Geoscience Research Institute

News Archives – 1999

DISCLAIMER:  The following links do not necessarily represent endorsement by the Geoscience Research Institute, but are meant to provide information from a wide range of viewpoints and expertise on scientific issues, religious issues, and the interface between the two, particularly in the area of creation and evolution.



  • A Man of Ethics and Science / May 28, 1999 / PBS NewsHour — interview with the 1999 winner of the Templeton prize ($1.2 million) for the advancement of religion, Ian Barbour, a physicist and theologian; see also his biography







  • Scientists look for molecular ‘meaning of life’ / 9 December 1999 / BBC News — is it possible for scientists to synthesise an artificial bacterium in the lab
  • New Planet Birth Theory / December 8, 1999 / ABC News (Associated Press) — Uranus and Neptune may have been born much closer to the sun than previously thought, and ended up in their current orbits after gravitational forces from Jupiter violently hurled them away.
  • A little less to worry about from on high” / December 6, 1999 / U.S. News & World Report, v.127, p.80 — there may be fewer killer asteroids
  • An Invisible Dimension / 2 December 1999 / Physical Review Focus — We may indeed live in a world with more than three spatially infinite dimensions, yet the extra dimensions might be essentially imperceptible. // complete paper: “An Alternative to Compactification” / 6 December 1999 / Lisa Randall and Raman Sundrum / Physical Review Letters, v.83, p.4690-4693
  • Snake Oil and Holy Water / October 4, 1999 / Richard Dawkins / Forbes ASAP — Illogical thinking is the only thing joining science and religion together.




  • Chromosome Mapped / December 1, 1999 / ABC News (Associated Press) — an international team of scientists has for the first time mapped virtually an entire human chromosome



  • The Unexpected Science to Come” / December 1999 / John Maddox / Scientific American, v.281, p.62-67 — The most important discoveries of the next 50 years are likely to be ones of which we cannot now even conceive.
  • All forms of science designed for discussion / 24 November 1999 / Jonathan Wells / Topeka Capital-Journal — Since Darwin’s theory has as many religious implications as the theory of intelligent design, it is not possible to demarcate the two on the grounds that one is science and the other is religion.
  • New archaeology and ancient stories / November 23, 1999 / Alex Salkever / The Christian Science Monitor — A catastrophic Black Sea flood 7,600 years ago may be source of the Noah story, researchers say.
  • The Quantum Inquisition” / October 30, 1999 / New Scientist, v.164, p.32 — Entangled photons could provide deep insights into our world that no one expected.
  • Ockham’s Razor: Christianity and Science / 27 December 1998 / Australian Broadcasting Corporation — Radio National transcript: John Polkinghorn, a scientist who later also became a vicar, talks about his feelings towards Christianity and science.





























  • The Origin-of-Life Prize — The Prize is to encourage the pursuit of natural-process explanations and mechanisms of initial “gene” emergence within nature. The Prize is being offered to stimulate research into chaos, complexity, information, probability, and artificial life theories as they relate directly to biochemical and molecular biological reality. / judges include: Walter L. Bradley, A. Graham Cairns-Smith, Paul Davies, William A. Dembski, Freeman J. Dyson, Michael R. Rampino, Robert Shapiro, Charles B. Thaxton, Charles H. Townes, Edward O. Wilson, and Hubert P. Yockey
  • New Approach to Teaching Evolution Speaks to Debate / September 15, 1999 / University of Wisconsin, Madison — National Center for Improving Student Learning & Achievement in Mathematics & Science (NCISLA) addresses teaching of evolution in publich schools
  • What is Darwinism? / November 1992 / Phillip E. Johnson / Access Research Network
  • Galileo: The strange facts in a famous story /
  • “Rethinking Relativity” / April 1999 / Tom Bethell / American Spectator, p.20 — Comments on the article by Tom Van Flandern, “The speed of gravity — What the experiments say”, Physics Letters A, v.250, n.1-3 (1998) pp. 1-11. / This article suggests that the force of gravity propagates at a speed at least twenty billion times faster than the speed of light (which would contradict the special theory of relativity). Unedited version  / Responses: UCRe-mail


