Who are the people of AIG and CMI

Back when there was a significant dispute between Answers in Genesis (AIG) and Creation Ministries International (CMI) I wondered where the creation science movement may be headed. At the time I thought it would be interesting to look at who the people are behind these organizations right now and see if the backgrounds of those people can tell us anything about the philosophies of these organizations. The differences are quite apparent and although AIG is a dominant force in the US, their position at the top isn’t necessarily assured based on the current configuration of their organization. Below I make some observations on both of these organizations.

Below are the people that AIG lists as part of their network. For some it is difficult to tell what role they have at AIG because they are full-time employees elsewhere. Some of these are much more active at ICR and with their own ministries. What I have done is lifted a bit of the info they provide to show there education, background and possible ages.
* Chuck and Evelyn Aliberto – retired public school teachers (60+)
* Dr. John Baumgardner – Ph. Geophysics, guest speaker (late 50s?)
* Donald Chittick, Ph.D – Ph.D Physical Chemistry, guest lecturer (70s)
* Dr. David Crandall Director of AIG Ministries Worldwide, Pastor (60s?)
* Buddy Davis – Speaker/singer full time with AIG
* Dr. David DeWitt – Ph.D neuroscience Case Wester Reserve, unclear what if any role he has at AIG other than content for their journal (60+)
* Dr. Donald DeYoung – Ph.D Physics Iowa State, ICR connection, guest speaker (60+)
* Dr. Ted Driggers – Ph.D. Operations Research, now retired, appears to help out with projects (60+)
* James Gardner, ministry, has his own organization but also speaks on AIG tours (50+)
* Ken Ham – President and founder (50s)
* Bodie Hodge MS SIU, mechanical engineering, 1998; full time with AIG, speaker/writer/outreach
* Bill Jack – former public school teacher, guest speaker
* Carl Kerby – ex air traffic controller, AIG Vice President of Ministerial Relations/web site (60+)
* Lynn and Miriam Klopfenstein – retired pastor and wife, local speaking engagements (60+)
* Dr. Jason Lisle, Ph.D astrophysics, U of Colorado recently, full time speaker/researcher at AIG
* Rod Martin – MA Dallas Theological Seminary, AIG senior director of new media
* Stacia McKeever, BS Biology, leads AIG “answers for kids” workshops
* Dr. David Menton, Ph.D Cell Biology, Brown U, Professor emeritus, AIG speaker (60+)
* Dr. Tommy Mitchell, MA Vanderbilt 1984, As of 2006 full time with AIG as speaker (40+)
* Dr. Terry Mortenson Ph.D history of geology, U of Coventry England, AIG speaker
* Michael Oard – Retired National Weather Service meteorologist, guest speaker (50+)
* Dr. Gary Parker – Ed.D biology/geology Ball State, AIG role unclear (60+)
* Dr. Georgia Purdom – Ph.D Molecular Genetics, Ohio State 2000; AIG full time researcher, speaker, writer
* Mike Riddle – AIG full time apologetics speaker
* “Uncle Robbie” Robinson – adjunct role, mostly kids ministries
* Geoff Stevens – training in physics and theology, ordained minister; AIG speaker
* Bob and Jan Thompson (30+)
* Dr. John Whitcomb – Ph.D theology, guest speaker (60+)

A very crude analysis: 28 people are listed, 13 with Ph.Ds of which 8 are in the Sciences. Of the 28 only a few are full time AIG staff and many of the better known names are only periodic guest speakers at the very most. Aside from a few new Ph.Ds that have been added to the staff there are few recognizable names that are dong any research which can be included in their new magazine. With the split from CMI, it is very obvious that AIG is stacked in favor of apologetics and teaching ministries with no interest in doing creation research. They are simply going to assimilate the data that other smaller organizations produce. This would seem to put ICR in a tough spot because they will be relied on more heavily for doing baseline research and yet AIG has been taking more and more of the YEC donation pool each and every year.

I’m not going to list all the CMI staff because the CMI site does a much better job of clearly stating what the roles of its people are in its organization. I think this is a very conscious decision and shows the cryptic nature of the AIG site. The latter site appears to be trying to hide the fact that really its all about Ken Ham. It doesn’t seem unreasonable to believe CMIs claim that part of the reason for the breakup was because they felt that Ken Ham was too much the focus and that power needed to be distributed. The CMI web site makes it clear what the roles of individuals are. There are 14 individuals listed just for CMI in Australis of which 8 look to be working full time for CMI. Of these 14, nine have Ph.Ds in scientific disciplines and most of the other staff have science degrees as well. So the CMI staff is tipped toward science with some interest in basic creation research. I have only counted the staff in Australia but CMI has more people in more countries than AIG as well so they have greater potential as an organization.

The names on the CMI site are also quite familiar to anyone who knows the creation science literature as they include many who have been the most prolific writers in the movement. The claim that AIG makes that their new magazine will be better than the old one would look to be unjustified as they have clearly lost a large percentage of the more seasoned writers. I think they will struggle to churn out material and when one realizes that Creation magazine was full of weak research it will be interesting to see how ridiculous this new “Answers” magazine will get. My guess is that it will have very little real science content and will focus on apologetic issues.  They may start a research focused journal in the future to try to show they still are attempting to do research.

Despite the lurch that AIG put CMI in with the way the split occurred, CMI probably has a good shot at becoming a dominant force again because of their experience and because they will drive the scientific discussion. AIG looks to me to be a very weak at this point. They are completely dependent on the health of Ken Ham. Without him, that ministry would completely collapse.

What will be interesting to see in two years is the financial condition of both of these organization. AIG was bringing in some 14 million in revenues in 2005 compared to 7 (or 9, I can’t remember right now) million for ICR.    (UPDATE:  22 million for AIG in 2010  see HERE for the full breakdown,  ICR still is only in the 8 million range so while AIG has increased revenues 8 million ICR has been flat for 5 years) How much of an impact will the loss of the CMI component be felt? Probably not much this first year but it will be interesting to see what happens in coming years.

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