Students ask: “Is man just a ‘highly-evolved' animal?”

Science textbooks like Miller & Levine Biology use the fact that humans are classified as mammals in the primates group to argue that we are related to chimpanzees, gorillas, and gibbons, leading many to believe that man is only a “highly-evolved” animal.1

Humans alone have the ability to commune with their Creator though faith in His Son, Jesus

Humans alone have the ability to enjoy a loving relationship with their Creator though faith in His Son, Jesus Christ.

Although the inventor of the classification and naming system for living things, Carolus Linnaeus, did classify humans as mammals and primates, he was also a committed Bible-believing creationist who held that mankind was distinctly created by God separate from the animals.2 The reason why he classified humans as mammals and primates in particular is simply because we share many physical similarities with other creatures, especially monkeys and apes.

It is not hard to understand why Linnaeus did this; every time we visit the zoo, we love watching monkeys and apes as they display their humanlike behaviors and abilities, often in humorous ways. However, we also recognize that humans are special.

Although we share much in common with animals, what sets us apart is how God describes humankind in Genesis 1:26-27, “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”

Being created in God’s image, humans alone are capable of rational thought, scientific discovery, building complex structures and devices, communicating using spoken and written language, practicing medicine and surgery on each other, composing music, creating works of art, and most importantly, enjoying a loving relationship with his Creator through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. And it was for mankind alone that God sent His Son to come and pay the death penalty that we deserved for breaking God’s law, providing the way for us to live with Him forever.

Free Resources for Further Learning:

Are Animals Different From People?

Made in God’s Image Video

God’s Image: The Difference-Maker

References:

1Miller, Kenneth R., and Joseph S. Levine. Miller & Levine Biology. Boston, MA: Pearson, 2006. 766-767. Print.

2Jerry Bergman, Ph.D. 2014. Carolus Linnaeus: Founder of Modern Taxonomy. Acts & Facts. 43 (11).

Students ask: “Is human and chimpanzee DNA really 98-99% the same?”

One of the “holy grails” of evolution is the claim that humans share 98-99% of their DNA with chimpanzees. Based on this evidence, the 10th grade California textbook Miller & Levine Biology confidently states that, “Recent DNA analyses confirm that, among the great apes, chimpanzees are human’s closest relatives.”1

dna_study_wide

Humans and chimps are actually only 70% similar genetically, not the often-claimed “98-99%.” Image credit: icr.org

However, what is not commonly told is the fact that such numbers were gained using very unscientific means; “cherry picking” the data. Only segments of the DNA shared by chimps and humans were compared, so naturally, they would be very similar.2

It actually makes good sense from a creation-design standpoint for humans to share similar DNA with other creatures, for the obvious reason that man does many of the same things that animals do. For example, our bodies digest food, breath air, fight disease, and so on.

However, when the full genomes are taken into account and compared, the similarity number falls dramatically. As more recent research by both creationists and evolutionists has revealed, humans and chimps are only about 70% similar genetically; a far cry from the common 98-99% statistic promoted by secularists.This poses a huge dilemma for evolution, since this means that around 1 billion letters of DNA out of the total 3-billion in the human genome would have to be accounted for by random mutations and blind natural selection in only around 7 million years since humans and chimps last shared a common ancestor!5

The biblical account of the creation of man in the image of God, separate from the animals (including chimps) is a much better explanation for the complex genetic codes of humans and chimpanzees than evolution.

Free Resources for Further Learning:

Chimp DNA Video

Human and Chimp DNA—Nearly Identical?

The Myth of 1%

Chimp-human DNA Similarity: What Does It Really Mean?

References:

1Miller, Kenneth R., and Joseph S. Levine. Miller & Levine Biology. Boston, MA: Pearson, 2006. 767. Print.

2Tomkins, J. 2012. Journal Reports Bias in Human-Chimp Studies. Acts & Facts. 41 (6): 6.

3Jeanson, N. 2013. Does “Homology” Prove Evolution? Acts & Facts. 42 (9): 20.

4Tomkins, J. 2011. Evaluating the Human-Chimp DNA Myth—New Research Data. Acts & Facts. 40 (10): 6.

