Review: Jonathan Park – Ep. 63 The Mysterious Host, Part 1

For more Jonathan Park reviews, click here.

Plot Summary:

The Creation Response Team members finds themselves tracking through the eerie Père-Lachaise Graveyard in France, as they continue to search for the Polar Star Treasure. Back in Boston, Benjamin Park leads the Junior Response Team to the top of the Old South Meeting House during a horrible storm that transports them back to a clue from the 1800s. This clue begins to unveil the identity of the unknown host of the hunt. And, crack reporter Trenton Wells and puzzle expert Mitch Hubbard, both of the London Harbinger Newspaper, join the competition to find the treasure! (Taken from here.)

Topics in this episode:

  • Georges Cuvier
  • Flood Geology
  • Lamarck
  • Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire
  • Living Fossils
  • Proverbs 22:6
  • The Rise of Evolutionism

There is NO Study Guide available for Volume 6 (Episodes 61-72).

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.

Review

Topics in this episode:

Georges Cuvier

Georges Cuvier

The Story: It is a dark and stormy night when Dr Park and Mr Brenan, and their children, Jonathan and Jessie roam around a Parisian cemetery looking for their next clue in their scavenger hunt.  Their search leads to them to the grave of Georges Cuvier and they start digging!

While digging and grunting with the effort,  Dr Park  tells Jonathan and Jessie all about Georges Cuvier.  Georges Cuvier was a man who had a big impact on science was greatly influenced by the work of Carl Linnaeus.  He grew up during the French Revolution and lived through three different regimes: the Revolutionary government, the Napoleonic power and the French monarchy.  Many attribute Cuvier as the founder of paleontology, the study of fossils.  (This bit of explanation is purely for the listeners’ sake as Dr Park is a paleontologist and Jonathan is aware of his father’s work.) Cuvier also advanced the field of Comparative Anatomy, ie, he compared the body parts and abilities of living animals and fossils.   He was also the first to make a solid case that animals go extinct. He made all kinds of fossil discoveries and wrote many research papers and books as well as teaching Natural Science.

Cuvier expanded on Linnaeus’ system of classification by adding a broader category to this system known as Phylum. He applied this to fossils as well.

(5:43-8:03)

The Facts: The information appears to be correct.

More information about Georges Cuvier can be found here.  Readers are strongly encouraged to read up on him to learn more about his other ‘interesting’ ideas.

[Click here to return to Topics.]

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Flood Geology

The Story: The Creation Response Team open up the box uncovered from Cuvier’s grave (or near it) and find another clue.  Dr Park groans, ‘And the hunt continues.’  After Jessie reads out the clue, he demands, ‘Does anyone know what it’s referring to?’

Jessie asks very cautiously, ‘Was Cuvier a Creationist?’  Dr Park hems a bit and says that Cuvier had some interesting ideas:

During Cuvier’s time, many believed in the Biblical account that the world was created about 6000 years ago and that geology told the story of Noah’s Flood. As Cuvier investigated more and more fossils, he became convinced that they were deposited in geological layers over a very long time. He believed that there were multiple catastrophes.  Each flood would wipe out huge populations of animals and the remaining animals would repopulate the earth.

Jim interjects with a loaded question: ‘How would you counter his theory?’

Dr Park sagaciously refers them to the Bible.  The Bible’s chronologies make it very clear that the earth is only thousands of  years old (not millions) and it only talks of ONE flood, not multiple floods.  He then recites Genesis 7:19-22.  Dr Park believes that Cuvier was forced to believe the earth was old based on his understanding of geological layers.  However, modern Creation Geologists have shown in hundreds of ways a worldwide flood could deposit all those layers in a very short time.

(8:58-11:24)

The Facts: Dr Park does not name any Creation Geologists.  Also, since there is no Study Guide for this volume, the listener is left in the dark  as to who these geologists and what their theories are.

The Flood is so central to YECism that they have a field devoted to studying it: Flood Geology. While it is possible that a worldwide flood could cause a lot of damage in a short time, there is no evidence for a worldwide flood.  Furthermore, flood geology contradicts the scientific consensus in geology, physics, chemistry, molecular genetics, evolutionary biology, archaeology, and paleontology; the scientific community considers the subject to be pseudoscience – just like Creation Science.

The most well-known Creation Geologist (well, within the YEC community, anyway) would be John Woodmorappe, who wrote a book exploring the feasibility of looking after all the animals aboard the Ark.

Here are some websites/articles that address the issue of Noah’s Flood:

[Click here to return to Topics.]

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Lamarck

The Story: Lamarck was a colleague of Cuvier’s at the National Museum of Natural History in Paris, who believed in evolutionary ideas.  He believed that changes in an animal’s environment would cause an animal’s body part to grow or shrink depending on its needs. As an animal’s body part changes, these changes would then be passed on the subsequent generations.

Nowadays we know that this theory is incorrect.  Acquired characteristics do not get passed on, but back then Lamarck did not know about the genetic code.

(13:22-14:18)

The Facts: This information is correct.

More about Lamarck and Lamarckism.

[Click here to return to Topics.]

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Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire

The Story: Geoffroy was another of Cuvier’s colleague.  He believed that common traits in animals meant that they had evolved from the same animal.

