Your DNA would reach the moon

Foolishness! Your DNA would actually stretch to the sun and back about 4 times!

DNA is a fine, spirally coiled thread in the nucleus of every living cell that serves as a guidebook so the cells "know" what they're supposed to do. The strands are so fine you need a high power electron microscopes to see them.

The human genome, the genetic code in each human cell, contains 23 DNA molecules each containing from 500 thousand to 2.5 million nucleotide pairs. DNA molecules of this size are 1.7 to 8.5 cm long when uncoiled, or about 5 cm on average.

You have about 10 trillion cells in your body, so if you stretched the DNA in all the cells out, end to end, they'd stretch over 744 million miles. The moon is only about 250,000 miles away, so all your DNA would stretch to the moon and back alomst 1500 times. The sun is 93,000,000 miles away, so your DNA would reach there and back about 4 times!

Interestingly, no more than 1.5 percent of the human genome contains DNA that helps "build" us, that "maps for proteins" as it's called. The other 98.5 percent is junk accumulated through the evolutionary process. For example, 90 percent of yeast genes have counterparts in humans, and there are 223 genes in humans that match those in bacteria but aren't found in intermediate organisms! Apparently, these genes jumped directly from bacteria to humans, or vice versa.



Anonymous said…
"98.5 percent of DNA is junk that we don't use." Wonderful theory, unfortunately a consensus in most "scientific" circles these days. We are just at the birth of our knowledge of DNA and it's role in the creation process. So I guess if you don't understand it just call it "Junk" and throw it in the big scientific garbage bin called evolution. Come on, really, 1500 times to the moon and back just screams of Intelligent Design (A CREATOR) open up your minds investigate the evidence stop spewing theories (macro-evolution) which are not even statistically close to a possiblity. Darwin's theory of evolution was developed with the idea of a simple cell before the discovery of DNA. Uh, not so simple anymore. (Differentiation does occur within species but absolutely no proof that one species can evolve into another.) Most reputable scientists once thought the earth was flat now that is just a joke. One day, and we are on the cusp of this now, most scientists will acknowledge creation as an infinitely more logical position. Open your minds, infinity is a long time.
Tom Harnish said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tom Harnish said…
Oops, sorry major typo in previous post. Let's try that again.

Actually, I was wrong that junk DNA isn't used. Turns out it is. But we know that only because we know an awful lot about the role DNA plays in living things—more like young adults than just born, I'd say.

I'm curious why you believe the length of a nucleotide is evidence of anything other than that it's long.

It's clear you don't understand evolution (there's extensive evidence of macro evolution, for example), so I'm surprised you're so quick to accuse me of not having an open mind when you argue against something you don't know anything about.

And very very few educated people, other than some cranks, have believed the world's flat since about the third century BCE. That's an old wives tale that's repeated over an over, including the part where Columbus was trying to prove it was round, which is entirely wrong and probably started in the 19th century thanks to a fantasy tale Washington Irving wrote in 1828.

I guess the key point here is that people, particularly scientists, determine what they know based on evidence, and are willing to modify their views when new evidence is available. Intelligent Design creationist proponents, by contrast, not only cannot offer any evidence, but continue to claim they know something that has absolutely no basis in reality.

If you have any evidence to offer for your views, there are millions of people that are eager to see it.
Anonymous said…
“I'm curious why you believe the length of a nucleotide is evidence of anything other than that it's long.”

Hold on were not talking long here, we’re talking LLLLLOOOOOONNNNNGGGGG!
(“aprox. sun and back 4 times LONG = one human’)

A nucleotide is a chemical compound that consists of three portions: a sugar, a nitrogenous base, and one or more phosphate groups. No big deal. However, a SINGLE human cell contains 24 chromosomes EACH of which contains between 50,000,000 and 250,000,000 nucleotide pairs arranged in logical, intricately detailed, and evidently life giving sequence. (the possibility of this randomly occurring is statistically not even worth debating) Even the most basic of life forms have nucleotide sequences that are off the charts. The Nobel laureate Dr Francis Crick (co-discoverer of the structure of DNA), in his book Life Itself, insists that the probability of life’s chance origin simply defies calculation. Crick, an atheist, says: ‘What is so frustrating for our present purpose is that it seems almost impossible to give any numerical value to the probability of what seems a rather unlikely sequence of events ... . An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle ...’ Incredibly, Crick concludes that the first living organisms on earth may have been ‘seeded’ in our oceans by intelligent beings from another planet! Obviously, this reasoning would only transfer the problem of origins to another place in the universe—if chemical evolution is impossible here, why would it be any more feasible elsewhere, given that the laws of physics and chemistry are the same?

Respectfully, the point is size matters, logic should matter. I readily and excitedly acknowledge that incredible discoveries and advances are developing in all areas of scientific knowledge genetics, physics, biochemistry, etc. even as we speak, and I’m not suggesting we should throw out the baby with the bath water here. I simply submit that the theory of evolution as an explanation of life’s origin is far from settled at this point in human history.
Tom Harnish said…
"Hold on were not talking long here, we’re talking LLLLLOOOOOONNNNNGGGGG!"

Sure, but when something is incredible it doesn't mean we have to resort to a supernatural answer just because we can't get out minds around it. I have trouble imagining very small and very large numbers, we all do. But that doesn't mean they don't exist.

(Entirely off topic, Navy Admiral Grace Hopper, helped me with this, in one small way. She described her own incredulity when people she worked with complained about computer programs wasting milliseconds. When they started trying to save nanoseconds she decide to understand what that meant. She determined that a nanosecond is how long it takes light travels 11.8 inches. So she made up a bunch of 11.8 long pieces of wire, and a big millisecond bundle (a microsecond was too big to carry). Her model made it very clear, although even in pre-9/11 days she had trouble going through airline security!)

"...the possibility of this randomly occurring is statistically not even worth debating..."

No one that knows what they're talking about claims that DNA resulted from a random process, and often repeated--another lie--by people who try to use the idea as an argument against evolution. If you don't know anything about evolution it seems reasonable. But evolution is not random (or directed, for that matter). The genetic variation on which natural selection acts may occur randomly, but natural selection itself is not random at all. The survival and reproductive success of an individual is directly related to the ways its inherited traits function in the context of its local environment. Whether or not an individual survives and reproduces depends on whether it has genes that produce traits that are well adapted to its environment.

You conclude, "I simply submit that the theory of evolution as an explanation of life’s origin is far from settled at this point in human history."

You got that right, mainly because evolution makes no attempt to explain the origin of life. It only explains how early life forms (there probably were several), um, evolved, into those we see on Earth today. Abiogenesis is the study of how life might have originated, and those folks that work on that don't have an answer yet. Panspermia, as you mention, is an idea that suggests it might have come from space. BTW, Crick very clearly represented the idea as speculation. Your quote on the topic is only part of the paragraph. Look at it again in context:

"An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle so many are the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it going. But this should not be taken to imply that there are good reasons to believe that it could not have started on the earth by a perfectly reasonable sequence of fairly ordinary chemical reactions. The plain fact is that the time available was too long, the many microenvironments on the earth's surface too diverse, the various chemical possibilities too numerous and our own knowledge and imagination too feeble to allow us to be able to unravel exactly how it might or might not have happened such a long time ago, especially as we have no experimental evidence from that era to check our ideas against."

I'm not blaming you, I assume you got this point from someone else, but it's very dishonest--a lie--to use just part of a quote to try to prove a point.

All Crick was saying is we still don't know, really. But that doesn't mean we can't figure it out, and I predict we will someday. For now I'm willing to simply say, "I dunno;" and I don't feel the need to fall back on the idea that one of the many gods people on Earth believe in did it. (But that's another discussion: Let's say for the sake of discussion a god did create life. How do we decide which one?)
Anonymous said…
I just happened to find a link to this blog and I recently made my own calculations of the distance of all of a human's DNA end to end.

A single cells DNA stretches approx. 2m

Adult humans have an estimated 100 trillion cells average.

The solar system's diameter is 79AU.

1 AU = 150 million km

Solar system's diameter = 11.58 billion km

All of a human's DNA would stretch 200 billion km end to end.

200 billion km / 11.58 billion km = 16.8 Times the length of the solar system.

This is a much much longer distance than your calculations.
Tom Harnish said…
That's because you used 100 trillion cells and I used 10 trillion, a more conservative estimate. I also used 5 cm not 2m for the length of a DNA molecule, also more conservative.
Anonymous said…
Tailspin, you're obviously just wanting to deny a there's God. The complex DNA code was a product of intelligent design, just like the binary code. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure it out, but do you want proof? Here’s proof: Fifty two leading evolutionary biologists and mathematicians came together in Philadelphia to answer the following question. Given 3.5 billion years, in absolute perfect conditions, what is the chance of even a single DNA molecule evolving? The answer they came up with: one chance out of ten to the 80th power. That’s quite a large number to comprehend. To put it in perspective, that's the estimated number of atoms that compose the universe. So the probability of a DNA molecule evolving, are as good as locating one singly marked atom out there in the universe somewhere.
I copied/pasted this from an essay I'm writing, if you want the uncondensed article here's the link:
There you have it, DNA was designed. Evolution is a bogus theory that can be proved wrong in every area. I can't cover it all obviously, but here's a few links:
Evolution is impossible.
Tom said…
I'm not trying to deny anything, Brewski, just looking at the facts. And your reference to an obscure 1966 Wistar Institute symposium sure doesn't offer any.

If you'd actually read the conference transcript, you'd understand that two mixed up math/computer science guys basically said they couldn't get their evolution simulation to work on their '60s-era computer, so something must be wrong with evolutionary theory.

It's the same old dumb creationist argument that it’s impossible for DNA sequences to come together all at once by random chance, which only proves they didn't understand the fundamental point that evolutionary theory is the exact opposite of all-at-once-by-chance assembly.

