Archive for 2013

Northern Lights in Minnesota

 

Northern Lights 3Between midnight and 1 AM Wednesday morning, Mary Jo & I were returning to Minneapolis from our university presentations at Duluth. God demonstrated his glory in a great display of northern lights. It was not just a single burst of light, but for many miles along the highway, the display illuminated 1/3 of the sky. The timing was great as this light show punctuated the conversation that we were having with the campus ministry leaders as we were driving. We all actually got out of the car for a while to view the display.

One of the remarkable discoveries about the northern light electromagnetic phenomenon is that if we could have a camera set up in the southern hemisphere we would get a mirror image picture of the same scene pictured here at precisely the same instant. This was demonstrated by researchers several years ago.

We felt privileged to behold this long-lasting northern light display during those many miles on the highway. It certainly fits what I wrote in an earlier blog titled Glorious. Several news channels reported on this display we saw. If you wish to see a great video of this spectacular event taken at another city just west of where we were, check out Northern lights put on show over Minnesota.

 

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.

God Most High

 

God Most High

I sat down today to write about having a high view of God.

“This should be easy,” I thought to myself. “After all, there is so much to say about how big, how awesome God is, it should be no big deal to write that down.”

I was wrong. It is a daunting task indeed to mentally plumb the depths and scale the heights of the greatness of God. I invite you to take a little trip with me as I trace my thoughts on this subject.

Let’s consider….

…The human body – full of complex intricacies and delicately balanced systems that centuries worth of scientists have not fully comprehended.

…Outer space – miles upon miles of vastness, galaxies of stars and our own solar system, all of which contain inexplicable features that inspire scientists and artists alike to marvel.

…The Oceans – murky depths and shallow wonders, teeming with life and color, mystery and intrigue.

…Underground caves – revealing another world’s worth of pattern and scenery, creatures and mineral growth.

…Animals – from insects to birds to crawling creatures, the wild assortment displays design.

…History – Approximately 6,000 years of time, filled with a mosaic of events that together make up His Story, the working of God through the lives of men.

Even with years of incredible scientific advancements, scientists still can’t comprehend the immense mysteries that remain. All of these things together merely scratch the surface as a representation of the created universe. “But,” you may ask, “What does this have to do with the bigness of God? You can’t use the physical world to discuss that – it’s got to be all spiritual.”

In fact, I believe that the investigation and marvel of the physical world is a vital part of the study and worship of God. Many people object to a God who asks us to believe in Him, though He is not seen. I can understand the argument, but it is actually unfounded.

Romans 1:20 says “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.”

Belief in God does require faith, but that does not mean that He has given us no proof! His power, nature and attributes have been on display since Day One…..literally.

So I ask you this: is your God big enough to be Savior and Creator? Or has the deception of evolution caused you to have a low view of God?

Little inconsistencies in our beliefs can often lead to hairline cracks in our faith. At first they may be invisible, but they can eventually result in a decaying foundation. If we do not believe God could have created the world and all it contains in 6 literal days as it says in Genesis 1, then do we really believe that Christ literally was crucified for our sins and was raised on the third day? (1 Corinthians 15:3-4) Can we toss out the first chapters of the Bible, and still keep the gospel?

Praise God, He is trustworthy and reliable, unchanging, all-knowing, and everlasting! He has shown us Himself through the wonders of His creation and the truth of His word. I invite you to look around, and consider and marvel with me…our God is truly God most high!

 

Aimee Mariani

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.

Population Estimates – A Major Problem for Evolution

 

hWhen Mary Jo and I were at Northern Illinois University giving Creation programs, a student asked how it was even possible that the 8 people who got off the ark could have reproduced enough offspring to account for the population during the short duration from the Flood to the Exodus, led by Moses, out of Egypt.

Actually there is no issue for Biblical timeframes, but instead, population studies pose a huge issue for evolutionary assumptions. Using the average worldwide figure for population increase (Birth rate – Death rate) during the decades following when I was born (1.8868%), the population at the time of the Exodus  (857 years after the Flood)  could have been in excess of 54 million. To get a feel of how rapidly population increases, think about the spread of civilization in just the first 400 years of our country to where it is now.

