Paul Braterman reported earlier that Martyn Iles is the new Executive CEO of Answers in Genesis. Professor Braterman found the appointment of Mr. Iles troubling.
Mr. Iles was interviewed the other day by Jolene Almendarez of the Cincinnati Enquirer. I will admit that I was slightly put off by Ms. Almendarez’s first comment, that “most” reputable scientists and educators debunk AIG’s “controversial” claims about the age of the earth and so on. Nevertheless, it was a good interview which asked pertinent questions – though I fear that it will make Prof. Braterman no less troubled.
Here are a few of Mr. Iles’s remarks. In response to a question about how AIG will change under his leadership, he said,
So it used to be that the main argument raised by the culture to say Christianity is false is that evolution is true. I just don't think that's where we are anymore. We're much more into social issues about climate change, racial issues, LGBT issues, all that kind of stuff. ... [ellipsis in original] So there's kind of a broadening of the message ….
Apart from the usual conflation of Christianity with Mr. Iles’s bizarre brand of evangelical Christianity, we see the expansion into “social issues” that troubled Prof. Braterman. And well it should. In case you wonder just what kind of person we are dealing with, I will anticipate the last sentence in the article, which claims that
Iles has also supported controversial rugby player Israel Folau, who posted online “drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolators” would go to hell if they don't repent, The Guardian reported.
Back to the interview. Regarding climate change, Mr. Iles assured us that climate change would not destroy the world; rather, God would do that:
Question: When do you think the world will be destroyed by climate change?
Answer: (Laughs) My philosophy is that God will destroy it first. God has a plan for the world, and it will exist until he's done with it. ... I mean, we could do some damage in the meantime, don't get me wrong, but we're not going to completely destroy it.
Question: That's the most optimistic perspective I've ever heard about climate change.
Answer: (Laughs more) There's a lot of optimism in this message, I've got to tell you. It all ends well.
I am certainly relieved to hear that.
In an e-mailed answer to a question, Mr. Iles stressed,
The message will include anything that is introduced in the book of Genesis – this includes race, climate change, family, sexuality, gender, (all LGBTQ issues) [parentheses in original], identity, life, truth, the problem of evil, political power, and others. Many contemporary topics....
There is much more, including plans to introduce digital technology such as virtual reality. But I will leave that to read for yourselves.