Archive for April, 2013

Plan ‘B’

Spring Storm

Inclement weather almost kept us away from a pastor’s conference we were to teach, in north central Nebraska last week. The morning began with rain, which soon turned to sleet, progressing to heavy wet snow. We only had 60 miles to travel, but the roads were quickly covered with snow and ice, coupled with a driving blizzard-like wind. Because of pulling a 31 foot trailer, we were able to only creep along at 35 miles per hour, plowing through occasional snowdrifts, to finally reach our destination. I don’t mind telling you, there was a lot of prayer going on in the cab of the truck on that journey.

We were the first to arrive at Camp Witness, a Bible camp where the conference was being held. As we dropped down into the narrow valley where the camp is situated, we beheld a beautiful scene. The storm had covered the road with a 6 inch layer of undisturbed snow. The boughs of the trees were straining under the heavy load of virgin white snow … we had entered a winter wonderland at the end of April!

The storm began to abate in the afternoon, and amazingly, almost all the camp staff, pastors and wives, ministry workers, vendors, and musical groups were able get to the camp in the late afternoon. The only individual who couldn’t make it was the main speaker for that evening’s program.

“Well, Johnson,” the camp director joked, “You were the first speaker to arrive, so you just volunteered yourself to stand in for the no-show speaker.” However, he wasn’t joking … I became plan ‘B’! We had to laugh. About a year and a half before, I had finished up teaching 3 weeks of youth Creation programs at this camp. There was a couple’s marriage conference to be held right after the youth programs were finished, so my wife and I decided to attend for a little R&R. The speaker for the marriage conference was also a last minute no-show because of an unexpected surgery, so because I was already at camp and available, I became plan ‘B’, and did the speaking!

Now don’t get me wrong … I am not complaining …Whether I am plan ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’, or whatever,  I love to have the opportunity to share God’s Creation every chance I get.  One thing I have learned over the years is to be prepared – “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:” I Peter 3:15

 

Lanny Johnson

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Petrified Forest National Park

 

Petrified Nationa Forest 1This year we added Petrified Forest National Park to the Jackson Hole Bible students’ itinerary for the annual geology field trip. Petrified Forest is located in eastern Arizona. The petrified logs, which are brightly colored, give the park its fame. Visitors certainly enjoy not only seeing the rainbow of colors found in the logs but also the large size of the trees and the vastness of the deposit.

Petrified Nationa Forest 2The colors are produced by the different elements present along with silica during the petrification process. Iron produces much of the red, brown and yellow colors, while carbon gives some of the black. Chromium, cobalt, and copper can each add blue and green hues. Manganese frequently gives pink, orange, black, and yellow tints.

The name Petrified Forest is a misnomer, as this area really is a petrified log jam. The trees are not only found in the 146 square miles which comprise the park, but are also abundant in a very broad region across Arizona. I have also found petrified trees, in the same geologic formation, extending into Utah and Colorado.

It would be so good if the 600,000 – 1 million people who visit there each year would be told how this vast formation, with all of its petrified logs, is a testimony to the Flood of Noah’s day. However, about all you hear is the millions of years of geologic history that is so prevalent in all the parks.

Petrified Nationa Forest 3The closest they might come was found in the following statement:

“Visualize stormy floodwaters carrying Triassic trees here to the floodplains, where over time, the trees would petrify.”

Yes, I can visualize that, but in way I can’t… as the floodwaters they are referring to would be a drop in the bucket compared to the immense floodwaters during Noah’s Flood. It is hard to imagine what it really was like during that time.

I have often thought I would like to see a video replay of the Flood when I get to Heaven, but am sure that it would be a heart wrenching experience to see the massive destruction and loss of lives, both of people and animals. Besides, I’m sure God will have much more pleasant things for me to see in Heaven than that.

 

Dave Nutting

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your partnership.

The Orchestrating Hand of God

 

California Seminar Tour 1We are just in the second week of our California seminar tour.  We recently finished teaching at our second church, Fellowship Bible Church, of Belmont, CA.  Our time there was very encouraging.  They had four different teaching sessions from Thursday to Sunday.  The session on Friday was especially well attended with the auditorium filled and rows of chairs placed in the entrance area for the overflow crowd.  Sue also had a large group of kids on Friday night to minister to in the children’s program.

We also enjoyed great Chinese food and fellowship as we dined with old and new friends.  What a blessing the Lord brings with the care and encouragement we receive from the Body of Christ!

