“Around the world, around the world…” Good Fellas: Say, “Hello,” to my Little (Scientific) Friend!
The man of science has learned to believe in justification, not by faith, but by verification.
Thomas H. Huxley
I’m an atheist, and that’s it. I believe there’s nothing we can know except that we should be kind to each other and do what we can for people.
How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded, “This is better than we thought! The Universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander, more subtle, more elegant?” Instead they say, “No, no, no! My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that way.” A religion, old or new, that stressed the magnificence of the Universe as revealed by modern science might be able to draw forth reserves of reverence and awe hardly tapped by the conventional faiths.
I’m not sure why I enjoy debunking. Part of it surely is amusement over the follies of true believers, and [it is] partly because attacking bogus science is a painless way to learn good science. You have to know something about relativity theory, for example, to know where opponents of Einstein go wrong. . . . Another reason for debunking is that bad science contributes to the steady dumbing down of our nation. Crude beliefs get transmitted to political leaders and the result is considerable damage to society.
The evidence of evolution pours in, not only from geology, paleontology, biogeography, and anatomy (Darwin’s chief sources), but from molecular biology and every other branch of the life sciences. To put it bluntly but fairly, anyone today who doubts that the variety of life on this planet was produced by a process of evolution is simply ignorant — inexcusably ignorant, in a world where three out of four people have learned to read and write. Doubts about the power of Darwin’s idea of natural selection to explain this evolutionary process are still intellectually respectable, however, although the burden of proof for such skepticism has become immense…
My father’s family was super Orthodox. They came from a little shtetl somewhere in Russia. My father told me that they had regressed even beyond a medieval level. You couldn’t study Hebrew, you couldn’t study Russian. Mathematics was out of the question. We went to see them for the holidays. My grandfather had a long beard, I don’t think he knew he was in the United States. He spoke Yiddish and lived in a couple of blocks of his friends. We were there on Pesach, and I noticed that he was smoking.
So I asked my father, how could he smoke? There’s a line in the Talmud that says, ayn bein shabbat v’yom tov ela b’inyan achilah. I said, “How come he’s smoking?” He said, “Well, he decided that smoking is eating.” And a sudden flash came to me: Religion is based on the idea that God is an imbecile. He can’t figure these things out. If that’s what it is, I don’t want anything to do with it.
Young earth creationism continues apace in Canadian society, and the global community (Canseco, 2018a). Canada outstrips America, and the United Kingdom outstrips Canada, in scientific literacy on this topic of the foundations of the biological and medical sciences (The Huffington Post Canada, 2012). Here we will explore a wide variety of facets of Canadian creationism with linkages to the regional, international, media, journalistic, political, scientific, theological, personality, associational and organizational, and others concerns pertinent to the proper education of the young and the cultural health of the constitutional monarchy and democratic state known as Canada. [Ed. Some parts will remain tediously academic in citation and presentation – cautioned.] Let’s begin.
To start on a point of clarification, some, as Robert Rowland Smith, seem so unabashed as to proclaim belief in creationism a mental illness (2010). Canseco (2018b) notes how British Columbia may be leading the charge in the fight against scientific denial. The claim of belief in creationism as a mental illness seems unfair, uncharitable, and incorrect (Smith, 2010). A belief – creationism – considered true and justified, which remains false and unjustified and, therefore, an irrational belief system disconnected from the natural world rather than a mental illness. The American Psychiatric Association (2019) characterizes mental illness as “Significant changes in thinking, emotion and/or behavior. Distress and/or problems functioning in social, work or family activities.”
A mental illness can influence someone who believes in creationism or not, but a vast majority of adherence to creationism seems grounded in sincere beliefs and normal & healthy social and professional functioning, not mental health issues. Indeed, it may relate more to personality factors (Pappas, 2014). Other times, deliberate misrepresentations of professional opinion exist too (Bazzle, 2015). It shows in the numbers. Douglas Todd remarks on hundreds of millions of Christians and Muslims who reject evolution and believe in creationism around the world (2014), e.g., “Safar Al-Hawali, Abdul Majid al-Zindani, Muqbil bin Hadi al-Wadi`i and others” in the Muslim intellectual communities alone.
On the matter of if this particular belief increases mental health problems or mental illness, it would seem an open and empirical question because of the complicated nature of mental illness, and mental health for that matter, in the first place. Existential anxiety or outright death anxiety may amount to a non-trivial factor of belief in intelligent design and/or creationism over evolution via natural selection (UBC, 2011; Tracy, Hart, & Martens, 2011). On the factual and theoretical matters, several mechanisms and evidences substantiate evolution via natural selection and common descent, including comparative genomics, homeobox genes, the fossil record, common structures, distributions of species, similarities in development, molecular biology, and transitional fossils (Long, 2014; National Human Genome Institute, 2019; University of California, Berkeley, n.d.; Rennie, 2002; Hordijk, 2017; National Academy of Sciences, 1999). Some (Krattenmaker, 2017) point to historic lows of the religious belief in creationism.
Not to worry, though, comedic counter-movements emerge with the Pastafarians from the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Josh Elliott (2014) stated, “The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster was founded in 2005 as a response to Christian perspectives on creationism and intelligent design. It allegedly sprang from a tongue-in-cheek open letter to the Kansas School Board, which mocked educators for teaching intelligent design in schools.” The most distinguished scientists in Britain have been well ahead of other places in stating unequivocally the inappropriate nature of the attempts to place creationism in the science classrooms as a religious belief structure (MacLeod, 2006). Not only in law, there are creationist ‘science’ fairs for the next generations (Paley, 2001).
Politics, science, and religion become inextricably linked in Canadian culture and society because of the integration of some political bases with religion and some religious denominations with theological views masquerading as scientific theories, as seen with Charles McVety and Doug Ford (Press Progress, 2018a). Religious groups and other political organizations, periodically, show true colors (Ibid.). Some educators and researchers may learn the hard way about the impacts on professional trajectory if they decline to pursue the overarching theoretical foundations in biological and medical sciences – life sciences; some may be seen as attempting to bring intelligent design creationism into the classroom through funding council applications (Hoag, 2006; Government of Canada, 2006; Bauslaugh, 2008).
It can be seen as a threat to geoscience education too (Wiles, 2006). According to Montgomery (2015), the newer forms of young earth creationists with a core focus on the biblical accounts alone rather than a joint consideration with the world around us take a side step from the current history. “For the first thousand years of Christianity, the church considered literal interpretations of the stories in Genesis to be overly simplistic interpretations that missed deeper meaning,” Montgomery stated, “Influential thinkers like Saint Augustine and Saint Thomas Aquinas held that what we could learn from studying the book of nature could not conflict with the Bible because they shared the same author” (Ibid.). Besides, the evidence can be in the granite too (Plait, 2008).
There does appear a significant decline in the theological and religious disciplines over time (McKnight, 2019). Khan (2010) notes the ways in which different groups believe in evolution or not. In fact, he (Ibid.) provides an index to analyze the degree to which belief groups accept evolution or believe in creationism. These beliefs exist in a weave alongside antivaccination at times (oracknows, 2016). Even for foundational questions of life and its origin, we come to the proposals reported by and found within modern science (Schuster, 2018). There continue to exist devoted podcasts (Ruba, 2019) to the idea of a legitimate – falsely, so-called – conversations about creationism.
Hemant Mehta of Friendly Atheist (2018d) reflected on the frustration of dealing with dishonest or credulous readings of the biological and geological record by young earth creationists in which only some, and in already confirming-biases, evidence gets considered for the reportage within the young earth creationist communities by the young earth creationist journalists or leadership. Live Science (2005) may have produced the most apt title on the entire affair with creationism as a title category unto itself with the description of an “Ambiguous Assault on Evolution” by creationism. There continue to be book reviews – often negative – of the productions of some theorists in the creationist and the intelligent design camps (Cook, 2013; Collins, 2006; Asher, 2014). Others praise books not in favour of creationism or intelligent design (Maier, 2009).
Mario Canseco in Business in Vancouver noted the acceptance by Canadians of evolution via natural selection and deep biological-geological time at 68% (2018b). One report stated findings of 40% of Canadians believing in the creation of the Earth in 6 days (CROP, 2017). The foundational problem comes from the meaning of terms in the public and to the community of professional practitioners of science/those with some or more background in the workings of the natural world, and then the representation and misrepresentation of this to the public. There is work to try violate the American Constitution to enforce the teaching of creationism, which remains an open claim and known claim by creationist leaders too (American Atheists, 2018).
We can see this in the public statements of leaders of countries as well, including America, in which the term “theory” becomes interpreted as a hunch or guess rather than an empirically well-substantiated hypothesis defined within the sciences. We can find the same with the definitions of terms including fact, hypothesis, and law:
- Fact: In science, an observation that has been repeatedly confirmed and for all practical purposes is accepted as “true.” Truth in science, however, is never final and what is accepted as a fact today may be modified or even discarded tomorrow.
- Hypothesis: A tentative statement about the natural world leading to deductions that can be tested. If the deductions are verified, the hypothesis is provisionally corroborated. If the deductions are incorrect, the original hypothesis is proved false and must be abandoned or modified. Hypotheses can be used to build more complex inferences and explanations.
- Law: A descriptive generalization about how some aspect of the natural world behaves under stated circumstances.
- Theory: In science, a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that can incorporate facts, laws, inferences, and tested hypotheses. (NSCE, n.d.)
This happened with American Vice-President Mike Pence, stating, “…a theory of the origin of species which we’ve come to know as evolution. Charles Darwin never thought of evolution as anything other than a theory. He hoped that someday it would be proven by the fossil record but did not live to see that, nor have we.” (Monatanari, 2016). As Braterman (2017) stated – or corrected, “The usual answer is that we should teach students the meaning of the word ‘theory’ as used in science – that is, a hypothesis (or idea) that has stood up to repeated testing. Pence’s argument will then be exposed to be what philosophers call an equivocation – an argument that only seems to make sense because the same word is being used in two different senses.” Vice-President Mike Pence equivocated on the word “theory.”
Some politicians, potentially a harbinger of claims into the future as the young earth creationist position becomes more marginal, according to O’Neil (2015), “Lunney told the House of Commons that millions of Canadians are effectively ‘gagged’ as part of a concerted effort by various interests in Canada to undermine freedom of religion.” Intriguingly enough, and instructive as always, the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) conducted Project Steve as a parody and an homage to the late Stephen Jay Gould, in which the creationists’ attempt to portray evolution via natural selection as a “theory in crisis” through the gathering of a list of scientists who may disagree with Darwin (n.d.) becomes one methodology to attempt to refute it or to sow doubt in the minds of the lay public. One American teacher proclaimed evolution should not be taught because of origination in the 18th century (Palma, 2019). One may assume for Newtonian Mechanics for the 17th and 18th centuries. RationalWiki, helpful as always, produced a listing of the creationists in addition to the formal criteria for inclusion on their listing of creationists (RationalWiki, 2019d), if curious about the public offenders.
Unfortunate for creationists, and fortunate for us – based on the humor of the team at the NCSE, there is a collected list of scientists named “Steve” who agree with the findings in support of evolution via natural selection in order to point to the comical error of reasoning in creationist circles because tens of thousands of researchers accept evolution via natural selection – and a lot with the name Steve alone – while a select fraction of one percent do not in part or in full (Ibid.). Still, one may find individuals as curators as in the case of Martin Legemaate who maintains Creation Research Museum of Ontario, which hosts creationist or religious views on the nature of the world. In the United States, there is significant funding for creationism on public dollars (Simon, 2014). Answers in Genesis intended to expand into Canada in 2018 (Mehta, 2017a) with Calvin Smith leading the organizational national branch (Answers in Genesis, 2019a). Jim McBreen wrote a letter commenting on personal thoughts about theories and facts, and evolution (McBreen, 2019). Over and over again, around the world, and coming back to Canada, these ideas remain important to citizens.
York (2018) wrote an important article on the link between the teaching of creationism in the science classroom and the direct implication of institutes built to set sociopolitical controversy over evolution when zero exists in the biological scientific community of practicing scientists. Other theories propose “interdimensional entities” in a form of creationism plus evolutionary via natural selection to explain life (Raymond, 2019). Singh (n.d.) argues for the same. This does not amount to a traditional naturalistic extraterrestrial intelligent engineering of life on Earth with occasional interference or scientific intervention, and experimentation, on the human species, or some form of cosmic panspermia.
This seems more akin to intelligent design plus creationism and an assertion of additional habitable dimensions and travellers between their dimension and ours. In other words, more of the similar without a holy scripture to inculcate it. [Ed. As some analysis shows later, this may relate to conspiratorial mindsets in order to fill the gap in knowledge or to provide cognitive closure.] Whether creationism or intelligent design, as noted by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (2019a):
“Intelligent design” creationism is not supported by scientific evidence. Some members of a newer school of creationists have temporarily set aside the question of whether the solar system, the galaxy, and the universe are billions or just thousands of years old. But these creationists unite in contending that the physical universe and living things show evidence of “intelligent design.” They argue that certain biological structures are so complex that they could not have evolved through processes of undirected mutation and natural selection, a condition they call “irreducible complexity.” Echoing theological arguments that predate the theory of evolution, they contend that biological organisms must be designed in the same way that a mousetrap or a clock is designed – that in order for the device to work properly, all of its components must be available simultaneously….
…Evolutionary biologists also have demonstrated how complex biochemical mechanisms, such as the clotting of blood or the mammalian immune system, could have evolved from simpler precursor systems…
… In addition to its scientific failings, this and other standard creationist arguments are fallacious in that they are based on a false dichotomy. Even if their negative arguments against evolution were correct, that would not establish the creationists’ claims. There may be alternative explanations…
… Creationists sometimes claim that scientists have a vested interest in the concept of biological evolution and are unwilling to consider other possibilities. But this claim, too, misrepresents science…
… The arguments of creationists reverse the scientific process. They begin with an explanation that they are unwilling to alter – that supernatural forces have shaped biological or Earth systems – rejecting the basic requirements of science that hypotheses must be restricted to testable natural explanations. Their beliefs cannot be tested, modified, or rejected by scientific means and thus cannot be a part of the processes of science.
Disagreements exist between the various camps of creationism too. These ideas spread all over the world from the North American context, even into secular Europe (Blancke, & Kjærgaard, 2016). Canada remains guilty as charged and the media continue in complicity at times. Pritchard (2014) correctly notes the importance of religious views and the teaching of religion, but not in the science classroom. Godbout (2018) made the political comparison between anti-SOGI positions and anti-evolution/creationist points of view. This reflects the political reality of alignment between several marginally scientific and non-scientific views, which tend to coalesce in political party platforms or opinions.
Copeland (2015) mused, and warned in a way, the possibility of the continual attacks on empirical findings, on retention of scientists, on scientific institutes and research, reducing the status of Canada. This seems correct to me. He said:
- High-level science advice has been removed from central agencies and is non-existent in the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, despite trends to the contrary almost everywhere else;
- Science-based departments, funding agencies and NGOs have faced crippling budget cuts and job losses — 1,075 jobs at Fisheries and Oceans and 700 at Environment Canada alone;
- Opaque, underhanded techniques, such as the passage of the omnibus budget bill C-38 in June 2012, have weakened, reduced or eliminated scientific bodies, programs and legislative instruments. These include the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, the Fisheries Act, the Navigable Waters Protection Act, the Nuclear Safety Control Act, the Parks Canada Agency Act and the Species at Risk Act.
- Canada has withdrawn from the Kyoto Protocol and earned distinction as a “Lifetime Unachiever” and “Fossil of the Year”, while promoting the development of heavy oil/tar sands, pipelines, asbestos exports and extractive industries generally;
- The long form census was abolished — against the advice of everyone dependent upon that data — prompting the resignation of the Chief Statistician;
- Rare science books have been destroyed and specialized federal libraries and archives closed or downsized;
- Commercially promising, business-friendly, applied R&D has been privileged over knowledge-creating basic science in government laboratories;
- Scientists have been publically rebuked, are prevented from speaking freely about their research findings to the public, the media or even their international colleagues, and are required to submit scholarly papers for political pre-clearance (Ibid.)
To an American context, this can reflect a general occurrence in North America in which the Americans remain bound to the same forms of problems. The attempts to enter into the educational system by non-standard and illegitimate means continues as a problem for the North Americans with an appearance of banal and benign conferences with intentional purposes of evangelization. One wants to assume good will. However, the work for implicit evangelizations seems unethical while the eventual open statements of the intent for Christian outreach in particular seems moral as it does not put a false front forward. Indeed, some creationists managed to construct and host a conference at Michigan State University (MSU) in East Lansing (Callier, 2014). It was entitled “The Origin Summit” with superordinate support by the Creation Summit (Ibid.) Creation Summit states:
Creation Summit: confronting evolution where it thrives the most, at universities and seminaries!
We may have been banned from the classroom, but banned does not mean silenced. By booking the speakers and renting the facilities on or near college campuses, we can and still do have an impact for proclaiming the truth of science and the Bible.
Creation Summit is visiting college and university campuses through-out the country, bringing world renowned scientists before the students. Modern sciences from astronomy to genetics have shown that Darwin’s story is no longer even a feasible theory. It just does not work. It is only a matter of getting the word out to the next generation. So we work with local Creation groups and schedule a seminar with highly qualified scientists with tangible evidence as speakers. Many of these scientists were once evolution believers, but their own research convinced them that evolution is not viable. Students, many for the first time ever, are discovering that the Bible is true – that science and Genesis are in total agreement. And, if Genesis 1:1 can be trusted, so can John 3:16. (Creation Summit, 2019)
A partisan group hosting a partisan and religious conference with the explicit purpose of reducing the quality of cultural knowledge, of science, on campuses, as they bring “scientists [who] were once evolution believers, but their own research convinced them that evolution is not viable” (Ibid.). Mike Smith, the executive director of the student group at MSU, at the time stated, the summit is “not overtly evangelistic… we hope to pave the way for evangelism (for the other campus ministries) by presenting the scientific evidence for intelligent design. Once students realize they’re created beings, and not the product of natural selection, they’re much more open to the Gospel, to the message of God’s love & forgiveness” (Ibid.).
There can be inflammatory comparisons, as in the white nationalist and teaching & creationism and teaching example of Robins-Early (2019). This comes in a time of the rise of ethnic nationalism, often from the European heritage portions of the population, but also in other nation-states with religion and ultra-nationalism connected to them. Creationists see evolution as intrinsically atheistic and, therefore, a problem as taught in a standard science classroom. Beverly (2018) provided an update to the Christian communities in how to deal with the problem – from Beverly’s view and others’ perspectives – of “atheistic evolution.” Beverley stated, “The battle line that emerged at the conference is the same one that surfaced in 1859 when Charles Darwin released his famous On the Origin of Species. Then and now Christians separate into two camps – those who believe God used macroevolution (yes, Virginia, we descended from an ape ancestor about 7 million years ago), and those who abhor that theory (no, Virginia, God brought us here through special creation)… Leaders in all Christian camps agree that one of the main threats to faith in our day is the pervasiveness of atheistic evolution.” (Ibid.).
Their main problem comes from the evolution via natural selection implications of non-divine interventionism in the development of life within the context of the fundamental beliefs asserted since childhood and oft-repeated into theological schools, right into the pulpits. The same phenomenon happened with the prominent and intelligent, and hardy – for good reason, Rev. Gretta Vosper or Minister Gretta Vosper (Jacobsen, 2018m; Jacobsen, 2018n; Jacobsen, 2018o; Jacobsen, 2019n; Jacobsen, 2019o; Jacobsen, 2019q; Jacobsen, 2019r).
One can see the rapid growth in the religious groups, even in secular and progressive British Columbia with Mark Clark of Village Church (Johnston, 2017). Some note the lower education levels of the literalists, the fundamentalists and creationists, into the present, which seems more of a positive sign on the surface (Khan, 2010). Although, other trends continue with supernatural beliefs extant in areas where creationism diminishes. Supernaturalism seems inherent in the beliefs of the religious. Some 13% of American high school students accept creationism (Welsh, 2011). Khan (2010) notes the same about Alabama and creationism, in which the majority does not mean correct. Although, some Americans find an easier time to mix personal religious philosophy with modern scientific findings (Green, 2014). Christopher Gregory Weber (n.d.) and Phil Senter (2011) provide thorough rejections of the common presentations of a flood geology and intelligent design.
Garner reported in the Independent on the importance of the prevention of the teaching of creationism as a form of indoctrination in the schools, as this religious philosophy or theological view amounts to one with attempted enforcement – by religious groups, organizations, and leaders, often men – into the curricula or the standard educational provisions of a country (2014). Professor Alice Roberts (Ibid.) stated, “People who believe in creationism say that by teaching evolution, you are indoctrinating them with science but I just don’t agree with that. Science is about questioning things. It’s about teaching people to say ‘I don’t believe it until we have very strong evidence.’”
Vanessa Wamsley (2015) provided a great introduction to the ideal of a teacher in the biology classroom with education on the science without theist evangelization or non-theist assumptions:
Terry Wortman was my science teacher from my sophomore through senior years, and he is still teaching in my hometown, at Hayes Center Public High School in Hayes Center, Nebraska. He still occasionally hears the question I asked 16 years ago, and he has a standard response. “I don’t want to interfere with a kid’s belief system,” he says. “But I tell them, ‘I’m going to teach you the science. I’m going to tell you what all respected science says.’
Randerson (2008) provides an article from over a decade ago of the need to improve educational curricula on theoretical foundations to all of the life science. As Michael Reiss, director of education at the Royal Society – circa 2008, said, “I realised that simply banging on about evolution and natural selection didn’t lead some pupils to change their minds at all. Now I would be more content simply for them to understand it as one way of understanding the universe” (Ibid.).
Indeed, some state, strongly, as Michael Stone from The Progressive Secular Humanist, the abuse of children inherent in teaching them known wrong or factually incorrect ideas, failed hypotheses, and wrong theories about the nature of nature in addition to the enforcement of a religious philosophy in a natural philosophy/science classroom (2018). In any case, creationism isn’t about proper science education (Zimmerman, 2013).
Creation Ministries International – a major creationist organization – characterizes creationism and evolution as in a debate, not true (Funk, 2017). Pierce (2006), akin to Creation Ministries International, tries to provide an account of the world from 4,004 BC. People can change, young and old alike. Luke Douglas in a blog platform by Linda LaScola, from The Clergy Project, described a story of being a young earth creationist at age 15 and then became a science enthusiast at age 23 (2018). It enters into the political realm and the social and cultural discourses too. For example, Joe Pierre, M.D. (2018) described the outlandish and supernatural intervention claimed by Pat Robertson in the cases of impending or ongoing natural disasters. This plays on the vulnerabilities of the suffering.
However, other questions arise around the reasons for this fundamental belief in agency behind the world in addition to human choice rather than human agency alone. Dr. Jeremy E. Sherman in Psychology Today (2018), who remains an atheist and a proper scientist trained in evolutionary theory, attempts to explain the sense of agency and, in so doing, reject the claims of Intelligent Design. Regardless of the international, regional, and national statuses, and the arguments for or against, America remains a litigious culture. Creationists and Intelligent Design proponents met more than mild resistance against their religious and supernaturalist, respectively, philosophies about the world, as noted by Bryan Collinsworth at the Center for American Progress.
He provided some straightforward indications as to the claims to the scientific status of Intelligent Design only a year or thereabouts after the Kitzmiller v Dover trial in 2005. Legal cases, apart from humour as a salve, exist in the record as exemplifications of means by which to combat non-science as propositions or hypotheses, or more religious assertions, masquerading as science. All this and more will acquire some coverage in the reportage here.
Court Dates Neither By Accident Nor Positive Evidence for the Hypothesis
The theory that religion is a force for peace, often heard among the religious right and its allies today, does not fit the facts of history.
I feel like I have a good barometer of being more of a humanist, a good barometer of good and bad and how my conduct should be toward other people.
The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.
The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion (to which few members of other religions were converted) but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact; non-Westerners never do.
God, once imagined to be an omnipresent force throughout the whole world of nature and man. has been increasingly tending to seem omniabsent. Everywhere, intelligent and educated people rely more and more on purely secular and scientific techniques for the solution of their problems. As science advances, belief in divine miracles and the efficacy of prayer becomes fainter and fainter.
There exists indeed an opposition to it [building of UVA, Jefferson’s secular college] by the friends of William and Mary, which is not strong. The most restive is that of the priests of the different religious sects, who dread the advance of science as witches do the approach of day-light; and scowl on it the fatal harbinger announcing the subversion of the duperies on which they live. In this the Presbyterian clergy take the lead. The tocsin is sounded in all their pulpits, and the first alarm denounced is against the particular creed of Doctr. Cooper; and as impudently denounced as if they really knew what it is.
A common error in reasoning comes from the assertion of the controversy, where an attempt to force a creationist educational curricula onto the public and the young fails. This becomes a news item, or a series of them. It creates the proposition of a controversy within the communities and, sometimes, the state, even the nation, as a plausible scenario as the public observes the latter impacts of this game – literally, a game with one part including the Wedge Strategy of Intelligent Design proponents – playing out (Conservapedia, 2016; Center for the Renewal of Science & Culture, n.d.). The Wedge Strategy was published by the Center for the Renewal of Science & Culture out of the Discovery Institute as a political and social action plan with a serious concern over “Western materialism that (it claims) has no moral standards” and the main tenets of evolution create a decay in ethical standards because “materialists… undermined personal responsibility,” and so was authored to “overthrow… materialism and its cultural legacies” (Conservapedia, 2016). The Discovery Institute planned three phases:
Phase I. Scientific Research, Writing & Publicity
Phase II. Publicity & Opinion-making
Phase III. Cultural Confrontation & Renewal
(Center for the Renewal of Science & Culture, n.d.)
The Discovery Institute (Ibid.) argued:
The proposition that human beings are created in the image of God is one of the bedrock principles on which Western civilization was built. Its influence can be detected in most, if not all, of the West’s greatest achievements, including representative democracy, human rights, free enterprise, and progress in the arts and sciences.
Yet a little over a century ago, this cardinal idea came under wholesale attack by intellectuals drawing on the discoveries of modern science. Debunking the traditional conceptions of both God and man, thinkers such as Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, and Sigmund Freud portrayed humans not as moral and spiritual beings, but as animals or machines who inhabited a universe ruled by purely impersonal forces and whose behavior and very thoughts were dictated by the unbending forces of biology, chemistry, and environment…
…The cultural consequences of this triumph of materialism were devastating…
…Materialists also undermined personal responsibility by asserting that human thoughts and behaviors are dictated by our biology and environment. The results can be seen in modern approaches to criminal justice, product liability, and welfare. In the materialist scheme of things, everyone is a victim and no one can be held accountable for his or her actions.
The strategy of a wedge into the institutions of the culture to renew the American landscape, and presumably resonating outwards from there, for the recapture of the citizenry with the ideas of “Western civilization,” human beings created in the “image of God,” and the rejection of Darwinian, Marxian, and Freudian notions of the human race as not “moral and spiritual beings” (Ibid.). As this game continues to play out, more aware citizens can become irritated and litigious about the infringement of Intelligent Design and creationism in the public schools through an attempted enforcement.
Then the response becomes a legal challenge to the attempted enforcement. From this, some of the creationist community cry victim or utilize this legal challenge as a purported example of the infringement on their academic freedom, infringement on their First Amendment to the American Constitution right to freedom of speech or “free speech,” or the imposition of atheism and secular humanism on the public (the Christian community, the good people), and the like; when, in fact, this legal challenge arose because of the work to bypass normal scientific procedure of peer-review, and so on, and then trying to force religious views in the science classroom – often Christian. Some creationist and biblical fundamentalist outlets point to the calls out of creationism as non-science, i.e., it goes noticed (The Bible is the Other Side, 2008). It even takes up Quora space too (2018).
Although indigenous cosmologies, Hindu cosmology, Islamic theology, and so on, remain as guilty in some contexts when asserted as historical rather than metaphorical or religious narratives with edificative purposes with, for example, some aboriginal communities utilizing the concept of the medicine wheel for counselling psychological purposes. Some remain utterly firm in devotion to a fundamentalist reading or accounting of Genesis, known as “literal Genesis,” as a necessity for scriptural inerrancy to be kept intact, as fundamental to the theology of the Christian faith without errors of human interpretation, and to the doctrines so many in the world hold fundamentally dear (Ross Jr., 2018). The questions may arise about debating creationists, which Bill Nye notes as an important item in the public relations agenda – not in the scientific one as no true controversy exists within the scientific community (Quill & Thompson, 2014). Nye explained personal wonder at the depth of temporality spoken in the moment here, “Most people cannot imagine how much time has passed in the evolution of life on Earth. The concept of deep time is just amazing” (Ibid.).
Hanley talked about the importance of sussing out the question of whether we want to ban creationism or teach from the principles of evolution to show why creationism is wrong (2014). Religion maintains a strong hold on the positions individuals hold about the origin and the development of life on Earth, especially as this pertains to cosmogony and eschatology – beginning and end, hows and whys – relative to human beings (Ibid.). Duly noting, Hanley labelled this a “minefield”; if the orientation focuses on the controversial nature of teaching evolution via natural selection, and if the mind-fields – so to speak – sit in religious, mostly, minds, then the anti-personnel weapons come from religion, not non-religion (Ibid.). Religion becomes the problem.
This teaching evolution, or not, and creationism, or not, continues as a global problem (Harmon, 2011). Harmon stated, “Some U.K. pro–intelligent design (ID) groups are also pushing to include ‘alternatives’ to evolution in the country’s national curriculum. One group, known as Truth in Science, calls for allowing such ideas to be presented in science classrooms—an angle reminiscent of ‘academic freedom’ bills that have been introduced in several U.S. states. A 2006 overhaul of the U.K. national curriculum shifted the focus of science instruction to highlight ‘how science works’ instead of a more ‘just the facts’ approach” (Ibid.).
Ghose, on education and religion links to creationism, stated, “About 42 percent espoused the creationist view presented, whereas 31 percent said God guided the evolutionary process, and just 19 said they believe evolution operated without God involved. Religion was positively tied to creationism beliefs, with more than two-thirds of those who attend weekly religious services espousing a belief in a young Earth, compared with just 23 percent of those who never go to church saying the same. Just over a quarter of those with a college degree hold creationist beliefs, compared with 57 percent of people with such views who had at most a high-school education, the poll found.”
Pappas (2014b) sees five main battles for evolutionary theory as taught in modern science against creationism: the advances of geology in the 1700s and the 1800s, the Scopes Trial, space race as a boon to the need for science – as Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson notes almost alone on the thrust of scientific advancement and funding due to wartimes stoked (e.g., the Americans and the Soviets), ongoing court battles, and the important Dover, Pennsylvania school board battle. Glenn Branch at the National Center for Science Education provided a solid foundation, and concise one, of the levels of who accepted, or not, the theory of evolution in several countries from around the world stating:
The “evolutionist” view was most popular in Sweden (68%), Germany (65%), and China (64%), with the United States ranking 18th (28%), between Mexico (34%) and Russia (26%); the “creationist” view was most popular in Saudi Arabia (75%), Turkey (60%), and Indonesia (57%), with the United States ranking 6th (40%), between Brazil (47%) and Russia (34%).
Consistently with previous polls, in the United States, acceptance of evolution was higher among respondents who were younger, with a higher level of household income, and with a higher level of education. Gender was not particularly important, however: the difference between male and female respondents in the United States was no more than 2%.
The survey was conducted on-line between September 7 and September 23, 2010, with approximately 1000 participants per country except for Argentina, Indonesia, Mexico, Poland, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Russia, and Turkey, for which there were approximately 500 participants per country; the results were weighted to balance demographics. (2011a)
We can find creationist organizations around the world with Creation Research and Creation Ministries International in Australia, CreaBel in Belgium, Sociedade Criacionista Brasileira – SCB, Sociedade Origem e Destino, and Associação Brasilera de Pesquisa da Criação in Brazil, Creation Science Association of Alberta, Creation Science Assoc. of British Columbia (CSABC), Creation Science of Manitoba, L’Association de Science Créationniste du Québec, Creation Science of Saskatchewan, Inc. (CSSI), Ian Juby – Creation Science Research & Lecturing, Big Valley Creation Science Museum, Creation Truth Ministries, Mensa – International Creation Science SIG, Creation Research – Canada, Creation Ministries International – Canada, and Amazing Discoveries in Canada, Assoc. Au Commencement in Franch, SG Wort und Wissen and Amazing Discoveries e. V. in Germany, Noah’s Ark Hong Kong in Hong Kong, Protestáns Teremtéskutató Kör and Creation Research – Eastern Europe in Hungary, Creation Science Association of India and Creation Research And Apologetics Society Of India in India, and Centro Studi Creazionismo in Italy (Creationism.Org, 2019).
Furthermore, クリエーション・リサーチ/Creation Research Japan – CRJ and Answers in Genesis Japan in Japan, Korea Assn. for Creation Research – KACR in Korea, gribu zināt in Latvia, CREAVIT (CREAndo VIsion Total) and Científicos Creacionistas Internacional in Mexico, Degeneratie of Evolutie?, Drdino.nl, and Mediagroep In Genesis in Netherlands, Creation Ministries International – New Zealand and Creation Research in New Zealand, Polish Creation Society in Poland, Parque Discovery in Portugal, Tudományos Kreacionizmus in Romania, Russia (None listed, though nation stated), SIONSKA TRUBA in Serbia, Creation Ministries International – Singapore in Singapore, Creation Ministries International – South Africa and Amazing Discoveries in South Africa, SEDIN – Servicio Evangelico Coordinadora Creacionista in Spain, The True.Origin Archive and Centre Biblique European in Switzerland, Christian Center for Science and Apologetics in Ukraine, and Creation Science Movement, Creation Ministries International – United Kingdom, Biblical Creation Society, Daylight Origins Society, Answers in Genesis U.K., Edinburgh Creation Group, Creation Resources Trust, Creation Research – UK, Society for Interdisciplinary Studies, and Creation Discovery Project in the United Kingdom (Ibid.). Mehta (2019b) described the “weird” nature of some of the anti-evolution content produced by organizations such as the Discovery Institute, best known for Intelligent Design or ID. In these contexts of creationist and Intelligent Design groups attempting to enforce themselves on the population, American, at a minimum, court cases arise.
Of the most important court cases in the history of creationism came in the form of the Scopes Trial or the Scopes “Monkey” Trial, H.L. Mencken became more famous and nationally noteworthy, and historically, with the advent of this reportage on Tennessean creationist culture and anti-evolution laws in which individuals who taught evolution would be charged, and were charged, as in the case of John T. Scopes (Jacobsen, 2019). The cases reported by the NCSE (2019) notes the following other important cases:
1968, in Epperson v. Arkansas
1981, in Segraves v. State of California
1982, in McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education
1987, in Edwards v. Aguillard
1990, in Webster v. New Lenox School District
1994, in Peloza v. Capistrano School District
1997, in Freiler v. Tangipahoa Parish Board of Education
2000, Minnesota State District Court Judge Bernard E. Borene dismissed the case of Rodney LeVake v Independent School District 656, et al.
January 2005, in Selman et al. v. Cobb County School District et al.,
December 20, 2005, in Kitzmiller et al. v. Dover
This points to the American centrality of the legal challenges and battles over biological sciences education in the public schools of the United States. The inimitable Eugenie C. Scott (2006) stated, “Judge John Jones III, the judge in the Kitzmiller case, was not persuaded that ID is a legitimate scientific alternative to evolution… the judge’s decision—laid out in a 139-page ruling—[stated] that ID was merely a form of creationism. His ruling that the new ID form of creationism is a form of religion and thus its teaching in science classes is unconstitutional is of course a great victory for science and science education.”
