Review: Jonathan Park: Ep. 73 – The Creature of Cape Cod, Part 1

For more Jonathan Park reviews, click here.

Plot Summary

The Creation Response Team is called upon to examine a plesiosaur that has washed ashore in Cape Cod. When they get there, they and another mysterious creature that seems to have the locals living in fear. The CRT decides to investigate, but what they discover about the creature leads them into a voyage beyond their wildest imagination! (Taken from 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.

Review

Topics

Census of Marine Life

The Story: Dr Victor and his son, Christian, visit the Creation Museum. Christian asks Henry Michaels if he has heard of the Census of Marine Life.  Christian explains that it is a survey of all the marine life in the earth’s oceans. He thinks that it would be a great idea if the Creation Museum would dedicate an area in the museum to these creatures to ‘give glory to the Creator’.

(2:37-3:56)

The Facts: 

Dr Victor and his son Christian are probably listeners of the Jonathan Park Audio Adventure series who have donated money to support Vision Forum Ministries and for the privilege to make a guest appearance on the show.  Their full names are never mentioned.

The Census of Marine Life is a real entity. You can read all about it on the website.  In short, the  Census of Marine Life was a 10-year international effort (2000-2010) undertaken to assess the diversity (how many different kinds), distribution (where they live), and abundance (how many) of marine life—a task never before attempted on this scale. The Census stimulated the discipline of marine science by tackling these issues globally, and engaging some 2,700 scientists from around the globe, who participated in 540 expeditions and countless hours of land-based research. The scientific results were reported on October 4, 2010 at the Royal Institution in London. (taken from the About page.)

Do check out the Gallery.  Absolutely stunning pictures!

God does not need for things to be displayed in a Creation Museum in order to receive proper glory.

[Click here to return to list of Topics.]

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Of Living Fossils and Evolution

The Story: The CRT received a phone call about a Plesiosaur carcass washed up on Scusset Beach in the Cape Cod area. A Plesiosaur is a huge ocean-dwelling reptile that we know about from the fossil record.  There is a bit of a geography lesson as one of the women (Martha?) explains where Scusset Beach is.

If it really is a Plesiosaur, it would have major implications.  According to evolutionary theory, they became extinct 65 million years ago. Although this discovery might shock evolutionists, they probably won’t dismiss it as proving evolution false; they’d probably just say that a group of Plesiosaurs managed to survive all this time. Evolutionists do this all the time with animals that were thought to be extinct are found to be still alive today. The classic case of these ‘living fossils’ is the Coelocanth.

The coelacanth is a fish evolutionists thought died out 350mya, but was rediscovered in 1938 and several times afterwards. It becomes a problem for evolutionists when we compare the modern animals with their fossils and find there has been little change over supposed millions of years. (That last bit has to be said in a mocking voice for full impact.)

Dr Park says, ‘Now if evolution is always working, how could an animal remain so completely unchanged for millions of years?’ The Creationist view is that it is because it isn’t millions of years.

(3:37-5:45)

The Facts:

More about the plesiosaur here. All plesiosaurs became extinct as a result of the K-T event at the end of the Cretaceous period, approximately 66 million years ago.

living fossil is a living species (or clade) of organism that appears to be similar to a species otherwise known only from fossils, typically with no close living relatives. Normally the similarity is only apparent, between two different species, one extinct, the other extant. It is an informal non-scientific term, mostly used in the media. (Taken from wikipedia.)

Traditionally, the coelacanth was considered a “living fossil” due to its apparent lack of significant evolution over the past millions of years; and the coelacanth was thought to have evolved into roughly its current form approximately 400 million years ago. However, several recent studies have shown that coelacanth body shapes are much more diverse than is generally said. In addition, it was shown recently that studies concluding that a slow rate of molecular evolution is linked to morphological conservatism in coelacanths are biased on the prior hypothesis that these species are living fossils. (Taken from wikipedia.)

Why Coelacanths Are Not Living Fossils

The term ‘evolutionist’ is not used within the scientific community, only among YECs.  The Creation Response Team need to get with the program if they want to be taken seriously.

[Click here to return to list of Topics.]

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Vocabulary Lesson: Cryptozoologist and Bioluminescence

The Story: A Dr Wyatt Penny steps up to the mike at a Town Meeting in Sandwich, MA,  where the residents have been talking about the strange creature that was sighted.  The creature reportedly gives out a green glow.

