Review: Jonathan Park: Ep. 6 – African Safari


Plot Summary:

The evil Dr. Cassat has discovered a multi-million dollar mine in Africa. But why has he asked the Park and Brenan Families to come to Africa on a fossil dig? What danger lurks in the African wilderness?

The main thrust of the program is about transitional fossils.  There is also mention of evolution being chance process.

Topics in this program:

  • Transitional Fossils
  • Australopithecus Afarensis
  • Creation vs. Evolution
  • Neanderthal and Ramapithecus
  • Lucy and Ethel
  • Determining How to Classify a Fossil
  • Evolution is a Chance Process

The Study Guide for episode 6 can be found here: jp_vol1_study_guide_epi6

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!

So, without much further ado, let’s take a look at the sixth episode, ‘African Safari’.

Topics in this program:

Review

Transitional Fossils

The Story: Evolutionists believe that the fossil record is a record of billions [spoken with contempt] of years of evolution, whereas Creationists say that most of the fossils came from Noah’s Flood.  IF evolutionists are right, then we should expect to see  transitional fossils, but as it is, there simply are none.  Creationists believe that God made each animal distinct from the beginning, and that is what the fossil record shows. (3:10-4:25)

The Facts:

There are transitional fossils!  Here is a list of them.

After digging around a bit (No pun intended!), I found that some Young Earth Creationists feel that ‘There are no transitional fossils’ is a bad argument and should NOT be used by Creationists when arguing their case!  Creation Ministries International, which is the Australian version of Answers in Genesis, tells its followers not to use this.

[Click to return to list of Topics.]

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Australopithecus afarensis

The Story: The evil (and yes, he does speak with an evil voice so there is no mistaking him) Dr Cassat solicits Dr Park’s help in recovering a fossil near Lake Turkana, Kenya, specifically, the Australopithecus afarensis. We are told that Australopithecus afarensis is a part female skeleton found by Donald Johansen in 1974.  This is the famous “Lucy”. (6:10-6:40)

The Facts: Donald Johansen is an American paleoanthropologist who found “Lucy”, about 40% of a skeleton that was later classified as Australopithecus afarensis.  This part is true.

The only objection I have is the fact that Dr Cassat says that Dr Park’s help is needed because the chief of the Kikuyu tribe – who has the final say – insists on a Young Earth Creationist to paleontologist to work on the project.  What in the world is VF trying to pull here??!

[Click to return to list of Topics.]

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Creation vs. Evolution

The Story: Dr Benson expresses surprise that Dr Park sees all the fossils and cannot accept the evolutionary explanation.  Dr Park explains that he used to believe the evolutionary story but now that he is a Christian, he has been able to see things from a different perspective.(8:32-8:47)

The Facts: Dr Park wrongly assumes that Creation and Evolution are mutually exclusive.

Here is a list of Theistic Evolutionists; they are Christians who believe in a Creator AND Evolution.

[Click to return to list of Topics.]

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Neanderthal and Ramapithecus

The Story:

Evolutionary scientists claim that Neanderthals were a breakaway from human ancestry, but now, most scientists believe that Neanderthals were fully human.  Ramapithecus was once considered half-man half-ape, but now, they are no longer considered a human ancestor but rather more like an orangutan.

(8:48-10:05)

The Facts: True.  Scientists are always changing their opinions.  This is what good scientists do.

UPDATE: Please refer to this comment, for a more detailed answer.

[Click to return to list of Topics.]

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Lucy and Ethel

The Story: Dr Benson decides to name the bones he finds “Ethel”, so the “Lucy” can have a companion.

This is a reference to the show “I Love Lucy” starring Lucille Ball.  Lucy’s friend in the show is Ethel.

This is just a minor detour.  We will now return to the Science show.

[Click to return to list of Topics.]

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Determining How to Classify a Fossil

The Story: Dr Park and Dr Benson look at the fossil and discuss whether it is more ape-like or more human-like.  Dr Benson thinks it is a hominid, Dr Park thinks it is an ape. Dr Park claims that there just have not been any definitive ape-man fossils.  He quotes David Pilbeam as saying that, “Paleoanthropology reveals more about how humans view themselves, than it does how humans came about.”  In other words, how we look at fossils can sometimes be about our beliefs rather than what is true about ourselves.  (16:48-18:56)

The Facts: No comment here.  It was interesting to listen to how Dr Park and Dr Benson decide how to classify the fossil.

I am not a paleontologist.  So, I would encourage you to just look it up yourself and find out more.

[Click to return to list of Topics.]

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Evolution is a Chance Process

The Story: Dr Park says, ‘If you believe in Evolution, you believe that you are nothing more than molecules that came together by random chance.’ (22:48-22:53)

The Facts: Oh, boy, here we go again!  Evolution is NOT a random process.

[Click to return to list of Topics.]

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Conclusion:

The statement that evolution is a random process makes it a deal-breaker for me.  Unfortunately, it comes right near the end, after having to go through an adventure story which reveals that Dr Cassat wanted Dr Park’s help so that the Kikuyu tribe would be distracted from his real project.

Pure unadulterated YEC propaganda.

Give this one a miss.

<< Previous: Ep. 5 | List of Reviews | Next: Ep. 7 >>
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About yewnique

I am a Malaysian-born woman who is married to an Australian and now live in Melbourne, Australia. I am a mother to four children. I home school. I like reading, writing, and cooking -- not necessarily in that order. I care about grammar and spelling, but am nonchalant about the Oxford Comma. I try to follow Christ's teachings.

Posted on Sunday, August 15th, 2010, in Creation vs Evolution, Evolution, Jonathan Park, Jonathan Park Reviews, Religion, Science, Vision Forum, Young Earth Creationism and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. “The Facts: True. Scientists are always changing their opinions. This is what good scientists do.”

    Minor quibble–Opinions sounds a bit to me as if scientists roll out of the bed one morning with an opinion formed in their head that they could change any time for any reason. Scientists form opinions based on evidence, and change opinions based on evidence. Change happens less often when there is a major body of work in support of a currently-accepted scientific opinion, because supporting evidence to change those types of opinions would have to be well-researched and usually have to also account for existing evidence. The opinion of a scientist on a scientific topic formed wholly without any evidentiary support has no more weight than anyone else’s, but in their fields on expertise this pretty rarely happens.

    I actually figure you agree with this, I just thought the originally-written wording was a bit loose.

    Like

  2. Thanks for reading my Jonathan Park Reviews, hktelemacher!

    I wrote this particular review over a year ago. I was just starting out with this review series. Yes, the original wording could definitely be better!

    Like

  3. Well, I had some time to kill yesterday and I was curious. Truth be told though I only got to about part 26 I think when it all started to fuzz together and I had to stop.

    Like

  4. Are the reviews that bad? 😉

    If you want to, you can go to the Jonathan Park website and listen to ‘This Week’s Show’. This week, it’s episode 15: http://www.jonathanpark.com/

    Like

  5. It’s not that the reviews are that bad, it’s just that after a while each episode started to sound like the ones before it and the ones after it. The same fallacies, falsehoods and obfuscation; I stopped being able to tell them apart!

    Anyway I appreciate your reviews because home schooling parents who value science curriculum will certainly be informed by your work.

    Like

  6. Oh, my, yes! The same fallacies, the same falsehoods. I get the feeling that they think if they just repeat the same mantra over and over again, people will believe it.

    Like

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