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Mr P and Mat

Mr. Lee Paseltiner, in 2009, playfully enjoying my little man.

Like most teachers, I have to clear out my classroom at the end of the school year, so the custodial staff can come in and prepare the room for next year. 

Everything not nailed down or pinned to the wall is put away in locked drawers and closets, or it has to leave the room — which means all my living creatures come home with me for the summer months.

This year, as I was cleaning, I found an old, paperback textbook written by my AP Biology teacher, Lee Paseltiner. 

I opened it up and found this dedication, handwritten and signed by “Mr. P”.

Mr. P's Book

 

To Dubba,

A former student in my Advanced biology class, outstanding teacher and dear friend.

Lee Paseltiner

He always called me Dubba, my high school nickname — and until recently, I always called him “Mr. P.”

My relationship with Lee Paseltiner started to flourish after I called him and asked him for help with a graduate paper that I was writing on “Hand-on science education”. 

Mr. P was a pioneer in the field of hands-on science. 

He was a member of “a creative and ingenious teacher staff … [that] developed and implemented its own brand of individualized biology called LindLearn” which was the singled out by the NABT as one of 10 exemplary programs in Secondary Biology.

In 1980, he personally started a program, in my high school, for Seniors called L.E.F.T., Lindenhurst Environment Field Trip, which continues to this day.  I was one of those Seniors — a LEFTy, as we proudly called ourselves.   

L.E.F.T. took us to the Sunken Forest on Fire Island for a week-long hands-on adventure into one of New York’s most unique ecosystems.

Not only did we study the ecology of Fire Island; we were joined by a group of dedicated teachers from the Departments of Art, Math, Social Studies, English and Phys Ed. 

I won’t be so dramatic as to say that the L.E.F.T. experience was life-changing; it was, however, life-forming

For me, L.E.F.T. strongly confirmed my decision to attend the University of Montana and study Wildlife Biology as an undergraduate.

The paper that I was working on was titled WHY CAN’T JOHNNY? A look at how today’s science-curriculum excludes certain students.  Kind of an unconventional title for a graduate term paper, but I excelled at being unconventional.   

Without hesitation, Mr. P. sent me an abundance of information on LindLearn Biology and L.E.F.T

From there, I would periodically call him up to just to “talk shop”.

He always had lessons to share, as well as a list of articles and books to read, including “Teach Like Your Hair’s on Fire” and “There’s No Short Cuts”, best-sellers by Rafe Esquith, the Walt Disney Company’s 1992 Teacher of the Year.

I would later share “Teach Like Your Hair’s on Fire” with my school principal, Chris Krohn, at the Community Day School in Burbank, California, and together, she and I planned a professional development day where we actually visited Room 56 and spend the day observing Rafe Esquith, in person.

This wouldn’t have happened without Mr. P’s influence.

After Mr. P. retired, he paid a visit to my classroom in Burbank, California during one of his West Coast trips to visit family.  He viewed the grounds and meet my famous Sulcata tortoise, Kobe and observed my student’s award-winning project.

You can only imagine the look on his face when I handed him with his very own personalized, autograph copy of Rafe Esquith’s latest book.

A few weeks later, a package arrived for me from Long Island.  It was from Mr. P.

Inside, I found an album of photos that he had taken of me and my students, pasted with his signature feel-good stickers, along with a personal note of compliments.

It was like having my performance on the baseball diamond praised by the legendary Yankee great, Babe Ruth.

After my wife and I moved back to New York, we would often have dinner with the Paseltiners at their home on Long Island.   He just loved my boys, as you can see in the photo featured above.

During our long dinner conversations, we discovered that our lives oddly intertwined.  

When discussing how I met my wife — we met while working at the Guide Dog Foundation in Smithtown, NY,  Mr. P and his wife, Judi, shared that they were Puppy Raisers for GDF and once cared for one of the Foundation’s stud dogs.  

During another dinner, we discovered that the Paseltiners had Honeymooned in the Lake George Region, the Melody Manor to be precise, a resort minutes away from where we were married and very close to our present-day home.

What really blew us both away, however, was when we learned that Mr. P’s mother-in-law was my father-in-law’s English teacher at the Bronx School of Science.

No matter how intriguing those connections were, the conversation always got back to teaching.

“It’s like planting seeds,” he would always say about the goal of a teacher.  “But most of the time, you don’t get to see the end product of what you planted.”

My family was saddened when the Paseltiners decided to move to Florida to be closer to their grandchildren.  However, shortly after the decision was made to relocate, packages started to arrive at our doorstep. 

Almost daily, we received a large box filled with items from his legendary classroom.  

Turtle skulls. Shark jaws. An enormous dried-out sea star. Corral. Natural sponges.  Something that looks like a giant vertebrae. A self-penned script on Photosynthesis — props included.  His “Soft ice cream cone” lamp and his giant retractable DNA model — which has become my own personal fidget spinner.

I fidget allot — especially after my morning coffee!

“You can’t play the accordion with RNA,” I often shout in class as I open and close the large double-stranded squeezebox of nucleotides, in a playful effort to capture the attention of eighth and ninth graders, wondering if Mr. P would approve of my antics.

