experiment. Less often they may be asked to choose among more serious alternatives, such as, “What is […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 3-21-2015 The production and reception of electromagnetic waves is a scientific phenomenon of crucial importance. What is the wonder of electromagnetic waves? We are immersed in them in multiple ways every moment of our existence. For example, we experience visible light and infrared radiation in the form of life sustaining heat each day of […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 3-17-2015 If our blog title provokes fear, we must act quickly to allay a feeling of alarm. We must replace alarm with appreciation and respect for a mostly harmless, beneficial phenomenon surrounding us every moment of each day throughout our lives. Electromagnetic radiation, sometimes abbreviated EMR, is a ubiquitous life-sustaining energy phenomenon surrounding us. […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 3-11-2015 Recollections from my tenure as a secondary school science educator filter through my memory after many years. My chosen teaching fields of physical and earth science enabled me to help students already equipped with delight in the natural world to intensify their level of interest. Perhaps a greater responsibility was helping students with […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 3-6-2015 Midway through my teaching career our district offered a popular science course called Introductory Physical Science (IPS). One primary purpose was to introduce the concept that matter was composed of billions of tiny particles called atoms rather than a continuous homogeneous mass of matter. The particulate nature of matter is not visually obvious […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 2-25-2015 Flashback to your high school chemistry classes. Early in the course we were privileged with the discussion of chemical elements. In the context of our studies we found that all matter is composed of chemical entities—pure substances called elements, the primary constituents of matter. The smallest unit of an element is the atom. […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 2-20-2015 Bottom up or top down? In many conversations in science, economics, government, and a great number of other human endeavors, this dichotomy factors into the discussion. One way to describe bottom up is the progression of knowledge from the general to the specific. For example, we might cite any number of human conventions […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 2-13-2015 The accomplishments of the youngest members of humanity manifest remarkable intelligence almost from birth. God’s image is apparent in a powerful relational quality in their existence. Infants begin to relate to their surroundings and their caretakers in a meaningful way just a few weeks after birth. From that day forward signs of innate […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 2-5-2015 We conclude our recent discussions of the Ruse-Rana debate on origins by giving Dr. Rana the last word. We have endeavored to cover a diverse range of issues. We trust our readers appreciate the complexity of the issues as well as the complexity of related arguments springing from them. Dr. Rana’s response to […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 1-26-2015 Debates between naturalists and supernaturalists have become ever more popular. Often these topics become entwined with the evolution versus creation discussion. These topics progress to a variety of related cultural and personal issues. Debate events tend to order the audience along a spectrum of positions. Previously held positions are affirmed but minds are […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 1-22-2015 When debates occur between supernaturalists and naturalists on the origin of life and the complexity of the cell, both sides search for reasonable explanations. Theistic supernaturalists collect evidence that the intelligent actions of a Deity seem reasonable to explain events surrounding origins of life as well as the explanation of cell complexity. This […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 1-19-2015 In 2013 Biola University sponsored a lively debate between Dr. Fazale Rana, apologist from Reasons to Believe, and Michael Ruse, science philosopher and historian. They debated the topic of whether “Natural processes are sufficient to explain the origin and complexity of the cell.” The appearance of cells in the geologic history of earth […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 1-15-2015 When we focus on the origin of life on Earth we deal with the initial appearance of cells. Most bio-science texts list approximately seven characteristics of life. The first characteristic is that living things are organized into cells. The cells manifest metabolism, the processing of pre-existing substances to yield energy and the manufacture […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 1-8-2015 Imagine a planet with general physical characteristics similar to Earth, but without life of any sort. Conditions unfolding on such a planet would assume a very different trajectory. Creative science fiction writers describing such a planet would have difficulty developing their story line. Our public schools teach an optimistic evolutionary scenario producing the […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©2015

    Published 1-6-2015 We begin discussion of what sustains life on Earth with a brief discussion of the origin of life on our planet. In the absence of belief in supernatural creation events, the question of how life began has baffled naturalistic scientists for centuries. Those scientists seek to describe and explain (1) the conditions on […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©2014

    As very young children we may not have considered the mind/body duality of our existence. Our needs were simple—food, sleep, comfort, amusement, and interaction with other people. The desire to fulfill those needs exceeded awareness of how the mind functions within the framework of material matter. We might ask when a young child becomes conscious […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©2014

    Ontological Dualism is not ordinarily a coffee table topic. Before raising such a topic, one should be confident the foundation is laid for such a weighty discussion. The physical constants of matter ordering our everyday lives in the physical world may fascinate our friends at some level, (they may profess a fondness for science), but […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©2014

    One of the first lessons infants and toddlers experience is the phenomenon of gravity—how it acts on their bodies and how they must cope. If our young children’s ability to think or reason were better developed, their awareness of gravity may initially be negative. They are not aware how the force confining them to their […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©2014

    Pictures of “The Blue Marble” and “Pale Blue Dot” taken during explorations of our Solar System have helped the human race focus on the role and position of our planet in the grand scheme of things. Does this planet, our home in the cosmos, exist in a very special location in this vast universe as […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©2014

    The Apollo 8 and Apollo 10-17 astronauts who either journeyed to lunar orbit or landed on the lunar surface submitted exhilarating accounts of how the “overview effect” impacted them. Wikipedia defines the Overview Effect as a “cognitive shift in awareness…while viewing the Earth from orbit or the Lunar Surface.” Their accounts surpassed any previous reports […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©2014

    Twenty-four humans have left Earth for a journey to the moon, the only humans to directly view the far side of the moon. Twelve astronauts actually set foot on the moon’s surface. Six of these drove the lunar roving vehicles on the moon’s surface. Only twenty-four men have escaped the gravity of low earth orbit. […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©2014

    John Lennox is an articulate spokesman for the interface of science and religion. He is a mathematician and scientist and represents the evangelical intelligentsia. As a brilliant apologist for the Christian faith, he has achieved notoriety for his public debates with atheists such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens. In 2007, one of his live […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©2014

    The recent papal pronouncements on evolution have elicited responses from hundreds of commentators. It is well known that approximately one third of the US population belongs to church groups endorsing evolution. Most of these believe evolution is a God-ordained means of bringing into existence Earth’s millions of species, including humanity. Another one fifth of the […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©2014

    Choosing a favorite season of the year is like picking your best loved hymn or most preferred food. We report best loved or preferred hymns or foods out of true conviction or possibly to spark a conversation. Either way we recognize God gifts us with abilities to discriminate among alternatives—to appreciate diverse physical and environmental […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©2014

    Pope Francis created headlines recently when he cautioned against “…imagining God as a magician with a magic wand able to do everything. But that is not so.” Less quoted is a much better translation of the Pope’s statement: “God is not a demiurge or a magician, but the Creator who gives birth to all entities.” […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©2014

    As one of the most important scientific icons of the day, organic evolution permeates our 21st century consciousness. The term evolution is most commonly used in connection with organic evolution, the widely accepted belief that “every individual alive today, the highest as well as the lowest, is derived in an unbroken line from the first […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©2014

    Do insects have a genealogy? In the sense that insects have a line of descent, yes. As short-lived creatures, their descent may include many millions of generations. Human genealogy is of more interest, a treasured historical entity of the human race. The genealogy of modern man represents perhaps as many as 2000 generations since the […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©2014

    Carolos Linnaeus (1707-1778) originated one of the most long lasting classification systems in the world of science. Linnaeus developed binomial nomenclature for living things. He had an early fascination with botany, but his two term Latin scheme for classification of both plants and animals has earned him the title of Father of Taxonomy. He became […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©2014

    The recent post on the wonders of one species of praying mantis triggered our contemplation of the wondrous profusion, complexity, and diversity of life on earth, not to mention our focus on just one class of animals—insecta. Eighteenth century Swedish zoologist Carolus Linnaeus proposed the system of naming individual species by assigning two latin names—one […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©2014

    A tiny “cookie slice” of bright sunlight slowly crept across the moon’s surface as I began writing this post. The early morning total lunar eclipse of October 8, 2014, had completed its totality phase. The moon had passed out of the total shadow cast into space by the earth. The moon was returning to full […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©2014

    Last week’s photograph of our 2-year old granddaughter went far beyond the usual smiling photo sent to grandparents through the modern miracle of the smartphone. Our creative photographer-son managed to snap a shot of Juliana intently inspecting a large praying mantis at close range. Apart from its fascinating appearance, the capabilities of this insect in […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©2014

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2014 One of the most troubling phenomena with respect to the Design Inference and the Design Hypothesis, popularly referred to as ID, is the science community’s adamant insistence that neither intelligent design nor supernatural creation hypotheses are “scientific.” This pronouncement has obscured important possible discoveries. What really happened to produce an orderly […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2014 Interdigitation signals the interlocking of concepts like the interlocking fingers of two hands. When the term is used for the relationship of science and faith we might envision a mutually supportive relationship between them. Sadly, some see science and faith in a warfare relationship. Our blog is themed to focus on […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2014 Intelligent Design and creationism have been relegated to non-science by the majority of the world science establishment. The perception of ID and creationism publicly suffer from this relegation. These concepts are assigned to a place of low esteem during discussions on origins. Church members frequently refer to the topic of origins […]

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  • By: John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2014 Basic knowledge of the human brain is an appropriate launch point for a discussion of the currently popular concept of intelligent design. The brain is the control center of an elaborate living system. Knowledge of its anatomy and function are merely introductory to an in-depth understanding and appreciation of the design […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2014 Our recent blog study of physical sound and human hearing is one of many subjects to inspire confidence that God intelligently designed the physical properties of sound energy as well as the human auditory sensory system. Our understanding of the production of compressions and rarefactions of air molecules is matched by […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2014 Our post title, Electric Intellect, is intended to be humorous, but it may be more realistic than humorous. “Electric” connotes something thrilling or exciting; intellect refers to mental powers. Electric charges are possessed by virtually all matter. Electric charges occur in protons and electrons in the atoms and molecules out of […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2014 A weak analogy to the human auditory system may be found in some of the more complex machines devised by man. An automobile is a highly integrated machine functioning for a generally singular purpose—transportation. The are 1800 parts in an automobile if we count units such as engines, themselves composed of […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2014 Digital electronic technology may have been an unfamiliar term just a few short decades ago in our science classrooms when I began teaching. When my science class members studied the physical qualities of sound, followed by basics of the ear and human hearing, I do not recall digital technology being part […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2014 As we deal with the topic of sound and hearing, we would first do well to think deeply about God’s creation of our physical sphere and how the physical sphere is interlocked with the spiritual sphere. How is knowledge of the spiritual sphere interlocked? Man is created in God’s image. Our […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2014 Our two-word post title implies two different definitions of sound. The term could apply to a physical phenomenon relating to a type of energy generation initiated by vibrations propagating mechanical pressure waves in gases, liquids, or solids. A different definition comes from the fields of human physiology and psychology: Sound is […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2014 When we hear sounds originating at a distance, we gather information concerning events at the distant location. From personal verbal communication carried by waves of sound, we make conclusions about what is in the mind of the speaker. “Listen to the sound of my voice” is an imperative beyond merely hearing […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2014 This unusual title refers to the sense of hearing. We wish to discuss how human hearing occurs in order to magnify our sense of wonder at the gifts God provides for living creatures, including man, the summit of his created beings. In humans the sense of hearing and responses we offer […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2014 Our attention to the fresh fruits and vegetables at the local supermarket most often extends only to their visual attractiveness and taste quality. How often is the average person curious about the transportation system which brings the food from distant places in superior condition? With that knowledge our total understanding and […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2014 Uncounted trillions of planets in our universe possess the chemical elements of which life is composed. In our own unique solar system the exact proportions of elements may not match the distribution of elements in other planetary systems. Life as we know it, therefore, may not be feasible anywhere else in […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2014 The approach of warm weather in spring and summer heightens awareness of the body’s auditory system. One could cite spring and summer sounds of birds, mammals, a few amphibians, and insects to augment frequent sounds of rain, wind, and thunder. The sense of hearing is a gift for which we offer […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2014 The potential for worship occurs across a broad spectrum of life experiences. Humanity is created with a special ability to enjoy life and value life’s gifts. People are born with diverse interests and preferences. In the spiritual realm, the concept of worship revolves around recognizing worth and value in an entity […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2014 Observation of the living animals and plants in our neighborhood afford our family ample opportunity to worship God in the setting of nature. For Christians, worship is defined by adoration, respect, reverence, and love for the God of the Bible. Apart from the Christian worldview, our post title may be cause […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2014 Epistemology is a study of knowledge. Searching the topic further, we find that our knowledge must be validated. We must strive to achieve justified true belief. We strive to be sure our beliefs are true, not merely our opinions. Brief statements about knowledge, validation, and justified true beliefs are inadequate to […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2014 What does the text say? Pastors refer to the biblical text. They repeat this question when introducing their preferred pulpit topics. A favored topic giving voice to this question during pulpit studies on Genesis is the important question of origins. Not only do pastors deal with the question of the divine […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2014 Luke the physician, author of the New Testament Book of Acts and the gospel named for him, was apparently an evidentialist. Even in Luke’s day doctors were required to be skilled diagnosticians able to observe and report carefully. We are unsure what sort of medical training physicians received in the days […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2014 Guillermo Gonzales and Jay Richards produced a book and DVD in 2004 entitled The Privileged Planet: How Our Planet Is Designed For Discovery. These skillfully written resources are a welcome rebuttal for the naturalistic science community’s belief that planet Earth is nothing special in view of the likely presence of billions […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2014 A recent motor trip to the east coast afforded the opportunity to contemplate the simple motions of planet Earth—rotation and revolution. While traveling east by automobile, clock times advance one hour each 800 miles at our latitude of 40 degrees. For a trip of that length we need to advance our […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2014 What would be the result of incorporating sound science teachings into the educational offerings of our churches? I do not merely speak of the use of a science reference or two in our church Sunday School, youth group, adult Sunday School discussions, or pulpit presentations. Rather, I propose a deliberate effort […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2014 Spring renewal in the northern latitudes and the acts of creation described in Genesis manifest a few similarities. Both describe new life. Springtime is a renewal of previously existing viability from the previous warm season. Contrastingly, acts of creation in Genesis are initial appearances of entirely new life on Earth. Prior […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2014 Michael Polanyi (1891-1976) was a polymath and pioneer in his vision and proposal of tacit knowledge, sometimes known as intuition. This concept went beyond reliance on scientific empiricism in which knowledge is chiefly gained by sensory experiences and experimentation. Polanyi’s famous statement, “We know more than we can tell” indicates his […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2014 In the United States, especially in northern latitudes, winter somnolescence retreats in springtime. During the harshly cold, snowy winter just past, pessimists could speculate most life had perished. A few brave winter non-migrant birds dispel these impressions with their ingenious ability to manage nutritional needs and quench their thirst for liquid […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2014 In our previous post entitled Precision Creation we highlighted the precision of the universe in terms of its “just right” characteristics, including past and present expansion rate, the size of the cosmos, and quantity of existing matter. Recognition of these “just right” characteristics is only the beginning of our understanding of […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2014 Before man developed telescopes able to clearly image galaxies outside our own Milky Way, some early scientists and philosophers reasoned that our universe appeared far too small to be the work of God. Scripture writers, on the contrary, did not complain that the apparent visible universe was an undersized creation. An […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2014 As a science teacher my challenge was helping students realize science subject matter connected with many events in their lives. Some students regarded science as their favorite course, possibly because they were able to connect science subject matter with their total life experience. Their comprehension of the world became broad-based and […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2014 Do the events of weather inspire assurance and reverence for the Creator who designed Earth’s climate system for human thriving? Or contrarily, do weather and climate events conjure up feelings of anxiety and unease? Humanity is gifted with the ability to appropriate either positive or negative emotions. A search of numerous […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2014 Contemporary weather discussions often revolve around awe-inspiring events. Today’s conversations often join with the current climate buzz where startling weather events (effects) are linked with our modern obsession to explain the “why” of those events (causes). Some alarmists may be turning from wholesome fascination to fear owing to our current societal […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2014 When the environmental movement originated in the 1960s and 1970s, a relatively new term entered our modern vocabulary. The term environment was well understood but ecology was comparatively new and unfamiliar. Most people understood damage to the environment but used the term ecology incorrectly. Ecology expresses broad scope interrelationships of living […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2014 Diligent inquiry yields informative facts in a complex subject such as climate change. Before 1988 the topic did not generate heated emotions. During the 1970s scientists flirted with the possibility of global cooling. In terms of “scare” topics there is no paucity of subject matter. Some topics are legitimately worthy of […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2014 Relentless cold describes the winter of 2013-2014 in the central and eastern United States. Accompanying the cold have come frequent snows. In our region this winter has gifted us with over two dozen snowfalls and 43 daily below zero readings so far. Snowfall approaches highest seasonal totals in our area since […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2014 Dealing with each of the three topics in this post title with any degree of thoroughness could be an exercise in futility. Each topic, however, has lately been brought to mind by the activity around the small suet feeder suspended from our rear deck. An exceedingly cold, snowy winter in northwest […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©2014

