How Many Bugs Are in Your Home?

How Many Bugs Are in Your Home?
Would you like to guess how many bugs are in your home? In the fall of 2017 researchers from the California Academy of Sciences published a survey of the bugs in 50 homes in and around Raleigh, North Carolina. The researchers took 10,000 samples from basements, bedrooms, kitchens, and attics. They identified 579 species from the 304 families of arthropods known to science. Arthropods include insects, mites and, spiders.

The researchers found ants, carpet beetles, gall midges, and cobweb spiders in 100% of the homes. In many of the houses, they found booklice, dark-winged fungus gnats, cellar spiders, scuttle flies, and dust mites. Misha Leong who was the lead author of the study says that most homes contain hundreds if not thousands of individual arthropods.

It is interesting that as people move toward buying organic and buying in bulk, they are increasing the bugs in their homes. Indian meal moths, for example, can contaminate oatmeal or chew through a sweater. They lay eggs in our food and closets, and the larvae chew through packaging leaving a mess of silk and frass (waste) behind. If we use the food quickly enough we eat the eggs, and since they don’t hurt us, we don’t even know they are there.

The reality is that we have and will always have lots of bugs in our homes. Many of them are beneficial to us. Booklice, for example, eat fungi and mold. Spiders eat insects and other harmful agents including flies and mosquitoes. Harmful spiders like the black widow and brown recluse are rare. Studies have also shown that many of our chronic diseases are related to our failure to be exposed to biological diversity. Leong says, “Rooms with more kinds of arthropods may be healthier rooms.”

God did not place us in a sterile world. The more we learn of what we live with each day, the more we realize the complexity of life. Living with bugs is essential to our long-term survival. How many bugs are in your home?
–John N. Clayton © 2018

Harvesting Organs from Prisoners

Harvesting Organs from Prisoners
One of the evidences for the validity of Christianity is the “fruit test.” Jesus said, “By their fruits, you shall know them,” and in Matthew 7:16-20 Jesus talks about the logic of the fruit test. Jesus dealt with the poor, the down-trodden, and that society might deem as “unfit” during His time in the flesh on this planet. One fundamental belief of Christianity is that the individual is of value, no matter what their circumstance. That includes prisoners. The atheist Chinese government’s harvesting organs from prisoners is brutal beyond belief.

Communist China has always been an opponent of Christian values and teaching. It has now been revealed that the organs of prisoners, especially members of the Falun Gong religious movement have been forcibly removed for transplanting into visitors who come to China for organ transplants.

If you view humans as just animals no different from any other, and you consider some have humans to be unproductive in society, why not use them as you would pigs to get organs that can enable the “fit” to live longer? But you don’t have to look to China for this kind of attitude. There are writers and scholars in America who are suggesting the same practice. We have referenced Peter Singer ethics professor at Princeton University as an example of such an advocate. (See our Nov/Dec 2010 issue, Vol. 37 #6 page 26).

First Corinthians 3:16 and 6:15-20 portray the individual as the dwelling place of the Spirit. Christian values are critical in medical ethics. China is an excellent example of what happens when these values are not used, and atheist values are applied. The result is such detestable practices as harvesting organs from prisoners for financial gain.
–John N. Clayton © 2018
Data from The Week, October 5, 2018, page 15.

Child Predators and Pornography

Child Predators
The latest government figures reported by the Pregnancy Care Center tell us that every second 28,258 people in the United States are viewing pornography on the internet and that 40 million Americans regularity visit porn sites. This has resulted in 200,000 Americans who are addicted to pornography. The Pregnancy Care Center says “Pornography is extremely damaging to the individual, the family, and the community. It undermines the value of human life and leaves its victim with a sense of emptiness and hopelessness.” It also encourages child predators.

As people have left God and His teachings, they find themselves in a frustrating search for peace, satisfaction, and hope. As we all know, church leaders in all religions and denominations have had personal struggles with these issues, and very little is being done on a practical level to address this problem.

One of the areas where our ministry has tried to help churches and individuals in the area of sexual misconduct and all that it involves. We can best carry out the Church’s role in defending all people from the destructive effects of pornography by studying what the Bible says and learning from the experience of one who has “been there.”

