by Greg Neyman
© Old Earth Ministries
Recently the American Association for the Advancement of Science held their national meeting in St. Louis. Answers in Genesis reporter David Menton was present, and is presenting a series of articles on this meeting. The first appeared as a daily feature on the Answers in Genesis website on 10 March 2006.1
A major topic at this meeting was the battle between creationism and evolution. However, it would more appropriately be titled the "battle between young earth creationism and evolution." Theistic evolutionists have no problem with the teachings of evolution...and they are creationists.
The first portion of Menton's review concerns a session about the legal issues and the teaching of evolution. In many ways I agree with Menton, as atheistic courts, lawyers, and others have successfully battled against Christian values. However, I feel there are some values which we should fight for, and some are better left alone. I would agree with Menton on many issues, but not on young earth creationism. I feel that lobbying for young earth creationism in schools is a foolish proposition, as it is scientific garbage. Such a battle cannot be won. Does that mean that we abandon the youth of America. No...it means we turn them over to God. If Romans 1:20 is true, then why not let science be taught. Many will be able to see God through the science (especially in the study of Astronomy).
The descriptions of the session are eye-opening, as the blatant anti-creationist attitude of the speakers is evident. However, as is typical of a young earth writer, Menton picks the most vitriol comments. Most of the speeches were probably more balanced than portrayed by Menton.
The second part of his explanation deals with Science Under Attack. The first speaker he refers to is Eugenie Scott. Scott is a proponent of evolution, and lobbies for evolution in the schools. It is unclear what her religious background is, although Menton calls her anti-creationist (she is definitely anti-young earth, but a few other data points I have seen indicate no hostility toward theistic evolution, thus she is probably not anti-creationist in the broadest sense.
One of Scott's proposals is centralization of science curriculum. I agree with Menton on this one. This is no doubt a bad idea, as it gives the government more control over what is taught, and takes control away from the parent. As a homeschooling parent, I can easily see the dangers in this idea.
Concerning her idea that intelligent design is merely "sneaking creationism into the curriculum," this is essentially the truth, as the court in Dover, PA decided recently. Even young earth creationists must admit that this is the goal behind their support of intelligent design. I leave the decision of whether ID is right or wrong to the individual reader of this article.
Menton's impression of the speech by Jon Miller is fairly neutral, and his reporting of it appears to be even-handed. Here it is evident that what Miller refers to as "fundamentalism" is largely responsible for the lack of acceptance of evolution. I agree. Organizations such as Answers in Genesis, the Institute for Creation Research, and others are not necessarily fundamentalist organizations, but the largest base of support for them are fundamentalist Christians. (I should point out that aside from the age of the earth, I would be considered a fundamentalist...all my other beliefs are in line with fundamentalism.)
Next he summarizes the speech of Shirley Malcom. It is interesting that she proposes early education in evolution. This is the exact same principle that young earth creationism tries to follow. If they can reach students at an early age when they are gullible, they have a better chance of making them lifelong young earth creationists. It is interesting to note that evolutionists also recognize the potential of reaching the youth.
The final speaker he comments on is Gerald Wheeler, who says every time he advocates evolution, he gets hate mail. This is a good testimony to the activism that young earth creation science organizations encourage their followers to practice. As you all know, the common term "the squeaky wheel gets the grease" applies here. The more vocal the activist, the more attention they get for their cause, and young earth creationists are good at being a vocal. Wheeler lays the blame for a poor teaching of evolution on the teachers.
Overall, Menton does a good job of giving a summary of this event, even though his young earth bias is evident. This would be good reading for all Christians, if taken with a grain of salt.
1 A Battle for Men's Souls: Part 1, published at answersingenesis.org/docs2006/0310aaas.asp
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