China and Germany Strengthen Cooperation With Nigeria

China and Germany Strengthen Cooperation With Nigeria

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As America grapples with the fiscal cliff, China and Germany are increasing their military presence in an African nation vital to global seaborne trade.

In many ways Nigeria is becoming the new Somalia. Like the Somali al-Shabaab terrorist militia, Nigerian Boko Haram insurgents are unleashing a wave of religiously-motivated violence across the country. Like the Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden, West African pirates are now terrorizing ships off the coasts of Nigeria and across the Gulf of Guinea.

Although pirates have been attacking ships in the oil-rich Niger Delta since the 1980s, their attacks have increased in frequency and severity in the last three years. According to Foreign Policy magazine, between January and September of 2012, pirates attacked 42 vessels in the Gulf of Guinea—taking 168 crew members hostage. Just last month, a group of Somali pirates operating off the Nigerian coast looted a German oil tanker, taking five Indian sailors hostage.

Analysts are attributing this rise in piracy to the fact that the Nigerian coast is largely unregulated and without an adequate maritime police force. This was not always the case.

After Britain outlawed the slave trade in 1807, the African Oyo Empire began to decline and eventually collapsed. British influence in the Niger region then gradually increased over the course of the 19th century until Nigeria became an official British colony in 1900. Operating from this new colony, the British military was able to end the slave trade in the region and keep the Gulf of Guinea free from pirates. After Nigerian independence in 1960, with Britain’s global power in decline, the United States took on more maritime policing responsibilities.

Although the U.S. Navy is still involved in the Gulf of Guinea, its efforts to keep the waterways safe have proved ineffective. This has prompted other world powers to increase their military presence in the region.

Just last August, the Chinese military had discussions with the Nigerian government to upgrade the Nigerian Navy. During the discussions, Chinese military attaché to Nigeria, Kang Honglin, pointed to the fact that China has already helped Nigeria set up an ammunition assembly line. He then went on to talk about China’s desire to provide the Nigerian Navy with both the training and equipment necessary to secure the Gulf of Guinea.

The German military is also very involved with Nigeria, although Berlin’s focus has been more on combating terrestrial-based Islamic extremist than it has been on combating marine-based pirates. German Chancellor Angela Merkel was in discussion with the Nigerian president last August wherein she offered German military training to Nigerian soldiers combating Boko Haram Islamic insurgents. Such military training would be a big step toward ensuring the safe passage of Nigerian oil supplies to both European and Oriental markets.

Foreign affairs analysts rank Nigeria as one of Africa’s three most geopolitically important nations. As Egypt’s fate determines the stability of Northern Africa and South Africa’s fate determines the stability of sub-Saharan Africa, so Nigeria’s fate determines the stability of the oil-rich nations surrounding the Gulf of Guinea. This fact is not lost on the political leaders of China or Germany—who are taking great pains to develop bilateral relations with Nigeria.

As America grapples with the fiscal cliff and financial decline, China and Germany are increasing their military presence in an African nation vital to global seaborne trade.

Deuteronomy 28 and Isaiah 23 foretell a time when a temporary German-Chinese alliance will ally against the United States in a great, global trade war. For a detailed explanation of this prophecy, read Chapter Seven of editor in chief Gerald Flurry’s booklet Isaiah’s End-Time Vision.

What’s Wrong With Marijuana?

What’s Wrong With Marijuana?

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From the February 2013 Trumpet Print Edition

Marijuana is getting stronger. It has become increasingly popular since open drug use crashed through cultural and moral barriers in the 1960s. Now the youths of the ’60s are parents, grandparents, voters and politicians. Today, youths and even adults say that marijuana is basically harmless—if not glamorous, like it is portrayed in entertainment—or even medically beneficial. Attitudes have become so relaxed that Americans in two states actually voted in November to legalize marijuana for recreational use.

We are watching marijuana change from a counterculture banned substance into a mainstream recreational aid. But the debate is far from over. What are the facts about cannabis?

