Tag Archives: science

New Edition of Apologia’s Astronomy for Elementary Grades (Crew Review)

Review Apologia Astronomy
When I first started our homeschool journey, the one curriculum I heard praised over and over was the elementary science series by Jeannie Fulbright published by Apologia Educational Ministries.  I was eager to get started with it as soon as possible, so when Ian was in Kindergarten I jumped into the book on astronomy.  However, it proved to be a bit much for him at that age, so we stopped partway through the book.  Several times I’ve considered picking it up again, and Ian has asked when we were going to finish it, but the time never seemed quite right until now.  Apologia just came out with Exploring Creation with Astronomy, 2nd Edition, and I was eager to dive back in and see what changes had been made.

About Exploring Creation With Astronomy, 2nd Ed.

We received the following:

Apologia: Exploring Creation with Astronomy Review
The Exploring Creation series is unabashedly Christian.  Each chapter of Exploring Creation With Astronomy features Bible verses and discussion about how God designed the universe.  Fulbright also makes a point of sharing information that refutes claims by secular scientists that do not line up with biblical truth.  For example, in the chapter on the sun, she points out that if the earth were actually billions of years old, the sun would have been so dim or faint at that time it could not have provided enough warmth for life.

Each chapter contains text, pictures, activities, “Think About This” sections which expound upon the text, and questions to prompt the students in narrating back what they have learned.  The activites are usually fairly simple and utililize items that are easy to obtain (or you might already have lying around the house).  For example, to demonstrate how the moon reflects the suns light rather than being a source of light itself, the book had us use a CD to create a reflection.  The boys loved moving the CD around and watching the reflection dance around the room!

reflection activity
Both notebooking journals provide daily lesson plans with checklists of what should be completed each day.  There are 72 days’ worth of lessons in this schedule, so if you do 2 lessons a week, you can get through the book over the course of one school year (36 weeks).  Though these suggestions are helpful, of course you can choose a pace that works best for your family.

daily schedule
Most of the pages in the two notebooks contain the exact same activities, with a few minor differences.  The lines given for writing in the junior notebook are wider spaced and have a dotted middle line to make it easier for younger students to form letters correctly.  Also, on the crossword puzzles, the first letter of each word is filled in to give the younger students a head start.  Finally, at the end of each lesson, the older students’ notebook has a page with questions for them to write what they remember, as well as a place to record their favorite part of the lesson, whereas the junior notebook has two coloring pages instead.

notebooking page
The audiobook breaks down each lesson into separate components, following the sections listed in the daily lesson plans.  The book is read by the author, Jeannie Fulbright, who really brings each lesson to life with her pleasant, friendly voice.  The conversational tone of the written book becomes even more casual as she reads, making it feel like you’re just listening to a friend explain a fascinating concept.  The instructions for the activities are NOT read; the audiobook simply tells the listeners they can now complete the activity on a given page in the textbook.

Comparing the 1st and 2nd Editions

Right off the bat, I could see some differences between the old edition and the new.  The 2nd edition textbook has more pictures and less text on each page.  Activities are more set apart from the text visually.

compare Astronomy editions
The notebooks are now full color on every page, rather than just the mini-books. In the old notebook, the parts to cut out for booklets (similar to lapbook components) were all at the back of the book, but now they are right in order with the other lesson pages.

There is also now a complementary Apologia Astronomy Science Kit, which has the materials needed to complete most of the 42 activities in the text, as well as 21 additional bonus activities.  We did not receive this kit, so I can’t speak to its contents, but it sounds like an easy way to do the activities without having to gather materials, as well as being a great resource for students who want to go even deeper in their study.

Our Experience

Because we had already covered the first few lessons the first time we used this curriculum, I decided to cruise rather quickly through the first part of the book without doing most of the activities.  We listened to the audiobook in the car (best to do with the book in hand, since the author refers to many of the pictures as she reads).  The audiobook is a fantastic addition, and I found it was helpful to use on a regular basis.  Ian is a strong auditory learner, and he did really well listening as he jotted down notes and drew illustrations in his notebook.  This alone made we want to come back to Apologia.  Ian could go through this course almost independently thanks to the audiobook.  (I don’t know if they had one with the first edition or not, but from now on I will make sure I get one when it’s available!)

