February 22, 2022 | Margaret Helder

HeadStart: New Online Tool for Science Students

A new online service from the
Creation Science Association of Alberta
provides resources for the inquiring student

by Margaret Helder, PhD

Today’s high school students face a potential information overload. New terms continue to appear and the student is expected to deal with them all. In biology, for example, we see terms like co-option, horizontal gene transfer, convergence and plant biology, many of which are loaded with evolutionary concepts. Especially for high school level students, there are no concise sources of information on these topics which demonstrate in non-technical language what the terms represent and their significance as far as origins discussions are concerned. This resource deals mainly with biology, but also some fossils and geology.

In this technological age, many students prefer to conduct much of their research on-line. A new learning tool called HeadStart, which is cellphone and tablet compatible, provides online, concise, downloadable, and printable information. The student and all interested users will be astonished at the ways in which the totality of life on earth, from entire organisms to biochemical features, structure and function of even the smallest component parts of organisms all testify to God’s choices in the Creation.

HeadStart’s Array of Information

The new website www.create.ab.ca/headstart includes terms arranged under four themes:

  • Impact of Worldviews
  • Design
  • Cell Biology
  • Investigate Further

As students explore the Impact of Worldviews section of HeadStart they will discover that while the Christian worldview centers on God, the secular worldview is based on the idea that matter and material processes were the only things needed to bring about the entire universe. Within this Worldviews theme, basic origins terms and Christian treatments of origins issues are provided.

 

The topics under the Design theme answer the question where the beauty and amazing complexity of information in living creatures came from. The only possible answer is that it came from our awesome intelligent designer, the Creator of heaven and earth and all that are in them. The topics under this theme deal mainly with information and functionality.

 

Under the Cell Biology theme, topics dealing with the complexity of the cell are discussed. It does not take us long to realize that the living cell cries out that it was created.

 

Under Investigate Further, some topics dealing with the fossil record are included as well as the biology and design of many celled organisms and their ecological relationships. The bottom line is that all nature displays the wonder and majesty and character of God through the things that he has made.

 

 

HeadStart Extras

In order to make this tool user friendly, there is a search engine as well as the listing of related terms under each discussion. There are also related resources listed for some of the topics. These include links to illustrated articles which are available elsewhere online, as well as links to videos that bring the subject matter to life. Some of these articles are little known such as Dr. Steven Austin’s 1996 article on dating the lava dome at Mount St. Helens (within the radiometric dating discussion).

Also, the link to an item from Nature on the diamond jubilee of the discovery of DNA structure is available under the ENCODE project. This referenced article declares that “we don’t fully understand how evolution works at the molecular level.” The article goes on and on in this vein.

The video clips come from a variety of sources, creation, intelligent design, secular and commercial. All are excellent. Most are brief, which is ideal.

About HeadStart

HeadStart was conceived to provide important information on a wide number of scientific issues for the inquiring student. It was written and developed by the Creation Science Association of Alberta. This resource tool is free and easily accessed.

www.create.ab.ca/headstart

 


Margaret Helder completed her education with a Ph.D. in Botany from Western University in London, Ontario (Canada). She was hired as Assistant Professor in Biosciences at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario. Coming to Alberta in 1977, Dr Helder was an expert witness for the State of Arkansas, December 1981, during the creation/evolution ‘balanced treatment’ trial. She served as member of the editorial board of Occasional Papers of the Baraminology Study Group in 2001. She also lectured once or twice a year (upon invitation) in scheduled classes at University of Alberta (St. Joseph’s College) from 1998-2012. Her technical publications include articles in the Canadian Journal of Botany, chapter 19 in Recent Advances in Aquatic Mycology (E. B. Gareth Jones. Editor. 1976), and most recently she authored No Christian Silence on Science (2016) which promotes critical evaluation of scientific claims. She is married to John Helder and they have six adult children.

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