Marijuana in America

The real extent of marijuana use is unknown, but it is chronic and widespread. Ninety-five million Americans have experimented with this drug at least once. In 2002, three out of four illicit drug users admitted they had used marijuana in the 30 days prior. In 2007, a survey found that 14.4 million Americans had smoked marijuana in the previous 30 days. Between the ’60s and 2000, the average age of marijuana users dropped from 19 to just over 17. Under-18 marijuana initiates now make up 67 percent.

Why is marijuana so popular? One student used this frank reasoning: “We do it because it’s there, because we like it, and because it is one way to tell the grown-up world to go to h—-.” Youths and even adults often claim it as an adolescent rite of passage. Many try it due to peer pressure.

The Facts

People have grown the Indian hemp plant for use as a hallucinogen for more than 2,000 years. The name comes from the Portuguese maringuango, meaning “intoxicant.” Drugs extracted from the Indian hemp are collectively called cannabis, and all forms of cannabis are hallucinogenic. The plant contains more than 400 known chemicals, many of which are toxic to the human body.

One compound, tetrahydrocannabinol (thc), produces psychoactive effects in the brain, which are usually called highs. This distortion of mental perception usually takes effect within minutes; sensations include increased heart rate, a slight rise in blood pressure, conjunctival vascular congestion, lessened coordination and balance, and a dreamy, unreal state of mind. These sensations peak within the first half hour, and usually wear off after a couple of hours, depending on the potency of thc and the amount ingested.

Marijuana is not only getting stronger culturally, it is getting stronger chemically. There are some significant differences between the marijuana teens and young adults use today and what their parents used. The levels of delta-9 thc have multiplied from less than 1 percent in the mid-1970s to more than 6 percent. In the past two decades, the potency of sinsemilla—a form of cannabis produced from the smaller leaves and flowers—increased from 6 percent to more than 13 percent. Some samples contained thc levels as high as 33 percent.

A Harmless Herb?

Many people claim that cannabis is a comparatively benign natural herb—less harmful than alcohol or tobacco. Yet it contains many of the same cancer-causing chemicals found in tobacco. The amount of tar and carbon-monoxide inhaled by those who smoke marijuana is three to five times greater than among tobacco smokers, regardless of thc content. And unlike alcohol, where the ethanol is eliminated within a few hours, marijuana residues can stay in the body for weeks.

Marijuana use can also seriously damage respiratory and cardiovascular health, causing chronic coughing, wheezing and bronchitis. Smoking a relatively small amount of marijuana has a similar impact to smoking five to seven times that amount in cigarettes, one after another.

And there is no denying that cannabis affects the mind—that is its purpose. This has been directly linked to health, safety, social, behavioral and academic problems. The drug can affect concentration, attention and learning for up to 24 hours. A University of Iowa study showed that people who used marijuana frequently exhibited deficits in mathematical skills and verbal expression. They also showed impairments in memory-retrieval and mental aptitudes. Animals given marijuana in scientific studies have suffered structural damage to the brain.

Like other hallucinogens, cannabis disrupts the flow of chemical neurotransmitters. Its use can lead to increased anxiety, panic attacks, depression and other mental health issues. One study showed that children ages 12 to 17 who smoke marijuana weekly are three times more likely to have suicidal thoughts than non-users. Recent research showed how the risk of major depression quadruples through cannabis use. Swedish scientists have also found a link between marijuana use and an increased risk of developing schizophrenia.

Long term, the cannabis user risks triple the likelihood of illicit drug abuse or dependence, poor job and academic performance, cognitive deficits, lung damage, lesions to the brain and other brain abnormalities similar to those caused by long-term abuse of other major drugs.

Many people believe cannabis use is not addictive. But use can lead to dependency, and heavy users have shown withdrawal symptoms that include increased aggression, irritability, anxiety and insomnia.

Marijuana use can deform the structure of sperm cells and cause temporary sterility in men. It can upset a woman’s menstrual cycle and is one of the few drugs that create abnormal cell division resulting in severe hereditary defects. It also drastically affects the immune system, reducing resistance to common illnesses.

Marijuana use also loosens inhibitions—since the user loses control of his mind—which, among other things, leads to more risky sexual behavior. This indirect consequence causes myriad problems for individuals and society. Research shows that the younger a person is when he begins using cannabis, the more likely he or she will suffer these long-term consequences.

