Author: Roger Patterson
Publisher: Answers in Genesis
One of the joys and duties parents have is to train up their children in the way they should go (Pro. 22:6). This training often comes in the form of conveying knowledge. Parents can train their children how to walk and eat; they can demonstrate the way a marriage is to look; they can instruct them in worldview and religion. Parents do these things, knowingly or not, because this knowledge is ingrained in them. But what about knowledge that they do not have? What happens when children need training in how to defend their worldview and parents do not know how to help? How can parents instruct their children then? Where can they turn?
I have often seen parents and children struggle when it comes to understanding and teaching apologetics. Apologetics comes from the Greek word apologia which means “to defend.” Thus, when Christians talk about apologetics, they talk about defending our worldview against attacks. Sometimes these attacks come from within the church or between doctrines. In this case, simply reading the Scriptures is the way to go. Other times, these are philosophical attacks, and one should read first Scripture and then perhaps church fathers. But what about scientific attacks? How do parents, who neither read science articles nor keep in touch with the latest research, aid their children in standing strong in their faith?
While the Bible is clear on when God created the earth and mankind, people can begin to doubt or question their faith when they are presented with information that they think or are told contradicts what they believe. These arguments are usually first introduced in science classes (e.g., biology, chemistry, earth science, etc.), though now evolutionary doctrine is infiltrating even children’s entertainment. Biology is, in many ways, the basis for evolutionary interpretations; demolishing this foundation causes evolution itself to fall. The issue arises when evolutionary interpretations are presented alongside and equal to actual observable facts, making it difficult for people to differentiate what is truth and what is not.
To counteract these interpretations, many people have written similar books to Patterson’s Evolution Exposed, and many of them are quite decent. I personally have enjoyed and appreciated reading them. Though the information and research is well done and useful, the writing is typically rather technical. This is not a bad thing, but it can be difficult for a middle or high schooler to know the information to defend his faith if he cannot understand the information. Thus, Patterson wrote his book Evolution Exposed.
Patterson wrote this book, and other books, for parents and children to prepare for the arguments they will be facing and teach them how to face those arguments. His writing is at a level that both middle and high schoolers can read, but this does not mean that a college student or parent would not enjoy or appreciate the book just the same. The book is neither dull nor too technical.
Patterson organized his book well, and began by laying down a foundation to build on. He defines the difference between historical/origins science and operational science, reminding readers that both evolutionary and creationist interpretations of facts are based on presuppositions and are origins science. He does not hide from this issue but faces it boldly, for we have Scripture and much evidence for our worldview. Patterson clearly and concisely lays out the arguments made by evolutionary scientists, explains where they fall short of being observable science, and explains the creationist interpretation and defense. He also provides summaries of articles, along with their sources, that explain in further detail the creationist perspective.
Additionally, Patterson makes it very clear that both people with an evolutionary worldview and those with creation worldview can be scientists. They both look at the same facts established by observational science. Yet they can both come to different conclusions based on their presuppositions. This he further demonstrates by listing many different Christian scientists of the past and present. He does this so that Christians can have confidence when we face something that sounds like a contradiction to God’s Word. We must know our faith, why we believe it, and how to defend it against all attacks. We must not mix secular interpretations with God’s infallible Word but look to see what the baseline observable evidence is and see how it is interpreted in light of Scripture.
The evolutionary arguments laid out in his book are drawn from a few textbooks commonly used across the United States. Patterson makes note that even if these specific textbooks are not used, these foundational arguments can be found in nearly every secular-based textbook. Evolution Exposed is meant to be a guideline. Each chapter is divided by subject (e.g., “What is science?”, “Classifying Life,” “Natural Selection vs. Evolution,” etc.). At the beginning of these chapters, he charts in detail where this information came from in the textbooks; at the end of each chapter, he lists articles that speak on the same subject and additional creation resources. He also provides questions a student could use, respectfully, in the classroom or in discussions with friends to challenge the worldview presented. He also gives suggestions on how to answer questions, like on homework or tests, that “give the answer” the teacher is looking for but do not compromise a student’s faith.
This book is a useful tool for teens or parents of teens concerned about what questions or challenges they might face in high school or college. This can help prepare Christians, young and old, to give an answer for why they believe what they believe and for the hope that is within them (1 Pet. 3:15-16).
Blessings to you and yours,