‘equipping the church
on origins’

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News & Blog page 3

‘Time for an upgrade?’ New article by Paul Garner

September 2, 2008

The latest edition of Answers magazine, Vol. 3, No. 4, published by our friends at Answers in Genesis, is a special themed issue on the subject of building the creation model of origins.

BCM’s Paul Garner has contributed an article to this edition about scientific models of the global flood (pp.46-49). In the article, he describes how he came to embrace the catastrophic plate tectonics model, first proposed by a team of creationist geologists and geophysicists in 1994.

The article is freely available here as a sneak preview of the new edition.

Reports from the summer conference season

August 27, 2008

BCM’s Paul Garner recently attended the Sixth International Conference on Creationism (ICC), a gathering of creationist scholars from many different countries that takes place every four to five years. About 40 papers were presented at the conference, on topics ranging from biology to astronomy to the social sciences. In addition, there were four evening sessions open to the public. The evening speakers were Dr Russell Humphreys, Dr John Baumgardner, Dr Steven Austin and Dr Andrew Snelling.

During the ICC, Paul co-presented a paper with Dr John Whitmore which sought to develop suites of criteria to recognize pre-Flood, Flood, and post-Flood strata in the geological record. These criteria were then applied to the rocks in Wyoming, USA. All the conference papers have been published in a proceedings volume. For details of how to purchase this publication, contact the Creation Science Fellowship of Pittsburgh.

Paul Garner speaking at ‘Frontiers in Creation Research’.

Following the ICC, Paul also attended Frontiers in Creation Research, a joint meeting of the creation biology and creation geology groups. The keynote speaker was Dr Leonard Brand, who spoke about various palaeontological projects with which he had been involved.

Sixteen short research talks were given, including Paul’s own contribution on submarine sandwaves as a model for reinterpreting the Coconino Sandstone of the Colorado Plateau.

The biology abstracts can be downloaded as Occasional Paper 11 from the Creation Biology Study Group website. It is hoped that the geology abstracts will shortly be published on the Cedarville University website.

Research report 2008: Desert or deluge?

August 14, 2008

Exciting progress has been made in reinterpreting the Coconino Sandstone of Grand Canyon as a deposit laid down by the global Flood, rather than a desert deposit as conventionally thought.

For over a year, BCM’s Paul Garner has been working with his colleagues, Dr John Whitmore (Cedarville University) and Ray Strom (Calgary Rock and Materials), on the origin of the Coconino Sandstone for the Flood-Activated Sedimentation and Tectonics (FAST) project. FAST is being sponsored by our friends at the Institute for Creation Research.

Ray Strom taking samples in the Sand Hills of central Nebraska.

In late July, Paul was back in the USA, undertaking further field and laboratory research for the project.

The first part of his trip involved fieldwork in the Sand Hills of central Nebraska. The Sand Hills are the largest wind blown dune field in the western hemisphere. The sand dunes were extensively sampled and photographed for comparison with the Coconino Sandstone of the Colorado Plateau.

Paul Garner in the geological laboratory at Cedarville University, Ohio.

The second week of his visit was spent in the geological laboratory at Cedarville University in Ohio, processing the sand samples collected in Nebraska and studying thin sections of the Coconino Sandstone under the microscope, prepared from samples collected over the last year.

One significant discovery is that the Coconino Sandstone contains grains of a mineral called mica. Mica is quite soft and flaky and would not be expected to survive for long in a harsh desert environment. It is surprising to find so many mica flakes in the interior of the Coconino formation. This seems easier to explain if the Coconino was deposited rapidly by water and not by the slow accumulation of sand in an ancient desert.

Another interesting feature that the team has been able to document is that the Coconino Sandstone is everywhere surrounded (above, below and to the sides) by sedimentary rocks clearly laid down by water. In fact, many of these water-laid sediments interfinger with or grade into the Coconino formation. In one place, there are even bedded limestones within the Coconino itself! This is further evidence of its water-laid origin.

More progress is anticipated in the coming months. It is hoped that the project findings will eventually be published in appropriate scientific journals.

Genesis Kinds: major UK conference in 2009

July 18, 2008

A major conference entitled ‘Genesis Kinds: Creationism and the Origin of Species’ will be taking place at High Leigh Conference Centre, Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, between 4–5 February 2009.

In 1859, Charles Darwin famously argued against ‘creationism’, but what do creationists really believe about the origin of species?

You’ve heard Darwin’s side of the story, now hear an international panel of scholars examine the ‘mystery of mysteries’, the origin of species, from a biblical and creationist perspective.

Speakers include Paul Garner, Todd Wood, Kenneth Turner, Roger Sanders, Kurt Wise and Joseph Francis.