A Growing Problem

According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, 40 percent of adult males arrested for crimes tested positive for cannabis at the time of their arrest.

Among adults 26 and older who used the drug prior to age 15, 62 percent later went on to use cocaine, 9 percent went on to use heroin at least once, and 54 percent abused mind-altering prescription drugs.

Of all teens entering drug treatment, nearly two thirds are dependent on cannabis—a larger proportion than all other illicit drugs combined.

Rather than making people mellow, users showed a four-fold increase in violent and aggressive behavior. Users also tend to disobey authority and cause destruction of personal or public property.

An increasing risk to cannabis users, and the rest of society, is that of driving under the influence. Blood analysis shows 15 percent of trauma patients who were injured while driving a car or motorcycle had smoked marijuana. Another 17 percent had both alcohol and thc in their blood.

But It’s Beneficial

Many states allow people with certain medical conditions to use marijuana for relief. Yet, as a smoked product, cannabis has never been proven to be medically beneficial; it is more likely to harm the patient’s health. The majority of marijuana medicinal studies have been relatively short-term and limited in scope. They have looked for the treatment (suppression) of existing conditions, but have never proven that cannabis has any healing properties.

As with any drug at low doses, the intoxicated individual may profess an increased sense of well-being in a dreamy, carefree state of relaxation. Yet this distortion is a false sense of security—fooling the brain into thinking it is operating normally, or better, when the reality is the opposite.

In stronger doses, marijuana can even precipitate psychosis. More than a “personality disorder,” psychosis is a severe mental derangement.

No matter the dosage, marijuana is far from a harmless high. Evidence continues to mount that it causes harmful long-term physical and psychological effects.

People take marijuana and other drugs to escape certain situations or feelings. The high masks the problem for a while, but when the pleasure wears off, the problems are back—more intense and numerous than before. This often drives users to seek harder drugs. The long-term physical and psychological results of cannabis are far from dreamy or predictable.

A Physical and Spiritual Sin

Controversy over marijuana stems partially from confusion on the subject. Effects differ from person to person with the same amount of the drug, and even from occasion to occasion in the same individual. Some emphasize this, and the pleasure of the high, to argue that everyone should be “free” to use cannabis.

To clear the air from confusion, we have to open our Bibles. Scripture reveals that our bodies and minds are not our own to abuse as we please. God commands that we “glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:20). The Bible reveals man’s incredible potential: to use our bodies, our minds and His Holy Spirit (verse 19) to develop the character of God!

An incredible, eternal future awaits each of us when we turn to God to let Him develop our minds and character. Intoxicating ourselves on the “pleasures of sin” (Hebrews 11:25) and the “lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16; 1 John 2:16) destroys this incredible human potential. 1 Corinthians 6:10 states outright that drunkards—meaning the intoxicated—will never enter God’s Kingdom unless they repent—and that includes intoxicating drug hallucinations.

If you have a problem with drugs, conquering it will not be easy, but you can do it! Philippians 4:13 says all things are possible with Christ strengthening us. He will give you the real and lasting solution to your problems. And He will also reward you for overcoming sinful pulls and developing your God-given abilities (Luke 19:12-27; Revelation 2:26). No one is perfect; we all yearn to escape our problems, we all commit sin (Romans 3:23). But God gives us all the same amazing promise in Hebrews 4:16, encouraging us to “come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

Conquer this vice! Flee the temptation. Don’t try to slowly reduce your intake—throw away everything remotely related to it and never look back! Look forward to truly conquering your problems and embracing an incredible future ahead—unimaginably awesome and impossible to compare with any high. God will free your mind, individually—and everyone’s mind, at His return—from these debilitating effects and help you experience far, far greater experiences: your incredible human potential!

Fiscal Cliff, Fiscal Muddle

America’s recent fiscal cliff aversion is only a temporary Band-Aid in trimming our deficit and escaping our imminent financial woes.

