Creation

My Christian Journey and Years at North Carolina State University as a Young Earth Creationist

December, 2015

Editor's Note: Dr. Van Dyke is Professor Emeritus of Botany at North Carolina State University, having taught there 38 years. He is a cofounder of TASC and has served in several positions, including chairman. In this article, Dr. Van Dyke relates how his academic and spiritual histories reflect God's faithfulness. As the scripture teaches: "for them that honor me I will honor" (1 Sam 2:30).


I'm originally from Illinois, and that has something to do with why I’m a bit “corny.” Of course this is the time of year when there are a lot of “acornies” around on the ground so I'm in good company. Growing up I was very interested in sports. I was involved with a Presbyterian church and was active in the youth program both locally and statewide and also in some National conferences. Looking back I see how shallow much of this was, and I did not have a good grasp on the idea of salvation through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. From an early time in my life, I do remember having spiritual highs, and I had a strong feeling of God’s touch on my life. My frequently quoted Bible verse was Romans 8:28 “All things work together for good to those who are the called of God.” I truly believed this but simply felt God was just out there somewhere, but not a close companion.

The Ice Age, Climate Change, and Creation

January, 2016
Isaiah 45:18 (KJV) 

For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else. 

Genesis 8:22 (RSV) 

While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.

Revelation 20:11 (KJV) 

And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

Revelation 21:1 (KJV) 

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 

Scientific Evidence That Points to a Creator

April, 2016

I was recently invited to give a talk on intelligent design to a college philosophy class on Darwin, Marx, and Freud. I have known the professor for a number of years and had presented to his classes before. He usually has had me come in and present the case for intelligent design (ID) at the start of the section on Darwinism. The professor is an atheist but interested in discussing various views. I can only imagine what he has to say about my presentations afterwards; no doubt he tries to counter my arguments. Since I only had one chance to speak to these students, I wanted to present them with what I considered to be the best evidences for theism. This article is based on that talk. The discussion here will be brief and in everyday language. References are provided for those who wish to learn more.

The title of my talk was “Science that Points to a Creator.” First I set the ground rules for investigation in the historical sciences (geology, archeology, cosmology, history of life, etc.) by discussing Causality and Inference to the Best Explanation. Then I presented six topics that point to a creator: The Universe Had a Beginning, The Fine-Tuning of Physics, The Origin of Life, The Origin of Phyla, The Origin of Humans, and Worldviews and Morality. Any one of these evidences suggests a designer. Taken together, they form a strong reason to believe in a supernatural creator. Here are the topics.

It’s Not Just About Genesis

July, 2016

As biblical creationists, we are often thought of by most Christians as purveyors of a “side bar” or less important doctrine. The criticism goes something like, “Why get so worked up about creation and the Flood? After all it’s only Genesis—it’s the Old Testament. The gospel is what’s really important. It’s all about Jesus, right? Besides, science disagrees with Genesis, and we don’t want to be seen as ignorant and anti-science! The really intelligent people won’t listen to the gospel and be saved if we say we believe Genesis.”

Well, if you’re a regular reader of creation science literature you’ll recognize the flaws in that argument. Biblical creationists are not anti-science. Most of the leaders in the creationist community are credentialed scientists with one or more advanced science degrees from secular universities. Yes, as creationists we do primarily discuss issues dealing with Genesis, and, yes, the focal point of Christianity is Jesus – His virgin conception and birth; His sinless life; His substitutionary, sacrificial death on the cross to pay for the sins of the entire world (1 John 2:2); and His physical resurrection from the tomb.

