Friday, September 2nd, 2011


Jeremiah 39:1-3  In the ninth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the tenth month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and all his army came against Jerusalem and besieged it. 2 In the eleventh year of Zedekiah, in the fourth month, on the ninth day of the month, a breach was made in the city. 3 Then all the officials of the king of Babylon came and sat in the middle gate: Nergal-sar-ezer, Samgar-nebu, Sar-sekim the Rab-saris, Nergal-sar-ezer the Rab-mag, with all the rest of the officers of the king of Babylon. 

Nebo-Sarsekim was an official under Nebuchadnezzar II, present for destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BC.  He was only known from the Biblical record until his name was discovered in 2007 on a tiny clay cuneiform tablet (2.13”) uncovered in Sippar (one mile from Baghdad) in the 1870s.  It was acquired by the British Museum in 1920, but lay dormant until 2007 when Michael Jursa—associate professor at the University of Vienna—rediscovered it and revealed its contents to the world.

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Recently an article appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences[1] which concluded that observed changes in biological populations are usually short-lived, and typically fail to spread through the entire species.  According to lead author and zoologist Josef Uyeda (Oregon State University), “Rapid evolution is clearly a reality over fairly short time periods, sometimes just a few generations. But those rapid changes do not always persist and may be confined to small populations. For reasons that are not completely clear, the data show the long-term dynamics of evolution to be quite slow.”  He and his team concluded that it takes approximately one million years for a biological change to take root in a population.

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