By Meg Langford
Here at Pickford Studios, we frequently choose not to blog on a subject—not because we don’t feel strongly about it—but rather because so many people are writing so much, and so well. (Just as others are blogging badly.) So we choose to stay out of the cyber-cacophony.
But we here at Pickford Studios did our stint in the world of education, and we have some strong opinions on the subject. Ms. DeVos elicits a very visceral reaction, here at The Studios. But rather than say about her what so many have said so powerfully, we have decided to take a look at an educational institution which is, apparently, all that Ms. DeVos would like it to be—a private institution, which puts its own narrow view of God first, and creates all curriculum around it. Everything from the textbooks used, the tests that are given, the movies that students can see (even off campus), right down to the width of the shoulder straps on a young lady’s summer dress—are all dictated by Jerry Falwell Jr, son of the founder of the university (and, some would no doubt say, of God).
We are speaking, of course, about Liberty University. Having lived and worked so close to it that we could practically spit on it (we didn’t), we think we have learned thing or two about Liberty University. About an educational institution which, as Ms. DeVos has expressed in her plan, would “advance God’s kingdom.”
So now, a chapter excerpted from our book “Liberty’s Tyranny.”
OF POOLS, SCHOOLS, AND GOLDEN RULES
But now, let us return to the tiny town of Appomattox, and its sister city just down the road, Lynchburg. You have already heard of my early, grim adventures amongst the Appomattoxins. Already, then, you can begin to see how I was nervous about the decision I had made, to move my entire life and my beloved museum to the "cooperative, caring, and conscientious" town of Appomattox.
(Those words in quotations are taken directly from their welcoming town website "Mission Statement". Liars. Read on.)
The word "Nigger" was already flying around everywhere, all the time.
On my first visit to the new thrift shop cattycorner from the McDonald's, there was a very large rusty circle hook screwed into a piece of a tree, with a chain hanging from the circle hook. It had seen a lot of wear and tear. A lot of wear and tear. I should have bought it, I thought in retrospect. At least if I had it, nobody else could use it ever again.
It was already, all very, creepy. It was creepy as spiders in your bloomers. Creepy as waking to clowns smiling down at you in bed. Creepy as Salad Fingers. It was very, very creepy.
Appomattox, Virginia. The Civil War town where peace was born and now, the home of the annual Railroad Festival—where the Politically Correct Train ironically never stops—was now my new home town.
When I started nosing around about joining political organizations in the town, the first thing that come up on Google was a news story that had gone viral: The local skinhead white supremacists had defaced the Obama campaign signs on the lawn of a local black family; “KKK” and “NIGGER” were spewed across Obama’s name in ugly, eerie black spray paint.
“The true Negro does not want integration.”
— Jerry Falwell - 1958 sermon titled "Segregation or Integration, which?"
This sermon was a response by the good Rev. Falwell to the 1954 Brown v Board of Education SCOTUS ruling
Sometimes, if you get sick of hearing the “N-Word” flying around Appomattox, you can drive a few miles east or west of town, where you will arrive at either Farmville or Lynchburg. Farmville’s fascinating response to Brown V. Board of Education is chronicled in “Wigger”, the companion book to this cheerful epistle.
Lynchburg we explore right here, right now. Lynchburg’s jewel-in-the-crown is Liberty University, the pride of Jerry (“Christians, like slaves and soldiers, ask no questions”) Falwell.
Also, I can confirm for you that what you are asking yourself right about now is true: that is exactly how Lynchburg got its name. (They couldn’t get together on the village green and lobby for Appleton or Deerville? Sheesh.)
Well, our chapter today starts out like this…
…One hot July day in 1961, a group of seven negro children stared longingly through the chain link fence to the cool, refreshing community pool beyond. They were not welcome there. Signs made this perfectly clear. Could these children not read? And when, as children will, they ignored the warnings and jumped in the pool, they caused a bit of an outrage. The citizens of Lynchburg, in their righteous indignation, decided that the appropriate response to this affront was simple. They filled each of the swimming pools up with cement. Problem solved.
Talk about cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face. The Lynchburg newspaper responded with its usual panache. On July 8, 1961, Philip Lightfoot Scruggs (is that a Grand Ol’ Opry fiddle pluckin’ name or what?), editor of The News wrote:
“In reference to the above story of pools being closed because negroes sought admission: Now, each of these pools has been drained. Negro leaders forcing the issue knew that this would be the result of any attempt to integrate either of the pools used by whites. Perhaps, today, they are proud of their accomplishments and consider their ‘sense of justice’ somehow satisfied. If so, we suspect that all the other swimmers, both Negro and white, question the value of the accomplishment and wonder a bit at such a strange ‘sense of justice.’ ”
(End newspaper excerpt.)
