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The Bible and Science:
The Creation Controversy
Major Views of Creation
There are three major views of creation:
For a detailed history of the Creationist movement I highly recommend The Creationists by Ronald Numbers, 1992. Much has happened since this book. There has been the rise of New Creationism pushing the Intelligent Design Theory. This is dealt with in Robert T. Pennock's book Tower of Babel: The Evidence against the New Creationism, 1999.
|The Creationists by Ronald Numbers, University of California Press, 1992.|
Creation Research Society (CRS)The Creation Research Society (CRS) was started in 1963 largely by the efforts of Water Lammerts because of dissatisfaction with the American Scientific Affiliation (ASA). In 1967 Lammerts was succeeded by Henry Morris as chairman of the board. Disagreements erupted in the mid-1970s between these two men. Lammerts stuck close to Ushers chronology while Morris added about 3,000 more years. Their Website is at http://www.creationresearch.org/.
Creation Science Research Center (CSRC)In 1970 Henry Morris moved to San Diego to help Pastor Tim LaHaye start Christian Heritage College and CSRS. Kelly Segraves became the assistant director. Because of disagreements in 1972 Segraves took control of CSRC and moved across town. Henry Morris reorganized the remaining staff and started ICR to focus on research and education, not politics as Segraves wanted.
Institute for Creation Research (ICR)The Institute for Creation Research (ICR) headed by Henry Morris is the leader of the young-earth creationists. They try to harmonize the Bible and Science by reinterpreting science. They see the earth as being only 10,000 years old. They see gaps in the Genesis genealogies. Henry Morris son John Morris who has a Ph.D. in geology has taken over as president of ICR. Henry Morris popularized the Flood Hydrology theory to explain the geological column while his son pushes the new Surge Tectonics theory. Other prominent members are Dwayne Gish and Stephen Austin. Their Website is at http://www.icr.org/.
Answers in Genesis (AIG)Ken Ham split from ICR to form Answers in Genesis. He takes the Bible literally with creation around 6,000 years ago with no gaps in the genealogy of Genesis, and throws science out when it disagrees with the Bible instead of trying to harmonize them. Another prominent member is Dr. Andrew Snelling. AIG's Website is at http://www.answersingenesis.org/.
Bible-Science Association (BSA)The Bible-Science Association (BSA) was started by Walter Lang who published the Bible-Science Newsletter in the mid-1960s with articles from strict Biblical literalists who believed the earth was the center of the universe and the sun revolves around the earth. They quote verses such as Psalm 93:1 which states, "the world also is established, that it cannot be moved" (KJV). Therefore, the earth does not spin around on its axis or orbit the sun, but according to Joshua 10:12 it is the sun that is moving around the earth. Today BSA has changed it's name to Creation Moments, Inc. directed by Ian Taylor. Their Website is at http://www.creationmoments.org.
Association for Biblical AstronomyThe Association for Biblical Astronomy was originally founded in 1971 by the late Dutch-Canadian educator, Walter van der Kamp. At the time it was called the Tychonian Society. In 1984 Walter retired as editor and passed the reins over to Dr. Gerardus D. Bouw. In January of 1991 the Tychonian Society was renamed the Association for Biblical Astronomy. For Biblical arguments for a flat earth see http://www.geocentricity.com/flatearth.htm.
International Creation Conference (ICC)The International Creation Conference (ICC) meets every four years with special speakers, seminars, and lectures. The Creation Science Fellowship in Pittsburgh helps sponsor this conference. Their Website is at www.csfpittsburgh.org/icc.htm
Creation Science EvangelismKent Hovind founded Creation Science Evangelism. He claims to have found the cure for cancer. He advocates getting rid of your Social Security Number to avoid paying taxes. He follows Ron Wyatt's claims of finding, Noah's ark, Ark of the Covenant, Sodom, and other amazing things. For more information see my web page on Kent Hovind. Their Website is at http://www.drdino.com.
Creation Science MuseumFounded by Carl Baugh. He still claims there are dinosaur and human footprints in the Paluxy River in Glen Rose, Texas. See What About Carl Baugh?
