The Creationism Road Trip

Though it is longish, this report by Phil Robinson on his adventures with an anti-creationist documentary-making team from the BBC is both entertaining and revealing.

Creationism Road Trip

Christians would be well-served to read it. I commend Phil for his stand for the Lord and truth in the face of overwhelming “academic” hostility and mockery.  Even the Hugh Ross neo-apologists over at the Christian Apologetic Alliance would benefit with reading it.

The basic summary of the article is that last summer the BBC arranged for a team of documentarians to gather together a group of folks who were “doubting the theory of evolution” and believed that science is unable to satisfactory explain how life came to be. The group consisted of 4 Christians and a devout Muslim. A “comedian entertainer” from Ireland was the host. They were brought to the U.S. where they were given the opportunity to encounter top evolutionists like Jerry Coyne and Donald Prothero.

The film makers pitched the project to the participants as an opportunity to meet a variety of individuals who were experts in their fields of study and who could discuss and debate these subjects. The documentary was supposed to be balanced, but as is typical with these sort of things, the film-makers misled the participants, ignored any ID or creationist experts in the same fields of study, and selectively edited important segments. They essentially turned the final product into an anti-creationist propaganda piece.

Most revealing, and entertaining, is Phil’s reporting on the dishonesty of the film-makers, as well as the odd-ball, anti-theistic beliefs of the evolutionary experts.  A number of them are notorious for their strident atheism, and as they presented their case the true nature of their worldview came seeping out.  The most notable one standing out to me was professor Michael Russell and his cosmological mysticism that suggests the universe has a will of its own and intentionally directed the evolution of man.

My suggestion for CMI is to make a similar documentary, but get some atheist-theistic evolutionist antagonists to road trip around and visit with some creationist experts. Take them to the Grand Canyon with Andrew Snelling, or maybe visit with John Sanford or Kurt Wise. There has got to be some who would relish the chance.

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17 thoughts on “The Creationism Road Trip

  1. Wow! That was revealing! It sounds like Phil did a great job representing the truth and did so in Christ honoring way.

  2. Kudos to Phil.

    Unfortunately Fred, it’s not only, not surprising, but really to be expected. Look at the animosity displayed in another thread here on your blog, by a professing Christian nonetheless, towards GotQuestions.org and Creation.com. I’m not talking about just disagreeing with them; I’m talking about the outright animosity. If professing Christians feel this way about such organizations, whose crime is apparently trying to put God’s word first, just think of what is bottled up inside the unbeliever pretending to neutral.

  3. I recently read a thread at Jerry Coyne’s blog in which Paul Nelson was practically vilified as evil incarnate and I wouldn’t exactly place him among fellow YECers at CMI, AIG or ICR. You had to commend him for even being willing to place himself in the direct line of fire with virtually no supporters. There is more rabid hatred for YEC than I think for any other Biblically controversial position believers take.

  4. This is timely, and I think this seems to be the hot button for those who believe the Bible teaches God’s sovereignty in man’s salvation i.e. Calvinist and Reformed part of the evangelical Protestantism. Don'[t make me wrong: they are very good at sticking to the cross as the savation and all confirm the Fall did take place (but how it took place is something most ham and hew about). None of the Reformed/half-Reformed in this part of the world are six day creationists. Case in point is we have Phillip Jensen and John Dickson who are both firmly theistic evolutionists. The best you get are those who are agnostic towards creationism.

    It is not much better in North America either. R.C. Sproul Jr is old earth creationist, so is Tim Keller. People in The Gospel Coalition such as D.A. Carson and Kevin deYoung are not six day creationists. Bruce Waltke is theistic evolutionist. Even Michael Horton and Kim Riddlebarger agree with the framework theory of Genesis 1, which means they are not dogmatic that six day creation was there (although evidences point out they are six day creationists).

    I understand there’s no big names in the UK that support six day creation. Have a look at this article:

    http://www.newcalvinist.com/proclamation-trust/

    To those who didn’t like the Calvary Chapel of the “shallower” popular-dispensationalist churches, one thing I learned from them is God’s glory does show through Hid Creation in ways that the descriptions in the Bible concerning Creation does matter theologically speaking.