These numbers certainly show the plausibility of the Genesis account. However, if applied to evolutionary assumptions that modern man has been around for 40,000 years, the numbers obtained reveal serious problems for evolution. We would have too many people today! Suppose you have a population increase of a mere ½ of 1 percent (almost 1/4th of what I used above). The population today after the assumed 40,000 evolutionary years (starting with only 2 people) would be a whopping number:  8.9 x1086 . That number is more than can be jammed into the entire known universe! Even if we assume 15,000 years, we would still have 6 x 1032 people.

Further calculations using an unrealistically low growth rate of one tenth of 1 percent and the assumed timeframe of 40,000 years, still gives today’s population to be 4.6 x 1017. This means that we would have about 1000 people occupying each square foot of land surface on planet earth.

One might argue that plagues, wars, and catastrophes have limited the population. However, assuming only 1.5 percent rate of growth and a catastrophe which wipes out ½ of the total world’s population every 75 years, the population after only 15,000 years (starting with 2 people) would still be in excess of 1035. That means that each of those 1000 people standing on each square foot of Earth would have a stack of people standing on their shoulders that would reach far past Alpha Centauria, our next closest star (which is 25.6 trillion miles away).

Here is the point: Calculations of population numbers do not work to accommodate evolutionary time frames even when we consider unrealistically low population estimates and very high catastrophe rates.  However, time frames consistent with the Biblical record work out nicely to what we have now.

*For you mathematicians, the equation that I used is: PY = Po(1 +i/100)Y(1-d)Y/dy

Where PY =  population in year Y; Po = initial population, i = population increase; d = fraction of decimation; and dy is the periodic number of years wherein the population is decimated.

 

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.

 

WHAT’S THE EVIDENCE?

 

What's the evidence human evolution

Dave and Mary Jo Nutting (directors of AOI) taught me early on, when we joined this ministry, to recognize the pretty pictures, or what we call ARTWORK. We find these everywhere – school textbooks, media, scientific journals, and museums – and it is being shown and used as evidence for evolution. What we always teach in our seminars is ARTWORK is just someone’s personal idea of the evidence. Once we understand that, then we should ask, “What’s the Evidence?”  In other words, what was found to get that ARTWORK?  “What’s the evidence?” is a good sword to wield against the lies of evolution.

Below is a short article that Pastor Jerry wrote about our talks in his “Running the Race” commentary in the NSCF bulletin for 9/22/13:

One of satan’s favorite tactics is intimidation. He does so in order to restrict our joy and take away our witness. His constant barrage of accusations (see Rev. 12:10) is meant to divert our attention from the greatness of God to our own failure, shame and littleness. I was thinking about this last week while listening to Lanny Johnson [of Alpha Omega Institute] address about 50 upper level Christian School students.

As he exposed the lies of evolutionary teaching regarding the origin of man and the age of the earth, he challenged the young people to ask the other side, “What is the evidence?” In other words, don’t let them intimidate you!

Evolution is an empty lie, refuted by the truths declared to us in God’s Word. We don’t have to be ashamed or embarrassed for believing it. If the enemy accuses us of being simple minded or close, that describes us perfectly! Our attention will not be diverted from the greatness of our God by the little minds that deliver lies and not evidence. “What is the evidence?”  It is the evidence of God’s Word, which as Josh McDowell put it in ‘Evidence That Demands a Verdict’.

 

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.

3-D Brain

 

Brain 3DMy first recollection of 3-D technology was as a kid going to the 3-D movies, where we were handed a pair of cheap, cardboard colored glasses, with one red lens made of a flimsy plastic material, and the other lens of blue plastic. It wasn’t very exciting, but with a little imagination you thought you were seeing in three-dimensions. I understand the 3-D movies today are a vast improvement over the movies of old.

Today we know that brain cells communicate with each other through connections which reach out in three dimensions. The speed at which cells communicate with each other has been shown to be very rapid, even while we sleep.

Until recently, the “thinking” parts of a computer have only been able to communicate using two dimensional flat chips. Scientists felt computers could be greatly enhanced if they could develop a three-dimensional computer chip that mimicked the wiring of the brain.