We offer a DVD series from Jimmy Hinton titled Spiritual Warfare: Safeguarding Churches from Child Predators. Jimmy discovered that his father, who was a career preacher, was also among the hidden world of child predators. He has prepared this material to try to help stop this cancer which is undetected and unaddressed in virtually all congregations.

This material can be secured by requesting it on loan from us, or for purchase. If you have questions or wish to borrow the DVD and guide, contact us at 1555 Echo Valley Drive, Niles, MI 49120 or email jncdge@aol.com.
–John N. Clayton © 2018

Eugenics and CRISPR

Eugenics Logo 1921
In 1927 Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes stated: “Three generations of imbeciles is enough.” He was explaining the court’s support of a Virginia program of involuntary sterilization in a case identified as Buck vs. Bell. The Virginia law and others like it in other states compelled the involuntary sterilization of those people deemed genetically inferior. More than 60,000 people in the United States were sterilized in compliance with the laws the Supreme Court upheld. It was connected to the eugenics movement.

The concept of eugenics goes back at least to the ancient Greeks, but it became a popular movement in Europe and North America in the early twentieth century. In 1931, advocates of eugenics, the movement to improve the genetic quality of the human population, held a “Better Babies” contest in Washington D.C. to popularize the movement. Adolf Hitler used the concept of eugenics to justify his promotion of one superior racial group and to eliminate the inferior groups.

Now in 2018, the concept of using science to produce superior human beings is even more realistic. That is because of a gene-editing tool called CRISPR which geneticists can use to manipulate DNA to control the traits of animals, plants, and people. Dr. Henry Greely of Stanford University says that CRISPR “might one day be used to engineer humans who are more intelligent, beautiful, or athletic.”

It is essential to understand that the potential for good with CRISPR is enormous. It may be possible to cure genetic diseases by using gene editing techniques. It may also be possible to produce useful new food sources. The problem is that gene editing can also be used for evil purposes. Dr. Greely’s statement brings to mind Adolph Hitler’s justification of the extermination of what Hitler considered to be inferior humans.

So what will CRISPR be used for – enormous good, or enormous evil? The answer to that cannot come from science. The religious convictions of those doing the research and those who use the research will decide whether CRISPR does good, or whether it will become a tool of war and ethnic persecution.

Virtually every significant discovery of science can be used for good or evil. Nuclear energy has the potential for enormous good by providing unlimited energy to everyone on the planet. It also has the potential for immense destruction. Dr. Jennifer Doudna at the University of California, Berkeley, is one of the inventors of CRISPR. She has written that she has nightmares “of all the ways in which our hard work might be perverted.”

It is essential that brilliant young Christians become involved in science. They must be involved not only in the research but also in how to use the products of the research.
–John N. Clayton © 2018
Reference: Wall Street Journal August 18/19 2018, page C5.

Troposphere and Breathing Comfort

Troposphere and Breathing Comfort
Earth’s atmosphere is incredible! There are three primary layers of the atmosphere, and we live in the bottom layer called the troposphere. It extends as high as about 33,000-43,000 feet (10-13 kilometers). This layer is where we have breathable air. Above the troposphere is the stratosphere and above that is the mesosphere.

The troposphere is not only where we have air we can breathe, but it is also where we have weather and clouds. In the stratosphere, the air is not dense enough to supply us with sufficient oxygen, but it is relatively peaceful with little turbulence. In the early days of commercial airplane flight, because of turbulence in the troposphere, many people became airsick. However, planes could not fly above the troposphere because, among other problems, the low air pressure in the stratosphere would create a lack of oxygen for breathing.

That changed in the 1930’s when the Boeing company designed the first successful airplane with a pressurized cabin. They called it the “Stratoliner.” It could fly above the turbulence and still provide breathing comfort. Today commercial passenger planes fly in the lower stratosphere for cruising comfort, with pressurized cabins for breathing comfort.

