Bill Morgan Is Captain Creationist

The activist is waging a war against evolution, one lecture at a time

During debates, Morgan often produces a "magic wand" and waves it around whenever a pro-evolution speaker says that evolution occurs over time. Many atheists, Morgan points out, have faith in the idea that the bacteria you find on shower curtain are distant cousins of Homo sapiens—in other words, they have faith in time. Intelligent and unbiased observers, he insists, realize that the likelihood of such an occurrence is infinitesimally small. "One hundred percent certain," he says, "that we do not have bacterial ancestors."

To Morgan, the most scientifically consistent explanation is Young Earth creationism: Life began "several thousand" years ago, created by God, in one great creation event, by creating two adult forms for every animal, one of each gender. He believes that many micro-evolutionary mechanisms work—speciation, for example. However, he rejects macro-evolution, stating, "Whales make whales, and bacteria make bacteria."

While evolutionary biologists such as Ayala scoff at Morgan's beliefs, they're in the minority among the American public. In May, Gallup took a poll of 1,012 adults living in all 50 states; 46 percent of respondents said they believed that God created humans in present form, while 32 percent believed that God guided human evolution. A mere 15 percent said that humans evolving without any involvement from God most accurately described their beliefs. The numbers have remained remarkably static since 1982, when Gallup began polling on the topic.

Bill Morgan in action
Kenneth M. Ruggiano
Bill Morgan in action
Morgan at a Calvary Chapel before the room fills up
Kenneth M. Ruggiano
Morgan at a Calvary Chapel before the room fills up

The poll numbers aren't an accident. In fact, creationism's enduring popularity is helped by an underground network of activists spread across the United States. Far from the halls of academia, activists teach creationism in homes, churches, the streets—even college campuses, where they can occasionally be found arguing with a student or professor.

Locally, after steadily building his reputation over the past 20 years, Morgan is the go-to creationist guru. He writes a prolific amount of pamphlets, tracts and comics, all self-published, all featuring correspondence with a few Ph.D.s sympathetic to creationism that give his literature the sheen of science, with titles such as "219 Reasons to Believe in God and Design," "The Flood of Noah: Ridiculous Myth or Scientifically Accurate?" and "How Long Ago Did Adam and Eve Live?" They circulate through Orange County Christendom and beyond. Much of Morgan's writing is compiled on his website, FishDontWalk.com, on which his 500-slide PowerPoint presentation defending creationism and attacking evolution is freely available to anyone who wants it. He has been a featured speaker at hundreds of churches—even some mosques—nationwide. Pick any city in Orange County, and odds are that Morgan has spoken there.

Before becoming a dad, Morgan taught two or three creationist classes per week. He claims to want to lessen his speaking schedule to spend more time with his three kids—but Morgan recently gave four creationism lessons in just one week. He's also a frequent speaker at religious conferences, from youth organizations to homeschooling groups, and speaks on behalf of Santa Ana-based Logos Research Associates, a group of Christian scientists that investigate biblical questions from a scientific perspective. Morgan thrives on debate, saying he is "willing and able to debate anyone" on radio programs and podcasts, in lecture halls and church meeting rooms—if there's a platform for him, hostile or sympathetic, the fiftysomething man will take it.

He lives in a quaint Orange County neighborhood of 1960s-era one-story homes, with well-cut, well-watered grass. About half of the houses on his street have an American flag hanging above the porch, Morgan's included. The extremely comfortable, worn-down, black couch in his living room was the same one he became a creationist on in 1987, two years before he decided to become a Christian again.

Morgan grew up in a stable, upper-middle-class home in Buffalo, New York. Every Sunday until he was 14, Bill attended the local Presbyterian church that his grandparents co-founded because "if I was bored to death for an hour, I thought I would be entitled to go to heaven." After learning about the theory of evolution in his freshman-year, high-school biology class, Morgan decided he no longer believed in God and stopped attending church services. Shortly after losing his faith, his mother, without any explanation, stopped attending church, too. "I never really thought about it," he says. "It was just something that we stopped doing."

After graduating from the University of Buffalo with a B.S. in mechanical engineering, Morgan moved to California because of the weather; on his first night in the state, he made out with a girl and broke someone's nose. Morgan's early twenties proceeded to follow what he called the "sinful life": working at the Long Beach Naval Shipyard on nuclear submarines, playing beach volleyball, drinking every weekend, trying to get laid and occasionally smoking pot.

One day in 1987, his roommate showed him a short Christian comic that explained creationism. Morgan was "stunned" the comic's author, the late Dr. Bolton Davidheiser, had a Ph.D. in zoology from Johns Hopkins. He spent several months reading creationist literature, as well as textbooks about evolution, eventually concluding "how awful the fossil evidence was for ape-man to man evolution." Academics were betraying the truth, he felt, which partially inspired him to become more of an activist than a silent believer. On June 12, 1989, Bill Morgan decided he was a Christian and was going to start living like one—almost two years after becoming a creationist.

