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. This second article appeared as a daily feature on the Answers in Genesis website on 11 March 2006.1
Menton starts by covering a symposium titled "Anti-Evolutionism in America: What's Ahead." In this speach Eugenie Scott gives some practical advice about the way she sees the battle heading. She broke creationism into two types...Bible-based, and design-based (ID). I don't know if she addressed theistic evolution or not. The summary is that Scott encouraged people to ignore evidence against evolution, because the hearer could assume creationism is behind it. While I disagree with this basic premise (that creationism is behind all criticism of evolution) she does have a valid point. Much of the flawed evidences against evolution are started by young earth creation organizations, thus when Scott says to ignore it, it is basically the fault of young earth creation science that his has to be said. If they were more respectable scientifically, it may be a different matter, but young earth organizations have not demonstrated any scientific credibility.
Next he moves on to review a session for teachers in the St. Louis area. The teachers are encouraged to promote evolution. No problem here. The final part is a discussion of a Jesuit astronomer, who belittles God in his discussion of God not being a scientist. I agree fully with Dr. Menton on the quality of this speach, as from the material in this article it appears that the Jesuit person is no reputable theologian (or scientist!).
Menton raps it up with his take home lessons from the convention, from a Christian perspective (a young earth Christian, that is). I agree with some parts of the summary. Menton says that evolutionists "...understand that they cannot win “the battle for men’s souls” as long as the public understands that there is a deep conflict between biblical Christianity and evolution." What the public needs to understand is that there is no need for conflict between Christianity and evolution. One can be a fundamentalist, literal interpreter of the Bible, and believe in long ages, and evolution. The problem is not with the science, it is with the interpretation of the Scriptures, because of dogmatic young earth creationists who cannot see past their preconceived ideas of a young earth. Evolution is not the enemy...we in the church are our own enemy.
Today, many people are taught that the earth is young, and when they learn otherwise, they feel they have been lied to, and they leave the church. If instead they are taught that the earth is old, and that the Bible supports this view, many would probably stay in the church. Young earth creation science, which insists that the earth must be young, is responsible for driving millions away from the church.
Some closing comments from me. I do feel that theistic evolution, as a whole, is far too liberal in their beliefs, on such issues as abortion, inerrancy, and the historicity of the Bible. There is no conflict for one to be a staunchly conservative evolutionist, and accept the literal interpretation of the Bible. I support all theistic evolutionists to believe as they see fit, but I also encourage them to seriously consider the nature of their belief. If the Bible is accurate about Jesus Christ, then why not Genesis?
1 A Battle for Men's Souls: Part 2, published at answersingenesis.org/docs2006/0311aaas.asp
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