Mr. P also sent a box of wildlife Christmas tree ornaments which we use annually to decorate our Pasel-tree-ner

We grew close and talked often.  Mostly about education, but he always directed the conversation back to me and my classroom.

He taught for at Lindenhurst High School for 47 years and AP Biology for almost three decades. It was like having your own personal mentor on speed dial — and it was beyond amazing to have such a wealth of knowledge at my fingertips.

“It’s like planting seeds…,” he would always remind me every time we talked.

So, I found it odd when Mr. P recently stopped returning my calls.

One day, out-of-the-blue  I saw that I had missed a call from Mr. Paseltiner — and was happy to see that he had left a message.  

“Dubba, it’s Mr. P.  I have something to tell you.  Some of it bad. Some of it good.”

Hoping for the best, but expecting the worst, I called him that night.  

“Let me apologize,” he began, struggling to talk.  He told me that he went into “hiding” per se, after being diagnosed with Stage Four lung cancer. 

Then, he started to tell me a story about a turtle…

“Recently,” he said, “a turtle crossed my path.”  He continued to tell me that he and his wife stopped the car to rescue the turtle and place it to the side of the road.   

Though it was safe, out of fear, the turtle instinctively drew itself deep within the protection of its shell.

Like the turtle, Mr. P explained, he had also recently withdrew from life. 

So, he was calling me to apologize for not calling and to let me know that he had decided to finally come out of his shell. 

That was the Good News. 

The bad news was that he sadly had weeks, maybe, at best, only a few months to live.  His goal, he told me, was to make it to his anniversary in June.

We spoke for hours.  We laughed. We cried — but we mostly talked about teaching.

Always an optimist, he invited me down to Florida when life was less hectic.  

Finally, it was getting late and my boys were still up, so we said “Good night.”

I made it a point to stay in touch and reach out as often as I could. 

If I came across an interesting Science article, I sent it his way.  I would text photos of the boys — and I called to discuss my Regents results.

As a man, I hope to be half the father and husband he was.  As an educator, I strive to be as good as he was — knowing I may never attain such a lofty goal.  

If every teacher could be just a little bit like Lee Paseltiner, we would quickly become a nation of envy throughout the world!

Two weeks ago, while driving to picked my boys up at Day Camp, I passed an unusually shaped item in the road.  My experienced-eye told me that it was a turtle, frozen in fear, on the double yellow line of a busy roadway, deep inside its shell.

I turned my car around, parked on the side of the road, and got out to rescue this helpless creature.  Dodging traffic, I cringed a few times as passing cars nearly clipped its delicate, dark carapace.

Finally, I picked it up and planned on placing it on the side of the road in the direction it was going.

But then, I though of Mr. P.

In that brief moment, I decided to make this a teaching moment for my boys — as he most likely would have done.

I safely packed the turtle in my car and drove the short distance to camp.

I introduced the turtle to my boys and explained that we would keep it for only a short period of time — just long enough so they could learn a’bit about its species.  But then, I explained, we would return it to its proper home.

I thought my five-year-old would put up a fight, but he fully agreed — a miracle in itself.

They found a large tote and filled it with water.  Together, we found a large rock with a flat surface for the turtle to sun.

We determined the turtle was a male and then gave him the name Jethro.

For the next two weeks, the boys took care of Jethro daily.

I planned on sending a photo of Jethro and the boys to Mr. P, but life tossed a few curveballs our way this summer, so I never got around to it.

The truth was that I kind of withdrew into my own shell.

Mr. P had become more than just a mentor; he became a father-figure, a close friend — and I feared my next call would go unanswered, a sign of bad news.

Finally, the boys and I decided it was time for Jethro to go back home.

Soccer camp would be over at the end of the week and we determined that it would be a good time to release him safely back into the wild.

Since I knew Mr. P would love to hear another good turtle story, I made a conscious decision to reach out to him after Jethro was set free.

As I sat watching my boys practice soccer drills, I sent Lee a photo of them that I knew he would enjoy.

I usually would have posted a note along with the photo; something like: “Nothing says Soccer like plaid shorts and neon green socks 🙂 Let’s chat soon.”  But, the expressions on their faces were so priceless, I wanted the photograph to speak for itself.

Minutes later, my phone rang.  It was Judi Paseltiner, Mr. P’s wife.

“Hi Dubba, it’s Judi.”

“Is it bad news?” I asked as choked back the tears.

“Yes, Dubba,” she sadly replied.  “It’s bad news.”

That night, I laid in bed reviewing old emails between me and Mr. P.  I kept thinking how much I was going to miss our long phone conversations.

I felt so alone, as if I lost my co-pilot in the classroom.

What’s it going to be like entering my classroom without that tremendous safety-net I always had that was Lee Paseltiner? I wondered.

During one of our last conversations, Lee finally told me his age, something he never revealed in the classroom.   I chuckled to myself as I reflected on that conversation because that’s something I also do!

We shared so many I do that too moments on the phone these last few weeks.

“Dubba, I’ll finally tell you.  How old do you think I am?”

“Well, I never wanted to ask out of respect for Judi,” I said with a smile. “But, when I was teaching at Lindenhurst, I saw a County Champion trophy by the gym for the 1960 Basketball team — and you were the coach.”

