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Pop-culture Evolutionism

The ship’s rudder is locked

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Published: 18 March 2021 (GMT+10)
wikipedia.orgrudder

Creation scientists (and science writers) normally spend most of their time engaging with the ‘hard science’ of the day—or at least whatever is passing as such at the moment. In my opinion, however, it has never been the hard science that has packed the biggest punch in the everyday life of the average person. Instead, it is the popular retelling which filters down to us from every direction: television, books, movies, video games, and so forth. None of these references need be particularly accurate; the important thing is, they instill in the minds of average people that evolution is a given. It’s beyond question since it gets repeated so often. In other words, it acts as a form of subtle brainwashing.

What makes this ‘pop culture evolution’ so particularly damaging to society is that it is essentially immune to correction, since few people bother criticizing media on their science, when they are not scientific media. Even if they did complain, the damage has already been done. The movie has been made and cannot be changed. I’d wager nobody walked out of the theater in disgust when watching Jurassic World just because a scientist drops the line,

“ … the [dinosaur] soft tissue is preserved because the iron in the dinosaur’s blood generates free radicals, and those are highly reactive. So, the proteins and the cell membranes get all mixed up, and and uh… act as a natural preservative. DNA can survive for a millennia that way.”1

This is of course a discredited theory (iron has certainly not been demonstrated to be capable of preserving soft tissue for “millennia”), but no matter. In the movie, it is stated as a plain fact by a scientist. Sure, it’s ‘just fiction’, but the impression left on the audience is the same regardless. It inoculates them against one of the most powerful evidences against evolution and millions of years!

Evolutionary psychology is another very serious offender in this regard. Despite the embarrassing and tragic history of lobotomies being done on people under the false premise of an ancient ‘lizard brain’ sandwiched inside our more highly evolved human brains, the idea of the “old brain” keeps getting repeated even in more recently-produced textbooks. One textbook produced in 2010 reads,

“The innermost structures of the brain — the parts nearest the spinal cord — are the oldest part of the brain, and these areas carry out the same functions they did for our distant ancestors.”2

Is the above quote ‘science’? No, it’s simply an assumption being made based on an evolutionary worldview. But since students read it in a psychology textbook, they will take it for granted. Some of those students may not even be science majors! They will take this evolutionary thinking with them into whatever field they eventually wind up in. And the cycle of misinformation will continue. Maybe some of them will wind up becoming self-help tutors in the world of business, and will continue repeating this ‘old brain’ canard in their lectures, like we see here:

“Rather than using our more primitive Old Brain thinking, we teach people how to use their New Brain to be more successful. Through our book, consulting services, presentations, and content, we help business leaders learn management and organizational skills to create a powerful, engaging work environment that drives personal as well as business performance.”3

Indeed, while lobotomies are no longer being performed, the evolutionary idea that we have a reptile brain with added parts is not going away any time soon. It cannot, in fact, since all mammals have brains, and nobody is arguing that the brain has evolved multiple times independently (convergently). At least as recently as 2015, articles were still being written comparing reptile brains to human brains, in order to draw out alleged evolutionary inferences.4 The authors rhetorically ask, “…is the reptilian brain really just a mammalian brain missing most of the parts?” But another paper from just last year answers that question with a resounding “no”!

“A widespread misconception in much of psychology is that (a) as vertebrate animals evolved, “newer” brain structures were added over existing “older” brain structures, and (b) these newer, more complex structures endowed animals with newer and more complex psychological functions, behavioral flexibility, and language. This belief, although widely shared in introductory psychology textbooks, has long been discredited among neurobiologists and stands in contrast to the clear and unanimous agreement on these issues among those studying nervous-system evolution.”5

This cycle of misinformation is a vicious one, since the popular level evolutionism necessarily cross-pollinates with the more formal scientific side. After all, scientists are human beings just like the rest of us, who also grow up consuming popular media and being influenced by it. What, then is to be done?

Over the past 60 years, the modern creationist movement has had many delightful successes and has achieved much by way of refuting evolutionary falsehoods and giving hope to Christians looking for solid answers. I think now, as we see our world and our culture changing at a rapid pace, it would be good for all of us creationists to think strategically about the goals we hope to accomplish in the future. Is it possible to have any positive impact on the culture at large, or is the culture simply too far gone? If such impact is possible, how could it be achieved?

