Review: Jonathan Park Ep. 67 – The Search for the Beagle, Part 1

For more Jonathan Park reviews, click here.

Plot Summary

One of the most famous voyages of all time was Charles Darwin’s expedition to the Galapagos on the HMS Beagle. There was one more voyage, followed by a coast guard assignment, before the notorious vessel disappeared from history. That’s bad news for the Creation Response Team, who just discovered that the next clue in the Polar Star Scavenger Hunt is buried in its hull! They must beat Trenton and Mitch in a race to rediscover the Beagle! (taken from here.)

Topics:

  • Fear of Mainstream Science
  • Charles Darwin
  • Variation and Adaptation

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:

Fear of Mainstream Science

The Story: The listener is taken back in time to the original creator of the scavenger hunt.  We find out that the father is saddened by his son’s apostasy.  His wife suggests putting their son on a scavenger hunt (it’s a family tradition). Her husband agrees that if the stakes are high enough and the hunt elaborate enough, it may pique his interest. The father says, “Perhaps this will help Marshall see the truth behind these faulty arguments presented in the name of science that have stolen him away from his faith.” (3:00-3:55)

The father’s prayer is that each clue of the scavenger hunt will lead his son on the journey taken by science to ‘this horrible chapter in which they deny the Creator’. (8:15-9:45)

Reponse: Loaded language.

[Click here to return to list of Topics.]

Charles Darwin

The Story: The scavenger hunt clue takes the CRT to the place where Charles Darwin went to school.  While there, Dr Park removes a plaque (using a monkey wrench/adjustable spanner, judging by the sound effects) to retrieve the next clue.

The adult characters talk to the children about Charles Darwin’s life and include information about the things that influenced him including his grandfather, Erasmus Darwin’s, writings.

Angela explains, ‘So, Darwin had several conflicting factors influencing his life – both Christians and those who taught evolutionary ideas.’

Dr Park says, ‘How we live our lives will influence our children and our grandchildren,’ just as he pries off the plaque revealing the next clue.

(5:36-7:28)

Response: Judging by the timing of Dr Park’s words, I’m guessing this means that the Park and Brenan children will learn that trespassing is okay!

More about Charles Darwin here.

The history of Charles Darwin presented in the show all appear to be correct, so I won’t go into them.

[Click here to return to list of Topics.]

Variation and Adaptation

The Story: The HMS Beagle, on its second great voyage was to survey the South American continent. The captain, Robert FitRroy, wanted to make scientific discoveries that would glorify the Creator and harmonise with the account of Creation in Genesis. Charles Darwin was recommended by one of his mentors, Rev. John Henslow, to be a companion to Captain FitzRoy.

Darwin read Lyell’s book on unformitarianism and became convinced that Lyell was right concerning geologic gradualism.  Darwin wondered whether he could apply Lyell’s ideas to what he was seeing amongst the animals.

He was beginning to form the idea that animals could change into other animals. This idea is in complete opposition to what the Bible makes very clear in Genesis 1:25. These days we understand that God designed animals with enough genetic information to allow for variation within their own kind. But evolution is completely different from that. Modern evolutionists must claim that it is by mistakes in an animal’s genetic information that they can evolve, but that has never been observed. So, it turns out that Darwin’s ideas on transmutation were wrong.

(10:28-12:16)

Response: Variation IS a form of evolution.

‘Evolutionists’ do NOT say that evolution is caused by mistakes.

There IS evidence for macroevolution.

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

The Story: While in the Galapagos Islands, Darwin saw many varieties of many animals.  He observed an important concept in science – that different environmental changes cause an animal to adapt in different ways. However, he was wrong when he said that these animals were evolving. Instead they were just expressing the variety that God had already built into their genetic information.

Natural selection really does happen. However, unlike evolution, variations go back and forth, they don’t continue in an upward evolutionary chain – the animal kinds remain the same. (14:02-15:38)

The Facts: Adaptation is part of evolution.

Natural selection is part of evolution.

Evolution does not require that changes be in an ‘upward’ chain.  (What does that even mean?)

[Click here to return to list of Topics.]

…And the rest…

The Story: From 18:27-20:53, the characters talk about how Charles Darwin was influenced by Thomas Malthus‘ work and how Malthus’ theory on the struggle for survival became a part of Darwin’s theory for evolution.

Jessie says, ‘And think about Christians who want to believe that God used evolution to create.  They’re saying that death and the pain of the survival of the fittest is what God used to create this very good Earth. Instead, death, pain and suffering are the result of the Fall of Man.’

Charles Darwin was also greatly influenced by his grandfather, Erasmus.  Dr Park says, ‘In fact, we still have Charles’ copies of his grandfather’s books, The Botanical Garden (sic) and Zoonomia.’ [Erasmus Darwin’s book is entitled The Botanic Garden.]

Jonathan says, ‘That’s why it’s so important we follow the truth,’cause what we believe will influence future generations.’

Response: This is an Appeal to Consequences.

Conclusion

There was quite a bit of information on the HMS Beagle.  I did not check every detail to ascertain whether the information is correct, but a very quick skim over the wikipedia article seems to suggest that the facts are correct.

This show was somewhat unrealistic in that the adults seem to be able to quote long passages from Darwin’s work from memory. (Dr Park is remarkable!)

Once again, the purpose was to indoctrinate listeners on the influences that shaped Darwin’s life, with the implicit warning that one must not be influenced by any thinking that goes against a plain reading of the Bible.

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Posted on Sunday, March 11th, 2012, in Jonathan Park, Jonathan Park Reviews, Vision Forum and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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