Thursday, April 30, 2009

When Creationists Can't Get Along

David Nason of The Australian reports on the settlement of a court battle royale, in which young earth creationists Carl Wieland and Ken Ham squared off. It is the stuff of tabloids:
In dispute were issues of breached copyright, duelling magazines, stolen mailing lists and how best to spread the creationist gospel. But details of the settlement are confidential, making it difficult to say exactly what this battle of biblical proportions finally achieved.

At least one thing seems clear: doing God's work can be messy business, even when your faith is the simple fairytale kind found in the Book of Genesis.

Closer to home, Dan Horn of The Kentucky Enquirer also has a story about the battle. He writes:
Much of the dispute centered on the soured personal and professional relationship between Carl Wieland, the founder of Creation Ministries, and Ken Ham, the leader of Answers in Genesis and the driving force behind the $27 million Creation Museum off Interstate 275 in Petersburg.

The two tried to settle their differences through a Christian mediator, but those efforts failed and the court fight was under way by 2005.

The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati ordered the rivals to arbitration in February in a decision that described the fight as a power struggle for control of the creationist message.

"control of the creationist message." Let's think about that for a minute...I have personally never heard of one scientist taking another scientist to court over how to present the message of biological evolution. Now it is true that one scientist from time to time will swipe data from someone else, but that person usually gets marginalized quickly and it has nothing to do with how the science is presented. From a cursory perspective, the message that AIG presents and the one that CMI presents look almost identical.

A trip to CMI revealed, for example, a paper by Raymond Hall titled Darwin’s impact—the bloodstained legacy of evolution, which trots out the same fictions about how Darwin influenced the leading lights of despotism of the twentieth century. About Josef Stalin, he writes:
A friend later said Stalin became an atheist after reading Darwin. He was expelled from the college at 19 because of his revolutionary connections. After understanding that evolution provided no basis for conscience or morals, he felt free to torture and murder to whatever extent he chose to achieve his communist goals.
Talk about your low-hanging fruit. A read of ANY textbook on the history of the twentieth century will reveal that Stalin rejected Darwinian evolution in favor of Lamarckian evolution—promoted by Trofim Lysenko and that this set Soviet agriculture back fifty years. One wonders if these people do any research before they write these columns?

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