Tag Archives: Christian

Martin Luther King, Jr.


My father hated the Civil Rights Movement.  He was a white southern racist and it was the late 50s and early 60s.  I, myself, was born in 1963.  I was almost five years old when Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated.  Unlike my father, I always respected MLK.  After all, our family was from the south, we attended the Church of Christ, which was very similar to MLK’s Baptist Ministry, and he spoke of non-violence.

Better words have never been spoken.

Better words have never been spoken.

Just like Gandhi, Mandela, and others that preached non-violent protest, he had his ups and downs.  MLK was flawed like all humans and he was the first to admit it.  Like those other leaders, he faced jail time, prosecution, hatred and eventually death at age 39 for his beliefs.  As I grew older, my respect for MLK only grew.  His oration skills, the stunning speeches, and the Christian based turn the other cheek response to hatred are models for us all.

People forget it was the Southern Democrats who created the KKK and it was the Democrats who opposed the Civil Rights bill.  Just as Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican President, freed the slaves, it was the Republicans that supported the Civil Rights bill.  MLK forced Southern Democrat Lyndon Johnson to see the hand-writing on the wall, and cobble together enough Democratic votes to pass the legislation.  To be clear, that was over 50 years ago.  I do not believe that the modern Democratic Party feels this way.


Yes, it was Christians and Republicans that insisted on freeing the slaves and later joined for the Civil Rights Movement.  It saddens me today that both Christians and Republicans are viewed as anti-African American.  It is probably the greatest political shift in history, occurring over just a few decades following the 1960s.

I wonder what MLK would do today.  What would he think of the massive black poverty, high abortion rate, broken homes and the government welfare state?  I wish leaders like MLK would rise now, to take that next step, to free African-Americans from poverty, crime ridden neighborhoods and reliance on the government.  Who will lead us in this third and very necessary step to put the disadvantaged on an even footing?  Until that leader arises, we can all do well to remember MLK and the massive contribution he made to improving this country.



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Neanderthal woman’s genome reveals unknown human lineage

NOTE:  For those of you newer to my blog site, you might not know my viewpoint on God, the Universe and Science.  You see, I am a right-wing Christian fundamentalist – but nothing like what you think that really means.  I believe in God and the Bible, but I also have three science degrees, love all people, have a 168 IQ and write magazine columns on astro-physics.  My belief in God is not based on blind faith, although for many that is true.  For others, their non-belief comes to them the same way, through blind acceptance and not a true search for truth.

I believe that science and creation theory are the same.  If there is no God, it just happened.  If there is a God, then he is a being far beyond our comprehension who created the original time/space anomaly that popped existence as we know it today into being.  With my background in statistics, I believe it is far more possible that the intricacies we view at all levels imply a design, which implies a designer.  However, there is no proving that.  One can equally believe it “just happened” and is not the result of a design.

So, I don’t believe in a bearded man in the clouds.  I believe in someone beyond our comprehension, who is therefore, by definition, and advanced alien being.  My theory, which is only my own and not shared by many Christians, is that there are multiple aliens who have experimented on mankind for a long, long time.  I think there were advanced civilizations that have come and gone and been long forgotten and lost to us.

So, how do I explain my lack of belief in the Evolution Theory?  First, I absolutely believe things evolve.  My only disagreement is that I believe we evolved due to outside influences, and that we were created in God’s image.  By His image, I believe we have a physical, temporary life, but we have an immortal essence.  For whatever reason, this existence is our testing zone.  The ones who can show love and compassion for each other will be transformed after to death into a reality we have no comprehension of at all.  In fact, “we shall be transformed in an instant” and there “will be no male or female, but spirits of light.”

For this reason, I find it very possible that ancient Sumerian myths of fish gods teaching them, the ancient alien theorists, the Greek gods, ancient writing and creatures, do in fact have basis in external manipulation on this planet.  As we find more and more about early man, we are finding it was not a chain of evolution, but pockets of similar humans living in different spots, sometimes interbreeding.  Adam and Eve were not the first humans in the Bible.  In fact, when Cain was driven out, he was afraid others would kill him, so a mark was put on him, and he took another woman for his wife.  The Bible makes references to other tries at children of God and earlier extinctions.

I don’t try to convince you of any of this.  All I ask is that you keep an open mind when I post about early man, new archaeology, and other finds.  I really don’t think any of us have much of a clue what went on past 5,000 years ago.  Including me.

– Michael Bradley

Neanderthal woman’s genome reveals unknown human lineage

By Charles Q. Choi

Published December 19, 2013

  • neanderthal-illustration

    Neanderthals were once the closest living relatives of modern humans, dwelling across a vast area ranging from Europe to the Middle East to western Asia. This ancient lineage of humans went extinct about 40,000 years ago, about the same time mo(MAURO CUTRONA)

The existence of a mysterious ancient human lineage and the genetic changes that separate modern humans from their closest extinct relatives are among the many secrets now revealed in the first high-quality genome sequence from a Neanderthal woman, researchers say.

