Research Report #56 (2005)


Rumors of Angels:

Using ID to Detect Malevolent Spiritual Agents

Robert C. Newman

Biblical Theological Seminary

Interdisciplinary Biblical Research Institute




Most discussions of God's action in nature since about 1900 have ignored angelic activity, perhaps in reaction to White's History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom. Here we take another look at the biblical data on angels, and then consider what scientific data might be relevant in the light of recent interest in intelligent design.


Although the author is in agreement with the doctrinal statement of IBRI, it does not follow that all of the viewpoints espoused in this paper represent official positions of IBRI. Since one of the purposes of the IBRI report series is to serve as a preprint forum, it is possible that the author has revised some aspects of this work since it was first written.

Rumors of Angels:

Using ID to Detect Malevolent Spiritual Agents



The rise of modern science has led to many profound changes in human culture. One such, which has apparently attracted little attention, is the disappearance of angels from scholarly discussion. Yes, such beings still find a place in studies of the thought and literature of Milton and earlier. But their disappearance is quite complete in disciplines such as science and history. It looks like there has been a trend over the past three or four centuries in these disciplines: first, angels were removed; then God's miraculous intervention; then His providential control; finally, His existence is ignored altogether. The recent upsurge of popular interest in angels has not reversed this yet, though it may be a symptom that modernism is retreating before a postmodern mindset.[1]


Even in systematic theologies angels have long gotten less space than was common in earlier centuries. For those theologies written from a liberal perspective this is not surprising. Liberals, after all, are the modern successors to the Sadducees--who "say there is no resurrection, and that there are neither angels nor spirits." More notable is the short treatment angels typically get even in orthodox and evangelical theologies.[2]


Perhaps this is a result of Andrew Dickson White's influential work, History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom, published in 1896 and still in print today.[3] White takes special aim to ridicule the ancient and medieval view of angelic activity in nature--in weather, disease, and the human mind. Of course, White's work may be a symptom rather than a cause. Whatever the case, it seems that scholars in recent times have felt that the very concept of angelic activity in nature is beneath contempt.


Contemptible or not, I here make the following suggestions. (1) Those ancients who believed that angels produced all the phenomena of weather, disease and insanity were mistaken. (2) But so too are those moderns who believe that angels are either mythological or at any rate incapable of producing effects in the natural world. (3) Rather, angels exist, and they are both able to, and actually do, interact with nature.


Angelic Action in Nature According to Scripture


Let us consider first of all the biblical data relevant to these matters. We here assume that the Bible writers are not just repeating the mistakes of their contemporaries, but that they had access to special revelation on this subject, and that they give us an accurate--though doubtless incomplete--picture of these beings.


What does the Bible have to say about angels? They are mentioned on more than 150 occasions.[4] Angels are spirit beings of some sort.

What do we mean by "spirit beings"? In the Bible, "spirit" seems to be contrasted with "flesh"--this latter being part of what we call "matter" today, so that the former is typically considered immaterial. Today, many doubt the existence of anything like spirit, and challenge those of us who believe in spirit to explain what it is. But modern physics doesn't even know what matter is! So why should we be surprised that we don't know what spirit is? As used in the Bible, "spirit" sometimes refers to a personal being, with emphasis upon its immateriality. On other occasions, spirit refers to the immaterial part of a personal being that also possesses materiality.[5] For the latter, some sort of dualism of body and spirit is the natural reading of the biblical text.[6]


The term "angel" is the English transliteration of the Greek angelos, a word which generically means "messenger" of any sort (including humans), but which is commonly applied in the New Testament to God's heavenly messengers. The Hebrew counterpart, mal'ak, is used the same way in the Old Testament. It is not obvious what relation the angels might have to other heavenly beings such as seraphim, cherubim, or the living beings of Revelation 4, though Christians often lump them together under the generic term "angel."


