Dr. Konrad Gessner, 16th-Century Creation Scientist

Dr. Konrad Gessner, 16th-Century Creation Scientist

James J. S. Johnson

For the invisible things of Him [i.e., God] from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and deity, so that they are without excuse.   (Romans 1:20)

Konrad-Gessner.painting-publicdomain

Dr. Konrad Gessner (also spelled “Conrad Gesner”), who lived from AD1516 to AD1565, was a true Reformation-grounded biologist and ecologist, as well as an accomplished intellectual in other fields. Gessner was born and originally educated in Zürich, Switzerland, the Protestant city pastored first by Ulrich Zwingli, then next by Heinrich Bullinger (a personal friend of Gessner). During AD1532-1536 he studied at various universities in Strasbourg, Bourges, and Basel.

In AD1537 he taught as professor of Greek in Lausanne, yet soon afterwards began science studies leading to a Medical Doctor’s degree in AD1541 (in Basel). Returning to Zürich, he taught science there for most of the rest of his life. Dr. Gessner authored scholarly works on various subjects, such as:

  • botanical studies (including subalpine flowers) in AD1541, with more in AD1542;
  • a bibliographic encyclopedia of world literature in AD1545, with supplements in AD1548-1549;
  • zoological studies (mammals, birds, fishes, etc.) in AD1551-1558;
  • comparative language studies (on 22 translations of The Lord’s Prayer) in AD1555;
  • doxological mountain hiking, mixed with montane ecology, in AD1555.

Dr. Gessner’s research on snakes and insects was published posthumously. In AD1541, Gessner resolved to climb at least one mountain each year, a habit he thereafter maintained.

Mountain-hiking to Dr. Gessner, as a true biblical creationist, was a joy and an opportunity to appreciate God’s creative glory in nature.

Of special importance to creation geologists, such as William Hoesch (who is quoted below), Dr. Gessner also wrote on fossils (see article quoted below), refusing to accept the faddish contra-biblical fossil theory of his generation:

The history of thinking about fossils is a study in worldviews. Conrad Gesner of Zurich (1516-1565) is considered by some the greatest naturalist of his century. His book, On Fossil Objects, in many ways reflects his Protestant upbringing. The fact that he lost his father in armed combat between Catholics and Protestants in 1531 reminds us that this was a time when it was costly to believe. Gesner’s close friend growing up was none other than Heinrich Bullinger, one of the most influential Christian figures of his century. Gesner’s interest in science led him to universities at a time when Renaissance humanism was the dominant worldview. In his work on fossils, his Protestant upbringing shines through in some interesting ways.

First, Gesner placed great emphasis on firsthand observation which can be seen in his detailed woodcut illustrations of fossils. In this, he broke with the Renaissance tradition of science, placing the opinions of the “Ancients” (Aristotle, etc.) above that of observation. Gesner reversed this. At the time, it was not at all obvious that marine-looking fossils found in stone far from the sea were the remains of once living organisms. Neoplatonism held that the funny fossil shapes were controlled by mysterious astral influences, and Aristotelianism attributed marine-looking fossils to the transport of “seeds” of ocean-dwelling organisms that got carried inland and grew in place after lodging in the cracks. Gesner made no effort to challenge these teachings, but in comparing side-by-side quality woodcut illustrations of living marine organisms with marine-looking fossils, he helped to move thinking toward an organic interpretation of fossils. Firsthand observation is an essential step in “taking dominion over nature” that is mandated in Scripture, and Gesner seemed to manifest this.

Second, Gesner took a peculiar delight in the study of nature. When he considered the minerals and gems which were at that time considered in the category of “fossils,” he was transfixed by the thought that these were earthly reminders of the jeweled City of Jerusalem. An accomplished physician, he delighted in hiking the Swiss Alps where he sought to catalog botanicals for their potential medicinal use. It was considered odd at this time to “enjoy” nature, but Gesner is hailed by some today as the father of recreational hiking! Despite nature’s fallen condition, he was able to “see” the invisible things of God and His attributes (Romans 1:20). The level of delight Gesner took in nature cannot be credited to his Neoplatonic or Aristotelian training. It is as if he saw all of nature as a divine revelation.

The considered wisdom of “the Ancients,” that fossils grew in place, was ultimately an article of pagan philosophy. Gesner, and others who followed, helped to change the thinking process. Early church fathers like Tertullian actually had it right; they understood an organic origin for fossils. For them, to get the remains of marine creatures high on the hills required an unusual agency—it obviously took a global Flood! Although long forgotten, and requiring thinking big about earth history, this teaching of a global Flood would return in the seventeenth century and play a key role in returning science to a solid foundation. 

[Quoting William Hoesch, “Fossil Political Correctness in the Sixteenth Century,” Acts & Facts / Back to Genesis (January 2007).]

Gessner-Rhino.drawing

Don’t expect a lot of pop-culture applause for Dr. Gessner, though —  because he glorified God in his Protestant Reformation-informed scholarship.  Thus, unlike many secular scientists who accomplished much less, Gessner’s work is mostly ignored.  However, God has not ignored Dr. Gessner’s reverent and careful creation research and scholarship  —  because God gives credit where credit is due (Romans 13:7), regardless of whether the truth is popular!  Meanwhile, God’s glory as the Creator is “clearly seen” everywhere.