Senator Mitch McConnell and Vice President Joe Biden reportedly said they are close to a deal to avert the so-called fiscal cliff. More Washington talk with little real problem solving. From Bloomberg:

Income tax cuts would be extended on families earning up to $450,000, [an official familiar with the talks] said, with rates rising to 39.6 percent on incomes above that.Rates on estate taxes would rise to 40 percent, on amounts above $5 million. Extensions of business tax breaks would continue through the end of 2013. There would be a permanent fix to the alternative minimum tax threshold.The Medicare payment rate for doctors would be extended through 2013.The contours of the possible deal would generate $600 billion toward deficit reduction. The debate over how to postpone automatic federal spending cuts remains. Democrats propose postponing it for a year, while Republicans want to allow cuts to begin taking effect with the new year.

Democrats will get a little more tax revenue; Republicans will probably get small spending cuts.

The key point is that neither party will fix our deficit-spending problem. The supposed $600 billion that will be generated for deficit reduction is over 10 years! With a $1 trillion deficit, all America can trim is $60 billion per year? It is probably actually less than that because some of the cuts will likely be back loaded to future years.

With budgets like this, America will owe close to $20 trillion by the end of President Obama’s second term.

This budget fiasco shows that America’s financial problems cannot be solved. The Federal Reserve will have no choice but to resort to money printing. Be prepared for more dollar devaluation and other economic unpleasantness. Request a free copy of Solve Your Money Troubles! and put your finances in order before it is too late.

How to Prevent Another Sandy Hook Massacre

How to Prevent Another Sandy Hook Massacre

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Gun control is a false dilemma, but there is a real solution.

The unimaginable scene still screams for answers: 20 children and six adults lying murdered in an elementary school. We can barely comprehend that reality, yet we’re already proposing solutions.

The National Rifle Association (nra) demands one solution: Place an armed guard at every American school. It will cost $6.7 billion, but it will keep our children safe in this increasingly violent world.

Meanwhile, a strong liberal movement demands this solution: Outlaw semi-automatic firearms. Yet the very same day that Adam Lanza unleashed demonic carnage at Sandy Hook Elementary with a semi-automatic rifle and two pistols, Min Yingjun rampaged across a school ground in Chengping, China, stabbing 22 schoolchildren and one adult—with a knife. Some children had ears and fingers chopped off before someone restrained that monster.

Many are shouting for more guns. Many are shouting for less. And a lot of us are looking at all of this and realizing that the problem is so, so much deeper. There is a real, practical solution to gun violence—to all violence—but we continue to ignore it while we bicker over this weapons ban debate.

President Obama attended a prayer vigil on December 16 in Newtown, Connecticut. He said he would do whatever it takes to prevent this kind of senseless killing from ever happening again. “I come to offer the love and prayers of a nation,” he said. President Obama continued (emphasis added throughout):

But we, as a nation, we are left with some hard questions. [C]an we truly say, as a nation, that we are meeting our obligations? Can we honestly say that we’re doing enough to keep our children—all of them—safe from harm? … Can we say that we’re truly doing enough to give all the children of this country the chance they deserve to live out their lives in happiness and with purpose? I’ve been reflecting on this the last few days, and if we’re honest with ourselves, the answer is no. We’re not doing enough. And we will have to change.

So far so good. The slaughter of 6- and 7-year-olds speaks for itself. Something definitely needs to change. The question is, What?

In the coming weeks, I will use whatever power this office holds to engage my fellow citizens—from law enforcement to mental health professionals to parents and educators—in an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this. … Are we really prepared to say that we’re powerless … that the politics are too hard? Are we prepared to say that such violence visited on our children year after year after year is somehow the price of our freedom?

The president dressed up the language, but his specific solution is basically to join the weapons-ban faction. Meeting our obligations, doing enough to keep our children safe, giving American children the chance they deserve to live out their lives in happiness and with purpose means … restricting gun ownership. On Sunday, President Obama confirmed that he would make gun control a top priority in his new term. He pledged to put his “full weight” behind passing new restrictions in 2013.

But haven’t we been through this before? Every few years, a tragic shooting takes place. Politicians feign indignation—they enact new laws—but little really changes. Thousands continue to die each year. Last year, around 32,000 Americans died in front of the barrel of a gun. Tens of thousands more were injured.

