Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Answers in Genesis hires Andrew Snelling

Answers in Genesis has announced that it has hired creationist geologist Andrew Snelling, formerly an employee of the Creation Science Foundation, Answers in Genesis-Australia, and Creation Ministries International (the same organization under three names) as well as a contractor for the Institute for Creation Research (they paid him $85,000-$96,000/year to do research for them), to fill their open position.

This partially answers the question of how AiG-US will conduct future "scientific" work, a question which CMI had raised since the Australians were the main contributors to such AiG efforts in the past.

A question that hasn't been answered is why Snelling stopped working for Creation Ministries International and went to the ICR. The Briese report contains this tantalizing tidbit of information, which I haven't seen anyone publicly comment on to date:
I clearly remember him saying that Andrew Snelling [a former Australian staff member who was opposed to the notion that a Christian can ever remarry. He was later dismissed by the Australian Board, which at the time included Ken Ham, for matters unconnected to this issue.] had been right about it at the time and that he (Ken) and others had been wrong. But Ken didn't give me any convincing reason as to why he now saw things so differently and why it was now necessary to make an issue of it.
This description makes it sound like Snelling's departure from CMI was not voluntary, and that he had issues with Carl Wieland (a Christian who divorced and remarried).

Snelling is one of the very few young earth creationist geologists on the planet with a Ph.D. from a mainstream academic institution (Steve Austin of the Institute for Creation Research is another). Ronald Numbers' book, The Creationists, describes how Henry Morris of the ICR wanted to see a young creationist successfully obtain a Ph.D. in geology from a mainstream institution, only to be faced with failures by Clifford Burdick (who was kicked out of the program at the University of Arizona) and Nicolaas Rupke (who succeeded in obtaining his Ph.D., but rejected young-earth creationism as a result of what he learned in the process).

5 comments:

Ktisophilos said...

Interesting: that Briese report cites an 10-year-old email by Ken Ham saying that Carl Wieland acted above and beyond the call of duty in his divorce/remarriage issue, and telling people to lay off, already. No wonder KH's explanations of his change of heart were "unconvincing". Rather, it looks like the unscrupulous use of any weapon he can find to fire at Wieland.

IIRC, the marriage celebrant for Carl Wieland's marriage to Margaret Buchanan was none other than Rev. Robert Ham, Ken Ham's late brother whom he praised as a godly uncompromising Christian in Walking Through Shadows.

Can anyone (except perhaps Ozgirl? ;)) seriously believe that Ken Ham has found any evidence so long after the fact that was unknown to him and his brother at the time?

Salvador T. Cordova said...

Jim,

Even though I run a Young Earth creation website and have advocated Young Earth ideas, I've had issues with some of the ways AiG does business.

I thank you for your research into what goes on there. I also appreciated your financial analysis of ID and creationist organizations. It was very revealing.

One organization I didn't see listed is Loma Linda/GRI. They have published in secular peer-review and they have a medical school. They are quietly the best YEC research center out there.

I will reference and advertise some of your analysis on my website. I found it revealing.

regards,
Salvador

Jim Lippard said...

Sal:

One of these days I'll do an update on some additional creationist organizations' financials, as well as updates on the ones I've already reported.

The Geoscience Research Institute is part of the "General Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists," which is actually multiple organizations in different states (I'm guessing that GRI falls under the one based in California). Those organizations are 501(c)(3) *religious* organizations, which means they do not file Form 990s with the IRS and their financial reports are not available to the general public unless they choose to make them available. I'm certainly willing to ask GRI directly for their financial statements. They tend to be fairly reasonable about such things, I think--the most detailed and effective criticism of phony archaeologist Ron Wyatt's claims came from SDA members Russell and Colin Standish in their book _Holy Relics or Revelation_; there is a Timothy Standish associated with GRI.

Jim Lippard said...

Sal, I read your spin on my financial figures--you argue that they show how poor and underfunded these groups are, but you ignore the fact that several of these groups, including AiG and your pals at the Discovery Institute, are pulling in hefty six-figure salaries even while the groups spend virtually nothing on scientific research. The reason these groups don't fund research isn't that they can't afford to, it's that it's not their mission.

Jim Lippard said...

FYI, the GRI informed me that they do not have separate financialsfrom the church, but their 2007 budget was $904,000, and they receive modest annual increases with inflation.