At Macquarie University in Sydney several years ago, a public lecture was given on the evidence for the biblical version of creation. A research scientist stood up and stated something along the lines that he did not believe that any scientist with a PhD would advocate a literal interpretation of the six days of creation. In reply, the meeting chairman offered the names of two well known scientists who, he said, espoused belief in the biblical account. This incident stimulated me to research this book.
Why would educated scientists still believe in creation? Why wouldn't they prefer to believe in Darwinian evolution or even theistic evolution, where an all powerful intelligence is seen as directing the evolutionary processes? Could scientists believe that life on earth is probably less than 10,000 years old? How would they deal with the evidence from the fossil record and the ages suggested by the radioactive dating of rocks as millions and billions of years old? The essays in this book raise issues which are hotly debated among scientists and educators and they offer a different perspective on our approach to scientific education.
During the past century, the biblical story of Genesis was relegated to the status of a religious myth and it was widely held that only those uneducated in science or scientific methods would seriously believe such a myth. However, my experience in organising this book, is that there are a growing number of highly educated critically thinking scientists who have serious doubts about evidence for Darwinian evolution and who have chosen to believe in the biblical version of Creation.
In this book, 50 scientists explain their reasons for this choice. All the contributors have an earned doctorate from a State recognised university in Australia, USA, UK, Canada, South Africa or Germany. They include university professors and researchers, geologists, zoologists, biologists, botanists, physicists, chemists, mathematicians, medical researchers and engineers.
The articles in this book are not exhaustive. Space and publishing deadlines did not permit me to include contributions from many other scientists. The 50 scientists who contributed to this effort gave their personal response to the question: 'Why do you believe in a literal six day biblical Creation as the origin of life on earth?' No other requirements were specified. No one was asked to write on a particular topic or from a particular perspective. However, I have arranged the final papers in two sections that allow for a developing discussion from two key perspectives. The first, Science and Origins, is a selection of articles that deals with the scientific critique of evolution as well as the scientific basis for creation; the second, Religion and Origins, presents a more philosophical approach to the question of evolution and creation. Having reviewed the discussions posed by these scientists, in the light of my own education and experience, I am convinced that a literal understanding of the Genesis account of creation is the most reasonable explanation out of all the current theories of how we came to be here.
John F Ashton
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