Yellowstone was such an amazing place that those who heard the accounts of the early explorers thought they were just telling tall tales. Others who smelled the sulfur, heard the roaring steam vents, and saw the boiling mud pots thought for sure it was a connection to hell and the Devil himself. Yellowstone National Park sitting on an ancient volcanic caldera still causes wonder and awe, but is more of a paradise of amazing examples of God's creation than the fearsome names and descriptions given to many of its features.
Out of the eruption of the Yellowstone caldera and the subsequent movement of animals and humans arises three testimonies that can be clearly observed today in Yellowstone National Park regarding the validity of the Bible.
I am pleased to announce the newest addition to the Faith & Science Intersect National Park Testimony Series - Yellowstone: A Testimony Erupted from Stone. This joins the two earlier segments:
I'm often asked which national park is my favorite, to which I reply, "whichever one I am currently in". Who doesn't love national parks? They wonderfully preserve, as John Muir called it, "wildness". But, I love to visit these parks because I see God's creative work marvelously displayed. I also find these parks contain many testimonies that help build my faith in the God who created them and in the validity of His Word.
This new Faith & Science page is loaded with detailed information about Yellowstone National Park. If you haven't been there, after viewing this information, you will want to plan a trip in the near future. If you have been there, I am sure you will want to go back. We not only talk about the geothermal features, but show you video clips of each type ... and, you can even watch a live webcam of Old Faithful and find out when it will next erupt! The geothermal activity is a testimony to a Biblical geological timeline.
If you want to see lots of animals that are not in a zoo, Yellowstone is the place to go. You will not only see animals, but you will see them interacting in an ecosystem in much the way God designed them to behave. There is much talk today about sustainability. Over the last several decades, our culture has elevated it to be a principle core value that is taught in our academic institutions and promulgated through our government. But, is sustainability a new concept? Is it something new our generation has developed? I think many might be surprised to learn that sustainability was actually a part of God's original design. However, Genesis 3 brought a change to God's perfect and sustainable world and introduced the "bondage of decay" as Paul describes it in Romans 8:19-22. Mankind's sin brought decay and death. The world and its inhabitants were no longer eternally sustainable but were now subject to pain, sweat, heartache, and having to adapt to a new way of life. But, God had already foreseen this and built into His creation adaptability. God doesn't need to adapt, because He does not change (Psalm 102:25-27). However, His groaning creation needed the ability to adapt to the deadly effects of sin. God built this adaptability into the physical bodies of the animal kingdom and, to a certain extent, in humans. But, spiritually, humans cannot adapt to the effects of sin, so God provided another solution.
A third testimony that is observed at Yellowstone involves humans. How and when did humans first arrive at the park? To illustrate this anthropic testimony, we point to the post-flood ice age as evident by the 4,000 feet of ice that once covered Yellowstone. Even by secular accounts, man is a relative new comer to this region. The website identifies great "Yellowstone migrations" including the arrival of indigenous tribes dating back to the 1400s. We look at the coming of the mountain men and trappers, with some bigger than life characters like Jim Bridger and John Colter. The first government expeditions of the future national park took place in 1869-1871 to verify the wild accounts from these mountain men and were the first steps forward in protecting this national treasure. This was followed by a race across the park in 1877 by Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce tribe as they were fleeing government soldiers.
Today, we still migrate to places like Yellowstone National Park. Since 2015, over 4 million visitors per year have migrated to Yellowstone. The one exception was 2020, due to COVID and the park being closed for a few weeks, the visitation dropped to 3.8 million.
Why is it so many people visit these national parks? Is it just to take a family vacation, see some cool things, and buy expensive t-shirts? ... Or is it something more?
I believe we migrate to national parks, because the splendor of God’s creation draws us to awe and admiration of His power and creative work – whether we know it or not. Psalm 65:8 says, "The whole earth is filled with awe at Your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, You call forth songs of joy." If you can't go soon to one of these national parks, check out the Testimony Series and learn more about the witness God has placed of His Word in them.