My Reading List for Making the Film

My method of creating a documentary is to learn as much as I can on a subject. It’s a bit old school, perhaps, but it’s the only way I know how to approach an interview. Thanks to my alumni status, I had the exceptional Vanderbilt Science Library at my disposal – an absolute goldmine of materials, from original editions of Louis Agassiz’s Natural History of the United States in 5 vols (1857) to the most recent edition of Andrew Miall’s The Geology of Stratigraphic Sequences, 2nd ed. (2010).

All to say, I read voraciously in creating our film. Furthermore, I read on both sides of the topic. I have heard a few people say our film was informed only by a creationist perspective; that’s just not true. Although I think the conventional paradigm is ultimately incorrect, it doesn’t mean that all the people working within that paradigm are wrong. In fact, many are quite brilliant and make excellent observations about science, history, and philosophy. When one understands how to look at the world in light of Genesis, there are many things to learn from those who hold to the conventional view.

In light of that, I have had some requests for a “bibliography” for the film.  Although necessarily incomplete, the list could be useful for someone wanting to dig into a particular topic and needing recommendations.  Of course, I also read many articles that I collected with Evernote; perhaps I’ll include those 30 notebooks in a future post.

I’ve tried to sort everything into topics.  Those books that were highly influential or useful, I’ve highlighted in green.  I’ll also distinguish if an author adopts the Genesis paradigm by putting a (G) in the listing.

The Bible (Genesis 1-11, and relevant other passages) – NASB, ESV

Philosophy of  Science

“History, if viewed as a repository for more than anecdote or chronology, could produce a decisive transformation in the image of science by which we are now possessed.” – Kuhn

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 3rd ed – Thomas Kuhn – a seminal work and a must-read by all educated people

The Essential Tension – Thomas Kuhn

The Road Since Structure – Thomas Kuhn

Science, Faith & Society – Michael Polanyi

Scientific Thought & Social Reality – Michael Polanyi

Science Wars: What Scientists Know and How They Know It – Steven Goldman (Teaching Company)

The Devil’s Delusion – David Bernlinski

Redeeming Science – Vern Poytress

Christianity and the Nature of Science – J.P. Moreland

History of Science

Great Scientific Ideas That Changed the World – Steven Goldman (Teaching Company)

“This book analyzes one such controversy…which has sometimes been called the ‘Genesis-geology’ debate.” – Mortenson

The Great Turning Point – Terry Mortenson – Really excellent overview of the history of geology in 19th-century in terms of Christians (G)

Time’s Arrow, Time’s Cycle – Stephen J. Gould

Earth’s Deep History: How It Was Discovered and Why it Matters – Martin J. S. Rudwick

Revolutions in Science – Bernard Cohen

Evolution – Edward Larson – I also listened to Larson’s excellent Teaching Company series “Theory of Evolution”

Just Before Darwin: Robert Chambers and Vestiges – Milton Millhauser

Darwin’s Doubt – Stephen Meyer

Chronologers Quest: Episodes in the Search for the Age of the Earth – Patrick Wyse Jackson

Death of Adam: Evolution and Its Impact on Western Thought – John Greene

General Creation Science

Faith, Form, and Time – Kurt Wise – a really good overview of the subject, including thoughts on what we still don’t understand (G)

The New Creationism – Paul Garner – the best single introduction to creation science I’ve read. (G)

Faith, Reason, and Earth History, 3rd ed. – Leonard Brand & Art Chadwick – combines geology and biology in textbook, including some very useful insight into many areas. (G)

Evolution’s Achilles’ Heels – Robert Carter, editor (G)


The Geology of Stratigraphic Sequences, 2nd ed. – Andrew Miall

The Age of the Earth – Brent Dalrymple

Earth’s Catastrophic Past, 2 vols. – Andrew Snelling – Technical, but really indispensable (G)

Grand Canyon: Monument to Catastrophe – Steve Austin – really excellent semi-technical work on various aspects of geology beyond that just at Grand Canyon (G)

The Nature of the Stratigraphical Record, 3rd ed. – Derek Ager

Thousands…Not Billions – Don DeYoung, editor (G)

Bible, Rocks, and Time – Davis Young & Ralph Stearley – an old-earth creationist approach to geology

Geology of the Grand Canyon – Scott Babcock

Anatomy of the Grand Canyon – Kenneth Hamblin

Geology of North America: An Overview – Albert Bally

Sedimentary Cover of the North American Craton – L.L. Sloss

Concise Geologic Time Scale – James Ogg

Principles of Sedimentology, 5th ed. – Sam Boggs

Paleontology (Fossils)

