Review: Jonathan Park: Ep. 82 – Preparing for Flight, Part 2

For more Jonathan Park reviews, click here.

Plot Summary:

Join the Creation Response Team as they train for one of the most exciting missions of all time: a trip into the great beyond! As part of their mission, they will be competing against another team to complete the first spacewalk. But, unbeknownst to the CRT, they are also being opposed by their greatest enemy. (Taken from here.)

There is NO Study Guide for Volume 7.  You’re on your own!

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:

Who Ya Gonna Trust?

The STORY: Jonathan still finds it difficult to reconcile the fact that starlight takes millions of years to reach Earth, and yet the Bible clearly speaks of a universe that is only a few thousand years old. He is frustrated that ‘we may never get an answer’.  Dr Park ‘encourages’ him by telling him about Abraham and how he trusted God and ends by asking, ‘Are you going to trust your own thoughts and intellect, or will you trust God?’ (2:08-3:45)

The FACTS: The Jonathan Park Audio Adventure series presents  false dilemmas  over and over. Either Creation is true, or Evolution is.  Either trust in sinful man’s fallible thinking, or trust in God’s perfect word. There are only two worldviews: Creation or Evolution. True Christians are Creationists who speak with soft, gentle, uplifting music in the background; everybody else speaks with evil voices and ominous background music.

Who gave man his intellect? Is it possible to both trust our own intellect and trust God?  Are the two mutually exclusive? Why is choosing a particular interpretation of the Bible, in this case a literal one, never considered to be trusting one’s own thoughts and intellect?

Consider what Dr Park is saying here. He is indirectly saying that one cannot learn new things since that would require trusting one’s intellect and not trusting God! What happens when humans discover things that are not mentioned in the Bible?

The Church once taught that heliocentrism was heresy (using sinful man’s intellect and not trusting God’s word, if you like), because the Bible clearly speaks of a stationary Earth and the sun moving. Later, it had to admit that heliocentrism is correct because the evidence was undeniable. So how did the Church make amends?

This is what one YEC commentor to my blog had to say:

On why YECs ended up rejecting geocentrism and accepting heliocentrism:

What happened is that YECs such as Copernicus and Galileo did real science and rejected the Greek “science” that much of the church had adopted and tried to justify biblically. Rather like YECs today do real science and reject the “science” of evolution that much of the church today has adopted and tries to justify biblically.

Only YECs do real science, apparently. Or, perhaps, non-YECs could be considered doing real science as long as their conclusions match up with YECs’ findings.

What is real science? Again, from the same commentor:

Regarding the foundation of scientific knowledge:

The foundation of scientific knowledge is that we were created by a rational Creator who created a rational universe and us as rational, intelligent, observers. Without that foundation, science couldn’t operate. And that, historically, IS one of the reasons that science got started.

I’m confused.  We are rational, intelligent observers?  Does that mean we can trust our intellect after all? Or, only when it matches up with what the Bible says?  And how do we determine what the Bible says?  Does it involve using our *gasp* intellect and reasoning?

My brain hurts, I’m so, so confused…. Mustn’t. Think. Or. Use. My. Intellect.

[Click here to return to List of Topics.]

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Matter and Antimatter

The STORY: A female reporter with a prepubescent voice asks Jim and Martha Brenan why they were casting doubt on the Big Bang Theory at the press conference the day before (Episode 81).  Jim explains that we know that energy can turn into matter; they are interchangeable. However, when it happens it always generates anti-matter as well.

The reporter doesn’t understand and says that it’s been a while since high school physics. (How old is she??)

Martha explains that antimatter has the opposite charge from matter. While a normal proton has a positive charge, an anti-proton has a negative charge. An electron has a negative charge, while an anti-electron, or a positron, has a positive charge.

Jim says that the Big Bang Theory suggests that all the energy in the universe was packed into a very tiny point. And then, for some unknown reason, that point expanded very rapidly, and eventually cooled and formed all the matter in the universe. As the energy was converted to matter – from our understanding, anyway –  it should have produced mass amounts of antimatter that we would find everywhere. However, our universe is full of matter, but there is hardly any antimatter. Where did it all go? Some Big Bang advocates have tried to theorise their way out of this problem.

