Evolutionist Strategy for Creation Event: Ignore, Fear, Block
A little creation event at a university has the evolutionists in a tizzy.
“Creationism conference at large U.S. research university stirs unease” reads a headline at Science Magazine about an event challenging the Darwin-only stance at Michigan State. Writer Vivian Callier describes the reaction of Darwinists to challengers on their turf:
News of the event caught MSU’s scientific community largely by surprise. Creation Summit secured a room at the university’s business school through a student religious group, but the student group did not learn about the details of the program—or the sometimes provocative talk titles—until later, says MSU zoologist Fred Dyer. The talk titles led Dyer to suspect that the student group was not involved in planning the conference, he says, prompting him to look into its origins.
Note: “scientific community” is interchangeable with “Darwinians” since Darwin’s account of origins is the only view tolerated by the science profs at MSU, although one grad student considers herself a Christian. Emilie Weigel’s response to the event, dubbed “Origin Summit,” was just as strident as those of the secular materialist Darwinians in the science department. She describes the event as an “attack” on her faith, that makes her feel “uneasy” and is “shaming” to other Christians at the university.
Among atheistic Darwinist professors at MSU is Richard Lenski, whose decades-long experiment trying to get E. coli to evolve will be specifically criticized at the event. Another noted anticreationist prof at the school is Robert Pennock, who testified at the 2005 trial Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District (12/23/05), widely cited by Darwinists even though its ruling had no jurisdiction outside one Pennsylvania county. MSU is also the recipient of millions in grants from the NSF for its BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action (8/13/12).
With overwhelming power, money and influence on the Darwin side, it may seem surprising that any of them feel “unease” at a little event in one room in the business department. Lenski hid his unease under this bluff: “In my opinion, this event will be just another forgettable blip in the long history of antiscience, antievolution screeds.” But in a surprising show of academic freedom, MSU did not buckle under pressure from the science department:
University officials say they have no plans to interfere with the event. “Free speech is at the heart of academic freedom and is something we take very seriously,” said Kent Cassella, MSU’s associate vice president for communications, in a statement. “Any group, regardless of viewpoint, has the right to assemble in public areas of campus or petition for space to host an event so long as it does not engage in disorderly conduct or violate rules. While MSU is not a sponsor of the creation summit, MSU is a marketplace of free ideas.“
The Origin Summit features four speakers, each with doctorates: Jerry Bergman, Charles Jackson, Donald DeYoung and John Sanford (6/05/11). Creation Summit is not “overtly evangelistic,” the article says. But “we hope to pave the way for evangelism (for the other campus ministries) by presenting the scientific evidence for intelligent design,” CEO Mike Smith explains. “Once students realize they’re created beings, and not the product of natural selection, they’re much more open to the Gospel, to the message of God’s love & forgiveness.” If successful, Creation Summit plans similar events at other campuses.
Can you feel the horror among the Darwinists at the prospect of a small event in a room in the business department that challenges the Bearded Buddha in his temple? To them, this must look like a terrorist attack. They seem uncertain what to do about it. Should they ignore it? But it’s an “attack” on their core beliefs to suggest a God of love and forgiveness. It’s “antiscience” to present evidence for intelligent design, brought by a leading Cornell geneticist, John Sanford. It’s a “screed” to suggest the big bang has problems, or that Lenski’s decades-long work has produced no evidence for evolution. It’s “provocative” to reveal Hitler’s ties to Darwin. “This must be stopped!” they think. Yikes! The administration won’t banish it! Cassella defends academic freedom! What should we do? Maybe we can get Science Magazine to write biased coverage for us!
Yes, Darwinians are the champions of enlightenment. They prove it with the “Dance your Ph.D. Contest” reported by the same outlet of sober knowledge, Science Magazine. Savor the deep intellect: “Now it’s a dance-off between the sciences, including a tango based on robot collision avoidance, an acrobatic spectacle based on soil ecology, and, in one of the most meta Ph.D. dances ever, a hip-hop dance about the anthropology of hip-hop.”
One little observation: there are creation organizations that criticize “intelligent design” for various reasons, but in practice, you can find many of them using ID arguments as part of their scientific presentations in academic environments (this Editor has recently witnessed this in materials by AiG, CMI, and ICR). In a sense, that’s what Morris and Gish did in their many debates on university campuses, as did A.E. Wilder-Smith. You can see the rationale in the quote by Mike Smith: “Once students realize they’re created beings, and not the product of natural selection, they’re much more open to the Gospel.” Whether or not that is effective in practice is a separate question (the DODO birds equate ID to creationism anyway), but intelligent design offers only scientific evidence that is not dependent on any religious text or doctrine for its legitimacy. For that reason, it deserves honest consideration by Lenski, Pennock and the other Darwin worshipers. (Anyone think that is likely to happen?)
Exercise: Rewrite Callier’s article without the pro-Darwin bias in a way that would be balanced or even favorable to the creation side. This might include dropping loaded words and the power of suggestion, among other changes. How would an article be written in a world where Darwinism was the minority opinion among scientists and academics, like it is in the general public?