Dr. James J. S. Johnson

It is He Who sits upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; it is He Who stretches out the heavens as a curtain, and spreads them out as a tent to dwell in. (Isaiah 40:22)

What is “the circle of the earth”? Just because an interpretation seems to “help” win arguments does not make it right—it’s the truth that really counts.  (Sad to say, quite a few creation scientists, employing superficial review of the Scriptures, are guilty of this.)

For decades some creation scientists have suspected (and/or assumed) that Isaiah 40:22 refers to Earth’s spherical shape, because Earth is round like a ball.  But is that what the phrase “circle of the earth” refers to, in Isaiah 40:22?  As a matter of Biblical creation apologetics (as opposed to deistic science practices), it is important to take a philological “magnifying glass” to the Biblical Hebrew text’s details, in order to see what this verse is actually describing.

The foundational question — if truth is the priority — is whether the Hebrew noun chûg, used in Isaiah 40:22 (and translated as “circle” by the King James Bible translators), means “round” like Earth’s spherical shape, as opposed to some other kind of “circle”.

The noun “ball” is used to translate the Hebrew noun dûr in Isaiah 22:18. So, if God had wanted to describe Earth as a globe (i.e., a ball), in Isaiah 40:22, why not use the Hebrew noun dûr? Obviously that noun was part of Isaiah’s vocabulary, because Isaiah used that noun (dûr) in Isaiah 22:18.

But, to understand this part of Isaiah 40:22, the most focal question is what does chûg (“circle”) mean? To answer this question, we should compare Scripture with Scripture, i.e., especially by reviewing how that same Hebrew word is used elsewhere within Scripture.

First, consider that the noun chûg is used only 2 other times, in Job 22:14 and Proverbs 8:27.

Job 22:14 says: “Thick clouds are a covering to Him, that He seeth not; and He walketh in the circuit [chûg] of heaven.”  Question: is this “circuit” an orbit-like pattern or a spherical ball?

Proverbs 8:27 says: “When He prepared the heavens, I was there; when He set a compass [chûg] upon the face of the depth.” Question: is this “compass” an orbit-like pattern or a spherical ball?

Next, consider the root verb (that this Hebrew noun derives from), which is the Hebrew verb chûg, spelled that same as the noun (similar to how our English words “report” and “record” are either verbs or nouns, depending upon context).

As a verb, chûg appears in Job 26:10 (“He hath compassed the waters…”), denoting cloud-contained rainwaters, being part of Earth’s water cycle dynamics. The idea here is cyclical or circuitous movements, not sphericity.

Furthermore, we can review other Hebrew words that utilize the consonantal stem CHG (also transliterated ḤG), such as the verb châgag that uses the extended stem CHGG (also transliterated ḤGG). By doing this we acquire more relevant data for identifying the core meaning of chûg. Consider, therefore, these Scriptures that employ some form of the verb châgag, and/or a noun derived from that verb: Leviticus 23:9 (“feast”); Leviticus 23:34 (“celebrate”, “feast”); Leviticus 23:41 (“celebrate”, “feast”, “celebrate””); and 1st Samuel 30:16 (“dancing”).(1) Do the concepts of celebratory feasts—or “dancing”—fit the idea of Earth’s spherical roundness? Or, do “dancing” and cyclical celebrations compare better with Earth’s orbit-motions, while circling the sun, within our solar system that itself orbits within the Milky Way Galaxy?

The best English word, to picture the core idea here, is choreography—an amazingly well-ordered, orchestrated, festive, happy, harmonious DANCE.(1),(2) Like King David, even the heavenly bodies “dance” unto God’s glory!(2)


(1)The Hebrew noun chûg (“circle” in Isaiah 40:22, KJV) is related to the verb châgag, which is translated “celebrate” in Leviticus 23:9 & 23:41. The Hebrew noun chûg shares the same root verb as chag, another Hebrew noun, which is translated “feast” (referring to the Feast of Tabernacles) in Leviticus 23:34 & 23:9 & 23:41. The concept of celebratory dancing is illustrated in 1st Samuel 30:16, where the Hebrew verb châgag (in participle form) is translated “dancing”.

(3)See 2 Samuel 6:14 & Psalm 149:3. Notice that the festively cosmic choreography of Isaiah 40:22 is like the mathematically blended and harmonious interactive movements of a perfectly performed Norwegian Leikarringen folk dance (see photograph above), as opposed to a frenzied solo dancer’s break-dancing gyrations.

