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The Creation Science Association of Alberta is delighted to announce that biologist and long time creation apologist Dr. Jerry Bergman has agreed to speak at our Creation Weekend October 14 and 15, 2011. Dr. Bergman is a well known author and speaker on creation issues. His articles in Dialogue are extremely popular and among his published books, our association sells Slaughter of the Dissidents and Persuaded by the Evidence. What makes Dr. Bergman particularly interesting is the story of his rejection of atheism based on deficiencies in evolution theory.

Dr. Jerry Bergman was born into a religiously indifferent household. His father was an agnostic, dedicated to science and hostile to religion. When the boy was eight years old, his mother became a Jehovah’s Witness. As a result of this development, the parents later divorced. Jerry and many relatives on his mother’s side, all became Witnesses. In time, at university, the young man became disillusioned with the Jehovah’s Witnesses and he then embraced the atheism of his father. During this time, he met many big name atheists including Madalyn Murray O’Hair. He published in several atheistic journals, the last time in 1977. By this time he was an assistant professor in the department of educational foundation and inquiry at Bowling Green State University in Ohio.

Shortly after 1977, Dr. Bergman began to wonder about the validity of the atheistic position. He concluded that their writings were very biased and inaccurate. Furthermore atheist advocates were very defensive, unwilling to engage in real discussion about the issues. Dr. Bergman felt that he had seen the same pattern among the Jehovah’s Witnesses. This academic then decided to personally evaluate the atheistic position.  In his opinion, the two arguments the atheists used to prove their worldview were “the existence of evil in the world, and the assumption that evolution (meaning evolutionary naturalism or Darwinism) could totally explain the existence of the living and nonliving world.” (Persuaded by the Evidence p. 42)

As far as the first argument was concerned, he concluded “that the historic orthodox Christian answer was the most viable solution to the omnipresent problem of suffering in our world.” (p. 43). It was furthermore clear to him that atheists themselves had no solution to the problem of evil, other than to criticize Christians.

About 1978 Dr. Bergman then began to research the main arguments in favour of evolution. Since he distrusted religious writings, he read only secular studies. In this way, he declares: “Slowly, but surely, I was able to eliminate all the main arguments used to support evolutionism by researching secular literature only. At some point I crossed the line, realizing the case against evolutionism was overwhelming and conversely, so was the case in favor of the alternative, creationism.” (p. 44/45). Eventually, after examining the three main world religions, he came to the conclusion that historic Christianity was true.

During this time, Dr. Bergman’s university colleagues became aware of his Christian conversion. This was particularly so after a booklet entitled Teaching about the Creation/Evolution Issue was published by Phi Delta Kappa in 1979. Soon it was time for Dr. Bergman to be considered for tenure at his university. If a candidate is successful (most are), he is rewarded with a permanent position at the university, and if not successful, he would have no job. Dr. Bergman was not worried. His research, publication and teaching records were all excellent. He soon found out however that none of this mattered. His colleagues voted against his tenure. They did not need to have any valid reasons. During depositions for a subsequent court case on the matter, it transpired that his colleagues did not like the fact that he was a Christian. This is not a valid criterion for tenure considerations, but that did not matter. One colleague even cultivated Dr. Bergman’s friendship for the sole purpose of betraying his confidences. Various appeals were lost and Dr. Bergman was indeed out of a job. (The Criterion p. 68/69)

His wife decided that she did not like Christian values, nor unemployed Christians, and a divorce followed, which Dr. Bergman adamantly opposed.  As a result, secular institutions refused to consider Dr. Bergman because of his Christian views, and conservative Christian institutions refused to consider him because he was a divorced man.

Eventually Dr. Bergman obtained a position at Northwest State College in Ohio. He has taught science there for 25 years. During that time Dr. Bergman has continued as a very active participant in the community of scientists supportive of the creation model. He does not regret his intellectual journey which has taken him far from his roots. This was a case where an inquirer found secular attitudes and conclusions to be inadequate. Thus he declares “Eventually after much study … I came to accept orthodox Christianity. When I began my quest, I had no faith in religion, only a set of very negative experiences with it. I demanded facts, and, as was true of many other people, it was science research that led me to reject Darwinism and accept theism.” (FortWayne.com Feb. 18/06).

Dr. Bergman’s expertise and experience are certain to prove of great interest to many. Be sure to reserve these dates to hear Dr. Bergman and to tell everyone you know about this event!

February 2011

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