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"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
This is a fascinating chronological and eyewitness account of finding "Ropens" (pterosaurs), written by Jonathan D. Whitcomb, who has spent many years with his associates (Garth Guessman and David Woetzel) to track down these creatures. The "ropen" is a flying prehistoric reptile such as the pterosaurs, such as the Pteranodon or the Rhamphorhyncus. Whitcomb tracks down sightings of these creatures in places like Umboi Island, Australia, Papua New Guinea, Europe, Cuba, Mexico and even in the U.S. The book is replete with eyewitness sightings of the creature. In Papua New Guinea the natives saw a huge pterosaurs with a 7 meter tail and 15 meter wingspan. Other eyewitnesses claim the pterosaurs transmit a luminescent light and glow in the dark -- they have been known to eat fish, clams, and even humans. One of the most helpful synopses is the Appendix, which provides answers to the food the creatures eat, their danger to humans, and their nesting grounds. Furthermore, the author notes that the Bible speaks of "fiery serpents" in Numbers 21: 6-9. One of the key purposes in Whitcomb's writing of this book is not only to chronicle the eyewitness reports and descriptions of the pterosaurs but to make a case that the biblical account of creation in the Bible is accurate. It is God who created the great sea serpents and dragons (cf. Gen. 1:21), and humans lived together with these "prehistoric" creatures. If you're interested in cryptozoology and wonder if dinosaurs and prehistoric creatures exist today, this is an excellent book for you to read. I found it to be a fascinating read. I'm hoping that in the future the researchers would be able to photograph this amazing creature and post these photos for the whole world to see.
Whitcomb seems well intentioned and passionate in his campaign to prove the existence of modern pterosaurs, but his claims go far beyond the evidence, and promote faulty ideas about Earth science and science in general. Even though the author appears heavily motivated by young-earth, anti-evolutionary views, the irony is, this book is likely to do more in the long run to undermine than enhance creationist credibility. Indeed, even most creationist groups and cryptozoologist researchers have not endorsed Whitcomb's claims, and some are so far-fetched that they are likely to embarrass even fellow creationists. For example, he argues that an usually large “Marfa Light” in Texas could be due to many glowing pterosaurs engaging in a massive mating ritual, that “7 million” people have seen pterosaurs at night. Whitcomb starts from flawed premises. One is the idea that confirming a modern pterosaur would refute an old Earth and evolution, which is also clearly false, since whenever “living fossils” (such as coelacanths or Dawn redwoods) were found in the past, it did not upset Earth science or scientists. Instead, they gladly accepted and celebrated the finds. The difference between those finds and the author’s claims is that the former were base on well documented, hard evidence; his are not. The reason most scientists are very skeptical of modern pterosaurs is not because of dogma, but because of fossil evidence (no post-Cretaceous pterosaur remain are known), and the lack of any compelling modern evidence to the contrary. In this book the only evidence offered by the author for modern pterosaurs are anecdotal pterosaur "sightings," which are subject to many uncertainties and complicating factors. They cannot be regarded as scientifically reliable without clear empirical evidence to back them up (preferably physical remains, but at least clear photos). Whitcomb often claims that paleontologists refuse to consider the possibility of modern pterosaurs due to a “dogma” of dinosaur and pterosaur extinction, but this is another false premise, since most scientists already accept that dinosaurs are still with us. They’re called birds. I for one would celebrate the discovery of a living pterosaur, as long as it was properly documented, but am dismayed at writings that promote extreme claims based on insufficient evidence and confirmation bias, while fostering misconceptions about Earth history and science in general.
I was hoping for a more scholarly book and this was not it. It rambles quite a bit about the authors quest but even that is not a continual flow. It is haphazard and not well written. I do not recommend buying it. There are tons of witness accounts that were supposed to have been sent to him via emails but no verifications. Most of those can be dismissed as sightings of "other wildlife" like egrets, owls, herons, etc...