For those who aren’t already aware, Southern Adventist University opened up its new long anticipated Origins Exhibit on April 15, 2012. It took over four years of planning and some $300,000 in donations to produce the first two of three phases of the project: 1) hire professors who had origins experience. 2) find a way to provide origins education outside of the classroom. 3) expand the hallway exhibit into an institute that provides information for all who are looking to learn about the short-term creation worldview.
Before work began on the second phase of the project, the “hallway phase”, Dr. Keith Snyder, Biology Department Chair, wrote to 20 prominent scientists who support the Biblical perspective on origins and asked them what they felt was the strongest evidence supporting short-term creation? Dr. Snyder then used this information to produce an exhibit that features 25 hallway displays which highlight three main categories of evidence: the living cell, the geologic column, and intelligent design.
So, why does the biology department at SAU hope to achieve with their project?
We wanted the finished product to be professional, but not overpowering. Our goal is not to tell people that their beliefs are wrong, but to provide scientific evidence that substantiates the Bible’s account of creation.
Dr. Keith Snyder, Biology Department Chair
Also, Ron Hight, the art director for the project, says that he felt called by God to help with this exhibit. He spent the last 15 years working as an artist for The Institute for Creation Research, and believes his experience there was excellent preparation for this work.
“Our goal,” says Hight, “is to present the creationist viewpoint in an attractive, professional, and educational way. It is a challenge because no one has ever done this kind of thing before.”
This is all reflected in the general attitude toward the Biblical view of creation at SAU among professors in all departments. Dr. Greg King, dean of the School of Religion and Professor of Biblical Studies, explains:
“Our campus has a commitment to creation. We are unapologetic creationists, but we do not claim to have all the answers. Religion and science don’t need to be at odds. We as scientists and theologians have a camaraderie. Our belief in the biblical perspective on origins is what binds us together.”
For more information, visit: Southern.edu/FaithandScience