All posts filed under: Studies

Ten Commandment outside the Texas State Capital in Austin. Credit: Office of the Attorney General of Texas/Wikipedia

British Survey: Majority believe only six of 10 commandments still important today

A YouGov poll of people living in England released this past October discovered the majority felt only six of the 10 commandments delivered by Moses on Mount Sinai (Exodus 20) are relevant today. Commandments such as ‘though shall not murder’ and ‘thou shall not steal’ still did well with both receiving 94% and 93% support respectively. Note the survey properly referred to the sixth commandment as forbidding murder, not killing that was sometimes justified in cases of self-defense. It is difficult to understand why there wasn’t 100% support for the two. However, it can possibly be explained by the growing extreme left-wing beliefs particularly on university campuses where some feel there is justification in certain instances for murder and stealing. Perhaps in a less extreme agreement with this later sentiment only 61% believed “thou shalt not covet” was relevant today.  This meant nearly 40% of those surveyed felt it was alright to covet a neighbor’s goods. At times, our hearts can justify theft because its unfair that some have wealth and others don’t. There were …

Jews for Jesus office in Kentish Town, London, England Credit: Jim Linwood/Wikipedia

Poll: Jewish Millennials express an unusual interest in Christ

A survey of American Jewish Millennials, those born between 1984 and 1999, revealed a surprising acceptance of Jesus. The poll of 599 Jews aged 18 to 33, found that 48% of them celebrated Christmas, 33% said that God desires a personal relationship with people and 28% looked upon Jesus as a spiritual leader. However, what was perhaps most shocking is that 21% of them said Jesus was God incarnate. Essentially, over one in five believed Jesus is the Jewish Messiah. The poll conducted by Barna Group on behalf of Jews for Jesus further discovered that Jewish Millennials have a higher interest in spiritual matters than previous generations of Jews. Jews for Jesus is a Christian organization made up of Jews who have accepted Christ as the Messiah. Many Jewish scholars were completely caught off guard by this poll that Barna titled: Jewish Millennials: The Beliefs and Behaviors Shaping Young Jews in America. Stanford University Jewish Professor Ari Kelman said as part of the report: “These don’t look like the Jews I recognize. I was not …

Considered to be the location of the Garden Gethsemane located at the foot of Mount Olives in Jerusalem where Jesus sweated blood Credit: tango7174/Wikipedia

Italian woman sweats blood confirming Luke 22:44

The Canadian Medical Association Journal recently published an article on the case of a 21-year-old Italian woman who has been bleeding blood from her face and hands. Italian doctors reported that over the past three years the woman has gone through episodes were she spontaneously bled blood without any breakage in the skin. According to their report the episodes would last up to five minutes. Though they occurred at any time from sleep to periods of exercise, doctors noted the bleeding intensified when she was under emotional stress. Embarrassed by her condition, the young woman was becoming a loner refusing to leave her home. After ruling out chromhidrosis, a condition that causes discolored sweat, doctors diagnosed the young woman with a rare condition called hematohidrosis – ‘blood sweat’, when people actually sweat blood. Some believe it’s caused by rupturing capillaries near the sweat glands. This can happen during times of extreme fear or stress. An Indian health journal reported ‘blood sweat’ in cases of people about to be executed and even cited an incident that …

Painting by Peter Fendi (1796-1842) Credit: Web Gallery of Art: Wikipedia

Healing the brokenhearted

According to an article in the Daily Mail, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh have concluded that three traumatic events have the potential to cause heart disease in postmenopausal women. The group led by Dr. Rebecca Thurston presented their findings to the 2017 North American Menopause Society annual meeting held in Philadelphia Oct 11-14. In their study, Thurston and her group were trying to determine if psychological factors had an impact on a woman’s heart. They conducted an indepth survey with 272 women asking the typical questions such as their exercise, smoking and eating habits. But they then went further and asked the women how many traumatic events they had in their lives. This included a wide-range of things such as the the death of a child or spouse, physical assault and experiencing some type of natural disaster. Based on this survey, they concluded that if women experienced just three traumatic events it had the potential to cause heart disease. It showed that these events negatively affected the inner lining of a woman’s blood vessels …

Photo from South Dakota 1936 during the drought that hit North America during the 1930s. Credit: United Stated Department of Agriculture/Wikipedia

A different kind of famine?