Another important group from the Seventh-Day Adventist Church is Geoscience Research Center at Loma Linda University in CA. It was founded in 1958. Their Website is at www.grisda.org/.
Films for Christ produced Footprints in Stone and their subsidiary Eden Communications is now on the web.
Two other key people are Kurt Wise at Bryan College in TN, home of the famous Scopes Trial, and astronomer Danny Faulkner at the University of South Carolina's Lancaster Campus.
Gap TheorySome believe in the Gap theory where there is a large gap between Genesis 1:1 and verse 2. God destroys the world he created in verse 1 and starts recreating in verse 2. This view was first expressed by Thomas Chalmers in 1814 to try to harmonized Genesis with geology. This view was popularized by the Scofield Reference Bible (1910), and promoted by Harry Rimmer. See http://www.creationdays.dk.
Day-Age TheoryOthers believe in the day-age theory where the day lasts along time because Psalm 90:4 says a day is as a thousand years in God's sight. George Frederich Wright who authored the essay on evolution in The Fundamentals believed the Day-Age theory. William Bell Riley and William Jennings Bryan also supported the Day-Age Theory.
Intermittent 6 Day TheoryOthers believe in the intermittent days of creation. The days are 24 hours but the days are separated by vast periods of time (Genesis One and the Origin of the Earth by Newman and Eckelmann, 1977). See the Interdisciplinary Biblical Research Institute at www.ibri.org.
6 Days of Divine Revelation TheoryOthers believe in six days of divine revelation to Moses on Mt. Sinai.
6 Days of Divine Decrees of Creation Theory:Finally, there is the days of divine fiat where God issued decrees of creation (See Creation and Evolution by Alan Hayward, 1985).
The Bible Declares the Earth is Old!All of these theories would agree that there is overwhelming scientific evidence for an old earth. The American Scientific Affiliation (ASA) has many leading scientists who are Christians that believe the earth is old. The Bible clearly states that the earth is old. Habakkuk 3:6 states: He stood, and measured the earth: he beheld, and drove asunder the nations; and the everlasting mountains were scattered, the perpetual hills did bow: his ways are everlasting. Should not have Habakkuk said that the mountains and hills were formed during Noahs flood? Other verses like Job 15:7 and Ecclesiastes 1:10 also indicate the earth is old (Fischer 1996, 82).
Theistic-evolutionists believe that God used the process of evolution to create the world. God is working through evolution to create the world and man over millions of years. Some claim scriptural support for evolution. In Genesis 1:11 God commands, "Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed" God does not directly create the plants. Verse 12 "the earth brought forth grass" This seems to be a clear statement of evolutionary process from scripture according to theistic-evolutionists. In Genesis 1:20 God commands, "Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life" The waters bring forth life. God does not directly create them. In Genesis 1:24 God commands, "Let the earth bring forth the living creature after its kind" Again the earth not God brings forth life. Most admit that "kind" does not mean "species," but a larger grouping, and this is only after they are brought forth or evolved by the earth. The American Scientific Affiliation (ASA) has many leading scientists who are Christians that believe God uses the process of evolution. One vocal leader is Kenneth Miller who has written Finding Darwin's God, 1999.
|Finding Darwin's God by Kenneth Miller, Cliff Street Books, 1999.|
The Fourth Day: What the Bible and the Heavens Are Telling Us About Creation by Howard J. Van Till
- Paperback: 300 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.76 x 8.56 x 5.50
- Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.; (October 1986)
God After Darwin: A Theology of Evolution by John F. Haught
- Paperback: 240 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.65 x 9.02 x 5.99
- Publisher: Westview Press; (February 2001)
New Creationism - Intelligent Design Theory
This is a new group that tries to encompass all creationists, Young-earth and Old-earth groups, although the leaders of this group are mainly Old-earthers. They avoid divisive topics like the age of the earth, or the extent of the flood. I would say that the main leader of this group is Phillip Johnson who wrote Darwin on Trial.
|Darwin on Trial by Phillip Johnson, Regnery Gateway, 1991.|
Another well known leader is Michael Behe who wrote Darwin's Black Box. Four key younger members are William Dembski, Paul Nelson (grandson of Bryon C. Nelson), Stephen C. Meyer (not to be confused with me Stephen C. Meyers), and Jonathan Wells. Their key textbook is Of Pandas and People by Davis and Nelson for use in the Public and Private Schools.
|Of Pandas and People by Davis and Nelson, 1993.|
Old-Earth OrganizationsThere are a number of old-earth creationists organizations and Websites. One of the key arguments for creation is the Intelligent Design Theory. They are also called Progressive Creationists.
