Two Decades of Creationism

by Walter and Valeria Lang



Opposition to religion on the part of so-called scientists began at the turn of the century by Andrew White. He was disturbed that many colleges and universities were either church-related or, at least, had been founded under church auspices. He established Cornell University in Ithaca, New York as a non-religious school. In his two-volume work titled Warfare Between Science and Religion,39 he attempted to make a case for his position that religion retards science, using Galileo as an example. Misquoting Luther, he argued that Luther opposed Copernicus and Galileo. Andrew White had an enormous influence, and his position that religion retards science is widely held today.

Milwaukee School Opposition

In 1966 Lang was invited to address biology students in a public school by a biology teacher who had attended a talk the previous evening. As a result of this presentation, Lang was asked to appear before the administrators of the Milwaukee school district who contended that evolution is science while creation is religion.

Tennessee "Genesis Law"

In 1975 creationists in Tennessee succeeded in passage of a law granting equal time to the presentation of the creation position in science courses. Because the law contained the word "Bible," the federal judge (in an improper legal procedure) declared the law illegal and it was not implemented. After passage of the law, but before its repeal, Dr. Jones who was a biologist at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, published in a magazine for biology teachers his position that religion had always retarded science. This position is disputed by creationists who refer to Psalm 147:5 where God is described as being infinite.

Following the Scopes trial, William Jennings Bryan stated that he would like to see a Christian college (creationist) built on a hill overlooking Dayton, Tennessee. Five years later such a school was begun. Lang has given talks at this school a number of times. Although this school was founded for the purpose of promoting Christianity, government agencies refused accreditation unless unbelievers were included on the staff. In 1980 Christian Heritage College in San Diego, California experienced the same problem. We have been informed that in 1983 accreditation has been granted.

William Mayer

A leading opponent of creationism is Dr. William Mayer, known for his involvement with the Biological Science Curriculum Series, widely used in schools since the mid-1960s. These textbooks have been criticized by creationists for their blatant teaching of evolution. At the height of the controversy in 1974, William Willoughby, religion editor of a Washington, D.C. newspaper, sued government agencies for making a one-sided and false presentation in the BSCS textbooks. In response Mayer published a special edition of a news magazine in which he attacked creationists. Once he and Dr. Paul Zimmerman (creationist and at the time serving as president of Concordia Teachers College in River Forest, Illinois) appeared on the Phil Donahue show, taking opposing sides on the issue.

No God in Science

During the winter course of 1979-1980 Dr. Russell Arndts, professor of chemistry at Minnesota State University in St. Cloud, arranged a creation/evolution course. He taught the creationist position while four colleagues taught the evolution view. A respect for one another developed, particularly from a scientific standpoint. The evolutionists made many concessions and they were surprised at the sound science advanced by creationists. Still, after eleven weeks of once-a-week three-hour studies, no one changed his position on the basic issues.

Clifford Burdick

Dr. Clifford Burdick converted to the Seventh Day Adventist Church from a Seventh Day Baptist group. In 1964 while working for a doctorate in geology at the University of Arizona in Tucson, he wrote articles upholding the creationist position, particularly giving evidences for a worldwide flood, published in his church's literature. He had passed oral examinations and completed his doctoral thesis and had already rented his graduation robe. Then a young faculty member, a Jewish agnostic, obtained copies of Burdick's articles and campaigned against him. Faculty members argued that no one could be a geologist and accept the Noahic flood as fact. Burdick was offered a compromise which he refused. Eventually a university in Phoenix granted him an honorary doctorate. When his research showed pine pollen in the bottom rocks of the Grand Canyon, dated far older than evolution of trees, contamination was claimed. However, the pollen grains were stained red, indicating they had been in the rocks a long time and the coloring resulted from the red oxides. Also, some pollen grains were from extinct trees and, thus, contamination could not be claimed.

David Watson

After serving as a missionary in India, David Watson returned to his native England to teach. He was dismissed because he held a creationist position. He lost his court battle for reinstatement. For a time he served as director of the Midwest Center of the Institute for Creation Research (in the Chicago area). He is author of The Great Brain Robbery40 and Myths and Miracles,41 among others.

Jerry Bergman

Jerry Bergman, Ph.D., was a science teacher at Bowling Green State University in Ohio and a creationist, writing considerable material upholding the creationist position. Though he had problems with other faculty members, the administration supported him until its members voted against granting him tenure. He was dismissed. He maintains that right or wrong, the courts will uphold the university's decisions. He has sued the university for reinstatement.

