Saturday, May 27, 2017

Technology-STEM Curriculum for Fall 2017



Alice C. Linsley

The Middle School elective called "Technology-STEM Discovery"exposes students to 16 sciences and asks them to integrate their learning with Bible through the use of technology.

The students read, discuss, and complete projects on topics in anthropology, archaeology, architecture, astronomy, biology, climate studies, earth science, forestry, genetics, linguistics, materials science, medicine, navigation, and zoology.

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 defense 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 curriculum does not impose Darwinian evolution or Young-Earth Creationism. Instead, students are to discover how the data of the Bible and the data of science aligns. This is essential for an effective defense of the Biblical worldview in a society that values science.

The Technology and STEM Education Curriculum for Middle School students has three components:

Component One: Computer Skills and Computer Literacy
Component TwoChristians in STEM throughout History
Component Three: Bible Technologies and Science

Component One: Typical topics include:


The Power of the Internet
Google Docs
Internet Research/Search Engines
Style Sheets
Chrome Books
Creating and Managing a Blog
Animation: Pow Toon, Generator, Animoto
Digital storytelling: Toontastic tutorial

Internet research on the following topics: (Students select a topic of interest.)

Ancient Shrine Cities
Metalwork of Biblical Peoples
Anthropological Evidence for the Exodus
Plants of the Bible
Medicine in the Ancient World
The Tides
Tumuli of the Ancient World
Landslides and Mudslides
Factors That Influence Climate
Pyramids Around the World
The Great Barrier Reef
The Clepsydra and the Clepsammia: Ancient Time Devices
How Globes Are Made
A Brief History of Map Making (Cartography)
The Andes Mountains
The Solar System
Exoplanets
Fractal Geometry
How Telescopes are Made
Ancient Textile Technologies
Robots Programmed to Act Morally


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. Each student will produce a Powerpoint or Google slide presentation on a person from the list below.

RUBRIC: The presentation is to have 20 slides. The first slide is the title page with the student's name. The last slide is to be a summary of the 5 or 6 main points. Slides 2-19 should have at least one image per slide and no more than 10 words per slide.

MEN

Erasmus 1466-1536
Nicholas Copernicus 1473-1543
Francis Bacon 1561-1627
Galileo Galilei 1564-1642
Johannes Kepler 1571-1630
Athanasius Kircher 1601-1680
Blaise Pascal 1623-1662
Georges Cuvier 1769-1832
Michael Farraday 1791-1867
Gregor Mendel 1822-1884
James Clerk Maxwell 1831-1879
George Washington Carver 1864-1943
Robert Runnels Williams 1886–1965
Roger John Williams 1893–1988
Georges LemaĆ®tre 1894–1966
Oliver R. Barclay 1919-2013
Victor Elving Anderson 1921-2014
John Polkinghorne 1930-present
Austin L. Hughes 1949-2015
Ian H. Hutchinson 1951-Present
John Lennox 1943-Present


WOMEN

Hildegard of Bingen 1098-1179
Maria Gaetana Agnesi 1718-1799
Mary Anning 1799-1847
Agnes Giberne 1845-1939
Sister Mary Celine Fasenmyer 1906-1996
Katherine G. Johnson
Dorothy Johnson Vaughan
Mary Winston-Jackson
Chris Templar
Jocelyn Bell Burnell
Rhoda Hawkins
Katharine Hayhoe
Ann Marie Thro
Leslie Wickman
Jennifer Wiseman
Robin Pals-Rylaarsdam
Nola Stephens
Chris Done
Katherine Blundell 

Students select a card from the Bible Technology Card Box. The cards address topics in 15 fields of science. Each card provides background information and context for students to research up to 3 questions per card related to science, technology, engineering and math in the Bible. Students are to complete 12 cards per semester (or 6 cards per quarter). The cards are color coded as follows:

