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)

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)

Nun: ‘Islam Is ISIS. Whoever Says Otherwise Is a Liar’

WASHINGTON — The Islamic terror group ISIS is leaving a trail of destruction across large parts of Syria and Iraq with a specific target in their crosshairs.

Hundreds of thousands of Christians have been displaced from their homes and countless others have been murdered or enslaved by the jihadist army, with no end in sight.

Sister Hatune Dogan has been on the ground and witnessed the devastation of these ancient Christian communities. She’s listened to survivors tell how Christians and Yazidi women are being sold into sex slavery.

“They choose the most beautiful one, even if they have a small child, and they sell these women, these ladies to each other. They don’t sell to another religion — only Sunni Muslim,” Dogan said.

nun isis“There have been 12,000 kidnapped at the hands of ISIS – Yazidi alone. What is going on there, what I was hearing, is the highest barbarism on earth in the history until today,” she added.

Her foundation helps the poor and persecuted in 35 countries, providing them with food, clothing, medicine and shelter.

She travels constantly with a special focus in the Muslim world.

“I’m not coming here for a holiday. I’m coming here to bring a voice to the voiceless so that the world can hear their voice. They don’t have a voice. I am the channel for them. That is my mission,” Dogan declared.

Sister Dogan is no stranger to Islamic persecution. As a young girl, threats from local Muslims forced her family to leave their home in Turkey.

They relocated to Germany, where she operates her foundation and sounds the alarm about the gathering Islamic storm.

“The mission of (Abu Bakr) Baghdadi, of ISIS, is to convert the world completely to the Islamic religion and bring them to Dar Al Salaam, as they call it. And Islam is not peace, please. Whoever says ISIS has no connection to Islam or something like this is, he’s a liar. ISIS is Islam; Islam is ISIS,” Dogan explained.

She’s disappointed by what she calls a weak reaction from the West.

“We know that in Islam, there is no democracy. Islam and democracy are opposite, like black and white. And I hope America will understand. America today has the power that they can stop this disaster on the earth, with other Western countries,” she argued.

As for Sister Dogan, she says she’ll keep calling attention to the plight of followers of Jesus around the world whether the West wants to hear it or not.

(Article from CBN News by Erick Stakelbeck at http://www.cbn.com)

500 Year Old Map Was Discovered That Shatters The “Official” History Of The Planet

p-728x400Human history is quite an enigma. We know so little, and much of what we think we know seems to be highly questionable in the wake of new evidence, as well as pre-existing information that challenges our current understanding of the world.

Our world is no stranger to unexplained mystery, and there are numerous examples of verified phenomenon, ancient monuments, books, teachings, understandings and more that lack any explanation and counter what we’ve already been taught. We are like a race with amnesia, able to put together small bits and pieces of our history yet unable to provide any sort of verified explanation. There are still many missing pieces to the puzzle.

One great example is the Piri Reis map, a genuine document that was re-made (copied from older documents) at Constantinople in AD 1513, and discovered in 1929. It focuses on the western coast of Africa, the eastern coast of South America, and the northern coast of Antarctica. It was drawn by the military intelligence of Admiral Piri Reis of the Ottoman era. He is a well-known historical figure whose identity is well established. The Admiral made a copy of it, and the original was drawn based on documents that date back to at least the fourth century BC, and on information obtained by multiple explorers.

Why The Map Is So Compelling

Right off the bat, one of the most compelling facts about the map is that it includes a continent that our history books tell us was not discovered until 1818.

Secondly, the map depicts what is known as “Queen Maud Land,” a 2.7 million-square-kilometer (1 million sq mi) region of Antarctica as it looked millions of years ago. This region and other regions shown on the map are thought to have been covered completely in ice, but the map tells a different story. It shows this area as ice free, which suggests that these areas passed through a long ice-free period which might not have come to an end until approximately six thousand years ago, which again, totally goes against what is taught and currently believed. Today, geological evidence has confirmed that this area could not have been ice-free until about 4000 BC.

Official science has been saying all along that the ice-cap which covers the Antarctic is millions of years old. The Piri Reis map shows that the northern part of that continent has been mapped before the ice did cover it. This means that it was mapped a million years ago, but that’s impossible, since mankind did not exist at that time. Quite the conundrum isn’t it?

Professor Charles Hapgood, who was a university history professor, wrote to the United States Air Force Reconnaissance Technical Squadron (SAC) and they also confirmed that“this indicates the coastline had been mapped before it was covered by the ice-cap.” (1) They also went on to state that “we have no idea how the data on this map can be reconciled with the supposed state of geographical knowledge in 1513.” (1) (The reply was from Harold Z. Ohlmeyer, a Lt Colonel, USAF)

Here’s what Professor Charles Hapgood had to say about it:

“It appears that accurate information has been passed down from people to people. It appears that the charts must have originated with a people unknown and they were passed on, perhaps by the Minoans and the Phoenicians, who were, for a thousand years and more, the greatest sailors of the ancient world. We have evidence that they were collected and studied in the great library of Alexandria (Egypt) and that compilations of them were made by the geographers that worked there.” (1)

Furthermore, the map is very detailed and includes mountain ranges in the Antarctic. which were not even discovered until 1952.

