The Flood of Genesis

On January 30, 2015, in fiery flying serpent, Old Testament, philosophy, by Jonathan Whitcomb

I’ve noticed that few of my posts on this blog have related directly to the Bible, at least with Biblical quotations included (except regarding the “fiery flying serpent”). This may have been a major weakness in my writings, in particular for readers who had no previous experience with the writings and lectures of my associates, who sometimes make up for what I have lacked. I’ll take a step to correct that now, since the name of this blog is, after all, The Bible and Modern Pterosaurs.

I have never doubted the Biblical account of the Garden of Eden and the fall of mankind into the mortal condition in which we now live. I have also never doubted the reality of the Flood of Genesis, and that deserves attention here. Yet we need to take all of this in context: The Savior Jesus Christ accomplished the great atonement to save us from all the negative aspects of the Fall, a subject deserving a library of books. With that in mind, let’s now look at the Flood of Noah.

Genesis 7: 1-3 (King James Version)

And the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.

Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female.

Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth.

Genesis account pictured with the Ark of NoahOld depiction of the animals and birds leaving the Ark, but where are the dinosaurs?

Genesis actually gives us few details about the Ark and how eight humans and many creatures were saved by living on it for many months, at least few details compared with all that must have taken place. Let’s use a bit of human reasoning here, even though our limited abilities make the best of our reasoning inferior to what we can learn from the words of scripture.

Apparently even back in the time of Noah animals were divided into “clean” and “unclean,” meaning some were approved for human consumption and others were not. In the number of creatures to be taken into the Ark, a balance was necessary: predatory animals must be greatly outnumbered by the prey animals on which they would feed after the Flood was abated.

Regardless of what kind of animals Noah’s family ate (if any) before the Flood, and regardless of what they would eat afterwards, prey animals needed to be much more numerous than lions, eagles, and snakes, for example. Otherwise animals like deer, rabbits, and rats might become extinct, an event not completely tragic to all humans.

Details absent in Genesis

Did every variety of every type of creature enter the Ark of Noah? Why should they? Take the obvious example first: Would Noah have taken every breed of dog into the Ark, if all the present-day varieties existed in his day? No. Only a few genetically-healthy dogs would be needed, for they would have all the traits that could later become active in our modern breeds, even though the countless traits would not be outwardly visible in those original ancestors.

What about dinosaurs and pterosaurs? From eyewitness accounts over the centuries, at least some varieties of dinosaurs and pterosaurs must have been preserved on the Ark. For example, one of my associates, Brian Irwin of Australia, spoke with natives in the New Britain area of Papua New Guinea, and they described an encounter with an apparent Therizinosaurus. That is not to say that all types of dinosaurs were preserved from extinction in the Flood of Genesis, but not all of them became extinct.

Many eyewitness reports that I have received, over the past eleven years, suggest a narrow range of characteristics are common in modern pterosaurs. Many sighting reports include descriptions that include two or more of the following:

  • Lack of feathers
  • Long tail
  • Flange (“diamond”) at tail end
  • pointed horn-like head crest

The combination of a head crest and a Rhamphorhynchoid tail is uncommon in pterosaur fossils (but not totally absent from all types); yet that combination is common in eyewitness reports in the past 100 years. For some reason, long-tailed ropens (like Rhamphorhynchoids but sometimes much larger than fossils) may account for more than 60% of all modern pterosaurs, perhaps much more.

Do any of the recently-seen types closely relate to the “fiery flying serpents” of the Old Testament? Who knows? Yet with all of the wonderful possibilities, how much we need to learn by future discoveries, and how dearly we need the help of biologists in the search for these wonderful flying creatures!

Are these dragons flying away from the Ark of Noah?

Are these dragons flying away from the Ark of Noah? Apparently so.

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What was the Fiery Flying Serpent?

Another problem with the snake interpretation strikes me to the heart. What is the usual symbolism here? Who does the snake usually represent in the Old and New Testament? Satan, of course. Does it seem likely that a true serpent would be used to symbolize Jesus Christ? If the “fiery flying serpent” were a snake, Moses would have killed one of them and dragged the dead snake on the ground, to symbolize God’s victory over Satan. He would not have given the Israelites the symbol for Satan, to look up to a common snake for healing or salvation.

