Review: Jonathan Park: Ep. 50 – The Explorer’s Society, Part 2

This is Part 2 of a two-part review.  Part 1 can be found here.

For more Jonathan Park reviews, click here.

Plot Summary:

The Creation Response Team is using their last funds to help with a video project at Niagara Falls. That’s when they meet the Explorer’s Society, an evolutionary team known for their outstanding contributions to science since 1850. And now the Society’s daredevil, Jack, is going to ride a jet-ski over the falls, unless a jealous saboteur is successful at stopping him — at any cost! Join the adventure as the CRT saves Jack and challenges the Explorer’s Society on the national TV show, “Battle of the Worldviews!” (Taken from here.)

Topics in this episode:

  • The Explorer’s Society
  • Actualism
  • Carbon Dating
  • Creation vs. Evolution
  • Niagara Falls

The Study Guide for episodes 49-50 can be found here: jp_vol5_study_guide_epi49-50

 

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:

Review:

The Explorer’s Society

Auguste Mariette

The Story: The Explorer’s Society give a brief history of their Society.  In 1850, a Frenchman by the name of Pasha Auguste Mariette formed The Service for the Conservation of Antiquities.  Later, other members of this group formed The Explorer’s Society.

(6:10-7:10)

The Facts: There really was a person by the name of Auguste Mariette.

I could not find any information on The Service for the Conservation of Antiquities.  However I did find the Supreme Council of Antiquities which was founded by Auguste Mariette. I also could not find any Explorer’s Society, but I did find The Explorer’s Club.

[Click here to return to list of Topics.]

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Actualism

The Story: Dr Daniel Priest, a member of the Explorer’s Society, says that scientists today no longer subscribe to uniformitarianism as proposed by Charles Lyell, but actualism. Actualism acknowledges that geologic formations that we see today are a result of slow, gradual processes as well as natural catastrophes.

(9:38-10:29)

The Facts: This is true. More about uniformitarianism can be read here.

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

The Story: Dr Park agrees that scientists today no longer subscribe to Lyell uniformitariansim but then says that actualism is still based on uniformitarianism.  Dr Priest disagrees. (10:30-10:39)

The Facts: Either Dr Priest does not know his science, or the writer(s) of this episode didn’t do their homework. Since the character is a PhD holder in geology who lectured at Yale, I am going to go with the latter option. Actualism is just another word for ‘modern uniformitarianism’, so yes, uniformitarian ideas are involved.  More information can be gathered here.

[Click here to return to list of Topics.]

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Carbon Dating

The Story: When a plant or an animal dies, the Carbon-14 begins to break down into Nitrogen-14. We can use this to determine the age of any particular fossil.

Dr Park argues if there were catastrophic events in the past – such as a worldwide flood – it would affect the dates. He also points out that different plants and animals take in different amounts of Carbon-14 than others – he specifically mentions shellfish as an example. He mentions an experiment whereby live shellfish were carbon dated and it came up to hundreds of years old. Dr Park concludes that it would be better to base the dates solely on observable evidence instead of partially on assumptions.

(10:39-11:34)

The Facts: I tried looking for a website that explains Carbon Dating in a simple way, and I think I may have found one.  Some important points to get out of this:

(1) Carbon dating is only accurate to about 50,000 years old.  Therefore, it cannot be used for fossils, since most fossils are older than that.  So, when Dr Priest says that we can use carbon dating to date any particular fossil, he is wrong.

(2) Carbon dating cannot be used on things that did not get their carbon from the air. This means that it cannot be used on aquatic creatures.  So, when Dr Park tells of a carbon dating experiment involving shellfish that gave inaccurate dates, we should take that information with a large grain of salt.

That last remark by Dr Park is an example of hypocrisy.  YECists assume that a literal reading of the Bible is correct and that there was a worldwide flood; any evidence pointing to an old earth or to evolution must be wrong.

[Click here to return to list of Topics.]

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Creation vs. Evolution

The Story: The characters say that we can create two models based on the same evidence.  The question is how do we know which one is based on truth? Dr Park suggests that the geologic evidence agrees with what we would expect if there had been a worldwide flood and furthermore it agrees with Scriptures, which are the source of truth. (11:38-12:26)

The Facts: There is no evidence of there ever being a worldwide flood.  Simply none.  Dr Park is making an assumption – something that he criticises ‘evolutionists’ of doing.

