the study), and a larger sample would have likely only better
confirmed what we found in our study.
Results and discussion
The results are shown graphically in figure 1. The most
pronounced gap between the students and creation speakers
was observed on the topic of ‘deep time’, which was only
mentioned by 4% of the student population but given a 17%
weight by creation speakers. We believe this is because
creation speakers rightfully understand that radiometric
dating is foundational to evolution theory in general, and
therefore should be addressed in biblical creation ministry
efforts. Conversely, the students obviously felt that this area
was not a major concern, although it no doubt will be if they
continue to learn about the creation position on evolution.
Another interesting observation was the responses from
the student-aged sample regarding the general authority
of ‘science’ as evidence for evolution. Comments such as
‘what science has found’ or ‘what science can prove’ made
up 11% of the ‘best evidences for evolution’ offered. This
finding clearly indicates that biblical creation ministries
must differentiate between observational and historical
science. Using scientific dating methods to speculate that
the earth is over 4 Ga old is very different than applying
scientific principles to advance the field of medicine. Many
students fail to understand this distinction.
The topic of dinosaurs also revealed a gap between
the two groups. Only 5% of the student-aged population
placed dinosaurs on the ‘best evidence’ list, but the creation
speakers placed a 13% weight on this topic. The creation
speakers may have placed this high emphasis on dinosaurs
because the topic is both interesting (i.e. it draws a crowd)
and it encapsulates several of the other evolution pillars,
such as deep time (i.e. fresh biomaterials6), evolution theory
proper, and fossils and transitions (e.g. the complete missing
dinosaur ancestors and transitions).
Perhaps the most remarkable finding was the emphasis
placed by the student-aged population on human evolution.
A total 25% of the ‘best evidences for evolution’ fell into
this category, thus this topic should become a priority in
biblical creation ministries.
Looking at the entirety of the results, only four
evolutionary topics made up 72% of the evolution’s ‘best
evidences’: human evolution (25%), evolution theory
proper (mutations, selection/adaptation) (21%), fossils and
transitions (15%), and science in general as an authority
(11%). Thus, if a creation speaker had only an hour to present
his case, the talk would be more likely to succeed with 72%
of the audience by focusing on these top four topics!
This study should help creation speakers to tailor their
presentations to be more effective by focusing on the topics
that are of concern to most audiences of young people,
aged 14 to 24, as well as adults in general. It will also help
publishers of creation literature to tailor their contents to the
interests of the interested public and others.
1. Michael, R. and Travis, J., Evolution: The First Four Billion Years, Harvard
University Press, Cambridge, MA, p. 462, 2009.
2. Bergman, J., The Dark Side of Darwin, New Leaf Press, Green Forest, AR,
3. Bergman, J., Evolution is the Doorway to Atheism: 52 Case Histories of
Prominent Atheists and others, Leafcutter Press, Southworth, WA, expected
4. Survey results were completed in July 2016 using Pollfish.com.
5. The frequency counts for the 10 topics for the ‘Christian only’ respondents
were 23.2%, 20.3%, 15.4%, 12.4%, 6.6%, 6.6%, 3.7%, 4.1%, 3.7%, and 3.7%
(topics listed in the same order).
6. Brian, T., Original biomaterials in fossils, Creation Research Science
51( 4), 2015.
Jerry Bergman has nine academic degrees, including
two Ph.D.s. His major areas of study for his graduate
work were in biology, chemistry, and psychology. He
graduated from Wayne State University in Detroit,
Medical University of Ohio in Toledo, University of
Toledo and Bowling Green State University. A prolific
writer with numerous publications, Dr Bergman
has taught biology, chemistry and biochemistry at
Northwest State in Archbold, Ohio, for over 24 years. He
is also an adjunct Associate Professor at The University
of Toledo Medical College.
Daniel Biddle is president of Genesis Apologetics,
which focuses on responding to evolutionary teachings
presented in the public schools. His Ph.D. is in
organizational psychology from Alliant University, San
Francisco, CA. His academic focus was on research
methodology and statistical analysis.