Just curious, why are you so riled up against evolution theory and not, say, gravitational theory? They were both developed by the same process, and both have been shown to be accurate descriptions of the way things work.

Couldn't be anything to to do with you're concerns about my attitude toward gods, could it?

BTW, haven't you heard; intelligent design isn't about gods designing anything. The boys at the DiscoTute assure us that it wasn't. They're just not sure who/or what did the designing. Not that they've bother to try to find out.
Anonymous said…
"(But that's another discussion: Let's say for the sake of discussion a god did create life. How do we decide which one?)"

I know this is a DNA blog, but I couldn't leave you hanging with this question. My Atheistic Grandpa sent me a movie called the Zeitgeist (something like that), which basically says christianity came from astrology like many other religouns. Some religouns have the exact account of the life of Jesus longe before he arrived. So Christianity is just a plagiarized pegan religioun right? Well no, it's not. The Bible claims God made the constellations to speak to men before the book got here. So whats the proof that the God of the Bible's the right one? Well, God being God, recorded the conception, birth, and death of Jesus in the sun, moon, and stars. Not only are the dates of His conception and birth recorded, But the EXACT DATE & HOUR He died on the cross. I know you will think this is bogus, and I wouldn't blame you in the least. But I garuntee you this is 100% accurate. I don't expect you to take my word for it of course. If you can find a place to rent this, rent it, if you can't, buy it. You could purchase it off this site, or read all the information...but that might take a while, here's the site:
My Grandpa Jack, an athiest for 78 years and retired NASA engineer; was totally changed by this movie because it's urefutable. I hope you will watch it if that's a serious question that you have.
Anonymous said…
Check it again, the DNA link I gave was not from 1966, and was not two mixed up scientists. Here's a couple quotes:
"52 leading evolutionary bioligists and mathematicians meeting at the Wistar institute in Philadelphia in the '80's set out to discover.." "3.5 billion years of perfect conditions in which evolution would be most likely to occur.." and the math was correct, you will find the figures are the same today.

I tried adressing your comments about 'gods' and who the actual one is. But it was off the subject and probably blocked. So I can't really explain here. Yes I've watched the 'Zeitgeist' and I know your arguement.
But if its really your serious question, then watch the movie "The Star of Bethlehem" by Frederick A. Larson. All I can really say is the title's only 30% of the story, and your question will be answered 100% if you ever watch it.

Here's the movie's site:
Tom said…
Wow, you do hang your hat on dubious sources. Do you realize that The Bethlehem Star (and the Star of Bethlehem movie before it) were put together by a lawyer, someone who is neither a biblical scholar not an astronomer? But you guarantee it's accurate. What makes you think so?

In any event, this movie you offer up as evidence doesn't in anyway answer the question I posed: "Let's say for the sake of discussion a god did create life. How do we decide which one?"

I gather you don't believe in Osiris (son of the Earth god Geb), an Egyptian god who created all life, one of the oldest gods for whom records have been found. You apparently don't believe in the Hindu god Brahman either, or the Mayan god Acat or the Aztec god Tezcatlipoca. But if you were an ancient Egyptian or a Mayan or Aztec or modern day Hindu you would. They believed in those gods just as fervently as you do in your Christian god.

Why are you right and they wrong—aside from accident of birth?
Tom said…
You seem to be quoting yourself Brewer, and it looks to me as if you're wrong about the date. Far as I know there was no '80s conference. Can you provide a reference to something other yourself?

It was in '66, and the paper widely misquoted and quote mined by creationists (why do religious people so often resort to lies?) was written in 1970. It's titled 'Some Elementary Attempts at Numerical Modeling of Problems Concerning Rates of Evolutionary Processes.'

In fact, that article specifically says, "In this report, we shall present an abbreviated account of calculations performed by us in the mid 1960’s. These calculations were preliminary and intended merely as the zeroth approximation to the problem concerning rates of evolution-a process which we have here severely stylized and enormously oversimplified. A mention of the results of such calculations in progress at that time was made at a meeting in 1966 at the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia by one of us. The discussion there, as reported in the proceedings of the meeting, was rather frequently misunderstood and the impression might have been left that the results somehow make it extremely improbable that the standard version of the survival-of-the-fittest mechanism leads to much too slow a progress. What was really intended was indications from our computations-simple minded as they were-that a process involving only mitosis, in absence of sexual reproduction, would be indeed much too slow. However, and most biologists realize it anyway, the Darwinian mechanism together with mixing of genes accelerate enormously the rate of acquiring new “favorable” characteristics and leave the possibility of sufficiency of the orthodox ideas quite open. Numerous requests addressed to us for the elucidations and details of the numerical setup made us decide to give this account of our computations."

If you actually want to read the original report, which I doubt as you seem more willing to spout creationist claptrap than do any original thinking, it's Mathematical challenges to the neo-Darwinian interpretation of evolution : A Symposium held at the Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology, April 25-26, 1966 . Edited by Paul S. Moorhead, Martin M. Kaplan: Philadelphia, Pa. : Wistar Institute Press, 1967.

The aim was to present some models which might serve as a starting point for the development of better ones, and to challenge the biologists present to find the values of the parameters used in the mathematical model to make them useful.
Tom said…
Yes, I went to that link. It says, "This is the question that (52) leading evolutionary bioligists and mathematicians meeting at the Wistar institute in Philadelphia in the '80's set out to discover."

It wasn't in the '80s, it was 1966. And the question that they set out to discover isn't at all what you suggest. The use of the word 'challenge' wasn't in the sense of 'argument against' but rather 'encouragement to proceed.' Another convenient misinterpretation typical of those who are so desperate to make an impossible case that they resort to lies.

The article I refer to, that is always conveniently ignored—written by the author of the oft quoted piece from '66 (not the '80s)—says explicitly, "A mention of the results of such calculations in progress at that time was made at a meeting in 1966 at the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia by one of us. The discussion there, as reported in the proceedings of the meeting, was rather frequently misunderstood and the impression might have been left that the results somehow make it extremely improbable that the standard version of the survival-of-the-fittest mechanism leads to much too slow a progress. What was really intended was indications from our computations-simple minded as they were-that a process involving only mitosis, in absence of sexual reproduction, would be indeed much too slow. However, and most biologists realize it anyway, the Darwinian mechanism together with mixing of genes accelerate enormously the rate of acquiring new "favorable" characteristics and leave the possibility of sufficiency of the orthodox ideas quite open."

You can read it here.
Anonymous said…
This comment varification system is slower than crap.
Anyway I couldn't locate an original document of scientists meeting at Wistar Institute in the 1980's. However the man who wrote the article takes questions through his e-mail. I'll ask if he can forward me an original source. "I actually heard the recording from that day broadcast on the radio." The quote and the article's detail tells me the account's is either true or he made it all up; so hopefully I'll get a reply. Aside from that, be sure to read the previous comment..if it ever shows up.
Tom said…
Oh, I thought you wrote the stuff on that link you referred me to, the gray page. You said you copy/pasted it from an essay your were writing.

In any event, read the article I provided a link to in my previous post. It's written by the author of the study that guy is misuing, and he clearly indicates the conference was 1966.

In any event it's not the date that matters, but the willful misinterpretation of the purpose of the Wistar conference and, worse, the point of the paper that only reinforces my low opinion of people who lie or make stuff up to bolster their weak case.
Anonymous said…
Good grief, this blog stinks. But ya I didn't write that page, I just copy/pasted that summary of it off a college paper I'm writing. I'm just not sure an article from 1966 could get stretched that far. The guy responds via e-mail, I don't see why he would make a lie like that; so I'll see what he says.
I sent a comment talking about the Star of Bethlehem movie; but it never showed up of coarse. You asked if I knew he was just a lawyer, well yes, and it's irrelevent. I can't cover why here, you would have to see it for yourself. "In any event, this movie you offer up as evidence doesn't in anyway answer the question I posed". Yes it does, you would be very suprised. Do you want proof that God exists? And proof of who He is? Well, it might sound crazy, but I can tell you its proof positive..100%.
Have you seen Zeitgeist The Movie? It argues that many other ancient religouns had the Biblical story and the details of Jesus life long before He arived. So they say christianity is just another peagan religoun. But of coarse they don't know how God really works. He put the stars constellations, planets, sun, moon and the seasons to tell the story so all could see. Obviously the smart ancient cultures (on opposite sides of earth) picked up on this. This Star of Bethlehem Totally takes apart there arguement; the Bibles not based on astrology or vise-versa. You have to watch it, you'll be very suprized. No I don't hange my whole faith on it, it's just the most unarguable..and coolest. But I won't go into it, just try to get a hold of it. Unfortunantly its not on you-tube, so its rent or buy.

Zeiteist The Movie comes in 12 parts, heres two if your interested:
Tom said…
You know, I'm starting to like you.

I think I see the problem—that quy you quoted is simply wrong. Evidently there was a some article published in the '80s that refers to the 1966 conference and he got them confused. So I think it's just carelessness on his part.

But my point about the purpose of the conference and the selective interpretation of the paper published afterwards still stands.

I'll see if I can find a copy of that movie somewhere.
Anonymous said…
Well, there's a lot of 'christians' out there who like to argue just for the sake of it. But contrary to popular belief, God doesn't care if people believe in Him. If they'd read the Word they'd figure that out, even satan believes, does that save him? Nope. People who know who God is and don't follow Him 100% have a worse fait than unbelievers; the Bibles pretty clear on that. Why does God send multitudes of 'Christians' to condemnation? Well He simply says "I never knew you". And thats why God doesn't flex His muscles like everbody would like Him to. He wants relationships, not people who just know about Him and all the science they can give to prove it. Anyway I'm done preaching, I just get irritated with self proclaimed christians who seem to have all the answers. But ya watch a copy of that movie, its pretty amazing. And I'm still wating to get an e-mail from that guy, I'm pretty interested on where he got the story from.
Tom said…
"I just get irritated with self proclaimed christians who seem to have all the answers."