“When I was young, a doctor told me to exercise and stay away from red meat and salt,” he told me.  “So, I did.  I would jog every day; and when I couldn’t jog anymore, I swam a mile a day … until recently.”

He paused and then proudly added, “Dubba, I’m 87.  Not a bad run.”

He was not at all bragging.  He was teaching.  He was always teaching.

“Remember, Dubba,” he said one last time. “It’s like planting seeds.  Keep planting seeds.”

Lee Paseltiner — my teacher, my mentor, my friend —  passed away peacefully on July 26 at his home in Parkland, Florida.

He L.E.F.T this planet a better place then he found it.  After a lifetime of teaching, that might be his greatest lesson of all!  

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AUTHOR’S NOTE:  If you have any fond memories of Mr. P, please leave them in the comments section below.  I will print them and mail them to the Paseltiner family.

James Henry is also the author of Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul,and two children’s books: The Second Prince and Klaus: The Gift-giver to ALL
James Dobkowski
As a writer, James has been featured on Bob Salter (CBS Radio), Mike Siegel, Mancow, and more.
Beyond writing, James worked with At-Risk youth in Southern California for over six years.  His contributions to the classroom where featured on local television and in the LA Daily News and Burbank Leader, and earned him the honors of “Teacher of the Year”.  James was also twice honored by a CASDA Scholar as the teacher who had the greatest influenced that student.  He has also appeared twice, as an educator, on “America Live with Megyn Kelly”.
Today, James lives in Up-State New York where he continues to teach — and his friends call him Dubba.

To contact James or book an interview, please contact Mark of Goldman/McCormick PR at (516) 639-0988 or Mark@goldmanmccormick.com.

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Everyone knows the story about Galileo and the Catholic Church — or at least everyone thinks they know the story.

The centuries old controversy was set into motion after a sequence of events, beginning with the enlightened scientist’s  defense of the Copernican astronomical theory  and culminating  with a trial and condemnation by the behemoth of religiosity, the Catholic Church, and its stubborn hold to a scripture-centered Geocentrism.

At least that’s the present worldview of the events.

Today, many people point to this moment in history as the great schism between science and religion. The fallout from this event continues to foster disdain, not just for the Catholic Church, but for organized religion in general.

The Galileo Affair has also divided the faithful into two camps: Those who literally interpret scripture verse those who don’t.

These divisions are brutally deep, leaving gaping wounds, filled with hurt feelings and scars that have never fully healed.  The purulent exudate from the battle wounds of this historic clash, has seeped into of our schools, our institutions, our politics, and has saturated almost every aspect of life.

But what if the Church wasn’t wrong?  What if the Earth IS truly the center of the Universe?

Would all these scars finally mend and heal?

Would the scientific community jointly write a treatise, as John Paul II did in 1992, apologizing for their errors?

Would the news organizations such as the NY Times, Washington Post, AP and alike, which jointly declared in 1992: Church Declares Galileo Was Right, retract their news stories?

Well, truth be told, Stephen Hawking proved that the Church was right holding to the belief that the Earth was the center of the Universe.

Yes, Stephen Hawking!

Back in 2016, in Episode 4 of the TV series Genius, Stephen Hawking set out to prove, through a series of demonstrations, that the universe was ever-expanding, a theory promoted by the brilliant Belgian scientist named George Lemaître.

Lemaître was not just a mathematician, astronomer, professor of physics, and member of the Royal Academy of Science, he was also an ordained Catholic priest.  You may know Lemaître’s theory best as The Big Bang Theory.

In the aforementioned episode, Hawking had screens set up that represented maps of a small part of our universe; the lights on the screens represented galaxies.

“Think of them,” Hawking said of the screens, “as two snapshots of the same area of space taken 1 billion years apart. So how about we put our [time] machine together? Overlap the screens?”

The two screens were then overlapped on each other. As the TV hosts stepped back from the screens, it was clear that they were not the same.

“It looks like everything is radiating out from a point,” they pointed out. “So it looks from a billion years ago to today everything has moved away slightly … Same patterns, but they have moved … It was like jumping to warp speed and you get that pssheew starburst sort of effect … And we figured out that that is supposed to represent the expansion of space….”

After this last demonstration, Hawking said something profound; something that has stayed with me ever since.

Everywhere is the center of the universe,” Hawking declared, “because it all came into existence at the same time, and it’s all moving away from everywhere at the same time. Space didn’t exist before the big bang. Now space is expanding in all directions, and these simple facts mean wherever you are in the universe, it’s the center, where it all began.”

Don’t take my word for it, CLICK HERE and read the episode script yourself.  It’s at the very end of the teleplay.  Or watch it below.  The scene discussed above starts at 45.25.

Everywhere is the center of the universe …wherever you are in the universe, it’s the center, where it all began.”

Astounding, right?

It sounds allot like the first words of scripture that teaches it all began when God, at the beginning of time, created heaven and earth.  Earth was still an empty waste…. (Genesis 1:1-2)

Assuming Stephen Hawking correct, that the universe IS ever-expanding — and the chances that the man declared the smartest person in the world is correct —  then wherever you are in the universe, it’s the center must be a true statement.

And if that statement is true, and wherever you are IS the Earth, then the Earth IS the center of the universe.

The truth is: The Gallileo Affair was never really about science.  At it’s core, it was a battle between philosophies. 

