God purposefully made the moon.

God purposefully made the moon.

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

Genesis1.16-PPT-ruleGod made the moon to rule the nighttime, just as is clearly reported in Genesis. (See Genesis 1:14-18; Psalm 104:19 & 136:9; Ezekiel 32:7.)  But how and why did God make the moon, such as how does it “rule” the nighttime?  By His own command By His own command, on Day #4, God made the moon to give light, especially light to help us (and to help animals) to see, during nighttime on Earth.  Moon-rules-Earth.PPT-gravitational-tides

Also, the moon “rules” many activities on Earth due to the moon’s gravitational pull (in combination with the sun’s similar gravitational pull) on the earth and on its inhabitants, such as animals and people, and even on the waters of the oceans — producing the repeating and rhythmic movements of the oceans that we call “tides”. Moon-ocean-tides.PPT-governor-rulesThis action of “ruling” can be compared to a speed-limiting “governor” installed on a truck’s engine; the truck engine’s “governor” is not a person but it forcefully and controls the behavior of the engine in a way that limits the speed of the truck, to accomplish the intentions of the clever inventor who designed the truck engine’s “governor”.  Governor-rules.PPT-CanadaDry-truck

In a similar (yet much superior) way, God cleverly invented the moon’s gravitational traits, with the intention that the moon’s gravity limits various activities on Earth, via the moon’s complicated movements and their related gravitational attractions on the earth (in relation to interrelated and complicated motions of the sun and earth), from different directions at different times — resulting in an ongoing choreography of gravitational attractions between those heavenly bodies. The moon’s periodic movements, as the moon moves around the earth, in a regular cycle (called lunar phases), also affect how all plants grow and how all animals behave. ChristmasIsland-RedCrabs.PPT-moon-tidesExamples of animal behavior being affected by moonlight (or its absence) include the timing of Pacific salmon going downstream to the ocean, the timing of Christmas Island red crabs going to the ocean to dump baby crabs into the water, and the tidewater movements that bring floating food particles unto filter-feeding oysters.  [For more about how the moon “rules”, see my article “The Moon Rules”, ACTS & FACTS,  44(9):21 (September 2015), posted at http://www.icr.org/article/moon-rules  .]oysters-filterfeeders.PPT-need-moon-tidesThanks, God, for making the moon!


 

God purposefully made the sun.

God purposefully made the sun, to rule the daytime.

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

God chose to make the sun to rule the daytime, just as is clearly reported in Genesis. (See Genesis 1:16; Psalm 19:4-6 & 136:8; Ezekiel 32:7.)  But how and why did God make the sun, such as how does it “rule” the daytime?  By His own command, on Day #4, God made the sun to give light, especially light to help us (and to help animals) to see, during daytime on Earth.

Also, God made the sun to move in ways that help us to know what time it is, and also to provide earth with seasons (like spring, summer, autumn, and winter). The sun is shining directly on us when it is “day”; when it is “night” the sun is not shining directly on us. Also, God made the sun to “rule” the daytime, such as by providing daytime light and heat that is needed to for plants to live and to grow – and also by providing gravitational attraction so that the earth’s ocean tides move in ways that help life in the oceans and seas.   (For more about this, listen to my podcast, “The Created Sun and Moon”, posted  at http://www.icr.org/article/created-sun-moon-podcast  .)If plants did not use sunlight to grow, and to be warm enough to live, plants could not grow in ways that are needed so that plants can be eaten as food (such as grains, roots, fruits, seeds). When plants use sunlight energy (especially in the chlorophyll parts of green leaves) to convert water (H2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2) into breathable oxygen (O2) and carbohydrates (CxHyOz), which they do all over most of the world, the result is plant food containing lots of usable energy. This process is called “photosynthesis”. Accordingly, without sunlight there is no photosynthesis and thus no plant food for animals or for us. Likewise, if there was no photosynthesis, plants could not produce the kind of air (oxygen) that we (and animals) need to breathe. So, without sunlight we would not have enough healthy air for us to breathe. (The same is true for animals, because they need the same kind of air, to breathe, that we need.) God made the sun to help us in many ways; without the sun we could not live on earth.     Thanks, God:   You are great!


 

In Appreciation of Dr. Brian Tompsett’s Royal Genealogical Data Website, Now Quashed by University of Hull Management

In Appreciation of Dr. Brian Tompsett’s Royal Genealogical Data Website,

Now Quashed by University of Hull Management

Dr. Brian Tompsett/ Univ. of Hull photo

Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.   (Romans 13:7)

Here is an open letter (the original of which has been mailed overseas) to her royal majesty, Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, by which I am trying to apply the principle of Romans 13:7 — giving credit where credit is due — recognizing the valuable family history contributions of computer genealogist/professor Dr. Brian Tompsett, of the University of Hull.



