Our review of Dr. Ken Coulson’s book, Creation Unfolding, has led to us getting more opportunities to review books. This one was given to us free of charge by a group called Real Reality and was written by an individual writing under the pseudonym Petros B. Scientia. It appears to be self-published which, for most people, probably says something about the quality of the content. In this instance, however, the content itself is of solid quality but the presentation is lacking.
The key driving idea of this book is the idea of made-up stuff. Scientia defines made-up stuff as anything that is not true. This then leads us to ask Pilate’s question: “What is truth?” Scientia defines it as divine revelation. This definition is undoubtedly one that would be incredibly controversial among atheists, but atheists are not the target audience of this book. As a Christian, I can heartily agree that truth is that which comes from God and is consistent with His Word.
As his example he draws on, Scientia uses the famous Nye/Ham debate and evaluates comments both by Nye and Ham using logical assessments. He argues strongly from a presuppositions approach to apologetics. His argument runs as follows: creation and evolution are both events that happened in the past. Therefore, neither one is observable. Therefore, inference to the best explanation is the only way to make determinations about the past. However, since inferences are not evidence, they are influenced by an individual’s worldview. A worldview according to Scientia is a false way of viewing the world. What he means by that is that everyone has mistaken filters in the way they view life. Thus every worldview is at least mistaken in part.
The book itself will be nothing new in terms of content to a dedicated young-earth creationist. However, the approach itself is new. Scientia concentrates heavily on the logical fallacies used by atheists and old-earth advocates to argue against a historical Genesis account. In a way, this book is not primarily a discussion of creation science or the evidence for God’s Word being true. Instead, it is more of a logical analysis of how both sides argue and how to recognize the fallacies that are often used in the origins debate. There are a lot of issues covered of course. Scientia covers issues as varied as theological missteps like the Gap Theory, to false or misleading scientific claims like radiometric dating and tree ring dating. However, the issues seem to serve more as illustrations of how to use logic, rather than as stand-alone arguments.
Another nice detail about the book which is a small thing, but shows the author is thinking about his target audience are the sections at the end of the book. There is a section of study and review questions for groups, as well as a section with links grouped by topic should the reader want to learn more about a particular topic. These sections are wonderful and I wish more books included them, especially since many churches are looking for books to use in small groups or Bible studies. Making creationist material accessible in such a way is an excellent decision.
While there are things I like about this book, particularly its use of logic and its strong adherence to Biblical truth, there are still some issues with it. The first is, while the approach itself is new, the content really is nothing new. The arguments from the Nye/Ham debate were analyzed years ago in a book by Bodie Hodge that Answers in Genesis put out. It is a very thorough book that debunks every argument Nye put forward and since Hodge is very logically inclined, it discusses the fallacies Nye commits as well.
The second issue is a big one for me because I am excessive when it comes to this. Citations are often lacking or informal. While I am not an expert grammarian and thus would not comment on minor grammar errors, many citations consist of nothing more than internet URLs. The book would appear much more professional if there were formal footnotes or endnotes. This does not detract from the content of the book, but it does detract from its quality and potentially its viability in the marketplace. The style of the book is also quite informal, which is both a positive and a negative, depending on the reader.
When it comes to putting a recommendation on this book, I have mixed feelings. It is clearly intended for a Christian audience but it is not for someone getting introduced to the creation science movement. This would probably be ideal for either a discussion group or someone’s second or third book as they dig deeper into creation science. It just does not seem to fit in any category. Dr. Jason Lisle’s The Ultimate Proof of Creation handles the logical aspect better, the New Answers Books handle the basic questions in more detail, and Confound the Critics addresses the Nye/Ham debate. Having read all of those books, much of what is presented in this book feels redundant. That said if someone has not read any of those books, or even if they have not read one or more, I can see this book being quite useful and valuable. With its built-in discussion questions and exhaustive resource links, there is value in Scientia’s work. If you’d like to pick up this book, it is available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle form. If you enjoyed the Nye/Ham debate and would like a unique perspective on the debate, consider purchasing this book.
Do you know what’s going to happen when you die? Are you completely sure? If you aren’t, please read this or listen to this. You can know where you will spend eternity. If you have questions, please feel free to contact us, we’d love to talk to you.