The conference is being jointly sponsored by Biblical Creation Ministries, in partnership with the Center for Origins Research (Bryan College), BSG: A Creation Biology Study Group, and the Center for Science and Theology (Southern Baptist Theological Seminary).

More details, including the schedule and registration information, will be available in due course. Why not consider attending this significant event during the Darwin bicentennial year?

BCM visit to Poland 2008

May 12, 2008

Report by Paul Garner

Between 22nd and 25th April, Dr Geoff Barnard and I visited the Polish city of Poznań for a period of creation ministry. During our visit, nine meetings were held and several hundred people heard us speak.

Dr Geoff Barnard lecturing on ‘Doubts about Darwin’.

The first meeting, on the day of our arrival, was held in the neighbouring town of Środa. Geoff gave a lecture entitled ‘Doubts about Darwin’. Although the numbers attending were small, those who came found it very worthwhile. One man stayed to talk for some time afterwards and went away with several books.

The next morning, I had the opportunity to speak to a large group of high school students on the subject of Noah’s Ark. The students were very attentive and asked some good questions after the talk. I was delighted when two of the students presented me with a framed picture as a ‘thank you’ for my lecture.

That evening, Geoff spoke at a meeting organized by the Christian Medical Society. This was held in the Pentecostal Church. It was well attended but mainly with members of the church. There was a lovely atmosphere and the talk was very well received. After the meeting Geoff had the opportunity to talk to two Christian doctors. They were very keen to get more material.

There were also meetings with staff and parents at the King David School, a Christian school which started a few years ago in Poznan. It was good to be able to encourage them as they develop their vision for Christian education.

The next day, Geoff had the great privilege of speaking to scientists working at the Plant Breeding and Acclimatization Institute in the city. The openness of this scientific audience was extraordinary, especially compared with the hostility often encountered in the UK. Geoff’s lecture was warmly received and we were also given a tour around the facility.

Paul Garner explaining the creationist model of the ice age.

The main public meetings were held later that evening. I spoke about the ice age, explaining the creationist model in which the ice sheets developed in the centuries following the global Flood. Geoff spoke from his perspective as a biochemist about the problems facing the evolutionary theory of the origin and development of life. It was gratifying to see the Biblical Creation Society’s Creation Manifesto available on the literature table for the first time in the Polish language. Afterwards, I had a long conversation with a young man who had lost his faith and was struggling with the problem of suffering. I also met an anthropologist, studying in Poland as a foreign student, who wants to establish a creationist work back in his home country. Please pray for both these contacts.

The last day of our visit was spent giving seminars to church leaders and to teachers. Topics included ‘Evidence for a Young World’, ‘Man’s Origin, Man’s Destiny’ and ‘Mt St Helens: Monument to Catastrophe’. One young man, a student of geology, attended both the public meetings and the teacher’s meeting. He had also come along to meetings in previous years. He was politely sceptical and wanted to challenge us, but we were pleased to have the opportunity to dialogue with him.

Dr Geoff Barnard and Ania, one of our Polish translators.

We would like to record our thanks to our Polish translators, Ania and Staszek, who did a magnificent job of translating what were, at times, very technical talks.

This is the fourth time BCM has been able to assist our friends in Poznań with creation ministry. On previous visits I’ve been accompanied by Dr John Peet, Sylvia Baker and Professor Werner Gitt. Since the first visit in 2004, Michał Pronczuk, the lead Polish organizer, reports that there has been a meaningful change in thinking among many Christians about this issue. He writes: “We have observed an increase in interest in biblical creationism which results in greater trust in God’s Word. Believers in Poland are now better equipped with apologetic arguments which can be used both in evangelism and teaching in churches.” Furthermore, he says that many unbelievers have come to see that there is a real alternative to the pervasive naturalistic way of thinking.

We feel very privileged to have been a part of these meetings and look forward to what we believe will be even greater opportunities ahead.

Leicester Creation Conference 2008

April 14, 2008

On 16 and 17 May 2008, BCM speakers Paul Garner and Steve Lloyd will be joined by Professor Andy McIntosh, Paul Taylor and Philip Bell as speakers at the 2008 Leicester Creation Conference. Those who have attended previous conferences organized by the Leicester Evangelical Churches will know how worthwhile they have been. There will be five plenary sessions and a choice of six seminar topics. Titles include ‘New Answers to Old Questions’, ‘The Intricacies of Flight’, ‘Intelligent Design? Then Why Suffering?’, ‘Deconstructing Dawkins’ and ‘Dinosaurs and the Bible’. Admission is free. Our supporters are encouraged to attend this special event – and take Christian and non-Christian friends along. A colour leaflet with full details is available here.

