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Where can we find creation-based education in astronomy and geology?

Published: 9 March 2019 (GMT+10)
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Today’s feedback is from S.S. of the United States asking advice for the education of their children, who are interested in astronomy and geology. S.S is looking for recommendations on colleges, departments, and professors who support the young-earth, biblical position. CMI speakers Dr Tas Walker and Joel Tay respond.

We have several children in high school and as we evaluate their interests with them, we find that they are interested in the fields of astronomy and geology. Both of these fields are rampant with the "millions and billions" of years worldview. This very much frustrates our kids as they believe very much in the young earth/Genesis account of our earth and space. With your work and research in numerous scientific fields we were wondering if you are aware of any institutions/departments/professors who stand behind the young earth/Genesis accounts in the fields of astronomy and geology? Your assistance would be most appreciated as we have not had much luck in finding Christian schools that 1) offer degrees in the sciences and 2) stand behind the young earth/Genesis account of creation, especially in the fields of astronomy and geology.

Thank you.
S.S.

CMI speaker Dr Tas Walker responds.

Hi S.S.,

It is good that you have children interested in astronomy and geology. These are fascinating and important areas of science, but, as you say, they are rampant with the millions and billions of years worldview. And yes, that can be frustrating.

CMI periodically receives requests for us to identify Bible colleges/seminaries that believe/teach a straightforward reading of Genesis, but for a number of reasons, we do not provide a list of ‘young-earth’ theological colleges. However, we have prepared a questionnaire, which you can ask the college or professor to fill out. It will only take a few minutes.

It is important to understand that it does not matter where young people study, whether at a secular university or a Christian one, they should not accept what they are taught without question. They need to be discerning and critical of whatever they are presented with. Colleges can change with time as professors change, so we always need to do our own checking of the institution, which is why we prepared the questionnaire. The university situation is one where there is much peer pressure from the lectures, the faculty, the books set for reading, and the other students. In addition, the courses extend over 3 years or more, and so the ongoing pressure to conform is very strong. This is true even in evangelical theological colleges.

The problem is compounded because young people starting out are not well informed about each subject, nor are they experienced in how to engage in discussion. So, it’s vital that young people do a lot of reading and research BEFORE they start at college and continue this while they are there. It’s quite a challenge.

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Also, it is important for a young person to think about where they would find employment after they have completed their course. With astronomy, they could teach at high school, or at university, or they could perhaps get a job in a government research establishment. However, it would be difficult to get a job as an astronomer without holding to, or paying lip-service to, the evolutionary worldview. A career in geology would be easier to come by and handle, such as with a mining company, or teaching, but it would be difficult to land a position in the geology department of a secular university without teaching from the evolutionary worldview.

So, it is important for your children to read as much as they can from a creationist perspective before beginning college. There is a good search box on Creation.com that allows them to investigate any topic they choose. As a hobby they would find research into these topics most fulfilling. Plus, they could end up contributing to creationist research by writing articles for Journal of Creation, Creation magazine, or the Creation.com web. Also, it would be important for them to read secular books and papers in each area as these have helpful information that is vital for a creationist researcher. I regularly refer to non-creationist literature when I am doing my geological research.

Many experts in creation research have begun their research work as a hobby, developed their ideas, and become world experts through their lectures and writing. Names that come to mind are Russell Humphreys, Michael Oard, Marvin Lubenow, and Peter Line, but there are many others.

One of our speakers in the USA, Joel Tay, studied biology at a secular university and theology at a liberal college with a view to doing creationist research. I’ll also pass your query onto him.

Here are two articles that help with study in a general way:

God bless,
Dr Tasman Walker
Creation Ministries International (Australia)


Joel Tay also replied to S.S.

Dear S.S.

I would agree completely with what Dr Tas Walker has said.

There are several Christian universities in USA that hold to biblical creation. One that I know of requires all students complete a creation-related course if they are doing a degree in the life sciences, or if they are doing a Bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies. But there are several other colleges depending on where you are from. Rather than recommending specific colleges, it is better to use the questionnaire Dr Walker mentioned to see where the college stands on a specific issue.

