All posts in Stepaneks from the Front

A Thought on the Recent Quasar Cluster Discovery

 

Credit: ESO, Digitized Sky Survey 2 and S. Cantalupo (UCSC)

Astronomy is a fascinating field of science, as are other branches of science.  New discoveries are being made which challenge old theories and develop new ones.  We have seen this trend through history, for example, the once believed Law of Abiogenesis where scientists believed dead material would evolve into life.  This idea was held to be true for many centuries, that is until scientists like Louis Pasteur and others debunked this theory and through scientific research formulated the Law of Biogenesis.  This law states that life can only come from pre-existing life.

A new discovery in astronomy may have a similar effect.  The largest object in the universe, a large group of quasars, has been found by astronomers.  This large group of quasars is called the Large Quasar Group and it is four times larger than it should be.

Below are some quotes from the article.

“It is so massive that it might prove tricky for the Cosmological Principle, established by Einstein, that on very large scales the universe looks the same no matter where you observe it from.”

“Even travelling at the speed of light, it would take 4 billion years to cross. This is significant not just because of its size but also because it challenges the Cosmological Principle, which has been widely accepted since Einstein. Our team has been looking at similar cases which add further weight to this challenge and we will be continuing to investigate these fascinating phenomena.”

We must be careful in placing our trust in the wisdom of man, because as we discover new information, the old ideas and theories are many times revealed to be false.

 

Rich Stepanek

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One man’s junk is another man’s treasure!

 

Junk DNA, vestigial DNA, and leftover DNA from our animal ancestors are evidence for evolution… right?  On the contrary!  God doesn’t make junk!  Everything has a function, even though it has been corrupted by Adam’s fall.

Continued research on Junk DNA reveals the complexity of our bodies.  Our bodies are composed of about 100,000 different proteins, but there are only about 20,000 protein-coding gene regions.  How can this be? This is where the Junk DNA comes in.  Both exons (protein coding DNA) and introns (non-coding DNA) work together to make the extra transcripts needed to code all the body’s additional proteins, by splicing and sometimes reassembling RNA.

A quote from the article: “Wang further observes that splicing ‘is a tightly regulated process, and a great number of human diseases are caused by the ‘misregulation’ of splicing in which the gene was not cut and pasted correctly.’ This implies that important protein products are produced by splicing, meaning that the splicing code plays an important functional role in cells.”

No random chance and accident in your genetics!  Everything is designed and planned, but it has been corrupted and this corruption sometimes causes disease and death.  Sounds like I have heard this before.  We had a perfect creation and then came corruption.

 

Rich Stepanek

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Water, Water Everywhere!

 

Water, water everywhere!  New discovery - 100 times more water on the moon than originally thought.  Ice discovered on Mercury.  Comets are made up of water and dirt, and they have layers like an onion… could these layers be sedimentary layers?  Scientists find evidence of a huge deluge on Mars.  Water shooting out of a star! Wow!

And where did all the water on the earth come from when the earth started out as a molten blob of rock?  Some say from comets, but I think the evidence tells us otherwise.

I find all this information interesting in the light of Genesis.  What does Genesis have to do with water?   As I study Genesis chapter one, it seems God made everything out of water.  The earth in Genesis 1:1, 2 was without form and so I do not think God is talking about the earth we inhabit today, because the earth we live on currently has form.  Also in Genesis 1:2, God mentions water and then out of this water He makes the earth we inhabit… along with the stars, planets, moons, etc.  So it is no surprise that scientists find water, water, everywhere!

 

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.

Star of Bethlehem

 

With the Christmas season here,  one mystery in the account of the birth of Christ is the star of Bethlehem.  This question is asked quite frequently when I teach on astronomy,  “So what did the wise men see?”  What kind of object was it?  Some say it was a special star similar to our sun, which was made by God; other ideas are planets, comets, or some other heavenly body.  As we study the motions of the stars, planets, etc., they rise on the eastern horizon and set in the west due to the earth’s rotation.  Well let’s see what the Bible says about this star and its movements.

As I study the star of Bethlehem, I start with using information that I have gleaned from Scripture.  The star appears on the night of Christ’s birth, then disappears for two years and then reappears as the wise men leave Jerusalem on their way to Bethlehem.   Bethlehem is south of Jerusalem, so the star moved south and then stopped and stood over a house, nobody else seems to have seen the star; so what did they see?