5Tomkins, Jeffery P., Ph.D. “Chimp DNA Mutation Study-Selective Yet Surprising.” Chimp DNA Mutation Study-Selective Yet Surprising. Institute for Creation Research, 25 June 2014. Web. 10 July 2015. <http://www.icr.org/article/chimp-dna-mutation-studyselective-yet/>.

Students ask: “Is the evolutionary ‘tree of life’ real?”

Did you know that California public-school science textbooks teach that humans are cousins to…worms?

Diagrams in both the 7th grade Focus on Life Science1 and 10th grade Miller & Levine Biology2 textbooks display a ‘family tree of life’, illustrating the path of evolution, from ‘simple’ invertebrates (at the ‘trunk’) to all the varieties of living creatures on earth, including human beings (the ‘branches’).

Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 8.49.55 PM

The evolutionary ‘tree of life’ vs. the biblical creationist ‘orchard of life’. Image credit: www.answersingenesis.org.

Genesis clearly teaches that all life forms, including plants and animals, were all created ‘after their kind,’ therefore, living things can only reproduce more of their own ‘kind’. This is what is scientifically observed in nature; dogs produce varieties of dogs, roses produce varieties of roses, and so on.

So, why do evolutionary scientists arrive at the conclusion that all living creatures are related? It is not the evidence that leads one to believe this, but rather the assumptions used to interpret the evidence. Evolutionary scientists begin with two major assumptions that affect the way they see the relationships between plants and animals:

  1. All living things evolved from a ‘simple’ common ancestor.3
  2. Features shared between different creatures (physical patterns, genes, etc.) are evidence that they are related.4

Neither assumptions are provable, and they often lead evolutionary researchers to unacceptable (by their own standards) conclusions. For example, bats and dolphins share a very similar gene for echolocation, yet bats are supposed to be closely related to shrews, while dolphins are supposedly close relatives of deer.5

So, how should Bible-believers respond? First, we need to recognize the folly of ‘connecting the dots’ between living things, understanding that any group of objects can be arranged in a ‘family tree’ based on similarities. For instance, one could create an evolutionary ‘tree of vehicles’, drawing the lineage of the car, truck, and tank back to a ‘simple’ farm-tractor ancestor. Of course, we know that each of these vehicles was created separately, although they share many similarities, to fulfill a specific purpose.

We know from the Bible that God created all living things ‘after their kind’ on Days 3, 5, & 6 of Creation Week, each fully functional and ready to ‘fill the earth’. With this starting point, we see that the same logic applied to man-made objects also applies to God’s creation. Instead of interpreting similarities as evidence for relationship, we see them as examples of the common design patterns that God has used to enable His creatures to fill their environments, in the same way that human designers use similar designs to accomplish various purposes.Equipped with this understanding, we can approach the natural world with a sense of awe at all that the Creator has made.

Free Resources for Further Learning:

Evolution Exposed: Classifying Life

What Grows on Evolution’s Tree?

In-depth: Darwin vs. Genetics: Surprises and Snags in the Science of Common Ancestry

References:

1Coolidge-Stoltz, Elizabeth. Focus on California Life Science. Boston, MA: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2008. 415. Print.

2Miller, Kenneth R., and Joseph S. Levine. Miller & Levine Biology. Boston, MA: Pearson, 2006. 742. Print.

3Ibid, p. 525.

4Ref. 1, p. 225-226.

5“In Bats and Whales, Convergence in Echolocation Ability Runs Deep.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 Jan. 2010. Web. 30 June 2015. <http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100125123219.htm>.

6Guliuzza, Randy J. “Similar Features Show Design, Not Universal Common Descent.” Clearly Seen: Constructing Solid Arguments for Design. Dallas, TX: Institute for Creation Research, 2012. 24-25. Print.

Students ask: “Are dinosaurs evidence of millions of years?”

Dinosaurs are back in the news with Universal Picture’s recent theatrical release of Jurassic World. As to be expected, this long-awaited sequel to the Jurassic Park trilogy presents the standard view of dinosaurs as established fact; dinosaurs and humans were separated by millions of years, and never crossed paths.

Kachina Bridge Dino

A petroglyph under Kachina Bridge in Utah closely resembles a sauropod (long-necked) dinosaur.