><> JJSJ    profjjsj@aol.com

In AD1982, at Wake Forest University, Dr. Johnson received the American Bible Society Award for scholarship in Biblical languages, especially Hebrew and Aramaic. However, despite many repeated efforts (and repeated encouragement from Kermit and Glenda Anderson), Johnson has unquestionably failed to learn the memory-challenging choreographic artistry of Norwegian folk dancing.




How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard Him?  …. See that ye refuse not Him Who speaketh; for if they escaped not who refused him who spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from Him Who speaketh from heaven.   (Hebrews 2:3 & 12:25)


God’s truth demands a response.  A response to God’s revealed truth is either honest or dishonest.  There is no middle ground — when it comes to moral accountability for the truth that God gives unto each of us:   either we receive it as lovers of the truth, or we reject it while clinging to worthless lies (2nd Thessalonians 2:10).


For us abundant life   is appointed,

Yet for some its receipt   gets disjointed;

Though God gives enough truth,

Some push back, aloof;

So in life they fail,   disappointed.

mixed-photos-including Bosque-ICR-AD2012 009





Dr. James J. S. Johnson

Viking bones unearthed at mass burial site at Repton, Derbyshire, England   (CNN photo from Ashley Strickland article 2-2-AD2018)

Our bones are scattered at the grave’s mouth, as when one cuts and cleaves wood upon the earth.  (Psalm 141:7)

It’s hard to understand why serious amounts of radioactive Carbon 14 are “missing”, in Viking bones, unless you realize that much of it was never there to start with.


GREAT  HEATHEN  ARMY     (History Channel)

The “Great Heathen Army” invaded England, from Scandinavia, during the latter part of the A.D. 800s (specifically, the A.D. 860s  and 870s), replacing previous Viking “hit-and-run” raiding with seizure and occupation of English lands: Nordic Vikings by the thousands had arrived, with intentions to stay!(1)

The raids on England escalated further [i.e., escalated beyond quick hit-and-run plundering] in 865/6, when ‘a great heathen army’ took up winter quarters in East Anglia.  …  The leaders appear to have included Ivar the Boneless and his brother Halfdan, sons of the [Viking] Ragnar Lodbrok, as well as another ‘king’ called Bagsecq, and several ‘earls’ …. The annals in Anglo-Saxon Chronicle afford a good sense of the course of the [great heathen] army’s campaign in the late 860s, as it moved [often on horseback] from East Anglia into Northumbria in 866, from Northumbria into Mercia in 867, and back north into Northumbria in 868, before returning via Mercia to East Anglia in 869.  …  The disarticulated [skeletal] remains of at least 250 people (mainly men in their prime, but also including some women), from the charnel excavated at Repton, Derbyshire, in 1980-6 … [appears to represent the Great Heathen Army]known to have wintered at Repton in 873-4; and it has been suggested that the charnel represents the mass burial of members of the army who died at this time from an epidemic of some kind.

[Quoting Simon Keynes, THE OXFORD ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF THE VIKINGS (Oxford University Press, 1999; edited by Peter Sawyer), page 52-55.]

IVAR “the Boneless” Ragnarsson photo credit: AncientPages.com

Ironically, skeletal remains of those vicious Vikings, tested by radiocarbon methods, have illustrated once again that radiometric dating is not the always-accurate-and-authoritative “sacred cow” that we have been told it is.(2)

Can we confidently use Carbon 14 radiometric dating, on a disinterred skeleton, to discern when someone died, centuries ago? If a portion of the expected Carbon 14 is “missing” in a Viking skeleton, could it be that it never was there in the first place? In particular, must we sometimes qualify some Carbon 14 testing outcomes by eyewitness reports that describe the deceased’s diet?

As we shall see, investigating this question requires collecting empirical science data, yet the ultimate answer requires forensic science analysis, including verified reports from reliable eyewitnesses.(3)

Consider the case of a mass burial of about 249 or 250 skeletons in Derbyshire, England. Do these skeletons represent Vikings who belonged to the Great Heathen Army [Old English: mycel hæþen here], Scandinavian warriors who over-wintered in the Derbyshire village of Repton during A.D. 873/874?

