EVANGELICALS AND MODERN SCIENCE

Robert C. Newman

 

As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.

                                                                                                (Prov 27:17 NIV)

 

            A proverb about individuals – but true, I believe, of Christianity and science as well.  Each is a challenge to the other, for better or worse.  We evangelicals who train pas­tors, lead congregations, teach, or do scientific research can help make these challenges work for the betterment of science and Christian­ity.  To see how this is so, let us con­sider some of the things going on in modern science. 

 

What's Happening in Science

 

            Many do not classify mathematics as a science, since it studies ideas inside us rather than objects out in nature.  Yet there is a strange correlation between mind and universe, between math and science.  As Einstein once noted: "The most incom­prehe­nsible thing about the universe is that it is so compre­hen­sible."1

 

            Strange things have been happening within mathematics, too.  The assured results of Euclid's geometry, which stood for over 2000 years, were challenged in the last century.  Not, indeed, by claims that Euclid was mistaken; rather that his paral­lel lines axiom was not the only possibility.2  Other alterna­tives, when developed, gave geometries of curved spaces.  These turn out to have numerous applications to the real world.  So do geometries of many dimensions – whether or not our universe has three, four, eleven or more dimensions it­self.3 Perhaps the universe is a kind of exhibi­tion hall, where God has used all sorts of mathematics somewhere in its construction. 

 

            In this century, Kurt Gdel proved that logical systems such as arithmetic are incomplete, astounding mathematicians and philosophers alike.4  If such a system is logically con­sis­tent, then it is not fully demonstrable.  If it is demon­stra­ble, it cannot be proved consistent.  This may be fatal to  deductivist hopes that our universe itself is one great self-consistent logical system, with all its features deriv­able from first principles. 

 

            With the advent of computers, mathematics has become more and more experimental (mathematicians would prefer to say "numerical" or "applied").  Not that logical proof has been repla­ced by trial and error, but electronic calculations allow us to go far beyond anything feasible by hand.  And with today's video technology, computers can display objects of higher‑dim­ension­al geometry that far surpass the visualizing ability of our brains.5  Thus, computers have become an ex­ploratory tool to suggest what theorems may be worth trying to prove.  Mathematics, like the sciences, is turning out to be a vast ocean, and we are just getting into its depths. 

 

            A century ago, many thought physics pretty well complete.  The only work left was to determine more decimal places for its basic constants.  But the search for these decimals soon shattered this opinion with dis­coveries leading to relativity and quan­tum mechanics. 

            Einstein's theories of relativity, strange as they may be, have been impressively verified.6  His special theory has an absolute "speed limit" in the universe, approaching which an object's mass increases to infinity, its length goes to zero, and its time comes to a standstill.  Measurements of time and space are relative, varying with the motion of the one making the observations.7  His general theory of relativi­ty restores absolute time to the universe, but locally time and space are distorted by gravitational fields.  In ex­treme cases, parts of the universe may nearly pinch off from the rest and become "black holes."8

 

            Relativity does not extrapolate into ethics, however.  The attempt to justify moral relativity from physics is unwar­ranted.  We could equally well argue that an absolute speed limit in the universe implies moral absolutes.  Opposi­tion to modern physics by evangelicals for this reason is certainly ill‑advised. 

 

            Quantum mechanics has been more troubling.  It has often been represented as replacing determinism with chance as the basic reality, which cer­tainly disagrees with the biblical world­view.  But there are actually several competing interpre­tations of quantum phenom­ena,9 and we need not opt for a random, acausal universe. 

 

            Nevertheless, the phenomena of quantum mechanics are real, and (like relativity) they often seem to mock at common sense.  The more accurately we pin down the location of an electron (say), the less definite its motion is.  The better we know its motion, the less we know about where it is.  In some observations, electrons behave like particles; in others, like waves.  What are they, really?  The famous double‑slit experi­ment shows that we are not just talking about groups of par­ticles which collectively behave like waves.  An individual particle which passes through one slit apparently "knows" whether the other slit is open or closed!10  And when two particles, originally together, move miles apart, one of them somehow "knows" the result of a measurement on the other instantane­ously, even though a signal from one to the other cannot travel faster than the speed of light!11  This last feature, however – assuming it stands up under further test­ing – would seem more of a problem for a mechan­istic universe of local interactions than for one con­trol­led by a God who is everywhere present.