Dr. James J. S. Johnson
[contact information omitted]

21st December, A.D. 20017

Her Majesty The Queen
Buckingham Palace
London SW1A 1AA
England, U.K.

Re: Royal Genealogical Data website,
formerly posted by Prof. Brian Tompsett / University of Hull

Dear Queen Elizabeth, your Royal Majesty:

Greetings, from the other side of the Pond – may your CHRISTmas season be filled with gladness and joy, as you contemplate how the Christ of Bethlehem, in His all-wise beneficence, selected you as Great Britain’s monarch, for all of these many years. May He continue to bless your reign and your Realm.

The glorious heritage that you have and represent, unto your Realm and to the world (which continues to be providentially blessed by the deeds of the British Empire, its leadership, and its language), has been a personal blessing to me for more than 60 years now. As a descendant of John of Gaunt, I share some of your forefathers and foremothers, so I have a personal interest in appreciating the family history that you biogenetically connect to, by God’s grace and providence. Dr. Bill Cooper, of Staines in Middlesex, introduced me to the wonderful world of British royal family genealogy, and I am all the richer therefor.

Thereafter I came upon the magnificent blend of historical research and computer science, the Royal Genealogical Data website (which was provided online pro bono publico) produced by Professor Brian Tompsett of the University of Hull – the informational wealth of which cannot be priced in pounds or dollars. For many years I used the Internet-accessible data of Brian Tompsett’s Royal Genealogical Data website, as a historian who has taught in American universities and colleges, as well as on 9 different cruise ships – and in all of my teaching years I have tried to promote goodwill for the British royals.

For example, I used Brian Tompsett’s Royal Genealogical Data within this online article: “Christmas, Vikings, and the Providence of God” [posted at  http://www.icr.org/article/christmas-vikings-providence-god/   —  which refers to genealogies linked to the Battle of Stamford Bridge, and also to the Battle of Hastings], showing that Viking ancestors begat progeny, including descendants providentially responsible for the English Bible (AV) and even for George Washington, the historic father of America.)

Sometimes, sad to say, one isn’t properly grateful for valuable information until it disappears.

However, the University of Hull’s management dissolved Dr. Tompsett’s Royal Genealogical Data website – without warning it deleted the Royal Genealogical Data webpages [see below post-script] – so Americans (like me) no longer can use that online genealogical data now.

Please understand: this letter does not present a “personal” or “political” dispute. Rather, what is mentioned in the post-script (below) is provided only to give context to my appreciation for the online data (while it existed), and to show why I now miss it so. (Now that it’s gone, I better see its value.)

Perhaps your Royal Majesty could devise a way to provide that same electronic information, online to the world, so that Professor Brian Tompsett’s professional labor of love can live on, thereby gracing the cyber-world (including historian-professors like me), pro bono publico, with the genealogical heritage of your royal family. This user-friendly informational legacy is an asset worth salvaging!

Professor Tompsett does not know that I am writing this – I am writing on my own behalf, in hopes that you can and will do something to restore that Internet data to the world. (Maybe a Royal Family website could be invented.) In any event, I thank God for His providential workings in your royal family and kin.

In closing, I have the honour to be an American fan, of you and your regal family, and its illustrious kin (going back many centuries), all of whom our great God has so frequently guided and employed to implement His providential care and kindnesses unto Western Civilization and to the uttermost parts of the earth.

Most respectfully, one of your admiring fans in the State of Texas*
(*which adopted English common law as the foundation of Texas law,
by a legislative act during the 1st Congress of the Republic of Texas),

James J. S. Johnson
JD, ThD, MSGeog, CIHE, CPEE, CNHG
Chaplain, historian, lecturer, etc.

P.S., on information and belief, this is my (sad) understanding of how the University of Hull has – disappointingly – discontinued its prior practice of hosting the Royal Genealogical Data website that was laboriously produced by Professor Brian Tompsett and his team. Frankly, it seems (to me) like the wasteful burning of a cyber-palace (and I recall how horrible it was when your own palace burned), but this was destroying an imperial cyber-treasure of Britannic royal family heritage information.

The “management” of the University of Hull decided to take down all web pages except those used for advertising and recruitment. The website was considered a “marketing tool only” for use of the marketing department. Professor Brian Tompsett (and his computer science team) were not warned or otherwise informed, before their web-pages (i.e., those of all individual staff and students) were just canceled — with no advance notice. Even those web-pages, that Professor Brian Tompsett and his team (who teach web technology for the University of Hull) formerly used for teaching and research purposes, were removed as having “no strategic value for the institution”! Professor Tompsett was not able to timely move (or timely protest) the abrupt, arbitrary, and academic quality-quashing abuses of institutional authority.