Because eyewitnesses indisputably reported the Great Heathen Army’s historical presence, then and there, many modern historians concluded that the 249+ mass-grave skeletons (in Derbyshire) were those of Scandinavian Vikings who invaded England as the “Great Heathen Army”, during A.D. 865-879.(1)

However, some empirical science investigators, using routine Carbon 14 radiometric dating methods, rejected that timeframe as matching the buried bones, arguing that the bones must be a century or so older, based upon the residual Carbon 14 found inside the unearthed bones.(4)

Archaeological evidence for the Viking Great Army that invaded England in AD 865 is focused particularly on the area around St. Wytan’s church in Repton in Derbyshire.  Large numbers of burials excavated here in the 1980s have been attributed to the over-wintering of the Great Army in AD 873-874.  Many of the remains were deposited in a charnel, while others were buried in graves with Scandinavian-style grave goods.  Although numismatic [i.e., minted coins] evidence corroborated the belief that these were the remains of the Great Army, radiocarbon results [which were routinely interpreted at chronology ranges in the A.D. 600s or 700s] have tended to disagree.

[Quoting from page 1 of the ANTIQUITY article by Jarman, Biddle, et al. — see Footnote # 2 below.]

So, who was right and who was wrong?

Did the disinterred bones belong to men who died in the A.D. 600s or 700s? If so, why was there no historical record of a Viking army occupying Derbyshire during the A.D. 600s or 700s?

But, if the hundreds of Nordic skeletons were more recent, representing deaths that occurred during the latter half of the A.D. 800s (consistent with the time when the Great Heathen Army was occupying Derbyshire and its environs), why did the radiocarbon measurements suggest that those buried had died a century or more before Derbyshire was overwhelmed by hundreds of Scandinavian Vikings?

Notice that England’s historical records not only provided eyewitness accounts of the Great Heathen Army invading and occupying Derbyshire by the thousands, during the late A.D. 800s, English historical records also indicate that the opposite was true in earlier centuries – i.e., Derbyshire was virtually free of seafaring Nordic invaders during the A.D. 600s and 700s.(1),(2)

As a forensic science problem, the radiometric dating results clashed with all of the available eyewitness accounts – proving that something was wrong with either the historical records or the radiocarbon analysis. Were the eyewitness accounts in error? Or was the radiometric dating methodology invalid?

Of course, Carbon 14 radiometric dating methods utilize several assumptions.(2),(5) So, if one of the basic assumptions is invalid (i.e., incorrect), the conclusions that rely on that erroneous assumption will likewise be invalid (i.e., incorrect).

Could it be that one of the usual assumptions, used in Carbon 14 radiometric dating, is wrong, for measuring time-of-death data, for human skeletons such as those deposited in the mass grave at Repton, in Derbyshire?

To answer this question, consider the basic logic underlying radiometric dating:

The carbon-dating technique cannot be used to date rocks … but it can be used to date things that were once living—things that contain carbon. Here’s how it works. Sometimes nitrogen 14 changes into carbon 14 high in the atmosphere [where sunlight contacts air]. Over time, however, the carbon 14 decays back into nitrogen 14. Since plants “breathe” [i.e., take in] carbon dioxide, their leaves, stems, and seeds contain some carbon 14 in their structures along with the more common isotope, carbon 12. Once they stop living, they stop taking in new carbon 14 [via photosynthesis processes that require the plants to be living] and the unstable carbon 14 already there [especially in the form of digestible carbohydrates] begins to decay back into nitrogen 14, while the stable carbon 12 remains. By measuring the amount of carbon 14 left sometime after the plant dies, you can calculate (in theory) how long ago the plant died. Since animals eat plants [or eat animals that eat plants], their deaths can be dated in the same way.

[Quoting John D. Morris, THE GEOLOGY BOOK (Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2007), page 50.]  And, it is assumed, that humans ingest (and release) C-14 the same as do animals.

Thus, the “normal” radiometric dating scenario presumes that human skeletons will contain organic material—with steadily decaying Carbon 14—that is traceable to plant photosynthesis that incorporated atmospheric carbon dioxide into plant carbohydrates, such as fruit sugars or starches within grains or root vegetables.(5)

Moreover, as herbivores graze on plant food, radiocarbon within photosynthesis-fixed carbohydrates can be converted metabolically into animal proteins—such as amino acids derived from eating terrestrial livestock like cattle, sheep, goats, or swine.(4)  So humans can acquire Carbon 14 directly, from eating plants, as well as indirectly, from eating herbivores (or from eating carnivores who ate herbivores).


Notice that the vital assumption here, which quickly affects the mathematics of radiometric dating, is the assumption that human skeletons contain residual Carbon 14 acquired from predominantly “terrestrial” (i.e., land-food-based) diets.