 

            Physicists continue to seek one unifying force behind the four basic forces currently known – gravity, electromag­net­ism, the strong and weak nuclear interactions.  In view of Maxwell's earlier success combining electricity and mag­netism, and the recent work of Glashow, Weinberg and Salaam uniting these with the weak interaction, many hope to succeed where Ein­stein failed.12  Evangelicals may feel threatened by re­search of this sort, since we believe God is the unifier of the cosmos.  But in fact God has not told us whether he has reserved all unification to himself (so that such searches will prove futile) or whether he has mediated some unity through a created force. 

 

            Among the branches of astronomy, cosmology is especially interesting to evangelicals.  Is the cosmos "all that is, or ever was, or ever will be,"13 or is it just a part of what exists, and only one act in a greater drama produced and directed by the Creator?

            During the so‑called Enlightenment, many abandoned the biblical cosmology of an absolute beginning, but in recent years observation and theory have moved back in this direc­tion.  The static, eternal universe favored by nineteenth century atheism was replaced in this century by various dyna­mic models when it became apparent that the stars were running down and the universe expanding.14  Then the discoveries of the three‑degree blackbody radiation and quasars revealed that our universe was hotter and more crowded earlier than it is now, and most investigators abandoned the steady‑state cosmol­ogy for some form of the big‑bang theo­ry.15  Currently it looks like our universe began absolutely at the big‑bang, in con­trast to the formerly popular oscillating versions.16  The main alternative, that the universe is just a three‑dimen­sional bubble in an infinite, eternal universe of unbelievably high temperature and density,17 has little evidence for it compared with biblical theism. 

 

            If the universe began at the big bang, did it just happen or was it created?  Evidence that looks like design in the uni­verse has recently been found in the "fine‑tuning" which exists between its basic forces.  If these forces differed ever so slightly from what they are, life of any chemical sort could not exist.  The non‑theistic models proposed to explain this seem rather far‑fetched.18

 

            In chemistry (aside from pressing environ­men­tal con­cerns), the main inter­est for evangelicals has been the chemi­stry of life.  The classic experiment of Miller and Urey in 1952 showed that amino acids could be produced in an atmos­phere devoid of oxygen, which seemed reasonable for the early earth. The optimism this generated for life arising spon­tane­ously has since been dampened.  There is grow­ing evidence that the early atmosphere contained too much oxygen.  Miller‑Urey type ex­periments after 35 years still cannot produce the full set of amino acids found in life.  Competing reactions would destroy intermediate mole­cules needed for synthesis of DNA, RNA and proteins.  The simplest system which will reproduce itself is apparently far too complex to form by random pro­cesses (with­out the interven­tion of an intelligent being) even in a uni­verse as large and old as ours is.19

 

            In the past two centuries geology has moved from viewing the earth as only a few thousand years to several billion years old. This shift began well before Darwin made evolution scien­tifically respectable.  It was initially based on the dis­covery of miles‑thick geologic formations, which seemed impos­sible to produce in just a few thousand years, even with the help of Noah's flood.20  Though opposed by Kelvin because he calculated that the sun could not be so old, his objections were later overcome by the discovery of radioac­tivity, which led to both a mechanism for a long‑lived sun and a technique for dating geologic formations.21

 

            Since then, theologians have split over whether the Bible allows for an old earth or not.  Among those who think not, some have rejected the idea that the Bible teaches anything scientific, others have rejected geologic dating.22 Those who feel the Bible allows an old earth have sought to harmonize the biblical and geological data.23

 

            Taking the geologic strata as trustworthy records of an old earth, the fossils reveal an early earth devoid of life.  Later on, simple life appears, which remains alone for many millions of years.  Then comes the "Cambrian explo­sion" in which nearly all the animal phyla appear rather suddenly.  Later comes the successive appearance of fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, and last of all, man.24  This fossil succession is understood by evolutionists as the natural development of life from simple beginnings.  Old‑earth crea­tionists see it as evidence for God's successive interven­tion to create new life forms as the environment is prepared to support each in turn.  Young‑earth creationists reject the idea that the geologic column is a historical sequence.  Instead, the fossil succession is seen as a result of ecologi­cal zoning and the differing ability of various animals to escape the waters of Noah's flood, though both these ideas face severe problems.25

 

            The fossils also revealed that plants and animals dif­fered from one region of the earth to another.  Darwin's study of such differences among living finches and turtles on the various Galapagos Islands led him to propose his theory of evolution.  Such differences also raised questions regarding a universal flood.  Did God bring polar bears from the arctic, penguins from the antarctic, kangaroos from Australia and sloths from South America to the ark before the flood (since they appear in the fossil record in these places) and get them back afterward (since they are there now)?  Clearly God could have miraculously transported them, but nothing like this is mentioned in Genesis. Young‑earth creationists have sometimes tried to solve this by postulating a (problematic) rapid continental drift after the flood.  Old‑earth creation­ists and theistic evolutionists have often opted for a local or region­al flood so that transportation from outside the flood zone would be unnecessary.26

