The purpose of this book is to provide students and teachers in earth science and space science classrooms with biblical and scientific insight into the true nature of evolution, uniformitarian geology, and the big bang as they are taught in public schools. Answers in Genesis (AiG) has long suggested that students are being indoctrinated with evolutionary ideas in the public schools. This reference book provides evidence to support that claim in the earth science textbooks.
After reviewing three of the most commonly used high school earth science textbooks, we again found an astounding number of references to evolutionary, old-earth, and big bang ideas. Virtually every chapter in the reviewed books contains implied or explicit references to these ideas.
For the sake of discussion in this book, the terms evolutionist and evolutionary will be used to refer to those people and ideas that rely on an old earth and universe. There are Christians who reject the biological evolution of life on earth but accept the evolution of the universe and the earth from the big bang based on the “scientific evidence.” This position is problematic because it accepts naturalistic explanations for the formation of the universe and the earth but rejects them in the case of biologic change. That makes this view, commonly referred to as progressive creationism, logically inconsistent as well as contrary to the clear teaching of Scripture. The term evolution is commonly defined in the textbooks as change over time. So, the development of the universe can be referred to as cosmic evolution, and the development of the earth can be referred to as geologic evolution.
A similar idea, often called theistic evolution or old-earth creationism, suggests that God used the big bang to form the universe 15 billion years ago. Life on earth was then set in motion by God and biological evolution ran its course to produce all of the life, present and past, on the earth. Exactly how humans came to be is debated amongst proponents of these ideas, but the plain reading of the Creation account in Genesis is rejected. All of these ideas start with man’s understanding of the universe and attempt to fit the Bible into that understanding. This leads to many compromises and an inconsistent interpretation of Scripture. For more on these evolutionary positions I would encourage you to visit www.answersingenesis.org/go/compromise.
The biblical, antievolutionary position is known as young-earth creationism and starts with the Bible’s account of the origin of the earth and universe as the authority. This is the position that is argued for in this book. Starting with God’s eyewitness account of the creation of the universe we can then use scientific principles to understand the world around us. From the Bible we can conclude that the earth is about 6,000 years old, man lived with dinosaurs, there was a worldwide Flood, and God came to earth as Jesus Christ to die for our sins. Using these ideas as a framework for scientific exploration, we can begin to understand how the world around us came to be in the state that it is in. This is not an unscientific position, as many would claim, but a God-honoring approach to studying the creation.
This book is intended to be a reference that students can take into the classroom. Each chapter opens with a summary of the differences between the evolutionary (including the geologic time scale and big bang cosmology) and creationist interpretations of the chapter topic. The summary is followed by a table of the evolutionary concepts presented in the textbooks and their respective page numbers. A more thorough discussion of the topic follows the table of references. Each concept is linked to articles that present a creationist interpretation of the evidence. The articles have been summarized for your convenience. Students are encouraged to read the full articles, using the provided URLs, before using the information to challenge the textbook’s claims. The articles are referenced by two numbers separated by a colon. For example, article 2:5 is found in Chapter 2 and is the fifth article in the list. Complete citations for the articles are found in an index at the back of the book.
The next section contains questions that students can ask teachers concerning the ideas presented in class. Students are encouraged to ask the questions in a Christ-like manner (see the section below on Respectful Questioning). These questions are general in nature and can be modified to reflect the specific examples used in class. Following the questions is a list of books and other resources.
The indexes and tables throughout the book can be used by anyone, regardless of whether you use the textbooks that were reviewed.
The three textbooks cited in this book often give different dates and hypotheses. When the dates disagree, the oldest date is generally given. In some cases, the hypotheses contradict one another. The statements used in the tables are intended to be generalizations, not extensive descriptions. The use of dates of millions of years and the use of common evolutionary terms is for the sake of discussion and in no way should be taken to mean that we agree with their validity.
Using the References and Companion Website
We have made every attempt to make the reference materials accessible to everyone. Whenever possible, the reference articles and chapters are available on the internet. This book also features a companion website (www.evolutionexposed.com) that can be used to link to the reference materials. The website allows you to access the most current information and will provide updates that will equip you in defending your faith. You can also use the website to access other helpful products, such as DVDs, witnessing tracts, and books.