  • “The 17 August 1999 Izmit Earthquake” / 17 September 1999 / Science, v.285, p.1858-1859 — details of the magnitude 7.4 earthquake that shook northwestern Turkey
  • “The First Step to Heaven” / 10 September 1999 / Science, v.285, p.1658-1661 — Every effort to survey cosmic distances relies on a common yardstick, found in our own neighborhood. But astronomers can’t agree on its length
  • “Battle lines drawn between ‘nanobacteria’ researchers” / 9 September 1999 / Nature, v.401, p.105 — discovery of nanobacteria, a new form of life, is questioned
  • “The Buzz of General Relativity” / 3 September 1999 / Science, v.285, p.1499-1500 — testing  relativity in strong gravitational fields
  • “A Middle Jurassic mammal from Madagascar” / 2 September 1999 / Nature, v.401, p.57-60
  • “Tracking the evolution of insecticide resistance in the mosquito Culex pipiens” / 26 August 1999 / Nature, v.400, p.861-864 — The evolution of pesticide resistance provides some of the most striking examples of darwinian evolution occurring over a human life span.


  • Beyond Reductionism / 2 April 1999 / Science, v.284 — A special issue with more than 20 pages of material on complex systems
  • The Great Minds of the Century / March 29, 1999 / Time, p.64-206 — This is the century that split the atom, probed the psyche, spliced genes and cloned a sheep. It invented plastic, radar and the silicon chip. It built airplanes, rockets, satellites, televisions, computers and atom bombs. It overthrew our inherited ideas about logic, language, learning, mathematics, economics and even space and time. And behind each of these great ideas, great discoveries and great inventions is, in most cases, one extraordinary human mind.
  • The End of Science Writing” / March 17, 1997 / Jon Franklin / The Alfred and Julia Hill Lecture, University of Tennessee — Jon Franklin is Professor of Creative Writing, University of Oregon
  • Carl Sagan dies / 20 December 1996


News Journals

  • Evolutionary Beliefs / August 16, 1999 / The Gallup Organization, ABC News — views in U.S. much different than elsewhere; nearly half of American adults believe in a biblical interpretation of creation
  • Science and religion seek common ground / April 16, 1999 / BBC News
  • “Science Finds God” / July 20, 1998 / Newsweek, p.46-51 — The achievements of modern science seem to contradict religion and undermine faith. But for a growing number of scientists, the same discoveries offer support for spirituality and hints of the very nature of God.
  • “How the Heavens Go” / July 20, 1998 / Newsweek, p.52 — Science and religion are supposed to be antagonists. History tells a more complicated story.

Scientific Journals

  • “Scientists and Religion in America” / September 1999 / Edward J. Larson and Larry Witham / Scientific American , p.88-93 — A flurry of recent conferences and news stories suggests a growing rapprochement between science and religion — but does this reflect a shift in scientists’ belief? Are scientists more or less inclined to believe in a personal God than the general public is? The authors recently surveyed American scientists to see whether their religious faith has changed.
  • A God Who Does Not Itemize Versus a Science of the Sacred” / November-December 1998 / Edward B. Davis / American Scientist — a short review of two books: Belief in God in an Age of Science by John Polkinghorne, and Skeptics and True Believers: The Exhilarating Connection between Science and Religion by Chet Raymo
  • “Leading scientists still reject God” / 23 July 1998 / Edward J. Larson and Larry Witham / Nature, v.394, p.313   
  • “Scientists are still keeping the faith” / 3 April 1997 / Edward J. Larson and Larry Witham / Nature, v.386, p.435-436 — Although the suggestion eighty years ago that four in ten scientists did not believe in God or an afterlife was astounding to contemporaries, the fact that so many scientists believe in God today is equally surprising.