Well I believe there is more information we can conclude about this star.  The star had to be bright enough to be seen at night, but not too bright to change the night into day.  If the wise men traveled to Bethlehem during the day, the star had to be light enough to be seen by daylight.  The star had to be small and close enough to the earth to be noticeably standing over just one house.  The star had to be cool so it did not burn up the house. Objects in our solar system are the closest heavenly bodies to the earth, but they do not meet any of those criteria!  So what was it?  To learn more about the star you can visit our website and read an article on my perspective.

 

Rich Stepanek

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Scientists are again inspired by nature for new artificial lens

 

In an attempt to construct a better lens, scientists have turned to the complex systems in nature.  By studying the human eye and the way it is designed, they believe they have designed a lens better than the intraocular lenses manufactured today.  The goal is to produce a more natural and superior lens to be used in damaged or diseased human eye lenses, consumer vision products, and surveillance equipment.

With all the studying, technology, and intelligence of man, nature still produces a superior eye compared to what man can create today.  But the superior human eye is not really designed, according to some evolutionists, it is only an illusion!  What I find amazing is something that they say has no intelligence can develop a super complex system better then what man can make with all of his intelligence, research, resources, and computers to boot.  This doesn’t say much for mankind.

Is there a more logical explanation?  A Designer superior to mankind with greater intelligence, power, technology, etc., and we are just pirating His technology.  I believe this superior Designer should receive royalties or at least get the glory!

Source Material: Artificial Lens Mimics Natural Human Eye

Richard Stepanek

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Repairing in Mexico

 

Moving the Farmers family from Guadalajara, Mexico to Tepic, Mexico went well.  The three hour drive through the mountains was beautiful.  We arrived in Tepic Thursday afternoon (Nov. 29) to a house which was much larger than the one they had in Guadalajara.  This is a blessing for a family with three active boys!  But the house was in need of some work, the repairs included electrical, plumbing, woodwork, etc.

Finding parts to fix a water heater, water valves, and the electrical was a real challenge.   We were in a new city, so finding hardware stores with the parts we needed was difficult.  It was not uncommon to drive for half a day and not find any of the parts we needed.   Many times we had to modify parts to fit the equipment we were trying to repair.  With prayer and ingenuity, we were able to complete all the tasks.

On Sunday, I had the opportunity to teach at Vida Eterna, a church in Tepic.  Many of the people attending were encouraged by the creation message.  The interest to know more about creation was overwhelming, so the plan is to return to Tepic in the future to do more teaching.  The house was not the only thing in need of repair and strengthening, but also the support for creation.  Sue, Joel, and I had a wonderful time with family and getting to know our brothers and sisters in Christ in Mexico.

 

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.

With a little help …

 

Sue, Joel, and I left Colorado on Sunday Nov. 25 to fly to Mexico.  We spent the first few days helping our daughter, Kim, and her husband Jasson pack up their family and house in Guadalajara, Mexico.  We have been primarily helping take care of their three young boys, as well as giving their house a fresh coat of paint.

Thursday we traveled to Tepic, about 3 hours away, unloaded the cargo, and helped them get settled in their new home.  Two other UIM pilots were also there to help.  It is a big job since there are multiple stairways and tight spots to navigate to get the furniture from the house to the trailer.  But it has all gone well so far.  It has been a blessing for us to be able to be here to take part in this project.  In the evenings I have been teaching on various creation topics.  The trip has been mixed with work, babysitting, teaching, and a whole lot of family.  It has been a blessing in so many ways.

 

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.

 

A Misconception of who God is

 

As I was watching the debate between Richard Dawkins and Britain’s Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Richard Dawkins began talking about the God of the Bible.  As I listened to his description of God, it was clear that he was not talking about the God the Bible proclaims.  How could he have such a distorted concept of who God is?

I believe it starts with the presupposition of whether you believe in creation or evolution.  If you believe in evolution, millions or billions of years, etc. your view of Genesis changes.  My conclusion that Richard Dawkins does not believe in creation or Genesis to be literally true is easy to deduce (you don’t have to listen to the debate very long), and this will affect your view of who God is.

To begin understanding who God is, you need to start in the beginning of creation with Genesis 1:1.  I believe Genesis 1:1 begins the foundational teaching of God’s attributes, so in my mind it is crucial to understand Genesis in the way God meant it to be read and understood.   Genesis is written as true history, to be taken literally.

Not only have I discovered that people who do not attend church have a misconception of who God is, but I have also discovered the same problem within the church.  Sue (my wife) and I not only travel teaching creation, but we also help hurting people.  Much of the emotional and spiritual hurt comes from the misunderstanding of God’s character.  As Sue and I reveal the true God proclaimed in Genesis, most people gain a sense of peace and relief.  I am a firm believer of building a firm foundation of Scripture – and this foundation starts in Genesis.