Those supporting gun control say tougher gun laws would save tens of thousands of lives each year. In Western countries where it is next to impossible to buy guns, shooting deaths are rare. America’s rate of shooting deaths is 10 times greater than Germany’s, 40 times greater than the United Kingdom’s, and an astounding 145 times higher than Japan’s.

If America had Japan’s level of gun violence, only 220 people would have died last year. Instead, 32,000 lost their lives. If America had Germany’s gun death rate, there would have been 28,000 fewer funerals this year alone.

Yet as compelling as those numbers are, those who oppose tougher gun laws have their own set of compelling statistics.

Gun rights activists are quick to point out that the same countries where guns are less prevalent, other forms of violence are often more common. December’s school attack in Henan province is only the latest of several knife attacks against children at Chinese schools. The UK’s knife crime rate is around twice that of America’s per capita. And since knife violence in general is under-reported, these stats may actually conceal the true extent of the problem.

Some statistics even appear to show that more guns equals less violence. Since many states relaxed their gun laws in the early ’90s, violent crime has plummeted—down a whopping 70 percent. Letting criminals know that law-abiding people can defend themselves has reduced deaths, claims the nra.

So who is right? Does America need less guns or more guns?

Actually, neither group is right because that question completely ignores the real cause. If America really wants to keep our children—all of them—safe from harm, we need a totally different debate. If we are honest with ourselves, deep down, we should all realize that the cause of violence goes far deeper than whether or not people should be able to own guns, or how many bullets they can put in a gun clip.

The real issue we need to address isn’t gun control, it is character control.

On December 24, 62-year-old New York resident William Spengler purposely set fire to his house. When firefighters responded, he shot at them. He killed two of them, and injured two others, along with an off-duty police officer. After a two-hour gun battle with police and after seven homes burned to the ground, Spengler reportedly killed himself. The suicide note said he wanted to “do what I like doing best, killing people.”

Toughening gun laws isn’t going to stop a monster like that from killing people. Posting armed guards at every stop light and supermarket won’t make a difference either. Spengler was a convicted felon. Felons cannot legally own or purchase a firearm, yet Spengler was able to obtain a Bushmaster semi-automatic rifle, a Smith & Wesson .38 caliber revolver and a Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun.

Even if Spengler couldn’t get his hands on a gun, he would have found another way. The reason he served 18 years in prison was for beating his 92-year-old grandmother to death with a hammer.

Criminals will always find ways around laws. Banning guns will not stop violence.

Just days after the Sandy Hook shooting, a bomb threat forced hundreds of mourners packed into St. Rose of Lima Church to evacuate the building. How do you stop phony bomb threats—or worse, real bombs? Do you outlaw all fertilizer and gasoline sales? Where does it stop? Do you ban knives? How about baseball bat laws? In some states, it is already illegal to have a bat in your vehicle unless you also have a baseball glove and ball—without those, the bat is considered a weapon. How about stricter hockey stick laws, or Kung Fu fighting laws, or limits on how strong a person can be?

America’s foundational, root problem isn’t guns, or its laws. America’s problem is people.

If President Obama really wants to prevent another Sandy Hook massacre, he needs to tell people the truth. It is an unpopular message, but the truth is that we need to fix our depraved culture—and there is only one way to do that.

President Obama should have told America that we need turn to God in deep repentance—and that repentance requiresactual change!

Instead, what America got is another political task force on gun violence and another political gunfight.

If we really want to keep our children—all of them—safe from harm, America needs to start fixing its families. Instead of a ban on guns, how about a ban on broken homes? If we are truly interested in doing everything we can to give all the children of this country the chance they deserve to live out their lives in happiness and with purpose, then instead of putting armed guards in every school, let’s put a strong father in every home.

America needs to end its collective fetish with constantly making new laws and regulations—and instead actually start keeping the higher laws that mankind was given from the beginning. If we are honest with ourselves, we have to admit that this is the only way guaranteed to prevent more school shootings. And it is the only way to bring real, lasting, hope-filled change to America.

