The authors of this book are very straightforward about the assumptions underlying their approach to science: they believe the Bible is true and authoritative, that it should be interpreted literally, and that it should inform every aspect of one’s life, including forming your paradigm for approaching science. Even if you disagree with their starting points (or conclusions), it’s refreshing to hear scientists articulate their a priori assumptions so clearly and unashamedly from the get-go. I wish everyone in this debate would do so. There is, in truth, no such thing as totally neutral science.
The most valuable lesson that any reader can take away from this book, whether he is sympathetic to it’s viewpoint or not, is the recognition that paradigms are integral to one’s view on any subject. Paradigms provide the entire intellectual framework for how one evaluates data and what “makes sense” to classify something as reasonable or not. In other words, paradigms provide a context for understanding the world. They are inescapable, but they are often unrecognized. For more, see my review of Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.
Anyway, in the paradigm of these researchers, the history in Genesis is all true, the Flood really happened, and the Tower of Babel was the source of human civilization’s spread throughout the globe. If you accept this premise and work your way outward from it, the book argues, all of a sudden a lot of otherwise unexplainable historical anomalies make sense and find a place in science and history. The modern naturalistic evolutionary worldview, which assumes a linear progression of human cultural development over millions of years, cannot account for the evidence of advanced civilization at many of the places in history that we find it, nor can it make sense of the similarities among ancient cultures that arose–apparently independently–thousands of miles apart, separated by oceans and continents.
For example, there are scores of ancient architectural works that today’s scientists still can’t explain how they were built because the degree of advanced knowledge and understanding required is far ahead of what the evolutionary paradigm allows for. Another example is the commonality of various creation myths and religious laws. If Babel is true, and if this diaspora was indeed the headwater of a global expansion of highly civilized man, these commonalities make sense.
This book was obviously prepared by a team of college students overseen by one or more professors. The voice and writing quality varied by chapter. I also found some pretty unforgivable typos. This may be nit-picky, but a book about rigorous and intellectually honest science should set the bar high.
This book is neither a comprehensive defense of creationism nor a complete dismantling of evolution. It’s simply an exploration of an sideline approach to some of the issues involved, and an exposition of how a different paradigm from the “mainstream scientific consensus” can explain the otherwise unexplainable. It definitely stretched my thinking.
The Genius of Ancient Man Purchase Links: Paperback