Let us be Fair to the Young-Earth Creationist

For years I have worked with Young Earth Creationists in bringing to light evidence for modern living pterosaurs. For years critics have dismissed the possibility of live pterosaurs because the idea is promoted by YEC’s who believe in the Bible. This unfair approach, commonly accompanied by bulverism, now deserves attention.

Honestly, I Told the Truth

For eleven years, I (Jonathan Whitcomb) have been a cryptozoologist, with a special interest in eyewitness accounts of flying creatures that look like pterosaurs, commonly called pterodactyls. I have given my opinions honestly about various levels of credibility in the individual reports that I have received from eyewitnesses . . .

The Ropen and the Fiery Flying Serpent

Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaurs are well known from fossils: long-tailed . . . If the fossils were really all we had to go by, members of the Rhamphorhynchoidea suborder would be consistantly small; but modern versions of those long-tailed pterosaurs can be almost any size, and that means a few are huge: bigger than fossils yet discovered.

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Ropen – Is it a Myth or Fantasy?

On August 22, 2014, in Sighting in Papua New Guinea, by Jonathan Whitcomb

Why do critics of these investigations proclaim so ardently the religious beliefs of cryptozoologists who interview eyewitnesses of apparent pterosaurs? The latest skeptic to join in criticizing online reports of ropens and other non-bat featherless flying creatures—that appears to be a biology professor in Minnesota, although I will not mention his name here. His blog post he titled “There are no living pterosaurs, and ‘ropen’ is a stupid fantasy.”

That professor made many mistakes in his post, including the end of his first paragraph: “There’s just one fanatic.” He was referring to me, Jonathan David Whitcomb. Nothing is said about the following brave cryptozoologists who have explored remote jungles in Papua New Guinea, putting their health in jeopardy, perhaps even risking their lives:

  • Garth Guessman
  • David Woetzel
  • Paul Nation
  • Jacob Kepas

Other names could be mentioned, but the above explorers have searched for living pterosaurs in Papua New Guinea during the past ten years, and each of them is a dedicated believer in the Bible and in literal understanding of important passages in Genesis. I too believe that Adam and Eve were the first humans on this planet, with no non-human parents before them (meaning NO ape-like ancestors of humans), and I too believe in a literal worldwide flood. In addition, we all believe that the ropen is a Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaur, NOT a myth or fantasy. Ropens are for real.

So why was I singled out by that biology professor in Minnesota? Three of my associates (Guessman, Nation, and Kepas) have explored in Papua New Guinea more than I have. I will not go into details about my gospel faith here, but one religious principle of which I am often aware is this: “Where much is given, much is required.” I have been given a great deal, including the time, health, and opportunities to write blog posts (and traditional web pages), books, and one scientific paper in a peer-reviewed journal of science. Because of those generous gifts from God, I have been able to write well over a thousand blog posts, in the past eleven years, about many aspects of modern pterosaur investigations. The quantity of my online writings can catch the attention of a critic.

I feel it’s time to quote what I’ve already written in my nonfiction books:

Last paragraph of the introduction in Searching for Ropens and Finding God

Believe what you will about modern dragons, about living pterosaurs, about giant glowing ropens. But the power of the testimonies of the eyewitnesses I’ve encountered, over the past ten years, including many credible natives I met on Umboi Island, makes that flying creature as real to me, almost, as if I had stared a ropen in the face. How can I deny the credibility of the eyewitnesses I have interviewed? With no other reasonable explanation, I now believe in modern dragons, in living pterosaurs, in giant glowing ropens.

Title Page of Live Pterosaurs in America (third edition)

Since the two ropen expeditions of 2004, in Papua New Guinea, more Americans have learned of the living-pterosaur investigations and the many resulting eyewitness interviews. Many web pages have sprung up, many of them by explorers themselves. But despite other web pages, by scornful critics who never went anywhere and never interviewed anyone, those two expeditions, and those that preceded and followed them, are causing an awakening, opening human minds in the birth of a new perspective: Universal pterosaur extinction has been an assumption; some pterosaur species are still living.

