The Galileo Connection : Resolving Conflicts Between Science + the Bible / Charles E. Humm

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The Galileo Connection : Resolving Conflicts Between Science & the Bible / Charles E. Hummel. Downers Grove, Ill. : InterVarsity Press, c1986. 293 p. Includes index and bibliographical references. Reviewed by Destin LeBlanc. Originally published in M.A.C. News #14, April 1987. (C) copyright 1991 Missouri Association for Creation, Inc. There is good news and there is bad news concerning Charles Hummel's newest book The Galileo Connection. The good news is that the first half of the book is an excellent presentation of historical relationships between science and the church. He focuses on the conflicts between the ideas of a heliocentric universe versus a geocentric universe, covering Copernicus, Kepler, Newton, and Galileo. Hummel makes it clear that the conflict with new discoveries was not so much a conflict with Scripture, as with the prevalent Aristotelian world view. Unfortunately, many clerics of that time had wedded the Bible to Aristotelianism. M.A.C. members may remember that Dr. Jerry Bergman presented the same evidence when he spoke here several years ago. Hummel also makes it clear that these scientists all very definitely saw themselves as Christians. The bad news is the second half of the book's coverage of the creation/evolution controversy. Hummel spends an excellent chapter discussing principles of Biblical interpretation. Principles he regards as important include: the discovery of what a particular passage meant to the original readers, Scripture interpreting Scripture, and that poetic language can describe historical fact. However, Hummel's approach to Genesis shows a lack of understanding of the correct application of these principles. For example, the poetic structure of Genesis leads Hummel to conclude that the events described are not necessarily in chronological order. He further maintains that the days of Genesis are literally 24-hour days, but that we can still consider them as analogous and not as the "actual duration of God's activity." When Hummel begins to discuss science, he defines microevolution and macroevolution in the usual sense. He then naively claims that attacks on evolution (macroevolution) "are usually understood by evolutionists to be a repudiation of the special theory [microevolution]." If this is true, then it is abundantly clear that evolutionists, (and Hummel) do not really read what creationists, such as Gish, Morris, and others have written. Hummel also answers the question "Is creation scientific?" in the negative, although it is unclear from the context whether this is his opinion or whether he is still summarizing Judge Overton's views. Rather than pointing out the many problems in the arguments for evolution (indeed, it is not altogether clear whether Hummel is aware of the problems since he lists embryology and vestigal organs as evidence for evolution without commenting on their fallacy), Hummel seems to think he has it on conservative scholars because they never address the differences between Genesis 1 and Genesis 2. It makes you wonder whether Hummel has read Morris, or even Francis Schaeffer (Genesis in Time and Space, Inter- Varsity, 1972) on the relationship of Genesis 1 and 2. I will have to admit that in the last portion of the book, Hummel makes several good points. Ultimately, however, he cannot put forward a consistent viewpoint because he accepts both the Biblical account of creaton and the theory of evolution (I believe he means macroevolution). This attempt to balance these two can only lead to confusion. I don't deny that a person can believe in both; but I do deny that he can believe in both and still be internally consistent. This book is NOT for sale by M.A.C. Since it is published by IVP, it should be available in Christian bookstores. *************************************** Origins Talk RBBS * (314) 821-1078 FidoNet 1:100/435 Christian Fellowship Net 8:3006/28 Missouri Association for Creation, Inc. 405 North Sappington Road Saint Louis, Missouri 63122-4729 (314) 821-1234


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