The first 3-D chip arrangement was in cell phones, however these are just individual flat chips stacked on top of each other. Researchers have recently developed true three-dimensional chips (called TSVs). These TSVs are more efficient than flat chips – they pack more “thinking” power into a smaller space, work faster, and use less power. Chip manufacturers are working on methods to mass produce TSVs.

Scientists understand that mimicking the 3-D wiring of the brain greatly improves computer technology (at least in the area of calculation), but they also understand that they are nowhere close to mimicking the total power of the brain… a brain that points to the creative genius of a Creator!

 

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.

What Are You Looking At?

 

It’s incredibly easy to get off track from where we need to be. I am a task-oriented person, delighted when I am crossing things off my “to-do” list. But how do we know what really needs to get done? What if we doubt and question where we are, what we’re doing, and where we’re going? And what if that “to-do” list becomes the end-all? If the number of tasks crossed off becomes a gauge for the value of what we are doing?

What is the ultimate goal? Where should our sights be set? The answer is startlingly simple and beautifully complex:

The Gospel.

If Christ is not in the center of our vision, we can easily swerve from our course.

“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” (Hebrews 12:1-3)

A dear, wise friend recently reminded us to, in our focus on creation teaching, not to lose sight of the Gospel because ultimately it is the Gospel that brings salvation.

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” (Romans 1:16)

If we focus so intently on the goal of teaching creation that we forget why it matters – how it supports and points to the Gospel of Christ – we will miss the point. After all, it isn’t facts that change people, it is the work of Christ through the Holy Spirit that saves them. So whatever we’re doing, let’s run well, studying, thinking, working, teaching, learning, growing… not merely for the sake of doing, or crossing items off a list, or getting the job done.

Let us live with the truth of the gospel of Christ at the center.

 

Aimee Mariani

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.

 

 

 

“Biblical Rains” Flooding in Colorado

 

The flooding in eastern Colorado these last few days certainly has been a devastating event as you likely saw on the news for days and days.

Picture of "Biblical Rains" in a newspaper

The amount of rain there was close to 18-20 inches. That is a whole lot considering that it was somewhere close to the annual precipitation amount and over twice what our hometown in Grand Junction gets in a year!

A lot of rain, but I was amused by the headline in USA Today: “‘Biblical’ Rains Flood Colorado.”

Well, if you have read Genesis 6-8, you will note that the Biblical rains were a WHOLE lot more! In fact, according to the Bible, the Flood-waters covered the tops of the tallest peaks to a depth of at least 22-30 feet. Just think, if the top of Long’s Peak in Colorado was covered with water, along with the rest of the high mountains, there would have been no news stations on earth to report this Flood. All stations would be under huge depths of Flood waters.

Some people have expressed concern about our safety. Thanks for praying for us! Just so you know, AOI is located in Western Colorado. We did get more rain than usual which was a welcome site in this desert area, but not much flooding except for some local creeks.

However, please continue to pray about the Eastern range of Colorado. Also, if you hear about our Grand Junction area of Colorado getting 15-20 inches of rain, or even 5 inches at a time, you can really pray, as most of Grand Junction would likely float down to the ocean.

 

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.

Do Scientists Cheat?

 

Here is an interesting documentary from a popular secular source, NOVA. Remember to be skeptical and do your research to study and evaluate the claims that you hear, be a Berean.

Do Scientists Cheat?

By NOVA in 1988

 

questionsThings to think about:

-Science works on an assumption that scientists are being truthful and their data is true.

-What percentage is acceptable in dealing with how many scientists cheat?

-Is 1% acceptable? .1%? What is the possible true percentage?

-Piltdown Man example

-“People believed in it, because they wanted to believe.”

-It was not until the 1950’s that it was disproven.

-This deceived almost a whole generation.

-“Sometimes cultural bias overwhelms scientific objectivity.”

-Organized skepticism is important.

-Burt’s faked psychology testing.

-Breuning’s work on medicine and the behavior of “mentally retarded” people.

-Sometimes the results are very clear and most often data can be interpreted in many ways.

-You should do further research and more experiments, but you might not want to take that extra time, effort and MONEY.

-“It doesn’t take much to cook the data.”

-You have to rely on the ‘Truthfulness’ of the data that is recorded.

-Fraudulent or sloppy work can still be published through any publisher.

-With over 1 million papers being written each year, most are not read or important.

