Saturday, July 20, 2002

Creationists gather today

Dinosaurs subject of discussion

By Cindy Schroeder,
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        UNION — As children create models of dinosaurs, their parents can search for Biblical references to the giant creatures at a weekend conference hosted by a pro-Creationist ministry that vows to “defend scripture from the very first verse.”

[photo] The site of the Answers in Genesis Creation Museum in Boone County is being graded.
(Patrick Reddy photo)
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        Organizers of the program running today and Sunday at Big Bone Baptist Church in Union say the Answers in Genesis family conference is expected to draw between 500 and 600 people within a day's drive of the Tristate. They say it is part of an ongoing series of family conferences that the 8-year-old nonprofit ministry — now building a 50,000-square-foot museum in Hebron — has offered throughout the country to “give (believers) arguments to help debunk evolution.”

        Answers in Genesis followers believe the Earth's creatures were created by God and were not the result of an evolutionary process as espoused by scientists such as Charles Darwin.

        “Our purpose is to equip Christians to be able to defend Christianity against the evolutionary ideas (or) secular ideas that challenge the Bible,” said Ken Ham, executive director of Answers in Genesis and the conference's keynote speaker. He said organizers will present what they believe is the factual account of the history of the world as presented in Genesis, the first book of the Old Testament.

        Like those who promote Intelligent Design, Answers in Genesis followers believe that all life was the result of a creator. However, they carry that theory further, in that they maintain the creator “is the God of the Bible and you can trust the God of the Bible,” Mr. Ham said.

        With the help of the writings of “Scriptural Geologists,” Terry Mortenson, a full-time lecturer with Answers in Genesis who has degrees in theology and geology, will attempt to show that dinosaurs walked the Earth with man.

        Arnold Miller, a professor of geology at the University of Cincinnati, challenged participants to “go out and examine the evidence themselves,” rather than allow others to interpret the evidence for them.

        “I'm all for Answers in Genesis having every opportunity to say what they want,” Mr. Miller said. “But I would challenge anyone who goes to this conference to demand direct positive evidence that the creation of life took place over six days in 4004 B.C. or whatever they say. People should ask, "What's the evidence? Let's hear it.'

        “It's one thing to provide misleading characterizations in scientific debates. It's another to say that the answers (to issues such as how life began) really are in Genesis.”


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