Creation Science and Henry M Morris

The Genesis of Creation Science. Henry M. Morris is widely considered the father of the twentieth-century movement known as creation science. Morris was trained as a hydraulic engineer and began his career as a creationist with the publication in 1946 of his first book, That You Might Believe, written while he was an instructor at Rice University during World War II. In graduate school, he revised the book, which was then issued as The Bible and Modern Science (1951). In these early efforts, Morris, a self-proclaimed biblical literalist, promoted a recent six-day (twenty-four hours per day) creation, and a literal, historical flood, but he additionally claimed that special creationism can be supported by the facts and theories of science. Although both of these books are still in print and continue to sell, the modern creation science movement crystallized in 1961 with the publication of Morris's book The Genesis Flood, written with the theologian John Whitcomb.

Like Morris's previous works, The Genesis Flood argued that Noah's Flood could explain most modern geological features, a view that had originally been popularized by the early twentieth-century Seventh-Day Adventist geologist George McCready Price (Numbers 2006). Termed flood geology, this view became the core of the new movement called creation science.

Morris provided the scientific references and Whitcomb provided the theological arguments. The book's mix of theology and science is characteristic of creation science, and it continues to be widely read in evangelical and fundamentalist circles. The Genesis Flood proposed that there is scientific evidence that Earth is less than ten thousand years old, and that evolution was therefore impossible. This view became known as young-Earth creationism. Fundamentalists were eager to claim scientific support for their religious views and use it to "balance" the teaching of evolution.

Morris worked tirelessly to strengthen the evangelical antievolutionist movement. To promote scientific research supporting the young age of Earth and universe, the special creation of all living things, and Noah's Flood, he worked with a group of conservative Christian scientists to found the Creation Research Society (CRS) in 1963, soon after the publication of The Genesis Flood. Creation Research Society Quarterly (CRSQ) began publishing shortly thereafter, in 1964. Although in the early days, the board included some non-flood geology proponents, the CRS eventually evolved into a young-Earth organization. The CRS requires all voting members to sign a statement of belief; this reveals the essentially religious orientation of the organization, as scientific societies do not hold members to faith statements regarding salvation. Reflecting the special creationist and YEC orientation of Morris and other influential founders, the statement includes the following provisions (emphases in the original):

1. The Bible is the written Word of God, and because it is inspired throughout, all its assertions are historically and scientifically true in the original autographs. To the student of nature this means that the account of origins in Genesis is a factual presentation of simple historical truths.

2. All basic types of living things, including man, were made by direct creative acts of God during the Creation Week described in Genesis. Whatever biological changes have occurred since Creation Week have accomplished only changes within the original created kinds.

3. The great flood described in Genesis, commonly referred to as the Noachian Flood, was an historic event worldwide in its extent and effect.

4. We are an organization of Christian men and women of science who accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. The account of the special creation of Adam and Eve as one man and one woman and their subsequent fall into sin is the basis for our belief in the necessity of a Savior for all mankind. Therefore, salvation can come only through accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior.

Tenets of Creation Science. Special creationism is a religious view accepted in whole or in part by many American Christians (see chapter 3). Creation science reflects special creationism in that it professes that the universe came into being in its present form relatively suddenly, over a period of days rather than billions of years. The galaxies, Earth, and living things on Earth appeared during six twenty-four-hour days of creation, according to this view. Creation science, as outlined by Henry M. Morris, also proposes that the universe is young, with its age reckoned in the thousands rather than the billions or even millions of years. Creation science includes these ideas derived from special creationism but adds that this account of creation can be supported with scientific data and theory: its proponents do not consider creation science to be limited to a religious view.

Creation science argues that there are only two views, special creationism and evolution; thus, arguments against evolution are arguments in favor of creationism.

Literature supporting creation science thus centers on alleged examples of evidence "against" evolution, which are considered not only disproof of evolution but also positive evidence for creationism. As you will read later, evidence against evolution comprises the bulk of the creationist canon, it being difficult to amass empirical data in support of special creation.

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