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Apologetics Press :: Reason & Revelation
August 2003 - 23[8]:80

Introducing Our New Scientific Illustrator—Thomas Tarpley
by Bert Thompson, Ph.D.

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As I suspect you have noticed, the last several issues of Reason & Revelation have made extensive use of professional artwork, drawings, tables, and graphics to illustrate the content of the articles. The old saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” has a lot of truth to it. And, in the future, we plan to include even more artwork and graphics, where appropriate, in our articles. Unfortunately, however, those pictures do not come cheap. While we have been extremely successful at keeping our costs down for the artwork and graphics that we do use (by working with other non-profit groups, receiving special consideration from artists and authors, etc.), the fact of the matter is that we frequently have to purchase copyrighted materials for use in R&R. We want the journal to be as professional as possible, and we do not want—to employ an old adage—“a dollar waiting on a dime.” Timely articles deserve the very best illustrations.

We have long recognized the need for an in-house, professional scientific illustrator—someone to whom we could convey our ideas, and who then could take those concepts and turn them into the type of full-color artwork that we use in Reason & Revelation and Discovery, in our books and tracts, and on our Web sites. By the time 2003 ends, we will have published 3-4 new books, and will have submitted six manuscripts to scientific journals—all of which required expensive illustrations. Rather than wrestling with copyright and cost issues, it would have been nice to have our own images to use in those publications as we please.

Picture of Thomas TarpleyAnd that brings me to the point of this editor’s note. Over the past couple of years or so, I’ve had my eye on a young man whom I’ve known since he was in the sixth grade in Chattanooga, Tennessee. His name is Thomas Tarpley. Thomas is an unbelievably gifted, first-class scientific illustrator. He not only possesses extraordinary talent, but also is eminently qualified—from both academic and experiential viewpoints —to do exactly what we need done. He holds an earned B.S. degree in biology from Freed-Hardeman University, and an earned master’s certificate in science illustration from the graduate program of the University of California, Santa Cruz (which accepts only ten students a year into its program in this area). Equally impressive is the fact that he served his internship in the Department of Vertebrate Paleontology at the vaunted American Museum of Natural History in New York City. However, Thomas did not want his biological and artistic talents used in support of evolutionary theory. So, for approximately two years he worked as a scientific illustrator for Answers in Genesis, a creationist organization in Florence, Kentucky.

For quite some time, we had been thinking about hiring someone of Thomas’ caliber, and so when I learned that there was a possibility that he might be available, I invited him and his wife Debbie (an elementary schoolteacher) to visit our facilities, which they did in mid June. During their visit, my staff and I carried out extensive interviews with Thomas—interviews that confirmed what we already suspected: Thomas is exactly the man to do what we need done. I therefore offered him a position, and he has accepted. He and Debbie moved to Montgomery in mid-July to join us in our work at Apologetics Press.

Picture of Thomas Tarpley
Komodo dragon (© Thomas Tarpley)

Thomas is a young man of incredible talent and extraordinary humility. You will be witnessing a lot of that talent in the future as you read Reason & Revelation or Discovery, and as you visit our Web sites. I invite you to join with me in welcoming Thomas and Debbie to the A.P. family.

Copyright © 2003 Apologetics Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

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