Henry M. Morris

Henry M. Morris, the leading figure of creationism in the 20th century, died on February 25 (See also the ICR site). He was instrumental in the revival of young-earth creationism, through his writings, his tireless work among conservative Christians, and his institution-building. His influence will live on for a long time yet; even Muslim creationists today borrow wholesale from the Protestant creationist movement inspired by Morris.

In terms of intellectual substance, Morris’s views are hard to take seriously. Nevertheless, I think that in the long run, leaders who inspire popular religious attitudes are very relevant to the intellectual debate over religion. Many critics of theism focus on those religious thinkers who get more academic respect — the Alvin Plantingas of the world rather than the Henry Morrises, even if their views seem just as crazy from a naturalistic perspective. But Morris may have done more to shape the landscape of religious commitments and beliefs than any apologist who works in a philosophical rather than pseudoscientific idiom.

About Taner Edis

Professor of physics at Truman State University

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08888268884113053649 Hiero5ant

    It can’t be emphasised enough that Morrisism was not merely “influential upon” theistic academic anti-naturalists like Plantinga, Craig, Johnson, Behe, Dembski, etc., but was in fact their progenitor. Taken straight from the horse’s mouth:

    “Our concern with the intelligent design approach probably devolves upon two main factors. First, it is ineffective, no more convincing to evolutionists than is young-earth creationism; second, it is not really a new approach, using basically the same evidence and arguments used for years by scientific creationists but made to appear more sophisticated with complex nomenclature and argumentation.” (emphasis supplied) Henry Morris, http://www.icr.org/pubs/btg-a/btg-194a.htm

    Would that contemporary IDC’s had the basic intellectual honesty to be up front about the bolded section.

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