However, eating a lot of finfish (such as cod, salmon, trout, herring, etc.), and/or shellfish (such as shrimp or crab), does not fit this vital assumption.(6)  Yet what kind of diet were the Scandinavian Vikings known for?  Seafood, especially fish – and lot so it!  So don’t look for fish to have the same concentration of Carbon 14 that one receives from eating bread, beef, beets, or dairy products.(4),(6)

Meanwhile, the metabolic difference in Carbon 14, between “terrestrial” and “marine” diets, requires that radiocarbon dating methods be adjusted, to account for how a mostly-marine (i.e., fish-dominated) diet produces human radiocarbon counts that are much less than diets comprised of mostly-terrestrial (i.e., more plant-derived) foods.(4),(5),(6)

This dietary reality is discussed, below, in a radiocarbon study of bones from Greenland Vikings, whose habit of eating fish (and other seafood) is historically well-documented (and undisputed).

Bone samples from the Greenland Viking colony provide us with a unique opportunity to test and use 4C dating of remains of humans who depended upon food of mixed marine and terrestrial origin. We investigated the skeletons of 27 Greenland Norse people excavated from churchyard burials from the late 10th to the middle 15th century. The stable carbon isotopic composition (813C) of the bone collagen reveals that the diet of the Greenland Norse changed dramatically from predominantly terrestrial food at the time of Eric the Red around AD 1000 to predominantly marine food toward the end of the settlement period around AD 1450. We find that it is possible to 14C-date these bones of mixed marine and terrestrial origin precisely when proper correction for the marine reservoir effect (the 14C age difference between terrestrial and marine organisms) is taken into account. From the dietary information obtained via the S13C values of the bones we have calculated individual reservoir age corrections for the measured 14C ages of each skeleton. The reservoir age corrections were calibrated by comparing the 14C dates of 3 highly marine skeletons with the 14C dates of their terrestrial grave clothes. The calibrated ages of all 27 skeletons from different parts of the Norse settlement obtained by this method are found to be consistent with available historical and archaeological chronology. . . .

        Bone Dating

The 14C dating of bone is by now technically well established, relying on refined chemical extraction techniques combined with accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) (for example, Brown et al. 1988). Since very small, even submilligram-sized, samples of bone collagen can be dated with AMS, it has become possible to select the best samples from a skeleton, minimizing problems with degradation and contamination. If the bone is reasonably well preserved, AMS 14C ages as well as stable carbon isotopic ratios can be determined reliably for skeletal remains of archaeological interest without destroying the object. If the bone collagen is of terrestrial origin, the measured (conventional) 14C age is converted into a true calendar age by using the global tree-ring calibration curve (Stuiver and Polach 1977). However, this simple procedure is not applicable when the bone collagen is derived in part from marine carbon which, due to the marine reservoir effect, appears several hundred 14C years older than the corresponding terrestrial carbon. This seriously constrains the dating of bones of people who have had access to food protein from the sea. Therefore, archaeologists have generally distrusted the precision of 14C dates of human bones. But precise 14C dating of human bones is so attractive to the archaeologist that it is highly desirable to add bone to the list of datable material. To extend the calibration of measured 14C ages to “marine” bones one needs to know both the marine food fraction and the reservoir age, that is, the age difference between the atmosphere and the particular region of the sea at the time the protein was produced.”

[Quoting from Jette Arneborg, Jan Heinemeier, Niels Lynnerup, Henrik L. Nielsen, Niels Rud, & Arny E. Sveinbjornsdottir, “Change of Diet of the Greenland Vikings Determined from Stable Carbon Isotope Analysis and 14C Dating of their Bones”, RADIOCARBON, 41(2):157-168 (1999), at page 157.]

In other words, unless the dietary difference is adjusted for, the skeletons of piscivorous Vikings (who ate literally tons of fish during their lives!) appear to be about a century (or more!) “older” than what they really are, because they appear to have been decaying (and thus losing) Carbon 14 much longer than they actually have been.(4)

Thus, the simple reality, of course, is that the Viking bones’ (supposedly) “missing” portion of the residual Carbon 14 was never there to start with!

So what is the take-away lesson we can learn from these skeletons?

For starters, note this limerick lesson regarding the relevant forensic evidences:

    250 skeletons were found,
    Decaying C-14  in the ground;
        But the bone “dates’ were odd,
        Due to diets of cod
    Proving carbon “dates” might not be sound.

