8/27/2007

QUAMMEN HAS FANS



Yes, it's the Seventh-Day Adventists, the original flood geologists, new and improved. Accept no substitutes. They've got another slick campaign for creationism headed to your local community. Check out this slick, powerful site which is essentially pitching a four-part seminar series prompted in part (they imply) by David Quammen's 2004 piece for National Geographic.


That issue sort of lured a lot of creationists into the mix with the sort of technique we associate with tabloids, posing a big, dramatic, suggestive leading question on the cover ('WAS DARWIN WRONG?'). When opened up, the very clear response of Quammen and National Geographic had to come as a let-down for all those young-earth, original-kind folks:



Anyway, I don't know how Quammen feels about it, but this latest SDA-sponsored effort fills me with misgivings. The Clovis SDA church sponsored the last creationist foray in my area back in February, and they somehow managed to give an entire week's worth of seminars (a revival meeting, really) on the Buchanan High School campus in my neck of the woods (Clovis, CA), all without identifying their sectarian origin in the local paper, which ran a full-page ad to plug the things in its 'Faith and Values' section. Not only was creationist Walter Veith featured taping his presentation for future resale at the event, but there was even an evening devoted to anti-Freemasonry conspiracy stuff.

Let's just say that I, some fellow science teachers and the rest of us were non-plussed at the whole affair (it went on for five consecutive evenings) and viewed the district's non-response on our concerns with alarm. Perhaps that has something to do with the CUSD board, which numbers among its members an Adventist (Dr. Susan Walker) who graduated from Loma Linda University, the SDA college which is affiliated with the flood geology-peddling Geoscience Research Institute.

In general, I like SDA.* Unlike a lot of fundy outfits, they have a strong academic orientation, and many SDA are highly educated. My family has SDA friends, people of the highest quality. But this latest bit better take place at their church, not on a public high school campus. I'm hip to their jive now.

**************UPDATE*****************

*PZ linked to me and said I'm being too kind to SDA. He's right about that, but when I think about it, PZ's probably going too easy on me, for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is that kooky SDA founder Ellen Price came out of some version of the kooky Methodism I subscribe too. So, glass houses and stones, and all that. I really appreciate PZ and anyone else who passes this information along, though.

In the meantime, I can't forget that SDA produced, among others, Ronald Numbers. For those of you who don't know, he's really the expert on the beginnings of flood geology, first actively promoted by an SDA named George McCready Price. Anyone who really wants to understand the origins of the modern creationist movement should read this book.

2 comments:

Jeff said...

I was raised and educated SDA, and have just recently put that behind me. Ironically it was probably Sean Boonstra (the face of "out for thin air" and other similar media presentations) that had a lot to do with my escape. There is something creepy and dishonest about him. Since most of my friends and family are still SDA, I was wondering if there was any scientific/skeptical reply to any of specifically SDA spewing like this program that I could look at to add to my arguments.

Vera said...

David Quammen is my hero. In fact, I haven't given him nearly enough credit for his part in converting me to evolution (or whatever you want to call the process).