TASC Activities 2012

April, 2012
TASC

TASC is an acronym that stands for the Triangle Association for the Science of Creation. We publish newsletters and articles dealing with science, creation and God. TASC has recently planned a seminar for later this Fall, and has also planned other activities. In this article we look at what TASC has done, is currently doing, and plans to do in the near future.

Newsletters

One of the regular activities of TASC is the publishing of a newsletter. In fact, you might be reading this in a copy of the newsletter. The newsletters are mailed out as a paper version to a mailing list. Another mailing list receives notices when the newsletter is published on the TASC website. If you would like to be on either of these lists, then just go to the TASC website where you can sign up. The newsletter sign-up form is on the home page, http://tasc-creationscience.org, as well as the archived newsletters page, which you can reach by simply clicking “Newsletters” from the top menu. To go directly to the archived newsletters page, you can use this link: http://tasc-creationscience.org/newsletters .

Articles

Each month TASC typically puts out a feature article. The first few paragraphs of the two most recent ones are featured on the front page of the TASC website, with links to the complete article. A searchable list also is provided, where users may search by author and/or title of the article.

Tags / Topics

Most articles on the website are also “tagged,” meaning they are included with other similar articles on a certain subject or topic, which is called a “tag.” There are tags for physics, biochemistry, geology, flood, archaeology, etc. There is a rotating tag “cloud” at the upper right of the front page of the website; move the mouse pointer over it to cause the tags to move, and click on the tag in which you are interested. This will load a page with all the articles that have that tag displayed; this is like the front page, in that a few lines of the article are displayed to give you an idea about the article. There is a link to the complete text from there.

Meetings

Monthly Meetings

TASC is currently ( early 2012) meeting on the second Thursday of each month at the following location:

Room 631, 6th floor
Providence Baptist Church
Glenwood Ave.
Raleigh, NC

Each meeting currently starts at 7 pm, and is over at 8 to 9 pm. The length may vary, depending on what is being presented or discussed.

What do we do at these meetings? Typically, some topic is presented in the form of a video, a talk, a slide presentation, or a panel discussion. The purpose of these meetings is to share information about science, creation, etc. The public is invited and encouraged to attend! Please feel free to attend and tell your friends and neighbors about it; invite them to attend also. You are also welcome to announce the TASC meetings in a church bulletin.

Here is an example of a recent meeting. In our March 2012 TASC meeting, we watched a video about dinosaurs, followed by a discussion. Below are some interesting points from the meeting:

  • The word dinosaur was invented in the 1800's, so ancient books could not have included it.

  • Animals supposedly extinct for millions of years, such as coeloceanth, have been found to still live today. Could there be other such creatures still alive today?

  • Ancient writers, such as Aristotle, Pliny, Marco Polo and others, wrote about strange creatures fitting the descriptions of dinosaurs.

  • Ancient art and sculpture, some thousands of years old, look startlingly like dinosaurs.

  • There are many references to dragons in ancient writings.

  • This presentation and discussion also dealt with modern reports of the Loch Ness monster and similar creatures.

It was a very interesting meeting.

Other Meetings, Presentations, Seminars

Other Meetings, Presentations, Seminars In addition to the above monthly activities, on occasion, TASC has been invited to present at other times and other places. For example, recently there was a requestfor someone from TASC to speak at a local home schooling event. TASC members Dr. Gerald Van Dyke, a retired North Carolina State University botany professor, and Everette Coats, a geologist, represented TASC at this event. The following is a summary of this event from Dr. Van Dyke.