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2014 For animals and plants, including humans, cell division resulting from mitosis results in growth, repair, and renewal of the body and its tissues. Our posts have recently discussed gestation–prenatal events up until birth. During this interval mitosis produces startling growth of body mass. A body cell may duplicate itself in 24 […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2014 Flashback to memories of your early courses in biology. One term–mitosis–may come to mind. Perhaps you even recall diagrams or animations of chromosome pairs organizing themselves along an imaginary plane equidistant from the cell’s poles, followed by impressive parting and separation of the chromosome pairs. Two identical pairs of chromosomes are […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2014 Our posts on human reproduction have focused on only one of earth’s species. The total species count is variously estimated to number in the millions. According to one new study by UNEP, the United Nations Environmental Programme, the number has been pegged at 8.7 million, of which over 1.2 million appear […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2014 Building projects supply instructive imageries to illustrate life’s important lessons. Imageries use figurative language to make a point. As a classroom teacher, one of my favorite instructional imageries supplied students with advice for construction of their “life house.” For instance, we must build our life house using good construction materials. Good […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2014 The astonishing beginning and subsequent development of the human embryo and its transition to the category of fetus at roughly eight weeks is known to medical scientists in stunning detail. For forty weeks these events are hidden from the outside world. At birth the child makes its grand entry to the […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2014 Few narratives compare with the startling sequence of events leading to the birth of a fully-formed human baby during a nine month time interval. Obstetricians are specialists in pregnancy and the care of women before and after birth. Their medical skills interconnect with experts in many other fields of medicine. For […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2014 Homeowners exult when the preliminary preparations for a home building project are complete. Months of planning and consultation assumes a new trajectory when the actual initial building process begins. Careful planning is now complete; actual construction soon follows. This building sequence reminds us of far more majestic and miraculous events associated […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2014 C. H. Spurgeon (1834-1892) was a powerful “Prince of Preachers,” and prolific author. By one estimate he preached to over ten million people. My personal favorite is Spurgeon’s The Treasury of David, a lengthy commentary by Spurgeon blending his own sayings with those he assembled from other authors. Virtually every chapter […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2014 When we reside in a home for many years, our awareness of the initial steps in design and construction of the home may diminish with the passage of time. Encountering the designer’s blueprints for our residence in a basement file cabinet after many years triggers a renewed adventure for the homeowners. […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 Why focus on emergentism, a term obscure to most people who profess interest in science? Many initially profess their interest in science. When interested adults discover that some science concepts are difficult and obscure instead of merely interesting and fascinating, they sometimes shrink back. Young people pose a similar scenario. Young […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 One colorful English language word has become obsolete as a scientific term. Vitalism was never a theological term used to describe the essence of life God implanted in all living things. It was thought instead to embody a mysterious non-physical principle distinct from physiochemical forces. Early scientists used it to describe […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 Broad topics should be approached with cautious care. Scientific reductionism is such a topic. Characteristics of living things is a multidimensional topic often connected with the concept of reductionism. We’ll begin with the characteristics of living bacteria which began suddenly to inhabit the earth several billion years ago. So far as […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 Hebrew scholars have identified 754 uses of the noun nephesh in scripture. A majority of these uses are translated soul in our English Bible. There are a number of other translations. Soul probably comes closest to the correct meaning for most readers of scripture. We resist the temptation to define the […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 The concept of soulishness in animals other than humans has become a source of personal study and fascination. In several posts during the past few years, we have returned to this discussion. The splendor and appeal of animal life on our planet is powerfully related to the notion that many of […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 On the Sunday before Thanksgiving, our church congregation was treated to an inverted treatment of the text of Psalm 65. Verses 9-13 contain Thanksgiving imageries of rare beauty. After commenting on the Thanksgiving verses, the pastor worked backward through the Psalm, highlighting its exultation of the natural beauty of the waves […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 The words nature, natural, naturalist, and naturalism are English terms sometimes surrounded by confusion. Nature refers to the physical world including plants, animals, landscape, and other features and products of the earth surrounding humankind. Natural denotes that which exists in or is caused by nature. A naturalist is a person versed […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 A miracle is an effect which is not reproducible by the operation of “natural” causes. Each day of our lives hundreds of effects result from causes we call “natural.” The Bible narrative records thousands of events we would categorize as “natural.” A vast majority of Bible events may be categorized as […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 The popular catch phrase of creationists the past few decades is “fine tuning.” Creationists and Intelligent Design proponents sometimes use the term to strengthen belief in the Creator/Designer’s ability to produce our fine-tuned universe. Unless the term is defined and clarified with examples, it is no more effective than evolutionists fortifying […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 Life, especially human life, is balanced “on a razor’s edge.” The characteristics enabling life to exist in our universe are numerous and incredibly complex. Imagine the existence of a lifeless universe. It would still demand conditions of exceptional “fine-tuning.” No sentient beings would be present to observe these fine-tuned conditions–a fascinating […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 Each day of our existence we trust the physical conditions of our environment to prove “predictable” and “as expected.” We do not propose that weather forecasters should never err or that our weather should always be to our personal liking. Nor do we expect that our daily selection of clothing should […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 This post title is a deliberate attention-getter. Radiation is seldom used in this context of creationism. The term commonly signals some sort of energy transfer carried by electromagnetic waves. For example, light is a form of natural radiation composed of electromagnetic waves. Radio and television waves are man-made electromagnetic radiation similar […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 Mentality: “The characteristic attitude of mind or way of thinking of a person…” This internet definition focuses on human attitudes, processes of thought, and beliefs across a broad range. When we attach the term creationist, we construct an interesting term–“creationist mentality.” We must guard against defining the topic of creationism too […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 The professional science community studies and describes the functions of living systems from simple to advanced, from bacteria to humanity. It has also provided advanced knowledge of physical processes governing our world. The scope of their discovery is overwhelming. Science educators have communicated this knowledge to our young people at their […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 A recent survey (A Survey of Clergy and Their Views on Origins) conducted by BioLogos reported the results of 743 telephone interviews with clergy of all Christian denominations in churches of all sizes. Pastors were polled on their views of creation and evolution. The survey reported on many related issues as […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 The subject of evolution occupies a prominent position in secular bioscience education for our students from middle school through college. As a creationist making use of the many wonderful advanced bioscience resources, I have wondered how the educational impact of biology would be diluted without the incessant mention of the paradigm […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 One of my favorite personal exercises while perusing an evolutionary biology textbook is mentally distinguishing factual explanation from wishful thinking. In the area of (1) the origin of life on earth and (2) the origin of new species, evolutionists are hard pressed to avoid proposing a series of fortuitous circumstances to […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 Since 1972 Simon Conway Morris has explored the outcrops of fossil-bearing rocks from the Middle Cambrian geologic period. He has championed human understanding of some of the most astonishing discoveries in paleontology ever made. Knowledge of the so-called Cambrian Explosion (CE), a geologically sudden profusion of novel phyla, has been known […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 One should not expect “Burgess Creationism” to appear on internet search engines. After a visit to the Canadian Yoho National Park I discovered the two words have both occurred in many internet search sites, but never joined as a formal term. Simon Conway Morris, pre-eminent Burgess Shale paleontologist, has written a […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 The BioLogos organization vigorously promotes evolution. It is presented as totally compatible with Christian belief. BioLogos does not promote traditional theistic creationism as it was conceived before the Darwinian revolution. Instead, BioLogos has lately repackaged creationism. It now promotes “Evolutionary Creationism” (EC). William Lane Craig recently answered a question posed to […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 Personal handwritten signatures bear unique characteristics of the signer. Ordinarily the distinctiveness of the signer is difficult to conceal. Handwriting experts have the ability to identify genuine as well as fraudulent signatures. Sources claim individual handwriting may reveal characteristics of the signer and do not change significantly over time. The term […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 A permanent plaque in the Canadian Rockies Yoho National Park reads: Burgess Shale was placed on the World Heritage list at the 1980 meeting of the UNESCO world heritage committee as a site of outstanding universal value forming part of the national heritage of mankind. Dating from Middle Cambrian time more […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 Stephen C. Meyer’s Darwin’s Doubt (HarperOne, 2013) is sure to reignite lively discussions concerning intelligent design. Many scientists decry the ID concept unscientific, not to mention their underlying doubts that a Designer has worked in nature to produce our finely-tuned universe, earth’s first life, and the sudden appearance of new species […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 How permanent is our universe? When God created man, did he intend their lives to continue on earth forever? Was human life on this planet the ultimate goal of the Creator? Do the millions of created animal and plant species exist as a supporting cast to enrich human life? Did the […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 Our personal theology involves far-ranging beliefs concerning fundamental realities about God. There is no aspect of life unrelated to theology because God is Creator of everything. Man’s ability to consider theology sets us far above all other life forms. The Image of God, possessed uniquely by humanity, enables us to contemplate […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 Progressive deterioration of physiological function? Children cannot relate to an overwhelming fact of life of the human condition–senescence. The focus of children, instead, is to understand the reality of personal growth expected of them as they become older. Until children approach teenage, they focus on their own developing skills as students […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 Discussion of the characteristics of life is usually linked to qualities of developing, growing, or flourishing. Not often is the topic of life’s decline mentioned in the same discussion. For this conversation, we will conflate the two concepts. If an organism is said to be living, it manifests the major characteristics […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 Biology reference books list seven major characteristics of life. These sources draw sharp distinctions between living and non-living matter. These distinctions relate to the differences between interactions of matter, energy, and forces in the world of life and the world of non-life. What is the difference, we ask? As children, the […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 Our unusual title is suggested by the treasured black walnut tree in our northwest Illinois front yard. Over the years this tree has provided our family multiple levels of enjoyment. Apart from its provision of tasty treats when we take the time to break the tough shells we’ve saved, our beautifully […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 Our theistic belief system is supported by two God-provided revelations–the revelation of the world of nature (general revelation) and the revelation of scripture (special revelation). In our God discovery, these two revelations are not either/or but rather, both/and. Our blog has taken the stance that general revelation supports and clarifies the […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 Science educators devote a majority of their teaching to one, or at most two of three major knowledge disciplines–physical science, earth science, or life science. These specialties sometimes overlap. For example, oceanography comprises knowledge of physical science principles with respect to the ocean as well as life science connections for oceanographers […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 One of the most moving passages in Scripture speaks of God’s omniscience with respect to the unborn and his knowledge of temporal events even before they actually occur. Psalm 139:16 proclaims, “Your eyes saw my unformed body…” God sees us just before our birth and even before the pre-born child acquires […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 Our reference to the flow of genetic information is summarized by the famous biological flowchart DNAà RNA à Proteins. This representation is the essence of truth in the world of life forms. Knowledge of the world of biology radiates from this fundamental statement. If we experience wonder at our elementary awareness […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 Biology textbooks summarize the flow of genetic information as follows: DNAà RNAà Protein. Our two previous posts dealt with the first two elements of this basic flowchart. Genetic inheritance begins with DNA. We did not always possess this knowledge. Arguments about the origin and flow of genetic information occurred even before […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 Many of man’s construction strategies originate from our knowledge of what takes place in the nucleus of living cells. The human DNA molecule, present in virtually every cell nucleus, is a genetic blueprint capable of replicating itself precisely over hundreds of generations. Animals and plants with short life spans have transferred […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 To prepare for this post we found ourselves chuckling about the antiquated duplicators of our childhood. In early primary grades our teachers used the ditto machine. Most copies were produced with a purple pigment. Fresh copies provided students with a captivating odor generated by the solvent used in the copying process. […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 Radio commentator Paul Harvey (1918-2009) was famous for his “The Rest of the Story” segments. Sometimes people perceive an air of knowledge with clever emphasis on the introductory point in their discussion. We have referred to the well-known expression “It’s in our DNA.” Yes, there’s a basic glossary definition of DNA, […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 The current blitz of 17-year cicada publicity brings to mind the desire of journalists to explain and justify their stories. What research did they access? What is the impact of the current insect outbreak? Is anything new being discovered? Very few new discoveries add to our basic knowledge of the stunning […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 The tall trees on the stately lawn of my grandparents’ farmstead supplied unmatched opportunities for children to collect spent “dog day” cicada shells. This common cicada variety is familiar to virtually everyone. We hear them every summer during August. There are many species of dog day cicadas which are barely distinguishable […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 Recently my treasured wristwatch disappeared. It belonged to my father who passed to eternal life in 1999. I had claimed this watch as my own and wore it frequently. My thorough searches around the house proved fruitless. The clasp had failed, I reasoned, perhaps as I was mowing grass or visiting […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 Discovery Channel has broadcast the first of its newest nature blockbusters. North America highlights 110 different North American species with startling HD photography. Three years in preparation, its venues range from mountains to plains, from the Arctic to the Tropics, from sky to land to sea, from punishing heat to chilling […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 Some people may suspect our post title, Heat Balances, suggests a discussion of heavier science than they prefer. The scientific dimension of the earth’s heat balances may not seem interesting in ordinary conversation with our friends. Instead, we may speak about how cool or warm we keep our homes, or cold […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 Each morning brings gifts from God in many facets. Our ability to become a non-professional atmospheric scientist while expending minimal time in formal preparation is one of those gifts. Expressed another way, everyone can be an armchair weather observer. Weather statistics are often part of our observations. One of the first […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 Personal preparation for this post included searching for written quotations concerning weather. One eye-catcher affirmed my belief that light conversational banter about weather often exceeds actual understanding of the topic: “Don’t knock the weather; nine-tenths of the people couldn’t start a conversation if it didn’t change once in a while,” humorist […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 Readers across America may identify with several recent weather events in our region of the Midwest–northwest Illinois. For example, in the last two weeks my personal rain gauge has collected over ten inches of liquid water. As I write many areas are experiencing record river levels. This statistic is in sharp […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 Our recent coffee table book discussions proposed intelligent design as a requirement for the books’ subject matter. The personal appeal of the volumes displayed on our sun room coffee table or the tables in our doctor’s waiting room often depends on our ability to identify a mind speaking through the book’s […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 What sort of book could be considered a “Coffee Table” volume? Some books so designated may be considered superficial in content and geared more to the entertainment value they provide. Others are volumes with snippets of general reader interest. Still others blend skilled photography with appealing narrative. Coffee table volumes often […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 In the past few weeks I have rediscovered a thick coffee table volume entitled Chronicle of the American Automobile—Over 100 years of Auto History by James M. Flammer. I occasionally encounter this book and revel in pictures of automobiles in the post-World War II era. My interest in automobile designs was […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 Among the three theistic views of origins, the belief that the six days of the Genesis creation account are literal and recent is the majority view in the United States. If the definition of creationism is accorded to other views, the percentage of believers in creation vaults upward substantially. For this […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 Recently I wound down a long-running discussion with a theistic evolutionist. He claimed deciding whether God intervened along the geological timeline periodically (a creationist view) or whether God created a fully gifted creation at the beginning and endowed it with freedom to form the present multiplicity of species (an evolutionist view) […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 Several problems beg for resolution as believers in a young earth and young universe examine the modern findings of astronomers and geologists. Some news, such as the Decorah impact crater discovered in Iowa has recently been publicized. Decorah has the telltale remains of an asteroid impact 450 million years ago. Do […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 Aging people are often distressed to acknowledge their own symptoms of advanced age. Young people prefer that their parents would remain young and vibrant. In a different sphere of experience, many Christians are troubled by the revelation that our universe is very old. They believe the earth is young. Physical evidence […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 Had Russia’s 55 foot wide meteor not smacked into Chelyabinsk recently, it is doubtful you would hear about the Iowa event on this blog. After all, an asteroid strike in the United States as wide as a city block puts the Russian event to shame. Before becoming too alarmed, we must […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 Miracle is an overworked and sometimes misunderstood word. In everyday usage, the term is applied to many everyday events, including personal health events in which we observe extraordinary recovery from various maladies. Everyday events are described as miracles if the events are significantly out of the ordinary. In 2012 I submitted […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 The recent meteor explosion over Russia has triggered more inquiries than usual concerning the hazards of living in our Solar System. There are countless multitudes of objects whirling through our Solar System apart from the familiar planets. Uncounted millions of meteoroids and asteroids larger than the Russian object inhabit our region […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 The recent 100-year meteor strike on February 15 may have triggered some apprehension about the stability of our Solar System, the abode of humans in the cosmos. By marked coincidence, Asteroid 2012 DA14 passed Earth from a different direction on the same day, coming within 17000 miles, closer than nearby earth […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 The term “….. of the century” conjures up reverent awe. In a culture immersed in literary superlatives, we may have difficulty distinguishing the literary from the literal. Consider 100-year weather, geological, astronomical, or historical events–are they real, or are they assigned truth status only by a journalist? Some events gain 100-year […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 So-called hundred year storms occur with increasing frequency, sometimes every ten years, we joke. Hundred year storms are not a predictable phenomenon, because weather systems do not depend on long-range statistical predictions. The science of probability is far from exact. The early February New England snowstorm was touted in many reports […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 Most of our friends are enthused about pleasant weather–“Sunny and warm with low humidity, gentle breezes and a few picturesque clouds.” Perhaps other acquaintances are moved to grouse about unpleasant weather–“Excess cold, too much rain and wind, too hot, too dry, or too stormy.” Some weather forecasters and weather channels virtually […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 When we strike up conversation with friends at dinner, the topics raised revolve around the importance of discovering the interests of our friends and new acquaintances. Are our dinner partners interested in politics, history, or music? Do we enjoy telling about our respective family histories? Is the newest technology a subject […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 Science philosopher Thomas Kuhn in his landmark work The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962) proposed new ideas in the public’s vision of science. Kuhn introduced several new terms, including paradigm, paradigm shift, paradigm war, scientific revolution, and normal science. Among the public the latter term is one of the most broadly […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 Back in the middle of the first decade of the new millennium, I took it upon myself to engage several strongholds of evolution. Having been a science instructor in our public schools, I wrote to some of my former colleagues. I also submitted letters to local and national newspapers with my […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 Science/Faith conferences are highlighted on church and college calendars. The subject of science as it relates to faith has proven to be instructive for many in the church and on Christian college campuses. Pastors, Christians working in science careers, science majors, and laypersons with a special interest in science are pleased […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 The interface between science and faith is the subject of many investigations among Christians in the field of science and to a lesser extent, among the laypeople in our churches. Popular conferences bring together science scholars to investigate the relationship between science and faith. Some seminars are directed toward and populated […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 Human intuition, an adjunct to scientists’ assembled evidence concerning origins, has received its share of attention to explain how we form our beliefs. When all is said and done, after scientists make their case for evolution, are their science students and the public at large overwhelmed by their power of persuasion? […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2013 Curiosity about the physiology of the eye and the function of human vision leads us to inquire more deeply about how such wonders came to be. Science professionals are not content to discover merely physical processes even though such discovery is fascinating on its own merits. Scientific findings, for example, that […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2014 To those who have a sense of wonder about works of the Creator, one may look no further than the birth of a human child. Contemplating the scientific concept of emergence, we cite an astonishing example of emergence: the emergence of consciousness. This term is defined as the state of being […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2014 Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834), English poet and philosopher, stated, “The history of a man for the nine months preceding his birth would, probably, be far more interesting and contain events of greater moment than all the three score and ten years that follow it.” Coleridge was neither a scientist nor a […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 One of our foremost cultural icons is our virtual fixation on youthful health, strength, and attractiveness. Mature citizens are proud if their appearance remains youthful. Those who maintain physical appearance more typical of young people, along with physical abilities of people in their prime of life, are singled out for praise […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©2014

