At yesterday’s “Reclaiming American Liberty” conference, John Bolton and I were both asked about the prosecution of the Dutch politician Geert Wilders. I said that, in the Netherlands and other European countries, the political elite understands that there are frictions between an ever more assertive Muslim population and an ever more resentful “native” working class, but that, with the usual careless confidence of Big Government, it had concluded that the answer to this problem was to police and constrain public discourse within ever narrower bounds. The widened charges against Mr. Wilders are a perfect example of this:
Signature in the Cell continues to stir up debate and attract attention as Thomas Nagel’s selection of SITC as one of the Books of the Year brought on an interesting series of letters, where Nagel was attacked (he responded, and he was attacked again) by a Darwinist who told people forgo reading SITC and instead just read Wikipedia.
This week, author Stephen Meyer himself responds in a letter, with a shortened version published yesterday. (Nagel himself responded with a letter that is published on the same page by TLS.) Below is Meyer’e letter in its entirety.
To the Editor
The Times Literary Supplement
Natural Selection and the Origin of Biological Information
I’ve been honored by the recent attention my book Signature in the Cell has received in your letters section following Thomas Nagel’s selection of it as one of your books of the year for 2009.
Unfortunately, the letters from Stephen Fletcher criticizing Professor Nagel for his choice give no evidence of Dr. Fletcher having read the book or any evidence of his comprehending the severity of the central problem facing chemical evolutionary theories of life’s origin.
In Signature in the Cell, I show that, in the era of modern molecular genetics, explaining the origin of the first life requires—first and foremost—explaining the origin of the information or digital code present in DNA and RNA. I also show that various theories of undirected chemical evolution—including theories of pre-biological natural selection—fail to explain the origin of the information necessary to produce the first self-replicating organism.
People in America are often shocked to discover the extent to which the authorities in Britain have been taken in by the Islamists of the Muslim Brotherhood, to such an extent the UK government and police use them as advisers on combating Islamic extremism. Americans would be even more shocked to discover that exactly the same thing is going on in their own backyard.
By Dexter Wright, AT:
The Climategate crowd successfully worked to obscure the connection between solar activity and climate. The leaked CRU e-mails reveal how.
In 2003, two Harvard-Smithsonian Professors, Willie Soon and Sallie Baliunas, published a peer-reviewed paper in the scientific journal Climate Research which identified solar activity as a major influence on Earth’s climate. This paper also concluded that the twentieth century was not the warmest, nor was it the century with the most extreme weather over the past thousand years. These two scientists reviewed more than two hundred sources of data. The paper specifically examined climate variations observed to coincide with solar variations. One of the more notable correlations cited in this paper is the well-documented coincidence of the Little Ice Age and a solar quiet period, known as the Maunder Minimum, from A.D. 1300 to A.D. 1900. Soon and Baliunas asserted that the lack of solar activity resulted in cooler temperatures across the globe. The evidence they compiled also indicated that as the sun became more active global temperatures began to rise and the Little Ice Age ended.
What cause would you be willing to die for?
For many of us, that question may seem academic. But in the great wars of values and ideas, there are inflection points at which the course of many lives can turn on the actions of those willing to sacrifice their own. America is about to celebrate Martin Luther King Day, honoring a man who put himself on the line for freedom, looked over the mountaintop–and died for it.
This past Christmas Day brought us the stories of two young men, both willing to martyr themselves for their beliefs, but in ways and for visions so utterly different that their tales might serve as a parable for the defining struggles of our time.
One, as you surely know, was the underwear bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a wealthy young Muslim from a prominent Nigerian family. Following his embrace of radical Islam, he tried to sacrifice himself–allegedly–in a botched attempt to sow terror and death by blowing up an American airliner packed with 289 other people, en route to Detroit. Having entered American air space decked out as a suicide bomber, he is now availing himself of U.S. constitutional rights, granted to him by the Obama Administration, to plead not guilty to criminal charges.
The other martyr, in stark contrast, was a 28-year-old Christian missionary, Robert Park. An American of Korean descent, Park offered himself up peacefully, on Christmas Day, for the cause of life and liberty for others. He went to northeast China, and from there walked across the frozen Tumen River into North Korea. Witnesses told reporters that as he went, he called out, in Korean, messages of God’s love, as well as “I am an American citizen.” He took with him a letter to North Korean tyrant Kim Jong-il, asking Kim to open his country and shut down his prison camps.
