India’s Under-appreciated Hero: Colonel Ole Bie

Colonel Ole Bie, A True Friend of India (Especially India’s Widows)

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the Lord.   (Psalm 102:18)

Here is my limerick about the under-appreciated contribution made to India, about 200 years ago, by Colonel Ole Bie, Norwegian-born Danish trade colony governor of Serampore, a Lutheran who supported Baptist missionary William Carey (and other Christian missionaries) in their efforts to share the Gospel of Christ in India (including Bible translations and the establishment of Serampore College)   —   as well as to promote the Genesis Mandate (by politically opposing the then-prevalent widow-burning custom called “sati”) for Adam’s descendants to “be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth”.

In time, after much lobbying of the British colonial government, a political victory was gained (to protect the lives of India’s widows).  Consequently, many families in India today can trace their genealogical existence back to widows who were allowed to remarry — and who, as remarried, later gave birth unto children (of their second marriages).

baby-in-the-womb

COLONEL OLE BIE, A TRUE FRIEND OF INDIA

India, long ago, traded with Danes;

‘Twas win-win, with both nations’ gains;

Labored Bie, Carey, and Roy,

Sati’s threat to destroy —

Ending those life-quenching banes.

See James J. S. Johnson, “Contending for the Faith and the Genesis Mandate”, ACTS & FACTS, 43(5):19 (May 2014), posted at  https://www.icr.org/article/contending-for-faith-genesis-mandate  .

Because every human life is precious to God, even if a single (and “unsung”) life is a inconspicuous as a water-drop.  [ See  https://pinejay.com/2019/12/05/is-your-life-like-a-drop-of-water/  .]

OleBieChurch-Serampore-India.monument



 

 

God gave us the book of Genesis.

God Gave Us the Book of Genesis

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  (Genesis 1:1)

Galaxy-Planets-Sun.wallpaper

God has given us the book of Genesis as miraculously revealed truth that is informationally accurate, authoritative, reliable, infallible, and relevant to understanding our origins; in other words, God has told us understandable truth about our origins in the book of Genesis. [Genesis chapter 1-11; John 5:44-47; etc.] 

Details in Scripture, including many “high definition” details embedded in Hebrew words and phrases, repeatedly demonstrate God’s communicative perspicuity, reliability, and genius. [Psalm 19; Psalm 119; Psalm 139; etc.]

In fact, the Lord Jesus Christ endorsed the books of Moses (which include Genesis) as authoritative, and indicated that we ourselves will be judged by how seriously we respect those Scriptures. [John 3:12; John 5:44-47]

The Hebrew text of Genesis 1:1 teaches us a lot about important facts about creation (which occurred “in the beginning” – not “in a beginning”)—Who, what, when, etc. [Genesis 1:1]

Cosmos-SpiralGalaxy-space

God’s creative works include creating physical stuff form nothing, creating animal nephesh life from nothing, and human spirits (made uniquely in God’s image) from nothing, as well as His creative shaping of physical stuff into physical bodies of humans, animals, plants, and other object on Earth and in the heaven – as well as His redemptive work of regenerating sinners who trust in Christ for salvation.  [Genesis chapters 1 & 2; Psalm 102:18; 2nd Corinthians 5:17]

Creation Week consisted of God creatively working for 6 normal days [yôm in singular; yamîm in plural], followed by 1 normal day of rest (the Sabbath); therefore, the so-called “Day-Age” theory, “Gap” theory, and all other departures from the Genesis cosmogony (of 6 normal days) are errors. [Genesis chapter 1-11; John 5:44-47; etc.]  The Day-Age theory (which includes the “progressive creation” variant of that theory) is false.  Also, the Gap Theory is false. 

Theories that evade the historical narrative character of Genesis, such as those which mischaracterize Genesis as if it was “Hebrew poetry”, are false cosmogonies.

Why do many teach an origins story that departs from understanding Creation Week as 6 normal days, followed by 1 normal day of rest (the Sabbath)?   Sadly, this is done just to accommodate secular mythologies.

