Post moved up from Tuesday to remind that the protest is this evening.
ORIGINAL POST, JULY 22, 7:07 A.M.: Those converging on Santa Ana for the annual creation conference kicking off today can expect two straight days of uninterrupted bliss at Calvary Chapel. "Uh, but isn't this a four-day conference?" ask the faithful in the back pews. Indeed it is. But on the third day, God ... I mean ... Orange County skeptics will be out to protest "the dumbing-down of science through the promotion of the creationists' belief of a divine six-day creation."
Stirring things up, according to "Orange County's most famous atheist" Bruce Gleason, will be members of his group Backyard Skeptics, Riverside Atheists and Free Thinkers (RAFT) and the Freethought Alliance, which is billed as "the largest secular organization in Orange County which promotes science, reason and church-state separation."
Known as Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, though it is located just over the border in Santa Ana, the nondenominational, born-again Christian church holds its annual creation conference today through Friday. Participants will discuss their belief that the Earth is only 6,000 years old, the universe is only 10,000 years old and both were created by God exclusively for humans.
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And that is why Gleason and Co. plan to be outside Calvary Chapel at 3800 S. Fairview St., Santa Ana, from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, arguing, "The teachings of creationism harm the U.S. educational system by promoting and teaching anti-science and religious dogma. They consistently try to change laws which will allow them to teach anti-science creationism in public schools."
This, the skeptics maintain, has led to U.S. students being ranked low in science and math compared to all other industrialized nations.
"Creationists discard every piece of scientific data that does not mesh with their pre-conceived dogmas," say protest organizers. "Creationists allow themselves wild speculation, baseless assertions, lies, deceit, and a belief in magic to defend their dogmas."