Above, The ICR Discovery Center for Science and Earth History in Dallas, Texas
September 2021 – Henry Morris IV speaks with great pride of Dr. Henry Morris Jr. With good reason. The younger Morris is director of donor relations at ICR Discovery Center for Science and Earth History in Dallas, Texas. The older Morris is his amazing grandfather whose scientific and theological defense of the Genesis account of creation has strengthened the faith of millions of Christians for decades.
The new center opened in 2019 and is sure to become a top family attraction with its animatronic creatures, immersive video displays, stunning planetarium shows, and live science presentations.
“The ICR (Institute for Creation Research) Discovery Center is an absolute wealth of scientific evidence that affirms the biblical account of creation,” director Morris told AFA Journal. “It was built to showcase the evidence uncovered by ICR scientists through the years.”
How it came to be merits a look at the path of Dr. Morris. As a young man he dealt with his own doubts about Genesis, accepting theistic evolutionary philosophy until Bible study with Christian friends who led him to accept the entire Bible as inspired and inerrant. He was growing in his Christian faith during the 1950s when many Christian leaders and seminaries were caving to critics who denied a divine creation and a global flood.
Critics of godly creation
The biblical creation account clashed with Darwin’s theory of evolution in multiple ways. Darwin claimed slow gradual changes over millions of years and was limited to random natural events. It allowed no divine purpose or cause and no design. The great flood described in Genesis was dismissed by many scientists and theologians as an unusually large flood in the Mesopotamian region.
Critics of Genesis were relentless and often intended to shame believers into thinking they were ignorant of science. Many Christians gave up trying to counter respected scientists and professors who proposed secular explanations for origins and for all geological features. God’s enemies rejoiced as their successes and strategies steamrolled on through the 1960s and beyond.
Yet faithful warriors in God’s kingdom, men such as Dr. Henry Morris Jr., stood firm. That stand is how he became a trailblazer for truth. As a hydraulics engineer and professor, he recognized there were science-based explanations for the alleged long ages of millions of years and for rock strata and fossils all over the earth.
“My grandfather also realized that information about origins was biased in favor of secular explanations,” Morris said.
Christian scientists and theologians alike were not given a fair hearing of evidence for divine creation in which living things and humans were planned and designed. Nor would their detractors listen to evidence for a literal worldwide catastrophic flood that destroyed the earth’s animals and humans outside the ark Noah and his sons had built.
Dr. Morris did not consider these ideas benign. Rather, they were serious stumbling blocks with eternal consequences for students who were being taught to doubt that the Bible was God’s truth. If they had doubts about foundational doctrines in Genesis, they were bound to have doubts about salvation and the nature of God Himself.
As he read trendy articles by respected theologians who doubted the Genesis account of creation, Dr. Morris began to sense a call from God. As a faithful Christian who loved and trusted the Bible, he was committed to standing his ground in its defense. No compromise. No surrender.
At stake was the truth of God’s Word. Either it was inspired truth or it was a lie. This was his hill to fight and die on if necessary, but he would fight with the weapons God had trained him to use.
“He continued to be a kind, patient man to all he met,” Morris said. “But he was also a warrior in every sense of the term. His most effective weapon was truth, applied with gentle persuasion.”
Subsequently, Dr. Morris began writing to teach others about how to defend the truths of Genesis. But more was needed.
God ignited a desire in his heart to write a book that combined a thorough scientific and theological defense for Genesis 1-11. With theologian John Whitcomb, he co-authored The Genesis Flood (Presbyterian Reformed Press, 1961), and the seed for a worldwide revival of faith in the inspired, inerrant, infallible Word of God was planted.
Confounding the critics
More than half a million copies of the book have been sold, and it has been translated into at least three foreign languages. Over the next few years, it was the catalyst for a number of organizations dedicated to verifying evidence of the truth of Genesis.
One of the first such organizations was Institute for Creation Research (ICR), formed in 1970 in Santee, California. A group of Ph.D. scientists joined Dr. Morris to form a powerful team which has helped millions of Christians grasp the truths of the entire Bible.
“ICR’s ultimate objective,” said Morris, “is to demonstrate that the Bible is right, and its message is true, and to point all people to the truth of our Creator, Savior-Redeemer, and coming King, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
That objective has been and is being accomplished through scholarly books and articles citing scientific evidence, speaking to churches and other groups, debating university students on the reality of a young earth and a worldwide flood, and filling the Discovery Center with strong visual testimonies to the accuracy of Genesis.
Many years after Henry Morris Jr. co-authored The Genesis Flood, his son, Dr. Henry Morris III, had the vision to build ICR Discovery Center for Science and Earth History. Meanwhile, the college and ICR had separated their ministries, and ICR decided to move to Dallas and build the Discovery Center there, provided the Lord supplied funds.
Almost immediately three $1 million dollar checks arrived, and plans for the Discovery Center began. Dr. Morris pursued his vision tenaciously, trusting God to provide the remainder of the funds for the enormous project.
In God’s good providence, the visionary Dr. Morris lived to oversee the grand opening of the beautiful God-honoring, debt-free facility on September 2, 2019, before he went home to heaven on December 12, 2020.
Interactive family adventure
I recently visited the impressive ICR Discovery Center for Science and Earth History accompanied by three grandchildren. We were welcomed by Henry Morris IV, who had agreed to an interview about the history of Institute for Creation Research; its founder and first director, Dr. Henry Morris Jr.; and its recent ministry.
Mr. Morris gave us a VIP tour of the center, including its state-of-the-art exhibits, displays, and interactive elements that make it fun (and educational) for the whole family.
What were the most impressive parts to the grandchildren? The dinosaurs. The birds. The serpent that talked.
For me? Real apologetics that strengthens my faith in God’s written Word, the Bible, and in His living Word, Jesus.
— Carolyn Reeves
Learn more about ICR Discovery Center and subscribe to Acts and Facts, a free monthly magazine, at discoverycenter.icr.org.