As we listened to the audio book I followed along in the old edition to see what changes had been made, and there are several things I absolutely LOVE about the new edition.  The main reason we had abandoned the first edition back when Ian was six was because it was just too wordy for him.  In the new edition, almost every paragraph has seen cuts and is much more concise.  Before, I felt a little overwhelmed at how much I needed to read with Ian each day to keep on pace to finish the book in a year.  This time I was actually surprised at how quickly we got through each day’s lesson.  Yes, he’s older now, but I would feel much more comfortable using this with a Kindergartener now.  (Though there’s so much “meat” in the book, it really is a quality curriculum for all the way through the elementary grades.)

I like the new breakdown of lessons into daily schedules (provided in the notebooking journals, not the textbook).  Although the old notebook did this to some extent, the new format is much easier to follow and check off each activity as it is completed.

mini bookWe didn’t do all the activities in the notebook (we skipped the copywork because my boys are already doing other copywork and they find it tedious), but we did enjoy the other pages.  I especially liked the “mini-books,” which are like lapbook components that the students cut out, write in, assemble, and then attach to pages within their notebook so when the student has finished the course they will have an extensive collection of work all in one spiral bound book.  Having the pages in order in the new edition got my boys excited as they saw what was coming up, and these were a wonderful way to keep them learning while giving them something active to do.

Final Thoughts

Apologia has taken a good curriculum and made it even better!  The newly designed pages draw the students in without overwhelming them, and the colorful, eye-catching notebooks help them get the most out of each lesson in a fun, creative way.  We’re looking forward to spending more time in Exploring Creation With Astronomy, and there’s a good chance we’ll be coming back to this series to learn about other science topics as well.

Exploring Creation with Astronomy, 2nd Edition Review
Crew Disclaimer

“Funtastic” Science Unit Studies (Crew Review)

Science Unit Studies Review
Science is one of those subjects where we really learn best from hands on activities, yet I struggle against my own tendency to just turn to a book.  So when I got a chance to review Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers from Funtastic Unit Studies, I figured it would give our family a chance to explore some fun ideas for teaching science.

About Funtastic Unit Studies

Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers is written by Susan Kilbride, a homeschooling parent who wanted to help other homeschool families.  This 201-page softcover book is packed with science activities to use with students ages 4-13. There are 20 chapters altogether, with the first half containing units geared toward 4-7 year olds, and the second half being for 8-13 year olds.  The book covers a wide variety of science topics:

  • The human body
  • dinosaurs
  • animals
  • magnets
  • stars and planets
  • plants
  • microscopes
  • chemistry
  • weather
  • simple machines
  • and much more!

P1050800xEach topic is presented as a separate chapter made up of several parts, each of which contains multiple activities.  A materials list  is provided at the beginning of each chapter so you can gather everything you’ll need for the activities before you begin the unit.  There’s no set time frame for how long it takes to complete a unit, providing lots of flexibility for families.

Two free sample units (one for each age group) are available to download from the Funtastic Unit Studies site.

Our Experience With Funtastic Unit Studies

I have to admit, this book wasn’t quite what I expected when we were first offered this review.  When I hear the phrase “unit study” I envision something that integrates multiple subjects around a single topic.  While some units in this book did occasionally integrate stories or picture books, for the most part they were really just about science.  So as an issue of semantics, I would say that these are “science units,” rather than “unit studies.”  I realize that’s a minor point, but I think a lot of homeschoolers might have a similar understanding of the term “unit study” so I want be clear about what this book actually contains.  That said, once I had let go of my original expectations, I was pleased and impressed with the wide variety of activities presented to help do a thorough study of the topics in each chapter.