Cuvier reasoned that changes in any animal would render it unable to live in its specific environment. He pointed to common designs as evidence that the animals were created to live in the same environment. This was in direct opposition to Geoffroy’s idea that common traits meant evolution from a common ancestor.

(14:18-14:53)

The Facts: The earth has many different ‘environments’.

Some questions for the YECist:

(1) When did these environments appear, according to YECists?  Did they exist from the beginning, or did they come about after the Flood?

(2) Were these various plants and animals created like that from the Beginning?  Or, did they adapt after migrating?  I’m guessing some of them must have adapted, since animals were all together at first in the Garden of Eden and I doubt there were that many different ecosystems in the one garden.

So, these animals and plants must have gone through some extremely rapid adaptation and speciation to get to the level of variety that we have today!

[Click here to return to Topics.]

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Living Fossils

The Story: In 1798, Napoleon invaded Egypt and returned to France with mummified specimens.  When Cuvier examined these mummified cats, which were thousands of years old, he discovered that they were the same as the cats we have today – no evolution had taken place! For these and many reasons, Cuvier opposed the theory of evolution.

Living fossils are fossils – supposedly millions of year old (this phrase MUST be spoken with a sarcastic tone for full effect) – and yet, animals alive today are basically the same. Millions of living fossils have been discovered and each shows that evolution isn’t happening – just like Cuvier thought.

(14:54-15:55)

The Facts: Thousands-of-years old mummified cats which are basically the same as living cats today is proof that evolution hasn’t taken place??

More about living fossils.

[Click here to return to Topics.]

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Proverbs 22:6

Cupola of the Institute of France

Cupola of the Institute of France

The Story: Dr Park and Jonathan wait in the museum to take a closer look at the Ruspoli Sapphire(part of the Scavenger Hunt clue).  Jonathan takes this opportunity to thank his father for teaching him a biblical worldview.  Dr Park says that it is an honour to do so and that his father did the same with him.  Unfortunately, there was a time when he rejected his father’s faith, but thank God for Proverbs 22:6 which says, ‘Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.’  So now he has a duty to pass it on to his children.

Immediately following this dialogue, father and son hide under a blanket, shine a candle on the Ruspoli Sapphire (nearly knocking over a display case in the process), see that an ‘X’ is reflected upon a tile on the floor, remove the tile with a pocketknife to reveal the next clue of the scavenger hunt.  During all this, they are in communication with their Creation Response Team member Jim Brenan who has joined a museum tour group and is giving them up-to-the-minute updates on the whereabouts of the tour group (and thus, informing them how quickly they need to work) via communicator watches.

(18:04-20:20)

Later on, based on the clue obtained from a compartment under the tile, the Creation Response Team go to the Institute of France and take the stairs to the cupola.  Jonathan stands on his father’s shoulders, reaches into a crack in the pinnacle of the cupola and extracts the next clue.

(18:04-20:20)

This whole story is about a big scavenger hunt which sees the Creation Response Team dig up clues from areas that should be off-limits.

My Gut Reaction: Oh, the irony!!

[Click here to return to Topics.]

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The Rise of Evolutionism

The Story: In the early 1800s, the French Revolution had just happened and a new era was under way. While most people had believed in God’s Word as the final authority, they were starting to think that man’s logic was the ultimate source of truth.

The question that is still being debated is: do animals display similar traits because there’s been a constant chain of evolution from animal to animal or, were animals well-designed with traits to survive in their specific environment?

Many began to say that society was not based on absolutes like those given in God’s Word but rather was a gradual process of evolution. They pointed out that there were no longer hard rules; that they were flexible like the soft body of the mollusc.  The ideas that Erasmus and others have put forward were starting to make their tragic mark on mankind. Evolution was beginning to produce its evil fruits.

Jessie cries, “That’s SO sad!”

The Facts: Actually, there is almost no debate about whether or not evolution has happened or not.

There is evidence for common descent.

Evidence for Macroevolution.

[Click here to return to Topics.]

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Conclusion

Listeners learn that two newspaper reporters (with very bad English accents) got to the clue in the cupola first. So the adventure continues.

At the end of the show, someone comes on to invite listeners to become members of a real life Creation Response Team by going to their website. In addition to getting access to scientific information, members will also be given ‘essential tools to help you reach others around the world with the Good News of the Creator’.  It is unfortunate these tools are only available to members.  Furthermore, listeners who go to the website might be in for a disappointment.  The Good News of Jesus – indeed, the name Jesus – does not appear at all on the website.

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Posted on Sunday, February 12th, 2012, in Bible, Creation vs Evolution, Evolution, Jonathan Park, Jonathan Park Reviews, Vision Forum, Young Earth Creationism and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. ‘communicator watches’? Why not just have them texting? 🙂

    Like

  2. Texting would be too boring and wouldn’t work for an AUDIO show! 😉

    I tell you, those communicator watches have been known to come on (go off?) at very inopportune moments!

    Like

  3. Where are they going to get a bunch of people with English accents? They’re in San Diego!

    Like

  4. The Jonathan Park audio series is not recorded in San Diego. But I will take note that it is not easy to find two people in San Diego who can speak with an English accent (who are also willing to lend their voices to produce this program).

    Like

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