It is my opinion that the ‘ship of culture’ is not likely to be turned around in the near future by any amount of effort on the part of diligent creation scientists to refute the scientific falsehoods of evolutionism. After all, the modern creation movement6 can be largely traced back to the efforts of Henry Morris and John Whitcomb, which date back to 1961 with their publication of The Genesis Flood. Yet the ubiquitous preaching of Darwinism in the culture has proceeded unabated since that time, largely without paying the slightest attention to anything creationists have said. As the media landscape has developed in the direction of greater and greater Internet and technology usage, creationists have adapted. Whereas in the early days one had to rely on paper printouts, overhead transparencies and physical books, now creation apologetics content is freely available in great supply online. But still, the mainstream culture is largely not listening. In my extensive experience attempting to reach out to skeptics directly, I have found that very few of them are even willing to read an article for free, if they see that it is from a creationist organization. “Don’t you have any information that is not from such a biased source,” they’ll ask, not understanding that all sources on the topic of origins will be biased in one direction or another. They hold it against creationist organizations that we openly admit our Statement of Faith, while continuing to naively think that secular science journals, textbooks, and so on are purely objective.

I have no easy answers to this difficulty, but I do want to invite you to think about these topics constructively. How might creationists more effectively engage with people in the 21st century? How might we realistically convince more of the world’s atheists and agnostics (a group that is growing enormously in the ranks of younger generations) to take a second look at biblical Christianity? One suggestion is that creationists think more about how they might have a constructive influence on the people who are in a position of power in our culture: the media producers. C.S. Lewis once commented that one of the most powerful things Christians could do to influence culture is to incorporate Christianity into fiction, rather than only attempting to preach it directly. This would allow truths of the Christian worldview to sneak past “watchful dragons”—those mental gatekeepers which are hostile to Christ—and thereby change people’s hearts and minds in a less confrontational way.

Some Christians may reply that it is not our job to convince people, but only to preach the truth and to let God do the rest. And I will readily agree that we cannot fully control the results of our efforts—but does that mean we shouldn’t think about how to strategically and persuasively present our message to people? Not at all. Jesus told His followers to be “wise as serpents” when engaging unbelievers (Matthew 10:16), and the Bible repeatedly commends evangelists and disciple-makers who used thoughtful means of persuasion (Acts 18:4, 28). God tasked humans with the Great Commission, and I think this implies that God wants us to do our best to present the truth in the way that will win over as many people as possible (without compromising the message). “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” (Colossians 4:6).

References and notes

  1. Jurassic World Film Transcript, jurassicpark.fandom.com/wiki/Jurassic_World_Film_Transcript Return to text.
  2. Walinga, J., Introduction to Psychology - 1st Canadian Edition, opentextbc.ca/introductiontopsychology/chapter/3-2-our-brains-control-our-thoughts-feelings-and-behavior. Return to text.
  3. Press Release: Using Old Brain Thinking? The New Brain for Business Institute Launches Book, Website and Consulting Services to Help Leaders Succeed, inlandempire.us/using-old-brain-thinking-the-new-brain-for-business-institute-launches-book-website-and-consulting-services-to-help-leaders-succeed. Return to text.
  4. Naumann RK, Ondracek JM, Reiter S, et al. The reptilian brain, Curr Biol. 2015; 25(8):R317-R321. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2015.02.049 Return to text.
  5. Cesario, J. et al, Your Brain Is Not an Onion With a Tiny Reptile Inside, Current Directions in Psychological Science 29 (3):255–260. doi:10.1177/0963721420917687 Return to text.
  6. Note, I do not mean to agree with liberals who assert that young earth creationist beliefs are a recent phenomenon, as they are the historic position of the Christian church. Rather, I refer to the reactionary movement in western culture which exists as a response to the influence of Darwinism, and attempts to rebut it. Return to text.