Agriculture/Horticulture - sea foam green
Anthropology - gold
Archaeology - blue
Architecture - pink
Astronomy - bright green
Biology - blue
Climate Studies - purple
Earth Science - black
Forestry - teal
Genetics - red
Linguistics - brown
Materials - bright yellow
Medicine - orange
Navigation - white
Zoology - salmon

Agriculture/Horticulture
Horticulture in the Ancient World
Threshing Floors and Solar Symbolism
Olive Oil Production in the Ancient World

Anthropology
Confirmation of Biblical Populations
Getting the Facts About Human Origins
The Rising Star Expedition
Rising Star Expedition Update
Science in Progress: The Rising Star ExpeditionNoah'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


Archaeology
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


Architecture
The Pillars of Solomon's Temple
Monuments of the Ancient Kushites
Kushite Shrines
Tumuli of the Ancient World
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


Astronomy
The Sunlight Cycle in the Northern Hemisphere
The King Planet's North Pole Has Changed to Gold
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 the Sacred
The Sun and Celestial Horses
Marcus Byrne: The Dance of the Dung Beetle


Biology
Genesis Has No Evolutionary Framework
Questioning the Common Ancestry Hypothesis
What is Meant by the Term "Kind" in Genesis?
Cambrian Explosion: The Binary Feature Signals Greater Diversity
The Genetic Difference Between Humans and Apes


Climate
Mega-Lake Chad
Mega-Nile
Katherine Hayhoe on Climate Change
Climate Cycles Indicate a Dynamic Earth
Two Environmentalists Knock Heads
Climate and Wealth Redistribution
Climate Change and Human Innovation
Antarctic Ozone Hole Smaller
America's Wake Up Call on Climate


Earth Science
The Pillars of the Earth
Volcanic Eruptions
Earth's Magnetic Pole Reversals
Reversals of Polarity: The Magnetic Flip
Afar Rift
The Lake Suigetsu Varve
Walking Rocks
The Atacama RockTumbler


Forestry
Trees in Genesis
The Trees of Prophets
Trees as Boundary Markers
The Judean Nut Palm
What Happened to the Cedars of Lebanon?
Antarctica Once Had Baobab Trees
The Fig Tree in Biblical Symbolism
Congo Basin Forest Ecology
Amazon Basin Forest Ecology
Theories About the Tree of Life
The Tree of Weeping


Genetics
Genetic Types: A few basics
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


Linguistics
What is a Phoneme?
Phoneme Study Pinpoints Origin of Modern Languages
Early Written Signs
Ancient Canaanite Inscriptions
Symbols of Archaic Rock Shelters
The Urheimat of the Canaanite Y
Is Hebrew an African Language?
The Aleph as Ox/Bull Head
Technology to Preserve Languages on the Verge of Extinction
Conversation about the Beginning of Spoken Language
Navajo-Ket Linguistic Connection
Dr. Nola Stephens on Linguistics and Faith
The Generative Divine Word


Materials
Archaic Shell Technology
"Easter" Eggs in Antiquity
Brick Making in Antiquity
Stone Work of the Ancient World
Textiles 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


Medicine
Medical Care in Ancient Egypt
Medical Care in the Ancient World
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


Navigation
Noah's Ark
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


Zoology
Dogs in the Bible
The Animals on Noah's Arc
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

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Find Answers to Bible Technology Cards Here!



Agriculture/Horticulture
Horticulture in the Ancient World
Threshing Floors and Solar Symbolism
Olive Oil Production in the Ancient World

Anthropology
Confirmation of Biblical Populations
Homo Naledi: Newest Member of the Human Family
The Pyramid Builders
Petra Reflects Horite Beliefs
Circumcision and Circles of Standing Stones in the Judean Hills
Horite Temples
The High Places
The Shrine City of Nekhen
Europe's Oldest Prehistoric Town Unearthed in Bulgaria
The Trapezoid in Ancient Architecture
Sheep Cotes

