Why Chimpanzees Can’t Play Chopin

New book for the non-specialist discusses design and catastrophe and its implications.

Andrews University, for Lake Union Herald
Why Chimpanzees Can’t Play Chopin

By: Andrews University, for Lake Union Herald

Evidence for a designed creation and a worldwide flood is the focus of a new, popularly oriented book from Andrews University Press (AUP) intended for the college classroom and general readership.

Design and Catastrophe: 51 Scientists Explore Evidence in Nature has been released in April 2021 by AUP, in partnership with the Geoscience Research Institute (GRI) in Loma Linda, California, United States.

“We are excited to present this rich sampler of some of the overwhelming evidence for the design/catastrophe paradigm in the world around us,” said Ronny Nalin, one of the book’s general editors and director of GRI.

Nalin said that the 51 scientists collectively represent a broad cross-section of specialties in the scientific world, including geology, paleontology, biology, chemistry, botany, genetics, computer science, medicine, physics, astronomy, engineering, and mathematics. He said the 51 articles in the book are each about three pages long and are written and edited to be understandable and useful to the non-specialist.

“These writers are all experts in their fields,” Nalin said. “And the mark of being an expert is to be able to communicate something meaningful to someone who doesn’t know everything the expert does. So, the authors each have written a short essay on some specific scientific topic that illustrates how the biblical teaching of origins helps them make sense of the marvels of intricate creative design in nature or the evidence for catastrophic, large-scale activity consistent with the biblical account of a worldwide flood.”

Among the 51 essays in the book are: “Wonderful Water,” “From Chemical Space to Creative Grace,” “Why Chimpanzees Can’t Play Chopin,” “Cholesterol: The Wonder of Biosynthesis,” “Mathematics and Design in the Realm of Bees,” “Megabreccias: A Record of Catastrophes,” and “Human Life Span After the Flood.”

Two other general editors, Humberto M. Rasi and L. James Gibson, worked closely with Nalin to prepare the book and provide editorial guidance. Rasi is the former director of the education department of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, and Gibson is Nalin’s long-time predecessor as director of GRI. Rasi and Nalin prepared the book in honor of Gibson, who retired from GRI in August 2020 and to whom they dedicated their work.

“We expect this book to have wide use in the college classroom and for the educated layperson,” Rasi said. “It has good solid, scientific content but is also accessible to the casual reader.” Rasi, himself a long-time educator, also served as vice president for editorial development at Pacific Press Publishing Association, has written many articles, and co-edited with Gibson other books on religion and science, including Understanding Creation: Answers to Questions on Faith and Science.

Design and Catastrophe is available from, from Adventist Book Centers, and directly from Andrews University Press.

The original version of this story was posted by the Lake Union Herald.

Andrews University, for Lake Union Herald