 

Richard 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.

 

Evolutionary change in my teaching

 

There is an evolutionary change in my teaching style over the last two years.  I still present my normal creation science topics for seminars at churches, home school groups, Christian schools, public schools, colleges, etc., but there has been a shift in my teaching for home Bible studies.   The disadvantage of teaching at home Bible studies is it limits the number of people who can attend.  The advantage is the more intimate teaching style.   With fewer people and of course a more homier atmosphere, people seem to feel more comfortable about asking questions.

I normally teach my Genesis series in these settings, because of the questions it provokes.  I have discovered as Christians understand the creation science message they have a deeper hunger to understand Genesis.  There seems to be some confusion about the first few chapters of Genesis, and this is what stirs up the questions.

Just last weekend, I presented a Genesis series at a home Bible study in Denver, CO.  Over thirty people attended, with many being children.  On Saturday night we started at 4 p.m. and ended about 11 p.m.   That evening we covered parts of Genesis chapter one and three.  Then on Sunday afternoon, the teachings started around 4 pm, and ended around 10 pm.  We had a number of breaks during the session.  The breaks consisted mostly of questions and some eating.  In the four or five hours of teaching, we were only able to cover Genesis chapter one.  What surprised me was the involvement and participation of the children.

This study is very in-depth, but the children understood the concepts very well.  I believe it is because they haven’t had the years of exposure that adults have had to humanistic teachings.  Many times I did not have to answer the questions, because the children answered them instead.  Jesus said in Matthew 18:3, “Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”  I have discovered this statement to be so true.  Children have no problem understanding the literal reading of Genesis and its Biblical concepts.  Out of the mouth of babes!

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.

Junk DNA ‘Junked’ – No Surprise To Me

 

As scientists study living organisms, they continue to find increasing complexity.  This is what scientists discovered when they studied the human genome in the project called ENCODE, short for Encyclopedia of DNA Elements.  As I was reading an article on the ENCODE project by Malcolm Ritter (an AP Science Writer) at denverpost.com and other articles similar to it, I was amazed at what your worldview or presuppositions will do to how you look at life.  Let me explain.

The article talked about junk DNA, but what is junk DNA?  Well, according to research, only about 2 percent of our genome actually codes for proteins.  Thus, according to evolutionary scientists, the DNA which does not code for proteins was called junk.  This junk DNA was believed to be nonfunctional, and leftovers from the process of evolution. This belief about junk DNA is very similar to evolutionary teaching about vestigial organs.

As scientists studied the human genome they were surprised.  Below are some quotes from the article.

“The work also shows that at least 80 percent of the human genetic code, or genome, is active. That’s surprisingly high and a sharp contrast to the idea that the vast majority of our DNA is junk.”

“The big surprise is just how much activity there is,” he said. “It’s a jungle.”

“The findings, reported Wednesday by more than 500 scientists, reveal extraordinarily complex networks that tell our genes what to do and when, with millions of on-off switches.”

Not only were they surprised to find most of the genome is active, they were also amazed at the complexity.

This is where our worldview affects how we view life.  Using my life as an example, I was taught evolution in school and college.  I had no concept of creation science.  I was taught life evolved from simple elements and a process that involved no intelligence.  With this worldview, or presupposition, life should be very simple and primitive, with a lot of leftovers from an imprecise process.   But over millions of years, life would ever evolve into more complex creatures.  So with the discovery of vast complexity and information in living organisms, it was a surprise.

Today I have a different worldview or presupposition.  I have a Biblical creationist worldview.  According to Scripture, God is a being who is omniscient and omnipotent.  This means He is all knowing, all powerful, and I would assume a very intricate designer.  In Romans 1:20, His creation, especially in living organisms,  reflects some of His attributes.  With this presupposition, all living organisms should be very complex and full of information.  God is a perfect being, so in the beginning all organs and DNA were perfect and had a function.  But sin entered the world and now this perfect world is in a state of ageing and deterioration.  In this state of deterioration, some organs and DNA may not function as they were originally designed.

So when I read articles like ENCODE, I am not surprised the evidence fits with my world view.  I believe we will discover even more complexity and information in living organisms.  What is so exciting is that God, being the Master Engineer and Designer, has incorporated advance technology and design into His creation.  We need to study and research His creation so we can advance our knowledge and technology for the betterment of mankind.

With a Biblical creation worldview, it should inspire all of us to advance our scientific knowledge of God’s creation.  We can learn much from an all knowing God!  And by the way, God does not make junk!  You are His special creation!

 

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.