Took the words right out of my mouth.
Anonymous said…
I got an e-mail back from the guy who wrote the article on DNA. But I guess I wasn't specific enough, so he wants me to copy/paste it and send it to him. He said he would try to run the original source; so I'll let you know what happens with it. But if you are able to get a hold of that movie, then you should let me know if it answers your questions sufficiently or if it was disappointing. I've never looked to see if rental stores carry it, if they don't then his website is the cheapest I've been able to find it:

It's the first movie on the page. The star of bethlehem's only part of the story, so I don't know why its the only part the summaries mention.
Tom said…
Still looking for the flick. Thanks.
Anonymous said…
I don't know if this guy will get back to me with some original sources; but here's the e-mail he sent me a few days ago concerning that article on DNA.

"The report of this conference was from a radio presentation on Creation vs. Evolution by Dr. D. James Kennedy of Coral Ridge Ministries (Located in Coral Ridge, Florida). I will contact them and see what detailed information I can get. I know Dr. Kennedy had an audio tape from the conference that he played over the air."
Tom said…
Found the movie. Waiting for it to be delivered.

Curious, there are very few reviews. And all are from religious sources. Have you found any from astronomers?
Anonymous said…
I couldn't find many in depth reviews of the movie, let alone reviews by astronomers. I think that's because the movie just came into production and never got any publicity or advertisment before then. The only thing I could find were the short endorsements.

Here are a few:

"wide-ranging and insightful scholarship"
Former Publisher and Editor, Scientific American magazine, and President, American Association for the Advancement of Science

"well-researched and reasonable"
Former Chief of Planetary Astronomy, NASA, and Technical Editor, Sky & Telescope magazine

"fascinating and meticulously researched. We gladly award five Doves to this exemplary program"
The Dove Foundation

I'm glad you were able to find the movie. Here is a little quote:

"What I'm putting on screen for people to see is not my opinion," Larson said. "It's objective, it's science, it's math, it follows the laws of planetary motion that NASA uses to launch their space probes. It's everybody's math."
Anonymous said…
I posted a comment yesterday but it never showed up. Anyway I wasn't able to find many reviews on the movie, let alone reviews by astronomers. Only my guessing, but I think that's because it hasn't had much time to cirulate, it didn't go through theatre's or have much advertisement. But you might notice there's no critics arguing against the astronomical research in it, because that's all mathmatics. There's not really much left open to argue about as far as research goes, and that's mostly why I'm so quick to recommend it. Here's a few of the movies endorsements, they're just longer versions of what's on the movies cover.

"About 99.9% of the Star of Bethlehem stuff is nutty, but this isn't that, it is well-researched.."
—Ronald A. Schorn, Ph.D.—
Schorn founded and served as Chief of the Planetary Astronomy department at NASA and was Technical Editor of Sky & Telescope magazine. He is the author of Planetary Astronomy.

"Wide-ranging and insightful hat is off."
—Gerard Piel, Ph.D.—
Former Publisher and Editor, Scientific American magazine
Piel (1915-2004) was the holder of over twenty honorary doctorates. He published and edited Scientific American for nearly four decades, and served as President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. A prolific writer, his last book is The Age of Science: What Scientists Learned in the Twentieth Century.

"Extensive examining of the facts..this documentary is fascinating and meticulously researched. We gladly award five Doves to this exemplary program"
The Dove Foundation.
Tom said…
The quotes from astronomers and scientist on the website that you offer are impressive— surprisingly so considering the religious nature of the video, and it bothered me that no references were provided where I could read the whole review. Fervent Christians, for some contradictory reason, have a nasty habit of quote-mining, lying by using just a few phrases that serve their purpose while ignoring those that don't, admonitions against bearing false witness notwithstanding. So I emailed Rick Larson to find out where those quotes came from. We've been back and forth a coupla times, but I don't have an answer yet.

I decided to call Dr. Schorn at Texas A&M, and told him about your comment on my blog, my trying to find the movie, Larson's website, my efforts to find out the source of quotes. and my concerns about thier authenticity. I read his quote to him and asked him if that's what he said, and could he provide a reference where I could read his whole review. He said, "Yes, I said 99% percent of the (Bethlehem) star stuff is nutty. And I also said that what he (Larson) had was just one of many unproven alternatives. The whole issue is very ambiguous. It's like numerology that originated with the Sumerians. The evidence is not there." I asked him were he wrote that, and he said, "I told him that face to face." Strike one.

Dr Piel died in 2004 so he can't help us understand how he was able to endorse a movie that came out in 2007. I assume Larson will have an explanation. Strike Two.

Sent an email to Dr. Merrill a few minutes ago and probably won't hear back until Monday when he's back in the office because it was his school email account. Perhaps he can provide a link to his review. If not, I asked if he could just email me what he wrote. I'll pass on to you what I receive. New pitcher's warming up so there's a break in the action.

As for arguments against the astronomical research, a local CBS TV station says SMU professor of astronomy and physics John Cotton thinks Larson's approach is flawed, citing other researchers that put the 'star' in an entirely different place. I've found many such 'discoveries', all based on flimsy facts, all with different results. CBS also said religious scholars say there's no real consensus as to the exact time of the birth of Jesus, so the whole hypothesis is irrelevant. That report, incidentally, is linked from Larson's website. True Believers of all every persuasion, here and abroad, have another odd trait—they ignore contradictory evidence—so I guess he's counting on that.

As to your comment, ". . . because that's all mathmatics. There's not really much left open to argue about as far as research goes, and that's mostly why I'm so quick to recommend it." Regarding the mathematics part: if all the values are constants that true. But every one of Larson's values are variables based on assumption that are by no means iron-clad. Regarding the research part: even among Christian scholars there's all kinds of room for argument. According to Baptist Press, Denny Burk, professor of New Testament at Criswell College in Dallas, believes Larson's theory has some problems saying, " (It) goes beyond what the Bible teaches was the symbolic significance of the Bethlehem star," and that Matthew "gives some indications that the Bethlehem star was a miraculous sign" and not a "natural (though unusual) alignment of the stars." Additionally, Burk said, the "vast majority of scholars" date Herod's death to 4 B.C., although he said there is a minority viewpoint putting it at 1 B.C. If Herod died in 4 B.C., Larson's theory would have a significant problem, since Herod would be dead by the time the Magi arrive. If Larson's thesis is correct, then the primary value of his discovery would be apologetic."

In any event, I'll wait and watch the movie before drawing my own conclusions, but so far I'm not encouraged.
Tom said…
Watched the movie this morning, Brewer. It's very well done. Great graphics, lovely music. And a stunning premise. The idea that the exact dates of Jesus' conception, birth, and death would be foretold in the stars would be absolutely fabulous if it was true. And if it was, as you can well imagine, it would be proclaimed far and wide. Such a 'fact' would spread like wildfire. So you have to start by asking yourself why it hasn't.

The reason it hasn't isn't because it's so new and no one knows about it. Larson did a pretty good job of getting the word out with coverage by CBS and PBS, among others. The problem is, like so many religious stories (not just Christian), this one is based on a strawman argument—pose an idea that you know you can prove, and then proceed to prove it while ignoring all the inconvenient counter arguments. In this case Larson selects nine distinguishing characteristics of the Bethlehem star that fits his premise and were largely conjured up by John Mosely (see below), and then proceeds to show that a rare conjunction of Jupiter, Venus, and Regulus is the answer to the puzzle that has stumped all other theologians and astronomers.

You said the fact the he's a lawyer is of no consequence, but that's where the problem starts. Lacking the deep knowledge of biblical scholars, for example, he's able to disregard the fact that Herod probably really did die in 4 B.C. not 1 B.C., and that ruins his whole argument. Larson says a printing error is the culprit, without providing an compelling support for the idea other than a single obscure book by Ernest Martin. And that book has been soundly criticized. For that matter, it was published by an obscure publisher, a clear indication that it didn't receive positive review from his peers or big name publishers.

A review in the Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (Vol. 92, p.54) says, for example: "Martin is correct in pointing out that one must exercise a great deal of caution when considering the written historical evidence, since versions of the original manuscripts available today exhibit some evidence for alteration from the originals. However, he then appears to neglect his own advice when advocating his chronology and sometimes seems to place an undue amount faith in documents of dubious historical value. Much is made of the statements in Luke, for example, although there is no mention of the star by Luke and his use of angels to herald the birth of Jesus is sufficient to make most skeptics wary of the other statements in his testament."

The reviewer, David Turner, was the editor of the Journal and a professor of astronomy and physics at Saint Mary's University. For several years prior to joining the faculty of Saint Mary's he taught astronomy and directed the Doran Planetarium at Laurentian University, where he developed his interest in the Star of Bethlehem mystery. He goes on to say, "(Martin's) presentation is therefore decidedly one-sided and the knowledgeable reader will find the lack of a balanced approach rather tiresome. Martin refers to the period associated with the birth of Jesus as 'That Dark Decade in History' for example, although an historian would undoubtedly argue that the time period in question is no more obscure than any other. There are fewer historical clues available for identifying the mythical King Arthur. And, if it was indeed such a 'dark decade' the reader must find it rather amusing that Martin is still able to establish the exact date and hour for the birth of Jesus from the scant clues available." But Larson builds his whole case on Martin's evidence, indeed the whole idea for Larson's movie seems to be Martin's. That's lousy lawyering, nevermind bad science.

So I'm glad you brought this movie to my attention. I've enjoyed doing the research to understand what was behind it and your enthusiasm for it. And I certainly understand why you were taken in by its slick presentation. Sadly it's anything but '100% accurate' as you suggested in one of your early comments. Don't let presentation fool you into thinking content is accurate. I guess the bottom line is you have to think for yourself.
Anonymous said…
Just hold the horses real quick Tom, I sure hope you didn't depart having wrapped everything up so nicely..that would be pretty disappointing. I am glad you watched the movie, it's quite irritating when people blow things off; definitely a universal thing among Jehovah's witnesses. However you left behind some loose ends, not to mention a couple of assumptions.