With the Canadian government planning to legalize recreational marijuana effective July 1, 2018, Bill C-45 that is working its way through parliament includes a provision that could have disturbing ramifications for young people. Though the bill sets a minimum age of 18 for a person to legally buy marijuana, the curious provision allows young people between the ages of 12 to 18, to possess under five grams of marijuana without being criminally charged. This is the equivalent of a 12-year-old walking the streets with shot of whiskey in his or her pocket without any consequences. The biggest problem is the message the government is sending young teens through such a provision. It leaves the impression that marijuana is a safe drug, which is the mantra activists use to push governments to legalize Cannabis in the first place. There have been many voices responding to the Canadian government’s decision to legalize including the prestigious Canadian Medical Association Journal that condemned the decision in a recent editorial. As governments around the world legalize recreational marijuana, concerned medical researchers are releasing a staggering …

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Study reveals a major reason for child poverty: Divorce

An article in the National Post came to the stunning conclusion that one of the big reasons for child poverty in Canada is not capitalism run amuck or the one percent hording all the money, the real reason is divorce. In his article Surprise! Child poverty in Canada comes from divorce, not capitalism, William Watson dived into the finances of Canadian families provided by Statistics Canada, a government-run organization. According to the Statistics Canada, there are 1.2 million kids living in poverty. They define poverty as children living in families that earn less than half of Canada’s median income which for a mixed-sex couple is $87,688. Statistics Canada showed in 2015, the number of children under the age of five living in poverty was 17.8%.  For children between the ages of six to 15, 17% were living in poverty. But as you delve further into the statistics another disturbing trend begins to emerge. Single families are by far the biggest group where children live in poverty. Of course, not all single parent families are the …

Groom, Texas Credit: maciek/Flickr/Creative Commons

Report: Persecution of American Christians up 133% between 2001 and 2016

A report recently released by First Liberty Institute (FLI) entitled “Undeniable: The Survey of Hostility to Religion in America” outlines the growing number of attacks on religious liberty in America. Founded in 1972, First Liberty Institute fights for religious liberty in the US through advocacy and litigation by providing pro-bono legal defense to those being persecuted or discriminated against for their faith. According to the organization’s report, the number attacks on Christians jumped by 15% between 2015 and 2016. Since FLI started tracking attacks on religious liberty in 2001, the number has increased by 133% over the following five years. In 2011, FLI reported 600 attacks on religious liberty and by 2016 the number had reached 1,400. FLI’s CEO Kelly Shackelford noted that the cases they cited are just the ones that were published. She described them as just the “tip of the iceberg” as many cases of faith persecution and discrimination are simply not reported. This is not even referring to the number of attacks on Christians that now routinely take place in the …

London Bridge tower highlighted Credit: Wikipedia/cmglee

Who do British Jews consider their biggest threats?

Using YouGov, a survey company, the British organization Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) has conducted an annual survey of English attitudes towards Jews since 2015. Perhaps the most disturbing fact to come out of this year’s survey is that over the past two years a third of the Jews living in England had considered leaving due to the growing antisemitism in that country. The survey also found that 25% do not believe Jews have a long-term future in England with a further 21% stating they were uncertain. However, this was still better than what they see going on across the English Channel when 35% said they did not believe Jews have a long-term future in Europe and 24% stating they were unsure. This is certainly paving the way for further Jewish migration to Israel, an event prophesied in the Old Testament centuries earlier: 3 “Then I Myself will gather the remnant of My flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and bring them back to their pasture… (Jeremiah 23:3 NASV) Perhaps not surprisingly …

Do not judge. Credit: skambalu/Flickr/Creative Commons

Does this study confirm Matthew 7:1-3?

