Review: Jonathan Park: Ep. 109 – Isle of No Return, Part I

I listened to this episode here.

For more Jonathan Park reviews, click here.

Background Information

The Jonathan Park CDs are produced by Creation Works. Through these CDs,  they 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.

Plot Summary:

The Creation Response Team accepts a challenge to a competition with the Explorer’s Society, which pits their creation worldview against this evolutionary team at an undisclosed location. But will the CRT’s snap decision lead them to victory, or defeat, as they fight to stay alive on Snake Island? (Taken from here.)

Review:

Overall, the story is somewhat engaging. I think it really depends on one’s tolerance for such stories AND one’s predisposition to like/dislike anything produced by a YEC organisation. Yes, I freely admit prejudice comes into play here.

Kendall Park, Jim Brenan, and Jonathan Park are on Ilha da Queimada Grande, a snake-infested island off the coast of Brazil. They are competing against a “Evolution” team. The team that makes its case — and survives — wins. How and why these people agree to go on such life-threatening adventures again and again — and bring children along — is a matter of suspending belief. The women and girls do not go along this time (phew!… I think).

As always, it is good to remember the basic premise of the creators/producers of this series. There are two — and only TWO — worldviews: Creation and Evolution.

Creation: The universe and everything in it was created by God over a six-day period about 6000 years ago. Genesis 1-11 is to be interpreted literally. Science must be done with the Bible in mind. We know scientific findings are correct when they agree with the Bible. If they do not agree with the Bible, it means we are not interpreting the evidence correctly. Creationists are godly and GOOD.

Evolution: A man-made theory about how life, the universe, and everything came about through random, chance processes over millions of years in an attempt to disprove God. Anything and everything that does not agree with a literal interpretation of Genesis 1-11 is lumped as “Evolution”. People who believe in evolution are called “Evolutionists” and are, at best, misguided, and at worst, EVIL.

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Adaptation vs Evolution

The STORY: Dr Park explains that they are in Ecuador to study the ancient tribes that used to live there, trying to recreate the migration of the people groups from the Tower of Babel. Evolutionists might say that the genetic variations found is proof of evolution.

Dr Park: This is similar to a small group of Italian wall lizards that were dropped off on the island of Pod Mrcaru in the South Adriatic Sea in 1971. Because this group was isolated from the rest of the lizards, they began to express their own unique characteristics…..In part, because of the food available on the island, they became vegetarians instead of feeding on insects. Their jaws became stronger for crunching on leaves and even the muscle in their gut got stronger and slowed digestion in order to better digest plants.

Jack Brinkman: Would they say that with the right conditions and enough time, these lizards could become completely different creatures?

Dr Park: If they are consistent, yes. They believe a nearly unlimited changes occurred through all history transforming a single cell into all life on earth. But Creationists would say that God chose to pack enough genetic material into every created kind to be able to adapt to new environments, like these lizards.

Jack Brinkman: So, the changes we actually observe is completely different from evolutionary theory.

Dr Park: Exactly! Think of it like the baking ingredients in someone’s cupboard. By mixing different combinations and amounts, a baker could make cakes, cookies, or pies. But there is a limit to what they can make, right? Ultimately, our conclusions must agree with the Scriptures. Reality will always fit what it says. Look at these lizards. Do the changes point more to Design, or Chance?

Jack Brinkman: It was the adaptations that allowed the lizards to survive. Definitely Design, not randomness.

(7:45-9:26)

The FACTS:  It is the same old, same old yet AGAIN!!

The bit about the Italian lizards on Pod Mrcaru in the South Adriatic Sea is correct. (Links to a National Geographic article. Not too lengthy and quite easy to read. Recommended.)

The shtick about God packing enough genetic material into every created kind to be able to adapt to new environments is an oft-repeated mantra by YECists and in this series. This idea is attributed to Henry Morris, one of the Founding Fathers of the Young-Earth Creationism movement. The problem is that YECs have not clearly defined what a created kind is. The response to the claim is here.

The implication that adaptation is completely different to evolution is another oft-repeated statement in this series. The creatures are still lizards, so they haven’t really evolved, so the argument goes. The fact is, adaptation IS a part of evolution. 

This bears repeating: Adaptation is part of Evolution. Anyone who says otherwise is being dishonest.

Dr Park’s statement about our conclusions needing to agree with Scriptures is straight out of the Tenets of Biblical CreationismThe creation record is factual, historical and perspicuous; thus all theories of origins or development which involve evolution in any form are false.

The Design vs Chance false dichotomy rears its ugly head yet again. So once again, Evolution is NOT a random, chance process.
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The Origin of Snakes

The STORY: 

One hypothesis of the origin of snakes is ‘The Burrowing Lizard Theory’. This idea says that snakes evolved from lizards that lived underground and over time, the lizard lost its legs and became a snake. Evolutionists use the fossil of the Najash rionegrina as their proof. It was a two-legged burrowing animal.

