In locations around the world, but particularly in the USA, the question of origins - how we all got to be here- is a contentious, emotional matter. As these words are written, parents in one school disctrict are in Federal Court over the issue of whether or not a scientific theory of origins called "intelligent design" in which, as the label suggests, a specific "creator" and not random evolution is behid life, can be taught alongside evolutionary theory in schools.
Let me say up front: I'm a "young-earth," six-day creationist, by which I mean my personal belief is of a literal creation as contained in the Genesis account. It makes sense to me. Some readers may cheer such a statement, others will sign in exasperation at what they perceive as my naivety. Writer Andrew Sullivan, if he knew me and my belief would say I am supporting a view that is "simply superstition or lunacy." But so be it.
My reasons for believing as I do are complex and, frankly, irrelevant. I only stated this in order to explain why I'm listing chiefly those websites that support what many Christians believe—a traditional view of Creation. There are plenty of other venues where you can learn evolutionary theory, starting with most government-run schools and universities, on through to various science and natural history museums.
But even if you keep a framed picture of Darwin in your study, isn't it time that other viewpoints receive fuller expression? If evolution is as sound as its proponents claim, it should be able to withstand free inquiry. Of course, this is what evolutionists like to say about so-called “creation science,” even as some block its introduction into government-run schools.
One of the best general sites on the issue, albeit pro creationism, is Answers in Genesis. It's a multimedia haven, with audio, downloadable PowerPoint graphics and articles. It also features Australian events by the group's director, Ken Ham. The site makes a forceful case for its beliefs, backing them with scientific data and wrapping them in humour.
Based in California, the Institute for Creation Research is steeped in academics; it's even accredited to grant graduate degrees. There's a heavy emphasis on scholarship here, which will come in handy when the local Darwinians come calling. There are many articles of interest, as well as a lively news analysis section where current events and even media programs are discussed and, well, dissected.
Those who ponder the night sky, or who keep a telescope handy, may find the information and articles at Astronomy and Origins useful. However, I'm disappointed that site creator “James Anderson” uses a pen-name. I'd prefer to know who he is and what his background consists of. But even with this mystery, the site offers a number of throught-provoking statistics, data points and arguments for creationism.
The Creation Research Society is another group whose leadership is solidly academic: almost every board member, it seems, has a doctoral degree of some stripe. The group maintains a research centre in Arizona and publishes a quarterly journal, a newsletter, and books on creation science. I like the “homespun” feel of this website, and I'm impressed that this is a group of highly educated scientists. Not that you have to be one to study the subject, but it's nice to have so many on hand.
One last site to consider before leaving the subject, and that's the Geoscience Research Institute (GRI), a subsidary of the Seventh-day Adventist Church (publishers of Signs of the Times). Headquartered in Loma Linda, California, GRI relies on “both science and revelation to study the question of origins because it considers the exclusive use of science as too narrow an approach,” as its website says. There are copious resources, including newsletters, journal articles and information teachers can use. Those seeking a particularly Seventh-day Adventist perspective will find plenty to consider there.
It isn't at all likely that the current round of US court hearings will settle the question for all. Many people, to be honest, put enough faith in evolution to make it their “religion.” But for those who believe in the Bible's Creation record—or for those who want to explore it—these websites will offer a good entree into the field. Happy exploring!