 

            Biology has been dominated by an evolutionary paradigm since Darwin's time.  There have been ups and downs in its accep­tance, and modifications such as the new synthesis and punc­tuated equilibrium model.  Yet some have always rejected it for scientific rather than theological reasons.27  Among scien­tific objections, geolo­gical investigation has continued to sharpen the gaps be­tween major biological categories in the fossil record rather than making them disappear.28  Attempts to model muta­tion and natural selection mathematically have not produced increasing organization.29  Many biological sys­tems do not look like they can be reached from simpler systems by a sequence of favora­ble, single mutations.30  Complex or­gans like the eye would not form by random mutation in the time avail­able, even though evolutionists assume sight devel­oped several times in the history of life.31  Nevertheless, the sequence of life-forms in the fossil record, plus a pref­erence in the scien­tific community (following Hume) for any natural explana­tion over any supernatural one, means that science will not likely abandon evolu­tion any time soon.32

 

            With the rise of microbiology, evidence for the complexi­ty of living things has risen dramatically,33 putting even more pressure on the claim that life developed by un­guided proces­ses.  At the same time, similarities of biochemi­cals across species boundaries have streng­thened many in their conviction that all life developed from a single original lifeform.34

 

            Before Darwin, arguments for a Designer from organiza­tion in living things was a major apologetic for Chris­tianity.  But evolution, many feel, des­troy­ed this ap­proach.35  In recent years, though, the argument has been revived as the complexity of organs and biochemical systems has become more obvious.36  Mu­tation and natural selec­tion do not seem to be able to produce such order, yet our own ex­peri­ence shows us that a mind can do so.

 

            Anthropology has often held center stage in the creation-evolution controversy, doubtless because of the clash between definite statements on human origins from Genesis two and various anthropologists.  Inter­pret­ers of both nature and Scripture have frequently aggravated the situation by unfoun­ded claims,37 yet a number of troubling facts remain.  Numer­ous fossils seem to be anatomically intermediate bet­ween human and ape.38  The bio­chemistry of modern man is closer to that of the apes than to the other animals, and (in some cases) is virtu­al­ly the same for chimp and man.39  On the other hand, the mental difference between man and ape is vast, even though apes are apparently the most "intelligent" of non­human ani­mals.40  Can unguided evolution really explain the origin of the human mind, or even the origin of animal brains?

 

            With this brief summary, we see that modern science has made a number of discoveries which challenge evangelicals.  It has also made others which challenge the "methodological atheism" of the scientific community. 

 

Evangelical Responses to Modern Science

 

            Bible believers have reacted to these challenges in various ways.  Three broad approaches have developed to ques­tions regarding the age of the earth and evolution:  young­-earth creation, old‑earth creation, and theistic evolution.  Each of these includes some diversity, but can be roughly described as follows. 

 

            Young‑earth creationists believe the universe, earth and mankind were created just a few thousand years ago.  Living things were created more or less instantaneously and have changed very little since then.  Scientists are thus fundamen­tally wrong in believing in an old earth or in evolution.  The Genesis account is our basic source of information on origins, and all scientific data are to be interpreted in agreement with the simplest reading of Scripture.  Typically, Noah's flood is seen as the source of most geologic strata.41  A few young-earth creationists reject quantum mechanics and relativ­ity.42  Some of these even reject a sun‑cent­ered solar system, claim­ing science went astray in the sixteenth century with Coper­nicus.43

 

            Old‑earth creationists accept a universe and earth some billions of years old, believing that scientists are properly interpreting substantial evidence here.44  They also believe that mutation and natural selection account for small‑scale changes (microevolution) in plant and animal life, allowing organisms to adapt in a limited way to changes in climate and environment, but producing no new organs or systems.45  They part company with evolutionists by noting that the fossil record gives no evidence of gradual transitions between the larger divisions of the biological classification, thus rejec­ting macroevolution.  They interpret the Genesis account and scien­tific data so as to harmonize, often taking the days of Gene­sis to be long periods of time.46  Some hold to a geo­graph­ical­ly universal flood, others to a regional flood.  Mankind is seen as a special creation of God, some seeing our crea­tion hundreds of thousands of years back, others making it much more recent.47

 