-repeating studies is not worth it and if you do repeat a study, and the results are different, there are too many variables usually to disprove the previous papers.

-Scientists are not surprised with the idea that fraud is happening.

-90% of the scientists that have ever lived were alive in that time.

-You can’t get ahead, get tenure, or advance if you are unsure of the results of your experiment…so scientists have learned to make their results worth something – often even if their data isn’t conclusive.

-The environment of the scientific community lends itself to making more out of your data than it really says.

-Even young students lied about their results.

-Scientists have signed their names on as many papers as possible so that they can be more advanced.

-Robert Slutsky had many fraudulent and questionable papers.

-Standard deviations (errors) are often made smaller so that the results look better.

-We don’t assume that someone we know is being fraudulent, especially if they are of higher rank than you or if they are well respected.

-Whistle-blowing can be dangerous for your own reputation.

-“We cannot have cheating and fraud in Medical research!”

-This should be ethically required, legally required, and morally required.

 

Other resources for this topic:

http://creation.com/science-fraud-epidemic

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_misconduct (use discretion in believing Wikipedia…and all of these sources)

http://www.naturalnews.com/041592_scientific_fraud_research_papers_junk_science.html

http://www.nytimes.com/1991/04/09/opinion/l-in-commercialized-science-era-fraud-thrives-018791.html

http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2013-05/half-cancer-scientists-have-been-unable-reproduce-studies-survey-finds

 

Brian Mariani

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.

An Unexpected Surprise

 

I had an unexpected surprise not too long ago.  A man on a motorcycle appeared in our yard one afternoon, and I was puzzled about who he was and what he wanted.  As I was pondering, I came to the conclusion he was a friend from Nebraska… but what was he doing here?   He lived over 500 miles away!  As we exchanged greetings, he let me know that he took the risk of driving to Grand Junction so he could learn more about creation and Genesis.  We had a wonderful two days of fellowship and discipleship.  I used some of my PowerPoint creation topics to teach, as well as a leisurely drive through the Colorado National Monument to explain the evidence of the world-wide flood of Noah’s day.

He commented the following about the scientific evidence we had discussed, “Taking me up on Glade Park (Colorado National Monument) and teaching me new things, has made God more awesome to me than ever. His power makes me shudder.”  Information on Genesis, creation, and the Flood does change people’s lives.

As I reflected on the time I spent with my friend, I realized it is just as important to teach one person as it is to teach a huge group.  Normally I like to teach to a large audience, because I feel like I can reach more people that way, but that may not always be the case.

Take for example Philip, in Acts chapter eight, who travels to the city of Samaria because of the persecution in Jerusalem.  In Samaria, he preached Christ to them and many were saved.  Next, the angel of the Lord sends Philip to a road which leads from Jerusalem to Gaza.  This is over fifty miles from the city of Samaria. This is a long way when traveling by foot.   God sends him there for the instruction of just one man about the LORD.  This man is the Ethiopian eunuch.  The eunuch believes the words of God and is then baptized.  Is preaching and discipling just one man important!  Yes, it is!  He had an influence on his own country.

Unexpected SurpriseNow we come to the Labor Day weekend. The Johnsons, Sue, and I had the opportunity to minister at a Bible conference center located just north of Colorado Springs, CO.    We ministered to, none other than, an Ethiopian church.  Almost all of the adults had emigrated to the U.S. from Ethiopia, and some of them could not even speak English.  As I was teaching, I wondered if Philip had an effect on these people through the instructing of just one man, the Ethiopian eunuch.

I did not travel to Nebraska to instruct my friend about creation and Genesis, but I believe he was led by the Lord to travel over 500 miles to come and see me.  I wonder what effect he will have on the people in his area, including friends and family, with his increased knowledge of Scripture.  God loves all people and He wants them to come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

 

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.

The History of the World in 2 Hours – Questions to Consider

 

Here is a very interesting documentary (The History of The World in Two Hours) about the naturalistic view of how life has become the way it is today. Even if this is not what you believe, it is interesting and educational to be able to see their perspective in a full overview. Keep thinking as you watch. They will often say things as a matter of fact, because they believe that these various opinions have been validated. So be skeptical and question and research the basis for what you hear.