Although the chapters are designed to build upon one another, it’s possible to skip around to follow students’ interest, and that’s what we did.  First I went through the book and marked which chapters I thought would capture my children’s attention the most (as well as looking through the extensive materials lists to see which ones we could do without having to buy a ton of supplies).  We chose to skip the unit on dinosaurs and prehistoric life because it would have required a lot of editing to give a more accurate picture of early history as revealed in the Bible.  There were still plenty of other fascinating topics, and we skipped around within the first ten chapters (the units designed for ages 4-7) to touch on things that we haven’t already spent a lot of time studying already.


Our first unit was Chapter 8: Health.  It starts out talking about teeth, and since Elijah had a dentist’s appointment that week, I figured it would be a good tie-in.  We talked about why it’s important to brush out teeth and did several of the related activities.  The kids were really excited to make their own toothpaste.  The book suggested flavoring it with peppermint or strawberry, but since that wouldn’t appeal to any of my kids I opted to use vanilla.  As they mixed the ingredients, Ian commented that it smelled like cookie dough, and they couldn’t wait to go try it out.  They were all in for a rude awakening when they actually tasted it, and like the book said, they had a much greater appreciate for their “modern” store-bought toothpaste after that.

homemade toothpaste
Later in the unit we discussed different vitamins and minerals and why they’re important, why it’s important to exercise, and how to protect ourselves from germs.

Health Unit Collage


We still had a week left in our review period after we finished the health unit, so I decided to check out some of the activities in Chapter 6: Fun With Magnets.  All the kids really enjoyed this unit, though most of our magnets were still packed away after our move, which limited which activities we could do.  Still, they were able to learn about attraction, the power of magnets, magnetic fields, and induced magnetism.  (Well, Ian’s probably the only one who really learned the terms and the concepts, but the little ones all had a lot of fun experimenting and learning in their own way.)

Magnet Unit Collage

My Overall thoughts on Science Unit Studies

If you’re looking for fun ideas for teaching science, this is a great resource.  There are so many activities included in this book!

What I Liked about Science Unit Studies
  • Wide range of science topics covered
  • Lots of activities with clear instructions and well-presented information to help students understand
  • You don’t necessarily have to do every activity but there are so many you can easily choose several that will work for your family
  • While there is helpful information in the book, the bulk of the learning is done through hands-on activities, making it very appealing for students
What Didn’t Work for Our Family
  • Extensive materials lists may make it difficult for some families to do many of the activities.
  • Lots of the activities involved food that my picky eaters wouldn’t come near, which limited which ones we could do.
  • As I mentioned above, there are some evolutionary references that we would edit before using those units with our children.
  • While many topics are covered, it’s not a comprehensive curriculum that systematically explores all areas of science.

This isn’t something I would use as our sole science curriculum, simply because I prefer a more systematic approach.  However, it’s definitely something I will use to supplement our family’s science program as various topics come up.  Other families might find this is a great fit for covering all their structured science needs, at least in the elementary years.  Check out how other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew used Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers with their families by clicking on the banner below!


Funtastic Unit Studies Review

Crew Disclaimer

Comparing My Top 2 Choices for Science

PicMonkey CollageAs we headed into this year I found myself going back and forth between two really good choices to use as a framework for our science studies: the Young Explorers series published by Apologia, and the God’s Design for Science series published by Answers in Genesis.

They have many similarities.  Both use biblical, creation-based books, which was essential for our family.  Both are designed to be used by students for 1st through 8th grade.  All the books I’ve seen in both series are full of beautiful color illustrations that draw students in and make them want to find out more.  So what are the main differences between them?

To answer that question I spent a lot of time online trying to find out what other people’s experiences with them has been.  While I found a lot of helpful reviews, I didn’t see a lot comparing the two (which was what I was really hoping to find).  So I thought I’d take some time to write out some of my thoughts as I made my decision.

First, let me introduce you to each series in case you’re not familiar with one (or both) of them.

The Young Explorers Series

Exploring Creation: Young Explorers Seven Book SetThis popular series helps students explore God’s creation by focusing on a specific topic for an entire year.  The books in the series are:

Written at about a 5th grade level, the books are intended to be used with the entire family, from ages 6-13 (though Jeannie Fulbright, the author, recommends the last three books on this list be saved for 3rd grade and up).  There are seven books, so it would take seven years to complete all of them at the recommended pace. Student notebooks are available for each book (also Junior versions) to help reinforce what is being learned.

The books are divided up into large “lessons,” most of which can be covered in about two weeks.  (For example, the Zoology 1 book has 14 lessons.)  The lessons do contain smaller sections with subtitles, but they aren’t specifically broken up into chunks of what to read each day.

I’ve heard people call these “living books” a la Charlotte Mason, but I think that’s a bit of a stretch.  They have beautiful pictures and are written fairly conversationally, but they are still a textbook as far as I am concerned.

The God’s Design for Science Series

The other series I considered using is God’s Design for Science.  The entire curriculum can be covered in 4 years, with 3 books for each year (books can be purchased separately or as sets):

God’s Design for Science CurriculumGod’s Design for Life

  • The World of Plants
  • The Human Body
  • The World of Animals

God’s Design for Heaven and Earth

  • Our Planet Earth
  • Our Weather and Water
  • Our Universe

God’s Design for the Physical World

  • Heat and Energy
  • Machines and Motion
  • Inventions and Technology

God’s Design for Chemistry and Ecology

  • Properties of Matter
  • Properties of Atoms and Molecules
  • Properties of Ecosystems

Because it takes only 4 years to complete the curriculum, it is possible to go through every book twice, doing deeper with students as they get older.  Each of the smaller books contains 35 lessons, so by doing 3 lessons a week, you easily get through the entire set of 3 books in a school year.  A CD-ROM with worksheets to go along with the lessons is included in the Teacher Supplements.

What Influenced My Decision

I heard so many wonderful things about the Apologia series when Ian was younger that I just assumed we would use them.  Last year we tried to use Exploring Creation With Astronomy (I had read of several families online who used it with Kindergarteners), but he definitely wasn’t ready.  He’s really interested in space, but it got too tedious after a while.  I stopped because I didn’t want to kill his natural love for the subject (though a few times he’s pulled it off the shelf and asked me to read a little more).

Because of that experience, I started looking into other options for science, and sometime in the middle of last year I discovered the God’s Design series, which became the only other one I seriously considered.  I had a really hard time even thinking about letting go of the Apologia (Young Explorers) series, just because I know it is fantastic and so many people love it.  However, when I forced myself to look at the two more objectively, the decision became much easier, and in the end I decided to go with God’s Design for Science (at least for now).

Here are the main reasons for that decision:

Clear Differentiation for Younger/Older students

The main thing on my mind as I decided which series to choose was how easy it would be to implement each one with our large family over the next several years.  The differentiation for younger and older students in the God’s Design books was the main selling point for me.  I know so many people who love the Apologia books, and while I agree that the content is wonderful (we have two of them and I’ve been able to look through several others), I feel like they’re just a bit advanced for younger students to go through the entire book, and we’re going to have young ones around for quite a while.

To show the difference between the two, here are lessons on flight from each book.

This page from Exploring Creation With Zoology 1 (Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day) has a lot of wonderful information, but it would be a lot for my 1st grader to take in:


In contrast, here is the page on flight from The World of Animals (one of the books in God’s Design for Life):


On the left is the “Beginners” section, which is a basic introduction to the topic, just enough for younger students.  On the right, you can see the beginning of the more in-depth section for older students.  The blue boxes have extra activities, some of which are appropriate for younger students, but others we’ll save for later.

It is so easy to use these books with a 1st grader.  We just open the book and read the appropriate section.  If we want to go more in depth, we either read further or pull out related books according to Ian’s interest.  With the Apologia book I think I would probably have to read the information on my own and then just summarize it for Ian (judging by our experience with Exploring Creation With Astronomy a few months ago).

Yet it will be just as easy to use the same books in four years.  Arianna will be in 1st grade that year and can stick with the Beginners section, but I won’t have to buy a new book to use with Ian in 5th grade because everything is already right there, requiring no additional lesson planning or work to coordinate what the different members of the family are studying.  I love that!