When the weather on Earth becomes turbulent, we sometimes complain, but we can be thankful that the Designer of the Earth gave us a pressurized zone. With each breath we take, we should be thankful.
–Roland Earnst © 2018

Circadian Rhythm of the Biological Clock

Biological Clock and Circadian Rhythm
Living things, both plants and animals, have a biological clock that is extremely important for survival. The human master clock is located in the hypothalamus of the brain in a tiny region called the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). The SCN controls what is known as the circadian rhythm, a 24-hour rhythm of the body.

The SCN interacts with many regions of the brain to control sleep, hormone levels, alertness, body temperature, digestive activity, immune functions, and other systems. It coordinates the various rhythms of the body to keep us going through the day. This biological clock works in many ways that we don’t even realize.

Specialized cells in the retina of the eye connect directly to the SCN. When the eye senses light, the SCN receives the message and starts body process going by telling the various systems what to do and when. When you wake up in the morning, the clock signals enzymes to start flowing for your first meal. Hormones raise body temperature and blood pressure so that you can face the day.

During the day, the biological clock starts various chemicals and hormones so they will be available and functioning when they’re needed. Therapeutic medicines work best when taken at certain optimum times according to the biological clock. At night the circadian rhythm in the SCN sends a message to the pineal gland to produce the hormone melatonin making us sleepy.

This is a highly-simplified summary of an amazingly complicated system. Complex systems like this don’t happen by chance indicating that this is another evidence of design. Day and night, months and seasons regulate the systems of humans and all other creatures. Genesis 1:11 tells us that God made the Sun and Moon to “mark seasons and days and years.” Those simple words contain profound truths that we have only begun to understand.
–Roland Earnst © 2018

STD Rates Increasing

STD Rates Increasing

In August 2018, the Center for Disease Control released 2017 data showing STD rates increasing. The report showed a radical increase in the sexually transmitted diseases chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. The CDC says that 2.29 million new cases of these three common sexually transmitted diseases were diagnosed in 2017. Gonorrhea led the way with a 19% increase in cases in that year.

The CDC suggests that the reason for the STD rates increasing is a lack of government funding on sex education. There has been no increase in federal spending in that area since 2013. We would suggest that education about the mechanics of how to avoid STDs won’t change the trend. People won’t change their behavior until they truly understand the purpose of sex and how sexual behavior functions in committed relationships.

We have pointed out before that more and more Americans say “none” when asked about their religious affiliation. That is especially true for the younger generation. Without a religious basis, how can young people understand that sex is a creation of God that binds parents together in a loving, healthy home? The answer to STD rates increasing is not more funding, but more faith.
–John N. Clayton © 2018
Data from USA TODAY, August 29, 2018, page B1.

Psychic Tears – The Third Type

Psychic Tears – The Third Type
Yesterday we mentioned that we have three types of tears. The first type is basal tears which lubricate the eye. The second is reflex tears which help to flush irritants from the eye. Each of those types has a different chemical composition. There is also a third unique type of tears. We call them PSYCHIC TEARS.

These tears are produced by intense emotional stress which can be pleasure, anger, suffering, mourning, or pain. Again, they have a different chemical composition from basal or reflex tears. These tears contain large amounts of protein-based hormones – prolactin, adrenocorticotropic hormone, and leu-enkephalin which is a natural painkiller.

The hypothalamus in the brain has a degree of control over the autonomic nervous system. In a complex process involving neurotransmitters and receptors, the lacrimal gland is stimulated to produce tears. Studies have shown that the shedding of psychic tears is a significant part of the emotional adjustment to stress. Ongoing studies are examining whether mental illness can be affected by the shedding of psychic tears.

We would never have thought that tears could be so complicated. We also find it interesting that tears have different connotations in the Bible. In Luke 7:38 a woman washes the feet of Jesus with her tears. Mark 9:24 tells of a father crying out with tears. Acts 20:19 and 31 show tears used in a different context. Revelation 7:17 and 21:4 speak of God wiping away ALL tears indicating a realization of all the services that tears provide.

