Thursday, September 22, 2016

Pyramids Galore!

The rulers of the ancient world dispersed across a vast region that extended from central Africa to Southern Europe and China. These rulers are called "the mighty men of old" in Genesis 6:4. They are described as heroes and men of renown. They constructed temples, palaces, fortified shrine cities, and pyramids. The best known pyramids are those at Giza in Egypt. South of these are other pyramids at Abusir and Saqqara.

Pyramid of Neferirkare at Abusir
The Pyramid of Neferirkare is the tallest of all pyramids constructed in ancient Egypt during its Fifth Dynasty.

Here are some of the other pyramids that have been discovered.

In Zinder Province, Niger

Read more about this pyramid here.

Pyramid of the Sun, Visoko, Bosnia

Photo credit: Jock William Doubleday

4,600-year-old step pyramid discovered near the modern town of Edfu, Egypt.

Image credit: Oriental Institute

The pyramid belongs to a series of almost identical small pyramids that have been discovered near several provincial centers in Egypt such as Elephantine, Hierakonpolis, Naqada, Abydos, Zawiet el-Meitin near Minya, and Seila in the Fayum. The whole group dates to the reign of Pharaoh Huni (around 2600 BC), the last ruler of the 3rd Dynasty.

Xian Pyramids in the Tarum Valley, China

Pyramids of Xian in the Tarum Basin, China

In the pyramids of China's Tarim Basin researchers have found well-preserved mummies. The so-called "Ur-David" mummy  was found here. He was tall and had red hair. This mummy dates to about 3900 B.C. Y chromosomal DNA analysis revealed that the men buried in this region are mainly in the haplogroup R1a1a.

The Xiaohe cemetery is the oldest archaeological site with human remains
discovered in the Tarim Basin to date.

In 2000, the Xinjiang Archaeological Institute rediscovered the Bronze Age Xiaohe cemetery in the Taklamakan Desert by using a global positioning device. The Xiaohe cemetery was first explored in 1934 by Folke Bergman, a Swedish archaeologist, but the cemetery was lost sight of until the Xinjiang Archaeological Institute rediscovered it. The burial site comprises a total of 167 graves. Here archaeologists have found well-preserved boat coffins, reminiscent of the solar (funerary) boats believed to carry the souls of the dead pharaohs.

Genetic analyses revealed that the maternal lineages of the Xiaohe people were originated from both the East and the West, whereas the paternal lineages found in the Xiaohe people all originated from the West, likely part of the north-eastward movement of the R1 rulers.

Note the dark red spot in Central Africa. 
This is the region of Lake Chad and Noah's homeland.

Technology and STEM Education Curriculum

Alice C. Linsley

The purpose of this course is to awaken reason and to investigate the claims of the Bible and the "real sciences" so that students might grow in faith and in intellect. Consider what C.S. Lewis wrote in The Screwtape Letters:
Screwtape to his nephew demon Wormwood:
"Jargon, not argument, is your best ally in keeping him from the Church. Don’t waste time trying to make him think that materialism is true! Make him think it is strong, or stark, or courageous — that it is the philosophy of the future. That’s the sort of thing he cares about. The trouble about argument is that it moves the whole struggle onto the Enemy’s own ground. By the very act of arguing, you awake the patient’s reason; and once it is awake, who can foresee the result?
Above all, do not attempt to use science (I mean, the real sciences) as a defence against Christianity. They will positively encourage him to think about realities he can’t touch and see. There have been sad cases among the modern physicists. If he must dabble in science, keep him on economics and sociology…"

The Technology and STEM Education Curriculum for Middle School students has these components:
Component One: Computer Skills
Component Two: Biographies of Christians in STEM throughout History
Component Three: Bible Technologies and Science
Component One