The Roman Church stood against Galileo’s theory because it believed it to bfoolish and absurd in philosophy [not  science] …  since it explicitly contradicts in many places the sense of Holy Scripture.

By removing the Earth from the center of the cosmos, Copernicanism embraced what became known as the ‘principle of mediocrity’.  In that sense, Earth became just a mediocre member of a mediocre solar system.

The sense of Holy scripture is philosophically  contrary to the principle of mediocrity.

That’s because the sense of Holy scripture comes from a Divine point-of-view.  It informs us that the power and energy that created the universe came from God.  It also calls us to spiritually focus on a “Rare Earth” [1][2], a rare Earth that is the center of God’s world, the center of the universe.

In that sense, Stephen Hawking and the Church both philosophically  put the center of the universe in the same place — wherever you are!

So, if God created the universe that means God created you.  And, if the center of the universe is wherever you are, that means God put YOU in the center of the universe.

If God thinks you’re important enough to make you the center of His universe, maybe you might want to consider making God the center of yours.

That’s the true sense of Holy scripture.

Maybe that’s why they call The Big Bang Theory a Roman Catholic creation?

_________________________________________

Although St. John Paul II apologized, in 1992, for the condemnation of Galileo, the Polish pontiff added that “the Galileo case has been a sort of ‘myth,’ in which the image fabricated out of the events was quite far removed from the reality.”

St. John Paul II also said ““Science can purify religion from error and superstition; religion can purify science from idolatry and false absolutes. Each can draw the other to a wider world, a world in which both can flourish.”

Maybe that’s why we call him Great.

Years before the pontificate of John Paul II, another Pope, Benedict XIV, granted an imprimatur to the first edition of the Complete Works of Galileo.  He did so — in 1741![1]  An imprimatur is an official declaration by a bishop — in this case the Bishop of Rome — that a book is free from doctrinal error. [2]

Regardless of the events in his life, Galileo remained a pious Catholic for the remainder of his life.  He died in 1642. Galileo was 88 years old and was buried at the Basilica di Santa Croce di Firenze in Florence Italy  with his daughter, Sister Maria Celeste, a Catholic nun.

So, you can see why St. John Paul believed the events of the Galileo case were far removed from reality.

 

James DobkowskiJames Henry is the author of Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul, Hail Mary series, and two children’s books: The Second Prince and Klaus: The Gift-giver to ALL!  As a writer, James has been widely featured on Bob Salter (CBS Radio), Mike Siegel, Mancow, and more.

Today, James lives in New York where he continues to teach — and write.

To contact James or book an interview, please contact Mark of Goldman/McCormick PR at (516) 639-0988 or Mark@goldmanmccormick.com.

You can read more about the Galileo Affair:

  1. THIS DAY IN HISTORY: OCTOBER 31ST- GALILEO AND WHY HE WAS CONVICTED OF HERESY
  2. The Galileo Affair by George Sim Johnston
  3. ADDRESS OF JOHN PAUL II:TO THE PARTICIPANTS OF THE PLENARY SESSION OF THE PONTIFICAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES
  4.  Genius by Stephen Hawking (2016) s1e4 Episode Script Where Did the Universe Come From?
  5. Biographical sketches of memorable Christians of the past: Nicolas Copernicus, Priest and Scholar

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Every year, I begin the genetics unit in my AP Biology class by humbling saying, “You’re going to learn more about genetics in this class than what was taught 30 or 40 years ago in the world’s top colleges.”

These days, in high school science, students move far beyond Mendel’s peas and the genetics of Watson & Crick.  Today, we discuss CRISPR and epigenetics;  things our most creative sci-fi writers would’ve thought were unbelievable — even in fiction.

Even with the current pace of today’s technological advances, there is one breakthrough that I share with my students that many still find impossible to believe.

That is the discovery of the world’s most amazing number.

There’s many amazing numbers out there. For starters, there’s 3.14 or pi.

7,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (7 octillion): The number of atoms that makes up an adult human.

2.5 million: The number of years the photons of light journeyed from the Andromeda galaxy before they hit your eye.

Absolute Zero or – 273.15 degrees Celsius: The temperature in which everything in the universe remains motionless.

Two.  The length of your DNA in meters, of one cell, if you stretched it out all the way and in diameters of the Solar System if all the DNA in all your cells were lined up end-to-end.

These are just a few.  We also have lists of amazing numbers.

There are amazing numbers in Biology; numbers cooler than Pi;  numbers in the Bible,  but none of these numbers compare to the world’s most amazing number.

You also may have heard that humans share 97% of our DNA with Chimpanzees.  Even more astonishing, we share 50% of our DNA with a banana.

Some scientists questions these amazing numbers.   However, there’s one number, in the world of genetics, that is truly amazing: Every human on the planet shares 99.5% of their DNA.

This means the difference between you and your most distant human relative on the planet Earth is most likely no more than  0.5%.    This also means…

All the division in the world…  

Every argument.  Every clique.  Every fight.  Every war. 

All the hate.  All the bullying.  All the name-calling and finger-pointing.

All our contempt, rancor, fear-mongering and loathing.

Our political and social divides.

Our racial and ethnic biases. 

Every march.  Every debate.  Every protest.