The Neanderthal woman whose toe bone was sequenced also reveals inbreeding may have been common among her recent ancestors, as her parents were closely related, possibly half-siblings or another near relation.

Although modern humans are the world’s only surviving human lineage, others also once lived on Earth. These included Neanderthals, the closest extinct relatives of modern humans, and the relatively newfound Denisovans, whose genetic footprint apparently extended from Siberia to the Pacific islands of Oceania. Both Neanderthals and Denisovans descended from a group that diverged from the ancestors of all modern humans. [See Photos of Neanderthal Bone & Denisovan Fossils]

The first signs of Denisovans came from a finger bone and a molar tooth discovered in Denisova Cave in southern Siberia in 2008. To learn more about Denisovans, scientists examined a woman’s toe bone, which was unearthed in the cave in 2010 and showed physical features resembling those of both Neanderthals and modern humans. The fossil is thought to be about 50,000 years old, and slightly older than previously analyzed Denisovan fossils.

Human interbreeding
The scientists focused mostly on the fossil’s nuclear DNA, the genetic material from the chromosomes in the nucleus of the cell that a person receives from both their mother and father. They also examined the genome of this fossil’s mitochondria the powerhouses of the cell, which possess their own DNA and get passed down solely from the mother.

The investigators completely sequenced the fossil’s nuclear DNA, with each position (or nucleotide) sequenced an average of 50 times. This makes the sequence’s quality at least as high as that of genomes sequenced from present-day people.

The genetic analysis revealed the toe bone belonged to a Neanderthal. When compared with other Neanderthal mitochondrial DNA samples, this newfound fossil’s closest known relatives are Neanderthals found in Mezmaiskaya Cave in the Caucasus Mountains about 2,100 miles away.

These findings helped the scientists refine the human family tree, further confirming that different human lineages interbred. They estimated about 1.5 to 2.1 percent of DNA of people outside Africa are Neanderthal in origin, while about 0.2 percent of DNA of mainland Asians and Native Americans is Denisovan in origin.

“Admixture seems to be common among human groups,” said study lead author Kay Prfer, a computational geneticist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany.

Intriguingly, the scientists discovered that apparently Denisovans interbred with an unknown human lineage, getting as much as 2.7 to 5.8 percent of their genomes from it. This mystery relative apparently split from the ancestors of all modern humans, Neanderthals and Denisovans between 900,000 years and 4 million years ago, before these latter groups started diverging from each other.

This enigmatic lineage could even potentially be Homo erectus, the earliest undisputed predecessor of modern humans. There are no signs this unknown group interbred with modern humans or Neanderthals, Prferadded. [The 10 Biggest Mysteries of the First Humans]

“Some unknown archaic DNA might have caught a ride through time by living on in Denisovans until we dug the individual up and sequenced it,” Prfertold LiveScience. “It opens up the prospect to study the sequence of an archaic (human lineage) that might be out of reach for DNA sequencing.”

Interbreeding took place between Neanderthals and Denisovans as well. These new findings suggest at least 0.5 percent of the Denisovan genome came from Neanderthals. However, nothing of the Denisovan genome has been detected in Neanderthals so far.

In addition, “the age of the Neanderthals and Denisovans we sequenced also doesn’t allow us to say whether any gene flow from modern humans to Neanderthals or Denisovans happened,” Prfer said. The Neanderthals and Denisovans that researchers have sequenced the DNA of to date “probably lived at a time when no modern humans were around,” he explained.

Modern humans’ distinguishing features
It remains uncertain when modern humans, Neanderthals and Denisovans diverged from one another. The researchers currently estimate modern humans split from the common ancestors of all Neanderthals and Denisovans between 550,000 and 765,000 years ago, and Neanderthals and Denisovans diverged from each other between 381,000 and 473,000 years ago.

Genetic analysis revealed the parents of the woman whose toe bone they analyzed were closely related possibly half-siblings, or an uncle and niece, or an aunt and nephew, or a grandfather and granddaughter, or a grandmother and grandson. Inbreeding among close relatives was apparently common among the woman’s recent ancestors. It remains uncertain as to whether inbreeding was some kind of cultural practice among these Neanderthals or whether it was unavoidable due to how few Neanderthals apparently lived in this area, Prfer said.

By comparing modern human, Neanderthal and Denisovan genomes, the researchers identified more than 31,000 genetic changes that distinguish modern humans from Neanderthals and Denisovans. These changes may be linked with the survival and success of modern humans a number have to do with brain development.