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 Do you get the picture? This familiar idiom asks if the listener understands a situation clearly. In terms of understanding literal visual pictures, that is, understanding the meaning of the information our eyes provide, we sometimes come up short teaching the role of mental processes involved with seeing. Stated another way, […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 Discussion of the more technical aspects of eye anatomy, including the path of light through the eye–cornea, aqueous humor, lens, and vitreous humor, along with the amazing retina and how it functions–turns out to be tedious for a portion of our population. Their interest may extend only to maintaining eye health […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 As we review the biological principle of “Form fits Function,” there is no better example than the remarkable sense of human light detection. Without the functional retina, the innermost layer of our eyeball, we would possess no vision. Most of the eight million extant species on our planet share with humans […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 In the current series of posts on human sight, this title may seem irrelevant at first glance. An explanation is in order. Perhaps you have been asked whether you would select the sense of sight or hearing should you be forced to do without one or the other. The question is […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 Human sight is an ultimate production of the brain. As I look across the room from my computer keypad there would be no cognizance of the scene without my brain’s interpreting ability. My brain provides conscious awareness of the reality of the scene. Without a functioning mind sight does not occur. […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 One entire chapter of John’s gospel is devoted to a remarkable story of physical and spiritual healing. The ninth chapter of John chronicles the story of the man blind from birth whose sight was restored by one of Jesus’ transcendent miracles during his three year public ministry. The story is remarkable […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 As we consider the sense of sight, we may focus on the anatomy of the eye, how it functions to receive and transmit light-borne messages electrically to the brain and finally, what happens in our brains to integrate the electrical messages and provide conscious perception of the visual images. However, these […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 We hesitate to assign sight to top ranking in the catalog of our bodily senses. That temptation, nevertheless, is strong. What wonders does our understanding of sight provide? And what of our marvelous subjective experience of sight, apart from understanding the physiology of how it works? For our sense of sight […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 Many people experience a well known age-related deficiency in our sight mechanism. The modern remedy for this sight deficit is within easy medical reach. We speak of the common problem known as cataracts, a minor malady providing fodder for humor relating to our golden years. Modern medicine has made cataract surgery […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 Science professionals working in natural science most often seem confident their interpretations are certain. The field of science has acquired the cachet of certainty. Science professionals promote this vision. As a science educator the appeal of science for my students consisted of confident discoveries about what the world was like and […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 Our previous posts on the collective enthusiasm of birds in our immediate Northern Illinois neighborhood need some updating. Along with my personal sharing of a few local adventures with birds, I must repeat a definition of soulishness from my summer post on that subject. Soulishness is a trait imparted by our […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 Alister McGrath is a theologian and scientist of high reputation. He has written a three-volume work on the relationship between Christian theology and the natural sciences entitled A Scientific Theology. McGrath approaches his subject from a position of creedal purity and orthodoxy, described by McGrath as a characteristic of evangelical faith. […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 For many days we have been forewarned of a weather disaster of historic proportions. Hurricane Sandy, as usual, formed in warm tropical waters and merged with a rare confluence of meteorological factors to produce one of the great weather events of our time. It has affected millions of people in our […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 Our understanding of reality includes, among many other abstract topics, the frequently used scientific inquiry of cause and effect. In terms of origins discussions, for example, we might ask if the molecules to man origins theory of man’s existence is explainable by a naturalistic evolutionary process, or do we explain man’s […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 We learn much from the pronouncements of secular scientists. Those who work within the venue of nature’s wonders are uniquely positioned to see the beauty and harmony of natural law. The wonder they experience observing and working within this harmony sometimes reads like a true religious experience. In one sense, their […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 Our 10/13/12 post on “Global Warming and Evolution Conjoined” (particularly anthropogenic global warming) details a recent movement to link two controversial scientific theories. We characterize our reference to global warming theory as an alarmist view of significant temperature rise, unprecedented weather disasters, disastrous sea level rise, and fatal consequences for many […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 In 2007 the logo for NCSE (National Center for Science Education) was redesigned. It featured an original sketch by Charles Darwin depicting his concept of the tree of life. NCSE is unabashedly oriented toward promoting evolution in our educational system. Their efforts in this area may be characterized as militant and […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 Older people enjoy telling the most memorable weather events from their early childhood. My personal favorite is the 1947 snowstorm in central New York which closed school in that Snow Belt for a solid week and drifted our country road shut with drifts well over the height of the plow blades. […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 When the lively contemporary topic of global warming is raised, we discover the topic provides ample opportunity to voice our personal views. Many participants in the discussion assume any prudent person ought to be informed and perhaps share a consensus belief. Some vigorously believe in anthropogenic global warming, others confidently deny […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 Science possesses an “aura” of respect among many members of the population. The perception exists that the practice of science or assignment of the adjective “scientific” lends an air of authority to the subject matter under study. With all fields of authority there exist challenges ranging from doubt to disbelief. Some […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 In the beginning the Creator designed a cosmic system of incredible complexity. Within our cosmos there are multiple subsystems. For example, there are multiple physical systems operating together on our planet. Each functions according to a system of physical constants which are inviolable. Humans discover these constants and must operate their […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 Each time a high profile weather event occurs many analysts rush to explain it. This tendency has been intensifying in recent decades. Reporters now have access to more detailed information on climate than ever. Burgeoning population makes such information even more vital. An intense lobby has sprouted making the anthropocentric climate […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 In January 2012 our mid-west region was experiencing a relatively mild and snow free winter. We reported on the “Arctic Oscillation,” supposedly responsible for the abnormal warmth and lack of normal winter precipitation. Lower polar air pressure was responsible, we were told, with the “AO” bearing the onus of giving the […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 Some senior citizens past age 65 were blessed to have been raised in families with a rich heritage of rural memories to share. Many of our parents regarded the great outdoors as an inexpensive learning laboratory and vacation venue. Many of my grandparents’ generation were also farm owners. People of this […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 One recent Sunday sermon at our church was entitled “Finding Ultimate Value.” The title was part of a sermon series designated “The Kingdom of God.” The pastor had challenged parishioners to elaborate on their personal views of “The Kingdom of God” and to submit their musings to the pastor in writing. […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 The “soulishness” of many wild creatures we observe in our environment is a characteristic of great significance. The definition of this interesting term is worthy of repetition: Soulish life includes creatures described beginning with Genesis 1:21 in which God endowed mind, will, and emotions so they can form relationships with members […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 When our grandchildren visited our outdoor neighborhood during past summers, at times this science educator wondered whether we should stress science literacy or science appreciation. In my own mind I opted for science appreciation without using either of the terms in the earshot of the children, lest we would compromise the […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 “Acumen” is a term most often associated with human traits. Expertise, intuition, accuracy, perception, and judgment are traits associated with acumen, such as the oft used expression “business acumen.” After making a study of this term, I tentatively acclaim acumen as a qualifier for traits of the animal world. For instance, […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 Democritus, an ancient Greek philosopher, was sometimes called the father of modern science. This moniker was assigned to a number of historic figures. The 5th century BC ancient Greek philosopher developed a remarkable atomic theory without ability to support it empirically and evidentially. Nevertheless, his ideas were far ahead of their […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 The apparent discovery of the Higgs Boson, the last major piece of the puzzle in particle physics popularly named the God Particle, for Christians, clearly signals yet another revelation, one of hundreds of designed features governing the workings of our magnificent cosmos and helps us place the Scriptural worldview in line […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 Among the vast changes in our country occurring about 1960, few possess more impact than the events related to the origin of the intense creationism discussion which commenced about that time. Coincident with what has been termed the “seminal” publication of The Genesis Flood we referenced in our 6/29/12 post, there […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 When the discussion of science arises in our modern time, especially as it impacts the discussion of origins, it is important to look back at a broad range of history over several hundreds of years to discover the many turns and twists. It is important to discover how historic discoveries may […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), popular novelist and Christian apologist, died November 22, 1963, on the day President John F. Kennedy was shot in Dallas, Texas. Lewis is remembered for his brilliant thinking and writing on a variety of topics related to the Christian faith. One subject he tackled was the topic […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 One of the paramount goals of our blog is to promote the relationship of science and the Christian faith. Our view is that science is a powerful apologetic tool. A leading organization for upholding the partnership of science and faith is Reasons to Believe whose president is Hugh Ross. It is […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 Modern science is often said to have been birthed in the Judeo-Christian concept that there is one creator, the God of the Old and New Testaments. We observe the created world and we see an orderly universe from the micro-cosmos to the macro-cosmos. The world of nature is orderly and predictable. […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 A common recurring problem involves numerous errors of reasoning by those presenting their arguments. These errors are usually meant to fortify their argument’s weak points and weaken the case of the opponent. Phillip E. Johnson penned a popular little volume over a decade ago entitled Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds. One […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 Every living thing on this earth at this instant has a genealogical history. Scientists recognize a principle termed “causal adequacy.” We might say our immediate parents were the cause of our current existence insofar as they contributed to the entirety of our genealogical makeup. We are linked on the chain of […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 Recently I personally experienced two remarkable healing events. One type of healing incident has occurred dozens of times throughout my life. Because such healings have happened frequently, they are nonetheless remarkable. I speak of the ability of the human body to heal its wounds, cuts, and scrapes. Later in this essay […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 “Sudden Creation Events” may not implicitly suggest that a discussion of evolution will follow. My conversations with theistic evolutionists often distill to time frames for evolution events. Did God front-load primeval matter and then observe the slow changes to follow? Theistic evolutionists may find this imagery to their liking. More specifically, […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 The generic term evolution is defined, according to the Free Online Dictionary, as “a gradual process whereby something changes into a different and usually more complex or better form.” Sometimes evolution is simply described as “change over time.” If we accept astronomical and geological evolution in the production of the cosmos […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 When topics of origins come up for discussion, my comments often trigger the explicit question, “Are you a creationist?” My answer is an equally explicit, “Yes, I am a creationist.” Usually my answer conjures up in my listeners the impression that I believe the universe, the earth, and all its life […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 “In Him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28 NIV). If I were required to cite a personal favorite verse or passage of scripture, this passage would be high on the list. Acts 17:15-34 records a startling apologetic for believers and unbelievers alike. The Apostle Paul, after being […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 Many sound, orthodox church ministries, schools, and organizations proclaim the reality of God and His message of love for mankind. Their ministries are firmly founded on special revelation–divinely inspired scripture. Believers have anchored their theological belief structure in scripture’s holy writings for centuries. Truth seekers can do no better than to […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 Hymn writer James Rowe (1865-1933) lived during the childhood and working years of our grandparents and great-grandparents–the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In response to the pressures of secularization many gospel song texts of that era addressed personal struggles and exhorted fellow human beings to turn to God from their […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 When Peter and John healed the man crippled from birth (Acts 3:2), the early post-resurrection church was experiencing vibrant expansion an its first months of existence. Reactions from bewildered civil authorities in Jerusalem ranged from threats to temporary detainment of believers. On one occasion after being commanded not to speak any […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 Marketing strategies in our day tout the importance of simplicity, ease of use, and effortless purchase of their products. Convenience stores are an invention of the 20th century. Their prevalence mirrors a general modern tendency to keep things uncomplicated and to desire simple solutions in a day when the demands of […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 Michael Behe, famous for his proposal of irreducible complexity (IC), has endured plentiful cynical ridicule. IC proposes, that in a complex functional system such as the blood clotting cascade, or even in a simpler, non-living functional analog like the mousetrap, removal of one key component of the system effectively derails the […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 Michael Behe is one of the original scientists to popularize the concept of intelligent design in the last two decades. Darwin’s Black Box (1996) introduced the idea of irreducible complexity in living systems. Behe describes irreducible complexity as follows: “…a single system composed of several well-matched, interacting parts that contribute to […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 The title of this post is a play on words. Philosophers such as Alvin Plantinga and William Lane Craig make the proposal that for many, belief in God is a properly basic belief. That is to say, belief in the existence of God is innate in human experience and does not […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 Bible commentators have contributed several interpretations of the term dust in Genesis 2:7, Genesis 3:19, Psalm 103:14, and Ecclesiastes 3:20. These passages speak of man being created of the dust of the ground, our bodies returning to the dust when we die, and the Lord remembering that we are dust. The […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 The operations of most cycles of nature are well understood. The use and re-use of water, oxygen, nitrogen, carbon, and hydrogen in our world depends on the properties of these chemical substances, how they react with other substances, and how their interactions sustain the activities of earth’s life forms. The deeper […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 Our discussions of major natural cycles have highlighted the big four of elements in living things: oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, and nitrogen. The water cycle also describes the cycling of hydrogen through the biosphere. The fundamental concept of recycling the big four chemical elements to power activities of our daily lives may […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 To catch the attention of high school students beginning their study of the carbon cycle, I may recycle one or two simple demonstrations they might remember from their younger days. One is a favorite, outrageous party trick. Passing one’s finger quickly through the lower part of a candle flame leaves a […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 For 50 years I was privileged to observe a master agronomist firsthand. My father was a regional agent for a hybrid seed company in the 1940s and 1950s. In this role, he applied knowledge of good plant nutrition in concert with his knowledge of the advantages of hybridization which started to […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 As we study the cycles of nature—the water cycle and numerous other cycles and processes in nature, we sometimes experience some uncertainties about the goodness of these natural phenomena. Is Planet Earth really a place to thrive? Or is it a place of brokenness and decay? Superimposed upon the life sustaining […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 When one wishes to convey the idea that something vital has been lost, he sometimes uses the imagery of “removing the oxygen.” We may ask, “What is so uniquely vital about oxygen?” By weight oxygen is the most common element in the earth’s crust (almost half), and also the most common […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 Hugh Ross of the Reasons to Believe organization has witten a new book entitled Hidden Treasures in the Book of Job (Baker Books, 2011). In one chapter he speaks of some of the modern handicaps to understanding and appreciating basic science which could give glory to the Creator and even strengthen […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 One of my temptations as a science classroom teacher was to devote unequal time to curricular topics for which I had a special fondness. The district curriculum, of course, outlined the topics to be covered. Time requirements for sub-topics were not rigorously spelled out. Sometimes I found myself covering certain topics […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 When the restaurant