Two Bryan professors have been awarded a grant to write a textbook presenting scientific evidence and evangelical Christian perspectives involved in the discussions and debates about creation and the interface between modern science and the Bible.
Drs. Brian Eisenback and Ken Turner are among 37 scholars from some 250 who applied for funding from the BioLogos Foundation’s Evolution & Christian Faith grant program. Their project, “Back to the Beginning: Educating Students and Parents about Evolution, Genesis, and Coexistence,” is designed to present an objective, intellectually honest, and dispassionate look at evolution and various Christian interpretations of the Genesis account of creation.
“We want to try to present a balanced look at what mainstream science thinks and why, and how evangelical scholars read the Bible,” Dr. Eisenback said.
“Brian wants to look at science and the data that scientists look at and at the conclusions they reach,” Dr. Turner said. “I want to look at the biblical data and discuss why Bible scholars come to the conclusions they do.”
Dr. Eisenback, assistant professor of biology, and Dr. Turner, professor of Bible, said their experience in the classroom and in their research led them to pursue this topic.
“What I’ve seen in the classroom tells me a lot of students come to biology class without a good grasp of evolution,” Dr. Eisenback said. “A lot of them don’t understand how someone can come to the conclusions science does. We want to make some way for the Christian community to interact with science.”
Dr. Turner added, “The biblical data is more complex than people think. Orthodox Christianity has been debating this since before Darwin came along. We think anyone interested in this area should know the data, whatever his position.”
The two professors plan to produce a curriculum aimed at Christian schools or homeschool families. The first part will present a narrative of evolution and the supporting evidence as understood by mainstream science. The second half will summarize the exegetical and hermeneutical issues involved in reading and interpreting Genesis, then review and critique various evangelical perspectives that seek to reconcile Scripture and science.