Sevreal readers pointed me to an essay/ad by the Institute for Creation Research asking Christian youth to go into science. For your delectation: “Wanted: Young creation scientists” by Jake Hebert, Ph.D. (doctorate in physics from the University of Texas at Dallas). Pay special attention to the last two paragraphs.
If you need a sign that creationists are getting desperate, here’s a good one, for this “ad” literally begs Christian youth to go into science solely to become “stealth creationists” like Jon Wells.
The first paragraph, about the advances of creation science and its superiority over “real” science (i.e., evolutionary biology) is of course a complete lie. But the real motivation for co-opting Christian youth into science is in the last two paragraphs, advising these students “to not draw attention to your creationists beliefs while you are a student.”
But if those beliefs have, as the ICR asserts, trumped modern evolutionary biology, why hide them? Well, it’s because of the “anti-Christian sentiment” in society and the “academic persecution in the secular universities.” What this means is simply that people with creationist beliefs have those beliefs questioned in a good secular university. That’s what a university is for, and it’s not “persecution.” But it’s better to keep your mouth shut until you get that Ph.D., whereupon you can come out as a full-throttle creationist like John Wells and Michael Behe.
This is a form of child abuse in three ways. It take a child’s natural interest in science and perverts it by forcing it into the Procrustean bed of creationism, turning the child into a liar for Jesus. Second, it tries to distort scientific understanding before the “candidate” even gets to the classroom, by urging the the student to hold onto his/her views in the face of counterevidence. Finally, it is unbearably cynical, for it makes the child a tool of the creationsts/fundamentalists—a minion who can fulfill their desire to overthrow real science by subverting it from within. They are producing the equivalent of those little Iraqi children who were urged to run through minefields to detonate unexploded mines. Suborning a child’s curiosity about the world by enlisting it in the cause of superstition is true child abuse.