Conference details research supporting 'young earth'
Dallas: Scientist says isotope data back theory, not evolution
12:00 AM CDT on Sunday, October 1, 2006
By SAM HODGES / The Dallas Morning News
In the beginning, there was prayer. Then came nearly a full day of research reports from
scientists who support the Biblical or "young earth" account of creation, not evolution.
About 700 people packed First Baptist Church of Dallas' new Criswell Center on Saturday for
"Thousands ... Not Billions," a conference put on by the California-based Institute for Creation
The crowd heard from, among others, John Baumgardner, a geophysicist for the institute who says
that research showing large amounts of the isotope carbon-14 in coal and diamonds supports the
theory of a young earth.
Carbon-14 has a short half-life, he said, so it would essentially be gone from such materials if
they were millions of years old.
He acknowledged that most geophysicists would not agree.
"What they would say is this C-14 must be the result of contamination," he said. "If pressed to
demonstrate that suggestion, they are unable to do that."
Creationism, which encompasses various theories, is not in the scientific mainstream. In the book
Science and Creationism, for example, the National Academy of Sciences says, "The scientific
consensus around evolution is overwhelming."
But, the reports discussed Saturday impressed Don Pitman of Dallas, a retired linguist and Bible
"I think the research that has been done is top-notch, very professional," he said. "It really
supports what the Bible says, that God is the creator and all of this didn't just come from
Ken Embry, a retired engineer from Duncanville who describes himself as having "evolved from
evolution," said the sessions supported his view that creation science has the better argument.
"If people spent more time looking at the data," he said, "they might be pleasantly surprised."
The conference had some interesting Dallas connections. The new Criswell Center, where it was
held, is named for W.A. Criswell, the late pastor of First Baptist Dallas and a champion of
And the late founder of the Institute for Creation Research was Henry Morris, a Dallas native. He
had degrees from Rice University and the University of Minnesota and taught engineering at
His book The Genesis Flood, written with John C. Whitcomb, was described as the catalyst of the
modern creation science movement by the National Center for Science Education, a group that
defends the teaching of evolution in public schools.
The Institute for Creation Research is opening a Dallas branch called the Henry M. Morris Center
for Christian Leadership.
The center will be a base for an online graduate education and professional development program,
but it also plans to offer classes and seminars at its headquarters on Royal Lane beginning next
Henry Morris III, executive vice president of the institute and son of the founder, said Dallas
was chosen because "it's in the Central time zone, with a good airport."
But he also described Dallas as a "strong Christian center" that will probably be a supportive
home for the teaching of the creationist worldview.
Christopher W. Ashcraft
Northwest Creation Network