On January 20, 2012, Gerald Van Dyke and Everett Coates were invited to attend a Home School Science Fair in Garner. When we arrived we had an opportunity to observe the many outstanding exhibits of student science projects. After the exhibits were judged by a panel of parents, some 50-60 students, parents, grandparents, and friends gathered for a presentation by Gerald and Everett. We had been told ahead of time that the students were reading and studying Phillip E. Johnson’s book Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds. In that book Johnson, who is a law professor, summarizes one of the key reasons why Darwinism has had such a powerful hold on science and on critical thinking. With reference to the 1925 “Scopes Trial,” he says the following: “The stereotype it (the Scopes trial) promoted helped Darwinist’s capture the power of law, and [Darwinists] have since used the law to prevent others from thinking independently.” Johnson has in his book summarized the problem we must overcome and that is that the education system has dumbed down the idea of doing science by forcing all conclusions to lead to a materialistic world-view.

Gerald and Everett gave some introductory remarks about the problems with evolutionary thinking when compared with a Creation view, emphasizing the importance of taking God’s Word as Truth. Everett gave a testimony of his struggle with believing the Bible and how he was influenced by evolutionary thinking through his education. When Everett realized that God’s Word was Truth, then the facts of the Creation were very apparent. The evolutionary and Creation models were presented in contrast to each other. Students and parents were given an opportunity to ask questions. Dating systems, dinosaurs, and Noah’s flood were some of the main focus of discussion. Student awards were then presented followed by many students and parents asking Everett and Gerald questions individually. It was an exciting evening with very positive response to the importance of Creation, God’s Word and keeping an open mind to the true facts from science.

TASC has also presented at various churches in the area. If your church would like to have someone from TASC present for your church or group, let us know! There is a list of some presentations TASC can give at http://tasc-creationscience.org/content/creation-presentations-available . You can request a speaker via the contact form at http://tasc-creationscience.org/contact .

If you would like to be on the TASC mailing list, for the newsletter and meeting announcements, let us know - the same contact form (above) will let you sign up!

Panel Q & A Discussion

Panel Q&A Discussion TASC also has recently provided a panel to answer questions in several places. The TASC panel has presented at a local church, taking questions from the audience. Also, TASC gave a panel presentation to a campus group at North Carolina State University. Another presentation is planned for late March 2012. Below is the report from Ross Thomas for one of these panel presentations:

We at Grace Community Church are thrilled to have started a partnership with TASC in the last year! Our visions overlap. TASC has worked hard for years to find and make known the truths of both science and faith for the glory of God. At Grace, we want to free people, especially young people, from the many deceptions prevalent in our culture so that their lives will be transformed by the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Life-on-life discipleship, evangelism training and providing a solid defense of the faith have been hallmarks for us over the years. Grace has been meeting on campus at NC State University since 1994. Since I first discovered Grace with its 20 people meeting in a small classroom, it has grown to involve about 200 people (students, alumni and community members) in its two Sunday morning services. This does not include the students involved in over 30 dorm and community small groups and an international house church group. Since nearly a quarter of our congregation graduates and moves on to another stage in life, God has allowed us to impact literally thousands of college students who are now spread across the nation and globe. I always smile to hear of former Grace members quickly plugging into new churches and ministries throughout the country and continuing to allow God to use their lives to serve and change lives. Grace is part of Great Commission Churches (GCC), a growing movement of evangelical Christian churches which endeavors to continually plant new churches in the US and oversees both in communities and on college campuses so that we can be part of reaching the world for Christ.

Our Partnership is Changing Lives

Though Dr. Gerald Van Dyke, a former NC State botany professor, has spoken at Grace church services in past years, we have been excited to deepen our relationship with TASC over the last year. We kindled this relationship through Dan Reynolds, the former chairman of the TASC board of directors, whose daughter attends NC State and is an active member of our church. Last spring, a group of TASC members came to our campus church service to present on the relationship between faith and science. During this time we held an exciting forum where the panelists fielded questions text messaged to a moderator from the congregation and visitors. Many students and community members said that it was a great opportunity and clarified many of their questions. Some, though familiar with much of the information already due to their own periods of searching, said that it was reaffirming and encouraging. I heard several comments of how some of the information was new to various individuals and very eye-opening. From my own experience, I can testify that young college students quietly find the truths revealed in events like these tremendously liberating. I myself was freed from many doubts and a lack of confidence about the veracity of my faith upon hearing the fuller story in my early days of college. The first panel discussion was such a powerful opportunity that we had them return this past December. This time, we positioned the event on a Monday evening in the Talley Student Center and advertised the Monday night event to all of campus. About 60 students attended, including a solid representation for the Secular Student Alliance (SSA). Everyone enjoyed a brief presentation on the correlation between science and Christianity, followed by a Q&A session moderated via text messaging. We received far more questions than could be answered, but again more believers found encouragement in their faith and both skeptics and those searching for answers heard compelling evidence they had never considered before.