Dr Tas Walker has already mentioned this, but I want to emphasize how important it is. Your children need to do a lot of reading and research BEFORE they get to college. That means they need to know what evolutionists teach, and also learn to counter those arguments.

As Dr Walker pointed out, I earned a degree in evolutionary biology and genetics and one of the seminaries I studied in was unfortunately also liberal/Neo-orthodox. In other words, they regard the Bible as fallible and containing contradictions, and that its account of the creation/Fall/Flood in Genesis cannot be taken as scientifically reliable. The science degree was much easier to deal with as you can often attribute evolutionary quotes to different writers without holding to the same position yourself. E.g. Charles Darwin wrote, "blah blah blah …". The articles that Dr Walker recommended will be helpful. Still, it is important that your children are well-equipped to defend their faith even before they get to college. As it is, when I was doing my degree in evolutionary biology, everything I was taught about evolution was already addressed either in the books and DVDs, or from the Creation Ministries International’s website, and my evolutionary studies only ended up strengthening my faith in the reliability and inerrancy of God’s word.

On the other hand, it was much harder to do the same at the liberal seminary I attended. In these colleges the nature of theological papers often requires that students argue for their position after presenting various schools of thought. It is much harder to simply attribute a quote to a different author because with theology or philosophy, you are usually required to argue for your position at the end rather than just stating facts. For example, most theological papers require the presentation of original arguments, so it is not possible to simply cite other papers. Some of my professors would refuse to give an 'A' unless there are good original arguments in your paper, and you cannot really do that without arguing for your position. When it comes down to it, honour God first above your grades.

I was already well-read on creation apologetics and theology before undertaking both courses of study. Creation Ministries International made a big difference during my studies and I used to have the website as my home page for a while. When I was in the liberal seminary, out of the ~50 students (as far as I am aware), there was only a handful of students, apart from me who still held to a biblical understanding of God's Word at the end of the course. Many of the students that enrolled into the class encountered these liberal publications for the first time and had no answer and no defence to what they were reading. These students ended up being influenced by liberal theology in some form or fashion. In contrast, the students who were already familiar with Christian apologetics and theology ahead of time left unscathed.

The point is this. Your children will need to be equipped BEFORE they even begin their studies. Remember to keep them in constant prayer.

Joel Tay
Creation Ministries International (US)

