The latest discoveries surrounding the Shroud of Turin, believed by some to be the authentic burial cloth of Jesus Christ, are set to be discussed by a host of international experts at a gathering in St. Louis, Oct. 9-12.
"I'm particularly excited that we have many new presenters since the last USA Conference in 2008," said Conference chair and sindonologist Joe Marino in a news release.
Over 30 shroud experts, representing diverse fields such as archeology, physics, iconography and theology, will gather for the first conference of its kind in the U.S. since 2008. more >>
Ken Ham's Answers in Genesis organization has hit back against accusations by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson that many Christians find creationist beliefs to be "crazy," and that Ham was relatively unknown until his public debate with Bill Nye the Science Guy in February.
"Tyson's assertion that no one had heard of Ken Ham before Bill Nye came along is laughable. Answers in Genesis has a long track record as a world-recognized creation ministry, reaching people around the world through the website, social media, highly qualified speakers, books and DVDs, radio programs, magazines, and so forth," AiG's Elizabeth Mitchell wrote on Saturday.
"The Nye-Ham debate did of course attract a lot of attention. In fact, according to Associated Press writer Dylan Lovan, Bill Nye reported he was surprised at the interest in the debate, as it was so much greater than the interest ordinarily shown in his college campus appearances," it added. more >>
Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, who presented the TV series "Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey" earlier this year, claimed in an interview last week that Creation Museum CEO and President Ken Ham's beliefs are "even crazy to many Christians."
Tyson, who is the Frederick P. Rose director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Rose Center for Earth and Space in New York City, spoke with AlterNet about the success of the 13-part "Cosmos" TV series, which won four Emmy Awards but was criticized by creationist groups like Ham's Answers in Genesis.
"You have to ask yourself, what are the numbers behind the people making these claims?" Tyson said about the backlash. "Someone like Ken Ham has beliefs that are even crazy to many Christians." more >>
Like many others, I've taken an interest in the brouhaha centering on the Dove Award-winning musical artists Michael and Lisa Gungor. The Gungors let it be known they don't believe that everything in the Bible can be taken literally. In particular they express skepticism over the Biblical accounts of Creation and the Flood, citing this reason for their position: "science and rational thought."
Alas, it's a story all-too-familiar to me, a theoretical physicist and follower of Christ. I encounter it wherever I speak or sign books or in the emails I receive from all around the world. I hear it from people who are loosening or losing outright their belief in the words of the Bible because of some inaccurate understanding of what science and logic requires of a reasonable person. I hear it especially from men and from parents of college-age kids reared in the Church who are now surrendering to various degrees of apostasy.
I hear it directly from the young people themselves, who are filled with questions about science and faith and don't know anyone competent and honest enough with whom they can speak about the possibilities of uniting these two unique and seemingly antipodal human gifts, reason and faith. Indeed, in the United States, I'm convinced that if the Church does not awaken to this growing phenomenon it will alienate an entire generation. more >>
A two-year old boy from Guinea who died in December is suspected to be patient zero in the current outbreak of Ebola virus in West Africa, which has killed over 960 people. Scientists are meanwhile hoping that the first vaccine against the deadly disease will be ready by 2015.
The boy, who wasn't named, apparently fell ill in a village in Guéckédou in southeastern Guinea, which is in the intersection with Sierra Leone and Liberia, giving the disease an entry point in all three countries. The New York Times reported that the boy died on Dec. 6, and a week later Ebola killed the boy's mother, his 3-year-old sister, and his grandmother. The family displayed symptoms of the virus, including fever, vomiting and diarrhea, but did not identify Ebola as the reason.
Two mourners at the grandmother's funeral reportedly carried the virus home to their village, while a health worker there carried it to yet another village. By March, when the Ebola outbreak was recognized by the World Health Organization, dozens of people had died in eight Guinean communities, and suspected cases were being announced in Liberia and Sierra Leone. more >>
A recent sociological study undermines the common conception that with advanced education comes a general loss of religious affiliation.
To the contrary, those with the least amount of higher education were more inclined toward religious non-affiliation than those with more years of higher education.
"Among Americans born in the 1970s, college education has a negative effect on non-affiliation … for those born between 1965 and 1979, the non-college-educated are disproportionately likely to report both no affiliation and no service attendance," the study notes. more >>