We have chosen to use a variety of sources for the references in this book. When information from groups other than Answers in Genesis is used, articles have been selectively chosen to represent views consistent with AiG’s mission and statement of faith. The websites themselves may contain material that is not necessarily endorsed by AiG.
Many organizations around the world are dedicated to upholding biblical authority and promoting that authority by addressing the creation/evolution debate. A wide variety of materials and information is available through this network of organizations. There very well may be a creation group in your local area or state. Becoming a member of one of these groups is a great way to stay connected with current issues and become equipped to engage in the culture war and advance the gospel.
Respectful Questioning & Sharing with Others
Asking questions is a proper way to challenge the ideas of teachers or textbooks, but the questions should be asked respectfully. Paul warns us in Ephesians 4:14–15:
That we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ.
Although evolutionary ideas are contrary to the Bible, we should speak the truth in love and show that the biblical interpretation offers a more consistent view of the history of the universe. The Bible was written by the One who created the universe and was there to see everything that happened. No one was there to observe the chemicals forming the first cell or watch as fish slowly developed legs and turned into amphibians over millions of years. Evolutionists may counter that no one was present to observe the creation of the earth—but God was there and He has recorded the highlights of those events for us in the Bible.
It is important to remember that we are ambassadors of Christ, as we are told in 2 Corinthians 5:20:
Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.
As an ambassador in your school, you should act in a manner that reflects Christ. Others will be judging Christ based on the way that you present yourself.
When asking questions, wait for an appropriate opportunity and ask the question with a respectful tone. It would be a good idea to research the question in advance. If you know what the teacher will be discussing or if something comes up in a homework assignment, research the concept and develop an explanation that you could share with the class if the opportunity arises. It is also helpful to anticipate the teacher’s answer (using the information from the articles as a guide). Play out the scenario in your mind or with a friend, and try to think of follow-up questions. Have the resource information available to share with anyone who is interested.
If the teacher wants to do further research before giving a response, you can offer a resource. If the teacher responds by saying scientists don’t have the answer yet, you may want to question the validity of any other idea based on those claims. For example, “If we don’t know the conditions in the early solar system, how can we be sure about how the earth formed from a collapsing cloud of dust?”
Do not be surprised if the teacher responds, “That is a religious idea, and it can’t be used in science.” Secular science allows only natural explanations. Just because secular science does not allow supernatural explanations doesn’t mean that supernatural explanations are not correct. This is especially true in respect to the origin of life and the historical processes that produced the world and universe we see today. Remember, naturalistic science starts with the assumption that the Bible is not true, and creation science starts with the assumption that the Bible is true. Starting with different assumptions leads to different conclusions in almost every case. Ultimately, it takes just as much faith—if not more—to believe that only matter and natural laws can explain the universe.
The fact that the scientific community denies the supernatural does not mean that all scientists are atheists—many claim to be Christians or have other religious beliefs. Keeping that in mind, focus on ideas, not individuals. These people are not unintelligent; they simply arrive at different conclusions by using different assumptions.
If you have Christian allies in your class, it may be helpful to take turns asking questions. Also consider studying the issues together and praying for one another.
The questions provided at the end of each chapter are intended to be a starting point. Turn general questions into specific questions by incorporating examples or specific information presented by your teacher. Adapt questions to the unique situations you encounter in your classroom.
It may be difficult to share your ideas and challenge the ideas of scientists, but remember that you are not alone—God is always with you. Ask Him for courage to stand up for the truth. There is no guarantee that you will not be ridiculed, although no teacher should ridicule a student for thinking a certain way. 1 Peter 3:13–14 promises:
And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.”
Peter continues with a challenge in verses 15–16:
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.
This passage tells us that we need to set apart Christ in our hearts, study to be prepared to give an answer, and speak the truth with gentleness and respect. We are in a battle, and the stakes are high. Even if a classmate or teacher does not come to Christ, you may be planting seeds that will sprout some day.