Yet chronological information provided within Genesis (e.g., Genesis chapter 5) establishes a recent creation history (within an absolute range of 6,000 to 7,000 years of age), regardless of whether genealogies in Genesis are “open” or closed”.  [ Genesis 1-11, analyzed in www.icr.org/article/4124 ]

Theories that impute personification to “nature” (e.g., Darwin’s notion of “natural selection”) clash with the creation account reported in Genesis, because Genesis excludes animistic powers to natural forces.  However, it was God Who did all the “selecting”, for each of us to be (pro)created!Psalm139.13-16-FamilyHistory-slide

Bottom line:   God gave us the Book of Genesis, so that we can know what really happened “in the beginning”, i.e., so we can truly know about origins — such as how all of the physical creation originated, how animal life originated, how human life originated, how human sin originated, how human death originated, how redemptive hope (in Christ, as the prophesied “Seed of Woman”) for humanity was originally promised, etc., etc., etc.

Are Family Lines Like Relay Races?

ARE FAMILY LINES LIKE RELAY RACES?

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

 This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the Lord.   (Psalm 102:18)

RelayRace-Starting.little-girl

A relay race requires a team united in their efforts to reach a destination within a certain timeframe. Each relay runner runs part of the race’s total distance.  Besides running, relay races may involve cross-country skiing, swimming, ice skating, or even race-car driving.  A relay race is a team sport – if the team doesn’t work well together, the unsurprising result is a failure to win.

Planning and preparation—including division of labor decisions and logistical support– are important for successfully competing in a relay race. Who will lead off?  Who will run the next “leg”? Who runs the “last leg” of the race? Transferring the baton can “make or break” a success.   Dropping the baton can ruin everything.

RelayRace-passing-baton

Biogenetically speaking, our family lines are like relay races, except the “race” is much slower. Thankfully, our parents transferred the baton of life to us; we do the same to our children.  They must do the same for our grandchildren, and so on.  But what if our parents had “dropped” the baton, procreatively, when we needed them most—so they we would be conceived and born?

No one can “start” any “leg” of the multi-generational race unless and until God Himself procreatively makes that person. That requires literally thousands of years of God’s providential work—the details of which we never learn in this lifetime.  Yet God kindly chose to make each of us the exact individual each one of us is.  There is just one you.  That is how personal God is, as our Creator. Beyond that His Son has provided redemption for our sin.  That’s enough to glorify God and enjoy Him forever!

Psalm139.13-16-FamilyHistory-slide

What a start in life we each have, physically:  planned by God, procreatively constructed—microscopically—in the womb, by God’s own artistic embroidery-like needlework (Psalm 139:15).  And that’s just our physical life!

Psalm102.18-FamilyHistory-slide

Now imagine how God gives each of us a unique personality—a thinking mind, our emotions, our ability to make choices—all of those singularly human traits that pertain to being created in God’s image.  And even before our physical bodies were formed, by the miraculous union of sperm and egg, the spiritual redemption that we each so desperately need (as Adam’s descendants) is already provided for, by Christ’s finished death and resurrection—as a gift which we receive simply by believing His good news about it.  What an amazing start!

But, as members of a specific family, we are members of a team that must all run.  So having a wonderful start is no place to quit.  It is our duty to run with endurance, our assigned “leg” of the race, as we blend our part of the race with that of our family “teammates”.  That includes focusing on Christ Himself—Who is our ultimate goal (Hebrews 12:1-2), pacing our race with endurance (that He provides), refusing to be distracted (by the world), and doing our best to help the next runner(s) to get off to a good start.

RelayRace-ScottishKilts-fromGoogleImages

How well have you appreciated those who “ran” before you, and who (biogenetically) passed a baton that became a necessary part of who—in God’s providence—you are today?   What work did God do to make sure that your father was born the boy he was?  What details of human history made it possible for your mother to be procreatively created as the girl she was?  What about your mother’s parents—what work did God do, in history, to make them who they were?  Why and how did they meet?  What about your paternal grandparents, have you thanked God for their lives?  What family history can you pass on to the next generation, and the next, so they can know what to thank God for?

