Review: Jonathan Park: Ep. 85 – The Mysterious Artifact of Qumran, Part 1

For more Jonathan Park reviews, click here.

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.

Plot Summary:

The Copper Scroll appears to reference a second scroll that contains important clues about where vast treasures are hidden. While visiting the Dead Sea Caves, Jonathan discovers an inscription that may lead the Creation Response Team to that second scroll. Meanwhile, Jim finds himself at a loss while debating a member of the “Free Thinkers Society.” (Taken from here.)

There is NO Study Guide for Volume 8.  You’re on your own!

Review

Neanderthals

The STORY: Dr Park and Jonathan are at Qafzeh Cave, Israel, talking to a Christian tour group.

Dr Park wraps up the tour by saying that we know from a biblical worldview that God only made one type of human, and they were made in his image. So, there weren’t any ape-men or different kinds of human-like creatures. What we’ve found at Qafzeh Cave were fossils from more than 25 human skeletons. The skulls of these individuals have brain cases similar to modern humans, but the brow ridges and facial features are similar to those of a Neanderthal. Neanderthals aren’t really a different species, but are human fossils, with certain traits such as bigger brow ridges and specific facial features.

Paleontologists  also found tools here that are usually associated with Neanderthals and in the layers that evolutionists normally attribute t0 Neanderthals. But the animal fossils found here – deer, ox, gazelle, rhinoceros, and horse –  are better associated with the hunting practices of what they consider to be modern humans rather than what is normally found with Neanderthals. So evolutionists see it as a mixture of Neanderthal and modern humans.

Another site that is similar to Qafzeh Cave is Skhul Cave over at Mount Carmel.

Most evolutionists believe that Neanderthals are a different species than modern humans, that evolved from a common ape-like ancestor, so Qafzeh Cave presents a big challenge to them. Many believe it is more acceptable that these fossils should show that Neanderthals and modern man lived in the same time and place, even mixing together. However, they still hold that Neanderthals and humans were two separate species.

Creationists have a simple explanation. We have great evidence that Neanderthals and humans lived together and even had families together. That alone is really proof that they are one group – fully human. Do the bigger brow ridges and different facial features of the Neanderthals make them a different species? No. A better explanation would be that they are modern humans with slightly different variation, maybe from environmental conditions, traits that we can find in some people living today.

There is more evidence that Neanderthals were fully human. Neanderthals had burial rites, made tools and musical instrument and were artists as well. This is overwhelming evidence that Neanderthals were not another branch on the evolutionary tree, but rather, just a part of the human family. (2:40-6:20)

The FACTS: The fossils found at Skhul and Qafzeh are considered to be fully human by mainstream scientists. Once AGAIN, Dr Park uses the word evolutionists.

The Institute for Creation Research, in order to treat evolution as a category of religions, including atheismfascismhumanism and occultism, commonly uses the words evolutionism and evolutionist to describe the consensus of mainstream science and the scientists subscribing to it, thus implying through language that the issue is a matter of religious belief.[10] The basis of this argument is to establish that the creation-evolution controversy is essentially one of interpretation of evidence, without any overwhelming proof (beyond current scientific theories) on either side.

Neanderthals are an extinct species or subspecies of the genus Homo which is closely related to modern humans.

Research Raises Doubts About Whether Modern Humans and Neanderthals Interbred

More articles on Neanderthals here.

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Dead Sea Scrolls

The STORY: Jonathan and his father are at the site where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. Their guide, Akiva, tells them that portions of over 600 scrolls were found in eleven caves of fragments of every book of the Old Testament except Esther. Aside from some minor differences, including spelling and grammar, the scrolls say the same thing as our modern-day Bibles.

J: People always say that you can’t believe the Bible because it’s been changing ever since it was written, but the Dead Sea Scrolls seem to disprove that.

Some of the fragments were copied a hundred years before Christ and they remained unchanged ever since. And that’s powerful proof of the reliability of the Scriptures. The Dead Sea Scroll is one of the most important archaeological discoveries ever made.

(9:15-10:53)

The FACTS: More about the Dead Sea Scrolls here. From wikipedia (the parts I found particularly interesting):

There are 225 Biblical texts included in the Dead Sea Scroll documents, or around 22% of the total, with deutercanonical books the number increase to 235.[113][114] The Dead Sea Scrolls contain parts of all but one of the books of the Tanakh of the Hebrew Bible and the Old Testamentprotocanon. They also include four of the deuterocanonical books included in Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Bibles: Tobit, Ben Sirach, Baruch 6, and Psalm 151.[113] The Book of Esther has not yet been found and scholars believe Esther is missing because, as a Jew, her marriage to aPersian king may have been looked down upon by the inhabitants of Qumran,[115] or because the book has the Purim festival which is not included in the Qumran calendar. The majority of the texts found among the Dead Sea Scrolls are non-biblical in nature.