NCSE (n.d.) takes the stand on evolution as follows, “Evolution is a vital, well-supported, unifying principle of the biological sciences, and the scientific evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of the idea that all living things share a common ancestry. Although there are legitimate debates about the patterns and processes of evolution, there is no serious scientific doubt that evolution occurred or that natural selection is a major mechanism in its occurrence. It is scientifically inappropriate and pedagogically irresponsible for creationist pseudoscience, including but not limited to ‘intelligent design,’ to be introduced into the science curricula of our nation’s public schools.”
I agree with the thrust of the statement; however, I disagree on the representation of creationism as a single set of belief structures or hypotheses about the world with creationism as such because the different formulations of the interpretations of religious orthodoxy exist within the record and into the present. These can include the young earth creationism, old earth creationism, theistic evolution, deistic creationism, rapid speciation, microevolution only (no macroevolution, i.e., speciation), intelligent design, and evolution via natural selection (nontheistic) views about the development, speciation, and growth of life on Earth (RationalWiki, 2019a).
I find the misrepresentation of the incorrect views, religious and theological orientations, of biological life not “scientifically inappropriate” but “pedagogically irresponsible” as this oversimplifies the issue and may not properly arm or equip students in their conversations with creationists, as the approach becomes creationism in general rather specific creationism(s), or in particular. The problem with creationism does not lie in the sciences in general.
Barbara J. King provided a decent rundown as to the hows and whys of evolution and the how nots and why nots of creationism (2016). In either case, for laughs and insight, though mean-spirited at times, one can return the deceased American journalist H.L. Mencken and commentary on the Scopes trial. As Fern Elsdon-Baker in The Guardian notes, trust in science exists – not trust in evolution – is the core issue, which makes this biological science specific rather than other sciences, scientific methodology, or scientific findings in general, as the source of the sociopolitical controversy (2017). As we may reasonably infer from some reading between the lines, though uncertain, the focus comes from sectors of religious communities and interpretations of religious writings as factual accounts about the foundations and development, and so history, of the world and life. If looking at the writings of the prominent creationists, there can be, at times, conflations between biological sciences and physical sciences including cosmology in which “creationism,” as such, refers to “creation of the cosmos and life” instead of “creation of life alone.”
In fact, Elsdon-Baker (Ibid.) states, “Even more unexpectedly, 70% in the UK and 69% in Canada who expressed some personal difficulty with evolution also said they felt experts in genetics were reliable, even though genetics is a fundamental part of evolutionary scientific research.” In other words, as you may no doubt tell, we come to the realization of a specific denial, suspicion, or rejection of the community consensus or the evidence on this specific scientific issue alone, which may, potentially, point to the problem sitting with the specific disinformation and misinformation campaigns coming from the creationist circles. In other words, a long, ongoing, and recent history of the court battles for the inclusion of religion in the science, or not, with the cases overwhelmingly setting the precedent of religion as not science and, therefore, not permissible inside of the science classroom or the science curricula of America.
The Global Becomes Local, the Local Becomes Tangential
I could never take the idea of religion very seriously.
Joyce Carol Oates
My introduction to humanism was when my sixth grade teacher, seeing I had a decidedly secular bent, suggested I look up Erasmus and the Renaissance. The idea that mankind could create a better future through science and industry was very appealing to me. Organized religion just got in the way.
John de Lancie
In 1986, Gloria Steinem wrote that if men got periods, they ‘would brag about how long and how much’: that boys would talk about their menstruation as the beginning of their manhood, that there would be ‘gifts, religious ceremonies’ and sanitary supplies would be ‘federally funded and free’. I could live without the menstrual bragging – though mine is particularly impressive – and ceremonial parties, but seriously: Why aren’t tampons free?
I thought scientists were going to find out exactly how everything worked, and then make it work better. I fully expected that by the time I was twenty-one, some scientist, maybe my brother, would have taken a color photograph of God Almighty—and sold it to Popular Mechanics magazine. Scientific truth was going to make us so happy and comfortable. What actually happened when I was twenty-one was that we dropped scientific truth on Hiroshima.
True character arises from a deeper well than religion. It is the internalization of moral principles of a society, augmented by those tenets personally chosen by the individual, strong enough to endure through trials of solitude and adversity. The principles are fitted together into what we call integrity, literally the integrated self, wherein personal decisions feel good and true. Character is in turn the enduring source of virtue. It stands by itself and excites admiration in others.
Edward O. Wilson
If it were up to me, I would not define myself by the absence of something; “theist” is a believer, so with “atheist” you’re defining yourself by the absence of something. I think human beings work on yes, not on no. … humanist is a great term. …except that humanism sometimes is not seen as inclusive of spirituality. To me, spirituality is the opposite of religion. It’s the belief that all living things share some value. So I would include the word spiritual just because it feels more inclusive to me. Native Americans do this when they offer thanks to Mother Earth and praise the interconnectedness of “the two-legged and the four, the feathered and the clawed,” and so on. It’s lovely. … because it’s not about not believing. It’s about rejecting a god who looks like the ruling class.
This connects to the global context of acceptance of the theoretical underpinnings and mass of empirical findings in support of evolution via natural selection compared to young earth creationism. As Hemant Mehta at Friendly Atheist, on other countries and religious versus scientific views in the political arena, notes, “…in the other countries, science and religion are not playing a zero-sum game” (Mehta, 2017a). He continues, “A new survey from YouGov and researchers at Newman University in Birmingham (UK) finds that only 9% of UK residents believe in Creationism. Canada comes in at 15%. It’s shockingly low compared to the 38% of people in the U.S. who think humans were poofed into existence by God a few thousand years ago. And on the flip side, 71% of UK respondents accept evolution (both natural and guided by God) along with 60% of Canadians. (In the U.S.? That number is 57%.)” (Mehta, 2017d; Swift, 2017; Hall, 2017). The statistical data differ for various surveys on the public. However, an important marker is the closeness of the outcomes in the numbers of individuals who believe in creationism or accept evolution.
Based on a 32-year-long survey, we can note the declines over decades in Australia, too (Archer, 2018). Of course, the ways in which questions on surveys get asked can shift the orientation of the participants in the surveys (Funk et al, 2019). Even so, some of the remarkable data about the United States indicates a wide acceptance of science qua science with the advancements bringing benefits to material comfort and wellbeing (Pew Research Center, 2009). Opposition to science from some religious circles exists within the historical record including Roman Catholic Christian Church’s opposition to the findings of Galileo Galilei in defense of the Copernican model of the Solar System with the Sun at the center and the discoveries of Charles Darwin about the general mechanisms for the changes in organisms over deep time with evolution via natural selection (Ibid.).
At the same time, “For centuries, throughout Europe and the Middle East, almost all universities and other institutions of learning were religiously affiliated, and many scientists, including astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus and biologist Gregor Mendel (known as the father of genetics), were men of the cloth,” Pew Research continued, “Others, including Galileo, physicist Sir Isaac Newton and astronomer Johannes Kepler, were deeply devout and often viewed their work as a way to illuminate God’s creation. Even in the 20th century, some of the greatest scientists, such as Georges Lemaitre (the Catholic priest who first proposed what became known as the Big Bang theory) and physicist Max Planck (the founder of the quantum theory of physics), have been people of faith” (Ibid.). The world remains a complicated place – clichés can fail to capture it. Even though, the thrust of creationism and Intelligent Design comes from religious institutions and devout individuals, except, perhaps, Dr. David Berlinski.
Nonetheless, the professional community of biological scientists or individuals with the necessity of a unified theory of the differentiation of life, as found in Darwinian theory and not creationism or Intelligent Design, for the proper comprehension of the natural world of life, of biology, or plant and animal life from the highest levels of professional scientific expertise rebuke – to use a theological term – assertions of creationists and Intelligent Design advocates (ACLU, n.d.a). Arguments from authority or quote-mining do not make much sense. However, arguments from authoritative authorities, e.g., major scientific bodies as those below, or quotes to add spice to an article, i.e., as those at the tops of section headings of this article, can make a certain sense – much more so than quote mining of individual scientists to attempt to refute evolution via natural selection rather than run the experiments to support or not – always not, so far – creationism or Intelligent Design.
The list of organizations against the teaching of creationism and Intelligent Design in the science classrooms amounts to a significant number of the major scientific bodies in the United States, which remains a massive scientific powerhouse:
Academy of Sciences
Those who oppose the teaching of evolution in public schools sometimes ask that teachers present evidence against evolution. However, there is no debate within the scientific community over whether evolution occurred, and there is no evidence that evolution has not occurred. Some of the details of how evolution occurs are still being investigated. But scientists continue to debate only the particular mechanisms that result in evolution, not the overall accuracy of evolution as the explanation of life’s history.
Association for the Advancement of Science
The [intelligent design] movement has failed to offer credible scientific evidence to support their claim that ID undermines the current scientifically accepted theory of evolution… the lack of scientific warrant for so-called intelligent design theory’ makes it improper to include as a part of science education.
The Association respects the right of people to hold diverse religious beliefs, including those who reject evolution as matters of theology or faith. Such beliefs should not be presented as science, however. Science describes and explains the natural world: it does not prove or disprove beliefs about the supernatural.
Association of Biology Teachers
Scientists have firmly established evolution as an important natural process. Experimentation, logical analysis, and evidence-based revision are procedures that clearly differentiate and separate science from other ways of knowing. Explanations or ways of knowing that invoke non-naturalistic or supernatural events or beings, whether called creation science,’ scientific creationism,’ intelligent design theory,’ young earth theory,’ or similar designations, are outside the realm of science and not part of a valid science curriculum.
Society of America
In recent years, certain individuals motivated by religious views have mounted an attack on evolution. This group favors what it calls creation science,’ which is not really science at all because it invokes supernatural phenomena. Science, in contrast, is based on observations of the natural world. All beliefs that entail supernatural creation, including the idea known as intelligent design, fall within the domain of religion rather than science. For this reason, they must be excluded from science courses in our public schools.
Institute of Biological Sciences
The theory of evolution is the only scientifically defensible explanation for the origin of life and development of species. A theory in science, such as the atomic theory in chemistry and the Newtonian and relativity theories in physics, is not a speculative hypothesis, but a coherent body of explanatory statements supported by evidence. The theory of evolution has this status. Explanations for the origin of life and the development of species that are not supportable on scientific grounds should not be taught as science.
Because evolution is fundamental to understanding both living and extinct organisms, it must be taught in public school science classes. In contrast, creationism is religion rather than science, as ruled in recent court cases, because it invokes supernatural explanations that cannot be tested. Consequently, creationism in any form (including scientific creationism, creation science, and intelligent design) must be excluded from public school science classes. Because science involves testing hypotheses, scientific explanations are restricted to natural causes.
Society of America
Science as a way of knowing has been extremely successful, although people may not like all the changes science and its handmaiden, technology, have wrought. But people who oppose evolution, and seek to have creationism or intelligent design included in science curricula, seek to dismiss and change the most successful way of knowing ever discovered. They wish to substitute opinion and belief for evidence and testing. The proponents of creationism/intelligent design promote scientific ignorance in the guise of learning. (Ibid.)
The authority of science as a methodology and its steady erosion of faith with an incremental rise in the amount of evidence present creates problems for religious laity and some leadership. Take, for example, one of the largest religious denominations in the world. Science and the authority of scientific functional discoveries about the natural world changes the view of ardent faithful leaders, including amongst the leadership of the largest hierarchical organization on the planet.
The Roman Catholic Christian Pope affirms evolution via natural selection with a theological twist, but without creationist turns of the supernatural (Elliott, 2014). Hindu and Sunni Islam as huge religious denominations harbour different sentiments, or different flavours of similar orientations. Other times, the wide acceptance in some faiths can result in some states and branches of faiths combined rejecting, in a rather dramatic manner, the fundamental theory in all of life science. This can result in creationist and state-based activist backlash and repression of the population through an attack on their ability to self-inform about the most updated views of the nature of reality, of the world. Adnan Oktar, one of the main proponents of creationism in the Middle East, got caught in some shenanigans – criminal, legal, and otherwise (Branch, 2018). Aydin (2018) reported in Hurriyet Daily News:
Oktar’s deputy, Tarkan Yavaş, escaped during the police raid, according to security sources who stressed that the suspect was armed.
Some 79 suspects in the case were detained by noon July 11.
According to the detention warrant, Oktar and his followers are accused of forming a criminal organization, sexual abuse of children, sexual assault, child kidnapping, sexual harassment, blackmailing, false imprisonment, political and military espionage, fraud by exploiting religious feelings, money laundering, violation of privacy, forgery of official documents, opposition to anti-terror law, coercion, use of violence, slander, alienating citizens from mandatory military service, insulting, false incrimination, perjury, aggravated fraud, smuggling, tax evasion, bribery, torture, illegal recording of personal data, violating the law on the protection of family and women, and violating a citizen’s rights to get education and participate in politics.
In fact, Turkey banned the teaching of evolution (Williams, 2017). Williams said, “Turkey’s move to ban the teaching of evolution contradicts scientific thinking, and tries to turn the scientific method into a belief system – as if it were a religion. It seeks to introduce supernatural explanations for natural phenomena, and to assert that some form of truth or explanation for nature beyond nature. The ban is unscientific, undemocratic and should be resisted” (2017). The trial opened on Oktar and 225 associates in September of 2019 (The Associated Press).
According to Professor Rasmus Nielsen, a Danish biologist and professor in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of California, Berkeley, the most severe cases of the banning and censure of the teaching of evolution via natural selection comes from the Middle East and North Africa region with cases including Saudi Arabia as the worst of the worst and other populations of students and teachers in Egypt, Lebanon, Tunisia, and Turkey rejecting the evidence somewhere between 25% and 75%, depending on the country (2016).
“The majority of Middle Eastern and North African scientists are, like scientists in the rest of the world, firmly convinced about the principles of evolution. However, they are often isolated and lack scientific networks. Examples of researchers that do great work on teaching evolution, often in isolation, include Rana Dajani at the Department of Molecular Biology at Hashemite University in Jordan and my good friend and former postdoc Mehmet Somel from the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey,” Nielsen explained, “Mehmet is a stellar new young researcher who is building up a very strong research group in evolutionary biology in Ankara, in the middle of increased direct and indirect pressure on the universities from Davutoğlu and Erdoğan’s Islamist government. There are serious worries that the government in Turkey is engaged in a process of reducing intellectual freedom at Turkish universities” (Ibid.).
The decline in the numbers who identify as creationist, of the waning of the days of much creationism in several parts of the world, comes with some signals to this slow and steady demise over time, but the “decline” may only appear as a decline without necessarily existence as a demise – perhaps an interlude or asymptote rather than a denouement. Of course, there exist hyper-optimists. Even Bill Nye may take a pollyannish mindset on the hardiness of beliefs in creationism, he posits the death throes of creationism in 20 years, presumably in America.
“In the United States there’s been a movement to put creationism in schools — this sort of pseudoscience thing — instead of the fact of life… People fight this fight in court constantly, and it wouldn’t matter except we need people to solve the world’s problems,” Nye said (Kennedy, 2014). The Kansas case in America became a phenomenon, dramatic. CBC (2005) provided some insight as to the 2005 dramatic events in Kansas and with leading scientists and researchers inside the United States and, presumably, elsewhere:
- In September 2005, four months after this broadcast, 38 Nobel Prize-winning scientists sent a joint letter to the Kansas State Board of Education, arguing against the teaching of intelligent design in the classroom. “Intelligent design is fundamentally unscientific,” they wrote. “It cannot be tested as a scientific theory because its central conclusion is based on belief in the intervention of a supernatural agent.”
- In November 2005, the Kansas board voted 6-4 in favour of teaching intelligent design.
- The U.S. National Science Teachers Association, The American Association for the Advancement of Science and publications from Yale, Harvard and UCLA have all dismissed intelligent design as a pseudoscience.
Even by leading Roman Catholic Jesuit intellectuals and scientists, they consider intelligent design bad science and bad theology. Still, the United Kingdom banned creationism outright (Kaufman, 2014). A ban in a time of increased persecution of humanist activists around the world; a time with the increased persecution of open humanists (Humanists International, 2019). As Adam Laats and Harvey Siegel (2016) remark on the correct point of some creationists, in which the attempt to force religion on people would be a human rights problem, however, evolution does not equate to a religion and, therefore, cannot amount to a religious orientation or theory about the world (2016), making this line of creationist complaint moot or argumentation invalid, unsound.
Ken Ham views literalism as the only legitimate manner in which to believe in Christianity (Ross Jr., 2018), which, in essence, makes other Christians into heretics or heretical Christians. One can find highly trained and intelligent individuals including Dr. Hugh Ross who maintains an old earth creationist view and critiques, heavily, the young earth creationist viewpoint on the nature of the world (RationalWiki, 2019c).
With an old earth creationism, he adheres to a progressive creationism, which means one methodology to maintain the fundamentalist view on creation with a still-major modification of the scientific evidence in support of the age of the earth or life complementing the biblical interpretations of the world – theological views of the world (Ibid.). Indeed, he rejects the idea of intelligent design as a scientific hypothesis and, thus, rejects intelligent design (Ibid.). He founded Reasons To Believe (2019).
The religious orientation of creationism remains an open secret with few or no one from the mainstream community of journalists and media personalities in Canada simply reading the statements of the websites of the associations and the individuals involved in the creationist efforts in Canada. Something to praise of the creationists more than the Intelligent Design advocates: honest and transparent on the websites as to their ministerial visions of the world and targeted objectives for the wider culture. The religious tone reflects cognitive biases. As Nieminen (2015) stated, “Creationism is a religiously motivated worldview in denial of biological evolution that has been very resistant to change. We performed a textual analysis by examining creationist and pro-evolutionary texts for aspects of ‘experiential thinking’, a cognitive process different from scientific thought.” Nieminen went on to describe testimonials, confirmation bias, simplification of data, experiential thinking, and logical fallacies pervaded the mindset of creationist thought (Ibid).
Some, including Jerry Coyne, do not accept the thrust of the intelligent design movement with support from biologists and judges in the United States (2019). Even at the individual level, others, such as Sarah Olson, continue the fight for personal enlightenment against the standard ignorance and misinformed education of youth, who impressively worked out the more accurate view about the nature of the world (Olson, 2019). To point more to the problem as religion in education, Answers in Genesis will teach a Bible-based worldview in the classroom in a Christian school (Smith, 2019). So it goes.
This Ain’t No Pillow Fight: Combat for Minds, Battles for Values, and Wars for Ideological Survival
I’m an atheist.
The media—stenographers to power.
People tend to romanticize what they can’t quite remember.
Jesus is said to have said on the cross, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” Because Jesus was insane and the God he thought would rescue him did not exist. And he died on that cross like a fool. He fancied himself the son of God and he could barely convince twelve men to follow him at a time when the world was full of superstition.
The problem of unsafe abortion has been seriously exacerbated by contraceptive shortages caused by American policies hostile to birth control, as well as by the understandable diversion of scarce sexual health resources to fight HIV. All over the planet, conflicts between tradition and modernity are being fought on the terrain of women’s bodies. Globalization is challenging traditional social arrangements. It is upsetting economic stability, bringing women into the workforce, and beaming images of Western individualism into the remotest villages while drawing more and more people into ever growing cities. All this spurs conservative backlash, as right-wingers promise anxious, disoriented people that the chaos can be contained if only the old sexual order is enforced. Yet the subjugation of women is just making things worse, creating all manner of demographic, economic, and public health problems.
If it were up to me, I would not define myself by the absence of something; “theist” is a believer, so with “atheist” you’re defining yourself by the absence of something. I think human beings work on yes, not on no. … humanist is a great term. …except that humanism sometimes is not seen as inclusive of spirituality. To me, spirituality is the opposite of religion. It’s the belief that all living things share some value. So I would include the word spiritual just because it feels more inclusive to me. Native Americans do this when they offer thanks to Mother Earth and praise the interconnectedness of “the two-legged and the four, the feathered and the clawed,” and so on. It’s lovely. … because it’s not about not believing. It’s about rejecting a god who looks like the ruling class. I like to say that the last five-to-ten thousand years has been an experiment that failed and it’s now time to declare the first meeting of the post-patriarchal, post-racist, post-nationalist age. So let’s add “post-theological.” Why not?
Several signals point to problems within the communities of the young earth creationist, old earth creationist, and the flat earth communities. Those who take these hypotheses as serious challenges to Darwinian theory (Masci, 2019). They exist in non-trivial numbers. Signals of a decline in the coherence of the creationist communities including the in-fighting between individuals who adhere to a flat earth theory of the structure of the world and creationists, or between young earth creationists and old earth creationists. An old earth becomes the next premise shift, as the dominoes fall more towards standard interpretations of empirical evidence provided through sciences (Challies, 2017; Graham; 2017). It can cross well beyond the realm of the absurd into young earth creationists mocking believers in the theory of the flat earth, as taking the biblical accounts of the world with an interpretation seen as much too direct for them (Mehta, 2017b).
There can be in-fighting and ‘debate’ between young earth creationists and old earth creationists (Mehta, 2018b). Esther O’Reilly at Young Fogey stated, “It’s not every day that you get to see Ken Ham pick a fight with Matt Walsh, but it happened this week, after the conservative firebrand posted a video explaining why he rejects young Earth creationism. Walsh states emphatically that the evidence has spoken loudly across multiple disciplines, that this is not a hill anybody should be dying on, and that evangelical Christians are damaging the impact of their witness by making it so” (O’Reilly, 2018; Matt Walsh, 2018; Ham, 2018).
As Hemant Mehta stated, “Pat Robertson dismissed Young Earth Creationism as ‘nonsense’ that’s ‘so embarrassing’ and how all that ‘6,000-year stuff just doesn’t compute’” (Mehta, 2019c). Ken Ham, CEO and Founder of Answers in Genesis, stated, “It’s not those of us who take God at his Word who are ‘embarrassing,’ it’s the other way around! Those like Pat Robertson who adopt man’s pagan religion, which includes elements like evolutionary geology based on naturalism (atheism), and add that to God’s Word are destructive to the church. This compromise undermines the authority of the infallible Word” (Ibid.).
As a result, Ken Ham wants Pat Robertson to visit the Ark Encounter (Mehta, 2019f). Prominent creationists, Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron, wanted to – and probably still want to – save America from the evils of evolution through the ongoing, and seemingly never-ending, 150+ year battle over evolution with an emphasis on the construction of and distribution of their own On the Origin of the Species (Hinman, 2009). Cameron wanted to save America with a movie, too. Mehta (2017c) stated, “You know, conservative Christians got us into this mess. I don’t trust them to get us out of it. I especially don’t trust people who got together right before the election to do the exact same thing when that clearly failed. Whatever they were doing, it pissed God off something fierce. Why would He be on their side now? I’m also not sure how Cameron plans to unite people when his personal goals involve blocking women from ever obtaining an abortion and convincing transgender people it’s all in their minds.”
Even for those with, more or less, inerrant view of some of the standard North American purported holy texts, the Ultra-Orthodox Jewish community – at least some – do not want to teach the perspective or theory of the world, the earth, as only 6,000-years-old, as this amounts to a “lie” (Mehta, 2018c). They stated, “As reported by the JC last week, last months’ notice from the UOHC warned strictly orthodox educational institutions not to sign contracts with councils for early years funding, because the [Department of Education] guidelines state councils should not fund institutions which present ‘creationism as fact.’ The notice stated that ‘they place great doubts, Heaven forfend, in the creation of the world with the lie that the world is ancient, may their mouths be filled with earth. ‘This is a lie that earlier sages of blessed memory contended with, and now they wish to infiltrate us with this falsehood’” (Ibid.). In the Canadian portion of North America, we can find the differences in the provinces and some correlates with education, age, and political and social orientation (e.g., left or right ideological commitments). The NCSE reported on some of this back in 2011.
Glenn Branch (2011b) at the National Center for Science Education stated, “According to Ekos’s data tables (PDF, pp. 77-79), creationism was strongest in the Atlantic provinces (25.1 percent) and Alberta (18.8 percent), stronger among women (18.8 percent) than men (9.5 percent), stronger among those with “right” ideology (22.4 percent), and stronger with those who attended religious services more than once in the past three months (38.4 percent). The “natural selection” option was particularly popular among respondents in Quebec (67.6 percent), less than twenty-five years old (73.9 percent), with university education (72.8 percent), and with “left” ideology (74.2 percent).” The gap in the numbers emerge more in America than elsewhere, as we can see. In fact, some questions around the foundations of consciousness remaining incomprehensible form a reason for doubting evolutionary processes, for the claims of evolution via natural selection among atheists in the United Kingdom and in Canada.
On the point about human consciousness, for instance, Catherine Pepinster in Religion News spoke to an important concern of the unexplained as a gap in the acceptance or full endorsement of evolution via natural selection (2017). She states:
- Around 64 percent of adults in the U.K. found it easy to accept evolutionary science as compatible with their personal beliefs; it was lower for Canadian adults at 50 percent.
- Somewhat fewer people with religious beliefs found evolution easy to square with their faith: 53 percent in the U.K. and 41 percent in Canada.
- 1 in 5 U.K. atheists and more than 1 in 3 Canadian atheists were not satisfied with evolutionary theory. Specifically, they agreed that “evolutionary processes cannot explain the existence of human consciousness.” (Ibid.)
As stated in The Sensuous Curmudgeon (2018), “Our understanding is that Canada has nothing like the Constitutional separation of church and state which prevails in the US, so we can’t really evaluate their opinions about what their schools should teach,” in response to survey data about school curricula. This may create problems into the future as the teaching of evolution may face ongoing attacks on its legitimacy in illegitimate and dishonest ways on the basis, often, of literal reading of a purported holy text.
Douglas Todd in the Vancouver Sun (2017) spoke to two concerns about the advancement of the fundamental idea in all of life science. Todd agrees with some of the aforementioned points. He stated:
There are two major obstacles to a rich public discussion on Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution and what it means to all of us. The most obvious obstacle is religious literalism, which leads to Creationism.
It’s the belief the Bible or other ancient sacred texts offer the first and last word on how humans came into existence. The second major barrier to a rewarding public conversation about the impact of evolution on the way we understand the world is not named nearly as much.
It is “scientism.”
Scientism is the belief that the sciences have no boundaries and will, in the end, be able to explain everything in the universe. Scientism can, like religious literalism, become its own ideology.
The Encyclopedia of Science, Technology and Ethics defines scientism as “an exaggerated trust in the efficacy of natural science to be applied to all areas of investigation (as in philosophy, the social sciences and the humanities).”
P.Z. Myers notifies the public to the, more or less, creationist, more directly teleological, orientation of some in Silicon Valley with some of their views on the nature of simulations and the universe (2016). This seems more complete trust in the notion of the progress of scientific knowledge leading to the moral advancement of the species. Nick Bostrom, Paul Davies, Elon Musk, Sean M. Carroll, David Chalmers, and others posit a simulation universe as more probable than a natural universe. A natural universe would host the simulation universe. One needs stable enough universes for natural entities to evolve and some of the beings sufficiently technologically inclined and intelligent to produce powerful technologies, and then have an interest in the production of simulations of the real universe in the first place.
However, one needs a natural universe for a simulation universe, as a host universe for the virtual universe. In other words, the probability sits not on the side of simulation, but on the side of natural as the ground probability state for the universe inhabited by us. Unless, of course, one posits an extremely large number of simulated universes within one natural universe. In other words, the Bostrom, Davies, Musk, Carroll, Chalmers, and others crowd seem wrong in one consideration of naturality versus virtuality and correct in another on the assumption of the civilizations with an orientation towards mass simulation, where this leads to some brief thoughts about the future of science with novel principles to become adjunct to standard principles of modern science as an evolved, and evolving, epistemology: proportionality of evidence to claims, falsifiability, parsimony, replicability, ruling out rival hypotheses, and distinguishing causation from correlation. These provide a foundation for comprehension of the natural world as a derivation from centuries of science with some positing epistemological naturalism as foundational to the scientific methodology or epistemology, as supernatural methodologies or supernatural epistemologies failed in coherence or in the production of supportive evidence.
The next principles on science will include precision in the fundamental theories and correlations unfathomed by current human science in which simulatability becomes the next stage of scientific epistemology, where computation becomes more ubiquitous and the utilization of computations to construct artificial environments to test hypotheses about the real world in artificial ones created to simulate the real world (while in the real world, as a real embedment with the virtual). The virtual becomes indistinguishable from the real at this level. At that point, when the virtual modelling becomes indistinguishable from the ‘real’ world insofar as we model the world from our sensory input and processing, the virtual will be virtual by old definitions, but will be seen as real by practical definitions. Then the new science should be simulation science.
Scientific skepticism, naturalism, and the like seems the most accurate view on the nature of the world. Most religious interpretations are teleological and seem more and more like failed philosophies. One can observe this in the decline in fundamentalist religion and in the decline of theology as a discipline. It is increasingly seen as something that people once did before proper science to put boundaries on any metaphysical speculation. In some way, the physical seems like as a limited form of materialism and materialism as a limited form of naturalism and naturalism as a limited form of informationism/informationalism. Some science incorporates simulations now. However, it is expensive. Cheap information processing further into the future will mean cheap simulations, and so cheap simulatability and the emergence of simulation as a derivative of scientific methodology into a principle of science. The over-trust in the advancements of science, though, to Todd (2011), reflects the feeling of fundamentalist Christians.
This being upset “at what they characterize as a liberal attack on the family, many evangelical leaders – like Pat Robertson, James Dobson, Benny Hinn, Sarah Palin and Canada’s Charles McVety – take combative stands, which the conflict-hungry news media gobble up,” Todd stated (Ibid.). The media, according to Todd (Ibid.), remains complicit in this sensationalism with deleterious effects on the general culture. The general public and academia can be wiser at times. Counter events to educate about the evolutionary critiques against intelligent design exist too (McGill University, 2006). Some consequences even arise with the earning of tenure for some “intelligent design” professors (Slabaugh, 2016). However, the subtle use of language for political effect may imbue social and political power to religious ideas. In America, these can become significant issues with the ways in which political language can be code for creationism as noted by Waldman (2017). Freethought people can struggle for inclusion in the general public, too.
Some preliminary research indicates atheists treat Christians better than Christians treat atheists (Stone, 2019). One may extrapolate, though on thin preliminary evidence, the differential bidirectional treatment of atheists to non-Christians and non-Christians to atheists as a real phenomenon. Sometimes, secular people form community in the form of satire out of frustration or for general fun. The era where Pastafarians continue to struggle for acceptance by the wider community at any rate (Henley, 2019). To the question of teaching creationism alongside evolution in the science classroom, America gets harder problems, as in the school board candidates in St. Louis (Mehta, 2019a). Barbara A. Anderson wanted to teach both; Louis C. Cross III wanted “all aspects” addressed; and William Haas avoided the question and considered the “least of our” (their) problems as creationism and intelligent design (Ibid.). Public figures and politicians, and policymakers, set the tone for a country.
They hold an immense responsibility in North America and abroad to characterize science in an accurate way. Religious communities should clean their own house too. Otherwise, for private and personal religious beliefs, these can become seen front and center for the funding of religious projects with public money. For example, one such project came in the Ark Encounter in Petersburg, Kentucky. The Ark hired 700 people to build it, which came to the price tag of $120-million dollars (Washington Post, 2017). Ken Ham intends the Ark Encounter to reach the general public with his supposed gospel akin to the attractions for science to the public through “Disney or Universal or Smithsonian” (Ibid.). 42,000 small donors funded the Ark (Ibid.). Religion becomes political, becomes politics.
Define “Global” and “Diverse” for Me
It is the chief characteristic of the religion of science that it works.
I am also atheist or agnostic (I don’t even know the difference). I’ve never been to church and prefer to think for myself.
There is a fundamental difference between religion, which is based on authority, and science, which is based on observation and reason. Science will win because it works.
Am I a criminal? The world knows I’m not a criminal. What are they trying to put me in jail for? You’ve lost common sense in this society because of religious fanaticism and dogma.
When I worked on the polio vaccine, I had a theory. Experiments were done to determine what might or might not occur. I guided each one by imagining myself in the phenomenon in which I was interested. The intuitive realm is constantly active—the realm of imagination guides my thinking.
I never professed any theology. And it’s complicated by my Jewishness. Obviously, being Jewish is both an ethnicity and a religion. I was concerned that if I were to explicitly disavow any religiosity, it could get distorted into an effort to distance myself from being Jewish—and I thought that was wrong, given that there is anti-Jewish prejudice.
For years I would go to temple, but I suddenly realized it doesn’t mean anything to me. So I decided, I’m not going to do this. I’m not going to pretend. During my service I never pretended to be a theist. It just never became relevant that I wasn’t, and I guess I was not as conscious of the discrimination nontheists felt. But I’ve always been opposed to any imposition of religion. I fought hard, for example, with other members of Congress to oppose any notion that a religious group getting federal funds could discriminate in hiring.
When I took the oath of office, I never swore and said, “So help me God.”
As Ryan D. Jayne, Staff Attorney at the Freedom From Religion Foundation, in response to a recent conservative article, stated, “A recent article by a creationist hack for the National Review (the flagship conservative publication) preposterously argues that Canada is stifling religious freedom and that we are headed in the same direction. But Canada is doing just fine, thank you very much, and the U.S. government needs less religion, not more.” Jayne, astute in the concision of a proper and educated response, pointed to the state of affairs in secular democracies – to varying degrees, e.g., Canada and the United States, and then in theocracies, e.g., Iran and Saudi Arabia. Obviously, the intuitive understanding comes in the form of the level of restriction of religious freedom found in these areas.
“The best way to protect religious freedom is to keep the government secular. This includes enforcing laws that give protections regardless of the whims of the majority religion. A law prohibiting female genital mutilation in a Muslim-majority country would not have much effect if it allowed Muslims to opt out of the law for religious reasons,” Jayne continued, “and would be tantamount to the government simply sanctioning the abhorrent religious practice… Advocates of religious freedom only oppose state/church separation when they are comfortably in the majority and trust their government to favor their particular set of religious beliefs” (Ibid.).
Creationism in a number of ways represents a mind set or a state of mind. It seems, as a postulation, as if a reflection of a fundamentalist mindset outsourced into one domain with a happenstance in the biological sciences. The origin of the universe and life, and so us, treads directly on the subject matter of evolution via natural selection with the importance of the biological sciences and some proclamations of religious faith. This can seem rather straightforward, but this creates some issues, too. Not only limited to the United States or Canada, as reported by the University of Toronto, the creationist movement went into a global phenomenon (Rankin, 2012). Rankin continues to note the original flavor of creationism as breaking apart into “young Earth creationism, intelligent design and creationism interpreted through the lens of other world religions” (Ibid.). The numbers of the creationist movement, in its modern manifestation, continue to increase with the varieties as well as the numbers (Ibid.). An increase well beyond the borders of the United States and the Christian faith (Ibid.).
Noting, of course, the fundamental belief in the Christian creationist movements with the artificer of life and, in some interpretations, the cosmos as the Christian God, even in the genteel foundational individuals of the more sophisticated movement entitled Intelligent Design, i.e., Dr. William Dembski – a well-educated, highly intelligent, and polite person – who said, “I believe God created the world for a purpose. The Designer of intelligent design is, ultimately, the Christian God” (Environment and Ecology, 2019). In short, the final premise of the Intelligent Design movement becomes “the Christian God” with every other item as a conditional upon which “the Christian God” becomes the eventual conclusion of the argument. This does not represent a diversity. The undertone remains other religions may harbour some eventual truth in them insofar as they adhere to some principles or beliefs best defined as Christian.