Polaris and Little Dipper project using Microsoft Office "Symbols"
Connectivity and Internet Access
Navigating and Links
The Power of the Internet
How to Assess the Reliability of a Website
Internet Security and Downloading Tips
Cyber Etiquette and Social Media Do's and Don'ts
Google Applications and Sites for Students
Internet Research/Search Engines
Word Documents and How to Use Style Sheets
Chrome Books
The Power of Blogs
Creating and Managing a Blog
Introduction to Video and Video Editing

Component Two

Students are not aware that an estimated 60% of pioneers in STEM have been Christians. Component Two introduces them to some of these people. Students learn about the lives and contributions of the following Christians in Science, Technology.  They research the lives of the persons they select, write a script about the person's life, and then produce a video about the person for public viewing. They select a Christian in STEM from the list below.


Erasmus 1466-1536
Nicholas Copernicus 1473-1543
Francis Bacon 1561-1627
Galileo Galilei 1564-1642
Johannes Kepler 1571-1630
Michael Farraday 1791-1867
James Clerk Maxwell 1831-1879
George Washington Carver 1864-1943
Roger John Williams 1893–1988
Robert Runnels Williams 1886–1965
Oliver R. Barclay 1919-2013
V. Elving Anderson 1921-2014
Austin L. Hughes 1949-2015
Ian H. Hutchinson 1951-Present


Hildegard of Bingen 1098-1179
Maria Gaetana Agnesi 1718-1799
Mary Anning 1799-1847
Agnes Giberne 1845-1939
Sister Mary Celine Fasenmyer 1906-1996
Jocelyn Bell Burnell 1943-Present
Rhoda Hawkins (living)
Katharine Hayhoe (living)
Anne Marie Thro (living)
Leslie Wickman (living)
Jennifer Wiseman (living)
Robin Pals-Rylaarsdam (living)
Chris Done (living)
Katherine Blundell (living) 
Ruth Hogg (living)

Component Three

Students select a card from the Bible Technology Card Box. These cards provide background information and context for students to research up to 3 questions per card related to science, technology, engineering and math in the Bible. The cards are color coded as follows:

Anthropology - gold
Archaeology - blue
Architecture - pink
Astronomy - green
Genetics - red
Materials - bright yellow
Medicine - orange
Navigation - white
Zoology - salmon

Noah's Sons and Their Descendants
More About Noah's Descendants
Nahor and His Descendants
The Marriage and Ascendancy Pattern of Abraham's People
The Mighty Men of Old
The Pyramid Builders
The Genesis King Lists
The Antiquity of the Edomite Rulers
Two Named Esau
Edom and the Horite Ha'biru
Priests, Shamans and Prophets
Three-Clan Confederations and Twelve-Clan Confederations
Some Marks of Prehistoric Religion

The Stone Age
Symbols of Archaic Rock Shelters
David's Zion Found
Jerusalem Virtual Pilgrimage
What Are Bullae?
3000 Year Temple Seal
Yahu Seals
Purity Seal From Herod's Temple
2400 BC Tomb of Purification Priest (Also read this.)
Sudan is Archaeologically Rich
Sixteen Pyramids Unearthed at Kushite Cemetery
70,000 Year Settlement Found in Sudan
Why Nekhen is Archaeologically Significant

The Pillars of Solomon's Temple
Monuments of the Ancient Kushites
Kushite Shrines
Petra Reflects Horite Beliefs
Prehistoric Obelisk Found in Judah
Circumcision and Circles of Standing Stones in the Judean Hills
Horite Temples
The High Places
The Shrine City of Nekhen
77,000-Year Settlement in Sudan
Europe's Oldest Prehistoric Town Unearthed in Bulgaria
The Trapezoid in Ancient Architecture
Sheep Cotes

The Sunlight Cycle in the Northern Hemisphere
The Celestial Dance Observed by the Magi
Who Were the Wise Men?
Horite Expectation and the Star of Bethlehem
The Sun and Moon as a Binary Set
The Sun and the Sacred
Ancient African Astronomers
Threshing Floors and Solar Symbols
Solar Imagery
A Tent for the Sun
The Sun and Celestial Horses
Marcus Byrne: The Dance of the Dung Beetle

