New twist in wrangle over changing physical constant

A new study of distant galaxies is adding a fresh perspective to the debate over whether a fundamental physical constant has actually changed over time. The work suggests the number has not varied in the last 7 billion years, but more observations are still needed to settle the issue.

The controversy centres on the fine-structure constant, also called alpha, which governs how electrons and light interact. Alpha is an amalgam of other constants, including the speed of light. So any change in alpha implies a change in the speed of light – and indeed in the entire standard model of physics – with string theories touting extra spatial dimensions stepping in to fill the breach.

So it caused a sensation in 2001 when a team led by John Webb, an astrophysicist at the University of New South Wales in Australia, announced the constant had changed by about one part in 100,000 over 12 billion years. Webb’s team studied about 140 clouds of gas and dust that absorb light from distant, bright quasars. Subtle changes in the relative position of absorption lines from elements in the clouds’ spectra suggested alpha had changed over time.

But another team using higher-quality quasar absorption data, though fewer observations, failed to find any change in 2004. And different researchers studying a natural nuclear reactor in Oklo, Gabon in Africa have also come to opposing conclusions about alpha’s constancy.Slippery customer

John Bahcall, an astrophysicist at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, US, helped pioneer quasar absorption studies in the 1960s, but he says this method can be slippery to interpret.

“The absorption line data is subject to misidentification of the lines and to the introduction of theoretical assumptions which may not be correct,” he told New Scientist. He adds that the spectral lines may be faint and can overlap, making it difficult to tell the lines’ source, and that astronomers must assume that all of the clouds share the same basic composition. Similarly, he says, interpreting the Oklo data involves making assumptions about other physical constants that might be subject to change.

Now, astronomers have used another method Bahcall developed to probe alpha. Rather than using absorption lines from clouds in space, a team led by Jeffrey Newman of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, US, has focused directly on a pair of emission lines from ionised oxygen in the galaxies themselves.

“With emission lines, you can choose systems that have a very strong, characteristic appearance and are isolated to be sure you have the right objects,” says Bahcall. And because the average wavelength of the light emitted by the oxygen ions is a direct measurement of alpha, he says, “the fine-structure constant pops out without any interpretation”.

Clean and simple

However, the new study cannot yet claim the precision of Webb’s result. Newman’s group used observations of 300 galaxies, lying between 4 billion and 7 billion light years away, to find that alpha has changed by no more than one part in 30,000 – the resolution limit of the data – in 7 billion years.

But Newman says the method is superior to the absorption line alternative, telling New Scientist: “It’s simpler, it’s cleaner, and to date people haven’t gotten contradictory results from it.”

Bahcall says the team has done an “absolutely superb job” and adds that more observations – including more distant galaxies – will improve the precision of the measurement still further.

Newman presented the results, from a survey of distant galaxies called DEEP2, at a meeting of the American Physical Society in Tampa, Florida, on Monday.

(Article from New Scientist published on 15:33 19 April 2005 by Maggie McKee at http://www.newscientist.com)

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Muslim who Used to Attack Christians and Burn Bibles is now a MISSIONARY, Thanks to a Powerful Encounter with God.

He hated Christians with such a passion he and his friends attacked them on their way to church and burned their Bibles. But two powerful encounters with God changed the course of his life.

 

(Source: Grace vine at http://gracevine.christiantoday.com)

ISIS Militant Converts to Christianity after Meeting Jesus in a Dream

the-black-flag-of-the-isisAn Islamic State (ISIS) militant converted to Christianity after meeting Jesus in dream, according to a Youth With A Mission (YWAM) missionary in the Middle East.

Speaking on The Voice of the Martyrs Radio Network, Gina Fadely, the former director of the organisation’s Frontier Missions, said that one of YWAM’s workers was introduced to an ISIS fighter who had killed a number of Christians. He even admitted to having enjoyed doing so, until he met Jesus in a dream.

“He [the jihadist] told this YWAM leader that he had begun having dreams of this man in white who came to him and said, ‘You are killing my people.’ And he started to feel really sick and uneasy about what he was doing,” Fadely said.

