Posted by: Average Joe | October 18, 2012

The (Creation) Show Must Go On

Spectacular lightning and deafening thunder rolled through Southern California last week and dazzled, drenched, and even delighted heat-weary locals. Rancho Cucamonga (where I live) enjoyed a couple of downpours reminiscent of a large crowd’s long-lasting applause. I like to take the dogs for a walk at a nearby natural park during a rainstorm, but in this case it was pouring too hard—and one dog is afraid of thunder.

The dogs’ noses hit the trail the next day––lots of new scents, I’m sure––while I scoped out the “storm damage.” Intrigued by the pattern of temporarily coursing water, I wondered what the Creator had in mind when he set the thunderstorm in motion. Read More…

Posted by: Average Joe | September 13, 2012

Sea Otters as Global Warming Fighters

Prized for their fur and once hunted to near-extinction, sea otters’ comeback may herald not only a boon for conservationists but also a partial solution to global warming. Read More…

Posted by: Average Joe | September 6, 2012

Here’s a Switch: 80 Percent of Junk DNA Has Function

RTB’s Fuz Rana calls it the biggest discovery of his lifetime as a biochemist.

A massive new DNA research project called ENCODE has dramatically increased understanding of the human genome and may revolutionize human biology. Scientists have discovered that 80 percent of DNA that had been dismissed as “junk” plays a crucial role in how the body works. Read More…

Posted by: Average Joe | June 11, 2012

Skeptical Challenge

How is RTB––or any thinking Christian––different from the Skeptics Society?

According to its website, “The Skeptics Society is a non-profit . . . organization whose goal is to promote skeptical thinking (i.e. thinking like a scientist).” Read More…

Theoretical physicist, popular speaker, and best-selling author Lawrence Krauss has garnered recognition for his latest book, A Universe from Nothing. RTB astronomer Hugh Ross has responded to Krauss’s claims (“Universe from Nothing?: A Critique of Lawrence Krauss’ Book, Part 1,” and “Universe from Nothing?: A Critique of Lawrence Krauss’ Book, Part 2”), so that’s where you should go for a qualified assessment, but in reading a review of Krauss’s book by an author at Skeptic I kept thinking (as a layperson) that whenever Krauss refers to “nothing,” it is still an actual “something.” Read More…

Posted by: Average Joe | April 19, 2012

Do Religious People Test Their Ideas the Way Scientists Do?

How would you respond to this statement from Sean Carroll, Caltech physicist and one of the authors of Discover Magazine’s Cosmic Variance blog?

If believers in God spent a tiny fraction of the time that modern cosmologists spend trying to invent alternatives to their favorite ideas and testing them against evidence … well let’s just say the world would be a very different place.

 

Posted by: Average Joe | March 28, 2012

Reason Rally Reminiscent of RTB?

Members of local RTB affiliates in Waynesboro, PA, and Washington DC attended the Reason Rally and enjoyed amicable dialogue with attendees. Top, L-R: Roger Adlon, Robert Tibbits, Greg Louque, John Entzminger. Bottom, L-R: James Sinclair, Teresa King, Nick Tavani.

According to Dr. Michael Shermer, popular author, speaker, and founding publisher of Skeptic magazine, the recent Reason Rally (March 24, 2012) in Washington DC “marked the largest gathering of skeptics, atheists, humanists, nonbelievers, and ‘nones’ (those who tick the ‘no religion’ box on surveys) of all stripes.” Shermer noted on his blog that an estimated crowd of 15,000 to 25,000 “voiced its support for reason, science, and skepticism louder than any I have ever heard. Anywhere. Any time. Any place.” Read More…

Posted by: Average Joe | March 22, 2012

Make Room for the Red Deer Cave People

Skull, rib, and leg fragments from two caves in southern China that date from 11,500–14,500 years add confusion and controversy to the hominid-to-human evolutionary connection. Popular news outlets claimed that this new species had developed a taste for venison––hence the name “Red Deer Cave people”––but according to RTB biochemist Fuz Rana, the scientific journal made no mention of dietary preferences (one reason to avail yourself of RTB’s podcasts, where you’ll get the straight scoop). Fuz reports on the fossil finds and what they mean on this podcast. Read More…

Posted by: Average Joe | March 15, 2012

Are Gorillas Closer Human Relatives than Chimps?

“It was beauty killed the beast.”

One might invoke the last line from King Kong after hearing about a recent discovery asserting a closer connection between gorillas and humans. Does evidence from the study imply shared evolutionary ancestry? In this podcast, biochemist Fuz Rana explains what the “closer connection” means from a genetic perspective. Read More…

Posted by: Average Joe | March 7, 2012

Is God Unnecessary to Explain the Universe?

Questions like this one may not keep you awake at night, but they probably cross––and even occupy––your mind for a while.

Such was the focus of an episode of a History Channel program called God and the Universe: A Scientific Search for God, in which several prominent physicists and other experts explored big-picture ideas including the multiverse, string theory, and spontaneous creation. It’s a fascinating program, with plenty of visual help, and it left open the matter of whether the universe’s origin came about by divine creation or some other means.

Naturally, RTB scholars have something to say on this topic. Read More…

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