Books – Classics

  • The Structure of Scientific Revolutions /  1962 (1996, 3rd ed.) / Thomas S. Kuhn / University of Chicago Press — see also Amazon and Barnes & Noble
  • Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions / 1884 / Edwin Abbott — see also Amazon and Barnes & Noble / Flatland was written by clergyman, writer and educator Edwin Abbott in 1884, and often reprinted since that time. Flatland is that peculiar type of science-fiction which is well suited to expansion of the mind; to incent one to realize the vast difference(s) between what we perceive with our very limited five senses and ultimate reality. Abbott saw the applications of this short tale to the Christian religion; as headmaster of the City of London School in 1885-1889, we may picture him using it to that end. Abbott’s main point in Flatland is not to tell an amusing story, nor even to make us think about dimensionality, but to insist to us that the grasping of ultimate reality (God?) is not a trivial task; that in a real sense such apprehension of the infinite is not at all open to logic and reason based only on our five senses and “scientific” thinking.
  • Omphalos: An Attempt to Untie the Geological Knot / 1857 (1998, reprint) / Philip Henry Gosse / John Van Voorst, London (original publisher); Ox Bow Press, Woodbridge, CT (paperback reprint) — In the mid 1850s, a terrible dilemma presented itself to the distinguished English marine biologist Philip Henry Gosse. The emerging scientific evidence for the great age of the earth and fossils was in opposition to the fundamentalist beliefs of the Plymouth Brethren. As a lay preacher of this group, he faced the choice between faith and reason. In a valiant effort to have it both ways, he wrote Omphalos. This work maintained that God created the world five millenia ago, but with the appearance of age. The book was met with scorn by the scientific community and suspicion by Gosse’s co-religionists who thought that God was being accused of fraud. The book is reprinted for historians and philosophers of science and culture as well as for believers who wish to review a fundamentalist Christian’s struggle to preserve his faith.
  • Pensées / (1995) / Blaise Pascal (translator, A. J. Krailsheimer) / Penguin Group — see also Amazon / The unfinished notes and essays which make up this book were intended by Pascal (1623-62) as a systematic and uncompromising defense of Christian belief.
  • Ptolemy’s Almagest / (1998) / translated and annotated by G.J. Toomer; foreword by Owen Gingerich / Princeton University Press — see also Amazon / One of the most influential scientific works in history and the basic textbook of astronomy for over 1000 years.




  • The Science of God: The Convergence of Scientific and Biblical Wisdom / 1997 / Gerald L. Schroeder / Free Press, a division of Simon & Schuster
  • The Age of the Universe / Gerald Schroeder — Schroeder is a nuclear physicist who served on the staff of MIT and as a member of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. He is the author of “Genesis and the Big Bang” (Bantam Books 1990), and the recently-published “The Science of God.” Dr. Schroeder lectures frequently at Aish HaTorah in Jerusalem. Aish HaTorah is an international network of Jewish educational centers, where Jews from all backgrounds can explore their heritage in a open, non-judgmental atmosphere. Aish HaTorah operates programs in over 100 cities on 5 continents. The World Center is located in Jerusalem, directly opposite the Western Wall.


Intelligent Design – Books

Intelligent Design – Articles

  • It all fits …” / 19 June 1999 / New Scientist, v.162, n.2191 — Why does the moon look the same size as the Sun in the sky? This coincidence may be necessary for life.
  • Redundant Complexity: A Critical Analysis of Intelligent Design in Biochemistry” / June 1999 / Niall Shanks and Karl H. Joplin / Philosophy of Science, v.66, p.268-298 — Recent work on self-organizing chemical reactions suggest that a (supernatural) intelligent design is not necessary for biochemical complexity. It is argued that real biochemical systems manifest redundant complexity – a characteristic result of evolutionary processes.
  • Scientists Find Evidence of God” / April 19, 1999 / Insight on the News — The Darwinist hegemony in the natural sciences may be threatened by a cutting-edge, revolutionary movement that sees intelligent design in nature – and a Designer.
  • The Trilobite: Enigma of Complexity / 1998 / Arthur Chadwick / Earth History Research Center, Southwestern Adventist University, Keene, TX
  • Science and Design” / October 1998 / William A. Dembski / First Things 86, p.21-27
  • Anything Goes” / 6 June 1998 / New Scientist, v.158, n.2137, p.26-30 — Why are the laws and constants that govern the Universe so finely tuned for life to flourish? One physicist thinks he knows and the answer is mind-boggling
  • The Inverted Retina: Maladaptation or Pre-adaptation?” / Winter 1999 / Michael Denton / Origins & Design, Issue 37, v.19, n.2, p.14-17 — It’s a familiar example in the anti-design battery of arguments: the vertebrate eye is poorly built, and thus must have evolved by natural selection. Denton revisits the eye with a new hypothesis.
  • Opening Darwin’s Black Box: An Interview with Dr. Michael Behe” / 1997 /  Christian Apologetics — part of The Princeton Chronicles by the Christian Faculty Forum at Princeton University
  • On the Design of the Vertebrate Retina” / Winter 1996 / Origins & Design, v.17, n.1

