January 17, 2014
“Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper.
1 Kings 19:11–12 (NLT)
I found it ironic that this passage from 1 Kings popped up in a daily devotional email today. Within this week, Southern California has experienced howling winds, a 4.4 earthquake, and now, as I write this, a fire is raging in the hills near RTB headquarters. I’m ready to listen for that “gentle whisper.” (more…)
December 20, 2013
Gift-giving, though a big part of the holiday season, can get mired in a lot of debate. But beneath all the hoopla, there’s something about a thoughtful gift that touches the heart. A good present shows that the giver truly understands and cares about the recipient—like the giant carton of goldfish crackers my husband, Darren, gave me for my birthday this year. Some might call that a gifting faux pas, but because I really, really like goldfish crackers, it was perfect because I knew Darren understood me.
I asked some other RTB staff members to recall memorable (in a good way) gifts they’ve received over the years. (more…)
December 6, 2013
“And though she be but little, she is fierce.”
— A Midsummer Night’s Dream, I, ii, 335
I am what some of my friends affectionately call “vertically challenged.” The sun visor in my car is often useless to me and, depending on the chair, my feet don’t always lie flat on the floor. Several of my coworkers at RTB share these trials with me—but though we are short, we hope to help make a big difference in the lives of people RTB reaches.
Likewise, though there is a possible 98–99% genetic similarity between humans and chimps, it’s the little variations that seem to make big differences. As researchers dig deeper into genetic comparisons, a more complex picture emerges. (more…)
November 15, 2013
In continuation of the Marvel Comics movie franchise, Thor: The Dark World hit theatres this autumn. As Thor is my personal favorite of the Avengers heroes, I went to see the film for the sheer enjoyment of it (and enjoyable it was), but while taking in the entire spectacle, something in the film’s opening monologue piqued my curiosity.
Odin, Thor’s father, explains that before the present universe began to exist there was darkness. From that darkness arose the Dark Elves, bad guys who have returned for revenge. This little tidbit got me thinking about the beginning of the universe. (more…)
October 31, 2013
Posted by Maureen under Animals
, Fossils & Fossil Record
, In the News
| Tags: dinosaurs
, evolutionary origins
, support for creation
, T. rex
, Tyrannosaurus rex
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Though horror movies and haunted houses give me nightmares (literally), this Halloween I’ve got a monster on the brain, namely that ancient bone-cruncher the Tyrannosaurus rex. First named and described in 1905, this toothy fellow is one of the best loved dinos as well as one of the most researched, thanks to a high number of fossil finds. Yet according to a recent Nature news feature by Brian Switek, T. rex “has kept some secrets.”
The article discusses four T. rex mysteries that paleontologists are currently striving to solve. (more…)
October 18, 2013
Though autumn is largely a source of joy, it also brings a few drawbacks, namely colds and other “bugs.” Flu shot reminders sit next to Halloween displays and hand sanitizer is a must-have. In my own family, sickness arrived in the form of head colds, sore throats, pink eye, and, for one family member, a nasty stomach ailment. Things are yucky.
Disease and the suffering it produces often come up in problem-of-evil discussions. Why would an omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent God create even the potential for such distress in the lives of His creatures? It’s an issue that has troubled people for millennia and it’s a frequently cited reason for disbelief in God.
RTB scholars Fuz Rana and Jeff Zweerink tackle the topic of disease, specifically viruses, on a recent episode of I Didn’t Know That! A listener asks if viruses can be considered “God’s design or flawed design.” Fuz suggests that, even though viruses are destructive, they are still part of God’s good creation. (more…)
September 27, 2013
We could be in for a celestial treat this holiday season thanks to a visitor from the distant Oort Cloud. First detected in December 2011, Comet ISON is believed to hold the potential to become the comet of the twenty-first century—if it can survive its trip around the Sun, that is. As I write, this much-anticipated traveler is approaching Mars and can be seen through most backyard telescopes.
Comet ISON is garnering attention in the Christian community for other reasons as well. Some believers claim that the comet’s path—which could take it through the constellation Virgo (the Virgin), the Crown (if it makes it past the Sun), and others—illustrates the story of Jesus. In essence, this idea is similar to the “gospel in the stars” concept that is sometimes attributed to the Christmas star. (more…)
September 13, 2013
We all know people who tend to deplete our reserves of patience and good will. (Perhaps we’ve even been one of these folks.) I’ve taken to identifying such people as “EGRs”: extra grace required. This label, which I adopted from a guest speaker at my church, helps remind me to reign in my irritability and pray for an extra measure of patience when dealing with difficult people. After all, I require extra grace, too.
Interactions within the science-faith arena provide plentiful examples of EGRs. (more…)
August 30, 2013
Summer is coming to an end—Halloween items are popping up in stores, pumpkin spice lattes are on the way, and even the trees show signs of turning foliage. (Of course, the SoCal sunshine seems to have missed the memo—as I write this it’s 10 AM and already in the 90s.) Perhaps the most notable signs of the summer-to-fall change are the droves of kids heading back to school. (more…)
August 16, 2013
We humans like tradition. For example, whenever my husband’s family gets together the evening always ends with a game of Tripoley (a combination of Hearts, Poker, and Rummy). Yet sometimes we also like to change tradition—hence why my husband and I have been subtly attempting to introduce some of our new favorite table top games at family get-togethers.
Changing tradition can be as simple as altering family activities or (in my family’s case) holiday menus. Or, it can be paradigm-altering—like Copernicus and Galileo questioning the geocentric model of the solar system or the big bang theory challenging the Aristotelian view of an infinite universe. (more…)