HudsonJohnson.AD2018-neonatal-hat

Does all of this stretch your mind?  — it should, but the next question is how can you honor God with your own family history? Can you think of something specific you can do, this week, about this?

<> JJSJ     profjjsj@aol.com

Bill-Sonia-and-kids.family-photo

Being Thankful About the Basics, including the Little Things

Being Thankful About the Basics, including the Little Things

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.  (Luke 10:20)

John14.2-pic

Being secure for eternity, thanks to having the Lord Jesus Christ as my Redeemer, is wonderful (John 3:14-16; Luke 10:20).  Yet I would have no eternity, either good or bad, if God had never created me (to be me) in the first place.

In other words, the most basic gratitude, that we should have, is being thankful that God chose to make us as the unique humans we are (Psalm 102:18).

PaloDuroCanyon-Mastodon-with-JJSJ

JJSJ birdwatching / hiking in Palo Duro Canyon, Texas Panhandle, during spring of AD2018 (photo-shopped Mastodon inserted by my cousin Don Barber)

So here is a limerick about appreciating being a creature (whom God chose to make), plus being grateful for some of the simplest things in life, such as good food (Acts 14:17).

THANK YOU, GOD, FOR BLESSING LITTLE ME

(AND FOR LITTLER BLESSINGS TOO)

O God, thanks for making little me;

Thanks, too, for littler blessings I can see:

Little gifts, like cherries red,

Liverwurst, dark rye bread —

Thanks mostly, You chose to make me!

Cherries-wild


 

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


 

CHILDHOOD MEMORIES, INCLUDING EATING WILD BERRIES

cherries-wild

Childhood years, rural neighborhood,
Happy years, very blessed and good;
Picking blackberries,
Collecting cherries,
Glad I lived those years while I could!

COMMENTARY:  See Acts 14:17, as well as Romans 8:28.  By God’s grace I was given a wonderful childhood, living in rural neighborhoods of Maryland — with 5 of those elementary school years lived in a part of Montgomery County that bordered Frederick County — then very much rural farmland, with more wooded forests that a boy could ever exhaust, recreationally.   Blackberries and wild strawberries could be easily found (and eaten), and one forest hosted what was once (generations earlier) a cherry orchard, so the supply of wild cherries (in season) was inexhaustible.  Walking through (and playing in) the beauty-filled forests there, within a mile or two of my home (especially during the summer, when there was no school) was a continuing privilege of joy and happiness — a privilege that constantly reminded me of what a wonderful Creator our God is, and near the end of elementary school I confirmed my belief in the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior (Luke 10:20; 2nd Timothy 3:15).  It was such a joy then — and now — to have the life that God has given me (including the eternal life I have I Christ my Savior), so I am now one example of Psalm 102:18’s fulfillment.

Mystick Mystery: Scientists Investigate Connecticut’s Pequot War Battlefield

mystick-battle-pequotwar-bw-engraving

Mystick Mystery:  Scientists Investigate Connecticut’s Pequot War Battlefield

 James J. S. Johnson, JD, ThD, CIHE, CPEE

O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of ‘science’ falsely so-called.   (1st Timothy 6:20)

The Pequot War in New England, during AD1636-AD1637, climaxed in a morning firefight at Fort Mystick, in Connecticut.(1) What really happened there? The explosive battle began and ended quickly, with many dead or wounded, some captured (and enslaved), — and many questions linger about who did what, when, where, how, and why.

The historic battle of Fort Mystick involved Puritans and Pequots, Narragansetts, and Mohegans.(1),(2) The site still bears silent witness to the triumphant yet tragic events of that day, providing physical evidence that forensic scientists can analyze for demonstrative clues.