From the preface of Live Pterosaurs in Australia and in Papua New Guinea

I believe in living pterosaurs and hope they will soon be officially discovered. More important, I believe in you, that you can soar above dogmatic assumptions about extinctions. I hope that you already understand that we are more than a by-product of culture: Our existence transcends the boundaries of the human cultural assumptions that have shaped our beliefs.

Now is the time for us to listen carefully, to think clearly, and to act accordingly rather than simply react when a cultural belief is contradicted: now, not after the official scientific discovery of modern living pterosaurs.

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The following Americans have searched for ropens or eyewitnesses in PNG: Whitcomb, Woetzel, Nation, Guessman, and Blume

Some of the Americans who have helped in the ropen searching and investigations in Papua New Guinea, since 2003 – Thank you to them and to their families and friends who supported them

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Pterosaurs, “No Evidence,” and Poop in the Freezer

One critic, a biology professor in Minnesota, insists there is “no evidence,” in my writings, for any living pterosaur. What does he mean? . . . If I were to respond, in one posting, to all his negative comments about my writings, my religion, and my personal motivations, it would be a long posting indeed.

“Don’t Get Strung Along by the Ropen Myth” – a Reply

Notice the Smithsonian blog post by Brian Switek, dated August 16, 2010: not one reference to an eyewitness sighting report. Switek says “such anecdotes,” without mentioning what he is talking about. He says much about the religious beliefs of Blume and Woetzel, as if that counts against their ideas, but why does he say nothing about what caused those expeditions: eyewitness reports?

Ropen – Is it a Pterosaur?

How often we’ve been taught that all dinosaurs  and pterosaurs became extinct millions of years  ago, as if that were proven! But what if some are  still living? Before you dismiss the concept of a  modern pterosaur (in particular, of a long-tailed  featherless Rhamphorhynchoid), consider the many  eyewitness testimonies of those flying creatures.

Pterosaur Experts

. . . Guessman recognized that this relates to the stiffening extension rods of Rhamphorhynchoid vertebrae: all but a few vertebrae are locked into stiffness; the few that are flexible are near where the pterosaur’s tail connects to the body.

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How much religion and science are found in the nonfiction Searching for Ropens and Finding God? It depends on what you’re looking for. If it’s quantities of Biblical quotes or complex scientific concepts that prove the Bible is true, this nonfiction would compete poorly with at least two books available on Amazon. But for true-life adventures of Christian explorers who live their faith by getting actively involved, Searching for Ropens and Finding God may be a step above any other book in the religion/science-and-religion genre.

Noah’s Flood

If you look for references to the Flood of Genesis, notice fourteen pages listed in the index. Yet no detailed analysis of geologic strata will you find in this book. The Biblical account is taken as a foundation:

The model of Noah’s Flood suggests that some of them survived into the time of Noah’s descendants, and whatever conditions threatened some species, within several thousand years, some dinosaurs and pterosaurs should have survived. [page 16]

Fiery Flying Serpents in the Old Testament

Look up “fiery flying serpent” in the index and notice four pages on that Biblical animal. Yet no detailed analysis of Hebrew word-meanings will you find. The modern-winged-creature interpretation is explained in simple English:

My associates and I believe that the fiery flying serpent of the Old Testament was a “basal” pterosaur, perhaps related to the long-tailed ropen of Papua New Guinea. We believe they called it “fiery” because of its glow, which we attribute to bioluminescence. “Flying” is literal, with wings. [page 44]

Evolution

Why not look up “evolution” in the index? Seventeen entries you’ll find, but without any obscure scientific words or baffling concepts, mostly just the basics:

Is this a tool for promoting Biblical Creation and ridiculing evolution? Clear thinking we need, without fear, allowing us to discover both truth and error in whatever camp we find ourselves, entrenched or visiting, at the moment. I suggest we beware of simplistic labels. That said, expect explanations for why my associates and I have rejected extreme naturalism philosophy and Darwin’s unlimited common ancestry philosophy, what some call the General Theory of Evolution. [third paragraph of the Introduction, on page 7]