Astronomy
The Sunlight Cycle in the Northern Hemisphere
Priests of the Ancient World Studied Astronomy
Nabta Playa and the Ancient Astronomers of the Nubian Desert
The King Planet's North Pole Has Changed to Gold
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 the Sacred
The Sun and Celestial Horses
Marcus Byrne: The Dance of the Dung Beetle

Biology

Genesis Has No Evolutionary Framework
Questioning the Common Ancestry Hypothesis
What is Meant by the Term "Kind" in Genesis?
Cambrian Explosion: The Binary Feature Signals Greater Diversity
The Genetic Difference Between Humans and Apes
Genetic Types: A few basics
Haplogroups of Interest to Biblical Anthropologists
The Sub-Saharan DNA of Modern Jews
DNA Confirms Mixed Ancestry of Jews
A Kindling of Ancient Memory
80,000 Year Ancestor of Chinese Men

Climate
Mega-Lake Chad
Mega-Nile
The Reality of Climate Change
Katherine Hayhoe on Climate Change
Climate Cycles Indicate a Dynamic Earth
Complex Climate Changes
In Search of Green Arabia
When the Sahara Was Wet
Saving the Animals in Times of Flooding
Antarctica Once Had Baobab Trees
Volcanic Eruptions and Climate
South American Glaciers Growing
Climate Data Fudge Factor
Kansas Bill Calling for Objectivity in Climate Science Fails
Reality Climate Ideologues Won't Face
Climate Change and Genesis
Lower Solar Irradiance, Higher Atmospheric Temps?
Climate Cycles and Noah's Flood
Climate Studies and the Book of Genesis
Genesis and Climate Change
Two Environmentalists Knock Heads
Climate and Wealth Redistribution
Climate Change and Human Innovation
Antarctic Ozone Hole Smaller
America's Wake Up Call on Climate

Earth Science
The Pillars of the Earth
Volcanic Eruptions
Earth's Magnetic Pole Reversals
Reversals of Polarity: The Magnetic Flip
Afar Rift
The Lake Suigetsu Varve
Walking Rocks
The Atacama RockTumbler

Forestry
Trees as Boundary Markers
Trees of the Bible
The Trees of Prophets
What Happened to the Cedars of Lebanon?
The Judean Nut Palm
Antarctica Once Had Baobab Trees
The Fig Tree in Biblical Symbolism
Congo Basin Forest Ecology
Amazon Basin Forest Ecology
Theories About the Tree of Life
The Tree of Weeping

Genetics
Genetic Types: A few basics
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
80,000 Year Ancestor of Chinese Men

Linguistics
What is a Phoneme?
Phoneme Study Pinpoints Origin of Modern Language
Phonetic Clues Hint Language is Africa-Born
Early Written Signs
Ancient Canaanite Inscriptions
Symbols of Archaic Rock Shelters
The Urheimat of the Canaanite Y
Is Hebrew an African Language?
The Aleph as Ox/Bull Head
Technology to Preserve Languages on the Verge of Extinction
Conversation about the Beginning of Spoken Language
Navajo-Ket Linguistic Connection
Dr. Nola Stephens on Linguistics and Faith
The Generative Divine Word

Materials
Archaic Shell Technology
"Easter" Eggs in Antiquity
Brick Making in Antiquity
Stone Work of the Ancient World
Textiles 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

Medicine
Medical Care in Ancient Egypt
Medical Care in the Ancient World
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

Navigation
Noah's Ark
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

Zoology
Dogs in the Bible
The Animals on Noah's Arc
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 Red Heifer
Ram Symbolism of the Ancient World
Jesus: From Lamb to Ram
Elephants in the Time of Abraham
Abraham's Camels
Sea Birds Use Sense of Smell to Navigate
Celestial Horses


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Chris Templar: Educational Technology's Bright Light


Alice C. Linsley

Chris TemplarI became acquainted with Chris Templar in October 2016 when I attended her fun and informative workshop on robotics in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Chris Templar Ph.D., is one of the leading technology and robotics professors in the United States. She has been teaching for more than 35 years at Johnson University in Knoxville, Tennessee. The School of Education was named the Templar School of Education in honor of Dr. Templar. She was instrumental in the design and delivery of Johnson’s undergraduate and graduate teacher education programs; preparing the University for four state visits for Tennessee State approval of the teacher education programs; the design of the Chinese studies program, and taking the Master of Arts in Educational Technology project to Zhengzhou, China.