Every wall that divides us  … amounts to nothing more than 0.5%.

Amazing, isn’t it?  That’s why 0.5 is the world’s most amazing number.

Think about the attention this number commands.  The power that it holds!  The energy it absorbs!  The resources it consumes! The suffering it causes.

The tears it has shed.  The lives it has altered.  It’s destructive force!

Now, just think about all the joy, peace, love and harmony we can experience in this world if we stopped focusing of the 0.5% that separates us all, and instead, focused on the 99.5% that we all have in common.

Now wouldn’t that be truly AMAZING?

James DobkowskiJames Henry is the author of Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul, Hail Mary series, and two children’s books: The Second Prince and Klaus: The Gift-giver to ALL!  As a writer, James has been widely featured on Bob Salter (CBS Radio), Mike Siegel, Mancow, and more.

Today, James lives in New York where he continues to teach — and write.

To contact James or book an interview, please contact Mark of Goldman/McCormick PR at (516) 639-0988 or Mark@goldmanmccormick.com.

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It often becomes awkward when people discover that I teach science.

First, when someone discovers I teach secondary school, they assume, because I’m a writer, that I teach English. Next, when the discover that I’m a science teacher, they tilt their head and say something like, “How can you teach science and be religious?” — as if one excludes they other.

They do not.

Recently, while preparing to teach my AP Biology class, I read a paper on Fetal microchimerism. It’s a phenomenon involving fetal development that has lead to more questions than answers, but it is still fascinating.

Here’s my layperson interpretation: Though we know that blood cells of the mother and the fetus do not cross the placenta, stem cells of the fetus do. These stem cells can last, circulating in the mother’s system, for almost four decades.

Even more interesting, these stem cells can cross back across the placenta into a future child. So, simply put, unless you are the first born in your family, you have stem cells of your older siblings inside of you.

Wow! Being the youngest Dobkowski, I have my siblings cells inside of me. That’s cool and creepy, at the same time.

Then, suddenly it hit me: That means Jesus’ stem cells crossed over into his mother, Mary.

As a Catholic Christian, I am familiar with some of the Marian traditions passed down through the centuries, such as: The Immaculate Conception, The Assumption of Mary/ Dormition of the Mother of God, Mary’s Perpetual Virginity….

Though many mistakenly believe an immaculate conception is when a virgin conceives a child with a deity minus the act intercourse, well … it’s not. In truth, the Immaculate Conception is a person, the Virgin Mary, who was conceived naturally — just like everybody else — except she was conceived minus the stain of mortal sin.

Many of my non-Catholic Christians have a problem with this Church Teaching.

However, the recent scientific discovery of fetal microchimerism not only scientifically supports the doctrine of this teaching, but it supports the ideology of the Dormition and Mary’s Perpetual Virginity, as well.

If your a non-Catholic Christian, you’ve might’ve heard the phrase, “God cannot be in the presence of sin.” Well, there are many Biblical examples as to why this phrase in technically untrue. However, this saying becomes clearer when shared in the light of Isaiah 59:2.

But your iniquities have separated you from your God….

How could the Mother of God be separate from God who she is carrying God in her womb, if the woman and her womb were not a fitting vessel — meaning without sin?

Before the 1990’s, anyone could argue against the Immaculate Conception with a strong scientific defense since Embryology soundly shows that a fetus’s blood and the blood of the mother don’t ever mix, thereby  making her womb a fitting vessel regardless of Mary’s sinful nature; and they would’ve be right — before the 1990’s.

But since the 1990’s, we know, scientifically speaking, that the infant stem cells cross the placenta and enter into body of his/her mother. That would mean that Jesus’ cells, which were genetically Christ and wholly God, would have entered into His Mother.

That could not occur if her iniquities have separated her from God.

So, therefore, the Virgin Mary’s entire nature to be sinless — or as we Catholic Christians say “Immaculate” or “Full of Grace.”

The scientific discovery of Fetal microchimerism also confirms, for me, the need for Mary’s Immaculate Conception.

Think about THAT while reading this

According to a report in Molecular Human Reproduction, researchers who performed autopsies on 26 women who died while pregnant or within 1 month after delivery of a son, found Y-chromosome cells in every tissue cells of the host mother.

Every cell!

That means that Mary’s body was literally embedded with Christ’s cells!  Mary’s body was biologically consubstantial with Our Lord, which gives clear scientific support as to why she was rightfully taken up to Heaven in her Assumption.

Fetal microchimerism also further confirms the Church teaching of Mary’s perpetual virginity.

I know this is a hot-bed of contention because the Bible clearly states the James from Jesus’ brother and our Lord had siblings. Or does it.

Regarding the common argument from Matthew 1.24-25 that Christ had siblings, the famous Reformer, John Calvin thought “that no just and well-grounded inference can be drawn from these words of the Evangelist, as to what took place after the birth of Christ”

Calvin was not alone among the Protestant Reformers in defending the perpetual virginity of our Blessed Mother.