It should encourage you to know that a wealth of information is available from many sources to help you defend your faith. Below is a list of books which contain the type of information that will be helpful. These books include secular and creation scientists who challenge the idea of Darwinian evolution, uniformitarian geology, and big bang cosmology from both scientific and religious perspectives. There is also a huge collection of articles, some of which are summarized in the following chapters, available at www.answersingenesis.org. New articles are posted daily; so keep checking the website for the most current information regarding the creation/evolution controversy. Magazines and newsletters are another source of current information available from AiG. Many DVDs and witnessing tracts are available for you to share. The most effective changes start at the grass roots level, and you can be a powerful tool within the public school system to defend the authority of the Bible from the very first verse.
It is important that students realize they have more rights in the classroom than they might think. Whenever assignments are given, the student has the right to express his thoughts and beliefs through those assignments. For example, a report on a famous scientist might include how that scientist’s faith in God or belief in the Bible influenced his career or research. Religious topics may be used whenever students are allowed to determine the content of the essay, homework, artwork, and so on. For more information on student rights in public schools visit www.answersingenesis.org/go/student-rights.
When answering questions from the textbook or teacher, students are often expected to provide answers that assume evolutionary ideas are true. In such cases, the student may want to preface the question with a disclaimer. The disclaimer might say, “According to the textbook . . .” or “As the idea was presented in class . . . .” This will communicate to the teacher that the student has learned the concepts presented in the class but that she does not necessarily agree with them. When appropriate, the student may also consider adding her personal beliefs or the biblical interpretation after she has answered the question from an evolutionary perspective. This approach will allow her to meet the academic requirements of the classroom setting and also express her belief that the interpretation presented by the textbook or curriculum is false.
To develop this resource, three of the most popular high school earth science textbooks were chosen. The publisher and page number are provided for photos, figures, or tables (e.g., Glencoe 327). The full citations for the textbooks are listed below.
F. S. Hess et al., Earth Science: Geology, the Environment, and the Universe (Teacher Wraparound Edition), (New York: Glencoe/ McGraw Hill, 2005).
This text will be referred to as Glencoe throughout this book.
E. Tarbuck, F. K. Lutgens, Earth Science (Indiana Teacher’s Edition), (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2006).
This text will be referred to as Prentice Hall throughout this book.
M. A. Allison, A. T. DeGaetano, and J. M. Pasachoff, Earth Science (Teacher Edition), (Austin, TX: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 2006).
This text will be referred to as Holt throughout this book.
Tools for Digging Deeper
The Biblical Basis for Modern Science by Henry Morris (semitechnical), Master Books, 2002.
A comprehensive resource for the serious student of creation. Gives in-depth information on the creation/ evolution issue in biology, geology, astronomy, the history of the nations, etc.
Bones of Contention by Marvin Lubenow (semi-technical), Baker Books, 2004.
Professor Lubenow examines the fossil evidence for human evolution and exposes the philosophical and scientific untruths. Each of the alleged ancestors is examined and shown to be an evolutionary farce. The myth of human evolution is thoroughly dismantled in this book.
Creation: Facts of Life by Gary Parker, Master Books, 2006.
In Creation: Facts of Life, Dr. Parker respectfully describes the evidences he once used to preach evolution, but then he explains how the rest of the evidence points away from evolution and toward a perfect world created by God, ruined by man, restored to new life in Christ. This classic has been updated and expanded into a powerful and layman-friendly format, filled with many of the latest findings in science. Darwin on Trial by Phillip Johnson, InterVarsity Press, 1993. Professor Johnson uses his incisive legal mind to demonstrate that Darwinian evolution is based not on fact, but on faith. Johnson examines the evidence used to support evolution and its naturalistic philosophy, and he declares a mistrial.
Darwin’s Black Box by Michael Behe (semi-technical), Free Press, 1996.
Biochemistry professor Michael Behe uses the concept of irreducible complexity to demonstrate how Darwinian evolution fails to provide a mechanism for building systems that work as intact units. Behe does not endorse a young earth, but his critique of evolutionary theory from within the scientific establishment demonstrates the shaky ground that the philosophy is based on.
Evolution: A Theory in Crisis by Michael Denton, Adler & Adler, 1986.
This book by a noncreationist is hard-hitting, factual, and objective. It does not argue in favor of creation, but is a clear, balanced, responsible, and scientifically accurate account of the ever-growing crisis in evolutionary circles.
