The following article describes the successful efforts to form an Origins Study group on a major university campus. It was written by Josh Cuozzo, son of Dr. Jack Cuozzo who speaks at ICR Seminars from time to time. Josh has participated in his father's fascinating, worldwide research on Neanderthal fossils. This article's goal is to encourage others in similar efforts to provide a creation presence on campus.
It is evident that we live in a world that directly opposes the creationist viewpoint. On college campuses nationwide, this opposition is greatly magnified. Every day students are subjected to a variety of courses that declare evolutionary speculation as fact. College students who are Christians are confronted with a dilemma between what their professor says in class and what their pastor says in church. The main goal of the Origins Club is to solve this dilemma by providing students with scientific resources to take a stand for the Bible.
The initial interest to start our local campus was sparked in November of 1995 after two of my friends and I went to the "Back to Genesis" seminar held at the Seasons Resort in Vernon Valley, Great Gorge, New Jersey. Afterward we talked a great deal about the possibilities of starting a creation club on campus and the responsibilities it would entail. We all saw the need for an organization of this type for many important reasons. First, there was nowhere for students to turn when confronted with evolutionary ideas presented in class. Many friends of mine who were actively involved in Christian organizations began to seriously doubt the validity of Genesis. Also those who did believe in Creation had little or no facts to support its accuracy. We saw a need for the Christians on this campus to be strengthened mainly by directing them to the proper Creation resources. We also believed that the Origins Club could be used to dispel the common myths of creationism and educate people on the most current theories. Finally, we saw a need to reach out to the evolutionists and to encourage them to ask questions about what they believe and why. Christian or atheist, both agree that in order to promote good science there must be extensive educated debate and review. They should be willing to question their own theories as intricately as they question ours.
On January 15, 1996, four friends and I had our first organizational meeting. The first item of business was to create a list of long- and short-term goals.
- To get the club established with a set membership
- To show creation videos for club recruitment
- To get a faculty advisor
- To educate Christians on contemporary scientific issues from a creationist perspective
- To seek funding opportunities
- To provide qualified speakers
- To establish a prayer network and get the word out to the Christian community
- To present to the Christian faculty at Penn State the goals and purposes of the Origins Club.
- To attract nationally recognized speakers
- To provide a multimedia Creation Resource Center for faculty, students, and the community
- To support research projects in conjunction with established Creation Resource Centers
- To hold a major debate on campus
- To provide a framework for a network of nationwide and, God willing, worldwide collegiate creation organizations.
These were lofty goals, yet we knew with God our possibilities were limitless (Luke 1:37). Over the course of the semester we started to realize several of our goals and our prayers were soon answered. I spoke with several interested faculty and within a month we had an advisor. Our application for club approval was put together and our constitution was composed. It was only a matter of time before our official approval as a special interest group on campus. In the meantime we were able to hold two meetings in order to promote our club. These were both heavily advertised with flyers posted all over campus. At each meeting we showed a video and afterwards we had a question and answer period. On both occasions we had a good turnout of about thirty to forty people. The open discussion was very effective as it provided a time for students to ask questions about topics discussed in the film. My two friends and I tried to answer as many as we could and if we were unable we directed them to a book or video that could further aid them. These meetings were important to get the word out to the college community. Towards the end of the spring semester we were called to present our club before the Undergraduate Student Government Supreme Court. This procedure is taken with all prospective organizations to see if a club is necessary and beneficial to the university. On April 15, 1996, within a week of our hearing, the Origins Club was declared official at Pennsylvania State University.
The new school year has brought some new developments in the Origins Club. We had three meetings in the Fall semester and hope to have at least that many in the Spring. At the last two meetings, Dr. Jack W. Cuozzo spoke and generated considerable interest with his research on Neanderthal fossils. We also have established a web site on the official Penn State homepage http://interface.cac.psu.edu/origins/ which presents information about our club and also has links to many other creation organizations. Most college students have access to the internet and it is an effective way to find the most current information on creation science. Even though we have successfully started this creation club on campus, it has not been without opposition.
I have received ridicule from professors, students, and even a death threat. This has not stopped us, and we press on to give students a better view of science that could change their lives forever
The Origins Club and creationists on college and university campuses need your prayers. They are attacked from all sides almost on a daily basis. Evolutionary theory is destroying students' minds and souls. This process needs to be changed and by starting these clubs on campuses nationwide we can make a tremendous difference. Instead of Christians always being influenced by evolution, we can start to influence others. I believe part of the solution is that Christians must encourage young people to get involved in science with a motivation to change the system. We must make a stand for our Bible and investigate our world according to it. If anyone has any interest in starting an Origins Club on their campus and feel that our experience may be of benefit, please contact me on e-mail at email@example.com. You may also get more information on the web at http://interface.cac.psu.edu/origins/.
* Mr. Cuozzo is an anthropology student at Penn State Universitv.
Is neo-Darwinism (evolution) a theory of biological origins, or is it the very foundation of a secular world view? Few Christians recognize evolution as the centerpiece of an anti-Christian philosophy. But evolutionists, seeing the centrality of the origins debate, understand neo-Darwinism for what it is. Such acknowledgment is seen in this quote from philosopher J. Collins, appearing in a modern high school biology textbook:
. . . there are no living sciences, human attitudes, or institutional powers that remain unaffected by the ideas . . . released by Darwin's work. (Biology Miller & Levine Prentice Hall 1995, p. 313.)
At the college level, a botany (the study of plants) text states:
Like all important ideas, evolution attracts controversy: . . . it has affected not only science but also philosophy, religion, and human attitudes. (Botany Moore, Clark, and Stern W.C. Brown 1995, p. 516.)
Interestingly, there are two key words in both of these quotes: (human) attitudes and ideas. (One is tempted to ask if it is not redundant to put "human" in front of attitude. Who or what else would have an attitude?) By using this word, the authors state that evolution has affected the disposition, viewpoint, and opinion of man. But it is also an idea, meaning a hypothesis, assumption, or impression. We at ICR have been saying for years that ideas like neo-Darwinism have consequences.
The next logical step is stated by an anthropologist from Rutgers named Tiger who,
. . . contends that Darwinian science inevitably will, and should, have legal, political, and moral consequences. (Scientific American October, 1995 p. 181.)
This is a chilling quote indeed from a leading science publication. Concerned Christians should, more than ever, double their efforts to expose neo-Darwinism as a corrupt philosophy.