Researching Creation

April 10, 2009

General / Is Biology Boring?

JB

One of the reasons I did not go into biology after high school was that I had this idea that biology was extremely boring.  The reason I thought biology was boring was because the classes about biology and the textbooks in those classes were, in fact, boring, and left no reason for me to want to pursue it.

It wasn't until much later that I realized that, because of Creation, by looking into biology we are seeing God's own handiwork.  Isn't that an amazing conception?  How could that possibly be boring?

Charles Jackson described this in a recent debate (see full debate here):

I am suggesting that it is not inappropriate to discuss in the classroom anything that’s controversial, that’s already in the minds of the students, and that they are capable of comprehending...It will take longer to teach a unit, but the students will learn it better.  Controversy–if you were a government teacher, during an election year, the discussions you could have would be fabulous.  And the discussions that I had in my biolgoy and Earth science classes were wonderful during a unit when I address origins.  I bent over backwards to be fair about the evolution thing.  My students thought I believed in evoluiton.  I had a Catholic boy get chewed out by a Muslim girl for not believing in the Garden of Eden.  So we had some really good discussions.  The students like this.  It worked great.  Whenever there’s something controversial, it boosts student interest.  They get very interested.

On the whole, I homeschool, so what gets taught in public education doesn't impact me much.  However, from my own personal experience, I wish that someone had interested me more in biology.  His point (which there was even a more interesting part slightly earlier) was that you build from where students already are.  Whether you agree with Creationism or not, it is not inappropriate to bring it up in a science context, and do discussions on it, because that's the best way of teaching - even if your purpose is to teach evolution.  If you don't, it just bounces off and makes no impact.  Students need to be engaged where they are, not where the evolutionists wished that they were.

Studying Creationism has ignited my passion in biology - a passion which I never knew that I had.  I hope more science teachers realize that connecting God to science doesn't stop science, but instead broadens the interest base by a huge margin.

March 16, 2009

General / Interviews with Creation Biologists

JB

I found these on YouTube and thought you all might be interested:

Also, Steve Austin has a video out called Where Darwin Went Wrong.  I find it interesting because it makes a good comparison of how Creationists and Evolutionists think of geology.  It is actually more about Lyell than Darwin, but it talks about a specific case where Darwin employed Lyell's methodology, and the problems that this caused with the evidence.  It's a good little video.

March 06, 2009

General / Christian Scientist Featured in Science Careers

JB

UPDATE - original link broken - now fixed.

A friend of mine forwarded me this very cool profile of a scientist, Imre Miklós Szilágyi, in the Science Careers section of Science's website.  Here's an excerpt:

Szilágyi sees his religious faith and his research efforts as two complementary aspects of his life. Within the scientific environment, "I have some options where I can express my faith," Szilágyi says. He directly referred to God both in the acknowledgements of his master's and doctoral dissertations and while receiving his awards. He runs a Bible-study group for young adults, and together with a friend he founded a Christian scientific group.

But although Szilágyi's views often lie far outside the scientific mainstream, he expresses those views only off-campus and in his personal time. For him, "the debate over evolution, design, creation, supernatural intelligence, etc., is not a scientific question in the first place but the collision of worldviews, the confrontation of materialism and idealism," he says. He takes the Bible literally, but when he lectures on the subject--outside of work--he presents what he calls "the options" and indicates which one "to me … seems to be more probable." But he insists that it is up to "everybody to make his or her own decision."

"As a Christian who works in the field of science, I find it quite important to deal with the relation of Christianity and science," Szilágyi says. But "I know that it is a minefield in today's scientific life and can be quite dangerous for one's scientific career. ... Therefore, I do these activities absolutely separately from my university work. … I am very cautious and careful that whenever I am talking [about these issues] I do not represent my university.

"My belief is very important for my career because this is the first thing that gives me my motivations so that I could work hard and I could achieve the best I can," Szilágyi says.

Anyway, the article is very nonspecific about this person's beliefs, but it is very encouraging that Science would publish something like this.  I'm starting to sense a sea change.  There are simply too many people who see the obviousness of God's design in nature for the scientific establishment to be in such denial.  I imagine that students are starting to see this, and what is a professor to do?  Fail his whole class?  There is definitely a sea change forming, though it may take a generation for it to fully take hold.