waitress inquires if we would care to have something to drink, I sometimes reply, “I’ll just have plain water.” My reply belies the complex and uniquely wonderful properties of water. Its colorless, odorless, and tasteless qualities have earned it the moniker “just plain water.” But our earth’s most […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 Charles Dickens is credited with initially offering the proverb “Tis love that makes the world go round.” In a poetic sense this may be true. A less romantic proverb may provide more truth in a scientific sense: Water makes the world go round. Our water world is driven by the water […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 By one count there are over 700 references to water in the Bible. The first mention, Genesis 1:2, describes the water-covered early earth, swathed in darkness, with “the Spirit of God hovering over the face of the waters.” What a picture of God’s tender care for this unique planet! In future […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 Those who understand weather events to the point of being able to explain them are far more likely to enjoy those events. This statement also applies to a wide spectrum of human knowledge and daily experience. Consider, for example, how we enjoy watching athletic contests. A mother who cheers her son’s […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 Some of the most familiar and plentiful things in our experience are also some of the most underappreciated. Water falls into that category. The surface of Planet Earth is 70% water covered to an average depth of about two miles. Earth’s oceans contain 97% of Earth’s water. Life on earth depends […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 Driving along Interstate 80 on the return trip to the Midwest from my brother’s funeral services, a Christian Aid Ministries roadside billboard stood out starkly: “After you die, you will meet God.” There was no politically correct gloss in this statement, even though its explicit message grieves many and triggers scornful […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 On November 17, 2011 I posted “System Breakdown,” detailing the idea that the breakdown of even one of the many hundreds of systems of our body could result in serious health problems. All our systems operate successfully most of the time. I implied that the breakdown of two or three systems […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 Historical Old Testament figure Job received fascinating lessons in meteorology from the youthful Elihu in Job 36-37. The lessons followed Elihu’s more serious commentary in earlier chapters on the deficiencies he perceived in Job’s lifestyle. Elihu was less harsh in his judgment than Job’s other three friends. The lessons in meteorology […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 As a science educator I was called upon, to the best of my ability, to make my subject matter accessible and interesting, even fascinating. Because of their curiosity, we are told children are natural-born scientists. That is true to a great extent. After children develop into teenagers and later morph into […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 What is the meaning of the Theology of Creation? A large body of literature exists on this topic. Creation and creationism is often conflated with a record of the creation event, dealing with the who, the when, and the how of origins of our world and the cosmos. The topic generates […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 Light banter about the weather is a common sequel to our friendly greetings when we encounter a neighbor. In our region the light banter has become more detailed of late as my neighbors in Northern Illinois exult over a mild and virtually snow free December and January. Our frigid, snow covered […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2012 The paradigm of “No Death before the Fall” of Adam and Eve has become one of the bedrock tenets of the belief in a young earth currently held by many millions of evangelical Christians. Young earth believers must adhere to this belief in order to preserve their fundamental doctrinal belief that […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 Some creationists propose that from the time the creation was completed by God as described in Genesis 1, it has undergone some fundamental changes in its physical operation. They argue these changes occurred as a result of man’s sin and subsequent alienation from God in the Garden of Eden after a […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 Time may be considered either a coffee table discussion topic or an esoteric subject of interest mainly to scientists and philosophers. Coffee table conversationalists sometimes say, “Time flies!” or they complain about their day “dragging.” Similar comments are meant to poke fun at our subjective state of mind. But we all […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 The cosmological arrow of time signals a constantly expanding universe. As we observe this phenomenon we have a sense of time moving forward. Our universe was smaller in time past; as it grows larger we move into the future. This observable fact logically points to the inescapable conclusion that our universe […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 Statements from skeptics that a loving, benevolent God should not permit decay, pain, suffering, evil, or death do not indicate their basic understanding of the advantages of living in a world governed by the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. Such declarations are motivated by their desire to incriminate God. Scientists, in particular, […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 Stephen Hawking discusses three arrows of time in his popular 1988 volume A Brief History of Time and subsequent updates. He defines an arrow of time as “something which distinguishes the past from the future, giving a direction to time.” One of the three is the thermodynamic arrow of time. The […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 Jesus Christ’s startling utterance “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End” (Rev. 22:13) could not refer to the beginning and ending of Christ’s existence, for He is eternal. Rather, the passage refers to the beginning and ending of this present dimension […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 We are firmly embedded between the “bookends of time.” The “books” between the bookends contain a record of events in our temporal sphere–earth history from the creation event until the present as well as events yet to come before the end of this present age. The arrival of the New Creation […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 Many people who lived five decades or more ago remember the popular hymn “When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder.” This title was requested more frequently than most during the “favorites” portion of hymn time. The verse 1 lyrics begin, “When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound and time shall […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 A popular current scientific buzz is an imaginative concept called the “multiverse” which posits that at the Big Bang multiple universes may have been generated. Perhaps, some scientists say, the number of universes is infinite. Some scientists hypothesize our own universe may possess all the “just right” requirements for life because […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 How does the physical operation of Planet Earth’s systems and our cosmos fulfill God’s higher purpose? Do Earth’s physical systems and Earth’s life forms operate according to the foreknowledge of an infinite, omniscient God? Since the Fall of Adam in the Garden of Eden, are we operating under God’s “Plan B?” […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 “It’s a wonder more things don’t go wrong; It’s amazing anyone stays healthy five minutes!” This was the observation of my brother, my only sibling, who recently suffered a significant stroke. This profound insight does not diminish the lingering stroke symptoms, but it does help us put the wonder of our […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 The brother of Jesus Christ wrote a one-chapter epistle in which he urges believers to “contend earnestly for the faith” (Jude 1:3 NASB). My personal preference for the translation of this verse comes from Eugene Peterson’s The Message: “I have to write insisting—begging!—that you fight with everything you have in you […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 Hymn time during a recent Sunday morning worship service featured “By Faith,” a popular new song by Keith and Kristin Getty. Verse 1 begins “By faith we see the hand of God in the light of creation’s grand design.” The subject of faith juxtaposed with creation’s grand design in only one […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 “But now ask the beasts, and let them teach you; and the birds of the heavens, and let them tell you.” (Job 12:7 NASB) This unusual concept was a reply given by Job to his accuser, Zophar, who had proposed confidently that Job’s trials were punishment for his sins. Zophar and […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 A favorite question often asked is, “What is your favorite…?” Many deflect such a query with, “I like them all,” perhaps using the qualifier “for different reasons.” As autumn progresses in northern latitudes there is often trepidation at the approach of winter, sometimes fueled, as in the Midwestern US, by the […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 Blaise Pascal wrote “People almost invariably arrive at their beliefs not on the basis of proof but on the basis of what they find attractive.” William Dembski, intelligent design theorist, claims Pascal was “…not talking about people merely believing what they want to believe, as in wish fulfillment. Rather, he was […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 The Signs of the Zodiac have been associated with horoscopes–ancient and modern systems promoting belief in the supposed connection between events visible in the sky and events on Planet Earth. The zodiac is a narrow band of constellations through which the sun apparently moves during Earth’s annual revolution around the sun. […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 One day last week I rose very early and journeyed up my driveway for the morning newspaper in early morning pitch darkness. My body was “suffering” from jet lag, seven hours ahead of the clocks in northern Illinois. When I saw the constellation Orion blinking brightly in the southwest, I was […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 “Intelligent design is not science,” many people within the science community regularly repeat. This claim has acquired considerable traction in our culture. From the science classroom to the courtroom, the intelligent design concept has been consigned instead to the realms of religion and theology. William A. Dembski, prominent proponent of intelligent […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 During your science blogger’s brief hiatus from regular posting on the Ankerberg website, readers are invited to review several series I have posted in the past. Clicking on each link below takes you to the first commentary in each series. Clicking on Newer Post at the bottom of each article progressively […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 Most children enjoy all manner of critters, including those in class insecta. They take pleasure in capturing, caressing, and controlling the creatures, at least for a brief time. Insects make up more than half of all the organisms on this earth. So it was not difficult to locate a few interesting […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 When we become adults our interactions assume a level of complexity we were unable or unwilling to assume as children. We think and interact with each other on many different topics. Three examples are religion, politics, and sometimes science. As children we absorbed the religion of our parents and for the […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 Were someone to deny the benefits of science in our modern world, he would be accused of being a crackpot. It is no exaggeration to say that science, particularly since the Scientific Revolution of the last four centuries, has changed our civilization. The previously untapped potential of science has burst upon […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 Politicians and preachers alike have again been reminding us about the possibility of God’s direct and deliberate intervention manifest in the world’s recent weather events and disasters. Do the east coast earthquake and Hurricane Irene signal the action of God to “get the attention of politicians,” as one politician exclaimed? In […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 Those who forget history are destined to repeat its mistakes. In one form or another, authorship of this statement is claimed by many. In the current lively area of science/faith issues, we would do well to remember the history of how science became completely secularized well over a century ago. Knowledge […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 A strong antipathy exists between those who believe in creationism or intelligent design and those who promote naturalistic evolution. Creationism and intelligent design are often regarded as anti-science positions. Science deals only with the natural; no one is permitted to infer supernatural interventions along the timeline of earth history even if […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 The title of one of our first blog posts in 2007 was “The Science/Faith Connection.” Our modern secular culture does not take kindly to the concept of a connection between science and faith. The formerly strong association between science and theology began to break down after the American Civil War. Prior […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 Before putting the monarch butterfly discussion to rest for the summer, consider how we may communicate the marvels of the monarch to a young person in a gripping way. We may observe the tiny egg hatch into a tiny caterpillar, grow into a large caterpillar, morph into a gold be-jeweled chrysalis, […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 Forty-two second graders sat attentively for almost an hour last spring listening to my PowerPoint presentation on four stage metamorphosis and migration. To illustrate, I used my personal photo images and recounted my experiences with one of the most remarkable animals on the planet–the monarch butterfly. During the question and answer […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 The monthly email invitation to attend the science/faith organization chapter meetings always closed with the exultation “Jesus is the Creator.” As we contemplate the intersection of science and faith in this blog, we recognize that as we discover the wonders of design, whether in the fine tuning of the cosmos or […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 Biologists who endorse neither intelligent design nor theistic acts of creation along the cosmic timeline may nonetheless marvel at the wonder of living things–their structure and their function. For those who are interested in science there are two levels of study. First, we observe the appearance and behavior of the life […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 Our Creator provides multiple occasions for worship experiences. Sunday church is but one of those opportunities. Many others present themselves to the alert, thoughtful observer. Last summer a friend visited our northwest Illinois home with her three young boys. We live in a unique geologic area called the Driftless area, so […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 Theistic evolution (TE) is currently a hot button issue in significant circles of the evangelical community, particularly on college campuses. This could turn out to be a healthy phenomenon, or it could become a trigger for divisive strife. A healthy outcome is possible if all parties approach the discussion by committing […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 Two issues lie beneath the radar of the usual ministry thrusts of evangelical churches. Nevertheless, they are important both ecclesiastically and culturally. One is the earth time scale issue. Is Planet Earth billions of years old or only six to ten thousand years old? The other issue is potentially more divisive. […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 The issue of evolution generates considerable angst in our day, especially as it seems to conflict with biblical views. We might describe some exchanges between evolutionists and creationists, even old earth creationists, as intense if not heated. Currently there is a strong campaign directed at evangelicals, especially on our college campuses, […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 At the Vibrant Dance Symposium in Austin, TX in October 2010, one of the plenary speakers, a theistic evolutionist, stated there was likely a naturalistic explanation for one of the “big bangs” of biology, namely, the Cambrian Explosion. This geologically sudden proliferation of dozens of diverse body plans is a profound […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 The latest BioLogos book project publication The Language of Science and Faith (2011) makes a startling claim. Authors Karl W. Giberson and Francis S. Collins assert, “There has been no scientific discovery–not one–which has suggested that evolution is not the best explanation for the origin of species.” We may comprehend this […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 One popular method of elevating the case for evolution and diminishing the case for creationism/ID is to deny any debate exists or to deny there are even grounds for a debate. This method comes from some of the same ideologically mindlocked cheerleaders for evolution who sling epithets such as IDiots at […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 A well known sports announcer frequently punctuates his NBA basketball broadcasts with the exclamatory “Bang!” Mike Breen repeats this amusing figure of speech to report a successful shot from “beyond the arc,” taken from a minimum distance of 22 ft to 23 ft 9 in. A basket from there scores three […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 Children sometimes reveal sensitive family secrets, to the consternation of their parents. Seasoned professional scientists also sometimes reveal information to the public which may be regarded as “inside knowledge,” tantamount to a family secret. Stephen J. Gould (1941-2002) surprised the scientific world with frequent, candid admissions of an unexpected mystery in […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 Belief in evolution is supported by a well established reliance on inference. Without the power of inference, the discipline of science and many other human inquiries would skid to a halt. The definition of inference ranges from drawing fairly certain conclusions based on deductive and inductive reasoning to drawing conclusions based […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 The choice between belief in evolution and belief in creation is a choice of utmost importance. It possesses importance on multiple levels, from personal to cultural. The importance of our beliefs about evolution and creation cannot be overstated. Stakeholders in the discussion lobby for acceptance of their views. We often hear […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 The newest book promoting theistic evolution to the Christian creationist community is The Language of Science and Faith (2011) by Karl W. Giberson and Francis S. Collins. Until recently both scientist/authors were active in the BioLogos organization. The new volume is billed as a “BioLogos book project.” Once again the findings […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 The BioLogos Foundation has burst on the scene, self-described as “the leading organization dedicated to the task of showing that the natural sciences and Christianity can co-exist in a manner that is mutually supportive—each enriching the other, in a harmonious relationship.” The Foundation is also one of the leading, high profile […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 Last Sunday my worship experience was heightened by the offertory vocal This Is My Father’s World. Consider the following exultant phrases referring to the creation, especially during this month of May as the countryside springs to verdant life: All nature sings…I rest me in the thought of rocks and trees, of […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 Even the secular world praises the Old Testament Book of Job as an inspired work of literature. The Liberty Bible Commentary claims, “Scholars agree that it is much easier to praise the work than to understand it.” For Bible commentators who pride themselves in making clear the interpretation of Scripture, this […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 Whenever tragic natural disasters occur, particularly those resulting in loss of human life, many rush to explain those events through the lens of the sin of Adam and Eve in Eden. One website expressed this belief held by many Christians: “God created a perfect world where there were no disasters because […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©2014