            Theistic evolutionists accept the main lines of modern scientific thought on origins, but reject any non‑the­istic im­plications.48  All life is typically viewed as develop­ing from one initial life form, perhaps created by God's intervention, perhaps by his providential guidance.49  The development of various forms from this original life was also providentially guided.  There is some divergence on human origins.  Most commonly, a whole population of apes is thought to have evol­ved into humanity, with no original pair having ever exist­ed.50  Some, however, believe God breathed into an ape to provide him with a soul, thus producing Adam, the first man.  From his side comes Eve, as Genesis 2 says.  In this scheme, there was an original pair, and mankind's fall into sin was a specific historical event.51 

 

            Unfortunately, then, evangel­icals have not found as much common ground as we would like for a unified response to modern sci­ence.  Yet all can agree that God is Creator, that unguided evolution will not work, that man has a special place of responsibility over God's creation, that the universe really does­n't make sense without God, and that it is crucial for people to recognize this. These are basic and central mat­ters which should not be over­looked in the midst of our in­tramural disputes.  

 

            However, there is no agreement on a detailed alternative model to unguided evolution.  Young‑earth and old‑earth crea­tionists agree that macroevolution is mistaken, and are often united on what its problems are.  Old‑earth creationists and theistic evolutionists agree that the earth is old, and gener­ally see similar problems with young‑earth creationism.  Young‑earth creationists and many theistic evolutionists agree that the Bible taken literally does not fit with the modern scientific consensus and generally feel that harmonization is not the right strategy. 

 

            We should not be surprised to find such disagreement.  After all, evangelicals are not united in a number of areas of biblical interpretation ‑‑ baptism, church government, es­chatology, miraculous gifts today ‑‑ so why should we expect better agreement when it comes to the inter­pretation and harmonization of Bible and science?  Yet in spite of this we should not give up but should continue to seek solu­tions in all these areas.  In what follows, I give some sug­gestions as an old‑earth creationist for making progress in relating Bible and science. 

 

Science as Exegesis

 

            We are discussing what is commonly called the relation of "Bible and science."  In spite of popular use, this pair­ing of terms is not ideal.  Science is basically a method; the Bible basically data.  The pair "science and religion" is even worse; religion is such a generic term that almost nothing can be said that is true of all religions.  For instance, is atheism a religion?  Some better pairs are "Bible and nature" (both data), "theoretical science and theology" (both theoriz­ing from the data), "experimental science and ex­egesis" (both observing and trying to understand the data).  Perhaps reli­gion – like engineering – is application.  In any case, consider the parallels between science and ex­egesis, which seem to be especially fruitful. 

 

            From a biblical perspective, it makes sense to view science as the interpretation of God's general (or natural) revela­tion, just as exegesis is the interpretation of God's special revel­ation in the Bible.  For an evangelical, both nature and Scripture are inerrant sources of information from God.  Both have fallible human interpreters.  Exegetes (ideal­ly) study the Bible to see what is there, rather than to defend their own theology or denominational tradition.  Scien­tists (also ideally) study nature to see what is there, rather than to defend their own pet theories or the status quo in their field.  Both disciplines favor a priority of data over theory.  Both use beauty, simplicity, cogency, and correspon­dence with established theories as aids to their own theoriz­ing. 

 

            Of course, there are differences.  As evangelicals we believe that we have all of the Bible now – a written text of finite length – though we would not claim it contains all there is to know about our infinite God.  Nature, on the other hand, though presumably finite, is continually opening up new pages of its text to our view as we build new devices which look further or probe deeper.  In addition, the Bible is already given in human languages; nature is not. 

 

            If we as evangelicals feel warranted in harmonizing bibli­cal passages which we believe refer to the same histori­cal event, should we not also harmonize the data of nature and Scrip­ture on the origins of the universe, life and ourselves?  If we ac­cept Matthew's account that there were two demon­iacs whose deliverance caused a herd of pigs to stampede into the Sea of Galilee, though Mark and Luke mention only one demoni­ac; if we accept Matthew's account of the flight of Mary, Joseph and Jesus into Egypt, though nothing is said about this in Luke; then we should not be surprised that nature may give us infor­mation about which Scripture is silent and vice versa. 

 

            Many scientists, of course, don't think they are exe­geting God's revelation in nature when they do science, but that doesn't mean they aren't.  After all, many liberal theo­logians don't think they are exegeting God's revelation when they interpret the Bible; but if biblical Christianity is true, that is what they are doing all the same.  Surely any activity which ig­nores God is going to be defective in impor­tant ways.  If science as practiced by secularists has no concern for the universe as a natural revelation, it is up to us as evangeli­cals trained in science to try to fill this gap. 