Helpful Resources

Readers’ comments

Courtney K.
The Twitter account could also play a role- for example, trending #1 right now is National Puppy Day. Why not create a link on a Creationist perspective on puppies, dog domestication, and wolves?
Courtney K.
If it's the popular media that is causing all this, then perhaps addressing the specific media causing this. What topics and media are being sought for the most? I believe there are tools to find out these numbers - basically, a way to find a target audience. What the largest media consumption is. Also Search Engine Optimization perhaps. Google Trends is also a potentially useful tool. For example, if you look for a specific topic, a top result for "fossil" in "related queries" is "Fossil Creek" and "what is a fossil." The keyword "evolution," gives a ton of Pokemon results. In addition, specific categories can be seen using the "Explore" feature, one of them science. You can explore search topics in science for a minimum of 30 days - I noticed "Cicadas" were rising in interest in the United States within the past 30 days. It can also be sorted by Youtube video search and image search. For images, Marie Curie is currently very popular, as are Shamrocks. IMDb has a popularity meter. The Mandalorian, currently one of the popular shows, might be an interesting topic- perhaps talking about the origin of the idea of life on other planets. For your Youtube channel, using the same method, Class- Taxonomic rank is currently rising in the last 30 days, worldwide. In the U.S., ladybugs. Book review ideas can be found by looking at the trending and best selling books/movies on evolution on Amazon, and Good Reads. People won't actively search for your perspective but when they're searching for a specific media to consume, they may see your website result. You could also maybe take an open-text survey of people who converted to YEC on what convinced them, and keep what they said in mind as you move forward. Also, adding tags might be good. I have no idea if any of this would work.
David G.
I've encountered pop-evolution in business training sessions. There was a fad started a few years ago about using 'brain science' to locate reactions in the 'reptile' brain, with talk about the amygdala limbic system, all given with sage gravitas...the sort version is that we had to strive to understand and overcome our reptilian instincts.
All meaningless, of course, as nothing that was said was operationalizable.
Michael S.
Paul from The Bible says we must keep fighting the good fight. If we love God, then we do our best to keep fighting.
Specifically, in CMI's fight, you must focus on science. There are too many battle fronts for you to expand your horizons. Focus on the group that you can influence the best: Scientists. Your good fight is producing scientific data (not sure if that is the right term) and then training the rest of us peons on talking the talk.
On the education front, I would suggest a focus on social media. I do not know if you have a specialist in that area, but a quick search reveals a weak spot on Wikipedia. It defines us a religious belief "which vary in their acceptance or rejection of scientific explanations" and "promotes pseudoscientific creation science." Wikipedia, no doubt, is a dubious research site at best, but most common folk like myself will start there to get a broad understanding about a subject. Furthermore, we can control what it says (which I intend to do now).
Finally, you must work on grinning and bearing peons like myself that have unusual learning styles. I ask questions that are borderline insane, but you must love all God's creatures by tolerating us and recognizing that we have passion. Also, peons like myself have extremely limited resources and we need handouts. Free items are a necessity in the world and an outreach into poor communities would be most beneficial in fighting the good fight.
Sorry if that is disjointed like my other letters to your site. That is just how I am and I will keep fighting until the LORD calls me home.
Nicholas S.
The author who coined dialogue for the 'scientist': "..DNA can survive for a millennia that way" in 'Jurassic World', intended the audience to assume millennia = 'millions' of years ('millionia'?). However, if the author specifically stated "..DNA can survive for millions of years that way." the audience would laugh the producer out of Hollywood. Yet, the author knows the assumption of an audience i.e. to quietly assume 'millions' without saying a word. Double-speak/think. Although, If in the audience, the enquiring minds check the definition of 'millennia' (upper limit 'Decem millennium') they will find, in conjunction with and visually close to 'millennia', the definition of 'millennium': 'A period of a thousand years, especially when calculated from the traditional date of the birth of Christ.' God's ways are hidden from the world, Isaiah 45:15-16 but as to the enquiring minds, as we pray for their eyes to be opened: to potentially lead them to further enquiring into who Jesus is and to His Salvation, Matthew 7:7. Unwittingly, the author of 'Jurassic World', has turned the rudder a few degrees towards Christ. For many, the boat's rudder may not be locked by the attempted, intentional double-speak/think use of the word 'millennia' by the author of 'Jurassic World'. After all, Genesis 50:20, as Eternal life will be found by many. They will abandon the evolution 'titanic' and instead be on our boat and even if there may be stormy seas sighted on the horizon, He will guide us to calm waters, Mark 4:35-41: also a picture of the heralding of the thousand year, millennium reign of Christ. Jesus was in the stern of the boat, just in front of the rudder, guiding, in control of the boat. Keep up the good work Paul and CMI, drawing the people onto the excellent boat Salvation.
