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Woman's freeway signs stir creation debate

Posted By -NO AUTHOR- On 12/19/2006 @ 1:00 am In Front Page | Comments Disabled

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Billboard in downtown Minneapolis says: ‘Everyone has an opinion on Evolution. Read ours. Post yours.’

A Minnesota woman who once thought creationism “was absolutely nuts” has bought a billboard in downtown Minneapolis and one in Duluth aimed at stirring debate over evolution.

The messages – which cost about $10,000 each – point passersby to a website – WhoIsYourCreator.com – where a case is made against Darwin’s theory.

“Everyone has an opinion on evolution, Read ours. Post yours,” says the billboard by Julie Haberle, 55, of Minnetonka.

Haberle, a business consultant, told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that God “just put it in my head to have a billboard to refute evolution.”

Since dismissing creationism as “nuts” nine years ago, she has changed her mind, coming to the conclusion “evolution is just silly.”

Haberle formed a nonprofit organization a few years ago and raised funds until she could afford her first two billboards, the Minneapolis paper said. She plans another one next month, possibly showing a human morphing into an ape.

“I’m just a hack,” she said, “and I came up with the best arguments I could find. I wanted to give people the ability to reject the message of evolution. It’s not my job to convince people, but if God opens their eyes, I wanted to give them the next step in understanding it.”

Her website refers to texts from pro-evolution websites such as the American Institute of Biological Sciences, American Geological Institute and Smithsonian’s Institute of Natural Sciences to expose “the confusion and lack of consensus on how evolution is thought to occur.”

Science educators who spoke to the Star-Tribune were not impressed with her effort.

“It’s kind of standard creationism stuff,” said Paul Z. Myers, a biology professor at the University of Minnesota, Morris and a critic of intelligent design. “It’s not a serious site – it’s just chunks of arguments strung together.”

But Haberle acknowledges she’s not a scholar and doesn’t “pretend to have one original thought on the site.”

“I just want people to realize evolution isn’t a done deal,” she said. “It’s a faith just like ours – it takes just as much faith to believe in evolution as creationism.”

The effort is strictly her own, she said, with no affiliation to her nondenominational church or any group.

She said, however, she would like to get “some kind of a media frenzy going with it” and wouldn’t mind if a megachurch or a major evangelistic organization spread her idea nationwide.

“I have no idea what will happen but figure God will take it where He wants to take it,” she said.


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