The Persecution & Prayer Alert
The Voice of the Martyrs, Canada
Thursday, January 14, 2010
A weekly news and prayer digest on the Persecuted Church
For video reports from Pakistan, Russia, Iraq and Somalia, check out
this month’s edition of The Persecution Report at
In this week’s edition: reports from Iraq, Pakistan, China and
Malaysia, with updates from Egypt and Yemen
1. Elderly Christian man killed in Mosul, Iraq
A 75-year-old Christian was shot and killed in Mosul, Iraq on January
11. Hikmat Sleiman had just returned home from closing his grocery
shop when a group of assailants opened fire, killing him instantly.
Local Christians see his murder and the string of other attacks
against believers in recent months (see
http://www.persecution.net/iq-2010-01-07.htm for more information) as
evidence of “ethnic cleansing” designed to force Christians from the
area. (Source: AsiaNews)
Pray for comfort for those mourning the loss of Hikmat. Pray that his
attackers will come to know the Lord as their Saviour. Pray that
Christians in Mosul will be filled with Christ’s peace during these
difficult times. You can post a prayer for grieving Iraqi Christians
on our Persecuted Church Prayer Wall at
For more information on the persecution Christians face in Iraq, go
2. Two Christians shot for refusing to convert in Pakistan
On December 26, two Pakistani Christians, Imran Masih (21) and Khushi
Masih (24), were shot for refusing to convert to Islam while at a
wedding in Chak 297-JB, Punjab province. Shortly after the believers
arrived at the wedding, a group of armed Muslim youths surrounded them
and began shooting into the air, as is a customary show of celebration
at village weddings. However, one of the Muslims then threatened to
shoot Imran and Khushi if they did not recite the Islamic profession
of faith. The Christians refused and instead recited Psalm 91. The
infuriated Muslims then shot the believers in the chest and left them
for dead. At last report, the believers were receiving treatment at a
hospital and doctors were hopeful that they would make a full
recovery. Police have yet to arrest the suspects, who have claimed
that the shootings were an accident. (Source: Compass Direct)
Thank the Lord for the bold stand Imran and Khushi made for their
faith. Pray for their complete healing and recovery. Pray that they
will find refuge under the cover of His wings (Psalm 91:4). Pray that
the perpetrators will repent and come to know the Lord.
To learn more about persecution in Pakistan, go to
3. Christians attacked and detained in China
There were several incidents of attacks on Christians by Chinese
authorities in recent weeks.
On December 25, Chinese authorities disrupted a Christmas celebration
in Korla City, Xinjiang province and arrested several elderly
Christians. One of the believers, Wang Qiuyue (71), was seized roughly
and thrown against a police car. Her furniture was then set on fire as
she looked on. Authorities also broke into the home of He Cuiying
(69), who is half-paralyzed and confined to her bed, and set fire to
30 Bibles and other religious literature.
On the afternoon of January 8, 30 leaders of the Chinese House Church
Alliance were detained in Handan City, Hebei province after a group of
officers from the Public Security and Religious Affairs Bureaus barged
into their Bible study. The 30 men and women were then forcefully
taken to an unknown interrogation centre within the city. At last
report, the authorities were threatening some of the detained pastors
with 15 days of administrative detention. (Source: ChinaAid)
Pray for the release of the detained Christians. Pray the elderly
believers will rest in the knowledge that the Good Shepherd is with
them through their sufferings (Psalm 23). Pray that religious freedom
will be respected in Xinjiang, Hebei and throughout China.
To learn more about the persecution of Christians in China, go to
4. Nine churches attacked in Malaysia
Nine churches were recently targeted in Malaysia in a series of arson
attacks sparked by religious tensions between Muslims and Christians
over the use of the word “Allah.” In the Malay-language, “Allah” is
the common term Christians have used for God for hundreds of years.
However, many Muslims believe the word “Allah” should be restricted to
Muslims, as they believe its use by other religions could lead to
confusion and possible conversions. The attacks, which began on
January 8, came after a Supreme Court ruling on December 31 which
overturned a government ban on the use of “Allah” by Christians — a
ruling the government has since appealed. One of the nine churches
targeted in the violence, the Metro Tabernacle Church at Desa
Melawati, was significantly damaged.
