You know (or at least you know now) that we are avid Creation and Flood studiers. We are inundated with evolution on every side, and want our kids to have a solid scientific basis to support their Biblical beliefs and refute any pseudo-science that comes their way. A recent tool in our toolbox in this area came from Northwest Treasures, a company that is producing geology courses from a scientific Christian worldview.
The two courses we watched were Taking the Mystery Out of Geology (one video) and Dinosaurs and the Bible (six videos), although I’m drooling for Geology and Apologetics (six videos).
Why Does This Matter?
Before I go video by video through Dinosaurs and the Bible, I want to talk about the faith issue involved with what our children think about the dinosaurs. Why does it matter? Who cares? Jesus still loves me! Et cetera. Right?
Our purpose in studying science is threefold:
- Understanding the Creator by studying Creation
- Mastering our world, as we’re told to do in the Bible
- Testing the validity of Scripture.
That last one makes some of you nervous, I know. What? You’re questioning Scripture?
Yes. Yes, we are. We have enough children (and have been alive long enough ourselves) to know that eventually everyone with a thinking brain will question the faith they were brought up in. They may say what they know their parents want to hear, but they will have doubts and questions (ours start questioning anywhere from 8 to 12). This is when they start making their faith their own or rejecting it entirely.
By questioning Scripture with them we let them know that their questions are completely normal. They are no the only person (like I thought I was) to question the Bible.
Second, it shows them Scripture can stand up to testing. Science supports the validity of Scripture! I didn’t say the modern scientific world supports it–I said science, the study of the world.
Third, if we can’t trust the validity of the Bible when it discusses something like Creation, that calls into question the validity of Jesus and our very salvation! How can we trust the Bible in one area if it’s a fairy tale in another? We can’t! By girding our children with the knowledge and physical evidence that their views aren’t a bunch of hocus pocus, they will be even more prepared to stand up to the attacks the world (and their own minds) is going to throw at them, without just answering, “Cuz the Bible says so.”
Above: Steve discussing the importance of number three above.
Now then, onto the first video series!
Dinosaurs and the Bible
Each video is about 20 minutes long. Each also comes with a set of review questions and an answer sheet. There is also a final exam. As usual in our family, we relied on oral discussion and included everyone from age 2 through adult.
Here is a breakdown of the video titles, a small amount of what you will learn, and a memorable quote or two that jumped out at us.
Part 1: How We Got Our Modern View of Dinosaurs
In this history of the study of dinosaurs, we meet some big names, many of which will be familiar to your students. A partial quote that stands out in this section is regarding the Christian scientist Francis Bacon and his scientific method:
“[He] blurred the lines between the revelation of God and human reason.”
It also throws light on the Enlightenment era’s place in our modern view of dinosaurs and evolution. It also reveals science’s inability to prove the evolutionary claims that came about in this period. Much of the current view is driven by imagination or, as my husband says, a product of faith in man’s conjectures instead of God’s.
This section explains how earth science (observation which can be seen and recorded) differs from earth history (eye witness accounts that can no longer be observed), and how the two have been blurred over the last 200 years. Earth history is not science, but many of come to accept that only what we can view now is truth. This removes God and miracles from our story, and introduces the false notion of uniformitarianism, which assumes that what we see now (climate, changes, etc.) is how things always were.
You didn’t get that, did you? Watch the video.
Above: Part of the question sheet for lesson 1
Part 2: The Classification of Dinosaurs
In part two we learn about taxonomy, or classification. We study cladistics, or the all-too subjective classification by characteristics, which assumes “any group of organisms is related by descent from a common ancestor.” This is one of the misconceptions on which evolution is based.
We learn about Darwin’s tree of life (not to be confused with God’s Tree of Life). In the process of learning about the evolutionary approach to classification, we see misconceptions that have been taught as fact, regardless of the lack of logic and scientific fact. We also see how scientists have accepted a theory as fact, and how they are using circular reasoning to force information into preconceived ideas. (Of course, this is human nature, but wouldn’t we rather search for truth?)
This perspective among the vast majority in the scientific community regarding evolution stood out through this quote:
“Although this is not scientific fact, it is accepted as fact, and woe to the person who disagrees.”