Scientific sleuthing, like detective work in a whodunit mystery, requires more than observing physical evidences(3) – we need to learn from reliable eyewitnesses with personal knowledge of the relevant events, in order to properly interpret the evidentiary meaning of physical clues that we see today. Unlike the empirical science practice of observing experiments in the present, past events are no longer visible, so the need for reliable eyewitnesses is an unavoidable reality.  Eyewitness reports need to be verified as reliable (or not), of course, so observing physical evidence is useful for corroborating (or contradicting) an eyewitness report.(3)

The other side of the coin, however, is that empirical science findings must be critiqued by reliable eyewitness reports, if past events are being investigated.

It is a forensic science fundamental that we need reliable witnesses to understand physical effects caused by unique events of the no-longer-observable past. Thus, unusual historical events—such specific battles, or crimes, or traffic accidents, or a worldwide flood)—require more than merely observing physical effects that exist in the present, such as fingerprints, rubber skid-marks, or blood-spatter.(3),(7)

When it comes to reliable eyewitnesses, who can report true facts about our origins, we need Genesis. God is the perfect eyewitness: He was there, He observed it all, He remembers perfectly, He is always truthful, and He is perfectly capable of communicating accurate and relevant information in human language. If we don’t trust Genesis it is our own fault (John 5:44-47).


(1) John Haywood, THE PENGUIN HISTORICAL ATLAS OF THE VIKINGS (London: Penguin Books, 1995), pages 13 & 62-63.

(2) Recently evolutionists have been embarrassed by the presence of Carbon 14 (a/k/a “C-14”) in coal, oil, fossilized wood, natural gas samples, and even in many kinds of dinosaur bones, where evolutionary theories do not permit C-14 to be.  See, e.g., Jake Hebert, “Do Young C-14 Results Reflect Contamination?”, ACTS & FACTS, 42(7):20 (July 2013);  Brian Thomas & Vance Nelson, “Radiocarbon in Dinosaur and Other Fossils”, CREATION RESEARCH SOCIETY QUARTERLY, 51(4):299-311 (2015). In this study it is the proportional lack of Carbon 14 that presents a dating problem to the empirical scientists who glibly dismiss the applicational relevance of forensic science principles.

(3) James J. S. Johnson, “There’s Nothing Like an Eyewitness”, ACTS & FACTS, 45(12):20 (December 2016) (“Do we need reliable eyewitness reports to know the real truth about non-repeating historic events? In a word, yes.  After the fact, historical causes routinely leave behind physical effects, often with observable characteristics such as fingerprints, tire-tread impressions, or DNA. These can provide reliable inferences about what occurred at a specific location and time… [yet], for complete accuracy, there is nothing like a reliable eyewitness [who] can report relevant observations—about who, what, how, or why—that otherwise could leave a mystery misunderstood or unsolved. … Eyewitness testimony relies upon honesty, opportunity to observe, an accurate memory, and testimonial clarity. These forensic principles apply to the challenging task of reconstructing unique actions that happened in the past, because these events (unless recorded on film or video) can’t be seen in the present. This applies to learning about past occurrences as different as the sinking of a German warship or how sea creatures got fossilized along with land-roaming dinosaurs.”).

(4) Catrine L. Jarman, Martin Biddle, Tom Higham & Christopher Bronk Ramsey, “The Viking Great Army in England:  New Dates from the Repton Charnel”, ANTIQUITY (online version, 2018), pages 1-3 of 17 (posted February 2018, at https://doi.org/10.15184/aqy.2017.196 ).  Pages 2-3 of this article says: “Although several samples [perhaps from clothing] were consistent with a ninth-century [A.D.] date, a number [of samples, especially those taken form human bones] dated to the seventh and eighth centuries AD, and thus seemed to belong to an earlier phase of activity … [so] identification of those buried in the [Repton] charnel as members of the Great Army has been brought into question. [citing prior literature].”  Pages 6-7 of this article discuss the need to adjust radiocarbon-dating calculations to somehow account for the lower levels of C-14 originally accumulated in the bones of people who habitually eat large amounts of fish and other seafood.

(5) John D. Morris, THE GEOLOGY BOOK (Green Forest, Arkansas: Master Books, 2007), page 50.

(6) Jette Arneborg, Jan Heinemeier, Niels Lynnerup, Henrik L. Nielsen, Niels Rud, & Árný E. Sveinbjörnsdóttir, “Change of Diet of the Greenland Vikings Determined from Stable Carbon Isotope Analysis and 14C Dating of their Bones”, RADIOCARBON, 41(2):157-168 (1999).

(7) James J. S. Johnson, “Genesis Critics Flunk Forensic Science 101”, ACTS & FACTS, 41(3):8-9 (March 2012).


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
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 .