Recently, a friend of this ministry, Dr G Charles Jackson of Creation Truth Foundation, went on a mission trip to Croatia. Dr. J is a prolific speaker and debater on the origins argument. He’s quick on his feet, very knowledgeable about his subject matter, yet humble enough to note that he needs Holy Ghost unction in situations like the one he encountered in Croatia.
Well, the Center For Inquiry Croatia took objection to his presence on their turf. They have written an Open Letter against the very discussion of Biblical Creation anywhere in their backyard, particularly in schools.
The matter came to my attention when I began receiving a lot of traffic from a site in Croatia. I remembered that Dr J was supposed to be in Croatia at the time so I tracked down the linking article and put it through Google Translate. The first article was from someone within CFI Croatia trying to get signatures for a letter:
“In Split guest Dr. Charles Jackson, creationists, and maintaining public lectures, one held at the City Library, while at school, at the initiative of several people, was prevented. It is not known to what extent had the “blessing” of state institutions, but in any case that was not the initiative of individuals would surely have had success in free speech to children. Who is this person, here are just two examples: ( example 1 , example 2 )
But if you search on the internet typing its name with the epithet of “creationists”, you will get a horrifying list of references. On the occasion that a few of our association CFI Croatia, supported by several related associations, wrote OPEN LETTER TO THE PUBLIC , that the signatures of support sent to all state institutions and public entities that are relevant to the civil and secular preservation of our society. If you are willing to send me an email your support, with the correct terminology in order to sign your name. My email address email@example.com“
The “example 2” was a link to my site. Split is the town in question. It’s obvious that the fellow who wrote this was upset that creationists were afoot in his backyard. Naturally, I translated his Open Letter next:
“Open letter to the public
A few days ago at the City Library in Split, he has appeared with his teaching American creationist Dr. Charles Jackson, which is next to the Split came with the intention of holding classes in biology class in high school. In his lectures to promote creationism, an ideology that is opposed to scientific facts about evolution. Moreover, creationism serves as a method for spreading religious fundamentalism, which has warned its member states, including Croatia and the European Council in its resolution 1580 from 2007.We therefore believe that it is important to inform parents and other citizens about these events, and invite representatives of public institutions not to allow the expansion of such activities on their home institutions.The creationist interpretation of the origin of life and development of life on Earth is based on a literal interpretation of the Bible. Creationists therefore teach that the earth is 6000 years old at the most it has a couple of centuries we know is wrong on the basis of previous research in geology, astronomy, biology, chemistry and physics. Furthermore, says that humans and all species present before these 6000 years created by God, which is again at odds with all the facts about the evolution of man and the universe that we know well is that we try to introduce children to the teaching of biology. By studying fossils, particularly DNA molecules, and many other scientific approaches we can follow that evolution gave rise to today’s living organisms, including humans. All the evidence we have found to date suggests that evolution happened and is happening around us, while on the other hand, creationism does not provide any evidence for their claims, but serves the distortion of the facts and stating untruths. Moreover, a literal interpretation of the Bible has long been abandoned in the Catholic Church, which recognizes the scientific basis of evolution.Therefore, the creationism has survived only in terms of religious fanaticism, and we are concerned that the promoters of these harmful attitudes in the way public institutions smoothly arranged, an NGO, using the guise of fighting addiction.
Because of all these we consider as crucial:
1. First the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports (MSES) find a mechanism to protect primary and secondary schools from the onslaught of various radical religious groups and associations, among other things, so you will be barred from joining such groups and associations in schools
2. Second to penalize people who will grant access to these radical groups and organizations in public institutions, especially when it comes to schools and the teaching of natural sciences
3. Third to urgently initiate a public dialogue between MSES and religious communities in Croatia, which participate in the schools through the teaching of religious education, the need to prevent the spread of creationist ideas within an existing religion classes.