California Seminar Tour 2During our California seminar trip, we have seen the hand of God working in many ways.  It is always a joy to see how He works to orchestrate our schedule.  Going into the trip, we had about five days that we had been unable to fill.  But by God’s grace, He brought three opportunities for Christian school teaching into those vacancies.  In addition to that, a church member graciously offered his vacant house for us to use for a couple days to rest and catch up on some work.  What an answer to prayer it has all been!

 

Rich Stepanek

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your partnership.

Faithful Friends

 

Faithful FriendsWe have watched God be faithful to supply our physical and spiritual needs as we have served Him spreading the Creation message for the past 20 years. When Lanny was first called to go into this ministry, his father asked him how he was going to support his family.  Lanny’s reply was, “I’m not … God is going to supply our needs.” As we stepped out in faith, God was faithful over the years to provide for us. God’s faithfulness was a huge witness to all our family (our girls included … oh yeah … and his wife!).

In chapter 17 of Exodus, Moses and the Israelite people also experienced God’s sustaining help. They were attacked by Amalek, a nomadic tribe. The unprovoked attack was from a well trained and experienced army. Moses told Joshua to choose men from the Israelites – this rag-tag group of untrained soldiers obediently followed Joshua into battle.

Moses, Aaron, and Hur went to the top of a hill over-looking the battle with the rod of God.  When he held up his hands, Israel prevailed, but when his hands became too heavy, then Amalek prevailed.  Aaron and Hur came along side to help support the hands of Moses. Victory was theirs!

Moses was determined to remain obedient to God, but he found it physically impossible.  With support from friends, Moses was able to complete the job God had given him to do.

God uses faithful friends to provide the support that we need at Alpha Omega to take the Creation message to the world. Thank you faithful supporters for standing by us and helping God supply or needs!!!

Giving almost always falls off in the summer and leaves us wondering if we will get a paycheck in the fall. Please pray with us that our supporters will stick with us though the summer months and give us victory over financial and physical fatigue.

 

Marilyn Johnson

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your partnership.

Elusive Transitional Forms

 

Geologic Time Chart

Geologic Time Chart

Has Science and the Scientific Method been misused? That was a question asked in my blog – Scientific laws and the Big Bang.  The following is another excerpt taken from “Truth and Science – Is Real Science At Risk?” an article by Dr. Arv Edgeworth*.  Ponder the questions he poses at the end and consider – are these viable questions that should be asked, and if they are being asked today or have been asked in the past?

 

The Fossil Record

Consider the following statement:

“Working with an incomplete fossil record is something like trying to put together a jigsaw puzzle with pieces missing.  But after the puzzle is together, even with missing pieces, you will probably still understand the overall picture.”

Glencoe Biology 2006, p. 400

 

How incomplete is it?  2/3 of Earth’s land surface has only 5 or fewer of the 12 geologic periods in place.  80-85% of Earth’s land surface does not have even 3 geologic periods appearing in “correct” consecutive order.

 

Stephen J. Gould admitted: “The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology, the evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of fossils.”

Stephen J. Gould, Natural History, Vol. 86, pgs 22, 30

 

He also admitted: “The absence of fossil evidence for intermediary stages between major transitions in organic design, indeed our inability, even in our imagination, to construct functional intermediates in many cases, has been a persistent and nagging problem for gradualistic accounts of evolution.”

Gould, S. J., in Evolution Now: A Century After Darwin, ed. John Maynard Smith, Macmillan, New York, p. 140, 1982

 

Niles Eldridge said: “Paleontologists ever since Darwin have been searching (largely in vain) for the sequences of insensibly graded series of fossils that would stand as examples of the sort of wholesale transformation of species that Darwin envisioned as the natural product of the evolutionary process.  Few saw any reason to demur- though it is a startling fact that, most species remain recognizably themselves, virtually unchanged throughout their occurrence in geological sediments of various ages.”

Eldredge, Niles, “Progress in Evolution?” New Scientist, vol. 110 (June 5, 1986), p. 55

 

Are these reasonable questions that should be asked?

1.  “Is the actual fossil evidence anything like the chart?”

2.  “What about the absence of transitional fossils?”

3.  “Are there any fossils clearly in transition?”

 

Is there another explanation that should be explored?

 

These are again good questions Dr. Arv Edgeworth has posed.

*www.truthandscience.net - website of Dr. Arv Edgeworth.

 

Lanny Johnson

 

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your partnership.

