Dr. James J. S. Johnson

The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. (ISAIAH 35:1)

In deserts the temps climb quite high,
With scarce rain, those lands get quite dry;
Such climes can be torrid,
For some that is horrid —
Yet yuccas can cope when it’s dry.

Yes, deserts are truly alive;
Harsh heat some critters survive;
Like cactus blooms brilliant,
And lizards resilient —
There sagebrush and rattlesnakes thrive.

COMMENTARY:  As Isaiah 35:1 indicates, the glory of the Lord is displayed even in desert places, where even cactus flowers blossom with bright colors and beauty, attracting pollinators, as their succulent tissues store water for desert birds such as Gila woodpeckers. God’s glory is displayed in the magnificent variety of creatures and habitats that He has decorated the earth with.   God designed Earth to be inhabited — to be “filled” with diverse creatures, artistically demonstrating His love of both life and variety.  It is the adventure and privilege of mankind, created in God’s own image – and redeemed by the blood of God incarnate — to learn of these treasures in God’s creation, and to appreciate God for showcasing His power and wisdom in such humbles creatures as such desert denizens, who daily brave the hot and arid extremes, living and in desert places.


Gila Woodpecker with nest-hole in Saguaro Cactus:  North Mountain Visitor Center (Phoenix, Arizona)

Gila Woodpecker sipping nectar form Saguaro Cactus Flower: Birding Information website ( )

Hailstones Bigger than Golf-balls!

Hailstones Bigger than Golf-balls!

Dr. James J. S. Johnson


 Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow?

Or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail?”   (JOB 38:22)

Yesterday, about 8 p.m. (local time), serious storm systems traveled across Denton County, Texas.  Rain, thunder, lightning, and hail — big hail!  As the photograph above shows, some of these large hailstones were larger than golf-balls, more like the size of small limes.  Many of the hailstones were the size of golf-balls, even shaped like them, round and bumpy.

And the largest hailstones were not round, they were more like egg-shaped, with rounded ridges that radiated from a central button.  Thankfully, it looks (so far) as if our house and cars were spared serious damage, with one car having a small (yet easily noticeable) “ding” from a hail-hit.   (After the next few rainstorms we will have a better idea how our roof fared.)  The news reported that a tornado was sighted by the Justin Fire Department — and the town of Justin is uncomfortably close to where we live.

So we are thankful that our damage (so far as we now know) was negligible.

Yet we are also thankful to have seen these frozen wonders — and I stored several in the freezer, to stay there until I think of something to do with them.  But meanwhile, it is worth reflecting on how the storm/updraft-facilitated formation of hail is itself a meteorological marvel.     What a strange and beautiful marvel — another display of God’s creative imagination and power over earthly elements (that He Himself created).

Fire, and hail; snow, and vapors; stormy wind fulfilling his word!  (PSALM 148:8)


Hailstone Size Estimate Chart:  NOAA / National Weather Service  (provided by Don Barber)

Photographs of hailstones from my home’s front yard:  Sherry Johnson


Bees Need to Know!

 Dr. James J. S. Johnson

And, behold, there was a swarm of bees [דְּבוֹרִ֛ים] and honey in the carcass of the lion. (Judges 14:8b)

The abilities of bees (a/k/a “bumblebees”  and “honeybees”) intrigue and amaze us, and they should astound us, because bees fly in ways that even the greatest aeronautical engineers cannot replicate, especially at the miniature scale that bees live and fly at.

Years ago, before the differences between fixed-wing flight and unfixed-wing flight were understood, it was light-heartedly said that bumblebee flight was physically “impossible” (because it mathematically defied the laws of physics that apply to fixed-wing flight motions by heavier-than-air objects).

Hence this limerick of mine, which I titled “HONEYBEES CAN’T FLY“:

Science teaches, ‘honeybees can’t fly’,

And yet they do; I can’t say why!

Using physics, and with math,

We can measure their flight path;

But Science says, those bees can’t fly!