 


The Relative Merits of Various Evangelical Options

 

            The three options listed earlier as evangelical responses to modern science seem to differ substantially in how they handle data from nature and Scripture. Young‑earth creation­ists try to construct the simplest model of origins possible using only the biblical data.  The scientific data are then interpreted to conform with this model, whether or not this is a straight­for­ward way to understand them.  The idea of cre­ation with apparent age is frequently employed to handle difficulties. 

 

            At the other end of the spectrum, theistic evolutionists construct the simplest model of origins from the scientific data, and then interpret the biblical material to conform.  For evangelicals this may result in reading Genesis two and three as parabolic or allegorical, and in denying that Genesis one was intended to answer any scientific questions about how God worked. 

 

            Old‑earth creationists, by contrast, use the data from both nature and Scripture in devising their original models, seek­ing a construct that does justice to both.  Naturally, these models will be more complex than the minimum necessary to fit either set of data alone, but this does not mean we should force a harmonization.

 

            Some evangelicals have noted that science often functions dif­ferently in dealing with present‑day phenomena than it does when investigating origins.  Geisler has distinguished between "origins‑science" and "operations‑science."52  From a differ­ent perspective, Van Till has suggested a distinction between "formative history," those features of origins which science can investigate, and "ultimate origins," those which transcend science.53  Both of these suggestions have some merit.  Ap­parently two factors are at work.  One is our close­ness to the data; the other is the question of immanence vs. trans­cen­dence, or providence vs. miracle. 

 

            The extent to which we have a "hands on" relation with particular scientific data forms a continuum.  Some phenomena are accessible to the laboratory and repeatable almost at will.  Other phenomena cannot be brought into the laboratory.  Of these latter, some are beyond our control but repeat at frequent intervals (e.g., periodic phenomena on the sun).  Other phenomena repeat at rare intervals beyond our life span (e.g., the life cycle of a star).  Some phenomena occur only once in the history of our universe (e.g., the big‑bang).  Clearly, the reliability of our theorizing decreases as the phenomena are less under our control and less frequently repeated.54 

 

            God's activity in our world has traditionally been divid­ed into providence and miracle.  Evangelicals agree that both occur, though Howard Van Till would apparently like to limit mira­cle to redemption.55  Evangeli­cals disagree on the amount and location of miracle involved – young‑earth creationists postulating the most intervention and theistic evolutionists the least.

            Theistic evolutionists have sometimes charged young‑earth and old‑earth creationists with appealing to a "God of the gaps" in postulating divine intervention at one point or another in creation.56  Granted.  Creationists, however, have usually appealed to gaps in the fossil record or in scientific mechanisms as warrant for such suggestions.  We should remem­ber, however, that evolutionists, theistic or not, also employ a "god of the gaps" – natural law – which is plugged in even when there seems to be real discontinuity in fossil record or mechanism! 

 

            Lastly, a complaint against both young‑earth creationists and theistic evolutionists:  both resort to fictitious history in their treatment of origins.  Young‑earth creationists admit using "appearance of age" to explain scientific phenomena which otherwise suggest an old earth or universe.  But since the light from stars, galaxies and quasars tells us something of what was happening on those objects when the light left them, so light from objects more than a few thousand light years away must be, in their view, telling us what would have been happening there if the objects had existed then (which they didn't) – fictitious history.  Those theistic evolution­ists who deny a real Adam interpret Genesis two and three as para­bolic or allegorical – the accounts look historical but they aren't.  Again, fictitious history.  One sees fictitious history in nature, the other in Scripture. It would be much better, if possible, to handle the data without invoking the concept of fictitious history. 

 

            This is not to say that the old‑earth creation viewpoint has solved all the problems of relating biblical and scientif­ic data.  Further investigation and reflection are certainly needed in this area, and input from young-earth creationists and theistic evolutionists should continue to be helpful. 

 

Conclusions

 

            Evangelicals have been challenged in numerous areas by science.  We should not fear that real discoveries will over­throw biblical Christianity, nor should we treat science as an enemy.  Instead we should realize that science is in the process of study­ing general revelation.  God will continue to reveal himself to scientists as long as they do not overextend their metho­dology so as to rule out God or refuse to consider the possibility that he has inter­vened miraculously into nature. 

 

            We as evangelicals need to continue working on harmoniz­ing God's revelation in his Word and his world.  We should not be satisfied with superficial answers or forced exegesis.  We should remember that at any given time, we may not have suffi­cient information to solve a particular problem or construct a proper harmonization.  Therefore, we must carefully scrutinize each new page of general revelation as it comes to light and consider how it may influence our proposed syntheses. 

