October 1, 2012
Teachers Talk - Teaching Creation in Science
Ron Scott, Teacher, Sandy Lake Academy, Bedford, NS

Talking with science teachers reveals that there are several different outlooks on teaching creation vs. teaching evolution.  One is to teach Creationism with barely a reference to evolution (except to put it down), another is to teach students about both, with support for Creationism, and a third is to teach evolution with little or no reference to Creationism (some of my teaching experience has been in public schools).
 
Teaching Creationism solely is supported by statements such as, “I only want to present my students with truth—there is no need to teach them falsehood.”  Those who opt for teaching evolution only make statements like , “Creationism is totally unscientific, while evolutionary theory has been supported by 150+ years of scientific inquiry.”  Since our students will very likely encounter courses in post-secondary study that are taught from the evolutionary standpoint, it seems more responsible to teach students both sides of the argument, and the more scientific backing we can provide for the Creationist argument, the better prepared our students will be to meet evolutionary arguments.
 
Some excellent resources, well documented and based on sound science (as opposed to simply accepting the Creation account by faith—an approach that works fine for one’s personal life, but not so well for explaining to one’s university biology teacher why one chooses to believe in Creation rather than evolution) that I have recently acquired are:
 
Roth, Ariel A. 1998. Origins: Linking Science and Scripture. Review and Herald Publ. Assoc., Hagerstown MD.
 
Origins is very well laid out, and uses a strong scientific viewpoint to expose weaknesses of evolutionary models currently popular among biologists.  The first three chapters contain questions such as, “Which is true, Science or Scripture?”  Roth defines Creation and Evolution, and traces the development of science in the western world.  Then he devotes sections to living organism, fossils, geology, an evaluation of science and scripture, and concludes with a section devoted to intermediate theories such as theistic evolution, concluding that biblical creationism is the only option that is really supportable.  Throughout the book, statements by evolutionists are used to show that there really is little cohesiveness among those professing belief in evolution, and using their attacks on one another to indicate how each evolutionary model has scientific weaknesses.
 
Gibson, L. James, and Humberto M. Rasi, eds. 2011. Understanding Creation: Answers to questions on faith and science. Pacific Press Publ. Assoc., Nampa ID.
 
This book contains chapters written by twenty-one top-level SDA Creation scientists, each answering a question pertaining to their particular field of research and expertise.  Aimed more at the general reader, it is less thoroughly documented, but still very well written and informative, with searching questions and scientifically solid answers.
 
Javor, George. 2005. Evidences for Creation: Natural Mysteries Evolution Cannot Explain. Review and Herald Publ. Assoc., Hagerstown MD.
 
Javor presents a number of issues from each of three areas: cosmology, biology, and biochemistry, that scientists have dedicated their careers and considerable funding to unravel, but in each case the answer found was not what was hoped for.  Answers either do not support evolutionary thought or outright disprove some evolutionary beliefs, some of them long-held.
 
In my personal opinion, these are some of best resources available for dealing with questions regarding evolution.  I have presented the resources in the order in which I personally have found them most useful.  All three are interesting and well presented.  There is considerable overlap of information among the three, but the styles are very different.  Both Javor and Roth contributed chapters to Understanding Creation.
 
Although I read books by other Creationist authors, such as Morris, Ham, and Sarfati, I sometimes feel their tone is less respectful to other scientists, and in some cases, their arguments are stronger on faith and weaker on science than the books I have referenced.  I also read books by Behe and other Intelligent Design promoters, but hesitate to fully endorse them due to the fact that these authors are not truly Creationist in their thinking and conclusions. 
 
The references given could be used to present a robust, scientifically backed, balanced coverage of Creation and evolution in a high school science program, especially in provinces that require students to take a provincial final.  Students can be prepared (using other sources) for the questions they will need to answer to pass the final, as well as prepared to meet evolutionary thought in university courses, while retaining their faith in Biblical Creation.