Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | May 27, 2015

Mystery Structure Casts Doubt on Evolution

Look at this picture. What in the world could it be?
See if you have any ideas, before reading the answer below the picture.

Even if you have no idea what this picture is, you probably recognize design and purpose in the hardware components pictured here.

From what assembly do you think this hardware came?

Scientists and non-scientists alike recognize design in these components, even if they don’t know the purpose. Yet inexplicably evolutionary scientists look at DNA, and they conclude DNA was not deliberately designed by an intelligent agent, but rather developed accidentally through random natural processes!

How can someone recognize intelligent design in one of the simple brackets in the picture but refuse to see it in the most complex information system in the universe (DNA)?

On a recent camping trip I rescued an assembly that someone had discarded. The structure had lots of well-seasoned wood that I planned to use for firewood as well as components I planned to re-purpose for other projects.

What was the mystery structure that I rescued and re-purposed whose hardware components are pictured above?

I completely disassembled the structure in order to make it easier to burn and free up the pieces and hardware I wanted. As I did so, I was impressed with how complex the entire mechanism was, and how many creative ideas were needed to construct such a useful device.

So what was the mystery structure that I rescued and re-purposed?

. . .

It was a ceiling trapdoor with a fold-down attic ladder.

Open Attic Ladder

Open Attic Ladder

The picture above shows most of the hardware that I removed from the ladder assembly. The pictured hardware plus lots of screws, nails, rivets, and rods and many precisely shaped wooden pieces made up the fold-down attic ladder.

Now imagine throwing some taconite (iron ore) and logs into a huge cement mixer and let it churn and tumble for a million years. Will it ever produce the components needed for an attic ladder assembly?

Obviously not. An intelligent creator is needed to properly shape all the components.
(By the way, no one alive today can design and build a machine that will work for a million years.)

Suppose I give you a big boost and let you throw in the hardware in the picture and all the properly shaped boards and turn the mixer on. Will you ever get an attic ladder?

Obviously not. An intelligent creator is needed to fit the components together to accomplish the desired purpose for the assembly.

Now an attic ladder is trivial in complexity compared with a living cell which is itself elementary compared with a fully functioning organ like a liver, kidney, or brain. And one organ is much simpler than an entire living animal or human.

So why believe that a cell, organ, or organism can develop itself accidentally?

If you can’t get an attic ladder with a cement mixer, then you certainly can’t get a living being through evolution.

The attic ladder casts major doubt on the theory of molecules-to-man evolution.

There must be an intelligent designer for life. Who is it?

The Intelligent Designer is Yahweh, the Creator God of the Bible.

Questions to Ponder
  1. What guesses did you come up with for the hardware in the mystery picture?
  2. Describe an occasion when you came across a tool, device, or mechanism for which you did not know the purpose, but you were certain it was designed by someone.
  3. How do your unbelieving friends explain away obvious design in nature?
  4. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:4)
Wednesday May 27, 2015 A.D.

It is the Lord of hosts who made the earth by His power, Who established the world by His wisdom, and by His understanding He stretched out the heavens. (Jeremiah 51:15)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | May 20, 2015

Psalms or Genesis at the Amish Market

Last weekend on our camping trip in Amish country, we stopped at a huge Amish flea market with over 400 vendors.

We watched an auction of Amish quilts selling for surprisingly low prices. Outside a single-piston John Deere engine churned homemade ice cream as it chilled. We shared a small cup with caramel and chocolate topping.

At an Amish furniture booth we saw a couple of 4-month-old puppies for only $75. They were a cross between a Labrador retriever and a German shepherd — a great buy if you want a big dog. My wife found them highly appealing, but we already have Kepler. A second dog, and a very large one at that, would significantly complicate our weekly camping trips. Plus it would eat like a small horse.

Gideon New Testaments

Gideon New Testaments

Toward the end we passed a Gideons booth where colorful New Testaments were being given away. We declined the offer, since we already have Bibles and didn’t want to take one that could go to someone in real need of the truth.

Gideons perform a great service in distributing the Scriptures free of charge. They distribute Bibles in over 190 countries in more than 90 languages. Since their founding in 1899, Gideons have freely distributed over two billion Bibles and New Testaments.

Gideons are well known for placing Bibles in hotel rooms. But they distribute even more Bibles in schools, colleges, prisons, hospitals, and medical offices.

On average each hotel room Bible can be read by as many as 2,300 people in its six-year life span. Hotel industry research reports that approximately 25% of travelers read Gideon Bibles in their hotel rooms. Innumerable people testify to having met God through use of a Gideon Bible. Read some accounts here: Gideon Bibles Change Lives.

After admiring the Gideons’ attractive booth at the flea market, I engaged the Gideon rep in conversation. I explained my disagreement with Gideons distributing a “New Testament with Psalms & Proverbs.” I told him that instead they should distribute a “New Testament with Genesis.” And surprisingly, he agreed with me.

Why do I think New Testaments with Genesis should be distributed instead of New Testaments with Psalms & Proverbs?

The Book of Genesis

The Book of Genesis

The fundamental reason is that Genesis is the foundation for the rest of the Bible.

How can you explain who God is without Genesis? Scripture’s very first sentence identifies God as the Creator:

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)

If you don’t know about the Creator God who made you, how can you know about your responsibility to Him?

How can you understand the New Testament message of salvation from sin if you do not know what sin is?

New Testament authors referred to Genesis more than any other book. How can you comprehend their writings without an understanding of Genesis?

Thus I think it is absolutely essential that Genesis be distributed with the New Testament. Pocket New Testaments should add Genesis instead of Psalms and Proverbs. Then people would have the foundational material needed to understand the message of the cross in the New Testament.

I hope the Gideon rep with whom I spoke passes my comment on to the Gideon decision makers.

Read the related article:
Creation: Foundation for the Gospel

Questions to Ponder
  1. What Scriptures would you select for a compact portion to distribute with New Testaments?
  2. Have you read a Gideon Bible in a hotel room? Tell about it in the comments.
  3. What practical ways can you encourage others to honor the truth of Genesis?
  4. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:4)
Wednesday May 20, 2015 A.D.

It is the Lord of hosts who made the earth by His power, Who established the world by His wisdom, and by His understanding He stretched out the heavens. (Jeremiah 51:15)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | May 13, 2015

Noah & Archimedes

I don’t know if astronauts on the International Space Station have marveled over my camp bonfires, but the blazes have earned several salutes from giant freighters passing by!

My wife and I enjoy watching huge freighters glide by at 8-10 mph when we camp along the St. Clair River which flows from Lake Huron into Lake St. Clair between Michigan and Ontario. Especially on blustery, frigid nights, it’s cheering to hear that quick blast from the ship’s horn in a passing salute!

Below is a Great Lakes freighter, the American Spirit, as it passed our campsite on December 19, 2014. It was headed downriver to Zug Island at the mouth of the Rouge River to unload its cargo of taconite, an iron ore. It self-unloads at 10,000 cargo tons per hour.

American Spirit Laker

American Spirit
Launched in 1978, this freighter is one of the largest on the Great Lakes at 1004 ft long by 105 ft wide with a 28 ft draft. (Click picture to enlarge.)

The American Spirit is owned and operated by the American Steamship Company (ASC), founded in Buffalo, New York in 1907. ASC vessels range in length from 635 feet to 1,000 feet and primarily transport iron ore pellets, coal, or limestone aggregates. Gross tonnage capacities range from 24,000 to 81,000 tons. The freighters operate 24-7 and are self-unloading with no onshore unloading assistance needed.

How does the American Spirit stay afloat?

Baie St. Paul Laker

Baie St. Paul
On Dec 19, 2014 this lake freighter passed our campsite headed upriver for Thunder Bay, Ontario on Lake Superior. This self-unloading bulk carrier is 740 feet long and carries 34,490 tons. (Click picture to enlarge.)

The Baie St. Paul is the most technologically advanced ship on the Great Lakes. Owned by Canada Steamship Lines, the ship set new standards in operational and environmental performance, energy efficiency, and reliability. The International Bulk Journal named it the “Bulk Ship of the Year 2012.”

Built in Jiangyin, China, the Baie St. Paul crossed the Pacific Ocean and arrived in Montreal on December 1, 2012, where workers removed the temporary reinforcing structures that made the ocean voyage possible.

Canada Steamship Lines President Louis Martel said, “We are extremely proud of and grateful to the talented officers and crew of the Baie St. Paul who successfully navigated a vessel built for the Lakes across the Pacific Ocean and through the Panama Canal.”