Dr Penny explains that he is a cryptozoologist – from Greek κρυπτόςkryptos, “hidden” + zoology; literally, “study of hidden animals”.  Although some animals have bioluminescence, the ability to produce their own light, there has never been one on this large a scale. Dr Penny suggests that it is probably alien from anything we know from modern biology and he intends to get to the bottom of things.

(6:37-7:18)

The Facts: Cryptozoology is widely regarded as a pseudoscience, in other words Dr Penny is a quack.

On a related note, young-Earth Creationism is also regarded as a pseudoscience.  In other words, Dr Park and the Creation Response Team are also….oh, never mind.

More about bioluminescence here.

[Click here to return to list of Topics.]

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Bible: The Duty of Fathers

The Story: The CRT visit Melissa and Kirk (Myles Morgan’s wife and son). Melissa laments that Myles has not been a good father.

Jim Brenan quotes Deuteronomy 32:7 and says that God commands fathers to raise their children and to teach them what He has revealed through His Word. Unfortunately, when fathers don’t, the Enemy uses the same tactic to disciple the children in the ways of the world.

Melissa goes on to say Kirk saw a change in her and wanted that; Kirk had made a public profession of faith and had been going to church, but has stopped and his behavior is getting worse.

(7:19-9:03)

The Facts:  Of course Melissa can’t be a good influence.  She’s only a woman! (Vision Forum Ministries teaches ‘Biblical Patriarchy‘.)

Way to go, Mr Brenan for quoting the responsibilities of fathers.  Although, if one reads the verse in context, it doesn’t quite fit what you are trying to argue.  But, it doesn’t really matter, does it?

[Click here to return to list of Topics.]

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Darwin and Huxley

The Story: Evolutionists need ‘millions of years’ for evolution to work.

Darwin himself said in his book Origin of Species:  In living bodies, variation will cause the slight alterations, generation will multiply them almost infinitely, and natural selection will pick out with unerring skill each improvement. Let this process go on for millions on millions of years; and during each year on millions of individuals of many kinds; and may we not believe that a living optical instrument might thus be formed as superior to one of glass.

Darwin believed that the eye could evolve – he didn’t know how – but he believed that given enough time, it could happen.

Thomas Huxley, a good friend of Darwin’s, once said, ‘Biology takes its time from geology.’ The supposed ancient ages of the rocks were needed by evolution and that’s what is taught today. Anything can happen if you have enough time.

However, time is actually the enemy to evolution, not its friend. It has been shown that there are mutations – mistakes in the genetic code – that are breaking down the blueprint for life. Overall, each generation is becoming worse off than the one before. But this fits with the account in Genesis, that things were created perfect then mankind rebelled and due to that sin, the Creator pronounced judgment upon all creation.

(9:03-11:15)

The Facts:  Darwin’s book can be found online. The relevant passage that Jim read out is here.  I think it is important to note that Jim left out some words at the end of that last sentence.

Let this process go on for millions on millions of years; and during each year on millions of individuals of many kinds; and may we not believe that a living optical instrument might thus be formed as superior to one of glass, as the works of the Creator are to those of man? [bolded words left out by Jim]

I am unable to verify that Thomas Huxley said those words that have been attributed to him.

The claim that most mutations are not beneficial and that each subsequent generation is worse than the one before is addressed here.

In summary:

  1. Most mutations are neutral.The harmful mutations do not survive long, and the beneficial mutations survive much longer, so when you consider only surviving mutations, most are beneficial.
  2. Beneficial mutations are commonly observed.
  3. Whether a mutation is beneficial or not depends on environment. A mutation that helps the organism in one circumstance could harm it in another. When the environment changes, variations that once were counteradaptive suddenly become favored.
  4. High mutation rates are advantageous in some environments.
  5. Note that the existence of any beneficial mutations is a falsification of the young-earth creationism model (Morris 1985, 13).

[Click here to return to list of Topics.]
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Plesiosaur vs Basking Shark

The Story: Kirk, Jonathan and Dr Park take a look at the creature that was washed up on Scusset Beach.  They observe that it has about seven vertebrae which rules out any possibility that it is a plesiosaur since the fewest vertebrae a plesiosaur is about 13 (they usually have more).  It is more likely that the creature is a basking shark.