Martin Luther wrote:

“When Matthew says that Joseph did not know Mary carnally until she had brought forth her son, it does not follow that he knew her subsequently; on the contrary, it means that he never did know her . . . This babble . . . is without justification . . . he has neither noticed nor paid any attention to either Scripture or the common idiom.” (That Jesus was Born a Jew)

“Christ, our Savior, was the real and natural fruit of Mary’s virginal womb . . . This was without the cooperation of a man, and she remained a virgin after that. […] Christ . . . was the only Son of Mary, and the Virgin Mary bore no children besides Him . . . I am inclined to agree with those who declare that ‘brothers’ really mean ‘cousins’ here, for Holy Writ and the Jews always call cousins brothers.” (Sermons on John)

Huldrych Zwingli wrote:

“I firmly believe that Mary, according to the words of the gospel as a pure Virgin brought forth for us the Son of God and in childbirth and after childbirth forever remained a pure, intact Virgin.” (Zwingli Opera, Corpus Reformatorum, Berlin, 1905, v. 1, p. 424)

Even John Wesley, in 1749, wrote:

“I believe that He [Jesus] was made man, joining the human nature with the divine in one person; being conceived by the singular operation of the Holy Ghost, and born of the blessed Virgin Mary, who, as well after as before she brought Him forth, continued a pure and unspotted virgin.” (Letter to a Roman Catholic)

If Jesus was not an only child, he, a devout Jew, not only broke Jewish Law by handing his mother over to John while they looked up at Him from the foot of the Cross, but He also would’ve natural law was broken, as well.

Let me explain — using science.

As stated above, these fetal stem cells don’t just cross over and dwell inside of Mom as the nourished baby develops and grows, but they also return to the womb and nest inside future siblings.

And since God cannot be in the presence of sin, Jesus’ stem cell could not have dwelt in His brothers and sisters, who had not yet been saved by Christ’s Death and Resurrection.

Remember, the Resurrection has not yet occurred, and the Holy Spirit — which dwells in us — was not yet given until Pentecost.

Now, if you’re Catholic, I know what you’re thinking: What about Holy Communion? Doesn’t Christ enter our body when we receive his Body and Blood.

Theologically, no!

When we go partake in Holy Communion, we enter into the Body of Christ which is why we are not suppose to receive Eucharist with the knowledge of committing the mortal sin. That’s what St. Paul meant when he wrote, “Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord” (1 Cor 11-27).

This was discussed, in detail, in The Theology of Jesus’s Blood.

Yes, God is omnipresent. And yes, He has been in the presence of Satan (see the Book of Job). And yes again, upon His death, Jesus descended into Hell (though many argue He descended only to Abraham’s Bosom or Paradise, as He called it on the Cross,  and NOT into the bowels of Hell (Gehenna).)

But God could never be encapsulated in a vessel of sin and become co-joined with darkness as He would’ve occurred when he dwelt inside His mother’s womb at the time of the Incarnation if Mary was not Immaculate.   For God separates Himself from sin, and the Light of the World can never dwell in Darkness.

The science is clear, and because it’s clear, my Faith is sealed.

But let’s go beyond the science for a moment.  The answers to all our questions about Mary can be found in the Heart of Christ.

If you were God and you could create your own mother, how would you do it?

My guess your answer would be “Perfect — just like the first woman I created, who was designed to dwell with me forever and without sin.”

James DobkowskiJames Henry is also the author of Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul, ‘TwasHail Mary series, and two children’s books: The Second Prince and Klaus: The Gift-giver to ALL!  For six years, James taught At-Risk kids in Los Angeles. Today, he lives in New York where he continues to write — and teach. To contact James or book an interview, please contact Mark of Goldman & McCormick PR at (516) 639-0988 or Mark@goldmanmccormick.com.

FIGURE SOURCE:

Boddy, A. M., Fortunato, A., Wilson Sayres, M. and Aktipis, A. (2015), Fetal microchimerism and maternal health: A review and evolutionary analysis of cooperation and conflict beyond the womb. BioEssays, 37: 1106–1118. doi:10.1002/bies.201500059

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/bies.201500059/full

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As a Catholic Christian, I am familiar with some of the Marian traditions passed down through the centuries, such as: The Immaculate Conception, The Assumption of Mary/ Dormition of the Mother of God,  Mary’s Perpetual Virginity….

Many of my non-Catholic Christians have a problem with these Church Teachings.

However, the recent discovery of fetal microchimerism not only scientifically supports the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception teaching, but it supports the ideology of Mary’s Perpetual Virginity and the Assumption, as well.

I’ve already discussed the science behind Mary’s Perpetual Virginity.  So today, on the Feast of the Assumption, let’s now look at the assumption of Mary into Heaven.

According to Catholic beliefs, the Assumption, and also known as Dormition of the Theotokos or the Falling Asleep of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Eastern Orthodox Church, was the bodily taking up of the Virgin Mary into Heaven at the end of her earthly life.

The Catholic Church teaches as dogma — which means you have to believe — that the Virgin Mary “having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory”.

This doctrine was dogmatically defined by Pope Pius XII on 1 November 1950, in the apostolic constitution Munificentissimus Deus.

Now, it wasn’t until the 1990s, where scientists found the first clues that cells from both sons and daughters can escape from the uterus and spread through a mother’s body. They called the phenomenon fetal microchimerism, the NY Times reports, after the chimera, a monster from Greek mythology that was part lion, goat and dragon. [1]

But fetal cells don’t just drift passively, Carl Zimmer writes in The Times.  Studies of female mice show that fetal cells that end up in their hearts develop into cardiac tissue.