“Sometimes I marvel at my own naiveté. I wrote The End of Christianity thinking that it might be a way to move young-earth creationists from their position that the earth and universe are only a few thousand years old by addressing the first objection that they invariably throw at an old-earth position, namely, the problem of natural evil before the Fall. I thought that by proposing my retroactive view of the Fall, that I was addressing their concern and thus that I might see some positive movement toward my old-earth position,” Dembski confessed, “Boy, was I ever wrong. As a professional therapist once put it to me, the presenting problem is never the real problem. I quickly found out that the young-earth theologians I was dealing with were far less concerned about how the Fall could be squared with an old earth than with simply preserving the most obvious interpretation of Genesis 1–3, namely, that the earth and universe are just a few thousand years old. Again, we’re talking the fundamentalist impulse to simple, neat, pat answers. Now I’ll readily grant that the appeal to complexity can be a way of evading the truth. But so can the appeal to simplicity, and fundamentalism loves keeping things simple” (Rosenau, 2016).
It represents, mostly, a Christian movement with a wide variety of institutes and other organizations connected within it, including Access Research Network, Biologic Institute, Center for Science & Culture at Discovery, Institute Intelligent Design & Evolution Awareness (IDEA) Center, Intelligent Design Network, and Intelligent Design Undergraduate Research Center (Access Research Network, 2019; Biologic Institute, 2019; Discovery Institute, 2019; IDEA, 2019; Intelligent Design Network, 2019; IDURC, 2019). The movement spread into the Islamic and Hindu worlds too (Rankin, 2012), as reported, “For example, in the 1980s the Turkish Minister of Education asked the Institute for Creation Research in the United States to translate Scientific Creationism into Turkish. Since then creationism has been taught in Turkey’s high school science curriculum.” This non-scientific and religious movement exists in Australia, South America, and South Korea now (Ibid.), including amongst Israeli and American Jewish fundamentalists who formed the Torah Science Foundation in 2000 (Ibid.).
One can find this in religious groupings too. According to the Hare Krishna, “First, Maha-Vishnu transforms some of His spiritual energy into the primordial material elements. He then glances over them, activating them with the energy of time, which underlies all transformations in the material world. Matter then evolves from subtle elements (sound, form, touch, etc.) to gross (earth, water, fire, etc.)” (2019). Then sound becomes the most important element in the creation of the world, in particular the hearing and speaking of spiritual sound, received from the Vedas or its spiritual world for the freedom of the souls to achieve a material creation (Ibid.). This amounts to a creationism.
Leslie Scrivener (2007) more than a decade ago reported on the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster as a spoof on the Intelligent Design movement based on the creations of an Oregon State University physics graduate named Bobby Henderson. Henderson wrote, “Let us remember there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster” (Ibid.).
For the Raëlian religion or movement, there were messages dictated to an individual named Rael as to how the life on Earth is not the product of a supernatural engineer or a random world with a non-random naturalistic selection process, but, rather, the creations of a “scientifically advanced people” who chose to make beings in their own image in a process called scientific creationism (Ashliman, 2003). In examination of these movements more as this helps provide a basis to see the ideational movement in the society with regards to the non-scientific propositions floating around the minds of the public, including famous and creative types, who further provide popular cover for these views with movies including the following – media complicit once more:
- Origins (IMDb, 1985) with Russ Bixler, Donn S. Chapman, and Paul Nelson.
- The Genesis Solution (IMDb, 1987) with Ken Ham.
- Steeling the Mind (IMDb, 1993) with Kent Hovind.
- Genesis: The Creation and the Flood (IMDb, 1994) with Annabi Abdelialil, Omero Antonutti, and Sabir Aziz.
- Startling Proofs (IMDb, 1995) with Dave Breese, Keith Davies, and David Harris.
- A Question of Origins (IMDb, 1998) with Roger Oakland, Dan Sheedy, and Mark Eastman.
- Genesis: History or Myth (IMDb, 1999a) with Kent Hovind, Nick Powers, and Terry Prewitt.
- Creation Seminar (IMDB, 1999) with Kent Hovind.
- Earth: Young or Old? (IMDb, 2000a) with John Ankerberg, Hugh Ross, and Kent Hovind.
- Creation Science 102 (IMDb, 2000b) with Kent Hovind.
- Creation Science 101 (IMDb, 2001a) with Kent Hovind.
- Creation Science 103 (IMDb, 2001b) with Kent Hovind.
- Creation Science 104 (IMDb, 2001c) with Kent Hovind.
- Christ in Prophecy. (IMDb, 2002) with David Reagan, Nathan Jones, and Jobe Martin.
- The Creation Adventure Team: A Jurassic Ark Mystery (IMDb, 2003a) with Buddy Davis, Andy Hosmer, and Brad Stine.
- Answering the Critics (IMDb, 2003b) with Kent Hovind, Eric Hovind, and Jonathan Sampson.
- A Creation Evolution Debate (IMDb, 2003c) with Kyle Frazier, Hugh Hewitt, and Kent Hovind.
- Six Days & the Eisegesis Problem (IMDb, 2003d) with Ken Ham
- Design: The Evolutionary Nightmare (IMDb, 2004a) with Tom Sharp.
- Creation in the 21st Century (IMDb, 2004b) with David Rives, Carl Baugh, and Bruce Malone.
- Evolutionism: The Greatest Deception of All Time (IMDb, 2004c) with Tom Sharp.
- The Genesis Conflict (IMDb, 2004d) with Walter J. Veith.
- Three on One! At Embry Riddle (IMDb, 2004e) with Kent Hovind, Jim Strayer, and R. Luther Reisbig.
- Old Earth vs. Young Earth (2004f) with Jaymen Dick and Kent Hovind.
- Berkeley Finally Hears the Truth (IMDb, 2004g) with Kent Hovind.
- The Big Question (IMDb, 2005b) with Rupert Hoare, Roger Phillips, and John Polkinghorne.
- Creation Seminar (IMDb, 2005a) with Kent Hovind.
- Creation Boot Camp (IMDb, 2005c) with Daniel Johnson, Eric Hovind, and Kent Hovind.
- The Intelligent Design Movement: How Intelligent Is It? (IMDb, 2005d) with Georgia Purdom.
- The Case for a Creator (IMDb, 2006a) with Lee Strobel, Tom Kane, and Don Ranson.
- Dinosaurs and the Bible (IMDb, 2006b) with Jason Lisle.
- Noah’s Flood: Washing Away the Millions of Years (IMDb, 2006c) with Terry Mortenson.
- The Longevity Secret: Is Noahs Ark the Key to Immortality? (IMDb, 2007a) with T. Lee Baumann, John Baumgardner, and Walter Brown.
- Creation and Evolution: A Witness of Prophets (IMDb, 2007b) by James F. Stoddard III.
- Ancient Secrets of the Bible (IMDb, 2007c) with Richard S. Hess, Grant Jeffrey, and Michael Shermer.
- Faithful Word Baptist Church (IMDb, 2007d) with Steven L. Anderson, David Berzins, and Roger Jimenez.
- Noah’s Ark: Thinking Outside the Box (IMDb, 2007e) with Mark Looy, John Whitcomb, and Ken Ham.
- God of Wonders (IMDb, 2008b) with John Whitcomb, Dan Sheedy, and Don B. DeYoung.
- Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (IMDb, 2008a) with Ben Stein, Lili Asvar, and Peter Atkins.
- Red River Bible & Prophecy Conference (IMDb, 2008c) with David Hocking, James Jacob Prasch, and Carl Teichrib.
- The Earth Is Young (IMDb, 2009a) with Michael Gitlin.
- Evolutionist vs. Evolution (IMDb, 2009b) with Walter Brown, Kent Hovind, and Kenneth Miller.
- The Creation: Faith, Science, Intelligent Design (IMDb, 2010a) with Robert Carr, Art Chadwick, and Alvin Chea.
- All Creatures Great and Small: Microbes and Creation (IMDb, 2010b) with Georgia Purdom.
- Wonder of the Cell (IMDb, 2010c) with Georgia Purdom.
- Creation Today (IMDb, 2011a) with Eric Hovind, Paul Taylor, and Ben Schettler, and ongoing into the present as a television series.
- Genesis Week (IMDb, 2011b) with Ian Juby and Vance Nelson for 23 episodes.
- Starlight and a Young Earth (IMDb, 2011c) with Charles Jackson.
- Hard Questions for Evolutionists (IMDb, 2011c) with Kent Hovind.
- Creation Bytes! (IMDb, 2012a) with Paul Taylor.
- What’s Wrong with Evolution? (IMDb, 2012b) with Eric Hovind, John Mackay, and Paul Taylor.
- Not All ‘Christian’ Universities Are Christian (IMDb, 2012c) with Jay Seegert, Eric Hovind, and Paul Taylor.
- The Six Days of Genesis (IMDb, 2012d) with Paul Taylor.
- Deconstructing Dawkins (IMDb, 2012e) with Paul Taylor.
- Prometheus (IMDb, 2012f) with Noomi Rapace, Logan Marshall-Green, Michael Fassbender.
- How to Answer the Fool (IMDb, 2013b) with Sye Ten Bruggencate and Eric Hovind.
- Evolution vs. God: Shaking the Foundations of Faith (IMDb, 2013a) with Ray Comfort, Kevan Brighting, and Alessandro Bianchi.
- The Interview: Past, Present, Future (IMDb, 2013c) with John Mackay and Ken Ham.
- Creation Training Initiative (IMDb, 2013d) with Mike Riddle, Buddy Davis, and Carl Kerby.
- The Comfort Zone (IMDb, 2013e) with Ray Comfort, Emeal Zwayne, and Mark Spence.
- Creation and the Last Days (IMDb, 2014a) with Ken Ham, Richard Dawkins, and Paul Zachary Myers.
- Post-Debate Answers Live W/Ken Ham (IMDb, 2014b) with Ken Ham and Georgia Purdom.
- The Pre & Post Debate Commentary Live (IMDb, 2014c) with Eric Hovind, Paul Taylor, and Terry Mortenson.
- Design(er) (IMDb, 2014d) with Georgia Purdom.
- The Genetics of Adam & Eve (IMDb, 2014e) with Georgia Purdom.
- Dr. Kent Hovind Q&A (IMDb, 2015a) with Kent Hovind, Mary Tocco-Hovind, Bernie Dehler.
- Open-Air Preaching (IMDb, 2015b) with Ray Comfort and Emeal Zwayne.
- A Matter of Faith (IMDb, 2016a) with Jordan Trovillion, Jay Pickett, and Harry Anderson.
- Evolution’s Achilles’ Heels (IMDb, 2014) with Donald Batten, Alessandro Bianchi, and Pieter Borger.
- Kent Hovind: An Atheist’s Worst Nightmare (IMDb, 2016a) with Michael Behe and Kirk Cameron.
- The Building of the Ark Encounter (IMDb, 2016b) with Craig Baker, Brad Benbow, and Ken Ham.
- The Atheist Delusion (IMDb, 2016c) with Tim Allen, Ray Comfort, and Richard Dawkins.
- Alien: Covenant (IMDb, 2017) with Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, and Billy Crudup.
With some reflection, one can note the lengths some believers of fundamentalist stripes must strive in order for coherence in the worldview, but one who affirms the evidence of evolution via natural selection first becomes much less stuck in the mud.
The former Archbishop of Canterbury of the Church of England stated, “I think creationism is, in a sense, a kind of category mistake, as if the Bible were a theory like other theories. Whatever the biblical account of creation is, it’s not a theory alongside theories. It’s not as if the writer of Genesis or whatever sat down and said well, how am I going to explain all this… ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…” (BBC News, 2002; BBC News, 2009) Indeed, Andrew Brown in The Guardian correctly identified the manner in which the focus on creationism as a Christian phenomenon limits the reach or scope of understanding on the nature of the problem (2009). PEW Research (2009) identified one of the main issues as the theological implications of the theory of evolution. The populations in the United States who appear below the average of the nation in acceptance of evolution via natural selection are the Jehovah’s Witnesses (8% accept), Mormons (22% accept), Evangelical Protestants (24% accept), historically Black Protestant (38% accept), and Muslims (45% accept) (Khan, 2009).
In fact, the ADL defined creationism, creation science, and intelligent design as religious and supernatural accounts of the world, where science deals with the natural and, thus, the views of creationism, creation science, and intelligent design amount to non-scientific and theological/supernatural propositions (2019), as you may no doubt recall in some of the conclusions from the court cases or legal contexts in the United States from earlier. The Freedom From Religion Foundation of Annie Laurie Gaylor and Dan Barker provides summarization of creationism, too, in an article by Andrew L. Seidel (2014). The Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren (2019) state:
Many Bible scholars have pointed out that the Genesis account of creation gives a Hebrew poetic description of the reality that God created the heavens and the earth by his word. A detailed scientific explanation of how God’s word brought creation into existence is not in view in the biblical narratives of creation. Rather, as scholars have shown, these narratives contrast markedly with ancient Near Eastern myths about cosmic origins. Unlike the deities in other texts who are depicted as giving birth to the material world, the God of the Bible speaks creation into existence. The Bible reveals a divine presence that is both intimate in its closeness and exalted in its transcendence. God is invisible, yet accessible to those who seek him in a faithful response to his self-revelation. Moreover, although God’s wisdom is revealed in the working of the natural order, the depths of God’s wisdom are beyond the reach of human understanding.
From a Christian perspective, the biblical description of God’s creative work is also necessary for understanding human nature. Christians af rm the clear statement of Genesis that God created the heavens and the earth. As the pinnacle of creation, human beings are the deliberate work of God. Human beings are created in the image of God. Atheistic models of evolutionary origins are incompatible with the biblical witness when they fail to account for human beings bearing the image of God.
In terms of the physical world, the Bible tells that God created matter from nothing, and then ordered the chaotic matter into an ordered reality (Genesis 1:1-2; Romans 4:17; Colossians 1:15-16; Hebrews 11:3). Historically, Christian theologians have interpreted this as meaning creation ex nihilo—out of nothing.3 This point is important for a number of reasons. First, it reminds us that only God is eternal, and that God’s ordered creation serves his plan. Second, in expressing that God has brought creation to be out of nothing, the biblical authors express the power of the Creator God. Third, Scripture reveals that God is distinct from creation, and sovereignly rules over it. (2019)
RationalWiki catalogues some religious orientations on creationism: Buddhism, Judeo-Christianity, Islam, Hare Krishna, Raëlism, and None (2019a). PEW Research provided a summary of some of the views of the various religious groups (2009), in which they stated:
Many Buddhists see no inherent conflict between their religious teachings and evolutionary theory. Indeed, according to some Buddhist thinkers, certain aspects of Darwin’s theory are consistent with some of the religion’s core teachings, such as the notion that all life is impermanent.
The Catholic Church generally accepts evolutionary theory as the scientific explanation for the development of all life. However, this acceptance comes with the understanding that natural selection is a God-directed mechanism of biological development and that man’s soul is the divine creation of God.
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ first public statement on human origins was issued in 1909 and echoed in 1925, when the church’s highest governing body stated, “Man is the child of God, formed in the divine image and endowed with divine attributes.” However, several high-ranking officials have suggested that Darwin’s theory does not directly contradict church teachings.
In 1982, the Episcopal Church passed a resolution to “affirm its belief in the glorious ability of God to create in any manner, and in this affirmation reject the rigid dogmatism of the ‘Creationist’ movement.” The church has also expressed skepticism toward the intelligent design movement.
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
While the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has not issued a definitive statement on evolution, it does contend that “God created the universe and all that is therein, only not necessarily in six 24-hour days, and that God actually may have used evolution in the process of creation.”
While there is no single Hindu teaching on the origins of life, many Hindus believe that the universe is a manifestation of Brahman, Hinduism’s highest god and the force behind all creation. However, many Hindus today do not find their beliefs to be incompatible with the theory of evolution.
While the Koran teaches that Allah created human beings as they appear today, Islamic scholars and followers are divided on the theory of evolution. Theologically conservative Muslims who ascribe to literal interpretations of the Koran generally denounce the evolutionary argument for natural selection, whereas many theologically liberal Muslims believe that while man is divinely created, evolution is not necessarily incompatible with Islamic principles.
While all of the major movements of American Judaism – including the Reconstructionist, Reform, Conservative and Orthodox branches – teach that God is the creator of the universe and all life, Jewish teachings generally do not find an inherent conflict between evolutionary theory and faith.
Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod
The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod teaches that “the Genesis account of Creation is true and factual, not merely a ‘myth’ or ‘story’ made up to explain the origin of all things.” The church rejects evolution or any theory that “denies or limits the work of creation as taught in Scripture.”
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
In 1969, the Presbyterian Church’s governing body amended its previous position on evolution, which was originally drafted in the 19th century, to affirm that evolution and the Bible do not contradict each other. Still, the church has stated that it “should carefully refrain from either affirming or denying the theory of evolution,” and church doctrine continues to hold that man is a unique creation of God, “made in His own image.”
Southern Baptist Convention
In 1982, the Southern Baptist Convention issued a resolution rejecting the theory of evolution and stating that creation science “can be presented solely in terms of scientific evidence without any religious doctrines or concepts.” Some Southern Baptist leaders have spoken out in favor of the intelligent design movement.
United Church of Christ
The United Church of Christ finds evolutionary theory and Christian faith to be compatible, embracing evolution as a means “to see our faith in a new way.”
United Methodist Church
In 2008, the church’s highest legislative body passed a resolution saying that “science’s descriptions of cosmological, geological, and biological evolution are not in conflict with [the church’s] theology.” Moreover, the church states that “many apparent scientific references in [the] Bible … are intended to be metaphorical
were included to help understand the religious principles, but not to teach science.”
The purpose remains the innervation of a non-theological discipline as a theological set of fields or as the study of God – to bring God into science and vice versa. One may observe this in non-literate-based spiritualities and practices bound to longer histories, often, than the traditionally considered ‘Eastern’ and ‘Western’ religious orientations; those grounded in oral traditions. One can look to aborigine, aboriginal, first peoples’, indigenous, native, or originals’ traditions about the nature of nature. The world around us as inhabited by spirits and forces, often with a singular capital “C” Creator behind the works of it.
Indigenous belief structures in various parts of the world, and in Canada, assert a creation narrative. In C2C Journal, reportage by Robert MacBain and Peter Shawn Taylor (2019) covered some of the aspects of bad history on the part of some aboriginal communities due to historical circumstance as a consequence of colonization, they state:
Today, approximately 30,000 Ojibways live in a sprawling region north of Lake Huron and Lake Superior. And thanks to a recent Ontario court decision, they could soon be in line for a massive and unprecedented financial gift from Canadian taxpayers. It’s a giveaway made possible by an imaginative rewriting of two nearly 170-year-old signed treaties, a legal system that appears to have fallen under the spell of native mysticism, a federal government that’s given up defending the taxpayers’ interests and a judge who thinks she can read the minds of long-dead historical figures and mistakenly believes the Ojibway have lived in Northwestern Ontario since time immemorial…
Rather than sticking to the historical facts, Justice Hennessy extensively quoted an Ojibway elder’s account of his people’s cosmology and creation story, and then herself claimed: “As the last placed within creation, the Anishinaabe [Ojibways] could not act in ways that would violate those relationships that came before their placement on the land and that were already in existence across creation.” Setting aside her curious acceptance of Indigenous mythology as fact, we know that at the time of their “creation” the Anishinaabe could not have been placed in Northwestern Ontario. They originated on the Atlantic Coast and are essentially newcomers to the area, having arrived after European explorers. (MacBain & Taylor, 2019)
MacBain and Taylor firmly judge the captivation of Justice Hennessy with indigenous creationism, akin to the notion of a several thousand years old Earth with human beings as a special creation in their current form and separate from the rest of creation (Ibid.). Vine Deloria, a Standing Rock Sioux, argued for an indigenous interpretation of the world with a young planet, existence of humans alongside dinosaurs, a worldwide flood, the Middle Eastern origin of the Native Americans, the increased levels of carbon dioxide leading to “gigantism,” and, of course, a lack of acceptance in evolution (Brumble, 1998).
Bailey (2014) notes the asymmetry in the treatment of different types of creationism, where indigenous creationism gets a pass in some circles. However, creationism remains a wrong theory in a scientific sense and only one set of particular religious interpretations of origins of life and, often, the universe. Canadian Museum of History (n.d.) stated, “For the Haudenosaunee, the earth was created through the interplay of elements from the sky and waters. The different Iroquoian-speaking peoples tell slightly different versions of the creation story, which begins with Sky Woman falling from the sky.”
Several Coast Salish nations exist in Canada with creation stories (Kennedy & Bouchard, 2006) including Cowichan, Esquimault, Halalt, Homalco, Hwlitsum, Klahoose, K’omoks, Lake Cowichan, Lyackson, Musqueam, Qualicum, Saanich, Scia’new, Semiahmoo, Shishalh, Snaw-Naw-As, Snuneymuxw, Songhees, Squamish, Stó:lõ, Stz’uminus, Tla’amin (Sliammon), Tsawwassen, Tsleil-Waututh, and T’Sou-ke; each, likely, as with other complex civilizations – with or without technology – harbour creation stories or mythologies asserted as factual accounts of the world. The Canadian Encyclopedia states: Coast Salish culture and traditional knowledge survive through oral histories. Although Coast Salish legends vary from nation to nation, they often feature many of the same spiritual figures and tell similar creation stories.
One example of such a tale is the story of how Old-Man-In-The-Sky created the world, animals and humans. These stories also highlight the importance of certain creatures and elements of nature, such as the salmon and red cedar, which are considered sacred for spiritual reasons and because of the valuable resources they provide for the people (Ibid.). On some non-Middle Eastern (and co-opted by the Europeans) mythologies, we can look to Australia:
There was a time when everything was still. All the spirits of the earth were asleep – or almost all. The great Father of All Spirits was the only one awake. Gently he awoke the Sun Mother. As she opened her eyes a warm ray of light spread out towards the sleeping earth. The Father of All Spirits said to the Sun Mother,
“Mother, I have work for you. Go down to the Earth and awake the sleeping spirits. Give them forms.”
The Sun Mother glided down to Earth, which was bare at the time and began to walk in all directions and everywhere she walked plants grew. After returning to the field where she had begun her work the Mother rested, well pleased with herself. The Father of All Spirits came and saw her work, but instructed her to go into the caves and wake the spirits.
This time she ventured into the dark caves on the mountainsides. The bright light that radiated from her awoke the spirits and after she left insects of all kinds flew out of the caves. The Sun Mother sat down and watched the glorious sight of her insects mingling with her flowers. However once again the Father urged her on.
The Mother ventured into a very deep cave, spreading her light around her. Her heat melted the ice and the rivers and streams of the world were created. Then she created fish and small snakes, lizards and frogs. Next she awoke the spirits of the birds and animals and they burst into the sunshine in a glorious array of colors. Seeing this the Father of All Spirits was pleased with the Sun Mother’s work.
She called all her creatures to her and instructed them to enjoy the wealth of the earth and to live peacefully with one another. Then she rose into the sky and became the sun. (Williams College, n.d.)
Now, we can see this reflected in others with supernatural intervention or anthropomorphization of the objects of the world, as if the cosmos amounted to one big dramatic play. National Museum of the American Indian (2019) describes the Mayan foundational narrative as follows:
In this story, the Creators, Heart of Sky and six other deities including the Feathered Serpent, wanted to create human beings with hearts and minds who could “keep the days.” But their first attempts failed. When these deities finally created humans out of yellow and white corn who could talk, they were satisfied. In another epic cycle of the story, the Death Lords of the Underworld summon the Hero Twins to play a momentous ball game where the Twins defeat their opponents. The Twins rose into the heavens, and became the Sun and the Moon. Through their actions, the Hero Twins prepared the way for the planting of corn, for human beings to live on Earth, and for the Fourth Creation of the Maya.
Native American origin narratives or superstitions reflect some of the similar things:
…the Makiritare of the Orinoco River region in Venezuela tell how the stars, led by Wlaha, were forced to ascend on high when Kuamachi, the evening star, sought to avenge the death of his mother. Kuamachi and his grandfather induced Wlaha and the other stars to climb into dewaka trees to gather the ripe fruit. When Kuamachi picked the fruit, it fell and broke open. Water spilled out and flooded the forest. With his powerful thoughts, Kuamachi created a canoe in which he and his grandfather escaped. Along the way they created deadly water animals such as the anaconda, the piranha, and the caiman. One by one Kuamachi shot down the stars of heaven from the trees in which they were lodged. They fell into the water and were devoured by the animals. After they were gnawed and gored into different ragged shapes, the survivors ascended into the sky on a ladder of arrows. There the stars took their proper places and began shining….
… Iroquois longhouse elders speak frequently about the Creator’s “Original Instructions” to human beings, using male gender references and attributing to this divinity not only the planning and organizing of creation but qualities of goodness, wisdom, and perfection that are reminiscent of the Christian deity. By contrast, the Koyukon universe is notably decentralized. Raven, whom Koyukon narratives credit with the creation of human beings, is only one among many powerful entities in the Koyukon world. He exhibits human weaknesses such as lust and pride, is neither all-knowing nor all-good, and teaches more often by counterexample than by his wisdom…
… These actions commemorate events that occurred in the mythic first world. At that time a formless water serpent, Amaru, was the first female being. Her female followers stole ritual flutes, kuai, from the males of that age and initiated Amaru by placing her in a basket while they blessed food for her. Insects and worms tried to penetrate the basket, and eventually a small armadillo succeeded in tunneling through the earth into the centre of the women’s house. The creator, Yaperikuli, led the men through this tunnel, and the resulting union of males and females marked the beginning of fertile life and the origin of all species. Thus, an individual girl’s initiation is brought into alignment with cosmic fertility…
… South American eschatological thinking and behaviour share common ground with Christian eschatology. (Sullivan, & Jocks, 2019).
As Zimmerman (2010) noted, the general tenor of the public and educational conversation around creationism continues for a long time and has been extant in the North American landscape for a longer time than even Stephen Jay Gould, who is long dead at this time. Bob Joseph (2012) states:
Most cultures, including Aboriginal cultures, hold creationism as an explanation of how people came to populate the world. If an Aboriginal person were asked their idea of how their ancestors came to live in the Americas the answer would probably include a creation story and not the story of migration across a land bridge.
Take the Gwawaenuk creationism story for example. The first ancestor of the Gwawaenuk (gwa wa ā nook) Tribe of the west coast of British Columbia is a Thunderbird. The Thunderbird is a super natural creature who could fly through the heavens. One day, at the beginning of time, the Thunderbird landed on top of Mt Stevens in the Broughton Archipelago at the northern tip of Vancouver Island. Upon landing on Mt. Stevens, the Thunderbird transformed into human form, becoming the first ancestor of the Gwawaenuk people. This act signals the creation of the Gwawaenuk people as well as defining the territory which the Gwawaenuk people would use and protect.
Now, the Indigenous perspectives of a Thunderbird landing on a mountain and transforming into a human being may sound unusual and a little silly but to a Gwawaenuk person it doesn’t sound any more unusual or silly than a virgin birth, or a person walking on water, coming back from the dead, or parting the Red Sea.
Tallbear (2013) describes the problems in the inappropriate sensitivities of indigenous communities to genomics testing, which may lead to a disintegration of mythologies considered or asserted true simply because of the connection to the original inhabitants of the land, i.e., those mythologies about people groups assumed as true when stating that the indigenous inhabitants have been there since time immemorial. These amount to empirical claims and, by most accepted anthropological and historical standards, wrong ones because of the migratory patterns found through genetics and other studies into the origins and travels of ancient homo sapiens. Christian and indigenous mythologies can impede research and the lead to a furtherance of factually wrong beliefs about the world. Indeed, genetics studies can combat the problems of racism to show what the biological scientists have known since Darwin: the unified nature of the ‘race’ seen in the human species more in line with modern biological terminology and evidence rather than more non-scientific or pre-modern scientific conceptualizations, or sociological terminologies, found in colloquialisms like “race.”
In examination of the world’s indigenous and religious creation stories, individual adherents may not amount to creationists as they may accept the naturalistic evidence in support of evolutionary theory; however, the base claims of the indigenous and religious belief structures purport a supernaturalism incompatible with the processes of scientific epistemology in the modern period and, therefore, as accounts of the cosmos and life equate to creationism or creationist claims with the first evaluation as creation stories. iResearchNet (2019) catalogues creationism into a number of more distinct categories: flat earth, geocentric creationism, young earth uniformitarianism, restitution creationism or gap creationism, day-age creationism, progressive creationism, Paley-an creationism with a Thomist theological framework, evolutionary creationism, theistic evolution, and the tried-and-untrue young earth creationism. They state the fundamentals of the literalist creationism found in Christian variations of creationism as follows:
- Creation is the work of a Trinitarian God.
- The Bible is a divinely inspired document.
- Creation took place in 6 days.
- All humans descended from Adam and Eve.
- The accounts of Earth in Genesis are historically accurate records.
- The work of human beings is to reestablish God’s perfection of creation though a commitment to Jesus. (Ibid.)
Regardless, as the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (2019b) states, creationist views reject scientific findings and methods:
Advocates of the ideas collectively known as “creationism” and, recently, “intelligent design creationism” hold a wide variety of views. Most broadly, a “creationist” is someone who rejects natural scientific explanations of the known universe in favor of special creation by a supernatural entity. Creationism in its various forms is not the same thing as belief in God because, as was discussed earlier, many believers as well as many mainstream religious groups accept the findings of science, including evolution. Nor is creationism necessarily tied to Christians who interpret the Bible literally. Some non-Christian religious believers also want to replace scientific explanations with their own religion’s supernatural accounts of physical phenomena.
In the United States, various views of creationism typically have been promoted by small groups of politically active religious fundamentalists who believe that only a supernatural entity could account for the physical changes in the universe and for the biological diversity of life on Earth. But even these creationists hold very different views…
…No scientific evidence supports these viewpoints…
…Creationists sometimes argue that the idea of evolution must remain hypothetical because “no one has ever seen evolution occur.” This kind of statement also reveals that some creationists misunderstand an important characteristic of scientific reasoning. Scientific conclusions are not limited to direct observation but often depend on inferences that are made by applying reason to observations…
…Thus, for many areas of science, scientists have not directly observed the objects (such as genes and atoms) or the phenomena (such as the Earth going around the Sun) that are now well-established facts. Instead, they have confirmed them indirectly by observational and experimental evidence. Evolution is no different. Indeed, for the reasons described in this booklet, evolutionary science provides one of the best examples of a deep understanding based on scientific reasoning…
…Because such appeals to the supernatural are not testable using the rules and processes of scientific inquiry, they cannot be a part of science.
Across the world and through time, creation stories emerge to provide some bearing as to the origin of the world and of life, but the narratives failed to match the empirical record of the world in which the sciences emerged and advanced while the mythologies died out due to a loss of adherents or continued to stagnate in the minds of the intellectuals and leadership of the communities of supernatural and spiritual beliefs. Evolution via natural selection stands apart from and opposed to, often, the creationist arguments and lack of evidences in addition to the assertions of the creation stories of all peoples throughout time into the present, insofar as a detailed naturalistic accounting for the variety of life forms on Earth with a formal encapsulation with functional mechanisms supported by hypotheses and the hypotheses bolstered by the evidence then and now.
Institutional Teleology, Purpose-Driven Hierarchies: Associations, Collectives, Groups, and Organizations with a Purpose
We can learn to ignore the bullshit in the Bible about gay people. The same way we have learned to ignore the bullshit in the Bible about shellfish, about slavery, about dinner, about farming, about menstruation, about virginity, about masturbation.
Let’s teach our children from a very young age about the story of the universe and its incredible richness and beauty. It is already so much more glorious and awesome – and even comforting – than anything offered by any scripture or God concept I know.
The lesson here, and through the years I’ve seen it repeated over and over again, is that a relatively small group of agitators, especially when convinced God is on their side, can move corporate America to quake with fear and make decisions in total disregard of the Constitution that protects against such decisions.
In almost every professional field, in business and in the arts and sciences, women are still treated as second-class citizens. It would be a great service to tell girls who plan to work in society to expect this subtle, uncomfortable discrimination-tell them not to be quiet, and hope it will go away, but fight it. A girl should not expect special privileges because of her sex, but neither should she “adjust” to prejudice and discrimination.
The reason I prefer the sledgehammer to the rapier and the reason I believe in blunt, violent, confrontational forms for the presentation of my ideas is because I see that what’s happening to the lives of people is not rapierlike, it is not gentle, it is not subtle. It is direct, hard and violent. The slow violence of poverty, the slow violence of untreated disease. Of unemployment, hunger, discrimination. This isn’t the violence of some guy opening fire with an Uzi in a McDonald’s and forty people are dead. The real violence that goes on every day, unheard, unreported, over and over, multiplied a millionfold.
The next time believers tell you that ‘separation of church and state’ does not appear in our founding document, tell them to stop using the word ‘trinity.’ The word ‘trinity’ appears nowhere in the bible. Neither does Rapture, or Second Coming, or Original Sin. If they are still unfazed (or unphrased), by this, then add Omniscience, Omnipresence, Supernatural, Transcendence, Afterlife, Deity, Divinity, Theology, Monotheism, Missionary, Immaculate Conception, Christmas, Christianity, Evangelical, Fundamentalist, Methodist, Catholic, Pope, Cardinal, Catechism, Purgatory, Penance, Transubstantiation, Excommunication, Dogma, Chastity, Unpardonable Sin, Infallibility, Inerrancy, Incarnation, Epiphany, Sermon, Eucharist, the Lord’s Prayer, Good Friday, Doubting Thomas, Advent, Sunday School, Dead Sea, Golden Rule, Moral, Morality, Ethics, Patriotism, Education, Atheism, Apostasy, Conservative (Liberal is in), Capital Punishment, Monogamy, Abortion, Pornography, Homosexual, Lesbian, Fairness, Logic, Republic, Democracy, Capitalism, Funeral, Decalogue, or Bible.
There has been important editorial work on the general post-truth era, which reflects the creationist way of knowing the world (Nature Cell Biology, 2018). It may reflect a general anti-science trend over time connected to Dunning-Kruger effects. The problem of supernaturalism proposed as a solution to the issues seen in much of the naturalistic orientation of scientific investigation creates problems, especially in publics, by and large, bound to religious philosophies.
In North America, we can see teleological belief groups adhering to a supernaturalistic interpretation of science, when science, in and of itself, remains naturalistic, technical, and non-teleological. For instance, the Baptist Creation Ministries exists as a problematic ministry (2019). In their words, “Our goal is to reintroduce biblical creationism back to North America. If people don’t believe they are created, they will not see their need for the Saviour.” The Baptist Creation Ministries earned praise from Pastor Scott Dakin from Ambassador Baptist Church in Windsor, Ontario, Pastor Douglas McClain from New Testament Baptist Church in Hamilton, Ontario, Pastor David Kalbfleisch from Cornerstone Baptist Church in Newmarket, Ontario, Pastor Mark Bohman from Forest City Baptist Church in London, Ontario, and Pastor Jeff Roberts from Maranatha Baptist Church in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Canadians like supernaturalism with a hunk of the supernaturalists approving of the creationist outlooks on the nature of the real world. We can see echoes throughout Canada in this regard.
Humanists, Atheists, & Agnostics of Manitoba (2019) take the appropriate stance of calling young earth creationism by its real name. Coggins (2007) compared the creationist museums here and elsewhere, in brief. Even the media, once more, Canada Free Press has been known to peddle creationism (RationalWiki, 2018a). Tim Ball is one creationist publishing in Canada Free Press (RationalWiki, 2019e). The late Grant R. Jeffrey was one creationist, involved in Frontier Research Publications, as a publication permitting creationism as purportedly valid science (2017, October 27). Emil Silvestru holds the title of the only karstologist in the creationist world (RationalWiki, 2018b). Silvestru may reflect the minority of trained professionals in these domains [Ed. Please do see the Project Steve of the National Center for Science Education]. Faith Beyond Belief hosted members of the creationist community on the subject matter “Is Biblical Creationism Based on Science?” (2019).