Laurel P.
The comment by Jeff M re a history book based on Scripture, is something that I searched for for years. I needed to pull everything together. I wanted to be able to see the big picture and how it all fit. There are now lots of Christian textbooks for homeschoolers that do just that, but they are still not easy to find. So far my favourite, though it does not pull together the histories from all nations, especially not those too far away from Europe and the Mediterranean area, is "After the Flood" by Bill Cooper. It is available to read on-line if you search for it and Bill does have a few articles that are related here on the CMI site. Also, though it's big and cumbersome, is of course Ussher's Annals of History, and it does pull events from China into the mix.
ROGER T.
Personally I have been very encouraged with all the recent advances in operational science that confirm creation over evolution. Large asteroids like Ceres are still geologically active, genetic entropy, carbon 14 presence in coal and diamond samples, and as for iron preserving soft tissue in dinosaurs, Carbon 14 testing of similar samples confirmed that dinosaur extinction was recent. This increase in knowledge seems to me consistent with what the angel told Daniel in Dan 12:4 "But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase." That enlightenment is also referred to in Jer 30:24; 23:20 and Dan 12:3; 12:9-10 and 11:33.
Operational science that affirms creation helps to offset the movement to trust in your feelings not facts. I cannot think of one social movement in the last couple of decades that has not moved away from biblical principles. This bias should set off alarms in all of us, and remind us that Jesus said Satan was the god of this world and therefore of it’s social structure. We have Satan moving in our culture and God moving in hard science. I believe God is pushing the undecided to commit before it is too late.
If my suggestions above have merit CMI may well see decreasing interest in their product as society trusts feelings, after all facts can be looked up at any time on the internet.
It is outside the scope of what CMI normally does but what about an article highlighting how virtually all current and recent social trends are contrary to biblical teaching?
William M.
The "war" between creation and evolution is over....we lost...long ago. We can only influence a very small minority in today's world. Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come...at present, Mr. Darwin's theory fits the bill quite nicely and people would have it that way. Thinking of it another way: A long promised Messiah was sent to a promised people. The majority rejected him. The world was sent a Savior but how many of the billions on the planet accept him? Eventually, says our guidebook, the "whole world will worship the beast."
Keaton Halley
Differing eschatological perspectives may see this differently, but regardless of how optimistic or pessimistic one's approach is, I think all Christians can say that, in the midst of darkness, Jesus is sovereignly building His church and "the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18). So we can be encouraged by that.
Yuki T.
The default position of a person is always divine creation regardless of where or when someone is born, it is only through indoctrination that someone can arrive at believing in darwinism (molecules to man), this is also why it is not able to entirely convince the population, they are predisposed to believe in God and creation by default no matter where they live, but it has gotten really annoying that they are still desperately clinging to the outdated and tired darwinism narrative when contemporary biology has shown that everything is a top-down proccess that bears the hallmark of mind and intelligent design, and it is not a bottom-up proccess. Dr Stephen Meyer has said that even most of biologists today are not neo-darwinian anymore, but they are in the position of "we need a new theory" although they will never find a correct one when they look at the opposite direction of the truth.
R R.
Since you ask "Is it possible [...] or is the culture simply too far gone?", here're the 2 cents I've been holding for a while now. I think the culture might be too far gone - how can you ever have any impact in those who don't want to listen? But let's assume it's still possible, "how could it be achieved?". I've always looked at some YouTube (YT) science channels (e.g., PBS Space Time (PBS ST), which I'd recommend to all of you - particularly the physicists among you like Dr. Hartnett) to see what they do differently.