Dr. Templar's distinguished career continues through her recent appointment as director of international teacher education and director of educational technology, focusing her efforts on Johnson graduate students from The People’s Republic of China.

Alice Linsley: When did you realize that you wanted to serve Jesus Christ?

Dr. Templar: I became a Christian when I was 7 years old and was baptized at 13. I knew for as long as I can remember that I wanted to be a missionary to the Chinese.

Tell me about your childhood in England. What experiences shaped you and your later interests?

I grew up in a Christian home in England with very supportive parents. My parents were very committed to missions and brought me up to look up to missionaries as the Lord’s servants who were special people. When I was four to six years old the communists took over China and all the missionaries had to leave. I grew up in England and various China missionaries mainly from OMF and the BMS came to stay in my home. They were very shell shocked and weary. I did not understand this as a small child but I did understand that they loved China. One of them showed me a tiny shoe which she said a grown up lady wore.

At this very young age I learned to love China. I collected autographs of these people and most of them wrote a Bible verse in Chinese in my album. It was a very impressionable mark in my life. As I grew older I loved science and engineering, played with building kits and remember how much I wanted a chemistry set but that was a “boy’s” toy as was an erector set - called Meccano in England. I remember drilling holes in my dollhouse to wire it with electric lights. I was soundly punished this was just after the world war and toys were passed down from relatives as they were hard to find. I thought dolls were silly much to my mother’s dismay who felt she needed to develop the nurturing side in me. But I took the dolls I received to pieces to see how they worked! I remember receiving a new doll and taking it to pieces after I had been warned that I must not break it. So from an early stage I was certainly drawn to science and math. Today I would be a STEM child. I went to a British state school until 11 when I won a scholarship to a British public school. ( A high quality private school) This was a girls school and the headmistress wanted to help us see that girls could do things just as much as boys. She was years ahead of her time. I was placed in the math and physics stream and took O and A levels in these areas. But I decided I wanted to be a missionary and wanted to study Theology. This was very much opposed by my headmistress. But I landed up going to Leeds University to study Theology.

Who else influenced your life and future direction?

When I was in Leeds I met the person who was most influential in my life apart from my parents. Dr Verna Wright was a professor and head of the medical school at Leeds University. Verna was a dynamic Christian who believed in evangelism and also believed in mentoring students to see how to become dedicated to the Lord. Until he died he wrote me at least two or three letters a year prayed for me and helped me not only in Leeds but in so many different ways. From Leeds I moved to London University and completed my BA and M.Div and my Graduate Teaching certificate (the equivalent of teacher licensure). By then I had applied to OMF to become a missionary. The mission board insisted that I work at teaching for a year so that I had experience before going overseas. During the OMF training I met many China veterans and my love for the Chinese only developed. I did the Wycliffe Bible Translators summer linguistics program and learned Thai for a week but during that time I heard not one tone. So my results came with a recommendation that I not be sent to a tonal area and definitely not learn Chinese. OMF did some other testing at the University of London and each time the response came back that I could hear no tones and should not learn a tonal language. This appeared to close the door to that world. OMF and I decided that I would go to Indonesia. But wonder of wonders I was sponsored by a Chinese church who spoke Indonesian. They wanted me to teach in their seminary. I learned the language and spent four years there. I came to America for my furlough and worked on a M.A. and a Ph.D.