Intelligent Design – Miscellaneous

Intelligent Design – Conferences

Teaching in Public Schools

Evolutionary Problems


  • To Hell and Back” / July 1999 / Discover, v.20, n.7, p.76-82 — Some scientists think there may be more living stuff below the surface of Earth than on it, but if it’s anything like what Princeton geologist T. C. Onstott brought up from a South African gold mine recently, we may not want to go there.

Evolution – Books

Evolution – Articles

Evolution – Miscellaneous

Peppered Moths

  • “Not black and white” / 5 November 1998 / Nature, v.396, p.35-36 — Cautionary tale: the classic account of industrial melanism in the peppered moth now looks flawed / book review of Melanism: Evolution in Action
  • Melanism: Evolution in Action / 1998 / Michael E. N. Majerus / Oxford University Press

Biological Clocks

  • Can Mitochondrial Clocks Keep Time? requires free registration to access / 5 March 1999 / Science, v.283, p.1435-1438 — New data fuel fundamental challenges to the accuracy of molecular clocks, although researchers say they are tackling the problems
  • Mitochondrial Evolution requires free registration to access / 5 March 1999 / Science, v.283, p.1476-1481 — The serial endosymbiosis theory is a favored model for explaing the origin of mitochondria, a defining event in the evolution of eukaryotic cells. As usually described, this theory posits that mitochondria are the direct descendants of a bacterial endosymbiont that became established at an early stage in a nucleus-containing (but amitochondriate) host cell. Gene sequence data strongly support a monophyletic origin of the mitochondrion from a eubacterial ancestor shared with a subgroup of the a-Proteobacteria. However, recent studies of unicellular eukaryotes (protists), some of them little known, have provided insights that challenge the traditional serial endosymbiosis-based view of how the eukaryotic cell and its mitochondrion came to be. These data indicate that the mitochondrion arose in a common ancestor of all extant eukaryotes and raise the possibility that this organelle originated at essentially the same time as the nuclear component of the eukaryotic cell rather than in a separate, subsequent event.
  • Calibrating the Mitochondrial Clock requires free registration to access / 2 January 1998 / Science, v.279, p.28-29 — mtDNA mutates perhaps as much as 20-fold faster than expected, according to two controversial studies


Origin of Life

  • A New Molecular Window on Early Life” / 13 August 1999 / Science, v.285, p.1025-1026 — biomarkers characteristic for cyanobacteria and eukaryotes in Archean rocks from Western Australia
  • “Alternative origins for nannobacteria-like objects in calcite” / April 1999 / Geology, v.27, p.347-350

Life and Other Planets

  • The Next Mission to Mars” / September 1999 / Discover Magazine, v.20, n.9 — complete guide to the December 3 touchdown near the Red Planet’s South Pole
  • Mars on Earth” / July 1999 / National Geographic, p.34 — In the battered landscape of an impact crater, scientists in the Canadian Arctic find ideal ground for testing methods to explore the red planet.
  • Life From Mars, Take 2” / June 1999 / Discover, v.20, n.6 — “We were beat up so much two years ago that I’ve become a lot more conservative about my interpretations”
  • Another Martian Meteorite Hints at Life on Mars / March 3, 1999 / Discovery Channel
  • Martian Life on Trial” / 8-26-98 / Discover Magazine — includes links to related sites
  • Life on Mars From ALH84001? Revisited” / Summer 1998 / Hubert P. Yockey / Origins & Design, v.19, n.1 — Information theorist and origin of life expert Hubert Yockey returns to the “Mars Life” story — a hypothesis which seems to be on a long, increasingly rapid decline.

