Review: Jonathan Park: Ep. 29 – The Temple of the Moon, Part 1

For more Jonathan Park reviews, click here.

Plot Summary:

A mysterious stranger offers to send the Park and Brenan families to the Royal Tombs in the ancient city of Ur. They have three days to find an artifact that will shed light on the Tower of Babel account in Genesis, but Eli Bennet has vowed to find it first! (Taken from here.)

The Study Guide for Episodes 29-30 can be found here.

Topics include:

  • Your Mission, Should You Choose to Accept It…
  • Evolution is Atheistic
  • Royal Tombs of Ur
  • Origin of Languages
  • Raising Godly Children
  • ‘No Accent’
  • Evolution of Language
  • Complex Early Languages

Background Information

The Jonathan Park CDs are produced by Vision Forum Ministries.  Through these CDs, VF hope to ‘provide children and adults with scientific evidence that is in harmony with the Word of God’.  [Which raises the questions, ‘What does “in harmony” mean?’ and ‘What do they do with scientific evidence that is not in harmony with the Word of God?’]

Tagline: This is our Father’s world, God created it; we can explore it, so live the adventure!

NOTE: The producers of this series neglect to reference their information in any form.  No references is ever given either on the CD or in the Study Guide for ANY information presented in the series.  Even the voice actors of the series are not given any credit anywhere.  We only know that the series is a production of Vision Forum Ministries.

Topics in this episode

Issues

Your Mission, Should You Choose to Accept It…

The STORY: The Park and Brenan families receive a phone call from a man who wants only to be known as Flavius.  Flavius wants them to go to Iraq to uncover a tablet that could prove the account of the Tower of Babel in Genesis.  Flavius is a Christian and a Creationist and he is keen for Creationists to go to Iraq on this mission. The only condition he has is that he wants Thomas Michaels, an expert anthropologist (albeit an evolutionist), to go along with them to help them translate the cuneiform inscriptions.  Although the two families would very much prefer to have a Creationist accompany them, Flavius insists that it must be Thomas Michaels for reasons which will become clear later.  Flavius will pay for the trip.

The two families are very excited about this opportunity to prove that the Tower of Babel was a real event.  They read Genesis 11:1-9 (The account of the Tower of Babel.)

(1:50-6:04)

The FACTS: Flavius and the Park and Brenan families are not being objective.  Their main mission is to prove that the tablet is in harmony with the Bible rather than try to see what conclusions they can draw from the find.  However, this is consistent with the Creationist method – no objectivity whatsoever.

Jim shows his prejudice when he says that he would prefer to have a Creationist on their team.

This little segments portrays Evolution and Creation as being mutually exclusive. This is not true. Evolution and Creation can co-exist in models such as Theistic Evolution.

Spoiler: Thomas Michaels is Flavius’ son who has walked away from the faith he was raised in.  Flavius wants very much for Thomas to see firsthand the physical evidence for the Genesis account.  That is why Thomas’ accompanying the team to Iraq is not negotiable. (Highlight to view the spoiler.)

[Click here to return to List of Topics.]

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Evolution is Atheistic

The STORY: A college professor (Thomas Michaels) tells his class, “Today, we’re going to continue talking about our theory that man’s evolutionary roots began in Africa and spread out from there as language and culture also evolved.”

A student counters that by saying, “Professor Michaels, I grew up in my home being taught that mankind had the ability to speak from the very beginning.”

Prof. Michaels: Well, Mr Smith, you are more than welcome to believe whatever you want.  However, in this class, we are discussing science.

Female student: So, are you saying that there is no God?

Prof. Michaels: When I have the overwhelming evidence for the Creator and have it placed right in my hand, then I’ll believe.

(6:04-6:39)

The FACTS: Mr Smith’s statement should raise serious alarm bells. When these homeschooled kids are taught one thing at home, and find out that there are Other Ideas out there with compelling arguments, they are going to be in for a real shock.  Listening to Jonathan Park is not going to help them counter the full range of Other Ideas.  And that’s putting it mildly.

The professor never said that there is no God.  How that female student came to that conclusion and dared to ask it is astounding!  (I sure hope she isn’t a Jonathan Park Creation Response Team Member who paid $10,000 to get the opportunity to perform on the show.)

The response to the oft-made claim/insinuation that evolution is atheistic is found here.

Professor Michaels’ statement is a giveaway as to the conclusion of the program.

[Click here to return to List of Topics.]

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Royal Tombs of Ur

The Royal Tombs of Ur

The Royal Tombs of Ur

The STORY: While walking around the Royals Tombs of Ur, Professor Michaels tells the two families about the tombs.  (9:13-10:08)

The FACTS: The scriptwriters were careful not to mention any dates, for example how old the tombs are.  This is totally in line with VF’s mission to ‘provide…scientific evidence that is in harmony with the Word of God.’  This is dishonest and deceitful.

The information Prof Michaels mentions can be found in this section of wikipedia: Archaeology of Royal Tombs of Ur. On the wikipedia website, it says that most of the tombs were dated to about 2600BCE.  This puts it well before the Tower of Babel (traditionally dated at 2260BCE) and even before Noah’s Flood (traditionally dated at c. 2350BCE).