The term "demon" is also used in the Bible (especially in the New Testament) for some sort of spirit being which can "inhabit" humans and animals in such a way as take over the physical operation of the host. These demons are also pictured as somehow involved with pagan worship.[7] The relation between demons and angels is uncertain, but a detailed analysis of the different types of spirit beings will not be needed here.


"Satan" is an English transliteration of the Hebrew word meaning "adversary, accuser." It is regularly used for a specific individual of the spirit sort. The Greek equivalent is diabolos, from which we get "devil," the generic meaning of which is "slanderer, malicious one." We will also lump the actions of Satan in with those of the angels and demons for our study here.


Angelic beings, then, are spirits--persons who are immaterial, or at least whose connection with our world is somehow different than ours. They can take on human appearance, as they regularly do whenever they reveal themselves to humans,[8] but we don't know whether or not this is what they really look like.

Some of these beings are benevolent and obedient to God. Others are malevolent and in rebellion against God.[9] So Matt 25:41 speaks of "the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels." And Revelation 12 refers to the archangel Michael and his angels fighting the dragon and his angels.


So what do angels do? The use of the term "angel" (messenger) for these beings suggests that one of their primary functions in respect to humans is communication.[10] For instance, an angel comes to Mary to announce God's intention for her to bear the Messiah. Angels appear to the shepherds to announce Jesus' birth. Angels bring us messages from God, or (if malevolent) they may purport to do so while really bringing deception from Satan.[11]


Another function of angels is to bring judgment on humans.[12] The killing of the Egyptian firstborn at the exodus is one example, even though the term "destroyer" rather than "angel" is used there.


Angels sometimes act as rescuers or protectors.[13] So Jesus is nourished in the wilderness after his temptations. Peter and the apostles are rescued from prison.


In all this, it is clear that angels are presented as being able to produce physical effects in our world, and that they are pictured as actually doing so on numerous occasions. They destroy armies. They open gates. They provide food. They influence the course of human history, both on an individual and collective level.


Demons--however they may be related to angels properly so-called--can inhabit humans, drastically affecting their lives and the lives of others around them. They are able to inhabit animals also, though we only have a glimpse of this in the biblical record. No details are given us as to just how demons are involved in pagan worship. Doubtless one such mode is possession of prophets or prophetesses.

Satan is pictured as being able to converse with humans, to influence their actions, and to produce physical effects both of a natural and supernatural sort. In Job 1, he guides two raiding parties, brings down fire from heaven, calls up a fierce wind, keeps four people alive to serve as messengers, and controls the timing of their arrival with news for Job so as to have maximum emotional impact. In Job 2, Satan strikes Job with disease.


From such passages as these, it seems clear that the Bible depicts angels and other spirit beings such as demons and Satan as capable of interacting with the physical world. This includes both acting through humans as intermediaries and also acting in some more direct manner.


Science and Angels


As we noted above, Andrew Dickson White ridiculed the idea of angels being behind the natural forces of the universe. In White's favor, it is clear that we have learned a great deal about nature and its operations in recent centuries, knowledge that people of earlier times did not have. These discoveries regularly involved using methodological naturalism (i.e., assuming no miraculous action in the phenomena investigated). Some have consequently extrapolated this to a metaphysical naturalism (there is no supernatural). But from the fact that some ancients and medievals were wrong to see all sorts of phenomena as purely the actions of angels, it does not follow that we moderns are right to banish angels altogether. We misuse Ockham's razor when we invoke it to eliminate inconvenient data without good evidence the data is faulty. We ought rather to adopt the simplest theory that fits all the known data, if we can. We ought to seek an inference to the best explanation.


My own read on the data is that those ancients were wrong who saw phenomena that are law-driven as being the direct action of personal agents. These phenomena do not look to us moderns like the sort of things that humans would do.


Of course, the ancients might be right for all that. Angels, after all, might have quite different views of patience and consistency than we humans do!


In any case, I have no qualms about postulating a substratum of matter, energy and law as a "playing field" on which we humans operate, rather like an electronic game in which the inventor or creator provides the game features and the player interacts with it. I suggest that nature and natural law are created things that have real, objective existence, rather than a construct of the human mind, or just God's way of doing things, as others have thought.