However, God’s Word teaches that the Lord created heaven, earth, the sea, and everything in them “in six days.” Genesis 1 tells us that land animals were created on the sixth day, alongside the first humans, Adam and Eve. Thus, according to a straightforward understanding of Scripture, man must have walked alongside dinosaurs (land creatures). Also, because death didn’t come into the world until Adam sinned, no living creatures (i.e. dinosaurs) could have died out before humans existed.

Of course, this clearly contradicts the prevailing theory that dinosaurs died out millions of years ago. However, before we accept the oft-made claim that ‘science contradicts the Bible,’ we need to ask, “How and why did scientists come to this conclusion?”

Dinosaur fossils were originally declared to be millions of years, not because of radioactive dating, but because of a belief that rock layers were formed over long periods of time. As a result of this belief, the fossils found in the rocks, like dinosaur bones, were assigned to an ancient ‘period’ of earth history, the “Age of Reptiles.”

However, there is much scientific evidence that has been discovered that suggest that there really never was such a time when dinosaurs ‘ruled the Earth’ before humans:

  1. Most dinosaur fossils are found in mass graves like that at Dinosaur National Monument in Utah/Colorado. Secular paleontologists are beginning to realize that many such dinosaur ‘graveyards’ could not have been the result of slow buildup of sediment and bones over millions of years, but are the result of the catastrophic death of hundreds of dinosaurs and the quick burial of their remains in mud and sand. This picture fits very well with the account of the Global Flood in Genesis.1
  2. Within the last decade, scientists have discovered dinosaur bones containing original soft-tissues and biological materials, including bone cells, blood vessels, red blood cells, and collagen, all of which are known by scientists to only last several thousand (in some cases up to one million) years, but cannot possibly survive 65 million years.2 This should cause us to seriously reconsider the accepted secular timeline of history.
  3. Nearly every culture on Earth has very similar records of giant, fearsome reptiles called ‘dragons,’ which have been depicted on pottery, cave walls, mosaics, and other artifacts. Many of these closely resemble dinosaurs, whose fossil bones have only begun to be understood for the last 200 years.3Details from these records and artifacts include skin, behavior, habitat, internal anatomy, and diet, which could not have possibly been gleaned by encounters with exposed fossil bones by ancient peoples, a popular evolutionary ‘explanation’ of these records. The only explanation left is that ancient peoples must have seen dinosaurs alive before their (recent) extinction.

Far from proving it wrong, the scientific evidence clearly confirms the Bible’s account of the history of man and beast, including the dinosaurs!

Recommended Resources:

Dinosaurs & Dragon Legends Video

Still Soft and Stretchy

Dinosaur National Monument in Utah

Double Decade Dinosaur Disquiet

References:

1O’Brien, Jonathan. “Dinosaur Disarray.” Creation Magazine Apr. 2012: 28-31. Print.

2Catchoole, David. “Double Decade Dinosaur Disquiet.” Creation Magazine Jan. 2014: 12-14. Print.

3Nelson, Vance. Dire Dragons. Red Deer, Alberta: Untold Secrets of Planet Earth, 2012. Print.

Students ask: “Is evolution compatible with Christianity?”

Does evolutionary theory really conflict with Christianity? In order to answer this question, we must first clear up two commonly-held misconceptions about both evolution and Christianity.

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First, Christianity, as founded upon a belief in the Bible as God’s Word, is not just about believing in things unseen. Yes, faith is crucial, but the faith that the Bible calls us to is one rooted in historical facts and realities, including the creation of man in God’s image, the fall of man, and the birth, death, and resurrection of Christ. Christianity rises or falls on the historical reality of these facts and events. As Apostle Paul strongly states in 1 Corinthians 15:14, “And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.” [Emphasis added]

Second, evolution is not ‘just science.’ While changes in animals and plants (adaptation and variation) is scientifically observable and testable, the development of all of life from a primordial soup (molecules-to-man evolution) is not. So, in order to accept this second type of change, one must exercise faith.

Unlike Christianity however, faith in evolution is not rooted in historically documented events and facts (like the Resurrection), but in a belief in materialism, that matter is all that exists, and therefore, the material universe must have created itself (over a long period of time). This belief differs radically from what the Bible teaches, that God created the universe supernaturally in six days only a few thousand years ago, and that man was created separately “in the image of God.”