“His idea is original, of great simplicity, and – if it continues to prove itself – of great importance to everything that is related to the history of the Earth’s surface.” – Einstein on Hapgood’s interpretations of the map (1)(2) (From a forward Einstein wrote for Hapgood in one of his books)

So if what we always known about the earth history being millions of years old is being shaken now, maybe the whole idea of evolution and natural selection is baseless and inaccurate.

“If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.”
Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species

It has been found out a very long time ago through archaeologic researches and discoveries that complex organisms have existed at a very early stages of human history.  Why are we surprised at all that the earth may not be as old as we thought it is.

 

 Sources:

(1) Hancock, Graham. Fingerprints of the Gods: Canada: Anchor Canada, 2005

(2) Daniken, Erich. Chariots of The Gods. New York: Berkley Books, 1970

 

(Article from Collective Evolution published on February 24, 2015 by athttp://www.collective-evolution.com)

Cuban Churches Thriving Despite Incredible Poverty

As relations between the United States and Cuba begin to thaw a surprising spiritual reality is emerging, the Cuban Church is thriving.

In the midst of opposition and incredible poverty, Cuban Baptists, Assemblies of God, and other denominations are reporting amazing growth in their churches throughout the country.

In the past 20 years, Baptist churches have grown from several hundred to more than 7,000. Assemblies of God churches that once numbered less than 100 members now have more than 10,000 church comers proclaiming the Gospel.

“The Church not only survived, but in the midst of those pressures and difficulties it grew. It grew solid,” Cuban Pastor Moises De Prado said.

At the core of Cuba’s church growth are house churches springing up across the island.

Back in the 1990s, the Cuban government told churches they could not build any new buildings. Consequently, church growth became very, very easy, as Christians simply began meeting in homes.

Surprisingly, many also believe that Cuba’s poverty has fueled its church growth.  With many Cubans existing on less than $30 a month, there’s simply not the money to pursue entertainment, hobbies or other pursuits that would pull them from the Gospel.

“One church leader told me, ‘That is one of the reasons that church members spend so much time in church activities.  They can spend more time evangelizing their neighbors because they’re not distracted by a lot of material goods,” CBN News Producer Stan Jeter said.

Church leaders say one fruit of all this growth is an emerging missions movement in Cuba.

Hundreds of believers are considering or planning to head overseas as missionaries. Given their single-minded focus and long-term experience with hardship, they may be uniquely qualified to travel to new lands to spread the Gospel.

(Article from CBN by Heather Sells at http://www.cbn.com)

Christians In Pakistan On Death Row Need Our Help

Pakistan Petition

Urge the Pakistan Government

The Christians on Death Row 3

Left to right: Christian mother of five, Asia Bibi, sentenced to death in 2010 for blasphemy; Shafqat and Shagufta Masih, Christian husband and wife sentenced to death for “sending blasphemous text messages” in 2014; Sawan Masih, 26-year-old Christian father of three sentenced to death in 2014 for blasphemy.

Death by hanging. That’s what four Christians sitting on Pakistan’s death row today are facing, simply for their faith in Jesus.

In Pakistan, the “crime” of blasphemy against Islam or the Prophet Muhammed can be leveled at almost anyone without any evidence. The result of such an accusation is often anarchy and destruction. In 2013, an enraged mob of thousands of Muslims attacked a Christian neighborhood in Lahore after one Christian man was accused of blasphemy. Over 100 Christian homes were torched in the rioting and thousands fled for their lives. The Christian accused of blasphemy, Sawan Masih, was sentenced to death in 2014.

Last month, Pakistan established a new “fast-track” court to deal with victims who had been unjustly accused of committing blasphemy. Sunni Muslim cases where the only cases moved over to the fast-track program. Today, we’re calling on Pakistan to move ALL blasphemy cases, and especially those of religious minorities, into this new fast-track system. Christians and others often spend years languishing in prison, facing abuse and death threats, waiting for the court system to process their cases. 21 Christians, and dozens from other faiths, have been murdered since 1981 after being accused of blasphemy before they could even get to trial. Fast-tracking these cases could see them set free in a matter of weeks.

Take just a moment now and let your voice be heard on behalf of those who have lost their freedom for their faith. Sign our petition, and urge the government of Pakistan to fast-track the cases of blasphemy victims.

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Amplify your voice by sharing our petition on Facebook, Twitter, and any other form of social media you use!

For Twitter, re-tweet #LetThemGo in every tweet on this petition!

“Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people.”– Isaiah 58:6 (NLT)

(Source International Christian Concern at http://www.persecution.org)