Recent Articles

Reconstructing the Past from Observations in the Present: A Practical Example from the Outer Banks

We use present day observations to infer past events every day.  I look out and see the patio is wet and a large dark cloud has just passed overhead.  … [Continue reading...]

Tricksy Hominin Fossils: Hobbitses are Human but Homo naledi is not

Previously we saw that Young-earth creationists (YECs) are at odds with each other about whether a large collection of  fossils found deep in a South … [Continue reading...]

Bones of Contention VI: Young-Earth Creationists’ Continued Confusion over Homo naledi Fossils

Thousands of bone fragments have now been reported from chambers deep in the same cave system in South Africa. They belong to what has been described … [Continue reading...]

Reflections on “Is Genesis History?” Part II: Where do the Lines of Evidence Lead?

The question posed in the title of the documentary-style film “Is Genesis History?” sounds provocative, but the answer was never in doubt in the mind … [Continue reading...]

A Landmark Film for the Young-Earth Community: Reflections on “Is Genesis History?”

The documentary-style film, Is Genesis History, (IGH) lays out clearly and concisely the implications of a literal-six-day and global flood … [Continue reading...]

NH Favorites

On the Origin of Thorns: The Prelapsarian Acacia and the Good Creation

Thorns, prickles, spines and needles provide an effective means of protection for plants against many herbivores which would otherwise find them to be a source of nourishment.   A common perception of … .

Ken Ham’s Ark Encounter to Usher in a Modern Day Reformation?

Ken Ham would have us believe that the modern reincarnation of the young-earth creationist movement, which he claims began only 55 years ago, is the real deal this time.  Unlike previous attempts over … .

My Letter to the Host of a Local Creation Conference

For many pastors and their congregations, questions about the intersection of science and faith are difficult because of their unfamiliarity with the scientific evidence and the extensive theological … .

A 60,000 Year Varve Record from Japan Refutes the Young-Earth Interpretation of Earth’s History

Do places on Earth exist where annual records have been stored for tens of thousands of years and can be accessed today? Ice-cores and tree rings can preserve long records of yearly events but some … .

Dodging Darwin: How Ken Ham’s Ark Encounter is Slowly Embracing Evolution

Please welcome David MacMillan* as a guest author today on Naturalis Historia.**  As the strict young-earth creationists at Answers in Genesis work to complete their Ark Encounter "theme park," … .

Remains of 15 baby dinosaurs in a nest. Click to enlarge this image. Image credit: Dr. Kh. Tsogtbaatar

Juvenile Dinosaurs Found Huddling in a Nest: A Local or Global Catastrophe?

We live in a new golden age of fossil discoveries.  It seems that every week a new and dramatic fossil find is revealed.  This fossil renaissance can be attributed to the opening … [Read More...]

Finding Mars on Earth: A Conversation about Martian Meteorites

Maybe you missed it last week with all the excitement of  the pictures from Curiosity and its analysis of the rocks on Mars (See my last post: Curious Geology: Stunning Images … [Read More...]

A 60,000 Year Varve Record from Japan Refutes the Young-Earth Interpretation of Earth’s History

Do places on Earth exist where annual records have been stored for tens of thousands of years and can be accessed today? Ice-cores and tree rings can preserve long records of … [Read More...]

The Frequently Overlooked Geological Context of Hominid Fossils

The human fossil record is probably one of these least understood yet frequently discussed topics in the Christian church.  I have neither the expertise nor the desire to attempt … [Read More...]

William Buckland: Minister and Geologist Grappling with Fossil Feces, Deep Time and the Age of Reptiles

The Reverend William Buckland (1784-1856) was one of the last in a line of influential natural theologians following in the footsteps of John Ray (late 1600s) and William Paley … [Read More...]

Where’s the DNA? Young Earth Creationism and the Search for Ancient DNA

So how long can DNA or even cells survive in the environment once an organism dies?   This has been … [Read More...]

An Ammonite Fossil Leaves A Trail of Evidence of a Tranquil Jurassic Seafloor

A remarkable trace fossil has given us a glimpse into the environmental conditions of a Jurassic … [Read More...]

Young-earth Creationist’ Responses to the Homo naledi Fossils from South Africa

News is starting to leak out about what appears to be the imminent announcement of new discoveries … [Read More...]

Thousands of Fossilized Elephant Footprints Preserved in the Arabian Desert

Thousands of footprints preserved in a windswept eroded rock surface deep in an isolated desert … [Read More...]

Millions of Fossilized Footprints – A Global Flood Dinosaur Dilemma

Animal tracks preserved in stone are found in great abundance in many parts of the geological … [Read More...]

Creationism and the Church

Reflections on “Is Genesis History?” Part II: Where do the Lines of Evidence Lead?

The question posed in the title of the documentary-style film “Is Genesis History?” sounds provocative, but the answer … [Read More...]

A Landmark Film for the Young-Earth Community: Reflections on “Is Genesis History?”

The documentary-style film, Is Genesis History, (IGH) lays out clearly and concisely the implications of a … [Read More...]

Was The Young-Earth Perfect Prelapsarian Paradise a Maladapted World?

A central tenet of young earth creationism is the belief that the entire world before Adam’s transgression experienced … [Read More...]

Who Is Our Authority? The Reformed Church Looks Outward for Answers from Genesis

Many American protestants, including those in the reformed tradition, perceive Answers in Genesis (AiG) to be a … [Read More...]

On the Origin of Thorns: The Prelapsarian Acacia and the Good Creation

Thorns, prickles, spines and needles provide an effective means of protection for plants against many herbivores which … [Read More...]

Wisdom from the Past

John Ray in 1695: The Flood, Fossils, and Extinction

John Ray, one of England's greatest 17th century natural theologians, spent much time pondering the meaning of fossils or "formed stones" as they were called then.  I have shared some of his thoughts … .

Testing Book-smarts with Observation: John Ray (1735) on the Value of Knowledge Creation

Should professors at Universities be active participants in generating and testing ideas or should they be content to be teachers of what is already known? Most higher educational institutions, such … .

John Ray on Flood Geology in 1695: Words that Still Apply Today

Modern young-earth creationism has deep roots.  The essential elements of flood geology were established in the 1600s though much of what passed as flood geology at that time might be difficult to … .

NH Notes: John Ray on the Purpose of Creation in “The Wisdom of God”

The Englishman and natural historian John Ray is best known for his book, The Wisdom of God.  Like many other books of the 18th century, he continually revised and reissued his book until the time of … .

NH Notes: The Scientific Enterprise and Paradise Gained

I’m sitting in the Boston Airport on my way to a conference at Gordon College but I have enough time for a natural history note while I wait for a colleague to arrive.  On my flight from Ohio I read … .