American Scientific AffiliationThe ASA was founded in 1941. The stated purpose of the ASA is "to investigate any area relating Christian faith and science" and "to make known the results of such investigations for comment and criticism by the Christian community and by the scientific community." There Website is at www.asa3.org.
Affiliation of Christian GeologistsThis group is also associated with ASA. Geologist Dr. Davis Young has written a number of important books like Christianity and the Age of the Earth and The Biblical Flood. He also contributed to Portraits of Creation along with Howard J. Van Till who also wrote The Fourth Day. Website: http://www.wheaton.edu/acg/.
Reasons to BelieveReasons to Believe was founded by Dr. Hugh Ross in 1986 with three main goals: to remove doubts of skeptics, to strengthen faith of believers, and to show how science and the Bible complement each other. He has written The Fingerprint of God and Creation and Time. His Website is at http://www.reasons.org/.
Access Research NetworkThis organization has the key writers for the Intelligent Design Theory like Phillip Johnson who wrote Darwin on Trial, and Michael Behe who wrote Darwin's Black Box. Their Website is at http://www.arn.org/.
Show Me GodThis is the title of the book written by Fred Heeren and published by Day Star in 1997. His Website is at http://www.daystarcom.org/.
The Origins SolutionThis is the title of the book written by Dick Fischer in 1996. He tries to correlate the Sumerian King List with Genesis 5 genealogy. His Website is at http://www.orisol.com/.
Other ReferencesOthers books are The Science of God and Genesis and the Big Bang written by Gerald Schroeder. Don Stoner has written A New Look at the Old Earth. For a detailed analysis of young-earth arguments see Science and Earth History: The Evolution/Creation Controversy by Arthur N. Strahler, 1999. For an excellent Website on this see http://www.talkorigins.org/.
There are many good Christians on all three views of creation: 1. Young-earth Creationists, 2. Old-earth Creationists, 3. Theistic-evolutionists. Many try to harmonize the Bible with modern science, but I see this as fruitless. I believe the Bible was not meant to be a science book, but a spiritual book. II Timothy 3:16 clearly states that the Bible is inspired by God so that it is profitable for instruction in righteousness not instruction in science. Trying to use Genesis One as a science text is like trying to use a screw driver for a hammer.
The above theories all try to pour modern scientific meanings back into Genesis that the original writer, or audience would have never meant or understood. One must understand the ancient Near Eastern background to interpret Genesis one. What would the Hebrew words of Genesis One meant to the audience in the first millennium BC?
I see Genesis one as a polemic against the surrounding heathen nations, who worshipped many gods. Genesis is also etiological. See my detailed analysis of Genesis One.
Each Christian should study for himself and be persuaded in his own mind which view is right after looking at each. If my view is different than yours, we can agree to disagree. We should not fight among ourselves thinking we are the only one right, and everyone else is wrong. For there are many good Christians who believe all the views mentioned above. Our Salvation does not depend on which view of creation we believe. The Bible says to "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved" not believe in Young-earth creation or Day-age theory and thou shalt be saved.
Stephen C. Meyers
The best book that refutes Yougn-earth creationist's arguments in detail is Science and Earth History: The Evolution/Creation Controversy by Arthur N. Strahler, Prometheus Books, 1999. The best book that refutes the New Creationism is Robert T. Pennock's book Tower of Babel: The Evidence against the New Creationism, 1999.
|Science and Earth History: The Evolution/Creation Controversy by Arthur N. Strahler, Prometheus Books, 1999.||Robert T. Pennock's book Tower of Babel: The Evidence against the New Creationism, 1999.|