Creationists will gather Saturday at Michigan State University to explore the links between Nazism and the theory of evolution.
The Origins Summit will also discuss why “the Big Bang is fake” and “natural selection is NOT evolution,” according to ScienceInsider.
The creationist group will also examine the work of Michigan State biologist Richard Lenski, who conducted an influential study on evolution within bacterial populations.
Michigan State is home to several other prominent evolutionary biologists, including Robert Pennock, who testified in a 2005 federal case that prohibited the teaching of intelligent design in public schools.
The university is also the lead partner in The BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action, which is funded by the National Science Foundation and promotes evolution-related research and education.
The Oklahoma-based Creation Summit group reserved a room at the university’s business school through a religious student group – which did not know about specific topics for discussion until later.
The creationist group said the event was planned at the university in East Lansing because four of its board members live in Michigan, but members plan to organize additional conferences at other universities.
Mike Smith, the group’s executive director, said Creation Summit was “not overtly evangelistic,” but members hope to promote evangelism by campus ministries through its promotion of “intelligent design.”
“Once students realize they’re created beings, and not the product of natural selection, they’re much more open to the Gospel, to the message of God’s love & forgiveness,” Smith told ScienceInsider in an email.
The group invited Lenski and Pennock to participate, but the biologists have not responded.
“In my opinion, this event will be just another forgettable blip in the long history of anti-science, anti-evolution screeds,” Lenski said. “I suppose the speakers chose to target our research … because their event is being held here, and maybe because they find it confusing to their world view that evolution isn’t supposed to happen.”