1981 and the Battle for Creation - ICR Annual Report | The Institute for Creation Research

1981 and the Battle for Creation - ICR Annual Report


The year 1981 was a momentous year, both for the creation movement in general and for ICR in particular. The foundational importance of the creation/evolution issue is finally becoming widely recognized. The leading scientific and educational societies have been marshaling their forces for combat against the creationists. Bitter attacks on creationism have been published in most journals and newspapers, especially those of overtly humanistic commitments. The American Civil Liberties Union filed lawsuits against the "creation laws" which were passed in 1981 in Arkansas and Louisiana, and most other states with similar legislation pending are awaiting the outcome of this litigation, which may very well go to the Supreme Court before it is settled.

It has been almost universally acknowledged by these societies and journals that the nerve center of the creationist revival has been the Institute for Creation Research. It is a remarkable testimony to the leading and provision of God that such a small organization could have had such a worldwide impact.

The year 1981 saw not only unprecedented attention given to the ICR scientists but also saw the Institute established as an independent educational institution, no longer a division of Christian Heritage College (though still working closely with the College). The ICR Graduate School was established, with excellent M.S. degree programs in several key areas. The first graduate courses were offered in the summer and, by the end of the year, a total of 20 graduate students, all with excellent qualifications, had been admitted to the programs. So far as known, ICR is the first evangelical institution (evangelical in the sense of full commitment to the Bible alone as uniquely inerrant and authoritative in every aspect of Christian thought and life), to offer graduate degrees in science, a ministry which is vitally needed in the Christian world. ICR's graduate programs have already received the fully "approved" rating of the state of California.

Speaking Ministries

On the debating front, a total of at least 12 creation-evolution debates were held in 1981 by ICR scientists including debates at a number of major universities (Purdue, Brown, etc.), but for the most part the scientific societies have now gone on record as opposing such debates and urging their members not to participate. The highly publicized Gish/ Doolittle debate at Liberty Baptist College is now scheduled to be released nationwide on prime-time television sometime in the spring of 1982. A total of about 19,000 people attended these debates, not including radio and television listeners.

In addition to the debates, ICR speakers gave at least 45 creationist lectures in 1981 on at least 25 secular American university campuses, including such influential schools as the Universities of Illinois, Indiana, Wichita, Rice, Rochester, Michigan Tech, Oklahoma, Texas Christian, New Mexico State, Arkansas, San Diego State and others.

At least a dozen Christian colleges and seminaries were also visited by ICR scientists for lectures related to the scientific integrity of the Bible. Some of these were Biola College, Cedarville College, Bob Jones University, Liberty Baptist, Loma Linda University and Concordia Seminary (St. Louis). Besides these, of course, there were week-long Summer Institutes on Scientific Creationism held at Lubbock Christian College, Northwest College (Seattle), Christian Heritage College, Prairie Bible Institute (Canada), Grace College (Winona Lake, Indiana) and Baptist Bible College (Clark's Summit, Pennsylvania).

Creation seminars were held at many locations (Manhattan Beach, California; Dayton, Ohio; Huntsville, Alabama; Houston, Texas; Big Rapids, Michigan; Fayetteville, Arkansas; Kansas City, Missouri; Grant's Pass, Oregon; Lubbock, Texas; Kirkland, Washington; Little Rock, Arkansas; Green Bay, Wisconsin; Evansville, Indiana; Colorado Springs; etc.). In addition, ICR speakers brought messages in approximately 100 churches across the country, speaking in at least 30 states during 1981.

In the Schools

In addition to numerous lectures in school classes, the ICR staff (especially Dr. Bliss) conducted about a dozen workshops for teachers in various school districts. ICR's attorney, Wendell Bird, spoke in a number of locations on the legality of creationist teaching in the schools and, in addition, has been released by ICR to serve as needed as counsel for the Creation Science Legal Defense Fund, spending many hours on the multi-faceted aspects of this problem. ICR scientists have been featured speakers at a number of important professional conferences dealing with scientific creationism in the schools (including the Council for Advancement of Science Writers, Lutheran Teachers Convention, several ACSI Teachers Conventions, and others) as well as many youth conferences and rallies. ICR staff members were invited to speak to legislative committees, school boards, etc., in Texas, Indiana, Oklahoma, California, Alabama, Kentucky, Arkansas, Colorado, and other states.

The Media

In addition to ICR's regular weekly radio program "Science, Scripture and Salvation" (broadcast continuously for almost ten years, and now heard on more than 90 stations, in 35 states plus overseas), ICR scientists appeared during 1981 on more than 20 telecasts plus at least 25 radio broadcasts. These included appearances on several national telecasts, including "In Search of-," "Up-to-the-Minute," "Old-Time Gospel Hour," "Nightline" and several national daily newscasts as well as appearances on BBC-TV in Britain. At least a dozen videotapes have been made for use in schools, churches, etc. Interviews have been given to many reporters for newspapers and journals.