Bees have fascinated me ever since I watched the Moody Institute of Science movie (presented in the mid- AD1970s by my youth pastor, Bob Webel), narrated by Moody Bible Institutes amazing Dr. Irwin Moon, called “City of the Bees”.(1)

Of course, real empirical science (exemplified by the Moody Institute of Science, and now by the Institute for Creation Research and others) focuses on real-world observations, in order to learn what is (or is not) true about nature (see DANIEL 1:8-16) — including how bees really live and behave.

Bees are amazingly active – and they display God’s power and genius in many detailed ways. But don’t think that bumblebees are limited to the six senses that humans use (seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and feeling physical contact) for observing the outside world. Humans need sensory information just to survive; so do beasts.

Bumblebees need to know what is happening around them and how to relate to it. Like us, bees need accurate data about the world around them—constantly provided by light sensors, chemoreceptors, temperature detectors, etc.—so they can react to threats and opportunities. Bees constantly interact with living and nonliving entities: terrestrial and airborne animals and plants, microbes and toxins, predators, parasites, and poisons. These encounters involve sensor and immune systems that blend as an integrated interface-management system for symbiotic activities that include preprogrammed responses that can be offensive, defensive, or mutualistic.(2)

Honeybee on honeycomb (credit: Richard Bartz )

For example, the eyesight of the humble bumblebee is amazing beyond human comprehension:

The brain of the bee is composed of a mere one million neurons (nerve cells), 0.01% of the neurons of a three-pound human brain. Using this tiny bee brain and associated vision, bees have been able to solve complicated color puzzles and even recognize human faces. They do this by using their 6,300 ommatidia that comprise the eye. Bees have also been created with the ability to distinguish up to 300 separate flashes of light per second, an attribute they use as they rapidly fly over the changing landscape.

The next time a busy bee buzzes by you on its way to a field, remember that it is designed to do and find things that our most sophisticated machines and computers cannot do, using vision and a brain that flies in the face (so to speak) of undirected evolution.(3)

Notice the sensory hairs on the honeybee eyes ( credit: )

In other words, like other animals, bees routinely need and get accurate and immediate visual information about their immediate (and not-so-immediate) surroundings — yet bumblebees also acquire data around themselves using another physical sense the existence of which we are just now learning about.

Bumblebees feed on nectar from flowers. It is thus advantageous for them to find flowers efficiently, expending as little energy as possible when searching for food.

It turns out that all living things, even flowers, have electrical fields. The student of [God’s] Creation will not be surprised to find that the body hairs of bumblebees possess a unique ability, in that they are sensitive to electrical fields, specifically, those produced by flowers.

In addition to other fine-tuned senses bumblebees possess, including the ability to see ultraviolet light, the body hairs of bumblebees move in response to electrical fields. These hairs, called “mechanosensory hairs”, are connected via nerve fibers to the bumblebee nervous system, and when they move, they activate the nerve cells. These sensory hairs allow bumblebees to forage for nectar more efficiently by enabling them to sense electrical charges on flowers.

Like every specialized physiological property, the unique connections between these body hairs and the bumblebee nervous system could not have developed by accident (chance) or in small [incremental] steps. A partial connection would not be useful to the organism [either for survival or for reproductive success]. This system had to work perfectly from day one [i.e., from Day #5 of Creation Week].(4)

Bee getting nectar, pollinating flower (credit: Wikipedia )

But what do bees do with all of the data they receive, all of which is highly quantified in detail? Interpreting all of the collected data — sights, sounds, even electrical field data – requires the equivalent of a super-computer to analyze, yet bees (as small as they are) have no difficulty with instantly processing math-loaded information as if their little lives depended upon it – which they do.

Bees can solve complex mathematical problems that would normally keep computers busy for days, according to a new report from UK researchers. Through careful observation, University of London scientists have determined that bees routinely solve the “traveling salesman problem,” in which a subject must determine the shortest route between multiple destinations in order to conserve energy. But the scientists don’t know how the bees do it with a brain the size of a grass seed.