“Centar za promociju znanosti i kritičkog mišljenja” (CFI Croatia) “Center for promotion of science and critical thinking” (CFI Croatia)
udruga David Association David
udruga Nisam vjernik I’m not a believer Association
udruga Protagora Association Protagoras
Neven Barković Neven Barković
prof. prof. dr. Slobodan Danko Bosanac, znanstveni savjetnik, Institut Ruđer Bošković Dr. Slobodan Danko Bosanac, Senior Research Fellow, Institute Ruder Boskovic
dr. sc. Dr. sc. Saša Ceci, znanstveni suradnik (fizika), Institut Ruđer Bošković Sasa Ceci, Research Fellow (Physics), Institute Ruder Boskovic
dr. sc. Dr. sc. Dario Hrupec, znanstveni suradnik, Institut Ruđer Bošković Dario Hrupec, research associate, Institute Ruder Boskovic
prof. prof. dr. sc. Dr. sc. Davor Juretić, redoviti profesor, Prirodoslovno-matematički fakultet, Split Davor Juretic, professor, Faculty of Science, Zagreb
mag. mag. psych. psych. Igor Miklousic, Institut Ivo Pilar,Zagreb Igor Mikloušic, Institute Ivo Pilar, Zagreb
dipl.ing. B. Sc. Ante Perković, Astronomska sekcija Fizikalnog društva – Split Ante Perkovic, Astronomical Optical Interferometry – Split
Dunja Potočnik, diplomirani sociolog, Institut za društvena istraživanja, Zagreb Dunja Potočnik, BA Sociology, Institute for Social Research, Zagreb
prof. prof. dr. sc. Dr. sc. Jasna Puizina, izvanredni profesor, Prirodoslovno-matematički fakultet, Split Clear Puizina, Associate Professor, Faculty of Science, Zagreb
doc. doc. dr. sc. Dr. sc. Dejan Vinković, Prirodoslovno-matematički fakultet, Split Dejan Vinković, Faculty of Science, Zagreb
My first thought was that this opponent’s letter was full of the standard knee-jerk parrotings of the evolutionist community. I cannot re-iterate this enough: they simply have no idea what we believe, but they disagree with it because it’s opposed to microbes-to-man evolution. Dr. Jackson’s experiences in Croatia, shared in an email with his supporters, only confirm this conclusion that evos disagree first and ask questions later – or never! Anti-creationism is simply a knee-jerk reaction of fundamentalist evolutionary dogma.
Let me give you a few examples of standard bogus evolution arguments in CFI Croatia’s letter:
1. RE: “creationism, an ideology that is opposed to scientific facts about evolution”
CFI Croatia uses the creation “ideology” versus the “scienctific facts about evolution.” This is merely a variation of the fact/faith, belief/science canard that we’ve seen over the years. Evolutionists have become rather fond of using the term ideology to decribe the position of Biblical Creationists, extraBiblical Creationists and Intelligent Design proponents. Here’s the rub: it’s not about facts. We have exactly the same facts: the same planet, the same rocks, the same DNA, the same fossils – the same facts. But facts are not self-interpretive. They are interpreted according to our preconceptions and our ideologies. The evolutionary framework is just as much an ideology as the Biblical Creation framework. The question is which ideology better fits the facts we observe. The irony is that science is conducted by a set of rules that demands that supernatural answers not be considered [at all] and thus limits itself to purell natural interpretations of the evidence. In doing so, it could be correct [and they generally are], but if God actually did anything as revealed in the Bible then they are most certainly not correct where they differ from supernatural revelation. Worse, since they are never allowed to consider the supernatural, where supernatural agency was actually responsible they would be forced to make up all-natural Just-so stories – and they’d never be wise to the fact that their ideology had blinded them to the truth! Thus modern science based on pure naturalism becomes not a serach for truth, but a search for all-natural answers that may or may not be true, and are certainly false where supernatural agency was actually responsible.
2. RE: “Moreover, creationism serves as a method for spreading religious fundamentalism, which has warned its member states, including Croatia and the European Council in its resolution 1580 from 2007.”
Hoping to incite alarm, CFI Croatia also claims that creationism is a method for spreading fundamentalism. My question is what do they mean by fundamentalism? The term has loaded meaning these days and is usually reserved for a religious extremist rather than someone who simply adheres to the traditional fundamentals of the faith. Besides if they were consistent in objecting to creationism simply because it’s used to support something else they object to, they’d have to object to the teaching of evolution on the same grounds since evolution has been used by racist supporters of eugenics. I should also note that Biblical Creation science and apologetics can be used to bring folks back to the fundamentals of the faith, but that the teaching of evolution often undermines religious truth altogether.
