Friday, April 20, 2012

SAU Origins Exhibit Opening

Last Sunday (April 15), I was privileged to attend the official opening of the new Origins Exhibit in the Hickman Science Center on the campus of Southern Adventist University. At the opening ceremony, we heard from SAU biology chair Keith Snyder and SAU president Gordon Bietz emphasizing the importance of the traditional doctrine of creation. In an age where such talk is usually met with scorn and derision even among Christians, I was excited to hear such open enthusiasm for creation at such a prominent university.


SAU President Gordon Bietz


The exhibit itself has three segments: The cell, the geologic column, and intelligent design. The cell portion of the exhibit is an artistic model of a cell complete with three-dimensional nucleus and paintings on the wall depicting cellular components and processes. A touchscreen provides a key to understanding the artwork.


The nucleus of the cell exhibit


The geologic column portion of the exhibit presents fossils and fossil casts in the context of Harold Clark's ecological zonation theory. I know there has been faithful Adventists who have recently questioned Clark's model (PDF), and I was a little surprised to see it so prominently featured. On the other hand, I think a lot of the points made by the exhibit were perfectly valid and interesting and worth considering.


The geology hall


The intelligent design hall consisted of the typical sort of exhibits you might expect: functional information in proteins, origin of life, etc. One unfinished exhibit drew an analogy between the parts of a mangled iPhone randomly coming together to form a phone and the origin of cells. Yes, iPhones will blend.


"This phone was a functional model before dropping it into a blender."


I had a great time with the folks at Southern, and I congratulate them on a beautiful exhibit. You can get a preview of the exhibit at their website.

Feedback? Email me at toddcharleswood [at] gmail [dot] com.