“Vertebrates are the animals with backbones, the fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals.” – Benton

Vertebrate Paleontology, 2nd ed. and 4th ed – Michael Benton – just one of the great all-around overviews of paleontology, although some interesting commentary changes between the two versions

Invertebrate Paleontology and Evolution, 4th ed. – E.N.K. Clarkson

After the Dinosaurs – Donald Prothero

Jehol Fossils: The Emergence of Feathered Dinosaurs – Miman Zhang

Mammoths, Sabertooths, and Hominds – Jordi Agustin

Exceptional Fossil Preservation – David Bottjer

Fossil Plants – Paul Kenrick

Natural History of the United States – Louis Agassiz

Paleontology (Fossils) – Cambrian Explosion

Wonderful Life – Stephen J. Gould

The Cambrian explosion : the construction of animal biodiversity – Douglas Erwin & James Valentine

The Crucible of Creation : the Burgess Shale and the rise of animals – Conway Morris

Fossils of the Burgess Shale – D.E.G Briggs

Cambrian Fossils of Chengjiang China – Xianguag Hou

History of Evolution/Creation in the Church

Evolution and the Authority of the Bible – Nigel Cameron – recommended by Dr. Doug Kelly, really excellent look at the impact of theistic evolution on the Bible (G)

The Princeton Theology – Mark Noll

Genesis Textual

Coming to Grips with Genesis – Terry Mortenson, ed. – just a great series of overview essays on various aspects of Genesis; includes a great essay by Steve Boyd on the reasons Genesis is narrative (G)

I Studied Inscriptions from Before the Flood – Richard Hess, David Tsumura

“Genesis 1 intends to provide an historical narrative of the events by which God’s Spirit, over the course of six normal days, brought His initial creation to a point where it was ‘very good….'” – Jordan

Creation in Six Days – James Jordan – an exceptional critique of the ‘framework hypothesis,’ ‘analogical days,’ and any number of de-historicizing hermeneutic approaches to Genesis 1 (G)

Grappling with the Chronology of the Genesis Flood – Steve Boyd and Andrew Snelling (G)

Commentary on Genesis2 vols – Umberto Cassuto – one of the finest rabbinic commentaries on Genesis

Creation and Change – Douglas Kelly – very instrumental in my early understanding of Genesis (G)

The Genesis Account – Jonathan D. Sarfati (G)

The Genesis Debate – David Hagopian, editor

Navigating Genesis – Hugh Ross

Genesis 1-4: A Linguistic, Literary, and Theological Commentary – C. John Collins

Genesis, Creation, and Early Man – Fr. Seraphim Rose – an  overview of what the church fathers thought about Genesis (G)

Genealogy and History in the Biblical World – Robert Wilson


Understanding the Pattern of Life – Todd Wood and Megan Murray (G)

Devotional Biology – Kurt Wise – one of the more insightful books I read for this project; it can only be purchased through Truett-McConnell College since it’s the text Kurt wrote for his class (G)

The Structure of Evolutionary Theory – Stephen J. Gould

Evolution and the Diversity of Life – Ernst Mayr

Why Evolution is True – Jerry Coyne


Earth By Design – Danny Faulkner – the best little book on astronomy I read (G)

Cosmos: An Illustrated History of Astronomy and Cosmology – John North

He Made the Stars Also – Stuart Burgess (G)


“Nature exhibits not simply a higher degree but an altogether different level of complexity.” – Mandelbrot

The Fractal Geometry of Nature – Benoit Mandelbrot

Ice Age

The Frozen Record – Michael J. Oard (G)

Frozen in Time – Michael J. Oard (G)


Prehistory: The Making of the Human Mind – Colin Renfrew

The Genius of Ancient Man – Don Landis, editor (G)

Archeology and Language – Colin Renfrew


What Happened in the Garden – Abner Chou, editor (G)

Neanderthals – Freidemann Shrenk

Out of Africa – Stony Brook Human Evolution Symposium

After the Flood – Bill Cooper (G)


Hallmarks of Design – Stuart Burgess (G)

The Design and Origin of Man – Stuart Burgess (G)

Vintage Science Art

Natural Histories – Tom Baione, editor – Just a really amazing book

Natural Histories: Extraordinary Birds – Paul Sweet

Natural Histories: Opulent Oceans – Melanie Stiassney

As I said above, I also read many articles online that I collected on Evernote.  Be on the lookout in the future for those.

Category: Books & Articles