It should be pointed out that CSI Croatia is simply parroting the ideas presented in Resolution 1850: The Dangers of Creationism in Education which was drawn up by the Parliamentary Assembly of the 47-nation Council of Europe in 2007. Resolution 1850 [which merits its own post at some future date for a fuller discosure of its many eggregious errors] is a document that paints a snarling straw man of creationism and then proceeds to attack it. The picture it paints of creationism does not resemble real and actual creationism in any significant way. It paints creationism as a rejection of all science, when Bible-affirming creationists established most of the scientific disciplines, even within biology. It claims that creationists are out to set up theocracy that will threaten civic and human rights rather than democracy when the United States of America, the world’s most enduring democracy, is based on the proposition that all men are CREATED equal and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights. It claims that denying unobservable vertical microbes-to-man common descent evolution could have horrible consequences for medicine and moden advancements, but the examples the document cites involve observable horizontal biological change [eg, speciation, adaptation, natural selection, mutation] such as antibacterial resistance. Creationists affirm these same observable biological changes but we also note that there are limits to this plasticity, so that a dog remains a dog, whether a wolf, German shepherd or an English bulldog. In other words, we deny that these observable variations within created kinds ever become another kind of creature alogether. The flu mutates to beat a vaccine but it remains the flu. A fruit fly may become so specialized that it only exists in the London Tunnel, but it remains a fruit fly. In essence, we note that Theodosius Dobzhanky’s Grand Assumption that observable horizontal microevolutionary change would lead to proposed vertical [phyletic] microbes-to-man macroevolution.
The bottom line is that there is not a shred of truth in this fascist humanist document. If the Council of Europe truly believes the things they’ve written of creationism, they’re guilty of gross willful ignorance and lazy scholarship, for an honest hour’s research on any major creationist website like AnswersinGenesis.org, ICR.org or Creation.com would have cured them of most of their misconceptions!
3. RE: “Creationists therefore teach that the earth is 6000 years old at the most it has a couple of centuries we know is wrong on the basis of previous research in geology, astronomy, biology, chemistry and physics.”
They know the Bible is wrong on the basis of previous scientific research? This is gross overstatement and frankly they’re begging the question. It assumes that an interpretation of the evidence based on pure naturalism is correct. This assumption of naturalism is the basis of both the long ages proposed by uniformitarianism and the inference of microbes-to-man evolution over that time scale. Yet again, if supernatural agency was never responsible for anything we see in the natural world, all well and good; but if supernatural agency was actually involved in the Creation of the world, in the fall of man [which also cursed the Earth and its animals resulting in death, suffering, disease, harmful mutations and predation] and the divinde judgment of a world-covering flood in the days of Noah as supernatural revelation insists, then the timescales and processes infered from uniformitarian geology and microbes-to-man evolution are false. The bottom line is that he’s confusing the interpretations of scientific research with the research itself. Creation scientists are able to interpret this same research in a manner faithful to Biblical revelation.
4. RE: “Furthermore, says that humans and all species present before these 6000 years created by God, which is again at odds with all the facts about the evolution of man and the universe that we know well is that we try to introduce children to the teaching of biology.”
All CSI Croatia has said by this big mouthful is that Biblical revelation is at odds with the all-natural origins framework that necessitates a time scale of long ages and a molecules-to-man evolutionary process. This is a big deal if the Bible is false [in which case it is NOT a supernatural revelation as it claims to be and the entire argument is moot]. Conversely, it means the all-natural Just-so story of millions of years of microbes-to-man evolution needs to be reconsidered and ultimately abandoned if Biblical revelation is true. Of course, in trying to get their point across, they confuse the issue by conflating facts with interpretations, as we’ve discussed already.
5. RE: “By studying fossils, particularly DNA molecules, and many other scientific approaches we can follow that evolution gave rise to today’s living organisms, including humans.”
Yes, that’s a possible interpretation if we assume pure naturalism from the outset. Creationists study those same fossils, DNA, etc, and, taking Biblical revealtion as our ultimate authority, come to the conclusion the fossil record only shows variation within created kinds of creatures [so that a dog is still a dog and recognizeably so, be it a wolf, fox, English bulldog or a dachsund]; common descent is inferred. We also note that rather than the innumerable transitional forms predicted by Darwin for his theory that we only have a handful of disputable candidates that could as well be mosaics as true transitional forms. As for the evidence from DNA, why should we not expect greater similarities in encoding among creatures that look more alike than creatures that are more dissimilar? This is evidence of common design elements but one has to assume common descent from the beginning to interpret this DNA similarity as evidence of common descent. In a nutshell, all of the evidence that CFI Croatia and any other evolutionist finds so compelling for common descent via microbes-to-man evolution are simply ad hoc interpretations of the evidence, and Creationist interpretations of this same evidence fit just as well or better!