Obviously, both beliefs can’t be right, so a choice must be made between the two. Sadly, most students either choose to reject the Bible’s record of creation or try to make it fit with evolutionary beliefs without damaging the Bible’s spiritual message. However, if the Bible’s record of history cannot be trusted, why should its spiritual message rooted in that history be trusted? As Jesus said in John 3:12, “If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things?”

Our mission as Genesis Apologetics, is to show students that the Bible’s “earthly things,” namely the creation and Flood accounts, can be trusted, so that students will also believe its spiritual message, that salvation from sin and its penalty, physical and eternal death (Hell) is available to who repent and believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31). To get equipped, start exploring our website today!

Recommended Viewing and Reading:

What’s Wrong With Progressive Creation?

Could Evolution and Creation Be Telling the Same Story?

Couldn’t God Have Used Evolution?

Is Evolution Compatible with Christian Religion?

Please help us prepare Christian students in California for evolution teaching!

This summer, Genesis Apologetics, Inc. is developing a campaign to prepare thousands of Christian students for the evolution teaching they receive in public schools. We are developing 11 brief videos that provide a Biblical responses to the 11 “pillars of evolution” that are taught in junior- and senior-high schools in CA. Then we plan on sending thousands of cards (that direct students to the videos) to every youth pastor in mid- to large-sized churches in CA (4,135 total). Youth pastors will be encouraged to hand out the cards to their students so they can pass them out to classmates.

Our intention is only to solidify the Biblical beliefs and values of our students; not to start controversies or debates. Christian students in today’s schools are inundated with evolution teaching, receiving over 250 pages and 50 instruction hours of evolution theory before graduating high school. Our plan has been designed to reach students in the most effective way possible: students reaching students.

We are raising $60,000 over the summer to fund this plan. Please pray with us or support us financially. If you would like a complete copy of our strategic plan with details, please email us. Our executive team continues to personally invest in this mission, but we could sure use some help! If you feel led to contribute, please click the Paypal link on our home page! www.genesisapologetics.com.

Contributions are tax-deductible, as we are a 501(c)3 organization with tax-exempt status.

Sincerely,

Dan A. Biddle, Ph.D.

President, Genesis Apologetics, Inc.

Students ask: “Is evolution ‘just a theory’?”

One of the most common responses that Bible-believing students give to evolutionary teaching at school is, “Evolution is just a theory, so why is it taught as a scientific fact?”

scientistepa2815

A theory is “A well-tested concept that explains a wide range of observations.” Does evolution fit this description?

In anticipation of this argument, some textbooks, including the 7th grade California Focus on Life Science textbook, have gone out of their way to define ‘theory’ in such a way as to remove students’ doubt about evolution.

“Some words, such as theory…, have different meanings in science and in everyday use.” The everyday meaning of theory given is, “A guess; an idea of how or why something might happen,” while the scientific meaning is defined as, “A well-tested concept that explains a wide range of observations.”1 Defined in this way, it becomes clear that when dissenting students and textbook authors call evolution a ‘theory,’ they aren’t saying the same thing!

So, is evolution really “A well-tested concept that explains a wide range of observations,” among the same ranks with germ theory and gravity theory?

It depends what you mean by ‘evolution.’ Oftentimes, textbooks choose to define ‘evolution’ as merely “change in a species over time.”2 However, this definition does not distinguish between the relatively minor types of variation observed in already existing features of an animal (for example, in the size of finch beaks or color of peppered moths) and the development of all living things, including humans, from a single-celled organism. The latter type of change (molecules-to-man evolution) is what is most-often meant by the word ‘evolution.’ However, this type of change, as admitted by leading evolutionary biologist, Richard Dawkins, “hasn’t been observed while it’s happening.”3

So, when science textbooks say that evolution is a testable scientific theory, they are using a ‘bait-and-switch’ tactic, by equating ‘change’ with ‘evolution,’ then giving examples of minor changes as supposed ‘proof’ that molecules-to-man evolution is true.