The Scriptures do not claim to be the source of truth on scientific matters.  Why YECists insist on elevating the Bible to a ‘scientific’ level is a mystery.

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

The Story: Dr Hunt shares what is has been like to work with the Explorer’s Society and Jessie shares what it has been like to work with the Creation Response Team. Jessie says that it gives her life purpose. (17:55-19:08)

The Facts: This section uses background music to play on the listeners’ emotions to persuade them that working for the ‘Creation’ side is somehow more godly and purposeful.  This is an appeal to emotion and should not be used.

‘Even’ non-believers can live purposeful lives.

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

The Story: The Creation Response Team agree to be on the TV show provided that they be allowed to speak freely of their Creator with no editing out of their references to the Bible or to their faith. (19:15-19:33)

The Facts: In episode 8, Dr Park claimed that Creation can be taught without religion, and that Creation Science is legitimate science based on objective data.  Why does he now give conditions? This is not how science is done.

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

The Story: Jonathan says that he feels sorry for the Christians of Lyell’s time who abandoned their confidence in the Bible. Dr Park says, ‘What’s even sadder is that Christians are still doing that today. For some reason, they want to accept man’s faulty theories over the infallible Word of God. How much better to just trust in God’s Word.  In the end it will always be shown to be true.’

(21:07-21:29)

The Facts: Whenever scientific discoveries are made that seem to contradict the Bible, it is an opportunity to delve deeper into the Bible and re-examine our presuppositions.  The Bible is subject to man’s faulty interpretation – as we have seen with Galileo and his theory of heliocentrism.

Also, the important point that the Bible is not meant to be read as a scientific book seems to be lost on YECists.  The study of science is relatively new – only a few centuries old.  This fact alone should be enough to convince us that the Bible cannot be used to gather scientific insights simply because scientific language had not yet been invented.

[Click here to return to list of Topics.]

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Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

The Story: The discussion of the age of Niagara Falls is scattered throughout the episode. The characters tell how scientists have arrived at different ages for it over the years. It is interesting to note that the writer of this episode acknowledges that we don’t know for sure how old Niagara Falls is. We only ‘know’ that it can’t be 12,000 years old because it disagrees with the Bible. If we take into consideration certain factors, we could come up with a younger age that agrees with the Bible. It is an area for further study. However, he then reassures the listener that as we study more we can be confident that it will confirm the Genesis account.

The Facts: Trying to make the evidence fit the Bible is NOT how science is done.  Discarding scientific explanations just because the conclusions disagree with the Bible is also NOT how science is done.

[Click here to return to list of Topics.]

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Conclusion

The Conclusion of the Study Guide says:

So why do we study the age of the earth and the various aspects of the creation around us? Because, not only do we learn new and fascinating things about the amazing Creator God and His magnificent creation, but we are also helping to give hope to many by showing that science and the Bible are in harmony. It shows that  there is a purpose and plan behind our existence! In science this is called the study of origins.

Sadly, for many who believe the lie of evolution, their origins are an accidental  explosion that randomly “created” our world millions of years ago for no real reason or purpose. We’re just here because….well, because. But as Christians, we know the glorious truth that God created our world, created each of us, and that He has a plan and purpose for everything and everyone. This is why we study and learn about our world: to bring glory and honor to Him and to help to testify to the truth of God’s  Word. So, happy studying!

This is an appalling bad misrepresentation of what the Bible does and evolution is!

  1. The Bible is not a science book.  The scientific evidence does NOT agree with a literal reading of the Bible.
  2. Evolution is not about the origins of the universe.  That falls under cosmogony.
  3. Evolution is not a random, chance process.
  4. Evolution is not concerned with the purpose of life.  That falls under teleology.

The plan to have a TV show called “Battle of the Worldviews” is poorly thought out simply because Evolution can hardly be called a worldview and Creationism can hardly be called science.  It is not a fair battle of ideas.

The factual information on Niagara Falls was okay.  The rest, not so much.

<< Previous: Ep. 49 | List of Reviews | Next: Ep. 51 >>

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Posted on Sunday, April 10th, 2011, in Creation vs Evolution, Jonathan Park, Jonathan Park Reviews, Vision Forum and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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