Despite What You Have Read, Wildfires are NOT on the Rise

One of the more common myths associated with “climate change” (aka global warming) is the idea that wildfires are on the rise. Consider, for example, the article entitled, “How do we know wildfires are made worse by climate change?” It states:

In 2019 Australia was burning. In 2020 Siberia and California were burning. These are only the more recent examples of dramatic extreme wildfire. People are asking if forest fires are linked to climate change.

The experts tell us that yes, the growing extent and increasing severity of wildfires are indeed driven by climate change.

There is only one problem with such nonsense: wildfires are most definitely NOT increasing in severity. How do we know this? The European Space Agency has been using satellites to track global wildfires. At first, their data sets started in the year 2000, and those data sets show that over the past 20 years, there has been a slight decrease in the amount of land that was burned by wildfires.

However, they recently used historical satellite images to increase the length of time covered by their datasets. We can now trace the amount of land burned by wildfires all the way back to 1982. Thus, we have nearly 40 years worth of data that cover the entire world. What do the data show? The graph is at the top of the article. As you can see, there is no discernable trend. The amount of land burned by wildfires changes from year to year, but the average remains remarkably constant.

Like much of what you read about “climate change,” then, the idea that wildfires are becoming more severe or more frequent is just patently false. Unfortunately, no amount of data will stop this false claim from being promulgated, because most people writing about this issue care more about their agenda than they do about science.

Monarch Butterflies Provide a Lesson About Climate Change Hysteria

A cluster of monarch butterflies in Santa Cruz, CA (click for credit)

North American monarch butterflies perform an incredible migration from their summer breeding grounds to a place where they spend the winter. Most of the monarchs that are born east of the Rocky Mountains travel to Mexico, while those born west of the Rocky Mountains fly to the California Coast. Last year, the headlines about those that travel to California were dire:

Probably the most beloved and recognized butterfly in the United States, the western monarch is essentially on the brink of extinction, said Katy Prudic, co-author of a new report from the University of Arizona that found that the monarchs, along with about 450 butterfly species in the Western United States, have decreased overall in population by 1.6% per year in the past four decades.

Like much of what you read in science news, that’s just not true. The Xerces Society for invertebrate conservation does detailed surveys of western monarch populations, and here are their results for the “Thanksgiving Count,” which is done over three weeks around Thanksgiving:

Looking at the graph, you can see that Katy Prudic is simply wrong. In fact, the western monarch population has both decreased and increased over the past 24 years. Of course, you can also see why the headlines were dire in 2021. The monarch population is barely visible on the graph in 2020. It was the lowest seen in the entire period. So clearly, western monarchs were on the verge of extinction. However, last year’s count shows a population that is the eighth largest in that same time period!

And honestly, anyone who studies these amazing migrations should not be surprised. After all, the population of the monarchs that migrate to Mexico experienced a similar dramatic drop in population back in 2014, but they also recovered from it.

What does this have to do with climate change, aka global warming? First, there have been the predictable attempts to cite it as a cause for the monarchs’ woes. More importantly, however, it shows how dangerous it is to use a trend in nature to make dire predictions.

In both populations, the number of monarchs increased and decreased, but the overall trend for more than 20 years was downward. Then, there was a sudden change, and the decline stopped. This is the way nature works. There is a lot of variation, and tenuous trends in those variations usually don’t mean much.

Now don’t get me wrong. There is a lot of value in collecting data like population counts and global temperatures, and it is important to be concerned about apparent trends. A good scientist, however, should understand that apparent trends are not necessarily actual trends. As a result, good scientists should not make definitive predictions based on them.

Scientist Who Prays for Insight Revolutionizes Recycling

Dr. James Tour in his lab with students. (click for source)

I have written about Dr. James Tour before. He is a giant in the field of synthetic organic chemistry. Because he spends his days making molecules, he knows that despite the bluster coming from evolutionary evangelists, we have absolutely no idea how the molecules of life could have been formed from nonliving matter. As a good scientist, he doesn’t rule out the possibility that it might have happened. However, he tries to educate people about how little we know regarding this hypothetical process so they are not fooled by the lies they hear from their teachers and read in their textbooks.