These days, of course, everyone is able to enjoy the city’s public pools. After all, it’s the 21st century, don’t you know. But those arrogant, narrow-minded attitudes haven’t disappeared, rather they have been institutionalized.
“I hope I live to see the day when, as in the early days of our country, we won't have any public schools. The churches will have taken them over again and Christians will be running them. What a happy day that will be!” — Rev Jerry Falwell, America Can Be Saved, 1979 pp. 52-53, from Albert J Menendez and Edd Doerr, The Great Quotations on Religious Freedom
Today, black students are welcomed at Lynchburg’s Liberty University, which was founded in 1971, just ten years after the swimming pool incident.
Liberty’s stated purpose is to mold “Champions for Christ”. Now, they don’t much care for the foolish ramblings of one Charles Darwin at the school Jerry Falwell built. But the Federal Government says that if a University wishes to maintain its tax exempt status, it must teach not just what is printed in the “Good Book”, that is to say Creationism, it must also teach Evolution. Liberty University’s solution to this dilemma shows that old ideas die hard. Instead of providing a balanced, factual presentation of both sides of the issue, Liberty teaches Creationism with great passion, while at the same time arming those same students with the “truths” they will need to defend themselves against those who would try to promote the “Lies of the Evolutionists”.
Editor Scruggs would surely have approved of this logic.
And nowadays, since, at lovely Liberty University, they are currently teaching that people rode dinosaurs for sport and that there were teenage dinosaurs on the ark (true story), you can see that not much evolution (joke) has gone on there since 1961. Or 1971, for that matter.
Soldiers for Christ
AT LIBERTY TO BELIEVE IN EVOLUTION?
The Bible is the inerrant ... word of the living God. It is absolutely infallible, without error in all matters pertaining to faith and practice, as well as in areas such as geography, science, history, etc.
— Jerry Falwell, Finding Inner Peace and Strength
I will grant you that I am a bit of an odd duck.
As a person who spends most of their life researching, editing, proofreading, writing, etcetera, I am as likely to start up a conversation about the Bonfire of the Vanities or Joshua Norton or Boadicea or the annual Avon Ohio Duct Tape Festival, or the fact that certain moths drink elephant tears as a source of trace minerals and protein, as I am likely to chat it up about, oh, say, interest rates on housing loans or the latest fad diet or the mileage that a Prius gets on streets versus highways. And by that, I am not attempting to subtly suggest that I am somehow more interesting than other people. I know a large number of folks who will tell you I am quite dull. Plodding and loquacious, droning and domineering in most conversations.
That having been said, I have traditionally kept my more offbeat notions to myself. (Up until now, at least.) My beliefs in reincarnation, in the potential for untapped brain powers such as telekinesis, and the probability that there have most likely been close encounters of the third kind on this planet—those matters I do not bring up, except with my closest friends. But there is one kooky, “out-there” theory that I do discuss from time to time, as a part of pop culture dialogue, or when events in the news seem to warrant it.
Here it is. I believe in… .
The year was 2009, and a very fine British film was making its way through some smaller art house
theaters and onto DVD. The name of the film was “Creation.” It was a biopic, as in, while not being a documentary per se, it was a feature film based very literally on the life of Charles Darwin, and it had many factual details about both his personal life and his work woven into the powerful fabric of the story.
In addition to learning a lot of fascinating stories regarding the man about whom I had known very little, I believe that what moved me most was simply watching the arc of his life as he struggled with developing one of the most impactful notions that any human being has ever stumbled upon: it is right up there with the idea of the printing press, space travel, medical miracles, and that entire invisible world of radio waves and microwaves and—well, I think you get my point.
When we hear of men like Darwin and Bach, Galileo and Cervantes, Adams and Jefferson, Lincoln and Leonardo, Moses and Michelangelo, we tend to get this picture of old bearded men, wise and a bit tired, very accomplished and respected—but in the sunset of their years. We tend to forget that they were once wild and young, bursting with the energy and hubris of youth. And all that that implies.
What astonishing adventures their strong personalities must have launched them forth into! The imagination reels!