Pray for guidance for Christians in Malaysia as they face opposition.
Ask God to provide for and encourage those affected by these attacks.
Pray that increased persecution will result in increased boldness
among believers in Malaysia (Acts 4:29-31). You can show your
solidarity for these Christians by posting a prayer on our Persecuted
Church Prayer Wall at http://www.persecution.net/prayerwall.htm.
For a video report on rising religions tensions in Malaysia, please
visit http://bit.ly/7ddxHX. For more information on the suffering of
Christians in Malaysia, go to http://www.persecution.net/malaysia.htm.
5. Update: Further attacks on Christian community in Egypt
Further violence broke out on January 8 in the southern Egyptian
towns of Nag Hammadi and Bahjora, only two days after six Christians
and a Muslim security guard were killed while exiting a Christmas Eve
midnight mass service (see
http://www.persecution.net/eg-2010-01-07.htm). Muslim mobs reportedly
shouting “Allah is great” and “no God except Allah” used swords, gas
cylinders and Molotov cocktails to loot and torch homes, shops and
cars owned by Christians. Mary Om Boktor Kyrollos, a Coptic Christian,
died from fumes when her home was set ablaze. According to
eyewitnesses, water and electricity was cut off and when fire
officials finally arrived on scene they had empty water tanks. In the
days following the church shooting, sectarian clashes broke out
between Christians and Muslims and with authorities. (Sources:
Assyrian International News Agency, Voice of America)
Pray for peace in these troubled areas in Egypt. Pray that Christians
will respond with Christ-like love and forgiveness to the assailants.
Pray for those mourning the loss of loved ones.
To learn more about the plight of Egyptian Christians, go to
6. Update: Negotiations begin for release of Christian hostages in
Authorities in Yemen have reportedly started negotiations for the
release of six Christian hostages — a family of five from Germany and
a British engineer — who were kidnapped along with three other women
in June (see http://www.persecution.net/ye-2009-10-28.htm). The bodies
of the women, Rita Stumpp (26), Anita Gruenwald (24) and Eom Young-sun
(33), were found shortly after the kidnapping. Until recently,
however, the state of Johannes (37), his wife Sabine (37) and their
children, Lydia (5), Anna (3) and Simon (1), as well as Anthony was
unknown. The kidnappers have demanded a ransom of $2 million USD as
well as immunity, free passage and a guarantee that they will not be
handed over to neighbouring Saudi Arabia. (Sources: Middle East
Pray that the efforts to negotiate the release of these Christians
will be successful. Pray for protection and health for the kidnapped
believers. Pray that their kidnappers will come to know Jesus Christ
through their witness. For more information and prayer requests,
please visit http://bit.ly/53jret.
For more information on the plight of Christians in Yemen, please
The Persecution & Prayer Alert is a ministry of The Voice of the
Martyrs, Canada. (Mailing address: P.O. Box 117, Port Credit,
Mississauga, Ontario L5G 4L5)
Tel. (905) 670.9721. Website: http://www.persecution.net
Contacts: Adele Konyndyk & Erin Vandenberg
By Dr. Tim Ball, CFP:
There is nothing more frightening than ignorance in action.—Goethe
Extreme cold weather across the Northern Hemisphere drew attention away from the leaked files from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) that showed how the entire work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was falsified. The cold simply isn’t supposed to happen. As Kevin Trenberth of the CRU gang said on 12 October 2009, “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.” It’s true only because they can’t hide the reality.
The cold triggered questions, cartoons and jokes about global warming. It also forced more denial. Those who claim the cold weather alters nothing provided the real laugh. Most ridiculous of these came from the United Kingdom Meteorological Office (UKMO). They were involved in the skullduggery at the CRU through the Hadley Centre. UKMO is a major promoter of the IPCC and their former Director Sir John Houghton left to become a prime mover in the early formation of the IPCC.
UKMO is among the most useless weather bureaus in the world because of totally failed forecasts and blind adherence to false science. This was supposed to be a mild winter. Last summer was supposed to be a “barbecue summer”, and in the previous summer they were equally 100% wrong.