In 1977, a Japanese fishing trawler caught a huge fish, which was claimed to be a modern-day plesiosaur at first but was later proven to be incorrect.

(13:00-14:41)

The Facts: Why/How in the world were Kirk, Jonathan and Dr Park allowed to have access to the beach to observe the carcass??  Wouldn’t that be a biohazard??

You can more about the Japanese fishing trawler and the find here.   It is true that Creationists did at first claim that the creature caught was a plesiosaur, but some later retracted.

Creationists Kent Hovind (1996) , Walter Brown (1996), Bernard Northrup (1997) Paul Smithson (1996), and Don Patton (1995) all encourage the plesiosaur interpretation. On his 1996 website, Brown matter-of-factly called the creature a plesiosaur, which he incorrectly called a sea-going “dinosaur.” He also noted that the carcass had vertebrae, asserting these are “something not present in many fish, including sharks.” (Of course fish, including sharks, do have vertebrae). To his credit, Walter Brown’s 2006 website retracts his endorsement of the plesiosaur ID. See Brown, 2006 in the references. Another 1996 creatioist article in the British publication Origins reviewed the case and concluded “the weight of the evidence points to the New Zealand carcass being a decomposed basking shark…” and “strongly recommended” that creationist refrain from suggestions that the carcass is that of a recently living plesiosaur.

Answers in Genesis discourages YECs from using this story as an argument for Creationism.

[Click here to return to list of Topics.]

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Creation vs Evolution

The Story: Men are just finite beings trying to understand God’s creation. That’s how science works.  As finite men, we have to modify our ideas as more information comes in.

Darwin believed that as an animal lived its life would acquire new traits during its lifetime and then pass on those traits to its offspring via pangenesis, ie traits from cells all over the animal’s body flowed into genetic material that would eventually be passed on to future generations. The idea of pangenesis has now been totally disproven as well as the idea that acquired traits can be passed on.

Creationists argue that Natural Selection does not work in the way required by evolution. And therefore evolutionary theory keeps evolving, which takes us back to our point. Man can do his best to understand how the world works, but in the end we have to acknowledge that his thinking is flawed. So, for both Creationists and Evolutionists, science is a constant process of changing our ideas as we learn more. BUT [you knew there was a ‘but’ coming, didn’t you? Didn’t you??], there is a big difference between the two.

[Uh-oh, brace yourself, here it comes!]

Evolution is based on the worldview that there is no god. As much as they update their theory, it will never arrive at the Truth because they deny the Creator. On the other hand, while Creationists continue to refine their understanding, they make sure that all their observations are in harmony with the truth and the revelation of God’s Word.

(14:42-16:25)

The Facts:

The idea that acquired traits can be passed on is known as Lamarckism. Both Lamarckism and pangenesis have now been disproven, as Dr Park says.

Evolution is NOT based on the idea that there is no god. This claim gets repeated over and over again in this series.  The response to this claim can be found here.

Creationists, on the other hand, are practising a form of bibliolatry.

[Click here to return to list of Topics.]

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Shadow Life

The Story: Darwin was the first to popularise the idea of the evolutionary tree – the idea that all living creatures came from a single ancestor.

In 2009, an astrobiologist by the name of Dr Paul Davies came up with the idea of Shadow Life forms. His idea is that there may be some life forms that don’t come from the original evolutionary tree ancestor. That’s why these life forms are called ‘aliens’.

The Creationist perspective on all this is that God created all the different life forms as per Genesis 1:25.

(18:00-19:42)

The Facts: 

You can more about Shadow Life here.

You can more about Paul Davies here.

[Click here to return to list of Topics.]

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Conclusion

There is a point in the program where Jonathan has a hear-to-heart talk with Kirk about how just as a lighthouse is needed to guide sailors in stormy seas, we need Jesus to guide us through the storms of life. It was a bit cheesy, but since this is a Christian program, and I have previously criticised the program for failing to give the gospel message, I will not say anything negative about this segment.

As for the other segments, I’ve said all I have to say.

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Posted on Friday, January 17th, 2014, in Creation Scientists, Creation vs Evolution, Evolution, Fundamentalism, History, Jonathan Park, Jonathan Park Reviews, Science, Vision Forum, Vision Forum Ministries, Young Earth Creationism and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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