Evolution: The Fossils Still Say No! by Duane Gish, Master Books, 1995.
The most compelling critique available anywhere of the supposedly key argument for evolution: the fossil record. Dr. Gish documents, from the writings of evolutionists, the complete absence of true evolutionary transitional forms.
Evolution Exposed: Biology by Roger Patterson, Answers in Genesis, 2006.
This book helps teens to discern the chronic bias toward belief in evolution that permeates today’s four most popular high school biology textbooks. Virtually every chapter in each of the secular textbooks contains implied or explicit references to evolutionary beliefs, which are misrepresented as irrefutable facts. However, in Evolution Exposed: Biology these misrepresentations are cross-referenced with online articles and publications that provide both scientific and biblical answers. Key terms are defined, articles are summarized and false ideas are refuted. Evolution Exposed: Biology is thoroughly indexed by topic so anyone can use it as a reference. Christian students are equipped and inspired to recognize and respectfully challenge evolutionary indoctrination (in class, research papers, and normal interactions outside of school). Using tables, web links, charts and illustrations, documented facts that counter evolutionary teaching in a powerful and organized fashion are synchronized with each textbook’s sequence.
Exploring Planet Earth by John Hudson Tiner, Master Books, 1997.
The first in a series of books on science, geared toward the homeschool family. With definitions of terms and identification of explorers, scientists, etc., this book gives students excellent introductory knowledge of famous people and history.
Footprints in the Ash by John Morris and Steven Austin, Master Books, 2003.
This lavishly illustrated, full-color “picture book” shares the entire explosive story of Mount St. Helens. Written by two experts who know the volcano—and its famous 1980 eruption—best. Includes rare photographs by the authors. A powerful testament to the Creator and Judge, who forms canyons in just hours, not millions of years!
The Fossil Book by Gary Parker, Master Books, 2006.
This book uncovers the exciting story of fossils—how they formed, where they are found, and how to build your own collection—all from a creationist’s perspective. Fascinating, informative, and filled with color photos and illustrations.
Frozen in Time by Michael Oard, Master Books, 2004.
Meteorologist Michael Oard gives plausible explanations of the seemingly unsolvable mysteries about the Ice Age and the woolly mammoths. Many other related topics are explained, including super floods, ice cores, man in the Ice Age, and the number of ice ages.
The Geology Book by John Morris, Master Books, 2000.
Dr. Morris explains the formation and study of rocks in a clear, understandable way. The layers of rock were supposedly laid down over the billions of years of earth’s history. Morris demonstrates that the rocks tell the story of creation and the catastrophe of a global Flood only a few thousand years ago.
Grand Canyon: A Different View by Tom Vail, Master Books, 2003.
Whether gaping down the huge chasm from the rim, or navigating the Colorado River below, visitors to the Grand Canyon see a perspective that words can’t describe. In fact, perspective is the message of this wonderful story from nature. Visit this marvelous site yourself, through the photographs and essays in this book, and think about your own perspective.
Grand Canyon: Monument to Catastrophe by Steven Austin (technical), Institute for Creation Research, 1994.
Eminent geologist Dr. Steven Austin explains from a biblical standpoint how the Grand Canyon was formed. This book contains a wealth of information about geology and biology that equips Christians to defend Genesis, the young earth position, the worldwide Flood, etc. Also includes material on the eruption of Mount St. Helens.
An Ice Age Caused by the Genesis Flood by Michael Oard (technical), Institute for Creation Research, 2002.
A detailed study of the scientific evidence that the Ice Age was caused by the Flood of Noah, and that it occurred thoroughly in accord with the biblical chronology of a recent creation. Fully documented from secular sources.
The Lie: Evolution by Ken Ham, Master Books, 1998.
Ken Ham is best known for his message on the relevance of creation and the importance of Genesis. Humorous and easy-to-read, this book powerfully equips Christians to defend the book of Genesis and opens eyes to the harmful effects of evolution on today’s society.
The Missoula Flood Controversy by Michael Oard (technical), Institute for Creation Research, 2004.