A study by psychologists at the University of Plymouth in England uncovered an interesting trait in humanity which confirm words that Jesus spoke 2,000 years ago. In the study reported in Scientific American, Sophia Harvey, Simone Schall and Jennifer Benton found that people who considered themselves morally unclean were more apt to judge others as being wrong than those who didn’t feel unclean. In the study, the researchers had people do a number of activities such as watch brief films where people did something wrong such as lying when they created a resume. They also had them watch disturbing segments from movies and then after read “moral vignettes.” An important part of the study was trying to induce a sense of cleanness in the test subjects and they did this by having half of them wash their hands before responding to what they had seen or read. They asked them to wash under the pretense that they would not dirty the room being used by staff. Even in the Old Testament, ritual cleansing was a …

Hall of Supreme Harmony, Beijing, China Credit: See-ming Lee/Flickr/Creative Commons

Is the world building for a revival?

Amid news of the Chinese government’s crack down on Christianity, reports are also circulating of the remarkable growth taking place in the Chinese church. Of course, with the government being so tight-lipped it is impossible to verify the accuracy of these accounts. It is also difficult to know how many Christians there are in China. In 2010, the Chinese government officially said it had 23 million Christians. However, that only included those attending the legally sanctioned church — the one run by the Communist government. When you include the underground church, the numbers would obviously be higher.  A 2010 survey conducted by Dr. Yanga Fenggang of Purdue University put the total number of Christians closer to 33 million (30 million protestants, 3 million Catholics). However based on a 2011 survey,  Pew Forum estimated the number of Christians at 67 million. If this number is right, the underground church is nearly twice as large as the officially sanctioned church. Curiously, a recent Global Trends (GT) survey of 23 countries in September-October 2016 uncovered evidence that may …

England's Big Ben at dawn Credit: Chris Goldberg/Flickr/Creative Commons

Cuts to sex education classes in England results in fewer teen pregnancies

A recent study has stunned the liberal world of sex education. When England announced it would cut funding to its sex education classes in 2010, activists and Liberals alike warned there would be a dramatic rise in unwanted pregnancies as a result. However a recent study conducted by researchers David Paton (Nottingham University Business School) and Liam Wright (School of Health and Related Research, University of Sheffield) said the exact opposite happened. Teen pregnancies actually dropped after the cuts. In their study reported in the Journal of Health Economics, the two researchers looked at the statistics of 149 municipalities between 2009 and 2014. They discovered during this period where there were cuts to sex education that overall teen pregnancies dropped 42.6% and are now down to levels last seen in 1969. Ironically, they also noted the biggest decreases took place in municipalities with the highest cuts. The two stated in their report: “Contrary to predictions made at the time of the cuts, panel data estimates show that expenditure cuts are associated with a small reductions …

Marijuana being illegally grown in North Cascades National Park in the US. Credit: Park Ranger/Flickr/Creative Commons

Medical journal condemns Canada’s plan to legalize Marijuana in 2018

As the Canadian government pushes ahead to legalize Marijuana, the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) published an editorial condemning the proposed legislation. The Liberal government plans to legalize Marijuana by June 2018, fulfilling a campaign promise. According to Global News that reported on the CMAJ editorial, the legislation in its current form would: Legalize the recreational use of the drug for anyone 18 years of age and older. Allow Marijuana to be grown at home for personal use, but would limit the number of plants to four and height to under one meter. Not control the potency of Marijuana. CMAJ is concerned because several studies show that Marijuana usage can have a profound impact on the developing brain of a young person. In its editorial, the publication stated since a person’s brain is not fully developed until 25, legalizing the drug before that age could potentially have a devastating impact. Recently, several studies have shown that regular marijuana usage can distort and shrink the developing brain of a teen. It can result in increased rates …

Credit: Ruby Babson/Flickr/Creative Commons

Forgive for your heart’s sake

When Jesus spoke on forgiveness He was very clear on one thing: if we don’t forgive those who offend us, God would not forgive us. 14 For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions. (Matthew 6:14-15 NASV) I sometimes wonder if we struggle to forgive ourselves for things that we have done in the past, that it is a sign of spiritual blockages caused by our unwillingness to forgive. These blockages hinder us from fully experiencing God’s forgiveness. But an article on John Hopkins Medicine, Forgiveness: Your Health depends on It, provides one more reason to forgive. We need to do it for the sake of our physical health. Like many of God’s commandments, such as circumcision that improves a man’s health, the need to forgive is another section in God’s user’s manual on proper operation of the human body. According to the John Hopkins’ article, studies show that people who hold grudges and …

Balaam's donkey could count. Credit: JohnBWilson/Flickr/Creative Commons

Can horses count and does it matter?