In my childhood, nobody insisted to me that small simple life must have changed into large complex life long ago. I had read of ideas contrary to the General Theory of Evolution by my mid-teens, after our family had moved to Pasadena, California. But I was brought up to believe or disbelieve what I chose. My own feelings, perspective, and belief in God raised my doubts about Darwin. [page 13]

nonfiction cryptozoology science/religion - "Searching for Ropens and Finding God" - older 3rd edition

(3rd edition shown above) Searching for Ropens and Finding God – Buy ropen book on Amazon

Science, Mathematics, and Common Ancestry (Unlimited Evolution)

Not all references to scientific investigation are that simple, yet basic explanations of results—that is what you’ll find in this book:

Late in 2002, I began working on what I called an “Evolutionary Boundary.” I wanted to force one step in the evolution of a new biological structure. That would demonstrate how unlikely it would be for all life on this planet to have arisen through evolving from simple organisms in countless steps. It surprised me when my mathematical models failed to produce such a step, even after half a year of work. It proved to me that Darwin’s ideas about the origin of life were even more unrealistic than I had thought.

Conclusions

For those who are offended at ideas contradicting popular standard models in Western science, avoid this book if you don’t want to be offended. For those who want only details that support all Young Earth Creationism ideas, you can be inspired by the faith promoting expeditions of Young Earth Creationists, although only a limited number of the 353 pages directly support a very young earth, and none of them support a young universe.

For those who simply want to know what can fly over our heads at night—you should find this book inspiring, entertaining, and instructive.

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front cover of the fourth edition of this nonfiction bookThe most recent edition, number four: Searching for Ropens and Finding God by Whitcomb

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The Fiery Flying Serpent

If the Israelites had been attacked by an animal well known to us, with a clear label, we would feel no need for oblique interpretations. And if we were always humble enough to admit that our modern science might not include knowledge of every dangerous animal encountered by ancient Israelites, we would feel no need for continuous obliqueness.

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“Pterosaurs Alive in, Like, the Modern Day”

I’ve written elsewhere about this paleontologist, about his extensive criticism of the concept of modern living pterosaurs (“Pterosaurs alive in, like, the modern day”). His lengthy writings, on that one page, about questionable reports—they ring like strawman arguments to me, for the credible accounts are entirely neglected by Darren Naish.

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Recent Pterosaur Sightings

The wingspan was around 30 feet, according to the sailor. The ship was doing target practice at an island in the Pacific. It looked like their ship was found by a Japanese plane, but the men came to realize that it was a flying creature, after it flapped its wings.

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Pterosaur Sightings and Religion

On February 1, 2013, in philosophy, by Jonathan Whitcomb

On occasion I receive a dismissive remark from a skeptic of our research of pterosaur sightings, something like, “How can a living pterosaur prove that the earth is 6,000 years old?” I do not speak for my associates but for my own position regarding the relationship between modern pterosaurs and the Bible, and my position strongly supports a few points of Young Earth Creation but not all points. I suggest looking a little deeper, especially deeper than dismissive critics have done.

Evolutionary Boundary

At the turn of this century, I spent about half a year testing Darwin’s General Theory of Evolution through mathematical simulations. My intention was not to manufacture a direct refutation of the “molecules-to-man” kind of evolution but to force one small step of such an evolutionary process, so that it might be shown the plausibility of many steps (a microbe evolving into a human would indeed require many steps). I was surprised at the result: Even in the ideal mathematical environment, with an initial population of ten to the twenty-nine power, Darwin’s Common Ancestry idea is impossible: Natural Selection itself prevents that kind of evolution from even beginning to get a foothold.

Pterosaur Sighting Investigation Begins

About three years after beginning my mathematical experiment, I started to investigate reports of dinosaur and pterosaur sightings. Paul Nation (of Granbury, Texas) got me focused, in 2003, on eyewitness reports of possible pterosaurs in Papua New Guinea, and I have passionately pursued reports of those featherless flying creatures until the present.

