Thursday, July 26, 2018

Studying Dinosaurs From a Biblical Perspective with Northwest Treasures {A TOS Review}

Being able to look at science from a biblical perspective is something that is very important to me, and one of the big reasons I really wanted to homeschool my children. I do not want them to be indoctrinated into the secular, humanistic lies that go with evolution. The children need to understand that the Bible can be trusted, so when I find books, programs, and curricula that espouse a biblical worldview, I am quite excited. I became familiar with Northwest Treasures a little over a year and a half ago when I wrote a review of one of their products for The Old Schoolhouse website. When I learned that we were going to get a chance to review one of their online classes titled Dinosaurs and the Bible I was so excited. 

We actually received two online courses, the license for each is meant to be used by the immediate family only. Each of us on the Homeschool Review Crew received access to the online class titled Taking the Mystery Out of Geology, which is sort of a starting point. I was one of the reviewers who also received access to the six-lesson course titled Dinosaurs and the Bible. Another six-lesson course the Crew is reviewing is titled Geology and Apologetics. As we focused a bit on dinosaurs while learning about creation and Noah's Ark this year, I figured Dinosaurs and the Bible would be the best course for us to try out. Additionally, Geology and Apologetics is actually recommended for slightly older children. Though I am sure I would have enjoyed it, I preferred being able to review the class that could be part of the girls' summer curriculum.

You will need a computer with internet access to view the videos, plus a printer to print out the worksheets and Comprehensive Exam. Personally, I didn't print out the answer keys so I could save ink, but you could if you wanted to.

I watched Taking the Mystery Out of Geology by myself.

This "starter" class is twenty minutes in length and the subscription lasts three months. This class impresses upon the viewer that learning about geology from a biblical perspective is foundational. We need to impart to our children a love and appreciation for what God has created. The fact that the global flood of Noah's time is the biggest geological event in Earth's history is also important for children and adults to understand. 

Mr. Nurre goes on to explain the following 13 terms: 
  • Science
  • History
  • Philosophy
  • Uniformitarianism
  • Evolutionism
  • Creationism
  • Bible
  • Geology
  • Rock Cycle
  • Rock Types 
  • Tectonics and Orogeny 
  • Geologic Time Scale (Deep Time)
  • Fossilization (Petrification)
It is a great introduction to the concepts that will be taught in further classes.

The girls and I focused on Dinosaurs and the Bible.

The subscription for this class lasts six months, giving you plenty of time to watch and even rewatch lessons. Along with access to the online class you will find links to download worksheets, answer keys, and a final exam (also with the answer key).

Each of the six lessons is approximately 20 minutes in length and features Mr. Patrick Nurre teaching the lesson off screen while sharing powerpoint type lessons full of drawings, photographs, and charts. Here is a list of the lessons included in this course along with the length of each lesson:
  • Lesson One: How We Got Our Modern View of Dinosaurs (18:26)
  • Lesson Two: The Classification of Dinosaurs (18:24)
  • Lesson Three: The Great Dinosaur Rush (16:55)
  • Lesson Four: The Extinction of the Dinosaurs (16:23)
  • Lesson Five: Dinosaurs and the Ice Age (17:51)
  • Lesson Six: Fossils, Age, and Soft Tissue (21:38)

While working through each lesson you will be able to understand just how much the secular world has influenced the study of dinosaurs, though it doesn't have to be that way. This course is meant to help set the record straight and validate the Bible. Mr. Nurre states that he hopes it is both enlightening and rewarding. 

Let's take a quick look at each of the lessons.

Lesson One: How We Got Our Modern View of Dinosaurs

In this lesson you will discover who invented the word "dinosaur," along with what it means and why the word was used. You will be introduced to such people as Charles Darwin, Charles Lyell, and James Hutton. Mr. Nurre explains how the time of the "Enlightenment" actually brought darkness and how this huge shift in philosophical thinking shaped the study of geology and dinosaurs. 

Lesson Two: The Classification of Dinosaurs

We look at different classification systems that have been used throughout the years and discover who the first taxonomist was. Mr. Nurre also explains why the different classification systems don't work for dinosaurs. We also see how illogical this current theory of dinosaurs evolving into birds really is, and how evolutionists are relying on assumptions and imagination.

Lesson Three: The Great Dinosaur Rush

In this third lesson Mr. Nurre teaches us about "The Great Dinosaur Rush", also known as "The Bone Wars" and "The Dinosaur Wars." This was the period in the late 19th century where there was a huge competition for finding and naming the most dinosaur fossils. We learn about such men as Barnum Brown, Roy Chapman Andrews, and Ferdinand Hayden; however, the most famous are Edward Drinker Cope and Othneil Charles Marsh. These men started out as friends, yet in their desire to be first they ended up bitter rivals. Not only that, but in their rush to find these fossils their work became haphazard and led to many misconceptions. 

Lesson Four: The Extinction of the Dinosaurs

Mr. Nurre now moves on to look at the difference between the secular view of the extinction of the dinosaurs and the Biblical view. The most popular theory for the extinction of dinosaurs is that of the asteroid colliding with earth to bring about an Extinction Level Event. This view is treated as fact these days, even though there are even secular scientists who have doubts. Mr. Nurre shares how the Biblical story of the worldwide flood makes a lot more sense. And though the flood led to the death of the majority of the dinosaurs, as it did for all life on earth, there are historical accounts that support the existence of dinosaurs alongside humans. 