Canadian Atheist, which covers a wide variety of the flavors of atheism, produced a number of articles on creationism or with some content indirectly related to creationism in a critical manner, especially good material of ‘Indi’ (Jacobsen, 2017a; MacPherson, 2014a; MacPherson, 2014b; Haught, 2019; Jacobsen, 2019a; Jacobsen, 2019b; Jacobsen, 2019c; Jacobsen, 2019d; Jacobsen, 2019e; Jacobsen, 2019f; Jacobsen, 2019g; Jacobsen, 2019h; Jacobsen, 2019i; Indi, 2019; Jacobsen, 2019j; Jacobsen, 2019k; Jacobsen, 2019l; Jacobsen, 2019m; Indi, 2018a; Indi, 2018b; Indi, 2018c; Jacobsen, 2018d; Law & Jacobsen, 2018; Jacobsen, 2018e; Jacobsen, 2018f; Jacobsen, 2018g; Jacobsen, 2018h; Indi, 2018e; Jacobsen, 2018i; Indi, 2018f; Jacobsen, 2018j; Jacobsen, 2018p; Indi, 2017a; Indi, 2017b; Jacobsen, 2017d; Indi, 2017c; Rosenblood, 2015; Indi, 2015; MacDonald, 2015; Themistocleous, 2014; MacPherson, 2014c; MacPherson, 2014d; Abbass, 2014a; MacPherson, 2014e; Indi, 2014; Abbass, 2014b; MacPherson, 2014f).
Some of the more obvious cases of creationism within Canada remain the perpetually fundamentalist and literalist interpretations of Christianity with the concomitant rise of individual textual analysts and pseudoscientists, and collectives found in museums (travelling or stationary), associations, a special interest group, and different websites. One of the main national ones as a satellite for the international group: Creation Ministries International (Canada). As another angle of the fundamental issue from RationalWiki – a great resource on this topic, “Science, while having many definitions and nuances, is fundamentally the application of observation to produce explanation, iteratively working to produce further predictions, observations and explanations. On the other hand, creationism begins with the assertion that a biblical account is literally true and tries to shoehorn observations into it. The two methods are fundamentally incompatible. In short, ‘creation science’ is an oxymoron” (2019b).
That is to say, the use of the world to produce empirical factual sets in order to comprehend the nature of nature as the foundation of science rather than a ‘holy’ textual analysis in order to filtrate selected (biased in a biblical manner, or other ways too) information to confirm the singular interpretation of the purported divinely inspired book. No such process as creation science exist, except in oxymoronic title or name – either creationism or science, not both.
A large number of organizations in Canada devoted to creationism through Creation Ministries International (2019e). They function or operate out of “Australia, Canada, Singapore, New Zealand, United Kingdom, South Africa and United States of America” (Ibid.). Creation Ministries International (Canada) remains explicit and clear on its intention and orientation as a “Bible first” organization and not a “science first” organization:
Our heart as a ministry is to see the authority of God’s Word spread throughout the body of Christ… we work hard to move your people to a position of deeper faith, trusting the Bible as the actual Word of God that is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness…
…We believe person-to-person evangelism is, unquestionably, still the most effective way to win souls. That said, almost all of our presentations are geared towards a Christian audience because we believe our calling is to the building up of the LORD’s church, equipping believers with answers for their faith so they can do personal outreach more effectively…
Our goal is to show how a plain reading of Genesis (following the established historical-grammatical hermeneutic) produces a consistent theology and is supported by the latest scientific evidences!
CMI is a ‘Bible first’ (not ‘science first’) ministry. Our emphasis is on biblical authority and a defence of the faith, refuting skeptics’ and atheists’ attacks on Scripture, not to marginalize, minimize or ostracize fellow Christians.
As an apologetics (rather than polemic) ministry we seek to educate, equip, and inform Christians about the importance of consistency when interpreting Scripture and developing a Biblical worldview. We will gently point out inconsistencies when Genesis is interpreted to include evolution and millions of years, encouraging people who hold those views to consider evidence against them (both Biblical and scientific). We want your congregation to learn to love the truths that God has communicated to us in His Word! We equip the believer and challenge the skeptic, ultimately for the glory of God…
… An outside ministry can often re-energize the importance of the topic by injecting a new perspective from a different ‘face’, and often the resident creationist will be reinvigorated themselves by having an outside expert in the field provide new insight…
… As an apologetics ministry our goal is to help pastors grow their congregations in their faith to the point where people know that God’s Word is true whether they have a specific answer or not, and make Jesus the Lord of their life…
… We understand that teachers will be judged with a greater strictness. (James 3:1) Because of these principles we leave out poorly researched scientific evidences for creation, and favour the evidences that have been rigorously investigated.
(Creation Ministries International Canada, 2019a)
In short, non-scientific, or quasi-scientific, processes connected to fundamentalist and literalist on the interpretations of the Bible to comprehend the nature of the world as a ministry with an explicit aim of arming believers – followers and teachers of the Gospel, or both – to spread the glory of God, the Gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ, and to challenge the skeptic. If this orientation seems not explicit enough as to the evangelistic nature of non-science and theological imposition on the general culture, and into the educational systems, we can examine the doctrines and beliefs of Creation Ministries International:
The scientific aspects of creation are important, but are secondary in importance to the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as Sovereign, Creator, Redeemer and Judge.
The doctrines of Creator and Creation cannot ultimately be divorced from the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The 66 books of the Bible are the written Word of God. The Bible is divinely inspired and inerrant throughout. Its assertions are factually true in all the original autographs…
The account of origins presented in Genesis is a simple but factual presentation of actual events and therefore provides a reliable framework for scientific research into the question of the origin and history of life, mankind, the Earth and the universe.
The various original life forms (kinds), including mankind, were made by direct creative acts of God…
The great Flood of Genesis was an actual historic event, worldwide (global) in its extent and effect.
God created from the beginning male and female in his own image with different but complementary characteristics. It is thus contrary to God’s created order to attempt to adopt a gender other than a person’s biological sex… (2019b)
In other words, Creation Ministries International states ad nauseam the fundamentalist and literalist Christian belief in the Bible as the source of all proper knowledge about the natural world with contradictory evidence as sufficient to reject as unreliable because this goes against the word of their supposed god. An evangelistic ministry devoted to blur the line between science and theology, or religion and legitimate domains of natural philosophical enquiries. Within this framework of understanding the definitional and epistemological differences between the sciences and religion, and between the propositions of creationism and evolution via natural selection, the rules and parameters, and operations, of science become unused in a legitimate sense by creationists and, therefore, any proposition or proposal of a debate between an “evolutionist” (a creationist epithet for an individual who rejects creationist as non-science and affirms the massive evidence in favour evolution via natural selection in addition to the more rigorous epistemological foundations of evolutionary theory with the standard approaches in other sciences) and a creationist as creationism amounts to a biblical, religious, or theological worldview and evolution via natural selection equates to the foundations of the biological and medical sciences as a well-substantiated scientific theory about life, flora and fauna. No scientific controversy exists in practice – only an educational as per attempts to force the issue into schools or attempt a so-called wedge as in the Wedge Strategy, legal as per the legal challenges following from the educational debacles, and sociopolitical as per the largely ignorant public about the foundations of the life sciences and a sector of the public credulous enough or deprived of proper scientific educations enough to become vulnerable to these oppressions, one – and no empirical controversy could exist in theory, Q.E.D. Overall, we can note the real effects on the general population with the reduction in the quality of the culture if science becomes included in a wider or more generalized definition of that which we define as culture, where this seems legitimate, to me, as science infuses all aspects of culture because of the ideas and with the influence of the technological progress dependent on the discoveries of science – as applications of science.
They have a speaker’s bureau in a manner of speaking (Creation Ministries International Canada, 2019a). The speakers include – and may be limited to – Richard Fangrad, Clarence Janzen, Jim Mason, Augustinus “Gus” Olsthoorn, Thomas Bailey, Matt Bondy, Tom Tripp, and Jim Hughes (Ibid.). Creation Ministries International exists as a Canadian charity and a certified member of the Canadian Council of Christian Charities with an incorporation in 1978 and a more rapid growth phase in 1998 with its current headquarters in Kitchener, Ontario (Ibid.). Richard Fangrad is the CEO of Creation Ministries International (Canada) (Ibid.). Clarence Janzen is a retired high school science teacher (Ibid.). Dr. Jim Mason is a former experimental nuclear physicist (Ibid.). Augustinus “Gus” Olsthoorn is a founding member of the Creation Science Association of Quebec and former employee/technical instructor of Bombardier Aerospace (Ibid.). Thomas Bailey is an event planner for Creation Ministries International and one of the co-hosts of Creation Magazine Live! (Ibid.). Matt Bondy is a computer scientist and the Chief Operations Officer at Creation Ministeries International Canada (Ibid.). Tom Tripp is a former a lab analyst, a computer programmer, or an HR trainer (Ibid.). Jim Hughes is a former of statistics and urban planner (Ibid.). The more complete backgrounds and educational trainings exist on the website. Rod Walsh from Australia was invited to conduct tours across Canada, which can indicate the international work and travel networks of the lecturers (Creation Ministries International, 2019c).
The questions, aside from the statements of religion proposed as statements of faith and science, may arise around the issues of the churches within Canadian society opening to bringing in speakers as the aforementioned (Creation Ministries International, 2019d). If one examines those churches and then the speakers, we can note them:
· September 19, 2019 with Tom Tripp at the Winkler Evangelical Mennonite Mission Church in Winkler, MB.
· September 19, 2019 with Matt Bondy at the Bonnyville Baptist Church in Bonnyville, AB.
· September 20, 2019 with Tom Tripp at the Christian Life Church in Winnipeg, MB.
· September 20, 2019 with Matt Bondy at the West Edmonton Baptist Church in Edmonton, AB.
· September 20, 2019 with Tom Tripp at the Christian Life Church in Winnipeg, MB.
· September 20, 2019 with Thomas Bailey at the Bornholm Free Reformed Church in Bornholm, ON.
· September 20, 2019 with Richard Fangrad at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Leader, SK.
· September 21, 2019 with Richard Fangrad at the Church of the Open Bible in Swift, SK.
· September 21, 2019 with Tom Tripp at the Gladstone Christian Fellowship Church in Glasstone, MB.
· September 21, 2019 with Matt Bondy at Hilltop Community Church in Whitecourt, AB.
· September 22, 2019 with Richard Fangrad at Living Faith Fellowship in Herbert, SK.
· September 22, 2019 with Matt Bondy at the Community Christian Centre in Slave Lake, AB.
· September 22, 2019 with Tom Tripp at the Morden Church of God in Morden, MB.
· September 22, 2019 with Richard Fangrad at Assiniboia Apostolic Church in Assiniboia, SK.
· September 22, 2019 with Matt Bondy at Mayerthorpe Baptist Church in Mayerthorpe, AB.
· September 22, 2019 with Tomm Tripp at Rosenort Evangelical Mennonite Church in Rosenort, MB.
· September 26, 2019 with Clarence Janzen at Lavington Church in Coldstream, BC.
· September 27, 2019 with Clarence Janzen at Kaslo Community Church in Kaslo, BC.
· September 27, 2019 with Augustinus “Gus” Olsthoorn at Alberton Baptist Church in Alberton, PE.
· September 28, 2019 with Augustinus “Gus” Olsthoorn at Glad Tidings Tabernacle in Murray River, PE.
· September 28, 2019 with Clarence Janzen at Grindrod Gospel Church in Grindrod, BC.
· September 29, 2019 with Jim Hughes at Scarborough Baptist Church in Scarborough, ON.
· September 29, 2019 with Matt Bondy at New Life Pentecostal Church in Gravenhurst, ON.
· September 29, 2019 with Augustinus “Gus” Olsthoorn at Calvary Church in Charlottetown, PE.
· September 29, 2019 with Richard Fangrad at Hopewell Worship Centre in Kitchener, ON.
· September 29, 2019 with Clarence Janzen at Bethany Baptist Church in Barriere, BC.
· September 29, 2019 with Thomas Bailey at Kinmount Baptist Church in Kinmount, ON.
· September 29, 2019 with Clarence Janzen at Okanagan Valley Baptist Church in Vernon, BC.
· September 29, 2019 with Thomas Bailey at Cloyne, Flinton, and Kaladar Area Churches.
· September 29, 2019 with Augustinus “Gus” Olsthoorn at Charlottetown Bible Chapel in Charlottetown, PE.
· September 30, 2019 as a retreat for pastors and christian leaders in Huntsville, ON.
(Creation Ministries International, 2019d)
Here, we come to the easy realization with some minor research as to less than half of a month’s worth of speaking engagements for the Creation Ministries International dossier. A purely religious audience from a ministry with a Bible-first orientation rather than a science first orientation and to churches and worship centres, i.e., the creationist movement as portrayed by Creation Ministries International (Canada) by FAQ statements, values and beliefs statements, speakers listing, and upcoming speakers’ engagements becomes a religious and theological movement attempting with some modicum of success in practice to blur the line of science and theology to the public with miserable failures to the community of scientific experts in the life sciences
One of the more active pseudoscience organizations comes in the form of the Creation Science Association of British Columbia. The Creation Science Association of BC, as others, states their overarching values and goals at the outset. Something worth praising, as this represents openness and intellectual honesty, and transparency, in presentation of belief systems guiding the movements, as follows:
• We believe that the Bible is inerrant, and that salvation is by grace through faith in the one Mediator, Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
• We affirm creation by God in six days, a young universe and Earth, and a worldwide flood in the days of Noah.
• We cooperate with similar ministries across Canada.
Our special concern is to battle the evolutionary worldview and to promote creation as described in the Bible. We’ve been serving BC churches since 1967. (Creation Science Association of BC, 2019a)
One wonders as to what one needs saving, where this makes one reflect on the research on existential anxiety or death anxiety. They view the Bible as a source of evidence (Ibid.). This sources the problem in a rapid way. One can use this as a theory of mind heuristic. Often, the literal interpretation is the root problem at the intellectual level. Conspiratorial states of mind and death anxiety/existential anxiety may be the bedrock at the emotional level. The propositions before the science or the scientific research begins, which remains against standard scientific procedure to acquire data from the world to inform, from first principles, one’s view of the world rather than work from religious assertions of the world. That is to say, Creation Science Association of BC functions as a faith-based organization; a euphemism in “faith-based organization” meaning a “religious organization,” meaning they aren’t scientific but theological.
In this manner, they’re open about principles, but dishonest about presentation: George Pearce, Christine Pearce, Richard Peachey, Gerda Peachey, Denis Dreves, The Bible Science Association of Canada (1967), now known as the Creation Science Association of Canada, was formed in 1967 (Creation Science Association of BC, 2019b). This group seems much less active over time into the present than the others with a focus on Egyptian Chronology and the Bible in September at the Willingdon Church in Burnaby, British Columbia featuring Patrick Nurre (Creation Science Association of BC, 2019c).
Other churches inviting non-science posing as science in British Columbia include Faith Lutheran Church in Surrey, Newton Fellowship Church in Surrey, Willingdon Church in Burnaby, Trinity Western University (Church) in Langley, Johnston Heights Church in Langley, Maranatha Canadian Reformed Church in Surrey, New Westminster Community Church in New Westminster, Faith Lutheran Church in Surrey, Free Reformed Church of Langley in Langley, Cloverdale Free Presbyterian Church in Surrey, Renfrew Baptist Church in Vancouver, Calvary Baptist Church in Coquitlam, Franklin Chinese Gospel Chapel in Vancouver, New Westminster Orthodox Reformed Church in New Westminster, Olivet Church in Abbotsford, Dunbar Heights Baptist Church in Vancouver, Fellowship Baptist Church in White Rock, Chandos Pattison Auditorium in Surrey, Cloverdale Baptist Church in Cloverdale, Sea Island United Church in Richmond, Westminster Bible Chapel in New Westminster, and the University of the Fraser Valley (Creation Science Association of BC, 2019d).
The speakers included Clarence Janzen, David Rives, Vance Nelson, Dr. Andy McIntosh, John Baungardner, Donald Chittick, Dennis Petersen, John Byl, Michael Oard, Mike Riddle, Danny Faulkner, Larry Vardiman, Mike Psarris, Jonathan Sarfati, John Martin, and Kevin Anderson (Ibid.). This is well-organized ignorance in British Columba. Ignorance is not a crime. It can be changed with information rather than misinformation. You will often see phrases or terms including “evolutionist” or “secular [fill in the discipline]” so as to separate the regular training in the sciences from their biblical assertions as alternative theoretical foundations as valid as regular training (Ibid.). Nurre is stated as having training in “secular geology,” by which they mean geology in contradistinction to creation ‘science’ and ‘biblical geology’ or, what is also known as, non-science and theological assertions (Ibid.). One may claim training in physics, chemistry, or biology.
However, if one learns physics and teaches astrology, or if one learns biology and proclaims creationism, or if one learns chemistry and asserts alchemy, then the person did not use the education to educate and instead used the credentials to bolster non-scientific claims. This seems less excusable than mere ignorance or lack of exposure. Indeed, the damage over time to the cultural, including science, health of the nation makes individuals with proper education and credentials much more culpable as panderers to public theological prejudice and lowering the bar on the theological discussions and the scientific literacy of the general public, especially amongst followers who trust in them. In many ways, we all know this, but we permit this in the light of dogma or faith as a means by which to remove true critiques – using the proverbial sledgehammer to render such non-scientific and simplistic beliefs ridiculous and fringe at best.
As one works from first principles, science, and the other works from purported holy texts, creationism, we come to the obvious: creationism amounts to theology with attempts at scientific justifications; therefore, creationism cannot amount to science, only theology with strained attempts at science, e.g. “creation science” becomes “creationism,” “secular science” becomes “science” with the logical iterations following in other cases or terminological rather than content differences (Ibid.). In sum, creation science amounts to creationism or a religious view of the world, not a scientific one. Furthermore, if in the case of a purported or supposed debate, the, rather obvious, conclusion becomes the debate format more as a ‘debate’ if between an evolutionary biologist and a creationist, as one demands, within the framework of the debate format, an equivalence between science and theology, which there is not; chemists would have no obligation to debate alchemists or physicists would hold zero responsibility in standing on shared debate platforms with astrologers if not for the overwhelmingly religious population amongst the more scientifically and technologically advanced industrial economies, including Canada.
Another tactic with the creationist community comes in the form of quote mining, as one can see in Creation Science Association of BC writings with quotations from Sean B. Carroll, John Sanford, Beth A. Bishop and Charles W. Sanderson, Richard Dawkins, Eugene V. Koonin, Edward J. Larson, Simon Conway Morris, John Chaikowsky, Antony Flew, W. Ford Doolittle, Colin Patterson, Richard Lewontin, A. S. Wilkins, Mark Pagel, Kenneth Miller, Francis Crick, Michael Ruse, Philip S. Skell, Richard Weikart, William Provine, John S. Mattick, Stephen Jay Gould, George Gilder, Stefan Bengtson, Michael J. Disney, Francis Crick, Paul Ehrlich and L. C. Birch, Charles Darwin, George Gilder, Eric J. Lerner, Halton Arp, W. Ford Doolittle, David Raup, C.S. Lewis, David Berlinski, Massimo Pigliucci, William Sims Bainbridge and Rodney Stark, John H. Evans, David Goldston, Andy Stirling, Lawrence Solomon, Marni Soupcoff, Arnold Aberman, Greg Graffin, Thomas Nagel, Jerry Coyne, Francis S. Collins, Edward J. Young, Henri Blocher, Alan Guth, Peter Harrison, Kenneth R. Millerand, Mark Ridley, S.R. Scadding, Storrs Olson, Mano Singham, Niles Eldredge, Gavin de Beer, Robert Carroll, Roger Lewin, Brian Alters, Edward J. Larson and Larry Witham, Edward O. Wilson, Douglas J. Futuyma, Charles Hodge, Michael Ruse, John Horgan, Robert Root-Bernstein, Richard Lewontin, Jacques Monod, David Hull, and others probably unstated, even “quotes on the Mars rock” (Batten, n.d.a; Hillsdon, n.d.; Wald, n.d.; Peachey, n.d.a; Peachey, n.d.b; Peachey, n.d.c; Peachey, n.d.d; Peachey, n.d.e; Peachey, n.d.f; Peachey, n.d.g; Peachey, n.d.h; Peachey, n.d.i; Peachey, n.d.j; Peachey, n.d.k; Peachey, n.d.l; Peachey, n.d.m; Peachey, n.d.n; Peachey, n.d.o; Peachey, n.d.p; Peachey, n.d.q; Peachey, n.d.r; Peachey, n.d.s; Peachey, n.d.t; Peachey, n.d.u; Peachey, n.d.v; Peachey, n.d.w; Peachey, n.d.x; ; Peachey, n.d.y; Peachey, n.d.z; Peachey, n.d.aa; Peachey, n.d.ab; Peachey, n.d.ac; Peachey, n.d.ad; Peachey, n.d.ae; Peachey, n.d.af; Peachey, n.d.ag; Peachey, n.d.ah; Peachey, n.d.ai; Peachey, n.d.aj; Peachey, n.d.a k; Peachey, n.d.al; Peachey, n.d.am; Peachey, n.d.an; Peachey, n.d.ao; Peachey, n.d.ap; Peachey, n.d.aq; Peachey, n.d.ar; Peachey, n.d.as; Peachey, n.d.at; Peachey, n.d.au; Peachey, n.d.av; Peachey, n.d.aw; Peachey, n.d.ax; Peachey, n.d.ay; Peachey, n.d.az; Peachey, n.d.ba; Peachey, n.d.bb; Peachey, n.d.bc; Peachey, n.d.bd; Peachey, n.d.be; Peachey, 1999; Peachey, 2002; Peachey, 2003a; Peachey, 2003b; Peachey, 2004; Peachey, 2005a; Peachey, 2005; Peachey, 2005c; Peachey, 2005d; Peachey, 2006a; Peachey, 2006b; Peachey, 2006c; Peachey, 2006d; Peachey, 2007a; Peachey, 2007b; Peachey, 2008a; Peachey, 2008b; Peachey, 2008c; Peachey, 2009; Peachey, 2010a; Peachey, 2010b; Peachey, 2010c; Peachey, 2010d; Peachey, 2011a; Peachey, 2011b; Peachey, 2012a; Peachey, 2012b; Peachey, 2012c; Peachey, 2013a; Peachey, 2014a; Peachey; 2014b; Peachey, 2014c; Peachey, 2015a; Peachey, 2015b; Peachey, 2015c; Peachey, 2015a; Peachey, 2009b; Peachey, 2009c; Peachey, 2009d; Peachey, 2009e; Peachey, 2009f; Peachey, 2009g; Peachey, 2009h; Peachey, 2009i; Peachey, 2009j; Peachey, 2009k; Peachey, 2009l; Peachey, 2009m; Peachey, 2009n; Peachey, 2009o).
To creationists in British Columbia – who may be the prime national or Canadian examples of creationist quote mining known to me – and others arguing from quote-mining, and on a broader critique, the reason the vast majority of, secular and religious, scientists do not pay attention nor care about creation ‘science’ or creationism comes from the non-scientific and theological status of it. Religion does not belong in the science classroom any more than alchemy, astrology and horoscopes, spiritism, and the like. Creationism is seen as invalid in the argument in general and unsound overall, not individuals or personalities as people can change and grow, and ideas remain the core issue, but the content and theological positions of creationism as non-science proliferated as ‘science.’ From the view of most Canadians, especially most scientifically literate ones as a rule of thumb rather than an iron law or steel principle, creationism is seen as comically befuddled – bad science and bad theology; a national embarrassment to our standing abroad, and deleterious to the scientific training of the next generations and, subsequently, the scientific and technological – not necessarily moral and ethical – advancement of the country as a whole. Thus, creationism holds the country back now, and in the past.
Individual Canadians reserve the right to freedom to believe in mythologies. However, the children and common good hold right over creationists to acquire proper scientific training and knowledge dissemination rather than religion proposed as scientific, i.e., one can freely waste their educations and lives in pursuit of the inscrutable supposed transcendent as a fundamental human right. The Creation Science Association of Alberta ‘teaches’ the same ignorance in the manner of the other associations, with the President as Dr. Margaret Helder (2019a). As with the other associations around the country, they remain admirably open and transparent in their mission statements and purposes:
To provide encouragement and resources to persons who desire good scientific information which conforms to the Bible.
- To collect, organize and distribute information on creation science.
- To develop a better public understanding of creation. (Creation Science Association of Alberta, 2019b).
They publish a newsletter, sell literature and DVDs, set forth books and information tables, have speakers, host an annual meeting, and have camps and summer seminars too (Ibid.). They openly state, “An association of Christians from all over Alberta, active in the province for over thirty years” (Ibid.). Also, they not only state Christian only members as “an association of Christians” but also the idea of creation ‘science’ or creationism as teleological or non-science, “Creation scientists have a world view or model for their science which is based on the belief that an intelligent designer exists who created our universe and everything in it” (Creation Science Association of Alberta, 2019c). By the standards of the associations in Canadian society, the demographics seem to converge on one form of creationism with Christian creationism as the source and focus of the ideological and religious, and theological, commitments here.
There is Creation Science of Saskatchewan Inc. comprised of the leadership of Keith Miller (President), Dennis Kraushaar, Garry A. Miller, Shirley Dahlgren, Calvin Erlendson, Rudi Fast, Sharon Foreman, Don Hamm, Steve Lockert, Dennis Siemens, and Nathan Siemens with the tagline, “Sharing Scriptural and Scientific Evidence for Special Creation and the Creator!” (2019a). They have a number of resources including a prayer calendar, Introductory (High School/Adult) Books, Children’s Books, Christian Ed. (Home & School) Books, Popular (lay) Books, Scientific (lay) Books, Post Secondary Books, Commentaries & Bible Study Books, Apologetic Books, Biographies & History Books, CD & Audio Tapes, DVD, and Video Tapes, and more (Creation Science Association of Saskatchewan, 2019a; Creation Science Association of Saskatchewan, 2019b; Creation Science Association of Saskatchewan, 2019c; Creation Science Association of Saskatchewan, 2019d; Creation Science Association of Saskatchewan, 2019e; Creation Science Association of Saskatchewan, 2019f; Creation Science Association of Saskatchewan, 2019g; Creation Science Association of Saskatchewan, 2019h; Creation Science Association of Saskatchewan, 2019i; Creation Science Association of Saskatchewan, 2019j; Creation Science Association of Saskatchewan, 2019k; Creation Science Association of Saskatchewan, 2019l; Creation Science Association of Saskatchewan, 2019m; Creation Science Association of Saskatchewan, 2019n). Their explicit statements of purpose and worldview in What is C.S.S.I.?, as follows:
Statement of Purpose
1. To collect, organize, and distribute information on Creation.
2. To develop a better public understanding of Creation.
3. To prepare resource material on scientific creation for educational use.
4. To promote inclusion of scientific creation in school curricula.
1. All things came into existence by the Word of God according to the plan and purpose of the Creator.
2. The complex systems observable within the universe demonstrate design by an intelligent Creator.
3. All life comes from life, having been created originally as separate and distinct kinds.
4. The originally created kinds were created with the ability to reproduce and exhibit wide variation within pre-determined genetic boundaries.
5. The geological and fossil record shows evidence of a world wide Flood.
6. Honest scientific investigation neither contradicts nor nullifies the Biblical record of the origin and history of the universe and life. (Ibid.)
They offer a Creation Celebration and a Creation Family CAMP featuring Dr. Randy Guliuzza, Institute for Creation Research (Ibid.) with former years including Calvin Smith (Executive Director, Answers in Genesis-Canada), John Plantz, and Irene Live. They affirm the non-creation of human beings as per the section “Why we exist,” stating:
CSSI was designed to create and distribute information on the creation/evolution origins controversy. Too often the scientific information which argues against evolution is censored and the evidence for design is denied. CSSI promotes, primarily in Saskatchewan, Canada, the creation position by presenting resources covering topics such as theology, Biblical creation, scientific creation, intelligent design, fossils, dinosaurs, radiometric dating, and flood geology, as well as some teaching and home school materials. We also support people involved in creationary activities.
We continue to sell books, DVDs, and audio tapes which support the position that we did NOT evolve but that we were created by God. We handle materials for all ages (children to adults), and various interest levels right up to technical. We also sponsor international, as well as local, creation science speakers and other outreach events. (Ibid.)
As well, they appear to harbour a defunct radio station connected to ICR or the Institute for Creation Research (Science, Scripture, & Salvation, 2019; Institute for Creation Research, 2019). Features or labelled people included James J. S. Johnson, J.D., Th.D., Frank Sherwin, M.A., Randy J. Guliuzza, P.E., M.D., Brian Thomas, Ph.D., Jake Hebert, Ph.D., Tim Clarey, Ph.D., Jason Lisle, Ph.D., and Henry M. Morris III, D.Min. (Ibid.). Ultimately, the Creation Science of Saskatchewan Inc. (2019) group considers origins and development a matter of faith. They host six articles: “Was Darwin Wrong? – a critique” by John Armstrong, “The Age of Things” by Rudi Fast, “The Big Bang” by Rudi Fast, “God As Our Creator” by Garry Miller, “When is a Brick a House?” by Garry Miller, and “The Age of the Earth” by Janelle Riess (2004, Armstrong; Fast, n.d.a; Fast, n.d.b; Miller, n.d.a; Miller, n.d.b; Riess, n.d.).
The main hosts of the Creation Science of Saskatchewan Inc. (2019) have been Emmanuel Pentecostal Fellowship in North Battleford, Saskatchewan, and the Echo Lake Bible Camp, near Fort Qu’Appelle, Saskatchewan. Their main events are Creation Celebration (North Battleford – March), SHBE Conference (Saskatoon – February), Discerning the Times Bible Conference (Saskatoon – April), the camp (Echo Lake – July), or Christianity on Trial Conference (Regina – October)” (Ibid.). Noting, of course, the last item pitching to the event attendees the sense of siege as if 70% of the country who identify as Christian remain beleaguered in contrast to the other superminorities in the nation, i.e., the rest of the country.
Creation Science of Manitoba is a small, but an active group without an identifiable website at this time. C.A.R.E. Winnipeg has a Creation Museum in downtown Winnipeg. One may safely assume the same principles and religious views as other creationist organizations in Canada. Association de Science Créationniste du Québec devotes itself to the same real attempts at fake science:
CSAQ is a non-denomination and non-profit organization, which objectives are:
-To promote creation teaching;
-To link the Christian Bible with science, education and industry;
-To promote creationist scientific research;
-Encourage every human to establish a personal relationship with the Creator of the universe
About Creation Science Association of Quebec – Association de Science Créationniste du Québec
The Creation Science Association of Quebec (CSAQ) is an organism for all interested in the subject of biblical creation from a scientific and theological perspective. (Canadahelps.Org, 2019)
They have a number of articles in the same vein as the others with proposals or propositions for scientific endeavours (Creation Science Association of Quebec – Association de Science Créationniste du Québec, 2019a). They have “Videos” with strange content (Creation Science Association of Quebec – Association de Science Créationniste du Québec, 2019c). The “Press Kit” page remains blank (Creation Science Association of Quebec – Association de Science Créationniste du Québec, 2019d). Individuals endorsed by them are Laurence Tisdall, M. Sc., Julien Perreault B.Sc., and Jonathan Nicol M.Sc. (Creation Science Association of Quebec – Association de Science Créationniste du Québec, 2019e).
The places hosting the individuals of the Creation Science Association of Quebec – Association de Science Créationniste du Québec are the Centre Chrétien l’Héritage, Église Génération, Église Fusion, Collège Letendre à Laval, Assemblée Évangélique Pentecôte de St-Honoré, Église Vie Nouvelle, Centre Chrétien l’Héritage, Église Grâce et Vérité, Assemblée Chrétienne Du Nord, Mission Chrétienne Interculturelle, Centre chrétien des Bois-Francs, Assemblée de la Bonne Nouvelle à Montréal, Montée Masson Laval, Université Concordia, Centre Il Est Écrit, l’Église Évangélique d’Aujourd’hui, Théâtre Connexion, Kensington Temple, Église Évangélique Farnham, Église Adventiste Granby, Église Adventiste Sherbrooke, Eglise Evangélique Marseille, IFIM, Eglise Evangélique Aix-en-Provence, Eglise Evangélique Baptiste De Cowansville, Eglise Evangélique Baptiste de la Haute Yamaska, Cave Springs Baptist Church, Grand Forks High School, Okanagan College, Anglican Church, Église Carrefour du Suroît, and Evangel Church (Montreal) (Creation Science Association of Quebec – Association de Science Créationniste du Québec, 2019f).
Also, Centre Chrétien Viens et Vois, Église Amour et Vie, Hôtel La Saguenéenne, Laval Christian Assembly, Église baptiste évangélique de Trois-Rivières, Centre MCI Youth, Eglise Evangélique Baptiste de St-Hyacinthe, Cégep de Drummondville, Mission Charismatique Internationale, Centre Evangélique de Châteauguay, Best Western Hotel Drummondville Universel, Eglise Evangélique de Labelle, Eglise de Toulouse Minimes, Camp arc en ciel, Eglise Biblique Baptiste du Comminges, Baptiste De Rivière Du Loup, Assemblée du Plein Évangile, Assemblee de la Parole de Dieu, Christian and Mssionary Alliance Noyan, CFRA AM 580, Assemblée du Plein Évangile Lasalle, Assemblée Chrétienne De La Grâce, The River Church (Gouda), Eglise Evangelique Baptiste De l’Espoir, Cégep de Baie-Comeau, Assemblee Chretienne De La Grace Victoriaville, Eglise-Chretienne-de-l-Ouest, Église Amour et Vie de Victoriaville, Église Baptiste Évangélique de Valcourt, Assemblée Évangélique de la Rive-Sud, and Église Carrefour chrétien de l’Estrie (Ibid.).
The Association de Science Créationniste du Québec published a number of articles with different creationist takes on traditional sciences, as theological or fundamentalist religious interpretations or filtrations of the empirics (Tisdall, n.d.; Perreault, n.d.a; Batten, n.d.b; Sarfati, n.d.; Thomas, n.d.; Humphreys, n.d.a; Gibbons, n.d.; Tisdall, n.d.a; Taylor, n.d.a; Wieland, n.d.a; Tisdall, n.d.b; Tisdall, 2003; Perreault, n.d.b; Tshibwabwa, n.d.a; Thomas, n.d.b; Perreault, n.d.c; Grigg, n.d.a; Perreault, n.d.d; Wieland, n.d.b; Skell, 2005; Couture, n.d.; Gosselin, 1995; Perreault, n.d.e; Grigg, n.d.b; Bergman, n.d.a; Sarfati, n.d.b; Perreault, n.d.f; Bergman, n.d.b; Tshibwabwa, n.d.b; Stewart, n.d.a; Wieland, n.d.c; Tshibwabwa, n.d.c; Perreault, n.d.g; Tshibwabwa, n.d.d; Phillips, n.d.; Perreault, n.d.h; Taylor, n.d.b; Clarey, n.d.; Tshibwabwa, n.d.f; Bergman, n.d.c; Tshibwabwa, n.d.g; Madrigal, 2012; Sarfati, n.d.c; Hartwig, n.d.; Demers, n.d.; McBain, n.d.; n.a., n.d.a; Coppedge, 2017; Perreault, 2009; Perreault, n.d.i; Humphreys, n.d.b; Perreault, n.d.j; Stewart, n.d.b; Russel & Taylor, n.d.; Montgomery, n.d.; Humphreys, n.d.c; Taylor, n.d.c; Taylor, n.d.d; Lauzon, n.d.; Snow, n.d.; Tisdall, n.d.c; Hebert, n.d.; Taylor, n.d.e; Tisdall, n.d.d; Morris, n.d.; n.a., n.d.b; Tisdall, n.d.e.). The general orientation fits the other associations throughout the country. Museums throughout the country remain extant. Many small and one travelling museum devoted to creationism.
