Books on creation, progressive creationism, and theistic evolution

Discussion in 'Homeschooling' started by Embassy, Jan 26, 2013.

  1. Embassy

    Embassy New Member

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    Can anyone recommend books on creation (literal 7 day week), progressive creationism (old earth), and theistic evolution? I'm looking for books that talk about the different positions with their scientific reasons (or other reasons) for that position. I'm not interested in books that bash other positions, but ones where a position is clearly stated with supporting evidence. I hope that made sense. I'm looking for at least 2 books on each position, if possible.
     
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  3. Cornish Steve

    Cornish Steve Active Member

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    IMO, there's a real shortage of school age books about theistic evolution, whereas there's an overwhelming number of children's books about literal creationism. For advanced science, it's the complete opposite. Personally, I'm a member of Biologos, and I'd recommend browsing their website. They have quite an extensive set of articles under the Resources tab, but there's not really much for children. One thing they're quite good about is contrasting theistic evolution with the various forms of creationism. The site is informational and not at all propagandist.

    PS - It seems that Biologos is working on curricula for Christian schooling, which is great.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2013
  4. JosieB

    JosieB Active Member

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    Marking this thread.

    I believe in a young Earth but I want to respectfully teach my kids about other view points as well. (and I don't see why PS can't do the same but that's another thread)
     
  5. Embassy

    Embassy New Member

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    Thanks Steve. I was looking around on that site earlier today, but it seems that they don't have much books. I'm looking for something for a teen or adult. I found Beyond the Firmament by Glover on Amazon. It seems like it covers theistic evolution in a respectful way towards other positions. Are you familiar with the book?
     
  6. Cornish Steve

    Cornish Steve Active Member

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    No, I'm not, but I may order it. Two decent books are 'The Language of God' by Francis Collins and 'Coming to Peace with Science' by Darrell Falk, but they are both intended for adults. In the end, theistic evolution is the science of evolution (the 'how') combined with the creative genius and purpose of God (the 'why'). So, finding good textbooks on science that don't wander into naturalistic philosophy might be the best bet.

    I was talking with a university student this morning. (It's almost like a covert discussion. I find that science students seek me out because they know I have a PhD in physics, but we daren't let too many overhear because of the lack of tolerance for science in church.) One of the examples I gave was the human eye. The science of Intelligent Design made a huge mistake in this area, claiming that the eye is irreducibly complex (one of the fundamental pillars on which the theory of ID is based). In recent years, plenty of the components of the eye have been found in combination in other creatures, and we're at the point where it's almost possible to document the evolutionary steps involved. Given the extreme statement of ID, of course, atheists claim that these combinations of building blocks complete undermine the argument for a designer - but everyone has missed the point. The science of ID is flawed, yes, but the argument for a designer is even stronger. Yes, it's possible for the eye to evolve. Yes, it's possible for collagen to be transparent in the eye and only in the eye. This is the 'how'. What's been forgotten, though, is the reason 'why' evolution turned out this way. The emergence of the human eye was always possible but it was also highly improbable. The precise laws of physics and chemistry and biology, combined with a God who, being outside of time, can work through probability, meant that the emergence of the human eye was inevitable. Once again, as happens in so many cases, the real issue - the 'why' - is lost in the heat of battle between ideologues on both sides.

    Honestly, I may write a few science courses to address this pressing need.
     
  7. Cornish Steve

    Cornish Steve Active Member

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    I should also mention that I have met and engage in conversation with John Polkinghorne, and I have enormous respect for his intellect and ideas. He's well into his 80s now, but his thinking is as clear and thought-provoking as ever. He's written several books, but they are quite difficult to read. Even I, as a physicist by training, have to read and re-read some of his statements. He writes very much as a research scientist and not as a popular author. It may be worth spending a little time at this website too. While the good professor has never embraced the computer, his colleagues have - and keep this site current.

