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It's time to renew as all memberships and subscriptions come to an end with this issue, at least, if your mailing label contains a “94” and not a “95” or “XC” on the upper right-hand side. Subscriptions will remain at $15 ($20 outside the U.S.A. and Canada) with memberships at $25 for everyone. Members will also receive a free audio tape with their renewal. The tape is an interview with Professor Emeritus James Hanson of the Cleveland State University and it was conducted on April 28, 1994. Non-members may obtain the tape for $6.00 postpaid ($8 outside North America). Be sure to renew now. Last year I was not able to find the time to send additional notices of renewal so this may be the only notice you'll get.

In this issue we focus a bit on the giant planet, Jupiter. J. Timothy Unruh has placed the recent comet collision into perspective; a refreshing change from the media hype. Philip Stott of South Africa examines the field of physics and questions whether or not it is on the right track. Finally, I look at the radiation emitted by Jupiter to see if there is any ammunition there for creationism.

Jupiter and the comet

When comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 plowed into the planet Jupiter last July, newspapers were rife with disastrous analogies if a comet that size should hit the earth. If the media can be believed (and it can't) the dinosaurs surely died out after a comet or asteroid hit the Gulf of Mexico and changed the earth's climate 65 million years ago. There was even a report in a mid-Western newspaper that a fragment of comet Shoemaker- Levy would hit the mid-West United States on Sunday, September 18, 1994. Everyone in the mid-West would be killed instantly, but I'm still here and there was no impact.

There are some puzzling aspects to the collision. The results lasted longer than expected (they are still visible). The splash of the largest piece spread out to the size of the earth in about 90 minutes indicating a shock wave emanating at a supersonic speed of over 3,000 miles per hour. Although theorists expected that the plumes thrown up by the impacts to be white, (the color of ammonia or water vapor condensing to form ice,) the color was actually dark, as if the material were made of silicates or tarlike hydrocarbons. The chemical composition was not identified but a couple of unexpected molecules were spotted, namely, methylene and the hydroxyl ion. The problem there is that both molecules require high heat to be formed. Estimates for the temperature at Jupiter's core hover about 7,000 degrees Kelvin. It's my personal conclusion that there is much more convection in the Jovian atmosphere than is heretofore believed.

Jupiter and the Bible

Two unrelated pieces of trivia regarding Jupiter and the Bible: In Acts 19:35 there is an intriguing reference to Jupiter and an object that fell from Jupiter:

And when the townclerk had appeased the people, he said, Ye men of Ephesus, what man is there that knoweth not how that the city of the Ephesians is a worshipper of the great goddess Diana, and of the image which fell down from Jupiter?

Evidently the reference is to a meteorite whose fall was observed to have come from the general direction of the planet Jupiter. Perhaps the meteor trail started right by the planet. The meteorite was evidently worshipped and meteorites have been found wrapped in mummy cloth.

The second piece of trivia is a bit more subtle. If one studies the names of the deities of the world's religions, one finds that the names are occasionally quite close to the Bible names. For example, Krishna, an Indian deity from about the fourth or fifth centuries, is remarkably close in pronunciation to Christ[ian]. In the case of Jupiter, the associated god is named Jove, a contraction of Jehovah. A lot of Christians now believe that the correct pronunciation of God's name is Yahweh, but here there is evidence that the medieval scholars were closest to the original languages with Jehovah. Jove is a corruption of Jehovah. As if to buttress this conclusion, it seems that Orthodox Jews will pronounce the name Yahweh, but they'll never pronounce Jehovah. Since they hesitate even to spell God (they use G-d instead,) it follows that Yahweh is not the name of God.


Translated from WS2000 on 4 September 2005 by ws2html.