Kerr Watch

Elapsed time since Richard Kerr failed to inform his Science readers of the confirmation of nanodiamonds at the YDB: 6 years, 2 months, and 1 day

Reader Spotlight: Terry Egolf

Reader Terry Egolf has left some interesting and well composed comments on the Tusk lately.  As I say on my “About George” page, I am not a creationist and hardly a student of the good book.  My church in Raleigh is an overwhelmingly social affair that I find spiritually satisfying nonetheless.

That said, the Tusk is a big tent and I welcome folks who try to weave the old tales with the modern evidence — including older Christian and Jewish tales.  So, below is a reader spotlight of nuclear engineer and veteran sumariner, Terry Egolf:

Terry Egolf

Off-site material from here:

Meet the Author: Terry Egolf

What do the Navy and BJU Press science textbooks have in common? Terry Egolf, secondary author for BJU Press.

Majoring in zoology with a geology minor; longtime ocean-lover; 20 years of Naval service as a submarine officer, nuclear engineer, and intelligence officer; Christian school science teacher; and Christian textbook author. Yes, Terry Egolf has pretty much done it all.

But his years in the Navy did more than just equip him with the knowledge, teaching, and writing skills that would one day bring him to BJU Press. As the class officer in his nuclear power school class, Terry didn’t know that the man who would have the greatest impact on his life was the annoying classmate seated next to him—the annoying classmate who wouldn’t stop talking about Jesus Christ. Several months later, his classmate’s outspokenness took root, and the Easter morning sun rose on a former agnostic, born-again Christian.

Ten years into his Navy service, a dear friend alerted Terry to the need for science teachers with a biblical worldview. So when he retired from the Navy in 1993, his experiences in nuclear engineering and crew training made him a perfect fit for the science teaching position at a Christian school in Vermont. Then a new and unexpected opportunity arose. The school traveled to Bob Jones University campus for its annual American Association of Christian Schools (AACS) competition, and Terry took the opportunity to visit the BJU Press facilities. While touring through the secondary authors department, his guide pointed to an empty desk. “If we had a science author, this is where he’d be sitting.” Turning to Terry, he asked, “Would you be interested?”

Now, years later, Terry’s main goal in writing Christian science textbooks has not wavered. He continues “presenting science as a study for glorifying God” in the hope that young people will see the need to hold on to their faith. He wants to “show them their faith is more relevant than they might think.”

Q: What project are you currently working on?
A: A substantial revision of the Space and Earth Science textbook that will include a chapter on map mechanics and cartography.

Q: Practically speaking, how do you feel your naval experiences helped prepare you to write textbooks?
A: The person I am today is very significantly dependent upon my naval career—particularly my specific naval career (as a submarine officer and nuclear engineer). My responsibilities demanded extensive training, clear communication, and thinking ahead, while the integrity implications of managing nuclear energy and weapons were unimaginable. If you “fudge” on a report, people’s lives could be endangered because “every person in a sub depends on every other person for his life. You have to be able to know what to do and trust the people you’re shipmates with to do the same.”

Q: Do you have any advice for the teachers and parents who will be using your textbooks?
A: Yes, three things specifically.

  1. Don’t feel you have to teach everything! We purposefully include more information than is necessary!
  2. Learning the terms for their own sake isn’t the objective of the textbook. Learning theconcepts to which the terms relate is the goal.
  3. Pay special attention to the biblical integration in the textbooks. If that means taking longer to work through the first few chapters in order to lay a solid biblical foundation, do it! The glories of God are revealed in His handiwork and that’s what makes science worth studying; it is a means by which we can exercise good and wise dominion in the earth (Genesis 1:28).

Terry keeps a quote in plain sight on his desk to remind him daily of the responsibility he undertakes in writing textbooks: “Be very, very careful what you put into that head, because you will never, ever get it out.” ~ Thomas Cardinal Woolsey (1471–1530)

  • chicken little

    so where is one of his text books? what are they called? where are they sold?

    my hubby has a Agbiz degree ..so is college edumacated and almost indoctrinated but he deprogramed in a anti cult program called church .just joking ..

    WE home schooled our(dyslexic ) kids so lots of hands on learning and experiments with animal breeding and other types of experiments .and we are now helping home school our not dyslexic grandkids..
    I would love to find out more about these science books as the ” science’ is my job…
    well learning to ask brighter questions than is the normal in the sciences, teaching that is my job..
    ” give me eye to see ” thus true “observation “is my job .

    so I guess I want to know is he just chopping up the bible to fit into “sciences” boxes or is he taking ” scientific “Theories” head on?
    if he is taking the theories on then i want to know where his books are ?
    or his he teaching science like newton knew? science as a more pure observation of god’s creation ?

