CRIS Hosts "The Creation Debates: A History" Lecture

by Jody Godoy '05

On Wednesday, January 15, APU's Center for Research in Science (CRIS) presented a lecture titled "The Creation Debates: A History" by Ronald L. Numbers, historian of science and medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Held in the LAPC Banquet Room, the lecture was well attended by students and faculty alike.

Numbers has written or edited more than two dozen books, and is currently writing a history of science in America and co-editing the eight-volume Cambridge History Of Science. His lecture presented a well-informed overview of creation debates in the 20th century, focusing on the responses coming out of the evangelical community in the U.S.

Though Darwin's Origin of the Species was published in 1859, said Numbers, there was no organized creationist response until the second decade of the 20th century. Creationist responses started appearing after most scientists in the U.S. had embraced some form of evolution, and the theory of organic evolution was gaining ground in churches and public education.

Numbers went on to describe the two early creationist views, which centered around two different readings of the Genesis creation account. He followed the development of the debate through the 90s when "young-earth" creationism became the most recognized form of the theory, up to the present day and the rise of "intelligent design" theory.

The lecture was one in CRIS' Science and Theology Lecture Series, and helped to fulfill the center's goal of "equipping [the APU] community with the knowledge needed to intelligently discuss issues involving both science and theology." The next lecture in the CRIS series will be held at California Baptist University on February 13. There will also be a special session titled "The Latest Facts for Faith" at APU's Common Day of Learning on March 5, 2003. For more information on upcoming lectures, please visit the CRIS website.