Haplogroups of Interest to Biblical Anthropologists
R1b Profile of 64% of European Men
Ashkenazi Represent Judeo-Khazar Admixture
The Sub-Saharan DNA of Modern Jews
DNA Confirms Mixed Ancestry of Jews
A Kindling of Ancient Memory
The Bible and the Question of Race
80,000 Year Ancestor of Chinese Men

Archaic Shell Technology
The Stone Age
Stone Work of the Ancient World
Stone, Shell and Egg Technologies
Noah's Ark
The Gold of Ophir
Kushite Gold
A Silver Lining at Abel Beth Maacah
Paradise of Ancient Memory
Afro-Asiatic Metal Workers
Red and Black Smiths
Why Zipporah Used a Flint Knife
Afro-Asiatic Metal Workers
Ancient Miners Venerated Hathor

Medical Care in Ancient Egypt
Prehistoric Humans used Plants Medicinally
The Ancient Nubians Used Antibiotics
Neolithic Medical Care
Herbs Used for Healing in the Bible
Dental Health of Ancient Sudanese

Pythons Used for Sea Navigation
The Ancient Egyptians were Seafaring
4500-Year Harbor at Wadi al-Jarf
Boats and Cows of the Nilo-Saharans
When the Nile Was a Mega-River
Swimming and Diving: Activities of Archaic Peoples
Boat Petroglyphs in Egypt's Central Eastern Desert

Dogs in the Bible
The Ostrich in Biblical Symbolism
The Rooster in Biblical Symbolism
Religious Symbolism of Long Cow Horns
Why Cows Were Sacred in the Ancient World
Cows of the Proto-Saharans
The Fatted Calf

The Oldest Known Calculator

The Antikythera Mechanism is a Greek geared device, constructed around the end of the second century B.C. It calculated and displayed celestial regular cycles such as the phases of the moon and a luni-solar calendar. The mechanism predicted lunar and solar eclipses on the basis of Babylonian arithmetic-progression cycles. The inscriptions support suggestions of mechanical display of planetary positions

Calendars were important to ancient societies for timing agricultural activity and fixing religious festivals. Even today the seasons of the Church calendar align to astronomical cycles.

The mechanical device is named after its place of discovery in 1901 in a Roman shipwreck, the Antikythera. It is more complex than any known device for at least a millennium afterwards.

The mechanism has three main dials. The front dial has two concentric scales. The outer ring is marked off with the days of the 365-day Egyptian calendar, which became the basis of the later Julian calendar introduced in 46 B.C. Inside this, there is a second dial marked with the Greek Zodiac signs and divided into degrees. The calendar dial can be moved to compensate for the extra quarter day in the year by turning the scale backwards one day every four years.

In the second century B.C, Hipparchos developed a theory to explain the irregularities of the Moon's motion across the sky caused by its elliptic orbit. This theory is reflected in the gearing of the mechanism, revealing technical sophistication. According to Plato, the ancient Nilotes had been observing and recording data about celestial events for 10,000 years. Greek knowledge of celestial cycles and events built on that of the sages and priests of the ancient Nile Valley.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Technology to Preserve Languages on the Verge of Extinction

Credit: Ryan Red Corn (Osage)

There are many endangered languages in our collective linguistic radar. Some of them have been covered here before and some haven’t. In 2007, Joshua Hinson of Chickasaw heritage, identified that his language was one the brink of extinction. Rather than blaming technology as contributing source to language loss, Hinson embraced the opportunity to use technology to help save his language.

When Hinson saw that his ancestral Chickasaw language was disappearing, he decided to help build an online presence and create a smartphone app to make the language accessible.