Martha says, ‘But what we actually observe seems to stand in opposition to the Big Bang. But, it wouldn’t be a problem for the Creation Model.’

Game, set, match.

(3:45-5:20)

The FACTS: The female reporter sounds eerily like Jessie Brenan – same squealy voice. At first, I actually thought it was Jessie Brenan. Maybe it’s the same voice actress venturing out to play other characters.

I’m kind of glad it was Jim and Martha she was speaking with and not Dr Park and Angela.  I don’t think I would have been able to stomach Dr Park’s smugness nor Angela’s baby voice as well as the reporter’s squeal.  So, a very big thank you to the writers for sparing us that!

Matter and antimatter are not topics typically covered in a high school physics curriculum.  In fact, I believe it is covered at higher levels of university.  So, the lady reporter saying that it’s been a while since high school physics was a bit weird. Furthermore, whenever reporters are sent to do a story, they usually have some knowledge on the topic, whether it be politics, or weather, or in this case, science/religion.  This reporter doesn’t seem to have any knowledge. Again, weird and unrealistic.

The definitions given by Jim and Martha concerning matter and antimatter are correct.

Wikipedia on matter and antimatter.

Baryogenesis is one of the theories explaining the ‘imbalance’ between matter and anti-matter. The matter-antimatter asymmetry is also addressed in this article at TalkOrigins. The whole article – Evidence for the Big Bang –  is probably a worthwhile read.

Love Martha’s response at the end there!  Because it wouldn’t be a problem for the Creation Model, that must mean that the Creation Model is the right one!  WooHoo!

[Click here to return to List of Topics.]

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Captain DeMarcus’ Dream

The STORY: Captain DeMarcus hopes to start up a moon colony called Murray Embrium (sp?) Lunar Village in a few years. It will be a refuge where Christians can escape from the bounds of this sinful and wordly planet, a place where parents can shelter their children from the evils found here on earth. The Pilgrims were correct; their only mistake was being too lenient with newcomers that came to this New World. And now our society is paying for it – people who want nothing to do with God and worship themselves instead of the Creator.  Captain DeMarcus believes the LORD has chosen the CRT to be the pioneers of a new world (on the moon). The Creation Response Team is shocked and dumbfounded. Captain DeMarcus is shocked and dismayed at their less-than-enthuastic response.

(5:20-7:20)

MY Response: Part of me hopes that the CRT and their ilk really would go far, far away, but seeing that there are more volumes of the Jonathan Park Adventures, I guess it’s not gonna happen.  Then again, the moon colony is expected to be built in a few years’ time.  So, who knows?

I predict that the CRT will tell Captain DeMarcus that it is better to fight for the Creation Message here on Earth and refuse to go and form a settlement on the moon.  Maybe it will be a backhanded way to criticise Christians who try to live in isolated communities and, oh, I don’t know, be self-sufficient and home school their kids with YEC propaganda and what-not. One can hope.

[Click here to return to List of Topics.]

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Spiral Density Waves

The STORY: The galaxy has distinct arms made up of millions of stars. If the universe really were 13.2b years old (as many claim) those distinct arms should be blurred by now due to the fact that the centre of the galaxy is spinning faster than the outer arms. Some have calculated that the arms would be totally twisted up within a few hundred million years. (Even though that sounds like a long time, it is not for those who claim an age of 13.2b years.) However, the fact that the arms are not blurred and not twisted up is in harmony with biblical geneaology showing the age of the world at 6000 years.

So how do secular scientists solve this problem? There are bands of pressure which stretch out from the centre of the universe called Spiral Density Waves. They believe that these bands of waves form new stars. They would claim that while the arms do blur, stars are always forming new arms, something that has never been observed. There isn’t any proof whatsoever that there are spiral density waves. The whole theory relies on the idea that new stars can form spontaneously, and that’s not been proven either.

Jessie concludes, ‘The more scientific explanation is like we said: there hasn’t been enough time for the star arms in the universe to blur. Observable science is in harmony with the biblical age of the earth. ‘

(7:20-10:00)

The FACTS: 

The best estimate of the age of the universe, as of 22 March 2013, is 13.798 ± 0.037 billion years.  The estimated age of the oldest known star is about 13.2 billion years. I don’t know what the estimated age of the universe was when this episode was recorded in 2010.