But, even so, may it not be a playing field on which other intelligences than merely humans can participate? Surely it need not be the closed continuum of cause and effect that Rudolf Bultmann and his followers thought. Could not angelic beings interact with this realm in a way similar to how we do? Many people, after all, see no inconsistency in postulating a law-driven universe which yet leaves room for the action of humans as free moral agents. And dualists, at least, believe it is possible for spirit to affect matter.


But how could we tell scientifically whether or not angels operate in our world? One fruitful way to approach an answer to this is to ask ourselves, how do we detect human actions in nature? And how would we detect extra-terrestrial intelligences? Consider the following examples.


Early in the space age, satellites were only capable of making pictures of earth in daylight and with relatively poor resolution. Researchers interested in looking for extra-terrestrial intelligence decided to try and use these pictures as a test to see if they could detect signs of human intelligence on earth. The only evidence they were able to find was a massive logging operation in Canada, where a large crisscross pattern had been made.[14] They were surprised to find so little evidence, but the situation did not improve until it was possible to photograph the night side of our planet and see all the light from our cities. From this example we can see that intelligent activity could be at work, but we might not have the tools to detect it, or we might only be able to detect the most blatant cases.


Another example. One of the early satellites that flew by Mars photographed an object that looked like a huge head staring back from the surface. A great deal was made of this by some (not NASA!) in the years that followed. It was not till recently that pictures were taken of the same site at higher resolution and with a different sun angle. These finally showed that the "head" was only a fluke of observation, rather like seeing meaningful shapes in clouds or inkblots.[15] So, too, we might be able to see what looks at first like intelligent activity, but is really not. This is what Richard Dawkins claims for all design in living things.[16]


Some years ago, there was an outbreak of salmonella poisoning in Wasco County, Oregon, not far from where the followers of the guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh had established a large community. Public health officials investigated the epidemic. They were unable to find convincing evidence that it was anything more than a natural event, even though some of them suspected the cult might be involved. It wasn't until later, when a few cult members confessed and their confession was confirmed by search warrant, that it became apparent that the epidemic was in fact an experiment, part of a germ warfare program the group was developing.[17] So real intelligent design might in some cases be mistaken for something purely natural, even when the effects are quite substantial. Over a thousand people had been poisoned in this one rural county.


Back in the 1980s, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC had an exhibit of unidentified artifacts that it invited the public to tell what they had been used for. These were not tools from some ancient or alien civilization; they were items made by Americans in the nineteenth century! Yet not even the curators knew what all of them were used for.[18] So even if we don't know the purpose for which they were made, we might still be able to recognize products of intelligent design by evidence of artifice alone.


So, back to our question. How might we find scientific evidence for angelic activity? Our proposal here is that angelic activity is not like natural laws, which are operating continuously. Rather, they are more like human actions, which are sporadic. But here we have the additional complication that we cannot see the actors.


If angelic actions are intermittent and personal, and the actors are invisible (so capable of avoiding detection if they wish), how could they ever be detected? Probably not by our accidentally being around when they do something, though that is not impossible. Here we have a case of trying to study unrepeated phenomena. Unrepeated or unrepeatable events can be studied by science, but they are trickier than repeated ones.


Usually, instead of studying the event when it happens (as with repeatable phenomena), we are forced to study long-lasting effects produced by the event. So the only way to find and study such phenomena would be if they leave traces that are detectable and (preferably) unmistakable.