Why didn’t the Baie St. Paul fall to the bottom of the Pacific?

Deltuva Ocean Freighter

Deltuva
This 490-foot-long Lithuanian ocean freighter went past our campsite on Dec 19, 2014 headed downriver for Montreal. It can carry 17,064 tons. Notice the emergency ejection pod at the rear which all salties carry.

Sink or Float?

Why do huge ships weighing thousands of tons and carrying thousands of tons of cargo float instead of sink?

The American Spirit freighter pictured above weighs 15,936 tons. It has a cargo capacity of 62,400 tons and a fuel capacity of 580 tons for a total weight of 78,916 tons or 176,771,840 lbs. (A gross cargo ton is 2,240 lbs.)

I can personally testify that the American Spirit freighter floated downriver without sinking. How was it able to stay afloat weighing this much when a small rock picked up along the shore weighing only a few ounces will sink when tossed into the river? Yet if the rock is tossed onto the ship’s deck, this does not make the boat sink.

Noah’s descendant, the Greek mathematician Archimedes of Syracuse (c. 287 BC – c. 212 BC), explained why objects float or sink. Noah himself, a master shipbuilder and daring sea captain, surely understood the principle that Archimedes subsequently published over 2,000 years after the Great Flood.

Federal Asahi Salty Freighter

Federal Asahi
Built in 2000, this empty ocean freighter passed our campsite on April 26, 2015 heading upriver to load cargo. She is 629 feet long and flies the flag of Hong Kong. Notice the sailboat headed downriver in the foreground. (Click picture to enlarge.)

Archimedes’ Principle

In Archimedes’ treatise On Floating Bodies, he states what has come to be known as Archimedes’ Principle:

“Any object, wholly or partially immersed in a fluid, is buoyed up by a force equal to the weight of the fluid displaced by the object.”

Archimedes’ Principle says that the buoyant force on a ship is equal to the weight of the water displaced by the ship. If the weight of the ship is more than the weight of the water it displaces, then the ship will sink; otherwise it will float.

A U.S. gallon of water weighs about 8.34 pounds (at 62 °F (17 °C)). This means that when fully loaded the American Spirit freighter displaces at least
176,771,840 / 8.34 = 21,195,665 gallons of water.

Orla Polsteam Salty

Orla
A 489-foot-long general cargo ocean freighter built in 1999 and registered to Malta. It passed our campsite going downstream on April 26, 2015. Polsteam is a cargo ship company based in Poland with a fleet of 75 freighters. (Click picture to enlarge.)

Laker vs. Salty

Freighters designed to haul cargo on the Great Lakes (called Lakers) are longer than ocean freighters (Salties). The maximum length to width ratio for a Salty is about 7 to 1, while Lakers have a maximum ratio of about 10 to 1.

The longer design of Lakers compared with Salties is due to the difference between lake waves and ocean waves. Ocean waves are taller than waves on the Great Lakes, and they are closer together. The resulting stresses on the long hulls of Lakers are too great when riding over ocean swells. With an ocean wave lifting the bow and another the stern, nothing supports the middle of the laker and it breaks up. The longer design to carry more cargo is feasible on the Great Lakes with their smaller waves and greater interval between waves.

Harbour First Salty

Harbour First
This empty ocean freighter headed upriver past our campsite on April 26, 2015. She is a chemical and oil products tanker. Built in 2011, she is 472 ft long and sails under Portugal’s flag. (Click picture to enlarge.)

Noah’s Ark, the First Ocean Freighter

Noah’s Ark would have been comparable to today’s ocean freighters.

This is how you shall make it: the length of the ark three hundred cubits, its breadth fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. (‭Genesis‬ ‭6‬:‭15‬)

Noah’s Ark with a length of 300 cubits and a width (beam) of 50 cubits had a smaller length to width ratio of 6:1 than today’s Salties. This reduced ratio gave greater stability which was needed for the tremendous turbulence of Noah’s Flood.

How big was Noah’s Ark?
To answer this one needs to know the length of the cubit. A cubit was generally the distance between a man’s elbow and fingertips, but it varied somewhat throughout history as shown in this table:

Common cubit 18.0 in
Hebrew (short) 17.5 in
Hebrew (long) 20.4 in
Egyptian (short) 17.6 in
Egyptian (long) 20.6 in
Babylonian 19.8 in

 
Using the Hebrew long cubit of 20.4 inches or 1.7 feet (which was apparently what Solomon used for the Temple, 2 Chronicles 3:3), this means Noah’s Ark measured 510 feet long, 85 feet wide, and 51 feet high. Thus the Ark was a little bigger than most ocean freighters.

Comparison of ship sizes

Comparison of ship sizes

Noah designed and built a ship comparable to the ocean freighters in use today. And he captained that ship through the most tumultuous ocean storm ever (Genesis 7:11-24).

Noah’s “freighter” was built out of wood instead of iron like today’s freighters. This reduced its weight and facilitated flotation.

The Ark may well be the largest wooden ship ever built. It certainly carried the most valuable cargo of any freighter ever. It carried the “restart” for the world’s human and animal populations.

Click Noah’s Ark Model for pictures of a scale model of Noah’s Ark built by Ernesto Carrasco. The 7.5-foot model is now on display at the Institute for Creation Research in Dallas, TX.

Click Freighters to learn more than you ever wanted to know about bulk cargo freighters from Wikipedia.

Questions to Ponder

Use Archimedes’ Principle to answer the following questions:

  1. A small boat is floating in a swimming pool. Which will raise the water level on the side of the pool higher: throwing a dollar coin into the boat or throwing the coin into the water?
  2. Next, imagine you are in the boat floating in the swimming pool. You drop a dollar coin into the water and it sinks to the bottom. Does the water level on the side of the pool rise or lower or stay the same?
  3. HINT: If it’s too hard to think through these questions using Archimedes’ Principle, you can do an experiment with a pan of water, a floating lid, and a marble to determine the answers.

Soli Deo Gloria.

See these related articles I’ve written on Noah, the Ark, and the Flood:
Noah’s Flood—Key to the Past
Noah’s Flood—A Global Event
Noah’s Ark Replicas
Noah’s Ark Found?
Earthquakes, Tsunamis, Volcanoes, & Noah’s Flood
Rebuilding Noah’s Ark
Ark Encounter Park
Noah’s Ark Model in Holland
Noah’s Ark
Noah’s Ark Found?
(with video)
1. Rebuilding Noah’s Ark – Intro
2. Rebuilding Noah’s Ark – Kentucky Governor
(with YouTube videos)
3. Rebuilding Noah’s Ark – How Big?
4. Rebuilding Noah’s Ark – Ark Encounter video
5. Rebuilding Noah’s Ark – Ark Encounter Park
6. Rebuilding Noah’s Ark – Location
(with maps)
7. Rebuilding Noah’s Ark – Funding
8. Rebuilding Noah’s Ark – Facing Opposition
9. Rebuilding Noah’s Ark – Ham Debates Lynn
(with video)
10. Rebuilding Noah’s Ark – What Would Noah Think?
11. Rebuilding Noah’s Ark – Tour the Dutch Ark
(with video)
Dinosaurs on the Ark?
Tsunami Videos and Noah’s Flood
Earthquakes, Tsunamis, Volcanoes, & Noah’s Flood
USA TODAY features Noah’s Ark
Marilyn Monroe and the Age of the Earth
Wallenda, Niagara, & Noah’s Flood
(with video)
Mystery of Noah’s Flood (with videos)
Leftover from Noah’s Flood?
Noah, the Movie
(with videos)
The Truth about Noah
Meet the Real Noah
(with video)
Could Noah Fill the Earth?
How Many Died in Noah’s Flood?
Is 10 Trillion Flood Deaths Reasonable?

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Click the sidebar’s “SUBSCRIBE” button to follow the
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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:4)
Wednesday May 13, 2015 A.D.