And we, the people, are the beneficiaries of their life’s work. Of their brave, crazy, life’s work.
So it was interesting to see Darwin as a young man, full of love for his beautiful wife and darling children, embarking upon this great adventure aboard The Beagle, but most importantly, creating a massive tome that would change the way we think about—well—everything, from our origins, to picking a mate, to the relationship between T-Rex and chickens, to the impact of global warming.
It did not occur to me until I saw the movie what a frightening and dangerous and brave thing he was doing by putting forth such brazen notions as evolution and natural selection.
It did not occur to me that most of the people of his time would see him as a villain, in league with the Devil, for assaulting God and the Bible and Creationism.
Most people also wouldn’t know that, given the health challenges his daughter battled, Darwin was wracked with guilt for his entire life, because Darwin eventually understood enough about genetics to know that his decision to marry his own cousin might well have been the cause of his daughter’s agonizing and tragic struggles with her health—of physical anomalies that left her barely clinging to life, for much of her young life.
So compelling did I find the film that naturally, when folks were making small talk with me in town--what have I been up to?, how was my weekend?, did I do anything interesting? --naturally I effused.
MAN OH MAN, did I get a lecture.
Now, as I have said before, I believe in God, in my own version of a Higher Intelligence, and I am even aware of the wording in the end of Revelations: “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if any one adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if any one takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.”
But I also know about the controversies swirling around the Council of Nicaea. That discussion is obviously for another time; suffice it to say that my profound belief in a Higher Power is not in conflict with my personal reluctance to believe that the planet Earth was created in just seven calendar days. Most people would probably add a joke here, but I find that to be both irrelevant and irreverent.
But here is what is extremely relevant. From the time I brought up the topic of evolution in Appomattox, things changed. And I was naive enough not to understand the implications of getting into this debate with a number of my neighbors and fellow citizens. Particularly with the young people—the children of these neighbors and citizens.
I have lived all around the world, spent much of my life in Northern Virginia, and have come to associate religious, political, and social polemics as part of the friendly sparring which is integral to the life of a person who is paying attention to the world. As part of the life of a citizen in the modern United States of America, of someone who is involved in the socio-political process. Dialogue? Town Hall Meeting? Theatre? Circus? What is the correct term these days?
I can remember back when I was still living with my folks, being fascinated by the people they would invite to parties: personages of some gravitas representing various countries and clashing cultures in the Middle East, hashing it out around the kitchen table at two in the morning, following a big dinner, and a lot of drinks. It was fascinating, informed, impassioned, but never ugly.
Since the Darwin debacle in 2009, I have learned exciting new things about my new home town. It explains a great deal about Appomattoxins:
The crowning achievement for a parent is to send one’s child to Jerry Falwell’s own Liberty University, a Christian fortress high in the mountains, perfectly positioned to defend itself against atheists, agnostics, faggots, Jews, Catholics, Muslims, Hindi, Buddhists, and apparently, Negroes, to read some of the university’s forum postings. Basically, Liberty takes issue with anyone who takes issue with the dicta of the Southern Baptist Convention. (The SBC called for all Baptists to boycott Disney, for Pete’s sake.)
(An important aside here is my defense of all the parents of Appomattox whose dream is to see their kids go to Virginia Tech. There is a heck of a lot of burgundy and orange around Appomattox, and as the daughter of an engineer, I can see why any parent would puff up with pride at the thought of their child getting a degree from VT. Apart from the fact that, as an alumni of the nationally renown George Mason University Forensics Team, I know we could kick Hokie butt in that area of competition—but otherwise, I have nothing but respect for the school, and especially for the brave and graceful way that they survived and revived from the horrific shootings of a few years ago. Kudos to you, Virginia Tech. Ut Prosim.)
But back to Liberty University.
JURASSIC PARK, FOR REAL?
“Textbooks are Soviet Propaganda”
Did you know that human beings used to ride on dinosaurs?
Bottom line: Liberty University teaches students that the world was created in seven days, that evolution is hogwash, and that the consequences for disagreeing with this stance are harsh, both in this world and the next one. And when it comes to your GPA at Liberty. (Just wait till we get to their situational relativistic stand when it comes to sanctioning kidnapping, if it involves taking a little girl away from her gay mother. Go, RICO!)
