Science and the Creator: Sharks
Proverbs 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, …
In our last Journal entry, we began an occasional feature, one of the purposes of which is to allow us (you as well as me) to stand in proxy for those scientists who cannot or will not acknowledge the Creator in the course of their discoveries and inventions. Previously, we reported on an invention based on the magnetic mapping ability of the Caribbean spiny lobster. As long as we are in the ocean, let us now report on a discovery and invention based on the shark. Before we get to the actual inventions, we have another path to explore which is also related to the shark.
Stone Kingdom Ministries is a trans-denominational ministry. We have many areas of agreement with our brethren in the denominational churches (see our Statement of Faith), especially the basic doctrines of the Christian faith. However, there are also some doctrines which we have concluded are true biblical teachings but with which conclusion our brethren do not agree. Chief among those truths we teach are the absolute extent of the sovereignty of God, the ultimate salvation of all, the applicability of God’s law today, and identity of the Israel people in the world today.
Even if we believed that we are not the literal descendants of the tribes of Israel—i.e., if we believed, as most of our Christian brethren do, that we are some non-Israelite “gentile” people—we would still advocate the need to teach and obey God’s laws. (Obviously, the blood ordinances and ceremonial rituals have been “nailed to the cross,” however, they are separate from God’s commandments, statutes and judgments, which remain in effect. See Matthew 5:18-19 among many others.)
We believe that eating the flesh of creatures which God has designated as unclean (e.g., swine’s flesh) can lead to all manner of diseases, especially cancer. We are not claiming that eating bacon, pork chops, ham, etc. will necessarily result in cancer, only that it might be a strong contributing factor. Cancer is a great plague in America. It is the second-leading cause of death in America, just a few percentage points behind heart disease. It is projected that about half of us living today will die of cancer.
Orthodox medicine treats cancer by three primary methods: cut, burn and poison: surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. The results of these methods over the past 50 years or so can be summed up in one word: failure. Thus, some open-minded physicians and many non-physician health practitioners have sought for and found scores of alternative means of assisting those with cancer—often with much better success rates than allopathic medicine.
In the 1970s, laetrile (vitamin B-17) was found to be successful in reversing many (but not all) cases. (When you crush an apple seed between your molars and taste that slightly bitter, but not unpleasant taste, that is vitamin B-17. So bite into those seeds, boys and girls, because swallowing them whole will not release the B-17. Perhaps there’s more to that old maxim than we’ve thought: an apple a day keeps the doctor away.) Since the 70s many scores of other substances have been found to be even more effective—including shark cartilage.
But for some cancer victims who also believe in following God’s food laws (as I do), this presents a problem. They believe that the shark is among the unclean creatures and therefore anything derived from shark would be forbidden to be ingested. But let us examine the matter more closely. God’s law concerning edible water creatures is as follows:
Leviticus 11:9 These shall ye eat of all that are in the waters: whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat.
10 And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you.
Catfish has fins but is smooth-skinned—no scales—therefore it is unclean and not to be used for food. By the way, the phrase “unclean food” is an oxymoron. If it is defined by God as “unclean,” it is not a food, period. It is an unclean creature; it is not an unclean food. “Seafood” is usually an oxymoron also, because it often refers to all manner of creatures forbidden for food, such as lobster, shrimp, clams, oysters, etc. Scientists long ago discovered that the primary purpose of such creatures (including catfish), is to serve as the vacuum cleaners and garbage processing crews of the waters. And you want to eat them!? Likewise, the pig is one of our Father’s specially-designed garbage disposal and clean-up creatures for the land, along with dogs, vultures, etc.
But what about sharks? Clean or unclean? Unless one has actually seen and touched sharkskin, one might conclude that it is an unclean creature. But be careful how you touch that sharkskin, as noted in the following article which appeared in the October, 2007 issue of Discover magazine. (Emphasis mine—JWB)
“Sharkskin is made up of tiny, platelike scales called dermal denticles, whose strength protects the animal and whose drag-reducing properties allow it to move quickly after prey. The skin’s texture—relatively smooth if stroked from head to tail but painfully rough in the other direction—has made it suitable for applications including sandpaper and sword grips.
In 2000 Speedo introduced a sharkskin-inspired swimsuit. The newest version, called the LZR Racer, led to so many world records that in July, swimming’s governing body banned the LZR and similar swimwear from international competition.”
And with that brief article, we have made two points. One, the shark is not unclean. If I contracted cancer, God forbid, ingestion of shark cartilage supplements would be part of my treatment regimen. Two, there goes man again, copying the brilliant engineering designs of our Creator, this time to enhance the drag-reducing properties of swimwear for speed-swimming contestants. On behalf of the swimwear designer who was “inspired” to copy the shark, we exult: Praise the Lord, oh my soul, and all that is within me, praise His holy name!
By the way, please consider my two-part lecture, God’s Food Laws (link is no longer valid), for a detailed study. Two CDs, $10 by mail order. Regrettably, this pair of lectures is not presently available for download.