6: RE: “All the evidence we have found to date suggests that evolution happened and is happening around us, while on the other hand, creationism does not provide any evidence for their claims, but serves the distortion of the facts and stating untruths.”
And here we go again. CFI Croatia conflates the observable horizontal changes that Creationists likewise affirm [eg, “evolution… is happening all around us”] with unobservable claims of common descent via millions of years of vertical [phyletic] microbes-to-man evolution [eg, “evolution happened”] under one big tent of “evolution,” even though different processes are actually being described. These horizontal changes [eg, speciation, natural selection, muatation, adaptation, etc] merely shuffle the genetic deck or come about by a loss of overall information; molecules-to-man evolution must account for the existence of the DNA information itself and for unobserved increases of genetic information required for the theory to work.
As for the claim that Creationists do not provide any evidence for our theory but rather distort the facts and spread untruths, I would challenge CFI Croatia to show us how we’ve distorted or denied the truth. If they say we’ve distorted or denied the truth of evolution, they simply beg the question of whether evolution is true. I should note that by painting Creationism as a total rejection of science and/or by conflating observable horizontal biological change with unobservable vertical microbes-to-man evolution, they themselves are guilty of distorting the facts and suppressing their opponent’s true position. Again, I dearly wish evolutionists had a clue as to what they were disagreeing with. Their tendency is to disagree first and comprehend later… or never. I rarely meet an evolutionist who correctly understands the Creationist position he takes such issue with. Consequentally, they disagree with straw men and shadows. I contend that the exclusive teaching of molecules-to-man evolution in European public schools has allowed evolutionists to teach antiCreationist propaganda that in no way accurately reflects true Creationism. As a further consequence, each generation more vehemently disagrees with a straw man that less accurately reflects the true position of Creation science.
The claim that Creationists do not provide any evidence for our claims is demonstrably false. Only the academically lazy or the willfully ignorant could comfortably make such a claim concerning Creationism. Again, an honest hour’s research on any major creationist website like AnswersinGenesis.org, ICR.org or Creation.com would have cured them of most of their misconceptions! This accusation is purest propaganda. I suppose they hope that by repetition of such an unrealistic lie they will convince the credulous of their Big Lie.
7. RE: “Moreover, a literal interpretation of the Bible has long been abandoned in the Catholic Church, which recognizes the scientific basis of evolution.”
There is something quite dangerous in mixing truth with lies. It’s true that the Catholic Church [and most of Croatia is Catholic, if you’re wondering why these skeptics would bother tossing in a religious position in such an antireligious document] long abandoned a literal interpretation of the Bible. It is also true that most recently the Catholic Church has decided that evolution is OK, after all. This does not mean that they were correct to do so. In accepting millions of years, the Popes contradicted the teachings of the early Church Fathers whom they claim apostolic succession from. The early Church Fathers were all young earth in their beliefs, though some demurred from a literal Creation week in favor of a more extreme young earth position of instantaneous creation, as Augustine did. While the Vatican gave no intial response to Darwin’s Origin of the Species, an 1860 statement by a council of German bishops clearly showed resistance to his theory of common descent via microbes-to-man evolution:
“Our first parents were formed immediately by God. Therefore we declare that the opinion of those who do not fear to assert that this human being, man as regards his body, emerged finally from the spontaneous continuous change of imperfect nature to the more perfect, is clearly opposed to Sacred Scripture and to the Faith.”
I do not recognize papal infallibility for the excellent reason that Popes often deviate from original apostolic traditions in order to appease the spirit of the age! Nor do I believe such a thing is taught in the Bible. Furthermore, the Catholic teaching on evolution is contradictory to logic.
