Archive for August, 2009

Pterosaurs everywhere you look

Friday, August 28th, 2009

We have been following the saga of Garth Guessman’s adventures in Papua New Guinea tracking down the very elusive Ropen, which is, of course, a pterosaur.  So I am always interested to come across other accounts of large flying beasts able to carry away a man or even larger prey.  In the process of reading through “The Island of California: A History of the Myth” by Dora Beale Polk (more on that in a later post) we find that Columbus and other explorers made mention of large flying beasts they called griffins, that terrified the natives due to their reported ability to carry away items as large as horses.  Polk quotes various sources of the legend in Chapter 10:

“Griffins were related to the fabulous birds of Arabia, as in Sindbad the Sailor.  Prestor John’s “Letter” tells of “birds called griffins who can easily carry away an ox or a horse into their nest to feed their young.”  He himself claims to have been carried across the uncrossable Sandy Sea by them, just as Alexander had been carried to the enchanted castle.  Griffins are found in Polo’s and Mandeville’s accounts on neighboring islands to the Amazons, and are described on neighboring pages.  But stories of griffins were also coming back from the New World.  According to Ferdinand Columbus’s account of the fourth voyage of Columbus, there were people living in trees between Varagua and Puerto Bello.  They did so “out of fear of the griffins that are in that country.”  During Cortes’ campaign in Mexico, claims were made of griffins in high sierras four or five leagues from the village of Tehuacan.  The population of the neighboring valley was said to flee in terror of being eaten by these creatures.”

Polk’s liberal worldview prevents her from looking at the eyewitness accounts of the natives as anything but myth and superstition, since pterosaurs are “known” to be extinct millions of years ago.  She writes griffins off as a much smaller creature incapable of carrying away anything larger than a Big Mac:

“The great condors must have flourished in substantial numbers in the Andes and mountains of central America when the explorers first came to the New World.  They were understandably identified as griffins.”

These pathetically stupid natives were living in trees because of bird that weighed thirty pounds and had a ten foot wingspan.  Our denigration of the griffin to just a condor insults these native people.  We regard them as knuckle dragging Neanderthals, barely having evolved out of the trees, and now fleeing back to them in fear of a bird.  From this racist view of aboriginal people came the justification for the English scientists of the 1800s to encourage Australian settlers to shoot aboriginals and send the bones back to England for scientific study.  They were regarded as less evolved creatures, lower on the development scale than the more advanced races of Europe.

Evidence for a young earth is all around us, but we have been trained to dismiss it as myth and fable.

The Ink Is Still Wet

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

I got quite a surprise reading about the squid ink found in a fossil in Wiltshire, England.  Not so much surprised that ink was found in a fossil, but more that the scientists knew about the site, and that it had been known about since the 1840s as a site that had yielded “thousands of fossils with soft parts preserved”:

“Dr Wilby said: “We were trying to find the site of a dig which took place in the 1840s, where we knew fossils were found with their soft parts preserved. We had the name of the village and knew it was next to the Victorian Great Western Railway.”

It is shocking that knowledge of the site had been kept quiet for so long.  But then, after all, why would scientists want to make public a source of evidence that so mocks the idea of billions of years?  Mary Schweitzer’s discovery of soft tissue in the center of a large dinosaur bone pales in comparison to thousands of fossils where the ink is still ink, and the tissues are so fresh that:

“I can dissect them as if they are living animals. You can even tell whether it was a fast or slow swimmer, by looking at all the muscle fibres.”

Dr. Wilby was amazed that such a site existed, given that the ink was preserved for 150,000,000 imaginary years:

“The odds of this find are easily a billion to one and probably much greater.”

Apparently the odds would be far greater than that, for in a comment to a blog in 2007 the Wilshire Geology Group reports that:

“The teuthids occur in the Athleta Zone of the Peterborough Member and were first discovered in the
famous ‘borrow-pits’ exposures by the railway at Christian Malford, then subsequently at Trowbridge and elsewhere.”

Trowbridge and elsewhere?!!!   So there are at least two more of these sites whose odds of existing are a billion to one.  One wonders how many others there are.

Hello world!

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

Do you have faith to believe the Bible?  We have faith to believe the message at the end of the New Testament, that Jesus is coming soon, but somehow, the further back in Biblical history we go, the harder it is to believe what is written.  Do you believe in the miracles of Jesus?  Water into wine, raising of the dead?  How about the Old Testament prophets: floating axe heads, fire from heaven consuming an offering?  Is it getting harder?  The Sun standing still?  Can that really be?  How about the first five books of the Bible:  the ten plagues that befell Egypt?  Did those really happen, or were they just natural phenomenon?  And now for the real test:  Did God REALLY create the heavens and the earth in only six days?

By this point we have lost virtually every professor at even Christian colleges.   We have lost most pastors.  Fortunately, we have lost only half of Christians.  However, Christians are bombarded constantly with propaganda designed to erode their faith in what the Bible says.  I will hopefully be able to help you understand that the Bible is trustworthy, that it is reasonable to believe.

Ultimately, faith comes as a gift from God, not from what you read here.  But, as Paul admonished the Thessalonians (1 Thessalonians 4:13, 18):

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, … therefore comfort one another with these words.”