December 2000

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Originally published in Creation 23, no 1 (December 2000): 31.

Feedback from magazne readers.

Beefalo buff

I read with great interest Dr Batten’s article on wholphins (22(4))[sic 22(3)], because my rancher dad was very involved in the Beefalo breed. For those who do not know, a full-blood Beefalo is 3/8 Buffalo, 5/8 beef cattle. My dad’s good friend and business associate, D.C. ‘Bud’ Basolo of California, was instrumental in developing this breed.

ROCKY MARQUISS
Wyoming, USA.

The author comments:
‘Thanks for this further example of different genera hybridizing—Bos (cattle) and Bison (American buffalo)—indicating that both descended from the original created "cattle kind".’ D.B.


Titanic trip-up

We enjoy your magazines so much. They teach us a lot about God’s creation. But in Creation 22(1) we found something we think is incorrect on page 13 in the article of ‘Other real catastrophes throughout history’. We have been reading about the R.M.S. Titanic in our homeschool, and the Titanic actually left port on April 10, 1912. It did not get struck by an iceberg until four days later just before midnight on April 14, 1912. Keep up the good work.

JONATHAN LAUGHMAN
(13 years old)
Maryland, USA.

Good pickup, Jonathan. Maybe we’ll have a job for you in a few years’ time—Ed.


Collated comments

Chronology queries: Several readers commendably (cf. Acts 17:11) questioned our Answers For Kids (AFK) genealogical chart ‘From Adam to Christ’ (22(4):38-39) on three main issues. However, taking all biblical data into consideration answers all three:

  1. ‘Where did you get Mary’s genealogy from?’ Luke 3 actually gives Mary’s line. The whole context presents Mary’s perspective, and the grammar of the original Greek means that it couldn’t have been Joseph’s line. Mary is not explicitly mentioned because Jewish rules for listing ancestors excluded women’s names.
  2. ‘You left Cainan out although he’s mentioned in Luke 3:36’. Yes, because this name is unlikely to have been in Luke’s original, instead being inserted in error later. ‘Cainan’ is not in the oldest known manuscript of Luke, it is not mentioned by any commentator before ad 220, and it is not in the complete genealogy of Genesis 11 (or in 1 Chronicles 1:18).
  3. ‘You’ve added Ahaziah, Joash, Amaziah, and Jehoiakim’. Yes, because the first three are in 1 Chronicles 3:11-12 (cf. 2 Chronicles 26), and the last is in 2 Kings 24:6. Matthew 1:17 shows that Matthew was selecting three sets of fourteen, so his omissions were deliberate.

All this is explained in detail in "The Virginal Conception of Christ".

Ark additions: Naval architect James King, commenting on ‘The Large Ships of Antiquity’ (22(3):46-48), suggested several reasons why more such giant ships were not built. With greater stresses on their wooden connecting mechanisms, larger ships would have had shorter useful lives, especially without drydocking. Manoeuvering in coastal waterways, and in battle, would have been restricted, too. But, he says, the Ark had no such limitations. ‘There is no reason to believe that Noah, the founder of my profession, could not have completed his assigned task.’

Astute reader Mike Nugent picked up a contradiction with a previous caption (22(1):14) in which we had said that the Ark was the largest vessel built till 1858. That was what we thought before Larry Pierce sent us his eye-opening information.

Gravity grievances: several readers thought we had erred in ‘Designer Gravity’ (22(3):44) by pondering why the inverse squared law of gravity was exactly that. After all, they thought, isn’t it obvious from the fact that the surface area of a sphere increases as the square of the radius? Actually, no, it’s not obvious, as the great Isaac Newton knew. Modern-day physicists are also intrigued by this, otherwise they wouldn’t bother to perform experiments to see if the exponent really is exactly 2.0.

Warfield woes: Mr E. Salmon was concerned lest our article on fallen evangelist Templeton (22(3):8-13) prejudice readers against the great theologians Charles Hodge and B.B. Warfield. We often make the point that even great Christian leaders have feet of clay like the rest of us, and when something they write contradicts the clear teaching of the Bible, their stature should not inhibit critical evaluation. While pointing out that Hodge and his Princeton successors like Warfield ‘unlocked a door’ to liberalism by using fallible human opinion to ‘re-interpret’ the days of Genesis, we are glad to acknowledge here that many of their writings have made an enormous and lasting contribution to the church.

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