In the Canadian cultural context, creationism, often, means Christian forms of creationism with an emphasis on the vast majority of the nation identifying as Christian – mostly Roman Catholic Christian or Protestant Christian. We have the Creation Research Museum of Ontario (2019) out of Baptist Goodwood Church in Cornwall, Ontario run by Martin Legermaat with support from John Mackay who is the head of Creation Research (2019). There’s the Big Valley Creation Science Museum. Its curator is described by Bobbin, “Here you will meet Harry Nibourg, the charismatic owner. He used to be an oil field worker operating a gas well out of Sylvan Lake, and is now retired to run his museum full time. In 2017, he was elected to sit on the Big Valley village council. He’s an engaging person, extremely approachable and very keen to share his knowledge on all topics related to Creation Science” (2018). It is located in Big Valley, Alberta.
Creation Truth Ministries (2019a) stands to defend “the authority of the Bible starting in Genesis… enable believers to defend their faith in an increasingly secular age… fill a void in the Christian church that exists concerning this area.” Based out of Red Deer, Alberta, the Creation Truth Ministries travels and functions on this basis providing 3-day seminars, multimedia presentation, Vacation Bible Schools, and Christian camps for kids and children (Ibid.). Its statement of faith:
The scientific aspects of creation are important, but are secondary in importance to the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as Sovereign, Creator, Redeemer and Judge.
The doctrines of Creator and Creation cannot ultimately be divorced from the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The 66 books of the Bible are the written Word of God. The Bible is divinely inspired and inerrant throughout. Its assertions are factually true in all the original autographs. It is the supreme authority, not only in all matters of faith and conduct, but in everything it teaches…
…The account of origins presented in Genesis is a simple but factual presentation of actual events and therefore provides a reliable framework for scientific research into the question of the origin and history of life, mankind, the Earth and the universe.
The various original life forms (kinds), including mankind, were made by direct creative acts of God. The living descendants of any of the original kinds (apart from man) may represent more than one species today (as defined by humans), reflecting the genetic potential within the original kind. Only limited biological changes (including mutational deterioration) have occurred naturally within each kind since Creation.
The great Flood of Genesis was an actual historic event, worldwide (global) in its extent and effect.
The special creation of Adam (the first man) and Eve (the first woman)…
…Jesus Christ rose bodily from the dead, ascended to Heaven, is currently seated at the right hand of God the Father, and shall return in like manner to this Earth as Judge of the living and the dead…
…Scripture teaches a recent origin for man and the whole creation.
The days in Genesis do not correspond to geologic ages, but are six  consecutive twenty-four  hour days of Creation.
The Noachian Flood was a significant geological event and much (but not all) fossiliferous sediment originated at that time.
The ‘gap’ theory has no basis in Scripture.
The view, commonly used to evade the implications or the authority of Biblical teaching, that knowledge and/or truth may be divided into ‘secular’ and ‘religious’, is rejected. (Creation Truth Ministries, 2019b)
The Creation Truth Ministries exists to minister to the public in what the founders and managers consider the truth of the artificer of the universe, in which the Bible represents the foundational truth to the entirety of reality. They have museum exhibits and a virtual tour, a book about dragons, a pot found in coal, and a hammer in cretaceous rock (Creation Truth Ministries, 2019c; Creation Truth Ministries, 2019d; Creation Truth Ministries, 2019f). Likewise, they see the modern period as a secular age and evolution as fundamentally atheistic (Creation Truth Ministries, 2019e).
Further than the Creation Discovery Centre out of Alberta run by Larry Dye (2019), one can find the Creation Truth Ministries (Secrets of Creation Travelling Museum) out of Alberta run by Vance Nelson and associated with the Alberta Home Education Association Convention (2019), and the Museum of Creation out of Manitoba run by John Feakes and Linda Feakes (2019) in the basement of the New Life Sancutary Church and maintains association with the Canadian National Baptist Convention.
Another group is the International Creation Science Special Interest Group (n.d.a) formed by Ian Juby out of Mensa International and due to membership in Mensa Canada with the explicit “intention… to provide a means for the gathering together of intellectuals (specifically members of Mensa) with a common interest in the sciences and philosophies supporting special Creation and refuting Evolutionism” (International Creation Science Special Interest Group, n.d.a). They have an explicit mention of the non-partisan nature of Mensa International on the subject matter (Ibid.). Once more, the communities of creationists in Canada remain open and honest in terms of the beliefs held by them and endorsed by their organizations — all aboveboard in this regard:
The Universe, time, space, earth, and life was created with purpose, Ex Nihilo, by a Creator named by name as Jesus Christ (John 1:1–6), in a literal six days, roughly 6,000 years ago, as documented in the book of Genesis in the Holy Bible. That there was a catastrophic, global flood (genesis 7:11), which submerged the entire planet and destroyed all life that breathes, except for a scarce few saved on board a very large boat better known as the “Ark” of Noah. That stellar, planetary and biological macroevolution, as scientific theories, are based solely on blind faith and as such, these theories are scientifically invalid.
(International Creation Science Special Interest Group, n.d.c)
Ian Juby, a member of Mensa since 1994, discovered the Mensa International social interest groups and decided to request and create one for creation science through Mensa International (International Creation Science Special Interest Group, n.d.b). The International Creation Science Special Interest Group formed out of this interest with memberships of Dr. G. Charles Jackson who is a lifetime member of Mensa, David Harris who is a member of Mensa, and Steve Edwards who is a member of Mensa, and another unmentioned person comprising the original “fab five” (Ibid.).
They have a few articles, which appeared to end in the latter half of 2005 only a few years after the social interest group began (Juby, 2005aa: Juby, 2005ab; Jackson; 2005a; Jackson, 2005b). Joseph Wilson (2007) reported on the Canadian Christian College and its invitations of Australian creationist Tas Walker, as a note on the invitations to seemingly friendly territory for creationists on Christian university and college campuses throughout Canada to indicate the religious undercurrent of creationism. Some humanists can be found in the most unlikely of people, as in the case of one of the sons of Professor Michael Behe, who founded the idea of irreducible complexity, named Leo Behe (Shaffer, 2011).
He did an interview with Ryan Shaffer for the flagship publication of the American Humanist Association entitled The Humanist (Ibid.). One cannot use Leo Behe as an example of somehow disproof or evidence against intelligent design, but, in a way, provide a window into the nature of belief and non-belief in some religious strictures in youth and the impact of proper science education of the young in terms of an increase in intellectual sophistication about the nature of the world towards a more comprehensive naturalistic framework (Ibid.). One should note Professor Behe, of Intelligent Design, and young earth creationism stand at odds, and in knowing publics, with one another (Lyons, 2008). Answers in Genesis (2019c) describes the splits between the communities of young earth creationists – themselves – and the Intelligent Design movement. Denis O. Lamoureux advocates theistic evolution after time as a young earth creationist (RationalWiki, 2018c; Lamoureux, 2019).
People with similar ideological commitments can band together and then work on common projects in spite of minor differences at times. Indeed, the nature of the variety of creationist movements means the different ways in which the common projects remain the maintenance of theological beliefs – which they have a right to – and the imposition of this in the science classroom as a seeming preventative measure. Not as well-funded or as well-organized, but present, nonetheless.
Institutions of Higher Learning: Higher From What, Learning From Who?
God is by definition the holder of all possible knowledge, it would be impossible for him to have faith in anything. Faith, then, is built upon ignorance and hope.
And if you have a sacred text that tells you how the world began or what the relationship is between this sky-god and you, it does curtail your curiosity, it cuts off a source of wonder.
Justice is never given; it is exacted and the struggle must be continuous for freedom is never a final fact, but a continuing evolving process to higher and higher levels of human, social, economic, political and religious relationship.
A child is not a Christian child, not a Muslim child, but a child of Christian parents or a child of Muslim parents. This latter nomenclature, by the way, would be an excellent piece of consciousness-raising for the children themselves. A child who is told she is a ‘child of Muslim parents’ will immediately realize that religion is something for her to choose -or reject- when she becomes old enough to do so.
For a thousand years, the Bible was almost the only book people read, if they could read at all. The stories that were officially told and portrayed were Biblical and religious stories. That other fount of Western civilization as we know it today — the Greek classics — went largely unknown until the Renaissance. For our purposes, there’s a noteworthy difference between these two literatures: in the Bible people are hardly ever said to be mad as such, whereas in Greek drama they go off their rockers with alarming frequency. It was the rediscovery of the classics that stimulated the long procession of literary madpeople of the past four hundred years.
The problem with theology and religion in general: it was designed to answer questions via making up stuff that were not yet answerable throughout history by actual understanding of how the world worked.
Religion has been and is a comfort. It has been a means of exercising social control and concentrating power. It contains a lot of guesses about the nature of things that have turned out, as we have learned more, not to be true.
It does not mean that you have to throw out the entire exercise. Because, to some extent, theologizing and building religions. That is practicing philosophy. It is just that philosophy, especially with it is theological, eventually turns out to be disproven…
…Religion is a tool of its era. Each type of religion is a tool of its era to support or provide mental buttressing and societal buttressing for the necessary structures of that society.
But most of religions guesses about the nature of things have been wrong except in the most generous, general terms.
Christian universities and colleges throughout Canadian postsecondary education hold a non-trivial number of the possible institutional statuses of the country. Indeed, if one looks at the general dynamics of the funding and the private institutions, most remain Christian and some maintain a sizeable population of students for extended periods of time and continuing growth right into the present. These provide, within the worldview, a possibility to retain and grow one’s faith and develop a relationship with God, and maybe find a boyfriend or girlfriend who seems like husband or wife material. From the point of view of the Christian faithful within the country, one of the main issues comes from the development of a science curriculum influenced by a theology in the midst of a long history of non-science proposed as science. As to the individuals at the universities or the institutions themselves rather than the associations and the external individuals with an active written or speaker presence, or the churches and international networks supportive of them, these, too, can be catalogued for the edification or educational purposes of the interested public about the ways in which theology influences the scientific process within the nation. With some research on the internet and an investigation into the contents of the websites of the university, we can garner glimpses into the ideological commitments to creationism or not within Canadian Christian colleges and universities. If the resources exist off-site or not on the main web domain of the below-stipulated universities and colleges, or institutes, these may have evaded research and investigation. Also, the seminaries have been included in this section too.
Nonetheless, for a first instance, Crandall University, to its credit, did not have search results for creationism (2019). Same with Providence University College & Theological Seminary (2019) and Redeemer University College (2019), and Tyndale University College & Seminary (2019). Ambrose University offers “IND 287 – 1 SCIENCE AND FAITH” described as follows:
This course explores the complex relationship between science and Christian faith, with a particular focus on evolutionary biology. Topics include: models of science-faith interactions; science and religion as ways of knowing; and Christian interpretations of evolution. The bulk of the course will be spent on discussing the four main contemporary Christian perspectives: Young Earth Creationism, Old Earth Creationism, Intelligent Design, and Theistic Evolution. These perspectives will be placed in their historic and contemporary contexts, and will be compared and contrasted for their theological understandings of Creation, Fall, Flood, image, and human origins. (Ambrose University, 2019)
Burman University (2019) does not harbour it. Canadian Mennonite University (2019) invited Professor Dennis Venema from Trinity Western University as the Scientist in Residence. Venema, at the time, stated, “I’m thrilled to be invited to be the Scientist in Residence at CMU for 2019. I think it’s a wonderful opportunity for students, and I am honoured to join a prestigious group of prior participants… I hope that these conversations can help students along the path to embracing both God’s word and God’s world as a source of reliable revelation to us” (Ibid.). Venema defends the view of evolutionary theory within a framework of “evolutionary creationism,” which appears more a terminologically diplomatic stance than evolution via natural selection or the code language within some religious commentary as things like or almost identical to “atheistic evolution” or “atheistic evolutionism” (Venema, 2018b; Apologetics Canada, 2019; The Canadian Scientific and Christian Affiliation, 2019; Gauger, 2018). He provides education on the range of religious views on offer with a more enticing one directed at evolution via natural selection (The Canadian Scientific and Christian Affiliation, 2016). The Canadian Scientific and Christian Affiliation provides a space for countering some of the young earth geologist and young earth creationist viewpoints, as with the advertisement of the Dr. Jonathan Baker’s lecture (2014), or in pamphlets produced on geological (and other) sciences (2017).
He works in a tough area within a community not necessarily accepting of the evolution via natural selection view of human beings with a preference for special creation, creationism, or intelligent design (Trinity Western University, 2019a). Much of the problems post-genetics as a proper discipline of scientific study and the discovery of evolution via natural selection comes from the evangelical Christian communities’ sub-cultures who insist on a literal and, hence, fundamentalist interpretation or reading of their scriptures or purported holy texts. Another small item of note. Other universities have writers in residence. A Mennonite university hosts a scientist in residence (Ibid.). Science becomes the abnorm rather than the norm. The King’s University contains one reference in the search results within a past conference (2019). However, this may be a reference to “creation” rather than “creationism” as creation and more “creation” speaking to the theological interpretations of genesis without an attempt at an explicit scientific justification of mythology.
By far, the largest number of references to “creationism” came from the largest Christian, and evangelical Christian, university in the country located in Langley, British Columbia, Canada called Trinity Western University, which, given its proximity and student body population compared to the local town, makes Fort Langley – in one framing – and Trinity Western University the heart of fundamentalist evangelical Christianity in Canada. Trinity Western University teaches a “SCS 503 – Creationism & Christainity [sic] (Korean)” course and a “SCS 691 – Creationism Field Trip” course (2019b; 2019c). They hosted (2019d) a lecture on Stephen Hawking, science, and creation, as stated:
In light of Steven Hawking’s theories, is there enough reason for theists to believe in the existence of God and the creation of the world?
This lecture will respond to Hawking’s views and reflect on the relationship between science, philosophy and theology.
Speaker: Dr. Yonghua Ge, Director of Mandarin Theology Program at ACTS Seminaries (Ibid.)
They hosted another event on evolution and young earth creationism:
All are welcome to attend, Public Lecture, hosted by TWU’s ‘Science, Faith, and Human Flourishing: Conversations in Community“ Initiative, supported by Fuller Seminary, Faculty of Natural and Applied Sciences, and the Canadian Scientific & Christian Affiliation, “Evolutionary and Young-Earth Creationism: Two Separate Lectures” (Darrel Falk, “Evolution, Creation and the God Who is Love” and Todd Wood, “The Quest: Understanding God’s Creation in Science and Scripture”) (2019e)
Dirk Büchner, Professor of Biblical Studies at Trinity Western University, states an expertise in “Hebrew Bible / Old Testament, Hebrew, Aramaic and Syriac (grammar and syntax), Hellenistic Greek (grammar and lexicography), The Septuagint. Of more popular interest: The Bible and Social Justice, and Creationism, Scientism and the Bible: why there should be no conflict between mainstream science and Christian faith” (Trinity Western University, 2019f). Professor Büchner holds an expert status in “creationism” (Ibid.). A non-conflict between mainstream science and the Christian faith would mean the significantly reduced status of the intervention of the divine in the ordinary life of Christians. He remains one locus of creationism in the Trinity Western University environment. Dr. Paul Yang’s biography states, “Paul Yang has over twenty years teaching experience, lecturing on physics and physics education, as well as Christian worldview and creationism. He has served as the director of the Vancouver Institute for Evangelical Wordlview [Sic] as well as the Director of the Christian” (Trinity Western University, 2019g). Yang holds memberships or affiliations with the American Scientific Affiliation (2019), Creation Research Society (2019), and Korea Association of Creation Research (2019). Dr. Alister McGrath and Dr. Michael Shermer had a dialogue moderated by a panel with Paul Chamberlain, Ph.D., Jaime Palmer-Hague, Ph.D., and Myron Penner, Ph.D. in 2017 at Trinity Western University.
All exist as probably Christian front organizations with the pretense as scientific and Christian organizations. One can see the patterns repeat themselves over and over again. Christian ‘science’ amounts to creationism, as noted before. Yang, with more than 20 years, exists as a pillar of creationist teaching, thinking, and researching within Canada and at Trinity Western University. The American Scientific Affiliation (2019) states, “Two things unite the members of the ASA… belief in orthodox Christianity, as defined by the Apostles’ and Nicene creeds, which can be read in full here… a commitment to mainstream science, that is, any subject on which there is a clear scientific consensus.” Creation Science in Korea (2019) states, “The Creation Research Society is a professional organization of trained scientists and interested laypersons who are firmly committed to scientific special creation. The Society was organized in 1963 by a committee of ten like-minded scientists, and has grown into an organization with worldwide membership.” The Korea Association of Creation Research (2019) states, ‘Our vision is to restore ‘biblical creation faith’ and to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ to all nations.’
The seminaries across the country harbour differing levels of this, too. Taylor College and Seminary (2019) does not reference it. Canadian Reformed Theological Seminary (2019) does not state anything about it. St. Peter’s Seminary (2019) says nothing about it. Master’s College and Seminary (2019) states nothing about it. Toronto School of Theology (2019) talks a lot about “creation” without specific mention of creationism, in which the general framework functions around the origins and not the formal religious view of creationism. St. Mark’s College (2019) does not have reference to creationism. Summit Pacific College (2019) succeeds to not reference it. Centre for Christian Studies (2019) does not talk about it. CAREY Theological College (2019) does not speak of it. Also, Queen’s College Faculty of Theology (2019) did not write about it. Regis College: The Jesuit School of Theology in Canada (2019) did not have any statements about it. Heritage College & Seminary (2019) does not seem to speak to it. St. Philip’s Seminary (2019) appears to have no references to it. Emmanuel College (2019) states nothing about it. Knox College (2019) does not talk to it. Concordia Lutheran Seminary (2019) does not write about it. Acadia Divinity College (2019) does not reference creationism. St. Augustine’s Seminary of Toronto (2019) does not talk about creationism. Wycliffe College (2019; Taylor, 2017) has many references to “creation” with one specific mention by Glen Taylor about creationism. Toronto Baptist Seminary & Bible College (2019) does talk about creationism.
These seminaries, colleges, and universities represent some of the more elite and academic manifestations of creationism within Canadian society. While, at the same time, we can note the lack of a creationist foothold in several, even most, of the institutions of higher learning for the Christians of several denominations throughout Canadian postsecondary. Some other creationists include: Andrew A. Snelling, Carl Wieland, Duane Gish, Frank Lewis Marsh, George McCready Price, Harold W. Clark, Henry M. Morris, John Baumgardner, John C. Sanford, John C. Whitcomb, John D. Morris, John Hartnett, Kurt Wise, Larry Vardiman, Marcus R. Ross, Paul Nelson, Raymond Vahan Damadian, Robert V. Gentry, Russell Humphreys, Thomas G. Barnes, Walt Brown, Paul Gosselin, Julien Perreault, André Eggen, Ph.D., Robert E. Kofahl, Laurence Tisdall and Jason Wiles, Dr. Walt Brown, and Douglas Theobold. Other organizations, facilities, and lawsuits include Answers in Genesis (AIG), Anti-Evolution League of America, Biblical Creation Society (BCS), Caleb Foundation, Creation Ministries International (CMI), Creation Research Society (CRS), Answers in Genesis Ministries International’s Ch ristianAnswers.Net, Geoscience Research Institute, Genesis Park, Handy Dandy Evolution Refuter, Creation-Science Research Center, The Center for Scientific Creation Institute for Creation Research, Creation Research Society, Biblical Creation Society, Creation Science Movement (CSM), and Geoscience Research Institute (GRI), and Institute for Creation Research (ICR), Hendren v. Campbell (1977), McLean v. Arkansas (1982), Edwards v. Aguillard (1987), and Webster v. New Lenox School District (1990).
Subsumed Autonomy: Motivated True Believers Fighting for the One Correct, Right, Righteous, and True Religion
After a lot of reading, and research, I realized I didn’t have any secret channel picking up secret messages from God or anyone else. That voice in my head was my own.
The pens sharpen – Islamophobia! No such thing. Primitive Middle Eastern religions (and most others) are much the same – Islam, Christianity and Judaism all define themselves through disgust for women’s bodies.
Evolution is the fundamental idea in all of life science, in all of biology. It’s like, it’s very much analogous to trying to do geology without believing in tectonic plates. You’re just not gonna get the right answer. Your whole world is just gonna be — a mystery. Instead of an exciting place.
It’s like those Christians that say that if there wasn’t a God they’d be out there robbing, raping, and murdering folks. If that’s true, and the only reason they aren’t out committing crimes is because they’re afraid to go to hell, then they aren’t really good people.
Wrath James White
I condemn false prophets, I condemn the effort to take away the power of rational decision, to drain people of their free will — and a hell of a lot of money in the bargain. Religions vary in their degree of idiocy, but I reject them all. For most people, religion is nothing more than a substitute for a malfunctioning brain.
Religion, by its very nature as an untestable belief in undetectable beings and an unknowable afterlife, disables our reality checks. It ends the conversation. It cuts off inquiry: not only factual inquiry, but moral inquiry. Because God’s law trumps human law, people who think they’re obeying God can easily get cut off from their own moral instincts. And these moral contortions don’t always lie in the realm of theological game-playing. They can have real-world consequences: from genocide to infanticide, from honor killings to abandoned gay children, from burned witches to battered wives to blown-up buildings.
Apart from the associations, the museums, the universities, the colleges, and the seminaries, another category for open investigation remains the individuals who adhere to a creationist ideology throughout the world, in which the more prominent garner reputations and by doing so respectability and stature, and thus benefits, within the communities of faith. Duly noting, all efforts at isomorphizing scripture and science remain theological at base and, hence, religious in nature, and so appealing to the more sophisticated and literate amongst the populations of the religious.
An important member of the skeptic and writing/blogging community in Canada remains Professor Laurence A. Moran who speaks with authority against numerous faith-based claims and premises of the creationists in Canadian society (Farrell, 2015; Jacobsen, 2017a). America has examples of pressuring by creationists for access to research materials for fundamentally incorrect theories. Andrew Snelling, Christian creationist geologist, wanted to collect rocks from the Grand Canyon National Park (Reilly, 2017; Wartman, 2017). Snelling said, “I am gratified that the Grand Canyon research staff have recognized the quality and integrity of my proposed research project and issued the desired research permits so that I can collect rock samples in the park, perform the planned testing of them, and openly report the results for the benefit of all” (Wartman, 2017).
We need individuals like Moran to prevent the instances of creationism, or to fight on behalf of the public for proper science education and scientifically literate policymaking (CBC News, 2009), as happened with Goodyear under former prime minister Stephen Harper. We can see the continued attempts to “overturn evolution” fail at periodic rates with Professor Michael Behe earning a powerful critique from John Jay College Professor Nathan H. Lents, Washington University Professor S. Joshua Swamidass, and Michigan State Professor Richard E. Lenski (The City University of New York, 2019). The article from CUNY (Ibid.) states:
Lents and his colleagues discredit Behe in elaborate detail, noting that he’s ‘selective’ in his examples and ignores evidence contradicting his theories. Modern evolutionary theory, the authors write, ‘provides a coherent set of processes — mutation, recombination, drift, and selection — that can be observed in the laboratory and modeled mathematically and are consistent with the fossil record and comparative genomics.’ In contrast, ‘Behe’s assertion that ‘purposeful design’ comes from an influx of new genetic information cannot be tested through science’…
…Behe is known for the notion of “irreducible complexity.” He argues that “some biomolecular structures could not have evolved because their functionality requires interacting parts, the removal of any one of which renders the entire apparatus defective,” according to the Science article. But Lents and his co-authors explain that “irreducible complexity” is refuted by the evolutionary process of exaptation, in which “the loss of one function can lead to gain of another.”
Whales, for example, “lost their ability to walk on land as their front limbs evolved into flippers,” but flippers “proved advantageous in the long run.” Nature’s retooling of a biomolecular structure for a new purpose can lead to “the false impression of irreducible complexity.”
Of course, evolutionary theory has been challenged by non-scientific arguments since Charles Darwin published Origin of the Species in 1859. Darwin Devolves continues this pseudoscientific tradition. (Ibid.)
Rather direct and frank, also overall, we can find the general issue of full arguments and a complete accounting of the evidence rather than selective targeting of some of the evidence as somehow destructive of the entire edifice of evolution via natural selection. The relation between religion and politics must be maintained in the conversations on creationism in Canada because of the intimate relation at present and in the past. Historical precedents exist for the instantiation of religion into the political dialogue because of the open positions of public officials who can set policy or inform the tone of policy in educational contexts as public representatives [Ed. As the next section will explore].
Calgary YouTube personality Paul Ens attempted to attend the homeschooling conference (Michelin, 2018). Unfortunately, he was not permitted to attend the conference while others with sympathetic ties to creationist educational movements earned speaker status. In Manitoba, evolution is included in the grade 12 biology curriculum, and the grade 11 topics in science curriculum. Both classes are optional science electives for high school students. The theory is not included in science curriculums for the grades prior. The province does not make alternative viewpoints on origins a mandatory classroom science topic.
Michelin said, “Helen Beach of the Atheist Society of Calgary, said she was among those who had registered for the Alberta Home Education Association Conference, but was prevented from attending it last weekend by organizers… Dr. Jim Linville, professor of Religious Studies at U of Lethbridge, was also told he wouldn’t be admitted… Ens said he received an email from Alberta Home Education Association president Patty Marler, denying him access to the conference” (Ibid.). Some broadcasting groups, like The Good News Broadcasting Association of Canada can engage in discussions on creationism while, weirdly, talking about marijuana and science (2019). On the other hand, some of the most prominent creationists receive invitation to home schooling conventions, e.g., Ken Ham in Alberta to the Red Deer Alberta Home Education Association convention or the “contentious reality TV couple Bob and Michelle Duggar” by the same association (Kaufmann, 2017). CBC Radio (Ibid.) reported, “‘Our government expects all students to learn from the same Alberta curriculum that prepares all students for success,’ Alberta’s education minister David Eggen said in a statement sent to The Current. But Judy Arnall, president of the Alberta Home Education Parents Society, says that’s not actually the case. ‘According to Alberta, homeschoolers have the right to teach their children any curriculum they want,’” including creationism, presumably. The estimated number of home-schooled children in Alberta comes to 11,600 (Kaufmann, 2017), circa 2017.
Nonetheless, individuals behind some of the national and local Canadian problems of the proliferation of pseudoscience come in the form of the founders of groups or who take on replicated monikers of mainstream science popularizers within North American in general, but fit to print for the Canadian sensibilities and culture in some fundamentalist Christian communities. Larry Dye “the Creation Guy” stealing the theme name, and twisting the original, from Bill Nye “the Science Guy” with a defunct main website circa 2018, who founded the Creation Bible Center (CreationWiki, 2018; CreationWiki, 2016). Edgar Nernberg, somewhat known creationist, happened to find a 60,000,000-year-old fossil (Feltman, 2015; Holpuch, 2015; Platt, 2015). His case is among the more ironic (CBC News, 2015).
Other cases of the more sophisticated and newer brands of Christianity with a similar theology, but more evolutionary biology – proper – incorporated into them exist in some of the heart of parts of evangelical Christianity in Canada. Professor Dennis Venema of Trinity Western University and his colleague Dave Navarro (Pastor, South Langley Church) continued a conversation on something entitled “evolutionary creation,” not “creation science” or “intelligent design” as Venema’s orientation at Trinity Western University continues to focus on the ways in which the evolutionary science can mix with a more nuanced and informed Christian theological worldview within the Evangelical tradition (Venema & Navarro, 2019; Navarro, 2019). One can doubt the fundamental claim, not in the Bible but, about the Bible as the holy God-breathed or divinely inspired book of the creator of the cosmos, but one can understand the doubt about the base claim about the veracity of the Bible leading to doubt about the contents and claims in the Bible – fundamental and derivative.
For many, and an increasing number in this country, this becomes a non-starter and, therefore, the biblical hermeneutics and textual analysis do not speak to the nature of the world or provide value in a descriptive capacity about the nature of nature, including the evolution to and origin of human beings and other animals. In the conversation, they make a marked distinction between some of the lecture or sermon types. Some for the secular and some for the congregants, by implication (Ibid.). The argument is equipping followers of Jesus, Christians, with hermeneutics and Genesis in a proper understanding can help them keep and maintain the faith (Ibid.). Intriguingly, and astutely, Navarro states, “I had always suspected that we should be reading Genesis as something other than modern Western historiography, but I didn’t know what! But seeing the similarities between Genesis and Enuma Elish, Gilgamesh, and Atra-Hasis made it clear that Genesis is an Ancient Near Eastern document, and speaks in Ancient Near Eastern frameworks of reality. It gave me permission to read the text differently” (Ibid.).
Even notions of the Imago Dei, the creation in the image of God may hold little weight to them, whether quoting John 1:1 or Genesis 1:27. John 1:1 states, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (The Bible: New International Version, 2019a). Genesis 1:27 says, “So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (The Bible: New International Version, 2019b). Venema, almost alone, presents a bulwark against creationism and intelligent design, as he moved away from intelligent design in the past.
Intelligent design tends to rest on two principles of irreducible complexity and specified complexity from Professor Michael Behe and Dr. William Dembski, respectively (Beckwith, 2009; New World Encyclopedia, 2018). Some of the core foundations in literature happened in 1802 with William Paley’s Natural Theology, Michael Denton’s 1985 book entitled Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, and Philip Johnson’s Darwin on Trial from 1991 (Wieland, n.d.d). Philip Johnson noted Christianity as the foundation of intelligent design in the “Reclaiming America for Christ Conference” in 1999:
I have built an intellectual movement in the universities and churches that we call “The Wedge,” which is devoted to scholarship and writing that furthers this program of questioning the materialistic basis of science.
In summary, we have to educate our young people; we have to give them the armor they need. We have to think about how we’re going on the offensive rather than staying on the defensive. And above all, we have to come out to the culture with the view that we are the ones who really stand for freedom of thought. You see, we don’t have to fear freedom of thought because good thinking done in the right way will eventually lead back to the Church, to the truth-the truth that sets people free, even if it goes through a couple of detours on the way. And so we’re the ones that stand for good science, objective reasoning, assumptions on the table, a high level of education, and freedom of conscience to think as we are capable of thinking. That’s what America stands for, and that’s something we stand for, and that’s something the Christian Church and the Christian Gospel stand for-the truth that makes you free. Let’s recapture that, while we’re recapturing America.
Intelligent design breaks into two streams (McDowell, 2016). Dembski stated one comes from the information-theoretic components (Ibid.). Another comes from the molecular biology parts (Ibid.). The information can be seen in the notion of specified complexity of Dr. William Dembski. The molecular biology can be seen in the irreducible complexity of Professor Michael Behe. The Evolutionary Informatics Lab represents the information-theoretic side while the Biologic Institute and Bio-Complexity, a journal, represent the molecular biology portion. Batemann and Moran-Ellis quote Behe:
By irreducible complexity I mean a single system which is composed of several interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, and where the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning. An irreducibly complex system cannot be produced gradually by slight, successive modifications of a precursor system, since any precursor to an irreducibly complex system is by definition non-functional. (2007)
This represents the fundamental idea of irreducible complexity in accordance with the description of the founder of it. The other founded by Dembski in the form of specified complexity or complex specified information describes itself, as a form of information with specificity and complexity rather than specificity & simplicity or generality & complexity. Dembski sees attacks against the intelligent design community from two sides:
By contrast, the opposition to ID in the church is large.
On the one hand, there are the theistic evolutionists, who largely control the CCCU schools (Council for Christian Colleges and Universities), and who want to see ID destroyed in the worst possible way — — as far as they’re concerned, ID is bad science and bad religion.
And then there are the young-earth creationists, who were friendly to ID in the early 2000s, until they realized that ID was not going to serve as a stalking horse for their literalistic interpretation of Genesis. After that, the young-earth community largely turned away from ID, if not overtly, then by essentially downplaying ID in favor of anything that supported a young earth.
The Noah’s Ark theme park in Kentucky is a case in point. What an embarrassment and waste of money. I’ve recently addressed the fundamentalism that I hold responsible for this sorry state of affairs. (McDowell, 2016)
Professor Behe’s department stands apart from him:
The faculty in the Department of Biological Sciences is committed to the highest standards of scientific integrity and academic function. This commitment carries with it unwavering support for academic freedom and the free exchange of ideas. It also demands the utmost respect for the scientific method, integrity in the conduct of research, and recognition that the validity of any scientific model comes only as a result of rational hypothesis testing, sound experimentation, and findings that can be replicated by others. The department faculty, then, are unequivocal in their support of evolutionary theory, which has its roots in the seminal work of Charles Darwin and has been supported by findings accumulated over 140 years. The sole dissenter from this position, Prof. Michael Behe, is a well-known proponent of “intelligent design.” While we respect Prof. Behe’s right to express his views, they are his alone and are in no way endorsed by the department. It is our collective position that intelligent design has no basis in science, has not been tested experimentally, and should not be regarded as scientific. (Lehigh University, 2019)
Some of the members of the movement distanced themselves from it. For example, Dembski in a reflection on the state of intelligent design as a movement stated:
As someone no longer active in the field but still to some extent watching from the sidelines, I gave my impressions in the interview about the successes and failures of the ID movement.
The reaction to that interview was understandably mixed (I was trying to be provocative), but it got me thinking that I really am retired from ID. I no longer work in the area. Moreover, the camaraderie I once experienced with colleagues and friends in the movement has largely dwindled.
I’m not talking about any falling out. It’s simply that my life and interests have moved on. It’s as though ID was a season of my life and that season has passed. Earlier this month (September 10, 2016) I therefore resigned my formal associations with the ID community, including my Discovery Institute fellowship of 20 years.
The one association I’m keeping is with Bob Marks’s Evolutionary Informatics Lab, but I see the work of that lab as more general than intelligent design, focusing on information-theoretic methods that apply widely and which I intend to apply in other contexts, especially to the theory of money and finance. (Ibid.)
Insofar as I can discern, the Bible represents the theological ground of Intelligent Design; Paley represents the historical father of Intelligent Design; Johnson represents the legal and cultural father of Intelligent Design; Behe represents the molecular biology father of Intelligent Design; and, Dembski represents the information-theoretic and philosophical father of Intelligent Design. All intelligent and educated men of their time, and bound to beliefs of a previous one. A world of more faith, magic, mystery, and male authority. The Director of the Discovery Institute is Dr. Stephen C. Meyer in the United States; the institute was founded by Bruce Chapman (Discovery Institute, n.d.). Other highly involved individuals include several, as follows:
…microbiologist Scott Minnich at the University of Idaho, biologist Paul Chien at the University of San Francisco, quantum chemist Henry Schaefer at the University of Georgia, geneticist Norman Nevin (emeritus) at Queen’s University of Belfast, mathematician Granville Sewell at the University of Texas, El Paso, and medical geneticist Michael Denton. Research centers for intelligent design include the Evolutionary Informatics Lab, led by Robert Marks, Distinguished Professor of Engineering at Baylor University; and the Biologic Institute, led by molecular biologist Douglas Axe, formerly a research scientist at the University of Cambridge, the Cambridge Medical Research Council Centre, and the Babraham Institute in Cambridge. (Ibid.)
Intelligent Design does have some conversation in Canadian Christian communities. However, some leave the movement, as with Venema. Looking into some of the dynamics of the ways in which the phraseology exists in some of the conversations or dialogues in Canadian culture, if we look at some almost journal entries in writing to the public about an “evolving faith,” we can see the notion of evolution of a faith as an attenuation or weakening of a religious worldview in some persons of faith, which may be the source of the strong fundamentalist and literalist interpretations of the Christian scriptures by some creationists some of the time (Chiu, 2015). Bearing in mind, the entire edifice rests on a flimsy claim as to the divine inspiration and inerrancy of a collection of books with an emphasis on one book in the collection entitled the Book of Genesis.