I am writing about him again because he and his group just published a paper that will truly revolutionize the recycling industry. In fact, it turns recycling into upcycling, because it makes the waste into something more versatile than the original products. The process described in the paper can take anything that is mostly carbon (like plastic) and convert it into graphene, which is many times stronger than steel but much more lightweight and flexible. This makes it ideal in many applications. As the University of Manchester says:

Transport, medicine, electronics, energy, defence, desalination; the range of industries where graphene research is making an impact is substantial.

Interestingly enough, graphene comes in two forms, and the form that Dr. Tour’s process makes is the easier one to use in most industrial applications.

The process involves taking any material that contains high amounts of carbon, grinding it into a fine dust, and zapping it with enough electricity to break every bond in the material. All non-carbon atoms form molecules that are vaporized, and the carbon is left behind in the form of graphene.

In their experiments, they used the plastic material from a truck’s bumpers, seats, carpets, and gaskets. They put it through their process and gave the graphene they produced to the Ford Motor Company, which then used it to make new plastic components for their trucks. These new components performed the same as components produced with unrecycled graphene.

According to their paper, published in the journal Nature:

A prospective cradle-to-gate life cycle assessment suggests that our method may afford lower cumulative energy demand and water use, and a decrease in global warming potential compared to traditional graphene synthesis methods.

This incredible achievement is noteworthy enough, but I want to spend a moment on the man behind it. Dr. Tour is a Christian and has written a detailed account of how his faith helps his scientific research in a document entitled Faith of a Scientist: The Impact of the Bible on a Christian Professor. In it, he states:

As a scientist, when posed with scientific mysteries that have presented themselves in my research, I have so often bowed my heart and prayed, “Lord, make your light shine on this darkness. When no others can see, please Lord, let me see.” On many occasions, when graduate students have brought their puzzling laboratory results and laid them on my desk, I have been as baffled as they. So remembering [Psalm 112:4], which I had long before committed to memory, I pray for light, and God answers. Surely, meditating on God’s word can cause light to arise in darkness even for the challenges that confront our secular careers.

While this might sound odd to closed-minded secularists, Dr. Tour is not alone in using his faith to aid his scientific work. In fact, the father of the scientific method (Roger Bacon) wrote1:

For the grace of faith illuminates greatly, as also do divine inspirations, not only in things spiritual, but in things corporeal and in the sciences of philosophy;

Copernicus put the sun at the center of what he called “the world” because that made the system more orderly, and he said that this made more sense, since the world was made by “the Best and Most Orderly Workman of all”2. Kepler use the Trinity as a basis for his model of the universe, with the sun at the center representing God the Father, the sphere that held the stars representing God the Son, and the space in between representing God the Holy Spirit. James Clerk Maxwell, the genius who discovered that light is an electromagnetic wave, also prayed to received scientific enlightenment.

There are those who say that Christianity and science are incompatible. In no uncertain terms, scientific luminaries from Roger Bacon to Dr. James Tour demonstrate that this notion is 100% false.

REFERENCES

1. The Opus Majus of Roger Bacon, Robert Belle Burke (trans.), (Russel & Russell, Inc. 1962), p. 585
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2. Nicolaus Copernicus, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, R. Catesby Taliaferro (trans.), Great Books of the Western World, (Encyclopedia Britannica, 1939), vol. 16, p. 508.
Return to Text

Antievolution Views Are Global

The Anti-Evolution League at the Scopes Trial in 1925 (click for credit)

Over the years, I have documented a lot of ignorant statements made by someone who claims to be “The Science Guy” (see here, here, here, here, and here). However, the most ignorant statement I have ever heard Bill Nye utter is:

Denial of evolution is unique to the United States.

In several previous posts, I have reviewed how this statement is demonstrably false, but I was recently made aware of a peer-reviewed study that confirms this fact. Now, of course, I seriously doubt that any amount of data will change Bill Nye’s mind, since he doesn’t seem to use scientific data while forming his opinions. Nevertheless, I hope the data will be useful to others.

The study, published in the International Journal of Science Education, compared the views of Korean biology teachers to those of American biology teachers when it comes to evolution. It then did a literature review of studies done on science teachers in other countries. Before I discuss the specifics, let me give you their overall conclusion:

…it is clear that science teacher antipathy or ambivalence toward evolution is by no means a problem restricted to the USA

I am not sure they could make that any clearer. And note that since they call this a “problem,” they are clearly in Bill Nye’s camp when it comes to wanting everyone to genuflect at the altar of Darwinism.

The details of the paper are more interesting to me, however, because while they clearly show that many Korean biology teachers have doubts about evolution, those doubts are different from the ones held by American biology teachers. For example, when asked to evaluate the statement, “Much of the scientific community doubts if evolution occurs,” 52.4% of Korean biology teachers agreed, while only 6.3% of American biology teachers agreed. However, when given the statement, “The theory of evolution cannot be correct since it disagrees with the Biblical account of creation,” only 3.0% of Korean biology teachers agreed, while more than four times as many (12.1%) American biology teachers agreed. Similarly, almost three times as many Korean biology teachers as American biology teachers agreed that, “The theory of evolution is based on speculation and not valid scientific observation and testing” (36.3% versus 13.6%).

Now the group of Korean biology teachers studied was small – only 33 in total. However, data based group of 33 individuals is estimated to have a statistical error of about 17% (square root of 33 divided by 33), which means that when the percentages are close, you can’t tell if there really is a difference between the groups. For example, 75.0% of American biology teachers and 81.8% of Korean biology teachers agreed with the statement, “Evolution is a scientifically valid theory.” Those numbers are well within 17% of one another, so there is no way to know whether or not Korean biology teachers are more likely than American biology teachers to believe that evolution is a scientifically-valid theory. However, the differences noted in the previous examples are high enough to conclude that American and Korean biology teachers think differently when it comes to those questions.

If I look at the 20 questions the study asked Korean biology teachers and compare their answers to those of the American biology teachers, I am left to conclude that in Korea, biology teachers aren’t inclined to disagree with evolution based on religious ideas. They seem to disagree with evolution based on their understanding of the science that relates to it. I find that interesting, because that’s why I first doubted evolution as an origin story. I was an atheist who did not believe in evolution, because even as a young science student, I saw that evolution didn’t align with the data. To this day, if I were not a Christian, I would still not think that evolution is a valid explanation for origins, since the data speak so strongly against it.

My 2022 Commencement Address to Homeschool Graduates

The 2022 Statewide Homeschool Graduation Ceremony

This past weekend, I gave a commencement address to graduating homeschooled students at the 2022 Statewide Home School Graduation hosted by the Indiana Foundation For Home Schooling. It was a wonderful, meaningful ceremony, and I want to thank the Indiana Foundation For Home Schooling for inviting me. If you are interested in what I had to say to our nation’s hope for the future, you can find a reasonable approximation of my speech below:

Continue reading “My 2022 Commencement Address to Homeschool Graduates”

Another Reason Homeschooling Is Best for Most Students

Over the years, I have compiled a lot of information regarding why homeschooling is the best mode of education for most students. Homeschooled students learn more than their publicly- and privately-schooled peers. Homeschool graduates make the best university students. Homeschooled students are better socialized than their peers. Homeschool graduates are more accepting of people who are different from them. Homeschooled students eat better and sleep better than their peers. However, there is another (very obvious) reason home education is the best option for most students, but I have failed to write about it. I will correct that oversight now.

Let me begin by telling you a little story about something that happened in one of my online high-school physics courses this year. Most of the students in the class are juniors or seniors in high school, since they must have basic trigonometry before they can take the course. Well, before class time officially started one day, a student was talking about his recent experience in a debate tournament. While he was talking, something like this happened in the chat box, where students can type their thoughts so they don’t interrupt the speaker:

Student A: I love debate. I have been doing it since junior high.

Student B: I love it, too.

Student C: I wanted to do it, but you have to be 12.

Student A: Wait….what?

Student B: huh?

Student D: ?????????!!!!?????

Student E: You aren’t 12 yet?