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YEC vs Free Thinkers Society

The STORY:

Jim Brenan has to debate the Free Thinkers Society because Dr Park is unable to make it back in time.  Dr Park assures Jim that he (Jim) knows about the case for Creation better than anyone.

Mr Edwin Maxwell of the Free Thinkers Society (EM): (with a sneering voice so there is no doubt in the listeners’ mind that he represents the Bad Side) Mr Brenan, what you fail to answer is what is the clear origin of your Bible?

Jim Brenan (JB): That’s because I was prepared to debate the origin of the species.

EM: Jim, the Bible is made up of fables and stories that existed long before.

JB: Why do you say that?

EM: Come on, Jim!  You never heard that the Bible’s Creation story’s a rip-off of the Babylonian Enuma Elish which was written hundreds of years before Genesis?

JB: No, I’ve never heard that before. [REALLY??]

EM: Also, we read about a great flood in the Mesopotamian epic of Gilgamesh, which also precedes Noah’s flood by hundreds of years.

JB: Perhaps that’s because these are all flood legends from the one true flood mentioned in Genesis.

EM: Jim, it’s the same for the Tower of Babel story which comes from earlier accounts and the Ten Commandments which find their origin in the Code of Hammurabi, a Babylonian set of laws that are five hundred years older. You see, Jim, your Bible is just a set of stories and accounts taken from older religions.

Unfortunately, time runs out before Jim can give any answers to Mr Maxwell’s challenges. No answers are given in this episode. Jim, the ‘expert on Creationism’, has some homework to do.  He appoints his daughter, Jessie as his research assistant.

(10:54-12:22)

The FACTS:  Everything that Mr Maxwell puts forth is correct.

More about Enuma Elish here.

It is true that there are many flood stories from around the world. To say that they are all from the one true flood mentioned in Genesis is, quite frankly, not very well thought out. The response to this claim is found here.

In particular: Flood myths are widespread, but they are not all the same myth. They differ in many important aspects, including

  • reasons for the flood. (Most do not give a reason.)
  • who survived. (Almost none have only a family of eight surviving.)
  • what they took with them. (Very few saved samples of all life.)
  • how they survived. (In about half the myths, people escaped to high ground; some flood myths have no survivors.)
  • what they did afterwards. (Few feature any kind of sacrifice after the flood.)

To read more of these flood myths, click here. (Happy Reading!!)

More about the Tower of Babel here. Other sources of the Babel account here. Comparable myths here.

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And all the rest

The episode also mentions the Elephantine Papyri which you can read more about here

A Dr Ian Dawson is introduced in this episode.  Apparently, he is an expert on the discoveries at Qumran and he hold the view that archaeology is in harmony with the Biblical account, ie, he is not an ‘evolutionist’.  I am unable to find any information about this man, so I believe he is a fictional character and not a real person.

Conclusion

This episode packed quite a lot of information in.   I only put in what I felt to be the most important parts.

<< Previous: Ep. 84 | List of Reviews | Next: Ep. 86 >>

Posted on Monday, April 22nd, 2013, in History, Jonathan Park, Jonathan Park Reviews, Science, Vision Forum, Young Earth Creationism and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. “Everything that Mr Maxwell puts forth is correct.”

    Yes but . . . but . . . he *sneered* when he said it! Therefore evil!

    “who survived.”

    I think a better question is why there would be any flood myths based on events contemporaneous to Noah’s flood . . . who would have been alive to pass any other myth down, orally or in written form?

    Also, did you know our sun is not a star? For real! Teh Bible says so!

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/04/18/i-dont-even-wanna/

    *sigh*

    Like

  2. My head hurts.

    Like

  3. “I think a better question is why there would be any flood myths based on events contemporaneous to Noah’s flood . . . who would have been alive to pass any other myth down, orally or in written form?”

    Silly – these stories were passed down from Noah and his sons and their descendants.

    It was all passed down orally at first and some of the details are bound to change due to language changes (Tower of Babel incident). However, the one in Genesis is the One True Account (TM).

    Like

  4. “Silly – these stories were passed down from Noah and his sons and their descendants.”

    There is not enough facepalm in the whole wide world to adequately capture the problems with that concept.

    Like

  1. Pingback: Review: Jonathan Park: Ep. 84 – The Pilgrimage of the Speedwell, Part 2 | A Yewnique Life

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