In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the same day all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened. The rain fell upon the earth for forty days and forty nights. On the very same day Noah and Shem and Ham and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons with them, entered the ark, they and every beast after its kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every bird after its kind, all sorts of birds. So they went into the ark to Noah, by twos of all flesh in which was the breath of life. Those that entered, male and female of all flesh, entered as God had commanded him; and the Lord closed it behind him. Then the flood came upon the earth for forty days, and the water increased and lifted up the ark, so that it rose above the earth. The water prevailed and increased greatly upon the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. The water prevailed more and more upon the earth, so that all the high mountains everywhere under the heavens were covered. The water prevailed fifteen cubits higher, and the mountains were covered. All flesh that moved on the earth perished, birds and cattle and beasts and every swarming thing that swarms upon the earth, and all mankind; of all that was on the dry land, all in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, died. Thus He blotted out every living thing that was upon the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky, and they were blotted out from the earth; and only Noah was left, together with those that were with him in the ark. The water prevailed upon the earth one hundred and fifty days. (Genesis 7:11-24)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | May 6, 2015

Naming the Stars

V838 Monocerotis

V838 Monocerotis
A variable red supergiant star in the constellation
Monoceros (Unicorn). It is 20,000 light-years
away and was first observed in Jan 2002 due to a
light outburst from the star. After the outburst
the Hubble telescope captured this image of the
light echo illuminating surrounding dust clouds.

The stars of the heavens show forth the glory of God.

Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these stars, the One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name. Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power not one of them is missing. (Isaiah 40:26)

He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them. Great is our Lord, and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite. (Psalms 147:4-5)

How many stars are there? This is a simple question that even a kindergartner can understand, but no man alive can answer it. But Yahweh knows exactly how many stars He made on Creation Day Four about 6,000 years ago. And He calls each individually by name.

The previous blog, He Made the Stars Also, cited a 2010 estimate of
300 sextillion = 3 × 1023 = 300,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars in the observable universe. Only God knows how many stars are in the unobservable universe — very possibly there are even more stars in the unobservable universe than in the portion we can observe. God made all these innumerable stars in just one day around 6,000 years ago and placed them in the heavens.

Contrary to what astronomers say, stars do not die. Isaiah gives as evidence of Yahweh’s might and power that not a single star is missing (Isaiah 40:26).

Andromeda Galaxy

Andromeda Galaxy
A spiral galaxy with a trillion stars
about 2.5 million light-years away.
Andromeda is more than 220,000 LY
in diameter. (Click image to enlarge.)

Naming the Stars

He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them. Great is our Lord, and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite. (Psalms 147:4-5)

Not only did God make all the stars, He also named each of the over 300 sextillion stars.

That’s an astonishing accomplishment, to come up with 300 sextillion unique names without repeats!

It’s not easy to come up with a large quantity of unique names. In the US, three-fourths of the population share a pool of a thousand common names, according to the Social Security Administration.

For example, over the last hundred years, the names James, John, Robert, Michael and William have been used about 4 million times each. In fact, out of about 4 million babies born in the US last year, less than 1% of them (0.625%) got a first name shared by only 25 or fewer other newborns! For surnames, Smith and Johnson are used by 2 million people in the U.S. The next surnames Williams, Brown, Jones, Miller, and Davis each represent more than a million people. (2000 U. S. Census)

How long would the words have to be to give individual names to all the estimated 300 sextillion (3 × 1023) observable stars, using the English alphabet?

There are 26 possible single letter names, 262 possible double letter names, 263 possible triple letter names, and so on. Add up all these numbers
26 + 262 + 263 + … + 26N
to get the total number of possible names ranging from 1 letter long to N letters long.

Summing the geometric series one gets
26 + 262 + 263 + … + 26N = (26N – 26) / 25

How large must N be for this sum to exceed 3 × 1023?
(26N – 26) / 25 >= 3 × 1023
Solving for the minimum whole number N for which this inequality is true,
one gets N = 18.

Thus to name all the observable stars in English with the minimum number of letters, all letter combinations of 17 letters or less plus most of the 18 letter combinations would have to be used.

This would produce many totally unpronounceable letter combinations. If you’ve marveled at some Eastern European surnames, you would be floored by some of the star names. On the other hand, if your name has less than 18 letters, you probably have a star named for you already!

Since it is unlikely that every letter combination of 17 letters or less would be used, there are probably many star names that in English are much longer than 17 letters.

Stephan Quintet

Stephan Quintet
A group of five galaxies sighted by Edouard Stephan in 1877 in the Pegasus constellation. The upper left whitish one is 40 million light-years away; the other four yellowish ones are 290 million ly away – too far for Hubble to resolve individual stars. In the top right galaxy, each red dot just above or to the right is a cluster of many thousands of stars.

No Two Stars Alike

Scripture says that “star differs from star in glory.” (1 Corinthians 15:41) No two stars are the same; every star and galaxy is different. Astronomers have observed many different types of stars and a variety of completely unexplained astral and galactic phenomena.

For example, the red supergiant star V838 Monocerotis (pictured at the top) in the constellation Monoceros (Unicorn) became 10,000 times brighter in one day in February 2002. Nobody knows why or how this happened.

The total energy of all these stars and galaxies is incomprehensible to humans. The power of the Creator is beyond man’s imagination. A Creator whose marvelous works include these stupendous feats of creating, numbering, and naming an unfathomable quantity of gigantic fiery unique stars merits our continual awe, worship, and enthusiastic praise!

Questions to Ponder
  1. What aspect of God’s creative work in making, numbering, and naming the stars is most awe-inspiring to you?
  2. What amazing information about the Creator can you tell someone today?
  3. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

Read the prequel:
He Made the Stars Also

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:4)
Wednesday May 6, 2015 A.D.

By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible. (Hebrews 11:3)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | April 29, 2015

He Made the Stars Also

Supernova Remnant Cassiopeia A

Supernova Remnant Cassiopeia A
Cassiopeia A is the remnant of a supernova explosion
325 years ago. It is 10,000 light-years away in the
constellation Cassiopeia. It consists of a neutron star
surrounded by a shell of material that was blasted off
in the explosion. The neutron star is the turquoise dot
in the center of the shell. (False-color combo image
from Hubble, Spitzer, Chandra Space Telescopes.)

The first words of the Bible launch a foundational verse:
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)

But often overlooked is part of a verse that appears later in the chapter. I think of this verse as God’s little stone in man’s shoe:
HE MADE THE STARS ALSO. (Genesis 1:16)

This brief comment leaps off the page from the end of a verse which describes God’s creative activity on Creation Day Four (Genesis 1:16).

But in the original Hebrew the comment is even briefer — it reads simply “and the stars“:
And God maketh the two great luminaries, the great luminary for the rule of the day, and the small luminary — and the stars — for the rule of the night.
(Genesis 1:16, Young’s Literal Translation)

Yet this very brief comment, just a little stone in your shoe to keep snagging your attention and make you ponder, is truly astronomically astounding!!! Think what “and the stars” entails:

The galaxies God made in a single day 6,000 years ago range from dwarf galaxies with “only” ten million (10,000,000) stars to giant galaxies with 100 trillion (100,000,000,000,000) stars. Our own Milky Way galaxy contains over 100 billion (100,000,000,000) stars and is about 100,000 light-years across. And there are well over 100 billion galaxies in the observable universe.

The largest known galaxy in the universe is the yellow-red elliptical galaxy IC 1101. It lies one billion light-years away and is six million light-years across. It contains 100 trillion stars. Comparing IC 1101 with the Milky Way, IC 1101 is 60 times as large with 1,000 times as many stars.

IC 1101’s 100 trillion stars are too many for the human mind to comprehend. How big is 100 trillion = 100,000,000,000,000? It’s far greater than the age of the universe in seconds. The universe has only existed for about 6,000 years or a bit less than 190 billion (190,000,000,000) seconds. To reach 100 trillion seconds would take over 3 million years.

Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these stars, the One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name. Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power not one of them is missing. (Isaiah 40:26)

20020520-StarWars

Counting the Stars

He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them. Great is our Lord, and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite. (Psalms 147:4-5)

How many stars did God make on Creation Day Four? A 2010 estimate reported
300 sextillion = 3 × 1023 = 300,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars in the observable universe.

For comparison, a 95-year-old has lived for about 3 billion seconds. This 2010 estimate of the number of stars is a hundred trillion TIMES that amount.

Only God knows how many stars are in the unobservable universe — very possibly there are even more stars in the unobservable universe than in the portion we can observe. God made all these innumerable stars in just one day and placed them in the heavens.

Yet man, with all of his boastful intellect, does not know how to make a single star. Man does not even know for sure how stars work.

The total energy of all these stars and galaxies is incomprehensible to humans. The power of the Creator is beyond man’s imagination. Yet man daily dares to insult and profane his Maker. Go figure.

How many stars are there? It’s a very simple question, yet man cannot answer it. God alone has numbered the stars.