Evolution’s ‘Unnecessary’ Organs

Evolution’s ‘Unnecessary’ Organs

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It was once thought that the human body was full of useless relics from its evolutionary past. Turns out those bits and pieces serve a purpose after all.
From the February 2013 Trumpet Print Edition

Why do you have an appendix? Or wisdom teeth? Or something called a coccyx? Since the days of Darwin, numerous scientists and educators have argued that “useless” or “vestigial” organs prove the theory of evolution. These organs, they say, are like leftover scaffolding that had previously performed vital functions in mankind’s “pre-human ancestors.” They just haven’t evolved their way into oblivion quite yet.

“Organs or parts … bearing the plain stamp of inutility are extremely common, or even general, throughout nature,” Darwin explained in On the Origin of Species. “It would be impossible to name one of the higher animals in which some part or other is not in a rudimentary condition.” His prime examples: the appendix and the coccyx (tailbone).

Subsequent specialists greatly expanded Darwin’s original list of useless organs. In 1895, German anatomist Robert Wiedersheim compiled a list of human structures he considered vestigial, which came to be regarded as the official one. How many human body parts were on it? More than 180.

American zoologist Horatio Newman said this staggering number was “sufficient to make of a man a veritable walking museum of antiquities.” These organs represented “evidence that man has descended from ancestors in which these organs were functional,” he said. “Man has never completely lost these characteristics; he continues to inherit them though he no longer has any use for them.”

Textbook publishers quickly joined the pack, saying the human body—with its myriad useless relics—is like an “old curiosity shop,” full of “showpieces” proving evolution.

The rapid embrace of the vestigial organ belief deepened the traction of the evolutionary theory, and also spawned new trends in the medical community. “There are undoubtedly cases where we know that certain vestigial structures are not only useless to man but worse than useless,” Henry Drummond wrote in The Ascent of Man. He called the appendix “a veritable death trap,” and also cautioned readers of the perils of other organs lurking inside of their bodies. Throughout much of the 20th century, medical practitioners removed appendixes, tonsils and other “dangerous” organs as routine operations.

The idea of vestigial organs is not a fringy, peripheral support of the evolutionary theory, but lies at its very heart. And the most frequently mentioned examples of these organs in mankind remain the appendix and the coccyx.

Appendix: The Last Shall Be First

The wormlike abdominal structure called the appendix has long occupied the lowest position on the organ totem pole. Darwin called it a leftover piece from mankind’s leaf-eating, pre-human predecessors. Many experts swallowed the theory, hook, line and sinker. The organ’s primary importance seemed to be only for the financial support of surgeons, and to provide fodder for tv sitcom writers.

For that reason, experts took note in 2009 when immunologist William Parker at Duke University Medical Center said, “Maybe it’s time to correct the textbooks. Many biology texts today still refer to the appendix as a vestigial organ” (LiveScience, Aug. 24, 2009).

Parker suggested the correction after he and his colleagues discovered that the appendix serves as a storehouse where good bacteria can lie in wait until they’re needed to repopulate the stomach after an episode of diarrhea or other intestine-emptying illness.

A separate recent study showed that the appendix conducts operations similar to those of the tonsils at the opposite end of the alimentary canal, which increase resistance to throat infections. (The tonsils, too, were long branded by evolutionists as useless and problematic.) A 2011 study showed that the appendix also helps generate, guide and train white blood cells, especially for fetuses and children. Valerie O’Loughlin, a professor of medical sciences at Indiana University, said it is “the site where a type of white blood cell called b-lymphocytes can be recognized and where the newborn and young child’s body can start to recognize certain pathogens that are in the [gastrointestinal] tract.”

The organ is far from useless, and removal of a healthy appendix under most circumstances today is considered medical malpractice.

The Tale of the Tail

Most of the evolutionary faithful maintain that the human tailbone is a leftover, useless part from mankind’s ape-like ancestors. Darwin explained: “[T]he os coccyx corresponds with the true tail in the lower animals. … [I]n many monkeys the basal segments of the true tail are embedded … [and] plainly correspond with the four coalesced vertebrae of the human os coccyx” (The Descent of Man, 1871).

Some later evolutionists argued that the human coccyx was more of a reptilian relic than a mammalian one: “The human coccyx is an evolutionary remnant of an ancestral, reptilian tail …” (William D. Schraer and Herbert J. Stoltze, Biology: The Study of Life).