Evolution and Pterosaurs

During the past eight years, I have written three nonfiction books about sightings of modern pterosaurs, with generally only limited references to the General Theory of Evolution (GTE). In particular, Live Pterosaurs in America (in three editions) and Live Pterosaurs in Australia and in Papua New Guinea make almost no mention of evolution or religion, pterosaur sightings themselves taking up much of the content. So how does GTE relate to the concept of extant pterosaurs? It’s a bit complicated, but we can look into one aspect, to some extent.

Without evidence for ancient life forms different from present life forms, what do we have? Without fossils of dinosaurs and pterosaurs, Darwin probably would never have thought about the possibility of universal common ancestry. Without any evidence for old-life different from present-day life, how easy it would be to connect Darwin’s ideas with fairy tales! In other words, if each basic type of organism is descended only from basically similar ancestors, Darwin’s concept of common ancestry is an obvious fiction, hardly different from any other fairy tale.

Living Fossils

I know that critics sometimes bring up the Coelacanth, a “living fossil,” as one of the exceptions. They assume that the modern existence of that “ancient” fish offered no evidence at all against the General Theory of Evolution and that the discovery of a living pterosaur would also have no influence against it. But how many exceptions can we discover before the truth becomes obvious? After the discovery of many extant dinosaur and pterosaur species (or discoveries that they have lived within the past few thousand years), it would be obvious that they are not exceptions: Organisms living within the past few thousands years are basically in the same forms as those we know from fossils. In other words, there would be no need to imagine small simple organisms evolving into large complex ones.

I don’t refer to the purpose of those atheists who feel a need for an origin-explanation devoid of God; I refer to objective scientific investigation. But in the real world of human thought, most adults are attracted to some kind of origin philosophy, regardless of whether that frame of mind links to labels like “science” or “religion,” “evolution” or “God.”

To be truly objective regarding a discovery of an animal previously thought extinct for millions of years—that means admitting there is one less animal that existed only in the distant past. The Coelacanth alone is one living evidence against the General Theory or Evolution, regardless of how many scientists have ignored that fact and have clung to Darwin’s origin philosophy.

So is the Universe 6,000 Years old?

I believe in miracles recorded in the Bible. I know that God can do things that are beyond our present comprehension. But why believe that the creation mentioned early in the book of Genesis refers to the creation of galaxies that were beyond the vision and comprehension of those who have, for many centuries, read those verses of scripture (before telescopes)? How much more reasonable for God to inspire Moses to write a brief summary of those creative events related to this earth! And why would God create the universe in six 24-hour periods of time, when his work with human societies has taken, sometimes, centuries?

Regardless of the age of the earth as a globe of matter, life on this planet, especially those more intelligent forms like humans, need not have ancestors that lived millions of years ago on this earth. Adam and Eve were actual persons who lived thousands of years ago, regardless of the assumptions of those who assume that the account in Genesis could not have happened. But that’s a deep subject, far beyond the significance of sightings of living pterosaurs.

Bible, opened to page with picture

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Pterosaur Sightings in the United States

With clear sky and a still-full moon, the landscape was brightly lit [sighting in Ohio]. A creature swooped down—an obvious “pterodactyl”—gliding gracefully over the hood of her car. She watched it fly into some dense underbrush of trees.

Scientific Evidence for Living Pterosaurs

. . . no hoaxes played any significant role in the sighting reports. Any major hoax involvement would have caused at least one obvious peak in wingspan estimates.

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Let us be Fair to the Young Earth Creationist

On November 29, 2011, in philosophy, by Jonathan Whitcomb

For years I have worked with Young Earth Creationists in bringing to light evidence for modern living pterosaurs. For years critics have dismissed the possibility of live pterosaurs because the idea is promoted by YEC’s who believe in the Bible. This unfair approach, commonly accompanied by bulverism, now deserves attention.

Cryptozoology Book

Although the third edition (like the previous two) of Live Pterosaurs in America is not a YEC book but a cryptozoology book, it extols the accomplishments of Bible-believing Christian explorers who searched jungles in Papua New Guinea and interviewed many native eyewitnesses of flying creatures whose descriptions make them obvious candidates for living pterosaurs.

