Creationist brings road show to local church
From the Bennington Banner, July 31, 2008
By Mark E. Rondeau
BENNINGTON — Speaking rapidly and making humorous quips along the way, Steve Grohman made a comprehensive and coherent case for the view that God created the world in seven days and evolution did not happen.
Grohman spoke for nearly two hours to about 50 people Sunday night at the Main Street facility of the Green Mountain Christian Center, in one of five sessions he presented on creation over a four-day period this week, ending Wednesday.
First arguing from within the text of Genesis and elsewhere in the Bible, he discussed what he called a "gap theory," which argues that an indeterminate amount of time — perhaps billions of years — came between God creating the world in the first verse and then later in the text fashioning it into the world we know today. For instance, a note in the Scofield edition of the Bible states that "Scripture gives no data for determining how long ago the universe was created." Similarly, Clarence Larkin in the book "Dispensational Truth," writes "We need to fall back on science to interpret Genesis."
Said Grohman, "That is simply not true, as we shall see." For one thing, Moses, in authoring Genesis, "was very familiar with how to allow for time there, if it needed to be there, but he didn't put it there because it doesn't need to be there."
In Grohman's view, God created the world in seven days much like our own in duration, with night and day.
For 14 years, Grohman and his wife, Dana, and their son, Paul, have traveled around the U.S. full-time presenting creation seminars. "The Lord laid this ministry on our hearts and our desire is to tell the Creation account to people all across America," he says on his Web site. Grohman speaks hundreds of times each year in churches, public and private schools, on the radio and in a variety of other forums.
Though its proponents often call evolution a theory, Grohman cited a textbook that also calls it a fact: "They call it a theory but say it's a fact." He added, "They say nobody disputes whether it's happened, but they don't have a mechanism" to explain it.
"You look at old textbooks, encyclopedias, whatever, they used to teach in the '50s that the whole universe is 5 or 6 billion years old, and then it grew to 10, 12, 15, 18, 20. We're up to 20 billion years for the age of the universe. That means in the last 40 years, the universe aged 15 billion years," he said to laughs from the audience. "I think it's pretty safe to say they don't have a clue. Let's just throw these numbers out."
Those who believe in creation, however, do have a "mechanism" to explain a number of phenomena like dinosaurs, Grohman argued.
Key to the operation of this mechanism after creation was an additional layer of water above the atmosphere — part of traditional Biblical cosmology — cited in Verse 6 of Genesis. In this view, there was water both below the ground and above the dome or firmament of the sky, essentially adding a seventh layer of atmosphere above the earth to the six layers recognized today.
This additional layer of water above the earth created a type of greenhouse effect. "All kinds of things would be different in that condition, the original creation condition," Grohman said. "You would have increased atmospheric pressure — around double." In addition, the atmosphere would have increased oxygen content, around 35 percent, compared to a bit over 20 percent today. In fact, atmospheric samples taken from amber confirm this increased oxygen content, he said.
In an effect similar to that people experience in a hyperbaric chamber today, these atmospheric conditions gave both people and animals increased endurance and rapid healing. "In God's very good creation, he built the hospital right into the thing," Grohman said. "If anything goes wrong, it will just fix itself right back up."
This effect also accounts for the lengthy lifespans early in the Bible before the flood in which, for example, Adam lived more than 900 years and Noah was 600 years old when he boarded the ark.
This increased barometric pressure and oxygen level also accounts for the dinosaurs: "Put a lizard in a pre-flood environment, living several hundreds of years," he said, "reptiles never stop growing throughout their lifespans."
The result is that "you would no longer have a lizard, you would have a 'terrible lizard' in that kind of condition," he said. "These were just big, gigantic reptiles before the flood." In fact, dinosaurs bear a striking resemblance to reptiles that exist today, just much larger, he said.
The water layer above the earth also filtered out harmful gamma rays, X-rays and ultraviolet rays that wreak havoc on our bodies. Humans and other animals also grew larger under these conditions, a fact that the fossil record confirms, he said. After the Biblical flood, the water layer in the atmosphere was gone and these special effects from it disappeared.
Since God created everything at the same time, "man and dinosaurs always lived together — there's all kinds of evidence," Grohman said. For one thing, there are several sites in the U.S. and elsewhere where dinosaur tracks and human tracks can be found together. One of these sites is in the Paluxy River in Texas. Grohman also believes that the two mysterious creatures described at length in the book of Job — Leviathan and Behemoth — were actually dinosaurs.
He showed examples of cave art that he said depict dinosaurs. He emphasized that just because people lived in caves didn't mean they were less than fully human. "Just because there's evidence that somebody lived there doesn't mean they were half man, half monkey," Grohman said. "It just means that's where they chose to be."
Grohman spoke of the effort to create "a bill of rights" for apes. The Spanish parliament recently passed such a bill.
"If evolution is true and we are just a highly evolved animal, that makes pretty good sense. I mean, if we're just an animal, we ought to do everything we can to protect other animals so maybe they can achieve our status or maybe even better," Grohman said. "As a matter of fact, we might not even know how close to us they actually are, so we ought to do that kind of thing. It makes good sense.
"But if the Bible's true, and it is, we're not just a highly evolved animal. We're a special creation made in the image and likeness of God, then that kind of stuff is absolute nonsense," he said. "Folks, you've got to understand something, evolution is a whole lot more than how old is that rock and that the dinosaurs lived, it affects everything about a society ... even the laws in our society."