We were spoiled to be able to take in a private screening of “Is Genesis History” a few nights ago. Here are my thoughts on the film as a science teacher, Christian homeschooling father, student of the natural world, and a convert from theistic evolutionist to young-earth creationist (YEC) approximately 12 years ago.
NOTE: This film is in theaters one night only, Thursday, Feb. 23rd, 2017. Find a theater near you.
This film is one in an increasing number of Creation Science/Intelligent Design films that have been produced in the last decade or so. Many of these films have been accompanied by books such as the trilogy (Unlocking the Mystery of Life, Darwin’s Dilemma, and Privileged Planet) by Illustra Media. Others like the relatively recent Evolution’s Achilles Heels are stand-alone “chapter” films addressing the weaknesses of Darwinian evolution and strengths of a divinely/intelligently created universe/life side by side.
An important consideration in all of the increasingly diverse resources available on these topics is “meeting people where they are at.” Some of these films are designed more for high school aged students whose vocabulary is advancing. Others would be challenging for most high-schoolers but still fit into the layman category (Darwin’s Doubt). This film is an excellent starting place for many mid to late-elementary/middle-school homeschoolers and parents. If you have not walked with your children through secondary science texts yet or if this is a first exposure for you and your family regarding the important origins debate, this is the film for you. If you are not sure if the origins debate is important please read this prior post.
This film guides the participant through several key “sticky” areas of study, places where we as Christians may often feel weak or just not knowledgeable enough to proceed. By passing these topics by, which we often feel like we have to do, we miss out on enlightening current evidences that can encourage us and the opportunity for cultivating question-asking in our children (NOTE: this doesn’t really have to be cultivated, right? And question-asking can often be painful :). An antidote for this is finding good resources and saying, here find out for yourself!)
Topics the film focused on:
- Geology, specifically Grand Canyon and Colorado River formation and catastrophic processes such as took place at Mt. St. Helens in 1980. This is some of the most compelling evidence for a young earth, period. Canyons can form via earthquake, volcanic eruption, and floods with rivers naturally forming via gravity in the bottom of these canyons afterwards in hours or days.
- Biology: biodiversity within kinds due to the rich, dynamic structure of DNA. This is the refrain that natural selection can provide a lot of amazing diversity but it cannot create novel features, which requires new information. Biodiversity within a kind can occur rapidly (i.e. dog breeds)
- Paleontology: fossil formation processes, the finding of dinosaur soft tissue in multiple locations, the difference between human and ape skulls. Some of the most compelling evidence for a recent dinosaur extinction is the relatively recent discovery of dinosaur soft tissue found numerous times over the last twenty years in T. rex and other fossils.
- Archaeology: artifacts confirming the biblical tower of Babel event and language dispersion
- Linguistics: use of time-period words in the Genesis creation account
- Philosophy: importance of recognizing paradigms, differences in worldviews, with an historical perspective
The major overarching theme of the film is time. Deep time (millions & billions of years) is attacked (rightly so) as not sufficient on its own to explain the fossil record, biodiversity, and the history of human civilization. The film goes further by demonstrating that even with deep time we would not see what we see today in the Grand Canyon and other sites. The power of catastrophic events has been overlooked and underestimated by the purveyors of the current reigning paradigm.
Food for Thought
Several points made in this film require special attention as they have not been addressed in detail before (that I am aware) in other cinematic productions.
- Kurt Wises characterize the epochs of time in biblical language. This is encouraging, as is the effort to create a biological classification (taxonomy) system based on the “created kinds.” This field is known as baraminology. Talking about time in a biblically correct sense will reduce how often we must refer to “geologic time” in an evolutionary sense, as this is academically dishonest and conflates geology with Darwinian evolution.
- Robert Carter briefly mentions the four dimensions of DNA, the inheritance molecule found in each cell of every living thing. These dimensions are: a) the linear sequence of the DNA molecule (nucleotide bases); b) the interaction of these sequences with each other linearly; c) the three-dimensional DNA architecture, i.e. shape of the molecule, and how the molecule is folded often places genes and chromosomes near each other that are very far away when observed in the linear sequence; d) dynamic reprogramming by the DNA itself which changes the previous three dimensions. Read more about the four dimensions of DNA here.
At times the interviews seemed to leave out important explanations such as the discussion regarding the differences between human skulls and ape skulls and the interview regarding the light-time phenomenon/problem. A more thorough treatment of any one of these topics is warranted and many resources do currently exist that fill this need. Click here and here for some of those resources.
Lastly, get out and support this production. Lots of good cinematography, narration, and discussion will be found that encourage your walk and faith in God’s word and appreciation for his remarkable handiwork.