(from the Amazon.com description) "Children, adults, and scientists alike are fascinated by dinosaurs. However, nearly all discussions of dinosaurs in museums and textbooks assume a distant evolutionary beginning to the earth. How can Christians reconcile apparent scientific consensus with the biblical creation story? Donald DeYoung demonstrates that evolution is not the only explanation for the existence and death of dinosaurs. He uses a question-and-answer format, supplemented by tables and figures, to offer the creationist explanation."
I am a firm believer in what I deem the Karamozov Principle, that it takes faith to see miracles. That we go into an event informed by our idea of an event's place. An event, to us, derives its identity from our identity. For one man, his mom's cancer is proof that God hates the world. For another, it is proof that God tests us and ultimately loves us enough to want to make us stronger.
Saying such, my worldview is not in line with the young-earth creationists. It has only been so briefly, when I was younger, and has not been since about the time of Junior High. I do not see it ever being so, again. Partly is the logical wrangling needed to suggest that animals do not evolve, but merely went through a period of increased genetic diversity after the Flood. Partly it is because the sort of miracles needed to make early Genesis work means that you can never have any sort of science. A God that does all that has no need to allow for a constant speed of C.
But I can be respectful of another man's viewpoints. Martin Buber writes from a Jewish heritage, but I am fascinated by I and Thou. I will never be Jewish, but I will always respect the ethics inside of that book. However, what DeYoung gives us is no solemn tome with careful appeals to the mind and soul to edify the world. We have what my high school history teacher referred to as a shotgun argument. Rather than a cohesive, solid central argument with strong corrolaries, we have a series of minor, often contradicting arguments that only build up together if you believe in their outcome to begin with.
By far and away, the two biggest sins is his extra-Scriptural citing and his misrepresenting the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Adam named the dinosaurs. Dinosaurs were on the Ark. Dinosaurs lived with early man. Possible worked with them. All of this is said as though the Bible finds them of no consequence, and so felt no need to mention them while talking about sheep and cattle. Sure, behemoth and leviathan are good examples to truck out, and DeYoung of course uses them, but they are largely singular in that they are both found in the same book and in similar circumstances.
What is frustrating is DeYoung's use of such extra-Scriptural events on top of his insistence that the Bible is literal. This is kind of like saying that everything this country does is right and true, except the Democrats.
And the Second Law of Thermodynamics states, roughly, "In an isolated system, a process can occur only if it increases the total entropy of the system." There are other versions, but they mostly say this. What the crap does this have to do with the self-ordering nature of certain subsects of larger systems?* DeYoung later goes on to explain that rocks are not a closed system, but open, as way of explaining something that does not fit his creationist rhetoric. But he tries to imply the Earth and the life upon it are "closed" and that life and evolution somehow decrease entropy overall (millions of gallons of pollution in our ocean would beg to disagree). That's if (IF) if you take the fifth-grade simplification of entropy as merely disorder and chaos, as opposed to its actually definition: "A measure of the amount of energy in a physical system not available to do work." Sure, that's the technical, physical definition, but that's what the physical law is talking about. The other, newer defintions of chaos and disorder have been been piggybacked on the word, derivative of the Greek "in turning". And if you want to include those other rules, you can't site the second law. The second law is not about chaos, but the exact opposite, it is about the energy that will never be used towards motion again: inert, dead order.
Those two cardinal sins, that render the book neither scientific nor Biblical, aside, it has a lot of others in its 140 pages. Some of the better ones listed below:
In short, I think that some sort of plausbile and balanced account putting the two ideas (paleontology and creationism) together is possible, but this isn't it. This book is more for true blue believers or for atheists to titter at. DeYoung is simply too convinced in the truth of his conclusion to pay attention to his predicates, and the book collapses from pretty much start to finish. He could have saved time by saying "Dinosaurs were made by God, but then didn't make it to modern time" and he would have been just as reasonable as his final argument.
My final score is Blech. This book will convince no one who does not already believe it.
*: I believe it is without sarcasm that I can point out things like building any piece of modern equipment. Any computer is going to be more complex than it's given components. Any program running on a computer is more complex than any given states of its components. Yet this happens every day.
Written by W Doug Bolden
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