When the time came back I was unable to return to Indonesia and landed up with an invitation to Johnson University –then Johnson Bible College where they asked me to develop a teacher education program. On my second visit to JBC the Dean of Students said he had something special at his house and maybe I would like to see it. This was 1978 and he had the first model I TRS-870 that came to Knoxville. Five minutes playing with that computer and I was hook. I saw so much potential for computers with children and have played with computer and robots and other things ever since. As a result of this we taught the first required course for computers for teachers in Tennessee, and finally developed an accredited program at the masters and ed specialist level in educational technology. Gradually I have worked more on more on ed tech until now I do that all the time.

What do you love about your present work? What project has you excited?

I love working with graduate students, particularly the Chinese graduate students. I am really interested in the use of Robots and coding in the elementary and middle school and in the potential of the makerspace concept in the development of creativity with elementary and middle school children.

I am also very interested in the integration of Bible in the STEM environment.

What inspires you to try new things?

I just love trying everything new that comes along. Having two advanced degrees in ed tech I have to make sure that my department keeps up with the developments in the field. This means that I will always be trying new things.

Tell me about the naming of the Templar School of Education in your honor.

Johnson University honored me by naming the school of education the Templar School of Education after the work the Lord had enabled me to do in the founding and developing of the educational program.

Perhaps another great reward comes from the success of your students?

I have no children of my own, but I have many graduates’ children around the world who call me granny. All I do is done for the Lord and to glorify Him. I try to mentor my students just as Verna Wright mentored me.


Dr. Templar working with Chinese graduate students
Credit: Wade Payne, Special to the News Sentinel


How did you become involved with robots?

In 1981 I first went to MIT for the LOGO conference sponsored by Papert. In the discussion at the end of the conference they were identifying groups that were not represented at the conference. A Jewish gentleman stood up and said one other group not represented was the religious minority. Papert said that if ever they presented a proposal it would be considered. On the plane on the way home I drafted a proposal for a study of the book of Philippians and the visits Paul made to Philippi in Acts to be worked by 4-6th grade students in LOGO and drama.

The proposal I submitted was accepted and the following year I showed a video in which the faculty and staff children on our campus presented the results of their study and work. It was watched by a professor from Toyama University in Japan who stopped me on the sidewalk after the session and invited me to come to his university and present the material, which I subsequently did. This work with LOGO was my early experience of coding and fine arts combined with young children.

Computer education moved away from the creative discovery approach to the use of computers with children favored by Seymour Papert and others, becoming much more structured. But the pendulum has swung back to the more creative discovery approach. I have run pilot programs and graduate classes with various robots for children, taught cad software (Tinkercad) to children as young as 3rd grade, and worked with them as they have seen the success of their 3D printed objects. 

I also have worked with professors from Anhui Normal University in China to help them develop makerspace and robotic courses for their masters programs in educational technology.  I have found that the opportunities to share with teachers both in America and China have expanded exponentially. After fifteen trips to China to teach in the area of educational technology and robotics I am settling down to teach the Chinese who come to me. One of my graduates is following in my footsteps and going to China to teach this summer.

While I have worked for the majority of my professional life in some aspect of technology it has always been my desire to integrate the Lord, His Word, and His ways into the work I am doing.  I have never found this hard to do. The things we use in educational technology were created by the Lord, and in all things I seek to give glory to Him. 


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Dr. Nola Stephens on Linguistics and Faith


Dr. Nola Stephens
Professor of Linguistics at Covenant College


Savannah Medlin, Grade 8

Dr. Nola Stephens works in the field of Applied Linguistics. Her doctoral dissertation at Stanford University was on how preschool children put their sentences together.

Before coming to Covenant College in Georgia, Dr. Stephens, was a visiting assistant professor at Pennsylvania State University and worked as a research assistant at Indiana University, Stanford, and the University of California. She has been involved in various mentoring programs at Stanford and Penn State, and volunteered as a teacher of English as a second language.