“If one speculates that we modern humans carry some genetic changes that enabled us to develop technology to the degree we did and settle in nearly all habitable areas on the planet, then these must be among those changes,” Prfer said. “It is hard to say what exactly these changes do, if anything, and it will take the next few years to find out whether hidden among all these changes are some that helped us modern humans to develop sophisticated technology and settle all over the planet.”

Prfer and his colleagues detailed their findings in the Dec. 19 issue of the journal Nature.

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Ancient Complex Found Near Birthplace of Abraham

Ancient Complex Discovered Near Biblical Birthplace Of Abraham In Southern Iraq

The Huffington Post  |  By Posted: 04/04/2013 2:10 pm EDT  |  Updated: 04/06/2013 1:01 pm EDT

A huge complex uncovered near what some believe to be the Biblical birthplace of Abraham is exciting researchers who for years were unable to investigate the region.

The site was discovered by a team of British archeologists working at Tell Khaiber in southern Iraq, near the ancient city of Ur, according to the Associated Press.

Stuart Campbell, a professor of Near Eastern Archaeology at Manchester University and head of its Department of Archeology, told the AP that the site is unusual because it’s so large. (It’s about the size of a football field.)

“This is a breathtaking find and we feel privileged to be the first to work at this important site,” Campbell said, according to Phys.org. “The surrounding countryside, now arid and desolate, was the birthplace of cities and of civilization about 5,000 years ago and home to the Sumerians and the later Babylonians.”

Discovery of the site was first made via satellite, according to Phys.org, followed by a geographical survey and trial excavations. Campbell said the site is provisionally dated to 2,000 B.C.

In an email to The Huffington Post, Campbell said researchers will use modern technology to help better understand that time period.

“Because of the gap in archaeological work in this region, any new knowledge is important to archaeologists in this area – and this find has the potential to really move forward our understanding of the first city-states,” Campbell wrote.

National Geographic notes that Ur probably originated “sometime in the fifth millennium B.C.” and was discovered in the 1920s and 1930s after an expedition. Once a commercial hub, Ur is also believed by many Biblical scholars to be the birthplace of Abraham.

Abraham, a descendant of Noah, is often described as the “spiritual father of Jews, Christians, and Muslims,” Slate notes. The Old Testament includes references to Abraham’s family members and a place called Ur of the Chaldeans. Some scholars have pointed to this as evidence that Ur was once Abraham’s home.

Campbell notes that there are alternative theories to Abraham’s birthplace, although Ur is commonly identified as the site. The archeologist added that his team is still excavating the complex.

The fact that Campbell’s team was able to work at the site at all is good news for researchers. For decades, culturally rich sites like Ur lay untouched due to unrest. Some sites were looted, and others were damaged by war, according to USA Today.


Stuart Campbell / AP


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Gabby Douglas – A Class Act!

My wife and I were cheering on Gabby Douglas and so glad to see her win.  Oddly enough, just after she won, my wife asked, “Do you think she is the first African-American to win gymnastics?”  I thought about it, but didn’t know.  I seriously don’t look at people and think about their race.  Especially not Americans, we are all such a mixed lot anyway.  The American Kennel Club would classify us as mixed or mutts, not one race or another.  I know I have people of all colors in my family.

Sure enough, Bob Costas comes on a few minutes later and says, “She is the first African-American to win gold in gymnastics.  Hopefully, she will encourage other African-American girls to get involved in gymnastics.”

I was glad in a way, and upset in another.  For instance, though I disagree with Obama’s politics, I am glad America voted in a black President.  I voted for a black President eight years before that – Alan Keyes, he just didn’t win the primary despite my very important support.  🙂  I am also glad that someone so cool, perky and Christian as Gabby Douglas will inspire others.

The downside is that we still look at people and talk about their color.  I wish no one noticed.  I wish they were just people.  Here is my hope for a future in which no one ever has to say this is the first time a “insert race” has done “insert anything.”  Martin Luther King, Jr. is a hero of mine for wanting us to examine people for the content of their character not the color of their skin.  I hope we can get to that point.  I know people like to make themselves feel better by claiming superiority over others, but one day I hope we can grown up.

I could not be happier that Gabby Douglas won the gold medal after all her hard work and the long support and sacrifice of her family to get her there.  She was a class act.  No ugly tweets, no unsportsmanlike behavior, no doping with performance drugs.  She has a wonderful smile, personality and outlook.  As a Christian I was very happy to see her give thanks to God in front of the world, unashamed to be a believer.  Increasingly, believers are portrayed as out of touch and stupid.  I think Gabby Douglas not only represented the United States, not only represented young girls of all races, but also represented a person of faith admirably.

I hope she has a long, prosperous and happy life ahead of her.  Congratulations Gabby Douglas!

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