Carl Wieland

Dr Carl Wieland M.B., B.S.

Founding editor, Creation magazine, and one of the pioneers of the modern creation movement in Australia.

Biography

After 41 years of activity and prominence in the creation movement, the last 28 of them as the fulltime Managing Director of the ministry that eventually became Creation Ministries International in Brisbane, Australia, Dr Carl Wieland commenced a well-earned retirement from active creation ministry in early 2015.

His successor as CEO of CMI-Australia, head scientist Dr Don Batten, said at the time, “These are big shoes to fill, but one of the hallmarks of Dr Wieland’s decades of exemplary service was a commitment to making sure that the CMI did not focus on individuals, personalities or ‘name recognition’, but rather on a team approach. One of his enduring legacies is the calibre of the CMI team that he helped to build. This consists of many talented and committed individuals worldwide in various roles, with younger scientists and speakers due to come on board in coming years, in more than one country in which CMI operates. This longstanding ethos will stand the ministry in good stead in both the medium and long-term future.”

During his last fulltime year, 2014, Carl was particularly thrilled at seeing the completion of several projects dear to his heart, including the hugely impactful Evolution’s Achilles Heels documentary and book project, as well as the groundbreaking commentary The Genesis Account. In addition, a big encouragement has been the continuing wonderful growth in web traffic (in early 2015, this was around 20,000 unique visitors each day and rising), with a constant and increasing flow of testimonies of lives changed worldwide.

Carl had an ongoing interest in the ability of people in developing countries to access the huge amounts of free material via this site; as well as in other-language translations. At the time of his retirement, CMI resources were available in 39 languages other than English. In Australia’s regional neighbourhood, he played significant roles in the establishment of: the Hong Kong Creation Resources Ministry (and the translation and printing of both Stones and Bones and The Creation Answers Book into both Chinese scripts), the Singapore Friends of CMI (including several potential speakers), and the Philippines Creation Network.

Another legacy of Carl’s is his major role in conceiving and setting up the formal federation of CMI ministries, known as CMI-Worldwide. This aims to ensure that all the autonomous CMI offices across the globe stay bound within a structure that maximises accountability and minimises the potential for the painful splits and personality struggles one sees from time to time in ministry of all types. Under this structure, each national ministry’s accountability in important things is not to any individual, or a single Board potentially influenced by a persuasive personality, but to the federation of all the CMI countries acting in concert, each answerable to its fellows. A key concept in this thinking was the protection of the interests of supporters, recognising that their giving was ultimately to a cause more than to an organisation.

During his decades in ministry, Carl was a popular speaker and writer, and lectured extensively in Australia and internationally. Not long after graduating as a medical doctor in 1973, he began speaking by invitation on creation vs evolution part-time, and eventually founded Creation Science Association of South Australia in 1977, the first formal creationist organisation in Australia.1 This soon had branches in all states other than Queensland. His long-time friend Peter Sparrow (of Creation Bus fame) was on that first committee. The first copy of Creation magazine was produced on his doctor’s office photocopier in mid-1978. At around the same time, two schoolteachers in Queensland2 were beginning a creation outreach through churches utilizing a missions model.

In the late 1970s all the various state groups, which were already cooperating in several ways, amalgamated, with Carl disbanding the CSA and placing it and the magazine under the headship of the group in Brisbane (Queensland, Australia), which already had some fulltime workers. In 1980, it formally incorporated as the Creation Science Foundation. Carl continued working as a family medical doctor in South Australia while supporting the Queensland ministry and doing voluntary writing and speaking for it, concentrating on the southern parts of the nation. In that period, he served for a time as President of the Christian Medical Association of South Australia.

In May 1986, after falling asleep at the wheel in Australia’s Northern Territory, Carl was involved in a head-on collision with a fully laden fuel tanker at highway speeds. This led to nearly six months in hospital and some 56 reconstructive operations extending into succeeding years.3

In early 1987, while he was recovering from the accident, the Queensland ministry suffered a serious crisis involving one of the original founders. This led to a catastrophic decline in confidence and support, and near-insolvency. In view of his background and reputation among supporters via the magazine, Carl was asked to head the ministry for a time to try to help it survive, given that the only remaining founder figure was already working fulltime in the US.

This rebuilding effort involved long spells ‘on the road’, often for weeks, giving the message in town after town across Australia. In the first few years after the accident, he often undertook ministry while on crutches and/or bandaged, following the latest operation.

This ‘temporary stint’ ended up being 28 years of fulltime leadership of the ministry, amounting to over four decades of creationist involvement in all. During this time, the ministry changed its name to Answers in Genesis,4 then later to Creation Ministries International. Prior to his retirement, CMI’s magazine Creation had subscribers in well over 100 countries. CMI’s Journal of Creation was widely regarded as a world leader of its type, and CMI-Australia was actively cooperating with sister ministries in six countries.

During his over four decades in creation ministry, Carl authored numerous articles in Creation magazine (of which he was editor-in-chief), on creation.com, and in the associated in-depth Journal of Creation (formerly TJ). He was the executive producer of CMI’s 2009 documentary on Darwin, The Voyage that Shook the World. Following is a list of the books he authored or co-authored up to retirement, followed by his published articles.

Publications

Books

Creation magazine articles

Journal of Creation articles

Other articles

Dinosaur soft tissue and related topics

The Indonesian ‘Hobbit’ and other ape-man subjects

Environmentalism, Earth Day, Global Warming

Vaccination, disease, medicine

Why are there bad things such as pain and death in the world?

Mutations and natural selection

Fossils

General/biblical

Human brain

Origin of life, Cosmology

Importance of biblical creation plus miscellaneous creation topics

The article Carl Wieland retires by Gary Bates and Jonathan Sarfati was written as a tribute.

References and notes

  1. This refers to biblical creation specifically, not to just being ‘anti-evolution’, as was the earlier Evolution Protest Movement, whose criteria were broad enough to include non-trinitarian cult adherents, gap theorists, etc. Return to text.
  2. Ken Ham and John Mackay, operating then as Creation Science Educational Media Services and Creation Science Supplies. Return to text.
  3. The subject of his book Beyond the Shadows. Return to text.
  4. The Brisbane-based ministry CSF had seconded Ken Ham to the US in 1986, prior to Carl’s being asked to come on board. And in 1996, after 10 years with ICR and with help, which included a substantial cash grant from the Australian ministry, a US ministry was established in Kentucky which soon became Answers in Genesis. The Australian parent body later followed suit with a name change. Cooperation of mutual benefit continued apace, with Carl serving on the Board of AiG-USA. A parting of the ways eventually led in 2006 to the Australian ministry and the bulk of the then AiG offices in other countries changing their names to Creation Ministries International. With the loss of any US subscriber support base, CMI established a new US sister ministry in Atlanta, Georgia, eventually led by Gary Bates, formerly Carl’s 2-i-c in Australia. Return to text.

Ken E. wrote: “I just wanted to drop a note to express my gratitude for the kind of information you supply at the CMI web-site. I love science and find it thrilling to see how it may be used to glorify God and build faith in Him.” Glorify God in His creation. Support this site

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