“They’re becoming beating heart cells,” said Dr. J. Lee Nelson, an expert on microchimerism at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. [2]

A 2015 report in the Oxford University Press Molecular Human Reproduction, a peer-reviewed periodical, shows that researchers, who performed autopsies on 26 women who died while pregnant or within 1 month after delivery of a son, found Y-chromosome cells in every tissue cells of the host mother.

Every cell!

Then, suddenly it hit me: That means that Jesus’ stem cells crossed over into his mother, Mary.

That means that Mary’s body was literally embedded with Christ’s cells!  This scientifically supports the theological case for that the corporeal assumption of Mary.  Since Mary, the Theotokos, was now biologically consubstantial with Our Lord, her body was rightfully taken up to Heaven just as her Son’s Body was taken up to Heaven.

Now I know what you’re thinking.  Didn’t Jesus ever cut His hair or cut His nails?  And what about all the blood that poured from His body during the Passion and the Crucifixion?

I’m sure Christ had his nails and hair cut throughout His 30-plus earthly ministry.

However, these cells are dead — as are the skin cells that fall off our body by the thousands each day.  However, only your follicles carry your DNA.  Hair and nails are keratinized meaning: The parts that you cut off are mostly keratin protein with only fragments of your DNA.  (I guess CSI was wrong all these years!)

In regards to Jesus’ Blood, much of it would’ve been sopped up and laid in the tomb with Him, as was the custom, since Jews believed blood was part of the body. However, to increase their surface area to hold more oxygen, blood cells lose their nuclei and contain no DNA.

The white blood cells, that would exist — much less in number — in the body along side red blood cells, do contain human DNA.  White blood cells, however, can’t divide and do not reproduce on their own.  Instead, WBCs are produced in the bone marrow.  So, WBC would NOT grow in number outside the human host as do stem cells inside the mother who receives these cells by fetal microchimerism. (If it did, your DNA would change every time you received a blood donation.)

Simply put: If Our Lord’s living and reproducing cells dwelled in His Mother’s body, she, like her Son, would have to be lifted into Heaven!

Why?

Because the living cells of The Living God can not return to dust — since Christ, God Incarnate, being the Only-begotten Son, never came from dust!    But don’t take my word on this.

The Apostle, St. Paul, tells us in his First Letter to the Church in Corinth, “The first man Adam became a living being; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven.” (1 Corinthians 15:45-49).

The science is clear, and because it’s clear, my Faith is sealed.

UP NEXT:

Science Behind the Immaculate Conception

ALSO READ

The Science Behind Mary’s Perpetual Virginity

The Theology of Jesus’ Blood Type

James DobkowskiJames Henry is the author of Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul, ‘Twas, and the new book series Hail Mary. For six years, James taught At-Risk kids in Los Angeles. Today, he lives in New York where he continues to write — and teach. To contact James or book an interview, please contact Mark of Goldman & McCormick PR at (516) 639-0988 or Mark@goldmanmccormick.com.

FIGURE SOURCE:

Boddy, A. M., Fortunato, A., Wilson Sayres, M. and Aktipis, A. (2015), Fetal microchimerism and maternal health: A review and evolutionary analysis of cooperation and conflict beyond the womb. BioEssays, 37: 1106–1118. doi:10.1002/bies.201500059

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/bies.201500059/full

 

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I am often told that Religion has no place in science.  Oddly enough, science has not only formed my faith; science has sealed my Faith.

Most Christians have heard of the Shroud of Turin, the ancient relic that bears the image of a crucified male.  Blood typing has been done on the Shroud, and it was determined that the crucified male, who many believe to be Jesus of Nazareth, has AB blood.

A lesser know relic is the Sudarium of Oviedo, the cloth, that tradition teaches, covered the face of Jesus before He was wrapped in a burial shroud and laid in the tomb.  The blood on this cloth is also from a male and also Type AB.

There has also been several miracles where a consecrated Host miraculously became true flesh and began to bleed true blood.

One such miracle occurred in the 8th century.

A priest in Lanciano, Italy was doubting the real presence in the Eucharist while offering Mass, when suddenly the Eucharist miraculously turned into human flesh and blood.

Similarly, 500 years after the miracle of Lanciano, another priest, in Orvieto, Italy, who was also doubting the real presence of Jesus, similarly experienced a Eucharistic miracle where the host started bleeding all over his corporal (a cloth used in the liturgy).

You can still see the cloth on display in the Cathedral of Orvieto and the non-decomposing flesh and blood in the Church of San Francesco today.

Miracle of Buenos Aires

More recently, in 1996, another Eucharistic miracle occurred in Buenos Aires, Argentina when a consecrated Host was found on the ground and placed in a glass of water to dissolve, as is custom.

Days later, the Eucharist hadn’t dissolved at all — it had, however, turned into bloody Flesh.

The Cardinal and then-Bishop Jorge Bergoglio (now Pope Francis) had a photograph taken of the bloody Host, then stored the Host in a tabernacle to decompose.

Three years later, that same bloody Flesh remained!

That’s when Dr. Ricardo Castañón, a Bolivian neurophysiologist, was called in to have samples from the Host examined in a laboratory environment.