In general, the secular news media continue to give a highly distorted and biased picture of creationism and of ICR. Nevertheless, the volume of attention is in itself a measure of the impact of the ministry.

Teaching and Research

With the inauguration of the new ICR Graduate School, future research activities will often be coordinated with M.S. thesis studies. Several very significant astro/geophysical research studies are now under way in the field of geochronology, providing additional evidences for a young earth. In the Geology Department, studies on coal petrology, palynology and boulder breccias are currently active, all of which should contribute to catastrophist geology. A biological study is accumulating evidence against the popular concept that meaningful evolutionary trees can be constructed from the data of protein chemistry and molecular biology.

The ICR staff taught all the regular ICR graduate courses and individual studies during this first year, but it is anticipated that a number of visiting professors will also teach during 1982. The ICR scientists have, of course, continued to teach many of the undergraduate science and apologetics courses at Christian Heritage College, through special contract arrangements with the College.


Probably the most important publication of ICR is its monthly periodical Acts & Facts, now being sent on a complimentary basis to a mailing list of over 75,000. (The Acts & Facts mailing list consists only of those who have specifically requested it; furthermore, this list is not made available for any other use than this). Transcripts of the weekly ICR radio program are also sent free of charge to all requesting them. ICR staff members also published about 25 articles in non-ICR publications in 1981.

A significant book published in 1981 was Manipulating Life: Where Will It Stop? by Duane Gish and Clifford Wilson. Four new books in the "Two-Model Series" from ICR's Curriculum Writing Project were also published, as follows: Dinosaur ABCs (Grades K-2); Walk the Dinosaur Trail (Grades 3-4); The Eye (Grades 5-7); and Fossils: Hard Facts from the Earth (Grades 5-8). Several more of the books in this series will be published in 1982. The dedicated writers on this team worked in 1981 for the third successive summer on this project.

Another major writing project completed in 1981 was Dr. Henry Morris' The Revelation Record, a verse-by-verse commentary on Revelation in the same size and format as The Genesis Record, scheduled for publication by Tyndale Publishers in June. What is Creation Science? by Gary Parker and Henry Morris will be published by CLP in March.


The foregoing data all apply specifically to ICR activities in the United States. However, the "foreign missions" component of the ICR ministry also has become very significant. Two two-week Canadian speaking tours, by Dr. Gish and Dr. Parker, respectively, reached numerous colleges, schools and churches and a total of perhaps 6,000 people in Ontario and Alberta. Dr. Bliss spent an entire month in New Zealand, giving a total of 55 lectures to university, church and teachers' groups. Dr. Barnes gave a seminar in Mexico.

Dr. Morris was the featured speaker for a week-long pastors' conference in London, England. Soon afterwards, he went to the opposite side of the world for a series of important creationist meetings in Hong Kong and New Guinea. Near the end of the year, Dr. Gish went on a unique two-week island-hopping speaking tour through the nations of the Caribbean.

Several new foreign translations of ICR books were published (an updated list will be published in an early edition of Acts & Facts), and creationist associations, mostly using ICR materials are becoming stronger and more active in the above and many other countries. ICR has been spotlighted on two BBC telecasts in England.


ICR has always been careful to practice Christian stewardship, and by God's help, through many individual supporters, has thus far always been able to end each fiscal year in the black. The total expenditures for the 1980-81 fiscal year were approximately $624,000. Of this amount, $164,000 was for printing and postage, mostly for the Acts & Facts. The main item, of course, was for staff salaries and benefits, totaling $331,000. The number of staff members covered by this item totaled over 40 (full-time plus part-time) with a "full-time equivalent" of over 23. The amount of work produced by this staff and the worldwide impact of its ministry, in comparison to the number of workers and their remuneration, provide strong testimony both of their dedication and of God's blessing. Obviously, much more could be accomplished with a larger staff and better facilities, and this should be made a specific object of prayer.

The income for the year exceeded expenditures by a small amount, with by far the greater part (about 75%) coming from faithful giving (usually small individual amounts) by individual Christians. The additional sources of income have been, in order of magnitude: (1) profits from book sales at seminars; (2) honorariums to ICR speakers (ICR speakers receive nothing for themselves at seminars and other meetings); (3) gifts from churches and organizations; (4) royalties on ICR sponsored books; and (5) tuitions and miscellaneous.

ICR's books are audited by a CPA firm each year, and a copy of the audited statement is available to any who need such information.

Cite this article: Staff Writer. 1982. 1981 and the Battle for Creation - ICR Annual Report. Acts & Facts. 11 (2).

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