Review: Jonathan Park: Ep. 33 – Destination Moon, Part 2

This is Part 2 of a three-part story.  You can find Part 1 here.

For more Jonathan Park reviews, click here.

Plot Summary:

Pearce Davis has become a national celebrity. His best-selling books, TV appearances, and seminars, are convincing the public that the Apollo Moon Missions were nothing more than a made-up Hollywood production. Now it’s up to the Creation Response Team to remind America of the truth, and up to Pearce to stop them. (Taken from here.)

The Study Guide for Episodes 32-34 can be found here: jp_vol3_study_guide_epi32-34

Topics include:

  • Gravity
  • Space Race
  • Moons of Saturn and Jupiter

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

Gravity

The Story: The concept of gravity is introduced and the characters learn that different planets have different gravities.  Jessie stands on a scale and sees how much she would weigh on the moon and other planets. Dr Park says, ‘And that shows how perfectly God made the gravity here on Earth….If Earth didn’t have the exact gravity it does, life here would be much different – and depending on how extreme – impossible.’

Jessie concludes, ‘More evidence that the Creator made the world to be just like it is!’

(2:55-4:12)

The Facts:

Here is a website that lets you explore how much you would weigh on the moon and other planets.

I keyed in Jessie’s weight (100lbs) and got the following results:

Planet Weight (pounds)
Moon 16.6
Mercury 37.8
Venus 90.7
Mars 37.7
Jupiter 236.4 *
Saturn 106.4
Uranus 88.9
Neptune 112.5
Pluto 6.7

* The figure given for Jupiter does not agree with the information presented on the CD. On the CD, Jessie says that she would weigh 353.3lbs on Jupiter. In the Study Guide, it says that a person who weighs 100lbs on Earth, would weigh 253.3lbs.   All the other weights displayed on that website (for a 100lb person) agree exactly with the table in the Study Guide.  I looked around the internet and found different answers: the weights ranged from 234lbs to 250lbs.  In any case,  353.3lbs is overstated.

Dr Park and Jessie are making teleological arguments.

Minor quibble: I wish the characters would use metric!  Although the metric system has not been formally adopted by the US in general, it is widely used in the scientific field.  Since the Jonathan Park series aims to teach science, metric measurements should be given.  Giving information only in Imperial is very Americentric.

[Click here to return to list of Topics.]

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Space Race

The Story: Nathan Park (Jonathan’s paternal uncle) tells Jonathan all about the space race – the informal competition between the USA and the USSR in the area of space exploration.  It lasted between 1957 and 1975.

The Facts: I won’t detail all the information mentioned on the CD.  Some of the information is found on pages 11-13 in the Study Guide.

A quick search on the internet using the words ‘Space Race Time Line’ (or something similar) will yield plenty of hits.  As usual, wikipedia is pretty good.

[Click here to return to list of Topics.]

*****************************************************************************************

Moons of Saturn and Jupiter

The Story: Dr Park tells Jonathan about the orbits of Epimetheus and Janus (Saturn’s moons).  He claims that Callisto and Europa – Jupiter’s moons cause questions about the age of the Solar System.  Callisto is the most heavily cratered moon (indicating old age) and Europa is the smoothest (indicating a younger age) and yet, they both orbit Jupiter.  Jupiter has 63 moons.  Io, another of Jupiter’s moons, shows evidence of volcanic activity.  If it really were billions of years old, it should have cooled down long, long ago. (16:25-17:45)

The Facts: The facts are all correct.  The response to the claim that Io could not have maintained volcanic activity for so long is found here.

[Click here to return to list of Topics.]

*****************************************************************************************

Conclusion

There really wasn’t much science content in this episode.  A small portion was spent giving some information about the planets in the Solar System as well as information about the space race. A person wanting to do even a cursory study of the planets would be better off reading a science book or looking it up on the internet.

A much significant portion of the program was spent on the storyline.  I found this particular story even harder to believe than normal. Having an uncle who just very conveniently works for NASA and being able to go into NASA’s computer system and change data is a little far-fetched.  Still, it may be okay for young, naive and impressionable listeners.

<< Previous: Ep. 32 | List of Reviews | Next: Ep. 34 >>

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Posted on Wednesday, December 15th, 2010, in Jonathan Park, Science, Vision Forum and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. It may be more scientific to state body weight in kilos than pounds, but isn’t their primary audience Evangelical American home schoolers? If you can find me 10 Americans who know their weight in kilos, I’ll eat my hat.

    Like

  2. Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. Like I said, it’s only a minor quibble. You don’t have to eat your hat!

    Like

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