Sombrero Galaxy

Sombrero Galaxy
Sombrero’s bulging glow of light comes from 800 Billion stars. Sombrero is 28 million
light-years away in the constellation Virgo and is 50,000 light-years across. The dots of
light are not stars but thousands of other galaxies, including a pair of twin galaxies at
the bottom at 7 O’clock. (Click image to enlarge.)

Destiny of Stars

Scripture indicates that all these innumerable stars, each radiating incomprehensible amounts of energy, will one day be destroyed:

And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree. (Isaiah 34:4)

But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. (Matthew 24:29)

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. (2 Peter 3:10)

I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood; and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind. The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. (Revelation 6:12-14)

The Almighty Creator who made and sustains the stars can at any moment disintegrate them as He wills. This will be an awesome demonstration of his power and might.

Questions to Ponder
  1. What aspect of God’s creative work in making, numbering, and finally extinguishing the stars is most awe-inspiring to you?
  2. What concrete step can help remind you to keep giving our awesome Creator worship and praise?
  3. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

Read the sequel:
Naming the Stars

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:4)
Wednesday April 29, 2015 A.D.

By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible. (Hebrews 11:3)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | April 22, 2015

Questions That Reveal

What if you sent your child to a school that you thought shared your values, only to find out later that it undermined your teaching?

ChristianCollege

What if you began attending a church and formed strong friendships, only to later find out that the church held some unbiblical beliefs?

Have you ever wished you could zero in on the position of a Christian church, school, or organization? Frequently it’s difficult to cut through the warm-fuzzies talk, the inspirational fluff, and the Christianized cliches in order to find out the real truth.

It may not be easy to determine what the leaders of an organization truly believe. Often administrators, pastors, or faculty will tell you what they think you want to hear.

I use a Three Question approach to drill down to the essentials of an organization’s worldview with “where the rubber meets the road” style questions.

Discussing Questions

Specific questions keep the discussion focused

For each question, I put one answer on the left side of the paper and the opposing answer on the right with a horizontal line connecting them. I ask the interviewee to mark where they stand on the continuum between the two given answers.

Reluctance to indicate a position on the spectrum is in itself quite revealing, and I accept it without pushing too hard for a response. Often the discussion of the spectrum of answers provides abundant information on the interviewee’s position.

Practical Worldview Questions

These five trenchant questions will help you quickly discern the worldview of any person or organization. I usually limit myself to three of the five questions below.

Theological Jello

1. How old is the earth?
Left side answer: 4.5 billion years old
Right side answer: 6,000 years old

2. How did life and the earth originate?
Left side answer: God used evolution to create over long ages of time.
Right side answer: God created everything in six literal days.

3. How do you view homosexuality?
Left side answer: Homosexuality is a valid alternative lifestyle and homosexual “marriage” is legitimate.
Right side answer: The practice of homosexuality is sin and forbidden by God in the Bible. Marriage is only between a man and a woman.

4. Are there gender roles in the home and church?
Left side answer: Gender roles do not exist; all jobs and leadership roles may be filled by either gender.
Right side answer: God created men and women to fill distinct roles. Men lead homes and churches; women help them.

5. Are divorce and remarriage permissible?
Left side answer: Everybody makes mistakes and deserves a second chance. Divorce and remarriage are allowed.
Right side answer: God’s plan for marriage is one man for one woman for life. Scripture does not permit remarriage after divorce.

Questions to Ponder
  1. Which is your favorite question? Why?
  2. What other questions help reveal the worldview of a person or organization?
  3. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:4)
Wednesday April 22, 2015 A.D.

By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible. (Hebrews 11:3)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | April 15, 2015

20. Famous Thinkers – Evangelist Is a Creationist 4

Billy Sunday At White House

Billy Sunday at the White House
Exhibits typical exuberance (Feb 20, 1922)

Evangelist Billy Sunday boiled with scorn, contempt, and invective for the theory of evolution. He was not shy about expressing himself on that point.

Sunday had been a nationwide sports sensation; he was one of the country’s most popular athletes as a major league baseball player. After leaving baseball at the height of his career in March 1891 to preach the Gospel, he eventually became the country’s most popular preacher.

Billy Sunday (1862-1935) mesmerized crusade audiences for 40 years with his rapid-fire delivery, colorful denunciations of sins, and on-stage dramatics. He impacted the lives of hundreds of thousands for eternity.

The previous three articles on Billy Sunday covered his two careers:
1. Billy Sunday’s Baseball Career
2. Billy Sunday’s Ministry Career
3. Billy Sunday’s Teachings That Snap and Crackle
This concluding article features some of Billy Sunday’s sizzling statements about the theory of evolution. He expressed strong opinions with vocabulary that was quite uncharacteristic for preachers.

Sunday On Creation & Evolution

Billy Sunday was a firm creationist, and he strongly opposed the biological theory of evolution because it contradicted the literal interpretation of Genesis. He believed God created Adam and Eve as real individual people who were the father and mother of the entire human race.

“God created Adam and Eve without human agencies. … I do not believe there ever was a time, since Adam and Eve were turned out of Eden, when traps and pitfalls were more numerous and dangerous than today.”
(Billy Sunday, sermon “Spiritual Food for a Hungry World“)

Billy Sunday Preaching, ~1910

Billy Sunday Preaching, ~1910
He preached for 40 years to over
100 million in tabernacles holding up
to 20,000 without electric amplifiers.

Sunday saw a distinction between the experimental, testable science that leads to technological advances and scientists’ speculation about unrepeatable events of history. He said,

“If by evolution you mean advance, I go with you, but if you mean by evolution that I came from a monkey, good night!”
(Billy Sunday, Boston Herald, November 14, 1916, p. 1.)

Billy Sunday believed the Word of God should control one’s thinking rather than the research of fallible men. According to a stenographer’s sermon transcript, Sunday said,

“I don’t believe your own bastard theory of evolution, either; I believe it’s pure jackass nonsense. When the consensus of scholarship says one thing and the Word of God another, the consensus of scholarship can go plumb to hell for all I care.”
(Algie Martin Simons, Charles H. Kerr, The International Socialist Review, Volume 16, Charles H. Kerr & Company, 1915, p. 465.)

Billy Sunday condemned evolution and evolutionists in the most blistering terms. He even castigated preachers who shilly-shallied and compromised with evolution:

“In no century since the morning stars sang together has there been more real hunger for genuine religion than this. And yet, many a preacher, instead of trying to feed this spiritual hunger, is giving some book review, staking a claim out on Jupiter or talking evolution, trying to prove we came from a monkey with his prehensile tail wrapped around a limb shying coconuts at his neighbor across the alley.”
(Billy Sunday, sermon “Spiritual Food for a Hungry World“)

In a 1925 interview Sunday said,

“If a minister believes and teaches evolution, he is a stinking skunk, a hypocrite, and a liar.”
(Charles Lincoln Van Doren, Robert McHenry, Webster’s Guide to American History: A Chronological, Geographical, and Biographical Survey and Compendium, Merriam-Webster, 1971, 1428 pp, p. 423.)

Billy Sunday Douglas Fairbanks

Billy Sunday & Douglas Fairbanks
At 1918 exhibition baseball game to raise funds for
sports equipment for American soldiers in France

When Rev. George Wallace of Toledo, OH privately rebuked Sunday for his outspoken intolerance of evolution, Sunday publicly called out the pastor the next day from the crusade platform:

“Stand up you there you bastard evolutionist! Stand up with the atheists and the infidels and the whoremongers and the adulterers and go to hell!”
(Higgs, Robert, God in the Stadium: Sports and Religion in America, University Press of Kentucky, 1995, page 255.)

Many Christian leaders repeatedly and emphatically criticized Billy Sunday for language such as this. But Jesus Himself used extremely strong language against the false teachers of His day. He called the scribes and Pharisees hypocrites and sons of hell despite their fervent evangelistic efforts:
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel about on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.” (Matthew 23:15)

Jesus said the false teachers were like graves full of old corpses. To His audience, this was the ultimate in contamination and impurity.
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. Even so you too outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” (Matthew 23:27,28)

Jesus told the scribes and Pharisees, “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father.” (John‬ ‭8:44‬) You can’t criticize someone more harshly than this. Jesus did not beat around the bush and neither did Billy Sunday.

Jesus also called the scribes and Pharisees serpents, a brood of vipers, and said explicitly that they were under a sentence of hell.
You serpents, you brood of vipers, how shall you escape the sentence of hell?” (Matthew 23:33)

Some may cringe at hearing a preacher speak the way Billy Sunday spoke, but Jesus Himself spoke similarly to men who were deceptive and misleading in teaching abominable falsehoods. Sunday was simply following Jesus’ example when he criticized those who promoted a theory that led many astray and that denied God the glory of creation.

