If you have a young child, you are probably in or about to enter the dinosaur phase. It’s a lot of fun for kids to learn about those often giant and unique animals. Unfortunately, some atheists have tried to use dinosaurs to convince people Christians hate science and are basically uneducated rubes. Your child may even have a teacher or professor at some point who will actually say “Christians are idiots, because they don’t believe in science.” I know I did.
We often forget science, like every other field, is highly competitive and politicized. Many scientists are under pressure to “publish or perish”. Scientists, like those in other fields, all want to be viewed as experts. For many, this makes them feel as if they must state theories as absolute truth in order to avoid uncomfortable questioning about their research. Those with theories opposing their own must be “destroyed” in order to protect their own reputation and theories.
Does this mean you should steer your kids away from science? I don’t think so, because much good can come out of science. Learning about science or practicing a profession using science does not have to mean your child will reject God. In fact, it is rather unusual to meet a doctor who doesn’t at least marginally believe in God and what He can do. The quandary for Christian parents is how to encourage your children’s interest in dinosaurs and science without undermining their still developing faith in the process.
Believe it or not, there are plenty of scientists who are Christians. Many, if not most of them, accept God’s role in Creation. Thankfully, new research is also causing some non-Christian scientists to begin to seriously reconsider and even reject scientific theories that were often used in attempts to undermine Christianity and God. While not always conceding there is a Creator, they now seem a bit more open to examining scientific evidence through a lens other than the one of forced atheism. (Part of the problem with the conflict between science and religion is that some of the information many journalists/educators/parents were taught in science during their school years has since been rejected, tweaked or even proven as faked. Even current textbooks can be very outdated. The result is many are defending or arguing against theories that have actually been rejected or replaced.)
There are plenty of great resources for kids interested in dinosaurs and other scientific fields which don’t deny God and His role in the world. They are often published by scientists with just as many or even more academic credentials as non-Christian scientists.
Here are a few of my favorite resources:
- Answers In Genesis Website. The Answers in Genesis website is a personal favorite. It has tons of free articles on a variety of topics. Some are scholarly and others are written more for consumers. They also sell books, dvds and more for kids and adults. They are the organization behind the Creation Museum and life size Noah’s Ark in KY.
- Unlocking the Mysteries of Creation. Unlocking the Mysteries of Creation by Dennis R. Petersen is a great book on lots of topics of interest to children. You can get the 2003 version for a few dollars online or there’s a more expensive 2012 edition. I like it because it was written for “kids” and each question is answered in two pages or less with photos, diagrams and more.
- Creation Magazine. Creation magazine is a quarterly that shares the latest scientific evidence and then explains how it relates to things we find in the Bible. It focuses particularly on information that at first glance may appear to be or is used to undermine faith in God. It is expensive, but to me, has a lot more content that a similar magazine published by the Answers in Genesis group. It is written for adults, but has a kids section in each issue.
- Case For a Creator. Case For a Creator, by Lee Strobel comes in adult and student versions. Strobel is a prize winning journalist who interviews a variety of scientists to address the main questions science can cause Christians to ask about God as the Creator. It is well written, but I will warn you, the adult version has quite a few scientific concepts and terms – not all of which may be familiar to those who have had only a few poorly taught science classes. If that’s you, I strongly advise tackling a bit of it at a time and processing that part thoroughly before continuing to the next part.
These resources should get you started with helping your kids process science in legitimate ways that don’t also try to force them to reject God in the process. You might even see if there are doctors or other scientists at your church who would be willing to talk with your kids about dinosaurs and other topics of interest. The PhD scientist member in our congregation has even brought in fossils of dinosaurs to show the kids how easily dinosaurs could have fit on the Ark with Noah. Taking the extra bit of time and effort to show your kids how science doesn’t undermine God, but actually reinforces His power is absolutely worth it.
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