“Bees learn to fly the shortest possible route between flowers even if they discover the flowers in a different order,” according to a Royal Holloway, University of London press release. Researchers watched as bees encountered “computer controlled artificial flowers” at random, then quickly calculated the shortest route before visiting them all again. Current computer programs that perform these kinds of calculations operate by totaling the lengths of each possible route and then comparing them to find the shortest one.

There is no way that such tiny brains, using such little energy, could arrive at the right answer so quickly and consistently using the same approach as these computers. So, the researchers speculated that the bees must be using an unknown shortcut algorithm. Such an algorithm could be a valuable assistance in solving traffic flow problems on roadways and in man-made data networks.

Also crowded into a bee’s tiny brain are other shortcut algorithms that enable bees to completely avoid crash landings. Research has also discovered advanced capabilities in other insects. For example, ants possess superior traffic flow instincts compared to man-made systems. And even slime mold can build more efficient transportation tracks than those devised by Japanese railway engineers. All of these algorithms, if they could be discovered or reinvented, have the potential for use in human designs.

Since not even humans with supercomputers could develop these clever algorithms, they must have been purposefully programmed into the insects by an intelligent programmer. Nature by itself could never put together such intricate programs. Even if it could, where would it obtain the power needed to insert them into the exact animals that require them? Bees, like ants and so many other creatures, clearly look as though they have been expertly designed. Further, it appears that their Designer is vastly more clever than humans, who have trouble understanding, much less duplicating, the abilities of these creatures.(5)

Honeybee on Aster flower (credit: )

Thus, bees do their personal research and analysis quickly, using brains so small that their behavior is inexplicably baffling – unless we keep in mind Who designed and constructed and maintains the bioengineering and life of each humble bumblebee: the Lord Jesus Christ, Who delights in confounding the supposedly “great” by what is “little”.

For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God hath chosen the “foolish” things of the world to confound the “wise”; and God hath chosen the “weak” things of the world to confound the things which are “mighty”; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to naught things that are, that no flesh should glory in his presence. But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, Who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption — that, according as it is written, “He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord”. (1st Corinthians 1:26-31, following Jeremiah 9:23-24)

Honeybee by purple blossoms (credit:


(1) Irwin A. Moon, City of the Bees (Moody Science Classics movie, 1962), now available on DVD. Dr. Irwin Moon, who influenced Dr. Henry Morris, should be recognized as the “morning-star” of the Biblical creation revival movement.

(2) Compare similar text, applied to how freshwater fish need to know, in James J. S. Johnson, “Even Fish Need to Know!”, Acts & Facts, 45(1):21 (January 2016), posted at .   This blogpost article, without the limerick (“Honeybees Can’t Fly”), first appeared  on BIBLEWORLD ADVENTURES  (posted September 13th AD2016), posted at .

(3) Quoting Frank J. Sherwin, “Un-Bee-lievable Vision”, Acts & Facts, vol. 35, issue #2 (February 2006), posted at .

(4) Quoting Jonathan C. O’Quinn, “Electric Bumblebees”, CREATION MATTERS, 21(4):12 (July-August 2016), citing G. P. Suttona, et al., “Mechanosensory Hairs in Bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) Detect Weak Electric Fields”, PNAS [Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences], 113(26):7261-7265 (2016).

(5) Quoting Brian Thomas, “Bees Solve Math Problems Faster Than Computers”, ICR News (posted November 2nd AD2010), posted at .

><>  JJSJ



James J. S. Johnson, JD, ThD, CNHG

A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. (PROVERBS 15:1)

King Magnus was Harald’s nephew,
But Harald claimed royal right, too;
Harald’s might was well-known,
So he soon shared the throne —
Thus, the co-kings of Norway were two.

Of the other, each king was jealous,
They both, for glory, were zealous;
Once, for a dock spot…
King Magnus got hot!
(At least, that’s what Snorri would tell us.)