Here're some reasons: (1) They go in-depth on interesting research topics, discoveries, etc; (2) it's very visually engaging, as opposed to just presenting 1-3 people sitting behind a desk trying to be "formal" about it (read: it can be boring to people, regardless of accuracy); (3) it can serve as a possible template to follow on how to beat the algorithms that choose to show/ignore your content.

Let's be realistic, when I, being a sub to your YT channel, never get your videos in my feed, and when some of your most viewed ones barely get ~3K-5K views in 6mo - 1yr (e.g., "Where did the Bible come from? Pt. 1", "How old is the Earth, Really?") - and they really seem like outliers - you may want to consider looking at more visible channels and their algorithm-beating strategies.

I strongly suggest you look at PBS ST; their evolutionary world-view is beside my point. There's nothing fundamentally wrong w/ your approach, but you must realize the pop-culture you're trying to reach may not find said format appealing.

There're no guarantees, and working around biased filters may be a tall order, but maybe you should spend some time looking at strategies to "beat the algorithms". E.g., creation-centric responses to PBS ST cosmogony videos could work...
Keaton Halley
Thanks for the input. I've passed your suggestions on to some on our video and web teams. We do try to think strategically about these issues, but of course there can be other limiting factors too, like time, manpower, and money. We'll keep doing our best as God permits.
Glenn P.
Jesus, the Apostles, Paul, preached the gospel accompanied with miraces, deliverances, and healings. Why cannot creationists do the same? Give a call for salvation after a seminar on plate tectonics? A call for healing after a talk about starlight and time? A call to be delivered from the strongman of evolutionism after a talk on 6 Yom creation? And do on. It is the same faith to believe in creation science that believes in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Science and logic, with signs and wonders, a powerful combination for the glory of Jesus.
Keaton Halley
CMI does not take a position on denominational issues, so we have both cessationists and continuationists among us. As a ministry we are also focused on a particular deception of the Enemy, not trying to do everything the church as a whole does. So we don't perform baptisms or administer the Lord's supper either. But we certainly do point people to the Gospel of salvation through Christ alone and we pray for people who need to have their eyes opened.
Steve W.
This is a complicated subject, but I believe the core problem is found in the words of Jesus, “… Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God” (Mat 22:29). Whilst most creationists know the scriptures, for the most part the power of God has been absent from the Church. It is noteworthy that when Paul preached a creation-based message to atheists in Acts 17 he also operated with signs and wonders (as promised in Mark 16). It would be encouraging to see Christians who are creationists reconnect with the power of God, otherwise they will find it difficult to make inroads to the culture.
Ryan D.
In a lot of ways I see CMI and creation science more like the church in that it's not for the world it's for christians. CMI strengthens the faith of believers and gives them confidence but the world is never going to be convinced. It would be helpful for christians to be more active in pop-culture. I often somewhat jokingly say the sum total of christian fiction begins and ends with Lewis and Tolkien. Books can be written by one person so I use that as an example. Movies and other entertainment usually require a lot more money and people so it's more for large organizations rather than the individual.

I think as individuals we need to really get back to understanding what love your enemy really means. I see a lot of christians comment on things in a very adversarial way. When we do that we come off as just another faction in the world and not as something truly separate from the world. We also need to spend more time in the community making friends and less time on social media. While social media can be useful a deep friendship is more likely to produce results than some post on the internet.

