Review by Greg Neyman
© Old Earth Ministries
Answers in Genesis has announced a new public school outreach program, with the purpose of targeting the youth of America with evidence against evolution and the idea of millions of years. This information was presented in the October issue of Answers Update, and was repeated as an AiG Daily Feature on 20 November 2006.1
In this new outreach program, AiG supporters are encouraged to help reach public school students. The program encourages AiG’s followers to buy a book called “Evolution Exposed,” and distribute it to youth in the public schools. In the book, the author supposedly provides answers to the claims of biological evolution. The idea is to reach young people while they are still impressionable. If they can plant the seed of doubt in their minds about evolution, perhaps AiG will have gained a few supporters for their cause when these young people become adults. Since I have not read this particular book, I won’t offer any comments on it here.
In describing this new program, Ham refers to the AiG castle illustration, which shows two battling castles, one with a flag that says “Christianity” and the other with a flag that says “humanism.” The foundation of the so-called Christian castle says “’6 days’ equals God is authority,” while the other says “Millions of years equals man is authority.” Unfortunately, this is not the case. As an old earth creationist, I rely on the Word of God, and on God’s creation to tell me how old it is. Man’s authority has nothing to do with coming to the conclusion that the earth is millions of years old. Millions of years comes from the scientific data, not in a belief in humanism.
However, AiG would love for their followers to believe this illustration. AiG always has, and always will, present the case for creationism as an either-or choice. Either you believe the Bible (and young earth creationism), or you don’t (and you are a lost “humanist”). This is simply not true, and Ham knows this. Ham admits that one can be a Christian and believe in an old earth, although he does not approve of this belief. For example, in his recent debate with old earth creationist Hugh Ross on the John Ankerberg show, he accepts Ross as a Christian, but disagrees with him on creation.
The illustration also shows balloons above the humanist castle, with issues such as racism, abortion, and pornography. While humanists do support some of these ideas, these ideas are not the result of humanist thinking. AiG has a habit of pinning the blame for such items on evolution. However, these issues were around long before evolution came along, and long before humanist thought first arose in ancient Greece. In fact, you will find some of these issues in the book of Genesis. It is mankind that suffers from these things, not just humanists. They are the result of our sin-nature. They do breed more and thrive in a humanist framework, but they are present elsewhere, including today’s church.
Ham goes on to say,
The crisis of morality in today’s public school classrooms needs to be dealt with foundationally. It needs to be accomplished by reaching students, parents, and teachers with information that will positively affect the entire culture, including our young people in schools.
I agree, but Ham and his young earth creationist friends are in a very poor position to reach people, because the scientific data does not support their claims. Young earth creationist ideas are seen as a laughingstock in our public schools. Ham and his associates are presenting information that is hopelessly twisted to support a false conclusion.
I would also like to see children exposed to creationism. However, young earth creationism is sending the wrong message. In order to make the science fit the young earth model, young earth organizations like AiG, the Institute for Creation Research, and Creation Ministries International, all have "spin doctors" that reshape the data to fit their erroneous conclusions. The information presented on their websites has been sculpted in such a way that it appears to support young earth creationism, when in fact the opposite is true. This is borne out by more than 1,000 articles on this website refuting the false claims of young earth creationists. Secular opponents to creationism recognize this flaw, and exploit it. The result...young earth creationism, and the church and its message, are driven further and further from our schools.
On the other hand, old earth creationists would be able to reach people with the correct information, giving them exposure to the Gospel. Old earth organizations such as Reasons to Believe are in a much better position to go into schools and make a difference, because their information is based upon solid scientific fact that does not have to be twisted. As old earth creationism continues to grow, we will have the opportunity to make a difference. We probably have just as many believers as young earth creationism does, but we are not nearly as well organized as young earth creationists are.
While I applaud AiG for wanting to reach children with the Gospel, AiG is handicapped by poor science driven by emotions rather than facts. Hopefully it is not too late to reverse the damage done by young earth creationists, and reach those who have been driven away from the church with the Gospel.
Sources / For More Reading
1 "Launching a New Public School Outreach", published at http://www.answersingenesis.org/us/newsletters/1006lead.asp
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