What about the many observations that evolution supposedly explains? The textbook lists several ‘examples,’ including similar patterns of design observed in different creatures, DNA similarities shared by a variety of organisms, and the fossil record.4

However, as we have pointed out in previous blog posts, many of these observations contradict evolution, and biblical creation can explain many of them just as well, often better, than the evolutionary model can. For example, similarity in design points to a Common Designer, similar DNA reflects the similar purposes for which it was programed, and the fossil record is best explained as a result of the Global Flood.

So, if evolution (in its plain sense) is neither testable nor does it exclusively explain features of the living world, what is evolution? According to evolution-defender Dr. Michael Ruse, “Evolution is promoted by its practitioners as more than mere science. Evolution is promulgated as an ideology, a secular religion—a full-fledged alternative to Christianity, with meaning and morality. . . . Evolution is a religion. This was true of evolution in the beginning, and it is true of evolution still today.”5

Free Resources for Further Learning:

Video: Evolution vs. God

Video: Evolution Refuted

Video: Is Natural Selection the Same Thing as Evolution?

Is Evolution an Observable Fact?

Evolution: Not Even a Theory

References:

1Coolidge-Stoltz, Elizabeth. Focus on California Life Science. Boston, MA: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2008. 220. Print.

2Ibid, 228.

3NOW with Bill Moyers. Transcript. December 3, 2004. http://www.pbs.org/now/transcript/transcript349_full.html#dawkins

4Coolidge-Stoltz, 234-240.

5Michael Ruse, “Saving Darwinism from the Darwinians,” National Post, May 13, 2000, p. B-3.

Students ask: “Is the human genome really the result of…mistakes?”

Is the amazing ‘code of life’ in each of our cells a result of random chance mistakes? According to your 10th grader’s biology textbook, yes!

According to 7th and 10th grade California textbooks, the human genome is a result of genetic mistakes.

According to 7th and 10th grade California textbooks, the human genome is a result of genetic mistakes.

“Where did the roughly 25,000 working genes in the human genome come from?,” the textbook Biology by Miller & Levine asks students. “Modern genes probably descended from a much smaller number of genes in the earliest life forms. But how could that have happened? One way in which new genes evolve is through the duplication, and then modification, of existing genes.”1

The textbook then offers this illustration, “Think about using your computer to write an essay for English class. You then want to submit a new version of the essay to your school newspaper. So, you make an extra copy of the original file and edit it for the newspaper. Duplicate genes can work in similar ways. Sometimes extra copies undergo mutations that change their function. The original gene is still around, just like the original copy of your English essay. So, new genes can evolve without affecting the original gene function or product.”2

At this point, we need to stop reading and ask a few questions:

  • Can this process explain where the original genes came from?
  • Are any truly “new” genes actually being created?
  • Can meaningful information, like what is coded for by genes, be created without an intelligent mind behind it?
  • Can mutations really ‘re-program’ genes for new functions?
  • Is it really reasonable to believe that the copy would be modified, but not the original?

The answer to all of these questions is a resounding “No!” First, this process begins with genes already in existence! It doesn’t explain the origin of the first genes. Second, the ultimate result of this process is copies of already-existing genes, not totally ‘new’ genes. Third, meaningful information always comes from an intelligent source, and has never been observed to come from matter, so the idea that totally new genes coding for entirely new structures came into existence by themselves is preposterous.3

Fourth, the truth about mutations, as stated in the textbook, is that, “Most of those mutations [that we inherit from our parents] are neutral [cause no significant change]. One or two are potentially harmful.” While only, “A few may be beneficial.”4 Yet, even those rare ‘beneficial’ mutations, like those which cause anti-biotic resistance in bacteria, are a result of the destruction or loss of already-existing information.5 Ultimately, mutations can only scramble, corrupt, and destroy genes that already exist; they cannot make the kinds of careful, purposeful changes like those made to an essay by an intelligent editor.

Lastly, if left to time and chance, mutations would most certainly corrupt the original genes in addition to the duplicates. Eventually, this would lead to ‘mutation meltdown,’ with the creature going extinct due to massive amounts of missing and broken information. The fact that genomes still exist at all is a testimony to a recent creation.6

So, is it really reasonable to believe that the thousands of genes used in the construction of a human being were created by chance mistakes? Absolutely not! Rather, the fact that information can only come from an intelligent source requires that our genome must have been the product of a thoughtful, brilliant Creator.

