Tag Archives: science

Flying Saucers (UFOs) Sighters Get scientific Support | UFO CHRONICLE – 8-12-1965

Flying Saucers Get scientific Support - Chicago Sun-Times 8-12-1965


Jacqques Vallee, French-born astronomer now a Chicagoan, believes a lack of authentic research may be at the bottom of inability to place UFOs in perspective.


“The current increase in the number of UFO reports,” he said, “undoubtedly marks the beginning of a wave comparable to those of 1954 or 1957. Currently there is a deluge of reports all over Europe, Australia and South America.
8:46 AM 11/28/2017

By Chicago Sun-Times

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Naked Bible Podcast Episodes 187 and 188: Evangelical Theological Society Conference Interviews

It’s that time of year – a new round of interviews with scholars and professors at the annual meetings of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS). Here are the two episodes into which those interviews were grouped. Stay tuned for interviews from the SBL Meetings as well!

Naked Bible Podcast Episode 187: ETS Conference Interviews, Part 1

  • In this first installment we talk to Hugh Ross about his new book, Improbable Planet, and his apologetics ministry; Doug Groothuis about anti-intellectual attitudes in the believing Church; Andy Naselli about his new book on “higher life” (Keswick) theology; and Maurice Robinson about his scholarly work on the Byzantine-Majority text type of the New Testament.

Naked Bible Podcast Episode 188: ETS Conference Interviews, Part 2

  • In this second installment of ETS interviews, Mike chats with Carl Sanders and Ronn Johnson, two long-time friends. In the first part of the conversation with Carl and Ronn, we focused on their own response to “higher life” sanctification and reminisced about our academic and teaching experiences. In Part 2, Mike, Carl, and Ronn conduct a thought experiment to illustrate what biblical-theological geeks do at these meetings by asking Ronn to toss out a new view of the atonement he’s been thinking about and then probing it for strengths and weaknesses.

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More Flat Earth Debunking from the PseudoAstronomy Podcast

Stuart Robbins has added to the work he’s already done on his podcast.  Stuart takes us through more about how young earth creationists also oppose the flat earth nonsense. Anyone who has listened to Stuart before knows he’s not a YEC or creationist. His point here is that even those whose views of the origin of life are contrary to his own have the sense to oppose the flat earth / geocentric idea. I of course believe in a creator, but I’m grateful that Stuart has taken the time to address this absurd idea.

His previous episodes (upon which this one builds) are:

Podcast #78: Historic and Modern Geocentrism

Podcast #152: Modern Flat Earth Thought, Part 3 (Young-Earth Creationists Debunking Flat Earth)

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PEERANORMAL Episode 07: DMT, Psychedelics, Religious Mysticism, and Paranormal Experiences

This episode focuses on entheogens—psychedelic drugs that are known to cause “mystical states” of consciousness. Our hosts discuss Rick Strassman’s work on DMT, but that is merely a subset of entheogen study. Current research in the fields of brain science, psychology, and religion are struggling to explain how entheogens and the experiences they cause should be understood. The dilemma of consciousness, more popularly known as the mind-body problem, is at the heart of the struggle. Do entheogens simply affect part of the brain and its chemistry triggering new states of consciousness from inside your head? Or do these drugs separate consciousness from the organ of the body we call the brain, verifying that consciousness is distinct from the brain? Are God and other supernal beings experienced by people under the effect of entheogens just a product of the brain, or are they entities to be experienced by unhindered consciousness?

Follow this link to the episode and articles we read for the episode.

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PEERANORMAL Episode 6: Sleep Paralysis

Sleep paralysis can be defined in several ways. In terms of the experiencer, it can be described as “a visitation by a malevolent creature which attacked its victims as they slept” (Cox). More clinically, sleep paralysis is understood as “a transient,conscious state of involuntary immobility occurring when falling asleep or upon wakening” (Cheyne, 2002). Research into sleep paralysis has produced compelling evidence that the phenomenon can be explained by brain chemistry and physiology in conjunction with REM sleep. But is that all there is to it?

Check out the episode and the sources for this episode at this link.

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Exposing Modern Flat Earth Belief – Part 2 of the Exposing PseudoAstronomy Podcast Series

I blogged a short time ago about Stuart Robbins’ podcast series on modern flat earth belief. Stuart is a PhD in geology whose dissertation was on the geology of Mars. His podcast is, as its title suggests, about debunking nonsensical beliefs tied to astronomical subject matter (e.g., Planet X myths).

Part 1 of Stuart’s series can be found here.

Part 2 was just posted.


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Modern Flat Earth Theory Exposed, Part I

Back in February I caused a minor brouhaha (have to love that word) when I blogged, “Christians Who Believe the Earth is Really Flat — Does It Get Any Dumber Than This?” I’m a Christian and biblical scholar who has a grasp of the fact that ancient Israelite cosmology describes a flat earth. But since it’s evident that the Bible was not produced to give us science, it’s logically fallacious to presume we need to believe that the earth is really flat to embrace things that the Bible does in fact ask us to believe. (Here’s a lecture I gave some years ago in church on that topic).

