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Can a Christian safely navigate the waters of a secular university to beome a geoligist? Dr. Andrew Snelling, AiG–US, offers encouragement and advice.
I have a son who is interested in pursuing a career as a geologist / geoscientist. He just finished his first year of college and is seeking God’s will and direction.
We both are concerned that this field is filled with evolutionists and even christians who don’t believe in a literal interprutation of Genesis 1:1.
. . .
—P. L., US
I have started a club at my public high school where we teach/discuss the scientific validity of the creation account of Genesis, and the club always uses your materials. Because of your work, we are able to challenge both Christians and non-Christians schoolmates to trust in the Bible. Thank you so much for everything you do, and may God bless you for it!
Editor’s note: If you are interested in starting a club at your school, please see the article “Start Your Own Creation Club” on our website.
Let us know what you think.
Greetings, and thanks for your enquiry, which was passed on to me for a response.
We are delighted to hear that your son is interested in pursuing a career in geology. We definitely need more Christians who are creationists in geology, both in the ranks of creation scientists and in the ranks of geologists generally.
I wouldn’t be too concerned that the field of geology is filled with evolutionists and even Christians who don’t believe in a plain interpretation of Genesis 1–11. Most fields of human endeavor are filled with evolutionists and compromising Christians, so that shouldn’t be a deterrent for pursuing careers in the sciences, such as geology. Indeed, we need Christians who are creationists in all of these fields to be a witness against the prevailing anti-biblical and compromising Christian attitudes in our society today.
The best way to prepare oneself for such a career is to build strength into one’s Christian faith by studying the Scriptures and studying the scientific evidences for creation and the Flood so that one is able to not only explain what one believes, but also defend it. In fact, all Christians should be able to explain their faith and what they believe and defend why they believe it. Answers in Genesis is seeking to not only provide the necessary materials, but also to train Christians to do just that. So equipped, it doesn’t matter where Christians are serving and working; if they are confident in their faith and able to defend it, then they will be able to make a good stand no matter what.
I was interested to read that your son has finished his first year of college. If he is interested in pursuing a career in geology, then you would be interested to know that this coming fall Cedarville University in Ohio, about one-and-half hours’ drive from the Creation Museum, will be starting the first-ever science degree majoring in geology at a creationist university. The aim is to train students in all the basics of geology so as to prepare them for graduate school studies or careers as geologists.
I would, therefore, encourage you and your son to consider transferring to Cedarville University, hopefully being able to get credits for what he has already accomplished. In case you are interested in following through on this further, the person to contact would be Dr John Whitmore, who is the professor setting up the geology program at Cedarville.
It’s important to learn the conventional evolutionary model, and to learn it well.
It's also fine to go to a secular college with a strong geology program. All of the young-earth creation geologists with PhDs have at least one degree from a secular university. It’s important to learn the conventional evolutionary model, and to learn it well. Cedarville is teaching geology with a two-model approach because they recognize how important that is. If a student goes to a secular school, for any degree, I recommend they get a Creation geologist as a mentor. A student intending to go to graduate school should work hard and learn as much as they can. They should excel in every class they take.
The main two areas in which geologists work, outside of academic research, is in environmental and engineering situations or in exploration to find new mineral deposits. In these fields there is a lot of outdoor work, surveying and investigating sites, collecting rocks, soil samples, etc. and then relating the results back to the sites in question. So, one must be prepared to work outdoors a fair bit and enjoy doing so.
If one goes into exploration for new ore and mineral deposits, then one must be prepared to go to remote locations and cope with living under basic conditions. But, of course, that’s only part of the work because, at other times, one would be in an office processing data, writing reports, etc. Apart from liking working out of doors some of the time, to be a geologist one would also have to have a great interest in the rocks and resolving questions surrounding their origin and formation.
I might add that there is always going to be a need for geologists, as new metals and resources always need to be found to replace those that are being used, and there will always be site investigations for engineering works and remediation of the environment to deal with the pollution and wastes caused by man’s activities. Of course, there are always cycles in employment opportunities depending on economic conditions, but these are more pronounced in the mining industry, which regularly goes through boom-and-bust cycles, more so than with the general economic conditions.
We certainly need more geologists in the ranks of creationists. For example, I am concerned with seeing some new young geologists entering the ranks of creation scientists because I am not getting any younger and we need younger geologists in years ahead to carry forward the torch!
I hope these few comments are a help and encouragement to you and your son. Thanks again for your enquiry. We are glad that you wrote and that you are seeking to help and encourage your son pursue a career in geology. May the Lord guide and help you in the days ahead.
Yours sincerely in Christ,
Dr Andrew Snelling
Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible—particularly the book of Genesis—regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth.