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CREATIONISM IN THE NETHERLANDS

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Abstract:

Abstract

Recent events indicate that creationists are becoming increasingly active in the Netherlands. This article offers an overview of these events. First, I discuss the introduction of intelligent-design (ID) creationism into the Dutch public sphere by a renowned physicist, Cees Dekker. Later, Dekker himself shifted toward a more evolution-friendly position, theistic evolution. Second, we see how Dekker was followed in this shift by Andries Knevel, an important figure within the Dutch evangelical broadcasting group, the Evangelische Omroep (EO). His conversion to ID, and subsequently to theistic evolution, brought him into conflict with young-Earth creationists who still strongly identify themselves with the EO. Third, provoked by the dissidence of prominent orthodox believers and the celebrations surrounding the Darwin year, young-Earth creationists became very visible. After three decades of relative silence, they started a project to make sure that the Dutch people would hear of the “alternatives” to evolutionary theory. This article (1) adds to the growing number of reports on creationists' increased activity in Europe and (2) suggests that ID, in a context different from the United States, did not unite but rather divided the Dutch orthodox Protestant community.

Keywords: Andries Knevel; Cees Dekker; Europe; antievolutionism; creationism; intelligent design; the Netherlands; wedge; young-Earth creationism

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9744.2010.01134.x

Affiliations: Doctoral student at Ghent University, Department of Philosophy and Moral Sciences, Blandijnberg 2, 9000 Ghent, Belgium;, Email: stefaan.blancke@ugent.be.

Publication date: 2010-12-01

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