(Part of an ongoing series looking at Biology for Christian Schools by Bob Jones University Press.)
The intro to this "biology textbook" was already a doozy, but it should prepare you for the first chapter which begins as any evangelical science text should: with AIDs. But we'll get to that. As the opening, this chapter uses AIDs as merely an example to raise the larger conflict between religion and science. Whatever argument you're thinking Pinkston is going to make, you're wrong:
"The Bible teaches that things are getting worse and that God is the source of all that is good. Some people claim that scientific efforts are improving man's existence and will continue to do so. These two statements appear to contradict each other. Which should I believe? Is one true and the other false? Are they both true?"
If you read the intro, you already know the answer: when something contradicts the Bible, no matter how factually supported, a Christian chooses the Biblical account - the literal Biblical account.
The author's issue with AIDs appears to be the idea that it can be cured. Though he allows this is possible, he is doubtful because it suggests science is making things better (and there is some subtle suggestion AIDs plays a part in God's plan.)
So Pinkston opens his science textbook by somewhat satirically presenting the common view that scientists are making things better:
Almost every day you can find something in the news about environmental pollution. Toxic wastes, harmful chemicals in drinking water, smog, oil spills, acid rain, and trash disposal that spoils the environment are real concerns. Most people assume, however, that if we just give scientists enough money they will come up with answers before the problems get too bad. Then, if we all work together and do what the scientists say we should, somehow, everything will be fine.
AIDS, cancer, overpopulation, heart disorders, and pollution are but a few of the biological problems facing us today. Scientists are looking for solutions, and since they have been successful in the past, most people seem confident that a better life is around the corner. But is it?
If you're a Christian, it's not! See, for example, Matt. 26:11: "Ye have the poor always with you." There will be suffering until Christ's return. (Isa. 35:5-10; Matt. 24:5-14: Rev. 21:4). In fact, it is wrong for scientists to improve things because "Man must now earn his bread by the sweat of his brow because of God's curse upon the earth (Gen. 3:19).
Teacher's Note: When it comes to food shortages due to overpopulation, Pinkston insists things are fine. Actually, science actually agrees with him to an extent - obesity is now a greater global health concern than hunger, and population growth is leveling off. But it is an example of a trend in the book to find cases where science does say things are getting worse to be overly alarmist.
Next: The scientific method: Why reproducibility is wrong.