As one can see in the above-mentioned statements about William Dembski – “I believe God created the world for a purpose. The Designer of intelligent design is, ultimately, the Christian God” (Environment and Ecology, 2019), the general tenor of the argument becomes the quotes as the argument, the smoking pistols as seen extensively with the Creation Science Association of BC, rather than a point of individual appraisal of the cultural status of a field in the case of Dembski rather than a knockdown against intelligent design or showing the researchers of intelligent design as, ultimately, aiming for or following the “Christian God,” but many do follow it and the original aim in accordance with the statements of one of the founders becomes opening a scientific landscape for a religious worldview. Religion is politics. In this sense, where religion is proposed as personal, the personal became political (again), with the political representative of the all-encompassing for oneself – fair enough – and others – unfair enough.
To one who does not accept the authority of scripture or quotes as evidence for or against the theoretical framework or hypothesis of evolution, a purported holy text and quotes – in or out of context – do not suffice as reasons to accept in the evidence of evolution or not, as the evidence of evolution rests with the experimental and converging evidence from a variety of scientific disciplines. Does a god or gods write or inspire the writings of books? Hundreds exist on offer; one must study the claims about those first, then upon rejecting those prove the inspiration and veracity of this one interpretation of one religion’s texts, and then move about toppling the vast landscape of modern evidence in favour of evolution via natural selection in the proper way.
None of these get done, one can see a repetition in the talking points in several domains, and in the religious doctrines or religious constructions echoed in the halls of the associations, the museums, and the articles of the writers and speakers. Some might proclaim the creationist worldview as a scientific one and not a religious or theological position; however, look once more at the missions and the purposes of the organizations, their foundations come from one interpretation of the Christian faith or religion and, thus, sit upon a bedrock of philosophical creationism, religion, and theology.
One can respect the greater honesty in title than “creation science” found in much of the other spokespeople for the religious movement known as creationism causing socio-political controversy. Another individual in Canada, akin to Dye, as a youth outreach pastor, we can find the Ian Juby website, as a devoted creationist web domain (2019a). There exists a reasonably large compilation of creation videos (Juby, 2019e). Juby is the President of CORE Ottawa, Citizens for Origins Research and Education, the Director of the Creation Science Museum of Canada, a member of Mensa, and, unfortunately, Mensa International caved or inattentively created the International Creation Science Special Interest Group for Mensans (Juby, 2019c), as discussed briefly earlier on organizations.
An intelligent and educated man with detailed and, unfortunately, counter-scientific views about the world. He sells DVDs including ones on the Book of Genesis and aliens, and one series entitled “The Complete Creation” (Juby, 2019b). He writes a decent amount in something called “Creation Science Notes” or creationist notes (Juby, 2015a; Juby, 2015b; Juby, 2015c; Juby, 2015d; Juby, 2015e; Juby, 2015f; Juby, 2015g; Juby, 2015h; Juby, 2015i; Juby, 2015j; Juby, 2015k; Juby, 2015l; Juby, 2015m; Juby, 2015n; Juby, 2015o; Juby, 2015p; Juby, 2015q; Juby, 2015r; Juby, 2015s; Juby, 2015t). Those went from a highly productive March through April in 2015 and then fizzled into obscurity. Some overlap with the timings of the “Research” page publications (Juby, 2015v; Juby, 2015w; Juby, 2015x; Juby, 2015y; Juby, 2015z). Most of the research publications amount to calls for help, or short calls published as blog posts.
Within the “Media Kit,” he describes in a concise fashion the worldview laid out in the creationism espoused by him; I would use “creation science” if this perspective took on the formal procedures of science and in a correct manner, bit I do not see this playing by the normal or regular rules of modern science nor do the vast majority of secular and religious scientists, including those involved in evolutionary biology – thus creationism fits better or more aptly (Juby, 2019d). Juby states:
The Creation message is a major key to evangelism in the western hemisphere. How can a person be saved, if they’ve been convinced by “science” (falsely so called) that we evolved and there is no God?…
… In fact the gospel message of Jesus Christ is invalidated if Evolution is true. The purpose of this ministry is to expose the fallacies of Evolution and proclaim the truth of both the Bible, and its young-earth Creation message. Jesus Christ and the Apostles were all young-earth Creationists, so it is completely understandable when people (especially teens) have questions about the Bible when confronted by the supposed “overwhelming evidence” of Evolution and an old earth.
The museum is the centerpiece to Ian’s lectures, providing tangible evidence of Creation. During lectures, Ian hands out genuine fossils, fossil casts and replicas, and after the lecture, people can take photographs.
- Dinosaurs are in the bible, and in the museum!
- Fossils tell the tale of the global flood of Noah
- Biology is shown in all its incredible complexity with animatronic displays
- Ancient artifacts from deep in the earth show that man has been on earth since the beginning of time
- Truly all of Creation declares the glory and character of the Lord! (Ibid.).
Noting, of course, Juby identifies himself as in the work of “Creation ministry,” which seems more appropriately as a descriptor compared to creation science, as “creation science” seems more akin to “creation ‘science’” to me (Ibid.). He does family days, sessions for children, talks on “God’s Little Creation,” uniformitarianism, Noachian flood mythology as historical fact, dinosaurs and humans, evolution, geology and the age of the Earth, as well as a guide tour of the “traveling Creation Museum” (Ibid.). Juby (2015u) covers home projects, which remain uncertain, personally, as to how to enter into a category – corresponding “Past Projects” and “Cool Stuff” webpages remain blank, empty.
Other movement leaders are Calvin Smith who direct the work of Answers in Genesis-Canada (2019b), Dennis Kraushaar as the 1st Vice-President of Creation Science of Saskatchewan Inc. and Nathan Siemens as the 2nd Vice-President of Creation Science of Saskatchewan Inc., Roger Oakland and Myrna Okland of Understand the Times, Barbara Miller and Anne-Marie Collins as camp preparers for the Creation Science of Saskatchewan Inc., Tina Bain of the Creation Science Association of Alberta, Vance Nelson who writes the Untold Secrets books, and Garry Miller as the camp director for the Creation Science of Saskatchewan Inc., Calvin Erlendson of Creation Science of Saskatchewan Inc., Dr. Gordon Wilson, Barb Churcher, John MacKay, Dr. Peter Barber at Nipawin Bible College, Laurence Tisdall and Julie Charette at Association de Science Créationniste du Québec, Shirley Dahlgren, Sandra Cheung at Creation Discovery Science Camp, Warren Smith, Alex Scharf and Velma Scharf, John Feakes, Paul Gosselin at Association de Science Créationniste du Québec, Sharon Foreman, Bryce Homes, Don Hamm, David Lashley, Dennis Siemens, David Kadylak, Dr. Thomas Sharp, Steve Lockert, Steve Lockert at Creation Science of Saskatchewan Inc., David Dombrowski and Deborah Dombrowski, Joe Boot, Marilyn Carter, Laurence Tisdall, T. A. McMahon at The Berean Call ministry, Julien Perreault, Calvin Erlendson, John Feak, John Plantz, Robert Gottselig, François Garceau at Association de Science Créationniste du Québec, Dr. Andy McIntosh, Lise Vaillancourt, Thomas Bailey and Dr. Jim Mason, Doug Wagner, Emilie Brouillet, and Jonathan Nicol (Creation Science of Saskatchewan Inc., 2019a). Other organizations include Institute for Creation Research (2019), The Emperor Has No Clothes (2019), Creation Safaris (2019), Northwest Creation Network (2019), Creation Ministries International (2019a), Creationism.Com (2019), Creation Resources Trust (2019), Creation-Evolution Headlines (2019), Logos Research Associations (2019), Revolution Against Evolution (2019), Canadian Home Education Resources devoted to creationism (2019), Reasons (2019), and one assumes more – part from repetitions.
As one can see over and over again – if one looks at the References – in the titles of the articles and organizations, there exist mistakes in the titling of the articles and the organizations, which, as an independent journalist and researcher looking at the mainstream and dependent journalists and researchers, should stop or halt as a practice because no ‘debate’ exist between creationism and evolution because evolution does not have a peer in the scientific community, in the community of professional and lay biological scientists, and, thus, cannot exist with a ‘debate’ against creationism except insofar as some mechanisms of evolution via natural selection account for some more or creationism sits at a debate table with reality or, more properly, at odds with reality. (Dubois, 2014). Although, I do not set this at the feet of Dubois, for example, as the Ken Ham and Bill Nye ‘debate’ remains a problem for the overall reportage emerging out of the cultural milieu, Dubois (Ibid.), in spite of the title, provided a good comment, “Creation Ministries International, a spinoff from Answers in Genesis-Australia, has a Canadian branch with a headquarters in Ontario, which is actively involved in outreach across Canada to promote their viewpoints to the public.”
Centre for Inquiry-Canada has covered some of the materials (CFIC, 2013; CFIC, 2014). The Associated Press provided some decent coverage on the Bill Nye and Ken Ham dialogue or presentation time, or ‘debate,’ reflecting the need for better education in the United States, especially in regards to science (2014). However, one may suspect this ‘debate’ became a point of bolstering for the true believers in creationism in Canada while convincing some fence-sitters of the necessity of proper scientific theoretical frameworks as that found in evolutionary theory. An appearance as if an important and real scientific debate can convince some who wish for conversion over time. As Ham (The Associated Press, 2014) stated, “The Bible is the word of God… I admit that’s where I start from.” The “word of God” means literal readings of the Book of Genesis and, in fact, the complete suite of the books of the Bible. Note the underbelly, one can see the in-fighting. Mehta characterizes the conflicts between the flat earthers and the creationists as groups lacking complete self-awareness (Mehta, 2019d). This amounts to one collective of fundamentalists calling another group of fundamentalists not Christian enough or too fundamentalist in their reading of Christian scriptures.
So it goes,
and on, and on,
Religion in Politics and Politics in Religion: or, Religion is Politics
God is merciful, but only if you’re a man.
The development of the nation is intimately linked with understanding and application of science and technology by its people.
Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai
‘Respect for religion‘ has become a code phrase meaning ‘fear of religion.’ Religions, like all other ideas, deserve criticism, satire, and, yes, our fearless disrespect.
Given cognitive vulnerabilities, it would be convenient to have an arrangement whereby reality could tell us off; and that is precisely what science is. Scientific methodology is the arrangement that allows reality to answer us back.
Rebecca Newberger Goldstein
A great swindle of our time is the assumption that science has made religion obsolete. All science has damaged is the story of Adam and Eve and the story of Jonah and the Whale. Everything else holds up pretty well, particularly lessons about fairness and gentleness. People who find those lessons irrelevant in the twentieth century are simply using science as an excuse for greed and harshness. Science has nothing to do with it, friends.
There’ll be no money to keep them from being left behind — way behind. Seniors will pay. They’ll pay big time as the Republicans privatize Social Security and rob the Trust Fund to pay for the capricious war. Medicare will be curtailed and drugs will be more unaffordable. And there won’t be any money for a drug benefit because Bush will spend it all on the war. Working folks will pay through loss of job security and bargaining rights. Our grandchildren will pay through the degradation of our air and water quality. And the entire nation will pay as Bush continues to destroy civil rights, women’s rights and religious freedom in a rush to phony patriotism and to courting the messianic Pharisees of the religious right.
Some attempt to bring creationist orientations into Canadian textbooks with a focus on the non-difference called “microevolution” and “macroevolution,” which one sees in religious circles and not scientific ones (Coyne, 2015). Microevolution amounts to change within a species and macroevolution to change into a new species, in which the religious creationist (probably a superfluous phrase in the vast majority of cases) denies changes into new species – as this means the creation of new “kinds” or species against God’s dictates – and accept changes within a species as in changes between parent and child but not dog into another species (Ibid.). These considerations, as stated in previous sections, influence politics, including Canadian. We live amidst a age of a rising tide and anti-science acts (Waldmann, 2017).
Torrone (2007), accurately, and more than a decade ago, noted the lack of imagination in much of the creationist works passed onto the next generations in the religious circles – as stated throughout this article about the fundamental religious bases for the creationist movements and, in fact, in accordance with the statements of the founders of the movements. With some examination, a case, at least within Canadian public life, can be made for the mainstay of the creationist movements coming from the religious traditions in this country with a focus on Christianity and some aboriginal traditions; another case may be made with the political life of the country as the conservatives, the Conservative Party of Canada, in particular, tends to produce the most creationist politicians (Canadian Press, 2007). Progressive Conservative Leader John Tory stated as such in 2007 in public statements devoid of scientific legitimacy (Ibid.). Tory, at the time (Ibid.), said, “It’s still called the theory of evolution… They teach evolution in the Ontario curriculum, but they also could teach the fact to the children that there are other theories that people have out there that are part of some Christian beliefs,” pointing to the equivocation between theory in science and within the lay public and political leadership. These form a basis alongside religious fundamentalist ideals throughout the country, where the political and the religious become synonymous.
Take, for example, former prime minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, and associates, who represented a similar worldview and voting base often at odds with the science of evolutionary theory. Nikiforuk noted the “covert” evangelicalism of the former prime minister of Canada Stephen Harper (2015). He stated:
Religion explains why Harper appointed a creationist, Gary Goodyear, as science minister in 2009; why the party employs Arthur Hamilton, as its hard-nosed lawyer (he’s an evangelical too and a member of the Christian and Missionary Alliance); why Conservative MP Wai Young would defend the government’s highly controversial spying legislation, Bill C-51, by saying it reflects the teachings of Jesus; and why Canada’s new relationship with Israel dominates what’s left of the country’s shredded foreign policy.
It also explains why Harper would abolish the role of science advisor in the federal government only to open an Office of Religious Freedom under the department of Foreign Affairs with an annual $5-million budget. Why? Because millions of suburban white evangelical Christians consider religious freedom a more vital issue than same-sex marriage or climate change.
Of approximately 30 evangelical MPs that followed Harper into power in 2006, most have stepped down for this election. One, James Lunney, even resigned from the party to run as an independent member of Parliament for Nanaimo-Alberni.
Lunney did so as he called critics of creationism “social bigots,” and railed against what he describes as “deliberate attempts to suppress a Christian worldview from professional and economic opportunity in law, medicine and academia.”
This points to, once more, the influence of religion and, in particular, evangelical Christianity’s influence on the fundamentals of the faith enforced in the social, economic, political, and science-policy domains of the nation – our dear constitutional monarchy. (Ibid.)
Some creationist politicians may feel cyberbullied (Postmedia News, 2015). Postmedia News reported, “B.C. independent MP James Lunney, who left the Conservative caucus Tuesday so he could speak out freely on his creationist views, was denied the right Wednesday to deliver in full a lengthy speech he had prepared. In a rambling address in the House of Commons, he said ‘millions’ of Canadians are being ‘gagged’ as part of a ‘concerted effort by various interests to undermine freedom of religion’” (Ibid.).
This arose after questioning the theory of evolution (Ibid.). I do not support cyberbullying of anyone for their beliefs, but I do respect humour as a tool in political and social activism as an educational tool against ideas. Lunney said, “I am tired of seeing my faith community mocked and belittled” (Ibid.). Thus pointing to the more known point of religion and personal religious beliefs as the problem and not the science, science conflicts with the religious convictions of the Hon. Lunney and others (Ibid.).
As noted earlier, or furthermore, O’Neil (2015) reported Lunney told the House of Commons that millions of Canadians feel gagged by efforts to – from his point of view – “undermine freedom of religion.” Naharnet Newsdesk (2015) stated:
A veteran Conservative MP quit Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government Tuesday in order to freely defend his denial of evolution, claiming there is a concerted Canadian effort to stifle creationists’ views.
MP James Lunney, who was first elected to parliament in 2000, said he will sit in the House of Commons as an independent but will continue to vote with the ruling Tories.
The British Columbia MP said he took the decision to leave the party just six months before a general election in order to “defend my beliefs and the concerns of my faith community.”
He pointed to an alleged plot that reaches into the “senior levels” of Canadian politics seeking “to suppress a Christian world-view,” and criticized the media for provoking a “firestorm of criticism and condemnation.”
A more small-time politician, Dr. Darrell Furgason, ran for public office in Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada (Henderson, 2018). Furgason lectured at Trinity Western University and earned a Ph.D. in Religious Studies (Ibid.). Dr. Furgason claims inclusivity for all while ignoring standard protocol in science, i.e., asserting religious views in written work, “Theistic evolution is a wrong view of Genesis, as well as history, and biology. Adam & Eve were real people….who lived in real history….around 6000 years ago” (Ibid.). He believes no Christian extremists exist in Canada (Lehn, 2019).
Mang, back in 2009, described some of the religious influence on the political landscape of Canada. The statements of “God bless Canada” at the ends of Harper’s speeches, the alignment of Roman Catholic Christianity with the conservatives and of the Protestant Christians with the liberals, and the lack of religion or the non-religious affiliated associated with the New Democratic Party or the NDP (Ibid.). Evangelical Christians identify with socially conservative values more often and, therefore, identify with and vote for the conservative candidates in local ridings or in federal elections (Ibid). Even so, the laity and the hierarchs of the Catholic Church can differ on some fundamental moral questions of the modern period for them with the Pope issuing, or popes writing, encyclicals on abortion and contraception for espousal by the religious leaders in the bishops and priests while being rejected by the lay Catholic public (Ibid.).
This may explain the support for the liberals by many of the Catholic voters of Canadian society (Ibid.). One of the dividing issues, according to Mang, came in the form of the same-sex marriage question because of the importance seen in the religious concept of the “sanctity of marriage” with the sanctity intended only or solely for heterosexual couples (Ibid.). Mang (Ibid.) stated, “But times could be changing. Current polls suggest that the Conservatives are in majority territory while Liberal support, once steady and predictable, is dropping precipitously. The Conservatives invoke god when delivering speeches, hire political staff such as the Prime Minister’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Darrel Reid, who denounced abortion and same-sex marriage while president of Focus on the Family in Canada, and pander to myriad religious communities. However, they have attempted to place a veil over a level of religiosity that makes the majority of Canadians squeamish” (Focus on the Family, 2019; Mang, 2009).
Press Progress (2018d) spoke to the far-right rallies of Doug Ford who wanted to “celebrate” the new social conservative agenda for the country. Some point out the direct attempts for a transformation of the society into more socially conservative directions with the work to change policy in that direction (Gagné, 2019). The Christian right with an intent or desire to teach creationism or intelligent design in the schools (Ibid; The Conversation, 2019). A top creationist was invited as a speaker at a convention in Alberta (CBC News, 2017b). In the meantime, Canadians continue with non-sense around purported miracles of white men in modern garb and selling ancient superstitions (Carter, 2016).
Gurpreet Singh (2019) spoke to the urgent need to defeat some of the more egregious cases of science denialism in the political realm. He, immediately, directed attention to ‘skepticism’ on the part of Conservative Party of Canada Leader Andrew Scheer about the Canada Food Guide (Kirkup, 2019; Government of Canada, 2019). Singh (2019) said, “Scheer recently told dairy farmers in Saskatoon that the food guide was ‘ideologically driven by people who have a philosophical perspective and a bias against certain types of healthy food products’… Scheer’s statement clearly shows that he has joined the growing list of right-wing populist leaders of the world who have repeatedly denied science and are bent upon taking the society backwards.” Press Progress (2018a) catalogued Charles McVety stating:
People talk about the world being billions and billions of years old, but I’ve never seen anything more than 6,000 years old. You have a perfect historical record for about 6,000 years and then…stopped…This nonsense that this world has been like this for billions of years is really troublesome to me in my mind because it makes no sense at all, but how many know that the devil makes no sense?…
…I just want people to know, that this man takes a stand, and you know that the devil doesn’t like it. In fact, last week the Toronto Star wrote an article and they ridiculed us for having Ken Ham here to come to speak on Genesis and they said that they’re worried that McVety’s relationship with Doug Ford means that creation is now going to be taught in all the schools in Ontario. I, of course, said there’s no move in that direction but it sounds like a good idea, don’t you think? (Press Progress, 2018a; Canada Christian College, 2018).
None of these statements of frustrations, or behaviours, are new. They harbour a legacy in this country undealt with in the past, which provides the basis for their maintenance through time. Almost two decades ago, Stockwell Day was the Canadian Alliance Leader in Canadian politics (The Globe and Mail, 2000). As reported, he resented “the probing of his conviction that the Biblical account of how life originated on this planet is a scientifically supported theory capable of being taught alongside evolution. He says the inquiries are intrusive and irrelevant to the election campaign” (Ibid.). Problem: the personal beliefs and convictions “coloured” the proposed policies and policy changes of Day on behalf of the public as a public servant, a politician. He said, “There is scientific support for both creationism and evolution” (Ibid.). The reportage continued:
In a documentary aired Tuesday on CBC-TV’s The National, the head of natural science at Red Deer College in 1997 said he heard Mr. Day tell a crowd that the world is only several thousand years old and that men walked with dinosaurs. While that may be consistent with the literal word of Genesis, it is inconsistent with the evidence uncovered by geologists and others, and subjected to tests and challenges, that Earth is billions of years old and that, The Flintstones notwithstanding, dinosaurs died off tens of millions of years before humans first appeared.
Mr. Day says the documentary denied him a chance to reply. (Ibid.)
Other politicians right into the present continue this tradition in different ways. The work to indoctrinate children with right-wing ideological stances remains against the spirit of education and the stance of the general notion of an informed education rather than a coerced education around creationism and pro-life groups, as in some schools (Press Progress, 2019c).
One can see this in some Cloverdale-Langley candidates in British Columbia associated with the promotion of “blogs purporting to show science supports the idea earth was created in six days. Cloverdale-Langley City’s Tamara Jansen has been in full damage control mode” (Press Progress, 2019a). At the same time, she cast doubt on Darwinian evolution and climate change research published by NASA scientists. Press Progress stated, “…on multiple occasions, Jansen has promoted obscure blogs on the topic of ‘Young Earth Creationism’ — the idea God literally created the Earth in six days only a few thousand years ago. One creationist blog Jansen shared, titled ‘a defence of six-day creation,’ states: ‘Yes, scientific theories do appear to discredit that creation account. But be patient. In time it will be seen that those humble Bible believers were right all along: it was asix-day creation. ‘What is the remedy?’ the blog asks. ‘I will tell you that too. A return to God’s Word! We had science for the sake of science, and got the World War.’ It is entirely true that World War II was, in the deepest sense, a result of widespread acceptance of the doctrine of human evolution” (Press Progress, 2019a; Williamson, 2013; Wieske, 2013). One can find some, but not pervasive, approval of some creationist ideas or modernist paradigms in the creation ministerial works (DeYoung, 2012). In some writing, Mehta commented on and reflected on the need for experts, which seems relevant and important here (2018a).
Gerson (2015) identified a problem for conservative candidates who espouse religious worldviews as scientific hypotheses. In that, belief in young earth creationism may become ammunition utilized by political opposition against the conservative politician who holds religious views on biological origins, who adheres to young earth creationism. At the time, education minister Gordon Dirks was picked by Jim Prentice, former Alberta premier. He was insinuated to adhere to a religious view in rejection of modern scientific evidentiarily substantiated hypotheses or theories found in the biological sciences and important to the medical sciences. She said, “Evolution became a toxic issue for Conservative politicians in the early 2000s. Barney the Dinosaur dolls and whistled renditions of the Flintstones theme song met former federal MP Stockwell Day after he expressed his belief in Young Earth creationism in the early 2000s… In 2009, researchers balked when federal science minister Gary Goodyear declined to say whether he believed in evolution” (Ibid.). This became an issue for Progressive Conservative MPP Rick Nicholls who thought positively of the ability of students having the option to opt out of the teaching of evolution (The Canadian Press, 2015). “For myself, I don’t believe in evolution… But that doesn’t mean I speak for everyone else in my caucus. That’s a personal stance,” Nicholls stated (Ibid.). Jim Wilson, Interim PC leader at the time, described Nicholls’s position as unrepresentative of the Ontario Tories (Ibid.). At the time, this was heavily used by liberals against Nicholls. Health Minister Eric Hoskins said, “We had one member of the PC party questioning whether we should even be teaching evolution in schools… I can’t even begin to imagine what may be coming next: perhaps we never landed on the moon.” Religion and politics professor at the University of Calgary, Irving Hexham, explained how if a politician came out in support of evolution via natural selection then the liability becomes exclusion from the religious community (Gerson, 2015). A religious community, one might safely assume, propping said politician up.
Dr. John G. Stackhouse, Jr., the Samuel J. Mikolaski Professor of Religious Studies at Crandall University in Moncton, New Brunswick, stated, “Still, maybe evolution, theistic or otherwise, can explain all these things–as Christian Francis Collins believes just as firmly as atheist Richard Dawkins believes. But we must allow that evolution has not yet done so” (2018). Perhaps, however, the phrase should parse because unguided evolution remains much different than a god-guided evolution in the overall narrative framework. Stackhouse also notes:
Nowadays, however, many people assume that belief in creation (= “creationism”) means a very particular set of beliefs: that the Biblical God created the world in six 24-hour days; that the earth is less than 10,000 years old; and that the planet appears older because a global flood in Noah’s time laid down the deep layers of sediment that evolutionists think took billions of years to accumulate.
These beliefs are not, in fact, traditional Christian beliefs, but a particular, and recent, variety of Christian thought, properly known as “creation science” or “scientific creationism.” Creation science was popularized in a 1923 book called The New Geology by amateur U.S. scientist George McCready Price. A Seventh-Day Adventist, Price learned from Adventism’s founder Ellen G. White that God had revealed to her that Noah’s flood was responsible for the fossil record. (Ibid.).
Further, this means Collins and Dawkins believe in disparate narratives on, at least, one fundamental level. Stackhouse continues to cite the “punctuated equilibrium” hypothesis of Stephen Jay Gould as somehow not quite evolution, but the problem: punctuated equilibrium exists as a theory adjunct to evolutionary biology as a component of evolution in some models. With all due respect to Dr. Stackhouse, he remains flat wrong, or mostly incorrect.
Stackhouse (2018) edges into the conflation of theory with hypothesis, religious narrative guess, or hunch in saying, “The creation science and ID people cannot be dismissed as wrong about everything!—and their opponents would do well to heed their criticisms, even if they hate their alternative theories.” What predictions have been made by young earth creationists to narrow the point? What makes young earth creationism falsifiable as a part of the fundamental proposal? In a strange ongoing well-informed and wrong-headed soliloquy, Stackhouse states, “So what should we do about the vexed questions about origins and evolution?” Nothing, except, maybe, continue with more predictions, more and better tools for more and better science, for improved understandings of origins an evolution via natural selection.
Often, we can find the ways in which the socially conservative views mix with the conservative political orientation, the conservative religious views, and the non-science views on origins and, in particular, development of complex organisms, e.g., mammals and primates including human beings (Press Progress, 2019b). Some social conservatives, mutually, support one another or, probably more properly, protect one another when on the gauntlet over some messaging or statements around creationism and denial/pseudoskepticism of evolution via natural selection, as with Stockwell Day protecting Wai Young (Press Progress, 2015). Day controversial for creationist views in the past, in and of himself (BBC News, 2000). The BBC said, “From an early age Stockwell Day has had strong ties with the Evangelical Church. Between 1978-85 he was assistant Pastor at a church in Alberta” (Ibid.). The evangelical upbringing and traditions seems deeply linked, in many not all regards, to creationist outlooks on the world.
Progressive Conservative MPP Rick Nicholls stood by the position from 2015 in which he said, “For myself, I don’t believe in evolution” (Ferguson, 2015). Conservative MPP Christine Elliott disagreed, stating, “I don’t agree with the views that were expressed with respect to evolution” (Ibid.). Helpful to note, during the statements by Nicholls, now infamous, he did not simply state them, but, in fact, shouted them, “…not a bad idea,” which connects, once more, to other conservative political points in the news cycle, e.g., sexual education (Ferguson, 2018; Benzie & Ferguson, 2018). Benzie & Ferguson (2008) stated, “Inside, the morning question period was especially nasty — Education Minister Liz Sandals mocked McNaughton and other right-wing Tories saying they “want to make the teaching of evolution optional.” One may surmise the conflict of the religious-political views as at odds with the march of the scientific rationality into the public and the policies and, thus, more and more with what is better known about the real world rather than what was in the past assumed about the ‘real’ world.
Jason Kenney, leader of Alberta’s United Conservative Party, remains an individual not to shy from attendance at some of these creationist events within the country (Press Progress, 2018b), where Kenney was, in fact, the distinguished guest as the key note speaker at the National Home Education Conference held in Ottawa, Ontario between September 28 and 29 (2019). Homeschooling remains one way in which the proliferation of religious or theological views as science continues. Kenney (Press Progress, 2018b) was seen as the headline speaker for a “conference sponsored by fringe education groups that promote homophobic and anti-scientific teachings… one sponsor helped shape UCP education policy and is now campaigning for the repeal of a law protecting students in gay-straight alliance clubs, another provides students with learning material that denies evolution, claims sea monsters are real and suggests humans traveled to the moon 4,000 years ago.”
Kenney (Press Progress, 2019d) stated an admiration for the tactics of a former KGB operative who became President of Russia, Vladimir Putin. This reflects a violent and fundamentalist orientation against the right to protest. This may form some of the general attitudinal orientation of Kenney in the rights of others. One may doubt the symmetry for others in his party, or for him, if protesting in some fashion. Often, the creationist politicians comprise four categories: older, male, white, and conservative. The counter-science reactionaries tend to target women who are not conservative. The Governor General of Canada, Julie Payette, described the problem with faith-based and non-scientific approaches to the world to a group of scientists in the news, which became a media item and a political debacle – not on her part but on the commentators’ parts. Foster (2017) in the ongoing game of missing the point used the Payette news cycle to make a point against another woman who is the Canadian Environment and Climate Minister, Catherine McKenna.
Efforts to point out sympathizing, knowingly or unwittingly (ignorantly because unaware of the implications of what one says), may, in fact, bolster the support for the candidate with such musings (Dimatteo, 2018), creationism in education and politics seems like an open secret. The British Columbia Humanist Association, described the rather blatant, overt, and without shame presentation of creationism in the schools at the high school level as if science (Bushfield, 2018). Science is not despised by religion or politics in general. Indeed, there can be affirmations of some fundamental scientific findings, including human-induced climate change (Anglican Diocese of British Columbia, 2019) by religious orthodoxies in Canada’s religious belief landscape. Creationism, climate change denial, and Intelligent Design maintain a similar rejection of the facts before us. As you know well by now, Intelligent Design adheres to non-naturalistic mechanisms, or guided processes, for the features of some creatures or organisms alive now (Smith, 2017).
CBC News (2018) stated Payette “learned” from the earlier statements based on reporting of the event after the fact with the nature of the problem coming into the fore with the position, as the Hon. Payette noted adaptation to the position, i.e., do not change on the scientific positions but remain chary of the soft spots of a largely religious public. Payette (Bissett, 2017) even affirmed some standard Canadian values, “Our values are tolerance and determination, and freedom of religion, freedom to act, opportunities, equality of opportunities amongst everyone and for all.” The purportedly egregious statements of Payette on matters of scientific import to the cultural health of the nation. Let’s see:
Payette targeted evolution, climate change, horoscopes, and alternative medicine in the speech. Some quotes, on climate change from human activity:
Can you believe that still today in learned society, in houses of government, unfortunately, we’re still debating and still questioning whether humans have a role in the Earth warming up or whether even the Earth is warming up, period?
On evolution by natural selection, unguided:
And we are still debating and still questioning whether life was a divine intervention or whether it was coming out of a natural process let alone, oh my goodness, a random process.
On alternative medicines:
And so many people — I’m sure you know many of them — still believe, want to believe, that maybe taking a sugar pill will cure cancer, if you will it!
And every single one of the people here’s personalities can be determined by looking at planets coming in front of invented constellations.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau supported the remarks by Payette.
From a standard scientific point of view, she did not state anything incorrect, and several within the community of the general public – leaders and laity – conflated criticism of non-science masquerading as science as somehow an assault on faith-based systems of belief found in traditionalist religions (Rabson, 2018). These, purely and simply, do not mean the same thing and the conflation by the media, or the catering to this by the media personalities and outlets, reflects a significant problem and, in turn, stoked fires not needing further enflaming, as the veneer of congeniality and sociability amongst the laity and leadership of religious communities with one another and the freethought communities seems thin to me. Duly note, the most prominent religious denomination at present and since the founding of Canadian society: Roman Catholic Christian. Both Andrew Scheer and Justin Trudeau identify as Roman Catholic Christians of more conservative and more liberal strains of the same undergirding theological assumption-structure. For the purposes of this commentary on the article of Urback (2017), the nature of the problem comes from the lack of scientific literacy in the public and non-derision but pointing out the discrepancies in the factual state of the world, as per a trained scientist and former astronaut Governor General, and the sensitivities of the public to counters to faith-claims, apolitical scientific statements. In fact, the Governor General may have experienced the reality of the phrase by Mark Twain, “Faith is believing what you know ain’t so.” As Carl Meyer (2017) observes, Payette was in the service of the general public with telling – to the sensitivities of the general public – uncomfortable truths with myth busting there.
“Rideau Hall is, furthermore, a hidebound place that puts a premium on tradition. Ms. Payette’s scientific background valorizes reason and new frontiers, rather than the way things have been done in the past. It could be said that this personality mismatch speaks well of Ms. Payette – that she’s too smart and independent for such a fusty post,” the Globe and Mail reported (2018). Both CBC News and Premier Brad Wall of Saskatchewan in 2017(a) missed the point entirely on the nature of the problem with the inclusion of “religion” as a statement, which remains wrong then, and now, and amounts to imputed motive, as the Governor General Payette focused on factually wrong beliefs: climate change from human activity, evolution by natural selection, unguided, alternative medicines, and horoscopes. All parties who misrepresented the comments – news stations, public officials, and individuals – of the Hon. Julie Payette should issue a public apology or writer a letter of apology to her. In fact, they should appreciate and thank her. She set a tone of scientific literacy and individual, educated integrity with the spirit and content of the statements unseen in this country, often.
Besides, Payette noted the turbulence within Rideau Hall as, more or less, supposed or purported turbulence (Marquis, 2018). The Globe and Mail (2018) noted the statements by Payette as mocking creationism, and not creationists – an important distinction. For some who want to bring a nation back to the Bible like those at www.backtothebible.com consider critiques of bad hypotheses and affirmation of scientific theories as an attack on their religion, a giveaway as to name of the sincere game: the creationist view – and other faith-based and supernatural views – as a religious proposition without merit. John Neufeld, a Bible Teacher at Back to the Bible Canada, stated, “At a recent speech to scientists at an Ottawa convention, Ms. Payette was very clear about how she felt about religion… Much has already been said about Ms. Payette’s insensitivity to people of religious persuasion. Some have called her ‘mean-spirited’… As one Christian living in Canada, I say, “Shame on you” (2017). Again, he never said, “She’s empirically wrong,” because this would force commitment to a scientific, repeatably testable, and empirical position. These, purely and simply, do not mean the same thing and the conflation by the media, or the catering to this by the media personalities and outlets, reflects a significant problem and, in turn, stoked fires not needing further enflaming, as the veneer of congeniality and sociability amongst the laity and leadership of religious communities with one another and the freethought communities seems thin to me.
Wood (2017) wrote on the entire fiasco around the Hon. Payette with a rather humorous note about Rex Murphy writing a “hard-to-follow take down” of the speech, which makes one question the strength of the take down or even the assertion of a ‘take down.’ Scientific views do not come from the intersubjective realm of political and social discourses found in norms and mores, but, rather, in the nature of the empirical findings and the preponderance of those findings with the best theoretical framework for knitting the data in a coherent weave. The other theories lack empirical support and, many times, coherence. Thus, every single commentator who took part in the chorus of Canadian journalism here exposed themselves as marginally intellectual in the affairs of central concern to them, in proclaiming faux offense over the Hon. Payette’s statements about basic science. It was never about opinion, but it was about relaying the statements of fact and fundamental scientific theories about the world and the reaction represented the discrepancy of the general public’s knowledge of science and the scientific findings themselves. In these domains, the journalists, as a reflection of some of the public, and several politicians, showed themselves ignorant, or deliberately pandering to sectors of the public who do not prefer women in power, smart and educated individuals in places of influence, or both.
