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All Articles For Minderhoud, Joel

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Two are better than one…for if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up…. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 Since the time of Tubal-cain, “an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron” (Gen. 4:22), humans have seen the benefit of mixing metals to form better substances. Today we call such substances alloys—materials that have unique properties, often much different than the properties of the original metals from which they are formed. Generally, we consider...

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“Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:6-7 In the wise and always perfect way of God, manifold trials and tribulations have touched us in the past several months. Some have watched their parent or spouse suffer and/or die from cancer. Others have dealt with the loss of a child, either...

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“As he that taketh away a garment in cold weather, and as vinegar upon nitre, so is he that singeth songs to a heavy heart.” Proverbs 25:20 “For though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before me, saith the Lord God.” Jeremiah 2:22 Vinegar upon nitre?? Washing with nitre?? Too often, I fear, we read over such texts, without giving due attention to their Spirit-inspired symbolism. And in this case we will not understand the symbolism without some knowledge of what nitre is (also spelled niter). It is a mineral, yes,...

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Previous article in this series: October 1, 2018, p. 16. In our previous article we learned that 14C atoms transform into more stable atoms (14N) by giving off a form of radiation called beta radiation. And since the rate of transformation (rate of decay) is a known value, scientists use the amount of 14C still remaining in a substance to determine its age. This method is one of many types of radioactive-dating techniques. Using radioactive-decay techniques, unbelieving scientists draw conclusions about the age of the earth that contradict the teachings of Scripture on this matter. The unbelieving world often seeks...

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Amid sediment in an oxbow of the ever-changing curves of the Red River, a well-preserved collection of items has been found. Among the items is a leather belt and buckle, reminiscent of the ones worn by those who traversed the Northwest transporting furs during the great North American fur trade of the 1700s. Could this belt have belonged to those fur traders, whose travels helped explore and settle Western Canada? In the late 1940s, Willard Libby, using his knowledge of radioactive decay, labored to develop a method to calculate the age of once-living organisms—creatures that contained carbon, or what is...

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As we noted in the previous article, (April 15, 2017, p. 332) news reports regarding the “state of the environment” regularly appear, but often with differing conclusions. Sometimes we have heard of global cooling and at other times we have been told of global warming. Scientists admit the difficulty of predicting what will happen due to the complexity of the creation. We know there are certain factors that have a definite effect on the climate; but due to the many factors involved, and the impossibility of isolating all possible factors in order to determine precisely how much of an effect...

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Mr. Minderhoud is a science teacher in Covenant Christian High School and a member of Hope Protestant Reformed Church, Walker, Michigan. Various environmental issues are brought to our attention from time to time in news reports. Yet, these reports often leave us with more questions than answers. Are these environmental issues a hoax, or scientifically proven phenomena? Or perhaps, something in between? We are left to wonder, “Is there anything to be gained from looking into these issues?” I believe there is. I see value in examining various environmental issues— not to determine the extent to which certain of them...

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Previous article in this series: March 15, 2016, p. 278. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, highly toxic gases, such as ammonia, methyl chloride, and sulfur dioxide, were used as refrigerants. Due to their toxicity and a number of fatalities in connection with leaks of these chemicals, they were replaced by chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)—laboratory-built compounds composed of carbon, hydrogen, fluorine, and chlorine atoms. In 1928, Thomas Midgley, Jr. from General Motors synthesized the first CFCs. By 1930, Dupont and General Motors were cooperatively producing Freon (Dupont’s trademark name for CFCs) in large quantities. Freon was a nontoxic, nonflammable substance that...

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Previous article in this series: March 15, 2015, p. 283. Previously in this rubric we have examined some of the main characters in the elegant book of creation and examined how they illustrate the wisdom of God as well as other important spiritual truths. Recently, we examined oxygen and considered it from the perspective of its absolute necessity for daily life, not only that of humans, but also that of creatures. We now turn our attention to oxygen again, but this time from the perspective of a lesser known form of oxygen—ozone. For many of us, our knowledge of ozone...

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Previous article in this series: March 1, 2015, p. 257. From the moment we are born till the day God calls us to our eternal home, we are in need of a constant supply of oxygen. The cells of our bodies depend on it—so much so that, under normal circumstances, we cannot live for much more than five minutes without oxygen. In the providence of God, we are supplied the necessary oxygen every moment of the day through complex processes, as seen in our previous article. However, there are many inhaled substances and many external circumstances that can disrupt these...

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