Konting trivia lang po.
Ang Awake magazine ay pang top 2 sa Most Popular Magazines of 2013. Eto po: Source 1 or Source 2. Wala namang bayad yung magazine na yan, pero monthly ganyan karami ang circulation. And check out also who is the top 1 on the list.
INTERVIEW | PAOLA CHIOZZI | Biochemist
"A Biochemist Explains Her Faith"
For more than 20 years, Dr. Paola Chiozzi has worked as a molecular biologist at the University of Ferrara in Italy. Awake! asked her about her science and her faith.
Tell us about your background.
My father was a cobbler, and my mother was a farmworker. But I wanted to be a scientist. The beautiful flowers, birds, and insects around my home fascinated me. I felt that they were products of superhuman wisdom.
So you always believed in a Creator?
No. In fact, my doubts about God began when I was a child. My father suddenly died of a heart attack, and I wondered, ‘Why would the Creator of so much beauty allow suffering and death?’
Did your study of science help you to find an answer?
Not at first. When I became a molecular biologist, I began to study death—the normal, programmed death of the cells that make up our body. This is very different from the uncontrolled cell death that causes inflammation and gangrene. Until a few years ago, scientists paid little attention to this process, even though it is vital to our health.
In what way is programmed cell death vital?
Well, our body is made up of trillions of microscopic cells. Practically all of them must die and be replaced. Each type of cell has a different life span; some are replaced every few weeks, and others every few years. Our body’s system of programmed cell death has to be highly controlled to maintain the delicate balance between cell death and cell formation.
What can go wrong?
Some studies indicate that when cells fail to die as they should, rheumatoid arthritis or cancer may result. On the other hand, when cells die before they should, it could cause Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s disease. My research is linked to finding ways to treat these diseases.
How did your study of cell death affect you?
Frankly, it puzzled me. This marvelous process was clearly designed by someone who wants us to be healthy. So I was still left with the question, Why do people suffer and die? I couldn’t find an answer.
But you were convinced that the system of programmed cell death was designed.
Yes. The complexity of the whole process is mind-boggling, yet its elegance displays exceptional wisdom. I believe it’s the wisdom of God. I use powerful microscopes to study the many complex mechanisms that regulate the process. Some mechanisms can trigger the destruction process within seconds if need be. The cells participate in their own self-destruction. The process is so well-designed that it’s absolutely awe-inspiring.
Since nearly all our cells are regularly replaced, living forever is certainly feasible
You had questions about God and suffering. How did you find answers?
A couple of Jehovah’s Witnesses called at my home in 1991, and I asked them why we die. They showed me the Bible’s answer: “Through one man sin entered into the world and death through sin.” (Romans 5:12) If the first man had not disobeyed God, he would have lived forever. I immediately realized that this harmonized with what I had learned from my research. In fact, it’s clear to me that God didn’t intend for people to die. Since nearly all our cells are regularly replaced, living forever is certainly feasible.
What convinced you that the Bible is God’s Word?
I learned what the Bible says about God at Psalm 139:16: “Your eyes saw even the embryo of me, and in your book all its parts were down in writing.” As a biochemist, I study the genetic information that is written in our cells. How did the psalmist know about such writing? The more I learned from the Bible, the more I was convinced that it is inspired of God.
How were you helped to understand what the Bible teaches?
One of Jehovah’s Witnesses offered to study the Bible with me. Finally, I learned why God has allowed suffering. I also learned that, as the Bible states, God purposes to “swallow up death forever.” (Isaiah 25:8) It will be easy for our Creator to make the marvelous systems of our body operate perfectly so that we can enjoy life without end.
How have you used your knowledge of the Bible to help others?
Well, I became one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in 1995, and since then I have freely shared with others the things I’ve learned from the Bible. For example, a colleague of mine was devastated when her brother committed suicide. Her church teaches that God never forgives suicide. But I showed her how the Bible gives a hope of a resurrection. (John 5:28, 29) She was deeply comforted to learn that the Creator cares for us. At such moments, I feel that sharing Bible truths with others brings me more satisfaction than science itself!
