Saturday, May 1, 2010

Grand Canyon: A Different View

Well, since I'm O.D.-ing on homeschool science this week by attending two conventions in five days, it seems fitting to make a quick post drawing attention to a fine article that was given to me a couple days ago by one of the visitors to our booth.

Are you familiar with the book, Grand Canyon: A Different View? It's written by a group of young-earth people and sold as a coffee table book in the bookshop at the Grand Canyon (and other places) as an alternative to the standard (millions-of-years) model.

Practically every "creation science" textbook out there contains global flood geology. Mainstream geologists don't generally "waste" their time explaining the problems with flood geology because in their minds it's up there with the necessity to prove the Earth is flat. (I'm not trying to be mean. I'm simply summarizing the mindset of a certain group of people.)

A couple of Christian geologists have taken on this challenge, however. My friend Carol A. Hill and her colleague have written a fine summary of some of the key problems in claiming that the entire Grand Canyon was formed in one year.

"Flood Geology and the Grand Canyon: A Critique" (published in Perspectives on Science and Faith, June 2009)

While others have discussed the problems associated with flood geology, I like this particular paper because it focuses just on the Grand Canyon, which makes a nice case study for the model as a whole. Plus, it's short and to the point. You don't have to get married to an entire geology textbook in order to understand some of the major issues.

One of my biggest concerns as I walk around the convention floor this week has been the proliferation of young-earth science material. In my view, telling young people information that has been disproven makes them more vulnerable for their faith to fail later in life. I've seen it happen time and again. Parents think they can inoculate their children against unbelief by teaching them young-earth creationism. Then the child goes off to the university - whether Christian or secular - and spouts the pat answers they've been given, gets easily knocked down by a prof who shows them a whole mountain of data that no one has ever revealed to the young person before, and the young person's faith is rocked by a sense of indigence ("Mom and dad, why didn't you tell me this?!"). Some Christian teens never recover from these sorts of incidents and walk away from their faith altogether.

This is why I wrote the "Good Science, Good Faith" course we are selling at the booth. My hope is that I can play a small part in preventing this from happening for a few Christian young people.


Virginia Peterson said...

I thought that was a very good article too, and her others on the flood are interesting.

Around here, YEC's have to try to make the age of Niagara Falls even younger than it already is (~12,000 years)to fit their timescale.

aviewfromtheright said...

"mountain of data"

"faith is rocked"

Krista, did you slip those in there on purpose? Or, are you so flooded with earth science questions that these gems roll off your (metaphorical) pen?

Theology Mom said...

Trust me, without the magical editors at Reasons To Believe, I'm not that clever. I think this was just a serendipitous accident. =)

Virginia Peterson said...

The PSCF Grand Canyon article references a book called "Ancient Landscapes of the Colorado Plateau". I looked it up on the publisher's site (Grand Canyon Association), and found they have a link to a series of YouTube videos. These are of a lecture by the authors of the book, talking about the origins of the rocks of the Colorado Plateau. They seem to be at a lay level, so could be useful for teaching.

Theology Mom said...

Thanks, Virginia. I'll repost so others can check out these lectures.