I have always wondered what is going on in my dog’s mind other than the obvious – did I leave the cupboard door open to the garbage can? In 2008, Dr Claudia Uller from the University of Essex in Essex, England was speaking at the British Psychological Society conference in Dublin, Ireland when she announced that horses can count. She came to this conclusion based on a study she conducted along with Jennifer Lewis on 13 horses from Colchester, England. In the study, they had several buckets in which they placed either three apples or two apples. They only used plastic apples to eliminate the possibility that smell affected the results. They found in their testing that 11 of the 13 horses consistently chose the buckets with the most apples. In a second test they had buckets containing either two equally sized small apples or one large apple that was double the size of the two smaller apples, making them equal in amount. Ten of the 12 horses consistently chose the two apple containers over …

Nambia desert Credit: John Adams/Flickr/Creative Commons

Healing our rejection

Using a MRI scan university researchers discovered that emotional pain associated with rejection is as real as physical pain. In 2011, the group led by University of Michigan associate professor Ethan Kross studied 40 people who had recently gone through a romantic break-up within the previous six months. All the participants chosen mentioned having felt intense feelings of rejection due to the ending of the relationship. The 40 people were then put through two tests one related to the emotional pain they felt over the rejection and the other actual physical pain. In the first test, the study subjects viewed an image of their ex and were asked to think about the break up.  In the second stage, thermal devices were attached to their arms that created heat the equivalent of hot coffee. As the 40 people went through these and other comparative tests, the researchers monitored their brain activity using MRIs. The researchers found that feelings of rejection sparked neural activity in the same area of the brain where people felt physical pain. In …

Pray for those who mistreat you. Credit: MissTessmacher/Flickr/Creative Commons

Study: prayer calms the angry heart

A 2011 study conducted by researchers from universities in America and Europe concluded that prayer helps a person calm their anger. The study conducted by Brad Bushman a psychology and communications professor from Ohio State University, Sander Koole of Holland’s VU University of Amsterdam and University of Michigan’s Ryan Bremner found that prayer quelled a person’s anger even if they were not particularly religious. There were various stages to this study. In one session, the researchers asked the participants in the study to to write a paper that was then evaluated by a partner who purposely and aggressively criticized the paper. They were extremely negative about what the participant had wrote. They then had some participants of the study group think about what their partner had said and others spend five minutes praying for them. Once they had gone through this process, the participants then played a game with their partner. If the participant won, they were allowed to blast their partner with loud music. The participant also determined how loud the music was and …

Children need married parents to thrive Credit: buck82/Flickr/Creative Commons

Children do better when parents are married versus living together

A recent study by the Institute for Family Studies found that children raised in a family where parents marry have the best chance of success. The study reported in The Federalist analyzed data from 100 countries. The study found that where there is no marriage commitment — this included situations where both of the child’s biological parents were living together — there was a greater chance the child would face a union transition. This takes place when parents end their relationship and start a new sexual relationship. These types of transition create a major time of instability for children often resulting in emotional and behavioral problems, educational difficulties and even a higher risk of death for the child. The report stated that “[C]ohabitation continues to confer a stability disadvantage on individual children even as cohabitation has become more normative.” The report disputes those who suggest that because of the rise in rates cohabitation it should be looked upon as the new form of marriage. Writing for The Federalist, Holly Scheer said: “Couples who commit to …

Ho Chi Minh city (formerly Saigon) Viet Nam. Credit: Colin Key/Flickr/Creative Commons