Structured Lessons

When we were reading through the Astronomy book, I just read as many smaller sections as I thought Ian could handle at once, not knowing if we were really staying on schedule to get through the book in a year (though it soon became clear that I wasn’t).  I suppose I could have gone through and marked out specific readings for each day, but that would have been rather time-consuming.  Plus, we probably would have had to read every day to get through the entire book in a school year using the length of reading that Ian could handle.

I really like the way the God’s Design series breaks down the reading into specific material for each day.  The way the reading is structured makes it really easy to know whether we are behind or if we have a little extra time to spend on topics that interest Ian.

My goal is to to do science 2 days a week.  Since we want to finish 3 lessons a week to stay on schedule, sometimes I read 2 lessons in one day, which hasn’t seemed overwhelming at all.  He’s also creating a notebook as we go, and the separate lessons have made it easy to decided what to write about.

4-Year Program is Easily Repeatable

If you’re familiar with my blog, you’ve probably heard me talk about how much I love “cycles” when it comes to long-term planning.  I think it is extremely beneficial to give children a chance for repeating the same material at increasingly deeper levels as the grow.  I like that we can cover the God’s Design series in 4 years and then repeat it before my children get to a more thorough study of individual subjects in high school.  (I also am drawn to 4-year cycles because, as I said earlier, I think it will make it easier to study subjects as a family.)

Broad Scope of Science

The Young Explorers series seems to spend a disproportionate amount of time on life science as opposed to physical science.  While I personally lean toward biology and anatomy, I know my boys are fascinated by things like machines and inventions, and it just seemed like those subjects got the short end of the stick with the Apologia series.

Variety Within Each Year

I appreciate Jeannie Fulbright’s desire to help students retain knowledge by pursuing deeper study and spending an entire year on each subject.  Maybe it’s because I’m not as much of a science enthusiast as she is, but the thought of spending an entire year on most subjects fills me with dread.

I don’t want to skip any major parts of science with my children simply out of my own reluctance to spend such an extended period of time on them.  I like the way the God’s Design series allows for flexibility as far as subjects.  Although they have three similarly themed books in each set, you can actually just treat each individual book as a separate unit.  If you want to do one book from God’s Design for Life and then take a break by choosing a book from God’s Design for Heaven and Earth, it wouldn’t be a problem.  Even if you do the entire set (as we plan to do this year), there is still some variety built in.  I decided to spend the our first term on animals, then we’ll move on to the human body, and finally we’ll finish up by studying plants in the spring.

A Final Word

Both of these series offer fantastic, God-honoring science curricula for homeschool families.  While for now we are using God’s Design for Science, I will probably still collect the rest of the Young Explorers books when I see a good deal.  Perhaps later on we will use them as the main part of our science studies, but for now they will be a beautiful addition to our library.


Go Science DVDs (Crew Review)

GoScience Collage 

Science is one of my weakest subjects when it comes to homeschooling. That’s why I’m thankful for products like the Go Science DVDs distributed by Library and Educational Services. They sent me two titles from this series to review: Volume 4 (Motion, Friction, Electricity, Light) and Volume 7 (Engineering, Design, Flight).  It was a welcome opportunity to get my kids’ heads out of the books and give them a chance to see science in action.

If you homeschool and you’re not familiar with Library and Educational Services, I encourage you to visit their website to get to know them.  They provide character-building educational products to wholesale buyers (including homeschools).  From Bibles and books to CDs and DVDs, they’ve been offering quality products at discount prices (30%-70% off, sometimes even more) for over 35 years.

What’s Included

The Go Science DVDs feature brief video segments that show teacher Ben Roy helping guide a group of children in various science demonstrations.  The videos are distinctly Christian and help kids learn about many different aspects of science while always giving glory to God.

When you first play the DVD, the main menu shows the featured topics.  You can either select “Play All” or click on a topic to open a sub-menu where you can select individual experiments.

