My students—who are Gen Z—basically all know Bill Nye from PBS. Nye, as you know, was so befuddled by what he thought creationism was he went to the Creation Museum to debate Ken Ham, who is linked to two books about young people statistically dropping out of church or never going in the first place.
Watermark Church down the street where I live is hosting the Discovery Institute next year. This church is doing booming business with mostly white young urban professionals in the city of Dallas. It is certainly a multi-million dollar facility.
Ray Bohlin of Probe Minstries has taught about ID from the Watermark pulpit. Probe as I mentioned in an earlier post is now listed as a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center for comments made by Bohlin’s wife Sue about the LGBT community. Probe has also significant ties to Dallas Theological Seminary.
The Institute of Creation Research is opening a 30 million dollar museum here in the fall.
Bill Nye recently came to the University of Texas at Dallas to a sold-out house. It is within easy driving distance of Watermark.
Eric Metaxas came here to talk to Stephen Meyer in Park Cities Baptist Church just a few months ago. Discovery has an office here.
I say all this to say that I feel like Dallas is the center of American creationism at this point. All the money these institutes need is here, and it is eagerly given by churches that agree with Ham’s thesis.
I forgot to mention Discovery has done a presentation at the world’s largest seminary, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, here in Fort Worth.
I spoke to journalist Lauri Lebo about the devastation the Dover trial created in the Dover community, shutting off neighbor from neighbor.
I spoke to Barbara Forrest in Louisiana about her participation in the Dover case. When asked about Forrest, John West of Discovery called her a “hypocrite”.
I have to tell you after 15 years of chasing these participants around the nation I am getting tired. Then when I found out Metaxas wrote a children’s book celebrating Donald Trump as champion of forgotten Americans, and when I see Discovery’s website make references to “making America great again”, I get exhausted as a historian of the controversies.
Now comes the election of 2020. Climate change is front and center.
Creation science is seems to me is centrally about evangelism and dispensationalism.
Intelligent design, it seems to me, is about redefining science altogether. A lot of William Paley in Behe’s thinking, and I see Behe’s ideas as the center of the science part of the movement. But it seems to me Discovery is about transforming American society as a whole—governmentally, economically, etc.
Just look at the Discovery website.
ID has a presence at UTDallas because of an organization called Reasonable Faith that works with students.
I constantly remember meeting Lebo. And reading her book, The Devil in Dover.
I can’t chase Bill Nye or Stephen Meyer all over the country to question them. When I asked Meyer a question at a meeting here, I had to jam it onto an index card and someone else read it. He brushed off the content completely. I asked about the battle at Baylor about the Polanyi Center, etc.
Lebo and Forrest represent a lot of people, and Bill Nye is one of their champions.
Is it worth trying to talk to the pastors who invite these organizations to speak about what Lebo said about Dover, and about the universities here in Dallas?
I am thinking of making a series of YouTube videos giving context on the culture wars surrounding evolution, and maybe participating in the making of a documentary about things like neighborhood impacts of the national fracas.