My wife and I decided to include science as part of our curriculum when we first began homeschooling at the pre-K level and have been teaching it ever since. We have been genuinely pleased with the decision after eight years of teaching. When asked, the children almost always agree that science is their favorite subject by far. We went through several curricula, including some that propagated evolutionary ideas, before arriving at our current curriculum of choice, God’s Design for Science, which I have now been teaching for several years. To understand how we ended up with this particular curriculum, it is necessary to look back a few years.
In the mid-1970s I was assigned a writing project involving research for an English class in public high school. I chose to write on whether evolution was true or not because I wanted to gain a better understanding of what the arguments were all about. Unfortunately, I did not really learn much in my investigation and ended up fairly confused about it all. My conclusion: Who knows whether evolution is true or not?
Then I entered a state university and took freshman biology. I still remember the professor stating very emphatically that if any student answered a specific exam question that the earth was thousands rather than billions of years old, a failing grade would be marked next to his or her name for the entire course. I remember rolling my eyes and wondering how anyone could really know the age of the earth. It also stayed with me that the professor never defended his claim throughout the entire course.
Over the years I have engaged in numerous conversations with friends and acquaintances about evolution, the age of the earth, and the Genesis flood. I have heard people state diverse positions with great earnestness—often supporting an earth that is billions of years old, a localized Genesis flood, and macroevolution. When I tried to enter the conversations with queries about evidences, the answers were invariably the same: “Well, everybody knows that is true!” or “It’s the only thing that makes sense.” Ironically, over the years I had never met a single person who could really defend his or her position with evidence, but since I did not know either, I remained open to pretty much anything. Indeed, I did not think it was very important whether we knew how old the earth was at all.
Yet God kept putting people in my life who would make dogmatic statements on this subject, and it began to annoy me that no one could provide evidence to support his/her claims. Oh sure, perhaps they read something in a newspaper or magazine or saw something on television, but I thought surely people realized that this sort of thing is not conclusive proof! Then one day I prayed that God would show me the resources that would enable me to see the proof one way or the other. It was a passive prayer. I really did not expect an answer. In fact, as I was talking to God, I pointed out that since I really did not have time to research this topic, I fully understood that He might not think it important for “insignificant me” to know the truth about it.
Wouldn’t you know it? Within a couple of weeks, I saw an ad in a magazine that seemed to be “calling” me to purchase three DVDs, and if I did, a book about the creation issue would be tossed in for free. So I purchased the DVDs in order to acquire the book. Ironically, it was one of the DVDs that had nothing to do with the age of the earth that led me to one of the organizations that literally changed my life. The DVD was so good that I looked to see what company had produced it and found Answers in Genesis.
I searched for the ministry on the Internet (www.answersingenesis.org) and found that they had all kinds of resources about the age of the earth, the flood, and evolution. I phoned them the next day and asked the woman who answered if she might suggest something for purchase. She proposed all kinds of things, so I requested she narrow it down to a single video. She finally recommended a video lecture by Ken Ham about why it is important to trust in the veracity of Genesis 1 to 11. That DVD did not really sound like what I wanted, but I bought it anyway. The Lord knew exactly what I needed to hear/learn, and this video fit the bill. Answering the “why” question was a major issue for me. I needed to know why it is important to believe in an earth that is about 6,000 years old, why it is important to understand that the flood of Noah’s day was global, and why macroevolution is not true before I invested significant time into proving it to myself. In this, Ken Ham succeeded.
In another example of God’s prodding, I read 1 Peter 3:15 one day during my daily Bible reading: “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answerto every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.”This verse managed to prick my heart whenever I thought about the creation/evolution and age of the earth controversy, and it provoked me to action far beyond my original intent.
As a result, I began the process of schooling myself. I read thousands of pages of books and scientific papers and researched and studied over the next few years, investing time that I originally thought I did not have to spare for such a seemingly “trivial” pursuit. I read young-earth positions, theistic evolutionist arguments, agnostics’ thinking, and atheists’ viewpoints—some of which was very, very technical—and I cross-checked many of their arguments. I also began taking classes atthe Institute for Creation Researchin 2005, all of which culminated in my pursuit of a master’s degree.
Today I can honestly say that I have never read or been challenged with a single argument supporting macroevolution that cannot be refuted by Scripture and/or scientific sources. As well, my wife and I are very pleased that our children are learning that there is no discontinuity between the Bible and science, as the popular modern view seems to support. I would have preferred that I had recognized these truths at a younger age, but perhaps my comments here will save someone the considerable trouble to which I have gone over the last few years. I deem it God’s providence that my path turned out as it did and not a coincidence.
Brian Shepherd – has written 3 posts on this site.
Brian Shepherd is a home school dad, Sunday school teacher, and certified financial planner. He lives in Garland with his wife Phyllis and two children, Adrian and Hannah. Brian has a B.S. in chemistry from Texas A&M University and a Master of Biblical Apologetics and Christian Education from Institute for Creation Research. He teaches the science in his family home school. His enjoys reading nonfiction and traveling in his spare time. He can be contacted by email at TheShepherdFlock@Verizon.net. He welcomes emails with queries and comments on Biblical and scientific topics as well as about home schooling