For those of us who are Creationists, this also means that the evolutionists' rhetoric will now help us.  Since the evolutionary biology community has spent the last 15 years chanting "ID is Creationism", as ID starts to take hold, this will actually be implicit support for us, too.  If ID is Creationism, then support for ID and tolerance for ID will hopefully lead to tolerance for Creationism as well.

 

 

March 01, 2009

General / Dembski vs Ruse at the University of Oklahoma

JB

I got the opportunity to hear the Ruse/Dembski debate at the University of Oklahoma.  For those interested in it, I wrote a summary of the major points on Uncommon Descent.  Paul Nelson also posted someone else's play-by-play of the Plantinga/Dennett debate at the APA.

February 25, 2009

General / A Very Cool Fish

JB

Check out this fish!

February 02, 2009

General / Winter/Spring 2009 BSG Newsletter is Up

JB

For those interested, the first newsletter of the BSG: A Creation Biology Study Group has now been posted.  It is a members-only publication, so if you want to read it, you'll need to get a membership (it's not expensive).  Note that the BSG does not require a statement of faith for membership.  I am the newsletter editor, so if you want to contribute (which, by the way, is an excellent way to get started in Creation research) let me know and we can decide what to do.  This newsletter consists of member news, book reviews, a literature review, and suggestions for student projects.

January 21, 2009

General / Interesting Biblical Chronology Blog

JB

I recently discovered a blog on Biblical Chronology called ShallowTime. This is great for me because my sources for Biblical Chronology material are very slim.  What also caught my attention was the link to a photograph of the historical site of Ai (from Joshua 8).  This is very interesting for me, because this is the area of scripture that my son and I are reading (we read Joshua 12 tonight), and we just read about the battle of Ai a few days ago.  I'll have to show him the picture of Ai tomorrow.

January 16, 2009

General / This Makes Me Want to Buy Their Magazine

JB

It turns out that Discover Magazine is standing by their claim that Forrest Mims is one of 50 best brains in science despite the harsh criticism they are receiving for it.

In our feature, we recognized Mims specifically for his contributions as an amateur scientist, and we stand by that assessment. His work on the Altair 8800 computer, on RadioShack’s home electronics kit, and on The Citizen Scientist newsletter has been undeniably influential. DISCOVER does not in any way endorse the Discovery Institute’s views on “intelligent design.” At the same time, Mims’s association with that group does not invalidate his role as a leading figure in the American amateur science community, any more than James Watson’s dubious speculations about race take away from his groundbreaking research on DNA. (emphasis mine)

This is a breath of fresh air in the controversy over intelligent design.  May more magazines and journals take the same approach!

January 11, 2009

General / Bryan CORE Releases Several Foundational Papers on Creationism

JB

I was searching for some of Todd Wood's old papers, and I ran into CORE's 20th anniversary website.  Bryan CORE is Bryan College's "Center for Origins Research" - one of the few centers for Creation research in existence.  Normally, I wouldn't really care about their anniversary, except that they have a page on this site where they released several foundational papers on Creationism which had previously been unavailable online!  If you go there, the graphical circles on the bottom are links to the different papers defining foundational aspects of Creationism.  Anyway, they have papers on:

  • The basics of baraminology (Creationary classification of organisms)
  • The origin of diversity in created kinds
  • Transitional forms
  • The pre-flood/flood boundary
  • Kurt Wise's paper on the multiple-nesting of life (as opposed to a single tree of life)
  • The role of human perception and understanding in unravelling God's design
  • The role of the Creation model in apologetics

Anyway, I'll probably be commenting on some of these papers soon.  Many of these have been buried in expensive International Conference on Creationism volumes which I have not been willing to purchase, or in old issues of other magazines.  It's fantastic that they made them available here!  Thanks guys!

January 05, 2009

General / The Personal Cost of Creationism

JB

I myself have not experienced any discrimination based on my belief in Creationism.  However, that is not the case for many in academia.  Jerry Bergman's new book, Slaughter of the Dissidents, reveals in excruciating detail the perils that befall most academics who are Darwin-dissenters of any stripe (Creationists, IDers, or even evolutionists skeptical of the Darwinian mechanism, or honest enough to allow open conversation about the subject or the possibility that they could be wrong).

If you want to learn more, I posted a review of the book on UncommonDescent.

For those of you wanting to do Creation research in an academic setting, I'll just say this: use caution, but stand up for what you believe in.

By the way, here is an inspiring story about someone successfully standing up for Creation in academia.