Would angelic or demonic phenomena leave unmistakable traces? This is just the sort of thing the intelligent design movement has been attempting to investigate. William Dembski, in his several studies on the methodology of detecting intelligent design, has made a useful distinction between behavior that is either (1) random, or (2) law-bound, or (3) intentional.[19] This approach has actually been used for many years to recognize intelligent design in various areas of science: to detect the presence of cheating in gambling or in scientific research; to distinguish artifacts from natural products in anthropology and archaeology (e.g., intentionally vs. accidentally chipped stones); and to recognize murder in the case of suspicious deaths. Now Dembski and his associates in the Intelligent Design movement are suggesting it can also serve to detect the presence of a superhuman intellect at work, for instance in the design of living things, in the earth's own rarity, and in the fine-tuning of the basic forces and constants of the physical universe.[20] The ID movement has typically been cautious about identifying the source of this intelligence. But a mind that can (in the words of Fred Hoyle) "monkey" [21] with the basic physics of the universe certainly puts Zeus, Jupiter and Thor in the shade! Here we suggest that such an approach could also be used to recognize an intermediate scale of intelligent design, between that of God and humans.


Between the actions of an infinite, eternal, omniscient being and those of us lowly humans, could we find evidence for the actions of intermediate beings such as angels? The works of good angels might easily be mistaken for those of God, except that the quality might not be up to the divine standard. And design that appears to us to be malevolent might be the work of sinful beings above our level--bad angels, demons, or Satan. We might, of course, have some trouble making an accurate judgment whether a particular artifact is benevolent or malevolent. But the words of Jesus, "by their fruits you shall know them," suggest this should not be impossible.

We give the following chart to display these alternatives:












Angels, good

Limited, large




Angels, evil

Limited, large





Limited, small



Human artifacts


What might be some examples of apparent intelligent design that would be within the capabilities of angelic beings? This will (of course) depend on what their capabilities are. Knowing that (unlike God) they are not infinite in power doesn't really help us a whole lot, since our universe, as best we can tell, isn't infinite either. Do any of the angelic beings have the power to affect events on the scale of the cosmos, the galaxy, the solar system, or even worldwide? I am inclined to doubt it, but who really knows?


Coming at this question from the other end, we do have the account in Job where Satan is able to call up a fierce wind, so affecting local weather. He is also able to bring down fire from heaven, though this, too, might be no more than local weather.[22] The demons at Gerasa are able to control about two thousand pigs, but this may have been no more than one demon per pig. Perhaps the most likely sorts of angelic activities, then, would be influencing individuals and groups so as to change the course of human history or, perhaps, doing genetic manipulation on individual organisms so as eventually to change the course of biological history. I would be surprised if such beings would be able to change any physical laws or constants.


So at this point, our search for angelic activity on earth would seem most likely to be fruitful in the areas of history--the history of humans and the history of life. We will not here look into human history, except to remark that extremely unusual coincidences, especially those that are enormously beneficial or disastrous, might be our best candidates for detectable angelic activity.[23] We will here confine ourselves to a few words about biology.


Design in Biology, Malevolent and Benevolent


In Charles Darwin's letter to Joseph D. Hooker (13 July 1856), he comments: "What a book a devil's chaplain might write on the clumsy, wasteful, blundering, low, and horribly cruel works of nature!"[24] If Darwin's feeling for this is reliable, then it would suggest that malevolent intelligences have been very active in nature. What sort of examples did Darwin have in mind? He doesn't say in this letter. But later, writing to Asa Gray (22 May 1860), Darwin says: "There seems to be too much misery in the world. I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created the Ichneumonidae with the express intention of their feeding with the living bodies of Caterpillars, or that a cat should play with mice."[25]


So one candidate for malevolent intelligent design would be the ichneumon wasp. This insect, of the order Hymenoptera (which includes wasps, bees, and ants) is actually a family of some 40,000 species. It typically lays its eggs on the larva or pupa (chrysalis) of a moth, butterfly, other insect or spider. After the ichneumon egg hatches, its larva will nourish itself by devouring the fats and body fluids of its host, but in such a clever way so that the host does not die until the ichneumon larva is ready to make its own cocoon.[26] Whether this is certainly to be identified as malevolent may be disputed. After all, many of the insects that are killed by the Ichneumonidae are pests to human farmers. But it is certainly malevolent from the perspective of the host caterpillar!


