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The following article by Ken Walker is from The Christian News, March 23, 1998:

Those who believe God created the earth have wasted time criticizing evolutionists instead of developing heir own theories, according to a noted Christian scientist.

"Some creationists have been on an evolution-bashing spree the last few decades," said Kurt Wise, director of origins research at Bryan College, Dayton, Tenn. "They don't know what the (creation) model says and what they believe."

Wise, who holds a doctorate in paleontology from Harvard, was one of the speakers for "Origins '98." Funded by a $5,000 grant from an anonymous donor, organizers hope the creationism conference will become an annual event.

Though a small, private Christian college, Bryan attracts considerable attention because of its ties to the historic Scopes trial held in Dayton in 1925.

The trial, which focused on a Tennessee law outlawing the teaching of evolution, drew more than 100 reporters from around the nation and was the first trial ever broadcast over radio. The college opened in 1930 as a memorial to William Jennings Bryan, former presidential hopeful and U.S. secretary of state who helped argue the prosecution's case.

The inaugural conference February 26-28 got off to a good start: Organizers had hoped for a turn-out of 100; instead, more than 200 came from 13 states, some from as far away as Wisconsin, Michigan and St. Louis.

The opening sessions concentrated on exploring creation's theological aspects and how evolution has helped dramatically alter society's outlook in recent decades.

"This is not a debate between evolution and creation, although it seems like that," said Bryan College President Bill Brown. "It's much deeper than that. Which interpretation is correct? There are many theories that seem to fit the evidence. That's why we're striving for truth.

"The key issue in origins is the chasm between naturalists and those who say Cod created everything," Brown said. 'Your worldview will determine how you view the evidence. Being a Christian does not take away one's ability to interpret the data."

In the first of his four speeches, Wise--who studied under leading Harvard evolutionist Stephen M. Jay Gould--explained why young-age origins represent a watershed issue.

While many believe in both God's creation and evolution as a way of explaining earth's development, the associate professor of science said the two views cannot be reconciled.

Displaying a fossil chart showing sea animals and other creatures preceding humans, Wise said if evolutionary theory were valid, death would have predated the fall of Adam and Eve. That just doesn't square with the Bible's explanation that death and disease were a consequence of their sin, he said. IF THE EARTH IS OLD, THEN THE FIRST 11 CHAPTERS OF GENESIS MUST BE REJECTED, HE SAID, AS WELL AS CHRIST'S STATEMENTS AND CHRISTIAN DOCTRINES OF ESCHATOLOGY.

"If the earth is old, God is not the Christian God," Wise said. "There isn't anything true about what you and I believe. Who will you believe? Man or God?"

However, before the weekend concluded, Wise and others presented a string of arguments in favor of a young earth.

Workshops on post-flood geology; radiometric dating, geological classification and a literal, six-day creation reviewed this perspective.

In addition, Wise presented a slide show on changes since the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens. He said it points to an earth that is thousands of years old, not millions.

Two events at the Washington volcano demonstrate how the changes in the earth could have occurred much faster than evolutionists theorize, he said.

--The formation of a 100-foot-deep "Little Grand Canyon" near the mountain in 1992. Its topography is similar to the Badlands and it contains a rapidly cut river valley that follows the same zigzag pattern as the Colorado River, he said.

--The nine-year development of a swamp and an "amazingly mature" plant community and hot springs in a nearby valley. Wise, who did his undergraduate studies at the University of Chicago, said he once learned that such phenomena supposedly require thousands of years.

"What I was taught in geology was blown away by Mount St. Helens," he said. Others cautioned against trying to accommodate theories that the earth is billions of years old in hopes of gaining credibility with evolutionists.

"I've heard every attempt to do that," said Danny Faulkner, who teaches physics and astronomy at the University of South Carolina. "Can you do it in biblically faithful fashion? I don't think so. It doesn't make scientists respect you and it doesn't help creationists."

Faulkner also warned against accepting the "Big Bang" theory. Recalling how few scientific theories have survived from a century ago, he asked, "When the Big Bang goes down, what happens to your apologetics? They're gone."


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