Friday, January 16, 2009

Question: Astronomy Resource

Question from Violin Mom:
I am planning a stargazing homeschool field trip at the end of the month in our pasture. The children are mostly elementary school age. We are trying to identify the constellations. Can you recommend a good, short DVD that I can include as part of the evening about stars or astronomy from a creationist perspective? Even though I am an old ager, I do not wish to make this an "issue" in our homeschool group. I just want to add to their appreciation of the vastness of the created universe through including a video. Thank you.
I would recommend the documentary Journey Toward Creation. (In the interest of self-disclosure, I should say that I am the co-writer of JTC.) I would suggest previewing the video ahead of time and then choosing a couple of clips to show the students. I doubt they'll have the patience to watch a 70-minute video all in one sitting. But there is a lot of great information in there. I like to describe it as a crash course on basic astronomy with some apologetic information weaved in along the way.

The reason I would not recommend The Privileged Planet, which does contain some overlapping content, is because it focuses mostly solely on our Solar System. It does not talk about the vastness of the universe as a whole. So if you're looking for that macroscopic view, then JTC is the best way to go.

Now for the potentially "controversial" stuff... Although the design arguments that come out of astronomy are essentially only valid within an old-earth context, most young-earth people aren't sophisticated enough to pick up on that. They don't "get" the significance of looking at galaxies that are 8 billion light years away. They just like looking at the pretty pictures and marveling at God's handiwork.

That being said, some of the more astute parents who know who Hugh Ross is (which in my experience isn't many) might not like the fact that Hugh is the host. But again, you would only know it's Hugh if you already know who Hugh Ross is. His name isn't flashed on the screen every few minutes or anything. Personally, I haven't heard of anyone actually complaining about this issue, but again, I just want to let you know of the potential up front so you can make an informed choice.

Hope that helps.

1 comment:

Violin Mom said...

Very good. Thank you for your prompt reply. I will look into obtaining that video.

Blessings to you!