  • Terry Egolf

    Aw, shucks, George. You shouldn’t have.

    My approach to textbook writing is as stated in the interview. In the chapters that are heavy on origins issues, you will find that our textbooks present the evolutionary/uniformitarian side in the same detail, or even more detail in some cases, than the biblical narrative, which as most of you know, is fairly sparse on some topics. I use secular textbooks, professional journals like Nature, Science, and Geology, and original research papers from the Web as resources to understand the latest advances in the relevant sciences. Having been educated as an evolutionary zoologist and uniformitarian geologist, I am quite familiar with the underlying paradigms and accepted methods of interpreting scientific data. But we also show students how to reason from the evidence, understand that science is about modeling and not the determination of settled truth, and we help them avoid logical errors in the process. In the end, it is the student who will have to decide whether the Bible or secular science is correct. But at least in our curriculum, we can present both sides of the origins issues. The same cannot be said for public school, secular textbooks.

    I would have preferred that my personal viewpoints on origins not have entered into this forum, since they really aren’t relevant. The phenomena we are discussing occurred, we believe, in the very recent geologic past. Frankly, the 7000 year difference in timeframes isn’t going to significantly affect the outcome one way or the other, most likely.

    Best regards,

    Terry

  • chicken little

    “I would have preferred that my personal viewpoints on origins not have entered into this forum, since they really aren’t relevant.”
    But thank you for it anyway!.

    Well until the sciences explain recorded and eye witnessed history they have no right to explain anything even one day earlier than the oldest recorded eye witnessed and recorded in some way events . much less date it from what soil levels and carbon and or radioactive elements, that they can not in anyway know the laws of .
    it is miserable and low and cheap of them to do so .. but now thats free education for you .. well I guess that old adage ” you get what you pay for” sure holds true!
    but really the Mammoths issues proves there was no Ice anywhere near one of them till after this event.. and most likely the burn /carbon layer is not the Ice event. all that sand is this ice event/turtle event..

    just no way any mammoths were with in 1000 miles of any glaciers, or they got flying frozen mammoths being rained down from some tropical juggle somewhere “it raining MMMMMMM…” but flying frozen mammoths…. . either way they got some BIG issues!!

    but really there is at least three huge events not counting the flood because they are digging up giants from 600 feet down from it and that event is so huge that no one will even be able to construct even adequate questions to even begin a process of explaining…
    as humanity can only operate from our
    knowledge of “good and evil”= experiences.. as our populations only “experiences” most likely has a theater involved at best case as they are refusing to learn anything from anyone older who actually saw stuff…
    it is all quite sad these myths science has made up.. just a bad joke on the ignorant and oblivious. it is so sad.
    well good luck on your job!

  • chicken little

    Terry
    possible unknown impact date in scriptures?

    clue? puzzle?

    maybe try – 1976 .

  • Terry Egolf

    C.L.: And how is that date supposed to relate to the Bible?

    The only impacts mentioned specifically in Scripture are those in Revelation. And at that point, most people will have more important things to worry about than meteorite impacts, unless they are in the blast zone, of course.

    I personally believe that all craters known to exist are either contemporaneous with the global Flood here on earth about 5500 years ago, or are somewhat more recent. I suggest that a supernaturally-arranged, solar system-sized meteor shower passed through and pock-marked not only earth but every other moon, planet, and minor planet not protected by a thick atmosphere. Main bombardment occurred at the beginning of the Flood and through approximately 5 months or so. These are the craters under sedimentary rocks and flood basalts. Stragglers could account for craters on top of Flood strata. Who knows were comets come from, other than the mysterious Kuiper Belt, or the even more mysterious Oort Cloud. Uniformitarians need some continuing source for these things because otherwise, they would all be carbon husks by now.