"I guess the bottom line is you have to think for yourself."
Ok that’s just scary, how'd you know this about me?

"I certainly understand why you were taken in by its slick presentation" out of the debates I've seen, this is a pretty common jab. "Oh wow, those are some pretty slick slides you got there; isn't everyone here completely dazzled?" Why is this such a common attack?

I'm curious why you suggest Larson bends the characteristics of the star to fit what he found. How was Larson wrong in the characteristics he listed? What did he include or exclude to bend it into matching his theory? The review of Martins proves nothing. Notice Larson takes a different aproach to the star than Martin, never referencing to Luke. If you missed that in the movie, then read how he distinguishes the stars characteristics:
Exactly what did he 'bend'?

“So I'm glad you brought this movie to my attention. I've enjoyed doing the research..” well just hold on a sec, what led to such a quick and concise conclusion? I can’t see how your quotes solve anything, they don't address the important matter at hand; was there or was there not a copying error in the Antiquities manuscript that occurred during 1554? Are scholars lying or some how wrong about there being a copying error in the text? If the Antiquities manuscripts before 1554 put Herod’s death at 1 B.C. (keeping in mind how they were copied) then how could the later copies be correct? The fact is that modern scholars claim to have found a printing error in the Antiquities that occured in the year 1544. Read the paragraph above the bold title "Marriages and Children" in the following link, and follow up on the references if you'd like:
also follow this:
They fit together to accurately put Herod’s death at 1 B.C. If I am using faulty evidence or not taking into account counter or neutralizing evidence, then please address them directly. If all the copies before 1544 were altered, then please give the evidence for this.

I think I’m being pretty reasonable here, is it seriously too much to discuss the issue thoroughly? I mean clearly one of us is wrong here, it’s obviously me of course, but what if it’s not? I want you to listen to Dr Widiger’s testimony (not quite sure on the spelling) to the very end. It’s not long or filled with religious babble, he's just describing an event he claims happened to him; whether he was hallucinating or lying is up to anyone’s interpretation. I’m not trying to use scare tactics on you or anything; just making sure you to realize this ‘god’ issue is kind of an important question that should be approached with an open mind, not a closed one. If your mind is made up, that’s fine, however I still have some unanswered questions. As I stated in an earlier comment (which never appeared) I'm not interested in bending things to fit a beliefe I might have. If the God I believe in is real then he doesn't need me bending facts to prove it. I am still just as convinced God left the life of Jesus marked in the stars as I originally was, so for now why don’t we start by addressing the date of Herod’s death? Sounds pretty reasonable to me. I usually log on between college classes but I'm on spring break now, I will check in to see if this thing actually gets posted & to see if you’re still around. if you’d like to discuss this a little more conveniently, if not that's fine.

HTML links aren’t working, here are
the links to Dr Widiger's story:

I guess my concern is that your more interested in winning an argument then actually getting to the truth.
Tom said…
"How was Larson wrong in the characteristics he assumed?" He assumed Herod died in 1 B.C. not 4 B.C. based on the opinion of one author whose disagrees with the vast majority. Knowledge and facts are not a popularity contest, for sure; but when the preponderance of evidence says it's 4 B.C. then anyone with a different idea has to offer a convincing case. Martin obviously hasn't, and Larson whole case is based on it.

"The review of Martins proves nothing. Notice Larson takes a different aproach. . . ." Martin is the one that seems to think that there was a copying error—the basis for the the 1 B.C, date—and offers no substantiation. In fact the review I quoted >is< relevant because it shows how Martin even contradicts himself, and then proceeds to draw precise conclusions from foggy data (if any). And as I wrote above, Larson whole premise is based on this one point.

You point me to the mediawiki article on Herod which has one reference at the end to the 1 B.C. date. Guess what the source is? Yup, Martin. And I'll lay dollars to donuts that Larson added that line and the reference to the wiki—the words are virtually copied and pasted from his website. The second site ( is mostly a word for word plagiarized version of the wiki articles—and no attribution is offered, so who ever the author is was dishonest, a common train it seems. So yeah, they fit together—it's the >same words< for crying out loud. Again, John, while you claim to think for yourself, you didn't even bother to check the source of the wiki article or read either one carefully enough to realize they were the same thing!

You write that I need to keep an open mind yet despite the very clear indication that Larson's movie is based on a bad assumption, you insist you're still convinced that Jesus life was written in the stars. You seem to have forgotten that the responsibility for making a case is the proponent's. Otherwise anyone could suggest any weird premise and contend it's true if other's don't disprove it. In fact, someone wrote a comment here somewhere to the effect that there's a teapot in the sky, and it's true because I can't prove it's not. That ain't the way things work, as I'm sure you understand. Otherwise every crank could put forth his pet theory on anything and it would be true because no one bothered to waste their time even considering it. Teapots in space, for example.

As for Don Whitaker, I don't think he's lying, I'm sure he believes what he's says. But as you suggest I think it was a hallucination. He admits he was an alcohol and drug user, he was in the hospital with what he says was acute hemorrhagic narcotic pancreatitis. Such 'my life is falling apart' circumstances are a common basis for a religious experience.

You've embraced a titillating story. I considered it with an open but admittedly suspicious mind, I spent far more time (and money) considering it than it deserved out of respect for you, but found that there was no basis for accepting the premise any more than a lot of other ambiguous stories that purport to solve the Bethlehem star mystery.

My interest is not in winning an argument, it's finding the truth—the facts. All I found was half truths and even lies. If you can offer something substantial I'm always willing to change my mind.
Brewer said…
“My interest is not in winning an argument, it's finding the truth—the facts.” That’s all I wanted to know. I think most people approach this whole issue with a closed mind, in other words they’re more out to win arguments then anything else. But if we take each others word for it then we should be on the same page. One quick thought, I do find it interesting Dr Whittaker lived about 30 years without a pancreas or penicillin, but that’s a whole different subject to get into.

“The review of Martin’s book proves nothing. Notice Larson takes a different approach”, "How was Larson wrong in the characteristics he assumed?” These quotes were taken out of context, I wanted you to address the statements you made about Larson bending the characteristics of the star. I’ll paste from my last comment (and fix the typos): I'm curious why you suggest Larson bends the characteristics of the star to fit what he found. How was Larson wrong in the characteristics he listed? What did he include or exclude to bend it into matching his theory? The review of Martin’s book proves nothing. Notice Larson takes a different approach to the star than Martin, never referencing to Luke (an argument of your sources). If you missed that in the movie, then read how he distinguishes the stars characteristics:
What did he bend?

“you didn't even bother to check the source of the wiki article or read either one” I did try and get to wiki’s source but got lost trying locate the thing (wasn’t trying to infer that I did), I didn’t have much success today either; I’ll get it done next week when I have some more time. But I’m not getting into a debate over whether or not Martin was a good scholar (later if I can research him), right now I’m just interested in the change in the Antiques located at 1554. “…since versions of the original manuscripts available today exhibit some evidence for alteration from the originals.” your sources aren’t denying a change and ‘some evidence’ doesn’t sound like they have good supporting evidence to that claim. I’m sure they would point it out if there was no change in the text in 1554, however they do say there’s evidence the script was altered. So I want to know if they have evidence for that, if there isn’t any sound evidence to their claim; then it would be pretty irrational to deny a copying error..I can’t think of anything else it could be. Abut the other link I sent, as we know solar eclipses can be located using software now a’ days; so this is either all a blatant lie that was thought up, or it’s true. I will see if I can find a way of confirming it or vise-versa.

“In fact, someone wrote a comment here somewhere to the effect that there's a teapot in the sky, and it's true because I can't prove it's not.” I am familiar with the irritating “teapot” arguments, such as the Oort cloud, and I don’t see why you considered this to be one. I’m just addressing the given evidence, because you haven’t disproved it doesn’t classify it as a teapot argument. “Otherwise anyone could suggest any weird premise and contend it's true if other's don't disprove it.” So it just happens to line up with scripture, just happens to occur along with the brightest star in history, and just so happens to fit perfectly with the life of Jesus specified in scripture? You assume Larson (who spent ten years discovering all this) was bending things to fit some theory, I guess you assume that with all Christians. I’m aware of the arguments (scripture interpretation, astrology history etc. etc.) and will be more then glad to discuss them after you address evidence for alteration in the antiques, and specify what Larson bent in the characteristics of the star; the rest can be addressed after that.

“when the preponderance of evidence says its 4 B.C.” you seem to be a little more sure of this then your source is, and you haven’t given me any evidence to your claim. If you don’t have evidence then “vast majority” is your only argument (are you sure on that?) and we should both know to stay away from those. “Larson's movie is based on a bad assumption” a copy error in a historical document is not a bad assumption, it is evidence to build a case on. I would say a bad assumption would be to say the text was altered without giving evidence to support it. Please give the evidence for this.
Tom said…
I already answered your question directly about how Larson bends the characteristics of the star, John. Let me say it a different way.

Larson argues that whatever the Bethlehem star is has to fit his 9 characteristics; the fifth one is that it appeared at precise time. Larson writes on the web page you reference, that: "It turns out that a copying error was a primary cause of the confusion about the date of Herod's death. A printer typesetting the manuscript of Josephus' Antiquities messed up in the year 1544. Every single Josephus manuscript in these libraries dating from before 1544 supports the inference that Herod passed in 1 BC. Excellent scholarship confirms that date (11). Knowing this, and since Herod died shortly after Christ's birth, our investigation turns to the skies of 3 and 2 BC."