Mr. Nurre compares the Geological Time Table developed primarily by Sir Charles Lyell with the Biblical Historical Framework. I have to admit that the children and I were a bit confused by the chart that was shared for the secular time table and didn't quite feel it was explained well enough. From what I remember from school, I did sort of understand it, but I wish there was a bit more of an explanation for those who do not have any background information to go on. However, we did take away the important information of there being a boundary between the time of the dinosaurs and that of mammals (according to evolutionists), and we didn't have any issues understanding the Basic Biblical Framework.

Lesson Five: Dinosaurs and the Ice Age

In this lesson we learn how the Ice Age would have contributed to the extinction of the dinosaurs, along with other animals. Secular scientists insist there have been many ice ages throughout earth's history, with some saying there were as many as 25. Which in a way is ironic, seeing as we learn that originally, when Louis Agassiz the "Father of Modern Glaciology" first theorized an "Ice Event" in Earth's past, he was ridiculed because of the belief that the Earth was formed from a ball of molten rock. However, there is most definitely evidence for a huge spread of ice, snow, and glaciers in earth's past. The thing is, even the Ice Age (and yes there was probably just one) fits with the Biblical Framework when you realize that the worldwide flood of Noah's day also involved the "fountains of the deep" bursting open.

This would have meant earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, in addition to the torrential rains, all of which combined for the perfect conditions for an Ice Age after the flood. Of course, all these factors would have led to more extinctions of animals, such as the cave bear, Irish elk, and the mammoth, in addition to the dinosaurs.

Lesson Six: Fossils, Age, and Soft Tissue

The final lesson focuses on the age of the fossils and how they are dated, explaining why prevailing old-age dates are not science but are a belief or worldview and have become dogma. Mr Nurre explains the evolution of the word "fossil" along with the conditions needed for fossils to be preserved. He looks at the problems with radiometric dating when it comes to dating fossils and why results of "old" dates are not going to be accurate. 

Mr. Nurre also looks at the problems that soft biomaterial being found in fossils is causing those who believe in evolution and an old-earth. 

When it comes right down to it, all of the evidence really is lining up perfectly with a Biblical framework.  

So, how have we been using this online study?

Well, I watched the Taking the Mystery Out of Geology video by myself, as mentioned above. Some of the information was new for me, and some I already knew from previous study. When it comes to the Dinosaurs and the Bible class, I've actually been allowing the girls to watch the videos and work on the worksheets independently. At first I figured they would be able to get through a couple of lessons a week. However, I have since decided that one lesson a week, spread out between two or three days is a better rate for children at the younger end of the grade range. This study is recommended for children in grades 5 and up, so it is appropriate for both of them. However, Amelia is just going in to fifth grade and struggles a bit more with figuring out what the answers to the questions are, as Mr. Nurre does not spell out specifically what the answers are, and they aren't always found in the same order he talks about them. Not that that is a bad thing, it just isn't something they are used to.

The girls will read the short-answer question on their worksheet and listen to the lesson until they hear the answer. At times they will have to help each other figure out what the answer is supposed to be. They have been able to answer most of the questions without my help, though they have been stuck a few times, especially on lesson four. There was also one time where we didn't quite agree with the answer that Mr. Nurre was looking for. In lesson four, he states that the flood of Noah, where all the people and animals who weren't on the ark died, is extinction. The thing is, to us, it wasn't extinction because God saved 2 (or more) of every created kind by taking them on the ark. Thus, God through Noah prevented extinction of these animals. I admit, I know what Mr. Nurre was getting at, and that all these animals died during the worldwide flood, we just didn't see it as extinction.

Here's a look at a finished page from each of the girls.

What do we think of these classes from Northwest Treasures?  

Other than that minor disagreement, I have really been enjoying this study. The children have definitely been learning, though some of the information is still over their heads. And though I have been reading books and articles on creationism for the past 20-some years, I found myself learning new things as well. Mr. Nurre does a wonderful job explaining why a biblical worldview can still be trusted when it comes to dinosaurs, fossils, the Ice Age, and so much more. It's all about where your starting point is. Both evolutionists and creationists have the same information. What needs to be understood is that the evolutionists are also going on belief when it comes to so much of what they teach as fact these days. And when you get right down to it, and get rid of those preconceptions and biases, the evidence really does point to a young earth and a global flood. 

I am so thankful we had a chance to take this class. I can't wait to see what the girls actually retained once they take the comprehensive exam. As we had gone on vacation, and have been going through the lessons slowly so as to not overwhelm them, they have only gotten to lesson 5. I, however, have watched all the lessons and took the exam. I did read through the questions on the worksheet, but I didn't write down my answers. I'm actually thinking I may not have gotten the two wrong on the exam if I had taken a bit longer on the questions. 

I think it would be wonderful to be able to take the other online class that my fellow Crew Mates are reviewing titled Geology and Apologetics. In fact, I can't wait to read some of the reviews myself. I was also excited to see that they have other educational kits and curricula. I knew about their Geology for Kids Kit which comes with a text book, journal, and sample kit (with different rock and fossil samples) as this is what I reviewed in the past. As I was perusing their site, I realized the Fossils and Dinosaurs for Little Eyes, one of their Geology for "Little Eyes" books, looks like it would be a fun book to work through with the children, as it is meant for younger children (preschool through 3rd grade), and had fun activities. 

Anyway, don't forget to click on the banner below to see what my fellow Crew Mates have to say about the class they reviewed. 

You can find Northwest Treasures on Facebook and Pinterest.

Online Geology Classes{Northwest Treasures Reviews}
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