The North American Division Office of Education (NADOE) is pleased to announce the publication of its By Design Biology: The Scientific Study of Life textbook for secondary school students. This textbook represents a continuation of the By Design Science textbooks used in Adventist elementary schools across the division.
Arne Nielsen, NAD vice president for Education states that, “This long-anticipated textbook will provide parents and teachers peace of mind, as students investigate the origins of life from a biblical worldview.”
The team of Christian authors and editors who poured their effort into this new resource was led by Timothy Standish of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Geoscience Research Institute (GRI), a Ph.D. biologist and enthusiastic Bible believer. The executive editor, Larry Blackmer, recently retired NAD vice president for Education, is also a trained biologist.
“The textbook also explores the Darwinian theory of evolution, providing students the opportunity to be ‘thinkers and not mere reflectors of other [persons] thoughts,’” adds Nielsen. “The NADOE wishes to thank its partners beginning with Dr. Timothy Standish, Kendal Hunt Publishing Company, its lead editor, Dr. Larry Blackmer, . . . and its many Christian writers. The NADOE is also grateful to the many Adventist biology teachers who piloted various chapters with their students and provided invaluable feedback.”
“If widely used in Adventist and other Christian or private schools, the new By Design Biology textbook will impact more lives for Christ than almost anything else that I have been involved with,” says Standish. “I solicit your prayers that the potential of this book and the immense effort that went into it will be realized.”
This new textbook for secondary school biology classes has been described as a powerful tool in the hands of teachers and an eye-opening revelation of God’s amazing creation for students. Some may fear that a textbook written with a biblical worldview will ignore the materialistic theory of evolution that students are required to understand in university. “Skipping over evolution — which is pushed with ever more enthusiasm in secular textbooks — is common in both private and public schools,” notes Standish. “Our objective has not been to disregard evolution, but to ensure that students educated using By Design Biology will have a better understanding of evolution than their peers. Teaching students what the theory of evolution is and showing how it is used to explain natural phenomena, empowers them to see why it fails as a theory explaining life. But showing a theory’s inadequacies is only part of what is needed, students should also understand that there is a better and more satisfying understanding of nature that liberates them to see all the beauty and wonder that God put there and equipped us to discover! This book strives to share that emancipating view.”
The publisher, Kendal Hunt Publishing Company, worked with the authors and editors to ensure that By Design Biology meets the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). These educational standards have been widely criticized for their rigidly materialistic focus at the expense of the diverse worldviews found among high school students. But the NGSS are being adopted by most states; students who do not meet them will be at a significant disadvantage.
“At the end of the day,” says Standish, “the NGSS actually helped us as we sought to give students the clearest possible understanding of evolutionary theory. Our aim is not to indoctrinate students with a one-sided presentation of information that only favors our view, it is to provide students with a clear and informed choice between a materialistic and a theistic view of life.”
Schools interested in improving their biology curriculum by adopting By Design Biology, parents interested in supplementing their children’s secular education in biology using this book and anyone who desires a deeper understanding of biology for themselves can get more information about By Design Biology from this Kendall Hunt website at https://rpd.kendallhunt.com/program/bydesign-biology
Additional information can be found at https://rpd.kendallhunt.com/blog