Of course, I knew that student C was several years younger than the vast majority of students who take physics, but she had mastered the necessary math, so I accepted her in my chemistry course the year before and in my physics course this year. She has earned A’s each semester and has been an active participant in class.

I have another student who took chemistry with me last year and is currently taking physics. She recently sent me her graduation announcement. In it, she shared that she will be graduating from high school and getting her associates degree this month. She uses her artistic talents and the knowledge she gained while getting her associates degree to produce original Mugs, Craft Supplies, Ornaments, and Hoodies.

Finally, many years ago I met a high school student while I was speaking at a series of homeschool events. She had a broad range of knowledge from biology to history to the arts, and I really enjoyed my conversations with her. Later on, I received a handwritten letter from her in the mail, but the letter looked like it had been written by someone who was just learning to write. Some of the letters were backwards, and many of the words were horribly misspelled.

I thought it was a joke, so I began writing a snarky letter back to her. Then something (probably the Lord) told me to ask her mother about it, so I emailed her mother. Her mother said that the letter was normal for her. It turns out that this young lady has many learning challenges. In fact, in homeschool, she took three years to get through first grade. Nevertheless, if I had not seen her handwriting, I would have never known, because she was clearly articulate and well-educated. She is now the Creative Director and Designer for a software firm that develops apps.

What do these three students have in common? Because they were homeschooled, their education was tailored to them so it would meet their needs. The young physics student would have been terribly bored in a typical school setting, because she is clearly advanced when it comes to math and science. Her homeschool experience allowed her to learn much more than she could have in most schools. The student earning her associates degree while in high school was able to take many post-high-school classes before graduating, because she could tailor her schedule and be flexible with the high school classes she took. As a result, she could use her talents to start a business in what will probably end up being her chosen field. The student with learning challenges had her education tailored so that her challenges did not keep her from developing her strengths.

Of all the benefits homeschooling brings, a tailored education might be the most important one. There is no such thing as an effective “one size fits all” education, even though that’s what the vast majority of schools offer. Homeschooling allows students to learn at their own pace in a way that meets their specific needs. That way, they can make the most of their education.

Physics Helps You Understand the Mysteries of Christianity

Dr. John Charlton Polkinghorne was a theoretical physicist whose work was important enough to earn him election as a fellow in the longest-lived scientific organization in the world, the Royal Society. However, after 25 years of contributing to our knowledge of God’s creation, he decided that his best work in physics was behind him, so he began training to become an Anglican priest. After being ordained, he served in the Anglican Church for 14 years before retiring.

Obviously, Dr. Polkinghorne’s education and life experiences make him an authoritative voice when it comes to the relationship between Christianity and Science. He wrote a lot about the subject, and while I often disagree with him, I have read and appreciated much of what he has written. In 2009, he and one of his students (Nicholas Beale) wrote a book entitled, Questions of Truth: Fifty-one Responses to Questions about God, Science, and Belief. I read it quite a while ago, and I reacted as I usually did – agreeing with some parts of the book and disagreeing with others. However, I was thumbing through it to find a quote I wanted to use, and the Foreword caught my eye. I don’t think I read it when I read the book, so I decided to take a look at it.

It was written by Nobel Laureate Dr. Antony Hewish, who was an astronomer and a devout Christian. In less than two pages, he makes one of the most interesting arguments I have ever heard regarding the relationship between science and Christianity. He first makes the point, which I make over and over again when I teach science, that science does not follow common-sense thinking. Aristotle used common-sense thinking to come to the conclusion that all objects have a natural state of being at rest, and you have to force them out of that state to get them to move. Galileo and Newton followed experiments rather than common sense, and they demonstrated that an object has no preferred state of motion. It remains in its current state until it is acted on by an outside force. That non-common-sense notion is now called Newton’s First Law of Motion.