If you are considering a memorable visit to Dinosaur National Monument (our two-year-old still talks about this!), view this video first.
Above: Judah at Dinosaur National Monument
Part 3: The Great Dinosaur Rush
This section is strictly a history lesson from the mid-to-late 1800s when a huge number of dinosaur bones were discovered. The rapid hunt for dinosaur bones was also called the Bone Wars.
A point of interest to those of us growing up in the 80s: out of the bone wars came the brontosaurus we all grew up with, but which has now been proven to never have existed. The head and feet were missing, so were made up.
A stand-out quote from this section:
“In their haste to outdo each other, Cope and Marsh haphazardly assembled the bones of their discoveries…which led to confusion and misconception that lasted for decades. Did a rush to judgement motivated by power and fame influence the direction of paleontology? Well it sure gave it a bloody nose.”
Above: Emily watching one of the videos with the family. (The family is mostly on the other side of this “wall,” which also has a screen mounted to it.) I know you can’t see the video OR the family, but I’ve never lied to you!
Part 4: The Extinction of Dinosaurs
The current thought is the dinosaurs were destroyed by an asteroid that hit the earth millions of years ago. Biblical flood geologists (let’s call them BFGs) agree that the dinosaurs are extinct. Where we differ is what this section studies.
For example, evolutionists believe extinction is a natural evolutionary process to make room for more evolved creatures, while BFGs believe that the destruction of an entire species is not a benefit, but rather the corrupting influence of sin in the world.
Since Darwin, evolutionists have been trying to explain the sudden disappearance dinosaurs. This quote sheds some light on their success:
“Nothing yet in the secular community has fully explained this phenomenon.”
This section also offers resources for further study, including a groundbreaking book that we also recommend from our earlier days studying Creation.
I would have liked to have viewed this video before we visited Dinosaur National Monument in Utah/Colorado. I would also view it during studies of Medieval Times and any other time period you may be studying where firsthand accounts of dinosaur encounters exist.
Above: Part of the answer sheet for lesson 6
Part 5: Dinosaurs and the Ice Age
Much of the northern hemisphere was once covered in ice. In this section we learn the history of “glaciology.” Incidentally, Agassiz, the father of glaciology and student of “the ice event,” did not accept Darwin’s views on evolution, which harmed his professional reputation. (Some things never change.)
I found it very interesting that many people dismissed Agassiz’s views and evidence simply because they had preconceived false notions of the earth at the time.
When did the Ice Age happen? As always:
“The Bible does have an answer to this perplexing question.”
The Ice Age fits neatly into the Flood history. This section explains how and why, with much scientific evidence to support Genesis.
This is a great video to watch before visiting Yellowstone, Devil’s Tower in Wyoming, and, again, Dinosaur National Monument, or to include with a study of the oceans or volcanism (volcanoes, not Spock).
Part 6: Fossils, Age, and Soft Tissue
This section answers the following quote question:
“One of the most perplexing questions for Christians is where to place the dinosaurs in light of the Biblical revelation that the earth is young.”
We learn how the enlightenment affected the previous views that fossils were Flood evidence. We also learn about the element of time being falsely set on a pedestal as the means of fossilization. Rapid burial and mineralization are key, such as occur in a catastrophic flood.
We also learn why radiometric dating cannot be tested in the remote past, and therefore is an example of uniformitarianism.
“Uniformitariansim is an assumption of how geology has behaved in the remote past.”
Soft tissue discoveries are throwing a wrench in the old age beliefs dogmatically held for generations. These discoveries are in line with the creation of dinosaurs on day 6, destruction during the flood, and extinction shortly thereafter.
This is a good video to view if your travels take you to the Petrified Forest in the Colorado Plateau or Montana’s Gallatin National Forest.
Above: part of the final exam.
These videos are short, but informative. They shed light on some topics that many people struggle with, either as Christians unable to grasp why modern scientific views and God’s Word don’t mesh, or as those who are held back from pursuing Christianity because they feel it can’t stand up to the scrutiny of a thinking, scientific mind.
