Sunday, February 23, 2014

Literally Unbelievable: What Would the World be Like if Genesis Were True?

In the public library where I work we used to have a patron with a very specific routine. He would come in, log onto one of the public computers, and spend some time intently browsing the internet. Then he would come to the reference desk and ask to buy a single blank CD. As I gave it to him, his eyes would light up and he would begin: "Did you know..." What followed was always a mini-lecture on how scientists had something all wrong: the moon is receding from the earth faster than scientists think; the speed of light has changed dramatically over time; continents used to drift much faster than they do know; radiometric dating is totally unreliable.

In his mind, scientists weren't just wrong, but wrong in a very particular way--they were dramatically overestimating the age of the earth and universe. When they claim the universe began 13.8 billion years ago, that Earth began 4.54 billion years ago, or that dinosaurs first appeared around 230 million years ago, they're wrong. Badly wrong. But if you applied the corrections he kept telling me about, all those beginnings would turn out to have happened at the same time--around 10,000 years ago, when God created everything over a six day period. That's what he believed the Bible says, and he wasn't buying any standard scientific view that said differently.

He's not alone. Gallup polls over the last several years show that about 45 percent of Americans think God created humans all at once sometime in the last 10,000 years. Other polls reveal that around 40% believe the entire universe was created at that same time. Similar numbers of people (though it depends on how the questions are worded) believe that all people are descended from Adam and Eve, that humans once coexisted with dinosaurs, and that a global flood once killed most life on Earth, and created most of the fossils we see today. Many of these same people (around 28% of Americans) believe there's significant debate about these questions in the scientific community. But there isn't. In fact, about 97% of scientists believe humans have evolved over time (although 8% think this process was guided by a supreme being.) Just 2% of scientists believe humans have existed in their present form since the creation of the world. So, nearly half of all Americans hold views that are wildly divergent from those of actual scientists, but the majority of them don't realize it.

These Young Earth Creationists (henceforth abbreviated YEC's) are at odds with science in their approach as well as their beliefs. They begin by assuming the creation account in Genesis is literally true. If the evidence doesn't support that view, they ignore it or say it's wrong. Then they go looking for evidence that will. It's simply off limits for them to reject the hypothesis that Genesis is literally true. Ken Ham recently demonstrated this attitude in his debate with Bill Nye. When asked what would change his mind, his answer was, "As far as the word of God is concerned, no, no one's ever going to convince me that the word of God is not true." That may sound admirable to some, but it's not how science works. In science, evidence is king, and no hypothesis is too sacred to be rejected. If my cherished beliefs are contradicted by mountains of evidence, well, they're wrong. And I was wrong to have cherished them so much in the first place. But if they were right, then the evidence will support them. Only then would I know I was justified in believing them.

In my last post, I argued that if YEC's were right, then by now the evidence would have converged to back them up. Scientists around the world, whatever their previous beliefs, would have looked at the data and been forced to conclude that the Earth really is just a few thousand years old, and that humans and all other living things were created in six days. But that's not the conclusion they came to. Instead, by the first half of the 19th century, geologists looked at the evidence and rejected young earth creationism. This was before Darwin's theory of evolution, and in spite of the fact that these geologists were mostly devout Christians who had grown up believing the literal creation story. In the time since, the evidence has led scientists from many other fields to converge on a very different story than the one in Genesis; a story of an enormous, evolving universe that's over a million times older than YEC's believe. To my mind, it's a far grander and more inspiring story.

But what if it had gone the other way? Creationists like to say that all the scientific evidence points to a young earth, but in the opinion of most scientists, it doesn't. But what if it did? What would the world look like? That's the question I want to explore in this post. What kind of world would have actually convinced scientists--even scientists who had never picked up a Bible--that the Genesis story is an accurate description of the birth of the world?

But I'm going to play by real scientific rules here--no ad hoc exceptions to known physical laws (except for the miracles described in Genesis, which I'm going to temporarily accept for the sake of argument.) I'm going to assume the speed of light really is constant over time, that radiometric dating actually works, that continents didn't once race across the oceans, that geologic strata form in basically the way geologists think they do, that major evolutionary change usually happens slowly, and so on. In other words, I'm going to assume that Genesis is true, and discuss what predictions that model makes--without rejecting or modifying most of the fundamentals of modern science. I'm also going to assume God didn't simply create things to look old...except when absolutely necessary, and not just to fool us. For example, I'll allow that he created Adam and Eve as grownups, but not that he left a deceptive pattern of fossils in order to test our faith. Who wants a deceptive God, anyway?

As far as assumptions about the age of the universe go, I'm going to try to be charitable. Some creationists today still basically hold to Archbishop Ussher's calculation that it's about 6000 years old; created around 4004 BC. According to this view, the flood happened right around 2349 BC. Of course, people in Ussher's day didn't know that by 2349 BC, Sumerian civilization was already over a thousand years old, and many of the pyramids of Egypt older than the United States is now.That doesn't keep the people at Answers in Genesis from thinking Ussher was right--they just figure the historians and archaeologists are wrong, in addition to the natural scientists. But I know plenty of YECs don't go to that extreme, so I'm going to assume that creation and the flood happened before the Egyptian and Sumerian states arose--let's say it happened10,000 years ago, and the flood a couple thousand years after that.

From Creation to the Flood

Ok, then. Let's look at the story in Genesis. In the beginning, the universe is described as a dark, watery place. Saying "Let there be light," God illuminates the world, dividing the day from the night, and thereby creating the first day. On the second day God says, "Let there be a dome in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters." He calls the dome Sky. Then he creates the dry land in the midst of the lower waters, which become the sea. The next day he creates all the plants, and the day after that he says, "Let there be lights in the dome of the sky to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and for years. He created the sun to light the day, and the moon to light the night." In other words, the light on the first day didn't come from the sun. Perhaps it came from God himself.

Right away, we can see that even today's most ardent creationists don't take Genesis completely literally. Genesis describes God creating an actual dome or firmament to divide the waters, holding the upper waters above the dry land below. Then he spreads the stars across inner surface of the dome. This is really how ancient Israelites, and many other ancient peoples, viewed their universe. They believed they lived on a flat earth under a great heavenly dome. The stars were fixed on the dome, but the dome rotated around the north star, which is why the stars stayed in fixed positions relative to each other. The sun, moon, and planets moved relative to the dome, all following the same rough circle now called the ecliptic. Of course, the whole works revolved around the earth, which was assumed to be the center of the universe.

This may sound primitive, but you can't blame ancient people for believing this way. If you really watch the stars, they do seem to cover the surface of a great spinning dome. And on clear days, the dome is the same kind of blue as the waters, so it's easy (if a little alarming) to imagine that we're in a great diving bell, looking through a transparent dome at the waters above. Finally, the sun and moon really do seem to go around the earth. If the earth were spinning like a top around the sun, common sense says it would just throw us all off. Common sense is wrong, but quite understandable.

The point is that if we were truly going to imagine the world as Genesis describes it, we would have to adopt this ancient flat earth/domed sky cosmology. Honestly, I don't know why it doesn't bother creationists more that this is not the world we live in, because it shows in the very first chapter that the Bible is not completely true. If creationists insist that Noah's Ark really existed, why don't they insist that the dome of the sky really exists, too? Because they can't. Everybody but a few flat-earthers accepts the modern view that the earth is round, goes around the sun, and is not surrounded by a great dome (actually, I just talked to a guy who believes in the dome, so maybe I shouldn't jump to conclusions.) The evidence for all this is completely undeniable these days. So, I'm not going to insist for this exercise that we take Genesis quite that literally. Even YECs don't take it that literally, though I do think it's legitimate to ask them why not. So, we'll assume a Copernican universe, even if it's not what Genesis describes.

Returning to the creation narrative, on the fifth day God creates sea life, as well as birds, which "fly above the earth across the firmament of the heavens." He creates land creatures and then humans on the sixth, saying, "And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” At this time, then, every animal was an herbivore. Only after the Fall would some of them become carnivores. This means in a world where Genesis was literally true, we would expect all the carnivore fossils from before the flood to have herbivore-type teeth. It follows that no animal would have needed defensive features. Turtles and armadilloes would have been naked, porcupines quill-less, wasps stingless, and cattle hornless.

