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The Trumpet Herald

Giving the trumpet a certain sound

February 2008

New Book Promoting Evolution


In 1984 and again in 1999, the National Academy of Sciences, the nation's most eminent scientific organization, produced books on the evidence supporting the theory of evolution and arguing against the introduction of creationism or other religious alternatives in public school science classes.

On Thursday, it produced a third. But this volume is unusual, people who worked on it say, because it is intended specifically for the lay public and because it devotes much of its space to explaining the differences between science and religion, and asserting that acceptance of evolution does not require abandoning belief in God. ...

The 70-page book, "Science, Evolution and Creationism," says, among other things, that "attempts to pit science and religion against each other create controversy where none needs to exist." And it offers statements from several eminent biologists and members of the clergy to support the view. ...

The book also denounces the arguments for a form of creationism called intelligent design, calling them devoid of evidence, "disproven" or "simply false." ("Evolution Book Sees No Science-Religion Gap," www.nytimes.com, Jan. 4, 2008)

In the comments from readers following the article, one respondent noted:

The only conflict between evolution and faith exists when individuals cling to outdated dogma or a literal interpretation of a faith described by humans as they understood their relationship to the divine thousands of years ago. (ibid.)

Inspired Commentary

Inspiration has addressed the issue:

Human knowledge of both material and spiritual things is partial and imperfect; therefore many are unable to harmonize their views of science with Scripture statements. Many accept mere theories and speculations as scientific facts, and they think that God's Word is to be tested by the teachings of "science falsely so called" (1 Timothy 6:20). The Creator and His works are beyond their comprehension; and because they cannot explain these by natural laws, Bible history is regarded as unreliable. Those who doubt the reliability of the records of the Old and New Testaments too often go a step further and doubt the existence of God and attribute infinite power to nature. Having let go their anchor, they are left to beat about upon the rocks of infidelity. (The Great Controversy, p. 522)

Weather Records Broken in 2007


Climate changes have captured the attention of the media and the public.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- When the calendar turned to 2007, the heat went on and the weather just got weirder. January was the warmest first month on record worldwide - 1.53 degrees above normal. It was the first time since record-keeping began in 1880 that the globe's average temperature has been so far above the norm for any month of the year.

And as 2007 drew to a close, it was also shaping up to be the hottest year on record in the Northern Hemisphere.

U.S. weather stations broke or tied 263 all-time high temperature records, according to an Associated Press analysis of U.S. weather data. England had the warmest April in 348 years of record-keeping there, shattering the record set in 1865 by more than 1.1 degrees Fahrenheit.

After giving several examples of unusual weather events and patterns, the article noted:

And yet none of those events worried scientists as much as what was going on in the Arctic in the summer. Sea ice melted not just to record levels, but far beyond the previous melt record. The Northwest Passage was the most navigable it had been in modern times. Russia planted a flag on the seabed under the North Pole, claiming sovereignty.

The ice sheets that cover a portion of Greenland retreated to an all-time low and permafrost in Alaska warmed to record levels.

Meteorologists have chronicled strange weather years for more than a decade, but nothing like 2007. ("2007 a Year of Weather Records in U.S.," Associated Press, Dec. 29, 2007)

Inspired commentary

Would God allow mankind to experience the consequences of rejection of Him and His ways?

The Spirit of God is gradually but surely being withdrawn from the earth. Plagues and judgments are already falling upon the despisers of the grace of God. The calamities by land and sea, the unsettled state of society, the alarms of war, are portentous. They forecast approaching events of the greatest magnitude. (Testimonies, vol. 9, p. 11)

World Food Stocks Dwindling


A shortage of food in large areas of the world is likely to have large repercussions.

ROME: In an "unforeseen and unprecedented" shift, the world food supply is dwindling rapidly and food prices are soaring to historic levels, the top food and agriculture official of the United Nations warned Monday.

The changes created "a very serious risk that fewer people will be able to get food," particularly in the developing world, said Jacques Diouf, head of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.

The agency's food price index rose by more than 40 percent this year, compared with 9 percent the year before - a rate that was already unacceptable, he said. New figures show that the total cost of foodstuffs imported by the neediest countries rose 25 percent, to $107 million, in the last year.

At the same time, reserves of cereals are severely depleted, FAO records show. World wheat stores declined 11 percent this year, to the lowest level since 1980. That corresponds to 12 weeks of the world's total consumption - much less than the average of 18 weeks consumption in storage during the period 2000-2005. There are only 8 weeks of corn left, down from 11 weeks in the earlier period. ...

Diouf blamed a confluence of recent supply and demand factors for the crisis, and he predicted that those factors were here to stay. On the supply side, these include the early effects of global warming, which has decreased crop yields in some crucial places, and a shift away from farming for human consumption toward crops for biofuels and cattle feed. Demand for grain is increasing with the world population, and more is diverted to feed cattle as the population of upwardly mobile meat-eaters grows. ("World food stocks dwindling rapidly, UN warns," International Herald Tribune, Dec. 17, 2007)

Inspired Commentary

The love of money, prestige, power, and indulgence becomes more evident with the advance of technology. A judgment will come, probably both sooner and later.

If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province, marvel not at the matter: for he that is higher than the highest regardeth; and there be higher than they.

Moreover the profit of the earth is for all: the king himself is served by the field. (Eccl. 5:8, 9)





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