Of course, since Dr. Hewish is well-versed in physics, he gives a better example of how physics doesn’t follow common-sense thinking and then makes a conclusion from this fact:

For example, the simplest piece of matter, a hydrogen atom, cannot be accurately described without including the effects caused by the cloud of virtual particles with which it is surrounded. There is no such thing as truly empty space. Quantum theory predicts that even a perfect vacuum is filled with a multitude of particles that flash into and out of existence much too rapidly to be caught by any detector. Yet their existence modifies the motion of electrons orbiting protons in a calculable way that has been verified by direct observation. The ghostly presence of virtual particles defies rational common sense and is nonintuitive for those unacquainted with physics. Religious belief in God, and Christian belief that God became man around two thousand years ago, may seem strange to common-sense thinking. But when the most elementary physical things behave in this way, we should be prepared to accept that the deepest aspects of our existence go beyond our common-sense intuitions.

(John Polkinghorne and Nicholas Bealexii, Questions of Truth: Fifty-one Responses to Questions about God, Science, and Belief, (Presbyterian Publishing 2009), p. xii)

In the end, Dr. Hewish is making the case that understanding modern physics should make you more inclined to be a Christian (or at least more inclined to be religious), since it conditions you to believe that the universe is based on mysterious processes that cannot be directly observed.

I have to say that this has happened in my own life, even though I was not aware of it. I went from being an atheist to believing in some kind of Creator because science showed me that the universe was obviously the result of design. I eventually became a Christian because after reading extensively on world religions, by grace I saw that Christianity is supported by the most evidence. I was initially very uncomfortable with the mysteries that are inherently a part of Christianity, but as I grew older, I became more and more comfortable with them. I thought that this was because I had grown accustomed to them. However, after reading Dr. Hewish’s foreword, I noticed that my level of comfort with the mysteries of Christianity coincided with my increasing knowledge of quantum mechanics.

Dr. Hewish seems to have hit the nail on the head, at least when it comes to how modern physics has helped me grow in my faith.

The Heavens Tell of the Glory of God

Astronomer Johannes Kepler (left) and Astronaut James Irwin on the moon (right)

As I wrote previously, one of the reasons I took a break from blogging was so that I could concentrate on teaching a Master’s Class at Memoria College this year. In that class, we read the great natural philosophers of the past, from Archimedes to Darwin. Many of the students remarked on how often God was mentioned in these works, especially the works of astronomy. For example, Johannes Kepler (1571-1630), the brilliant astronomer who figured out that planets orbit the sun in ellipses, not circles, described the sphere of the universe this way:

For in the sphere, which is the image of God the Creator and the Archetype of the world-as was proved in Book 1-there are three regions, symbols of the three persons of the Holy Trinity – the center, a symbol of the Father; the surface, of the Son; and the intermediate space, of the Holy Ghost.
(Johannes Kepler, Epitome of Copernican Astronomy – Book IV, First Book on the Doctrine of the Schemata [436])


In other words, he saw the Trinity in his model of the universe. The sun represented God the Father, the outer edge of the universe (where he thought all the stars resided) represented God the Son, and the area in between represented God the Holy Spirit.

I find it refreshing that scientists like Kepler were comfortable relating their science to their faith. Nowadays, that kind of language is censored from the scientific literature, but for most of history, it wasn’t. That’s one of the many benefits of reading scientific works from the past. It allows you to see the incredibly strong, positive impact Christianity had on science.

I asked the class why Kepler viewed the universe the way he did. One student (a pastor) gave a Bible verse as his answer:

The heavens tell of the glory of God; And their expanse declares the work of His hands. Day to day pours forth speech, And night to night reveals knowledge.
(Psalm 19:1-2, NASB)


In this student’s opinion (with which I agree), a person must strongly compartmentalize his or her thinking in order to study the universe and deny that God’s power and majesty are reflected in it.

In support of that idea, another student mentioned Astronaut James Irwin. After coming home from walking on the moon, he wrote a book entitled More than Earthlings. In it, he explained how his trip to the moon inspired him to take his Christian faith more seriously:

Being on the moon had a profound spiritual impact upon my life. Before I entered space with the Apollo 15 mission in July of 1971, I was a lukewarm Christian, to say the least! I was even a silent Christian, but I feel the Lord sent me to the moon so I could return to the earth and share his Son, Jesus Christ. The entire space achievement is put in proper perspective when one realizes that God walking on the earth is more important than man walking on the moon. I believe that God walked on the earth 2,000 years ago in the person of Jesus Christ.