Overall it's a tough problem to address but that's all I've got.
Stephen N.
Thanks for the article. I really have no suggestions to make other than to repeat the old saying to " keep on keeping on." Just keep plugging away with the message of creationism as it supports the gospel, Trust God that he will open the minds that he wants to open. Certain recent events have taken place that may serve to wake people up to the truth. I tend to think that CMI is sometimes too polite in its criticism of the worldly "powers that be", but I could be wrong. I believe that Darwin's theory of evolution was and is part of a larger strategy by the world's movers and shakers. There are many lies that are being promoted in this age, but certainly the theory of evolution and the accompanying theory of "deep time" are two of the main ones.
Dan M.
If it were not for auto racing, I would not have a dish. There is nothing much on television that interests me. Almost all of it is lies by the father of lies, (Joh 8:44). He rules the airways, (Eph 2:2). I'm not saying all, the data in nature and science programs are not valid, but it is twisted to present a false narrative, like dinosaur feathers from collagen fibers. There always seems to be a twist in the narrative and we need to educate ourselves so we recognize the twist. I give a 1-hour weekly science review to our youth group and I warn them that their faith WILL BE attacked if or when they go to a secular university and they need to know what is narrative and what is real science. I use creationist videos and articles to give them our point of view on the data which they will not get anywhere else. Unfortunately, most seem disinterested and that worries me because they need to be trained for the war they will be facing, (I first went through boot-camp when in the military).
I think, by law when posting a rating warning at the beginning of a program that contains pseudoscience, there should also be a posted disclaimer something like, "The scientific contents of this program have not been confirmed and should not be taken literally". The sci-fi label on a movie means it is, science fiction folks, not scientifically proven, and take it as such! I love a good sci-fi movie, but I enjoy it as an entertainment escape, as it was intended. I just wish they would leave the secular scientific narrative out, (science politics). Most of it is never going to come true! It is scientifically untenable, like interstellar travel. The average person has no idea of the physical laws that have to be bent or broken for it to be possible. They just take it on faith. sigh!
Lester V.
In response to Jeff M., virtually every one of the things you say that creationists need to address HAS BEEN addressed by one or more of the creationist organizations, and by highly-qualified scientists at that. A more thorough search of the articles on each of the topics can substantiate that fact.
Terence B.
Thanks for a thoughtful article. From my own personal research it seems that the CSM overall has been losing momentum since about 2004ish. I wonder if you might find Glynn Harrison’s work “A Better Story” helpful to think this through? His work is focussed on the “how” of societal change on sexuality, as well as looking beyond trite summaries to address the church’s challenge to convey convincingly the truths of the Gospel to western society. Perhaps the underlying journey he takes us on could also be very helpful in tackling Darwinism?
I’m very grateful for the book of Daniel, seeing that even in the face of the impossible, Christ is the Rock that conquers all kingdoms, and His kingdom will outlast even the most oppressive regime.
Don’t give up brothers and sisters!
Chuck R.
The single biggest reason evolution is so widely accepted and promoted is that people want it to be true, and people are eager to embrace any 'science' that purports to show it is true.
It is the same original sin of rebellion that Adam committed "you will be like God, knowing good and evil."
Human nature has not changed in all these years.
As has been stated, Evolution frees us from the law of Moses: frees us from our obedience to God.
Jeff M.
Hi Paul

May I stir the pot and suggest that CMI is as much to blame as pop culture?

Sure, the actuality of long ages is played out constantly on media but consider this:- THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE VIEWPOINT.
I know you will say we are that viewpoint but what I am trying to say is this: you have never put forward an alternative history of the earth related to the Bible. You have plenty of articles to refute long ages but these are always negatively angled (I don't mean that in a pejorative sense, just that they are against whatever aspect of long ageism you are critiquing).

I strongly suggest that you write your own history of the earth, from the day the Lord finished making it. I accept there may be pre-flood gaps but from Noah onward you can really show how everything we know today fits in around biblical fact. By way of example, (the list is almost endless!!!):

* say how Egyptian history fits in with Greek and Chinese history
* say how and when each part of the world was re-colonised post-flood
* say how where and when the dinosaurs finally died out

See what I mean? Now, GET TO IT!

Yours Jeff
Keaton Halley
We are happy to receive friendly criticism like this, but I don't think it's true that we only publish critiques. Creationists have developed various cosmologies, for example, and explanations for the Ice Age caused by the Genesis Flood, models of tectonic activity during the Flood, and many other such positive scientific models of history. Is there much more to be done? Sure, but this doesn't just fall on CMI's shoulders. Even if it did, we can only do as much as we are able with the limited resources (time, manpower, funds) that we have. We hope that readers will not just put the responsibility on us, but take it on themselves to do the work or support those who are doing it.
Sean A.
Hey Paul,

David Berlinski once mentioned that someone needs to make fun of Evolutionists the way they make fun of Creationists. I've written a satire on Evolution which I believe is brutally funny, but also scientifically convincing - if your interested send me an email.
Chris M.
This article is spot on.

