My name is Steve Austin.
I'm a professor of geology at Cedarville University.
I teach in the geology program
and I teach undergraduate students how to identify rocks,
that's called petrology.
And I also teach a course called sedimentology and strategraphy,
and I take students out in the field,
I'm known for my field trips,
and I'm known for rather elaborate physical hikes
and and those kind of things.
And but I've been on six major continents.
I've studied geology now for 50 years,
and I'd like to share a little bit about my background
as I've come to study and appreciate geology and come
and to study and appreciate Genesis as history.
When I was 3 or 4 years old,
I remember seeing my first geologic map.
Okay, I understood what a map was,
and that fascinated me.
And the colors of a geologic map representing different rocks
And I remember my dad taking me out to collect rocks.
I think I was three or four years old.
By the time I was five or four or five,
I was collecting minerals.
And I remember having a hexagonal vitreous kind
of mineral with a pointy tip on it,
and handed it,
and looked at it in a textbook,
Dana's Mineralogy, a high school or college level textbook,
and I said, "that's it!"
And I'm looking at three dimensional crystal form
and I'm seeing a picture in a book.
And then I say to Mom,
"what does that word underneath there?
Can you read me that word?"
And it said "quartz."
Well, that was the first time I identified quartz.
Okay, and, but while I was very interested in rocks,
and fossils, and shells,
and that kind of thing,
I just got out a lot and and traded and that type of thing.
By the time I was seven or eight,
I had an enormous mineral and rock collection.
I was at,
going to grammar school and the teacher wanted me
to bring my rock collection
and minerals in to show all the other students,
that kind of thing.
And you you may know students like that,
many of you are educators and that type of thing.
Anyway, I was eight years old,
very interested in rocks and minerals,
a TV program came on television,
and the program was an educational program in 1958,
in that time period.
Anyway 8 to 10 years old, right in that range,
that's when I started looking and identifying things,
writing letters about what I was seeing on television.
A guy opened a big chest on television and "hey,
here's something, write in if you know what that is,"
and it was an educational science TV program.
And so, yeah, I'd write in.
Then my mom got a phone call,
"is this kid for real?"
And, you know,
"he's identifying all our objects,
you know, all our unknown things," you know.
And so they asked me to be on television.
For three years,
I was on parts of two and a half years,
I was on educational television in San Francisco.
And I did science experiments and things like that.
When I was 12,
I read George Gaylord Simpson's book,
The Meaning of Evolution.
Okay, and that was a pretty challenging book.
And I can't say
that it really impacted me but I knew all about evolution,
and science was taught,
scientists were talking about evolution.
So I knew the evidence of evolution, encountered it
and in junior high school,
and my textbooks, and that type of thing.
Anyway, when I was in high school,
I took an earth science geology class
and encountered Gilluly, Waters,
and Woodford's book, Physical Geology.
And I remember thinking about how geologists are supposed
to think about the earth encountering that idea.
When I was at University,
I was thinking about the Lordship of Christ,
you know when Jesus said,
"take up your cross and follow me,"
that type of thing.
I was thinking about the ethics
of Jesus as being the best way to live,
and that's when I made started making decisions
about following Christ and reading His word.
I remember 50 years ago this year,
so it would be 1967,
I was reading second Peter chapter 3,
and second Peter chapter 3 became my favorite,
I guess book of the Bible,
you might say, second Peter chapter 3.
But it's the it's the last words of Peter to the church.
And when I read second Peter 3:17,
I understood what Peter the Apostle wanted me,
as a follower of Christ, to do.
And it's summarized in one verse.
Second Peter 3:17
"Do not be led astray by the error of unlawless men
and lose your own steadfastness,
but grow in the grace and the knowledge
of the Lord Jesus Christ."
And I knew all about growing in grace and knowledge
of the Lord Jesus Christ.
He wanted me to add to my faith knowledge
and that's in second Peter.
And so I understood that.
And then I encountered those words.
"Do not be led astray by the error."
And I said, "what error?"
And so "the error," right?
And so I look in the context of 2nd Peter chapter 3,
and I discover what "the error" is.
2nd Peter 3: 3-5, right in there.
2nd Peter chapter 3,
"In the last days scoffers will come saying all things continue
as they were from the beginning of the creation."
And, what was that?
And I pondered that,
and I realized that that was the error
that I was involved in.
I was understanding and interpreting the earth
in terms of the slow and gradual process,
and all things continue as they were from the beginning
of the creation.
So I said, "woe is me"
and "woe is us," professionally,
because our field of geology naturally thinks this way.
And so I read more of the the context.
The scripture there says what the error
and then tells you how to avoid the error.
And it says,
"for this they willingly are ignorant of that by the word
of God the heavens were of old
and the earth standing out of water and in the water,
whereby the world
that then was being deluged with water perished."
Okay, so to not be led astray by the error you want to think
correctly about the earth.
Okay, and what?
The earth was formed
out of water and in the water whereby the world
that then was being deluged with water perished.
Creation week, water over the earth,
the earth was formed in water and out of water.
And then of course the the flood.
Okay, so the antidote to the error is the flood.
And so, the historic narrative is to be taken
seriously in Genesis.
And and so then I understood that.
Well, that was the beginning of my venture.
I would say that I was in undergraduate school questioning
the uniformitarian orthodoxy that I saw all around me.
And I originally, I said,
"woe is me," and I would,
and so I felt the calling to to change my way of thinking.
And so that was very influential.
And so, when I started thinking other ways
of thinking about how geologic features formed,
I found that people would say,
"you know, you don't want to think that way,
you want to think inside the box
and you're thinking outside the box."
Professors were saying
"if you continue to think this way,
you'll be of little value as a geologist."
Remember, I was an undergraduate student.
You know, how you going to get a job with thinking this way?
Well, anyway, and when I went to undergrad,
when I went to graduate school,
I realized something,
that I could be tolerated in thinking about these
outside the box.
So thinking about the origin of coal,
thinking about how sandstones formed,
those kind of things.
I was encouraged and tolerated,
let's put it that way, most of those tolerate.
So I became a full-blown catastrophist
in my interpretations
of sedimentary process, and I kept those kind of things open.
And I did a PhD dissertation on the origin of coal
of floating log model for the origin of coal.
And I've done research on sandstones, and rock,
and you know what I've done at Mount St. Helens,
some of that work.
And so Mount St. Helens is a laboratory
to help us understand about catastrophic process.
Over these years, what have I learned?
Geology needs to have this other way of thinking.
This catastrophist way of thinking.
And originally, I was looked on a little bit disapprovingly,
but over the years they learned
that I could be tolerated in the system,
and now people are actually encouraging me
to think these ways.
And so there is benefit to this point of view.
So I think thinking about historic narrative,
Genesis being history, has helped me as a geologist.
And what can you say about?
Well, all scripture is given by inspiration of God
and is acceptable for doctrine,
for reproof, for correction, training in righteousness,
that the man of God
may be thoroughly furnished unto all good works,
So, I think God's historic narrative
in Genesis has helped me perform as a geologist.