When Pius XII published his Humani Generis in 1950, he taught that all men have descended from an individual, Adam, who has transmitted original sin to all mankind; therefore, Catholics correctly do not affirm “polygenism”, the scientific hypothesis that mankind descended from a group of original humans, for this would necessitate many Adams and Eves rather than an original couple. In fact, this is what Pius XII actuall said:
“”Now it is in no way apparent how such an opinion (polygenism) can be reconciled with that which the sources of revealed truth and the documents of the Teaching Authority of the Church propose with regard to original sin, which proceeds from a sin actually committed by an individual Adam and which, through generation, is passed on to all and is in everyone as his own.” (Pius XII, Humani Generis, 37 and footnote refers to Romans 5:12–19; Council of Trent, Session V, Canons 1–4)
Funny thing about that. He’s right about the fact that the Bible teaches that original sin proceeds from a sin committed by an individual human named Adam and has been passed down to all of his descendants. But a sin nature wasn’t the only thing that came down to humanity via Adam. The Scripture expressly states that sin came by one man, and death by sin. Those who object that this only refers to human sin must overcome the Big Picture they’ve painted: man was a product of millions of years of death, suffering and mutation, was given a soul by his Creator-by-proxy and was thereafter sentenced to the normative condition of the universe [death, mutation and suffering]. What kind of a judgment is this? God condemns man to a curse of the status quo? This also puts God on the horns of dilemma when it comes to theodicy, for the Bible says that he six time decreed Creation “good” and ultimately “very good,” yet He allegedly created by a process of death, suffering, mutation, and disease [there is evidence of dinosaurs with cancer in the fossil record]. This He calls very good? What sort of a heaven awaits us then? Beyond the issues of death before sin and theodicy is the practical concern of thorns found in the fossil record. If the fossil record was largely laid down during noah’s world-covering Flood [after the Fall], there is no issue, but if God cursed Adam with thorns and thorns pre-existed this judgment, well, God again curses Adam with the status quo, with nothing. These theological problems do not exist within the Biblical Creation model. Would to God that Catholics would return to the revealed Word of God as their ultimate authority rather than man!
8. RE: “Therefore, the creationism has survived only in terms of religious fanaticism, and we are concerned that the promoters of these harmful attitudes in the way public institutions smoothly arranged, an NGO, using the guise of fighting addiction.”
That’s ironic. If I believed the erroneous straw man of Creationism they just thatched together for us, I’d come to the same conclusion. Fortunately, this is far from the case. Again, I recommend the folks at CFI Croatia do some honest research on the things they oppose.
We turn now to the things that they would like to accomplish by this Open Letter.
“1. First the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports (MSES) find a mechanism to protect primary and secondary schools from the onslaught of various radical religious groups and associations, among other things, so you will be barred from joining such groups and associations in schools.”
So they want to insulate students from hearing their opponent’s position [except their highly distorted version, of course]. They’re essentially saying that any group that doubts microbes-to-man evolution should not be allowed in the schools on principle. They don’t want Creationists like Dr. G Charles Jackson in their schools. It looks like they would not even allow school clubs that affirm creation or ID, if these fascists at CFI Croatia had their way!
“2. Second to penalize people who will grant access to these radical groups and organizations in public institutions, especially when it comes to schools and the teaching of natural sciences.”
They want to be able to legally penalize anyone who attempts to allow Creation speakers into the schools of Croatia, regardless of whether they actually get to speak. So first they insulate the children from dissent. Now they penalize anyone who would allow these children to hear both sides of the issue. This is a fascist attempt to force the uncritical, exclusive and credulous teaching of microbes-to-man evolution propaganda with legal penalties for those who dissent.
“3. Third to urgently initiate a public dialogue between MSES and religious communities in Croatia, which participate in the schools through the teaching of religious education, the need to prevent the spread of creationist ideas within an existing religion classes.”
Lastly, they want the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports to use its authority to encourage religious education classes to specifically condemn Creation and ID and encourage prevent the spread of these ideas that dissent from Darwin. In other words, they want to prevent Creation from being taught even in a religious class!
I’m not the only one who gets that CFI Croatia is going off the deep end here. One commentor stated regarding this fascist Open Letter:
“I would gladly sign warning that creationism is trying to introduce a small door in the school, but I can not sign this open letter for two reasons. The first reason is that in the second section requires the punishment of those responsible for the release of creationists in the school, and I do not see on what basis to do so, especially when I was religious instruction in school is allowed. Secondly, it seems to me absurd, in the third paragraph, require that the religious community through the existing religion classes inhibit the spread of creationist ideas. Like, only you teach that man has an immortal soul, to a heaven and hell and that God created the world and man, but not just that he did before only 6,000 years old.”
Pray for Dr G Charles Jackson, Creation Truth Foundation and for the zealous spread of Creation truth and evangelistic revival throughout Croatia!