And if you doubt that all of this is so, the above facts about Liberty University and its stance on evolution are perhaps the most ubiquitously corroborated set of facts I have ever found on the world wide web. Even its founders and practitioners shout it from the mountaintops:
“We with God’s help, want to see hundreds of our graduates go out into the classrooms teaching creationism - of course they’ll be teaching evolution - but teaching why it’s invalid and why it’s foolish, and then showing the proper way and the correct approach to the origin of the species.”
—Jerry Falwell, 1982
“Satan has fathered this monstrous lie of evolution, for he is the father of lies.”
From Liberty University’s own FIGHTING FUNDAMENTAL FORUMS:
Thread: Dragons, Fantasy, and Evolution
“Evolutionists take very limited information and make up the most incredible stories based on what they find. How come they can figure out exactly how dinosaurs lived 65 million years ago, including how they socialized, hunted, courted and mated all based on the sparsest evidence, but they can't solve a criminal case with the same amount of information?”
Once upon a time, a kid named Kevin Roose, who was a sophomore at Brown University (a liberal institution, to say the least), decided to switch gears in a most radical way, and transfer to Liberty University, the world’s largest evangelical Christian college.
From his website: “Hoping to connect with his conservative Christian peers, Roose leaps across the God Divide and embeds himself among Liberty’s 10,000 undergraduates, who call themselves “Champions for Christ.” At Liberty, he sings in Reverend Falwell’s church choir, takes classes like Evangelism 101, and makes surprising discoveries about the true nature of America’s culture war. The chronicle of Roose’s journey is timely, hilarious, and thought-provoking, and will inspire and entertain believers and non-believers alike.”
Bottom line: Roose’s journey—and his book—are complex, bold, sometimes wonderful, and for another time and place. But for our purposes, his witness (no religious pun intended) was personal and real; he experienced first-hand what I would term the egregious ridiculousness of what passes for science study at Liberty University.
This may be my favorite tidbit that we learn from his book:
“Kevin Roose describes a True or False question on a ‘History of Life’ exam at Liberty University that asks ‘whether Noah's Ark was large enough to accommodate various species of dinosaurs?’ The acceptable Liberty University answer is ‘true’ based on the conjecture that dinosaurs and humans cohabited the earth after the flood—though the professor allows that Noah may have gathered teenage dinosaurs to make more room”
`And elsewhere, on his webpage blog, Roose offers more glimpses into the examination process at Liberty University. This is a direct quotation from Roose’s website:
Here, I’m posting a partial list of the questions I was asked to answer on the first midterm for that class, ‘CRST 290/History of Life.’ You decide if Liberty’s scientists are holding anything back:
1. True or False: Noah’s Ark was large enough to carry various kinds of dinosaurs.
2. True or False: Science is the only way to truly know truth about the world.
3. True or False: Margaret Sanger [the founder of Planned Parenthood] was a promoter of eugenics [selective breeding, a practice commonly associated with the Nazi Party].
4. True or False: Evolution can be proven using the scientific method.
The correct answers (according to Liberty)!
David DeWitt is the driving force behind the anti-evolution Creationism teaching that goes on at Liberty, and I believe that the excerpted article below tells you everything you need to know about him, for our purposes. You can, of course, dig up more about him, even read his fascinating research papers, but I believe that a great deal is revealed just by reading this excerpt of an interview with DeWitt conducted by John Safarti for Creation Ministries International at Creation.com
THE ARTICLE (EXCERPTED):
BRAIN SCIENTIST DEVELOPS
YOUNG CHRISTIAN MINDS!
Dr. David DeWitt has a B.S. in biochemistry from Michigan State University and a Ph.D. in neuroscience for research in Alzheimer’s Disease from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA. For the last 12 years, Dr DeWitt has been teaching biology and creation apologetics at Liberty University, Lynchburg, Virginia, USA.
Like many Christians who studied naturalistic science, he explains that at first, “I believed that God used evolution to create and I also believed in billions of years in a harmonizing fashion.” So what changed his mind? He tells us:
“One day, I read Psalm 18:30 and was struck by ‘the word of the Lord is flawless.’ The same is repeated in Psalm 12:6 which I also read the same day. The impact of those verses weighed very heavily on me as I considered the compromise with the Word that I was trying to promote. If the word of the Lord is flawless, then who am I to depart from what it so plainly says? If I claim to believe the Bible and that it is flawless, then I should believe every single word and not pick and choose.”