 

            Modern science has also been challenged in numerous areas, not so much by evangelicals as by our God in his gener­al revelation.  We as evangelicals need to cooperate with God in helping non‑believing scientists (and others) to see these things and to turn to Jesus as their redeemer.  We need to be cautious yet faithful in our handling of scientific data, lest we put unnecessary stumbling blocks before others that would hinder their coming to God.57

 

                                                                   Copyright 1989, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

 

References

 

            1. Cited without reference in Carl Sagan, The Dragons of Eden (New York: Random House, 1977), 233; a similar statement occurs in Albert Einstein, Ideas and Opinions (New York: Crown, 1982), 292: "the eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibil­ity."

            2. P. LeCorbeiller, "The Curvature of Space," Scientific American (November, 1954), 80‑86; Rene Taton, ed., Science in the Nineteenth Century (New York: Basic Books, 1965), 25‑28.

            3. Heinz R. Pagels, Perfect Symmetry (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1985), 310‑15.

            4. Ernest Nagel and James R. Newman, Gdel's Proof (New York: University Press, 1958); Douglas R. Hofstadter, Gdel, Escher, Bach (New York: Basic Books, 1979).

            5. Ivars Peterson, "Twists of Space," Science News 132 (October 24, 1987), 264‑66.

            6. Clifford M. Will, Was Einstein Right?  Putting General Relativity to the Test (New York: Basic Books, 1986); Hugh Ross, Cosmology Confronts the Creator (Pasadena: Reasons to Believe, 1987), 11‑13.

            7. A. Shadowitz, Special Relativity (Philadelphia: Saunders, 1969); Martin Gardner, Relativity for the Million (New York: Macmillan, 1962).

            8. Ronald S. Adler, "Relativity, Special Theory" in McGraw‑Hill Encyclopedia of Physics (1983); William J. Kaufmann, III, Relativity and Cosmology, 2nd ed.  (New York: Harper and Row, 1977).

            9. Paul Davies and J. Brown, eds., The Ghost in the Atom: A Discussion of the Mysteries of Quantum Physics (New York: Cambridge, 1986), 31‑39; Nick Herbert, Quantum Reality (New York: Doubleday, 1985), 16‑29, 41‑53.

            10. Davies and Brown, Ghost in the Atom, 8‑11; Herbert, Quantum Reality, 65‑66.

            11. Herbert, Quantum Reality, 211‑31; Davies and Brown, Ghost in the Atom, 11‑19.

            12. Paul Davies, Superforce: The Search for a Grand Unified Theory of Nature (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1984).

            13. Carl Sagan, Cosmos (New York: Random House, 1980), 4.  For evangelical responses, see Robert C. Newman, "A Critique of Carl Sagan's TV Series and Book 'Cosmos'," IBRI Research Report 19 (Hatfield, PA: IBRI, 1984); John Wiester, "Carl Sagan's 'Cos­mos'," Christians in Education 2, nos. 1 and 2 (1985); R. C. Sproul, Tabletalk 12, no. 4 (August, 1988); Howard J. Van Till, "Sagan's Cosmos: Science Education or Religious Theatre?" in Howard J. Van Till, Davis A. Young and Clarence Menninga, Science Held Hostage: What's Wrong with Creation Science AND Evolutionism (Downers Grove, IL: InterVar­sity, 1988), 155‑68.

            14. Elske V. P. Smith and Kenneth C. Jacobs, Introductory Astronomy and Astrophysics (Philadelphia: Saunders, 1973), 509‑10.

            15. Robert Jastrow and Malcolm H. Thompson, Astronomy: Fundamen­tals and Frontiers, 3rd ed.  (New York: Wiley, 1977), 265‑76; Lawrence W. Frederick and Robert H. Baker, An Introduction to Astronomy, 9th ed.  (New York: Van Nostrand, 1981), 452‑57.

            16. Frederick and Baker, Astronomy, 457‑59; Jastrow and Thomp­son, Astronomy, 276‑81; Ross, Cosomology, 18‑19.

            17. D. E. Thomsen, "Cosmic Cauldron Bubbles Up Universe," Science News 121 (1982), 116; M. Mitchell Waldrop, "Bubbles Upon the River of Time," Science 215 (1982), 1082‑83.

            18. P. C. W. Davies, Accidental Universe (Cambridge: University Press, 1982); John D. Barrow and Frank J. Tipler, The Anthropic Cosmological Principle (New York: Oxford, 1986); for evangelical treatments, see Ross, Cosmology; Alan Hayward, God Is (Nash­ville: Nelson, 1980); Robert C. Newman, "A Designed Universe" (Hatfield, PA: IBRI, 1988); John Jefferson Davis, "The Design Argument, Cosmic 'Fine Tuning,' and the Anthropic Principle" (So. Hamil­ton, MA: Gordon‑Conwell, 1986).