So Larson's is looking in the sky at a time that is based on the assumption that Herod died in 1BC. Larson claims that assumption is based on "excellent scholarship," and offers Martin's "The Star That Astonished The World" as his referenced source (11). But that book is anything but excellent scholarship. It's criticized for reaching silly conclusions based on mistranslation and data that even Martin himself says is sketchy, a book that was so bad that he couldn't find a respected publisher to print it, and a book that has been essentially ignored by everyone but Larson. (Only 28 libraries have copies of it, most of them Christian fundamentalist schools.) You may not want to get into it, but whether or not Martin was a good scholar is crucial to Larson's argument. He made other assumptions, but this one is pivotal.

Religious historians conclude that Herod died in 4 BC. If you, or Larson, or Martin think they're all wrong then you or Larson or Martin need to offer some convincing evidence to prove it.
Brewer said…
Oh, I thought you meant he bent the stars characteristics in the bad. Anyway I was able to sit down and do some research today and found some interesting things. "..a book that has been essentially ignored by everyone but Larson" actually Martins book "has become the authoritative source on the subject", and I can be pretty certain on that. I took the quote directly from Craig Chester, you can read about him in the link I will provide (bold lettering on the first page). When you follow this link scroll down to the bold title "The Death of Herod" and read what he says:

I did quite a bit of searching for the evidence on dating Herod's death (yes for all the options) and I can say 4 BC is an impossible date. First off there wasn't even a full eclipse that year (only 3/9) and Josephus clearly says Herod died after an eclipse. Even if there had been a full lunar eclipse it would have been impossible for 4 BC to be the correct date. Josephus states: "But Herod deprived this Matthias of the high priesthood, and burnt alive the other Matthias, who had raised the sedition, with his other accomplices. And that very night there was an eclipse of the Moon." Antiquities XVII. 167
The false eclipse on 4 BC landed right on the Jewish holiday of Purim; and it was illegal to execute people on Purim (especially high priests) for fear of stirring up Jewish uprisings and revolts. It is also important to note that Josephus only ever mentions one eclipse in his writings, and it happened to be the eclipse of 1 BC, not 4 BC. The evidence I found to most commonly be used for the date of 4 BC are coins (example: but the coins aren't even good support for the 4 BC theory. Josephus says that Varus was governor of Syria at Herod's death and Varus which is indicated on the coins dated 4 BC. The problem is that the coins also show Varus was governor in 6 and 5 BC, and Josephus indicates that Saturninus was governor for the two years preceding Herod's death. An inscription found near Varus' villa, which describes a man who was twice governor of Syria, has to refer to Varus. His second term would have been about 1 BC, where there is no record of anyone else as governor (also read following link for more problems with the coins). 4 BC is an impossible date for Herod’s death, and I couldn't find the work of a scholar that supports it as so.

So what about the date of 1 BC? Well there was actually a full eclipse on April 10th that year and everything fits that date as you can read about all over the web, I will provide you with some links but also research for yourself. It is also a curious thing that the early church historians place the birth of Christ in 3/2 B.C. (, because that's exactly when Jupiter was in its retrograde motion! Could that be a mere coincidence? I think not, it is known that 4 BC is a highly impossible date and that 1 BC fits the description. Early church historians confirm Christ was born in 3/2 BC, exactly the time of Jupiter’s retrograde motion. Revelation describes the birth of Jesus as a women clothed in the sun with the moon at her feet, exactly what happened the next morning (noting it would be impossible for any human eye to see this). Not long after this the brightest star anyone had and will ever see again appears, leading the Magi to Jesus. It is well known that Christ had a lived 33 years and died on the Friday before Passover at 3 in the afternoon (all spelled out in scripture). Fast forward 33 years later, and the moon (a full moon) has returned to the feet of Mary, becoming blood red just as Jesus expired on the cross at 3 pm. Is all this mere coincidence? Obviously not.

Here are some of the links:

Filmer also dated Herod's death at 1 BC in 1966:,M1

“If you can offer something substantial I'm always willing to change my mind.”
I consider this substantial evidence, but if you still don’t then I have quite a bit more that I can share.
Tom said…
If Martin's book is "the authoritative source," how do you explain that out of 3,700 academic libraries in the U.S. only 19 (most of them religious schools) hold a copy? And only one foreign library (also a religious school)?

More later . . . .
Tom said…
I read the rest of your post carefully and I'm beginning to think this is a waste of time.

Why are you so desperate to convince yourself that this obscure movie, and the silly assumptions that it's based on, are true? It's a great story, and you can treat it as enjoyable fiction; but you keep insisting this whole thing proves something.

I've spent a great deal of time on this for you because you seem to be bright and simply deluded by the cult-like following that's developed around idea. I pointed out some real problems, some deception, and some lies and you ignored it all. And when I asked for some evidence, you simply regurgitate information you've dug up—including the ridiculous statement that Martin's book is authoritative—even though you claim to think for yourself.

If you aren't willing to take a critical look at the issue and, in fact think for yourself, I'm going to stop wasting my time.
Tom said…
Just watched Zeitgeist. It's as good and as bad as The Bethlehem Star. Good production value based on a few facts embellished with a huge amount of baseless speculation. Both are just as wacky as the other, but at different ends of the spectrum.
Brewer said…
Sorry, I haven't been ignoring your comments I'm just on vacation in another state right now. I don't really have enough time to reply, but I can see your getting irritated thinking I'm bent on some cult and ignoring your findings. Well niether of those are true, and as far as evidence goes I don't think we're on the same page because it seems to me your ignoring what I'm saying. So when I get back on monday I will tell you my problems with your arguments, I researched both sides out and found your sources without much trouble. You seem to take the review you found by the RAS for their complete word and disregard the article I sent from Chester. Yes I am aware of your library argument and such, but I'll have to write a better response when I get back monday.
Tom said…
RAS? Not sure who/what that is.

Chester is the same old argument, quoting Martin.
Brewer said…
I meant to type RASC (Royal Astronomical Society of Canada), you quoted David's review of the book and left it at that (thinking for yourself?), and seem to dismiss the article by Chester as "the same old argument". Why that is I don't know. I read David's critique and found it to be his own opinion on the book. He seemed to think the book was one sided (his opinion), the main argument he uses is that Martin places more trust in some articles than he should; but only goes on to mention Luke (yes I read the rest of the article). Have you read Martins dating method? Tell me what faulty evidence he based Herod’s death on:
Earlier when you mentioned 'thinking for yourself' I take that to mean looking at the evidence, listening to the arguments, and then find your own conclusion on the matter. I researched the evidence for the proposed dates of Herod’s death myself, did you? If you did, then I'm curious why you believe he died in 4 BC. The whole 4 BC theory is based on invalid evidence and can be proven wrong in multiple ways. It was illegal to execute people on Jewish holidays, there was only a wimpy 3/9 eclipse in 4 BC, there wasn't nearly enough time for that date to work, and other problems. What evidence actually makes you think he died in 4 BC and not 1 BC?

"you keep insisting this whole thing proves something" well like I mentioned earlier, it seems like your ignoring everything I'm saying. Why do the early church historians (within a couple generations of the date) put the birth of Jesus at 3/2 BC? ( That is the exact date of Jupiter’s retrograde motion, why do you dismiss that? You insist I am bent on some cult like following, no I'm just looking at the evidence. You can dismiss the whole thing as mere happenstance, but I find that hard to believe (mostly covered in previous comment).

"I pointed out some real problems, some deception, and some lies and you ignored it all." deceptions and lies? You quoted a single review that did little to point out any deceptions and lies that Martin commits. You said the stars characteristics were bent by the assumption of 1 BC, how is it an assumption when it's the date supported by the evidence?

I'm getting pretty tied up with school and don't know how much longer I can stay on.
Brewer said…
Why'd you stop responding Tom? Am I being too unreasonable, or do you hate the idea of God? “when I asked for some evidence, you simply regurgitate information you've dug up” I’ll try to summarize this whole thing in my own words; but it’ll take quite a comment and you’ll need to read the thing through if you want to know why I consider Larson’s findings significant. It's your decision whether or not you look into Christianity more before shrugging it off, but it matters quite a bit whether you’re right or wrong don't you think?

I was a little surprised you criticized the Zeitgeist movie, it's a pretty common argument against Christianity these days. That's because it's valid, there actually were ancient religions that had the same story recorded in the Bible long before the time of Christ. Most atheists like to take it as proof Christianity came from a sect of Pagan religions, but again they're ignoring a couple things as I mentioned a while back. But that's fine if you think it's a bad production, I just thought it fit in with your opinion about ‘gods’.

You mentioned earlier that I'm trying to convince myself this whole thing proves something and I'm just deluded by some cult following around the subject. Why do you keep insisting that? Couldn't it be that I'm just looking at the evidence and then adding things together? I researched both sides of the subject and that's why I mentioned you only used David's review to support your arument; because David's review is all I could really find other than blogs and message boards. Let me point out the problems I have with his review, first of all it seems to be more opinionated and the things he points out are rather tedious and small "Although the review of The Star That Astonished The World published by John Mosely is quite complementary, I found myself in disagreement..". He goes on to say "Martin reaches several conclusions that are not justified by the available evidence." The only evidence he mentions to be unjustified is Martins referencing the star to Luke, but how relevant is that point? And why is that the only example he uses? He also seems to attack Martins statement about the 'dark age in history' more than is needed, straining at a gnat I’d say. "The book does contain a very detailed critique of the various historical arguments that have been put forward in attempts to identify the time period associated with the star of Bethlehem. I would therefore recommend it as required reading material for.." notice he never attacks the given evidence for Herod's death and Christ's birth? That's because the evidence against the 4 BC date and in favor of 1 BC is well founded (I’ll cover later). Here's the main statement in his closing paragraph "Martin's identification of September 11th, 3 B.C., for the birth date is not without it's difficulties and one can find equally (if not more) appropriate symbolism associated with the triple conjunction of 7 B.C." I would have to concur with him on this statement, September 3 B.C. doesn't agree with church historians and scripture indicates different circumstances around Christ’s birth in relation to the Star (will also cover later on). Triple conjunctions are very rare, occurring about once every 800 years, and the conjunction of 7 B.C. could have played a role in announcing a coming king; but it's not mentioned in scriptures and is open to interpretation (personally I think it played a role, but again it's open to interpretaion). Martin was a little off on the birth of Christ, which is picked up by Larson as I will talk about later; and Larson was basing his findings on what the scriptures describe, so I believe that's why he never mentions the 7 B.C. conjunction, so these closing points he makes are relevant, but have been taken care of. You keep insisting Martin's book is irrelevant and only noticed by Larson, but Turner also acknowledges popular interest in the book by scholars, I’ll give more statements later, but Here's Turners: "The subject area of this book is however, is one that has attracted the interest OF NUMEROUS GENERATIONS OF SCHOLARS AND DEEP THINKERS, and the continued popularity of annual Christmas star shows at many planetariums attest to the longevity of the mystery." His stating the subject area of the book as the reason for its popularity among scholars is his opinion. Why isn't Mike Molnar's book more sought out on the subject? What about Simo Parpola's? Well that's because the founding evidence in there material is sadly lacking and questionable (both date Christ’s birth around 7 B.C.). You blew off Chester’s statement, but Turner also acknowledges its use by numerous scholars, so where do you get the idea that it isn't?
As far as libraries, where are you getting your information on that? First you said 28 libraries and then 19, so which one is it? I was searching for reviews on the book and guess what I kept running into? Reviews by libraries with the book in there inventory, how could that be if only a handful in the world carry it? And I wonder how many books written by Christian scholars can be found in numerous libraries..