As a child Nola loved language and wanted to learn phonetics. She enjoyed changing her accent when she spoke. Eventually she lost interest in changing her accent, but she never lost the interest in language.

In her professional life, she has been influenced by two of her undergraduate professors: Natsuko Tsujimura and Daniel Dinnsen, and her doctoral adviser, Eve Clark.

Dr. Stephens has received numerous awards and recognitions, including the Rie Weiland Travel Grant, the Paula Menyuk BUCLD Travel Award, and the IASCL Conference Award. Her contribution to applied linguistics is acknowleged by Frank Liedtke, the editor of Beyond Words: Content, Context and Inference.

Dr. Stephens was raised in a Christian home and she doesn’t remember a time when she didn’t know about Jesus and his love for her. She was baptized in the Southern Baptist Church when she was 7. She says, “God has been faithful to preserve my faith and help me grow in my understanding of who He is.”

Here is a podcast in which Dr. Stephens speaks about language and faith. In the beginning was the Word - The Word became flesh and dwelt among us..." She expresses her enthusiasm about her discipline: "a linguist gets to study how words work."

Dr. Stephens is the daughter of Dr. Vickie Shamp Ellis, Professor of Communication Arts and the Division of Communication Arts Chair at Oklahoma Baptist University.


Linguistic Sciences

Linguistics is the scientific study of language and its structure. Some branches of linguistics include:

Applied linguistics is the systematic study of language structure, how children acquire a language, how subsequent languages are acquired, the role of language in communication, and the status of language as the product of particular cultures and social groups.

Computational linguistics is a discipline between linguistics and computer science which is concerned with the computational aspects of the human language faculty. It overlaps with the field of artificial intelligence (AI), a branch of computer science.

Dialectology is the study of the way sounds, words and grammatical forms vary within a language.

Historical-comparative linguistics is a branch of historical linguistics that is concerned with comparing languages in order to establish their historical relatedness.

Psycholinguistics is the study of the psychological and neurobiological factors that enable humans to acquire, use, and understand language.

Sociolinguistics is the study of how language serves and is shaped by the social nature of human beings in their communities.


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Olive Oil Production in the Ancient World


Ancient olive tree


Olives were a natural resource in the Near East 6,000 years ago. Ancient documents mention an olive tree in Heliopolis (Biblical On) during V Dynasty (BC 2494 to 2345). Trade records from the IV Dynasty (BC 2613 to 2494) list olive oil among the goods traded from Syria and Canaan. The olive tree appears in the hieroglyphs, drawings, and statues of high ranking Egyptians, and objects made of olive wood were found in Tutankhamun's tomb.

Olive trees grew in the region of Lake Chad during the time Noah lived there (BC 2490-2415). Genesis 8:11 recounts how a dove returned to Noah’s ark carrying an olive branch in its beak. Both the olive branch and the dove are symbols of peace. Olive trees grew in the Hoggar and Air mountains and along a 750-mile plain leading south to Lake Chad.


Production and uses of olive oil

Olive oil was used for lamp fuel, medicinal ointment, making soap, skin moisturizer, perfumes, cooking oil, and as a food. Olive oil was used in offerings to God. Leviticus 8:26 speaks of offerings of bread cakes anointed with oil.

Olive oil was used to anoint rulers, priests, and warriors. God said to Samuel, “Fill your horn with oil, and go; I am sending you to Jesse, the Bethlehemite. For I have provided Myself a king among his sons” (I Sam.16:1). When David was presented before Samuel, the prophet “took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward” (I Sam.16:13). God said, “I have found My servant David; with My holy oil, I have anointed him” (Psalm 89:20).

The word "messiah" means "the anointed one" and the substance used for anointing was olive oil. The Hebrew word for “olive tree” is es shemen, which means ‘tree of oil.” It is from the root meaning “to shine” and is related to shemesh, the Hebrew word for the sun.