Galaxies come in three main types: ellipticals, spirals, and irregulars. A slightly more extensive description of galaxy types based on their appearance is given by the Hubble sequence. Our own galaxy, the Milky Way, is a spiral-shape galaxy.

Spiral structure explained here.

Why are the YECs so insistent on proof and observable facts when the head honcho Dr Park said that one cannot trust what we see and observe but must trust God’s Word??

[Click here to return to List of Topics.]

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Drama Time! (And a Life Lesson Thrown in for Good Measure)

The STORY: The CRT do a weightlessness training exercise.  Somehow, the children Jonathan, Eddie and Mike are in the cockpit when the pilot, Mr Benton, passes out  and slumps in his seat. The door to the cockpit slams shut and the children are trapped. Jonathan has to land the plane! With the help from ground control and the gauges in front of him, Jonathan lands the plane safely. There is a bit of drama when Jonathan almost goes the wrong way because he was trusting his own observation.

He learns a very valuable lesson: even though all his senses are telling him one thing, he has to rely on the gauges and the instructions from ground control for the right action to take.

MY Response: UGH!

Firstly, Jonathan is NOT a trained pilot.  He has probably never even driven a car.  So, for him to assert that he could see the runway and where to go and not want to trust the gauges or the instructions from the ground control people is just stupid!

In the end, he decided to trust the people who had more knowledge and knew what they were doing.

[Click here to return to List of Topics.]

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Magnetic Fields of Planets

The STORY: The solar system is the result of the design of a Creator who created it. Some of the planets in our solar system have strong magnetic fields. And yet we know these fields are decaying. If these planets are really billions of years old, why do they still have such strong magnetic fields? Many have proposed that they have been recharged somehow. The motion of the planets is able to revitalise the magnetic field, but these are just theories made up to solve the problem. They are not based on any factual observation.

The Bible record says that the solar system is only thousands of years old. Physicist Dr Russell Humphries found the decay of these fields would match an age of approximately 6000 years. Dr Humphries  accurately predicted the strength of the magnetic fields of Uranus and Neptune before they were confirmed later by Voyager. The biblical model is consistent with the observable facts.

(17:52-20:09)

The FACTS: Why in the world are the YECs here so insistent on observable facts when the head honcho Dr Park said that one cannot trust what we see and observe but must trust God’s Word??

Dr Humphreys is a YEC who works for the Institute for Creation Research (the original creator of the Jonathan Park series before Vision Forum Ministries took over); you can read more about him and his theories here.

[Click here to return to List of Topics.]

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Dr Jason Lisle

The STORY: Jonathan recounts his experience of landing the plane. He recalls that there was a huge conflict between what he saw and what was true.  In the end, he had to reject what he saw and trust the gauges. Dr Park latches on to this and says that in the same way,  Jonathan has been struggling to settle the starlight issue with his own intelligence, but in the end God himself is our gauge. We MUST trust the Lord regardless of what we think.

Dr Park goes on to say that Jason Lisle, a PhD astrophysicist with Answers in Genesis, has claimed that he has an answer to the starlight problem. Dr Lisle has suggested one way that the light on Day 4 could travel from the stars to the earth instantaneously using known laws of physics.

(21:14-22:45)

The FACTS: The writers have once again violated the first rule of good story-telling: show, don’t tell. It would have been a dull, dull listener to not get the analogy between Jonathan’s plane-landing experience and learning to just trust the Bible instead of our own intellect.  The fact that Dr Park hammers in the lesson kills it.

Dr Jason Lisle is no longer with Answers in Genesis; he is now with the Institute for Creation Research.  (The information presented in the series was correct at the time.)

Dr Park gives no information about Dr Lisle’s thesis, but just the fact that a YEC has come up with a theory is enough to satisfy Jonathan. I guess it will also satisfy the less-than-inspired listener.

Here is Dr Lisle’s paper. (The address appears in the field, but the article doesn’t come up for me.) It appears on the Answers in Genesis website.  I doubt it has been properly peer-reviewed.