Readers’ comments

Bill P.
It is so important to believe with/all your heart and mind that The Word of God is true. It is true I have no higher education in the sciences but as far back as I can remember I always loved the sciences and did well in class. (attended college prep Catholic high school in my youth long ago). I remember finishing those classes with still a lot of questions. I know now those doubts I had about what I was taught were because they were from an evolutionary point of view. I was able to find answers for those doubts when I started to look at science from the view of The Word of God. Knowing the point of view of this world was a big help in allowing me to separate what was truth from what was not truth.
It is the same w/my faith in Jesus Christ. After much time in studying The Word of God (this took several yrs.because it involved researching history and science), I then took time to study what Islam, Hindus, Mormons,etc. believed. I did this because if I ever had the chance to witness to any from these backgrounds I would know where they were coming from and reveal to them what The Living God has to say about certain matters.It is a big help.
I pray S.S. is able to find what they are looking for. I know if they trust The Lord and wait on Him to open doors for them they'll find what they are looking for.
"Those who wait upon The Lord shall not be ashamed".
Thank you for sharing with us the research you guys do.
John B.
There is a wonderful 2-hour documentary called "The Privileged Planet" made by Christian scientists that is truth personified and extremely well made!!!
Tas Walker
There is also a book with the same title which we have reviewed (here). The authors have lots of good material but they accept the secular concept of long ages which undermines the biblical world view, which is why we do not stock the resource. All the same, there is much good material in their work.
Dan M.
It's hard to be a salmon, (always swimming up stream) or a man made of straw to be knocked down again and again, (creationist scientist).
Don't get me wrong, I'm not a scientist but I read about what creation scientists endure when they buck the status quo. I along with them wholeheartedly believe the scriptures but it's hard to be a Christian who loves Christ in this increasingly pagan society.
As CMI has always stated, "we all have the same observations" so your young people will have to endure the evolutionary story telling while learning the pertinent science. It will be hard to endure but they need to know the evolutionary science to refute it anyway. Just don't let the professor know your personal thoughts and stick to the science. This can be hard also since the millions and billions of years is not real testable science anyway and they will be bombarded with it. It is sad but it is a sign of the times. Which brings me to the question, who are the intolerant ones anyway? Us or them? I've said it before and I'll say it again. The universities are conducting a modern day atheist inquisition.
Maybe the Lord will return for us soon and then He can be your kids' professor? Wouldn't that be great! He knows all!
Gian Carlo B.
I'd like to send in my few cents. I agree with Joel and Tas Walker here; it is better to equip your kids before sending them to university. The fact is that no matter how you slice it, there will always be a significant number of professors who will not hold to six-day creation. The odds of finding a biblical creationist professor to a secular one is very low, much less for an institution which unanimously holds to six-day creation. So the best thing to do is to have your kids pre-equipped and informed on these issues, give them a rundown of the most common objections and answers to them before sending them to college. And yes, there will be some argument he/she hasn't heard of (happened to me once) that the secular professor will use against your position. The logical thing to do is _not_ to surrender and declare him/her the victor. You first study the premises, work with what you previously know or research further and assess the argument's soundness. Most of the times, "newly heard" arguments are really just rephrased old canards repackaged in some different language. Nothing new under the sun.
Thus, while is nice to look for colleges that share your worldview, it's better to seek a college that respects your position in spite of your worldview or better yet, equip your children to better answer them. Sometimes, you can get away with playing detective Warner Wallace and not give away your position, sometimes, it's inevitable, and if you get ridiculed, don't be chump and take a stand. If you get kicked out, well you will at least know that college was utter trash. It's better to be well informed in truth than place your validation on a diploma that you can get anytime anywhere.
John D.
Thanks Joel. We have our kids well warned and taught in the onslaught they are facing right now in their second level school.They are getting by relatively unscathed as the system generally allows students to trot out the party line verbatim and as long as they answer questions according to that line then they get the marks . Science at junior level i.e. 12-15 yr olds includes evolutionary elements but there are so many vast topics within that curriculum that evolution only plays a small part. Yes it is made out to be the underlying assumption but when my lads have to write down an experiment in an exam answer, say the distillation of water, they don't need to know about evolution in that particular case. Like you said, "Darwin said "blah blah blah" as an answer in an evolution specific question is the way to go about it. Rarely will you get a question asking about your opinion on evolution in a science examination. If you do then you could always answer it by saying "the general overall view of scientists today is ........" That ought to cover it.
Our boys know that it's silly to think that nothing becomes something by chance, that molecules can turn into a man over millions of years, that rock layers can be laid down very slowly, that kinds of animals don't change into other kinds etc - they just have to look at the farming community in which we live and see that cows and bulls mate together to reproduce more cattle - real science and nature at work!
Once the basics are drilled home then you'll find that young people are hardy enough to get through the liberal secular mire that exists within second level education here. Even Religious education can be full of the bull ;-).
Drill the basics home time and time again. Kids want and need the truth.
Melinda B.
I suggest doing everything you can to stay in conversation on these topics with your kids at every opportunity while they're in college, whether by phone or in person. Staying involved and actively discussing the topics and viewpoints your kids encounter in college will help them to digest and discern the challenges and hopefully stay on course biblically. It will also help you be able to pray more specifically for your kids, and you can keep bringing them back to the Word of God when everyone else is trying to pull them away from it. If you don't have a science background yourself, don't let that stop you for even a minute. Parents' input still matters, I think even more as kids begin to head out on their own.
Daniel M.
Having young people prepared before college with a good understanding of creation science and all of the problems with evolution is an essential foundation for facing the evolutionary propaganda that they will be taught.

Keep in mind that in most courses, evolution and long ages are an assumption, and have little bearing on day to day study or practically oriented R&D. So on the occasion where evolutionary references are needed, as Dr. Walker said, they can just quote evolutionists rather than asserting a position as their own view.

If kids are really interested in geology, astronomy, or the life sciences, we absolutely need more Bible believing Christians at the top levels of these fields. Christians need to "take back" these fields by flooding universities with Bible believing Christian PHD students who become professors and field experts.

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