Fuzzy Dinosaurs

 

I received an Email from Terry Beh, who is the author of a new kid’s book on Dinosaurs which we sell at seminars. It is called T is for T.Rex - Some of Gods Most Amazing Creatures from A-Z. (Available from AOI for $20 includes shipping, just mention in the comments that you saw it here).

Terry Beh mentioned, in his email, that he has just recently visited the Witte Museum in San Antonio. Currently the museum is featuring a traveling exhibit on dinosaurs. Terry was certainly “impressed” with the amount of artwork, but also noted a definite lack of actual evidence for that artwork in the exhibits. It is evident that the main thrust of the exhibit is to convince all the kids who come to the displays that dinosaurs evolved into birds – despite the lack of solid evidence. Why the big push?  I think it is to help children connect with evolution at the youngest possible age. Since dinosaurs are always a huge attraction to kids, start them off with a bang by introducing them to the idea of evolution through dino’s evolving into birds.  Here is what Terry wrote:

Would you believe feathers on a T.rex? How about Velociraptor? I’m talking long, stringy, hair-like stuff that evolutionists are calling “protofeathers”–and that make some of these dinosaurs look like refugees from a nightmarish hippie convention. This is exactly what I found recently at a new dinosaur exhibit at the Witte (“witty”) Museum in San Antonio, where the latest in secular scientific propag…er, that is, education, is on display at an exhibit called, “Dinosaurs: Bigger, Better, Feathered…”. To read the whole story, read my article, “Museum’s Dinosaur Exhibit Not Too Witte,” at http://tisfortrex.com/?p=383.

Parents, make sure you understand the hype, and the rationale for that hype, so that you can guide your children correctly in truth!

 

Dave Nutting

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your partnership.

Using the Technology of the Gecko

 

 

Does the GripGo Phone Mount work?

A gecko is an amazing lizard that can stick to almost any surface, even when inverted on a mirrored ceiling. It is able to do this because of an amazing foot design.

The ribbed pads on the bottom of the gecko’s feet are covered with very tiny hair like bristles called setae. These setae (1/10th mm long) are packed tightly together (three million per square inch or 5,000 per square millimeter), and each seta has about 400 to 1,000 branches that resemble tiny (0.2-0.5 microns or less than 1/50,000 in. long) spatula-shaped prongs.

It appears that the sticking power of the setae is due to weak short-range bonds between molecules, known as Van der Waals forces. One of the requirements for these weak forces to work is a very large contact area between the foot and surface. The huge number of spatula on the foot provides the needed contact. Millions of weak forces add up to a very strong force.

Biologists and engineers tested the adhesive force of one seta and found it was strong enough to hold up an ant. A million setae could carry the weight of a small child!

The gecko must also be able to unstick his foot quickly as it walks – after all, what good is a sticky foot if you can’t move? By using a complicated blood reservoir system, see an article we wrote called The Grand Design of a Gecko, and uncurling and unpeeling of its toes, the gecko is able to walk or run along!

 

GripGo Technology

Today, scientists and engineers have been inspired by the ‘natural technology of gecko foot hairs’ and developed ‘remarkably effective adhesives’. Two robot ‘champion climbers’ have been developed with sticky feet that walk the way geckos do by using an uncurling and unpeeling action.

I recently bought, “as seen on TV,” the GripGo-Phone-Mount. It has a large suction cup that attaches to your windshield. On the end of a swivel mechanism, it has a green sticky adhesive pad to which you are able to stick a mobile phone, Ipod, or other smooth device.  To remove you ‘simply’ lift from one side and peel the device off. How is this possible? The manufacture claims that “The secret is a unique polymer surface that acts as millions of suction cups that instantly grip and release over and over again.” In other words – Gecko Technology.  And it works … if you keep the sticky surface clean! Amazingly, the gecko’s feet are self-cleaning. Scientists are still trying to find out how geckos do that.

Once again, whether they recognize it or not, many scientists and engineers are looking to God’s designs in nature for solutions to modern day problems.

 

Lanny Johnson

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your partnership.

Brrrrrrrr…

 

Brrrrrrrrr, it is certainly cold. Here I am heading back up the trail to the rim of the Grand Canyon. It certainly would be more pleasing to curl up with a good book in front of a nice warm fireplace, but that’s not happening today.

I am with a group of college students on a geology field trip. This is the only day we have for his hike, so forget the fireplace and the creature comforts, and pass me my warm coat and rain gear. We headed out… hoping for the best . As you can see from the picture, the best didn’t come and the hike and field trip events for the day were cut short.

