This past Friday, Feb 2, Lynn Marzulli’s second round on Paracas skull DNA was revealed to a pay-per-view audience. The Groundhog Day timing was appropriate. We’ve seen this before.
I’d love to say “good job; thanks for doing the hard work on this.” But I can’t. This isn’t doing the hard work. It’s pretending to have experts, doing sloppy work, and steering an audience toward a pre-determined conclusion. It’s a bad testimony to the unbelieving world. Someone has to say it.
For the record (again), these skulls have nothing to do with nephilim and are nothing but human. They are well known and have been thoroughly researched. But believers won’t care. The veracity of the Bible does not depend on such academic chicanery. And that’s the problem. For outsiders looking in, this will be another conformation in how Christians not only don’t think well, but just aren’t interested in thinking well. It’s another reinforcement of the myth that faith and reason are incompatible, and that pre-determined conclusions can be considered honest when it comes to the Bible. Sorry, but the ends don’t justify the means when it comes to presenting Scripture and representing Jesus.
If you think I’m being harsh, read Jason Colavito’s summary of the event. It will tell you how thinking people are processing this sort of sideshow. So far as I know, Jason is not a Christian. With enough exposure to stuff like this, I can’t blame him for never wanting to be one. And he won’t be alone in that by a long stretch. My apologies to Jason and other serious people who may have little interest in the gospel, and who will have even less interest now. I wish I could instead introduce them to some of the hundreds of scientists and scholars I personally know with sterling academic reputations and long histories publishing under peer review who are serious (not “name only”) Christians. Some of them leading experts in fields relevant to DNA research. In other words, they’re exactly the sort of people Marzulli doesn’t want involved and could never convince to endorse his “research.” (Look at Jason’s description of Marzulli’s team). All I can do is apologize and wish that, at some point, you’ll be exposed to serious people who have thought long and hard about the questions that represent obstacles to faith in the minds and hearts of so many, and who have embraced the gospel on the other side of that journey. I hope the same for Marzulli’s audience.
I’ve blogged before about the problems in Marzulli’s first round of DNA testing. Specific examples from someone who actually does that sort of thing can be found here. It’s a long post, but has a lot of detail. It details the sampling and testing problems that researchers like Colavito presume (with good reason) were not addressed by the second round of testing.
Second time around. Groundhog Day. Maybe it’s God’s way of injecting some humor into this. It’s not working, Lord.