She added that the militant was given a Bible by a Christian man who was about to be killed, which he took and read. “In another dream, Jesus asked him to follow him and he was now asking to become a follower of Christ and to be discipled,” Fadely said. “So who knows, perhaps this man will be like Saul in the Bible, who persecuted Christians and then turned from that persecution of the early church to become the Apostle Paul who led it.

“God can turn it around.”

Kevin Sutter, current president of YWAM Frontier Missions, said there was a lesson to be learnt in not assuming that ISIS militants are “out of reach of God’s grace and out of reach of God’s spirit”.

He said a colleague in the Middle East told him “he has never seen spiritual hunger among Muslim people like he’s seeing now.”

“This is unprecedented, this has never happened in history,” Sutter added. “He said there are gospel programmes going out in Arabic throughout the region, radio and TV and there is a huge response.

“Many people are now following Jesus but they keep it quiet. They haven’t gone public about it. They even have church in their own home, they’re watching, they’ll serve Communion to one another as they’re watching TV.”

ISIS are now in control of huge swathes of Iraq and Syria, where they are trying to establish a Caliphate. This week, the Archbishop of Aleppo called for intervention from Western forces to stop the “monstrosities” being perpetrated by the jihadists.

“ISIS, which has already killed thousands in the region, is terrifying the faithful in Aleppo,” he wrote in a message to Aid to the Church in Need.

“After [attacks on] Maloula, Mosul, Idleb and Palmyra, what is the West waiting for before it intervenes? What are the great nations waiting for before they put a halt to these monstrosities?”

 

(Article from Christian Today by Carey Lodge at http://www.christiantoday.com)

Pastors Facing Death Sentence: ‘We’re Not Afraid’

Two South Sudanese pastors possibly facing execution in Sudan said they are not afraid to die. They’ve been charged with “inciting organized groups” and “offending Islamic beliefs.”

Pastors Yat Michael and David Yein spoke with Sr. International Correspondent George Thomas by phone from their Khartoum jail cell.

Sudan Graphic_zpsmjuo4hhhMichael said he has suffered psychological intimidation and hasn’t talked to his family for two months. He was accused of spying when he was arrested last January.

“When they interviewed me, they asked me why I’m preaching here. I say, ‘I am preaching because this is my call. I am a pastor. I must speak the Word of God,'” Michael told Thomas.

“They say ‘No, you don’t need to preach the Word of God with a hidden agenda,'” he recalled. “I said, ‘No, I don’t have any hidden agenda.’ They accused me because I’m a spy here. They say like that.”

Yein said he’s not afraid because God chose him to suffer. He wants Christians to pray that their imprisonment will be for God’s glory, and that both pastors will be at peace with those who oppose them.

On trial since May 19, they’ve been officially charged with “inciting organized groups” and “offending Islamic beliefs.”  Sudanese law (sharia) requires them to be executed if they are convicted.

Both Christians–who are from South Sudan–say they had no hidden agenda while visiting Khartoum; they were only answering God’s call to share the Word with the people of Sudan.

In an exclusive CBN News interview, Senior International Correspondent George Thomas talked to the two pastors via telephone from their Khartoum prison cell.

Sudanese-PastorsYat Michael told Thomas while he has not suffered physical beating during his imprisonment, he has experienced psychological intimidation. Also, he said it has been two months since he’s been allowed to talk with his family.

Speaking mostly in Arabic, David Yein told Thomas he is “not afraid of anything” because “God chose me to suffer.”
He asks that Christians pray that his suffering will “be for the glory of God” in the prison.

You may watch and listen to each interview here. I’ve also provided a transcript of both interviews and a translation of Yein’s comments which were spoken in Arabic:


TRANSCRIPT:

Reverend Yat Michael: We are fine thanks be to God. We were being here for five to six months since we were arrested. David Yein Was arrested 14th of December up to today. And I was arrested on 11 January up to today.

George Thomas: Have they done anything to you, have they beaten you, have they tried to intimidate you?

Yat Michael: No. They were…it was just only a psychologically incitement because we were being separated from our families for two months without hearing them. That was a tough problem to us.