On the seventh day, God rested. And then a very different account of creation begins, which most biblical scholars consider to have been written by a different author. In this version, God creates the heavens and earth and then immediately creates the first man, Adam, from the dust--and before plants or animals. Then he creates all the plants in the Garden of Eden and warns Adam that if he eats from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, he will die that day (this turns out not to be true, at least not literally.) Then God creates the animals and lets Adam name them. Finally, he takes a rib from Adam's side, and creates the first woman (later named Eve.) Ever since then, it's been a common assumption that men have one less rib than women. I believed that myself when I was a child. But it's not true.

Soon the story gets darker. The serpent convinces Eve to eat the forbidden fruit. She does, and gives some to Adam. God doesn't kill them for their disobedience, as he had threatened, but he does curse all three. He tells the serpent he'll have to go on his belly and eat dust. Here's a clear prediction: snakes should eat dust. They don't, obviously. Also, before this curse, serpents presumably had legs. That seems to imply that we could look for leggy serpent fossils from before the Fall, but that won't work, because there was no death before the fall, and thus no dead animals to fossilize. Perhaps we could get very lucky, and find a fossilized snake skin with legs. We could also ask when snakes stopped talking, because Genesis doesn't say God struck the serpent dumb. 

Adam and Eve were also cursed. Eve and all other women are cursed with painful childbirth, and with being ruled over by men. To Adam, God says:
cursed is the ground because of you;
    in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
    and you shall eat the plants of the field.
By the sweat of your face
    you shall eat bread
until you return to the ground,
    for out of it you were taken;
you are dust,
    and to dust you shall return.
Concerned that Adam might also eat from the Tree of Life and become immortal, God expels the first couple from the garden. While Genesis doesn't use the terms "original sin" or "fall of man," traditional Christian doctrine holds that Adam and Eve's original sin of disobeying God caused their fall. This meant none of their descendents would deserve salvation, and could only be saved through God's grace and Jesus' death on the cross. Secular sorts like me wonder why God would punish all of Adam and Eve's descendents (and all the animals, for that matter) for a crime they didn't commit. Is that really just?

In any case, now we've got enough of the narrative to really start thinking about how the world would have looked if the creation story were literally true. Let's start with living things. Most creationists believe death didn't exist before the fall, and that now-extinct animals like dinosaurs and mammoths were killed by Noah's flood. This means every species that ever lived would have coexisted in the world before the flood. That's a whole bunch of species. Even though there are several million species today, over 99% of all the species that have ever lived are now extinct. Before the flood, trilobites, plesiosaurs, and whales would have shared the seas. Great forests of tree ferns would have coexisted with maples and oaks. Dinosaurs, mastodons, and alligator-sized amphibians would have lived side by side with actual alligators, monkeys, songbirds, and every other animal. It would have been a crowded world.

One wonders how the land could have supported all those animals (not to mention terrestrial bacteria, protists, and fungi). Today, fertile soils are normally created over many years from a combination of organic matter (dead things) and eroded bedrock. If everything was created all at once, God would have had to create some soil for it to live on as well. Otherwise, the land would have just been bare rock at first. Death, falling leaves, and erosion hadn't had time to occur. Not only that, but if modern geologists are right about the rock cycle, there would have only been igneous rocks like basalt and granite. Igneous rocks are the basis for other rocks in the the cycle, so metamorphic and sedimentary rocks wouldn't have existed at first, unless God created them pre-formed. Then they would only appear to have been made from pre-existing rocks.

Most creationists seem to think most sedimentary rocks in the geologic column, or at least most of the ones containing fossils, were created by the flood. That means sediment from before the fall, if it existed, would contain no fossil organisms--death didn't exist yet, after all. The only fossils would be trace fossils such as animal tracks and burrows, shed skins and antlers (would pre-fall deer have needed antlers?), fallen leaves, and so on.

If the YEC's are right, we would expect the geologic column to be divided into four basic layers: pre-fall at the bottom, then a post-fall/pre-flood layer, a flood layer, and a post-flood layer at the top. While the pre-fall rocks would only have trace fossils (albeit from an unbelievable diversity of organisms), the post-fall/pre-flood rocks would contain fossils formed from dead organisms (all kinds of organisms, not just the simple ones we actually do find in the oldest fossil bearing layers.) Many of them would have horns, claws, armor, shells, or spines. The world then had grown rough. There would be signs of predation and disease--occasional predator fossils with prey still inside them, bones with teeth and claw marks scattered by scavengers, joints deformed by age and infection. The transition between the two layers would be quite distinct, unless the flood were violent enough to rearrange it all (many creationists think it was, but this has its own problems).