The point to be made here is this: organisms which possess incredible complexity beyond what natural selection could "design" from the available offerings of chance, and which also seem to be clearly malevolent, might well be the work of malevolent spirit beings. There are, of course, other possibilities. They may be the direct or indirect work of God and we are mistaken in viewing them as malevolent. They might be the work of non-spiritual intelligences (extra-terrestrials). I cannot see any other alternatives that are consistent with a biblical theism.


What about the work of benevolent (but finite) spirit beings? It would be difficult to distinguish these from the work of God, as both are benevolent and God does many things that only require finite power or intelligence. Perhaps markers of finite intelligence or finite powers might manifest themselves through imperfect design.


A possible candidate for imperfect design, but with no signs of malevolence, is the "thumb" of the giant panda.[27] The panda (a relative of the bear) has its five regular digits structured as a paw, as is typical in four-footed animals such as the carnivores. Yet it also has an opposable "thumb," which it uses with considerable dexterity to strip leaves from bamboo shoots, its primary food source. This "thumb" is actually an extended version of one of the wrist bones, the radial sesamoid. Gould argues:


É ideal design is a lousy argument for evolution, for it mimics the postulated action of an omnipotent creator. Odd arrangements and funny solutions are the proof of evolution--paths that a sensible God would never tread but that a natural process, constrained by history, follows perforce.[28]


It is arguable whether or not the panda's thumb is a poor design.[29] But even granting that it is, may it not be the work of genetic manipulation by angels, who are constrained by history to work with what is available in the ancestral panda lineage, unlike an omniscient, omnipotent God making a new design from scratch?


Examples of benevolent but imperfect design may, as we suggest, be hard to recognize, since as finite beings with limited intellect, we might label something imperfect that is merely too subtle for us. I leave further investigation of this area to those with better training in biology.


But what other sorts of malevolent design might we suggest? The Ichneumonidae, mentioned above, are only one of a large class of parasitic wasps, which employ a number of different strategies to attack their hosts.[30] If these mechanisms contain examples of organization and irreducible complexity that cannot reasonably be explained by unguided selection of random processes, then these too might be counted as the work of malevolent spirit beings.


Since parasitism is defined as a relationship in which the parasite does harm to the host,[31] it would seem that parasitism in general (as opposed to benevolent forms of symbiosis) might be examples of malevolent design.


Could predation be malevolent design? That was certainly the way Darwin viewed the matter. As I read the geologic record, predation goes all the way back to the Cambrian period. If it is malevolent, then the fall of Satan is much earlier than that of Adam, and creation is already not so good by the time Adam comes along. These are things that theologians, scientists and philosophers need to think about.


What about disease? Consider two rather fierce diseases that were first encountered by humans (as best we can tell) late in the twentieth century, AIDS and Ebola.


AIDS (Aquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) is a viral disease that collapses the immune system of humans by destroying the lymphocytes, which are crucial to its operation. The AIDS virus is too simple in its organization to live on its own, but must employ the DNA-copying mechanism of a human cell. Yet the AIDS virus is quite sophisticated for all that. It apparently has some sort of co-receptor on its surface that allows it to bind to the CD4 receptor on the lymphocyte surface, and thus to enter the human cell. Once inside, its RNA must be converted to DNA in order for it to use the human copying mechanism. This is done by a special enzyme in the AIDS virus called reverse transcriptase, which is designed to convert RNA to DNA, the opposite of the usual transcriptases in human cells, which convert DNA to RNA. The AIDS DNA must then be inserted into the human DNA in order to be copied, but this requires another AIDS enzyme, an integrase. Apparently, the AIDS DNA, now inserted in the human DNA, will remain dormant, sometimes for many years, unless it is activated in some way, perhaps by another item supplied by the AIDS virus. Once the AIDS DNA has been activated and converted by the human replication mechanism to RNA and then proteins, a protease is needed to get the proteins in the form needed to assemble into AIDS viruses.[32] At this point the many copies of the AIDS virus are still inside this one lymphocyte, but to infect any others they need to get out. It appears that another protein, TSG101, is supplied by the AIDS virus for this purpose.[33] Current statistics give 28 million deaths from AIDS in 20 years, with 65 million having contracted the disease.[34] Fiendishly clever, don't you think?


