News Articles

Creation supporters helped by latest scientific data

DAYTON, Tenn. (BP)–Educators and others who attended the “Origins ’98” creationism conference at Bryan College are excited over developments in the field.
Southern Baptist pastor Chuck Edwards was impressed with a presentation on post-flood geology that demonstrated how changes in the earth could have taken place rapidly.
“When (speaker Kurt Wise) used computer-simulated models of how the continents came together and began to disperse — and how that could have happened quickly — to me, that was earth-shaking,” said the minister of education at Western Avenue Baptist Church, Statesville, N.C.
“That also ties in with Mount St. Hellens and the rapid forming of structures we see on the earth today,” he said. “All those things we see can be accounted for in the scenario they’re working on. Obviously there’s still more work to be done, but it would be incredible to see that develop.”
“The biggest thing I’ll take back is the news that there is a (creation) model being developed,” said Teri Schneider, a high school science teacher who attends Johnson’s Ferry Baptist Church, Marietta, Ga. “Those who need something to touch and see will have something in the next few years.”
The two Southern Baptists were among more than 200 instructors, students, pastors and others who attended Bryan’s first conference on young-earth origins. The Dayton, Tenn., college was founded in memory of statesman William Jennings Bryan, who argued in favor of creation at 1925’s famous Scopes trial in Dayton.
The Feb. 26-28 conference drew additional publicity since it took place two weeks after a pro-evolution event at the University of Tennessee in nearby Knoxville.
For a pair of high school teachers, the sessions in Dayton provided needed updates on changes in creation theory.
Janice Cheshire, who teaches biology and anatomy at Mt. Paran Christian School, Marietta, Ga., said she was shocked to learn a hypothesis related to pre-flood conditions in Noah’s time has been invalidated. “That’s why it’s important to go to these conferences, to keep up with changes,” said the member of First Baptist Church, Woodstock. “I have to be open to new ways of thinking, even in my own beliefs. We have to teach good science, not be dogmatic like
Micki Rudd, who teaches four high school science subjects at Trinity Christian Academy, Jackson, Tenn., said she was grateful for the updated creation-related information, recalling a seminar leader’s statement that many creationists fail to keep up with current developments.
“They keep presenting their young-earth indicators without even knowing some things have come along that have refuted those,” she said. “But there are still enough indicators that it’s overwhelmingly clear to me the earth is young. I have no doubt about it.”
Walter Stumper, a volunteer with the Missouri Association for Creation, said this conference and others are boosting the cause of creationism.
There are now more than 100 creation-oriented local, state and regional groups nationwide, including four in Missouri, he said.
“The impact is more in churches and individuals going out and doing something,” said Stumper, whose association expects to draw several thousand to a meeting this spring in St. Louis. “It’s like a ripple effect.”
“One of my passions is I don’t like the teaching of evolution as fact,” said conference attendee Richard Jahn Jr., an attorney from Chattanooga, Tenn. “I’m dismayed that alternatives like creation can’t be taught in the public schools.”
A member of a Lutheran (Missouri Synod) congregation, Jahn intends to let educators at his church’s school know about creationism developments so they can teach them to students.
Marshall Peterson, an Army chaplain stationed in Fort Knox, Ky., said he came to gather information on historical and scientific evidence for the Christian faith.
Commenting on the importance of a Christian worldview, the Bryan College graduate said he observes the impact of a godless, evolutionary mind-set among young recruits.
“I see a lot of couch potatoes with very cushy backgrounds, stripped of absolutes by their postmodern, New Age foundations,” he said. “This younger generation receives tremendous encouragement when they’re confronted with absolute morality.”
Meanwhile, the conference strengthened the faith of two high school seniors from Jackson, Tenn.
“I’ve learned what I believe is right,” said Elaine Green. “It confirmed my belief in creation, why I believe it and how I believe it.”
“In order to believe in creation and all of the stuff they’ve been talking about, you have to start out with the foundation of a belief in God,” added Elizabeth Hubbard. “Without that, the rest of it’s pretty much pointless.”
Not everyone was convinced, though. A number of supporters of evolution reportedly attended the conference, including Sebastian Zang, a 16-year-old exchange student from Germany.
The high school senior said he is convinced the earth is very old because of radiometric measurements and other information. Although the facts both sides examine are the same, he said, evolutionists interpret it differently.
Despite his doubts about creation theory, though, Zang said this approach should be taught in America’s public schools.
“In Germany the Bible is a required subject until you’re 14 and then you can choose,” he said. “I think that’s a much better way. Many people don’t even know about creation. I think there should be equal opportunities for both theories.”

    About the Author

  • Ken Walker