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 In 1874, Mary A. Baker (1831-1921) penned a hymn which remained popular into my childhood years. The dramatic hymn “Master, the Tempest is Raging (Peace! Be Still)” posed a sharp contrast between a raging tempest and its peaceful aftermath. Even though the hymn’s imagery is that of a tempest at sea, […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 Television, newspapers, and internet pages are filled with images of the tragic tornado super outbreak of April 28, 2011 in America’s deep south. This event now ranks second only to the famous tri-state tornado super outbreak of 1925 in Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana which killed 747. At this writing, 343 people […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 Naturalism has many qualifying adjectives such as metaphysical, philosophical, and ontological. Many secular organizations endorse naturalism and reject the existence of God explicitly and proudly. An example is this terse statement: “Naturalism implies that there are no supernatural entities.” One Merriam-Webster entry for the definition of materialism is similar: “A theory […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 Theistic evolutionists, who now wish to be known as evolutionary creationists, are experiencing a chilly reception from naturalistic evolutionists. Both terms are problematic in the realm of evolutionary science. “Theistic” and “creationist” are not fitting descriptors within the paradigm of evolutionism. Evangelical evolutionary creationists, in particular, would acknowledge the Judeo-Christian God […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 Many theistic evolutionists, now promoting themselves as “evolutionary creationists,” yield to the belief that because evolution possesses overwhelming support among biological scientists, its claims on origins questions are credible. This is a position articulated by many brilliant people with whom I have discussed origins issues. For them adherence to majority opinion […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 One of the most significant problems theistic evolutionists face as they spread their message on the origins of life is the inconsistency of their stance. On one hand they embrace science, saying that evolution is scientific. Of course, that statement is broadly true. Scientists investigate the questions of evolution. We are […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 Claims of theistic evolutionists that TE beliefs are compatible with evangelical theology and a Christian worldview do not resonate favorably with creationist perceptions of reality. On the other side of the origins spectrum, neither is the heavily naturalistic community of bio-scientists supportive of the TE concept. Theistic evolutionists attempt to please […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 Belief in evolution, and by extension, theistic evolution as it is understood today, is as old as the proposals of Charles Darwin, author of The Origin of Species in 1859. Historically however, ideas of a self-existent natural world and even primitive concepts of “evolution” have been present for many centuries. The […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 Dramatic courtroom scenes portrayed in literature, on television, or in movies are frequently laced with the judge’s exclamation “Objection sustained” or “Objection overruled” in response to questioning techniques by counsel. In such instances, the judge applies rules governing courtroom procedural law. Notwithstanding the desirability of rules governing the admissibility of evidence […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 Believers in theistic evolution find themselves on the proverbial middle ground. They camp between theistic creationists and atheistic/agnostic evolutionists. Some may still wrestle with significant conflicts. Is matter invested with self-organizing capability–the ability to progress naturalistically from “molecules to man?” Or did God perform several or many supernatural miracles along the […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 Some of the best reasons to be skeptical of evolutionary claims come from the statements of naturalistic evolutionists. They do not acknowledge either divine origin of the universe or its divine sustenance. Theistic evolutionists claim to believe in a God who originated the universe and in some way sustains it even […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 The horrific scenes of devastation in Japan and the unfolding news of damage to nuclear reactors from one of the most powerful earthquakes in history has gripped and grieved us all. Some people ask the default question, “How could a loving God allow such a scale of death and destruction?” This […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 Correct Science—>Correct Worldview—>Correct Theology…..This flowchart has some significance with respect to truth discovery on origins questions. Currently there is strong pressure coming to bear on the evangelical community to accept theistic evolution. The claim is that belief in TE is completely compatible with evangelical Christian faith. The more I study this […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 There are many different definitions of worldview. Various sources list from four to ten major categories of worldview. The definitions and categories overlap, but there is a basic consistency. James W. Sire, Christian author of The Universe Next Door, defines worldview as “a commitment, a fundamental orientation of the heart, that […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 Evangelical theistic evolutionists are mounting a more serious campaign directed toward evangelical creationists. Theistic evolutionists believe we are all the product of a naturalistic process which flowed from the earliest one-celled life, sometimes called LUCA (last universal common ancestor) to the modern humans of today. More specifically, all organisms now living […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 Del Ratzsch, in Science and Its Limits, makes this provocative statement: “Our worldviews, in short, are inescapably shaped by science.” We often assume the public understands what we mean by science. If someone makes a statement such as, “According to science…” it is often taken as a mantle of authority generating […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 Theistic evolutionism ranges along a spectrum of positions, just as does creationism. It is not a monolithic belief system. The most common position, however, is the “fully gifted” model, in which the Big Bang was God’s last physical intervention, at least until New Testament times. Evangelical TE adherents may have a […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 Beautiful sunsets, magnificent mountains, and various other glorious natural displays have long triggered deep feelings of worship. My mother was fond of quoting the King James translation of Psalm 121:1: “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills from whence cometh my help.” She balanced the poetic quality of verse […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 Scientific conclusions about cause and effect in earth’s bio-history must adhere to rules. Did observed effects “just happen?” Or was God involved in the actions in some way? Intelligent Design, by rule, is declared not to be scientific because it makes inferences of action by a supernatural being. Intelligent Design is […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 Dr. Francis S. Collins makes an interesting statement near the beginning of Chapter 8 in his popular book The Language of God. “Taken at face value,” says Collins, “the term ‘creationist’ would seem to imply the general perspective of one who argues for the existence of a God who was directly […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 The BioLogos Foundation was organized by Dr. Francis S. Collins several years after publication of his successful 2006 book The Language of God. Collins was the director of the National Human Genome Research Institute until 2008. The Institute helped sequence the human genome, a great stride in providing biotechnologists with the […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 If concordism is the position that Biblical references to natural history find realization in modern scientific discovery and knowledge, we may wonder if there is a balancing or opposing view. Some Bible scholars question the literality of many scripture creation passages, seeing mere figures of speech in those texts. We may […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 The Interaction Between Science and Christianity is a subject of interest to many in our modern culture. The topic is more complex than commonly realized. When I inform people of my background in science education and my current interest in this interaction, many initially express enthusiasm. When they later discover the […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 Natural theology does not garner widespread attention from the secular world as an apologetic for the existence of God or to describe His attributes. Some Christians also struggle with its value. The reasons are complex and difficult. Some Christian apologists loosely use the term proof in connection with scientific evidence pointing […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 Natural theology has possessed various shades of meaning over the centuries. Under one of its contemporary definitions, apologists offer evidence for God’s existence, describe God’s attributes, or even derive doctrine based on reason and grounded in observations of the natural world. Many object to the embrace of natural theology to achieve […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 The science-minded parent looks for opportunities to pique the curiosity and stimulate appreciation for science in his children. This goal may not be as difficult to achieve as some would imagine, but thought and effort are needed. Age-appropriate discoveries in everyday activities could become a science object lesson for reinforcing knowledge […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 “God richly gives us all things to enjoy.” This quotation from I Tim. 6:17 applies to possession of knowledge as well as enjoyment of material things. The verse relates to a broad spectrum of human activity. It is possible to pinpoint everyday physical occurrences in the kitchen, garage, or yard, or […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2011 “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” A French journalist, Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr penned this epigram in 1849. It has become a well-known proverb, speaking of realities in theology and science as well as many other human endeavors. In science there are many examples of apparent change which […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 The packing box proclaims 14+ the appropriate age for ownership and operation of this toy. Perhaps this is the age at which the principles of physics governing the Syma S-107 helicopter’s operation are first introduced to middle school or high school students. More likely, the manufacturer wants to avoid excessive crash […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 Man’s ability to place objects in orbit provides us with spiritual object lessons. Our musings about radio and television satellites beaming their digital messages to our receivers at the speed of light raise some questions. We may observe our rooftop satellite dish and wonder why the installation technician pointed it in […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 “Awesome” has become an overworked word in our culture, especially among young people. “Awesome” is slang for “enthusiastic approval.” Its root word, “awe,” is less used and underappreciated, but its meaning is far more powerful: deep wonder, respect, reverence, perhaps even coupled with holy fear. Eclipses inspire awe as few other […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 On the evening of March 12, 2009, my wife and two dozen other Holy Land tourists arrived in Jerusalem by bus from Ben Gurion Airport. Before arriving at our hotel, tour host Jimmy DeYoung instructed our driver to pull in to an elevated parking area. Most of our group members carefully […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 At Christmastime, some radio stations modify their musical programming to conform to the season. Most stations assume a secular stance, only occasionally offering a carol with an explicitly Christian message. I confess my preference for “real” Christmas music. At times I’ve contacted station management about their Christmas “lite” offerings, hoping at […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 The term war conjures up powerful emotions. In most cases a war is a battle between those holding differing ideologies. Most often people associate war with armed conflict. Other disputes could result only in verbal exchanges or other hostile actions short of armed conflict. Many would be surprised to learn that […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 The type of language used in scripture helps reveal the author’s purpose for writing. C. John (Jack) Collins recently addressed the Vibrant Dance of Faith and Science Symposium from that standpoint with respect to the first eleven chapters of Genesis. Collins is professor of Old Testament at Covenant Theological Seminary. One […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 Most pastors have a clear goal for topical and stylistic emphasis in their preaching and the direction their educational programs should travel. For that clarity of vision, they should be affirmed and commended. Willingness to expand outreach and improve ministry effectiveness is also a characteristic of effective church leadership. At the […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 Charles Darwin’s legacy, according to Stephen Meyer, Discovery Institute’s director of the Center for Science and Culture, is that the appearance of design features in living things is a gradual process and a mere accident of natural selection and random mutation. Selective breeding, deliberately accomplished by man to produce woollier sheep […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 Reasons to Believe scholar Fazale Rana, a biochemist, addressed evidence for design in the biosphere at his October 26, 2010 plenary address at the Hill Country Institute for Contemporary Christianity’s “Vibrant Dance of Faith and Science” symposium. God is not only the Creator, but also the Redeemer. Therefore, we could expect […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 A humorous irony concerning physics and astronomy is revealed by the different terms sometimes used to describe these branches of science. Physics, with its applications related to such fields as cosmology and space science, is known as “hard science”–perceived as more rigorous and quantitatively precise than “soft science” disciplines such as […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 The recent Vibrant Dance Symposium and its avowed purpose “to understand the landscape of faith/science interaction” brought together a blend of viewpoints from “expert witnesses.” Theistic evolution (TE) was prominently represented. This position is frowned upon by many Christians but readily embraced by others who feel, as described by C. John […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 How should Christian faith and science knowledge “interdigitate?” This imagery was used by Andy Crouch in his kickoff address at the recent Vibrant Dance Symposium in Austin, TX. Literally, interdigitation is an interlocking of the fingers of clasped hands. It suggests a figurative image of one entity overlapping and becoming an […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 Opportunities for gracious, Christ honoring dialogue related to the intersection of science and Christian faith extended over three days last week in Austin, Texas. I was privileged to attend. The mission of “The Vibrant Dance of Faith and Science” symposium was to provide pastors, church leaders, scientists, and interested lay people […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 The universe we observe is a physical universe, created transcendently by God from outside our currently observed dimensions of time, space, matter, and energy. God is not confined to the dimensions we observe. He exists beyond them in dimensions we do not experience. But He also exists in our physical dimensions. […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 Political campaigns are both amusing and depressing. Ideally, different viewpoints on political issues and proposed solutions for the challenges of governing should be showcased. Instead, obscure past statements, beliefs, and actions of the candidates are touted as campaign issues; what the candidate would do to solve the problems of government sometimes […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 As we consider the history of the Jews described in the Pentateuch, we may experience frustration at the unbelief and unfaithfulness of the Chosen People. They witnessed many transcendent events including the miraculous parting of the waters during their departure from Egypt, the lengthy provision of manna, and the divine inscription […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 Modern design arguments hark back to early proponents of design such as William Derham (1657-1735) and William Paley (1743-1805). Derham wrote Physico-theology, subtitled A Demonstration of the Being and Attributes of God from His Works of Creation. William Paley presented an even more famous exposition of the teleological (design) proposal for […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 While secular scientists are busy attributing the apparent fine tuning of the universe to chance or the multiverse hypothesis, many bio-scientists are explaining the diversity of earth’s life in terms of common ancestry and naturalistic evolution. But traditional confidence in naturalistic mechanisms to explain cosmic design and earth’s biodiversity has been […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 People of many different belief persuasions dismiss the concept of intelligent design. The discussion is not just a scientific question, but also a philosophical one. Did a super-intelligent agent act supernaturally within our present dimensions of time, space, matter, and energy? Are we able to detect such actions using scientific methods? […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 In a home building project, we could highlight two time frames. First, the site on which the home is to be built must be prepared in multiple ways, including proper surveys, approvals, payment, assignment of title, and lot clearing, to name a few. Second, previously conceived architectural plans are printed and […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 Several sources of wonder and awe concerning cells have been addressed in recent posts. These include their complexity, organization, design, information content, replicating capacity, and synthesizing ability. So far, we have not specifically dealt with the most fascinating question of all with regard to the cell’s ability to synthesize proteins: How […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” exults King David in Psalm 139:14. In his extensive commentary on the Psalms, 19th century Prince of Preachers Charles H. Spurgeon wrote that the science of anatomy was quite unknown to David. Had he been aware of the details of nerves, sinews, blood vessels, and […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 In earlier days, before the onset of social networking and ubiquitous electronic gadgetry, many of today’s mature adults were entertained by toy coding devices offered by radio adventure programs or commercial food marketers. These devices enabled us to send intelligent messages using mysterious signals which needed translation in order to “decode” […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 Examining a skyscraper, an automobile, or a fine sculpture, we would have little difficulty recognizing that they are designer-conceived and artisan-executed. One could also admire the “beauty” of each achievement, especially in the case of the sculpture. When we consider a cell in the human body, most people would recognize its […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 When a child receives a new toy, before asking “How does it work?” he may pause to admire its structure and other physical features. Likewise, before considering the function of the cells in our body–that is, what cells accomplish in their role as the fundamental units of life–we may pause to […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 It is surprising that the concept of intelligent agency in bio-systems or in the cosmos at large is rejected so vehemently by many science professionals. There is no disagreement from that community that the many physical systems we encounter in everyday life fall generally into one of several categories. They may […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 Garden hoses have an innate tendency to weave themselves into bewildering, inextricable tangles. Perhaps this is just another manifestation of Murphy’s law. Our body cells solve far more intricate problems than are posed by the most complex garden hose project imaginable. Living cells possess coded information and have the ability to […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 Searching through dusty picture albums of my early childhood, I find snapshots of my toddler years do not resemble those taken at my wedding. They bear even less resemblance to my appearance today. Likewise, my high school and college biology textbooks would not compare well with the texts in use today. […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 When a repair or service technician comes to my home, I have the habit of lingering nearby to ask questions. Of course, I ask permission for the privilege. The knowledge I acquire is theoretical, not practical, rather like the knowledge of an enthusiastic baseball fan who never really played the game. […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 Literacy is a term with rich and diverse meaning. Without a qualifying adjective, it simply means the ability to read and write. Reading and writing ability suggest comprehension of what is read and the ability to express one’s thoughts in written form. The term scientific literacy is used in a broader […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 When discussions about my involvement with science arise, I am sometimes greeted with sentiments such as “I like science!” I am pleased when someone tells me he or she “likes science” and disappointed when the opposite sentiment is vocalized. It is apparent that many factors contribute to human likes and dislikes, […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 For the third consecutive summer, one of our blog posts highlights the Monarch butterfly, one of the most remarkable animals on the planet. Last weekend I was on hand for a service of healing and remembrance entitled “Monarch Moments” for family members touched by Alzheimer’s disease. Monarch butterflies were released in […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 Do our personal creationism beliefs really matter? During 2010, many of our posts have focused on various aspects of the issue of creation time scales. It seems to be a matter of intense interest both within the faith community and among others examining our beliefs. However, the subject matters more to […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 Creationism issues have occupied well over half of our blog space since the beginning of 2010. The history of the origins discussion within the church has been spotlighted. For better or for worse, creationists of every persuasion are fond of supporting their beliefs by citing what their forebears thought. In the […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 Several months ago a group of thirteen professionally trained astronomers considered formal presentations by two other professionally trained Christian astronomers who presented their arguments on the age of the universe. Each of the thirteen Christian astronomers has earned a PhD. and is currently employed at an educational venue such as Alabama, […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 In order for the massive amount of mainstream scientific evidence for the great age of the universe (13.73 billion years) and earth (4.54 billion years) to be rejected, the accepted beliefs about the behavior of light must be called into question. I encourage readers to investigate the issue for themselves. There […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 There are few areas of human understanding where we can confidently say that our knowledge is complete. Determining historical timelines is one of those areas. We wish to date the sudden explosion of fully modern human culture, or the age of the dinosaurs. We may attempt to refine the age of […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 One would think the increased agricultural bounty, elevated personal convenience and comfort, and improved living standards of the last century would result in heightened awareness of the goodness of God and a greater degree of thankfulness to our Creator. In our modern society, however, it appears that just the opposite may […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 People react to issues such as God’s existence, how He acted, and when He acted in diverse ways. The existence of God, how He acted to create the cosmos, and when He acted to create it, may be regarded as objective truths. That is, no matter what we believe to be […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 Many viewers have been blessed by the ongoing John Ankerberg Show science program series. Several took time to write after the last broadcast: * I have been watching John for some years now and have always enjoyed watching him and his guests. I have really been enjoying the Big Bang series […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 The current John Ankerberg Show science series continues to generate considerable interest among listeners. The series began with a discussion of the “Big Bang” and continues with topics ranging from fine tuning of the universe and life forms to the poverty of evolution and naturalistic explanations, to the agreement of scientific […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 Each time the apologetics television ministry of The John Ankerberg Show presents a series on science featuring trained theologians and scientists who accept modern findings of cosmologists and linguists concerning origins and a universe of enormous age, the ministry receives many questioning letters from listeners. I have been privileged to respond […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 In a legal system, juries are impanelled to hear evidence and pass judgment on a case according to the facts presented. When a jury is being selected, prosecutors are entitled to a certain number of challenges enabling them to exclude certain people from the jury panel. The legal term is challenge […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 Recently I continued a long-running conversation with my cousin concerning the philosophy of science. His emailed statement merits examination: “Philosophers of science typically understand the epistemological and philosophical dimensions of science–presuppositions, values, what kinds of knowledge claims are being made and how they are justified…” He claimed the philosophers may understand […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 The intuitive identification of an intelligent mind at work in the design and purpose of our cosmos and the living things which inhabit it seems highly justified. From an article in Conservapedia on Intelligent Design comes this quote: “An inference of design first springs from intuition—subconscious pattern-matching that alerts the mind […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 Marshall McCluhan’s familiar phrase “The Medium is the Message” could help us understand the contrast between the metaphysical naturalist and the creationist Christian worldviews. Naturalists claim intelligent design features are not evident. Creationists say such features abound, especially in living things. McCluhan (1911-1980) is often identified with his famous phrase. His […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 One may wonder why these posts have dwelt at length on the topic of creationism, a term the secular media often associate with recent origins of the earth and universe. The community of evolutionary science has derived benefit from the perception that creationism is now defined that way. The evolutionary community […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 Misunderstandings and suspicion of the Christian view of creation are rampant in the secular world. Unbelievers look at young earth creationist beliefs and may reject the entirety of biblical claims. They feel biblical claims are not credible if they are anchored to young earth interpretaions of Scripture. Agnostics cannot consider theological […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 The universe we inhabit, brought into existence by the Creator, is governed by many laws. One of the most important is the second law of thermodynamics. In brief terms, this law states that since the creation event, all systems in our universe are generally running down, becoming less ordered. Sometimes order […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 Opportunities to give glory to the Creator for the wisdom programmed into His creatures are ample. At a church dinner in the past week our friends shared an event which would inspire joy in the heart of any wildlife observer. Just outside their home they observed three different birds frolicking in […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 The emphasis of our blog since January has been “creationism.” Unknown to many people is the fact that the usual suffix “ism” is a dictionary entry which stands on its own. As such it refers to a doctrine, theory, system, belief, or practice. Some sources claim it is often used in […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 Several years ago an acquaintance acknowledged that the issue of the age of the earth and our universe did not bother him. Previously, our discussions about creationism issues had not dealt in specifics. I had incorrectly assumed that his statement signaled his belief in an ancient universe. Only when I began […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 The Midwest meteor, dubbed the Livingston (Wisconsin) meteor, which spectacularly illuminated the skies over a large portion of several states on April 14, 2010, is an occasion for reflection on the greatness and splendor of God and His creation. Even questions such as “Where did the space rock come from?” trigger […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 Last week my wife and I witnessed the spectacular demise of a space traveler. A large chunk of space rock weighing perhaps a half-ton, arrived at Earth after its long journey from the asteroid belt, the large region between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Chicago Tribune reporter William Mullen printed […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 Two of the most significant books, arguably, setting the tone for creationist debates in the last half-century, were produced just a few years apart back in the mid-20th century. Publication of Bernard Ramm’s The Christian View of Science and Scripture (1954) and The Genesis Flood (1961) by John Whitcomb and Henry […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 My public school teaching career was launched in 1959 at the beginning of a period of intensifying social and political tumult. The early 1960s marked a social watershed perhaps more profound than anything preceeding. Into the mix came John C. Whitcomb and Henry M. Morris with their landmark volume The Genesis […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 When we hear the term compromise, we feel one side or the other loses something important. This may or may not be true. Compromise is often a gain for both sides. Francis Bacon (1561-1627), one of the earliest scientists to describe scripture and the natural world as two revelations from the […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 Statements concerning the danger of repeating the mistakes of history have been made by many authors. So it is with the quality of the contemporary Christian response to science in general and, in particular, the attitudes of creationists with respect to earth and human history. In our last post we discussed […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 Augustine (354-430 AD), one of the great theologians of the early church, wrote at length on the work of God’s creation outlined in Genesis. His work, entitled The Literal Meaning of Genesis, was a revision of his earlier commentary. This church father is cited by creationists of differing viewpoints in support […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 Creationism is a term with many meanings. This science/faith blog has often connected that word with a time scale. We have used terms like old earth, young earth, ancient, or recent, as modifiers in connection with beliefs about when creation events occurred. Sometimes discussions about these matters obscure or detract from […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 The longer we read articles dealing with health foods and sound nutrition the more we encounter words such as pure, plain, and natural to describe advertised products. Such terms sound a resonant chord among increasingly health-conscious consumers. We are conditioned to respond positively to such terms in other discussion contexts. For […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 Evangelical historian Mark Noll has penned a succinct definition of creationism. Noll says “The word creationism by rights should define all who discern a divine mind at work in, with, or under the phenomena of the natural world.” This definition spreads a very broad umbrella. In the past few decades events […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©2014

