Christian views on creation – looking into your scientific questions

Here are some resources you might want to look at in relationship to questions arising from the first chapters of Genesis:

Scientific Perspectives on Genesis 1-3:

http://www.bethinking.org/science-christianity/advanced/scientific-perspectives-on-genesis-1-3.htm

Scientific Perspectives on Genesis 1-3 Q and A:

http://www.bethinking.org/science-christianity/advanced/qa-for-scientific-perspectives-on-genesis-1-3.htm www.bethinking.org is a good website to look for Science and Faith issues.

My brother holds a Masters in Theology from Wheaton College and a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from UC Davis, a MA from UW Madison, and undergrad in geology, physics and mathematics and is completing an MA in evolution and ecology at UC Davis. He’s also in the American Engineering Hall of Fame. (yes, I’m in the intellectual gene pool in my family, or my brother is educationally addicted, or both.)

Here is his talk on this he offered as an open talk at UC Davis for Christian and Skeptical students: 

MP3

Slides

Handout

He does not affirm or promote a young earth position that is held by many at HPC. I think his approach is important- using, or considering a number of models for what might have literally happened in creation. For those interested in young earth creationism, it is really easy to find stuff online promoting this view. You’ll normally find the young earth folks to be pretty combative, but remember they also get attacked viciously and are constantly facing intellectual bullying from people who think they’re dangerously wrong. So, I’ll give them a pass on a lot of that. Look for the facts and arguments, and then do with them what you will.

For those deeply committed to some kind of harmony between evolution and Genesis, I think this article by Dennis Alexander may be helpful. Alexander is trying really hard to make his scientific and evangelical convictions merge, and he has impeccable credentials.

The bottom line philosophically is that you don’t need to know which option is right. Whenever there is a logical problem, you don’t need to know the answer, you only have to prove that there CAN be an answer. If I told you a person went from point A to point B, 100 miles apart in two hours without any kind of help, you’d find that preposterous. But if I said, “he might have had a car.” Then it’s not crazy. I didn’t say he did have a car. But if there may have been something that helped him- maybe a car, maybe a UFO, or maybe something else was involved. But if you find me normally trustworthy, and you know there might have been help, then the idea that the person traveled 100 miles isn’t a problem. You don’t have to know WHAT happened, you only have to know that it is logically possible that SOMETHING happened.

Given that, though the questions of Genesis 1-10 are incredibly important, they are also not entirely transparent. And as we charitably and humble inquire into these questions about the specifics of origins, we should not let them unnecessarily divide our unity, obscure or central purposes, not sideline the obvious and intended interests of the author of Genesis: he is creator, Humanity is created in his image, Humanity is given a task of work in his creation, As God is a worker and rester, so are the people he made; and so on.

One thought on “Christian views on creation – looking into your scientific questions”

  1. Hello Pastor Nic,

    This is an incredibly complex and fascinating subject. I recommend Peter J. Bowler’s The Invention of Progress: The Victorians and the Past and his more recent Evolution: The History of an Idea. Like a good historian, he doesn’t reveal which side of the fence his on. But what he does reveal is how popular philosophical presuppositions—on “progress,” on theories of social and mental development, materialism, etc.—during the nineteenth century, dictated how fossils were discovered, excavated, pieced together; in other words, how some scientists were predisposed to looking for evidence that would fit these presuppositions. Having studied both cultural and physical anthropology, I’m always amazed at how the media portrays evolutionism as if it were uncontroversial among scientists. Nothing could be further from the truth.

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