With Respect to the Origins Debate, Dr. Schweitzer is Right, We All Need to Put God First

August, 2016

As many Christians interested in the science of creation know, Dr. Mary Schweitzer is the paleontologist who published a 2005 article in Science magazine, “Soft-tissue vessels and cellular preservation in Tyrannosaurus rex,“ 1 that has perceptively altered what scientists think about fossils and the history of life on earth. Many also understand that she is a steadfast defender of the theory of evolution. What most may not know, however, is that Dr. Schweitzer is a Christian with interests and convictions about God that many of us share, including myself. In a 2014 interview with Biologos,2 she made the following statement (emphasis added) about her life as a Christian to which I hope we can all agree:

Creation Versus Evolution: TASC Question and Answer Panel

September, 2016

From time to time we find it beneficial to invite our members and guests of TASC to a question and answer panel on creation versus evolution. We believe it will help your faith and your ability to “give an answer for your faith.” We did this at our recent August, 2016, meeting. Several of our TASC board members participated including Mark Stephens, MCS, moderator of the panel, and panel members, Joe Spears, MS; Gerald Van Dyke, Ph.D.; Jeff Gift, Ph.D.; and Dan Reynolds, Ph.D., who was out of town but graciously submitted written answers to questions for all our benefit.

Calling All Creationists in the Triangle: TASC’s Mission and Future

October, 2016

The creation/evolution debate is a critical battle ground for the hearts and minds of everyone. What we think about our origins impacts everything we think about the world and ourselves. If human beings are merely the result of natural law working over billions of years as materialists claim, then any action we “choose” can be justified since we become the arbiters of right and wrong. Our culture is becoming increasingly secular in its thinking and policies. Moral relativism, situation ethics, sexual permissiveness in all its forms, abortion, theft, senseless mass murders, tolerance and even justification for dishonesty, are on the rise. We are at a critical time, a tipping point, in the history of our nation.

The Amazing Ear: Evidence for Design

November, 2016

External Ear

Figure 1. “Tidens naturlære fig40” by Morten Bisgaard. From the book Tidens naturlære 1903 by Poul la Cour.   By Morten Bisgaard [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons, Licensed under Public Domain viaWikimedia Commons. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tidens_naturl%C3%A6re_fig40.png

One's perspective makes a big difference in how one sees the function of the human body. An evolutionist looks at the human body as a collection of organs pieced together by random processes selected for survival by the challenges of the environment, while the creationist sees marvelous evidence for design and information that shout evidence of an omniscient creator.

Evolution theoretically occurs when mutations result in new traits. Advantageous traits increase an organism’s chance of survival and reproduction, thus preserving the trait. A trait that is neutral may or may not be preserved. Numerous traits are selected because their advantages for survival lead to the evolution of new organs and new species according to the theory. This is called natural selection.

Pluto and New Horizons in review

December, 2016

The following article is reprinted with the author’s permission posted by Terry A. Hurlbut on November 4, 2016 at the Creation Science Hall of Fame, http://creationsciencehalloffame.org/2016/11/04/astronomy-2/space/pluto-new-horizons-review/. The reader is directed to the Creation Science Hall of Fame web site for additional videos related to this article.

On 27 October 2016, controllers for the New Horizons deep-space mission achieved a milestone. They got back the last data from their spacecraft’s flyby of the dwarf planet Pluto. Alice Bowman, head of the mission team, said the team would first verify the data. They then will order New Horizons to erase its memories. New Horizons must do this ahead of a planned rendezvous with another Kuiper Belt object (2014 MU69). It will make this flyby on or about 1 January 2019).

New Horizons flew past Pluto on 15 July 2015. Now NASA and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHUAPL) have all the data it gathered in that passage. So now would be a good time to review what New Horizons found, and what it means. In fact, the Pluto findings mean a great deal, not only for Pluto, but also for Earth.

What New Horizons found in the Pluto system

New Horizons flew toward a body everyone thought was 4.6 billion years old, like the rest of the solar system. So the mission team expected to find signs of great age. Instead they found signs, not of age, but of youth. They also found or confirmed several things they still cannot explain.

One of the first articles from JHUAPL discussed the first shocking findings:

  1. Equatorial mountains on Pluto, made of water ice, rise 3500 meters (11,000 feet) above the surface.
  2. Charon, largest moon of Pluto, has cliffs, troughs, and a seven- to nine-mile deep canyon.
  3. Methane ice abounds on Pluto, in some places far more than others.

Equatorial region of Pluto

Fig.1:, showing mountains rising to 3500 feet above mean ground, and standing out in stark relief. Source: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

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