Original sin

Studies show that the average person lies about 100 times a day. As one writer tactfully noted, this was not talking about you specifically, but the average person. In the study, published in the Journal of Basic and Applied Psychology, University of Massachusetts psychologist Robert Feldman recruited 121 pairs of men and women attending classes at the university to take part in the study. They had no idea what it involved at this point. They were then brought together and asked to have conversations with the other participants. Most of them did not know each other. They were unaware that the conversations were being recorded and researchers received the required permission after, before moving to the next stage. The students were then asked to view the video and to pick out the lies — from the most innocent to the most blatant. They found that over 60% of the participants lied within the first ten minutes of their conversation and told an average of 2.92 lies. They found men and women lied the same amount, …

Credit: Antonio Ponte/Flickr/Creative Commons

Sex addiction is real

Dr. Stefanie Carnes is president of the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals (IITAP). She recently came out against those in the therapy community who do not believe people can be sex addicts. IITAP provides materials and support for those working in the addiction community. She pointed to several studies that show sex addiction is a very real problem. In particular, she cited the recent research of Ji-Woo Seok and Jin-Hun Sohn at Chungnam National University in South Korea. The two work at the university’s brain research institute. Their findings confirmed what earlier studies have shown — sex addiction is real for both men and women. In their study, Seok and Sohn found that people with a sex addiction share many similarities to those with alcohol and drug addictions. Like other addicts, those with a sex addiction spend an inordinate amount of time searching for pornography to satisfy their craving. Sex addicts have the same level of sexual desire as the normal population, but similar to other addictions have a higher degree of wanting …

Credit: Josh & Karen Tanenbarum/Flickr/Creative Commons

Baby Sinners?

A study by Dr. Vasudevi Reddy, of the Psychology Department at the University of Portsmouth, showed babies learn to lie before they learn to speak.  Her conclusions were reported in the April 2007 edition of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. Dr. Reddy stated that lying started as early as six months. She says through trial and error, babies gain a better understanding in what situations lies work best and by seven months many infants are skilled in the art of deceit. Reddy’s conclusion flies in the face of many behavioral psychologists who — convinced of man’s eternal goodness — don’t believe children start lying until they are four years of age or older, when their brains are more developed. (By this age some argue lying is a learned behavior not an innate one.) But others, mostly parents, have had nagging suspicions that their sweet, innocent child had a dark side. In the course of her research, Reddy studied 50 children and did extensive interviews with their parents. Through this process, Reddy identified a …

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Why is male circumcision making a come back?

At one point the circumcision of male boys shortly after birth was the standard practice in North America and Europe. But over the last several decades, the procedure has fallen out of favor and there has been a steady decline in the number of boys being circumcised. But now there has been an upsurge in men, now adults, wanting to be circumcised and new procedures are being developed to do it, some almost painless. Though there are those who absolutely oppose male circumcision, and even link it to female circumcision which is brutal and unnecessary procedure, studies show that male circumcision has significant health benefits. On its website, the World Health Organization noted that several studies revealed that male circumcision reduces the chances of contracting HIV by upwards of 60%. In one multi-year study being conducted on African men, researchers were so astounded by the reduced HIV contraction that they stopped the study half-way through and told the men in the uncircumcised study group to get circumcised. As part of its goal to eradicate HIV …

This is how snowblowers are supposed to work. Credit: Jon/Flickr/Creative Commons

Complain, complain, complain — it affects the brain

Social researchers tell us when having a conversation most people utter one complaint about every minute. I easily fill that quota. If I am not complaining about the weather, I am complaining about something the government did or our city’s losing pro-football team. However, my favorite whipping boy recently has been my snowblower. For the past three weeks it has gone AWOL — refusing to start. I had a friend come over who is very familiar with these type of mechanical devices, but even he couldn’t get it going. So we threw it in the back of a half tone, and took it in for service, and as my luck had it, the warranty ran out a month earlier, so it wouldn’t be covered. They got it going and the serviceman even started it to show it was now working. Of course, as soon as I got it home and we had our first snowfall, the snowblower refused to start again and I had to shovel by hand. I was not a happy camper. I had …

Credit: Scott Fiddelke/Flickr/Creative Commons

What should we tell our kids about Santa?

