NTS Logo
The Newsletter of The North Texas Skeptics
Volume 22 Number 2 www.ntskeptics.org February 2008


In this month's issue:



Sex and genetics before the flood

By Erling Beck

Newswatch Magazine1 is a publication of the Church of God Evangelistic Association, based in Waxahachie, Texas. It describes itself as a magazine making clear today's news in the light of Bible Prophecy. The December 2007 issue had an article called "History Before the Flood" (Part 2), probably written by the editor David J. Smith.

The article had some very bizarre statements. Apparently, before the flood, some angels got really horny after watching the hot human females and decided to cross-breed with them. Their offspring were 14-20 feet tall giants. These great giants, like any other Frankenstein monster, could not be controlled and, "The giants turned against them and devoured mankind..." The giants, also said of themselves to be gods, sinned against all types of animals, ate each other's flesh and, of course, drank blood.

All these animal-celestial-human acts of promiscuity brought on the wrath of God, who decided to destroy the Earth by way of a universal flood, and only eight people survived (Noah and his family). Some of these statements are based on the Book of Enoch, which is not part of the Canon of most Christian traditions.

When believing in any ancient myth, it makes little difference if the sources are orthodox, but it takes a whole new level of craziness when modern genetic engineering is inserted into the package:

Their interruption of the God ordained DNA patterns was a deliberate attempt to destroy God's plan for the human race. Their plan was to cause EVERY human's DNA to become corrupted, so God would save none. The PLAN was in the process of working, but there were some humans who did not have a defective DNA pattern or cross-breed with angels.

Another book cited in the article is the Book of Jasher (also known as the Book of the Upright). 2 Jasher is unrecognized as far as I know by most mainstream Abrahamic religions, but the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons) may have used it as a supplement to the Old Testament, and Joseph Smith regarded it as credible. 3 The author cites Joshua 10:13 and 2 Samuel 1:18 (King James Version) as passages that mention Jasher as the real thing, and the Book of Jasher can be found translated from the Hebrew on the "Internets." 4 While the opinions of Biblical and Talmudic scholars about the merits of the Book of Jasher are unknown to me, the conclusions reached from its reading were just short of clinically insane. The angels were not only having sex with everything in sight, but also performing deranged scientific experiments:

They were GENE SPLICING DNA BEFORE THE FLOOD TO MERGE DIFFERENT SPECIES - dogs and cats together, humans and goats, horses and humans, etc. Just as scientists have already done today by splicing a gene from a human into a mouse that gave the mouse a human ear. The Dallas Morning News carried an article reporting that some scientists are terrified at the possible results of placing human DNA in other species because they cannot be sure of the results. Scientists have already altered just one DNA growth hormone, and the mice affected grew to three times normal size and became SUPER mice.

The human ear in a mouse is a total misrepresentation. The writer is likely referring to the Vacanti mouse. In 1997, Dr. Joseph Vacanti and his collaborators from the University of Massachusetts grew an ear-shaped cartilage and later inserted it into the back of a hairless laboratory mouse; the picture was first published in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. 5 Almost two years later, the photo became widely and infamously circulated by a propaganda ad from the Turning Point Project that ran in the New York Times. The Turning Point Project is considered a technophobic group that has gained notoriety for making misleading claims. 6 The ad had a picture of the mouse with a caption that claimed the mouse was genetically engineered. The genes of the mouse were never manipulated or spliced. The purpose of the paper was to show that cartilage could be grown in complex three-dimensional forms - like an ear - and later inserted into live tissue for the purpose of clinical transplants.

The article is making a false claim - that the "Vacanti mouse" had modified genes - and using it to support a highly improbable claim - that there was a "Golden Age" in which the ancients had technologies as advanced as ours which they misused. And why is the article making this claim? To illustrate the point that all of this was done to irritate God.

According to the article one of the reasons that God did not destroy Noah and his family in the flood was that they and their ancestors had not perverted their human DNA by cross-breeding with angels. Apparently we are living in times similar to the days of Noah, perhaps with the exception of angel sex and giant spawns:

Before the flood, people had become desensitized to gene splicing, therefore, the creation of different species that evolutionists try to say are stages in evolution of the animal kingdom and humanity. Gene splicing is rapidly gaining acceptance today, as is cloning! These are "signs" that we are living in the last years before Jesus Christ will return to restore all things to their original condition (Act 3: 19-21).