“Weapons!” – Magnus’ men went to arm!
But Harald foresaw needless harm;
Harald yielded his space,
Found a new “parking” place,
And withdrew – with a diplomat’s charm.

‘Twas not that Harald feared, to fight,
Nor was timid, to cast a sound-bite;
Though Harald was strong,
The showdown was wrong —
So (for now) he backed down, from the slight.

“Harald parked first!” — someone prattles,
“Ja, let’s fight!” — a sword soon rattles;
But ignoring the nuisance,
King Harald used prudence;
Said Harald:  “you must pick your battles.”
><>  JJSJ

He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city. (PROVERBS 16:32)

COMMENTARY: One of the tense moments, during the unesay co-kingship of Magnus and Harald Hardrada, occurred when Hardrada “parked” his boat in the best docking spot. Oalf insited that Hardrarad move his boat to allow Olaf to “park” there. Before a fight broke out Hardrada conceded to Olaf’s haughty demand – although, interestingly, Olaf died (maybe accidently) soon afterwards, leaving Harald Hardrada as sole king of Norway.

How did this situation arise? Norway’s King Magnus (“the Good”) Olafsson was the illegitimate son of Norway’s King Olaf II (“the Holy”), but he did not promptly ascend to the throne at his father’s death. Rather, Magnus then fled Norway — and the Norwegian kingdom was ruled by the powerful Knut the Great (a/k/a “Canute”, who ruled Norway, Denmark, and England, till he died in AD1035); Knut was himself son of Denmark’s King Sveyn Forkbeard, who was son of the famous Viking Harald Bluetooth, king of Denmark and Norway. After Knut died in AD1035, Magnus immediately became king of Norway – and in AD1042 added the kingdom of Denmark to his realm. However, during AD1046, the wealthy Norwegian Viking Harald Hardrada returned from his exploits in Russia (and in the Byzantine Empire, where he had also been adventuring, for years), and Hardrada demanded a rulership interest in Norway, considering his own claim to the Norwegian throne to be superior to that of King Magnus (Hardrada’s nephew). A co-kingship arrangement was negotiated, so that Norway was jointly ruled by King Magnus and (co-king) Harald Hardrada, with Olaf having first rank of the pair. Friction and jealousy routinely infected the relationship, or course, and – ironically – Magnus died in late AD1047, with the cause of his death still being questioned. King Harald Hardrada himself died in battle, at Stamford Bridge, on 25 September, AD1066, while trying to invade England. Harald Hardrada’s linear descendants include England’s King James I, sponsor of the KING JAMES BIBLE.  (See JJSJ’s “Impact of Norway’s King Harald Hardrada on the British Isles”, posted at ), with further information on Hardrada’s family lineage (through King Somerled’s progeny) being reported within JJSJ’s “To Globally Sow His Word, Did God Use Vikings?”, posted at .)

For more on the Viking history of Norway’s co-kings Olaf and Harald Hardrada, see pages 67-77 of Snorri Sturluson’s KING HARALD’S SAGA: HARALD HARDRADI OF NORWAY (Penguin Classics, 1966, a translation by Magnus Magnusson & Hermann Pálsson, of part of Sturluson’s HEIMSKRINGLA: HISTORY OF THE KINGS OF NORWAY).   This episode form Viking history illustrates the timeless wisdom of PROVERBS 15:1 & 16:32, i.e.:  “Pick your battles” strategically;  don’t just fight over a parking spot!


Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents. (LUKE 15:10, quoting the Lord Jesus Christ)


Col. John Eidsmoe  &  Dr. James J. S. Johnson,   co-authors

(borrowing the tune of “WHEN IRISH EYES ARE SMILING”)

When Viking eyes are smiling,
Ja, ‘tis like a day in spring;
In the din of Viking plunder
You can hear the valkyries sing.

Yet Viking ears kept hearing
Of life lived a better way,
And when Viking ears were listening
Some the Gospel would obey.