" keep insisting this whole thing proves something." well if you listen I'll try to cover why I believe Larson (who spent ten years researching) uncovered some significant findings. But before I get into his presentation, you seem to stand on a popular consensus argument for dating Herod’s death without looking into the evidence. First of all the popular consensus among scholars used to be 4 B.C., but I doubt it still is; the evidence discovered is firmly founded, and eliminates 4 B.C. and places 1 B.C. as the date for his death. The coin argument for 4 B.C. falls apart in two ways, the first I covered in my comment on March 31. The second problem is that rulers commonly used legal fiction to claim years they didn't really rule in. A pretty good example can be found with Herod himself, he was proclaimed King of the Jews by the Roman Senate; and then three years later he conquered Jerusalem to actually obtain that seat. The first coins said year 3; he claimed years on the throne that weren't actually his. Like I said before, coins are given as the founding evidence for the 4 B.C. date. The second is (actually was) found in the Josephus manuscript. But as you know there’s a major problem that now, every single Josephus manuscript prior to 1544 puts Herod’s birth at 1 B.C. and I haven’t found anyone to claim those findings as false or misinterpreted (also acknowledged by Turner). The manuscripts dating prior to 1544 were scattered throughout libraries all over the world, so how could anyone have gone and secretly altered them all? For the most part I already covered the problems with 4 B.C. date, but I'll briefly mention them again: the supposed eclipse in 4 B.C. was only 3/9ths visible, it landed on Purim and it was illegal to execute on holidays (especially high priests) in fear of revolts, the date isn’t supported by Josephus manuscripts, and there wasn't even enough time for the events between the eclipse and Passover to take place; like I said before the date of 4 B.C. is not possible. There was a full eclipse in 1 B.C., it's supported by the Josephus manuscript, there's time for all the events Josephus mentions to have taken place, it occurred not long after a census by Caesar, and other’s like Herod’s time on the throne and the wars that surrounded the date mentioned by Josephus.

Now I can go over the chronology of Larson’s presentation and why I consider it significant evidence. In September of 3 B.C., Jupiter the king planet (and brightest) crowns regulous the king star (also the brightest) a total of three times in the constellation of Leo the Lion. This is significant because Jesus is given the name The Lion of The Tribe of Judah several times in scripture, and Jupiter & Regulous don't need much explaining (very rare & strong symbolism). The very next morning rises Virgo the Virgin, and she’s clothed in the sun with the moon at her feet, exactly the description John gives in revelation. Nine months later in June of 2 B.C. (or 3/2 B.C.) is exactly when the early church historians say Jesus was born in ( And they base there claim on known articles of the time: So at the historical birth date, the king planet (Jupiter) comes together with the mother planet (Venus) to form the brightest star anyone had ever seen, exactly nine months after the prior events. And it just happens to take place right over Jerusalem when viewed from Babylon, where the Magi came from. When the Magi reached Jerusalem after a long trek, the Scriptures indicate they enquired of Herod to find out where the coming King would be born. Based on an ancient prophecy Herod points them to Bethlehem, and the Bible indicates the star proceeded to stop over Bethlehem shortly after they left Herod; Which is exactly what Jupiter proceeds to do. Read Matthews account of the incident carefully:

1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi[a] from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east[b] and have come to worship him." 3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people's chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ[c] was to be born. 5 "In Bethlehem in Judea," they replied, "for this is what the prophet has written:
6 "'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.'[d]" 7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him." 9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east[e] went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route. Matthew 2:1-12

So Venus and Jupiter come together to make the star, the Magi take off, and after leaving Herod Jupiter proceeds to stop directly over Bethlehem when viewed from Jerusalem. And I find it interesting that out of 365 days in the year the date that Jupiter comes to a complete stop is 12/25 and the Magi present their gifts on Christmas. Next is the day of the cross, which was accurately located with all the evidence evidence. Luke states Jesus was about 30 years old when he started his ministry, John counts three Passovers during the time of His ministry, He happened to be killed on a day that Passover landed on a Friday, and he was taken before Pilot who sat from 26-36 A.D. as written by the historian Tacitus. The only date that fits the evidence is 4/3 of 33 A.D. And it is easily taken from scripture that Jesus died at 3 pm, which isn't the work of Larson; it's been well known for centuries because it’s clear in scripture. So what does the Bible say about the day of the cross? Well in Acts Peter quotes the prophecy given by Joel when speaking to a crowd that had witnessed the crucifixion, but rejected the claims of sovereignty Jesus made. One of the descriptions Joel gives is a blood moon, which back then was actually the technical term for a lunar eclipse. So what proceeds to happen on 4/3/33 A.D. at three in the afternoon? The moon goes into a full lunar eclipse exactly at three when Christ died on the cross, and it had returned to the feet of Mary in the same position that it was at His conception in September of 3 B.C. There is also something else you should know which I'm sure you missed on the DVD. I need to explain some things first though, Passover originated from one of the judgements god punished Egypt with for not releasing the Jews from slavery. The judgment on Egypt was that the lives of all the first born of Egypt would be taken, and unless the Jewish families sacrificed a lamb and put blood on three points on there doorways (representing the cross, and Christ’s blood); they would also lose the first born in their families. The Jews obeyed, and when the night came the Spirit of God passed over the Jewish houses and took the first born of Egypt (hence the name Passover), those of Egypt representing people who reject the sacrifice God made for them. Here's why I told you all that, if you’re on the main menu of the DVD you can select the title 'The heart of the ram'. When you click on that you can see how the moment the moon enters into eclipse, the earth and sun are located in the Heart of the constellation of the Ram. So in scripture John refers to Jesus as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, He dies on a Passover, and the moment He dies the earth and sun are located right in the heart of the ram. I would say all of this is more than significant evidence and would take a much greater amount of faith to disregard, than it would acknowledge God marking out the life of Christ as a witness to us modern people who think God is an out dated thing of the past.

In an earlier comment you said you weren't out to win an argument and that you'd be more than willing to change your mind if I had anything significant to offer; so was that a true statement? Mary being clothed in the sun with the moon at her feet was impossible for man to see without the help of God or computer software. And the moon going into an eclipse at three in the afternoon was also impossible to know for a human down on earth, so they couldn't have been propagated in scripture as the events occurred. It is silly to ignore all this for the sake of winning an argument, or just hating the idea that God might exist.
Historians acknowledge that Jesus is as historically established in history as any other figure. Through non-Christian documents it is known Jesus was condemned to death by Pilot, that Roman guards were placed around his tomb, a stone was rolled in front of his grave with a Roman seal placed over it; and that shortly after the stone had been rolled away and his body was also missing. If you want to know about the documents then I will try to locate them for you. Articles written by Pharacies (read who they are in the gospels) claim that the Romans fell asleep and disciples rolled away the stone and stole his body. The problem is that the Roman punishment was death for them having let the seal be broken. And how would the disciples remove a two ton stone without waking anyone?
There is also physical, tangible evidence for the resurrection, but that would be even a longer discussion than The Star of Bethlehem. However I will give you the link to one more movie. Jesus tells a parable in Luke 16 and here's one of the statements: "But he said to him, 'If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead'" Luke 16:31
So I have to ask, if you knew of someone that was raised from the dead, would you also ignore that? Well I was able to find The Lazarus Phenomenon on google video, I haven't watched the movie in a while but in it is the story of a man who was raised from the dead after being dead in a morgue for three days (raised meaning brought back through prayer). He did in fact die in a car crash and he, along with people in the town give testimony to it, along with the death certificate he holds and the footage of the moment he returned to life:
Is this the only modern case? No it's not, Richard Eby fell from his balcony and landed in a bush, splitting his head open while all his blood drained out. I believe he was also dead for three days, then came to life before he was put in the morgue. They had to align his skull back together because it had broke in half, and they never gave him a blood transfusion because they weren't aloud to on clinically dead patients. You can order his book for a dollar off if you want to read his testimony:
There is also the case of Don Piper, a semi truck ran over his car and killing him instantly, after spending 90 minutes in heaven he was raised from the dead, his book can be found on amazon for under a dollar if your interested:

But if nothing else I suggest you rent The Passion of The Christ, I think it would help you better understand Christianity. The movie is a great depiction the crucifixion, it follows the Roman procedures and the details in scripture. Isaiah describes Jesus as barely recognizable as a human after being crucified, and he lasted only six hours on the cross; so the movie is not exaggerated but accurate, and put things in perspective as to who Jesus actually was. When the scriptures describe blood and water flowing after he was pierced with a spear, this is a medical condition resulting from a traumatic death. It’s a rather important matter and should be looked into more before writing it all off, but like I mentioned earlier it’s your decision.

