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Origins, Linking Science and Scripture [Hardcover]

By Ariel Roth (Author) & Ariel A. Roth (Author)
Our Price $ 25.49  
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Item Number 135875  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   384
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.58" Width: 6.68" Height: 0.98"
Weight:   1.59 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Oct 1, 1999
Publisher   Review & Herald Publishing
ISBN  0828013284  
EAN  9780828013284  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Are the worlds of science and religion irreconcilable? Has modern science with its theory of evolution disproved the biblical account of the origin of life? If one accepts the biblical account of origins, does one then have to reject science? Scientist and Christian believer Ariel A. Roth argues that taken together, science and religion give us a more complete and sensible understanding of the world around us, our place in it, and our ultimate meaning and fate. Roth examines such topics as the evidence for evolution and creation, the Flood, the strengths and limitations of the scientific method, and the reliability of Scripture. He concludes that the biblical model of a recent creation by God leaves fewer unanswered questions than either science's evolutionary model or any view between the two positions, such as progressive creation or theistic evolution. Beside teaching biology, Ariel Roth has spent 30 years researching areas in which science and religion touch each other and sometimes offer conflicting perspectives. He holds a Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Michigan, taught at Andrews and Loma Linda universities, and from 1980 to 1994 was director of the Geoscience Research Institute. Roth has also been involved in the evolution-creation controversy in the United States, testifying before many educational and legal groups, and has conducted numerous geological and paleontological field trips around the world.

Publishers Description
If you accept the biblical account of origins, do you have to reject science? Ariel Roth argues that taken together, science and religion give us a more complete and sensible understanding of the world around us.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Excellent recitation of young earth creationist arguments  Mar 14, 2005
Ariel Roth is a scientist with a Ph.D in zoology from the University of Michigan. He taught at Andrews University and Loma Linda University, both Seventh-day Adventist institutions, and was for several years the director of the Geoscience Research Institute at Loma Linda, a sort of scientific think-tank established by the Adventist Church in the late 1950s to do origins research and apologetics. Roth is obviously very well qualified to write a book on the creation/evolution debate. Although Roth is an Adventist, this book scrupulously avoids any sectarianism or intra-denominational discussion that would leave non-Adventists out of the loop.

Although written for the educated lay reader, the book is extremely scholarly; numerous endnotes follow each chapter, and cite the relevant scientific literature. The tone of the book is not overly argumentative, but very calm, reflective and respectful. Darwinist scientists wanting to know the views and opinions of a well trained creationist scientist may read this volume without fear that their views will be misrepresented, distorted or ridiculed.

The book covers the usual and customary topics of a book of this nature: the origin of life, the development of, and the problems with, Darwinian theory, the fossil record, the geologic column, questions about past geological processes and the speed with which they occurred, questions about the age of the earth, the uniqueness of the Bible and its witness on the issue of origins, and why the young earth model is to be preferred over compromising long-ages creationist or gap theory models.

If I have a criticism, it is that the writing fails to sparkle. Stephen Jay Gould wrote (in the process of explaining how Lyell carried the day for uniformitarianism) that the scientific profession self-selects for poor writing skills. Gould himself was an exception to that rule, but Roth . . . well, his writing is serviceable and readable but usually not inspiring. The writing style seems to betray a certain weariness of the controversy. Roth relates some of his arguments as though he is reciting them to an audience very familiar with them, rather than explaining them to a reader genuinely new to the controversy. It is like a comedian telling only punchlines, assuming that his audience has heard the jokes many times, and hence only the punchline is necessary.

There are instances where the less than crisp writing is indicative of sloppy thinking. In chapter 12, for example, Roth writes, "Major world catastrophes are extremely unusual, and we have difficulty incorporating them into our thinking." Really? What about the asteroid theory of the K/T mass extinction? Scientists seem to have had little difficulty incorporating that into their thinking. Roth knows this, of course, and carefully explains that strict uniformitarianism is out of fashion with geologists, and that catastrophism is once again openly embraced. And what is meant by the term "major world catastrophes?" Do we know enough to form an opinion as to how unusual they are? That sentence should have been deleted in the editing process, as both boring and inaccurate.

Later in the chapter, Roth writes, "a flood covering the entire surface of the earth is highly unusual." Unusual? It either happened once, as the Bible teaches, or not at all, as most scientists believe. Roth should make his arguments and convince us that the Genesis Flood really did happen, since that is what he believes, but to say that the flood was "highly unusual" seems patronizing.

But these are minor quibbles over style, not an attack on the substance of this work. On the whole, the book is careful and scholarly, and the arguments are sound.
The Biosphere Model  Sep 4, 2000
Ariel Roth's book was highly recommended to me and after reading it I agree that it is an excellent introduction to the creation/evolution discussion. I think that this book will have universal appeal regardless of the position you hold on Origins.

An important distinction that he makes that is helpful for the highly polarized debate among Christian readers regarding the Age of the Universe is the difference between the age of the biosphere and the age of the universe. He remarks,

"Time poses one of the most contentious questions between the commonly understood scientific and scriptural viewpoints. We should expect this, because the marked differences are firmly entrenched. The Bible speaks of a recent creation most likely less than 10,000 years ago, while evolution suggests the development of life for many thousands of millions of years. The difference need not be as broad as often surmised, since little in the Bible precludes a very old universe. However, according to Scripture, the creation of life on earth is a relatively recent event" (p. 233-234)

He is open to a Soft-Gap theory (not the ruin and reconstruction gap theory) interpretation of Scripture which can allow for an ancient universe and an ancient earth, but requires that the earth's biosphere be young (p. 316-318). This view has also been referred to as the "Biosphere" model by author Gorman Gray. The value of the Biosphere model is that it does not have the distant star-light problem that a young universe model has nor does it have the problem of millions of years of animal suffering and death prior to the Fall of Adam and Eve that the theisic evolution and progressive creation models have. I think the Soft-Gap/Biosphere model is the best explanation that I have seen proposed by a Christian author attempting to harmonize the truths of science with the truths of Scripture.

I also agree with other reviewers of Ariel's book that his presentation was attractive because he makes his case while retaining a respectful spirit toward those who do not share his view.

Origins, Linking Science and Scripture  Mar 26, 2000
This is the best general introduction to creation/evolution -question which I have read. Roth's approach is careful and totally without furious attacks on people who disagree with him. It is written in an excellent manner so that reading it is a pleasure. The content of the book is interesting with lot of new information (in comparison with often repeated old arguments for creation). There are about 990 references in the book. Reading this book is absolutely a good choice when discussing about creation/evolution -question in serious forum. No matter on which side of the fight you stand - read this book!

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