Do evolutionists really ignore significant scientific evidence that supports biblical history? In this in-depth analysis of J Harland Bretz’s controversial study in the 1920s on the proposed Missoula Flood in the state of Washington, Michael Oard shows how evolutionary bias scoffed away extensive research and how that same bias continues to stifle valid scientific research today.
The New Answers Book by Ken Ham et al., Master Books, 2006.
This book addresses 27 of the most common questions that creationists are asked and provides answers from a biblical perspective.
The New Answers Book 2 by Ken Ham et al., Master Books, 2008.
This book picks up where volume 1 left off, answering 30 questions frequently asked by skeptics from a biblical perspective.
Not by Chance by Lee Spetner (technical), Judaica Press, 1997.
Dr. Spetner’s book aims a death-blow at the heart of the whole neo-Darwinian story. The crucial battleground in the war over origins has always been the origin of information. Spetner is a noncreationist who shows that time and chance cannot produce new (more) genetic information. This book is a must for everyone who desires to defend the Bible in this increasingly “educated” society.
Our Created Moon by Don DeYoung, Master Books, 2003.
This powerful book brings “science to life” for laymen. Dr. Don DeYoung (coauthored by Dr. John Whitcomb) answers 63 questions about the “lesser light,” which God placed in earth’s orbit to show His wisdom and care for mankind.
Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth Volume 1 (technical), Institute for Creation Research, 2000.
The age of the earth stands out as one of the most important issues among Christians today! An old-earth interpretation clouds our view on the accuracy of Scripture. It supports the theory of evolution. It affects our perception of God. If Scripture can’t be trusted on the age of the earth, how can it be trusted on others? But, have we been misled about the reliability of radioactive dating methods? The RATE group believes we have. The RATE group, consisting of six young-earth creationist geologists, geochemists, and physicists, is cooperating to research the issue of Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth. They have dared to ask the tough questions and are searching for an alternative explanation for the billions of years found in rocks.
Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth Volume 2 (technical), Institute for Creation Research, 2005.
What does science really reveal about the age of the earth? The popular old-earth interpretation clouds our view of the accuracy of Scripture and has become a stumbling block to many. But have we been misled about the reliability of radioactive dating methods? This technical book is a continuation of the reporting for a five-year research initiative.
Starlight and Time by Russell Humphreys, Master Books, 2000.
The Bible teaches that the universe is just thousands of years old, and yet we can see stars that are billions of light-years away. Until now, creation scientists have not had a satisfactory answer to this puzzle, but the cosmology outlined in this book offers a fresh and scientifically sound solution. Though he challenges some traditional creationist theories, Dr. Humphreys takes Scripture very straightforwardly, upholding its inerrancy and the idea of a young universe as he explains Days One through Four of Creation Week. This book not only contains an easy-to-read popular summary of this cosmology, but also two technical papers which were very well received at the Third International Conference on Creationism.
Taking Back Astronomy by Jason Lisle, Master Books, 2006.
With his PhD in astrophysics earned from the University of Colorado, Dr. Lisle communicates the truths of creation and the fallacies of evolution with authority and enthusiasm. In this richly illustrated book, Lisle debunks the most widely accepted teachings about the idea of cosmic evolution. Readers are given solid answers to many questions, including the speed of light, the big bang, extraterrestrials, the reliability of the Bible regarding astronomy, and more.
Thousands . . . Not Billions by Don DeYoung, Master Books, 2005.
Radiometric dating is one of the linchpins of evolutionary education today. Dr. Don DeYoung shatters this and other dating methods employed by evolutionists to cast doubt on the reliability of the Bible and its chronology of earth history. Evolutionists seek to undermine faith in Genesis as the true documentary of the history of the universe. When people are told that a dinosaur bone has been determined to be tens of millions of years old, that obviously doesn’t square with the biblical record of man being created on Day Six with the land animals. But DeYoung now demonstrates that Christians no longer have to puzzle over this glaring contradiction.
Universe by Design by Danny Faulkner, Master Books, 2004.
Some astronomers look at the stars and planets through a telescope. Author Danny Faulkner views them through a biblical perspective in this unique book. Universe by Design explores and explains the historical development of this science, including current ideas in the field, from a creationist standpoint.