(By John Clayton, Does God Exist? January/February 2006. Used by permission.)

Hurricane Questions
The tragedies associated with the hurricanes of 2005 are fresh on Americans' minds, and we want to express our concerns and sympathies for those whose lives have been so brutally ravaged by these terrible storms. Skeptics try to use any natural disaster to discredit God, and yet, like most disasters, hurricane damage can be a consequence of man's greed and stupidity, with innocent people frequently bearing the consequences of the selfish acts of others.

Hurricanes carry large amounts of water inland from the ocean. The dry latitudes (around 30 degrees) are routinely watered by hurricane-borne moisture. Before man settled in coastal areas, there were natural barriers to the winds and surges associated with hurricanes. Yet mankind has stripped away the barriers by removing vegetation and straightening channels and building levies, and has even built cities below sea level, after removing these storm barriers. As barrier beaches and natural vegetation have vanished, the unprotected areas have become vulnerable to waters that would have otherwise been a blessing to their ecology. The classic example is how Hurricane Wilma ravaged Miami, but at the same time increased the viability of the Florida Everglades. It is important for man to work with nature, not against the design built into the natural world.

A good report on this problem may be found in Time, 10/10/05, 32-37.

Media irresponsibility and Hurricanes
(By John Clayton, Does God Exist? January/February 2006. Used by permission.)

Not only has there been an uninformed bias against God in the media, but also an inability to accurately report what is taking place. Reports of a 'toxic soup' in New Orleans turned out to be untrue. The journal Environmental Science and Technology reports that toxic levels found in water samples were slightly elevated, but not hazardous. Headlines claimed that there were 10,000 dead in New Orleans, but the actual count was nearer 1000, according to USA Today (October 11, 2005). Claims of crime sprees at the Superdome turned out to be untrue. Statements that it would take three months to drain the city were off by a factor of at least two. The media seems to feel it must make the news sensational if people are going to read it, and often the news is interpreted rather than simply reported.

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