Another time Sunday said,

“I don’t believe in the bastard theory that men came from protoplasm by the fortuitous concurrence of atoms.”
(McLoughlin, William G., Billy Sunday Was His Real Name, The University of Chicago Press, 1955, p. 132.)

In the book The Great Monkey Trial by L. Sprague de Camp (p. 34), Sunday is quoted as calling evolution “bunk, junk, and poppycock!” as he leaped about the stage.

In 1923 during a six-week revival, he campaigned against teaching evolution in the schools of Louisville, KY. This followed the defeat of an anti-evolution bill in the state legislature in 1922.

In 1924 in Elmira, New York, Billy Sunday expressed his opinion about teaching evolution in government schools:

“If anyone wants to teach that God-forsaken, hell-born, bastard theory of evolution, then let him go out and let him be supported by men who believe that blasted theory and not expect the Christian people of this country to pay for the teaching of a rotten, stinking professor who gets up there and teaches our children to forsake God and makes our schools a clearing-house for their God-forsaken dirty politics.”
(Turner, Daniel, Standing Without Apology: The History of Bob Jones University, Bob Jones University Press, 1997, page 19.)

Where did the theory of evolution originate?
According to Billy Sunday, it was “hell-born.” I agree with Sunday. I think it originated in the mind of Satan, and he has been using it to deceive men throughout the ages. After all, as Jesus said, the devil is “a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44). Evolution is Satan’s primary tool to lead mankind away from God.

W J Bryan Billy Sunday

William Jennings Bryan, Billy Sunday
1915 photo when Bryan was
Secretary of State under Wilson

Billy Sunday held revival meetings in Tennessee during the passage of Tennessee’s anti-evolution Butler Act which provoked the Scopes Trial. Throughout those meetings he strongly opposed the teaching of evolution. He told rapt crowds at Tennessee revival meetings in ​February 1925, “Education today is chained to the Devil’s throne.”​

Because of Sunday’s well-known opposition to Evolution and his support of Creation, William Jennings Bryan asked Billy Sunday to testify at the July 1925 Scopes Trial. Sunday declined, while assuring Bryan that “all the believing world is back of you in your defense of Christ and the Bible.”

Therefore…

We could use a preacher like Billy Sunday again – a man with active faith in the Creator, one who fearlessly proclaimed the truth, one with deep concern for his fellow man, and one who did not bore his listeners but rather challenged them to repent and follow Christ with “love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:23). We need pastors today who are electrified with the kind of vigorous, unapologetic Biblical preaching that Billy Sunday did. Sunday believed in the Creator, the God of the Bible, and he lived his life by the dictates of that Book. Billy Sunday was not duped by the evolutionism that deludes so many intellectuals today. How foolish is the arrogance and hubris of today–where man thinks he is so advanced and despises the wisdom of previous generations regarding the existence of a Creator!

Belief in a Creator is common sense based on looking at what has been created, just as
Paul the Apostle (Romans 1:18-23),
President Thomas Jefferson,
Benjamin Franklin,
Sir Isaac Newton,
John Calvin,
Dr. Werner von Braun,
George Washington Carver,
Johann Kepler,
Blaise Pascal,
Robert Boyle,
Dr. Raymond Damadian,
President Herbert Hoover,
Billy Sunday,
and innumerable others have argued. These men believed in a Creator and Intelligent Designer. None would have been fooled by the evolutionism that hoodwinks so many today. Throughout history the vast majority of mankind has known that there must be a Creator.

Sunday believed in the Creator and lived his life in honorable service to mankind. Today’s intellectuals would do well to pay heed to this evangelist who convinced a million people to follow Jesus Christ — one whose achievements far exceed those of most today.

Questions to Ponder
  1. Would Sunday’s harangues against teaching evolution be effective today?
  2. How do you think Sunday would approach the subject today?
  3. If you had been on Sunday’s ministry team, how would you have advised him concerning his extreme language? How would you have advised Jesus about His language?
  4. From where do you think the concept of “molecules to man evolution” originated?
  5. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

This is the twentieth installment in the Famous Thinkers series highlighting great men who believed in the Creator.
Read the prequels:
1. Famous Thinkers – Former U.S. President Supports Intelligent Design
2. Famous Thinkers – Scientist Supports Intelligent Design
3. Famous Thinkers – Mathematician Supports Intelligent Design
4. Famous Thinkers – Theologian Testifies for Creation
5. Famous Thinkers – Rocket Scientist Supports Intelligent Design
6. Famous Thinkers – Botanist Supports Creation
7. Famous Thinkers – Botanist Supports Creation 2
8. Famous Thinkers – Astronomer Is a Creationist
9. Famous Thinkers – Mathematician Is a Creationist
10. Famous Thinkers – Mathematician Is a Creationist 2
11. Famous Thinkers – Chemist Is a Creationist 1
12. Famous Thinkers – Chemist Is a Creationist 2
13. Famous Thinkers – Chemist Is a Creationist 3
14. Famous Thinkers – Chemist Is a Creationist 4
15. Famous Thinkers – Physician Is a Creationist
16. Famous Thinkers – President Is a Creationist
17. Famous Thinkers – Evangelist Is a Creationist 1
18. Famous Thinkers – Evangelist Is a Creationist 2
19. Famous Thinkers – Evangelist Is a Creationist 3

Read the sequel:
21. Famous Thinkers – Statesman Is a Creationist coming soon…
Click SUBSCRIBE to go to the SUBSCRIBE Button in the sidebar to get the sequel article free by email.

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:4)
Wednesday April 15, 2015 A.D.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 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. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. (Romans 1:18-23)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | April 8, 2015

19. Famous Thinkers – Evangelist Is a Creationist 3

Billy Sunday preached muscular Christianity

Billy Sunday preached “muscular Christianity”
1965 film contains most of the available film footage
of Billy Sunday and an appearance by his crusade
song leader Homer Rodeheaver.

Revivalist Billy Sunday (1862-1935) mesmerized crusade audiences for 40 years with his rapid-fire delivery and on-stage dramatics. A much-admired former professional baseball player, Sunday left the sport at the height of his career in order to preach the Gospel.

Billy Sunday’s radical step impacted the lives of thousands for eternity as he eventually became the country’s most popular preacher. He was known for his “muscular Christianity” approach as he sought to attract and convert men through his appeal as an athlete.

The previous two articles on Billy Sunday covered his baseball and ministry careers:
1. Billy Sunday’s Baseball Career
2. Billy Sunday’s Ministry Career
In this article, some of Billy Sunday’s beliefs and teachings may surprise you. Can you guess which issue was the most controversial in his ministry?

Teachings That Snap and Crackle

Sunday was a conservative evangelical who interpreted the Bible literally. He believed in and preached the inerrancy of Scripture, God the Creator, the Virgin Birth of Christ, the Resurrection, salvation through Jesus Christ, a literal devil, a real Hell, and the return of Jesus Christ.

Sunday made no pretense of being a theologian, saying, “I don’t know any more about theology than a jack-rabbit knows about ping-pong, but I’m on my way to glory.” He summarized his theology in a single 10-word sentence:

“With Christ you are saved; without Him you are lost.”

Sunday explained the Gospel in simple terms:

“You can’t argue against sin. It is in the world and men and women are blighted and mildewed by it. … Christ came into this world and gave up His life that you and I might be reconciled to God through our faith in Jesus Christ. … Salvation is escape from the punishment of sin. … Everyone who accepts the sacrifice of Christ as his own is released from the penalty of the law. That is God’s method of salvation.”

Sunday believed the devil was the main obstacle to men’s salvation:

“The devil is the most formidable enemy the human race has to contend with…the real, genuine, blazing-eyed, cloven-hoofed, forked-tail, old devil hanging on to your coattail.”

Sunday criticized the ministers of his day who denied the existence of a literal devil. He said that those who say “there isn’t any devil–that he is just a figure of speech, a poetic personification of the sin in our natures, are calling the Holy Bible a lie.”

Billy Sunday was very dramatic in teaching about the devil:

“Billy crouches on the platform, knocks on the floor and shouts an invitation for the Devil to come up and take his medicine. Billy admits his own fearlessness and when the bid to Beelzebub is not accepted the audience shares with the champion the delight and conquering pose. Cheers ring for the tower of physical strength and spiritual righteousness whom the Boss of Hell dares not meet in combat.”
(From Higgs, Robert, God in the Stadium: Sports and Religion in America, University Press of Kentucky, 1995, p. 256.)