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40 comments
itchy
itchy

also jesus really does look like a surferdude 

itchy
itchy

the flintstones were a real family....god told me so

oldorange
oldorange

Certainly Adam O'Neal is qualified to say what is truly scientific and what is merely "scientific sheen". Just as he is well qualified to say who is a Christian and who has merely decided that they are one.  We should all do well and listen to him.

billyjack1
billyjack1

My daughter said: "imagine you are an atheist, you really can't make any arguments, all you can do is attack the other person.

 

So wise for an eleven year old.

 

She is study the human muscular system right now,

Gary_Hurd
Gary_Hurd

I am going fishing very early Friday morning. So, I will not be "here" until sometime on Saturday.

 

Just for fun, the creationists should try to find one of Bill Morgan's phony claims not debunked in the "Index of Creationist Claims." http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/index.html

 

If you find one, I'll debunk it over the weekend.

BruceFromHB
BruceFromHB

"There must be a Designer." Okay. He gave us mile and miles of blood vessels, neat. He also gave the ability to drop a man to his knees with a swift knee to the crotch. "The Designer" got it right for fish, reptiles, birds and a few mammals. But for some "intelligent" reason "The Designer" couldn't put testicles inside the body of a man. He got it right with giraffes by making the lower neck bones larger and able to support more weight. But he missed it with the human spine which has equal sized vertebra and the corresponding lower back pain. It probably wasn't the greatest idea to have the food and breathing tubes intersect in the throat. Nothing like sending food down the wrong pipe. Curiously, "The Designer" got it for ocean dwelling mammals. I could go on but yo get the point. There is no designer and least not an intelligent one.

moonbandito
moonbandito

Faith isn't science, as Galileo famously discovered.

Gary_Hurd
Gary_Hurd

I am taking another break from productive work. The opportunity presents itself to add a few more facts to the discussion. As Mr. O'Neal wrote, "there are more Bill Morgans than there are Francisco Ayalas." There are in fact very few men like Professor Ayala. We have met, and while we have a very different sense of humor, I have a deep respect for his achievements. And even one "Bill Morgan" is too many.

 

A better comparison would be the signatories of the creationist Discovery Institute's "Dissent from Darwin" and the "Project Steve" list hosted by the National Center for Science Education. The "Steves" are limited to real scientists named Steve in fields relevant to evolution, or possessing a Nobel Prize. All Nobelists named Steve have joined the list.

 

http://ncse.com/taking-action/project-steve

 

67Original
67Original

Quote: "There must be a Designer." - Bill Morgan ... Sounds a lot like the "Engineers" of Prometheus in an odd way. Isn't Bill Morgan an Engineer (self projecting perhaps?)

moonbandito
moonbandito

One see's a repeating pattern and calls it 'divine design'. As an M.D. once said to me, "Anyone that believes in intelligent design has never done heart surgery" . Another M.D. saide "Why is it possible for a fertilized egg to implant into the fallopian tube, cervix or ovary rather than the uterus causing an ectopic pregnancy and the death of both mother and child"? How about the existence of various vestigial body parts, like the femur and pelvis in whales (evolution says the ancestor of whales lived on land) or the third molar - or 'wisdom teeth' - in humans (whereas some other primates with differing jaw shapes make use of the third molar. As a third grader once said, "You can bring a horse to water, but why?"

picklemomma
picklemomma

Dr. Ayala is a sell out to his own peers in academia...such a shame; though I guess cowardice is the norm when it comes to those circles. He refuses to debate Mr. Morgan because deep down he knows it is utter foolishness and his "scientific" explanations are nothing but tautology; all taken at face value. One does not need a freaking' degree to ask and wonder why your mouth isn't right next to your a**hole...it's called Design.  There is no design without intelligence. There is no evidence for macro evolution. Bill will debate any Atheist at any time, funny how few takers there actually are.

 

cheko7
cheko7

captain dumb ass: keep the faith!

 

inside your church...

Gary_Hurd
Gary_Hurd

Dr. Ayala has published two books debunking creationist nonsense; "Darwin and Intelligent Design" (2006 Fortress Press), "Darwin's Gift to Science and Religion" (2007 National Academies Press).

 

There is really no point in "debates" with men like Mr. Morgan. They always use a method known as the "Gish Gallop," named after creationist Duane Gish. The technique is to tell so many lies in just a few minutes that their scientist opponent is dumbfounded and not sure where to even begin untangling them.

steveg1961
steveg1961

I'm one of those kids. I was a young earth creationist. I'd been given all sorts of rhetorical arguments and misinformation about science to use, by young earth creationist promoters. This was many years ago so I was cutting my teeth on books by Henry Morris, Duane Gish, Richard Bliss, Walter Lammerts, Bert Thompson, and so on. It wasn't until I took an astronomy class in college (to fulfill a requirement for elective credits in science) and dealt with some of the details of the science personally that I really realized how completely and utterly wrong young earth creationism is. The universe has been around for billions of years, and there's no other possible explanation for what we see in astronomy, not even remotely. And it was in becoming clearly aware of some of these scientific details that made me realize how deceitful young earth creationist promoters like Bill Morgan really are. Young earth creationists have made charlatanism into an art form.

 
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