The generations before the flood lived in a "golden age" of high technology. It is a FACT they performed brain surgery before the flood. Archeologists have discovered gene splicing, brain surgery, nuclear weapons and the use of them in 3,000 B.C. It was the "fallen angels" who introduced them to such advanced information. Do we see the same events repeating themselves in the 20th and 21st Centuries? Of Course we do!!! The return of Jesus Christ to "save mankind alive" is just over the horizon. The formulation of the NEW WORLD ORDER must be completed!

The article ends there. I was disappointed and would have preferred more accuracy and details, even for the standards of a creationist article. In particular I was hoping it would explain how the platypus managed to sneak into the ark. This creature is clearly a missing link in the pre-flood history of genetic manipulation.

References
1 http://www.newswatchmagazine.org/ At times they offer a 12 month free subscription.
2 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sefer_haYashar_(Biblical_references) The Book of Jasher (Biblical References)
3 http://www.meridianmagazine.com/sci_rel/020107jasher.html How did the Book of Jasher Know? By John Pratt
4 http://www.dubroom.org/download/pdf/ebooks/the_book_of_jasher.pdf The Book of Jasher, from the 1840 English translation. 390 pages.
5 Transplantation of Chondrocytes Utilizing a Polymer-Cell Construct to Produce Tissue-Engineered Cartilage in the Shape of a Human Ear. Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery. 100(2):297-302, August 1997. Cao, Yilin M.D., Ph.D.; Vacanti, Joseph P. M.D.; Paige, Keith T. M.D.; Upton, Joseph M.D.; Vacanti, Charles A. M.D.
6 http://www.activistcash.com/organization_overview.cfm/oid/209 Examines some of the claims by the Turning Point Project

[Back to top]


February program

Saturday 9 February 2008


2 p.m.
Center For Nonprofit Management
2900 Live Oak Street in Dallas

Program To Be Announced


Future Meeting Dates

March 8 2008
April 12 2008
May 17 2008
June 21 2008

NTS Social Dinner/Board Meeting

Saturday 16 February 2008


7 p.m.
NTS Social Dinner
Good Eats

6950 Greenville Avenue in Dallas
Let us know if you are coming. We need to reserve a table.
Check the NTS Hotline for more information at 214-335-9248.

[Back to top]


The North Texas Skeptics 2008

by John Blanton

Wow, it's a whole new year. This is year 22 of the NTS. If you find that hard to believe, just look at your copy of the newsletter. Back issues are on the Web site at ntskeptics.org.

At the January meeting those voting members present elected a new board of directors. The board members for 2008 are:

Laura Ainsworth
Erling Beck
John Blanton
John Brandt
Kristine Danowski
Prasad Golla
Elizabeth Hittson
Jack Hittson
Claudia Meek
Barbara Neuser
Mike Selby

The new board elected the following as NTS officers:


John Brandt          President
Kristine Danowski    Vice President
Mike Selby           Secretary
Barbara Neuser       Treasurer

Mark Meyer, who was the NTS treasurer since 1988, has retired. Besides, his employer has shipped him off to Merry Old England for an extended assignment, making it difficult for him to attend to the vast capital resources of the NTS.

Barbara Neuser has taken over the position vacated by the esteemed Mr. Meyer. Barbara was previously business manager for a Dallas engineering company and is now a retired software developer. She keeps a mean set of books.

Nothing much else changed for 2008. I am still the Web master, a job I managed while out in Utah for most of 2007 and will continue to manage from North Hollywood, California, for 2008. Keith Blanton will still collect all those heartwarming skeptical items and publish the NTS newsletter. Kristine Danowski is your social chairman (woman). She's going to pick out wonderful places for us to eat and hold our once-monthly board meetings. English translation: Most likely Good Eats on Greenville Avenue.

What didn't happen? For one thing, the paranormal challengers didn't show up for the meeting.

Gary Greenwood had thought he would come and show us how he can detect a glass mirror box hidden inside a cardboard box. He must be one of those honest challengers, because he dropped me a note prior to the meeting and said his accuracy was not up to par, and he needs more practice.

Shirley Potter also contacted Prasad Golla prior to the meeting and said she could not attend the January meeting due to schedule conflicts.

Check elsewhere in this issue for an item on the latest NTS Challenge activity.

The new year also occasioned us to examine our accounts. We're OK. Besides the usual membership payments, Barbara Neuser notes several generous donations to the good cause. Out of privacy considerations, I will not list the names of the donors, or the members, for that matter. However, if you have a spare several hundred dollars, let not your charity be constrained. We are a 501 (c) 3, tax-deductible organization.

