The Science of God by Gerald Schroeder
Broadway Books, New York. 1998. $14.95
Reviewed by Robert E. Gentet
© CRSQ 41:273
Don B. DeYoung (1998) gave an excellent review of the hardback edition of the book. Another excellent review of an earlier, similar book by Schroeder entitled Genesis and the Big Bang was given by Eugene F. Chaffin (1996). I would like to add a few other comments.
This book has become a classic in the field of books exploring the relationship between Scripture and science. And for that reason, it is a must reading. Schroeder’s attempt at reconciliation between the two is a "mixed bag" to Young Earth Creationists. For one thing, he does a superb job in pointing out many inconsistencies in the commonly held Darwinism/gradualism concepts held so long in evolutionary circles.
For example, he notes the significance of the tens of thousands of fossils found in the Burgess shale by Walcott in 1909 that only too soon were reburied in the Smithsonian museum for eighty years. These well-preserved fossils illustrated an "explosion" of every phyla of life at the very time life should have been gradually evolving. The Burgess shale fossils tell a completely different tale. Schroeder shows how Darwin’s concept of an evolutionary tree is totally missing from the fossil record. Transitional forms simply aren’t there even after much exploration by earth scientists since Darwin’s day. Rather, sudden appearance of new life forms is the trademark of paleontology.
And while Schroeder holds to a literal 6-day creation, it is from a cosmic viewpoint only. On Earth billions of years are passing, while from the vantage point of one in the universe only 6 days elapse, he says. This view is exactly opposite from Humphreys cosmological model (1994) that holds to the traditional and Scripturally-obvious understanding that Genesis 1 is primarily written from the viewpoint of one on the Earth.
Ultimately, Schroeder’s concept of "creation" boils down to merely another form of theistic evolution. He envisions God giving the earth to have within it "the special properties to orchestrate the beginning of life" and for life thereafter to flourish and suddenly leap into other types (p. 29, see also pp. 5 and 12 and elsewhere).
Thus, while Schroeder acknowledges that a reading of the Scriptures leads to "less than 6,000 years" (p. 33) since Adam’s creation, the existence of older fossil remains of "humans" must be reckoned as remains of human-like animals not yet possessing the human soul (Chap. 9). Only when writing becomes evident in the archeological record can we be sure we are dealing with true human beings (p. 143). Man’s "qualitative leap" (p. 143) with the introduction of the soul takes on almost a New Age belief.
All of this becomes necessary because he never questions dates derived from radioisotopes. Schroeder never questions the center tent pole of the old Earth belief. Naturally, the speed of light is assumed to have been constant throughout all geologic time (p. 162).
It is understandable that the Jewish Schroeder would delve into the Scriptural account using 800-year-old Jewish records of such scholars as Nahmanides and Moses Mainonides. I would prefer to use the still more ancient Jewish records of Jesus, the apostles and other inspired men of the First Century whose words are recorded in the New Testament and whose words confirm the traditional, Young Earth Creation story of Genesis.
CRSQ: Creation Research Society Quarterly.