Though evolutionists disputed whether it descended from a simian ancestor or a reptilian one, they agreed that the tailbone is largely useless and, therefore, a proof of evolution.

In 1994, however, renowned anatomy professor David Menton produced evidence disproving the idea that the coccyx is vestigial. “[M]ost modern biology textbooks give the erroneous impression that the human coccyx has no real function other than to remind us of the ‘inescapable fact’ of evolution,” Menton wrote in Essays on Origins.

He explained that among the key functions of the coccyx is its acting as an anchor point for several converging muscles from the ring-like arrangement of the pelvic bones. “The incurved coccyx with its attached pelvic diaphragm keeps the many organs in our abdominal cavity from literally falling through between our legs” (ibid). Removal of the coccyx often causes incontinence and serious difficulties with sitting, standing or giving birth.

The evolutionary faithful long considered the tailbone vestigial and pointed to it as evidence against creation. But the tailbone, too, was placed in the body for a purpose.

The Body Is One

Biomedical research made great strides in the latter half of the century, and experts shortened the list of “functionless organs” considerably. Research yielded more and more understanding about the importance of organs once called mere “accidents of nature.” One by one, they were proven to serve vital functions in the human body. For many biologists, Wiedersheim’s list—that once included over 180 vestigial human organs—is now down to zero.

Again, the idea of vestigial organs lies at the heart of the evolutionary theory. As recently as 2004, prominent evolutionist Douglas Theobald said, “Some of the most renowned evidence for evolution are the various nonfunctional or rudimentary vestigial characters, both anatomical and molecular, that are found throughout biology” (29+ Evidences for Macroevolution).

Yet, the idea of “vestigial” organs is deeply flawed even in strictly scientific terms.

The argument claims that the organs in question have no function. But such a conclusion cannot be arrived at scientifically. Without infinite knowledge, it is impossible to prove that something has no function. The most a scientist could say would be that, despite rigorous efforts, no clear function was discovered for a certain organ, but that a future experimenter may well uncover one.

The heart of the vestigial organ argument, then, is either an acknowledgment of ignorance (“I wasn’t able to discover the function”), or a scientifically flawed statement (“It has no function”). Observational or experimental science allows no place for such a statement. Reputable scientists acknowledge that the teaching of “vestigial organs” actually retarded the progress of science for years. Rather than experiment to discover the purpose of structures like the appendix or tonsils, they were called “vestigial” and removed.

So, how did such a flawed theory gain widespread acceptance? The idea is the product of men groping for evidence to back the theory of evolution.

Adherents of this theory didn’t immediately see a use for certain body parts, so they hastily, blithely branded those organs as useless—or even harmful. The notion was based on a lack of knowledge about how the human body functions. Even vitally important organs such as the parathyroid and thymus glands were considered vestigial until fairly recently, simply because experts didn’t understand their crucial purposes. And, despite the fact that modern science has found purposes for all organs in the body—and that future experimentation will certainly reveal even more—evolutionists still cite “vestigial organs” as one of the sturdiest proofs for evolution and against design by an intelligent Creator.

Why are these scientists willing to compromise their objectivity, which is one of the foundations of science?

Done With a Purpose

In the centuries leading up to the Scientific Revolution, the Catholic Church reigned as the primary authority and knowledge source for much of the world. The clergy often viewed scientists and their discoveries as a threat to Catholic doctrine, and sometimes embarrassed the church by striving to defend erroneous church teachings like geocentrism, which science offered empirical evidence against.

Competition intensified between science and the church, and, for some scientists, the desire to undermine the church’s authority became a primary motivation. Some scientists aimed to challenge God’s very existence as a way to discredit the underpinnings of religion. Such reasoning spawned the evolutionary theory. Proponents of the evolutionary theory have sometimes undertaken studies with that conclusion already firmly in mind. Whatever they can contort into supporting the arguments for evolution, they keep. All else they often reject or downplay.

Long before the evolutionary theory was hatched, the Apostle Paul labeled such movements “science falsely so called” (1 Timothy 6:20). True science upholds objectivity and seeks truth free of any agenda. A person’s understanding of the human body will be incomplete until he accepts that it is “fearfully and wonderfully made” by a Supreme Being (Psalm 139:14). This Creator designed mankind after His own image (Genesis 1:26-27). He placed organs within the body in a specific way and for a specific purpose, and He called His design “very good” (verse 31).