We came from South Sudan and because of the war in South Sudan we came here in Sudan and we just go to go do our ministry training in our church and then they came to me-especially myself– they arrest me in my house. I don’t know why they do that. When they interviewed me, they asked me why I’m preaching here. I say I am preaching because this is my call. I am a pastor. I must speak the Word of God. They say no, you don’t need to preach the Word of God with a hidden agenda. I said no, I don’t have any hidden agenda. They accused me because I’m a spy here. They say like that.

George Thomas: How are you doing inside the prison, how is your faith?

Yat Michael: Yeah, it is my destination. My faith, I don’t, I don’t even I don’t have a sense of patience 15:28 I must call on my faith. It is not a new thing to me. They just keep us for nothing. They just keep us in the prison for nothing. And they are terrible to us. We are staying in, for confinement without any crime that we commit.

Reverend David Yein:

George: Are you afraid that you could be killed for this?

David Yein: No, I am not afraid of anything….I am never afraid of anything because it is my love, it is my being, because I believe. God chose me to suffer.

(Arabic translated to English)

I’m not afraid from doing my ministry and my message I’m chosen by God. I serve him in any circumstances, be instant in season, out of season.

George Thomas: I’m sure you miss your wives a lot…

David Yein: I missed her. We can’t be together because there is a legal restriction, but she sees me from the window, and she is sure that I’m here. I’m really here with a good condition, but I’m waiting to be outside.

George Thomas: Will you still continue to preach The Gospel?

David Yein: I preach and serve and I’m sending the message of the gospel to the whole world as the lord said: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”

George Thomas: Have you had a chance to preach The Gospel in prison to other people?

David Yein: We have a church in the prison and we pray with the prisoners and the sentenced and the accused people.

George Thomas: Pastor, how can we pray for you, how can we pray for you and the other brother?

David Yein: We want you to pray that this test be for the glory of God in this place… and for us to be in peace with our people and the ones who are against us.

 

 

(Article from CBN News by Gary Lane at http://www.cbn.com)

Joe Biden Says Bible Believing Christians Violate LGBT Rights By Simply Existing

Statement by the Vice President on the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

“For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.” Romans 1:26,27 (KJV)

Vice President Joe Biden say today that the rights of the LGBT people are violated by “religious condemnation”. He is directly referring to Bible verses like the one posted at the top of this article. The Progressive Liberals are well aware that it is God, speaking by the Holy Spirit through the Bible, that condemns homosexuality in all it’s many forms. According to Joe Biden, the American Bible believing Christian who takes the Bible literally, is violating the “rights” of the LGBT by trusting in God’s word. And this is why old-fashioned preaching will soon be classified as a “hate crime”. Because Liberals can’t stand it. Biden is also saying that the rights of the Christian are inferior to the rights of the LGBT individual.

joe-biden-vice-president-remarks-international-day-against-homophobia

Here is the full transcript of his remarks:

My father taught me the simple notion that everyone, everywhere is entitled to be treated with dignity and respect. When it comes to LGBT people, that simple proposition has been painfully difficult to accomplish over the years. But in the last decade, thanks to the astounding bravery of the LGBT community and those who have championed their cause, the United States has made remarkable progress toward the ultimate goal of equality in law and in life. Our progress remains incomplete, but the momentum has shifted in the right direction.

Progress has also been made in many places around the world. But in too many places, life for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals is actually getting worse. In too many places, LGBT community members face violence with impunity, mistreatment by police, the denial of healthcare, or religious condemnation and social isolation.

The best mechanism to confront this hatred is to speak up in favor of universal human rights. Supportive voices must be heard. Today and every day, let us continue to defend the rights of LGBT people, whether from nearby cities or far-off villages. We cannot rest until everyone receives the dignity, respect, and equal treatment under the law that all people deserve. source

Instead of “respecting universal human rights”, the Bible says that homosexuality is an abomination that needs to be repented of. Jesus Christ went to the cross to redeem the homosexual, that’s true. But He did not go to the cross to preserve homosexuality. He came to abolish that, and all sin.

There is no such thing as same-sex marriage, anymore than say a man marrying his dog would constitute a wedding. Sleeping in your garage does not make you a car. There is not one example in the Bible of God supporting, at any time, anything having to do with homosexuality. Churches that perform gay marriage ceremonies do it completely outside the blessing of God, and indeed bring down the wrath of God. The mark of Ichabod gets carved into the doorposts of every church that supports the LGBT movement.