Detroit News Tribune 1916

Detroit News Tribune image for Billy Sunday’s 1916 Detroit Crusade

Likewise Sunday believed in and taught a literal hell and a literal heaven:

“There is a hell and when the Bible says so don’t you be so blackhearted, lowdown, and degenerate as to say you don’t believe it, you big fool!”
“You are going to live forever in heaven, or you are going to live forever in hell. There’s no other place–just the two. It is for you to decide. It’s up to you, and you must decide now!”

Sunday believed the history of the Bible was literally true. He treated Adam and Eve as real people created by God as described in Genesis who were the father and mother of the entire human race. In his teaching he referred to many of the events of the Old and New Testaments as real happenings. Here are excerpts from Sunday’s sermons that illustrate his belief in the historicity of the Bible:

“God never intended to give you a picture of the world in one panoramic view. From the time of Adam and Eve down to the time Jesus Christ hung on the cross, He was unfolding his views. When I see Moses leading the people out of bondage where they for years had bared their backs to the taskmaster’s lash; when I see the lowing herds and the high priest standing before the altar severing the jugular vein of the rams and the bullocks; on until Christ cried out from the cross, ‘It is finished,’ God was preparing the picture for the consummation of it in the atoning blood of Jesus Christ.”
(Billy Sunday, sermon “Atonement Through the Blood of Jesus“)

“I have sometimes thought that Adam and Eve didn’t understand as fully as we do when the Lord said, ‘Eat and you shall surely die.’ (Gen. 2:17) They had never seen any one die. They might have thought it simply meant a separation from God. But no sooner had they eaten and seen their nakedness than they sought to cover themselves, and it is the same today. When man sees himself in his sins, uncovered, he tries to cover himself in philosophy or some fake. But God looked through the fig leaves and the foliage and God walked out in the field and slew the beasts and took their skins and wrapped them around Adam and Eve, and from that day to this when a man has been a sinner and has covered himself, it has been by and through faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ.”
(Billy Sunday, sermon “Atonement Through the Blood of Jesus“)

“When Noah built the ark and loaded it with strange cargo, that was a sensation. When Jonah walked down the streets of Nineveh covered with seaweed crying, “Repent! Repent!”-that was sensational. Jesus Christ created a sensation when He went into the synagogue at the beginning of His ministry and taught, not as the scribes, but as one who had authority.”
(Billy Sunday, sermon “Broken Down Altars“)

Elijah called upon the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; the God who made the ravens feed him every morning and every night; the God who made the clouds obey Him; the God who made the stars witness that He was true; the God who burned Sodom and Gomorrah with fire; the God who drowned the world with a Flood; the God who saved Noah; the God who said,” Let there be light”; the God who shut the lions’ mouths for Daniel; the God who didn’t let the fire burn Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego in the furnace because they wouldn’t bow down to Nebuchadnezzar and his idol of gold. The prayer that Elijah offered to God that brought fire down from Heaven was short-only sixty-three words-and it burned up and consumed everything. When the fire fell, everyone on the mount knew it was the fire of the Lord. It licked up the water; it licked up the dust; it licked up the stone; and the people fell on their faces-all except these 450 stiff-necked, uncircumcised, black-hearted, white-livered false prophets of Baal. God has plenty of the same kind of fire up in Heaven to pour down on us! And He will give it to us and to our country just as freely as He poured it down on the altar on Mount Carmel.”
(Billy Sunday, sermon “Broken Down Altars“)

They [angels] had seen Sennacherib come up with his men, and they had seen 180,000 Assyrians laid low by the sword when the angel of God smote them in the night. They had seen Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego cast into a fiery furnace for refusing to bow themselves down to idols, and had seen them come out from it unharmed. They had seen the brave Daniel hurled into the lion’s den for refusing to bow the knee to anyone save Jehovah, and they had seen him come out from the den of wild beasts alive. But never before had the angels beheld such a sight as when they looked down upon the garden of Gethsemane and saw the Son of God kneeling there, sweating drops of blood as He agonized over man.
(Billy Sunday, sermon “Gethsemane“)

“The millennium cannot begin until Satan has been bound in the pit. Nothing is more certain than that the glory of God shall cover the earth, but it will be after Jesus comes. … On the day before the Flood there were no doubt many people who were sincere in thinking that the world was growing better, and yet it was so hopelessly wicked that God had to destroy it. Some of the men who married into the family of Lot may have made the same claim for Sodom, only a day or two before its destruction; no doubt Lot’s wife was of the same opinion. On the day before the Crucifixion there were men in Jerusalem who undoubtedly agreed with each other that the world was growing better.”
(Billy Sunday, sermon “The Second Coming of Christ“)

“They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage until the day that Noah entered the ark and the Flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot, they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded. But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all.”
(Billy Sunday, sermon “The Second Coming of Christ“)

Noah kept working away on the ark for a hundred and twenty years, without seeing a flash of lightning or hearing a clap of thunder. Had he been living only for what he could see, it would never have been said of him that ‘he was a just man and perfect, and walked with God.’ … Abraham was another man who had a faith that lifted him higher than the sun, when looking for ‘a city which had foundations, whose maker and builder was God.'”
(Billy Sunday, sermon “Under the Sun“)

Billy Sunday Puts Everything into His Sermons

Billy Sunday Goes All-Out
in His Sermons

Sunday energetically preached against alcohol, eugenics, dancing, playing cards, the theater, and the theory of evolution as he urged his listeners to follow Christ. One of Sunday’s most frequent quips was “Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than going to a garage makes you an automobile.” Newspapers printed long columns of such “Sundayisms.”

Sunday’s most famous sermon, titled “Get on the Water Wagon” or more commonly known simply as the “Booze Sermon” or “The Curse of Liquor,” was his polemic against liquor and drunkenness. In it he quipped, “Whiskey and beer are all right in their place, but their place is in hell.” The sermon begins,

“I am the sworn, eternal and uncompromising enemy of the liquor traffic. I have been, and will go on, fighting that damnable, dirty, rotten business with all the power at my command. I shall ask no quarter from that gang, and they shall get none from me. After all is said that can be said on the liquor traffic, its influence is degrading on the individual, the family, politics, and business and upon everything that you touch in this old world.”

Sunday’s vigorous preaching against alcohol in all his crusades played a significant role in generating public support for the passage of the 18th Amendment on Prohibition in 1919.

The best way to understand Billy Sunday’s thought is to read some of his sermons. Here is a webpage with links to 18 of his sermons:
Billy Sunday Sermons

The next blog article will discuss Sunday’s sizzling statements about the theory of evolution. He used some phrases you’ve probably never heard from a preacher before.

Questions to Ponder
  1. What speaker has held your attention most effectively? What were his interest-keeping techniques? What kept your interest, the subject or the speaker?
  2. What do you think about Billy Sunday’s emphasis on avoiding alcohol?
  3. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Reference: Unless otherwise identified, Billy Sunday quotes in this article are from
McLoughlin, William G., Billy Sunday Was His Real Name, The University of Chicago Press, 1955, pp. 123-125.

Soli Deo Gloria.

This is the nineteenth installment in the Famous Thinkers series highlighting great men who believed in the Creator.
Read the prequels:
1. Famous Thinkers – Former U.S. President Supports Intelligent Design
2. Famous Thinkers – Scientist Supports Intelligent Design
3. Famous Thinkers – Mathematician Supports Intelligent Design
4. Famous Thinkers – Theologian Testifies for Creation
5. Famous Thinkers – Rocket Scientist Supports Intelligent Design
6. Famous Thinkers – Botanist Supports Creation
7. Famous Thinkers – Botanist Supports Creation 2
8. Famous Thinkers – Astronomer Is a Creationist
9. Famous Thinkers – Mathematician Is a Creationist
10. Famous Thinkers – Mathematician Is a Creationist 2
11. Famous Thinkers – Chemist Is a Creationist 1
12. Famous Thinkers – Chemist Is a Creationist 2
13. Famous Thinkers – Chemist Is a Creationist 3
14. Famous Thinkers – Chemist Is a Creationist 4
15. Famous Thinkers – Physician Is a Creationist
16. Famous Thinkers – President Is a Creationist
17. Famous Thinkers – Evangelist Is a Creationist 1
18. Famous Thinkers – Evangelist Is a Creationist 2

Read the sequel:
20. Famous Thinkers – Evangelist Is a Creationist 4

Bible-Science Guy logo

Subscribe – Don’t miss future blog posts!
Click the sidebar’s “SUBSCRIBE” button to follow the
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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:4)
Wednesday April 8, 2015 A.D.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 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. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. (Romans 1:18-23)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | April 1, 2015

Wood-Dissolving Bacteria

My dog and I check a wooden timber turned to stone by lapislignum bacillus.