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 Resurgence of the view of earth as a very young planet and a global flood sculpting all of earth’s features in recent times was a pivotal occurrence triggered by a complex ebb and flow of events. In our day, almost fifty years after the publication of The Genesis Flood, belief in […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 A massive flood is a devastating meteorological event of great impact. Ingrained in the psyches of many religious people is the sense that floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and other natural disasters are manifestations of God’s judgment. Granted, it is possible that such catastrophes could be manifestations of divine wrath, particularly […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 As I write this post, our local newspaper has warned the community that spring floods on the Mississippi may be imminent. There was a large buildup of snow over the winter with no significant January thaw. The approach of warm weather, together with the possibility of spring rains, may set us […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 In the days following World War II my parents and their friends frequently attended Saturday evening meetings sponsored by evangelistic outreach organizations. It was the late 1940s and gasoline was no longer rationed. Even as a pre-teen I would attend with them, especially if the featured attraction was a Moody Science […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 The influential thinking of George McCready Price (1870-1963) is worthy of our careful study. Consciously or not, contemporary evangelical Christians who subscribe to belief in a young earth and a recent global Noahic flood to explain major geologic features of our earth are embracing virtually every one of Price’s views. Price […]

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  • By: John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 Perhaps no figure in the current creationism debate in our churches is more important than George McCready Price (1870-1963). Because his credentials were undistinguished he is not a household name, but his proposals currently loom large, even dominant, among those who endorse young earth creationism. After the “Golden Age of Geology,” […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 Prior to tracing development of 20th and 21st century beliefs about creation time scales among church goers, we may benefit by a more extensive retrospect. Was the timescale of earth’s history always a topic of discussion among believers? Did they approach consensus? Generally, during the first sixteen centuries of the Christian […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 One of my treasured possessions is a King James Version Scofield Reference Bible presented to my father in 1966 by board members from the church he pastored. The Scofield annotated study Bible was a staple of people in fundamentalist churches early in the 20th century, and was first published in 1909. […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 In the decades after Darwin, we may ask what were the issues of greatest concern in the church. The theory of evolution began to hold sway not only among scientists, but also in the academic world and among Bible believers. Surprisingly, some conservative theologians held an ambivalent stance toward Darwin’s revolutionary […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 The first half of the 19th century was a significant era of geological discovery. Geologists, many from the British Isles, mapped out the rock layers showing distinct successions of life forms. Between 1820 and 1850 the geologic time scale still in use today was developed. In those days geologists began recognizing […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 During the early years of the lives of my four grandparents the last four decades of the 19th century, I have discovered that most theologians and Christians involved in science did not share the adamant belief prevalent today among 40% of Christians who call themselves young earth creationists. These modern YECs […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 Which two 19th century scientists most impact the contemporary creationism discussion, and what did they propose? Most would name Charles Darwin first, along with his theory of evolution: All living things have naturalistically descended from simpler, pre-existing forms over very long time frames. Not as many would name Charles Lyell, who […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 When someone in our society suffers because of circumstances beyond their control or the misdeeds of someone else, an investigation is often launched to fix the blame. We feel satisfaction when the guilty party is identified. In particular, the suffering party feels relief and the pain is easier to bear. Young […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 Human experience is currently locked into a time frame in which we are bound by the laws of science now in effect. We credit God for creating not only the time, space, matter, and energy of our universe, but also for establishing the physical constants by which our universe operates–rules of […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 Most people are curious and fascinated about their birth and details of their early life. We want to know how we came to be, the circumstances of our birth, and when the birth occurred. Perhaps most important, we want to see our baby pictures. In the last few days, hundreds of […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2010 A rear-view mirror on an automobile enables the driver to view objects which are behind him in terms of physical location. In another sense the mirror reminds him of past events–events which he experienced up close a few minutes before. Now those events are distant in both space and time. The […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 Picture several scientists at a New Year’s Eve social gathering. They would provoke amusement among the guests by wishing them “Happy Arrow of Time” instead of the more conventional “Happy New Year.” The scientific term arrow of time is an expression describing the relentless forward direction of the flow of time, […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 To titillate their readers, science fiction writers often use the idea of time travel to the past or future. Examples abound, as popular past TV shows such as The Twilight Zone and movies such as Back to the Future have demonstrated. Is there any reality in what these writers envision? They […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 As each new year approaches we become more contemplative, curious, and sentimental about the subject of time. Greetings cards from friends and family frequently contain expressions of disbelief that time passes so quickly. Time is also a scriptural and a scientific concept. The Genesis creation account asserts there was a beginning. […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 Our many recent posts on the electromagnetic spectrum have been long on description, but perhaps short on explanation. We explained some of the physical characteristics of these waves: their electromagnetic nature, their wavelength, their similarity to particles, and their speed. It is more difficult to explain the many different ways in […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 In my childhood days I recall the anxious voice of my mother announcing to the family that a “long distance” call from an out-of-state relative had arrived. The ensuing conversation was often tense and terse, with no time for light banter. The three-minute talking time limit approached quickly; the basics of […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 Many people at or beyond retirement age fondly remember the excitement of mailing in 25 cents and a cereal box top, then waiting anxiously for the promised item to arrive by return mail. My personal favorite was the “Lone Ranger Atomic Bomb Ring” from 1947, just two years after Hiroshima. This […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 One distant memory of my childhood involves visits to the shoe store. Many such establishments had shoe-fitting fluoroscopes. These machines sent X-rays through shoe, flesh, and bone. Live images were transmitted to a fluorescent screen and we were able to see the digits of our toes wiggling. Purportedly, these fascinating machines […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 How do we react to a flood? Of course, it would depend on which type of flood we are talking about. I refer again to the flood of electromagnetic radiation arriving at earth’s doorstep each moment of our lives. The more we understand it, the more it appears God has ordered […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 Before discussing the reality of another portion of the invisible electromagnetic spectrum, I’ll ask my readers to join me on a field trip. Some of the most memorable field trips with my science classes were visits to the museums of the Franklin/Sterling Hill area of northern New Jersey. At the Sterling […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 When we flip on a light switch, wonderful things happen. In a subjective sense, our path is illuminated and objects become visible. But in a scientific sense we must explain the events in more complex terms. In our last three posts, we’ve spoken about the wonders of electromagnetic waves. We could […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 Science terms or definitions are necessary, but knowing a definition and understanding a subject are sometimes not the same. With that disclaimer, I’ll offer this definition of the electromagnetic spectrum (EMS). The electromagnetic spectrum is the complete range of possible wavelengths of electromagnetism, from longest to shortest. Imagine the length of […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 One of my pastimes is personal family genealogical research. I enjoy pinpointing family events and connecting them with people and dates in history. Which family life spans overlapped those of famous people? Who was living when certain historic events occurred? What family member was alive, for example, when a certain scientific […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 “Pulsing through our classroom walls and through your bodies at this very moment are hundreds of different forms of electromagnetic radiation! How are you feeling as a result?” This attention-grabbing statement produced mainly quizzical expressions on my students’ faces. But it also triggered fascination and an investigative frame of mind. When […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 One definition of Renaissance man is “one who has a wide range of accomplishments and intellectual interests.” The seldom used term polymath conveys a much stronger meaning: a very learned person with broad and comprehensive knowledge in many fields. In our day of narrow academic specialization, rare is the modern person […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 Hidden in the verses of Psalm 148 is an unusual directive to sea creatures, all ocean depths, weather phenomena, mountains, trees, and wild animals to “Praise the Lord from the earth.” This instruction applies to “small creatures and flying birds.” So I applied these verses to my observations of the unique […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 Would you like to foment a lively discussion? Just ask a few friends if intelligent design (ID) theory is scientific. Probably most creationists would say, “Yes.” A few will say, “No.” And others won’t be sure–possibly because they do not understand what scientific means. My discussions with several theistic friends on […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 The Intelligent Design (ID) proposal has come under heavy fire ever since it was put forward two decades ago. Supporters of ID claim the features of the cosmos and living things are best explained as the work of an intelligent designer rather than by natural happenstance. Researchers such as William Dembski […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 In Genesis 1:28, God instructs man to “multiply and fill the earth and subdue it.” Virtually all Bible translations render the identical imperative: subdue the earth. The term is sometimes misunderstood, especially in a day when we are becoming more aware of the need for prudent care of our planet. In […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 Those who believe scriptural principles are at odds with science may be unaware of the historic role of Christianity and Christian concepts as they helped promote scientific discovery. In a previous post on this topic, I set forth many of the inherent connections between scriptural principles and the early views of […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 Skeptics propose unusual explanations for the origin of apparent design and complex function in physical and biological systems. One of the most incredible of these is a hypothetical proposal called “emergent properties.” In a 2006 article, Chicago Tribune science writer Ron Kotulak stated, “But to emergent properties scientists, it is clear […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 Many of my friends and acquaintances voice their appreciation of science. They probably refer to the natural sciences such as biology, physics, and chemistry, and their positive feelings relate to the fascinating knowledge revealed by scientific studies. Broadly, the language root of science is “knowledge.” For many people who “like science,” […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 Many scientists who investigate ultimate causes believe that as scientific knowledge increases, support for belief in a designer or creator becomes weaker. The science profession is populated with many practitioners who do not connect any of their observations in the physical or biological world with design theory or supernatural creation events. […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 A list of landmark scientific achievements thought by our ancestors several generations ago to be impossible would vary considerably from person to person. But most would probably cite space travel, or wireless communication, or today’s startling computer technology. The new science of genomics could not have been imagined by our forebears […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 Intelligent Design (ID) has acquired a bad name in the community of naturalistic scientists. Some have called the concept of design, and its implications of a designer, irrational. They feel, as does Richard Dawkins, author of The Blind Watchmaker, that even though design in the cosmos is ubiquitous, there is no […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 Some accounts of my personal campaign against NDD–nature deficit disorder–the subject of our last post, are worth sharing. As a college freshman, I was privileged to have poet John Ciardi for my professor in English composition at Rutgers University. One bit of advice I recall from him was “Get the ‘For […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 There has been a sea change in our culture in the past sixty years. This change has affected the ways in which science is able to strengthen faith, particularly for our young people. Contributing mightily to the change was the onset of television at mid-century, the social ferment which began in […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 Recently another example of a “teachable moment” for young people presented itself. Our young grandchildren had visited their uncle and aunt for a few days. They were being delivered to our home for the next leg of the journey to their parents on the following day. A few miles from our […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 In science studies, teachable moments are abundant. But they are also abundant in everyday life. As a career science educator I formed strong, positive views of the value of science and scientific thinking skills as a tool to strengthen reasoning power, to understand cause and effect relationships, and to promote a […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 “Grandpa, are those stars?” queried my 3 ½ year old granddaughter one late fall evening when I carried her out under the dark night sky of our community. The regulations of our residential association insure that dark skies prevail. But our granddaughter’s home neighborhood, well-lit and secure, does not offer the […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 Bible topics widely thought to refer to scientific topics should be approached with care. We must be sure we are using the Scripture mainly to affirm God’s sovereignty and His relationship to His creation rather than as a science textbook. One startling 80-year-old discovery, however, seems to have been addressed in […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 Two adult Bible Class courses in my home church in 1997 and 1998 were entitled “Bible Science” and “The Cosmos Cries ‘Creator!’” I taught these classes where members explored in some depth the role of reason and revelation in the acquisition of faith, issues of design and fine tuning of the […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 The Apollo 11 moon exploration anniversary may cause us to consider the cosmological concepts held by ancient biblical characters and scripture writers. Did they, for example, see the earth’s moon as a body suspended in space? And did they consider the earth to be a sphere? Greek philosopher Pythagoras in the […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 Where were you at the moment humans first walked on the moon? The 40th anniversary of this event has given us an opportunity for recall. I was traveling the western states with relatives on July 20, 1969, listening to the events on radio. Suddenly, on the New Mexico desert, we had […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 When arguments are made for one point of view or another, they are presented with various types of logic: deductive, inductive, and sometimes, abductive. For example, one may argue for naturalistic evolution, theistic evolution, young earth creationism, old earth creationism, or a variety of intermediate positions using logical arguments. Deductive logic […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 One of the most profound difficulties we face in achieving a reasonably complete and accurate picture of historic Genesis events is the problem of interpreting the Bible for the English-speaking population. Dr. John Millam, on the Reasons to Believe website, has written about this problem. He quotes C. S. Lewis expressing […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 Focus on the Family’s Truth Project is an effective worldview program which presents the scriptural foundation for God’s guidelines for man in a dozen major categories of human experience, including science. There are two lessons on science in The Truth Project’s lineup. Some of the other lesson topics offering plentiful instruction […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 The well-known phrase “What did he know, and when did he know it?” is an artifact of past courtroom inquiries. As I research scientific discoveries since the beginning of the Scientific Revolution, that phrase frequently comes to mind. Sometimes I am amazed how long ago certain discoveries were made; at other […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 Readers old enough to have studied biology before 1960 now realize that the course emphasis has changed. We recall a term for the “living substance” of the cell: protoplasm. The concept originated in the 19th century. Compared with the knowledge of cells available today, 1950s knowledge could be considered the dark […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 We referred to the laws of nature in a previous post, somewhat lightly, as “rules of the game.” These laws, or rules, have their basis in a more fundamental, but less familiar concept called “symmetry.” Nature’s symmetry may be described with terms such as balance, predictability, regularity, invariance, and repeatability. When […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 Not surprisingly, theories and laws of science do not rise to the level of curiosity and fascination for most people who are content to defer to experts in the field. They are satisfied to endorse the bus company advertising slogan of “Leave the driving to us.” At a basic level, however, […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 Our recent posts on physical constants take me back several decades in my teaching career. One summer, after returning from a trip to the western states, I discovered the district science chairman had lined up a workshop for science teachers in my region. A course called “Introductory Physical Science” had just […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 Theologian, author, and publisher Kenneth N. Taylor is well known for producing The Living Bible, a paraphrase/translation. The first installment, Living Letters, appeared in 1962. While comparing different translations of Hebrews 11:3, I referred to Ken Taylor’s translation of that verse: “By faith – by believing God – we know that […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 Our last post mentioned “physical constants” as analogues to football’s “rules of the game.” Encyclopedia Britannica defines physical constants as fundamental, invariant quantities observed in nature. Let’s amplify this idea to help us appreciate our physical world. Even young children understand the necessity of rules to govern mundane activities, from mealtime […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 Over the years my enjoyment of the game of football has been increasing. This game offers a level of complexity which I had not recognized in my earlier years. The offensive and defensive options are fascinating because they are nearly limitless. But football and other sports would not be possible without […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892), the 19th century “Prince of Preachers,” is said to have preached to ten million people, delivered 3600 sermons, and produced 49 volumes of theological commentary. He frequently delivered his messages to audiences of 10,000 or more without even the benefit of electrical sound amplification. Lately I have […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 One of the most fundamental and controversial topics of our day relates to how we may have knowledge that God exists. Did He create the cosmos we observe? Did He originate the laws which govern it? This blog presents scientific evidence as support for these beliefs. In my last post I […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 Two centuries ago, many believed that theology was the “queen of the sciences.” Tacit acceptance of this belief by a substantial segment of the populace began to erode quickly at roughly the time Charles Darwin was boarding The Beagle for South Sea research ventures. Those journeys led him to propose the […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 The popular expression “Looking at things from 30,000 feet” implies the handicaps of missing the broad perspective. Another way to express the same thought would be “Looking at the big picture…” In the matter of Israel’s geologic features, we must back away from earth even more than 30,000 feet, perhaps by […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 As a pre-teen in central New York State, I frequently observed a scientific principle at work without being aware that it was, indeed, a scientific principle. The Seneca River flowed through our town, draining water from the beautiful Finger Lakes region farther west. An impressive dam structure deepened and widened the […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 What are the benefits of visiting or living at the lowest spot on earth? The arid Dead Sea, 420 meters below sea level, is predictably warmer and much drier than regions just a few dozen miles to the north or west. The extremely low humidity helped preserve the Dead Sea Scrolls […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 Those who search for mineral and energy wealth in Israel sometimes quote Bible passages such as Genesis 49:25, where Jacob, at the end of his life, prophetically envisioned “blessings of the deep that lies below,” or Deuteronomy 33:19, where Moses, also approaching his death, pronounced that the Chosen would “feast on […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 Two major water bodies in Israel, the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea, have the lowest elevations of any water bodies on earth. Lake Tiberias, another name for the Sea of Galilee, is 685 feet below sea level, while the Dead Sea doubles that negative elevation at -1377 feet. Galilee […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 Our March Israel visit helped focus our attention on water. We sailed on the Sea of Galilee. We swam in the Dead Sea. But we also became aware of how creatively Israel is managing its scarce water supply to sustain its status as an agricultural giant, even as a country sixty […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 Still enjoying the glow of memories from our travels in Israel and Jordan, it is time for retrospection. For many years my brother guided groups of Holy Land travelers as a ministry adjunct. We did not participate in any of those tours. They were offered during my prime early spring classroom […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 During March, your science blogger travels on tour to Israel. This is a “first” for my wife and me. Dr. Jimmy DeYoung, frequent guest on The John Ankerberg Show, is the tour host. There will not be any new blog posts during the month of March. I have placed all past […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 everal years ago my wife and I were privileged to lead Focus on the Family’s worldview lesson series The Truth Project. In lesson 1 the participants were asked, “Do you really believe that what you believe is really real?” Did you count the times r-e-a-l appeared in this question? Returning to […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 The term wisdom is used more frequently in the book of I Corinthians than in any other New Testament book. The contrast between man’s wisdom and God’s is drawn frequently. The NIV translation calls man’s wisdom “the wisdom of this world” (1:20) and “the wisdom of this age” (2:6). Eugene Peterson, […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 Many listeners were enlightened by the recent programs featuring astrophysicist/theologian Dr. Hugh Ross. One recent letter to the John Ankerberg Show expressed the essence of concerns from other listeners. The writer was saddened by the interpretations of Dr. Ross concerning Genesis 1 and 2, including the length of the creation days. […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 Spotted on the “Faith and Values” page of our local newspaper the weekend before Darwin Day: “A celebration of the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin will be at 7 PM Thursday, Feb. 12 at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.” This page doubles as an announcement forum for area church events. John G. […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 We will respond on this blog to questions and comments related to science and faith, especially those inspired by Dr. Ankerberg’s current and past programs on creation. Sometimes the question is shortened in the interest of brevity. Questions emailed to science@johnankerberg.org will be answered by return email and may appear on […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 We will use this blog to answer as many listener questions and responses as possible, particularly those generated by the current and past series dealing with scientific evidence relating to creation and cosmic history. Questioners will be anonymous. Sometimes the question is shortened in the interest of brevity or our blogpost […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 Among creationist Bible believers there are lively disagreements about how and when God created the universe and the living things which inhabit it. Each time Dr. Ankerberg presents scientists and theologians discussing creation-related issues, the ATRI ministry receives a significant number of queries and comments from listeners who feel old earth […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 Let’s more carefully define apologetics as a sequel to our recent post on Evidential Apologetics. Our Christian faith needs a rational foundation. Apologetics is the process whereby we justify, support, and defend our belief system, which could fortify our own beliefs and help us convince a seeker. A large share of […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 In President Obama’s inaugural speech, one catch-phrase caught my attention like no other. “Restoring science to its rightful place” conjured up a plethora of thoughts and emotions, some positive, some less positive. In the light of my many previous posts encouraging pastors and other church leaders to use science as an […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 “God of the Atom” was one of my many experiences with Moody Science Films beginning in the 1940s. The films were an outgrowth of the ministry of the visionary Dr. Irwin A. Moon, a California pastor who had used effective object lessons from science back in the 1930s. He began an […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 Have you ever debated an atheist? Formal exchanges between theists and atheists are popular and instructive, even entertaining. Many such encounters have been published or recorded in recent years. When an audience is present, they sometimes behave like partisans at an athletic contest. One such debate occurred between philosopher/theologian William Lane […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 “What Scientific Evidence Proves that God Created and Designed the Universe?” is the title of The John Ankerberg special series to be aired later this month. One of the principal goals of our blog is to encourage respect for science as an apologetic tool. Several diverse groups will benefit from the […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 During January and February, the John Ankerberg Show will begin two science series that will help fill a vital instructional niche on the topics of creation and origins. Virtually everyone on the faith/worldview spectrum should take note. This includes believers and non-believers, theists and non-theists, churched and non-churched. The programs will […]