There will also be a series of Bible Focus meetings in the week leading up the conference.

Grand Canyon lecture on-line

On Tuesday 4 March, BCM speaker Paul Garner gave a lecture entitled ‘Grand Canyon – Evidence for the Global Flood’ to the Edinburgh Creation Group. The lecture was recorded and is now available for viewing here.

Galápagos Revisited – Dr Todd Wood's tour of the UK

Dr Wood gave public lectures about his research on the famous Galápagos Islands.

Biblical Creation Ministries was delighted to host a speaking tour in March and April by Dr Todd Wood of the Center for Origins Research (CORE) at Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee. Dr Wood gave public lectures about his research on the famous Galápagos Islands in Coventry, Cambridge and Wimborne. In a fascinating historical overview, we learned that many widely held beliefs about Charles Darwin’s voyage to the islands are, in fact, modern myths. For instance, the famous finches were not the critical influence on his thinking that many have suggested – indeed, Darwin did not even know that he had collected finches at the time! In the second half of his talk, Dr Wood applied the methods of baraminology (see below) to the fauna and flora of the Galápagos Islands to test common ideas about their origin and history. The results suggested that Darwin was right to infer that the island species were related to mainland ones – but that he went too far in proposing the universal common ancestry of all species. Dr Wood’s lecture in Cambridge was recorded and we hope to issue a DVD in due course.

Dr Wood conducted a well-attended workshop on creation biology.

In addition, Dr Wood conducted a well-attended workshop on creation biology which was greatly appreciated by all who were there. One person wrote afterwards: “Many thanks for organising last Saturday. I found it not only enjoyable, but also profitable.” The material included an overview of the history of creationist thinking on species and speciation, as well as an introduction to baraminology – a creationist system of identifying and classifying the original created groups as a first step in reconstructing the true history of life. Attendees received a special workbook prepared by Dr Wood.

Dr Wood also spoke at an evening service at Soham Baptist Church on ‘Learning to Listen – Experiencing God in the Things He Has Made’. This was a salutary reminder that sometimes we need to step back from all the questions about creation that so often crowd in and simply revel in the beauty and wonder of the natural world that God has made.

Down House – Charles Darwin’s former residence in Kent.

In between meetings, Dr Wood was also able to visit Down House – Charles Darwin’s former residence in Kent – as well as a number of historical sites associated with Darwin in Cambridge. He also had occasion to visit the Sedgwick Museum in Cambridge and the famous Stonehenge site in Wiltshire.

CORE Issues in Creation Number 1.

For Dr Wood’s tour, we shipped over some books from the USA and a few copies remain available for purchase – but it’s first come, first served! Please send your orders (with cheques payable to ‘Biblical Creation Trust’) to BCT, P.O. Box 325, Ely, CB7 5YH. The prices below include postage.

CORE Issues in Creation Number 1: A Creationist Review and Preliminary Analysis of the History, Geology, Climate, and Biology of the Galápagos Islands by Todd Wood £10.00.

The Galápagos Islands: Revisiting Darwin’s Evidence

February 5, 2008

Ever since the time of Charles Darwin, the Galápagos Islands have been considered a showcase for evolutionary theory. However, there is a different perspective. In March and April 2008, Biblical Creation Ministries will be presenting a unique opportunity to hear Dr Todd Wood, Director of the Center for Origins Research at Bryan College, Dayton, Tennessee, speak about his exciting research on the Galápagos Islands which confirms the biblical account of earth history. Come and hear how the organisms of the Galápagos reveal a wise and caring Creator who endowed his creatures with amazing abilities to survive in a world cursed by sin.

Details of Todd’s itinerary will be available on our diary page and a full-colour leaflet about the visit can be downloaded here. We would also draw your attention to the Creation Biology Workshop that Todd will be presenting in Cambridge. This is an excellent opportunity to hear the latest thinking from the “cutting edge” of creation biology. The workshop is free but if you are planning to attend, please let Paul Garner know as soon as possible so that we know how many workbooks to provide.

Tour of the Natural History Museum a success

December 3, 2007

Paul Garner talking with one of the tour groups about the stunning architecture of the museum outside the Cromwell Road entrance.

Recently, Paul Garner of BCM led two groups of home-schoolers on a ‘dinosaur tour’ of London’s Natural History Museum. These young people and their families were fascinated to learn something of the history of the museum, how dinosaurs are distinguished from other types of reptiles, how our views of dinosaurs have changed since their discovery, and how the fossil evidence concerning dinosaurs helps to confirm the biblical account of earth history. The feedback from tour participants was encouraging and we hope to be able to offer the tour more widely in the future. Keep watching this space!

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