Ebola is another fierce disease; it begins with weakness, fever, headache, muscle pain, and sore throat, and then develops into vomiting, diarrhea, kidney and liver dysfunction, and bleeding (both external and internal), ending in death in some 50-90% of the cases. There is no known cure or treatment, except to keep the patient as comfortable as possible and to use extreme care to prevent the disease from spreading, which can occur from contact with the patient or any of his or her body fluids.[35]


The technical name of the disease is Ebola hemorrhagic fever, and it is currently known to be caused by four varieties of virus, three of which have caused the disease in humans, and the fourth only in non-human primates so far. The mechanisms by which the virus operates are less clear than with AIDS.


Ebola virus docks with cell membraneÉ. Viral RNA É is released into the cytoplasm where it directs the production of new viral proteins and genetic material. New viral genomes are rapidly coated in protein to create cores. These viral cores stack up in the cell and migrate to the cell surface. Transmembrane proteins É are produced which are ferried to the cell surface. Cores push their way through the cell membrane becoming enveloped in cell membrane and collecting their transmembrane proteins (spikes) as they do so.[36]


It has recently been discovered that the Ebola virus uses the same protein as AIDS, TSG101, to escape from its host cell.[37]


The first cases of Ebola were recognized in 1976, and all known deaths have so far been confined to various states in Africa. A "Reston" variety of Ebola has been found in the US, Italy and the Philippines, all in monkeys being exported from the Philippines for research purposes. As of 2002, some 1643 cases have been reported, with 1152 deaths, for an average fatality rate of 70%.[38]




If our suggestions identifying intelligent design in the panda's thumb, Ichneumonidae, AIDS and Ebola are valid, this will have serious consequences for doing historical forms of science. For if it is true that supernatural beings have significantly intervened in the history of biology, then it will not do to restrict our methodology to naturalism. It seems very desirable to me that someone with substantial biological training should investigate this question carefully to see if a clear decision can be reached, rather than relying on "the god of the gaps" or "the natural law of the gaps" to settle such questions.


A positive answer to this question of angelic intervention would also have an impact on the philosophical problem of natural evil. The atheist philosopher Brian Marston, for example, dismisses this alternative with the following comments:


However, while the thesis that fallen angels are responsible for natural evil is not clearly false, neither is it clearly true. There is no positive evidence that such beings exist and an argument based on their existence cannot be highly cogent. If the possibility that natural evils stem from the free choice of an agent other than man is disregarded on these grounds, then neither man nor a free willed agent other than man can be held accountable for natural evil. Therefore, the theist must attribute natural evil to the direct action of God.[39]


So, we end this paper with a call to some dedicated Christian historians and biologists to take some time (and risk some ridicule) to see whether there is anything to be said for taking the biblical pictures of angels, demons and Satan seriously as a picture of the real world, rather than an ancient mythological worldview.

[1] Some more or less scholarly recent treatments of angels are Anthony N. S. Lane, ed. The Unseen World: Christian Reflections on Angels, Demons and the Heavenly Realm (Paternoster/Baker, 1996); Duane A. Garrett, Angels and the New Spirituality (Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 1995); and C. Peter Wagner and F. Douglas Pennoyer, eds., Wrestling with Dark Angels: Toward a Deeper Understanding of the Supernatural Forces in Spiritual Warfare (Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 1990).

[2] An informal survey of some recent theologies gave the following estimated percentages of space devoted to angels. The lowest values were Hoeksema (1966) at 0.5%, Hodge (1871) 0.6%, and Buswell (1962) 0.7%. The highest values were Grudem (1994) at 3.6%, Grenz (1994) 4.5% and Chafer (1948) 4.6%. It is interesting that the 3rd edition of Gabriel Fackre's The Christian Story (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995), has just added a brief section on angels.

