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Bedrock Geology – The Kit Review by Melanie Reynolds

Patrick Nurre
Northwest Treasures
(425) 488-6848
Northwest Treasures c/o Patrick Nurre
18421 10th Drive SE
Bothell, WA 98012
http://northwestrockandfossil.org/

Have you ever noticed that the creation account in the Bible differs greatly from the origins theories accepted widely in the scientific community today? Until the Enlightenment era, scientists (and the general populace) believed that life originated as it is recorded in the first and second chapters of Genesis. The worldview that became the foundation of the study of geology during the late 1700s and 1800s was shaped by Deism and called uniformitarianism; in brief, that the earth and universe developed over a period of billions of years, without either a Creator or geological catastrophes (like a worldwide flood) shaping the earth’s landscapes. A good shorthand phrase to describe uniformitarianism’s tenets is, “the present is the key to the past.” Or, that simply by observing today’s geology, scientists can decide what happened billions of years ago.

Since none of us was around to witness the earth’s and the universe’s creation events, we tend to accept one or the other of these worldviews. However, these worldviews thoroughly oppose one another, and cannot be reconciled. Many Christians today struggle with accepting the prominent scientific community’s uniformitarian worldview as it contrasts so sharply with the Bible’s account, yet they don’t have enough scientific knowledge or understanding to refute it. Geologist and author Patrick Nurre does, however, and his curriculum Bedrock Geology combines solid science, history, and a study of Scripture to produce a geology course which will fascinate and educate students while strengthening their faith. 

Bedrock Geology – The Kit includes: a softcover textbook of Patrick Nurre’s, Bedrock Geology; a softcover copy of his book Genesis-Rock Solid: A Biblical View of Geology (reviewed at TheOldSchoolhouse.com); and a 35-specimen collection of large rocks, minerals, and fossils, all housed in a sturdy cardboard carrying case. The entire kit can be purchased for $112 and is available at the Northwest Treasures website. The curriculum is designed for students in grades 7-12. Completing this course, along with the included activities, experiments, and quizzes, will provide one semester of earth science study. Students will need to provide their own spiral or composition notebook for written work, as well as a magnifying glass and supplies for the experiments and activities (most of which the average household should have on hand). Other book resources listed in the appendix can be found at public libraries or at the Northwest Treasures website.

In the Bedrock Geology textbook, you’ll find four major sections plus a very extensive appendix. The four sections, designed to be covered in the semester’s work, teach about the following segments of Biblical geology: 

  • The History of Modern Geology, introducing its worldview and key players
  • The Origin and Nature of the Earth, covering chemistry, origins, water, the earth’s atmosphere, and rocks
  • The Genesis Flood, teaching about the integrity of the Scriptures, what happened in the worldwide Flood, resulting landforms and rocks from the Flood, and fossils
  • The Ice Age, producing evidence for an actual ice age and when in the Bible it likely happened 

Each of these sections includes a clear exposition of information, related vocabulary, activities and experiments, and Scripture verses. And that extensive appendix I mentioned?  In it you’ll find a thorough discussion of radiometric dating, a unit study for younger students, quizzes and a comprehensive exam, answer keys, and additional enrichment activities.  

Genesis-Rock Solid: A Biblical View of Geology is included for supplemental reading alongside Bedrock Geology. It covers more in-depth information about the Enlightenment and the development of the uniformitarian worldview that governs the scientific community today. J Harlan Bretz’ remarkable geological study and surprising conclusions, pointing to a catastrophic flood event, are described. Readers will learn more about the young-earth theory, and why it is both a valid scientific viewpoint and supportable by both Scriptures and geological discoveries. 

The Basic Rocks, Minerals and Fossils Kit is a phenomenal 35-piece collection which provides each type of specimen the student will identify and examine during the course. Each large specimen is labeled and sealed in small zip-closure plastic bags. And, the rocks, minerals, and fossils are really quite incredible and high-quality. The set includes the 12 Rock-Forming Minerals, igneous rocks, metamorphic rocks, sedimentary rocks, and some fine fossil specimens. 

For the last couple of months, we have used Bedrock Geology as our primary science study. My son is in 9th grade, so he’s right in the middle of the age range for the course. As the author recommends, we completed coursework 2-3 times per week. First, my son would read the chapter. Then, he’d write and define the vocabulary words in his composition notebook. Next, we’d cover the chapter again as a read-aloud. We looked up and studied each verse of Scripture which was outlined in the text. And, we examined the rock, mineral, and fossil specimens with our own magnifying glass. Of course, this last part, plus the additional recommended activities and experiments, were great fun, and a powerful learning experience. I also appreciated the thoughtful questions Mr. Nurre poses in each chapter. The questions are designed not so that the student can simply regurgitate what he has just learned. No, the questions require the student to really think about his answers and what he is learning. For example: Why does the fossil record support a catastrophic flood? Why is water evidence of intelligent design and a Creator? Why do the specific layers of our atmosphere indicate that they didn’t just happen by chance? How could igneous rocks illustrate the process described in Genesis? Those are just a few of the excellent questions which the student can answer after working through this curriculum.

My son and I appreciated different things about this curriculum. I loved the clear teaching on how geological discoveries actually do dovetail with the Biblical account of creation and the flood. My son found the information easy to apprehend. We both loved the activities (one can create a volcano which will spew MANY different kinds of “lava”), and really enjoyed handling and examining the rocks, minerals, and fossils. We were both astonished to learn which elements make up different kinds of rocks, and how those elements are distributed throughout the earth. The entire experience was fascinating, and added much interest and excitement to our science studies.

My husband, son and I love science. And we have always held to the Biblical creation worldview. However, I have to say that I haven’t always been able to explain why that’s what we believed. Of course, it is a matter of faith. But now, thanks to Patrick Nurre’s excellent Bedrock Geology, we can articulate scientific evidence for an actual Creation week and a catastrophic flood event—all evidenced by the fossil record, glaciers, volcanoes, and actual scientific observation. I highly recommend Bedrock Geology, for any homeschool parent or teacher who is looking for a thoughtful, clear exposition of Biblical geology. Using this excellent curriculum will enable you, and your student, to build a worldview that is based on good science and the faith that we espouse as Christians.

 

-Product review by Melanie Reynolds, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, March, 2017

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