Vikings made many cry,
And it’s no surprise why:
They were vicious, as they were tall;
Seizing loot made them smile,
As their victims they’d rile:
Viking swords doomed many to fall.

But laughter is wrong,
When it fills pirate song:
As pillaging underlies glee.
As some lauded Thor,
They spilt others’ gore:
Such woe! – And such tragedy!

When Viking eyes are smiling,
Ja, ‘tis like a day in spring;
In the din of Viking plunder
You can hear the valkyries sing.

Yet Viking ears kept hearing
Of life lived a better way,
And when Viking ears were listening
Some the Gospel would obey.

Olaf T. played a part,
Sharing truth from his heart:
Preaching Christ, Olaf shone a true light;
And it was, before long,
Lucky Leif joined the song:
Trusting Christ, Leif believed what was right.

Telling father, mother,
Sister, and brothers:
Soon Leif, on Vinland, had landed;
Ja, on ocean-wave foam,
Leif sailed east, for home:
Yet stopped, to save some who were stranded.

Viking eyes now kindly smiled,
Good news at the Althing;
Unto God now reconciled,
Christian songs Vikings sing!

Thus Viking hearts had real joy,
Unto idols no more to pray;
For when Viking hearts are Christian,
It’s a feasting holiday!

Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents. (LUKE 15:10, quoting the Lord Jesus Christ)


When Galileo was Put on Trial, Who was Right?

Dr. James J. S. Johnson


The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. (Psalm 19:1)

Galileo Galilei, in AD1633, faced hostile Inquisitors who threateningly opposed his astronomical discoveries.  Galileo taught that Earth moves around the sun, while the sun stays “stationary”, but his opponents taught vice versa, and put Galileo on trial for “heresy”.(1) This historic confrontation is often labeled as a “religion-versus-science” trial, because it involved a disagreement about what Psalm 93:1 teaches — and it came close to getting him killed!  (Yet, as shown below, the odd conflict was a display of both sloppy religion and sloppy science.)

The Lord reigneth, He is clothed with majesty; the LORD is clothed with strength, wherewith He hath girded Himself: the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved.

The latter part of Psalm 93:1 allegedly clashed with Galileo’s analysis of our solar system. Why? Galileo’s telescopic measurements of movements in the heavens (i.e., sun, moon, planets, etc.) “proved” that it was Earth that “moved” (i.e., regularly cycled) around the stationary sun, not vice versa! However, Roman Catholic interpretations of Scripture, during AD1633 (in Italy, where Galileo lived), disagreed with Galileo’s astronomic analysis.(1)

Actually both sides were part wrong, because both sides relied on errors:

(a) both the sun and Earth are moving, in very predictable orbits, yet when described contextually, both are moving in relation to one another (and to the Milky Way galaxy, as well!)—plus all motion must be described with respect to a frame-of-reference (i.e., relative motion), anyway, so it is most practical for observers to use their own positons as the standard locational indices;(1),(2) and

(b) the Hebrew phrase translated “it cannot be moved”, in Psalm 93:1, means that Earth cannot be yanked away from its divinely prescribed (“established”) program of movements—as opposed to describing a state of absolute motionlessness.(2)

The lesson? When “religion” clashes with “science”, expect to see examples of sloppy religion (inaccurate Bible interpretations), or sloppy science (inaccurate scientific observations and/or analysis), or both.(3)

But this is not new. During the heyday (AD1700s-AD1800s) of the so-called “Enlightenment”, there flourished a fad called deism. Deism was—and still is—an “free-thinking”-dominated theism that exalts human reason (ignoring how fallen reason really is) while keeping the Bible closed whenever “science” is discussed.

Prioritizing popularity with secular culture, deists strive to retain some (sometimes many) aspects of Biblical Christianity—but the ecumenical deists’ fondness for unbiblical compromise unbalances and over-tips their epistemological boat, eventually sinking their ship under an ocean of self-contradictions.

