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In a local newspaper, a humanist critic accuses creationists of becoming a cult. But as Bodie Hodge, AiG–U.S., points out, biblical authority has always been the basis of orthodox Christianity.
The following is a link to a letter to the editor of the Cincinnati Enquirer that appeared last week in its online edition and then in a truncated form in the print edition of the newspaper (June 4). The letter by Dr. Frank Traina was written in response to an Enquirer article that reported on the third anniversary of our Creation Museum and its one millionth guest. Dr. Traina is a former professor at Northern Kentucky University (down I-275 from the museum); he now operates an educational farm in the area for children and adults, where many displays promote his evolutionary beliefs.
The letter can be found at: http://cincinnati.com/blogs/letters/2010/06/03/creation-museum-ignores-science/
See our point-by-point responses below with Dr. Traina’s letter interspersed; we emailed this response to Dr. Traina earlier this morning. [Web editor’s note: Web links to additional information have been added or simplified from the original.]
Dear Dr. Traina,
Greetings. You appear to be a very religious man. Being a board member of a humanist organization, SEE, that aggressively promotes humanism (a worldview), and specifically its subset of evolution, you are indeed a religious man. Your SEE membership attests to your religiosity.
We often read attacks, such as your letter to the editor, that criticize Answers in Genesis for not adhering to your religion. Our goal here is not just to refute your false claims, but, more importantly, to ask that you consider who Jesus Christ is: our Creator, Savior, and Lord.
The Creation Museum may bring dollars to Cincinnati and delight to some, but it feeds into a creationist bubble that isolates people from what really happens in nature.
Yes, we delight in having more than one million visitors in three years. I think it’s quite possible, however, that while you live and work not far from our museum, you have never visited. I say that because if you had visited, you would not have declared that we are trying to keep museum visitors from knowing about evolution. On the contrary, we present the major evolutionary beliefs inside the museum, and in a fair way—as even many of our detractors have told us.
The museum has major exhibits that examine natural selection, the proposed cornerstone of Darwinian evolution. As we teach here, natural selection does occur in nature, but it does not add any new genetic information that would eventually turn one kind of living thing into another over time.
Thus, our museum has not “isolated” our guests from what you and other evolutionists believe.
Science overwhelmingly proves
This is what is called a reification fallacy. Science is a methodology outlined by Francis Bacon—who accepted Genesis as history, by the way. Bacon was aware that the creation model is useful for discovery and collecting observations that can be repeated. Of course, evidence requires an interpretation, and that is colored by the pre-existing worldview held by the observer. Secular humanism and Christianity are two very different starting points from which to interpret evidence.
that God created the world in a different manner than that described in the Bible 3,000 years ago.
Taking your statement as a whole, I must ask: which “god” is being referred to? The God of the Bible created in six days (Exodus 20:11) and made a “very good” creation (Genesis 1:31) that was full of life, not a world full of death.1 It was truly perfect (Deuteronomy 32:4).
Now, if you are referring to a god that is not described in the Bible (i.e., who created the world in a different manner than that described in Scripture), then you need to identify that particular “god.” Then we can discuss the problems with that (false) “god.” Are you referring to Zeus, Oden, Satan, etc.?
By examining the fossil record,
Which supports creation . . . (e.g., see Order in the Fossil Record)
the genetic code of life,
. . . which supports creation too . . . (e.g., see Genetics and God’s Natural Selection)
the distribution of animals and plants on the earth,
. . . which supports creation too . . . (e.g., see How Did Animals Spread All Over the World from Where the Ark Landed?)
and the similarities found in living organisms
. . . which supports creation as well (e.g., see Comparative Similarities: Homology)
there is no question that life forms have evolved.
I find it ironic that you listed a number of things that we use to support creation. Obviously, you have come to a different interpretation of the evidence. Perhaps you have not realized that both creationists and evolutionists have the same evidence. Again, the difference is the interpretation.
It is our guess that you have been taught the religion of humanism for the bulk of your life and that you have interpreted evidence in light of that religion of humanism—of which evolution is a subset. I, too, attended public schools and universities, though today I have broadened my thinking.
With your secular presuppositions, you are looking at the fossil record, genetic code of life, distribution of plants and animals on the earth, and the similarities in living organisms from the perspective of evolution—and then concluding evolution. This is called the “fallacy of affirming the consequent” (i.e., assuming evolution to prove evolution).
