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The New Creationism: Building Scientific Theories on a Biblical Foundation

By Paul Garner
September 2009 | Review by Nathan Pomeroy

Synopsis

In the increasingly secular age in which we live, it is all too easy to forget that the major disciplines of science were founded by men of broadly Christian convictions. Their names are perhaps familiar to us –– Boyle, Ray, Hooke, Newton, Faraday –– but there is often an embarrassed silence concerning the spiritual beliefs that motivated these scientific giants. Like the astronomer, Kepler, these men perceived that in their scientific insights they were 'thinking God's thoughts after him'. Today, however, there is a sense of collective amnesia about the religious motivations of these men. Over the last two or three centuries, science has become almost completely disconnected from its biblical roots, with the result that the academic culture in which science is practiced today is one of tacit –– if not explicit –– atheism. Nowhere is this more evident than in the scientific study of how the universe began and developed –– the field of origins. This book has been written in the conviction that the first eleven chapters of the book of Genesis –– the Bible's book of beginnings –– provide a trustworthy and accurate account of the early history of the universe.

  • Publisher: Evangelical Press
  • ISBN: 978-0852346921
  • Pages: 306
  • Price: £10.99
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Book Review

This title doesn’t just expose the errors of evolutionary theory, but describes attempts to build creationist scientific theories to replace evolutionary explanations. Paul Garner writes, ‘my main aim is to summarise the work of modern-day scholars who are seeking to restore the biblical foundations of the scientific enterprise and build positive creationist theories in the field of origins.’

The author’s fundamental assumption is that ‘Genesis is a book of history –– and that it provides a satisfying framework for scientific study relating to origins’.

His book is organised into four parts. The first deals mainly with astronomy. I found his summary of Humphreys new creationist cosmology stimulating, and especially its description of ‘gravitational time dilation’. ‘During the early history of the universe, “billions of years” of processes were able to take place in outer space while only a few days passed as measured by “Earth standard time”.’

The second part examines geology, and reports the results of RATE, ‘one of the most ambitious creationist research initiatives ever undertaken’. A recent exciting discovery is that the rate of helium escape from zircon crystals points to an amazing conclusion: ‘the helium could not have been escaping from these rocks for more than 6,000 years.’

The third section looks at biology. The evolutionary tree suggests all living things have descended from one common ancestor. The creationist orchard builds on biblical teaching to show God created separate creatures, with many generic trees diversifying over time.

The final section returns to geology, with a particular concern to show how the global Flood explains contemporary discoveries relating to plate tectonics, the fossil record and the ice age.

Paul Garner’s book assumes the historical truthfulness of the Bible. He writes in a clear style, explains complex ideas briefly, humbly admits unresolved problems, and paints in the historical background helpfully.

His prayer is that this book will ‘build up your confidence in God’s Word and excite you about the scientific study of God’s world’. His prayer was answered for me; I encourage you to read The New Creationism.

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