Washington Post: “The Genesis of a Debate”


The Washington Post follows along on a creationist journey through the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Will they fare better than those who have gone before?

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Post writer Steve Hendrix accompanied Liberty University professors David DeWitt and Marcus Ross (both good friends and partners with Answers in Genesis) to what Hendrix dubbed “the lion’s den of evolution.” DeWitt and Ross brought along students in the former’s Advanced Creation Studies course, a trip he conducts each year.

There’s nothing balanced here.

“There’s nothing balanced here,” DeWitt said of the museum. “It’s completely, 100 percent evolution-based. We come every year, because I don’t hold anything back from the students.” Smithsonian spokesman Randall Kremer doesn’t disagree, emphasizing (in Hendrix’s words) that the museum is “fundamentally Darwinian.”

Along the way, Hendrix does a fair job reporting what creationists actually believe—for example, stating that “[m]odern creationists don’t deny the existence of dinosaurs but believe that God made them, and all animals, on the same sixth day that he created man” and that young-earth creationists believe “the vast majority of the rocks and fossils were formed during Noah’s flood about 4,000 years ago.”

Lest anyone think the creationists barge in and upset the calm museum atmosphere, Hendrix quotes Bill Jack, another AiG friend who conducts trips for Biblically Correct Tours. “I’m not standing up and saying to everybody in the room, ‘Gather around.’ That would be disruptive. But I’m speaking loudly enough for my people to hear and sometimes others join in.”

(A year ago we covered a heavily biased ABC Nightline report on a creationist tour co-led by Jack.)

There is also a mention of our own Answers magazine—which Hendrix calls “a leading magazine of the young-Earth movement” (and to which DeWitt, Ross, and Jack have all contributed). The cover story for the newest issue of Answers is “creation vacations” (subscribe now!).

Hendrix also reports on two quotes DeWitt finds and points out to his group while in Washington, DC. First, emblazoned on one wall in the museum is a Nigerian proverb, “The Earth goddess fashions the human body just as the potter fashions her pot,” to which DeWitt quips, “So there is some religion here.” Second, DeWitt stops by the Jefferson Memorial with the group before heading back to Liberty University and points out a rhetorical question Jefferson asked that is imprinted in the memorial: “Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?”

We hope not only DeWitt’s students, but also Hendrix and everyone who reads his article will walk away with at least a little more understanding (rather than caricatures) of young-earth creationists and what we believe.

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