Read Online at: Awake Magazine, January 2013.
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INTERVIEW | MASSIMO TISTARELLI | Scientist
"A Designer of Robots Explains His Faith"
Professor Massimo Tistarelli is a scientist at the University of Sassari in Italy. He is an associate editor of three international science magazines and has coauthored more than a hundred scientific papers. He studies how humans recognize faces and do such seemingly simple things as catching a ball. He then designs visual systems for robots—systems that imitate what we do. Awake! asked him about his faith and his work as a scientist.
What is your religious background?
My parents were nonpracticing Catholics. As a young man, I leaned toward atheism. I was taught that life originated by means of evolution, and I accepted that as fact. Yet, even though I did not believe in a personal Creator, I felt that there must be something higher than us. In order to find out what, I explored Buddhism, Hinduism, and Taoism, but I found their teachings to be unsatisfactory.
What led to your interest in science?
From childhood, I was fascinated with machines. I even used to take my electric toys apart and reassemble them. And I would ply my father, a telecommunications engineer, with endless questions about how radios and telephones work.
What has your career as a scientist involved?
I studied electronic engineering at the University of Genoa, and then I did doctoral research in robot design. I specialized in studying the human visual system and in devising ways to imitate it for the design of robots.
Why did our visual system interest you?
It is incredibly sophisticated, encompassing much more than the eyes—it even includes the means to interpret what we see. For example, consider what happens when you catch a ball. As you run to make the catch, the lens of your eye focuses an image of the ball onto your retina. That image will move across your retina in a way that depends on the movement of both the ball and your eye. Normally, of course, you keep your eye fixed on the ball. Its image then becomes stationary on your retina while the background “moves.”
At the same time, your visual system calculates the speed of the ball and its trajectory. Amazingly, the calculations start right there in the retina as your eye estimates the movement of the ball in relation to its background. Your optic nerve then transmits the impulses formed by the retina to your brain, which further analyzes the information and directs you to intercept the ball. The whole process is breathtaking in its complexity.
What persuaded you to believe in a Creator?
In 1990, I spent a few months in Dublin, Ireland, doing research at Trinity College. As I was traveling home with my wife, Barbara, we considered the future of our children. We also decided to visit my sister who was one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. My sister gave me a copy of the book Life—How Did It Get Here? By Evolution or by Creation? published by the Witnesses. The careful research that had gone into this work impressed me. It then dawned on me that I had accepted evolution without really questioning it. For example, I had assumed that evolution was well supported by the fossil record. But it is not. Indeed, the more I examined evolution, the more I became convinced that the theory is more bluster than fact.
I thought about my work with robots. Whose designs was I imitating? I could never design a robot capable of catching a ball as we can. A robot can be programmed to catch a ball, but only in precisely controlled conditions. It cannot do so in circumstances for which it has not been programmed. Our ability to learn is vastly superior to that of a machine—and mere machines have makers! This fact is just one of many that led me to conclude that we must have had a Designer.
I thought about my work with robots. Whose designs was I imitating?
Why did you become one of Jehovah’s Witnesses?
In part, it was because Barbara and I liked their thorough study methods. I was especially impressed with the research that goes into their publications. Solid research appeals to people like me, who want to probe into the details of things. For example, I became deeply interested in the many prophecies, or predictions, in the Bible. My study of those convinced me that the Bible really is from God. In 1992, Barbara and I were baptized as Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Has your study of science weakened your faith?
On the contrary, science has strengthened my faith. For example, consider how we recognize faces. A baby can do this within hours after birth. You and I can instantly recognize someone we know, even if he is in a crowd. We may even discern his emotional state. Yet, we may be completely unaware that this recognition involves the processing of a phenomenal amount of information at an incredible speed.
Yes, I am fully convinced that our visual system is a precious gift from Jehovah God. His gifts, which include the Bible, move me to thank him and to talk about him to others. After all, my sense of justice tells me that he should get the credit for his productions.
Read Online at: Awake Magazine, February 2013.
