Darwin Hot in Florida

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Darwin celebrations (2009 is the 200th anniversary of his birth) are continuing throughout the year—and may intensify this fall with the 150th anniversary of the publication of his On the Origin of Species.

Answers in Genesis supporters around America (and England, Darwin’s homeland) are regularly informing us of special Darwin commemorations being held in their areas. (In fact, just a few miles from our Creation Museum, the University of Cincinnati is holding many Darwin-related events this year—we are not surprised, given the museum’s high profile in the region.) Our ministry friend Mark H. in northern Florida attended many events on the campus of Florida State University (FSU) last month that featured prominent evolutionists, and he kindly sent us a detailed report, which we excerpt here: --------

Last month, Tallahassee [Florida] celebrated Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday and the 150th anniversary of his book, On The Origins of Species, with what they called “ORIGINS ’09, A Tribute to Discovery in The Year of Science 2009” (www.origins.fsu.edu). During this event, which was sponsored by Florida State University (its Office of Research and the College of Medicine), and co-sponsored by the Tallahassee Scientific Society, the organizers presented several speakers (one each night), as well as a science and arts fair downtown, and a screening of the film, Flock of Dodos.

The speakers included E. O. Wilson (famous evolutionary biologist, author, Harvard University), Ron Numbers (professor of history, University of Wisconsin–Madison), Don Johanson (professor of anthropology, Arizona State University), and, from England, Peter Harrison (professor of science and religion, University of Oxford).

The three speakers I heard were Harrison, Numbers, and Johanson.

Peter Harrison

Dr. Harrison’s speech (March 17) titled, “The Origins of the Conflict Between Science and Religion” was refreshingly balanced and objective compared to what we are accustomed to hearing from FSU-sponsored speakers on the subject of origins and evolution. It was obvious that much of the audience, which was mostly comprised of members of the university faculty and other evolutionists, were displeased at times because the speaker made reference to weaknesses in the evolution arguments, and he displayed a picture of a monkey’s body with Darwin’s head. These received grumbling from many in the audience.

Ron Numbers

On March 26, I was expecting Mr. Number’s speech titled, “The Evolution of Creationism in America” to be balanced and objective also, based on the bio that was provided in the program—it portrayed him as the son of a fundamentalist preacher (Seventh Day Adventist) and that he grew up as a staunch creationist. However, I was quite disappointed when I heard him. He belittled the creationists and Intelligent Design folks, especially the young-earth creationists. He came across as pandering to the mostly evolutionist audience.

Mr. Numbers said the movement against evolution started with “anti-evolutionists” and that some of them later became known as “creationists.” He said, “George [McCready] Price started the concept of Biblical Flood Geology, and that Drs. Morris and Whitcomb, who wrote the book, The Genesis Flood,” defended Price. He said the next step after The Genesis Flood was the formation of the Creation Research Society, which promoted Price’s Biblical Flood Geology, which then led to scientific creationism and finally the Intelligent Design Movement (the latter has started to gain more credibility with the courts by removing the Bible and religion from the origins equation, Numbers said). He said ID includes all anti-evolutionists, leaves out the Bible, provides a common cause (Big Tent), but that the creation science people did not like it. He also said ID is just a mask for creationism.

Mr. Numbers said, “Creationism is bad science and bad religion.” Surprisingly, he made no mention of Answers In Genesis or the Creation Museum.

Don Johanson

On March 27, Don Johanson, who discovered the famous “Lucy” fossil skeleton, spoke on “The Quest for Human Origins.” He emphasized that “Lucy” was about 3.2 million years old, based on potassium-argon dating, and that modern humans emerged about 200,000 years ago. He said all life is traceable to Africa and that modern humans are related to African chimps and gorillas, but especially chimps, since our DNA is 99 percent alike. [Editor’s note: for a scientific refutation of this claim, see “Chimp Genome Sequence Very Different from Man” on our website.]

Having seen Dr. David Menton’s video, Lucy: She’s no Lady, I was looking forward to Johanson’s speech. While still not convinced we are related to “Lucy,” Johanson made comparisons of these old skeletons (which there appear to be more recent finds of this species) to modern humans and knuckle-walking apes makes it appear that the pelvis bones of “Lucy” and its species are very similar to ours (indicating that it walked upright), while the skull of “Lucy” and its species appears more ape-like. He also said that a recent baby of the same “Lucy” species was found by Zeresenay Alemseged not far away from where he found “Lucy.”

I would like to know if Dr. Menton [a scientist with Answers in Genesis] and others have investigated and analyzed the newer archaeological finds of these “Lucy” species and what he thinks of them? [Editor’s note: we are passing this question on to Dr. Menton; in the meantime see “Farewell to ‘Lucy,’” “Lucy Was Buried First,” and “Lucy’s Child, ‘Selam,’ from Ethiopia” on our website.]

I hope these descriptions give you a sense of what took place here in Tallahassee, Florida during this “Year of Darwin.”

I have been following Answers-in-Genesis for many years and have many of your resources, as well as the Answers magazine subscription. You all have greatly improved my knowledge and interests in biblical history and areas such as geology, fossils, the Flood, and the list goes on. Anyway, God bless you all and your ministry.

—Mark H., Tallahassee, Florida

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Thanks Mark—actually, this is just a very small taste of what is happening in educational institutions across America and around the world this year. Here’s another example . . . and it’s happening right here in our region:

Culture War Continues

The culture war is indeed on-going in our society in this “Year of Darwin.” For instance, we just heard of a university in the region that has already selected the book for every freshman student to receive this fall. It will be Kenneth Miller’s Only a Theory: Evolution and the Battle for America's Soul (Miller is a Catholic biology professor at Brown University who is a flaming evolutionist). The university will be giving the book to its freshmen and is also requesting that every professor incorporate this book and the idea of evolution in every course, if the professor can. We will write more about this later–and identify the university—as details come our way.

Well, the brainwashing continues. And we at Answers in Genesis will continue to expose the lies and equip the church, as God’s people join with us in prayer and financial support. This truth war must be engaged for the consequences are eternally significant. Thanks for standing with us.

Devotion

Our Example stepped around, across, and over

(Mark 5:1,2,6) And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes . . . there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit. . . . But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him

Our Example, the Lord Jesus Christ stepped around the rejections of His person & across country borders & over house thresholds to enter into hearts of the lost.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,

Ken

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