Accordingly, deism was (and is today) artificially “cherry-picking” fashionable Bible teachings, while ignoring and discarding other (undesirable or inconvenient) Biblical teachings.(1)  How so?

Modern-day deists (e.g., so-called “Intelligent Design Movement” proponents) often react to apparent “religion-versus-science” conflicts by siding with “science” over whatever the Bible teaches.  (For example, IDM deists routinely refuse to affirm the Biblical details of Genesis Flood history, IDM deists routinely imagine an evolutionary  “Big Bang”  cosmogony that includes imagined billions of years, and most IDM deists favor the Darwinian genes-in-magic animism called “natural selection”, etc.).

Consequently, in their reckless haste, to favor humanistic “science” over the authoritatively accurate and relevant Scriptures, deists (including IDM deists of today) illegitimately employ straw-man caricatures of Biblical truth, erring — like Sadducees — because they ignorantly under-value both the holy Scriptures and the power of God (Matthew 22:29).

Dembski justifies his Scriptura sub scientia approach (i.e. Scripture [ranked] under science) by raising the tired old canard about geocentrism. …

        Dembski: Yet, during that time [of Galileo’s trial, for teaching heretical science], church teaching also held that the earth was stationary.

Unfortunately, this [ecclesiastical error] is because they kowtowed to the prevailing Aristotelian science of the day, which included the Ptolemaic cosmology. …

        Dembski: Psalm 93 [verse 1] states that the earth is established forever and cannot be moved. … A literal interpretation of Psalm 93 seems to require geocentrism.(4)

 Pity Galileo. If only he had today’s Newtonian astrophysics (and geokinetics), a good Bible concordance, and a Bible in his own language!  Galileo could have seen that the  Bible’s descriptions of God’s choreographed heavens are corroborated—not opposed—by true science.


(1) Russell Grigg, “The Galileo ‘Twist’”, CREATION EX NIHILO, 19(4):30-32 (September 1997); Jonathan Sarfati, “ID Theorist Blunders on Bible:  Reply to Dr William Dembski”, posted February 7, 2005 at (accessed March 2, 2017); Jonathan Sarfati, “The Sun:  Our Special Star”, CREATION EX NIHILO, 22(1):27-31 (December 1999); Robert Carter & Jonathan Sarfati, “Why the Universe Does Not Revolve Around the Earth (Refuting Absolute Geocentrism)”, posted February 12, 2015 at  .  Galileo’s writings were controversial and public—he wrote in Italian, not scholarly Latin. Galileo was stigmatized by his own church (i.e., the Roman Catholic church) as a “heretic”, sentenced to prison/house arrest, and his publications were censored—a very lenient punishment by Roman Catholic Inquisition standards!  Ironically, Lutherans (e.g., the astronomer-genius Johannes Kepler) — whom Galileo opposed — were not theologically opposed to Galileo’s astronomical theories.

(2) The Hebrew verb môṭ appears often in contexts that portray a pulling-away motion (e.g., Proverbs 24:11; Psalm 82:5 [“foundations of the earth are out of course”]; Isaiah 54:10); also, the related noun môṭâh is routinely translated as “yoke” (e.g., Leviticus 26:13 [“the bands of your yoke”]; Jeremiah 27:2 [“bonds and yokes”]). See George V. Wigram, The Englishman’s Hebrew Concordance to the Old Testament. Peabody, MA: Hendricksen Publishers (2001 reprint of 1874 3rd edition), page 670.  Regarding interrelated positons and predictable motions of the sun and earth, see also Psalm 19:1-6 (19:2-7 BH); Psalm 104:2-5; Ecclesiastes 1:5; & Isaiah 40:22.

(3) For another example of how sloppy theology and sloppy science can easily lead to a misunderstanding of both Scripture and nature, see James J. S. Johnson, “A Hart for God”, ACTS & FACTS, 43(7):17 (July 2014), posted at .

(4) Quoting Jonathan Sarfati (see note #1 above).

Solar System (fair use) image credit: