Tuesday, December 1, 2009

CORE needs you!

I have to confess that I'm not very good at posts like these, but they are necessary from time to time. So here goes:

The Center for Origins Research at Bryan College receives most of its support from the college, but our operating budget is significantly supplemented by external giving. That basically means that the college takes care of our salaries and gives us a place to work, but we have to raise about two thirds of the funds that we spend on our research and education projects. That's where you come in: Most of that money is donated by folks concerned about creationism and creation education. During this holiday season, I hope you will consider a financial gift to the work of CORE. You can donate online, or checks and money orders can be received at our mailing address. I know that the current economy is making money tight for a lot of people, but I do hope that some of you will find the work of CORE important enough to keep going despite financial hardships.

What kind of work do we do? We have two kinds of prjects: ongoing and special. The ongoing projects include our creation/evolution library, which contains important works in the creation debate from the past four hundred years. I've written posts about several of the more interesting and important works in my "From the Library" series. The library is available to our students and to any external researchers who want to schedule a visit. We're currently expanding the library to include a historical archive, which presently consists of 40 boxes of material donated by Wayne Frair, herpetologist and past president of the Creation Research Society.

I think our most important service to the creationist community is CELD, our Creation-Evolution Literature Database. This is a periodical index for creationist publications, and it presently contains citations for more than 22,000 articles published since the 1870s. We regularly add articles from such well-known publications as Journal of Creation and Creation magazine, Answers magazine and Answers Research Journal, and Creation Research Society Quarterly. The database gets about 300 searches every week, and it's indispensable for anyone interested in what creationists (or their opponents) have written about anything.

We also publish our own monograph series, CORE Issues in Creation, that presents important, technical advances in creationism. There are presently five volumes in the series (mentioned previously on this blog). We're just about to finish up the sixth volume, another collection of papers on biology, and a manuscript on philosophy and theology for volume seven is in editing.

Our main task, of course, is research that advances our understanding of creationist biology. A great introduction to our work can be found at our 20th anniversary website or in my 2003 book Understanding the Pattern of Life (currently 846,068th on the Amazon.com bestseller list). Presently, I'm working on a new look at the created kinds of mammals, and my CORE colleague Roger Sanders is working on a similar project for flowering plants. I hate it when researchers overhype their own research, but truth be told, my mammal project will have some very, very significant results for creationist biology.

All of this archiving and research gets funneled into various ongoing educational projects. At Bryan College, Roger and I teach a biological origins course every semester, where we discuss both evolutionary and creationist models for understanding biology. For students with special interests in creationism, we offer an Origins minor, which includes classes in creationism, Bible, evolutionary biology, and one major research project. We also travel and speak to churches and schools whenever we're invited. I'll be touring southern England next March, then I'm doing a Saturday seminar at Messiah College in April. Although this blog is not an official CORE activity, it is definitely an important outlet for creationist news and reviews, especially related to the work of CORE. I've only been blogging for a year now, and I've already had more than 20,000 visitors.

Our special projects are typically related to research or special conferences. This past year, we cosponsored the Genesis Kinds conferences, which brought researchers together to discuss the origin of species from a creationist perspective. The papers presented at the conference were published in volume 5 of the CORE Issues series. These special projects are funded through external grants or awards. Since I became CORE director three years ago, we've been awarded $30,800 in grants and fellowships.

Since this post is already getting terribly long, let me get to the point: We need your support to continue our work. As I said above, you can donate online, or checks and money orders can be received at our mailing address. I also want to say thanks to all of our past supporters. CORE wouldn't be even a tenth of what it is without your faithful generosity. To all of our supporters, I say thank you and merry Christmas. May our wonderful Creator continue to keep you in His care!