One can read every page of the Bible and not find specific mention of the age of the earth
Using the chronologies given in the Bible, we can calculate most biblical events rather easily. See
I encourage you to read the Bible. To get its big picture, I suggest starting with this: What Does It Mean to Be “Saved”?
nor of the temperature of humans. But by using a scientific tool called a thermometer one can find out a person’s temperature.
This comparison is totally irrelevant to the issue of the age of the earth and the Bible. However, interestingly, a creationist invented the thermometer (Galileo).
By using a few of the 40 accurate and proven tools of radiometric dating (some of which measure billions of years) one can find that the earth is 4.5 billion years old.
Then why do we find C-14 in diamonds allegedly billions of years old? Since C-14 only lasts thousands of years, the dating methods that give dates of billions of years on these diamonds are obviously not accurate (see the RATE research). Most dating methods yield a young age for the earth, yet they are ignored in favor of the “billions of years” methods. See, again,
So, why place one’s faith 100% in radiometric dating methods that have a multitude of assumptions (guesses), such as:
Notice the deceptive tactic employed. Why are we baited with an accurate tool to measure temperature (a thermometer), and then switched to radiometric dating methods, which are wildly inaccurate and have major assumptions built in? This is the fallacy commonly known as “bait and switch.”
As an evangelical biblical scholar recently noted, the continued rejection of evolution in the face of all the growing evidence
Yet this scholar, Dr. Bruce Waltke, fails to recognize the concept that evolutionists and creationists all have the same evidence. Furthermore, the evidence is not “growing.” Creationists and evolutionists look at the same rock layers, same DNA, same dinosaur bones, etc. Evidence is evidence. In fact, God claims all evidence as His:
A Psalm of David. The earth is the LORD’S, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein.
When people incorrectly interpret evidence to conclude something in opposition to the Scriptures, they are revealing that they are in error.
will reduce the evangelical churches to that of a cult. Cults are bigoted; promote isolation in thought, often led by an authoritarian leader, often bizarre in doctrine and/or behavior, exercise strict control over their members, and sometimes exercise thought control.
Believing in the same things the church has accepted about the Bible since the time of the apostles does not mean the creation movement is a cult. By definition a cult is a religion or sect considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist, with members often living outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader.
Just because a biblical scholar who has compromised Christianity with evolution claims that Bible-believing, creationist churches are a cult is a meaningless charge. Considering that around 34 chronologists as well as theologians like Luther (or Jews like Josephus nearly 2,000 years ago) have affirmed a young earth, there is no question as to what is really orthodox.
Incidentally, until about 50 years ago, hardly anyone (scientist or theologian) believed in the age of the earth being over 4 billion years old—until Clair Patterson gave a radiometric date on a group of meteorites to be 4.5 billion years. The Christian scholar in question says this date is the absolute truth, yet suggests that those not adhering to a 50-year-old idea (influenced by the non-biblical idea of evolution) are cultists? By such reckoning, then the whole church has been a cult for almost 1950 years!
Are we seeing the emergence of creationist cults divorced from both nature and the spirit of Christianity, but obsessed with fighting evolution?
I encourage you (Dr. Traina) to read more about Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum. Our hope is that you would actually discover that AiG is all about biblical authority—where God is both the God of the natural world and the supernatural world. We teach the same biblical authority message that Christ and the apostles taught, and what the great Reformers also fought for some 500 years ago.
We live in a secular humanistic society that has forced its religion on unwitting young people in the public schools and elsewhere (e.g., science museums, magazines, etc.). Humanists are upset that Bible-believing Christians don’t bow to their religion. Meanwhile, humanistic high priests, such as Dr. Richard Dawkins and Dr. Eugenie Scott (who have signed the Humanist Manifesto III), continue their attacks on the true religion: Christianity. You are (or have been) a board member of a humanist organization, the SEE, that teaches unsuspecting children a religion of evolutionary humanism—have you considered the religious aspects of your religion on these kids?
Such attacking letters to the editor and guest columns in newspapers only show a hatred toward Christians. But secular humanists probably don’t realize that when they argue against God and His Word, they are confirming Romans 1:19–20:
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.
With kindness in Christ,
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.