Note: Be open and respectful. Notice that you will clearly hear their worldview and take note of the assumptions that they make.

Ask: Is there evidence for this? How do they know? How does this fit with the Bible and how is it contrary?

Notice that they don’t believe in the worldwide flood and so the rock layers have formed slowly over time.

 

History-of-the-Universe13.7 Billion years ago

-“For reasons, we may never know…our universe suddenly erupts…”

-What was before the big bang?

-Why did the big bang happen?

-Why wasn’t the big bang uniform in its explosion?

-How did the big bang create the energy?

-How fast was energy moving at the early stage of the big bang?

-First atoms – 380,000 years after

-How did the energy become hydrogen?

-“Where there is stuff, more stuff can develop…where there isn’t, more…”

-How are stars formed?

-How can gravity overcome temperature and diffusion forces of gasses?

-How does clumping of gas (stars) happen?

-Heavier elements are formed in stars.

-When was the first supernova? (why so soon?)

-Is there observation of heavy elements created in a supernova?

-How do we still have so much Radioactive material on the Earth?

-How did the sun get all of that mass/matter?

-How did the planets form?

-Why are some planets solid rock and why are some gas planets?

-GRAVITY IS NOT THAT STRONG!

 

4.5 Billion years ago

-How did the Earth and moon stabilize after such a destructive collision?

-How was the moon able to tilt the earth due to the collision – shouldn’t we see after effects of unstable or elliptical rotation?

-How far away from the Earth was the moon at 3.8 billion years ago when oceans formed…what were the tides like?

 

3.8 billion years ago

-That was a huge jump between chemical compounds and a strand of DNA. How did it do that?

-How simple was the first cell?   (How did that gain more DNA –genetic material, and become more complex…we see no evidence of that today?)

 

2.5 billion years ago

-Do we see evidence today of rusted iron (iron oxide) from the first oceans?

-How do we go from prokaryotic to eukaryotic cells?

-How do organisms become multi-celled?

 

550 million years ago

-Why was the Cambrian explosion so fast?

-Where is the evidence for the transition between Precambrian animals and Cambrian animals?

-Where is the evidence for the transition between Cambrian to modern day organisms?

-Why did the amphibian evolve from a fish? (or how?)

-What is the evolution of bugs?

-How did the egg go from jelly-like to shell-like?

 

300 million years ago

-Coal is created for us…how?

 

250 million years ago

-Permian Extinction – more than 70% of all organisms went extinct due to volcanic destruction

-Now the continents divide from one continent – what was Pangaea (or continents) like before this time?

 

65 million years ago

-Where was this meteorite? What is the evidence? Because this meteorite strike was so big, would this ruin all attempts of dating rock, since that meteorite might spread all over the world?

-Why are the sea shells able to pile up at the bottom of oceans?

 

10 million years ago

-Mountains disrupt weather patterns and cause the beginning of the ice age.

-Why is grass just now (simultaneously?) taking over? What is the mechanism for more grasslands?

 

2.6 million years ago

-How do we know when this advancement of rock chipping and tools happened?

-“Earth is unique in its ability to sustain fire”

-“Our ancestors had fire firmly under control around 800,000 years ago.

-How is cooked meat linked to brain capacity?

 

200,000 years ago

-When did we begin to think and become conscious as compared to animals? How did this evolve?

-“Dispersal is extinction insurance.”

-50,000 years ago glaciers descended from the poles over the continents.

-What caused the ice age?

-How did we get symbolic thought?

-Is there evidence of human remains and building around the coasts as the ocean levels were lower? (ruins now underwater?)

-The emergence of rivers (and therefore river valleys) becomes influential in the settling of humans.

-How did it take us this long to plant seeds?

 

2,600 years before us

-Why is religion just now happening?

-Was monotheism before or after polytheism?

-The Bible explains that Adam and Eve knew God.

 

2,000 years before us

-Why is disease getting worse?

-Note: No mention of the name of Jesus Christ or explanation about him…simply about Constantine converting and then Christianity spreading around the west.

 

500 years before us

-How much did ancient people use boats in the past?

-If they did, how was that technology and knowledge lost?

-Notice the humanistic (almost worship of man) happy ending.

 

Brian Mariani

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.