Stranger Fruit

Following on from parts one and two, here is the penultimate portion of the talk.

The Binaries of Creationism and The Long War

To many Creationists, Darwin “merely revived ancient paganism, clothed in apparently sophisticated modern apparel, but underneath there was still the same old pantheistic materialism of antiquity”, a modern day form of the “evolutionism” of the ancient Greeks, Romans, Babylonians, and others.

This amalgamation of very divergent philosophies and belief-systems is highlighted by Morris’ assertion that “if the universe was not created by a transcendent Creator God [note, singular], then it must always have existed in some form or another” – belief in the latter is equated with ‘evolutionism’ as is any form of polytheism. “Shintoism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Confucianism … have all been fundamentally evolutionary systems in that they deny the fact of primeval creation and the existence of an omnipotent
Creator [again, singular].” In other works, Morris would include Satanism, Theosophy, Christian Science, liberal Judaism, and the Islamic faith as all being forms of evolutionism. To Morris, everyone who is not a member of his brand of evangelical Protestantism is an “evolutionist”, irrespective of the views on the origin of the universe and man. Again, we see a binary opposition of ‘them’ and ‘us’, ‘good’ and (by implication) ‘evil’. Nowhere is this more evident that when readers/viewers are asked to choose
between “good” and “bad” scientists.

In a portion of the previously mentioned video A Walk Through History, Darwin, Marx, Andrew Carnegie and Hitler (obviously “bad”) are vividly contrasted with Michael Faraday, Louis Pasteur and Isaac Newton (obviously “good” – especially if one ignores Newton’s anti-trinitarian beliefs, which would be unpalatable to ICR members). The message is not very subtle – there are good guys and there are bad guys, and Darwin is not on the side of the angels. This point is hammered home later on, when John Morris
(son of the ICR founder), contrasts the “harmful philosophies” and “evil practices” that are ‘fruits’ of the evolutionary tree (including promiscuity, pornography, homosexuality, atheism & abortion), with the “genuine Christianity” and “correct practices” of the creationist tree (including “true history”, “true Americanism”, “true science”, and “true government”). The perceived ill effects of the theory of evolution on morals and behavior are vividly described in many works. As echoed in the opening quote
from Braswell Dean, the issue here is clearly more that arguments over scientific truth. As Christopher Toumey points out, the notional alliance of evolutionism with secular humanism, provides the Creationist movement with a bĂȘte noir that is taken to be culpable for all social and theological ills. This Manichaean ideology sees two sets of worldviews struggling for cultural control. Creationism is more than a narrow biblical doctrine. It represents a broader cultural discontent, with a fear of change, and a
steadfast belief in the detrimental effects of evolution

Henry Morris and the ICR make much of seeing evolution as a humanistic plot. Others see its teaching in schools variously as a socialist, Masonic, United Nations, League of Nations, or American Civil Liberties Union run conspiracy. The single most prevalent idea is that evolution is an idea directly inspired by Satan, a view that Morris espouses in his work, The Long War on God.

To be continued