The other vital issue for Dr. DeWitt was the origin of death and suffering, as he explains:
“Evolution requires millions of years of death for natural selection to work its magic for amebas to evolve into college students. But the Bible was clear that death came as a result of Adam’s sin. Therefore, death came after man rather than as a means to make man…
ALZHEIMER’S DISEASES AND A GOD OF LOVE
Back to the issue of death and suffering, it’s clear that one of David’s own fields (the study of Alzheimer’s is his specialty) is highly relevant. So I asked, how would he explain Alzheimer’s Disease if there is a God of love? He answered: “The fact that we live in a fallen world is best evidenced by disease. God is love, but He is also holy and just. Since God had given Adam dominion over creation, when Adam sinned, God cursed the whole creation (Genesis 3:19, Romans 8:19–23). I believe that Alzheimer’s Disease is really caused by a breakdown of cellular systems in the brain; a consequence of living in a fallen world.”
END OF EXCERPTED ARTICLE
We learn from Dr. Dewitt, among many other intriguing theories, two important points. First, that evolution is impossible, because there was no death until Adam sinned in the garden about 6000 years ago (according to Biblical scholars). And secondly, if you are one of the millions coping with the heartbreak of having a loved one afflicted with Alzheimer’s, it is because we live in a fallen world.
Dewitt’s students adore him, though. Listen to some of their comments:
THE STUDENTS COMMENT ON DR. DAVID DEWITT
“Dewitt is absolutely brilliant. He really knows what he’s talking about and provides great facts that help dispute the evolutionary lies.”
“I think his testimony is awesome for this class. Once an evolutionist and now a creationist! Can tell he’s passionate about it. But yeah his voice can lull you to sleep. He seems like he just needs a friend.”
“DeWitt may be monotone, but he knows his stuff and loves the Lord. He gets excited about students being interested in the Lord through creation.”
“Dr. DeWitt is a very smart man with a big heart for God. It’s nice to see a scientist taking time to teach others about God’s creative process. He might be a bit monotoned but his lectures are worth a lot after you leave Liberty. The things you learn in this class will aid in fighting anti-creationists.”
THE FIELD TRIP
Last but not least, you should know that in addition to getting nearly half a billion dollars in Pell Grants, (receiving MORE of your taxpayers dollars than NPR), Liberty University offers one last perk to students who study and proselytize about Creationism. They get to go to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and make fun of it.
DAVID OLSEN of THE PRESS ENTERPRISE
COVERS ONE SUCH TRIP IN HIS ONLINE ARTICLE:
Here is it, excerpted per copyright guidelines:
“Liberty University, an evangelical Baptist institution in Lynchburg, Virginia, offers a minor in Creation Studies and teaches the biblical six-day, 24-hour explanation for creation alongside evolution in biology classes,” said David DeWitt, a professor of biology at Liberty. Students discuss what DeWitt views as the flaws in evolutionary theory and in the way most scientists measure the age of fossils.
They plan to become doctors, researchers and professors, but these students from Liberty University, an evangelical school, also believe that God created the Earth in a week, around 6,000 years ago. Each year, a group of biology students at the Christian university based in Lynchburg, Virginia, travels to the Natural History Museum in Washington to learn about a theory they dismiss as incorrect, “Darwin's Theory of Evolution.”
The young Creationists examined a model of the Morganucodon rat, believed to be the first and common ancestor of mammals that appeared some 210 million years ago. Lauren Dunn, 19, a second-year biology student, was unimpressed. “A million years, that’s arbitrary. They put that time to make up for what they don’t know,” she said.
Creationism and evolutionism have different ways of explaining the evidence. The Creationist way recognizes the importance of biblical records, said Marcus Ross, who teaches paleontology. He teaches his students that dinosaurs were wiped from the face of the Earth 4,000 to 5,000 years ago during the flood that Noah survived by building an ark. He says carbon-dating techniques that have been used to suggest the Earth is in fact billions of years old are simply not reliable.
What a wonderful way to spend our tax dollars.
But lest you fear that there is lack of gratitude among these students, these future scientists, we leave this chapter with a few posts from those inspiring Fighting Fundamental Forums. This is what they are being taught at Liberty University, in lieu of evolution. Yes, I think it is fair to say that evolution has come to a screeching halt at Liberty.
POST NUMBER ONE:
“I want to thank you for your excellent post on evolution. I once considered myself to be an atheist, largely because I was deceived by the dirty ol’ devil’s story of evolution. I was taught evolution as a young man by crafty scientists and “teachers” and became blinded by Satan’s lies. I believed that my ancestors were monkeys. It hardened my heart and I was unable to feel Jesus’ love for me and kept me from truly seeing that it was the almighty Lord who created all things in heaven and on earth.