How the pre-flood world would have looked depends in many ways on how God actually created it. But one thing we can be sure of is that the night sky looked utterly different, especially at first. When Adam was first created, he would have looked up to see a sky devoid of stars. That's because even the closest stars are light years away. It would have been years before the first ones appeared (unless they really are just lights in the firmament, and nobody believes that nowadays, even if the authors of Genesis did.) In Adam's 930-years lifetime, he would have seen most of our familiar stars pop into view. By the end of his life it would have been a glorious sight in those pre-industrial skies, but he never would have seen the band of the Milky Way as we can today in dark places. The galaxy is over 100,000 light years across, so he would have only been able to see a fraction of it.

In fact, if the world is really 10,000 years old, we would only be seeing a fraction of it. Even astronomers wouldn't be able to see the center of the galaxy, because its light hasn't had time to reach us. We would have little idea of how the galaxy was shaped, and never suspect the universe contained billions of other galaxies, all flying away from each other. The closest galaxies are much too far away for their light to have reached us in a mere 10,000 years. The only way we could see anything beyond this range is for God to have created the universe with the light already most of the way to Earth. And then, if you think about it, it would be carrying images of things as they were ages ago--before they ever existed. The light would be lying! Surely God wouldn't go to those lengths to deceive us? Maybe it's easier to believe that when we see young galaxies billions of light years away, that's because the universe is actually billions of years old, not because God is scamming us?

While we're talking about indicators of age, what about the dating methods scientists rely on? If the world were really 10,000 years ago, all the methods capable of dating that length of time, including tree ring records, ice cores, annual deposits in lakes, and radiocarbon dating, would all agree--but not in the way they already do. Instead, they would all go back a few thousand years and stop. We could probably calculate the age of the earth down to the year. We might even be able to use pollen grains to pinpoint the season. Of course, that's assuming the flood wasn't violent enough to annihilate most of records from the pre-flood years. If it did, then all these dating methods would simply tell us how long ago the flood happened. Longer-term dating methods based on radioactive elements with long half-lives wouldn't be useful, because not enough time has passed for them to work. Trying to use them to measure anything on a 10,000 year old planet would be like trying to measure a bacterium with a yardstick. Those kinds of radioactive elements would hardly have decayed at all, and the earth would be a much more radioactive place.

After the fall, things kept going from bad worse. Cain slew Abel and was cursed by God, but he finally found a wife (where did she come from?) and started having children. It was a violent age, apparently. Lamech, the father of Noah, boasted to his wives that he had killed a youth for striking him, and went on to declare that those who hurt him would be avenged not just seven-fold, but seventy-seven fold. This makes the "eye for an eye" traditions of later ages sound positively forgiving.

Looking down on all this,
5 The Lord saw that the wickedness of humankind was great in the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually. 6 And the Lord was sorry that he had made humankind on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. 7 So the Lord said, “I will blot out from the earth the human beings I have created—people together with animals and creeping things and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the sight of the Lord.
Once again, other living things will suffer for humanity's sins.

At God's command, Noah built the great ark, whose dimensions would have been roughly 450 feet long and 50 feet wide. It's not clear just how many animals he put on the ark. Genesis 6:19 says God told him to take two of every kind, while Genesis 7 says he took 7 pairs of all clean animals and birds, and one pair of all the rest. Either way, that's a lot of critters. If nothing had yet gone extinct, then there would have been hundreds of millions, and probably billions, of species. Of course, many of these were plants, fungi, and bacteri (and how did they survive the flood?) but there would still have been many millions of animals--most of them small arthropods, but many of them quite sizeable. Now, if the animals that are extinct today were the ones left off the ark, then that drops the number by quite a lot. How Noah decided which ones to save is an interesting conundrum, but the Bible is silent on that issue. Somehow all these millions of animals made their way from all around the globe--wallabies from Australia, sloths creeping from South America, tuataras and kiwis from New Zealand--and filed onto the ark. I'm not going to get into the logistics of all this too much. That's been done by other people whose patience and abilities far exceed mine. Suffice it to say I'm skeptical.
Once the animals and Noah's family were safely aboard:
11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened.
It seems to me that whoever wrote these lines believed in the ancient flat earth/domed sky cosmology. They imagined water from above pouring through the dome, and water from the primordial deep rising up to bury the dry land once again. Wherever the water came from, it rained for 40 days and nights, and the floodwaters rose for 150 days, until they covered the tops of the mountains to a depth of 15 cubits. But then the waters began receding, and the ark came to rest in the mountains of Ararat. Late in the eleventh month, Noah sent out a dove to look for dry land, and it returned with an olive branch (how did an olive tree survive the flood?). Finally, just over a year after the flood began, Noah, his family, and all the animals began to emerge from the ark. I imagine they were yearning for some fresh air.

