Book Review: Exploring Creation with Astronomy by Jeannie Fulbright
In support of the April 22, 2017 March for Science demonstrations I’ve decided to review one of the most popular Astronomy “Creation Science” textbooks, one that is used by thousands of parents who homeschool their children. My review will be brief as I don’t think there’s any need to go into any great detail. Instead I’ll concentrate on just the aspects I find most egregious.
To be blunt Exploring Creation with Astronomy by Jeannie Fulbright is a train wreck of a “textbook” but at least it answers one question. Namely why so many Americans are so woefully illiterate in science. It’s not that our children aren’t being given information, it’s that the information they are being given is blatantly false. If only that was the end of it but unfortunately it’s not. It’s just the beginning. The theology of Exploring Creation is nightmarish, the sort of stuff that’s guaranteed to keep the little ones awake in their beds.
Thousands of years ago men imagined patterns in the night sky. These patterns, called constellations, told fantastic stories of gods, heroes, monsters and myths. Exploring Creation states that the original constellations were designed not by the Greeks and the Romans but by God Himself to illustrate the stories of Jesus and the old testament. But Satan, in all his wickedness, stepped in and corrupted God’s true constellations replacing them with false pagan gods of his own design. Satan did this to lead men astray, to guide us away from salvation and towards eternal damnation; everlasting punishment. Stop and think about that for a moment. Consider the implications. If true it would mean that any planetarium show, any star chart, any astronomy textbook or magazine contains the seeds of sin. Satan’s fingerprints are to be found even in the book I’m reviewing and men are powerless in the face of such trickery, powerless to restore God’s true constellations to their rightful place. Who’s running this show anyway?
But Satan isn’t the only trickster. Consider that in just six days God created the universe pretty much as we see it today and all that was accomplished only six thousand years ago. But the young universe God created appears to be unimaginably ancient. According to Jeannie Fulbright God conjured up starlight in transit to create the false impression that it had been in flight from its parent star for many billions of years. This is akin to Adam, the first man, being created as a fully grown adult rather than as a boy. This resulted in Adam having the appearance of an age he didn’t actually possess. However a supernova isn’t simply a matter of the light we detect in our telescopes. Such a cataclysm is an entire sequence of intricate events including the release of radiation and the production of heavier elements that result in the formation of a planetary nebula. Did God create all that for stars that never even existed?
If Fulbright is indeed correct God created evidence for the existence of stars that were never even real. If this is true we are all living inside a vast planetarium. Why would a benevolent God create sentient beings only to place them inside a virtual reality simulation? A distant supernova explosion would be no more real than Pac-Man gobbling up Ghost Monster to accumulate points on the scoreboard. Any God who would place intelligent lifeforms in such a universe could only be malevolent.
Many of the five star reviews posted on Amazon say, “My ten year old just loves this book He won’t put it down.” Perhaps so, but at age ten how is he to assess the accuracy of the information? Of course everyone is entitled to his or her beliefs. But the parent who uses this book to educate his child is doing so at his peril. The day may well come when the child realizes that he’s been deliberately misled by the people he most trusted, the people who were suppose to have his best interests at heart. Giving a child false information might damage his faith. It might also damage the relationship he shares with his parents.