So evolutionists must believe that huge changes took place over a long period of time, such as the loss of ears and the development of covering over the eyes. Unlike lizards, snakes do not have eyelids or opening for ears. However, a snake is so much more than just a legless lizard.

Snakes have specially designed vertebra that allow them to slither. A lizard doesn’t have that same skeletal structure. A snakes paired organs, such as lungs and kidneys are placed one in front of the other, and not side by side like in a lizard. A snake’s jaws hinge differently from that of a lizard’s. A snake’s skull is reinforced to protect the brain than a lizard. A snake can still breathe while swallowing such large prey.

Conclusion: Snakes are snakes and lizards are lizards. One did not evolve from the other. The Burrowing Lizard Theory doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

(16:00-17:28)

The FACTS: 

Dr Park is correct when he says that one hypothesis for the origin of snakes is The Burrowing Lizard theory.

I tried looking for some dumbed down online articles that discusses the origin of snakes. Because, you know, sometimes wikipedia can be really MEGO-inducive (My Eyes Glaze Over).

http://news.discovery.com/animals/zoo-animals/snakes-lost-legs-evolution-110207.htm

The comments section below the article is interesting.

I don't know why I blacked out the commenter's picture and name. You can find out who he is by going to the article.

I don’t know why I blacked out the commenter’s picture and name. You can find out who he is by going to the article.

Now there’s a thought! Snakes came about from the Fall.

And, of course, it is very hard to beat David Attenborough:

Which brings up a question: What exactly is a “kind”? Although there is actually a field of study for this (!!) called baraminology, there isn’t yet a consensus what constitutes a “created kind”.

From Answers in Genesis:

Creation researchers have found that “kind” is often at the level of “family” in our modern classification scheme. For example, zebras, horses, and donkeys all belong to the family Equidae and can mate with each other to form hybrid animals such as mules (from a horse and donkey) and zonkeys (from a zebra and donkey). However, there is no reason to assume a one-to-one correspondence between our manmade system and the biblical terminology. So “kind” may be at a higher taxonomic level in some cases, lower in others.

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How Is Design to Kill “Very Good”?

The STORY:

Jonathan is puzzled why God would design something to kill if He made everything very good in the beginning.

Dr Park acknowledges that it is a problem and that Christians have come up with theories to explain this. It would appear from a literal reading of Genesis 1:3-31 (sic) that animals only ate plants, and none ate meat, or needed to defend against predators.

Dr Park’s own opinion is that God created everything very good from the start, but Man rebelled. As we can see in Genesis 3, all of Creation was cursed as a result. Romans 8:22 confirms this. Dr Park thinks that God packed all the original kinds of animals with the variety of genetic information including the defense mechanisms because he foreknew the Fall. We are learning that there are functions, like switches, that turn certain sections of the genetic code on and off in one generation. It could be that God created everything Very Good in the beginning and then after the Fall, these defense mechanisms were turned on. It is a possible theory that Creation Scientists are researching.

(22:40-24:17)

The FACTS:

Dr Park says Genesis 1:3-31, but then quotes Genesis 1:30-31. This is a minor quibble.

Frankly, I don’t understand the claim that God must have created the original kinds with all the genetic information needed for adaptation, speciation, and even defense mechanisms built in, but He couldn’t do the same with a single-celled organism. Oh, right. Bible.

How in the world are Creation Scientists going to research this area if the Bible is silent on the topic? How will they know if their conclusions are right?

As for the idea that all of Creation is cursed because of the Fall, Tyler Franke of God of Evolution wrote this: The Universe is Dying and It’s All Adam’s Fault

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

Other Comments:

The island that the guys are on is Ilha da Queimada Grande. According to the link: with the exception of some scientific outfits, the Brazilian Navy has expressly forbidden anyone from landing on the island. So, I can only conclude that the guys are there illegally. This is not the first time these people have done illegal things. Oh well, it’s just a show.

 

Conclusion:

The series continues to be a mix of somewhat entertaining, albeit over-the-top, drama with strange and dubious characters. There is a smattering of actual historical and scientific facts thrown in only to be clouded with YEC propaganda.

 

 

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Posted on Tuesday, September 29th, 2015, in Bible, Creation Scientists, Creation vs Evolution, Creation Works, Creation Works, Evolution, FAIL!, Faith and Culture, Fundamentalism, Institute for Creation Research, Jonathan Park, Jonathan Park Reviews, Misconceptions, Religion, Science, Vision Forum, Vision Forum Ministries, Young Earth Creationism. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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