[Back to top]


Challenge activity

by John Blanton

Allow me to quote from the NTS Challenge page on our Web site at - http://www.ntskeptics.org/challenge/challenge.htm:

Pertinent challenge correspondence will be posted on this Web site.

Here goes.

Gary Greenwood has told us he can detect a glass mirror box hidden inside a cardboard box. He hoped to attend the January meeting and give us a demo. However, prior to the meeting I received this note:

Hi John ,

unfortunately , I will not make it Jan.14th , to be honest , My testing percentages are anywhere from 30 to 40 % wich for me , is not good enough , yet . Be assured you will here from me in the near future once I have improved my testing procedures and percentages ! thank you for your time ,

Gary G. Greenwood

OK, that's straight forward enough. Hopefully Mr. Greenwood will be able to show us a demo some other time.

Prasad Golla is handling the claim of Shirley Potter from Nacogdoches. He received this from her in January:

Prasad, I will be returning to Dallas on January 12. At your convenience, I am prepared to take the test at any time. The only question I have is?how long after?I pass the preliminary test will I be taking the actual test.

This was not to be. Ms. Potter had a schedule conflict and will not be able to provide us a demo at this time.

Who's next? The $12,000 prize is still out there. Do you feel lucky?

[Back to top]


What's new

By Robert Park

[Robert Park publishes the What's New column at http://www.bobpark.org/. Following are some clippings of interest.]

DARWINISM: IS EVOLUTION COMPATIBLE WITH FAITH?

The National Academies of Science yesterday released a new edition of Science, Evolution, and Creationism, a report first issued in 1984 and updated in 1999. Much has happened in the war between science and religion in the intervening years. The panel that produced the report was headed by Francisco Ayala, a biologist at UC, Irvine, and a former Dominican priest. Clearly intended for a lay audience, the report refers to evolution as "the foundation of modern biology." Hearing only the briefest mention of the NAS report on the morning news, I went to Google "News" to get an idea of the press reaction. The first item that came up was a press release from The Discovery Institute calling the "foundation of modern biology" description "outrageous hype." The Discovery Institute, you will recall, is where intelligent design was dreamed up. Released on the day of the Iowa Caucus, the Science, Evolution, and Creationism report was all but ignored by mainstream media. The report stresses that acceptance of evolution does not require abandoning belief in God. However, there is a growing mountain of evidence supporting evolution and not a shred of evidence for the existence of God.

BREAKTHROUGH OF THE YEAR: HUMAN GENETIC VARIATION

The journal Science announced in today's issue that "Human Genetic Variation" is the Breakthrough of the Year. It's been seven years since we learned how we differ from other species. With faster and cheaper sequencing technology, we're learning how we differ from one another.

BREAKDOWN OF THE YEAR: THE WHITE HOUSE SCIENCE OFFICE

In an editorial in Science, Donald Kennedy picked continued denial of climate change by the Bush Administration, as the "Breakdown" of the year. He cited the congressional testimony of Julie Gerberding, head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, on the health effects of climate warming - it was blacked out by the White House Science Office.

SPOKESPERSON OF THE YEAR: WHO SPEAKS FOR SCIENCE?

Nobody - scientists insist on speaking for themselves. It sounds like a prescription for chaos - but the openness of science is its strength. The Administration should try it. At times, however, science needs a single voice. Like right now - a Baptist minister who calls for creationism is in the lead to become the Republican nominee for President, followed closely by a Mormon. Who can speak for science? There is rumored to be a Science Advisor in the White House, but you might as well try to find an ivory-billed woodpecker. The AAAS is the largest general scientific society in the world. Its president, David Baltimore, is great but he's only President for one year - we need some continuity. The most important voice for science in America today may be the editor of Science. Donald Kennedy is retiring, but AAAS announced today that Bruce Alberts is the new editor-in-chief. We are fortunate to have such people. What's New nominates Bruce Alberts to be the spokesperson for science.

Bob Park can be reached via email at opa@aps.org.

[Back to top]


Ambivalent Design

By A.D. Rosenberg (Author), Prasad Golla (Illustrator) Now on Amazon.com To purchase this book, go to: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0980005019/thenorthtexasske

List Price: $34.95

Price: $34.95 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping. Details
Availability: Temporarily out of stock.
Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Prasad Golla
Prasad Golla, NTS board member and resident cartoonist

[Back to top]


Skeptical Ink

By Prasad Golla and John Blanton

Copyright 2008
Free, non-commercial reuse permitted.

Now for a little fun:

What we really want

[Back to top]