Here are the experiments included on the two DVDs we watched:

Volume 4: Motion, Friction, Electricity, Light

(running time: 55:03)

  • tablecloth trick
  • high-bounce balls
  • marble gravitron
  • yo-yo-big spool
  • bowling ball
  • Friction
  • Floating Rice
  • Simple motor
  • nail magnet
  • jumping rings
  • Food coloring and bubbles
Vol. 7: Engineering, Design, Flight

(Running time 56:09)

  • How much will it hold?
  • Leaning tower of lyra
  • Nail balance
  • Trebuchet
  • Centrifuge
  • Walking on eggs
  • Bed of nails-small
  • Rocket balloons
  • Vinegar rocket
  • Toilet paper on paint roller
  • Film canister rocket

How We Used It

We started to watch the first video all the way through, but Ian started getting antsy by the time we headed into “Electricity.”  Each segment is separate from the rest, so they really don’t need to be watched in one sitting and we just saved the rest of the DVD for another day.  That proved to be a better way to watch them anyway because it gave the boys time to think about what they’d seen rather just moving on.

It also gave a chance to play around with some science at home.  Most of the experiments we just watched, but there were a few that Ian wanted to try, and if I had the materials to do it at home we went for it.

What We Liked

It might sound funny, but I liked that some of the experiments didn’t work right the first time.  Isn’t that the way it happens when we do them at home?  It seems like so often things go perfectly for people on television, and then when we struggle it seems like we’re doing something wrong.  Seeing some of the failed experiments took the pressure off when we tried them ourselves.

Actually doing the experiments was definitely the boys’ favorite part of going through the DVDs.  The first one we did involved picking up a marble with a wine glass without touching the marble with our hands (moving the glass in circles).  In the video (on Volume 4), Ben Roy did it pretty easily, so we knew this was one we wanted to do ourselves.

Go Science 1

I tried it first, and I was able to get the feel of it pretty quickly.  It took Ian a little longer, but once he got it he was really proud of himself.

Go Science2

All the segments on flight (from Volume 7) were fascinating and made Ian want to try them himself.  We tried to copy the film canister experiment, but we never got more than a little “pop” out of ours.  I think our lids didn’t seal quite as well as the ones on the video.  Still, the boys had fun doing it themselves rather than just watching.

Go Science5   P1030404

I appreciated the way Ben Roy used the experiments not only to teach science but as object lessons to teach biblical principles.  For example, as the kids in the audience got a surprise when they found out which of two cylinders actually held more volume, he pointed out, “Things aren’t what they seem sometimes…We can’t judge people by what we see.  Sometimes what we see can fool us.”

There were several memorable object lessons that made these videos much more than just science demonstrations.  I really liked the way my children were able to learn that science isn’t an end in itself.  Rather, it is just one more way we get to know the Lord.

“When we learn more about science, we learn more about our Creator God.”

What Could Have Been Better for Our Family

I wish the Go Science DVDs came with a little more guidance on how to do the experiments yourself.  Even just a materials list broken down by segment with would be really helpful.  Many of the items used were things we had around the house, but a few others would need to be purchased ahead of time.  They wouldn’t be hard to find, but we didn’t really know what we needed until we started watching the videos.  We would definitely have done more of the experiments if I had known what materials they required.

Just the Facts

  • Recommended for ages 4-12 (My 4-year old enjoyed parts of the DVDs, but my 6-year old definitely got more out of them.)
  • 7 DVDs in the Go Science series
  • Price: $8.97 each (or $59.82 for the entire series)

Go Science Review

My Overall Impression:

The Go Science DVDs are a fun way to get kids interested in hands-on science.  They’re not as fast-paced as other science videos we’ve seen, but they did manage to keep my kids’ interest in smaller doses.  Ian liked them enough to want to get the others in the series, and I definitely will keep them in mind when looking for ways to supplement our science program in the future.