  5. So sad. If Creationists even did a video that’s like that in return, you can bet the world will cry foul and say that’s the reason to dismiss Creationists for “editing” unfairly…but when it’s done by them…well, different story.

  6. Not impressed at all with the content on the link provided above in the New Calvinist site. Some of it I was aware of but the post on JOhn MAcArthur troubles me.

  7. Yes, the folks who put that new calvinist website together are a bit hysterical with their condemnation of those they have labeled “new calvinists.” Take it with a heavy grain of salt. BTW, As I understand it, both RC Sproul and his son are young earth creationists, unless they have changed their views recently

  8. My apologies, it was the senior Sproul who is old earther:

    http://blogs.answersingenesis.org/blogs/ken-ham/2012/07/26/what-does-six-creation-days-really-mean/

    http://bylogos.blogspot.co.nz/2012/07/rc-sproul-waffles-on-creation.html

    (Most importantly, this is from Sproul Sr’s own Ligonier Ministry)

    http://www.ligonier.org/blog/what-rc-sprouls-position-creation/

    Still, I take no apologies to the newcalvinism.com article. This report doesn’t exactly smear the UK evangelical leaders profiled in the article that they were old earthers when they weren’t (or were agnostic). Not so: they would tell you that yes, they are not six day creationists if you really push them.

  9. I had also heard that Sproul had become a YEC so I did a quick search and found an interesting article over at that “evil” Creation.com site. lol The article is dated May of 2008 but has an update from August of last year. IMO, the conclusion is that he is definitely a six day creation guy but doesn’t know the age of the earth: “If you’re thinking six thousand years, I doubt that. If you’re thinking 12 billion years, I doubt that, too.”

    If you follow the links you will also see Sproul’s critique of the gap theory, day-age theory and the framework hypothesis.

    My favorite part is when the writer of the article pokes fun at this line by Sproul:

    “If we take the genealogies that go back to Adam, however, and if we make allowances for certain gaps in them (which could certainly be there), it remains a big stretch from 4004 BC to 4.6 billion years ago. (pp. 121–122)”

    the writer reacts to that comment by saying this:

    “‘A big stretch’! Yes, it would be a big stretch to take the genealogies back just 10,000 years, let alone one puny million. Even then we would be nowhere near 4.6 billion years.”

    This is pretty close to the point I’ve tried to make in another thread here on this blog. In a book that speaks in thousands at most, jumping to millions and billions doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, unless of course, and think this is the REAL issue, one is being influenced by something OUTSIDE of God’s word.

    I appreciate that Sproul apparently knows that THIS (what “scientists today insist”) is the rub, and not a straight reading of the bible pointing to such long periods of time. IOW, kudos to Sproul for being honest enough (unlike some old agers) not to pretend that his uncertainty in this area is because of something the bible says.

    The article can be found here:

    http://creation.com/famous-evangelical-apologist-changes-his-mind-rc-sproul#endRef2

  10. Are there any geologists or biologists who are young earth creationists? I think it would be hard to do a documentary like that beacause creationist ‘experts’ are not experts in the relevant fields of study. Some of them are scientists, true, but not in fields relevant to evolution. People who work in geology and biology are all evolutionists, because the evidence in favour of evolution is overwhelming. I’m sure there are atheists (and Christians who understand the evidence for evolution) who would be happy to debate creationist ‘experts’ on TV, but a program like that would probably not be as interesting to UK viewers, since evolution is the mainstream view in the UK.

    I watched the documentary. Phil came across as extremely paranoid and quite nasty actually in the way he got angry with the documentary makers when the arguements weren’t going his way.
    There were several good pieces of evidence for evolution shown in the documentary. There was a simple experiment done to show how a flood could never have caused the bends in the grand canyon. Flood water just doesn’t flow like that. They also got to see the skulls of our hominid ancestors and put them in order from most apelike to most humanlike. I was jealous of that.

    The fact that the documentary was edited is not surprising, nor is the fact that the producer used the most entertaining bits. It’s standard for television. It’s also not surprising to see they focused on personalities rather than the details of the debate. The format of the show was entertainment. The angle was basically ‘why do people believe weird things’? One of the other programs in this series covered people who thought they’d been abducted by aliens. Another was about the 9/11 conspiracy.