After the Deluge

What kind of world would Noah have stepped out of the ark to gaze upon, if Genesis were literally true? It's hard to say, because it would depend on exactly how the flood happened, and how violent it really was, and Genesis doesn't go into that much detail. It does say the highest mountains were covered, and modern YEC's take that literally. The summit of Mt. Everest is over 5 miles above sea level, so this would mean the water got that deep over the entire surface of the earth. That's far more than all the known water on Earth, so the first question is where it came from. Genesis says it fell from the sky and also bubbled up from the "fountains of the deep", and YEC's have taken both routes. Some have said there was once a great "vapor barrier" high above the Earth, and others that the water mostly came from within the Earth. But if it was once in the atmosphere, the atmospheric pressure would have flattened every living thing, and if it bubbled up from the Earth it would have been blistering hot--Noah and everything else on the ark would have been steamed like broccoli. Some creationists claim the flood dramatically reshaped the Earth's topography: erasing most previous traces, lifting the fossil-bearing rocks that cap Everest five miles above the surface, laying sediment miles deep in places like the Grand Canyon, and then carving deep canyons in it--all within a few months. But any flood that violent would have obliterated the ark with heat and tsunamis. Besides, it just wouldn't work. Floods don't create sediment, turn them to stone, and then use it to build mountains and carve canyons--not in just a few months, certainly, because they don't do that at all. 

So, it's tough to say what kind of world the flood would have created. If there were already mountains, then they would be made entirely of igneous rock, unless God had also created sedimentary and metamorphic rock in the beginning. The flood would have left the same kind of deposits around the world; not the complex layer-cake strata we see in places like the Grand Canyon, or the twists and folds of high mountains, but a fairly uniform layer with heavier rocks and sand toward the bottom, and mud toward the top. This wouldn't have solidified into rock during the flood, as creationists say, and most of it wouldn't have turned into rock even now. If by some miracle, it did, then the rock record from the flood would be a coarse conglomerate on the bottom, and a layer of mudstone on top. 

What about fossils? Would the flood have stacked them neatly, layer by layer, so that simple organisms at the bottom gradually give way to to mammals, birds, and flowering plants at the top? Would it only leave humans at the very top, as the real geologic record shows? No. If all the living things that ever lived were mostly killed in the flood, then organisms from all geologic ages recognized by geologists would all be jumbled together. There would be differences from region to region, because different assemblages of fossils would form in different parts of the world (unless living things were created in the Middle East, in which case they wouldn't have had time to populate distant islands and continents, and there be few if any fossils in Australia and the Americas.)

YECs like to claim that the changes in the fossil record from bottom to top are based on three things: that some animals sink and some float, that smarter, more complex animals ran to higher ground, and that the flood took strata from very different parts of the world and stacked them neatly on top of each other. None of these notions makes any sense. The last is just ludicrous. Any flood powerful enough to lift blankets of rock and deposit them elsewhere in the world would have torn those rocks apart (and smashed the ark to bits in the process.) Perhaps some of the smarter animals could have headed for the hills and thus gotten into the higher layers, but surely some of them--the old and injured, perhaps--wouldn't have made it? Surely a few extinct animals-- flying pterosaurs, perhaps--would have made it to the high ground? If this hypothesis worked, we would find some light and agile dinosaurs in the top layers, and some slow humans deep down, mixed in with the early amphibians or trilobites. We don't, but we would if Genesis were literally true. And what about plants? They can't run at all. The fossil record shows modern flowering plants appearing "recently", in the higher layers. If all the plants already existed when the flood hit, we would find grass and flowers in the bottom layers, and the older conifers, which already live in the high mountains, at the top.