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  • By: Jim Virkler; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2009 Samuel F. B. Morse’s first telegraph message on May 24, 1844 used a phrase from Numbers 23:23 (KJV): “What Hath God Wrought?” The electronic transmission from Washington, D. C. to Baltimore, MD was the world’s baptism into instantaneous long-range communication. However, breakthroughs such as the 19th century telegraph, while remarkable at […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879) is an anomaly among scientists. Charles Darwin was Maxwell’s contemporary, but the similarity in their work and worldviews ends there. While many scientists in the early years of the Scientific Revolution, beginning with the 17th century, were unashamed Christians who did not hesitate to express their faith, […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 “We don’t really see each other in this classroom. Instead, we only see the light that is reflected from each other.” This riddle-like proposition has always baffled science students when proposed in the classroom. Light is a type of energy which streams toward us from objects as close as the page […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 So you think you’re unique? Modern technology has affirmed what theologians have always known in a spiritual sense: Each of us is unique in the eyes of our Creator. That uniqueness also includes many different physical characteristics. A methodology called biometric verification has expanded far beyond the long-known handwriting analysis and […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 An old philosophical riddle asks, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” The debate over this riddle mainly relates to the difference between human perception and the existence (or non-existence) of reality existing outside human perception and awareness. […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 Several of the body’s senses rely on energy signals received from locations remote from the body. Sound is one example. Our sense of hearing relies on sound, carried mostly by the medium of air. The Bible speaks of many sound-producing musical instruments, such as trumpets, flutes, harps, and cymbals. It also […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 Robust discussion of differing points of view makes science, and many other human projects, healthy and viable. For some, such discussions are distasteful and threatening. Others find such intellectual investigation and analysis downright stimulating. For those people, the discussion process has intrinsic worth and may be as stimulating as the discovery […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 The beauty and operation of our physical world has always triggered deep human reflections on how our sphere of existence manifests the existence of a deity. These reflections have prevailed among humanity for thousands of years. They have occurred among believers in polytheism, such as the Greeks and Romans, as well […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 The orderliness and regularity of apparent movement of stars and constellations of the night sky supports a scriptural principle affirmed in Psalm 119:89-91: “Your word, O Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures. Your laws endure […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©2014

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 When King David penned Psalm 8, he must have flashed back to his former life as a shepherd. No doubt his night tour of duty included gazing up at the dark Judean skies, perhaps as a teenager. He had ample time to consider the splendor of the heavens as well as […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 When I observe bright planet Jupiter beaming its beauty in Earth’s night skies, I’m reminded of the story told to my earth science students each October when they assembled for their annual “star watch.” Each year I invited “Pastor Pete,” an avid student of astronomy, to begin the night session in […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    One of the most challenging tasks of a science teacher, or even a parent or pastor, is to cultivate knowledge and a sense of wonder concerning the physical world. The science teacher seeks to nourish respect, excitement, and even joy at student discovery in the natural world. Parents and pastors could provide reinforcement of excitement […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 For many people, autumn is their favorite season. Autumn is defined as the intermediate season between summer and winter. Its more literal meaning is a “period of maturity verging on decline.” You might ask, “What is declining during autumn?” Well, quite a few things; mostly, though, the decline is merely a […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 A recent internet home page feature article gave detailed instructions on seeing the tiny planet Mercury during the coming days. Mercury makes very few good appearances in our dark skies, and most people have never seen it. Included in the article were many little-known but fascinating tidbits about this tiny planet […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 Atheists, agnostics, and perhaps even believers who are sometimes plagued with doubt about God’s existence desire evidence that He exists. More specifically, those who have serious doubts demand empirical evidence for God’s existence, rational handling of that evidence, and welcome healthy skepticism. This is the pattern for critical thinking. Some say […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 Generating enthusiasm for understanding the benefits of the intersection between science and faith is a difficult undertaking. The reasons for this are complex, but worth our effort to understand. Acquiring knowledge of scientific principles and scientific discoveries often has a low priority in the pulpit and educational curriculum of our churches. […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 Let’s explore why so many people of faith view the role of science somewhat suspiciously while building their apologetic system for scriptural Christianity. Perhaps it is because many in the science field have convinced the public that the conclusions of science are “rational” while faith is blind and “irrational.” The very […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 There is spirited disagreement among proponents of ID (intelligent design), theistic creationism, and naturalistic evolution. Discovery Institute is a well-known think tank perhaps best known for advocacy of ID, but without identifying the designer. There are many theistic creationist organizations that support varied proposals of direct, theistic intervention to account for […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 The Bible is not a textbook on science, but a well known passage in Proverbs 6:6-8 is an accurate and insightful commentary on the ant, possibly the world’s most important insect. Without ants, some entire ecosystems would be destroyed. Many of the roughly 10,000 ant species already identified have unique behaviors […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 Scientists often enlist the help of journalists to communicate their exciting reasearch and discovery in popular media outlets. These journalists attempt to make difficult concepts accessible and fascinating to the layperson. More often than not, the journalists are not scientists. Even so, this arrangement has advantages for both the scientists and […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 “God Particle” has come to be the familiar and endearing term for the elusive Higgs boson, a missing piece of the puzzle in the “Standard Model.” What is this elusive particle and does it really exist? Nobel prize-winning physicist Leon Lederman wrote a book in 1993 entitled The God Particle: If […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 One purpose of this blog is to encourage the community of faith to gain a strong vision of the apologetic value of science in ministry. In many scriptures the wonders of nature reveal the greatness and character of God. He set the natural order in motion In the Beginning. Therefore, understanding […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 Many adult Christians have a less than positive view of science. Likewise, many scientists disrespect religion. This phenomenon is complex and difficult to explain. It has deep historical roots reaching back hundreds of years. Certain 17th century Enlightenment thinkers were anxious to condemn the church and accuse it of suppressing philosophy […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 Whenever I raise the subject of evolution with friends, strong emotions are generated. Many of these emotions are the result of a misunderstanding about what constitutes good science. Perhaps there are even some scientists who possess an inaccurate vision of good science. The study of what science IS may not be […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 The famous American idiom “Different Strokes for Different Folks” tells us that different people like or need different things. Let’s examine how multitudes of important scientific discoveries in the past fifty to one hundred years have impacted two entirely different groups of “folks.” We are living in an age of scientific […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 Many evolutionists ridicule the idea that nature’s designs indicate a designer. Richard Dawkins and Francis Crick, among many others, claim appearance of design is misleading and does not really signal input of intelligence in the features of nature, especially among living things. Do not be fooled, they warn. Their warnings cover […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 Around midpoint of the last century, bio-scientists increasingly began to talk about evolution unifying every dimension of life science. In 1958, evolutionary biologist John Maynard Smith wrote “The main unifying idea in biology is Darwin’s theory of evolution through natural selection.” Theodosius Dobzhansky first introduced a similar statement in 1964 in […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 Flashback to our early days of child rearing: Collect a few milkweed caterpillars, the familiar larvae of the monarch butterfly…Keep them well supplied for a week or more with fresh milkweed leaves in a jar…Place a stick in the jar…Watch the caterpillars select a location to transform into a chrysalis…Wait patiently…And, […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 Indicators of an intelligent Creator stare at us from the microcosm to the macrocosm. Design features logically and rationally point to a designer. In the world of nature, from the very small to the very large, denial of multiple examples of design, and by extension the existence of a designer, would […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 Science writers are fond of describing our planet with phrases like “Our Dynamic Earth.” Dynamic is a word used to convey force, power, and energy. Even in social contexts we refer to dynamic human personality or dynamic societal trends. In any field of science, many phenomena can aptly be described as […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©2014

