Science in Christian Perspective

Essay Reviews

Science Series Review

Donald E. DeGraaf*

Prof. Emeritus of Physics, U. of Michigan-Flint
 1008 Fremont St., Flint, MI 48504

SCIENCE K-2 Kathy Lambert, Supervising Ed. and SCIENCE 3-6 Karin Admiraal, Supervising Ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Christian Schools International, 1994). Hardcover; $49.15, Teacher's Guide; $27.30, Student Textbook.

This series of children's science books, written from a Christian viewpoint but not insisting on a young earth, is for children in grades K-6. The books are visually appealing, well illustrated, carefully written, and very readable. The series includes Teacher Guides for grades K-6, and student textbooks for grades 3-6.

They are published by Christian Schools International, 3350 East Paris Ave., SE, P.O. Box 8709, Grand Rapids, MI 49518-8709; phone: 616-957-1070. CSI's home page is at: http://www.gospelcom.net/ csi/ There you can find information about CSI and its member schools, its publications and teaching resources, an on-line catalog, and descriptions of CSI's Science series.

Here are some quotes from Science 6, the sixth-grade textbook, on topics of special interest to members of ASA. Science 6 has no mention of evolution.

Animals in God's Plan

God's creation is full of animals....But God didn't just make animals and leave them to fend for themselves. Every day, he is taking care of all the animals that he made. He provides them with food, shelter, water, and sunlight ... Animals are important to other animals in the food chain. Some animals are herbivores ... carnivores ... decomposers... so animals are important to plants, too! People also use animals for food.... Besides being useful, animals are also beautiful and fascinating to study. When God finished making animals, he said that they were good. From the animals, we can also learn about God's care for all his creation. If you study how God cares for the animals, you can learn more about how he cares for you and how you can care for the animals that he made (pp. 71-72).

What is Ecology?

God was the world's first gardener. He planted the Garden of Eden and caused it to grow. Today you can see God's work every time a flower pushes through the earth or a baby mouse is born. He cares for the world that he made and the plants and the animals in it.

After God created the garden, he put people in it to tend it and take care of it. We are God's gardeners on his earth. This earth is our home. We share it with plants, animals and all of God's creatures. Our job is to help keep the world as a good place for God's creatures to live.

An important part of our role as God's gardeners is to study the living things of the earth and the relationships between them. The study of living things and their relationships with one another and with nonliving things is called ecology. As we learn more about how God made the world, we can better understand how to take care of it (p. 145).

What is in the Universe?

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Gen. 1:1). Everything that God created in the beginning everything on Earth, in our solar system, and beyond is part of the universe. The universe is made up of all the matter and energy that there is... It is important for Christians to study the universe, because it is God's handiwork (p. 324).

God did not just create all the stars and leave them alone. Instead, he is continually moving stars from main sequence to red giant to white dwarf or supernova. He creates new stars from gas and dust in the universe. Our God is always active; you can see his hand in the life of stars (p. 333).

The Origin of the Universe

The Bible tells us that God created the universe from nothing.... But the Bible doesn't tell us exactly how he did this. One current theory about the beginning of the universe is called the "Big Bang theory." This theory says that at the first moment, the whole universe was incredibly small ... Then the tiny universe began to expand rapidly into a very hot, dense ball of particles that contained all the ingredients for planets, stars, moons, and energy. ... The particles formed clouds, which gravity pulled together into stars, galaxies, and planets.

Most scientists today accept the Big Bang theory as a reasonable explanation for the origin of the universe because it fits the evidence that they have... the universe still seems to be expanding... Does the Big Bang theory fit the with the Bible's account of creation? The important thing to remember is that God created the universe from nothing by his word.

Could God have used the Big Bang as the process by which he brought the universe into existence? Many Christians think so. In fact, anyone who accepts the Big Bang theory must accept the idea that the universe did have a specific beginning. However, ... the Big Bang theory... is still a theory. We do not actually know how God chose to create the universe... As Christians, we affirm that God is the Creator of the universe who continues to care for creation through his providence.

Another question that many people wonder about is, When did the universe begin? Most astronomers think that the universe is between 12 and 20 billion years old... Many Christians also believe that the universe is billions of years old.

However, many other Christians think that the universe is only about 6-10 thousand years old. They believe that when the Bible talks about God creating everything in six days, it means six normal, 24-hour days.

The first chapter of Genesis tells us that God made everything in six days. Some Christians believe that these are six, 24-hour days. Others think that the six days stand for six longer periods of time. But all Christians agree on one thing: the heavens and the earth were not created by chance or accident. God created them and he cares about them and controls them still (pp. 353-356).