When you do a trip like this, you just have to take the weather like it is. Anyhow, I’d better send this blog in today now that my fingers have thawed out enough to text on this iPhone.

Dave Nutting

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your partnership.

Scientific Laws and the Big Bang

 

Has Science and the Scientific Method been misused? The following is an excerpt taken from “Truth and Science – Is Real Science At Risk?” an article by Dr. Arv Edgeworth*.  Ponder the questions he poses at the end, and consider – are these viable questions that should be asked, and if they are being asked today or have been asked in the past?

The Origin of Space, Time, Matter, and Energy

The idea that space, time, matter, and energy have always existed has been pretty much rejected by the scientific community, because the Second Law of Thermodynamics  indicates matter and energy are deteriorating.  Matter and energy would have already reached maximum decay by now, so just about everyone no longer considers that idea a viable possibility.  Almost all scientists today believe the universe had a beginning.

Northern Illinois University – Department of Biological Sciences states it this way: “Starting from the beginning, as it is currently thought of:  the Universe came into being about 15 billion years ago, with the sudden appearance of all the matter and energy in the Universe as a single very hot and dense point: the Big Bang.  How this happened, and what came before, is a matter of complete speculation.  Our history began then, and we have no scientific evidence of anything before then.”

But what about the idea that at one time there was a state of absolute “nothingness”?  It is now determined that the universe had a beginning.  At one point there was no space, time, matter, or energy. 

Newton’s Law of Inertia

This law indicates that if something is in a state of rest, it will remain in that state, unless acted upon by an outside agent.  If something is in uniform motion in a straight line, it will remain in that state unless it is compelled to change that state by forces impressed upon it from without, such as gravity.

At one point there was supposed to be a state of perfect “nothingness,” or perfect “rest.”  According to the Law of Inertia, that should not change unless it is acted upon by an outside force, or agent, when supposedly none existed. 

The Law of Cause and Effect

The Law of Cause and Effect is one of the best documented principles of science and of everyday experience.  “Behind every effect is a cause, greater and more complex than the effect itself.”  The proposal of the Big Bang Theory indicates an effect only.  What is that “cause” that is greater and more complex than the effect itself?

Are these reasonable questions that should be asked?

1. “Scientifically, can you have an explosion without energy?”

2.  “If there was no matter, what exploded?”

3.  “According to the First Law of Thermodynamics , can something come from nothing?”

 

These are good questions Dr. Arv Edgeworth has posed. A question I would add – is the evolutionary cosmology of the Big Bang based on Science or on Faith?

Some suggested further reading on these Laws of Science can be found at:

 

*www.truthandscience.net

 

Lanny Johnson

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your partnership.

Why all the hype about finding water on Mars?

 

Why all the hype about finding water on Mars? Below are some quotes from articles about finding evidence of water on Mars.

 

“Mars once had conditions favorable for microbial life, NASA scientists announced”

“It shows veins of sediments that scientist believe were deposited under water and was an environment once hospitable to life.”

“We have found a habitable environment that is so benign, and supportive of life, that probably if this water was around and you had been on the planet, you would have been able to drink it,”

“The question about habitability goes just beyond the simple observation of water on Mars to recreating the environments in greater detail, with an understanding of the chemistry that was going on at that time, to ask if this is the kind of place that micro-organisms could’ve lived,”

“There is life virtually wherever there is liquid water on Earth, and the possibility that there were once oceans on Mars leads many to wonder if life ever evolved on Mars and, if so, whether it might be extant. Answering these questions might help shed light on how common life may or may not be in the rest of the universe.”

 

It seems to me these people are wanting to find water on Mars so they can speculate if life evolved there, since we know it cannot evolve here on earth.  Where there is water, there must be life… right?  Not necessarily.  Through decades of scientific research, scientists have developed the ‘Law of Biogenesis,’ which states that life can only come from pre-existing life.  People used to believe in the myth, or faith statement, of abiogenesis (spontaneous generation), but science has disproven this false idea.

So the only way life could be on Mars is either it was brought there from earth by our Mars rovers or space probes for example, somehow the material from earth made its way there, or God created it there.  I doubt the truth of the latter idea, because as I study Scripture, I do not see any indication of God making life anywhere else in the universe except here on earth.   But with the scientific knowledge provided by the ‘Law of Biogenesis,’ we know it could not have evolved there.

 

Rich Stepanek

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your partnership.