    A number of factors propelled changes in science education when I first entered teaching. One important event was Russia’s launch of the satellite Sputnik 1. I vividly recall viewing Sputnik and its rocket launcher crawling across the pre-dawn sky on October 4, 1957–a Russian vehicle flying over the United States! I drove to my college […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 Instructors at an NSF Oceanography Institute I attended in the mid-1960s were still using the term “continental drift” to describe the apparent movement of continents with respect to one another. The process was described for our class members, but not explained. Shortly after that, researchers showed that the ocean floor was […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 Recycling has become a distinctive of modern life. Citizens who were alive during World War II, however, may recall a few formal recycling practices, such as flattening tin cans or salvaging rubber tires for the wartime effort. But beginning in the 1960s, increased sensitivity to environmental issues started to become important […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 In the 1960s I recall the relatively new term “ecology” becoming popular. At first some used the term synonomously with the word “environment,” as in certain practices being “bad for the ecology.” Environmentalists were not unhappy with this misuse of terminology; they favored increased attention to environmental problems. Today, public understanding […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 During my career as a science educator there were times my wife (a math educator) claimed there was a factor stacked in my favor in capturing the attention of my students. She claimed the “wow” factor in science education gave those instructors a leg up. After explaining that my students’ classroom […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 Discussions of normal, everyday weather events have retreated to obscurity in the past several weeks. Instead, we have had enough tragic cyclones, tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes to provoke gasps. The usual questions about whether God is “telling us something” have dominated our discussions. We do not think with the infinite mind […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 Stewardship of God’s gifts in the natural world is a multi-faceted duty. It should be approached and implemented with knowledge, perception, and responsibility. Scripture’s guidelines include Psalm 8:6-9: “You made him ruler over the works of your hands: you put everything under his feet: all flocks and herds, and the beasts […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 Bible commentary on nature’s wonders inspires respectful awe for the grandeur and beauty of creation. Other passages pose problematic descriptions for a few readers. For example, some scripture accounts provoke unease when they speak of warfare or retribution. Many cling to idealistic concepts of a “perfect” world: painless, convenient, and free […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 Let’s reflect on the Garden of Eden into which Adam was placed. I have always been surprised at the brevity of the Bible account contrasted with the overwhelming volume of extra-biblical commentary. One thing seems clear from Genesis 2:15: Adam had work to do as Eden’s gardener. According to various translations, […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 Attitudes about the death of living creatures are wide-ranging. My young earth friends are convinced that all death and bloodshed in the natural world is a result of Adam’s original sin. This belief is based on a questionable interpretation of Rom. 5:12 and I Cor. 15:21. Those who hold such views […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 Our unusually strange recent weather has prompted me to speak further on the subject of weather disasters. In the last month, Earth has been convulsed by several well publicized natural calamities resulting in great loss of life and property damage. Commentators often try to explain such events, sometimes claiming they are […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©2014

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 How many times have we heard friends ask “Why would God…?” I recently heard a very effective sermon on the situation of Old Testament character Job and its application for us. The upside of asking such a question is the tacit admission that God is sovereign and He is in control, […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 It sounds strange to extol the benefits of death in any context. However, as we look back at earth history, we may see an entirely different perspective. Our last post explained that bacteria have been present for the majority of Planet Earth’s existence as a solid body. Even today, thousands of […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 Even the most naturalistic scientists would acknowledge the profound enigma of the origin of life on earth. We do not find evidence of the “warm little pools” Darwin envisioned, or the “primordial soups” often referred to by evolutionary biologists as a nursery needed to gradually birth simple life. Instead, overwhelming evidence […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 Many people are troubled by the pain and suffering caused by natural tragedies such as hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, and earthquakes. Some even ask how God could permit such incidents to occur with their resulting loss of life. To those affected adversely by such horrific and violent events, any explanation may seem […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 At “God’s initial creative act,” as I used to describe The Big Bang to my astronomy students, the universe began in its state of highest order, according to Stephen Hawking. His book A Brief History of Time, written in 1988, has become a secular classic. Disorder (entropy) has been increasing ever […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 Outdoor commencement exercises are moving and memorable. In the mid-1960s the school district where I taught science held its eighth grade graduation program outdoors. Students were the featured speakers, delivering themed addresses and recitations, including the invocation and benediction. Near the end of the ceremony one June evening, a young man […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 Our recent post on bird songs highlights the transition from winter silence to springtime song. Spring also affects our local trees, now slowly springing to life and tinged with pastel green. Let’s address another change associated with the onset of spring–-visual changes in the plant world which accompany the audible ones […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 When spring arrives in northwest Illinois, our stony winter silence is broken by joyful, sometimes raucous bird songs. At this time of year, male birds stake out their nesting and food-gathering territories and proclaim themselves to be the most worthy mating partners. Now and then a squabble between male robins or […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 “Intelligence” as an underlying cause of observed natural phenomena is a forbidden word in the academic world of science. Leaders in that world investigate only “natural” cause and effect. The idea of intelligence, or the more formal intelligent design (ID), is said to be a religious concept and therefore out of […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 We encourage email responses to our blog content. Our 4/19 post generated a thoughtful, detailed response worth sharing with our readers. The writer responded to several specific points in the post. Point: Theistic evolutionists would say God endowed matter with self-organizing capabilities. Reaction: Accepting the exact same intrinsic principle as naturalistic […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 Expelled, the newly released movie by Ben Stein, will generate howls of horror by the community of evolutionists, particularly those in the academic world. Our readers should know what the furor is all about. Intelligent design (ID) is a concept which has become popular mainly in the last two decades. It […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 Several Christian friends of mine are theistic evolutionists with whom I have had lively discussions. Theistic evolutionists state that God, at the beginning, brought all things into existence. They would also say that God endowed matter with self-organizing capabilities. Thereafter, God sustains matter and His natural laws, but plays no direct […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 The American Scientific Affiliation (ASA) is an organization of scientists who are Christians sharing a common fidelity to the Word of God and a commitment to integrity in the practice of science. Craig Rusbult is chairman of ASA’s Science Education Commission. He has written a description of what he terms “open” […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 The stamina of evolution is well-known. There is no question that it is firmly ingrained in our science and in our culture. This is true partly because a well-developed model of creation has been absent until now. It is also true that the real weaknesses in the naturalistic model of evolution […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 For many years I have heard scientific laypeople, in conversations or letters, express their thoughts that evolution is “tested and proven…rock solid.” Strangely, most evolutionary scientists would probably not use that description, but they are pleased the public thinks that way. The support pillars for evolution are not nearly so massive. […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 Apologists for evolution frequently cite examples of microevolution to exemplify their major paradigm of “descent with modification from a common ancestor.” Microevolution involves small scale changes within a species. Let’s give two examples. Recently I read an article on “evolutionary” research by a scientist at Max Planck Institute. His research was […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 Imagine the following as part of a discussion taking place in a public school biology class: “Each of the eleven major human body systems is so incredibly complex, efficient, functional, and seamlessly integrated with the ten other major systems, that the option of design by an intelligent agent cannot be ruled […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 Belief in evolution is strengthened by support from religious authorities, ranging from two recent Roman Catholic popes to an array of mainline protestant clergy. In a culture where celebrities endorse commercial products and presidential candidates, we may wonder whether endorsements of a controversial theory like evolution by religious figures are effective. […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 Several years ago I initiated written communication with two well-known evolutionary scientists. Much of the discussion centered on the interaction of science and religion. I cannot report that minds were changed. It was, however, a useful and respectful exchange. At the end, we all gave each other permission to share the […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 Stephen Jay Gould, the self proclaimed agnostic who helped construct many support pillars of modern evolutionary science until his death in 2002, is famous for articulating the NOMA principle. This is an acronym for “non-overlapping magisteria.” It means science and religion are distinct and separate domains (schools of knowledge). One should […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 Evolutionists frequently criticize those who believe in supernatural interventions in our natural world for subscribing to the God-of-the-gaps position. Theists are accused of crediting God with a miracle whenever we can’t explain the natural causation for some phenomenon. Evolutionists rest in the confident assurance that eventually all questions will have a […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 Among the many scriptural creation passages other than Genesis 1-2, the Old Testament book of Job contains a majestic epiphany expressing profound perception, sensitivity, and appreciation for the manifestation of the Creator’s power in the natural world. This is some of the finest literature anywhere, sacred or secular. The book is […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 Evolution’s explanation for life on earth is said to be “good science.” Is this pronouncement sufficient to establish the truth of the tenets of evolution, we may ask? Scientists have discussed the effectiveness of various methods of science discovery for several centuries. They also discuss, and often disagree, on how to […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 Richard Dawkins has achieved fame speculating on the mechanisms of evolution. One of his books a decade ago was “Climbing Mt. Improbable.” The “fact” of evolution is not in question for him and his followers, but he speculates cheerfully on its mechanisms. We may ask just how “improbable” production of effective […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 Levels of science investigation are threefold. Science may be classified as experimental, observational, or historical. This sounds simple enough, but public confusion about these terms may match their uncertainty about what scientists mean by fact, hypothesis, and theory, or even about “scientific method” and when or how it is used. Let’s […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 Evolutionary theorists have captured not only the hearts of a vast majority of science professionals, but the education and media establishments as well. Consider this: the educational establishment controls almost constant attention of our young people for approximately 35 hours per week. In public schools, our children’s science teachers are the […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 Evolutionists cannot understand why so many Americans do not share enthusiasm for their theory. Members of the science profession overwhelmingly support evolution. But public support for evolution in the United States is near the bottom among western nations. Only about 40% of adults accept the theory. Another 40% outright reject it, […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 “Evolution is not a fact…it’s only a theory.” How many times have creationist believers said this? Many would be startled to discover deficiencies in that line of argument. In spite of weaknesses in the theory, this line of reasoning will not be convincing. Darwinists, as we pointed out in the previous […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 We’ve referred to “theistic evolution” as God winding the watch of life, then stepping aside to let it run. This compares to a watchmaker designing a mechanism, supplying it with power, fashioning and assembling the parts, setting the timepiece in motion, then observing the changes in time. Both God and the […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 How many times have you used the expression “It’s a fact”…or “As a matter of fact”… or “In fact”? What did you mean? You probably meant to indicate that something actually happened or that something you had referenced was really true or that it corresponded to reality. Scientists’ use of FACT […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©2014

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 Few issues generate as much discussion and posturing as evolution. The term is bandied about relentlessly by many members of the science profession. It is their philosophical underpinning. They are convinced that nothing in bioscience makes sense except in the light of evolution. Various definitions of “evolution” all connote the idea […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 In the world of living things, man is distinct from all other animals because he bears the “image of God.” Among other things, the image of God endows us with rational capacities not possessed by animals. Therefore, we intuitively ponder the meaning of order, organization, and design surrounding us — a […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 Let’s contemplate one more chemical wonder of the cell in the hope of converting some “ho-hums” to “wows” in the world of the very small. Imagine a master architect’s blueprints for the world’s most magnificent building — complete, detailed specifications for thousands of exquisite, hand-worked ornamental features in addition to the […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 The New Testament speaks of God’s desire for man “to come to a knowledge of the truth.” (I Tim. 2:4) This would include truth of the natural world revealed by science. In past posts I have spoken about the science/faith intersection and the support each lends to the other. Science philosophy […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 A catalog of startling discoveries and achievements of the past fifty years would read like an 1870 Jules Verne novel. Verne researched the geology and astronomy of his day to provide ideas for his imaginative tales. What stories could he produce today with access to the reality of discoveries since 1950? […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 The 50 year catalog of landmark scientific discoveries we discussed in our last post involved a range of distances from the limits of our universe (13.73 billion light years away) to the vanishingly small distances involved in quantum physics — the “Planck length.” Our catalog also mentioned discoveries which have occurred […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 Now and then I check a biology textbook in order to find an answer to a question on some detail of life science. Many of my questions involve the majestic functions of the DNA molecule. When I was a student in high school biology in the early 1950s we were content […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2008 NA, that huge molecule contained in every chromosome of every cell in our body, is a treasure store of coded information which contains intricately detailed instructions. Every known code is the product of a mind. Codes do not originate by themselves. Written languages, for example, are codes — products of intelligent […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2007 Several hundred years ago what is today known as “science” was called “natural philosophy.” The methods of natural philosophers differed from those of later scientists such as Robert Boyle, Francis Bacon, and Galileo. Natural philosophers did not test their ideas in a practical way. They preferred a speculative, philosophical approach and […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2007 Science can be an effective apologetic as we attempt to communicate our Christian faith. In the natural world which surrounds us there are multiple opportunities for faith-affirming observations. Long before the scientific revolution of the last five centuries, the psalmist was able to exult “The heavens declare the glory of God; […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2007 Science issues connect to our Christian faith more significantly than ever before. Some discoveries of modern science are welcomed by Christians with great enthusiasm. Startling improvements in technology…medical advances…new discoveries in genetics…improved knowledge of the cosmos and the bio-system…marked improvement in product quality, to name a few. It’s an exciting age […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2007 On Feb. 7, 2007, USA Today’s religion columnist Tom Krattenmaker in “The Forum” discussed “The Bible vs.science.” Many other similar columns could be cited where science is pitted against the young earth creationist position, as if no other position deserves to be called “creationist.” Such articles present only one creationist position […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2007 Recently a young earth friend pronounced me an evolutionist because I believe life has existed on this earth for hundreds of millions of years on this 4.5 billion year old planet. He did not understand that for several decades, leading evolutionists have recognized and acknowledged a number of geologically sudden appearances […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2007 Young earth creationist believers support their belief system by adhering to what I’ll call the “2-Ds” — death, and days. In this post we’ll deal with the issue of death. The expression “No death before the fall” is a capsule summary of this support pillar for belief in a young earth. […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2007 In the previous post we pointed out that denial of any physical death before Adam’s fall permits YEC believers to preserve their concept of an earth just a few thousand years old. It is then easy for those believers to propose creation days of only 24 hours duration. Hebrew “yom” (day) […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2007 Some Christians are not aware of how science works, not to mention what science has discovered. Since roughly the 16th and 17th centuries, through the contributions of dozens of innovative science pioneering giants, a formal “scientific method” has developed as an effective means of discovering truths about the natural world. Before […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2007 Naturalism is the term given to a major worldview category. One form of naturalism is atheistic materialism. Because of confusion in terminology, naturalism is sometimes misunderstood. A word with a “nature” prefix has a positive connotation. After all, most people love nature. Some people prefer “natural” foods and may even pay […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2007 People occasionally express doubts about the findings of science. Let’s examine why this is true. Some scientists are metaphysical naturalists. They neither believe in the supernatural nor do they believe in the existence of the God of the Bible. Their work of discovery and application is based on natural laws operating, […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2007 “Let science be science, and let religion be religion.” How often have we heard similar statements? One example of this firmly established naturalistic worldview in our society is the 2005 decision by U. S. District Court Judge John E. Jones III. He ruled that the Dover, PA board of education could […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2007 Last night’s live debate from the UAB campus between Richard Dawkins, well-known atheist and author of The God Delusion, and Dr. John Lennox, Christian apologist and scientist, both from Oxford University, was a mind stretcher. Christians would do well to critically evaluate atheist/agnostic viewpoints in order to sharpen their own apologetics […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2007 Some people think naturalism has scientific implications only. In future posts we will examine its broad impact on our entire culture. But for now, let’s look back a few hundred years. Seventeenth century fathers of scientific method — Bacon, Descartes, Galileo, Newton, Pascal, and Boyle to name a few — were […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2007 Society’s confidence in science (see Oct. 9 post) has helped birth the philosophy of naturalism: Nature is “all there is.” This philosophy guides scientists known as metaphysical naturalists who say there is no God, as well as methodological naturalists who may believe in God, but in practice assign no relevance to […]

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  • By: The John Ankerberg Show; ©

    By: Jim Virkler; ©2007 T