|Newsletter||Interviews||DeYoung 1||DeYoung 2|
by Ronnie E Cooper
Overview: Overview: This October 6, 1996, part 1 interview is with Don DeYoung, a professor at a small Christian college in Indiana, Grace College. He has been there for 25 years. His area of expertise is physics, math and astronomy and has mainly had a teaching career. He does a little research on the side as time permits. And he has written several easy to understand books on Creation and Science to answer many questions he receives. He has a wife, Sally, and three daughters. In his words, "We're just a Christian family living in a small town environment. And that's my career, working with college students." Ron: Have you had problems with reconciling what you believe with what might be taught to kids in the public systems that you're affected with?
Don: Well, Ron, I enjoy teaching all age groups. I think that kids are fun because they're still excited about science. When you get to the college level, students somehow have been turned off to science, and it's too late to turn them around. I guess there are a lot of bad experiences on the high school level. So I try to give students a positive image of science. Not that they're all going to be science majors or careers, but to help them enjoy the creation. When I'm in a high school setting or on a speaking tour or whatever, you certainly have to be careful because parents and authorities, in many cases, don't seem to like a creation push or anything having to do with Christianity. And I think I appreciate Christian teachers who are in some of those spots or in very sensitive places. So that's the only problem. You can't always tell the whole story when you get into those kind of situations as far as the truth of creation.
I try to give students a positive image of science. Not that they're all going to be science majors or careers, but to help them enjoy the creation.
Ron: It was interesting to us that basically, Christians are people, but they tend not to bring their Christian beliefs into the classroom because they think it's illegal or something that they should not do. How do feel about the legality of the Bible or Creation Science or even presenting facts that are FACTS, but they support creation? ...the whole story isn't told because of this censorship of the truth.
Don: Well, there again in the public school situation, we're up against it. You know, secular humanism just has a hold on public education. And I don't think we're going to turn that around. There are some victories and some losses in that whole area. It makes me appreciate that we have Christian schools and home schools as well as public schools. So, I think that whole battle will just go on. Ron, there is trouble, when you can't tell the whole story, even in my area, physics. A couple of the most fundamental rules we have are in thermodynamics. The first law of thermo, energy is conserved. That says to me you had this perfect creation, everything was wound up in the beginning. Then we have the 2nd law of thermo, the law of decay, that things become more disordered [simple, less complex]. Of course, that speaks of the curse of the fall and is connected there in some interesting ways. If you can't talk about creation and the fall, you really don't understand the 1st and 2nd laws of thermo. Because of that in high schools and our universities, the whole story isn't told because of this censorship of the truth.
Ron: I've noticed you've written four books: two on astronomy, one on weather, one on science. Three of them are with Baker Books and the last one with Creation Research Society. It seems like you're writing more, at least by the copyright dates. Is there a trend in what you're trying to write or how frequently you write your books?
Don: Well, writing takes a lot out of a person. It's a big commitment of time and just energy. And as I write, I enjoy that whole area because it kind of gives a permanent record of one's testimony. It just seems like at this stage of my life, it's going pretty well. So I'm doing more writing than I used to. Actually, I have more than the 4 or 5 books that you mentioned. The first I did was with Dr. Whitcomb about the moon. That was 15 years ago. But, as you say, in recent years I've put out several. The latest one, which involves some experiments that kind of show Bible/science truths [Science & the Bible, 30 Scientific Demonstrations Illustrating Scriptural Truths, $7.95 from ARK]; that's an interesting area. That's going to be one of a series of three books that I'm working on. Again, hands on experiments for a school or home school or whatever. I think we should do all we can to teach biblical truths including doing experiments and demonstrations, things that kids enjoy so much. [Other books by Don are available and include: 1) Astronomy and Creation; An Introduction, 2) Astronomy and the Bible; Questions & Answers, 3) Weather & the Bible; 100 Questions & Answers.] If you can't talk about creation and the fall, you really don't understand the 1st and 2nd laws of thermo.
Ron: I've noticed one important aspect, listening to you, and looking at your books. You really try hard to make this stuff understandable and interesting. Would you like to share your goals, your knowledge and your beliefs, as you uss either in books or in talks like this? I think that we as Christians have the best reason of all for enjoying science and looking at the details out there in nature [creation] because we know Who put it together in the first place.
Don: Well, I appreciate the words, That's encouraging. I enjoy my science career very much, and I think that we as Christians have the best reason of all for enjoying science and looking at the details out there in nature because we know Who put it together in the first place. And so, that's just a drive I have to explain things and share with people. And what really bothers me, Ron, is sometimes the image of science is one that you have to have a white lab coat on, and you've got to talk in some kind of language with the long words that no one can understand. This is the image of science, I guess, worldwide. And it doesn't have to be that way; in fact, it shouldn't be that way. I think even Albert Einstein once said that if you really understand some concept, you should be able to explain it on a level we can understand. That is a challenge and it can be done. It's for us and that's a continuing effort of mine to think through and explain things on an understandable level without watering it down or being untruthful in any way, but getting it down to fundamental levels.
Ron: This is a hard question, and forgive me for asking, but is evolution good science or is it good philosophy or is it good for anything?
Don: Evolution. I think we need to be careful, Ron, when we talk of scoffing at the theory of evolution and saying who can believe it and that it's just silliness. We must realize and readily admit that a lot of very brilliant people support evolution. It's a consistent theory. Now, I'm not talking about the wisdom of these people. But it's almost like there are choices in life and if you want to turn your back on the Creator, the data can be turned toward a consistent theory of evolution. And some choose to go in that direction. I'm not saying whether it's good science or not, it's interpretations. I think that the creation view is very refreshing and it is an exciting way to look at the data. But again there are these choices. I look at evolution as a counterfeit to creation. You know that's the way satan works. He took astronomy and turned it into astrology. And now we have creation turned into evolution. If you want to go that way, it is very intelligently satisfying that you can figure it all out. How things have changed over time. It's the wrong direction, but it's the road that many brilliant people have gone down. Fortunately, in this creation movement, we know it's never too late for a person to realize the truth of creation. I look at evolution as a counterfeit to creation. You know that's the way satan works.
Ron: Our organization, The ARK Foundation of Dayton, Inc., formed in June of 1995 and we are a local group. Most of the people are typical, everyday people, although we have a large percentage of people that would be called well educated. We think that local groups, the ground troops, are very important and that ought to happen more than it is now. Just like you ought to have a lot of people at the higher ranks of leadership being involved in discussions. I don't know what kind of local groups are available to you. I know you are a member of some scientific groups, but at the local level, do you think that is something that needs to happen, like The ARK Foundation is doing; and how can what you do or other people do make that happen even more, if it's a good thing?
Don: Well, I think these local groups are an excellent idea, Ron. I don't have any in my home area. I actually belong to the Indianapolis creation group that your group could maybe get together with sometime, because that's a new group as well. But I think these local groups serve very important functions, a number of them. For one thing, you folks can encourage each other. You're following what's coming out in the media and you're reading new books and looking at the videos in the creation area. You can kind of keep each other informed of what's going on and just keep each other encouraged. When you have a group like this, there's enough resources that you can perhaps sponsor a seminar once a year, bring in some ICR folks or Ken Ham or someone and really highlight it in that way to help to get the word out. I know you're really motivated in that because you've begun your group. A local group can also begin a library of video and cassette tapes and books and lend those out. I think that's an excellent help to home schoolers and other people. Where else do you get this material and how else do you get familiar with it? I think that's one of the interesting things that a group can do, make their resources available. ...if you really understand some concept, you should be able to explain it on a level we can understand.