My son was about five or six years old when he motioned for me to come to our front window. It was December and our front yard was blanketed with a fresh layer of snow. We lived on the edge of the city and wild life made regular forays into our front yard. As I went to the window I saw a trail of rabbit tracks wandering through the snow. My son then explained those were the tracks of Santa’s reindeer. He must have been in our yard the night before. My wife and I had decided to tell our children that Santa was not real, with the proviso that they were not to say anything about it to the other kids. But my son saw Santa in the malls and on TV. At his Christian pre-school, many of the kids were talking about Santa and my son wanted to believe in Santa as well and now he was trying to convince me those tracks were evidence Santa existed. I told him that those were …

Church in Iceland Credit: washingtonnydc/Flickr/Creative Commons

Survey shows believing the Bible the key to church growth

According to survey by researchers in Ontario, Canada, churches with Conservative, Bible-based theology are the fastest growing of Christian churches. In fact, the membership numbers for churches that have rejected a literal interpretation of the Bible are in a free fall. According to the English newspaper, The Guardian, attendance at liberal mainline churches in Canada has dropped by 50% since the 1960s and in England Sunday attendance at the largely liberal Church of England has fallen by a similar percentage since the 1980s. The research team led by David Haskell described those with a “conservative Protestant theology” as the “clear winner.” In their report entitled “Theology Matters: Comparing the Traits of Growing and Declining Churches” the group surveyed 2,225 people attending churches in Ontario and conducted more in-depth interviews with 195 church attendees and 29 clergy. According to The Guardian, while studies in the past concluded that theology had no impact on church growth, this survey showed it clearly did. Haskell noted that growing churches “held more firmly to the traditional beliefs of Christianity and …

People walking the streets of Shanghai, China Credit: Richard Schneider/Flickr/Creative Commons

Respected scientist believes in the existence of the soul

Sir Roger Penrose, 85, is a respected and award-winning mathematical physicist in England. He serves as the Emeritus Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics at University of Oxford’s Mathematical Institute. His awards include the Wolf Prize won in 1988 that he shared with Stephen Hawkings. His most recent awards include the De Morgan medal (2004) that is handed out every three years by the London Mathematics Society and the Copley Medal (2006) awarded by London’s Royal Society for outstanding research achievements in any branch of science. It is considered the world’s oldest scientific award. Penrose ranks among the greats — Einstein and Hawkings. He has also developed many theories during his lifetime, but perhaps his most intriguing is his belief in a human soul that continues to exist after a person dies. According to an article in The Sun, he describes the soul as a “packet of information stored at a quantum – or sub-atomic level.” When a person dies this information is released intact into the universe but will return to the human body if …

Park Rangers destroying one of 6 Marijuana fields found in North Cascades National Park Complex Photo: Park Ranger/Flickr

The second big winner in the US presidential election

There were two big winners in the American election held on Tuesday, November 8, 2016. Donald Trump was of course elected president in what was clearly a surprising outcome. Maybe not so surprising, the other big winner was marijuana. Three states that voted in favor of Hillary Clinton for president — Massachusetts, California and Nevada — also legalized the use of recreational Marijuana through referendum votes. Another Clinton state, Maine, also appears to have made a similar move in its initiative ballot. Though marijuana activists have declared victory, there were only a few thousand votes separating the ‘no’ and ‘yes’ sides on the ballot which has not yet been fully counted. They join five other jurisdictions that have already legalized recreational marijuana — Colorado, Alaska, Washington, Oregon and the District of Columbia, Arizona which voted for Trump rejected a similar initiative with 52% of the people voting against legalizing recreational use. In addition three states approved marijuana for medical use — North Dakota, Arkansas and Florida. Currently the federal government prohibits the recreational use of …

Is divorce a violent act? Credit: --christophe--/Flickr/Creative Commons

Does divorce impact a child’s spirituality?

