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A Textbook Critical of Evolution

English > Fields of Research > Epistemology

P. Rüst (2007), MS, 3 p.;
http://www.aneste.ch/files/JunkSche1.e.pdf

Translated from the book review,
P. Rüst (2003), "Ein evolutionskritisches Lehrbuch",
Texte aus dem VBG-Institut 2/03, 4 S.;

Book review:

Reinhard Junker, Siegfried Scherer
Evolution - ein kritisches Lehrbuch
(Weyel Lehrmittelverlag, Giessen: 2001, 328 Seiten, ISBN 3-921046-10-6)

1. Didactical aspect
2. Scientific aspect
3. Interpretational models from a worldview aspect
4. The young earth model critically tested
- 4.1. Theological questions
- 4.2. Astronomical, geological, and diverse radiometric dating methods
- 4.3. Newly available genome sequences

Hemberg SG (945 m) in the Toggenburg valley, Switzerland: a double rainbow in the evening, looking southeast onto the Hochalp (1528 m)

- The authors are collaborators with "Wort und Wissen" ("Scripture and Science"), an evangelical research fellowship which advocates "creation science" as an alternative to "evolution science". Professor Scherer is the director of the Microbiological Institute of the Technical University of Munich, Germany.

- The book is primarily concerned with thoroughly investigating the interpretational problems and open questions of the theory of evolution, which are to a large extent unpublished, and tries to show that evolution cannot count as a "proven fact". In spite of its merits, the book gives a very mixed impression. It is not so much a question of what it says, but of what it fails to say.

- The last chapter is specially dedicated to "creation science" ("Schöpfungslehre"), and occasional further statements point in the same direction. With the exception of these passages, most of the topics addressed are treated very well and in a scientifically reliable manner. The chapter about the fossil documentation with respect to human origins (by Sigrid Hartwig-Scherer) is excellent. But an overall view of the total connection within life's history is lacking in this textbook.

- The "Creation model" and the "evolution model" are not only made out to be alternative possibilities of interpretation, but the only logical possibilities, but they are even placed on an equal epistemological standing - with the claim that testable conclusions can be derived from both. Furthermore, without discussion, the "creation model" is assumed to be of the young-earth type. This is unquestionably misleading.

- It is true that the book mentions some testable questions which could possibly support its young earth model, but it does not name any testable criteria which could possibly refute it.

- There are alternatives which accept old ages of the earth and of life, and there are interpretations assuming creation by means of evolution. Such views are not at all bound to give a rewritten historical-critical interpretation to the biblical texts, making myths out of them as liberal theology does. This proves that a young earth interpretation is not only unnecessary, but doesn't make sense theologically, either.

- The astronomical, geological, and diverse radiometric dating methods result in a consistent overall picture. This has been shown in depth by bible-believing scientists, among others. Here the authors are evasive. A discussion of these criticisms would probably have had disastrous consequences for the acceptability of this textbook. The concordant totality of these datings constitutes a final refutation of the "young earth creation doctrine".

- The newly available genome sequences have furnished proofs for a common biological descent of man and animals, which can hardly be doubted any more with a good conscience. These are genetic errors arising with very small probabilities, but whose positions can be determined exactly. If they occur at identical positions in different lines of descent one knows that these organisms must have descended from a common ancestor. This historical question is independent from the causal question of which mechanisms might have produced this evolution.

Why are there rainbows? Naturally because the sun's light is refracted in the atmosphere's water droplets. Right? Yes. - Naturally because God said to Noah: "I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth" (Genesis 9:13). False? No, also correct!

A natural explanation cannot contradict a theological one, because God is both the creator and the author of his revelation. The same applies to evolution
and creation.

Young earth creationism makes this out to be a contradiction: either creation
or evolution; both could not be true, they claim.

They usually base this contention on a biased interpretation of a few bible verses taken out of context, such as the fragment from Romans 5:12, "just as sin came into the world through
one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men..." From this, they conclude that death could not have existed before Adam's sin, and that therefore, the entire preadamite history of life on earth could not have lasted for more than a few days.

While Junker argues exactly in this way (cf. his doctoral dissertation "Leben durch Sterben?"), Scherer admits that the dating question remains for him an unsolved problem which he claims he, not being a physicist, cannot assess definitely.

That young earth creationists expose themselves to an unsolvable conflict with the totality of scientific research, must be evident to both themselves and to all scientists. This results in the tragical situation that the bible is misunderstood, ignored, and often scorned, as well. There is certainly no need for that! In this way, the young earth creationists torpedo their own sincere desire to lead people to Jesus as their Savior.

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Last updated Okt 17 2011 | paraske@aneste.ch

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