As for the idea that some animals float better than others, that might cause some sorting. Noah and his family would have looked out across the floodwaters to see countless bloated, floating corpses: people, elephants, dinosaurs of all descriptions, and so on. That does mean we would expect to find more of those creatures toward the top, and heavy or sedentary animals like oysters and corals at the bottom. But in the actual fossil record, we often find "primitive" sea creatures like oysters and corals in layers above dinosaurs. These kinds of creatures may have appeared earlier in the fossil record in the real world, but unlike dinosaurs, they're still with us. So, if a swamp full of dinosaurs is later covered by a shallow sea (which often happened in earth history) then there will be "primitive" sea life above the dinosaurs, in younger rocks. Flood geology has an awfully hard time explaining that.
270 million year old footprints, Grand Canyon

Even if the flood could have somehow stacked all the strata we find today, as YEC's think it did, the record in those rocks would be completely different. The geologic column is full of features--and at many levels--that simply couldn't have formed in the middle of a global flood: dinosaur nests, surface tracks, glacial scars, animal tracks and burrows, desert dunes, charcoal from fires, volcanic ash falls, mud cracks, salt and gypsum left behind by evaporation, and many more. No, if the Genesis record were really true, none of these things would exist in the rock record. It would just be one big, chaotic layer of rock, mud, bones, and shells. Most of it wouldn't have even turned to rock by now.

What about biology? After the flood, Noah would have looked out on a world devoid of live plants (except that one miraculous olive tree). Perhaps some plants could have regrown from seeds from the ark, or floating seeds that survived the flood, but at first there would have been nothing for the herbivores to eat. The toughest carnivores would be OK for a while, because they would just eat other animals. But without plants to support terrestrial ecosystems, they would soon die, too. Many of the animals that survived the flood, then, would have died soon after they left the ark. It wouldn't help that each of them (including the humans) would have been carrying the full complement of parasites that specialize on them--worms, flukes, lice, and others best not discussed. Even if most of the "lucky" flood survivors weren't killed by the post flood devastation--if God miraculously replanted the earth, for example--how did they all file back to the places we find them today? Did most marsupials have instructions to head for Australia? Did lemurs pass through Africa without leaving any descendents, and then swim over to Madagascar? Even if all the animals did miraculously find their way back to their homelands, we would see genetic signatures of the flood. Everything on the ark, including humans, would show clear signs of a genetic bottleneck from the time there were only a handful of them. Many of them would go extinct from this kind of inbreeding. Currently widespread creatures, such as humans, would show genetic signs of having originated in the Middle East. We would be much less genetically diverse. Africans, Asians, Australian Aborigines, and Europeans would look much more similar--there would be about as much physical difference between the world's peoples as we see among Native Americans, who really did likely descend from single populations several thousand years ago. 

I could go on and on like this, but this post is getting awfully long, and I'm tired of this stuff. The point is that if the Genesis creation narrative really were true, we would live in a very different world--probably a logically incoherent and inhospitable world. Luckily, we don't. We don't have to engage in all the tortured, procrustean thinking that YEC's impose on themselves. We don't have to contort our intellects to invent explanations for why the world is just a few thousand years old, even if it seems so very much to be billions of years old. We can just accept that it is billions of years old. Then we can breathe a sigh of relief, and follow the evidence where it leads. That doesn't necessarily mean we have to become atheists. Lots of very smart people have no trouble reconciling Christianity and the ancient earth described by modern science. It just means we have to let go of the idea that Genesis is completely and literally true. It just isn't, and its authors may never have wanted us to think it was. It's a powerful story, but it's just that--a story. It's not science. Science has its own story to tell, and it's a powerful one, too; a story of countless galaxies and unimaginable spans of time; of fabulous beasts living in ancient and bizarre worlds that preceded our own. For my money, it's a far more intellectually-satisfying story--grander and more coherent than the Genesis version. Best of all, it doesn't require me to assume I've already been given the truth, or to hang signs around my mind saying, "Off limits."


Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why it Matters / Donald Prothero

Evolution, Climate Change, and Other Issues/ Pew Research Center

Evolution, Creation, Intelligent Design / Gallup

The Fatal Flaws of Flood Geology / Christopher Gregory Weber

Finding Darwin's God: A Scientist's Search for Common Ground Between God and Evolution / Kenneth Miller

Fossil Tracks and Other Trace Fossils Refute Flood Geology / Glen Kuban