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.

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