[3] Andrew Dickson White, A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom (New York: MacMillan, 1896; Dover reprint, 1960); several editions are available from Amazon.com as of 14 March 2003.

[4] I count 162 separate occasions where "angel" or its plural occurs, including the term "son of God" when this denotes a heavenly being. In addition, there are a number of occasions in which the term is not used, the angels being called "men." The term "demon" or its plural occurs in some 42 different places.

[5] For the OT term, see Brown, Driver and Briggs, Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1966), 924-26; Harris, Archer and Waltke, Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (Chicago: Moody, 1980), 836-37; for the NT term, see Bauer, Arndt, Gingrich and Danker, Greek-English Lexicon of the NT and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1979), 674-78; Louw and Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament Based on Semantic Domains (New York: United Bible Societies, 1988), 12.33, 37, 42.

[6] See John W. Cooper, Body, Soul, and Life Everlasting: Biblical Anthropology and the Monism-Dualism Debate (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1989) for an excellent discussion of these matters.

[7] Israelites are not to sacrifice to goat idols, Lev 17:7; the Song of Moses predicts they will sacrifice to demons, Deut 32:17, see also Ps 106:37; Paul says the Gentile sacrifices are to demons, 1 Cor 10:20-21, see also Rev 9:20.

[8] Angels take on human appearance in a number of places, e.g., Genesis 18-19, 32, Judges 6, 13, Daniel 7 and following, Luke 2, Hebrews 13.

[9] Good angels get more attention in the Bible, but the Devil's angels are mentioned in Matt 25:41, angels who might try to separate us from God's love in Rom 8:38, Satan disguising himself as an angel of light in 2 Cor 11:14, an angel who might preach another Gospel in Gal 1:8 and fallen angels in 2 Pet 2:4 and Jude 6, which are probably references to Gen 6:1-4. See W. A. Van Gemeren, "The Sons of God in Genesis 6:1-4 (An Example of Evangelical Demythologization?)," Westminster Theological Journal 43 (Spring 1981) and R. C. Newman, "The Ancient Exegesis of Genesis 6:2, 4," Grace Theological Journal 5 (Spring 1984), 13-36.

[10] Angelic messages to Hagar, Genesis 16, 21; to Abraham, Gen 18, 22; to Lot, Gen 19; to Jacob, Gen 31; to Moses, Exodus 3; to Gideon, Judges 6; to Samson's parents, Judges 13, among many.

[11] Gal 1:8-9.

[12] Judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah, Gen 10; on the Egyptian army, Exodus 14; on Israel, 2 Sam 26; on the Assyrian army, 2 Kings 19.

[13] Protecting Lot and his daughters, Gen 19; Hagar, Gen 21; Isaac, Gen 22; Jacob, Gen 48:16; believers in general, Psalm 91:11; Apostles, Acts 5:19; Peter, Acts 12.

[14] Steven D Kilston,. Robert R. Drummond, and Carl Sagan, "A Search for Life on Earth at Kilometer Resolution," Icarus 5 (1966): 79-98.

[15] See www.nmia.com/~sphinx/mars_face.html. A Google search for images using "Mars face" will also be helpful.

[16] Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker (New York: Norton, 1987).

[17] Judith Miller, Stephen Engleberg, and William Broad, Germs: Biological Weapons and America's Secret War (New York: Touchstone, 2002), pp 15-33.

[18] Mentioned in Edwards Park and Robert C. Lautman, "'Nation's Attic' dusts off forgotten objects for show," Smithsonian 11 (April 1980):123-25.

[19] William A. Dembski, The Design Inference (Cambridge University Press, 1998); Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science & Theology (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1999).