The aforementioned Professor Dennis Venema at Trinity Western University has stated on several occasions and in an articulate manner the theologically inappropriate and scientifically incorrect beliefs inherent in all alternatives to evolutionary theory. He states:
Well, the evidence is everywhere. It’s not just that a piece here and there fits evolution: it’s the fact that virtually none of the evidence we have suggests anything else. What you see presented as “problems for evolution” by Christian anti-evolutionary groups are typically issues that are taken out of context or (intentionally or not) misrepresented to their non-specialist audiences. For me personally (as a geneticist) comparative genomics (comparing DNA sequences between different species) has really sealed the deal on evolution. Even if Darwin had never lived and no one else had come up with the idea of common ancestry, modern genomics would have forced us to that conclusion even if there was no other evidence available (which of course manifestly isn’t the case).
For example, we see the genes for air-based olfaction (smelling) in whales that no longer even have olfactory organs. Humans have the remains of a gene devoted to egg yolk production in our DNA in exactly the place that evolution would predict. Our genome is nearly identical to the chimpanzee genome, a little less identical to the gorilla genome, a little less identical to the orangutan genome, and so on—and this correspondence is present in ways that are not needed for function (such as the location of shared genetic defects, the order of genes on chromosomes, and on and on). If you’re interested in this research, you might find this (again, somewhat technical) lecture I gave a few years ago helpful. You can also see a less technical, but longer version here where I do my best to explain these lines of evidence to members of my church. (Venema, 2018a)
He sets a new or a more scientific tone in the fundamentalist Evangelical Christian communities and postsecondary institutions within Canadian society and remains active, and young, and can continue to develop a positive theological grounding within a modern scientific purview. In a way, he shows a non-fundamentalist path for the next generations. He and others can provide a context for a more sophisticated political discourse over time.
Creative Stiflement and the Outcomes of Personal Bafflement: or, the Need for Cognitive Closure
I don’t profess any religion; I don’t think it’s possible that there is a God; I have the greatest difficulty in understanding what is meant by the words ‘spiritual’ or ‘spirituality.’
I think . . . that philosophy has the duty of pointing out the falsity of outworn religious ideas, however estimable they may be as a form of art. We cannot act as if all religion were poetry while the greater part of it still functions in its ancient guise of illicit science and backward morals.
I regard monotheism as the greatest disaster ever to befall the human race. I see no good in Judaism, Christianity, or Islam — good people, yes, but any religion based on a single, well, frenzied and virulent god, is not as useful to the human race as, say, Confucianism, which is not a religion but an ethical and educational system.
Science and religion stand watch over different aspects of all our major flashpoints. May they do so in peace and reinforcement–and not like the men who served as a cannon fodder in World War I, dug into the trenches of a senseless and apparently interminable conflict, while lobbing bullets and canisters of poison gas at a supposed enemy, who, like any soldier, just wanted to get off the battlefield and on with a potentially productive and rewarding life.
Stephen Jay Gould
It took me years, but letting go of religion has been the most profound wake up of my life. I feel I now look at the world not as a child, but as an adult. I see what’s bad and it’s really bad. But I also see what is beautiful, what is wonderful. And I feel so deeply appreciative that I am alive. How dare the religious use the term ‘born again.’ That truly describes freethinkers who’ve thrown off the shackles of religion so much better!
They say that Caliph Omar, when consulted about what had to be done with the library of Alexandria, answered as follows: ‘If the books of this library contain matters opposed to the Koran, they are bad and must be burned. If they contain only the doctrine of the Koran, burn them anyway, for they are superfluous.’ Our learned men have cited this reasoning as the height of absurdity. However, suppose Gregory the Great was there instead of Omar and the Gospel instead of the Koran. The library would still have been burned, and that might well have been the finest moment in the life of this illustrious pontiff.
It may be remarked incidentally that the recognition of the relational character of scientific objects completely eliminates an old metaphysical issue. One of the outstanding problems created by the rise of modern science was due to the fact that scientific definitions and descriptions are framed in terms of which qualities play no part. Qualities were wholly superfluous. As long as the idea persisted (an inheritance from Greek metaphysical science) that the business of knowledge is to penetrate into the inner being of objects, the existence of qualities like colors, sounds, etc., was embarrassing. The usual way of dealing with them is to declare that they are merely subjective, existing only in the consciousness of individual knowers. Given the old idea that the purpose of knowledge (represented at its best in science) is to penetrate into the heart of reality and reveal its “true” nature, the conclusion was a logical one. …The discovery of the nonscientific because of the empirically unverifiable and unnecessary character of absolute space, absolute motion, and absolute time gave the final coup de grâce to the traditional idea that solidity, mass, size, etc., are inherent possessions of ultimate individuals. The revolution in scientific ideas just mentioned is primarily logical. It is due to recognition that the very method of physical science, with its primary standard units of mass, space, and time, is concerned with measurements of relations of change, not with individuals as such.
*Footnotes in accordance with in-text citations of Story.*
Canadian creationism exists, as per several sections before this, within a larger set of concerns and problematic domains, including the international and the regional. By implication, American creationism forms some basis for creationism in Canada. Of the freethought communities’ writers, even amongst religious people – apart from Professor Dennis Venema, few individuals stood out in terms of the production of a comprehensive piece on creationism in Canada. Melissa Story is one exception, and, in a way, amounts to the national expert circa 2013 on this topic based on an honours thesis on creationism in Canada (Jacobsen, 2019t; Jacobsen, 2019u). Full credit to Story’s investigative and academic work for the foundation of this section – much appreciated.
Ken Ham sees Intelligent Design as insufficient to keep the faith of the next generations (2011). We see more creationism than Intelligent Design in Canada. Boutros (2007) gave a reasonable summary on creationism in some of Canada. We can see Creation Ministries International launched their own Deconstructing Darwin in Canada (Creation Ministries International Canada. (2019b). Canseco (2015) notes the decline most strongly in British Columbia of creationism. Mulherin (2014) noted the differences of opinion and belief, and so conclusions, of the different types of theological views known as creationism. Journalist and Philosopher, Malcolm Muggeridge, of the University of Waterloo, stated, “I, myself, am convinced that the theory of evolution, especially to the extent to which it’s been applied, will be one of the great jokes in the history books of the future. Posterity will marvel that so flimsy and dubious a hypothesis could be accepted with the credulity that it has” (GoodReads, 2019). This is Canada.
The British Columbia Humanist Association republished a reasonable piece by Melissa Story in 2013 on the Canadian creationism landscape, of which this section will incorporate as part of the larger analysis of the context of creationism and its (dis-)contents (Story, 2013a; Story, 2013b; Story, 2013c; Story, 2013d). Story (2013a) directs attention to the “Teach the Controversy” battles within Canada and the style of them. They tend to be more local and not national (Ibid.). Story supports religious freedom (Ibid.). Some of the history precludes the recent history. NPR (Adams, 2005) provided a rundown of the history from the publication of The Origin of Species in 1859 to the publication of The Descent of Man in 1871, to the publication of George William Hunter’s A Civic Biology in 1914. The ex-Secretary of State, William Jennings Bryan, was a leader of the anti-evolution movement starting in 1921, who was a former congressman too (Ibid.). Bryan spoke about the Bible’s truth and delivered copies of the speech to the Tennessee legislature in 1924, and on January 21, 1925 Representative Butler introduced legislation banning evolution to the Tennessee House of Representatives entitled the Butler bill (Ibid.).
1925, busy a year as it was, January 27 saw the approval of the Butler bill 71:5 with heated debate for hours on March 13 for approval of the Butler bill (24:6) in the Tennessee Senate with Tennessee Governor Austin Peay signing the Butler bill into law as the first law banning evolution in the United States of American (Ibid.). May 4 saw a Chattanooga newspaper run a piece on the American Civil Liberties Union challenging the Butler law with May 5 had a “group of town leaders in Dayton, Tenn., read the news item about the ACLU’s search. They quickly hatch a plan to bring the case to Dayton, a scheme that they hope will generate publicity and jump-start the town’s economy. They ask 24-year-old science teacher and football coach John Thomas Scopes if he’d be willing to be indicted to bring the case to trial” (Ibid.).
May 12 had William Jennings Bryan agree to participation in the prosecution side of the trial for national interest in the case with Clarence Darrow and Dudley Field Malone taking the opposing side, or representing Scopes, and Scopes got indicted by a grand jury on May 25, where May to July of 1925 saw the preparation for the trials’ anticipated publicity (Ibid.). A touch of naughtiness must have filled the air. The ACLU lawyers represented Scopes with Clarence Darrow as the main defense attorney or the individual who took the rather theatrical stage with Darrow convincing Scopes to admit to the violation of the statute of Tennessee (Adams, 2005). Modern technology, including a movie-newsreel camera platform with radio microphones, telephone wiring, and the telegraph, was equipped to the courthouse to provide a context of proper amplification of the happening to the outside world (Ibid.). July 10 the jury selection begins and Rev. Lemuel M. Cartright opens the proceedings with a prayer based on the request of Judge John Raulston (Ibid.). July 13 the court case opens and July 14 Darrow objected to the use of a prayer to open, but the judge overruled the objection allowing the ministers to continue and not to reference the matters of this case (Ibid.). July 15, Judge Raulston overruled the defense’s motion of the Butler law declared as unconstitutional because “public schools are not maintained as places of worship, but, on the contrary, were designed, instituted, and are maintained for the purpose of mental and moral development and discipline” (Ibid.).
July 17 saw the barring of expert testimony by scientists based on a motion of the prosecutors with Judge Raulston arguing expert opinion will not shed light on the issues of the trial involving evolutionary theory (Ibid.). For July 20 and July 21, “With the proceedings taking place outdoors due to the heat, the defense — in a highly unusual move — calls Bryan to testify as a biblical expert. Clarence Darrow asks Bryan a series of questions about whether the Bible should be interpreted literally. As the questioning continues, Bryan accuses Darrow of making a ‘slur at the Bible,’ while Darrow mocks Bryan for ‘fool ideas that no intelligent Christian on earth believes,’” NPR continued, “The final day of the trial opens with Judge Raulston’s ruling that Bryan cannot return to the stand and that his testimony should be expunged from the record. Raulston declares that Bryan’s testimony ‘can shed no light upon any issues that will be pending before the higher courts.’ Darrow then asks the court to bring in the jury and find Scopes guilty — a move that would allow a higher court to consider an appeal. The jury returns its guilty verdict after nine minutes of deliberation. Scopes is fined $100, which both Bryan and the ACLU offer to pay for him. After the verdict is read, John Scopes delivers his only statement of the trial, declaring his intent ‘to oppose this law in any way I can. Any other action would be in violation of my ideal of academic freedom — that is, to teach the truth as guaranteed in our constitution, of personal and religious freedom’” (Ibid.).
On July 26, William Jennings Bryan dies in Dayton, in his sleep, with a burial in the Arlington National Cemetery on July 31 (Ibid.). In 1926, Mississippi was the second state to ban the teaching of evolution in the public schools. On May 31, 1926, the appeal hearing of the Scopes case begins once more (Ibid.). Into the next year, on January 15 of 1927, the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled on the constitutionality of the Butler law, where this overturned the verdict of the Scopes case based on a technicality (Ibid.). In 1927, the updated version of the textbook, A New Civic Biology, by George William Hunter used by Scopes in the educational context teaches evolution in a more cautious way, more judicious to the fundamentalist sensibilities of the Tennessean establishment of the time in 1927 (Ibid.). Arkansas becomes the third state to enact legislation banning the instruction of evolution in 1928, and then one March 13, 1938 Clarence Darrow dies (Ibid.), aged 80. “Inherit the Wind” base on the Scopes “Monkey” trial opens on Broadway on January 10, 1955 with the 1960 showing the first film version entitled Inherit the Wind (Ibid.), which Scopes saw in Dayton (Ibid.). On May 17, 1967, the Butler Act is repealed (Ibid.).
In 1967, Scopes published Center of the Storm as a memoir of the trial; in 1968, Epperson v. Arkansas struck down the banning of evolution in Arkansas (Ibid.). In 1973, “Tennessee becomes the first state in the United States to pass a law requiring that public schools give equal emphasis to “the Genesis account in the Bible” along with other theories about the origins of man. The bill also requires a disclaimer be used any time evolution is presented or discussed in public schools. It demands evolution be taught as theory and not fact,” NPR stated. 1975 saw the ruling of the equal time demanded and passed as unconstitutional with the defeat by a federal appeals court of the 1973 law (Ibid.). As you may see from the development from the 1920s with the Scopes trial and fallout from it, Story, appropriately, points to the 1920s as an important time for the creationist movement in the legal cases, and for the public school teachers who want to teach the fundamentals of all of life science (American Experience, n.d.).
It came to a head in Dayton, Tennessee with the Scopes trial, where John Scopes became someone willing to be arrested for the teaching of evolution based on a call of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU, n.d.b). Scopes was arrested on May 7, 1925 with the purpose to show the ways in which the particular statute or law in Tennessee was unconstitutional (Ibid.). The ACLU stated, “The Scopes trial turned out to be one of the most sensational cases in 20th century America; it riveted public attention and made millions of Americans aware of the ACLU for the first time. Approximately 1000 people and more than 100 newspapers packed the courtroom daily” (Ibid.). William Jennings Bryan and Clarence Darrow were the opposing attorneys in this world-famous case (History.Com Editors, 2019). The legal case was known as The State of Tennessee vs. John Thomas Scopes and challenged the Butler Act of Tennessee at the time – the ban on the teaching of evolution in the state (Szalay, 2016).
“It would be another four decades before these laws were repealed; however, the trial set in motion an ongoing debate about teaching evolutionary theories alongside Biblically-inspired creation accounts in science classrooms… The early years of legal challenges focused on the constitutionality of imposing religious views in public schools versus the autonomy of parents to provide an education to their children that was compatible with their own worldviews,” Story explained, “The inclusion of creationism in the curriculum was seen by some as a violation of the separation of church and state. Others argued that by not providing equal time to creationist theories, religious students were being taught in an environment that was seemingly hostile to their religious beliefs. Time and time again, higher courts ruled that creationism could not be taught alongside evolution because creationism was dogmatic in nature and essentially brought religion into the public school system” (2013a).,,
Story emphasized the early development of the arguments against evolution in the public schools with the emphasis on two items. One with the autonomy of parents to raise and educate their children. Another for the constitutionality of the imposition of religious views on the or in the public schools with, often as one can observe, a preference for one particular religious creation story or creationism. Story (2013a) explained the more recent developments in the theorization of the communities of faith with the leadership, often, as white men with doctoral or legal degrees – or two doctoral degrees as in the case of Dr. William Dembski – espousing Intelligent Design or ID, where there is a proposal for “alternative ‘scientific’ theories.” Story (2013a) stated, “Proponents claim that ID is a valid alternative to Darwin’s theory of evolution and have lobbied to have it included in science curricula. To date, several higher courts have ruled that ID is nothing more than creationism in the guise of science.”,
One of the abovementioned cases from 2005 stemmed from parents who challenged the Pennsylvania Dover Area School District in its amended curriculum of the time proposed for the inclusion of Intelligent Design, which Story (2013a) characterizes as “essentially a secularized version of creationism.”The separation of church and state, Story notes (Ibid.), accounts for the continual return to the American Constitution in the matters of religious orthodoxy, to some, within the educational system and the pushback against the attempted imposition within the science classrooms via the biology curricula. “Canada, however, does not have such finite divisions between church and state entrenched in its laws,” Story said, “While the Charter of Rights does provide protections to citizens, it does not explicitly outline divisions between faith and politics. Despite this, Canadian politics do not seem to be overtly intertwined with religion. On the surface, Canadians seem less preoccupied or concerned about religious influences on government or public institutions. This has meant that any religious controversies, similar to those in the United States, have remained largely unnoticed” (Story, 2013a). Her main warning comes in the recognition of the quiet penetration of Canadian educational institutions with creationist dogmas or religious ideologies pretending to take the place of real science or proper education. (Ibid.).
The main fundamentalist Evangelical Christian postsecondary institution, university, found in Canadian society is Trinity Western University, where Professor Dennis Venema was the prominent individual referenced as the source of progress in the scientific discussions within intellectual and, in particular, formal academic discussions and teaching. Trinity Western University operates near Fort Langley, British Columbia, Canada in Langley. The main feature case for Story comes from a city near to Trinity Western University in Abbotsford, British Columbia. Story (2013a) considers this the single most controversial case of creationism in the entire country. The communities here have been characterized the Bible belt of the province, of British Columbia. Story stated, “During the time of this controversy, Abbotsford’s population consisted of a large Mennonite community, many Western European immigrants, and the highest number of Christian conservatives in the province” (Ibid.).
She recounted the 1977 walkout of 300 students in a high school because of the reinstatement of compulsory prayer and scripture readings every day; following this, in 1980, the Abbotsford School Board defied the Supreme Court of Canada ruling “that struck down mandatory daily prayer in public schools” (Ibid.). 15 years later, the library board attempted to ban a newspaper who targeted homosexuals as their main readership. In the late 2000s, the same school board was caught in controversies involving “Social Justice” courses intended for the high school curriculum with some emphasis on community concerns including homophobia or discrimination and prejudice against homosexuals (Ibid.)., In 2012, the same school board went under review for the allowance of Gideons International providing Bibles to students, where Story attributes the highly religious nature of the education system to the lack of a formal and consistent challenge (Ibid.). Story uses the terminology and creation science within the context of self-definition by creation scientists. This will become a split in the orientation between Story and this article because the nature of creation science amounts to an appropriation of the term “science” while being a creation ministry, religious worldview, theological proposition, or simply creationist views, i.e., creation science remains a misnomer. The public schools in the 1970s in British Columbia became the first introduction of creationism into the public school school science classes in Canadian society, which points to the Creation Science Association of British Columbia or the Creation Science Association of BC as a possible culprit with a founding in 1967.
“Unlike the Abbotsford case, which received considerable media and government scrutiny, other districts enacting such policies received little attention. Indeed, scant evidence exists that creationism was ever taught in public schools,” Story stated, “The Mission School Board introduced creation-instruction to its classrooms in 1976, but there exists little evidence to support rumours that creation instruction was taking place in other schools throughout British Columbia. Further, the policy enacted by the Mission School Board garnered much less controversy than the Abbotsford case. It is unclear as to why one board’s policy went virtually unnoticed…” (2013b). Some reach national consciousness and numerous remain unnoticed in the entire dialogue of the media. Story (Ibid.) speculated pastors, parents, and “unofficial lobbyists” of the region placed these to the table, even though documents remain lacking here (Ibid.) to further corroborate the supposition. One journalist named Lois Sweet took the time to investigate into the findings through interviews with stakeholders “embroiled in the controversy” who, based on research and acumen, proposed the constituents influenced the decisions of the school board, i.e., the Mennonite and Dutch Reform Church community, and, potentially, the development of the Abbotsford School District Origin of Life policy (Ibid.). Sweet (Ibid.) considered fundamentalist Christian advocates as major players in the 1970s for influencing the development of the school board science program “for more than ten years.”
“In late 1980, an Abbotsford resident, Mr. H. Hiebert, began to a campaign to have more creationist materials available to teaching staff in the district,” Story explained, “Feeling that his requests to the board were not satisfactorily addressed, he approached local news outlets and urged residents to make the lack of creation-instruction a concern during the upcoming election of school board trustees” (Ibid.). At the beginning of the 1980s, in 1981, the national organization, the Creation Science Association of Canada, mentioned much earlier, sent a petition to the Education Minister, Brian Smith, with more than 7,000 signatures as a group of concerned citizens over the purported unequal time for a religious philosophy next to a natural philosophy with the Hon. Smith stating both in the classroom may be valuable for the students (Ibid.).,, Intriguingly, the comments from the Education Minister did not spark discussion and the comments went into the aether.
Story (2013b) provided part of the contents of the Origin of Life policy with explicit references to the inability of evolutionary theory or “Divine creation” as capable of explaining the origin of life and so as have “the exclusion of the other view will almost certainly antagonize those parents and/or pupils who hold to the alternative view, all teachers, when discussing and/or teaching the origin of life in the classrooms, are requested to expose students, in as objective a manner as possible, to both Divine creation and the evolutionary concepts of life’s origins.” The inclusion of the theological assertions and the proper biological scientific theory because of an implied fear of antagonizing the parents of children. In 1983 a majority vote provided the grounds for refraining from the teaching of the theory of evolution for teachers alone, this meant the enforced teaching of both creationist and evolution via natural selection in Social Studies 7, Biology 11, and Biology 12 (Ibid.)., Story (Ibid.) stated the resources for the schools, including textbooks and speakers, came from organizations including the Institute for Creation Research found throughout the country and discussed, or mentioned, in earlier sections, but, interestingly, the teachers avoided the origin of life altogether. In a manner of speaking, this became a weird victory for creationists and a loss for science, as the fundamental theory of life sciences was simply avoided due to religiously-based fundamentalism winning the vote in an educational setting in a fundamentalist and sympathetic part of the country (Ibid.). “Fleeting media attention was directed at the policy and its application. Almost a decade later, Abbotsford was thrust back in the media spotlight,” Story said (Ibid.).
The 1990s continued some of the same creationist trends as those in the 1970s and 1980s in Abbotsford as a flash point case of the influence of so-called creation science or, more properly, creation ministry or creationism with more concerted efforts by Robert Grieve, then-director of the Creation Science Association of Canada, with the distribution of letters to Canadian school boards with requests for the presentation of creationism “creation science associations” (Story, 2013c). Several years later, the Creation Science Association of Canada, as was discovered or found out, has been conducting presentations in Abbotsford schools for “a number of years” (Ibid.). Based on the academic reportage of Story (Ibid.), the 1990s became a period of unprecedented, probably, scrutiny of creationism within the public education system in Abbotsford, presenting a problem to the proper education of the children, especially as regards the aforementioned Origin of Life policy stipulated by Abbotsford (Ibid.). Anita Hagan, British Columbia Minister of Education, in 1992, spoke about the issue “with passive interest,” in spite of the fact that “most of the pieces were resoundingly negative” (Ibid.).
Story (2019c) stated, “…the Minister never formally addressed the Abbotsford School Board regarding the policy. Since no formal intervention was being carried out, a group of teachers and parents aided by a science teacher from outside the district, Scott Goodman began to covertly investigate the policy. This examination led the Abbotsford Teachers’ Association to issue a request to the board to review and rescind the policy. This request was ignored.”, The middle of the 1990s, 1995 specifically, became the height of the controversy in Abbotsford over creationism in the schools and its relationship with public policy with the Organization of Advocates in Support of Integrity in Science Education with Scott Goodman and a teachers’ association from the area (Ibid.). They filed an appeal to Art Charbonneau, the Education Minister, where Goodman argued, in an interview at the time, for the importance of secularity of the government, freedom of religion, and the possibility of the attacks of fundamentalist Christianity on the public school curriculum with religious views posed as scientific ones (Ibid.).,
John Sutherland, of Trinity Western University, chaired the Abbotsford school board of the time, which, potentially, shows some relationship between the surrounding areas and the school curriculum and creationism axis – as you may recall Trinity Western University sits in Fort Langley, British Columbia, Canada, next to the city of Abbotsford, British Columbia as an evangelical Christian university (Ibid.). “The Minister agreed with Goodman and the Teachers’ Association and sent a letter requesting assurances from the board that they were adhering to the provincial curriculum…”, Story (Ibid.) explained, “…The Minister’s requests were not directly acknowledged, but Sutherland was vocal about the issue in local media outlets. He accused the Minister of religious prejudice by attempting to remove creationism from the district.”
According to Story, the board did not respond properly to Charbonneau, who then sent a second letter with actionables for the board and recommendations from the Education Minister (Ibid.). One such directive included the amendment of the Origin of Life policy by June 16, 1995 with the cessation of creation science in the educational curricula of the biology classes (Ibid.).,,, The Education Minister of the time stated the efforts of the board were to force the educators to teach religious theory as if scientific theory (Ibid.). Sutherland defended the board; the board mostly shared the position and support of Sutherland, where the theological positions infected the science curriculum posited as scientific ones (Ibid.)., “Sutherland countered accusations that the board was attempting to bring theology into science classrooms by suggesting that learning different theories allowed students to hone critical thinking skills, and that only alternative ‘scientific’ theories were presented to students,” Story said, “Sutherland also pointed out that the community supported creation-science instruction” (Ibid.).,,, An interview with Sutherland, at the time,indicated a personal belief in “alternative schemes” in the interpretation of the data presented to students in the biology classroom with the “random, purposeless, evolutionary hypotheses” as only one among other belief systems (Ibid.).
The drafting of the newer Origin of Life policy took place and references to supernatural creation was removed while leaving one loophole for alternative theories (Ibid.). British Columbia Civil Liberties Association representatives lobbied for the disbandment of the policy while the Minister thought the policy needed further clarification, so the board chad to comply with the requests of the Minister (Ibid.). The main arguments focused on the feelings of marginalization of the Christians within the and outside the community while others viewed the media sensationalizing the entire affair with further people supporting the Ministry who thought fundamentalist Christians influenced the region (Ibid.). These were seen as attempts to force Christianity morality, mores, and ideas on the general culture, not simply in the biology classrooms (Ibid.). “With the final version of the new Origin of Life policy in place, the board forwarded it to Charbonneau and also obtained legal counsel to ensure the policy adhered to the School Act,” Story stated, “In July of 1995, Minister Charbonneau formally rejected the new policy stating that it was, ‘vague and open to various meanings’” (Ibid.). The base claim of religious dogma not permitted in the science classroom, as religious dogma amounts to theology or religious orthodoxy – not science.
According to Story’s coverage of the new curriculum and digging into the documents, the teachers are instructed or guided to teach the proper science while respecting the particular religious beliefs of the students. September 14, 1995 saw the drafting of a new Abbotsford School Board Origin of Life policy stating, “Teachers may find that the evolutionary perspectives of modern biology conflict with the personal beliefs of some of their students; therefore, when teaching this topic in the classroom, teachers should explain to students who have misgivings, that science is only one of the ways of learning about life. Other explanations have been put forth besides those of biological science. However, other viewpoints which are not derived from biological science are not part of the Biology 11/12 curriculum. Biology teachers will instruct only in the Ministry of Education curriculum” (Ibid.). Story claims the mid-1990s was the end of the public discussion on creation in the public schools in Canadian society (Ibid.).
In the present day, circa the 2013 publication in July of the research by Story, the provincial and territorial curriculum guidelines frame the origin of life issue as unsettled through the acknowledge of parents and students who may have questions about the theories in science put forth in the educational setting (Story, 2013d). British Columbia has the only ban on creationism as an “explicit policy” (Ibid.), while New Brunswick does provide language in such a manner so as to allow Intelligent Design a possible way into the curricula (Ibid.). In fact, Ontario stipulates cultural sensitivities as an issue, which may connect to the feeling of siege on the part of some Christians in the jurisdiction (Ibid.). Newfoundland and Labrador explicitly leaves room open for the doubt portion, in relation to “Earth origins, life origins, evolution, etc.” with possible judgment along the lines of value judgments, ethical assessments and religious beliefs” (Ibid.)., Some carryover between the different portions of the contents appears evident in the documents, as analyze by Story (Ibid), as in a permission of discussion and exploration as if legitimate to entertain religious views as science in a biology classroom.
“For the most part, Canada’s education system seems to relegate evolution to upper year elective biology courses. This means that the vast numbers of public high school students are graduating without ever learning about Darwin’s evolutionary theories,” Story (Ibid.) explained, “Quebec is the only province to mandate elementary school teaching of evolutionary. Perhaps then, the critics are right. Canada appears to draw less divisive lines between creationist and evolution instruction as is the case in the United States.” Story (Ibid.) considers the split between the private schools and the public schools within Canadian society in which the public schools exist in a different cultural milieu than the private school system, especially in a nation bound to a largely religious population with the vast majority as Christian – the religious source of creationism in North America, mostly; this does not even mention the “thousands of homeschooled children unrestricted by standard curricula. Story said, “In 2007, a group of Quebec Mennonites moved their families to a small town in Ontario. They did so because the Quebec Ministry of Education had mandated that their small private school must adhere to the provincial curriculum, which included instruction on Darwin’s theory of evolution” (Ibid.).,
A reporter called the private schools private businesses without the necessary certification from the Ontario College of Teachers; in addition, public organizations, e.g., Big Valley Creation Science Museum, opened in the 2000s to compound the issue of proper scientific education in the public and the private schooling systems in the nation followed by the impacts on the general populace as a result (Ibid.)., Religious orthodoxy dominant in the culture infused into the homeschooled educational curricula and bolstered by monuments to public ignorance. Creations acquires a platform unseen in other institutions. Story (Ibid.) stated, “The Social Science and Humanities Research Council, the federal body that rejected the proposal, stated that there was not ‘adequate justification for the assumption in the proposal that the theory of evolution, and not intelligent design, was correct…’ Thus, creationism seems to be an issue that some government institutions would rather not bring into the public consciousness. The refusal to fund such investigations speaks volumes to this being a hot-button topic best avoided.”
Story’s most important point comes in the cultural analysis of the apathy of Canadians in the face of the creationism issue and the proper teaching of the foundations of biological sciences where students come into the postsecondary learning environment with “either no knowledge or very limited knowledge of Darwin’s theory of evolution” providing an insight into the cultural ignorance grounded in the apathetic stances of the public (Ibid.). We can do better.
Post-Apocalyptic Visions: Admission of Mistakes, But Only Under Pressure and After Community Catastrophes
God doesn’t exist, and even if one is a bloody idiot, one finishes up understanding that.
Religious belief is without reason and without dignity, and its record is near-universally dreadful.
I mean I don’t believe: I’m sure there’s no God. I’m sure there’s no afterlife. But don’t call me an atheist. It’s like a losers’ club. When I hear the word atheist, I think of some crummy motel where they’re having a function and these people have nowhere else to go.
Religion was a lie that he had recognized early in life, and he found all religions offensive, considered their superstitious folderol meaningless, childish, couldn’t stand the complete unadultness — the baby talk and the righteousness and the sheep, the avid believers. No hocus-pocus about death and God or obsolete fantasies of heaven for him. There was only our bodies, born to live and die on terms decided by the bodies that had lived and died before us. If he could be said to have located a philosophical niche for himself that was it – he’d come upon it early and intuitively, and however elemental, that was the whole of it. Should he ever write an autobiography, he’d call it The Life and Death of a Male Body.
The final piece was to present it to the world and to make it useful to the world. That was essential to my healing. I survived all of this. I am lucky. I came out on my own two feet with a sense of who I am and a love, and joy, of life. I want that for everyone on the planet.
If my story can help you work through your story in any way, and make you have a more joyful, fulfilling life, then it was worth every bit of suffering for me, for that to happen. That’s really the healing, ultimately. It is the healing we do for each other when we tell our stories because it helps us feel a lot less alone.
We all have these stories to tell. We have all lived through treacherous moments in our lives, great loss, stupidity, joy, and success. We need to share these stories because we connect with each other. The only way we’re going to get through the next 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 years on this planet is by connecting to each other as human beings.
Not ideologies, not profit motives, not how big our bank accounts are, but just humans-to-humans. When we tell our stories, that instantly happens. So, I am very honored to be a member of the tribe that tells the stories of the humans and to have been able to tell my story.
Kelly Marie Carlin-McCall
Canadian schools, fundamentally, avoid or inadequately teach evolution via natural selection in elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools leaving students who proceed to postsecondary education ill-equipped to learn within the biology classes in university, as noted by Douglas Todd (2009).
Fred Edwords, in Dealing With “Scientific” Creationism (n.d.) – a well-informed and well-researched article, stated, “Only with this knowledge can one have some chance of success. One should, in fact, go to great lengths to avoid misrepresenting the creationist position. Paradoxically, one must also go to great lengths to not too easily buy into the creationist definition of the issues. One would do best by seeking to understand accurately what creationists are saying while, at the same time, seeking to learn their hidden motives and agendas.”
The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History provides a good explanation of science and religion, and the demarcation between them (2018):
Science is a way to understand nature by developing explanations for the structures, processes and history of nature that can be tested by observations in laboratories or in the field…
Religion, or more appropriately religions, are cultural phenomena comprised of social institutions, traditions of practice, literatures, sacred texts and stories, and sacred places that identify and convey an understanding of ultimate meaning…
Science depends on deliberate, explicit and formal testing (in the natural world) of explanations for the way the world is, for the processes that led to its present state, and for its possible future… Religions may draw upon scientific explanations of the world, in part, as a reliable way of knowing what the world is like, about which they seek to discern its ultimate meaning. (Ibid.)
Although, as Wyatt Graham, Executive Director of the Gospel Coalition Canada, stated, “There seems to be widespread agreement that the age of the earth is tertiary or non-central point of doctrine among Christians. The impulse to press the doctrine of YEC in the 1950s-1980s has become gentle hum, with Answers in Genesis being an exception to the rule.” (Graham, 2017). He harbours doubts as to the long-term viability of this view, saying, “It is safe to assume that in Canada YEC will decline in popularity. The cultural and theological pressures of those who hold to YEC will slowly erode YEC proponents’ confidence” (Ibid.). Stoyan Zaimov of the Christian Post spoke to the concerns of the decline of creationist beliefs in some countries in the more developed world and the apathy of some Christians and the rebuking by other Christians (2017).
This seems to imply the, based on the statement of Graham, comprehension or eventual admission – with the eventual decline of young earth creationism – in Canadian Christian communities of their forebears believing patent wrong ideas in a purported inerrant and holy text, as continues to happen over history and leaves one critical as to the viability of supposed origin, development, and assertions of the Bible within generations and generations of sincere biblical believers. Still into the present, young earth creationism and old earth creationism continue abated and debated, e.g. “Drs. Albert Mohler (YEC) and John Collins (Old Age Creationist / OEC)” or between “Tim Challies (YEC) and Justin Taylor (OEC)” (Graham, 2017; Carl F.H. Henry Center for Theological Understanding, 2017).
Edwords notes the foundational claims of creationism in multiple forms:
For convenience, I will quote the definition of “creation-science” appearing in Arkansas Act 590.
Creation-science includes the scientific evidences and related inferences that indicate:
- Sudden creation of the universe, energy, and life from nothing;
- The insufficiency of mutation and natural selection in bringing about development of all living kinds from a single organism;
- Changes only within fixed limits of originally created kinds of plants and animals;
- Separate ancestry for man and apes;
- Explanation of the earth’s geology by catastrophism, including the occurrence of a worldwide flood; and
- A relatively recent inception of the earth and living kinds.(n.d.)
As with the British Columbia jurisdictional case of the banning of creationism from the public schools, this has been replicated in other countries including Australia:
The South Australian Non-Government Schools Registration Board has published a new education policy that states it requires the ”teaching of science as an empirical discipline, focusing on inquiry, hypothesis, investigation, experimentation, observation and evidential analysis.” It then goes on to state that it “does not accept as satisfactory a science curriculum in a non-government school which is based on, espouses or reflects the literal interpretation of a religious text in its treatment of either creationism or intelligent design.”
However, Stephen O’Doherty, the chief executive of Christian Schools Australia, said that he believes the intention of the South Australian policy was to ban the teaching of the biblical perspective on the nature of the universe altogether. It was the only such subject singled out, he said.