My dog and I check a wooden
timber we found in the woods
that had been turned to stone
by lapislignum bacillus. Notice
the gray spot beneath my arm
where the bacteria is active.

Daily Science News recently publicized the startling discovery of wood-dissolving bacteria. The U.S. government has known about hydrolignum bacillus for some time, but has kept it under wraps for fear of alarming the public.

There are two varieties of the bacteria. Lapislignum bacillus converts wood to stone. Many fossilized tree trunks in coal seams are now recognized as the work of lapislignum bacillus. The other variety, hydrolignum bacillus, eats wood, producing water as a waste product. It essentially dissolves wood.

While camping last weekend I found both kinds of bacteria at work in the woods as shown in the pictures. When I touched the active sites with my finger, my skin started to tingle, so I quickly wiped my hands clean, as I don’t know what either variety does to flesh.

Scientists and archaeologists now think that the ancient Egyptians used lapislignum bacillus to build the pyramids. They built the pyramids with wood, and then applied a paste culture of lapislignum bacillus to convert the wood to stone.

Work is proceeding on commercializing hydrolignum bacillus for use in dissolving wood. Homeowners would find a hydrolignum bacillus paste useful for fixing doors that fit too tightly in their jambs.

Hydrolignum bacillus at work.

Hydrolignum bacillus at work.
Notice the spots of whitish-gray
bacteria and the dampness of the wood.

Hydrolignum bacillus could also be used to easily prune branches or fell trees without sawing as it works very fast. Smearing a ring of hydrolignum bacillus paste around a one-foot-diameter oak log eats through the log in 37 minutes.

Use of lapislignum bacillus could revolutionize the construction industry through emulating the Egyptians by building first with wood and then applying the bacteria to convert to stone.

Molecular biologists and recombinant DNA scientists are working on developing other varieties of these two varieties of bacteria. Some of the leading researchers believe that an extinct variety converted wood and vegetation into oil and that it is responsible for oil fields worldwide.

Labs are working round the clock on tinkering with the DNA to recover this oil-producing variety. Other federal research labs are trying to develop varieties that will convert wood to various metals like iron, aluminum, silver, and gold.

Lapislignum bacillus at work.

Lapislignum bacillus at work.
Notice the white stone nodules
forming at the base of the tree trunk.

Not all the news about hydrolignum bacillus and lapislignum bacillus is good. Both are immune to all known antibiotics. If the bacteria gets out of control, all forests worldwide could turn to stone or simply dissolve away.

Currently only moonlight kills the bacteria. With reports from NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) that nocturnal cloud cover is increasing, the natural moonshine control of hydrolignum bacillus and lapislignum bacillus may soon prove insufficient to control the bacteria.

For more info about lapislignum bacillus, see the article Wooden Pyramids Turned to Stone. Inquirers should recognize this about news in scientific web logs: announcements precede release in legitimate free online ordinary logs.

Questions to Ponder
  1. What beneficial uses can you imagine for hydrolignum bacillus and lapislignum bacillus?
  2. What are the dangers of hydrolignum bacillus and lapislignum bacillus?
  3. What do the initial letters of the last nine words in the last paragraph spell?
  4. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:4)
Wednesday April 1, 2015 A.D.

But the LORD is the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King. At His wrath the earth quakes, and the nations cannot endure His indignation. Thus you shall say to them, “The gods that did not make the heavens and the earth shall perish from the earth and from under the heavens.” It is He who made the earth by His power, Who established the world by His wisdom; and by His understanding He has stretched out the heavens. (Jeremiah 10:10-12)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | March 25, 2015

18. Famous Thinkers – Evangelist Is a Creationist 2

Billy Sunday Preaches Vigorously

Billy Sunday Preaches Vigorously

Born in an Iowa log cabin during the Civil War, Billy Sunday (1862-1935) became one of the country’s most popular athletes. It shocked and stunned the nation when he left baseball in March 1891 to preach the Gospel.

Why would a baseball star leave the sport at the height of his ability and success?

The baseball world was astonished when this admired sports hero made such a drastic career change. But Billy Sunday’s radical step impacted the lives of thousands for eternity as he eventually became the country’s most popular preacher.

In Billy Sunday’s day, many preachers were stern, stiff, and dull. Some droned with tortuously long sentences and needlessly complex vocabulary. Sunday was a dynamo who burst on the scene with colloquial rapid-fire illustrations and down-home speech that made him a favorite nationwide.

The previous article surveyed Billy Sunday’s baseball career. This article discusses his career as an evangelist running sizzling revival crusades all over the country, and concludes with a video trailer for a movie on Billy Sunday’s life.

Ministry Career

Sunday served for awhile under John Wilbur Chapman, one of the top evangelists of the day, who mentored Sunday’s theological development. Under Chapman he learned as well the ins and outs of running evangelistic campaigns, how to construct a sermon, and how to preach evangelistically.

In 1896 Sunday started his own campaigns when Chapman returned to the pastorate. Sunday’s rapid-fire speech was laced with baseball illustrations. He acted as if the platform were a baseball diamond as he physically embellished his sermons with baseball maneuvers. He aimed his masculine messages at men. Sunday was a model of muscular Christianity and thus attracted men to his crusades, but he was very popular with women as well.

In his first 10 years from 1896 to 1906 he held 100 revivals with more than half in towns of population under 2,500. Ninety were in towns of population under 10,000. Most were farming communities in the mid-western corn belt from western Iowa to eastern Indiana.

In the early years he used large tents for the meetings. But starting with the Perry, Iowa revival of 1901, he usually required towns to build wooden tabernacles for the revival meetings. Perry, with a population of 4,000, built a 1,000-seat tabernacle for $750.

In 1904 Keokuk, Iowa, built a 3,000-seat tabernacle for Sunday’s crusade at a cost of $2,000. Sunday held 73 meetings in the building during the course of his 31-day revival with a total attendance of 130,000.

Lumber was re-sold after disassembling tabernacles to help recoup costs, and offerings always covered any remaining tabernacle construction expenses.

Towns covered the dirt floors with sawdust to minimize dust and dampen extraneous noise. Sunday invited his hearers to “hit the sawdust trail” in his Gospel invitations, as he urged people to repent of their sin and follow Christ. He asked people to walk down the sawdust aisle to shake his hand to cement their commitment to Christ.

Wooden Tabernacle for Billy Sunday's 1919 Charleston, WV Revival

Wooden Tabernacle for Billy Sunday’s 1922 Charleston, WV 4-Week Revival
Crowds repeatedly overflowed this 6500-seat pine tabernacle built for Sunday’s meetings,
requiring multiple services. Conversions numbered 11,000 and offerings totaled $36,000.

After 1906 Sunday gradually increased the size of the cities in which he held revivals. The population of the six cities with revivals in 1907 averaged 10,000; in 1908 the average population was 20,000. By 1917 the yearly average population reached 1,750,000. From 1906 to 1918 Sunday held revival crusades in 10 of the 15 largest cities in the country and in one-third of the cities with population over 100,000. His geographical range increased as well; from 1912 to 1918 he held revivals in 21 states.

Billy Sunday often used baseball in publicity for his crusades. Sometimes he arranged baseball games with townspeople prior to crusades. At age 53 he hit a home run in an Old-Timers game during the Philadelphia crusade and circled the bases in 16 seconds, not much longer than the 14-second record he set as a player.

He also used baseball in his sermons. He would race around the stage like he used to run the bases and slide into home plate right on the stage shouting, “The devil says I’m out, but the Lord says I’m safe.” He used large print for his sermon notes so that he could catch a peek at them as he ran by the podium.

Billy Sunday Chair

Sunday used a chair for
on-stage fights with the devil.

To say that Billy Sunday was energetic, acrobatic, and dramatic on stage is an understatement. His sermons were entertaining performances as well as being packed with Biblical truth. He did not want people to be bored as he preached the Gospel. He held their close attention through his platform activity.

In some sermons Billy Sunday would grab a chair and dramatize a vigorous onstage fight with the devil. People watched anxiously as Sunday staggered, choked, sputtered, punched, and yelled till he finally would conquer the devil, to everybody’s relief.