The most extensive [forensic/archeological] work undertaken by the Battlefields Project has involved retracing the fateful events of May 25 and 26, AD1637, surrounding the fortified Pequot settlement at Mistick (modern Mystic, Connecticut). When English forces stormed the village’s wooden palisades, it was to be the major turning point in the Pequot War, shifting the balance of power in southern New England permanently in English favor.(1) [quoting Urbanus, page 34]

Examining the battlefield of Fort Mystick, almost 400 years later, can illustrate both the value and limitations of forensic science, showcasing some apologetics lessons relevant to origins science and the Genesis record.

 

Scientific Approach #1:  Guessing at Causation Events by Examining Only Physical Evidence

Suppose the battlefield was observed using the fundamental empirical science technique: observation.  Indeed, observation is the heart of the so-called “scientific method”.  What could be learned, by careful inspection and measurements, on the Fort Mystick battlefield?  What kind of inspection can be done, at this late hour, to know what transpired during the conflict involving hundreds of English colonists and various local native tribes? What artifacts (physical items) remain, that help us to understand what occurred that morning in May?

Archeologists use various investigative methods to analyze historic sites, such as military battlefields.  A complete “walkover”, supplemented by satellite maps (and topographical maps, if elevation differences are significant), can provide an introduction to the land where the events occurred.  The specific property where the battle took place is micro-mapped into a grid system, so that each square foot of property can be analyzed as to what is found (or not found) there.  Invasive methods (such as excavation) can be minimized by remote sensing and metal detection technology, to locate the wood-in-soil remains of the Pequot tribe’s “fortress fence” palisade—and to locate miscellaneous items under the soil, such as buried arrowheads or musket balls.(1) Soil testing may also reveal clues of past activities.(3)

The physical topography of the site is relevant to the actions of that fateful day. Did soldiers move uphill or downhill? Would troop movements be affected by the presence of rivers, streams, woods, or jagged rock formations? Assuming military movements, what were the key terrains, strategic observation points, cover/concealment places, obstacles to movement, and avenues of approach (such as palisade openings for ingress and egress)?(4)

What artifacts were found, in the soil? Round musket balls and deformed (“mushroomed”) musket balls are miniature monuments to the shooting activities of Connecticut Puritans. Arrowheads, spearheads, and tomahawk fragments are artifacts evidencing combat actions of Pequots, Narragansetts, and Mohegans.  Sometimes fragments of muskets, such as broken trigger mechanisms, are found in the soil.  Why would muskets get broken like that?

More questions invite answers—such as why would arrowheads be found all over the battle site, both inside and outside the fort’s palisade walls? In reconstructing the history of the battle, does it make sense to infer that the Pequot Indians (who fought from inside the fort) were both shooting arrows at the attacking English Puritans, and also being shot by arrows as well?  Surely English Puritans were not shooting arrows at Pequots! Yet the location of arrowheads appears to indicate that the Pequots inside (and sometimes exiting from) the fort’s palisade walls were being shot by arrows.(1)  What was going on back then?

If only physical evidence is available—observable in the present—we cannot make much sense (i.e., have a reliable understanding) of what really happened there on May 26, 1637.(5)

Why were some musket balls round, yet others deformed?  Why are broken bits of muskets left in the soil? Why were defending Pequot warriors being shot by arrows? If the only evidence available is presently observable physical evidence, the limitations of empirical science provide a dead-end to most of these causation questions.(1),(5)

But forensic science methodology, when applied to analyze no-longer-observable events of the past, is not so limited, because forensic science analysis incorporates reliable eye-witness testimony. And the reports of past events, by reliable eye-witnesses,(5) are what provide a trustworthy framework for recognizing the logical connection between present effects and past causes.

 

Scientific Approach #2:  Matching Physical Effects to Causation Reports by Eye-witnesses

Unlike the prior investigation, limited to physical evidence only, now consider a forensic approach where the physical evidences are analyzed to corroborate (i.e., “fit”) the eye-witness accounts, and thus compared with the physical evidence at the scene, to see if the eye-witness reports are buttressed or impeached by the physical evidences.