O’Doherty said the statement by the South Australian Board was too strident, the Herald reports. “Taken literally,” he said, “it means you cannot mention the Bible in science classes.” (Baklinski, 2010).
However, the poor ideas may continue to persist. One difficulty lies in the conspiratorial mindset behind the belief system. Lewandowsky said, “There is growing evidence that indulging in conspiracy theories predisposes people to reject scientific findings, from climate change to vaccinations and AIDS. And researchers have now found that teleological thinking also links beliefs in conspiracy theories and creationism.” In a sense, the conspiratorial mindset rests on a teleological foundation in which the creationist becomes an extreme and explicit case study or the creationism as a theory of the origins of life and the cosmos. Conspiracy theory mindsets provide creationists (Best, 2018). Mehta (2019e) stated:
The good news: Belief in Young Earth Creationism is nearly as low as it’s ever been, and acceptance of evolution by natural selection is at an all-time high!
The bad news: Belief in Young Earth Creationism is still nearly twice as popular as reality.
Unfortunately, if well financed, and if an invalid epistemological belief-building structure, and if sufficient fervor and zeal, then we come to the problems extant in one nation extending into another country, as in the creationist theme park in Hong Kong (Taete, 2019). The Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky remains an – ahem – testament and warning as to the problems inherent in the religious-based conceptualization of the natural world, of the world discovered by science and organized by the theoretical frameworks of scientists (Creation Museum, 2019). They have a life-sized Noah’s Ark and an Eden Zoo. Onward with these problems of education and theology proposed as science, the main concern becomes the proliferation of bad science.
choice for good science is ours if we work where it counts: education.
 The Creation Club [Ed. David Rives Ministries] is an online resource (2016), which lists a large number of creationists for consumption and production of similar materials around the world: David Rives, Sara J. Mikkelson, Cheri Fields, Duane Caldwell, Tom Shipley, Jay Wile, Jay Hall, Vinnie Harned, Dr. Tas Walker, Avery Foley, Bryan Melugin, Karl Priest, Tiffany Denham, Garret Haley, Dr. Jack Burton, Terry Read, Mike Snavely and Carrie Snavely, Caleb LePore, Kate [Loop] Hannon, Russel Grigg, Russ Miller, Dante Duran, Doug Velting, Joseph Mastropaolo, Zachary Bruno, Bob Sorensen, Daniel Currier, Bob Enyart, Steve Schramm, Todd Elder, Dr. Jason Lisle, Walter Sivertsen, Janessa Cooper, Christian Montanez, Peter Schreimer, Todd Wood, Gary Bates, Lindsay Harold, Luke Harned, Wendy MacDonald, Dr. Charles Jackson, Emma Dieterle, Jim Liles, Victoria Bowbottom, Jeff Staddon, Rachel Hamburg, Tim Newton, Dr. Carolyn Reeves, Emory Moynagh, Bill Wise, Richard William Nelson, David Bump, Kally Lyn Horn, Tom Wagner, Mark Finkheimer, Paul Tylor, Jim Brenneman, Benjamin Owen, Steven Martins, Dr. John Hartnett, David Rives, Dr. Jonathan Sarfati, Mark Opheim, Mark Crouch, Salvador Cordova, Jim Gibson, Dr. Edward Boudreaux, Stephanie Clark, Faith P., Sara H., Donnie Chappell, George Maxwelll, Dr. Jerry Bergman, Jonathan Schulz, Albert DeBenedictis, Steve Hendrickson, Pat Mingarelli, Verle Bell, Bill Kolstad, D.S. Causey, Michael J. Oard, Jillene Bailey, NNathan Hutcherson, Tammara Horn, Dr. Andrew Snelling, Geoff Chapman, Philip Bell, Denis Dreves, Len Den Beer, Stella Heart, Joe Taylor, Trooy DeVlieger, Patrick Nurre, Roger Wheelock, David Mikkelson, Douglas Harold, Louie Giglio, Eric Metaxas, and Murry Rives.
 See America’s difficulty with Darwin. (2009, February). History Today, 59(2), 22-28.
 See Armenta, T. & Lane, K. E. (2010). Tennessee to Texas: Tracing the evolution controversy in public education. The Clearing House, 83, 76-79. doi:10.1080/00098651003655811.
 See Larson, E. J. (1997). Summer for the gods: The Scopes trial and America’s continuing debate over science and religion. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
 See Moore, R., Jensen, M., & Hatch. J. (2003). Twenty questions: What have the courts said about the teaching of evolution and creationism in public schools? BioScience, 53(8), 766-771.
 See Armenta, T. & Lane, K. E. (2010). Tennessee to Texas: Tracing the evolution controversy in public education. The Clearing House, 83, 76-79. doi:10.1080/00098651003655811
 See Cameron, A. (2006). An utterly hopeless muddle. The Presbyterian Record, 130(5), 18-21..
 See Noll, M. A. (1992). A history of Christianity in the United States and Canada. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.
 See Barker, J. (2004). Creationism in Canada. In S. Coleman & L. Carlin (Eds.), The cultures of creationism (pp. 85-108). Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing Company.
 See Steffenhagen, J., & Baker, R. (2012, November 8). Humanist wants Abbotsford School District scrutinized for Bible distribution. Abbotsford Times.
 See Gay-friendly course halted by Abbotsford school board. (2008, September 21). The Vancouver Sun.
 See Chahal, S. S. (2002). Nation building and public education in the crossfire: An examination of the Abbotsford School Board’s 1981-1995 Origin of Life policy (Master’s Thesis). Retrieved from https://circle.ubc.ca/handle/2429/16315.
 See Sweet, L. (1997). God in the classroom: The controversial issue of religion in Canada’s schools. Toronto, ON: McClelland & Stewart Inc.
 See Barker, J. (2004). Creationism in Canada. In S. Coleman & L. Carlin (Eds.), The cultures of creationism (pp. 85-108). Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing Company.
 See British Columbia Civil Liberties Association (1995). Comments on the “creation science” movement in British Columbia. Retrieved from http://bccla.org/our_work/comments-on-the-creation-science-movement-in-british-columbia/.
 See Chahal, S. S. (2002). Nation building and public education in the crossfire: An examination of the Abbotsford School Board’s 1981-1995 Origin of Life policy (Master’s Thesis). Retrieved from https://circle.ubc.ca/handle/2429/16315.
 See Ibid.
 See Barker, J. (2004). Creationism in Canada. In S. Coleman & L. Carlin (Eds.), The cultures of creationism (pp. 85-108). Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing Company.
 See British Columbia Civil Liberties Association (1995). Comments on the “creation science” movement in British Columbia. Retrieved from http://bccla.org/our_work/comments-on-the-creation-science-movement-in-british-columbia/.
 See Barker, J. (2004). Creationism in Canada. In S. Coleman & L. Carlin (Eds.), The cultures of creationism (pp. 85-108). Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing Company.
 See Ibid.
 See Ibid.
 See Chahal, S. S. (2002). Nation building and public education in the crossfire: An examination of the Abbotsford School Board’s 1981-1995 Origin of Life policy (Master’s Thesis). Retrieved from https://circle.ubc.ca/handle/2429/16315.
 See Wood, C. (1995). Big bang versus a big being. Maclean’s, 108(24), 14.
 See British Columbia Civil Liberties Association (1995). Comments on the “creation science” movement in British Columbia. Retrieved from http://bccla.org/our_work/comments-on-the-creation-science-movement-in-british-columbia/.
 See Chahal, S. S. (2002). Nation building and public education in the crossfire: An examination of the Abbotsford School Board’s 1981-1995 Origin of Life policy (Master’s Thesis). Retrieved from https://circle.ubc.ca/handle/2429/16315.
 See Todd, D. (1995). Abbotsford teachers want Genesis out of Biology 11 class: Creationism stays, school chair insists. The Vancouver Sun.
 See Chahal, S. S. (2002). Nation building and public education in the crossfire: An examination of the Abbotsford School Board’s 1981-1995 Origin of Life policy (Master’s Thesis). Retrieved from https://circle.ubc.ca/handle/2429/16315.
 See Wood, C. (1995). Big bang versus a big being. Maclean’s, 108(24), 14.
 See Barker, J. (2004). Creationism in Canada. In S. Coleman & L. Carlin (Eds.), The cultures of creationism (pp. 85-108). Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing Company.
 See Wood, C. (1995). Big bang versus a big being. Maclean’s, 108(24), 14.
 See Byfield, T., & Byfield, V. (1995, November 20). Religious dogma is banned in B.C. science classes to make way for irreligious dogma. Alberta Report/Newsmagazine, 36.
 See Chahal, S. S. (2002). Nation building and public education in the crossfire: An examination of the Abbotsford School Board’s 1981-1995 Origin of Life policy (Master’s Thesis). Retrieved from https://circle.ubc.ca/handle/2429/16315.
 See Todd, D. (1995). Abbotsford teachers want Genesis out of Biology 11 class: Creationism stays, school chair insists. The Vancouver Sun.
 See Wood, C. (1995). Big bang versus a big being. Maclean’s, 108(24), 14.
 See Barker, J. (2004). Creationism in Canada. In S. Coleman & L. Carlin (Eds.), The cultures of creationism (pp. 85-108). Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing Company.
 See Sweet, L. (1997). God in the classroom: The controversial issue of religion in Canada’s schools. Toronto, ON: McClelland & Stewart Inc.
 See Ibid.
 See Chahal, S. S. (2002). Nation building and public education in the crossfire: An examination of the Abbotsford School Board’s 1981-1995 Origin of Life policy (Master’s Thesis). Retrieved from https://circle.ubc.ca/handle/2429/16315.
 See British Columbia Ministry of Education (2006). Biology 11 and 12 Integrated Resource Package 2006. [Program of Studies]. Retrieved from http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/irp/pdfs/sciences/2006biology1112.pdf.
 See School District No. 34 – Abbotsford. (1996). Origin of Life. [Curriculum Guide].
 See Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Education. (2004). Biology 3201 Curriculum Guide. Retrieved from http://www.ed.gov.nl.ca/edu/k12/curriculum/guides/science/bio3201/outcomes.pdf.
 See Laidlaw, S. (2007, April 2). Creationism debate continues to evolve. The Toronto Star. Retrieved from http://www.thestar.com/life/2007/04/02/creationism_debate_continues_to_evolve.html.
 See Halfnight, D. (2008, September). Where’s Darwin? The United Church Observer. Retrieved from http://www.ucobserver.org/ethics/2008/09/wheres_darwin/.
 See Alphonso, C. (2007, September 4). Quebec Mennonites moving to Ontario for faith-based teaching. The Globe and Mail. Retrieved from http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/quebec-mennonites-moving-to-ontario-for-faith-based-teaching/article1081765/.
 See Bergen, R. (2007, September 1). Education laws prompt Mennonites to pack bags; Quebec residents move to Ontario so kids can be taught creationism. Times – Colonist.
 See Alphonso, C. (2007, September 4). Quebec Mennonites moving to Ontario for faith-based teaching. The Globe and Mail. Retrieved from http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/quebec-mennonites-moving-to-ontario-for-faith-based-teaching/article1081765/.
 See Dunn, C. (2007, June 5) A Canadian home for creationism. CBC News. [Video file].
 See Halfnight, D. (2008, September). Where’s Darwin? The United Church Observer. Retrieved from http://www.ucobserver.org/ethics/2008/09/wheres_darwin/.
[Matt Walsh]. (2018, October 18). Why I’m Not A Young Earth Creationist | The Matt Walsh Show Ep. 126. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDvCIIuKz28.
Abbass, V. (2014b, February 5). Celebrate Darwin’s Birthday. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2014/02/celebrate-darwins-birthday/.
Abbass, V. (2014a, March 1). The Appropriation of Natural. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2014/03/the-appropriation-of-natural/.
Acadia Divinity College. (2019). Search Results for: creationism. Retrieved from https://acadiadiv.ca/?s=creationism.
Access Research Network. (2019). AccessResearch Network. Retrieved from www.arn.org.
ACLU. (n.d.b). ACLU HISTORY: THE SCOPES ‘MONKEY TRIAL’. Retrieved from https://www.aclu.org/other/aclu-history-scopes-monkey-trial.
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Jacobsen, S.D. (2018e, March 19). An Interview with Dr. Leo Igwe — Founder, Nigerian Humanist Movement. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2018/03/leo-igwe%e2%80%8a/.
Jacobsen, S.D. (2018p, January 29). An Interview with James-Adeyinka Shorungbe — Director, Humanist Assembly of Lagos. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2018/01/james-adeyinka/.
Jacobsen, S.D. (2018i, February 1). An Interview with Kayla Bowen — President, SSA at Morehead State University. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2018/02/kayla-bowen/.
Jacobsen, S.D. (2018j, January 25). An Interview with Professor Michael J. Berntsen — Faculty Advisor, University of North Carolina at Pembroke SSA — Part 3. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2018/01/michael-berntsen%e2%80%8a-2/.
Jacobsen, S.D. (2018f, March 16). An Interview with Ray Zhong — Translator, Amsterdam Declaration. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2018/03/ray-zhong/.
Jacobsen, S.D. (2019a, September 9). And now, a word from our sponsors…. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2019/09/sponsors-jacobsen/.
Jacobsen, S.D. (2018m, December 25). A Secular Women’s History Moment. Retrieved from https://www.newsintervention.com/a-secular-womens-history-moment/.
Jacobsen, S.D. (2019n, January 7). Ask Gretta 1 — World Beyond Belief Through Grace in the Search for Understanding. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2019/01/gretta-1-jacobsen/.
Jacobsen, S.D. (2019o, January 14). Ask Gretta 2 — Expect the Unexpected, and the Expected. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2019/01/gretta-2-jacobsen/.
Jacobsen, S.D. (2019p, January 28). Ask Gretta 3: What Is The Stance of the United Church of Canada on the Resurrection?. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2019/01/ask-gretta-3-jacobsen/.
Jacobsen, S.D. (2019q, February 20). Ask Gretta 4: Why Are Canadians Less Likely To Be Fundamentalists?. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2019/02/ask-gretta-4-jacobsen/.
Jacobsen, S.D. (2019r, March 5). Ask Gretta 5 — Upon This Rock: A Shared Future With Those Still Comforted By Their Religious Beliefs. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2019/03/ask-gretta-5-jacobsen/.
Jacobsen, S.D. (2019s, March 31). Ask Gretta (and Denise) 6 — Atheists and Humanists at the Pulpit: A Tale of Two Freethinkers. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2019/03/ask-gretta-and-denise-7-jacobsen/.
Jacobsen, S.D. (2019e, May 16). Ask Herb 8 — A Hodge-Podge Conjecture: Me Versus Not-Me. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2019/05/ask-herb-8-jacobsen/.
Jacobsen, S.D. (2019u, October 5). Ask Melissa 1–2013 to Infinity: On Creationism in Canada. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2019/10/ask-melissa-1-jacobsen/.
Jacobsen, S.D. (2018o, February 1). Conversation with Atheist Minister Gretta Vosper — Current Context. Retrieved from https://www.patheos.com/blogs/rationaldoubt/2018/02/conversation-atheist-minister-gretta-vosper-current-context/.
Jacobsen, S.D. (2018c, October 15). Conversation with Dr. Gleb Tsipursky — Co-Founder, Pro-Truth Pledge & Intentional Insights. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2018/10/tsipursky-jacobsen/.
Jacobsen, S.D. (2018l, January 9). Discussion with a Tanzanian Eminent Public Figure Who Happened to be a Freethinker. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2018/01/discussion-with-a-tanzanian-eminent-public-figure-who-happened-to-be-a-freethinker/.
Jacobsen, S.D. (2018b, December 18). End of the Year BCHA Interview with Ian Bushfield. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2018/12/bushfield-jacobsen/.
Jacobsen, S.D. (2017b, September). Evolution vs. Creationism via “Scientific American” E-Book. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2017/09/evolution-creationism/.
Jacobsen, S.D. (2018g, February 16). In Conversation with Joyce Arthur — Founder and Executive Director, Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2018/02/arthur/.
Jacobsen, S.D. (2018n, January 12). In Conversation with Atheist Minister Gretta Vosper — Current Context. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2018/01/vosper/.
Jacobsen, S.D. (2019h, January 3). In-Depth Interview with Fredric L. Rice — Co-Founder, The Skeptic Tank. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2019/01/rice-jacobsen/.
Jacobsen, S.D. (2017, November 16). Indefinite Delay in Ecclesiastical Court Hearing for Minister Gretta Vosper. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2017/11/gretta-vosper/.
Jacobsen, S.D. (2019m, January 9). Interview with Ann Reid — Executive Director, National Center for Science Education. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2019/01/interview-with-ann-reid-executive-director-national-center-for-science-education/.
Jacobsen, S.D. (2019k, January 14). Interview with Kristine Klopp — Assistant State Director, American Atheists Alabama. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2019/01/klopp-jacobsen/.
Jacobsen, S.D. (2019i, March 5). Interview with Jim Hudlow — President, Inland Northwest Freethought Society. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2019/03/hudlow-jacobsen/.
Jacobsen, S.D. (2019t, October 2). Interview with Melissa Story on Personal Story and Christian Creationism. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2019/10/story-jacobsen/.
Jacobsen, S.D. (2019c, July 16). Interview with Minister Bruce McAndless-Davis — Minister, Peninsula United Church & Curator, ThirdSpace Community Café. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2019/07/mcandless-davis-jacobsen/.
Jacobsen, S.D. (2019d, June 10). Interview with Luke Douglas — Executive Director, Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2019/06/douglas-jacobsen/.
Jacobsen, S.D. (2019j, January 22). Interview with Patrick Morrow — (New) President, Humanists Atheists and Agnostics of Manitoba. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2019/01/morrow-jacobsen/.
Jacobsen, S.D. (2019f, March 25). Interview with Professor Kenneth Miller — Professor, Brown University. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2019/03/miller-jacobsen/.
Jacobsen, S.D. (2019g, March 7). Interview with Rob Boston — Editor, Church & State (Americans United for Separation of Church and State). Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2019/03/boston-jacobsen/.
Jacobsen, S.D. (2017, October 15). Interview with Roslyn Mould: President of the Humanist Association of Ghana; Chair of the African working group (IHEYO). Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2017/10/roslyn-mould/.
Jacobsen, S.D. (2019, August 29). Interview with Secular Community Member at Baylor University. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2019/08/baylor-jacobsen/.
Jacobsen, S.D. (2018a, December 31). Interview with Tim Mendham — Executive Officer & Editor, Australian Skeptics Inc.. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2018/12/mendham-jacobsen/.
Jacobsen, S.D. (2019l, January 12). Interview with Tim Ward — Assistant State Director, American Atheists Oklahoma. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2019/01/ward-jacobsen/.
Jacobsen, S.D. (2017c, November 5). Payette: It’s a Joke, Folks. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2017/11/payette/.
Jacobsen, S.D. (2019, April 6). See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil: Monkey See, Monkey Do, Monkey Hearsay. Retrieved from https://www.newsintervention.com/evil-jacobsen/.
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Jacobsen, S.D. (2017d, September 30). The Calgary Pride Parade with Christine M. Shellska. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2017/09/the-calgary-pride-parade-with-christine-m-shellska/.
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Peachey, R. (n.d.au). “Big Bang”: The Implausible Explosion!. Retrieved from www.creationbc.org/index.php/big-bang-the-implausible-explosion/.
Peachey, R. (2002, December). “Finding Darwin’s God” — Is It Possible?. Retrieved from https://creationbc.org/index.php/finding-darwins-god-is-it-possible/.
Peachey, R. (2009a, March). “Flat Earthers” — A Half-Baked Charge Against Creationists!. Retrieved from https://creationbc.org/index.php/flat-earthers-a-half-baked-charge-against-creationists/.
Peachey, R. (n.d.bd). “Men of Science — Men of God”. Retrieved from https://creationbc.org/index.php/men-of-science-men-of-god/.
Peachey, R. (n.d.aa). “SADDLE CATNAP”: Ten reasons why the Genesis flood must have been a global event. Retrieved from www.creationbc.org/index.php/saddle-catnap-ten-reasons-why-the-genesis-flood-must-have-been-a-global-event/.
Peachey, R. (n.d.af). “Time is the Hero of the Plot” — in Genesis!. Retrieved from www.creationbc.org/index.php/time-is-the-hero-of-the-plot-in-genesis/.
Peachey, R. (2012c, December). A Simple But Powerful Argument Against Evolution — The Bible Doesn’t Teach It!. Retrieved from https://creationbc.org/index.php/a-simple-but-powerful-argument-against-evolution-the-bible-doesnt-teach-it/.
Peachey, R. (n.d.a). A Smorgasbord of Quotations. Retrieved from https://creationbc.org/index.php/a-smorgasbord-of-quotations/.
Peachey, R. (2006b, June). Altercation at McGill!. Retrieved from https://creationbc.org/index.php/altercation-at-mcgill/.
Peachey, R. (n.d.ar). Are “Vestigial Organs” Valid Evidence of Evolution?. Retrieved from www.creationbc.org/index.php/are-vestigial-organs-valid-evidence-of-evolution/.
Peachey, R. (2007a, June). Arguing from Augustine: Evolutionists Should Give It Up!. Retrieved from https://creationbc.org/index.php/arguing-from-augustine-evolutionists-should-give-it-up/.
Peachey, R. (2005a, June). As a Creationist . . . I Agree with Evolutionists!. Retrieved from https://creationbc.org/index.php/as-a-creationist-i-agree-with-evolutionists/.
Peachey, R. (n.d.x). Bruce Waltke on the Genre of Genesis 1: A Critique. Retrieved from www.creationbc.org/index.php/bruce-waltke-on-the-genre-of-genesis-1-a-critique/.
Peachey, R. (n.d.av). Can Scientists Create “Life” in a Test Tube?. Retrieved from www.creationbc.org/index.php/can-scientists-create-life-in-a-test-tube/.
Peachey, R. (n.d.aw). Chemical Evolution: The Problem Of Improbable Proteins. Retrieved from www.creationbc.org/index.php/chemical-evolution-the-problem-of-improbable-proteins/.
Peachey, R. (n.d.s). Christ’s View of the Bible. Retrieved from www.creationbc.org/index.php/christs-view-of-the-bible/.
Peachey, R. (2004, March). Classic Defense of Genesis. Retrieved from https://creationbc.org/index.php/classic-defense-of-genesis/.
Peachey, R. (2006a, March). Creation, Evolution, and Speed-of-Light Problems. Retrieved from https://creationbc.org/index.php/creation-evolution-and-speed-of-light-problems/.
Peachey, R. (2014c, December). Criticizing The Creator — And Calling It “Science”!. Retrieved from https://creationbc.org/index.php/criticizing-the-creator-and-calling-it-science/.
Peachey, R. (2009d, September 24). Darwin’s Depressing Idea. Retrieved from https://creationbc.org/index.php/darwins-depressing-idea/.
Peachey, R. (2009l, November 20). Darwin’s Favourite Evidence: Fraudulent!. Retrieved from https://creationbc.org/index.php/darwins-favourite-evidence-fraudulent/.
Peachey, R. (2006d, December). Darwinism = Atheism!. Retrieved from https://creationbc.org/index.php/darwinism-atheism/.
Peachey, R. (n.d.al). Darwin’s Use of Lamarck’s “Laws”. Retrieved from www.creationbc.org/index.php/darwins-use-of-lamarcks-laws/.
Peachey, R. (2009f, October 9). David: About that Opinion Piece . . .. Retrieved from https://creationbc.org/index.php/david-about-that-opinion-piece/.
Peachey, R. (2009j, November 6). David’s Disappointing Diatribe: A Rejoinder. Retrieved from https://creationbc.org/index.php/davids-disappointing-diatribe-a-rejoinder/.
Peachey, R. (2009b, September 10). Dawkins and Design. Retrieved from https://creationbc.org/index.php/dawkins-and-design/.
Peachey, R. (n.d.d). Debate: “Evolution versus Creation: War of the Worldviews!”. Retrieved from https://creationbc.org/index.php/debate-evolution-versus-creation-war-of-the-worldviews/.
Peachey, R. (n.d.c). Did We Quote Dawkins Properly? — A Blog Interaction. Retrieved from https://creationbc.org/index.php/did-we-quote-dawkins-properly-a-blog-interaction/.
Peachey, R. (n.d.e). Do Creationists Oppose “All of Science”?. Retrieved from https://creationbc.org/index.php/do-creationists-oppose-all-of-science/.
Peachey, R. (n.d.f). Do Evolutionists Avoid the Terms “Macroevolution” and “Microevolution”?. Retrieved from https://creationbc.org/index.php/do-evolutionists-avoid-the-terms-macroevolution-and-microevolution/.
Peachey, R. (2005c, September). Do Examples of “Microevolution” Provide Support for Macroevolution?. Retrieved from https://creationbc.org/index.php/do-examples-of-microevolution-provide-support-for-macroevolution/.
Peachey, R. (2014a, March). Do You Believe in Magic? — A Blog Interaction. Retrieved from https://creationbc.org/index.php/do-you-believe-in-magic-a-blog-interaction/.
Peachey, R. (2014b, June). Does “Creation Science” Equal “Belief in the Bible as the Word of God”?. Retrieved from https://creationbc.org/index.php/does-creation-science-equal-belief-in-the-bible-as-the-word-of-god/.
Peachey, R. (2010d, December). Eight Pillars: A Biblical/Christian Approach to the Origins Controversy. Retrieved from https://creationbc.org/index.php/eight-pillars-a-biblicalchristian-approach-to-the-origins-controversy/.
Peachey, R. (2009g, October 16). ev•o•lu•tion (evil — you — shun) n.. Retrieved from https://creationbc.org/index.php/evolution-evil-you-shun-n/.
Peachey, R. (n.d.ac). Evolution and the Bible: A Blog Interaction. Retrieved from www.creationbc.org/index.php/evolution-and-the-bible-a-blog-interaction/.
Peachey, R. (2009k, November 13). Evolution’s Biggest Problem!. Retrieved from https://creationbc.org/index.php/evolutions-biggest-problem/.
Peachey, R. (2012b, September). Evolutionary Thinking leads to Retarded Science. Retrieved from https://creationbc.org/index.php/evolutionary-thinking-leads-to-retarded-science/.
Peachey, R. (2009c, September 17). Evolutionists and E x t r a p o l a t i o n. Retrieved from https://creationbc.org/index.php/evolutionists-and-e-x-t-r-a-p-o-l-a-t-i-o-n/.
Peachey, R. (n.d.ae). Explaining Away the Genesis “Days” — Two Favourite Techniques (an email exchange). Retrieved from www.creationbc.org/index.php/explaining-away-the-genesis-days-two-favourite-techniques-an-email-exchange/.
Peachey, R. (n.d.ba). False, Flawed, and Unrepeatable — How “Science” is Losing its Aura. Retrieved from www.creationbc.org/index.php/false-flawed-and-unrepeatable-how-science-is-losing-its-aura/.
Peachey, R. (n.d.t). Five Arguments for Genesis 1 and 2 as Straightforward Historical Narrative. Retrieved from www.creationbc.org/index.php/five-arguments-for-genesis-1-and-2-as-straightforward-historical-narrative/.
Peachey, R. (n.d.v). Five Arguments for Genesis 1 and 2 as Straightforward Historical Narrative. Retrieved from https://creationbc.org/index.php/five-arguments-for-genesis-1-and-2-as-straightforward-historical-narrative/.
Peachey, R. (n.d.z). Four Reasons Why You Can’t Believe Both Genesis And Evolution At The Same Time. Retrieved from www.creationbc.org/index.php/four-reasons-why-you-cant-believe-both-genesis-and-evolution-at-the-same-time/.
Peachey, R. (2008a, March). Genesis 2:4 and the Meaning of “Day” in Genesis 1. Retrieved from https://creationbc.org/index.php/genesis-24-and-the-meaning-of-day-in-genesis-1/.
Peachey, R. (2010, March). HOLES IN EVOLUTION! (as described by my university Invertebrate Zoology textbook). Retrieved from https://creationbc.org/index.php/holes-in-evolution-as-described-by-my-university-invertebrate-zoology-textbook/.
Peachey, R. (n.d.bc). How a Literal Understanding of Genesis Promoted the Rise of Modern Science!. Retrieved from https://creationbc.org/index.php/how-a-literal-understanding-of-genesis-promoted-the-rise-of-modern-science/.
Peachey, R. (2008b, June). How Darwinism Contributed to Modern Views on Abortion, Infanticide, and Euthanasia. Retrieved from https://creationbc.org/index.php/darwinism-contributed-modern-views-abortion-infanticide-euthanasia/.
Peachey, R. (2005b, June). How Evolutionists Ought to Teach Evolution. Retrieved from https://creationbc.org/index.php/how-evolutionists-ought-to-teach-evolution/.
Peachey, R. (2013a, June). How to Argue Against the Obvious Meaning of “Day” in Genesis 1. Retrieved from https://creationbc.org/index.php/how-to-argue-against-the-obvious-meaning-of-day-in-genesis-1/.
Peachey, R. (n.d.w). How Was Genesis Composed?. Retrieved from www.creationbc.org/index.php/how-was-genesis-composed/.
Peachey, R. (2003b, September). Is a “Day” Really a Day in Genesis 1? Here’s What the Hebrew Scholars Say!. Retrieved from https://creationbc.org/index.php/is-a-day-really-a-day-in-genesis-1-heres-what-the-hebrew-scholars-say/.
Peachey, R. (2010a, March). Is Evolution Really So Central to Biology?. Retrieved from https://creationbc.org/index.php/is-evolution-really-so-central-to-biology/.
Peachey, R. (n.d.u). Is Genesis Poetry? (response to a high school student). Retrieved from www.creationbc.org/index.php/is-genesis-poetry-response-to-a-high-school-student/.
Peachey, R. (n.d.ad). If Jesus Was Wrong: The Implications. Retrieved from www.creationbc.org/index.php/if-jesus-was-wrong-the-implications/.
Peachey, R. (n.d.aq). Is Peripatus a Valid Evolutionary Intermediate?. Retrieved from www.creationbc.org/index.php/is-peripatus-a-valid-evolutionary-intermediate/.
Peachey, R. (2009m, November 27). Let’s Be Realistic: You Can’t Logically Have it Both Ways!. Retrieved from https://creationbc.org/index.php/lets-be-realistic-you-cant-logically-have-it-both-ways/.
Peachey, R. (n.d.az). Life On Mars?. Retrieved from www.creationbc.org/index.php/life-on-mars/.
Peachey, R. (n.d.ak). Major Nineteenth Century Theories of Evolution: Lamarck and Darwin. Retrieved from www.creationbc.org/index.php/major-nineteenth-century-theories-of-evolution-lamarck-and-darwin/.
Peachey, R. (n.d.am). Major Twentieth Century Theories of Evolution: The Neo-Darwinian Synthesis and Punctuated Equilibrium. Retrieved from www.creationbc.org/index.php/major-twentieth-century-theories-of-evolution-the-neo-darwinian-synthesis-and-punctuated-equilibrium/.
Peachey, R. (2009n, December 4). Medieval “Flat Earth” Belief: Another Evolutionist Fallacy!. Retrieved from https://creationbc.org/index.php/medieval-flat-earth-belief-another-evolutionist-fallacy/.
Peachey, R. (n.d.ax). Mistaken Microfossils! (And Other Erroneous Evidence of Early Earthlife). Retrieved from www.creationbc.org/index.php/mistaken-microfossils-and-other-erroneous-evidence-of-early-earthlife/.
Peachey, R. (n.d.y). Nine Reasons Why the “Days” in Genesis 1 Must Be Understood as Normal (24-Hour) Days. Retrieved from www.creationbc.org/index.php/nine-reasons-why-the-days-in-genesis-1-must-be-understood-as-normal-24-hour-days/.
Peachey, R. (n.d.as). Not “Junk”!. Retrieved from www.creationbc.org/index.php/not-junk/.
Peachey, R. (n.d.j). Noted Atheist Critiques Neo-Darwinism!. Retrieved from https://creationbc.org/index.php/noted-atheist-critiques-neo-darwinism/.
Peachey, R. (2010b, June). On Being Labeled “Extreme”. Retrieved from https://creationbc.org/index.php/on-being-labeled-extreme/.
Peachey, R. (2009h, October 23). On Restoring Science to its “Rightful Place”. Retrieved from https://creationbc.org/index.php/on-restoring-science-to-its-rightful-place/.
Peachey, R. (n.d.bb). Personalities in the Evolution/Creation Conflict. Retrieved from https://creationbc.org/index.php/personalities-in-the-evolutioncreation-conflict/.
Peachey, R. (n.d.i). PhD Study Finds: Evolution is Incompatible with God!. Retrieved from https://creationbc.org/index.php/phd-study-finds-evolution-is-incompatible-with-god/.
Peachey, R. (n.d.ay). Planet Earth — A Well-Designed Place to Live!. Retrieved from www.creationbc.org/index.php/planet-earth-a-well-designed-place-to-live/.
Peachey, R. (n.d.ah). Pluperfect: The Right Solution for the Genesis 2:19 “Problem”. Retrieved from www.creationbc.org/index.php/pluperfect-the-right-solution-for-the-genesis-219-problem/.
Peachey, R. (n.d.ai). Positive Scientific Evidence for Creation!. Retrieved from www.creationbc.org/index.php/positive-scientific-evidence-for-creation/.
Peachey, R. (2011b, September). Resisting an Overused Argument for Evolution (Antibiotic Resistance in Bacteria). Retrieved from https://creationbc.org/index.php/resisting-an-overused-argument-for-evolution-antibiotic-resistance-in-bacteria/.
Peachey, R. (n.d.o). Response to Governor General Julie Payette. Retrieved from www.creationbc.org/index.php/response-to-governor-general-julie-payette/.
Peachey, R. (n.d.m). Response to Spencer Boersma’s article “Why Genesis One Does Not Teach Creationism”. Retrieved from https://creationbc.org/index.php/response-to-spencer-boersmas-article-why-genesis-one-does-not-teach-creationism/.
Peachey, R. (2015a, March). Right-Handed Amino Acids: Can They Smack Down the Evolutionist’s Chirality Problem?. Retrieved from https://creationbc.org/index.php/right-handed-amino-acids-can-they-smack-down-the-evolutionists-chirality-problem/.
Peachey, R. (n.d.be). Science: Child of the Biblical Worldview. Retrieved from https://creationbc.org/index.php/science-child-of-the-biblical-worldview/.
Peachey, R. (n.d.ap). Sickle-Cell Anemia: Example of a “Beneficial Mutation”?. Retrieved from www.creationbc.org/index.php/sickle-cell-anemia-example-of-a-beneficial-mutation/.
Peachey, R. (1999, September). Sir John William Dawson: A Great Canadian Creationist. Retrieved from https://creationbc.org/index.php/sir-john-william-dawson-a-great-canadian-creationist/.
Peachey, R. (2005d, December). The “Big Bang” Explains Nothing!. Retrieved from https://creationbc.org/index.php/the-big-bang-explains-nothing/.
Peachey, R. (2015d, September). The Bible & The Shape of the Earth — A Blog Exchange. Retrieved from https://creationbc.org/index.php/the-bible-the-shape-of-the-earth-a-blog-exchange/.
Peachey, R. (n.d.n). The British Monarchy: Contrived History?. Retrieved from https://creationbc.org/index.php/the-british-monarchy-contrived-history/.
Peachey, R. (n.d.b). The Coffee News Ads. Retrieved from https://www.creationbc.org/index.php/the-coffee-news-ads/.
Peachey, R. (2007b, September). The Eight E’s of Evolution!. Retrieved from https://creationbc.org/index.php/the-eight-es-of-evolution/.
Peachey, R. (n.d.ao). The Galápagos Finches: Prime Example of Evolution?. Retrieved from www.creationbc.org/index.php/the-galapagos-finches-prime-example-of-evolution/.
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