50 Years of Creation Research and Scholarship | The Institute for Creation Research

50 Years of Creation Research and Scholarship

“The creation/evolution debate is, in a very real sense, the most fundamental issue of all.”
— ICR founder Dr. Henry M. Morris

When the children of Israel first crossed the Jordan River to begin their occupational campaign, Joshua instructed each of the 12 tribe leaders to take a stone from the middle of the Jordan,

“That this may be a sign among you when your children ask in time to come, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ Then you shall answer them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. And these stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever.” (Joshua 4:6-7)

That memorial practice has been mimicked over the centuries by Kingdom ministries wanting to mark the provision of God as He has blessed, challenged, and provided for the work for which they were called into existence. We at ICR would like to do something similar with this short tribute so that those of you who have helped support this ministry might rejoice with us.

In the Beginning

ICR founder Dr. Henry M. Morris didn’t start out with a plan to found a creation research ministry. It was a vision that developed over time. He realized that if the Bible is God’s Word, it must be trustworthy from beginning to end. When the book of Genesis came under attack—even within the church—he began researching how science confirms the Bible. As a geologist, professor, and avid scholar, he saw profound evidence for the Genesis accounts of the six-day creation, the global Flood, and the Tower of Babel, and he sought to share those insights in order to reestablish the church’s confidence in Scripture.

Dr. Morris received his B.S. in 1939 from Rice Institute in Houston, and his involvement with the on-campus Intervarsity ministry inspired his serious search of the Scriptures to resolve the obvious conflict between the science he was being taught and the words of the Bible. His M.S. in 1948 and Ph.D. in 1950 from the University of Minnesota developed his expertise in hydraulics and provided the necessary credentials to investigate how science confirms the Genesis Flood.

  • 1961—Dr. Morris collaborated with Bible scholar Dr. John Whitcomb to write The Genesis Flood, which challenged the most basic secular beliefs of evolution and deep time and became the catalyst for the modern creationism movement.
  • 1963—The Creation Research Society was established by like-minded creation scientists, including Dr. Morris. This 57-year-old professional organization is still thriving today.


  • 1970—Dr. Morris met Dr. Tim LaHaye and Art Peters, and the three sought to build the Christian Heritage College in San Diego. Within the college, the Creation Research Science Center was born, which later regrouped to form the independent ministry Institute for Creation Research (ICR).
  • 1972—ICR’s free monthly Acts & Facts began publication, and ICR launched its radio ministry with a 15-minute program called Science, Scripture & Salvation.

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Dr. John Morris, second son of ICR’s founder, made 13 trips to Mount Ararat in search of the remains of Noah’s Ark. Dr. John’s work, funded by ICR, has been a major impetus for the ongoing interest and notoriety of that significant archaeological artifact.

Dr. Henry M. Morris and Dr. Duane Gish participated in hundreds of debates in the late 1970s and 1980s. Those debates were instrumental in bringing creation evidence onto the national stage.


  • 1984—ICR moved to Santee, California.
  • 1985—Days of Praise, a quarterly devotional, began publication.


  • 1994—Answers in Genesis was founded by Ken Ham, who spent his early years at ICR growing and gaining his reputation as a world-renowned speaker and promoter of the creationist message.
  • 1996—Founder Dr. Henry M. Morris retired, and Dr. John Morris filled his position as ICR’s president.


  • 2004—Dr. Henry Morris III, eldest son of ICR’s founder, moved to Dallas, Texas, to prepare for ICR’s relocation.
  • 2005—The Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth (RATE) project was completed after nearly eight years of careful analysis and laboratory research. The team of seven creation scientists—mostly from ICR—discovered incredible physical evidence that supports what the Bible says about the young age of the earth. Two major books were published—the first detailed what was to be done and the questions to be debated, and the second reported on the findings.
  • 2006—ICR founder Dr. Henry M. Morris went home to be with the Lord. ICR purchased the Dallas campus and acquired properties over the next few years to prepare for a cutting-edge facility that would showcase the evidence for creation.
  • 2007—Dr. Henry Morris III was appointed Chief Executive Officer of ICR. Only a few California-based employees chose to move, giving Dr. Morris III the opportunity and challenge to recruit over 40 new staff members and science faculty.


ICR has continued its national ministry of seminars and educational efforts, while cutting-edge scientific research remains at the forefront of ICR’s priorities. Geneticist Dr. Jeff Tomkins completed a human and chimp DNA comparison that refuted the claim that chimps are our evolutionary relatives. Geologist Dr. Tim Clarey and his assistant documented almost three-fourths of Earth’s sedimentary deposits to better understand the progression of the Genesis Flood. Medical doctor and Professional Engineer Dr. Randy Guliuzza developed the continuous environmental tracking model, a creation-based explanation for animals’ ability to rapidly adapt to environmental change. And zoologist Frank Sherwin continues his investigation into the intricacies of God’s created creatures.

Physicist Dr. Jake Hebert discovered inconsistencies in secular climate change research and showed how erroneous assumptions have contributed to the current alarmism. Nuclear physicist Dr. Vernon Cupps completed and released his studies on the nature of matter and the unreliability of radiometric dating methods. And paleobiochemist Dr. Brian Thomas studied the fast-decaying soft tissues found inside supposedly very old fossils.

  • 2014—ICR produced its first theater-quality DVD series, Unlocking the Mysteries of Genesis. Three more successful series followed over the next three years.
  • 2017—ICR hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the ICR Discovery Center for Science & Earth History. ICR staff, board members, and a few hundred supporters of the project attended the momentous occasion.
  • 2019—ICR officially opened the ICR Discovery Center on September 2, with over 1,600 in attendance. Thousands of supporters—including many of you—helped us raise nearly $35 million to complete this fabulous facility showcasing the astounding evidence of the accuracy and authority of God’s Word.

Celebrating God’s Goodness

God’s blessings over the past 50 years have been stunning! We plan to reflect on His goodness all year long, but ICR’s official 50th anniversary celebration will be scheduled later. We’ll let our Acts & Facts readers know more as the time approaches, and we’d love for as many of you as possible to join us as we honor our Lord Jesus and His wonderful provision over these five significant and fruitful decades.

Cite this article: Various Authors. 2020. 50 Years of Creation Research and Scholarship. Acts & Facts. 49 (1).

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