[Click here to return to List of Topics.]

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Origin of Languages

The STORY: There are about 6800 languages in the world today and most of them can be grouped into 50-200 different language families; and these families can be traced back to proto-families or language stocks.  Two examples are Indo-European and Semitic.

IF evolution were true, we would find evidence of language starting out as simple and slowly getting more complex.  Instead we can trace many of these languages back to these language stocks and then it just stops.

Jonathan: That fits well the the Tower of Babel account in Genesis.

(10:08-11:18)

The FACTS: Hardly, Jonathan!  Again, no dates are mentioned in this little segment.

The Tower of Babel is traditionally dated at c. 2260BCE.  IF the account in Genesis were true, there should be NO record of different languages before this time as ‘the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech’.

And yet, Jiahu Symbols date to  c. 6600BCE, Vinča Script dates to c. 5300BCE and Indus Script dates to c. 3500BCE.

For more about Language Families, click here.

[Click here to return to List of Topics.]

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Raising Godly Children

The STORY: The children are uncommonly polite because the parents have raised them with a Biblical worldview. (11:35-12:15)

The FACTS: This is not a scientific issue, but I feel it must be addressed.

Raising children with a Biblical worldview is no guarantee that they will turn out godly.  How many parents have been sold the lie that if only they do it ‘God’s way’ that their children will turn out right!  And how many stories have we heard of where the children decide not to follow God.

[Click here to return to List of Topics.]

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‘No Accent’

The STORY: A young boy, Jamal, saves the Park and Brenan families from angry Iraqi men who think the Americans are grave robbers.  The visitors are impressed with his English-speaking skills at which he tells them that he was born in Iraq, but brought up by American Christian missionaries who taught him English; that’s why he has no accent.  (14:30-15:10)

The FACTS: I had to laugh at this. Jamal speaks with an American accent!

[Click here to return to List of Topics.]

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Evolution of Language

The STORY: All languages have complex grammar structures.  A linguist, Suzette Elgin, wrote a book entitled What is Linguistics? In it, she said, “The most ancient languages for which we have written text, Sanskrit for example, are often far more intricate and complicated in their grammatical forms than many contemporary languages.”

Brenan: That fits in with the Tower of Babel.

Dr Park: If language had evolved from nothing into the languages we have today it would seem that we would find hundreds of languages that are still in very simple forms.  However, the evidence seems to best fit the Bible’s account of the origins of languages.

(16:53-17.44)

The FACTS: The Bible’s account claims that there was one language until the Tower of Babel c. 2260.  The evidence for earlier languages does NOT fit this account at all.

Sanskrit’s origins date to 1500BCE.  This is about 700 years after the Tower of Babel.  Why did it take so long for Sanskrit to develop?

The key words in Ms Elgin’s quote are the words, ‘for which we have written text’.  We know about these languages because they are written languages. We do not know about other ancient languages that were never written down.  Written language is a poor measure for language development.  More can be found here.

[Click here to return to List of Topics.]

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Complex Early Languages

The STORY: Sumerian was just as complex as our language.  Although new words get added, what tends to happen is that languages tend to deteriorate. Languages will tend to go from complex to simple over time unless people invest energy and intelligence to make new rules for the language.  For example, sign language.

The general rule is that languages will deteriorate if left alone.  They can get more complex if they borrow words from other languages or if a group of people invest energy  and a plan to formulate the rules.  Overall, linguists have discovered that the deterioration and the addition of language has resulted in equilibrium.  Over history, it appears that the level of complexity in language has remained the same.  HOW could language evolve from nothing to the complex languages that we have today?  So that is more proof that languages were complex from the start.

(19:32-21.08)

The FACTS: I am unable to corroborate the statement that language will deteriorate if left alone.  Or, that there is an equilibrium in language complexity.

The last two statements are an example of an Argument from Incredulity.  It is also called a God-of-the-gaps theory and should be avoided at all costs.

[Click here to return to List of Topics.]

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Conclusion

This episode paints non-young-Earth Creationists with a very broad brush and assumes that if one believes in evolution, then one must be an atheist.  The ‘case’ is made for languages being complex from the beginning using arguments from incredulity.  The claim that the ‘evidence’ fits with the Bible’s account of the Tower of Babel was repeated several times in the show, making it propaganda through repetition.

When listening to Jonathan Park, it is important to remember that the creators of the series (Institute for Creation Research) are committed to upholding young-Earth Creationism as truth and repudiating evolutionary ideas in any form.  One of their beliefs clearly says, “The creation record is factual, historical, and perspicuous; thus all theories of origins or development that involve evolution in any form are false.Therefore, there is not objective presentation of the facts. 

If you are looking for a pure, unbiased, reporting of the scientific facts, the internet has a wealth of information.  Better still, it’s free.  Everything that I have researched up on to check the veracity of the statements made in this series is from the Internet.  Anyone who is interested can do the same.  That US$25 per volume (not including shipping) would be much better spent elsewhere.

<< Previous: Ep. 28 | List of Reviews | Next: Ep. 30 >>

Posted on Saturday, November 27th, 2010, in Jonathan Park, Jonathan Park Reviews, Language, Parenting, Theistic Evolution, Vision Forum and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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