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INTERVIEW | BRETT SCHENCK | Environmental Consultant
"I am convinced that life was designed by God"
Brett Schenck is a retired environmental consultant in the United States. He studied the interdependency of plants, animals, and the environment. Why does he believe in a Creator? Awake! asked him about his science and his faith.
What is your background?
My father was a mechanical engineer. He often talked enthusiastically to me about math and science. As a boy, I was fascinated by the plants and animals in the creeks and pools near my home in New Paris, Ohio, U.S.A. So when I went to Purdue University, I chose to study ecology.
Did religion interest you?
Yes, it did. Dad encouraged me to study our Lutheran religion. I studied Koine (common) Greek, one of the languages in which the Bible was first written. I developed deep respect for the Bible.
How did you view the theory of evolution?
My church accepted it. My colleagues believed it. So I never questioned it. But I also believed in God. I had a foggy notion that the two beliefs were compatible. Although I respected the Bible, I didn’t think it came from God.
What made you change your view of the Bible?
Two of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Steve and Sandy, visited my wife, Debbie, and me. They showed us that the Bible, though not a science textbook, is scientifically accurate. For example, it says of God: “There is One who is dwelling above the circle of the earth.” (Isaiah 40:22) It also says: “He is . . . hanging the earth upon nothing.” (Job 26:7) At that time, I was using satellite photographs to study ecology, so these scriptures impressed me. They were written long before anyone photographed the circle of the earth hanging on nothing. As my wife and I studied the Bible with Steve and Sandy, I learned of prophecies that had come true, advice that works, and explanations that satisfied me. Gradually, I became convinced that the Bible is the Word of God.
When did you change your mind about the origin of life?
Eventually, Steve showed me the Bible’s clear statement: “Jehovah God proceeded to form the man out of dust from the ground.” (Genesis 2:7) The first man has a documented life history. This raised the question: Is the Bible in harmony with scientific facts? Steve encouraged me to research the matter, so I did.
What did you learn about evolution?
Many things. To mention just one, the evolution theory attempts to explain the origin of species. Living things are made up of efficient organs, such as the heart, lungs, and eyes. Also, at the microscopic level, we see marvelously designed ‘machines’ within cells. Where do the designs for those come from? Evolutionists claim that the best mechanisms are automatically selected because the living things that have them survive better. But that idea does not answer the question: Where do the mechanisms come from? I learned that many scientists do not believe that the evolution theory answers that question. A professor of zoology confided to me that he did not believe any of the theories of evolution. However, he did not air his views for fear of losing his job.
Does your knowledge of ecology strengthen your faith?
Yes, it does. My work involved studying how living things depend on each other. On earth, all living things depend on something else. Consider flowers and bees, for example. The color, fragrance, nectar, and structure of flowers are designed to attract bees and to sprinkle them with pollen. Bees are designed to extract nectar and to take one flower’s pollen to another plant for fertilization. Clearly, the flowers and bees are designed to supply what the other needs.
The resilience of the entire system of life on earth convinces me that life was designed by God
In an ecosystem, we see interdependence on a vast scale. An ecosystem is an environment with a community of perhaps thousands of types of animals, plants, bacteria, and fungi. All animals depend on plants for food and oxygen, and most flowering plants depend on animals. Although ecosystems are exceedingly complex and the organisms in them are fragile, they may continue surviving for millennia. Even after damage by pollution, once the source of pollution is gone, a complex ecosystem soon develops again. When I think about the resilience of the entire system of life on earth, I am convinced that life was designed by God.
Why did you become one of Jehovah’s Witnesses?
I was deeply concerned about the way human society is ruining the environment. I knew that although ecosystems are resilient, they are not indestructible. I learned from Jehovah’s Witnesses that, according to the Scriptures, God will “bring to ruin those ruining the earth.” (Revelation 11:18) Those words were important to me. As I continued studying the Bible, I gradually realized that the hope that the Bible presents is sure.
I enjoy sharing my beliefs with others, and I have studied the Bible with some scientists. At age 55, I took early retirement to spend more time helping people to understand the Creator of life and his purpose for our magnificent earth.
Read Online at: Awake Magazine, April 2013.
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