My Dad knew no science. Not that I find that surprising; he trained as a high-school math teacher around the time of the Depression, and later became a CPA. From his late 20s on, he worked in Christian missionary endeavours, as accountant, general manager and eventually as founder of his own mission agency. On weekends, he preached.
So science wasn't a topic he needed to deal with.
However, he did have an interest in it. It could be used to "prove" the truth of the Bible. I remember how he took us kids several times to see the Moody Bible Institute "Sermons from Science" and the man who let millions of volts of electricity run through his body and turn his fingers into spark plugs. (Now run by Whittier Christian Schools.) The object? To show us how important it is to connect to the power of God.
In the 1980s, he was supporting ICR, the Institute for Creation Research, and passing on their newsletters. I never heard him discuss any of the "sciencey" articles; it wasn't his cup of tea. But he told anyone who would listen how they showed the errors and outright dishonesty of "the evolutionists". And, of course, proved that the Bible had been inerrant all along.
In his final years, half-blind and increasingly frail, he discovered Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis. And their Niagara of books, pamphlets, tapes, tracts, magazines, articles and videos. Everything in bright, beautiful covers, easily readable fonts, with clear illustrations and simple language. Simple enough even for Dad to understand. He began to read "science" for the first time in his life. Wonderful information, he thought; he repeated choice bits to me when I visited. (And was disappointed when I wasn't impressed, deaf when I tried to explain the basic concepts and point out fallacies.)
He began using AIG materials as gifts. He passed them out to new converts and to prospective converts. He stocked the church library with them.
He was on a limited budget; in his missionary years, he had made no provision for the future. "God will provide," he always said. And in his 80s, scrimping on the basic senior's pension, he made no complaints; what God had provided must necessarily be all he needed.
But AIG was doing a great work for God, and needed the money. So Dad put an automatic payment to them into his budget. And continued to buy books and tapes. (This was on top of his tithe to the church.)
He needed more care, himself, but there was no money left to pay for a homemaker, or even a cleaning woman. I went out weekly and did as much as I could; church people mended his clothes and brought food, neighbours checked on him. But there was always a shortfall.
When he died, at 92, and I picked up the reins of his finances, I found that month's bill from AIG: $70. For DVDs. To give away, of course; Dad had no TV, no DVD player, no video player: he was almost blind.
And he had, stacked by the door to hand out to visitors, a pile of new, expensive AIG books.
I must confess that I destroyed them. With prejudice.
And I won't be sending a donation for Ham's new Creation Museum. Dad would have. He knew no science.