Page 111:

That multi-critic reasoning seems to have created circularity with the reputation my associates and I have in some online forums. A vicious web site includes these key words: “Creationist Claims, Fabrications, Falsehoods, Idiocy . . . Stupid Lies, hoax. . . .” The body of the web page refers to our “delusional eyes.” I find that combination of insults interesting, for one definition of “delusion” is “a false belief or opinion,” and telling a lie means communicating something contrary to what the deceiver believes: an unlikely combination.

Page 113:

We creationist living-pterosaur investigators, although mostly belonging to different churches, agree that the hand of an intelligent Creator can be recognized in the life of this world and in the life of God’s word in scripture.

Page 114:

Expeditions to find living pterosaurs have been creationist expeditions, with few exceptions. A creationist believes that God created the universe, including this world of life. (I believe earth-age is secondary, at most, notwithstanding what is written under “Ropen” on Wikipedia) Most of us who have explored tropical rain forests in Papua New Guinea, searching for pterosaur-like animals, have done so with hope that humans will find God, even if we fail to find overwhelming proof of living pterosaurs.

Page 115:

Our greatest opposition has come from outspoken critics who have been offended by our creationism. But why should those with different religious beliefs deride our efforts? Without cryptid-hunting creationists, little progress would have been made: no investigations in the southwest Pacific or in North America. Nothing would have happened; nobody else cared.

Not all Christian creationists have identical beliefs. I am one of a minority who believes in both a young life on earth (regardless of earth age) and an old universe. A common ground for Christian creationists, however, is the Biblical account of Noah: a world-wide flood. This I too believe.

Special Thanks

I now give credit to several YEC Christians who have helped me over the past nine years, helping make possible my successes in the investigation of eyewitness accounts of modern living pterosaurs. Special thanks I give to Carl Baugh, Paul Nation, Garth Guessman, David Woetzel, Peter Beach, Phillip O’Donnell. These brave men have given their names to the world, in spite of ridicule, and have searched for living pterosaurs.

I have also received special encouragement and consultation from Scott Norman, James Greene, and others who have made a positive difference in bringing the truth to light.

Young Earth Creationism Writings

I now direct attention to some writings of YEC Christians (while ignoring “Yukon Energy Corporation,” “Youth Employment Commission,” “Young Entrepreneur Club,” and “Yoga Event Calendar”). I do not necessarily agree with everything said in the following, but I feel that at least much of it deserves consideration and appreciation.

Utah’s Testimony to Catastrophe

In July 2006 I had the privilege of visiting Utah and wandering through some of the amazing geological formations there. The dry conditions and immense heat (regularly high temperatures of 100°F—about 38°C) make it harsh by European standards. . . .

. . . The apparent evidence of vast deposition followed by vast erosion speaks of catastrophic floodwaters. The ground rises dramatically on the west of the state toward south-central Utah to “younger” (in evolutionary explanations) Cenozoic formations in the regions of Cedar City and Cedar Breaks National Monument and Bryce and Zion National Parks. . . .

All over Utah there is evidence of Indian culture in the past: petroglyphs (drawings) inscribed on the rocks. Such rock art found all over Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Arizona, and other western states is not fully understood. . . .

. . . We hiked down to the bottom of the valley to see it close up, and sure enough, there were a number of fading-but-still-visible petroglyphs including one of a sauropod dinosaur. The dinosaur image was in the same style as all the other petroglyphs on the rock near Kachina bridge.

Creation of a Bacterial Cell Controlled by a Chemically Synthesized Genome

I think the media is more about sensationalized entertainment than informative reporting, but you would expect them to at least accurately report the facts somewhere in their reporting. I shouldn’t be surprise at the exaggerated claims from the popular press, except over time we have become desensitized to this misreporting and we are being collectively brainwashed to believe the popular press rather than reality.

This is why I laugh at anti-dam idiots!

Read more here: Can salmon evolve to survive among fish-killing dams? | OregonLive.com

No, I do not believe in evolution! I do believe that God gave animals the ability to adapt to survive in many environments!

Louisiana Education Legislation

In 2008 Louisiana passed the “Louisiana Science Education Act,” marking the only legislative success that creationists have had in recent times. . . . to “help students understand, analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories pertinent to the course being taught.”

