Monday, September 15, 2008
Trouble in Paradise
Well, maybe not paradise ... but it is the home of Charles Darwin and the place where the theory of evolution, now accepted as the bedrock of biology, originated in earnest.
According to the BBC, Britain now has its own creationism museum, though there's no word whether it matches America's monument to the waste of money.
Museum curator Ross Rosevear describes himself as a "Young Earth" creationist, who believes that the earth was created in six days "less than 10,000 years ago."
Standing before the museum's prize exhibit - a mock gravestone inscribed: "Here lies the Theory of Evolution" - he rejects as "unreliable" the scientific tests that fix the age of the earth at more than four billion years. While he concedes his convictions are intimately connected with his Christian faith, he insists the evidence presented in the displays could convince even non-believers of the "fatal flaws" in Darwin's theory of evolution.
"All we are saying is that it is not unreasonable to present an alternative explanation of how life began," he says.
A 2006 survey for the BBC found that more than a fifth of those polled were convinced by the creationist argument. Less than half - 48% - chose evolution.
There is no question that creationism is growing. It is increasingly well funded, and well organised.
The Rev Greg Haslam, who preaches the creationist Christian creed to his 400-strong congregation at Westminster Chapel in London, welcomes the determination of Muslims to impart a religious-based view of the world.
... "I believe the current debate over creationism versus evolution is beginning to draw more and people over to our side of the argument
"The materialist explanation of the creation has nothing to offer - if we came from nothing and go into nothing, then that encourages people to lead reckless and materialistic lifestyles.
"Evolution is a world-view that leads to futility. It's no wonder people are dissatisfied with it."