Again here’s the link to the Lazarus Phenomenon:

And here are a couple more links to endorsements of Martin's book and findings:
Tom said…
I haven't stopped responding. I have other demands on my time. I'll get back to this as soon as I can.

Before you start trying to 'convert me' to Christianity you should know my parents where Presbyterian missionaries, and I went to a missionary grade school where I memorized scripture and attended daily chapel services. My Uncle was the head of the American Baptist Convention, and President of a Baptist college. I went to Ursinus College, founded as a college where "young men could be liberally educated under the benign influence of Christianity" and I sang in the Messiah Choir.
Brewer said…
That's good to hear, but I'm not trying to push a religion on you. You said you approach things with an open mind, and that's what I’m interested in. Likewise I grew up in a divorced family with alcoholic problems, but I'm going through an aviation program at UCC (not so christian) for eventual work as a missions pilot. I took something out of my last comment, but I'll bring it up based on what you mentioned. America is filled with what you could call Laodicea Christians (or false), as covered in the third chapter of Revelation. The problem is that they distort Christianity and bring on the common hypocritical and 'religions' stereo typing. Like I mentioned in an earlier comment, Matthew describes multitudes upon multitudes of 'christians' being condemned, even though they might have obeyed the all the laws, memorized all the scriptures, and maybe even performed miracles just as Judas had. Am I trying to convert you here? No, I'm just saying it's important to look into things apart from what other christians or bible colleges might have taught. That's mostly why I recommended Mel Gibson’s film, because I believe it gives a good picture of what christianity is actually about. Why do I seem like such an avid christian? Well it's not because I'm sucked into some cult following, or because I just know so much evidence that I've got to be right. I have my own reasons for it, I just don't discuss them for the reason that anyone can make claims; just as people in about every religion out there do. So I'm just trying to bring some things out and evaluate them, like I mentioned before I'm not interested in bending things to try and prove something.
Tom said…
Huh, interesting. I've been a pilot for 42 years, and until 2 years ago owned a vintage flying service. We operated two lovely 1920's open cockpit biplanes, an SNJ (Navy version of the AT-6), a C-45H, and two Varga 2150As that we used for air combat. There are pictures of our birds, and others, here. You might be intersted in my other bog: Tailspin's Tales too.

My Dad used an aircraft extensively when we lived in Guatemala and Mexico. This story is true except for the CIA connection.I remember Nate Saint, the MAF pilot that was killed by natives in Equador in 1956.

You're not trying to push religion on me? Come on, John. At least be honest with yourself. What exactly do you mean, then, when you write: "It's your decision whether or not you look into Christianity more before shrugging it off, but it matters quite a bit whether you’re right or wrong don't you think?" Or your very first words here, "Tailspin, you're obviously just wanting to deny there's a God". Everything you've written has been as an apologist.
Brewer said…
Ok so maybe I am pushing a little, my first statement you grabbed was me speaking my mind. The thing is that I listen to others, even all the pesky Jehovah’s witnesses & Mormons out there, to see if there's any truth to what they're saying. I just have this opinion that if someone is right on something and I'm wrong, then I've got some things to search through. So far I've only heard obvious contradiction and scripture twisting from those guys; but my point is that I can't convert anyone or vise-versa. It's ultimately everyone’s individual decision to think and search things through for themselves. In this case I'm the one offering up evidence (not everything of course); if it was the other way then things would just be switched around. And that's mostly what the last quote was based on, thinking things through before shrugging it off.

Other than that, I could only quickly look through the links you gave and they're definitely intriguing; I'll have to go through them when I have a good amount of time on my hands. But your flying career sounds pretty impressive, I've always been intrigued by aviation. I can't count how many museums and air shows I've gone to, the vintage aircraft are my favorite. For the longest time I wanted to be a fighter pilot, and I've had people offer their 'connections' and such, but now I'm pretty set on flying for missions. A small contributor to me changing my plans was the film End of The Spear (true story), and it sounds like Nate the Saint is pretty similar to that (haven't read it all yet). Right now I'm a student pilot, but that shouldn't last too long as soon the FAA releases my dang medical to me.

Anyway before it’s pointed out, I made an obvious contradiction in that long comment I left. "notice he never attacks the given evidence for Herod's death and Christ's birth?" when I said this I was thinking of Christ’s birth in association with Herod's death (before or after 4 B.C.). Because I go on to say I agree that Martins a little off on the actual birth date. That link I keep sending with the Church historians always gets the last part of it chopped off, so I will send it in two parts:

I couldn't find out who gathered this information, but I looked into it to make sure the quotes were good; and to make sure they weren't just a selected few to fit a theory before I included them.
Brewer said…
I'd forgoten about this thing, I see you never posted a response, which is fine because I was pretty burnt out on the matter anyway. But hopefully you were able to watch the first part of The Lazarus Phenomenon, I can't really see the reasoning behind being an athiest; there's plenty of physical, historical, and supernatural evidence that points to the contrary. I'm not suprised about the Bible College, but I am kind of suprised you had missionary parents and came to believe there isn't really a God. I don't know why that is of coarse, but hopefully you keep looking into things more, or maybe 'test God' yourself on the matter.
Tina said…
I just wanted to say that there definitely is a connection between evolution and the origin of the universe. Evolution is completely based on the idea that things happen out of random chance, not because a god is guiding it. Therefore, evolution makes a claim on the origin of the universe- no god. Don't get me wrong, it doesn't explain what exactly happened, but it definitely is based from the premise that there is no god. So this is not a debate between evolution and creation, but on a god or no god.
If there is a god, we must have evidence of him or her, because it must be absolutely obvious. If there is no god, we are left to deal with the matter ourselves and explore the universe with science. I see these 2 viewpoints being discussed above and so it all comes back to yes god or no god.
Looking at the evidence of what was posted, our DNA length, we know that there is a code in every human being so intricate and detailed that it amazes all of us. Be honest, it is amazing to see the incredible way that the human genome codes your every feature. But when we observe our humanness, we see that there is something more than just a body. Things are moving and working PERFECTLY together, and yet we still have something else. We have a mind. Evidence for our minds is above, the previous discussion. My main point is: we choose. We have a deciding mind.
Now, these are 2 things every human can be confident of(unless suffering from a mental disorder), that there are thinking minds and matter. About the origin of the universe, you can believe 2 things, in my opinion. 1) that matter created mind, or 2) that mind created matter. There is an absolute truth no matter what anyone says. This truth is outside of what we think, so take this question to your own mind personally and make your own decision on what to believe. No one else can alter your decision, so don't let them. Which came first, matter or mind? Which is more probable? If matter, we have nothing to worry about...but if mind, we should be trembling in fear of what this mind can do. I really wish I could be face to face with some of you and tell you all the evidence I see in the world that tells me there was a mind that created all of this, but I must refer you to a website:
But more than that, ask God if He exists. He will tell you if you are willing to know the truth. I believe it is every human's responsibility to find the truth. I am glad for discussions like these that get us thinking. Don't accept what is easy, but look with open eyes and an unbiased view, and most importantly, stay humble.
Melaniki54 said…
All this hooplah from mainly males, recent to the planet, without wombs, who cannot produce life and have no understanding of the Wisdom that created it. Usurpers and muajis. Further, pale humans, also recent to the planet, who by their own studies are genetic mutants, deficient in the dark energy that the Creators used in the life making process, having their cell memories erased by the pathogens that invade them. You are all so pitifully off the mark, it is no wonder our indigenous ancestors hid the ancient records from you, for a later generation yet to come, less primitive and more worthy of the sacred truths of Creation. Mthama Anagundua Maisha!
Anonymous said…
Way too much bollocks in this comment section. It's nearly impossible to separate the rational brain and emotional brain. That's why it's difficult to engage in rational discourse with someone who has been emotionally conditioned with a certain belief. It's like wearing a lens-- they can only see the world in a particular way, yet they do not know the lens is there.
Anonymous said…
Who ever wrote this blog - kudos
The comments on this one, are perhaps even better than the actual post. At every turn there's god- fearing individuals blindly fighting the idea of science and evidence.
Keep writing, your awesome
Daemon said…
I know, it's hilarious! But their last post was May 2009, I don't think they're coming back. But still, I'm sending the link to this web page to my friends to have a laugh at. Pity it stopped... I would've loved to see the religious people proven wrong. I mean, look at it this way:
Long ago, people used to believe in many gods, and did barbaric things according to the religions rituals.
Then, people believed in many gods, but dropped the barbaric things. Then, they believed in one god, as most religions do today. Already, 19% of the global population (from wikipedia) don't believe in god/s, and it's rising. Mostly because people are becoming less gullible and more self-thinking. And I go to a Lutheran school, don't say anything about my "lack of knowledge".

