My Recent Trip to Florida

For fifteen years I’ve served on the board of directors of Creation Education Resources (CER), a creation ministry located near Jacksonville, Florida. Rich and Ginger Overman run CER, and CER does several things, such as creation seminars and trips. They have also produced the Research Assistance Database (RAD), a search engine for virtually all that has been published in the creation literature. The RAD allows you to search more than 21,000 abstracts for authors, titles, key words, and phrases. It’s an essential starting point for researching a topic in the creation literature.

AligatorMid to late winter, I travel to Jacksonville for the annual CER board meeting. CER sponsors an annual canoe and fossil trip on the Peace River in Arcadia, Florida. This trip uses the expertise of Gary and Mary Parker to identify the fossils that we find. The Parkers run Creation Adventures Museum, located in their home (“Their house is a museum, when people come to see’um, they really are a scree’um, the Parker Family”). For the past three years we’ve scheduled the fossil trip near the time of the board meeting so that I could go on the trip. This year, the event was February 28 through March 2. On this year’s trip, a young man noticed a small alligator in a hole on the river bank. Providentially, we had an alligator expert on the trip, so he pulled the gator out for us to examine. In addition to finding fossils and gators, I brought along two telescopes from Johnson Observatory. Friday night I showed stars and constellations, and we looked at Jupiter and the Orion Nebula through the telescopes. On Sunday morning we used the telescopes to view sunspots and solar prominences.

Calvary Chapel in Orange Park, Florida, requested a creation conference the following weekend (March 7–9). I gave three presentations on Saturday, while Gary Parker gave one presentation on Friday, Saturday, as well as Sunday morning. Rich Overman spoke once on Saturday. Over lunch Saturday I set up the telescopes again so that people could view the sun. That evening we looked at the moon and Jupiter. The lights were bright in the area, so we couldn’t see much more. On Sunday morning, I spoke at another Calvary Chapel in the area. The pastor asked me to set up the telescopes for his congregation so that they could see the sun as well. I don’t know if I’ve ever enjoyed a creation conference as much as this one. The people were wonderful—they even gave me Cheerwine. For those of you uninitiated, Cheerwine is a delicious cherry soft drink bottled in Salisbury, North Carolina, since 1917. It’s very popular in the Carolinas and other regions of the Southeast, but hard to find here in Kentucky. That was a treat!

Between the weekend events, I spoke several times in the Jacksonville area. On Tuesday and Wednesday I spoke at assemblies in two Christian schools, and I spoke twice at a church Wednesday evening. On Thursday and Friday, I was at Trinity Baptist College and Trinity Christian School. On either day I spoke to seven classes, some from the college, and some from the high school. On my way back to Kentucky, I passed through South Carolina, where I spoke in an astronomy class at Bob Jones University. My research partner, Ron Samec, has asked me to do this each semester for at least a decade.

Oh, and on my way home I picked up twelve cases of Cheerwine. There are several other Cheerwine fans at Answers in Genesis. I wonder if Noah’s Café would be interested in carrying it.

Alton

My wife and I visited with Alton Basilico in Macon, Georgia, on our way to Florida. Alton and I were in graduate school at Clemson in the late 1970s, but we hadn’t seen one another in a long time.

Gary-Parker

Dr. Gary Parker speaking

Sungazing

Here is a photo of people on the fossil trip looking at the sun. The building in the background is Dr. Parker’s Creation Expeditions Museum.