Elements of Earth Science – PHSC 210

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 03/28/2022

Course Description

A study of the principles of physical and historical geology, oceanography, and meteorology for non-science majors.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


The purpose of this course and its associated lab is to reveal the complex inter-relatedness of earth processes affecting the hydrosphere, atmosphere, and lithosphere. These processes and the contemporary scientific paradigms upon which they are founded will be evaluated via the grid of biblical revelation. Naturally, particular attention will be given to the Book of Genesis. In the end, this course is designed to broaden the student’s understanding of the earth and its function from both scientific and biblical perspectives.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Identify the basic structures, materials, and processes of the earth system.
  2. Apply various geologic rules and methods to solve geological problems.
  3. Compare the scientific evidences for the young-earth and old-earth historical frameworks.
  4. Discuss the various ways geologic, meteorological, and oceanographic processes impact humanity.
  5. Evaluate the strength of arguments for controversial topics in the earth sciences.

General Education Foundational Skill Learning Outcomes (FSLO): Social and Scientific Inquiry (SSI)

    1. SSI 1: Demonstrate an understanding of the impact of science on the world in which we live.
    2. SSI 2b: Demonstrate a biblical understanding of humankind’s role in scientific inquiry and discovery.
    3. SSI 4: Describe how social and/or scientific inquiry equips human beings to be participants in God’s redemptive work.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions (2)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences and are designed to help the student evaluate earth science via the grid of biblical revelation. The student is required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt. Each thread must be 350–450 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to at least 1 other classmate thread. Each reply must be 150–175 words and add substantially to the conversation. All posts must adhere to current APA format (MLO:B,C,D,E;FSLO:SSI1,2b, 4)

Quizzes: Presentations (8)

The student will complete various online exercises matching terms and phrases related to the Presentations found in the module. The content of these presentations support the textbook readings for that module and the assignments will reinforce what is read in the course textbook. (MLO:A,B,C,D,E; FSLO:SSI 1, 4)

Quizzes: Young-Earth (6)

The student will complete a Young-Earth quiz by answering multiple choice questions related to the video presentation. These videos feature Dr. Steve Austin, world-renowned creation geologist discussing earthquakes, landslides and megafloods. (MLO:C,D,E; FSLO: SSI 1,2b, 4)

Worldview and Science Quizzes (2)

The student will offer a self-assessment and discuss worldview as related to science during the course and offer any prayer requests / praise reports. This assignment is intended to help the instructor maintain awareness of the student’s spiritual health during the course. (FSLO:CC 3)

Argumentative Essay Assignment

The student will choose a Argumentative Essay topic from a list provided by the instructor and write an essay in which a position of yes or no in response to the topic question. This paper must follow current APA formatting rules. The student is expected to adequately research the chosen topic and provide bibliographic reference to at least 4 scholarly sources in addition to the course textbook and the Bible. The paper must be 1,000–1,200 words. (MLO:C; FSLO:SSI 1,2b)

Quizzes (8)

Each quiz will cover the Learn material for the assigned module. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain 25 multiple-choice and true/false questions. Some quizzes contain an essay question. Quizzes have a 1-hour time limit. (MLO:A,B,C,D,E; FSLO:SSI 1, 2b)