Here is a list of sites critiquing Dr Lisle’s paper (peer review, I guess you could call it):

Or, just type in ‘Jason Lisle starlight’ into your search engine.

[Click here to return to List of Topics.]

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Conclusion

I’ll just end by asking why the heck are the characters talking so much about proof and using known physical laws and observable facts when all these rely on human ability and skill and intellect and we are told that we cannot trust our own intellect but must trust God’s Word?

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Posted on Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013, in Answers in Genesis, Institute for Creation Research, Jonathan Park, Jonathan Park Reviews, Vision Forum, Young Earth Creationism. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. What I find the most ironic is that as you describe the airplane landing sequence it supports science much more than it supports faith. How do the gauges work? They take measurements of the physical world and reproduce those measurements in a way that is easy and useful for the pilot to read while flying. Gauges would not work if the physical world was not composed of measurable, repeatable actions. In other words, if God were actively interventionist and routinely affected the world in ways that caused our knowledge of physical laws and science to be unreliable, gauges would have no use because you could never know when God might perform an action that would interfere with their reliability. Essentially nothing mechanical could be relied upon, even for everyday tasks.

    Moreover, science is *not* about what your eyes can see, they can be very unreliable! Or they can be reliable for what they have evolved to do, but the information our eyes are able to receive and transmit to our brain is only a small subset of the total available information, much of which is relevant! Did science rely on eyes alone to develop and confirm germ theory? Determine and validate that matter is composed of atoms? Understand radiation and its effects? Religion seems to me to be much more about what eyes can see . . . reliance on anecdotal rather than measurable, repeatable evidence Someone claims to have *seen* or *experienced* a miracle, therefore God.

    That Jonathan was able to land the plane with the benefit of gauges rather than his intuition based on sight alone is the triumph of science, not its Achilles’ Heel.

    Just total, complete, utter facepalm.

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  2. There is one other follow-up I would make, and I have probably mentioned this before. I have a certain understanding of YEC’s/literalists . . . at least, a better understanding of them than I do of non-literalist Christians. I get the idea of a person saying that the Bible is literally true, has no conflicts, and is the source of truth in and about the world. It’s horribly, horribly wrong, but the person who says that has a framework for themselves that is internally consistent. Just really, really, demonstrably wrong, to the point where people who believe that should not be trusted with things that are important and can actually believe what I would consider to be some quite immoral things, but I get the “all in” approach. Those people have to grapple specifically with the words of the Bible, and while they can perform some amazing interpretive distortions, they can’t leave it. It is the framework.

    It’s actually the non-literalists who confuse me the most. Because once you take that jump to say that the Bible is not a document intended to be taken literally, once you start applying reason and logic . . . I mean, it just all unravels. If you’re going to take the extremely reasonable position that God did not flood the entire world, and Noah did not build a boat containing two of each animal, and the Universe is not 6,000 years old all because science, then did Jesus walk on water? Cause the weather to change? Raise people, *including himself*, from the dead? And if you apply the same standard, acknowledge that those things also didn’t happen because science, then is Jesus the Son of God? If he’s not, doesn’t that mean something?

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  3. To your first comment: Yes. You said it much better than I could have.

    To your second comment: That’s what the YECs say as well. It’s the slippery slope.

    I think among non-literalists, there are some things that are dogma and some that are not. The things mentioned in the Creeds (I suppose) would be the basic requirements. Everything else (six-day creation, worldwide flood, perhaps even some of Jesus’ miracles, etc) is non-mandatory.

    I have a YEC friend who said that he regards anyone who believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that he died and rose again a Christian. That’s it. Not all YECs think like that, though. Someone I know was REALLY bothered by the fact that I am not a YEC and he went so far as to tell me that it is a salvation issue after all (He previously said that it wasn’t). *shrug* Whatever.

    I guess this has to do with Biblical inerrancy/infallibility. Not all Christians regard the Bible as inerrant/infallible – it’s not mentioned in the Creed!

    That’s all I’ve got at the moment.

    Like

  1. Pingback: Review: Jonathan Park: Ep. 83 – The Pilgrimage of the Speedwell, Part 1 | A Yewnique Life

  2. Pingback: Review: Jonathan Park: Ep. 81 – Preparing for Flight, Part 1 | A Yewnique Life

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