Several well-known creationist think tanks as well as a number of local groups involve themselves with such local actions as school board races and curriculum design. In keeping with the strategic trend toward promoting “scientific” bases for creationism, these groups attempt to establish credibility through the testimony of scientists, as opposed to clergy. Creationists emphasize that their scientists have degrees from prestigious institutions and use them in an effort to validate their claims.
The Institute for Creation Research, founded in 197066 and based in California, is one of the best-known creationist organizations. ICR founder and President Emeritus Henry Morris is considered “the founder of the modern creationist movement.”67 According to Morris, “Creation is the basis of all real science, of true Americanism...and of true Christianity,” and “all things in the Universe were created and made by God in the six literal days of the Creation week.68” President John Morris writes that the mission of ICR is “to see science return to its rightful God-glorifying position… [and] removing road blocks to the Gospel.” Its graduate school “exists to train students in scientific research and teaching skills, preparing effective warriors for the faith.”69
ICR finds evolutionary theory to be dangerous because it “leads to the notion that each person owns himself, and is the master of his own destiny. This is contrary to the Bible teaching that mankind is in rebellion against God.” While some Creationists advocate equal time for creationism and evolution, ICR would completely eliminate evolution, “the anti-God conspiracy of Satan himself,” from public school curricula on the grounds that non-believers in Creationism “must ultimately be consigned to the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”70
A newer group, the Kentucky-based Answers in Genesis (AiG) specializes in seminars to spread the creationist word. AiG weighed in on the Kansas Board’s vote with an ad in USA Today proclaiming “THE TRUTH ABOUT EVOLUTION EXPOSED!” urging people to “Read the Book Kansas State School Board Members received and leading evolutionists don’t want you to know about!”71
AiG states that “The days in Genesis do not correspond to geologic ages, but are six (6) consecutive twenty-four (24) hour days of Creation,” and makes it clear that attempts to integrate faith and science in any manner that contradicts this literal interpretation of the Bible are heretical. According to AiG, “By definition, no apparent, perceived, or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the Scriptural record.” This statement makes clear that AiG rejects the fundamental principles of science—those of observation and experimentation. To help “emphasize a literal viewpoint of Biblical history,” AiG is in the process of building a Creation Museum in Kentucky as a “wonderful alternative to the evolutionary Natural History museums that Satan is using to influence so many minds.”72
AiG’s political orientation is made plain through its literature. Non-Christians are damned because “Those who do not believe in Christ are subject to everlasting conscious punishment, but believers enjoy eternal life with God.” The “evil fruits of evolution” are to blame for “the tragedy of abortion” as well; the breakdown of the family, homosexuality, lawlessness and pornography are also related to lack of faith in creationism.73
AiG executive director Ken Ham derides Christians who abide by the idea that they must tolerate “all religious ways, beliefs and practices.” Referring to an organization in his native Australia called “Toleration” that opposes teaching creationism, Ham says, “Do you know what tolerance of all religious ways, beliefs and practices means? It means an intolerance of absolutes. Christ said, “I am THE WAY,” (not one of the ways),--THE TRUTH (not one of several different and acceptable approaches to truth). If anyone is intolerant of absolutes, they are intolerant of Christ.”74
Creation Research Society (CRS), one of America’s oldest creationist groups, was founded in Michigan in 1963. Established to circumvent a problem common to its founders—namely, their inability to be published in established, peer-reviewed scientific journals—CRS’ primary function is to publish creationist research in its Creation Research Society Quarterly.75
CRS’ directory of Creationist groups within the U.S. lists almost 100 organizations.76 Many of these are small local groups; however, such groups can have enormous influence in school board elections, textbook selection and curriculum design.