Atheist Student Warns People Not to Attend My Seminar

by Dr. Terry Mortenson on February 11, 2011

Tomorrow I drive to northwest Indiana to do a seminar at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Hebron ( I will speak six times before coming home on Tuesday.

For the first time in my ministry experience, someone has written an article warning people not to attend my seminar. Here’s what this atheist had to say:

On Sunday, Feb. 13, the fundamentalist Christian organization Answers in Genesis will be giving multiple presentations at the Emmanuel Baptist Church in Hebron. This organization spreads pseudo scientific ideas such as the teaching of a 6,000-year-old universe/Earth and a belief that man coexisted peacefully with dinosaurs until very recent times.

Apart from their extreme literal interpretation of Genesis, they also claim that merely teaching the scientific theory of evolution to children results in genocide, abortion, racism, drug use and many other social ills. They even go so far as to claim it responsible for the Holocaust, which is beyond absurd.

This is an organization that actively spreads anti-science propaganda and is strongly denounced by the scientific community as well as many prominent Christian organizations. The information they advance is harmful to the minds of children and is directly opposite to established scientific consensus. They have the most basic tenants of evolution completely wrong and are not in any way academically qualified to speak on such matters.

While I am an atheist, my intention isn't to silence the group's right to free speech. I have no problem with religious groups speaking on matters that pertain to religion. However, when a group goes to the extreme lengths that Answers in Genesis does to discredit science by spreading false, anti-evolution propaganda, I have a problem.

Children have a right to an unbiased scientific education from reputable sources. The best thing you can do is this: if you were planning on attending, do not. Encourage others to skip it as well.

Trust me when I say that they're not giving you the truth. There are multiple volumes of literature you can read if you truly want an thorough understanding of evolution. The best way to deal with this organization is to simply not attend their presentations.

– Riley Reynolds, Wheatfield

Riley is evidently a 21-year-old college student ( with a love for photography and tattoos but no apparent expertise in science. So why should anyone “Trust [him] when [he says] that [I] am not giving [people in northwest Indiana] the truth”? On what grounds does he know that I and AiG are “discrediting science” and feeding people “pseudo-science” and “anti-science propaganda”? If I were a betting man, I would bet that he is just parroting what his high school teachers and university professors have told him, without any critical analysis on his own of the arguments for and against evolution.

Certainly we creationists are “denounced” by the atheist-controlled scientific majority. But most evolutionists are grossly ignorant about what creationists actually say, because they have done exactly what Riley is advocating—don’t even listen to or read what creationists say. I know because I have listened to or read what many, many evolutionists say about us.

Furthermore, truth (scientific or any other kind of truth) is not determined by majority vote or “scientific consensus” or by just hearing one side of an argument. Truth is determined by carefully weighing the evidence and arguments for and against a truth claim. But most people have only been brainwashed with the evolutionary propaganda dished out in the schools, science programs on TV, state and national parks, naturalist history programs, etc.

Notice Riley’s elephant-size claim that I and AiG “have the most basic tenants of evolution completely wrong.” Bold claim, but without a specific example of evidence to support the claim. And we are not “in any way academically qualified to speak on such matters”? Hmm. I wonder what his academic qualifications are to make that statement.

As for me, I have a Master of Divinity degree from a leading evangelical seminary, am a very active member of the Evangelical Theological Society, and have a PhD in history of geology from a secular evolutionist-controlled university in England. In my six presentations at the church this weekend, I will speak a lot about what the Bible has to say on the question of origins because I have given quite a bit of study to that subject. I will give a lecture based on my PhD thesis and a talk on the biblical and geological evidence for a global Flood at the time of Noah. I’ve also done a considerable amount of independent study of evolutionist literature on the question of biological evolution in general and human evolution in particular (my last two topics of the seminar).

As for my colleagues at Answers in Genesis, one has a PhD in geology, one has a PhD in astrophysics, one has a PhD in biology with an emphasis on cell structure, one has a PhD in molecular genetics, and one has an MD in internal medicine. All of those degrees were earned from secular, evolutionist-controlled universities. Thousands of other creationists around the world are just as equally qualified, and some of them are described here.

Isn’t it interesting that the atheists essentially control the whole public education system in this country (and most other countries) and yet their decades of graduates are apparently so poorly trained in how to think carefully that it is dangerous for them to hear creationist criticisms of evolution because they simply don’t have the mental skills to see through all our “bad, anti-scientific arguments”?

I’m not afraid to go hear an evolutionist or read evolutionist writings or be in a debate with a PhD evolutionary scientist (as I have done seven times in four countries) or speak in a secular university classroom where most of my audience strongly disagrees with me. In fact, I do these things on a regular basis because I want to know first-hand exactly what the evolutionists are saying (so I don’t misrepresent them or their arguments) and because I learn all kinds of truths in their writings and speaking that actually help me to refute evolution and millions of years and to confirm the truth of Genesis.

If the evolutionary view was really the truth, evolutionists wouldn’t be so afraid of creationists, could have calm respectful discourse with us (I have talked to a few evolutionists who can), and would actually benefit from listening to us so that they could write better refutations of our views. Instead they generally resort to ad hominem attacks, gross misrepresentations of what creationists teach, fear tactics and legal threats to try to stop people from hearing and considering the truth. That alone, without even considering the scientific arguments, should tell any thoughtful person that the evolutionary view must be false.

Riley says “children have a right to an unbiased scientific education from reputable sources.” I agree. But the only way to get an unbiased education is for the teachers to expose the students to the arguments on both sides and to teach the students to think critically and examine the biases (or presuppositions) behind the arguments they hear. I seriously doubt that Riley has gotten that kind of education, and neither have most children in America, so I hope that he and many other children (with their parents) will come to my lectures or other creationist lectures and think carefully in pursuit of the truth. Unlike most evolutionists, creationists are fully aware of their presuppositions and don’t hide them from the audience and they welcome questions and objections. I certainly do.

So, pray for me this weekend, that I will speak the truth clearly, boldly and graciously, and that the truth will challenge and encourage and change lives. And pray that God will use this atheist article in the local media to draw more people (even just one lost soul) to come to my seminar than would have otherwise come. Pray, in fact, that Riley will come. I’ve written to his two email addresses and invited him.

Thanks for praying,



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Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible—particularly the book of Genesis—regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth.