The Evolution Protest Movement
The Evolution Protest Movement (EPM), founded in Britain in 1932, calls itself the "oldest Creationist organization".
The EPM was renamed "Creation Science Movement (CSM) in 1980 when it
officially gave up "old earth creationism" and adopted "young Earth
Based in Portsmouth the CSM promotes creationism by means of public
speakers, a magazine and other publications, and a museum it operates.
The EPM was preceded by the Victoria Institute (the Philosophical
Society of Great Britain) whose official aim since 1865 was to defend
"the great truths revealed in Holy Scripture … against the opposition
of science falsely so called."
Some members felt the Victoria Institute was ineffective in opposing evolution, therefore founded the EPM, these being:
(Investigator 190, 2020 January)
1. Captain Bernard Acworth (1885-1963): Submariner in WWI, afterwards a journalist;
Acworth got the idea for an anti-evolution organization after a fishing
trip where he watched flying gulls. He realized, he says, that birds
and insects flying in winds don't feel any wind pressure. They fly in
dead calm inside the moving wind — similar to a fly flying inside a
moving car unaffected by outside air movement.
Acworth decided to study this phenomenon and: "It was this study which
first introduced me to the extraordinary fallacies into which the
Theory of Evolution had led post-Darwinian naturalists and biologists
through their surprising ignorance of the fundamental laws of dynamics
which govern flight within a moving medium." These studies led to
Acworth's first book, This Bondage (1929), in the Introduction of which
he: "emphasised the devastating effect on the Christian Faith, and on
all forms of human activities and relationships, that Darwinism had
Dewar obtained a degree in Natural Science and in 1898 entered the
Civil Service in India. He studied birds and history and authored 22
books on Indian birds and Indian history. After his retirement he
became a member and Vice-President of the Victoria Institute where he
read papers criticizing evolution and which published his book Man: A
Special Creation (1936).
Dewar invited Acworth to lecture on This Bondage at the Victoria
Institute. Soon afterwards Acworth proposed that a separate Society be
formed to actively challenge evolution theory.
Formed in 1932 the EPM existed only on paper until publicly launched in
February 1935 at a meeting attended by 600. Fleming became EPM
President, Dewar Hon. Secretary-Treasurer, and Acworth Chairman.
Dewar, thereafter, did most of the work, including authoring much of
the EPM's literature. Acworth's role, although being the main
instigator, was thereafter minor. He wrote This Progress: The Tragedy
of Evolution (1934) followed by a dozen books dealing with political,
historical and naval matters.
The aim of the EPM was to oppose the theory of evolution and expose its
alleged flaws and social consequences, such as Communism and Atheism,
via printed material.
The presidents of the EPM were:
2. Douglas Dewar (1875-1957): Son of an Anglican cleric; barrister; and ornithologist;
3. John Ambrose Fleming (1849-1945): Physicist who
discovered the diode valve and was president (1927-1932) of the
4. Lewis Merson Davies (1883-1955): Described as the
"most knowledgeable geologist and paleontologist in the world of
• 1932-1941: Ambrose Fleming
The Switch to Young-Earth Creationism
For 40 years EPM's leaders had differing views on the age of the Earth.
Therefore its public face was more anti-evolution than pro-creation.
Different members interpreted the six Genesis days of creation
• 1941-1946: Charles Marston
• 1946- 1957: Douglas Dewar
• 1957-1952: Bernard Acworth
• 1962-1979: Cecil Wakeley
• 1979-1997: Verna Wright
• 1998-2003: Baroness Rose of Kilvarock
• 2003- Lord Ashbourne
• As occurring after Earth's surface was ruined in a great catastrophe (= Gap Theory);
Dewar in the 1930s-1950s believed that each Genesis "day" was an "age"
and that the long ages of classical geology are correct. Around 1970
many members believed the "gap theory" according to which Genesis 1:2
implies a time "gap" prior to the six days of creation. A famous
exponent of this view was Canadian physicist Arthur C. Custance
(1910-1985) who wrote Without Form and Void (1970).
During the 1970s belief in a "young Earth", created 6000-10,000 years
ago during six literal days, began to dominate the EPM. This led in
1980 to the name-change from EPM to "Creation Science Movement".
Don't think of "Creation Science Movement" as a general term covering
all creationist organizations as is sometimes done — it's the name of
the one organization, based in England, which began as the EPM.
The EPM's supporters included heads of colleges, reverends, authors,
scientists, the WWII governor of Malta, and Henry M. Morris.
The last named was probably the main stimulus for the EPM's switch to
young-Earth creationism. Morris was American and founded the Creation
Research Society in Michigan (USA) in 1963, and the Institute for
Creation Research in Dallas, Texas, in 1970. Morris also authored books
in which he argued for a young-Earth:
• As lengthy ages of time;
• As successive creations with intervals;
• As literal 24-hour days.
• The Bible and Modern Science (Revised edition 1956);
Morris claimed that a worldwide flood occurred at a time when all
animal "kinds" including dinosaurs and people coexisted, and which in a
few weeks sorted everything killed by the flood into layers that became
the rock strata and fossils.
EPM branched into North America in 1970.
Dennis Burrowes (b. 1918), who grew up in the Brethren sect, joined the
EPM after WWII when on a Rhodes Scholarship in England. He visited
England again in 1969 and was recruited by Albert G. Tilney to
represent EPM in North America. (Tilney was a pastor, retired school
master, Hon. Secretary of the EPM, and staunch advocate of Gap
Burrowes initially adopted Morris' "flood geology", but when Arthur C.
Custance joined him in 1971 he preferred Custance's gap theory.
The EPM was also active in Australia.
Around 1990 a Lutheran pastor in Adelaide donated to "Investigator
Magazine" a stack of EPM pamphlets. Most of them are titled NEWS
GAZETTE Evolution Protest Movement (Australian Branch).
The other pamphlets are 4 to 8-page pamphlets of the EPM. Some of the titles are:
• The Genesis Flood (1961) co-authored with John Whitcomb;
• Scientific Creationism (1974) Edited by Morris but
"Prepared by the technical staff and consultants of the Institute for
• Proofs that the Bible is True (A.G. Tilney);
The donated News Gazette editions date from No. 53 (July 1957) to No.
118 (February 1971). The pastor/donator is himself listed under
"Subscriptions" in No. 55 as Rev. E.M. Kloeden. Judging from regularly
published lists of "New Members" and "Subscriptions" the EPM had many
hundreds of supporters in Australia.
Every News Gazette until December 1962 says: "Published every two
months for the Hon. Secretary of the Evolution Protest Movement, John
McKellar…" In 1963 this changed to "published for John Bryt … on
behalf of the Evolution Protest Movement, Australian Branch."
The official EPM/CSM website in Britain says:
• Evolution The Mammoth And The Flood (Captain Bernhard Acworth);
• Do Vestigial Organs Exists? (Douglas Dewar).
By the end of the 1980s it [the CSM] had become overwhelmingly YEC
[Young Earth Creationist], formally incorporating flood geology into
their 'Deed of Trust'… By the early 1990s it had closed down its foreign branches…
It's possible that the EPM in Australia declined from lack of support.
Perhaps its subscribers transferred their support to the Creation
Science Association founded in Adelaide by Carl Wieland in 1977.
Wieland's group was modeled after Morris and Whitcomb's young earth and
flood geology, and published Ex Nihilo magazine starting in 1978.
Wieland's organization later became Creation Ministries International
based in Queensland; and Ex Nihilo is now named Creation.
Anti evolution organizations and ministries that promote flood geology
similar to Morris proliferated in recent decades. The "NW Creation
Network" website lists overt 200 creationist ministries in the USA but
EPM/CSM is not included.
The EPM/CSM is blatantly religious despite "Science" being in its name.
It is managed and supported by people affiliated with mainstream
denominations. Its website has an image of Earth in Space with the
words "Restoring Faith in the Bible and Science".
The CSM attributes social problems such as abortion, fragmented
families and child abuse to widespread acceptance of evolution and the
growth of atheism.
The CSM website says:
• To show that the Scriptures, and in particular those that bear on Creation, are reliable.
The CSM also owns a museum in Portsmouth which has a video room and creation-themed displays that promote the message that:
• To lecture on Creation Science at universities, schools and churches.
• To publish and distribute the journal 'Creation',
pamphlets, books, video and audio tapes demonstrating that the biblical
account of special Creation is supported by true science.
• Life could not have formed from inanimate chemicals;
The last point, regarding the speed of light slowing down, argues for a
young Universe, by supposedly refuting the scientific discovery that
the light from the most distant galaxies took over 13 billion years to
The speed of light, according to some young-Earth groups, slowed down
and then leveled off at the very time accurate measurements became
available and then stayed unchanged. Other creationists believe that
God, at creation, created the stars and instantly extended their light
across the Universe. Neither claim, however, gets any support from the
science of astronomy.
The creationist strategy of explaining everything they teach that
disagrees with scientific discovery as acts of God, and calling this
argument "scientific" although unable to support it by an experiment,
exposes "scientific creationism" as unsubstantiated religious belief.
Morris gives the rationale in a paragraph dealing with the "long day" of Joshua:
• Modern animals and their fossil counterparts are really the same;
• All people are descended from one man and one woman;
• The Geological sediments and strata were laid down rapidly;
• Radiometric methods for calculating the age of rocks are wrong;
• The speed of light has drastically slowed down.
The long day was undoubtedly a supernatural event, but in view of the
fact of the existence of a personal God, interested in His creation and
its ultimate purpose, it is foolish to say, as some have said, that
miracles are impossible. God has planned and maintained a very
efficiently working universe, normally subject to the operation of its
regular laws. However, it is eminently reasonable that, if God's
purposes are better served thereby, He would be expected on occasions
to intervene in the normal operation of the so-called "natural laws."
(1956, p. 22)
Most people, of course, would want better evidence for a
contrary-to-science event than the claim that it's "eminently
reasonable" for God to do it! Bergman (2003) listed 18 versions of God
as a trinity. There are also numerous Unitarian versions of God.
Different descriptions of God imply different gods (just as
incompatible descriptions of people imply different people are
described). Which God, therefore, exists and is the Creator?
To work out the origins of species researchers study fossils,
comparative anatomy, geology, paleontology, physiology, and genetics.
But with "God" as the alleged ancestor of species there's nothing to
scientifically study to test it. It's the same if someone claims Zeus
created everything, including all our memories, yesterday and made
all creation consistent with the created memories. There is in such a
claim nothing to research because there is no experiment to confirm it
or refute it. What, then, should be done if Zeus-believers do what
creationists do and label all science that's incompatible with their
belief "false science" and want this to be taught in schools? If
unopposed, fantasies masquerading as science could go main-stream and
spell disaster for the future of knowledge and civilization!
The website "Old Earth Ministries" accepts Earth-sciences and astronomy
as they are, but also accepts Christian doctrine. Apparently faith is possible without maligning modern discoveries as
The EPM's conversion to young-Earth creationism in the 1970s meant
rejecting a lot of modern science and was therefore a bad move. The
conversion also made the EPM a small partner to the richer, bigger
young-Earth organizations in America and probably superfluous everywhere except in Britain.
Bergman, J. Varieties of Trinitarian and Non-trinitarian Beliefs, Investigator Magazine # 89, March2003
Dewar, D. 1936 Man: A Special Creation, Thynne & Co.
Gilman, L. 2013 The Shift that Wasn't: C.S. Lewis and Bernard Acworth
Moss, Stephen 17 February, 2009 Defying Darwin creationists Who exactly are they?
Review of This Bondage (1929)