Monday, July 17, 2017

Darrow statue unveiled by atheists poking at him with umbrella

Stand in the right spot, and he's looking right at you.

Well that's that.  The statue is here.  There was no fuss.  There was no protest.  Two days later, the statue still has its head and no spray paint.  Despite various media outlets trying to manufacture controversy, there was very little.  What a surprise, I say dryly and sarcastically.

Longtime readers will recall my ongoing commentary on this story (here, here, here, and here).  Most recently a blogger who goes by the name "Friendly Atheist" got riled up interacting with a local opponent of the statue, June Griffin.  She was talking about militias and opposition to the statue, and I suspected it was hyperbole, which so far it appears to be (the militia, not the opposition).  Mrs. Griffin did not attend the unveiling, but she did leave a message for us in front of her store:

"FAX" is an advertisement for her business.
She is not indicating that Darrow was a communist fax.

The unveiling itself was not without contention however.  As part of the Scopes Trial festival, a banner that read "Read your Bible" was hung on the courthouse behind the Darrow statue.  It is a recreation of a banner displayed at the trial by evangelist T.T. Martin (author of Hell and the High Schools).  The modern banner has been used at the Scopes festival for years.

Defense attorney Arthur Garfield Hayes in front of
the original "Read your Bible" banner on the day
Darrow questioned Bryan.

The recreated banner during an old Scopes Trial
play.  Source: ScopesFestival.com
This banner greatly upset the atheists from the Freedom from Religion Foundation, who didn't want that banner in the background of photos and video as they held their event.  So they threatened to sue if the banner wasn't removed.  That didn't really go over very well, especially after the county capitulated and took the banner down to cheers from the atheists in the audience.  Didn't your mammas ever tell you to be a polite guest?  Don't act like a jerk?  Be a good sport and gracious in victory?  I guess not.  So here's a photo of the Darrow statue with the banner restored.  Enjoy!

Look! The photo atheists
don't want you to see!

You know what's really weird about the atheists' lawsuit threat?  This was on the other side of Mrs. Griffin's sign:


Extortion is "obtaining money, property, or services from an individual or institution, through coercion."  Oddly prescient?

The program itself went fine.  The speeches weren't intentionally offensive.  There were lots of police officers, uniformed and otherwise.  The statue is beautiful.  News outlets came from all over, and nothing really exciting happened, except for this dramatic unveiling:



So that's it.  The only other notable event was discovering one of my students posing with the statue on RheaReview.com (see photo 17).  Not sure what that was all about, but that's cool.

Read some other uninteresting accounts right here:
RheaReview.com
Knoxville News Sentinel
Chattanooga Times Free Press

If they didn't like the "Read your Bible" banner, the Freedom From Religion Foundation would probably be apoplectic to know that Rhea County's first independent creation research laboratory will open for business this fall.  I am delighted by this fact.

Feedback? Email me at toddcharleswood [at] gmail [dot] com. If you enjoyed this article, please consider a contribution to Core Academy of Science. Thank you.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Time for a lab!

Northwest Baptist Church pastor Hal Jankusky and me.
The Lord moves in wonderful ways!  When I first began talking about the Core Academy building, I thought, "I'm pretty sure we can raise another $5,000 for the building.  Ten thousand will be a stretch."  I'm pleased to say that I was wrong.

Northwest Baptist Church in Jackson, MI has been a regular supporter of Core Academy for three years now, and I visited their Sunday morning service this past weekend.  I had heard that the congregation had voted unanimously to contribute to our building fund, but I didn't know how much they would donate.  At the beginning of the service, their pastor, Hal Jankusky, called me up to the front of the church and presented me with a check to Core Academy for $7,000!  It was a complete shock.  I started giggling and hyperventilating.  (I'm OK now.)

Thank you, Northwest Baptist Church, for supporting our ministry!  And thanks be to God for showing me how mustard seed faith gets multiplied.  Five thousand was just the beginning.

Now, here's where it gets even more amazing:  In all the budgeting and planning, I priced out a basic DNA lab (very basic).  I was excited to discover that I could purchase used PCR and cloning equipment for about $5,000.  I put that on the back shelf for a future campaign, though, since I expected the building to take most of our funds.  And I honestly didn't think we could raise $15,000 to pay for the building and lab.

With the money from Northwest, our building fund now totals $13,165.  Our need for the building alone was $10,000, so we already have 60% of the money for the DNA lab!  We only need another $1,835 to equip that lab!

But wait, God wasn't done yet!  We were also contacted by a former student who wanted to do a challenge gift of $1,000 to help us reach our building goal.  I shared that we already met that goal, and they agreed to help us raise that last bit we needed to equip the lab instead.

So that's it!  We need just $1,000 more to meet our final challenge to renovate the building AND equip the lab.  Want to help?  Click that donate button at the bottom of this article.  Every donation up to $1,000 will be doubled and will help us meet this final goal.

The best part of all of this was the drive home from Northwest Baptist, when my mind whirled with plans and ideas.  Seven thousand dollars is a huge boost to our building fund, but even more importantly, I began to think beyond the building to all the students I wanted to work with.  I've spoken to hundreds of students this year alone, but we only have a handful that we work closely with on mentoring and training.  I want to expand our mentoring in the next year, and with this building, we can do just that.  I can't wait to get to work!

Feedback? Email me at toddcharleswood [at] gmail [dot] com. If you enjoyed this article, please consider a contribution to Core Academy of Science. Thank you.

Monday, July 3, 2017

A brief history of creationist thought

Here's another of my presentations from the recent Is Genesis History? conference in Dickson, TN.  In this one, I do a very brief survey of creationist thought down through the ages.  Remember as you watch that I'm barely scratching the surface with this one.  There is much more to be said.

Someone ought to write a book...



Please remember to pray for our building project!  Learn more at coresci.org/building.

Feedback? Email me at toddcharleswood [at] gmail [dot] com. If you enjoyed this article, please consider a contribution to Core Academy of Science. Thank you.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Get an autographed copy of Is Genesis History?


We're offering special DVDs and Blu-rays autographed by seven of the scientists from the movie Is Genesis History?: Kurt Wise, Andrew Snelling, Steve Austin, Steve Boyd, Todd Wood, Doug Petrovich, and Danny Faulkner.  The cost is just $50, and all proceeds support the ministry of Core Academy of Science.  There are only ten DVDs and ten Blu-rays available, so if you want one, you better act quickly!

To get a DVD copy, click here:



To get a Blu-ray copy, click here:


Due to our busy schedule this week, we will ship these disks beginning Saturday, so you should expect to receive yours after the fourth of July holiday.

What's this all about?


Core Academy of Science - the creation and science ministry started by me, Todd Wood - is raising money to renovate our new building.  Core Academy helps Christian students better understand science and faith.  We create specialized curricula (including our in-progress textbook Introduction to Science), organize retreats for students and educators, and sponsor internships for students interested in pursuing a career in science. For the past four years, we've worked out of our homes, our local Christian high school, our former offices on the campus of Bryan College, and a storage unit.  With our new building, we will consolidate all our work in one location, which will dramatically improve every aspect of our ministry.  You can learn more about our ministry at our website.

Me and our new building.

Our funding goal is $10,000, and we've raised $4,475 so far.  We need to meet our goal by the end of July so we have time to finish everything (God willing) before school starts in August.  To help move things along, I've got a little bonus for our next donors.

Last week, when I was at the Is Genesis History? student/educator conference, the movie's producer Thomas Purifoy donated ten DVDs and ten Blu-rays of the movie for our fundraising efforts.  I asked the scientists there to sign the little booklet in each one, and everyone autographed their own page, like so:


Each booklet has seven signatures: Steve Austin, Steve Boyd, Andrew Snelling, Kurt Wise, Todd Wood, Danny Faulkner, and Doug Petrovich.  The movie content is exactly the same as the regular production disks (except that we opened them to sign the booklet).  Special thanks to all the scientists for signing and to Thomas for donating the disks.


We're offering these special autographed disks for a $50 donation while supplies last.  There are only ten DVDs and ten Blu-rays available, so if you want one, you better act quickly!

To get a DVD copy, click here:



To get a Blu-ray copy, click here:


Due to our busy schedule this week, we will ship these disks beginning Saturday, so you should expect to receive yours after the fourth of July holiday.

Feedback? Email me at toddcharleswood [at] gmail [dot] com. If you enjoyed this article, please consider a contribution to Core Academy of Science. Thank you.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Darrow drama continues


Next month (three weeks from today), the annual Scopes Festival will be upon us here in Dayton, TN.  This year, the town is welcoming a new statue on the Courthouse lawn.  Well, most of the town is welcoming the statue.

I've written several times previously about the coming statue of Scopes Trial defense attorney Clarence Darrow (see here, here, and here).  The out of town press seem determined to whip up a "controversy" about this, but locally, there's only one person playing to this stereotype.  Now, Hemant Mehta (the "Friendly Atheist") seems to be genuinely worried about June Griffin's comments about the statue.  You can read about their unfortunate interactions at his blog.

I'm disappointed and distressed about this situation.  Jesus Christ commanded us to love our enemies, bless those that curse you, and pray for those who persecute you.  Why?  "That you may be children of your Father in heaven" (Matt. 5:45).  I've spent the past five or so years trying to figure out how to do this in the midst of a heated culture war.  I'm saddened that there are others who do not share my desire to obey Jesus in this way.

Is Mrs. Griffin actually going to commit some act of violence?  I don't know.  I've lived here for 17 years, and I've mostly just heard her rhetoric.  She's rarely acted out.  She may well be trolling Mr. Mehta and having a good laugh at his expense.  Given the content of his blog, he certainly seems to be prone to finding (and mocking) the absolute worst of religious people.

On the other hand, this looks like a good opportunity for me and Core Academy to share the love and gospel of Christ.  I'm not exactly sure what we can do, though.  I'd love some suggestions.  Please shoot me an email, or head over to the Core Academy Facebook page to leave a comment.  Remember though: We're not looking to stir up more resentment and anger.  That means no mocking atheists or Mrs. Griffin.  After all, we have to love all our enemies.

Feedback? Email me at toddcharleswood [at] gmail [dot] com. If you enjoyed this article, please consider a contribution to Core Academy of Science. Thank you.