    PS - here's an example of his insightful writing: Genesis 1 uses symbolic language of a particular kind to express deep truths which cannot be expressed better any other way. If I write down f = ma (let alone any more complex equation) I am expressing a deep truth using symbolic language of a particular kind, and to understand what I am saying you need to understand the meaning, in this context, of the symbols involved. If someone said that I was asserting that "fry" meant the same as "mary" I would explain that they had misunderstood the way in which I was using these symbols. And if this person retorted that I was saying that f = ma was merely symbolic I might gently point out that all language is symbolic, the question is what kind of symbols and in what context should they be understood.

    Anyway, lest someone think I am trying to push an agenda, let me back off. I've mentioned the authors I most respect.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2013
  8. Embassy

    Embassy New Member

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    Thanks, Steve! The Coming to Peace with Science book looks like it would be good. I've read most of the Francis Collins book, but there were parts I didn't follow too well:p Overall, it was good.

    I think there is a fear of science in some Christians. When my son was small and really into dinosaurs I was told that I had to make sure he got a book from a young earth perspective. Then he received it as a present :) Just today when he was telling someone about what he wanted to do when he was grown he was told several times to go to a creation website that talks about the creation/evolution controversy. He wants to work with endangered animals :confused:

    I don't know what position my son will hold, but I will only use secular science textbooks/resources for our science studies. For Bible next year we will explore our family's position on creation/evolution. Then in a couple years I'm going to have him read books from the different perspectives so he can reach his own conclusion.
     
  9. Embassy

    Embassy New Member

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    Here is the list of books I have so far:

    Beyond the Firmament by Glover

    Coming to Peace with Science by Falk

    More than a Theory by Hugh Ross

    Did Adam and Eve Really Exist by Collins

    Cell’s Design by Rana

    The Young Earth. The Real History of the Earth – Past, Present, and Future by Morris

    Bones of Contention – A Creationist Assessment of Human Fossils by Lubenow

    I'd appreciate any feedback on these books or any other recommendations!
     
  10. Cornish Steve

    Cornish Steve Active Member

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    That's funny. I know it's going a little off-topic, but you've reminded me from an incident years ago when we lived in Wales. The elders very much believed that only men should lead, so they were rather upset when Maggie Thatcher was elected prime minister. One Sunday, everyone found they'd been given a book as a gift. We all wondered why, because it seemed a rather odd book to give (I don't even remember the title or subject now). Reading the introduction, it suddenly became clear. The author happened to include a sentence about some other country being a mess because it was God's judgment on them for having a female prime minister. :) For me, this kind of tactic is along the lines of those who, when they disagree, say in a superior way that they'll pray for me so that I might see God's true leading on the matter.

    High Ross is an interesting choice. He wrote quite a good book about the Anthropic Principle (how scientific constants are very finely tuned for life). I forget the title now - "The Fingerprint of God" maybe?
     
  11. Cornish Steve

    Cornish Steve Active Member

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    I've thought of another one, if you're willing to accept a two-hour video rather than a book. It's a lecture given by Ken Miller at Case Western University. It may be seven years old now, but it's still a classic.

    For creationism, the classic book is "Darwin's Black Box" by Michael Behe.
     
  12. Embassy

    Embassy New Member

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    I did have The Fingerprint of God on my list, but it was older than his other book so I figured it had more up to date information.
     
  13. Embassy

    Embassy New Member

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    Thanks! I'll check them out. Is the Darwin's Black Box one where the author isn't focusing on stating what is wrong with the other position? I want to focus on books where they state their position and why.
     
  14. Cornish Steve

    Cornish Steve Active Member

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    I've not read it, but my understanding is that this is a book where the basic tenets of ID are explained. These are, of course, that (i) no fossils exist to prove intermediate species, and (ii) life depends on certain irreducibly complex components.

    Another classic is 'The Lie' by Ken Ham, although I confess to getting very exasperated by Mr. Ham's very aggressive stance. My older daughter had to read it at a Christian school. She offered me the chance to read it, but I really couldn't get past the first few pages.
     

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