The advancement of science only brings the perfection of the Creator’s designs more clearly to light. Evolutionists strive to present plausible-sounding arguments to the contrary, but this only reveals how blind and irrational the evolutionary religion truly is. The astonishing perfection and purpose in every element of the body’s design should deepen man’s faith in the divine intelligence behind our existence (Romans 1:20). But when evolutionists are confronted by proof of this Divinity, they instead resort to extremes of ludicrousness, striving to attribute the wonders of the human body to blind coincidence. In so doing, they unknowingly exercise a blind, deceptive and irrational religious faith.

Christians face a difficult battle against this blind faith in science, which is often found even among religious adherents. We must be able to recognize this blind faith in order to weigh evidence objectively. If we resist the vain, intellectual allure of this blind but fashionable faith, then we make it possible for the wonderment of God’s masterful biological designs to boost our faith in the Omnipotent Creator. And His purpose for our lives is as perfect as the bodies He designed to sustain us!

Sidebar: The Appendix; Why So Disease Prone?

If the appendix was created for a purpose and is indeed functional, why do many suffer from appendicitis, requiring the organ to be surgically removed?

Disease and degeneration do not reflect on the suitability of God’s original design, but are the result of man rejecting God’s law, and instead living by his own ideas. Additionally, appendicitis is common only in populations that subsist on a very highly processed and refined modern diet. Societies enjoying a high-fiber diet of vegetables, fruits and unrefined grains have very low instances of the disease.

German IT Growth Projection: €3.5 Billion to €13 Billion in 3 Years

German IT Growth Projection: €3.5 Billion to €13 Billion in 3 Years

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Global job seekers find profitable professional employment.

“Job seekers from currently struggling European economies are flocking to Germany’s IT industry,” claims Germany Trade and Invest. “Nearly 20 percent of German IT companies have seen a rise in applications from these countries in recent months, according to a new survey by bitkom, the country’s IT industry association.”

More than 50 percent of these companies have available job openings and as such international job seekers are being rewarded with profitable employment.

German investment professionals traveled to New York October 1 through 5 to attend the Interop IT exhibition and conference. For the past 26 years, the event has expanded in the education for technology professionals from diverse employment backgrounds, in the areas of networking, data centers, mobility, wireless, simulation, security and cloud technologies.

This year, German corporate cheerleaders were not only on the lookout for qualified personnel, but also venture capitalists, updating them on developments in information technology back home in hope of luring them to their fiscally responsible homeland.

Achim Hartig, IT expert and director of investor consulting at Germany Trade and Invest in Berlin, opined, “On one hand there is a growing start-up culture here that is embodied by Berlin: young, hip and innovative. On the other hand, the established German Mittelstand is currently performing very well and able to invest in new technologies, especially cloud computing. These trends are creating chances for international companies to come to Germany.”

As with many other industries in Europe, Germany, with 20 percent of market share, boasts the biggest tech mart on the continent. Last year, information technology income was €137 billion, and indicators forecast growth, particularly in cloud computing, where predictions of income are staggeringly bullish within the next three years, spiking from €3.5 billion to a mammoth €13 billion!

“The same conditions that helped Germany build a strong class of internationally active small and medium businesses, namely a business-friendly environment and an infrastructure that enables connectivity from anywhere, are now turning the country into a hub for the next generation of businesses,” concluded Hartig.

Just four days before Interop, European Commission vice president and chief of its Digital Agenda, Neelie Kroes, declared in a press conference, “Cloud computing could offer a huge lift to the European economy. But only if users can understand and trust it.”

“Today we launch a significant package of measures to build that trust and boost our economic future. Today we make Europe not just cloud-friendly, but cloud active. And we offer our economy a €160 billion boost,” she said.

With expansion of IT economic success throughout Germany and Europe, citizens and businesses become more flexible but also more vulnerable to the higher level of data openness, and better situated for an EU regulation watchdog to keep tabs on digital commerce behaviors.

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