You can’t even login to Facebook now days without some sort of article from some no name news source promoting another evolutionary “discovery”. What’s truly fascinating about these articles is the almost ALWAYS include the words “may”, “might”, “could”, “possibly” in their titles. I don’t know about you guys, I wish I “could” be right/wrong in job every day. I wish I could tell my boss I “may” get my job duties done today. Science, by definition, essentially requires the scientific method, correct? Actually being able to test and observe things? Or have they changed the definition already because last time I checked evolutionary science cannot use the scientific method, therefore, it’s not actually science.
Dan B.
Great big-picture article Paul, and I hope it gets lots of thoughtful suggestive comments. At some level I think you're overly pessimistic about the situation, e.g. the Jurassic World quote is set in a sci-fi context and isn't necessarily going to be taken any more seriously than e.g. Star Trek's "dilithium crystals" to explain warp drive. In fact to a layman it looks like a clever piece of nonsense, as though "highly reactive" substances are likely to be great preservatives. Sulphuric acid is also highly reactive, so let's drop some DNA in it and see how long it lasts, eh? CMI etc. should rather be commended for placing their cards on the table at the outset, in fact this is just transparency and good manners/best practice by any organisation to have a "who we are and what we do" kind of section on their website. The detractors should instead be pointing fingers at ones pushing religion pretending that it's science, YKWIM. On the question of how to break through, I wouldn't start with referring to articles - I'd use highly concise statements that pack a big pre-emptive punch. E.g. on billions of years, one line I favour is "Nothing in the solar system looks that old," and while the 'antagonist' is scrambling to think of a counter-example, follow it up with something like "Many parts of it look younger - much younger - orders of magnitude younger," and then a couple of examples if allowed. On general old-earth geology, how about a touch of Elijah-like sarcasm, "Welcome to the Hiroo Onoda school of geology," the analogy being that geologists who help themselves to so many millions of years don't realise that "the war ended many years ago" re. the astronomy evidence above. Blindsided and surrounded!

I've got more thoughts but space prohibits....
Yvonne R.
Listening to the media and their constant reference to the lie of evolution, is so annoying, I cannot listen to them. I speak to people regarding Adam and Eve. As you know, what else can we do but trust GOD and know HE has the power. I have seen a transformation for the man I love. I could not pressure him - I had to leave to GOD so my prayers have been answered. There is hopefully more people than we can observe who do believe in Creation that is not reflected in the media. We cannot put our trust in ourselves. Ephesians 3:20 Immeasurably more than we can pray for, ask for or perceive by GOD's power at work within us, through JESUS CHRIST our LORD, is what we must hold to. For me the truth of Creation has added meaning to GOD's word. We cannot do by our human effort because GOD must have the glory. we will pray for strategies that are not by human understanding.
Guy W.
Indeed! David Attenborough that deeply loved doyen of British television has been drip-feeding the masses with evolution with his nature program. I once remember seeing a shot of him hold in a white cricket in a volcanic tunnel and assuring viewers "This bug has been here for 50milion years." Yeah? Were you there? Alas the television has been the Englishman's view of the world for over 60 years. The upshot of evolutionary belief is that Genesis is untrue but this idea has entered into their minds by diabolical stealth. It's high time we believers started really believing God and proclaimed and taught the Word to make disciples. Jesus is coming back VERY SOON.
Robert R.
I saw the simpsons episode where they had church. Lisa asked 'do you believe in evolution, and are you gay friendly?' to which the pastor said yes. so they were happy there, but i think this would be a church to run away from.
Chris D.
When a book, lecture, or similar wants to convince its audience of an idea, they invariably start with assumptions and build on that foundation. If you can show the assumptions to be false, there is no need to rebut any ideas developed from that false foundation because those ideas will be wrong. Most people interested in evolution know about DNA and that it contains huge amounts of information. The evolution believer claims that random changes can create such information, which should be easily demonstrated from first principles in a lab. The best way to get them thinking critically is to ask them to show you examples of such experiments that create information from nothing. They won't be able to do this because information is ALWAYS the product of a mind. Creating information out of nothing is the 21st century equivalent of the 19th-century fad of building perpetual motion machines. If random events can't create information, then evolution cannot proceed and is therefore false. Believers will retort there are huge amounts of evidence for evolution but keep returning to the foundational issue and ask them to demonstrate how random events can create information. The key to this approach is asking them to prove their point rather than disputing their beliefs directly. What you are doing is challenging them to convince you. If they think about the issue long enough, it will start to corrode their confidence in evolution because you have destroyed the foundation for their belief. And this can be a key that the Holy Spirit uses to unlock the door to their hearts.
Geoff C. W.
To that we add prayer, of course, 'for we do not wrestle against flesh and blood...'

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