Doctor Castañón took it to the San Francisco Forensic Institute without telling anyone there what it was or where it came from. After testing, he was told the samples constituted heart muscle, specifically from the myocardium of the left ventricle.

Further, the tests showed the blood was human, with human DNA, and of the AB type — the same as found on the Shroud of Turin and the Sudarium of Oviedo.  Upon further investigation, he also discovered the Host from the miracle of Lanciano was Blood Type AB, as well!

Coincidence?  Maybe?

But consider this: Blood Types were not discovered until 1900.  The discovery of Blood Type AB came along seven years later, in 1907. Maybe because it’s so rare?  Only four-percent of the World population has Blood Type AB.

Well, here’s where it gets interesting…

Where Science and Theology Merge

The Eucharist is the sacrament of communion with one another in the one body of Christ, writes Rev. Dr. Stany Antony OMIThis, he continued, was the full meaning of eucharistic koinonia in the early Church.

Scriptures appears to be in agreement.

St. Paul tells us in 1 Cor 10:16-17 that we just don’t participate in the Eucharist, we are in communion in the blood of Christ. “…nonne communicatio sanguinis?” as it is written in the Latin Vulgate; κοινωνία or koinonia in Greek.

Early Church Father and Orator,  St. John Chrysostom (c. 349 – 407) commenting on Paul’s words, — almost 1500 years before the discovery of blood types — said this:

The bread which we break, is it not a communion of the Body of Christ? Wherefore said he not, the participation? Because he intended to express something more and to point out how close was the union: in that we communicate not only by participating and partaking, but also by being united. For as that body is united to Christ, so also are we united to Him by this bread. (Homily 24 on First Corinthians: 4)

In 1485,  more than 400 years before the classification of blood based on the presence and absence of antibodies, St. Thomas Aquinas wrote, “…the Eucharist is the sacrament of the unity of the Church, which results from the fact that many are one in Christ”.

In 1566, almost 300 years before science established the ABO Blood Group System, the Church had this to say about the Eucharist:

For what bread and wine are to the body, the Eucharist is to the health and delight of the soul, but in a higher and better way. This Sacrament is not, like bread and wine, changed into our substance; but we are, in some wise, changed into its nature, so that we may well apply here the words of St. Augustine: I am the food of the frown. Grow and thou shalt eat Me; nor shalt thou change Me into thee, as thy bodily food, but thou shalt be changed into Me.”

In other words, “by this sacrament we unite ourselves to Christ, who makes us sharers in his Body and Blood to form a single body.” (Cathecism 1331).

Or simply put, “He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, abideth in me and I in you” (John 6:56)

So, what’s this have to do with Blood Typing?

You see, I, like many, once believed that Jesus’ Body and Blood just enters our body during Holy Communion.  However, if that was the true theology of the Eucharist, Jesus’ divine Blood Type could be not AB.

Why?

Because theologically if Jesus’ Blood just enters us, He would be simply donating His sacred blood to all.

Science has shown that only Universal Donors can give blood to all without any harm to the recipient; only people with Blood Type O.  However, with Blood Type O, one could not receive blood from any other type, but their own.

The Church has always taught that during Holy Communion we unite with The Body of Christ.

Simply put, Jesus receives us all, body and soul, and unites us all, body and soul, in Him — and by all bodies, I mean all blood types.

Christ is therefore the Universal Acceptor, theologically and biologically.  Anyone who took High School Biology knows blood type of the universal acceptor.

That blood type is … AB Blood.

If the Shroud of Turin is a fake, how would the forgers get Jesus’ Blood Type theologically correct — centuries before science knew blood type existed?

Further, if these Eucharistic miracles were also all staged, how would all these Blood Types not just match, but also coincide theologically and biologically?

Coincidence?

Maybe, but the odds would favor coincidence to favor the most popular Blood Type.

Approximately, 47% of Italians have Blood Type O, while less than 4% share AB.  In Argentina, where the most recent miracle took place, half the population is Blood Type O. [note]

When you include Rh factors, the statistic of chance is almost eliminated.

Rh factor was discovered after the discovery of Blood Types — 40 years after!  Only one percent of the world population is AB-positive … the same Blood Type in the Eucharistic miracles in Buenos Aires and Lanciano — miracles which occurred 1,300 years apart.

The science is clear —  and because it’s clear, my Faith is sealed.

James DobkowskiJames Henry is the author of Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul,  the book series Hail Mary. and two children books: The Second Prince and Klaus: The Gift-giver to All.   For six years, James taught At-Risk kids in Los Angeles. Today, he lives in New York where he continues to write — and teach. To contact James or book an interview, please contact Mark of Goldman & McCormick PR at (516) 639-0988 or Mark@goldmanmccormick.com.

Articles used to write this piece:

The Eucharist and Its Effects – James H. Dobbins

Christ, Our Food and Our Life: Chapter 12

Eucharist: Communion with God and Communion with one another – Rev. Dr. Stany Antony OMI

Two eucharistic miracles 1,300 years apart show same blood type and DNA – Ryan Fitzgerald  •  ChurchMilitant.com

The Divine Blood Type: Revealed by “Coincidence” of Eucharistic Miracles? • ChurchPOP

READ MORE ABOUT THE SCIENCE OF THE SHROUD

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