One of God’s clearest denunciations of divorce is found in the book of Malachi. Speaking on behalf of God, the Prophet thunders: “For, I hate divorce.” (Malachi 2:16 NASV) Then God declares divorce an act of violence. “and him who covers his garment with wrong, (literally violence)” When the Lord says that I don’t believe He is describing the acrimony that often occurs between a man and woman when they divorce. The couple divorcing could still be friends, but the act of divorce itself is inherently violent. In the previous verses we discover the reason: 14 You ask, “Why?” It is because the Lord is the witness between you and the wife of your youth. You have been unfaithful to her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant. 15 Has not the one God made you? You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful to the wife of your youth. (Malachi 2:14-15 NIV) In …

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Does this study confirm Proverbs 22:6?

In a report published in Psychological Science, researchers in a study associated with Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA have concluded a person’s home environment as a child has a profound affect on them over 60 years later. In this study, that has been ongoing for 78 years, researchers followed a group of people starting at adolescence into late life. It was a unique study as it required adding new team members to continue this multi-decade analysis. This particular aspect of the study started sixty years ago and involved 81 men, 50 whose family were connected with Harvard and 31 from an inner city area in Boston. During their early adolescent years, the selected members of the study group went through an in-depth interview, where earlier researchers gathered information on their home environment, relationship with their mom and dad and general family life. They also interviewed the parents. From this, the researchers created a profile of each person and a measurement of how nurturing their family life was. The research group interviewed these men throughout …

65% of British people believe they had an encounter with God. Photo: London England -- Ville Miettinen/Flickr/Creative Commons

British survey reveals God is still encountering people today

It is very clear when you read the Bible that God desires personal encounters with people. In the Old Testament, Moses ran into God in the wilderness through a burning bush (Exodus 3:1 – 4:17). The incident changed his life and transformed him from a shepherd to the man who led Israel out of Egypt. In the New Testament, God encountered people through the filling of the Holy Spirit. It was a dramatic event. When the Holy Spirit fell on the gentiles in Cornelius’s house, the disciples in attendance had no doubt it had happened because of what they saw (Acts 10:44-46). A meeting with God can also take on other forms. After an angel told Philip to go down a specific road he ran into the Ethiopian Eunuch who was just leaving Jerusalem (Acts 8:25-40). Puzzled by what he was reading in Isaiah, Philip’s timely arrival led to the man becoming a Christian. The eunuch worked in the treasury department for the Ethiopian Royal family (Acts 8:27). His conversion brought Christianity to that nation. According to a recent British survey, these God encounters …

Johns Hopkins study concludes there is no gay gene

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University recently released a study stating there was no conclusive evidence of a gene that causes a person to be gay, lesbian or transgender. People are not born with gay affections. This study runs contrary to what some are suggesting in recent years. The report was co-written by Johns Hopkins’ scholar in residence Lawrence Mayer who is also a statistics professor at Arizona State University and Paul McHugh a psychiatry professor at Johns Hopkins. Many consider the two men as leading scholars on mental health in America. Mayer has taught at over eight universities including Stanford and Princeton and McHugh served as chief psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins for 25 years and was also elected to the President’s council on bio ethics. In their report, entitled “Sexuality and Gender: Findings from the Biological, Psychological and Social Sciences” published in The New Atlantis, the two researchers surveyed over 200 studies done on the topic in a variety of fields. They cited studies of identical twins, particularly one conducted in 2010 by a team …

Mount Ranier Photo: .aditya./Flickr/Creative Commons

Every senior needs a mountain

One of the powerful statements in the Old Testament were the words Caleb uttered as he entered the promised land under Joshua. This was the second time he had been at the edge of the land of milk and honey. The first had been under Moses, when Caleb and Joshua were among 12 men chosen to spy out the land God promised Israel. While the other spies returned with tales of giants and impenetrable walled cities, Caleb and Joshua believed they could take the land with God’s help. But the doubters won the day and Israel wandered around the desert for over 40 years until all the “negative Nellies” had died off. As Israel was poised to enter the land a second time, Caleb, now age 84, reminded Joshua of the land God had promised Caleb and his family saying: 12 Now therefore give me this mountain… (Joshua 14:12 KJV) Ever since he first spied out the land, Caleb had a vision, a sense of purpose, a goal – that this hill country would one day …

