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Kurt Wise

Kurt Wise

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Kurt Patrick Wise is an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 young earth creationist
Young Earth creationism
Young Earth creationism is the religious belief that Heavens, Earth, and all life on Earth were created by direct acts of the Abrahamic God during a relatively short period, sometime between 5,700 and 10,000 years ago...

 who serves as the Director of Creation Research Center at Truett-McConnell College
Truett-McConnell College
Truett-McConnell College is a private, Christian, coeducational liberal arts college in Cleveland, Georgia, United States. It is operated under the auspices of the Georgia Baptist Convention, and controlled by a Board of Trustees elected by the Convention. The college was named to honor George W....

. He has a PhD in geology
Geology
Geology is the science comprising the study of solid Earth, the rocks of which it is composed, and the processes by which it evolves. Geology gives insight into the history of the Earth, as it provides the primary evidence for plate tectonics, the evolutionary history of life, and past climates...

 from Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

.

Biography


In 1989, Wise earned a Ph.D. in Geology from Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

 where he studied under the supervision of Stephen Jay Gould
Stephen Jay Gould
Stephen Jay Gould was an American paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, and historian of science. He was also one of the most influential and widely read writers of popular science of his generation....

. In addition, he has an M.A. in Geology
Geology
Geology is the science comprising the study of solid Earth, the rocks of which it is composed, and the processes by which it evolves. Geology gives insight into the history of the Earth, as it provides the primary evidence for plate tectonics, the evolutionary history of life, and past climates...

 from Harvard University and a B.A. Geology from the University of Chicago
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It was founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and incorporated in 1890...

. In 1998, Robert Schadewald described Wise as influential on "modern creationism as it is practiced at its higher levels."

Starting in fall 2009 he has been the director of Truett-McConnell College
Truett-McConnell College
Truett-McConnell College is a private, Christian, coeducational liberal arts college in Cleveland, Georgia, United States. It is operated under the auspices of the Georgia Baptist Convention, and controlled by a Board of Trustees elected by the Convention. The college was named to honor George W....

's newly created Creation Research Center in Cleveland, Georgia
Cleveland, Georgia
Cleveland is a city in White County, Georgia, United States. The population was 1,907 at the 2000 census. The city is the county seat of White County....

. Between August 2006 and May 2009 he taught at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary , located in Louisville, Kentucky, is the oldest of the six seminaries affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention . The seminary was founded in 1859, at Greenville, South Carolina. After being closed during the Civil War, it moved in 1877 to Louisville...

 as director of the school's Center for Theology and Science, a job in which he was preceded by intelligent design
Intelligent design
Intelligent design is the proposition that "certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection." It is a form of creationism and a contemporary adaptation of the traditional teleological argument for...

 advocate William Dembski. He had previously taught at Bryan College
Bryan College
Bryan College is a Christian liberal arts college in Dayton, Tennessee. It was founded in the aftermath of the 1925 Scopes Trial to establish an institution of higher education that would teach from a Christian worldview.-History:...

 in Dayton, Tennessee
Dayton, Tennessee
Dayton is a city in Rhea County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 6,180 at the 2000 census. The Dayton, TN, Urban Cluster, which includes developed areas adjacent to the city and extends south to Graysville, Tennessee, had 9,050 people in 2000...

 where he served as Director of the Center for Origins Research and as an Associate Professor of Science for seventeen years.

He served as consultant to the Answers in Genesis
Answers in Genesis
Answers in Genesis is a non-profit Christian apologetics ministry with a particular focus on supporting Young Earth creationism and a literal interpretation of the Book of Genesis. The organization has offices in the United Kingdom and the United States...

 Creation Museum
Creation Museum
The Creation Museum is a museum near Petersburg, Kentucky that presents an account of the origins of the universe, life, mankind, and man's early history according to a literal reading of the Book of Genesis...

 which opened in 2007. Timothy H. Heaton, another scientist who studied under Gould, knows Wise as "a less propaganda-oriented creationist" than Ken Ham
Ken Ham
Kenneth Alfred Ham is the Australian President/CEO of Answers in Genesis USA. He is a vocal advocate for a young Earth and a literal interpretation of the Book of Genesis, and his cross-country speaking tours and many books make him one of the better known young-Earth...

, the leader of Answers in Genesis, and said that Wise's influence on the displays was apparent.

Views and criticism


Wise has said he believes, according to a literal reading of the Bible
Biblical literalism
Biblical literalism is the interpretation or translation of the explicit and primary sense of words in the Bible. A literal Biblical interpretation is associated with the fundamentalist and evangelical hermeneutical approach to Scripture, and is used almost exclusively by conservative Christians...

, "that the earth is young, and the universe is young, I would suggest that it’s less than ten thousand years in age." He believes that science can be used to support and demonstrate these claims. Despite believing that science supports his position, Wise has written that:

When asked if scientific conclusions should be constrained by the Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

, Wise answered that "science has never been closed to people who had ideas they wouldn't change. Every scientist has a set of presuppositions and assumptions that he never questions."

As a young child interested in science, Wise tentatively adopted an old Earth creationist
Old Earth creationism
Old Earth creationism is an umbrella term for a number of types of creationism, including gap creationism and progressive creationism...

 point of view after doing a science fair project on the geologic column, but was not completely satisfied with that decision:
Later, as a sophomore in high school, he took a newly-purchased Bible and a pair of scissors and cut out every verse which could not be interpreted literally if scientific determinations on the age of the earth
Age of the Earth
The age of the Earth is 4.54 billion years This age is based on evidence from radiometric age dating of meteorite material and is consistent with the ages of the oldest-known terrestrial and lunar samples...

 and evolution
Evolution
Evolution is any change across successive generations in the heritable characteristics of biological populations. Evolutionary processes give rise to diversity at every level of biological organisation, including species, individual organisms and molecules such as DNA and proteins.Life on Earth...

 were true. He pursued this task with a flashlight under the covers of his bed for several months; at the end, he had removed so much material that "with the cover of the Bible taken off, I attempted to physically lift the Bible from the bed between two fingers. Yet, try as I might, and even with the benefit of intact margins throughout the pages of Scripture, I found it impossible to pick up the Bible without it being rent in two." Wise decided to reject evolution instead of Biblical literalism, deciding:
Biologist and popular atheist
Atheism
Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities...

 author Richard Dawkins
Richard Dawkins
Clinton Richard Dawkins, FRS, FRSL , known as Richard Dawkins, is a British ethologist, evolutionary biologist and author...

 called Wise a truly honest creationist because he is willing to accept creationism even if he admitted "all the evidence in the universe" was against it. Dawkins, quoting Wise's testimony, "In Six Days", criticized what he saw as intellectual dishonesty
Intellectual dishonesty
Intellectual dishonesty is dishonesty in performing intellectual activities like thought or communication. Examples are:* the advocacy of a position which the advocate knows or believes to be false or misleading...

:
Wise's arguments about geology have also been criticized by Christopher C. Tew.

Books

  • Kurt Wise, Faith, Form, and Time: What the Bible Teaches and Science Confirms About Creation and the Age of the Universe. B&H Publishing Group, 2002. ISBN 0805424628
  • Kurt Wise and Sheila A. Richardson, Something from Nothing: Understanding What You Believe About Creation and Why. (B&H Publishing Group, January 2004) ISBN 0805427791
  • John F. Ashton (Kurt Wise as contributor) In Six Days : Why Fifty Scientists Choose to Believe in Creation. (Master Books, 2001) ISBN 0890513414

External links