Abraham's Seed: Genetic Support for the Genesis Record
Jews and Arabs are truly all children of Abraham according to genetic research by University of Arizona in Tucson. Researchers studied and compared the genes of more than 1,300 males from twenty-nine different populations. They concluded that both groups have preserved their Middle Eastern genetic roots over 4,000 years.
They also found that Jews had remained remarkably similar on the genetic level over the millennia.
The researchers looked at the Y chromosome, which only males have and which is passed down with little change from father to son. These small changes can be tracked and provide a kind of molecular road map to the genetic past.
They found that grouping Jews and Arabs together – both are Semites – is based on genetic as well as historical and linguistic reality. Jews descended from Isaac, while Arabs have descended from Ishmael.
Reuters, May 9, 2000
The Solution to Youth Violence
In the wake of the shootings at Columbine High School, some have attributed the increase in on-campus violence to easy access to firearms. However, a recent poll suggests Americans think something else is behind the wave of youth violence.
When asked which would have a greater impact on reducing school violence, 77 percent chose teaching children about right and wrong and respect for human life. Only 10 percent said more gun control laws are needed.
Eighty-four percent said "greater involvement by parents in the lives of their children" would be most effective in reducing gun violence in schools.
The poll found that most Americans, 42 percent, think the decline in quality time with parents is the number-one cause of youth violence. Thirty percent blamed violence in the media. Only 11 percent blamed access to guns.
Almost three-quarters of those surveyed also blamed a lack of moral values in society, rather than easy access to guns.
CBN News, April 19, 2000
The Associated Press reports that the Gay, Lesbian, Student Education Network supports more than 700 of the clubs, called Gay-Straight Alliance clubs, across the country. Club meetings involve members talking about homosexuality in an effort to educate students, promote tolerance, and end bias, AP reports. Peter Labarbera of the Family Research Council says some groups bring in transsexuals to talk about their lifestyles and that "the reality is there is much more going on than meets the eye."
…"[T]here is a broader agenda out there," to influence high schoolers to be sympathetic to the gay lifestyle, says Ed Vitagliano, director of research for the American Family Association.
Religion Today News, April 5, 2000
"When you do a gay wedding, it's like pushing back on apartheid. It feels morally irresponsible not to help two people who love each other."
– Reformed Jewish Rabbi Susan Schnur commenting on the decision of the Central Conference of American Rabbis to officially sanction gay unions.
U.S. News & World Report, April 10, 2000
Several new studies suggest that teens are more likely than adults to be compulsive gamblers. Researchers say teens exhibit higher rates of gambling addiction than adults and are more likely to gamble than use alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs. Some start betting as early as elementary school. The research indicates that among adults, about 1 percent are pathological gamblers, meeting the psychological criteria for the most seriously addicted. But studies show between 4 percent to 8 percent of the teen population in the United States and Canada show signs of serious gambling problems.
Gannett News Service, March 12, 2000
"The great need in ministry is for men to get close to God. There are gimmicks and trends to help you grow a great church – but until you are desperate for Almighty God, until you are close to God, you cannot experience the power and promise of God. The promise of the Great Commission is God's presence. The byproduct is fearlessness."
– Bruce Schmidt, IMB missionary speaking April 4 at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Schmidt has been temporarily assigned to the North American Mission Board to assist with the board's Strategic Cities Strategies.
Baptist Press, April 7, 2000
From the Mouths of Babes
The following are reportedly authentic quotes from children regarding the Bible.
"Samson slayed the Philistines with the axe of the Apostles."
"Moses died before he ever reached Canada. Then Joshua led the Hebrews in the battle of Geritol."
"The greatest miracle in the Bible is when Joshua told his son to stand still and he obeyed him."
"The people who followed the lord were called the twelve decibels."
"The epistles were the wives of the apostles."
According to a Gallup poll, conducted in March, two-thirds of all Americans believe that religion can answer all or most of today's problems. The poll also showed that belief in the relevance of religion is as likely to be found among college-educated and high-income Americans as among the poor and less educated. Just 21 percent say religion is old-fashioned and out of date. Large majorities also say that they are members of a church or synagogue (68 percent) and that they attend services on a regular basis (60 percent). However, 44 percent of Americans say they are "unchurched."
Religion Today News, April 5, 2000