Free Resources for Further Learning:

The Language of DNA Video

Are Mutations Part of the “Engine” of Evolution?

Information: Evidence for a Creator?

Mutation Buildup Indicates Living Populations Are Young

References:

1Miller, Kenneth R., and Joseph S. Levine. Miller & Levine Biology. Boston, MA: Pearson, 2006. 499. Print.

2Ibid, 500.

3Gitt, Werner W. In the Beginning Was Information: A Scientist Explains the Incredible Design in Nature.Green Forest, AR: Master, 2005. 106. Print.

4Miller & Levine, 484.

5Purdom, Georgia. “What about Beneficial Mutations?” The New Answers Book 4: Over 30 Questions on Creation/evolution and the Bible. By Ken Ham. Green Forest, AR: Master, 2013. 289-303. Print.

6Sanford, John C. Genetic Entropy & the Mystery of the Genome. Waterloo, NY: FMS Publications, 2008. Print.

What is Genesis Apologetics doing to equip students?

If you have explored our website for any length of time, you know that our passion is to educate parents and students to understand and respond biblically to evolutionary teachings in public school textbooks. It is our goal to see young people strengthened in their faith in God’s Word, that they may know and love their Creator, and be prepared to respond to attacks on the truth and authority of the Bible.

Genesis Apologetics speaker Dave Bisbee presenting on creation at a Sacramento area apologetics bootcamp.

Genesis Apologetics speaker Dave Bisbee presenting to a group of students on refuting evolution.

So, how are we working towards this goal? Here are six ways we are going about reaching parents and youth with biblical creation teaching:

  1. Website – Our website provides hours of free training on creation apologetics, providing basic information to refute the main tenets of evolutionary teaching. The materials we use include short video clips, video presentations, regular blog posts, downloadable ‘fast facts’ sheets, and short points to rebut each of the major topics covered in 6th, 7th, and 10th grade California textbooks.
  2. Facebook – Our Facebook page has reached thousands of people in Northern California, many who would otherwise never hear about the evidence for creation and the Flood. God has allowed many of our posts to ‘go viral,’ often reaching thousands of local users in only a few hours.
  3. Distributing Materials – Since our ministry began last year, we have distributed thousands of books, booklets, and DVDs to parents, Christian teachers, students, pastors, and youth pastors in the Northern California area.
  4. Trade-Show Booths – We have held booths at many Christian events around the state, where we have had the opportunity to minister to hundreds of people with the message of biblical creation and the importance of training students in the book of Genesis and in creation apologetics.
  5. Seminars and Presentations at Churches and Schools – God has allowed the ministry of Genesis Apologetics to give presentations at some of the area’s largest Christian schools and churches on topics ranging from the evidence for Noah’s Flood to the fossils of so-called ‘ape men’ like Lucy and the Neanderthals.
  6. We are currently raising money towards our $60,000 goal to fund our strategic plan for reaching every youth pastor in the state of California (mid- to large-sized churches). Your donations are appreciated!

What has been the effect of this ministry? We have received testimonies and feedback from many who have attended our seminars and read our materials, saying that God has used creation information to strengthen their faith and give them boldness and confidence in the Bible as the true history of the universe. However, we have also heard from pastors and church leaders who have told us how much this information is needed in churches and schools. We have also heard from concerned parents who have told us how much they wished that their ‘prodigal’ son or daughter had been exposed to this message before they left the home.

Will you partner with us to help spread the creation/Creator message with those in our area? Here are a few ways that you can help us out:

  1. Pray – We recognize that we can do nothing without God’s empowering and opening doors to minister. Pray that God will continue to give us opportunities to minister, and that He will grant us victory. Pray also that God will continue to use our materials to reach those in our local area.
  2. Share our Materials – Like our Facebook page, share our posts and materials, invite your friends and family to our upcoming events, or recommend our website to your pastors, youth pastors, Christian school teachers, or church leaders.
  3. Host a Presentation – Visit our “Request a Presentation” page and sign up to host a free Genesis Apologetics seminar with one or more of our speakers. We will bring props to the presentation, along with free materials for distribution.