    Two of the scientists envolved blogged about their experiences too. If you read their posts, you’ll see that they also had things they wished had been included in the program instead of edited out.

    http://www.skepticblog.org/2012/11/07/a-surreal-journey/
    http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2012/10/10/conspiracy-road-trip-with-creationists-noahs-ark-and-other-lolz/

    It’s impossible for the director to please everyone.

  11. “Are there any geologists or biologists who are young earth creationists? I think it would be hard to do a documentary like that beacause creationist ‘experts’ are not experts in the relevant fields of study. Some of them are scientists, true, but not in fields relevant to evolution. People who work in geology and biology are all evolutionists, because the evidence in favour of evolution is overwhelming. I’m sure there are atheists (and Christians who understand the evidence for evolution) who would be happy to debate creationist ‘experts’ on TV, but a program like that would probably not be as interesting to UK viewers, since evolution is the mainstream view in the UK.”

    Yes q, there are some (a very, very few) geologists and biologists who are in fact young earthers. Andrew Snelling comes to mind. Of course, they have’t supported that belief with evidence that can convince their scientific peers, and when pressed they admit they believe as they do because that’s what they think the bible says.

    I think the more important point is everyone who asserts the earth is 6000 years old are bible literalists. As far as I can tell, there are absolutely no “young earth” people who have that belief independently of the bible. IOW a young earth cannot be decoupled from a particular bible interpretation. Which is fine and all that I guess, but it doesn’t make a *scientific* controversy.

  12. “q” (Do you have a real name, btw? I’m suspicious of non-profiled individuals)

    Thanks for dropping by. I am glad to see you applying the “free thinking” you atheists so cherish to reading someone who is utterly antithetical to your point of view.

    You asks,

    Are there any geologists or biologists who are young earth creationists?

    Yes. There are a good number of them in all fields of science. Both AiG and Creation.com have extensive listing of those individuals. There are also those of the ID persuasion as well. I distinguish them from “creationists” in that ID guys attempt to build their view of origins apart from the true Creator and His revelation.

    At any rate, for you to go on and say it would be hard to do a documentary with atheists as the road trippers because creationist aren’t “experts” in the relevant fields of study demonstrates a profound ignorance on your part. That is understandable if all you know about “creationists” is the clownish cartoon caricatures you read in atheist literature mocking creationists.

    Continuing,

    I’m sure there are atheists (and Christians who understand the evidence for evolution) who would be happy to debate creationist ‘experts’ on TV, but a program like that would probably not be as interesting to UK viewers, since evolution is the mainstream view in the UK.

    Two things. First, most atheists refuse to debate creationists because they are arrogant bigots. Their mentality is similar to the fellows reported in the documentary who “wouldn’t waste the time” doing so. I would imagine if pressed, you would say the same thing. You’re not serious about understanding our position because you, as a sinner who hates His creator and actively fights against His sovereign authority daily, consider creationists to be “not worth the time.”

    Secondly, evolution is the mainstream here in the US as well. We are still basking in the afterglow of two major great awakenings that impact the culture in a religious fashion, so there will be a surveyed percentage of our population who will claim they reject evolution. But that is slowly changing as men seek their selfish ends. Evolutionary dogma is very much a part of our education from kindergarten all the way to grad school in America.

    Continuing,

    Phil came across as extremely paranoid and quite nasty actually in the way he got angry with the documentary makers when the arguements weren’t going his way.

    I’ve not seen the documentary, so I imagine it was edited in this way. I take his personal, first hand report to be accurate because I don’t believe he is intending to mislead or lie about the situation. Passion, frustration, and exasperation with a film crew who were not playing fair, were somewhat deceitful with what they said would happen as to what really happened, and limited amounts of time for interaction, would make me upset too. Viewers could possibly interpret my attitude and expressions in any number of ways. Still doesn’t mean the evolutionists are right.

