The population of Brazil grows while those of other countries shrinks. And higher proportions of those people now believe in creation. That is, they believe that God created human beings and the world. More to the point, they believe that this happened 10,000 years ago, or more recently. This trend has run for at least seven years, while Brazil as a country grows richer, not poorer. These facts suggest that Brazil will be a powerful force in promoting creation, and specifically young-earth creation, worldwide.
Christianity in Brazil today
Yesterday, Andrea Madambashi of The Christian Post wrote that Brazil today has more evangelical Christians, and fewer Roman Catholics. She compared numbers of evangelicals and Catholics ten years apart. She also noticed one thing that suggests that the trend will only get stronger. Evangelical Christianity in Brazil is clearly a movement of the young. The Roman Catholic Church is the church of the old.
At first glance, one might take little from this article other than “out with the old, in with the new.” But the Question Evolution campaign points out one thing that Madambashi missed. That is: evangelical Christians are more likely to believe in creation than are Roman Catholics. This should surprise no one. Five years ago, Pope Benedict XVI denounced as “absurd” the clash between creation and evolution.
On one hand there is much scientific proof in favor of evolution[. This] appears as a reality that we must see and which enriches our understanding of life and being as such.
On the other hand, said His Holiness, evolution cannot say where everything came from, nor to what end. (Of course not. Evolution advocates frown at anyone who dares ask questions like that.)
This is where the Roman Catholic Church stands. Yet the RCC is yielding to the evangelical movement. And that movement is not so quick to believe the “scientific proofs” that so impressed His Holiness.
Creation in Brazil seven years ago
In 2004, Governor Rosinha Garotinho (a/k/a Rosinha Mateus) of Rio de Janeiro did something wild. She ordered that public schools in Rio would start teaching creation science as well as evolution. A year later, the Brazilian magazine Época surveyed the general public.
The results probably shocked them. Only nine percent of their sample accepted the strict naturalistic view of human origin. Fifty-four percent accepted old-earth creation, the idea that man appears millions of years ago but changed only as God said he would change. Thirty-one percent accepted young-earth creation.
Furthermore, 89 percent of the sample agreed with what Governor Garotinho did. 75 percent of the sample even said that creation should replace evolution in the schools.
Detractors of creation were quick to excuse the results. A government official blamed the wording of the survey. The head of the Brazilian Association for the Advancement of Science called the results a sign of poor-quality science education. But if that were true, then fewer people with advanced degrees should believe in creation than people without. (God forbid they should simply be wrong and the people finally getting wise to them!)
The survey results did not bear this out. Only ten percent of advanced degree holders accepted the naturalistic view, and six percent of non-holders.
Creation in Brazil and elsewhere moving forward
Consider, then, the trends. A politician in Brazil introduces creation into public schools. And the people say, in effect,
Go for it!
Seven years later comes evidence that young people in Brazil are embracing a new church movement that welcomes young-earth creation thought. And no one can, with justice, lay this to poor education.
Brazil is not even a poor country. It is rich, and getting richer. And some of them are spending their money to promote creation and “question evolution.”
Eric Kaufman (see video) recently told a secular audience that “the religious [shall] inherit the earth.” The reason: secular countries are not even having enough children to replace those who die every year. Their populations are shrinking, while populations in highly religious countries, like Brazil, are growing.
Creation advocates in Brazil are cooperating with creation advocates in the United States and elsewhere. The Question Evolution campaign is not the only example. The Northwest Creation Network’s “Encyclopedia of Creation Science” (CreationWiki) opened a Portuguese site three years ago. A Brazilian émigrée to the United States was its first contributor. This year, a Brazilian resident took that site over and started to expand it. This might or might not be significant: he was born in Rio, the same State where Rosinha Garotinho now governs.
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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.
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