<> JJSJ    profjjsj@aol.com


 

You Are On An Adventure!

All of us are on this great adventure! Did you ever wonder? Did you ever wonder why a tree can live longer than you? Did you ever wonder where you came from? Did you ever wonder why you are on planet Earth? Did you ever wonder what you are supposed to do while you are here? Did you ever wonder what will happen to you at the moment you leave this world? Did you ever wonder?

Light by Deeliah

Light by Deeliah

You and I are destined for the skies. We are destined to live forever! We are destined to continue this journey forever! Did you ever wonder about your purpose and plan in this great ongoing adventure? Did you ever wonder? In the days and weeks ahead of us we will explore the answers to these questions and so much more! For now, I will say good bye to you all from Bibleworld Adventures!!!

You Have A Purpose On Planet Earth!

Earth photo from Pixabay

Earth photo from Pixabay

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

Each of us has an “expected end.” God has created each of us with different abilities and talents. We each have different likes and dislikes. We each have a unique personalities  and a unique backgrounds with respect to our upbringing. God, the Lord Jesus Christ, has a specific plan and purpose for each one of us!

Everything that takes place in our lives is preparing us for this unique adventure and journey. Your family and past genealogy has prepared you. Your education (past and present) has prepared you. Your circumstances have been directed by God to help you get involved with what God’s plan is for your life.

“The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the Lord.” (Proverbs 16:1)

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.” (Psalm 37:23)

Jesus Christ is the Potter with power over the clay. You and I were made from the dust of the ground. Modern science teaches us that we have oxygen and carbon in our makeups. You have heard of the “carbon footprint.” We have calcium and magnesium in our bodies.

This ADVENTURE that we are on will last for eternity. You want to make sure that you are “saved.” If you understand that you are really a sinner that deserves the ‘wrath of God” because we have sinned against a Holy God, then you can be saved because God sent to us a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. He paid for our sins on the cross. We simply need to believe what God says about Jesus Christ and the fact that He paid for our sins with His shed blood. Trust Him, rely completely on Him. You cannot save yourself. When once you trust Jesus Christ as your own personal Saviour, you are ready to begin this exciting journey!

You and I are destined to the skies! We are destined to live in Paradise with God forever. You have probably figured out that money, fame, fortune, and education doesn’t really satisfy. The only One that can fill out empty,voided heart is God Himself. We were created to “enjoy God forever.” If you love life, please stay with me as we journey along together! Thanks!

*

Are You Personally On An Adventure?

Balloon Adventure ©WikiC

Balloon Adventure ©WikiC

Bibleworld Adventures

Hello to all of you out there! What is this Bibleworld Adventures blog about? The purpose for this blog is to help us see the big picture of life. Why are you on planet Earth? Where did you and I come from? While we are here, what are we supposed to do? Where can I find truth? What is truth? We will discuss some current events. We will discuss History sometimes, and at other times we will discuss Science. We will state right at the start that everybody makes assumptions each and everyday. When we drive our automobiles and go down the right side of the road, we expect that the other driver coming towards us will stay on his or her side of the road. When you turn the light switch on, you assume that the light in the room will come on. We will assume that the Bible is indeed the very “Word of God.” We will discuss many and varied subjects pertaining to real life situations. This blog will examine these things with an “open Bible.” Thanks for visiting this blog and please stay with me as we take this exciting adventure together!

I once had a college professor, Dr. Jim Johnson, who said that life with Jesus Christ is an “adventure.” This is so true! I remember when I was at the young age of ten or there about: I remember thinking that life on this planet made no sense whatsoever. Was I to grow up and learn things a t school? Was I to grow up and have a family and then work all of my life? Was I to eventually die and leave it all behind in 100 years or less. This made no sense then and makes no sense today apart from the Word of God, the BIBLE

God tells us in the Bible that there is a purpose for everything!

“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1) God has “made everything beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world (eternity) in their hearts…I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be forever: nothing can be put to it, nor anything taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11-14)

Each of you knows, down in the depths of your soul, that there is a God and there is a bigger purpose than just “me” in this vast Universe. This blog will help point us in the right direction! Each choice that we make, each action that we live out, and each thought that we think will affect our own eternity! God is eternal and He has created us with eternal souls and spirits and personalities. Good choices bring good results, bad choices bring bad results. The best choice is to accept the precious gift of “eternal life.” This means to believe and “trust” in what Jesus Christ did on the cross about 2000 years ago.

“For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.” (Romans 5:6)

“But God commendeth (demonstrated) his love towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

In fact, buy a Bible and read Romans chapter five. Remember, this Bibleworld Adventures blog will use an “open Bible” concept as we continue on with our own personal adventures. We are destined for the skies and beyond to the third Heaven, which is Paradise! You and I have started on this adventurous road and we will live somewhere forever! God is eternal and He has created us in “His image,” We also will live FOREVER!

*

Please read these previous articles by Golden Eagle that have been reproduced here. These can be found in the Golden Eagle section.

Golden Eagle

*