Thank you for reading, and be sure to check back regularly for new posts! Also, be sure to register for our upcoming 3-week training seminar in El Dorado Hills!

Students ask: “What about continental drift and plate tectonics?”

Did you know that plate tectonics and continental drift is used in 7th and 10th grade California science textbooks to back up evolution teaching?

“According to the theory of plate tectonics, Earth’s landmasses [continents] have changed position over time because they are part of plates that are slowly moving.…The movement of earth’s plates has affected the evolution of living things,”1 according to the 7th grade textbook, Focus on Life Science. The 10th grade textbook, Biology by Miller & Levine, further reenforces this concept, stating that, “Over the long term, the process of continental drift has produced…dramatic changes in Earth’s biological landscape,”2 driving the process of evolution forward.

The breakup of Pangea in the Catastrophic Plate Tectonics model of the Flood.

The breakup of supercontinent Pangea in the Catastrophic Plate Tectonics model of the Flood. Notice the ‘fountains of the great deep’ in yellow. Image credit: www.answersingenesis.org.

Is this really true, though? We can certainly observe the effects of plate tectonics today. For example, we can measure the distance that earth’s plates travel per year (on average, 3-5 cm)1,2, and we can see how the landmasses on either side of a fault are ‘offset’ by a large earthquake. We also find evidence that Earth’s continents were connected in the past. For example, the east coast of South America and the west coast of Africa match each other perfectly, like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. Also, fossils of the same land animals are found on both continents, showing us that were once connected, enabling the creatures to walk across what is now a vast ocean.3

We can be fairly certain that Earth’s plates have moved in the past, based on observational science. However, in order to answer questions like, “When?,” and “How long did it take?,” we must step into the world of historical science, where assumptions must be made, because we weren’t there to observe what actually happened.

While most geologists assume that because earth’s plates are moving slowly today, they must have always moved slowly, the Bible seems to paint a different picture of Earth’s past. When God separated land and sea in Genesis 1:9, He commanded that “the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” This seems to indicate that the dry land was gathered into one place as well; i.e. a pre-Flood “supercontinent.” Later, in Genesis 7:11 and Psalm 104:6-8, we are told that the global Flood of Noah’s day began when “all the fountains of the great deep burst forth,” and ended when, “the mountains rose,” and “the valleys sank down.” The Bible is speaking of real, tectonic forces at work during the Flood cataclysm.

Beginning from these passages, creation scientists have put forward a new model of the motions of Earth’s plates, called Catastrophic Plate Tectonics. In this model, the ‘fountains of the great deep’ represent mid-ocean rifts (like the Mid-Atlantic Ridge), which broke open at the onset of the Flood, causing Earth’s plates to shift rapidly. The single land mass created during creation week (which creation geologists call ‘Rodinia’) was fractured, and the resulting landmasses were later brought back together during the Flood, forming Pangea, which then separated to become today’s continents. This model has been shown to work extremely well in explaining Earth’s surface features, including mountains and rock layers, as well as features of its interior structure.4

In summary, plate tectonics is an observable, testable process, but the models of how it worked in the past must be based on assumptions. So, we are left with the choice of either accepting the words of fallible men who weren’t there to observe the past, or to make the Bible, the Word of God who always was there (and who never lies), our starting point for understanding reality. Who will you choose to trust?

Free resources for further study:

Evolution Exposed: Plate Tectonics

Basics of Plate Tectonics

Continents Didn’t Drift, They Raced

Noah’s Lost World

Can Catastrophic Plate Tectonics Explain Flood Geology? 

Video – Global Tectonics and the Flood

Bibliography:

1Coolidge-Stoltz, Elizabeth. Focus on California Life Science. Boston, MA: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2008. 284. Print.

2Miller, Kenneth R., and Joseph S. Levine. Miller & Levine Biology. Boston, MA: Pearson, 2006. 554. Print.

3Tarbuck, Edward J., and Frederick K. Lutgens. Earth, an Introduction to Physical Geology. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2005. 37-73. Print.

4Snelling, Andrew A. Earth’s Catastrophic Past. Vol. 1. Dallas, TX: Institute for Creation Research, 2009. 683-711. Print.