The Peaceable Kingdom by Edward Hicks (1780-1849)

Study reveals the nature of animals as God created them

A report released by Dr. Joel Berger of the Wildlife Conversation Society says the fear of predators is not a natural instinct in animals. It is a learned behavior. This revelation is a bit of a shock for many evolutionists who believe the fear of predators is a naturally evolving instinct that enabled species to survive. Berger came to this conclusion after studying the relationship between prey and predator in 19 ecosystems in Russia, Greenland, Canada and the US. He focused specifically on elk, moose, bison and caribou and their natural predators wolves, tigers and bears. He compared systems where predators existed with those where they didn’t. He noticed that prey-animals only feared predators, if they regularly encountered them.  Once the predators were removed, prey animals lost a fear of their natural enemies. In his study, Berger played sound recordings of predators around test animals that had no predators in their area and compared their reactions to similar species that regularly encountered predators in their surroundings. Berger said “elk in the mountains of Siberia — who …

A church worship service. Photo: Joachim S. Muller/Flickr/Creative Commons

Did God create you to dance?

Should we be dancing in church? Well, if a 2006 study is correct, it appears when God created humans, He hard-wired each of us to dance — more on that in a moment. I still remember a service at a church I was attending in the 70s. The Jesus people movement was in full swing and the congregation was made up of people 30 years and younger. Back then everybody had long hair, including the girls. One particular Sunday evening service we kicked back the chairs and began dancing before the Lord. We broke up into groups, joined hands and whirled around in circles dancing and singing. The thing that struck me the most was the utter joy and excitement on people’s faces as they danced and worshiped the Lord. I was attending seminary at the time, in a denomination that frowned on this type of activity. But they faithfully preached the Bible and people were saved through this ministry. I had a professor by the name of Dr. Dahns. He was a former United Church Minister …

God has a specific destiny and path for each one of us. Photo: Dave Soldano/Flickr/Creative Commons

Study: A sense of purpose adds years to your life

A study produced by researchers Patrick Hill from Canada’s Carleton University and Nicholas Turiano from the University of Rochester’s Medical Center concluded that having a purpose adds years to a person’s life. The two researchers tracked 6,000 people over a 14-year period who had been part of the Midlife in the United States study. Elements of the comprehensive survey delved into such areas as determining if a person felt they had a purpose. Among other things they were asked to respond to such statements as “some people wander aimlessly in life, but I am not one of them.” Over their study period, the research team determined that 9% (569) of these people had died. After analyzing the data, they found that across all age groups those who had a higher sense of purpose consistently lived longer. Lead author Patrick Hill stated: “These findings suggest that there’s something unique about finding a purpose that seems to be leading to greater longevity.” The two added in their report published in Psychological Science that other studies have come …

Nurses on a hospital ward at Christmas during the 1930s. Photo: theirhistory/Flickr/Creative Commons

Medical study: Want to live longer, go to church

A study of 75,534 middle-aged nurses published in JAMA Internal Medicine discovered that church attendance played a key role in nurses living longer. The study surveyed the lifestyles of this group of nurses between 1992 and 2012. During the ten-year period, 13,537 of the nurses died including 4,479 due to cancer and 2,721 due to cardiovascular problems. After accounting for lifestyle choices that could lead to early death such as smoking (which can lead to increased cancer risk and heart problems), the researchers discovered if a nurse attended church over once per week they were 33% less likely to die than their non church attending counterparts. They also discovered that even if nurses attended church less often, they were less likely to die than those who didn’t. Weekly church attendance resulted in a 26% reduction in death and irregular attendance (less than once a week) resulted in a 13% reduction. The study only analyzed the impact of protestant and Catholic church attendance and did not study any benefits associated with attending services at non-Christian religions. …