            19. Charles B. Thaxton, Walter L. Bradley and Roger L. Olsen, The Mystery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories (New York: Philosophical Library, 1984); Robert Shapiro, Origins: A Skeptic's Guide to the Creation of Life on Earth (New York: Summit, 1986); Robert C. Newman, "Self‑Replicating Automata and the Origin of Life," Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 40 (1988), 24‑31.

            20. Davis A. Young, Christianity and the Age of the Earth (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1982); Charles Coulston Gillispie, Genesis and Geology (New York: Harper and Row, 1959).

            21. Taton, Science in the Nineteenth Century, 333; Don L. Eicher, Geologic Time (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice‑Hall, 1968), 16‑18.

            22. Bruce Vawter, "Creationism: Creative Misuse of the Bible" in Is God a Creationist? ed. Roland Mushat Frye (New York: Scrib­ners, 1983), 72‑77; Langdon Gilkey, Maker of Heaven and Earth (Garden City: Doubleday Anchor, 1965), 25‑26; Henry Morris, Biblical Cosmology and Modern Science (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1970); Paul M. Steidl, The Earth, the Stars and the Bible (Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1979); John C. Whitcomb, Jr., The Early Earth (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1972).

            23. Alan Hayward, Creation and Evolution: The Facts and the Fallacies (London: Triangle, 1985); Robert C. Newman and Herman J. Eckelmann, Jr., Genesis One and the Origin of the Earth, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1981); Pattle P. T. Pun, Evolution: Nature and Scripture in Conflict? (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1982); Young, Christianity and the Age of the Earth.

            24. Steven M. Stanley, The New Evolutionary Timetable (New York: Basic Books, 1981).

            25. Henry M. Morris and John C. Whitcomb, Jr., The Genesis Flood (Philadelphia: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1961), 270‑81. But see Hayward, Creation and Evolution, 131‑34; Daniel E. Wonderly, Neglect of Geologic Data (Hatfield, PA: IBRI, 1987), 59-70.

            26. Frederick A. Filby, The Flood Reconsidered (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1971).

            27. See W. R. Thompson's introduction to the Everyman ed. of Darwin's Origin of Species (New York: Dutton, 1956), reprinted in Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation 12 (1960), 2‑9; Gordon Rattray Taylor, The Great Evolution Mystery (New York: Harper and Row, 1983), 4‑12.

            28. George Gaylord Simpson, Tempo and Mode in Evolution (New York: Columbia University, 1984 reprint of 1944 ed.), 105‑24; Michael Denton, Evolution, a Theory in Crisis (Bethesda, MD: Adler and Adler, 1986), ch 8.

            29. M. Kaplan, ed., Mathematical Challenges to the Neo‑Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution (Philadelphia: Wistar Institute, 1967).

            30. Denton, Theory in Crisis, ch 9; Taylor, Great Evolution Mystery, 5.

            31. Murray Eden, "The Inadequacy of Neo‑Darwinian Evolution as a Scientific Theory" in Kaplan, Mathematical Challenges; Michael Pitman, Adam and Evolution (London: Rider, 1984), 218.

            32. David Hume, Concerning Human Understanding, section X; see Van Till's comments on the methodological atheism of science in Science Held Hostage, 133, 135, 139, 143, 147.

            33. Carl Sagan, "Life" in Encyclopaedia Brittanica (1970), 13:1083B; Renato Dulbecco, The Design of Life (New Haven: Yale, 1987); Maya Pines, Inside the Cell (Washington, DC: Dept of Health, Education and Welfare, 1978).

            34. Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker (New York: Norton, 1986), ch 10; Pamela K. Mulligan, "Proteins, Evolution of," McGraw‑Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology (1987), 14:412‑17.; Emilie Zuckerandl, "The Evolution of Haemoglobin," Scientific American 213 (1965), 1012‑20; Francisco J. Alaya, ed.  Molecular Evolution (Sunderland, MA: Sinauer, 1976). See Denton, Theory in Crisis, ch 12 for a typological perspective. 

            35. Bertrand Russell, Why I Am Not a Christian (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1957), 9-10; Dawkins, Blind Watchmaker, ch 1; Barrow and Tipler, Anthropic Cosmological Principle, 83‑87.

            36. Denton, Theory in Crisis, 26‑29, 214‑27; Hayward, Creation and Evolution, ch 4; Robert Gange, Origins and Destiny (Waco, TX: Word, 1986), 33‑40, 105‑09.