Billy Sunday’s authorized biographer Elijah Brown described Sunday’s preaching style:

“There is but one word at your command that will even remotely indicate his manner — action! At one moment he is at one end of his long platform, and before you become used to seeing him there he is at the other, and then quicker than thought he bounds back to the center, giving the desk a solar plexus blow that would knock out a giant. Ever and anon he makes long rapid strides to give it more whacks, until at last a big piece splits off and bounds to the sawdust floor below.”
(Brown, Elijah P., The Real Billy Sunday: The Life and Work of Rev. William Ashley
Sunday, D.D. The Baseball Evangelist
, Otterbein Press, 1914.)

Biographer Bernard Weisberger also spoke of Sunday’s active preaching approach:

“Sunday skipped, ran, walked, bounced, slid, and gyrated on the platform. He would pound the pulpit with his fists until nervous listeners expected to hear crunching bones. He would, in a rage against the Devil, pick up the single kitchen chair which stood behind the reading desk and smash it into kindling; once it slipped away from him and nearly brained a few people in the front rows. As he gesticulated and shook his head, he would shed his coat, then his vest, then his tie, and finally roll up his sleeves as he whipped back and forth, crouching, shaking his fist, springing, leaping, and falling in an endless series of imitations.”
(Weisberger, Bernard, They Gathered at the River, Little, Brown and Company, 1958, p. 248.)

The New York Times reporter described Billy Sunday’s platform gymnastics at the opening of his 10-week New York City revival crusade on Sunday April 8, 1917 with these words:

“He raced up and down the green-carpeted platform … waving his hands, kicking up one knee now and again, like a park-walking horse, brandishing a chair, standing with one foot on the chair and another on the pulpit, bending over backwards like a springy sword blade, bobbing back and forth and waving a handkerchief between his legs as he reeled off one of his amazing long lists of vituperative epithets and displaying as much energy, determination, and virtuous enthusiasm as Douglas Fairbanks [famous actor known for swashbuckling roles and the host of the first Oscar ceremony in 1929].”
(McLoughlin, William G., Billy Sunday Was His Real Name, The University of Chicago Press, 1955, p. xx.)

New York excitedly anticipated Billy Sunday’s first “sawdust trail” invitation in the wooden tabernacle that had been built for the meetings. At the time, it was the largest building ever erected in New York for public meetings, holding 20,000. Unlike other evangelists, Sunday delayed asking for converts. As daily meetings continued one after another, no one knew when the first invitation call would come and this stoked the fires of expectation and publicity. It finally began on April 19, the twelfth day of the crusade.

Helen & Billy Sunday in 1915

Helen & Billy Sunday in 1915
Billy’s wife Helen was the business
manager for many of his campaigns

This New York City crusade began two days after America had declared war on Germany, and Sunday’s opening evening sermon “God’s Grenadiers” was a mixture of Christianity and support for the war effort. At the end of the sermon, Sunday stood on top of the pulpit waving a huge American flag as the crowd sang “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and “America.”

The New York crusade was the apex of Billy Sunday’s career. He preached twice a day Tuesday through Saturday and three times on Sunday, all without loudspeakers. Total attendance for the 71-day revival April 8 – June 17 was 1,443,000 with 98,264 conversions.

By June 6 the daily offerings had covered the $200,000 cost of the campaign; the remaining 11 days raised $120,490 which Sunday donated to the Red Cross, YMCA, and YWCA, as he had promised in the first sermon of the crusade. Thus he sought to blunt the criticism that he was only in it for the money.

Upon the conclusion of the revival, John D. Rockefeller Jr. declared,

“Billy Sunday’s campaign in New York City has been tremendously successful–exceeding the most enthusiastic expectations of those who invited him here. … So far as the awakening of the city to religious things is concerned, the campaign is scarcely beginning. Think of the vast number of men and women who have been led by Billy to take an interest in cleaner living. … I am very glad that I had a part in bringing this great religious force to New York.”
(McLoughlin, William G., Billy Sunday Was His Real Name, The University of Chicago Press, 1955, p. xxviii.)

New York governor Charles S. Whitman telegrammed Billy Sunday upon his departure:

“The people of New York City and State recognize and appreciate this great service you have rendered.”
(McLoughlin, William G., Billy Sunday Was His Real Name, The University of Chicago Press, 1955, p. xxviii.)

Front Page of the Jefferson Bee Newspaper

Iowa’s Jefferson Bee Newspaper
Front page featuring Billy Sunday’s
Jefferson revival, January 7, 1904.
Converts listed in right-hand column.

Sunday’s crusades were enthusiastically received. Newspapers all over the country extensively covered his crusades, including printing transcripts of his sermons. For example during 1917, the New York Times printed 116 articles on Billy Sunday. Newspaper accounts consistently reported that the tabernacles were filled daily. The total crusade attendance for New York was nearly a million and a half, for Boston a million and a half, and for Philadelphia two million.

Newspapers also reported the offerings at his crusades. From 1907 to 1918, Sunday held 65 crusades, running 4 to 6 crusades each year. Over these 12 years the freewill offerings for Sunday at the crusades totaled $1,139,315. This total does not include offerings that covered crusade expenses. This was an average freewill offering for Sunday of $17,528 per crusade during this time period.

Sunday gave both the New York and Chicago crusade offerings totaling $176,490 completely to charity. Subtracting this from the total gives $962,825 for an average yearly offering of $80,235. He gave a tenth to charity and paid one-third of his staff salaries out of this. Additional income included lecture fees, investments, gifts, and book royalties. In 1920 Dunn and Bradstreet rated him as worth $1,500,000. Sunday pointed out that it was nobody’s business how much he was worth or what he did with his money as it was the Lord’s blessing on him.

Sunday’s success was partially due to extensive advance work and planning in each city. For example, work began in Boston eight months before the crusade with a team of volunteers that soon reached 35,000. In New York volunteers began a year ahead of time and eventually numbered 50,000.

Those who “followed the sawdust trail” (converts) at Sunday’s urging roughly numbered about 10% of a city’s population for cities with populations under 100,000. The cities with the three largest convert totals were New York (98,264), Boston (64,484), and Chicago (49,165).

Billy Sunday also pioneered radio preaching. The FCC was established when his radio preaching interfered with baseball game broadcasts.

Billy Sunday’s crusade career spanned 40 years from 1896 to 1935. Enormous crowds totaling over 100 million attended his sensational sermons, as he conducted over 300 separate revival campaigns. “Sawdust trail” converts numbered over 1,000,000, and he raised millions of dollars in campaign offerings to cover crusade expenses and salaries.

Sunday estimated that he had delivered 20,000 sermons over his career, averaging 42 per month from 1896 to 1935.

Here’s a YouTube clip of a proposed movie on Billy Sunday:

The next blog article in this series will delve into some of Sunday’s sermons and discuss what he believed and taught.

Questions to Ponder
  1. What could a present-day Bible teacher do today to seize the attention and commitment of contemporary Americans as Billy Sunday did in his day?
  2. Is it legitimate for a gospel minister to be wealthy? Why or why not?
  3. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

This is the eighteenth installment in the Famous Thinkers series highlighting great men who believed in the Creator.
Read the prequels:
1. Famous Thinkers – Former U.S. President Supports Intelligent Design
2. Famous Thinkers – Scientist Supports Intelligent Design
3. Famous Thinkers – Mathematician Supports Intelligent Design
4. Famous Thinkers – Theologian Testifies for Creation
5. Famous Thinkers – Rocket Scientist Supports Intelligent Design
6. Famous Thinkers – Botanist Supports Creation
7. Famous Thinkers – Botanist Supports Creation 2
8. Famous Thinkers – Astronomer Is a Creationist
9. Famous Thinkers – Mathematician Is a Creationist
10. Famous Thinkers – Mathematician Is a Creationist 2
11. Famous Thinkers – Chemist Is a Creationist 1
12. Famous Thinkers – Chemist Is a Creationist 2
13. Famous Thinkers – Chemist Is a Creationist 3
14. Famous Thinkers – Chemist Is a Creationist 4
15. Famous Thinkers – Physician Is a Creationist
16. Famous Thinkers – President Is a Creationist
17. Famous Thinkers – Evangelist Is a Creationist 1

Read the sequel:
19. Famous Thinkers – Evangelist Is a Creationist 3

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:4)
Wednesday March 25, 2015 A.D.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 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. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. (Romans 1:18-23)

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