South Dakota

Lloyd Dale taught science in South Dakota public schools for 17 years, along with pastoring a small Bible church. As an official in the State Education Association, he was assigned to investigate the creation/evolution controversy. When he became convinced that creation science was the superior science, he began to teach it. In 1978 a newly-elected school superintendent dismissed him for teaching the creation view. On the basis of a freedom issue, the State Education Association assumed his court costs. He has appealed to the state Supreme Court.

Nobel Prize

The Nobel Prize is regarded as the highest award in science. Most people accept the word of alleged experts rather than factual evidence, and most Nobel Award winners accept the evolution viewpoint. In 1975 at least 90 Nobel Prize winners opposed the proposition that the creation position be taught in California public schools. A Nobel Prize was awarded to scientist Perigrine for his claims that he could prove order resulted from disorder. It was proved that he did not demonstrate his claim, yet he was awarded the Nobel Prize.

In 1980 two scientists received the Nobel Prize for allegedly proving the "Big Bang" theory. Yet creationists have demonstrated the Big Bang theory false. The person who truly deserves a Nobel Prize is Dr. Thomas Barnes of El Paso, Texas. His painstaking research demonstrates that the earth cannot be more than 10,000 years old, based on recorded data of decay of the earth's magnetic field. Also, Barnes has developed a classical, rather than quantum, model of the atom. Because he is a creationist, he has no chance of receiving the Nobel Prize.

Arkansas — Louisiana Trials

In 1981 Arkansas passed legislation requiring equal treatment for the creation position in public schools. This was challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union which spent more than $3.5 million on the suit. When the presiding judge ruled in their favor, they demanded $3.5 million from the state. Louisiana passed a similar bill which has also been challenged by the ACLU. Bill Keith, newspaper correspondent, was elected to the state senate for his position favoring teaching the creationist position. Authorities refused to honor the duly-passed legislation requiring teaching of the creationist position, and he sued. He lost, but the case is being appealed. The state legislature is standing behind the legislation. Bill Keith has published his experiences in the book titled Scopes II — the Great Debate.42 Norman Geisler of Dallas Seminary has also written a book on the Arkansas trial, titled The Creator in the Courtroom.43

Committee of Correspondence

In December of 1981 creationists sponsored a Saturday Creation Seminar in the Minneapolis area, featuring Dr. Walter Brown and Mr. Luther Sunderland. Nearly 400 people attended. Several weeks later evolutionists sponsored an evolution seminar at the University of Minnesota which was well attended. It became apparent that a group from Iowa State University in Ames was organizing committees of correspondence whose duty it was to keep watch on creationists in schools and to counteract. In London, Ontario, when a high school teacher asked the Board of Education for equal time in presenting the creation view, the whole university staff and others objected. There was national television coverage of the issue. Much material is being published in attempts to discredit the creation position. The American Association for the Advancement of Science, in its May, 1983 publication, listed six books recently published which oppose the creation position.

ACLU and Bible-Science Association

On October 1, 1981 the American Civil Liberties Union served subpoenas on five creationist organizations: Bible-Science Association, its branch chapter in Wichita, Kansas, the Creation Research Society with headquarters in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the Creation-Science Research Center in San Diego, and the Institute for Creation Research, also in San Diego. The Kansas group succeeded in quashing this subpoena. In the subpoena to Bible-Science Association there was a demand for a copy of all material published in the past fifteen years; a check for $35 was enclosed. The two groups in San Diego also succeeded in having the subpoena quashed, providing some material asked for. Bible-Science Association sent a mailing to its supporters, asking for $20,000 to combat the suit. Later an attorney offered his services gratis. It was suggested ACLU personnel come to the office for an investigation. When a listing of material available was sent them, they asked only for a very small amount. Later, they claimed none of the material had been used and they asked for the return of their $35, but the attorney persuaded them to settle for $14.00.    (Also see: )

On October 1, 1981 members of the Twin-Cities chapter were holding a meeting. As the subpoena was read to them, they became discouraged. They were encouraged to regard this as a blessing, and it was. In response, $20,000 flowed in from supporters, upset by tactics of the ACLU. The funds were used to pay off pressing debts. God did not even have to stand up; He did this sitting down as suggested in Psalm 2.

PREV    NEXT     Start of: "Two Decades of Creationism"