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However, the longer I listened the clearer it became that creationism is not about science. It's about morality. Specifically, creationists worry that biological evolution undermines people's moral beliefs, leading to lawlessness, family breakdown, homosexuality, pornography, and abortion. The real heart of creationism is existential dread.
Philip Bell, former British cancer researcher and now fulltime creationist, in his talk "Ape Men, 'Missing Links' and the Bible," explains, "If Adam is your ancestor then you were created specially and have a purpose in life. If evolution is true, we are descended from ape-like animals with no morality, no aesthetic sensibility and no soul." If evolution were true, Bell tells the conferees, then "you would have no purpose for your existence."
In his welcoming remarks, the Reverend Jerry Falwell similarly declares, "If we don't understand the young earth and how God created it in six 24-hour days, then our values are skewed. If we believe that we evolved from a blob of protoplasm, we have zero values then... If we evolved, then there was no Fall in the Garden and there is no sin and no need for redemption and Christ's death was unnecessary and meaningless."
But there is hope according to Falwell, "I recall the election in 2004. Hollywood was against us. The media were against us. The universities were against us. And despite them all the church of Jesus Christ put George W. Bush back in the White House. We're on the winning side; we are going to win because we have the truth. We have the inerrant word of God. We have the Genesis account of Creation. The biblical account is the believable one. The creation debate is being won."
Given recent polls, I fear that the Reverend Falwell may well be right.
Tomorrow I will report on such topics as "Hubble, Bubble, Big Bang in Trouble" and "Fossils, the Flood and the Age of the Earth."