[20] See, e.g., William A. Dembski, ed., Mere Creation: Science, Faith & Intelligent Design (InterVarsity, 1998); Michael J. Behe, Darwin's Black Box (New York: Free Press, 1996); Hugh Ross, The Creator and the Cosmos (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 1993); and Michael J. Denton, Nature's Destiny: How the Laws of Biology Reveal Purpose in the Universe (New York: Free Press, 1998).

[21] Sir Fred Hoyle, The Universe: Past and Present Reflection, 16: "É a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology." 

[22] In Rev 4:1, we have four angels holding back the four winds of the earth, so this might be regional or global weather.

[23] We invite Christian historians (who do not fear ridicule) to look into this.

[24] Francis Darwin, ed., More Letters of Charles Darwin, 2 vols. (New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1908), 1:94.

[25] Francis Darwin, ed., The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, 2 vols. (New York: D. Appleton & Co, 1901), 2:105. Darwin's theologizing has recently been discussed by Cornelius G. Hunter, Darwin's God: Evolution and the Problem of Evil (Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos, 2001).

[26] "Ichneumon," Encyclopaedia Britannica 2003 Encyclopaedia Brittanica Online. 27 Mar, 2003 http://www.search.eb.com/eb/article?eu=42934.

[27] Stephen Jay Gould, The Panda's Thumb: More Reflections in Natural History (New York: W.W. Norton, 1980), 19-26.

[28] Ibid., 20-21.

[29] Robert C. Newman and John L. Wiester, with Janet and Jonathan Moneymaker, What's Darwin Got to Do with It? A Friendly Conversation About Evolution (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2000), 73-79, 140-41. See also William A. Dembski, Intelligent Design (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1999), 263.

[30] J. B. Whitfield, "Phylogeny and Evolution of Host-Parasitoid Interactions in Hymenoptera," Annual Review of Entomology 43 (1998):129-151. See especially fig. 3 on page 136.

[31] "Parasitology: Parasites and Parasitism," www.aber.ac.uk/parasitology/Edu/Para_ism/PaIsmTxt.html, accessed 6 Oct 2003.

[32] R. Gandhi, J. G. Bartlett, M. Linkinhoker, "Life Cycle of HIV Infection," Johns Hopkins AIDS Service, www.hopkins-aids.edu/hiv_lifecycle/hivcycle_txt.html, accessed 6 Oct 2003. A nice animation demonstrating these steps is provided.

[33] R. G Hewitt, "HIV Life Cycle Symposium," Internet Conference Reports: Highlights from the XIV Intenational AIDS Conference (July 7-12, 2002), www.hivandhepatitis.com/2002conf/14th_aids/32.html, accessed 13 Oct 2003.

[34] "AIDS deaths rise despite calls for treatment," Reuters Foundation Newsdesk (22 Sept 2003), www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/N21398216.htm, accessed 14 Oct 2003. Reporting is probably low in a number of nations.

[35] "Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever," Center for Disease Control, Special Pathogens Branch, www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/spb/mnpages/dispages/ebola.htm, accessed 13 Oct 2003; "Ebola Haemorrhagic Fever," World Health Organization Fact Sheet #103 (Dec 2000), www/who.int/inf-fs/en/fact103.html, accessed 6 Oct 2003.

[36] "Ebola Virus Life-Cycle Illustration," Russell Kightly Media, www.rkm.com/au/ebola.html, accessed 13 Oct 2003.

[37] "AIDS, Ebola Use Same Mechanism to Spread," Reuters NewMedia (30 Nov 2001), www.aegis.com/news/re/2001/RE011151.html, accessed 13 Oct 2003.

[38] "Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever, Table Showing Known Cases and Outbreaks, in Chronological Order," Center for Disease Control, Special Pathogens Branch, www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/spb/mnpages/dispages/ebolatabl.htm, accessed 13 Oct 2003.

[39] Brian Marston, "The Problem of Natural Evil," www.update.uu.se/~fbendz/library/bm_evil.htm, accessed 1 Sept 2003. My italics.

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Last updated: October 5, 2005