Joanne Shetler was a translator with Wycliffe, working among the Balangao people in the Philippines. In her book, And the Word Came with Power, she records how excited her main informant became to find a genealogy in the Gospels, going all the way back to the beginning of the world. To them it was a powerful argument for the truth of the Bible; their own creation myths did not list the names of the ancestors. I am also involved in Bible translation, in Tanna, Vanuatu. I have found that in this animistic culture it is essential to reiterate again and again that the Bible is historical fact, that Christ is a historical figure with a history. The genealogies of Genesis, Matthew and Luke really bring that home.
Visiting Sheffield, Tasmania, famous for its murals, with my husband, one in particular attracted us. It said:
‘When the ground is covered with snow I do build a big fire, open my door, seat myself very quietly in front of the blazing logs, and presently they come in one by one, the wild animals, without their usual fear of man or one another, and share with me in stillness the grateful warmth. By Gustav Weindorfer, 1918.’
It is amazing that animals would come into a man-made environment and dwell with each other and man in absolute harmony. Although this is phenomenal, the miracle that occurred on Noah’s Ark is even more so:
Pairs of clean and unclean animals, of birds and of all creatures that move along the ground, male and female, came to Noah and entered the ark, as God had commanded Noah. Genesis 7:8-9.
It is also a reminder of God’s care of his creatures (Luke 12:6-7).
I’ve been interested in dinosaurs for about 20 years and thoroughly enjoy every article that Creation puts out on them. I was surprised to learn of the Ica Stones in your article on pterosaurs and American Indians (24(2):28-32). While I believe that man and dinosaur definitely once co-existed, the photograph that went with the article appears to suggest that the stones are fake. I notice they show an outdated version of a sauropod with a vertical neck and drooping tail (something the animal could never have had—it would have fallen over). The T. rex and Stegosaurus also appear to have the same drooping tail problem. Thanks for a great read though!
New South Wales, Australia.
I don’t understand how the reader (24(2):4) who disliked the Rape and Evolution article (23(4):50-53) could have formed that impression. As a long-standing reader, it was one of my all-time favourites.
I believe the interviewer was being like a Greek unto a Greek and was properly using his intellect to counter the vein of argument. The interviewee was obviously impressed with the dialogue and I am sure that he walked away considering the powerful dialogue and case for the faith more than he would have otherwise.
I gave a church member some creation videos and that magazine issue. After reading and viewing everything, his first comment to me was, ‘That interview regarding rape was incredible.’
I really appreciated the article by Jonathan Sarfati regarding the arguments that creationists should not use any more when presenting evidence for Creation (24(2):20-24). It is high time we realised the difference between scientific creation evidence and theories (which may very possibly need to be modified or discarded) and the truth revealed in Scripture. When we give creation science the authority that belongs only to Scripture, we have fallen into the same danger as compromisers such as so-called ‘progressive creationists’. When we are too reluctant to let go of out-of-date arguments, we are going wrong in four ways. First, we betray a wrong understanding of the relationship between science and the Bible. Second, we are in danger of putting useless apologetics tools into the hands of the layman seeking to witness to his neighbour. Third, we are not presenting the truth, but are speaking the dubious, or possibly the untrue. Finally, we are actually doing a great disservice to the Biblical creationist cause. Thank you very much, Dr Sarfati!
In Feedback (24(2):4) Prof. F.N. Lee stated that one of the famous Marine flagraisers of Iwo Jima was a Navajo. In fact, Ira Hayes, the one farthest on the left of the photo, was a proud Pima Indian from Arizona and a tough Marine combat veteran of earlier campaigns.
Stephen Larner also pointed out that the article on Thunderbirds (24(2):28-32) mistakenly said that the Hoh and Quileute Indians are from eastern Washington. Their tribal areas are in western Washington—Ed.
We hear over and over again how long Aboriginals have lived in Australia. Starting with one couple, and doubling the population every thousand years, after 30,000 years the population would be over eight billion and there would be millions upon millions of skeletal remains somewhere.
Conservation clashes continue
The environment article (24(1):10-17) continued to draw the most response, both pro and con. Although the article was intended to encourage a Biblical approach, allowing the actual data to influence our conclusions, some still assumed that we were blinded by one-world-government conspiracies or whatever. This time, several of the ‘anti’ letters were accompanied by reasonable arguments and data. Much of this was from the book, The Skeptical Environmentalist, by former Greenpeace activist Bjorn Lomborg. Though still an advocate of environmental care, Lomborg now opposes the ‘gloom and doom’ conclusions of his former colleagues. Relevant to our stance is this comment from a News Weekly (January 12, 2002) review of this book (emphasis added): ‘For the radical environmentalists, humans are simply an aberrant species. We are an evolutionary disaster and the world would be better off without us. For Lomborg, I suspect, humans are inescapably at the centre of the universe and human interaction with nature is not necessarily an evil thing. Indeed, it has the potential to produce much good.’
Former missionary Lester Hawkes commented on evolutionist Prof. White’s claim (in 24(1):8) that cannibalism was the result of stress or deprivation. In his work with cannibal tribes in Papua New Guinea, Lester said, human flesh was eaten for one of two reasons, neither of which was related to nutrition. One was to shift the balance of power—by eating a member of an enemy tribe, it transferred some of that enemy’s strength to your side. The other was out of ‘love and respect’. A mother and other family members would love a dead child too much to allow it to decay underground. The only way to preserve that child, to let it ‘live a full life’ with family and friends, was for them all to eat it. (Sounds to us like another good reason for missionary efforts to see lives transformed for Christ.)
Well-known creationist fossil worker Joe Taylor correctly suggested that the ‘mammoth with preserved stomach contents’ (24(2):22, based on 19(1):43) found in the US in unfrozen soil was in fact the mastodon that he had worked on. Though the point is unaffected, since there was likely no substantial difference in stomach physiology between these two types of elephants, we appreciate the correction, for accuracy’s sake. Joe certainly knows about this specimen: he says, ‘Its stomach contents were in a 55 gallon barrel next to my work tables.’
Jim Kettle noted that in our ‘floating whale’ article, it was clear that dead marine organisms quickly became covered with mussels and clams. If the ‘slow’ theory of fossil formation is right, he argued, where are the fossils of all those shellfish that should be found intimately associated with the fossilized bones of large marine creatures? Jeffrey Ross also noted, as a former aquarium owner, that a minority of fish do sink, but even these would be quickly scavenged. We should have said, more accurately, that dead creatures generally float.