Conversation with a Creationist
by Ranse Traxler
There are just some things that are too memorable for a person to
forget. A few years ago I had such an experience at one of the monthly
meetings of the Missouri Association for Creation is St. Louis. Even
though I consider myself something of a "wordsmith" (you should hear the
words I can come up with when I hit my thumb while hammering), the
following is something too "unusual" for me to have created. I swear it
The event would be memorable already because of something David
Menton, President of MAC, Washington University professor, and Technical
Advisor to the ICR [Institute for Creation Research], said in response
to a question from the audience. When the topic of embryonic features
was brought up, he replied, "Look! I'm a professor of anatomy at
Washington University Medical School, and I assure you that at no time
during development does a human embryo have anything remotely resembling
a tail or gill slits!"
During that meeting I noticed a young female who looked very out of
place there; she had a Levis jacket loaded with pins, spiked hair, and
all sorts of chains and medals around her neck. After the meeting I
happened to meet her in the parking lot and we started to talk.
She: "I came to the meeting tonight to learn more about
I: "Would you want to learn more about God by asking the
Devil? You should instead talk with a biologist at one of
the local universities. You need to ask someone with a good
science background to learn more about evolution."
She: "Oh, I have a good science background. I'm a nursing
major at [a local junior college]."
I: "What do you know about evolution?"
She: "Well, if evolution is true, then I ought to be able
to walk down the street and see a dog turn into a cat."
I: "That's not what evolution says. Evolution says that
dogs and cats have a common ancestor. Let me give you an
example: you and your cousin have a common ancestor, a
She: "Yes, but she's not a monkey."
I: "No one is saying your grandmother is a monkey. All I'm
saying is that dogs and cats share a common ancestor just
like you and your cousin share your grandmother as a common
She: "But she's not a monkey!"
I: I'm not saying your grandmother is a monkey! What I'm
saying is that to say, 'A dog will suddenly turn into a
cat,' is like saying 'You will turn into your cousin
overnight.' We both know that you will not turn into your
cousin overnight even though both of you share a
grandmother for a common ancestor, right?"
She: "Yes, but she's not a monkey!"
At that point I gave up, encouraged her to take a
university biology course, said "Good night," got into my
car, and drove home in a state of disbelief.