Vertebrates – Reptiles, Birds, Mammals

Anthropology – Articles

Anthropology – Books



  • “Hutton’s Unconformity” / June 1999 / Natural History, v.108, p.86 — For James Hutton, the cliff formation at Siccar Point in southeastern Scotland was evidence for the length of geological time. The nearly vertical layers of Silurian gray slate had apparently been turned on end, eroded, and overlain by the gently dipping beds of Devonian red sandstone.
  • “Lyell’s Pillars of Wisdom” / April 1999 / Stephen Jay Gould / Natural History, p.28-34,87-89 — Three ancient Roman columns near Naples became the benchmarks of a new geology.
  • Creationism’s Geologic Time Scale” / March-April 1998 / Donald U. Wise / American Scientist, v.86, p.160-173 — Should the scientific community continue to fight rear-guard skirmishes with creationists, or insist that “young-earthers” defend their model in toto?


  • “The Channeled Scabland: Back to Bretz?” / July 1999 / Geology, v.27, p.605 — Recent sedimentary investigations of some sites in the Missoula basin, and in the Channeled Scabland, support a single large late Wisconsin flood, as opposed to multiple floods proposed for this time period.
  • Night Comes to the Cretaceous: Dinosaur Extinction and the Transformation of Modern Geology / May 1998 / James Lawrence Powell / W. H. Freeman — see also Amazon
  • Megatrends in North American Paleocurrents / 1998 / Arthur V. Chadwick / Earth History Research Center, Southwestern Adventist University, Keene, TX
  • Cataclysm! Compelling Evidence of a Cosmic Catastrophe in 9500 B.C. / 1997 / D. S. Allan and J. B. Delair / Bear & Co., Santa Fe, NM — see also Barnes & Noble
  • The New Catastrophism: The Importance of the Rare Event in Geological History / 1993 (hardback), 1995 (paperback) / Derek Ager / Cambridge University Press — see also Barnes & Noble / The evidence for rare “catastrophic” happenings are shown to dominate over the gradual and continuous processes that we see in the record of the history of the Earth: from hurricanes to episodic evolution, from colliding continents to asteroid impacts.
  • The Nature of the Stratigraphical Record / 1993 (3rd edition) / Derek V. Ager / John Wiley — see also Barnes & Noble / Concepts presented run counter to the views held by many earth scientists thus providing a new look at the development of ideas concerned with the creation of our planet.
  • The Great Floods: Cataclysms of the Ice Age / 13½ minute video / produced by Washington State University in cooperation with Coulee Dam National Recreation Area, National Park Service — The Pacific Northwest presented one of this century’s great geologic mysteries: a maze of enormous empty river canyons, boulder-strewn valleys, giant ripple marks, and the skeletal remains of the world’s largest waterfall — all geologically fresh, yet sitting high and dry, far from any source of water. In 1923, geologist J. Harlen Bretz proposed a catastrophic flood as their genesis, igniting a debate that raged for nearly half a century. This video tracks the clues leading to the final verdict that revolutionized geologic thinking … the Ice Age floods, containing ten times the flow of all the world’s rivers.
  • Cataclysms on the Columbia / 1986 / John Eliot Allen and Marjorie Burns with Sam C. Sargent / Timber Press

Geophysics – Plate Tectonics

  • The Great African Plume Emerges as a Tectonic Player requires free registration / 9 July 1999 / Science, v.285, p.187-188 — A massive upwelling of hot rock beneath southern Africa may be shaping the continent as it cools Earth’s core, in the flip side of plate tectonics.
  • The geophysics of God” / June 16, 1997 / U.S. News & World Report, p.55-58 — A scientist embraces plate tectonics — and Noah’s flood

