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SCIENTIFIC AND THEOLOGICAL NONSENSE

. . . Mr Holloway seems to equate intelligent design and young-earth creationism (YEC). Intelligent design, as propounded by Dembski, Meyer and others, does have considerable merits, whereas creationism has none. I have looked at the Emmanuel College and Christian Institute websites, and found that YEC is being supported by the present and former principals and Mr. Layfield, a science teacher.

The latter recommends that students should study how most of the strata from the Cambrian was laid down in the year of Noah's Flood; how ‘Noah could fit all the animals on the ark; and whether lunar craters (caused by asteroids some four billion years ago) and the fangs and claws of predators were caused by Adam's fall. If that is not rubbish, then what is?

This is typical YEC, emanating from the Institute of Creation Research, founded by Henry Morris and Answers in Genesis, both of which organisations have multi-million-dollar war-chests. They have already caused havoc in American churches and education.

I experienced some of' these problems while teaching geology for Wheaton College (a leading Evangelical liberal-arts college) last summer, when half of my students were convinced that the earth was only a few thousand years old. They, had been taught this by their churches or through home schooling.

This caused a crisis of faith for some students, and several said openly that they had been indoctrinated. Science lecturers throughout the USA have endless problems with students taught the type of "science" taught at Emmanuel College.

Creationism with its young-earth geology is simply scientific and theological nonsense. It runs counter to both the Bible and the whole weight of Christian' tradition, from Augustine through Calvin, to William Temple and John Polkinghorne.

MICHAEL ROBERTS

Letter in Church Times, 12/4/02