After years of wandering in the valley of sin and despair, kind and loving Christians, like yourselves, helped me to see the truth. They showed me that it’s impossible for a watch just to come into existence. And if it’s impossible for a relatively simple thing as a watch, then it must be impossible for something as complex as life. Life just can’t self assemble over billions of years. My ancestors aren’t monkeys at all. We were all created by the almighty Lord. I couldn’t believe that I had been so deceived by science. It truly is a tool of Satan. I hope someday we can outlaw the teaching of evolution in our public schools. It’s a shame that our public schools are tools for the dirty ol’ devil to distribute his filthy lies.”
May God bless you two
Your friend in Christ
POST NUMBER TWO:
“If in evolution, only the strong survive, why do the tree hugging nature lovers keep trying to save weak, stupid animals such as whales that beach themselves. Leave them alone and let evolution take its course.”
POST NUMBER THREE:
“Dinosaurs lived in the days of Adam and Eve and were able to live to thousands of years old also and we all know that reptiles never stop growing until they die which accounts for their size. Any disputation on this subject will be gladly argued. I know I’m right.”
And perhaps my favorite one, because it connects sinners with balding, your humble “Wigger” author offers you:
POST NUMBER FOUR:
“I don't believe in evolution as taught in our public schools. I believe the God of the Bible did it. We have evolved into something ugly because of our own choices, is my real opinion. Those ruts on our faces and thinning hair could be a result of many years of worry caused by the consequences of our sin. But it is evolution in progress, don’t you agree?”
I have already spoken about the somewhat incestuous relationship between the population at Liberty University and the citizenry of Appomattox, and of the dangerous Trifecta operation therein: Instruction, Corroboration, and Validation. Suffice it to say that this Trifecta goes a long way towards explaining the next bizarre event which happened not in Lynchburg, but twenty miles down the road, on my home turf.
Here is a real gem: Steve told me that he decided there was just too much trouble to be had from using the internet—he’d heard of marriages being ruined by people sparking up old Facebook connections, and he also had a 14 year old daughter to worry about, so he said “I just cut it off.”
Actually my response was to applaud him, because Steve leads a simple landscaper’s life, (and there is internet at the local library, if he really needs it), so there is actually no reason that he needs to expose his daughter to the potential dangers of the world wide web, and himself to a fifty dollar a month internet bill.
“So you just had it cut it off?” I said, semi-impressed.
“No,” he said, “I mean I cut it off. I got a big pair of garden sheers and went out back and cut the cable.”
He was serious. How he did not electrocute himself, I do not know.
At first I secretly applauded this Ludditic stroke, until I realized that this is the modus operandi for most of the Appomattoxins. I.E., evolution is a lie, gays will burn in hell, the Pope is the anti-Christ, the internet is evil, even many PG movies should be banned, etcetera.
It was only when I probed further that I found out specifically why Steve had his internet cut off: because the government was using it to circulate a big hoax that there had once been water on Mars.
Steve ranted to me about how he was very upset, having read that "now they are talking about the possibility of water on Mars! From this, they're gonna try to convince us that there was once life on Mars, which is a repudiation of Genesis, which is an attempt to completely undermine the Bible, which is all part of the government’s plot to kill God." Plus, Steve is getting very angry, almost foaming at the mouth, because “now that they put that story about water on Mars on the World Wide Web, you can never get that garbage off the Internet. That’s how the government is going to try to kill God for the people…It's all part of this big plot, you see…”
Later, Steve’s son will turn out to be a proud graduate of Liberty University. Are you with me so far? Also later, I was to learn that this matter of water on Mars has the Baptist Fundamentalists in an uproar, but their version of the “scientific community” has come rushing to the rescue, with some fascinating explanations. Here is one of my favorites, from the FIGHTING FUNDAMENTAL FORUMS, which you will find on Liberty University’s own website:
“When God created the universe he created it replete with beams of photons in place to give the impression that those photons have been traveling in space for billions of years. The universe in only 6000 years old, plus or minus.” (Sneaky ol’ God!)