Geophysics – Earthquakes, …


  • RATE Group Prepares Status Report” / August 1999 / Larry Vardiman / Impact #314, Institute for Creation Research — report of the RATE (Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth) group and its plans to publish a monograph entitled, Radioisotope Dating from a Young-Earth Creationist Perspective: Status Report and Research Plan
  • Sediments Reveal Their Age requires free registration / 2 July 1999 / Science, v.285, p.58-59
  • “Monazite Th-Pb age depth profiling” / June 1999 / Geology, v.27, p.487-490
  • “Sr isotope disequilibrium during differentiation of the Bandelier Tuff: Constraints on the crystallization of a large rhyolitic magma chamber” / June 1999 / Geology, v.27, p.495-498
  • Potassium-Argon and Argon-Argon Dating of Crustal Rocks and the Problem of Excess Argon” / March 1999 / Andrew A. Snelling / Impact No. 309, Institute for Creation Research
  • Atmospheric Radiocarbon Calibration to 45,000 yr B.P.: Late Glacial Fluctuations and Cosmogenic Isotope Production ” / 20 February 1998 / H. Kitagawa and J. van der Plicht / Science, v.279, n.5354, p.1187-1190 — More than 250 carbon-14 accelerator mass spectrometry dates provide a first atmospheric calibration for almost the total range of the radiocarbon method. The results confirm the floating German pine chronology and are consistent with data from European and marine varved sediments, and combined uranium-thorium and carbon-14 dating of corals up to the Last Glacial Maximum. The data during the Glacial show large fluctuations in the atmospheric carbon-14 content, related to changes in global environment and in cosmogenic isotope production.

Noah’s Ark (movie)

Black Sea Flood


Big Bang

  • Making the Stuff of the Big Bang requires free registration / 20 August 1999 / Science, v.285, p.1194-1197 — Starting this fall, a machine called RHIC will collide gold nuclei with such force that they will melt into their primordial building blocks
  • Baby Big Bangs” / August 1999 / Discover, v.20
  • Hubble Telescope Dates the Universe” / May 29, 1999 / Science News, v.155, n.22, p.340
  • A long distance record breaker requires free registration to access / 15 April 1999 / Nature, v.398, p.558-559 — A redshift of 6.68 corresponds to a time when the Universe was only 5% of its present age. [See p.586-588 for full story.]
  • A Different Approach to Cosmology” / April 1999 / Geoffrey Burbidge, Fred Hoyle, and Jayant V. Narlikar / Physics Today, p.38-44 — In this unorthodox assault on mainstream cosmology, three venerable stalwarts argue for a quasi-steady-state universe, with some quasars quite nearby and no Big Bang.
  • Challenging the Big Bang: a longer history of time” / March 1999 / CERN Courier — Conventional dogma says that the Big Bang was the beginning of everything. Here, Gabriele Veneziano of CERN challenges this view. He believes that the Big Bang is the biggest thing that the universe has seen, but that it did not take place at time zero.
  • “Evolution of the cosmological constant” / 4 March 1999 / Nature, v.398, p.25-26
  • Superheavey Particles From the Big Bang? requires free registration to access / 19 February 1999 / Science, v.283, p.1095-1096
  • Cosmology and Controversy: The Historical Development of Two Theories of the Universe / 1996 / Helge Kragh / Princeton University Press — This book presents the development of scientific cosmology as a historical event, one that embroiled many scientists in a controversy over the very notion of an evolving universe with a beginning in time.


  • Giant New Telescope Bags Gamma Ray Burst requires free registration to access / 21 May 1999 / Science, v.284, p.1251 — support for a budding theory that these mysterious blasts emit radiation in two opposing beams
  • A New Lens on Dark Matter / 29 March 1999 / Physical Review Letters, v.82, p.2636-
  • “The Nature of Space and Time” / July 1996 / Stephen W. Hawking and Roger Penrose / Scientific American — Two relativists present their distinctive views on the universe, its evolution and the impact of quantum theory


Speed of Light

  • “Is nothing sacred?” / 24 July 1999 / John D. Barrow / New Scientist, v.163, p.28 — Call it heresy, but all the big cosmological problems will simply melt away, if you break the rule that says the speed of light never varies
  • Wanted: New Creation Stories requires free registration to access / May 28, 1999 / Science, v.284, p.1450 — UC Davis cosmologist suggests a very radical idea: perhaps the speed of light was much faster immediately after the big bang
  • Slow Light for the Rest of Us” / 28 June 1999 / Physical Review Letters, v.82, p.5229 — slowing light may be easier than you think
  • Light speed reduction to 17 metres per second in an untracold atomic gas requires free registration to access / 18 February 1999 / Nature, v.397, p.594-598