  • chicken little

    “The only impacts mentioned specifically in Scripture are those in Revelation. And at that point, most people will have more important things to worry about than meteorite impacts, unless they are in the blast zone, of course.”
    terry if you do not recognize
    Sodom and Gomorra,
    and or
    The long day,
    and or when the earth moved ten degrees backwards , if you do not recognize these
    as possible impact dates that may have changed the face of the earth as we know it, dates never to be described in anyway by any kind of ‘sciences” not has it even questioned it’s rotation or whatever like weather these events effected etc . and of course these do not even count when the ‘outer firmament'( which was probably salt) .. was destroyed by something huge and ugly mean and deadly , so these others are all after the Flood you think did all to create what is today..
    So the LAST POSSIBLE impact dates which were the last to be recorded in the Bible/ jewish history records, that we have and honor as a true and as factual as is possible by mankind of man’s history and records of a Real God’s interaction with the fallen /de-evolving mankind… thus those possible last impart dates mean the same to you as joshua very long day and Hezekiah’s confirmation event 😉
    so there is no reason to discussion it with you right .
    and especially not here.
    adios

  • Terry Egolf

    Sorry, I don’t engage in eisigesis. The Bible says that God rained fire and brimstone down on Sodom and Gomorrah. Not meteors. And as for Joshua’s long day. The sun and the moon stood still, which is clearly a miraculous phenomenological event. Same with King Hezekiah’s sign. There is absolutely nothing in the Bible that associates these events with impacts. They were miraculous events caused directly by God’s intervention in His creation. To associate them with anything less than God’s omnipotent speech is to diminish His power and glory.

  • chicken little

    interesting …well I see how you might think that ..

    it seems my God is not a genie. well MY God and his son is lawful and builder and constructor of his works, and he works his plans from with in his laws..
    He builds within each law he has sets in motion, laws set before he created one thing ,He set his laws in motion , He then lawfully worked with the confinements of the laws He set in motion . because he is and always has been LAWFUL!
    you see my God is not any kind of Witch , he is not a genie. His very breath is and was the laws that he used to form creation , the very energy that he is sculpting to create LIFE . MY God , He never blinked anything into existence ever. He set forth laws that He even works and sculpts , build and pots within, yes he works with in the laws and the confinements of it and yes even died for his right to work with in those laws and for his right to find the lawful and to judge the unlawful because he over came even the laws of death/ the void where man goes to
    gain knowledge without God’s intervention, HE DIED TO OVERCOME THAT LAW!! ” that place He set in motion… all because he is looking for those willing to do the same as He is , be lawful , looking for anyone who is willing to not be destructive .

    Yes , my God created laws ,and is a potter,a builder , a sculptor and
    he created only Life … He is not a genie! my God is a builder not witch .

    if he was not lawful, always lawful .. life would not exsist .. if he was not always Lawful… like if gravity was and if he was variable, doing as he pleases when he wishes .. life would in no way ever have been. if say gravity came and went at it’s own will life would have never existed .
    MY God plants fig trees and vineyards and build heavens and would never blink them. MY God commanded his creation to do his work 6000 years ago and would never have to blink anything, just as everything in REV it is already done and not one iota of it will be changed . we got to get in step with it or we lose it.

    either way it is very doubtful he would have ever blinked a still earth, and most definitely he would never turn the earth backwards by wiggling his nose.

    you know it seems that those who do not “believe in God” do not “believe in” him because he is not a genie at their command. I wonder who gave them that impression of who God is? maybe the mystical and magical religions , even Babylon? yes they all got Magic God’s!
    but He has never been any kind of genie at anyones command ever , not even his own. read revelation again.. the scrolls are declarations a king would make because he is announcing a change in the laws or changes in regimes , just as any king would.
    no sir He has never been any kind of magic genie. He is creator and King of the universe and all universes in all dimensions. but in no way
    “magical”
    so well it seems we have nothing to talk about.

  • Terry Egolf

    C.L.: I find it somewhat amusing that we come down to debating the nature of God in a forum dedicated to a naturalistic explanation of evidence that suggests multiple cometary/meteorite impacts in the pre-historic and historic past.

    I have been a believer in Jesus Christ for 33 years. In that time, I have learned that we humans are incapable of discerning God’s nature apart from what He gave us in the Bible. The natural evidence in the world simply affirms His perfections once we are aware of Him. One thing is for certain. He is not constrained by the laws He created in this physical universe. If He wants to stop the rotation of the earth, the orbiting of the moon, or even back them up (with all the violations of physics and celestial mechanics that those events imply), He is certainly capable of doing it without our permission or even our belief.

    As usual, I have a hard time following what you are trying to say. I don’t think there is much else to talk about.

  • chicken little

    dang , that sure makes you wonder how fast the sun and planets going!