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In Search of the Genesis World.

IN SEARCH OF THE GENESIS WORLD by Erich A. Von Fange. St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2006. 362 pages. Paperback; $19.99. ISBN: 9780758611000.

Erich Von Fange has been active in the young-earth creationist movement for twenty-five years, having published in 1981 a previous pamphlet, Time Upside Down. Von Fange was professor of education at Concordia University, Ann Arbor.

The book is divided into five parts covering epistemology, biblical studies and archaeology, evolution, origins, and the Genesis world. Each of these multi-chaptered parts are filled with the most amazing misinformation one could imagine, but understandable given the lack of scientific training on the part of the author. Most of the book is spent trying to convince the reader that we can know absolutely nothing via science. By using the normal controversies of science, Von Fange claims such disagreements prove we can know no truth. Every time a new dating method appears, he concludes all dating is speculative. If fossilized parts of animals previously found separately and later found fossilized together in proper life order, he criticizes science for not knowing this from the separate pieces. But conversely, when things are put together erroneously, he criticizes them for not knowing that was wrong. One can only imagine the boredom, not to mention irrelevancy, of reading 362 pages of this.

The book is confusing, incoherent, stream-of-consciousness-ish and presents no original ideas. Topics arise and are not tied to any grand view. Each paragraph brings new, unrelated topics to the reader. There is no theme or coherency to the book. He never discusses alternative possibilities. He remarks in amazement that a coal seam shows tree "stumps were all broken off at a uniform height" (p. 229), arguing that Noah's Flood was the cause. What he does not even mention is that the dead wood of trees above the water level will rot, while the waterlogged stumps below the water surface are preserved, explaining why all fossil forests tend to have this "amazing" appearance. Water surfaces are quite flat.

There are many "howlers" in the book and therein lies the main entertainment. We learn the Pleistocene began 13 million years ago (reality 1.8.5 MYR). We are told that satellite photos show metal meteorites embedded in the earth up to several hundred miles in depth; how photos show us beneath the earth surface is unexplained. We are informed that, if you, like the Osage Indians, live on top of a meteor crater, you too will be big of stature. We further are told that worldwide oceanic travel was widespread for thousands of years before Columbus, which if restricted to the Polynesians would be acceptable, but he has everyone taking cruises around the earth throughout history. Venus was a late addition to the solar system, showing he is a Velikovskian. His "scientific thinking" comes shining through when he informs us that he is skeptical of twentieth-century dinosaur sightings other than those seen in the ocean.

His unfamiliarity with research can be seen with the Litopterns, an extinct order of mammals whose legs had similarities to those of the horse. Evolutionists claim that two lineages converged upon the same locomotor solutions. He claims this example disproves evolution. Going further he asks, if convergence was such a big deal, why do we not see many articles on Litopterns? He claims that "an extensive computer search" turned up only seven articles. My Google Scholar search yielded 260 hits.

The most amazing chapter is his "Irreverent Review of Prehistory," in which he reviews all the nut-case books he has read on topics like Atlantis, Mu, flying saucers and the hollow earth. To his credit, he does not support most of them, but one wonders why he would spend this much space even discussing these and making occasional positive comments. What possible value is there in this to Christian apologetics?

Spend your $19.99 on coffee for you and some friends, where you can discuss reality rather than this stuff.

Reviewed by Glenn R. Morton, 10131 Cairn Meadows Dr., Spring, TX 77379.
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Author:Morton, Glenn R.
Publication:Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith
Article Type:Book review
Date:Dec 1, 2007
Words:674
Previous Article:Creation, Evolution and Meaning.
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