"The Creationists" (Ronald Numbers) - I read a short creationism / evolutionism book back at the end of September. Looking into the notes, I found most of the references came from this book. The book is about two inches thick, so I started just reading parts of it to check the context of some quotes. I found it to be an easy read, and ended up reading the whole book.
Numbers (hmm, that sounds funny, I'll call him Ronald), tells the history of scientific creationism through profiles of people involved in the movement. Interestingly, little thought had been given to the physical evidence of Noah's flood before modern, uniformitarian geology rose up in the 1800's.
The story of scientific creationism is largely a tale of the failure of the church in the second half of the 1800's. Instead of standing behind the Word of God, and separating from wordly thinking, the church tried to be "relevant". Adopting Biblical interpretation to modern theories, they abandoned their foundation. A hundred years later, we see the total collapse of "mainline" Protestant denominations. Without a literal Biblical foundation, they became open to new interpretations with every swing of social thought. Now these churches are without meaning or any claim to truth. The congregation that remains are full of energy for everything except God, and many have abandoned these "churches". Old earth theology was not their only undoing, but it didn't help.
Of course, this is not Ronald's position. He gives his "testimony" on preface page 16: raised a fundamentalist Christian, learned science in college, and lost faith. Ronald manages to keep a fair tone throughout the book. He delivers some jabs, but to both sides (sometimes skeptical or mocking of creationist reasoning; often chiding evolutionist circular reasoning).
For much of the 1900's, creationism was defended by the work of one man - George McCready Price. Price's book, "The New Geology" (1923) and the derivative work "The Genesis Flood" (1961) by Henry Morris and John Whitcomb, were the primary books for most of that century. Price was influenced by Adventist theology, and Morris worked to clean up much of that. Price was skeptical of an ice age, whereas modern scientific creationists claim a single ice age is best explained by the Flood. Price attempted to use the Lewis Overthrust to challenge the assumption of the order of the geologic column. He claimed the order is random. Ronald claims the order is always reversed. A talk.origins article claims the order is segmented (apparently random, but with a method). I will need to research this more. The Wikipedia article is just a stub...
Creationists attempted to form research organizations throughout the 1900's. All failed (often due to personality conflicts and arguments over theology), until the Creation Research Society of 1963. Until recently, most creationist scientists were biologists (because Christian colleges focused on medicine, and pre-med curriculum). It is only recently that creationist geologists (for example, Steven Austin Ph.D. 1979; and Kurt Wise who Ronald implies graduated in 1989 - pg 280) have started to appear. Hopefully the next fifty or hundred years will produce some impressive creationist research.