They are not Hollywood style films with CGI and a Shore or Williams score. They are simple, brief, informative, educational, and enlightening. Our older crowd (above fourth grade) benefitted most, while our two-year-old watched and pointed out every view of Dinosaur National Monument. Our fourth grader still benefitted, but would definitely absorb more and apply it to her personal faith-science dialogue as she matures a bit.
We discussed the videos and went through the worksheets orally. This led to tremendous discussion in some areas and a few words in others. I believe this is an excellent opportunity to introduce your children to taking notes, if their fine motor skills allow for that. Otherwise, a second viewing will likely be necessary to grasp all of the information for the worksheets and final exam. Another option is handing out the worksheets in advance so they have an idea of what to look for, but that, to me, sometimes feels like teaching to the test.
Above: Lively discussion (and even some hand-raising!) while orally reviewing the questions from lesson 2…with Steve in the background looking for popsicles in the freezer–ha ha! (Sore throats and hot hot trailer weather–he’s excused.)
As avid students of Creation and Flood Science, we would have liked to have had a downloadable resource bibliography, perhaps annotated, to give more credence to the video statements. There were a couple all-encompassing statements we raised an eyebrow at regarding the views of scientists as a whole (not discredits to the film, but possibly could be taken that way by skeptics).
I do wish more Christians and Questioners would research the scientific side of Creation. When our children hit the world and the world’s dogmatic views and hear how they themselves are considered close-minded non-thinkers, it helps to have some solid scientific ammunition (or chocolate) in their corner in a “your faith against ours” kind of world.
Above: An example of when knowing how to weed out scientific truth from scientific imagination comes in handy.
Fellow travelers! You might encounter streaming issues. We’re in the boonies where we usually have bad internet, but thanks to some riggings my hubby did (you can learn more about that on our YouTube channel called The Travel Bags), we were mostly okay. We had to do a little waiting, but we’re good at waiting.
Also, there are several locations you travelers may recognize in this series. Of course, most of them are out west, because our beautiful western mountains aren’t blanketed in trees, so the evidence is more visible. If you’re heading westward, check out some of my location recommendations above and consider this course for some counter-cultural, scientifically accurate support of your views–you know you’ll hear the other side while you’re out there.
All in all, a solid and worthwhile course for most of the family currently at under $20.
Above: Eliana and Elisabeth at Dinosaur National Monument
Onto the other course!
Taking the Mystery Out of Geology
Are you intimidated by geology? The vocabulary alone could implode the brain. Let’s not even mention the faith attacks modern geologists throw at us “simple-minded” Christians. This video explains the vital importance of studying science (and geology in particular) from a Christian worldview. Let me expand on that.
Your study of biology rests firmly on your study of geology.” God created the earth (geology) and on it he placed man; then he judged that man through the Flood (the biggest geologic event since Creation).
“From these springs our understanding of not just the age of what we stand on but the certainty that the Lord has judged and will judge evil.”
Understanding geology from a Biblical view erases many of the conflicts between science and faith in other studies of science, such as biology
It also teaches thirteen vital geologic terms (not too tough) that will give you a good start on your understanding of geology and how and why fallacies enter into scientific study.
It’s a brief, but beneficial video. The biggest takeaway is the importance of making a constant diet of Scripture so we know God’s path and of science from a Christian perspective to solidify an unshakeable Christian worldview.
Get some resources that will guide you to a rich understanding of all that God says. Geology is the foundation. Take the time to dig into the science and the history and your faith will be enriched. Go deeper into your geology study; grow deeper in your faith.
There are numerous other courses, treasures, and even trips available through Northwest Treasures. I don’t even know where to begin! Here are a few:
- State Rockhounding Kits (coolness!)
- Yellowstone Creation Adventure and Dino Digs (the ultimate field trip)
- Geology for Little Eyes (start ’em young)
- Northwest Treasures Curriculum Project (impressive learning for high schoolers)
- A La Carte Educational Kits and Curriculum (you pick!)
- Online Classes (if you read this far, you already know about these)
There is much more offered at Northwest Treasures, but I’m trying to not win the record for longest review ever, soI’m bowing out. If you want reviews from other real life homeschoolers who don’t get paid for giving their thoughts (cuz money makes you think nicer thoughts, see), click right here or on the banner below.