            37. Pitman, Adam and Evolution, 91‑94; Roger Lewin, Bones of Contention (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1987), 54‑55, 60‑75; Glen J. Kuban, "The Taylor Site 'Man Tracks,'" Origins Research 9:1 (1986), 1; Committee for Integrity in Science Education, Teaching Science in a Climate of Controversy (Ips­wich, MA: American Scientific Affiliation, 1986), 18‑21.

            38. W. E. LeGros Clark, Antecedents of Man (New York: Harper and Row, 1963); Henri Blocher, In the Beginning (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1984), 229‑30; but see also John Wiester, The Genesis Connection (Nashville: Nelson, 1983), 158‑90.

            39. Eldon J. Gardner, Principles of Genetics, 4th ed.  (New York: Wiley, 1972), 305‑08.  But blood transfusions and organ transplants have not worked well.

            40. Pitman, Adam and Evolution, 240‑46; Gange, Origins and Destiny, 104, 121‑36.

            41. Morris and Whitcomb, Genesis Flood; Whitcomb, Early Earth.

            42. Thomas G. Barnes, Physics of the Future (El Cajon, CA: Institute for Creation Research, 1983).  See also articles by Barnes, Akridge, Slusher and Bouw in the Creation Research Society Quarterly.

            43. W. van der Kamp, "The Heart of the Matter" (Burnaby, BC: the author, 1967). See also the Bulletin of the Tychonian Society, 4527 Wetzel Ave., Cleveland, OH 44109.

            44. Davis A. Young, Creation and the Flood (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1977); Young, Christianity and the Age of the Earth; Daniel E. Wonderly, God's Time Records in Ancient Sediments (Flint, MI: Crystal Press, 1977); Wonderly, Neglect of Geologic Data; Newman and Eckelmann, Genesis One; Hayward, Creation and Evolu­tion, chs 5‑9.

            45. Except as could plausibly have arisen from random mutations. See, e.g., Pun, Evolution, 191‑230.

            46. Ibid., 251‑71; Newman and Eckelmann, Genesis One, 67‑88.

            47. Wiester, Genesis Connection, 187‑90; Robert Brow, "The Late‑Date Genesis Man," Christianity Today 16 (1972), 1128‑1129; William J. Kornfield, "The Early‑Date Genesis Man," Chris­tianity Today, 17 (1973), 931‑34.

            48. F. Donald Eckelmann, "Geology," in The Encounter Between Christianity and Science, ed.  Richard H. Bube (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1968), 135‑70; Walter R. Hearn, "Biological Science," in Ibid., 199‑223; Howard J. Van Till, The Fourth Day (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1986), 188, 227‑31, 264‑65.

            49. Richard H. Bube, "Creation (B): Understanding Creation and Evolution," Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation 32 (1980), 177.

            50. Richard H. Bube, "Biblical Evolutionism?" Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation 23 (1971), 140‑44.

            51. David L. Dye, Faith and the Physical World (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1966), 136‑50; James M. Houston, "The Origin of Man," Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation 34 (1982), 1‑5.

            52. Norman L. Geisler and J. Kerby Anderson, Origins Science (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1987).

            53. Van Till et al, Science Held Hostage, 15‑25.

            54. Fortunately, marks of frequently repeated phenomena indicat­ing an old earth are abundant in the earth's crust.  Large areas of North America are covered by fossil-bearing sedimentary sequences, often with a thickness of several miles.  Many of the layer units in these sedimentary columns are rock-types which cannot form rapidly, but require thousands of years to make even 50 feet of thickness.  A large percentage of lime­stones and shales fall into this category.  Limestone layers deep in U.S. and Canadian oil fields sometimes include large surfaces showing extensive erosion features, even potholes and steep-walled canyons, which indicate the surface had hardened into rock before additional thousands of feet of rock were formed on top of them.  These buried surfaces often include fossil sea-shells, which were first securely cemented into the rock surface and then partially worn off by erosion before their final burial took place.  Other limestone deposits frequently contain organically formed structures, such as algal mats and coral reefs, which still show the growth patterns of the organisms which produced them, usually with recognizable fossils of these organisms, some in their normal growth positions, others moved downslope by wave action or sediment flow before final burial took place.  See Wonderly, Neglect of Geologic Data for abundant documentation of this.

            55. Van Till, Fourth Day, 224‑27.

            56. Richard H. Bube, "The Failure of the God‑of‑the‑Gaps," in Horizons of Science, ed. Carl F. H. Henry (New York: Harper and Row, 1978), 21‑35.

            57. My thanks to IBRI colleagues John Bloom, David Bossard, Bob Dunzweiler, Perry Phillips, John Studenroth and Dan Wonderly for helpful discussions.