Updated: January 13, 2010 at 12:00 am
Charles Darwin can’t get any respect from most American Christians.
Last year, secular groups honored Darwin’s 200th birthday and the 150th anniversary of the publication of his “The Origin of Species”. His ideas on evolution and natural selection are the bedrock of modern biology. Darwinism is increasingly being viewed as fact rather than theory.
Yet most Christians aren’t impressed.
A 2009 Gallup Poll revealed that only 39 percent of Americans believe evolution is true. Natural selection — the idea that random mutations in species resulting in survival advantages are the engine of evolution — fares even worse. Only 14 percent buy it, according to Gallup. Gallup’s editor in chief Frank Newport says Christian beliefs are the main reason Americans remain skeptical of Darwinism.
Bryce Lee of Simla, a speck of a town 50 miles east of Colorado Springs, has taken his anti-Darwinism to seldom-reached heights. Four years ago, he started “The Non-Evolution Revolution” seminar at his CrossRoads Youth Center, a nonprofit ministry to children and teens. His next seminar is Feb. 7.
Lee believes the earth is about 7,000 years old, dinosaurs existed in the Garden of Eden, and the Genesis creation story is literally true.
Lee, 36, examines science through a biblical lens in his seminars. “We look at science from the basis of Scripture,” he told me. “A lot of people put their own spin on science. If you don’t do that, science will line up with Scripture.”
He considers evolution an atheistic faith. “It’s just another faith system,” he said, “and they try to explain science with their evolutionary science.”
The annual “Non-Evolution Revolution” seminar has educated scores of children and adults in the Simla region in the finer points of creationism.
Rebekah Bandy, a 19-year-old college student from Matheson, attended the creationist seminar two years ago. She said it gave her a healthy skepticism toward her upcoming college biology classes.
“It helped me get in my mind that God created the earth in six days, and evolution is not possible,” Bandy told me. “There’s no evidence that animals change into other animals.”
For Jessica Harms, a 30-year-old Simla resident, the seminar was important for her tween-aged daughter.
“I have a battle on my hands trying to help my child remain faithful to creationism,” Harms told me.
Ridicule of Darwinism shows no sign of abating in America.
A big-screen movie about Darwin called “Creation,” made by an English-based production company, reportedly struggled to find an American distributor because of possible blowback from Christians.
The film will open Friday in select theaters, but not in the Colorado Springs area.
To read more of my interviews with Lee and his students, go to my blog, The Pulpit, at www.thepulpit.freedomblogging.com. Call me at 636-0367.