I was quite surprised by the number of angry comments the post generated. It was difficult to believe that people actually believed this today. in my judgment, it deflects people away from considering the gospel message since people will think they must embrace a flat earth to embrace biblical theology. As I noted in my post and my lecture, that’s poor thinking.  It’s also imposing a modern context on an ancient work — the Bible. How that’s a legitimate interpretive strategy I don’t understand. But I digress …

I vowed never to blog on the subject again — and I won’t. But I never promised I wouldn’t ask scientists I know to chime in. Specifically, I asked Stuart Robbins, the host of the PseudoAstronomy podcast, to do an episode on the topic once he returned to podcasting. Stuart assured me he would and, true to his word, he has.  I doubt I can take credit for that, since it’s evident Stuart had fielded such questions before. I’ve recommended Stuart’s podcasts before, as he has an entire series on Nibiru/Planet X myths, the alleged faking of the moon landings, the face on Mars and Cydonia, etc. I’ve also been on his show to discuss Zecharia Sitchin’s flawed work on Nibiru/Planet X. Stuart does a good job of treating even the most ridiculous ideas in a serious manner.

Here’s the first installment of Stuart’s discussion of flat earth science fallacies. I can hardly wait for Part 2.


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Earth to Lynn Marzulli

Lynn Marzulli (L. A. Marzulli, but I knew him years ago as Lynn) just posted something accusing me of making “tired and pompous” and “false” claims about his fairy research in a “hit piece” here. What a bore. Whip out the persecution complex instead of making the effort to what I actually asked: be transparent. It’s an unfortunate, familiar story. What I note below now goes for his fairy / elongated skull / nephilim research wholesale.

Lynn is referencing this post on this blog of a few days ago.

Earth to Lynn and others to whom it may apply:  I didn’t make any claims at all about Marzulli’s work, good or bad. I asked that he make the details of his research public to avoid being like others in fringe research. I asked that he do the right (ethical) thing in relation to his claims:  give the public the name of the lab(s), the names of the scientists testing the specimen(s), the test results for peer review scrutiny, etc.  That’s it — and it’s anything but unreasonable. In fact, it’s absolutely reasonable, and doing so would be a good testimony in contrast to many in fringe research who just won’t make any effort toward such transparency. So, Lynn, the only way you can “rebut” a request for transparency is to not comply — to avoid transparency. I’m hoping you don’t really want to do that.  On the other hand, putting your research and test results out there for peer review could potentially mean that you’ll in fact prove your claims aren’t things like pseudoscience or more head wrapping. But the only way to establish that beyond any pale of suspicion (which is what lack of transparency produces) is to in fact do what I asked you to do — put it all out there for peer review. This is in fact the standard we all adhere to in other areas of life (as my post sought to illustrate).

Does this really sound unreasonable?

In short, Christians ought to do everything like this above board, and make every effort to follow good research protocol.  So, if transparency and careful, honest research are now pompous, tired, and false, yep … that’s me. I’ll wear that like a badge.  Yep, Heiser’s a “hit man” for transparency and honesty (thanks for the label; people will know where to come when they want to be told the truth, even if it’s irritating). I’m happy to be an honest stick in the mud. I always have, and always will, insist on transparency. I don’t care if the research is a fellow Christian like Lynn or someone who isn’t (e.g., Sitchin). The standard is the same. (Well, truth be told I care more when it’s a Christian for the sake of the gospel’s reputation).

I ask again: Does this really sound unreasonable?

It’s for this reason that I won’t be commenting any more on Lynn’s research (that is, engaging in tit for tat posting). He can say what he wants. But my request and the standard of transparency will always be the same. Instead of repeating it in a series of responses to what Lynn might write about me in the future, the standard will just live here. So let’s read clearly the first time. Anyone who cares about transparency and honesty — putting scientific research up for peer review — will be able to read this and the original post.

It’s not complicated, Lynn — do the right thing.  We’ll all be thrilled (and perhaps fascinated) with that. We hope you’re right, but the only way to know isn’t your say-so …. it’s to have tried-and-peer-tested research behind you.

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Those Alleged Human Footprints Mixed with Dinosaur Tracks in Paluxy, TX

I came across this well written essay today on the Paluxy River foot prints. For those who’ve never heard of them, the site purportedly shows evidence (via co-mingled foot prints and dinosaur tracks) that humans and dinosaurs lived at the same time. Consequently, it has achieved near canonical status with young earth creationists. The essay linked above is written by a young earth creationist — John D. Morris, son of Henry Morris — for the ICR website (Institute of Creation Research). It’s honest — and so it’s valuable. As Morris points out, the notion of human foot prints among dinosaur tracks is highly dubious and, basically, wrong. As I’ve said many times before (and I believe in a Creator and creation), doing bad science or falsifying data are unethical or unfortunate “strategies” in a creation apologetic. Morris is to be applauded for his honesty and research here. Here’s an excerpt:

Due to an unknown cause, certain of the prints once labeled human are taking on a completely different character. The prints in the trail which I have called the “Taylor Trail,” consisting of numerous readily visible elongated impressions in a left-right sequence, have changed into what appear to be tridactyl (three-toed) prints, evidently of some unidentified dinosaur. The changes in the impressions themselves are mostly confined to lengthening in the downriver direction. The most significant change, however, is that surrounding the toe area. In almost each of the prints in the trail, three large “toes” have appeared, similar to nearby dinosaur tracks. These toes, typically, are coloration phenomena only, with no impressions, in most cases. Frequently the “mud push up” surrounding the original elongated track is crossed by this red coloration. The shape of the entire track, including both impression and coloration, is unlike any known dinosaur print.

Morris discusses all four trails known from the river bed that are part of this controversy. He writes toward the end:

In view of these developments, none of the four trails at the Taylor site can today be regarded as unquestionably of human origin. The Taylor Trail appears, obviously, dinosaurian, as do two prints thought to be in the Turnage Trail. The Giant Trail has what appears to be dinosaur prints leading toward it, and some of the Ryals tracks seem to be developing claw features, also.

For a peer-reviewed study of erosion and dinosaur tracks (just an example of what Morris is talking about), click here.

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