Now they lecture us on the meaning of current conditions.
by Faith J. H. McDonnell, FrontPage:
Just like President Obama’s first state visit to the People’s Republic of China, the mid-November 2009 visit of a delegation of international church leaders to the state-approved church in China began in Shanghai and ended in Beijing. Obama’s visit was heavy on diplomacy, but he did raise some general concerns about human rights and religious freedom. Shockingly, it was the church delegation from the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) that remained silent on that subject.
Press releases from the church delegation could have passed for White House/State Department media statements. Written in glowing terms, the WEA’s statements were free of criticism of the Chinese Communist regime’s persecution of religious believers and other human rights abuses. One release noted how the WEA delegation was “warmly received” by the State Administration for Religious Affairs, the Communist regime’s ministry for monitoring and controlling churches. Another said that they had developed a “warm and open relationship of dialogue” with the state-approved China Christian Council. What was missing in the delegation’s reports was mention of any meetings with the vast majority of Chinese Christians that worship outside the confines of state-approved churches. In fact, the reports failed to even mention the existence of China’s 80 million or more house church Christians.
It has long been true that the left-leaning World Council of Churches (WCC) ignores vast swaths of the world’s persecuted Christians while “prophetically” defending the “victims” of America and Israel.
The WCC is an abomination.
By Noel Sheppard, NewsBusters:
A scientist in the middle of the ClimateGate scandal received economic stimulus funds last June.
As NewsBusters reported on November 28, Penn State University is investigating Professor Michael Mann, the creator of the discredited “Hockey Stick Graph,” for his involvement in an international attempt to exaggerate and manipulate climate data in order to advance the myth of manmade global warming.
According to the conservative think tank the National Center for Public Policy Research, Mann received $541,184 in economic stimulus funds last June to conduct climate change research.
With this in mind, NCPPR issued a press release Thursday asking for these funds to be returned:
By: Mike Fegelman, HR:
Canadian investigative journalist Terry Glavin recently reported on an odious story that British Columbia Muslim newspaper Al-Ameen Post had carried, which “reported” on an alleged Israeli conspiracy to kidnap 25,000 Ukranian children in order to harvest their organs. The report was entitled “Ukrainian kids, new victims of Israeli organ theft.”
Glavin aptly noted that this report was “reprinted faithfully and accurately from that holocaust-denying international scab operation known as Press TV, which is the house journal of the Khomeinist tyranny in Iran.” Press TV had reported these outrageous allegations as if they were fact and Al-Ameen had simply republished this report without doing any rudimentary fact checks. Quality control issues aside, such ludicrous accusations should have sounded off alarms for even the novice editors at Al-Ameen. The report certainly shouldn’t have been published considering the unsubstantiated nature of the accusations, along with the especially problematic backgrounds of its authors.
BY Peter Berkowitz, Weekly Standard:
With the possible exception of the U.S. armed forces, no military in the history of warfare has made greater efforts in the face of grave national security threats to avoid the use of force or has tried harder, when obliged to fight, to protect noncombatants than the Israel Defense Forces. With the possible exception of the U.S. armed forces, no military has investigated itself as rigorously as the IDF. With the possible exception of the U.S. judiciary, no courts have done more to hold their military accountable than Israel’s. And with the possible exception of America, no democracy has gone further in wartime to legitimize dissent than Israel.
It is therefore a bitter irony, fraught with consequences for the legitimacy of international law, that—with the same possible exception—no country’s military, judiciary, and democracy have been the target of greater vilification for alleged human rights violations, war crimes, and crimes against humanity than Israel’s.
The continuing controversy over the Goldstone Report is a case in point.
In the aftermath of the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti, killing upwards of 100,000 people, and possibly as many as 500,000, Canada’s response is not only appropriate, but one to be proud of. Within hours of the quake, a medical and assessment team, composed of individuals with military, engineering and technical expertise, was on its way from Canada to offer immediate disaster relief. The HMCS Halifax began preparations to deploy to Haiti, carrying a Sea King helicopter and medical supplies, and a second ship is standing by, ready to follow if needed. Meanwhile, Ottawa quickly set aside up to $5 million in disaster relief to be channelled to nongovernment agencies tasked with meeting suffering Haitians’ needs for shelter, health care, food, water and sanitation. The Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART), which brings medical care and potable water to stricken areas is also on the way.