Building the Right Foundation in Asia

“We really need to reeducate ourselves because we have always been indoctrinated with Darwin’s evolution and millions of years theories and it’s not going to be easy; we have always assumed that Discovery Channel and National Geographic is right!”  Hope you can assist to fill this vacuum.

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From the Introduction in the nonfiction cryptozoology book Live Pterosaurs in America (third edition; author: Jonathan David Whitcomb), we read:

During those years of expeditions in the southwest Pacific, reports in our own country became impossible to ignore; I received many emails from eyewitnesses across the United States, and the reports kept coming in. Pterosaur-like creatures are not all confined to the tropics. As we began to listen to those Americans, we noticed report-similarities: long tails (often) and apparent bioluminescence (sometimes). We began to believe.

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Modern-Pterosaur Critics

On October 8, 2010, in philosophy, Sighting in Papua New Guinea, by Jonathan Whitcomb

Before quoting critics of modern-pterosaur investigations, I would like to characterize some of those criticisms, acknowledging that this is just my own general characterization, and that it does not apply to all critics. (Below, I’ve taken liberties with an old scriptural text.)

Say the critics: “A modern pterosaur!? A living pterosaur!? We’ve got extinction; we’ve got fossils, and there cannot be any more pterosaur.” But those who believe in the Bible say, “How foolish! They shall have their fossils, and many fossils came from discoverers, old encounters that scientists had with fossils. Are critics thankful to those who make discoveries? What do the critics mean? Do they remember the work of old scientists, and their diligence in bringing those fossils to us?”

“Oh critics, have you remembered the old scientists, Newton and Galileo? No. You have condemned the religious beliefs they had and hated their Bible. But those who believe in the Bible have not forgotten the old scientists.”

“How foolish to say, ‘we have got fossils, and we need no live pterosaurs.’ Have you obtained pterosaur fossils except from those who make observations? Don’t you know that paleontologists are not the only ones who make observations?

Indeed, eyewitnesses of apparent living pterosaurs deserve our attention. Along with that, sightings of such flying creatures are not trumped by dogmatic assertions of professors, for no human has witnessed any extinction of any species of pterosaur, let alone all species.

The paleontologist Darren Naish has said, “Fossil evidence demonstrates overwhelmingly that pterosaurs did not survive beyond the end of the Cretaceous.” He fails to realize that no group of fossils can overwhelmingly demonstrate the extinction of any species in any time frame, let alone all species of a general type. That is not what fossils can prove, even if paleontologists were able to recover all fossils that were ever formed. But we have only a small sampling of fossils, and they represent only a tiny fraction of the organisms that have lived on this earth. All the fossils in all the museums and universities in the world cannot prove even the extinction of one species, even if the dating methods were always objective, (they are not).

Naish has also said, “sightings of pterosaur-like animals that have been reported appear to be a combination of hoaxes and misidentification of large birds and bats.” But why does he seem to always avoid those critical sighting reports that clearly demonstrate the existence of modern living pterosaurs, the sightings by Brian Hennessy and Duane Hodgkinson, for example? Why does he say nothing about the two expedition of 2004 (to Umboi Island, Papua New Guinea), the Whitcomb expedition and the Woetzel expedition? They involved many professionally conducted interviews with many eyewitnesses.

Does Naish expect everybody to believe that the flying creature seen by Hodgkinson was a fruit bat (mainland of New Guinea, 1944)? The American World War II veteran estimated the tail to be “at least” ten to fifteen feet long. Does Naish believe that it was actually a flying fox bat with a tail one inch long?

A red flag jumps up at me when I see generalizations that involve a number of explanations. Naish mentions three explanations ( hoax, bird-misidentification, bat-misidentification), but gives not even one detail about even one published sighting report. If there were any real problem with any sighting report that I have published in a book (two books I have written: Searching for Ropens; Live Pterosaurs in America), why has Naish failed to mention even one of those reports?

If I may modify Isaiah 8:20:

To the law of fair reasoning and to the testimony of eyewitnesses of living pterosaurs: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

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