Since Professor Tompsett’s Royal Genealogical Data project ran from ~ A.D. 1993 it is a terrible loss. The result of these wasteful actions are sad: your Royal Majesty’s family (and all of its dignified historical heritage, linking to all of the best of Western Civilization for many centuries), is cheated and discounted, depriving the Internet world of British Royal Family fans from the user-friendly ability to research and appreciate the God-blessed value of Great Britain’s historic role (and connectedness) for Western Civilization. This is like revisionist history by vandalism.


Of course, it is unlikely that her Britannic Majesty will actually get to read the above letter  —  Who knows?  —  yet it would be nice if Great Britain’s Parliament would declare that wonderful computer program as a national heritage treasure, like a historic castle, because that user-friendly royal genealogy information/program is truly an informational legacy worthy of preservation and public educational access.

Meanwhile, I have tried to “give credit where credit is due”.

Just thinking about all of that Providential history reminds me of Psalm 102:18, which says: “This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the LORD.”   [See also “People Yet to Be Created”,  Acts & Facts (November 2014), posted at http://www.icr.org/article/people-yet-be-created  .%5D


 

The heavens and Earth, that we see today, are only temporary — but they are “home” for now.

For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before Me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain.  (Isaiah 66:22)

The present heavens — and Earth (which is our home, for now) — are finite and temporal; they shall ultimately be replaced by new heavens and new Earth.  (See also Mark 13:31; 2nd Peter 3:7-13; Revelation 21:1.)  All the more reason to live for the Lord Jesus in the here-and-now, so that  each day counts toward the hereafter.

So, even while living here (and now) below, we keep in mind our real homeland (Philippians 3:20).  For a creationist-ecologist’s perspective on appreciating “home”, see my article “Why We Want to Go Home”, ACTS & FACTS, 44(4):20 (April 2015), posted at http://www.icr.org/article/why-we-want-go-home .

The hugeness of the cosmos reminds us how valuable we are to God.

 

The hugeness of the heavens is a reminder of how valuable we are to God, because he chose to give us – as small as we are – the amazing value of having life as creatures made in His own image.

O LORD, our Lord, how excellent is Thy name in all the earth!  [Thou] Who hast set Thy glory above the heavens.  Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast Thou ordained strength because of Thine enemies, that Thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.  When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which Thou hast ordained:  What is man, that Thou art mindful of him?  And the son of man, that Thou visits him?  For Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor. Thou made him to have dominion over the works of Thy hands; Thou hast put all things under his feet:  all sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; the fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passes through the paths of the seas.  O LORD our Lord, how excellent is Thy name in all the earth!  (Psalm 8:1-8.)

Thank You, God, for caring about us humans whom You have made for Your pleasure (see Revelation 4:11).

 

Woods, Water, and Winged Wonders

Woods, Water, and Winged Wonders

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

He sends the springs into the valleys;
They flow among the hills.
They give drink to every beast of the field;
The wild donkeys quench their thirst.
By them the birds of the heavens have their home;
They sing among the branches. … The trees of the Lord are full of sap,
The cedars of Lebanon which He planted,

Where the birds make their nests;
The stork has her home in the fir trees.

(Psalm 104:10-12 & 104:16-17)

Dan Dusing’s Wood Stork Tree up close

Wood Storks in treetop (Lee Dusing @ Circle B)

If rainfall is adequate trees thrive – and where you find trees you also find birds, many birds of many different kinds. Forests are homes for owls, corvids, hawks, doves, and more!

BIRDWATCHING IN FOREST HABITAT

Watch birds as they fly or they walk;

See their plumage and hear them talk!

Look for bird neighborhoods

In green, well-watered woods:

Homes for woodpecker, jay, owl, and hawk!

So, take a trek through the woods – you will like the hike!  Wherever woods and water abound, look for winged wonders, feathered descendants whose ancestors God made on Day #5 of Creation Week!


OTHER PHOTO CREDITS

Steller’s Jay (close-up):  Bennington Properties

Steller’s Jay in tree foliage:  iStock-Getty image

Sugarloaf Mountain view, in autumn:  Melanie Choukras-Bradley:

 

Real knowledge about the cosmos (and its origin) must be given to us by God.

Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep; all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.  (2nd Peter 3:3-4)

Galaxy-w-stars.greenish-tone

Notice the scoffer’s assumption  —  that “all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation”  —  yet that assumption is FALSE.  Just as the embryology of a baby human is not representative of how a born human grows and develops, the origin of our cosmos, during Creation Week (which wonderful week of mighty miracles preceded Adam’s sin in Eden), was not then experiencing natural processes that are typical of (i.e., commonplace in) the cosmos we now live in.  How fast did starlight travel before Adam sinned?  The real answer is that we don’t know  —  yet we do know that the starlight that God made during Creation Week did accomplish His declared purposes for that starlight, which purposes required distant starlight to be promptly visible to mankind on Earth.   (Of course, this is why we need an open Bible to know real truth!)

However, if some theorist imagines and assumes (with a closed Bible) that the original starlight was limited in its transmission velocity, to what we today call “the speed of light”, that theorist could easily (though wrongly) infer that visible starlight must be eons older than the humans on Earth who see that starlight, after it arrives, visually speaking.  (But that “speed-of-light-is-always-constant” assumption is wrong when applied to Day 4 of Creation Week, just as uniformitarian assumptions also clash with many other miracles done by God during other days of Creation Week.)

So how old are the galaxies, and all of the stars in those galaxies?  Since those stars (and galaxies) were formed on Day 4, during Creation Week, we cannot know how many years ago that was  —  unless and until God, the only Eye-witness, chooses to tell us.  And, thankfully, God has done just that — He has told us about the chronology of His creation — in the book of Genesis.

Consequently, we stumble in the dark, about the true age of creation, only if we ignore the divine revelation that God has graciously given unto us:  the Holy Bible.    The Bible provides us with lots of valuable truth about many topics, including cosmogonical topics  —  so the real question is what will we do with God’s truth?  Will we prioritize and rely upon it?  Or will we effectively displace it by relying upon Einstein’s relativity postulates (by transmogrifying a modern cosmology theory into a jake-leg cosmogony “history”), when doing so is illogical?  (Because there is no rational basis for assuming today’s speed-of-light “constant” was applicable, during Day 4 of Creation Week.)

If we assume–wrongly–that distant starlight is only allowed to travel as the current speed of light (which most physicists deem a constant velocity), even on Day 4 of Creation Week, we err by committing the Uniformitarian Fallacy.  (This same fallacy would lead us to err in guessing the true age of Adam, at the end of Day 6 of Creation Week.)

Biblical creationists (especially creationist astrophysicists, who all-too-often confuse cosmology, an empirical science  —  with cosmogony, a forensic science) have no excuse for committing the Uniformitarian Fallacy  —  especially because that irrational fallacy was prophesied by the apostle Peter, who warned us that scoffers would assume that present processes are (supposedly) the key to knowing about unique events that occurred in the no-longer-observable past.  [For more analysis of how distant starlight makes sense in a created-mature cosmos, see Don B. DeYoung, “Mature Creation and Seeing Distant Starlight”, JOURNAL OF CREATION, 24(3):54-59 (December 2010).  For more analysis regarding the indispensable need for reliable eyewitness testimony, in forensic science, see James J. S. Johnson, “Genesis Critics Flunk Forensic Science 101”, ACTS & FACTS, 41(3):8-9 (March 2012), posted at http://www.icr.org/article/genesis-critics-flunk-forensic-science/   —  and “What Good Are Experts?”, ACTS & FACTS, 41(3):8-9 (March 2012), posted at  http://www.icr.org/article/7073 .]

Cosmos-SpiralGalaxy-space

UNIFORMITARIANS  STUMBLE  AT  DISTANT  STARLIGHT

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

Deists pegged Earth’s years in the millions

Many stretch that, today, to the billions   —

Dismissing Day 4,

God’s Word they ignore,

Thus erring by margins of billions.

 

Assuming light’s speed stays the same,

The year-count’s a wild guessing-game;

But Day 4’s light-speed

Is what God decreed  —

And not what it later became.

 

Light’s speed, now, is not “key to the past”,

Since, on Day 4, it sped super-fast;

It flashed then, in an instant —

Yet its speed, now, is constant;

Displaying God’s power, unsurpassed!

Real knowledge about the cosmos, and especially about it origins, can only be learned by starting with God’s gifts of revelation – both Scripture and Scripture-based science – if we are serious about learning the truth about the cosmos. (See Psalm 19; Hebrews 11:3; John 5:44-47.)   But, in order to avoid the Uniformitarian Fallacy, we must carefully remember that it is holy Scripture (which provides us with true information from our infinite and perfect God) that informs our “science” (which is limited by our finite and imperfect knowledge-base).

Truly, the Heavens declare the glory of God” (Psalm 19:1a)!

cosmos-PopularScience-pic