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Doubting Darwin

by Tracey Pearce

The Silhouette: November 24, 1994

Darwinism was given a kick in the cranium in a recent lecture series.

It was standing room only in the McMaster University Hospital Theatre 1A1 for Geologist Don R. Patton's "Darwin Wrong?" seminar series. During the evenings of Nov. 19-21 from 7-9 p.m., Dr. Patton held lecture and slide presentations in which he challenged the validity of evolution.

Dr. Patton, a geologist and Creationist from Dallas, Texas, has been making such presentations for the past 25 years, and generally presents ten per year.

Approximately 450 people filed into the hospital theatre each evening to hear Dr. Patton's lecture. Outside the theatre, The Creation Science Institute of Ontario displayed a wide range of literature, from dinosaur picture books to in-depth research studies.

Steve Rudd, a former McMaster University graduate, sponsored and organized the seminar series. As a concerned citizen, Rudd felt it was time for people to be aware that evolution is not the only explanation for the development of species.

"We do not claim to have found truth, but seek it. I think we need to teach both evolution and creation so that people can make rational, objective decisions and decide for themselves which is better," said Rudd.

The seminar series covered a variety of long debated subjects, such as:

With the use of quotes from evolutionists, Dr. Patton supplied insight into contradictions within evolution.

Dr. Patton also discussed the content of school textbooks and the education system. According to Dr. Patton, textbooks use proofs that evolutionists rejected over 40 years ago, and lack important information concerning evolution and creation. Also, students are taught evolution as fact when it is only theory.

"Gradually school textbooks are changing, but the overall picture isn't changing too much. I think it is time to speak up and demand that all scientific evidence be taught in the classrooms. I think the main reason why people accept the evolution is because that is what they are taught," said Dr. Patton.

Patton attacked fossil evidence that has been used to support the theory of evolution. He claimed fossils were static representations of what was alive and do not portray transition into other forms of life.

During the lecture, Dr. Patton kept his composure while an audience member interrupted him mid-sentence to correct several of his statements. These outbursts provoked hostility among the audience, causing Steve Rudd to briefly stop the lecture and ask the individual to remain quiet until the 15 minute question period.

Response to the seminars varied. Some audience members stated Dr. Patton's lectures were not scientific but religious. "I felt his lecture was on the religious side, and I'm not a religious person. However, I am open minded to different points of view," said Christine Lin, a McMaster student.

Michelle Small, a Hamilton resident, was pleased with Dr. Patton's argument. "I thought the seminar was excellent. I was impressed that Dr. Patton felt both evolution and creation should be taught in the education system. I feel that it is extremely one sided at the moment."

Before closing, Steve Rudd emphasized the seminars were not religious, but scientific as they presented another form of scientific evidence.

He stated this fact needed to be pointed out because he had received criticism from an upset McMaster professor whose name was not revealed.


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