Re: High School Biology Books

David B. Fenske (
Mon, 30 Dec 1996 04:50:43 -0800

Hello there Tamera and others. This is my first post to the ASA, so I
gather I'm supposed to introduce myself. I'm a Biochemist(B.Sc. in
Biochemistry, Ph.D. in Chemistry) whose research interests include the use
of solid-state magnetic resonance techniques to study membrane structure,
function, and dynamics, and the applications of liposomal systems to
biomedical problems. Currently I work as a Research Associate at UBC in
Vancouver, B.C., in a research lab dedicated to the study of lipid systems,
with particular emphasis on the development of liposomal drug-delivery
systems for use in cancer treatment.

My upbringing was in the Lutheran Church (Missouri Synod), but I have
gravitated to a variety of Evangelical Churches over the past 16 years
(Baptist, Associated Gospel, Evangelical Free).

The LCMS holds to a YEC position, but the church I attended did not really
discuss such issues, so I didn't come in close contact with the Scientific
Creationists until my first year of graduate school. Initially I found
their arguments and claims to be quite interesting, especially the claims
for a young earth (magnetic field, atmospheric C-14). But this soon waned,
and over a period of several years I found myself growing more critical of
the YEC camp and more attuned to the old-earth PCs/TEs. This occured
without a crisis of faith (no doubt due to being a little older) but with a
great deal of thought and lots of reading. This included several books
(which most of you are familiar with but I haven't seen mentioned yet) which
I found extremely helpful in dealing with science/theology issues. Some of
these might be a little above a 16 year old, but not much, and if the young
man is interested he should be able to benefit from them.

The first, which I believe is out of print (alas!) is Davis Young's
"Christianity and the age of the earth." The book does not deal with
creation/evolution questions, but that doesn't matter. It's value lies in
having an evangelical Christian geologist explain how the Christian faith is
perfectly compatible with acceptance of one of the major results of
scientific study. It's a very non-threatening book. Worth getting if you can.

The next two are still available. They are "Science Held Hostage" by Howard
Van Till, Davis Young, and Clarence Menninga (InterVarsity Press) and
Portraits of Creation, by Van Till, Snow, Stek, and Young (Eerdmans). Both
of these books criticise the creationists and the evolutionists where they
need it. Neither book deals with biological evolution in depth (maybe the
same authors are busy writing a book on this right now - I hope so), but do
address many areas of disagreement between the two camps.

Although I've recommended several books by Davis Young, don't get him "The
Biblical Flood" - yet. This is a very challenging book, but not one for a
person in the midst of a crisis of faith. However, if he gets past it
here's one for a few years down the road.

You may also suggest he join the ASA listserv.

The advice given in an earlier post (about not jumping to conclusions and
taking time) is extremely important. This is a big issue with lots of
conflicting views. Advise him to be patient, take time to read and think,
and give God a chance to show him how his faith can remain real and alive
even if the scientists are (largely) right.


David Fenske