Also, while I don't intend to get into an argument, I will happily provide well researched answers and/or counter arguments to anything religious people come up with.
I can't believe this big argument came from a talk about DNA... Creator! Pfff!
I think I can put this and all debates on evolution to rest once and for all. I, for one, buy into the case stated earlier that evolution is statisticlly impossible (re. the 10 to the 80th power example). Exponential possibilities will always exceed exponential probabilities. HOWEVER--we haven't seen the end of the laws of mathematics. Just one fundamental change could put all of evolution in the realm of sheer likelihood. But this is the clincher: a supreme being may have designed those laws, as well as the process of evolution that we have observed, and there can never be a statistical probability of the existence of a supreme being.
It amazes me that both sides get so heated up over this. You can't, by definition, reconcile the spiritual world with the physical universe. What an absurd exercise in folly! Something like an absessive video game.
Tom said…
Rick from Mobile writes: "But this is the clincher: a supreme being may have designed those laws, as well as the process of evolution that we have observed, and there can never be a statistical probability of the existence of a supreme being. "

Why can't there be a statistical probability of a supreme being? How are you going to test which, if any, god designed the evolutionary process? Remember, just claiming something (teapots in the sky or god-did-it evolution) doesn't make it so; you have to provide convincing evidence.
Nylanna said…
I find myself really enjoying reading all your comments guys. To Mr. Tom, I just want to thank you for posting this topic "Your DNA would reach to the Moon", I'm gonna use the information I have gathered here to motivate my students to learn. I think, you really don't need evidences just to believe that there is a God or any scientific explanation to believe that there is none or whatsoever :)
Unknown said…
DNA does not need to stretch, to reach the moon. Or a planet in another galaxy. The molecule has other tools and mechanisms for this purpose.
Unknown said…
Our DNA is in the nucleus (middle) of the cell-chromosomes make up the cell itself-though it is the DNA in the nucleus of the cell that determines that cells function or purpose
Unknown said…
Our DNA is in the nucleus (middle) of the cell-though chromosomes make up the cell itself-it is the DNA in the nucleus that determines the function of that cell
Tom said…
Constance, you write "...chromosomes make up the cell itself...." That sounds as if you think the structure of the cell is made from chromosomes, but they're just a part of it. A cell generally has an outer cell envelope made up of a capsule, jn some cases, plus a cell wall and a plasma membrane (some also have flagella and pili sticking out). All that encloses the cytoplasma which includes all kinds of stuff such as the plasmids, ribosomes, DNA molecules (called chromosomes), and organelles such as mitochondria and chloroplasts, Golgi apparatus, lysosomes and peroxisomes, centrosomes, and vacuoles. For more details visit
Unknown said…
Well said Tom-The cell has an outer membrane and it Is necessary to know all the details about what makes up every part of the cell-you have just mentioned some technical terms that reminded me of some of the chapters learned in biology class long ago really
Tom said…
A fascinating visualisation of what goes on in a cell, created by Harvard, can viewed at The narration will sounds foreign, but hang in there, you'll recognize some of the processes and features, and the animation is awesome. As you watch it, remember that those processes are going on in everyone of your millions of cells right now!
braincramp said…
if anonymous and tailspin teamed up but stick to their debates and continued to have an opposite frame of mind from each other, then their clash of knowledge would surely help filter out greater opportunities for discovery, its been entertaining and a learning experience to read from both of you, I am not in any way knowledgeable in this subject just heard this info somewhere before and thought id double check it
Storm6550 said…
So, I just want to know:

What is the length of DNA called? Is it 'gene'? Or something else? Oh, that is so cool! I am 12, and my DNA goes to the Moon 1500 times!!!!!!!!!! Wowee!!!!
Tom said…
A length of DNA is a 'molecule' of DNA, which is made up of two stands of nucleotides (the famous double helix) which, in turn, are made up up four chemicals guanine, adenine, thymine, and cytosine usually abbreviated with the letters G, A, T, and C
Anonymous said…
Dude I read up to the like 3rd comment but, it doesn't necessarily have to be aliens because it could have been seeded by asteroids, meteors, or comets as well from a planet that maybe died or contained that information for all this. I'm not sure haha, just thought i should say that xD
Anonymous said…
Boy the god freaks never want to listen to any rational argument. It is simply ridiculous to think that humans are products of intelligent design as there are so many flaws and irregularities. Religious justifications for the denunciation of scientific explanations are spewed out without any knowledge or understanding of science or statistics.belief in a creator is one of the most deluded things that man has ever come up with.
Anonymous said…
Your grammar and spelling is horrendous. Your logic is flawed. No wonder the various monotheistic religions make so much money from ignoramuses such as yourself.
Unknown said…
Educate yourself instead of following the idiotic herd .... what does that supposed creator do that is/would be so special that it needs to be attributed to a 'deity' ... a 2 headed baby maybe??? ... some designer hey?! ... your creator fucks up so much that designer it ain't ... idiot or screw up would better apply ... GROW UP DUMBASS
Unknown said…
Retarded knuckle dragger. Keep your God bullshit to yourself! Science is truth. Religion is made up arse gravy.
Anonymous said…
I read the first few thousand words, and my thoughts, and maybe someone above me said this, i'd hope;;;;;;; If the first single cell creature had 200 times the DNA as a human, then 1) wouldn't the intelligent-design-folks figure this as odd, an onion has more dna than us? are onions more superior because of the length of their dna? 2) to my mind, evolution seems to evolve toward efficiency, so human dna having 200 times less dna seems to be an evolutionary process towards efficiency!; 3) evidence shows evolution almost certainly derived from a single common ancestor. 4) why do we care, all we know is life is a crazy rare, our earth was perfectly formed at the right distance, right sun, right size, with a twin planet (moon) and so many other perfect physical phenomena to mention, our atmosphere is razor thin just off our planet's surface (try to live 4 miles up), the planet itself is tiny (I have driven around the equator 12 times and I don't drive much,) we need to quit worrying about evolution/creation/human-invented-god-bull-shit(reasons to kill and judge), and only think preservation, and then dna engineering. If we were created by a superior being, it would want us to 1) not kill ourselves, 2) would expect us to self-improve upon ourselves, or 3) consider us a failure if we failed 1 and 2. Period.
Mike Lewinski said…
Since this blog was first published there has been an update to the estimate of the number of human cells in an average person's body. That figure is 37.2 trillion somatic cells.

However, for the purposes of calculating the length of DNA we are in luck, because ~ 26.3 trillion of those cells are mature red blood cells which lack a nucleus (and hence have no DNA - no mitochondria either).

That leaves us with 10.9 trillion somatic cells with human DNA in them, or close enough that the original estimate of DNA length is still in the right ballpark.
Anonymous said…
Have you ever seen anything (lets say an elephant) appear without a reason. Even though you and anyone you have ever talked to, posted to, emailed, or seen have never seen this happen you are trying to tell us that it is true. That is basically what you are trying to "prove" with evolution. EVERYTHING has a cause. Darwin himself said later in his life that if we didn't find anything to support his THEORY that it was wrong. All of the supposed "evidence" supporting evolution has been faked. None of what is taught about evolution can be backed up enough to make it a good scientific theory, let alone a law like it is taught to be. I personally think that you are misguided in your thinking.
Anonymous said…
The evidence screams creator, I don't get how you don't see it.
Anonymous said…
My name is Stefan not annynomus just don't feel like making an account.

Hey Tom I read every bit of what you said to brewer and hats off to you man. I would have never had the patience for someone like that.

P.S. just saying humans got here somehow or another by God or throughout evolution. I say just be open to both who says you have to believe one or the other.
Unknown said…
Holy crap this post has lasted almost 6 years...
Anonymous said…
Holy crap this debat has lasted 6 years...
Tom said…
No one has ever said that an elephant appeared without a reason...or even with a reason. The process of evolution is not goal oriented. Evolution doesn't try to make an elephant, as you imply.

Anyway, if you think evidence for evolution has been faked or that it isn't a good theory why learn enough about it to understand how it works. Then you'll be in a good position to judge.

Evolution isn't something you believe or not, it's something you understand or not.

Learn all you can, think for yourself, and then decide.
Anonymous said…
Ok, so 10 trillion cells in the human body. Quite a high percentage of these cells are in fact bacterial cells. Other human cells, such as mature red blood cells, don't contain a nucleus ergo don't have DNA, so this estimate of cells must be quite high? Also, what about mitochondrial DNA?
Anonymous said…
Sorry, I think I read everything here, but I can't tell what the conclusion was ... is there is a god or not?
Anonymous said…
And where did "the" god come from? Always was and always will be just doesn't seem to cut it.

And what about the big bang theory? Why did Kaley Cuoco cut her hair so damn short? I mean it's looking pretty good now, but the first cut was way too severe. And how much mitochondrial DNA was lost when she cut it?

These are the important questions.
Anonymous said…
I'm not even religious but Atheists are the nutjobs in my experience.

And most of you tend to be rabid and angered by any mention of religion. Why is that?
Unknown said…
Isn't the God of Abraham, the same God as the Christians, Jews and the Muslims?
Unknown said…
Wasn't Jesus born between 4-6 BC? Are you trying to argue he was born at zero BC?
TheCuriousDude said…
Thank u Mr.Tom i found this at just about the right time ....i myself was going through a turmoil abt how all this began ..i have already went through 5 theories of how life supposedly came into being ..and the biochemical one was the only one that for me really got close to it...i realise u r quite a knowledgable person on this topic...please provide some sources where i can further quench my curiosity
Unknown said…
excellently written
TinaN said…
Tom: You say "evolution" as a whole, as if it is a fix/explain all answer. You make no distinction between Abiogenesis, Darwin's macro-evolution and micro-evolution(of which has observable, empirical evidence') Why do you blur these glaring distinctions?
Anonymous said…
Different guy here wow a debate lasting 8 YEARS COME ON GUYS put it to rest.
Termux said…
Roland Chiasson and Craig Lydiate perhaps you are the ones who are following the herd cos there are more atheists and evolutionists in the West than there are theists. And hair sit back and consider the numbers and probabilities, or rather improbabilities of the evolutionary premise. It would be more plausible for a supernatural intelligent designer than a random accident theory. BTW you might be interested to know that a research group undertaking the synthesis of the simplest replicable (not viable) bacterial DNA if about 350,000 base pairs required a state of the art lab, dozens of scientists and 5years to synthesise that simple DNA, but still required a viable empty cell to implant that into... Just empty your brain of your liberal atheist muck and reset, go back to zero base and reconstruct. Perhaps then your minds will be clear enough to comprehend the magnitude of this.
Unknown said…
Hey kid in which class do you read..

As hole
Unknown said…
As Alan Watts said, consider if 1,000 monkeys were typing on 1,000 typewriters for 1,000 years, what are the chances that they would come up with the Encyclopædia Britannica.

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