A donkey turns the stone that presses the olives.

To make oil the olives were mashed in a mortar, crushed in a press, or stomped under foot the way grapes are crushed to get the juice. Ancient stone presses have been found throughout the Near East, Israel, and the Arabian Peninsula. The circular grinding stones, like the circular threshing floors, reminded people of the Most High God, whose emblem was the sun.

The Encyclopedia Judaica gives this explanation of the process of oil production:
“The olives were beaten down from the trees with poles (Isa.17:6), and were pounded into pulp in mortars or by the feet (Micah 6:15). The pulp was placed in wicker baskets from which the lightest and finest oil could easily run off This grade of oil, known as beaten oil (Heb. Shenen katit), is mentioned five times in the Bible. It served as fuel for the lamp in the Tabernacle (Ex.27:20; Lev.24:2) and as an element in the obligatory daily meal offerings (Ex.29:40; Num.28:5). King Solomon traded this type of oil with Hiram of Tyre in exchange for cedar and cypress wood (I Kings 5:10-11). After the removal of the beaten oil, a second grade was produced by heating and further pressing the pulp. . ."
The oil was then stored in wooden vats or stone jars.



Friday, April 28, 2017

The Reality of Climate Change


The Bible provides considerable evidence for climate change. Consider how the part of the world where Biblical populations lived has changed in the past 12,000 years. Once the vast expanse of land from Central Africa to the Tigris-Euphrates Valley was very wet. Today this is region of earth is very dry.

Dufuna Boat
This 8000 year dugout was found 16 feet under the Sahara.

Noah lived in the region of Lake Chad in Central Africa. He lived during a time of extreme wetness know as the Gurian Wet Period or the Aqualithic. Today this area is dry and Lake Chad is but a fracture of its earlier size.




The ancient Saharan water systems (shown in gray) interconnected along the African Sheer Zone (black line). Mega Chad covered 139,000 square miles of Central Africa and the outlines of the lake's ancient shorelines are visible from satellites.

The Nile River was much wider than it is today. Mega Nile was home to a large fresh water lake that was 17374.597 square miles. That lake filled the White Nile River valley and was in the heart of Biblical Eden. The White Nile is one of the rivers named in Genesis 2. It marked the southwestern boundary of the well-watered region of Eden.

Dr. Tim Barrows (Exeter University) reports: “The eastern Sahara Desert is one of the most climatically sensitive areas on Earth, varying from lake-studded savannah woodland to hyperarid desert on a timescale of only thousands of years."

The vast wetlands of Central Africa supported cattle and herds of wild antelope and gazelle. Abraham's Proto-Saharan ancestors herded cattle in these wetlands. The bull became an important religious symbol for them. The Sun resting in the horns of the bull symbolized divine overshadowing. Those who were shown wearing the Y-shaped solar cradle were appointed by the Creator for some purpose. The men were to be rulers and the overshadowed woman was to bring forth Messiah. (See Luke 1:35.)

Hathor, the mother of Horus 
The Horite Hebrew believed that God has a son.

Below are examples of rock paintings (petroglyphs) found in the eastern Sahara. They show boats of shapes transporting people and cattle.The rock paintings date to between 4300 and 2900 BC.



Between 12 and 10 thousand years ago, the Nile connected to the western water systems of the Sahara. There were numerous shallow lakes stretching across what is now a desert. Because of this, the same plant and animal species are found at the Nile, Lake Chad, and the Benue Trough. The Benue Trough connects to the Atlantic Ocean at the southern tip of Nigeria.


These giant hand axes were found at the dry basin of 
Lake Makgadikgadi in the Kalahari Desert.


The now dry Botswanan lake basin was once a sea filled with water that ran down from the Angolan Highlands. Some of Africa's earliest human populations lived on the edges of this great lake as evidenced by thousands of man-made stone tools found there. The stone tools date to between 80,000 and 100,000 years.