Using [Captain] Mason’s written journal, the boundaries of the fort, and the artifact distribution pattern and analysis, archaeologists have been able to ascertain the sequence of events of the Battle of Mystick Fort.(1)

Consider how participants in the Fort Mystick battle reported the events that occurred there, noting the excitement and duress of shooting muskets while being showered with countervailing arrows and spears. Some musketeers spilled musket balls, while trying to load them for shooting.  Those musket balls fell to the ground, still round in shape. Musket balls that were shot, however, and entered human bodies, deformed on impact, so eye-witness accounts of Pequots being shot provide a logical explanation for the causation of “mushroomed” musket balls.

But what explains where arrows were found?  Battle participants all concur that the battle was not limited to English Puritans versus Pequot tribesmen. Rather, the Pequots had many enemies, so the attacking force was composed more of Narragansetts and Mohegans than it was of Englishmen.(1),(2)

In other words, Narragansett arrows and Mohegan arrows were being shot at Pequot defenders, and vice versa, in addition to English musket balls.  Eye-witness reports also account for the broken musket parts, which became soil debris recovered centuries later. When ammunition was exhausted, hand-to-hand combat occurred—tomahawks chopping muskets, as muskets were swung as clubs or as defensive staffs (to ward off tomahawk chops and dagger jabs). It is this integration of eye-witness reports and physical evidence that provides a forensic picture of the past.

The position of the English forces could be gleaned, in part, by the presence of intact musket balls, which were frequently dropped [as eye-witness accounts indicated] as soldiers attempted to reload and fire quickly under duress.  Additionally, the direction of the attacking volley could be identified by concentrations of melted or impacted shot, which deform as they hit targets. In similar fashion, by analyzing the pattern of Pequot projectile points [e.g., arrowheads or spearheads, that remain in the soil centuries after those projectiles were launched], the archaeologists were able to surmise the direction and movement of the Pequot forces. Large concentrations of metal artifacts other than musket balls, such as broken gun parts or armor, indicated areas where hand-to-hand combat likely took place [which “fit” the action described later by battle participants].(1) [quoting Urbanus, page 36]

Apart from divine intervention, eye-witnesses perceptions and memories are finite and fallible, so their reports can be flawed or (if dishonesty complicates the reporting) even fabricated.  Accordingly, comparing controversial witness reports with physical evidences – without automatically trusting every detail in an eye-witness report — is a worthwhile endeavor, to reconstruct how a series of sequential events occurred in the past.(5)

In short, the eye-witness reports provide a potential explanation of cause-and-effect happenings, and that explanation either fits the physical effect facts or it doesn’t.

According to trail-blazing forensic scientist Edmond Locard, “every contact leaves a trace”, although caused effects can be obliterated by later “contaminations” of the physical evidence.(6) However, without an eye-witness report, as a testimonial framework to match physical effects (as either “fit” or “misfit”) to, the physical evidences themselves become mere fodder for unscientific speculations.(5),(7) Physical evidences are especially helpful for testing the reliability of a witness report, by corroborating or impeaching the plausibility and accuracy of the reported facts, because physical facts (like fingerprints or DNA) can serve as an “inferential rebuttal” (e.g., disproving an alibi story).(8)

Forensic Science Lessons, Relevant for Studying Origins Science and the Genesis Record

This need for (and value of) eye-witness testimony applies to investigating and understanding our origins. If a closed-Bible approach is taken to studying origins, unscientific speculations run riot.(5),(7),(9) After all, the physical creation—including complex life-forms that die—can confuse the present-day observer, who tries to reconcile designed beauty and complexity in living things (which exhibits intelligent engineering beyond human imaginations, much moreso beyond human capabilities) with the tragic and ugly realities of parasitism, predation, and death.(5),(7),(10)

In short, the atheist and the deist—both of whom try to explain the physical effects of Earth’s origin (as well as the origins of life-forms, and even our own origin) apart from Scripture—are guaranteed to err on major cause-and-effect questions, such as how was physical stuff made to exist; how was life caused to be; how did humans become male or female; how did death originate; how did the habit of observing a seven-day week begin; how did the reports of a universal Flood get started; how did human languages come into being; etc.(5),(7),(9)

Your origins matter. And you cannot know your origins without studying Genesis (which is the perfectly reliable eye-witness report, provided by the divine Eye-Witness Himself)  —  and believing  —  its report about the no-longer-observable past.(10)  It is only an open-Bible approach, to studying physical evidences, that makes relevant sense of both the big-picture and the details of our origins.

