A scientific look at creationism from a former creationist
A significant number of Americans, especially evangelical Christians, believe Earth and humankind were created in their present form sometime in the last 10,000 years or so—the rationale being that this is (presumably) the story told in the book of Genesis. Within that group, any threatening scientific evidence that suggests otherwise is rejected or, when possible, retrofitted into a creationist worldview.
But can this uncomfortable blend of biblical literalism and pseudoscience hold up under scrutiny? Is it tenable to believe that the Grand Canyon was formed not millions of years ago by gradual erosion but merely thousands of years ago by the Great Flood? Were there really baby dinosaurs with Noah on his ark?
Janet Kellogg Ray, a science educator who grew up a creationist, doesn’t want other Christians to have to do the exhausting mental gymnastics she did earlier in her life. Working through the findings of a range of fields including geology, paleontology, and biology, she shows how a literal interpretation of the book of Genesis simply doesn’t mesh with what we know to be reality. But as someone who remains a committed Christian, Ray also shows how an acceptance of the theory of evolution is not necessarily an acceptance of atheism, and how God can still be responsible for having created the world, even if it wasn’t in a single, momentary, miraculous event.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Deborah Haarsma 1. The Biology Professor Who Doesn’t Believe in Science 2. Making Science Fit Genesis 3. What Is Science? The Nature of Science and EVO 101 4. Where Are You Camping? A Look at Beliefs 5. There Might Be a Time Machine in Your House 6. It’s Raining, It’s Pouring, the Canyon Is Forming: Noah’s Flood Explains It All 7. The Flood and the Fossil Record 8. Written in Stone 9. In Search of the Missing Missing Link 10. It’s All or Nothing: Intelligent Design 11. You Can’t Make a Monkey Out of Me: The Touchy Topic of Human Evolution 12. Leaving Creationism (Without Leaving God)
Janet Kellogg Ray is an enthusiastic science educator who blogs at JanetKRay.com on the intersections of science, faith, and culture. Raised a creationist, she is uniquely equipped to explain evolution to questioners, doubters, deniers, and those who just want to know more about the science of origins: she's been there, and she understands.
“Too much Christian opinion on science has been uninformed and unhelpful. In Baby Dinosaurs on the Ark? Dr. Ray gives us a down-to-earth yet thorough introduction for how science works and how necessary it is to shake off unhelpful and untrue assumptions about the Bible. If anyone asks why you accept the science of evolution as a Christian, feel free to simply pass them a copy of this book.” — Jared Byas cohost of the podcast The Bible for Normal People
“Janet Ray’s Baby Dinosaurs on the Ark? is a deeply personal, scientifically informed, and valuable contribution to our troubled conversation on evolution. Readers will appreciate the engaging and often humorous anecdotes. The book deserves a broad readership.” — Karl W. Giberson author of Saving Darwin: How to Be a Christian and Believe in Evolution
“This is a well-written, insightful, and accessible book with pitch-perfect and well-balanced tone. I couldn’t help but to be drawn into the stories that punctuated the treatment.” — John H. Walton professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College
“This is the most cleverly written and yet profound book I’ve read in some time. I love it! Ray makes complex and deep issues accessible. She answers questions about science and contemporary debates. I plan to give copies to friends trying to make sense of evolution and Christian faith.” — Thomas Jay Oord author of The Uncontrolling Love of God
“If you are . . . wondering if there is any way that Christian faith and evidence-based science can work together, Janet Kellogg Ray is an able guide. She is a biology teacher and a Christ-follower who invites you to walk alongside her in her journey and provides an engaging overview of the views, evidence, and arguments on origins science.” — Deborah Haarsma from the foreword
“Janet Kellogg Ray combines transformative faith in God with a gritty commitment to science. Baby Dinosaurs on the Ark? opens new possibilities for bridge-building between the truth of faith and the facts of science. If you are tired of clumsy science and combative religion, Ray is the conversation partner you have been looking for! This book is for anyone who seeks truth wherever truth may be found.” — Don McLaughlin senior minister of North Atlanta Church of Christ
“It’s often unwise to judge a book by its title, yet this is the rare case when you should do just this. Baby Dinosaurs on the Ark? is an intriguing title completely backed up with an even more intriguing book. Janet Kellogg Ray blends storytelling, biology, and biblical reflection to offer a very helpful, engaging, and important book. All pastors, parents, and young adults will find this book an essential resource in understanding faith and science and a way to faithfully embrace them both.” — Andrew Root author of Exploding Stars, Dead Dinosaurs, and Zombies: Youth Ministry in the Age of Science
“My wife, like Janet Kellogg Ray, is a science teacher. Her students and colleagues know she is married to a pastor. Each year, like clockwork, a student or fellow teacher asks her about the intersection of science and faith. Their assumption is that her allegiances lie with either faith or science, that she couldn’t hold them both appropriately. Science and faith are in a dance together, and Janet Kellogg Ray’s Baby Dinosaurs on the Ark? helps those of us with questions about the interplay of faith and science articulate and understand our faith better. Here you will discover more of what God is up to in the world, how faith and science testify to one another, and even more so how they testify the beauty of our Creator.” — Sean Palmer author of Unarmed Empire: In Search of Beloved Community
“Ray writes with candid humor, a pastoral spirit, and engaging, accessible science. This book deserves to be widely read, especially if you’re not sure that evolution and robust faith can go together.” — Dennis R. Venema professor of biology at Trinity Western University
“What a delight to read! With an engaging style and a keen mind, Ray navigates the landscape between the false binary that so many Christians face: reject science or reject God. A trustworthy guide, Ray explores the various positions with intellectual honesty and civility; rare is the author who can explain this complex topic in such a clear and compelling way. If you are looking for a resource that equips you both to embrace the findings of science and to embody a deep faith, this is the book for you.” — Ken Cukrowski dean of the College of Biblical Studies at Abilene Christian University
Reviews in Religion & Theology “Baby Dinosaurs on the Ark? shares a lot of its themes with these previous works [about creationism], but there is a constant need for the message. And Ray’s conversational tone is particularly appealing.”
Strictly Necessary Cookies
Strictly Necessary Cookie should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings.
If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again.