    Continuing,

    There were several good pieces of evidence for evolution shown in the documentary. There was a simple experiment done to show how a flood could never have caused the bends in the grand canyon. Flood water just doesn’t flow like that. They also got to see the skulls of our hominid ancestors and put them in order from most apelike to most humanlike. I was jealous of that.

    Evidence doesn’t “speak for itself.” It has to be interpreted and it is going to be interpreted according to the particular worldview of the interpreter who is evaluating the evidence. This is particularly true when you are dealing with evidence that exists in the distant past and is unrepeatable. Such as the moment of creation and a global flood. If you, as an atheist, view your world with “no God” in mind, what the Scriptures declare is “foolish” (Psalm 14:1), and you interpret everything through a purely naturalistic, anti-supernatural grid, well of course you are gonna draw the conclusions you do when you gush about looking at dead monkey skulls. What you see as hominid ancestors, I see as extinct apes. And the horseshoe bend is explained according to a gradual, uniformitarian view point. Creationist geologist have a simple explanation for horseshoe bend canyon if you bother to consider their take. See here: http://creation.com/horse-shoe-bend-arizona

    One of the larger points Phil makes in his article is that he and his co-trippers were intentionally misled by the film making crew in what they initially told him was going to happen and what actually happened. Of course editing and other documentary making things are to be expected, but when they tell you the point of the film is one thing and then they change stuff around and deceitfully mislead the participants, that is hardly fair, let alone ethical.

  13. Dguy writes,
    Yes q, there are some (a very, very few) geologists and biologists who are in fact young earthers. Andrew Snelling comes to mind.

    Actually, there are quite a number; much more than “very, very few.” Liked I pointed out to the other guy, both AiG and creation.com maintain an extensive list of creationists who both practice and teach science and are published in various journals, including a few secular ones.

    continuing,
    Of course, they have’t supported that belief with evidence that can convince their scientific peers, and when pressed they admit they believe as they do because that’s what they think the bible says.

    Again, I cite what I stated to the other atheist. Evidence doesn’t stand alone as self-sufficient and self-authenticating. It has to be interpreted and is interpreted according to a particular worldview. I am in no way ashamed to say I begin with what our Creator has revealed and told us happened with the world and then build an historical model on that information.

    Moving along,

    I think the more important point is everyone who asserts the earth is 6000 years old are bible literalists. As far as I can tell, there are absolutely no “young earth” people who have that belief independently of the bible. IOW a young earth cannot be decoupled from a particular bible interpretation.

    That is an extremely excellent observation and spot on accurate. I don’t believe in an historically young earth because of “evidence.” I believe it because it is what God has done and has revealed. I interpret the evidence in light of God’s revelation. It trumps “evidence” seeing that evidence never has any inherent “authority.”

    Though you mean it as a slur, “literalists” is simply one who believes God’s Word means what it means and submits to it’s authority. I don’t expect you, one whose reasoning is fallen in sin and actively seeks to rebel against God, to accept that. It takes a divine work to change one’s mind to see reality as God has worked. Certainly there are “Christians” who attempt to “harmonize” your deep time position with the history that has been revealed in Scripture, but we both know such is absurd, right? You don’t take them any more seriously than you would me.

    Fred

  14. Phil came across as a small minded bigot. His domineering the others illustrated how insecure he was that their faith could be shaken. Well done Phil, you fulfilled tyou part as the stereotypical of ignorant young earth creationist. It’s because of closed minded people such as yourself, that all religous people looks nuts; guilt by association. You were gifted evidence that contradicted your beliefs and chose to ignore it, rather thandebate it, ot even challenge it. What a waste of a mind.

  15. Joel,
    Though this is rather old, I pray you will see this. I wouldn’t bother but your comment here makes one or two significant mistakes. The first is that you said I am an old earth creationist. I am, and have been for over twenty years, a young earth creationist. The second mistake is that you confused my name, RC Sproul Jr. with my father. At least I assume so. It is rare indeed for me to be put in the same sentence with Tim Keller, less rare for my far more well known and highly esteemed father. The third mistake is calling him an old earth creationist. That is not his position. My question is, why would you say these things when they are not true? If it is simply a mistake, then please brother do not speak of things publicly about which you know not.

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