Biblical Sheep Help Treat Deadly Disease

Jim Denison | Denison Forum | Updated: May 25, 2016

Biblical Sheep Help Treat Deadly Disease

Fred and Joan Horak breed "Jacob sheep," animals that have been traced genetically to the biblical era. Their sheep are most unusual—some have four horns, while others have six. 


Now their lambs are being used to advance research into Tay-Sachs, a deadly genetic disease. Since the Tay-Sachs gene in Jacob sheep is an eighty-six percent DNA match with the human gene, experimenting on Tay-Sachs sheep is leading to advancements in possible treatments for humans.


Meanwhile, University of Oklahoma physics professor Michael Strauss has been delivering a lecture titled "Scientific Evidence for the Existence of God" at universities across the nation. He points to the apparent design of the universe and the uniqueness of our planet. 


According to Dr. Strauss, there are 322 parameters needed to form a planet capable of sustaining intelligent life. The probability that all 322 could develop by chance is ten to the minus -282. To help you understand the professor's point, I've written out this number: 


There's more scientific news in today's news: according to a new estimate, there are about one trillion species of microbes on Earth. Here's the amazing part: 99.999 percent of them have yet to be discovered. As one scientist noted, "We're very far away from discovering what's really out there."


I just finished reading the latest National Geographic magazine, an issue devoted to Yellowstone National Park. I still have vivid memories of visiting the park with our family several years ago. But this fact surprised me: if you drive every road of Yellowstone, you'll cover one percent of the park.


The magazine quotes Ferdinand Hayden, who led an early expedition to Yellowstone in 1871: "Nothing ever conceived by human art could equal the peculiar vividness and delicacy of coloring of these remarkable prismatic springs."


The God who made this amazing world also made you. If he could design the universe, can't he design your life? Now consider this fact: the God who made the universe rested after his work was done (Genesis 2:2). Then he taught us to do the same (Exodus 20:8–11).


Writing in The New York Times, David Brooks laments the workaholism that plagues our culture. He notes that workaholism is "a form of emotional self-estrangement. Workaholics are so consumed by their professional activities that their feelings don't inform their fundamental decisions. The professional role comes to dominate the personality and encroaches on the normal intimacies of the soul."


What is the solution? Rest and Sabbath, that leisure which is "an attitude of mind." We need to create "enough stillness so that it becomes possible to contemplate and enjoy things as they are." 


Tim Keller recently tweeted: "Anxiety is a daily statement to God saying, 'I don't think you have my best interest in mind.'" Do you think God has your best interest in mind today?



Note: The Chairman of the Baylor University Board of Regents confirmed in a text message last night that Ken Starr is still the school's president. This came after reports in The Washington Post and a number of other media that the regents had voted to remove him. As I stated in yesterday's special edition Cultural Commentary, I am continuing to pray for Baylor, Judge Starr, and those affected by the sexual assault scandal.


Publication date: May 25, 2016


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Biblical Sheep Help Treat Deadly Disease