Obama’s America, with it’s sky-high abortion rates, free-flowing 24 x 7 gambling, legalized pot, rampant drug and alcohol abuse, and now as the champion of the LGBT Movement, is rapidly becoming everything that the Bible says God hates.

Just the other day I was verbally assaulted and attacked by a vicious lesbian who said that “had no right” to my beliefs, and that this website was “hate speech”. Kinda funny, though, that she said this while all the while demanding that I respect her “right” to be gay. What about my right to believe and follow the Bible? Apparently, I am not entitled to my rights. And this is exactly why Biden’s remarks today should be taken very seriously. As we have always told you and will continue to tell you, the LGBT is not interested in “tolerance”. They don’t want “acceptance”. What they want is complete and total domination, which is exactly what Obama and his minions are giving them.

“Woe unto them that call evil good…”

(Article from Now The End Begins by at http://www.nowtheendbegins.com/blog/?p=33175)

Tebow Opens Children’s ‘Palace of Healing’

DAVAO, Philippines — Former NFL quaterback Tim Tebow’s newest children’s hospital, located in the poverty stricken region of Southern Philippines, has just been formally opened.

Tebow CURE Hospital is the first children’s orthopedic medical facility in Mindanao. It’s called the “palace of healing” because here children are not only healed from physical disabilities, but they are also shared the love of Jesus.

It’s a partnership between the Tim Tebow Foundation and CURE International, which is a medical and non-profit organization devoted to children.

The hospital treats conditions such as clubfoot, bowed legs, and other physical deformities.

“We do our best to treat these children like kings and queens. They’re marginalized, bullied in school. Some can’t go to school because of their disabilities,” Leron Lehman, executive director at CURE International Philippines, said.

“We say often at CURE healing changes everything. And it’s absolutely true in the lives of these children and their families,” he added.

Just a few minutes before a corrective surgery for both her hand and foot, a patient named Erica Pasatiempo expressed how happy she was because God answered her prayers.

“I cried every time my classmates called me names because of my deformities. They don’t accept me as a normal kid. I just prayed to God that they will stop humiliating me,” Pasatiempo explained.

“I am really happy because God is really good. After the surgery, I am excited because I can join the camping trips and also join the dance group in school,” she added.

Cherrlynne Gulada was one of the first patients of the Tebow CURE Hospital. At the age of 11, she broke her leg in a motorcylce accident. Her mother, who was riding with her, died in the accident.

It left Gulada suffering with a severely painful, deformed leg and the emotional trauma brought about by the tragedy.

“Most of the time I didn’t go to school because the pain was too much to endure,” Gulada recalled.

Gulada is grateful to the Tebow CURE Hospital for treating her leg. After five years, she can now walk straight and without pain. She also received emotional and spiritual healing.

“Before, I didn’t really believe or think much about God, but now I know God. Jesus is my Savior and He has given me eternal life. He healed my leg and now I can go back to school and finish college,” Gulada said.

tim-tebow-kids3_originalCURE International CEO and President Dale Brantner said his excitement stems from the hospital’s ability to reach communities historically ignored.

“We’re excited that we are here in Mindanao. Few people come here because of the danger, because of tensions in regards to interfaith dynamics,” Brantner told CBN News.

“So we’re happy to come here to deposit a message that Jesus is for you, He loves you regardless of race, your creed,” he continued. “Regardless of what you believe you’re welcome here in Jesus Name for healing both physically and spiritually.”

Tebow, who was born in the Philippines, was unable to attend the inaugural. But his parents, who served as missionaries in Mindanao for 32 years, attended on his behalf.

“Timmy was born in Manila. We had very good doctors who saved our lives. It was a difficult pregnancy. That’s also one reason why we’re so indebted to the people of the Phils. Timmy has such a heart for the Philippines and that’s what really drove him to be part of the hospital,” Tebow’s mother, Pam, explained.

“We certainly didn’t expect to have a hospital share our name. But we are excited and very glad. Through this hospital, we can show the love of Jesus, show the love of Filipinos and help a lot of children,” Tebow’s father, Bob, said.

(Article from CBN News by Lucille Talusan at http://www.cbn.com)