A resolution adopted by Europe's top human rights body last week declaring creationism as a potential ''threat to human rights'' is evidence of a secularized culture, said one of America\'s pre-eminent evangelical theologians.
On Oct. 4, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe voted 48 to 25 in support of the resolution entitled \"The dangers of creationism in education,\" in which the parliamentary body urged its governments to \"firmly oppose\" the teaching of creationism as a scientific discipline.
The document stated that creationism is promoted by \"forms of religious extremism\" and criticized advocates of creationism for seeking to "to impose religious dogma" at the expense of children\'s education.
\"For some people the Creation, as a matter of religious belief, gives a meaning to life,\" stated the report. \"Nevertheless, the Parliamentary Assembly is worried about the possible ill-effects of the spread of creationist ideas within our education systems and about the consequences for our democracies. If we are not careful, creationism could become a threat to human rights which are a key concern of the Council of Europe.\"
After reading the report\'s attacks on creationism, Dr. R. Albert Mohler, the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, posted a response in his personal Web site on Monday, stating that the resolution is indicative of an increasingly secularizing society.
\"When the official human rights institution of Europe has to explain that \'some people\' believe that the divine creation of the universe \'gives a meaning to life,\' this can only mean that Europe (at least as represented by the Council of Europe) has forgotten even its Christian memory,\" wrote Mohler, who often appears on \"Larry King Live\" and other popular news shows representing the Christian voice.
The report, which had been reworked since it was first introduced a few months ago, also charged creationists with denying the scientific validity of the theory of evolution.
"They accuse scientists of not providing enough evidence to establish the theory of evolution as scientifically valid. On the contrary, they defend their own statements as scientific. None of this stands up to objective analysis,\" the text argued. \"The theory of evolution has nothing to do with divine revelation but is built on facts.
\"The total rejection of science is definitely one of the most serious threats to human rights and civic rights,\" added the report.
But even evolutionary scientists wouldn\'t agree that evolution is based on facts, Mohler pointed out, adding that the claim would make most evolutionary scientists blush.
Furthermore, the Baptist leader challenged the report to provide evidence of its claim that some advocates of creationism \"are out to replace democracy by theocracy.\"
\"The group claims that such knowledge \'has been exposed on several occasions\' but fails to mention even one such occasion,\" stated Mohler.
While the resolution describes creationism as "an almost exclusively American phenomenon" but that some of its tenets were \"tending to find their way into Europe,\" Mohler noted a greater shift at work.
\"The Council of Europe's resolution is clear evidence of the fact that a secularized society desperately needs naturalistic evolution as the metaphysical foundation of its worldview,\" he stated.
\"Any threat to evolution is seen as a threat to democracy and human rights — and democracy and human rights are understood in an entirely secular framework as well.\"
The vote on the resolution is nonbinding but will provide direction to the assembly as it urges its 47 member states to consider its views.