I received this notification from an organization on campus:
Butler Staff and Faculty Ministry (BSFM) would like to invite faculty, staff and students to join us for our quarterly speaker and Brown Bag Luncheon:
Thursday, April 11th, 2013 12:00pm – 1:00pm in the Johnson Room at Robertson Hall
Dr. Terry Mortenson: “Origin of Species: was Darwin right?”
(Taking a critical look into the evidences, assumptions and conclusions of the science of origins.)
Light desserts and drinks will be provided by BSFM. Please feel free to bring a brown bag lunch.
Terry Mortenson has a PhD in the history of geology from the University of Coventry in England and is an international speaker on the creation—evolution controversy for Answers in Genesis, founding organization for the 70,000 square foot Creation Museum in Petersburg, KY.
Though RSVP’s are not required, it would be helpful if you would contact Rhonda Louks (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are planning to attend to assist with determining dessert and drink quantities, or contact Rhonda if you have questions.
I wrote an e-mail in response, and thought I would share it here:
I would like to express my dismay that BSFM has chosen to invite a representative of an organization opposed to not only the mission of Butler University, but also the historic Christian faith and respect for the Bible, to our campus. Answers in Genesis promotes views which are at odds with both the scientific evidence and what the Bible says.
I have blogged more than once about Terry Mortenson's previous visit to campus. Here is a link to one example.
I wonder what motivates the invitation of someone who represents an organization that brings the Christian faith into disrepute. Those who make false claims, and who maintain that the making of such claims is what it means to be a Christian, do only harm to the faith. That is what Answers in Genesis does. They persuade many people that they have to choose between what science concludes and Christianity, and in a self-fulfilling prophecy, many people who then discover the weight and extent of the scientific evidence then leave their faith.
Why not invite someone like Francis Collins, an Evangelical Christian who headed up the Human Genome Project and who is now director of the NIH? Someone who actually knows about the relevant scientific information and can talk about it from a Christian perspective? Why not invite a Christian like John Walton who is also a Biblical scholar and can talk honestly and accurately about the creation accounts in Genesis? Why invite self-proclaimed experts without relevant expertise who deceive the gullible and drive people away from the faith?
I am very disappointed with BSFM. I am not sure who is responsible for the invitation, but I hope that you will forward my e-mail to them. I do not know whether there is any hope that the invitation extended to Answers in Genesis could be reconsidered, but it ought to be.