As a result, he started the High Flight Foundation, which works “…hand in hand with leaders serving the Nations and the people as they discover God’s destiny for their lives and Nation.”

Johannes Kepler and James Irwin are just two of the many scientists who recognize that the heavens do, indeed, tell of the glory of God. In fact, that is the most important reason students should study science. The more you learn about science, the more you should be in awe of the power and majesty of God!

Slaughtering Species in the Name of “Green Energy”

A wind farm in California at sunset (click for credit)

Nine years ago, I wrote about a study that indicated wind turbines in the U.S. kill more than half a million birds and more than 800,000 bats each year. Five years later, I wrote about another study that indicated wind farms act as apex predators in the ecosystem where they are built. While very little of this important information makes its way into the popular press, it has informed those who actually care about the environment. As a result, more studies have been done, and these studies indicate something rather surprising about two of the “green energy” solutions that have been promoted to “save our planet.”

So far, the most chilling study was published in Royal Society Open Science. The authors of the study collected feathers of dead birds found at selected wind farms and solar energy facilities in California. They found that of the many species killed by these “green energy” sites, 23 are considered priority bird species, which means their long-term survival is threatened. The list is quite diverse, including the American white pelican, the willow flycatcher, the bank swallow, and the burrowing owl.

Now, just because a species is threatened, that doesn’t mean a few extra deaths are going to be a problem. After all, these facilities are in specific places, and bird populations can cover wide geographical regions. A few extra deaths in some regions can be compensated for by more reproductivity in other regions. Thus, the authors used models to estimate the impact that deaths from wind farms and solar facilities will have on the overall populations. They conclude:

This study shows that many of the bird species killed at renewable energy facilities are vulnerable to population or subpopulation-level effects from potential increases in fatalities from these and other anthropogenic mortality sources. About half (48%) of the species we considered were vulnerable, and they spanned a diverse suite of taxonomic groups of conservation concern that are resident to or that pass through California.

In other words, the study indicates that 11 priority bird species that live in or pass through California are now more at risk because of “green energy” sites in that state. Now, of course, this conclusion is model-dependent, and the models might be wrong. However, at minimum, this study identified with certainty that at least 23 species of threatened birds are being slaughtered at wind farms and solar facilities. That should cause people who actually care about the natural world at least some concern. Unfortunately, even though this study was published a month ago, I haven’t seen a single report about it in the popular press.

As an aside, it’s pretty obvious how wind farms kill birds, but how do solar energy facilities do it? The short answer is that we don’t know. What we do know is that birds tend to crash into solar panels. Perhaps they interpret the shiny surface of the solar panels as a body of water where they can land. Perhaps they interpret it as more sky. Whatever the reason, we know that birds are dying at solar farms. Preliminary research indicates that in the U.S., somewhere between 37,800 and 138,600 die each year as a result of crashing into solar panels.

So what’s the take-home message from this study? It’s rather simple:

The “green energy” solutions touted by politicians and the press are not necessarily better for the environment.

The fact is that “green energy” processes are mostly new, so their long-term effects on the environment are mostly unknown. Ten years ago, no one would have thought that wind farms and solar facilities might be threatening the long-term survival of certain bird species. We now know otherwise. And don’t forget the bats. The effect that wind farms have on their populations hasn’t been studied in nearly as much detail, even though more bats are slaughtered by wind farms than birds!

Those who are pushing “green energy” might actually be pushing environmentally-hostile energy without even knowing it. That’s what happens when those who call themselves “environmentalists” ignore science and simply follow the politicians and the press.

Discovering Design With Biology

In 1997, Marilyn Durnell and I published Exploring Creation With Biology, a college-preparatory biology course designed specifically for home-educated students. Because the science of biology changes over time (especially when it comes to classification), we published a second edition of the course eight years later. Unfortunately, we never got the time to write a third edition of the course, but the publisher did eventually use a different author to write a new edition, which was definitely needed. While the content of that new edition is solid and I think it can be used in a setting where there is a teacher who is knowledgeable about biology, I don’t think it is useful in most homeschool situations. As a result, I have teamed up with a different author, Dr. Paul Madtes Jr, to write a completely new biology book, Discovering Design With Biology. You can see samples of the book here (just click on “Product Resources”), but I thought I would use this post to answer the question that I have already been getting: “How is this book different from the second edition of Exploring Creation With Biology?”

