With the possible exception of sexual politics, no topic is more likely to start an argument than the evolution vs. creation debate—and not just between Christians and unbelievers. This is because the theory of evolution is fundamentally a worldview opposed to that of the historic Christian faith, one that diminishes the unique nature of humankind and makes us all amoral animals fighting for survival in a non-spiritual landscape.
This is the perspective of creation science organization Answers in Genesis, and particularly of AiG spokesman Gary Parker (perhaps best known in Gen-X home school crowds as the man with the largest nose-picker in the world). His book Building Blocks in Life Science: From Genes & Genesis to Science Scripture is intended to reveal the true nature of the evolutionary worldview while showing that science and the Bible aren't in opposition through biology study.
How Does This Work?
All students need is this worktext; answers to all questions are in the back. 19 chapters are divided into three units: "Biological Change: Darwin vs. Design," "Patterns in Structure and Development," and "DNA and the Origin of Life." Chapters are usually 6-10 pages, with a "Building Inspection" workpage at the end including science fact and worldview questions about what students just read. These questions can easily be answered orally or on paper in order to save the book for other kids.
Parker doesn't waste time—there's a lot of text, and it covers a lot of scientific information. Illustrations, mostly diagrams, illustrate in black and white throughout, and are generally necessary rather than just decorative. Interspersed throughout are worldview observations and explanations in which Parker ties the science topic being studied to the biblical account with the goal of equipping students with the knowledge to defend their faith from a scientific perspective.
Students work alone and at their own pace, though if you have them do about a chapter per week, they'll be able to finish in one normal semester. There's a lot to talk about, so parents would do well to discuss what students are reading with them, but that's not necessary for completion of the course. The focus is on biology, and while the level of instruction is definitely high school, this isn't a complete biology course: it's designed to tie worldview and biology together.
Our Honest Opinion
We at Exodus Books are creationists, so we aren't opposed to Parker's basic thesis that God created all things and that evolution as it is propagandized is primarily a vehicle for a godless worldview. However, the way he attempts to demonstrate how science and the Bible agree is sometimes less than compelling. That's not to say that the Bible and science don't agree (we think they do), just that there are better ways of making the case.
For instance, Parker makes one of the logical mistakes his evolution-minded peers often fall into—circular reason. Many times in Building Blocks in Life Science, he uses the variety of species and variations among species to show that God is an imaginative creator. By doing so, he apparently fails to realize that God's creative abilities, his imagination, and even his very existence are facts Parker has taken for granted prior to his knowledge of species variation.
That said, there's plenty of sound biology in here, and kids will at least understand that science can be connected to worldview and isn't some wholly objective discipline that arises simply from human observation. For Christian biology courses that keep the science and the worldview distinct while acknowledging their interdependent influence, we recommend either Scott Hardin's Science Shepherd or Gordon Wilson's The Riot and the Dance.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.
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