Click to read Crew Reviews

Crew Disclaimer

Ken Ham vs. Bill Nye: My Reaction to the Debate

Bill Nye Debates Ken Ham at the Creation Museum

Last night was the big debate between Ken Ham (the young-earth creationist CEO of Answers in Genesis) and Bill Nye (known to people all over the world as “Bill Nye the Science Guy” thanks to his award winning television show of the same name).  I watched the debate with our neighbors as the kids played in their rooms, occasionally wandering out to see what was so important that we were glued to the television and had pizza delivered rather than miss even a minute for such trivialities as cooking dinner.  It was like the Super Bowl for creation science geeks (since we hadn’t bothered tuning in to that at all)!

I appreciated the debate for a variety of reasons, but primarily because it caused me to reflect on the intellectual journey I’ve taken over the past few years.  While the majority of the debate was focused on the idea of an old earth in which evolution was the driving factor behind the development of the vast array of living organisms we see today and a young earth created by God in six 24-hour days about 6,000 years ago, there was also a part where Ken Ham addressed Christians who tried to reconcile the two views, accepting a time frame of billions of years while still giving God credit for the creation.

My journey to becoming a “young earther”

The reason I appreciated this part of the debate so much is because that’s where I stood just a few years ago.  I remember an incident during a class at my Christian university in which a professor asked us if anyone believed in a literal six-day creation.  There were probably around eighty students in the class, and only one person raised his hand.  I had grown up in public schools, and after coming to faith when I was fourteen I had never heard anyone contradict the ideas I had been taught about the age of the earth.  I chuckled at that poor backward young man who didn’t know that science “proved” that the six days discussed in Genesis 1 had to refer to long eras and couldn’t possibly by 24-hour days.  After all, even our Christian professor back up my view.

Fast forward a few years to when my church was doing a dinosaur-themed VBS.  As I was listening to the songs provided with the curriculum, I started feeling really uncomfortable.  “God created the world in six days, six days, six days…” the cheery voices sang.  I went to the head of our children’s ministry program and said I wasn’t sure I could be the music leader that year, since I wasn’t sure I even believed the words to the songs I was expected to teach all those impressionable children.  I think that was when I really started seeking out evidence that could point me to the truth.

earth creation photo: In the beginning earth-3-2.gif

I’m not going to go into all the facts and figures that support the idea of a young earth, but suffice to say I changed my mind.  I think the key factor in that decision was something Ken Ham brought up last night in the debate.  If the earth was billions of years old, and animals had been living on it for millennia before the appearance of man, then that meant death was present before sin entered the world as a consequence of Adam and Eve’s disobedience.  The idea of Christ’s redemption from sin and death is so foundational to my Christian faith that I simply cannot accept that God’s creatures had been dying for millions of years before man’s decision corrupted His perfect creation.  I realized that only a literal interpretation of the Hebrew word “yom” as a 24-hour day made sense, meaning that the earth is indeed young.

How do I reconcile this view with what secular scientists say about the age of the earth?  To be blunt, I believe their dating methods are faulty.  I believe the conclusions they have drawn about their scientific observations are based more on their worldview than truth.  I believe there is plenty of evidence that points to a young age for the earth.  I choose to stand on the foundation of God’s Word, and so I view the evidence through that lens.  Everyone has faith in something, and if mine were not in the truth of the Bible then there would be nothing to support my trust in Christ’s salvation.

I thought Ken Ham did an admirable job of defending the position of a young earth, but I doubt many non-believers will take his word over that of the secular scientists who tell them otherwise.  I think perhaps the most important work he did last night was explaining to believers why the idea of an old earth is contradictory to the fundamental message of the gospel: that Christ came to save us from the sin and death that entered the world as a result of Adam’s Fall.

Uncensored Science: Bill Nye Debates Ken Ham DVD If you missed the debate, I highly recommend making the time to watch it (two and half hours total).  It’s still available for free through debatelive.org (as of this writing) or you can pre-order a DVD of Uncensored Science: Bill Nye Debates Ken Ham from the Answers in Genesis Bookstore.  I don’t know how long the free stream will be available, so I’d recommend watching it as soon as you can!  If you want to find out more about how science confirms the biblical account of creation, I would encourage you to check out Answers in Genesis and the Institute for Creation Research.

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