I was also excited to see many of the SSA students, as well as students from Grace, staying afterward to engage members of the panel in continued discussion. It is sobering to realize how many students find, in the name of science, a convenient excuse to dismiss Christianity and, more applicably, its morals. Without taking time to explore the evidence and check up on the claims made in the classroom by peers and in the media, they casually accept misconceptions and deceptions as truth. It is sad to see the results in peoples’ lives, yet I’m thrilled how lives are being changed as Grace and TASC partner to spread not just hard evidence and the truth about science, but also the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Panelists get Personal

The panelists from TASC at our past events have included Everett Coats, Fred Johnson, Phil Johnson, Joe Spears, Dan Reynolds, Henry Middleton, Javier Valdivieso, and Gerald Van Dyke. Everett Coats gave a powerful testimony at the end of the last panel discussion. He explained how, years before, he sat in the same auditorium on campus in which our church service now meets. It was then that he heard of evolutionary theory and abandoned the Christian faith with which he grew up. Then, after more years of study, the school of life, and the intervention of God, he came to understand not only the truth about evolutionary theory (that the scientific evidence invalidates evolutionary theory) and the associated science but also the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Dr. Gerald Van Dyke encouraged many as well by sharing how he too discovered the truth of both the science of origins and the Gospel. It was refreshing and emboldening for students to hear from a former NCSU professor who, earlier in life, taught evolutionary theory but later found himself standing up in the classroom for both the evidence of creation and his faith in God, despite opposition from his coworkers and employers.

I hope by the time you read this that many of you will have been able to join us for the next TASC event at NC State on March 28. This time, the TASC panel will support GCC pastor and campus evangelist Tom Short (www.TomThePreacher.com) who visits Grace each semester. He usually offers a refreshing twist on campus open air preaching a few times during his visit. His message on the Gospel is usually met with welcomed questions about apologetics, the Bible and morality. Together, Tom and TASC will tag team another Q&A panel event on campus called “Answering Tough Questions.” We invite believers, doubters, searchers and everyone else to join us. For more information on the panel discussion at the Grace church service last spring, you may read the article on my ministry blog site at www.water4dryplaces.com/archives/307. 

Seminars

In the past, TASC has sponsored other creation groups to come to the Raleigh, NC area for weekend workshops and/or seminars. The speakers at these events have included Dr. Duane Gish and Ken Ham. We are planning a seminar for the autumn of this year (2012). CMI (http://creation.com/) will likely be providing the speakers; much of this is tentative, in the sense that it has yet to be finalized. However, the likely speakers will be Dr Jonathan Sarfati & Dr Robert Carter.

Other Projects

Among other projects, TASC has been working on a book compilation of various articles on creation related topics from the website archives.

Research

TASC also is looking into the possibility of doing various research activities; this is ongoing and being planned. If anyone would like to suggest an idea for a research topic, or for an article, there is a place to submit the suggestion: http://tasc-creationscience.org/contact .

The Future

There are new discoveries in science; who knows what the future may hold? TASC has, in the past, communicated new developments and their implications, such as recent research on radiometric decay rates and the finding of soft dinosaur tissue; this is something we intend to continue. Perhaps in the future, TASC may be presenting in your church. We would like to tell more people about the exciting evidence in support of the Bible. Please ask us to come and present for the church you attend or other groups!

Pray for us - for wisdom and ability to continue with the work alluded to above. Thanks for your support.