Most importantly, Dr. Madtes is the first author. Thus, all the major decisions about the book (what would be covered, how it would be covered, etc.) were made by him. This is important, because he teaches biology at the university level, so he knows what will best prepare high school students for that experience. As a result, the “voice” of this book is different from that of my other books. It is still written in first person in a very conversational style, but the style is that of Dr. Madtes, not me. For example, I rarely include Bible verses in my books unless they relate directly to the material. However, Dr. Madtes thought that the best way to keep students focused on the Creator would be to start every chapter out with one or more verses. Thus, that’s what you see in this book.

Unlike the second edition of Exploring Creation With Biology, this book builds biology from the ground up. After an introductory chapter, we start with molecules, then we discuss cells, then cell division, then genetics, then biotechnology, then single-celled organisms and fungi, then animals, then plants, then environmental science, and then biomes. Within each topic, the focus is also quite different. In genetics, for example, Exploring Creation With Biology, 2nd Edition concentrated on Mendelian genetics and only briefly mentioned non-Mendelian genetics. In this book, we discuss the non-Mendelian mechanisms in more detail. We also discuss the different types of mutations that can occur and how they affect the organism.

Evolution is handled differently as well. In this book, the design you see in nature is stressed. In fact, that word appears on 92 of the 512 pages that make up the 16 chapters of content. However, evolution is only discussed in the final section of each chapter. The last section of the first chapter, for example, deals with natural selection. We discuss how it works and how it ends up being a necessary component in any scientific treatment of origins. Indeed, we discuss how anyone who believes in a Global Flood (which we both do) must use natural selection as a means by which to understand the diversity of life we see today. In other chapters, however, the final section is devoted to explaining how the material that has been discussed demonstrates that there is a limit to the amount of change natural selection can produce. As a result, a recent, supernatural creation followed by a Global Flood is the scenario that best fits the current data.

One other notable difference is our treatment of human beings. Exploring Creation With Biology, 2nd Edition did not discuss human anatomy or physiology at all, but this book devotes almost an entire chapter to it. We also discuss how and why biologists classify people in the same biological order as lemurs, monkeys, and apes, and why there is no problem with that approach. However, we also discuss how humans are unique in creation, since we have been given the Image of God. Thus, while we have several physical characteristics in common with many mammals, we are something wholly different from any of them.

As was the case in the second edition of Exploring Creation With Biology, there are three kinds of laboratory exercises in the course. There are 17 experiments that use household items. These include extracting DNA from fruit, determining the effects of temperature and pH on proteins, exploring reflexes, and exploring the effect of surface area on diffusion. An additional 14 experiments use a microscope kit, and they include identifying different stages of mitosis, examining bacteria cultures, studying blood, and studying invertebrates. The other seven experiments use a dissection kit. In those experiments, students dissect an earthworm, a crayfish, a fish, a frog, an egg, a feather, and a flower. In order for this course to count as a laboratory-based, high-school biology course, students must do all of at least two of those three types of experiments (household and dissection, household and microscope, or microscope and dissection).

Most importantly, we give Glory to the One who created it all. In the book’s introduction, we quote Carolus Linneaus:

I saw the infinite, all-knowing and all-powerful God from behind as he went away, and I grew dizzy. I followed his footsteps over nature’s fields and saw everywhere an eternal wisdom and power, an inscrutable perfection. (Peter Whitfield, History of Science, Scholastic Library Pub 2003, p. 23)

At the end, we quote John Ray:

There is for a free man no occupation more worthy and delightful than to contemplate the beauteous works of nature and honor the infinite wisdom and goodness of God. (Charles E. Raven, John Ray, Naturalist: His Life and Works, Cambridge University Press, 1986, p. 83)