Hinson used the internet to build an online presence for his tribe. This has been done before, as recently as in 2012 when Google embraced theEndangered Languages Project. Hinson almost a poured a decade into theChickasaw Language Revitalization Program, and by now knows enough Chickasaw to hold conversations as well as to read and write. As I understand it, at 32 years old, he is youngest member of the language to speak fluently, the next youngest member is 62.

Read the full article here.

Related reading: Dr. Nola Stephens on Linguistics and Faith

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Discover Google

Learn about what Google has to offer you as a student. Go here.

Google email
Google hangouts
Google blogs
Google websites
Google documents and Google Drive  (Watch this video.)
Google Chrome books

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Sunlight Cycle in the Northern Hemisphere

The Sun's cross marks the transitional points on the sunlight cycle in the northern hemisphere:

1. Winter solstice - the shortest day and the longest night
2. Spring equinox - the equal day and night
3. Summer solstice - the longest day and shortest night
4. Autumn equinox - the equal day and night

The Winter solstice occurs on December 21-22 in the Northern Hemisphere, and June 20 or 21 in the Southern Hemisphere. From the Winter Solstice, the hours of daylight lengthen again and the Sun is shown to be "the undefeated Sun" - Sol Invictus. In the ancient 12-division zodiacs, this is symbolized by the ostrich which hides its head for a time by lying flat against the ground, and after the Winter Solstice it begins laying its eggs. Some ancient zodiacs show a Man - "the Father of fathers" - as the sign of the Winter solstice.

Herodotus reported that there was an annual ceremony at Sais in Lower Egypt to commemorate the death and resurrection of Horus, who was called the son of God. The people mourned and beat their breasts in sorrow for the death of the Creator's son. An image of a golden cow with a golden sun between its horns was carried out of the chamber in which it stood throughout the year.

In Plutarch’s time a similar ceremony took place at the winter solstice. In this ceremony the golden calf was carried seven times round the temple. People placed oil lamps outside their houses and the lamps illumined the darkness throughout the night. This custom was observed throughout Egypt and in the Upper Nile regions.

The Spring equinox occurs on March 21-22 in the Northern Hemisphere and is the time when the day and night have equal duration. In the 12-division zodiacs, the animal totem that represented the Spring equinox was the Eagle or the Vulture.

The Summer solstice is the longest day of the year. It occurs on June 21-22 in the Northern Hemisphere. The ancient sign of the summer solstice was the lion.

The Autumn equinox occurs on September 21-22 in the Northern Hemisphere and is the moment when the day is as long as night (equal duration). This is the beginning of the seasonal shift to winter, at the beginning of November. The ancient sign of the Autumn equinox was the bull.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Kepler's Laws of Planetary Motion

Johannes Kepler lived from 1571 to 1630 and is famous for his contribution to astrophysics. For an explanation of Kepler's 3 Laws of Planetary Motion watch this video or the one below.

The Law of Ellipses
Kepler's first law - sometimes referred to as the law of ellipses - explains that planets are orbiting the sun in a path described as an ellipse. The path of the planets about the sun is elliptical in shape, with the center of the sun being located at one focus.

The Law of Equal Areas
Kepler's second law - sometimes referred to as the law of equal areas - describes the speed at which any given planet will move while orbiting the sun. The speed at which any planet moves through space is constantly changing. A planet moves fastest when it is closest to the sun and slowest when it is furthest from the sun. An imaginary line drawn from the center of the sun to the center of the planet will sweep out equal areas in equal intervals of time.

The Law of Harmonies
Kepler's third law - sometimes referred to as the law of harmonies - compares the orbital period and radius of orbit of a planet to those of other planets. Unlike Kepler's first and second laws that describe the motion characteristics of a single planet, the third law makes a comparison between the motion characteristics of different planets. The ratio of the squares of the periods of any two planets is equal to the ratio of the cubes of their average distances from the sun.

For biographical information on Kepler, click on this:
Johannes Kepler