A study of tears is a beautiful reminder of David’s statement of Psalms 139:14: “I will praise you, God, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are your works.” Tears show us just one more example of God’s design of our bodies to cope with life on Earth.
–John N. Clayton
Data from the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Types of Tears – There are Three

Types of Tears – There are Three
In April of 2016, I received a note from Charles and Brenda Beard who asked if I had ever studied the subject of tears? I put that in my list of topics to investigate thinking that types of tears could not be very complicated. There should be only one type of tears that came with different kinds of situations. Upon researching tears, I have learned that there are three types of tears, and they are different in function and different in composition.

BASAL TEARS keep the cornea of the eye continually wet and nourished. They also lubricate the eye and keep it free of dust. Tears of this type contain water, mucin, lipids, lysozyme, lactoferrin, lipocalin, lacritin. immunoglobulins, glucose, urea, sodium, and potassium. The substances such as lysozyme fight against bacterial infection by dissolving a layer in the outer coating of certain types of bacteria. This action is part of the body’s complex immune system.

Basal tears also contain antioxidants including ascorbate, urate, cysteine, glutathione, and tyrosine. For those of us that aren’t biochemists, this simply means there is a complex, designed system in the tear production of our eyes. This system keeps this vulnerable, exposed surface from being destroyed by agents in the world around us that would attack such a sensitive area.

Typically a person will secrete .03-.04 ounces (.75-1.1 grams) of this body fluid per day. If you have had a family member or even a pet that could not produce tears, you know that very quickly the eye becomes unusable. Basal tears are a carefully compounded chemical substance essential to our vision.

REFLEX TEARS attempt to wash away anything that irritates the eyes. When foreign particles or irritants contact the eye or nasal area, TRP (amino acid) channels in the ophthalmic nerve act to produce these tears. Most of us have produced tears when working with certain substances such as when cutting onions. Tear gas, pepper spray, or some fragrances cause this same reaction. Yawning, coughing, or vomiting can trigger these tears. Bright lights shining in your eyes or hot, peppery substances in your mouth also trigger reflex tears. The fluid, which is water laced with amino acids, help to wash away the irritant.

Those are two types of tears that are very important. There is also a third type which we will talk about tomorrow.
–John N. Clayton © 2018
Data from the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Alcohol and Health Exhaustive Study

Alcohol and Health
The most exhaustive study of the long-term effects of alcohol has been released by King’s College, London, and the Chief Medical Officer of the United Kingdom. The study included 28 million people in 195 countries and included 694 separate studies. The research shows a strong connection between alcohol and health.

The report stated that “no amount of alcohol is safe to consume.” It went on to say: “The conclusions of the study are clear and unambiguous – alcohol is a colossal global health issue and small reductions in health-related harms at low levels of alcohol intake are outweighed by the increased risk of other health-related harms, including cancer. There is no safe level of alcohol consumption.”

The study shows that alcohol is the seventh leading risk factor for premature death and disease. Overall 2.2% of deaths in women and 6.8% of deaths in men come from alcohol-related cancers. The study also gives data for drinkers in different countries. Denmark had the highest usage with 95.3% of the women in Denmark and 97.1% of the men regularly using alcohol. Pakistan had the lowest with 0.8% of the men and 0.3%of the women in Bangladesh being regular drinkers. A standard drink was 10 grams of alcohol. Ukraine had the highest amount of alcohol consumed–8.2 drinks a day being consumed by the men in Ukraine and 4.2 drinks a day by the women. The report dealt with alcohol and health. Data on traffic accidents and alcohol is in addition to these health problems.

Like many other issues, Christians have to look at their responsibility to take care of their bodies. First Corinthians 3:16 tells us that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit and that God condemns those things that destroy the temple. The cost of alcohol goes far beyond the purchase price. Medical expense, psychological damage, treatment expense, and accident expense make alcohol the most destructive drug in our world today.

The study shows that 32.5% of the world’s population drink alcohol which adds up to 2.4 billion people. What does it take for our world to realize the cost and speak against the use of alcohol? How can Christians take an ambiguous position on this issue? The wisest man who ever lived said it well, “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived by it is not wise” (Proverbs 20:1).
–John N. Clayton © 2018
You can read the report HERE.