And this next poor forum poster is almost apoplectic; I am afraid he/she is going to burst a vessel explaining all the reasons there just can’t be water on Mars OR life on other planets:
From fixed earth.com
Mars Missions, Part III:
NASA’s Latest Lies Seek To End The Evolution Debate And
Declare Victory…Over The Bible’s Origins Scenario
NASA’s press releases have given the impression world-wide that the pictures and soil and rock analyses from Mars confirm water-dug canyons and lake-beds that are now dry craters… People everywhere now believe that science has proven that Mars was awash in liquid water at some point and that some kinds of microbial life forms have evolved there in the last four Billion years. That’s the message the world has received...and the message it believes to be a scientific fact.
Do taxpayers know how many billions of their taxes are spent to finance this continuing avalanche of pseudo-scientific propaganda about water and evolving life in the universe?? Do they know that this whole massive effort is geared solely to destroying the Bible’s Creation Account and the God of the Bible? I don’t think so.
Do they know that the means of destroying faith in the Biblical Creation and its God rests on establishing factless evolution mythology as a "scientific" explanation for the origin of the universe,
Earth, Mankind? I don’t think so…Additionally, acceptance involves rejection of the anti-evolutionary Biblical cosmology where the universe is 6000 years old and no more than one light day thick.
POST SCRIPT: I decided not to leave this particular chapter with our baldness being explained by our Fall from Grace in the Garden of Eden. (After all, what does that say about people like Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer and Son of Sam and Charles Manson and Richard Ramirez and Rodney Alcala aka The Dating Game Killer—they all sported full, thick heads of hair. And they dismembered people and ate them. In fact, an inordinate number of death row killers have tresses to be envied.)
Instead, I offer you quotations from scientists who found their faith reaffirmed and heightened by having the courage to look more and more deeply into the cosmos, as God reveals it to us:
“The impossibility of conceiving that this grand and wondrous universe, with our conscious selves, arose through chance, seems to me the chief argument for the existence of God.”
“A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, of the manifestations of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty - it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute the truly religious attitude; in this sense … I am a deeply religious man.”
“I find it as difficult to understand a scientist who does not acknowledge the presence of a superior rationality behind the existence of the universe as it is to comprehend a theologian who would deny the advances of science.”
—Verner Von Braun, German-American rocket scientist
“Science can have a purifying effect on religion, freeing it from beliefs of a pre-scientific age and helping us to a truer conception of God. At the same time, I am far from believing that science will ever give us the answers to all our questions.”
—Neville Mott, English physicist, awarded 1977 Nobel Prize
“From religion comes a man’s purpose; from science, his power to achieve it. Sometimes people ask if religion and science are not opposed to one another. They are: in the sense that the thumb and fingers of my hands are opposed to one another. It is an opposition by means of which anything can be grasped.”
—William H Bragg, British physicist, chemist, mathematician.
Awarded Nobel Prize in 1915
“Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognize our place in an immensity of light-years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty, and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual...The notion that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive does a disservice to both.”
—Carl Sagan, American astronomer, astrophysicist, cosmologist, author
“What I have done is to show that it is possible for the way the universe began to be determined by the laws of science … This doesn’t prove that there is no God….”
—Stephen Hawkings, English physicist and cosmologist
“If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands?”
“A commonsense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question.”
—Fred Hoyle, English mathematician and astronomer.
“I am very much a scientist, and so I naturally have thought about religion also through the eyes of a scientist. When I do that, I see religion not denominationally, but in a more, let us say, deistic sense. I have been influenced in my thinking by the writing of Einstein who has made remarks to the effect that when he contemplated the world he sensed an underlying Force much greater than any human force. I feel very much the same. There is a sense of awe, a sense of reverence, and a sense of great mystery.”
—Walter Kohn, American physicist, awarded Nobel Prize in 1998
“I am very astonished that the scientific picture of the real world around me is very deficient. It gives a lot of factual information, puts all our experiences in a magnificently consistent order, but is ghastly silent about all and sundry that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us. It cannot tell us a word about red and blue, bitter and sweet, physical pain and physical delight; it knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good or bad, god and eternity.”
—Erwin Schrödinger, Austrian physicist, awarded Nobel prize in 1933
“It was not by accident that the greatest thinkers of all ages were deeply religious souls.”
—Max Planck, German physicist, noted for work on quantum theory
“Everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the universe - a spirit vastly superior to that of man, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble. In this way the pursuit of science leads to a religious feeling of a special sort, which is indeed quite different from the religiosity of someone more naive.”
—From Einstein’s response to a letter from sixth-grade student Phyllis Wright, regarding the existence of God