References

(1)          Jason Urbanus, “America’s First War: Uncovering Evidence of a Little Known Colonial-Era Conflict that Forever Altered the Dynamics of Native American and European Relations in North America”, Archaeology (January/February 2015), 32-37.

(2)          John Winthrop, The Journal of John Winthrop 1630-1649 (Harvard University Press, 1996 abridged ed.), 122-123; William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 (Alfred A. Knopf, 1989), 295-296, 396-398. See also Henry R. Stiles, The History and Genealogies of Ancient Windsor, Connecticut – 1635-1891 (Picton Press, 1992), I:69 & II:50; Donald S. Barber, The Connecticut Barbers, 2nd ed. (n.d.), Part 1, entry for First Generation, Sgt. Thomas Barber (“The Pequot War in 1637”).  The Connecticut family history data, used in this research, was provided in large part by my cousin Donald Barber.

(3)          Jennifer Bonetti & Lawrence Quarino, “Comparative Forensic Soil Analysis of New jersey State Parks Using a Combination of Simple Techniques with Multivariate Statistics”, Journal of Forensic Science, 59(3):627-633-636 (May 2014).

(4)          The Military Terrain Analysis model uses the acronym KOCOA:  Key terrain, Observation, Cover and concealment, Obstacles, Avenues of approach.

(5)          Federal Rules of Evidence, Rules 401-403. See also James J. S. Johnson, “Genesis Critics Flunk Forensic Science 101”, Acts & Facts, 41(3):8-9 (March 2012), note 9; James J. S. Johnson, “Tonsils, Forensic Science, and the Recent Fabrication Rule”, Acts & Facts, 41(6):8-9 (June 2012).

(6)          Jim Fraser, Forensic Science, A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2010), 2.

(7)        1st Timothy 6:20.  Unlike the usual need to test the verisimilitude of eye-witness reports, the Bible is   perfect and inerrant, so there is no excuse for committing what Dr. Jason Lisle has aptly labeled the “two-book fallacy”, because the Scripture always provided accurate and undistorted coverage of the history it reports. See Jason Lisle, “The Two-Book Fallacy”, Acts & Facts, 42(1):9 (January 2013). See also James J. S. Johnson, “What Good Are Experts?”, Acts & Facts, 41(11):8-10 (November 2012).

(8)        The forensic relevance of “inferential rebuttals” is analyzed in Richardson I.S.D. v. Watkins, TEA Docket # 025-LH-1207 (Texas CIHE decision, 2-1-AD2008), Part IV.  Regarding impeachment exhibits, see Dallas I.S.D. v. Gali, TEA Docket # 029-LH-1205 (Texas CIHE decision, 2-17-AAD2006), applying Texas Evidence Rule 901.

(9)        See Dr. Bill Cooper’s “The Calendar and the Antiquity of Genesis”, Acts & Facts, 38(6):19 (June 2009). See also James J. S. Johnson, “Is the Present the Key to our Past?”, Acts & Facts, 43(6):19 (June 2014); James J. S. Johnson, “The Failed Apologetic of the Wedge Strategy”, Acts & Facts, 40(8):10-11 (August 2011).

(10)      Job 38:4 & 38:21.  See also James J. S. Johnson, “Human Suffering; Why This Isn’t the ‘Best of All Possible Worlds’”, Acts & Facts, 40(11):8-10 (November 2011); James J. S. Johnson, “People Yet to be Created”, Acts &Facts, 43(11):20 (November 2014).


[ A later version of this article is posted on Answers in Genesis website at https://answersingenesis.org/what-is-science/mystick-mystery-scientists-investigate-connecticuts-pequot-war-battlefield/ .]